Midsummer Review

Wow it’s been a while since my last post. Let’s catch up.

Dance: still doing ballet, although I’m taking a few months off classes so I can condition. Working a lot on turnout, so literally every day I just do slow plies in second – 20 in the morning, 20 in the evening. Interspersed with single leg raises to strengthen ankles and practice balance. It sucks, and progress is glacial, but it exists. I’m also learning to DIY some massage to relieve tight muscles and unlock more turnout.

Writing: miraculously, there’s been some. Finished yet another revision to draft 1, almost done with draft 2, and made inroads on draft 3 (which was commissioned). Restarted outlining of the novel that won’t die, and further than before. Just need to decide how the Final Confrontation shakes down.

Bean: Getting bigger, funnier, and more stubborn by the day. Now potty-trained!

Other: I took a wonderful* vacation last month! London, Amsterdam, and a handful of cities in Germany. I was feeling very burned out and also stuck on my personal writing. One day in a London hotel shook something loose and I came back with 8k more words than I’d left with. (They’re fic, but that’s fine.) I walked everywhere, drank delicious beer, did not eat nearly enough Nordsee, and somehow muddled through Germany without a single person trying to talk to me in English. There were a few points in Saarland, most notably in a Vapiano**, where I later realized I should have used my French, which while not fluent is WAY better than my German. Oh well!

* The one fly in the ointment was getting TOTALLY screwed by not realizing that Eurostar is basically a small airport, not your usual train station. Long story short, I missed my train to Amsterdam, which was the last train out that night, and I was stuck in London. Fortunately, a friend is in London and after she was finished laughing at me, she let me buy her dinner and crash on her couch. I did waste one night at a very nice hotel in Amsterdam, but hey, more time with your friends is priceless.

** I had a HORRIBLE time ordering my food and was wondering if my German*** had truly been that bad. Then the girl after me ordered in rapid fire French and my server/cook responded similarly. So I won’t blame it on myself that time. But man. I could have saved us both so much stress with a je voudrais instead of ich möchte!

*** “Kara why are you learning German” I’m not. Husband speaks German to Bean, and I’m picking it up from sheer osmosis. My vocabulary is mostly suited to working at a daycare, but Bean is quite into demanding food, so I know how to order a meal … more politely than she does.

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Worldcon Ho!

I bought a membership to Worldcon 2017 when they first became available, but I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to actually go. This is not a blog about finances, but it would misleading not to acknowledge that it imposes choices. I went through a very sudden, very expensive move in October-November 2016, and wasn’t sure whether I felt Worldcon was still worth it after the dust (and the books) settled from that.

I was still waffling until last week when a close friend, who is not generally given to Acts of Carpe Diem, announced that he was going to climb freaking Kilimanjaro next month. I’ve never been one to give in to peer pressure, but that was a challenge I couldn’t entirely ignore. Also, I’ve been feeling a bit in a rut lately, and this was a kick that I needed.

So I made some spreadsheets and then decided to go for it. Aside from the excitement and opportunities of Worldcon, I just want to see Helsinki! I also have very probably unrealistic dreams of doing some light hiking with my DSLR in tow.

I still haven’t decided how many days I’ll go for–in any case I can’t be there the entire time, my employer beckons–but I’m full of excitement and plans. Which is, if you will permit the cheesiness, my absolute favorite state of mind.

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Snow Country, U.S. edition

Efficient people: move to Colorado, buy Subaru, bike everywhere.
Me: move to Colorado, try not to wipe out in Camry, live too far to bike to work so drive everywhere, give up. Leave Colorado for Maryland, buy a Subaru, bike everywhere.

And the day after purchasing the car, I ordered some wool socks and merino leggings.

Spousal Unit: What are you going to do, turn on the a/c in the Subaru while wearing them?

Now, because I have a very poor sense of direction, the household joke/diagnosis is that I live in my own personal TARDIS. I usually only get lost in space, but you could argue that in this instance, I’ve once again* gotten lost in time and I was actually buying all these things two years ago in Colorado, when they would have been much more useful.

* So there was also the incident when we were trying to go to a museum of classical art in Moscow, and I somehow navigated us to a modern art museum. Artistic satire in the form of a Stalinist-era golden toilet stall is really something, let me tell you.

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