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Wed Dec 12th, 2018


09:27 pm - Outside communication restored
My copy of The Mortal Word arrived today, five and half weeks instead of the usual five and a half days after it was mailed. Am much relieved; the PO has been known to generate spontaneous black holes.

Otherwise we stagger through the last eight working days till Christmas. It is not I who am working ten hour shifts without breaks, presumably voluntary; and I hope those who are have a lovely ten day break. God knows they deserve it.
Can I even remember what I've read?Collapse )

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Sat Dec 8th, 2018


08:19 pm - Rivers thoughts
My, how simmering chicken stock stinks up a house. I could blame the bottom-of-the-fridge vegetables for it (I usually use fresh, and put them in the soup after) but I think it's just the nature of the bony beast. Can attest from living in Tokyo that pork bone broth making smells much worse.

So I re-re-re-re-read the RoL books while waiting for the latest, and still keep finding things I'd forgotten or never noted in the first place, like How does Peter know Molly can do what Molly does? Nightingale flipping told him. Of course, he told him first in a one-line throwaway and then in an unreported conversation, as per Aaronovitch's sideways style (cf 'enterology's answer to Cat Stevens') so I might be excused for not having noticed the first few times.

However these many times re-readings do raise other questions. Like why, in Soho, is Ash so hysterical about having cold iron in him? Granted, an iron rail through the shoulder is pretty bad, but howcum 'Argh argh argh it's cold iron I'm dying?' River gods aren't Fae, after all.

Speaking of whom, the Pale Lady, who looks like Molly/ the Faery Queen and has teeth (in her head) like Molly/ the Faery Queen, and attacks the jugular like Molly, at least, but who's called a chimera. Is she a Fae altered by the Faceless Man? or do all Fae have teeth down below? If she's working for the Faceless Man, why is she also out clubbing and looking for date rapists to dis-member (see what I did there?)? Natural proclivity for blood? (Which raises the question of Molly: if she's nauseated by Peter's blood to the point of vomiting, why does she come after him for more?)

The chimera in Dr Moreau's strip club: how come all but one are dead? Who killed them? Faceless Man 2? Nightingale when he did whatever he did that stopped Larry the Lark? (But they were dead before then, right? Nightingale reports bodies, which I assume meant corpses.) How come the last one died in the ambulance- what killed him/ her/ it? In Soho, Faceless Man 2 has a tiger boy, but after that the chimera disappear. Where was FM2 stashing the rest of them, if there was a rest of them? Why did he kill everyone with a connection to FM1, however long ago that connection was, like Johnson and Dunlop and Smith? IIRC it was the murder of Dunlop that put the Folly on his trail in the first place. Bad move.

Us Cartesians would like a few answers, is all.
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Fri Dec 7th, 2018


08:57 pm - Dilemma
Oh dear. The ebook of Lies Sleeping has arrived. To read in that uncongenial format or not to read? Must decide, and soon, because people are waiting for my copy.
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Thu Dec 6th, 2018


07:56 pm - The miseries of acquisition
How ironic that I'm currently up to the Hoarders and Wasters in the Purgatorio.

So a while back I ordered some Laura Ashley flannel sheets from a place called Wayfair. Sheets arrived with commendable promptitude. Not as soft as the ones from Canadian The Linen Closet, but well enough to give me two unpilled fitted sheets. (Three if you count the ones I got 30 years ago from my younger brother. The pillow cases of those are rags, but the sheets are still quite robust.) Therefore I ordered a flannel duvet cover in a grey arabesque pattern- paisley, supposedly- to replace the yellow/grey squares and the brown/ green checks of my current two, both of which swear mightily at my bedrooms' colour schemes. Duvet cover arrived with commendable promptitude but- was the wrong one. A Mondrian white and sage and brown. Not exactly checks, but certainly squares (or rectangles) and still the wrong colour.

I emailed them and they solicitously asked for details- what did the invoice say (it said 'paisley'), what did it look like, could I send them a pic? Which I did: even tracked down the online details of the Mondrian for them. Guy called me personally to double check on everything, apologized, said they'd send the right one at once, and I could keep or recycle the unsatisfactory cover, which I thought handsome of them. (They're in California, as it turns out, and evidently think it not worth paying the freight back.) When I'd checked the paisley cover again it had gone out of stock, so I was glad to get the last remaining one.

Tuesday I get a voicemail from the guy handling my account, saying their records show the delivery has been made, they'll close the account, but if there are any concerns please call him on his cell- which I could do, having America wide calling, but prefer not to. Also got a slew of emails: one from him, one announcing my delivery, one asking for feedback on how manager had managed my case. Great. Come home after hell day, see no package on the porch where previous packages had been left, come in and find the box sitting on the bench in the hallway. Delivery man had had recourse to next door just in case, and they'd obligingly left it in my house.

Great service. I don't even mind the Wayfair ads that now appear on every webpage I visit, and the email ads that crop up almost as often as honto.jp's ones.

But when I open the box it's another Mondrian. Email my guy and have heard nothing back since. I guess Mondrian squared are better than eye=searing checks, but oh dear.
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Tue Dec 4th, 2018


09:17 pm - Another one bites the dust
I never got the hang of tumblr, never figured out how people had actual conversations on it, and am not crying because it's going belly up. FFLs are full of 'welcome tumblrites this is how DW works!' posts. Nice if tumblr had ever done the same for us old codgers. "What this post is actually about is, with people from Tumblr joining in droves: How does one get a Dreamwidth reading page that's full of interesting people writing interesting things?"

Simplest thing in the world to me- find a user, look at their friends page, pick anyone interesting to friend, look at *their* friends page, and so on. Whereas tumblr always seemed to be happening somewhere else, with any single entry followed by a useless list of people who reblogged that entry without any sign of further comments at all.

Which said, I did find some good tumblr RoL commenters whose posts were interesting, even if there seemed no way to join in the discussion. Hope they come over here.
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Sun Dec 2nd, 2018


08:32 pm - Wet weekend, as ever
A December thunderstorm. How charming. -_-

Possibly not surprising after the October temps today- 10 or 12C, into the 50sF. Wore a tshirt under the winter jacket, because until the sun came out mid-afternoon it was a grey and dank 10C. Also wore the Mystery Trousers, which are the only non-elasticized waistband pants I own, and which I now fit into after the recent 10 lb loss. But. I bought-- and more importantly, wore-- them in 2007 when I was thirty pounds heavier than now. Thirty pounds is a lot of me: you'd think they'd hang on me now. But no: fit nicely, no more. I can only assume that, post-menopause, my weight redistributed itself again, putting it where ten pounds ago made the pants fit tight.

Finished The Furthest Station, which is another lost text. Lost because my mind retained the impression of pages and pages about High And Over which required me to google the real building to see what it looked like. That description isn't in the book. What *is* in the book is the unexplained (AFAICT) fox slaughter. OK, maybe the neighbours did it; but why include it at all?

Got Moriarty as an ebook from the library, and well enough, but the constant misuse of 'shall' is driving me batty. Yes I had to look it up to find out why it struck me as wrong, but turns out my ear had it right. As a future tense, 'shall' can only be used with first person. You can't say 'It shall be very enjoyable.' Has to be 'will'.

