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[travel] Spending the weekend down by the bay

It was a good weekend, but somehow my blog index was much lower than normal. Comes of being in single-tasking health, I guess.

Friday afternoon I got to San Francisco. Had a nice lunch down in Cole Valley with calendula_witch, then went to my Balboa Park pied-a-terre and crashed out until therinth and Mr. Therinth picked me up for a dinner in San Jose with zellandyne and her guy.

Saturday morning I headed down to Santa Cruz, a trip interrupted by a brief but paperwork-free roadside interview with the po-po: “Sir, using a cell phone while driving is illegal in California.” “I’m from Oregon, I didn’t know.” “Well, then get out of here, but don’t do it any more.” (He was very courteous, as was I.) Down in Santa Cruz I spent an hour on KUSP with Lyle Troxell and a cast of half a dozen, including Rick Kleffel. The Trashotron podcast of the radio segment is here.

After that it was back up to San Francisco, another nap, then off to Borderlands Books, followed by SF in SF, all of which was great good fun. dinogrl and dave_gallaher showed up at the store, but there was a logistical mixup about dinner and they didn’t connect after. Terry Bisson hosted me and Susan Palwick for SF in SF, where after a brief memorial discussion of Tom Disch, she read a rather dark and twisted piece, I read the equally cheerful “The Goat Cutter”, then we all interviewed each other.

Afterwards, camillemulan gave me a book for the_child, her graphic novel Raggedy Chan about the experience of being a Chinese girl in America. It came with a lovely doll. the_child was quite thrilled.

Today was an early Vegan breakfast with mine hostess, then I hopped an early flight home. A very good trip to the Bay Area, but I am happy to be back in my own little home (however briefly).

[personal] A tiny bit of updatery

In Dallas, waiting for my connecting flight. I doubt I’ll be back online much before late this evening, but I wanted to mention a couple of things before they slip my mind.

I’m an aficionado of the view above the clouds. I’ve seen some amazing things from the little ovoid aircraft window, from towering electrical storms by moonlight, to the entire Cascade volcano line backlit by blazing sunset, to streams of emergency vehicles pacing our landing, to the Zurich airport racing byvery close to the wingtip and perpendicular to my personal orientation. Today I saw two things I’d never seen before.

After a long nap, I awoke to look out. The sun was directly behind my angle of view, so I saw the shadow of our aircraft on a nearby cloud, surrounded by a circular rainbow. Moments later we broke into clearer skies, and I saw bright rays of light at a long angle, light spotlights in the sky, illuminating the ground amid the dimmer light of morning. Nothing I could possibly have photographed, but amazing images.

Also, I’ve gone about 36 hours now in something resembling normal digestive health. The relief this represents is profound. Two nights of decent sleep doesn’t hurt either. This gives me hope for an energetic and productive weekend.

Boarding soon.

[travel] The speed of line

At Eppley Field. I’ve flown out of this airport at least 50 times in the past ten years, probably closer to 100, and I have never seen the security line like it is this morning. Good thing I was here 90 minutes before flight time.

Just now I heard someone screaming at the TSA guys — not smart. A lot of airport security is total B.S., but that’s not the fault of the people working the checkpoint. And there are burly gentlemen with firearms and powers of arrest lurking nearby at all times.

As it is, I probably don’t have time for a link salad before I’m out of here. I’m good, though. A decent night’s sleep, and day of nearly normal digestive health, have a gone a long way to easing my spirits as well as my physical comfort.

Y’all play nice today.

[travel] “They climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies”

Up too late already, given my 3:30 am (Central) wakeup call. At least I’ve been horizontal for a while.

After too short a night’s sleep, I’m off for San Francisco tomorrow. (I’ll crash more on the plane.) Doing nothing but light socializing and resting when I get there, before Saturday’s three-ring circus of a day. First ring: the 10 am GeekSpeak interview. [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] Second ring: the 3 pm Borderlands reading and signing. Third ring: the 7 pm appearance with Susan Palwick at SF in SF.

I wasn’t able to finagle a ride to Santa Cruz in the morning, so I’ll be doing a lot of driving that day. I imagine I’ll survive, but I’ll be useless Sunday, so I don’t expect to get back to fiction until at least Monday after I’ve been home. It will be a lot of fun, though.

[personal] Omaha zzz

Managed my energy much better at work today. Also got back to the hotel early, and have been quiet and largely horizontal since. Clearly I’m not going to get any writing done this week, due to the energy demands of work+travel. This would really tick me off if I let it, but I need to lay low and take care of myself.

Another work day tomorrow, followed by the Omaha Beach Party, then lighting out for the territories Friday morning. See some, all or none of you in the Bay Area this weekend.

I’ll be funny tomorrow, I promise.

[travel] The sky, she is the color of lemons and plums

Here in Omaha, after various flight delays of the usual sort. Got my rental car pace the Hertz random upgrade program. The comedienne at the Gold counter asked me if I’d be ok with a Pinto, I told her she wasn’t old enough to know what a Pinto was. My reward, and/or her vengeance, was to give me a Chevy SUV I’ve had before here.

garyomaha met at the hotel as I arrived. I got the room with the trick door handle, which necessitated a return trip to the lobby, after which we went out to Mexican, then Whole Foods for me to buy supplies for the week. I’m here to tell you, you can buy soy yogurt in Omaha.

On the way back the thunderstorm line which had been rattling around all afternoon was high in the west. The setting sun was visible right on the horizon, but above it the clouds and obscuring rainfall filtered the dusklight first lemon yellow, then that weird mauve shade some plums get. The colors were an undifferentiated wash over that hemisphere of the heavens, from just above the horizon to over our heads. I’ve never seen anything quite like it — gorgeous and ominous in one swell foop.

Work tomorrow at the Omaha office. I’m laying low socially these next few days to baby my digestion, and work on “Forests of the Night” which was due, ahem, today. Omaha Beach Party Thursday, then I’m off to San Francisco for various weekend events related to Escapement, home Sunday.
Expect continued light blogging the next few days.

[books] Things that make me smile

Here in DFW terminal C, I popped into the Hudson Bookseller concession. What to my wondering eyes should appear but a certain paperback, displayed faced? The mass market paperback of Mainspring Powell’s | Amazon thb | Audible ], over two months after its release date, still available on the very competitive airport bookstore shelves.

Photographic evidence:

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[travel] Hitting the air once more

At PDX, waiting to go to Omaha. It’s almost like my normal life is back. The digestive issues settled over the weekend with a strict diet on my part, and I’ve upgraded to First Class in order to have easy access to the head, without a long line. Plus Imodium and toast.

As usual, the airport experience suggests process optimization. Message to Gothy chick in front of me in the line: yes, all those jewelry and piercings and metal accessories really do need to come off. And yes, it would have been simpler to take them all off in the first place than to retry the metal detector four times. Also, don’t stand in the express line a little before 5 am. All the flight crew and concession workers flowing past you will stall the travellers cold for ten minutes flat.

Yesterday afternoon I saw Wall*E. Everyone who reads this should go see that movie. It’s one of the sweetest, funniest, most charming movies I’ve ever seen. I will note for the sake of my geek cred that I was literally the only person in the theatre who laughed at seeing Sputnik.

Link salad later, time and the air transit system permitting. Y’all play nice while I’m five miles up in a kerosene-powered tin can.

[personal] July 3rd at the beach

Worked the Day Jobbe, spent a bunch of time in the small room, went out for a Mexican lunch, wrote almost 1,000 words on “The Forests of the Night”, hit the beach twice, once for sunshine and once for fireworks.

A good enough day. I shan’t need to send it to the Returns Desk after all.

The inevitable photo: (more…)