Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Smile on My Face

This is perfect weather -- absolutely perfect.  The sky is thickly overcast and glowing white, the air is crisp and a tiny bit too chilly, and there were tiny raindrops in the air for a moment -- just a moment -- on my way to the bank!  When I walked out the door at about eight, the air I took in was gloriously fresh and promising, with none of the oppressive stickiness I am expecting later in the day.  It is still cool enough in my apartment to necessitate a robe upon arising, and I reveled in my new bathrobe, soft and light and dark navy-blue, and perfectly comforting.  Ahh....!

I'm currently wearing a gauze skirt, to attempt to battle the coming apocalypse of heat, which I had to mend before wearing, since last time I had it on, my key ring caught in it as I was picking it up, and tore two long straight lines through it.  It's always worse when you do it yourself -- you know, hurl a glass to the floor as you are trying to catch it, smack yourself in the face with something you are trying to heft -- it's no doubt all very salutary and lesson-teaching, but it's also very frustrating.  In any case, the two tears lent themselves very nicely to being mended and are hardly visible now. 

I've just finished a book that I truly enjoyed.  I was laughing repeatedly -- aloud! -- throughout the first two chapters, and snickering later on, and I wept very sadly all through the last chapter.  So it has the whole, "I laughed, I cried" thing going for it.  It's "A Man Called Ove" by Frederick Backman, and I put in on my library list because of another book he wrote called, "My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry," which was charming although not as satisfactory as "Ove", in spite of the title.  It had some real cleverness in it, however, as well as some spots that left me feeling unfulfilled -- and it was festooned with blurbs about his best-selling book, "A Man Called Ove."  So I put it on my library list some months ago, and had completely forgotten about it when it turned up.  I advise a look!

Last night I had retired to my bedroom with the door closed and the air conditioner on, since after sundown is when it gets too hot to be comfortable in any degree of dress or undress, and iced drinks do nothing to prevent the trickles of sweat, and had just begun to feel the eyelids closing, when like a sudden Taser-blast, I remembered that my car was still parked in the library parking lot.  My eyelids shot open, and I was suddenly very wide awake.  Why do you suppose memory does that?  Why couldn't I have remembered several hours earlier, while still clothed?  There is an actual physical jolt that goes along with these falling-asleep memories, not unlike those clonic leaps your body makes -- they call them hypnagogic jerks -- just as you are nearly asleep, which always leave me gasping, heart pounding, and very WIDE AWAKE.  What's the deal there?

Well, in this case, I was just as glad to be widely awake, since I had to get up and go and rescue my car, and park it in front of the apartment, and if I had been staggering with sleep, I probably would have gone out in whatever articles of clothing met my hand, with my hair on end.  And several of my neighbors were sitting in the gazebo, where I afterwards joined them, so I was glad to be relatively appropriately clothed.  It's possible that my neighbors would not have been likely to notice my deshabille, since they had been out drinking and while none of them were intoxicated, they all were "flown with wine", which made it funny and delightful to talk with them, but also meant that they might have been just as likely to seize upon my clothing and want to discuss it in every detail.   

I went back to bed with a smile on my face! 

Monday, July 25, 2016


Today is the third time in a week that my work schedule included "TBD" which means "To Be Determined" (for those of you who don't do initialisms) although today's was the only one of the three which appeared on the schedule itself.  The first two were when clients cancelled their scheduled shifts without telling us this would be happening.  

However, in spite of three or four days to think them up, my boss had only one chore for me to do, which took a total of ten minutes, even though I checked it over and then checked it over a third time just to use up some minutes.  So I spent most of three hours reading at an empty desk.  Read the Residential Books (case histories, etc) of clients, and then read the book I always have with me (at the moment it's Barbara Vine's "The Blood Doctor" which has been unread long enough since the first time I read it, to have vanished back into the mists of time for me -- I truly cannot remember what the twist is going to be, nor a lot of details in the story itself.  Which is almost unprecedented, and also a great benefit to me, since Ruth Rendell {Barbara Vine's actual name} has recently died and will not be writing any more.  So it's almost new!  WIN!) until that shift was over.  This is the break before my afternoon shift.

