Gosh, July is just…

Gosh, July is just racing along; having a hard time keeping up...

Woke up with a bit of a cold this morning, it seems like. Maybe Kevin made me sick; we had a tendency to pass colds back and forth. It's more fun if you can blame someone. :-)

Vast tracts of backlogged e-mail to handle, not to mention the pile of papers in my room. And there's a Clarion meeting tonight (not the usual scheduled time, due to conflicts), so a stack of stories to read and crit (including a good chunk of someone's novel). Should be a full day.

Had great fun last night with El working on my pirate costume (for an upcoming Pirate Ball and for WorldCon (BucConeer)) and watching an old Errol Flynn movie. Funny how different movie style was back then; lots of narrative voiceover that would surely be dramatized now. Interesting. Ellie got some costuming ideas, and we all (Ian too) enjoyed the movie. There are times when it's really nice to have housemates; Ian went out and picked up the movie and El made dinner (both of which I was too tired to do). And, of course, El has been a great help with the costume. I learned how to make a panelled skirt with a waistband yesterday. This morning I learn about modesty panels and hooks and eyes. Very exciting. :-) I am *so* glad I convinced my mum that I really did want a sewing machine for last Christmas (I don't think she really believed me, even after I got it). El's got a beautiful old Singer, but it works by treadle, and I'm just too lazy...

I'll be bopping up and down between here and Kev's parents' house for the rest of July, so if the journals get a bit scanty, that's why. They have e-mail, but the interface is a bit frustrating to work with (*and* it's not a Mac... :( ).

It's tremendously wonderful having Kev around again -- but you probably gathered that from the poem. :-)

Hope y'all are having a lovely week...talk to ya later.

With Ocean Waiting…

With Ocean Waiting Below

Two years gone.

Two years gone, except for moments
in the rain. Moments of days or
weekends or even weeks, but still
only moments. Always ending.
Always holding their breath,
waiting for the certain end.

Now you are here.

Now you are here and things
are different. Things are the same
-- I wake, eat, work, walk, sleep. But.

I wake with the slightly
musty, cinnamon and sesame
scent of you clinging to the sheets.
I eat breakfast -- the butter
on my toast brings cream to my
thighs, the jam dribbles juice
and I am biting my lip, leaning
against the kitchen counter with
hips pressed flat against cold tile,
aching. I have forgotten how
to walk. I am dancing while I walk.
I am swaying hips and letting my
breasts lead and seducing the air
against my throat as I walk.
When I sleep, the mattress is
jealous of intruding sheets that
cling to my curving body, pulsing
and whispering in the dark.

And the work?

Well, the work went well enough
with you away, after all. Some learning,
and a great deal of time for practice.
Progress was made, no doubt.
But it was, the critics admit, a touch
arid. Chilled. Overly restrained.
Three steps from the precipice,
close enough to lean over and feel
stomach churning, but not a step further.

Now you have returned,
my body is triumphant,
throat, skin, stomach, thighs...
and I am falling.

*yawn* Morning, kiddos….

*yawn* Morning, kiddos. Gods, didn't want to get up today. Don't know why...went to bed at a reasonable hour. Reasonablish, anyway.

Went to a pool party at Akien and Dawn's last night -- high point of the evening was meeting Debbie Notkin, who I've been vaguely aware of in many aspects for a while, I suspect, but couldn't quite pin down. Very cool. Funny how my separate circles are overlapping more and more; last I saw her was apparently at a Clarion party (though I was in such a daze at Clarion that I honestly don't remember)... Also neat was meeting Paul's friend Jennie, from U Michigan (and now Canada). She has a sweetie in the Bay, which explains what she was doing at this party. Hmm...meeting Paul's friend on Paul's birthday -- coincidence? I think so, but wouldn't it be neat if it weren't?

Okay, I'm feeling a mite silly. Perhaps it's because I still have a bunch of prep to do before the poly brunch, and only three hours to do it in (okay, so three hours is plenty o' time, but I'm allowed to fret about it, yes?). I should probably just go do it. Talk to y'all later...

