Sunday, April 12, 2009

I've got a Smile on my Face

Wey, hey, hey it's just an ordinary day. Well, for many people it was not an ordinary day, being Easter. But for me, I slept in, fixed my shower controller, took a luxurious shower, started in on one of the books I bought while shopping with a friend yesterday, and finally found a good Indian food restaurant within 20 minutes. Whew! That, and talking to several family members, including grandma, on the phone, made it rather more than an ordinary day but still. Go listen to Great Big Sea and you'll see why it's still ok to have an ordinary day today.

Yesterday was a little less ordinary as I drove into LA, passed the blackened smoking shell of a car on the freeway, and used my Cued Speech for the first time in a while to help someone with their research project. (My cold-start lipreading ability, sans CS is at about 12%, or functionally no ability.) I even got paid for it, although I hadn't been expecting to. I was able to call up a friend at a good enough time that she was able to meet me at Borders where I pretty well shot the wad. Although I did have to kill a few minutes first and spent them replacing my windshield wipers which made up the rest of it. I don't use the wipers often in SoCal, but they were kind of shot and I have a bee in my bonnet about good driving visibility so it was time. I'm doing a test - an upgraded blade on the driver's side vs. the cheapest one on the passenger side. And then I found a book I'd been looking for and couldn't find in my town and had dinner with a friend. Yay!

Today's Good Stuff, detailed
  • Shower! With the communal arrangement on our water supply and no interior shutoff for my shower, I worried that I'd have to shut off water to three buildings, roughly 30 condos, in order to fix my broken shower handle. I did find out that I could replace it pretty cheap - they sell the exact part I needed for a coupla bucks at any home improvement store here. Then I got to thinking about whether or not I'd just as soon replace it if I had to turn the water off anyway, which delayed the project by several weeks.

    I finally decided that I was tired of mucking about with not being sure the water was turned off and worrying that one day it wouldn't be. I stopped at an OSH in the Valley on my way home and found that I could buy the turn-off handle for $5.99, or the turn-off handle AND the water temp adjuster for $3.99. Uh, ok. I checked the directions and it didn't say anything about turning the water supply off to replace it. The picture showed a faucet adjuster that had no way for water to shoot out, and thinking it through, I realized the plastic handles would never be able to withstand the water pressure anyway. So I've been watching the handle crack and fall apart for about 2 months more than I had to, since it turns out I don't have to turn off the supply! Now that I know that, I can also pull the handles off at intervals to clean off the soap scum that builds up behind them.

    When the condo was inspected before I bought it, the inspector only found 3 things to point out - one was that the temp indicator on the shower was backward. It turns out that if it was rotated 180deg it would be on the right way, but would be harder to see while showering. Since I shower rather than bathe, I shrugged and replaced it in the "wrong" position. I was able to use my new shower handle and temperature adjuster today and took a luxurious shower. I still feel good and freshly showered hours later. mmmmm.

  • Family: I talked with most of my family today. I ate some chocolate rabbit ears that mom sent. I had sent baskets to my grandmas, one of whom I talk to on the phone. Grandma liked her Easter basket and took the other to my dad's mom on her birthday a few days ago (Thanks for being thoughtful that way, Grandma!) and my other grandma liked both it and the card.
    Easter baskets, one wrapped in plastic
    When my friend was here we went shopping after brunch and found some adorable easter baskets. I hadn't sent anything to my grandmas at Christmas because I'm a dork. Mom suggested sending something for easter, and when I saw these, the inspiration became action.

    Cost + World Market had these brightly colored felt baskets for about $5 or $10 surrounded by candy and toys. I picked out two - one like a picket fence around grass and another with a flower on each side - and enough candy to pack inside. I also found a funky chicken that dispensed candy out its "barn door" that I thought my step-grandpa would get a kick out of and I was right.
    felt easter basket with candy and toy chicken

  • Indian Food! Long time readers of this blog may recall my frustration with having no decent Indian food in town. It wasn't so bad when I was heading to El Segundo regularly to blow glass because the studio was near a tasty place (Indian Summer on Main St.) and I could get my fix in. But in town, there was a place and I can only say it was a mercy when it burned down. Sadly, the rebuilt, and the food is no better. There are some places in the Valley and Ventura, but the ones I've been to have not been as much to my taste, not offering my favorite dishes.

    I have noticed on occasion that there's an Indian place over the grade but had issues finding it. Finally at lunch this week, we got off at its exit and I was able to figure out where it was. Then, after trying 3 places tonight only to get there at or after their closing time (closing early on Easter for reasons not clear to me), I remembered the Indian place while I was nearby, having just been craving some yesterday. It turns out that they make a tasty Matter Paneer and Chicken Tikka Masala. Even more, they offer a "dinner plate" where they serve a relatively small individual portion of a meat dish and a veggie dish with rice, naan (reg or garlic) with daal (soup) and kheer (rice dessert) for $15! It turned out to be too much food, now I know, but normally I have to buy a full entree of each, then pay for bread and rice additionally if I want them. Sure, it lasts for 2 meals and a snack, but it's usually around $35 plus tax. So happiness on my end - I have a local, affordable place to satisfy my Indian food cravings!

On the surface, I didn't do much today - sleeping late, having a shower, reading, cleaning the kitchen, talking on the phone, going out to eat, watching the sun set over the harbor - but I figure any day that makes me feel good to be alive should put a smile on my face.

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