Resolutions or a bucket list?
Some books

January cold, warm lips

Funny how we get spoiled by a few above normal days, then when the temperature becomes "seasonal" we sit and glare at the weather forecaster. And he/she is often apologetic about the coming bad weather - reinforcing the myth that it's all their fault. In Ottawa, cold weather means good conditions on the Rideau Canal Skateway, allegedly the world's longest. And apparently it's also one of the world's smoothest, now that the maintenance company has built a wide Zamboni-like machine to flood the ice every night. Now that my January cough has cleared up, I might actually get out and skate a few times. I had a cold that seemed to just hang in there for weeks, trying to decide where it wanted to settle. Runny nose, then stuffy nose, then dry cough, then congested cough - rinse and repeat - it wandered from place to place and then finally left. As with all colds, you're never sure if the cure was the unique set of remedies you chose, or if it was just a matter of time. In addition to the regular plenty of fluids and rest, I trioed throwing Vitamin C and Cold-FX at it. The literature seems to indicate that those have both made a difference in clinical trials. For some patients. So maybe they helped me, maybe they didn't, and any rate it's nice to be relatively healthy again and go for a walk without hacking and sniffing through crowds like a Typhoid Mary. Good to get out and about but also is enjoyable to see the snow from my apartment window, especially when someone else clears it all away from the driveway. There are some quirks living in an apartment, but there are also some real benefits. Especially when it's in such a great area.

My NaNoWriMo novel still chugs along, but I'm finding that editing is harder than just sitting and filling up a first draft. I'm not so focused, there are more decisions on what to add/change/delete, more distracting research to fill in the blanks. I'm meeting a couple of fellow WriMo's tonight for an editing session, hopefully that will move things along. We won't be editing each others work - that comes later I guess - right now it's just a chance to sit down together and use some peer pressure to force us to work. My novel has "rested", so now the process is to take up the printed copy, and a red pen, and read from start to finish. The main focus will be on structure, characterizations, motivations, suspense - high level things. I'll leave the line by line changes for the next pass. Research continues at my local bar, I've enough notes now that I think I could do a book about some guy that hangs out in a small local bar. I also need to add more First Nations content, I have books and a friend to consult for that. I also have been "researching" police work, I found an iPhone app that has links to various police, fire, and EMS radio channels. Waterloo police is an interesting one, sort of a small town flavour, and shows how many trivial yet important incidents fill their day. They've an online link too.

The Jazz band continues to be fun, although it took me a few days to get my lips back in shape - my embouchure. We've added more pieces to our repertoire - Time After Time, Blues With a View, Pure and Simple, and a dance mix from Earth Wind and Fire. The video's on YouTube for the last one are impressive - we may need to get done up in Afro wigs and sparkles for the spring concert. At our practices we jump right into the pieces, no easing into them. Last week Mandar handed out three new  "charts", then played recordings of the pieces so that we could listen along. Then we played them, sight reading, with all those accidentals and all that syncopation that Jazz loves. I use the word "played" advisedly - we did start together, and keep going right through to the end, and all finished at the same time, but some of us did better than others in the middle. I'm not so good - yet. I'm getting there though - we all are improving actually. Last September when we tried to tackle a piece we would stumble rather badly the first few times. We've all been practicing at home (glad I only have one band now) and next week we'll focus on specific sections of each piece, until we can gradually get to the point where we not only play right through, but we play it well.

I've been spending some time with my grandsons too. My son is at home on paternity leave so I try to get over every few days either to visit, or to go out on an outing - the train museum is pretty popular. Noah has started asking "when is gampa coming to play", Cute. Last time I was over I used my iPhone to browse Flickr for photos of trains. That was a real hit, until I ran out of photos - the app limits you to 40 at a time. And his little brother Tyson wants in on everything too - some sibling rivalry there, but both are a lot of fun.

Which reminds me - time to head over for another visit.  




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