Monday, March 25, 2013

07 Twenty-Ninety Beginning (Nanowrimo 2007) Organizing Aunt Sheila

[OK - If you've been reading the Twelfth Beginning as if it were a story, here is where things will get strange.  In 2007, my strategy for Nanowrimo was to cram the story into the category 'literary'  and go completely non-linear, dumping ideas and references I had collected just to get them out of my mind and off of my desk.  

Don't let yourself get confused trying to make more of the bits than are there. Thanks.]

Gooey is GUI is a Graphical User Interface.  Yum-vee is YMMV is Your Mileage May Vary. 

Yum-vee?  No one pronounces that.

Are you calling me no one?

You know what I mean.

Yes, but if I remove the onus of specificity from you, you may end by living in a mental landscape with an obscuring layer of idiom and unstated acceptances. 


Burden.  As in a duty not welcomed.  Sort of like my knees do not welcome the duty of carrying me down this trail, no matter how refreshing the vista.

Sort of like.  Barbara smiled as she said it.

I did mention that I wasn’t a prescriptive grammarian, didn’t I?

Probably.  It took me weeks to get used to things enough to hear you properly.

Do you think you’re hearing me properly now?  Oh, does that log look like it will make a decent bench?

I think I’m doing well enough.  If I could hear you again in a year and again in ten years, I’d probably make different inferences, but this is good enough.

But we’re not frightening each other any more.  Arrg.  You know you’re getting old when you provide your own sound effects when seating and rising.  It’s a good thing I know a little about leverage. 

Are you sure we shouldn’t head back? 

Very sure.  I’m maintaining the onus on my knees.  They have a duty to carry me and allow my muscles to maintain a little tone.  Or regain a little tone, more likely.  It was a very good idea to come here.  I thank you for it.  And I thank you for toting everything.  I wouldn’t have been able to come without someone else hauling the baggage.

You’re welcome.

I’m beginning to relax and enjoy having you here.  The relax says more about me than about you, of course.  I warm up to people slowly.

It’s my scintillating personality that makes me inevitably irresistible.

And you know the difference between infer and imply.  It’s odd the things that people decide are significant.  The difference between infer and imply is almost gang sign for me.

An odd way of putting things.  Speaking of odd things.  As long as we’re sitting here, I entered some of your things into a database.  Could we go over some of them?  Get them labeled? 

Some of my things? 

From pieces of paper and notepads and things.  I’ve been putting them into boxes and envelopes, but just a list won’t be very useful.  I figure, once we have them categorized and cross referenced, then maybe you won’t need the paper.  Or not.  That’s up to you. 

But I had a teacher once who said that you can tell a lot about a person from their bibliography – their personal library.  And I get the feeling that you’ve been developing a sort of bibliography all around your house.  Books that no one has written or read, ever. 

I’m not sure I’m up to writing them.  Or reading them, even.

We’ll talk about that later.

Oh, will we? 


You’re certainly confident of that.

When the student is ready, the teacher will come.

Sheila gave her niece the eye, but relented into laughter.

All right.  Maybe I won’t mind talking later about what I can and can’t do.  Or, perhaps, will or won’t do.  Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between those things.

A scuffle and click as Barbara gets out a laptop.

I’m looking for a main category and maybe a few keywords for each of these.

There’s Reinventing Your Live by Jeffrey Young.  I’m assuming it’s a book you want to read?

Yes.  Although I don’t remember why.  I usually write things down when someone or something recommends them.


An article or review.  Or a thread. 

Science With Shit – no author.

That’s one I want to write.

No kidding.

It’s actually a deep and interesting subject.  People ignore it.  Oh, as long as we’re listing things, list new words for ignore. 

Under a category for new words?

Sure.  You said we could add keywords?


Sheila closed her eyes and let her head drift back.  The sunlight was warm on her skin in a way that just being in a warm house can’t reproduce.  Basking warmth.

Let’s add a keyword – or a cross category:  Primatology 101. 

Is that where you want to put your lists of Things People Should Know?

No.  Sheila dragged the word out like the warm mozzarella that you know isn’t ever going to release your slice from the main pizza.  Things People Should Know aren’t recursive.

Barbara looked up.  She manipulated the words in her mind, feeling the ideas.  She nodded.

OK.  Primatology 101.  Things we should know about how humans work.  Any other keywords? 

For which again?

New words for ignore.

La’adan, (spells) which I’ll tell you about sometime.

I’ll give it it’s own entry.  So we don’t forget to talk about it sometime.

