piranha: red origami crane (Default)

see, they WERE here first!

(spotted in vieux-montréal.)


Oct. 1st, 2006 17:28
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i am. also, exhausted. much to tell once it's all sorted and processed. many pictures to be webbified.

it was worth it. maybe next time i'll drive myself though. the trip back was especially fretful, with sitting by the side of the road just outside vaughan, ON for 2.5 hours waiting for a service unit to come to change a flat tire (i like to voice a negative opinion on certain types of union regulations here), and that lateness putting in question whether any connections would be made for the entire rest of the trip.

as it turns out, it was serendipitous that i had already changed my mind about the inside passage and was just heading straight home; that connection i would have missed, and would have been stuck in prince rupert for 3 days with no guarantee of getting a seat on the next ferry. the bus in direction home was held sufficiently long for us stragglers to drag ourselves onto it, however, but the delay continued so i'd worry about the next connection as well, pretty much all the way to vancouver (thanks to driver murray, over-eager rules lawyer -- if murray were on usenet, news.groups would be his home base). i didn't see my luggage (which contained all my other clothes) the whole trip because we rushed from one connection to the next, barely making it each time, being assured that our luggage would be transferred for us -- on the way out i had pulled my bag out every morning to change. luckily for fellow passengers not in the same boat, i kept a washcloth and deodorant in my carry-on luggage and could prevent the worst of the stink, but not changing sweated-into clothes for that long was decidedly unpleasant. next time, a change of clothes will travel in my carry-on as well.

did make all the connections though, if by the skin of my teeth. buses to calgary were blissfully only half filled, so every one of us could have two adjoining seats and actually grab some zzz's, and i was cheering my clever decision to change travel plans away from weekends. in calgary that luck ran out, and the bus was completely filled, every seat, all the way to vancouver. that was hideous, and worrying about making my last bus and ferry in vancouver and whether my luggage had made it (somebody else's hadn't) didn't help -- other people were similarly itchy, and consequently there was more tension on the bus and it was just all around uncomfortable. no sleep possible, and my back was deeply unhappy with me. thanks to troy, our last driver on that stretch, for catching up with a fine bit of driving probably too fast most of the way, and cutting out all the breaks. :) that was smart.

the ferry trip home, as always, set much of my stressed mind at rest. an hour and a half of looking at the BC coastline being beautiful in early fall ... ahhh.

and now i am home, and with the paramour and catses, have slept for most of a day, and will sleep probably some more.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
j'ai le crud du con.

how annoying is that? to be in exciting montréal, with a head that does no longer fit between regular-sized doors, and sinuses that are swelled to bursting? not to mention the gallons of fluid my rheumy nose is expelling ... oh, sorry, were you in the middle of eating?

i pounded vitamin C and echinacea yesterday, and am actually feeling slightly better this morning, which is a good sign. it would of course have been better had i actually taken the vitamin C from the day i bought it, before i started on the trip. the paramour suggested it, and i thought it was a very good idea. but then i had to swallow the ginormous pills, and my throat was not cooperative. ergo, i stopped taking them. just call me "stupid", go ahead. :)

there is still so much stuff i want to see, but yesterday i had to come home after wandering around for a while, and cancel the chinese lantern viewing. well, maybe today, if i hold up after walking around the jardin botanique for a couple of hours. possibly jo's clafouti will give me sufficient strength.

i had already decided to extend my trip, because it had become obvious to me after starting it that planning the return trip for a weekend had been a serious faux pas (the first 10 hours on a completely full bus taught me that lesson), but the cold pretty much sealed that deal -- it would really be hideously miserable on a crowded bus with a full-blown cold. so now i am leaving monday for toronto (if in reasonable health) and setting out the next day for prince rupert. i will most definitely not be in any shape to see anyone but graydon in toronto; apologies.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
ah, silence.

