Turkey day!

My family spent Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle’s house in Boston, which was lovely. The food, as usual, was fairly incredible: my cousin Bill’s homemade garlic pickles, my aunt’s apple-roasted turkey, my mom’s roasted veggies, the brisket made by beckyfeld‘s and gnomi‘s mother, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie, all the fixings.

Since I’m usually two time zones away, I don’t get a lot of chances to hug people I love, so took as much advantage of the face time as I could. Sadly, didn’t get enough time with either osewalrus or beckyfeld, but I did get to hang out with mabfan and gnomi, talking to them and bouncing their adorable baby girls. Man, bouncing 15-pound babies all day gives you a real workout! In our efforts to quiet the fretful littles, we ended up singing a really bizarre medley of songs, Billy Joel, Queen, and Jonathan Coulton and cracking up endlessly. A good time had by all, and now to collapse.

Prime numbers

Spent all of Friday in transit (1AM mountain time to 7PM eastern) to avoid travelling on my birthday, so got home exhausted. Greeted by much hugs and delicious dinner, more hugs, then sleep.

My actual birthday falling on Saturday meant not much was possible beyond the sheer joy of being with my parents, but I did get delicious birthday cake (Mom made a little flag with my name on it in place of a candle) and I was really touched to get calls from Sam andmissmazarine as well as from my best friend, who called four times all the way from Bahrain to reach me.

And then Sunday was completely awesome. Tateh took me to a local production of Cosi fan Tutte, which was fan-bloody-tastic, and then all three of us went to an unbelievably amazing Italian restaurant for dinner and listened to two great jazz musicians riff.

In terms of how I feel about being older, 31=13+18, which is pretty neat. It’s also a prime number, so I’m officially in my prime.

And in other news, this made my day. I freaking loved this show when I was a kid, and my VHS are completely worn down to snow. It’s the campiest horror show ever, basically a cross between Fawlty Towers and the X-Files, and I used to stay up until 2AM to see it when I was 13.

Head-scratch

My writing has been awful lately, so bad I didn’t want to show any of it to anyone and had a real crisis of confidence as to whether or not I belong in grad school. My most recent story was, in my opinion, a constipated Hallmark card saved from overwrought emotion only by the pages of summary and exposition I stuffed in there.

And two dear friends, two of the most talented people in my workshop, just smacked me upside the head and said, “Seriously? This is some of the best stuff you’ve written!”

I have no idea how I landed in Bizarro-world, but I sincerely hope I only got a one-way ticket, cuz I’m staying.

Yays

Finally got a call from my best friend, who is having a great time abroad, although still getting used to the time difference. I’m so used to talking to him every day; it was hard to go this long with no way to reach him. But we’ve got a time set for tomorrow when we’re going to have a nice, long chat, and I’m so looking forward to hearing about all his adventures.

Also have a story due in less than a week, and nothing is quite working. It’s hard to think not of situations or of character portraits but of motivations that drive characters forward at cross-purposes. I have this fantasy that once I get over this hump my fiction will take a huge leap forward, but maybe this isn’t a problem I can master in a short period. Maybe this is a concern I’m going to approach slowly, over time, from many different angles. I just like my comfortable old illusion that I can fix problems by crashing head-long into them until I defeat them.