Oh hello. I’m going to admit that I had no idea what I was going to write for this week. Usually, I have a subject I toss around in my head, but I can’t really think of one. So I’m going to tell you what I did this week.
Sunday, I went for a long bike ride (at least 26 miles) in freezing weather. Good times, really, because I’d rather bike in the cold than in the heat (the latter causes headaches. the former just involves long thaws. Guess which one I prefer). The interesting thing was that the sun really, really mattered because the part of my body that was exposed to the sun would be warm and even a tiny bit sweaty, whereas the part that was in shade was getting numb. There were times when I felt like I was pedaling on stumps because I could not feel my toes. I didn’t know why I was putting myself through this until I remembered that I avoid biking most of summer because I get nasty headaches and spend the evening vomiting my guts out (I am prone to heat stroke, after all).
Tuesday was Valentine’s, and I think I have a new tradition. Basically, you go have lunch somewhere where flowers and chocolates are sold (in Durham, that would be Whole Foods and Parker & Otis, respectively), and watch in amusement at many, many people frantically buying chocolate and flowers. I was looking for a Valentine’s gift, but not for my sweetie. It was for the gal who was always nice to us when we get our burritos every Tuesday, and she loved her gift (I got her 3 small chocolate pieces, not bars, lip balm, and dino tattoos, all wrapped up in a floral handkerchief. She later explained to me that she loved the dino tattoos because she has a 6-years old brother who would love them. Yay!). Okay, that’s two traditions- to watch the hustle and bustle and to make someone’s life a little easier. And to have mud pie from Elmo’s Diner.
The rest of week was mostly routine, but it might have been better than normal.
I also finished two books. Please do read Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman. It’s not as negative as the title sounds; I believe the title is there so you know exactly what to expect at the end (and there are reminders if you don’t get the title). It’s about a relationship between unlikely people, and told through the girl’s perspective, and I have to say, Daniel Handler really gets teenage girls. Or first-love angst. Or first relationships. It is true that the guy is totally forgivable until you break up with him, and then, only then, you do see the warning signs. It’s a rule of the universe. It made me smile and ache in a good way, and of course, Maira Kalman’s illustrations are lovely.
The other book, The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman, is a novel I would have some hesitations recommending. I didn’t realize that it was marketed as being similar to a Jane Austen novel, namely Sense and Sensiblity, but now that I do, it makes a lot of sense. It is about two sisters, one who is definitely sense and the other whom you really want to slap. It takes a while for the cookbooks to figure in, and there’s some discussion of dot-coms, the crash, and even some 9/11 stuff. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t fantastic, either.
Next up is Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner. I figure after reading some fairly recent novels and not really striking it with them, I should treat myself to some good fantasy fiction. The first chapter starts with a snowy image and it snowed last night, so I consider this a good omen.
P.S. Links I liked:
-Ralph Lauren Fall/Winter 2012. I normally don’t follow fashion but I do love tweed/herringbone/fair isle knits. I think I need to plan a fair isle vest for the fall…
-Richard Feynman’s love letter to his dead wife. Sad, but very touching. I love the bit where he says “Please excuse not mailing this– but I don’t know your new address.”