Morning, dears! Gods –…

Morning, dears! Gods -- yesterday was a full day. Although very little actual work got done. 'Work' being defined as academic, writing or SH stuff. :-)

Carol came and got me, and we went to the post office, and the drugstore, and the grocery store, and the garden store (I found a gorgeous gardenia plant -- mmm....made me think of you, Heather :-) and finally the used furniture store, where they still had the lovely maple rocker that I'd been lusting after a week ago. I had needed to make sure I still wanted it, you see, so I hadn't bought it at the time. You live with your furniture for a while, after all. Carol dropped the me and rocker off, along with a small chest that I'd found at one of the stores, rather flimsy but very pretty, and far better for storing office supplies than the nasty falling-apart cardboard box that I'd been using (instead of working at a desk, I work at a large table; I prefer having lots of workspace -- but there had been a lack-of-drawers dilemma, now solved). And before putting the box junk into the chest I of course needed to clean out everything under my table, sweep, etc. The sunroom ended up looking much better when I finished, but that took a while. And, of course, it meant that the living room looked extra shabby by comparison, especially with a large dead tree in it. :-)

So I got the tree into the dining room, cleaned up the living room, and put the rocker in its happy place. Mmm...what pleasure. What satisfaction.

rocking chair
Although the dining room was still a mess, of course. Anyway, most of the rest of the day was spent cleaning and then cooking a few of Karina's favorites (egg curry and potato curry), and then going to get her (thanks again to Carol) and then staying up late eating and talking and taking photos like the one above. I have a bunch of her, but she made me promise not to put any up until she looked at them again and agreed that she looked good in them. She's still sleeping. Later...

The whole looking good thing is interesting. I was realizing, when I was deciding whether to put the above photo up, that I don't really care if y'all think I'm beautiful or sexy or not. Which is odd, because I know that for a while, I really felt that I shouldn't put any photos of me on my pages that *weren't* sexy. I think that my attitude shifted when I switched from writing entirely erotica to writing a mix of stuff. Somehow I feel much less obligation to...umm...try to be a sex symbol in order to promote my writing. Weird, huh? It's not like I'm a model, or an actress, where my livelihood is directly tied to my looks. I'm a writer, and it shouldn't matter. But while I was writing primarily erotica, I knew that if I looked sexy when I did readings, that gave me an edge. That if I'm in a horde of writers giving readings, the audience would remember what I read (hopefully), but would almost certainly also remember if they thought I looked hot. And it's not that I mind looking hot -- I enjoy it. But it did meant that I felt this strange obligation to wear skimpy black tank tops with short, tight skirts and black stockings...pretty much the direct opposite of the outfit above. You can't see my skirt under the afghan I'm crocheting, but I assure you that it's long and suitably demure for my granny look. :-)

And it just doesn't matter anymore -- anyone reading this journal for any length of time probably knows much more embarrassing things about me than the fact that I sometimes stick out my bottom lip too much for photos. :-) And even if you're a casual journal reader, even if you just stopped by and that photo was the first thing you saw of me -- so what? I'm busy! I have a pile of reading to do, and magazine things to run, and etc. and so on and somehow it just doesn't feel as important to project a sexy image all the time as it used to. Maybe it's the shift in genres. Or maybe I'm just getting old. :-)

Speaking of reading, I'd best get to it. Later, my dears.

4:00 p.m. Well, I'm about halfway through the history reading, Stephen Kemper's The Presence of the Past, a very interesting book on the way historians and others (including Sinhalese nationalists) have used The Mahavamsa as history, and constructed narratives of nationalism around it. Similar in basic contention to the essay I mentioned a few days ago, but more historically based (the other was based on a comparison of various version of the ancient texts). I can see the pull of wanting to claim the tale to be history -- if you do, it gives Sri Lanka a basically uninterrupted 2500-year written history, which is just astonishing. Not just stomping America into the ground, but India and England as well, I think. I'm not sure when British written history first showed up -- David?

