Les Semaines

September 5, 2004

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal


The Pain, The Pain

This week was haunting by Wednesday morning: the day I had to get myself up at 6:00 to get myself to work by 7:30. Work! I had forgotten what it was like even though I knew I dreaded it. The waking in the morning, mostly.

So I got myself up and cleaned and fed and dressed and out the door, met my carpool on time, got to work on time, unlocked my office door and...no computer. Gone. It really threw me off. I went through my paper mail, and at a loss finally went into another office to use a computer there to work on my email. After a couple of hours the computer consultant came in and hauled my computer up from the consultant office to mine and did the update it was down there for, and which they'd had the entire two months I was off work to do (and really, since May when they notified me they had all the software to do it on hand). Sigh. I'm really grateful, though, that he was there and able to get the update finished though I felt guilty taking his time.

It helped to have my computer back, but I felt really off my stride that day and really for the rest of the week. Like I couldn't quite remember why I was there and what I usually did to get things accomplished. It didn't help that besides the missing computer I hadn't been invited to a meeting I needed to attend and so only found out a half an hour before it started that I should be there. Made it there. That day, though, I missed my bus home twice (once because I was distractedly working on something I wanted to finish and then because someone was talking at me) then when I got off the bus and to my car I realized I'd left my keys at the office. Luckily I did this before a few years ago and since then have kept a spare key in my bag, so I went back, picked up my keys, picked up a sandwich (by that time it was nearly 2:00 and I was starving), went to the U Bookstore and picked up a copy of the September Asimov's because two of Clarion West's class of 2002 had stories in there that I wanted to read (both were written during the workshop) andthen I finally got home to start the long Labour Day Weekend.

We had planned it to be a retreat weekend, but it turned out to be rather social. Friday when I was up a ladder deadheading roses Devin came by to say hi as we hadn't seen her in a week. She ended by staying, and Zac came over. We got Shechuan delivered and talked and talked and then watched a DVD (Lenin ). We were up late. Then Saturday we slept in. I started to write on the loveseat and fell asleep and we were late for meeting Zac at Zoka's for a writing date. We did our time and then went to see an Italian movie (Facing Windows) at the discount theatre. Had a late and very tasty dinner at the Ethopian restaurant near Northgate. Another late night. Sunday was another slow day. We had to go to a dinner for Litrag, so we gathered ourselves and went. AJ's yard is lovely and the weather was perfect the food was great and they have Italian plum trees, so I was very happy.

We were playing six degrees of Neile this weekend, though, realizing that I knew several people who likely knew Zac's new girlfriend, then arriving at the Litrag do where I knew one of the people from the University and discovered that another one there works three offices away from Leslie, my Clarion West workshop partner. It's a small, small world.

Smaller now that I have to go back to work on Tuesday.

Just to lighten your day, though, I have to show you a picture. Those of you with squeamish stomachs please don't look. You can skip to the next section.



Here's a little space to protect you.



Don't say I didn't warn you.



It's pretty cool though.



We have a talented cat.



I mean, have you ever seen the face of Jesus before?



Displayed in cat barf?



We cleaned it up before word got out, because we really didn't want the whole world needing to tromp through our house to see it, and Zach's not ready to be designated as the first feline saint.



Here it is.



I hope this was enough space for you.

Jesus's smiling faceThe smiling face of Jesus, as it appeared in Zach's barf. Who knew He had such great hair?


last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing


We've been seriously paying attention to Björk's new disc, Medulla, which uses voices as the instruments that construct the songs. Powerful, evocative, terrific music and uniquely Björk. Damn, it's good. I can listen and listen and listen, there's so much to hear.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Arthur Slade's children's novel, Dust, is set in small dustbowl prairie town during the Depression. When his younger brother disappears and a stranger arrives in town promising a rain machine, Matthew is the only one who seems to be able to connect the two. This is an exciting, imaginative story.

Sean Stewart is one of my favourite novelists. Each of his novels feel to me utterly human and definitely magical. His most recent, Perfect Circle, is no exception. William Kennedy has never gotten his shit together. He's still in love with his wife (they've been divorced for 12 years), lives in a dump, and can't keep a job. About the only thing he's good at is paying attention to his 12-year-old daughter and seeing ghosts. All this gets him in some serious trouble. Unlike other writers who write about losers, I never felt Stewart was manipulating this character or that he was less than empathetic and him and his situation: believe me, that is no small thing. Highly recommended.

Melisa Michaels' Cold Iron is about a woman P.I. who is hired by an Elfrock band's groupie girlfriend to prevent the murder of the band's tempermental leader. Posing as the girl's cousin, she starts traveling with the group, nearly overwhelmed by their shockingly bad behaviour but also delving into he own problems--one of which is that she finds the elf musician that she's being hired to protect both psychopathic but also highly attractive. A very entertaining read.

Ursula K. Le Guin's young adult novel, Gifts tells the story of a a young man and the power that comes down through his family. Believing that the family's "gift" has come to him in a way he can't control it, he allows his father to blindfold him to keep him from using his eye to destroy anyone. A friend from a neighbouring family has the ability to speak to animals, and she helps him to find his way. This is a fascinating tale of a tribal community and the "gifts" that are both power and trials to them.

last week's reading § next week's reading


Karen was in Boston for WorldCon, so we didn't have our regular writing date. I missed it. But Jim and Zac and I met at Zoka's for one in the afternoon. I work better in the morning (and with Karen) as I was pretty distractable and worse yet the WiFi was free so I checked my email and all. I did get a little work done, and got quite a lot done later in the weekend at home, but still didn't finish what I had promised myself I would -- I said I would get to the end of the first half of the book -- but there was more to do than I thought and this weekend was far more social than we had planned, so I have given myself to the end of this coming week to do it.

I will report on that.

Though I did do the first draft of a new poem. I can't believe this is true, but this is my first poem of 2004. That's terrifying. I've done a lot of revisions of poems, but this is the first new one. Gah.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Still on haitus. I'm about ready to just buy myself a new scanner so I can get back to this, seeing as how I can get an all-in-one for less than $200. When I have $200, that is.

It has been a long time since payday.

last week's old journal § next week's old journal

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