na foine ting

Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Too much. Let me sum up.

We're all fine here, everyone's fine, uh, situation normal. How are you?


I'm driving to Arizona tomorrow to read "Heart of the Tree and the Christmas Whore" at a real for real "author reads their stuff" reading at World Fantasy 2004.

Utterly terrifying, although that's assuming anyone shows up to listen.

Will report fully. On this and other news.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


“What’s your battle name?”
“Um, Retribution.”
”What’s your battle name?”
“Well, let me think… Computer Head.”

“What color rope do you want?”
”Uh, can I have the blue one?”
”Yeah. You have the blue one. I’ll have the fire practice one.”


“Oh, wait. Here’s an axe. Do you want to fight with an axe?”

“Instead of the rope?”

“Instead of the rope. And also the dagger.”

“The dagger and the rope. Got it.”

“Wait. My rope is tangled. Okay, now we can start.”

Part the First


“I gave you a bleeder. On your hand.”

“Yeah. Dude. Ow.”

“Hah ha ha ha ha!”

Part the Second



“I got you! Hah!”

“Yes, but you didn’t do enough damage.”


“Go back to the end of the hall.”

“I’m going.”

Part the Third

“Spinning attack!”


“I like the spinning attack.”
“Me too.”

Part the Fourth

“No, no, no, you’re not supposed to run!”

“Oh. Sorry.



“That’s better. Get up now.”

Part the Fifth

“Wait, why did you drop your weapons?”
“Fist punch!”
“Oh! Hand to ha—ow!!”


“When you win you’re going to be King! King of What?”
”King of the United States.”
“What about Canada?”
“Not Canada. They already know what to do by themselves.”
“Oh, OK.”

“Hip Check! Oh, oh, gosh. Sorry. You OK, kiddo?”
“Yeah. Hold on. Get up you coward!!”
”Um, I am up.”
“Oh, yeah! Aaaaaahhhh!!!”

The Final Battle

“Aah—“ THWAP! “—ow!”

“Mommy! Mommy, where are you??”
“In the bathtub. What is it?”
“I killed my opponent with a sword and rope spinning attack.”
“That’s wonderful.”
“Okay, see you later.”

“I’m back! Aaahaahahahahhhh!!!


“I’m dead.”
“I know. I killed you! Aha! Kabuto is the winner!

“I thought your name was Computer Head.”

“No, it’s Kabuto.”

“Oh, right, sorry. Kabuto is the winner!”


Monday, October 11, 2004
So there's Gavin and I, and we're working on his homework. Kindergarten homework is pretty serious business. One writes words and colors in the lines and puts orange exes on groups of five things. Three pages a night, if you put off doing homework all weekend.

Today Gavin read out the directions for his last page of the three: "Draw five blue triangles. Draw five green... um... oh, Christmas trees!" He rooted around in his crayon box. "I'm going to draw the Christmas trees first," he told me, "because at Christmas you get ANYTHING you want!"

"ANYTHING?" I echoed. "Really?"

"Anything, he confirmed.

"Like, if I wanted Scott Parker for Christmas I'd get him????"

He rolled his eyes. "No, mom," he said in that 'you're a doofus' tone, "Scott Parker's way too big to fit in your stocking."


When I was taking fire and cop agilities, if I failed it was always a head space issue.

Nine times out of ten, it wasn't that I couldn't actually haul the hose roll up three stories with a rope, it was that I didn't *believe* I could.

And more than that, it wasn't just my belief that I wouldn't pass the agility that was torpedoing me. It was my belief, at core, that I wasn't good enough for the job in the first place.

All of it bullshit, but you are what you believe you are, in the end.

In hockey, I find I get in my own way a lot less, for whatever reason. No lives at stake, maybe, not the only woman in the room (usually), and it's not about my ability or lack of ability to be something greater than human, a hero. It's just a game, and that reality is a lot easier to confront than the idea that I might be called on to be some kind of SuperKate, and then fail.

Though I have my moments, in hockey. Failure to take risks, and although friends and teammates are unjudgemental and sympathetic, I know better. I have my moments of blind panic, of screaming self doubt. And then it all feels like firefighting again.

I've joined a couple of practices with Dana Angus' new team, Cheap Skates. A nice group of folks, very much where the Hounds were at last year. All new, many fresh out of the Logitech Adult Beginner class. Still learning the basics, but having fun. Staggering through.

