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Sat Sep 15th, 2018


07:25 pm - Mid-September
A week from the solstice and the sun sets at 7:30. Melancholy. Though it took me 60 years to start disliking the early dark; in my heedless fully-sighted youth I biked up and down and east and west after dark without a qualm.

My window AC is in the right hand dormer window, so the cold air blows down the hallway and drops down the stairwell- hurray for physics!- and renders my downstairs blessedly cool when I come into it from the unseasonable Florentine-related mug. (Every time I see that name I think it's about the city, and it never is. Also how did English ever manage to turn Firenze into Florence? That's even more tone-deaf than most of our transcriptions.

The Indian Gardener's Son's house is only fitfully occupied and the grass of the front lawn is lush and rank and a good foot high (30.5 cm). Only, this evening as I passed, someone who looks very much like the Indian Gardener himself was out mowing it, while a young man who is very definitely not the Indian Gardener's Son raked it all up. And I thought, really they should have used sheep, only sheep shit as well. And aren't allowed in the city.

My current reading is Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring, Hurston's Tell My Horse, and (compulsively since last night) Ng's Under the Pendulum Sun. Without getting into actual horror, three more oogey-making books I'm not likely ever to read together again. Sun is the oogiest by far, possibly because the language reads ever-so-slightly off to me. 'Bored from'? I put this down to Ng being from Hong Kong, which may also be why her Fae also feel just that little bit out of true from the British tradition-- the later one, Lud-in-the-Mist and Jonathan Strange. Of course, taking them from a profoundly Christian and missionary pov *is* a departure. Few people who write Victorians seem to consider religion at all, but for a large number of people then it *mattered*.

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Thu Sep 13th, 2018


10:43 pm - All coming back, it's coming back to me now
One thing that puzzles me in Agatha Christie- aside from the people who are moribund at 70- is the attitude of quite middle aged people that fifteen years ago was the ancient past: no one can remember what happened fifteen, eighteen, twenty years ago, and half the people who were there then have died, and one certainly can't consult records from that far back. Well, seventeen years ago I was that generation's definition of firmly middle-aged, and I can remember myriad details not just about 9/11, but about the previous August and the following October and you name it. Like the denizens of Christie's small towns, I haven't moved around since then, and most of the people I knew then I still know now, in spite of the transient population of my clients-as-it-were. So I wonder at people's lack of memory in Christie's novels.

I note this because yesterday and today were 9/11 weather, sunny and blue and warm and dry. It may not stay that way, but for now, here we are as we were.
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Wed Sep 12th, 2018


10:15 pm
Comment on a DW friend's post introduces me to a book called Fluent Forever, which contains the clever idea of using visual flash cards and making eg 'le chat' a picture of a cat on fire because all masc nouns are on fire, while feminine ones are ice or what you will. This would work perfectly for French, whose genders I can never remember though I know the nouns pretty well. I hesitate to buy the book itself on account of it being akin to buying grammars and then never reading them, but I'm intrigued.

Mind, a hanzi book from a decade ago had a mnemonic for remembering the tones as well as the meanings of the chracters, but I never found it workable. Really I should get back to my Japanese and once again get kanji and vocab into order. Though I wonder if FF has tips for Japanese and Chinese as well.

Reading has been more Christies: Murder on the Links, Five Little Pigs (where I'd in fact forgotten whodunnit), and Sleeping Murder, Miss Marple's last but not, fortunately, because she dies in it. Witches Abroad for fun.

Still reading Zora Neale Hurston's experiences with Haitian voudoun, interrupted by stomach-churning accounts of Haitian revolution. Taking Rainy Willow 16 very slowly. Have also one volume of Dinotopia, which is charming but simple-minded.

I was very chuffed to get An Unkindness of Ghosts on my ereader at last, only to discover it's SF set on a generation ship whose society is modelled, as far as I can see, on the atrocious plantation one of the Old South. Better go back to Nalo Hopkinson because Hurston's Haiti was enough for me, thanks.

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Tue Sep 11th, 2018


10:41 pm - Time travel
Last night with the autumn cold and rain outside and the purring space heater and duvets in, and me reading the unchanging Meiji world of Rainy Willow Antiquities Store, I found myself suddenly time-slipped the mid-oughties somewhere. Today, because of climate change, it's summer again, or at least a warm September that needs no jackets, and the nostalgic instant has vanished.

On a much more mundane note, why does Ovaltine powder melt in the heat? Cocoa remains a powder at all temperatures, but Ovaltine becomes a hardened shiny unmeltable enamel at the bottom of the jar.
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Mon Sep 10th, 2018


08:04 pm - Days of '61: rain on the roses
Cold, grey, wet: essence of school autumns remembered. The rain was that fine misty spray that nonetheless falls steadily and goes on all day. That I didn't get soaked to the skin is down to my rain gaiters and the 'water resistant' nature of the jacket. A real rain soaks through it in no time flat, but droplets just pool on the fabric like dew.

How right I was to buy a little space heater. Takes the refrigerator chill off the bedroom and is not needed once duvets and blankets have had their effect. One lies burrito-folded, reading this and that, and listening to the rain (still) falling outside.

Found a large mosquito bite on the back of my leg this morning, which was annoying since my AfterBite has vanished and I must have spent my ammonia on the raccoons. At the end of the day, at work, I had three more. Maybe they're not mosquitoes, though they bump and itch the same. But work is still the same building where I was bitten twenty times by invisible noseeums a dozen years ago and had to undergo two courses of antibiotics to prevent flesh-eating disease.

In spite of my s-i-l's cheerful advice on how to get out of jury duty ('Say you think he's guilty when they ask if you have any biases') (or even better- 'November? I think that's when my client's trial is coming up') I'm resigned to doing time in the jury box. This has convinced me I must get my knees as strong as possible in the next two months which necessarily involves getting my weight as low as possible. Began well enough on the weekend, easing down on the food and gearing up on the exercise; couldn't walk today because of monsoons, but resisted the urge to buy a cocktail at a bar or some wine from the store. Alcohol may prove the greatest challenge, because I'm convinced that's what I need when weary and aching after a long day. Must convince myself that wine, certainly, will give me a headache at this time of year and alcohol will upset my stomach, and that water and stretching removes the aches and stabs much better. Good luck to me.
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Sun Sep 9th, 2018


08:38 pm - Makes her feel the way she used to feel redivivus
Yup, autumn. Highs in the teens, grey clouds, wind in the uhh what's the opposite of 'wake'? of Gordon or whichever storm, so old cloth jacket and fall cap. Which kept blowing off, so I picked up a crocheted green beret from someone's lawn offerings and wore that instead.

