Report from the front line: weekday 1 of ungainful employment


I suppose the day was eventful by virtue of being the first weekday of retirement from gainful employment...and Eclipse Day...and this evening's announcement forthcoming about military "strategy" in Afghanistan, noting that words like "strategy" should be used with discretion in the context of the president.

The day began with an easy 3-mile run through the Laurelhurst neighborhood that ended with a loop through Laurelhurst Park. Ate breakfast and diddled around until a little after 9, when I joined H, VK, and Dawn the neighbor in the backyard for a small eclipse affair. The eclipse was interesting but not life changing. Maybe if we got totality instead of Portland's 95 percent...no, probably would not have made much difference. We were all struck by the drop in temperature and the quality of the light, more like six weeks down the road into autumn than mid-August. To be fair, some of this is due to my contrarian streak, which got lit up by all the hullabaloo. It was cool enough, but I was not inclined to yell, whoop, or shriek, nor did I find any bliss to follow.

The remainder of the morning was devoted to Homer, more precisely, to Bernard Knox's introduction to the Robert Fagles translation of The Iliad, and French study with an episode of French in Action. I also began mapping out a routine for the days ahead. I am a creature of routine and will to a degree fall into one with or without planning and forethought. For the most part today's task was a matter of laying out what I want to do with the aim to prevent days from deteriorating into dithering. Like much else this is a work in progress.

On a whim I baked bran muffins for lunch, after which I indulged in a short nap before picking up again with Knox on Homer—'tis a lengthy introduction. Made a trek to Trader Joe's, found a movie to catch tomorrow, The Midwife with Catherine Deneuve, playing at Living Room Theaters, and got a poem submission off into the internet ether, among other things. All in all a decent day. I wonder how the days and weeks to come will play out.

#Miscellany

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David Matthews

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