August 28, 2011

Intelligibility not guaranteed


Due to the continuing unpropitiousness of hellhounds I got . . . three, maybe three and a half hours of sleep last night*.  And I think we will pass over service ring in tactful silence.**  My vocabulary is down to about 500 words*** which I am allowing to give me an excuse to be slightly short tonight.  I apologise for my inability to do anything about either content or coherence.

 * * * 

* This is aggravated by the fact that I get so wound up by hellhound delinquency that when I am finally in bed I can’t sleep.  I had books on animal health, behaviour and insanity all over the bed last night^ and I now have Astarte which means I can google.^^   Plus that her slim pink-embellished self contains a slowly but steadily increasing number of ebooks.^^^ 

^ A fresh top layer, you understand.  There’s a good deep sedimentary book layer there already. 

^^ Of course she goes to bed with Pooka and me.   On a bad night I need a round of Montezuma to calm my nerves.  Erm.  Or something like that.+ 

+ At the rate I seem to be trudging on I may even finish this game.  This has never happened before in the history of my world.  What do you when you finish a computer game?  Start over?  NOOOOOO.  Download Part Two?  NOOOOOO.~  Find another game?  NOOOOOO.  —There’s an echo in here, and whoever she is, she isn’t happy. 

~ I don’t suppose there’s any chance there won’t be a Part Two?  That would be too easy. 

^^^ All of them thus far but the ritual first download of LOTR are nonfiction.  If I’m going to read for enjoyment at home where the weight of my knapsack isn’t an issue, I want a real book, which is to say covers that open and pages that turn, and if I want to make a note in a margin+ I need an old-fashioned Writing Implement and not a tap on a screen.  But engaging in a cool intellectual fashion with crisp factual words in shiny pixels works fine.  I’ll worry about what I’m going to read on the train next time I’m going to be on a train.  It does seem to me that an iPad is an ultimate in the dignified disguise of embarrassing fiction, and it’s a pity to waste it.

            Which reminds me to remark that I’m a trifle nonplussed at some of the reactions to my struggle to bend the concept, not to mention the intangible reality, of audiobooks to my will.++  If you don’t like audiobooks I don’t think it’s a requisite for forum membership to listen at least two hours a day.+++  It’s only horses for courses.  My bottom line, as above, is if all things are equal, I’d always rather a proper book with pages in my hands.  But the last few months, when the ME seems to be more often more bad than less bad, I still have two hours of daily hurtle to get through, and when I’m already tired I’m less up for risking Hound of the Baskervilles adventures in the wilderness, and walking in or near town is mostly pretty boring.   Hence having a stab/shamble/whatsit at audiobooks.++++   Worth a try.  I agree that being read aloud to is an entirely different experience, and sometimes it’s pleasant and sometimes it’s not so pleasant and sometimes it’s deleting-digital-is-nowhere-NEAR-as-satisfying-as-throwing-a-book-across-the-room.  But I think audiobooks might have a place in my life.  If I can figure out how to run the frelling programmes.  

+ I know.  We’ve had this conversation.  I’m a book-defacer.  It has to be my book, and generally again it’s nonfiction, and it can’t be a really elegant edition . . . but yes.  Quite a few of the books I own have notes in the margins.   And I’m glad.

++ At the moment the audiobooks are winning.  Why does the audible download manager keep shouldering into the bottom open-programme bar?  And refusing to close?  Whimper. 

+++ If it is, I’m disqualified. 

++++ I also want to try knitting and listening—violinknitter among others talks about doing this.  And it’s going to be a long time before I can knit and watch TV.  But I’ll be interested to see if what I want to listen to indoors and sitting down and not worrying about what the hellhounds are going to see two-thirds of a second before I do—a hellhound can cover a lot of ground in two-thirds of a second—is any different from what I want to listen to when I’m outdoors seeking not to have adventures. 

             It’s not like you’re safe in town either.  We were walking down a little alley we often walk down—and I was just noticing a Very Large Man on one of those electric mobility carts taking up most of the path ahead of us—when a Very Large Dog nearly came through the chainlink fence at us.  KERRANG.  The Very Large Man was getting up off his mobility cart and I was involuntarily noticing that the only thing he was wearing—just by the way it’s a chilly day:  I’m in layers—was a pair of sweatpants whose drawstring had been insufficiently curtailed around the top.  As he stood up, the sweatpants were subsiding . . . He saw us and said, Don’t come any closer while the gate’s open!  —while dog and sweatpants were penetrating in an awful, confused fashion into my stupefied brain.  Hellhounds and I turned and fled.  I could hear him calling after me—You can come on now!  No!  I don’t think so!  We may never walk down that alley again! 

**  There were seven ringers this morning.  How annoying is that?^  If I’d known I could have turned over and put the pillow over my head. 

^ You want six or eight.  I don’t know if it’s just needs must, but while we among many other strapped-for-numbers bands frequently ring doubles on five without the tenor behind, if there are seven ringers, rather than ringing triples without a cover, usually someone sits out.  Although Niall has a bizarre and possibly unhealthy habit, in these situations, of making us ring minor (six bells) plus a tenor-behind.  You don’t ring minor with a tenor behind.  And it’s surprisingly confusing, at least to those of us who are rhythm-challenged anyway.  And possibly very short of sleep. 

*** There’s a word for unpropitiousness.  I just can’t think of what it is.

† You’ve thought I’ve abused footnotes before?  I think tonight I win some kind of award. 




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