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The rain woke me last night. I sleep right under the roof in a the low end of the eaves of a converted attic, so the water was drumming less than a yard above my head. I went downstairs to pee, and the little dog woke, heard a noise she had never heard in her life before, and barked and barked to warn me.

At six in the morning the rain was very light and the wind was gentle and gusty. I couldn't find my raincoat so I just threw on another layer of hoody and we went for our walk as usual. The drops were fat and slow and Zluta liked it at first. Dogs are often delighted with a bit of wind, and she was, happy to be out before dawn. I was composing poetry in my head about the familiarity of rain after a long absence, the way the streetlamps halo in it, the bright crosshatches of ripples in the swift-running gutters, the leaves sticking to the sidewalk. When we were just turning back towards home--not quite a mile away--the rain started coming down hard again and we both got soaked through.

For Zluta the heavy-rain experience--unlike the light-rain experience--was unpleasant, even frightening, even though she loves cavorting in the water from the garden hose, which often comes out stronger than this rain. But the difference: she can run into the water and out again, it's not relentless like the rain this morning. She tried cowering from it, dodging it, shaking it off, seeking shelter. I just urged her on, reminding her we were not far from home and we'd get dry as soon as we got there. When we were a couple of blocks away she cheered up and began hurrying straight forward, going as fast as I would let her (I am not running on wet streets with even with my brand new deep-tread waterproof hiking boots. I am taking no risks of ruining my perfect new titanium knees by falling at some stupid angle). When we got home I raced us into the bathroom where I rubbed her down wiuth a towel while she flailed around. She liked that part but it was a bit overstimulating for her, so that she ended up racing around looking for things to shred. Then I stripped out of my wet clothes (wet down to the skin, except my feet were dry) and rolled myself into some dry clothes. And I thought I didn't want to write a poem about it after all. I hardly ever want to write poems: it's not a medium that often fits my way of thinking and feeling. I'm a bit embarrassed about yesterday's poem: it's not very good, but I think it has a good one buried in it if I took the time to dig it out of the muck. Also, I'd want to give it a subtitle.

The rain starts and stops. The wind blows up and wuthers around the house. The trees outside my window go into panicked placating ritual dances until the wind dies down again. Zluta is ill at ease, wants even more attention than usual.

I spent too much time yesterday trying to refresh my memory about military ranks and found out some things I didn't need to learn at this stage because I don't need more details about army life in the previous fin de siecle. Also I had underestimated the recovery needs from the carpal tunnel release I had Monday. I am really, really, really tired. But compared to the "real" surgeries I just had, it's just a wee snip and hardly any re-arranging of my body parts. Still. That's how it is. Even so, I am now taking the steepest hill in my neighborhood like a normal person, no mincing steps at all. My friend Glen's driveway, now, that's another thing. It's much steeper and caltropped with eucalyptus pods, so when I took Zluta there to play with Glen's dog Abby, it was toothgrit all the way down. Up is not a thing, though.

Oh lumbago

Sep. 25th, 2014 03:32 pm
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Not of general interest.
seriously, only read the next bit if you're interested in osteoarthritis and old lady health )
On another front, it rained and rained last night. On my laundry, but I note this more as a note of humor than a true complaint, because hey, it rained and rained! We love rain.
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Just looked outside and it's definitely wet. Can't really call that rain, but it is water on the ground that came from the sky. Guess I should put out some pots to catch it.
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I decided not to buy and install a rain barrel this year (they are only 45 dollars from the city water department) because there wasn't any rain.

I believe that today I could have filled the whole thing.

I am filling what I can, but I won't be able to save it for long.
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About six inches so far: by now we're usually pushing twenty around here. I figure if we got 20 in the whole season we'd avert actual disaster. With about twelve weeks left in the season, I guess we'll be all right if we get like an inch and a half of rain every week. That's possible. Is it likely?
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It's a week and a half since Truffle had an abcessed tooth and two tumors removed. Today she is lively, happy, willing to venture out in the wet, and you'd never know she'd been through that, or that she had arthritis.

I betcha if it was me I'd still be complaining.

Also, you know how I said it was raining when I woke up? It's not still raining, but's it's still wet, and the forecast shows chance of showers nearly every day this week. It's not enough to break the drought, but every drop counts.

(normally it would be raining two days out of five or something for the last two months).

And I did a bad thing today. Yesterday I finished a four-day process of making candied orange peels and I had syrup left that had dripped off the orange peels. I coated walnuts with it and cooked them in butter and . . . ate them.

