Sunday, April 22, 2012

Retreat: Day 10

Arrived in Vancouver, quickly find a Starbucks so I can use wifi to fire off my report to committee in preparation for Monday’s meeting. Then transferred to train station to train back to Seattle. (I have to train back to Shelby, rather than fly back to Lethbridge because that’s where I left the car when I started out.)

Across from the train station is the Science Center, so went there until my train. The exhibits are mildly interesting and there is a nice little gift shop.

Scale at Science Center indicating that I weigth more than average black bear, but less than a loggerhead turtle.

Watched Imax movie on Arabia. It was well done, but a blatant propaganda piece to counteract deep-seated American prejudices – that not all Arabs are terrorists needs to be explained to American audiences is embarrassing to watch; but great photography, nice re-enactments.

The early morning crowd in the science center is almost entirely classes of school children, with a scattering of mom’s with toddlers. The toddlers are fun to watch as they interact with the interactive displays, and the larger kids move in herds and so are easy enough to avoid.

Overheard two teachers talking to each other about some interesting point concerning one of the displays:

“That’s my point exactly. Say, have you seen any of the kids?”
“No. But they must be around somewhere. So anyway. . . "

What parents suspect happens on field trips.

After, I find a three story Chapters with free internet for anyone with a Chapters card, so fire off bunch more emails, other essential work stuff. Then back in time to catch train to Seattle.

I finally get some time to work on my fiction. Struggle with a story I had started on years ago but abandoned because could not fit all the characters required within word limit for short story publication, and the idea not quite worth a novel. But been thinking about it a lot lately for some reason, additional scenes coming to me unbidden. But it’s still not coming together, and I start to see holes in the logic of the piece. And then, about 3 AM, it occurs to me that it might work if I reverse the POV. So will try that tomorrow.

Arrive in Seattle and step outside to find pedicab pulling up, so have Mitch take me to the hotel. He peters out a block short, but it’s late, the end of his shift, the last hill up is 45 degrees and he is simply not going to make it with me and my suitcase in the back. Indeed, I’ve been watching him struggle this far and wondering if I’m liable if he dies from a heart attack. (Though in reality, he is far less at risk of that than I. He looks to be in pretty good shape!)

Arriving at the Olympic Fairmount hotel, am assigned palatial room. More a suite than a single room, it has separate bedroom, large sitting room, and the bathroom is round a corner and down its own separate in-suite corridor. Makes the Westgate’s room seem small by comparison. Don’t know how I’m going to cope with tiny bed on train tomorrow after this. The radio is on and by the time I settle enough to turn it off I don’t, because this is the best radio station I’ve heard in a long time. Who plays this music?! So the station I would tune to if I could. Check out the TV, am surprised to find Seattle has it’s own Chinese TV station, almost equally surprised to find they get CBC.

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