Yup, That’s About Right
Posted on September 6, 2009 Posted by John Scalzi 42 Comments
Over at the Wall Street Journal, Joe Queenan pretty much sums up the Summer of ’09. I suspect my own summer was slightly better than most people’s because I got a Hugo out of it, but overall, yeah, it’s not a summer that anyone will remember as being vintage. Indeed, Summer ’09 gets my personal vote for The Summer We All Agree Never to Speak Of Again. Hopefully autumn will be nicer.
Well, he mentioned that congress accomplished nothing. In my book that’s almost always a good thing.
And the Detroit Tigers are playoff bound. Yipee!
I think the residents of Poland circa August 1939 would have a few words with us if *this* is what we considered a bad summer.
Leaving aside that “bad” is not a work I think either I or Joe Queenan used to describe the summer, in a general sense that’s sort of like saying someone bummed that his sump pump stopped working and his basement flooded shouldn’t say it’s bad because it wasn’t like living through Hurricane Katrina.
I had some really good stuff happen this summer, but I had to do some serious slogging to get there.
I’ve been trying to explain to people I can’t do anything for the next month not because I don’t have time, but because I lost my brain and need to let it grow back.
Hmmm. From a personal standpoint, though, this was one of my most enjoyable summers. Though perhaps that was in spite of the negatives he mentions.
Though my homegrown tomatoes are not at all inedible. Fairly decent, actually, despite the climate’s attempt to sabotage them.
And we won’t even talk about how yellow the trees have become due to the cloudy weather.
Next year when we are sweltering through endless 90+F days, I will speak fondly of this summer.
Hard to argue with the point about movies, though. After Up, I should have just stayed home.
I don’t know, I am in Seattle (normally I live in CA) and I had the pleasure of meeting Wil Wheaton yesterday. My summer is going pretty well.
Bah. Speak for yourself. I had a fantastic summer, memorable summer, and was prescient enough NOT to plant tomatoes for the first time in many years. :-)
Maybe I just got lucky, but my tomatoes (the ones I planted early) actually did quite well (a first for me). As for the summer, the husband is working, I’m getting paid to go to school, older son graduated high school, so all in all, not too bad a summer (though the weather was really odd – went straight from winter to scorching summer, then finally got our regular pacific northwest summer weather)
Yeah, but Sleepless, the sun’s coming back after today, according to the weatherman. I’ve actually got a tan this year….
In Seatle it got sunny mid-May and we’ve had a3 or 4 days when it’s NOT been sunny. So weather-wise it’s been way way above average. The rest of it? meh.
On a personal level, this summer has sucked worse than any I can remember. But it ended with me finding out I do NOT, as my doctor originally thought, have bladder or prostate cancer, so I’m hoping that signals a turning point.
I’m on the excellent Seattle summer bandwagon — better tomatoes than ever for us. Except it hasn’t felt like Seattle all summer (until today – as rain is humming down on the roof and the streets are having a serious inch-high bath outside my window).
But as far as forward career progress? I’m still employed, still have books coming out, sold a few stories, but everything has been like swimming in molasses, all things slower, no horrid news personally, but nothing two days worth of happy dance lovely either.
It feels like holding one’s breath. When there’s like – y’know – stuff big enough to murder the future out there we might have made progress on. Instead we argued ourselves into worse opposition than we started with on most of the important topics.
First summer I’ve not worked since 1961.
Of course I put up 8 dozen jars of pickles in the last three days.
Well, I don’t think the summer was quite as boring as reading that article… There’s more to good writing than anaphora.
But besides my laptop keyboard only accepting every other keystroke, I’ve had a pretty good summer.
Mandatory Evacuation zone from worst fires in Los Angeles County history was 3 blocks from my home. Yesterday was 1st day in 10 that I wasn’t breathing “hazardous” air and suffering smoke inhalation. After two professorships, then 2 years as a substitute teacher, a 2 years of night classes at a teachers college of a nearby university, and a quarter year as UNPAID student teacher, I finally got (June) my full-time California Secondary School Single Subject Mathematics Teaching Credential. After many grotesquely complicated lengthy applications (many snailmail and f2f, many online with incompatible systems requiring 50+ pages to be made variously into PDF, Gif, JPEG attachments), I have yet to get a single offer of this field where allegedly supply is vastly below demand. Students start high school in almost all local school district on Tuesday. So I am less than thrilled by this summer. But glad that World War I and World War II are over.
