Monday, June 21, 2010

when you don't want to sleep, do a cryptic crossword

June 21 2010
Very late night
Miki & Aaron's place
Ann Arbor

Everyone else has long gone to bed but I am determined to squeeze every last drop from my rest day. At midnight we were eating baked potatoes and Miki and I got very close to completing this cryptic crossword after struggling with it for over an hour:

Those in the know know that this shit ain't easy. When we're raised on word puzzles, we learn to master new schemes and schematics in just a short amount of time: word finds, jumbles, scrabbles, crosswords. But the cryptic crosswords are the kind of thing you really don't ever master, I've decided. Most of the time you just sit there baffled by the clues in front of you. If you ever DO complete one successfully, it's usually sheer luck you can thank and not your own hapless skills. Cryptic crossword mastery is an unattainable.

A few other diagrams to help draw the analogy out:

Dubliners -> A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man -> Ulysses
Unattainable: Finnegan's Wake

Teaching yourself drums -> marimba -> piano -> guitar
Unattainable: harp

If you have others to add, feel free to do so.

Today was a good day. Kept getting better health-wise, kept churning through my work and finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, kept finding spaces to grin in. Aaron's show, Exile & Utopia, was brilliant. The book posters came in today and look wonderful. I'm trying to wrap up all that positive energy and let it carry me through the day tomorrow, which will promise many errands, logistical hurdles, reunions, first meetings, a march, and a new place to stay in Detroit. And that's just the start of a very long 5-day expanse.

For now, though, it's far too late and I'm hitting the hay. Outside there's a lightning parade; inside, oscillating fan whir. Tuesday will bring with it a new sound, and I don't have any idea as to what it will be. I'm just going to listen.

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