Which is to say, no particular news, no particular brain.
Had a nice story reading on Saturday; various good things were read. I was particularly intrigued by Arthur's reading of several bits from The Emperor, by Ryszard Kapuscinski; it sounded like political satire, like something Calvino or Borges might have written about the all-powerful emperor of an imaginary realm who's kept completely isolated from reality by his advisors. Only it turns out to be a work of nonfiction; Kapuscinski was a well-regarded Polish journalist who went to Ethiopia days after the coup that ousted Haile Selassie from his throne, and interviewed a wide range of people who'd been connected to the emperor in one way or another. Of course, Poland was itself run by a totalitarian government at the time, so Kapuscinski clearly had some subtext going on. It was interesting as journalism, but even more interesting in the transformation it underwent in my head when Arthur told us, after reading it to us, that it wasn't fiction.
Other cool and/or unusual things were read by other folks, but I'm having a hard time remembering any titles or authors. (A funny story read by Jim about a father dealing with the death of a hated family dog; an interesting piece read by Kathleen in which the only vowel used was the letter A; plenty of other stuff.) I ended up reading "Clear Glass Marbles"; I was hesitant about doing so, 'cause about half the people present have been coming to story readings for years and might well have been there the last time I read this, and one of them performed a different segment of "Talking With . . ." when we put it on at Swarthmore so she had heard the piece many times. But I decided to go ahead with it anyway, in honor of the various friends' mothers who've died in the past year. I think it worked pretty well. Though not long after I started reading, one of the friends in question arrived at my house, so I had to pause and take him aside and check with him that it wasn't going to distress him too much.
Sunday I read submissions and napped and coughed and sneezed, and in the evening Jim and I had dinner with Arthur and Pam. Today's a work holiday, so more hanging out with Jim, and more napping, and more submission-reading, and some editing, and games with one of Jim's friends in the evening. Tomorrow morning, back to work, starting off the day and the work week by interviewing someone.
On the sleep front, after three nights of Ambien, decided not to use it last night; I don't want to get dependent on it. Took quite a while to fall asleep, but finally did. Hoping to not need the Ambien again, but it's comforting to know it's there if I do.
But it would be even more comforting to stop being sick. I can almost imagine that that could happen some distant far-off day, when the streets are paved with gold and pigs skim through the air in all their feathered glory.