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.

There and back again

In the last four 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.

The glass is half full. Of phosphors.

There's nothing creepy about butterflies, right?
There’s nothing creepy about butterflies, right?

I have had a long day in a few respects, so I am coping by accentuating the positive. Onwards!

After making plans, and waiting for several months (I mean, not many several months; the kind of several months that could also be a few months), I have gotten a tablet. It has a ten-inch-and-change screen, and I am really pleased with it. It occupies a niche closer to a smartphone than a laptop, for me; WiFi only, and not something I expect to do a lot of typing on.

That said, it is better for browsing on than a smartphone (due to the screen size), good for playing light games, and much better for reading on.

I’ve found that if I’m going to e-read (that is a verb, right?), I prefer relatively short pieces of fiction; magazines and anthologies work for me, as do standalone stories and individual issues of comics. Usually I’ve used my Kobo for this; it’s light and fairly durable, has great battery life, and it’s easy to read in direct sunlight. But the eInk screen has a regrettable tendency of freezing in -20C weather or lower (making waiting at bus stops extremely boring), the resolution is fairly low, it doesn’t handle images or zooming very well, and… well, not to be shallow, but it’s in greyscale.

There are certain aspects of the e-reading experience that are not well-served by 800 x 600 resolution in 16-level greyscale.

(By the way, I am kind of loving Cat Rambo’s stories, and her covers for same; I think my favourite so far is Her Windowed Eyes, Her Chambered Heart, but since I am not sure how to pull that cover out of my Kindle app, I am tossing up the one for Jaco Tours.)

I need to be careful to stop using the tablet a while before I turn in (backlit screens before bed don’t improve my sleeping any), but it’s really made it a lot easier to get drawn into some of the stories I’ve been collecting. And since I have an upcoming trip (although not to Costa Rica, where Jaco Tours is set), I expect I will be getting a lot of reading in. I look forward to this.