Well, I was surprised…

Well, I was surprised and pleased to hear that several of you really liked the Chicago poem that I wrote the other day. I suppose this is typical of writing -- slave for hours over something and they go 'eh'. Whip something off on a whim, and they think it's the best thing you've ever done. (Yes, *two* of you said exactly that.) Hmph. I suppose I have no business being indignant -- I'll just keep being pathetically grateful that you like my stuff. :-)

Well, in some ways the last couple of days were pretty productive, though I still don't have a job or even temp work. On the job front, the meeting with the recruiter Thursday was interesting. He's trying to convince me that I really ought to just pick up a little more programming skill and then I'd be much more marketable (which I think means I get to ask for a lot more money, which means he gets a bigger cut, or his company does) -- all of which is true, but I'm not sure I can pick it up fast enough to do any good. Kevin thinks I wouldn't have any trouble if I applied myself. I haven't looked at Kernighan and Ritchie in months. Maybe I'll poke through it a bit more tonight. At least see if I remember what I learned back in the summer.

I'm waffling lots. Part of me wants to just go get a secretarial job so I can stop worrying about money. Part of me thinks that's ridiculous when I can make at least twice as much as a tech writer. But then the first part says, 'yeah, if you actually got any work. In the meantime, you're getting dangerously short of funds, and where do you think February rent is going to come from, eh?' And then there's the part that says that neither secretarial jobs or tech writing are contributing in any way other than financially to my life, and are pretty draining, and wouldn't it make a lot more sense to try to find teaching work? That can be put off 'til September, at least.

Anyway, I doubt all of this is very interesting -- everyone frets about money, eh? -- so I'll move on. I do have an appointment with another temp agency tomorrow afternoon. Maybe I should try to line up some more. I've liked working with Career Alliance, but they don't seem to have much work right now. I need to put a secretarial resume together. Ick. And revamp the tech writing one. I hate doing resumes. CV's are much more pleasant.

Thursday evening I ended up having dinner with Jed. We went to a yummy Ethiopian restaurant in San Jose, near the Civic Center - the Red Sea. *Not* related to the one in Oakland. Some really unusual flavors, and the tej tasted a lot like mead. Very good, though. Afterwards, we hung out and eventually read two of each others' stories and gave each other feedback, so that was productive. I'd finished first drafts of both "The Gardener" and "The Interview" (I need to come up with snazzier titles for some of these), and was ready to start revisions on them. I'm sending in "The Gardener" to SFY this week, so I wanted to make sure it was in decent shape. It's great having Jed read my stuff, because not only does he give excellent critique, but he also gets weepy at the sad parts, which is very gratifying. :-)

Friday -- oh, right, Friday I spent many hours reading Jed's comics. Evil Jed, loaning me comics. I got thoroughly addicted to _Strangers in Paradise_ and couldn't get myself to put it down even long enough to make lunch, so I was very hungry when I finished. Maybe it was a good thing that book three is up in Portland or Seattle or some such with another friend of Jed's, or I might have fainted from hunger. SIP is real world melodrama, but with really convincing dialogue and utterly charming characters. All three of the protagonists are really cute, but in real world sorts of ways, not 44DD breasts that stick straight out, for example. The male protagonist, David, is the kind of rather quiet and geeky, very sweet and self-effacing guy that I totally fall for. And the babes are pretty adorable too.

Eventually I got to a cafe in Los Gatos (Coffee Roasting, for those familiar with the neighborhood) and revised "The Gardener". One more pass today, and I'll send it out to the group. I then sat happily with my chai and read some more of the current book, _The House of the Spirits_, by Isabel Allende. I don't know how I've gone this long without reading Allende. I kept meaning too, but even when Jed got me _Aphrodite_, ages ago, I didn't get around to it. I am consuming this book at great speed, and I predict an Allende frenzy in my near future. Oops -- I pledged I wouldn't buy any more books 'til I had a job and my 'to be read' shelf had gotten less full. Well, I can at least read _Aphrodite_ after this. The woman deserves her reputation. I don't know how to describe her work -- if you liked Laura Esquivel's _Like Water for Chocolate_, you'll probably adore Allende.

(And I know the entries have gotten rather long and rambling these days -- blame the other journallers. I read their journals, and then I feel guilty if I leave much out. Actually, on that subject, I hope I didn't weird y'all out too much the other day, when I actually said something explicit about my love life. I considered going back and taking it out for a while, but finally decided to let it stand. The people involved didn't seem to mind too much, and honesty is becoming more important to me than comfort. At least as much honesty as I can stand. There are still definitely limits.)

The rest of Friday and Saturday and this morning were spent with Kevin (and sometimes his family). We saw a play (12th Night, with flamenco dancers, which I loved but which Kevin thought was pretty odd), and discussed the apparent trend these days to try so hard to make Shakespeare accessible, by overplaying lines and emphasizing the important bits, that you end up rather butchering the play. I understand the impulse, but I think they're just wrong. We went to another hockey game. We talked some. It was really nice. He's driving back to Utah right now -- he'll be on the road twelve hours and get in after midnight. I'll see him again in February, work schedules and money permitting.

Now I'm at home, puttering. I did get about halfway through revisions of "The Interview" Saturday afternoon. I hope to finish that today. I'm not sure whether to give that piece or "The Gardener" to SFX (my other writing group) this upcoming meeting. Maybe I'll stick with "The Gardener" for both -- both groups have been really indulgent about reading my non-sf pieces, so it's probably about time to give them both an sf story, now that I've finally written one. I'll send them both out to y'all too, as soon as I finish these revisions. Let me know what you think, if you like.

Hope you're all having a good weekend -- wish me luck with the job hunt this week!

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