[livejournal.com profile] papersky and [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel went off to do important things, [livejournal.com profile] zorinth is in school (though plotting to not have that happen again), and i'm alone, really alone for the first time in what seems like forever. earlier jo and i were talking about the difference in having people around (even if they're very well behaved and do not just walk in and interrupt one's work), and being truly alone, and yes, it is indeed a palpable difference. it feels so ... free, even if i am able to do the very same things as i would do with others around.

that said, i am not in fact heartily sick of people, but am enjoying myself. especially now that the company has shrunk to the household, but really, overall it's been a good thing -- in the category of "time spent with 40-50 people" this small con ranks in the top enjoyable times i've had with that many of you all in one place. :) i was fortunate in that the long bus trip was nowhere as horrible as i had anticipated and girded myself for, and so i arrived with extra energy; and not all of that was immediately used up, though i could pretty much watch it drain away. it really is very annoying to be able to spend 82 hours in the company of total strangers and have that be less stressful than 10 hours in the company of people i know and like. bloody introversion/depression, at times it really pisses me off.

not only has it been outstanding in the category of time spent with groups of people, but it's also been outstanding in the category of cons. ok, so that is a tiny category, since i've been to 3 cons -- a baycon, a VCON, and this. but if all cons were like farthingparty, i'd be going to lots more of them; the programming and quality of the panels were excellent, and i only have one complaint: too little time for some subjects. i went to almost all panels, and the 2.5 i missed, i missed only for personal logistics reasons. i'll be writing a separate post about the panels that i enjoyed most, and while they were not all created equal, there wasn't a single boring one.

the people who've participated were to a person interesting in manifoldly colourful and intricate ways, and i felt only occasionally like a totally alien outcast (to put it in perspective, i felt like a totally alien outcast 95% of VCON and 90% of baycon). i actually tried to go out for meals in larger groups a few times (8+ people), and it went alright; i didn't do too much turtling. the rest of the time i spent with just one or two people, which was a lot more conducive to actually having some personal connection that went beneath the surface. as always, i am struck by how much more suited asynchronous communication is to my personality (and i am not even at the far end of inability to get a word in edgewise in the company of extraverts).

the small fly in the ointment was that neither piglet nor lorre made it, and i would have loved to see them again; it's been too long. but in reality of course there wasn't even a right time to talk to people i wanted to talk to who were there (looks especially at cally, [livejournal.com profile] hobbitbabe and [livejournal.com profile] ckd (whose identity i didn't figure out until way late)), so what the heck am i whining about, *snrk*.

*whew*. i just spent two hours cutting my email down to size, and replying only to the most urgent. i'm afraid i will not be able to catch up even remotely on my flist.

day 0

Sep. 10th, 2006 09:12
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
and here i go. i WILL sleep on the bus because i had about 90 min sleep last night.

thanks to everyone who has encouraged me. and i'll see those of you i'll see on the other side. hope all your travels will be pleasant!
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
a little less panicky right now. decided to fuck procmail, and to just forward all mail to my gmail account -- that storage should tide me over, and i can also read and clean it from elsewhere with computer access. however, if you send me email during the trip, i might not have time or access enough to respond.

also, don't have to go do laundry; have enough clean tshirts and sweatpants :) for the trip. need to wash my favourite socks, but that can be done in the sink. the paramour is off to radio shack to get different plugs, since after carefully determining which plug would fit my camera, the guy musta picked the wrong ones off the shelf.

went to the superstore to shop for groceries, both for me to take and the paramour to consume in my absence. was glad to have the paramour along who helped keep me on the ground, and suggested good things to take, like jerky and fruit leather. they also make a fine roasted chicken, so that's what we're having for dinner.

