Bev called Friday to see how I was doing. She invited me to "carouse" with Carrie and herself that night, so I agreed... They took me somewhere I'd never have gone without them... a lesbian bar in the arts district.

What a cool place. It has some very non-bar like amenities (so much so that I'm not going to list them, they would identify the place far too precisely :-) And although it's pretty clearly defined as a lesbian bar, it's certainly not exclusive. There were gay men and straights of both sexes.

We played pool, drank, and danced - why not? I had no problem dancing with Yolanda and Laurel a couple of weeks back. The bar has a large disco area, very seventies in look and in music. At least, in music on this day, I don't know whether there was a particular disco theme. Still, great fun, especially after a few longnecks.

Though I got some, ummm, interesting advice on how to handle Brian from Bev's friends, I didn't have a problem with anyone hitting on me. Next time I go I'll see if I can pry Clarice away from little Mara for a few hours.


I called Brian in tears last night. Not because of anything between us, this time. Selky was in so much pain he was crying constantly. He's lost so much weight I can see his bones. I was convinced I was going to lose him, and I needed someone to talk to.

Instead of just consoling me on the phone, Brian came over, and held me. Nothing more, and he left when I was through crying, but I appreciated his being there for me. I was so afraid I would be taking Selky back for a final visit to the vets. Brian promised that he'd come with me if it gets to that.

But this morning, Selky was drinking water. He even ate a little food, not much, but enough to give me hope. He's still lethargic and obviously sick, but he hasn't been crying much this evening.


I've started work on another story. I haven't felt much like writing for a few weeks, not even any ideas, but today I came up with something I thought might work. It's a little different, in that the first erotic scene is very close to the beginning, and it's hard to make the more mundane build-up work. But I think I can.


Thunderstorm and rain last night. I lifted Selky onto the bed, and let him slink under the covers. He's a different animal from Tuesday. He's drinking plenty of water, eating almost normally, and his coat is looking healthy. He's still skinny - compared to what he was. Actually, as overweight as he was, he's probably more normal-cat-sized. It's just that he's been fat for so many years he looks underweight. With the liver problems, he may never get back to that weight, because the food I need to give him is very light on fats and protein.

He's still weak. He still isn't jumping on the furniture or playing his games. But he seems clearly to be on the mend. Probably Tuesday he was on the point of passing the blockage, and was just in even more pain than he had been.

He's still terrified of thunderstorms :-)

The weather turned cold with the rain. I had to wear a sweater to work today, and I think I may soon need my coat. No longer top-down convertible weather.


Still working on my story. I'm finding it slow going, because my mind has been wandering more than it usually does while I'm writing. Feeling sorry for myself a little, of course... a year changes the way you look at things. It isn't that I'm lonely. I guess I am, a little... but don't feel that way most of the time. But I see something out in the yard, or read something, and I want to shout through to the other room to tell Brian. Then suddenly the house seems very quiet.

And I find I'm not ready to get back to doing the things I did before Brian. For all that I'd abandoned monogamy before he left, I'm reluctant to put myself in a position of wanting any kind of intimacy. Until Brian and I finally resolve what we are to each other, even a transient relationship could come between us.

Last week's cold is hanging around. It hasn't rained much since Friday, but the wind has been constantly from the north, and I've already had to turn the heating on in the house on a night.


(recreated from memory on 10-16-00)

I'm still concerned about the future of the site. Some email I've gotten following up on one of the BBS threads did nothing to alleviate my concern over whether I should keep it up. And other email makes it seem that last month's outburst makes it seem that I wasn't really clear in what I was objecting to.

My journal is a chance for me to create and share, and to have something other than the stories. But beyond what it means to me, it really is there for entertainment. And if you can't read it as such, I don't think you should be reading it.

I have no problem with advice. Preferably on the BBS, but I'm happy to get email (I don't reply very quickly, be warned :-), but even if it's very critical, I don't have a problem with it. I can always choose to ignore it.

What I can't ignore is when it goes beyond advice to involvement. Threats to expose my actions, to find me and deliver advice in person. Something along these lines has happened already: there has been at least one anonymous email sent to let a friend know what was going on. Fortunately, my own email arrived first, because that could have been quite unpleasant.

I don't want to take the site down. It would disappoint a lot of people, not least me. But if I do, this will be the reason. Not because I don't want to hear what you say.

So please, if you can't restrict yourself to virtual interaction, don't visit. Go get some help, or get a life.


