report from hermitpalooza 2011.

My three days of no internet & no phone were an unqualified success. It felt very peaceful and purposeful, and seems to have given my neck knot time to heal. Apparently that’s from the way I sit at the computer, not from the way I sit when I work. The more you know…

As it turned out, I did end up spending most of the time hermitted in my apartment. On Friday I slept sinfully late and spent most of the rest of the day rereading Ender’s Game. It’s still brilliant and painful. I cleaned the already mostly clean kitchen and watched something vague on TV while I tidied up my workspace. My parents called, and I answered. Because I am not a monster.

Saturday, I made a quick run to the grocery store and then made sourdough bread and a triple batch of pickled red onions. Oh, vinegar and sugary, peppery spice! Four days later, the house still smells faintly of brine when I come in from outside. I made a list of all the things I want to get done this summer. I separated it into things that required the internet, and things that could be started right away. I got several of the non-internet things done, pulled books for an ambitious summer reading/rereading list, and then started reading Geek Love. Dysfunctional carnival family rabbit hole, meet Kateri.

Sunday morning, I lingered over coffee and Geek Love, took lots and lots and lots of new product photographs, and then did the rest of the short-term non-internet projects. I gathered information I might need later for the internet projects and redid my list, along with a rough calendar for the next six weeks. I went back to Geek Love, and finished it Sunday evening over a beautiful sushi dinner. (It’s an incredible book. The writing is wonderful, and the scope of the misery is operatic. I didn’t like any of the characters, with the exception of one peripheral character. Some of them were sympathetic, and many of them were occasionally lovable, but they were all fundamentally unlikable. I think that’s a major achievement: a perfectly paced novel of unmitigated misery and dysfunction that’s thoroughly enjoyable and compelling.)

My three days were delightful, and a reminder of how much I can accomplish without feeling rushed, and still have hours and hours to devote to reading. It’s not possible or desirable to live that way all the time, but it’s a good short-term habit for me. I ended up resolving to take one day a week off from phone and internet for the rest of the summer. Sundays, probably. It’s much harder to do that during the school year, when I need the whole weekend to run the business that I neglect during the week. I’ll just try to soak up my focus and silence while I can get it this summer.

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One thought on “report from hermitpalooza 2011.

  1. Dennice {Fringe}

    Oh, how I love the little nuggets of information you share.

    For one thing, dividing the list into internet vs. non-internet. Egads, that’s brilliant! I’m all twitchy to get started rearranging my lists as such.

    Every Sunday, blackout. Again, what a wonderful idea. Maybe during the school year Saturday’s could be for internet, Sunday’s non-internet? Or if that’s too much, then maybe every other Sunday. It’s so important for you to get your time off…

    I’m also forever grateful for your reading lists/book reviews. You’re my what-to-read-next expert.

    Your new pieces in the shop are as beautiful and inspired as ever, dearest.


    P.S. Sorry for this disgracefully long comment. I’ll nip it in the bud next time.


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