Second, I am a dirty rotten liar or at least mistaken: markgritter wanted to grill tonight instead of having chicken soup, so we did, and also it's very difficult to make oatmeal raisin cookies when someone has eaten all the raisins and didn't buy oats even though they were on his last grocery list. So: tomorrow. I will go to the store in the morning and come home and make cookies in the afternoon. (This has the pleasant property of allowing me to abort-mission on the cookies and serve poor Mike -- and also porphyrin and Roo, but I spoil them differently -- ice cream for his dessert if it turns out I don't have time for cookies.)
Third, something hit me when I was looking at the comments you-all made in response to my noir question. I'm not doing a pure noir or pastiche, is the thing: I'm using some of the elements and some not. The setting is not this world at all. So sometimes noirish stuff just can't happen that way, and sometimes it can happen in a fun similar way, and sometimes it's dead on. The thing that hit me as I was reading along is: where are the middle-aged women? All the women are "dames" and "dishes." They may be the plucky unnoticed brunette secretary or the blonde femme fatale, but they're all youngish sex symbols. I had heard people talking about middle-aged women being invisible, and I think this is what they mean. A wisecracking waitress, maybe, or someone's mother, but an actual character? Where? How? It just doesn't go.
I can't write a novel without middle-aged women. I don't mean I don't want to, although that, too. I mean I can't. Even my YA novels have middle-aged women who are people, though not main characters kind of by the default of the form. (Or to put it another way, if the main character was middle-aged of any flavor, I would probably decide that what I had was an adult novel rather than a YA.) But in the culture I'm dealing writing about, if you tried to treat a middle-aged woman as invisible, she would have the wherewithal to demand and receive satisfaction of you for it. In this culture, middle-aged women's honor does not come from not sleeping with anyone but their husbands. I mean, duh. Why would it?
(Honor can matter a great deal in a noir book. Mostly by its absence, but that counts.)
I didn't think about it that way when I was writing the first stuff related to this world, and I likely won't much later. I didn't think about it that way with my other worlds, either, and I don't expect to in the future unless something brings it up like this noir stuff did. I think that's probably a good thing. I think it's a good deal worse to have to sit down and consciously remember that a large category of people do, in fact, count as people. Still, their noir absence looks very strange all of a sudden.