Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

The temperature cycling has begun

The cycling has begun. I’m talking about temperature cycling, a feature of my wonderful apartment. Here’s how it works. It’s colder than hell out, or at least cold enough that being indoors is a better option than being outside. But it’s not snowing or anything – we’re talking maybe 47 and pissing rain. Normally, I’d run my heater a little and keep my room at a nice, cozy temp. The problem is that I live on the top floor of the building. And the assholes below me have their heat on the “solder” setting. And heat rises. So without my heat on, my apartment is about 115 degrees. This means I need to open all of my windows and let my apartment cool down to 47 degrees. And when I close them up again, my apartment is at an ideal temperature for about 3 minutes. Repeat this over and over and over until you feel a great need to buy a firearm and hunt down other people in the building like wild game in the forest.

I spent some time with my friend Virginia, at her incredible top of Queen Anne house, talking about some short stories of her. For a long period of time, she swore she would not be a writer anymore, and stayed heads-down at her day job. It’s good to see her mad at work on a bunch of stories and sending them out. I wish I would’ve brought bits of Summer Rain for her to read. And I wish I could spend more time talking shop with her or talking about anything, really. I think I can count the people in Seattle I’ll miss on one hand, and she’s probably the first on the list.

My day otherwise has been so off-center and odd. Not sleeping (due to the temp. cycling, mostly) threw me off majorly. But I saw the new taco (“El Taco”) at 7-11, which was not exactly as memorable as hearing about JFK or the space shuttle, but now Ray has another reason to drag me there at 3 in the morning. In a city as dead as Elkhart, 7-11 is the nocturnal person’s mecca.

I packed a bunch of stuff tonight. After my Monday drop-off(s) at UPS, the apartment will really start looking bare. Many books are now gone – most bookcases are in the trash, and about 7 big boxes are stacked against that half-wall. Plus, I got rid of another little shelf, and my last two bookcases are down to about 70% capacity. A few more boxes, and all of my books will be on the way. I’m also working on clearing out closets, and that’s more done than not. My next big, messy project will be sorting through CDs and tapes. I want to ship ahead anything I won’t need, and drive with about half of my discs in the trunk. I also need to get stuff recorded onto MD. I have a 45-cassette holder which I will fill with longer stuff, spoken word and whatnot, and that will be the backup to the 80-some MDs I will have pre-recorded. I’m glad I’ll be home all day during the week to figure this shit out.

It’s two and I feel like I’ve been running all day. I’m going to finish recording an MD and then get some shuteye.