mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

Chronicles of wasted time


Breaking news! Melissa Scott is working on the Points series again. A novella called Point of Knives now, that happens between the two existing books, and a novel called Fairs' Point to follow! Christmas comes early this year.

It's not that I spoke to no one on this long weekend. I had daily conversations with my 90 year old neighbour across from me, and a prolonged gossip about house prices with Prof and Mrs Islamic Studies two doors up; I passed the time of day with the gardening grandmother down the street and saw a ridiculous number of young friends in passing. But in general I was antisocial. Passed up the Sunday morning zazen because my knees hurt-- my knees always hurt too much for zazen-- and decided not to go to the 'pay what you please' Chinese language classes because they require a (refundable, granted) $75 deposit and I'd just splurged on a new boombox; and for the same reason denied myself another Thai massage. And besides my eyes *hurt* and I couldn't *see* and I was feeling ill-used by the world. Zazen and massage might have helped with that; but then again, maybe not.

Nor did I paint the black keys of my stairs. Bought the paint, but my knees hurt and I couldn't *see.*

So instead I indulged in turkey dinners every day this weekend-- or turkey lunches, rather, since all the restaurants were having them; and I walked the warm sunny streets, and I read. (Even though my eyes hurt and I couldn't see, yes.) The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes was actually rather fun, and its author is a genuine authority on far east Asia, so I'm confident the historical and linguistic details of Nepal and northern India are all accurate. There are a lot of them, so they'd better be.

Someone on the FFL mentioned The Jane Austen Book Club, which is in the stack from the Front Lawn Library, so I read that today. And that was fun too. Also put my Isabel Dalhousies out on the lawn, heartlessly denying them shelf space, as well as that copy of Portrait of a Marriage I kept for no good reason from the 70s, and someone took the lot, which made me happy.

The stray suggestion in The Jane Austen Book Club that they should start on Patrick O'Brian next made me stop and think. (BTW I disagree that you can't go from Austen to O'Brian, only the other way. Of course you can. It's a natural progression. O'Brian is the one author I can think of who has much the same worldview as Austen-- or one facet of Austen at least.) When I ask myself what I've done in the last five years (and am tempted to answer 'nothing')- well, actually, I've read the great body of O'Brian's work. (Also all Pratchett and the oeuvre of a number of mystery writers and everything else Ima Ichiko ever wrote.) And I've learned a little Chinese. The pay what you can school has an online quiz to decide your level, and though I haven't a clue what tone any word is, I was amazed at how much I could understand of the reading test, in simplified hanzi yet.
Tags: chinese, holmes, o'brian, points, reading_11, religion, rl_11
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