In Which The Brain Thrives on Cathars

24 October 2004

Yesterday we went on a picnic in the chill and rain. It was down on the River Road, in that little park where there was the snow machine on the River last year. It's a good park. I have two seasons worth of good associations with it now. I'll have to go back in the spring for three. And we're definitely going back for Elise's comfort food picnic next year. And bringing rosemary buns, and maybe wild rice pudding with cherries in it if I have the time.

It occurs to me that rosemary buns would be a good thing to have at a major holiday dinner, and I don't think I've made them for my folks and grands. So there's another thing on the list.

I finished reading Jon Margolis's The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964 last night. He did some annoying things throughout, mostly involving non sequiturs and getting carried away by his own rhetoric, but it was still worth reading and a decent enough companion to Mark Kurlansky's 1968. I'd like to see a non-presidential-election-year for comparison and contrast purposes. Now I'm reading René Weis's The Yellow Cross: the Story of the Last Cathars, 1290-1329. I needed nonfiction that had nothing to do with Thermionic Night, I guess, and this is doing the trick well enough so far. I don't have enough prior knowledge of the Cathar heresy to be thinking, "blah blah blah," but I do have enough not to be totally lost in casual references to other aspects of the period at large.

I don't know if it's just the sort of brain I got when they were passing them out or if all brains are like this, but mine seems to do well with not-very-purposeful factual input from time to time. I don't want to say random information, really, but near-random. Quasi-random. Friends are good for this (at least the sort of friends I have) because they tend to pop up with interests I'd never considered having before. Used bookstores are good for this. Libraries are good for this.

Anyway, anyway. I did some more chapter edits for Thermionic Night, and I'm coming into my first entirely new chapter of this revision pass (the new chapter two was several months ago), and we'll see how all that goes, but tomorrow. Today is a day off, which means house stuff and social stuff and phone calls and crashing early. Well, the crashing early part isn't inherently part of a day off, but I'm bone-weary, and Mark leaves for California very early again tomorrow. So today it seems indicated. This is not a bad thing overall. Between now and then, risotto, and Cathars, and Roo.

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