Hey, munchkins. Hope…

Hey, munchkins. Hope you're all having a good week...

Well, I just finished my Thursday morning dose of mouthorgan. (I understand the reasons they had for switching to a weekly format, but I miss my Tuesday column...). Some interesting points, including a call for comments, that I'm going to forward here, in case any of you are interested in responding:


We're collecting opinions for a column to run in two weeks about male sexuality, and how changing attitudes (about feminism, about sex, about harassment, et cetera) have affected it. We are especially interested in hearing from men about how it's affected them personally, but we'll take comments from anyone. Are men really under siege by the political correctness types? Is it more difficult to be a male now than it was twenty years ago? Do you think both of those statements are utter bunk? Tell us so.

Comments that you don't mind seeing reproduced in public should go to comments@mouthorgan.com - those are considered fair game for reprint and editing, as described on our mouth pages. Comments for our eyes only should go to editor@mouthorgan.com.


They touch on several topics in today's column, one of which set off a mini-rant on my part. You can read it on their comm ents page, if you're curious.

Other news...well, signed up with another temp agency yesterday. Blew them away with my silly typing, spelling and grammar scores. If I only *wanted* to be a secretary for life, I'd be completely set. Probably make more as an executive assistant than I ever will as a writer, too...

Finished Stewart's _Cloud's End_. Beautiful book, and even if I think the cover is a bit hyperbolic when it claims that Stewart is "the most distinctive and original voice in science fiction today", he certainly is up there, and well worth reading. I've got one more of his books to go, and I'm looking forward to it.

Got slightly bogged down in the C book last night -- couldn't figure out what the heck EOF was in UNIX, but eventually talked to Kev, who sorted it out for me. Need to go do the exercises I was stuck on, to make sure I've got it down, but I think I'm clear. So far I'm averaging about 7 pages an hour...if I keep that up, I'll be done in 27 hours. Kevin doesn't think that's unreasonable, but I think he's being far far too optimistic. I'm working through the exercises, sure; I can get the computer to *do* what the book says I want it to, but that doesn't mean I really understand what's going on around that. The terminology is still mostly incomprehensible to me. Ah well...it takes how long it takes, right? Better than spending $500 on a class, anyway -- it was only a $9 book. :-)

Long talk with Kev, as usual. Actually, two long talks...got stressed about some of the things he said, got off the phone, called Roshani, let her point out to me that I was being a silly git and working myself up into a state for no reason. Called Kev back and sorted things out. I really hate the way I can't think coherently anymore when I'm emotional about something...I feel almost like a different person. The whole world looks so different when I'm upset; things get blown up to hugely difficult proportions when they're really minor and simple. Argh. I'd really like to cut out that part of my personality, but Kevin thinks that it's just part of being an emotional person...that I don't get the highs without the lows. Maybe, but I'm not quite willing to admit defeat on that one yet. At least I can shorten the *time* I spend emotionally upset...heck, I have. The upset that took me half an hour to calm down from yesterday would have taken four or five hours a few years ago. There are advantages to getting older after all. :-)

Today's a catch-up day. Work through some e-mail, clean up my room and the house, maybe send out some stories that are languishing, try to write something for Penthouse, pester the RealDoll people who haven't e-mailed me back, see when Sizzle is sending me my check...

Have a good day, my dears...


It's a Naming Contest!

As I've mentioned here before, some of us are starting up a new erotica webzine. It aims to be:

A professional online magazine which showcases intelligent and sexy erotic fiction, poetry and art, as well as information and commentary on sexuality and society.

The thing is, we need a name! And so we're having a contest, and inviting y'all to participate, and giving out prizes...

Rules

1. Please submit as many names as you like, by June 15th, 1998.
2. Send them to me, at moh2@rainbow.uchicago.edu, with the subject: NAMING CONTEST
3. Before sending them, check them with InterNIC. We'll want to use the magazine name for the domain name of the web page, and so we can't use one that's already taken. InterNIC is at: http://www.internic.net/cgi-bin/whois
Don't try to put in the whole domain name -- just the magazine title, followed by .com. For example, try 'mouthorgan.com', not 'www.mouthorgan.com'. InterNIC is picky, I'm afraid. If it gives you 'no matches', then that name is free for us to use!
4. Winner will receive a copy of my book, _Torn Shapes of Desire: Internet Erotica_, and a copy of Carol Queen's _Real Live Nude Girl_.

