I know it’s been a bit…

I know it's been a bit since I wrote; I actually haven't been doing so much since I arrived in Salt Lake. Thursday Kevin and I mostly ran around doing errands such as picking up more groceries (he tends to buy a lot at once, and then not go shopping again until he's used up absolutely everything; I prefer to keep a reasonable stock of stuff at all times, so I have some choice in what I'm going to cook/eat. I also tend to walk to the store and carry my groceries back every few days, which might explain why I don't buy huge amounts -- he, on the other hand, has a car). We stopped at Sam Weller's (a used bookstore, where I found two(!) James White Sector General novels that I hadn't read before), and also went and got plants for the porch.

Gardening interlude (feel free to skip if you're not the garden type): So the porch faces north. This is bad. Northern light is thin and weak, and you don't get much of it. It gets a little western light in the afternoon -- about two hours, before the bulk of the building blocks it out. And in the morning, it gets a fair bit of eastern light, from about 8 a.m. - 11-ish. If I were willing to haul the plants back and forth (from the right to left sides of the porch and back again) every day, they'd probably get a decent amount of sun. Since I'm not, I'm a bit dubious. But I did put in herbs (basils, oregano, thyme, rosemary, coriander, parsley, spearmint, and St. John's wort (just 'cause it's cool :-)) and some flowers (violet dianthus, red snapdragons, purple-blue pansies). I also started two pots of red and white morning glory from seed -- with any luck they'll climb up the porch railings and the drainpipe on the side of the building. Kevin was pretty dubious about whether everything would get enough sun, but I have hope. We'll see how it goes -- if all else fails, I guess I'll look into shade plants. (On the other hand, if these do okay, I may put in a few veggies...)

Thursday night we watched _American History X_, which is *not* a cheerful movie. I had to close my eyes in parts (yes, I'm a wuss). I doubt I'd have ever picked that movie out but it was one he had rented, so we watched it. I also played three hours (!) of Nintendo; Kevin had picked up Legend of Zelda ('cause he knew I liked fantasy quest-type games), and somehow the time just disappeared. If you had asked me how long I'd been playing, I probably would have guessed something like an hour. Quest games are dangerous!

Umm...Friday we mostly ran a few more errands and hung out at the Barnes and Noble (you'll probably be seeing a lot of entries like that -- 'hung out at Borders', 'worked at Barnes and Noble' -- I need to find an independent bookstore (with cafe) where I can work...). Kevin worked; I did a little work (Clean Sheets newsletter (a double-feature 'cause I missed a week)) and read most of one of the James White novels.

I love these books. I need to find the ones I'm missing, as I'm thoroughly addicted (they're mostly out of print). The series is set on a hospital in space -- lots of aliens (the most fun part of sf, in my opinion), some decent character development, good medical puzzles which are fun to try to figure out in advance, and even an occasional first contact (my absolute favorite kind of sf). They are, sadly, a little sexist (note the totally bogus, not to mention ludicrous, explanation for why females (of any species!!) can't take taped learning (which is critical to the highest levels of medical practice)), but I forgive them, 'cause they're otherwise so darn good. My pet theory is that James White was afraid of writing female protagonists (he doesn't have any), and since his protagonists tends to be reasonably higher-ups, this way he got pseudo-justification for avoiding it.

Even when he has female characters, they're a little silly. The primary female character is the pathologist Murchison (partner to Conway, one of the major characters) -- now note, she's a doctor. Smart, right? But when she gets described it's almost always in terms of her huge breasts, and how none of the other doctors (implicitly male) can think straight around her. (I don't think White ever says breasts, by the way. They're either 'immense mammaries' or 'impressive pulchritude'. Heh.) Ah well. The one I just read was written twenty years ago; I don't remember the most recent ones as being quite so blatant.

Okay, I didn't mean to go off on James White (though it was probably more interesting than 'what I did today' :-). Quickly: Friday evening -- made dinner and read the other half of the trashy romance novel I started on the plane (not worth detailing, almost not worth finishing, but I had to know how it ended). Kevin did try to get me to read something else -- I tend to get goopy and emotional when I read romance novels -- but failed. Luckily, I stayed reasonably calm.

Saturday: Finally starting to feel settled in. Plants are doing fine so far (though Kev's poor ivy plant almost died when he was away in Chicago for a few weeks; I did emergency surgery on it this morning, pruning away the dead bits, and then put it out on the porch -- maybe with lots of air and water and sunlight, it'll live). My clothes out of suitcases and into my closet (though I had to steal all Kevin's hangers to do it), my books and videos and papers on the shelf (you wouldn't believe the fast talking I had to do to persuade him to give up two bookshelf shelves that he was barely even using (I admit, both of us get maybe a little possessive about bookshelves)), files in the hanging file drawer. Photos up on shelves. It still mostly looks like his place; I didn't bring most of my stuff -- none of my art, for example. Didn't seem to make sense if I'm only going to be here for two and a half months. But there are enough small things of mine around (the stuffed lizard Jed gave me hangs over the tv; Elise's necklace is draped over the photo of Jed and Arthur) that it feels comfortable.

I talked to Roshani for a while this morning, then had tea and worked 'til 11. Ate leftovers, took the bus to Borders. Wandered around for a bit first, and by the time I got to the cafe, Kevin was sitting there, which startled me -- he had said that he was probably going to work at home for a while, then go to the office. Still, nice to have the company.

And now you're all caught up! So far, all's reasonably well. No major crises; no fights over who does the dishes (which was the big thing we fought about when we lived together in Philly). It's a little odd that he's the only person I know here, but I'm sure I'll meet people. I need to look up the contra dance schedule again and see when the next dance is. I should probably go find the local SCA people. And then, of course, there are my colleagues (though I understand that adjuncts don't always spend so much time in close contact with other staff), hopefully. That's actually the only real worry -- my classes.

See, I got a voicemail from the division chair yesterday. Turns out that they advertised late, and then had some computer problems, and the upshot is that right now enrollment is so low that they may have to cancel my classes. Meep. I will be seriously bummed if that happens (I'll have to start looking for tech writing work, I suppose, and fill in with temping or some such), but it's certainly not final yet, so I'm trying not to worry too much. If you know someone in Salt Lake who'd like to take Basic or Intermediate Composition, now is the time to sign up! Cross your fingers for me, munchkins.

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