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Making Coffee, Giving Prizes–and a Dog–What could be more perfect?

The Alberta Clipper has hit Chicago a month early–with temperatures of -3 to +9 forcast for December 13.  So I want to think about lighter things, and just a few that have come along in the last few months.

First of all, thanks to everyone who played the “V I’s Lover” contest.  Our completely arbitrary band of judges awarded the prize of a signed copy of Body Work and a pound of V I (and Sara’s) favorite coffee to Mihael Franich.  We’ll be getting the package off to him ASAP.

Mihael Franich understands the poetry deep inside V I

There were other great answers: Kristen McAlear put in a passionate and wonderful tribute to Jake Thibaut:I have to say I think Jake is the one V.I. should be with. He fits what she’s missing the  most in her life, that touch of refinement and music that she carefully guards when not out facing ‘hard knocks’. As much as the dogs and Mr. Contreras, music has kept her grounded, human and sane. Her other lovers have been as equally reckless or involved in as dangerous of situations as she is, making it difficult to find the balance of who needs to support whom when times get tough.

Rachel Benoit was equally eloquent on Morrell’s behalf:Morrell!  Without a question.  

He is V.I.’s moral equal, and that is saying a lot.  V.I. is willing to sacrifice her time, her body, even her relationships on occasion in the name of what is right.  Morrell shares that moral drive.  His career also takes up a lot of his time and takes him around the world, which not only puts him in a position to be tolerant of V.I.’s own case commitments, but gives them both the space they need as fiercely independent individuals.  In addition to this geographical space, there is also a separation between Morrell and V.I.’s fields of work, so that their projects do not often come into direct conflict (as with Conrad, Murray).

Morrell also shares V.I.’s taste for fine dining and wine if I remember correctly, and gets along well with Lotty & her partner.  He can mix with her closest friends, and that is very important in a relationship.

Murray and Morrell both got several votes from other readers.  Terry Utas put in a vote for my choice, Conrad Rawlings, and Pekka Makkonen put in a word for V I’s first lover, Ralph Devereux: I would like Roger Ferrant from Killing Orders make an reappearance. If that would need Ajax to be part of the plot why not bring Robin Bessinger from Burn Marks to be there too and of course Ralph Devereux could come back for third time (lucky?). And of course Conrad Rawlings and Morrell are the most memorable ones but that’s no reason to pick them as lifetime partners for VI. And where’s Murray? Murray would perhaps be too easy choice, but want to see more of him too at least once more. Perhaps a crime plot involving Murray? And the new guy was ok in Hardball.

Ralph got shot in the left shoulder for doubting V I on Indemnity Only; in the right shoulder for doubting her in Total Recall.  The next time he shows up he may be plugged smack in the middle!

I was on tour from August 6 to November 1 and in the middle of that time, my camera, my cellphone and my cappuccino machine all went on the fritz.  I bought new ones, none of which I can figure out (the Blackberry will not sync with my Mac no matter what I or my consultant try.) But priorities are priorities.  I took one of my brief days at home mid-tour to ask Jeff Batchelder from Intelligentsia coffee in Chicago–where VI and I get our beans, to give me an in-home lesson in how to use my new machine.  Here we are in my cappuccino annex:

Jeff oversees Sara's efforts with the new "Brewtus" brute of a machine

Callie Supervises the Whole Process

Finally, Callie the Wonderdog was featured in the November-December issue of Bark Magazine.  The article about her is only available in the newxstand edition, not online–sorry, folks, because it’s a very fun story.

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