Appendix

You can skim through the Erotica/Porn Writers' Market List on my web page to see what names have already been used, and for inspiration. Some of the names currently in use by actual erotica zines are Nerve, LIBIDO, Yellow Silk, EIDOS, mouthorgan, Paramour, screech, Hoot Island, Sensual Aspirations, Yoni, Taste of Latex, Lust So Stories.

Many thanks -- I look forward to seeing your entries!


1:30. Boy, chatty today, aren't I?

Heather's finally gotten her telnet to work from home, so is updating more regularly again, hurrah! See her page for another take on Kaylie's party. It's very odd sometimes, seeing events through her eyes. I had no idea she was feeling emotional while El and I were singing "Sunrise, Sunset", for example. Fascinating.

With Kev's help, figured out my stuck spots in C. That boy is going to get tired of these pathetic e-mails I'm sending him -- hopefully, it'll soon be clearer to me where my errors may lie -- right now, there just seem to be way too many possibilities; overwhelming. And may I say that I think some of the error messages are needlessly alarming? FATAL ERROR! CORE DUMP! What were these programmers thinking? Couldn't they have made error messages that said things like, "Sorry, kiddo. You messed that one up." Or "Whoops, try again!" Even insults like "You stupid idjit. What made you think you could work a computer? Go back to the farm!" would be better than FATAL ERROR! CORE DUMP!

Talked to Ellie some about this marriage thing. Another one of her friends is getting married, and Kevin told me last night that Heather (his ex) and Jason are getting married. He sounded a bit bobbled, to be honest. Must be a bit strange, to hear that someone you were pretty nuts about, even if it was years and years ago, is marrying someone else. Ellie's ex has also gotten married, and maybe it's just lucky that none of mine have yet. Or unlucky. I'd actually be much happier if I knew that some of them were settled down with nice people (whether they were married or not). Alex seems pretty happy with his new SO, so that's something, anyway.

Hmm...that's probably enough of that. I seem to be drifting closer and closer to discussing 'personal matters', which probably means that I have too much time on my hands. Back to work, and your regularly scheduled relationship-free journal. :-)

7:00 p.m. - Well, I'm going to tentatively say that the new account is up and running, though if you're wise, you'll give me a day or two to shake the bugs out of it. They'd apparently also given me the wrong address, and while the one I *thought* I'd have will probably work, the preferred one is moh2@rainbow.uchicago.edu; please make a note of it. Hopefully this will all settle down now.

I wrote my first program…

I wrote my first program in C! :-) :-) Okay, I didn't actually write anything new, I just did the first example in the book, and then modified it to say something else, and I haven't even read the explanation yet of why/how it does what it does but I'm feeling euphoric anyway, so I figure I'll enjoy it while it lasts and share it with y'all. (It may all be downhill from here. :-) This reminds me of the last time I was writing programs which was way back in sixth grade, in a summer class on Applesoft Basic. I had a great time in that class, and if my school had offered programming classes during the school year, I think I would have gobbled them up. And I imagine I'd be in a very different position today...I wonder if the writing bug would have broken through eventually anyway.

Well, before I go back to Messrs. Kernighan and Ritchie (authors of my lovely book), I might as well update y'all. Had a fun time with Arthur at the Good Vibes reading; some very good stories, and I got to meet Marlo Gayle, one of my co-authors in the Sex Toy Tales anthology. Neat guy!

Today got a late start, but did talk to Jeff about doing an article on the RealDoll (tm). He's interested, so hopefully they'll write me back soon. Also gave up on the formal interview suit I ironed yesterday and wore a more casual dress and jacket. Much more comfortable. Sweet David gave me a ride over (and picked me up after) -- the interview went well, as expected. Another one tomorrow. Too bad they don't talk to each other more -- I could just say, hey, get the details from the first temp agency. The one tomorrow will undoubtedly have me jump through the same hoops. Word test, Excel test, Powerpoint test, typing test. Maybe they'll come up with something new to test. At least this one didn't have me do a spelling/grammar test. And I did learn that my typing speed is up to 107 wpm, woohoo! :-) Unsurprising, considering that sometimes I feel like I'm typing from morning to night....