If solitary, be not idle: so to combat accidia I did the weekend laundry and dishes (bare minimum achievement, though why must this single person do so much laundry? I did two washes during the week as well.) (Answer: in winter I wear long-sleeved tops that sticky-fingered infings grab hold of, so one top = one day. Thus: extra dark washes.) Then vacuumed the downstairs and kitchen, mended my one remaining nightshirt, and darned a sock that's been sitting waiting for me to do it this last month. Might even write a few more Christmas cards to crown the day.

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Sat Dec 1st, 2018


10:45 pm - Argh again
Had my first physiotherapy session with a proper ie not assembly line physiotherapist. Turns out I've been doing my quad strengthening exercises wrong for the last four years, is why my quads are not strong. So much for the efficacy of mimeographed handouts, guys.
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Wed Nov 28th, 2018


08:34 pm - Blue cold evening
After this morning's snowflurries melted in the grateful sun. Wind strong but still, the sight of blue sky counts for much. Am still exhausted after only a few hours' work, which may be age or cold or the psychic fallout of extremely unhappy knees. Occurred to me that paradoxically, joints hurt less when I was living on muscle relaxants and maybe I should try them again, but all that accomplished yesterday, when I wasn't working, was a nap mid-afternoon.
MemeageCollapse )

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Tue Nov 27th, 2018


05:37 pm - In the teeth of the storm
Succeeded in the Last Task of getting snow melt (ecologically friendly, will not harm children, animals or concrete.) Rode it home on the bike in the gusty winds of winter, cursing mightily at the weight. But then considered that last year, those 10 kg/ 22 lbs were on me, not the carrier. Which is, I suppose, a cheering thought.

Also took a pair of pants to the seamstress to have the elastic replaced. Now, these are a pair of boulevard pants ie picked up from same, without pockets, and three-quarter length, none of which makes them especially desirable. And it'll cost $25 for the operation. New ones would run me much less-- if I could find them. But they're also warm without being fleecy, a combination that's increasingly rare, and the only other wearable warm pants I own. Warm pants for me are men's lounge pants in non-plaid colours (plaid is the dead giveaway of lounge pants, as are cute reindeer etc) because nothing else is long enough and elasticised at the waist, and for some reason solid colours are impossible to find.

And I can wear them over my thinner pants, of which I have a plethora because somehow they do make women's cotton trousers in my size, and take the upper layer off in work's overheated space. So go me again.

And now we've returned to our regularly scheduled winter precipitation, that was interrupted so briefly by yesterday's downpours and leaf soup in all the gutters. Did note as I sloshed to the laundromat (that duvet cover grew no cleaner) that at this time of year the sidewalks are coloured brown.
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Sun Nov 25th, 2018


06:04 pm - Staggering back to normal
Today, for the first time in weeks, I managed something more than the weekend essentials of laundry and dishes. The front hall is now (more or less) clear of the leaves that blow in/ attach to bike wheels and has been swiffered (more or less) clean. Ditto the kitchen floor in a bit more lick and a promise fashion. Of course, now it all smells of Febreeze or whatever the stinky stuff is, but that too will pass. Am thinking of a cleaning service for the downstairs, since arthritis and tendinitis make wiping such a (literal) pain. Must consider both bank balance and emotional reaction of 'but strangers will see how dirty my house is!'

Am still knackered.

OTOH as I went through the kitchen catchall looking for my other watch (because the metal band on the good watch, always too small, has now stretched to sagging proportions) I found my copper bracelet and put it on-- not that it ever worked before. But either today's massage was more effective than usual or copper bracelets work on arthritis when they don't work on tendinitis. In any case, ouchy elbow is currently not that ouchy anymore. So go me.
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03:38 pm - Dilemma
It's very nice that Lush has a million and one present packages, but why doesn't it have gift certificates? I can't use 90% of their products, given my oversensitive nose, and I'd rather not give products blind that may affect the recipient the same way.
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Sat Nov 24th, 2018


08:50 pm
Radio silence is down to the fact that this intestinal bug and its dramatic weight losses is not only draining, it's recurring. Has recurred twice since last weekend, and while the dramatic weight loss looks good on the scale, it doesn't make it any easier to get up and down from chairs or the floor, or to do stairs. Which is boo hiss all round. And dispiriting, because a few years ago I could *run* at this weight.

Loss won't last, of course, because even though I eat lightly and have for a week, it seems the one thing my body will tolerate is lovely sweet and sour caraway rye bread.

Stiffness and owies are doubtless also due to cold damp weather. This has been a precipitous year: what I'd give for five consecutive days of sun and seasonable temps. It's a normal 6C today, but raining.

Thus have accomplished very little. Did finish Goldenhand, which yes I know it's YA but oh seriously all this shy young lurve schtick 'oh what can be his soft emotion which enters my breast, why these blushes and confusion, why am I so undone in his presence?' is really a bit much.

Should reread Foxglove Summer just to find what I missed there as well as in The Hanging Tree. Probably should reread Broken Homes as well because I never got a fix on who or what Oberon is and there he is in the comics evidently being something else.

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Sun Nov 18th, 2018


02:36 pm
Woke up lithe and limber Saturday morning. Exercise is good for the aches, evidently. Lucky that I did, because 15 minutes later the daycare plague started, so there was much quick traverse between bedroom and bathroom all day. As promised, it's a virulent bug that isn't quite over 24 hours later. Cancelled all my appointments for this weekend, including massage alas, and slogged on through Goldenhand. Not helped by breaking my bedroom reading glasses and finding that all the other pairs are weaker. Hoped if the fireworks were over today I might somehow get to the Bloor St dollar store for another pair but the area is utterly foutu because of the Santa Claus parade. In fact my area is foutu past Ossington, blocks beyond where the parade starts, with busses blocking Bloor still.

I know because I got out this afternoon to that Shoppers and bought a Presto card, trying to be patient with the parking lot of cars filling all the streets between me and it. Had thought of going up to the one on Dupont, technically closer, but traffic is doubtless worse the farther east you go and Dupont drivers are murderous at the best of times. Anyway, it's done.

Tried to register the card at once- won't get fooled again- only to encounter the message
"If you purchased a PRESTO card at a Customer Service Outlet, you will need to wait up to 24 hours before creating a My PRESTO Account online." OK. So don't use the thing tomorrow, just in case; and hopefully I can still bicycle then.
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Fri Nov 16th, 2018


10:28 pm - A day
The snow didn't stop overnight or turn to rain, but was still falling as semi-sleet when I woke up. So got implements from the basement and shoved not shovelled (no heavy lifting, remember?) it to the side of my sidewalk (insufficiently broom-swept the night before) and my brother's and the Islamic Studies people's (untouched since yesterday afternoon.) Came in to hear the answering machine recording. Shift worker has the intestinal plague, can I be 2:30 person. My ordinary shift at 3:30 was covered by benevolent FT staff ('I don't want you to strain yourself') so I'd booked acupuncture for that afternoon. However: needs must when the devil drives, so I said yes, though I shall make a grand profit of $5 for 3.5 hours after deducting the cancellation fee.

