Les Semaines

November 20, 2005

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

 §

Did I Cough My Brains Out?

My cold is getting better. The worst part of it was not getting anywhere near enough sleep because I was coughing so much at night. I spent several nights propped up on the chesterfield, and even last night I slept there again in order to breathe (still congested). Jim got the cold on Tuesday and is just about over it. This doesn't seem quite fair.

I think I had coughed my brains out by Monday, though. I was a wreck. I slept badly, and let myself sleep in until I had to race to get to what I thought was a 9:00 meeting. We were looking after a neighbour's cat and I get the morning shift, so I went in to feed him and was sure I had put their keys in my pocket, so on the way out I locked the lower part of their door and pulled it shut, then reached into my pocket for their keys, and -- Not There. Foul words said. Loudly.

Raced off to work. Luckily, the neighbours had emailed the phone numbers where they were staying rather than just leaving a note in their house as we usually do, and so I could call them and even reached them. They thought friends of theirs might have keys, so I left messages for them.

At work I discovered my meeting was not at 9:00 but at 10:00. And then the person I was supposed to meet with didn't show and finally called and cancelled. She had a good excuse, but she had already re-scheduled the meeting twice. Anyway, I worked for a while and then couldn't stand it and had to go home. All the coughing and not breathing and the tiredness.

Anyway, went out to find I'd left my car lights on (the Honda has no warning beeper for the lights) and I'd been just long enough for the battery to be too dead to start the car. I let the car roll back and tried to get a rolling start but there wasn't enough room, so there I was stuck in the middle of the parking lot. Luckily, I had my cell phone and called the office, and a kind coworker called the campus police for me, who were there with one of those jump start boxes in less than five minutes. I had even managed to push the car about 80% back into the parking spot.

One of our neighbours' friends turned not to have keys and the other had an old set that didn't work anymore, so finally I called a locksmith our neighbours had worked with and he called them and got a key code and then came over and in a minute he had the door open for me. I snatched up the keys and locked up. An expensive lesson.

Tired and spacey caused problems, people. Damn.

So not much else happened this week. There was a potluck for the Ph.D. program I work for, which reminded me how darn much I like the students in the program. They're interesting people and good company. Oh, and good cooks.

We also saw the Harry Potter movie tonight. Fun.

Chronicles of Sloth: Episode 6

  • Email inbox down to 231 messages (down from 250 three weeks ago and from 380 when I started tracking this)
  • Still working on novel revisions (about 50% done), and synopsis (99% done)
  • Three medical appointments for me to arrange
  • Starting to pick at the 2 large stacks of CDs to ready for review
  • Huge pile of papers to sort through has been dented! + 1 papered-high inbox of perilous proportions still untouched
  • CD pileup prodded at, a couple fewer (keep/toss/add to ectoguide)
  • 1 red cloth bag of tapes (+ a bookcase) diminished by about 10 the last few weeks
  • 2.5 friend's novels still waiting to be read & critiqued + one story half critiqued
  • and there's still the lurking, unexplored more
  • EEEK! And Christmas! I've got to write my Christmas list. Now everyone will know how crazy I am

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

Listening

I'm slowly putting together a compilation of music for various friends, and so I've been listening to a variety of things. We are still gradually learning Kate Bush's Aerial. There are some wonderful parts and it's a rich listen.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

The first volume of Jonathan Stroud's children's fantasy series The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand begins when a young magician's apprentice seeks revenge for an insult and conjures Bartimaeus, a powerful djinni, to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from a powerful, ambitious adult magician, thereby setting off a chain of events and dangers for both himself and for Bartimaeus. Seriously out of his depth, the apprentice tries to control the djinni, while the djinni has ancient scores to settle while still bound to do his conjurer's will. This is a fun, complicated story--a little thin in parts, but entertaining.

Shannon Hale's children's novel, Princess Academy follows the story of a young girl, small for her age, who grows up in a poor quarrying community in the mountains. When the priests prophecy that the prince must marry a girl who grew up in this region, all the teenage girls are marched off to an academy set up nearby, where they must learn the basic skills they might need should the prince choose them. While I found this a decent read, like Shannon Hale's other books, I never became fully engaged with it. The story always seems to me just a little thin, though I like the elements of the story and the imagination. Maybe it's a difference of style.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Because I'm still getting over this cold, I did more napping than writing this week, though I did do a couple of good hours over the week and we had our monthly writing retreat with Karen and Barry, where I was much more productive.

Sent out some poems is response to a call for poems for a high-school anthology, and within a few hours had one taken for it. That was fun.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Saturday, August 17th, 2001
Stromness to Stonehaven

Got up, had breakfast, said goodbye, got on the ferry. It was like that. St in the no smoking corner of the lounge and found ourselves listening to cartoons, and that the public announcement speaker was right by my ear.

Got up and went out to see the Old Man of Hoy go by. Hard to imagine that only a few days ago we were there.

Took the (packed out) bus from Scrabster to Thurso, the (packed out) train to Inverness, sprinted for the Aberdeen connection. Passed familiar sights there--Elgin and Huntly (buckethead) then farther on. I read mostly, glancing out the windows. Now we're in the Aberdeen train station, having discovered that the train does not go through to Stonehaven but turns around and goes back to Inverness. So here we are, waiting for the train to start moving again, a travelling, mindless day.

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