Well, let’s see now. I am back in Saskatoon, and I have a few interesting surprises that have come to my attention:
- My income tax wasn’t filed in 2001. I’ll chalk it up to a miscommunication between my parents and myself, but I do wish they’d told me when they got aan extremely threatening letter last December. I found the letter tucked into a magazine sent here for me, and neither parent seemed to know anything about it, though the letter had been opened and apparently read before being tucked into the magazine.
I discovered that the government of Quebec is asking for a ridiculous amount of tax from that year, though it’s impossible for my to owe that much when my tuition credits are almost double that amount. Whew, so I just need to find an accountant in Montreal who can file for me.
- I met my nephew Nathaniel, who is a lively, funny, squirming little fellow of a mere 10 months. He is a very happy character, who enjoys his bottle, playing with toys (but especially with unofficial toys like the various utensils and containers in the kitchen drawer that my sister calls, “his drawer” due to his fascination with it. It was great to meet him, holding him, and push him on the swings. My mum and I even took him for a walk!
And during that visit to my sister Marie’s house, Marie and her husband Troy cooked up a barbecue not to be believed: chicken souvlaki, veggie shishkebabs, garlic bread, and tons of corn. It was an amazing meal, to rival the one I had less than a week ago on the Spanish Banks in Vancouver.
- I further discovered that there is a technique for printing pictures onto fabric using some kind of special fixative solution, waxed paper, and cotton, which I have never heard about before. My father is supposed to show me sometime soon, and I may just have to bring the fixin’s for that stuff over when I come home.
- The usual changes in the city and my parents’ house signal the passage of time: shops closed, new shops opened in their stead; a paint job here with my folks’ home now thoroughly beige on the outside… and yet a great deal seems to be the same as before… many businesses in the same places I remember, and things in the same place I remember here at my parents’ house, too. It feels like I haven’t been here for much longer than it’s been, though: I guess I was only in Saskatoon for a week, three-and-a-half years ago, and then for just a week a year before that. So In reality, I have barely been in Saskatoon since 1998.
- Even more than before, I think teleivision is the scourge of the human mind. It’s the most toxic thing in the house, even more than dog hair, to which it turns out I am indeed allergic… I am taking antihistamines to help deal with the sneezing and itchy, runny eyes the dog gives me. But from television there is no such relief.
- Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events has got to be one of the best kids’ movies I’ve ever seen.
- I discovered that far many more of the boxes sent from Montreal to Saskatoon were lost on the way. I am still willing to believe it was something like 5 boxes lost, but I found a full 16 boxes in the garage, where my father claimed there were a mere six. Two boxes contained mounds of my juvenilia writing, and the other fourteen contained books, piles and piles of glorious books of mine from Montreal. I am sad to report that at least two boxes did indeed go missing: one containing RPG books, probably totalling $2000 or more worth of the things, and another containing some of my favorite SF novels, including Maureen McHugh’s China Mountain Zhang and Jack Womack’s Ambient, both books I wished to bring home with me. But my Riverside Chaucer compendium and plenty of other books I was on the lookout for were all there. So I plan on going through a few boxes a day, sorting the send-soon from the send-later from those books for which I no longer have any use and which can be simply donated to the next Symphony Booksale.
However, I plan to make a trip to the Greyhound Depot to put in a claim for the insurance on the 5 boxes that did not arrive; I’m hoping to claim back the insaurance plus the delivery charge on each, which would result in an extra $600 or so for me. Who knows how long the claim will take to go through, though, or when the cheque would arrive. But hell, I’d just give it to my folks anyway, I suppose.
- I miss Lime a lot. But at least email and the odd phone call are helping us both deal admirably well with our current distance.
Well, anyway, I should go off to have a shower and get some boxes sorted through, I suppose.