And I *walked*. For hours, since I necessarily walk slowly because mindfully (gut in, back straight, shoulders down, feet pointing front.) What would have been nothing much in the old days- up to Loblaws for antihistamines, by Grapefruit Moon for late lunch, down to Bloor for dollar store shower curtain, home- but is farther than I've walked in years. These last years two blocks will hurt my back so much that I regularly bike to the supermarket two and half blocks away. Massage and core-strengthening seems to be having an effect, and even my knees calmed down after a bit.

So I saw again all the local details I used to see on my constitutionals: late flowering cosmos and seasonal asters, trees inching towards red and yellow, squashed and fermenting crab apples, and the usual boulevard bounty. Picked up a little notebook and a year-unspecific day planner, perfect size for brief diary entries. Could almost have been 2012 again, and I wish it was.
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Fri Sep 7th, 2018


10:19 pm
Some day autumn will come. Wednesday was an unspeakable 34C, and even if the last two days have been a little cooler- tshirt weather rather than tanktops- it's still the greasy mug of a warm September in Tokyo.

Which may be why my summons to jury duty selection feels so last-strawish. It's not till November, fortunately. By which time I may have returned to rationality and welcome the break from work.
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Mon Sep 3rd, 2018


07:44 pm - Labour Day
From the point of looks, yes, it *looks* like autumn back-to-school, 2008 version for choice. Discreet yellow in the trees, splendid salmon and grey clouds, the last of the buzzing cicadas. The temperatures just need to be 10C cooler and the humidity could stand to be halved. This may happen by week's end, but for the moment the AC is on and my elbows and knees stab ferociously in spite of yesterday's massage. Also masseuse is going on a fortnight's vacation after this week, and I can only hope her replacement is as good.

The cumulative effect of Christie's murderers, plus the wanhope weather, have had a distinctly lowering effect. Thus have begun a reread of Witches Abroad which I might combine with a reread of Brown Girl in the Ring, because. Pratchett at least is certainly cheering.

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Sun Sep 2nd, 2018


09:14 pm - Back to Japanese
I have reached those Agatha Christies where I remember whodunnit, alas, even if I remember little else. Still, summer reading is summer reading. I continue with Five Little Pigs and Murder is Easy.

But I did take my new Rainy Willow Store tankoubon to Starbucks today, sure that I could understand it from a few pages read. Mmm, no. Not when we're dealing with Chinese or possibly Buddhist legends. Futzed about with kanji apps for the phone, all of which are memory hogs and none of which had the kanji in question. Came home and looked it up in the Wordtank: it was there, but with no definition or compounds. Finally have it from mandarintools: 穆, meaning 'solemn', also used for the mu of muslim. Who the Rainy Willow's 穆王 is remains unknown.

Clearly I need to get an app for the tablet if not the phone, because the Wordtank must be coddled, but reports are varied for Jim Breen's app adaptation, and other hand drawing apps simply don't work for me. This is as good as mandarintools, but argh the wwwjdic layout sucks.

(Oh, OK. 穆王 is Zhou Mu Wang/ King Mu of Zhou, 10th century BC, who went off to visit the Great Western Mother and her peaches.)

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Sat Sep 1st, 2018


11:05 pm - Whoever is alone now, will remain alone*
I would say 'Good-bye, August; don't come back' but alas, August has not left yet. Temps may be under 30 today but the humidex was pushing 40. The maitre d' of my favourite Japanese restaurant was condoling with me on the subject when I entered its dark icy depths at 4:30. 'Young people don't understand how worrying this is because they've never known normal.' Agreed, oh agreed. No more cool autumnal Labour Days, not for years past. It's always a continuation of August's soup.

The more surprising then that I should pass the merry Morris dancers dancing in Taddle Creek Park as I did, I could swear some time last year but can't find the entry for it. Enquiry informed me that this is nothing seasonal, like May Day; is merely a meet up on the long weekend and will continue tomorrow at Dufferin Grove. The merry Morrisers are all middle-aged and grey these days, unlike the happy days of my youth when I dated one for a couple of months. I fancy they're all the same people as 35 years ago. Well, except for that one long-haired youth who came bouncing a foot in the air at each step, the show off.

Last month again failed to stick in the mind, even though I bought (unsatisfactory) new singlets at Old Navy and semi-satisfactory new shoes up at Eglinton. Went to AGO Bistro two or three times. I find the place soothing, even if the prices outside Happy Hour are heart-stopping. Finally figured it's because the staff, or at least the ones I get, are solidly middle-aged and trained in the decorous European tradition. They have a gravitas lacking to the bright young 'Hi, I'll be your server tonight' wakamono. They're certainly amiable enough, but with a reserve that makes me feel, oddly, like a cared-for child: oddly, given that I'm ten or twenty years older than they.

*Rilke didn't write "Whoever has no house now, will never have one." He wrote "Whoever has no house will never build one." Or something like that.
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Thu Aug 30th, 2018


09:45 pm - Autumn for the moment
Grey, overcast, cool, with stray whiffs of wood smoke on the evening air. Jacket weather. Still humid, so that joints continue to twinge. Another day of this and then we return to our regularly scheduled hot, muggy, thunderous and humid summer for at least another week. Or more, if some storm mass doesn't move out of the way.

I so want autumn to come.

Phone has been giving me messages about battery over-heating, turn off at once. Phone is not long for this world. 'Mine's at least as good as done/ And I must get a London another one.'
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Tue Aug 28th, 2018


10:08 pm - Make your bed and lie in it
For the last few nights I've been sleeping on the futon in the narrow side bedroom. My dreams have been amazing, the temperature has been perfect, neither too hot nor cold and with no horrible breezes blowing on my poor chilly head and shoulders and feet. I wake content and cozy, thinking of/ remembering things that I've forgotten for years. The side room has always been like that: something of a den apart from the outside world, where I'd squirrel away on return from Japan or after operations. (It's also closer to the bathroom, is why it's so good for recovery.) The front bedroom is large and faces on the street, and when I wake up in it there's a sense of space all round me: the Out There, the unsatisfactory real world that I have to get up and drag my aching body into. The side room's sequesteredness is almost like having my hormones and my secondary worlds again; even if I don't tell myself stories any more, memories return of autumn days in Pau and winter days in Tokyo, which is almost as good.

But there may be another factor at work. When I sleep on the front bedroom's mattress, my knees scream at me when I try to stand on them and my hips twinge as I roll over. *Possibly* I just had a very good massage on Sunday, but that hasn't happened for the last three or four nights. I can sleep happily without a pillow between my knees, or under them if I'm on my back. Though I have nothing to hold on to when I stand up, my knees don't buckle under me as they do when I pull myself up on the door knob in the front room. My elbows don't twinge even after all the side sleeping I do. It's not that I'm usually happier on a futon than on a mattress: my thrashing sleep style is impeded by the futon's inertness, which is why I started sleeping on the mattress in the first place. I just hurt less now.