things to do:
clean backpack
sink laundry
solder battery pack plug
make bread bought french bread instead
buy cheese, salami, energy bars, trailmix and jerky and fruit leather
possibly buy small microfibre blanket and also a small pillow
print bus route
write down J and G's contact info
send email to G with cellphone#
ditto J
print new emergency contact note for wallet
make inside passage ferry reservations (call in the morning)
get cash (in the morning)
pick out some beads to take (ignore if faced with choice paralysis)
make list of stuff to do for paramour
dump paid bills on paramour for bookkeeping
write quickie resume for business insurance (or maybe not, *sigh*)

jewelry making supplies (tools, wire)
yarn, needles, crochet hooks, vest pattern, scissors
hygiene stuff (last thing tomorrow morning) (remember small towel (x), flannel (x), babywipes (x))
notebook, pens, bus routes, contact info
mp3 player, music cds, headphones
camera (thanks, janet :) it's unlikely i would forget, but hey)
battery pack, extra batteries and charger
cellphone and charger
farthing, plus N other books (ilium/lady of mazes/); crochet stitch guide
clothing (tshirts, sweatpants, shorts, underwear, socks, hat; wear jacket)
pillow, blanket
waterbottle, coffeemug?
food (separate bag) remember to pack cheese, sausage, ice tea last thing
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
panicking now. did hardly get anything done today; the time just went into the big sinkhole in the sky where time so often goes for me.

sat there early this morning, eager to be doing things, winding the yarn i am taking into centerpull balls on a toiletpaper roll functioning as a short nostepinne. after two balls my wrists started hurting, and yeah, was i gonna sit here all day and wind yarn into balls? i had too much to do. so i went to the LYS and bought a yarn winder. which is something i now wish i had done years ago; it is such an immensely useful little gadget, and so fast! wound all the yarn i'm taking in no time, and was sorely tempted to attack the rest of my stash.

so that was good. but after it, i crashed. time went away, interrupted by going grocery shopping and having dinner at the vietnamese spices garden with the paramour, and picking up my powells order from the post office. when we came back i tried to make procmail do what i need it to do to not have my email box overrun while i am gone, and i couldn't concentrate. that started the panic, and then some more time went away, and now all i want to do is crawl into bed and make it all go away. stay home, not go anywhere.

this is why i bought tickets when i was feeling all excited about going. this always happens. and if i hadn't bought tickets, i would now no longer want to buy them. fucking depression.


on the bright side, the paramour is an oscar nominee!
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
dear self.

patterns that look really spiffy on drawn models of tall, slim men will not look that way on you. instead they will make you appear to be the pillsbury doughboy's older, much fatter auncle, especially when executed in offwhite cotton [1] and blousing around the hips due to the fabric's drape (or lack thereof). you knew that. why are you surprised and slightly dismayed?

this is not cheerful.

except for the part where i actually set up a cutting table, cleaned off half my desk, dug out my sewing machine, cleaned and oiled it, adjusted a pattern for shape and size, and had it come out pretty damn well, despite not having sewn anything in many years, especially not something with pockets at just the right height for comfortably lodging one's hands therein. i might do nothing more about this than rest on my laurels, but i am counting it as a qualified success.

[1] what passes for muslin in my fabric stash, since it was much cheaper at the time, and i didn't feel like cutting into the good fabric without making a muslin first since i had to adjust the pattern quite a bit to fit me.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i've been contemplating the depression, since i actually have to get things done by a deadline, and that is something i sorta suck at at the best of times, and the depression tends to make sure there are no best of times. luckily i don't really have to get a whole lot done -- i basically have to decide on what clothes and books and entertainment to take, and pack that. naturally, this is the point in time where i realize that i don't actually have anything to wear but sweatpants, bike shorts, and tshirts. which is generally ok, except for some odd reason i would like to have something a wee bit more cheerful to put on, as sort of an expression of "yay, i am really looking forward to seeing all these wonderful people".

so i am contemplating some sewing. with 4 days to go. after not having sewn anything seriously for a decade. i am stupid. it's not like it's actually 4 days to go even, it's only 3 days since the bus leaves sunday morning. why am i doing this to myself?

well. we shall see. i have fabric. i have patterns. maybe i will, maybe i won't. i made room for a cutting board. i unearthed my sewing machine. i went to the fabric store and bought elastic and thread. i cleaned up the saw horses which have sat outside as a resting place for cats all summer, and it turned out my friendly european paper wasps had made a couple of small nests in there as well. these nests, i am sorry to say, are no more. all the ones under the roof persist; i haven't had the heart to kill those.

