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scattershot notes from the end of a year

It was a good weekend.

Friday, I stepped away from my desk and went to see Black Swan. The bizarre images and painful yearning of it stayed with me the whole rest of the day. I tried to talk to Myron about it at dinner and I couldn’t come close to the deep emotional impact of the visuals and the music together. Today, instead of going for Strangeways, I started up my stereo and my classical CDs. My ears want wordlessness for awhile, but they’re still craving that emotion and beauty. Right now, they’re getting Mozart. 

I processed a lot of email this weekend. After we finish the newsletter, I always have a huge backlog of stuff I need to pick through, and I was proud of myself this month for keeping my inbox under a hundred items. Sometimes when I see that gorgeous “No mail here!” message I do a little dance in my chair where no one can see. I want to get there again before the end of the year. And ooh, I’ve been going through a couple of advance-copy cookbooks I was so fortunate to get. Next month I have recipes to share and at least one cookbook that you will bring to the couch for long sessions of mouthwatering meal planning. All this and the writing too. That Friday break was just what I needed to prepare me for what’s to come. 

Last week I also worked on reorganizing the downstairs bookshelves, which I’ve needed to do for months now. I finished yesterday afternoon. Organizing books is a part-brainless, part-geometrical, part-yoga effort, keeping the biographies together and debating whether my British and Canadian fiction should blend together on one shelf. I can’t even get far enough away to show you them all in one decent shot, but here’s one section. I really, really don’t like keeping books on their backs; it’s just too hard to remove them when I want them. But right now, it’s what I’ve got to do to fit everything in there. Sometimes I think I should let the books go. Pass them on, give them to a library to sell, throw them on BookMooch. But they’re the only things I collect. I don’t do jewelry, clothes, or anything else. They’re an essential part of the set piece for this place once the snow comes. I need my fleece slippers, my tea, my books… and there’s one more thing that says winter has truly arrived: 

I almost never see the stray kitty who leaves these tracks in the snow, but he makes the same tracks every time. He’s a creature of habit, out on patrol. I picture him as a security guard, checking each back porch for signs that something might be amiss. If he could, he’d tell me Move it along; nothing to see here. Good to know.