Category Archives: True Stories

Anecdotes from my past and present.

Why Moving is Cool… (Toronto, day 466)

Last week I developed a sudden burning need to rewatch the first five minutes of “Mountie on the Bounty,” a Due South episode from about midway through the Ray Kowalski years. In Due South fandom, you are generally either RayK or a Ray Vecchio fan; I’m the latter, and didn’t acquire the DVDs after The One True Ray had left the building.

Youtube, however, has the opening of MotB, which sets Fraser and RayK atop a very tall building, in a gunfight which they’re losing, and midway through the process of maybe getting killed, Fraser comes up with the bright idea of jumping off the building and into what–since this is Chicago–should be Lake Michigan. They do it. Ray, who can’t swim, is Officially Unimpressed.

Anyway, I brought up the clip. Bang, bang, yell, yell, and… jump!

And there was something shiny and new! In a piece of television which I’ve probably watched… oh, hey, let’s not even guess the number of times. I recognized the building! Because the role of Chicago was, naturally, being played by the city of Toronto, and now that I live here I recognized the very tall building as one of my favorite photographic subjects, the Canada Malt silo on the shore of Lake Ontario.

And, yes! I am right. Proof!

I’d see so much more, I realize, if I dipped into a proper DS rewatch.

A-readin’, A-repairin’, A-Kithmetic

Last night I read at the regular ChiSeries event, along with Sarah Tolmie, Charlene Challenger, and Errick Nunnally. (I noticed, but forgot to say, that all of us but Errick read pieces that eventually took their characters to big empty rooms with mattresses on the floor, which seems an odd coincidence.)

I wasn’t sure how many people would make it, what with Worldcon just having ended, but a fair number of the usual marvelous suspects were there. Hugs were exchanged, socializing happened, the food and music were good and as usual Kari Maaren and Peter Chiykowski sang original genre-themed songs between the readers.

(This isn’t the song Peter sang last night, but it’s a good representation of what I’ve heard of him.)

Other things that have happened recently…

Two friendly, burly guys came by Monday, took our apartment door right off its hinges, and vanished with it to the parkade for an hour before reinstalling the thing. If you ever want to feel weirdly vulnerable, try out having no front door for awhile. All of this was in service of trimming the bottom of the door so that Kelly and I can get out and in reliably. (I can’t remember if I told you all about some of our recent adventures in having to have the door kicked in, OMG, on one occasion, and on another having our floor installer break in through a window when the door proved too mighty to be kicked.

The repair process isn’t quite complete–the jamb needs some work, too, it turns out. But it should be soon. Friday soon, is the plan. (And then there are other little things – a closet door, the dishwasher… ah, new homes.)

Anyway, it will be nice to not worry about getting trapped inside or outside the house sometime.

I gave in to curiosity and weighed Lorenzo this morning, and he’s 7.8 bristlin’ pounds to CinCin’s still-wide-eyed 4.7. He is all string and muscle and teen boy attitude, with no cush whatsoever. When he comes to me for love, he rolls off my upper body unless I brace him–he’s so taut he can’t melt into me. Imagine having a warm medicine ball, with whiskers, trying to make itself comfortable on your ribcage.

Me and the Kittens

He spent 20 minutes this morning trying out various poses, and eventually discovered that if he lay parallel to my collarbones and braced his weight against my throat, he could hang out for awhile. It was so delightful to be snuggled that I let him do it. What’s a little asphyxia when set against the goal of having cats who are abundantly physically affectionate, right?

Terms of endearment (the kittens’ many nicknames)

image
CinCin
Fairy Cat
Clownface
Clownfish
Urchin
CheeChee Feathers, or sometimes Mrs. CheeChee Feathers.

Runt (though she weighs over 2 kilos now, CinCin was definitely the runt of her litter. She got weighed on Wednesday during her abortive spay attempt. We haven’t tried to weigh Lozo lately,  but he’s at least a third bigger. And feels like warm, muscular concrete.)

Speaking of whom…

Lozo
Lozo Bambino
Lozo Magnifico
Larry
‘Renzo
Munchkin
Michelin Man – because he’s muscular and taut as an overinflated tire.

Either/Or/Both:
Flip and Flop
Fric and Frac
Thing One and Thing Two
i Bambini

I know you all needed, desperately, to know this.

We also need to come up with an alto part for the Parry Gripp song “Weiner Dog,” because CinCin comes running whenever we play the video or sing it ourselves, and I think hearing it in two part harmony would blow her tiny little mind. She likes things with soprano notes, go figure.

CinCin is still fertile and still feisty… eek!

SONY DSCCinCIn didn’t have her operation yesterday after all. Our very conscientious vet didn’t like the looks of her blood work. She may have picked up a parasite, so we’re deworming. Again. The other stat that’s out of whack is something they often see in growing kittens, so we’re supposed to a) not worry overmuch; and b) bring her back in a month.

She is just as bouncy and happy and apparently healthy as ever. Here’s hoping she doesn’t go into heat before we can get Lozo fixed.

