Laura Aguilar Milano took the summer off and disappeared in Hawaii. She is back in NYC, is training for the NYC Marathon, is currently looking for a job, and is ready to reenter the world. November 28th will mark the first year anniversary of her husband's death. The fund that was supposed to have been established at the Ronald McDonald House in Manhattan has been redirected. Laura, in cooperation with Dan's parents, has established a fund to sponsor an annual concert at Brown University, where both she and Dan were undergraduates. Dan was a member of the Brown Jazz Band, and both Dan and Laura met in a student Latin-Jazz band, Salsa Manteca, while studying there. The first memorial concert will be held on December 5th, 1998. Laura hopes that classmates and friends from SAIS will be able to attend to celebrate Dan's life. Questions about details of the concert may be directed to Matthew McGarrell, Director of the Brown Jazz Band, (401)863-3763. Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the fund may direct it to BROWN UNIVERSITY, DANIEL ADAM MILANO MEMORIAL FUND. The address is Brown University, Box 1877, Providence, RI 42912. Laura may be contacted at 150 West 74th Street, Apt. B, New York, NY 10583. She wishes to express her gratitude to everyone who has provided comfort and support during this difficult period. Thank you.

It's late in the evening and I haven't eaten dinner. The skies are gray and rain-sodden as they have been all summer. I'm waiting to be edited on a story that was once fun but that's now a drag because too many people got involved.

So what do I do?

Pick up some light reading: ``Semiconductors Technology Tutorial,'' sent to me courtesy of a kindly Goldman Sachs analyst.

This is not a joke.

Don't get me wrong. In a slightly masochistic way, I adore what I do. How else would I be able to go into a shop to buy beer with Eurof and get calls on a mobile asking questions on a story about Siemens AG's one billion deutschmark fuck-up. OK, that one was about semiconductors too, but just look at the money, honey.

I get to go on telly. It's only CNBC, but I've been told that my plummy English accent makes me sound authoritative. I don't know if that's true, but it's nice to know there's something that obscures my deep ignorance about many of the things I write about. That's technology, if you hadn't guessed.

Why am I telling you this? This is a good question (clearly three years at the WSJ has taught me something). Unfortunately I can't answer it. Picking up ``Semiconductors Technology Tutorial,'' -- complete with a ``review of key processes needed to manufacture semiconductors,'' and ``profiles of European companies with all/majority of the earnings derived from semiconductors,'' -- bought a moment of calm, I suppose. I didn't get the usual angst-induced palpitations about where my life is going. I didn't feel the need to tear home and leaf through the racier parts of a Henry Miller novel I'm reading.

That could potentially make me a deeply boring dinner guest, but that only happens when I get overexcited about enterprise software and a funny company called Baan. Its founder is Jan Baan (say Jaaahn Baaaahn). His brother is called Paul, which unfortunately isn't as funny. Martina Ban, who isn't related, didn't find it amusing when I told her, so maybe my sense of humor is failing. But back to the point, which is why I started this rambling note: We like life right now. It'll get better when I go to Oregon with Stefan and the loverly Kimberley and fish for trout and drink cheap bear and shoot small furry animals.

Sighs.

In case you were wondering, the European companies with all/majority of the earnings derived from semiconductors are STMicroelectronics NV and ASM Lithography NV.

I have returned to this side of the continent and I am HAPPY. I am engaged to my Marine now. I left him in Monterey to finish his studies while I got set up in DC for our Sep 99 move. However, I found that what I need to do is get my PhD, so I am going to make lots of money this year and go back to school in SEP99. I look forward to checking out the SAIS NY scene as soon as I get settled. I have heard from two of the soccer playing italians -- Andrea and Stefano. I think they found me via hotmail, which is where they are. Check you all later.

As it has been awhile since (1) I read the page and (2) submitted to it, I thought "what the heck," and as it looks about to storm, I figured I had better write quickly, send this message, log off, and unplug my computer to keep it from frying.

Ah, summers in DC.

(At least it's not the summer of the 17-year cicada, which I am told is a few years from now. Believe me when I say I shall be gone by then. No plagues of locusts for me, thank you.)

August is bringing with it more tourists than I can bear, particularly as I live right next to Pentagon City Mall (have to walk through its food court, in fact, to get to my apartment) and work near (enough) to the White House. But it's great adding interns to my fledgling publications staff (no, they needn't wear berets and knee-pads, thank you, and yes, I do get enough "Monica" jokes), and I will miss them sorely when it is just my assistant and I pounding out books. Alas.

Unfortunately, no rest (yet) for the wicked; Adam and I are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon but not until September. We are saving up vacation time for our really big next vacation: Israel and Jordan, next March.

Which, actually, is why I write. If anyone out there in webland has visited the Holy Land and has recommendations, please write. And if anyone is IN the Holy Land (or plans to be at that time), PLEASE write! It's always nice to see a friendly face (rumour has it that Mojgan is out there, in Haifa I believe? Or has she returned Stateside?).

Anyway, no other news to speak of, and I don't feel creative enough to make up any. Enjoy the summer! Ciao amici!