Kage Baker bewailed the necessity of re-charging one’s batteries as one grew older. She felt it was vastly unfair – as one grew older and wiser and more adept at finding the fun things to do, one also grew more perpetually tired and in need of rest. She considered it a very poor energy plan.
In our 20’s, and even into our 30’s, we could go through a weekend of working a Renaissance Faire – which ran from Friday afternoon to Sunday night, often without sleep – and still report for work on Monday. With access to an efficient water heater, we could go straight from one to the other with never a pause – as long as we had time to shower and change into more normal clothes. And we did.
Alas, such fortitude does not last! When our schedules added in Cons between Faires, it got increasingly difficult to keep up with ourselves. Kage happily gave up her day job eventually, because it was easier to make her bread by writing – including simple logistics like, “How far do I have to go to fall into a bed?” and “I can stay here and write while wearing pajamas, or I can get tarted up and go to the office: for the same amount of money.” The logical course was, of course, to stay home and write. It was easier to survive, too.
I am now years older than Kage ever was. (An idea that makes my head feel like it’s imploding.) I am at that awkward age where you’re trying to figure out how to balance the capabilities of your crumbling body with the needs of your ever-busier mind. And it seems that my mind is running on a straight eight with double carburetors, while my body has regressed to a 1-stroke lawnmower engine. And is seriously considering a downgrade to AAA batteries.
My weekend at at BayCon was a delight. My drive home Monday was also a delight, at least until I hit Buttonwillow. That’s where the traffic to Los Angeles began to clot like stale blood, reducing my swift run homeward to a deathly crawl for the last 88 miles. At the crest of the Grapevine, the road was being intermittently obscured by walls of dust and ash blowing off the most recent brush fire. And I returned to a Los Angeles Basin flirting with triple digit heat.
On Tuesday, my stalwart PT Cruiser abruptly decided it no longer would use a Reverse gear. I drive an old-fashioned stick tranny, and there is no confusion or doubt when you lose a gear on one of those: the shift just does not go. I had to call several places before I found one with a mechanic who even knew how to work on a manual. On the way in to the shop, my rear view mirror fell off the windshield. And so far, I am looking at over a grand to get it repaired – which is not a problem, and I can do it, but it does mean some fanciful plans for later in the month will have to be scrapped …
And it’s too hot. Too hot in the day for me to venture out except at early morn or in the gloaming; too hot at night to sleep deeply. So my energies are re-charging even more slowly than usual.
And we’re on fire, of course. The Powerhouse Fire up near Castaic has consumed 20,000 + acres; when the wind is right, the smoke plumes east right into the Basin, and the evenings look like an October with busy chimneys. Smaller fires break out every few hours beside the freeways, and are all (so far) duly stamped out. But it does indicate that Angelinos have once more given in to the short term memory loss that leads them to throw cigarette butts out their car windows …
At least the humidity is high: 58% where I am right now. It makes for misery here at my computer, but it helps the lads and lasses out in Castaic. There is even a chance of drizzle the next few days – which is insane and unnatural, but if it helps with the fires, I’ll be glad to sweat.
What this all means, Dear Readers, is that – aside from this peevish litany of petty woes – I’ve accomplished squat the last few days. Though I did read World War Z finally, and tried out all the new flavours of Magnum ice cream bars. The new Golden ones are especially nice … I’m too tired and hot and cranky to write. Hell, I’m almost to tired and cranky to read, which may just mean the End Times are upon us.
Who knows? I may be keeping the space-time continuum from unravelling by clinging to this blog – and you are all helping by reading it. Be stalwart, Brave Hearts!
The fate of the Universe may be in our hands. Our tired, sweaty, ice-cream-sticky hands …