My neighbors are having a birthday party for their 1-year old today, and I can hear the kids playfully shrieking next door. They invited me, but I am not really in the mood for making small talk with strangers.*
I am cleaning, instead, and drinking a nice shiraz. Specifically I am cleaning up paper; more specifically still the mounds and mounds (five reams of paper? Six? More?) of iterative printed-off drafts from writing the book, and related notes, and other miscellaneous debris that got caught in the mess, and paperwork which I pretty much haven’t bothered to file this year. It’s an archaeological expedition through the last two years of my life, which always leaves me a little melancholy. How much to keep? I have decided to recycle everything except the very last draft, and the very first one. I still feel like I didn’t have much control over the process; like it happened despite me, without me. (I feel like I haven’t gotten very much done these last years, despite everything, despite the tangible evidence that I am busy recycling). It feels, I told a friend, like the bereavement process: like scattering ashes of someone, who is clearly in a better place now despite their bad behavior in life.
Politics has naturally been a hot topic among my friends and the internets the last few days. Well, we did the research, and here, I’ll spare you all the trouble of doing it yourself: Sarah Palin is insane. She’s very pro-life, though all that means is that’s her belief, not that she has any particular credentials working on reproductive issues, the way the Republicans appear to be painting it. She doesn’t believe the science coming out of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources on bears or drilling. She has a crappy education, a husband that likes to call himself the “first dude”, and most of her political experience is being on the city council of a town that has a total population smaller than that of my university campus and way smaller than that of the small town I live in. There is nothing I have found to indicate that she knows anything about foreign relations, or internal relations for that matter. So: W.T.F., McCain.
I have been alternating the cleaning with a steady diet of reading trashy mystery novels, also, which is always fun, and which I will write about later: I’m on a mission to read and review most of the hit female mystery novelists of the last few years — you know, the ones that get sold in paperback in airports but that you don’t buy because you always think, “I can’t read that. My tastes are better than that.” The ones that I always had to shelve a million copies of when I was shelving books at the public library, and cursed at under my breath every time because they wrote so many books that circ’ed so well compared to everyone else. Yeah, well, I decided it’s not nice to snobbily criticize without first-hand knowledge. So I’ll embarrass myself at the local Borders for the cause. I’m self-sacrificing like that. It’s all in the name of science. Library science, bitches.
It’s been a good holiday so far. And I get another day of it, also. Hurrah! Unfortunately, I always find three-day weekends are about a month too short.
* I am not sure I have ever been in the mood for making small talk with strangers, which may be why my dating life has never amounted to much.
** Decoration? What is this “decoration” concept you speak of?
*** if everyone bought like I do our economy would probably collapse overnight. But bookstores would be well-off, at least.