Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Fortunately, I was already close to flat on my back when it happened. If a person's going to faint, I'm guessing in a Red Cross donation chair is a good place for it to happen. I've had a few moments in the past while donating blood where I started feeling a little light-headed, but passing out cold was a new one for me. I probably shouldn't have looked when the phlebotomist was switching from the bag to the test tubes. Blood doesn't faze me much when it's someone else's, but when it's my own. . .
In other news, it turns out I'm not the only person who spends time pondering life's most important questions, like when the hyphen can drop out of a compound word. Large Nameless Agency actually invested several hours recently in a training (workshop?) devoted to just that question. Well, not just that question -- we also looked at commas, semi-colons, and the infamous en dash. Heretic that I am, I think en dashes should go the way of the dodo, but my fellow editors apparently love them. (There's something very spooky about witnessing adults wax so enthusiastic about punctuation. I appreciate a well-placed comma as much as the next person, but there are limits. I'd say they'd been sniffing the wite-out too long if we still used the stuff.) Bottom line: language changes all the time, hyphens will drop out, but we editors will not be the ones to decide that burning question. We will instead be as conservative as humanly possible, dragging our feet and kicking and screaming whenever it's suggested that grammar is mutable. Or at least my colleagues will -- I'm not nearly that hardcore.
Tomorrow I'll be escaping from Large Nameless Agency for a few days. The S.O. and I are heading for Texas to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Younger Daughter. It's odd how quickly some things become routine -- we will be going up to Natchitoches again on Saturday for the annual craft show that's part of that city's Festival of Lights and it's feeling like a family tradition after only two years. Maybe this will be the year when we get the family photo taken with the alligator, even if the 'gator itself is rather a disappointment (discovered last November that it's not very big and has its mouth duct-taped shut). Weather permitting, on Friday we're going to pack a picnic lunch and visit the dog cemetery -- it's somewhere up in northern Sabine County and is apparently the resting place of beloved fox hounds. We won't lunch at the cemetery; the plan is to go over to one of the recreation areas on Toledo Bend where there are picnic tables.
I finished reading Dr. Zhivago yesterday. Up until I picked up the book at the library on Saturday, the only thing I knew about Dr. Zhivago was that Omar Sharif had starred in the movie, which I've never seen. Oh, and "Lara's Song" (aka "Somewhere My Love"), which definitely hints at a plotline entailing multiple Kleenexs being expended if viewed on the big screen -- although the S.O. tells me he fell asleep when he tried watching it in a theater back in the 1960s, so who knows? I do know Dr. Zhivago is a typical Russian novel, replete with the usual multiple names all referring to the same person depending on who's doing the speaking, multiple odd subplots kind of working their way around each other, and a narrator's voice that at times has a person wondering just how autobiographical some of the details were for Pasternak. It's also, of course, given that it's set during the Russian revolution and the Russian civil war, remarkably depressing. On the other hand, I read it in less than a week, making it surprisingly light reading for a Russian novel. I had thought it would last me past Thanksgiving; now it's looking like Alice Walker and the latest Bitch will be going into the suitcase instead.
[We will not be deep frying our turkey -- it's going into the oven to be cooked in a very traditional, low-risk manner.]