mer: (Default)
I came home late from a dinner party last night. As I was getting out of the car, I heard a strange noise, but couldn't pinpoint what it was over the rustling of my coat and the slamming of the car door. Soccer hooligans? In the suburbs of Michigan? At 12:50 AM? In January?

I decided to crunch over the ice-snow ridges on the driveway to get the mail. The noise came again, and stopped me in my tracks: an owl, hooting. And then, louder, lower, and further away, an answering hoot.

And again.

And again.

And again.

Silence. I got the mail. Paused, shivering at the garage door, heard the call and answer one more time, marveling at the unexpectedness. I couldn't decide if there really were neighborly owls, or if there'd been a prison break and the escapees were using owl calls as code. Regardless, I couldn't stand the cold any longer, and went inside.

Tonight, I did a little googling. Apparently, owls mate in January and February. This is prime owl courtship time. I never knew! I don't hang around outside much on January and February nights, because it's, you know, freaking cold. And the noises don't come through the windows at our house, I guess.

Anyway. Snow, stars and owl-love. Happy New Year, everyone.
mer: (Summer)
...because I wanted to say something about mindfulness.

I used to be so observant of the world. I think it was a kind of mindfulness, to be so very aware of everything around me. The nuanced beauty of the way the light hit the branches of a tree or the scent of honeysuckle or... Now I'm always so busy, and have been for ten, fifteen years. But it's slowly coming back to me.

I find myself moving more deliberately. Stopping to notice the way streetlamps cast umbrellas of pouring light down on the parking lot in the fog. Stopping to watch the sparkles of the ice on my car. There are more pauses lately. I'm not as enamored of the world as I was when I was fifteen, and I'm not as impressed by temporary beauty. I don't feel things as strongly as I did then; there just aren't the hormones racing through my body like there were then, and I'm not fighting so strongly for an identity. I kind of hope pregnancy is as fraught as its promised to be, because I miss that. Just for a little while, I want to be so in love with the world I can't think straight anymore. (ETA: NOT PREGNANT.)

I used to think, before puberty, that maybe I didn't feel emotions properly. I so rarely got upset about things. I think that was combination of many factors--and perhaps I didn't feel emotions properly. It's not like childhood was easy for me. But is it easy for anyone? My familial culture, which is a distillation of Prussian, Swiss and Dutch attitudes run through the immigrant-farmer wringer, is that we become more calm and determined in the face of adversity. I've spent a lot of time being calm.

But puberty hit, and even as calm as I was, I wrote these journals full of raptures about the roses or pansies or catmint I saw on the walk home from the bus-stop, or the noise of the frogs on the pond or in the trees, or the quality of the starlight outside my window. I still notice these things, and I'm noticing them more, but I don't feel them like I did.

It's different because none of it is for the first time, anymore; and these temporary beauties, fleeting as they are, are things I know will come again. It's hard to go home and write pages about them.

But still, I'm noticing things more again. I'm trying not to constantly hate winter, for example; I'm trying to notice the temperature variation between 7 degrees and 22, and notice the way it feels when ice chunks plop onto my face versus snow bullets spraying into my eyes... And not think so much about the drive, and how much I hate it.

Hm. No moral lesson here. That's just what's going on.
mer: (Default)
Not that I'm cranky, I'm just making it because I just sorta realized I am going to have to lock down my talky mouth about writing this book, just like the last one, because that's apparently how I function: I am a totally batshit insane superstitious crazy pants who can't talk about books while she's writing them or she kills them dead.

Other than that, I'm shockingly happy and optimistic, and it might have had something to do with the election. I've given myself until Inauguration Day to bask. So. Seventy-five more days of unfettered awesome!

Yes, this is silly and naive. I know it is. But a few years ago, I realized I had lost my capacity to daydream silly, wonderful, awesome futures for myself. That I was always, always, always preparing myself for disappointment. And at some point, I realized that was a very sucky way to live, and gave myself permission to daydream again.

What's life without some wild optimism now and again?

It's a life I don't want, is what it is.

So, I'm embracing my giddiness and enjoying myself for a while. For the next seventy-five days, I'm also going to be Totally Positive that I'm going to sell a novel next year, too, and, and, oh, all the other things that I daydream about that I don't necessarily want to tell the world, up to and including the alternate future where I get a classic car and start solving supernatural crimes with [ profile] splash_the_cat, [ profile] iuliamentis and [ profile] dsudis on a weekly basis. It's fun.

January 21st is soon enough for a reality check.

Or the 22nd, anyway. I bet January 21st will be pretty kick-ass, actually.
mer: (Reading (Liza Bennet)) without cynicism wildly romantical without being romance-focused entanglingly character-driven
...has characters with swords
...has mysterious religions written with transparent prose so I don't have to fight my way through it going, "Wait, this is what I wanted, but it's not."
...has assassins. Good assassins.
...and gruff old men with hearts of gold
...and lost heirs in disguise
...and is basically all wish-fulfillment fantasy, all the time, but for girls who used to like unicorns but don't anymore
...and maybe there's a desert. And if there's no desert, there's a mountain fastness. And if there's no mountain fastness, there's a some other fancy, dominating landscape.

