Les Semaines

September 18, 2005

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal



For your entertainment, here are scattered snippets from my Bulletin Board postings over these last two weeks.

* * * * *

I bought a new dust devil as my 20-year-old one's hose broke and cannot be replaced. This one's a week old and already isn't working.

* * * * *

I thought our fruit fly trap wasn't working, but then I looked at the bottom and I have encouraged several fruit flies to suicide.

FYI, the trap is white grape juice with a couple of drops of dish soap [suggested by Tamar]. Sweet and evil. Just like me.

* * * * *

Advil makes me feel all floaty. It's really annoying. It's cumulative. After a couple of days of taking the max I start to feel way light-headed.

* * * * *

Yum, Montreal smoked meat. Damn, I hadn't thought of it for a while and now I'm craving it on a Montreal-style bagel. [A friend is now sending messages from Montreal, where she just relocated.]

* * * * *

I am wearing a new dress today.

Yesterday I wore a newish dress that already needs mending. I love cheap dresses, but I hate it when they fall apart. Especially on the 2nd time I've worn them.

* * * * *

Yeah, I learned to be a little bit more careful naming cats after Maddy and her anger management problems.

Ah, Maddy the Domination Queen. At least she was never boring.

* * * * *

This is only my fourth day back at work and already I could stab someone. I should probably be sent home for my own good.

I'd be doing better if there weren't constant meetings right outside my door. I can't concentrate on much right now because the faculty member who has them has a very carrying, excited voice that I have trouble screening out.

* * * * *

I am drinking a Mexican Mocha from Cafe Allegro. The mexican and the mocha part are great, but wow it's sweet. Ack.

* * * * *

Lack of sleep (so = lack of coffee) makes me feral, too. And Jim. You should have heard us as we left the house at midnight to pick up the incoming family at the airport.

He (early in the day): So when you pick up Mark and Breanne....
Me (surprised): What? Who said I'm picking them up?
Me (at midnight): OK, I'm driving.
He (under breath): So why am I coming, then?
Me (somewhat sarcastically and loudly): Because they're YOUR family?

It went on from there. La la la.

So we picked up Devin and all three of us went to pick them up, which made for a full car but otherwise the arguing about who are going would have gone on forever. Devin is even more tired that we are, given this was the first day students were back at the school she teaches in.

And at first the plane was listed as being late, coming in at 12:20 am then Jim looked at the airlines site again and swore up and down it was listed as coming in at its original time. So we got there then.

So the plane is late and we're sitting in the cell phone waiting area. Devin has Espy the sugar glider in a bag with her because he was too rambunctious with the other gliders to leave behind. He's freaked out because he hasn't been out without the other gliders in many months.

He's making that weird crabbing noise for about three minutes running because Devin is sticking her tongue out at him. I'm laughing.

Jim, in an attempt to show how he couldn't have made a mistake about the arrival time and that it was the website's fault, is talking about how cool it was the last time he picked me up from the airport (I can't think which trip this was. From Amsterdam on my last trip to Turkey maybe?) about how they showed where the plane was on its route on a... a...

Devin: Map, maybe?
Jim: No, no...it was a map.
Devin & Neile: Hysterical, exhausted laughter.

* * * * *

Yeah, the pick up thing was a little surprising. Maybe he had forgotten that I was back at work? While I was off he told Devin "we" would pick her up at the airport (another late night pick up) and then started talking about how I was going to do it. I gave him shit then for not at least asking me, but at the time it made total sense, since I wasn't back at work yet and could sleep in while he couldn't. But this time? Not only did he do it again, but there was less of an excuse.

I told a co-worker that he's lucky he's not now having to push himself around in a cart.

* * * * *

Oh, I'm all over I have nothing to do so I do nothing.

Except I have tons to do.


* * * * *

My weekend: Friday

  • No payday for me till the 25th, damn
  • Have lunch all alone because all the fambly are taking lunch to DEVIN and to DEVIN's workplace while poor NEILE is left alone and has to take the BUS home [Alas, Jim got early guilted out and picked me up, so I missed the opportunity to GO HOME WITH KITTEE. Oh, alas alas alack. And, damn. But thanks, Jim, and see, dear readers, he really isn't a bad guy and doesn't deserve the whole cart thing]
  • Meet up with fambly, distribute some guilt in good fambly fashion
  • Evening with fambly, do whatever, maybe send the young ones out drinking
  • Writing session
  • Fambly
  • Fambly
  • Don't manage to get journal entry written
* * * * *

I got to play authority on my work yesterday. A friend's book group read Blood Memory and I came to their meeting to answer their questions and talk about the book.

* * * * *

I have three sugar gliders at work with me today. I have a couple of little zip-up pouches (with air vents) for them to hang out in, so one of those has Alvin in it and Barbara has her (yes, Alvin is a her—they didn't know that when they got her) around her neck. I have Reuben and Rhonda in a little fake-fur "sugar cube" (just a little pouch thing, no strings on this one). I picked the cube up and they got all fussy and woke up and stuck their noses out so I petted their little heads then let them go back to sleep.

Ah, the sleep of sugar gliders.

