Thursday, June 11, 2009

stupid goodbyes

Welcome to Canada eh.

Don't be a hoser and ask to go to the bathroom unless you plan on taking a bath. It's the washroom. Where they... wash. Big difference.

And don't call those trucks sem-EYE trailers. It's sem-EEE trailers.

Yes I am living amongst the nice people, otherwise called Canadians. Land of the free, home of the good beer. And maple syrup. Not to mention universal health care, Canadian Tire, and Tim Hortons. All great things. In fact, you can't become an incorporated city in Canada unless you have at least one Tim Hortons in your city limits. It's true, mostly.

I know more than a little about Canadians because I'm married to one. She's an emergency room nurse. She has to work long 12 hour shifts that come in sets. Like two days on, two nights on. I worked swing shifts in the paper mill in Port Townsend one summer in college and HATED IT. On my days off I mostly just wanted to sleep, so the four/five day off things sounded much longer and better than it was.

I'm very proud of Amy and she comes home saying things in her humble Amy way like, "How was your writing today honey? That's great. Me, oh not much. Just sorta saved a life."

Yeah, talk about a tough time trying to top that one. Thanks Amy, way to overshadow my big day of researching Slavic names in my character name book. Sure shocking someone out of V-Fib sounds cool (or is it into it?), but did you know that Milos means peasant or that Chesna means peaceful? Didn't think so.

It gets pretty lonely without Amy around, especially on her night shifts. That is one of the reasons we got Linus, to keep me company.

So now I'm not the only one who misses Amy anymore while she's gone helping people, comforting them and saving lives.

Don't go

Mommy, STAY.

Don't go mom. Heel, stay, sit. Come.

Who says dogs don't have feelings?

So now it's my turn. Amy and Linus went to the Okanagan Valley, home of the legendary Ogopogo (Canadian version of the Loch Ness Monster), to help her parents move (and yes he has a doggie seat belt as well as a crate to drive.) I'll be flying to join them eventually. I'm putting a brave face on it.

But it sucks.

Heel, sit, come, STAY!

Stupid goodbyes.


  1. Ah...Linus is such a love. Those pictures are too sweet.

    And now, all your hoser and beer talk has me wanting to watch Strange Brew! :)

    Hey...werplash...get to work on that revising business.

  2. It's wonderful how you honor your wife. And she is made of stuff that make fantastic heroines--she saves lives! Very cool.

    Goodbyes do stink, but think of it, you'll see them soon and get back into your routine.

    But for now, you do have some quiet time--go for a boy's night out, hang out with your writing group and drink lots of coffee, and write your book so you can save a kid with tales of great adventures. You can do it!

  3. I, uh, think I have to follow your blog. Seriously, dude, you may have knocked my muse down with yours, so until they return, I'm stopping by to hang out.
    :-D *lots of teeth showing here*

  4. Aw, she's adorable. Ever since those Michael Moore movies, I have always thought highly of Canada :)

  5. Strange Brew... Hee hee.

    Thank you Vivian, I truly do and she really is a hero. Mine. Not a bad writing coach, editor, butt whipper, and brilliant chef while she's at it.

    Welcome Tricia, great blog yourself. I apologize for taking your muse out too. Quite a shame. And thank you corey, I REALLY enjoyed your post about reasons we became writers. I've heard Richard Peck in a speech mention that the two boys going down a river were the reason he became a writer.

    Here's corey's post:

  6. Your Slavic names comment cracked me up. Tee-hee! I agree with Jolie--the pictures are sweet. I like your blog, and I'll come back. Thanks for visiting today.

  7. Ben, I absolutely love your writing. You have great humor and wit. I can totally relate to the whole bath thing and growing up reading in the bath. My mom always got scared if I fell asleep, but I was practiced at holding myself above, not below the water. I laughed so much at your stories and they made me very happy to see you have love with your wife and your dog. His conversations made me laugh too. Thank you. your old friend, theresa

  8. Thanks Dawn, your baby picture was funny and grossed me out in a good way. Look forward to reading much more from your blog.

    Hello Theresa! It is really good to hear from you. A much belated congratulation on your wedding. I saw some pictures of it on one of your blogs and they made me smile. You always were an avid reader weren't you?

  9. Hey Ben. Thanks for the kind words on my blog a while back AND for your kind words on Laini's blog just now. You clearly (clearly!!) have one of those happy marriages that people try to achieve. Congrats. I think Laini and I have that as well (I miss her crazy bunches when she's gone too. Oh, and Leroy (our dog) does a great job with loneliness, much like Linus seems to do (dogs are THE BEST!). Anyhow, I just really really like seeing others that have that kind of swooning "early-relationship glee" even many years later and I'm glad to report that (thankfully!) I know some other couples out there with that same sort of happiness.

    Oh, and I got to chat with your parents a fair bit at the Western Washington SCBWI conference and they are TOO sweet to be real! Congrats on that as well! :)

  10. Thanks Jim! Leroy is a GREAT name for a dog. I think you and I came out pretty dang good in the wife department. I really appreciate what you're saying and I've seen a very special genuine relationship between you and Laini in my few observations of you guys, checking out your blogs, and word on the street. The best of luck to you with fatherhood, husbandhood, and the whole rest of the pregnancy and beyond. Look forward to seeing you guys again eventually. If you guys are ever up in Victoria for whatever reason, let us know and we'll feed ya.

    For anybody that doesn't know about Jim and Laini, first smack yourselves over you heads with frying pans because you should, and secondly, after that's healed check out Jim's amazing illustrations on his blog Jimbo Jabber:
    or his website: I've been a fan of Jim's since I first saw his cover illustration for Blackbringer and then went on to find out more and more about his incredible talent. One of his next big projects is an illustrated novel with his wife, Lips Touch and is published with my very favorite editor Arthur Levine at Scholastic.

    And Laini's blog:
    and what really has helped me as a writer from
    her blog-thing, Not For Robots:
    If Laini doesn't eventually write a book on writing that's as helpful as Bird By Bird or On Writing I'd be shocked! Not For Robots is BRILLIANT.
    She's an amazing writer and I loved her debut novel, Blackbringer and can't wait to read her next two stories.

    Anyways, this comment is gonna have to turn into a full grown post eventually. These two are incredibly talented, each in their own right, and really neat people to boot. I gush, but I am very happy that two such decent people are finding such great publishing success through all their hard work.

  11. Wow, thanks for the plugs AND incredibly kind (!) words Ben. You are a gentleman and a scholar :) And I think you and your brother are perfect examples of the kind of sincerity and creativity that comes from kind-hearted and talented parents. Nice job Watson-folks! :)