evannichols (evannichols) wrote,
evannichols
evannichols

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Hey, What Happend to July?

It's RAINING! Damn, it feels good! It's my favorite Oregon Summer Rain, slightly cool rain on a warm day. Like running through the sprinkler with your clothes on. We barely got more than a trace of precipitation throughout July, and I've missed it. I was out shopping, and after putting my groceries in the car, I stood in the parking lot for a minute, just enjoying the feel of it (For Oregonians it's not cool to acknowledge that you're getting rained on. One loses face by running for cover, holding a newspaper over your head, or even the grimace that says "Oh no! I'm getting WET!" However, appreciating being in the rain is fully acceptable). Of course, I do have the sense to come in out of the rain, so I didn't stay out long enough to get really soaked.

Well, I haven't posted for over a week, which is like a dog-year in Internet Time. I've been in kind of a weird space lately, the sort of mental state that would make it seem reasonable to say I've been in a "weird space." I've unpacked the kitchen stuff and have the living room arranged, but haven't yet loaded up the bookcases or really got my office organized. And there's still WAY too many boxes in my bedroom. I was trying to make progress each day, but last week was a challenge. I ended up working three days at the bookstore, and two days doing handyman work on a house in Scappoose for a friend of a friend (or to be specific, the landlord for lenser's studio space). Most of that was installing moldings (base, door and window), but part of it was rebuilding the front eaves of the house and putting up about thirty square feet of cedar shingles around the entrance door. I was reminded that the life of the writer/consultant rarely involves ladders. Two days of climbing ladders and hammering things while holding them overhead just knocked the pepper out of my paprikash, as we used to say in the Old Country. I'd be borderline useless each day after working in Scappoose. Too floppy to deal with boxes.

So the interesting events have been scarce. The Dudes gathered for golf last Sunday, at Eagle Landing (which I don't think is a moon reference), a new course in Clackamas. I'm in the semi-obsessive stage with this golf thing, but don't worry; I'm sure it will pass. I tend to get fascinated with things, spend a month or so absorbed in it, and then wander off when distracted by something shiny. The trick is not to worry about it, like when there's just a few ice-cream bars left in the freezer and you start craving one, but you don't want to eat too many in a day, but if you resist the urge, you CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE until you break down and eat some ice cream. It's a great time saver to just eat the thing, and not waste all that energy trying to NOT eat it. Like that.

Yesterday I gave my second Toastmasters speech. I talked about the Alexander Technique and how it can help people speak better, along with other benefits. I had practiced it a number of times, and each time I would hit a point of brain lock, and spend a few seconds sweating out what I was supposed to talk about next. But when I got in front of the group, it all just flowed. That was good because in the main body of my speech, I was rolling along and segued past two sections in the middle, then had to recover on the fly to get the missed bits back in without breaking the logical progression. I think I did it reasonably well. It's all a bit blurry (I do write out the introduction and conclusion, but only outline the body, and I don't memorize any of it. I think the process of generating the words as I go draws power from my mental self-observer, so while I remember giving a speech, I mostly don't remember exactly what I said). Anyway, I got some very nice compliments and some helpful feedback afterward. It went so well, it reminded me that I had considered teaching some non-credit courses at a community college level, like PCC. I think now is the time to start talking to them about getting on the schedule for Winter term.

So that's the latest. Now if I can get caught up on sleep, maybe I can do something that's really interesting to write about. Happy August, everyone!
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