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Chile

My two reliable housecleaning habits are not leaving dirty dishes or clothes around, so it's hard for me here to not bother cleaning up dishes from my own meals. OTOH, doing dishes for six after weekend lunch choripan (and breakfast earlier) renews my appreciation for the usual "leave it for the maid Monday", damn the class consciousness.

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For the first time this visit I was up early enough to go with S to the feria, or outdoor market. I've been there before, but before they didn't have a fish stand selling ceviche. After an unfortunate night following the seafood-heavy paella a few weeks ago, I went with the pure fish rather than general seafood ceviche, $2 for a good size bowl, and it was pretty good. Very lemony, naturally. I belatedly realized that the giant bags of lemons I saw beneath the fish in the supermarket years ago may not just be "lemon with seafood" complentary goods but people needing enough lemon juice to acid-cook their seafood in...

Fruit, like 70 cents a pound!

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A few days ago I went for a long walk downtown. If I ever moved here on my own, I'd want to live there; dense stories, and typically a bit of shade even a couple hours after noon a week after the summer solstice. OTOH, there's a 2-3 story building limit there, and many buildings don't even push that, or have offices on top, so good lucky finding a home. After a fair bit of wandering, including finding a sort of skylighted internal alley shopping area that I last saw in Google Street View photos of old Jerusalem, I hit a western terrace, beneath which was the zoo I was taken to in 2008. It's a very small zoo, basically a dozen animals in a park. Free, though a lot was under construction this time. But I saw some foxes, and chickens, and Andean condors in their giant cage from a distance, and ostriches from up close. God they're big. As before, there's only a single layer of chain-link fence, nothing preventing you from feeding your fingers to the animals. The male came up to the fence as I approached, I kept my distance. Elsewhere there are llamas, last time not even caged just grazing around, but eh.

Across the parking lot is the Japanese garden I only heard about this visit, and which turned out to be maybe the second best reason for living here. $2 to get in, and a nice large garden, designed by a Japanese architect. A small Zen rock garden, various Shinto or Buddhist 'lanterns' with signs, an island with a strongly curved bridge, another island with the usual zig-zag anti-demon bridges, lots of birds. White ducks, a non-white swan, a couple of large collections of ducklings. Which is an odd thing to type and then recall the vultures, who were circling over the garden. Never got a really close view of them this time, but I did see impressively large shadows on the trees as they soared past.

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S's sister gave Double Bananagrams for Christmas; it's nice having the game last a bit longer. I'm not great at it but I like Scrabble without the arbitrary Scrabble board.

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Time sense at 3.75 years seems loose. "Is it Christmas?"

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I am forced to concede that Disney eventually learned how to dub Miyazaki movies decently; we watched my gifts of Nausicaa and Spirited Away and I didn't want to punch my eardrums out. Nausicaa is an odd movie but that's not Disney's fault. I am less happy with the Princess Tutu dubs. Drosselmeyer is fine and maybe Neko-sensei (excuse me, Mr. Cat) but most of the others are gah. The kids are entranced anyway. I'm not sure what G&S think.

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Damien Sullivan
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