[Later Barbara gave me Alvin back and she fell asleep in my bra. It was a little odd to be at work with a sugar glider asleep in my bra, but mostly I forgot she was there except when she twitched, then I'd look down and see her little nose and tail sticking out of the top. SO cute.]

* * * * *

I am creeped out. In fact, I feel like puking. Someone CAME IN THROUGH OUR BACKYARD GATE and planted at least 3 little American flags in our yard.

I can't bear to look and see if there's more.

I hope it wasn't someone here, to get back at me for saying things about Americans and flag waving. I am seriously laying curses on whoever did this because I don't find it funny. This is as bad as when someone left their drug needles on our front steps when we lived in Fremont. I feel invaded by exactly the kind of people I don't want to know.

I'm waiting until Jim comes home. He can pick them out. I don't want to touch them.

I'm wishing I had security cameras to see who did it.

I feel like making a little bonfire and burning them on it for whoever did this to see. Too bad burning garbage is illegal here.


it was Jim's nephew. On SUNDAY. And Jim, who has been through the back yard several times taking the garbage & recycling out, never noticed them.

Okay. Calming down now.

The nephew thought it would be funny. They went to the ballgame on Sunday and got them there. They wanted to see how long it would take for us to notice them.

Adrenaline rush going.

Seriously, I thought it might be a neighbour who didn't like me mouthing off. Something like that.

Nephew chagrined. He had no idea it would freak me out.

The thing is, because Jim never noticed them, I assumed it had happened today. I forget that he's one of those men who need a room full of clues to notice things.

So now I know what I do when I'm freaked out.

1) phone Jim
2) post on bb

Of course I feel like a dweeb for panicking.

* * * * *

Chronicles of Sloth: Episode 3

  • Down to 305 email messages (that's only 5 fewer than my last report, but still it's progress, and 75 fewer than I started with)
  • still working on novel revisions, and synopsis
  • Added a grant to write for October 1st
  • Sent out a batch of poems, so there are only 14 poems needing to go out
  • Haven't touched 2 large stacks of CDs to ready for review and a couple more came in
  • 1 huge pile of papers to sort through + 1 papered-high inbox of perilous proportions still untouched
  • have removed a few CD from the 1 rack + 12 personal CDs to sort through (keep/toss/add to ectoguide)
  • 1 red cloth bag of tapes (+ a bookcase) somewhat diminished
  • 2.5 friend's novels still waiting to be read & critiqued
  • and there's still the lurking, unexplored more

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


Jim and I both as still obsessing with Illinois even though we don't own our own copy yet. It's great music. I bought a copy from a seller on half.com that turned out to be a counterfeit. We will be getting a replacement, though. Soon.

last week's listening § next week's listening


I know I don't comment on the poetry books I'm reading nearly often enough -- mostly because I read them in such a fragmentary manner and I tend to be somewhat inarticulate about poetry -- I mean, just read the poems, eh? But I just wanted to say that I'm reading Joanne Merriam's The Glaze from Breaking. The images are so striking, have such clarity and are so evocative I have to read it in little bits. I'm really enjoying it. Check it out.

Ali Smith's Like is a mainstream novel about two very different women. One tells the story of Amy and her daughter, Kate, who scrape by on the Scottish coast. Gradually it's revealed that Amy once was a well-known scholar and that she comes from a wealthy family. The mystery of the change in her life is tied up with someone called Ash. Then the story switches to Ash's journal, discovered by Kate. I found the first part, about Amy and Kate interesting, but somehow the section about Ash was much less engaging though it was far more dramatic. By the end of this one I was quite disappointed.

Sharan Newman's historical mystery novel, Cursed in the Blood, tells the story of a medieval family who are forced to return to the husband's native Scotland to avenge the death of his brother and nephew. He and his French wife and infant child arrive home to find his tyrannical father involved in a nobel's battle to take over a bishopship. Quickly all of them are in danger and the place is full of nasty people and mystery. This was interesting enough, but both the plot and the characters felt too influenced by contemporary values to me.

Kathleen Tessaro's Elegance is a confusing novel about a woman lost in torpor who finally takes charge of her life while guided by a book from the late 50s about how to be elegant. I say confusing, because I couldn't figure out why her friends stuck with her or what the guy who finally wound up with her saw in her. I did enjoy parts of it, however, and had one laugh-out-loud moment, so it wasn't all confusion. Still, I like to identify with the characters more.

last week's reading § next week's reading


I forgot to mention that last week I got a copy of the Feminist Caucus booklet with my poem in it. They placed it as the first poem in the collection!

I wrote the first draft of a new poem on Sunday. Good timing, as I have a poetry workshop tomorrow night. Now I have a whole day to get it in good enough shape to show someone.

Worked on the synopsis and on novel revisions, not nearly fast enough given how quickly the end of the month and my deadline to have a submission-to-agents package ready is approaching. Even though Saturday was our monthly writing retreat.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

The Long Hiatus continues. Sorry.

last week's old journal § next week's old journal

Last Week § Les Semaines index § Next Week

Email comments, questions, and complaints to neile@sff.net § Neile's main page

2657 people have wandered through this week with me