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I looked up just in time this morning to notice today is the first day of fall.

Did I completely miss summer? What about spring? Did I sleep through that season, too?

Someone once told me the reason years (and, eventually, decades) go by so quickly, the older we get, is that the older we get, the smaller a percentage of our lives one year represents.

Remember when you were a kid, and you couldn’t wait for Christmas to get here — even when it was a few weeks away? And how, when you were 5, it seemed like it took forEVER for kindergarten to start? That’s because when you were the age you started school, a year represented 20 percent (or one-fifth, for those of you who prefer fractions) of your life.

Presently, I am 43 years old. A single year represents just 2.3255813953488372093023255813953 percent of my life so far. (I thought about rounding, but instead decided to utilize the “copy” and “paste” features of my computer’s calculator; oh, and for the record, I started to figure the number “longhand” but gave up after getting as far as 2.3255.)

No wonder years go by in a blink nowadays; in fact, I’m having trouble remembering most of the 1990s!

On a more positive note: Wouldn’t the start of a new season be The Perfect Time to rededicate myself to my creative pursuits? I started to feel a pang of regret this morning over not having taken more outdoorsy photos this summer. My trips to the lake have been rare; I could blame ridiculously high gas prices and the fact that some of the access areas didn’t open at their usual times (and, now, are already closed for the year), but those are only a couple of the reasons.

Yeah, I’m a slacker. And I continue to be a bit unfocused. Not in a bad way, though … simply in a way that allows me to get distracted by the various stuff that might happen (or not) throughout any given day … which, obviously, makes up a smaller and smaller percentage of my life with every hour that passes!

Meet the only person on the entire planet who can screw up shake-and-pour pancakes.

(They get rather rubbery when you put in too much water. And they turn out like crepes … except for the rubberiness factor.)

Just watched this guy (Roger Federer) win the U.S. Open men’s singles championship:

I have to admit, I was hoping he’d be playing the final against this guy (Rafael Nadal):

Although, admittedly, if Fed and Rafa had been playing each other for the title, I probably would’ve been pulling for Nadal. As it was, I like Andy Murray OK, but nowhere near as much as Roger and Rafa, so that made watching the final relatively stress-free. Especially once Fed took control of the match in the first set.

By the way, both of those photos were taken by me on Aug. 29 and 30, from the south end of Arthur Ashe Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows (or is it “Meadow”?). Our actual seats were up in the nosebleed section — which, actually, isn’t that bad, but somehow, we never actually made it all the way up to our actual seats because we kept finding empty ones in the section below, and no one ever made us leave them.

Anyhoo, now the 2008 U.S. Open is officially over, and after that fortnight and my two-week Beijing Olympics binge, I have to admit I’m all sportsed-out for the moment. Which is ironic because the Cubs are still (amazingly) in the lead in the National League Central (but in the midst of losing, what, six of their last seven games? and seven of their last 10?), and I should be all fired up about what’s left of the baseball season — especially considering the Cubs start a three-game series in St. Louis on Tuesday — but right now, I’m in la-la land.

Which ain’t surprising, for a Monday.

More later on the whole NY trip, perhaps …

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