One of my co-workers had made and brought in for me, two chocolate chip cookies and a slice of what she called "Zucchini Pie" and I would have called quiche if anyone had asked me.  Needless to say, I did not eat it.  The chocolate chip cookies were perfectly fine, although they included walnuts in them, which was an unexpected though not off-putting occurrence, but were fat and puffy like -- like -- can't think of any cookies which are intended to be puffy, although I know I've eaten them.  Anyway, they were quite good, and I ate them with enjoyment, although I'm a little uncertain as to the intentions of the co-worker.  At the moment, I'm just assuming that she is being friendly and making friendly overtures to me, her friend.  Right?
Miserable hot day, today, somewhere in the mid-eighties, I'm guessing. It's funny how quickly that sucking misery can dissipate from my mind when I am in an air-conditioned building.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Further Up and Further In!

This morning I had breakfast in the Tardis of restaurants -- the Aslan's Country of restaurants!  Definitely bigger on the inside than it was on the outside.  It was a small, brown, snub-nosed building on the corner of a busy street, with dark reflective windows, so you couldn't see in.  But once inside, it had been laid out by a master hand, with the bar fronting the kitchen in such a way as to give all the room light from the windows, the odd-shaped corners used for the poker machines, and booths around the outer walls.  Light, airy, spacious -- it was a joy to enter, and an even bigger joy to eat in! The hashed brown potatoes were crispy and yet tender, the gravy was sausagey and delicious and their bacon was a thing of beauty and a joy for the very brief time it took to eat.  Next time I'm going to try the oatmeal -- see if they can take it to the next level!

I had breakfast there with Linda, my apartment house manager, chatting about books and marriage and raising boys and baking -- Linda and I have had similar lives in certain ways!  Now that I know where it is, I invite you to come and breakfast there with me!  Tuesdays and Wednesdays -- I'm always available!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dichotomy Pie

I was just re-reading a Tim Powers novel recently -- in fact, it's my go-to-sleep book-on-tape at the moment -- called "Last Call," in which Scott Crane dresses in drag in order to get onto a yacht incognito.  When they ask him at the gangway what his name is, he realizes that he hasn't thought of one and says, "My name is Dichotomy Jones."

Well, that is lurking around my frontal lobes because I was thinking about a contradictory facet of my nature, this morning, and while trying to decided which side came uppermost, that phrase floated into my mind -- My name is Dichotomy Jones.  
Anyway, as I left the house this morning at eight am, I felt a familiar frisson of delight at the quiet emptiness of the streets, and long trailing emptiness of the freeway, and how the bridge was bare in all directions.  It made me think that I would have no trouble being the last human alive in New York City -- no trouble at all driving my 1970 red Ford convertible through the silent, empty streets like Charlton Heston.  I could be the Omega Man, no problem.  I'd love it!

But on the other hand, you know -- I do sometimes get lonely.  Some things need another person involved to be truly enjoyable -- look at the journal of my trip to London -- how many times did I say, "If only Ruthie were here?"  I remember sitting in the chapel of St.-Martin-in-the-Fields, listening to a Bach concerto and absolutely overflowing with the need to have someone there to share that incredible beauty with.  Some afternoons while I am sitting in my comfy chair with a good book and a cup of tea, I am still driven to get up and go look outside to see if any of my neighbors are hob-nobbing in the yard, since I am just very aware of my all-alone-ish-ness.  

On the third hand, however, I cannot decide (I have no means of making this decision, since I can't establish the situation which would decide it for me) if this is because I know with the underneath of my brain, that there are other people out there, doing their thing without me.  If I could know that there weren't any others on Earth, would it make any difference?  You see the difficulty.  

It is an absolutely beautiful day, no question.  Vivid blue sky and bright sunlight, fluffy white clouds dotting about, covering about half the sky, but only around 72 degrees, and with a cool breeze.  I'm through with my work for the day, and getting ready to go home and make a Key lime pie, and a coconut cream pie, both specific requests from two of my neighbors, for the Fourth of July barbecue tomorrow afternoon.  Looking forward to it!