I spent this past weekend at SF Contario, a small and very writing-centered convention (as opposed to game-y or costume-y) at a hotel just on the edge of the Ryerson Campus. There was much hanging out with writers, and shop talk, and delightful analysis of the fiction we all love. And, of course, the conversation wandered into other kinds of stories: TV shows and films ranging from Battlestar Galactica to Veronica Mars to the little-known Eastwick with Paul Gross.
I also learned that GoH Seanan McGuire‘s favorite book is Stephen King’s IT, and we got to talk about why, and chew through some of the issues I raised with the book in my recent(ish) reread of the novel, “Grownups are the Enemy” for Tor.com.
Kelly and I also headed into Cabbagetown for what was really the first time, in search of an Italian restaurant we’d heard was the real deal. And Oh Emm Gee. If you’re ever in town and want to go to F’Amelia, I am so there. Two words: beet risotto. K, I think, got pictures. I was far too busy stuffing my face.
My day counting app also informs me that it has been 696 days since Kelly and I left for Italy. Man, I want to go back! It has even been just shy of a year (321 days, to be precise) since our last real vacation, a family gathering in Reno.
It feels like a year since Christmas. It’s a bit cold today, and the forecast gives us a 1 in 3 chance of snow. But apparently Toronto is like Vancouver in that the closer you are to downtown and the water, the less likely it is to give forth with what K calls the space lice. Even so, Glenn Gould is setting his cap against the wind:
A recent post by Snuffy about strategies for battling the blues (my phrase, not hers, and an oversimplification at that) heightened my awareness that there has been a lot of dull monastic virtue going on in the Dua household of late. We’re eating right and flossing and going to yoga. Early to bed, early to rise. With lots of work in between. I’ve gotten the copy-edits finished. I sent a story off yesterday. I’m about to embark on fifteen critiques for the current Novel I class.
This is the sort of lifestyle that leads to shit getting done but also sometimes, a general feelings of being unfabulous.
But tonight we’re going to partake, for good or ill, of Thor: The Dark World. Tomorrow there’s a Met in HD opera, Wednesday there’s the monthly ChiSeries reading, and next week we’re seeing Eddie Izzard.
I haven’t been posting much lately, and haven’t had the urge to post much, to be truthful. Some of that’s probably about Minnow’s having died; it’s the sort of thing that makes one turn inward, at least if that one is me. There’s also the fact that a few of the most dramatic things going on here are too personal to share, because of the other people involved. Or they’re work-related, and confidential as a result.
Having said that, it’s generally true that life is good and I am well. And I hope to just magically end up in a more communicative space soon, as time passes, things happen, and I get ’round to photodocumenting my every move once again.
In the meantime, here’s a picture from Nuit Blanche. Did I show you this already? I loved this installation, which was called Tanks, 2013:
Many of you probably already know that Minnow hasn’t been all that well for the past year, so I hope this isn’t too much of a shock. She declined a bit last week, got worse this week, and just now at the vet’s we agreed her time had come.
Here she is springing about in Vancouver a couple years ago.
As Rumble is such a jealous little bully, and we are so determined to spoil him, we will be violating our two-cat policy, and won’t be seeking a new baby. He is, as of now, our only child.
There are a large number of condos-in-progress in our neighborhood, and each of them, pretty much, has a display suite with a sales office. There’s one I pass four to five times a week which has annoyed me simply by being closed whenever I might be inclined to go in.
We aren’t necessarily gonna buy, or buy here, but it’s intelligence-gathering.
Anyway, said place–King Blue–was open to the public for Nuit Blanche and had actors doing the Romeo and Juliet farewell scene in their demo suite. I have no idea who these actors are, but they had smoking chemistry.
They also had the Hamlet gravediggers in their main sales center, but R&J were just plain better.
I bought the bag covered in cat butts in Rome, at the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary.
I bought it mostly to give money to the worthy cause of kibble, veterinary care and spaying for the cats of Rome, but it turned out that bag was not only the lightest, best-organized, all-around handiest purse-like object I’ve ever owned, but it got compliments wherever it went. Seriously. Women with fashion knowledge were all, like, “OMG, that bag!”
