Hello Card  -  Volume 17  -  John Card Number 0  -  Fri, Dec 14, 1990 10:32 AM

I feel as if I've spent most of the last two months sitting in front of my computer writing programs and voice cards. But I did manage to get out of the house once or twice.

I even managed to have an adventure. A woman I met at Squaw Valley named "Pam-the-world-traveller," came to visit me for a few days while inspecting Missoula's MFA program. Although only 32, Pam has been all over the world. She has hitched rides with the Red Army in Tibet and gotten shot at in South Africa and speaks Japanese like a native. She is also an excellent cook and managed to fill my refrigerator with gyoza and exotic curries before she left.

We spent some time in Missoula (which is about 100 miles from command central). While there we stumbled into a subterranean shrine/theatre/wedding chappel called "The Chappel of the Dove." It's all that remains of what was once the finest opera house between Minneapolis and San Francisco. The little old man who runs it has errected a shrine to his pet pigeon (and to his wife, who was some kind of diva). Pam and I were the only ones who showed up to see David Lynch's new film and so we got a private screening. The place absolutely defies words. I can honestly say that it was the strangest evening I've ever spent.

My mother's new house is now open for business and in fact we celebrated Thanksgiving Dinner there. It was a rather strange day because my great uncle, who had been quite eager to join us, became suddenly ill, and my mother and I spent all afternoon checking him into the Emergency Room. This left our guests high and dry and our Turkey in great peril. I had to drive all the way back to the house with my great uncle's dog licking my hand every time I changed gears. But by nightfall all the guests were fed and happily circled around a roaring fire beneath the cathedral ceiling. My great uncle, unfortunately, continues to linger in the hospital.

And my life at Canyon Creek has changed in another drastic way this Autumn: I am no longer alone. After many delays and failed stratagems I have finally re-inherited my two cats: Aristippus and Grimalken. Paul and I raised them when we were living together at Foothill Place; those of our friends who visited us then will remember how destructive they were. I managaed to pawn them off on my parents for many years, but my mother has no intention of letting them anywhere near her new house, and Dad would skin them alive if I let him, and since I won't they are mine once again. They have made themselves quite at home and Aristippus insists on sleeping on my lap whenever I try to write voice cards. In short: Entropy is increasing very fast around here these days.

My work on the Billing Package is at last reaching a (happy) conclusion (although there may be a sequel in the works). I have just ordered myself a modem so that Paul and I can begin to experiment with future Archipelago technology. I'll keep you all posted.

Snow is coming down and Christmas is right around the corner. See you all in '91!