26 January 2002

I got Reprogramming out again yesterday. Woo! You know, it was the second time I've sent this book out. I've sent Fortress several times. (I could count if I felt like pulling up the spreadsheet, but I don't.) But it's still magic. It's that shaky, wow, this is what I actually do sort of magic. The last time I sent a book out, the postal employee involved was quite impressed, and she called another postal employee over to see. This time, the mailbeing didn't even ask what I was sending. That's okay, too. My book is out, out there, gone, out of my hair. Filled with potential. Out.

The quest for good Italian food continued last night, but to no avail. We crossed one off the list without even trying it and tried another, only to cross it off the list, too. Our conclusion is that we need to import Italians. Not necessarily from Italy. From New York would do, or even Omaha. I nominated Kari, since I know she can make good Italian sausage. Mark was perfectly willing to second the nomination, but I'm not sure that does any good.

(Off and on, I've been thinking about that sausage in the last few days. It's not just that I'm hungry for it. It's that Nana has been having dizzy spells, and you get a little nervous when someone who's had a hemorrhaging brain aneurism and now has a shunt permanently installed starts having dizzy spells. They're doing X-rays and so on, and she'll be heading back up to Mayo in not too long.)

I have all sorts of thoughts flittering around in my head, about songs I don't like but enjoy anyway, about Kari and Nana and family and worrying, about stories, stories, stories. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make them anything coherent. I'm sorry. It's just not that clear in here right now. I'm trying very very hard not to be sick, but sometimes trying doesn't help that much. I'm going to have another mug of white cranberry peach juice and hope for the best.

I finished the vast, arid expanse of prose that was Treason in the Blood yesterday, and I started reading Goldbarth's Dark Waves and Light Matter, essays. When Diane Ackerman writes essays, I can tell she's a poet because the words all fit together just that way, all in service to the idea she's got. When Goldbarth writes essays, I can tell he's a poet because they're much longer on words than on ideas. He often just flings concepts at the page and then abandons them there. The essays are still interesting, still worth reading. But he is a poet writing essays, not an essayist.

Already this morning I've worked on "Take Back the Night" and on the Point Reyes story that comes between "MacArthur Station" and "Glass Wind." Little bits and pieces. If I pull anything together and finish it today, it'll be only in between fragments of three or six or twelve other projects. It's a good thing I'm reading essays. I think I'm going to go with some short stories next. It's not that I can't concentrate, I'm just...well, I don't feel any need to, is all. Bleah.

We'll finish watching "The Seven Samurai" sometime today, I assume; we stopped in the middle last night because I was feeling really tired and it's a long movie, so we'll go back to it today. Sometimes it amuses me to translate it, not the words (my Japanese isn't that good!) but the characters. And not just into a western, that's the easy one. But into the 1920's, into medieval Scandinavia, into Renaissance Italy, all of those things. And into my own worlds, of course. Naturally.

There was something more here, and it had to do either with dancing with Rachel or else with the middle section of the Not The Moose Book. What was it? What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino? I'll just do something else now....

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