Monthly Archives: October 2007

Monday Miscellany

The word for the weekend: sick. The damn cold went into my chest and knocked me out. Most things got cancelled. I passed out during Liam’s naps both days, and messed up my night sleep patterns as a result. Or maybe I napped hard because my night sleep patterns were already messed up by not being able to breathe. I had to sneak into the boy’s room Saturday night to borrow his Ventolin. (Why do I not currently have one of my own? Because I only use it once every couple of years and it keeps expiring before I’ve used it.) It was not a pleasant weekend. At least today I can walk from one room to another without having to sit down and catch my breath.

I made chili and applesauce and apple crisp last night. Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures (which I have been enjoying, along with a sense of guilt because it’s just all wrong) I appear to be gearing down into comfort food mode in anticipation of Real Fall.

As Hallowe’en approaches, the requests to borrow my costumes begin landing in my inbox. Especially the Van Helsing set, just like last year. So just as an advance announcement: really, I can’t lend anything out to anyone, whether I know you or not. I am a firm supporter of hot glue and safety pins for a costume that will last one single night, and nothing is in any kind of state to be lent out. Also, everything’s in storage. And my costumes are so ridiculously small that I doubt they’d fit the average person.

Speaking of costumes, this weekend HRH and I realised that it’s just not going to be practical to introduce the boy to Hallowe’en this year. Between getting him home from daycare, making and eating dinner, HRH getting home from work and me leaving for orchestra… it’s just not going to happen. I don’t think we’ll even be handing out candy, for the same reasons. Wednesdays are just too tightly scheduled and there’s no room to move. I’ll put all the fabric and trim and patterns aside and make him his swashbuckling coat next year instead, when his bedtime won’t interfere with the fun.

HRH has been having a wonderful time at work, thank you for asking. The irony of the nice new job is that the way paydays have worked out, things are going to be uncomfortably tight for the next week and a half, especially because we have several direct payments going out in the next five days. And we had to buy a new vacuum yesterday because the one we’ve been using and patching for the past eight years self-destructed in an impressive cloud of white smoke and the smell of burning. Fortunately, we got a great bagless one on sale, and it’s light enough that I can use this one. Still, it would have been nice if it had waited two weeks to die its final death.

More editing today, with Mousme to keep me honest and supplied with tea while I have a cat on my lap. Maggie has been alternately very clingy and kittenish over the past few days, and today appears to be a clingy day.

Not As Bad As All That

Lovely words to read when you open your e-mail client first thing in the morning: ‘Thanks for turning in a flawless proposal as always’. And she likes the new direction! It’s going right to the publishing board in two weeks, with no revisions.

*pats self on the back*

They’re doing the photo shoot for the cover of the pregnancy book today, too. I’m very excited to see the mock-ups for it when they eventually get to me.

I had to turn the heater on in my office when I got home from dropping the boy off at the caregiver’s house. Nights are flirting dangerously with the zero mark.

Orchestra last night was not the train wreck I expected it to be. Somewhere along the line I got good at this cello thing. Practising twice this past week may have helped too. (Wonders may never cease.) There’s lots of nice singing cello lines and only a few really tricky technical bits this time around. Or maybe I just think that because I did get better somehow. Whatever the reason, I’m not feeling over my head for once. Actually, I haven’t felt like that for a while, have I. Hmm.

I signed up for eMusic.com yesterday, following Curtana‘s lead. eMusic is full of great classical stuff, and I’m very happy with it so far. It’s already been invaluable: I downloaded a movement of the Weber clarinet concerto we’re playing with a young soloist at the upcoming concert, and said, “Oh, so that’s what we’re playing — I’ve heard that.” We’d tried to play it last week and it was such a mess that I couldn’t grab on to what the musical line was to identify it. It’s always harder to do it when you’re only hearing the accompaniment, because what’s missing is the melody itself. We really nailed the parts we played last night, though; proof that people practised, and also testament to the conductor’s clever choice of specific bits to practise instead of starting at the beginning.

I’m currently reading Stephanie Judy’s Making Music for the Joy of It, and I think it’s one of the reasons why I feel like practising more. Written for amateur musicians, it explores the drive to play music and the obstacles encountered (external and internal). It’s easy to read and it’s thought-provoking, too.

On today’s list of things to do: keep revising the complete YA book for submission. Also, taking Tylenol for the cold-associated headache. That would help.

Proposal Away!

The proposal was sent off at 4:24 PM. (And I just got a ping from my in-box — a note from my editor saying ‘yay, can’t wait to read it!’ That kind of thing goes far towards making a writer feel better.) I got it down from an extended thirteen pages to a tidy five by summarizing and collapsing detailed point-form chapter outlines. I still don’t think it properly reflects the book in my brain, but that’s all right, because the final product won’t either. And that’s okay, too, because the book the reader reads is never the book I wrote, since everyone brings something different to the book and takes something different away.

