Everyone's My Friend

30 November 2002

My fears about the little bioterrorist's cold seem to have been unfounded, and yesterday morning's snozzliness was just a momentary aberration. Yay.

It wasn't too hazy to go up Diablo, so we went through Niles Canyon and then up Diablo from the Danville side, which we'd never done before -- we always came up the Walnut Creek side and down the Danville side before. It worked, though, and I have no idea how it was that C.J. and I managed to miss the trailhead for the Fire Interpretive Trail, because it was right there plain as day. So we walked that. Pictures to follow, though not a lot of them.

We came out the Walnut Creek side and drove into downtown for Ghirardelli sundaes. Um. Downtown Walnut Creek is perhaps not one's best bet for the day after Thanksgiving. We managed -- barely -- to find parking, and then we even got a table at the Ghirardelli place. Good ice cream, of course. There was at least one fellow customer who had had Too Much Mall Fun and was yelling at the clerks for no apparent reason, but other than that, it was fine. A little crowded, but it didn't ruin our ice cream.

Came home and called Amber to tell her she was welcome any time, so she came down and we had dinner. We finally opened the bottle of Georgian wine Jen Spande gave to us before I started this journal (that's former-Soviet-Georgian, not next-to-Alabama-Georgian). Interesting stuff. Good, too. Akhasheni, it was called, a sweetish red but not obnoxious. Since I, like Evan, judge wine approximately as I judge doughnuts (yuck or yum), that's pretty much all I can say. Pleasant backtastes. And with five people, we finished the bottle. It was looking dicey for a minute, but Mark and Dan stepped up. (What can I say -- we're terrible at finishing wine.)

And we got to play 500! Woo! We had a couple of sedate games, people making sane eight bids and winning them, and then we really got into it. The evening's motto, I think, was, "You know you're getting good when you lose a ten no-trump bid." I love 500. I miss it a lot. I'm even happy to have a rotten run of luck with my cards if it means that I get to play 500.

So we hung out with Amber, and I had a Bailey's and cocoa (along with half a glass of wine, probably the most alcohol I've consumed in months), and all was well. I read a little more of The Boxer Rebellion before bed and a little more this morning. It's interesting, but I haven't been reading enough this week, and I really need some fiction. It's time. I worked a little on the Not The Moose yesterday morning, and that was good, but my own fiction is a different thing entirely. So. I think once the guys are all up, I'll dig through the library pile and the borrowed books pile and the pile of our own books I haven't read yet, and I'll see what I've got that might do for the fiction urge.

The fridge is actually starting to have some space in it, impressively enough, and we haven't made half the stuff we've planned to make yet. So. Hurrah. It's nice to be able to put a new thing of juice in without worrying whether it'll fit or whether we have to rearrange all the shelves to make it fit or what. (And I have discovered that sage leaves crisped in brown butter are really good.)

Hmmm. One of the interesting things about having Dan around is that we really haven't spent much time with any of Mark's sibs without their parents. Mostly it's been whole-family time when we get to see each other. Sarah and I e-mail frequently enough that we'd kind of developed our own mode of conversation before she came out here last year, but that wasn't really the case with Dan. Some modes of conversation are the same as when their folks are around, totally, and others not so much. I notice different things, too. When Sarah's around, it's easy to notice how much she sounds like Lin (their mom, for those of you who need a scorecard still), because she's the girl, so their voices are more physically similar. But without Sarah around, it becomes clear how much Daniel sounds like Lin -- not in his voice, but in his phrasing, the pauses and inflections, all of that. And part of it is that Dan sounds a lot like his grandpa on that side, and his mom sounds a lot like her dad. It's interesting to me, though. (And I still maintain that listening to Mark and his brothers and his father argue is one of the strangest experiences I've had. It's like listening to multiple personalities, I swear, they sound that much alike.) Siblings. Weird stuff.

I just ordered my mom's Christmas present. Hee. I love the internet. No parking search, no screaming fellow customers. Click, click. Good sale. Click, click. Type. Merry Christmas. So that's two down and sixteen left to go. Mom is my easy one, so it's probably cheating to take care of her and Aunt Dor first, but I do have to start somewhere.

I've started my packing list, too. I know it's a good while before I leave, but...well, the holidays have clearly started, and so have I. I have homecoming songs in my head, although the most recent two -- "Back in the Day" and "New York City" -- are about going to New York. (I think "Back in the Day" is.) And while I'm sure I could have a good time with David there now, maybe drop by Robert's and Tempest's and see if they're respectively home, I'm not all that eager to go to New York. So, whatever. "New York City" is still fun, and I get far fewer objections to them than to "Tapestry." (Although another few choruses of "Everyone's my friend in New York City" may change their minds.)

I think that's all. I'm going to read the newspaper and see what else is going on in the world, and then we'll venture forth. And everyone is up, so I can root around in fiction. Good, then.

Oops! I've been forgetting to wish a happy Hanukkah to my Jewish readers. Happy Hanukkah, guys! I envy some of you your latkes.

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