Shannon and I were going to bike up to El Cerrito Plaza along the Ohlone Greenway, but on his way home from Oakland last night his bike went kaping-kapow-kazing, and one of the gear shift cables snapped. So, instead, we walked his bike up to Missing Link this morning to get fixed, then headed into El Cerrito on BART while it was in the shop.
The main purpose of the trip was to buy new tennies, as we both needed to replace our worn-out shoes and all the affordable shoe stores near us have gone out of business. Shannon snapped at me when I couldn't find the shoe store I'd seen described on the El Cerrito Plaza website (Shoe Pavilion) -- as if I was supposed to visit the location in advance to make sure the website was accurate -- but it all turned out okay, as there was another shoe store there (which *wasn't* on the website), where we both found good, sturdy, affordable sneakers.
Unfortunately, I started feeling extremely ill as we left the shoe store, and I ended up having to make an emergency stop at the nearby CVS, which had a bathroom for customers. I was really feeling terrible, but after a while I felt okay to head home.
In the evening, we did some housework, which was great. Normally, Shannon doesn't do any housework at all, so I sometimes feel overwhelmed, resentful, unappreciated, etc. But we decided this week that we're going to try to do an hour of simultaneous housework each Sunday or Monday. I intend to do more on my own on other days of the week, but just having one hour of joint effort makes it feel very different.
Some relationship tensions emerged during the housework, so we ended up sitting down and conducting our "State of the Union" discussion today instead of tomorrow. I think we both felt better after a thorough talk.
When the hour of housework was completed, Shannon suggested that we go out to Ben & Jerry's to reward ourselves. Not something we plan to do every time, but perhaps a nice way to mark the success of the first occurrence. So we sat out at one of the metal tables on the sidewalk in front of B&J's and ate ice cream and read our latest Gene Wolfe novel until I got so cold that I insisted we head home to finish the chapter there. It was a very confusing chapter, but -- hey -- it's Gene Wolfe, so I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.
Speaking of dangerous jobs, I've been listening to John Grisham's The Associate the past couple days, and wow! It sucks! I read his The Firm about 20 years ago (after buying it in an airport when I was desperate for something to read because I'd finished reading my book more quickly than expected), and I actually liked that one, so I thought maybe I'd give him another chance, since something gripping sounded attractive. But this book is terrible! A completely unbelievable blackmail scheme starts things off ("We'll get you convicted of rape! Because we have this video! In which you do not appear during the rape of a highly-unreliable-witness party girl who has changed her story several times! And did we mention that you didn't actually participate in the rape? But it was in your apartment! And you were in the room some undetermined time beforehand! And so you will spend the rest of your life in prison unless you become our bitch!" And the guy buys this!), so I just can't imagine that it's going to get much better.
So I had a look on Amazon, and it turns out that The Firm is very highly rated ... and The Associate is very poorly rated. Maybe I should have looked into that before I requested it from the library. The last week or so hasn't been a great one for me re: audiobooks.
I've been having some trouble actually reading again, with my attention kinda fading out again. It's frustrating. Maybe I should pick up something brainless to give me a jump-start.