Maybe it was just a Good Knee day or maybe acupuncture does work that fast, but I woke up fairly limber this morning. Limber didn't last through the day's erranding- back seized up first- but the thought is cheering. Erranding was getting a hold from the library that I was supposed to get yesterday, but from the moment of booking I had it firmly in my head that it was Tuesday. Also pumping the rear tire, that almost killed me. I think it's partly the wonky placing of the valve on that wheel but a lot is my aged feeble arms.
Acupuncture was in a large airy corner room with all windows open on a cool breezy afternoon, and very pleasant. Noisy, yes: Bloor St is Bloor St still. Several of the restaurants on the main drag are open for patio service including one of my old haunts, Pauper's Pub, that has the only homelike hamburgers in my neck of the woods. Briefly debated eating there but decided no. Deterred not merely by thought of putting the current weight loss in jeopardy, but also by the probable effect of That Much Meat all at once. Though the latter would probably cancel out the former, it's not a healthy way of doing it.
Slight panic stations: last night and this morning 90% of my smell and taste cut out. Can't smell the Listerine! Can't smell the carbolic soap!! Can't even smell that menthol shaving cream!!! Can't- oh OK, can smell the Glysomed hand cream. Weird. Seems to be back now, but I need to stop randomly sniffing things. Seriously, if you can detect the old paperback book smell of Pater's The Renaissance, you don't have COVID. Alzheimer's maybe- blanked completely on the word arthritis today- but not the Virus.
The side streets have been paved at last, which is a great relief because I have an acupuncture appointment tomorrow. It's a block from Bathurst and Bloor, meaning closer than any studio has ever been. Also up two flights of stairs, but that I can manage. Buoyed by another lost kilo, however long that goes on for. This 'one pund a month' thing is torture, because that's not how I've ever lost weight before. But sedentary will do it to you. And hopefully the needles will debloat me a little. The really good debloating acupuncturist is still too far away to get to, but one takes what one can get.
Just hope G isn't too put off by my allergy cough, which the drenching rain of last week has brought back to life. It's still not as bad as in an ordinary year, but will require constant cough drops, a problem when you're masked and trying not to touch your face.
Has become cooler for a spell- high in the upper twenties not the low 30s- and I used the window fan last night. This won't last: truly cooler temps aren't forecast until next month. However the generous government just put another $500 in my bank account, which will ease the pain of this month's electricity bill. Well actually, it eased the pain of the electrician, but still. Pain eased.
Allergies, age, whatever. Left eye is unhappy. Gone are the days when I could function without a lens in it, alas, so either I read nothing today or I keep the eye drops handy.
Danger of funnel clouds forming today. Not in the downtown, I hope.
Rather an unlovely person who shows up in my FFLs is being loudly and plaintively unhappy all over the FFLs because no one understands their pain and no one will solve their dilemma for them and and and. I hope people continue not to solve their dilemma for them because I am indulging in a rare-these-days episode of schadenfreude and couldn't be more pleased by this. In general quarantine has sweetened my soul amazingly. I'm no longer chronically scratchy and itchy and downright furious at people in my immediate vicinity, which argues that I was never cut out for society in the first place and really should have become a contemplative nun-of-some-ilk. (Except that nuns live in communities that cause 'a martyrdom of pinpricks' and no one supports anchorites any more.)
"But sometimes, sleeping in the open
I think back"-- to when I was active in fandom and daily incensed because Someone Is Wrong on the Internet. Revisiting the old neighbourhood, my hairdresser used to call it. 'But I realized I don't have to live there.'
The trouble with YA is that by unspoken agreement there must always be a romantic plot taking up a good deal of space. I think that even when I was a teenager I'd have found this trying, and now in my twilight years it renders a book almost unreadable.
Which is to say, I'm having a hard time getting through Kingdom of Souls. I'd almost rather read Tristram Shandy.
Seven years ago on this day the heavens opened and a month's worth of rain fell on TO in the course of a few hours. This isn't the first time it's monsooned on the anniversary, but it kindly hasn't done it for a few years, so today's storm was a bit unquiet-making. It went in for the extreme winds rather than the wet, though there was a lot of wet, even if Environ Canada calls it 'rain showers'. Showers as in 'full force from the nozzle', maybe. Lights flickered but fortunately didn't go out. Temps dropped from 32 to 24 for maybe 90 minutes, then bounced right back again. Thus this summer.
I zipped through almost all of Judge Dee in a little over a week and now must give him a break because I have a substantial library book on the go (Rena Barron's Kingdom of Souls) and another waiting for me (Goudge's The Little White Horse) though I won't be getting that one until next week because the first slot for curbside pickup was Tuesday next. I wonder what the other Aged do to arrange pickups, because the pickup app won't register on my outdated desktop's OS. There's a bookmobile service that will bring books to the door, or at least there was before all this started. Presumably also the Aged have children or grandchildren with laptops and cell phones who do it for them.
Before the Barron arrived I'd started on Karen Lord's newest, which gives me the oddest frisson of Gladstone's Three Parts Dead. Very random things will remind me of Gladstone, which is fine because Three Parts Dead is one of my favourites. I'd like to get back to Lord, but can't read it in tandem with anything else because it would be like smoking while eating an omelette aux fines herbes.
