Heidi ho

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Two very persuasive reasons should be preventing me from writing this now. In order of compulsion:

Reason 1, compelling: I am going out of town this weekend. The catsitter would surely appreciate a sparkling clean toilet, and I’m sure he’d prefer the carpet to be vacuumed, and while he’s probably not going to care much about the kitchen, it would still be a nice touch to clean up in there a bit.

Reason 2, incredibly compelling: A colleague has loaned me an Advance Reader Copy of the latest Kate Atkinson novel. And it is not just a Kate Atkinson novel; it is a Kate Atkinson novel featuring Jackson Brodie. Jackson Brodie is my favorite tough-guy investigator since Cliff Janeway opened his used bookstore in John Dunning’s mystery series. Kate Atkinson is marvelous and funny and unusual and unpredictable. Though I have devoted a great deal of my professional energies to describing books, I am unable to describe Atkinson’s novels. That is the problem with indescribable writers. As with K. J. Parker, all I can do is throw my hands in the air, acknowledge that I am incapable of explaining why she’s worth reading, and then beg people to read her anyway.

I am halfway through this latest Atkinson novel, Started Early, Took My Dog. I fully intend to finish the remaining half this evening, but first I will dutifully write this blog post, partly because I won’t be doing so this weekend, and partly because I want to try a soft pitch on my latest get-rich-quick scheme.

At work today, to see if the color printing option on the staff printer had been fixed, I sent a test job to the printer. I chose to print a picture of Heidi, a cross-eyed opossum who lives in Germany:


For the rest of the day, whenever I had a difficult interaction, I would steal a glance over at Heidi. She cheered me up each time. It was like magic. I don’t know if the Heidi cure will be sustainable, but if it proves to be effective over the course of time, I will share the knowledge with employees everywhere, although “share” is really not the right word here. If this works, I will turn a profit off of Heidi. I hope she’s not trademarked.

I stayed up far too late last night, and I still have vacuuming and laundry and litter-box cleaning and reading to worry about tonight. Not that I’m worried about the reading. That, at least, will get finished, though the other items on my list are looking less likely. But at least now I can cross off “Write something on your blog, fergodssake” from my To Do list. The quality and length of the text are dubious at best, but the possum picture compensates for the rest of the shortcomings here. Just, please, don’t anyone steal my business idea, okay? Thanks.

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9 responses »

  1. I've read only one KJ Parker book, The Hammer (brand new, I got it for review) and liked it, but I can't say why. I'd like to read some of Parker's others – what do you suggest?

    Reply
  2. For a standalone novel, The Folding Knife. It is possibly the bleakest book I've ever read. And the Engineer trilogy is outstanding, starting with Devices and Desires.

    Reply
  3. I have Devices and Desires on my Kindle, I'll move it up in the to read group

    Reply
  4. I have pre-ordered the Atkinson novel from Amazon. I really like her too. And I love Heidi, the vision-impaired possum. Generally I loathe possums–snarly creatures–but I make an exception here.

    Reply
  5. First glance when I loaded your page, I thought the picture was of your new hair-cut. Phew! My mind boggled for a minute or two there.

    Reply
  6. eleemosynary archivist

    OK, perhaps I've missed a segue somewhere. Heidi,allegedly now ensconced at the Zoo in Leipzig eating a high fiber diet, was "abandoned in North Carolina"??? Where DO you go on these out-of-town weekends????EA/tgb

    Reply
  7. bta: Hairdresser Jeff is talented, but even he could not make me look that cute.

    Reply
  8. e. archivist: it is true that my out-of-town weekends take me to North Carolina, but I had nothing to do with Heidi's abandonment.

    Reply
  9. The possums around here can't even cross the road. HOW did they cross the Atlantic?There is no punch line. That is all.

    Reply

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