Also yesterday I saw poppy plants that were bigger than two fists together already.

And I went and watched adorable children dancing Greek dances, but that deserves its own post.
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I left laundry on the line and it's raining raining and I don't care because it's raining
I don't think I remembered to close the car windows all the way and I don't carfe because it's raining raining
and I have to walk to my friend's birthday today and I don't care becausde it's raining raining
and sometimes the dog won't go out in it and she has an accident and I don't care because it's raining raining
and it won't be enough to stop the drought but it's raining raining

It's raining

I woke up and it's raining, really really raining

Hope it lasts all day and all night

edit: it's slowing down already
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I had got to the point where I was not only pain-free but it felt actively good to use my legs. I forgot the exercises for less than a week. Weeks and weeks of exercising again later the pain was still getting worse to the point where it was about as bad as it was before physical therapy. So I went back. The wonderful physical therapist did a new assessment, and says I have "myofascial adhesions" and demonstrated that the skin doesn't slide over my lower legs or much of my upper legs at all -- it's like a solid block of material. He gave me a freview of my exercises -- I was certain that I was doing something wrong, and I was, but it wasn't causing my situation, just failing to alleviate it as much as if I was doing it right. Next time he's going to teach me how to walk right and do some deep-tissue massage.

Pain makes a person tired and gloomy, but I perked uop when I recalled that actually this is the state my arms were in twenty years ago or so and the things the first physical therapist did, and taught me to do, for that, have resulted in permanent improvement. Even though I don't always do all the right things. And ditto the things the other physical therapist did and taught me to do for my shoulders.

I think this is about to devolve into advice for the young: go to the physical therapist early and often and do what they tell you to do. I have had this kind of ridiculous "oh it must be in my head so I'll ignore it" pain all of my life. If I had been going to the physical therapist every time it persisted more than a month, starting at an early age, who knows what all would have been better in my life. In any case, I'm looking forward to losing this latest round of ridiculous sleep-destroying, distracting, annoying pain.

On another front: it rained again this morning, which is good for the land and destroys my plan of riding the bike to the workshop on preschool physical development I am going to in fifteen minutes.
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So that character that turned up and threatened to do terrible things to my protagonist and my story? It turns out he's just foreshadowing. What a relief.

And . . . I know what to do with the rest of the chapter. And the next chapter is all about the turning point thing that the story has been leading up to till this point. And the chapter after that is when I have to suck it up and write one or two battlefield scenes, and somehow get across a bunch of stuff that has to happen offscreen since my intention to write omniscient fell by the way and I seem to be writing from only Yanek's point of view and more or less in tightish third (though the grip loosens now and then). Originally, when I had this planned out in omniscient, it would have been very easy to follow the Duke and the little Duke and the sister around while they had their various adventures. Now I need to save some of that for later revelations, and figure out how to hint at other parts of it indirectly, or how to have Yanek hear about some of it (but since most of it is stuff that he really can't know about until later and still preserve the integrity of the story, that last category is very small).

I think I caught all the missed letters, by the way, but the notable thing about this laptop handed down from Frank is that it does not register every tap on the keyboard, especially certain keys, so if you see a bit of garble that doesn't have enough letters in it to make sense, that's just because I didn't catch it and beat the keyboard into submission. The letters most likely to go missing are a, i, l, s, n, and t. Not all the most common letters, but they are all very common ones.

On another front -- had my first parent conference in this job that wasn't with a teen parent. It went well.

And also -- I'm riding the bike to work, like I said I would, not every day, but some days. And some days I walk, and some days I drive there and walk back. And yesterday because I came home at lunch to print out some stuff, I drove to work, walked back, and rode my bike there and back. I still need a wider seat and higher handlebars, but the distance is so small that it's not a fatal problem.

I don't see how we can go much longer without rain and not call it a drought.
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So I'm writing along, minding my own business, trying to get some stuff in there to prevent everything happening at once and still have no pointless filler, when this fellow steps out of the crowd and bumps into my Yanek who is exploring the capital on his own. I'm trying to figure out who he is and he insists that he is the same soldier Yanek's supposed to meet two years (and a chapter or so) later. What the hell? And the conversation they're having is kind of creepy: it sounds like he's flirting with Yanek, which might make sense in two years when they're actually supposed to meet, but just now it's really creepy, as Yanek is sixteen and very, very small for his age and people still confuse him with a child.

I am going to have to fix this next writing session but for now I have to go to work early today. One way or another: either to go with the creepy and what the hell does that mean for the story? Or throw out the scene and do something else with the rest of this chapter.

It occurs to me that the appearance of this soldier might only just signify that I'm worrying about the wrong things and maybe I need to find an economical way to skip ahead to the events two years in the future and not worry about everything happening at once. Or he could be foreshadowng the creepiness of Yanek's army life.

On another front, the physical therapist is of course making magical things happen and I am in fact walking around and riding the bike as a bike now. If the rain ever returns I will have to return it to the stand in my bedroom. It is way too long since the last rain but the last few years have had divided rainy seasons, with big dry spells in the middle, and we've had normal-to-wet years anyway. A dry year will happen eventually, though, it could be now.
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We've had a couple of "yellow alerts" from the weather guy, and now we're on red even though it doesn't look like we will have First Flush today.  The radar doesn't seem to indicate enough rain to measure, and the pilot storm drains are dry, but it does keep sprinkling on and off.

So I'm doing a dry run in my rain gear.  I shortened my rain pants so now they totally work with my silly rain boots.  They're really snow boots, which got to go to Prague last winter, so they're not as waterproof as I'd like, and they only fit without socks, thougfh they're really cozy without socks.  And they're off-white and have fake fur on the top, but that gets hidden inside my totally butch green rain pants.  And my styling blue raincoat.

After First Flush, I will keep these out so on the days of heaviest rain I don't have to completely change my clothes when I get to work.  The steep uphill block on Laurel Street seems to channel the rain downhill, so no matter which way the wind is blowing elsewhere in town, you get it full in the face when you're walking up the hill.

Know what's cool about that?  I know that because this is going to be my second winter walking up that hill to my babies!
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We're all geared up for First Flush, but there's no sign of imminent rain.  I thought I heard the surf rats who work the Farmer's Market on Saturday talking about incoming storms, but they were actually talking about something to do with waves.  Of course.  I think an extra high tide.  I have misplaced my tide book and I can't be bothered tolook it up otherwise.  And speaking of waves, the season has turned at the beach: It's Beach on Saturday was carved almost in half, with a really steep drop between the high and low part of the beach.  I forgot it happened this early.  

I heard something last night that sounded like rain -- rather, early this morning.  I was really puzzled as I woke up from my twentieth try to sleep: I thought "it's too early.  Wouldn't somebody have said something if a storm was coming in?  Wouldn't we be on alert?  I'm not really ready!!"  But it wasn't rain.  Probably the neighbor was taking a shower.  That's happened before.

It was really, really hot yesterday for probably the first time all summer.  It's been a bit hot before, but we haven't gotten a real, knock-your-socks-off, can't-sleep, burning-up heat wave all summer.  But last night I was hot enough that I was a bit worried and went to drink more water.

I had my first pomegranate today and it was a mistake.  It looked good but it was really bad.  Not weird and sour like the ones in my yard, just truly bad.  Flavorless and not sweet and faintly bitter, like not food at all.  I will wait for the real pomegranate season starting around Halloween, thank you.

There's something sweet and tropical smelling blooming around the corner but I can't find it.  There's a narrow front strip in front of an apartment building with a couple of plum trees, some star jasmine, some lantana, and some agapanthus, and that thing that hedges like box but has big fat leaves with red backs and fuzz on them.  The lantana is the only thing visibly blooming, and it smells like lantana (like nasty musky sharp pennyroyal or mint, but more pleasant than that sounds).  The agapanthus has just finished blooming and there are dead flowers clinging to the seed pods.  The plum is of course tryuing to decide whether or not to be altogether dormant, and since it just got cruely bitchered it's really confused and putting out a few measly untimely leaves.  The star jasmine is out of bloom and the smell isn't like sar jasmine anyway.

It's a mystery.
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This is possibly my first of these since the nice fellow died. Maybe not. I'm not up to checking.

Here are my favorite headlines from today's Sentinel:

They've posted a corrected phone number for Fish and Game so you can report mountain lion sightings. (I was going to insert a link to James Thurber's "After the Steppe Cat, what?" from Let Your Mind Alone but Thurber's writing is not available online)

This fellow, Charles Storey, has been charged with felony vandalism and misdemeanor trespassing. He built himself a 5,000 square foot house on 8 ridgetop acres in Scotts Valley and thought that it would be no big deal to cut up or cut down 49 of his neighbor's mature trees to get a clearer view of the ocean (leaving a horrible mess behind -- treetops dangling, slash all over the ground). He's the kind of person that buys property like that at 275,000 and builds a ridiculous house -- "a three-car garage, five potential bedrooms, three fireplaces and a gathering room with 20-foot ceilings and 18-foot-tall gothic arches," which he then tries to sell for almost two million dollars, partly on the basis of views he got by felonious means. (not that the views the house would have had anyway wouldn't have been fine: I just don't get these people, who can't relate to a piece of land for what it actually is)

The neighbor is the kind to elicit sympathy around here: he's a local, a retired fisherman who uses his two acres to hike and picnic, hoping someday to get it together to build properly. He says it will cost 15 thousand dollars to clean it up. The government arborist says there's been 20 thousand dollars in damage.

