Went to choir, grabbing a sub on the way. Alas, as I expected they couldn't accept my coupon which is only valid at one of the Subway stores in town. (I think
said store is still standing, but since neither I nor its staff can get to it this is a bit of a moot point.) Credit still works though.
Choir was a bit tiring but not too bad and by the end we actually got to the point where we were all listening to each other and our chord tuned just right, liquid sunshine.
Afterwards I got someone to drop me off at a bus-stop, intending to spend the busride home reading. Instead however I got an empty bus and a bus driver who started off with "Aren't you going to sit at the front with me?" and took my mild protest that I had a book to read as a conversational gambit: "Oh, what's the book?" and well, one doesn't want to be rude when one has been acculturated not to be rude, so I ended up chatting with him for over an hour. Mostly it was an okay conversation (primarily about the earthquake. The earthquake makes marvellous fodder for smalltalk) but occasionally it got mildly creepy (eg he complicated my sense of humour. You know, not creepy
-creepy, but unnecessarily personal-creepy) so when he asked me my name -- and given that he was going to be dropping me off right at the end of my street and in fact (though I didn't know it at the time) was only persuaded not to drop me off right at my door by the fact that I'm on a dead-end street so he couldn't drive down it -- I promptly told him "Jane". This may have been a tactical error because normally I only do this with people I know I'll never see again, and with bus drivers one doesn't know; some I continue to see for years going on decades.
So if anyone's ever on a bus with me and the driver confidently addresses me as "Jane", please try not to look surprised. Just because I occasionally give people a fake name doesn't mean I want to be rude to them. :-(
The official earthquake blog says:
If you have been delivered a chemical toilet, and the water supply has been reinstated to your property, please continue to keep and use the chemical toilet to reduce pressure on the sewage system and keep pollution out of rivers.
So I guess I'm supposed to use the thing and occasionally lug my waste on a half-hour walk zigzagging through my neighbourhood to the nearest disposal point. Really I think I preferred the hole in the garden (though, admittedly, that's less discreet now that I'm getting more visitors and the painters are back working again).
I may start investigating a) exactly how far the disposal points are (so far I have only a map-derived guesstimate) and b) exactly how this doodacky's supposed to work anyway. Who knows, the results of my investigations may make me more enthusiastic. I don't think they could make me much less so.
Why don't I have a tag for toilets? This clearly must change.
Oh, forgot to mention: now that I can clearly not write my awesome post-apocalyptic Christchurch novel (dammit real life intruding on the territory of fiction) I've been trying to work out what I can
write instead (once I've finished these two short stories I'm working on. One of which I may have to put aside; the basic shape is severely broken; the other one should be fixable though). And I want to get back to science-fiction, which means I have to ignore all my fantasy ideas.
(This is almost political sort of. Fantasy ideas are coming more naturally to me at the moment, because I'm mostly reading fantasy, because most of the sf I come across is... excessively privileged for my current taste; or if not so, then just not to my taste otherwise. Not all, but most. So it's a struggle to think of sf ideas that aren't Yet Another Military Space Opera, but while it would be tremendous fun to write Yet Another Scheming Nobility this feels little more original. (Oh, earthquake brain. I had to look up the word 'original' in the thesaurus.) Um. Point being, I believe there ought to be more sf that I'd like out there, but as I can't find much of it at the moment, it behooves me to write it.)
I've loaded myself with various other constraints in the kinds of stories/protagonists I want / don't want to write about right at the moment. Suffice to say that it took me a while to think of something. (I even briefly considered a version of the sky-falls-down story in which no-one actually dies, however I concluded that this would more or less miss the point of "post-apocalyptic" without much alleviating the depressing "Oh God not again" nature of another Christchurch disaster.) Fortunately however I have a store of half-started story ideas from my early 20s, not all of which are Star Trek clones -- even if many of them are clones of spin-offs from my first Star Trek clone. One of these can be further tweaked and will be a really fun story, once I work out what happens beyond the middle of chapter 2, with the potential for thoughtfulness too if I feel the urge, so I think I'll in due course try writing that again from the start and see what I come up with.