jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
Confession time: I've never read The Once and Future King. I adored the Disney Sword in the Stone when I was young, and watched Excalibur before I had any real sense of what was going on it in. Those and a general cultural osmosis formed most of my Arthurian background. I read Lawhead's Pendragon trilogy in junior high, and found it increasingly unreadable from Taliesin through Merlin through Arthur, and don't think I ever got through the tacked-on fourth volume.

But I like reading aloud, and Erin evidently likes being read to and is exceedingly fond of Sword in the Stone, so I've dug up a cheap ebook copy of OFK. It's exactly the kind of ... Edwardian? Early-twentieth-century English prose style, anyway, that I'm partial to, the same as one gets from Milne or Beatrix Potter ("And when Mr. John Dormouse was complained to, he stayed in bed, and would say nothing but ‘very snug;’ which is not the way to carry on a retail business."), or apparently Wodehouse. Very very dry and reserved, but with gorgeous language, and with a sense of such solid /joy/ just underneath. (I am told that the rest of OFK is much less joyful and more bitter.)

This particular copy of OFK consists of five volumes: The Sword in the Stone, The Witch in the Wood, The Ill-Made Knight, The Candle in the Wind, and The Book of Merlyn. Poking around, it looks like the last was published posthumously, but complete, and always intended as a final volume. So I'm happy to have that.

It's The Witch in the Wood that's got me a little confused. According to Wiki, The Witch in the Wood is an earlier and much longer version of the 'standard' second volume, The Queen of Air and Darkness. I'm generally all for Author's Preferred Edition, but in this case it seems more like two completely different books.

Anyone out there read both and have an opinion?
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Advice on how to play a gig, by Thelonious Monk: two pages of handwritten notes from Monk. "Don't play everything (or everytime); let some things go by. Some music's just imagined."

I Stopped Trying To Be Quiet During Sex & Here's What Happened: "I often forget to take care of myself, and to give myself the kindness I'd give to someone else."

When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship: "Maybe I looked like some nerdy gigolo or this elegant woman's attentive secretary. If we made no sense from the outside, it didn't matter. We were mostly looking at each other."

Snakisms: variations on the old game Snake, each inspired by various philosophical 'ism's (stoicism, asceticism, existentialism, etc). Hilarious.
jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
Jeez, it's been awhile. My reading of actual printed books has fallen off dramatically the last few months. Partly that's due to the croweded #99 bus being not terribly conducive to reading; partly it's due to being ridiculously busy. But a couple of weeks ago I pulled out a physical book and started reading, and I immediately felt so much more relaxed than I had in ages. Worth remembering.

What are you reading?

Fire On the Mountain, Terry Bisson's alt-history novel wherein John Brown's 1859 attack on Harper's Ferry is successful. Now it's 1959 and astronauts from Nova Africa (f/k/a "the American South") are about to land on Mars, while back on Earth the journal of a man who fought with Brown and Harriet Tubman is being delivered to Harper's Ferry for the centennial of the raid.

I'm enjoying it so far. Partly that's a combination of familiarity (it's set in Appalachian Virginia), partly it's the well-done unspooling of the alt-history combined with decent prose. Interested to see where it goes from here.

What did you just finish reading?

The Incrementalists, by Steven Brust and Skyler White. First reread. I'm more fond of it this time around: on first go I was expecting some sort of world-shaking plot to go with the potentially world-shaking setup, and came away disappointed I'd not gotten it. Knowing that it's a relatively small and well-contained story makes it easier for me to enjoy the story that's there. And it's well-written (of course) and well-characterised, and just generally fun. I'm glad I kept it.

What do you think you'll read next?

The Skill of Our Hands, sequel to The Incrementalists. I'm quite looking forward to it. After that, who knows?
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
On Wednesday I finally got the home office area set up. Now I can work from home with an actual monitor and keyboard and trackball and standing-desk, rather than laptop on couch/bed.