That article was too negative. :p
2009 will definitely be a more memorable summer for me personally. I got laid off after working in the same place for 8 years. No idea yet where I’m going next. But it’s all very Turning Pointy.
I was in two weddings this summer as a bridesmaid to two friends I dearly love, whose new husbands I also love. That part was good. The rest of the summer can go straight to hell.
“Joe Biden didn’t say anything ridiculous.”
Queenan lost me right there.
Ahh, I can’t tell you how nice it is to see an American use Autumn, instead of Fall to describe your next season (it’s Spring next for me). So nice :D
Whiney McWhinester is kind of interesting. Essentially, “Except for the movies and tv shows I didn’t see (one exception I’ll even mention here, and another show I’ve been told is great but I can’t be bothered to watch, so that apparently means it’s no good), no good movies or tv shows!” Riiight.
Moon (saw it yesterday – great)
His mention of True Blood is amusing. He’s right, True Blood is pretty awesome. Too bad he’s too dense to actually WATCH it. Putz. *shrug* (for those of you who’ve read the books, don’t let that put you off – it’s adapted perfectly for tv).
Every day that I wake up on the turf instead of under it is a good one.
At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
I dunno – this is the summer when I received my first ever performance bonus. Both my 7th and 8th grade classes had 76% at or above proficient on their state math tests. The same kids got 24% in social studies and 11% in Science – so I’m fairly stoked about that.
Of course, they actually took the tests in March, so maybe it doesn’t count.
There were good things this summer, really, there were. I discovered an ADD help group, I gave a presentation about ADD that was well received, had a great evening on the water with some on-line friends, great time with other friends planting trees, after a half-century found a mixed drink I like (Dark & Stormy), … and there were others, too.
And the two horribles. Lost my little brother to metastasized esophageal cancer at 52, miss you, Ross; and a dear friend lost his daughter, Daniele, I wish I’d known her better. Mike & I rarely met in real life, only through thousand and thousands of posts on-line, but the tears of grief are a flood for both.
Touch, hear, see, we learn;
these ways, souls entangled are.
Type, and hit return.
This has been a good summer for me. I rediscoverd science fiction fandom and went to six conventions over the summer including Worldcon (I may have overdone it!!). I’ve even paid off all my travel bills already. Now I have to save up for the con travel for next year. I have a steady job (teaching high school) so I’m thankful for that now if only I can find a special women who likes science fiction and a 51 year old fart like me, I’ll be set.
I could have done without the excessive UV, which means I have to act like a colonist leaving the bubble whenever I go outside for more than five minutes. Of course, that happens every summer, so….
I’m weirdly relieved to see this. We kicked off the summer with the swine flu — at least that’s what we assume it was, since the kids had classic flu-like symptoms with fevers in June, and a negative strep test. My older kid got sick the day after school let out and ran a fever for eight days straight, and as soon as she’d recovered, my younger kid got sick again, this time with strep.
They were healthy again by July, but the summer never properly recovered.
I hadn’t realized just how lame this summer was until I read that article. Bring it on, autumn — it is definitely time for a change.
I’m posting in hopes that my incredible enthusiasm for how AWESOME my summer was rubs off on somebody. For me, summer began the moment I finished my last college exam. Since then, I’ve:
1) Graduated from College with a degree I loved earning.
2) Started attending my dream Law School.
3) Won a game design contest run by my favorite board game company, Rio Grande Games.
4) Got to meet my hero, Jay Tummelson, at Origins Game Fair.
5) Went rappelling, kayaking, rafting, and snorkeling in Costa Rica.
6) Spent a week dead drunk in the Dominican Republic with my beautiful family.
7) Spent a week eating crabs and body surfing in Delaware.
8) I saw a freakin’ volcano erupt!
9) Got to meet Emi Rose, the baby girl born in June to two of my best friends in the whole world.
10) Got to eat at Steak ‘n’ Shake on the way to Ohio, and that ain’t bad.
I admit that every one of these events is personal and might not mean much to you, whoever you are, but dig down: did nothing happen to rouse that little black heart of yours to joy? So you sat through another bad movie. Big deal. You got to have fun bitching about it with someone later, didn’t you?
