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September 3rd, 2007

It’s time for the kids to go back to school.
Really. Any minute now. I’m ready.

I think, in the last week, we’ve gotten officially bored with life and each other, and ready to move on to the next phase of the moon.

One of the highlights of recent conversation, was when #2 son came into the office and announced that Scooby and the Gang desecrate quite a few graves. It seems they were investigating the Loch Ness Monster, and Shag and Scoob found an undersea burial ground for Scottish warriors.

So, surrounded by a major archaeological find, on sacred ground?
They put on the helmets and ran in circles.

Earlier in the week, the entire family had a discussion on the probable owner of the mystery machine.
I said Shaggy.

The kids said Fred, because he gets to drive, and Shaggy probably spends all his money on weed.

I said Fred only drives because Shaggy’s stoned, and stoners have vans.

The kids said the van is too nice to be owned by a stoner. Custom paint, no rust, Bondo, or duct tape.

My husband said we only ever see one side of the van. Maybe the damage is on the other side. And besides, the van stays still, but the background moves. So maybe it doesn’t even run…

So, the level of conversation around here has slipped to 60’s Hanna- Barbera critique. Time to go back to school.

And this year, instead of our annual Labor Day weekend vacation to the World Science Fiction Convention, we went back to our home town, to visit family. Worldcon 2007 is in Yokohama, Japan. Definitely out of range for this year’s budget, and not particularly deductible, since that’s not my writing genre.

A chance to go home and see the “World’s Largest Round Barn!”, when it is full of cows (the fair is in session) does not compare with a trip to Worldcon.

I have been trying to console myself by thinking geeky thoughts, and surfing the internet for Worldcon news. 2008 is in Denver, but not Labor Day. (In my mind, I am already arranging my son’s work schedule). And according to Neil Gaiman’s blog, 2009 is Montreal.

Canada! We can do Canada. International travel to a country where the money has pictures of birds and flowers. When the exchange rate was better, spending money in Canada was a joy, all by itself. You would go into a store, look at something, and think, I cannot afford that.

And then you could think: “But I’m in Canada!” and whip out the wallet. You’d have no idea what you were spending, other than it was about 25 cents on the dollar less than you thought. Every purchase was a moment of depression, followed by pleasant surprise.

Now the exchange rates are almost even. But there are still birds and flowers on the money. Somehow, when you can pay for things using loons, it doesn’t hurt much to give up the money.

Of course, the rest of Neil Gaiman’s blog is about his trip to China. I am terribly envious. He got to hold a real, honest-to-God Panda. Not one made of fake fur, with a zipper up the back and filled with stuffing and/or pajamas. This panda is obviously full of PANDA (and bamboo). Apparently, he had to wear gloves and a smock, to protect the panda. But still…

When you are a famous Fantasy author, you get to go to China, and hold a Panda. Or, perhaps Yokohama.

When you are a beginning romance writer, you get to visit cows. The good news is, if I wished, I could pet them without gloves. The bad news is, THEY ARE COWS. They are full of milk, hamburger, and things that get dropped on the road in front of the house, whenever a manure wagon goes by,

and are then eaten by Kaiju the flatulent golden retriever. They smell bad straight from the cow. But after Kaiju, they smell worse.

I have been wandering around the house, loudly complaining about the lack of pandas in my chosen genre. By God, I’ll bet even Nora Roberts hasn’t gotten a panda.

#1 son (who should go back to school before I kill him said) “Yeah, Mom. If you’d decided to write science fiction, we’d all have pandas by now.”

I told him, one more word and I’d put a smock and gloves on him, and let Kaiju sit in his lap. The protective clothing wouldn’t be needed for the safety of the dog.