Saturday, November 3, 2007

If you're tired enough, everything is a metaphor

Very little sleep, then up early to drive from the hotel to PDX.

Wet fog coats the city, and the instructions I'm holding are new to me. I head into the damp darkness not knowing if the path I'm on will take me anywhere.

I'm in luck: the instructions work. I find the entrance to the freeway and think I'm good to go, only to discover that I must cross a high, winding bridge in the fog and the dark. I hurtle over the city, looking at but still separate from everyone and everything in it.

I make it across the bridge and merge onto a wide highway jammed with fellow travelers. I wonder where they're going, if they're also tired, if they're heading away from or to home, if they wonder about me.

My journey ends at the airport, where of course I'm only beginning another one.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Earlier tonight, Gina and I had the privilege of watching Henry Rollins perform for a bit over three hours on his spoken word tour, Provoked. (Yes, I bought the shirt, and one for Sarah, too, though mine may be a bit too small and hers a bit too tight--but there was only one size of the women's tank-top.) Rollins was amazing, as always, with intelligence, charity, kindness, anger, and humor all weaving in and out of the stories he told.

I've had friends say Rollins was too much about himself for their taste, but I don't agree. Yes, he's so alienated that a big part of his subject matter is himself, but he's also a passionate and increasingly compassionate observer of the human race.

If you get a chance to catch this show, don't miss it. If you don't, hope for him to bring it to DVD.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Snippets of a day

Lots of work today, with email, meetings, and calls eating most of my waking hours.

Will bounce at home only briefly, then drive Saturday morning to Hank's wake. I hate the unexpected trip, most particularly for its cause, but I am also determined to go.

Dinner at Paley's Place, just declared by Portland Monthly the city's best restaurant and a Gourmet Top 50 restaurant last year. This was my third time there, and though the food remained very good, the service was terrible. I'll hope the holiday was to blame.

Wandered Powell's Books for a bit--my first time there. Amazing place. How could a book fan not love it? They had copies of One Jump Ahead, so I steeled my nerve and asked if they'd like me to sign them. They agreed, I signed the copies, and on went the "Autographed" stickers. This type of self-promotion is very awkward for me, but if it helps sell books, I'll learn to do it.

I'm three quarters of the way through the third pass of Slanted Jack. I can never tell what anyone else will think, but I believe it's better than One Jump Ahead, and I have experienced more moments of fun reading it than I did with the earlier book. I believe that's a good thing, but who knows?

And back to it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hank Reinhardt died this morning

At Toni Weisskopf's request, I alerted the Baen's Bar folks with this post this morning:

I got the call from Danielle a little bit ago. Toni asked that I let everyone here know that Hank died this morning.

I dove into work for a bit so I could buy time to compose myself.

Hank was a good guy, a vibrant man full of energy and life. Sometime in the past year, I can't remember exactly when, he, Toni, Dave Drake, Jo Drake, Jennie Faries, and I shared a lovely meal at a kitchen table in the Angus Barn. Afterward, he showed us prototypes of a new line of practice weapons he was debuting. He was excited and hopeful and ready to launch this new project. He was that way every time I saw him.

Some men are insecure around powerful women. Hank was not; he knew himself, and he knew Toni. At WorldCon in LA, Toni and I were meeting in the living room of their suite about 2:30 in the morning. Hank came out, saw us, said, "Still working?", and when Toni replied yes, he nodded and headed back to sleep.

Toni will be incommunicado for a while. I know she takes all of our good wishes with her during this extraordinarily hard time.

I'm replicating it here to get the word out to more people.

Those who'd like to see a picture of that dinner can find it on Dave Drake's Web site; just follow the link and scroll down a bit.

I hate that this happened to Hank, and I feel horrible for Toni. If you know Toni, you know she's had a brutal last year and a half. This sucks.

The nights before morning flights

I hate them. In addition to forcing me to wake up during what would normally be prime sleep time, they also inevitably shorten due to all the extra stuff I have to do to leave town. Last night was particularly bad, because I woke up Sunday morning in a small puddle due to a leak in the waterbed and so had to sleep Sunday night in a different bed. Between that change and all the work, I wound up hitting the sack at 2:10, not falling asleep until after 3:10, waking up a bit after four o'clock and then again after five o'clock, and finally getting up for good at 5:45 a.m. I didn't complete a single sleep cycle.

Travel went reasonably well, with only one thirty-minute delay that I filled with work thanks to good T-Mobile bandwidth in DFW. I also made solid progress on the paper edit of Slanted Jack, though I'm still nowhere near the end.

The Heathman Hotel here in Portland is lovely, as usual, and dinner at its restaurant was quite good. If I hadn't already been up for almost 21 hours, the vast majority of it working, and if I weren't still staring at a couple more hours of work, I'd be positively cheerful, or maybe that's giddy from fatigue. Whatever.

Back to it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin carving and on the road again

I have to get up in six hours and fifteen minutes, and I still have work to do and haven't started to pack, so I'll keep this brief. Tonight, a group of us gathered for pumpkin carving, another of our many extended family traditions. I thought we collectively created quite a few lovely glowing specimens, and perhaps if time permits tomorrow night I'll upload a photo or two of them.

In the morning, Gina and I head to Portland for business with clients there. Though the vast majority of the trip will, as always, be work, I hope to eat several good meals. I definitely plan to attend one event about which I'm quite excited: Henry Rollins' sold-out spoken-word show, Provoked, at Portland's Aladdin Theater. More on that after the show.

The big red binder will, of course, be traveling with me as carry-on baggage.

Bellydance superstars

Art week continued tonight with a trip by Jennie, Sarah, and me to see Bellydance Superstars. I've enjoyed the local bellydance shows ("haflas") that I've attended, but they haven't made me feel compelled to seek out more bellydancing. Tonight's performance was, as one would expect from a national touring company, a much more accomplished presentation than the local shows, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The twelve dancers were all at least very good, and several were amazing. I particularly enjoyed the main dancer and the gothic tribal dancers.

I also liked the fact that this show did not shy away from the roots of bellydance: a celebration of the female form, or, more to the point, sex. While never being crass or resorting to unnecessary nudity, they combined artistry with sensuality beautifully. As someone who studiously avoids most dance shows, I wholeheartedly recommend this one.


Blog Archive