Otherwise there's still Tristram Shandy for will-less couch reading, which as I feared is not as entertaining as I thought it in my twenties. The Net curtails one's patience in a horrible fashion. 'Oh get *on* with it,' I mutter, as Sterne goes wittering on forever. I know, I know, there's no it to be got on with. But Sterne sounds so very much like all those blokes who have no idea how not funny their funny stories are. Am ready to bet Rabelais and Cervantes are just as tedious and bumptious. And what's always puzzled me is that these thumping great tomes, longer than any fantasy trilogy, were written by hand in either candle- or daylight, and read the same way. The premodern era: that thought it entertaining to read long long loooooong novels in cold rooms in the dark, ce qui est une grande preuve de la mélancolie de vivre.
Summer getting serious here, no more Mr Nice Guy. Mid-30s all week. In an ordinary year I'd spend the day in work's AC, turn on my own central AC during the low rate period after 7 to cool the house down so I can sleep, turn it off when I get up, lather rinse repeat. But this year there's no work and no low rates, so I shall see how bad it gets. So far, window AC is enough, and may continue to be enough even if I have to run it through the day.
(This is one reason, aside fronm nostalgia, that I check the historical stats every morning. Reminds me that it can be much worse, like in 1988, high of 37.8 living in a house with no air conditioning.)
I need to go shopping for veg again at some point. Used to be Fiesta let us oldsters skip the queue when we showed up, waving us in ahead of theline, but the last two times I've had to stand in the hot hot sun. Only last time as I got near the doors, the checker waved an elderly woman in who'd just arrived. Evidently I don't look old enough for line jumping, which I suppose is a compliment. But jeez, guy, don't you see my white hair and my pathetic limp?
In fact I can do without veg for the moment. Hot weather, to say nothing of last week's electrical shenanigans chez moi, lead to the internal uncertainties of summer stomach and appetite loss. System thinks dry crackers are just the thing thanks, or at best some avocado toast, So, though a week ago the heat had bloated me up to heart-breaking March levels, today I find myself nearly 4 lbs lighter. And yes, even that makes a difference going up and down stairs. 1 lb = 3-6 pounds of force on your joints. That's... not a small difference.
I've been tearing through all my Judge Dees at the rate sometimes of two a day. But two of them have gone walkies somewhere about the house and I know not where I have laid them. This bothers my completist soul no end. In happier days I'd bike to a library or the bookstore for a replacement but these are not happier days. After almost four months I begin to wish we were now as we were once before, but, well, we aren't.
Just realized something, after reading umpteen FFL entries about July 4. Our national holiday was Wednesday and there were no neighbourhood fireworks at all. Some crack booms very far away, possibly even as far as the lakefront, but no fire crackers in tin cans in the streets around here. Which is odd, because I could swear there was neighbourhood stuff on the Victoria Day weekend, or whatever it's called now. But appreciated, yes.
Been a while since we've had an unbroken string of +30C/ 90F weeks. Even 2018, which I recall as unendingly hot, only did it for a week at a time. The consolation is that this is a dry heat, so somehow I'm quite comfortable just with fans and the window AC only at night. And for futue reference, the unseasonably cold spring that led me to keep the windows in the side rooms closed, even in June, proves that the house stays cooler than if I open them in seasonable weather and close them in hot, because the heat never has a chance to get into the house. Mind, if we start having 35C/90F days, that might change.
One of my chronic 'get it off the shelf' books is Walter Pater's The Renaissance, and the reason why I can't read it is because Pater's prose makes me think I don't understand English. Here, for example, is him talking about sculpture:
"Luca della Robbia, and the other sculptors of the school to which he belongs, have before them the universal problem of their art; and this system of low relief is the means by which they meet and overcome the special limitation of sculpture—a limitation resulting from the material and the essential conditions of all sculptured work, and which consists in the tendency of this work to a hard realism, a one-sided presentment of mere form, that solid material frame which only motion can relieve, a thing of heavy shadows, and an individuality of expression pushed to caricature. Against this tendency to the hard presentment of mere form trying vainly to compete with the reality of nature itself, all noble sculpture constantly struggles: each great system of sculpture resisting it in its own way, etherealising, spiritualising, relieving its hardness, its heaviness and death. The use of colour in sculpture is but an unskilful contrivance to effect, by borrowing from another art, what the nobler sculpture effects by strictly appropriate means. To get not colour, but the equivalent of colour; to secure the expression and the play of life; to expand the too fixed individuality of pure, unrelieved, uncoloured form—this is the problem which the three great styles in sculpture have solved in three different ways.
Allgemeinheit— breadth, generality, universality— is the word chosen by Winckelmann, and after him by Goethe and many German critics, to express that law of the most excellent Greek sculptors, of Pheidias and his pupils, which prompted them constantly to seek the type in the individual, to abstract and express only what is structural and permanent, to purge from the individual all that belongs only to him, all the accidents, the feelings, and actions of the special moment, all that (because in its own nature it endures but for a moment) is apt to look like a frozen thing if one arrests it."
Somehow I never had these problems with sculpture. "...the hard presentment of mere form trying vainly to compete with the reality of nature itself"? It is? It does? Guy, what are you talking about?
I only keep on with this because somewhere in Pater there's supposed to be all this gay subtext. But I probably won't be able to recognize it when it peers through the dense thicket of Pater's prose.