A Profound Look Back at the Week: June 14-20

Summer camp week is over and let me just say I’m happy it’s over. The past seven days have made me question a lot of my choices in life, such as, you know, the choice of becoming a parent, and have led to profound philosophical insight, namely, that humans are masochists and that’s why they reproduce.

The perils of emotional amputation

This may sound needlessly sentimental but I don’t care. The first time your offspring takes off for summer camp 300 km away from you feels exactly like something’s been cut off from inside you. Sure, it helped that she was having a great time (until the last day) but I still found it hard to concentrate on anything very much.

Then, on that last day, I got the usual morning call but this time she was crying and in the background, her roommates were yelling and giggling. Before I started moving mountains to get to my precious gene-carrier, it became clear that the reason she was crying was that the other girls (four of them) were singing a song that Little C. hates so much she couldn’t stand being in the same room with the singers. Who obviously found that out. And who obviously decided to take full advantage of this knowledge.

That most kids, under the right circumstances, turn into hyenas, is a well documented fact. That my kid had to be the prey of these four little hyenas was a seriously unfortunate event. That the event was not only unfortunate but also educational is the side effect that stopped me from having words with these kids when the group returned. Little C. has just learned a lot about human nature. Next lesson: Lord of the Flies.

Other than that, we all survived and C. even learned to swim underwater, so it’s all well. P.S. The song was really stupid.

The benefits of book research

I don’t know if any of you have ever wondered which particular part of the body makes us smell of sour milk when we’re stressed. I know I hadn’t, until today, when I had to find a scientific reason for one character’s dairy smell. The reason is called apocrine glands, which secrete a special sort of “sweat” that participates in breast milk and earwax. It also gets released when we’re stressed. Fascinating stuff, right? Because it’s fatty, when bacteria living on the skin feast on it, the result smells sour.

Another thing I learned just today is that a private investigation could cost you anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour in the U.S., and £30 to £85 in the UK. After all, if I’m writing about a private investigations agency, I need to know how to make them competitive yet classy. Third-party experts cost extra, of course, because it makes sense.

Football week

Euro 2020 is on and besides the fact that I get annoyed by it being called 2020, it’s been interesting. The teams I’m rooting for scored victories in all the games I didn’t watch, first because I couldn’t and then because I wanted them to win. Sports-related superstitions are one of my few weaknesses.

Another weakness is that while I don’t normally hate easily, there are exceptions. I’m actually not sure this is so much hate as a whole-body revulsion, because it is the latter I feel towards a certain football star whose name I won’t mention because it makes my stomach churn. Suffice to say that this week, for the first time in my life, I screamed with disgust so loudly my throat hurt afterwards. On the flip side, I got to see that same individual crushed and unhappy, so the universe is still in balance. What can I say, the moment the game begins, common sense and self-restraint fly out of the window.

All in all, it’s been an interesting, informative, and emotional week, which is a good thing to live through. Occasionally. I have no plans to make a habit out of it. Oh, yeah, also we’re buying a second car because we need it and I don’t like Big C. very much right now because he’s a horrible driving instructor. I suppose it’s true for most drivers who are not professional instructors so let’s take a moment to appreciate the professionals.

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Book-peddling corner (because books won’t sell/download themselves much as I’d like them to): if you’re in the mood for some dragons and vampires, or mysterious vanishing planes, try The Lamiastriga (which you can’t read for free on this blog) or Sky High (which you can read for free on this blog or on Kobo. I always appreciate feedback). For those in the mood for scary stories, here’s a complete list of my published shorter fiction.

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