Friday, December 02, 2011

Eight Years and Thoreau

I never expected to be gone this long, but I woke up Wednesday zapped with a monster sinus infection. I felt so bad I didn’t even work (is the world still standing?????), but I really had no choice, as every time I stood up I swayed like the leaning tower of Pisa. Yesterday was better, but not by much, so I zoned out most of that day too. Today I’m working, but definitely wouldn’t call myself ready to do battle at an estate sale. I AM, however, well enough to lodge a complaint with whoever’s in charge of sickness. When a person gets a cold, or a sinus thing, I really, really, REALLY think it’s only fair that they be allowed to read all day long if they want to. There I was flat on the couch in front of the fire wrapped up in a blue and green plaid wool Conemara blanket I bought in Ireland when I was younger than both of my kids, a mug of hot tea at my elbow and  a brand new biography of Flannery O’Connor and it actually HURT to squint at the page!  My only solace was Caitie and Joe’s cat, Leo (aka The Dustmop), who has been here all week while Joe worked in the Toledo office and Caitie was in Canada to meet her client. As Nancy always says, every sickbed and every Christmas tree is improved by a dozing cat.

Of course having not worked for two days meant that today got off to a rousing start with many more books than usual to get out the door, plus the need to renew my ownership of my website’s domain. The latter sounds easy, but it’s not because first I had to find my user and PIN numbers for GoDaddy to do it. Once that was accomplished (no small feat, as I haven’t been over to that site in nine years!) I was immediately jolted to learn that I had to decide how many years to extend ownership. How in this crazy business would I possibly know THAT? I haven;t a clue what will be happening in ten years. Will I still be selling books? Will ANYONE be selling physical books? I don’t know. I think so. I hope so. But do I think and hope it enough to renew for ten years with the casual confidence I signed up with the first time? As it turned out, they would only extend it eight years anyway, so I tossed the devil to the wind  and went for the full eight which means that as of this moment I am offcially having shown by my bold and daring move that I do believe in the survival of books. On some level, anyway.

I did manage to look at the estate sale ads this morning, but was not even a little bit tempted. There’s one I might have gone to  but  can’t because I’m resting up  for the NOBS annual meeting. This is always a fun event and should be this year too. It’s going to be held on Sunday at Cleveland State University where we will first eat stuffed chicken, red potatoes, string beans and apple pie and then will hear Patrick Chura, an English professor from Akron University speak on his new book, Thoreau the Land Surveyor. It explores a puzzling dichotomy that I knew nothing about before this. It seems that the great nature lover, nature essayist, and environmentalist ran a surveying business that often parceled out land designated for wood cutting. It will be interesting to me to see how THIS resolves itself and of course my husband will be happily blowing the dust off this forestry degree, so a good time should be had by all.

Following the lecture there’s a general meeting too. I hate to say it ,but I’m not much of a formal meeting girl, so I have to struggle to keep alive during this part. But after it’s over we get to tour the university’s Special Collections which ought to be fairly dazzling. I’m really jazzed to go, so today and tomorrow will be purposely low-key so that come Sunday my brain will be rocking and rolling.

Until then, maybe I can finally read about Flannery.


sundaymornancy said...

Wow, that Flannery bio looks intriguing!
And your Sunday sounds wonderful, right down to the Thoreau lecture.
As they sang on an episode of Seinfeld, "Get well! Get well soon, we want you to get well!"

tess said...

I did get to read some last night and the book IS good. Flannery was a strange woman, but what writer isn't? Including us I suppose!

I don't recall the Get Well song from Seinfeld -- may have to track that one down today. At any rate, you need as much as I do!

sundaymornancy said...

Yes, Flannery had me way back in college. Her short story "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" blew me away -- pun intended.
And anyone who titles a short story "Everything That Rises Must Converge" has my attention and admiration.

tess said...

You will have to read this, as it shows how she came by these strange tales. The interesting thing is she hardly went anywhere because she had lupus at a young age and died at 39. Her knowledge of huge chunks of life was sketchy at best and yet -- look at the results!

sundaymornancy said...

I love reading the story behind the story and Flannery certainly had a unique place from which to view the Southern perspective.
I want to borrow the book after you are finished. The only thing long winter nights are good for is reading.

tess said...

You can indeed have the book when I'm done. This one I actually broke down and bought -- mostly I read from the library and buy only collectible books. But you know that!

Dandychief said...

Hope you were feeling well enough to enjoy your Sunday outing. I am looking forward to hearing about it. The Thoreau tidbit was interesting.

tess said...

I was fine (sort of), thank you, and I did enjoy it.The funny thing is you posted this within minutes of me posting the new blog about it!

Thanks for chiming in -- it's always nice to hear a new voice.