It's Me Again

11 June 2001

I am so tired.

We had a good weekend in Milwaukee, and Mark's brother Matt was successfully graduated from Milwaukee Lutheran High. He was the only one in his graduating class who did anything creative to his mortarboard -- I don't know what they've been putting in the water, but that looked to me like a sign that Matt is best off out of there.

And once again, I was reminded that one should not bring a cynic to a graduation. They requested that we actually sing a song containing the line, "All too soon these happy school days are but memories...." Happy school days. Whatever. I went to high school.

Matt professed faith on Sunday, too. In the Christian Reformed Church, there is no standard age or time (thirteen or eighth grade, for example) when people become adults. Instead, they choose when they're ready. They consciously and deliberately accept the privileges and burdens of adulthood when they feel the urge to do so. This strikes me as a wonderfully sane system, although I recognize that it has disadvantages, as every system does. I think our culture is lacking in meaningful adulthood rites, and not having a Default Adult Point seems like part of a way to combat that.

Midwest Express gets my vote for Best Airline Ever. I would have ordered their Caesar salad in a restaurant. I might have ordered their turkey sandwich, if I would ever order a turkey sandwich. Sweet melon. Gardetto's instead of peanuts. I could have had a pretty decent Chardonnay if I'd wanted one, cost included in the flight. Hot chocolate chip cookies. (They would have been mediocre if they'd been room temperature. But they were hot. This is something I learned in high school: fresh-baked cookies will approximate good cookies better than I had thought.) Plenty of room in our seats. I think people should vacation to Milwaukee just to fly Midwest Express.

How come we have train stations and bus stations but air ports? How come airplanes are supposedly more like boats? That's silly.

Both sets of Mark's grandparents were there, which was nice. Better than nice. And I got a chance to talk to Matt and to Dan, and I got to meet Sarah's new boyfriend and hang out with them. And Sarah and I went shopping and bought T-shirts. On sale. They were not Awesome Must-Have shirts, but they're pretty good shirts. I'm fond of mine. Mine are green and blue, and Sarah's is purple. She was looking for jeans, too, and they had none. (Ah, the hazards of being tall.)

I read a lot. (Visiting Gritters is good for that.) I enjoyed Lisa Goldstein's Tourists actually quite a lot, and my Finnish Folklore book was incredibly useful. More on Connie Willis' Passage will appear in Speculon at the end of the week. I was disappointed in A Fool and His Money, but I think that's because Wunderli's Peasant Fires has me spoiled where microhistories are concerned. (Go read it! It's good!) I read some other books, too, but I don't recall having anything to comment on about them.

Oh, and hey, I played the circledy coloredy game! You know the one? Where you shoot little colored shapes at other little colored shapes, and they disappear when you get three or more connected to each other, and so on? I played one that called itself something like "puzzle de pon" in high school at Dragon's Lair when the boys were playing one of the X-Men video games. Scott was better at it than I was, though, but I didn't care. I had fun with it. Well, the Gritters have that on their computer, only they're little faces instead of little shapes, and it calls itself Snood. Also, nobody yells at you in a high-pitched Japanese accent to "hurry up!" But it was close enough. You can never go home again. But sometimes you can get an approximation at the in-laws' house.

I did not, however, get a Perkins muffin. Not because my in-laws don't love me. Because there wasn't a Perkins to be found in Wauwatosa and we didn't really have time for gallivanting. Well, we did, but only if we wanted to say something like, "well, sorry, Grandpa Lyzenga, we'll talk to you some other time, it's more important for M'ris to get her muffin." Which --guess what -- we didn't. Not just we didn't do it. We didn't want to.

I also did my first set of cuts on Fortress. I did some substantial line-editing, and I found one scene that's definitely going to go and two more that might. I'll put the changes into the computer Later (tonight, tomorrow, sometime soon) and see how far it's taken me. This was a double-edged sword: rereading made me aware of how much I'd done in each of the scenes, and how pleased I was with them -- it made me not want to cut things! But on the other hand, it made me really enthusiastic about this book and getting it published -- in short, it gave me incentive. So if the interplay of the two moms is diminished a little bit, well, it's not ideal, but I can deal, because this book is really important to me in general. Hard work, though, and between that and the early mornings (Matt's graduation was at 9:00 a.m. -- ugh!!!), I'm exhausted. I'm going to unpack and make deviled eggs and brownies and maybe do some laundry. And catch up on e-mail. And...well, you get the point.

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