I made it home without incident. I was indeed really tired, but that just made me drive more carefully. The main side-effect of the extra pill was that I had a horrible case of cottonmouth and had to drink water constantly, which also meant that I had to use every fracking rest stop between Berkeley and Reno. On the other hand, at least I knew I wasn't dehydrated.
It's good to be home with Gary and the cats, back in my own bed and surrounded by my own mountains. I had two nice packages waiting for me. The first was my contributor's copies of Rich Horton's Science Fiction: The Best of the Year 2006, which contains my story "The Fate of Mice." That story is also in Jonathan Strahan's Science Fiction: The Very Best of 2005, and it's the title story of my forthcoming collection, a link to which you'll find in the sidebar.
The second package contained my third pair of Keen Newport sandals. I have oddly sized and shaped feet, along with flat feet and bad ankles, and I've always had trouble finding shoes that fit and are comfortable. This past March, Gary and I went to Maui with our friend Katharine, who'd just gotten a pair of Newports for the trip, and when we got home, I bought a blue pair. I liked them so much that I then bought a red pair. Now I own a brand new black pair. (I also have a pair of Keen running shoes.)
Keens fit perfectly out of the box. I've never had a blister from them; they're incredibly comfortable. They're very adjustable and fit a huge range of foot widths (although they do run small, so you have to order half a size up from your normal size). They're waterproof and machine washable, guaranteed for 1,000 washings. And they're funky looking. And I'll be able to wear them in cold weather too, because you can wear them with socks.
I don't advise ordering off a website unless you've already tried on a pair and know you like them, but if you haven't tried them on, you might want to think about it. Everybody's selling them now, so they're readily available.
And, finally, let's hear it for Gregory Boyd, the conservative evangelical pastor who lost a fifth of his congregation by backing away from politics and refusing to support the war. "When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross." I don't agree with all of his positions, but on that one I can say, "A-MEN, brother!"
Note: this is in no way intended as criticism of our troops. It's criticism of the decisions that have put them where they are. Salon just published Anthony Bourdain's gorgeous and heartbreaking piece about being trapped in Beirut, and his comments about the kindness and professionalism of the Marines -- the people who finally got him and his co-workers out of there -- brought tears to my eyes.