Had I known, I’d have bought five more and spread the kibble love.
Anyway. It’s been two years, just about, since Rome and the bag is dying. I contemplated calling Rome and having a pointless conversation in my appalling Italian: Avete … um, do you still have this bag? Would you consider shipping this bag? Does any of you cat-loving women know from Paypal? And then I got over myself and went to Kelly’s new fave bag store in the PATH.
There I found one bag that had the same double strap, of the same length, and virtually the same pockets. (It’s heavier, which is not a plus, but what can you do?) And what the heck, peeps? It too is covered in cats.
Will it garner the praise of its predecessor? Hard to say.
photo by Kelly Robson
A new bakery has opened in the neighborhood, by which I mean across the street.”https://www.facebook.com/Delysees”>Delysees is its name, and they have lovely-looking light french breads and wee little $4 sandwiches.
I have been questing after a Toronto macaron as good as the ones at The Bel Cafe in Vancouver, with no joy yet. They’re either too sugary or too stale-chewy or the flavor isn’t subtle enough. But Delysees has a promising entry in the dark chocolate category, velvety and rich, and not overly sweet. I have only failed to award the trophy because they don’t yet have a proper cooler for the things, so the meringue wasn’t crunchy on their opening day. And I’ve only tried the one flavor.
It’s been quite chilly in the mornings for a couple now, on the order of six or seven degrees when we leave the house at 7:30. Breezy, too. It’s easy to forget how windy Vancouver isn’t. I’ve broken out the tights and sweaters and am happy to see them. Summer having been so much warmer here, it feels like a long time since I saw the stuff.
Tonight we are headed to a book launch with Michelle; she’s got a friend named Priscilla Uppal who has a book out, Projection: Encounters With My Runaway Mother. It’s at a bar called No One Writes to the Colonel, which somehow sounds like a place where they check your cool at the door before deciding whether to let you in. Though I see it’s also a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novella.
I was out and about quite a bit this week, and often away from the Internet. Most of it was mentoring gig business–gearing up, essentially, to get back to my usual two days a week on that front. So there hasn’t been much in the way of pictures or posting.
We did go to the monthly ChiSeries reading on Wednesday; our friend Caitlin Sweet was reading from her new book, which is a) awesome; b) YA; c) about Ariadne and the Minotaur. As usual, Kari Maaren performed some new filky works between sets. Here’s her take on Disney princesses and the identity of the true princess of Star Wars.
In my home it is taken as a given (or, possibly, holy writ) that Ghostbusters is the most quotable movie ever. But yesterday I was grabbing a couple bites of grilled chicken for breakfast and I found myself saying, “I gotta get some chicken in me.”
Which is from Unbreakable. A movie I liked well enough to see several times when it was fairly new, but not enough to have watched again for years. The movie’s no longer a fave, and yet the line remains: a few times a year when we’re having or about to have chicken, or we’re hungry, one or the other of us will say it.
Media products do this: they fill your mind with heavily contextualized bookmarks, scraps of verbiage that come out when a certain situational trigger is pulled. Sometimes they’re universally recognizable; other times, they only make sense to you. Does anyone else have that chicken line embedded in their mental operating system? I doubt it. But many of you probably know and possibly use “Nuke the site from orbit!” or “They just keep pulling me back in!” or, more recently, “May the odds be ever in your favor,” to form connections with the people we’re talking to by drawing on our shared cultural experiences.
This morning when I was changing the sheets, Kelly asked if I needed help. “I have help,” I replied, which was my way of making a joke of the fact that Rumble had embedded himself in the process. He looooves to play with bed linens. He climbs under the fitted sheet and tries to see through it and bat at everything that passes overhead.
As I said this I thought, as I always do when someone’s being unhelpfully helpful: Good Smeagol always helps.
So. “Gotta get some chicken in me,” is the bit of Unbreakable that I carry around. If Bruce Willis’s character hadn’t been so taciturn, maybe I’d have something more memorable.