Independence Day Had…

Independence Day

Had some fun yesterday with Lydia picking out some fabrics for my pirate costume (there's a pirate ball coming up, and this year's WorldCon theme is piratical, so I had a good excuse to make a costume). I think I'm going to be an elegant lady gone bad...so I've got a green silk dress that I made for Pennsic some years ago that I'm going to shred a little, and layer a bodice and some scarves over it. Fun. :-) David was around when I was planning things yesterday (like a thigh sheath for my dagger), and said I looked like a little kid at Halloween. He seemed a bit bemused. :-)

I hope everyone's having a pleasant holiday. I'm mostly working today, puttering around, working on the costume, cleaning out my files. Kevin arrives tonight, though we're not going to meet up 'til tomorrow or Monday -- he needs to help out his sister with some stuff, and I have to stay up here and host the poly brunch tomorrow. Soon.

Of course, this isn't a holiday for everyone (though it *is* Paul's birthday everywhere...happy birthday, Paul, if you happen to be reading this!), just the Americans. But hopefully the rest of the world is having a good day too, and maybe thinking kindly of us? Well, maybe not everywhere...

If I weren't in the midst of filing (a chore I've been putting off for far too long), I might write a long and meaningful passage on what it means to me to be an American. Of course, David would then point out that technically, I'm not really an American (I'm still a Sri Lankan citizen). But as soon as I have a $100 to spare, I'm going to fix that, and in the meantime, I must say that as much as I've enjoyed the other countries I've visited, and even though I might even go and live abroad for a few years, I think this is where I'd want to end up. This country has great problems, but great potential too. So everyone think good thoughts for her today, okay? And enjoy the fireworks...

Hmmm…tomorrow is…

Hmmm...tomorrow is Paul's birthday. I should send a card or something...

Well, my telnet has been flaky again. Someday I'd like to go a month with absolutely *no* computer problems. Just nothing. That's most of why you haven't heard from me in a few days.

The other reason is that I've had a hard time motivating to work. I'm hoping that once Kevin arrives, I'll get more done. That sounds a bit paradoxical, I know, but we do work well together, and if he drags me to a cafe and sits there scribbling over a yellow legal pad, writing his arcane math symbols, I may have an easier time motivating.

I *have* written about 4K of "The Fall", the newest novella for Puritan, which I'm surprisingly pleased with (9K total, so I'm almost halfway done), and worked through the first lessons in the FrameMaker tutorial. There are fifteen of them, and each one appears to be taking me about a half hour. I'm a little worried about how much I can really claim to know the program, even after I've been through them all once. I guess I *will* be able to look up anything I don't remember quickly, which is some comfort.

Jason and Lydia came by for dinner Wednesday night with me and Ian. That was a really wonderful night; great dinner guests and I had a chance to cook. My favortie new dish from that night was an Indonesian dish, "Gado-Gado". Not just for the name, either! It's lightly cooked vegetables (potatoes, carrots, green beans, cucumber slices, bean sprouts, cabbage) served on a bed of crisp watercress, to be dipped in peanut sauce. Yummy. I may never serve a standard crudite platter again.

Anyway, I hope you've all had a good week; hopefully, I'll talk to you again soon.

On the minus side, I’ve…

On the minus side, I've been having a lot of nightmares lately. Last night and the night before -- similar dreams. Anxiety dreams, really...it's pretty clear that they're just playing out scenarios I'm worried about, but it's a bit unnerving how real they are. I tend to dream in full story and dialogue, so that I can remember whole conversations (sometimes) when I wake up, and they're so damn plausible that they start me worrying again... it took a good couple of hours to shake that off this morning. There's just too much in my life that's up in the air, y'know? I'll feel a lot better once things start getting settled, that's for certain. Soon, hopefully.

On the plus side, my new disk drive is working fine, System 7.5.3 appears quite functional (David had the disks, as it turned out), and I bought more memory yesterday, so now Mordecai (my desktop) has a sexy 40 MEG of RAM, and has run all morning without crashing once. He's feeling fit and lean and young again -- quite rejuvenated! Tomorrow Sarah drops of a copy of FrameMaker for me, and I spend the rest of the week learning it. Looks like Kevin won't make it up here until Sunday or Monday, as it turns out, which I suppose gives me more time to work uninterrupted.

I did get some writing done yesterday, 2500 words of a new Puritan novella (they generally run about 9000). It's actually probably the best one I've written for them...well, if it holds on as strong as it started. We'll see. On the dark side. I'm going to try to get another 3000 done today (at least). We'll see how it goes. Oh, and do my laundry. Laundry is very important. :-)

Took a minute to do some revisions of the poly pages.

