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August 8, 1999
a year ago

Twelfth Anniversary

John greeted me in the morning with a 'Happy Anniversary!'

Hyup. Our twelfth anniversary. Long-timers. Yeesh. It was really cool and we spent most of the day doing our normal kind of thing as even before I'd woken up, John had started brewing beer. He'd also cut up some peaches for breakfast and we ate the last of the cereal and yogurt and that was really yummy.

I went up with the CD Brennan had made me of all my email and posts from 1990 to 1992. I'd handed him a tape a long, long, long time ago and through stint of luck, technomagic and his knowledge of how such things work, he'd handed me a magical CD with all my oldest memories on it. I went through it, a little, through all the various archives I'd seen, made, and kept so carefully for so long. There were things on there that surprised me, delighted me. Everything from the times when Carl and I played twins in Bernie's Amber game, to the writings I'd kept from the time I was at Callahan's, to the beginnings of alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo and all the correspondence we'd had to share to actually build stories together, and amid all of that were thousands and thousands of letters that I'd forgotten I'd written.

My chunks of my past were there, filed neatly away amid directories. That's when I hauled out the piles and piles of low-density 3 1/2 inch floppy disks. Yeah. I'd kept everything since then on those and had even taken a bunch of 5 1/2 inch disks, half a decade ago, and committed *them* to 3 1/2 floppies as I'd seen the 5 1/2's were dying out. This time I wanted to put the 3 1/2's onto a ZIP disk or two and then take all that data and burn another CD. I had stuff from just a year ago through to 1992 all mixed up on floppies. Since 1996 I haven't written nearly as much as I did before, mostly because of the carpel tunnel stuff that was threatening my hands.

It was interesting to see just how much email I used to do, and realize just how much of that was taken up by my on-line conversations, now, which are much less permanent and leave much less of a trail that I might backtrack. As I was reading stuff and moving stuff, I heard a tractor suddenly start in what sounded like the backyard. It turned out that the neighbor (who, amusingly enough, has the kid with the .22) offered to mow our back acre for us and was starting that. Turned out that after a few rounds the pollen back there got to him so badly that he handed it over to John and John got the thrill of driving a real tractor for a while! Hoorah! He was glowing about that afterwards. That was really cool.

Slowly, I built directories for the various people that I'd written so much, often surprising myself with delight at old tags and old nicknames and even old, old, old addresses and older stories that were slowly pieced back together by the gradual gathering of files. Stories that probably were back from the 1980's were found in directories of 'stories to keep', and on one of them I found the story that had just reverberated to one of Cera's dreams. It was in TROFF format. Man. I'm going to have to rewrite that one and reformat it and put it up on my story page. It's still pretty good.

I waded through 40 Meg of data in the floppies and was only a third done when John called to me from downstairs, telling me that we had to leave soon for dinner. I have two-thirds more to do.

He had found four different good restaurants in Denver on Sidewalk.com and I picked two out of the four and he picked, of those two, The Aubergine Cafe. We got there just a bit before our reservation and breezed in and I was ecstatic to find that half the diners there were dressed very informally, and one of the women there was in cut-offs and a t-shirt with a multitude of rings along one ear. The wait staff wasn't even turning a hair at her or, for that matter, our appearance. They were friendly, quick and lovely with impeccable service and the *food*. My. The food.

This time, for the first time in a long time, we shared just about everything. The appetizer was their Aubergine salad, which had actually the slender Asian-style eggplant well grilled with fresh mozerella, grilled plum tomatos, and a lovely balsamic vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette. The textures and tastes blended so nicely. The Guiness was on nitrogen, and the herbal iced tea was a perplexing blend of hibiscus, mint and probably lemon grass, there was depth of character to it that was very nice.

Dinner itself was their Toscani chicken, which they said took a good 35 minutes to prepare and was worth every minute of the entertaining wait. As John and I disappeared into the bathroom during our wait, the waiter came by and twirled our napkins to keep them neat on the table and it was fun to watch too. The decor of the place was almost all food, dried or canned or bottled and hanging about. When the chicken came it was preceded by this astonishing aroma. I swear they must have roasted it on order. It wasn't a particularly large chicken, but it was tender, moist, and the skin was crisp, savory perfection. It was sitting on really large pieces of bread soaked and roasted in the chicken's juices and a pile of quick cooked or just wilted greens with currents and pine nuts and a lovely vinaigrette that set off the richness of the chicken really well with it's tangyness.

Really, really nice, especially with a plate of tender-crunchy greens with garlic on the side. We ate pretty much all of it and still had room for dessert. Yay! John got the pot au chocolate with chocolate shavings and I got the key lime tart and the moment I bit into it and got that gorgeous key lime bite with the creamy smoothness I was very, very happy indeed.

A very, very nice anniversary.

Afterwards, we searched in vain for a movie to watch and both of us were pretty exhausted, so we just went home, watched a little TV and then soaked Fezzik's foot in epsom salts. It was quite a production, too, though yesterday we tried putting him in a bucket and he didn't like sitting for that long. Today we just put the solution in a flat, shallow dish and let him lie down and we put his paw in it and let it just soak in the warmth. He tried to pull out, but when we insisted, he finally just let it sit.

Sleep was quick after that.

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