Summer Extremes

Summer in Dubai:

{Thermometer at 7 PM}

{Thermometer at lunch time. It’s usually warmest around 3}

So with the heat, we’ve been doing some puzzling:

It is possible to sweat while you’re swimming. We’ve been swimming a lot, since it’s too hot to go running or do much else outside. Sometimes we feel it’s too hot even to go swimming, as our pool has no chiller, so the water is really hot. But we’ve all been improving and getting some good exercise (whenever I start feeling in shape I should go for a swim and that feeling would be totally removed). The plus side to the hot water is that more chlorine has evaporated, so it affects me less. I think in general if I’m not drinking chlorinated water I don’t react as much to showers or pools. I love water, I love swimming… but I hate chlorine.

We watched the Olympics a fair bit, though we couldn’t find a good channel half the time. Saw a lot of track and some gymnastics, diving, and swimming. Women’s 10M platform diving is my second favorite – synchronized diving is my favorite. Being a runner, the races always make my jaw drop, since their times are about half of mine. I have 2 new favorite national anthems:
Romania and Hungary.
I like watching people’s reactions during awards ceremonies (most of the time). When people are too proud or are upset about getting less than gold, I don’t like watching, but there are so many people that are so happy no matter where they place, or are so excited about placing (like the discus guy from Germany that started doing the hurdles). My favorites this year were the second and third place 10M Women’s platform divers. They were so excited and happy, but in a way that was unassuming and humble – just glad and thankful.

I know it’s humid when one of my oboe keys starts sticking. Hurrah for graphite.

I have also been busy writing a template query letter, synopsis, chapter summaries, and the like for publishing Love Victorious. It was intimidating but I’ve finished now – and now comes the really intimidating part, sending them off! It makes me think of taking the SAT, learning how to answer what they want instead of thinking about the most logical way of doing it. It’s been fun to write queries catering to the different publishers, emphasizing different parts of the story. But after having clicked “send” on some queries, I’ve realized the hardest part is clicking send, not writing the queries. So most of my free time in August was taken up with that. And then I realized on the 22nd that schools started in a week and a half and that meant I have to deal with setting up piano lessons again. I love teaching, but hate the logistics involved (this is where teaching at a music school would be nice – you don’t have to deal with the timings, money, organizing, etc.).

This was another thing keeping me busy: keeping the dogs from fighting and the guest dog from scaring the cat. But then after Oreo went home, Eeyore tried playing with the cat, so we think most of their fighting was in fun.

But, with the end of August it starts getting cooler, and we start getting clouds and blue sky sometimes.

Summer in Washington:

I spent as much time outside as I could. My favorite thing (after runs) is to take a blanket and put it on the grass to sit and read.

You’d never believe this was June unless you were in it.

Rain like nothin’ else.

Photo memories of a wonderful time in the states:

(she’s almost 7 months old now. I can’t believe it}

Some good music:
Burial Song of Theoden (Thanks, Laura!)
Gypsy Airs (because Euphoniums – and brass in general – are amazing. And for more euphoniums, watch this!)
This and this are pretty. (Celtic + orchestra).
My friend Katherine plays the harp beautifully.
These guys put a whole new spin on snare drums.

And, I found a new composer I love. Well, he’s an old composer but new to me. Tallis. Especially Spem in Alium. They play part of a piece of his in Master and Commander.


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