December 6th, 2007

new year

Still walking

(1) Through six inches of snow, with a couple inches of slushy rain on top of that. Very pretty while falling; I thot billzilla would be loving this. The usual west loop was more of a workout than accustomed, as one might expect, more marching than walking, and closer to two hours than one, and it got to be not fun when I came around by the bay and the sleet was blowing in my face. And thence home.

(2) Less ambitious the next day, I took the east loop over treacherous half-cleared frozen slush and ice, mostly along the bike path or in the road, less than an hour, still a new balancing act. Mr S had shoveled the heaviest snow anyone remembers before going off to play in the woods all day, and on my way home I passed his friend Gary's house where Pam asked if they had gone off and left me with the shovelling too. Feeling guilty then that I had been lying in a warm bed while Mr S was up early shoveling, after the plow truck finally came through and plowed in our driveway, I worked on that myself for a while. Quite long enough, and got it down to the pool of water in the storm gutter, which I left filled with slush for better traction. Like lots of squats, with curls, only all in the same right-handed direction, very bad for postural balance.

(3) Anything that didn't get shoveled that day was frozen into solid ice the next morning. Is the worst for walking the thin sheet of sheer ice formed when someone shoveled early and incompletely, and then the rest melted and froze? or the pitted tracks through completely unshoveled six inches of frozen slush? or maybe teetering over the slippery piles at the corners to cross the street, without plunging headfirst into traffic. It was quite surprising how much was clear. I can cross the back yard to the alley without leaving any mark on the frozen crust. A light dusting of snow over the ice actually provides a bit more traction, although on the other hand it hides the ice. Again, very pretty coming down, and less wind.

Then a day off walking for yoga class. I drove through town, and left in plenty of time to get there, which was good, because on U Ave traffic was stopped for a train, which never happens. Idiots in a hurry drove up the left-turn lane and then hogged in front of my lane while we waited, which always happens. Then going up the hill on Old Sauk Road, I fell into line behind a caravan of grader, heavy plow truck, and pick-up truck with plow, which were traveling fifteen miles an hour. Two of the vehicles in front and back of me were impatient enough to pass the whole line-up, on a two-lane road in the face of oncoming traffic. And in the snow, right. As soon as the road widened out of course the grader and its friends pulled over to let us pass, but it was the car behind me that was first in line. And yet I was still not late for class. Coming home, after a great many errands completed in stately calm, I was tailgated up Park Street close enough that I didn't brake quite as much as I should for my right turn under the conditions, and skidded around and across the barely-plowed corner into our street, half a block from home, no harm done. Steer into the direction of skid to recover control. It's not the driving conditions I worry about so much as the other drivers.

(5) Today it is actually cold, and I am waiting for it to get up into the twenties as promised by the weather mavens before going for the walk. It has to get warm enough to snow. Check the wind sock at the coffee shop: start on the route that doesn't put the wind in my face while I warm up. Mr S is off delivering winterized equipment to The Nature Conservancy storage at Lulu Lake, having cleverly done the winterizing in his heated shop instead of out of doors in the wind.

I fail to understand the entertainment value of snowmobiles.
new year

150 some books this year, what next?

Reading a couple books from the book swap while I wait for more of my holds to come in at the library.

Having just finished Robin McKinley's Sunshine and quite enjoyed it, I'm looking at the public library listings for... other stuff. This seems to be her only vampire novel (so far, but one can hope), and something of a departure from what she was writing in the nineties, although I haven't read all of that -- only the classic fairy tale rewrites (Deerskin and the Beauty & the Beast ones). Some libraries shelve her work under Teen, others as Adult. This one is pretty adult. I like my protagonists wounded, barely coping, and constantly on the edge of breakdown (C.J. Cherryh did this so well in her space operas). I admire McKinley's twist on an alternate history, and the excellent hallucinatory reality of her vampires. These are scary fucking vampires, instead of the romance hero kind, which is all to the good, even though I have never been a horror fan (meh).

There are seven hundred some listings under Vampire Fiction. More than a hundred titles released in 2007 alone.