And the clincher is this: none of my pillows are the right height when I sleep on the mattress, while all my pillows are just fine on the futon. The solution, which I hope is the right one, is to buy a new firm mattress. That won't let me sink down as I do in the futon, enfolded and supported by all that REALLY HEAVY cotton stuffing. (Well, and foam core: quite a lot of it, IIRC.) But maybe I can trade supported for enfolded, and still roll over as is my sleeptime habit. Worth a try.
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Sun Aug 26th, 2018


06:54 pm - Dog days
This August/ summer's end doesn't feel like August's end because of all the humidity and monsoons. No sense of approaching coolness, much less and autumn preview. Cicadas sing, but faintly; leaves go brown at the edges, but that could as easily be from heat. As with last year, one expects only a continuation of August into September.

Which said, today's 28C with bluwing breeze was very pleasant.

Summer-hyper mouse is still hyper. Impossible to single click on anything. Always back two pages if not three, always highlight whole paragraphs instead of inserting cursor into the middle of a word. Have taken to clicking with my middle or ring finger even, but even that doesn't always work.

Wore shorts today, shamelessly. Don't care if my lily-white thighs and knee flab shows. There is nothing cooler than shorts. What I *want* of course are the super-long baseball things the black guys wear but those are all made of polyester shudder.

Still there's the bath dep't: there's still Serrano ham wrapped around chilled mango slices.
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Wed Aug 22nd, 2018


09:56 pm - Enjoy it while it lasts
This summer it seems we get one good day a month, and today was August's. And not even all of it, because last night was still warm and wet and I kept the windows closed and the window AC on, and the morning dawned muggy and grey. But the wind picked up and blew it all away by noon, and it's now clear and dry.

(Actually there was a very nice day not quite two weeks ago that was also blowy sun and cool after rain, when I went down to the AGO for cocktails and a viewing of the two Inuit artists, Kenojuak Ashevak and her nephew Tim Pitsiulak. But if I don't talk about things here I forget they happened.)

Last finished?
Choo, The Ghost Bride
Christie, Murder in Mesopotamia

Reading now?
Karen Lord, Redemption in Indigo
Christie, Sad Cypress

Next?
Have a couple of holds for the ereader and, in theory, the next Phantom Moon Tower is on its way to me. I hope mental confusion hasn't led me to order vol.4 again, believing it to be the latest.

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Tue Aug 21st, 2018


08:14 pm - Brief update
Got to work and back without being drenched in monsoon rain. Otherwise, day was all monsoon rain with intermissions. Final monsoon rain happened as a brilliant sun was shining.

Three of my summer pants are ripped at the seams. One is mendable; the other two not, though since they're twenty and fifteen years old respectively, they've had good innings. But if only they'd lasted another month...

The Ghost Bride caters to ang moh far more than Zen Cho does. This has the effect of making Zen Cho feel more authentic than The Ghost Bride which is of course not fair at all. But my copy has a purple 'Heather's Picks' stamp actually printed into the cover, which strikes me as both telling (it's like an Oprah fave) and excessive (because Heather Reisman is not Oprah, thank you very much.)

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Sat Aug 18th, 2018


10:03 pm - Strawberries, cherries, and a muggy summer day
My brother had an episode of gout recently, which is now in abeyance thanks to drinking a lot of water and eating a lot of cherries. (And cutting down on meat and alcohol, yes, but the on-going therapy is the above.) I learned this yesterday after having drinks at his place following an awful day in an awful week- yesterday was basically two monsoons followed by the kitchen flooding at work. Besides Johnson cocktail and wine, I was offered some of their cherries. And today at the super I saw half a bag of same and bought it. I'd never eat a whole bag before it went off, and anyway it'd have cost over ten bucks. But half a bag that someone didn't want is perfect. So now I shall snack on those.

Today was marginally cooler and slightly less humid than the last weeks, but nowhere near cool and dry enough, and not likely to be through this month's end. Grey leaden sky and red ball of sun sinking in it. Went for a walk to buy a lottery ticket- 22 million jackpot, might as well- pausing to stretch out calves and back and hips that are all still objecting to the weather. Also washed my sheets because last night's too warm too cold shenanigans had me sweating into their dank bunched-up folds, never able to get them where I wanted them. Am tempted to turn on the central AC because even the window AC blows dank cold air, but know I won't. Economy, economy: but for what, I wonder?
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Thu Aug 16th, 2018


09:04 pm - Reading Thursday again
Finished?

Agatha Christie, Evil Under the Sun, Death in the Clouds, Towards Zero
-- all quite satisfactory

Nina George, The Little Paris Bookshop
-- um well. Quite aside from the mysteriously appearing obituary for someone the protag didn't know was dead at the time but somehow stuffed into a copy of Proust anyway, there's my Anglo reaction of 'but people don't *do* that.' 'That' being 'experience overwhelming love and mutual understanding and perfect sexual compatibility and and and.' I mean, maybe they do. The characters' attitude that love is just 'something that happens to everyone all the time' chimes with what I know of French people, but the sublime apotheosis aspect of it felt a but odd until I found out that the book was written in German. Oh, that's alright then: just the German Romantic tradition at work. You can find the same thing happening in Dick Francis, just toned down for Anglo sensibilities.

Reading?

Christie, Murder in Mesopotamia
-- must have one's Poirot

Poirot's Early Cases
-- though Poirot shorts are nowhere near as good as Poirot novels

Next?

-- have Karen Lord's Redemption in Indigo on hold, should be in soon.

Not sure if I'm going to read The Elegance of the Hedgehog or not, even though it *was* written by a Frenchwoman. The first paragraph did not pull me in.

Current tsurises: washing machine at work broke down yesterday. Amazingly, repairman came this morning, said the whole thing was foutu, our administrator put in an order for a new one and it arrived this afternoon. Of course it's a terrifying digital thing that I do not trust *at all*, but at least it's there.

Have been having heart palpitations when I lie down, for what seems like several months now. Webpages say to stop taking certain of my herbal supplements, stop drinking caffeine, and stop drinking alcohol. The first I've done, the second I might manage, just, the third is 'I'd rather die.' Last time I had this it accompanied a sinus infection, so maybe I'll wait to see what happens after the allergy season is over.

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Wed Aug 15th, 2018


09:11 pm - Found!
Jeanette Ng, Under the Pendulum Sun.

Of course, the cover is purple, not black and gold, is why I never trust my memory.

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Tue Aug 14th, 2018


09:26 pm - What was that book?
I cruise other people's FLs, both on Dreamwidth and Livejournal, and on one of those I came across a review of a book whose title I'd heard before. Something about secret agents penetrating the Fae lands, builled as a cross between Susannah Clarke and some (presumably spy) author I don't know. I copy-pasted author and title into the library catalogue and discovered it exists only as an e-book. 'Fine,' thought I, 'I'll put a hold on it later.'