Okay, back to the book. I gotta admit that I have *no* idea what these guys are talking about a good chunk of the time, but hopefully, I'll pick it up as I go along. Either that or pester Kevin a lot.

(Oh, and in fiction news, I'm reading Sean Stewart's _Cloud's End_. Way cool, as expected from _Nobody's Son_, which freaked me out. Powerful book...

Morning, all. …

Morning, all. Hmm...well, I start the serious job search today, theoretically, though I admit to not being sure exactly what jobs I'm searching for. Ideally, I'd like to work from home, but I'm not sure how feasible that is. I'm going to sign up with some temp agencies, just to be sure I have some money coming in, but after that -- well, the options are many. Look for full-time tech-writing jobs. Look for part-time tech-writing jobs. Try to make a living writing articles and such. Hmmm... Learn C, or Java, or some more programs (FrameMaker appears to be very popular among the tech writing people). Look for teaching jobs for the fall...

Well, I'll probably try poking into a little of all of the above.

Finished The Family Tree last night -- stayed up too late to do so. :-)

Hmm..not much else to say right now, actually. Talk to y'all later....

3:30. Well, talked to some temp agencies, faxed out some resumes, made some appointments for tomorrow and Wednesday. I can't say I'm looking forward to rejoining the corporate world (I spent half an hour ironing my suits, ick. They've been up on a top shelf for months), but it will be nice getting semi-regular paychecks again. Oh, I got the student loan checks regularly, but it wasn't the same, knowing that they'd need to be paid back. With interest. :-/

Tonight should be fun -- Arthur's coming up from the South Bay and we'll be stopping at a bookstore, getting dinner, and going to the erotic reading circle at Good Vibrations. Strictly non-competitive reading, which will be fun. :-) I'm not sure if I'll be reading from Sex Toy Tales or Torn Shapes -- I'll probably take them both and decide there...

Have a good evening, munchkins...

Huh. I missed…

Huh. I missed yesterday. That's odd -- I didn't intend to. What the heck did I do yesterday??

Got up late, right...then puttered about, maybe? Something like that. Started reading Tepper's latest, The Family Tree, which I'm enjoying immensely. Sat in the sun for a while. Went shopping with Ian and El (grocery shopping). Made dinner for them and Jed - Thai (spring rolls and green curry chicken and steamed red fish; pretty yum, though the fish dish was a little dull. Why *are* spring rolls called that, anyway?)

Today mostly stayed in bed lounging until late. Very lazy weekend. Did choose some poems to read at the slam, which went reasonably well; I didn't make it into the finals, but that's okay, since a) I wasn't sure I wanted to go to Austin for the nationals anyway (considering my first poetry slam was last week, I'm more than a little intimidated even in the gentle S.F. crowd) and b) the people who beat me were really good. :-) That's always a consolation. I did learn that I have to be more careful about judging the mood of an audience; mushy love poems ("Chorus") don't go over particularly well unless the audience is really in the mood for it. :-) I'd have probably been better off with "Confession" -- I waffled for a while over them, but I just like "Chorus" better. Oh well.

Had a great time afterwards; we went to Axum for dinner (I'd already eaten beforehand, so I just had a glass of tej and picked at the food a little) (and if Sherman or Jed is reading, I just want to note that they chose that restaurant all on their ownsome -- I didn't nudge them at all!) and great conversation. A really fun bunch of people, and nice! A little bit younger than my current crowd (a lot of recent college graduates), but no less fun for that. :-) Let's see -- can I remember their names? Charles and Alex (female) and Daphne and Bart and Eitan and Eric and Karryn and Josh (who oddly enough, just graduated from U Chicago!)...hmm...I think there are one or two more, but I'm stuck. Oh, Michelle was there too. Now, you savvy journal readers, you can watch for those names, and if you see them again, you'll know that I haven't given up poetry completely. Of course, I'll probably just tell you...

Oof. Tired, but still hyped up. It is so past my bedtime. A cup of tea, a little reading, and then I will crash like a big crashing thing. (That's a Sherman (tm) metaphor. :-)

Sleep well, munchkins. Tomorrow is a new month.

