It was 70! Hot, sunny, and my onion starts are all grumpy about getting a little dried out. Sigh.
It started with Jet waking ME up this morning instead of Dad, as he wanted to paint some bamboo and write his name in Chinese this morning.
So I gave him a tiny ink stone that had come with a kit, and he patiently ground ink on the stone with an ink stick as he wanted to do black. He was mildly surprised that it was ink, not paint, but he treated it with more respect that way, which I was grateful for. Then he proceeded to do his level best to get the bamboo, the leaves, and the branches right. He'd seen my Mom do it on her table, so he wanted to try. And then we went through all the parts of his Chinese name, and painted them in their places as well. We had to work pretty hard on how to hold the brush, even, but he wanted to just do it. So we did it.
He can't learn without trying.
We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and then we all went to the WOW children's museum for the morning jaunt. Jet enjoyed it quite a lot. There were paintings by Chinese kids in the Art room, and it was funny to see all the same mistakes Jet and I were making in brush work on the paintings there. There was a lot of really nice detailed brushwork as well, the outline style of painting that's very interesting to see done by kids that are Jet's age. He probably could do some of it, too, if he knew how to write his name with a brush.
We had lunch at an Italian biased sports bar, with paper on the tables and beer on tap. They had lunch specials for just 5.69 and you could get one main and two sides. It was quite good. But the real amusement for Jet and I was, first, the big sheet of white paper, that we drew all over with the four crayons I had in my purse. Then, a bit later, when the dining room was empty of people, the sun came in through the windows and we could do shadows on the far wall. So we all did shadow puppets and had a little play while we were eating and entertaining ourselves. The owner wandered through and laughed, "You all are so creative!"
*laughter* Or we're just easily entertained. It's fun!
The boys went out for beers with Bob for the evening. I ran to Kohl's and went through nearly two DOZEN shorts and caprees and jeans and finally came out with one pair of caprees and one pair of shorts that were actually short. There was a nice, sleeveless shirt, too, which I thought might be quite nice when it got really hot. Then I went home, heated up the last lamb shank from Costco, and steamed some taro buns and brocolli. That was dinner while I finished reading my new library book.
I read he first Harry Dresden novel, Storm Front. The amusing thing, for me, was finding Kathy's flikr pictures of Jim Butcher, the author of those novels, on her site only minutes after I'd finished the first novel. I liked it very, very much. I found these through amazon and other stuff as "a grown up Harry Potter". It reminded me, quite a lot, of some of the feel of Carl's ideas on a world where magic is creeping back into the world.
It's less poetic but far more accessible than Sean Stewart's work.
It's NOT Shadowrun.
It is very much it's own thing and I liked my first taste of it. Especially since it was free. The library had it, but there's three people waiting for it, now, so I should return it so they can get it. I'm now in line for number 2, second place in line, so it should be okay.
I may have to buy them, though, if I want to refer to them. It's not quite what my past is composting into in the back of my head, but it's closer in some sense, than a lot of other stuff I've run into. There's some fundimental differences, which is good. But it has the kind of clarity I really want in a book.
Stevenson and Pat Cadigan get all... obscured... seeing in a dim glass badly... perhaps it's the only way they can describe what's going on the surface of what's really underneath... but I hate it when it goes sideways into interpretation. It's like having the dental assistant going "Does that feel right?" when I *know* she could just spray on the marking stuff and KNOW where I'm getting bad contact with the tooth guard. *laughter* Is that a weird enough analogy?
These Dresden books, Bujold, and, of all people, David Weber, all remind me that stories can be complex, interesting, have cool people and intrigue and hidden things, but the *writing* can be crystal. Sharp, concrete, clear, and with plot lines that aren't just smudged out for "affect".
Stewert is the one on the edge between the two styles. So much of his is so concrete, but just once in a while he goes sideways and blurrs the lines. Sometimes the blur works and I think I catch a glimpse of what he's trying to invoke. Sometimes I really, really can't. I'm trying to figure out, for myself, why it works and why it doesn't.