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12 August 2002
Well, I'm back. Not that you'd know it. Our DSL never regained connectivity this weekend, so Timprov didn't have a chance to post my last two entries. I'm sure that a lot of stuff has bounced by the time you get to read this. Please send it again. Our DSL people were supposed to send a new DSL box within 48 hours. They told Timprov that on Thursday. They will be getting a phone call today. Woohoo. Sigh.
Did I get enough sleep? Oh, heck no, but I'm awake now. We got in around 1:30 our time, California time, got in to the house, I mean. The luggage took a long time to come off the plane, and the lightstick-bearing-being took a good long time to come to the plane to steer us into the gate. And by that time I had discovered that there is a time when I'm too tired for speculative semiotics, and last night was that time. So Return to Never˙on gets to wait for today. I'm okay with that.
Sarah and Jeff's wedding went off flawlessly, or at least if there were flaws, I didn't see them. And I was in the wedding party, "behind the scenes" and all. I'll have pictures soon, although I won't be posting all of them unless most of them were really bad. (And then they'll get deleted and I'll post what's left...see how this works?) We took way too many for that. The extra memory card helped a lot. And, hey, you know, with the DSL outage, I should have plenty of time to crop some of them before you see this, right?
I got some good work done on the SF YA project on the planes and at the Gritter grandparents', where Mark and I stayed. And I didn't feel like I was neglecting anybody to do so. We had plenty of time to talk with both sets of grands, Mark's parents, his sibs, his cousins, aunts, uncles...and on and on. (Although I wish I'd been able to get more of Santino's reaction to the whole deal. Santino is a young Sudanese man Mark's Uncle Tom and Aunt Deb adopted, and he had never been to a wedding before. Not even just an American wedding -- any wedding. So he was kind of baffled by the whole affair.)
I read a bunch, too, of course. I finished The Dwarf, which seems very typical of its time, and read Kurlansky's history of cod (called Cod) and Norwich's A Short History of Byzantium, which was very typical kings-and-crowns-and-battles history. I hadn't read one of those in a long time. Gave me several leads on Byzantine stuff that's interesting (also some Western stuff, too), and it's good background to have, but generally the microhistory style books interest me more. Like Cod. Although I wasn't quite sure what Kurlansky was trying to do with that one: his overwhelming message seemed to be against overfishing, in favor of letting the cod come back. But he included many traditional recipes for cod, some of which sounded really good, so that kind of undermined the message. (Lutefisk was not on the "good" list. Of course. But it was in the book.) I read Metaplanetary, and it was pretty good. There were a few moments where I felt the author was attempting to show us how Gritty And Real he was, but other than that, fun stuff, interesting. Smolin's Three Roads to Quantum Gravity disappointed a bit, in that Dr. Smolin indulged himself in stupid metaphors and didn't say much about the three roads, which was a large part of what interested me. But it was a pretty good quantum gravity reference, and I've got a few pages marked for notes before I put it away. Luria's The Man with a Shattered World was good, although I think I prefer The Mind of a Mnemonist -- more Luria, less patient. A nice fatherly middle-aged guy was quizzing me on the Luria. What was it? Was it good? Why was I reading it -- was that my specialty? (I didn't think of it at the time, but in retrospect I'm glad that we live in a culture where a middle-aged man would see a young woman reading a type of neuropsych case study and his first assumption would be that she was a practitioner. That's kind of cool.) Then I read Susan Matthews' Colony Fleet, which was no good at all -- simplistic and predictable and depressing and just plain bad. And Tom Stoppard's Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon demonstrated that I'm glad Stoppard generally sticks to stage and screen, although its Boswellian references and plot and so on are enough that I might ask David if he wants to read it.
So. Plenty of reading, some work, some good time with Mark's family, lots of rides on the planes. Propeller planes are not Mark's favorite thing, and I have to say I prefer the smoothness of a jet (can't work on a prop plane, not legibly!), but we made it just fine.
9:00 is approaching, and then I will call the DSL people and find out some key things like how the new DSL box is supposed to arrive. I have a weekend's worth of mail to handle, a weekend's worth of newspapers to read, work to type up, laundry to do...I'll be back. Soon, I hope.
Update, 8:45 p.m.: the DSL people have shipped our box, but the post office claims they attempted to deliver it Saturday and were attempting to deliver it today. It did not arrive, and I was home and in the living room all day. Grrrr. So, tomorrow, a complaint to the post office, and hopefully a package delivered. We shall see. In the meantime, I'm using my hotmail account and a Stanford dialup once a day. Argh.
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