The pictures on AmericanRobin's blog are making me miss Africa like a madwoman. I know it's unfeasible, if not even ungainly to miss an entire continent-- what address do you put down for cards? -- but it's happened to me before with Asia. And Europe. And North America. I've never been to South America or Oceania, alas, so cannot miss them. And before I get yelled at for making vast generalisations, I should point out that what I mean by missing a continent is that I actually just miss the sense of things that are associated with my various memories from said continent. So, with Africa I actually just miss Madagascar, Nosy Be specifically, with a pinch of a safari in Kenya and a tour of the pyramids in Egypt thrown in. I miss the sun beating down on you so that you can feel it burning through your hair. I miss snorkelling with a t-shirt on in order to avoid getting burned. I miss lunchtime siestas. I miss running on the beach early in the morning. I miss the Sundays where everyone would gather on the beach and dance. I miss fish being cooked every possible way, and I miss learning to climb coconut trees to hack the top of the fruit off with a knife and drink the milk with a straw. I miss car and motorcycle trips into town on the bumpy roads where I can't decide whether to clench my teeth or leave my mouth open to avoid them chattering from the jolts. I miss the colours of tropical places... faded brights. I miss the fruit and I miss the lemurs that come in the window at breakfast time. I miss eating sweetened condensed milk on toast at breakfast time.
I'm also getting cabin fever-y about Boston itself. The weather's getting nicer, but I can't really take it. I need a new adventure. I'm also getting sick (or rather, i have a vaguely icky feeling in my throat and a painful neck gland, so my inner hypochondriac is kicking in) so i want nothing more than to curl up in a patch of sunshine and to be too hot. Enough of this cold business. I'm tired of hauling my comforter around the house like a safety blanket. I'm tired of my bed being gritty because there is grit on the floor because we track it inside with our shoes because there is snow and salt and mud outside and it gets inside because my roommates are afraid our shoes will be stolen if we employ a shoes-off rule for the house. I'm not mad about it, it's just dirty and I'm too lazy to sweep. But I can't take the grit in the sheets anymore.
So tonight is going to be Cleaning Extravaganza 2005, hopefully. I have big plans to come straight home from work, pausing briefly to deposit my paycheck and get $20, and then to clean as though possessed by the devil. There will be laundry done (I'm finally going to do something about the fact that I have a ginormous mound and a suitcase full of it!!!) There will be changing of sheets. There will be unpacking of boxes. There will be folding of clothes. There will be clandestine sneaking of more clothes into the hall closet. Then, there will be a break to watch the OC. And possibly the Apprentice, as they have to come in sequence. Then, there will be bathing of myself (!!) and reading of Madame Bovary. Or possibly The Gift. And then there will be sleep, fulfilled in the knowledge that the boy can come over tomorrow night and be surprised at how not-nasty I can be, when inspired.
The problem with reading several books at once is when you get to really exciting places in both, and then are flustered and confused about what to do. Madame Bovary for some reason has taken me several years to finish... it keeps being advanced and then put down for some more exciting book. However, now I'm really into it. It's sitting on my desk, just barely within the range of my peripheral vision and is calling out to me, in a faint but adorable accent, to come and read it. The Gift suffers from a similar fate. It was put down for a while in favour of Rasputin: the Saint who Sinned, which is an interesting account of Rasputin's life. I'd like to read some other information on him before passing judgement on whether or not the account was accurate or biased towards anything, but I would recommend it.
But anyway, put-down aside, The Gift is good. I personally am in love love love with Nabokov, and would bear his children if only I could resurrect him (while keeping Vera buried.) I had a goal to read all of his books by the end of this year and failed miserably, because I got caught on other literary tangents, but I have made it through Pnin, Ada or Ardour, Pale Fire, The Enchanter (precursor novella to Lolita, in a way, but without the elements in the main character that make Humbert Humbert sympathetic, and a younger girl), and Speak, Memory. I read Lolita for the first time years ago and fell in love with his use of language. He is a beautiful, beautiful writer. I recently heard him described as "Some people will be turned off by the fact that he writes as though he is smarter than you. He is, by the way." I. LOVE. HIM. Love him. Ada convinced me that a person with pretensions to education absolutely MUST know English, French and Russian, so... I'm learning Russian. Not only for his sainted memory, but because I know that he is correct. Ach. Love him. (Side note: Ada is a book that is almost scarily good, in my humble opinion, at least. Read it. Now.)