In other news, I just opened my third support ticket with Canada Post in an attempt to deal with the fact that they aren’t forwarding our mail. Iconcluded it with a blatant threat, to wit:

You essentially have until I find time to write a hilarious blog entry about this for my author site, Facebook and other social media to either resolve the situation or refund our $92.60.

I rarely get what I want in life by being bitchy, but the fact that they tweeted unhelpful advice back at me about this problem, using the hashtag #cpcares, has been something of a red flag in my eyes.

The fact that the person who called me said, basically, “We are so doing it! And if we aren’t, we can’t find out why not because… well… computers.” That also didn’t help.

Tomato attacks and other posts of postage

Uno: CinCin goes for her little operation tomorrow. Lozo is scheduled for four weeks hence. I would give so much to be able to explain why, to cats about the veterinarian. I know I’m not alone there.

What new toy is this, cat mommies?

Due: Though I often like to cook with crime shows playing as background noise, I had recently been quietly beating myself up for watching So! Much! TV! during daytime hours. Then I realized the reason I blew through S4 of The Killing in two weeks is that it was only six episodes long.

Tre: Once again my freezer has filled up with red things. When I’m not paying attention, I end up squirreling away meal after meal with tomato-based sauce. I need me some white, green and orange, stat! (Quick and dirty somewhat healthy leftover intensive recipe suggestions are always appreciated.)

Quattro: This morning’s writing session was good for 850 words.

Buffalo and Rochester, I heart you!

Are you in Buffalo? This is your chance to hit the Barnes & Noble for a signed copy of Child of a Hidden Sea!

My weekend tour of upstate New York went very well: the folks at both bookstores were lovely and welcoming, and I was delighted with Buffalo and Rochester. The high point was, as always, getting to talk to readers and fans in both cities. One fellow brought in the book he’d bought the week before. He knew I was coming, but he couldn’t wait to start reading Child of a Hidden Sea. This is, of course, the kind of thing an author hopes to hear hear everywhere we go.

There was some great food and good exploring to be hand, and the next best thing was the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. This gallery has a mind-bogglingly wonderful collection, and Kelly and I spent two hours boggling at one thing after another after another.

As we usually do, especially if there’s a border crossing involved, we left ridiculously early on Saturday morning. It’s one of those “just in case” things that you feel a little sheepish about. And indeed, we were super-early for my B&N appearance in Amherst. But then on Sunday it took six hours to get home, which completely vindicated the ludicrous overachieving.

It was wonderful to get away and see new things, and the cats were extremely well cared for by a neighbor (the one who told us about their existence and need for a home in the first place.) So much goodness and good fortune! I am feeling very blessed.

That Escalated Quickly…

imageMe: Maybe this is a hoaxy thing, but Orlando Jones just sent me a friend request on Facebook.

K: Really?

Me: His page looks pretty legit.
Both: Random murmuring about Sleepy Hollow and how would we know if it was a real page or not. Then…

K: Maybe he read your book!

Me: Maybe he wants to play Parrish!

Both: Faint, coo, imagine the advance money, giggle, realize this is ridiculous, climb back up off the kitchen floor and sit back down to breakfast.

K: Orlando Jones is too old to play Parrish.

A: Sadly, yes. Pretty enough, but a little too old.

K: He could play Cly though.

Both: OMG OMG Eeee! Die.

Kittens: ?

Yes, we are deranged.

Oh, Tish! No new business!

gomez

The phrase “Project Gomez” has solidified within my mind as a catchphrase or mantra for not embarking on any new non-fiction or blogging projects until I’ve cleared away at least some of the things I’ve already agreed to.  Since I like to say yes to everything, this means I need to kick it into gear. Two things must be done for every new thing I agree to!

Luckily, Kelly and I have tasked ourselves to a whole lot of chilling out and self-care this weekend: writing, yoga, perhaps the occasional nap. This should mesh well with clearing away a little of the mental clutter.

It has, at times, been a challenging week. I’ve already told you all about the clusterfrack of petty annoyances that was my Monday. Tuesday the floor got fixed (win!) but in the process the floor dudes solved the mystery of why our front door jams… by jamming it so hard that, in the end, we had to break into the apartment. The door got broken in the process, so there will be unexpected expense. (Fail.)

Wednesday we found out that the audit of our 2013 moving expenses had gone reasonably well (win!) and I got soaked to the skin in a thoroughly exhilarating rainstorm (tie! Because I was cold, but it rained so hard I couldn’t see. Which was amazing! But, boy, I was wet all the way to the back of my belly-button!)

Wednesday was also a three-event circus of day–I went to see Caitlin Sweet answer questions about her writing process at the U of T (she has blogged about the experience here), and then bolted home because the cats had a play date with their fairy godmother, a.k.a. the woman in whose grandma’s yard our babies were born. To cap the day we got to go to Charlene Challenger’s book launch for The Voices In Between. ChaCha is a terrific writer, and a delightful person. The event was fun and her reading was super-fantastic.

Here’s a super-brief snippet of her awesome reading.