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Jun. 5th, 2005 @ 09:23 am The Book Meme
I've been tagged by PNH, and the hardest thing, besides counting books, is who to tag next.

Books owned: I'd say I own about 800-1000 books. I keep giving some away but I always have way too many left.

Last Book Bought: A pre-order, actually, of The Sound of Us by Sarah Willis. She's a good friend, she and I are doing a book signing together in July, and my book group is reading the book.

Last Book Read: Son of the Morning Star by Evan S. Connell. It's an old book, 1984. It made North Point Press a ton of money, and like many lottery winners they set out from there on the road to bankruptcy. It's about Custer at Little Bighorn, but like all good historicals, it is broader and richer because of the way it contextualizes its subject.

Five Books That Mean a Lot to You:

Star Rangers by Andre Norton. I don't dare read this again, but it was the first real sf book I ever read and it changed my life. I mean, here I am, writing sf, right?

The Sound and the Fury By William Faulkner. When I was in high school, my English teacher told me to read it. It was like climbing a mountain. I was almost finished with the Benjy section (the first section) when it clicked with me that Benjy was mentally retarded and I understood how the prose was working. I went back and started over again. I didn't understand it completely but I got most of the book, and the mind-expanding possibilities of prose, and the sense of mastery were powerful. It's not the Faulkner I re-read--that's As I Lay Dying but it was my first.

The Lonely Planet: China My copy is very dated, but it's the one that I used when I lived in China for a year. So when I look back at it, it is full of memories.

The New Basics by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. It's a cookbook, and along with a handful of other cookbooks including The Splendid Table by Lynne Rosetto Kasper (which is a great and informative read) it has probably affected the day to day life of my family and me as much as any book I ever read.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. It was a wonderful read. But it means a lot to me as a teacher, because i often assign it to students, and because my son was assigned it. He wasn't a reader in high school, but The Things They Carried seems to have infected him. And now he raids his father's stock of sf paperbacks to read at school.

I tag (trying to remember who has already been tagged) anton_p_nym, bram452, sleigh, coffeejedi, aynjel
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Jun. 3rd, 2005 @ 03:52 pm Infernokrusher
I found out I'm an Infernokrusher!

David Moles and Ben Rosenbaum were at my Wiscon reading. I read a story about a woman who, everywhere she looks, things burst into flames. And she likes it. So they invited me to be an Infernokrusher!

From Boing Boing:


My Infernokrusher moniker is Krushermuther. I figured since we were making up everything else, I'd get to make up a cool nickname. Now I want a flamethrower.
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May. 30th, 2005 @ 07:45 pm (no subject)
Phaedra! I just got your email today! I'd have loved to have lunch!

Wiscon was a great deal of fun--although not as fun as Rio Hondo. (Because Rio Hondo is fun over many days and Wiscon is almost a thousand people and three days.) But I got to see many people I hadn't seen for many years, including dinner with Eleanor Arneson and Patrick Wood. I tried cheese curds, the famous food of Wisconsin. (If they are fresh, your teeth squeak when you eat them. Mine were fresh.)

I got to talk to Eileen Gunn for five minutes. And Nisi Shaw for five minutes. And Kristen Livdahl, Alan DeNiro, Chris Rowe, and Barth Anderson, all for five minutes. I got to meet Ben Rosenbaum for five minutes. And Theodora Goss, Karen Meisner, and Haddayr Copley-Woods, all of whom I read with, for maybe ten minutes.

I got to hang with Ted Chiang for a bit. Saw Lyda Moorehouse. David Hoffman-Dachelet.

The most sensible thing I did was that on Saturday morning, Bob and I walked to the farmers market and then spent the next two hours walking through the farmer's market and then through the city of Madison down to the University and back, looking in funky shops and finally stopping for lunch. Then we took a nap. Usually I feel as if I have to be at the con for the whole time. But a big break in the middle was really good.