Author and title have gone out of my head- naturally: my brain won't hold names any more. Worse, it seems to have gone out of the library search engine's memory. I've gone through the entire alphabet, with the webpage giving me suggestions for stuff I looked up in March, but no luck with Secret Agents in Fae. I've also gone through all my LJ/ DW reading pages, and tumblr as well, but no joy.

I think it has a black and gold cover. Next stop, Bakka Phoenix. But I shall feel like a prat asking for 'a book about secret agents in Fairyland with a black and gold cover' and not buying it if they actually manage to identify it.
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Mon Aug 13th, 2018


10:44 pm - And after it rains, there's a rainbow
Except it didn't rain. The evening sky was green and glaucous, making the trees look thick as broccoli flowers, and off to the west was a wash of gold, and I suppose that was enough to guarantee the great rainbow arcing over my neighbourhood. Dramatic, and without the perpetual downpour of this latter summer.

Because it was warm and muggy all day I hurt in every joint, so went out to the old regular By The Way for cocktails plural and beef-lamb kofta (which they, being Israeli, spell kufta). Their kufta is amazingly good but never quite enough for me, only at $15 the pair cannot be doubled. And yeah, two kufta is as much meat as I need to eat at a sitting, but still.

Most recipes want you to grill your kufta but this one lets you bake. Maybe in the long winter nights I will.
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Thu Aug 9th, 2018


10:02 pm - Grump
Garbage pickup is every other week on the same day as garden waste pickup. Trucks take the garden stuff first and usually don't get around to the garbage until late morning or early afternoon. So I'm a bit miffed that today they came through at 10 a.m., when I was happily floating in coolness from the window fan. No, of course I didn't put it out last night. Last night I could barely move because it was, what else, raining.

However, things blew away today and I feel marginally less painful in every joint. Maybe we're in for a respite from the rack of hot, wet, and humid.

(Fog warning yesterday morning. I came down to blank white windows: not outside fog but AC this side meeting 86% humidity and 24C that side. Also it was raining buckets.)
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Wed Aug 8th, 2018


06:56 pm - Stormy weather, third day in a row
Another good thing about air conditioning is that it allows one to cook again. Thus on Monday I made a zucchini soup from an online recipe, using some of that chicken stock I so carefully prepared last winter from many a rotisserie chicken. Recipe is just a minimal amount of onion (quarter of a small), minimal garlic (three cloves), sea salt, pepper, lots and lots of zucchini, and some low-fat sour cream at the end. Well, home-made chicken stock helps it, but otherwise it's very bland. OTOH it gets me my veg for the day, of which I haven't been eating nearly enough.

I was doing so well with my shiatsu and my exercises. Had dropped both knee and back braces last week. And then the mug came, muggier than before, and the last four days have been crippledom. Also it has deluged for three of those days: just rains and never stops. OTOH I came into the study this morning to find two little green pills sitting on the mouse pad where I put my meds at breakfast time so as not to take double doses while distracted by FB et al. It seems I was so distracted yesterday morning that I didn't take my anti-inflammatories at all. Which would explain yesterday's state of extreme ow.
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Sun Aug 5th, 2018


08:30 pm - Tick off Sunday from the list
Accomplish? On an August long weekend? Hardly. I had indifferent all-day breakfast at Pauper's: I want bacon and eggs and toast these days, but I don't want to cook them myself. So I go here and there, and always something isn't quite right. Grapefruit Moon has the best eggs and bacon but their potatoes are inedible. Future's potatoes are fine but their toast is soggy. Pauper's is just generally meh and the potatoes are rosemary fingerlings with green onions on top, which is all kinds of Do Not Want. So I shall tick another one off the box.

Did replace my rhodiola from the health food store, and then because the guy assured me that everything will go up in price because of the trade war, bought two. I hope that was just good salesmanship and not an accurate forecast of things to come. Why should stuff made in Canada from Canadian material increase in price just because stuff from the states does? 'Because they can!' the guy says.

However: I came home and scratched two itches. One was the blades of the ceiling fan that I finally got to clean because I can now, at last, get up on a chair and stand there without knees threatening to send me crashing to the floor. Then I took apart the standing fan in the living room and dusted that: no biggy, because I put that fan together, and required only pliers to get it apart. And then I tackled the bedroom fan.

The bedroom fan is an excellent fan, a present pre-assembled from friends who no longer needed it, and has done yeoman work for at least a decade. But because it's high quality, it's not at all clear how it comes apart. Possibly, like window fans, it's not meant to. If it gets dirty, throw it out and buy a new one. But I'm not doing that with something that blows as magnificently as my bedroom fan. (A Holmes, FYI.) Now, I was never the kind of child who took things apart to see how they worked, like my brother. I was a 'Do not touch that you'll break it!' kid. So, resigned to breaking the grill to get at the blades if need be, I studied the construction. Though there were no hinges holding front to back, turns out the cage isn't all one piece: a knife can be inserted between the lips and if you just squeeeze a bit, the front pops off. Victory! The dirt of decades has gone from my fan (and its front grill and its back) and it is, um well, more or less reassembled. A few pock pock pocks when turning off mark where the blades and the grill are not where they used to be. When I have access to male upper body strength again, I'll get everything pushed back in place. But for now, no more breathing dust!
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Sat Aug 4th, 2018


10:17 pm - August long weekend loose end
Sleep until 10, nap two hours in the evening, yawn.

The AC works suspiciously well. We're not hitting 35s or anything, but may the inside cold continue.
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Thu Aug 2nd, 2018


10:49 pm - July finally gone
Breezy day, high cloud cover, unbearably muggy indoors, unbearably hot in the sun, but very pleasant out on the bicycle. Still, the non-heat has heat's usual effects: uncertainty in the gut, odd aches, fuzzy-mindedness. All changes once I find myself in coolness; like Pratchett's trolls, I can think again. More, I find myself turning back into me.

So, what happened last month? To answer that requires me to consult my daybook. July is always a write-off that refuses to stay in the memory unless it throws a cold spell, which this year it certainly didn't. There were several mild dry silvery days, not unlike today, on one of which I had my ducts cleaned. There was a Sunday of civil European rain. There was an utterly splendid sunny Wednesday where everyone said 'Oh, if only it would be like this all the time!' but which left no other memory. It thundered frequently the last week, and threatened to do so a lot of the rest of the time. I read a bunch of Christies, a couple of Pratchetts, and two Zen Chos. There were a number of post-work achey drunken evenings at Thai Basil, which makes very good cocktails that require pricey food to cushion them, and many more sedate lunches at Next Generation Sushi, which only serves wine (and beer and sake, but no hard liquor, which is a pity. You want drinks in this town, the accompanying food will be either fried or prohibitively expensive, and occasionally both.)

