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Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer

I should be done by now but I keep putting this down in favor of other, lamer books (see below).

Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel

I'm not sure why, but I'm finding her story annoying more than anything. I know what it feels like to be a depressed teen, O THE ANGST, but looking back I feel like I should have been slapped for moping around writing bad poetry and dreaming of the sweet, sweet escape of death, much like I want to slap the author, who spends much of her time in the book (so far) making her friends drag her to the E.R. whenever she's coming down from drugs and feeling sorry for herself. I guess I feel like life gets so much harder and complicated - in real ways, not inspired-by-Cure-lyric ways - as you get older: mortgages, marriage, decisions about parenthood, it's sort of like, who does she think she is, being so tragic? Wake up, it's just going to get WORSE, sweetheart.

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Tortoise adopts hippo.


My camera is still recoiling from the photo at right, so here is a nice soothing picture of a pretty glass plate we own.

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Monday, January 17, 2005

Rainfall and severed hands

It's ark-building weather outside, every hard surface pinging and zinging with drops that have been coming hard and fast since eleven last night. The temperature is much warmer than it's been in recent weeks, at least putting to rest for now my near-obsessive fear of invisible ice on our road (that whole 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger' business? A pile of steaming dogshit. Experience breeds wariness, and that's the truth), but this is no tropical sprinkle, it's January rain; penetrating, chilly, and gloomy in its flat greyness.

I don't really need a good excuse to spend the day in pajamas, but if I were looking for one, this would be it.

Looking out my backyard, I see a few small puddles, but for the most part the earth is just taking this wetness in, absorbing it like a worm-riddled sponge. This moist and crumbly part of the country, built to drink in the skies' deluge. I remember the year we lived in Las Vegas, how different it was to watch the (infrequent) rainstorms fill culverts almost instantly, water running down the streets in thick swirls. The dry, packed ground like a flat sheet of concrete, every nook and cranny rock-hard and rejecting the smallest rivulet.

Which reminds me, I don't know what was more of a jolt in last week's Chronicle (slipped under our hotel door - thank you, Hyatt, for not stocking USA Today), the tragic pictures of California's mudslides, or seeing a photo of Schwarzenegger right there on the front page, and actual quotes attributed to him. I know this isn't exactly a This Just In, but did you know ARNOLD is, like, governor of an actual STATE? I know, I'm writing from a state that's had about, what, 28957 recounts so far in an attempt to elect our own governor. We'd take Arnold at this point. Even after having watched this.

I'm feeling spectacularly lazy today, shuffling around with wet hair (hey, at least I showered), typing to you instead of tackling the mounds of laundry, the pine needles tracked all over the living room floor, the stalagmite of toothpaste growing on the bathroom sink. I still have a lingering sense of indulgence after last night, when JB and I had a "couple's massage" in the spa at our gym.

It sounds dirty, doesn't it? "You don't think this massage has a, um, happy ending, do you?" I asked JB when I read the website copy that extolled the "romantic, private setting".

I signed us up for the dual rub-down because I had a gift certificate to the spa that JB had given me over a year ago - it made the expense of a simultaneous massage marginally less horrifying than it would normally be. I'd never been to the Pro Club's spa before, and now I see why their prices are so high: huge lounges, a sparkling locker room with Bumble & bumble products in the showers, kitten-soft robes. JB and I shucked our clothes, donned the robes, and sipped water with lemon slices floating in it before we were ushered into a small room and tucked into fluffy warm beds where two cheery, efficient therapists spent an hour pampering our flesh. My god. Le sigh. So good.

The women's changing room was empty when I came back out, and I couldn't help thinking what a great scene for a horror movie it would make. A lone shower running down at the end of the hall, a pinkish steam rising; the bright whiteness of a spa towel slowly turning red; the locker, the one slightly ajar and...dripping? My god, is that...a hand?

OH, SPEAKING OF SEVERED HANDS (man, I never get to write that), I encountered a disgusting sight this morning, thanks to my husband, who totally did NOT deserve a lovely massage yesterday. First of all, I have to explain that my Captain Jack Sparrow figure came with an extra hand. You can unscrew one of his hands and put in a new hand. I'm not sure why, except that the default hand is set up to grip something, like his little plastic jar of rum, and maybe it's assumed that his owner might get tired of the grippy hand. If you're going to have a silly 30" replica of a movie character, you want hand options, by god.

Anyway. So this morning, JB came to kiss me goodbye before leaving for work. "I left out some sausages for you," he told me. "I cooked a bunch extra." Aw. Extra sausages, just for me. Little did I know I would be faced with THIS when I got up:

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