Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Summer's Over -- What Do You Have to Say For Yourself?

Doug:  Well, that was nice while it lasted.  With yesterday's celebration of Labor Day here in the States, Summer 2013 came to its unofficial end.  You might recall that we ran a post back around Memorial Day where many of you offered up your summer plans.  Some of you spoke of films, some of books to read, others of vacations or household chores.  Go ahead and make that jump backward and check out what you said (those of you who commented -- you other lurkers (and we love you all) are welcome to take a look as well).  Today let's report on what you did accomplish.

Doug:  Most of what I had planned did indeed come to pass.  My wife and I were able to celebrate our 25th anniversary twice, once on an overnight to Chicago where we dined at Geja's Cafe' -- a spot where we'd eaten during our brief honeymoon in 1988, and again in July for four days at the Osthoff Resort in Wisconsin.  I did programming for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and Chicago.  Summer school, way back in June was fun, and I did begrudgingly finish the training for teacher evaluations.  I caught a White Sox game with my younger son (birthday presents to us from the oldest) and we took a quick two-day trip to Cincinnati to see the Reds play the Giants (the night before Homer Bailey's no-hitter -- our luck).  That trip allowed us to check another ballpark off the family list.  I think among the four of us we've seen 19 major league stadiums.  I also managed to do a landscaping project on the west side of our house that had been needed for several years, and we redecorated our master bedroom/bathroom.  And finally, as far as the itinerary goes, just before school started my oldest son and I went to Wizardworld Chicago.

Doug:  As to the reading, which I always try to enjoy during the summer months, I still have not conquered Tim Snyder's Bloodlands.  I don't know why -- it has been highly recommended by many of my colleagues at the USHMM.  So it remains on the to-read list.  I did purchase a short book for my youngest son to read while on his soccer team's two-week tour of Europe:  The Last Survivor: In Search of Martin Zaidenstadt, an inquiry into what life in the German town of Dachau is like today for those who lived through the war years and the stigma of being associated with the concentration camp of the same name.  As Munich was one of the stops on my son's team's trip it seemed fitting; I was able to read the book in just a few hours so that I could recommend it to him.  One of the highlights of my summer was receiving a Kindle Fire HD from my wife for birthday #47, and I am very happy to report that I subsequently got back to some childhood favorites (Amazon offers at no cost tons of old books that are now in the public domain) by reading Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar and four REH Conan short stories:  Red Nails, The Hyborian Age - Conan's World, The Phoenix on the Sword, and The Scarlet Citadel.  I did get about halfway through Frankenstein, but somehow it got pushed aside.  Of course I did the usual reading for this blog, including some stories from Back Issue magazine.

Doug:  But enough about me -- how about you?

15 comments:

Edo Bosnar said...

Looking back at that Memorial Day post, I can say that I did indeed finish that Pynchon book. Otherwise, though, it was a rather unsatisfying summer in terms of reading. I did have most of August off, but we decided to stay at home for a number of reasons. Even so, I didn't have as much free time as usual because there was quite a few things to do in and around the house (yard work, a bit of remodelling, etc.).

So all I managed to read was a few books, including James Blish's Cities in Flight, A.S. Byatt's Possession, Charles Bukowski's Ham on Rye, Max Allan Collins' Jack & Maggie Starr mysteries (I highly recommend these - they're set in the late '40s/early '50s, all three dealing with various aspects of the comic book and comic strip scene of the time, and just really fun, easy reads), and a few of Harlan Ellison's short story collections (still working on one right now).
I didn't even manage to get much comics reading done, either. However, I finally managed to get through the last volume of the Krazy Kat collected Sunday pages ("He Nods in Quiescent Siesta"), which had been sitting on my shelf for some time, so that's something.

J.A. Morris said...

My first thought is "I'm glad Summer's over because I don't enjoy 90-degree weather". But I'm glad I managed to get 6 reviews posted in my reprints blog over the Summer, so I guess that's positive.

Highlight of my Summer was visiting Baltimore on my birthday with my wife & parents. We took in an Orioles game (they lost, but it's always nice to visit Camden Yards) and also visited the U.S.S. Constellation, a Civil War era Naval ship:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Constellation_%281854%29

The weekend before last, I checked out Keven Smith & Jason Mewes' podcast tour. They showed their new cartoon movie, did a Q & A with the crowd and had a humorous conversation about Mewes' attempts to become a father. If you like those guys, it's worth seeing them if they come through your town.

Doug said...

J.A. --

Did you get to Geppi's? Have you ever been? That is a pop culture fans heaven!

