Thursday, August 20, 2009

you don't say

There’s a fantastic piece in the New Yorker this week, The Deepest Dive by Alec Wilkinson. I was reading it last night and was unable to participate in any social interaction until I finished and learned the result. Here’s a link to it but you need a subscription to read it all and I suspect that if you have a subscription you’ve already read it. For those that don’t, here’s a quick summary: there’s a group of deep divers / free swimmers who set records in various categories. In particular, we're following two women who are trying to set the constant-weight depth diving record (bringing back to the surface all the weight you take down) and be the first to break the mythical 100-metre deep barrier. They use mermaid-like fins to get deep but have no other equipment – it’s pretty stunning. The process and physicality of the dive, the mental aspect, the detachment from the body, and the recovery all make for great reading. The New Yorker will really draw you in every few issues with something you never knew or never even thought about. In fact, I had to re-read (twice) Malcolm Gladwell’s piece in the last issue that dealt with Southern Liberalism and the debunking of Atticus Finch; who’d have thunk?

It’s been so humid here over the last few days that we’ve awoken to full damp on the inside of our windows. I consider it to be untenable.

As I was wandering about the Internet yesterday, I don’t remember what started the quest, I found an in-studio performance by the reunited Jayhawks. They were in the Current studio in June and did three songs and answered a few questions. They have a box set coming out that will (I think) include all the studio albums, possibly a DVD, and some b-sides and outtakes. I’d forgotten just how good they sound when playing together (the last time was about 1994) and those first three albums before Mark Olson left the band were just grand. If you want a little primer on / Americana, you could do worse than just listening to early Jayhawks. (Here’s a link to the audio from the in-studio.) It sounds like they might hit the road after the New Year – we’ll be on the alert in the Metro for the news.

I’m awaiting an update on the first week of school from Laurel. I’ll give her another ring tonight and see how it’s going.

X is going to Nationals game tomorrow night. I was offered a game last night from a visiting friend and turned it down out-of-hand. Just goes to show you how little interest baseball holds for me. I think her seats for the game are going to be cush; in that case, it’s probably worth it.


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