The rain has taken a turn for the decidedly more aggressive today, pounding on the roof and walls, making the sounds of dripping and splashing even more ubiquitous than they already were in my little corner of Highland Park. There are little pennant-shaped flags in the lawn across the street, meant to signify a particular spraying or lawn-care product or company, and they’ve all spent the day mostly bent over in feeble concession to the wind. Pools of water are everywhere, bespeckled by hundreds of tiny disturbances reflecting additional rain coming down.

All this is threatening to wash out RUDU’s latest public event tonight, since my limited experience with the Rutgers student body is that they react to rain like cats or rabbits might. The event is not outdoors, but this storm seems to send most undergrads fleeing for pajamas and higher ground. Hopefully at least our own team will feel compelled to show up and support the wrong side of the issue.

Other pools of water are a topic of wild speculation today, as it’s becoming clear that Mono Lake may hold alien lifeforms in its basin. It’s not quite as exciting as the average Spielberg movie, but it’s a pretty clear signal that our complacency about our understanding of life and the universe is suffering another well-deserved setback. If there’s one thing I’ve loved about the evolution of the scientific community over the course of my lifetime, it’s the growth in acknowledgment of extra-terrestrial life. When I first started attending science classes, the teachers soberly told me there was basically no chance we weren’t alone in the universe. Now that viewpoint has been patently proven to be absurd. It was facially absurd at the time they said it – any quick count of the stars should be enough to bat down the theory – but at least now their learned brethren are catching up to reality.

My own reality is catching up to my budget a bit of late. I spent almost exactly $2,000 this month just ended (November), and the thinning out of medical bills and upfront costs for living provided some welcome relief. I’m not exactly on the pace I want to be on yet, but this month’s pace would at least be livable and not deplete a scarier percentage of my reserves than October’s pace. I also like the distribution a lot better:

There! Recreation is up, food as a percentage of the total is stable while overall spending is down almost 20%, and most of the other categories are at least under control. This month ahead should provide a lot of home-based savings as well with my return to Nuevo. If only I could not pay rent since I won’t be in Jersey most of the month. Then we’d really be talking.

Been really stepping up the walking lately as well, though today’s circumstances are likely to put a damper (pun intended) on that for the time being. I wonder if I can start walking at this pace in Albuquerque too, a city notoriously designed for the automobile. It’s only 2.7 miles from my parents’ place to the Frontier, which is competitive with distances I’ve become accustomed to here. Granted that it will be colder in Burque, but also less precipitated.

Six days and counting.