In Which Our Heroine Thinks Of Neither Pink Elephants Nor Syria

15 April 2003

It's a good thing the rest of my life is looking like it's going decently well, because U.S. foreign policy makes me despair. Are we heading for three wars in a four-year term? Is that the goal here? What an achievement. You'll definitely make the history books that way. If that's what you're going for.


"How's your day going, M'ris?" "I'm busy cooking and writing and trying not to think of pink elephants or Syria."

I got the best kind of rejection yesterday: the kind that was not only all positive about the story in question but also gave me the idea for another story. Which could be sent to the same anthology, even, but would also be cool and would be a nifty part of my episodic novel and would make me laugh to write it. So I'm very happy with that.

Mark and I got rid of the monitor in the living room. Yay! I think we should move the rocker no one sits in a little bit, so that the seating is in more of an arc than an L when we have company and someone does sit in it. It cost us $10 to recycle the thing rather than pitching it in the dumpster, but the right thing is generally worth $10. (I should hope.)

On the way up to the recycling center and the airport, we listened to They Might Be Giants. Now I've got bits of it caught in my head, even from albums we didn't listen to. Mostly just the New York City song, with my own special modifications, but also the one about the Mr. Mistee sea and also the rock to wind a string around.

While everybody may in fact want prosthetic foreheads on their real heads, not everybody wants "prosthetic foreheads on their real heads" in their heads. Sigh.

I finished the Annie Proulx collection and was underwhelmed with all the stories but one. Ah well. Now I'm reading this issue of Scientific American, which has been kind enough to contain an article about the mechanisms of synaesthesia, hurrah! And I'm also just barely starting into Oliver Sacks' Seeing Voices: A Journey Into the World of the Deaf. I love Oliver Sacks. I even read A Leg To Stand On, which is about how he broke his leg. That's how fascinating I find this guy's work. It started out with neurological disorders, which are really really cool -- they are, I swear, a science fiction writer's candy store -- but I'll go along for the ride when he breaks his leg, sure, why not? And now the deaf? All right, sure, the deaf it is! He's like Douglas Hofstadter that way, only Hofstadter will do it all in one book.

What I love about the internet is that I don't have to sit around wondering whether there are any new Sackses or Hofstadters, I can just enter it into a search and find out. I'm here anyway, and the internet is always there. Knowing is only marginally more effort than staying ignorant. That's so cool.

This is also why I tell my friends and family that random nonfiction is a good gift: because with a good reason, I'll learn about just about anything. Good reasons include: I already have story ideas about it; the author is known to be cool; someone I like already likes it; the book is available to me for free; etc. Someday I may be so famous and so charming on blurbs that free books will rain down upon me, but until then, random nonfiction, whenever you want.

Random fiction, too, actually. Or nonrandom ones from my wish lists. Books are always, always good presents. (Also they're much easier to fit on someone than clothing.)

There's lots of stuff on my list today. I already put the potpie stuff in the crockpot to cook, so I just have to throw the gravy and crust together when Mark says he's coming home. Which leaves only laundry, cleaning, making biscotti, working on the Not The Moose, working on two or three short stories, going to the library, calling on an appointment, calling the apartment people to fix the master bedroom windows (one leaks and the screen is falling off the other), sending out a story (and whatever other stories get rejected today), taking out some of the recycling, and basic bodily maintenance tasks of the cleanliness/feeding/exercise variety. Not all of that has to get done today, but enough of it does. Let's say I will not be wandering around aimlessly not thinking of pink elephants and Syria. Instead I can not think of pink elephants and Syria while I'm doing useful, productive things. Whew.

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