I am in full-fledged cold miserableness. Last week was the stomach-digestive system miserableness; it cleared up only to have me be felled by the cold. I am cold and achy and I can’t think straight. Meer, meer, meer.

And oh drat, it’s Wednesday, which means orchestra tonight, and I can’t hear and my fingers don’t move correctly, and thinking, what is thinking? I anticipate a not-so-enjoyable rehearsal.

Okay. Time to shut things down and go fetch the boy.

Official Announcement

Dear readers:

Thank you all for your prayers, candles, crossed fingers, good vibes, and secret midnight voodoo rituals. Tomorrow morning, HRH will be beginning his new career as a visual arts tech at Champlain College.

You have no idea how touched we have been by your enthusiastic support. We are deeply grateful to you all. (And particularly grateful to those of you who were consulted as references — we have no idea who precisely was called from the list HRH provided — because your effusive support blew HR away.)

It came down to the wire yesterday afternoon when HR requested that he obtain transcripts from both his colleges to verify his education in order to enable the formal offer of employment, which was heart-stopping as his Ontario college will only do it in person or via website (which takes 4 weeks!). HRH was prepared to get in the car and drive to Mississauga to get the damned transcript in person and drive back with it, but they accepted scans of two diplomas instead and will wait for the official transcripts to arrive by mail.

This appears permanent; the original tech he’s replacing this semester may come back for a short period in the winter semester, but she and the administration are essentially trying to complete her retirement. And yes, the salary is excellent and there are benefits, for which we are very grateful, and we are looking forward to learning more. Ped days! Summer semester off! Who knows what other exciting things are tied into the deal?

Again, thank you. Those of you close to us know what a long, demoralizing haul it’s been as he’s tried again and again to find a place that can pay him a good salary and maintain a permanent contract of some kind. A special thanks go out to Silly Imp and her man for alerting HRH to the posting in the first place, and for giving us encouraging inside info on the future of the position over the past week.

And a lovely side benefit of all this? I get the car full time, as he’ll be taking public transport to work! Hurrah!

And Another Felicitous Commemorative Natal Day!

Fate, when she drew the line connecting the two points known as Tass and Jan, snickered a lot about the birthday thing, I am certain.

Happiest of birthdays to Jan, who demonstrates that you can too change a career in a radical fashion, and redesign your life while you’re at it, and make it work. Not that it’s easy, oh no; but she shows us all that with work and determination, you can get your life on a path rather more resembling what you want it to be. Sensible, creative, decisive, aware, active (in so many ways!): Jan teaches me that putting your mind to something creates change.

May your coming years be ever more fruitful and rewarding, relaxing (yes, you get that wish too), and fulfilling. And I look forward to sharing in them.

Felicitous Commemorative Natal Day!

Today is the natal celebration of one of my dearest friends, from whom I learn repeatedly that there is no such thing as acceptable status quo, complacency, or apathy. He challenges me to keep on my toes mentally, musically, and creatively, and makes me think. For eighteen years he has been an irreplaceable part of my life, and unless we do something really stupid to the planet, I can look forward to sharing many, many more such years with him.

Happy birthday, t! I wish you happiness, success, lots of time to relax, the actual relaxation part, and a wondrous future to explore.

Saturday!

Last night, the turtles ate grilled cheese sandwiches from the magic treasure chest in the bath.

Night One in the big boy bed went excellently well — no escapes, and no waking in confusion or fear. In fact, this morning I heard him get up and try his door handle but he didn’t open it; he went back to bed instead. He may have played there quite happily for a while but I made the early morning not-thinking mistake of checking on him in case he’d needed to get out for the bathroom or something, so I’ll restrain myself tomorrow and see how long he stays in his room then. He’s just gone down for today’s nap, and despite a few tears of protest when we put him down he didn’t get up. He was asleep within five minutes. I’d say the bed is going well. He asked HRH to put the blanket tent up as we were leaving him last night, so HRH spread it over the bed lengthwise. Sure enough, Liam slept right underneath it, lengthwise instead of across the bed as he did in the crib when the tent was over the bottom third of the crib. The blanket is bright red and clashes with the rest of the room, and as it’s looking more like a fixture I may hem the sea turtle material that Ceri bought for us not long after Liam was born, and use it for the tent instead.

We went out to run errands this morning. I’m going to the wedding of a dear friend this afternoon and decided I wanted to wear a red sweater. As I don’t own one, I found one while we were out. And in so doing, I experienced today’s The Universe Is Watching You moment: in the changing room next to me I ran into Silly Imp, who is performing this afternoon’s ceremony, trying on a skirt suit for the wedding. We were highly amused. We may have confused the salesgirl, though.

Then I proceeded to forget to buy the black stockings I need, just as I have done every time I’ve meant to buy new black stockings for the past two years.

Thanks again to everyone who’s thinking good thoughts about HRH’s job application; he says that the only way the interview could have gone better is if they’d pushed a contract and a pen across the table to him at the end of the meeting. He’s sending them references, and they’ll let him know by Tuesday.