At any rate, that's about it for accomplishments today. :-) I'm hoping to finish the book by 5:30 or so. Paul and Marcia are coming by for dinner and cards at 6:30, and while we still have a fair bit of the curries from last night, I'll make some more accompaniments, I think. A coconut sambol, maybe some simple raita (I have some yoghurt I want to finish off in the fridge), and a sweet carrot curry, I think. Shouldn't take more than forty-five minutes, so if I start at 5:30, I'll be in good time.

Before I go, here's one of the 'approved' photos from yesterday. :-)

Karina's face

It's so delightful having her here!

Please note that if…

Please note that if you're reading this in the monthly format and experiencing significantly faster load times, you have Jed to thank for harassing me into putting height and width tags into the images. I'll try to remember to put them in in future. Let me know as well if the 4x6 images (such as the one below) are too large for you (either for your screen or your load time) -- I can shrink them down to 3x5 at least.

I'm supposed to go run around with Carol this morning doing errands; she'll give me a call when she's up and ready. I think my brain must have been anxious about sleeping through her call; it started waking me up around 6 or so, even though I strictly told it last night that I needed to sleep until at least 7. I opened my eyes at one point, groggily pulled over my clock, and saw that it said 10:30. I couldn't quite believe it, since it was still pretty dark in my room, but the wind was howling outside my window, and I figured that it was possible that a rising snow storm might make it very dark. When I got up and went to the kitchen, that clock said 6:30. I came back and realized I'd read the second hand on my alarm clock at the 10. I banged my head against the wall a few times, then went and got my camera and took a picture from my bedroom window. The wind was fierce, and I wish I could have taken a picture of me, in my nightgown, with my sheer white curtains billowing in around me. Like something out of Interview with a Vampire. You'll have to settle for the mountains instead.

I was feeling particularly disgruntled because I'd just woken from a bad dream. And not that I wanted to stay in the dream, but I wanted to shift into a better dream before waking up, so that I wouldn't have the memories of that one lingering in my head. Orson Scott Card and I were both guests at a convention -- he was Guest of Honor, and I was one of the little piddling panel guests (one of hundreds). It wasn't WorldCon, but it wasn't a tiny con either. Something in between. He had finally read my writing, and he hated it. Thought it was somewhere between puerile and disgusting. He had been publically vilifying all through the first day at the con, getting worse and worse until he was finally insulting me personally. My two younger sisters were at the con, and were defending me to him, but they just weren't cut out for the job. What shocked me, was that the convention programmers heard about this, and decided to ask Mr. Card to leave the convention. I protested, expecting a horde of angry fans, but it turned out that they weren't willing to budge -- he'd been very demanding and difficult about all sorts of things (like the lighting for his GOH speech) and this was really just a convenient and politically expedient excuse for dumping him. As I woke up, the fans were rising up into a mob, and I fully expected that even if I survived the convention, my career wouldn't. Card had already put out a broadsheet denouncing me and the con committee. The analysis of this dream is left as an (easy) exercise for the reader.

The day has slowly improved; by the time I finished redoing all those image tags, I felt better and brighter.

There's not sunshine quite yet, but the sky is now very light, and my tea is steeping. (I've settled into a tea schedule: two cups of English Breakfast, one of Irish Breakfast, one of Chai, and sometimes one of decaf English Breakfast before bed -- I don't always have all of them, but I do pretty much always have them in that order). I'm feeling capable of coping with my work, so I think I'll try doing the last few things for Strange Horizons that didn't quite get finished yesterday. (Heh -- took a break to make my tea and put on music -- hit shuffle on the CD player, and it started up with Tori Amos, the song that starts, "5 a.m., Friday morning..." -- some people have it worse than me.) Lots did get done, and I think we'll very soon have t-shirts and mugs, which is quite exciting. Don't *you* want a SH t-shirt? Actually, I'm not sure I can sell you one. As a non-profit, I think our selling of things is very strictly regulated. But I'm not sure. And I *think* we can give 'gifts' in exchange for donations...that seems like a technicality, though. There must be some way the IRS distinguishes that from actual selling, no? Otherwise everyone would be doing it and avoiding sales tax. I don't understand. :-( Hopefully someone will explain it to me.

We *are* getting more and more official. We have a real business bank account now (with imprinted checks *and* a credit card), and I signed us up for PayPal yesterday. The amount is left blank, so people can donate anywhere from a penny to a pound. Well, not a pound, 'cause I think it's in dollars, but you get the idea. And PayPal is doing international payments in quite a few countries now, which is a cool improvement on the last time I used it. I heard some foreboding rumors that the company might be in some trouble, but I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope. It's only a supplemental solution in any case; one of my tasks for Monday is to talk to Pair and figure out how to set up credit card acceptance on-site. I suspect that will make it significantly easier for most people to donate.

I'm really proud of Strange Horizons, y'know. Readership has been climbing very steadily in the last month, and while it's not such a trick to get a spike by advertising somewhere, it's much more impressive to retain those visitors. :-) I think my editors are doing great work, and we're starting to move past the 'scrambling to get every issue up on time' stage to the actual planning ahead stage. They've done a great job of putting together the special Waldrop issue for this Monday, with pieces coordinated across three departments (I don't think Waldrop wrote poetry, or that anyone's written poetry about him. Too bad.) And just in general, things seem to tick along pretty smoothly. We're still young yet -- not even six months old -- but so far, I'm very happy with our progress.

CS is doing splendidly too. Susannah's done a great job of getting readership up even higher, of cutting costs and bringing in more income. She's a lot better at all of those things than I am! Though I'm watching and slowly learning. They're doing really amazingly in the Preditors poll -- to the point where I'm tempted to go and change all my SH votes to CS votes, just 'cause CS actually has a chance of winning some categories. SH is doing quite well, but at this point, I'd be really surprised if it won a category, and I think it's only the top scorer in each category that gets an award. I'll probably dither about this until the night of the 31st, and then jump on the computer and change my votes at the last minute. We'll see.

It's just astonishing to me that I started CS practically on a whim; just a vague idea in the back of my head that 'it would be fun'. :-) And I would never have had the nerve to do SH without two years of experience with CS...

Carol just called -- it's going to be about an hour and a half before she's ready to go, because she has a heat inspector stopping by. Or something like that. So I'm going to go try to do some work. It's difficult to concentrate when there's a little bird in my head peeping "Karina's coming! Karina's coming!" She'll be here around 7:30 tonight...

Hey, munchkins. Having…

Hey, munchkins. Having a good Friday? Mine's pretty good so far -- met with a student, churned through a bunch of mail, ate a Lean Cuisine meal for lunch that is supposedly their top seller, which makes me think that I really ought to call them up and offer to give them a better recipe, 'cause that one was pretty sad. I'll cook tonight, but I'm in enough of a work mood that I didn't want to pause long enough to chop onions and make a curry.

Here's what's left for today:

  • clear out mailbox
  • SH bookmarks, mugs, t-shirt - get design specs to Lucy; find printer, print, distribute!!
  • send Q's to Patrick Hayden
  • send out SH updated guidelines
  • Asian SF book proposal
  • write recommendation for Shmuel and mail to Humanities Division, Dean of Students Office
  • clear desk
  • read fiction stories
  • write fiction piece
  • read semiotics stories
  • read Heir to Govandhara
Hah! I'm so optimistic in the mornings. You've surely noticed that many of those have rolled over from the last time I made such a list. :-) S'okay. I'm actually making good progress on item #2 on there, which is one that's been hanging around for a long time, so that's good. I think today is mostly going to be a SH day -- trying to get the promotional items going, getting that Hayden interview underway, sending out the updated guidelines with the new pay rates, reading Heir to review, and in the process of clearing out my desk, sending out some checks and contracts. If I manage to get all that done today, I will be very satisfied with myself. Exceedingly so. Fingers crossed...