Doug

david_b said...

I'm glad my weeks of 'annual leave' for the military is done ~ It paid for some re-tucking of my chimney and brick work in front of my home, plus finishing my roof reshingling.

As for reading, I once again find myself puttin' the brakes on buying too many Silver/Bronze comics on eBay.. Trying to keep a month budget on that. Lately, it's been more Silver DD, plus expanding what was, back in the day, a relatively brief DD collection (was only ish 103-113..). My wife just used her b-day cash to buy a new blu-ray and it had all the wireless gizmos for picking up internet through our cable provider, so now we can watch youtube and loads of free movies on our TV.. Been wanting to catch 'Reefer Madness' for decades, and it's one of the free movies available.

J.A. Morris said...

Doug, I didn't get to Geppi's this time, but I've been there before. Strongly recommended to any BABers who visit Charm City, here's their site:
http://www.geppismuseum.com/Home/7/1/52/503?articleID=68929

Doug said...

I totally agree -- if you're in the Washington/Baltimore area, get to Geppi's (and of course as J.A. said, while you're at it take in a game at Camden, see Babe Ruth's boyhood home, etc.).

I reported a long time ago that I purchased the three volumes of the Joe Kubert Tarzan Archives for $10 apiece from the scratch & dent table in the Geppi's gift shop. Those sorts of coups don't come along very often!

Doug

Anonymous said...

I didn't do much this summer, but I just wanted to mention that I love those old Ballantine Tarzans!

Mike W.

Matt Celis said...

Been reading Sam Durell spy novels by Edward Aarons, the first two issues of Batman '66 (mediocre stories, nice art), which makes the first non-reprint DC comic I have bought in probably 20+ years, looking for work, taking care of toddlers, reading Essentials and Showcases, Michener's Hawaii, Autobiography of a Yogi, some books about George Harrison...trying to make ends meet.

redartz said...

Overall my summer went as expected; a lot of extra work hours. Did get through the first book of the "Game of Thrones" series (which is as gripping as the show). Hit a couple of flea markets; money has been very tight but picked up a couple of nice goodies on the cheap- Conan the Barbarian 7 and Amazing Spiderman 52 for about 2.50 each (cheaper than a new comic, actually).

One unforeseen treat was a trip to Phoenix, AZ in July. Our son and his wife suddenly had to move, and we made the LONG road trip to help them. New Mexico is stunningly beautiful in the morning...

Doug said...

Jeez, Redartz -- you missed out on a photo op with our Mistress of Marvel Merriment and BAB co-chair! She, the Denizen of the Desert...

Doug

redartz said...

Quite right, Doug! And Karen was kind enough to offer some advice to our new Arizonans in a reply to one of my comments...you certainly have my respect, Karen! After four days in the 100's I was ready to return to the comparatively cool Hoosier state!

Graham said...

I didn't get to do much of what I wanted to do this summer, due to workload and stuff, but I did continue to improve my health. Last fall, I had some issues and resolved to make things better, so I spent most of the summer trying to eat right and exercise, so now I'm 3/4 of the man I used to be last year at this time and am no longer on blood pressure meds after over twenty five years. Still hoping to continue to improve in the future. Half the man is a bit unrealistic, but maybe 5/8......

Hope nobody thought that was one of those ads that pop up on various blogs. :) That was really how I spent my summer.

Doug said...

Brother, you are to be commended for that! Congratulations, Graham!

Doug

Karen said...

Redartz - Glad you made it out to Phoenix with your son and daughter in law and then safely escaped! We've been sort of lucky this year, with the temps not jumping up in the high teens or low 120s, but now the monsoon season is upon us, so the new Phoenicians can expect lots of thunderstorms!

Graham - good for you! It's never easy to make those changes, but boy is it important. Good luck and hang in there!

Rip Jagger said...

My summer plans went pretty smoothly. I read pretty much all I planned save for re-reading of The Fightin' 5. Instead I got waylaid by a bunch of Sherlock Holmes pastiches, some great vintage sci-fi by Andre Norton and C.L.Moore among others, and I even gave Tolkien's epic Lord of the Rings another solid reading.

I finally at long last got to read Philip Farmer's Lord of the Trees and The Mad Goblin, two rockem's sockem' stories if there ever were any. And I've been keeping up with Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu too.

By trading off some comics, I was able to bring home some really great trades and have more comics waiting in line right now than I can remember to read. It's an embarrassment of riches for sure.
I've added volumes of Nexus, Avengers, and I have Sons of the Spear on the way. It's been neat indeed.

Rip Off

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