In Which Our Heroine Is the Proactive Kind of Optimist

20 September 2003

I quit reading The Black Rose about three-quarters of the way through. Usually I don't quit that far in, but the Stock Characters kept doing exactly the Obvious Actions. And then I got to the mild anti-Semitism, and I decided I just didn't need that. So I put it back on the library return pile with a puzzled, scrunchy face: why did C.J. Cherryh list that book as a favorite on her website? Did she read it when she was very young? Ah well; I picked up L'Engle's Many Waters, and while the twins are not my favorite of her characters, it was kind of a relief after The Black Rose. I read most of it last night and will surely finish the rest today.

I'm done with my library books from the Alameda County Library. Like, forever. That's an odd milestone. I've got a pile of new and new-to-me books set aside as my reading list before we go, but I think I need to pull out some rereads, too, because that's really what I'm in the mood for. And what I'm really in the mood for is for my copy of The Arm of the Starfish to live with me again so that I can read all the way through from A Wrinkle in Time to An Acceptable Time in chronological order. Alas, Arm appears to be still in a box at the folks' house. Although they have talked about bringing my children's books to live with me, and I'm glad. I miss them.

The folks, too.

I'm having a few problems with Many Waters aside from the twins, though. The causality problems are unclear either to the characters or to L'Engle herself. If you go back in time and are killed, you won't cease to have been born in your own time. You will just have disappeared. Which is, of course, its own problem; and anything you might have done after you left will remain undone. But you won't be de-born. (Not unborn. But having your born-ness taken away from you. Hmm.) Anyway, I'm managing to enjoy it despite that.

Yesterday, I hung out with David, ate wild rice chili, wrote some more of "Even Without Deceit," made some novel notes, and typed changes to Reprogramming. Today we're going to look for a place to put Mark for November. Probably going to run a few errands as well, and maybe have a sandwich and a smoothie at the University Coffee Café in Palo Alto. We'll pick up Mark's books from Stanford -- I planned to do that when we had dinner with Evan on Tuesday, but then I forgot to put boxes in the car, and carrying them down in stacks when we could come with boxes later just didn't appeal. So there's a plan of sorts.

I'm finding it a bit difficult to see what our long-term plans should look like. On some of the stuff, I can just ask. This morning I asked Mark whether he'd want a housewarming party one of the weekends he's in town before he gets to come home, and he did, so we'll have to figure out what kind of a get-together to have, and when. But some of the stuff is a bit trickier. Today I'm picking up some materials for a house-related project Timprov and I have been talking about for months now. It's hard to say how he'll be feeling for fun house projects, or how busy we'll all be with other things -- work, non-fun house projects, spending time with people -- but I think we can for sure manage this one. Also, it's cheap, so if we don't get to it right away, I'm not blowing my budget. And I think having some fun stuff figured out is a good thing. Keeps me from going too far into "must get this done!" mode.

That mode lurks around the edges always, but I think the mortgage stuff makes it more of a danger. It's hard to maintain the cooing, squealing feeling of having a new house when you know you have only just begun to sign papers. It takes an extremely stubborn optimist to continue to bounce and giggle through signing all the papers one needs for a mortgage. And while I am an extremely stubborn optimist, I'm not all that stubborn on the bounce-and-giggle aspect. More on the "I'm going to make everything be all right if I have to kill all you !*#&@$s to do it" aspect, really. The proactive kind of optimist. But that counts, right? That's a kind of optimist.

(And I keep hearing the Simpsons in my head: "Zero's a percent....")

I also sorted out some more papers and pitched them. Do I need the times and dates of my '98 REU program's get-togethers? I do not. Out it goes. A map of the community college where they sent us to learn to do metal shop stuff? Nope, that can go, too. I still have some more stuff to go through, and then I'll box up all the carefully labeled remainder, when I'm more certain of how many boxes we have on hand this weekend, before I get boxes from Karalee on the way to/from our museum trip.

I know I declared a moratorium on postal subs to all but the fastest markets, but that didn't mean that my stream of response letters was to just dry up. That was not the plan, anyway. Okay, universe? Okay, good. That's settled, then.

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