In Which Our Heroine Mingles Work And Play and Anticipation

31 October 2003

Mark gets home tonight. Eeeeeee! And that is the central fact of the day: Mark gets home tonight, and we're having a party tomorrow. Two central facts of the day. Among the central facts of the day are Mark arriving home, a party tomorrow, and a phonetical devotion to the Poh-pay.

It had been over a month since I used the phrase "phonetical devotion to the Poh-pay." It seemed like time.

Actually it was probably more like three days. But I don't think anyone heard me that time, so it doesn't count. It was in Karina's boxes song: "Boxes boxes boxes, boxes boxes boxes, phonetical devotion to the Po-pay, boxes boxes, boxes booooooxes."

Which, when you think about it, really beats out Gollum singing "I Will Always Love You." Especially because it's hard to know where to put all the "precious"es in that song and, I'm happy to say, I don't know any of the verses.

Sometimes I think my commitment to singing as a participatory art form and not just a performance art is overrated.

I've got a list of the things that need to be handled before tomorrow afternoon rolls around. I'm feeling like we're short of something in the refreshments department, but I'm not sure what that would be. If our guests feel short of something, they can bring it their very own little selves. I think I'm mostly racking my brains for, "What did Mom usually have?" And Mom has had some fairly varied parties, so I don't know what my subconscious is aiming at. Or whether I really want it or not. Deviled eggs, pickle yummies? Those would be good things to have, and they're not on the list (though I honestly don't know if anyone besides me eats pickle yummies here -- and Kari won't be up for another couple of weeks, so I can't just rely on her arrival to help me polish them off), but somehow they seem not quite it. That is, they may be it, but I could put them on the list, and my brain would say, encouragingly, "That's good, keep trying."

I think I know what it is. I am not serving a meal. I am serving snackies. (There will probably not be walkies to follow, however, so fear not; you are not all my Golden Retriever.) And since none of it constitutes a meal in itself, quantities of gyoza eaten by C.J. notwithstanding, I keep feeling like there will be Not Enough Food. I'm also eyeing the beverage situation skeptically. There will be mulled cider and milk and lemonade and sodas (enough? Maybe?) and tea and cocoa and several species of harder beverage. It's the sodas I'm fussing about.

I looked at my long-term possible project list today and found out that tomorrow is the deadline if I want to send in a story that's about Integrity. And I said to myself, "Oh, to hell with Integrity." Because that's a fun thing to say and not mean it. And also because I'm not at all sure of these Mota anthologies. They seem awfully Bill Bennett to me, you know? Books of virtues and all? And even when your story is about integrity, or somebody in it is absolutely brimming with integrity, if you are a person of integrity yourself, you don't necessarily have it whap you about the head. One of my dad's former bosses told my dad that he [my dad] is one of the most honest people said former boss had ever met. Which I'm sure is true, and my dad is an honest person. But to bother to remark on it seemed to say a lot more about the boss and his expectations and social circles. I just don't go running up to people and say, "Hey, I notice that you don't go bashing old ladies in the skull, good on you!" Because I take it for granted that they won't. It's not really the sort of thing I comment on. I assume that my father, and the people I have anything to do with socially, will be generally honest as a rule. I don't really bring it up. I think it's the same with these integrity stories.

Or maybe it's just that I don't want to have to feel guilty for not getting something worked out and sent out to them. Eh. No, I don't think so. It's the whole thing that sounds dodgy to me. I can't imagine saying, "What I want to read about is Integrity." Go out and buy one of those Successories posters, for heaven's sake. What I want to read about is giant magical computers and genetic engineering and rains of frogs, and if there's some integrity considered, all to the best, but really

Ah well.

So I thought I was going to get through all of Columbine's latest entry and be able to shake my head and bite my tongue, because Lord knows defending Columbine from himself is a losing proposition. But then I got to the end, where he says, " And work, people, is something I only do for money. Heaven knows there is no other reason to."

Um, no, please? Let's go with no on that one. You can jump through hoops to try to explain how the knowledge of improving one's community is really "money" for volunteer workers, or how people like me are engaging in delayed gratification with every word of novel they write, or how housework is an attempt not to have to spend money on fixing up the place later, or how it's all really "fun." And if by "fun" you mean "something voluntarily chosen," then okay, it's all "fun." But that seems like a pretty stretchy definition of fun to me, and one that takes all the, um, fun out of it. Sometimes things are worthwhile for reasons that have nothing to do with getting paid and nothing to do with playing and fun. I'm surprised to even have to reiterate this, but I think it's part of a fairly unhealthy cultural attitude about work. Work isn't synonymous with either pleasure or pain. It's a different axis.

So. Here's me ruining the peanut butter cookies (I added flour automatically; there is no flour in these cookies). I think I need to go focus now, because those cookies are not in the least difficult. Tomorrow there probably won't be a journal entry; tomorrow there will be a Mark, and many other things to do with him (work and play and other!) than write a journal entry. And Sunday likewise. I know I've taken more breaks since moving than ever before. But that's how life goes. Awhile ago Rob was attempting to foist his readers off on me while he was busy, so...take it away, Rob!

Happy Halloween, happy All Saints', happy Reformation Day. Wear your costumes, nail your theses!

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