Yesterday was generally…

Yesterday was generally not bad, though we spent much of it waiting for house news that never came. Had a quiet morning with Kavi (who is fighting a small cold and is a little cranky, but keeps trying to be cheerful despite it, poor munchkin). Then went into campus, where a Ph.D. student from Northwestern interviewed me for his project on the early days of blogging. Sometimes I forget that I have this odd place in the first days of internet blog history. Nice to be reminded. And it was funny trying to explain why I resisted calling this a blog for so many years. Now I use the terms 'journal' and 'blog' pretty interchangeably, but it used to be very important to me to maintain the distinction. Ah well -- language changes, and so do we, thank the gods.

Class went well (though I arrived ten minutes late because I forgot their journals and had to go back to my office to get them, doh!). I wanted my students to practice inventing (aka 'making shit up'), because at this stage especially, a lot of writers have trouble coming up with characters that aren't essentially thinly-disguised versions of themselves. So I had them create ten characters in ten minutes (all of them managed to make it to six characters, at least :-). And then I asked them to pick pairs of characters and come up with a conflict between them. We spent the rest of class mostly talking about basic types of conflict (man vs. man, man vs. nature/society, man vs. God, man vs. self, etc.), and the way that in any interaction between two people, you're likely going to have a mass of conflicting motivations going on, and conversations that go past each other obliquely, with corresponding tensions, etc. and so on. We looked at some of my stories and different levels of conflict in them, and then I sent the students home to write a brief scene where at least three characters interacted and had multiple conflicts at play. Looking forward to seeing what they come up with by Thursday.

After that, I tried to buy Kevin a yummy birthday dinner to be delivered to the house, but not long after I got home, we got an e-mail from GrubHub saying our delivery order had been cancelled -- some delivery issue at the restaurant. Argh. Ah well. Luckily, there were a ton of yummy leftovers in the fridge, and Anne had picked up a cake (cream and custard and cake and fruit -- very trifle-ish and delicious), so we managed a somewhat celebratory birthday dinner with singing of Happy Birthday and blowing out of a candle (Kavi did that part), before Anne and I had to rush off to class.

I wish I'd had my camera with me last night, because that moment at the end of stained glass class when I finally finished cutting all my pieces and grinding the not-quite-perfect edges to size and actually assembled my bougainvilleas in their pretty colored glass, seeing it all finally together for the first time, was sheer magic. Even though one piece had mysteriously gone astray and will need to be recut next class. And the three yellow pieces may be too yellow for my taste and might need to be recut in orange-pink. But still. It was remarkably satisfying. Next class, copper foil taping the edges, which I expect to be tedious, especially given that my piece is all curves. But both Anne and I are getting close to a real piece of finished stained glass -- two more classes to go.

If we do get this house, which is a Tudor Revival, I'd like to keep doing what the previous owners started in terms of renovation. Several of the windows have been restored with tudor-style elongated diamond panes, and I really like that look; very medieval castle. It's simple, as glass windows go, but effective. I'd like to change some more of the windows in the house to that style -- especially the ones in the dining room. But the question is -- do I do it myself, or pay the nice people at Two Fish to do it? It's not an easy question, given that a) it'd be a lot of tedious and finicky glass cutting -- it's particularly hard to do pieces that are very regular and even and geometric, since mistakes are so obvious (maybe buying pre-cut diamonds would help, but not sure bevels are the right look). Alternatively, b) paying Two Fish to do it would cost $200/sq. ft. Eep. (The Tudor Artisans people charge $75/sq. ft., which is much better, but still not cheap.) Not something we could afford to do in the dining room for years, I think, given our budget.

Ah well -- plenty of time to worry about that in a year or two, I imagine. And we still don't know if we're actually getting this house, or if we're going to have to move on to another option. These particular glass chickens should wait to be counted.

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