February 17th, 2009


Ah, spring in California. How damp you are.

Well, it's official; the spring is getting fully underway here in Northern California, aka 'one of those irritating places where the seasons are more of a formality than anything else.' How can I tell? For one thing, it's been raining off and on for the past four days. We need the rain. When we don't get the rain, we have a tendency to burst into flames, which is no fun for anybody. (It doesn't help that we've managed to transplant the noble eucalyptus from Australia and seed it all through the damn state. The actual meaning of the word 'eucalyptus' is 'tree that hates you and creates a fire hazard in order to make you die.' In Australia, even the flora yearns to hurt you.) That doesn't mean I enjoy taking my daily walks through vast fields of puddles.

Other signs of spring are springing up. The buses are crowded with people whose cars are in the shop -- a standard occurrence after the first serious rains of the year. Tourists are beginning to appear in increasingly-large flocks, looking dazed and confused when they're not greeted by a sunshiny city filled with happy people conducting musical numbers on the cable cars (yes, the movies can lie to you). Daffodils are sprouting in yards where they weren't even planted in the first place. And I just found the first bag of bunny corn at Safeway.

Bunny corn, for those of you who fail to share my obsession with honey-based confectionry, bunny corn is the springtime version of candy corn. It's made using the same candy base, and the same candy molds, but comes in a variety of pastel colors, rather than the more traditional orange-yellow-white. (They do something similar at Christmas, only then they call it 'reindeer corn.') Since I only really like fresh candy corn, this springtime sugar infusion is a vital part of my annual cycle. Groundhog sees his shadow, water starts pouring from the sky, I eat bunny corn, and all is right with the world.

I'm told that in other parts of the world, spring is a glorious bursting-forth of life and color and glory. Here in Northern California, spring is that season where you're up to your knees in mud, and bullfrogs from the overflowing stream out back are taking up housing in your front yard. (I actually really, really like that part. All hail the mighty bullfrog, almost big enough to eat a kitten.) It's a season of grays, browns, and blues, like a bruise that takes several months to heal over.

It's also a season of exciting things, from Wondercon (coming soon!) to Anton's new book (coming sooner!) and Ravens in the Library (coming soonest!). We may be bruised and battered, and we may look like drowned rats, but by all that is holy, we're gaining momentum!

Bunny corn?