Remember the shortest route math problem from high school? I haven’t thought about this concept for a very long time until now. It seems that every day the price is going up. Today, the gas is $4.35, up 40 cents from just two days ago when I filled my tank at $3.95. Now do we need to map out the shortest route?
Obviously for this weekend, there’s no need for the shortest route calculation since it is impossible for running errands–another snow storm is coming. Wish this is the last one of the season.
And as I was driving, I wondered what I can post and there are several ideas.
- I am trying to improve my writing style, but can’t achieve it. I like the style of the stories, like “Heartburn”–my favorite, “The Man Who Liked Dickens”. However I am not able to reproduce their styles in my own writing. Is this because I am a non-native speaker? Well, I am thinking of writing a story “The Woman Who Likes Orwell.” So it is about a bandit who kidnaps tourists and asks for ransom money. The bandit’s leader is a woman who likes Orwell and dislikes Dickens. So she captures a writer on vacation and is happy to listen to the writer’s reading of Orwell’s work. I am still thinking about the ending–should it be a happy ending or a bloody one?
- I thought about something happened long time ago that really puzzled me. We went to a dinner gathering at a friend’s place. He just got married and his wife is somebody we had never met before. After dinner, we sat around talking. And the newlywed talked about the bird they just bought from the pet store. Probably a canary–I can’t remember which bird now. They showed us the bird in the little cage. And the couple said (I think it is the bride who said this) that they were planning to buy a female bird to be the wife since the bird was unhappy and lonely right now. I almost laughed since the bird was unhappy because he was in a cage, not because he lacked a wife. However I couldn’t say this. Is the bird a metaphor of certain kind? I mean we’ve known the husband for a long time and he is a pretty intelligent mathematician. Why would the couple say something that’s obviously untrue since they obviously know why the bird is unhappy? It almost felt like a deliberate attempt at saying something dumb. Were they trying to see how people react to it? To test the politeness of the guests? Well, couples always amaze and puzzle me since their inner dynamics dominate their talks and behaviors to the degree that sometimes one can feel they live in their own psychological bubble.
- Another story I am thinking of is somebody who comes up with a very good idea when driving. However she can’t stop to write it down. When she comes back home, she can’t remember the idea anymore. So she thinks and thinks, to no avail. She just can’t remember. In desperation, she drives out again to repeat the route, wishing that it will bring back the memory, but still nothing. So she does something very dramatic and destructive…
- A story about a couple who argue about what should be cut due to the rising inflation.
- A story about a mother and a daughter. They have a long conversation to resolve an issue and the daughter wonders if she should bring up a family secret in order to gain the upper hand.