Morning, everyone. Rain…

Morning, everyone. Rain again, which I'm enjoying from inside but which also makes me decidedly unenthusiastic about going to campus in (where I would scan in those photos from Yosemite). Maybe I'll feel more motivated later; it's coming down pretty hard...

Bach toccatas and fugues on the stereo today; thoroughly appropriate for the rain. I do feel a bit like I'm trapped within Phantom of the Opera. :-)

rainsong

rather than tell you how i love you,
again, let me simply and softly whisper
in your ear -- the rain makes me long to be
near you, long to be against your skin,
surrounding you, long to be kissing your neck,
over and over and over again. rain knows that
none of my other lovers cry out so sweetly
gorgeous, under an assault of wet kisses...

I'm afraid you'll probably see lots of scraps of poetry and writing here for a while, at least until I figure out what major project I'll be working on next. Maiden Voyage is off at the publisher's, being read by Richard -- hope he likes it. The thesis is nominally done, and though the creative nonfiction certainly needs to be reworked and incorporated and the whole made into a book, I'm not quite ready to face that yet. I have an idea for a novel, but the idea of starting a novel terrifies me. As for short stories; well, if any exciting anthology calls come around, I'll probably take a stab at some, but right now, I have a ton I just need to market properly (and plenty others to revise). Maybe that'll be my project for the next few weeks...working through the stacks of revision to be done. Oh, and finding a job -- mustn't forget that. :-)

Tonight is Kaylie's last night with us -- she'll be going down to live with her dad and sister for the next year, while Lydia finishes her degree. Lyd knows she's doing the right thing, but it's clearly wrenching her apart, the thought of being without her girls for a whole year...poor chica. This is not what she was planning for when she got married...or probably when she got divorced. I wonder how stable any of those plans really are. We so badly want something we can count on in this life; someone we can rely on...

I got a wedding invitation in the mail this morning, from my friend Kathy S. I haven't talked to Kathy in a few years, so I'm not sure how she found my address, but I'm very glad she did, even though I can't afford to attend the wedding. Kath is my oldest friend. In kindergarten, the tallest girl in the class (Kathy eventually grew to be 6 foot something, and play center on the basketball team) befriended the weirdo Asian kid who even then spent most of her time reading. I was the only South Asian in the whole school until my sisters came along, five and nine years later; I grew up in a predominantly Polish Catholic neighborhood (my family is Catholic, which is why I was in the school to begin with), surrounded by a sea of white faces. I even studied Polish with the rest of them for four years in grammar school; it's unfortunate that all I remember is the sign of the cross, and counting to one hundred, and a few Christmas carols. I *was* semi-fluent once; my second lost language (I've mostly forgotten Tamil at this point, though I still understand my parents when they speak it, and my Spanish is rapidly disappearing...sigh). If it hadn't been for Kathy (and later on Marta and Karen and David), I could have easily been the most miserable, picked-on kid in the school. I didn't figure out how lucky I was in that regard until much later, though...

I'm really glad Kathy's getting married, though I don't know this Robert boy she's marrying, and so reserve the right to come and beat him if he doesn't treat her right. There were times in late grammar school when she thought no boy would want to date a 'beanpole', but I always had a feeling that she'd end up living happily ever after. Her wedding invitation had a castle on it, and a carriage pulling up to it, and the words, "Dreams do come true..." *smile* Very Kathy. I think marriage will suit her...

One of these days I'll probably type up a long rant about marriage, but not today; I'm in too good a mood. I wanted to write *something* about Heather's latest journal entry, but I can't think what to say. Oh well; at least she knows I'm thinking about it. :-)

Talk to y'all later...

11:30. Y'know, I really lost track of the dates. My Mills account dies on Sunday, which means that I need to scramble to get a new primary email account. It'll probably be mohanraj@lmi.net -- I'll let you know when that's confirmed. In the interim, urgent mail can reach me at moh2@rainbow.uchicago.edu.

Now, can someone remind me what UNIX command does a search and replace through all my files here? I need to replace maryanne@mamohanraj.com with moh2@rainbow.uchicago.edu -- and will need to do it again once the new account is active.

If you can also remind me how to use tar to compress and save my entire account at Mills, so I can ftp it to the new account and uncompress it, that would help. Kevin left me instructions, but they don't seem to be working. :( When I tried:

(tar -cvf ella *) it seemed to work fine, but (tar -xvf ella *) gave me error messages. :(

Kev's away at a conference; meep.