Everybody already knows, but we pretty much expect rain for the foreseeable future. Now, it's not odd to have a lot of rain at this time of year -- it's when we get it -- but the weather people are modelling on big storm after another without any letup for weeks, and they're worried.

There is somethiong wrong when it is news that the largest school district in the county, serving many of the poorest students, is going to apply for a state school breakfast program that's been in operation for years. I think what is wrong is that the reporter didn't understand what was being said, or didn't express it well: both Pajaro Valley and Santa Cruz school districts are speaking of "expansion grants," to cover students who weren't already in the program. But why weren't they? Was there a rules change? Are students newly poor? Did the state apply some of the stimulus money to breakfast programs (which wowuld only mnakes sense as a use of stimulus money if the money was used to hire local workers to prepare the food, and locally-grown food for them to prepare).

PZ Meyer is coming to town next week: (from Pharyngula Blog
7:00 - 8:30 pm, Bay Tree Building, Third Floor, Cervantez and Velasquez Room. Admission is free and open to the public.

I intend to go, because Frank can't!

Bird brains

Nov. 5th, 2009 07:31 pm
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I don't know. Are the world's avians getting stupider for some reason? The week before last I had to rescue an idiot hummingbird that was trying to dash out its tiny little head on the glass of the casement window at work. It had somehow gotten itself trapped between the glass and the screen. Not an easy thing to do. I had to carefully move the screen just enough to get my hands in and not enough to allow the stupid liitle thug access to the classroom, and then maneuver it out the side of the window without crushing its tender little wings.

Was it grateful? I don't know. I haven't seen it since.

Now last night -- worse. This drab brown feathered thing -- adolescent? towhee? I don't know the medium-to-small perching and hopping birds one from another. I should, shouldn't I? Anyway, this bird hung out in my kitchen for hours, breaking crap everywhere it went. I don't know why. It perched lightly on some dried poppy stems, but it knocked over my glass window shelf, destroying it to little bits while somehow sparing the crockery which no longer has a place. And scattering tempered glass chunks all over the kitchen. Also broke a borrowed bowl which was sitting next to the cat's dish on the other side of the kitchenb.

Cat. That cat just sat there hunched up and kvetching while the bird flew panicky from one weird corner of the kitchen to another. He didn't even thinking of catching and eating it. He's not that old! He just wanted me to do something about it. I couldn't for a long time. I did all the smart things. I turned off all the lights except the ones that lead to the outside. I walked around the kitchen being menacing and leaving escape routes to the outside. I carried a pillowcase so I could throw it over the idiot bird if it ever rested in my reach. But it wouldn't go towards the outside, and it never rested in my reach, though it dove under the stove several times. Seriously, under the stove?

The dog is another story. She thought the bird was really exciting and offensive, and figured that the cat had not noticed this, nor I, nor, even, the bird, so she thought it was iuncumbent on her to explain in really enthusiastic terms to me, the cat, and the bird that the house was being violated by a Thing of the Outside, a Feathered Thing Without Domestic Rights, something that might poop on a food dish! Something that somebody ought to do something about! And it's probably your fault, kvetching cat!

After several hours of this it finally flew into the laundry room -- or as Ted used to call it, the "service porch" (I can't really make sense of that term). I closed the door between it and the kitchen, leaving the hysterical dog and kvetching cat on the other side, and opened all the windows that would open and the door to the outside. No dice. The bird decided to perch out of reach and peep aggrievedly at long intervalks the rest of the night. It was still there in the morning. But after the sun was up and the windows were light, the bird decided to heave itself pathetically against the one window that would not open. Repeatedly, losing feathers here and there and getting visibly weaker. But every time I approached it would fling itself under the pile of stuff next to the window. It finally got so weak I was able to just move the stuff around and throw my pillowcase over it and carry it outside to the ceanothus tree (which is pretty confused itself, and is in a state of half-full bloom for some inscrutable reason). I tried to place it on a branch but it plummeted.

