Yesterday, for instance, I kayaked solo for 3 hours with nothing but a small bottle of water and a single bar of pressed oats to sustain me. And yet I felt alive -- fully alive -- as I dipped the paddle repeatedly into the waters on either side of the bright orange plastic water craft, over and over and over again, 99000 times. Somehow, by the last kilometre and the grace of some evil miracle, the kayak was transformed as a lead-filled cement box, and my arms cruelly switched out for rubber tubes which quivered and shook and spastically flagellated until the boat bumped gently up alongside the dock. An emergency lunch was administered. "I think he's going to pull through! Anyone for tennis?" Such is the unrelenting cheery good-time lust for non-stop sport, here at the cabin.
No, really, it's been good.
I have read a couple of books while here. I can't remember which ones, but they were both memorable, I can tell you that. [After a long pause in which I stimulated memory via the never-fail act of staring out the window with my mouth open, the titles came back to me: Lord of Emperors by Guy Gavriel Kay, and Infernal Devices by Philip Reeve.] And then I ran out of books. That was pretty much the first day. It's been found copies of Dr. Al's dentist-office hand-me-down Discover magazines since then. There's a used bookstore in town which needs looking into, and a library into which I might to venture to stress the inevitability of province-wide collection sharing vis-à-vis my library card, as in: hand over your books right now and nobody gets hurt.
Michael introduced me to a new game, which he brought me from The Gambia. It's very cool, but he doesn't know what it's called. [It's a mancala type game.] It's made from mahogany, and has 12 depressions in 2 rows - 6 per side. Each depression is called a "compound" and holds 4 bean things. It's surprisingly fun. Apparently there are versions of it all over the world, and have been since ancient times. I introduced him to Hive, which is one of my favourite two-player games.
I am highly impressed. But then, I am highly impressionable. Probably because I go through life as does a a child: in wonderment, and with not an effing clue as to what's really going on.
I updated my Facebook status, and I stuck the word "corduroy" on the end. In quotes, like that.* And you know how Facebook slaps a period on the end of the status sentence? Well, it did. Within the quotation.
Peter is upset he had to look up how to spell the word "corduroy."
Oh, gods be praised. Somebody has been educated. I would like to find that person at Facebook, shake their hand, and give them a medal. And a kiss on the cheek. Maybe a little tongue. Because the Internet, without being prompted, has managed to pull off a tricky bit of grammar that would have thrown most college graduates.
Excelsior** to you, anonymous Facebook developer.
* Why? Shutup. I'll tell you when you *need* to know, you little twerp. Think you can knock me off my train of thought? Huh! This train's boilers are stoked, the tracks are long, parallel, and unwinding, and the passengers are sitting down to a comfortable and affordable supper with a view of the countryside spread before them like like an all-you-can-eat buffet.
** Well, blow me down. Did you know "excelsior" can also mean a kind of upholstery stuffing? Not the most unadulterated adjective of praise to use, then, but I can't be bothered to change it.
Last summer, Rachelle spent her bonus on a nice camera. I kind of ignored it. I've always assumed that I suck at photography, based on all the photos I have taken in the past that were limp and boring, or overexposed.
My parents did get me an all-manual Canon SLR way back, but I knew nothing about how to use it. And, because it did not magically create beautiful pictures, it found its way into the deep back of my closet, where it stayed for many years.
But then, a month ago, Rachelle hands me the camera, sets some settings, and tells me I'm going to photograph her belly dance recital. Which I did, from on high at the back of the theatre. And it was great! I really enjoyed myself and got some surprisingly decent shots.
But then I wanted to know which settings she had set, and why. So I started reading about photography, and how to do it. It's fascinating. I might well be hooked.
Here's a set from yesterday at the Ross Bay cemetary, where I practiced using a wide-open aperture to get that shallow depth of field thing: