Last weekend I met a friend at our local mall—not because I needed to shop, but because that’s most convenient halfway point for us to get together and hang out. Nonetheless, as we were wandering aimlessly in Big Bland Department Store, I happened across what looked like a promising pair of light summer pants. I didn’t hold out much hope, because, well, I just don’t hold out much hope anymore for clothing, but I tried them on anyway, and lo and behold, they fit comfortably. Sold! But it wasn’t until I put them on at home that I realized their true glory. They don’t just fit--they are perfect. They are the very definition comfortable, light summer pants. They are made of a crepe-like material, with a very light-weight lining, they slip on just below the belly button with a wide, comfortable elastic band, and they are flared at the bottom, providing a graceful skirt-like movement. It’s that time of year again in Seattle when we get our three weeks of hot weather, and I have been swanning around in my cool, light, well-fitting summer pants non-stop. I shall never remove them, these pants of glory, these shining, noble, triumphant, most-esteemed pants. I want one pair in every color, and I shall be known as That Lady Who Wears Those Swishy Pants and Always Looks so Comfortable. If only I could find some tops that met a similar criteria…but I know better than to get greedy.
It’s been a week full of all kinds of turmoil and disruption, which has, among other things, waylaid my reading. I like to read in long, uninterrupted spans of time—preferably to settle in for two to three hours with a good book, sometimes even longer. But I’ve had to read in fits and starts this week, which has been very frustrating because I actually came across book that is not total trash. My novel-picking radar has been way off lately. I blame my Kindle for shoving a lot of schlock at me, and getting me to download free samples so I get hooked and buy the dumb book before I realize it’s actually dreck. But this most recent novel, The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner, is a beautifully written literary novel, the kind of book you want to spend quality time with. The story centers around a woman who is serving a life sentence in prison, but it dips into sweeping epic territory, as it also tells the story of many satellite characters whose lives intersect with hers. I ran a program in a women’s prison (one day a year for about five years), and this topic is very dear to my heart. And it’s been nice to read a book that pays attention to language and the elegance of its storytelling. I’ll do a longer review if things calm down around here and I actually get to finish it.
The afore-mentioned heat is getting to me, made worse by the fact that I had go sit in a booth outdoors today for three hours and talk to people. I’m knackered and I have nothing illuminating to say. So instead, here’s a video of classic movie stars dancing to “Uptown Funk.” It’s pretty astounding.