what I'm thinking and doing

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retrospective: old journal

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Oh hell, the end of another busy week and I have nothing interesting to say. I did sketch out part of an entry in my head but ran out of time to type it out and now it's gone.

This wasn't a week that lent itself to really deep thoughts or great doings. It was mostly a busy week, playing catch up. I did have Tuesday off work but it evaporated and I feel as though I didn't have it at all.

Did you know that I am the biggest pro at wasting time? Mostly all sitting in front of a computer, but hours can disappear and I don't have much of a clue where.

I guess you could say that basically this week I didn't have much of a clue. I still felt all behind-hand. Two annoying things at work that had been hanging for quite a while fell into place on Friday, so I was able to finish (temporarily at least) my worry about them and move on. There's still a third one as yet unresolved.

At home I'm starting to worry about things like the holidays, which I always feel kind of stressed out about preparing for, but I always really enjoy while they're happening. There are things I just like to do and I like to do them right and I can get quite anxious about it. I'm going to try not to do that.

Monday night was my poetry group. Tuesday was the amazing, evaporating day. I don't recall Wednesday so it must have been dramatic. Thursday was hectic as I spent all morning in a graduate school meeting, then raced over to the seminar to do my hostess duty there (and to listen in to the interesting presentation), then raced over to an eye doctor appointment, which took two hours. While there I managed to put cleanser on my contacts, which they're not supposed to have and the doctor later put them somewhere, and so he gave me new ones to use until the ones we just ordered arrived--these ones fit differently and feel quite annoyingly odd. I hate being aware of things like that, which is why I wear contacts and not glasses. I got home, ate dinner, and fell asleep at 7:30, and only woke up enough to go downstairs to bed. I slept straight through till 6:00 Friday morning when it was time to get up for another fine day of work.

We were social this weekend, too. Went out to dinner and a movie (The Station Agent) with friends. Then on Saturday morning we went to the airport to pick up a friend we haven't seen in years, who came to stay with us overnight. It was terrific to see him. Since we last saw him he got married and had a child!

So that's the sketch of what my life looked like this week. Tune in next week for another exciting episode of Life at Forty-Five: The Saga Continues Indefinitely So Are You Sleepy Yet?

Yes. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am.


last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing



While our friend Jens was here we played a serious game of "listen to this for a track or two and tell us if you like it". Poor Jens. Music and music and music. We were racing through nearly everything we've loved in the last few years since Jens visited us last.

In other news, I still love the new lamb. Adore the new lamb. It's terrific.


last week's listening § next week's listening



The first three volumes of the children's series, The Field Guide, The Seeing Stone, and Lucinda's Secret, of The Spiderwick Chronicles (by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi) are charming and fun. In it twin boys and their older sister and mother move into a tumbledown old family mansion and immediately discover that there are other creatures living in their house, and a secret room where they find a field guide to fairies that explains it all--except the fairies want the field guide out of human hands. An entertaining story, and I like the artwork as well. Looking forward to reading the last two volumes.

Alice Hoffman's young adult novel, Green Angel, is a tale of what happens to a young woman who stays home to tend the family garden while the rest of her family goes to the city across the river to the market to sell their produce. While they are there, the city suddenly burns (an atomic blast?) and there are few survivors. The young girl's family don't return. This short novel is the story of how she grieves and how she builds a life out of the literal ashes that surround her.


last week's reading § next week's reading



New poem this week, though without the new poem I'm-really-writing buzz, because it's a found poem created out of other people's out-of-copyright writing. Specifically, a poem about Johnson and Boswell's trip to Scotland in 1773, using the materials Johnson wrote about the trip. It was fun to put together and my poetry group and Jim thought it worked pretty well, but playing with someone else's words isn't quite like playing with my own. Still, it's a new poem, and is mine own.

Another poem put together the same way--this one from letters from pioneer women moving west--just appeared in Canadian Literature. I got my contributor's copy in yesterday's mail.

And a story that had been out a year and four days bounced home. It made it to the final cut for an anthology, but ultimately didn't make it in.

I need to get some more work out, and quickly. I need to make some more significant progress on my revision.


last week's writing § next week's writing


Retrospective: old journal

February 1991: Trip to England with Jim and Christina

Monday, February 25, 1991
London to Gatwick

Crazy morning. Called the taxi after breakfast to discover that the trains weren't running again because of yet another Monday morning security alert. Called and discovered there were buses from Victoria bus station--but that was crowded. And the next bus wasn't for an hour. We were gathered up by an Iranian and a Japanese woman to take a taxi together to Gatwick and so we arrived in plenty of time to wait and fluster around trying to figure out where to check in. Left Sassam outside where he took the taxi on to some training, left the Japanese student at her check-in (she's heading to NYC then Greensboro, so Jim gave her his Dad's address). We waited with Christina in the crowded terminal until an announcement about our flight appeared (to wait in the satellite terminal, which it still says). We ate our ceremonial ducklings and left Christina at the door to the satellite train station. Now we wait here and wait. No longer in London. Anonymous in transit again, between London and Seattle reality.

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