I did a wonderful reading in Iowa City! What a jewel of a bookstore Prairie Lights is. It was a really pleasant drive, as well. Five hours each way is actually quite a lot, except that I have been catching up with my favorite podcast, Saga Thing, and one of the more recent sagas nicely filled the entire drive.
Coffee is becoming increasingly hard to produce in my house. I came back from Iceland to find that my coffeemaker had broken. I ordered a replacement, but everyone is out of stock, so I’ll have to wait ’til March. No problem, said I: I have a Chemex and a good electric kettle and I’ll just pour over until then, and I’ll appreciate it just that much more when it shows up. Yesterday, I filled the kettle and put it on the front burner of my gas stove and turned the flame all the way up. Luckily I was in my living room when the alarm went off, because I rushed back into the kitchen to find the kettle burning(!) and drooling melted black plastic onto the burner, where it was also burning. Insert overcranked action sequence here, to get the burner off, the kettle away from the heat source, the flames out, and the fans on. There was no serious damage, though I spent half an hour scraping black plastic off the stovetop and counters. But that of course means there is no electric kettle in the house. And since my ATT fiber had been broken for two days, there was also no ordering a new one. So this morning, coffee was made by boiling water in a pot, transferring the water to a thermos, and then pouring from the thermos into a Chemex. It didn’t taste any different, but it did require about fifteen minutes of solid focus. And now, I will REALLY be grateful for the coffee machine when it comes. Or perhaps the universe is telling me to stop drinking coffee? No, that would be absurd.
Really, technology in general has been collapsing around me in recent months: broken garbage disposal, broken dishwasher, broken coffeemaker, broken washer, broken internet, broken laptop. I have been feeling much calmer and more collected than in previous years, so perhaps I am just offloading the anarchy onto my surroundings? I am really glad I hadn’t thought of this before I got on a bunch of planes.
Blanket Fort 2024 is a total success. There is something really delightful about a tiny space dedicated to frivolity and comfort. I plan to keep it up for the majority of this year as a retreat from the election cycle (if nothing else), though I also may decide I would like my living room back at some point. But that’s the great thing about blanket forts: you can always make another.
I am starting to get excited about Constellation in Nebraska, where I will be a guest of honor in April. I’ll be doing a reading right before, at Francie & Finch Bookshop. I am not familiar with them, but I adore independent booksellers (having been one) and I love to do readings at them.
Enough for now!