My first ‘real’ post (and by that I mean the first one not to contain the word ‘test’ in a prominent place) to this blog was uploaded on September 7 of 2012. That post describes events that occurred somewhat earlier (August 25). Those dates tell me two things: that it takes me two weeks to string together 550 semi-coherent words (hardly an impressive rate of output) and that this blog has been active for about a year and it might be appropriate to commemorate that anniversary in some fashion. One obvious thing I could do would be to write something clever and witty and apropos (not an excerpt from the emacs manual, though) — perhaps something on the subject of birthdays or the passage of time or maybe even the process of creating (not that I know anything about that, at least nothing worth sharing).
This isn’t that because ‘that’ would entail decent writing on a non-trivial, relevant (and hopefully inoffensive) subject.That doesn’t sound much like me.
Stee-rike THREE! (And I don’t mean the wiffleball.)
First of all, I thought that there might be a story lurking in another trip to the Rideau Valley Art Festival, an event mentioned in that first post; this year would be the 32nd one and 32 is a significant sort of number. (In binary, anyway. Octal too, I suppose, or even hex. It’s also just more than a billion seconds which is mildly interesting as well.) Plus last year there was tons of interesting art; with any luck some of the artists responsible (or ones with an equally interesting body of work) would be attending this year’s event.
The trouble with this particular idea is that the festival didn’t actually happen. The group that organizes it decided to cancel it; I have no idea why. I only found out that it was cancelled by accident: their website vanished (which was a bit of a clue) but then I tripped over the web page of an artist who was (at one point) planning on attending; on one of her web pages she said that she wouldn’t be attending the event because there was no event to attend — it had been cancelled but she didn’t say anything more than that. (I sent an email or two trying to figure out why. Even though I got answers, I never did figure out why or even who the organizers were.) Heck, it’s entirely possible (I’m guessing here, of course) that the event is completely dead and there will never be a 32nd one because not only did their web site vanish, their domain no longer exists — even though it hasn’t actually expired or anything. (The domain expires in January of 2014. To me, the fact that they shut down their site and deleted their domain before this date sort of implies that they wanted to vanish, leaving no trace that they ever existed. Sounds kind of final to me.)
This tells me that this is not a particularly promising source of ideas for a commemorative story or post. Next up is perennials — in that first post, I talked briefly about buying perennials from ladies dressed in khaki. Maybe there is/was a story there?
There might be, but I recently (well, fairly recently) went there and, except for bathroom stories, I don’t like to go back to ‘the well’ too often.
The other day we paid a visit to Sister Rose and Billy Rose (not Bellerose — that’s either an annoying NPC, a font or a Belgian purveyor of forgettable clothing) and their canine that happens to be named after a curling club in Regina. (Sort of.) The day started with a visit to the Insomniac Capriform Cafe (where there was a large pile of snakes; fortunately they were on the wall and not on the menu) where I was carefully instructed in the difference between ‘lilac‘ and ‘purple‘ by two insightful young ladies.
After the lesson (I was still unclear on the difference, of course — I would claim that it’s a guy thing) and a plate of scrambled eggs (the Insomniac Capriform Cafe has the best breakfasts in town), it was off to make some relatives’ lives a living hell (I take a few familial responsibilities seriously). Along the way I reflected on a short list of things. (The weather. Emily’s directions. The traffic. Snakes in a cafe. Lilac vs purple. The algorithm that plays music from a recovering drug addict with a vocabulary that would make my mother blush back to back with music from an alt-country chanteuse. The best damn chip wagon within at least a hundred kilometers. A cross-dressing curler. Things like that.)
The trip started out on the biggest, fastest, most heavily trafficked highway in the area (mentioned briefly here). Like all major highways, it’s lined with places to fill your car with petroleum products, fill your stomach with food of dubious quality and empty… various other things. Some of these places are ‘official‘ (meaning that they have a history of being wildly overpriced due to a combination of preferred locations and a somewhat captive customer base) while many others are ‘unofficial’ but almost as convenient. A couple of exits up the highway (one that we don’t usually take but Emily was insistent) is one of the latter; it bears the logo of a doggie and has a huge flag (no, that’s not a euphemism or anything — they have an enormous red maple leaf blowing in the wind). It’s right at the exit; to drive there from the exit is certainly under a kilometer — on foot it would be a couple hundred meters at most. It’s so close that, if you have to ‘go’, there isn’t likely to be a reason to go anywhere else. So you can imagine my surprise when we took the exit and saw — right on the off-ramp — a boy emerging from a bush next to a parked car. He had an extremely relieved expression on his face.
It’s darned helpful of people to urinate in public when you need an idea for a story.