Thursday, January 19, 2006

gifts unbidden

The holidays and my natal day are long past but wonderful gifts continued to arrive, up until yesterday. This is quite stunning to me because I am used to receiving very few gifts, and certainly none beyond a certain point, thinking that the number of gifts one gets is inversely proportional to one's age.

A black cowboy hat from Nikki - I actually wanted to wear this with my new barong tagalog at a wedding, put on an SoCal accent, and pretend I was an obnoxious FilAm relative who just stepped off the plane. Or, if I'm I'm the only one with a hat, I can channel Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line. Or (heh) if there's another guy with a hat... Brokeback Mountain (LOL)

A Hellboy Zippo lighter from Vin - With art by Mike Mignola (one of my favorite artists and storytellers), this black matte firestick is ubercool. The problem now is paranoia, as in I'm so concerned that it will slip out of my pocket or that I'll leave it on a table somewhere. My last Zippo was a 4 bar in college, and I remember the anguish of losing it.

Books from Banzai Cat - A hardcover anthology edited by Hartwell and an edition of William Hope Hodgson's classic The House on the Border Land to add to my must-read pile (I must confess that the only copy of "House" I leafed though was a comic book). The Hartwell antho even has one of my favorite Le Guin stories, "The Rule of Names".

A Silly Putty pancake and an illustrated book from Sage - First, Silly Putty is really not meant for Manila's climes. Here it is quite a sticky icky frightening mess. But shaped by my daughter's hand into a pancake, I will accept it as the most delicious thing in the world ("No, Dad! Don't eat it! It's just pretend!").

She also presented me with her first book - a series of self-illustrated pages which she wrote also wrote. It's called "The Gingerbread Family and the Rosy Day". Her mommy helped with the title, but it's Sage who wrote "Once upon a time", and who narrated every page she drew, ending with "The End". It precious and utterly wonderful.

A Tarot reading from Buddha - Being a Superstitious businessman, I had many silent questions asked of the cards and the general picture painted is positive, so that's good. The future is certainly unknowable, but every little conceit that points to a better tomorrow is always welcome.

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A pen from Tals - Tals, a dear old friend, does marketing work for Fully Booked, and the chance to touch base with her after so long was welcome. I thanked her for their support of our books (and yes, it was quite a thrill seeing the specfic volume, Passion and Project: Hero there). She reminded me of the Gaiman contest and I did my best to smile enigmatically. Apparently, entries have already been submitted and they explore the range, from drivel to excellence.

A broiler/oven from Reb - Reb is my chef sister, one of the top corporate chefs in the country (check out last month's F&B mag). With her gift, I can at last prepare turbo chicken, with all the drippings (yum).

It's really too much for me, and I'm very thankful.


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