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radiantfracture

July 2017

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Coughing and/or sleeping

Sick again all this past week. It seems to be lifting.

For two nights I couldn't sleep. After the first night, I was strangely energized; after the second, I was all in ruins.

The next night, I worked out I could sleep if I sat on the futon (which sits on the floor), then propped my torso up on the bed with pillows and quilts. This way, I could lie upright but completely supported. I listened to the soundtrack of West Wing episodes all night and finally slept, not heavily but at least for a reasonable duration. Last night I slept in a more usual position and it seemed all right.

I've had these happy dreams the last few days, jumbles of community and confusion, with Mild Peril but a general sense of positive action.

News in noises and images

I'm starting new courses on Monday. I'm running an online course for the first time, and tonight I finished a super goofy little audio intro for the course website. I open with the distinctive harmonica line from "The Times They are A-Changin" -- distinctive in this case for being almost unrecognizeable when played breathlessly upon my bent harmonica. This, because the long text for the course will be Alan Moore's Watchmen, and the Dylan song is, of course, played over the opening credits of the film version.

I want to watch the new MST3K, but I don't want to re-sub to NetFlix. LB & S & I are contemplating American Gods as our next group viewing project. Also, there are two episodes of John Oliver to watch.

Booking

Because of Backlisted podcast, I'm reading Jane Gardam's A Long Way from Verona, and it's really pretty wonderful. I've never read anything by Gardam, but I like her voice and I'm already seeking out more.


Gardham's prose pretends to be breezy, but it's full of little hooked and barbed clues.

There are two things I like very much so far. First, the way she delicately and ironically destabilizes the reliability of her child narrator, through simply having her contradict herself like any ordinary person would, and be doubted as any child telling wild stories would be. I don't know she's unreliable -- I just feel the ground shift under my feet.

Second, and favorite, that Gardam sets up, one after another, these ghastly social situations (just the usual awful ordinary humiliations of being a person, and especially a Young Person), but then just -- turns the crystal slightly -- so that these interactions suddenly take a better configuration than you'd predict.

Through the first half, I kept putting the book down as each new cringeworthy scenario arose, until I began to see I could trust that fortune would keep twisting bright.

I expect Gardham is saving up for something really awful at the end.

Money and planning and grimacing adulthood

I have been making a budget, a proper one, for the first time, well, probably ever. It shows me I am terrible with money, which I knew, and yet it grieves me. However, it also offers me scope for reform.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I was so committed to procrastination that I actually wrote two poems and sent them out, thus doubling my submission rate as compared to 2016. So I did *something* for poetry month.

Next up: meal planning.

{rf}

(Edited to correct spelling of Gardam's name and the title of her book -- I keep muddling it up with A Far Cry from Kensington, which I own -- somewhere -- but have not finished.)
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