Daily Archives: April 21, 2008

From The Files Of Argh

I just lost an hour to a plumber who is going to have to come back another day. Why? Because I wasn’t told he was coming, and so the stuff in storage in front of the main water shut-off wasn’t moved. I can’t move it; there’s too much of it and it’s too heavy. I tried. We weren’t told someone was coming by today, or HRH would have cleared a path last night. The landlord did say he’d call the plumber when he stopped by on Saturday to look at the damage but that was the last we heard of it. The plumber was lucky he came during the three hours I was home today. It would have been even more pointed if I hadn’t been home.

It’s a stupid little twenty-minute job. The pipe to the tap outside in the back cracked over the winter. When it was turned on last weekend it leaked into the downstairs apartment. The plumber said he just needs to install a new faucet and pipe leading to it, but of course he needs to turn the water off to do it. And the water shut-off is in our part of the building, not the downstairs neighbour’s. I wonder if he told her the plumber was coming instead of us, assuming her place was probably where the plumber would have to work?

Grr.

I’m off to pick up the boy.

In Which She Wonders What To Do Now

This morning after I dropped the boy off I did some banking, picked up a few things like milk and juice, searched fruitlessly all over for the toy car Liam’s chosen as his next potty goal, bought a linen skirt and shirt with the gift certificates/credit notes from Christmas gifts that didn’t fit, and searched equally fruitlessly for dark coloured t-shirts that aren’t handkerchief thin. I’ve been fighting an odd throat cold for the past five days. I had no voice at all on Thursday and Friday, one that rasped and faded in and out on Saturday and Sunday, and isn’t much better today. While I was out I found a Tylenol product for aches and dry cough, so I’ll be taking those to help me sleep. We’ve been running the humidifier but my throat is still spasmy and tickly at night. I’m hoping these help suppress the dry cough.

When Ceri was over on Saturday she teased me by asking what I was going to jump into next, and course I had nothing officially lined up. The first few days post-book are always odd: I want to give myself a break, but I’m restless and keep trying to think of things to do. There’s a box of cello books that will be here tomorrow or Wednesday, but that’s not soon enough. I usually leave the reference books associated with a particular project by my desk for a while too, but by late Friday afternoon I’d cleared all the hearthcraft ones away and was left staring at an empty space on my desk. I turned around to look at my shelves and saw my Vivaldi biographies.

Guess what’s starting up again in my brain.

I realised that for some reason I’d never made a themed notebook for my Vivaldi research, so while the boy napped on Sunday I opened my file and browsed through the images I’d saved a year and a half ago as inspiration, then searched for one or two more for landscapes and such things. I resized some and put them through a sepia filter, printed them out, and tried a couple of layouts. I have one I’m happy with, so I may try to transfer it to my notebook this afternoon. The last time I did one of these it didn’t work as well, though; the ink ran and soaked through the paper. I may have to test different glues and varnishes first so I don’t ruin it.

Evidently I was tapping in to a worldwide Vivaldi movement in October of 2006, because there are an unusual number of books and documentaries being released and filmed now. There’s nothing along the lines of what I’m writing, though, so I’m going to try slipping back into it.

Not that I may have much time! I have a meeting this coming Friday morning with the company for whom I did language consulting work last spring, to talk about the sequel project.

Weekend Roundup

Thank you everyone! Your enthusiastic comments were such a wonderful way to begin my first Monday morning post-book.

We had a fabulous weekend. Not only was the weather glorious, but we spent time with family and friends (both planned and unexpectedly), and picked up some things we needed.

