Remembering to Breathe

25 February 2002

The Olympics are over, and it'll be a long four years. I know the Summer Olympics are in only two years, but it's just not the same. I can watch anything at all from the Winter Olympics, but weight-lifting? Wrestling? Meh. Whatever. The Winter Olympics are the real Olympics, in my book. The timing was nearly perfect: just when I needed something to force me into settled relaxation, the Olympics came on. If only they'd started about half a week later, it would have been optimal. Now I'm going to just try to get stuff done and remember to breathe.

(I was especially fond of the wee Canadian whose daddy brought her [him?] out on the ice after the hockey match, and she kept trying to get his nose while he sang "Oh Canada." None of the articles I've read have mentioned that. Silly people.)

I've read articles with the obligatory American moaning about the American focus of the American coverage, and frankly, I don't think it was that bad. Maybe it was that I often did something else during prime time but watched cross-country during the day. And even NBC couldn't focus on American athletes for cross-country events. But honestly, there were columnists saying things like, "We focus our coverage on American athletes, no wonder the rest of the world hates us." Um, guys? First of all, tell me the Canadian papers didn't focus on the hockey team this morning. (Karina? Did they have huge headlines about the two Italian 30K skiers who won gold and silver?) Tell me that the uproar in Switzerland was equal for Simon Amman and for Janica Kostelic of Croatia, and that Croatia cheered equally for both. Yeah, go on and tell me that if you want, but I don't believe you. And then -- do you really think that there are people in Iraq slamming their hands into their tables: "Damn that NBC! Showing Todd Eldridge when they could have been spending the time on something international! Curse them! We must lobby our leaders for anti-American foreign policy!" Whatever. Canadians who have switched over from the CBC might have something to whine about, but I doubt that the rest of the world really takes NBC into consideration when determining its feelings about America. ("What, another season of 'Friends?' Those unthinkable fiends! This means war!")

I'll miss the Olympics, but not the self-centered self-flagellation that invariably accompanies them.

Yesterday I got squash ravioli for lunch (with saffron, sage, and brown sugar, yum) and pesto calzone for dinner, so my Italian urges after reading The Stars Compel were quite satisfied. I warn anyone who reads it to prepare for the same, though. I also started reading A Wizard's Dilemma, which is up to Diane Duane's usual standards so far, good good. Her characters have parents. Astonishing, that.

I didn't finish "Small Talk" yesterday, but I did work on "Letters to the Ancient Living" and -- more surprisingly -- on The Tides Between the Worlds. For those of you who don't have a scorecard handy, Tides is the third book in my YA fantasy series, following Fortress of Thorns and The Grey Road, both of which I've already written. I don't intend to write Tides until/unless I have a contract for it -- the last thing I need is another book I've finished but can't try to sell separately. One of those is enough. Besides, I have other stuff that I want to do more. If I didn't have any other novel ideas, sure, why not? But I do. can't hurt to write a few scenes of it here and there, can it? Surely not.

David and Robert both had suggestions for complications to the Boy Meets Girl plot comments of yesterday. David suggested Natural Disasters (which works, but might fit in with "The Chase"), and Robert expanded "Career" to "Differing Needs." Logical enough: sometimes you don't have to have personal idiocy to need or want different things. Children, for example, or location.

So. Great Grandma's funeral is scheduled for Friday. I'm not going to be going, but the folks will, so I'm sure they'll bring back all kinds of family news. (Funerals tend to bring out the best in absolutely everyone.) And I've put the first pieces in place for travel in March to spend time with the family, so that's a Very Good Thing. I'll be making more phone calls today and possibly into tomorrow, so if you should expect to see me, you'll hear from me. It'll mean a chunk of time away from home here, but I can work on the road, and I really think we need to do this.

I'm a bit scattered about today. Not sure what to do, which stories to work on, which tasks to complete. I have plenty to do between now and 4:06 Wednesday (when Scott's plane arrives), but the order of things may be important. If I mopped the floors today, would I feel the need to mop them again Wednesday morning? If I made the [special treat for Scott that isn't much of a surprise but sort of is one] today, would they be kind of stale by Wednesday evening? (Probably not. I think I'll do that.) When does the library open? Which store still carries the detergent that smells like me? (Era. And I think the store is Target.) Do we need more stamps? Is David going to want to come down and hang out a bit this afternoon, or am I too much in "go mode" for that?

I'm going to unload the dishwasher and make plans for the next month and a half. And I'm going to try to remember to breathe. Really.

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