Things making me smile/on my mind/causing distraction lately:
--Travelers' former CEO and executive chairman, Jay Fishman, passed away last Friday after putting one of the best public faces on ALS in the twenty-first century. I have SO much respect for him and how hard he and his wife Randy worked to raise the profile of the disease...from basically funding the Boston Children's Hospital "voice banking" project, to raising millions through the annual Travelers Championship, he engaged so hard. This fantastic piece from the Hartford Courant brought tears to my eyes - yet another testament to a truly remarkable and courageous leader.
--Another famous leader I've brushed with? Charlie Weis, infamous ex-coach of Notre Dame. ESPN's brutally honest and revealing profile of Weis in semi-retirement fascinated me. The way they peeled back his character, family, and current mental state layer by layer, interspersed with major names in football and pop culture and snippets of utterly compelling stories, really humanized him for me. I don't know. Having existed on campus with him for my first three years of college, and having suffered through a myriad of painful ND losses, I was never a big Weis fan, and I don't know that I am now. That said, I feel sorry for him, I'm thinking a bit more about the man than the coach. I'm kind of rooting for him, I guess (and also want to be able to text Bon Jovi, so there's that).
--Closer to home, I'm trying to spend my spare time doing more writing as I come off an insane summer into an equally frenetic fall. Hal and I camped out at Spyhouse, by the MIA, all afternoon last Sunday - he worked on essays while I wrote blogs, emails, and a few other things. It was a day that was simultaneously peaceful and productive, and I need more of those - so I'll be working my way through the spots on this list of top St. Paul coffee spots all fall, I've decided. It'll get me to spend a little more of my leisure time across the river, and with an extra caffeine jolt and far away from the distractions of the apartment, I get so much more done. Anyone in?
--I love words, and I loved this list of words in foreign languages for emotions that can't be easily explained in English. Things like this never fail to tickle my fancy. Favorites off this list: "énouement," the feeling of arriving in the future and wishing you could tell your past self how something will work out... "liberosis," the desire to care less about things... "vellichor," the smell of a used bookstore (ahhhh I live for the scent of lignin on old book pages!)... and "rucckehrunruhe," the feeling of returning home from a trip and quickly losing that expanded sense of self travel brings. I need to learn a new language...or at least keep up on my French better.
--Finally, and deliciously irreverently: OLYMPICS, guys. Or should I say Olympic guys? Go Fug Yourself does roundups of the toned body parts and tiny uniforms of all the hot male Olympic athletes every year...see swimming here, track here, and men's gymnastics here. You can thank me for making your entire week later. I'm probably hideously shallow for admitting it, but I'd catch myself pausing the men's gymnastics just to marvel at their biceps. And the divers' tiny, tiny Speedos? Um, yeah. If commentators can talk about female beauty, uniforms, and appearances all Games with impunity, then you better bet I'm going to visually objectify the shit out of every six-pack and toned tricep in Rio. It's probably a good thing the Summer Games only take place every four years...my eyes and heart couldn't take much more.