So I'm going to take a few moments to look at the laundry list I made at the beginning of the summer and see if I got anything accomplished. We still have another month-and-a-half of summer (a fact made very apparent by the sweltering heat-wave the south is experiencing) so there is still time, but a couple of things just have to be put on the back-burner, as I didn't know how involved this studying for the GRE business would be. I can live with the fact that some things don't always come to fruition, and these are things that I may have time to do later in life.
The Shakespeare Challenge: Just can't get it off the ground. I gave myself a break and decided, because someone suggested that Shakespeare is best experienced by watching a good production, that I could watch film versions of his plays. I got halfway through The Royal Shakespeare Company's 70's version of Macbeth for the BBC, but I haven't come back to it--which is too telling. I didn't like it as much as I tried to tell myself I did. Shakespeare will ( hark,is that a pun, me thinks 'tis) have to wait.
The Patio: I haven't stopped this project, I've just put it on hold. The area is dug out and ready to be leveled and paved, I even have the method of paving picked out. But lately I have been experiencing lower-back pain which is either a result of, or aggravated by, the war of the roots. I desperately want to return to this project for many reasons. One is that Booker is transferring much of the dug-up dirt onto the living room carpet. Another is that my across-the-street neighbors just moved out, and as a parting gift they left a gigantic pile of accumulated junk in their yard to view when I sit on my front-porch. Having a secluded space to enjoy the outdoors in the back-yard is what I'm dreaming of. This one is still simmering on the back corner of the stove.
Reading something by Jane Austen. I'm going to paraphrase a rejection notice I got from The New Yorker once: "despite its evident merit, this just isn't for us." I found the prose of North Anger Abbey compelling, sophisticated, and transcendent, too bad there wasn't anything in it to which I could relate. Hard to admit about my mother's favorite author.
The woman writer's challenge. Another one that is on hold, but this is a little distressing because I have only one more book to go before completing it. For some reason, for the last three years, I have picked up a great big involved history related tome when the dog-days of summer hit. Because this year I have allowed myself to follow any reading whim that came around, I was led to Dmitri Volkogorov's biography of Stalin. It is dominating my realm in such a dictatorial way that reading another book at the same time doesn't seem possible. But if I stay on the history kick I might return to the old stand-by, Barbara Tuchman, and re-read The Proud Tower to complete the challenge.
Writing decent songs. Summer just isn't a good time to write songs. Neither is winter. Muses arrive on a crisp fall day or a sparkling day in spring. I'm going through a break-up right now, and I was presumptuous enough one Sunday morning to think I could write a song about it. I couldn't, but I went through with it anyway. The song is the worst song I've ever written. This is not self-flagellation folks, it is really bad (think emo meets Styx, but not even that good). I've done some lousy stuff before, but this is the pinnacle. Although it might just be something I had to go through.
So, whew, I needed to give myself those passes on a couple of things. I've made obligations to certain people recently that won't be so easy to go back on, but I'm okay with breaking some promises to myself, as long as the major goals, or the goal making, is still around. Still, that Shakespeare thing is needling me...never read Hamlet....never read Hamlet.