Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Divorce, dim sum, and whirling felines

The two tabbies just brought in a moth from the back yard and are now pursuing it through the hallways. A few minutes ago, Sheba, the deaf white cat, stood on the tiptoes of all four paws, and chased her tail -- first clockwise, and then counterclockwise.

I'm tempted to join Sheba. My clients, apparently sensing that I'd like to spend my evenings writing fiction (trying to fix the story that got savaged in the workshop at Potlatch this past weekend) are deluging me with interesting work.

Other aspects of my life have been similarly active.

My mother has decided she wants to go into a continuing care community with her friends in Florida instead of the one she had planned to move into out here in Seattle. It makes sense. If she carries through on this, I'll be flying back East three or four times a year to visit. I realized that having her settle in Florida (rather than out here, near me) would make it easier for me to relocate to a warmer climate, which I'd like to do in a few years.

As some of you know, Zorg and I have been hammering out a separation agreement for the past six months. He signed it last week, and I signed today, realizing as I did that this was, essentially "it." In Washington state, the separation contract is the major legal event, going into great detail about division of property and setting forth various agreements. The dissolution of marriage paperwork, filed subsequently, is comparatively short and straightforward.

We've managed to get through things in a civilized fashion. To our friends, who have been supportive and diplomatic through it all: Thank you!

In the midst of all this, I flew down to the Bay Area last week for the Potlatch 18 science fiction convention. Each convention has its own personality, and Potlatch's is "unstructured." There was only one panel track, with very light programming, but lots of spontaneous get-togethers called Algonquins that get posted a few hours in advance on the bulletin board at registration. I missed the chance to go to the computer museum to see the Babbage machine in action, but got a small group to go to Lunatic Fringe (belly dancing supplies) and took the introductory jewelry-making class taught by Elise Matthiessen. The class was extraordinarily good (earrings and pendant in one hour!) and I discovered the craft is much more my style than knitting or sewing. Bead stores, here I come!

Potlatch is, of course, a literary convention. I was on a panel about Good Reads, talking about books that included Octavia Butler's Fledgling and Robert Charles Wilson's Spin. And I surived my first short-story critique -- discouraging but extremely useful.

The people at Potlatch were fascinating. It was difficult to get to anything scheduled in a timely fashion because I kept getting distracted by introductions and conversations. There were also some wonderful meals at nearby restaurants. Chelokababi's chicken with sour cherries (Albaloo polo) was the best dish of the weekend, though the dim sum at The Mayflower in Milpitas was the most entertaining meal. One member of our party used an iPhone app with pictures of dim sum (Yum Yum Dim Sum) to get us some arcane and amazing dishes.

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