In Which There Are Wall Scones And Cold Cotillions

17 October 2003

To welcome us home, the library is having a book sale. Thanks, library! We're glad to be here, too!

To welcome us home, the dishwasher has stopped working. Crud. What it's doing, see, is that it's not using the soap, or not using most of the soap, or not using it properly. It was leaving little cakes of powder in the soap tray and flecks of food and powder on our stuff. So I bought some gel. Now it left a nasty clump of gel in the tray and on our stuff. Fabulous. I'm going to clean out the tray very, very thoroughly, and then try it one more time. And then if any of you have suggestions (I wrote to my mom and am waiting to see if she has suggestions), I'll try that, and otherwise, I'll call in the warranty on it. If I can find the warranty paperwork. I'll call our realtor if I can't.

Ah well. I suppose these things happen, and if an appliance has to be down, this is probably the best one, because washing dishes by hand is not exactly the worst hardship ever to befall mankind. And we have a dual-sided sink with a drying rack in one side now, so I don't have to dry all the dishes as I wash them. Which is something.

Last night, Ceej started to fix the dresser and helped me move some of the library bookcases around. Now I just have to get more bookcases for in the library. Lots more bookcases. Several. Many. And maybe one for in here. I'll have to measure before going out to get them, to see what can fit in the library.

And the Sox lost. Well. I guess this means I will be watching zero innings of the World Series this year. The Yankees versus the Marlins? I mean, I suppose I'll cheer for the Marlins, but who cares? I wouldn't have watched every inning no matter what the team composition, not even if it was my Twinks versus Peg's Scrubbies. But now -- bleh. And don't tell me about how classic it was that the Sox and the Cubs had their meltdowns; I already heard the full version from one person, and once is probably enough.

We got a bill for a cent from Comcast. They told me to write a check for $71.14 for the next months' service and the installation and the hokey pokey and all that. Apparently this was another small incompetence from the first cable installation guy ("it's my first day on the job"), because we owed them $71.15. So now I'm not sure what to do, as I don't want to waste a check on a penny, but I also don't want to pay late fees on my penny. Hmmmm.

(Cleaned out the dishwasher soap dealie, and if this doesn't work...well. I suppose that's what warranties are for.)

Jessie says, "I have not really gotten over those four years in California where no one ever knew what I was talking about." And if you think she hasn't, I just got home nine days ago. I still delight in simple signs of home. I probably will for months now. Yesterday, it was the offer in Byerly's: "Paper or plastic?" Nobody ever offered in California. I said to Timprov, "Did they have paper in California?" The bagger laughed, but I'm mostly serious: at Trader Joe's, they automatically gave me paper, but I don't think I ever saw a paper bag at Albertson's or Safeway. Maybe if I asked for it specially.

Oh, yeah, I was going to tell you about the stories I sold! Both semipro. Penumbric bought "Shylock's Pound," which may be part of a novel someday, and Here And Now bought "Harry Behrens." "Harry Behrens" was my oldest story still in circulation. It was the next presentable story I wrote after "In the Gardens and the Graves," my Asimov Award story. I like selling old stories. Makes me think I wasn't wasting my time shipping them around, my taste wasn't delusional, etc. Also, I think I'm getting better, so if I sell the old stories, what does that say for the new, better stories I'm writing now? Good things, is what it says. And the timing was great: I sold the one as I was leaving and the other when we first got computer access here.

It always makes me nervous when my total number of stories out there in circulation goes down, but I have to get used to it. I'm working mostly on novels and contract work, and while my probable next project will give me lots of new stories to send out, I have to get through my current projects to get there. Well...I suppose I don't have to. But it seems a good idea. I don't like leaving huge chunks of work just sitting useless.

So. Agendas. I need to organize my contract work: it's a series of articles, lots of little articles, so I need to figure out where I'm going to start. Could be just the top of the alphabetical list, could be by what's conceptually associated, could be by what I can find at the nearest library, if some of the articles are easier than others...but I need to get organized on that. And the library card is necessary. Also a trip to the bank. Also a trip to get the house homesteaded. Also a trip to the DMV. Also...oy. Home Despot, Target, Cub Foods, although I already bought their entire inventory last weekend. And Lois McMaster Bujold is doing a reading at Uncle Hugo's tomorrow, so up we go to that, and to buy the new-old Pamela Dean YA. And to Ingebretsen's, I think, because the one thing that broke in the move was a candle holder for our wall sconces for in the bedroom.

(I just typed "wall scones." Hee. Um, no.)

I keep coming up with good things to do -- that's by no means the complete list up there, and I hope you realize that by the fact that it doesn't include any novel work. Or any house chores. Or any unpacking. Or...yeah. Anyway, though, I type "wall scone" and think, "hey, scones, I should make scones, and then if Heathah came over with her peanut butter cookies, we could have scones, and...." And then I pull my brain up short: no, brain. No scones for you. Scones go on the "later list." We already have bananas for making banana bread, and they may go in the freezer once they've gone bad enough, because on the grand scale of things, having a loaf of banana bread in the house is good but not worth my sanity. I will not trade my sanity for a loaf of banana bread. Repeat as many times as necessary.

It's better than a mess of pottage -- don't get me wrong. But still.

Sigh. Mark's computer is only sort of fixed. Which leaves it -- you guessed it! -- sort of broken. It's also the computer through which our internet connectivity comes, and that's halfway jury-rigged as well. And Mark is not here to make it go like it's supposed to. And Mark is not here to pick out and install new hardware in his machine. So I appear to have e-mail consistently, when in fact I have e-mail reception consistently, and the sending is a bit more complicated, and often involves hard-booting Mark's machine. Also, sometimes the brokennness of Mark's computer makes itself known by shutting down all internet applications in whatever stage, and sometimes it doesn't make itself known for an hour or more, when all of a sudden I get the message that my messages haven't been going out. Quirky, quirky machines.

I miss the whiteboard. The last whiteboard we had was hard to get the marker off, and nobody actually looked at it for chores except me, and we had items on it from 1999. But now, I have a paper list labeled "small stuff" and one labeled "big stuff" for purchases, and while those lists would overflow our whiteboard, it would be nice to have them...different. Also, I have two chore lists on paper and two on the computer. With very little overlap. And the things I didn't buy before leaving California (lemon juice, envelopes) are catching up with me.

Do I sound stressed? I am. Generally happy, glad we did this, finding it all pretty darn worthwhile. But stressed? Oh yes. Out of my mind. It's okay, though. It'll be fine.

Last night we talked about the housewarming party. November 1. Invitations to go out soon, mostly on e-mail. We talked about the little chocolate glasses at Cost Plus and what kind of cider punch one could make, maybe, and whether the fondue pot would be good for hot caramel for apples. That's fun stuff. I think. I hope. That's just over two weeks away, because somewhere along the line, someone allowed it to be Friday. It's not even Friday I object to so much, as that I don't recall authorizing Wednesday. Or rather, I did, but much later than it actually came.

By my foot, I have The Porcelain Dove, The Merro Tree, books about the fall of the Habsburgs, books about Minneapolis at the turn of the century. They will wait. They will still be here when I'm done putting a load of laundry in and checking the dishwasher and rebooting the computer and showering in the newly pressurized water, in the bathroom that desperately needs rugs at the very least on its bare, tannish-harvest gold expanse of floor. You could hold a cotillion in my bathroom, but it would be a very cold cotillion, feetwise. Not everyone can dance on Mark's oldest towel-reject.

Okay. Not everyone can dance there, but I can, and I will, and then there'll be more to do, and I'll do that, too. Talk to you later.

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