Les Semaines

March 4, 2007

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


New Computer!

So after several annoyances (what? no airport? the card not self-installable? you're out of stock?), file movings, software updates, etc. I am now up and running on my new computer. Went from 350 Mhz to 2 Ghz. Zoom, zoom! It's a different world! I'm sure this will make all the difference and now I will catch up on my email! My Clarion West work! My Ectophiles' Guide work! My life! Everything is going to be different!

Or not. At least faster. Which I'm glad of.

Work and life very hectic (too fast). Not bad, but simply too much all the time.

Had a friend visiting this weekend, and I realized that I've known him thirty years now. Surely I'm not old enough to have known anymore other than my parents for thirty years.

The kittens continue to grow and get into new and different kinds of trouble. Sophia continues to slowly adjust, poor girl. At least she's healthy and they respect her whacks. They don't respect her territory at all, though, which is where most of the trouble comes in. She's a very restrained and patient girl. I would have knocked them into next week.

A month or so ago one of these came around in a small email group I'm in. Here are my answers:

1. What is your occupation?

Counseling Services Coordinator (whatever that means), Workshop Administrator, writer.

2. What color are your socks right now?


3. What are you listening to right now?

Camille's Live au Trianon is skipping in my computer (it's got that crappy European copy protection).

4. What was the last thing that you ate?

Leftover Ethiopian take out.

5. Can you drive a stick shift?


6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Torrential teal.

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone?

My niece, I think.

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you?

Wait, someone sent this to me?

9. How old are you today?


10. Favorite drink?

Cold clear water on a hot day.

11. What is your favorite sport to watch?

My kittens wrestling.

12. Have you ever dyed your hair?

No. I permed it once.

13. Pets?

3 cats, Sophia, Titus, and Atia.

14. Favorite food?

Cake! Preferably from Simply Desserts in Fremont.

15. What was the last movie you watched?

The Illusionist. It was really bad.

16. Favorite day of the year?

August 1--The Clarion West workshop is over, and I have a whole month before I have to go back to my other job.

17. What do you do to vent anger?

Snark at my husband. Gotta work on that.

18. What was your favorite toy as a child?

A stuffed animal I called "Boodie" and wore out to scraps.

19. What is your favorite fall or spring?

I used to love fall because of the colours and it's my birthday season, but now I appreciate spring more, with everything coming alive and the days getting longer.

20. Hugs or kisses?

Both, but I need hugs to survive. Kisses are candy.

21. Cherries or Blueberries?

Both! But cherries if I have to choose only one.

22. Do you want your friends to email you back?


23. Who is most likely to respond?


24. Who is least likely to respond?


25. Living arrangements?

House, with Jim and cats.

26. When was the last time you cried?

When we had to put our cat Zach to sleep.

27. What is on the floor of your closet?

Oh man, way too much. Bins of fabric. My sewing machine. Boxes of stuff I need to file/deal with. An empty laptop case that I don't use anymore. A few things to mend that fell from higher up. A bag of things I eventually want to frame. My sewing box. A plastic container of thread. Some manila envelopes. This year's Clarion West applications. Some lavender and bags to put it on. I think that's all. I hope that's all.

28. Who sent this to you?

The hawk_talk list.

29. What did you do last night?

Had dinner with visiting friend, more friends came over and brought dessert, watched the bad movie.

30. Favorite smells?

Lavender, lilac, roses, cardamom, cloves, sleepy cat.

31. What inspires you?

Language, music.

32. What are you afraid of?

Sending out my novel and facing only rejection.

33. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers?


34. Favorite dog breed?

Mutts. The best dog we ever had was a lab/springer spaniel mix. She looked like a big border collie.

35. Number of keys on your key ring?

Too many. Three for house, three for work, po box, two cars. I guess that's 9. I hope there's not more than that.

36. How many years at your current job(s)?

Seventeen years, my god, at my academic counseling job. Seven years at Clarion West. I published my first poem twenty-eight years ago.

37. Favorite day of the week?


38. How many states have you lived in?

Just Montana and Washington. Have also lived in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario.

39. Ever driven a motorcycle or heavy machinery?

Nope. Ridden on the back of a boyfriend's motorcycle.

40. Any tattoos?

Nope, though I once wrote a poem about the two tattoos I would have if I had any.

That's all.

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


Really enjoying the Camille live disc. It isn't really skipping.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Karl Schroeder's SF novel Sun of Suns is about a fascinating new world of multiple, local suns and the gaps (economic, geographic) between them. Hayden's world is being colonized by a stronger, more powerful world drifting through his system, and his people's attempt to build their own sun is shot down (literally and his parents, too) by the colonizers. Looking for revenge for this event, he finds himself on an odd quest with the conquerors as they attempt an improbable quest to keep themselves from being conquered in turn. A fascinating world and interesting characters and adventures.

C.E. Murphy's contemporary fantasy novel, Urban Shaman, begins with Joanne seeing a woman fleeing from a guy with a knife out the window of the airplane as it's landing after a red-eye flight from Ireland. She feels compelled to rescue the woman and find out what happened, and hops into a taxi to the area she saw the event. There she and her cab driver get involved with the woman and those who chase her--the Wild Hunt--and Joanne learns why she felt so compelled to do something. Now she has only a few days to stop the Wild Hunt from running freely to do its damage in the world. Light fun.

Mary Rosenblum's SF novel, Horizons, begins with Ahni travelling up the space elevator to a settlement established up there where she believes she will be able to avenge her brother's death. There she meets a strange, mutated child and his protector--and realizes that her brother may not be dead and the settlement she's visiting is beginning a struggle for autonomy that mirrors her own. My only criticism of this novel, full of fascinating twists and turns, is that some of the shifts need to be more strongly established for a reader who absorbs novels as quickly as I do. Another fascinating world and adventure.

last week's reading § next week's reading


Last weekend has a good, productive retreat day. This week had to skip our Thursday session as it was just too hectic, but wrote yesterday and this afternoon. Whittle, whittle.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: old journal

Saturday, August 1
near Dingestow

Got rolling, caught a taxi to Paddington, grabbed an apply pastry, and caught the train to Swindon, changed to Gloucester. Went to the car rental (they picked us up) and got a little grey Fiesta, Owen. Drove from Gloucester to Chepstow, stopping in Littledean, to go to Littledean Hall. It really was quite fun--first we saw a Roman water temple (built on a Celtic site), then saw the Saxon cellar, then up to the rest of the house. Lovely library, the fireplace beautifully carved, the top part used to unhinge to reveal a staircase to the upper bedroom. There was a priest's hole to the right of it. The rest of the house felt really love, warm, though there were legends of ghosts. Christina played the virginal (very out of tune & broken). Gorgeous old trees outside.


The Saxon cellarChristina and the Saxons in the cellar.

"...the fireplace beautifully carved..."


Then on to Chepstow, where we admire the outside of the castle and got lunch. Raining off and on so Christina didn't really want to go in and I was still too tired to know what I wanted.

So then to Tintern. Just as we got there some Morris dancers started jumping in the infirmatory cloister ("O dear mother what a fool I've been..."). We watched for a dance, then went into the abbey. It was wonderful--very green, the sum coming off and on. I took way too many pictures. Wonderful, peaceful feeling there, despite the other tourists. Especially liked the carvings that had fallen from the roof.


Tintern1A view inside Tintern Abby.

Tintern2...and another view.

Drove on to Monmouth from there, where we booked a B&B on a sheep farm, trading street noise for sheep noise. Lovely landlady--lots of fun.

Went into Raglan for dinner at a pub, home again through the narrow lanes.

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