Things I learned this weekend

I’m trying to be more structured about what I post, so today I thought I’d write up what the key things were that I think I learned this weekend – read on for something about dinosaurs, coffee, Elmore Leonard, haze, the importance of reservations, and more about the haze.

Dinesaur – grr. I never realised until today, when checking the response to a joke, that fossil fuels don’t come from the remains of dinosaurs, but from plant matter. Why did I not know that before?

I still don’t like coffee. This morning we were shambling wrecks (again) partly because I stayed up late last night reading, and also because I didn’t eat properly yesterday despite going cray-cray-crazy at the spinning class. So mid-afternoon, after a nap, we went over to Nylon and I had a coffee, to see if I liked the taste or not, and found that I thought it was atrocious. I’ve drunk coffee in Ronin, Gaest and Nylon since I got back from London, and all three were places that served reliably good coffee, so I guess the fault can’t be with them, it’s with me: I really have gone off the taste. Good for me that I’ve weaned myself off the daily latte now, then.

Elmore Leonard wasn’t shy of repeating himself. I’ve just finished reading The Hot Kid, 385 pages about Carl Webster, a US Marshal in the 1920s, who has a complicated relationship with a criminal (and various molls), and is a crack shot. Now, having just watched five seasons of Justified, a TV series based on Elmore Leonard’s writing, and with a US Marshal in the late 2000s, who has a complicated relationship with a criminal (and one or two molls), and is a crack shot, I began to feel some familiarity with the tropes that were being worked through. I’m not saying it’s a terrible thing, but it feels like Leonard really identified some things that would work and then stuck with them. (Also, I prefer the film of Out of Sight to the original novel, but that says more about me, perhaps, than the great Leonard.)

The haze isn’t here forever. This morning my wife, in a state of great excitement, opened all the windows because the pollution level was below 100. Which means not-terribly-unhealthy-right-now. Because I was exhausted (see above) I wasn’t in a mood to go all the way to the zoo (just in case the levels spiked back up again) but we had a good morning, getting out to MacRitchie reservoir for a walk for what felt like the first time in a year. However, the lack of eating that I’d done, combined with the lack of sleep and some unwise clothing choices, meant we had to take a taxi back rapido, with me on the verge of fainting while smelling of rotten vegetables. I don’t know if that means I’ve learned I need stronger deodorant though.

Patrick Bateman was right – don’t go anywhere if you don’t have reservations. This evening, after we’d been out shopping and entertained La Serpiente by taking her to a play gym in a shopping mall, I went for a run with one of my friends from the track sessions. We did close to 15km – I suffered horribly for the last, er, 10 km or so. But afterwards we were able to go straight to a pizza restaurant. Which was fully booked. And too busy to even provide takeaway pizza in the next 45 minutes.

On the positive side, I think that one run was more distance than I covered in all of September. Plus it was the first time that I got to wear my new compression socks, and my legs don’t feel dreadful (I was all out of puff all along the Green Corridor, but still capable of sprinting the last fifty yards – but that was the lure of pizza).

On the negative side, I am quite aware of how slow I am at the moment. This haze sucks.

Finally, just because the pollution levels can drop swiftly, that doesn’t mean they can’t come straight back up again. Right now, the air quality index is back up to 155 (unhealthy). On the page right now, there’s an advert for Asian Dating: “Explore Philippine Women”. Well, I checked the air quality in Manila and it’s just as bad as it is in Singapore right now, so that hardly helps.

As a special bonux I’m really forgetful. Or I didn’t learn anything yesterday. Are those really the same thing?

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