It's all in acceptable shape, but only just. I'll need to drag in another mat or two to stand on, to get the desk to the right height. My Mac keyboard has lost the use of the S key and spacebar, but I've got a Windows keyboard which works well enough for now. The real problem is that Microsoft hasn't updated the Mac software for my trackball in several years, and it won't talk to the latest version of macOS. So the trackball works, but the buttons are ALL WRONG. I've found a couple of potential workarounds but they looked more involved than I wanted to get on Wednesday afternoon. Sometime next week, I expect.

The office is actually the back of the second bedroom. It's got yellow walls that desperately need some art hung, the (two? three?) TUCKER'S OFFICE boxen need to be unpacked onto desk / bookcase, and there's some other miscellaneous /stuff/ that needs sorted or scooted or something. But the window's nice (though glare is problematic in the afternoon) and it's good to start to feel like there's a space that's mine again. The 'office' in the New West place was that, more or less, but it was dim and stuffy and caught a lot of dust from the dryer vent. This room is substantially nicer, if more cramped.

There are things about this apartment that frustrate and irritate me: the laundromat-style laundry, the dining room being a little narrower than we'd thought, the kitchen in general. Overall, though, it's not so bad. It'll do for now.



I am also now the proud owner of a bass guitar (Freeway 4) and an amp. My friend Chani's partner had been talking about selling his bass and amp for, o, months now, and it's sort of been at the back of my mind since then.

I think I have this idea that it'll be faster to pick up bass than it has been for viola, or that I'll be more readily able to find places/people to play bass with than viola, or something. This of course all depends on me finding my way to the alternate universe where I have enough time to learn not one but two instruments.

I'm also looking into an ear-training app for the phone, for commutes and such. And perhaps some actual formalised music theory learning, instead of the ad-hoc bits Tegen's been teaching me.

I'm not sure why music's becoming more of a focus than fiction-writing. Maybe it's that I understand how to get better at music, or that I'm more comfortable with not being very good. There's something in there about smashing awful pots, too. With music I'm learning a skill; writing feels more like creating a work. And yes, I do know that there's a hell of a lot of skill inherent in writing, skill that improves with practice, but I've not figured out how to feel comfortable practicing my skills in fiction.

Or maybe it's as simple as music being what's pulling me right now. Being more interested in accessing a space without words.

It's not like I can make rent (well, "mortgage payment," which sounds even worse despite being a smaller number) on either of those activities in any case. So in that sense it doesn't really matter which it is, as long as I'm having fun with it.

As always, we shall see.
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
Cripes, how has it been nearly twenty years since Clinton Calls For National Week Off To Get National Shit Together: "'I am certain,' Clinton told the American people during the radio address, 'that you, too, have a great deal of shit piling up. Now more than ever, we, as a nation and a people, need this time off to finally deal with all the shit we've let slide.'"

Because we could use one of those right now, i tel yu whut.
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
Sitting in a cafeteria outside Granville Station, watching people walk by, reading. Or too tired to read. How does that even happen? I know how it happens when it's past bedtime, but at five in the evening?

Watching people. Today I have: gotten a music stand and mute so I'll feel less awkward practicing the viola; done some repetitive work correcting a thing I did a month or two ago that I thought would be useful, and was but had unexpected side effects (unrelatedly, work does not appear to be doing the stupid thing from last week, so yay); written to my parents again and perhaps it will get through this time; taken a profile-silhouette photo of myself a la Hitchcock; listened to David Francey's "Nobody Lives Here No More" "Torn Screen Door" a dozen or so times; gone running. I think that's it for useful.

They worked their fingers to the bone / Nothing left they can call their own / Packed it in under leaden skies / Just the wheat waving them goodbye

And tonight I'll write with Steph and Kat and Theresa, at least in theory, and then I'll go home and intend to practice and we'll see how far intention gets me.

I am tired, wrung out, stretched thin. I don't know that this is actually the case in any larger sense but that's what it feels like. Possibly too many people at housewarming yesterday? Possibly too little actual downtime? Possibly too much rattling around in my brain to settle down?

