Sunday, December 18, 2005

Lurching From My Sick Bed . . .

I've spent the last week crawling through my daily routines with dwindling strength, fading will. Mia brought home the flu virus from school (show-and-tell, Daddy! WHAMMO). We've been filling our little apartment with the cloistered funk of our illness. There are signs we're coming out of it, thankfully, one of which is that the thought of sitting down at the computer no longer induces hemmhoraging.

We managed to get up the Christmas tree today, finally, and I did some shopping for her: I got her some activity books and a CD-ROM which will help me introduce her to nouns and verbs, as well as fractions. She has recently expressed interest in chemistry and paleantology, so I got her a science experiment kit as well, which will let her perform some of the basic tricks.

(Understand, by the way, that when I say "expressed interest," I realize I'm talking about a five year old. I believe the conversation went something like this: "Daddy, what's science?" "Well, science is the study how things work: people, stars, the whole world." I then gave brief descriptions of astronomy, oceanography, and biology. "What about when you do this?" (makes pouring motions) "That's chemistry." "Well, when I grow up I want to do chemsitry!" Rather than laugh this off, I've decided to actively encourage this line of thought: we'll play with science kits, look at some basic science books, and with a little luck she'll see how cool it really is.)

And she's already writing books, the precocious little so-and-so. Beat me to the punch. She gets six or seven sheets of paper, folds them into roughly bookshape, and makes stories out of them: a title page complete with byline, followed by sentences and illustrations. The first one is called The Crayons and is, as you might imagine, about the high times and misadventures of crayon people. You should see the faces on these guys. Another is called Eeeek! (actually spelled "Ekkkk!"), which she assures me she will one day make into a movie; it's about a boy who convinces his mother that there's a monster in the house. When she finally starts to believe him, he reveals that in fact he was only pretending to be the monster all along, and laughs cruelly at her.

Before the flu punched me in the gut and squat-humped me, I'd been reading John Crowley's Little, Big. Since then, my attention span has been reduced to that of a right wing radio talk show host, so I've been reading Conan stories instead. And I'm not ashamed to tell you that I still think they are awesome. "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." Fucking right! (That's from "The Tower of the Elephant," by the way, and it occurs shortly before Conan splits the skull of some condescending nobleman.)

This down week has also made it more difficult to hold to my plan of finishing my short story, "North American Lake Monsters," before January. Since Mia will spend the week following Christmas visiting her mother in Alabama, it's still an attainable goal, but I'll have to not fuck around. A habit I'm still trying to break.

I realize there's very little of interest in this post; mostly it represents my effort at shaking off the lethargy and working again. IN order to leave you with something worthwhile, however, I'll leave you with a link to one of my favorite sites on the web: trust me, it's Damn Interesting.


At 6:25 PM, Blogger Gone said...

Hmmm... give a child who has already made ONE bomb and threatened to start a war a bunch of science sets! What's next, a sports jacket with the word Shiva written on the back in pink?

;) ;) ;)

Glad you're feeling better!

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Melantrys said...

Well, at least you had a better excuse than me for not posting then. :)

Glad you're better! :D


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