It is too warm for candles, which is unfortunate as I am in the mood to light a candle, read, and listen to the rain. That said, the rain stopped a few hours back, so I suppose I’m out of luck on multiple axes.
(I say this while sitting comfortably at home, checking my email, and having received ebook copies of two Neon Hemlock Press novellas today. Life is not exactly hard.)
On other news… mostly just keeping on keeping on, I think. Today is a fortnight since my second vaccine shot, I have a vacation planned in a little less than five weeks, and I’m just trying to keep moving through the checklist of things to do until I get there.
A lot of things going on, but to accentuate the positives: I got my first vaccine shot, I am getting back into reading, and I finally saw the movie Network.
With regards to Network–I am, bluntly, appalled that I had not heard a lot more about this in years past. Someone else mentioned that they hadn’t seen it but they knew “The Rant”, and I was genuinely at a loss to figure out which one he meant. The movie is like a slice of a John Brunner novel with all the science fiction boiled out, studded heavily with oration; it is dense and bitter and self-reflective and, I think, ultimately rather hopeless.
With regards to reading; the brilliant, self-aware, and incisive Forebears by Eric Burns-White is being released. I have mentioned him before (here, discussing The Flash); while I first encountered him through his non-fiction writing, his fiction in the Justice Wing universe is fantastic, and Forebears is possibly my favourite of it all. It is, boiled down to its most apparent and simplest arc, the story of a lawyer who specializes in defending parahumans. You may begin reading it here.
There’s honestly been a lot going on, and I find myself a little swamped to provide a full update. Things are still getting sorted out.
In the meantime, I hope the month is being kind to everyone, and that you and yours are doing well.
Kindly imagine me in a small bubble. To the right, there is a window out of which I can see trees. One floor down is a birdfeeder that the birds are persistantly ignoring (I don’t think I’ve seen anything in at least a month, although I’ve heard crows), but that the squirrels are excited about.
All the squirrels around here are black, statistically speaking (I think I see a grey or a red one maybe once or twice a year). It is something I am very used to, and I am always kind of delighted when visitors call them ninja squirrels or goth squirrels.
It’s kind of quiet in this bubble. And while I recognize that there is currently a lot going on and some of it I need to deal with and some of it I just need to keep up with, it is a good place to be able to stop and breathe for a moment.
I mean, the last weekend is also sixteen days long due to personal circumstances, but the calendar is a powerful framing tool.
It’s been a very quiet Christmas. I sent a lot of winter holiday cards and got… I think slightly more than usual? I have the impression people are kind of going out of their way to reach out a little. I also spent nearly an hour on the phone with people Christmas morning, which was definitely longer than usual.
Beyond that, I put up a bird feeder (after dark the day before Christmas Eve), and nothing has visited it yet. Not even squirrels. I mostly picked it up because the birds had stopped going to the ground-level next-t0-the-fence birdfeeder in our back yard, and I was vaguely thinking that perhaps it had started to rust badly enough that the smell of metal was putting them off, or a cat had started using it as a hunting spot, or the suet in it was off. (It has been moderately badly damaged by chewing squirrels, but there doesn’t appear to actually be rust on it.)
Anyway. I have scattered birdseed around the new feeder on the advice of someone much more invested in bird feeding than I am, and I live in slightly anxious hope.
I can’t believe it’s nearly 2021.
The last week was a bit intense–some things came up at work, and also at home, and really, I am mostly glad they are doing being sorted out. Yesterday was a lot of unwinding and today was a lot of catch-up, and I’m hoping the week going forward will run a little more smoothly.
I improvised a recipe for dinner tonight (which I am actually ridiculously proud of, I dislike cooking as a rule and without instructions it tends to stress me out quite a lot), and am managing to clear some time to read again. All my holiday cards are out. I realized that the dog is waking me up not (just) because she needs to go out, but because she thinks it’s important for me to have a routine, and honestly, she is such a good dog. Taking care of her thumb-monkeys like she does.
Overall a nice weekend, although I do wish it had been a little longer.
It doesn’t feel like I’m a quarter of the way through December of 2020. Honestly, it feels like…
Well. The light of my life reminded me today that “I can haz cheezburger?” is thirteen years old, and I said something very rude. I have niephlets younger than that meme. I feel old. I’m not allowed to feel old when I’m comparing relatives with whom I’ve had an actual conversation to memes.
So that’s what it feels like, mostly. A kind of hectic rush that leaves me wondering how on earth I didn’t get more done.
Still, there’s a small vacation coming up, and words are happening, and the cat spent this morning moving onto my slippers and purring smugly. Things aren’t so bad, I just need to clear time to appreciate them a little better.
With regards to unwanted change: the kitchen sink broke, the dishwasher broke, someone is coming into the house to fix the former, and the default WordPress posting interface has changed. I have no idea exactly how much these things will cost (well, the WP change is free, but the others are guaranteed to not be so).
With regards to unwanted stasis: I’m going to be spending most of the next five months in the house, as it’s not as if I’m going to be visiting establishments (or people) any more than an absolute bare minimum, and the weather is going to make it a lot more difficult to convince myself to go out for walks to nowhere. I am gloomily worrying about cabin fever (which admittedly also involves mental notes to myself to rewatch The Shining and check out #Alive, so not all terrible).
Oh well. Five more weeks and the days start getting longer again, so there’s that. And I have a lot of podcasts and books to get through.
Today was dim and gray and blustery with ice specks, and I only made it outdoors half an hour before sundown. The sun was already out of sight.
I very much feel that I did not get a summer or a fall. I don’t think I particularly got a spring, either, but that was long enough ago that it’s gotten blurry. Mostly I’ve been thinking a lot about going out for a walk early in the lockdown when everything was still snowy; it feels like I’m coming back around to that without ever really getting out of it.
(I also didn’t sleep well, with the time change, so part of it is probably just the mood. I am coping through the time-tested method of topically applying a cat, it helps.)
Best of luck to everyone, I guess.
This is the first Hallowe’en in thirteen years I haven’t carved a jack o’lantern. (I realize that I could, but it seems a little pointless; while holiday decorations are fine for inside, I’ve always thought of jack o’lanterns as something you do to set outside so that people know they can come to your house to trick-or-treat. That was definitely not happening this year.)
It’s mostly a quiet poke-at-words-and-watch-TV sort of night, and it’s not bad. But I hope next year is a more traditional Hallowe’en.