December 8th, 2019

caillebotte_the balcony


The storm turned out to be less intense than predicted, and Saturday afternoon I got a ride to Safeway, bright sunshine falling around us all the way there and back. The trip was enjoyable but Safeway was a bit disappointing. They are remodeling that particular store and some parts are in disarray, and they were out of two things I wanted, and something else I'd intended to get had been mispriced in the ad so I didn't buy it.

Since I had little to buy I got home in time to make a quick run to the Plaza, and there I found a couple more books at the Goodwill store. One is an anthology, The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century, selected by Tony Hillerman. It has an assortment of tales by the usual suspects, including Ellery Queen, Dashiel Hammett, Ross Macdonald, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler, but also quite a few by writers one doesn't think of in connection with mysteries, including Flannery O'Connor, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and James Thurber. This is actually a hardback library book, but I don't know which library it was from as they blacked out the name everywhere, though the pocket for the checkout card is still in it.

There is also a nice paperback called Modern Architecture Since 1900, a scholarly (though well-illustrated) volume from 1987, which was owned by someone who is now an architect in Marin County. His name was in the book, and I looked him up on the Internet. This was probably a book he bought when he was in college, as it has a UCLA sticker in it. The Internet also brought news of his marriage in 2018, and my guess would be that the merged households hadn't enough room for his entire library, so this book had to go. I'm happy to have it, as it contains quite a few pictures that were also in books I lost in the fire. I'm not familiar with the author, a William J. R. Curtis, but he was respectable enough to be published by Prentice-Hall, who also published the late Vincent Scully Jr., my personal favorite modern architecture critic, several of whose books I had.

The forecast is now predicting a 60% chance of light rain Sunday morning, so I'll probably be able to get out in the afternoon, if I have the energy for it. There are no buses running on Sunday, so any venture will be limited to the neighborhood. I still haven't gotten those cheese balls I wanted from the Dollar Tree, so I might do that. Or I might make it to Kmart to get a few things that will no longer be available once it has closed forever. If I feel energetic enough I might even do both.
caillebotte_man at his window


There was an afternoon vacillating between sunny and gray, and I planned to go out about three o'clock to visit Kmart, but I got distracted. A lucky thing, too, as about twenty past three the sky opened up and, had I been out, I'd have gotten soaked. The rain continued for another hour, by which time it was too late to go anywhere, so my trip out will have to wait until Monday. Being stuck indoors on a somewhat dismal day I spent the rest of the afternoon dipping into the volume of Thomas Hardy's poetry I bought a few weeks ago. That put a fine edge on my morose mood.

As I kept snacking this evening I'm just now getting around to dinner. I've got stuff for tacos, which might cheer me up a bit, or might make me nostalgically depressed over the real tacos of Los Angeles I can no longer get to. But given that I'm a bit irritable when I'm hungry I'm thinking a cheering up is slightly more likely. I'll take my chances. I really need to eat. Plus there's beer, and I might get around to baking that frozen apple pie I bought at Safeway last week. I've got ice cream too. If that can[t cheer me up nothing ever will.

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