On a more horrifying note, my mother's home caught on fire. She's OK, as is the dog. A faulty heater set the bathroom ablaze and wrecked the back half of her home, and the roof. Her clothes and carpeting are ruined. Here's the amazing thing: For her birthday last Sunday, I sent her a Mexican bingo game and a Virgin Mary bracelet. The fire stopped at the bracelet and all her paintings -- 100 or so -- were spared from fire, smoke and water. She is also lucky enough to have a friend who is putting her up in his empty apartment, but she still needs a bed -- if you live in the Port Townsend/Seattle area and have a bed she can borrow until we figure out what's happening, please let me know.
PS -- Tonight Malcolm Gladwell introduced me to his parents and gave me a piece of dark chocolate. I was all tongue-tied. And at dinner, by happenstance, I sat at the bar of Cappy's, ordered my lobster and began talking to the woman next to me. Turns out she's married to Richard "Empire Falls" Russo, who won a Pulitzer Prize. This is all surreal. The nexus of all my favorite things and people. I will probably meet God tomorrow.