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The Word for the Summer

It took until today for me to figure out that my overriding feeling this summer has been disappointment. Things were supposed to be better than this. We had vaccinations! Daily cases were down to the double-digits in our state! We could go out places and see people. Things were finally going to be good again.

We did go out for dinner (once) and see friends (twice), but the weather has been abso-fucking-lutely miserable for the entirety of July. Now cases are spiking again (yes, even in our highly-vaccinated state), and with one kid still too young for the vaccine, we are once again forced to be choosy about what we do and where we go.

I don’t care about masks. I will wear a mask in public places for the rest of my life, who cares. I would however like the sense of hovering dread to take a hike.

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We Have No Idea

“Even now, our science is mostly just drinking coffee with the occasional flash of insight and rare afternoon of actual progress.”

So pretty much like writing, is one of my takeaways here.

I picked this book up thinking that it was different book we have with a similar title, was quickly corrected on that, and went ahead reading it anyway because it’s absolutely fascinating.

I don’t really follow science news (except to the extent that we are all in 2020 learning a bit about viruses), so just about everything in this book was new to me. I had heard of dark matter at least, and was kinda-sorta up on relativity as long as I don’t try to actually do math, but dark energy? The Higgs field? Galactic superclusters?

At least now I know more about what I don’t know. The authors do a good job of providing an overview of concepts that are, to be fair, pretty damned difficult. I could have done with fewer jokes, and I will probably never be able to remember the names and attributes of all of the subatomic particles, but I have a new delight in contemplating the universe–at least the 5% of it that humanity thinks we understand.

(As you might guess, I’ve been doing some reading during the holiday break! Hopefully I can keep it up.)

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2020 by the Numbers

Writing:

  • Final draft of Fairy Hills: 87, 800
  • New draft of Frankensteinish: 72,300
  • 1,000+ morning pages

Knitting:

  • 3 hats
  • 2 cowls
  • 2 baby blankets
  • 1 shawl (with lace!)
  • 1 scarf

Books Read: 30

  • 13 fiction, 17 non-fiction
  • 7 re-reads, 23 new to me

Miles in Couch to 10k program, approximately: 190

Days on which I did language study: 183

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Department of “You Might Have Said”

Coming into the second major part of Beowulf, I wonder if the poet considered putting in a line about how Hrothgar is great and all, very generous, the model of courtesy, etc., etc., but did anyone think to mention BEFORE now that there are two monsters?

I have heard it said by people in hall,
counsellors who live in the upland country
that they have seen two such creatures
prowling the moors, huge mauraders
from some other world.

Big help there Hrothgar, thanks a ton.

The bit right before the Attack of Monster Mom, about all the warriors bedding down in the hall, directly inspired this exchange from a book you will hopefully see at some point:

“Why do you have this much room if you’re not going to put anything in it?”
“I gather that you’ve never shared lodgings half this size with thirty of your closest friends.”

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Testing Some New Systems

This is not a post about the WordPress block editor, which I loathe, but about the new strategy I am testing out for tracking projects.

A little background first. As I may have mentioned, I have been looking for a new job for quite some time. A little while back, I found one. I have spent much of the summer since I gave notice finishing off projects that I had accumulated in order to distract myself from my job woes. Then we went on vacation. After a week of unwinding, I sat myself down to figure out a few long-term plans. What did I actually want out of this job? Beyond the job, where–who–did I want to be in a few more years?

Continue reading “Testing Some New Systems”