Then trudged off in the snow to the bank, because I was penniless, and the Bathurst Station, because my Presto card has mysteriously vanished into thin air. And yes of *course* I should have registered it long ago so they could send me one in the fullness of time (mail has been delayed or cancelled by stealth rotating strikes) but I didn't, so I must buy a new one. The machines in all the stations will only sell regular cards, not students and seniors, but the webpage said the Gateway news stand in certain stations does. (So it's not a question of ID, evidently.) Station attendant knew nothing about this system and advised, as ever, to go to Shoppers Drug Mart. But not any Shoppers located near a subway station, oh no. The ones that aren't getting enough traffic, so the Presto cards serve as loss leaders. Shoppers are rip-off artists and it amazes me that anyone would buy from their overpriced selection.

However. Got down to the lower level, asked about Presto cards, guy says they do sell the S-cards (seniors and students) but the TTC hasn't delivered any to them in ages, in spite of repeated requests. Sounds like they want people to buy a regular card for the convenience of the thing and forego the $1.15 saving on each ride. This situation will become even more dire when they get rid of tickets and tokens entirely next year.

But the snow continues to melt and tomorrow, please God, I can bicycle, and will, to that Shoppers out by Dovercourt, and get a new Presto. I keep hoping it will turn up in a pants pocket or in the recesses of the Bag of Holding, but doubtless that will happen only if I buy a replacement.

Having today walked more than I have since, oh probably the last time it snowed, in April I believe, I'm quite zonked. Also left boot doesn't fit again: without insole it's too large, with insole it cramps my toes. Must wear thicker socks, I suppose. But the exercise does seem to have snapped me out of my invalidish mindset- oh I must rest my poor poor ribs, oh I shall lie on the bed all day with books, oh the housework can slide another day or week. My body may have a different idea tomorrow, but I hope to be mobile again.
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Thu Nov 15th, 2018


10:13 pm - First snow
Slippery slushy and unpleasant, but may melt by tomorrow.

Knees grind and back hurts but core strengthening seems to have done some good since last year.

Had to do childcare for a meeting, or otherwise I'd have been home by the time the snow started.

Goldenhand has alternating chapters and in my current fuzz I can't keep track of two story lines. Maybe I should just read each line consecutively.

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Wed Nov 14th, 2018


08:24 pm - Cold and blue evening
Odd disquietening thing happened yesterday. Went to my acupuncture studio down Spadina, locked bike to bike stand by the curb, had appointment. Came out, bike was no longer there. It was leaning against the store next to the studio building, and the open lock was sitting on the carrier. No idea how, because the keys were in my pocket, but the rubber casing had been twisted around which has happened before when people tried to meddle with it. So... someone unlocked my bike but decided not to take it after all? Just to show that they could? (For once I *know* I didn't leave it leaning against a building with the lock open. I will sometimes wonder if I actually locked my bike to the stand, because on occasion I've succeeded in locking the bike to nothing but its own frame. That usually happens if there's another bike there with a short lock that makes it hard to angle my own in. But I do turn the key on the lock and I'd never leave it leaning against a building.)
Wednesday againCollapse )

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Mon Nov 12th, 2018


09:26 pm - A glooming peace
It's supposed to snow tonight. Why is there a fly banging against the lampshades in my bedroom?

When I read The Hanging Tree last year I couldn't make sense of it: it felt all over the map. A reread shows much more coherency, but it's like all Aaronovitches, full of details and events that are aside from the main plot and equally weighted with it, so it feels like several plots happening simultaneously. At least I *think* that's my difficulty with Aaronovitch, whose books I always find really hard to keep track of.

To the joy of nations: why is it soft things (cream buns, grilled cheese sandwiches) that my fillings/ teeth crumble on, and not, say, nuts or carrots or suchlike? Repair scheduled for Thursday, which is at least fast, but there goes the money I'd thought to spend on a new vacuum cleaner. Of course, if you've already squandered several hundreds on two sets of new sheets and a new duvet cover, you have no right to moan about extra expenses.

Also my ear hurts.

I wear disposible contact lenses (lens, actually), one a day, and deposit in in the nbthroom wastebasket every night. Or try to. I keep finding little curled up lenses dried out on the bathroom floor. What I do *not* understand is the little dried up lens that appeared on the kitchen stove today.

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Sat Nov 10th, 2018


05:23 pm - Reading
FB RoL community reminds me that Peter wanted to be an architect, which Watsonianly explains why all the clear as mud descriptions of various buildings and housing estates. Doylist me still thinks it's just Aaronovitch having a hard-on for architecture. Since I'm as architecture-onchi as can be imagined, especially anything recent (my criterion is always 'does it work?' and the answer 90% of the time is 'no way, mate') this is decidedly a bug, not a feature.

Gave in and Googled The English Patient, which saves me having to read it. Evidently the book is different from the film, but still is all about People Being Stupid because of their great passions. That's a pet hate of mine onaccounta not believing in great passions in the first place. It's like saying that you had to do something because you were stoned out of your gourd. That's not a reason, let alone an excuse, let alone an admirable excuse, for destructive behaviour.

And my suspicions of Ondaatje's women seem to have been justified. From a Goodreads review:

I’m going to venture out of my normal review style here, and instead do a Q & A with Hana (the, erm... MC, maybe?!)

Me: *puzzled stare* Moving on: Why do you seem to have a pseudo-sexual relationship with all the men in this book, despite the fact that one is purporting to be "like an Uncle" and another is entirely bedridden??

Hana: Well, I am a woman surrounded by men, need I say more?? *shoulder shrug*


Say no more.

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Thu Nov 8th, 2018


07:05 pm - The mercury fell in the mouth of the dying day
A prelude to the snow flurries forecast for tomorrow. So why were there swarms of midges dancing outside the window?

Could it stop raining ever? I seem to recall one day this week the sun came out oh so briefly- Tuesday?- and the city glowed. But ever since it's spit-spot rain or thud on the window AC rain or at any rate, rain, usually falling on the bicycle I leave locked outside. Must dig out the WD-40 or the lock won't lock anymore. At least the wind storm on Tuesday caused no outages here. Was, in fact, kind of a dud compared to the other storms this year. I could even bike in it.

While waiting for Books to arrive I thought I'd read Eco's Baudolino at last, that's been sitting on the shelf looking at me these many months. Only it isn't: it's the bio of Leonardo that's on the shelf. Baudolino has vanished, the way books always do in this house. So I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd instead, because even though I know the schtick, I remember nothing else of it. Hadn't even retained that it's a Poirot.

Also vanished is my sense of taste; or at least, is much diminished. This is probably now a feature of the allergy season. At least it disinclines one to eat.

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Wed Nov 7th, 2018


08:32 pm - A little rest
I suppose healing takes energy; or maybe allergies drain it. But I seem capable of two hours' usefulness a day and not much more. However, since one hour today was devoted to cleaning out and rebagging several inches of sodden and misplaced garbage from the dilapidated wooden bins at work, I am content. Didn't get it all, especially the stuff that's so casually tossed *behind* the bins, because I can't reach and bend that far or pull out the plastic bins in the way. But I got enough, before it freezes in place, and that's what I was aiming for.

Also Plague has thinned the kiddy ranks at work so I don't even feel the necessity to go in and be a body on Horrible Thursday tomorrow. (Horrible because it's granola for snack day and the clean-up for that requires much more than the half hour allotted to it by people who have never done clean-up.) Unless Plague hits one of the staff as well...
And in my enforced idleness: reading WednesdayCollapse )

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Mon Nov 5th, 2018


12:45 pm - Some good news, some bad
The good: excused jury duty, medical.

