Dispatch From the

Dispatch From the Coast

On a writing retreat with my and Seymour's friend Hayley. For our birthdays. At Costanoa.

It is gorgeous here--sunny and balmy, two words which only describe this area for twenty days each year. We scored.

We are laughing (not visibly or audibly) at all the parents running around after and wiping snot off of their small children. That's not us today, Suckers!

I wish I could teleport my family in for specific activities such as the nature walks, face painting, and bat talks, but then beam them straight home afterwards.
We met a guy who survived a great white shark attack. The shark hit from below and blew him out of the water. His surfboard, with its perfect semi-circle shark teeth imprint, is enshrined in a local surf shop, and is the reason he didn't get hurt--the shark's teeth got stuck in the board.

We saw a sea otter using its chest as its dinner table. The sighting is a big deal for this area and our guide got hoppy with glee.

I will be taking Iz to see the elephant seals and the gray whale migrations this year, god damn it all.

This is an Ohlone area. Apparently they were immune to poison oak and used to make baskets from it. The people who excavated those baskets more than a hundred years later got poison oak from them. That plant is from Hell's own botanical gardens!

Also the Ohlone were employed to help clear redwoods for the lumber industry since the poison oak didn't affect them. Their immunity also gave them the power to protect sacred trees--they would tell the lumberjacks that if they wanted those trees so damn bad, then they could wade through the poison oak and get it themselves. Many giants survived this way.

I am finishing up books for Leelo and Mali to give out as birthday party goodie presents (I fucking detest goodie bags). Also finishing up the text for a book I owe to an Iron Gate parent, about international adoption. And finally putting in outline form the notes for Iz's Xmas or birthday book, so I can put some real meat on it during NaNoWriMo.

At night we can see the Milky Way though our skylight and The Pleiades watch over us, much more intensely than they can from my home.
Mali is being weaned for real this weekend. Her increasingly half-hearted bedtime latching has become like water torture to me, so it's time to cut her off. Everyone send Seymour good thoughts for this weekend, and to both of us for the coming two transition weeks.

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