In the week or so that I've only been going down to the main drag a whole buncha trees have turned colour. Really must get up to the end of the street more often, before they fall.
Today was over to the bike store to see if they, or rather he (Dave of of the aptly named Dave Fix My Bike) had rain covers to shield Poor Bikos from the autumn tempests, or drizzle, or whatever. The one I bought last spring at tony Curbside ripped within a few months, most annoyingly. This one is a heavier duty material and will hopefully last till winter. And while there I got Dave to pump my tires and tighten my brakes, the first of which my elbows can't do in this sunny warm muggy spell we're having and the second of which I don't know how to do, except it looked like all he did was twist something on the brake cable with his fingers. Cool, if so.
After lows well under 10 for a week and highs mostly in the teens, we've now got summer back for a few days with mid to upper 20s (and annoying little insects everywhere.) Shall doff the flannel sleep pants and hoodie for the duration. The space heater has an air blow function which is a godsend because south next door has something- heat? fans?- that periodically turns on and off and that I can hear through closed windows and presumed noise-blocking plexiglass. Could stand it just fine if it were always on but the stop and start jerks my attention.
Second Vinyl Detective, which was good about lampshading the first Vinyl Detective but seems to have left the first suspicious death kind of unaccounted for? Also Medieval Myths which I must keep to compare against other versions.
Perpetual Kafuka, perpetual Muromachi poetry, perpetual Claudine. Was enchanted to find a Goodreads somebody remarking, apropos of La Maison de Claudine which has nothing toi do with Claudine, being Colette's autobiographical vignettes, 'I was so pleased to discover that that bully Claudine isn't in this.' Yes, she is a bully, isn't she?
To console me, Making Money, because I always confuse it with Going Postal. Moist too is a bit of a dweeb. Give me Sir Samuel any day of the week.
Oh, various ebook mysteries currently on hold. More Hazel Holt, more Louise Penny, and that Elizabeth Peters I started and forgot about.
I now have a routine of sorts, only six months into this pandemic. Or I have a bunch of activities that I've sort of lost my resistance to doing. Since there's nothing to do I might as well read Kafuka or practise kanji or read Claudine or do my exercises or read poetry in translation, as well as the other things I sort of think I want to do like acrostics and going through old LJ entries. This lack of disinclination feels a lot like depression and may well be it, johnny come latelying into my quarantine. The days are all the same and I remember nothing of this month even when I went out. I have a personal conviction that it all has something to do with not going to my coffeehouse anymore, just as they'd opened their patio and one could be sort of in company again.
For the last two weeks I really haven't been hungry and rather wondered why not. My body seemed perfectly happy to be deprived of starch and fat and sugar (bread and butter and jam, since you ask) which was welcome, given that I couldn't have them, but... odd. Well, too good to last. I've been hungry for three days and no amount of lean protein and veg and fruit can stop it. So I declared today an amnesty and determined to order in a beef bourguignon for lunch from my bro-tachi's favourite bistro, plus a side of the-hell-with-it frites. Door Dash is the hangiest app in existence but that's what Le Paradis uses, and I finally got my order in and it consented to read my card and then informed me 'Currently closed. Open at 5.' OK. Fran's. Fran's delivers and Fran is open 24 hours snd Fran's alone in Toronto has a hot roast beef sandwich. So I go to Fran's and page through its many many appetizers and finally get to the sandwiches and- it's not on their takeout menu. At which point I almost resigned myself to starvation. But finally went to one of my regular run-by-Koreans Japanese restaurants and ordered a bulgogi dinner. Which arrived very promptly with happy pictures and cheering messages written in ballpoint on the styrofoam containers- 'stay strong, Toronto!' 'we can do it!' plus a freebie mask. Too small for me, but it's the thought that counts. I dumped half the rice in the food recycle and ate my sweet beef and glass noodles and...
...was still hungry. Because now I want ice cream.
When one's books on the go prove indifferent, it's a lot easier to do the necessary other things like exercise and kanji writing. Yes, and indifferent French reading practice as well. Claudine in French gets on my nerves, possibly because I detect the slimy hand of Willy. But I wish I had better books on the go. The second Vinyl Detective came in. Once again someone wants him to find a record. Once again, no sooner does a lead appear than the lead is murdered. If the theme of the series is going to be 'accidental judgements, casual slaughters' then I'll drop it now and let the sixteen people behind me in the library queue have it instead.
Then, having finished the rather charming and certainly out of date The Medieval Myths, completist me has to start in on the only slightly later Medieval Epics which is what I read Beowulf out of in my medieval lit. survey course. But this is a translation, not merely a retelling, prefaced by in-detail historical background.
Thought I'd start out with El Cid because he, alone of the Medieval Myths guys, behaved like a decent human being and not (cf Roland, Prince Igor, and Sigfried) a berserker bathing in the blood of a thousand youkai/ whatever. I'm still wading through the preface to that which is all head-spinny shifting alliances among a dozen Muslim and Christian kingdoms, when I thought the tory was just about El Cid trying to win back the love of his king Alfonso who for reasons unstated had sent him into exile. Yes, well, reasons were that El Cid had been fighting against Alonso on the side of his brothers, since the three kings, in best medieval fashion, were constantly trying to take over each other's territory. So when oldest brother is murdered and Alonso takes over his territory, Alonso is not gonna be best buddies with brother's champion. (Incidentally, Spain provides a strong argument in favour of primogeniture. Though I suppose if you're fratricidal enough, it hardly matters if only one of you is king.)
Maybe I should read some Pratchett instead.