Had a life that they tried to save / But the banks took it all away / Hung a sign on a torn screen door / 'Nobody lives here no more'

I should enjoy the people-watching from here, I think, if I didn't have someplace to be. Coming up from and going into the Granville skytrain at rush hour, all manner of interesting and no sense that I have to be a part of it.

Onward.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
It's a bits-and-bobs kind of week.

Spent the last weekend sick with some sort of short-term head cold. This is perhaps the least offensive illness I've ever had: my throat and lymph nodes ached and my head felt vaguely muzzy for a couple of days, but I remained more or less entirely functional. Which is nice. Maybe my immune system's coming back up to snuff.

On Sunday [personal profile] uilos and I had a slowish morning, which was nice. Afterwards we went out for a somewhat errand-y afternoon, full of shipping packages and attempting to sell books and just generally wandering around town a bit on a gorgeous day.

Then come Monday (a BC holiday) Erin took me out for a wander through the Strathcona community garden ("someone put in a garden plot with a sign that had a permit number listed on it, and then more plots appeared, and eventually the city showed up and said 'uh this permit isn't valid,' and then after some discussion they said 'whatever, y'all keep on keeping on'"), which is a pretty great space even in the grip of winter. It's partly hidden by blackberry brambles (used to be much more so, I gather), and has an eclectic mix of herb gardens, garden gardens, orchards, a small lake with water-plants on the edges... Would ramble again.

She also took me to an ice cream place with 238 flavours, which is exactly as overwhelming as you think it is. Chestnut and apple-wasabi and fruits I'd never heard of, chocolate sorbetto and mint cookie dough and a decent cinnamon. And just under a mile from the apartment, which seems potentially dangerous. (I still think of the apartment as "the new place." I suppose that'll change eventually.)

The apartment is slowly starting to look inhabited. Art's going up, the bed in the second bedroom is together, we're down to a very few boxen. We're having folks over this coming Sunday so that's a deadline of sorts for figuring out large-art, I guess.

Work is threatening to be intensely stupid in the near-term, but so far it's only threatening. A terrible customer keeps requesting detailed documentation of a kind that we don't provide, for free. Last month someone finally said "okay, we're gonna write up how much work that will take and how much it'll cost them, and they can either pay up or shut up." We put that together (verdict: roughly nine person-months) and handed it to the appropriate people. Today we've been asked to revisit this estimate, and provide how long it'll take if we all pitch in rather than having just one person. This ... seems ominous. Big customer meeting tomorrow, after which I guess we'll hear whether they pay up or shut up. Hoping desperately for the latter. Harbouring secret thoughts of a career shift, though god only knows to what.

Viola continues. I'm beginning to learn how to shift, which means revisiting how I hold my left hand, which has me feeling again like I have little idea what I'm doing. I am also beginning to develop, mm, not just a sense of musicality (though that too) but the ability to translate that into the sound of the piece I'm playing. I suspect that given time I might actually get to a point where I'm happy with how I sound. Though not for a good long while at this rate... Next October makes three years; I'll re-evaluate then.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Snoring cat in the catbox.

Black squirrel playing in the snow outside.

Decent tea.

Nobody else around.

I have really missed working from home.
jazzfish: Pig from "Pearls Before Swine" standing next to a Ball O'Splendid Isolation (Ball O'Splendid Isolation)
I don't know if I ever actually saw this or if I just heard about it, but:

Abby had, at her desk at work, a sign that read HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS with a vulture perched beneath it. Or maybe on it, that seems more likely.

Which, I just now realised, is why references to 'the thing with feathers' always make me think of vultures. I suspect this was not actually Emily Dickinson's intent, but there it is.

i miss you, abby.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Over the weekend [personal profile] uilos and I went down to the states for a Mouths of Babes show. We ended up in a wine bar in Gig Harbor, WA, which appears to be a high-end waterfront community. It's located southwest of Seattle, across the Tacoma Narrows bridge. As a sometime engineering student this holds serious historical interest for me. I can vouch for the strong gusts of wind on the way back, though luckily the new bridge doesn't actually twist in the breeze.

