Chocolate and Peer Pressure Cats

10 September 2001

Found out when I got home last night that yesterday morning's journal had not posted when I posted it. Grr. I hate AT&T @ Home sometimes.

Anyway, my busy day featured much happiness. I got to see the little guys at church, and had some good conversations with friends there. (Unfortunately, the funniest one is entirely too personal to report in public...although if you don't know any of my friends from Concord and would like to hear it recounted in private, e-mail me.) Mark and I hung out at Borders and drooled for a bit until Pasta Primavera opened. I want The Free Lunch in the worst way. And Probability Sun. And the new Bujold and the new Sarah Zettel. (Have you read Sarah Zettel? If not, do it! She's good! Especially Fool's War. Read Fool's War for sure. You can borrow it from me, if that doesn't involve postage. Just get your dibs in.) So many good new books out. Sigh.

I had, as promised, ground hazelnuts on my cheese ravioli, and dang, was it good. I'm going to start experimenting with Timprov's ground walnuts and pasta, or maybe some ground pecans so that I can give my mom the recipe. (She's allergic to walnuts now.) And I had the nice sun-dried-tomato-olive-oil stuff on my bread, which was good enough to make me bounce with happiness.

Actually, there was much happy bouncing yesterday.

So we drove into Oakland and fetched Tim and Heather and Susan and went to Gaylord's for Tim's Best New Crack, which is Heather's Best Old Crack. Vanilla blended iced lattes. Mmmmmm.

Here's Tim and Heather with their crack.

Here's Susan with her tea. I didn't get a Susan picture from the birthday party, except for the one of her and Wendy and Tot that was really mostly of Tot. So I was determined to get a Susan picture.

If you're reading this in the morning, these will be the emperor's new pictures. I know that. I haven't got the software on my computer to download them because we haven't gotten the CD-ROM drive fixed yet, and I don't want to use Timprov's computer while he's sleeping, and Mark took the appropriate laptop with him to work. So trust me: everybody is gorgeous. How else would we be?

Then Mark and I drove around San Francisco looking for parking. Always an adventure. Found it, and went in to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival. It benefits Project Open Hand, which feeds the elderly and the sick. So you pay $6 apiece for five "tastes" of chocolate.

Mark, with chocolate.

Me, with the bag of chocolate cherry bread, which was this morning's breakfast for Mark and me. It was not, however, my favorite of this year's Stuff. My favorite was the strawberry Nutella crepes flambéed in Grand Marnier. Also good were the chocolate pasta with chocolate sauce, the chocolate-dipped strawberry, and the chocolate/Grand Marnier cheesecake. Oh wait, that's everything. Hmm. Well, it was all good. I also bought [item] for [loved one who reads this journal] for Christmas and some chocolate pasta for when Scott comes out to visit. Unless Scott doesn't come to visit, in which case we'll eat it without him. So he'd better hurry up, hmm?

I had brilliantly left the printed directions to Avi's house sitting on the printer, but I'd been there once before and remembered that there were prime numbers and multiples of 59 involved, so I got there fine. The critiques were good. That's the most important part in a new group, I think -- seeing if people are making reasonable, coherent comments, regardless of whether you agree with them.

"Ah, but most of these people went to Clarion!" Sorry, folks, but I don't buy that Clarion will make you a writing, critiquing machine. I've run into Clarionites whose critiquing skills left me totally underwhelmed; I've run into Clarionites who had such a radically different idea of what made good speculative fiction than I did that there was no point in us critiquing each other's stories; and I've run into Clarionites who could not write their way out of the proverbial damp paper sack. Just having gone to Clarion is not a guarantee that one will be good to have in a critiquing group -- and when they aren't all into the "Clarion Code of Silence," most Clarionites can admit that there was maybe one person in their class who didn't really...or their class was fine, but they've heard stories about the one before....

Anyway. So after the good crits, I ended up talking to Avi and Zed and Alec for awhile before making the trek home. Lots of geek stuff to talk about. Books, books, books, and a few movies, and a little bit of Just Stuff. Also, Avi's cats are killer adorable. Good heavens. They rub up against chairs, begging for attention, and look at you upside down, as if to say, "Come know you want to...everyone else is doing would if you loved me...." I'm allergic to cats. Sadly, immunity to their charms is not conferred with the allergy.

I had a boyfriend (who was a jerk) who had a cat, and said boyfriend's father (who was also a jerk) was convinced that allergies were some kind of psychological aversion. So he kept shoving the cat at me, convinced that I would love it if only I held it and played with it for awhile. As if that had anything to do with anything. Either he believed it or he was just being a bastard on that pretext. Both are possible, under the circumstances.

Right then. Well. I'm going to work. Big shock. I've worked on all kinds of things in the last few days, but there's an essay I want to finish and send and a query I'd like to write up and send. Other than that, I'm going to work on Reprogramming edits and probably "Loki's Fishnets." And, of course, the Not The Moose Book. A good variety of work, I think.

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