Sort of a weird, in-between week, this one. My life’s a bit like the weather right now: The heat’s not stifling me or anything, but I’m biding my time and looking forward to the rain.


In the meantime, Thermometer Spotting is my new favorite commuting game. There are two prominent temperature readouts I pass to and from work. One’s a block away from our house—always fun to see if it’ll hit 90 degrees by the time I’m leaving for work at 8 a.m. The other’s on the sign for Georgia Carpet World, near the Bradenton IHOP on 41. That one, I have to assume, is a bit off: The reading the other day at 6 p.m. was 111 degrees.


Another sign of summer, Savor Sarasota has come and gone—all too quickly, as usual. We did Libby’s, Mattison’s Forty-One and Ophelia’s on the Bay—none of them mind-blowing experiences, but all solid. I’d say the standouts were Opheilia’s escargots and Mattison’s chocolate pate. (I wound up straying from the Savor Sarasota menu at Libby’s, and, dude: the fried, soft-boiled, I-don’t-know-what egg atop the linguine carbonara? That thing…wow. I want that on my egg McMuffin. I want to set up a late-night breaded fried egg stand in a college town. I’d make millions.)


(By the way, Opelia’s is extending their Savor Sarasota menu through the end of the month. I’m sure they’re not the only restaurant doing this, but they’re certainly on our list for a return trip.)


(Oh, and we’re sampling Libby’s new summer menu on Tuesday night, too, so yay.)


Of course, it feels even hotter outside when you see the foggy breath of World Cup players in the middle of the southern hemisphere winter. I’m digging getting back into my soccer roots (helps that it seems so many people really are following the tournament this year), but I’ll write more about that next week: CCB and I will be taking the day off on Friday to watch a couple matches at a pub or restaurant somewhere. Haven’t decided on a venue yet, though. Suggestions?


In between soccer-watching and dinners out, I’ve chosen the hottest time of the year to become motivated to attack some yard work. I guess because our yard is dead, so there’s no reason to mow, I feel like I need to nurture the green things that are actually…well, still green. Two years of neglect left us with about 50 bags’ worth of limbs, leaves and detritus under our carrotwood tree. (Man, I loved climbing my parents’ carrotwood as a kid, but dear lord those things are messy.) I’m unearthing garden rocks buried under years of mulching and rearranging them into pretty edgings—very therapeutic. And I also stuck a couple lattices by the front of the house and planted jasmine, in the hopes of covering up the stained stucco. Of course, in the past, my attempts to grow things have resulted in a whole bunch of dead plants, so we’ll see how gardening in 111-degree weather works.


But best of all, I think I’ve found the best way to beat the heat, and I am seriously, seriously, seriously considering deploying it for Kegtacular in August. Behold, the giant inflatable water slide. All the other kids will be so jealous.