5:00 - Okay, John and Brian have figured out what I was doing wrong with the tar stuff; they're still figuring out how to do the search and replace in a C shell. I know y'all were dying to know that. :-)

Making cheesecake and cake for Kayie's going away party -- must get back to it!

1:15 a.m. -- Okay, technically it's probably Saturday, but since I haven't gone to sleep yet, we'll stay here for now.

Raucous party. Take one small child (age 8), six adults intent on making sure she has a good time, one frosted cake, two cheesecakes, some fruit and chocolate, ice cream, sorbet, and soda (and a little port), many balloons and the cushions from the couch (ideal for starting pillow fights), and you can have a really good time. :-) It was fairly tame for the first chunk of it, until Kaylie started agitating for a party game. Well, no one indulged her right away, but a little later, she was sitting on her mom's lap while Lydia talked to Ian and El, and well, once I thought of it, I *had* to do it, right? Right?

So I ran over, tagged Lydia's knee, and shouted, "You're It!" Lydia just gave me this *look*...and then she was moving the small child and moving herself, fast! I was dragging off my socks so I wouldn't slip on the hardwood floor, and then I took off into the back yard with Kaylie right behind me, and rampaging chaos in the living room. David mostly stayed out of it (in fact, the one time I remember him being tagged, he just stood there until Ian came up to him and said, 'okay, okay, tag *me*'), but the rest of us shrieked and ran and made up rules to games we didn't quite remember (Freeze Tag; TV Tag; etc.) until we were utterly exhausted. Kaylie had more energy than any of us (and honestly, I think she had less sugar than any of us).

Other highlights of the evening including David as weary old horse (I think he eventually died under a disappointed Kaylie) and Ian as bucking bronco -- she held on really tight! Oh, and later there was a pillow fight, and a game of Statues (make the other person laugh) and after I awarded Kaylie the keychain water pistol award (functional!) for longest as a statue, she and Ian got into a rather messy waterfight, with many soaked innocent bystanders (I think El got it the worst). Eventually the munchkin fell asleep on the couch, after Heather and I sang a couple songs to her, but she wore us out first!

I'm still oddly awake (I kind of fell asleep on her shoulder for a bit, actually), which is why I'm writing this now, but I should probably go to sleep. 'Night, everyone.

Hey, darlings. Hope…

Hey, darlings. Hope you're having a good morning so far; I am. The world is looking wet and lush outside my window, with the rain pouring down. All the Californians are complaining about all the rain, annoyed at El Nino, but aside from the increased mosquito population, I have no complaints. The world is so beautiful in watercolors.

Rain drenches pale leaves
dark wood railing, road beyond.
I feel like singing.

I've got haiku on the brain, I'm afraid; the slam people were thinking it might be fun to have a haiku night. Heh. Don't know if it'll happen, but it's got me thinking about haiku again. There is something about the restraint that is so appealing, the bound elegance of the prose. I like writing about exuberance, about intensity, within formal constraints. In some ways, they seem the essence of poetry; to say much, in few words.

To try to, anyway. :-)

Just finished the last Beagle novel (not the last he'd written, but the last I hadn't read), The Innkeeper's Song. Gorgeous, as expected. The back cover is a bit misleading, in that it leads you to expect a certain character to be a protagonist, when in fact, *all* the characters are protagonists in this novel, which Beagle makes evident by switching pov often, and well. I'd love to meet this man...

Also recently read Tanya Huff's latest, Summon the Keeper. A lovely light novel, and just the thing to read when you've been woken up too early by mosquito bites. It's always refreshing reading her books, at least partly because her characters tend to remind me of myself and my friends...

Well, lots of puttering to do today, so I'm off to do it. I may check in later with y'all, if I reach a good pausing place.

It's so nice to actually look forward to working. :-) Happy Mary Anne.

1:00 p.m. Hey, guys. Well, so far, I've churned through a big chunk of e-mail; down to about 20 messages. Faxed a resume to MacTemps; need to start working soon. Wrote half a Sizzle story; I'm finding it harder and harder to write straight porn -- it's just *boring*. It's fun doing the lead up, but the actual sex scenes...sigh. Don't get me wrong -- I'm still totally fascinated by erotica; there's just only so much I can do with character development in a 1000 word porn story. I'm also a little tired of only being able to write straight or lesbian scenes for these mainstream markets; maybe I should try breaking into the gay markets. Would be a nice change, anyway.

