- I love pizza and that includes frozen pizza. I also love cola and that includes diet caffeine-free cola.
- Sanguinity and I started re-watching Jane the Virgin last night. It is as absorbing as ever.
- While I ate my frozen pizza tonight I read a delightful Clint/Bucky fic by flawedamythyst in which Clint is shot with a truth ray.
Gradually, Then Suddenly
A couple of weeks ago I was proofreading a newsletter for my co-worker, and it felt strange that Black wasn’t capitalized when talking about people. I didn’t correct it, because it was consistent and I follow Chicago Manual of Style instead of APA for that newsletter, but sure enough a few days later the CMS confirmed my spidey-sense and announced the change in their recommendations. The AP, and therefore the website formerly known as my local paper, too. It was definitely less than a year ago but feels like ancient history that seeing Black capitalized meant I was reading something from the 1970s or a social work article.
”Is it reflex or sickness?”
I can’t remember how I got there—probably from Twitter—but I watched this five-minute video about asemic writing by Ananda Naima González, and gave it a try. Mine came out like this:
Looking back at the translation I wrote shortly afterward, it does reflect my state of mind on the day I wrote it. My favorite line: “is it reflex or sickness?”
If I try it again, I might write right to left, since I don’t usually get to do that and as a lefty it might feel good.
Love from A to Z, by S.K. Ali
Just finished the audiobook of this Muslim YA romance and it was so good! In the middle I was getting big Pride and Prejudice feels—they needed to work through their different outlooks on life, for real, but it was never the annoying “just a big misunderstanding” romance trope.
Then I was heading out for a walk and there was 45 minutes left in the book, and Adam and Zayneb were in love and trusting each other and communicating, and I thought, “Is it going to be 45 minutes of how things worked out happily?” and reader, it pretty much was!
I loved Adam’s family in particular and also now want to visit Doha. Islamophobia is a topic in the book, but not in the characters’ families or between Adam and Zayneb, It’s more about thinking through how to be yourself and not lose joy in your life even though haters are lurking.
There is a meant-to-be, Happily Ever After vibe much like the one in When Dimple Met Rishi, but it didn’t feel limiting to me like some YA romance does when it goes that way. Maybe because they weren’t high school boyfriend/girlfriend.
Anyway, it was a balm and just what I like in an audiobook.
Three More Things Wrap Up a Post
- CSA vegetables are a lifestyle. Last night I made a Caesar salad. Tonight is red lentil dal with turnip greens, radish greens, and mustard greens.
- Sanguinity and I are rewatching Farscape, about halfway through the first season. I forgot how trippy it is! like half the episodes are about some weird drug they come across. We remember the first season being something to get through before the show gets good, but at the same time a LOT happens in the first season.
- I’ve walked about six miles today. Since I’ve been following a rule that each week’s running mileage is half the walking mileage of the previous week, I will be running at least (checks log) five miles next week. That’s more than I have been.
I took the stairs to the office. This reminded me of The Number Painter skits on Sesame Street.
1. Because sanguinity and I watched Yuri on Ice a couple of weeks ago,
yesterday we met after work for a pork cutlet bowl. I got tonkatsu and she got spicy pork bowl, both tasty but neither quite like the show’s:
I may or may not feel compelled to keep trying.
2. I went to my first Zumba class, at the community center this morning! My plan to hide in the back didn’t work out, as there were only two students including me. But my 1980s high-school aerobics chops got me through.
3. Two audiobooks on my phone and neither one really doing it for me. So I’m downloading I Woke Up Dead at the Mall.
It’s set at the Mall of America. For those keeping track, I was not a finalist in their Writer in Residence contest. Well, onward and upward.
From Tumblr, apparently, via owlectomy:
You are now a Time Lord. The object closest to your left hand is your Sonic item. One of your parents’ occupations is your title. Your last text is your catchphrase
I am The Secretary. I have a Sonic Oatmeal Bowl. My catchphrase is, “Someone should tell them about the Idea Fairy in the shower.”
If I do say so myself, I would totally watch a holiday special about Time Lord Me.
