Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Fire Next Time...

No, not a fire. But this sunrise in the chilled water steam looks more like a fire than the last post, even, huh?

I don't have anything coherent to say today. (My friend Jette said on Facebook that she was 'impressed by her own incoherence.' I thought she said 'imprisoned' which I get. Impressed am I, too, by mine.) I think I'll just dash off a bunch of random stuff. Follow along if you wish. Otherwise, see you later. (I have posted another couple of amusing, well to me, Journal of Unintended Consequences posts if you are looking for alleged coherence.)

So, random things. Not random things about me necessarily which a lot of people are doing twenty-five of lately (but not me, so far I'm resisting or maybe editing my batch in my head). But anyway random stuff.

That chilled water from that plant? Expensive to use it turns out. We thought it would be an efficient cooling option. But it costs $14 a month to have access to the chilled water to cool and it is decidedly expensive to actually divert some across your fan. Ah, well. Maybe it's better for the environment? Don't know. For the last month or more, we haven't turned on either heat or A.C. but we have to pay $14 bucks in case we do. A person can do Netflix for that. Oh, well. Still haven't had to use the heater in this place which is electric so you know that wouldn't be efficient. The bad news is that the place is being heated by computers and TVs and computer peripherals. So yeah. Wasted electricity.

My 98-year-old father-in-law just called me to remind me he gets an extra deduction for being blind. I figured out they didn't owe any income taxes, but he also figured that out. With a magnifying glass no doubt.

Reading list: I finished BĂ©nabou's book as I think I mentioned. I started another small, light book suitable for carrying around when I go somewhere with just FFP and we take books to read while we eat, wait for a performance to start, etc. It is Milan Kundera's Slowness. What do I like about Milan? That he is not afraid to write fiction and he doesn't impose unnecessary rules on himself, it doesn't seem, and just plunges in and if characters or scenes get in the way, to hell with characters and scenes. Which makes me wonder several things. Should I buy (and maybe even read) his book on writing novels. Would it help me with my problematic novel project or would it just become another book I haven't read. Which, if I can be allowed to digress, leads me to another little side project which is how to use technology to present the novel being accidentally and haphazardly written here as a whole. This caused me to do some brief, futile searches of some techie sites. I'm always assaulted with just the information I do not want to read. And I'm reminded that, even for the little HTML I know I constantly forget actual syntax.

But back to reading. I'm falling behind on my newspapers. That's because I've spent too much time working crosswords, trying to get further into the week in The New York Times and working the unsatisfying but still tempting ones in the Austin American-Statesman. This reduces the input I have for The Journal of Unintended Consequences. And I have an outstanding (and in my mind's eye coherent) essay for this space on newspapers to complete as well. One reason I'm behind on the paper's is that I haven't been riding the recumbent bike as much and the couple of times I've done it I have been reading Ulysses. I'm determined to get through to page 933 of the edition I'm working on before I book my trip to New York for Bloomsday this year. I purchased this edition in Dublin in 2004. It was the hundredth anniversary of Bloom's Day but I was there after the fact, in September not June. Anyway, I'm on page 758. Bloom and Stephen are in the livery stand having something like coffee. This will be my first complete trip through any edition. Joyce was not afraid to write a novel either. Stream of consciousness and unconsciousness and all that.

Other books (and magazines) lie neglected, partly finished. A book of conversations with Woody Allen. Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I recently purchased two books from Amazon. Covers are stiff and uncracked. I was well into E.J. Kahn, Jr.'s Year of Change when somehow I put it aside. Really good book. E.J. Kahn in 1994 died after a car accident. (I sometimes wonder when reading a decades-old book what happened to the person who wrote it in the interim. So I looked up his NY Times obit a few weeks ago.) Reading Kahn's book made me wonder if I owned The New Yorker and Me. Which was Kahn's first book about his relationship with that venerable rag. Did I mention that I own The Complete New Yorker and that, recently, I printed out the Salinger story "Hapworth 16, 1924" from the June 19, 1965 edition and read it. FFP was going to read it, too, but I don't think he has. We read an article about Salinger in the NY Times on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday which mentioned the story. Salinger is not dead, but he's a recluse.

So, not doing as much reading as I'd like. We are quicker to recycle papers and magazines these days, but they are still building up too much. And I secreted a large pile in a storage thing by my my chair and I really need to clean those out so I can store other things in there. (These are from, I'm afraid, last summer when we were in the deep throes of moving.)

I've been watching some of the Australian Open. I am especially interested in the Federer/Nadal match that will occur tonight. I may watch it live. Or not. I'm much more interested in that than the Stupid Bowl. Who is playing again?

Did I mention that I hurt my back playing tennis? That I just keep playing anyway. I need to do a good 'core' exercise program when it heals. Assuming it will. I always assume such things. If it's broke, it will heal. With our bodies this isn't always a correct assumption but it's a helpful one.

It's a nice day for a walk. I think I'll take one. We are going to see Austin Lyric Opera's "Rigoletto" tonight. We will walk to the Long Center, too, I think. Did I mention how glorious the weather has been. It has. Although everyone, myself included, seems to have had a cycle of cedar fever.

FFP is listening to opera and making himself vegetarian barbecue for lunch. I think I'll have some. (OK, did that. Had a Chimay with it. So sue me.)

So, yeah, random stuff. Not going much of anywhere. Sort of like my life. Next time, though. The fire.

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