I have been working on a few fiction projects at once these past few weeks: drafting one book, thinking about another, and poking away at a quartet of stories. I prefer to sink a little more deeply into one thing, but I have been playing around a lot these past couple of weeks, even with my fiction time.
(Fooling around at this point in my life seems to include playing with WordPress, which is how I ended up loading the new theme for my site. Very Indigo Springs / Blue Magic appropriate, I think! Well… blue, anyway.)
The reason for the playing around was that Kelly and I were loafing as much as was possible, because she’s changing to a new job and we don’t know yet–but will soon!–how it affects our vacation plans further down the road. And next week I am not doing the mentoring gig at all, though I am doing some other teaching and will still get up and write fiction, perhaps in a less random fashion.
That makes this the week where I catch up everything I neglected last week, and get ahead on everything I plan to neglect next. I knocked two big tasks off the mountain today, and hope to seriously dent another tomorrow.
I have over the past few years become something of an artifical stench-hater, so it’s sad to report that I was at a work site this week and my coat fell afoul of a lurking puddle of disgustingly scented soap. I had thought it was just the heavy winter coat, but my fleece is redolent with it too. It smells like baby powder laced with decaying rose petals and I am quite thoroughly revolted by it. I plan to run the fleece through the washing machine ASAP and trot the heavy coat to the cleaners.
Until that happens, my short-term solution is to go outside in the hopes that fresh air will scrape off the stench cooties, or at least that the sights of spring will distract me from the miasma.
It is Wednesday morning as I type this and Kelly and I are breaking with our usual mid-week pattern, whereby we go for breakfast before schlepping off to our respective work commitments downtown. It is the last day of her staycation… the old job is guttering out Thursday, and the new one starts next week. In the meantime there has been lots of relaxing, including some quality walks. A couple days ago we had a two-hour amble along the river at Steveston, where we saw this immature bald eagle:
On Tuesday we went to what is becoming one of my favorite places in Vancouver, Au Petite Chavignol, where we had a long, stunning early dinner with about ten different types of fantastic, deitylike cheese. It was a splashy, indulgent treat; I’ve been feeling the need for something of exactly that nature, and I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint.
Today began with pouring torrential rain and, in my case, a mere pretense at writing fiction–I typed in the novel chapter I drafted longhand yesterday, and woolgathered a bit about what I want to do with it. I hope to spend many hours reading a novel and relaxing in front of the fire.
The mundane peculiarities of life have stacked up in a way that has thwarted any chance of Kelly and I going off somewhere for a vacation, even a short one, right now when she’s off work. She’s got a series of days right now when I still have job stuff to show up for, in other words. In a couple weeks’ time the reverse will be true–she’ll be commuting to her exciting new job while I have a week of loaf.
It happens, it’s no huge deal, and in the meantime I’m taking as much downtime as I can while she’s off. This morning, for example, we ambled to Gastown and tried out a new cafe, Finch’s Tea and Coffee House, that makes excellent tea, delicious little breakfasts and, from the looks of things, has a lot of potential for excellent sandwich. It’s a quaint, cute, inexpensive and somehow English-seeming place.
Then we came back to East Van, bought every delicious thing we could find at the produce store, including two pounds of strawberries, and I napped!
A half-day in, the so-called staycation has, in other words, been restful and comfortable. All that’s really lacking is the “We saved our pennies and went went Here! To this really cool place! On a plane! Or maybe by sled dog! And did this wholly sexy thing that doesn’t exist in Vancouver! Here’s pictures.”
Instead I can tell you that last weekend we went to Burnaby Lake! On the Skytrain! And hiked about eight kilometers. Where I captured a blurry redwing blackbird.
Redwings can be rather unrewarding subjects. When they’re sitting still, which is never, their colored patches aren’t all that interesting. The rest of the time they look like this, only usually the color contrast isn’t as interesting.
Thought balloon: Dammit, I promised myself I would actually bring some of the flowers in from the garden this year, and have them in the house. I’m going to do that right now.
(Chop, chop, chop. Rend.)
Alyx: EEEEE! A bee, a bee, hiding in the crocus pretending to drown, undercover homicidal bumblebee of death, OMG, I’m going to dieeeee!!!!
(Run. Run. Crash. Pant pant pant pant.)
Thought balloon: Oh, no, I’ve probably killed her. Poor bumblebee! What can I do? I will rescue her! But wait! What if she suddenly comes to life and stings me to DEATH?? God, I hope the cats don’t eat her while I sit here waffling. OMG, what if she stings Minnow on the tongue? Extend your reach. That was what you did with drowning victims, right? Maybe a tablespoon?
Alyx: La la la… we’re all very calm heeeere.
All very calm… look, would you grab the fucking spoon already… yes, very calm…
Okay, bee. You can dry off there. Or freeze. I will say if you’re not gonna make it, I’d prefer it if you climbed over the edge of the flower box and plummeted three floors to your death so I don’t have to deal with guilt. Or your zombie sting-you-even-in-death corpse.
Alyx: Would you be more photogenic if I moved the spoon?
(Click click click click click click…)
The sad part is I’ve had similar encounters where the bee came off far worse. She seemed pretty robust after it all. And was obediently making for the edge of the window box when last I saw her.