19 July 2002

Next week at this time, it will be my birthday.

I'm just sayin'.

The mailbeing came to my door yesterday and asked if I was The Birthday Princess. "Err, yes," I said. And there it was on the package: "The Birthday Princess," my legal name, my address. That's how my mother had addressed it. Well, as long as everybody knows. It was the good mailbeing this time, not the punkass mailbeing of day-before-yesterday. I don't know why we can't have a consistent mailbeing, like in Omaha when we always had Lou. Lou was such a good mailbeing. And at least two of ours are pretty cool, although none of them is Lou. But we have at least five, so it's kind of a crapshoot.

I worked on the book yesterday and went journalmining in my old paper journals for story ideas, titles, and updates to the "books read" list. (I really shouldn't make friends with people who are as list-prone as I am. David inspired me to finish the library list. Zed inspired me to start the books read list. And in either case, I'm just not sure that "inspired" is the right word.) It's funny how quantized my writing has been. I can find the leap point where my story ideas started being consistently worthwhile. It's in Journal 8. And I can find the leap point, somewhere in Journal 12, where I started being able to write decent novels. Timprov and I were talking last night about our planned collab trilogy, planned three years ago. I found some of the stuff recently when I was journalmining. We both still think it's solid and well-planned and interesting. We were so not ready to write it at the time. The notes and the planning were all really sound, though, and I'll be glad when we both feel we can go back to it, because it's still stuff that's worth writing. The planning came after the first leap point, before the second.

It seems like one would expect it to be more gradual, and I know that building the foundation to have those leaps was fairly gradual. But they themselves were not at all gradual or continuous, and I think they could have come at different times while being substantially similar.

And yes, I do number my paper journals. I number the pages, too. You can quote from Marissa 14:36-38, if you're in a particularly irreverent mood that day. It's convenient to be able to reference notes concretely that way, so that once I've flipped back through and found what I want, I don't have to keep flipping and flipping.

We have bookmarks aplenty, of course, but really, a piece of paper versus a coherent referencing system? What do you think I'm going to go for?

So Timprov and I did go up to Berkeley last night for a sort of writers' group meeting. Nobody had stories to crit -- everybody was working on long form or not working very well recently. We talked about structure and what we were working on or hoped to. We talked about movies and markets and all of those other things. We told mortician cheerleader jokes on the BART platform. (Because I actually do know a high school cheerleader who became a mortician. No, really. And I said this, and the people near us just started cracking up. Much tacky hilarity ensued.) It was cool. I wish Timprov had been feeling better, both then and night before last, so that he could have enjoyed it more, but at least he could go.

The other drawback was, I was wearing The Bad Bra.

I don't know if I'm the only woman who has The Bad Bra, but I suspect not. The Bad Bra has nearly every bad trait a bra can have. It itches. Itching is the cardinal sin in a bra. You can avoid just about any other activity, but having skin is one you just can't manage to mitigate. It's also a really harsh minimizer bra, which means that it squishes me as flat as possible. Not comfy. At all. Imagine your chest in an itchy vise. Yay. It doesn't give me the dreaded Uniboob, but that's pretty much the only bra sin it lacks, as it doesn't support very well, nor does it fit very well. It, like many of my bras, looks like a feat of structural engineering in lace. Not a pleasant feat of structural engineering, in this case. When I take it off, the feeling of freedom is most glorious. When I'm home all evening, that feeling occurs as soon as humanly possible after the magic hour of 5:00. I was not home all evening yesterday. Argh.

I keep it around because it's roughly my size, it's pale-colored so I can wear it under things, and (this is the key, here) I've already paid for it. Bras are expensive and hard to find. I don't really want to get rid of it and then not have enough bras. It would seem like a waste to throw it out before it wears out, and people my size probably don't have much faith in Goodwill for bra shopping. But it's not going to wear out nearly as fast as any other bra, because I shove it to the bottom of the drawer most of the time. I just pull it out when I haven't worn it in sufficiently long that I've forgotten how truly Bad it is. Like last night.

The Bad Bra is not enough to ruin my day. But I notice it. A lot. And I wonder if other women out there are thinking, "Yeah, I have a Bad Bra, too." or "What a nut case! Throw the thing out!"

I have socks that are The Bad Socks, too, but they're less bothersome, for obvious reasons, and I wear them less often.

Anyway, other than The Bad Bra and some back knot issues, yesterday was pretty good. (Could have been worse, my inner Minnesotan prompts.) I've got a pretty long list of book stuff I want to do today, and Mark and I will be able to spend the evening together for the first time since Tuesday. I know, I know, all the way since Tuesday. But families settle into routines. I feel deprived of Mark-time. It will be remedied. This is good. Other than that, we have no exciting plans for the weekend. We'll figure it out. Even if we hang around the apartment reading and watching the History Channel and working and playing computer games, it'll be pretty good. (Well, if I have to play computer games, it will not be okay, but as I'm not the only component of "we," I think it'll be fine.) And I have to figure out birthday stuff pretty darn quickly, dessert and what have you. Hmm. Good thing to end on, dessert.

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