The show itself was pretty great. Ty is still amazing, and for whatever reason I like Ingrid Elizabeth more live than in studio recordings. "Beehive" is fantastic, and Ty did "Amaze Me" (the 9/11 song) and "Young James Dean" (possibly the most Ty of the Girlyman songs). And of course, of course, "Brighter In the Dark" was written for a friend of Ty's who killed herself last year, which meant that we both sat in the back with tears pouring down our faces.

Yesterday there was ice cream, though no cake.



Today I have:
  • Watered my plant. I mean, this is an ongoing thing, but it's also a thing that makes the world a very tiny bit better, so. (Plant was a gift from a friend, and had died back almost entirely over the summer due to being accidentally starved of water. It's been encouraging to watch the shoots poke up and unfurl into leaves this fall and winter. Any metaphorical similarities to the current life situation of this journal writer are left as an exercise for the audience.)
  • Wrote to Jen Mooney, one of my college profs (RenLit and Tech Writing), to let her know that her classes meant something to me. I keep in touch with her via occasional Facebook comments, but that's not the same.
  • Signed up for Evo, the other Vancouver carshare, because I'm tired of being annoyed by seeing Evo cars around when I'm looking for a car2go.
  • Written an email to my folks that I've been composing in my head for a couple of weeks now, because the political events of the weekend warranted mention.
  • Done a nontrivial amount of actual work for work.
Tonight, laundry and general chilling.

Could be worse.

la

Jan. 23rd, 2017 08:37 am
jazzfish: A small grey Totoro, turning around. (Totoro)
First day running since ... Coal Harbour, so, 2014. Mildly stiff, but no persistent difficulty breathing despite being out in just-over-freezing weather. Suspect my legs will not be best pleased by the standing desk today.

Also, my quest to become unrecognisable to everyone who's known me for a decade continues. It started with contact lenses in November. Now that my razor's died I'm experimenting with this whole "not shaving" thing. Should be interesting. So far it's been three days and I haven't quite felt the need to claw my face off.

Other than that this morning I've watered my plant and turned off some jerk's phone that wouldn't stop ringing, and now I get to go sit through an R&D meeting. I suspect that my motivation may be slipping.
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
ETA: To clarify: as things stand, I seem to be on an upswing. I can tell it's not permanent, there are things that need to reassess and change. But it's not as bad as it may seem. You can tell by how I'm willing to talk about it, for instance.

cw: suicide talk )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Five things, etc.



I strongly suspect us writers will be moved out of our current office soon. I've gotten used to it, despite the temperature quirks. I like being away from open-plan hell, and the view of downtown and the mountains makes me happier than almost anything else about work. Oh well.



Since I've been living in apartments I've been using hand-me-down vacuum cleaners from my parents: first a big blue Electrolux canister, then when that died a brown Hoover pushvac. The Hoover was heavy, clunky, and way more vacuum than necessary, and I've been talking for years about getting a replacement. Haven't been able to justify the purchase based on the amount of vacuuming there is to do, though. That's reached its natural peak in the current place, which has no carpeting at all.

Finally, on advice from Erin, I got myself/the house a Dyson stick vac for Xmas. It is amazing. It's light, it's fast, it replaces sweeping, and it even works alright on the one rug we brought with us. I hesitate to say it's changed my life but it has certainly had a positive influence on the housekeeping and the amount of cat litter scattered around.



I get to see ... hm. "One-quarter of my favorite band, plus one." Girlyman used to be my favorite band, but they went their separate ways about four years ago. For Ty, 'separate ways' included putting out a solo album, then getting married and forming a duet with her wife, Mouths of Babes. And they're playing in the Seattle area in a few weeks, and I'll get to see them at least once. /Possibly/ twice, but probably not.



The apartment is gradually getting into some kind of usable shape. All the games and books, with the exception of the books in the Last Damn Box, are on shelves. Most of the shelves are where they're going to stay. The second bedroom is still a wreck, and there are about a dozen white boxes still hanging out in the main area. It's livable, though.



