Chaos at the Casa

Some of you probably know that I am just back from a vacation in Austin, Texas. It was super to get away, to see dear friends and visit the desert. I kept about six hundred of the pictures I shot–we saw everything from scaled quail to a fox!–and these are percolating out to my various photo sites.

Coming up in the next very short while: I will be at the Ad Astra SF Convention this weekend. This’ll be your first chance, if you’re local, to hear me read from Child of a Hidden Sea. We are wrapping up the paperwork portion of our condo purchase next week, and plunging into a few necessary renovations before we move. My next UCLA Extension Writers’ Program course, Writing the Fantastic, opens on April 14th. (There may not be slots available right now, but if it has filled there is a waiting list.)

Then we move to the new place! In, seriously, three weeks!

Much is happening, in other words. How about all of you?

Toronto: Day 293 (Nice Ice Lady)

When I lived in Alberta, I hated winter. I hated waking up in darkness and leaving school or work in the black.  I hated being wet of foot, dry of skin, and bone-chilled every time I came in from outside. I hated mushing around in heavy winds while snow accumulated on my forehead, melted its way down my face and glued my glasses to my nose.
I hated forty below for weeks on end and occasionally getting into cars that were iceboxes and shivering all the way across town in same, arriving–inevitably–five minutes after the crappy heaters had begun to pretend to kick in.
Here in Southern Ontario, we are reportedly having the worst winter in twenty or so years. It has snowed often. It has been twenty below three or four times.
Now, here, I have a warm feather-filled bag that covers me from crown to toe. I have sweaters, and thermal tights and toasty waterproof boots. Good stuff, none of which had to be bought by a parent who was weighing a certain amount of poverty against the general concept of Why buy quality for a kid who’ll outgrow this all in a year?
Even in the chill, it has been sunny, so sunny. The amount of light here is amazing. Hazy days seem few and far between.
And you may have noticed that I am nuts for icicles.

This isn’t a new thing. I would try to get good icicle pictures in Vancouver, or on our trips to the Prairies to see the kin. Opportunities were few and far between, but I tried. Here… ha! The old gutters on all these picturesque Victorian houses overflow, and ice over, and spill. Constantly! The resulting frozen structures are spectacular. They stay in place until the light’s good. You can get close to and atop them. You can get under.
Which would be how I’ve worked out that any patch of ground beneath a good series of icicles is also slippery as shit.
Anyway. It’s March. Nobody in Vancouver has sent me a crocus photo yet, though I did make a point of telling all my west coast loved ones that they should gloat. This winter, this unusually cold and terrible winter–as the locals would have it–I have been cold and miserable and sad to be outside all of twice.
It feels like I’ve gotten away with something.
I haven’t enjoyed everything. I am a bit tired of bundling up, which is a wearying chore. I have realized or remembered that the primary thing that I dislike about snow is the stage where it’s dirty and festooned in various types of dog waste.
I am also headed somewhere warm in a couple of weeks. And, in the meantime, here’s some ice for you all.

Friday Instagrams

I told @camillealexa that my necklaces disappeared in the move and so she gave me this birdie.King street rocket at sunset. Go TTC go!Icicles on a water pipe, Queen West.InstagramsInstagramsThe CN Tower stumbled into some good light today. Clouds!
Someone on FB asked me what the inside of @ROMToronto looked like... so here's some!The spectacular facade of @ROMtoronto.Me signing books at the Ontario Library Association superconference yesterday, courtesy @raincoastbooks.Statue from @ROMtoronto. I love the way wood sculptures break down--somehow, it speaks to me.Sea horses are so funky and alien looking.Alewives ascending.
Backstage at Ripley's Aquarium: where the water comes from.Jellies! Gotta love them!Toronto Photo goes to Ripley'sToronto Photo goes to Ripley'sMotion in the ocean, ooh, ahh!Probably my most romantic shark shot.
Shark teeth... overhead? Trippy experience in the Ripley's tunnel.Up against the (jellyfish) wall with the #TOPhoto peeps at #ripleysaquarium.Sea jellies are so irresistible to photographers!View from the Grange, Art Gallery of Ontario. Playing at being the kind of olde fashioned lady who has a "The Club."Inflatable white dudes keep an eye on our favorite bakery, Forno Cultura, from the corner of King & Portland.Charcuterie plate waiting for homebaked crackers! Mmmm.

Instagrams, a set on Flickr.

It has been a remarkably intense and stressful week, filled with medium-crappy incidents. The kinds of thing that aren’t life shattering in any sense, but that do make one grumpy and frustrated and less capable of appreciating the good.

There was good. Most recently, we had dinner with an old friend and her partner yesterday evening, and then went to his art opening. The recent snowstorm, which is where the icicle shot comes from, was thoroughly fantastic. One thing that I thought was going to be very hard turned out to be pretty easy.

Life. As always, the mixed bag. But here are pics and captions for you all.