Thursday, January 26, 2017

Changing Skies

The light is changing.

On my way back home yesterday morning the sky was a deep periwinkle blue, instead of its recent heavy Prussian.

And if it hadn't been cloudy I might even have been able to see flashes of pink or orange, reflected on clouds or the undersides of gulls' wings.

It cheers me to think I may someday soon be able to finish my run in time with the sunrise, to watch the clouds change as I pass under, to see the sun flashing on the river, to go through the park freely.

The world turns and spring is coming. I know we may have two more months of snow (or possibly just rain, ice, and mud), but spring is on its way.

Which is good to remember, because winter is coming, winter is here.

Bleakly,
Annie

*And yes, that is a Game of Thrones reference.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

500

I've finally found a writing rhythm that seems to work for me. This includes the macro view of how I split my time up between work on my novel, poetry, journaling, correspondence, and yes, this blog, and the micro view of where I write (at the dining room table, in my study, cafes), when I write, and how (by hand or on the computer, depending on the kind of work I'm up to).

Right now I have a corner in my study where my decrepit old laptop lives. This is where the bulk of my work on the novel takes place, though I have a notebook I keep for it as well. The laptop can't keep a charge, so for a while every time I wanted to work on it I would have to wait while it started up again. But time is precious! I experimented with different locations in the house until I found I could work upstairs in my study, propped upright on the futon sofa. This meant I could just leave the laptop parked there and plugged in, saving me valuable moments. And today I determined that Tasha (our cat) is content to settle down next to me while I work, as long as I leave a blanket out for her and crack the curtain that serves as my study door. No more howling at doors, making me fear that she'll wake the other inhabitants.

And there I sit, tea at hand, plugging along for 500 words a day.

And some days it flows and others I sweat blood,
Annie

Friday, January 13, 2017

That White Privilege Thing

And, of course, I am aware that things might have gone differently for us at airport security if we had been:

  • black
  • brown
  • visibly Muslim
  • visibly queer
  • non gender-conforming
  • non English-speaking
  • disabled

Or any other way of not fitting in to Trump's America.

Maybe. Or maybe not, but that things might have been different for us based on who we appear to be wasn't something I had to think about in the moment. And I didn't. And that's not true for everyone.

I did think about these things when our Uber driver was pulled over on New Year's Eve. (He had new tags but hadn't put them on the car.) There was a moment's joking about jumping out of the car and running and all I could think was, Are you effing kidding me? That might be the difference between living in Chicago and living in a suburb of Denver - even if I personally don't have to worry about my interactions with police I know too many people who do, never mind the daily news.

Still pissed off that the Trib endorsed Gary Johnson,
Annie

And yes, "queer" is a loaded word, and I gave a lot of thought about whether to use it or go with the newspaper-friendly "gay/lesbian". But this isn't a newspaper, and it's how I identify, and so in the end it felt odder to me to not use it.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hot Sauce Is A Liquid, and Jelly Is, Well, A Gel

We were in Denver over New Year's to visit my sister. That was a great trip and I suppose I should write about it sometime... but it also made me aware that we are not used to traveling by plane. Because while we were very careful about what toiletries to pack and not, and about not bringing bottles of water to the airport, it completely escaped my notice that the special bottles of hot sauce and homemade jellies we were bringing home, are, in fact, liquids/gels, and therefore cannot be in carry-on luggage.

Well.

After some discussion (carried out over a distance of twenty feet since we had two bags that got stopped and The Dude went ahead with the first bag and the first TSA guard while I waited - along with everyone else in line - for the people reading the machines to realize that the two bags belonged to the same family and that therefore the first guard wasn't, in fact, going to finish up with the first bag until the second bag was also brought over, which required bringing over a second TSA guard from a different line), we were able to repack all the questionable items into one bag, which The Dude then had to bring back through luggage check. Thankfully through all of this, the two TSA guards, while having their careful "I must not display any emotion" faces on, were actually quite patient and helpful and even gave G "assistant TSA badge" stickers when it looked like he might freak out. And we had come to the airport in plenty of time and so were not worried about missing our flight. The only real discomfort to come from this was that we had barely managed to close that suitcase in the first place and with the rearrangement of items there was no way of replicating that magic, so I got to carry a child-size life vest on the plane with me in my already overstuffed bags, along with our winter coats and everything G was now too overwhelmed to carry.

It's now been three out of four flights with the kids where we've managed to tick off fellow passengers, and the kids haven't been at fault for any of it. Bravo them. Not sure what that says about The Dude and me.

Thinking about the train next time,
Annie