I replaced my damaged Scarlatti keyboard sonatas CD with one by Dubravka Tomsic. I’ve always liked listening to Scarlatti while I work– I remember a happy snowy morning of geometry homework and Scarlatti when we were doing compass and straight-edge. Yes, trisecting an angle for fame and fortune, I will get right on that! And Scarlatti is in the subset of my writing music that Sanguinity can tolerate when we’re at home writing together. (Russian men’s chorus, no. Enya’s Shepherd Moon definitely no, although it always works because I wrote my whole thesis to it. Cristina Branco yes.) Anyway, I think this version and I will become friends just fine.
Many of our tomatoes were volunteers this year, but they made it and the orange cherry-sized ones are especially nice. Some split skins because of the sudden rains.
Sanguinity took me for pho last night and the restaurant’s TV was showing the Emmys. I hadn’t seen any of the comedies. Remember when the best TV was sit-coms and the Friends cast made more money than any actors ever? When I stayed at a hotel alone this summer and channel-surfed before going to sleep, none of the reruns I clicked through held up to the test of time except Frasier. That surprised me, because I got pretty sick of Frasier when it was being broadcast.
I’m supposed to go to a strike captains’ training tomorrow because my union may go on strike Monday. But even though the union’s good about providing food, I am a very hard sell for meetings that last over an hour. No way 5:30 to 8:30 is going to work for me.
- To my surprise, I was invited to a Jeopardy audition after all! I wasn’t really feelin’ it once dates and travel budgets got real, but it’s nice to be asked.
- Last night I cut up a bunch of fruit for a training I was helping with this morning, and put it in the car to keep it cool overnight because there wasn’t enough room in the fridge. Sure enough, the car was prowled overnight…but they didn’t take the fruit. Who doesn’t want 25 bucks’ worth of delicious precut fruit?! The trunk was open and stuff was thrown around, but all that was missing were the Shell gift cards that had been in the glove compartment. A ball cap was left behind in the driver’s side footwell. It has duct tape on the front and on the duct tape is written REDNECK. I don’t want it, so I’m srsly thinking of hanging it on the fence near where the car was parked, in case Car Prowler wants it back.
- Sanguinity and I have gotten up to nine miles in our marathon training walks, which means on Saturday evening we walked from our house down to Sellwood Riverfront Park and home again. I heard a pair of mourning doves from the Springwater Trail. Next week’s assignment is a modest four miles, so maybe a hike at Angel’s Rest?
- I’m reading Peter Cameron’s Coral Glynn. It’s a quiet book, but this scene at an awkward wedding luncheon made me laugh:
The bridal party arrived, and when they were all correspondingly seated, a waiter appeared with a magnum of champagne and went round the table, filling everybody’s coupe. He was young and terrified and had apparently been told that each squat glass must be filled to its brim. Everyone sat in silence while this feat was slowly and painstakingly achieved. Little beads of quivering perspiration appeared on the waiter’s forehead. Watching him was like watching a medical student suture a wound.
When the waiter had scurried out of the room, Robin stood and attempted to raise his glass, but its brimming abundance made this impossible, so he bent down and sipped preventatively from it, and, so tamed, managed to hold it before him. “A toast,” he said, “to Clement and Coral: May their days be long and their loads be light, with peaceful days and fruitful nights!”
Everyone agreed to this toast by leaning over and sipping in a delicate feline way at their champagne.
- Supposed to ride my bike to work tomorrow, as I resolved to do once a week for the PSU Bike to Work Challenge that’s happening all this month. Last time, I tried using only one gear to see if I’d like a single-speed bike. I got off and walked uphill twice on my way home. This time, I will try using three gears. I think Portland has a club for riders of three-speeds.
Basically, I act like I should get a medal for riding to work: I am willing to do it if there is lots of praise and prize drawings and preferably a free breakfast involved. After this month I’ll be reading my book on the bus again.
When I was with the in-laws for the holidays, Jeopardy was one of the tv shows that seemed to appeal to everybody. So when I got home, it occurred to me to look up how people get on the show.
Turns out the first step is a 50-question online test, and one was coming right up in January. So I registered, and yesterday I stayed a little late at work (where the good computers are) and took it.
You get 15 seconds to type each answer, and you don’t have to do the “in the form of a question” thing, so I had time to jot down notes in my notebook after typing. I think I missed eight questions. If they’re seeking a nice solid B student type, I’m sure they’ll give me a ring, hahaha.
