Tuesday various

A puzzling Sunday

I went to sleep last night at a somewhat sensible hour, which is actually kind of rare. Many is the Saturday night that I’ve spent late-night capping, acting snarky towards informercials and Darren McGavin long into the wee hours. It’s all a bit zany — you know, a bit madcap, funster. Frankly I don’t fully understand it myself, but the kids seem to like it.

Today was a pretty quiet day. I worked on the Sunday New York Times crossword, which for a change I really disliked, thanks to a theme that seemed way too clever by half and ultimately just hurt my brain. Lots of people seemed to love it, however, and the puzzle’s constructor had sense of humor enough to retweet my negative comments. But I still didn’t enjoy the puzzle, which is ultimately something of a curate’s egg: inventive in its construction but headache-inducing in its execution.

Afterward, I joined my writing group for a little free-writing, then came back home to watch television with the dog. My parents drove out to Port Jefferson to see my aunt, who’s been in the hospital since yesterday with an irregular heartbeat. She’s feeling well, and has been moved from the critical care unit, but the underlying problem hasn’t yet been diagnosed and/or fixed. So we’re all hoping for the best.

Then for dinner, Chinese food: “The fortune you seek is in another cookie.” Talk about too clever by half.

And somehow that filled a Sunday. Time, I think, for bed.

Sunday comes round again

So today…

I read some Kaleidotrope submissions, while lounging in the backyard with my iPad. The weather was just too nice to stay indoors all day, and that slush pile isn’t getting any smaller. I’m usually pretty good about responding to submissions within a couple of months, three at the outset, but I do still have some stories sitting in my in-box from February and March that need to be answered. That need to be read.

I watched this week’s Doctor Who Confidential. Because sometimes you just want to peek under the hood and see how these things work.

I got a propane tank refilled — or, rather, swapped out an empty tank for a new one — at the local Home Depot.

I went for a short walk. Along the way, I listened to this week’s episode of Studio 360, which was really terrific — Martha Plimpton’s Springsteen cover and Josh Ritter especially — but which made me sorry all over again that I hadn’t managed to get tickets to the live taping in Manhattan last week. I’ve been to the Jerome L. Greene Space before, for a live taping of the Sound of Young America — a taping that’s now available on DVD, as it happens — and it’s a really nice intimate venue. The show sounded great on my headphones, but I suspect it was even better in person.

I plodded away at the New York Times Sunday crossword, this week back on paper, since the slightly weird formatting of the themed answers made it impossible for them to offer the puzzle online (and through their iPad app). I’m not sure I like that theme, though I’ll admit it’s a clever structural trick. In the end, I think I find it simply more aggravating than anything.

I mowed the back lawn.

And that’s about it. Time, I think, for bed.