I drank, I ate, I read, I wrote, I walked, I swam, I laughed. I did not cry (yet).

I drank coffee this morning, made from beans grown in a hot and rainy place, very far away from here.  I had to grind the beans in the ear-drum grating grinder under the terrified eyes, or ears, of my little niece who was not convinced that shoving the grinder inside an oven mitt and wrapping it all in a dish towel would make the sound any less offensive.  She was probably right, but I made an amazed face as I pushed the button and said, over the noise, “Wow! what a difference that makes!”  She is at that wonderful age where she can choose to believe, or not, as the mood suits, knowing all the adults around her will go along with her version of reality.  Luckily, this morning, she chose to believe, and I was able to brew my coffee without the flavoring of five-year-old tears.

I ate a sandwich of bread and mayonnaise and salami this afternoon.  I made it myself – and so I only put four thin slices of salami on it. Which is plenty. Really.  What is the point of a sandwich that does not lend itself to being eaten in small, lady-like bites? I want a comfortably sized sandwich in one hand and a book in the other.  Simple and neat.   Once, a long time ago, I was a regular at a deli. The man behind the counter found my constant requests for less meat upsetting.  I suppose I ruined the beauty of his daily creation by telling him it was just too big.  Like that scene in Amadeus when the king (or whatever he is) says to Mozart that his latest opera has “Too many notes.” Beauty is in the eyes/ears/mouth of the beholder/listener/eater.

I read the first chapter of a new book today.  I’ve waited a long time for this one:  The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch.  ( I wrote about his delay in writing here.) I downloaded the free preview onto my kindle.  It starts off strong, but I have to wait until I get paid again before I can read the rest.  I won’t look at the reviews before I read it.  If it is something I want to love, I will not allow any negative thoughts to color my potential enjoyment.  Some scientists did a study showing that spoilers do not ruin your own enjoyment of a piece of entertainment, but I don’t believe it. The study is redeemed by the fact that it defends re-reading. An activity I partake in often when I can’t afford to buy something new.

I wrote today – some of this, some of that.  Stories, chapters, e-mails, chats, texts.  Thousands of words, letters, sounds and ideas pouring from my mind, through my fingertips and out onto various screens. Bleeding out like so much blood and bodily fluids, and hopefully just as replaceable. And now I am writing a blog post – something I find hard to do when my mind is full of other projects. But there are unspoken rules in blogging, Thou Must Publish Often, being first among them.  It is not a competition, and nobody wins, but there is a level of ‘success’ to be found in the daily statistics.  While I do not let them rule my internal meter of happiness the way I used to, I still pay attention. Forgive me reader, it has been many days since my last post.

I walked with my sister and her kids today. The weather is odd in this part of the country.  My mind matches the word October with colorful leaves and cool days.  Not this humid greenness.  Not lizards scrambling across sun warmed sidewalks and dragonflies bouncing off the trampoline surface of a pool.  A sprinkler system timer tripped its switch as we walked by and we were all running, high-pitched squeals emanating from adults and kids alike, but the water was cool so we turned back and ran through it again for fun.  And even drenched, the day was still hot, and we looked forward to a dip in the pool at the end of the walk….

swimming pool
swimming pool (Photo credit: freefotouk)

I swam today, back and forth, butterfly strokes like the old ladies did when I was a kid at the pool. I wanted the exercise but I didn’t want to get my head wet and I didn’t want to exhaust myself.  What seemed so boring and slow then is refreshing and invigorating now. It all makes sense now.  The kids climbed in and out, in and out, scraping bare bellies over rough stone.  I cringed and turn away, but it didn’t seem to hurt them.  They played in the shallow end, dumping plastic cups of water over their heads, exactly the way they won’t do later in the bath.  It makes no sense to me now, but I remember the feeling, so I guess it did when I was a kid.

I laughed today. While my niece and nephew looked at me, heads tilted in confusion, I tried to read the tongue twister in the bedtime story they chose, and I just couldn’t get it right.  They laughed too but not because they thought anything was really funny.  Another book and more laughter, only that time they were the originators and I was the one that caught the laughter like a cold.  The book made no sense to me and yet it had them in hysterics. It strikes me how easy it is to tell the genuine laugh from the mimic and how young we are when we learn to fake appropriate emotional responses.

I have not cried today, but I may yet.  I might watch a movie that will make me sad.  I don’t know why, but I like that feeling. Sadness that really has nothing to do with me or my life.  Sadness that will end when the movie ends. It makes it easier to sleep, that pseudo-sadness, I find it soothing. A bath, a cup of warm milk, a good cry, and the day is done.

Good Night.

September Reading List

I’m trying something new this month. Instead of just willy-nilly picking books based on Amazon’s and Goodread’s ‘Recommended for you’ lists, then reading the free preview, getting bored and moving on…  until I accidentally land on something I like, I decided to actually put some effort in to picking a month’s worth of books to read.

This morning I spent about three hours (much longer than I’d planned) putting together that list.  I wanted to pick books from a range of genres while also staying as current as possible.  This was not an easy task!  There are so many places, too many really, that recommend books.  I looked on library sites and book blogger sites and independent book sellers sites, and stayed away from the big lists, like the NYT’s Best Sellers, and Amazon.  I also had a hard time picking the number of books to read.  I read a lot and I read fast, but some months are busier than others, and it is hard to know how much time I’ll have.  For now, I’m going to go with a safe seven.

And so, here is the list:

  • Boredom: A Lively History – Peter Toohey (pop science)
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life – Donald Miller (memoir)
  • The Broken Shore – Peter Temple (mystery)
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration – Isabel Wilkerson (history)
  • The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story – Lily Koppel (biography)
  • Redshirts – John Scalzi (sci/fi)
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman (fantasy)

(Click here for list on Goodreads)

I don’t promise to write a review of any of these books, I really don’t like writing reviews.  (What did you think of the book, Jill?  Oh, it was good.  That’s all?  Yup.)  But I’ll try to do the star rating thing over on goodreads at the very least.

Here’s a few of the sites I visited during my search:

I’m starting with Boredom, àpropos considering it was boredom that prompted me to make this list in the first place. 🙂

Happy Reading.