A changing work schedule, the long period of sunlight, and an energetic kitten have combined to give me far too little sleep this week. I was in bed at 9:30 tonight to try to catch up on shuteye, but about 20 minutes ago I was suddenly wide awake for no good reason. It’s been a while since I had a serious bout with insomnia and I hope this isn’t the start of one. A growing lack of sleep is really debilitating and I rapidly get far more stupid than I should be.

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15 Books that Stick With You

What books have stuck with you? Not necessarily your best or favorite books on careful reflection, but when you think about books that have given you a lasting experience, what comes to mind right off, before looking up anything? Give yourself fifteen minutes. Here are mine

AristoiThe Lord of the Rings, Tolkien
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston
Beloved, Morrison
The Diamond Age, Stephenson
Elric of Melniboné, Moorcock
the Harper Hall books, McCaffrey
the first three Xanth books, Anthony. Yes, I am ashamed.
Aristoi, Williams
Perdido Street Station, Mieville
Gaudy Night, Sayers
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Rowling
The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Adams
Arrows of the Queen books, Lackey.
Good Omens, Gaiman and Pratchett

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I’m ripping CDs, consolidating files, and getting new music through Amazon to have a music collection that’s not just big, but organized. Now that everything’s backed up, I’m adding things back a bit at a time to make sure everything is properly tagged. (I’d love the superpower to tag mp3s correctly by, like, sticking an Ethernet cable under my tongue.) I’m adding some of my favorite music from every year to start things off. When picking a year to start off with, it didn’t take long to pick 1979. The bestselling albums of that year–Billy Joel’s 52nd Street, the BeeGees, the Cars, Supertramp–don’t particularly interest me. But oh, I love the music bubbling under the surface from that year. Talking Heads’ Fear of Music incorporated ringing guitars in songs like “I Zimbra,” “Life During Wartime,” and “Heaven.” On Drums and Wires, XTC began to forge their own clever, quirky sound from the hyperactive electropunk that had gone before. The Clash, already one of punk’s best acts, incorporated reggae, ska, and American styles on the double album London’s Calling. The Cure and the Specials came out with their first LPs in 1979. And Gang of Four released the bracing, challenging, even off-putting Entertainment!, the beginning of modern indie rock. There was plenty of great music before this, but 1979–the end of punk, disco, and maybe even “classic rock”–feels like the beginning of MY music.

Hey, it’s GOOD health news

That’s a change. Suri’s diabetes is coming more and more under control–her blood glucose levels are almost always between 125 and 140 after just a few months of treatment. Better yet, her heart rhythm is looking better. The blood pressure medication appears to be controlling her heart murmur well, and she’s back to a normal sinus rhythm. Why, it’s news good enough to make me want to write again!