1. This week was my spring break, and yesterday I was feeling a little grumpy about it. You know how all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy? I was feeling pretty dull. I'd set myself a long list (an impractically long list) of Stuff To Do.
2. Things I did: filed federal taxes, completed the diocesan scholarship application with all its invasive questions about our finances, cleaned out the gecko tank, emptied work/personal email and the backlogged paper cubby, steam-cleaned the grubby tracks on the dining-room carpet, and weathered a snow day (on the twelfth of March, I ask you).
3. It was a productive week at work, too, in which I sent a manuscript draft to a co-author and made good headway on another draft. I sent off one IRB and edited another, and all but finished the slides that are due tomorrow for a conference presentation.
4. But somewhere in there I slid across the line from happy-productive to grim-productive, all the while realizing that I was going to have to head back to teaching in a small and dwindling number of days. So today I had some fun.
5. I finished Barchester Towers this morning. Oh, you guys, I loved it. I loved it immoderately. I loved it so much I am a little embarrassed to admit how much I loved it, because it is 600 pages of clergymen's attempts to outmaneuver each other. But it is laugh-out-loud funny, and so spot-on observant. I kept highlighting passages just because they were such a pleasure to read. I think I've found my next ten-year project.
6. I've been thinking about Trollope vs. Dickens. Trollope's strength, at least in this book, is the utter believability of his main characters. You've known people like these people before. You understand why they're doing what they're doing. There's not much in the way of plot, but that's perfectly fine. With Dickens, the plot is simultaneously the strength and the limitation. I love the intricacy of his plots -- when it's not causing my Implausibility Meter to honk like a pack of territorial geese.
7. I suppose geese do not really consort in packs. But I am out of time to tell you more about my happy day, which included a quiet lunch out with potato-leek soup and a trip to the used bookstore AND the yarn store, where I bought one gorgeous hank of laceweight merino/silk blend in the peculiarly hopeful green of new willow leaves.
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