January 18, 1998

Tired, today. There's a new phrase or idea bantered about, that I'm deeply in sleep debt and that caffeine is the loan shark of sleep debt, where you have to pay more and more interest for more sleep that you borrow and that when you go too far or forget to pay them back they come back after you with really big sticks.

There's a lot of traffic outside, too.

Flynn remembered from one of the Death comicbooks that there was this line about hotel rooms being lonely places and that all the people who killed themselves in a hotel room would never have done it at home. I don't really know if I find it *lonely*, though I am nearly perfectly alone.

The weekend was really, really good, as all my visits down south usually are. Friday night was spent playing in UN Peace's game again, and Whirlwind is becoming part of the supporting cast for the comicbook, not a guest star anymore. She had a very good time, all in all, at a Dance Hall Crasher's concert. that broke out into a bit of a fight, but no one but bad guys got hurt, so she was okay with it. Then U.N. Peace got called away to help someone, and she went with everyone, and it got really exciting when the girl they were supposed to be rescuing came running at them from the fog and a man with a gun suddenly appeared after her and aimed to kill her.

Whirlwind popped out of the car and tried to go after him, but he disappeared inhumanly fast, and so Blindspot accelerated hard after him. When they got up to her, she jumped back into the car, and went with them to the lawyer's house, and then went in with Rime and was the one to squeeze past a white phosphorous grenade over a gas tank in order to get to the tied up lawyer. They never did find the guy that did all that and then fired on the daughter, but between Blindspot's ability to diffuse trapped areas and Rime's abilities to freeze the grenade so that it wouldn't trigger, they managed to take care of the problem.

Whirlwind slipped away before everyone got to the police and made sure that her job was completed correctly. At the end of all this U.N. Peace was pretty happy with her again.

Bryant got to come back to Carl's with us as he wanted to have waffles with us and then go back into San Francisco for his birthday party. Turned out that Brad and Gretchen wanted to do so, too, and so they showed up around 2pm, which gave me plenty of time to sleep in late, as we'd gotten back to Carl's around 3:30 am, and I was asleep around 4.

So the five of us went to have breakfast at the Country Waffle shop by Carl's. It was a really, really good place for breakfast, so nearly all of us had about a breakfast and another side. Gretchen and I split a plain waffle as our side, and that worked out pretty well, as I got to have corned beef hash and eggs as well as the half a waffle. The biscuits and gravy side order was two biscuits split open and covered in gravy and was about as bit as the Belgium style waffle that both Brad and Carl got. So they essentially had two entire breakfasts to eat. Ooof. We all ate way too much, but it was really, really good.

By the time we actually made it to the party, we were all pretty quiet and sleepy from all the food. We arrived around 5, left around 7:30, left Bryant there and then went to drop Brad off at Mountain View. Gretchen then took Carl and I off on a magic tour of Santa Cruz.

It was really, really fun. Busy, active night life, with most of the shops on the main drag open even after we got there around 10pm, which was pretty impressive. We wandered about a lot and ducked into the shop where Gretchen had found her $16 Yixing Pot, and after looking up and down and all around, she actually asked someone there in the shop if there were any more of the pots, and found that there was just one more left! So I bought it happily and I've used it twice already with the Golden Yunnan tea. Yum.

We wandered up and down and all around to various coffee and tea places, including Peete's and two cafes that Gretchen recommended, but both of them were fairly crowded and none of us really could think of being hungry, so we didn't actually get anything, but the ambiances were really nice and the people in the shops were fairly fascinating. That was fun. There was also a really keen art store with a fascinating rayon and silk blend scarf that was a plush magenta with blue tips. Oooooo... and it felt really keen and was exactly my colors, but I decided it was a bit pricey for the utility that I wouldn't really get out of it.

We then piled back into the car and went for the beach, via a really cool skinny road that went under a bridge that had been closed for repairs. We parked in a place which had parking spots and walked back towards the stairs to the sea.

The scent of the sea was like a welcome home. The boom, crash and hissing of the surf was surprisingly familiar again, and we walked through the dark with occasionally flashes from the flashlight on Gretchen's key chain towards a distant lighthouse. The steps down were dark and damp and the air was filled with the scent of the sea, briny, clean and almost warm after the coolness that was further inland, the desert air markedly different from the air right off the sea. It was a half moon, dark enough to hide the steps, light enough to fake lighting the sky.

We got down to the sand and I pulled my shoes and socks off to go step into the surf, and I left the shoes on the sand as I stepped towards the water when the water came towards me. Gretchen was sandpiper quick and scooped up my shoes before the water could actually get to them and handed them to me as the cool edge of the water swept over my feet. The edge of the wave sparkled briefly with bubbles and then subsided into the sand as I waded a bit out into the clearness under the moonlight. I didn't have my legs turn into a tail, even at Carl's teasing about offering me to the sea gods. I went and stepped into a few more lapsed waves, feeling the surf gently pulling at my feet, the sand sucking away from my toes, and I was happy.

We then went and ate at the Saturn, which had really delicious vegetarian food that wasn't at all good for you. An astonishingly huge pile of chili fries, a creamy tomato soup under broiled to brown cheese, and a pile of brown rice with a spicy peanut sauce blanket over it. Yum. Carl said that the tuna melt was quite good, and Gretchen did the burger that was not meat, and enjoyed it greatly. We couldn't finish the fries to save our lives, and Gretchen liked the cookie dough a lot. But there wasn't anyway we could do the chocolate madness, which was supposed to be really good, so I'll have to go back some day.

Then we went to Carl's and played with his Christmas PlayStation until I noticed it was 6am. Yes, getting Carl that PlayStation game during my December trip really was evil and I paid sleep for the privilege. Heh. Gretchen says that I have natural reflexes for Bushido Blade. I had a great time with it, and it was really interesting and fun to have my fencing reflexes, and my knowledge about distances actually make a difference in how I played. That was fun to learn about. But kinda bad for my wrists...

So I went to sleep at 6am and Carl and Gretchen stayed up to greet the dawn while playing some more. Then Carl and I picked Bryant up at the Bart station at about 2pm, had 'breakfast' of lunch at McDonalds and then went to play with Brad and Gretchen at their place as NPC's in the game Brad was running for Bryant, Gretchen, and Susanna. They're playing a triad of brother and sisters who are transformed Dragons. Carl got to play a pirate king that one of the sisters fell in love with, and I got to be a surprise character as Bryant's wife. Heh. The wife that is his after a time-travel transformation of the world so that his ex-wife is not his wife anymore and the wife that is his was in a coma because of Bryant's character's driving.

It was fun.

Carl then took me back to the airport in San Jose so that I could get my car, check into my hotel and then meet folks for dinner at Temple Square. So I did so and had really great all-you-can-eat sushi rolls at a place near Tara's apartment. Yum. Soft-shell crab rolls were one of the all-you-can-eat rolls, along with what was called a Super Californian, which was basically a California roll with additional unagi. Yum... eel... miso and a pickle and much good company accompanied the meal and we had a good time.

After the previous night I did the wise thing and bought a bottle of drinking water, went to my hotel, steeped myself some hibiscus tea, took a hot bath and went to sleep, dreamlessly, before 9pm. I didn't have to get up until 7:30am, so I'd get at least 10 hours, I hoped.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]