Saturday morning we headed out to the bookstore, because the boy’s latest potty achievement was to be rewarded with a new train. He and HRH played with the train set on display while I wandered lazily and tried to remember what books I’d been diverting onto my wish list. I found Ophelia by Lisa Klein and The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James, neither of which had been on my list at all. Then we went upstairs “to see Mama’s books”, which means checking to see if they’re on the shelf and signing them if they are. Every month when I stop by there’s another half dozen that are unsigned, so they’re selling through steadily enough. I gathered them up and brought them to the nearest staff terminal and said, “Hi, I’m an author and these are my books you have in stock. I was wondering if you’d like me to sign them?” (See how far I have come!) The clerk looked at me and blinked, then said, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” “I wrote these books,” I said, smiling. “They’re your shelf stock. Would you like me to sign them?” She blinked again, and then suddenly clued in. “Oh! Oh, wow! Oh, yes — I mean, I think so, let me just call a manager and check.” So she called and got the okay, and offered me her pen. I signed them and handed them back to her, and she said, “Wow, this is so cool. You know, we do signings too — if you have a new book coming out you can just call Mike, our manager, and he’ll set you up and everything.” I thanked her and used her name (hurrah for nametags), shook her hand, and wished her a great day. As we walked away I heard the other clerk at the terminal with her say, “Wow, I’ve never met a real author before.” HRH and I giggled all the way down the elevator. Ah, yes; I remember that time, back when I was still new in the book business and I didn’t know authors were Real People too, who lived in the neighbourhood and had families.

We ran into Jeff and Tallis on our way along the sidewalk to visit the pet store, taking a walk while Paze did some shopping. We took them along with us and all said hi to Derek, a former animation classmate of HRH and Jeff (yes, such a wonderful industry, that has talented artists working in pet shops). Then we went back home to have lunch and a rest before Ceri and Scott came over for the first barbecue of the season! We had burgers and potato salad, and Ceri brought brownies for dessert that we ate with ice cream and strawberries. It felt so good to be out in the sun on such a gorgeous afternoon. As they left the full moon was rising right between the two houses opposite our front door, a luminous apricot in a faintly lavender-grey sky, and it was breathtaking.

Sunday morning we went out and did a round of errands. The boy got his next car seat, one that uses the car’s seat belts, as well as a new cap to replace the one that’s swimming with the ducks, new running shoes (size eight, good gods), and a red t-shirt with a Canadian flag on the front to replace the one he outgrew last summer. (He had pleaded to wear the one HRH was wearing last Thursday night, you see.) After the nap we went to the south shore to take a look at the second-hand Saturn Ion we’d been eyeing and reading up on. The original plan was to drop him off with his grandparents but his nap had begun and ended late (we’d had to wake him up, in fact) so in order to get to the dealership before they closed we brought him with us. He enthusiastically helped us examine the car. The first place we looked was in the trunk, because let’s be realistic, if a cello isn’t going to fit there’s not much point. We popped it open and our jaws dropped at the size: it’s bigger than the trunk area in our current station wagon. “But this is too big for us!” the boy exclaimed. We assured him that it wasn’t, and took a look at the interior. He very seriously crawled all over the back and tested each seat there, and even pulled the shoulder belt down and tried to fasten it, making sure it worked. Meanwhile HRH and I were exploring the front and marvelling at how open and roomy it was. While HRH looked under the hood I sat in the driver’s seat and Liam came to stand in the middle of the car, balancing one hand on each headrest as he looked at me. “Mama,” he said earnestly, “this car is too big for us.” “No, it really isn’t,” I said. “Do you like it?” “Yes,” he said. “I can sit there now?” So I let him sit in the driver’s seat and feel important while HRH and I talked with the saleswoman about taking it for a test drive.

On our way back to our car the boy pulled me over to a Pontiac Wave and said, “See, this car is perfect!” “It’s nice and compact, I said, “but a little too small for what we need. Do you like the black one?” “Yes,” he said. “I could have my new car seat in it?” “You could,” I agreed. Then we all went to spend the rest of the afternoon with HRH’s parents and have a delicious dinner. I had completely exhausted myself by that point so wasn’t very good company, but it was lovely to just sit and be quiet while the boy played with all his toys and the afternoon sun streamed in the front windows.

Knowing the book had been finished and the beautiful warm and sunny weather went a long, long way towards making the weekend wonderful.