Tuesday, November 28, 2006

an unexpected find

Do you have a favorite author? Someone whose writing speaks to you, gives you escape and comfort, someone you dearly wish were even more prolific, because you just can't get enough of their stuff? An author that turns you into a collector, looking for any book of theirs you don't have, whether it is in paperback, hardback, or pounded out on tribal drums? I have a few: Robert Heinlein, Spider Robinson [I think of him as "Heinlein Lite"], Mercedes Lackey [specifically her Bard and Valdemar series], Elizabeth Moon's Paksennarion and Gird series, Neil Gaiman. There are a few graphic novel titles I count in there as well: Sandman [sadly gone these many years], Lucifer [spun off of Sandman, also ending soon], Strangers in Paradise [an *absolute* must read...and sadly, it is ending in just a few more issues], Fables [happily, no end in sight yet]. Of the authors, Heinlein and Spider are the ones that I have no limits on what I like of theirs...anything they write, I will buy. Or search through used book stores to find that out-of-print copy...and if it isn't there, pay outlandish shipping costs to order it online.

Well, this weekend, I found a new book by Spider Robinson [newly republished, actually]. And it was one I hadn't heard of before, hadn't seen before. I saw it, glanced past it, then glanced back. A little mental headshake, with that slight head tilt that accompanies minor befuddlement.

Mental process:

...doo be doo be doo...scanning shelf for titles by Spider Robinson, out of sheer habit and wistful hope...hmm, that title didn't look familiar...reverse, look again...nope, not one I'm aware of...double-check author name, must have been misfiled...hey, it says "Spider Robinson"!...don't get excited, probably just a new compilation of old stories, they do that to you all the time...pick up book, scan back jacket blurb...nope, doesn't sound familiar...hey, it's a full novel, cool...wait...wait...it's sinking in...a new Spider Robinson book that I haven't read before...new...by a trusted and very wonderfully consistently good, no great, favorite author of mine...zzzooooOOOmmm!

Cut to me clutching the paperback as if it were The One Ring, racing to the checkout, then planning a lovely night of discovering a new world through the eyes of a man whose works I've been reading for years, and has a world view that, if more people had it and practiced it, would lead to a much better world.

Now I just have to brace myself for the inevitable letdown when I reach the final page and have to come back into the real world...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

those sneaky bastards at merck

So for months now, we've been seeing commercials telling us that cervical cancer can be caused by a virus. Concerned women and their daughters look earnestly into the camera, giving heartfelt gasps as they learn this awful truth, trading loving hugs with each other as they tell us "I told someone", urging us to "talk to [our] doctor" about it. "Human papilloma virus...why hasn't anyone told us about this??" Thank the gods for this altruistic, purely informational public service message from the good folks at Merck. [that was sarcasm...keep reading and you'll see why]

Gosh, what a coincidence that we are now seeing commercials advertising Gardisil (r). Guess what it does? Hmmm...let me think...does it perhaps, possibly, just maybe potentially vaccinate against HPV?? Oh hurrah!! We've been so worried since being bombarded with those commercials that warned us about a virus that might cause cervical cancer...how wonderful that there is now a vaccine available!! What's this? Why, the good people at Merck are the ones offering the vaccine! Is there nothing they wouldn't do for womankind? I'm sure profit has nothing to do with their selfless campaign. [cough. sarcasm again.]

It's flipping brilliant. Spend months simply informing people that a bad thing exists. After enough time passes, tell them that there is a vaccine available for this bad thing. It's money in the bank. Especially since few people will make the connection that the same company that raised the alert level to orange is the same one that is offering a vaccine.

Don't get me wrong...cervical cancer is a serious thing, and if anything can be done to help prevent it, that's wonderful. But I have a problem with the ethical side of all this. But then, ethics don't always go hand-in-hand with profits...or rather, it's a slightly different set of ethics. After all, women *will* benefit from this. Of course, so will Merck. It's a fine line.

It's the bottom line.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

evil fudge *rocks*

Just poured a batch of Evil Fudge to cool. Oh my god, this stuff rocks. Some of the ingredients: a pound of butter, a pound of cheese [yes, cheese...makes it creamy and thick and gives it a great flavor], cocoa, vanilla, walnuts, and four pounds of powdered sugar. Yup, *four* pounds. Now you understand why it's evil...but oh, so addictive.

This is a command performance, by special request. I'm going to Karen's for her annual "Waifs and Strays" Thanksgiving dinner...each year, she and her husband Bob put on a lavish spread for singles and couples that don't have their own local families or celebrations. I've been to more than one, and I've had a great time [even fell in love at one of them...fond memories]. Karen requested the "cheese fudge", and I was happy to do it. Really looking forward to tomorrow...haven't seen Karen in person since last year's feast, and can't wait to catch up. There are some friendships that don't need constant tending...and I'm lucky enough to have a few of those in my life. Karen is one of those friends, and I love her dearly.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Thanks for sharing these little random bits of my life with me.

Monday, November 20, 2006

'tis the season

The Holiday Sandwich is back at Erik's Delicafe [stuffing, cranberry, turkey, all nice and warm and yummy]. Gingerbread, pumpkin, and spice flavors are popping up all over [thank you, Starbucks and Gloria Jean's].

Man, I love this time of year, at least for the flavors.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

contented sigh

I had planned to get up and out this morning, head to the farmer's market, to the coast, wander around, but as I was contemplating getting up, one cat jumps up with me and curls up on my legs, then the other one jumped up and settled down on my chest.

It was a sign.

So I snuggled in under the furry, purry goodness and dozed off. Woke up once, they were both still firmly ensconced in the covers...I just couldn't disturb them, could I?? What kind of horrible person do you think I am?? I bowed to the inevitable and put my head back down. When I was finally able to extract myself, I stretched, padded to the kitchen in my big slippers, made some apple-cinnamon oatmeal, grabbed a book, and sat contentedly down at the table to have breakfast [er, brunch].

I love days like this.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

blond. james blond.

See the new Bond movie.


See it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

they like me!

I'm hired! Starting December 4th, I am officially I.T. chick for Code Green Networks in stunning Santa Clara, California. About 15 minutes south of home, near the movie theatre I frequent [thanks to discount tickets from Costco], and oddly only about a mile or two from the old FTP offices on Bunker Hill Lane. Eleven years later, and I'm back in the same neighborhood. Man, the valley is small.

So this means I won't be the one I talk to about getting time off any more...I have another boss now. Thus endeth the hiatus. But here beginneth the paychecks...yay!

Friday, November 10, 2006

took a sick day

Been feeling a bit sniffy, sore-throaty, and coughy since getting back from Vegas with my parents, so I took a sick day today to try to get over it. I called my boss to let her know, and she was a bit of a hard-ass about it: but you've got things to do, you'll be a day behind, blah blah blah. I told her that I didn't care *what* she said, that I wasn't being very efficient as it was, and that I was going back to bed.

Which I did. Ten hours later, I woke up...still sniffy, but feeling much more justified in taking the time to crash. Off to medicate a bit, down some fluids, and wrap up in a warm blanket. And to hell with the boss.

[Get it? Get it? It's funny because *I'm* my boss!! Ha ha ha haaaa! Ha. Ha ha. Ahem. Bye now.]