Measured Extravagance

23 January 2003 - 12:29 p.m.

We had a couple of friends over for dinner last night, which was pleasant. The conversation topics included work (one's a musician, one's a graphic designer), drugs (including just who's buying those roses-in-a-tube), panhandlers (which is how the discussion on drugs got started, actually - one of the local junkies succeeded in hitting up a neighbor for a dollar "for anything other than alcohol," which was promptly used to buy steel wool), booze (our guests had recently tried Johnnie Walker Blue Label after hearing about it on West Wing and seeing it in a sampler at a local liquor emporium), and snow (we got a fresh inch or so last night. [pause for renewed laughter from the Yankee and Canuck peanut galleries. The BYM was complaining enough hadn't fallen yet for good driving]). The meal featured cabbage-shiitake wontons, white rice (flavored with shiitake soaking water) and chicken broccoli; our guests brought a bottle of Yellowtail Chardonnay, a pan of Asian-style quesadillas (tortillas filled with rice and chopped vegetables) and a black-bean-plus-stuff dipping sauce. It was all quite good, and dessert was a pouring of single-barrel JD.

I'm cranky this morning, though. The BYM: "Sure you're not hung over?" Me: "Bourbon doesn't cause running noses and sore throats." Gah. According to my log, I haven't had a fully healthy day all month. Of course, also according to the log, even though I've made a point of getting more sleep, it still hasn't been enough. I still intend to get some work done today, but quaffing tea and seizing naps are going to take priority.

It's not a terrible situation, understand - I've been healthy enough most days to be moderately active (ten workouts, eight walks) - but I'm so tired of feeling "almost": the chronic "I feel fine except for (1) a lingering cough, or (2) a yeast infection, or (3) not enough sleep" is a drag. It slows down my mind and trips up my sense of perspective. It won't do, dammit. I know I usually manage to impersonate an busy, creative human being even when I'm in the glumps, but it's silly to settle for that. Not when, if I weren't too tired to go full throttle, I could produce finer, more consistent work.

So: must stop being an idiot about going to bed, especially since I like it there anyway. (Especially now that I've finally clued in on the fact that I needed another comforter on there - I'd been feeling "not quite cold, but not warm enough" for a while, but yes, it took until yesterday for my brain to travel to the obvious solution. So last night I went to sleep truly instead of sort-of warm - and slept more deeply than I had in at least a week, with no quasi- or outright nightmares in the mix. There's other factors, of course, but it's nice to make progress, however belated.)

Some choice sentences from recent reading:

"Rustici was an eccentric who kept hedghogs, froze mercury, and studied the occult." - Hilary French, Architecture: A Crash Course

"Some Jews don't belong in synagogues. I actually know a lovely man who fainted every time he went inside one." - Richard J, Israel, The Kosher Pig

Two years ago: "Today was National Pie Day. . ."

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