July 22nd, 2006



You know that stage of tired where you flop on the bed totally horizontal and then you think, no, there must be more to lying down than this, because this is still too upright, so possibly I am too tired to remember how to do it right? and then you start to think, oh, if I was Batman maybe everything would be okay? That's how tired I was last night. I was tired enough to call markgritter back into the bedroom to inquire of him what is half-elven, purple, and conquers Asia Minor*, and to remind him that bananas rarely eat moose. That is how tired.

This morning I am merely in the dangerous stage of tired wherein all sorts of things get done without my meaning them to. For example, I swept the kitchen floor, unloaded the dishwasher, and started a load of dark-colored clothes in the washer, because I was too tired to remember what I was doing downstairs. The proper answer would have been "getting a glass of juice the same way as I do every morning at this time and have every morning at this time for longer than we have lived in this house." I'm a little nervous about going down to get the tape so that I can wrap the rest of Robin's birthday present and so that I can rewrap the perishable part of pameladean's we've consumed twice because her birthday was in January, but hope springs eternal enough that I am wrapping this incarnation again, even though we may have to unwrap and eat it. I am beginning to think we should have gotten pameladean something much nicer for her birthday, from a purely selfish standpoint. Also I feel that pointing mournfully at the wrapped presents on the shelf above the give-it-back basket will be more eloquent than merely informing her that there is something to be wrapped as soon as she says the words, which words I believe are "wildflower garden." Anyway, I'm afraid that if I get up and go downstairs, I will forget why I'm there again, and only remember the tape once I've felled a tree in the backyard and gotten halfway through building a kayak of it. And by then there'll be nothing to do for it but to finish the kayak.

Also I had a nightmare in which I couldn't find leahbobet, and she thought I'd found ksumnersmith and so wasn't worried, but she should have been, because I hadn't. There was more to it than that, but that's the part with lj names in it.

I'm going to brave the downstairs. Wish me luck. Wish me tape and a minimum of distractions.

You'd think I could go back to bed at this stage of tired, but you would be oh, so wrong.

*Elrondxander the Grape, naturally. Because when I am that tired, all jokes become one. Probably you can't eat a good purple half-elf conqueror of Asia Minor like that all at once.

Week of July 16-22

Two rejections. I'm writing more short stories right now than I was for awhile, so I'm seeing at least some mail most of the time. I like mail. (I like it even better this close to my birthday -- today I got two packages and a card, none of which I opened.)

I'm reading Utopian Communities in America, 1680-1880, and it became clear to me that the author is smoking the crack. Possibly all of the crack. Here: "We should not assume, therefore, that the Shakers were unhappy because they were subject to restrictions and repressions that might seem to us to be unbearable." Okay so far, but the next sentence is: "The facts of Shaker craftsmanship alone, deny unhappiness. No one who was frustrated, repressed, discontented, or ill-adjusted to life could have produced such simple and eloquent work, which breathes the air of tranquility and fulfillment. It is only when we begin to cast an eye on the tortured furniture, the gaudy and tawdry trappings, and the grotesque upholstery of the 'world' at the same period that we can see the products of frustration and neurosis."

Uhhh...riiiiiight. We have gone from "we shouldn't assume that everyone wants the same things out of life" to "I don't like the rest of the furniture at the time, therefore the Shakers must have been contented and the rest of the world miserable neurotics."

We seem to need to repeat this idea often enough that I would like to tattoo it backwards on some people's foreheads: happiness and artistic success do not enjoy a simple relation. Some people do good work when they're happy. Some do good work when they're miserable. Some both. Some neither. Got it? Honestly.

Also, I know it would be extremely convenient if everybody whose art/craft you liked was a nifty and happy person and everybody whose art/craft you didn't like was a miserable jerk, but the world is just not arranged that conveniently. "What a lovely dress! Clearly the laborers who sewed it must lead charmed lives!" No, no, and also no. But in some ways it's nice to know in which directions the writer is smoking the crack so that I can adjust, I guess.