It's currently 4:22 a.m., and I've been up since 3 a.m. Why, you ask? Obnoxious mosquito bites that woke me up. I'm mildly allergic, and can't sleep if I have bad bites. Took some Benadryl and am getting very sleepy. I'll write as long as I can before I fall over.
What have I been doing since 3? Well, I added some more commentary on "Diana" to the stories page. It's fasciating, getting these in-depth responses. More are definitely welcome -- "Chantal", for example, is ethically somewhat problematic.
I also dealt with some e-mail, but I'm a bit far behind. Haven't done much work this weekend -- just logged on to deal with emergencies and flagged the rest.
What *did* I do this weekend? Well, let's start with Friday. Friday I did not finish all my work before David arrived. I haven't finished it yet, in fact. (Not that it's ever really finished). (random thought -- I'm currently drinking tea with caffeine. How will this interact with the Benadryl? Will I be tired? Tired and wired? Will the Benadryl win?)
David did arrive, very exhausted from travelling and a bit irritable. (He's doing much better now). I honestly can't remember what we did that day. Talked until way too late, but it was very good to catch up with him. I mentioned he's planning on moving to the area, right? I think the Lake Merritt area is appealing to him -- reasonable rents, a pretty lake, not too grungy a neighborhood, near the awesome Grand Lake theatre and some nice cafes.
Saturday we spent part of the day in Berkeley, picking up Indian groceries (if anyone knows a *cheap* place to get this stuff around here, please let me know. The place I've been going to is exorbitant, IMHO. $11 for a 10-pound bag of basmati? $3.50 for 10 naan? Maybe I got spoiled by Philly -- they have such excellent Indian stuff).
That evening was Gaskell's again (it's every six weeks, I've been recently informed). Me in my long wine gown, Sherman in his rather eclectic vest and ruffled shirt, etc. El in a cream ball gown, extremely fragile and held together by safety pins, Ian in his dress blues. I borrowed Sherman's black top hat, and I must say, we all looked spiffy. :-) I love having an excuse to play dress up. I want a real ball gown -- one with hoops or crinolines. Also good dancing shoes -- my poor feet! Well worth it, though -- I danced two waltzes and two country dances and had much fun. El and I made Ian and Sherman learn the country dances. Sherman was okay with Sir Roger, but both of them much preferred Stripping the Willow. It's more whirly. :-) I wish I'd had enough energy to dance more. Next time, I'd like to come early and get a refresher course on shattisches (sp?) and polkas. Also relearn Congress of Vienna, which is one of the more gorgeous dances I've ever seen. Gods, I love dancing.
Sunday, Sherman drove me down to spend the day in Santa Cruz with Kate and Becca and their friends. They knew a gorgeous little private beach, and we spent the afternoon lounging, talking, reading, and eating. With occasional dips into very cold water. At one point I got totally bowled over in the water (you know how you sort of jump up when a wave is coming at your chest, so you don't get knocked over? Well, I missed.) Gorgeous afternoon, and it turns out that Kate writes! She may apply to Clarion next year! It's always nice to find another kindred soul (she loves Enid Blyton too :-).
Was exhausted by the time we got home, but very satisfied. Sometimes I think there's very little wrong in my world that some sun and wind and water can't fix. Or at least make bearable.
Yesterday was very cool. Spent much of the day puttering about clearing the house, rewarding myself with Scrabble games with David (5 games so far; I've won one, and our last game was a perfect tie (at 303, I think). He's really good at getting multiple little words at once. I'm slowly learning strategy -- no more give away Triple Word Scores for David!). Made yet another batch of Kevin's mom's spinach lasagne -- it's so good and so popular that I must stop now and give the recipe.
Kevin's Mom's Spinach LasagneIngredients:
1 large jar marinara sauce (or whatever kind you like - I like ones with as little sugar as you can find) mixed with 1/4 cup water(leave this out if you don't like it moist)
1 pkg. wide lasaga noodles (extra-wide don't work as well) UNCOOKED
ricotta cheese (smallest size is fine)
about 12 ounces mozzarella cheese (more or less to taste)
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed.
Layer: 1/4 sauce, noodles spread with ricotta cheese (one flat layer covering pan - don't overlap noodles), moz. cheese, spinach (maybe 1/3? - 1/2 is too much), 1/3 sauce, noodles with rocotta, moz., spinach, rest of sauce.
Cover with tin foil and bake in pre-heated 375 oven for 1 hour. Let stand (uncovered) for 15 minutes before serving.
Sounds good, huh? Good and fast and cheap and easy. (Sounds like I'm describing a hooker rather than a lasagne recipe :-)
The lasagne was for a small dinner party with Clarionites, etc. Dinner went well, though I must admit that seeing Ceej and Leah again brought back all sorts of memories. Ceej and I indulged in a good bout of missing people fiercely. Ouch. Dinner was Ceej and Lance, Leah and Mike, two of Mike's fellow Clarionites whose names I can't remember, Sherman, Ian, David. I'm afraid Leah and Ceej and I rather bored the rest of them at time -- laughing and gossiping about Us, y'know? The others were very patient with us, though. Some of them understand 'cause they've been through similar Clarions, others are just sympathetic, nice people.
Eventually guests all went away and I went to bed, at which point Kevin called. Sigh. What timing. An odd conversation, in which I tried and failed once again to explain what happens at Clarion. When Kevin writes, he writes for himself, which is I think an extremely utterly different experience from what we were doing at Clarion. If you're just writing for yourself, you don't *need* to write well -- your brain pretty much fills in the gaps. If you're writing for others, you have to communicate. And to do that, you have to learn the language of writing. In any case, a rather odd and frustrating conversation. Though I was glad that he had called, nonetheless.
Which takes us back to this morning, now at the lovely hour of 4:54. I think I will attempt sleep once more, as the itching and pain appear to have faded. 'Til morning, my dears.