And that was July and now it's gone.

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Wed Aug 1st, 2018


11:23 pm - Blowy August evening
There are many advantages to baths over showers- loosening of muscles, ease of washing feet, ease of shaving legs, general well-being from lying in water up to one's neck. One more advantage for me is that it gives me an opportunity to brush my teeth. Of course, I could do it in the half hour I save when having a shower, but then I don't want to. Whereas running a bath requires me to be in the bathroom to monitor depth and temperature, with nothing else to do. So yeah, I can then pick and floss and electric brush for two minutes, with no feeling of time wasted.

(Monitoring depth and temp is needed because I can't actually get into a bath of my preferred hotness. Evidently blood never reaches my feet because they're ice cubes always, and never more so than when dipping into a hot bath. So it has to be merely warm to start, and not too deep, so that I can fill it up with hot water once I'm in.)
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Mon Jul 30th, 2018


12:19 am - Ok I know it's now Monday
But these are Sunday's accomplishments:

Biked clothes down to the cloth recycle, including my heavy terrycloth dressing gown from 2007. I've had the new one for several years now so it was time I stopped thinking 'but the old one was better!' Maybe, but it still weighed a ton.

Bought two tanktops at the Duff Mall, not having noticed it was a 'buy one, get one free' promo. Still need to get down to Old Navy because their tanks fit better *and* have pockets. OTOH recycled cloth bundle included three tanks fraying too badly for further mending, so replacements are appreciated.

Did a dark wash from a ways back, including three black pairs of pants unwearable since the heat started.

Took area rugs to the laundromat.

Finished both Spirits Abroad and Guards! Guards!.

AND, fooling about with gmail tonight- bloody nonintuitive wodge that it is- found a slew of emails from Honto books in Japan and succeeded in ordering my Phantom Moon Tower book. Succeeded also in changing the name on the account from Charlotte to something more au courant.

(Unfamiliarity led me to having two gmail accounts, unfamiliarity makes me cautious about deleting the one I don't use, until I can disentangle a gmail account from a google one. At the moment it's a major undertaking to just get to the mailbox, which is carefully hidden amid a bunch of promotions I don't want.)

But for the moment, go me.

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Sat Jul 28th, 2018


09:19 pm - Cool for the moment
The moment I think ends tomorrow with a humidex of 31, but one takes what one can get, even if it feels a little odd without fans on in every room and the window AC at night. Having been hot and dry for the better part of a month, the weather is now wet and stormy, which makes accomplishment a tad difficult. *Maybe* Monday I'll get up to the Special Shoe Store amid Eglinton's chaos and see if they have wide-fitting running shoes. Or get all the cloth recycling down to Dufferin and College. After that, it's rain all week.

The ins and outs of e-readers are beyond this techno-peasant: whether a book is Kobe platform or Kindle platform or if there's a platform that will read Kobe/ Kindle books (I doubt it) or what. This is what keeps me from buying e-books of authors I might otherwise like to support who only publish in e-format. However, there's my tablet's Libby app that lets me read e-books from the library, and that is why I'm reading, or in some cases re-reading, Zen Cho, starting with Spirits Abroad. I read some of these stories online but they seem to have been edited since then, or rewritten for the book. For sure I don't remember the disquieting gastronomic details in The House of Aunts, and I think I would have.

Otherwise I'd be continuing with Poirots, but After the Funeral is impossible in e-book (too many names all at once: I need to flip back) and when I started Poirot Investigates, the first thing I get is (doubtless deliberately overdone) Orientalism and precious jewels that were once an idol's eyes etc. And right after is 'It was delivered by a Chinaman!' and 'I got them from a Chink.' The latter may be Christie saying something about the American speaker, but the former is Christie being of her generation. So I shall stick to Zen Cho for the moment, possibly alternating with Pratchett, partly because Cho makes for interesting dreams if read before bedtime and partly because my tablet doesn't travel.

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Fri Jul 27th, 2018


09:36 pm
This week, by stars benign, I had two days off, one of which was yesterday. Of course I meant to drop by work and help with the hideous Thursday cleanup, but mid-afternoon, just as the thunder was rolling in, I unaccountably fell asleep and when I woke it was 6:15. This was after I'd slept in to 10 in the morning. Am inclined to ascribe the somnolence to not paying attention to my meds ie 'did I take a Robaxacet this morning? Doesn't feel like it. Better take one now.'

Had very nice dreams while napping, though, one of which was that they reopened Honest Ed's for a day to hold his son's birthday party. (Ed has been dead over a decade and his son is older than I am.) It wasn't actually open for business, but they stocked the store with suits and kitchenware and such to make it look like the old days. Nor was it the real Honest Ed's, currently flattened to the ground, but a store in the basement level of some mall, opening onto the corridor and not the street. Still had the red and white signs though.

I myself was in the company of a very nice baby from an earlier forgotten part of the dream. But then it all went the anxiety route: I was late getting the baby back to her home and I had to drive her there and had forgotten how to drive and it was snowing and instead of turning on the heat or something, I pressed the windshield fluid button and the fluid froze and I couldn't see through it and and and, and then I woke up.

But it was a very nice baby nonetheless. Wonder who she is.

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Wed Jul 25th, 2018


11:12 pm - And life slips by like a field mouse/ Not shaking the grass
Still hot, if a bit drier.

University proposes to trap the raccoon on the roof. Good luck to *that*, say I. Six more shall come in its place: though come to that, hey destroyed the raccoons' old habitat, the abandoned house next door.

Have a new name to add to my list of Things To Be Stretched: TFL muscle. That attaches to the IT band and plays merry hell with it. My masseuse keeps telling me to train my brain to walk correctly and cannot quite register, in her Japanese way, that I don't *know* how to walk correctly. It's not just three years of stiff leg: it's flat feet that make me turn out automatically just to keep my balance. I think I'm walking straight, I look at my feet walking straight, but then I see my tracks in snow and I'm always duck-footed.
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Tue Jul 24th, 2018


09:29 pm - Summer anvil
Well, I accomplished yesterday on my day off, getting polyester duvets and cotton bathmats washed at the laundromat, and then going for a walk in the evening. Just down to Bloor St. and, what's worse, to get a double ice cream cone. But I avoid walking far too much, and it does indeed help with the piriformis if you can ignore the piriformis yelling while you do it. So yeah, need to start with short promenades again.

Today however was muggy and hotter than it purported to be: unbreathing air and deadly sun at a mere 25C. So all I accomplished was my floor exercises, too often neglected because getting down on the floor is a painful exercise. Oh, but I did clean out the garbage bins at work- wooden boxes where the bags go, and then the squirrels rip into the bags (having already gnawed into the boxes) and cover the floor in six inches or 15 centimetres of paper towels and such. I shed a gallon of sweat but need not do it again for... oh well, several weeks at least.

Maybe. Because a large raccoon was lounging on the fire escape, clearly overcome by heat exhaustion, and when it tried to get at some rain water trapped in a bucket up there, managed to send a shower down on the toddlers' heads. If I must contend with raccoons in the garbage as well as squirrels, a closer eye needs to be kept on those bins.

And now am home in blessed AC, because lows of 22 at 6 a.m. are not nearly low enough.
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Sun Jul 22nd, 2018


12:17 pm - That the small rain down can rain
The way my mind works: I remember Valery's

Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville

always as

Il pleut dans les rues
Comme il pleut dans mon coeur

With no one crying at all, just a gentle melancholy and nostalgia. Why is rain associated with those two emotions? Even in Ono no Komachi's Nagame seshi ma ni, all resignwd mono no aware. Sun is a sign of happiness, thunder a sign of passion, rain a sign of melancholy, but the emotions aren't inherent in the phenomena at all.
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Sat Jul 21st, 2018


09:51 pm - Knowledge is a deadly friend
Clearly I've read too much Christie, because I spotted the murderer in the latest one at once. Not the duplicitous, mercenary, womanizing, Thoroughly Bad Lot, of course. It was the diffident well-behaved young man, the one who *didn't* at once tell the heroine that Bess you is my woman now, which is what a proper man would do. 'The moment I saw you I knew you were mine' is a line that turns up rather too often in Christie's work. I suppose she thought that sort of thing would sell? I suppose that sort of thing did sell?

But if we're doing autre temps, autre moeurs, a 1938 review of Poirot's Christmas stated that "the business of the appalling shriek will probably make no mystery for the average reader". Oh yes it will. I'm still not sure what the solution of that is, when what was evidently common knowledge 80 years ago has completely vanished.

Will also disagree with the contemporary TLS reviewer who avers that "Poirot in his retirement is becoming too much of a colourless expert. One feels a nostalgic longing for the days when he baited his 'good friend' and butt, Hastings, when he spoke malaprop English and astonished strangers by his intellectual arrogance." I'm reading a Hastings mystery now and lord, the man is a stick.

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Wed Jul 18th, 2018


09:17 pm - Blue and white
Oh, did we think we'd get through July without a blackout? Hardly. Ninety minutes this morning from 7 to 8:30. But hahaha, it went out on the coolest night in three weeks and hohoho I was sleeping the sleep of the ativanned just, so the fans suddenly stopping didn't wake me until quarter of eight. Thus I had to endure a mere forty-five minutes of merely mild anxiety, because ativan has a holdover effect that way as well: it's not just for getting to sleep after AGO coffee. (Note that the AGO Bistro's Karma Chameleon cocktail is a neat trick- it changes colour when you pour the tonic in- but otherwise it's just a G&T with a frozen ice-flower in the middle. Also the chameleon effect is better seen at the bar's blond wood than at a table already covered in burgundy something.)

Just finished?
Oh, whichever Christie it was, or were- Elephants Can Remember, 4:50 from Paddington, A Caribbean Mystery, A Holiday for Murder aka Hercule Poirot's Christmas.

Reading now?
Nemesis, because it's easy.

Possibly I'm still reading Molly Tanzer's Creatures of Will and Temper, but will stop if something doesn't happen soon. Dorian Grey isn't my cup of tea, and it doesn't matter if it's a gender-switched Dorian.

Not finishing?
Patricia Finney, Unicorn's Blood, because while I'm happy to read all about how Elizabeth I got dressed and toiletted in the morning, I do not care for John le Carre hommages, or indeed for John le Carre period. If I absolutely had to choose something to read, among spies, zombies, and gangsters, I'd choose spies as being just marginally the least boring. But I find all three genres about as fascinating as the user's manual for an outdated technology.

Tiptree, Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
-- my own fault. Having waited months for this library collection of Tiptree stories to come round to me, I discover that Tiptree, a science fiction writer, wrote science fiction short stories, oddly enough. (And these all seem to be novella length.) Marvellous if you like SF, but I'm a fantasy person. Shall pass it on to the next waiting hands.

Next?
I shall run out of Christies eventually.

But there are my beaver bread-and-butter readings, that I return to periodically: The Kalevala, Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (which I cherish for the simple prosiness of the events: no awe and terror here) and recently, Piers the Ploughman, with glosses, because I never got anywhere in it without.

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Tue Jul 17th, 2018


10:25 am - 'Grow old along with me!' 'Haff we a choice, bach?'
Sat on my side bedroom reading glasses and broke them. They were the good reading glasses ie they fit and were (once) sturdy. The front bedroom and study glasses are neither, and I've gnawed on their arms a bit. (cough) Do not want to import the downstairs glasses because I know I'll take my backpack glasses out at some point to read instructions and then forget to put them back. Also the kitchen reading glasses seem to have vanished somewhere.

Must find a dollar store that has as good reading glasses as the one that closed. And buy another kitchen wall clock because this one eats batteries at the rate of one every three months.

All these Miss Marples, especially the later ones, make for dispiriting reading as she becomes older and more achy and rheumatic and can't walk up hills anymore. In a world where old is 70 ('well he was 72, his death was to be expected') and 80 is Methusalistic. Yes, times have changed, but *I* am achy and rheumatic and can't walk up hills anymore.

The expert last week listed, as he must, all the possible side-effects of knee operations, starting with 'you'll lose sensation just below your knee' to 'we might have to amputate.' The killer, however, is his saying that a replacement might ease the IT band but will not help the piriformis or hip flexors at all. Well, those are what's crippling me at the moment, so we've postponed everything another six months after which I'll have a hip xray to see what's happening there.

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Sun Jul 15th, 2018


12:48 am - Frustration
Honto bookstore recognizes my gmail account, yay. My desktop with its XP language pack lets me input my Honto password in the required format- 半角 whatever. I order my manga, enter my new Visa number, go through the steps and then... there's no 'complete order' button. Doubtless my outdated Chrome or something. Well, no matter. Go to my tablet, go to the webpage, enter my password and... no good. Must be 半角, and Androids don't care for niceties like that. Argh.

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Sat Jul 14th, 2018


10:45 am - Well, that's interesting
So yesterday we had one of those logistic problems of three babies who needed naps, all of whom take a good fifteen minutes to get to sleep and the first of which (Miss Picky, who has two people and two only who are permitted to touch her) refused to be laid in her crib once she *had* fallen asleep. I suggested we just load them in the triple stroller which guarantees that those three will all sleep within minutes. But the only person who could take them for the walk was me. Twice round the block should do it, I thought, so off I set with my heavy load: two of these guys are chunkinators, even if the third is a bird-boned skellington.

Twice round the block didn't do it, but did immediately start my lower back screaming. Walking is good for the piriformis, yeah sure, and what about my touchy shoulders, huh? Birdbones was asleep, but Miss Picky was still suspiciously awake- and one may not stop moving or she screams and screams again- while Chunk 3 was singing loudly and off-key. On I plodded, stopping at the occasional bench to ease the cramps, and on again until even Rowboat was asleep and I could come back to sit on the front steps and just push the carriage back and forth.

'I won't be able to move tomorrow,' I thought, but fine, today I have massage. Except this morning when I got up, knees and back were happily lamblike and shoulders much less ouchy than usual. Maybe all I need after all is a half hour of strength training and walking.

Meanwhile, the online bookstore I get my manga from says it can't send emails to my old address. I try resending them my email, they say they'll send me a verification link, the email doesn't arrive. I try my gmail account, but the verification email doesn't arrive. This is serious. There's a new Phantom Moon Tower out and a new Hundred Demons due, and the only alternative seems to be amazon.jp, than which I'd rather die.

But I also discover that ebooks from the library are the best way to read Agatha Christies, especially slightly unsatisfactory later ones like Elephants Can Remember, so now I shall read them all like that.

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Wed Jul 11th, 2018


08:54 pm - The day's happiness
A decade or so ago, after renovating the bathroom, I had my air ducts cleaned through a company recommended by the gas company. Wasn't terribly impressed by the guys or the job. The former were tattooed foul-mouthed cigarette smokers, and though they got a vast amount of detritus out (I heard it rumbling and crashing into the tube) and theoretically sprayed a disinfectant into the ducts, the air seemed no different afterwards.

But what with rats and all, I figured it needed to be done again. And now is the age of the internet when one can read reviews of any business at all, so I picked someone with a first-class reputation. One man in a van rather than three, who kept in touch regularly rather than showing up when he showed up. When I mentioned the basement window through which the previous guys had run their sucking hose to the truck, he said 'Oh no, I do each vent individually, from top to bottom.' This meant of course that there would be a large noisy rubber hose going into each room in turn, so I took off to hang out at work. And wise in season, gave him a cheque before leaving because, as I said, 'Once I'm there they don't like to let me go again.'

'They' in this case was little Moonbeam who had a totally unprecedented meltdown requiring the presence of one person to soothe and distract her, meaning me, so I didn't leave the place until closing. Then had a drink and dinner, and came home wondering how the work turned out.

My house smelled *clean*. No mould, no must, all fresh and... non-bacterial. Yay for Ozone Duct Cleaning, what lives up to its name.
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Tue Jul 10th, 2018


09:35 pm
Ah, lovely central AC, ah, lovely ativan sleep, ah, lovely clean sheets. Thanks to which I slept sweetly and was awake at 6:30, in plenty of time to eat breakfast, do my stretches, and catch the subway before rush hour to get to the knee specialist's appointment way out east at 8:45. Occurred to me as I was bicycling down to the subway that I should maybe have brought the appointment notice with me, the better to facilitate hospital bureaucracy. But I have a geas never to turn back once I've left the house (at least, I assume it's a geas. Can't explain the sense of doom otherwise when I *do* go back for things.)

Which is unfortunate. Because if I'd taken the note off the fridge I'd have seen that my appointment was for the 12th and might never have got out of bed in the first place. And now must do it all over again on Thursday.
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Fri Jul 6th, 2018


09:05 pm - I breathe again
A brief respite from hammer heat and soupy humidity: oh lovely highs, not lows, of 24C; oh lovely window fans, not window ACs which grow a little wheezy after being on 48 hours straight. A day or two of breezy blue and white, and then back to our regularly scheduled summer. Yesterday, called in for an hour so a replacement could go home and get his pain meds, had me out in the hammer-heat of the playground, suffering light-headedness and nausea. Hope I need not do that again soon.

No point in doing reading reports. Have read another bunch of Christies, most recently The Body in the Library whose solution makes no sense to me in retrospect, ten hours later. Umm- Crooked House, Peril at End House, Three Act Tragedy, Mrs. McGinty's Dead, Dead Man's Folly, from what I remember of this last week.

Wednesday's massage loosened me up even more and the results stayed through today. It was also $15 cheaper than the weekend, but next week sees me at home Wednesday having my ducts cleaned, as Tuesday sees me up at Godawful o'clock for an appointment with the knee specialist. Still, maybe something will open. Or maybe I'll just ghost my assembly-line physiotherapist who's been quite happy to treat my piriformis for eight months without worrying at my lack of progress, and who never informed me that I had low back pain last year; it took Sabina to tell me what it was and what the cure for it is.

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Sun Jul 1st, 2018


10:29 am - Semantics
Yesterday I was supposed to have had the massage that lets me walk but I wasn't in the computer at the clinic. I was booked for Saturday the 7th instead. How could this be? My conclusion: when I made the appointment last Sunday, I said 'Book me for next Saturday' and the secretary is one of those people who distinguish between 'this' and 'next'. If you want Saturday coming, it's this. If you want the Saturday after, it's next. I of course use them interchangeably which, yes, often requires disambiguation. At least I get a massage on Wednesday- this Wednesday, or next Wednesday, or this coming Wednesday.

FB is holding posts for ransom again. 'Find friends to see more posts.' Even 'most recent' which is regularly interpreted to mean 'stuff from three days ago' cuts off after four or five. Nothing will drive me to twitter but oh lord.

Finished Tremain's Restoration, an English version of The Radiance of the King. Still left me with a lowering feeling for reasons I haven't yet analyzed.

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Sat Jun 30th, 2018


09:27 pm
Possible good news?

"Floehr provided the Observer with separate data on 12 forecasters covering 29 UK locations during 2017. In a composite measure of accuracy, the Weather Channel and Weather Underground came top"

Good news because both those apps are calling for significantly lower temperatures all week than the gloomy airport based Environment Canada. 30C rather than 35? I'll take it. Mind, it's purely psychological relief, because Out There is still hot by anyone's definition.
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Thu Jun 28th, 2018


10:52 pm
It's not yet too hot to use the study and the study's computer, but I already have the hot weather Don'wannas. Me for the side bedroom's fan and yet more Agatha Christies. A chacun son goût: an invalid friend spends her days happily watching nature documentaries, whose fascination I cannot understand at all. She, par contre, said 'I read a mystery once and then couldn't understand why I'd done it.'

Though it's odd that reading about murder should have become such a commonplace and unremarkable pastime. 150 years ago the idea would have been considered batshit. When *did* that change anyway? Was it Holmes who made it respectable?

I will note that things keep turning up on the floor that should not, by any means short of an earthquake, have landed on the floor. I hope I haven't developed a poltergeist.

