June 21, 2005
Carpe Diem, Daisy Buchanan
I was beginning to get worried y'all had forgotten about me.....
I didn't intend to go blog AWOL for a week---it just kind of happened. Last Wednesday through Friday I was up in Leesburg, VA evaluating fellowship applications for a foundation. The resort we were at was swanky as all get out, but for some odd reason, I brought the laptop but not the powercord, so the prospect of doing a little down time blogging wasn't in the cards. Father's Day Weekend ensued, which is of course a three-day festival including fireworks, a parade, and endless buffets. Right. It wasn't the madcap wackiness of Robbo's birthday part-tay palooza, but it was downright close. And yesterday I was working on the real writing all day. So goes the summer.
I have four favorite days of the year, and while two are predictable---Christmas and Thanksgiving---two are rather odd: the first friday in June, and June 20th. The first friday in June since college to me has always been a great day---it has that feeling you get when you've gone up the first ramp on the rollercoaster, with that click click click click sense of impending doom, and you get to the top and you seemingly stop for a second---that seems to float indefinitely, like you are inhabiting X-Men-esque time suspension---before gravity wakes up and sucks you into the rapid whirlygig of summer.
June 20th is, well June 20th. For some reason it stuck in my head my junior year in college, when I was working on the Sabino, a steamboat at Mystic Seaport. It was a pretty cool job, except for the loading of the 1 ton of coal in the morning via wheelbarrow down an often wet gangplank, and of course the time spent shoveling coal into the furnace. But in the evening, we would take a long trip down the Mystic River to the Sound, and you could steal the time to climb up on the roof of the boat, and sit behind the lifeboat and read. So I was ensconsed up there, on the roof of the boat chugging down the river, reading The Great Gatsby, in the scene where they are having the dinner party at Daisy & Tom's, with Jordan Baker the golfer chick, and Daisy goes on about remembering when the longest day of the year is.
"Why candles?" objected Daisy frowning. She snapped them out with her fingers. "In two weeks it'll be the longest day in the year." She looked at us all radiantly. "Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it."
And it dawned on me, sitting there on the roof of the boat, looking out at Long Island Sound, that tomorrow was the longest day of the year. And for some reason that memory has stuck in my mind clearly and absolutely. I can smell the salt (as well as the coal smoke), hear the halyards banging against the aluminum masts of the sailboats riding at their moorings, see the tourists eating their lobster roll sandwiches sitting at picnic tables at the riverside restaurants. June 20th.
So that makes today the Day After June 20th: today is the longest day of the year. Carpe diem, Daisy Buchanan.
Which brings me to the Daisy at the other end of our cultural chain: Daisy Duke. I finally saw the trailer to the new Dukes of Hazard movie last night: For. The. Love. Of. Darwin.
The movie seems, from its short trailer, to embody in one celluoid reel everything Alan Bloom warned us about in The Closing of the American Mind, all the while seemingly striving for the single most coveted distinction as being the most un-PC movie. Ever. Made.
Needless to say, I'll be there on opening night.
COMING SOON: My review of Batman Begins. One word review: freakin' awesome! Okay, that's two words, but you get my drift.
UPDATE & UNPAID ADVERTISEMENT: While pulling the links together for this post I unfortunately triggered a serious jonesing for the Abbot's Lobster Roll. If you've ever had one, you know what type of culinary craving their memory can induce. Who would've thought the greatest culinary treat known to man would involve lobster meat, mayo, butter, a cold beer, and a fresh hot dog roll?
Seriously: only eat a Lobster roll when you can actually smell the salt water.Posted by Steve at June 21, 2005 02:03 PM