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And I am the queen of Romania

Spent my usual Saturday with Lisa. We went to Saul's, as we used to do, and I ordered a chicken sandwich instead of my usual omelette, and I did not get sick. Huzzah!

On the way to Lisa's I ran an hour's worth of errands, but they were all on the same street, stretched out over about 2 miles, so I felt very efficient. I love being able to get lots of errands done in an optimally efficient way.

I talked Lisa's ear off today. She now has only one ear. Her head looks terribly asymmetrical and her hearing has been adversely affected, and it's all my fault. But she doesn't seem to mind.

I didn't feel like watching our usual tv, since I was feeling very sleepy and knew I would most likely fall asleep if I let my brain slow down that much, so we played Dominion for a couple hours instead. We both wanted to go outside and walk in the sunshine, but I was experiencing significant post-LEEP bleeding, so we decided that we should do something non-exercisy. We played several games of Dominion, including one in which I built the worst deck ever. I kept drawing hands in which I had *no* playable cards. It was kinda amusing, though, because Lisa had a couple "Possession" cards, which allowed her to take my hand and play it for herself, and a few times she did that and got *nothing* (which was partly her own fault, because she had clogged up my hand with useless cards in an effort to hurt *me*, but ended up also shooting herself in the foot. A better strategy would have been to do only one of these things: *either* give me lots of useless Curses *or* play "Possession" cards. But the rest of the games we played were more balanced. I didn't really mind, because I find *all* games of Dominion fun.

Then I walked home and Shannon and I biked out to get groceries. I wanted to buy some berries to have with my daily morning oatmeal, but I couldn't believe it: Safeway was selling all these boxes of berries that were *already* moldy! I mean, you could look through the plastic and see mold growing all over them! Who's going to buy that? I should have known better than to even *look* at the produce at Safeway. I'll just go to Berkeley Bowl on Tuesday and do without berries in my oatmeal until then. Yuck!

I started listening to Crime and Punishment on audio today, and I'm not sure what to think of it. I've listened to about an hour of it thus far, and there has yet to be any crime or punishment. A Russian guy is *thinking* about committing an unidentified crime for an unidentified reason and at some unidentified time in the future, but thus far he has mostly been sitting in a bar, listening to some humorously (at least I *think* it's supposed to be humorous) loquacious fat guy complain about his family. I mean, I know it's like the longest book ever, and so you can't have all the crime and punishment in the first 10 pages, but I'm starting to wonder when something -- anything! -- is going to happen. I have a lot of patience for slow-moving books when the language awes me, but this book is written (or translated) in very simple language, so all I have to capture my attention is plot, of which there is little. Still, I will give it more time. The portrait of Russia in the mid-nineteenth century is interesting in and of itself, so I'm willing to keep going and wait for something to happen. I do love to read books about different cultures, and I'm not very familiar with this period of Russia.

Speaking of Russia, Lisa and I briefly talked about Fiddler on the Roof today, and I said something about Russians, and she said she thought the bad guys in Fiddler were Nazis. Huh? Uh, no. Nazis do not wear tall fluffy hats and dance with their arms crossed across their chests, and they don't tend to just evict Jews from villages. They had rather a different approach. Nazis weren't the only ones who treated the Jews badly, after all, though they are arguably the most famous for it.

Damon SalvatoreMy latest cheesy tv obsession is "The Vampire Diaries," mostly because I adore Ian Somerhalder's sarcastically villainous character, Damon Salvatore. I'm a big fan of smart-ass villains. I think it all started with Alan Rickman's character in Die Hard. I think that was the first time I actually rooted for the villain in a book or movie. But, then, if given the choice between Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, is there really any doubt who I'll root for? I mean, what kind of insane person would choose Bruce Willis in that scenario?

Tomorrow: off across the Bay with Shannon to go to the Palace of the Legion of Honor for the "Impressionist Paris" exhibit. While we're there, I shall insist on visiting the waterlilies in the permanent collection. They have quite a few nice Monets. Also, I like their Rodin sculptures, especially the ones from The Gates of Hell. In mid-October, they'll be starting a new exhibit titled "Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism," which also interests both Shannon and me, as it's easy to see the influence of Japanese art on Impressionist artists like Manet, with his clearly outlined figures (such as the famous Olympia).

Apparently, this is the year of the Impressionists at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

I'm looking forward to enjoying the view from the Palace of the Legion of Honor. It's really quite something, and the museum building itself is quite beautiful, too. The whole setting always makes me think of Tales of the City. (If you haven't read TotC, run out and read the books right now, because they are hilarious. Or rent the excellent PBS miniseries.)

Okay, I must go to sleep now. We plan to get going relatively early in the morning (we usually sleep pretty late on Sundays) so that we can run the long and torturous public transportation gauntlet to get to the Palace of the Legion of Honor. I say "torturous," but I actually love taking public transit. It'll be an adventure!

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