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May 21, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

Toast

Take a piece of bread, perferrably good, chewy, nicely crusted, yummy textured bread. Homemade is good, too. Spread butter (or good olive oil) on one side. For breakfast I like sprinkling a little cinnamon sugar on top of that. Then put the whole thing in a toaster over, and toast it as long as you like. Or as long as your experience with your toaster tells you to go. Burning is nearly as easy as toasting it well.

Sometimes I think of toast as a metaphor for life, if you don't know your toaster or situation you can get into trouble if you're not watching closely enough.

So. Yeah.

I'm burnt. Thoroughly.

Didn't watch things closely enough.

Well, more honestly, I did watch and knew that I was burning out pretty solidly, but thought I could pull myself out of the fire, afterwards and spend some time scrapping the blackened bits off. It's been, however, as with burnt toast, a lot harder and a bit more bitter than one expects.

When John took two weeks off for his vacation, I took three days, all together. Which isn't all that accurate because the company gave us Memorial Day off and, because Xilinx hit the billion mark last year, we also got the Friday before the weekend. So it is going to be a four day weekend; but we'd already bought tickets to San Diego a few months ago that had us flying out Saturday morning and back on Tuesday. So we are likely to stick with the plan and have Friday off to take Fezzik to the vet for his chemo.

Fezzik is doing better and better as the days go by. He's active, friendly, and his Horner's syndrome in his left eye seems to be gradually clearing up. So it may well have been related to his lymphoma. Or it may well just have been what the vet was saying that in six months, it would just clear up. Daily, I realize that if we hadn't found the lymphoma when we did, he would be dead already. He would have only had four to six weeks to live, and he's already past six weeks. It's an odd thing to find comfort in, perhaps, but I do, frequently.

It's been raining...

Really, truly raining. Big drops and lots of water and it's been so amazing to be able to run out into the rain and be truly, really wet and feel moisture on the skin. Cary and Sudipto and I went to the Asian market one day and Cary parked at the far end of the parking lot so we could just walk through the pouring rain. It was so very nice, especially before a hot bowl of pho and ripe banana mango. Banana mangos are a milder mango with less fiber and less intense a flavor, but they seem to be found in greater riper profusion here than the regular mangos.

Alternating with the rain have been really, really hot days as well. So hot that one Saturday, when John went off to make beer for someone's wedding, I made ginger beer from scratch (lots of ginger, half a lemon, sweet stuff and a gallon of water and barely and eighth of a teaspoon of baking yeast. Simmer everything but the yeast for 30 minutes, let cool another 30, make sure the temp is < 90 F, stir in the yeast, bottle, let sit) and only three days later the yeast had created enough carbonation that the bottles foam over consistantly when I open them. Ack. It used to take a week. I don't quite know what happened; but the warmth really upped the carbonation.

The 18th, the first day I took off, I went to see Linda and I was the first person in her appointment book. So she bleached the roots and while the bleach was working, we waxed one lower leg, and then we washed the bleach out and while the dye was setting, we waxed the other leg. People wandered by and kept asking, "Does that hurt?" Of course it hurts! A little... but it really makes the skin smooth for the next week or two and then when the hairs grow back in they're thinner, so it's just nicer, all together, than shaving. And Linda did a very efficient job of it, with some nice stuff to clean all the wax off after and I loved the results of both processes.

The dye was the blue velvet from Amphigory, and it took really, really well, made everything uniform and all the streaks, the funny ends and everything all turned deep, pure, nearly purple blue. Jewel colors. Really nice. And, like usual, she only charged me $10 for the dye job. The waxing was from a scale that they have for the shop, so it was a decent $25 per leg, so I over tipped her again and she didn't mind.

It was very strange to have all-dark hair again.

Nice, too, in a way. Less striking. Lots of cool comments on the color, however. Including one from a pack of six joggers coming up Marshall Mesa on Fezzik's walk with the samoyeds. "Oooo... really nice hair..." This on a walk where there were rumors rampant all up and down the path that the rangers were there and slapping $150 tickets on anyone with a dog off leash that wasn't under voice control. Lots of panic but we never quite caught up with them and Boris and Forden were just terrors and Fezzik got it into his head to go charging up the path to the water holes, or down to the water hole. We kept having to grab dogs and leash 'em for a bit or run after them and hunt them down. My wrists really hurt after all that and we never really ran into the rangers. I was glad of that.

It's *warm* out. 80's and even 90's some days and the water's high at the park, partially from the rain, partially from all the runoff from the snow cap melt. Most of the mountains are now bare brown. Fezzik is swimming in deeper and deeper waters and the lower overfill area is filling up fast. So Fezzik now swims around under the bridge instead of lying in the drainable puddles right at the end of the trail, which is a good thing in general as he doesn't smell like swamp when he gets home, now. Much, much nicer.

Mostly, when I have the time off, I just sit and knit or watch TV or cook. Resting, breathing things. I can't seem to find the brain power to write much. So it's been good having the break from here. Yeah, it also means that I'm no longer following the novel stuff at all. I'll pick it up later, when I have a better idea of what characters I can actually live with for a year. So it is.

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