December 18, 2005

Another dark day in Madison.

At some point the days will start to lengthen, but for now, we're still plunging into the darkness. I spent most of the morning immersed in the Sunday NYT, then I went out to buy a lightbulb -- a special trip for a particular halogen model, which I desperately needed to restore full light to my half-lit bathroom. It's bad enough that the light outdoors is inadequate. The indoor lighting deficiency was annoying enough to overcome my current aversion to shopping and to propel me toward Menards, where a nice employee pointed out the crucial bulb and got me out of there in 5 minutes. I relocated with notebook, books, and crossword -- ah, a diagramless second puzzle! -- at a café over on Monroe Street. I'd left my computer at home, because I didn't want to struggle with the temptation that is WiFi. I chose a high table in a cluttered corner and spent two hours scribbling notes about a book I'm reviewing and taking little breaks to work on the puzzle or to read a few pages of that short story.

Café

11 comments:

Dale B said...

Just hold on a couple days. In Madison the solstice is Dec 21 at 12:35. It's all cake from there.

brylin said...

Are you feeling SAD?

Some recommend light therapy:

"The light must be suitably bright. At least 2500lux (lux is the technical measure of brightness) is needed, which is five times brighter than a well-lit office (a normal living room might be as low as 100lux); brighter lights up to 10,000lux work quicker. The lightbox must deliver the lux at a sensible distance, so you don't have to be sat too close to it. Contrary to the old belief the light does not need to be special daylight, colour matching or 'full spectrum' light; simply changing the lamps in a room to these special types will not produce sufficient light."

Iron Fist's Cat said...

Ann.. .on another topic, if you are still having trouble with Garageband for podcasting, here is another solution:

http://www.freeverse.com/soundstudio/

It's $75 for this exellent recording/editing program and you can use it 10 times for free before deciding if you want to buy it.

Ann Althouse said...

Brylin: No, I'm not depressed at all. Just a little pissed at nature for this darkness.

peter hoh said...

So Menards is not your kind of store. I'm not surprised. Ever been in a Mills Fleet Farm? My first time, I thought I had entered a time warp. It was like stepping back to the 1970s.

Al Maviva said...

Ann, do you realize what a profound thing you did in buying that lightbulb?

For millennia, all we had were dim wooden fires, maybe some animal or vegetable fat lamps, and then candles. We upgraded to mineral oils a century or two ago, but we were still slaves to the natural rhythm of the Earth, for the most part. You could only make a place so bright with fire.

The electric light obviously changed that for many of us; and today, we have the luxury of picking not only how much light we want, but what shade it should be, the intensity, etc. You can pick a light strong enough to blister the top of your nice kitchen table, or you can pick one to imitate, ironically enough, candlelight or firelight.

A good chunk of the world doesn't have this option. It strikes me that we live in a pretty wonderful time, we're a very small portion of humanity, a chunk of people in just one particular age, that isn't forced to live entirely in thrall to the Sun and the clouds...

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

So you're reading short stories these days? What story?

Ann Althouse said...

Richard: Way to reveal you're not keeping up with Audible Althouse! I read "Brokeback Mountain." It's not really my thing to read short stories -- or even fiction anymore. I make some comments on the writing style of the story in the podcast.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

I don't have any iPods lying around to listen with. As for Proulx's prose style, I hope you gave it to her good, as B. R. Myers did in his landmark essay A READER'S MANIFESTO a few years ago.

Ann Althouse said...

Richard: You can listen on your computer. Just click on the button over at the podcast site and it will play.

As to that essay, I read it long ago. I should reread it.

Mike said...

I bring you tidings of some joy, anyway: Sunset has been getting later in Madison each day since the 10th.