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"Southern California Wants to Be Western New York" by Dar Williams is a wonderful song of speculative fiction. "[Southern California is] embarrassed, but it's lusting after a SUNY student with mousy brown hair who is taking out the compost, making coffee in long underwear." It makes me want to write, but it's one of the few songs I can't write to, because I always want to stop and listen to the words. Thanks to Jenn for getting me (through Heather) into this music.


We have a new member of the family. Yesterday Heather got a bunch of organic catnip from a co-worker, and in among the leaves she found a wee green preying mantis, not even half an inch long, still in its nymph stage. She brought the mantis home in a jury-rigged terrarium furnished with catnip leaves, and though the pet store was out of fruit flies, we managed to catch a couple of tiny gnats at home and put them in with the mantis, and sprayed some water droplets on the walls, so he shouldn't starve or die of thirst. (We say "he" but it's too early to tell sex -- we have to wait until he's big enough that we can count body segments before we'll know that.) Today I'll go out and try to find flies at another pet store, and this evening we'll set up the terrarium better, put some soil in the bottom, add some more branches (since the catnip is going to wilt). He's just a baby, so if he lives, we could have him for a little over a year before he lives out his natural lifespan. Though he appears to have an injured leg, so we're prepared for the possibility that he might die. We've named him Jack. (Bonus points to the first person to identify the intended literary reference!)


I'm home today, my once-fortnightly free day. I plan to finish my story (which I didn't finish Sunday, because I was lazy), and I have a couple of reviews to write and a fair bit of reading to do. Should be a nice day. The weather's lovely, so I might go out and enjoy it later this afternoon, but I want to get some productive work done before noon.


I don't think I've mentioned lately that Heather is wonderful. Not just for bringing the baby mantis home because she knew I'd love it, but for many other reasons besides. For a selling-my-book present she brought me a big box of crayons and a Gangsta Rap Coloring Book! We've been taking walks together several times a week, strolling and talking through the fine evening weather, sometimes going all the way to the lake and sitting by the water for a while. She's a wonder, and I love her.

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