Thursday, March 14, 2019
My apartment is filled with 20-year-olds.
So full of life, they.
I was like that once.
As was my wife.
Full of life.
Full-time teacher at Boston University.
Mother of three boys, 5, 7, and 9.
Who thought of death then?
But many years later she’s not with us anymore.
So appreciative to have the 20-year-olds filling my apartment with life.
Postings Count, Weather Brief, and Dinner
Thursday, March 14, 2019
My 336th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
Time is 12.01am.
On Thursday Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 48* with a feels-like temperature of 41* under sunny skies.
Dinner with Kat’s friends.
Tick Tock : Marking Calendars and Deep Weather
After 336 posts we’re at the 6.72% mark of my commitment,
the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.
Question of the Day
What is Spring?
Elephant jokes to tell at a bar:
Why do elephants have flat feet?
by Howard Dinin
Before I go much further in my peripatetic way along a meandering path, following my personal caffeinated narrative here, and a broader cultural history there, I want to stop and offer this note of context. Coffee and cafe life are very broad encompassing rubrics—far-reaching and diffuse. Almost abstract.
I want to look for a moment at a little more localized, more personalized notion for myself and, I believe, just about every person I might encounter.
There is a book out there, published about 30 years ago, and still in print (both digitally and on paper) that really pinpoints the matter. It’s called The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community, by Ray Oldenburg. You needn’t read the book—the title is long enough to make the point—to know right away what Oldenburg is talking about.
We all have a favorite spot. Call it what we will, an enclave, a sanctuary, a safe place – all notions about what makes everyday life worth living, from a time before our current age fraught with anxieties and social pitfalls. We all know the cozy comfort of having a hangout we consider a necessary destination, preferably right smack in the neighborhood. Or very close by.
Even if by ourselves, we can hang out comfortably by our onesies. Have a delicious brew prepared, custom, just to our liking. Be greeted by the folks behind the counter, with a smile and our own names, because they know us and appreciate our status as regulars.
For me, as I suspect is true of many of us, I have always sought, and usually found, such a good place—some form of that Hemingway-esque sub specie aeternitatis, his “clean, well-lighted place.” With a coffee maker, and preferably a daily selection of freshly baked goods.
The last one I frequented, as I did for nearly 25 years, was a very local bakery called, in its latest incarnation, The Biscuit, in Somerville, Massachusetts. I had moved nearby just two or three years earlier than my first visit. For awhile it was merely OK, not great. Barely good. Until it changed hands (and names).
Before the still current owners came and began to take the beverage selection seriously, the coffee offering was more gratuitous afterthought than strictly obligatory and gestural. In a few words, they didn’t care if you liked the coffee… but that changed with the new management.
The Biscuit settled into being a true enclave, a preserve for the many Harvard and Tufts graduate students who lived in the nearly affordable housing of the immediately surrounding downscale neighborhood—and consequently for bookish civilian cousins, like myself, who could afford the more costly digs three blocks away on the Cambridge side of the town line just outside the door.
I loved it there, showing up many mornings as they opened their doors, and wrote untold thousands of words at their diverse collection of heavy oak tables and mismatched chairs—and all before the days of almost compulsory Wifi expected by the customers of the chain coffee shops several blocks to the south of us in the shopping mall previously known as Harvard Square. I likely wrote as much with a fountain pen as I did at a keyboard like the one churning out these words.
Answer to the Question of the Day:
Spring is one of the four conventional temperate seasons, following winter and preceding summer.
There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate, cultures and customs.
When it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa.
At the spring (or vernal) equinox, days and nights are approximately twelve hours long, with day length increasing and night length decreasing as the season progresses.
Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth.
Subtropical and tropical areas have climates better described in terms of other seasons, e.g. dry or wet, monsoonal or cyclonic.
Cultures may have local names for seasons which have little equivalence to the terms originating in Europe.
Meteorologists generally define four seasons in many climatic areas: spring, summer, autumn (fall) and winter.
These are demarcated by the values of their average temperatures on a monthly basis, with each season lasting three months.
The three warmest months are by definition summer, the three coldest months are winter and the intervening gaps are spring and autumn.
Spring, when defined in this manner, can start on different dates in different regions.
Good Morning on this Thursday, the Fourteenth of March.
Today we talked about the vibrancy of youth and its passage.
Today we talked about the number of postings as a way of keeping a calendar, the immediate weather, and tonight’s dinner.
We posted an elephant joke.
And another wonderful entry from HD in his regular spontaneous corner, My Café Life.
We talked about the different ways people around the world mark Spring on their calendars.
And now? Gotta go.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.