Low Energy

It has been a rough week. I’m not really over the job loss and am already having to face up to the hard realities of living in the Bay Area with a mortgage and two kids and no income. I’ve gotten started on working on the house a bit. I tore down about a sixth of the gutters yesterday – mostly to get a look at the hanging system the weird previous owners had used which I clearly am just going to have to take and and which I can’t reuse. Plus, because of the way they installed the metal roof on top of a shake roof and didn’t leave any easy way to take parts of it off, I can’t use a strap hanger for the new gutters. That means I have to attach to the fascia, but it isn’t a real fascia – it is a stuccoed fascia and if water gets into it it could spread. So the plan is to predrill pilot holes, squeeze in a dollop of caulk, dip the screw in caulk and attach the hanger and then do my best to caulk the hanger around the edge – all of which means quadrupling the work. I’m planning on putting up vinyl gutters since I am doing it myself and don’t have the ability to manage a 29 foot piece of extruded seamless aluminum all on my own.

Anyway, besides losing the job, the kids are getting teased and even bullied at school. Jan may lose her part time job and it is CERTAIN that the homeless clinic will be closed so she’ll have to do something else anyway.

World Traveler

Job hunting is interesting though. I have found jobs that I could do (although they may be kind of low level) in places like Warsaw (did not require Polish oddly) and Baghdad and Ottawa and Vancouver and London and lots in Seattle and a few in Texas and one in DC. There was also a cool job in Madrid being in charge of Bloomberg’s Spanish Bureau and deputising for being in charge of the European Bureau. But you had to speak fluent Spanish.

I’m probably going to apply for the job in London just for kicks.

In the meantime, the weekend will be spent guttering and cleaning and doing some other odd jobs.


Food? Is that what you said? What about the food? Not much actually. We are getting sublime, fantastic, delicious apricots in the organic box as well as in the stores. Asparagus seems to have petered out. Strawberries still coming both in the garden and box and stores. Cherry season is also here and we had about 5 pounds delivered picked that day in Brentwood by some friends and will probably head out there ourselves at some point to do the same thing. Cooking has been a low priority and about the only thing worth mentioning was a sort of Moroccan stew that I made. I put 5 pounds of chicken pieces in the crockpot with half a bottle of red wine and some mixed herbs and let it cook for five hours. Then I took it out, dumped it all in a pot on the stove, added two cans of crushed tomatoes with chilies and put it on to simmer on high. Then I added two jars of Trader Joe’s Moroccan Tagine sauce and four finely chopped cloves of garlic. Let it keep cooking for about another hour on low and chopped up dried apricots, sweet red peppers from a jar. Served the chicken on rice with the apricots, red peppers and some slivered toasted almonds in bowls to toss on top. It was surprisingly good.

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