Also picked up Real Live Nude Girl again. Really enjoying these essays by Carol Queen -- the last one, "Exhibitionism and the (Formerly) Shy" was really good, ending with a really rocking paragraph, on what happens after one learns to get past one's fears of exhibitionism: "And don't be surprised if you feel more confident out in the world. Who says sex is supposed to be done in the dark, with your eyes closed? You just broke another taboo, and you did it for your own pleasure. There are few things more empowering than that." You go, girl. My only quarrel with Carol's writing is more of a quibble, really; she's just so darn positive about everything, so cheerful. I understand what she's trying to do, but sometimes I think people who are scared might be a little freaked out by someone so enthusiastically cheerful about that thing that terrifies them....well, different approaches, I suppose. I certainly think we need people like Carol out there...

Okay, I'm going to go finish that darn Sizzle story, and try to move through some more of the pieces of paper that piled up in the last month or two...

Okay, now I’m really…

Okay, now I'm really back. :-) I'm going to skip over the Yosemite trip for now, because I'm hoping to scan some of the photos and do up a proper page on it; will note that in the journal when it's ready.

As for the days since...well, it was really wonderful spending a week with Alex. I was finally winding down from the end of school, and to do it in the company of a dear friend was as much as I could ask. We got back from Yosemite Friday night, quite exhausted. Saturday is mostly a blur; we took back the rental car, dealt with scheduling his departure (delayed be cause of Memorial Day reservation difficulties, which we ended up both being grateful for :-), reserving hotel and rental car in Las Vegas (he's going to drive from there to Moab, Utah, where Susan (from our Clarion) lives, hiking and camping along the way in various national parks.

I'm honestly not sure what we did after that...that might have been the day we took public transit up to Berkeley and had a lovely lunch out in the sunlight at Jupiter's, remembering a similar lunch on his birthday at Clarion. We were both feeling quite tired and slightly melancholic, but it was pleasant nonetheless. Then stopped at Games of Berkeley, Other Change of Hobbit (where I bought several books, of course), and Comic Relief (where I picked up a Sandman graphic novel (I'm slowly collecting the whole set), a Books of Magic graphic novel (ditto) and some XXXenophile playing cards for Lydia's birthday present (she loved them).

We had thought about going over to Telegraph and getting dinner at The Blue Nile, but I was really wiped, and so we headed home instead. Stopped and picked up groceries instead, and made pasta with chicken, broccoli and sundried tomatoes. Yum. Ellie and Ian joined us, and we had a fun dinner by lamplight. Ian *likes* lighting our lamps... :-)

Pasta with Chicken, Broccoli, Sundried Tomatoes

2 red onions, sliced thinly
1/2 pound chicken breast, cut in small strips
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 heads broccoli florets
1 c. sundried tomatoes in oil
1 c. parmesan
1 lb. pasta, ideally multicolored spirals

1. Start boiling a lot of water for pasta
2. Saute onions in a little olive oil with Italian herbs, a generous shake or two of pepper, and 1 t. salt
3. Add chicken and saute until cooked
4. Put pasta in boiling water and cook 5 minutes
5. Add broccoli to boiling pasta water and cook 3-4 more minutes
6. Drain pasta/broccoli and transfer to large bowl. Add chicken/onion, sundried tomatoes and parmesan.
7. Stir well and serve hot, ideally with toasted French bread, herbed olive oil for dipping and red wine. A light sorbet for dessert, or perhaps some tiramisu, prepared in advance.


Sunday we took Lydia and her daughter Kaylie and ran around S.F. Lunch at a nice Chinese restaurant and then wandered through the Haight. Then we all trooped off to the poetry slam, where we met up with David and Heather. Very interesting; I was terrified while waiting to perform (the numbers are chosen randomly). I went last, as it turned out, which is a great placement for scoring purposes but difficult on my churning stomach and pounding heart. :-) The audience liked my piece, but I went over time and so didn't win. I must be more careful about time in the future -- I read the "Confessions of a 26-yr-old Female Porn Writer", which I'd timed at home to be exaclty the right length of time, but it definitely takes longer up there, what with audience response and all. I feel like I'm learning something about performance doing these, but I still have a ways to go. I'm going to keep going.

