Feeds:
Posts
Comments

This past holiday weekend, we broke with our stay-cation tradition and took a little getaway to a lovely place, a re-purposed US Army base on the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula.

But I don’t want to talk about the place, not right now. Instead, I want to share what we did while we were there. (Don’t worry, it’s SFW.)

Regular readers may have wondered what the hell is happening with my current Work-In-Progress, my dual-timeline novel set in Seattle. And you’ve had good reason to wonder. Continue Reading »

Winter storms Maya and Nadia came and went, leaving Seattle bound in white.

They came in right on schedule, dumping nearly a foot of snow in the downtown area, and up to two feet of it out in the ‘burbs.

Here on my cul-de-sac, we had a foot of snow on the street, helpfully deposited in three episodes, so we could all add multiple snow-shoveling sessions to our weekend workouts. Kids sledded, snowfolk were built, and internecine battles raged from yard to yard, filling the air with squeals of carnage before parents called the belligerents in to dinner. On Saturday, we had an overnight low of 9°F (-13°C), but then the temps staged a return to something more reasonable. In my back garden, the spruce lost two more twenty-foot-long branches and dozens of little ones, and the cypress boughs were hanging so low I thought we’d lose several there, too, but they bounced back once the snow slipped off.

On Monday, the city came through with plows to clear the arterials, which is great, if you live on an arterial, but most of us don’t. One plow actually came up our cul-de-sac and our hearts soared, but it just turned around and left without making a damned bit of difference. So no plow. No sand trucks. No salt. Just a hey-how-ya-doin’ wave from the plow-driver as she abandoned us side-street residents to look after our own.

Today (Wednesday), I had to go into the office, so I bundled up and walked to the bus stop. The street was a combination of corn-snow, slush, and ice, and it was a real dilemma, deciding whether to trudge through the unsullied drifts like a Neanderthal, or do the crisscross pony-walk like a runway model down the ruts left by the tires of the few cars who’d braved our block. Going up the hills was relatively easy, jamming my toes into the snow to make steps as I walked the steep incline, but downhills were dodgy, and I learned that while walking like a penguin (keeping your center of gravity over your front foot) is a good way to avoid slipping, it’s tiring. I wouldn’t make a very good penguin.

But I made it to the bus stop with only a small bit of slippage and hand waving. The bus arrived, chains clacking against its wheel wells, and we rumbled on down the plowed arterial. On the way, every side street was either a slushy, rutted mess, or just plain snowbound. The college down the road brought out a backhoe to scrape the parking lot clear as best it could. On the main roads, all the cocky I-know-what-I’m-doing idiots had been weeded out (or quickly educated) and remaining drivers were being fairly responsible. For pedestrians, though, it is still an obstacle course, and will remain so for at least another couple of days.

The worst is past, though.

Onward.

k

It’s quiet out there now. The literal calm before the storm.

Later today, Seattle is set to receive a buttload of snow, so I went out to provision our larder for an expected week of housebound activity (though I don’t think I got enough wine). The experience perfectly illustrated Seattle’s love/hate relationship with the white stuff. Continue Reading »

I had a bit of a contretemps this week because . . . the internet. The subject was introverts living in an extrovert world. And because it was . . . the internet, naturally, it all began with a meme.

A friend posted a bold-lettered graphic which, in essence, asked the question, “Why does society expect introverts to be talkative and all friendly-like, but never expects extroverts to shut the hell up?” In fairness, it was a bit more acerbic and snarky than my paraphrase, but like I said . . . the internet.

Most folks liked or laughed or commented with the equivalent of a knowing head-nod, but one person took umbrage. “You guys are describing obnoxious people, not extroverts.”

Well . . . no. Not in my experience, anyway. Continue Reading »

A bit of cross-pollination, this week.

I was intrigued by a blog post from the always-interesting candidkay, in which she detailed the selection for her word for the year: “wonder.”

Wonder—as in “sense of wonder” rather than “Hmm . . . I wonder . . .”—has long been a thing encouraged in my household. We love it. I mean, there are phenomena in this world that are just so . . . wonderful . . . that they make me glad to be alive.

I have some tried-and-true sources for “sensawunda.” Watching a cephalopod change the color and texture of its skin in the blink of an eye. Standing in the middle of a Gothic cathedral and looking up at tons of stone that hang above me, all lifted by human hands, all suspended by the power of physics. Seeing the spirals amid the seeds of a sunflower or embedded in a sectioned nautilus shell, and recognizing the mathematics (which I poorly understand) that predict each rank, each row, each curve.

Recently, though, I hadn’t experienced that sensawunda—life has been filled with too much of the pedestrian and mundane of late—and I had actually forgotten how lovely a few moments of wonderment can be.

And then, just as I was ruing that lack, I was struck by a thing I hadn’t thought before, a thing that made me go ooooh, that is so cool. Continue Reading »

Regular readers know that I battle with perfectionism. It chides me for what I’m not doing, and berates me for what I have done. Perfectionism is both a goad and a hindrance, in equal measure, and believe me, it’s bloody exhausting.

One of my recently acquired mantras is, “If you’re not changing something, then your essentially okay with it,” and since I’m definitely not okay with my perfectionism, I’ve been working to find ways to suppress it altogether, circumvent the hurdles it places in my way, or at least ameliorate its nastier effects.

Enter the Shakers. Continue Reading »

Pruning Season

It’s pruning season, again. No, not for my roses or my fruit trees (that’s February); it’s the season to prune my Facebook friends list.

During the year, my list accretes new names—distant relations who pop up after an auntie mentioned a connection, or a friend of a friend who saw a comment I made or who remembers my name from school days—and some of them work out fine. Usually, though . . . not.

Thus, with each new year, along with cleaning out old utility bills from my filing cabinet, I now also review my friends list with an eye toward clearing out the dead wood. Continue Reading »

%d bloggers like this: