Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back To School

Status Update:  back to the usual brew instead of the swill you often find when globe-trotting. This is a definite relief. A man can live on Starbucks, but only just barely. No writing has been done this week, since no laptop was brought on vacation with me. Probably going to be another short one this weekend as I get my feet back beneath me.

It's always interesting how early life shapes your adulthood. That feeling you'd get when September rolled around, when you'd step out to the curb in the crisp fall air and wait for the bus, clutching a new backpack full of pencils and paper, crayons and whatever else the parental gods deemed necessary to get you through the day. The air would be filled with electricity as you wondered how your friends had changed, worried about how much more challenging the year's work would be. Whether or not your new pair of sneakers were cool enough to pass inspection or if people would be sufficiently impressed by your Batman Underoos.

That's what it feels like this morning, after a week of vacation. Of course, the primary difference is that summer vacation wasn't seven days long and full of brewery-crawling. In most households, presumably. Details, details.

Still, it's good to be back. That's the value of longish vacations. It's like a reset button for your life or the equivalent of pulling the rugs on a sunny afternoon and beating the dust out of them, letting the wind take care of all the dirt and crud and mustiness. The best vacations are the ones that overstay their welcome a bit. The ones where you get to the last day, hang your hat, give a little sigh and go to bed early, a little excited to get back to the grind.

My vacation-book this time was "The Secret Life Of Pronouns," which was something of a departure. I usually go for fiction of some sort when I'm traveling, something with Heroic Duels Between The Forces Of Good And Evil, wizards, werewolves, bodice-ripping and ribald behavior. Instead, I got a fairly chatty account of a linguistic professor who's devoted his life to statistical analysis of word usage. Interesting, but I never did get the urge to fist-pump or hoot out loud at any of the plot developments. But there's still time yet as I haven't finished it. There's probably a fight scene near the end between a demon and an army of unicorns.

I've only made it to the midway point, so I don't really have enough hooks into it to give it a proper review as of yet. It's one of those books which nestles somewhere between the territories of pop-science, actual-science, language and entertainment, so I'm withholding judgement until I can mull it over for a bit. Sometimes the best parts of books like these aren't the books at all, but the connections you make mentally afterwards as everything sifts together in your head.

I can say, however, that it's making me extremely self conscious of my word choice this morning, which is, I suppose, the point. More on this later as I grind through the rest of the book.

Usually, when I go for nonfiction, I tend to drift towards history, economics/finance or science, instead of the psychology or linguistics end of the reading spectrum. Periodically, I have to shake things up and read something different, because otherwise, what's the point?

No comments:

Post a Comment