More Cheerful

16 June 2002

Well, I finished the edits to "The Children's Village" yesterday morning. It didn't make it quite over the novelette line, which might be good or might be bad -- a lot of magazines don't take novelettes, but then, a lot of the smaller magazines don't take very long short stories, either, so it might not matter that much. And it was in time so that if it had been long enough, I could have submitted it to Imaginings, but I had already sent them two stories, and I didn't really want to try to expand it another 700 words for no particular reason except that that was the limit on this one anthology. So off it goes to a "normal" editor. I didn't realize how much this story was hanging over my head, but I suppose I should have -- I've had it sitting around the house waiting to be edited since January, and I'm just not one of those people who's good at letting stuff sit around.

I worked a bit on the Not The Moose Book, and it made me more cheerful than I've been all week. Good sign, that. Also I worked a bit on the one-page summary of a world for the Wizards of the Coast's new D&D world. The odds are against me, of course, but for a page of writing, the chance to make my much younger self think I am the coolest person on the planet? Yeah, I'll take that chance. No problem. (I sincerely doubt that anybody who sends them a world summary is really doing it for a chance at the money. It's a decent chunk of change, sure, but compared to being the subject of babygeek awe forever and ever? Including the babygeek in one's own head? No contest.)

I read Andrea Barrett's The Voyage of the Narwhal, which I think ought to be The Voyage of the Narwhal, but I don't like the way it looks that way. It was a pretty good read -- structurally kind of messy, but that was necessary to the story she'd chosen to tell. (Somewhat necessary. The ending disappointed me a bit, but the late middle surprised me with its goodness.) Also read Kate Wilhelm's Huysman's Pets, which pointed out to me that sometimes Kate Wilhelm writes mysteries like SF (when she has total geekouts, for example), but sometimes she writes SF like mysteries. This was one of the latter cases. I think if she hadn't been steeped in writing mysteries, she probably would have chosen an entirely different story to tell about this conceit, with different POV characters. But the one she told was well-done and quite readable, so that was good. Now I've started on Peter Høeg's The Woman and the Ape, and so far it's no Smilla, but it's another decent enough read.

Mark and I watched the old version of "Ocean's Eleven." We haven't seen the new version, although now comparison would be more interesting. It was okay enough, I guess. There were some nice, clever lines, and I liked Sammy Davis Jr.'s character more than I thought I would. But oh my land. Frank Sinatra is one ugly man. He's almost got enough ugly to be two ugly men. Him and those other ten guys, they probably had enough ugly for sixteen at least. I would ask Grandma if her generation was crazy, to go so nuts for Frank Sinatra, but I know what she'd say: "YES!!!" Not that George Clooney is any prize, but my oh my. Uuuuuugly. I guess one of the saving graces of it being an old movie is that if it had been Mel Gibson (also known for his blue eyes), they would have done a million shots of Mel's Blue Eyes, because they always do that. It would be a great drinking game if I played drinking games or watched Mel Gibson movies. (That's kind of a big if, I know.) But with Frank Sinatra, we didn't even have it battered about our heads that this was Old Blue Eyes Himself. Which was nice.

We have a movie list on the whiteboard in the kitchen, and we're actually making some headway on it lately. "Airplane 2" is on Comedy Central tonight. I haven't seen it. Nobody really wants to pay money for it, though, so it's been there since the last time we had a green marker. The other two things in green marker are "fix monitor cable" (because my monitor has the purple screen of gloom whenever I annoy it slightly -- been this way for years) and "Saturn: fix lighter." The presence of the latter leads me to believe that the last time we had a green marker was when our lighter in the car broke, when we lived in Concord. Oops. (Nobody is allowed to smoke in our car, so the only reason we would want to have a fixed lighter is to plug the cell phone into it -- it just hasn't seemed urgent.) So once "Airplane 2" has been removed, all of our movie choices will be from this apartment...well, except for "Life Is Beautiful" and "Desk Set"...okay, so there's a lot of stuff we've wanted to see for awhile. Or I have. I think that's the problem. Most of the stuff that only I want to watch stays on the list, because I rarely, if ever, rent movies for just myself.

Anyway...well, so it's been a decent weekend so far, although maybe Mark wouldn't say so, as he got to wash the kitchen floor twice yesterday. Poor Mark. (Once was because it generally needed washing and once was because the sink backed up and he scuffed the floor with his boots while fixing the sink. And some potato peels got all over and so on.) It's quiet around here. Sometimes I really like quiet. And today will be the Calling Of The Fathers.

(My parents, you will notice, are born rather close to their corresponding parental holidays. I think they should switch birthday or, failing that, switch parental roles. But so far we've worked it out okay. Poor planning on their part, though.)

When I called my dad for his birthday on Friday, he opened his presents while I was on the phone. I had forgotten which presents were labeled for which holidays, and Daddy was mumbling about them (the things like "Oh, is that ever cool!" were loud and clear), so I was kind of asking things like, "Oh, is it a...?" And not wanting to blurt out the possible answer, lest that was a Father's Day present instead.

There was a moment yesterday afternoon where I was my mom. I'm almost never my dad, although I often do things he likes or approves of. But I was making myself CocoWheats, and then I looked at what I was doing. Stirring the milk, sugar, and salt absently with one hand, holding my library book with the other, one leg slightly cocked to the side...I don't know how many times I've seen my mom stand like that. Exactly like that. And it is physically impossible for me to stand exactly like my dad. He's kind of fond of my mom, though, so I don't think he minds too much when their kid has her mannerisms.

My CocoWheats never did set up overnight in the fridge, so I was saddened upon waking. I'll have to try another batch. I've never seen them do that before. It says to heat the milk to near boiling, and I think perhaps I was not nearly enough boiling it. So I'll try again.

In the meantime, call your dad, and have a good Father's Day.

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