Heya everyone. Pleasant…

Heya everyone. Pleasant morning -- lots of nice mail from people who visited my home page (I really am wondering how many people actually get to this diary rather than just visiting the main page or the stories -- I think with March I'll institute a counter to indulge my curiosity. :-) Among the mail was a note from Brian telling me about some spiffy new stuff on his page -- not only did he manage to do something cool with a poem, it's a pretty damn cool poem in and of itself. Worth taking a look. Also among highly cool mail sent to me was a note from a woman named Denise, president of The University of D, a very neat web site....

In my own life, the Jackie Chan movie last night was absolutely fabulous. Who needs plot, characterization or believable dialogue when you have breathtaking, inventive, brilliant stunts and an oddly appealing, quite charming protagonist (with a gorgeous bod :-)? I'm told that the other Jackie Chan movies are in Cantonese and generally not subtitled, but I think I'll seek them out anyway -- the dialogue seems pretty inconsequential in terms of movie appreciation here. :-)

Today I have to fill out and submit the FAFSA, mail in my taxes, and do two grad school apps. Ick uck yuck. The next week or so I plan to complain a lot -- consider yourselves warned! Especially annoying 'cause the spring- like weather has evaporated, and we're back to the 30 degrees F again... oh well. Should make my trip to Florida more enjoyable, I suppose. (Oh, did I mention that? I'll be going to Orlando from March 8-11 with an old friend (well, she's not that old, but you know what I mean) to indulge in Walt Disney World, Epcot, warm weather and skimpy clothes. :-)

11:10 - FAFSA done and ready to mail. Easier than expected. New College of CA and Purdue apps to be done. Wish me luck -- I HATE the application process. Last year I applied to 7 schools and was rejected from all of them. Bad for the soul. Makes it difficult to get enthusiastic about all this...

2:00 - Finished paperwork part of apps for New College and Purdue. Still need to go home and write up personal statement, choose poems and stories, find printer (ours is dead) and mail off. My head hurts.

3:20 - Chose 10 poems. Not sure if they're my best ones -- it's hard finding a balance between work I really like and work that I think they'll like. Ended up choosing mostly poems from '92 -- most of my poems in recent years have been relationship-type things and I didn't want to give them the impression that I only wrote love poems or breakup poems.

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Taxes taxes taxes. Put…

Taxes taxes taxes. Put them off for weeks -- finally did them today. Not so bad as I feared, actually -- the whole process took perhaps 45 mintues, though I do need to go pick up one more form to finish it off. If you need tax help, the IRS has kindly put all sorts of information on-line. Very useful.

Not feeling so well, so haven't done much else lately. Re-read some of Patricia Wrede's Searching for Dragons, a children's book I really enjoyed. Vague plans tonight to go out with David and friends to see new Jackie Chan movie, Rumble in the Bronx (confession: I've never seen a Jackie Chan movie. But lots and lots of my friends seem highly impressed by him. We'll see). I ought to go to dance class, but the only one offered today is beginning hip hop, and I'm not really feeling hip enough for that...

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Morning everyone! All’s…

Morning everyone! All's well here today -- the sun is shining, the air is warm, the birds are chirping, etc. and so on...:-) I went to dance class yesterday (Jazz) and had great fun, although by the end of the class I felt as if I would fall over and die if she said "Again!" one more time...which she did, of course. This morning my legs hurt, my back hurts, my ankles even hurt, but I feel just fine! :-) It's my own damn fault for being a lazy bum all winter -- I'm just paying the price now...

Went and picked up my tax forms yesterday as well -- the plan is to do them today, so that I can do the FAFSA tomorrow and file it all before March 1st, which is the deadline for some of the schools to which I'm applying. I wasn't sure exactly which forms I'd need (I used to do the 1040EZ, but now that I have a little story income from last year, and deductions, I'm afraid it's more complicated), so I picked up a bunch of different forms, and hope I can figure it out...ick. I'm hoping it's not as bad as it looks.

Reading Science Fiction Age today (a magazine I haven't actually started yet). I'll let you know how it is...hmm...not much else to say. Got lots of interesting mail from readers this morning -- always a nice way to start the day. Two interesting things recommended to me were a book called "Eat Me" by an Australian author about several women, one of whom writes erotica while the others live it :-), and "Bitter Moon," a movie recommended by a reader who liked the How to Fuck Up Relationships list (which I repeat, I did not write. I only wish I had...).

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So, quick summary of the…

So, quick summary of the weekend:
I cleaned my apartment.

No, really, that's about all I did. And finished Nancy Kress's Beggars and Choosers (pretty good) and a Zelazny short story anthology (hard to believe he's really gone), especially enjoying "A Rose for Ecclesiastes", which I had read years and years ago and forgotten. Oh, and I reread the Fionavar Tapestry (a fantasy trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay, perhaps my favorite fantasy series of all time (though in many ways his subsequent novel Tigana is a better book) and one which continues to move me to tears on the 15th or 20th! re-reading.

