9 November 2002
Yesterday I started doing something interesting. And by "something interesting," I mean "something boring as dry toast to anyone but me." There's a Väinämöinen tale from the Kalevala, about Joukahainen and his sister Aino, that fits into the backstory of the Not The Moose Book, just a little. It's part of why the first Sampo gets made, and in the NTMB they're making the second Sampo. But it only grazes on the story of the first Sampo, so I have to condense it and make it an offhand sort of reference, while at the same time, it's the center of a short story. So that's been kind of cool for me.
I really don't like typing Väinämöinen. It's the ö that screws me up. The rest of the time I'm in a rhythm, but the ö, it's just not right. But Väinämöinen is a fairly major character in the Sampo tales in the Kalevala, and he's interesting, and so I don't really feel I can leave him out, and I don't want to. I just prefer typing other names. Even Vääräniemi is more fun to type. (Vääräniemi is a last name. Like Väinämöinen, it doesn't show up very often in the book. You will never have to look at the two of them and say, now, which one was which? Because I realize that there are people like Kev who will look at Väinämöinen and call him "v-guy" mentally, not even attempting the neat sounds. I don't know if Kev will be like that this time, or if he's like that now. But he admitted to it a couple years ago with fantasy novels, making me wary of long names even if I hadn't been before.)
VY-ne-Moy-nen. It's a pretty good approximation.
I'm not sure what to do about the leak above the kitchen sink. It wasn't leaking when I got back from lunch at David's yesterday, and I didn't feel it was particularly good to call them up and swear there was one without being sure where it was. And it was raining when I got back from David's, so I would think they would expect a leak to show up under those circumstances. I would myself, actually. So. I'm not sure.
Anybody got any ideas about how to choose a dentist? Mark has dental insurance for the two of us now, and I think it's a very good idea to make use of it, especially since my wisdom teeth are a little odd. (I only have two of them, and I'm not sure I'll be allowed to keep them. We'll see.) I've just never picked out a dentist before, and it seems like the difference between a good dentist and a bad dentist is rather large. I had very good luck picking out an eye doctor at random in Walnut Creek, but I think that was a fluke. My medical doctor choices have been partially dictated by insurance (and have varied from great to horrible), and I found Dr. Bill because he went to the same church as we did and knew some people there. (Dr. Bill is my chiropractor, for those of you in need of a scorecard.) But the dental insurance doesn't have a lot of restrictions on it, and we aren't particularly close to our church, either emotionally or geographically, at this point. (I'd be willing to drive down to Fremont for a dentist, but that's about as far as I'll go.) Many of the people we know in the area aren't in the area, they're up in Berkeley or Oakland or scattered all over the rest of the Bay. So. Help! What do I do?
On the train yesterday, I read Charles de Lint's Seven Wild Sisters. It was fun, but I think it could have been a little bit longer without harming anything. Mark brought me home some research books from the Stanford library system, so I should be pretty busy with those for awhile. (One of them is huge.) And with my normal library books, of course. I read the December Analog yesterday, but nothing in it thrilled me enough to mention.
Yesterday, Scott asked me in e-mail whether I ever get bored. I think I gave him pretty much exactly the answer he was expecting: who has time for that crap? I have thirty books to write. Thirty. Not to mention short stories. Not to mention things that aren't writing. Bored? When? And why?
My grandpa always says that intelligent people don't get bored. I don't think that's true, though -- I think that there are some circumstances wherein an intelligent person shouldn't feel guilty about being bored. One of them is if the job that intelligent person can get for the time being is boring. And by that, I mean that it has to occupy enough attention that one can't focus on other things and yet not require enough attention to be interesting. The other circumstance is when it's very important to one of the intelligent person's loved ones that said intelligent person do something boring. (Same terms: exactly the wrong amount of attention required.)
Other than those two circumstances, well, why bother? I mean, if someone you otherwise find interesting is being a crashing bore, why are they? Why is it important to them to say what they're saying in the way they're saying it? There's so often something you can try to figure out. Something little, something big. Games you can play with yourself. Lines you can snip for dialog later, even, if it gets to that point. Patterns to find.
It's no fun to be bored, so usually I don't do it. That's pretty much it.
I had hoped that I would be done being tired today. I got good sleep last night, but not enough to have me done with the tired, I think. I was awake at 5:55, which is better than it could be, close to normal, but I was hoping for later.
I said, above, that I'm writing a short story and some backstory with the same material. One of the oddnesses about it is that the short story is all typed and I'm still doing book stuff, backstory or not, longhand. Which is fine, I guess. I don't know of any reason why it shouldn't be fine. It's just a little odd that it continues that way.
I don't know what we'll be up to today. Mark will be home at a reasonable hour for the first time all week, because, of course, he's not going to work, it being Saturday and all. So I may make a nice satay, or we may go out, or we may figure out something entirely different. We may go to Zed's improv show, or we may stay close to home, or we may just stay home. (I recommend Zed's improv show, for those of you in the area who may be considering it. It's just that it's cleeeeear up there, and I believe we'd have to drive -- if there's a way to get there easily from BART, I don't know it. And I'm feeling cocoonish of late.) I have plenty to read! (Right now it's Helen Zia's Asian American Dreams and, of course, bits of The Kalevala.) I'd like to watch a movie or two.
And I'd like to make soups. Not soup. Soups. I'd like to make two-person servings of aïgo bouïdo and Hungarian mushroom soup and wild rice soup and squash soup (as a practice run for Thanksgiving, in part, because I told Judy we'd bring squash soup, and I've never made it) and two or three different kinds of black bean soup. This would be immensely impractical, and I most likely won't do any of it. It's the simmering that appeals to me, really. I like the idea of simmering things on the stove all day. Ooh, and double mushroom chili. I want some of that, too. But I should wait until Timprov gets back on that one, so that he can enjoy it. Won't be that long. Hmm.
I've never had this with anything but baking before. There are some days when I want to spend the entire day baking things, breads, muffins, cookies, bars, whatever. Usually I have no desire to eat the finished products on those days. I just want to bake them. The soups are kind of like that, too. It's just never happened with simmering.
I should go to the post office this morning. Saturday morning post office run! Now someone else is supposed to buy me candy. That's how it always worked when my dad and I went to the post office on Saturday mornings. I'd go with, and we'd talk in the car, and we'd stop at the gas station and get candy. I mentioned this once before, at least, and at the time I decided I needed to think of time in more little-kid terms. Which was a good idea, and one I haven't implemented very well. Anyway. It would be useful if I got showered and dressed and hied my butt over to the post office. Useful enough, in fact, that I might actually do it.
Or I may go back to Väinämöinen making Ilmarinen make the first Sampo or trying to catch Aino once she's become a fish. Whatever. Lots of options.
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