October 3rd, 2008

20111112, Marilee

Eight Police Cars

I was only out a couple of hours and I saw eight police cars. Normal would have been one, maybe. I saw four of ours from the City, three from the county, and an unmarked state police car. I wonder what was going on.

When I went out and got the paper I saw a guy who looked like an FBI backgrounder going down the center steps. A few minutes later, as I was skimming the front pages of the paper, I heard a knock on Luke's door. So I opened my door, said hello, examined his ID, and invited him in. He was checking background for another former neighbor, and besides answering his questions, I was able to tell him who had lived here at the same time. He said he'd probably come back tonight to get info from the others. Of course, what I hadn't thought about was that there was a dirty plate on the kitchen floor (Shiva had still been eating when I opened the door -- he fled to the castle) and a dead piece of cheese near the hallway (Spirit didn't eat all of her cheese last night). Still, the condo probably looks like I'm sane.

Then I took the unmade seed box to Public Works and went on to Kaiser to pick up, finally, the papers the doctor filled out for private disability. The date on the form I filled out was 7/30. His was 10/2. When I went to the pho place on Wednesday, I noticed a Hard Time Cafe & Cues at the shopping center on one of the other corners. They started in Alexandria and I used to go a lot when I was well. Now they have other locations, and this new one near Kaiser! So I had lunch there. Chili mac three ways (terlingua red chili) and onion rings. That was good. And they had CNN on facing me (muted) and I saw the ratings showed that Biden had a substantial rise and Palin a substantial decrease post-debate.

Then I came home and picked up mail and as I went into the house, I realized I didn't have the envelope from Kaiser. I'd taken it into the restaurant so I could read what he wrote and then didn't take it with me. So I went back and as soon as the server saw me, she pulled it out of the host's stand. And I came home again. The good part of it was that this is the self-stick closing kind of envelope and Spirit loves those. She already has this one in three pieces and it will be at least double that by morning. I copied it all for myself and filed that, and set the envelope up to go into the mail when I go out next.

In the mail was the new SFBC flyer, which is clearly marked "Horror" and Quezada talks about "screaming like a little girl" in his column. This must be why they have Paul of Dune as a featured selection. I was flipping through, not expecting to see anything I liked (I put Gaiman's The Graveyard Book on hold at the library; it's probably not something I want to read more than once -- I'm eighth in the hold list) and there's a book offered on how to make dolls out of socks. Really. It says Exclusive Hardcover, so let's see if it's out there in TPB.... Yep, cheaper at Amazon, paperback, and a different cover, but the same book. I don't see this as being stfnal, and it's hard to imagine they ran out of books to advertise. I wonder if the upper company has a crafts book club, too.
20111112, Marilee

Asimov's December 2008

This is the new size and there are definitely changes in the contents. The (I know this word, head something -- the list of staff) has been made smaller and the Next Issue takes the place a poem would normally. There's no poetry at all, in fact, and the end of the Books review column takes up most of the advertising page at the back. The con calendar is intact. Sheila talks about the new dimensions and Silverberg picks up on his last column on Will F. Jenkins/Murray Leinster. There are two short-shorts, one regular short story, two novelettes, and a novella.

Every single story in this issue is substantially about death. Okay, December is the end of the year, but I don't remember Death issues on other Decembers. It's a strange choice. I only really liked two:

1. In Concert by Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem -- there's a lost astronaut and an elderly woman who hears other people sometimes. She hears the astronaut and he hears her. He gives her a phone number to call. Can they save him? Will she live long enough?

2. The Flowers of Nicosia by David Ira Cleary -- middle-aged rock musicians are determined to make peace between Islam and Christianity by playing music in the Islamic areas, in the midst of a plague outbreak. Do they live? Does anybody? The cover, by J.K. Potter, is not only very accurate but shows some of the symbolism in the story.