Measured Extravagance

27 March 2004 - 5:12 p.m.

The plan for the next couple of days: finish a calligraphy collaboration, finish making notes on The Story of Hendrik Willem Van Loon, finish another submission packet, tackle a pair of crits, make or buy something for a reception and then attend it, maybe peek in on a scribe (one of the local synagogues has commissioned a new scroll, and the sofer is in town this weekend), go to church, meet up with an acquaintance for sushi...

It's a gorgeous day. I got to sleep in (much needed - I fell asleep in the bathtub last night, and that was before my bedtime dose of Mytussin), and the Beautiful Young Man was beautifully attentive. And, let's see - affectionate notes, super-snuggly pets, Bach on the sound system, plenty of books to read -

- so what the hell is wrong with me, that I then squander several hours going through old letters, mourning several friendships that are clearly shifting into lower gear? The changes aren't at all a surprise - we are all ridiculously busy, and any kind of relationship goes through different phases of intensity (or lack thereof). I myself don't spend enough time on the people who do stay in touch, and I have certainly muttered enough this past winter about disconnecting the phone and locking away my laptop for a year in order to force myself to focus on things I can actually do something about (improving the house, rebuilding my lettering/singing technique, finishing stories and poems, getting enough sleep...) instead of brooding over how I'm not smart/funny/charming/pretty enough to command the entirety of everyone's adoration all of the time.

Honestly, there are times my capacity for self-pity and self-torture goes from merely mind-boggling to completely, utterly, dumber-than-a-bag-of-hair stupid. Especially given how I'm surrounded by plenty of evidence that numerous people do find me witty/amusing/sociable/sexy (not to mention reassuringly competent and tolerably confident). I think I need a vacation. And a deep-tissue massage. And a grip. And some kind of dousing-rod or detector-thingie to suss out where my sense of humor went and got buried. And to stop whining about unrealistic expectations. (Hm. Seems to be a recurring theme in the blogosphere this week...)

Anyhow, I just renamed my computer "No Moping Allowed." Anything to shove the psyche back in line...

In memoriam: Karl Weintraub. Fourth year, I lucked into signing up for his Western Civ sequence as an elective. Very opinionated. Very funny. I still haven't gotten around to reading Huizinga, but one of these years, Mr. Weintraub, one of these years...

I'm actually a fan of cozies, but this made me giggle:

"Cozies are successful because they appeal to women who can feel secure passing them on to their 14-year-old daughters," says Otto Penzler, owner of the Mysterious Bookshop in New York and a mystery publisher. "Many of these books feature cats or recipes."

Penzler, who himself prefers grittier fare, adds: "If they have both, I want to burn that book unless the recipe involves a cat."

[Via Gwenda Bond.]

"My best friend Khaled's idea was, he'd set up a pool tournament. Nine-ball. Each church would send a player, and whichever church won, he'd join. Any church that wouldn't shoot pool, he wouldn't want to join."

- Scott Southwick, The Color of Faith

One year ago: "there is something very satisfying about helping to pull together a large room with an armful of calla lilies..."

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