29 January 2002

Yesterday our internet connection was slow. Unbearably slow. It was taking me at least half an hour per rejection letter to get hotmail to load the message, the reply form, the sending confirmation, the message again, and the inbox. However, I sent out over twice as many rejections as I received, so I suppose it was still a net positive day...or something.

The apartment man showed up yesterday morning, determined that the part he had did not fix the problem, and left. They called a plumber. The plumber did not come. They called the plumber back and gave him our number and instructions to show up last evening. We ordered pizza for dinner. The plumber still did not come. This morning, I will be discussing the matter with the apartment managers. This is, hmm, what's the word? Oh yes: ridiculous.

Note that I avoided all cheesy clichés about the kitchen sink. You may thank me.

I have had an increase in spam in the last few days, and what's worse, I've had spam leakage. I've had my normal account since we moved out here (around two and a half years ago), and I'd gotten spam on it maybe four times. Now in the last week it's been more like a dozen. And the ones on my hotmail account have been getting rather more intense. Subject lines in all capitals, informing me of what the sender enjoys sexually. I can mess with the junk mail settings on my hotmail account, but with the "real" account, I just have to live with getting ads for Romania Online. Which could be worse, I know.

We ended up watching the news last night because Mark could see snow on the hills when he drove in for a thesis defense. Mount Ham got five inches. Mount Tam and Mount Diablo got one apiece. This is nothing to sneeze at, out here, but I did have to laugh -- there was a frost warning out. A frost warning. You don't have warnings for frost. You have warnings for tornadoes, for flash floods, for severe thunderstorms. Not for frost. Frost just happens, especially in January.

They had a kid on the news whose mom had driven him up Highway 17 north of Santa Cruz (I recognized where they were pulled off) to throw snow...on her SUV. Not at her, not at his friends or himself, not at random objects. Specifically on her SUV.

So crazy, this state.

I was thinking about Busman's Honeymoon again, and one of the things I like is that it showed Bunter's Gentleman's Gentleman persona slipping. It showed me both how Bunter had created that persona and why, and I liked that a lot. He had a choice -- he could have been like most of the other servant and lower-class characters. But he deliberately decided not to be. And only the prospect of taking poor care of Lord Peter could shake him in that decision.

I was also thinking about -- well, skip this paragraph if you haven't read it and knowing small details of plot bothers you. There's a clogged chimney, in Busman's Honeymoon, and one of the characters proposes cleaning it by firing a gun up it. Which they let him do. And I was reading along thinking, "Oh, boy, here's the first corpse. Because for years, I've told the "my aunt Mary's neighbors are so dumb" story. How dumb are they? Dumb enough that one of them tried to clean out his chimney by firing a shotgun up it! Did it work? Naw, they took him to the hospital with shrapnel wounds. Here I'd been thinking that this man was exceptionally stupid. Now I find out he might just be a big Dorothy Sayers fan.

I've been reading Robert Charles Wilson's The Chronoliths, which could end up being good, but nothing is assured. It's one of those books wherein much will depend on what he does with it in the last quarter of the book. Which is where I am now. I've also been reading Shots in the Dark, about the search for an AIDS vaccine, as research for the expanded version of "The Children's Village." Well, that's what it's supposed to be about. For very many pages now, it's been about how AIDS has not been treated like polio was, socially and politically speaking. When the first point was made, I thought, yes, a virus is a virus and it's a horrible shame that the early Reagan administration treated a deadly virus as a dirty joke. But after a certain point, gosh, the idea has been expressed. And you can't really expect that AIDS and polio would be treated the same way. Not in this world. They have very little in common. At some point, you need to recognize the political realities of the situation and move on with your book. I'm hoping that Shots in the Dark gets there soon.

Yesterday I finished off "She Transcends" and sent it out to the anthology for which I had intended it. It's very short and very silly. These things happen. I can almost taste the end of "Take Back the Night," so that's on my priority list for the day: finish "Take Back the Night," work on the Not The Moose Book, deal with the apartment people about the sink (!!!), and get tickets for a couple of things for when Scott's here. If I can get to the office supply store for envelopes and paper, all for the best. If not, well, we'll live without them. I'd like to make further plans for what to take off my list, but it will be oddly dependent upon the plumber.

I have reached a stage in my life where my choices can depend, for a day or two, on the schedule of the plumber. This is more than a bit alarming, and I believe it's known as "being a grown-up." How sad.

Oh, quickly, before I forget: WIHA story deadline is Friday. Keep 'em coming.

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