Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dog Days

This Louisiana heat is sapping the life from everything. The trees in my yard are dropping leaves, not because they're turning rich, earthy, fall colors, but because they're dead. I stopped trying to save the lawn by watering it weeks ago. It looks like sad straw. The hum of the ceiling fans is constant. I love that sound. If only I had a screen door that slapped and creaked throughout the day as my family comes and goes, that would be heaven. I try to get my work done earlier in the day because the heat builds, even in our air-conditioned house, throughout the afternoon. It's better to try and move as little as possible into the evening. That kills me. I get restless in the evenings. And irritated when I'm hot. So I find myself talking on the phone a lot to my four girlfriends, alternating so they don't get to tired of hearing my voice, to help pass the time. Everyone in town seems a little irritated. I seem to hear more sirens, see more fender benders, and everytime someone enters a cool building, you usually hear them mutter, "Damn, it's hot," as they wipe their brow. We look at each other and shake our heads in disbelief.

August is like that here. It's a month that starts off slow but quickly speeds up as parents hustle around town getting their kids ready for school with the endless list of school supplies and new school clothes. All in this unrelenting heat. I think it's cruel and poor planning to have the kids start back in the middle of the hottest month. Is the school board trying to crush their spirits? Job well done, idiots. If I could go back in time, I'd work out a way to homeschool my children, I think. Or move to a state that has a great education system run by intelligent people. Is there such a place?

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I recently joined the modern world and bought an iphone. I'm in love. It's such an amazing tool. And one more leap, I purchased the Kindle app and have downloaded a couple of books. This is one, giant leap for Melinda-kind...I've held the belief that the Kindle and the Nook were tools of the anti-christ. My book loving friends and I have railed against their evils! Who will buy the physical books if these devices take over? What will become of the artists who design their covers? And the trees that give their life for the, crisp, white pages? What will we do with the empty spaces on our bookshelves, nightstands, and windowsills if our books are all tucked away in one small, flat, electronic device? And libraries, my God, the libraries! What will become of them and the tiny, eclectic bookstore that I one day want to own?

But as usual, I realize I may have been a bit dramatic. The Kindle and the Nook are not signs of a brave new world, but of a world that is growing in technological bounds. They are signs of a world that will never give up its words and is merely finding a new way to contain and transport them. It means that now I can have both. I may be in the mood to hold the physical book and its weighted pages late at night as I snuggle up in bed near my husband. Or I may be stuck in traffic and be able to pass those useless minutes reading a wonderful book on my iphone. I spend so much of my time waiting. I wait in line at the grocery store, or at a doctor's office, or in the drive-thru at the bank. Those wasted minutes make me uneasy because they represent time that is being stolen from my life. But now, instead of getting angry and irritated, I can slip away with a great book. I can learn or be swept away while I'm waiting on life to move. And not just from one book that's tucked away under the seat, oh no, I have a library of brilliant works at my fingertips.

And that, my friends, is a truly beautiful thing. I can't wait to tell you about the first book I bought and read, but for now,

the weekend is calling...hope you have a great one!

7 comments:

Everyday Goddess said...

I agree with many points you make here, so eloquently I might add!

I gave you one of my weekly Goddess Awards if you would like it for your sidebar. Stop by anytime!

Jackie Jordan said...

I deeply empathize with you on two points. I am a Terrebonne Parish native and suffer this unbearable, burning heat disheartened, and I'm reading my first novella on my evil new Kindle, as we speak. But, I could get used to this...

Eva Gallant said...

My husband wants to buy a kindle and I keep saying, no, it's too expensive. I can't see paying that much for the kindle and still having to buy books for it. Maybe if the price comes down some more.....

Just stopped by from the Goddess to say hi! Hope you return the visit.

Eva Gallant said...

My husband wants to buy a kindle and I keep saying, no, it's too expensive. I can't see paying that much for the kindle and still having to buy books for it. Maybe if the price comes down some more.....

Just stopped by from the Goddess to say hi! Hope you return the visit.

Diahn said...

I remember those Louisiana summers - and not with any kind of fondness! I love your photo, and think your composition is spot on...so glad you've joined the dark side!

Kamana said...

i was in new orleans in march and loved the weather then. i can imagine how warm it must be there right now

Dan Kent said...

I have also just joined the 21st century - just got my first smart phone, a Droid, two weeks ago. I've been very distracted - sketching has taken a nosedive (only temporarily) and I keep learning new tricks. I love it. And it came with some books on it. I've read most of Alice and Wonderland. I've also was kind of upset about the loss of real books also, but this is wonderful.

If you like some of the great radio show podcasts like those on NPR, download Stitcher and you can listen to them with earphones or even through your car speakers! And Pandora! OMG! I am loving this phone.