Monday, December 13, 2004

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

Clerical error is another matter entirely.

I've been on the phone off and on for two and a half months now, trying to find the mail that should have followed us from Brooklyn. I really try not to be snitty about service people. I am one, and I know how much bureaucracy and circumstance can prevent you from doing. Still and all, I've been directed to Michigan post office officials twice now, when the post office insists I should be dealing with Brooklyn officials.

We got through the move pretty well. I keep meaning to post about it, but it's a sort of trauma, moving. You don't eagerly look back on it. We only lost a few things, most cheap, which is very good considering how brutal the movers were with our stuff, and that it went on through five transfers: New York to truck, truck to storage, storage to truck, truck to storage, storage to home. We lost: A teapot and 4 glasses (several that belonged to my grandma), one lamp, a picture frame, and a set of shelves. And we chipped a gryphon. It ws amazing to me, however, that the cheap plywood filing cabinet I've been carrying around with me since I was a teenager survived. Go figure.

I am very unnerved to find that driving through snow feels homey. Not that I would miss it at all, if we relocated to Arizona.

Reading:

40 Signs of Rain: Kim Stanly Robinson. I love Kim. He has a great way of making people seem like they are the most important thing in the context of an uncertain future. Which we would all like to think is true. 40 Signs is much more accessible than just about anything else he's written except for his collection of short stories about mountain climbing, although it is almost entirely character driven and leisurely paced. It resembles the Wizard of Oz in a very shallow fashion, if only in that he uses the character of Frank to give the tin woodsman of science a heart via Buddhism.

Orbit: Warren Ellison. A funny little science fiction short story in graphic novel format. It is a funny story, with Ellison's trademark flair for making super-science sound funnily plausible. The cost/benefit ratio of publishing a one-off short in hardcover format seemed a little skewed.

And then Morbid, a bunch of photoshopped graphic novel shorts that were sometimes funny, but very much a labor of love.

The two of them together are making me think that comic books are freighted by their own context, sometimes. One expects a series. On the other hand, maybe the graphic format is so expansive that it demands a series. Maybe telling a story in pictures just swells the narrative up until it can't fit in anything less than a couple hundred pages.

Going Postal and The Truth: Terry Pratchett. They are essentially the same book. Good reads, both but disappointing because of their similarity. And I couldn't tell you why. Um. Because they're good reads.

The last collected volume of Bone. Jeff Smith. As much as I loved the series, I found this a little anti-climactic. So few pages, and the Locust, Grandma's sister, and Mim are dealt with. Just. Like. That. It probably seems more fraught if you're waiting the month between installments.

The 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan... which I would call incisive, except for the haunting feeling that it's about 90% filler.

Come to think of it, my expectations of anything I'm reading lately seem too bleak to allow me to fully enjoy it. So perhaps all these very entertaining works were just grand and I totally missed it.

Wouldn't that suck?

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