Saturday was our fiftieth day here in the big city, and I am definitely beginning to have a sense of things having settled. The apartment is squared away and I’m finding some satisfying routines. I’m starting to feel, for Downward Dog, the first wisps of the deep affection I felt for Open Door Yoga in Vancouver.
The landscapes are still incredibly new, of course. There is no place I can go where I’ve seen and noticed everything. By chance we spent both this past Saturday and the one before walking north up Bathhurst Street . . . and on the most recent jaunt, I saw this, which I’d totally missed the first time.
I’m building up my mental maps of the neighborhood, but there’s an enormous novelty factor. It’s exciting, because there’s always something new to see. Touristy, you know? But it also means there’s rarely a moment where I can lapse into walking on auto-pilot.
In other news, my latest session of Creating Universes, Building Worlds has opened up at the UCLA Writers’ Extension Program. (I didn’t announce registration this time simply because class filled so quickly.) I’m looking forward to meeting a new crop of writers and seeing what they write this summer.
Finally, and on a related topic, I’m not doing the Clarion West Write-a-Thon. I love this event, but the things I need to accomplish right now don’t lend themselves well to a Thon.
Buffy’s back from the dead this week on my weekly rewatch, which means I have two to go. Two seasons, that is. I’m headed into the grimmer stuff now, but remember these latter seasons as still having had some hysterically funny lines and character moments; I’m looking forward to rediscovering those.
The process of moving has turned out to be rather endless in terms of fiddly paperwork details. Connecting up people we pay–like our insurer, for example, and our RRSP guys–to the new bank accounts has been a mind-numbingly dull and rather tedious process. Yesterday I realized our old condo manager had taken our strata fees out of the Vancouver bank account, as usual, so I’m also chasing a refund, with the very kind assistance of our realtor.
I also have a pile of receipts waiting to be data entered so I can figure out how much we actually spent moving. This is important and exciting because when you relocate more than 40 km for work reasons, you get to write a whole whacking chunk of things off your taxes.
So, if you ever heave yourself halfway across the country, give yourself a generous dicking-around allowance, timewise. And consider the tax return, if it comes together, your pay for this fun temporary job.
Enough with the boring details! Here is a dog photo, sort of, that I found very cute.
Going to Montreal to see Camille Alexa and Claude Lalumiere made for a nice break from the paperstorm. (The Megabus we took there was twelve hours of horrible, though: next time, we train.) And this weekend we have an embarassment of riches to choose from: there’s a tall ship festival, a literary event, Luminato, in the park ’round the corner, and with luck we’ll find time to see Joss Ado About Nothing. (Much Ado about Joss Things?”
Kelly and I went to our first SF community event Wednesday night, a ChiSeries reading featuring Guy Gavriel Kay, E.L. Chen, Jim Munroe and Leon Rooke. The monthly readings are held at The Augusta House, a pub conveniently near our place, and we met a few people I’ve known for years in a cyberspace way (I tend to forget that some of these friends of mine are people I’ve never actually looked in the face.)
One of the night’s unexpected delights was hearing the music of Kari Maaren. She is an amazing filk lyricist (Badger and Fearless, I suspect you will heart her bigtime, if you don’t already). Her The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy song, “43,” made me howl with laughter. And there’s this:
We slipped out at about nine-thirty, so very late by our ridiculous up-at-dawn standards, and walked home. It felt as though it might have been the first time–in almost a month!–that we’ve been out after dark. The pubs were just getting lively, filling up with crowds of people keen to watch hockey and socialize.
It was a warm and humid night, full of sights and cheer, an altogether magical walk.
I am sitting in a cafe called La Merceria, which is half a kilometer from my place. They have excellent coffee and good strong Wifi, and nice places to sit and work. The tables are too high, though–suboptimal for typing. The hunt for a perfect remote workspace, therefore, goes on.
Everything stops for two days, though, because tomorrow at the crack of dawn I leave for Edmonton, for my grandmother’s funeral. The quest for things like routine and workable coffee houses and reasonably priced produce will have to resume on the weekend. In the meantime, grieving is hard work and I’m slogging through that instead of working on my novels.
Things that are nailed down and delightful: the yoga studio, Downward Dog, is marvelous. We did meditative/restorative yoga on Sunday–what Muppet calls ‘blankie yoga’ and it was a lovely experience. The brekkie place, Cora’s, not only gives you tons of fruit with breakfast but lets you order it without melons. We have much of our stuff unpacked, including the television and comfortable seating, and are finally up to date on Game of Thrones, even as the Internets explode with ewww and squee over it.
Our couch arrived when it was supposed to and the Frogboxes were taken away when they were supposed to go, and the only things standing between me and getting all the extra crap out of my office are a storage bed that’s due to arrive on June 8th or so and a shelf to be acquired later.
I think I told you all that because our building is under construction, we’re getting some of our mail whenever I take it into my head to make the 1 hour commute out to the Letter Carrier’s Depot that time forgot on 400 Commissioner’s Street.
(I say some because last week they showed me a letter for K that they would not give me without a release form, and today it was not among the things I was given).
Today I had a dual mission: there’s a Home Depot up there, and among other things we have been living in near total darkness because the assumption was we’d move into the joint with lamps in hand, whereas we thought there’d be light fixtures in places other than the kitchen, the bathroom and the bedroom closet. Silly us.
The postal outlet is on the edge of the Leslie Spit, where I plan to do much birding, and nature leaks out. So I got this for my troubles.
Anyway, I took the streetcar out there, waited among a line of angry condo dwellers to give my name and beg for a portion of my mail. Then I walked to Home Depot, bought stuff, and cabbed home with a shocking amount of darkness fighting technology. Which makes it sound like I’m building a superhero base.
Then I did a mighty amount of unpacking. And time-lapsed it. This was meant to impress the hell out of you all, but I set the frame rate too far apart, so you can barely tell that anything has changed. I tried to edit it to a slower pace using iMovie, and I may have succeeded. I definitely added twangy music, but that was unintentional.