Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy Holiday

Xmas was good. Woke up early to get to the family house and catch the nieces and nephews in gift-receiving frenzy. Brekkies w/Mum, sister, and family. Then went home to make pies and desserts for dinner while nipping on red wine. Cold, drizzly weather makes being domestic particularly satisfying. Went back up to the house for dinner with the whole fam-damily, including Dad and Grandpa and the extended in-law set. I made a disk of old family photos of Mum's that I scanned for my sibs, and will post a few golden oldies. Hope everyone is having a good holiday.


Is it any wonder I am who I am growing up with those curtains?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A bit nippy

The weather has really turned here. It's gray, cold, and windy. Good Christmas weather. We got the January issue in with the Canadian stuff, the WFC reports and photos, and a long obit for Bob Sheckley, who never recovered from his last surgery. Sad stuff, that, but we did our best to give him a good send off.

Went out to the Borderlands Books holiday potluck on Friday. Had a great time. A fantastic, commiserating conversation with Jeremy Lassen about night terrors, which he has, too. I've actually never met anyone with such a similar version of them.

Now that it is raining steadily, we discovered that our enthusiastic landscaping disturbed an underground network of gopher tunnels. All the water that is running downhill underground toward our house is now bubbling up to the surface in our backyard. There was a small waterfall tumbling gently into our mudbox this morning. Joy.

So these guys stole a two-ton, $5.2 million bronze statue with a crane and a flat-bed truck in London. "Three men are being sought, having been captured on security cameras." That's ambitious.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Things I miss

There are things that, as an American, I miss. As a first-generation American, I might miss them a little bit more, because I almost had them. Singing in pubs. God, that's cool. I want to sing in a pub. With a bunch of drunk locals. We just don't do that. It would be really good for us as a nation if we got drunk and sang together more. We're just too big. There's no getting around it. Too many people, too much space.
 Blogger is apparently determined to prevent me from posting this photo. You can't stop a girl when she's determined. Ballet at age 11.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Take a stand, man, it's good for the soul

After a long day of dealing with digital images, looking for news, dealing with the financials of the magazine, and almost doing ballet (see previous post), I stumbled onto Ted Chiang's statement on SF v. F in terms of science and magic on WithBoots and Hal Duncan's considered response. Plus debate with Cheryl at Emcit. Thank the gods for JV and his evil monkey.

In the end, I think Hal sums it up best.

Doesn't look like the sugar-plum fairy to me

Tonight I got as close as I've been in eight years to going to a ballet class. Wacky.

Too much information: I danced pretty much as soon as I could walk. At the age of two or three I informed my family that my signal of waving my index finger in front of my face while blinking rapidly meant, "Be quiet and sit down. I'm going to dance now." (That's a family favorite to tell when company's over.) I studied ballet from the age of six, danced with the San Francisco Ballet School till the age of sixteen when I ripped the cartilage in the metatarsal joint of my right big toe, effectively ended my career. I could pretty much do anything except for ballet, the one thing I really felt called to. A three-or-so year depression followed, the launching of my goth persona, and the beginnings of a budding vocalist career. Follow restaurant jobs, some stucco work, university, bands, motorcycles, Mexico, adventure...

Despite misgivings, I started doing modern dance in my twenties. I spent several years in Santa Cruz dancing sometimes twice daily and was the principal dancer in a small modern company, while completing my degree in Lit and playing in an alt-rock band in San Francisco. Recognizing the pending vulnerability of doing dance again seriously, (for better or worse) I decided to concentrate on my music, moved back to the Bay Area where my band was based, and gave up on dance entirely. It's very hard to do something you've dedicated your life to previously as a hobby or sport.

The band imploded after six years, despite moderate fame, a CD, some touring, etc. Two years of just and only work (bartending, managing restaurant) and pondering grad school. Despondent feelings of dumbing down. Cue job opening at Locus.