The bad: results of x-ray, two cracked ribs on both sides. No heavy lifting 6-8 weeks.

The good: no heavy lifting, 6-8 weeks. Sorry Emma, Auden, Xavier, Waylen, Marc, Twins et al.
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Sun Nov 4th, 2018


07:37 pm - Stephen Hawking of the bed...
...has managed to lose the hardback copy of Abhorsen she was reading there just this morning. Meant to finish it tonight in preparation for tomorrow's ordeal. And now it isn't there, or anywhere.

I'd agree with the minimalist non-hoarders more if my experience didn't negate theirs so thoroughly. Yes it *will* come in handy. Item: spandex bra, too small when bought fifteen pounds ago, fits fine now and happily squashes the boob whose sag so irritates the spasming rib muscle. Item: the spandex tube camisole from seven years ago, so kind to my neck muscles when my shoulders couldn't bear the touch of a bra strap, now stretched and unsupportive of anything mammary: but just fine for holding in the lower rib muscles. There was a brief moment yesterday in the walk-in clinic when I was feeling no stabs at all, and how very nice that was. I'd certainly been meaning to chuck the tube tops and am so glad I didn't.

Walk-in clinic because my pulled muscle wasn't doing the 'better in 2 or 3 days' thing. He sent me for x-rays but basically said nothing to be done, even if it turned out to be a cracked rib. Time and rest, which, well. But I have another note from him for the jury selectperson, who I hope will accept it. Because it turns out that the OTC muscle relaxants, when taken in dosages that work, do render me slightly nauseated and very slow.

Meanwhile the city was very yellow for a few hours today- sun, such a rare occurrence- before reverting to tarnished gold and grey rain clouds. More rain tomorrow and winds, which will strip the season's glory from the trees.

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Fri Nov 2nd, 2018


11:08 pm - At least there's the bath
My flannel sheets are wearing thin, especially the fitted ones. The newer of the two ripped spectacularly last spring, which was why I couldn't find it this fall. The older dates from the late 80s and is too worn to be warm. Several outfits here sell flannel sheet sets and I'd intended to bike down and check them out on my Monday & Tuesday off. But of course I didn't get them off, and after that I was crippled and it was raining: sometimes, as on Thursday, really *really* heavily and all day.

I bought flannel pillowcases last spring from Bed Bath and Beyond and was not impressed by the choice and quality. So I checked out The Linen Chest's online offerings. Nothing quite as elegant as the blue and white flower arabesques from 1988. Flannel sets, by some universal agreement, must come in either bold ugly plaids like my brown and green duvet cover from 2007, or twee Christmas themes featuring small cute animals.

But there was one subdued pattern called Birchbank that I felt I could live with. Bought it online with express Canada Post delivery, and my but CP was unwontedly informative about what stage they were at where. I worried a touch about the 'no drop delivery' thing, but figured I was more than likely to be in on the weekend which was the earliest I could expect them.

But no. Today as I gingerly manhandled the bike out the front door, the white van pulls up and an unexpectedly aged Postie brings me a large box. I have now wrestled the undersheet on to the futon and am pleased at its cozy softness. And am now tempted to spring for a flannel duvet cover- those things are always a hideous price- but if it isn't a manly plaid in the same mud colours they also insist on making flannel nightshirts in, it might well be worth it.

Except that all the ones available are indeed mud colours or twee rainbows. Ah well...
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Wed Oct 31st, 2018


09:17 pm - New experiences
Falling off stairs while pushing bike up same: achievement unlocked, as James Davis Nicoll would say. The good part was that I landed on earth, not concrete; the bad is that I banged the left side of my body on next door's steps as I fell; the good is that next door has wooden steps. So some stunning bruises, but the one major pain is a muscle in spasm above one of my ribs. Same one that got sent into spasm 20 years ago during a coughing fit, which argues a structural weakness. How lucky I have muscle relaxants and heating pads and not much in the way of work tomorrow and Friday.

That bicycle hates me anyway. Loves to faint gracefully and fall to the ground no matter how I lock it, and will even do it when I'm holding it upright. And gash my leg as it collapses if it possibly can.
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Sun Oct 28th, 2018


10:18 pm - Silver linings
I like to read, yes, but this is the second weekend I've spent indoors reading while reprising the last act of La Traviata, and it's getting old. Although I suppose if I wander into Old City Hall in a week's time, hacking, sneezing, strangling and weeping the way I have been this last week, they'll send me back home pronto.

And I did finish Sabriel in a day, which I've intended to reread for years and of which I remembered absolutely nothing from 2003. So there's that.

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Sat Oct 27th, 2018


09:24 pm - Memo
A note to the weather gods: my nostalgia for 2012 does not extend to a replay of its week-long Sandy-induced sogginess. I'd truly be much happier without it.
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Fri Oct 26th, 2018


11:41 pm - So tired
So what have I been doing in this late October week when in happier days (2012) I was discussing Marvel films with Sabina and dragons with Genevieve? Coughing, mostly; drinking too much ie at all; eating out every day but today; and being called in to do shifts for other people when really I want only to sleep and sleep and sleep.

I shall do that this weekend, and barring Dolorous Phonecalls, Monday and Tuesday as well.

At least the General Meeting is over for this year. I had two babies both of whom fell asleep early and slept practically until meeting's end. One I actually woke up after 90 minutes so that her mother, alone for the week, might actually get her to bed before midnight. The other I let sleep, because if both parents insist on attending the meeting, they can live with the consequences. The avenging angel, I.
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Mon Oct 22nd, 2018


07:55 pm - Makes her feel the way she used to feel III
Cold dark blue October night with full(ish) moon, and I hurt hurt hurt all day. Can no longer do 4 hours straight of child-lifting. Have not had a drink in a week on the grounds that alcohol upsets the tum, but tum is upset in spite of abstinence, so I went to my old local, By The Way at Brunswick and Bloor, and had two cocktails. In spite of new decor BtW is still the BtW of old, especially when they dim the lights; jazz plays, couples chat in the half-empty restaurant (when full, the din does indeed get a bit much, but so it did pre-reno as well), Don the waiter is still there after twenty-some years, and I float gently in nostalgia and alcoholic haze. (BtW's guaranteed 2 oz per cocktail does indeed induce more floatiness than Japas' putative 3 oz per cocktail, so Japas is lying, the cows.) While here in the the past I google the Magnificent Helen and discover that "Helen enjoyed acting in a range of roles before she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia and chose to focus on school and social activism." That's my girl.

(The cafe yesterday was playing Steely Dan. 'Roll out the bones and raise up your pitcher/ Raise up your glass to Good King John.' I raise a glass to the Magnificent Helen.)
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Sun Oct 21st, 2018


09:28 pm - Yarg
1. The thermostat is set at 20C and my house is still cold. (This is because the thermostat was actually at 16. It's now at 20 and the house is too hot.)

