Saturday, November 03, 2001

Oh, and we're up to 83 boxes. Just in case you were wondering.

There have been contractors in and out of the house all week.

Three questions I never want to answer politely again:

  • Have you read all those books?
  • You sure have got a lot of cleaning up to do, haven't you?
  • California, huh? Do you know how expensive that is?

Getting out of here getting out of here getting out of here...

I hope.

Friday, November 02, 2001

I have a cosmopolitan brick.

Yesterday I was sorting and consolidating boxes that hadn't been opened in a Very Long Time. If ever. I opened one of the boxes of my childhood memorabilia, set aside the sealing wax, the dictionary that commemorated my 4th-grade school spelling championship, the Girl Scout sash (nearly naked of merit badges), and found... a brick.

A brick that my mother had sent from Indiana to New Hampshire. A brick that had travelled, unseen, from New Hampshire to Massachusetts to North Carolina, and then again from an apartment to our house. A brick, in short, that had Seen Life.

I looked at the brick. It failed to look at me. I racked my brains as to why this would have been a brick with sentimental value, and why my mother would have been crazy enough to pay U.S. postage rates to send a brick cross-country.

Finally it came to me. When I was a child, the best place in the whole wide world was the window seat in the children's department of Morrison-Reeves Library, a magnificent Romanesque Revival structure with turrets, cast-iron-and-glass stacks, gargoyles, and stuff. I still visit that library in dreams. When I was 13, I started working at Morrison-Reeves as a page. When I was 15 or so, we built a new library next door and tore my well-loved library down. (It was ancient. It was out of space. It was actually dangerous. Climbing those wrought-iron stacks with both arms full of books and no appendages free for the handrail was a character-building experience. But still...)

So I collected a brick from the wreckage and took it home to my bedroom. Where it stayed until my mother ruthlessly collected all my sentimental objects and mailed them to me, figuring that I could jolly well be sentimental about them in New Hampshire.

The sad thing is, I still feel sentimental about this brick. This time it's staying behind in North Carolina. Maybe it can tell stories to the other bricks. Why, I remember when I was a young brick, in Indiana...

Thursday, November 01, 2001

Jesus H. Christ.


My kids got Christian tracts in their Halloween bags. My daughter was indignant. "What about JEWISH kids who are trick-or-treating?"

At least the rationalist kids are doing okay.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Hallowe'en In The Southland

My group, of me (black leather duster, black sparkly eyelid and forehead bindis), Harry Potter (black robes, wand, Nimbus 2000), Hermione (black robes, wand, cauldron), a witch (black dress, glow-in-the-dark teeth), a black cat, a puppy, and Death, was universally acclaimed Most Likely To Get Wiped Out By A Minivan Backing Up.

About 60% of the neighborhood was dark, what with Christianity, anthrax fears (really), and suggestions by the local police that kids shouldn't trick-or-treat house-to-house this year. Pfeh to so-called adults, say I.

Harry is home, tired, watching TV. Hermione carried on with the witch's and puppy's daddies, but is expected shortly.


Yesterday we signed the listing agreement, showings to start 11/11. One painter came through with estimates yesterday, another today. Carpeter this afternoon. Dishwasher fixed this morning. New stove installed tomorrow. 72 (!) boxes of books moved into storage. That's 72 boxes after a really brutal cull. "We don't read Poul Anderson any more. If I want to reread Bleak House, I'll get it from the library. David Eddings annoys me now."

72 boxes. We have a Book Problem.