18 April 2001
We have a courtyard outside our apartment. It features birch trees, which are lovely and totally foreign to my Nebraska-born self (they weren't common in the region of Minnesota where I lived, either). I mean, trees in Nebraska mean civilization. Trees mean settlement, because trees are only where people plant them deliberately. The archetype of Wood as Wilderness or Nature always has a slight misconnect in my head, because Nature means grass higher than your head to me. (This makes my mother extremely sad. She wanted me to be a Minnesotan.) So sometimes when it's twilight, I just look out at the birches, and they almost glow, and it feels like I've moved to a different planet, to the human enclave.
One of the other features of the courtyard is that it echoes at certain frequencies. Those frequencies happen to coincide with the sound of buses and trucks putting on their brakes. It sounds like ethereal whales are swimming through our courtyard at regular intervals all day, when we don't have music on or some other noise interfering.
Today I went running errands, although I forgot one library book and I didn't return the plumbing part my dad didn't use, so I'm going to have to do at least two more things tomorrow. I went to the library, the bookstore, and the grocery store. It's Creative Food Night around here, although I'm going simple: a salad, some good sun-dried tomato bread, and angel hair with artichoke hearts, plum tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and basil. I'm all happy with this. I'm in the mood to cook, and I've never thrown this particular set of ingredients together before.
I'm also happy with the books I got at the library. I got some of Jed's favorite short story collections, some research stuff for the freak-o article I'm going to be writing about Zelazny's Amber books, some poetry (I can't pass up the displays they have up for various months -- I got Shulamith Firestone for Women's History Month, and a bunch of stuff including Anne Sexton for Poetry Month), some stuff about Finland, and some stuff I've been seeking for a long time. Including! Suzy McKee Charnas'! The Bronze King! And another Christopher Fry play. I'm going to be a busy happy read-y M'ris.
Also, Mary Anne and I share a birthday. I'm all excited about this. I'm like a little kid here. I love love love birthdays. We follow the five-day rule, passed down from my dad's mother. You get to declare five days of your choice "my birthday," and celebrate on them. Minimum five, I should say. You can go a few weeks in advance of the actual date and several months after it. Some people get hurt if you forget their birthdays. Not me. Nobody ever forgets my birthday if I care, because I bash them over the head with it for weeks in advance. (Or, in this case, months. July 26. I'll be 23. Put it on your calendar, you inconsiderate beast. Yes, Liz, I mean you. The rest of you have some years of forgetting leeway.) So anyway, point is, I love birthdays, and now I get to share mine. Whoever said only children don't share well? (Someone with siblings who was busy bashing his younger brother on the head to keep him away from Someone's cupcake, that's who.) Hee hee.
I think I won't write a book about whales, either. It'll be nicer that way. But I won't write that book much farther in the future than I'm not writing a book about moose. Don't want to get too many things going simultaneously. Also, I don't want a stuffed whale, I don't think. I don't have to have stuffed animals for everything I'm not writing books about. That would get crowded.
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