January 23rd, 2006


Creeping Up

The cat is staring at me while I eat lettuce. She knows what it is, but still gives me that look that says I should feel guilty about eating something and not giving her any of it. She has a whole bowl of kitty food in the other room, but she still sits here, squinting her eyes and purring, watching me eat something she detests. Kitties are masters of guilt.

Though the wind has not been as vigorous tonight as it was last night, it has been unceasing. A few clouds thinly veiled the waning crescent moon for an hour, but it has since risen clear of them and now hangs unobscured, but to pale to enable strong shadows. The early weeks of January bring later sunsets, but the mornings remain dark. Now, dawn will be arriving noticeably earlier. Already I can see a long line of pale light in the east, surmounted by a dark mass of lingering clouds. A bit south of east, between dark horizon and clouds, Jupiter is shining brightly with light older than that which is about to overwhelm it. The final hour is the best part of a January night.

The problem with staying up this late is that I end up getting hungry (thus the lettuce, since I can't find anything else in the house that appeals to me so near bedtime.) What I'd really like at the moment is some coffee, but that would keep me awake for hours. Coffee goes well with dawn, but I'd have to invert my schedule. I could no longer be nocturnal. That just wouldn't be right. I'll make do with lettuce, and cat-induced guilt.
caillebotte_the orangerie


Today was supposed to be the most depressing day of 2006. But then, the guy who came up with the formula for determining this is a psychologist, and he lives in Wales, and apparently he has to wear outfits picked out by someone who hates him, so he has cause to be depressed. Here, the day was much too pleasant to be depressing. The cool air sparkled with sunlight, puffy little clouds drifted across perfect blue sky, and the abundant recent rains have left the landscape lush and green. Plus, the wind has died down to a soft breeze which is making the pines whisper. It's very soothing.

What promises to be fairly depressing (in a good way) is the new production of Dickens' Bleak House on Masterpiece Theatre. I watched the first episode last night, and so far it's the creepiest vision of Dickens I've ever seen. Dickens could be a very creepy writer at times, which doesn't always come through in filmed versions of his work, but, if the next five episodes maintain the tone set in the first, this Bleak House may actually exaggerate the creepy elements in this sinister story. That's certainly better than downplaying them, as most television and movie productions of Dickens have done in the past. The tale presents a very dark vision of Victorian England, and the one thing I found annoying was that it is filmed very dark, literally. Many of the scenes featured such moody lighting that they were invisible on my television. Still, it's watchable, and even in the darkest scenes, one can at least hear the scenery being chewed. I usually don't bother with Masterpiece Theatre and its often pretentious and boring costume dramas, but Bleak House is an exception, and I'm looking forward to the remaining episodes.

The next few days look to be much like today, and then there will be more rain. I'm looking forward to that, too. So far, this is being a decent winter. Maybe that's why it feels as though it's passing so quickly. A full month of it is gone already, and I'm astonished when I realize that only days more than five weeks remain until March arrives.