jason erik lundberg
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Janet and I had an absolute blast tonight with Tim, Heather, Mike and Elizabeth. We met for dinner at The Irregardless Cafe around 7:30, and stayed until they kicked us out a little after 10:00. We talked about Elizabeth's pregnancy, Tim and Heather's upcoming wedding (14 months from now), the honorable mentions, Tim's family here in NC, China Mieville gossip, the Great Dismal Swamp. Tim showed us his new indulgence that he got with part of the first half of his advance for The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl.

The food was phenomenal. Apparently the menu changes every single day, which is pretty cool and unique, but it makes me weep for all the trees being cut down to reprint each day's offerings. Janet and I both got the braised duck, which was savory beyond belief. I hadn't had duck since I visited her in Singapore (we got Peking Duck one night at a fancy restaurant with her parents), and it makes me wish I had it more. Janet said she's been craving duck since we went to Bond Park and saw them swimming in the lake and waddling on land, which makes me laugh and cringe at the same time. Anyway, dinner was great, and we got a complimentary dessert with the duck dish, since it was the specialite du jour, which was a giant slice of chocolate orange torte cake. Also, decaf coffee to wash the cake down. Yummers.

We were the last ones in the restaurant, and like I said, they had to kick us out, but we continued the conversation out on the sidewalk for another twenty minutes. It was so great getting to hang out with everyone again, and I felt my coolness factor jumping several points just being around them. Here's what Neil Gaiman wrote about having dinner with Jonathan Carroll, which certainly applies here:

"I had dinner with Jonathan Carroll, with Dave McKean and with some friends, about eight years ago: what I still remember is not the meal nor even the conversation (although I do recall Jonathan telling us some incidents of his life that I would later encounter in Kissing the Beehive): what I recall was the process of becoming a Jonathan Carroll character among Jonathan Carroll characters. We were witty and wise and lucent; intelligent and beautiful men and women; artists and creators and magicians, we were.

"It was a couple of days before I noticed that I had become a mundane grey person once more."

I'm sure I'll become a mundane grey person again in a few days, but in the meantime, I can bask in the glow of the presence of some of the smartest, most talented people I've ever met.

Here's a photo of us, taken by the bartender:

l to r: Tim Pratt, Heather Shaw, Mike Jasper, Elizabeth Jasper, Jason Lundberg, Janet Chui

And while we're showing group photos, here's a good one from the Trinoc-con con suite, courtesy of Andreas:

l to r: Janet Chui, Jason Lundberg, Andreas Black, Luna Black, Jamie Bishop

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