I am going to strangle…

I am going to strangle someone if my student loan check doesn't arrive soon. It could be a hapless mailman. It could be the financial aid office. It could be Karina, just 'cause she's right here. I'm sure the police will understand that there were mitigating circumstances.

Okay, that's the negative. There's lots of positives. I did get the SH checks and contracts out yesterday, and I cannot tell you what pleasure I got from using my new accountant-style check register -- the kind that leaves little stubs for each check that you can neatly fill out in detail. I was also pleased by having 'Strange Horizons -- www.strangehorizons.com' imprinted on the checks. Very very satisfying. Yes, I'm weird.

And I managed to read the history and reread enough of the Weber to get by today. I did read the Weber properly back in college, my freshman year, so a brush-up was sufficient for me to get the general gist of it again. He managed to piss me off in his introduction with all of his big sweeping generalizations about the Occident vs. the Orient, but I coped. The rest was interesting, at least, even if I don't know enough about economics to know if I should be convinced.

I even slept almost eight hours, so that's good. I feel okay today; I'll take some Dayquil and I should be able to make it through on that. Though I wish the day weren't going to be quite so long...

Oh, hey -- I had one other interesting thing that happened yesterday. I discovered that I like seitan. Like it okay, at any rate. With Karina here, I've been cooking vegetarian, and I thought that this visit I might try some of those meat-substitutes I'd heard about. Tofu I know how to handle, but I hadn't tried tempeh or seitan. Threw some tempeh in a curry last week; it was okay, but a little too nutty for me to enjoy eating very much of it. Overwhelming, but not bad for a little added interest. But seitan -- I'm not sure I can think of a good way to describe this stuff, but I sliced some and simmered it in a peanut sauce last night, and it was actually pretty tasty. Still a little lacking in solid texture (like tofu), but much more flavorful. I could eat the sliced stuff straight (I guess I bought it already somewhat seasoned) and it was okay. Marcia claimed it was like roast beef, and I think that's going a bit far, but if you can imagine somewhat bland, soft roast beef, that might be an okay comparison. At any rate, nice to add another food to the cooking options.

Anyway, I'd best shower and dress and face the day. I probably won't be back 'til tomorrow -- in the meantime, why don't you take a look at the new issue of Strange Horizons? There's a terrific retold fairy tale this week, "The Fen-Queen's Bride" (one of my favorite tales, too, and one that isn't often retold), an absolutely beautiful poem, a movie review of Shadow of the Vampire (which Kevin actually wants to see -- I'm not sure I'm interested), an editorial on SF and politics, and, most exciting for me, an article on natural history museums, by Kira Berman. Now why is that last one so exciting? 'Cause Kira is the first girl I ever kissed. :-) I know that my old friends and lovers are over-represented at Strange Horizons; that's really just a temporary thing, while we're still hunting around for people to write us articles. But it's kind of fun. Kira's Director of Education at a natural history museum at U Michigan now; it's nice that so many of my old friends/lovers are becoming experts in their fields. So this is how that networking stuff works...

Oh, and before I go -- we're looking for a new Articles Editor at Strange Horizons, to join David and Catherine. Lots of fun -- you know you want to, right? :-) Just a couple of hours a week could make you part of the ever-growing staff at one of the best little sf magazines around. Anyway, details are on-site, in the 'About Us - Join Our Staff' section. Lemme know if you're interested.

Image Notebook

I was working in the sunroom with the headphones on, so I didn't hear the kettle whistle, didn't hear the cap pop off and gently slide into the flame. But I did eventually smell the scorched plastic of it, a sharp, nasty chemical odor that seeped into every room. I lit my last stick of sandalwood incense and opened four windows, but three hours later, the stench was still enough to make my head pound. I was getting cold enough that I closed the windows; I lit a rosewood/black pepper candle in the kitchen and hid in the bedroom under my comforter with a vanilla candle quietly burning. Mostly, I could read about crime in colonial Sri Lanka and not think about the smell. Mostly, by dinnertime it was gone.

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