Printing Happiness

5 January 2002

New printer new printer new printer! I'm doing the new printer dance around here. Timprov and I have celebrated by printing out a total of six stories between us to go in today's mail. (Plus a letter to you, Liz.) It's zippier than my last printer, and it doesn't make so many alarming noises. And the pages are clear and clean as morning dew. Ahhhh. No more having to coax all the pages into the feeder. No more reprinting page 6 (and 8 and 20) four times before a legible copy emerges. Merry Christmas to me! And not a moment too soon, since Christmas is almost over.

I learned many things at Fry's last night, and I will now share them with you. (Fry's, for those of you who don't have one, is a great big ol' electronics store. Bigger than Best Buy and not so media-heavy.) So, for your edification:
1) Do not use the bathrooms at Fry's. Seriously. Most gas stations and roadside rest stops have cleaner bathrooms. It was almost physically painful for me to deal with the smell in there, and I have a cold. Just don't do it.
2) We can, in fact, wheel it 'round. Rather than the typical Indo-American or East-Asian-American Fry's employee, we got a pleasant little British guy in his late 50s. He was most distressed to find out that we had more shopping to do after he set us up with the printer purchase. I assured him that we could take the printer out to the car and return. This was not an acceptable answer. No! It came to him all of a sudden! We could wheel it 'round! We could wheel it 'round! We'd have a receipt, and he'd get us a cart, and we could wheel it 'round! He kept instructing us to wheel it 'round. So we did. But I was quite amused at this revelation.
3) This is how the techno-elite (that would be us) maintains its superiority over the techno-illiterate masses. Fry's. Seriously. Mark's hard drive was $60 less because it came without the box. He had to look up the manual online, and he didn't get some lovely bits of plastic. Plastic and a manual, for $60? Hmm. That's some mighty nice plastic right there.

Techno-elite, I said. Yep. Which is why I still am not getting my e-mail. Argh. Vince brought up the machine in question, but it's not running the mail receiving program. It did for awhile. I got about a dozen backlogged messages. And then it went back down again. Bah. So frustrating. And then hotmail was down yesterday afternoon, leaving me to believe that it is a conspiracy of artificial intelligences who live on the internet and hate me. Yep. I think Occam's Razor supports that conclusion.

So. I'm caught up to slush for WIHA up to yesterday. (Yes, that means if you've sent me a story, I'm still considering it.) I've done a lot more of the writing on the Not the Moose Book, and it's time for another organizational pass through on it. Detailing the outline. Filling out some notes. Making sure that everything is going where it ought and that references casually made in the bits that I've written will be picked up in the bits that I have not. I like this sort of work, too. It'll be good.

I read Analog yesterday as well as all the slush, having finished Pale Fire the night before. I wish Pale Fire had been about 60 pages instead of 300 -- then I really would have enjoyed it. The central conceit of it wore thin for me after awhile. It seems that I'm destined never to be a huge Nabokov fan. He seems to be jumping around center stage of every book, shouting, "Look at me, I'm the writer, and I'm damned good at it, too! La la la, look at me, look at me!" It didn't bother me in his memoir so much, because I was supposed to be looking at him, it was a memoir. (Same thing went for A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.) I was also bugged by Analog, but for totally different reasons -- they had four pieces of fiction, and one of them was an element of a serial that I have no interest in reading. That's really not very many for a magazine of its size.

But on the up side, I've started Murder Must Advertise, so I'll be able to return it to David when I see him next week. And I went and spent my gift card at Barnes and Noble on Thursday and also ordered stuff on my Amazon gift certificate, so I'm wallowing in good books, or at least in potentially good books. Thanks to Amazon's incompetence, I'll be getting Christmas books all month. I really like getting books in the mail.

I would really like getting acceptance letters and contracts in the mail, too. In case anybody was unclear on that point.

Sometimes I just enjoy everything. This is one of those days. I feel really crappy, although this cold is not kicking my butt as much as the last one. But it's okay. I'm looking forward to my whole day. If I'm feeling up to it, I'll go to the post office. This is just a chore, but it feels right with the world; going to the post office is what one does on a Saturday morning, even if I mostly don't. And I cleaned the toilets yesterday, meaning that any of the rest of the cleaning I might feel inspired to do is a vast improvement, and will only occupy a small fraction of my day in any case. I may make chili and cornbread. I like chili and cornbread. I may write bits of novel or short stories or essays or e-mails or letters. I like all of those things. I have all sorts of books I would really like to read, and I like picking at books that aren't as good as I thought they would be, and I like bouncing through the ones that are. I'm likely to be around people I really want to be around. If I'm quite lucky, I may get baby-hugs when I go get the mail. And there's nothing that could show up in the mail that would truly devastate me -- but I could potentially get very happy news, or a package, or something like that.

Good day, I think. And for you, too, I hope.

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