Friday, December 6, 2019

Late and Somewhat Musty

I have had the worst trouble getting out of the house on time this week. I don't know what's holding me back, but I often find myself locking the front door at almost 9 o'clock, and I'm supposed to be at work at 9:15. Which means a stuffy tube ride rather than a nice walk to work, and arrival five minutes late anyway.

And I need to walk to work. Especially after this week, when we've been gorging ourselves on Thanksgiving food. Dave and I have finally worked through many of the leftovers -- we have a smidgen of mashed potatoes left, and I pulled our sweet potatoes out of the freezer to begin working on those. But the turkey, stuffing, pie and vegetables are gone. Thank God.

I also need to walk because while I do, I listen to podcasts, and right now I'm listening to the craziest story -- called "Joe Exotic," about a guy in Oklahoma who ran a private zoo, married two husbands simultaneously, and is accused of arranging the murder of a critical animal rights activist. Both he and the animal rights activist sound like real pieces of work. Every time one of them makes a decision, I find myself exclaiming, "WHAT?!" Because they make the worst decisions in the world.

Here's our Christmas display in the library. I didn't exactly pull out all the stops, did I? The tree was delivered Monday and I grudgingly decorated it right away (because we only have about a week of school left, plus some additional professional development days) but I just used lights and a smattering of baubles. One of the librarians is asking middle school students to write the names of their favorite books on little tree-shaped cards, and we're hanging those from the tree and putting the books up on the adjacent shelves.

I suppose I'll be hauling the Christmas sweater out of storage, too. I've worn that thing for five years, although the blinking lights no longer work. No one can accuse me of not making it last! (Look how tiny our avocado tree is in that linked video. It's as tall as the ceiling now.) What's scary, though, is that the sweater (or "jumper," as the British say) can't be washed. Since I only wear it one or two days a year, outside my normal clothes, that's not a problem -- it doesn't even touch my skin. But I suppose at some point I really do need to throw it out. Or maybe I can just remove the wires, since the lights no longer work, and wash it?

(Top photo: A cafe in Soho, last weekend.)


  1. Your tree looks fine and I am sure it looks pretty with the lights on. I like the idea of the book decorations and corresponding display. I always have trouble getting up at this time of year, once the clocks change and the light gets limited it is a struggle. I find I tend to get my energy back around mid December though, once I am used to the change, so hopefully you will start to get going again soon!

  2. Sarah: Thank you, but the lights ARE on -- LOL! (Admittedly they're not conspicuous in that photo.)

  3. I love your Xmas jumper! Very tasteful!

  4. The Toi & Moi Cafe offer pancakes and waffless. It's always better to have less waff on your plate.
    As for the jumper (sweater for Americans) it's too good to send to land fill! Pick out the wiring, wash it and wear it some more.
    The podcast sounds truly awful, I wouldn't listen to it if you paid me. Well, maybe I would but you would having to pay me a LOT.

  5. Tut-tut-tut Steve! Walking along listening to a podcast? You should have your wits about you when walking in a city. You need to be aware of the traffic, cyclists on pavements, rabid dogs or muggers approaching from behind. You cannot do that when you have earphones stuffed in your lugholes! I offer you this wisdom completely free of charge.

  6. Oh, definitely pick out the wires and wash it and keep it going for another 25 years at least! Then you'll really have gotten your money's worth :D Well, that's what I would do anyhow, as Queen of the Elderly Clothing . . .

    I like the idea of having kids make out Christmas tags with names of books - much more interactive and encourages them to think about what they like in a book.

  7. Steve, we seem to be living parallel lives this week. I'm also leaving home in the mornings without a minute to spare. I haven't been late yet, but it's been very, very close....and the minute I arrive at school (8:30) I have to do morning announcements. Sometimes I'm almost out of breath from rushing in at the last moment. I need to get my act together and leave earlier!

    Laughing at your response to Sara over here!!! Haha! I like the tree. I'll post one of our library's tree this weekend.

