21 May 2004
I have such pretty new pareos. Pretty, pretty, pretty. One is dark green and one is dark purple and one is bright blue. Note that none of these colors is a pastel. I've gotten a lot of wear out of my orange one, and then summer clothes have been in pastels, pastels, pastels. Bleh. Or else in black or in red, and I think I've already talked about the accidental Goth thing: no. So when I saw an ad for pareos on sale, well, hurray! I can wear them as dresses or as skirts (though with skirts I would need to find some kind of matching top, so that's a disadvantage). This is a very good thing.
I also tried the Cheesecake Factory for lunch with C.J. (good stuff, though my cheesecake was more outstanding than my salad), picked up a birthday present for Lin, failed to find shoes, got a sun-shaped cookie-cutter for the Celebration of Nearly Everything in June, picked up five bottles of cheapish wine, ran around and around until I found mint molds, mailed some things at the post office, dropped off local library books, got some stop-gap groceries, mopped the moose, fed the bear, painted Uncle Abner's underwear.
You read that book as a kid. I swear you did.
It's raining. The up side is that I don't have to go do more yard stuff (Timprov mowed yesterday with C.J.'s mower), because it's raining, and...well, that's it, really. Rain equals not-outside. Yep. Except maybe for fun. You can dance in the rain. You can walk in the rain. Nobody can really expect you to weed in the rain. Planting in the rain -- who would demand such a thing of you? Only a cruel, cruel person, possibly yourself. (It's amazing how often the cruel people with cruel expectations turn out to be oneself.) The down side is that the yard stuff doesn't get done, and that I'm really not sure what temperature to expect, and what that temperature will feel like. Sunny 65 feels quite different from rainy 65.
I started reading Frederik Pohl's The Way the Future Was last night. It's...sweet. I mean, it's not saccharine, that's not what I'm trying to say. But it's a bit like reading about one's grandparents' courtship, from this vantage point. Without it I wouldn't be where I am, and it's hard to imagine how things were for them then. (For those of you who haven't read it, this is Pohl's memoir of fandom. It's in some ways his personal memoir, but he skims a lot of the early personal stuff and relates the rest to his life as a fan and writer. The focus is definitely on "my" people.
There's this bit where Pohl says, "In school and at home I was still a child, the passive object of what the authority figures chose to do; but in science fiction I could be a maker and shaker on my own." I was never particularly passive with my authority figures (and at home, mine weren't particularly authoritarian as parental authorities went -- they were clearly not running a democracy, but neither did they make many proclamations that looked arbitrary or oppressive even at the time). But there was only so far striking out on my own would take me in school, and most of where it took me was into science fiction.
From the rest of the context of that paragraph, it sounds like Pohl meant fandom more than writing or reading. That wasn't the case with me. I had a handful of pen-pals among other fantasy and science fiction readers, but my first con was ICFA when I was a senior in college, and I went to that as a writer. I didn't really understand fandom at all then. But I could write, and what I wrote was not subject to authority review. In some ways I'm very glad that I didn't have the opportunity to take a creative writing class at Ralston. It kept writing mine. I don't think anyone could have squished it for me, but I'm glad they didn't get the chance to try. I don't know who would have taught it, but I'm not inspired by any of the possibilities, even the ones who were good for other classes. The main journalism and composition teacher was Nancy Rice, with whom I worked as a newspaper editor. I don't think words can say how glad I am that she never got near my fiction. We had some good moments together, Nancy Rice and me, but she was not what one would call a nurturing personality.
And as I've said before, I'm not sure nurturing would have been the right thing anyway. But I'm pretty sure that being left alone from all directions was a good thing.
Anyway, anyway, anyway. I've been inviting people to our party, which I'm calling the Celebration of Nearly Everything. Which, I have just noticed, makes it a CoNE. It had better not be a CoNE of Silence, though, or I will be most upset. Given the people who have responded in the affirmative already, I think it will not be. The potential guest list got long fast, and an old friend surprised me by saying she might be in the area camping and could she drop in? Um, yes. Yes, she can. I haven't seen her in nine years, and I've never seen her spouse and spawn. I saw her brother and his s&s a year and a half ago at Christmas, but siblings aren't really transitive that way. (Eh, ya seen one Myers, ya seen 'em all? No.) So that was a happy surprise.
I'm back to my contract work. Hey, what do you know about ship and boat stories? What are the good ones? Particularly in SF/fantasy/horror: what might I be forgetting?
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