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Long Weekend
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Whoosh! goes my weekend. Four days off, and it was glorious, mostly. Had a lot of fun with the family, got a fair bit of writing done. Had a nasty headache yesterday evening, but otherwise few complaints.

Saturday we went up to Holly's place in the hills, bringing along my portable barbecue, and we cooked meat and ate spinach/strawberry salad and pasta salad and berry shortcake and spicy deviled eggs (courtesy of Heather) and drank beer and booze and chased children around. Good times.

After River went to bed and night fell Heather and I went out on the balcony and ate ice cream bars and watched fireworks; we get a pretty good view from our place.

Sunday I had lunch with a friend and critiqued her awesome novel. After that Heather and River and I went up to Berkeley, to the gym. I had to drop my membership -- we couldn't afford it anymore -- but Heather got financial aid and we're keeping hers for the time being since it's pretty cheap, and they've got dirt cheap childcare (especially with the financial aid). You can bring a guest in for free a few times a year, so I was Heather's guest. She worked out, and I played in the Kindergym with River, who had a fantastic time after an initial "Where's mama?" freak-out. If we get back on firm financial footing I'll get my gym membership back, because the Kindergym is a great play space, especially for rainy days. Afterward we strolled around Berkeley a bit and sold a bunch of books at Half Price for a little folding money. Every little bit helps.

On Monday Heather and River went off to the gym again for some swimming, and I worked on "Bone Shop" (chapter 3). I baked some chocolate muffins and made some turkey/bean/vegetable/noodle soup. We babysat our nephew that evening, watching a Slangman's World DVD our friend Jenn sent us (he liked it a lot; River likes the singing parts). River ran around in a chocolate-muffin-fueled frenzy. Good times.

Yesterday me and the kid took a walk (well, he rode in the stroller) to the park, where he played ball and chased pigeons and where an eight-year-old boy asked me if I was a Christian and followed me and River around for an hour trying to get us to play ball with him and teach him how to swing (!!!) and so forth. I felt bad for the kid, who said he wished his dad was like me -- I presume in reference to the fact that I was playing with my son. I said, "Is your dad not here?"

"He's here," he said, pointing to a man hunched on a bench some distance away, scribbling furiously in a notebook. "He's over there writing songs about God." The latter three words said so very mournfully.

River eventually climbed into his stroller and demanded his milk, and I bought Heather a lemonade slushee on the walk back home. Wrote a lot more during the kid's nap, which was pleasantly lengthy. I helped Heather make dinner, a very light and summery dish with cherry tomatoes and linguine and sauteed zucchini. Not being able to afford eating in restaurants is marginally less depressing when we can make tasty food at home!

If not for the constant background financial anxiety, it would've been pretty much a perfect weekend. And when I could forget about those troubles, it was indeed very sweet.

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