1. Bought a snowblower. I've lived in my current house in deepest suburbia for about ten years now, and never succumbed to one. Here in the Philly 'burbs, sometimes it snows, sometimes it does not. Sometimes the snow isn't deep, sometimes it's a couple of feet. I just shovel out. It's a non-trivial proposition, my driveway is about 100 feet long, but it takes a while, depending on how the deep the snow is. Back in the year (92? 93?) that we got 3 feet of snow, it took me two days. I've basically been lucky so far, it has never snowed badly hours before I've had to go to work, and my workplace isn't the kind of operation that can just close down when it snows. I'm expected to be at work. Weather is no excuse. Last year, on one snowy evening when I was asleep, my neighbors cleared by driveway with their snowblower, as I discovered when I got up to go to work. I repaid them with a batch of cookies, but I've always felt in their debt since, a kind of karmic burden. I have this thing, I have a hard time when people do me favors, I never feel I can quite discharge the obligation. If they ever do my drive again, I won't be able to stand it, I'll feel so guilty.
So I bought a snowblower. John Deere Model TRS12, a single-stage, light-duty model.
2. Light-duty, but big. Bigger than my Saturn, anyway, and the dealer doesn't deliver. So, the next day I rented a van to transport it home. Two days, shot.
3. Saw the Harry Potter movie with Taylor. See comments under verthandi's post on Harry Potter.
4. Did I mention that I worked ER shifts Mon-Thu? Not very busy, but we were closed to ambulances on Thursday: there were 13 in-patients admitted to the ER. Shit. Shitshitshit. This is very bad. There are several reasons for this, and none of them are good. The ER logjams of winter seem to be coming early.
5. My cold is better. Nose still running a little, but I felt back to normal enough to exercise today, 45 minutes on the Nordic Trak, while watching some of the Black Rose arc. Damn. Two years after I first encountered it, I still can't get over how good SKU is. Nothing comes close to it, in depth of theme, plot, and character, the integration of music with message, density of meaning, even things like those haunting watercolor backgrounds. I watched 'Wakaba Hath Flourished Verdantly', and 'Troublesome Insects', and the scenes of Wakaba walking home, down the shimmering streets of Tokyo, red with the setting sun, or the misty, rainy day when Keiko gives Touga her umbrella, scenes that are almost wordless, the whole mood and message is set by the art and the bgm. Amazing. SKU is just so dense with meaning and symbol. Like, for the first time, I realized the leaf hair ornament that Saionji makes for Wakaba but gives to Anthy is a visual echo of the leaf that appears in the display box on the wall of Mikage's elevator. How many times have I seen that episode, but never made the connection before?
6. Watched the Leonids last night. Not bad. Not exactly a 'shower, but between 5 a.m. and 5:30, there was probably one every 5 or 10 seconds. I thought I was warmly clothed, but it got cold during the 40 minutes I stayed outside, lying on a comforter on my driveway, staring up at the constellation of Leo. I hadn't worn gloves, I just put my hands in the pockets of my jacket. They were numb by the time I came in. Ack, I thought, I've compressed some nerve. When you cross your legs wrong and one falls alseep, it doesn't last long after you've uncrossed them. But my hands stayed numb. And stayed numb. I looked at them. They looked like this:
Yes, this is an actual photo of my left hand at the time. Notice how pale the ring and index fingers look? That's because they're bloodless.
This is called Raynaud's Phenomenon. Read about it at the link, if you wish. I've had a few episodes before, and they've been becoming more frequent in recent years. Always in the winter, of course, because they're triggered by cold. Running warm water into the bathroom sink and soaking my hands in it for a few minutes fixed the problem, but it was creepy while it lasted.
And that was my week.