Last weekend was quite lovely. I had a grand time Saturday night at the Irregardless Café with good food, good friends, and good music. Really, really good music. Live jazz was provided by the Atomic Rhythm All-Stars, and while hitherto I hadn’t really considered myself a trombone sort of girl, my eyes have now been opened. On Sunday I visited the Langdons’ church and met a ton of very friendly people.

In other news, Sam is shopping for a new mattress, so we’ve been Goldilocksing it up at various locations. I wonder if mattress shop employees ever jump on the beds when no one is watching; I certainly would.

Gentry the puppy is madly, head-over-heels in love with Greta, a beautiful German Shepherd who lives in our apartment complex. Her owner has obligingly synced up our walks so that the pups have at least one playdate every day, and watching the dogs wrestle around is endless entertaining. They play until they’re exhausted and everyone (humans included) is covered in mud, and they seem to be very happy together. Their devotion does cause the occasional embarrassment, as Gentry now races up to anything that looks even remotely like a German Shepherd, convinced it’s his darling; he had a bad scare last night when he tried to run up to the huge, grouchy Rottweiler who lives downstairs. On Monday Greta clotheslined me from behind, and I ended up somersaulting down a muddy hill in the dark in one of the most spectacular displays of klutzy uncoolness in which I have ever engaged, which is saying something.


Learn this:




Books: I’m all about Terry Pratchett’s Bromeliad trilogy these days, which is sort of like The Borrowers for grown-ups. It is, of course, tremendously witty and entertaining—it’s Pratchett—but it’s also unexpectedly philosophical. Here’s his introductory note, Concerning Nomes and Time, to get a taste:

Nomes are small. On the whole, small creatures don’t live for a long time. But perhaps they do live fast.
Let me explain.
One of the shortest-lived creatures on the planet Earth is the adult common mayfly. It lasts for one day. The longest-living things are bristlecone pine trees, at 4,700 years and still counting.
This may seem tough on mayflies. But the important thing is not how long your life is, but how long it seems.
To a mayfly, a single hour may last as long as a century. Perhaps old mayflies sit around complaining about how life this minute isn’t a patch on the good old minutes of long ago, when the world was young and the sun seemed so much brighter and larvae showed you a bit of respect. Whereas the trees, which are not famous for their quick reactions, may just have time to notice the way the sky keeps flickering before the dry rot and woodworm set in.
It’s all a sort of relativity. The faster you live, the more time stretches out. To a nome, a year lasts as long as ten years does to a human.

Remember it. Don’t let it concern you. They don’t. They don’t even know.

I finished Master and Commander, and I do see now why I disliked it so intensely before.  I forgot what a rotten jerk Aubrey really is.  Some reader instinct keeps trying to force you to like the character because he’s the protagonist and we’re clearly supposed to like him in spite of his endearing, boys-will-be-boys flaws.  Doesn’t work.  He has no problem with adultery, or with sleeping around in general, and he’s clumsy, not terribly bright, and a bit gross.  Apparently he’s a good captain, though strangely O’Brian really doesn’t give as many illustrations of that as he might.  The friendships between Aubrey and Maturin, Aubrey and Dillon, and Dillon and Maturin are put together so clumsily that I kept asking myself why these dudes bothered to hang out at all.  I realize the Aubrey/Maturin friendship is supposed to be one of the epic duos in literature, but it doesn’t seem to be based on much of anything, especially at the beginning.  They go from animosity to friendship with no real provocation, and while later on they do have a mutual appreciation for the other, there’s initially no basis for that admiration.  The book droned to a rather delayed, rather dull conclusion, with a lot of things left hanging in dissatisfying fashion, no doubt to make room for the next book in the series.  For all of that, though, I must admit that I didn’t hate it.  My earlier judgment of mildly interesting and vaguely irritating was pretty accurate, but I do find myself wondering if O’Brian gets better at this game later on.  So many people swear by him and adore his books so passionately that I do wonder if I might still be missing something.  Maybe I’ll give one of the other books a try, once the taste of this one is out of my mouth.