I think I come across in this space as an awfully grouchy person. People who know me in person will undoubtedly have their own opinions, but I *think* that's partly selection bias. It's easy to work up the energy to post about something that has just now pissed me off -- but good things tend to get short shrift. So, in no order whatsoever, some random things that I like:
* My neighborhood. I live off a busy commercial block, with a corner store, a greengrocer, a butcher shop, and a library within easy walking distance. I'm incredibly lucky to live in a space where I can get good-quality produce regularly at below-supermarket prices. And both public and private transit in the neighborhood is superb.
* My local butcher. He opened his shop within a week of our moving in, and it keeps improving. If I want something weird, he'll at least try to get it. OK, a whole goat was beyond my price range -- but he dug up the information for me and called back promptly. Caul fat? He didn't bat an eye.
* The crazy California climate. My pear tree is flowering. And fruiting. At the same time. You can almost see it saying "Whatever, man -- I just do what feels natural. You're, like, so uptight."
And I have rosemary, thyme, and oregano just, y'know, growing in the backyard.
* Our near-antique stove. It's 48 years old this year, it's electric, and it has developed some significant problems of late. But it's got pull-out burners and two ovens, and I'm very, very fond of it. We'll get through this tough time, and our broiler will pull through.
* Local politics. OK, so I hate local politics -- or the way a lot of it boils down to ignoring the big problems, and trying to legislate against hamsters or something. But there's one thing I love, after spending a decade in Massachusetts: I'm suddenly center-right in the political spectrum, instead of wacky left.
For those of you from out of town: The local spectrum basically is anchored by Dianne Feinstein on the right, Nancy Pelosi in the middle-to-right, and a whole lot of locals you haven't heard of over to the left. Adjust your perceptions accordingly.
After feeling very, very politically marginalized in Massachusetts -- I don't care for hereditary political office, or machine politics, or the socially conservative culture -- it's really good to feel like I can be part of the conversation again.
So that's the news tonight. If you'd prefer grouchy snarkiness next time, let me know in the comments.