Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekly Update: 9-14-15 S'mores

Living in Southern California, you'd imagine that going to the beach was the easiest thing in the world. But perhaps because the beach is so close, I take it for granted. And so the summer passed, and I had yet to walk barefooted on the soft sands or feel the froth of the collapsing waves.

Then my friend Ashly invited me to a Meet-up Bonfire at Huntington Beach.

Photo by Chika
 What I wanted more than anything was S'mores. It had been ages since I'd properly roasted a marshmallow until it puffed and browned and then smooshed the sticky white puff between two squares of graham crackers and a stick of chocolate. I was in.

Ashley brought her light-up hula hoop.

Photo by Jeni
I'd never done a Meet-up before. With nearly a hundred and fifty people, it was quite a party, and I knew no one. But at least I had Ashley. She broke the ice by showing off her hooping ability. Everyone brought a pot luck dinner, and I scooped up udon salad, cheese and crackers, fried chicken, deviled eggs, chips and dip, and homemade apple cobbler with peanuts on top, which disappeared almost as soon as it was laid on the table.

Bonfires were lit. Some people put hot dogs on two-pronged skewers and roasted them over the flames until moisture dripped off the sausage like beads of sweat. Me, I was the first one to the S'mores table, fitting my marshmallows to a bamboo skewer.

After all these years. Satisfaction at last.

Ashley and I went down to the shore right as the setting sun turned the sky pink. She hooped at the waters edge, practically daring the waves to push her down. It looked like a ritual. I just stood there. Ashley and I had been best friends since the age of five. If we were still kids, we would say that she was using magic to open a portal into the ocean's realm. We'd enter through the hula hoop, and she'd become a dolphin and I'd become a mermaid and we'd save a seashell castle from destruction.

When it got dark, we socialized with other people.

I went home with sand coating my skin and my hair smelling like ash.

* * *

Heat waves are awful when you have no air conditioning. Sitting in my house was like sitting in an oven. An oven set to 165 degrees, perhaps, but an oven nonetheless. Not being a wad of biscuit dough, I found that the heat did not inspire me to rise. I parked under the fan and tried not to move.

Surprisingly, I felt inspired to edit Three Floating Coffins. In a way, I was procrastinating the more odious task of researching my Fullerton credential. But if I had to procrastinate, it was a fine method. I re-wrote 2 chapters, line-edited 3 chapters, and typed in corrections for 2 chapters.

Editing is extremely time-consuming; you can easily spend an hour going over a single page. But while I was so focused on editing, I managed to "tune-out" the heat. Thus, by editing, I survived last week's heat wave.

I got some reprise from the heat when I got a subbing job on Thursday at Brea Olinda High School. It was awesome seeing the students again. And perhaps I'll get paid this month. Bonus.

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