Also low-fat low-carb eating is getting old. I would die for some toast and butter, or sweetened yoghurt, or chocolate. Someone on the FFL lost thirty pounds not eating wheat or sugar. Won't happen to me, not with my sedentary lifestyle, but the vague hope of getting to what I weighed in 1987 keeps me sticking to it. I cruise various restaurants on various delivery services, click on pad thai and hamburgers, and then back button.
We're at that perplexing time of the year when it's colder inside than out but it's *September* and no way can one justify turning on the heat. Space heaters, maybe, for short periods, but the rest of the time one must just put up with cold fingers and toes. Whereas I wore a jacket to go grocery shopping in the 15C afternoon and sweated.
Also, in a burst of 'last blow of summer', the city has torn up all the intersections along the main through street, the Barton Corridor, which for some reason known only to the planning department they couldn't have done when they were repaving that same street last June. Is a nuisance for a crippled biyclist like me because it means taking main streets to get anywhere for ohh the next fortnight.
Yesterday was a write-off in terms of production because I stayed under the quilts all day reading a Gladys Mitchell mystery. Golden Age, yes, but somehow very uncozy. There's many more if I want them but I think I'll go with Elizabeth Peters for my next. Did however salvage part of the day by steamrollering through the Johnny Walker the Cat Killer section of Kafuka, so at least that's done
Haze from the fires on the west coast has reached us. M_C is right: it looks like the 2017 eclipse out there. Dylan's line about the pale afternoon comes to mind. Not helped by an early morning dream of being in Florida and seeing the same haze, only worse. This probably explains the scratchy throat as well, though that could as easily be allergies. Luckily it's cold enough that all windows can be kept closed and my air purifier on all day.
Doctor calls with fasting blood test results. It's no longer 'you're diabetic get on meds at once before you lose your eyesight and your toes!!!' which is nice, but I'm still prediabetic so stay off the g&ts and the cookies and the chocolate. Cholesterol is still high, so stay off the butter and cheese and croissants. Oh, and take your statins, boo. Doing all that for a week has dropped me a kilo, back down to the record low for this century. And unlike the other times this happened I can't immediately go out and celebrate with cake and a latte, so who knows? I may yet see weights unheard of since my 30s. And see what difference it makes to my knees, because the oddity is that they feel the same, even though I'm five kilos lighter than I was in January and the clothes that were too tight then are... still too tight.
Eh- forgot to crosspost this yesterday. Do so now.
Bicycle machine works OK with sandals. Now I'm wondering about the use 'every other day' thing. My impression was that you alternate workouts if they're really worky workouts ie heart pumping, sweat, all that jazz. I don't think this counts as that, largely because my feeble fingers can't screw the cog in far enough to get any high resistance on the machine, as also: high resistance is bad for knee. So after twenty minutes I'm a little warm, but that's it. Of course, back when I walked for exercise my heart rate never went up either, because I always walk slowly on my flat feet and twingy knees, but walking at a slow pace for an hour still counts as moving and my weight reflected it.
Also, if it's every other day, I know my internal child will say 'oh hell, let's do it tomorrow.' But every day means every day, like kanji practice, and I have the machine set up at the table I do my writing at, so...
One thing that will definitely be every other day-if-that is reading my new Japanese book, which finally consented to trot in two months after I ordered it (air mail in the age of COVID, sigh). 現代用語の 基礎知識 / Gendai Yougo no Kiso Chishiki/ Basic Knowledge of Contemporary Terms aka what the wakamono are saying this year. All wordtank, all the time. Which makes me think there might be something to the rumour that Murakami Haruki writes his books in English and then translates them, because his Japanese is grade school level easy compared to this. Anyway: I'm not likely to remember these terms but it's a good vocabulary workout just for the definitions.
Quarantine has led to a ridiculous amount of online pig in a poke shopping. Several pairs of good trousers that of course looked better on the Chinese model than on me. But they're still more respectable than my collection of ragbag work ones: better quality and better material even if equally made in China. One pair is simply too big for me and I doubt I'll ever wear them, but oh you know, never know when it will come in handy. And all of them are too long to bicycle in safely. Bike clips are not to be had in this town, or online for that matter, so I use a spare knee brace to keep the folds in. Not very elegant, but elegant is not me.
As for the ragbag pants... too disreputable for the goodwill, maybe I can use them as underlayers when the weather goes cold. Or use those longjohns I've also hoarded against need, because now I won't be going into overheated spaces anymore. I'll be hanging about my house, my cold house, because the flat rate time of usage comes off in November. (Though my heat is from a gas burning furnace and gas has no time of usage. It always costs.)
More dispiriting were the mask ties. I got both kinds, the notched plastic and the elastic with buttons, and neither keeps a mask in place. No, it slingshots off into thd blue whene ver you try to get the other loop on. So annoying. I have only one velcro bicycle clip band, and it's getting stretched out, but it's the one thing that keeps looped masks in place.
Then there's the tablet stand that I thought I'd use everywhere, as my s-i-l used hers (the last book stand to be found in the city) but I don't. I never need to have my tablet upright, though having it flat and leaning over it has to be bad for the neck.
Oh, and the cheapo bike machine is unusable with shoes, and is nearly unusable anyway. Sticks a lot, doesn't pedal like a bicycle, and I can only pedal it forward because the recommended 'pedal forward 10 secs, pedal backward 10 sec' routine sees my feet sliding off. Better than nothing, and I shall hope it counts as my 30 minutes of moving a day, even if I don't think it's raising my heart rate any. I have no upper body strength so adjusting the nut that dictates the tension is an iffy prospect: for all I know it's at the easiest setting.