February 7th, 2008


A really cool person who really needs help

It's time to support one worth supporting.

One of my favorite authors is Caitlin R. Kiernan (who inhabits LJ World as greygirlbeast). She's gone public with a major health issue: she has PNES, or psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. This makes it hard for her to work. She is a freelance novelist with no health insurance (as is true for most freelance novelists). She needs medical attention to get better, and again, no insurance, so: Money. Will. Help. You can:

* Donate to her PayPal tip jar.

* Participate in her eBay auctions.

* Subscribe to her monthly short-erotica mailing, Sirenia Digest.

* Buy her books: new editions of Silk (1998), Threshold (2001, and who none other than Guillermo Del Toro considered making into a film), Low Red Moon (2003, and one of my personal favorites of hers), and Daughter of Hounds (2007). Or pre-order (as I have) her ultimate, finally-exactly-the-way-she-wants-it edition of her short story collection Tales of Pain and Wonder.

* Buy dolls and such from Kathryn "Spooky" Pollnac, her partner (humglum on LJ), via Spooky's Etsy page. She's a piece of work and a worthy person in her own right. (Ooh, here's an example of her doll work; that one's been sold.)

* Buy a T-shirt for a band that doesn't exist! For Silk Caitlin invented the band Stiff Kitten, and one result was that smile-causing shirt. The distributor, especially for this situation, has upped the commission Caitlin gets for each shirt sold.

Caitlin is vouched for by people like Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, Poppy Z. Brite, and Christa Faust; talented people who appreciate her and her talent. I've given Caitlin's work to people as gifts (like this time). Her writing is a gift. So's she.

When I get home tonight, I'll donate (I only make financial transactions from one computer, and my work computer's not it). I hope you can do something as well, even if it's simply passing along this message.

Montage-inspired randomosity

This afternoon I detoured waaaaaaay around the two car accidents I could see from OHSU's upper tram station (including a sedan partly stuck under a tanker truck on the west end of the Ross Island Bridge) to walk a good chunk of my commute home. Wanting a treat to celebrate my positive annual work review ("Meets Expectations"! Woo hoo! I must celebrate with meat!), I decided on a special dinner at Le Bistro Montage. The name sounds fancy, but it's not overly fancy: let's put it this way, the adjoining bar is called Le Merde. The food I got was good stuff: chicken/andouille sausage gumbo with cornbread, and a passion fruit-orange-guava juice.

What follows is what I noticed while waiting for food:

* I arrived about 20 minutes before the 6:00 opening. A man showed up five minutes later, and became second in line. He said he used to live in Portland, and visits Montage when he's back in town. He talked about being there one Fourth of July when the staffers were setting off big fireworks in the industrial-area street next to the restaurant.

* "This is the sound of me not knowing what to say." -- Me after he told me the Montage's original owner had died from brain injury while in police custody.

* After a few women had arrived as well, this exchange occurred: "Not open?" one woman asked. "Soon," I said. "No," I added, "they'll just hold the dishes up to the window. It's...it's like food porn." "Nine ninety-five to wave it at us!" the man added.

* They did indeed open the door, and we did indeed enter, and ordering commenced...except for the special, the steak linguini. I learned this when one of the cooks yelled from the kitchen "Hey! What is it about steak that's not grabbing any of you?!" Another cook said, less loudly, "It's like a hoity-toity beef stroganoff. Order it." Was it ordered later? I guess I'll never know...

* And maybe the alligator-meat dishes were ordered. Or not. I don't know that either. "Reason for me to go to New Orleans," I told the man. "Eat alligator. And visit friends." (Hi, aoniedesade!)

* As seen in a couple of examples above, the Montage staff is known for its boldness. And creativity, too: leftovers get wrapped in foil sculptures, made to look like various animals: geese, lobsters, whatever.

* Walking to the bus line home afterwards, I passed a clearly-closed restaurant with the "OPEN" sign still in the window. "Eating in the dark," I said. "It's the new thing." (And apparently I'm not joking.)