Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Xmas in October

It’s October 5th, 59 degrees outside, and I’m listening to holiday music already. (“Christmas” music to you non-atheists.) I don’t know why, but it’s chilly enough in here that one of the Windham Hill winter’s solstice albums seemed apropos. I really love listening to one of these albums when there’s a foot of snow on the ground and it’s a Saturday and I don’t really have to go anywhere. Today, all of the leaves are bright green and still on the trees, so I’ve got a ways to go before then.

I haven’t done much today, and haven’t left the house, with the tail end of this cold in my system. I didn’t really feel like stressing myself out by rolling out of bed early and climbing onto the petri dish train to get into the city. So I’ve been spending the afternoon ripping a round of CDs for the iPod. I keep running into CDs that will not rip on my CD/burner combo. Some eventually work on my old CD drive, but at a painfully slow rate (sometimes less than 1x.) And no, these aren’t CDs with any of the new, hare-brained copyright protection schemes; these are discs I’ve had in my collection for 10 years or more. It might be that the burner is an el-cheapo generic house brand, though.

I’ve been reading Gray’s Anatomy pretty much constantly all weekend. (The link goes to a fairly cool online version, but I have the half-foot thick paper rendition put out by Barnes and Noble, which works better in bed.) Every once in a while, I start to wonder stuff like “what is a gallbladder, and how can you live without one” or “how exactly is blood and urine exchanged in utero with a fetus?” I mean, I know there is an umbilical cord, but where does it go? It’s not like there’s an umbilical cord hookup jack inside of the uterus, like an RV sewer hookup at a trailer park. So whenever I get on one of these kicks, I spend hours going over the pages, trying to cut apart the latin doctor-speak and figure out what goes where. It’s the same sort of instinct that makes me read a road atlas for hours, except instead of knowing where I’m going or what’s around me, I sometimes like to know what I am, at least in the anatomical sense.

I’m slowly trying to re-order some of the books in the house, which is sort of a joke project, because there are enough of them and there’s no space for all of them, and many books are filed by size instead of any sort of subject matter system, because my shelves are of various heights. I don’t know, I have this book called At Home With Books, I think, and it has a house where the library, which is at least ten times bigger than mine, is sorted BY COLOR. So I guess my quest to get all of my travel books in one place isn’t as much of a windmill as that.

OK, I think a trip to the grocery store is in order.