Friday, March 18, 2016


I'm currently winding down a Spring Break that has gone swimmingly, in every sense of the word.

I've been swimming every single day this week.  This makes me even happier than usual because it definitively means that I've finally gotten over the World's Most Stubborn Head-Cold.  That sucker was one for the record books, that's for sure.

Speaking of which, I realized the other day that I never shared a photo of the sweater that I finished as a result of all the couch-ridden illness, sooooo... here 'tis.

And I have to confess, in the flurry of extraordinary happiness that accompanied my arrival on Spring Break, I ... ordered more yarn.

No, I do not "need" more yarn.  In the spirit of an aggravated King Lear, I say to you, "Question not the need."  

Yes, I'm sure some people let their stash run so low that they find that they "need" yarn, in a very basic and fundamental way.  Personally, I cannot imagine surviving such an experience, since the only equivalent I can think of is finding that you are "out" of oxygen.  Or water.

In my case, it is simply that I was forced to wrestle with the fact that green is my favorite color, and every conceivable shade of green yarn was on sale this week, in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

Now I ask you: how could I be expected to resist that?  Not only is resistance futile, but in this case, it would be nonsensical.  I'm bound to make something green again someday soon, so I should have the yarn to do it.  It's as simple as that.

In addition to ordering yarn, I've been knitting it.  I think it's a Spring Fever phase with me and the knitting right now, because I have honestly lost count how many ongoing projects I have.  I think it's at least... five.  Or so.  Define "ongoing."

So that should give you a sense of how that's going.  I've also been reading and reading.  I stumbled upon Charlotte Delbo's Auschwitz and After, and at some point I'm going to blog about it.

It's intense.  That's all I want to say about it right now.

Speaking of intense, I read The Perfect Storm (1997), because I watched the movie (during one of my February illnesses) and I was interested in finding out more about what happened there in a  meteorological sense.

Because I don't know about you, but my impression was that the movie consisted largely of fishermen bickering like teenage girls in a high school hallway, followed by a series of special effects that boiled down to throwing huge buckets of water at George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg and anything and everything else on set and then... a lot of wind roaring and people screaming followed by a huge funeral.

The book, on the other hand, well... the book had all kinds of interesting information about Coast Guard rescue swimmers and Air Force pararescuers (also called "parajumpers" or "PJ's") which I for one was glad to learn about.

I'm guessing--hoping, actually--that I'll never have much of an opportunity to meet anyone in either of these fields, since I'm pretty sure that we don't hang in the same social circles and the only other way I'd meet them is if they were in the process of rescuing me from some truly unimaginable situation, so I was happy to find out about their unique line of work.

I'm glad they're out there.

Less glad to learn, though, that ocean waves can, in a major storm, get to be 100 ft high.  That seems unfair.  And terrifying, of course--totally terrifying.  

So to offset all of this Spring Break trauma and disaster-based reading, I started reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel, Americanah (2013).  It's a long novel, about--broadly stated-- two young Nigerians who live and work in Nigeria, London, and the US.  I'm really enjoying it, and I'm hoping I'll be able to blog about that one someday soon too.

For now, though, I'm focused on finishing a set of revisions to an article on Shalamov that my co-author and I are still trying to find a home for, and a set of revisions to an article on Zola.

If I ever again voluntarily try to write about Zola, I'm hoping I'll remember this phase of my life and shoot myself.  It was a good idea in the beginning, but Zola is not a favorite and at this point, I couldn't care less about anything he says or does in any book or essay that he has written, ever.

I've nearly given up no fewer than seven times now, but I've decided I've come too far to simply abandon the project entirely.  So, this is me: sticking to it until the bitter end.

At this point, it's getting a bit bitter.  So I'm hoping for better.  Soon.

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