In Which Our Heroine Is Not Sure You'll Agree

9 February 2004

Yesterday, a good day; last night, not such a hot night. Don't know why I couldn't sleep much, but that's how it worked out, so here I am, a little tired and a little headachy. Well, we'll get there from here, eventually.

The good day part: some work of my own. Reading some of Wizard's Holiday, which is well-done enough to pull me along through it with interest. Watching BNL play at the All-Stars game, and also watching some of the game. Getting mopped and ready in time for Stella and Mike and Roo to get here, even though they were early (which is fine -- more Roo time). I swear that boy knows more words every time we see him. (Err, Roo, not Mike.) We had to insist that the moose magnets were moose and not, in fact, turtles, but that was fine. And Stella brought books to borrow and then took home some of ours on my recommendation, which is how it's supposed to be. Also we figured out a specific day and activity for getting together next time, so that's one less thing to put on the list to figure out.

It snowed here -- I think it's done now, but I can't really be sure in this lighting or lack thereof until I open the door and get the newspaper. It's still winter, even though it's warmer, not so numbing any more. It's a relief to still have winter right now. I'm not quite ready for spring. I know it'll be lovely in its own way, but it's only February. Still time for snow.

Oh, and here's a Public Service Announcement for residents of the state of Dealing with the Mrissa: kindly do not inform me of what I really think. Your divinations of my true thoughts are likely inaccurate, especially if they don't look something like this: "Hmmm, you really think that your right knee itches and Ansa had better not feel she can tell Lempi everything when Lempi visits the first time in Part One; and also you want to know who it was who said she was going to WorldCon before you asked and whether Mom and Dad are back in Omaha already." Otherwise you've probably got it wrong. Particularly refrain from making unfounded assumptions, ascribing them to me, and then telling me I contradict myself with them. And if you're having a discussion, debate, or argument with me and you're sure I'll agree with you, keep that certainty to yourself, please. The phrase "I'm sure you'll agree" is counterproductive rhetoric. It talks down to me without actually providing any reasons why I should agree, and it's more likely to make me poke your argument vigorously with a stick at the very least. Just state your argument or assumption, and then if I say, "I agree," you can squeal, "Ooh, I knew you would!" Until then, let be.

Also, I respond less well to that kind of patronizing tone from men and from people older than me. That covers most of humanity, though not all, so if you're a twelve-year-old girl, go ahead and condescend to me if you like, and I'll probably just be amused. Otherwise, it's really safest for everyone's health if you don't.

You know, when I took debate in high school, there were all kinds of rhetorical tricks Doc Tichy told us our sneaky, sneaky opponents would try to spring on us. And they didn't look that sneaky at the time, and in fact very few people on the debate circuit used them much, because the other debaters tended to roll their eyes excessively when some smarmy 15-year-old in a suit would start in, "I'm sure my esteemed colleague would agree..." or "Wouldn't you say...?" It always made the judges giggle when some person from the novice circuit was cross-ex'ing and would ask a question starting, "Wouldn't you say...?" (that always boiled down to, "Wouldn't you say that my side is really right anyway and you agree with all my premises?") and I would just say, "No." Politely but firmly: no, I wouldn't say that at all. That's the question you asked, and it's the question I just answered, and I didn't take the opportunity to sneak in another minute or so of speaking. Just no.

Doc Tichy wanted us to try to sneak in another minute or so of speaking every time. This made sense in Student Congress, where speeches were few and hotly contested. (Except on the legalization of pot bill my school sponsored. All the other kids wanted a chance to show the judges what good, wholesome, clean-cut kiddies they were, so we Ralstonites got all the speeches our little hearts desired.) But in an ordinary debate round, sometimes it's time to shut your mouth and let your opponent ask you ever more ridiculous questions as he/she grasps at the straws that were supposed to be firm branches if only you'd answered in the desired way.

I have a harder time with that in ordinary conversations and arguments, because I make the occasionally-faulty assumption that the other person is genuinely interested in what I think rather than in scoring points and proving him/herself right. So when I'm asked whether I would agree with something, I provide what I would agree with instead, because I assume that's what the person is really asking to find out, unless they demonstrate otherwise.

Anyway. I will not let Wizard's Holiday eat my head. I will certainly not delve further into the library books, the books Stella loaned me, the books I snitched from my mom's shelves, or the books I got for Christmas. No no no no. Would not dream of such behavior. Well. Might dream of such behavior, but will not implement it. Now is not the time for wallowing. Now is the time for action.

What I hate about Mondays is that that's when my weekly to do list starts. So I get whatever I didn't finish last week appended to an entire week's worth of stuff already on the list, and Monday is -- not always, but usually -- the longest list-day of the week. I add things to the list as I think of them. I add rejected stories to send out, for example, or things that strike me as a good idea. ("I know! I shall write another short story this week in addition to novel stuffs and house stuffs and family stuffs and friend stuffs and getting my body to function properly stuffs! What a good idea!" I'm not saying that I've gotten particularly good at spotting that type of good idea. Story ideas, yes. Scheduling ideas, possibly not so much so. And look, here's an e-mail from one of the editors of my contract work, asking for style changes! Put it on the list.)

Maybe I should start my list on a different day of the week. Then I wouldn't have the stereotypical Monday negativity thing going. On the other hand, then I also would have to redo the entire list up to...hmm...heehee. Oh. Up until June. Well, that'd be a pain. Not worth it, then.

The up side of Mondays is that the people who mostly e-mail from work come back to work and e-mail me. More e-mail for me! Which eventually means more e-mail to answer, but never mind that now.

So, Monday. Yes. Forwards into the fray. Or down the list. Or something.

Back to Novel Gazing.

And the main page.

Or the last entry.

Or the next one.

Or even send me email.