December 1st, 2006

ozarque figure

Personal strange-day woe-is-me harangue...

This is December the 1st, and the personal note that I had intended to post today was going to tell you that I wouldn't be posting because I would be putting up our Christmas tree and decorating it, which takes all of the morning and almost all of my energy supply for the day. I always put up the tree on December 1st because that gives me an entire month to enjoy it before I have to take it down again on January 2nd.

I won't be posting that, however, because Providence has intervened. The tree and the ornaments are in our attic; the door to the attic is at the top of a steep slope -- not very high, but very steep; and this morning that slope is a sheet of ice. No way am I going to have my husband sliding up and down that sheet of ice today, risking broken bones galore! So -- no Christmas tree. That's a very small thing, and shouldn't trouble me, given the fact that unlike many thousands of other people we still have power here and the temperature is only in the 20s and it has stopped sleeting and snowing. Human being that I am, however, and flawed, it does bother me, because it will be the first time in at least 40 years that I haven't put up the tree and decorated it on December 1st. I keep telling myself to count my blessings .... I could have to get out on the icy roads and drive to work somewhere .... I could be faced with trying to fly somewhere .... I could be stranded in an airport somewhere .... I could be lost in the woods somewhere..... And so on. And then I whine some more: "Oh, poor me, I have to wait till tomorrow, when the temperature is going to be in the 40s and the ice will have melted, to put up my Christmas tree. Oh, woe..."

Talk about disgusting performances....

If I go looking for excuses for my behavior, there's always yesterday to offer. Yesterday was ghastly. My agent -- who always, in some mystical fashion, knows when I'm swamped with work and adding more to it would be a real pain -- sent a batch of e-mails that meant I had to do two separate revisions of a manuscript and send them back to him. Someone who'd asked if it would be okay to call me yesterday morning to discuss plans for a nonprofit funding strategy didn't call until I sent an e-mail saying roughly "It's no longer morning here, it's afternoon, and soon I'm not going to be able to have that conversation you wanted" -- and then did call, and that took a while. A journalist who had asked for an e-mail interview for an article answered my query about how fast he had to have my answers to the questions with, roughly, "Would today or tomorrow be too soon?" And getting that done took a while. There were several new additions to the stack of Láadan questions I have stashed in an e-mailbox, and I kept trying to get to at least a few of them, unsuccessfully. I wanted badly to get to a new poem that I'm working on for the science fiction poetry book I'm trying to finish, and every once in a while I dropped in on it to add a line.... poetry by accretion, that would be. I had three phone calls from robots telling me I had qualified for yet another credit card. I had one phone call from a live person telling me that Pitney Bowes could make my life a blissful experience; when I told her that I had now asked three times to have Pitney Bowes take my name off their call list, she explained to me solemnly that she understood why that had happened, because it takes about six months for a don't-call request to get processed, plus she explained to me that the fact that a don't-call request is in a computer doesn't mean that it ever gets passed along to anyone in charge of removing the number from the call list, and I told her how stupid I thought that was, and she agreed and offered to give me a number I could call that might actually move things along, and I told her I didn't have time to make that call because I was up to my eyebrows in work and suggested that she make that call on my behalf, and she told me that she wasn't allowed to do that, and we both remarked on what a shame that was .... and that took a while. I was already a day late on doing my Christmas cards, and I had thought I would surely at least get started on them before the day was over, but then I discovered that there was a mixup in one of my account books -- not my mixup, but mine to fix all the same -- and I didn't get to the Christmas cards. Meanwhile, it kept snowing and sleeting and freezing-raining, and the weather radio kept telling me that the sky was about to fall, and I realized that it's not only time to start wrapping Christmas presents it's also time to start the January/February newsletters, and all of a sudden it was time to set the table for dinner and I hadn't yet posted anything to this journal except my whining about the trouble I was having with lines across the screen...

And I still haven't dusted, which is not good. If I don't pretty soon take a whole day and dust, I'm not even going to be able to find the furniture, much less use it. And because it's winter here underground, I'm locked in daily combat with the mildew in the bathroom; my pacifist convictions do not extend to the mildew in the bathroom.

Oh, woe, right?

I am now laughing, because all of this is truly funny..... If I were younger I would be rolling on the floor laughing, because it really is that funny; because I'm seventy I'm settling for sitting in a chair laughing.
ozarque figure

Serendipitous quote....

Quoting [enthusiastically] Mark Liberman, at http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003838.html#more :

"If I was the Emperor of Academia, we'd have Departments of Group Glee Studies, Institutes for Interdisciplinary Group Glee Research, international workshops on Cross-cultural Group Glee Investigations, annual meetings of the American Group Glee Association (and its splinter group, the Association for Group Glee Science)... "

I'll second that.