Holiday Hyperdrive

4 December 2002

Okay, all right, so 5:45 is not that much later than 5:30. But it's somewhat later. I'm trying. And I could have the lights on this morning and not worry about unloading the dishwasher and all that, so at least my morningness isn't getting in anyone's way.

Mark dropped Dan off at the airport last night late; poor Dan should have arrived in Poughkeepsie by now, and I'll bet he's crashed hard. I put together the pictures of last weekend, so you can look at those if you want to.

Hey, what do you do with buttermilk? So far we've made crême fraîche with it, and we've made buttermilk pancakes (where we = Dan in the latter case), and I am pondering Columbine's Big Fluffy Biscuits, because biscuits have been on the "to cook/bake" list for awhile, and, you know, they'd contain buttermilk. But other than that...buttermilk. I just don't know. Banana bread doesn't call for enough of it to make much difference, and I'm really not in the mood to settle for my own banana bread when I can have my grandmother's in less than two weeks. So. Buttermilk suggestions welcome.

Anyway. Yesterday I took Dan in to meet Mark for lunch, and we had good bread bowl soups, and then Dan and I wandered around the Stanford campus, dropped off my library books at the Bing Wing (which sounds like the setup for a Feghoot if you ask me), went up Hoover Tower. Then we went and sat outside The Prolific Oven and read until it was time to fetch Mark from work. (They put bits of milk chocolate in my coffee. I am generally opposed to milk chocolate on principle, but it was all right with the coffee, I guess.) I finished the current issue of Analog and The Boxer Rebellion. Then last night after dinner, I read the latest Scientific American and started Robert Harris' Enigma. It's the book that the Tom Stoppard movie was based on. So far, it's got one thing up on the movie: Turing is in the book. In the movie, the main character, Tom Jericho, was a bright young thing from Cambridge working brilliantly on the Enigma project, and there was no Alan Turing, giving us the impression that they had just changed the name so that they could cast Kate Winslet instead of Leonardo di Caprio as the romantic interest. (Not that I wasn't heartily grateful for that particular substitution. But still. The de-gaying of Turing seems tasteless, especially under the circumstances.) But in the book, Turing is around; Turing is someone Tom Jericho hero-worships and considers a mentor. Nobody has tried to de-gay him. So, good then.

Much of what I write that isn't on a specific project keeps devolving into a to-do list, lately, as yesterday's entry did. And if you think that's bad, you should see my actual to-do list. I keep adding to it. I keep not subtracting from it. Well, not as much as I add to it, anyway. But I'm getting a lot of stuff done -- it's just that there's a lot to do. David calls this "go mode." That's a good general term, but in this case I think "holiday hyperdrive" is more apt. My mom goes into holiday hyperdrive, too. Neither of us has been sleeping particularly well this week -- or well but not long, whichever. And if my back is this scrinchy, I'd hate to see hers.

But I did get a lot of good work done on the Chinese book yesterday, so I'm going to do some more of that today, see if I can hit the halfway point by tomorrow morning, maybe. I'm going to do the thrilling household things -- grocery shopping, laundry, maybe a little cleaning -- and work hard on the book, and then Timprov and I will head up to Berkeley and do some Christmas shopping before we meet Zed for dinner.

I'll talk to you guys more tomorrow.

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