2. My android phone keeps giving me messages that the battery is overheating and asks me what I want to do about it. One option is 'dismiss' and I forget the other, but nothing much happens whichever one I click. Phone doesn't seem noticeably warm in any case. Google about, find the number combination that will tell you your battery's status (and no, it's not an option on the battery menu), check battery's status, am told it's dead. Still functions, but is dead.

3. Thought I had allergies, appear to have a cold, thus spent tedious weekend mostly indoors. Did finish Lucy Mangan's Bookworm: a memoir of childhood reading, which is well enough though I disagree with her on many things, including the superiority of Randolph Caldecott over Walter Crane. I can see why she (and Maurice Sendak as well) say so, but I prefer Crane to Caldecott for the same reason I prefer Botticelli to Raphael.

Speaking of Sendak, I also prefer Wild Things to Night Kitchen, and possibly Outside Over There to both, though not for the kids, of course. Night Kitchen is just too much Little Nemo in Slumberland for me, and Laurel and Hardy gave me nightmares as a child.

More pleasantly, finished Moominsummer Madness and The Exploits of Moominpapa. Moomin mère is the antithesis of Mangan's to my mind abusive mother, though Mangan doesn't quite say she is. Shall continue reading Moomins for the gentle pleasure of the world, so different from this one.

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Fri Oct 19th, 2018


08:55 pm - Rejoice with me, part the whatever
The twins have lost their hats. The twins didn't have hats yesterday when they needed them but their father was certain they'd had them today, except they were nowhere to be found. Probably K&M tossed them into a black hole, being the kind of twins that are pillow-worded with 'terrible'. So just to double check I looked amongst the cubbies where the hats ought to be, and looked in the infant cubbies beside them, and then under the adult coats and paraphernalia across from the infant cubbies, because all these are at toddler height and toddlers waiting for diaper changes have been known to shuffle objects from one place to another. I found no twin hats anywhere but under the adult coat rack I did find a black knobbly thing which turned out to be my headlight-on-a-strap, not stolen from my pannier after all. And a good thing too, because the replacement one I had does not light no matter how many new batteries I put into it, and the strap somehow got severed as well, and was thus a total bust. So, happiness.

Crossed off the 'Don'wanna' list as well was renewing my Ontario ID card, useful thingy for people who don't drive. 4-6 weeks, said the uncivil servant. 'And if there's a mail strike?' I asked, since rotating strikes start on Monday. She shrugged, indifferent. Maudit espèce d'un petit fonctionnaire. (Hmm- does that change gender if the Babu in question is female?) Anyway, if I need ID befoe then, I still have my passport-- erm, here somewhere.

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Thu Oct 18th, 2018


09:06 pm - Rejoice again
My mother had an unparalleled genius for losing things in her bed, or rather, in her half of the bed. Cigarette packs, library books, spoons, newspapers... I may have done her one better last night. Was sleeping, woke up to cough, nightguard flew out of my mouth and landed on the floor, Buggrit said I and went back to sleep. This morning I looked for it on the floor. Not there. Looked under the overhang of the futon platform drawers and the unclosing bottom drawer of the Ikea chest. Not there. Pulled chests of drawers out from the wall, releasing dust bunnies, which vacuumed, but no nightguard. Pulled platform drawers out, ditto ditto and ditto. Shoved Ikea chest to the wall, pulled heavy cumbersome platform into middle of room, peered at other side that sits next to wall. Nowt.

Ah well, thought I, there goes the surplus cash I'd thought to spend on a stove. Sighed, dragged futon higher on platform because it had worked its way down last time I flipped it, checked to see how it lined up with the top edge: and there on the floor at the head of the bed was my nightguard. Futons, so inert when you want them to move, so movable when you want them to stay put. Then shoved everything back where it belongs with my poor poor elbows and wrists, turned on air purifier, and took heavy dose antihistamine because dust bunnies in November are simple overkill.

However: room is now vacuumed and dusted and I have my nightguard back.
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Wed Oct 17th, 2018


10:43 pm - Alarums
Malgré M. Malraux's dictum in my LJ profile, adults are occasionally to be found. There are a whole two of them at work, and luckily the older of them was working the late shift when our pipes backed up late this afternoon. Adult in this case means 'takes responsibility', so she was the one who called the uni's emergency number, consulted with the guy who came, insisted on having a plumber sent right away (will take two to three hours, says guy at 7 pm) stayed until he came and waited to see whether he could clear it or if we'd have to stay closed tomorrow. In the meanwhile she called all affected staff and governing cttee members and set up procedures for informing parents. I know this because I stayed till the plumber arrived, doing what I most like to do, be an extra and possibly helpful body; and very grateful I was that it wasn't me having to deal with the situation, because I'm not an adult either. (I *was* the one who figured that the leak was in fact a back up, so go me there.)

Elbows are appallingly hurty lately in spite of acupuncture yesterday and massage today. The fault is probably this tablet's. But I bought a camel hair elbow brace today and the warmth seems to work, at least judging by the owies when I take it off. But I wonder about the feasability of buying an old wool sweater and using the sleeves instead. Soft cashmere wool around my joints sounds heavenly: camel hair is not what you'd call smooth.

Reading meme must wait till tomorrow. I have taken an ativan,which is notoriously useless for things like MRIs and airplane trips and panic attacks, but which works marvellously small-scale to smooth the frets of a fretful day and make the world look sublime and happy, and I intend to enjoy the high until it puts me to sleep.
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Tue Oct 16th, 2018


09:59 pm - Alas
Chiz curses of this week was the internal shenanigans that prevented me from having dim sum with Petronia yesterday, last chance before baby and all. And as that was probably the highlight of my social season this fall, I am dejected. However, now that the bug seems to be fading (touch wood), so too are the wanhope and aches that accompanied it, for which I am properly grateful. There's always next year's convention, and baby will still be at the portable stage, so one may hope.

Toronto is at the blue and yellow stage of autumn and the weather is cold enough that the trees can be seen to advantage, which is something else to be happy about.
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Sun Oct 14th, 2018


08:34 pm - Slow days
Kind of a sleepy weekend, whether because of allergies or muscle relaxants or weltschmerz I couldn't say. Accomplishments include

-- voted in advanced poll for the city election, not expecting anything much to change municipally. We're 'wagons in a circle' time against our provincial drug boss which tends to promote the devils we know. Poll was down in Chinatown where I bike twice a week and I still got lost looking for the Cecil St Community Centre because I was thinking of the public school a block north.

-- rewarded myself after by brunch at the AGO, with its consoling cocktails. Also got replacement membership card since the new one has failed to materialize after six weeks. They still won't let me in with my backpack and lower back still wants to spasm even with stretching, massage and acupuncture, so didn't see any exhibits. Do I have a membership simply to get 10% off at the Bistro? Seems so.

-- made crockpot turkey breast and veg on short setting (4 hours). Carrots were well-done but that, I fancy, was because I boiled my frozen chicken stock just-in-case some of it was more than six months old, and boiled the carrots in it. But the celery was done too so maybe short setting is the trick.

-- finished a buncha books, half kids', one YA, and one detective fluff:

Finn Family Moomintroll, that really needs to be read in paper;

Christie's Why Didn't They Ask Evans, retitled The Boomerang Clue for reasons best known to the retitler, because it isn't a clue that boomerangs. I'd read it before and thought I knew what happened, but in fact I was thinking of Lord Edgeware Dies: so I was waiting for London hat makers to show up- if it's a hat maker in that one- and found myself firmly stuck in the Welsh countryside until the denouement;

Tahereh Mafi's Whichwood, odd and disquieting as ever. The setting is an A/U Persian town and maybe that's some ancient Persian custom referenced therein, but really...

