August 26th, 2008

c is for cat

Mnemosnye

I've been thinking about memory a lot lately, memory and time. This is a thing my brain does any time it is not fully content with how life is proceeding--it approached seriously broken levels of psychosis in Japan, when I had nothing to do but chase my psychic tail. To me, this is what insanity is, getting caught in a mental loop, obsessing about something until you are just completely out of phase with the real world.

Now I'm just contemplating, in no danger--the writing gig generally allows me to purge my head on a regular basis, a nice side benefit.

But it disturbs me, given how horrid time is, how strange it is when you sit down to think about living on the cusp of it, the ever-moving wave of present time that is gone before you could even fully process the sentence you just read, how little we actually retain. However intense today is, I probably won't remember it in 10 years, and soon I'll be old and it'll be time to die and there still won't have been enough time.

I can tell you generally what we did over the weekend, repeat some of the jokes told, recall the sensations of what we ate, drank, how we made love, what time we woke up in the mornings. But it was only two days ago and I can't really tell you all that much about it. Most days are like that, dwindling further and further the more time goes by. I can't remember what restaurants I liked in Virginia--though I can remember the names of my favorite restaurants in Japan, because that period as a whole made a bigger impression on me. You remember the big things, but everything can't be big things and it's terrible how fast everything slips by. And I have an extremely good memory.

Journals help. I've kept one online for 7 years now. The most faithful I've ever been--I always give up on paper journals. But they don't help if you don't talk about your daily life, and I haven't been doing that. So I want to commit to recording more of the quotidian here--I'll try to make it interesting, but this is pretty much the way to shore up fragments against ruin, you dig? So I'd better get on it.

The big news is that we're going to Hawaii next week. justbeast's parents found a great deal want to take us and so we're off for nine days to Honolulu. I've never been there--my parents had their honeymoon there, so it's always been a bit mythical to me. Hooray for snorkeling and roast beast and the Pacific! tithenai and I are discussing some kind of Great Canadian Road trip shortly after so that we can see each other before she absconds for England, but man, that country is really freaking huge. 35 hours from Ottawa to Newfoundland? WHATever.

It occurs to me that I've gotten to travel a lot this year, such a blessing--especially since very little of it was on my own dime. It's important, I think, when you have some money but not too much, to fully experience your experiences. Sushi after a movie, a good central coast wine, red caviar from justbeast's uncle's store. A surprise trip to a big island. A shelf full of books. I could be rich beyond dreams of avarice and there's little I would prefer to those pleasures--though that may be the effect of growing up poor.

I've also been exercising a lot, and dieting. I hate blogging about this because I feel like it feeds into the culture of girls constantly obsessing about their weight while boys rarely discuss it, if at all. But it's a big part of my days, and as I've said, it's easy to fail alone and in private. I'm tired of being fat and am seriously inspired by sinchina. I'm a strong person, and I revel in that--I've been weightlifting pretty regularly throughout this year. I think I look a lot better than I did in January, but hey, it's like having a puppy--you see that shit every day, you can't tell the difference when it changes. The diet is a low-carb one, I hate even talking about it. It's not fun, but it works and I just want to get through it. I prefer eating to talking about eating.

Nevertheless, I get up every morning and workout and work through a small Russian lesson. Я работаю крепко. How old will I be in a year if I don't learn Minbari? Exactly so.

I went running today--and Reader, there is nothing I do not hate about running. My breasts bounce and my breath gets tight and it's hot outside and the metaphor of expending such energy to get, essentially, nowhere, is just too much to bear sometimes. But our elliptical machine sounds like an apoplectic giraffe when you use it, so it was time for some get out of the housedness. It sucked. But there you have it. I did it; I didn't die. We got a Bowflex with the recent influx of Book Money, and while I see why SRS WAYTLIFTRS disdain it, it works well for me, and it thankfully space-effective. I'm heading over to vrax's tomorrow to start fightin' lessons.

The Mythopoeic Award was announced while I was in Indiana. I really wanted to go to the con but I had committed to the Indiana trip almost a year before. It would seem that not going to a con is the key to winning, given the Rhysling and this. It's hard for me to think about the Mythopoeic Award. All I can do is be overwhelmed with how proud my 15 year old self would be of me. I was a poetry-reciting, One-Ring wielding, Sindarin-speaking Friend of Frodo, and to win an award for carrying on the spirit of something that shaped me utterly is kind of like having your whole life vindicated. Like someone handing you a marble lion and saying: "Cat! You are Worthwhile as a Human, and Your Life Matters." I was so overwhelmed I actually emailed the long-past junior high boyfriend (who hates me now, naturally) who introduced me to those books to tell him.

Other work things...I sold a short story, Fifteen Panels Depicting the Sadness of the Baku and the Jotai, to a nihilistic_kid and Ellen Datlow's new anthology, Haunted Legends. It was a story I workshopped with zakbar, who is just kind of all around fantastic, you should know. I'm being interviewed by the creator of Stargate: Atlantis (yes, my life is occasionally stupidly awesome, and I open up my email to absurdly cool things) over at his blog. If you have any questions about The Orphan's Tales that they missed, feel free to ask them here. I'll be running the writing workshop at Penguicon next year with jimhines (and that's my 30th birthday weekend, so y'all better make it special for me, since I'm spending it in the god-forsaken wilds of Michigan). Everything else in my work life is kind of on hold as I wait for word from editors on the next several projects.

Recent reading...World War Z and The Iron Dragon's Daughter, as well as trying valiantly to get through The Enchantress of Florence. I love Rushdie, but this book seems to not want me to read it. The titular enchantress has yet to show up halfway through the book, and it is a little too meandering for me, despite being beautiful. The word lazy comes to mind, but it's hard to tar Rushdie with that.

And I can't wait for autumn. I have no use for summer.

Life moves. I with it.
  • Current Mood
    anxious anxious
grail

Movie Date

We saw Bottle Shock last night, a cute, if weirdly constructed--see everything about the Gustavo character, who is set up as the hero with the wine to beat and the cute blonde girl falling for him and then sort of oddly shunted aside with no explanation in favor of the shiftless white guy and his chardonnay (cutting the Croation winemaker actually responsible for that wine entirely)--movie about the 1976 Judgment of Paris wine tasting. It was sweet and fun, really a sports movie more than anything else, following the time-tested Underdog Plotline along with an Americans Stick It to the Old World Flourish, but mostly it made me miss California. I know that country and that light so well. It's what made me, even if underneath is the hard, cold core of stony, salty, misty Seattle.

And it made me think about how much I love wine. I'm not an expert and I never will be, but I know enough to have specific tastes, I have preferred growing regions, tiny wineries that I adore.

For the record, I'm a Syrah girl--but my favorite red is the 2003 Mon Beau Rouge from Clautiere Vineyards in Paso Robles, my favorite white the late harvest Riesling and Gewurtzstraminer from Navarro Vineyards in the Andersen Valley north of Mendocino. If ever you are looking for a present for me, a bottle from either of those would probably actually make me cry.

But really, I like wine best when I know its story. Which is why I'll drink anything grown on the central coast--they're fantastic, and I've been there, touched the grapes, felt the soil. Wine is amazing for that--food with a story, a story of sunlight and water and old roots. This is why I like movies about wine, despite the fact that they're usually a bit strange and off-putting, like Sideways. Because they make me think about what I drink, they tell me a story about it, and that elevates it beyond mere ingestion. Drinking wine is engaging in a very old, very long story, and there's nothing better.
  • Current Mood
    busy busy