Less Serious Business

Windows Oh, what fools we mortals be. No reason in particular for me to realise this now, but it’s been in my head all morning. Motherhood is, among other things, an education in just shaking your head and carrying on, figuring “it’s mildly weird but not hurting anyone.” One’s metric for deciding “how worried will I get about this” goes something like: 1. Is anyone dead? 2. Is anyone bleeding? 3. Is anyone otherwise injured? 4. Will anyone die from this in the next 24 hours? 5. Is there major property damage? If all that is no, there’s no need for crisis mode. It’s taken me a long time to stop using crisis mode for small things, mostly because I was trained very harshly, from a very young age, to consider any small change in an adult’s mood as a potential explosion.

I had a big long post about serious business in my head for today, but it’s been pretty grim around here lately, so I’m shelving that. The weekend was full of all sorts of crazy–I unfortunately had to go to the grocer’s on Friday so the Princess could make homemade Nutella as a birthday present for one of her friends. It was madness, and the madness didn’t end there. I suppose American football (bread and circuses, bread and circuses) makes people a little odd. Sunday morning, while I was out for my run, I was almost run over twice by weaving drunkards who had decided to kick the game off early. I saw other instances of bad driving and some more out and out “too blitzed to be on the road.” Add insomnia Saturday night to the mix, and I was ready for the weekend to be over, over, over.

So today, I have tea, bread dough is rising, and I’m washing sheets. (It’s about damn time, I didn’t get a lot of housework done yesterday.) I’ve figured out why the superspies-with-viruses book wasn’t working–I was writing the wrong scene. Too much boyfriend and not enough roller derby. I’m about to shake that up with a convenience-store robbery and some good old-fashioned fisticuffs. Also, there’s citric acid in the bread dough, since I want more sourdough tang than I’m getting, even with starter or levain.

I also realized, recently, that I hadn’t been filling the creative well enough. I can’t keep up a breakneck writing pace without giving the internal engine visual and textual food. So I’m building more movie-watching and much more reading into my schedule, even if it means I have to meet a deadline a week early instead of a month. (TORTURE. SHEER TORTURE. I like being early.) I binged on Kurosawa and Bogie/Bacall, and now I’m needing something pretty but without a lot of plot meatiness. Which means at some point today I’m to go through the DVDs, to find pretty shinies for the Muse to snack on.

As for textual, well, Ulysses isn’t really feeding much. I enjoy the allusions, of course, and the glimpses of historical Dublin. But I find Stephen Dedalus an insufferable, pretentious twit of an authorial insertion. Adulterous Bloom isn’t much better–I can see why Penelope/Molly would cuckold him–but at least his POV is enjoyable. I understand the literary devices Joyce is playing with, but the aroma of dead white man in the pages makes the game rather less enjoyable. I’ll finish it–I can’t do otherwise, now it’s a personal labor, much as cleaning the Augean stables–but having finished it, I doubt I’ll ever revisit. Historical and informative, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I can’t wait to go back to Pliny. Who is a dead white guy too, but at least he didn’t indulge in such blatant authorial insertion.

And there we have it. A lean banquet indeed.