i also vacuumed the living room, just because it seemed like a thing to do. "whether it needs it or not" doesn't really apply in a house with 6 outdoor cats; it always needs it. while contemplating the depression and thinking that i am doing rather well, considering. i mean, well for really lowered standards, *snrk*. i went to the fabric store, i vacuumed, i exterminated wasps, and worked on the battery pack -- i made a wooden dowel battery to take up the missing space and carry the jumper wire to bridge that empty space (the holder is designed for 8 batteries but i can use only 7 for the correct voltage). this may not seem like a lot to normal people, but i am positively giddy with productivity vibes.

i am not even panicking yet.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
external battery pack external battery pack

for my digicam, collected parts. actually it will take 7 batteries (8.4V). this is a dirt-cheap setup, and geared towards using what i already have, rather than going for the MOST POWER option.

if i went for optimizing power, i'd use a honking lead-acid battery. but i have oodles of NIMH batteries in size AA, because all my portable electronics run on those. the camera's internal battery outputs a meager 650 Ah, and it doesn't last very long even if i use energy saving methods (turn the LCD screen off, don't use the flash). which is no big problem when i am near a socket to plug in the fast charger, but that won't be possible much during the bus ride, nor when exploring montréal. a second battery like this costs at least C$50, which would give me nothing more than another puny battery. with the AA batteries i have, i can boost the output from 1200 up to 2300 Ah (depending on which set i use), which should last me a good deal longer. and i have more than one set of batteries, so that extends it even more.

cost of parts: battery holder @ 2.99, coax plug @ 1.75, 9V snap connector @ 1.00 for a total of C$4.75. am cannibalizing an old phone cord for the wire. can't beat that.

a little soldering, and tomorrow a usage test, and i'm hopefully be all set. i would have bought a project box because i don't want the pack to float around loose in my bag, but the paramour suggested that a simple drawstring bag would do -- indeed it would.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)

the montreal project the montréal project

this is the yarn i am taking with me. it'll be a freeformy something of spirals and sprays; maybe a long vest. freeform is ideal for the bus; lots of small pieces as the mood strikes me. the colours are not quite right; the white balance was off under the light in my office and i didn't notice until i had taken the battery out of the camera for recharging. and now i am too lazy to fiddle with the gimp. i'll take another picture tomorrow in daylight. everything is slightly more cyan-shifted in reality, and the reds are not quite as intense.

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i have acquired tickets.

and since 80 hours on a bus was just not challenging enough all by itself, i've added a ferry through the inside passage to the return trip. :) i've wanted to do the inside passage for years; no better chance than this.

here's the itinerary:

date dep
city date arr
where / what transport hours
sep 10 10:00 nanaimo sep 13 20:20 montréal bus + ferry 82:20
sep 14 montréal sep 21 farthing frolic  
sep 21 11:00 montréal sep 21 19:25 toronto bus 8:25
sep 21 toronto sep 22 frolic w/ graydon  
sep 22 17:15 toronto sep 25 20:10 prince rupert bus 74:55
sep 25   prince rupert     sleep    
sep 26 06:00 prince rupert sep 27 12:30 port hardy ferry 18:30
sep 27   port hardy     sleep    
sep 27 09:00 port hardy sep 27 16:10 nanaimo bus 7:10

see the route map )

oh, this will be fun, FSVO of cheerfully nutso fun.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
ok, it's decided. i am going to montréal. on the bus. 80 hours straight. without net access. i'll buy the tickets tomorrow -- booking roundtrip saves an extra $10, woohoo. :)

anyone want anything specific from BC that you're lusting after? anything that would survive the trip intact, that is. :) nanaimo bars are unfortunately right out.

i am so TOTALLY PSYCHED!!!!! thanks to everyone for making me feel wanted.

(sorry, betsy! wish you could come too!)

dear chapters. where is my copy of farthing? you claim you shipped my order in full and yet everything else is here, but that. this will be my travel companion. don't let me down.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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