I didn't go look. I can only care so much about bird brains. I saved it fromthe evil that is my house, I'm not about to defend it against raccoons.

on another front, it wasn't supposed to, but it rained a tiny bit today, between 2:30 and 4:00 sometime while I was being amused by three year olds, who thought it was the height of humor and excitement to throw playdough birthday parties for everyone in sight and call us all by other people's names.

writing front: I'm still making notes. Some things have come together.

Also I have spent the last two days trying to figure out why I couldn't get online. The phone cord for the DSL line is acting up, apparently, but in comprehensible and fixable ways.
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From the NOAA site, we learn this:

BOUC1 LAS CUMBRS PK 2760`......... 5.47
BNDC1 BEN LOMD RAWS 2630`......... 7.53
BUSC1 BURRELL FIRE 1850`.......... 5.24
DAPC1 DAVENPORT 10`............... 2.04
RRDC1 RIDER ROAD 1123`............ 4.53
EKNC1 EUREKA CANYON 1700`......... 5.63
SOQC1 SOQUEL 21`.................. 2.91
PVYC1 PLEASNT VALLEY 360`......... 2.56
CTOC1 CORRALITOS RAWS............. 4.35

Sorry abut the antiquated measurement system, those are inches. This is the first measurable rain since May. To put it into perspective, Ben Lomond gets about 60 inches of rain average (up to 80 in a really disaastrously wet year). Lower elevations get more like 30 inches a year, 20 in South County (the sites are listed north to south).

To put it another way, nine more days like this would fill our quota (but not end the not-quite-official drought, if we really got all the rain in ten days of storm: that would result in all the rain running out to sea and nothing left behind for the watersheds, streams or underground).

Stuff is going to wash down the hillsides, especially the burned-over ones.
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You know it's really raining when the intercom at the school goes off and the office manager of the school comes on and says stuff like "Please use the front doors only and keep the side doors closed. The rain's getting in to the classrooms!" and then half an hour later "All students who live on Swanton Road, call your parents -- a mandatory evacuation has been called for Swanton Road and you can't go home --"

Swanton Road is just below the big burn that happened a month ago, which means massive landslides in weather like this, all over the roads and houses. Also, the radio keeps being interrupted with automated emergency broadcast network announcements about flash flood warnings for different areas along the coast. And small craft advisory which means "fishermen, sailors, kayakers and surfers, stay home for the love of all that lives, you will die out there."


Oct. 12th, 2009 10:23 pm
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It's gently drizzling out there, but Jason from NOAA says that it will be a good storm sometime after midnight. I should go to bed and get a couple hours' sleep.

It's almost routine after six years. I'm certainly not all tenterhooks like I have been in the past. Ho-hum it's First Flush.

Up till a few days ago it wasn't clear whether we were going to do the City of Santa Cruz this time or just Live Oak and a bit of South COunty. The city came through with the money, but very late, and required all the people who had once applied for measure E money to re-apply, and that cut all the time very short. Measure E is where the people of Santa Cruz said yeah, let's put some tax money towards moniutoring and mitigating the stresses on the environment.

So anyway I was assigned to a site I've never seen -- we couldn't reconnaissance it during the dry run event last month because it's behaind a locked gate and the city of Capitola hadn't got around to giving us a key, so the person who was my partner at the time and I went to this other spot to reconnoiter, and we discovered a dry ditch. But now that the city is on board, I'm back to my first true love of all storm drains, the culvert at the end of Woodrow Avenue, home to a thug's garden, kind of tame compared to some places I've been but my dear friend after all these years. Is it wrong to love a storm drain?


That's what's up with me.

edit, hours later: hours and hours and nothing measurable. No First Flush tonight.

still later: we're doing it but my group is not responding.
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A few days ago I first realized that the riverbed is about half dry now, which is damned early. It's kind of cool for the dog -- dogs, actually, because I have the brother-in-law's clueless dog Roxy for another almost two weeks -- because the dry part of the riverbed is glorious to run around on and the river is running slow and safe and shallow so they can wade to their heart's delight. There are flowers blooming in that sand I swear I have never seen before, though they are vaguely reminiscent of other natives and other thugs I have seen before. There's something growing there with a sweet fragrance, too, though I was never able to spot what it was.

