So today I'm annotating my children's sf/f list with descriptions of the stories...I decided the list had gotten big enough that it would be difficult for people to decide where to start. The revised version is now up. I also added a pointer to the online writer's workshop -- I get a lot of mail from people wanting crits, and I just don't have the time -- this is a great place to get that desperately needed commentary.
The weather today is beautiful -- cool and rainy. If you've been reading this diary, you'll already know how much I love that kind of weather. Last night another mathematician came by to work with Kevin on a lecture, so I decided to get out of their way and leave the apartment a bit quieter. Jason and I wandered around visiting various coffeeshops (we recommend Macam's and Crimson Moon) and walking in the light rain. It cleared up towards the end of the evening, and if I (and he) hadn't had to go to work in the morning, we could have easily walked in the crisp, clear air for hours more. It was one of those long, meandering discussions, spiced with gossip and politics and philosophy -- one of the things I miss most about college was how frequent those conversations were (though perhaps we took ourselves a bit too seriously then).
Polenta with basil and tomatoes last night; vegetable sushi tonight, I think. I have to remember to stop by 16th and Spruce and pick up pickled ginger. Working hard, weather is good, I'm happy and all's well with the world. :-) Hope the same is true of all of you...
12:45 -- I picked up a copy of the New Yorker to take to lunch with me (the fun of working in a doctor's office -- lots of magazines around), and stumbled onto a fun article about the Bloomsbury group, focusing on Vanessa Bell (New Yorker, June 5, 1995, "A House of One's Own"). I'm still in the midst of it, but enjoying it immensely. Their lives remind me of my own, though so far I've been much more fortunate -- the people I love are still around (though some are much too far away). So many of the Bloomsbury group (and its related people) died young.
It made me think (once again) of how tremendously important old lovers (and loves) have stayed in my life. Somehow the experience of having loved someone (even if you no longer do) seems to...hmm....I can't think of a better way of saying it than Vanessa did, so I'll just quote:
"finding for the first time someone whose opinion one cared for, who sympathised with and encouraged one, you know I really was in love with you and felt very intimate with you, and it is one of the most exciting things one can do to get to know another person really well. One can only do so, I think, if one's in love with them, even though it may be true that one's also then deluded about them -- as I daresay you were about me. But I really loved and admired your character and I still do and I expect that having been in love with you will always make me have a different feeling about you from what I could have had otherwise, in spite of all the difficulties that have happened since."
It's not just about sex, of course, though sex does accelerate intimacy among other things. But sometimes I think I've been most deeply in love with people whom I not only never had sex with, but whom I never really wanted to have sex with. You know? There are just some people (kindred spirits, as Anne of Green Gables says) with whom you realize when you meet them that your life would have been so much poorer without them, and theirs without you...people whose minds/hearts set off sparks with your own.
I once read someone saying that who you are is defined by who you love. Part of the truth, at any rate.
1:00 - quiet day at the office, so you're getting a very long entry today. Consider it payment in advance for Friday - Monday when I'll be gone. I was just skimming misc.writing, and happened onto a discussion of the disadvantages of going into a profession you don't love (especially the ones with large monetary compensations, which make it easy to become accustomed to a lifestyle that is difficult to leave). This is something my parents are having trouble understanding (immigrants who worked hard and succeeded and desperately want their oldest daughter to have a more secure profession). But when the I'm writing well, there is nothing in this world that compares to that feeling. (We won't talk about what it feels like when it's going badly...) As someone said on the newsgroup, "better a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith."