I’ve been out of town,…

I've been out of town, briefly. On Wednesday, I took the train up to Milwaukee, for a reading at Harry Schwartz on Downer. That's a really lovely independent store, with all the depth and passion one could ask for in a bookstore. I had dinner beforehand with Shauna Singh Baldwin at the Chancery next door, and it was really interesting talking to another South Asian author who has been doing this longer than I. Her touchstones are a quite different set of authors than mine; I should read the people she mentioned, like Anjana Appachana. The reading itself went well, though not hugely attended -- about ten people showed up, only half of which I knew. :-) The nice bookstore man seemed very enthusiastic afterwards, though, and had me sign two dozen books, which bodes well for his hopefully handselling them all. I read "Monsoon Day," and afterwards we had a long Q&A, where I'm afraid I rambled rather, but people seemed generally interested nonetheless. I ran into some old friends -- two from WisCon and one, Joe Franecki, from the old days at the U of C. He had brought his wife and adorable baby -- I'm not sure the baby liked the reading, sadly, but I did sign a book to the baby's grandmother.

Afterwards, I went to stay at Roshani's where they'd ordered Thai food which I failed to resist, even though I had already eaten enough. Coconut milk is dangerously seductive. Roshani's new baby Margot is not really at the cute stage yet -- still so young that she doesn't have much personality, and there is much pathetic crying and trying to guess what's wrong with her. Is she hungry? Does she have gas? Is she tired? No one knows. This is definitely not the fun stage of babies.

The next day, I had been supposed to leave early, but I really had no need to get back quickly. So I had a long leisurely breakfast with Roshani, who is quite tired with nursing every hour or two, but hanging in there. I don't know how Tom is surviving -- he works eight hours daily, commutes four hours, and is up with the baby every hour all night. He looks very tired. After breakfast, I worked for a few hours (I had, of course, brought my laptop with me, and could plug into their ethernet). Then went to the grocery store with Roshani and Zoe (almost five now, astonishing!) where we had fun pushing Zoe around in the shopping cart that had a little plastic kid car attached to the front. I did keep bumping into things. Came back and I cooked a big Sri Lankan dinner for them all, because I hadn't thought to bring casseroles, as is traditional. :-) Poor munchkins. Hopefully beef and potato curry, chicken curry, mushrooms and green beans and omelette and rice will help them cope with the exhaustion. Food can substitute for sleep, right?

On the train ride back, watched Hitch on my computer, which was a surprisingly charming romantic comedy. I had somehow expected it to be really dumb from the previews. Not that it's really smart, or anything, but it's at an acceptable level of cleverness for the genre. I laughed a lot. And at least when all the not-so-attractive guys end up with gorgeous women in this movie, there's some pretext for it in the plot. :-)

This morning, I spent an hour up on my deck, drinking tea and enjoying the cool breeze and gorgeous expanse of white clouds across a sunlit sky -- brilliant! I finished reading Angela Carter's Fireworks collection, feeling tremendously guilty that I've waited so long to read this book that was a birthday present from a friend many years ago -- feeling stupid too, since it's a great book, with a rich Gothic tone to the fabulist tales within. My favorite two stories might actually be the two realistic ones, oddly enough, surreal in their take on a Westerner in Japan. Highly recommended.

Today, catch up on e-mail, work on student packets, revise short story for AE anthology. At 11, Lakshmi's coming by for yoga and weights, yay! And from 3-4:30, I need to be at the APA in the Arts panel at the NAAAP convention downtown, at McCormick place. Lots of work, better get to it!

3 thoughts on “I’ve been out of town,…”

  1. Food can definitely substitute for sleep, especially if you’re the parents of a newborn. I bet they were very grateful to you.

    I have to disagree with you about newborns lacking personality. Maybe it depends on the newborn, or being the parent to the newborn.

    Special K nestled into you with a little sigh and she still loves snuggling. She’s been very active since birth. Her cry for hunger was a siren. In fact she was so loud when hungry that she was kicked out of the newborn nursery. Food still figures prominently in her life and development.

    At birth, Little T raised one eyebrow like Mr. Spock and his meaning is about the same. I never thought watching Star Trek would further my understanding of babies.

  2. This is a late comment on a small part of your entry, but….

    I re-watched “Hitch” on the plane ride home from Glasgow, and found myself watching the parts with Albert and Allegra, but switching away from the Hitch and ?? parts (name escapes me) because I simply couldn’t like a character who hounded people for a gossip column as a living. I somehow couldn’t get past that. But the Albert and Allegra parts are so adorable!

    On the way over, I watched romantic comedy “A Lot Like Love”, starring Ashton Kutchner (sp?) and Amanda Peet, and was utterly charmed. I’ve never been an Ashton Kutchner fan, but I may just be changing my mind on that count….

    I love romantic comedies on airplanes! I tried to watch “The Interpreter” (this was British Airways, so every passenger had a personal choice of 8 movies on the screen on the back of the headrest in front of them!) but couldn’t give it the necessary attention due to meal interruptions, and difficulty catching important dialog. I’ll have to catch that one later.

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