Virginia Hamilton's The Dark Way: stories from the spirit world. Shall probably work my way through Hamilton's oeuvre now, partly in the wake of Zora Neale Hurston.

Yesterday froze, in winter coat; today I was too warm in cloth fall jacket. Thus October always. Have taken to wearing legwarmers up around my knees, hoping warmth will abate the twinges somewhat. Placebo maybe, but it seems to help.

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Sat Oct 13th, 2018


09:49 pm - Weekend at last
Very achy at work yesterday, went to get muscle relaxants from backpack, muscle relaxants weren't in any of the compartments. Could have sworn I had half a pack's worth left, but they weren't anywhere in my house either. This morning I reached into backpack to check for something and the first thing my hand touched was half a pack's worth of Robaxacet. I hate my bag of holding so much.

In a happier mood, last night was devoted to atmospheric dreaming. In one I was at a tony wine tasting laid on for my father by my godmother at the old-fashioned law office where he used to work, all walnut panelling and brass fittings and discreet lighting. (His real office was in a sterile 60s office building lit by fluorescents.) My brother was there too, but I had a feeling we'd kind of crashed the event. I wasn't supposed to, of course, but I opened one of the bottles, which is to say I sliced it in half down the middle and remarked in surprise to John that there was no core or pit in the centre- it was all yellow wine right through.

An earlier dream was about doing cleanup at the daycare, which wasn't the daycare but a second floor open-concept loft-like space with wooden walls. I was trying to get the last kid to go home with his parents (kid is the son of our local trans activists) but he kept on talking as is, in fact, his wont.

And in between was a sexual dream about the two oldest dragon brothers who sort-of kind-of kept morphing into Papuwa's Magic and Servis. I'm happy to encounter either set of brothers again in my dreams, and more than happy to have an erotic dream at all, because that just doesn't happen in the post-hormonal state.

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Thu Oct 11th, 2018


09:05 pm - Heavy-eyed
I know that it doesn't matter how much sleep I get, if I have to be up before I want to be I'm a zombie the rest of the day. Yesterday's dentist appointment wasn't too bad, being at 10:30, and I took a codeine for the aches which saw me practically dozing off in the chair. But today's 6:30 waking, even with a full ativan and bed at 10 and sleep in the cool sheets of the front room, saw me in extreme blur through the middle of the day. Not helped by cocktail and wine at dinner. Am currently quite removed from reality.

Though last night- the izakaya near me advertises 3 oz martinis, and I had two of those plus some very good gyoza, and wasn't even remotely as tiddly as one guaranteed 2 oz martini left me tonight. So I'm sadly afraid that the local izakaya lies in its teeth, in spite of the gyoza and the close-captioned Japanese yakuza movies. Sad.
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Tue Oct 9th, 2018


09:20 pm - All summer in two days
Strange to see trees red and yellow stripping off their leaves in the wind when the temperature is 27C or 80F. Especially when the weekend was three days of grey damp chill requiring heat at night. I could perhaps have borne the (almost literal) washout of the holiday weekend better if this warm front hadn't been forecast to happen sometime, like maybe the holiday Monday. I could have been happy with the cold if it had been a little drier. I could at least have gotten my dark wash done and hung out. But as it is, meh: this Thanksgiving was pretty much of a letdown.

I read the Inferno partly because Sabina referenced it when she was here last spring, in the context of a deplorable family of payday lenders, IIRC. (Not sure I do- was comjng down with a sinus infection at the time and details are hazy.) It would never occur to me to associate modern day loan sharks with those guys sitting in the rain of fire, but hell, why not?

But also, at this very moment G is in Dante's Florence, as I was almost 40 years ago, and so there feels a connection that way as well. Mind, now I've read some background to the ever-pestiferous Guelphs and Ghibellines, I'm content to leave Dante's Florence to its own devices and move on to happier times under the early Medici. One feels that Florence must have been hell to live in during those centuries, but the resulting art was worth it.

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Sun Oct 7th, 2018


09:44 pm - Thanksgiving
Is it sad that my main accomplishment this grey cold drizzly holiday weekend was to assemble and use my Swifter Wetjet? But it *was* an accomplishment for gadget-phobic me. I bought it because the squeegee mop I clean the kitchen floor with gets dirty and disgusting and can't be cleaned itself, or not well. Ditto the broom I sweep with, and the Dirt devil vacuum is only slightly efficient for sucking up dust etc. A swifter uses a clean pad each time- wasteful, but at least not just spreading the grunge around more.

So I washed the kitchen floor at last, which is now marginally cleaner than it was. But still not *clean*. That I think requires some 'down on the ground with a brush' work. And afterwards- frankly, a cloth wrapped around the squeegee actually washes better, and can be washed itself, and doesn't smell of Swifter cleaner.

I roasted turkey thighs this afternoon because the super had no turkey breast. Turns out turkey thighs are better: moister and tasting more like turkey and providing more gravy, where turkey breast is always dry. So I had turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner, and call myself content.

In thankful news, the pharmacy has tylenol and codeine in again, in small doses- bottles of 30. Shall not resume my habit of before but am glad to have it on hand at need. Oh, and in 'check your drawers periodically' time, I discover that I bought two headlamp sets when the dollar store closed and the second one is sitting in a kitchen drawer. So that's me set for the dark again.
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Fri Oct 5th, 2018


09:16 am - Bref
My bike headlight has disappeared. I mean, the light on an elastic band supposedly used by workers who need their hands free, that I wear over my hat at night. Had it on Tuesday coming home from acupuncture, should have put it somewhere by the door or back in the pannier, cannot find it. Gremlins or maybe, alas, did put it back in pannier whence someone abstracted it some following day. Dollar store that had them has closed, maybe hardware guys have the same for, be sure, much more money.

After Bite Outdoors does indeed smell of ammonia, which I find reassuring. Won't help if, like the cook at work, I come down with Lyme disease.

Heat on last night (at 16C) leads to lovely morning lie-in in night shirt but no pyjama bottoms, amidst the flannel and wool and plethora of pillows. Would happily stay there till late morning, as I happily curl up there when it goes dark at 7 at night, but Work. Or, as last night, Dishes. Coming down to empty sink in the a.m. is a pleasure, but one comes down with coffee cups and glasses, so the pleasure is short-lived.
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Wed Oct 3rd, 2018


09:52 pm - Envy
Hope this twitter thread will export. It's about Chinese usage of poetic references and/or mmh 'four character phrases' that draw on a common cultural background to convey much in little. The effect of "boom, here have lots and lots of associations over all the times you've seen this cascade into your head".

Shakespeare and the King James bible might have worked similarly for, err well, people a hundred years ago, but I get the feeling the effect for the Chinese goes deeper than any 'screw your courage to the sticking place' or widow's mite does for us. If only because 21st century Chinese clearly still say 梨花带雨 and no one mentions widows' mites, or would be understood if they did. No, we are not talking about tiny relatives of the tick.

