Friday, March 30, 2007

Indulgences and Summer Plans

It's been a long week, and while a lot of good stuff has happened, I'm very tired and feeling a bit down, probably simply because of fatigue.

So, resorting to one of my favorite anti-depressant techniques -- spending lots of money at once! -- I've gone about acquiring various treats. From most to least indulgent, they are:

* Corrective Barracuda swim goggles. Gary and I were so pleased with the optical snorkeling masks we used in Maui that I went ahead and ordered some optical swim goggles for myself. On the face of it, this is very silly: I don't really need to see anything in the pool, y'know? Furthermore, I could have gotten them for much less than I did. I've been wearing inexpensive, non-correcting goggles, which have worked fine, and I could have gotten inexpensive corrective ones, too, but nooooo: I went for Barracuda goggles, the high-end brand. To be fair, these really are more comfortable than other goggles, but they're also pricy. Gary's comment: "You'd better not lose them!"

* I usually take a course at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley every summer, but none of this summer's offerings thrilled me. Oh, there were things that would have been very useful in all kinds of ways, but nothing that actively excited me. I enjoyed last summer's art course so much that I really wanted to take another one, but there weren't any (or none that appealed to me). So instead of going to Berkeley for a week, I'm staying home and taking a six-week course entitled "Explorations in Clay" at the Nevada Museum of Art. It will meet every Monday evening for three hours, starting June 11. A friend at the med school took this same class from the same instructor and really enjoyed it, although she said the class was crowded and it was hard to get time on the wheel. Still, I'll be messing around with clay for six weeks, and that will provide a very nice balance to my usual intellectual/verbal work. (The museum offers a children's class called "Clay Turds for Toddlers." Gotta love it! It's entirely possible that my own efforts will look a lot like clay turds too, but I'm determined to have fun.)

The prospect of going to Maui kept me going through the first part of the semester; the prospect of taking the clay class will keep me going through the second.

And actually, the week in Berkeley is usually so expensive that not going will more than pay for both the clay class -- which is discounted because I'm a museum member -- and the goggles. And I may be going to Berkeley for a weekend in August for a Tolkien conference, if I can get a paper proposal together by the deadline.

* I just got plane tickets for me and Gary to go to WisCon. This will be the first time he's come with me, and I'm really excited about it, and the plane tickets aren't actually an indulgence at all: it's not like we can walk there!

We already have quite a few plans for this summer. The weekend of May 18-19, we'll be in the Bay Area for me to do some readings at SF bookstores. The following weekend, we'll be at Wiscon. We'll be back in the Bay Area for a wedding at the end of June, and then of course there's the clay class, and somewhere in there I also have to plan next year's classes and oh, yeah, get back to work on the fourth novel. And I'm trying to talk my sister into visiting, and I'm sure my parents will want me to go out to Philly at some point to see them.

Busy, busy! And now to bed!

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