In Which the List Rolls Over Our Heroine

2 June 2003

We got to The Other Change last night before dinner. We had allotted a decent chunk of time to shoot the proverbial breeze with Will (The Nice Mean Man), but he was once again not there when we got there, so I asked the clerk who was there, and she said he quit. Well. As Zed put it awhile ago, "No Will? No way!" I don't think we'll be going out of our way to shop at The Other Change while we're here -- we might stop in, but without Will, it's just not the same. More importantly, it's not as good. (A lot of things are just not the same. Fresh strawberries are just not the same as an empty fridge. They're better. Just not the same.)

I'm not saying we'll boycott The Other Change -- it's just a ways up there. When we had "our clerk," it was worth it to go. Now I'm not sure that's how the balance swings.

We also got gelato (me), or decided against gelato (Mark), or attempted gelato and found that it had gone south (Timprov). They had used an old banana in his sorbetto, and it tasted quite unpleasant. It tasted, in fact, of old banana. Which was disappointing for what was supposed to be a rare treat, but I suppose it's the limitation of using fresh ingredients rather than artificial flavoring.

And then we had a nice supper with Wendy and Daniel, although Timprov scoffed at my gardenburger. The guy at the table behind us asked us to stop having so much fun, since they were trying to be depressed there, so I suppose that was a good sign. For us, anyway. For him, not so much so. He then said that he was just kidding and it was good to hear people laugh so much. All right then. (Not sure what would possess you to say that to a group of strangers, but whatever.)

The charming thing about this apartment -- oh, can I choose just one? There are so many. Well. The charming thing that just came to mind is the way conversation is funneled directly into our windows from the walkways below. So when our neighbors make their charming phelgmy noises and spit in the bushes outside, it's louder than the stereo two steps away from me. When they chide their children (or their parents, or spouses, or siblings, or...), I get to hear the details of it all. One mom, for example, is always late, according to her nine-year-old, and never has the good kind of cereal. When we move, we will have a front yard between the sidewalk and our windows. And if somebody spits into my bushes, it had better be somebody invited to be there, or I will become That Mean Lady Down The Street.

I'm reading Pat Barker's Union Street. I think it's pretty good, but I'm not enjoying it very much so far. If you're going to read only a bit of Pat Barker, go with the WWI trilogy instead of this one. (I did like the WWI trilogy a lot.) It's pretty graphic and sordid so far, and I can't tell how the time structure is going to work yet. How much I like the book will partly depend on that, I think.

This week's list has grown to intimidating proportions, even though I did a few things from it last week and removed them already. I've been sitting and staring at the list, then adding things, then staring some more, then adding some more. Then I remind myself that the point is to remove things, not to add them. Then I add something else. I remind myself that if things aren't quite done when the folks and the grands get here, I can always put Grandpa to work peeling potatoes or something like that. He's funny when made to peel potatoes, or he was when I was eight. (He kept up such a running stream of amusing complaint, with Mom and Grandma making fun of him for his whining, that my eight-year-old self mostly forgot to complain about being asked to do kitchen stuff all day. They're pretty sneaky, those three.)

(Of course, when I was 14 or 15, I thought they were pretty sneaky having Grandpa whine about taking his cough medicine when I was little, so that I wouldn't whine about taking mine. Then I figured out that, no, Grandpa really does hate cough medicine. He has been known to try to argue the folks and Grandma into letting him take the orange stuff, because it tastes better, even though it's for a runny nose and he has a cough. Not so sneaky, that.)

I have added four non-trivial items to the week's "to do" list in the course of typing the last two paragraphs. I am on a roll. This is not the roll I hoped to be on. Perhaps I can get another roll going. The "selling stories" roll, for example; I'm fond of that one. Or the "hearing from cool people" roll, although my inbox is going to get ignored for awhile this morning while I do listy things. I will even settle for the "massively productive in a variety of ways" roll.

(Punnish whining about my inability to get a danish in this town omitted here. Aren't you lucky.)

Right, then. Time to start the roll off myself. Have a good Monday.

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