In Which Our Heroine Has Nothing To Say, And Says It At Some Length

21 February 2003

Last night I dreamed that we were having a late birthday party for my Gran, and I kept getting thwarted getting there. High school kids on a debate road trip, first, and then military personnel shipping out, and they all had priority over me. I didn't get to dream of actually seeing Gran at all. Disappointing: that's all I get these days. She's been gone nearly seven years now. I miss my other Great Grandma, too, and she's only been gone a year. But Gran and I would have been friends, I think, if she hadn't been my great-grandma. Then I dreamed about a gathering of the Old Crowd from college, but I didn't get there in time because I was making sure everybody's rooms were wired with a DSL connection.

Gosh, M'ris, feel like you're missing out on being around people you care about? Why no, why on earth would you ask that?

I think one of the solutions might be to make plans with people I care about around here. We've seen Wendy and Amber recently. David has been out of town, and it's been months since we saw Evan. And I haven't called Zed or Jenn, either, or some other people on my list. (Where by "called," I mean "e-mailed with the express purpose of arranging to hang out." Obviously I didn't mean called.) Maybe I should figure out what's essential to Mark, and what's inessential, and then even if he's going out of town next week and heaven knows what after that, I can still make plans. Maybe. It sounds like a good idea, at least.

On the other hand, yesterday I would have been entirely daunted by the prospect of getting on BART and going somewhere -- I'm feeling like a homebody. Maybe I should invite people here. Hmm.

It's Friday. It's also Heathah's birthday! Yay, Heathah! I don't know what we're doing this weekend. Maybe nothing much. Sounds fine to me.

Yesterday was a horrible day in terms of work. I got very little done, and it felt like I was trying to thread my brain through a needle. Meh. I hope today is better. I was glad to be reading Blue Shoe, because I can guarantee Anne Lamott's characters always, always feel worse than I do. No matter what happens. I think they feel worse than anyone in the history of the world, have more problems, and are generally more screwed up. Not so for Maimonides: A Spiritual Biography, but it's interesting anyway, and I've already gotten one story idea out of it. I've been fascinated with Moorish Spain since I read The Lions of Al-Rassan -- Guy Gavriel Kay has that effect on me. I'm still not sure how a spiritual biography is different from a regular one, but I suppose I'll find out.

No rejections yesterday. It's been a slow rejection month. Again. Maybe it's that I haven't been writing new stories and sending them to F&SF to get the quick turnaround time. I don't know. I'm not sure, after yesterday's bad work day, that I'll be finishing the draft of this book this month. There's no real reason why I should have to -- nobody has demanded it on March 1st, and it's just an arbitrary date as far as I know. Nothing magical that anyone's told me about. So I'm going to try to balance finishing the first draft of this book and maintaining a back that feels more or less okay. It seems like a sane choice to me. (That doesn't mean I'll be good at keeping it that way. It just seems sane.)

I wore near-pajamas yesterday: leggings and a great big waffle-weave shirt. If I hadn't put on a bra, it would have counted as pajamas for sure. The thing that got me, about halfway through the day, though, is that if it was real winter at home, that would just be my middle layer of clothes, and there would be jeans and a sweater over that. It's a curious feeling, wearing that many clothes, and -- sing it with me, kids! -- I kind of miss it.

Not permanently, though. It should only be that cold for a few days in a given winter. I expect that next winter will be miserably cold, though, because we're moving back to the Midwest, or else will have no snow at all. Brace yourselves for one or the other.

The Merc has -- surprise surprise -- annoyed me again. Here's the thing this time: they're doing an article on plus-size models and celebrities. Let us leave off the quibble about what plus-size actually means for celebrities and focus on the real source of my annoyance: the sidebar labeled "clothes to hug your curves." None of them sells clothes that would hug size 4 curves, I guarantee it. Okay. I get that there aren't very many words in this language, if any, that are genuinely complimentary of large people, that carry the connotation of "overweight and attractive." But can we please not give "curvy" over to that purpose? I am, as I said, a size 4. I curve. I curve a fair bit, thank you very much -- enough to make clothes shopping difficult. I need that word. Give it back. This is not the first time I've seen it used in that context, and I just want to say again: stop it, stop it, stop it.

Awhile ago, Lane Bryant had signs that said, "Real women have curves." Real women? As opposed to all of the straight-up-and-down fembots running around? It alarms me sometimes that "real" has become such a term of distinction in our culture. That people who disagree with us or differ from us are all of a sudden unreal. They're illusory! Woooooooooo! Look at that fake woman who isn't very curvy! You can walk right through her! And look at that person who enjoys opera more than rock music! Also a mirage! The people participating in that protest, or maybe their opposition: fake Americans! Possibly Canadians wearing funny mustaches as a disguise! People, you don't just get to declare things unreal because you dislike, resent, or disagree with them in some way. Reality isn't under your control to that extent.


All of a sudden, midway through yesterday, e-mail became really unsatisfying to me. (Of course, I also had general feelings of woe. Maybe it was just that.) So...I don't know. I'm hoping today will be easier for book-writing and e-mailing. I guess we'll find out.

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