That’s a relaxing feeling.  It’s written down conveniently, so we can refer to it instead of having to remember it.  Like the clean feeling you get when you make a new to do list.

As long as you don’t make the list the only thing you finish.  Barbara waved a playful finger in her aunt’s general direction.

Sheila clenched a bit, then closed her eyes and let out a breath, slowly relaxing.

La’adan is a constructed language and an experiment.

Experiments I Haven’t Done.  No, I’m putting that under Projects I haven’t done, with a keyword of experiment.  I’m going to video you, you know. 

What?  Sheila was obviously a bit shaken.  At least it was obvious to Barbara.

It’s what I want to do as part of my homeschooling.  I want to learn to interview people and I can show them on community cable.  I’ll have to get enough shows in the can to make a season.  So it will take awhile.  But if I’m going to learn to do it, I need to start where I am and I need to keep at it.

“You can do anything if you do it for twenty minutes a day.”

Yes, that.  That’s in the database, but we’ll keyword it later.  And the one about reaching for the balls you can’t hit, too.  And I like this so I’ll probably work at it more than twenty minutes a day.

Well.  I suppose I don’t mind helping you practice.

Actually, I think you’re an interesting person.  But I might not have the skill to show how interesting you are.  So unless we’re both happy with it, it won’t be shown anywhere.

That sounds like a plan. 

It feels like we just made a pact, doesn’t it?

Oddly, yes.  A conspiracy of two.

Three if we can get Peter into it.

If he’s gardening, he doesn’t want to talk, dear.

I know.  But he doesn’t mind me taking pictures of his hands or feet.  As long as it looks like the plants and the work are the focus, he just ignores it.

A Peter way of ignoring, no doubt.


So what’s the next thing on the list that should not be allowed to just be a list.

AdcultUSA by James B. Twitchell.  The note says advertising in the 20th century.

Books I Haven’t Read, keywords History and Primatology.

Got it.

Advertising and Consumerism is a whole library that I haven’t had time for.

History and Primatology it is, then.   Ads and stuff will probably be Primatology, keyword Brain.  Or would you rather have neurology or something?

No, brain is succinct.

This one says, “As a counterbalance to Dawkins, I suggest taking in a couple of Ernst Mayr's sage volumes, particularly This Is Biology: The Science of the Living World and What Evolution Is.”

Books I Haven’t Read.  And Things People Should Know. 

Have to pick one.  The other can be a keyword. 

Books, then.  Keyword evolution.

Have you read Dawkins?

The Blind Watchmaker.  A long time ago.  I probably ought to read it again.  Or perhaps I should read The Selfish Gene.  The two seem to be the ones most people quote or rail against.  I’m not sure what you might have heard, but he isn’t evil.  He just has different.  Sheila felt the air in front of her.  Ideas?  Gang colors is a bad way to describe it.  When I think of the word or concept that I want, I think of the word shibboleth.  And I think of a tree trunk.  And how people are frightened of people who can’t be ignored.  And I’m using ignore in a very special way, here.

That’s enough for the entry.

Thinking is hard work.  But it hooks you. 

I read an article that said that people like to solve puzzles because the brain reacts in a way that’s like sex.  There’s a tension that builds and builds and then is released when the puzzle or problem is solved.

That’s very interesting.  I’d like to read about that.  Put it into the database.  Under Primatology.  We’ll have to confirm it, of course.  Oh, listen to me.  I sound like we’re researchers.  Colleagues. 

Well.  Maybe we are.  Would that be bad?

I just don’t want to . . . well, be silly, I suppose.  Be foolish.  Mislead you into thinking that . . .

Well, that’s silly, too.  Stopping for fear of embarrassment.  Spineless.  Are you being harsh with yourself, or is that someone else’s voice?

The spineless?  Not specifically.  Unless it’s my own voice from way back.  I come from a time when ‘woman’ was a bad word and all girls were raised to be ladies.  I understood completely when the group Ladies Against Women formed.  If anyone tells you that feminists can’t have a sense of humor, you can point to them.  They were a comedy troupe of sorts. 

You know, I don’t really remember anything in specific that they said, except that they were a parody of people reacting against feminists.  Against women. 

Did you . . .

Barbara was obviously reluctant to go there, at least to her aunt.  But she would if it was an important thing and something that her aunt knew about.  No need to go there now.

Just enter it.  Ladies Against Women.  History.  It feels like more.  Maybe we’ll make more of it later.  Just history for now.

[this section to be continued]

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you've read much of this blog, you know what the chances are that I'll keep up with moderating comments. You may be casting your comments into the howling void.