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Innerbrat
Advancing the sum total of human knowledge and endeavour!
In which I write a blog post about how I’d rather be reading. 
25th-Jan-2011 10:05 pm
books

Thirty Six Days of Me: 06 Your Day, in Great Detail

My day, like most weekdays (except Monday, on which I have no need to be anywhere of a morning, and Wednesday, which starts an hour earlier because I have a weekly appointment to talk with Abby over Skype), started at 7am when my cell phone alarmed yanked me out of a dream.

I have no idea what it is about this apartment, but I suspect it’s my super comfortable IKEA mattress that has given me the most detailed, vivid, plot based dreams with characters and themes. They’re not particularly complicated, but they are all immersive. Last night, for instance, I was the male head of a family and leader of a small group of people under siege by Jurassic Park raptors and plant zombies (yes plant zombies). We had guns, of course,, but the real ace up our sleevwas something I discovered, that people born as triplets or in larger birth groups, could magically destroy the plant zombies and kill the dinosaurs at a glance. I did not have these powers, but my children were a set of quadruplets, and two of them had triplets (each.) So I spent a lot of my energy specifically protecting my son and daughter and my grandkids, who were babies, but of particular importance to the group because of their zombie killing powers. Sadly, I left my daughter and her children so I could rescue my son’s children, and when I returned I found they had been killed, and I flew off the handle at my second-in-command, with whom I had left specific orders to protect my daughter and grandchildren at the cost of all other lives, because of their zombies powers. I was given a yelling match for my lack of priorities (no one else believed that my children had zombie killing powers.)

In the meantime, by wife and son were in danger from dinosaurs.

Then I woke up.

Waking up’s not the easiest thing in the world right now as I have a mild infection that’s giving me phlegmtastic coughf and a scratchy throat, so I’m sleeping deeply and I want to sleep a lot. Still, I pulled myself out of bed mostly with the impetus that I wanted to get on with reading my book.

My latest literary obsession is The Scarlet Pimpernel. Since Becca brought over the 1980s movie (with Ian McKellen as Chauvelin), then on finding two copies of the book while in the UK over Christmas break, roomie Ana and I have devoured as many of the moving picture adaptations as we could get our hands on (For the record, the 1934 Leslie Howard film is the absolute best, the 1937 the worst so far, but we have deliberately left out some out of just not wanting to see an adaptation that omits the book’s viewpoint character). Having something we can share and geek out over (Or at least, he can listen to me geek out over – have I mentioned he is a great roommate?) has  spurred me into downloading those sequels that are available on Feedbooks. Of course, I don’t own an ebook reader (yet? I have my eye on a Nook…)  so I’m reading them using my laptops. Which means if I want to get some reading in before leaving for class, I have to get out of bed and get dressed and go and sit down in front of my laptop in the living room with breakfast and the twenty minutes or so it takes to brush and braid my hair.

Obviously, if you’re familiar with my tastes in fiction (secret identity narratives, plucky bold adventurers, clever women, devoted siblings, plots that are fully plotted through from the beginning, couples who regard each other as equals and are hopelessly in love) the fact that I love these books should come as no surprise to you. That I’m only now reading the sequels should be, but they’re surprisingly hard to come by: NYPL only has reference-only copies of many of them and I don’t have a lot of disposable money for books. So hooray for books that are in the public domain! I’m currently on Eldorado, which is a plot many adpatations have adpated into the Scarlet Pimpernel, and focuses on Marguerite Blakeney’s brother Armand, who for some reason has been de-aged by eight years since the first book and is acting like a complete idiot? I don’t know, these characters are likeable complete idiots and if you like reading secret identity hero narratives, you probably have an easy going relxaed attitude to continuity anyway. You have to have one as a defense mechanism.

Also, it gives me warm fuzzies to remember that the secret identity narrative to which Superman and Batman owe so much, was just like the Science Fiction genre, invented by a woman.

So usually on a Tuesday I’d leave my email and blog-roll checking in order to leave the apartment at 9 and be on the Upper West Side at 10. This morning I had twenty extra minutes leisure time to read my book and head to meet my class on the Lower East Side, for a field trip to the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

This was a joint trip between Museum Education and Exhibition Design, and we spent the morning on a tour of the core galleries: Jewish heritage and culture before moving on to the history of the Holocaust – and the temporary exhibits: Hannah Senesh, Mah Jongg and the Morganthous, with an eye to how the exhibitions were designed, what messages were transmitted and how effectively. After lunch in the cafe, we experienced a class on the Darfur genocide, the details of which I was criminally ignorant. All round a very genocide filled day, but certainly one that left me with ideas about museum education.

Back out into the snow (New York is beautiful right now, guys. It’s also cold), I forgot to stop at Duane Reade to get a decongestant (Damn), and jumped on the subway. One there I was so busy knitting (a sweater sleeve) and listening to the 1998 Scarlet Pimpernel Broadway soundtrack (see what I mean about obsession?) that I missed my stop and ended up in Utica. It’s only a few stops down the line, so I hopped back.

Dropped in at the grocery store on my block to pick up tomatoes and beans – I picked up a lovely tomato soup recipe from my Dad over Christmas, but I’ve altered it slightly with the substitution of beans (for protein) instead of the rice he uses. Came home to the roomie, and didn’t make the soup. I had lasagne in the fridge from the weekend that needed eating, and I’m hoping to be able to pick up a flask so I can take the soup into the museum for lunch during my internship. So the making of the soup is postponed until I can drop by Target.

At home, then, and safely ensconced on SUPER COMFORTABLE COUCH at about 4pm, checking blog roll, emails, and getting on with some serious roleplay. I was indeed yearning to get back to reading Eldorado, but first I had to get through some reading for college – not the Museum Education classes this time but the class I’m unexpectedly TA’ing on Thursdays.

So that was a fun thing to happen to me yesterday. I’m sitting down doing the morning email check when I get a message saying “You don’t know me but your advisor says you’d make a great TA!” So I have a job, which is very nice indeed. So I did the reading for that, while knitting  a sock.

Yeah, I have two projects on the needles at any one time. Technically I have four projects on the needles, but I have two ‘types’ of knitting at any one point – Subway knitting, which is portable and simple and easy to do on the Subway, and Couch knitting, which is more complicated or just bigger or I’m in the fiddly stages.  Sleeves in the round? Subway. My couch sock is using this pattern, bbut not quite that pattern, as I adapted a lace pattern from the book of stiches I inherited from my grandmother when I first started knitting. the proudest knitting acheivement of late? Successfully adapting a flat lace pattern to be knitted in the round. It involved charting.

Reading done, I continued to get some awesome roleplay in (I’m sure no one wants to know about Melaka Fray orchestrating a Data-Lore reunion or Renee Montoya’s opinions on the Fallout universe), ate the lasagne and wrote this post (it got kinda long, huh?). Somewhere in there, Ana made me ice cream (HOMEMADE ICE CREAM. PEANUT BUTTER. GREATEST ROOMMATE.)

And then it was 9 o’clock and suddenly Ana had The Cape on TV so I had to sit back and watch that, because it’s flashy and it’s corny and it’s not s good as No Ordinary Family, but it has Summer Glau playing Oracle and Martin Klebba who is awesome. Also a cape with superpowers!

Aaaand then it was back to a few minutes ago and I spent the rest of the evening typing this post! Hooray!

Now – 10pm – I am off to wash up the lasagne dish and go to bed. There should be Eldorado in bed, because I still want to read it.

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

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