Reading: I've actually been doing a lot of reading. In the past few weeks I've read both The Secret History and Ella Minnow Pea, and I have things to say about them both, which I shall do, one of these days, in the bookblog.

Right now, I am reading Diaries of a Young Poet, three dairies written by Rainer Maria Rilke from 1898 to 1900. The first one was written while he was in Florence. He had gone there to study Renaissance art at the suggestion of his lover, Lou Andreas-Salomé, and the diary essentially consists of unsent letters to her.

If you still have a trembling in you or a doubt, cast it behind you. And even if it grows up behind you on your path: then mountains will stand between you and the past.

Listening: The Soul Cages. I was unpacking the last of my moving boxes and found this CD, so I hadn't heard it in a while. I'd forgotten how much I love it.

Watching: Ocean's Eleven. That movie has become my guilty pleasure of late. Aside from Don Cheadle's horrid cockney, it's thoroughly enjoyable.

And speaking of movies, the the Oscar Pool is back for the fifth year in a row. It's free! The prize is fifty bucks at Amazon! Woo!

I have some more Rilke for you:

I beg you... to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to live the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without ever noticing it, live your way into the answer...

I saw this over New Year's on a magnet on Melissa's refrigerator, which she informed me had been a gift from Eliza (the magnet, not the refrigerator). It struck me like a lightning bolt, and I kept staring at it until finally I just went and wrote it down.

I think I need to learn how to live the questions. Which means accepting the unsettled feeling I carry with me constantly. Not only accepting it, but finding happiness in it.

That's kind of scary.

So, in case you haven't heard, it snowed here a little this weekend.

I had to take the glass out of my storm door in order to dig my way out yesterday:

And here's how my front door looked this morning:

I should note that the subdivision's maintenance crew will shovel anything used by more than one person (i.e., sidewalks and shared stairs), but your own stairs are up to you. I did not take a picture of the stairs of the person on the other side of the building, who has diligently removed every single speck of snow from his stairs. (He's just a big poopyhead showoff, if you ask me.)

Here's my car:

It doesn't look like that anymore, though. I shoveled a lot of the snow off of it, then started to try to dig it out until I realized that it was just kind of silly. First of all, we're supposed to have a fairly warm week, so the likelihood is that most of the snow will melt away on its own before I need to drive again. Secondly, I have a herniated disc, and shoveling snow is just about the worst activity in the world for someone with a lower back problem.

So I gave it up and went inside for some chocolate chip pancakes.

(Please, like you don't eat half of the first pancake while you're cooking the second pancake?) I have no idea how many points chocolate chip pancakes are, but snow day calories don't count. No, they don't.

And as long as I'm in the kitchen, I would like to say that this stuff:

is quite delicious. The commercials don't lie, you really do get a lovely layer of frothy foamy goodness on top of your coffee. Yum.

I have been somewhat productive these past few homebound days, however, and I'm not just talking about my intake of sugar.

For example, I put together four really cheap and super-uncomfortable chairs from Ikea for my dining room table. I have had this table since 1995 but never actually acquired chairs for it, though I have always kept an eye out. Finally, I got tired trying to find the perfect chair (or, at least, the perfect chair that cost less than $50), and settled on the $19.99 Stefan chair which I think might break if you look at it wrong, much less sit in it with any force whatsoever. Not that you would actually want to sit in it. (And it is apparently such a pathetic chair that they didn't even bother putting it on the Ikea website.)

But truthfully, they're only there so my dining room table doesn't look quite so silly, standing in the middle of the room all by itself. It's not like I ever eat at the table. I eat on the couch like every other normal single adult.

I've also done some laundry, which is not particularly notable, except that today someone freaking stole my dryer, and that is just lame. I put my clothes in the dryer, put in my quarters, turned it on, and returned halfway through the cycle to find my clothes sitting on the dryer, just as wet as when they went in, and someone else's clothes spinning away happily.

I seriously considered taking out the dryer thief's clothes and replacing my own, but then I had this vision of the two of us sneaking in and out of the laundry room and switching our clothes around for all eternity. That, and the fact that I really don't like handling other people's laundry, nor do I like anyone else handling mine, helped me leave the building quietly and without incident and return in another half an hour to use the now-empty dryer.

On the bright side, when I was unloading the clothes after they dried, a ten-dollar bill fell out. I'm sure it was mine, as I'm not the world's most responsible pocket-checker, but still, it feels so bonus.

I was talking to my father earlier today, and he asked me if I've given any thought to moving, what with joblessness and terror threats and all that jazz.

The truth is, I have thought about moving, though I don't know where I would go. The idea of moving back to Kansas City makes me want to crawl in a hole and die; that isn't even on the list of possible outcomes, not now, not ever. I have many friends in Philadelphia, and I love New York City a little bit more every time I go there, but I just can't see myself living in either one of those places.

And I simply don't want to leave Washington, not yet, and even entertaining the idea of moving again feels like giving up. Aside from the joblessness and the terror threats, I like it here. I have friends here. I want to feel at home here, and I think I need to give that a little more time.

I guess there's a lot that I need to give a little more time.

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