February 19th, 2011


(no subject)

Rain rain rain rain. And cold, too, in Bay Area terms. The high today was around 40 degrees. Yes, yes, all you folks who live east of here may scoff at our wimpiness, but people here were complaining bitterly. I must admit that I was wishing I'd worn gloves when Shannon and I were out walking this evening.

Lisa and I decided that the weather is too yucky to have a major adventure tomorrow as we'd planned, so we're going to do it another week. It just doesn't feel like the best time to go roaming around San Francisco or wherever. But I figure tomorrow we can just go to a restaurant we don't frequent, play a game we don't usually play, or something. Just break the routine. Do something exciting.

Today I phoned some folks about cleaning out the gutters on our house, and I'm feeling soooo happy about it! Our gutters were put up when we bought the house about 11 years ago ... and they've never been cleaned out since. There are impressively-sized plants *growing* in our gutters. Every time it rains, water pours out in random places, threatening our house's foundation. I've been fretting about it for *years* but couldn't seem to motivate myself to do something about it, and today it was raining steadily and the water was pouring randomly out of the gutters and I just couldn't take it anymore. So people are going to come deal with our gutters on Monday. Hurrah! And it isn't nearly as expensive as I thought it would be.

I wrote recently about the Robin Hobb book Shannon and I have been reading and lamented the badness of the writing, and today Shannon wrote a journal entry about the same issue. You can read it here if you're interested. He's funnier than I am. Or, at least, *differently* funny. I think his skills in the art of mockery are more finely honed than mine.

I've been thinking about my post earlier today re: healthy sweets, and I thought suddenly, "Hey! I could buy some 100% fruit spread, and have it on wheat bread " (oops, didn't mean to rhyme there, but sometimes it happens) "and that would be sweet, healthy, and easy! I also found some great recipes, inspired by the folks who commented on my earlier post. Upon further thought, I'm not sure I'm feeling energetic enough to pursue the whole baking project, but maybe I can get some non-fat frozen yogurt, cinnamon graham crackers, stuff like that. I used to *love* cinnamon graham crackers when I was a kid. Or maybe one of the sweet, tasty Cheerios varieties, as dry Cheerios used to be a favorite snack, also, especially when I was working at a stressful job and tended to be lax about taking breaks. They were easy to eat while staring intently at a computer screen.

Of course, graham crackers might not be the best choice, according to Wikipedia:
The Graham cracker was originally marketed as "Dr. Graham's Honey Biskets" and was conceived of as a health food as part of the Graham Diet, a regimen to suppress what he considered unhealthy carnal urges, the source of many maladies according to Graham. Reverend Graham would often lecture about the adverse effects of masturbation or "self-abuse" as it was commonly called. One of his many theories was that one could curb one's sexual appetite by eating bland foods. Another man who held this belief was Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the inventor of the Corn Flakes cereal.
Shannon might not be especially happy if I suppress my unhealthy carnal urges. Hee.

I've been obsessively watching YouTube clips from the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, as well as the excellent adaptation of Persuasion that was made in the same year. This is kind of silly, because I own both on DVD, but on YouTube it's easier to get the "good parts" version. I mean, when I watch P&P on DVD, I always fast-forward through all the Mr. Collins scenes, because he makes me cringe, but on YouTube I can just hope directly to Mr. Darcy watching Lizzie sing at the piano, or Lizzie chiding him for not conducting himself "in a more gentlemanlike manner" after he proposes to her for the first time, or Anne reading the letter in which Frederick tells her that he is "half agony, half hope," or when Capt. Wentworth announces at a party that he intends to marry Anne and everyone is just gaping and saying the early 19th century version of "WTF?" I've seen these movies (and read the books) soooo many times that I can watch individual scenes with complete awareness of the context, without watching the whole movie each time, and so enjoy them fully. Maybe I'm just lazy. The phrase "Short Attention Span Theater" comes to mind.

But I've always had a habit of picking up favorite books and flipping through to reread favorite scenes. Long before I'd ever seen a film version, I used to flip through "Persuasion" to reread Frederick's letter. It's just so romantic!

Anyway, I'm up way too late and need to get some sleep, so I should head off to bed.
rain, Totoro

(no subject)

Rain rain rain. Cold cold cold. It reminds me of my year in Scotland! Today I walked to and from Lisa's house (about 2 miles each way) and also ran some errands on foot, and my legs ended up *soaked*, even though I was using an umbrella. Does everyone have that problem? Do your legs get wet when you walk around with an umbrella in the rain?

Anyway, I hung out with Lisa as usual, and (because of the rather daunting rain outside) she suggested that we not go out to lunch as we usually do, but instead make some pasta to have with her homemade spaghetti sauce (which she made a couple days ago) and just stay in the warm, dry, comfy apartment. So we did that, and it was very nice. I don't eat homemade meals -- ones made from scratch, with fresh vegetables and such -- very often, so it was quite a luxury. It felt all family-like and nurturing and homey.

We talked about all kinds of stuff, including housecleaning robots. She has a vacuuming robot and a mopping robot, but apparently the mopping bot doesn't work very well. She says she's going to buy another one when they've improved the design a bit. I told her to tell me when they work well, and maybe I'll get one. It would be cool to have a robot clean our bathroom and kitchen floors! And the cats might find it exciting, too!

We also pored over a new book she bought this week: Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City, which is full of interesting themed maps of San Francisco. I'll have to check it out in more detail before my mom and brother come to visit this summer, so that I can find some new ways to entertain them.

I came home in the afternoon to find that I had email from my mom ... and I answered it the very same day! Believe me, this doesn't happen very often. I'm feeling like I deserve some kind of Good Daughter Award. Hurray! I hereby present myself with a virtual trophy to commemorate this act of unlikely heroism.

If the rain lets up tomorrow, Shannon and I are planning to bike to Target for cheap groceries. Otherwise, I mostly plan to stay dry and warm and maybe work on some severely neglected creative projects. Maybe experiment with my new InDesign software! Woo hoo!

I need a rain-related icon. Perhaps I'll make one tonight.