Checking in

I was going for a catchy title, but my first thought was something about how high up we are and then I realized (1) I’m not actually sure how high up we are and (2) my sleep-deprived brain is now humming a snatch of an 80s (?) song that is just “niiightmare— at twenny thousand feet!” over and over. So so much for that.

The last week was okay. I got all my Clarion West Write-a-thon rewards out, although I am desperately behind on resubmitting stories. A project I was on at work got cancelled Thursday afternoon, and I spent a lot of Friday being alternately mildly sad–I’d spent a lot of time and overtime on it, and am as vulnerable as anyone else to the emotional impact of the sunk costs fallacy–and pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t more annoyed.

We should land in about an hour (although this post won’t go up until I get onto the Frankfurt airport free WiFi). I’m going to sit here, see what I can see out the window, and slowly wake up.

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There and back again

In the last five days, I have

  • cruelly abandoned my cats in a place that is one step down from being a kitty spa,
  • travelled to Ohio (border crossings, dear god, border crossings. And why are the railings on the Ambassador Bridge gently crumbling away into rust like piles of cigarette ash?),
  • caught up with people that I haven’t seen in person in six years,
  • visited a fireworks store in Michigan (for the record, it smelled like bath bombs–not scented or perfumed bath bombs, just the dry and powdery ingredients that seem like they should end with -ate),
  • had a couple of pit bulls be absolutely adorable sloppy cuddle-puppies,
  • had a ridiculous amount of very good food,
  • hit the Toledo Zoo,
  • had a giraffe chew on my shirt (to be fair, he was going after the lettuce I wasn’t giving him fast enough),
  • seen jellyfish and bioluminescent fish and a very boredly dismissive kudu and really they are gorgeous in a very elegantly understated way,
  • learned three new campfire games,
  • stayed up very late playing a homebrew blend of Zombicide and Betrayal at House on the Hill,
  • stopped to have a sushi dinner with a friend I had never actually met in person before (who reads this! Hiiii!),
  • and gotten most of the way back home.

(Not all of the way. Self-preservation and the schedule of the cat boarding place dictated not driving all the way through, so we’ve stopped at a hotel. I am actually typing this last night–I cannot be bothered to wrangle hotel internet RN–so the last four days are “July 1st to 4th inclusive”. I’ll post it in the morning. It’ll still be “the last four days” when I do.)

I’ve also rediscovered that yes, I apparently am a person who gets squirrelly without a certain amount of movement in the day. It keeps surprising me; I never think I’ve been making a concentrated effort to walk long enough for it to have become any kind of habit.

I have brought back a not-to-my-mind-ridiculous amount of Cock & Bull caffeine free cherry-ginger soda, and a small stuffed green tiger from the Toledo Zoo. Whose name is Lymoncello, by the way. I will need to get a photo up.

Turning in, given how soon the alarm is going off. May all the roads you go down be kind ones.

Sic transit gloria

It’s been… odd. Not bad. I have missed travelling in the sense of being somewhere else; I always do. I wish teleportation was a thing; I wish the logistics of being able to leave were not so difficult, and there was more time. (I always wish there was more time.)

But I wish there’d been more time to be in transit, too; while the logistics of being able to travel are a pain (time off! pet care! packing!) the logistics of actually travelling are inevitably relaxing. There’s a fluidity to being able to drop someone a line, decide you can do dinner, know that since you’re in transit you don’t need to be home yet and can drive for a while or stop for a while or just wander. In the UK or the US it feels constantly interesting to me; in Canada it’s more like a larger subtler version of browsing a bookstore. There’s something fascinating about watching the world unscroll outside the window, and seeing the pattern of paint-flaked brick or peach-toned highway (seriously! There were great swathes of both highway and sidewalk that had a distinctly pinkish hue) or trees silhouetted black against the sky repeat itself until you start to get a sense of place. Not recognizing it, but relaxing into it enough that you could begin to describe it.

I didn’t take pictures, this trip. When it comes to the scenery, I am okay with that; I will remember it, and think about it, and pick out pieces. I wish I’d taken a few more of people, but I hope and trust there’ll be other times.

(Also, I got fifteen assorted pieces read for the Hugo voting. So that’s quantifiable.)

Turning in, given how soon the alarm is going off. May all the roads you go down be kind ones.