Me? I'm doing alright. I'm back to viola on a somewhat regular basis. Writing is less frequent but still regular, and I might finally have a draft of this story by the end of the month. It's incredibly useful to have things that I can point to and say "this is part of who I am," particularly right now while I'm contemplating several kinds of major life upheaval.

... to the extent that that last wants talking about at all, a public DW post is not the place.

Last fall, and the move, and xmas, were all both good and highly stressful. I survived them all and I'm better for it. I'm curious to see what spring will bring, and what I'll bring to it.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
I don't really think of the new year as much of a new anything. Nothing changes, except on the calendar. No real external markers. To the left, it's as convenient a "where i'm at" marker as anything is.

hence, where i'm at. )
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] siderea observes that it may be time to consider leaving Livejournal (ironically, post is only avaible on LJ, at least right now). Short form: LJ is now based entirely in Russia, not just owned by Russians, and there appear to be political purges of journals already going on.

I wholeheartedly recommend Dreamwidth as an alternative. I find it to be like LJ but less deliberately frustrating. [personal profile] rebelsheart offers a guide to leaving LJ for DW.

For now at least, I'll continue to live primarily at DW and crosspost to LJ. We shall see what, if anything, changes in the next few months.

onward

Dec. 29th, 2016 09:27 am
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
The sceptre, learning, physick, must
All follow this, and come to dust.
--Wm. Shakespeare, "Cymbeline"
My family moved to the DC area for the first time in 1983, when I was starting second grade. Being who we were the first thing we did was find a church. The one we ended up at, St Stephens UMC, had a round (octagonal, but whatever) sanctuary rather than the standard two-columns-of-pews arrangement, which was neat. It also had a great pipe organ, and a white-haired organist who I can't recall ever not being there.
Steel on the skyline
Sky made of glass
Made for a real world
All things must pass
--David Bowie, "Heathen (The Rays)"
We left DC in '86 but still occasionally came to services at St Stephens. When we moved back in '91 we started going again. I got more involved with the church for a few years: ushering, youth group, that sort of thing. I was never on more than nodding acquaintance with the organist, which I can tell by how his name sticks in my mind as "Bob Layne" rather than "Mr Layne," but he was as much a fixture as the round sanctuary or Mr Prosser the head usher. (More so than the preacher; Methodists tend to change preachers every few years, to avoid the situation where the guy who's been in the pulpit for decades up and dies and nobody trusts the new preacher until he's been there five or ten years.)
There's flowers now on Linn Street, and a new moon just above
They tore down all the houses where we used to make love
But they'd been long abandoned when we went there, anyway
And I can still smell the lilacs in the corner of the Dream Café
--Greg Brown, "Dream Café"
I drifted away from the church over the course of several years but I still went back on occasion to see people. After all, these were the only non-relations I'd known for longer than five years, then ten. Always, every time I went back, Bob Layne was at the organ, looking exactly like I remembered him.
Yet all things come in time to die.
--Graydon Saunders, "A Succession of Bad Days"
As you might have expected from the fact that I'm writing this, he's gone now, along with Mr Prosser and the round sanctuary and my perception of the church as a loving and welcoming place. (That last took a mortal blow twenty years ago when they fired one of their best and most-loved people with no notice, on suspicion of homosexuality. It hung on for awhile but never made anything like a recovery.) Bob Layne's death doesn't mean anything, but I guess it symbolises quite a lot.
For a word to be spoken, there must be silence. Before, and after.
--Ursula K. Le Guin, "A Wizard of Earthsea"
Addendum: "Robert Lee Layne." For fuck's sake, treason-in-defence-of-slavery apologists.
The past is never dead. It's not even past.
--William Faulkner, "Requiem for a Nun"
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
(Written a day late, due to having no internet at home.)

"We did everything I thought we were going to do, and it was still not what I'd expected."

That's not entirely true; we didn't stay up all night to make sure the sun came up. Other than that, though. Seems an accurate abstract for the relationship as a whole.

