she who keeps this diary

23 July 2004 - 10:00 AM


Last night, because there was a storm system moving through, I had a stupid little sinus headache. It didn't even have the decency to be a crippling headache, something which would give me an excuse to lie down with a cold compress on my brow. Just a nagging ache over my left eye. Annoying.

So I stomped around the kitchen after I got home, trying to clear up the odds and ends of mail and get something started for dinner, all the while grumpy because I had a stupid little headache that wouldn't go away. The Viking got home shortly after I did. His usual habit when he comes home from work is to figure out where in the house I am and come get a hug and a kiss. Frequently this is prefaced by, 'I have something for you' (meaning the hug and kiss).

Yesterday, there was the hug and kiss, of course, but also another thing. He'd stopped on his way home and bought me a new Jimmy Buffett CD. No special reason, he just knew I liked Jimmy Buffett and hadn't gotten the most recent album for myself yet.

I never particularly thought of myself as a Buffett fan before I was in my mid twenties. I'd heard his music, I'd liked some of it, but a Parrothead? No.

Then I went to graduate school, and spent a lot of time with my brain in fifth gear. At one point during the PhD work, I was down in the muniments room of the university library, pursuing a theological passage in the chronicle I was working on. I'd tracked the origins of said passage to Aquinas' Quaestiones quodlibetales, and I was trying to work out the precise citation. This meant, essentially, reading the whole of the Quaestiones in Latin.

In those days, when I was reading Latin on something like a daily basis, this was not so arduous a task as it sounds, and Aquinas' Latin is relatively straightforward. Nevertheless, it's hard not to get tangled up in the subtleties of his theology, and this can be a strain on the mind, even a relatively well-tuned mind accustomed to operating in fifth gear. So, there I was, trying to read something like this:

Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod cum dicitur: si homo vult currere, potest currere; antecedens est possibile, et ideo consequens est simpliciter possibile; sed cum dicitur sic: si Deus vult peccare, potest peccare; antecedens est impossibile; unde nihil prohibet conditionalem esse veram, consequente existente impossibili.
Corpus Thomisticum: Sancti Thomae de Aquino Textum. Taurini 1956 editum ac automato translatum a Roberto Busa SJ in taenias magneticas denuo recognovit Enrique Alarcón atque instruxit

And my brain kicked over and starting playing this:

I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes

I stopped. I blinked. I shook my head, trying to work out just where 'Cheeseburger in Paradise' had come from. I went back to the Quaestiones.

Heaven on earth with an onion slice
Not too particular not too precise

This pattern repeated a couple of times before I recognised what was going on. My brain was telling me I needed a break. Ideally one with sun and a margarita, but it was about 11 am on a weekday morning in St Andrews, probably in February or March. Neither sun nor margaritas were available. Even cheeseburgers were in short supply. I told the Keeper I'd be back after lunch, and went off to make do with coffee and scones.

Time passes, things change. Last night, I popped the new CD into the player and thought about how much I miss warm cheese scones with apricot jam and having opportunities to shift my brain into fifth gear.

verso - recto

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