But Bob wimped out at Karaoke at a party that night after telling me over and over he was going to sign up and sing the "Banana Boat Song". Day-o! Day-o! Daylight come and me wanna go home.

Next year.
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May. 27th, 2005 @ 07:47 am Travel Travel Travel
Last week I was in New Mexico, this weekend I am off to Wiscon, in Madison WI.

Tonight, Small Beer Press will have a party and Kelly Link and I have short story collections coming out July 1. I'm giving a reading and doing a couple of panels and Bob is going with me and it will be fun!

I have one more bit of travel--a week at the end of June--and a summer full of work and I'm delighted by all of it.
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May. 24th, 2005 @ 10:13 pm Walter Jon Williams Posts the Rio Hondo Menu
Sunday: (Walter Jon Williams with Kitchen MinionsTM)

Lamb Korma (lamb in fragrant yogurt sauce)
Chicken Masala(chicken in spicy tomato sauce)
Patiala Pilaf (pilaf with basmati rice and fragrant spices)
Matira (curried watermelon served hot)
Wine: Fetzer Gewurtztraminer

Monday: (Maureen McHugh with Daniel/Minion)

Tuscan leg of lamb with rosemary
Pork loin oriental, with ginger and soy
Edamame with beets and greens
Corn relish salad with balsamic vinegar
Apple pie and berry pie a la mode
Wine: Moulin de Sablons Chinon 2000

Tuesday: (Creative Leftover Day with Walter Jon Williams and Maureen McHugh)

Gosht Pullau (basmati pilaf with lamb and mint)
Edamame, corn, and squash stirfry with almonds and scallion
Lamb and Pork in Thai peanut sauce
Saffron Pilaf with Peaches (Zaffrani Pullau)
Sweet tortillas with ice cream and berry salsa
Falesco Vitiano 2003

Wednesday: (Daniel Abraham, Geoff, and Mary)

Tuscan steak
Grilled honey rosemary chicken
Sunshine carrots with ginger
Seared greens in olive oil and garlic
Grilled vegetable medley
Flat bread
Fresh mango chutney
Snickerdoodles a la Jerry
Wine: Cavit Pinot Grigio 2003

Thursday (Walter)

Giant prawns and/or heart of palm with remoulade sauce
Black roux gumbo with chicken and sausage
Holy Trinity Cajun tofu (by Maureen)
Cajun rice
Bananas Foster
Wine: Miguel Torres Cordillera 2001

Friday (Mike and Toby)
Margarita night (by Walter)
Spicy beef and bean burritos with salsa fresca, guacamole, and
fresh vegetables
Homemade tortillas
Strawberry cheesecake
Barton & Guestier Cotes de Rhone 2001

We were roughing it, obviously.
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May. 23rd, 2005 @ 09:52 pm Rio Hondo writing workshop
Back from New Mexico, where the land is beautiful, the discussion is writerly and the food is pretty damn good. The workshop was held, for the second time, at a lodge called Snowbear. We are treated like royalty there. It's the off season and I believe if we were all murdered nobody would know until about October, when they started to gear up for the ski season again, but it means the the Snowbear is mighty glad to get some business.

When we got there, the snowline was still below the lodge. Astonishing to drive up through snow in May, and the afternoon we got there we had rain mixed with snow. But the storm blew through in tweny minutes and the sun came out and we could wander around in shirt sleeves. I was worried about being at 10,000 feet with no red blood cells but I didn't seem to have terrifically more difficulty with the stairs than anyone else. Okay, Mike Bateman and Carrie Vaughn bounded around like rabbits, but most of the rest of us paused at the top to catch our breath.

Howard Waldrop was there for the second year. Oh my God. Every critique, Howard would say something astonishing. For a historical piece he said something like, 'Kudzu was introduced to the United States in 1876 but it didn't really get started until they decided to raise it as a cash crop in the twenties, know what I mean?' Or 'It takes thirty miles of atmoshpere for a meteor to burst into flame...' I mean, this stuff isn't astonishing until you realize, Howard doesn't google. Howard uses a typewriter. He just carries stuff like this around in his brain.

