Patterns in the heat.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Wow. It’s settled into the classic Atlanta summertime of yore, where we get serious heat and humidity by midday, and if you want to be productive out of doors, it’s best to get up early and get back inside before, oh, 8 or 9 am.

So that’s what we’ve been doing, mostly at Sammy’s wise instigation. Settling into patterns around the patterns.

The early morning walk around our neighborhood, or down and around Piedmont Park can take on a variety of textures, depending on whether you set out at 6:10 am or 8:00 am. The sound itself is different…whether you’re cruising by the soft hissing of southern summer lawns (earlier) or dodging the parade of commuting crossover vehicles (later). Earlier, and you’re more on your own, although there seems to be a distributed team of hardcore people Getting Their Exercise who certainly seem to be exerting themselves more than I am, although any uphill stretches turn me into a fine purveyor of beet-redness and sweat. Later, and you are more likely to run into the folks who who use Orme Park as their own personal dog free-run zone. I guess they think the “pets must be on leash” signs (all defaced) don’t apply to them or their critters, because, like, you know, they’re special. (We use it for our personal let’s-not-exclusively-walk-on-sidewalks-between-home-and-the-park zone.)

So we’ve bent to the pattern imposed by the weather and have had a series of really quite enjoyable morning walks, and, since our return from Michigan, a fairly quiet period work-wise that I’ve really enjoyed. Sammy, it sounds like, has hit upon a vision for her writing and research, and has been very nose-to-the-keyboard. Me, I’m cheering her on.

She’s come up with new and even healthier ways to combine beans and quinoa and tofu and..uh…ketchup and ultra-fresh herbage from the garden, and again, I cheer her on and try to do the dishes and keep the pantry stocked.

Actually this morning, just to break my patterns up a bit more, I’ve wandered down to the Starbucks about a mile from our house (next to the Trader Joes, indeed), and I’ve just been watching a succession of patrons order elaborate coffee drinks and climb back aboard (respectively) their black Prius, their red Prius, their silver Prius, and, uh, a pink bicycle that matches their bike-spandex. I’m sitting at the table where, last week, I saw a guy with a MacBook Pro and noise cancelling headphones editing high-def video, and over across the room from where Bill Ambrose and I sat discussing the modern technology options when you want to be able to edit and create in any of the modern high definition media. (Where once we “did television”, we now acquire. Push pixels. Slam them around. Stack them into beautifully synchronized sandwiches. Manage the huge files we’ve created. And some of us prefer to do it where people drink coffee. Hm, maybe not me, at this point.)

I’m sitting next to where I saw the guy who literally wrote the book on Cocoa programming was hanging out just before our Michigan trip.

Yes, it’s a coffee shop filled with creativity, or so it would seem on the surface. I came down here to bathe in that. It’s an essence that has a soundtrack fileld with Elvis Costello and Simon and Garfunkel, and when I fire up iTunes, it reports that it has no idea what the last song played at this Starbucks was. Hey, I didn’t ask. May I recommend some songs based on your metadata? Nah, no thank you, iTunes.

And then I go home and look at the stack of D1, D2, and Digital Betacam tapes I have in our upstairs closet. What the heck did I use these things for, again? I plan strategies to stack books around the house that add to the comfy feeling (as opposed to looking like we’re prepared for the next tree assault on our property.)

Meanwhile, my sister has upgraded her iPhone to the latest and greatest, my brother is hacking his birthday Kindle and the AppleTV (bought with birthday money), and I’ve upgraded our original-generation iPhone to the 3.0 software, and it feels like a whole new device. Okay, a little slower than the whizzy one we saw on demo at an AT&T store, but for the moment, I can deal.

I feel artificially insulated from the global economic meltdown, but the caffeine has kicked in, so I have other microeconomic patterns to shift, nudge, bump just a little.

Enjoy Monday in your neighborhood.