August passed in a flash. Due to the Islamic holidays, the dude was off or had reduced hours for much of the month, and we’ve been playing and creating and task-doing.
I spent a lot of time teaching myself HTML, CSS, and PHP in hopes that I can starting make web-stuff look like I want it to. The dude spent a lot of time working on illustrations for a new project and fit in a couple of surf trips. And, yeah, he surfed with sea turtles. SEA TURTLES!!!
We celebrated our anniversary by ordering in from our favorite nearby restaurant and trying our hand at Mint Juleps. Then we got up at 2 am with our snack sacks to find a place to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. We had a staycation, watched several movies (including the new Batman), and staged our first “hackathon”. (Note: no hacking involved. We’re way not smart enough for that. It was actually more of a create-a-thon.)
All in all, it’s been a great month. In honor of which I present to you… My Favorite Things from August. In no particular order. Except I think the last one is really my favorite.
30 Days of GOOD
30 Days of GOOD is a new find for me. I’ve only just heard of it, though apparently they do one each month. In August, GOOD is posting a new something-to-learn each day. Kind of a Back-to-School sort of thing. I’m a sucker for learning-resources and these have been surprisingly, well, GOOD. You might have seen some of these already if you’ve been following on the Facebook page.
John Adams is an HBO miniseries about… wait for it… John Adams. I am pretty wary of HBO productions since I prefer people to be clothed on TV, but having heard great things about this one and being relatively certain that this was more Band of Brothers than Rome, we decided to give it a shot. We’re two episodes in and LOVE it. A well-told story gives me a better grasp on the past, and in that respect this one does not disappoint. (Have you seen John Adams? What did you think? and no spoilers, please :))
That favorite restaurant I mentioned before… you know, the one we ordered from on our anniversary? It’s called “Food House”. I’m telling you, there is no end to the creative naming around here. Anyway, Food House serves food from several countries. Most are really good. Stay away from the chinese food. GORGE yourself on the Indian Food. Best of all, it’s cheap!
The problem is none of the menu items have descriptions and they are all transliterated. By an Indian-English speaker. So if you want to know what something is before you order it, you have to do a little research. Luckily, our internet has been behaving itself at dinner time. So far we’ve discovered Kadai Paneer, Sabji Hariyali, and Murg Kolhapuri, to name just a few. (Note: it just took me over 20 minutes to find those links for you. THIS is the sort of adventures we have deciphering the menu!)
Art of Manliness
I’ve liked Art of Manliness for a very long time. It’s in the same general spirit as Project Grownup, but specializes in topics for men – particularly the manly man – and includes a good dose of the odd. E.g. How to Turn an Old WWII Field Phone Into a Bluetooth Handset, and How To Field Dress a Squirrel. (That last one is pretty gory. You’ve been warned!)
Anyway. I love Art of Manliness. And in August, they’ve had a 31 day series entitled “Heading Out On Your Own”. Nearly every post is something I would benefit from learning. Many of the articles are long, so I haven’t had a chance to get through them all, but I’m definitely going back for How To Make Small Talk and Maintaining Your Car.
I have wanted to read Humphrey Carpenter’s The Inklings – a biography covering the intersecting lives of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Charles Williams, and their friends – for over half a decade. This month, I finally started it. And it would be impossible to overstate how much I am loving it. Just after the preface, Carpenter shares this quote from a letter of Charles Williams to his wife:
O my heart, it is all a very odd life.
Several minutes passed before I could turn the page. When he begins discussing “northerness” a few pages later, I realized this is what arrested me as I first encountered that passage. Its northernness.
In ten short words, he reaches so far into my own soul that I can’t quickly find my way out.
I’m sure these words mean little to you, as the original lines that awakened Lewis’ idea of northernness (“I heard a voice, that cried // ‘Balder the Beautiful // Is dead, is dead!'” -Longfellow) do to me. Which is just the way with northernness. Something eternal tightens the heart; there’s no denying it, and no explaining it. It is utterly other, and completely enrapturing.
Did I mention I’m loving the Inklings?
What About You?
What were the highlights of you August? Anything we shouldn’t miss?