We did wake around fiveish, and watched the sunrise while pouring an awful lot of orange-blossom honey for a Solstice intention mead. We bottled just shy of twelve gallons of booze and ate olives and drank rose lemonade and talked a great deal about relationships past and future.
We have believed too long
in the impersonal inevitable, but the truth is
the sun does not come up without us;
if the arc bends, it is because hands pull it.
--[personal profile] siderea, "The Longest Night"
In the midst of all the greater awfulness it feels plausible, this year, that the light will come back. Is coming back.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Tonight I'm celebrating Solstice with Erin. I am historically not much for celebrations as such but this one feels important and significant.

Tomorrow I may or not have anything coherent to say for Sunreturn. Overall, though, I feel like things are moving forward, out of the aimless flailing of the last month or two and towards something at least temporarily stable. (Stability, like permanence, is an illusion of scale.)

The great move is complete, thanks to Tranquility Movers, as recommended by Erin ("movers by day, metal band by night"), and more thanks to Erin and Julianne for showing up to help [personal profile] uilos and me get the place into some semblance of order. Most bookcases and most furniture are where they're going to end up; will see how many spare bookcases we actually end up with. The programmable thermostat took substantially longer (and more people) to figure out than it maybe should have but I believe the living room will now hold steady at 20C.

That evening I ordered Indian from what I'm told is one of the best places on the Drive and we watched Spirited Away, which I may have not seen since it was in theatres. Quite enjoyable.

So now ... we have a place. It manages to somehow look much more spacious once we get our stuff into it, bookcases and furniture and all. I don't think it's forever but it's alright for now.

condo get

Dec. 14th, 2016 02:19 pm
jazzfish: a fairy-door in a tree, caption $900/MONTH + UTILITIES (The Vancouver rental market)
Well. We took possession of the new place on Sunday, and saw it for the first time since the inspection in mid-October. And also saw it empty of other people's stuff for the first time.

It is mostly a little better than I remembered. I'm mildly annoyed by the medium-shade wood floor but only mildly; ditto the light blue walls in the living room. The kitchen's a tad roomier than I'd thought.

Some things are a little worse. The closets have been filled with awkward wire shelving instead of a normal hanging dowel rod. There are stupid mirrored wardrobes anchored to the wall in the master bedroom; two of those have been relocated. There's some ongoing discussion about whether to relocate the other two as well. The much-touted patio is a little smaller than anticipated. There seem to be small elephants children upstairs, and a wood-frame building means we'll get to hear them. Hoping that doesn't also mean we get to hear people going to bed above us. Maybe they'll have decent carpeting in the bedroom.

There's a stone head lying next to the gate to the patio. Between that and the plaster head that we're planning to hang in the hall, this house may be the Maison Defarge.

It's mildly interesting to compare where we ended up with the list of requirements that I sent to Rhonda back in August:
Location requirements:
  • Near (<10min walk) to groceries
  • Near (<10min walk) to Skytrain or a very reliable bus
  • In (<5min walk) an Interesting Neighborhood
Entirely successful. Grandview was our first choice of neighborhood. It's a little more than ten minutes' walk to the main Skytrain stop; I'll forgive it that, since the walk's pretty flat and has the choice of "interesting" or "quiet and tree-lined."
Housing requirements:
  • Under $650,000
  • Allows two cats.
  • Two bedrooms, both of which can comfortably fit a queen-sized bed and one of which can fit two dressers (or one with lots of closet space)
  • A balcony (small is okay), or at least a sunroom
  • Wall-space for bookcases
All successful. The queen bed is a little tight in the second bedroom and there's not quite as much bookcase-space as we might have wanted. Instead of a balcony we got a patio, which I think is an improvement.
Housing effectively-requirements:
  • Dishwasher and in-suite laundry. Not a requirement if everything else is perfect and there's room for a portable dishwasher/washer/dryer.
  • 850 sqft. Not a requirement, but given the bedroom and bookcase requirements, it may as well be.
Ha. Missed both of these. The place is pretty intelligently laid-out, which makes the 836 sqft acceptable (just). The lack of insuite laundry counts as one of the few things that may drive us nuts.
Housing nice-to-haves:
  • Under $625,000
  • Low-rise (six floors or smaller)
  • Windows that can make a crossbreeze
  • Den/office/third bedroom
  • Storage room, either in the unit or elsewhere in the building
  • Gas stove
  • Gas fireplace
  • Windows that slide open rather than hinging open
  • Built-in window screens
  • Overhead lighting / ceiling fans
  • Built-in microwave
  • Large bathtub
  • Allows barbecues
  • Not south-facing
About half:
  • There's no crossbreeze, which may be deathly in the summer; no way to tell until July.
  • The storage room is referred to on the floorplan as a "den" but is basically unusable for the purpose.
  • There's no gas, which makes me sad.
  • There's overhead lighting ... but the fixtures are set towards the backs of the rooms to maximise light during the day, which means that ceiling fans aren't an option unless we move the fixtures (ugh).
  • There's no built-in microwave or large bathtub. Redoing the kitchen cabinets is very high on the priority list, and we can get a microwave then; redoing the bathroom is a much larger project and will be undertaken next fall if we decide we're serious about staying here.
  • It's south facing ... but there are a lot of trees, which will hopefully mitigate the oppressive summer heat, and this place isn't a glass greenhouse like the last two.
Curiously absent from that list, in retrospect, is "A second bathroom," which is also lacking.

