The temperature got up to 93 in Flagstaff today, breaking the 91 degree record of 1980. It was a popular topic at the store this afternoon; nearly everyone had a comment or two to make on the weather. Seems nobody is used to 90 degree temps. Tonight was another perfect evening and I rode around town enjoying the time, ending up at the downtown Heritage Square. Weekends bring crowds of people who gather in the square and enjoy live music and free movies. It’s a very relaxing place to sit and do nothing for hours, sipping a cold drink and eating a pita. I noticed with interest that many people’s choice of seat was a well-used Therma-rest or a bouldering crash pad rather than the typical-in-other-places canvas chairs.
The typical Flagstaffrican owns a Subaru with a roof rack to haul the kayak and mountain bike, is between the age of 23 and 58, probably has a kerchief wrapped around the head, may or may not have dreadlocks, has a big brown dog or three, is a vegetarian, has a Marley sticker somewhere on the car, wears Chaco sandals, often is wearing a big backpack, hasn’t shaved in a few days, is surprisingly well educated, may or may not have a steady job, has been in a dozen countries, and likely lives with roommates. The other day I had the privilege of meeting the professor who has been at NAU the longest; in his 60’s, he has taught 30 years here and has degrees from Stanford and Harvard. Many of his Harvard buddies have been canonized, but he’s a Flagstaffrican with a full beard, wide suspenders, racing t-shirt, and late 80’s Buick with a totally rusted hood and multi-colored body panels; he projects an aura of complete contentment wherever he goes.
I may have landed a job after nearly a year of papering the town with applications. I stopped in at a furniture store Monday because I heard they were looking for help, and got hired on the spot. It will only be part-time, but I’m hoping to be able put in enough hours to pay the bills. Of course, that’s easier to do if the bills are lower. If this job doesn’t work out, I still have a UPS Store offer supposedly beginning in August sometime. As long as I have a tiny bit of income and time to spend outside and live in Flagstaff, I’ll be happy. In August, I’ll be living on scholarships and I’m looking forward to that. The $13,000 received has paid all the tuition and a large share of my living expenses through next May. I am overwhelmingly grateful for the kind people who cared enough to help me out.
And with that, I will wrap up and call it a day. I have a few pages of Hemingway Old Man and the Sea that I started yesterday left to finish tonight, what an incredible book. It makes me want to read Moby Dick all over again. I also read Outliers by Malcom Gladwell this week, a fascinating book, maybe a bit preposterous and assuming at times, but overall very interesting. I disagreed with several of his theories, but still enjoyed the book immensely.