energy levels and minor annoyances

It’s really hard to read news articles about the accident. I know it’s going to get easier eventually, but it just makes me shudder every time I see or read another one. And also, every story I read has a different account of who exactly was wearing seat belts. The parents have told us that all their girls wore seat belts, all the time, and I believe them. I can’t wait ’till we get the accident report so we will know an official account of what happened.

Ginny’s not getting moved to the inpatient rehab today because it takes them forever to get anything done at that hospital. I do think it’s a legitimate issue of bed space – someone has to clear out before she can move in – but it feels like a constant waiting game. We never know when something’s going to happen. She’s still in good spirits though, and jokes that the flowers in her room are getting out of hand. We actually had to bring a couple of the larger dish gardens home, and still every surface in her room is covered in flowers. It’s kind of nice how it brightens up the room.

I went to the hospital and watched American Idol with her last night (Hey Cookie, my coworker says that PenBoi looks like a leprechaun) and stayed until she fell asleep, and then I came home and went straight to bed myself. I haven’t worked out since last Monday and I can really feel its impact on my energy levels. I need to get my ass on the treadmill or force my way through a half-hour of kickboxing, but I just feel completely exhausted, like if I put my head down on the desk right now I would go right to sleep. I think I may take Friday off to catch up on some sleep, but if I do that I’ll get further behind in my work. It’s a big question – do I take care of my professional responsibilities or my health? How can I take another day off when I was off all last week?

There’s a store in town that I pass sometimes called “Asian Grocery and 99 Cent Store.” I just wanted to share that with you all.

So yeah, that about sums it up at the moment. I’m tired. And we haven’t been to the grocery store since last Sunday, before the wreck, which is supremely odd for our family of six. Usually someone has to stop for bread and milk and Diet Coke almost daily. But people have given us so much food that we haven’t really needed to shop, which is good because we keep forgetting.

Oh, and I finished Bee Season last night. Yay for waiting rooms and tons of free time, in a way, because I’ve gotten through two and a half books in the last ten days. That’s awesome. Anyway. Bee Season kind of annoyed me. Myla Goldberg has this weird way of constructing some of her sentences, and does it at least once in every paragraph, it seems. It’s kind of like this:

Eliza watches her mother, thinks about the dog she saw outside, takes a deep breath.

He waits for the bus, climbs on board, finds his seat.

She feels the new leather, wonders how it can be so soft, smells its buttery scent.

These aren’t taken directly from the book because I don’t have it with me, but they’re pretty close.

For some reason my brain isn’t alert enough to tell me exactly what’s wrong with writing that way, but I know something must be off about it because it’s standing out to me and making me annoyed when I see it. And seriously, people, she does it all the time. It seems affected somehow, like something she’s developed to call her “style.” Writer people, help me out. Why does it bug me so much?

Maybe because I’m tired.

8 Replies to “energy levels and minor annoyances”

  1. Phrase, phrase, phrase. Present tense with no “and” before the last one? I'm a computer science major. English isn't my thing. Just a shot.

  2. I was an English person at one time, and I think your thing is that she writes like someone would describe something. It is annoying in that it is not traditional writing but more like a stream of consciousness phrase repetition. She wants to describe the entire scene to you in one sentence instead of using a whole paragraph of fluff, although her sentence becomes fluff, sometimes almost to the point of being inconsequential. She wants the reader to feel all the senses of each thing, the feel, smell, look of the leather. Sh wants as much description as possible in as small a place as possible. It is definitely her trying to be an individual but trying to be a “senses” writer at the same time. She is trying to be a Maya Angelou/Faulkner. A person who is very verbose, but in the shortest way possible, almost a walking oxymoron, but one that works.

  3. PS- I have avoided commenting up to this point because everyone was doing it, but I have been following Ginny's story in the paper, and here, and please let her know how sorry I am that she must go through something like this, and that I am pulling for her. Funny part- Don told me about her new car, apparently he saw it at western the day she got it, and was commenting on it to me, and I told him what happened, he hadn't heard. Your family is in both of our thoughts.

  4. well, she's clearly abusing the comma and, because commas illuminate grammar and manage things like rhythm, tone and flow you're apt to take notice of every one. Thing is, this, and most comma usage (in a well-constructed sentence) is about style. All she's doing, really, is controlling your flow. She's being heavy-handed to convey to you that each action is import and intertwined. (…and so, she eschews the use of a period.) In the first example an “and” is felt to be missing before, “takes a deep breath”. Really she's just using two differnt styles here but it's incorrect to list that way. I imagine the next two are yours and without, at the very least, context, (much less actual lines) it's hard to go into those two.
    When you suddenly stop working out – esp. due to stress – your body stops Being tired and just starts to Feel tired. …all day. You know all about that but you know how to fix it; good luck.

  5. The sentence structure almost reminds me of wave patterns, intended to lull it's reader into a waltz-like mental cycle (1-2-3, 1-2-3,…) of rise, plateau, fall. Yes, the 'and' is missing.

    Keep drinking your water, take brisk strolls when you can, and enjoy a warm glass of milk before bed (seriously, its a natural source of tryptophan; that's one reason babies sleep so well after being breastfed, besides the close contact with mother).

  6. it irritates you because she is cramming too many senses into one experience. someone, somewhere along the line probably told her that characters must experience the world they are in with the same senses we have. but she goes through it like a grocery list. e.g. “john felt the elephant, looked at its skin's pebbly texture, listened to its lungs pull in gulps of air.” it doesn't work. it makes for stilted reading. we need to experience one sense at a time when we read. when we get jostled from sense to sense, we never appreciate any one description. at least, that's the first answer that comes to mind.

  7. All of the above, but I think the biggest annoyance is probably the frequency. Occasionally, something like that has impact; it's done for a reason. But you said she does it ALL THE TIME. That's not style any longer, that IS just plain distracting and annoying!

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