We move in next Monday. Ask me again in a month but I think we'll be reasonably happy there.
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
It's snowing.

It snowed once last winter[1], about this time. Traces of white on the grass and sidewalks in the morning, all gone by lunchtime. I don't think there's actually been a winter without any snow at all yet but the past few have been about like that.

13/14 had a really good snow, and 11/12 had the snowfall where I got to play native guide for [livejournal.com profile] papersky and Z. 09/10 was DC's Snowpocalypse, season of my heart, a reprieve from all the personal horror of that winter and spring.

It wasn't snowing in New West, which is why I didn't wear my fuzzy black boots. I got to break out my most excellent winter coat, at least. (Nice heavy dark-grey wool. Near as I can tell it's mostly an Ulster coat, though without cuffs or patch pockets and with only a decorative half-belt.) I rode the skytrain in through occasional stops and starts, and got off at ComBroad to catch the #99 B-line, my usual bus.

The bus line wound back into and through the station.

"Guess I'll take the slower less-crowded #9," I said.

The line for that one was around the block.

I grumbled a bit and got in the 99 line. Stood there for about five minutes while it failed to move at all (unusual; there's usually a 99 every two or three minutes).

Eventually I got tired of waiting and turned to the girl[2] behind me. "Where are you headed?"

"Um, school. Arbutus and 10th."

"I'm going to Oak and 8th. Want a ride?"

"... Sure."

So we walked a couple of blocks to the nearest car2go. I could have done without the slush (blame the lack of boots) but there is something deeply intoxicating about walking through a snowfall in a good winter coat and a hat. We crossed the bridge over the lower half of the skytrain station and it was unspeakably beautiful. The old train depot in New West does this in the snow as well but that's, you know, brick and slate-looking roof and generally appealing architecture. I hadn't expected a transit station and train tracks to hit me like that. But there it was: gently arched glass, steel rails, and a tranquil fluff of white covering the whole.

The drive in was remarkably pleasant. At least at eight in the morning there weren't enough drivers to make for any kind of traffic, and Broadway's flat and straight for most of its length. I stayed cautious and alert and mostly (mostly) didn't spill my tea all over. At red lights I got to marvel at the small drifts and at how much happer I get when the city's half blanketed like this.

We passed more fire trucks than buses. I have no idea why so few of the buses were running.

And now I'm at work, with terrible tea. At least it's warm. At least I can still watch the snow falling outside.



[1] To the devil with your ridiculous astronomical seasons, beginning on the solstices/equinoxes. I am mostly on board with meterological seasons that start on the first of the month containing the solstice/equinox. Erin has been lobbying, unsuccessfully so far, for the cross-quarter seasons, so that Midwinter is actually, you know, in the middle of winter.

[2] I use the word "girl" advisedly. I would have bet cash money that she was at least a college student, but no; eleventh grade.

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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