(recreated from memory on 10-16-00)

We've all been working long hours this week. Another deadline looms, and none of us want to work over the weekend.

I haven't talked much about work, with so much going on, but we've lost a couple of key people recently. We've been trying to hire replacements, but it's very hard to find good software people (which is why we lost them in the first place, job opportunities are plentiful and salaries are high). We'll probably be paying whoever we hire considerably more than me. Though Terry says that will change at my next review.

Anyway, Charles called (or perhaps it was on Wednesday) to invite me to go dancing Friday. I figured that I'd be far too tired to make the trip worthwhile, but I promised I'd call him in a couple of weeks.


(recreated from memory on 10-16-00)

We all figured we'd gotten far enough to skip working this weekend, so most of the group went out for a drink Friday. Afterwards, Mary and I went to a burger place I've been wanting to try. It's a flashy recreation of a '50's soda fountain in '90's colors, with their own blends of sodas and shakes (as well as the standard brands), and good burgers. Plus wine and beer. It lived up to expectations, and was reasonably priced. I'll definitely be going back, even if it is 100% yuppie. (More about that later.)

I thought I'd mentioned this, but I can't find it in the journal, but Mary broke up with her boyfriend about Christmas last year, not long after the argument about my car. She still seems to be enjoying her freedom.

A party of five teenage girls took the table next to us. Mary looked at them, then leaned close to whisper to me. "How much silicone do you figure they're carrying between them?"

I figure in most other cities that would have a different sarcastic meaning than here. But here image-sensitivity and conformity are taken to extremes, even for a yuppie dorm-town, which is really what it is.

I've mentioned this in passing before. Kids in schools in this district are under incredible peer pressure to conform. They have to wear the right designer-name clothes, have the right hair style (well, style for girls, color for boys, being blond-highlighted brown), and, for girls, have the right figure. That being pencil-thin but with big breasts. And a padded bra won't meet the requirement, not with the low-necked designer shirts that are part of the uniform.

If it helps to get the feel of this place: don't even think about letting your fourth-grade daughter play soccer unless she has a professional coach. Kids here don't play soccer for fun. Not in their parents' view, for sure.

This is a new town, really only a couple of decades old. It grew up to service the high-tech and other high-stress businesses with expensive track homes. It never had an identity, and has never seemed to acquire one. It's upscale, with expensive restaurants, malls, and plenty of Starbucks stores, but rather than culture, it has expensive gloss. Like the burger joint...

Maybe this lack of identity is what has pushed schoolkids to try to make their own culture of sameness. Coupled with their parents' relative affluence, and seeking achievement through their kids (e.g. soccer).

The city has always been like this. When I was at school, I suffered from the peer pressure, but I'm convinced it wasn't as outrageous as it is now.

Also, in my case, my mother kept me from being compliant. Not from altruism, I'm sure, and it was painful at times, but now I'm glad that I was kept from being squeezed into the mold.

I hate to even consider what my mother would have said if I'd told her I needed implants.

Which brings us back to our five teenage girls, no more than eighteen, with the "look" which marked them as being from here: delicate tattoos, perfect hair and anorexic figures. And although it isn't impossible to be stick thin with a fairly high bust size, it's unusual enough that these five would be statistically unlikely. (Actually, four; one was not quite so thin as the others, though you couldn't say she was overweight.) Combine the girls Brian and I saw at the mall, and augmentation seems to be part of the requirement for girls in 2000. Breast augmentation and a new Camarro.

Which, even having been to school here, I find unnerving.

When we were leaving, I almost literally ran into Chris. I'd just finished paying, and was putting my wallet in my purse as I headed for the doors, not paying attention, when he walked in. Fortunately he was. He was with some guys from the office, not including Larry, fortunately. I introduced Mary, and we talked for a second.

He asked if he could call me. I said thanks but it probably wouldn't be a great idea, and left with Mary.


(recreated from memory on 10-16-00)

Thunder and lightning this evening. I was reading at the time, lying on the bed, and Selky leaped up - more accurately, he was slinking in a vertical direction. Just a short hop into a flattened position on the bed. I held the sheet for him to sneak underneath.

It's good to see him so much better. He's taken to the food the vet prescribed for his weak kidneys, and has put on a little weight. He'll probably never be quite the lardball he used to be, but his coat is looking good, and his eyes are bright, even when they're terrified of the storm.

Later I sat outside, under shelter but in the rain, to work on my latest story and write this entry. (Both of which I lost the following day.) The storm had receded, but the rain was solid, and very welcome.