My day improved. I started in on the Dunlop memoir and I'm enjoying it. Damn it though, I wish it was a tad more academic. I know she could be. She ought to come out with an academic book on Chinese foodways, she could be the next E.N. Anderson (who wrote a mighty fine book "Food in China" in the 60s, which is a classic). And then I could use her book if I ever get to teach Food and Culture.
I have been hitting tennis balls against a back board as a replacement for the exercise I was getting running. I have a hip injury that will not go away which has halted the running. But for some reason, stepping side to side doesn't bug it, so tennis is really good. I'm amazed at how much is returning. There was a moment when I thought I perhaps should accept the weakness in my swing and switch to a two handed backhand. Which made me go "Oh my god! I'm turning into my mother! I can't have a two handed back hand." My mom has a two handed back hand, all the time (whereas my dad is more selective). Thankfully I think things are progressing and I'll skip switching up my backhand. When they come visit I'm going to have my dad help me figure out a serve, that's always been a huge problem for me. If I can get that sorted I'll actually be able to play with people. And amazingly my forehand is under control enough that I am also going to ask him to help me work on back spin techniques too. I'm flat astonished that after 11 years of not picking up a racket I'm basically doing all right after such a short time (I've only been out like 4 or 5 times now).
We went and looked at a house
yesterday. Oh my great googly moogly. The pictures online were so cute and the price was so low and it has a large yard (supposedly an acre- after visiting, yeah right). However, there was a sketchy apartment complex right up the way from it. And two sketchy houses next door to it. And if that wasn't enough, there was a brothel ("Quality" "All female staff") on the corner. And if the brothel wasn't enough, then there was the fact that the pics of an empty house were wrong, renters who did not want anyone to see the house lived there with "a pack of dogs." This and the brothel was actually the deal breaker. When we swung by, there was a mellow dog chained in the back yard, and supposedly a pack in the house with the lady who did NOT want us to come in. If that house ever sells I will be amazed. Bleh. House hunting sucks.
I like our Realtor though, she isn't pushy and shows us whatever house we ask her to. After the crazy pack of dogs house, she took us up the road to show us where she grew up in a log cabin. The reason she has so many East Durham listings is that she lived there for so long she knows a ton of people there and they all come to her to sell their houses. Which makes me feel better about her. She was also really sweet to the people in the Dog House, and offered to try to find them a house to buy (the renters complained that they were being hounded to death by Realtors). I worry about her a bit though. She is very old and frail. I don't think she eats enough. I'm going to bake some muffins to bring her the next time we go out.