Summer Is Icumen In

Signs of approaching summer everywhere. The temperature was up in the high 60s today. Robins aplenty, but a strange and unsettling squirrel hiatus. Humidity rising. Blue sky. Roofers getting ready to lay new roofing in our complex. Guys in shorts, girls in belly shirts, both sexes in those ridiculous Venice Beach flip-flops. Oh, well. In my khaki slacks and unlogo-ed polo shirt I may be a borderline sensibly-dressed geek, but I’m still a certifiable geek.

Lots of tourists roaming around campus, gaping and pointing. The grinning ones are the “prospies,” the frowners are the parents about to shell out tens of thousands for the prospie’s education. I can’t be sure, because the academic calendar on the University’s website seems useless to me, but I’m getting the impression that sometime not too long ago the break between the two intersessions began, because the campus, until recently fairly active, is suddenly like a becalmed frigate in the middle of the South Seas.

As I walked home tonight along East U, there was a stocky blond frat boy blowing up a kiddie wading pool in one grassy front yard and a bunch of undergrads playing hacky sack in the front yard next door. Aggressive joggers making their solemn, insistent, dogged courses along Packard. Bikers dressed head to toe in Lycra. Way too much vehicle traffic for 7.30 at night. An impatient driver in a black SUV whose determination to get where he or she is going knows no bounds doesn’t stop to let a car in front make a left turn off Packard, instead roaring into the right-hand bike lane and speeding off around the turning car. I’m barely missed by another black SUV making a left turn from Packard onto Wells. Nobody in Frisinger except a parent and a toddler in a swing and someone resting on one of the benches.

And who needs stupid, laggard, overhyped cicadas when you have the merry, monotonous industrial music of all-daylight-long motorized mowing equipment going on all over the complex from sun-up to sunset? It’s like cicadas without the shells and the flying into your ears. Another unexpected benefit: the mowing equipment temporarily drowns out the high-end car stereos of those residents of the complex (or their visitors) who think that it is their duty to share, at glass-shattering volume, the booming bass of their new CDs with everyone within a mile’s radius. Anyhow, apparently the edgers take the morning shift and the big guns come in during the afternoon shift. Cut grass on sidewalks all over the place, an allergy nightmare.