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October 10, 1998
a year ago

Chocolate Cake

By the time we headed home last night, I was very low on blood sugar, to the point where I'm normally pretty crabby. I was so low, I wasn't even upset, but John figured out pretty well what was going on with me. We went to about five different restaurants, all of which had long waiting lines, before finally ending up at the local Safeway. We got some salmon, and a few things go with it, and then headed for home.

I was so hungry that I started to get odd cravings, including the craving for chocolate cake without any frosting. We bought a box of chocolate cake mix along with all the dinner ingredients. It was only after getting home that I realize we were missing two of the three ingredients that were necessary to make the cake. I also, for some reason, bought extra fresh pasta as well as a cup of heavy whipping cream. Sometimes, I really wonder where my brain goes when I'm very hungry. I know that I start missing things and John notices and tries to compensate, but sometimes it's hard.

I was so hungry, however, that John stopped by a Taco Time and bought me a crisp bean burrito. Eating it made a huge difference, and I felt immediately better. It really got me to think about what it would be like to not eat all day on a regular basis. I don't usually go without at least two meals a day. Flynn and I made a pact, many years ago, to a least try and eat twice a day. I actually had a muffin for breakfast, so I hadn't violated any of the letter of the law, but it wasn't a real meal.

I did a quick yakisoba to go with the teriyaki salmon. Dinner ended up being really good, and sleep was fairly dreamless. I tried to sleep in, but only managed to stay in bed until sometime after 10 a.m.. Fezzik barking at John to take him out was something that was hard to miss.

John had a number of things he wanted to before and after the soccer game, and asked if I wished to come along for all the various things. I really didn't want to do all the errands he wanted to get to, but I did want to see the kids play. So, finally, I went with him and brought along my dream diary. I have a few stories scribbled in the diary, the framework for something I wanted to write. While trying to find the framework I ran across several dreams that I had written down, but forgotten in the times since. One had an odd poem scribbled alongside:

flags of fear flying fluid
over broken hearts of memory
each lined with white violence

Underneath that poem are the lyrics to a song I remember dreaming. There are slanted notes with timing notation dotting the margins, illegible with the angle. There are entire pages scrawled with a handwriting completely foreign to my own, wild and flowing with a world I only know when I sleep. So very different from the precise calligraphy of my waking life.

The soccer game was a lot of fun to watch. The boys, once again, played their hearts out. They always hustle, nearly never complain, and unlike, completely unlike adult players they don't seem to know when to quit. They always try with all their hearts. So few, seemed to have learned anything of fear, whether it is fear of failure or simply physical fear. It always amazes me. Their organizational skills still leave a bit to be desired, but that is what the coach is for, and John did a really good job today of discovering the main confusions, pulling out the people that needed just a little more information, and putting in people who knew what they wanted to do. That was really cool.

The sky was gorgeous. Clouds of all sizes, shapes, and colors flowing by on the wind. Moments of clear, clean sunshine, followed by patches of shadow, darkness, and shade. The entire sky was moving, flowing over the valley, and into the mountains. Whenever the details of the game got to be too much, it was always possible to look up at the sky.

The kids won. After two games where they've lost, even though they played with all their might, it was a wild celebration, exuberant with motion, shouting, whistling,and running about. They did really well, and with the extra practice and focus on simply shooting for the goal.that John and I had tried to convey in the previous practice, in this game they seemed to have more confidence in shooting even from a fair distance away. That was really good to see.

On the way home, we stopped by the grocery store for the few ingredients I still needed for the cake. While we were there, we saw a table for a nurse giving the flu shot. When I was at Data I/O I had taken the flu shot every year, and in the chaos of the previous year I hadn't been able to take advantage of the shot and had come down with something that had moved into my lungs and given me bronchitis. This year I didn't want to miss the shot, so I pluncked down my ten dollars and got a needle in the arm. Hopefully, this will help with the coming winter.

I've been taking better care of myself lately. More sleep, on the whole, more regular meals with vitamin supplements, and making sure that I listen to my body and give it would it needs before something breaks down. Ever since my injury, I haven't had a cold and I haven't stressed myself beyond my limits. I'm pretty sure there's a connection.

I spent the rest of the afternoon with Fezzik at home. Mostly writing, though I did take the time to make the chocolate cake and eat about a sixth of it, still warm from the oven. The craving was still around, even though I wasn't quite as starved as the day before. I also drank a good deal of tea, the first flush Makaibari and some of the rose congru, both with just a touch of milk to round out the flavor. I'm still not quite sure what we're going to do with the evening, but it's fun and warm to cuddle up with Fezzik, and I may yet light a fire. The day outside has gone gray and cold, a perfect tea and writing or reading day.

Now, just to figure out what it is I should write next...

I spent most of the evening reading various In Nomine books. Some were the ones that I'd bought while I was in the Bay Area, another was the one that Bryant gave to me for my birthday. I ended up being fairly upset at how the writers had constructed the book and the plot. Or maybe, it was the editors, I'm not sure who did the overall structure. I've always hated gaming plots that rely on forcing the players into a certain situation, or, worse yet, forcing the players into a certain decision. If the plot won't work if the players are allowed a choice, then it shouldn't be plot. It should be set up as background, something in the past that the players can't change. It's really wrong to have players go into a game that happens like a movie around them, where they cannot change what happens and anything they do doesn't affect the outcome.

So that upset me somewhat. I had a few story plots that I wanted to work on, but given the overall structure of what Steve Jackson games thinks the universe around me is going to do the plots really didn't fit. Though, I guess at the ground level what happens at the highest level doesn't really affect the daily life. The story with Pat, Eduardo, and Sephar has nothing to do with the high-level stuff.

John and I spent the evening watching Jackie Chan movies and eating pizza. John said he'd take care of dinner, and found a simple and thorough solution. It seems that TBS was showing all of Jackie's old movies in a row, so we popped a new videotape into the video recorder and let go. It was really weird seeing Jackie play a sleazy lawyer who knew great kung fu.

We went to sleep fairly early, and I had to get up pretty early for church.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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