Monday: rose-beetles drowned, 8; escapees, 1.
Tuesday: rose-beetles drowned, 3; escapees, 0.
Today: rose-beetles drowned, 9; escapees, 1.

Couches peed on, 3-day total: 0
Couches covered in plastic sheeting: 2
Husbands who don’t find retro plastic-covered couches cool but uncomfortably reminiscent of grandmother’s house: 1

At least so far the rose-beetles are confined to just two bushes. I hope I can eradicate all the breeders before I leave for Leeds on Saturday.

Words written: mumble. Excuses. See, um . . . It’s this way. I have been doing things that support my research, without actually writing actual words.

Monday I phoned the British university library that has ignored 3 weeks’ worth of e-mails and faxes, and spoke to a very nice person who took down my information and sent me an e-mail yesterday saying yes, I could photograph the manuscript I’m intererested in. I also read and responded to both a friend’s conference paper draft, and a conference abstract draft from a member of my writing group. I attempted to view images of a different manuscript (one I’m writing about in the Current Project), only to have my laptop computer’s CD drive make dreadful noises and refuse to copy the images to the laptop’s memory. Mild panic ensued. I consulted Sir John and resolved to attempt a copy to a thumb drive at school on Tuesday. (I also paid bills, swam, and watched Tour de France coverage.)

Tuesday I checked out more books for Current Project, met with my writing group, wrote a recommendation letter, and put the CD in my desktop at work. Desktop claimed the CD was blank. Further panic ensued, despite my conviction that I could not have erased the disk. Sir John, in phone consultation, said to try again at home, if not in my machine then in any of his various machines and external drives. Deep breaths. Made final set of reservations for trip to England (train). Long drive home punctuated by traffic accident (not mine) and getting lost on way to drop off letter of recommendation (this is me making up for procrastination, not going above and beyond; the person being recommended is a friend and rewarded me with homemade jam, too). The evening went to the Tour, of course, with much flinching over the latest round of crashes and mourning for Frank Schleck’s collarbone, not to mention other people’s injuries and abandonments.

Today: more drowning of rose-beetles, just to start the day off on a vicious note. The CD opens and displays its files in my laptop, so far without horrible noises, but I’m waiting for another consult with Sir John before I do anything else with it. I have achieved the final medical appointment needed this summer (knock on wood). I have persuaded the gas company to refund a ridiculous amount of money due me because I put last month’s credit card payment in the gas envelope (and vice versa).

Have thought, “Must join 21st century and learn to pay bills on line.” Have also had nostalgic meltdown: I grew up in a world run by people, not machinery. Envelopes were opened by people who would notice that checks were not made out to their company, rather than by machines that scan for numbers. When you called for customer service, you would speak to a person in the building downtown, not spend 6 minutes punching buttons and speaking words that the automated system can’t understand before getting to be placed on hold another 7 minutes for a human being located who-knows-where. I feel like this isn’t my world anymore, and I’m not even 50 years old yet! How much worse will it get? Don’t answer that.

Anyway, I have this vague feeling that I have scores that need settling, but nothing on which to take out my animus except the rose beetles, which after all are just trying to live their buggy little lives. The best revenge would no doubt be settling down and writing words on the Current Project. (Clears throat, sits up straight, speaks portentously, or was that pretentiously?) The Life of the Mind endures, while the rest is Trivia.

Funny how absorbing Trivia can be.

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2 thoughts on “Score-keeping and settling

  1. "When you called for customer service, you would speak to a person in the building downtown, not spend 6 minutes punching buttons and speaking words that the automated system can't understand before getting to be placed on hold another 7 minutes for a human being located who-knows-where." I remember those days. Sigh.

  2. While we're score-settling, I wanted to let you know that I was inspired early in the summer by your plan to work 9-1 and I've been keeping pretty faithfully to that schedule and getting lots accomplished. So, thank you. I was looking ahead to a summer with many responsibilities and little structure, and you helped me figure out a method for parsing out my time.Now, if you could just stop by and explain to me why my roses look like crap, that'd be great.

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