Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Watching Football and Leaping Mullet
I finally finished "Vanity Fair" this morning, after rocketing through the last 150 pages in 24 hours. Whew! I enjoyed it, massive as it was. It ended exactly as I had hoped it would, and I won't give it away, in case you read it.
I'm back at Starbucks this morning, still contending with the consequences of the Internet outage at Dave's parents' house. I hope they aren't offended that I keep leaving home for the long walk to the local cafe. I'm trying to participate in family life and be a good guest, I really am. I even watched football yesterday, for God's sake! But I have to get some exercise every day, and I have to have some Internet time.
Yesterday was pretty low-key. In addition to the aforementioned football, we watched the Rose Bowl parade, and I walked over the bridge from Cortez to Bradenton Beach. I didn't actually dip my toes in the Gulf, but I enjoyed walking around the quaint beach town with its colorful shops and houses.
I'd forgotten how overtly friendly people are in this part of Florida. I pass complete strangers on the sidewalk and they say "Good morning!" That just freaks me out a little, big-city boy that I have become. (I do respond, though.) It's mostly the older folks -- the younger ones are all ill-mannered like me.
Dave and I walked out to the waterfront at dusk last night and watched scores of fish leaping singly or in distant pairs from Sarasota Bay. (Mullet, I think?) They must have been eating the same mosquitoes that were devouring us. It's great to see so much nature in the midst of all this development, but I'm mindful that its survival is always precarious.
Speaking of which, walking in Florida is an adventure. The state transportation department likes to create wide, barren, straight highways with intersections that span what seems like acres of sun-bleached asphalt. There may be crosswalks, but the walking environment is nonetheless not the best, with all that traffic whooshing past. (Don't get my brother, a city planner and bicycling enthusiast, started on this topic -- one of his pet peeves!)
(Photo: Christmas decorations in Cortez, at dusk.)