So I took last week off from writing the newsletter. Home DIY and work were
just too much. We observed our first real week of summer last week, thus
opening up this letter with Byron’s summer vibes picture. While it was in the
upper 80’s and lower 90’s last week, this week saw the temperatures moderate to
the upper 70’s and low 80’s. It’s perfect summer weather here.
I’ve been taking advantage of the weather to bike in to work (usually two days
a week) and Lauren and I even made a bike-trip to the Upper East Side to get
Thai food this Wednesday.
We’re still trying to get our furniture build-out done. We finished my
closet, but we’ve only started Lauren’s in earnest. We have the
materials and the outer boxes ready to go at time of writing, so I’m hopeful
that we can finish things up over the weekend. The only snag is that stretched
supply chains are biting our favorite Swedish megacorporation’s delivery
windows so we’re not going to be done-done until we get another shipment.
Additionally, our new couch is about 4 weeks away from delivery. There’s not
much we can do to speed things up, sadly. We’ve been breaking up the build-out
with breaks to do one of our favorite things: going to the movies for the
first time in oh-so-very-long. We loved“In the Heights” and I
would recommend it to anyone.
Byron visited the groomer and got his first, full summer cut.
My work, luckily, is situated diagonally to a block that features the Japanese
consumer-goods store “Muji.” Their theme is low-packaging, generic, goods for
wear, home, or office. Recent purchases for me have been gridded paper, linen
shirt on sale, and some sneakers. On a recent visit I saw this new garment, the
To my eye, it looked like a cross between a jiu-jitsu gi and a onesie:
I’ve been vaguely fascinated by the sheer audacity of this garment. Why is
it? Why does it tie on the side? What is it? Do you wear it out in public? Is
it strictly at-home wear? Is its wear class- or age-sensitive?
Many of my questions were answered at melo2 and seeing it in context during a
fireworks festival was a delight.
In Memoriam: Sam
I’ll close out this week’s update with a note on the passing of my sister’s
wonderful golden retriever, Sam(antha). I had to ugly-cry my way through this
one, so if you’re not in a place to read this story, see you next week.
We didn’t grow up with a dog in the house, so I didn’t know what joy and
comfort they brought. When my sister brought Sam into her life, it was the
first time, I think, that I ever actually touched a puppy. She was small,
fuzzy, and intrepid. As it happened, Lauren, who had been raised with a
Golden herself, and I were soon called to puppy-sit.
That night, as she was being taken out every few hours, Sam and I stood in the
backyard with the humid summer of Austin weighing on us. I’d suppose it was
around 4 o’clock in the morning, firmly dark without hint of dawn’s break and
without much stirring of breeze. Sam roved about, did her thing, and then
proceeded to sniff the lawn. Suddenly her head jerked down in a decided motion
and when her gorgeous golden puppy head lifted, there, impaled on her right
front cuspid was a cicada.
My words failed me as I realized what had happened and I ran to her to get the
fluttering bug out of her mouth. I didn’t think it would hurt her, but I was
afraid of getting her sick. Of course, my instincts were entirely wrong, as I
ran after Sam, she ran away and I swore I heard a distinct crunch. By the
time I reached her, she was licking her lips contentedly while smiling and
laughing with lids half-open.
Sam turned out fine with her protein supplement and was a wonderful companion
for my sister all the years of her life. Sam saw many changes, in cities,
friends, and houses, but I always felt thankful knowing that she was there for
my sister, no matter what.
That’s what dogs do for us.
Sam’s decline was sudden and heart-breaking.
I think dogs love us so much that they need us to tell them that it’s OK to go.
All the treats, all the kisses, all the hugs, all the spills, all the
mysterious puddles — all that is them giving all they have to making our
lives richer. They would rather give more for just another second than
follow the orders of biology.
We don’t deserve them. Well, maybe my sister deserved Sam.
My sister, her husband, and Sam’s siblings said their goodbyes this last
weekend where she was able to journey onward surrounded by love, at home.
Vale, vale, vale, Sam.