Preamble: I'd written most of what follows days ago, and I'll let it stand without the further elaboration I'd intended, but it all seems pointlessly trivial now. Whatever.
1. I started a new job last week. It both fails to meet and exceeds expectations, in different ways. But on balance, the job's a good thing.
2. This new routine is both easier and harder than I'd expected, in different ways.
3. I'm tired.
4. My feet hurt. Heels are much less comfortable than the barefoot lifestyle to which I'd grown accustomed.
5. I sometimes forget that I am not the only one affected by these new routines. Of course, everyone else in the household must adjust too, including the cat, who seems a bit insulted that I'm no longer available for him to ignore at his leisure for long stretches of the day.
6. J-F, Helena, and I take the metro together in the morning. Helena loves this. She and her father get off a couple stations before I do. Her loudly waving bye-bye to me never fails to put a smile on my face, and seems to brighten up many of the other faces in my subway car too.
7. I have yet to figure out how to squeeze blogging into this new life. While it may seem that I've been posting as (ir)regularly as before, I confess most of the past weeks' entries were things I'd previously written and simply had not gotten around to tidying up and posting. The 3 of us vie for computer time in the evening, and as yet I've not had the energy to argue my case very firmly.
8. I've been invited to join the company blog. Sadly, it does not include any literary discussions.
9. I had word that Helena's Dalek was a prize-winner. The complete second season of Doctor Who on DVD arrived in today's mail. Helena's thrilled, but still asked whether she would be receiving a medal (uh, no).
10. We (the Company) had a 5 à 7 Thursday. The upstairs lounge of a prominent Crescent Street location was reserved solely for employees. Free drinks! It's kind of nice to work in an office where "fun" means something other than "pot-luck luncheon."
11. I was delighted to be hearing questions of wording being bandied about over cubicle dividers, and it was satisfying to be able to pipe up and clarify the difference between "honing" and "homing (in)"; but you cannot imagine how far my jaw dropped to discover the question had been posed by a Quality Assurance Editor. There is a place for me here, to set some editorial standards.
12. There were buskers in the tunnels from the metro station to my office building Friday. Two girls with guitars, harmonizing beautifully, singing "Message in a Bottle"; it sounded like a a special message for me. I felt guilty for not dropping any change in their cases, hoarding my few coins for a sorely needed espresso to grease up my brain before entering the machine.
13. Every coffee place has its peculiar rhythms, its own names for things. I resent being accosted with attitude for not knowing these things on a first visit. Espresso, alongé trois-quarts — that's what I want. I've since learned that while the ground floor coffee is 34% more expensive than the mezzanine coffee, it's easily 1000 times better.
14. The cat has taken to napping in Helena's room, which heralds the advent of long-sought but strangely elusive good vibes in that corner of our home. I'm not sure how they came to be finally. I don't believe the cat carried them in on his back, but I do believe him to be a fair barometer of the feel of a place.
15. I finished reading Jim Crace's The Pesthouse last week. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't nearly so compelling a read as I'd anticipated, and pales in comparison to some of the more stellar books I've had the good fortune to be exposed to in recent months. I may or may not have more to say about it in coming days.
16. I'm currently devouring, and have almost finished, Haruki Murakami's After Dark — my first Murakami (I know!) — and am love-love-loving it. I wonder if Peter ever read Murakami. I think he would've liked it.
17. I used to think my cousin Peter had a charmed life. That is, until he died this weekend, from complications following heart surgery for problems unsuspected but recently uncovered during a lingering bout of pneumonia. Age 36, recently relocated to Poland and married in December. It's the saddest thing.