  8. That's a fine tree in your library!
    And sure, rip the wires from the sweater if you feel the need to wash it. Otherwise- why bother? Like you say, it only comes out for a day or two every year. Just hang it up and let it air.
    Haven't heard of that podcast. I might need to listen to it.

  9. I've been known to throw unwashable items in the dryer with a dryer sheet on VERY low heat just to refresh them a bit. That should be fine even with the wires in.

    If they were available I would probably add more ornaments to the tree each day & then it would take three hours to take everything down. Ha!

  10. I'm an early person. I have to arrive well ahead of time. Don't throw away tradition...your Christmas shirt.

  11. That's a lovely Christmas tree in the library. It'll be interesting to see what books are the students' favorites. Your Christmas sweater was quite a blinking festive delight! If you take the wires out, maybe it would be washable. I wonder why it stopped blinking.

  12. Your tree is lovely, and I'm sure with the lights on, it's awesome! I love the idea of the tree shaped decorations with book titles. Steve, I love your sweater. I clicked on the link to see it. As for being a bit late, I always seem to have trouble getting out of my own way lately. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  13. that big a tree seems like a lot of effort for only a week. and christmas sweaters are on a par with matching christmas pajamas as far as I'm concerned. I really don't get special christmas themed clothes.

  14. I forgot about the Christmas sweater. It really is a beauty! That cafe in Soho made me think of all the photos I've seen on Instagram of different London decorations for Christmas. Some businesses go wild with flowers and baubles and lights.

  15. That Podcast Sounds Way Disturbing For Sure - Lighten The Mood There Brother - The YT Video Cracked Me Up As Olga Was The True Star - However, Should Be Rather Simple To Switch Out The Lights And Replace Them With An Assortment Of LED Flashers - Well Done With The Tree


    P.S. Olga Would Like Another Chewy For Her Stocking Stuffer

  16. Nice to hear your and Dave's voices. Great laugh. The sweater? Not so much.

  17. Awesome sweater. All you need is one of those rave necklaces that light up, for that smidgen of "jzuzz"f the blinking lights don't work.

    I am re-reading that book about Egypt I recommended, The Names of Things. Turns out, it's about a lot more than just Egypt. I've read it twice and I didn't notice so much of the non-Egypt stuff. I still think it's a lovely book, but if you want to get to the meat of the Egypt stuff, start on page 42.

  18. Frances: Thank you! It's literally the only Christmas jumper I've ever wanted to buy. :)

    Alphie: Maybe waffless are diet waffles. :)

    YP: Actually, about the only time i walk with headphones is when I listen to my podcast. Otherwise I'm unencumbered!

    Jenny-O: Yeah, there's really no reason why it can't last much longer!

    Jennifer: It's funny, isn't it? Just as I'm about to walk out the door I always think of something else I need to do. Maybe I'm subconsciously trying to avoid going to work?

    Ms Moon: Yeah, honestly, I don't think it needs washing yet. If ever!

    Bug: That's an interesting idea. I don't think it's really in need of that yet. I probably just need to take it outside and shake the dust out of it!

    Red: Yeah, I'm usually the same way. That's what makes this so odd!

    Robin: I think these sweaters are really only made to last one or two years. It cost about £9, as I recall.

    Edna: Yeah, the tree-shaped book title ornaments was a fun way to get the kids involved with decorating the tree.

    Ellen: Honestly, I agree. I think it's a ridiculous expense for such a short amount of time. We ought to just buy a small artificial tree and put it up every year.

    Sharon: Yeah, there's a real estate office (of all things) near us with a crazy Christmas window display. I'll probaby photograph it at some point!

    Padre: I love a good true-crime podcast! Olga is always the star, even just lingering in the background.

    Catalyst: Well, it's better than some I've seen!

    Vivian: OK, thanks for the word on the Egypt book. It looks like I'll still be in the middle of "David Copperfield" when we travel. Not very Egyptian, but c'est la vie.

  19. What a great idea for tree decorations, to have the students make ornaments naming their favorite books and then display those books alongside the tree. Your library looks like such a serene airy space to work.