Happy trails to you

30 12 2014

My friend J. moved to California, which makes me sad.

But she sold me her loveseat, cheap, which makes me glad.

The cats freaked out just a tad.

And I got rid of a chair that was. . . bad.

. . . aaaaaaand that’s enough of that.

I’m actually happy for J., that she’s finally got out of the city. I’d been a shitty friend to her this past year—wasn’t really tuned in to her hints about how crappy a previous relationship had become—but I did get to spend some time with her (and her new(ish) beau) before she left.

We had such a good, if too-short time; why had I not made the time, before?

Anyway, she is off, and finally able to try to find her own life.

Not a bad way to go.


And I said “nothing”

7 02 2013

Was I gaslighting myself?

I was sure I had seen this book review at one of the places I frequent online, and I didn’t write it down or bookmark it, so that meant I’d be able to find it easily when I decided to go back and use it as a springboard for a post.

Except I couldn’t find the damned thing.

Slate? Nope. HuffPo? Nope. I knew it wasn’t Sully (who’s being a real prick about the whole retail servitude thing, by the way), wasn’t TNC. Someplace on the Atlantic site? Books? Health & Medicine? Tech? Nope nope nope. Didn’t think it was ThinkProgess or CrookedTimber, but checked anyway—nada. Christianity Today? Fred Clark? Nuh-uh. Really hoped it wasn’t Brad DeLong or Marginal Revolution or Pharyngula because it would be a total pain in the ass to try to dig it out.

It didn’t help that I didn’t know the title and I didn’t know the authors—although I did know there were two authors.

And I did know the topic: something about genetics and society. So, off to Amazon to try to track down the book. “Human genetics” didn’t get me there; neither did “genes” or “genetics” or these subjects coupled with “2013” (I knew the book was new). Nothin’. Same at Barnes & Noble.

What gives?! Did I NOT see a review of a recent book on genes and society? Was I imagining all of this? Jay-zeus Christie.

So: onward to the Giant Omnivorous Omniscient Grabbing of Life and Everything search, with different terms. At some point I plugged in “genetics ethics” and there on the top of the third page, a piece from the Guardian:

Genetics | Science | The Guardian

Video (5min 28sec), 30 Jan 2013: Hilary Rose, co-author of Genes, Cells and Brains, argues that we should treat the medical claims made for genetic research

Bingo! Hilary Rose! So back to the aforementioned sites and plug in Hilary Rose and. . . NOTHING! DAMMIT.

And then I thought: What about The Daily Beast? They do books, don’t they? And lo! There it was:

The Selfish Gene: The Broken Promises of the Human Genome Project

Jan 29, 2013 2:39 PM EST

What did the Human Genome Project give us? Better shampoo and billions of dollars’ worth of economic projects, but what happened to improving our lives? By Michael Thomsen.

There is a point to all of this, I promise you, but since it’s really just another way for me to lash myself over the stupid, stupid decisions I’ve made regarding my dissertation and career, I think I’ll save that for another post.

For this one, let’s end on the happy thought that I am not, in fact, crazy. At least on this.

There is thunder in our hearts

7 06 2012

Saw that printed on a tote bag the other day: there is thunder in our hearts.

My first thought: Cool, in sturm-und-drag kinda way. (And yeah, okay, cool and sturm-und-drag don’t really go together, but you get what I mean, right?)

Second thought: I know that line, I’ve heard it somewhere.

Poem? Speech? Hmm. No. Song lyric.

Thunder. Thunder thunder thunder. Springsteen coulda written this, but no, that ain’t Springsteen.

I kept repeating the lyric, trying to call up the sound. No dice.

Then, this morning, the sound came. There is THUNder in our haahrts.

I know that, I thought, I know I know it. But from where?

Why not just run on a search on the lyric—easy-peezy, you’ll get the answer.

I did not want to run the search. I wanted to remember.

I then thought of asking a co-worker if she could remember, which seems like cheating but it’s not: I wanted SOMEone to remember, someone to have this info in her noggin and be able to pull it out.

But then I didn’t ask, because I wanted to be the someone who remembered.

And then I went back to work and the melody went underground and then, and then, it bubbled up.

Kate Bush! Yes!

Running up that hill! Yes!

There is thunder in our haah-ahrts/. . . /You and meeEEEEeee/ . . . / I’d make a deal with God/And get him to swap our places.

I was going to write a whole bit about how I want to be able to recall things that can be looked up, that maybe exercising this recall is like exercising one’s body (e.g., even if pushing around weights isn’t useful in and of itself, that I push around weights equips me to do other, useful, things); alternatively, that while there may be a good to being able to free one’s mind of trivialities in order to create room for more important matters, the process of amassing and sorting and remembering those trivialities may be—quite unlike pushing around weights—pleasurable in and of themselves; and, finally, that it used to be really super important for me to memorize song lyrics and be able to recite them on command and that while I no longer go out of my way to do so I still sometimes wish I went out of my way to do so and thus when I can remember a song lyric I’m raptured up shoeless to a place when a song could fill my whole heart. With thunder.

But then I decided not to write about all of that, and instead note that I was oddly giddy for having remembered, a giddiness which may have been due to having Kate Bush in my head for the day.

She can be trouble, but she’s my kind of trouble.

Announcing Knotted String Press

9 05 2011

I’ve finally done it: came up with a title for my writers’ blog.

Haven’t done much beyond that—if you go to the site, you’ll simply see the title and the generic WordPress intro post—but I am pleased finally to have started something.

As for the title itself, well, I could say that this had something to do with quipus/khipus and how the notion of digit-ized communication tickled my double-meaning fancies—I could, but that would be a lie. I mean, I like the notion of “talking knots”, but any doubling of the title’s meaning came after the fact.

No, I wanted something that could be remembered, that no one else had claimed, and that was an uncommon enough term that if someone entered “knotted string press” in a search engine I had a shot someday of appearing on a page nearer to the top than the bottom of the results.

Oh, and I wanted to have some connection to the title. I immediately thought of Black Cat Books, figuring (correctly) that that name had been snatched up, then came up with Black Coffee Books—alas, there was a Black Coffee Press (out of Detroit) already in existence, and while they’re real publishers (and KSP won’t be) I didn’t want to be an asshole and claim a name so close to theirs.

I ran through a number of other options, some of which were taken or too boring or too close to common terms or just too cumbersome, but I wasn’t coming up with anything. So I decided to open my old poetry file to see if there was some evocative-but-simple phrase I’d written that I could steal re-purpose for the new site.

There was gaspingly pure blue sky from “Sky Blue (Was My Favorite Color)”, but that was too clunky; shimmering ink also appeared in that poem, but, apparently, that has World of Warcraft connotations (no offense to gamers, but that’s not what I’m going for). I like the line ransacked of faith from “Reckonings”, but, really, that’s no title for a writer’s blog.

Then there was dislocated photograph from “Gretel, Away From Home”, but that didn’t fit. I tried to think of some sort of Gretel connection, but, nope.

I skimmed and scrolled up and down, then landed on the phrase We are a knotted string/
across the lake.

Huh. There was also this, from “Last Light On”:

Like a coarse string
                her conflicting
                passions and necessities
                pull through her –

                not cleanly, like
                scraping and ripping,
                tightly weaving
                an intricate
                bloody knot. 

And finally, my first novel was briefly named “Knots on a String”—hell, that might have been it’s original title—and in one draft I had a scene in which one character explains to another that, well, it had something to do with knots and string and it was all so very clumsy that I took it out.

Anyway, I clearly have a thing with that whole “knot” and “string” image, and “Knotted String Press” fit the other criteria, so “Knotted String Press” it is.

I think that could work.