Image Notebook

Sitting across from me on the bus, a big man, bulky with crew cut and camouflage jacket; the kind of man who I tend to assume is someone I would not want to be stuck in an elevator with. And then he reaches into his duffel bag, pulls out a library copy of Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, opens it eagerly to somewhere around page twenty or so, and I am feeling very embarrassed, but also delighted.

It’s snowing, really…

It's snowing, really hard. I should have anticipated this; last night it felt like a storm rising. But somehow my brain translated rising wind into 'rainstorm' instead of 'snowstorm'. I'm a goober. My students will be happy, though -- they get great skiing. And Karina will be delighted; part of why she comes out here is love of snow, rather than love of us. :-) I had been worrying a little, because most of the snow on the ground had melted by yesterday; I needn't have worried. If only she were here right now so she could go dance in it. And even better, so I could talk her into going in and teaching/taking my classes so I could stay inside with a nice cup of hot chocolate. That's what people are *meant* to do in a snowstorm.

I need to go wash my hair now if I want it to be close to dry before I start walking in to campus, so I'll try to check in later with y'all. I also have about forty pages of that history left to read before I go in; I have an hour to do it, so I should be fine, but not if I spend too long futzing about here. Until later, munchkins.

Image Notebook

Morning, munchkins! …

Morning, munchkins! It's barely morning here -- I slept 'til 10, bizarrely. I think my body is trying to tell me it doesn't want to get sick. I'm okay with that in theory, but in practice -- that's four hours of the morning, wasted! Eep.

Before I give you the laundry list of what I'm doing today, here's something far more interesting and amusing -- Bruce Sterling's Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackout. The man is funny and educational at the same time. I wanna be able to do that. Oh well -- I can at least link to those who can.

Here's today's plans:

  • read history
  • send Q's to Patrick Hayden
  • send Shmuel AE
  • send various presents
  • contact Trina/James re: call for papers (interdisciplinary and grad student conferences) -- draft due 1/30, final due 2/15
  • do grad matching funds application for ICFA
  • write recommendation for Shmuel and mail to Humanities Division, Dean of Students Office
  • clear desk (so deceptively short a note!)
  • send out SH updated guidelines
  • SH bookmarks, mugs, t-shirt - get design specs to Lucy; find printer, print, distribute
  • read Heir to Govandhara
Yah, only about half of those will probably get done. 'read history', for example, is due tomorrow morning and will probably take a good six hours, since I have an entire history book and an article to get through. And of course there's laundry and dishes and cleaning in there. But the list sounds good, doesn't it? It almost seems manageable.

7:00. Well, we're progressing, slowly. I just finished a very interesting essay on how historians have been reading ancient Sri Lankan texts. This sounds dry as dust, doesn't it? Until you realize that an awful lot of the current ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka is based on some of these ancient texts, and on the way they've been used as justifications for a particular sort of belief in the importance of early Buddhism in Sri Lanka. There's a lot of rhetoric in this conflict about ancient Sinhalese Buddhism (supposedly 'pure'), and the invading Tamils from South India, and much of it is based on these ancient texts that have been taken as 'true' and 'historical' by academics.

The author of the essay proves (pretty conclusively in my opinion) that in fact, these texts were very much constructed at the time with particular religious and other ideological/political purposes -- that it's not at all safe to pick one of them and call it 'history'. And he does a really good job of explaining (in a footnote to his conclusion) why it's critically important for academics to seriously rethink what they've been doing. If there are words you're not familiar with here, just skim over them; I think you should be able to get the gist without them:

"Obviously, scholarship alone cannot solve the problems in Sri Lanka. But just as the mass media have been employed in order to reinforce the communalist program that has torn Sri Lanka asunder, so they can be employed in order to undermine that program. There are hopeful signs at the time of this writing that steps in this direction are now being taken, as the Sri Lankan press begins to focus upon the needs and goals common to all ethnic groups in the country, and as Lankika ("Sri Lankan") begins to displace "Sinhala" and "Tamil" as terms of national identity. But undoing the damage done by scholarly constructs requires redressing the construct of Sri Lankan history as well as the construct of modern social divisions. It is incumbent upon the Sinhala press, broadcasting corporations, textbook designers, and especially politicians to make use of scholarly reexaminations of the complex manner in which the traditional Sri Lankan polities, both before and after the Okkaka dynasty, worked to forge union rather than disunion among different linguistic and religious social groups, on the basis of subtle grammatical and theological epistemologies which, hierarchical though they surely were, constituted all Sri Lankans as parts of a larger whole, and moreover understood Sri Lanka itself to be part of a still larger whole. It is especially incumbent upon scholars to start making those reexaminations." ("Buddhist History", _Querying the Medieval_, Jonathan S. Walters, 149)

That all sounds very calm and academic, doesn't it? But it's really a strong demand for academics to a) realize that they've been interpreting things wrongly, b) realize that those interpretations have contributed to the conflict -- and to many many deaths and other tragedies, and c) start doing something to make amends for that damage -- or at least to stop contributing to it. I'm going to meet with my professor tomorrow and ask him what effect, if any, this essay has had on current scholarship (it's very recent). Hopefully some.

11:00 p.m. 100 pages to go. And a poem.

one of the ways in which you amaze me even though it has been so long
that one might think that I would have gotten used to everything by now

what amazes me
is that
you know
when I am not
being true
to myself
even though
it is not
to me

and even better
that you wait
for me
to figure it out
for myself

and even better
that you simply
for me

Image Notebook

It starts with a rustling, barely perceptible through solid glass. And when you look up, the branches are still -- but the leaves are shivering, everywhere. A large piece of battered paper skips across the neighbor's roof, dancing. You know that if you open the window, your hair will lift and tangle. And as the rustling grows louder, for no good reason at all, you are happier than you were a few moments ago.

I don’t know why I’m…

I don't know why I'm typing when I should be reading. How odd that writing seems easier at this moment than reading. I think it's the sheer bulk of the reading that daunts me...

That's a fairly typical pose -- I'm not wearing the same clothes I was wearing then (Saturday?), but otherwise, it's a decent representation of me in this moment. Picture blue flannel pyjama bottoms and a black t-shirt with the collar cut out and Sandman's Death on the front for a more accurate image. No watch. Messier hair.

It's also the closest you're going to get to a full face photo for now; we spent yesterday afternoon working and making candles and never got back to photo taking. Oh well. Karina may come for a brief visit shortly -- if she does, I'll push the camera into her hands and make her take pictures of me. She won't mind, since I'll be doing the same for her. We're both somewhat narcissistic that way. :-)

Okay, I will now exert discipline and go read. We shall meet anon...

9:00 p.m. Not as far ahead as I'd hoped, but not as far behind as I'd feared. I may go a bit short on sleep tonight, but it's my own fault if so -- I took a few hours to finish that Michelle West book, Hunter's Oath (I think I got the title wrong yesterday). It definitely improved as it went, and I'm now eager to read the next one. Which sort of sucks, 'cause I think that means that I'm now in the midst of three epic fantasies, none of which are completed yet (by the authors). Frustration. Confusion. It's my own dang fault for not waiting until the series were written before starting them, though. At least the West theoretically only has one more book left to be written; I think the Martin does as well, but I'm not sure. I have no clue about the schedule on the Rhapsody series.

Exciting news, though -- Karina's coming! We weren't sure if she'd be able to make it out this year, but it looks like all's well, and in fact, she'll be here Saturday (which means she has several very busy days ahead of her now). She'll be staying with me until the third week of February, and Kevin will be coming out to join us for at least one long weekend. :-) :-) :-) I don't know how to explain it, but there's a part of me that only feels truly right with the world when it's the three of us.

Of course, this means that the rest of the week will be insanely busy, as I try to get as ahead as I can so that I'm not completely swamped with work and ignoring her while she's here. While, at the same time, trying not to get sick. Hmm...more Nyquil tonight? Maybe. My cough seems better, but a guarantee of a good night's sleep is worth a lot.

