Saturday, February 23, 2008

How I Feel About Winter

Don't have time to write much right now. My whirling schedule is kicking my butt. But I just had to post this picture that Pocket of Bolts took one morning a short while ago when the weather was being particularly nasty. I think it just says it all as far as my feelings about winter are concerned.

Really, I shouldn't complain though. Today although still cold was bright and sunny. We went to a new cafe we really like, not very near where we live but in a cool neighborhood just west of us. The place is called Cafe Avanti, and they have bottomless coffee, lots of tables and outlets, and their pastries are not horrifically delicious looking like the ones at Bourgeois Pig (and therefore aren't an insurmountable temptation). I didn't feel much like working, but I banged out a page or two of dissertation...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Skinny Bitches

I've stopped posting weekly menus for now on account of their basic repetitiveness. Got to say, though, that the new system continues to work, if slowly. I have lost 13 pounds since New Years, and Pocket of Bolts has lost even more. In the marvelous words of my dear dad, we're going to be a couple of skinny bitches by June. I've never been especially fond of the word bitch, but "skinny bitches" has quite become our rallying cry on this project as both praise and encouragement.

I meant to make a little post about our Valentines Day. We weren't up for the feeding frenzy of restaurant reservations and decided to have our traditional home-cooked but special meal. Pocket of Bolts brought me some flowers and made delicious pasta with asparagus and grape tomatoes and olives. I had a bad cold, but after the third day of spending ALL afternoon resting, I felt sufficiently recovered to be a bit romantic and also to make Almond Cloud Cookies, which Pocket of Bolts ended up liking a lot (somewhat to my surprise, as he hasn't much of a sweet tooth). We ate them with some really sweet ripe blueberries, quite a treat for February.

Just to be fair, I also have to include a picture of Pocket of Bolts also looking like quite the skinny bitch. That was I think from the day before St.V.Day when we were sitting at the table having a student paper grading marathon. I think he looks very snobbish but in a humorous good way! (I purposely made him put on that supercilious sort of look.)

So that's us, slogging through winter, wishing grading weren't so much of a drag, and slowly shrinking down our appetites.

Not much else to report except that I got a new computer bag. After some initial uncertainly, I decided that I LOVE it. I'd been wanting a new bag for a while, since the backpack I had in China has been slowly disintegrating, and looks too student-y anyway. It's really hard to find a good bag out there though. Then I remembered that my friend Robin had mentioned on his blog way back when a type of bag he really liked. So I went and looked it up; it was Timbuk2. Then the day I started looking into it, I met another person who happened to have one, and raved about how although it might seem like a pretty expensive bag, it had lasted him seven years and was worth every cent. I was a little concerned about the fit with my laptop, so I went to a local retailer and tried out various bags, finally settling on this one, a black on black commute. It has less room than the Laptop Messenger, but given how much my back has been hurting lately, I think I just need to learn to haul around less stuff. And it has been working fine so far, but then I only got it on Friday. We'll see how it withstands the test of a full work-week.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's Been Wintry

You might wonder why I haven't been posting recently. It's because it's been wintry. The alternation between bone-aching cold and driving snow is tiring in its own way. By the end of the day (by the beginning of the day) I'm so wrung out I can barely do what I'm supposed to do, let alone extras. But just so you can see a bit of what it's like, here are some pictures from one of our recent snowstorms.

Me bundled up like a ball in our snow-spattered courtyard.

The driving snow on a street near our house:

"Windy City Times"--I guess that's what these are:

And this is what campus looks like, which means just trudging from office to classroom is a major undertaking:

That's it for now. I'll try to have some cheerier pictures soon.