Autumn is my favorite season around here. Even though it means we're going into the grim winter months I can't help liking the transition. The trees turning, the snap in the air, the quality of the light. There was a big harvest moon the other night that was bright enough to read by. It wasn't too cold so I hung out on the stoop and finished reading "Zeitoun", by David Eggers. An account of a Muslim man and his family going through Hurricane Katrina. Not as serious a read as you would think; bittersweet, thought-provoking and yes sometimes, pretty frightening. However, the over-arching theme is how family bonds, belief in the kindness of strangers and perseverance can overcome adversity. There are parts of the book that read like a dystopian version of "Papillion". I read the book as part of a program on campus that announces a shared reading experience for faculty, staff and students; then presents workshops, colloquiums and lectures revolving around the chosen book's subject matter and themes. Should be fun and interesting.
Work has been sucking up an immense amount of time, but its all because there's a lot of fund raising going on right now - the college's president is retiring in a matter of months and he's getting his last licks in shaking the bushes for the college endowment and taking some well deserved victory laps. Probably one of the best presidents the college has ever had. I've spent most of the last two months at work with my "personal chef" hat on for the president and his wife. A lot of entertaining at the house. Lotsa long days but making some fun food...
Not much else on the radar besides some random mayhem with the new flippers across the street pouring money into a 50K house trying to turn it into a 100k place. Its gonna be a tough sell - the house is bookended by two homes that have been on the market for over a year. Both places were fixed up by other flippers in search of real estate profits and have remained unsold. Unfortunately one of them has been turned into a rental by the absentee flippers who don't realize yet that their renters have sub-let the place to two families with a revolving cast of characters who come and go all day long. The other house is in recievership again and is in the hands of a management company. it will ikely stand empty for a good year.
The new flippers are proof that hope springs eternal. The house they are feverishly trying to get up to code wouldn't be worth 75k on its best day, but still they persist in putting the lipstick on the pig. I don't really care, but now with winter coming they are sawing and hammering well into the wee hours which sometimes drowns out my TV and makes a peaceful sit on the stoop next to impossible. Its one of the downsides to life in the Big City.
Saw a delightfully fun movie the other day. "A Film with Me In It" was a random shot on my Netflix streaming queue and this time it panned out. This film is a very dark comedy from Ireland that is full of dead pan humor, ridiculous situations made plausible and some absolutely note-perfect acting. The overall tone of the film is similar to "Shaun of the Dead" or "Waking Ned Devine" but with a decidedly wicked sense of humor. One of those movies that'll make you slightly ashamed of yourself for laughing at the horrible things that happen. Not an earth-shattering cinematic triumph, but a diversion well worth taking. A good one for when your slightly depressed and want to watch something that won't require thinking and will make you happy.