Back to my reading now -- and if you're looking for something to read -- it's Monday! Strange Horizons Day! With a great and chilling story by Michael Jasper, "Crossing the Camp" (especially pleasing to carry because he used to work with us, where he was fondly known as Jasper), an interview by Cheryl Morgan, whom I met at WisCon, with Jane Routley, who apparently writes something in between fantasy and romance, and a review of the Dune miniseries which will be out in video soon! I missed it on tv, and after reading the review, I am eager to see it. David has seen it two or three times now, I think.

Image Notebook

the snow in her hair melting and her eyes brightly shining under the streetlights and she is laughing she is tilting her head back and eating snowflakes eagerly she is more alive in this moment than some people are in months and I want to kiss the pulse at her throat and I wish I could pick her up in my arms and whirl her around in the falling snow laughing!

Sunday morning, and…

Sunday morning, and we're quietly working. I've enjoyed a lot of living alone, but it is awfully nice having someone here to make tea for (and vice versa), someone to appreciate my cooking, someone to steady me while I perch precariously on a chair (and two phonebooks) hanging a light. Having Kirstie visit offers all the pleasures of having a roommate again without any of the problems. I wouldn't mind if she stayed another week or two, but she goes back tonight. Oh well...

I did promise you more photos, didn't I? She's kindly been helping me fix my appalling photos-of-myself-in-Utah-deficit. Now, keep in mind that it takes something like twenty photos of myself before I find one I can tolerate, and you'll get a sense of what a true friend she is. :-) She's actually really interested in photography, though more nature than portraiture, I think, so she tends to take artsy-type photos:

We'll probably spend some more time today putzing with the camera though, so you may actually get a photo of my entire face at some point. I bet you're excited. :-)

Other news -- well, I'm really behind on my e-mail, so I'm not sure what my other news is. Someone did ask what ever happened to those CD's I was going to record. I did actually record them, but I don't have the funds right now to duplicate them. I'm expecting a biggish check (which should have arrived more than a week ago), and when that gets here, I'll jump on Blue's case to finish the graphic design and then get the CD's copied. I had hoped to have them done in time for Valentine's Day, but I don't think that's going to happen, since it generally seems to take 4-6 weeks for duplication. That's a shame, esp. since I already missed having them for Christmas, but such is life. Not the top priority in my schedule, so the project has been a bit neglected. Here's a list of what's included though, so you can start thinking about whether you'll want a copy. I'm not sure of the pricing yet; I'm guessing it'll be about $10 each, but it depends a lot on how much the final duplication costs are.

Esthely Blue

  1. And the sea is shaking...
  2. Dreams of a Lover
  3. Renewal
  4. Her Body Awakened
  5. Poem for a University
  6. Lessons
  7. Letter
  8. One Week After Departure
  9. Systematic Pressure
  10. Chorus
  11. Return Visit
  12. Spinning Down
  13. Invocation
  14. the bones, they want to fly
  15. Johnny's Story
  16. Cobalt Blue
  17. Last Night
  18. Thoughts Before Going to Bed, Alone
  19. Fringes
  20. Feasting
  21. commuting
  22. Esthely Blue
  23. Sitting Under a Tree, in the Rain

Currently Untitled (suggestions?)

  1. Blind
  2. A Jewel of a Woman
  3. You'll Understand When You're Older, Dear
  4. Japanese Garden
  5. Letter Found Near a Suicide
  6. With Ocean Waiting Below
  7. Morningsong
  8. God's Body
  9. Kali
  10. Confessions of a 26-Year-Old Female Porn Writer
  11. Fleeing Gods
  12. The Ongoing Adventures of Gorgeous Gracie
It looks like the second one is a lot shorter, but they're both pretty close to a full CD. The second one is mostly stories, though, and the first is mostly love poems. I think I'd give the first one a PG-13 rating, and the second an R rating, if that helps distinguish them. Pretty much all of them are available in either the Poems or Stories sections of this site, I think.

Okie, back to work. I'll talk to you munchkins later...

9:30 p.m. It's quiet here. I miss her already.

