Hey, munchkins. Oof,…

Hey, munchkins. Oof, tired. I keep staying up too late, and then the light coming in wakes me inevitably around 7-ish anyway. The last couple of nights I've gotten 5, 6, and 7 hours of sleep, respectively. At least it's getting better. Though it's not as if I'm likely to get to bed any earlier soon -- tonight's a party at Lisette's, and tomorrow night Shmuel's arriving around 10! He's coming down from Ann Arbor for a visit; he'll stay here tonight, then go off tomorrow to a friend's for Shabbat, then come back here Sundayish. Yay! I'm tempted to drag him down to Hyde Park Friday, so I can show him my old university. But maybe Sunday instead. Or something else entirely. We'll see.

(It's so much more fun showing people around Chicago than around Salt Lake. "Hey, you wanna go see Brigham Young's house? Again?")

Despite tiredness, happy. Yesterday started off really annoying -- the toilet overflowed, for no good reason that I could see, and we didn't have a plunger. So had to go get a plunger. Then plunge it. Then mop the floor. Then mop it again, and again, until I was convinced it was really clean and sanitary (I have a toddler visiting here pretty often, after all). Not fun start to morning, and it made me tone down my cooking plans. It was Shannon's birthday yesterday, and I had thought about doing something really fancy. But there just wasn't time. Ah well.

Around noon, I got on the train and headed up to Lincoln Park to see Lisette! Her family lives in Chicago, and so we picked up her sister-in-law Sophie and her nephew, Parker (1 year old and extremely affable) and went to the zoo. I haven't been to the zoo in a very very very long time. I loved the big cats, the jaguar and cheetah and such, but they looked like they wanted bigger spaces to roam in. The camels seemed perfectly content just plopped down, chewing and spitting. The prettiest critters may have been the tiny gazelles (orex? ibex?). Hard to choose. Walked back after a few hours (Parker got tired) and hung out 'til 4-ish. Then came home.

Cooked (Greek-style stuffed green peppers, olive-oil and rosemary roasted potatoes, spicy chicken cacciatore) happily. Cleaned up and lit candles. Set table with dark purple linen and little purple tea lights at each place. Everything was ready when Shannon and Roshani and Tom and Zoe arrived (bearing bread and wine). Pleasant dinner. Roshani and co. headed home around 10-ish; Shannon and I walked over to Artopolis for coffee and some of their fabulous dessert. Talked for a while, walked back, talked some more, and ended up watching a little tv to cap off the day. Very pleasant.

You'd think I'd gotten no work done yesterday, but in fact, I read a solid hour's worth of The Arabian Nights going up and down to Lisette's on the train. But I think I may have to read it again -- or at the least, start using a highlighter to mark significant passages. I *hate* marking up books. I've resisted it all through school, but now, now I think I'm just going to have to. The alternative is typing up notes on every book I read, and they'd have to be really detailed for me to catch all the significant bits, and I just don't think that's good for my hands (or all that likely for me to keep up). So. Go back, highlight relevant bits so far (like the umpteen stories where the protagonist's wife has a black lover (the whole usage of fair/white/black in this text is fascinating, if disturbing)), and make end notes when done with the book. This is going to be slower than anticipated. Maybe I need to start working on it more consistently. But my big problem right now is that I don't actually own a highlighter. I imagine that can be remedied.

I *will* work some more today, but this morning, I'm going to work on the Roman shades first. I did much of it on Monday night -- cutting the fabric and lining, sewing them together nicely (much folding of side hems and tucking in and measuring and ripping out a huge long seam I did wrong and redoing it), and attaching about half of the little rings to the back. I still have to finish the rings (which I plan to do in front of some tv this morning, since it's slightly tedious (alleviated on Monday night by chatting to David on the phone while I worked)), attach covering fabric to the mounting board, drill holes through board and top of closet doorframe, thread cord through rings, attach main fabric to mounting board, screw board to top doorframe, attach cleat to wall. Oof. I actually don't think all this will take so long, but I could be wrong. We'll see. If it goes well, I get to do the whole thing again for the tiny window in the bedroom that lets in so much light at seven a.m. Maybe then I can get some sleep.

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