I'm going to get back to work, but here's a joke Lisette sent me -- only mildly offensive, I hope. :-)


Men are like a fine wine. They all start out like grapes, and it's our job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you'd want to have dinner with.

*yawn* Hello,…

*yawn* Hello, munchkins. Gods, I'm tired.

Yesterday..well, yesterday was strange. I could go into a long explanation and complaint, but what it sums up to is that I got up at 4 a.m. and spent way too many hours working for an insufficient amount of money. My own damn fault, really. Live and learn... I did attend my first NASCAR race. Very loud. Vaguely interesting, but more interesting watching the crowd, and noticing how they only got animated when it looked like a driver might get hurt. Heather said that they come here to watch someone die, and I think that's probably too true...

Today, I go up and work in Berkely for the day, which'll be nice. Lunch with Jason, dancing at the Plough tonight (hope I'm not too wiped!), and working in a cafe in the afternoon. Should be pleasant.

Hmm...is there other news? My uchicago account is still down, so I've started redirecting mail to lanminds (maryanne@mamohanraj.com). If you've sent mail to uchicago since Thursday or so, I haven't gotten it. I sent a query to a friend there, but if I don't hear from her in a day or so, I'm going to start a serious redirection (will be a big pain, which is why I'm putting it off).

Oh, and Kevin should be arriving in town at the end of the week, assuming flights and all work out. That'll be very good -- it's been way too long since I saw the boy this time.

Okay, I'd better go have my tea. I hope y'all are having a good Monday, and that the rest of the week goes well...

9:40 a.m. -- Hey, the uchicago account is back up! Took a while to go through and handle the urgent mail that had piled up, but looks like I'm back on track, huzzah. They had a security problem and had to shut down for a few days. I'd still like personal mail to go to lanminds.com -- I'm going to try to keep the uchicago account for mailing lists...

I want to say a public thank you to all the kind people who wrote me about the new poly section. I'm still nervous, but it definitely helps hearing such supportive things from you all. No nasty fall-out yet, fingers crossed. I'll reply personally as soon as I get a chance...be patient with me, please.

Well, rainbow has been…

Well, rainbow has been down since last night, so if you're trying to mail me there, no go. Please resend any urgent mail to maryanne@mamohanraj.com.

Had a lovely dinner last night, with a totally luscious Malaysian chicken curry (mmm...leftover curry for breakfast...) the focus of the evening. Jed had had a rotten day, but I think we managed to cheer him up a little...

Woke up earlier than expected this morning, surprisingly not really tired. It seems too soon for the exercise to be having this effect...maybe it's just a fluke. Glad I'm up early, though, because tomorrow I'm getting up at 4 a.m. (for a catering job that Ellie and Heather are going to as well; pays well, but oof!). Roundsing at the house this afternoon, and I'm going to try to go to sleep early (though if I go to bed at 8 p.m., the sun will still be up...)

I think I may spend some time revising bits and pieces of the web page today. I've been meaning to add a section on why I keep a journal at all, for example, and to redo the bio, and streamline some other bits. Anyway, hope you're having a good weekend so far -- talk to y'all later...

7:25 a.m. -- Added an introduction.

9:35 a.m. -- Finished _Skin_, talked briefly to Roshani, updated bio, including a new section on polyamory, about which I am very nervous. More tea now...(I don't know what I'd do without tea...)

Hey, munchkins. Well, I…

Hey, munchkins. Well, I got a little accomplished yesterday -- I bought a new disk drive (mine was broken), and installed system 7.5.3, huzzah. Now all I need to do is buy some more memory (Monday), and I'll be all set to install FrameMaker and start learning it. Behind schedule, but at least things are progressing.

The poetry slam up in Berkeley was a blast! I didn't win, but people liked my poems (read "Confessions" and "Pre-Med") and there was just a ton of great material that night. It would take too long to list all the poems that impressed me, but if the Berkeley people keep this up, San Francisco is going to be in trouble.

Met Jason beforehand for dinner (yummy crepes at Crepes-a-Go-Go) and he ended up coming to the slam. Met up there with Lydia and her friend Shane, who were crashing at our place afterwards, and ended up letting Garland, a visiting Monterey poet, crash there as well. All stayed up late talking; much fun! Didn't get nearly enough sleep, but it was well worth it...