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Mon Jun 25th, 2018


11:01 am - The day after
Yanno, I do my stretches regularly. Like, I can't walk if I don't. And I have a little tennis ball that I lie on and roll about on that hits those nasty muscle knots and eases them. And things are loose and I can walk pretty much OK and go me.

And then I get to my shiatsu masseuse's and she sticks her thin steel fingers into a hip flexor or a piriformis and oh dear god what was that oh dear god the pain the pain!!!

And after that I can walk without my knee brace, the one I wear to bed. For about five hours and then everything twinges again. But still: progress.
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Thu Jun 21st, 2018


10:11 pm - Confusion
Why can't I tell Danes from Norwegians? They're not at all alike. But first it's Harald Bluetooth, namesake of the wireless device, who I thought was a Norwegian king; and now it's Rasmussen of Eurovision fame, who I thought was a Norwegian singer. And both are Danes, and I shall try to remember that fact. (But if you say Viking to me, I shall think of Norsemen, even if the Anglo-Saxons called them Dene.)

Forgot to mention yesterday that I also finished Jeanette Winterson's Why be happy when you could be normal? on the weekend. It was a birthday present from my brother and I started reading it in January, and it says much about me and Winterson that it took me six months to get through it. It was more accessible than most Winterson, being autobiography, but still... Winterson must be really hot if she could find lovers, plural, even amongst fundamentalist Christians, and even when, as she casually admits, she used to beat them up. 'I thought that was what you were supposed to do,' she says off-handedly. Meh.

Did find a negative review of the book by Adam Mars-Jones, about whom I know nothing. I might not be a fan of Winterson, but Mars-Jones came off sounding like a prat.

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Wed Jun 20th, 2018


09:31 pm - Coming up for air
Bicycling about the Annex and looking at the massive trees still lying about after being uprooted a week ago is a sobering sight. Most of them are thick-trunked things, replete with leaves, and all of them are rotten inside. Makes one wonder about the local four-storeys high flora.

The cherries are ripe and the raccoons are back. One was splayed, uncomfortably I would have thought, on the ridge of the neighbours' garage this evening. I wondered if it was ailing, and hoped it wouldn't die where it was. But no, it was just waiting for the rest of the family to show up.

Google's tablets give you suggested new stories. Wish they'd get with the program and realize that I don't want to read anything about sports, or anything to do with Meghan Markle *or* Princess Diana, or the weather in Edmonton or the newest Android phone and especially not an article first published in Lord Almost's National Post. (Lord Almost is Conrad Black and there's a long story about the soubriquet which I won't bore you with.)
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Fri Jun 15th, 2018


10:17 pm - Done
Yay, we survived Everyone's Gone to the Moon Day, when all but one of our casuals were off graduating, our Muslim staff was cooking up her Eid dinner, and, well, certain staff who were staycationing for the week were *certainly* not about to come in for the day God forbid. Day's success was guaranteed by a marvellous outside replacement-- casuals are usually anywhere from useless to semi-competent, but this one was quick on the uptake and very ingratiating with our crankcases. Also by self-sacrificing full-timer who came in for an extra three hours.

So the day thou gavest us, Lord, is ended, and so is the week, and next week Mr Eternal Energy Machine is on vacation so things might even be calm for a while.
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Wed Jun 13th, 2018


10:03 pm - More interesting times
By virtue (or vice) of having lingered too long in Doug Miller's book store looking for Agatha Christies that were unaccountably not there, I had to peddle home frantically as the predicted thunder began rolling and rain splattered around. But I was safely inside when the 100 kph winds swept through and the other side of the street disappeared behind a wall of water. One no longer has to go to the tropics to experience exciting tropical weather, worse luck.

And then the lights went out-- just as they did in May's winds and April's sleet (though not down here) and and and. Time to buy a cheap generator, because this is getting tiresome.

Everything blew away quickly and the sun came out and I limped up the street intent on food from Starbuck's because I wasn't opening my fridge thank you. Last blackout was 14 hours long. The streets were bumper to bumper in all directions because a) all traffic lights were out and Torontonians still haven't learned the drill on that one and b) the block above mine had been closed to traffic both ends by public-minded denizens because right up near Dupont a great big tree had fallen over and brought down the power lines. Tree was in full leaf, blooming healthily, and the inside was eaten out with rot.

Same was true all across TO, and down Clinton families were collecting smaller branches that had come down, breaking them up and bundling them. How lucky tomorrow is garden waste pickup and what a pity I didn't rake up the linden's seedlings before they became a sodden mess.

Starbuck's was closed (oddly, because the restaurant along from it was open.) Loblaws across from it was in business, and I ate an indifferent sandwich and watched the Hydro trucks come to inspect the wires on my street, put up yellow tape and leave again. Since it stays light late, I read on my front porch in the freshening... uhh 'very strong winds' and figured that I'd sleep comfortably enough tonight, what with the coolness and uhh 'very strong winds' that had knocked my front window curtain down.

And then the lights came back on after a mere four hours, and all was good again. Well done, that Hydro One. But I'm still getting a generator.
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Tue Jun 12th, 2018


09:46 pm - Today's bit of surrealism
So there I was at Loblaw's picking up my meds when I happened to turn around and found my underpants lying in the aisle behind me. Surreptitious fingering revealed that I still had my underpants on, but their twin (from a set of Fruit of the Loom) was definitely lying on the ground. I hastily picked them up wondering how this could be. True, I'd worn my current pair of loose trousers last week and hung them on the rail in case of warm weather, which we now have. Maybe the underpants had got caught inside them and I hadn't noticed when I put them on this morning? But the sniff test revealed that they were freshly washed. Maybe they'd got stuck to my tanktop in the laundry and I hadn't noticed when I put that on? however unlikely that is, and anyway, I was wearing yesterday's tanktop *and* yesterday's shirt. So I don't know.

Maybe they're someone else's underpants, and now I have an extra pair.
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Sun Jun 10th, 2018


09:03 pm - All the perfumes of Arabia
My fingernails are tar black. This is because my bicycle has been logey for some time, and careful inspection showed quantities of dirt and mud caught in the chain and front gears. Probably the back gears too, but those are harder to get at. Careful cleaning doesn't get at the problem, so I went in bare-handed and picked the stuff out. Yes, I should have had it tuned up before the soft summer bicyclers all decided it was nice enough to go for a spin and brought their rarely-used vehicles in for overhaul, but I didn't.

Special soap cleaned the skin, but only time will get under the nails.

Piriformis has been acting up in spite of stretching and acupuncture and physio, so today I had a massage. Hadn't intended for it to be shiatsu, but I got a Japanese masseuse and a very shiatsu-type half hour. Shall see if there's fall-out from this (have I told you my shiatsu in Japan story?) but have booked another session plus acupuncture for next week. Piriformis has of course tightened up again.
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