It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Super List Maker!

28 September 2002

The latest trend in my spam is subject lines asking someone to "hide these pics." Which just seems silly to me: if you wanted something hidden, why on earth would you send it over the internet? I know, I know, they don't genuinely want these pictures hidden. But what I want to know is, why is that supposed to be enticing? Am I supposed to think they've sent me Isabella's or Juli's or Anna's mail by mistake, and now I am privy to their very secret pictures?

Does spam ever work at all?

Mark is mopping the floor. Yay, Mark! We have several tasks on the list today, as Alec is coming over for dinner and "Real Genius," and the house might as well be clean for his arrival as after it, right? I already vacuumed and did various and sundry other household chores yesterday, which is why I'm typing while poor Mark is slaving on hands and knees. (He really is. Hands and knees just now, to get a spot particularly well. I'm very grateful.) Also, I'm feeling a bit like I was sent for and couldn't come. Timprov woke up snozzly yesterday, and Mark came home from work snozzly, so I made them both lemony chicken soup au Scott and hoped for the best. ( la is a feminine construction. Au is the masculine version. I have met Scott and can assure you: he is not very feminine.) They don't seem particularly nasty-snozzly this morning, so I'm not warning Alec off of the plague house, but I am once again feeling subpar. I'm hoping it is a reflection of reproductive biology, because that, at least, has a time limit on it.

A time limit somewhere between my late forties and my early sixties, right?

Ah well. I finished Redshift yesterday and found it not at all extreme or shocking. I also read John D. Fitzgerald's The Great Brain, a childhood favorite of Mark's I had somehow missed. Then I started Howard V. Hendrix's Empty Cities of the Full Moon. So far it's entertaining me but not blowing me away. But it doesn't say on the cover and/or introduction that it will blow me away, so I'm not annoyed with it for failing to do so.

I really like having a list of notes on my "to do" list that pertain to the Not The Moose Book. Then if I want to do just a little work, I can pick up a small task: "describe classroom for Ansa scene." And then I don't forget those little things, either. Some of them snowball. I'll put a detail in one scene and note that I need it to show up somewhere else. Or I'll describe the classroom, say, and then realize that nobody knows what's standard in a Finnish witch's kitchen, either. So I'll make a note to deal with that when it first pops up. And then I'll read the kitchen scene to see where I can slip in the details, and then another scene will become clear, and off I'll go with that.

Lists with specific notes are good, good, good.

So is writing books.

I think it's almost time for a new list. I have a list of Stuff To Do For Fun Before We Leave The Bay Area. Some of it is stuff I want to do with specific people and some of it is just general Stuff. It's a good list. It's almost as long as my "Novels To Write" list, although I'm happy to say that it started out much longer -- things get crossed off this list at a higher rate than the rate at which I write novels. It's getting to the point now, though, that I feel like I should start a Stuff To Do For Fun In The Upper Midwest list. Some of it will be specific to whatever town we wind up in, and for that I'll have to wait. Some of it -- "learn cross-country skiing," for example -- will not be. And I don't want to forget to do those things, either. Sometimes when I'm wandering around the internet, I find people who have come up with lists of things they want to do -- some of them are just called something like "escapades," and others are focused on a number and an age, typically 40. They always sound so long-term. If I was to make a list that involved goals like "visit [foreign country]," no way could I limit it to a page. Maybe a notebook, if I was allowed to use lots of abbreviations.

It makes me very happy to think of lists and getting to do the things on them. Putting items on the lists makes me happy. Crossing items off the lists makes me very happy. See, putting items on the list only makes me really really happy if the items are good. It makes me contented to write "check Visa statement" on the list, because then I know I won't forget to check the Visa statement. But it makes me happy to put "NTMB: Help learning Finnish?" on the list, because then I get to figure out how you would go about helping someone to learn a grammatically difficult language (like Finnish!) if you had magic at your disposal but were morally opposed to just casting spells on people themselves. And that will be fun. But crossing items off the lists always makes me happy, because if it wasn't fun, I don't have to do it again but still have the contentment of getting it done. But if it was fun, I can still do it again, even though it's been removed from the list for the time being. So crossing stuff off the lists is always good.

Several items remain on my list for today, even though Mark has finished the mopping. Off I go. List list.

Back to Morphism.

And the main page.

Or the last entry.

Or the next one.

Or even send me email.