National events should be waaay down the list in determining how one evaluates their summer. That means there’s less to share until you start talking about your personal adventures and victories, both of which I’d much rather read about than some guy on the Journal moaning about a boring summer.
Tom Liles : “2) Started attending my dream Law School.”
As one of the lawyers who often comments here, let me the first to say :Welcome to the Profession.
My summer wasn’t too too bad. Again what made it O.K. were the things in my personal life that were going well.
The weather around here blew. Canada is famous for it’s winters; there is a reason why we invented hockey. What makes this country bearable is the summers which are often quite nice. This summer it was either cold or wet or cold and wet. This prevented some serious bike riding and my tomotoes are a bit woody.
With the cold and wet summer, I am looking forward to the winter of 2010. Our great lakes are likely to be cooler than normal and that tells me that our winter will be freakin’ cold. URRRRRR!!!!!.
Learned a new made up word: peregrinatory. He uses it to describe Mark Sanford. I looked it up and got no results. It looks like Queenan turned peregrination (travel from one place to another) into an adjective.
Altogether now, fellow antipodeans:
Spring is here,a-spa-rrring is here,
Life is skittles and life is beer!
I think the loveliest time of the year
is the spring!
I do. Don’t you? ‘Course ya do!
Off to buy strichnine now …
Personally, I really liked this summer. I got a great internship, a fiance, and an amazing job out of it. In that order.
Plus, there were some great books. And I read them.
No Hugo, I suppose, but I can live with that.
I was amused that he made fun of Woody Allen for making another New York-based film, but complained about it raining all the time – which only happened in the Northeast (here in Central Texas, we are having one of the hottest & driest summers on record…)
The first couple months of summer were pretty forgettable for me but August was definitely not what with graduating, planning on going on a two month road trip, canceling said road trip two days before leaving due to getting a job teaching high school science less than a week before school started, and starting said job and dealing with all the hecticness that comes with it. Still trying to decide if it’s a good or bad hecticness (although logic would dictate that getting a job in this economy is a good thing, which it is, but I’m also way in over my head) but it’s definitely not a forgettable thing.
Oh at least we weren’t unemployed and you did get a Hugo. It really was a bit dull, but after 2008 and Palin, that’s hardly a surprise.
To everybody who just had summer end, you lucky bastards.
The weather just aired on the local news here, and we’re expecting temperatures on the coast in the mid to upper 70s. Inland in the mid to upper 80s. That’s without a high pressure system over the Rockies. With a high pressure system over the Rockies we get temperatures up into the upper 90s on the coast, with relative humidity down into the single digits, thanks to the Santana winds we get as a result.
Think you had a bad summer? Ours isn’t over yet. And it’ll be like this into Oct. Hell, the last few years we’ve had heat waves in December.
One more thing; fire season is getting serious around here.
So enjoy your cool Autumn days, while we swelter in our extended summer heat. We’ll be sure to share our wildfire smoke with you.
I agree, let’s never speak of this summer again.
Nowthen. Nowhere to go but up, right?
This summer has been a bumper crop of very, very bland wierdness. I have high hopes that the fall crop of wierdness will be the polychromatic, whooey kind that makes a feller bounce around singing of joy.
Who is employed? I’m one of those not counted.
Vintage in the sweeping Woodstock-esque sense? Nope. Vintage on this side of the end of my nose? Yes.
I met the woman I think I’m going to marry which is something that hasn’t crossed my mind in a decade. So yes, it will be a summer I remember for a very long time.
Very weird summer for me too. Good things included: some fun concerts, Gilbert and Sullivan, rafting down the Colorado river, sitting out on the beach. Bad things: worst sunburn in twenty years, a cousin who was hospitalized for depression the week before I was supposed to visit, best friend from college was in the ICU for 3 weeks with legionella and I heard that he was life or death five times, and ending up with my car getting rear-ended and totaled. Yeah, this summer isn’t going on my favorites list.
I thought it was a much better summer than 2005: no massive hurricanes, no close relatives or pets died. Also, it’s still summer down here, and will be until October.
I discovered a couple of fun TV series that I’d never watched before: “Royal Pains” and “Burn Notice”. BBCA ran Torchwood’s “Children of Earth”. The Harry Potter movie was quite good. I still have a job.