In Which Our Heroine Should Not Be Allowed Near Adjectives

23 May 2004

Crap, crud, and corrosion. Possibly literal crud and corrosion this time. After I went to bed last night, Mark reports via e-mail, the dishwasher started smoking. It didn't get most of the dishes clean, and, well, smoking. Not steaming. Not good. We're calling the homeowners' warranty people today.

I have hated this dishwasher since we moved in. Maybe it's smoking as an act of rebellion; I don't know. But I won't have it. Smoking is for out on the deck. I don't care if you're one of my favorite aunts who substitutes as a grandmother or a close friend or some stranger I just met or even the dishwasher that's been washing my dishes since I got here. No smoking in the house.

Stupid dishwasher.

I learned something yesterday: I am never going to Bigdale on a Saturday again if there's any reasonable way I can help it. I'm having a hard time thinking of something that would force the issue. We were going to stop through Macy's to see if they had my Sam & Libby's black ballet flats there (Dayton's doesn't carry them), but we got off the freeway exit and immediately were in backed up traffic trying to get into the parking lot. Never mind trying to park. So I aborted mission there; it's maybe 5-10 minutes up to Bigdale, and I can do it some afternoon when I can park near the door at Macy's and refuse to deal with the rest of the mall. We had enough to do without wrestling mall weekend traffic. Oof. Yuck.

So I picked up things for Mark at Best Buy and Dreamhaven (in the former case, he went to a nearby Border's; in the latter, he waited in the car), and we went to Ingebretsen's. Ohhhh, Ingebretsen's. Cloudberries and blueberry thins on the food side (we opted against squeaky Finnish cheese this time) and candles and a cookie stamp and coasters and moose napkins on the home side. I had a package of blue moose napkins for use at the Celebration of Nearly Everything, but then I realized that there were 20 in a package. I have invited...well, let us say that I have invited more than twenty people. In fact, more than twenty people have already said they're coming. So we picked up a package of red moose napkins and a package of black moose napkins, and that was the only color variation they had, and if people use more napkins like that, they can have plain napkins, because there are only so many packets of moose napkins I can really justify buying. Anyway anyway, we got cheese and fruit and granola at Whole Foods, and gosh, I felt like a demographic. Probably looked like one, too: both of us long-haired and jeans-wearing, Mark with his beard and a fuzzy fleece pullover, me in the heirloom shirt from last Christmas, soft and placketed and identical to what my mom wore at 25. We are the sort of people who buy fruit, cheese, and granola at the Uptown Whole Foods. Don't know when this happened, but at least it's tasty.

Took Stella her chocolate and returned some borrowed books, borrowed a few more, got to see all sorts of Roo's things, including the ever-important, "Mommy 'dooooooooooes!" (He's really fond of clumping around in Stella's shoes.) By then it was time to come home and figure out dinner. It's amazing how much time you can spend picking out candles and raspberries and hearing about Mommy 'doooooooes.

I finished The Way the Future Was, and the second half was much less interesting to me than the first. I think it's that the first half started out as a history-of-fandom kind of memoir, and the second half got almost entirely divorced from that. And frankly, I'm a lot more interested in fandom than I am in Fred Pohl. It just seemed like he skimmed a lot in the second half. Maybe because it was closer to home -- yesterday's fannish infighting or ex-spousal sniping rather than that of three decades previous. Much touchier material. But now that it's another several decades removed, I wonder.

I also wonder which of Pohl's attitudes have changed in the intervening time. I think it's perfectly fair to judge people on what they say and do -- in fact, I'm hard pressed to come up with another standard than that. But what they said and did nearly thirty years ago seems like it ought to be at least weighted in its consideration. People can change their minds. I wonder how much Pohl has.

I started reading Richard Rayner's The Cloud Sketcher and nearly gave up in disgust after the first sentence: too many adjectives. And boring, lord, boring. "The man in bold pinstripe burst around the corner with a lively step and a handsome face bronzed by the sun." I read that and thought, "Next!" But it's one of the things I found in the category of Finn-related fiction, so I'm giving it more of a chance before I fling it back on the library pile and flee.

Still. Nobody needs to burst around the corner at me, okay? And if they want to, I want someone else to clean up the splattery bits. Also, it was followed with more description. And -- bold pinstripe? The hell? Was it a brilliant yellow pinstripe, then? Neon pink? It's a pinstripe: by definition very, very narrow. The width, one might say, of...oh, of what...a pin, perhaps? Very hard to make it bold without making it obnoxious. And a lively step? This is the problem when you give me too many adjectives: I'm imagining a Monty Pythonesque silly walk (from the Ministry, you know), coming from a person in a neon suit with metallic facepaint la Tin Man. This is why you don't give me too many adjectives. Or pointy objects.

(I'm pretty sure "Tin Man" is male, but "facepaint au Tin Man" would be confusing to most English speakers, I think. Why did we steal bastardized French and not the real thing? Is it that whole William-we'll-call-him-the-Conqueror-now-that-he's-won thing?)

I was so tired last night, I felt like a felled ox. Just kind of moooing around a bit until I fell over. This morning, still a little tired. The rain is glorious, gorgeous stuff, much needed even after a week of it and a week more to come if Paul Douglas the Weather Guy is to be believed. I read the paper and Scientific American to give myself a chance to wake up before trying The Cloud Sketcher again or getting any work done or anything like that. The church we've been attending has "Luther's Small Catechism: the Musical" this week. I wrote "skip church" in red on my calendar. Sometimes I like going to church in a Garrison Keillor joke, but mostly I prefer not. I mean, "Luther's Small Catechism: the Musical": how hard is it to figure out that this is a bad idea?

Oof. So. I'm waking up all right, enough that I can deal with calling the warranty people on the dishwasher any minute now. Wheeeee.

Back to Novel Gazing.

And the main page.

Or the last entry.

Or the next one.

Or even send me email.