March 10th, 2003

self portrait

Dreams and portents

I blame minnehaha's party and last week's MarsCon party for this dream:

I'm wandering Surdyk's liquor store and they are, as they were when I was stocking for MarsCon, doing construction for a remodeling. I'm looking for a special wine but not a specific type. I describe my needs to a Surdyk's manager who takes me off to a sales associate to get what I need. The manager has the distinctive limp of someone who has limited use of one leg and probably a prosthetic. The sales associate is a pleasant young man in overalls who takes me to the first option, a lovely riesling for about $5 a bottle. While we're opening a bottle to try out, a female patron asks if she can have a taste. We take another of the ingenious little tasting glasses out. She finishes the wine in mine while I pour myself another in the new glass.

The glasses are nesting crystal wedges that I'm sure I've seen somewhere. You can hold them like a normal white wine glass but they have not stem and an asymmetrical lip. When you set them down they, of course, tip to one side, but because of their clever design, do not spill the liquid within, becoming, instead something like a three-quarter covered saucer. The glasses in my dream hold three-quarters of an ounce as there is some legal restriction that allows Surdyk's to serve any amount of servings that size without a liquor license.

While tasting, another sales associate comes over to demonstrate a new product. It's a thin sheet of something that looks like those corn-starch packing peanuts. He rolls it up and slowly inserts it into the bottle explaining that you can take any bottle of wine you like, insert this product, re-cork it for three hours and, when you open it again, you now have a sparkling wine without altering the taste of the wine. So it was like making a champagne out of any bottle of wine you liked. (I blame the trick of putting grapes and a chunk of dry ice into a 2-liter soda bottle to make carbonated grapes for this invention.)

I try two more varieties of wine, moving up in price, including a Mexican wine with a label that looked suspiciously like Kahlua. I pick one out and buy three bottles to take to a party. Then I and some friends board our conveyance, some kind of open hay cart holding both bales and loose hay and drawn by a gypsy cab-looking kind of car. We are proceeding south into Minneapolis from some distance along a city street. The trees are green and the sun is warm. We open one of the bottles of wine and share it around, having a fun ol' time.

Traffic stops up and a number of flying machines come by. Biplanes, blimps, and I think a human-powered machine. All are skywriting or carrying banners advertising some festival that's going on. A blimp comes by fairly low and begins playing music. Everyone around us begins singing along. We join in, waving our hands over our heads in time to the song. The hay cart rocks side to side as our weight shifts with the waving. I lay back, smiling, looking up into the sky and enjoying the rocking of the cart as I wave my hands in time.
  • Current Music
    Take The Bitter With The Sweet--Muddy Waters--Chess Blues Classics - 1957 To 1967
self portrait

Miracles of efficiency

I'm sure that it's my familiarity with PageMaker and lack thereof with Quark.

After working on a chapbook for Minicon for a couple of months, I finally got serious about getting the layout done this weekend. I know that work will be busy the next few weeks so I'll have little time to work on this. I got things mostly roughed out in Quark using one set of fonts that were close to what I wanted. Then I installed the PostScript fonts I really wanted to use and went to restyle things. Quark running in Classic mode on my iBook would not find the fonts for all my trying. And PDFs I tried to create were coming out crappy, of course, because of the lack of the PostScript fonts.

In desperation, I downloaded the free trial of Adobe's new InDesign, native to OS X. In about two hours I had everything re-done in the fonts I wanted. So now I have a rough layout of the interior, a clear PDF and relative joy in working with this product. I can see some of the Quark-like parts of it (which is a good thing), but its handling of the things that I wanted was much cleaner and more organized. I am so tempted to shill out the $700 for this program after this single use; can't afford that, however, and don't have any practical long-terms use for it at this point.
  • Current Music
    Walk Through My Door--Gaelic Storm--Tree