17 September 2003
So you all remember, right? how I was waiting for a letter back in the mists of last week that would tell our mortgage people that we pay our bills on time. And you remember that they sent out three copies of this letter over the course of a week or so. (Please note that "you remember" is usually my code for "I don't expect you to remember." It works for things like, "You remember my cousin Bob, don't you?") So. Three letters. We got one on Friday, I faxed it to Pam the mortgage being, and all could proceed as planned. But I just want to note -- I still haven't gotten the other two. We're coming up on a two week mail transit time for one of them. It should not take two weeks to get from Sacramento to Hayward. Flat-out shouldn't. Makes me wonder what else they're hoarding.
Anyway, I think I'm going to declare a moratorium on mail subs pretty soon here. Maybe a few more to the places that customarily get back to one quickly, and if they're excited enough about a piece to keep it longer, they can feel perfectly free to do so and I won't fuss about having the post office forwarding it (much). And in another week or so, I could start safely putting the new address on SASEs. Wow. That's pretty neat.
So we had happy Cuban food with Evan, including dessert, which I'd never had at the Cuban place before. Also including a fragment of crab cake. I don't really recommend their crab cakes. They were tasty enough but extremely small in both size and number. Often when one orders an appetizer with a group of four people, the question of who gets the extra comes up. This time, we had to cut up the crab cakes because there were only three. But their bananas and walnuts were rich and nice, and the plato de vegetales was happy as always, and I returned home tired but happy.
Also, we have a few more spiders in here than usual. Large, speedy spiders. One fell on my keyboard last night while I was writing in my paper journal. (The nice thing about killing a spider with a pad of Post-It notes is that the sticky bit keeps the spider bits for you, so you don't have to pick them up when you wipe off the place where the spider was smooshed.) And I saw one of them in my nonfiction section just now. It was a chase from The Northern Crusades to Daniel Dennett, and at one point I was hollering, "Get off my Freeman Dyson, stupid spider!" but at last I slew it with George Gamow. Whew.
Here is my sage advice to you all on the East Coast: avoid Isabel. See, now aren't you glad I was here? (Seriously, I'm trying not to think of it too much, because I can't get bottled water or power to anybody who needs it. There's nothing I can do except kind of cringe and watch. But I hope you're all right.)
In other news, white cranberry apple juice tastes weird. They only had one bottle of my white cranberry peach juice at the store, and it was on sale, 2-fer-less. And I am, as we all know, cheap. So I got the second 2-fer bottle with apple instead of peach. It was very strange. It tasted like apple juice with a funny aftertaste, whereas the white cranberry peach juice is a blend that participates in both juices fully. But it is guaranteed to make me feel better.
(I don't feel bad, really. Just kind of oogy. Probably mostly run-down. I slept until Mark's alarm this morning, which is rare, and I went to sleep fairly early, too. And I'm wearing my plaid flannel nightshirt and the ugly green socks from Duluth. Which surely should help with feeling run-down. They got me to stop shivering and go to sleep last night, which is something.)
And the newspaper has apparently not been delivered this morning. Maybe they think it's karma for all the mornings someone has delivered an unsolicited copy of the Daily Review to our door. They are wrong.
I finished the (Charles) Beard book yesterday, and it was informative but clunky and dated. (For example, he talked about the unfeasibility of direct taxation, things like income tax. How you just couldn't get money out of people that way. Which was possibly fine to say in 1913....) And I started reading John Varley's The Persistence of Vision, because it seemed like something I ought to read at some point. I think I'd have been more blown away by these stories if I'd read them when they came out. They're interesting stories, fairly well done, but some of the twists are not at all surprising any more, and the success of the stories seems to depend in part on my surprise, because that's what they're built around. It's a very different thing to consciously write the second time travelers kidnapping disaster victims story than the first. (It's also kind of sad to me when the surprise relies on certain fixed notions of gender being overturned when I didn't have those particular fixed notions in the first place, especially not in the context of a science fiction story.)
Just packed Books #14. The absence of the end bookshelf gives us a place to stack book boxes. I've got labels on some of them: "Kalevala in here," and "oversized and maps." Some of them are just "Books #10" etc.
I am so tired. I've acquired the habit of writing a couple of paragraphs of journal entry and then letting it sit on my desktop while I putter around doing other things. Then when I get back to it, I don't have anything additional to say. I'm waiting for a call back from my doctor's office -- they haven't called my prescription in yet, and they said they would over a month ago. Yarg. So that's the excitement around here. Our sellers have offered to leave the table and chairs they have on the porch and the chest freezer in the basement for a very reasonable sum. That'll be nice. See? Not so much to talk about. Might as well have posted it earlier. Sorry.
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