Day 294, lunch, book

Sunday, 9/22/2019

Did the NYT puzzle then went out to coffee at Mme. Collette’s. From there, walked up to Walgreen’s on University and bought a travel-size deoderant stick. I’m just about equipped for my upcoming trip.

During the morning and again in the afternoon I put in a couple of hours on the novel. I’ve just about finished the light edit I’ve been doing and getting to the part where I need to make big readjustments to fit the ending I plotted, and to once again start producing actual new prose. That will all really happen when I get back. Having a two-week trip blocked out makes all planning split in three: things that have to get done before the trip, and things to be put off until after the trip, and the various meetings and stuff that I can’t do because I’ll be away then, sorry.

At noon I went to join Ian and Jean who had invited me to lunch, which also included Ann, Michelle, whom I hadn’t met before, and Mildred, ditto, who just moved in this month. Mildred took unit #521, directly below my proper place. Michelle just lost her husband this February. She shared that with me but we didn’t chat about bereavement after.

Everybody has such interesting back-stories. Ann did research in the use of lasers for opthalmology at NYU and at SRI; sold medical lasers for Spectra-Physics; then did a career turn and trained in Transpersonal Psychology and geriatrics. More notably to me, she told me she had gotten my book from the library and was enjoying it very much.

Ian was a theoretical physicist and lecturer at Oxford for decades. (Which well-qualified him to introduce me to the A/V equipment this week, I guess.) He met Jean at a physics conference at Brookhaven lab where she was doing research in optical coatings, which she turned into a business importing optical coating materials and crystals for lasers from China. From Oxford and London they ended up at Channing House because this is where Jean’s mother lived her last decades. Michelle was born in France, met her husband Alex at Harvard, and in Palo Alto taught for years at the prestigious Castilleja school. Alex (recently deceased) taught physics at Stanford and among other things, created the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve and was its director for 20 years.

At 4pm I went down to the Auditorium where Lily (who had invited me to dinner on Day 275) presented a showing of one of the cooking shows she produced and starred in, back in the 90s. It was quite charming, “Healthy Wok-ing with Lily”; her bubbly personality and cute Chinese accent, and her evident knife skills, could have stood comparison to any of the other cooking shows on PBS in that era. Unfortunately she had a grant sufficient to produce only four, half-hour episodes, which were bought and are still being shown on a local cable system in Carlsbad, CA. It’s a pity; with proper promotion and representation it could have been a bigger success. Well, she got a cookbook out of it.

From that, not wanting to go to the dining room again, and also not feeling particularly hungry, I got in the car and wandered over to midtown, thinking maybe I would have my favorite Red Curry Duck at Indochine. But Indochine didn’t look open, or if it was open nobody was there. I didn’t feel like Mike’s. I wandered over to the other side of the street thinking I might have something at the P.A. Cafe, and I finally ended up having nothing for supper except an ice-cream sundae at Baskin-Robbins. Well, it was all I wanted.


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