The last Cheap Skates practice was fun, and face it, I'm a ho for ice time. So I drove up on Saturday even though both Sparks and Loechner flaked on giving me a ride. And there I am sitting in the locker room and people are walking in and I know most of them and am as usual loud, foulmouthed, gregarious. And then it all sort of screeches to a halt as a tall guy walks in and starts putting his skates on, and I'm thinking "no, way, that's *him*."

It was downhill from there. I've been more useful to myself at fire agilities, with rope slipping through my gloves and sweat in my eyes and my proctor with the watch thinking 'here goes another one' and shaking his head.

I laced my skates wrong, put the wrong shirt on, and by the time I got out on the ice I'd already overskated and was practically hyperventilating.

The human mind. Fulcrum for greatness or time bomb. You see how it is.

Okay, yeah, and eventually I realized I was being stupid and he was a regular, nice joe, which I already knew, and it was great having the kids there and eventually I went back in the locker room and sorted my skates and gear out and calmed the fuck down.

Went back out on the ice and looked around and realized there were a bunch of my teammates there. And that my real connection, my real focus, my real love was there.

So I'm moved over to left wing on the right side instead of the left side of the face off circle, and I'm listening to him talk to one of the centers, but at the same time Noel and I are making rude gestures and giving each other the 'bring it' sign.

(And if you doubt nice, softspoken, hard-working, fair-playing Noel would be caught dead making obscene gestures, I'll remind you all of the famous Crotch Grabbing Penalty. Yes, thank you, I've made my point, may I go on?)

And I realized it's like that. Despite the disparity in levels, it's all common ground.

And hockey's good, and friends and team are good, and really... better than good.

Even jittery and distracted, it's always perfect, you know? Being there.


Childbirth class was good, this weekend. I'm excited about being a mom again. In that nearly-at-top-before-the-big-descent roller coaster kind of way.


Monday, October 04, 2004
Pirates won the championship last night.

I'm not sure who was more surprised, our team or theirs. Last in the division beat first seed, coming back from 2-4 in the second to win 5-4 in twelve minutes of overtime.

I had a sort-of assist, but as everyone was on the ice leaping up and down and hugging each other, a detached part of me berated myself for my lack of contribution.

Then I woke up and realized I'd skated my heart out the entire game as usual. We played two lines of offense, two lines of defense.

And it was a team that won, not any one individual.

Sunday, October 03, 2004
In order to keep Gavin from squirming, complaining, fighting me or undressing himself as I'm dressing him for hockey at 0700 Saturday mornings, I recite him Caroll's "Jabberwock" poem, which we both love.

He sits quietly, helpfully supplies words when I pause


and usually it takes about four highly animated repetitions of it to get him geared up, skates to helmet.

This Saturday, Gavin had his own ideas about how the Jabberwock story goes, however. For those of you who think you know how it all went down, I tell you there's so much more that what made it to the written page. You have no idea.

See, the boy hero in Jabberwock used to have two dads (I know, I know, but I swear I didn't coach him on this one).

Dad #1 was tragically killed a year prior to where the Jabberwock story starts by -- get this -- a Jub Jub bird.

So why, you may ask, did the boy hero of Jabberwock go to slay the Jabberwock?

A case of tragic misinformation, Gavin tells me.

The Jabberwock was framed.

See, Jabberwocks, despite their rather alarming biting-tooth, catching-claw appearance, are mostly peaceable creatures. Sure, they look scary, but Gavin informs me that really, they only eat what they have to to survive. Bugs and things mostly, he says.

Jub Jub birds, on the other hand, are apparently the real rat bastards of the Tulgey Wood. Mean, violent, bloodthirsty, and don't think for a moment about fingering someone else for it all.

Not only that, but Jub Jub birds are actually aliens. They come from Saturn, and juvenile Jub Jubs can fly, but by the time they reach maturity Jub Jubs become flightless. They're too heavy. Like ostrich, Gavin explains.

So vorpal justice was had on the wrong critter. And the Jabberwock leaves behind his own nest of orphaned youngsters, whom Gavin has said are none too happy about their father's wrongful death.

No doubt, the Jub Jub birds, those Tulgey Wood Iagos, will be all too happy to watch the rest of the tradgedy spin out, when those normally peaceful, mostly-vegetarian but now very pissed off, vengeance-seeking young Jabberwocks come of age.


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