Werewolves and Spelling

29 July 2002

Good morning! We had excellent Chinese food at House of Nanking last night, and a nice piece of chocolate raspberry cheesecake up in North Beach somewhere. It didn't seem to be where Avi had intended to go, but I was teasing him that all the signs we had passed for cannoli and tiramisu were substandard cannoli and tiramisu, so we stopped in one. (I'm also not sure he was feeling quite up to par.) Good conversation (Alec was kind of stressed by work, I think, and I hope last night gave him a chance to decompress a bit before he has to "recompress"). Pictures will follow when we get around to getting them off the camera. The new memory card is really nice, but it's 128 megs, and the HP page says, oh, no, that doesn't work with Windows NN or NNNN, so Mark has to use one of his Linux machines to get pictures from the camera now. Which is fine, especially with 128 megs of memory -- that's enough for a whole vacation worth of pictures. Unless you're my Uncle Phil, of course....

I read Michael Chabon's Werewolves in Their Youth yesterday, and I was not nearly so impressed as by The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I'm not sure if I'll make an effort to read more Chabon short stories. It seems like he was spelling everything out. No reaction could be left to the reader's imagination. Everything was explicitly because of something else, with the "because" written in, not just implied with the conjunction of events. And I could draw a picture of the character arc for every story, not because I'm so brilliant and insightful, but because it was laid out with very little subtlety.

Ah well, it could be worse. Instead of spelling everything out, he could have written stories with nothing to spell out at all. And that would have been worse.

Now I'm reading Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair. So far it's a little too clever in spots -- the main character's name is Thursday Next, if that gives you any idea -- and I did scream when she looked in the mirror in chapter 3 and described what she saw. Not because it's a horror novel. Main Character Looks In Mirror always makes me screech. I feel like having my POV characters do it and then not describe what they see. Just to be ornery. Still, though, its pace has been good so far, and it looks like it might be a pleasant time-traveling litgeek book. Definitely the sort of book that would make me think of Michelle even if she hadn't given it to me for my birthday.

It's going to be quite a social day and possibly an errandy one as well. I'm having lunch with Jenn and fetching groceries and possibly printer paper, and then Robert will be here later in the afternoon, and in the meantime I do have a book to write and a few things to do around the house. ("Take newspapers out to recycling bin" has been on my list for long enough that the newspapers are about ready to overpower me. This happens every time. I think it's because they're in the corner, out of the way, and they don't smell, and they don't collect dust, because there are always new ones, and the recycling bins are clear around the other side of the complex, literally diametrically opposite us. So. Today. Really.)

So I'm off to get some things done before I go out. Wish Avi a happy birthday if you know him, and have a good day.

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