April 3rd, 2005

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Auntie Wendy and Niece Ashley

Well, last day with Ashley was just KICK-ASS! I think I may now go down as Auntie with the Mostest because damn, I am cool and know how to show a girl a good time. *snerk*

But no, for real!

The sun came up way too early this morning and woke up both us earlier than we'd wanted to, but we both coped with this by reading in bed.

Then eventually I called Caleb, said Happy Birthday, and we arranged to meet up with Daniel, who'd drive us over to Alon's bakery (driving supposedly b/c he didn't have his MARTA card but really so he could be sneaky and buy a cake). So we go over to Alon's and all have fabulous pastry. (In keeping with my revised diet, I had a raisin scone, which on the scale of treats is the most healthy you can get.) Ashley seemed surprised when I paid for her stuff but, come on, like I'm going to make a high school student pay for gourmet pastry treats!

After the yummies Daniel dropped me and Ashley off in Little Five Points, which for those of you unfamiliar with Atlanta, is the most alterative/bohemian/funky area in town and massively appealing to teenage girls w/o such access at home. So witness us spending around 3 hours going in and out of used book shops, vintage clothing stores, independent Urban Outfitters type places, new age shops, psuedo S&M clothing shops, the natural food coop, record shops, etc. Among the many things I found amusing was how many times I had to say to Ashley, "Um, that part of the store is off limits b/c they sell bongs and water pipes and you're under 18." He he. She wound up buying a couple of books, while I got a mirror, more costume jewelry, a cobra-shaped incense burner, and some food at the natural foods place. For late lunch, we went to Savage Pizza, where both of us felt we should refrain from pizza and had salad. Afterward we took MARTA home and yay, felt all buzzed.

Caleb's birthday evening turned out awesome. Ashley and I hung out a while, then around 6 Daniel came over to prepare the incredibly Belgian chocolate truffle cake we both invested in for Caleb's delight. I decorated the table and lit candles. Caleb came over at quarter to 7 and after some small talk, was presented with the cake. Un be liev able! Then came the presents. He liked the fake bugs and the Natural History of the Chicken DVD I got him, but he was "OMG-I-Won-The-Multistate-Lottery!" happy about the STEAM CLEANER Daniel got him. He was ecstatic and was dreaming about Gay Man Heaven -- all the cleaning he can do! It was priceless! After all that, I took us to Golden Buddha, where Ashley and I enjoyed sushi and the boys Chinese. We got the best table and b/c of Caleb's birthday, some free sushi (though he himself hates it). I had plum wine.

For a closer, we "skipped" home and then Daniel brought over Bring It On to show Ashley. Mucho laughs, while Caleb and Daniel cuddled on the "guest mattress." So sweet! They said her byes and think now Ashley is going to want to make plans to come back.

P.S. Caleb and Daniel keep saying I look like I'm Ashley's mom. And somebody else though she was my sister.
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Minor vent

Just as a general word of advice: Never assume you oryour stories or pictures posts are being "ignored" or somebody is being rude to you just because you don't see comments show up within five minutes -- or because no comments show up. It could be that a person or LOTS of people are BUSY with other stuff. Such does happen.
Sorry, just something that annoys me, when people get huffy about "Nobody loves me" when in fact it might happen that everybody who normally reads their posts is busy in RL. Am I feeling guilty? No, not really, but I know some people would like to make me feel guilty.
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Bye Ashley

Soooo tired. Went to bed around 1, but then I read more of The Persian Boy, next thing I knew it was like 2, which was actually suddenly 3. And I had to get up at 7 to get Ashley on her way. I let her sleep later while I showered and stuff, then got her up. Once again she shunned "breakfast" and had a bowl of the leftover okra and tomoto stew. We both sat around reading 'til 8:15 and then I escorted her on the train trip down to the airport. All went smoothly and she said bye and went through security by like 9:20, for a 10:20 flight. She has the second Nightrunner book to amuse her though; she finished the first one I loaned her yesterday so I loaned her the second, making her promise to mail it back to me.

It was a very nice visit and I have no complaints. I think she's just about the easiest visitor I've ever had. I told her she was certainly much easier to deal with than my parents, which cracked her up ;)

I'm now very tired, with only 4 hours sleep. I think I may lie down and read, although I know bad stuff is just around the corner in the story.
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The Persian Boy

I finally finished The Persian Boy (Mary Renault). Truly one of the best books I've ever read and for beauty of prose and evocation of character, simply exquisite, with only a handful of equals I can think of. I was on the last chapters today and was emotionally torn up out of utter empathy for the narrator Bagoas, who's clinging to Alexander to the very end and then (gulp!) the whole DEATH thing. I hope I don't offend anybody by saying I was more upset by the Great King's death than by the Pope's passing yesterday; Renault's wordcraft was one reason, another being that the one man seemed cut down much, much too early. What a bright, bright quick burning candle Alexander was! Anyway, I now see why so many people I know speak so highly of the book and have drawn so much inspiration from it; another of my favorite books, Storm's novella The Thorn Boy was strongly influenced by it.

This book has also set me into doing some follow-up reading and movie-watching courtesy of the local library. I checked this afternoon and they have the documentary In the Footsteps of Alexander, which I saw some time ago but will be wonderful to see after I've just read the historical fiction version and will be able to connect the true locations to the ones in Bagoas' account. I'm also going to at least leaf through a bio they have called The Genius of Alexander the Great, which sounds like it could hold some fascinating details.

Another heap of follow-up reading is going to be me hunting down more Mary Renault! A friend has already recommended The Charioteer to me.
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