Tuesday, December 22, 2015
The Dark Yard
It's 5:25 a.m. here in Florida, ridiculously early, but of course my body thinks it's 10:25 a.m. -- ridiculously late. So I've been up for a while, having coffee and taking photos in the dark side yard of my dad's guest house. I've probably been annoying all the neighbors by repeatedly setting off the motion sensor lights, but don't they create a cool effect on that big ol' camphor tree?
I was only out there about ten minutes and I was gnawed by mosquitoes. It's DECEMBER. The mosquitoes are supposed to be dead by now. They did not get the memo.
Our flight was OK, but really, really long. We were on that plane for 10 hours and 20 minutes, about an hour longer than usual. Strong headwinds, said the pilot.
Also, for some reason, British Airways decided that Dave and I didn't need to sit together -- despite the fact that we booked our tickets together. I think this is because they offer a scheme by which you can choose your seats ahead of time, but it costs extra. They basically punished us for not spending that money.
I did, however, get a gin and tonic, and I sat between some guys who weren't terrible traveling companions. The worst I can say is that one of them listened to his iPod for most of the trip and continually played air drums and jiggled his leg to the beat -- which jiggled our whole row of seats. I looked over at one point and he was listening to a song by The Vibrators, and while I don't know their music, I was feeling their rhythm. (That is not a dirty joke, I swear.)
I read "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros, a charming and vivid little book of vignettes about growing up in a poor urban neighborhood. My favorite line: "He has two little black dogs that go everywhere with him. They don't walk like ordinary dogs, but leap and somersault like an apostrophe and comma."
I also watched "Bridge of Spies" with Tom Hanks, which was OK, and started the book "Is Fat Bob Dead Yet?" by Stephen Dobyns, about a network of gangsters and con artists in New England. I bought it for the library based on a positive review. (And the brilliant cover, which -- for plot points too complex to relate here -- features a beagle puffing on a cigarette.)