In Which Signs Might Be Omens (But Only Very Brief Ones)

25 February 2003

I woke up with the very next bit of Dwarf's Blood Mead dialog in my head; well, all right. So I've got some of it down, and I've roughed out the rest of the scene, and I'll finish that for sure before I take Mark to the airport. I hope this is a good omen. I think it might be. I think it might also be a yoga-and-heating-pad omen later tonight, but I'll try to do all the things my mom and Zed showed me to make that less necessary.

Anyway, lots of prophecy interpretation, and I'm not sure if we need an omen or two. They'd have to be backwards omens, of course, and no blackbirds of any form involved. Hmm. Maybe.

Mark is going to Denver on business, incidentally, and not for another job interview. He does, however, have an interview with Institution3 in the middle of next month. They are very clever to be interested in him, so I provisionally approve. We shall seeeeeee.

I keep saying that. It seems to be the story of my life these days.

Mark's grandpa is also having surgery today, so we'll be waiting to hear how he's doing after that.

I kept reading Gun, With Occasional Music yesterday but didn't spend enough time on it to finish. Probably today.

One rejection yesterday. This is a pretty light month for rejections. Not as bad as December, though.

Sarah and Jeff are buying a house. I would be beside myself with jealousy if it didn't look like we have decent prospects for same.

Scott (the one who's marrying Michelle) called last night to chat and cheer me up. About midway through, I said, look, you know it's not that I feel like I can't talk to you about stuff that's stressing me out, right? I'd just rather not dwell. He said he understood, and we resumed talking about past-prime posses and other important subjects.

Also he and La Michelle have their Belgian carpet now, finally. Yay Belgies.

Also we had carrots in the fridge when I thought we did not. Near-catastrophe averted.

Timprov is feeling ungood, but I don't want you to think that he's gotten sick again. No. He just never got particularly well to begin with. So I have no idea what his sleep schedule will be while Mark is gone. It may be a very curious few days for me.

If there's anything we should get out of Bob Dylan being from Minnesota, I would think it would be a nice folky song about Minnesota. (Not sung by Mr. Dylan, of course. Probably not even by the other Mr. Dylan.) But I don't know of any. So I take other place-name-songs and make them fit. My favorite is They Might Be Giants' song about New York City, which I change so that I'm singing, "Everyone's my friend in Minneap'lis, and everything looks beautiful when you're young and hapless."

Better things rhyme with New York City, but this isn't really my fault.

I also stick "Minnesota" in for "Carolina" in "Carolina In My Mind," which doesn't require a rhyme, which is all for the best. "Signs that might be omens say I'm goin'...." Good song.

Also I sing "If I could see all the symbols -- I like what they mean" instead of "unlock what they mean" in this one Crash Test Dummies song, sometimes. But that's just because I got used to singing it that way before I realized I was wrong. Has nothing to do with Minneapolis.

One of the biggest advantages of Mark being gone for a few days is that I can now play "God Shuffled His Feet" at any hour of the day I care to.

I will point out that this is still not a very big advantage, especially compared to my usual 6-7 a.m. and 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. "God Shuffled His Feet" weekday playing hours.

Not that I play it continuously during those hours. Just that I can.

It makes me very tired to read intelligent people like John Clute talking about how SF can no longer extrapolate a future because there is no coherent present. Perhaps it's just that I was never alive, or never a grown-up, in what they consider a coherent present. But it doesn't look to me like the situation has changed particularly. People writing supposedly extrapolative SF in the '30s and '40s were, more often than not, wrong, and I don't see a lot of evidence that they were particularly shocked by that when the '50s, '60s, and '70s rolled around. Extrapolative SF has never had firm ground to stand on. How do you measure the coherence of an era? It's not a light source, for heaven's sake; you can't look at the spectrum analysis curve of a particular month, year, decade, and say, "Ah yes, the coherence level is 35 points below that of 1967!" No. Nonsense.

(To be brutally frank, it sounds to me like people in their middle-age whining, "But things are so diiiiifferent today! They're moving so faaaaaaast! Nobody could possibly haaaaaandle it!" A fraction of the middle-aged population has been saying that for at least a hundred years now. You'd think they'd realize that it's not unique to this time.)

It makes me scowly and skeptical, and it makes me unsure as to whether I think they're wrong about then or about now. Or, hey, why not both?

I should say that I don't have a problem with the type of SF Clute describes in that review -- I've enjoyed some of it. I just don't see that it's unfeasible to write some of the old kinds of SF as well, and to write them well, and to put new ideas, spins, and twists into those forms. I don't see why it has to be either/or.

Pledging allegiance to forms is not really my thing.

Anyway, well. I am not as cranky in person today as I am in writing. Kind of snarky, but not really cranky. I am, however, exactly as silly in person today as I am in writing. Probably sillier, as I just had another ninja-related conversation with Mark.

I should clean my stinky self and get more work in before we go to the airport.

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