Last night, had a nice dinner with David M. at Rangoon, that Burmese place in downtown Palo Alto. Good food as usual there, good conversation as usual with David. He showed me the Advance Review Copy of All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, which is gorgeous, and I'm not saying that just 'cause my story's in it. Nice typeface, nice design, just an all-around attractive book, and I haven't even seen the real cover.
Mentioning David reminds me to mention his story "The Third Party" in the September 2004 Asimov's, which I liked quite a lot. I read it shortly after I posted my interstellar polyculture entry; although David's story doesn't contain aliens, it does a lot of what I was getting at. It also does some things that often annoy me in sf (such as including characters who read science fiction), but it does them so well that they became benefits rather than drawbacks.
It's a strong issue for other reasons, too: "Elector" is my favorite among Stross's recent Accelerando stories (though "Lobsters" is still my favorite of the series overall); "The Pasho" is excellent cross-cultural sf from Paolo Bacigalupi; Maureen McHugh's "Oversite" combines elements she's visited in a couple of her other recent stories (notably Alzheimer's and tiny implantable trackable GPS units), in a story that I found quietly moving despite my dubiousness about the spate of recent Alzheimer's-related sf.
Onward: Much of today was spent in nervous pacing, due to a recent development that I can't talk about publicly just yet, but will probably be able to discuss more next week. This evening, picked up Kam at the San José airport and we picked up dinner and brought it home.
We went to a newish Sri Lankan restaurant called Curry Leaf, which Mary Anne and Arthur E. and I had gone to a couple weeks ago. They had officially closed at 8:30 tonight, but we got there around 8:45 and they offered to make us food to go. It was just as yummy as it was the other week. Highly recommended if you find yourself in San José with a hankering for Sri Lankan food. I got the chicken kottu roti once again (the third time I've ordered it out of three times I've been to Sri Lankan restaurants); I imagine eventually I'll branch out into other stuff, but it's so tasty I can't resist. The restaurant is on a tiny little street (more of a quarter-circle driveway) at the corner of Stevens Creek and Bascom, right near 880 and 280. They don't appear to get enough business, at least for dinner; go eat there! If you're in the area, I mean.
After dinner, Kam gave me a copy of We Do, a totally charming book filled with photos of same-sex weddings in San Francisco and elsewhere. From the foreword by Gavin Newsom:
Growing up in an Irish-Catholic household in San Francisco, I was taught that a loving commitment between two people was the foundation of a strong marriage. I was also taught that discrimination was wrong.
I acted in order to honor my upbringing and my own marriage, support the commitment of real couples to form lifelong bonds, and defend the oath I took as mayor to protect liberty and justice for all, not just those of a certain class.
Lots of great black-and-white photos: a long line around City Hall; couples standing in the rain; couples with their kids; couples smiling; a few people caught in moments of sheer exultation; some laughing, some shouting, some leaping in the air, some solemn, some quietly sharing a moment with their family. A higher percentage of those pictured are white than seemed to me to be true the day I was there, but I wasn't keeping count, so who knows. One photo of a crowd shows my high school friend Mark B. smiling at the front of a line, though I don't see his husband-to-be in the picture. Another page has a prominent quotation from my friend Pam's sister-in-law (at least, she was "in law" for a while), though the photo next to that quote includes a young girl, and I'm pretty sure G&J don't have any kids, so maybe the photo's not connected to the quote. Not sure.
Anyway. Lovely book; highly recommended. I'll be bringing my copy to WorldCon for people to look at, if I have room for it. Thanks again, Kam!
Okay, that's all from me. In the morning, packing; then Kam's taking me to SFO in the early afternoon, and I'll spend the rest of the day on the plane. Arriving Boston airport at nearly 11 p.m., so I'm guessing I won't make it to the hotel before midnight.