At the Oasis Hotel

“All I can say is this hotel will drop a star for lack of train access.”

“Dear, you knew that when you booked these rooms. I think the staff had been exceptionally polite and had a marvelous selection of fruits.”

“Fruits schmoots, they didn’t have fresh figs.”

“You never eat them at home, even when they’re in season. Have you seen my sunglasses?”

Vera turned at the knock on the door nearest the elevator. “Dani, can’t you get the door? That must be the van driver; be sure to tell him he’s late.”

Dani drifted in the opposite direction as if sleep walking.

“Oblivious, I don’t know what I’m going to do with that girl.” Vera slapped the door panel and frowned at the man who should have been the driver. “Yes?”

“Good afternoon madam.” He took one step sideways to reveal a furry white seal sprinkled with gray flecks that had the most adorably large and liquid eyes. “This beast is disturbing the other guests.”

“Beast indeed; she’s worth more than you.” She smiled in the tightly pursed way she used for menials. She called out. “MARcel! Come here at once!”

Marcel appeared in his socks and crouched at the seal. “Tiene agua fría, mi Corazón?” He stood and dragged the confused seal into the room by its scruff.

Vera followed Marcel and shut the door on the rude man with no other comment. “Where is the blasted driver!”

“Dear, have you accounted for the time difference? We are an hour later in this zone. That antique analog watch doesn’t keep up with zone changes.”

“Of course we are.” She touched her elegant 110 year old timepiece, making a mental note to drop it in the trash. “Those are not your sunglasses; they’re too big for you.” She fled to the bar, mortified for not remembering the time difference. “Bloody Mary.” The bar found her preferred tumbler-sized glass, dispensed the juice, the booze and two ice cubes. “I Ice 1need more ice!”

“We apologize madam. More ice will be available in approximately nine minutes.”

She did not wish to be seen in an angry state, so she headed directly to the nearest bathroom. She heard what sounded like conversation, and the door was open.

There Dani and Marcel knelt side by side, the carefully cultivated white rose and the brown dirt. Aghast, she stammered, “D-Dani, I forbade you to be alone with the help.” When her daughter huffed from the room, Vera looked back to the Jacuzzi containing a seal and mountains of bobbing ice. “Marcel, you used all of the ice for that animal! I needed ice and you gave it all to that creature!” She put her knuckles on her hips. “You look at me like that again and I’ll replace you in a heartbeat!”

“Lo siento, Dama.” What heart? He returned his attention to poor Blanca. How did they end up here? Both bought, both longing for affection, both dying for a long gone home far away.

Ice 6

The Grand Painting Update

I went upstairs several times over the weekend simply to look at the big canvas with the bright background. What would it look Painting Backgroundlike with a Titan Buff glaze? How about iridescent bronze or gold? Antique gold or bright gold? Saturday, I prepared a large cardboard with stripes  of the same background colors.

Saturday night it was dry. Not having buff right then, I tried bronze diluted with medium, then diluted more as it was so dark. next was the antique gold. Still darker than desired. The Paint tubelighter gold worked best, yet could not be all I sought. I left it and finished a brightly flowered dress, rayon, knee-length. At first I though I’d put the zipper on the wrong side but realized I had the dress on backwards. Never mind it was supposed to be a side zipper, grrrr.

Sunday evening came the epiphany! Crackle! Over my test board, I slathered a varying thickness of crackle medium with a dab of azure in it. Since it has to dry a few days, I stay in anxious anticipation until I get back home to see it. Of course, since then I’ve been mentally going back to it again and again on exactly where to put that crackle. What color should it be? I’m thinking it goes across the green part between the sky and space, the green swirls should show at the cracks. Greenhouse gases. Broken sky. Gosh, I want to get back to it! I did get the stars put up in that dark blue sky.

Pictures of the test board? Shots of the starry expanse? Forgot! How about cats to round out the post? These are the cabin crew. Fatty and Barto are hand picked from the Humane Society. I got Bridget, Gidget and Digit from the chicken plant junk heap…only Bridget is left after all these years. I’ll have to tell all about Krink someday, she really is special.

Krink Beg 2
Krink Pestercat, My Sweetie
Fatima Relaxed
Fatty, Typically Relaxed
More Cat Than Box
Barto, More Cat Than Box
Bridget, Rescued from the Chicken Plant Junk Pile

Little Ita Whams Solomon Islands, then Australia

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As cyclones (southern hemisphere hurricanes) go Ita packed strong winds into a tiny package.  Cyclone Ita drowned the Solomon Islanders, then zeroed in on Cooktown in Queensland and blew trees and roofs around before heading south for the city of Cairns. Haiyan (super-powerful) recently smashed the Philippines, Sandy (super-sized) inundated New Jersey and New York last year and the Gulf Coast including New Orleans hasn’t recovered from Katrina yet. Some data says we’re getting stronger storms because of climate change while other data implies that there is too much natural variation to confirm one way or another. Weather Underground has a great discussion on the question.

In Neighbors, the fourth of my Elise t’Hoot science fiction books, I had the north Atlantic coast of South America hit by two Ita-sized hurricanes in a row, destroying all the families there possessed. They became refugees and were exiled along with lots of other ‘excess’ people. It may be hard for scientists to state for sure that any given hurricane or cyclone or typhoon is more vicious because of climate change, but when the sea level rises a few feet, these storms and their flooding storm surges will certainly get closer to more people. With the jet stream going loopy, these storms may romp outside their typical tracks. For example, three strong wintertime storms just pummeled England only a day or two apart, revealing World War 2 ordinance and 10,000 year old forest remains.