In Which Our Heroine Can't Have Nice Things

4 March 2003

The problem is, I'm a menace. (You can see where that might be a problem, right?) The other problem is, the Malung (pictured the other day) both reclines and swivels. I was reclining and swiveling. I reclined and swiveled into the lamp. Which is such high-quality plastic that the little shade bit shattered on the living room carpet. Fabulous. So we switched the shadeless lamp with the otherwise-identical-but-still-shaded one in Timprov's room, and we'll get another lamp for Timprov's room soon. We hope soon, anyway. And the moral of the story is, I can't have nice things. Or cheap things from Target. Whichever.

And, and. I called the apartment people because I was sick of having an AC unit for which the front won't go on, and the dryer was squeaking like a hamster wheel. So a maintenance being showed up, and he removed the AC entirely. Set it on the floor. Said, "Take a look." And left. At that point I started writing a panicked e-mail to La Michelle, which involved the phrase "Ohhhhhhhhh no, ohhhhhhhhh sad" very, very many times. But the maintenance being showed up with another maintenance being, and the second one spoke English pretty well (as a native language, that is) and explained that, really, he didn't have to take the AC out at all. So they put it back in, and I was somewhat relieved, but they don't have the right part to replace the front, so we'll be waiting for that until Thursday, and nobody said word one about the dryer. I'm hoping that the maintenance being does that on Thursday. I'm also hoping that we can effectively communicate the problem to him. Because there was the little problem of wanting to remove the AC, and the dryer does not need to be removed. It's just squeaky, is all. That's a pretty major mistake to make, though, so I'll trust that we're not going to have that problem.

Also I have started chewing on my lips unconsciously. When I think of it, I forcibly de-Nixon my shoulders and put chapstick. But there it is anyway.

On the up side, I made soup. Soup is good. And the chicken for Mark's calzone is ready for tonight, hurrah for calzones. (I like to make calzones with chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, walnuts, pine nuts, a little spinach, and pesto sauce. Mark likes to add chicken to that mix. We generally need two decent-sized calzones worth for the three of us anyway, so.) So I'm not entirely to be kept away from nice things. Maybe just nice things I didn't make.

I worked on Dwarf's Blood Mead and came up with more good insights on it -- I am just the insight queen on this book, lately. I'm not sure how useful this particular insight will be until I'm editing. But that won't be too long, so. I also sat down and wrote something called "7 a.m. Pacific Time." I have no idea what it is. It might be a short-short, or it might be the beginning of a story, or it might just be a nice freewrite that will exist in my journal. I really don't know. I didn't write it at 7 a.m. Pacific Time. I just recalled this photo I'd seen last year at SF-MoMA when we went for Timprov's birthday, and I sat down and wrote about a page. And also a starting paragraph for another story. Good photo, is what. I think I need more art photo collections in my life.

Or just more Lord Dunsany might do. I don't know yet. I got weary of the Dutch Revolution again last night and picked up the copy of Time and the Gods that Daniel and Wendy lent me. Most of the time when people describe something as "evocative," I think they mean that it evokes the author's vision very strongly in them, that they know quite specifically what the author means. But that's not really how it's been going with Lord Dunsany -- it's that little things are evoking tangents of their own. And that's quite all right. I got several titles and a line to start a freewrite today, from just a few vignettes at the very beginning of Time and the Gods. Which is nice, I suppose.

I haven't been all that eager to do freewrites, because they will give me more stories to write, but they're better and more interesting than endless journal re-examination of our limbo situation. And the stuff that comes out of them is eventually useful sometimes, which is more than I can say for those re-examinations.

I want an office. In our next place, I will have an office of some sort. Do you know where I work right now? In the dining room. Well, on the border of dining room and living room, really. Not at the dining room table (mostly), but still in the dining room. Maybe the word for this is supposed to be "efficient." Maybe "cozy." I don't know. The words I know for it are "dining room." And I think it would be good to have an office, since I can't foresee a time when I won't need a place to work at home, and then the office could be some good color and have a real desk in it. And appropriately officey art and bookshelves and so on. Maybe we'd put all the writing books in there. Maybe all the nonfiction. (I am not so extravagant as to dream of an office big enough to put all the books in. Or maybe I'm more extravagant than that in my dreams of books.) And sometimes I would take my journal and go work in the other rooms of the house. But I would have an office for when I needed one.

Barb had just a tiny little closet of a room, in their pre-tornado house, but it had a desk and her books and her knitting basket, and it was hers, and I wanted that house so badly. I would have taken the kid, too, actually. If KarlanBarb had just moved out and left Erick and the house for me, that would have been all right. (Except now Erick is 12 [and, incidentally, I don't know how that happened], and I don't want to miss all the good bits that come before 12, so I would have to get my own kid. And the tornado did a few unpleasant things upon their house. So I don't have to be quite so envious, maybe. KarlanBarb are profs upstairs at the alma mater.) (Upstairs = math and computer science department. Poor Scott. I was saying something about my advisor and his relative levels of influence on the guys upstairs. I meant the MCS faculty, not admin. Admin is downstairs and down the bark path and across the green bits and into the bunker-lookin' thing. But since the Scott in question didn't go to the alma mater, "the guys upstairs" had an obvious meaning to him.) (The disturbing part of this is that "The Man Upstairs" generally means T.J. Morrison to me, or sometimes Jeff Rosoff. I think the only one of you who will be appropriately disturbed but hasn't already heard this is Heathah.)

(Also, whenever people have the "old guy in a nightgown" image of God -- I already told Karina this -- it morphs in my head into my great-uncle Morey in some plaid pajamas and a bathrobe. Auntie Pat had to send Uncle Morey away from the dinner table once, because he was making my cousin and me laugh so hard we couldn't eat our spaghetti. This is what I really think of God, at least in old-guy image.)

Well, and if that wasn't a digression, I don't know what is. I'm going to get to doing something actually useful. Or else I'm going to read more Dutch history or more Lord Dunsany. Or all of the above.

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