Dan Goodman's journal - July 18th, 2007

July 18th, 2007

July 18th, 2007
06:19 pm

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Friday July 13. Found out I can sleep through the sound of an old refrigerator being removed, and a new one installed.

I suspect this refrigerator was intended for sale in Canada. Clue: everything written inside it is in French and English.

***I'd expected muscle aches from moving stuff. I hadn't expected my hips to be most affected. This probably means I'm using the correct muscles for picking up and carrying.

***Back to the old place. Got one thing I needed, and a few less important things.

The quasi-caretaker hadn't been picking up his mail.

***Another bus trip. To Steeple People, where I found Burton Raffel's Poems From the Old English:

Fate has smashed these wonderful walls,
This broken city, has crumbled the work
Of giants. The roofs are gutted, the towers
Fallen, the gates ripped off, frost
In the mortar, everything moulded, gaping,
Collapsed. The earth has clutched at rulers
And builders, a hundred generations rotting
In its rigid hands. These red-stained stones,
Streaked with grey, stood while governors
And kingdoms dissolved into dust, and storms
Crashed over them; they were broad and high, and they fell.

(Beginning of "The Ruin." The Roman city it describes might be Bath.)

Bought groceries at the Wedge co-op.

***Another bus trip. Bought groceries at the Lake Street Aldi. Including teabags and aspartame, because I couldn't find what I'd brought from the old place.

The Hiawatha Light Rail line is now one of the transit lines I use frequently. Aside from being crowded when people are going to or coming back from a baseball game, it's a good way to travel.

On the way home, I started thinking about where to put the groceries. The tea and sweetener would go -- oh, that shelf is where I'd put the stuff I hadn't been able to find!

[I hadn't realized how much more I'd said here than in the previous couple of entries, till I looked back.]
________
Writing:
Self help information:

Decluttering: Putting stuff away.

Selfwork:

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TimeEvent
06:21 pm

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Saturday July 14, 2007. To the Time Dollar Store at Pillsbury House. With credit for volunteer work, bought household stuff.

***Lois McMaster Bujold was at Dreamhaven Books. She was to talk, answer questions, sign books, and perhaps read. All of which she did.

I found everything she said interesting. Some might not have been for people who don't like her fiction.

She said a couple of things I suspect I would have found interesting even if I didn't like what she wrote. In both cases, more because of thought-trains they started in my mind than anything else.

1) She gets stories as pictures which she then has to put into words.

My primary sense is kinesthesia; I can remember what it felt like to move around in places where I used to live much better than what they looked like. Touch comes a fairly close second. There's a very much better vocabulary for sight, and a much better one for hearing, than for either kinesthesia or touch.

And I can't think of any writer who's done well at describing either.

2) Lois had come up with an idea she knew couldn't possibly be turned into a story. Then she failed in trying to explain to Patricia C. Wrede why the idea was unworkable. It will probably be a few years till that one's written, but I look forward to it.

That idea set off a couple of ideas in my mind. One's been used at least twice: The world requires a balance of good and evil. See Eve Forward, Villains by Necessity, in which a brave little band must prevent the complete triumph of good. (It would have been better if the fighters for good hadn't included some who were downright evil. I would have preferred characters who weren't Extruded Roleplaying Product, but I suspect the intended audience would consider this a feature rather than a bug.) The Liavek shared-world stories, where one group, originated by Nate Bucklin [markiv1111] believes this to be the case; its truth or falsity is not established. I don't know of the other having been used. However, the answer to "Has this idea been used?" is almost always "Yes, at least twenty years before you think it possibly could have been." (Ralph Williams and S. M. Stirling have used something similar.)
________
Writing:
Self help information:

Decluttering: Cleaned bathroom sink, and a bit more of the bathroom. Cleaned off stove.

Selfwork:

Current Location: Minneapolis, MN

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TimeEvent
06:22 pm

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Sunday July 15, 2007. I slept for at least twelve hours. Not sure why I needed so much sleep.

