17 May 99

I really wanted to get to bed early tonight and do some reading, but, it never fails: whenever I think I'll have five minutes to myself, new and unavoidable tasks appear. Tonight e-mail brought me news of two sites I have to turn over. That means vetting the code and-- I don't want to think about it now. And it also brought other obligations that can't be deferred or delayed... rats.

A year or so ago, I stopped being specific about when I would "be available" to meet friends, or to do some favor or voluntary task. Every time I said, "Let's get together on--" or "Easy! I'll have it done by--" sure as death and taxes, within minutes of the words leaving my lips, some overriding obligation would arise and I'd have to cancel or make my excuses. Now I don't commit to anything voluntarily. I say, "I'll be there if I can," and tell whoever that whatever will get done when it gets done--

The only exception is Sarah's birthday cake. That will be done on time, come hell or high water.

And the castle project is coming along nicely, thank you: I've got all the white chocolate towers (5) made. I used the cardboard tubes from inside toilet paper rolls and paper towels as forms. (I'm making cylindrical towers, but, if you wanted square towers like some of the old castles have, Johnny Walker bottles and nips would be just right for the forms.) Drizzling the melted chocolate made for a very interesting lacy texture, and the resultant towers are pretty and quite sturdy. And I was surprised at how easily the waxed paper twisted out when the chocolate was set.

I've been having a bit of trouble with the roofs, though. The prototypes broke and I put them back in the melting pot. I'm using the same technique as for the towers, but the conical shapes are more fragile than the cylinders, and so I have to build up more layers of chocolate and be very careful removing the waxed paper. I'll make a new set of roofs tomorrow. They're going to look really nifty when I've finished the edges with frosting and silver dragees, and little pennons made from colored toothpicks with a bit of ribbon glued on...

I hope Sarah will like her cake.

I worked on the castle while I watched TV Sunday night. I found the season finale of The X-Files to be quite bland and... I was quite unmoved by it. In fact, I don't think the characters were much moved, either. It didn't seem to bother Mulder that he was experiencing blinding, debilitating, headaches whenever he was in the presence of the rubbing of the ancient tablet--

Would somebody please refresh my memory as to how long ago the Navajo came up with a written language? I know they had pictographs and a very rich history and folk lore preserved and handed down because of it, but pictographs ain't what I was seeing on that artifact...

-- In fact, both Scully and Mulder were reacting as if Mulder's symptoms were indicative of a mild allergic reaction-- "Pick up some antihistamine on your way home, Mulder."-- I don't know about you, but even if I did suspect that the rubbing was causing my headaches, I'd either make sure it was the rubbing, or make sure I didn't have a brain tumor, an aneurysm, or drug- or- artificially- induced schizophrenia. (It wouldn't be the first time!)

And, that final scene... if I were Scully and I'd chosen that outfit (a khaki suit with an ankle-length straight skirt, back center kick-pleat; worn with a top cut low enough that-- a geologist observing our dear Scully would doubtless murmur a fervent, "Spathic."*-- and what was she wearing for shoes?) to visit that beachside dig site in Africa, I'd be wondering if my mind had been severely damaged/deranged, too...

I won't spoil the ending for those of you who haven't caught the final episode, but, all it evoked from me was a [another] disappointed sigh.

Crap. I'm going to bed. And I'm going to do some reading, too. I don't care it I don't get much sleep. As my old professor used to say, "There'll come a day when I will sleep forever."


"Spathic" in the parlance of the geologist means the subject (usually a mineral of some sort, like feldspar) "has good cleavage."

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