Very tired and sluggish; I think I have a mild cold, though it appears to be getting better. Exercising semi-regularly again, hurrah! And even if nothing else is progressing, work on the webzine is -- we have a name! After much discussion and check of what was available, we're going with:

Clean Sheets

Now we just need to design a logo... :-)

Hmm...well, perhaps I should go pretend to work. Talk to y'all later...

8:30 p.m. -- Well, I wrote something. Not fiction, not for anyone who is going to pay me, but an essay that I'm pretty happy with, on growing up in the AIDS era. Got to check a few things on it, and then I'll send it out to the readers list and the erotica workshop for critique.

Jed's coming to dinner, and we're just finishing up cooking, so I'm going to go give the sauce one more stir...

Well, I did try to do an…

Well, I did try to do an entry for yesterday, but the computer kept crashing and losing it. Just as well, I think -- I had typed in about 9/10's of a poem that I'm now not sure I'd want posted. Maybe Somebody was trying to tell me something.

I didn't get as much done yesterday as I'd hoped to. Perhaps today will be better. I *am* almost caught up on e-mail, which is something, I suppose.

Grey day. Hard time motivating. My tea is steeping, which may help. I'm feeling an almost irresistible desire to scrub the bathroom, but I think that desire is highly suspicious. Resistance at play. I do know that part of the reason I'm feeling so lack-a-daisical (are those dashes supposed to be there?) is 'cause I exercised and gardened yesterday, for the first time in a while. Body tired! Body is almost entirely lacking in muscles! Very sad!

Gardening update: Well, the herbs are generally lovely. Rosemary doing fine; I've used it several times. Ditto parsley. Chives and dill a little less enthusiastic but strong enough to use some. Basil finally starting to shoot up -- they've been missing the sun, I think. Ellie cut back the rose bush that overhangs them, and that helped, I think. Cilantro totally out of control; trimmed it back severely yesterday; I just don't use that much cilantro, I'm afraid. Thai basil struggling along bravely. Thyme growing happily, very pretty.

Early girl tomato plants are *huge*, with many green tomatoes right now. Very exciting. The report from the actual vegetable garden is less exciting -- just not enough sun. Poor peppers were barely alive, and I lost the Sicilian tomatoes to rot. And my spinach had been horribly infected with leaf miners -- evil evil. All those beautiful big green leaves turning white and withered as these little slugs burrowed through them...

Well, transplanted some of the chili peppers; not sure they'll survive the trip, but they're in a sunnier spot now. And cut back the infected areas on the spinach; cross your fingers and hope the miners don't come back. Arthur tells me the spinach has started bolting, however, whatever that means, which does not bode well for the spinach. The corn is quite beautiful, and about half the bean plants are getting quite long. I staked them to some tomato frames in the hopes that they'd grow *up* instead of getting thoroughly tangled among the corn; not sure that was the right decision, but they *look* better now. And the squash is quietly doing fine, flowering beautifully. The real excitement was the several potato plants that have popped up; I had forgotten that Gwen, prior housemate, had planted potatoes. Not at all sure when to harvest them, but they're looking nice and healthy. Ditto single leftover artichoke plant.

Not much to report on the flowers; doing fine on the poppies, pansies, etc. The blue lobelia is utterly stunning -- I'm so glad Arthur talked me into getting some. Snapdragons are shooting up finally and should be flowering soon. And the white alyssum has finally come up from seed and is filling in the bare patches of soil in the flower beds. I look out my cobalt-blue edged kitchen window at the lemon tree and the bright flower beds in the morning, and I wonder why I'd even consider leaving this house...

Well. I know the answer to that one.

Off to work, my chickadees. Have a lovely day.

12:45 -- Well, haven't accomplished as much as I'd like so far, but I *have* finished another book review, this time of Dorothy Allison's _Skin: Talking about Sex, Class and Literature_. Mailed it out to those of you on the readers list, so you should be getting it shortly if you haven't already. I'll be publishing it in the new webzine, which should be named very shortly, huzzah! So soon it'll have a web page, and some calls for submissions, etc. and so on. You'll probably be hearing a lot about it in upcoming weeks...

Okay, going to shower (yes, it *has* been a slow morning) and then I'm not logging on again until 2. So there. I'm going to *make* myself do some actual work...which means this computer is going to be turned off until then and I'll work on the laptop. It's a bit ridiculous that I have to go to these lengths to make myself work, but so be it...

Oh, and if anyone knows how I'd go about updating my system software from Mac 7.1 to 7.5, that'd be appreciated. Is there a free download somewhere?