1. I no longer like milk chocolate. I am still willing to eat a frozen Reese's Peanut Butter Cup once in a blue moon, but that may be it. I still have to try a Marabou hazelnut milk chocolate bar to be sure. But when we were in the Toronto airport, I spotted the lovely Quality Street packages and bought some. I enjoyed them two years ago. I loved
them two years ago. I ate one and thought it tasted funny, so I thought maybe I was coming down with something. Waited a few weeks. Tried another two pieces for lunch today, different flavors: um. No. Not at all, in fact. There was clearly nothing wrong with them. They were just...milk chocolate. Which I don't like now. At all, apparently. I mean, it's not spit-it-out gross to me, but...it turns out I'd really rather not.
I had some inkling of this when I was in the car dealership waiting for several hours and they had a vending machine. I thought, "I will get myself a treat!" And I looked, and they didn't have anything I would classify as a treat. It all looked like it would be a chore to eat, and that's no good on any axis, so I didn't get anything. And I thought I was just being a snob about mass-market American chocolate, because I have been known to be a snob from time to time, you will be shocked to hear. But then this with the Quality Street, which, okay, is still mass-market. It is not the finest milk chocolate British chocolatiers have ever produced. But it was awfully good just two years ago, and I don't think Nestle is what's changed. I think it's me.
So I have two tiny bars of Green & Black 70% for in the airport and/or on the plane next week. Just In Case. What if there's a storm? Who'd want to be stuck on the tarmac in Detroit without chocolate? Uff da, what a thought. (I will also have my own homemade mix of dried fruit and nuts. Hypoglycemics travel prepared. Hypoglycemic snobs, doubly so.)
2. I am the Death of Plants. The Death of Rats says, "SQUEAK." I don't know what I say. "C55H72O5N4Mg," probably. (The subscripts are all elevated to the same line, making it the equivalent of all-caps for a chemical formula, right?) One of the people I love most in the world gave me a living stick for my birthday. It is now a formerly-living stick. I misted it with the laundry bottle! I misted and misted! But it is crunchy. I am no expert on plants (which is surprising, given that I am their Death, but there you go), but I am given to understand that crunchy is generally bad. This makes me oh-for-three for the year when it comes to plants. Naming them doesn't help: I killed a pothos called Porthos. Not
naming them doesn't help. Nothing seems to help. I am just the Death of Plants.
3. We don't have the material for new kitchen curtains. I looked at everything they had, and I wanted none of it. We do, however, have books, because I went into the used bookstore next door and salved my feelings about the whole curtain business with a biography of King Christina and a book about the exploration of Australia and, oh, several other things. As the leaves fall, my back-door neighbors will be able to see directly into the kitchen when I sit at the kitchen table and drink hot chocolate and read my books. I suspect that the world will keep turning. (But I will go look for fabric further afield after I get back from World Fantasy anyway.)
4. I also do not have Ha'penny
, nor my Mammals CD (not featuring elisem
: different Mammals), nor my Kurlansky book, nor timprov
's Dar Williams Live DVD, nor yet my Veronica Mars Season 3 DVDs. And yet I have not run down to the mailbox to collar the mailbeing and demand them. Because I am a mature and reasonable individual, and also because I didn't see when the mail came yesterday.
5. I have now written more short stories than I've sold this year. Although no one should feel constrained from tipping the balance back again. I was saying elsewhere, in response to a locked post, that periodically I feel the need to "clear the decks" of short story ideas so that I have fewer half-finished short stories wandering around my brain. This process is always good for me, but never in the intended way: writing all those short stories gets me thinking about Things, and those Things get me thinking about more Things, and pretty soon I have a bunch more short stories started. This is as though putting away groceries made you think of food and go have to write half a dozen more things on the grocery list so you can make them later.
Wait. I do that, too. So it's an ongoing theme in my life, is what we're saying here.
And the one serious thing: Someone in my close extended family (if that term makes sense: close to me personally but not by legal reckoning) has fallen and broken her hip. (Probably the reverse order, given how these things tend to happen with elderly bones.) She's in a lot of pain, and a previous medical problem means that she's not entirely mentally clear on the world around her any more. So pain and
confusion. We're hoping the doctors can keep her comfortable while they fix the hip, but if I seem preoccupied, that may well be why. I'm perfectly willing to talk about more details on e-mail with those of you who have reason to want them (those who know my extended family members, for example), but when I'm not clear on where someone wants privacy, I don't want to name her publicly. Still, she's in my thoughts.