5 December 2004
I wrapped some Christmas presents this morning. Mark and I had brunch at Aunt Ellen and Uncle Phil's with my folks, so I wanted to send some of the presents down with them so we'll have less to take when we go for Christmas. (Cathy was also at brunch but has nothing to do with me wrapping presents.) Yesterday I made apricot shortbread. It was picky but worth the time.
It feels like Advent around here. It feels like pre-Christmas. At college, I never got any sense of impending Christmas, either in the good sense or the annoying sense. What was impending was finals. Or going home. Or decent food. And then after that Christmas came all in a rush, and it just sort of happened to me instead of being participatory. Other people did most of the work.
It's a general trait of mine that I'm less happy with other people doing most of the work.
Yesterday was an incredibly social day, most of it my own fault: only Beth's open house was really beyond my control. But other things just looked like the right timing: Stella didn't have to work and could come with Mike and Roo to have dinner, and there was a craft fair with Elise jewelry, so I wanted to go and Dena seemed like a good person to take, and then once I was going up to Dena's, stopping in on DDB and Lydy seemed like an obvious choice (they live very close to Dena's). So good people-stuff abounded. And then I knew there was family brunch and nothing else social if I didn't want it today, so I could just go with the people-time yesterday. I don't think there'll be anything social tomorrow, either. Just stories getting worked on and stuff getting done, I hope.
My weird frame of mind has extended beyond this journal into e-mail: I can recognize stuff I'd usually talk about and stories I'd usually want to tell, and I just don't have the same urge. I'm not short on the story-telling urge, just in certain contexts, but I'm not used to coming up short in much of any context for more than a couple hours (usually right before bed). There are some people I've been as chattery as usual with (in writing; I don't notice this so much in person or even on the phone), but others not, and it doesn't seem to map to any levels of being happy or unhappy with the person in question, or liking them more or less than usual, or...anything I can figure out, really. It's strange to have only one thing to say and then be willing to sign off. I think it might be necessary right now, but it's still strange. I'm just going to go with it, I guess, and see if it clears up or not. For the first time I can sympathize a bit with people who claim they have nothing to say in letters: it's not that I can't think of anything, it's that I don't feel like saying it.
Mark leaves for California in the morning, but not as early as usual, so that'll be good. I've been reading Martin Kovacs's Ethnic Canadians: Culture and Education, mostly picking and choosing essays that look really interesting or have something to do with Finno-Canadians. If I ever do anything with Ukrainian-Canadians, this will be my very first sourcebook, though. It is crazy about Ukrainians. Ukrainians everywhere. (From what I've seen recently coughbearcough, this could be dangerous.) I have an embarrassment of riches on the fiction pile, but I've been trying to stick to reading Mer's book for my fiction fix. This is a little harder than it might otherwise be, because it's in a big bulky binder with Leah's book, and because reading for crits is different, more note-intensive. I also have a story to read for Yoon and chapters for an entirely new Beth than I've ever referred to here before, so it'll be off and on crit reading this week. Lots of things will be off and on this week. But most of the ons are good, and most of the offs are needed breaks, so there's that, too.
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