Friday, May 25, 2007

Greetings from Ottawa

Here I am in Ottawa, where my father lives. I travelled here yesterday morning; it is this city's race day I am participating in on Sunday.

I went for a run yesterday. It was awful. It was painful. Oh god, I'm so hoping that's not an indication of Sunday's race. At this point, I am chalking up the pain to a) the fact that I had had drinks and four hours of sleep the night before, and woken up at 5:15am to travel here, and b) the fact that it was extremely hot and humid yesterday, and there was a smog alert...Yes, this must be what it was...I am more than ready for this race, and I've never had my lungs hurt like that before...My body, besides being tired and probably a little hung over, hasn't yet adapted to this kind of sickening heat. I shall try again this afternoon. Thankfully, it's supposed to be cool and rainy on the day of the run. And I won't touch a drop of alcohol between now and then. And I will have long sleeps...

Anyway. Life here is nice, other than that. Ottawa is always a holiday city for me. I do lovely things, like go to the National Gallery, which I'm going to do this afternoon - there seem to be some great shows on at the moment - and take myself out for sunny patio lunches (also on today's agenda). I'm also going to make a visit to the cats on Parliament Hill. If you're ever in Ottawa, you have to check them out...there is a colony of once-stray cats on the grounds of the Canadian Parliament...they're fed and cared for by a local animal lover, with vets donating medical care (and, I presume, spaying and neutering) and people who stroll by filling the donation box. They are sweet, domesticated, complacent animals. There they are, just lounging on the grass or in their little cat houses, in the shadows of Parliament. This never ceases to amaze and delight me, this quiet phenomenon.

And I have fiddled with my conference paper for Monday, and it seems done, if pretty unsatisfying. Now I have to turn my attention to reading a book for review, which is due next Thursday. Ack. Given that I'm kind of mostly busy while I'm here in Ottawa and then I'll be in Saskatoon Congress-ing Monday through Wednesday (and reuniting and carousing with my friend M, who is on my panel - this'll be the last time we'll see each other before I move away), there's not much time for this. I suspect I'll be reading the bulk of it on my flight home from Saskatoon, and writing the review the day it is due. What can you do?

In other news, I await news of whether I have a place to live in Scary City. I've had the most hellish time finding a place ...Ugh...don't even get me started. (Though I am sure I will find time to rant about it soon!) Keep your fingers crossed for this place, which is a little wee tiny two-bedroom carriage house! They're just checking references now...let's hope!

Update: Well, of course, given that this housing search is godforsaken, this house has fallen through. I've lost count of how many times this has happened now. I can't tell you how frustrated I am. (This isn't about references, by the way - apparently the woman I was dealing with and her husband haven't been communicating well and he rented it out although she intended to give it to me. Whatever. But, truly, fuck.)


squadratomagico said...

Sounds like a fun getaway! I love the bit about the cats living next to the Parliament house! Give 'em some smooches from me!

Good luck with the run ~ and very best of luck with the wee carriage house. Sounds ideal -- and if you're at all like me, having a pleasant home environment is important to well-being.

What Now? said...

Oh rats -- I'm so sorry about the house falling through. I hope something works out soon; that's got to be so very stressful.

dbm/gaa said...

Oh gad, sorry about the house thing. "(F)uck" is the only thing to say.

Have a BLAST running on Sunday! Think of the last run as a dress rehearsal - they usually go poorly before a stellar opening.

I've never heard of the cats on Parliament Hill, I must check them out next time.

squadratomagico said...

Sorry to hear about the house. :(

Earnest English said...

Gah! Well, the best thing I can say about not getting this house is that if a couple who doesn't communicate well would be your landlords, well, you are definitely better off without them. You wouldn't want the wife to say "yes, my husband will be right over there to fix the plumbing" and then the husband knows nothing about it or has asked the wife to call a plumber. Whatever couple problems those two have, you certainly don't need to be in the middle of it. I wish you much luck in finding a good space for your new life! And good luck with your run!