Reasons not to rake when there’s a north wind, or, how I spent my winter break

Still alive. Yay being alive! Presents traded with Mom on the 25th, and they are spectacular, including an 8.5 qt Calphalon pot that I’d been eyeing at amazon.com even before it went on sale and two new books: the Best New American Short Stories 2005 edited by Michael Chabon and Saturday by Ian McEwan. Also some other fun things, including (would I make this up?) a stuffed cow that serves as a computer screen cleaner.

I also managed to mail out my manuscript stuff to Syracuse yesterday. Gulp. First batch of writing off to a graduate school. The next deadline is a Jan. 3 postmark to Iowa, and it has been made more difficult by the fact that I left all of my grad school information (my folder with all its neat little checklists), the CDs with copies of everything from my home computer on them, and the power cord to my laptop sitting in a stack at my Dad’s house when I left there yesterday. My step-mom is overnighting it to me, so… maybe I will see it tomorrow. Gosh, I hope I will. Today was going to be a big day of writing organization and application completion, but now… it may be a bit of a loss. Yesterday I raked and bagged leaves for 2.5 hours and didn’t even manage to finish the front yard in that time. Guess how sore I am today?

I finished The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith yesterday. Brilliant sentences all over the place, but I can’t figure out if I liked the book (or even if it worked as a book). I’ll ponder this further at the — oh yes — HUTCHINSON, KANSAS STARBUCKS.

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