December 30, 1997

Left to my own devices I've moved gradually back to my normal diurnal cycle. Plus having paid off my sleep debt, I seem to be back to my normal sleep cycle as well, which is something of a relief. Got to bed las night around 2:34, popped up awake at 10:04, right on that ninety minute cycle thing, and tried to get back to sleep but I couldn't and it was *bright*? outside?

Part of not being able to go back to sleep was the second story that I'd been in the middle of before the screen had blurred away last night. Left it in the middle of a sentence and it's picking up beautifully. Yeesh. It's kinda frightening to find out that the theory actually works. Folks may or may not like the first story as it's the third in the series of dreams Mark and I had shared years and years ago. It's something I had to get out to get past something that's been clogging my creative pores for a while.

The other part was the minor miracle of sunshine actually getting in past the tops of the trees around here. From 10am to 2pm, the sun streamed into my workroom, so I just lay in it and read. What sublime joy. Reading by myself with a mug of hot, milky sweet pu-erh, sharing Helene Hanff's twenty year relationship with a bookseller in London, and her astonishing visit to London years after the man she had corresponded with had died and the bookstore itself had closed.

My sister Kathy gave it to me. She's always been an anglophile and the inscription reads, "So you can understand your little sister just a little better." So I know something of her feelings, why she always returns to London, and the wonder that she feels going there, doing things, feeling the roots of the language we both use, revere, study, play with, and enjoy so much. Roots that go deeply through seven centuries of the changing of the guard at the Tower of London.

It's likely the third time I've read The Duchess of Bloomsbury and those feelings of awe, fear, and just breathtaking realization on simply stepping into the same pub Shakespeare did just shake me, still. Something that would likely surprise anyone who might just see a six foot tall Chinese girl with green hair.

There was once this article about this American man of Chinese decent going back to the mainland and finding that he just didn't fit, that nothing in him felt at-home, or as if he had any roots there at all, no kinship to there people of this other culture. Which was likely a good thing, as he put it, or else those that set up the Japanese internment camps had been right. After a generation, we are Americans even though the externals still seem to point people into thinking that we aren't for some reason.

I have more connections to Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton than I do to the quite honorable and exceedingly good, I'm sure, poets or writers of China, so my ties to London or even New York are stronger than anything I have to Asia. Awkward as that sometimes feels.

*laughter* Or even Paris. Built Notre Dame for the In Nomine Mush and then John built it for me as a 3D puzzle given to him by Kathy. Then got to see a lot of really great shots of it in An American Werewolf in Paris. I liked it, even though it was a horror movie and was the other reason I was up until 2:30am. Still wide awake on adrenaline. It's far more of an adventure-action movie than the first one, less macabre humor, less entirely astonishing surrealism, and a lot more werewolves than the first movie. I still consider the first the classic one, especially with that amazing scene in the movie theater with his dead friend falling apart next to him and commenting on the movie. That's the movie that got me over my thing with 'Blue Moon' and Joe versus the Volcano and Mark.

I liked the new one, though they kinda had some gratuetous use of special affects, but then one expects a little of that in one of these. And the characters were pretty keen, even the two well-meaning buddies of Andy's and the idea of three Americans bumming around Europe with an intent to do insane things was pretty fun.

A good thing was also being up late enough to keep up the correspondence with Raven. That was fun.

John also checked on the tea broker that's listed on the side of the A-li-shan cannister and they're on the East Side and have a retail store as well as a wholesale business. So I may well drop by them sometime in the next few days in the ever-present search for very fine teas.

Also realizing that, left to my own devices I'll eat only two meals a day, one late morning, early afternoon, the other sometime late enough so I don't go to sleep hungry feeling. Without parties, social events or whatever, I also eat pretty lightly. For brunch nothing was better than an albacore salad (made with red cabbage salad instead of relish and just enough mayo to moisten everything) on the Paka-Indi style of nan we'd bought yesterday. Yum... and I thanked the grains, fish, oils, and vegies by enjoying them all thoroughly... wow.

Trader Joe's also had a lovely hummus, that I then slathered on some more of the hot bread and John finished off the tuna salad and I'll likely be content for a good long time, especially with a few stories to finish off...

So I'm off...

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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