What I Did On My Summer Vacation

1. Marcia, my mother and I watched Katelin graduate from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a minor in Business. Then I drove her and all of her worldly belongings out to Des Moines, roaring through tornadic storms in a U-Haul panel truck with neither radio nor cruise control, quick like bunny. (Six weeks later, Katelin had a temporary/contract job and an apartment of her own. And last week, she started a permanent job with a great company, making good money in an awesome office location, doing exactly the sorts of Human Resource work that she came of college wanting to pursue. It’s nice when it works out the way it’s supposed to!)

2. I saw my favorite band live for the first time. Brutal!!! (I did not shoot that video, by the way. I know which way to hold a camera). (Though I am in the video, if you look closely).

3. I worked hard to bring Shakespeare on the Lawn back to Salisbury House, and it was a big, big hit. (I am in this video, too).

4. I went to Madison, Wisconsin, where I was elected to the Board of the Association of Midwest Museums.

5. I went to Nordic Fest in Decorah, Iowa, with Marcia, where we celebrated her Norwegian ancestry with plentiful white foods.

6. Marcia and I also went on vacation to Lake Superior, spending a few nights at the Lutsen Resort and few nights in Duluth. On our way back, we stopped at the little Bed and Breakfast where we’d spent the weekend after our wedding, 24 years ago.

7. I bachelored it for a week while Marcia and her sister visited London. There was plenty of popcorn and wine and cartoons.

8. I bought a new bike for only the third time in 31 years. I’m very loyal to my trusty steeds, until it finally comes time to put them down. C’mon, buddy. Let’s go out behind the shed for a minute. This won’t hurt much at all. Sniff.

9. I golfed. I walked. I bowled. I took some road trips. I ate and drank and cooked. I went to a lot of community events. Most of the time with Marcia in all cases, but sometimes with Katelin. It’s nice for the three of us to all be in the same town again. Very nice, indeed.

Ten Statements

Refute, support, disregard, disparage?

1. Blasting a boom box from your bicycle or your golf cart on a quiet bike trail or the peaceful back nine makes you a selfish, contemptible jerk, wholly deserving of scorn, from everyone.

2. Modern American academia’s obsession with and approach to “group work” is absurd, as no “real world” manager will ever randomly pick six people from different departments in the company, not assign leadership within the group, task the members of the group with secretly evaluating the performance of the other members for management, and then expect them to deliver meaningful work product.

3. Living to be 96 years old in order to see Halley’s Comet again is a totally worthwhile aspiration.

4. If you only know the band Modern English for “I Melt With You,” then you are missing some really special stuff: their albums After the Snow and Ricochet Days are exceptional, beginning to end.

5. Just because you fight a giant doesn’t mean you get to win.

6. Abacab was the last great Genesis album release, because it was the last one that sounded played, not programmed.

7. The ideal of “citizen governance” is admirable, but in reality, there are certain skills that are required to fulfill the responsibilities of elective office, and if you lack them, it’s very hard to vote for you, no matter how earnest you are, or how much you love your grandchildren, or how much you like to volunteer at church socials, or how many trivia nights you won while a member of the local young professionals group.

8. Since Breaking Bad ended, Adventure Time is the best show on television, although the one-hour Metalocalypse special this weekend may well match it.

9. If the extraordinary Krautrock band Can were still active in 2013, they might come up with something as awesomely mekkanic as Che Guevara T-Shirt’s “Cop Show.”

10. Revive the dying vine, restore the ruling line . . . then contemplate the whims of fate, until the next decline.