In Which Our Heroine's Willpower Is Tested

7 March 2004

I opened the door to get the paper, and it spat ice at me. Ick. Ick ick. Not a good compromise between winter and spring.

I finished Tanner's Tiger and, due to the bad influences of Karina and Stella, I'm going on to Mary Gentle's The Wild Machines next. I have not cracked it open yet -- I learned my lesson yesterday morning, and there are things I have to do before I can just curl up and devour a book. Still, I am weak, and also eager.

Yesterday was such a good day. And such a Minnesota day. After I posted my journal entry, we all got cleaned up and headed to The Loon for lunch: wild rice bread with cherry-pecan-chickensalad. So good. Yum. I have this problem with ordering food, though: I have a hard time telling when the things I don't like will matter. This sandwich, I was pretty okay with, even though it had onions and celery, which I dislike, because Timprov had vetted it for me and I knew he wouldn't tell me to get an onion celery sandwich with a tiny hint of dried cherry on the side. But in general, I'm not very good at telling when there'll be a hint of salty prosciutto in the pasta sauce and when it'll be big obtrusive slabs. Sometimes I miss out because I try to skip strong flavors I really dislike, and other times I order the marsala only to discover that when they say it has crisped leeks on the top, they meant I wouldn't be able to taste anything but leeks. So I don't know how to gauge these things any more. I am adrift.

But it worked out this time, and then we headed over to Uncle Hugo's and had a lovely time with Stella and Pam and Lydy and David and Jamie The Clerk and Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer and Lois Bujold and random passersby whose names I never did catch. (I believe one was called Ben, but that may have been a misapprehension, since his jacket proclaimed him "Ben," and jackets have been known to lie.) David has snapshots up already. I am particularly thrilled with one of them, which should finally put to rest any notions anybody has that I am cute. Not cute! Not cute at all! Scary and daunting and not at all to be trifled with! Terrifying! In no way like a baby duck! Soon to begin shooting lightning from my fingertips! Tremble before me and despair!

(Also the ones of Lydy laughing are good.)

I used to rely on, "I'm not cute, I'm a physicist!" to parry accusations of cuteness. Nobody really bought that one. "Can't physicists be cute?" they would ask. And I would say, "No. They can be stunning or striking or pretty or plain or ugly. They cannot be cute." Nobody believed me, even though cute physicists would have been laughed out of the profession. And if that didn't work, you can imagine how well, "I'm not cute, I used to be a physicist!" worked out for me. When we were first dating, Mark accused me of being cute, and I bristled, so then he went around pointing out other people who were cute, so that I would see that it was not a bad thing. This was a little startling to our friends who didn't have the background on the situation and just came up on, "She's cute!" "Oh, she is not, either, she's pretty!"

Anyway, anyway. Good time had by all, birthday present obtained for Mark's brother, etc. One of the funny things I've noticed about fandom is that a lot of people in it are exactly like the Crowd from college -- hmm. In a lot of ways, actually. But the one that struck me was the assumption that if you know some people in common, you know lots of people in common. Patricia was telling a story about Joel Rosenberg and said, halfway through, "And you can just picture Joel," and I said, "Err, no, I can't. I've never met him." This happened more times than I can count with people in the Crowd: "Well, you know how Maren is." "Since I've never met her, not really." (But now I have, so it's okay.)

After we left Uncle Hugo's, we drove up to Whole Foods and got all sorts of good things, cheap Dubliner cheese and various useful supplies and tasty indulgences. Then it was time for Sebastian Joe's. Bailey's raspberry truffle ice cream. Yummmmmmm. And we wandered a little and got baked potato bread (which I haven't had for years and years and years, and which I really want) and picked up a few trifles in a toy store. Roo enjoys his bubble duck so much that I thought Noah needed one for when he's ready, especially as it was $1. ("Bubble duck!" says the Roo happily. And it's just about the cutest thing ever.) The rest is a surprise. Came home and made potato casserole, and Timprov made Hungarian plum dumplings, and everything was tasty and pleasant.

We're having company for dinner tonight, so I'm going to have to finish the top two layers of the mint brownies and get things into some semblance of order around here. I've already cleaned two of the bathrooms (Mark did the third last night), and I just want to say: it's so much easier to clean quality plumbing than the stuff they put in our stupid apartment. Wow. Anyway, anyway. I've got a bunch of stuff to do, and I'm not going to sit and read The Wild Machines all day. No no no. Wouldn't dream of it, not in the slightest.

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