Basically a very mellow weekend, with interludes of long overdue conversations with distant friends and occasional visits from local friends. A nice break. Found a yummy recipe (if you like asparagus). Remember those crepes I mentioned many entries ago? Boil asparagus for about a minute, break off tips and wrap stalks with a delicate melting cheese in the crepes. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees, serve with tips as garnish and an herb bechamel sauce (which you can skip if you're being vaguely health-conscious like I am). Very good even without the sauce, though could have used fresher asparagus than what I had available.

Dance class tonight, assuming I don't wimp out. Beginner jazz at Koresh Dance Center, 6:00. I used to be somewhat more competent, but since I've been out of practice all winter, I figure I'd best restart with beginner and then work my way up (hopefully quickly). Considering starting ballet as well, or street funk. :-)

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Shapes of grief. The…

Shapes of grief. The small fluttering
Of a heart worn thin with worry and the
Raising of three small children. The
Race of sweating doctors, failing in an
Old, cold silence. Her husband huddles,
Weeping. Her mother cooks and cleans and
Fears to pause a moment, lest the
Ugly truth should slap her, and the poor
Little children are still laughing, unknowing.

One of my co-workers, Martha, lost her daughter today. 'lost.' What an impossible, utterly inadequate euphemism. It conveys some things while ignoring others. The lost can generally be found. But Martha's daughter died, five months pregnant, of a weak heart that just gave out. And what makes it terribly worse, is that she signed herself out of the hospital and went home, ignoring every warning from the doctors that her heart was racing dangerously. Nobody knows why she left. Maybe if she had stayed they could have saved her -- maybe not. But at least we/they could have said -- we did all we could. Everyone here is angry and frustrated and on the verge of tears. Most of us didn't even know her. But doctors don't seem to deal with death very well -- they take it too personally, and when you work with them, you tend to pick that attitude up, even when you know, rationally, that there was absolutely nothing you could have done.

Hell.

Other than that, life is just grand. And I did go to the gym yesterday, and thoroughly enjoyed both my Cardio Street Funk dance class and my introduction to Tai Chi. My calf muscles protest loudly, but I'll be back. Score one for life, I suppose.

Hmm...just called to try to sign up for the gym so I can keep going. Turns out that in addition to the $20/month fee, there's a $90 joining fee. Pretty standard, I know, but I hadn't realized it. So now I'm waffling between the gym and the dance studio, which costs $90 for two months, and I'd like the classes better (though I'd miss the Tai Chi). Ugh. Guess I'll just try to figure out which one fits into my schedule better and then flip a coin.

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Heya. Spent the morning…

Heya. Spent the morning catching up on old mail (love these office jobs) and wandering through the web. Found some fun stuff at Walter's Page, including a very cool alternative CV and some erotica. Also was a good girl and had my annual physical. Except for the thyroid stuff, I'm healthy as a horse. :-)

The thyroid stuff itself is getting more interesting. Some thyroid antibodies came back from the lab, and it looks like I may have Hashimoto's thyroiditis. That sounds worse than it is -- very few thyroid diseases are at all serious (thyroid cancer is an exception), and most are fairly easily treatable, including mine. I'll probably be starting Synthroid (artificial thyroid replacement) next week.

Was also good and deposited my paycheck (I'm finally getting to the point where I may actually be able to save some money, rather than living on the brink of bankruptcy) and picked up a FAFSA (financial aid form) for grad schools. Spent a while downloading the net version only to discover that it requires a modem (I connect from work over a LAN network, so no good) and Windows (home is Kevin's Mac), so I'm reduced to the paper version. Ah well. Can't fill it out till I do my taxes, though, and can't do taxes until I pick up a 1040C (I used to fill out the EZ, but now that I'm selling stories, I get to deduct expenses -- what fun :-) and file my 1995 taxes. Here's hoping they owe me money (not bloody likely) rather than the other way around. This coming year will be even worse -- I'll have to start filing quarterly estimated taxes. Ick. I don't want to think about it.

The other exciting thing today is that I'm trying out a new gym. Put on a few pounds this winter (I usually seem to), and it's now spring and time to get back into shape (my endurance especially is hideous right now). The 12th Street Gym in Philly is certainly pretty enough, and their Tai Chi classes, Cardio Street Funk and swimming pool (only 1/2 lap) all appeal to me, and I'll be trying them on a guest pass today. On the down side, it's highly embarrassing going to a gym in skimpy workout clothing when you know you're totally out of shape and there are all these gorgeous bods around, especially a chic downtown gym like this one. I'd almost rather go to a YWCA, despite the moldy air that tends to hang around them, but my job gets me a discount here that's really too good to waste. So I'm nerving myself up and going, and if I don't post something here tomorrow saying that I went, you have full permission (and are encouraged) to laugh at me. Healthy diet should also start soon -- I eat too much cheese and oily stuff, I think. How does one give up cheese, though???