So here I am, thirty-five, magazine editor, completely out of shape and considering going to a beginning adult ballet class at Berkeley Ballet Theater. Could only find one ballet shoe. Stymied. Fah. So I'm having another tequila, and figuring out where to buy new ballet shoes. Try and stop me.

Will post ridiculous photo of self doing ballet at awkward age of eleven.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

O Christmas Tree

Went out and got me a Christmas tree today. It's cool. I can't remember the last time I had one. Alan Beatts and I were talking on the phone the other day and he confessed his fondness for Christmas. Have to say, I suffer from the same. The smell of the tree in the living room, the lights, the fire in the fireplace on chilly nights -- it's all really lovely.

Even better, today is the first day in two weeks that I haven't been sick. For Pete's sake, that's just not fair. But it's over and I'm ready to go back to having a life past work and sleep. Most of my day has been spent color balancing digital photos for the World Fantasy spread. I have about 35 to go, it takes about 10-15 minutes each. Hooboy. I'll confess the tequila makes the work a little less painful -- my apologies in advance to anyone who turns out more chartreuse than intended, but it's Sunday, I'm finally not sniffling anymore and celebration was in order. It's not all bad -- going through photos of what was a really enjoyable weekend. I don't usually get to hang out and meet people at cons. Too much work to do. But Madison was different.

Mum is home from visiting the family in Australia. My sister and I talk on the phone once or twice a day when she's not around. She's really the anchor of our family. Even at 35 (:0) I feel a bit adrift when she's out of reach like that.

Still reeling about the Sci Fiction news. It's such a knock to short fiction to have that visible and well paying a venue taken away from the field.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

It's not all that bad, really

Ok, so I had a great day on Friday.

The effervescent Laurel Winter is in town. I took her to Muir Woods and Stinson Beach, which were wonderful for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the weather turned and it was beautiful. A much-needed distraction from my workload.

My feline scientist continues his series of experiments, the most recent of which involves lugging around an antique glass doorknob. I haven't quite derived the process he is using or his desired results, but expect enlightenment soon.

Totally engrossed in THE ATROCITY ARCHIVES.

NEARLY PEOPLE's ending knocked me for a loop so I plan on reading the last 30 pages again.

Started RIVER OF GODS by Ian McDonald. I've enjoyed his previous works and am looking forward to this one, so well recommended.

And the liquid amber trees are running red now -- fanfuckingtastic. Will post photo, though effect does not translate.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Oh Joy, A Day Off

Being the (mostly) dutiful wiff I am, I climbed out of bed at 6:45am to make coffee and join the hub in the shower. Usually I make breakfast, too, but beg off that duty when I don't have to go to work. So I climbed back into bed to have a wee sleep-in, only to be roused by hub's hubbub in the kitchen. In my bleary half-awake state I had neglected to put the pot in position in the coffee machine -- very bad idea. Fortunately for me, the machine is at least one tick brighter than I am, and turned itself off. So I amended the sitch, decided I really needed to go back to bed and start the day over in a half hour or so.

The cats, lovely though they are, are engaged in some kind of ongoing sport tourney which sounds like a rugby match as they fly through the rooms, and one of the goals (which have varying locations throughout the house) was apparently next to my head on the pillow this morning. So I gave up and got dressed. The rest of my morning, and probably some of the afternoon, will be spent in my old music studio at the Vulcan warehouse helping my ex-bandmate, who now lives in France, sort through the belongings she has in storage there, connected to her on Skype (she's in Toulouse). We'll have to see if it works or not, but I'm hopeful. Then on to editing the WFC report, and choosing photos for the spread.

It's pouring down rain. Depressing. I haven't blogged about our epic landscaping project in the backyard, but will when it's closer to done. Suffice to say, we dug a big square hole about 15 x 20 feet (and 2 ft. deep), which is now filling with rainwater and making a large mudbox right outside our kitchen door. And we have two 50-some pound dogs that are left out when no one is home (or else Sasha, the catahoula, gets in to trouble - books are a favorite chewtoy, among other things). DIY is slow and cumbersome sometimes, so despite our best efforts, we did not beat the rainy season.