Other signs of summer: the Watsonville hillsides are totally brown. The seedheads on the extoci wild grasses are ripe or nearly ripe. We've gotten our yearly water warning. But this year it's more than a warning: we're on stage 2 water restrictions, which are not onerous but are more ominous. We can only water on 2 days a week, depending onoiur house number (or other named factors if those don't apply), before 10 and after 5, except you can always use drip or a wateriung can or a shutoff hose. What's left? sprinklers and open hose ends, that's all. You can always water food crops if you need to, if you use a watering can or a shutoff.

This is the third dry year in a row. Not so dry in itself: 76% of normal. But last year was a nearly-not-dry 81%, and the year before 50-something.

There's nothing unusual about this. As the nice fellow used to say, if you bet every year that it would be drier than average, you would make money over the long run. And not so long run, actually.

But we did get spoiled with about a decade of good wet years, green and juicy, and we got out of the habit of worrying about our water. Or some of us did, anyways.
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I'm going out the door in a few minutes to go sample water from the storm drain under Capitola Wharf. On the way I'm getting my young friend Rebeccah and taking her to the site we call "Creekside" where Soquel Creek runs under Highway 1. I'm just waiting for my team captain to call. I've been on the phone off and on tonight as we discuss whether the rain is enough to "call it." (isn't it fun how every endeavor develops its own lingo?) Around eight o'clock, they had called it in Ukiah (way up north). A few minutes ago, they called it in San Gregorio (fifty miles or so up the coast). We just called it in Santa Cruz, and Capitola is right after (except once in a while the storm is narrow enough to call it in one place and not the other). I can hear the rain now.

We won't be counting fish tomorrow because the first rain is pretty stressful for the fish already, since it brings down all the loose sediment that hasn't been washed out for six months. But Emma and I are going to go kelp viewing. It's kind of like cherry blossom viewing, or fall leaves viewing, except that it's on the beaches after an early winter storm. Low tide is too early in the morning, so we're just going whenever.

Later, I'm going to a Move On calling party. Damn right. We need a landslide: it has to be absolutely ironclad against trickery.

In other news, my copy of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror arrived. The stories are in there alphabetically by author's name, which means I'm right before Tanith Lee. And I got the email heads-up that I'm getting the contract for the story about latent sexes to appear in the online magazine The Hub.

I'm thinking about flannel.

It's pretty wet out there. I love the smell of rain.
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I think I've been through four jars of salsa already. Finished one off today, it had gone that taste just before bad: it's a bit soured, but maybe better than when you first open it.

An awkward friend commiserated with me for my life being shit, but it's not, you know? There's too much in it that's beautiful. That sounds like a fakish chipperupper, but it's the stark truth. But.

Anyway, I've been doing a little writing, not enough to start counting it, and I've lost half the post-disaster weight gain. I'm being serious about it. Also my fridge is almost clean: I emptied a really old box of papers and sorted the little dab I'm keeping and filled it with his vintage softcore tapes to hand on to a friend who also likes that. What? Am I going to suppress the fact that my sweetie liked to watch films of lovely women being actively naked? Seriously. That's not a vice, that's a virtue.

So I have this bead with a bit of Ted's ashes in it. The one I have is a new design, not shown in the website: it has a bit of turquoise in it and consequently looks like the water off the Monterey Peninsula. I have the large opaque amber beads he gave me. I want to combine them and I'm taking my time designing what I'll do. I think I need to put a few other colors and textures with it in order to make them go together. But I also don't want the design to be so overwhelmingly gorgeous that I couldn't wear it, taking into account that I don't wear jewelry. I'm listening to suggestions. Some of the things I'm thinking about because they have some significance to me in our history are garnets (Little Sur River), obsidian (a couple of stories and several places), petrified wood, dark jade (Big Sur), agates, quartz, and cobalt blue glass. And I know someone who wants to give me tektites because of the meteor shower trips. I'm pretty sure not all of those! Though sometimes I think when you combine enoguh strong colors, they mud-out, and maybe that would make the thing less flashy than not . . . I don't need to have this accomplished until next summer. I have a lot of time to figure out how it goes together.

I'm eating mushrooms with garlic, rosemary and plum wine for lunch. Yeah, that plum wine. It's sweeter than I would usually use for a pupose like this, but it works nicely. Free association: I simply don't understand why grocery stores stock rosemary, when every block has at least four rosemary plants, usually more, and all different types too. You can get a year's supply of rosemary on an afternoon walk, without extending yourself or impacting your neighbors' landscaping in any noticeable way. So why would anybody buy the stuff?

Rain forecast for Friday night/Saturday morning . . .

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