Thursday, September 01, 2011

Crying Water Wolf

I'm on day two of my homeowners association doing what I like to call "crying water wolf." Yesterday morning -- at about 8:30 -- they stuck a note on my door (I was in the room adjacent to the front door, so I heard it) that in order to find and repair an underground water line leak, the water would have to be shut off at some time between 8 and 5 that day, so we should make appropriate preparations. I rushed around to make sure I had drinking water, water in the teakettle, etc. I needed to do laundry, but I didn't dare start a load when at any time I might lose water. And yet there was water all day. I figured they only had to shut off the water for a short time, and it happened during an hour or so that I was working and didn't need water. But then last night after choir, someone knocked on my door and handed me another note that repeated the exact same information, but for today. So I got up early enough to be done with breakfast, washing up, brushing my teeth and other morning stuff before 8, then found an e-mail from earlier last night saying that they hadn't actually shut off the water or done any work yesterday, so that's why it was today, and that note said between 9 and 4. This is reminding me of the time a couple of years ago when we were getting notes like this on a weekly basis -- they were doing some work on the water lines every Wednesday -- and I'd be prepared each time, only to never lose my water, until the time I decided that it wasn't for real, after all, or maybe I wouldn't be affected, so I didn't make preparations. Of course, that was the time my water was shut off. They were trying to lull me into complacency with all the false alarms. They didn't get me this time, though. I have water ready for every possible use except maybe a shower. If they pull this again tomorrow, I may have to express my extreme displeasure.

We started children's choir for the year last night, and I have 16 preschoolers in my choir. That's after 7 kindergarteners last year. It will be an adjustment. I don't always do well with crowds and noise, and that's a lot of people inclined to be noisy in a rather small room. Last night when we had the parents in there, too, I ended up in the hallway, mostly because I was hanging back to greet those who were still drifting in and coaxing the shy ones to enter the room, but I'll admit that was also kind of an excuse to be out of the crowd. I was successful with most of the shy ones -- once they saw the fun going on in the room, they went in on their own. The one I didn't persuade is a special needs child, and her mom said it may take a while to expose her gradually to the idea. It should be less crowded without the parents, but that's still a lot of kids, and almost all of them are girls. I think I counted four boys in the whole group (actually, there were 15 kids last night, 3 of them boys, but I know of one more boy who was out of town this week who'll be in the choir). There was a lot of pink.

Incidentally, parents: flip-flops aren't great footwear for small children in just about any situation other than maybe the swimming pool or beach because they tend to lose them very easily or fall off them. There's a very high injury rate related to flip-flops. But they're a really, really bad idea for any activity that requires movement like jumping, hopping, skipping or dancing. Shoes with open toes also aren't great for activities where children are likely to bump into each other where they could step on each other's feet. Get some real shoes for your children, please. I spend way too much time catching children when their flip-flops don't move with them.

I think I came up with an idea for a short story yesterday. Now I need to work out the specifics beyond "and then the bad guy will be up to something." I figure that with the lack of upcoming publications and with all the good stuff I have in progress already having been read (and with the audience frustration of hearing the start of something that ends up not being published), I need something new to read at FenCon. Then that will be one more thing I'll have to possibly put in a story collection. I'm wondering how the idea of writing something specifically for a reading will affect the work. There are things I like getting the chance to do in a reading, like different voices, singing, things that require comic timing, and I suspect I'll be looking for excuses to put those in this story. Fortunately, I've got a friend who's the perfect research resource for the setting. I guess I know what I'll be doing this holiday weekend, when I'm not reading, cooking or watching Haven and Doctor Who.

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