In Which Various Influences Take Their Toll On Our Heroine's Impressionable Young Mind

7 August 2003

Oh, I was a project butterfly yesterday. I worked on the Not The Moose for about 1500 words, and I worked on "Heart-Shaped Hole," and I worked on "Making Alex Frey" again, and I worked on "Emptied Hells." I think that's it, but I think it's certainly enough! Not to mention the first lines I scribbled in the journal, of course; those don't count.

"Emptied Hells" is new; new-old, at least. The first couple of paragraphs have been in my "starters" file for years now, pretty much since I started the file, but I didn't have a direction for the story until one of my more distant family members screwed up her life. Then it got direction with a vengeance. (Heh. Or rather, it got vengeance with a direction.) And I know I didn't need another new story in some sense -- I have plenty to do in the immediate future -- but in another sense, I needed this story specifically. This story right here. And there's good in that; that's reason enough to work on it, right now.

I think I said "A Nose for Spirits" was going to be my one and only ghost story, though, back when I wrote it. I lied, if I said that. Because "Emptied Hells" is a ghost story for sure, from the first sentence.

The problem with working on that many projects is that nothing is getting finished and crossed off the list. Well, nothing in the work categories, that is. I did some house stuff and some moving prep stuff yesterday, and as I feel slightly steadier when vertical today, the house stuff may continue. Because we are living in squalor, people. My squalor is not as other people's squalor. It's less squalid. Much less squalid, actually. It's just that I meant to clean the house when I got over Bad Cramp Days, and that was supposed to be several days ago. It's getting to bother me and make me feel like a bad person, even though I know that the house is really not particularly nasty by most standards, even though I know that feeling sick and having a sick Timprov and a Mark who's gone at work for most of the day and night is not morally wrong. I know all that. It just makes me uncomfortable, is all.

So, in case that was too buried in the above paragraph, I am indeed feeling slightly steadier when vertical today. I wouldn't go so far as to say "good," but "better," definitely. So Karina, take heart! Our psychically bonded illness should be coming to an end, possibly. We hope. With the help of many, many blueberries.

(Why couldn't we have gotten a psychic puppy link? Or a psychic story sale link? Or something like that? Let's do that next time instead, okay, Karina?)

(And as long as we're doing parenthetical asides, I think they've started putting heroin in the blueberries. Seriously. I am not a can't-eat-just-one person, but these blueberries are disappearing at an alarming rate. Good thing I've bought four pints in the last week.)

You know what I like best about the gubernatorial recall here? It's happening right about the time we move. So the newspaper has a handy little "Days to the Election" countdown thing going, and I read it as, "Days Until I'm Outta Here, Approximately." I think that's considerate of them.

Also, Timprov brought up the idea of gubernatorial debates, which I think would be amusing. Gary Coleman, Arianna Huffington, Larry Flynt, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Aw yeah. And maybe some politicians, too. Whatever.

I don't really think it makes sense to compare Arnold Schwarzenegger to Jesse Ventura, but I know people are doing it (like Lileks). And it just points out to me how little some people understood Minnesotans for Ventura. Sure, some of them thought it was cool to vote for the celebrity, especially since he was an entertaining guy. But commentators consistently behave as though Minnesotans did not know that Ventura wouldn't be able to get anything done, and they consistently behave as though there was someone else to elect. That election was filled with duds, and a lot of the Minnesotans who voted for Governor The Body figured he wouldn't be able to screw things up too badly for the time he was in there. He wouldn't have the legislature in his back pocket; he wouldn't be able to pass bills by the dozen. This had its up sides and its down sides, but I get annoyed with commentators who act as though it was a huge surprise to anybody that Ventura did not play well with others. He got elected because of that, not in spite of it.

Dah Ahnold, on the other hand, is running as a member of one of the two big political parties. That makes a difference right there. Also, his public persona has not been nearly as prickly as Ventura's -- you get the sense that he might not be actively eager about offending people. Also -- and on the other hand -- Ventura actually had political experience, going into the gubernatorial election. He had been mayor of one of the suburbs -- the one where my folks grew up, actually. So...I think if Schwarzenegger gets elected, it will mean something fairly different from the election of Governor The Body, in terms of the electorate. And also in terms of the outcome, of course.

Scott has begun to suspect that this is my fault, that it isn't coincidence that Minnesota got Ventura and California will get God-knows-who, with me around. Scott, however, can't prove anything.

But he did buy me Matt Ruff's Set This House In Order for my birthday, so what the heck, I'll admit it: it's all my fault. Yep. All about me, this recall stuff. I did it.

I had been pining for Set This House In Order yesterday morning, and then the postal being brought it for my birthday. Supplies! (Weird Al warped my young mind forever. Sorry.) I finished Pattern Recognition and have just barely started the Ruff, but I already have happy feelings about it.

(Pattern Recognition, on the other hand, made me want to go out and buy a short, kicky black wool pleated skirt. And maybe a specific black sweater that exists in my mind to match. Both perfectly fitting, thus decreasing the possibility that this will actually happen. Stupid William Gibson. I don't think such a skirt appeared in the book, but I want one anyway. Grrrrrr. All his fault.)

(And it would look much better on me than the tube of jersey material that actually did appear in detail in the book: this Cayce heroine person? She is not so much with the boobs, I'm thinking, if the same tube of jersey not only fits but flatters as both a skirt and a dress. Not so much with the hips as well, I'm thinking. Because that's not just a lot of stretch in that garment, it's a lot of recoil, and it's not the stretch that's the problem, it's maintaining the recoil over more than two washings. Or walking with the recoil. Or both. I'm not convinced that anyone above a C-cup should wear a tube anything anyway. Shirt, dress, whatever. Even tube socks may be out. I think we need more structure than that, collectively. There's the squishing or the non-squishing, and either way...just no good. No good at all. Just cut it out. This has been a public service announcement.)

(Please do not take that as an endorsement of all C-cups and smaller wearing tube garments. Just a warning the other way around.)

I have some perfectly lovely new CDs, but what song is in my head? "Keep It Gay" from the musical of "The Producers." Faaaaabulous. Just what I need for any of the things I'm working on. "Oedipus won't bomb, if he winds up with mom! Keep it gay, keep it gay, keep it gay!" Thank you so much, Mel Brooks. Is it any wonder that I am...the way I am? With so many people so bent on warping my impressionable young mind?

I'm going to listen to Counting Crows and then Blues Traveler. Oh yeah. That'll get me in a much less warped frame of mind.

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