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Well, opened the morning…

Well, opened the morning with a bit of a shock -- e-mail from my editor at Puritan asking me to please take down the copy of "Caught Between Two Women" since the magazine wasn't even on the streets yet. Totally reasonable request on his part, and I really don't know quite what I was thinking putting it up. So if you caught it, good for you -- if not, it'll be back up in May sometime (after the *next* issue is safely out). And the erotica writers interview will be up in June-July, assuming this page is still going then. I messed up once, but hopefully not again.

Other than that, things are good. He's interested in another novella, and I have some ideas that might fly, and he could also use some letters... those are always fun to write. :-)

Sorry about the hiatus, but not only have I been sick, but the system has been doing really weird things, making it a real pain to try to type anything. Seems all fixed now, and I feel fine! :-)

On the plus side, I got a lot of reading done -- the latest issue of Fantasy and SF, most of Nancy Kress's new novel, Beggars and Choosers (fabulous near future exploration of nanotech and sociology and politics), Sayers Hangman's Holiday (I'd read all the Lord Peter stories in the anthology, but the Montague Egg (travelling wine and spirits salesman) stories were new and delightful), and probably a couple more that I'm not remembering right now. Oh, and Larry Niven's The Magic Goes Away, a surprisingly good (considering its minimal length and plenitude of illustrations) little fantasy novel. Apparently a best- seller in its time. Weird to think of Niven writing fantasy.

Also managed to drag myself to the folk sing Saturday night, which was fabulous as always. Learned some new songs, managed to talk Amy into loaning me some music, etc... Stan Rogers' from Freshwater is a delight, with some obscure but lovely songs.

My concentration this week will probably be on grad schools for fall -- I'm going to be applying to a bunch, some with deadlines of March 1, so I'm planning to be rather frantic. Anyone with any information on the following schools (especially on writing programs *at* the schools) -- I'd be very interested, and happy to post such information somewhere on these pages. If you're wondering why I picked these schools -- basically by region (where I'm likely to be come fall) and which deadlines I hadn't already missed.

Boston University, Emerson, CSU Sacramento, Mills College (Oakland), New College (San Fran), St. Mary's, University of San Fran, Beaver (Philly), Columbia College (Chicago), De Paul University, Northeastern, Purdue (Indiana), and University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Nothing much to say…

Nothing much to say today...had a good lunch with Kevin at Baricci's (if you like roasted red peppers and soppresata and broccoli rabe and Italian ices, this is a good place to have lunch, if a bit pricey). Sent a letter withdrawing "A Dream of Wolves" from CRANK!, since I accidentally submitted it to Black October (hard to keep electronic and print submissions straight). Hope they forgive me. Going over to David's for dinner...plans this weekend include folksing at Ann and Robert's tomorrow night and tea at three at Sarah's on Sunday. :-)

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Heya. So I survived…

Heya. So I survived Valentine's Day relatively unscarred (though I did have the first argument I've had with Kevin in two months yesterday :-/, over dishes of all things...all fixed now, but that holiday makes me tense). We had potluck for dinner, partly because I've spent too many V-Day's alone in the past, and I hate to think of friends of ours sitting at home and moping. We made crepes with sweet and savory stuffings (feta and spinach and garlic with a little salt and pepper chopped up in the a blender is a good one, as is a ratatouille cooked down (I replaced the eggplant with zucchini though, 'cause I hate mushy eggplant)), and John brought two pots of really yummy pasta with a cilantro pesto (he bought it at Reading Terminal Market, and if you're ever in Philly, that's a great place to go food shopping). We also overloaded on dessert, 'cause Kathryn brought cappucino ice cream and Larry brought 2 (!) cheesecakes. We froze one of them, though. :-)

Party of Five had a great Valentine's Day episode, with lots of stress and arguments, a little mushiness, and several bitter(sweet) moments. And Julia (16) is pregnant. Terrific way to end an episode, huh? I love the realism of this show.

If you've been reading this diary, you might remember my asking about birds on the plains? Well, this morning one of my readers (an ornithologist!) contacted me with the necessary info -- thanks, Gene!

All's well with me today -- the mildish weather is holding, which makes me happy. The plan is to go to Border's after work, meet with a fan (I hope he remembers what I look like, 'cause I accidentally deleted my description of him), and do some research on grad schools. The vague plan for next fall is to apply to grad schools for an MFA in creative writing and also apply to teaching positions at good prep schools. The nuisance is that I'm not quite sure where I'll be, so I have to do this in a couple of areas. Oh well...Chicago or Philly or San Francisco. Any of them would be good places to be next year.

And since it's no longer Valentine's Day, I'm posting a love poem. :-)

Dropping Dishes

Never say 'I love you' again
and I promise the same.

After all these centuries, words of love are weary.

Say instead, smiling,
I'm glad you did the dishes.

And I will answer,
When you allow yourself to smile,
the wrinkles at the edges of your eyes
make we want to drop dishes
and drag you into bed.

We need never say I love you
again.

*****
May 31, 1994

-- You might get the impression that dishes are a recurring theme with me. You might be right.

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