Friday I don't remember; I think there must have been a fair bit of running around last-minute things. I'm trying to use this summer to finish up old projects which have been lingering way too long. Kev's helping, and we've gotten through a few, but there are a fair number left. I did write, I think, finishing up revisions to Part III. Had a nice conversation with Kevin that evening. I love that boy. :-)
Saturday morning I went in and taught my class, then had brunch with the gals, followed by rushing home, packing up, and heading to the airport. Made my plane with very little time to spare, had an uneventful flight to Newark, where my poor little sister was waiting, having driven two hours to pick me up. It took us three hours to get home, due to some traffic and a few wrong turns, and I gratefully crashed in her bed.
Sunday morning, we gave my dad a nice surprise for Father's Day. Sharmi had to run off for a wedding, but I got to hang out with the folks for a while, including going out for lunch at a local Thai place (East-West Grill, I think), before getting on a train to D.C. (quite delayed, and gods, it was hot waiting at the Berlin station on a Sunday with the station itself locked and no soda machine or water fountain outside). A long train ride ensued, where I did a little work and played a lot of Caesar. (I finally gave up on finding a copy of Caesar III for the Mac, and resorted to buying an insanely old version of Caesar II, which plays in classic mode. I don't know if there's any hope of their bringing out Caesar IV for the Mac, but please cross your fingers and toes with me. It's my favorite computer game. Ben said he wasn't surprised.)
Ben was there to pick me up at the airport, and even though I was falling down tired, we ended up staying up until 2 a.m. talking about my novel. He'd read the first twenty (revised) pages, and was full of ideas and critique. I kindly explained that now was not perhaps the time to completely rewrite the book, given that I had hoped to hand it in at the end of the month. He reined the suggestions in a bit, and I think we came up with some ideas that will help the first chapters. Revised version going out soon.
Monday morning, we got up early, played with the kids a bit (and while they may not be quite as astonishing as Ben sometimes makes them sound, Noah and Aviva are definitely pretty high on my cool-kids list :-). Then headed into town; I got parked at various cafes while Ben was at work, and I managed to actually implement most of the suggested revisions. When I couldn't write anymore, I read some of Matt Ruff's Fool on the Hill, and while it definitely suffers from some first-novel-itis and more than a little nostalgia, I'm enjoying it so far, which is what I would have expected from the author of the so-good Set This House in Order.
Monday evening we headed off to Mayorga for the rapid-fire reading. The skies opened up and poured down on us; luckily, Ben had an umbrella, unluckily, it was sort of small. But we huddled close and only got lost a few times and only a little drenched, and eventually, bedraggled but cheerful, we arrived at the cafe. (Honestly, I loved it. Thunderstorms just make me giddy, and I couldn't be happier than when I'm walking through huge puddles.)
The reading went great, with fourteen folks giving great readings, and we raised $400 for the SLF and SH. They enjoyed it so much, they're talking about doing it again in six months. I have a dream of rapid-fire readings happening in every city around the globe, all at the same time -- sort of a much-attenuated convention by association. What do you think? They're tentatively aiming for November next; I could do one in Chicago; Jed and Susan could do one in the Bay Area. We could be tri-city at least
Tuesday we got up super-early; Ben didn't hear his alarm and we almost missed the bus, but just made it in time. Sadly, didn't get to play with the kids anymore; next time. I wish I had another excuse to go down there before they all pack up and move back to Switzerland; despite the exhaustion, had such a good time. It was like a little mini-convention, talking with Ben about time travel and writing and families and rocket ships and cloning and epics (and okay, we didn't actually have time to talk about all of that, but that's all the more reason to do it again)... He shepherded me to the train, and then sadly it was goodbye.
I comforted myself on the train ride with Serenity (after doing a few hours of diligent work), which I quite liked. It did feel a bit rushed, and I'm honestly not sure many of the relationships would have been clear to those unfamiliar with the show, and was it really necessary to [deleted due to spoilers, but damn]? Still, liked it a lot, and it did provide a certain sense of closure. Looking forward to introducing Nilofer et. al., to the series, followed by the movie. I heart Joss Whedon.
Yesterday afternoon was a bit crazed; I'd offered to cook dinner for my folks, and somehow that turned into ten people. So a rush of grocery shopping and cooking, a little tense because, you know, my family takes food seriously. Evaluation:
- Thai chicken-mango wontons: big hit, everyone wants the recipe
- Indonesian gado-gado: they liked the store-bought peanut sauce best (brand: Taste of Thai), but reluctantly admitted that blanched green beans were quite tasty with it, even if seeming dull at first; the sweet chili sauce was not impressive at all (and I agree); I'd better make my own next time
- Philippine chicken adobo: big surprise -- they thought it would be boring and dry, because it didn't look impressive, but they quite liked it in the end. I did cook it a little too long (forgot it on the stove), and I think it would've been better if I hadn't; oh well.
- Salmon coconut curry: Eh. Hard to impress them with an essentially Sri Lankan curry, especially when under-salted due to exhaustion. At least my Indian friends in Chicago love it.
- Lemon-masala mushrooms: Okay, but the improvised garam masala didn't come out quite right and my mom thought they were sour. Sigh.
Crashed hard last night, slept eight hours, woke still tired. But we'll take it easy today; I'm writing a bit, then wandering around to a garden store with my mom. Tomorrow, New York.