May days (2016)

This month has slipped by in a flash, partly because we were on vacation for a week and a half in Orlando. Nevertheless, here’s a snapshot of where and how I’ve been spending my time.

What I’m reading

  • The Brothers Karamazov. The 2016 Reading Challenge includes “a book that intimidates you.” I can’t count how many times I’ve heard literary-minded friends gush over it, but maybe for that very reason I steered clear. I’m about a third of the way finished and enjoying it more than I expected. It would definitely benefit from discussion in a classroom or book club, and once I’m done I’ll probably read some commentary because I know I’m missing a lot.
  • The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man. I ran across this book in Anita Diamant’s Living a Jewish Life and it is truly excellent. One of my favorite memories from our Orlando trip is savoring this book early in the morning looking out over a lake. I recognize many of the themes from one of my favorite books, The Sacred Year.
  • Several magazines. I have been combing through various subscriptions to Birmingham, The Atlantic, Britain, and World magazine. Also last month I bought an issue of The English Home as a treat and have been flagging some decorating ideas from there. Maybe, someday, I’ll post pictures …

About town

  • The Homewood Library. One of the downsides of not working in an office is that I rarely leave home during the workday unless to run a brief errands. Every once in awhile I’ll head to a coffee shop, but my favorite place to work is the Homewood library. It reminds me of being back in college and pounding out papers in the Henry Buhl library stacks.
  • Beth Hallel. I had the privilege of visiting this Messianic congregation during their a Holocaust film series. We watched The Jewish Cardinal, the story of Jean-Marie Lustiger.
  • Orlando. We spent one day each at Epcot, Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom. Aside from the theme parks, we relaxed at the resort, read a lot of books, and enjoyed a powerful service at First Baptist Orlando as well as meeting up with friends for a day at Animal Kingdom. My favorite rides were Dragon Challenge (Islands of Adventure, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Magic Kingdom), and Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom). Other highlights were the World Showcase at Epcot, wandering around Diagon Alley, and staying at Magic Kingdom late for the Wishes fireworks show. We also loved visiting The Grand Polynesian Resort for dinner and wandering around their pool area—I felt like I was back in Hawaii.

Everything else

  • Next month we’re running a 10k, by far the longest race I’ve ever participated in, so I’m spending a lot of time running trying to get ready. What makes it bearable? Listening to soundtracks on my faithful iPod shuffle (it’s about 10 years old) and the virtual run through Germany thanks to the Homewood community center’s high-tech treadmills.
  • House hunting. We’re looking to move into our own place sometime in the next year. This is scary and exciting, and means I spend probably too much time on Zillow house browsing.
  • Doing battle with ants. Many ant traps and a visit from the excellent Remedy Pest Control later, we seem to be getting the upper hand. It could have been worse, but seeing a bunch of little black ants in my kitchen was not my favorite thing this month.
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