Presents and Resolve

9 January 2003

So let's see. Still too much. I'm at this stage all over my life: where I have so much to do that I'm not sure where to start. I just have to pick points and go with them. Things to do, places to go. Eventually people to see, although that'll be a few days at least. People to write to, certainly.

One of the good things about the time I was gone is that Mark got invited to two different institutions of higher learning for interviews this month. And many of the places he's applied haven't even started inviting people for interviews. So we'll see where that goes. It's another situation that's a little hard to write about: I don't want to put a lot of pressure on him by giving the world specifics about where he's going, who he's talking to, how he thinks it went on both sides, etc. If he wanted to do that, he could keep his own journal. On the other hand, having him popping in and out does affect my life. So I'm just going to start numbering them. From the 11th to the 14th, he'll be at Institution1. On the 20th and 21st, it'll be Institution2. They aren't prioritization numbers. Well, they are for now. But that's purely coincidence, and I doubt that prioritization will remain the same when there's an Institution3.

And it's not a situation where there's a total ordering, certainly. If every institution to which he's applied offered him a job, I'm truthfully not sure which one we'd pick. Which is not at all a bad thing: it would be a good choice to have to make, and it's also nice to know that there are several places that could make us equally happy.

Anyway, I'd love to say that the next few days will be spent with Mark, cuddling and talking about possibilities for the future. And we'll do some of that, I hope. But mostly we'll be working, and I'll be settling back in. Ah well.

I've been cropping pictures, and hoo boy, do I have a ton of pictures. Spotty pictures -- that is, they only show up from a few time periods while I was gone, not that they have spots all over them. You knew that. Right? So. There'll be some from Christmas Eve in Omaha, and some from Christmas day, and a few from Gritter Christmas in Wisconsin (although Sarah and Jeff said we could trade shots there, so we may have more on that page in a bit), and several from Minnesota. The ones from Christmas Eve and Minnesota will have cute child pictures (Indy Myers and Siri and Gavin Orser, respectively), and the one from Wisconsin will have Andrew's new girlfriend in it. She rocks. She brought me krumkake. And also rocks in other ways, but you know, she had me at the krumkake. Don't know when I'll get those up, but it should be soonishly, since I've sorted and cropped all the pictures. I just have this habit of telling stories to go with them, you know? And that's the part that takes a bit of time, and I have a few other things on the list.

It was a very Dumas Christmas, apropos of nothing. Very, very Dumas. I got Twenty Years After and all three volumes of The Vicomte de Bragelonne. Ooh, ooh, and I also got The Paths of the Dead, which is not by Dumas, but it's in that Dumasy series thing Steven Brust has been doing. It was also Emotional Woman Music Christmas: two Liz Phair, one Sarah McLachlan. Which Timprov thinks will go well with Dumas, and that may be, but I'm not sure how bearable I'll be after that. Then again, it's a nice contrast to Icelandic saga language, maybe. Either that or I'll have strange ideas about honor and metaphor for months after. This is also particularly dangerous because I discovered that the Baroness Orczy didn't stop with The Scarlet Pimpernel, and, in fact, our library has several more in that series. Drool. I'd better take up someone really stark as an antidote. And for heaven's sake nobody tell me Hemingway, either, because he is not my Papa Ernie any more than I have an Uncle Walt, thank you very much.

Ahem. Anyway. I got my chix0r shirt (see the pictures later today!) and my books and my SmartWool socks, so that was what I wanted, and then I got several more things I didn't even know I wanted, but they're very cool. I got grown-up coloring books and colored pencils. I got a pizza stone and a lefse turner (also pictured). I got sweaters and a nifty skirt, and I'll get a monitor for myself on my parents' dime, and going-home shoes. They're boiled wool clogs. Which says "I'm going home!" to me. Because what call do I have for boiled wool clogs in California? I mean, I might wear them anyway, know.

Oh, hey, and I got next year's Halloween costume, if I don't decide to wear my sari. You know what I'm going as? My mom at age 25. Roughly. I'm not cutting my hair off for this costume, nor am I having a kid, but it's the same general idea. This shirt is very pretty and soft and comfortable, but when I picked it out as something I liked, Mom got the funniest look on her face, and then she started laughing. Evidently she had "twenty million" of this particular shirt in the '70s. Evidently they are quite easy to make. Dunno. I just like it, is all. I could do with, if not twenty million, at least a couple more like it. But it is...yes, pretty '70s, and with the hair, well, yeah. Fun, though.

And we got Timprov a harmonica, and he's already pretty good on it, and I don't know who's enjoying this present more, him or me. Not right now, because he's sleeping. But when he's awake and messing with it, I mean.

Before we left Minneapolis, I finished reading the copy of Shadow Puppets Timprov got from the library there. It was fun, but the ending was not at all satisfying to me. I guess I never believed that it was going to go any other way in what Card saw as the main thread, and in the other threads, he really didn't do much. I liked some of the stuff with Theresa (Ender's mom) early on, but I kept rolling my eyes at the gender notions in this book. He explicitly stated that Petra, as a girl, had been rare in the Battle School, because the kids had been tested for a combination of aggression and ruthlessness. Heh. As someone with pretty clear memories of childhood and adolescence as a girl, let me assure you that "aggressive and ruthless" is near the top of my list of free associations for girls between maybe 8 and 14. "Piranhas" also makes the list. But not for Mr. Card. Heck no. He seems to be on about females being the carriers of civilization.

Which is true, if you define civilization as "hurting people in such a way that they can still work productively for your interests." Which I guess some people do, and some nations do. But that's a bit of a digression for this morning, and I don't think I need to nurture that kind of mood, particularly.

I read many better books over the time I was gone, is the more cheerful moral of the story. But I'll get to that tomorrow, I think.

I've read New Year's resolutions from a lot of people, and many of the people I've read sound like they're resolving good stuff, making good changes in their lives. I don't usually make resolutions anyway -- well, last year I resolved not to take on so much stuff to do, and you saw how well that worked out. This year I just don't know. I can make new month resolutions. Maybe I could resolve as far as February. But things are changing so fast around here that I don't even know where to look beyond then. There's all this stuff with Mark's job. There's Dwarf's Blood Mead and the Not The Moose and edits and thises and thats. And if I make a resolution like trying a new bread recipe from my new The Great Scandinavian Baking Book (hee! Go me!) every month, I don't want it to be more of a chore than a joy. I'm pretty good at doing things that are chores, but that doesn't mean I should add joys to the list of them, do you see what I mean?

Probably I should make another resolution like last year, not to take on too much. But I think I'd rather do it actively this time: I'll resolve to make time to relax. Positive rather than negative. It's a start, maybe. And it's about as far as I can go right now. It's exciting to be future-shocky about my own life, but also scary.

Oh, I don't think I ever put the link in to "Glass Wind" in TCMSFF. So here it is: "Glass Wind". Yay! The Snow Queen is not done with the main character after this story, though. Nor is this character done running around in weirdness. Which is good, because this series is fun to write. Also, Revelry is not named Dale accidentally. This is a college friend I haven't heard from in ages, and, well, there he was, ready to be in the story. So I put him there, and I hope there he stays. We'll see. It's set at my alma mater. Good place for such things.

Anyway, right, well. Much to do and little time, as always. Look for pictures later today or early tomorrow, on the links above.

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