Les Semaines

October 7, 2007

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

 §

I Am Famous!

...in my corner of the room at least. Jim kindly pointed out that in the table of contents for the issue I come right under the new mops and scentless handsoap. At least we know that Jim will never let me get a swelled head from all this excitement.

I'm still feeling somewhat fragile and am having trouble even thinking about writing right now. There was a big article in both local papers yesterday about the state's Labor and Industries Office's findings about the murder in my office last April. The Seattle Times article put the blame specifically on her supervisor, which makes me furious. The Seattle PI seems to understand the situation better.

But all this brings last spring's emotions back so strongly I'm not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. I tell myself to just suck it up but it's harder than I would ever have thought. I'm sure all my friends and readers are sick of it. I'm sick of it. I keep wondering if this is just how it's going to be from now on. Kind of like when you've had a particular pain for a while and you wonder if this is just life from here on out.

But it's not all bad. Had a lovely dinner with friends last night. I've been loving the stormy weather. The kittens are still a delight and Sophia hasn't peed on me or anywhere else (that we know of and we did use a black light to check around) for over two weeks! Go anti-anxiety drugs! She still terrorizes the kittens periodically, though, and I really, really wish she wouldn't, but I know it's not that she's doing it to be mean. I just have a really, truly, forever unhappy cat.

My Mom phoned this evening to wish me an early happy birthday. We were talking during the sunset, and kept exclaiming about the golden light suffusing everything. Mom saw apricot, but we only got bruise-purples and pinks after the gold. So funny having a conversation where we kept interjecting comments about the current colours. "Apricot!"

Tomorrow I turn 49 for the first time. I'm not sure how many times I will continue to do so. This will likely be the only time, but you never know.

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

Listening

Listening to the new Tunng album quite a lot. Their strange version of folky experimental pop is delightful.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

This is one of those things that go around the net. The list is the top 106 books marked "unread" on LibraryThing. You're supposed to bold the ones you've read, italize those you've started but didn't finish, strike through the ones you absolutely loath, and underline the ones that are on your to-read list. Add an asterisk to those you've read more than once.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby-Dick
Ulysses
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Iliad
Emma*
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex
Quicksilver
Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian: a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault's Pendulum
Middlemarch
Frankenstein
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible: a novel
1984
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility*
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park*
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver's Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Dune
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
The God of Small Things
A People's History of the United States: 1492-present
Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere*
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners*
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Beloved
Slaughterhouse-Five
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon*
Oryx and Crake: a novel
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics: a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an Inquiry into Values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity's Rainbow
The Hobbit*
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

I'm trying to think what this tells me. I think:

  • I've read a lot of books
  • I start but don't finish very few books
  • I don't loathe many books
A few of the books that I haven't read that aren't on my to-read list we do have and I could read them, but most of the books that I haven't read that are on here I don't care one way or another about and some I suspect I wouldn't like. The ones I started but didn't finish mostly just bored me (yes, I'm sad to say that 100 Years of Solitude and The Life of Pi just didn't interest me enough to make me keep reading. I can't be arsed to start Moby-Dick or War and Peace. I am so not interested in the Ayn Rand. I don't like Atwood enough after reading everything she wrote for years to read the ones of hers on here.

So it goes.

This week I bailed halfway through Lane Robins' Maledicte. I feel a little bad about this, but partway through I realized that i just didn't like the characters. I'd started off interested in them but they all did the same things all the time I kept feeling like I'd already read what I'd just read. That probably doesn't make any sense. I wanted to like it, though. I tseemed very stylish to like it.

I raced through a re-read of Eleanor Cameron's children's SF novel about two boys who build a spaceship and travel to a hitherto unknown planetoid not so far from earth, Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet, because in a rush of nostalgia I put a library hold on the rest of the series and wanted to re-read this one first. Quick fun.

I also read Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, having watched the miniseries a few weeks ago. This is a novel about the daughter of a minister who decides he cannot sign on to some article of faith and gives up his living to teach privately in an industrial city in the north of England. It's a shock to his wife and daughter to be removed from their bucolic life so ubruptly, and to be introduced to such a different type of society than they are used to. Margaret immediately takes a dislike to her farther's new prize pupil, the owner of a local factory. I doubt I'll re-read this but I'll probably watch the miniseries again sometime, and I did like this quite a lot.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Writing? Did that article say I was a writer?

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

June 12, 1994
Edinburgh

Jim's Journal

Used by permission; Neile doesn't seem to have kept a journal this week.

Woke up, had breakfast of cereal/egg/toast/O.J/tea. Left B&B by 9:30 to walk up to Steve's hotel for a CD sale that happens there every month. Met Jens and Steve at sale. Lots of boots, with a few of Tori, Belly, Sonic Youth, etc. Of course, no Too Pure bands, except a boot of a PJ Harvey concert in '92. I found a CD-single promo for Jane Siberry's "The Life is the Red Wagon," a German pressing. Also found a Moose compilation CD of their first 3 EPs. Lots of junky CDs there. Didn't bother looking through many LP bins since didn't want to carry them around. Stayered there till our eyes were tired.

Walked up to park overlooking train station by museum. Sat there watching people play put-put golf in grassy area below, which had been a lake until early 19th century when the lake was drained and station built and Edinburgh expanded into new areas--Leith, new town, where we stayed; and old town, area around Edinburgh Castle.

Sat there staring at people enjoying clear, windy, warm Sunday.

Steve and Jens went to hike up Arthur's Seat. Neile and I went to museum to see Pictish stones. Hiked up to old town to museum--only to find out they were at Queen St. Portrait Gallery. While there though we looked at aboriginal people's stuff, and Instruments of Science section. Great variety of devices. Outside exhibit had an orrery (fairly new) that didn't rotate. Saw a few vacuum/air pumps. Lots of meterological instruments, depth sounding, eletro-mechanical devices, old microscopes, astrolabes, beautiful instruments of copper, brass, and wood--almost more beautiful as artifacts than as useful implements.

Walked back to park, went to train station to get tickets for tomorrow and book ahead B&B (and by this time we knew Jens was coming along). Sat in park till after 6 p.m. when we went to Steve's hotel to meet for walk to dinner.

Dinner was wonderful vegetarian tandoori. Had huge meal: samosas, poori, current veg. dish for me and 2 different eggplant dishes for N, J. & S. Also had beer, whie and red wine. R. was in old town. Walked back to spot where we'd first met--in plaza area with sculptures of foot and hand. Said goodbye to Steve! Didn't get to bed till after 12.

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