H/t to incandescens for leading me here.
Brief reading WodinstagCollapse )

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Mon Oct 1st, 2018


09:12 pm - Eureka
It helps to look at your bookcases occasionally, especially in rooms one doesn't ordinarily read in where the flotsam ends up. And so I am happily reunited with my childhood copy of The Divine Comedy, the one with the Doré engravings. (Well, not actually *mine*- it was my parents'. But the one I read in childhood, yes.)

I don't know how good the translation is, but I've bounced off both the Ciardi and the Pinsky, both in verse form, so a nice unrhymed version might work better.

And aside from that, if it's so bleeding cold, why are there still mosquitoes in my house and why are they still biting me?,

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Sun Sep 30th, 2018


07:54 pm - September draws to a cold grey close
Wimp that I am, I caved and turned the heat on this evening. Just enough to take the refrigerator chill off the place, because outside is still in the teens and it shouldn't go below 10C tonight, a perfectly reasonable temp. But I'm laid low by allergies and the remnants of gut unhappiness and the aches that recurred in spite of yesterday's massage with the splendid Naoko, back from vacation, so I shall indulge me. Besides, it's going to rain for the next three days, so indulgence is warranted.

Naoko actually managed to stop my knees hurting for however short a period, which was amazing. Press in certain spots and the bones open up; I need only find which spots those are.

Weekend was necessarily quiet and FWD, reading Christie stories on my tablet. Today I managed the regular Sunday laundry and accumulated dishes, and also cleaned out ancient vegetables from the fridge and took them into the overgrown backyard and dumped them in the composter. The fridge crispers are now clean and empty. Then I cleaned the humidifier from the bedroom and soaked all parts in vinegar, ready for winter. So that's two little foot-dragging chores accomplished. I could make a list of all the others but then I'd never do them: it works better if I have a spare loose-ended moment and do it then when I'm not aware that I'm doing it.

Back to the Rainy Willow Store, because I'm not sure I want to read Mercedes Lackey's psychic whatevers being Smrtrthnu ie Sherlock Holmes. Possibly A Study in Sable gets better, but somehow... I doubt it.

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Fri Sep 28th, 2018


10:23 pm - Malaise
Went to bed early with an ativan last night after a truly vexatious day with two inspectors at work and no student fourth body. Woke twice, grudgingly, to pee, and get myself back into the wasp nest intricacies of my current bedding (tried a flannel upper sheet last night to combat the ambient chills: a mistake) and was at last ripped from sleep at 10:30 by the phone and 'can you be here at 12?'

And I hurt hurt hurt all day: every joint and most muscles. In spite of eleven hours sleep, I wanted only to have a nap at 2 pm. So I probably have some kind of bug, which would explain the chills as well. But since I still had a shift to do, I dug into my tiny stock of codeine. And yes, it really does take the edge off the owies.

Of course, after being off it for so long, it annoyed the hiatus hernia into one of its 'worryingly like a heart attack' burning episodes. But milk calmed that down,and now I'm ready for more sleep. Good night.
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Wed Sep 26th, 2018


09:07 pm - People, people
Is it still full moon? Does that explain the three testosterone-poisoned loonies on bikes encountered this evening, zipping round corners, passing me on the right, zooming past me on the left only to brake abruptly in front of me when the light turned red. Add to that one pedestrian oaf ambling into a red light and not bothering to stop when I rang my bell and missed him by inches.

And the worst of it is that all of these goofuses are still alive, in spite of their evident death wish.

Just finished?
WJ Burley, Wycliffe and the Last Rites
-- a series, but not an inspector who really grabs me that much. Probably as well: autumnal will-less reading of British Inspectors is a bad habit.

Agatha Christie, The Sittaford Mystery
-- on the tablet, where it didn't parse very well. Well enough, I suppose.

Nalo Hopkinson, Brown Girl in the Ring
-- reread from 2010 and even better than I remembered. Helps to have a little knowledge of voudoun under one's belt and not just a vague awareness that there's a loa called Baron Samedi. As a regionalist, I'm for once delighted by the specific Toronto locales. They work because the book is set in a post-societal breakdown world where the well to do have fled to the suburbs and downtown TO is left to the mob and the cast-outs.

Reading now?

Still with Tell My Horse. The horse in question is the voudou priest that a loa takes possession of and 'rides'. The loa passes on messages by saying 'Tell my horse' ths and that, and when the priest comes back to themself, the onlookers do jut that.

There's someone who's reading through Shakespeare a few scenes at a time, which tiny morsels approach might work for me and my doorstoppers. So possibly I'm still reading Piers the Plowman while still not convinced it's worth it. As middle English goes, it has neither the fun of Chaucer or the strangeness of Gawain and the Green Knight and I'm probably reading it for sheer nostalgia's sake when I can't even remember which university course it was that I was *supposed* to read it for.

Next?
Forest of a Thousand Lanters by Julie C Dao.

Abandoned?
Raymond Buckland, Cursed in the Act
-- the one with Bram Stoker's stage manager and walk-ons by paper-thin historical people. Henry Irving has been poisoned! Henry Irving is not sufficiently poisoned that he can't go on tonight. Harry Rivers says, 'We must first find out who poisoned Henry Irving.' No, really? Not the most intelligent of books, this.

Mark Chadbourn, World's End
-- oh dear oh dear. As many Goodreads reviewers note, the premise is amazing. "All over the country, the ancient gods of Celtic myth are returning to the land from which they were banished millennia ago. Following in their footsteps are creatures of folklore: fabulous bests, wonders and dark terrors: there are dragons buzzing jet planes and shapeshifters on industrial estates, but their existence threatens the very fabric of the modern world." The execution OTOH is- oh dear oh dear.

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Tue Sep 25th, 2018


08:52 pm - Blearg
Saturday was perfect. Saturday was cool and sunny with sharp-edged white clouds in a pure blue sky. 'It can be like this forever' said J Violetsdad, met by chance on Huron. There was a string quartet playing baroque faves at my aunt's retirement home, a lovely thing to walk into though alas, they started at 2 and were finished at the tea time hour of 3 so I only caught a few minutes.

And Sunday wasn't bad- warmer in the sun, and an abortive trip down to Mt Sinai (the hospital)'s Indigo (the bookstore) led me to an unexpected bistro round the corner where I had pate and Eggs Benedict and more wine than I should have.

But then the mug came back, leading to the classic Toronto fall dilemma of 'too cold for AC too warm for heat' but isn't there anything to remove the clamminess from clothes and sheets and skin? To say nothing of complaining knees and aching elbows.

It's dark at 8 which is about the time I get out of acupuncture, down in pot-holed track-riddled fat-assed-tourist-bus Chinatown, and I don't want to bike at that hour, especially if there's a wind from the north, and the streetcars are unreliable- going, always; coming, invariably, one always comes as I get to the corner and the light turns red so I can't cross to it. (Am perfectly happy to bike home from the stop before the subway because I bike that route twice daily and know where the holes are. But Spadina and Dundas- no. Just no.)

I have a book token from Indigo for a princely $25 and a book I want to buy, but the Indigos that are supposed to have a copy of it don't, the one that has nine copies is in the unreachable outlet at Yonge and Eglinton, and for some unfathomable reason Indigo Online suddenly has no provision for using book tokens. Yes, I could buy it on the card, but it's the principle of the thing-- because any time I go into Indigo there's nothing I want to buy.