Adjusting to the new place has gone more easily than I'd expected. I suspect living in the old place had stressed me more than I'd realized.

***Walked around the neighborhood. The nearest convenience stores are at inconvenient distances. (Everetts, which is closed on Sunday and has short hours the rest of the week, can't really be called a convenience store.) Some of the Hispanic groceries might turn out to be useful to me.

The coffeehouse near Hiawatha Avenue (Tillie's Bean) closes at 3 PM on Sundays. In the 1960s, if I'd read an sf story in which coffeehouses kept such hours, I wouldn't have found it believable. That would have been as absurd as -- oh, the Soviet Union breaking up without a fullscale civil war. Coffeehouses were for people who stayed up late, and who didn't get up early if they could avoid it.

Mayday coffeehouse probably stays open later.

***Got some writing done, for the first time since Wednesday.
________
Writing: The Blood of Any Tree -- One new character introduced, two others foreshadowed. A background detail arrived: ideally, government agents at the local level should be of three different species -- each representing one branch of government. Since there've been only two intelligent species for about the last 50,000 years, this has not usually been implemented.

Self help information:

Decluttering: Kitchen sink partly cleaned.

Selfwork:

Current Location: Minneapolis, MN

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TimeEvent
06:23 pm

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Monday July 16, 2007. My coordination is better than it had been lately. I suspect reduced stress has made the difference.

***I needed one more pot than I'd brought with me. Went to Steeple People thrift store and bought another.

I also bought a guidebook to Asia, which I'm not likely to use soon for anything but reading.

"Noodle Wrestling" said a poster on the kiosk outside the Wedge co-op. Explanation: they will fill your swimming pool with a hundred dollars worth of ramen noodles. There's more to it, but that's as far as I read.

Bought some groceries at the Wedge, and then home.

***Bryan Thao Worra (speculative fiction poet) was speaking at Dreamhaven Books. Small audience for this one.

The poetry he read was interesting. His explanations of what he'd been trying to do were more interesting.

Afterwards, I thought again about the idea of giving "readers" an unfiltered look into someone's mind. This time, I came up with something new: it wouldn't work well for pornography.

Why not? Try reading amateur sex stories on the Web, and you'll find out how many ways other people's tastes can be boringly different from yours.
________
Writing: The Blood of Any Tree -- Mostly notes on what comes next: Fitting American/Canadian anarchists into an alien taxonomy of anarchism. Setting up a small local government acceptable both to the Americans and/or Canadians who will live under it and to the layers of alien government above it.

Self help information:
Decluttering:

Selfwork: I've started exercising more regularly. Small exercises; I find them easier to keep up than large ones.

Got back into doing mini-meditations.

Current Location: Minneapolis, MN

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TimeEvent
06:25 pm

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Tuesday July 17, 2007. I'm definitely no longer allergic to cats.

The more xenophobic of two cats here has stopped hiding quite so well. The other sometimes condescends to being skritched, usually followed by complaints about being starved. (The stuff in the food bowl is not real food. I might be able to refute this by demonstrating that I find it tasty.)

***Shopped at General NanoSystems for the first time. Reasons I shopped there rather than at one of the big chains: 1) They're relatively close, and easy to reach by public transit. 2) They concentrate on computers.

They seem to know what they're doing.

***Teeshirt seen: "I'm probably lying."

***Walked around the neighborhood. Went down Bloomington Avenue to Mayday Cafe. Mayday closes at 6 PM weekdays; so much for hanging out there in the evenings.
________
Writing: The Blood of Any Tree -- Figured out how the restaurant with a "Humans Only" sign will be dealt with.

Self help information:

Decluttering: Laundry done.

Selfwork:

Current Location: Minneapolis, Baja Manitoba

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TimeEvent
06:26 pm

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Back on line
I'm connected again -- somewhat faster than before.

If you've said anything since Thursday July 12 you want me to read or know about, please comment here. I'm probably not going back farther than 200 entries on my Friends list.

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