- On the tip of my tongue, but couldn’t retrieve them: Steve Ballmer is the CEO of Microsoft. The wars between Rome and Carthage were the Punic Wars (not the Pyrrhic Wars). That popular game on FaceBook was Farm Town.
- Flat didn’t know: Kiev is the capitol of Ukraine. The Caspian Sea is considered the largest lake in the world. Andrew Garfield recently played Spiderman in the movies.
- Pleasantly surprised that I got right: Madison is the capitol of Wisconsin!
- There were lots of book questions, thankfully. Books and/or authors were Jane Eyre, The Color Purple, Joseph Conrad, Stephen King, Moby Dick, Camus, The Lovely Bones, and Annie Proulx.
Lowest-hanging fruit if I ever want to study and do better: GEOGRAPHY.
At work I’ve gone from 3/4 time to full time for the next couple of months, to help fill in for someone on medical leave. Last week was my first 40-hour work week in ages. Let the whining commence!
Nah…I miss my schoolkid schedule, but it’s temporary. I’m cutting back on nearly everything else– no going to Chinuk wawa three times a week for awhile, and I don’t know how many walks with refgoddess I can fit in when I have to be at the office by 8:30. Running remains on the back burner. I think I’ll do best when I make things very simple: work, writing, and basic maintenance of health and household. Monastic contentment, right? And I can use the money, with a Colorado trip coming up and some furnace-and-roof debt still on the books.
But I do feel a rumble of resentment and panic when my time starts to resemble a sliding-tile puzzle, where I’m moving blocks around but constantly running into the walls of work and sleep. When I consider getting up a half-hour earlier to do something, and it won’t work because it will disrupt things back into the previous evening. Life shouldn’t be like that.
At least I’ve been better than usual this week about taking advantage of short writing opportunities. Ten minutes suddenly seems worthwhile, I’m writing on the bus a little because I might not get another chance all day, and an hour feels like luxury instead of obligation. I hope I’ll have a little to show for it after eight weeks, as I very very slowly conjure up this novel.
Today Sang and I got out to Powell Butte for a little hike– in fact we were all done and back at the house, with a grocery trip thrown in, by eleven o’clock! The wind was cold, so we hastened to the forested far side of the hill. Lots of yellow violets blooming, and the nettles are knee-high and looking pretty darn vigorous already. I was happy to hear a raven, after a winter of staying in town hearing crows.
Yesterday I got around to making soda bread, after buying the buttermilk just before St. Patrick’s Day. Warm with butter: so good.
Next book to read: Lisa Lutz’ Trail of the Spellmans, fifth in a series that makes me laugh out loud. (I’m currently finishing up Kage Baker’s The Children of the Company: satisfying to fill in some knowledge-gaps, but Mendoza is the heart of the series for me and she doesn’t appear in this one.) As for TV, Sang and I are re-watching the first season of Sarah Connor Chronicles, which feels much richer and more suspenseful than the first time around. (So many shows I’m iffy about the first season. Will they all seem better on re-watch?)
I got off the bus a mile from home to pick up my library holds. Even though I’m in the middle of both Maisie Dobbs and James’ Ambassadors, I had to bring the new ones up on Spaceship Couch with me and sample them.
- David Carkeet’s mystery novel (starring a linguist) Double Negative, because I so loved his piece The Crap In My Head the other day. (His crap has become my crap– I hear “A B? A B?” now too.)
- Something called My Business Is to Create: Blake’s Infinite Writing, a writing advice book based on William Blake’s life and writings. Partly because, what chutzpah, and partly because I’m hooked on the genre.
- Vivian Gussin Paley’s The Boy on the Beach: Building Community Through Play. I love her, I love the respect she gives children and their work together in the classroom. As she’s talking about play I of course experiment with substituting “writing,” just as I do when I read about religion, or about business or work. But here I wonder about substituting “television” instead– isn’t this why I prefer good television to movies?
As in a really good research study, play does not value closure. It seeks new direction and unexpected results. We want to be surprised but also reassured that we know the territory.
But now I have to find clothes to wear tomorrow, and put a frozen burrito in a sandwich bag, and floss, and stretch over the big orange ball so I’m not a curled-up, barely breathing reading thing.