Walter Jon Williams, founder and Commandant, cooked a lot--including the obligatory black roux gumbo. (If he doesn't cook it I whine like crazy.) And the traditional bananas foster. I cooked some, including the obligatory leg of lamb. Walter will undoubtably post the amazing Taos menu. People seemed to like my story AND they fixed my plot holes. Mostly it was the week of incredibly well-written YA stories. Walter did great for a guy who nearly died eight weeks ago. And Taos did its healing magic for Walter and me.
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May. 12th, 2005 @ 07:35 pm Care Packages
I had my last chemo today. (YAY!) I'm in remission and done with the infusion room.

Before I went in for chemo, I sent Adam, my child, a care package for exam week which is next week. He has five tests and three projects due at R.I.T. When he was a child and living at home, I was constantly aware of the consequences of any purchases. Would they end up sticking to the upholstary of the couch? Would horseplay ensue that would possibly damage lamps? But he is twenty, 6' 2", successfully pursuing a degree in engineering, and living with other people. So I sent fifty water balloons, silly putty, a dart gun that shoots foam darts, Pringles (which I would never buy him because they were expensive and empty of nutrition and he would eat them instead of dinner) and Starburst. Iw ould have sent him the two cans of Silly String I had, but it turns out the aerosal cans are hazardous and cannot be sent through the mail.

It was great. He will be so happy. His roommates, on the other hand, may hate me.
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May. 6th, 2005 @ 03:50 pm This is Cool
Everybody else probably already knows about this, but I was tickled. Alas, they have just posted that if you haven't already RSVP'd that you won't be admitted because they are already full.

The Time Traveler Convention
May 7, 2005, 10:00pm EDT (08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)
(events start at 8:00pm)
East Campus Courtyard, MIT
3 Ames St. Cambridge, MA 02142
42:21:36.025°N, 71:05:16.332°W
(42.360007,-071.087870 in decimal degrees)

What is it?

Technically, you would only need one time traveler convention. Time travelers from all eras could meet at a specific place at a specific time, and they could make as many repeat visits as they wanted. We are hosting the first and only Time Traveler Convention at MIT on Saturday, and WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Why do you need my help?

We need you to help PUBLICIZE the event so that future time travelers will know about the convention and attend. This web page is insufficient; in less than a year it will be taken down when I graduate, and futhermore, the World Wide Web is unlikely to remain in its present form permanently. We need volunteers to publish the details of the convention in enduring forms, so that the time travelers of future millennia will be aware of the convention. This convention can never be forgotten! We need publicity in MAJOR outlets, not just Internet news. Think New York Times, Washington Post, books, that sort of thing. If you have any strings, please pull them.
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Apr. 30th, 2005 @ 04:59 pm Hey, Not So Bad!
Bob and I went today and saw The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I expected it to suck. It has gotten reviews that are all over the map. But Bob is stone Hitchhiker dude and owns it in ever medium it has ever been in. Laments that the current release of the BBC radio version doesn't have the part where Marvin does Pink Floyd.

Off we went and you know, I quite liked it. I was properly entertained. It wasn't great, but it sure didn't suck. And Douglas Adams did finally get it to film, even if he died first.
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Apr. 24th, 2005 @ 09:24 pm After
So my husband wants to be plastinated when he dies. (Before this, if he predeceased me, I had promised to have his ashes packed with fireworks so he could go out in a show.)

I have no real preferences after I'm dead. I kind of think burial is a waste of space, but if Bob announced that in the event I died before him, he wanted me buried so he could, I don't know, go to my grave and pine, that would be ookay with me. My biggest concern, after reading The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford many years ago, is that my family will end up spending a lot of money.

Hunter S. Thompson's ashes were fired out of a cannon.

Anybody got weird plans for their loved ones or themselves?
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