Overflow Stuff

12 January 2003

With the number of books we have here on my to-read piles from Christmas and the library, you'd think it'd be enough. You really would. And I'm not even particularly jealous of Matt's 66-book library sale haul, because, as Timprov pointed out to me, 66 more books might well be the crystallization point of our apartment. (Which would be kind of cool, actually, if it meant books started just falling out of the air...I think I would like that...even if I had to hide under the bed for awhile so as not to get smacked on the head with falling books. But let's not try it.)

But I do want Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. I know, I know, I can download it for free whenever I want. But I'm spending enough time at the computer right now, and I just want to hold it in my hands and smell it and read it. So when I get my Amazon payment from Ideomancer for "Natural Limitations," that's what I'm going to get. Also some music, although our music is starting to fill up the last place we have designated for it as well. (We've filled the CD rack and both CD sides of the entertainment center, as well as a little wooden CD holder and the great big CD books Timprov has.) What this means: it's getting to be time to move. Into a place with more room for books, obviously.

While I'm waiting to get Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, though, there's still more than plenty to read, as I said. Yesterday I finished The Spellcoats and started Everyday Life in the Viking Age. The brain is pretty clearly in the groove here. The myffic explanations seem obvious and logical to me, for why people do things: why the Vikings were sometimes referred to as Ashmen (in terms of the ash tree), for example. I began to have the sense clear back when I was 15 that most of the people who wrote about the Vikings, at least in the 1970s and before, were attempting to only use logical/rational data and thus discarded saga sources, eddas, and such. Which are, it is true, not always a reliable record of the facts of history, but they do give a good idea of how the people were thinking when they were written. What was important, what was obvious, what was assumed. Which is also important if you're constructing theories about why they behaved as they did. It's important not to mistake a saga for a modern history, but it's also important not to ignore them.

Also, they're great fun.

What I need in Dwarf's Blood Mead, though, is more brooding. No, seriously. Soldrun's grieving. Her brothers are at daggers drawn, and there's this big scary prophecy. She needs to think about the prophecy more. Luckily, she can do that while running around doing things, traveling and so on. I think it'll be good. And soon, even, although I have a whole mess of typing yet to do. A whole big mess. The thing is that I keep doing new stuff, edits, and so on, and not just sitting down and typing the whole of my work from when I was gone. Which is probably better for my back, to have me popping up and wandering back and forth mumbling about alder carvings of gripping-beasts. But it's harder to quantify what gets done that way.

In the totally unquantifiable area, I talked to my grands and to Scott yesterday. We have a cordless phone now, thanks to Daniel at Christmas, so now I can pace when I talk. This is a blessing when I'm home alone or effectively alone (when Timprov is in bed or otherwise in his room with the door closed), but we'll see whether it gets on the guys' nerves when they're around here.

We could also use a bigger place for pacing. My folks' house is set up so that there's a decent length of hall for pacing, and also a circle of rooms at the end of it: reading room into kitchen, kitchen into dining room, dining room into great room, great room into reading room. A very good pacing house. I don't know that we'll end up with one of those, and it's not a major priority in house hunting, but I do like having space to pace, and also to do leaps. Leaps are the very best thing about eight years of ballet.

I'm trying to figure out what to do with our Stuff. See, I came home from Christmas with more Stuff, including sweaters that I will wear a good deal more next year. I don't want to get rid of previous stuff that's still perfectly good and then have to buy new when we move: I'm going to need sweaters and flannel and little summer dresses, because we're moving somewhere with seasons, dammit, even if we don't know where yet. I think I may need another sweater box for under the bed. I'll examine things today or tomorrow, maybe, and see how much of it is going to Goodwill and how much is going to need to be stored here.

One of the problems is that the clothes that don't fit me tend to be too big -- like the jeans from last Christmas, where we foolishly believed in the manufacturer and washed the jeans, only to find out that they had drastically changed the sizing. Too big. Wayyyy too big. Never fit me, not even for a picosecond. However. I will eventually be pregnant, yah? We're hoping, anyway. (We're also hoping for not-soon, and taking the appropriate steps to make sure it stays that way. I feel like I have to reiterate this every time I mention wanting kids. I'm now evidently old enough and married enough that I could conceivably mean, like, tomorrow, and it's a little scary every time someone makes that assumption. No. Not tomorrow. Not even the next day.) Aaaaanyway, when I do get pregnant, having some bigger jeans around could be useful for awhile, until having maternity clothing is the only option. So I don't really want to get rid of this stuff. Why buy it again? But this does leave me with the problem that I have less Stuff I should get rid of and more Stuff I should store.

Some people I know are pretty opposed to Stuff. Not me. I'm opposed to sucky Stuff. But Stuff in general? Not a problem. When I married Mark, my uncle Pete said something sad about the end of the time when I could throw my guitar in the backseat and drive off into the sunset. I don't have a guitar. Pianists never get to throw their instrument in the backseat. (And I don't think of myself as a flutist, primarily; flutists don't even need the backseat. Flutists can drive off into the sunset in C.J.'s car no problem. Except that Ceej might be kind of annoyed at the disappearance of his car.) Besides that, my library passed up "backseat" levels when I was maybe 13 and hasn't stopped yet, and doesn't show any signs of it. And though many anti-Stuff people want to claim that books are different, they aren't, really: the distinction is between Stuff I Like and Stuff I Don't Like. Everybody makes that distinction. It's not a great moral point.

It's hard to be into Scandibaking and be opposed to Stuff, too, because Scandibaking is the baking of Stuff, big time. I thought everybody had a cookie press, or at least everybody who made cookies. Evidently not. Ditto for cookie stamps, lefse turners (which, contrary to Wendy's belief, were not intended for vampire-slaying double-duty, although I can see why that picture might make her think so), lefse rollers, krumkake irons, sandbakelser tins, rosette irons...there's a lot of Stuff I need to be able to bake the stuff I like, is what I'm saying. And I'm fine with that. And if there are tools I need to make tasty dishes from other people's ethnic heritage, that's fine, too. I'll get those eventually, as I figure out that I want them and have the budget/storage space.

I'm not a dedicated Stuff person -- we only have one set of dishes for everyday and fancy, for example. We didn't want anything so fancy that it would be a tragedy if it got lost or broken; we didn't want to eat daily meals off of ugly plates, either. So we got that nice Dansk pattern in blue. If Mark hadn't put his foot down, we'd have gotten interesting silver that would do double-duty as everyday and fancy; instead, we got boring silver for the same purposes. But it's nice enough Stuff, all of it, and it gets used, pretty much. So what I'm saying is that I don't feel like the Stuff in my life needs a lot of streamlining at this point. I just need a little more armoire space for my sweaters and stuffs.

Whew, was that pointless. Not as pointless as the "cheesy football" recipe in today's coupon section. But still not my most pointful digression to date. Ah well. I got my enchilada yesterday, though not from Julio's (Julio's, in Omaha, is kind of a yuppie Tex-Mex place, so I can get enchiladas with black beans, mushrooms, and broccoli -- sometimes I really go for inauthentic), and today I have a mad craving for hot cereals. Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, CocoWheats, grits...what I really want is grits. We don't have any grits, and I should probably eat leftovers for lunch anyway. This is not a good deal more pointful than babbling about Stuff, I realize, and it's probably a sign that I should go back to getting stuff done, a little at a time. A lot at a time would also work.

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