The computer is looking up a little--I've learned that when dealing with HP Customer Care, the most important tool is a friend like owlswater, who will find you corporate numbers, and then when the corporate folks take advantage of your good nature to talk you into basically nothing that will help, he will call them himself and wrangle their asses. Said wrangling is in progress, but I am absurdly grateful.
Work on Alchemy of Winter is slowed by this, of course. No laptop makes suck productivity. Thank you to everyone who offered to replace music, I'll post when I have an idea of what I lost. I had a sickening realization this weekend that one of the programs erased was my PersonalBrain, which means all my notes are once again vanished. My life should be subtitled Data Loss and You: A Primer.
But I did have a wonderful weekend, one of the best in memory. We took off to the boat right after my reading on Friday and spent the night in a storm-tossed marina, looking through the windows on the boat-deck at the snapping cables and pretending we were on an airship. As rich old people do not spend the night on their boats in a storm, we had the whole marina to ourselves. It was cold and rainy and wonderfully autumnal. The next morning we made a crossing through equally stormy waters to Vermilion, a rather late-season excursion in Ohio.
I confess, dear reader, that I got seasick. Genuinely so--I even threw up. Having never vomited from seasickness in my life, I was utterly chagrined. Also it sucks to have long hair and a pitching boat when trying to discreetly empty your stomach. Clearly, it must have been the gas station ham sandwich I ate that morning...yeah...goddammit I am a fearless mariner!
Ahem. Anyway, we spent a cozy couple of days in the former industrial wasteland/now quaint curio be-shopped town of Vermilion. Bought some pretty stained glass candle bowls and ate peanut butter burgers and paprikash and perch--though not at the same time. Drank fantastic port at the little bar above Vermilion's swank French restaurant (which we reserve for special occasions, also they wouldn't let us in because we were wearing sweaters and jeans) and peeked into the Inland Seas Maritime Museum, which was rather steeply priced for being a collection of random ship wheels. So we settled for the gift shop, which had a barrel full of maps for sale.
justbeast and I are both obsessed with maps. I can't really decide who is more ridiculous about it, but we are what we are. So in our bedroom now hangs a print of the first white man's map of the Great Lakes (Nouvelle France), which was written in French on a piece of deerskin that found its way to an English monastery. It sports such wonderful things as The Country of the Mad, Terontov, the Sweet Sea, the Lake of the Cat, and places Mexico directly beneath Lake Superior. Preposterous geographies for the win! How I wish the world were really shaped this way! It makes America sound like a mad, enchanted place I could only hope to one day enter.
We swam in Erie on the way back--which was surprisingly warm after diving in Lake Ontario, and pulled in, shivering, as the wind is much more dire when you're wet, just before sunset. It was pleasant and sweet and charming to be out in the early fall, when everything is just on the edge of teetering into mist and crisp leaves and darkness. I'm so glad we went, since our next two weekends are packed.
Oh, and also I dyed my hair very-very dark blue-black, and so look like either an innkeeper's daughter or the anti-Rapunzel. I haven't had black hair since I was about 19, not true black, as certain ex-family members thought it looked terrible, so I'm both pleased at the new color and plagued by sudden remembrances of old scoffings at my hair. I think it looks pretty, though. Every once in awhile I'm startled by the lack of a vaguely auburn halo around my vision, replaced with black and midnight blue. It'll be winter soon--the body declares allegiance.