Femmier, Homier

5 May 2002

Good morning. Nobody has any data on the word "femmey" for me except for David. Ah well. I suppose I'll live. In the meantime, I took pictures that are in, well, femmey contrast to yesterday's. Bridesmaid dress pictures. These are mostly for Sarah's benefit, but it's convenient this way. So.



(I will spare you around, around, around, around, over, under, and through.)

I'll probably put my hair up, for those of you who care about such things, because there's "something interesting about the back." (This was one of my mom's main concerns for bridesmaid dresses. Kari was trying on possibilities for us, and every time she'd come out of the fitting room, Mom would say, "I don't know. There should just be...something interesting about the back. I mean, people are going to see a lot of your back. I'd just like it if there was...something interesting." So for the rehearsal, Kari brought paper and markers and string, and the bridesmaids all made signs with "something interesting" on the back. Kari's was "The bride and I came out of the closet together." Well, we used to play Narnia. We'd pile into the closet and shut the door. And then pop out. Yay! We're in Narnia! Ahem. This tangent is merely a harbinger of things to come. Consider yourself warned.)

I'm wary of taking pictures that are largely of my shoulders, ever since my dad gave me A Complex about them in high school. "Someday you're going to find a guy who likes broad Norwegian shoulders on a woman," he said out of the blue. I said, "Well, good." And thought, Ackackack! Broad Norwegian shoulders? Do I have those? Well, judge for yourself. I got some of the best comments out of my dad while he was either driving or grilling. That one was grilling.

Yesterday I finished the science writing book and started Angry Young Spaceman, which is pretty decent so far. And I read Spellbound, which arrived yesterday with my story in it. Yay! I love contributor's copies, and it's the month for them around here.

Mark and I ran some errands, and I had a bad moment in the Hallmark. I saw the great-grandma cards, and I realized that I will never again have reason to buy one of those myself. I don't get any more great-grandmas. I'm all out. And they were so awful -- small, light foil letters -- and I just missed cursing at them for making it impossible for my great-grandma to read a word of them. Sniffled a little. Every year at holidays and her birthday and so on, I'm reminded of missing my Gran. And now they're both gone. I know I was lucky to have two great-grandmas when I was old enough to remember them and have relationships with them. I just think it's suboptimal when you have to put "lucky" in the past tense.

Suboptimal. Heh. Whenever they have -- those quizzes that you get on e-mail from your friends or your cousins or whoever, the ones that ask you "bacon bits or croutons" and stuff like that? You know the quizzes? Yes, okay, well, when they ask "what words or phrases do you overuse?", I remember "suboptimal" and "fabulous." Very many things in my world are either suboptimal or fabulous. But the one I forget is "Oh yeah, I think Occam's Razor supports that one." Well, if you lived with Mark and Timprov, you'd have reason to say it a lot, too.

(I think the most interesting question I've seen on surveys like that lately is "what's in your trunk?" Under my bed is always the same and not often very interesting -- there's the extra leaf for the kitchen table, the sweater boxes, a couple of physics notebooks, and whatever shoe or belt has been kicked there. [Note the careful use of the passive voice to avoid indicating who kicks shoes or belts there.] But in the trunk, now, that's a pretty good indicator of how things are in my life.)

Despite having to indicate Occam's Razor's disapproval several times, or maybe because of it, I just had a good lunch yesterday. Beforehand, I stood and toasted the bread for the sandwiches and listened to Mark and Timprov talk and laugh about Enron, and I was happy. Didn't mean that everything was magically okay. Just that I was happy.

Sometimes domestic stuff makes me extraordinarily happy. I'm not sure why it is. I have little domestic fantasies about being able to feed friends and have them hang out at my house. Having a house where my friends feel comfortable is very, very important to me. Ceej and I were talking about it when he was here, about how my folks were Those Parents, the ones who always had all the teenagers at their house because they made it clear they wanted us around (and because there was space to put us). One of the easiest ways to make it clear is to make good snacks. I'm amazed that none of these commercials about getting to know your kids' friends have advised parents to learn to make good snacks. It's so key. I'm practicing to be that kind of parent.

Timprov had the Maple Leafs/Senators game on last night, and oh my, do I love hockey players sometimes. They're all so transparent! And so familiar! You can watch a guy's reaction and know what kind of a person he is. Just know. Even the ones who are trying to be opaque are obvious in their methods. It's great. And then when they lie, it's like when a three-year-old tries to lie to you: "I have, uh, a bruised foot." Yeah, right, you do. Suuuure. You don't have to keep particularly good track of the players to be able to read them and know "who" they are, and you've met them all before (at least I have). And they were playing Holst. You have to have at least a bit of residual affection for a sport where the rink will play Holst. And there's a "neutral zone." Hee. I kept expecting Klingon hockey players to come swarming out into the neutral zone.

Actually watch the game? No, no. But sometimes I love hockey anyway.

Another thing that was making me happy without my actually watching it was the Justice League (which Mark turned on after Timprov went to bed). That particular episode had the comic book heroes of the current heroes' youth. And while I don't like high degrees of self-reference in art (the fantasy stories that are all about fantasy writers, for example, tend to get under my skin), recognizing that your art form does exist and will have an impact on people in the future, that's pretty okay. I kind of like that.

I'm in the mood for great coffee at a great cafe today. Sigh. The nearest one I know of is in Half Moon Bay. Not so good. Really I just want to swing by, pick up Jen, and head for the Coffee Hag. And she's even on the way...Colorado is between here and Minnesota. Not today, though. I know of some good cafes with good coffee "around here." (The quotes mean that they're all 45 minutes away on BART or in the car.) But nothing great. Nothing quiet but reasonably full, well-decorated, intimate, with smooth coffee that isn't too bitter and scones with chunks of peaches or apples or hazelnuts in them. Nothing where the barrista will be able to gauge my mood and guess my drink nine times out of ten. Nothing that's mine.

I think this is one reason we keep going back to The Other Change of Hobbit. Usually we can find their new books somewhere closer to us, and their used books are generally pretty overpriced. But The Nice Mean Man has bothered to know who we are. If you gave him names, he probably wouldn't recognize them, but he recognizes us when we walk in the door. He notices if we haven't been in there in awhile (which we haven't while he's been working, and I keep thinking we should get back up there). He knows we're from the Upper Midwest, that I like dogs and Jonathan Carroll, that we'll take a bit of a harangue and dish it right back...he knows who we are. And in that sense, it's a place we can go that's ours, in the middle of all of the rest of this, in ways that we don't get a lot elsewhere around here.

Now if only they made a good cup of coffee.

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