I went away for spring break—pictures will be forthcoming. When we said goodbye, the friend with whom I went on vacation asked what I’d be doing this weekend, after I returned. “Figure out what I’m teaching next week,” I said, thinking vaguely about errands and the gym, realizing that I really had better spend some time reading and planning classes.
Where Saturday actually went:
Sleep until 10:00, after nearly a week of waking at first light no matter what time I went to bed (at home, the bedroom shade might as well be a blackout curtain). Feed and medicate cats. Make cup of tea and look at the paper. Do yoga. Play with cats, who did not get a lot of play time while I was away, as Sir John was working round the clock. Do more yoga. Tussle with Basement Cat, who loves my yoga mat. Take break for Kitty Spa Day for Basement Cat, whose claws have grown out. Eat a piece of toast. Finish yoga. Listen to Sir John groaning and yawning as he wakes up. Go up to get properly dressed and wonder how it got to be nearly 1:00 p.m.
Look for book I thought I owned, found (while I was away) that I urgently needed. Not on shelves. Check online library catalog. Two copies in the state, one charged. Check my own account. No, it’s not charged to me. Check old e-mail to find out if I ordered it last summer, when I thought I had bought it. No, I did not buy it. (This is an obscure book in a series only available in the UK; I acquired 3 books from it when I was in London, but for some reason didn’t think to get this one. Spend awhile wondering what was I thinking last summer and will someone be flogging these books at Leeds and who do I know in the UK who might bring me a copy to Kalamazoo if I asked nicely. Check ABEbooks and Amazon just in case; no luck. Check current e-mail and answer a question from a student who hasn’t thought through how to manage a piece of research. Put off answering other e-mails.
Go out to what should be breakfast but is now a late-ish lunch at DD with Sir John. Take a crossword puzzle (we used to do the NYT puzzles every Sunday, but at present are running about 6 weeks behind due to work pressures). Read newspapers from Friday. Leave DD without doing puzzle, because it is getting on for 3:00, and Sir John needs to work. So do I: I think maybe I will put in an hour or so reading before I go to the gym. Buy bubble wrap and cat food, pick up dry cleaning on the way home.
Arrive at home. Feed the grazers; defend their food against hogs who only get to eat twice a day. Atttack the screws holding together the coffee table known as the Cruel Table, a section of walnut burl polished and put together by my grandfather. It is beautiful, but has nasty sharp points, is irregularly shaped, and does not fit nicely into our living space, especially since the acquisition of the new piece of feline exercise equipment, pictured below. (Some people would say we should get rid of some books, but that isn’t going to happen, not around here. So the Cruel Table is going to be taken apart and stored in the basement.) The screw tops are very soft; the screw bodies are rusted. Lovely battery-powered screwdriver (Christmas present) does not work well in these conditions. Small flathead screwdriver of some help. Large flathead screwdriver would be much better. Go search for large flathead screwdriver. After looking among tools in basement, tools still upstairs from removing window treatments prior to replacing windows, the junk drawer, and under the sink, conclude that large flathead screwdriver walked away with some handyman who got it mixed in with his own tools. Curse handy people (including self) who cannot look after own tools. Finish removing half the legs from the table. Find second half is even worse. Spray Liquid Wrench on screws, and go away to do a bit of half-hearted unpacking. Wonder which bottle of white creamy substance leaked in quart bag of 3-oz. bottles. Return to table. Resolve to go to gym via hardware store for new large flathead screwdriver. Resolve to label new screwdriver (and other tools) with my name. “Eleanor” in pink nail polish might discourage handymen from lifting nice tools.
Pause to begin writing this post. Actually leave house at 4:30. Acquire large screwdriver; also new battery for car key fob and an eyeglasses repair kit. Gym: ride exercise bike to nowhere while reading E. M. Delafield’s Diary of a Provincial Lady (essentially Bridget Jones, married and living in Cornwall in the 1920’s) instead of any work-related reading; weights; shower. Grocery run. Arrive home at 7:20. To appropriately operatic accompaniment from the Shakespearean Heroine, renew the assault on the Cruel Table. Success! Unpack groceries. Fix and eat dinner, accompanied by duet performed by the Shakespearian Heroine and the Scot. Feed cats. Watch two episodes of Bones and delete 15 others we’ve already seen, while Sir John works. Medicate cats. Finish blog post.