Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Between the leaves

Notes from the end of August

New office mgr at work. After a day where we both were seldom off the phone I showed her one of my scratch sheets covered with names and numbers and things to do and said "I finished everything on here! ...I think!" And she said that was amazing and she didn't know how I did it. She said she was struggling even using lined paper and numbering each item. And a quiet bomb of realization went off in my head. I could enter each caller on a different line! And check them off when I'd finished with them! I still admire my scratch sheets for the random doodle paper coverage that I was able to achieve. But I feel so much more organized now that I'm using a lined pad. What a self limitation that was.

English Civil War
A squishy historical era for me. Knew of Cromwell, learned and then forgot and learned again about the king's execution. Hard to frame - much more complicated to try and digest Parliament, the armies and so on rather than one royal symbol. Am reading Lindsey Davis's Rebels & Traitors which I would recommend although it is giving me the best grasp of that time that I've ever had. Davis has written characters who are affected by the events of the time. That does a good job of drawing one into the action. But there is so much to discuss and such a long list of persons and battles and events she covers that it breaks down. Long swathes of perfectly agreeable narrative and then back to one or another set of her characters. "Meanwhile, back on the ranch..." The seams show and sometimes I wish she'd laid aside the characters and just gone hypothetical and tutorial. "This is how people in Oxford during the last part of the seige might have been faring". I'm cruising through the thousand pages so by the end I will feel that it's kept my reading muscles strong. [I finished it. Ludicrous ending tying all the characters' fates together. Still I don't regret reading it.]

Last week a Detroit area blogger wrote how tired she was of the heat. "I am ready to wear something that doesn’t need to be white and absorbent." I can only agree. I put on an acrylic blouse this morning and walked the kids to school. It was grey and in the 70s, more rain is forecast for this afternoon. By the time I got back home I was steamy and realized it just wasn't going to get any better in synthetic fibers. Off it went and I am much happier in cream cotton knit.

Path of blue
It's cooling off here but we're getting rain and muggy before we see cool clear skies. Oh which reminds me, yesterday I saw a reverse contrail, something I'd never seen before. I had to stare at it for a minute or so to be sure what it was, a narrow clear blue path through a thin layer of cloud. Once I found out that it's not "comtrail" it's "contrail", Wikipedia told me many things. The reverse path through the cloud is called a "distrail" (they have a nice photo) and is the effect of hot exhaust consuming the moisture in thin cloud level. The contrail in contrast, is the water vapor laden exhaust condensing at high altitude.


Bee said...

We all have systems, I guess, but some are more efficient than others! (I'm a fan of post-it notes.)

I should learn more about the English Civil War, too, but your description of that 1000 page book puts me off. We used to visit a village called Cropredy (we had friends living there) that was famous for its annual Civil War enactments.

Nimble said...

Bee, have you ever seen a beard made of post-its? A delightful craft to make with office supplies.

I would hope that there exists an engaging and readable account of the Civil War era. I'll let you know if I stumble across it. I find it challenging with so many factions and new ideas and reprisals. It illustrates why monarchy appeals just because it's so clear cut and simple to think about.

I should have known that there were English Civil War reenactors!