January 28th, 2020

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

What a Trip

To my own surprise I not only woke up fairly early Monday morning, but I felt rested and fairly decent overall, and so I decided to go to the other bus-accessible market across the street from the one I went to Friday. Not only did they have several items I liked on their Monday sale, but I found that I had three special offers related to my birthday, which was more than a week ago, but I hadn't checked the special offer page a their web site until today.

They gave me a free cupcake from the store bakery, a free cake mix, and a birthday card of my choice (naturally I chose a card with a cat on it.) Not only did I get a nice airing on a cool but sunny afternoon, but the bus over was on time (an infrequent event) and the bus back was about ten minutes late (a more frequent event,) and arrived at the bus stop shortly after I did, so very little waiting. I managed to get the ice cream I bought home without any melting.

I also got home in plenty of time to eat the cupcake for lunch desert, and then walk over to the Plaza. At the Goodwill store I found an interesting book. It is a paperback of Henry James's novella The Turn of the Screw. I've never gotten around to reading it, though it is quite famous, but I did once see a televised dramatization, which was one of the scariest things I've ever seen.

This particular edition of the novella includes a section detailing the revisions James made between the first publication as a serial in Collier's Magazine in 1898, and the second version published in book form in 1908, which is the text in this book. All this is followed by about 300 pages of critical essays examining the tale from various perspectives. The novella itself is only a little over 100 pages long. It looks like it will be an interesting, if somewhat heavy, read, if I ever get around to it. Right now I'm still working on the frivolous mystery book with the cat who plays detective.

I've decided not to even attempt a trip to Safeway for this week's bargains. I've gotten plenty of stuff at the other stores, and can get a couple of items I'm still missing from Grocery Outlet or Trader Joe's. Anyway, the best deals at Safeway this week are mostly coupon-related with coupons that don't expire until early February, so perhaps I will be able to arrange to go after the new ad comes out Wednesday. I will need to get to Grocery Outlet soon, though, as I'm almost out of donuts again.

The weather for the next few days is still looking good, with partly cloudy sky and temperatures in the low to mid-sixties. Walking can be very pleasant when it's like this. It's too bad this part of Chico itself is not an especially pleasant place to walk. One of these days might be a good time to go downtown again, if I can get my act together long enough. The last time I was there I confined myself almost entirely to the University. I know there are other things to see there.
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Tuesday Night

For breakfast (which took place at half past twelve in the afternoon) I devoured the last donut in the package, so I had to go to Grocery Outlet to replenish the supply. Because I dawdled I didn't get there until fairly late in the day, and so had no time after that to go to the Plaza and check the books at the Goodwill store or pick up a couple of things from Trader Joe's, but at least I got my donuts, plus a coffee drink that was on sale very cheap, and four onions, because the only onion in the house right now has been around too long and has sprouted. I ought to try planting it in the back yard.

It was supposed to be only partly cloudy today, but most of the day turned out to be totally overcast. The mockingbird came to the yard and sang for a while this afternoon anyway, diminishing the gloomy atmosphere. The walk to Grocery Outlet was not delightful, but at least I got greetings from the six dogs who live in yards backing up to the street I walk along, all of them barking great disapproval of my presence in that part of their territory which lies inaccessible to them, being beyond their fences. That stretch of street is moderately busy with pedestrians and bicyclists, so the poor beasts must be barking their heads off frequently all day long. I consider them a welcome diversion in what is otherwise a dull and unpleasant bit of street, and always greet them cheerfully. That pisses them off so much.

This evening my mind began wandering, and I fell into a rabbit hole of nostalgia, remembering stuff from very early in my life. There's nothing I can manage to organize into any coherent bit of writing, but there are lots of stray images, like the time when I was perhaps four or five and we went to see the appliances on display at the gas company's offices (Southern California Gas Company used to have ongoing appliance displays in showrooms in their local office buildings) and the guy on duty— not a salesman, as they didn't sell appliances, they just showed them and referred anyone interested to a regular dealer— gave me an ice cube out of the freezer of a Servel gas refrigerator. My own ice cube! I thought that was about the greatest thing that had ever happened to me.

We later bought a Servel, and survived with it in the house for well over a decade, even though they had been known to kill quite a few people with carbon monoxide when the gas was incompletely burned. They also featured an ammonia-based coolant, which if it escaped could also be fatal or cause serious injury. After we moved to a house without a gas outlet for a refrigerator, my parents gave it to friends who kept it in their garage to store their beer, and it ran there for at least another decade, never killing anyone. After that it might have ended up in Mexico, where gas refrigerators, fired from a propane tank, were long in demand in areas without electricity. Sometimes, when I hear an electric refrigerator start running, I remember that Servel, which operated quite efficiently but always in complete silence.

Gee, I've had such an interesting life, despite it being so mundane. How did that happen?