New Year Miracles

Kage Baker had the most fabulous and unique skill, as I have previously mentioned, of making things happen. Or maybe it was a magnetic quality of some sort; some capacity as a nexus-generator – her gaze on a subject, her interest in a place or a song or an unusual food would summon it out of the aether. Deus plasmator, that was Kage. Causal static would resolve into access for her.

It seems to work a little in reverse, too … she loved Nepenthe Restaurant, near Big Sur, with all her heart; we went there several times a year, and she checked its deskside live cam every day. She liked to see the tourists out there, the happy crowds after dark during Halloween and Christmas and New Year’s, all light and life and raised wine glasses on that lit deck above the Pacific. But I check it every day, and you know what? There has been hardly anyone there this year.

There were strange lights in the oak woods beyond it; there were mysterious figures of shadow and spectral light glimpsed crouched beside the railing in the twilight (I have photographs …). There were coloured umbrellas and happy luncheon crowds and dinner parties. Now it’s mostly empty and dark, and I haven’t seen a shadow man in months.

I hope it’s just resting. I wouldn’t want the place to suffer from the lack of Kage’s actintic gaze on it. And there a few unexpected miracles of coincidence – just the sort she always seemed to find – suddenly popping up this past week of the New Year …

Beach glass, for instance. I just found a reference on http://boingboing.net to a guy who has found a way to mass-produce DIY beach glass – he wants to make a garden path for his house, and wants lots of it in a hurry. He does it in an honest way, too, with water and sand and an old low-tech cement mixer – look it up here, and see how he’s doing it:

http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/beachglass

I love Turkish Delight. While it’s not especially hard to find, getting really good Turkish Delight is not easy. Applets and Cotlets, while delicious, are just not the same – they taste so … not exotic. There is no flavour of Byzantium in them. It’s probably the blueberries – a more gingham and denim fruit does not exist. There are Middle Eastern markets all over Los Angeles (especially in Glendale and Burbank) and they do carry it – but, surprise! It’s all made in Turkey and imported. And though it is wrapped up and sealed, it’s – well, not fresh.

But! Now there is a family in Glendale making it right freaking there! Only blocks from where I live! They’re neighbors, for heaven’s sake! Check this out:

http://www.norylokum.com

Kage would be delighted. And I, personally, would like to think that maybe I can still crank a little juice out of her laser attention, and get it focused on a few choice projects. Beach glass and Turkish delight are not a bad start.