what I'm thinking and doing

what I'm listening to

what I'm reading

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retrospective: old journal

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I've been on an organizing spree. Slowly, though. Gradually picking away at some things that have been driving me crazy for a little time. A twitch here, moving a pile of books there. It's starting to accumulate and things feel a little more organized, but now I've got to focus because my parents arrived in less than a week! Ack! Every year Christmas sneaks up on me like this. I think it's just early December, but wham!

The good thing is that I had this sudden revelation that I'm nearly done all my shopping. It helps that I bought several gifts while travelling and saved them for Christmas. I forgot I had them, and then opened the bag, and there was a particular thing for so-and-so. You got it.

So, regarding our series of major expenses, I went to the dentist to see why I was having so much pain. Did you know you can sprain a tooth? I mean, who knew? Eating something I managed to pull the ligaments that hold one of my molars. It still hurts every once in a while (and apparently still will for a few weeks), but it doesn't need any more work on it just yet. What a relief!

I was so relieved that I got all obsessed with watching auctions of iBooks on Ebay, because when I put System X (Panther) on my clamshell--this is the first of our computers to be upgraded from 9.2--it took up nearly the entire hard drive. Even stripped down I couldn't put hardly any other software on it, which makes the computer fairly useless to me. I would have to reformat it to 9.2 to be able to use it effectively, and I was hoping to switch everything up, so we could all the running the same system. I was ready to make the leap. We should have done it when we got Jim's machine over a year ago, but it was having a few problems in System X do Jim always boots it 9.2. LIke you care. Well, anyway, he upshot was of course that I bid and won. This isn't that much newer than mine, but its hard drive is over three times bigger and it has a DVD drive. Now, of course, I can hardly wait for it to arrive. Broke broke stupid broke.

So now I have a plan for us to get everything ready for my parents' visit. It includes lots of cleaning, silver polishing, and tidying. I have the easiest two sides of my study cleaned already. And Jim and I made a deal that I would do the holiday cards and he would do the baking, so most of the baking is already done, and so are most of the cards.


We're still going to be very, very busy this week.


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



I've been listening a lot to Ninetynine while making an Ectophiles' Guide entry on them. Theirs is an interesting combination of indiepop/rock with unusual instruments (vibraphone, xylophone, glokenspiel) and off-kilter tunes and vocals.

I also did a preliminary list of my favourite discs of 2003 (in alphabetical order):

  • Cat Power, You Are Free
  • Daughter Darling, Sweet Shadows
  • Fiery Furnaces, Gallowsbird's Bark
  • lamb, Between Darkness and Wonder
  • Jim Moray, Sweet England
  • Petracovich, blue cotton skin
  • Kat Terran, Lion & Blue
  • Under Byen, Det Er Mig Der Holder Trferne Sammen
  • Noe Venable, the world is bound by secret knots
I couldn't decide on a number 10, too many contenders that I liked about the same.  

last week's listening § next week's listening



Robert Holdstock's The Iron Grail is the second in his series about Merlin and his adventures with Jason (of the Golden Fleece), the deeply magical ship Argo, and Urthu, a Celtic chieftain in Alba. This is a book full of antagonism between Merlin and these men, as well as with the sorceresses Medea and Niiv. And of course the soldiers of Ghostland. I actually started this sometime this summer and got a little tired of all the battles about a third of the way through, not picking it up again until this week, but this time after a short while I got caught up in it again, and ended up enjoying it a lot. (See my May 20, 2001 for comments on the previous volume.)

William Mayne's children's novel, The Animal Garden, like all of his books is full of wonders and strangeness. Here a young boy travels to a foreign country to see his father. Along the way he meet up with a young woman who is seemingly quite spoiled, whose father works with the boy's. Quite shortly after they get to their fathers' camp, everyone has disappeared. They go to a nearby abandoned city to see if they can find anyone, but find instead the pugs, a species of primate who can speak, and speak like their fathers. But soon all of them are pursued by rebels trying to take over the country, and they escape by going through an underground waterway, safe only because the water is low. A very odd story, though full of small bits of lovely human/animal interaction.


last week's reading § next week's reading



New poem for a workshop on Tuesday evening, which I had a lot of fun writing. Alternatively, I have been struggling with turning a story inside out. I think I'm a little afraid of what I want to do with it. We'll see.


last week's writing § next week's writing


Retrospective: old journal

The Retrospective Journal is currently on hiatus

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