Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gloomy Monday

Remember the other day when I mentioned that people were photographing the sunset as if "it was not, literally, an everyday occurrence"? I guess I have to eat those words, I learned that actually seeing the sun is certainly not an everyday occurrence.

Yesterday, there was no sun at all. It was rainy and miserable. I was told that Seattle has a lot of grey, misty, drizzly days but rarely has downpours and storms. Yesterday, it poured.  

Seattleites say that only tourists use umbrellas. I decided to make a trek out to the post office, library and grocery store and I thought "There is no way I'm going out without an umbrella!"  

I'll eat those words too. I tried to use my umbrella, but because it was so windy, my umbrella was inside out within a moment of leaving the house. I battled with the umbrella, turning it right-side-out every few seconds, before finally deciding to take the umbrella down and just use my hood.

Of course, then, the rain tapered off and actually stopped for a little while. Go figure.

Bummed that this might be what everyday will hold this winter, I was relieved to see that this was actually news-worthy and record-breaking:

Seattle Times: Record rainfall in season's first big storm

Ok, that makes me feel a little bit better.  So does this:

"Maybe some sun" is a good thing.  I mean, it sounds kind of remote, like "maybe, possibly, a teeny-weensy bit of sun wouldn't be completely out of the question?" but it's better than "You're not seeing sun again until June!" right? 

That's the other thing. Aside from raining, it was really cloudy and sun-less. Turns out, that was news worthy and almost-record-breaking too:

Apparently, at the University of Washington, they actually measure sunshine.  Who knew?

UW Research Meteorologist Mark Albright found that Nov. 19 registered just 0.46 MJ/m2 of sun energy on daylight-sensing equipment at the University of Washington . . . The only day to register a darker day in the past three years was Jan. 5, 2011 -- when Seattle registered 0.45 . . . But Albright points out that Monday should be considered worse since we are almost 20 days further from the winter solstice than we are on Jan. 5. (In other words, the day is shorter on Jan. 5, so Nov. 19 had more "daylight" to shut out.) So if it felt extra gloomy Monday -- you would be right! 
It did feel extra gloomy.  I got sad news from home that a good friend's younger sister had passed away after battling illness for almost two years. It's hard being so far away, I can't just jump in a car and be there with her in an hour or easily travel to the memorials. I'm going to try my best to be a good friend from far away, at least I can offer that I'm up late for late-night talks.

As I wrote, I did pull myself together to go to the post office and mail a few things.  Mostly loose ends I had to tie up from back home, like mailing in the remote that opens my parking lot back, so that I could get the deposit back on it. We didn't think of getting it out of my car until my car was fully loaded onto the moving truck. Oops.

I also went to the library (which is very nice) and got myself a library card. I'm mostly eager to borrow ebooks using my Kindle.

I guess this makes me an official Seattleite? I guess I should stop trying to use an umbrella!

I looked for books about glassblowing but didn't really find any for adults. I did find two great children's books about glassblowing. They're actually pretty informative for a beginner adult like me too.

The first one, Glassigator by Dan Dailey & Allison Dailey, is more of a story book set in a glass studio. It is interesting because the character's father goes through the process of making a glass alligator head (interesting to me that it's an art piece rather than something functional) and details the process. I also like that it highlights of some of the shop tools and their uses. I found the story a little complicated, with too many characters, but considering I never had a book about glassblowing when I was a kid, I definitely think this is an improvement. 

The second one, Looking at Glass Through the Ages, by Bruce Koscielniak, discusses how glassmaking started and how it developed through different eras and parts of the world, such as how color evolved, how stained glass was created, and how the Venetians perfected the art of glassblowing in many ways. Even though this is a children's book, I found it educational.

If you're an adult glass artist and want to share the experience with a child, or if you're an adult who just wants to read a nicely illustrated and simply written explanation of the art, I would recommend both of these books.

Then I went to the grocery store and got ingredients for meatloaf.  I think it came out great, so I'll post a recipe later in the week.  (Sorry, no pictures, maybe I can photo the leftovers.)  I also roasted the rest of those tiny potatoes and brussel sprouts. Dinner came out great and we'll have leftovers later in the week.

I also got Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale that I thought might pair well with meatloaf and looked really cool in a pink bottle, but we didn't like it very much, unfortunately.

Finally, in our household, we're very excited about the news that Rutgers is joining the Big Ten Conference. This will be a really good thing for our alma mater as a university and for us as Rutgers sports fans.

This morning I woke up to sun streaming through the blinds, which certainly helped me get out of bed. I'm glad I sat by the window to enjoy it for a little while, because it's grey and raining again.  I guess I've got to take it when I can get it.

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