In Which Our Heroine Reads Something Besides O'Brian

19 June 2005

You know, I wouldn't blame you if you thought I was reading exclusively Patrick O'Brian novels these days. I don't know why it's coming out that Wednesdays and Sundays are Patrick O'Brian reading days, but I looked at my last entry and noticed The Ionian Mission, and today I've just finished reading Treason's Harbour. I'm told that The Far Side of the World is not perhaps the best book for someone about to undergo a dental procedure, although I'm not generally all that squeamish, so there may be a hiatus there. In the meantime I've started Richard Morgan's Market Forces, which is entertaining but alien so far. I don't believe in his world, when it comes right down to it. I am rolling my eyes and thinking, "Yeah, right" a lot more often than I'm grooving with the book. Which is not the greatest thing, although it isn't entirely as bad as it sounds, either.

Patrick O'Brian is better, though.

I feel like a success as a cook today, because I made an apple and crab curry soup that worked moderately well and has direction for working outstandingly well. And I like doing well with concrete things sometimes. There is soup, and it is good, and you can point at it and say, yes, that is what I did. Writing books gets like that eventually, but it takes forever.

It's just exactly like writing books in that I'm fond of doing something ordinary exceptionally well, but I'm even fonder of getting something that makes people go, "You what now? Apple, crab...curry? Finnish mythology, thermionics...spies? The huh?" And then having them taste it and go, "Oh, that! Oh for cool!"

You can tell I'm tired, because the "oh for" formulation has crept into my brain. Some of my cousins "oh for" all over the place. It's in How to Talk Minnesotan or whatever that thing is, and after we read that when I was a kid, my folks and I could hardly have a conversation with the relatives without laughing in our sleeves. Luckily, many of them had read it as well and were also laughing in their sleeves at us. Oh for cute.

I think there's something to say about dystopias in us laughing at our relatives about things we do ourselves. About Richard Morgan and the different ways of doing a dystopia and how his is not the good, Aldous Huxley way, but instead the other, bad way. The kind where you're convinced that the problem with the world is that it has too many people who aren't much like you. But I am too tired to untangle Aldous Huxley, Richard Morgan, and How to Talk Minnesotan, so you'll just have to do that bit yourself.

As for me, I will bask in my soup-making glories, and also I will attempt to bask in sleep. We're still trying to make the new pillowcase covers we got for Mark's allergies work. They tend to make crunkly noises and slide out of the pillowcases. This is perhaps suboptimal, so we'll see what to do there. Someone suggested plastic bags. I think these are better on both those axes than plastic bags, but the optimal use of them may not be clear yet. Advice welcome.

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