6 May 2001

Well, Michael graduated from UNO yesterday. Congratulations to him. I hope he's spending his graduation weekend doing something other than 1) throwing up and 2) trying not to throw up. Oh yes, and 3) drinking lots of water. That's pretty much how my graduation weekend went. I was very surprised that I got through the ceremony.

In a way, it was probably a good thing. There were enough people I loved there to make me squirmy puppy happy, and few enough so that I could actually manage to interact with all of them. There was a short period of time when Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Mark, Timprov, Curt, C.J., and Michelle were all in my dorm room with me. I was lying on the bed trying to beam beatifically (and not throw up). There were notable absences, but that's a lot of the people who really matter in my world, all at once. And some of the notable absences showed up the next day.

So all in all, I guess it was a good college graduation. And on the up side, I didn't have to haul boxes or anything like that.

I ran lots of errands yesterday, but in a fun way. If I have to dart into the produce department for "just one thing," never, ever will it be "just one thing. Especially not in the spring, when there are avocados and plum tomatoes and asparagus for cheap. It was a pretty good day, though, and I got the stuff to try to make salmon ravioli with asparagus spears in a lemon dill sauce. Liz thinks I should put some of my recipes up on my page so that she can read them, and I recently promised Kev soup recipes. We shall see. Timprov wants to put his up so that he has them available wherever he is, so we may do that. (I find it hilarious that we assume internet connectivity that universally. How quickly the new becomes the ubiquitous.)

I also finished reading The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of. Wow. What a tacky book. Disch decided to get into personal gossip for the sole purpose of putting in bits of "juicy" personal gossip, evidently. (Some SF writers have used illegal drugs! Gasp! And some of them were not very sexually conventional! Gasp! Some of them still aren't! GASP! And J. G. Ballard was -- a bad driver!) And some of his interpretations of people's books can best be called malicious. Telling us that Octavia Butler is like John Norman, for example. I mean, I'm used to people misreading Heinlein all over the place, but the Octavia Butler thing came totally out of the blue. Also, Orson Scott Card is evidently like Edgar Rice Burroughs (in that they both have three names and I wouldn't name a kid after either of them, sure, but other than that...). And some of the stuff was just factually wrong: Ender's Game was not Card's first novel, for example.

What was the point of writing that book? Why did he bother with it? It was only insightful if you hadn't actually read any of the works in question. Even Disch's good friend John Clute gently chided him for playing with elliptical billiard balls when he reviewed it for Scifi.Com. That should have given me a clue, but noooo. I had to go read it myself.

If you do likewise, at least don't buy it. It's not worth the $13 or whatever it costs in trade paper.

So now I'm reading 334 to give Disch a chance to do what he does best instead. I may take a total Disch break and move on to one of my Finland books today. After I'm done singing. I really don't want to sing. Ohhh...bad idea.

Talked to Scott for a few hours yesterday afternoon. It was good. It was the kind of conversation we'd have had in his old car, or flopped on the sofa in my parents' basement. "What's your absolute favorite Blues Traveler album?" Among other things. And we agreed that we both get pretty defensive about being from Nebraska sometimes, which causes problems. Because sometimes we want to keep trying to prove to people that Omaha is not a total hick town, that there's good stuff there, that people get a schoolin' all the way up through sixth grade and we hardly never have trouble with them Injun raids any more...right. Anyway. People who are not from the Midwest have a lot of misconceptions about Nebraska.

Unfortunately, some of the misconceptions are, well, not mis-. And some of the results are disturbing, and I know I'm going to ruin everything good I've ever told you about Omaha, but I have to tell you this. It's too terrible to pass up. Omaha has a professional indoor football team called...

The Omaha Beef.

Who came up with that? No, wait, there are more pressing questions here. What are the individual players, anyway? Not Steers. The team would have to be the Omaha Cattle for that. I suppose not Carcasses. Steaks? With some of the more marginal players being Hamburgers instead? What are the cheerleaders, the Patties? Because you know there are cheerleaders.

The Omaha Beef. I just don't understand.

Timprov said to me, "There aren't horse races in Omaha, are there?"

Bewildered, I said, "Sure, over at Ak-Sar-Ben. At least, there used to be."

"They didn't call them that, did they?"

"Call them what?"

"The Omaha Stakes."

Now, don't you go making fun of Omaha Steaks. That's the prerogative of people whose friends work or worked there. Like me.

We will truly know that Gen X is the Establishment when Omaha adopts as its city motto either, "Omaha: get right to the heart of matters." or "Omaha: it's the heart that matters more." I have no idea what Counting Crows will do on that day, but the rest of us can no longer act like we're the Young Turks. It's good to have a cut-off date on that. It'll keep us from looking ridiculous.

Well. In that specific way, anyway.

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