Toronto has run out of codeine. It's on back order everywhere except, Daycare Hugh says, some place out in Scarberia where he gets his. Said he'd pick me up some but has probably forgotten. My doctor says two extra-strength Tylenol works better than one codeine and Tylenol so that's what I've been taking. On balance I'd say it works nearly as well, and truth to tell, I'm not unhappy about dropping the habit of decades. Tylenol will trash my liver but hey! anything's better than an opioid, right? (Do not understand the opioid crisis. People are overdosing and killing themselves? Surely better than the usual route of alcohol poisoning: at least you aren't taking other people with you.)

But there are times in muggy York here when I'd really like a codeine to iron out the aches.

So I am autumn melancholy and annoyed by it, because I don't have that many autumns left to be melancholy in. Shall have a bath in the Algemarin I discovered in an independent pharmacy, because all the chains seem to have given up on bath oil except for really stinky artificial house brands.
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Fri Sep 21st, 2018


07:27 pm - Bye-bye Frydy
We survived the 70-80 kmh (45-50 mph) gale without losing power, go us. I did walk the bike to Fiesta in the working-up-to-a-gale high winds in order to get bread and raspberries, and let said winds blow me back. Very dusty by the newly landscaping corner lot. Downpour later on must have settled the dust, temps went from 31 to 24, and are now headed to a seasonable 8C overnight: though possibly another cold front may blow through before that happens.

Fell asleep last night round about 7 or 8 with lens in and light on. Single glass of wine doesn't usually have that effect on me. Pulled myself back down to sleep whenever I came to the surface in order not to have a troublesome three or four hours of wakefulness, because these days it might have turned into 'irrevocably awake from 1 a.m. to 9.' Instead I was up finally at 6 something, did my exercises, and got to the coffee shop before 8 when the pastry was still warm, and still being brought up from the kitchen, and the place was empty. Dispiritingly, it starts to fill precisely at 8 when I shall never again be awake to repeat today's performance.

Reading Hurston's observations of 1930s Haiti is also depressing. Should skip that section and go back to the voudoun chapters, but my completist conscience won't permit. The voudoun section has its own blinkety-blink passages, like the one where a master is being interred and the title passed on to his successor. Hurston has no problem with the bit where the dead master is asked if he agrees to the succession and the corpse sits up and nods, but she's totally kerblonxed by an overwhelming sense of evil that attacks the assembly a few moments later, source unknown. 'American readers may not credit this'- the sense of evil- but are expected not to turn a hair at corpses that sit up. Yes, I've read similar things about Tibetan lamas as described by Americans, but enh- you expect that sort of thing from Buddhists.

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Wed Sep 19th, 2018


08:25 pm - Wednesday's little body is aweary of this great world again
One advantage to having our crack-dealing provincial premier proposing to redraw all Toronto's city wards *after the municipal election had already started* is a happy dearth of canvassers at the door and robocalls on the phone. Otherwise, of course, the whole thing is just sooo Mr Trump Light. Oh, and his attorney-general, who is attempting to overturn the judicial decision that said no he couldn't redraw all Toronto's wards, not now, is not qualified to practice law in Ontario. To quote Doonesbury: 'Go away. Politicians give me migraines.'

Had a doctor's appt this morning, left early just in case, sat on northbound subway train while voices apologized for the delay caused by malfunctioning signal lights at Eglinton, got off at St Clair and caught a cab. Civil Indian driver who came here in '97 commiserated with me on the state of Toronto streets and the noxious boom in condo building.

Sleep-deprived reading Wednesday doesn't remember what she last read. Under the Pendulum Sun, for sure; The Secret of Chimneys to counteract same- even foreign spy/ master thief Christie can be refreshing even with all the period racism about, though I've been warned off both The Big Four and The Man in the Brown Suit because of it. Also a volume of Dinotopia which is sweet enough in its way.

Currently on a Wycliffe mystery because Hurston and Hopkinson are still too oogey after Ng. TBR is a mystery about Bram Stoker's stage manager, and Forest of a thousand lanterns which is YA but may be OK nonetheless.

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Tue Sep 18th, 2018


10:39 pm - Tuesday is grateful
1. Last night's acupuncturist did a dynamite job on my mug-swollen biting knees. Went down with braces on both legs, came back with braces in my backpack.

2. Sweet sweet ativan sleep in central AC on my embracing futon. Spent the previous two nights in front bedroom to use the window AC and tossed and turned into the small hours, trying one unsatisfactory pillow after the next. Last night was oh, so pleasurable, not even my phone's 7 a.m. alarm could bother me.

3. Shameless self-indulgent lunch at AGO Bistro in the belief their special hand-crafted cocktail would ease the back pain after my three hour shift. Didn't quite, but I had virtuous potato and parsnip soup, and rather too many slices of artisanal bread with unexpected baba ghanoush and sea salted butter (that's $9 for the bread alone), so that's three veg right there. Then calorific 'bergamot lemon tart' and their coffee, the only coffee in TO that tastes like first class hotel coffee in Europe.

4. Day being warmer than one might wish, the pleasure of stripping down to underwear, wrapping self in terrycloth sheet in the fan wind, cracking open a mini-Pepsi, and catching up on the online pages I didn't have time for this morning.

5. Accomplished three feet-dragging errands: stack of books to library including the hardcover Sleeping Murder whose cover had come loose from the spine: not my fault that I know of but might have been; topped up Presto card that didn't need topping for tomorrow's doctor trip, but now I can use it with gay abandon: *and* the two-hour limit is now in effect so I might get to doctor and back on one fare; took bike into a bike store about spongey rear brake expecting to have to leave it for some time and pay, but guy just took out allen key, untwisted nut at back, pulled wire shorter, and twisted it back. 'Next time we might have to go into it.' Good- my long-postponed tune-up will happen at Sweet Pete's, when it happens. (Also priced electric bikes while there. Over $4000 with the tax, so only when I win a lottery because I'm sure it will at once be stolen. Can't see me shoving that thing up my front steps with my twingy elbows. Keep believing that a new bike would be easier to peddle, keep believing that peddling old bike must return some muscle definition to my legs.

6. Down to Lil Smith library for a book that I couldn't read in e-format: pages required. Picked up a couple of promising mysteries while there.

And then...

Dropped by work because to be told dryer wouldn't dry. Well, it would get hot but it wouldn't tumble and no one knew if that was dangerous or not. So loaded unwieldy bag of half-dried blankets onto bike, a procedure which always makes the bike fall over no matter how it's locked to the stand, and took them to the refurbished laundromat three blocks away. At least it *is* refurbished, with efficient new machines and air conditioning, so for $1.25 I got all the toddlers' blankets done for tomorrow. Hope there's a solution, even if only drying in non-tumble, because the balkiness of my bike with a squashy parcel on the back makes me curse like a sailor. There are a lot of sharp bits on a bike to gouge you when the front wheel swoons and falls down.

7. But temps have dropped and it's a blue breezy night, already cooler than last night's low, and I may need another antihistamine to deal with the fallout of same. But windows open! for a day at least.
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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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