I did manage to just barely qualify for the semifinals, so I'll be there again on this coming Sunday, 5:00, if any of you are interested. Admission is $5, and I think it'll be a lot of fun. Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, S.F.

Monday was another fairly mellow day. I had wanted to take Alex and Kaylie sailing, but although the weather was just about perfect for it, the place was closed. :( We wandered through Lake Merritt park instead, feeding the birds at the bird sanctuary and eating ice cream. Was a nice afternoon. In the evening Alex went off to dinner with Ceej and I went dancing up at Starry Plough. Utterly exhausted myself but had a very good time. Came back just before Alex returned, as it turned out. Had a very good conversation with him that night; got a bit weepy over imminent departure, but recovered.

Oof. Almost caught up.

Tuesday. Alex and I had a late breakfast at Brewberry's, and then walked down to BART (long walk! He's much more of a walker than I am!). On the way, stopped and bought mango slices from a street vendor, who asked me if I wanted chili. Immediately flashed back to one of Rick's stories from Clarion, a beautiful tale, "From Here You Can See the Sunquists", which has as a central moment one character showing another how to eat mangoes with chili and salt and lime. Missed Rick tremendously for an intense moment. Said yes to the vendor, though somewhat trepidatiously. Mangoes were delicious.

BART to S.F., walked around some, eventually had lunch at a Japanese place Alex had found. He had noodle soup (reminding me of the other Alex, Russian Alex, who also loves noodle soup) and I had sushi. Spicy tuna, which I hadn't had before and really liked, and unagi, which I adore. Hurrah for David, who introduced me to sushi. Walked to SF MOMA (museum of modern art), where I pestered him for explanations (his mum's an artist) and he insisted that there was no need for explanations, that I should just see what the art made me feel. Long discussion/argument about that, over various pieces of art. I think art should work on at least two levels; the immediate, visceral, and the educated, considered. Not sure he'd actually disagree with me there, now that I think about it...I think I was being more hard-line (and he was) during the actual conversation.

We had quite a few rousing debates, about philosophy and ethics and how we'd run the world if it were in our power. More than anyone else I know, Alex shares my desire to change the world -- and determination to do so. Our approaches are *very* different...it'll be interesting to see how much impact we both have, in the end. Not that it'll be all that easy to measure it, of course...well, unless Alex has his way and makes the kind of revolutionary changes he wants to, which I'm a bit dubious about. More than a bit, actually. Though if anyone can do it...

Came back and finished packing, then David drove us to the airport. Mushy goodbyes. Will miss Alex tremendously. Do.

Dinner with David and then much sleeping. Started catching up on missed sleep; bad allergy attacks from mosquito bites. Hopefully Benadryl will let me sleep through the night tonight. Finally catching up with e-mail as well...

Oh, in all that chaos, did send Maiden Voyage off to Marti, finally. Need to give her a call and make sure she received it...

Lots of things to do; light work today, and tomorrow I dive in whole-heartedly. Good to have a break; good to be back. :-) Didja miss me? :-)

Hey, munchkins. Sorry…

Hey, munchkins. Sorry not to write long yet; will soon. Just busy and tired with Alex around and running around...he leaves Tuesday, so after Tuesday if not before.

In a bit of a weird space, in that I wrote a poem that I like a lot, but it's about my dad, and I just don't feel comfortable putting it up here. It's been a while since I felt that. I'll send it out to the readers, though, and in compensation, I offer you a haiku.

He said, "I love you."
Said, "Will you marry me?" I
said, "What was your name?"

Hey, munchkins. Just a…

Hey, munchkins. Just a quick note that Alex and I are going hiking in Yosemite for a few days, so you won't be hearing from me. Trees. Water. Mountains. Sweat. Mosquitoes. Smoky camp fires. Sounds like fun, huh? :-)

Gods, I've needed a vacation...

Am having a fabulous time with Alex in town, btw. Cooked tremendously last night, which was great fun, and enjoyed another chance to show off my house, of which he was duly appreciative. :-)