September 11, 2001

Letter to a Wellesley Classmate in D.C.

Thank you so much for writing--I'm so glad that you and yours are okay. How scary for you to be dating someone who works at the Pentagon. You made pretty good time if you had to walk all the way home. You must have mad blisters!

It's all just unbelievable--I was about to leave home, and just making a quick call to some workmen who had started (badly and crookedly) on a fence adjacent to my house, and I had the TV on kinda watching the news at the same time. When it hit me what had happened, I just started freaking out, and I was so upset I couldn't leave for 45 minutes or so because I kept on having to go wash my face after each new outrage/disaster. The complete collapse of both towers is so unbelievably shocking. Last time I was in NYC two years ago, I went to the top of Tower One with my mom to enjoy the view, and bought discount theatre tickets at the TKTS booth there, like I always do. Then we went shopping at Century 21 across the street. And now it's all gone. Just a hole in the sky. Unbelievable...

I was so worried about you, and just praying that you were out of harm's way. I'm afraid the news from NYC isn't going to be good. I wonder how many of our Wellesley classmates and friends were working in downtown Manhattan today. I hope that a lot of people were voting in the mayoral primaries and were late to work, and thus never made it into the building.

Here at work, we've all been crowding around the TV off and on all day. Anyway, let me know if you think a visit to our nation's capital is still a good idea. They're going to have to change the name for popular sites from "tourist attractions" to "targets." Well, stay in touch - maybe they'll figure out how and why this all happened.

Letter to a Friend on 9-11

Yeah, I'm in shock. I was just about to leave the house this morning when I heard the news, and I was so upset, I kept on having to go wash my face, and then I'd pull myself together, and then I'd hear about a new horror, and fall to pieces again. I'm freaking out. I can't believe that the both buildings are just gone. A huge hole in a skyline that has suddenly changed after 31 years of being dominated by the twin towers.

My mom and I went there last time we were in NYC, went to the top of Bldg. 1 to Windows on the World, had some coffee, enjoyed the view, bought some theatre tickets at TKTS on the Trade Center Concourse, and a couple of souvenirs from one of the little carts there. Unbelievable.

I've been reading the French newspaper Le Figaro to see what they have to say. They have some amazing photos, etc.

Anyway, I'm doing fine, compared to those people working in downtown Manhattan. Still waiting to hear from my friend who works for the federal government in D.C.

Not feeling very safe today.

September 6, 2001

Getting the Point Across

I never said anything to you directly about it, because I thought we had let our acquaintance drop, but now that you have written to me again, I cannot keep silent. I have to say that from your behavior and conversation when we met and when we had lunch, I was led to believe that you were separated or divorced from your wife. I was quite dismayed to find out that you were still very much married and your wife was about to have another child. I realize that even regular church-goers can be hypocrites, but I expected something more from someone who claims to be a Christian. I have no respect for men who hit on other women while their wives are 8 1/2 months pregnant, and have no desire to be friends with such a person. Please, take me off your mailing list and don't write me again.

August 15, 2001

What's Up Now

After the 10-Q was filed for the quarter, I took a day "off" last Friday, as did my mother, and we spent the weekend doing some bricolage. We put two coats of paint on my garage, so it looks like it belongs with the house instead of like an alien building that just landed during a tornado or something. We also drilled holes for new kitchen cabinet knobs, and replaced the stupid formica/Corian knobs on the new side of the kitchen with more authentic glass ones. Then we watered the lawn, and plastered all the cracks in the sheetrock that popped up when the foundation work was done. That way I can do some interior painting, and put up curtains and and put in crown molding like I've always wanted to do. Not exactly a restful weekend, but we got a lot accomplished. I'm also hoping to get some landscaping advice so I can get some plants/trees/shrubs established this fall. Whew!

I have also been kind of a social butterfly; I'm meeting lots of new people, some of whom are interesting in a dating kind of way, but no real thunderbolts exactly. My friend Shannon is dating Garth Adam, the bass player for "Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts," so I'm going to the show at Stubb's on Saturday, which should be fun and quite a scene. Last year, there were a number of real Hollywood stars and tons of wanna-bes and wanna-sleep-with-Russell-Crowes hanging around. Kinda weird for Austin.

I'm also planning a trip to D.C. in early October to visit a good friend of mine from college. I'm looking forward to a more in-depth visit to the city; my previous forays were choir- or protest-march related, and I didn't get to see any of the museums, or get official tours of the monuments, etc. Smithsonian, here I come!

August 1, 2001

Letter to the Austin Chronicle

Regarding Mme. Chastenet de Géry's rant about the wastefulness of other restaurants' huge portions in her Starlite restaurant review: To a certain extent, I agree, but hasn't she ever heard of a to-go box? I don't ever leave any significant amount of food on my plate, but rather always ask to take it home, where it usually makes an easy second meal. If it's hot outside and I can't leave it in the car or carry it around, I give it to a homeless person, something I also have done in San Francisco and New York. Perhaps asking for a to-go box or tinfoil is considered impolite or uncool, but I think it's immoral to waste food when so many people in our own community are going hungry, and if I were on a date with someone who insisted on leaving half his meal behind, it would be our last. I agree that most restaurant portions tend to be huge, and that it's often difficult to finish all of just one entrée, much less several courses. This is partly because Americans tend to eat just one all-inclusive entree, say, a pasta dish that also contains a lot of meat or vegetables, rather several separate courses as they do in Europe. But I just see large portions as an opportunity to skip the cooking on two nights, and during summer in Texas, that's a blessing!

June 19, 2001

Welsh is Scottish

Irvine Welsh did a reading at Book People last night, which I attended. He signed all three of my books: "Trainspotting," "The Acid House," and "Glue," his newest. It was great to hear him read aloud from the new book, and doing all his characters' voices, although it was easier to understand when I read along. I grew up watching nothing but BBC programs, and I thought I was pretty good at understanding all manner of UK accents. Without the book, however, I would have been lost. Lurvely accent, though. People were asking him about all of his writing, and I commented that "Bad Blood," which functions as a self-contained short story within "Trainspotting," is one of the best stories I have ever read. "The Acid House" is also really good. My two favorite stories are "Disnae Matter" and "Snuff." Diabolically clever!

June 17, 2001

My New Cat Toby

I brought home a new kitty from the Town Lake Animal Center today, and he is very mellow, super-sweet and so cuddly, and has the softest fur ever. Diana isn't sure what to make of him, but I'm certain she'll warm up soon and they'll be playing together in no time.

This is the picture of Toby that was on the Austin Pets Alive website. He's even more handsome in person.

P.S. TLAC has lots of beautiful cats and dogs that need homes, so please check them out if you're looking to add to your family.

March 21, 2001

Oscar Party 2001

Here's the invitation for my 2001 Oscar Party:

January 30, 2001


I am tasting
Crusty bread dipped in olive oil
Redolent of rosemary.
Across the table
My pleasure is reflected in your eyes,
Doubled as it returns to me.
And how much more
When your touch brings delirious waves
Lapping at my shore,
Then rolling out again,
Your nearby island intensifies
And sends them back to me