I should have worked this evening, but kept getting distracted. I messed with a pile of photos for a while, and then started reading a book Kirsten bought me, Michelle West's Hunter's Moon. It's okay so far; Kirstie said later books in the series were really good, so I just had to get through this one. There are very few people who I would trust to make such a recommendation -- trust enough to read a not-great book for. Hopefully, we'll see that trust rewarded.

I know I have tons to do; my desk is a mess, but I just can't face all these bits of paper. I've gone through most of the backlogged e-mail, but there's still a few things to be handled. I've been fighting off a cold all weekend; dosed up on Nyquil last night because I was up coughing half the night before. I think I'll take Nyquil again tonight; I need the solid rest if I'm going to get through tomorrow. Lots of reading for Kathryn. Some reading for workshop. Some reading for narrative theory. Lots of reading for history. Meep. I suspect I'm going to have tired eyes by the end of tomorrow.

It'll be okay. I'm just a little mopey right now. I think I'm going to write in my Image Notebook, drink some Nyquil, and take the West book to bed. The rest can wait until tomorrow.

Image Notebook

In the cafe, she laughs, a forkful of chocolate mousse in one lifted hand. Light glints off the citrines at throat and earlobes; she is very beautiful in that moment. Before the light can fade, I have grabbed camera from coat pocket, snapped the photo heedless of the other restaurant patrons. It is her birthday, after all; they will have to cope. But when I come home and examine the photo, the gems are dark and her eyes are closed. I have missed the moment of light.


Kirsten's birthday!

I'm not quite so out of touch that I don't realize that it's also inauguration day, but frankly, I was a lot happier focusing on Kirstie's birthday instead. :-) Lovely visit so far; we spent much of yesterday shopping (found a cute blue velvet dress, and possibly a rocking chair), and today doing various and sundry. Umm...I brought her fruit salad, danishes and tea in bed; we lounged around for hours listening to music (very reminiscent of college roommate days); eventually bought groceries and I made Sri Lankan food for her -- nothing fancy, just shrimp curry and green beans and rice. It's what she wanted, and since it's her birthday, that's what she gets. :-) Then I dragged her to Lynn and Jason's baby shower, where she endured meeting lots of people she didn't know. After about half an hour of that, we ditched them all and went to see Chocolat, which was utterly charming and recommended. I have one minor quibble at the end, but it's not important. And may reflect more on myself than on the movie anyway. Then we went for some more food (it's been a fairly food-oriented birthday) at an Italian place next to the theater; we split pasta with meatballs, and then had dessert. Talked for a couple of hours, ran into sf author M. Shayne Bell at the restaurant (!) and gave him a SH card, of course, and now we're home again. Jiggity jig.

More soon, probably including a bunch of photos because I've been going a bit nuts with the camera lately, as has Kirstie. I got a reader comment recently asking for more photos of me in the journal. Your wish is my command:

Kirstie comes today! …

Kirstie comes today! Not 'til late tonight, though, so I do have to think about the work I need to do first. Mostly classes and then coming home and cleaning -- she's not going to care if my place is a mess, but I will. A bit silly, since she was my roommate for years and knows just how messy I get...oh well. I have some vague idea that I might try to do some sf writing this evening, but I suspect that's just goofy. I really do want to revise "Savariian" and send it out, but maybe we'll have time for that tomorrow; she's bringing some work with her, because she has a big presentation due this week, so I suspect I'll drag her to Borders tomorrow.

Hmmm...I thought I had more to say. Ah well, maybe later. Hope y'all are having a good week.

Image Notebook

I washed two jam jars and painted them with stained glass paints -- one a translucent red, the other an opaque cobalt blue. Filled halfway with blue glass pebbles, a little water, a paperwhite bulb nestled above. Over the last week they grew in the sunlight, small green sprout shooting higher and higher until they were taller than my arm is long. Lovely small white flowers at the top -- but they smelled wrong. I remember the scent from last year as spring rain; these smell more complex, less pure. And I do not know if it is the bulbs, or my memory, or me, that has changed.