14 September 2002

Saturday morning. Of course, I have an agenda. But substantial parts of it involve reading and being cuddled and hanging out with people, so that's okay. It's my I Wrote A Book! get-together today. I'm meeting up with people at Au Coquelet in the afternoon and then heading over to Long Life for dinner. Noooooodles. Yum. I have problems when I plan to go to a restaurant whose menu I know and like as well as Long Life more than a day or two in advance. Because then I start pondering what I'm going to order long in advance. Classic Dragon's Breath? Maybe, maybe. Moo Goo Gee? Could be. Zen Zen Noodles? I just don't know. Wossname with the little eggs? Might be good.

This is not at all useful behavior, of course; I have come to no decisions now, and I won't until I sit down with the little yellow paper menu in front of me, maybe not until the waitbeing comes. (I often act like I've made a decision and then just blurt something out when the waitbeing comes. It works okay.) But for some reason, I do it every time we go to a restaurant I like. Sometimes my brain produces a flowchart if I don't know at which restaurant we'll eat or which food item I'll order. This is all evidently reflex, as I never sit down and say, "Ah, it would be a good idea to have a flowchart of restaurant choices!" Because, of course, it wouldn't be a good idea. It'd be a stupid idea. But I'll be unable to rid myself of it. I'll be writing up my crits on Avi's novel fragment and think, "But Dragon's Breath has so much garlic, and garlic is really good." And then I'll read the paper and think, "I like peapods a lot, though, and at least two different things have peapods. No, three." Sigh.

The disadvantages of having an eight-track mind.

There is an article in the Merc about a group of people who have been gathering since 1978 to have parties in Big Basin Redwoods State Park (where we went when Ceej was here). They call themselves Hobbits, and the park says they're too messy and loud to come back. One spokesman said they were "Just regular folks. We're not rabid Tolkienistas."

Rabid Tolkienistas. Oh my. Is everything out here subject to the -istas suffix? Isn't that going a bit far with it? I mean, we're not talking about camo-clad elves with black and green face paint, are we? And if we are, why don't they ever stage raids anywhere I go?

Maybe that's why customers aren't allowed in the basement of The Other Change: because it's a den of Tolkienistas. That seems too obvious somehow. I mean, if I was looking for them, that'd be the first place I'd look.

Um. So I finished The Pickup Artist, and I liked it well enough. And I reread Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I remembered enough of it to have favorite bits and not enough of it to know everything that was going to happen, so it was a good rereading choice. I started Kate Wilhelm's Fault Lines right before going to bed, but I'm going to finish Strangers from a Different Shore before I let myself go on to finish Fault Lines. Work is work, after all.

But it is interesting to go back to early Kate Wilhelm and see how she found her way into her own style and her pet subjects and all. She was doing that before I was born. Fault Lines is from 1977. The picture on the back looks just like the other jacket pictures, only with feathered hair and wider lapels and fewer wrinkles. There's no shock to it. It's what I would have expected but couldn't have predicted, book and picture both, but that doesn't make either of them any worse.

I've also been reading Monday Begins on Saturday, by the Strugatsky brothers, a little at a time online. I don't like reading books online so much, but Aet recommended this one, and it's interesting so far. Some parts of the translation seem suboptimal, but I don't know if they'd be inherently problematic no matter what. Some things are just hard to translate.

But I'm trying to spend little computer time today, to give my back a rest. So. Physical books for me, and then off to Berkeley.

Back to Morphism.

And the main page.

Or the last entry.

Or the next one.

Or even send me email.