November 3rd, 2004


It's oh so quiet

After all the excited realtime election updates ("We're winning!" "We're losing!" "Shut up already!") there's a strong sense of anticlimax. Even the despair feels half-hearted; as in a messy and protracted divorce, nobody really wins except the lawyers. But did anybody really expect anything different?

(My colleague picks up the phone, dials an international number.

"Hello, this is Paul Warner. Can you get a message through to John Kerry?"
"Yes, could you please just tell him: DON'T CONCEDE.")

I can't top that. So I'm not going to talk about it. Besides, it's probably more the 4 hours' sleep than the (lack of) news that's making me feel deflated and lethargic at the moment. That, and the knowledge that the main item on my to-do (as in, "what a...") list at work is "pack all my office stuff into big crates in preparation for the department moving offices". We were told that the move would happen over the weekend, so we had to have everything packed by the end of Friday. Today the removal men came in and started ripping everything out. Apparently the move was rescheduled to actually happen on Friday, but nobody bothered to tell us.

In the course of tidying up I keep finding scraps of post-it note that I can't quite bring myself to throw away because of their found-text value, or else a vague feeling that I kept them for a reason. I'm still carrying in my pocket a post-it note which I found on a copy of "DOS for Dummies" in Oxfam; the note says "Buy 'More DOS for Dummies' when I have new computer set up".

I love finding my shopping lists and to-do lists from years ago; sometimes they can instantly evoke a time, a place, a whole situation, but other times they mystify me with glimpses of a life I don't remember having. There's one scrap here that says "C batteries / DJ & trousers! / Measuring-jug for Becky" -- what on earth was I doing? Another tiny scrap of paper just has four book titles/authors listed on it in my cramped italic script:

The War Hound & the World's Pain - Moorcock
Frenzetta - Richard Calder
Mythologies - Roland Barthes
Vita Brevis - Jostein Gaarder

A quick look at my reading list for 2001 suggests that I'd noted them down to remind myself to add them to the record of what I'd read, but it might be interesting to play the accidental archeology game and try to link them in some more meaningful way (same goes for the I-went-shopping-and-I-bought list above) ... any suggestions? I'd recommend them all, anyway; sion_a, particularly, should read Vita Brevis, and everybody should read Mythologies. I enjoyed Frenzetta, but I've yet to read anything by Calder that beats "Toxine". Can't remember anything about the Moorcock except that I thought it was quite good at the time.

Scraps of things, scraps of nothing.