so little, so much

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.*

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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.

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My friend visited yesterday, up from Boston via a work trip to Palo Alto, and we spent the whole day having breakfast and then furniture shopping. I am on the quest for a good work desk, for my main computer and miscellaneous stuff. It’s all out on a folding table right now, which is perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing solution, particularly since it’s in the living room. I am committed to doing a big home makeover right now**, both because it’s one of the things that I promised myself when I was done with The Book, and because my dad is coming to visit in a couple of weeks so making the place look nice before then is a good goal. Anyway, our conclusion was that furniture places suck and most furniture is ugly. (We did end up at the mall, like teenagers on an outing, which was kind of fun). But I think I found something I want today anyway, in an office store I stopped in after going to the airport. It is affordable, and will come to my house via UPS, so that is a win. In general, I like to buy furniture and similar items via craigslist, both because it’s cheaper and it’s a more ecologically friendly choice to reuse stuff rather than make it new.*** But it turns out I am picky about desks, wanting them just so and a certain size, and it’s just easier to buy something that I finally found that I like.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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5 Responses to so little, so much

  1. mindspillage says:

    “If everyone bought like I do our economy would probably collapse overnight. But bookstores would be well-off, at least.”

    You and me both. Most of the stuff I own came from a thrift store, craigslist, or ebay…

  2. jtglover says:

    It’s all in the name of science. Library science, bitches.

    That made me laugh. I once considered spending a week responding to LJ posts using only quotes from XKCD cartoons. It seemed both tiresome and a lot of work, but it would have been funny.

    I know, I want another month myself.

  3. kitty_scarboro says:

    i am glad you got the desk, woo!
    onto shelves, now?

    the only plus for Sarah Palin is while being very pro-life even in cases of rape or incest that at least she is pro-birth control.

  4. brassratgirl says:

    Well, desk first! It has a hutch-shelf above it.

    The only problem is it’s not the right color of wood. I couldn’t find a pale wood one that I liked. But I really like this desk. So is not matching the bookcases ok? It’s not super dark, just not blond like the others. I like it because it seems sturdy and is made out of real wood, despite being flat pack.

    What do you think?
    http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/p1_Staples-Mission-Collection_168901_Business_Supplies_10051_SC2:CG97:DP3805:CL158905:SS1033108
    it’s darker than it looks in that picture.

    No keyboard tray but they sell one to attach.

  5. kitchen_window says:

    I share your shopping style. I can’t buy a couch because I can’t find the one that’s in my head. It would really be nice to have a comfortable place to sit.

    Also, I miss you!

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