I want, basically, The Blue Sword again for the first time. Plus a little Seven Daughters for Seven Sons and a lot of Crown Duel, and maybe even a tiny bit of Dragonsong, with a dash of David Eddings and Mercedes Lackey (no really). And little tiny bit of I Capture the Castle, but only in the voice.

Anyone know where I can find that?
mer: (Default)
a) Bar night may be good for the soul, but it does NOTHEEENG for my reputation.

b) Merlin, the Gray Cat,

has recently discovered the wonder of the Human Water Glass. To the point where I have to hide my water from him. I realize many other cats have discovered human water glasses before him, but it's just weird that he's been alive 8 years and figured out how awesome cold water is at this late date.

c) I still have a sore throat. STILL. Most other symptoms seem to have receded, though I was coughing rather a lot on Friday.

d) I gave Kali a shower today, and cut out some mats. She has lost enough weight to be able to clean her own butt--a victory--but it needed a little help. A reset, if you will. She did not enjoy the shower, and lay in front of the door this evening and pouted, and refused to move.

e) I've had two awesome couch naps this weekend. Last time, I think I dreamed of my grandparents' farm. I don't really remember the dream. It's just that I woke up, and the memories of running around the hayfields on windy days, trying to race the cloud shadows to the fence, seemed really close.


Jul. 1st, 2005 03:20 pm
mer: (Default)
Potentially the funniest email I've gotten ever. Certainly, all year.

From la stepdaughter:

Hi mer are you going to the cottage with dad and I. If you'er going
then we'll have so much fun and get to be life long friends! Well
we'er already life long friends but close enough. If you do'nt go I
will miss you very much. Oh and I'll feel bad because you'll miss
the candy and the sweets. WOW I'm making my self hungry,and also if
you might not go but do'nt know you are risking to miss the
fierworks. But it's your distion to make. Love you bye.

There's a very serious and very candy-obsessed personality inside that brain. When she was little and used to bang on our student-ghetto coffee table with both hands and look smugly pleased with herself from making that noise... I really would never have guessed she'd grow to be the person she is today. But it does all fit, in retrospect.

I have a feeling it gets weirder from here on in.
mer: (Default)
[10:16] FairMer10:: Anyway. The one funny thing said today, but didn't get written down, was about the "misshelved" designation.
[10:17] FairMer10:: Misshelved, if you think about it, is the most useless thing to say about an item. How do you know? Isn't it just lost? If it's honestly misshelved, you can't know that. If you do know that, go shelve it properly.
[10:17] DiraSudis: *nodsnods*
[10:17] FairMer10:: So, we were coming up with "positive things" to say about the Aleph implementation.
[10:17] FairMer10:: (shrug)
[10:18] FairMer10:: And I said, "They decided to do away with 'misshelved.'" And there was blinking, as everyone took it in.
[10:18] FairMer10:: And someone said, "Who comes up with something like that?"
[10:18] DiraSudis: *grins*
[10:18] FairMer10:: And Harold said, "Well, Aleph is widely used in France."
[10:18] DiraSudis: hee!
[10:19] DiraSudis: Oh, France, man. I have heard horror stories - well, a horror story, anyway - about their big national library.
[10:19] FairMer10:: Oh?
[10:19] DiraSudis: Apparently it's just a big building full of rooms full of boxes full of things that are probably books.
[10:20] FairMer10:: "probably"
[10:20] FairMer10:: Yikes.
[10:20] DiraSudis: A professor I had for a drama class had gone over there to do research and they just took him to a room and said, "Here. What you're looking for is probably in here. Somewhere."
[10:20] FairMer10:: Yeah.
[10:21] FairMer10:: That's about as bad as it gets.
[10:21] DiraSudis: So, on the bright side, there are probably lots of treasures of French literature lurking somewhere.
[10:21] DiraSudis: And on the other bright side, at least we aren't the French.
[10:21] FairMer10:: Suddenly, misshelved takes on a whole new dimension.
[10:22] DiraSudis: Also, wouldn't that be a cool job? Trying to *fix* a library like that?
[10:23] FairMer10:: Yes.
[10:23] FairMer10:: Well, I'm jealous of what Brandon got to do in the Titiev library, and it wasn't half that bad.
[10:23] DiraSudis: Dave actually recommended me a SF book once, where the main character was a librarian and that was what she was doing - she was *creating* a library from all these boxes of stuff, and I was just, like. Guh.
[10:24] DiraSudis: But then it started focusing on guns and action and drama and stuff, and I lost interest.

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