Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baking

It's so hot, I had to take pictures. Observe!


Bloody hot! The cat has thrown his paws in the air and given up.


Might be hard to tell but that's an upside-down cat under that chair, with a paw and the end of his tail sticking out. Oh and his breakfast bowl. I gave him breakfast in bed because the weather is an extenuating circumstance. Plus, hydration! (Heh.)


That's the quilt. I don't know, maybe it's big enough. I've been sitting on the couch (large blue thing to the right) and going, "Hmmmmm," with frowns and chin resting on hand and all that kind of thing. Should I sew the strip along the top and bottom? (That's the edges where the purple backing is.) Or just make the blue edging (on the music stand to the right, under the quilt strip) nice and wide all the way around? But do I have enough? And will it suck if I use the purple and pink backing to fold over and make a binding? Kind of weird to have your binding two colors like that.

Many things to say "hmmmmm" about.

Also it's way too ungodly hot to even touch flannel right now. Going near the quilt is just absurd.

Doesn't it look sort of like one of those photomosaics? Like if you were far enough away from it you could see the picture it would form? Innnnnteresting. Alternatively, it reminds me of some kind of 3-D bar code thing, like those punch cards we used in computer programming class in high school.

I saw an Atlantis episode last night where the team found some crystalline entity thing and Sheppard goes, "It's like one of those things you played with as a kid," and McKay says, "A Commodore 64?" and Ronon says, "A triple-barrelled shotgun?" and Sheppard says, "A kaleidoscope." Awesome! Those three are fabulous together.

Also our man Kavan Smith was in it, Major Lorne, who's been on Eureka for a while now as the robot Sheriff deputy. He's so great. He's in everything shot in Vancouver, hurray! He was even in a Battlestar episode. Yep! It's true. The Captain's Hand. All I know is, whenever I see him on the tv, I yell, "YAY!"

Whoops. I went to get a picture off the Google and realized for the first time that he looks almost exactly like Ben Browder. Who seems to be in two different tv series this fall? With names that make me think they're from the 70s or possibly feature Chuck Norris, neither of which I've heard of (the two shows, not the 70s and Chuck Norris) which only means they're not Bones or on SyFy. Oh my limited tv scope. It's sad.

Wishing him well, in any case. Go get 'em! I will attest to any and all that you are massively gifted and can do ANYTHING that anyone can throw at you! I have seen it and I know.

The thermometer has crept to 90 since I started this. Woe. I'm okay though as long as I sit still and use the laptop fan thing so I don't get cooked computerwise and have a fan blowing on me for the miracle of evaporation. And if I don't eat. Maybe I'll make iced coffee. Coffee makes me not want to eat ever, so that'll work out.

Want to hear something sweet? The newspaper delivery people left me a note saying they had a sub the past few days and that's why I didn't get my paper. Awwww. I love Maine! I love my tiny little small town that I don't even live in! I really love it here. My rosy opinion has not at all been influenced by the assurances of the state officials this morning that I'll finally start getting actual unemployment soon, while I ferret about hopelessly for work! Nope. Nuh-uh.


Anyway here's the view from my relatively coolish comfy chair. Mmm, oak tree. Doesn't it look nice and shady and leafy out there? It's about 10-15 degrees warmer outside than in, however. I'm good riiiiiight here.

Bootstrap hat site

Hello, Google? Hello, Jayne hat searchers? You are in the right place!

The old http://home.uplink.net/~maburns site has been taken down forever and ever. The Bootstrap Productions Jayne hat site moved and is now located at http://bootstrap-jayne-hat.blogspot.com/

Everything else is the same. Happy hats!

Okay.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Gosh!

That was a really super hard day. I am not kidding. It was all Sisyphusean pushing things uphill and having them roll back down on my head, but finally persevering in despite. Raaar!

Oh my golly, though. SHEESH.

I think comments got frelled in the changeover with the funky layouts. I think I lost some. So that's a hell of a thing. Sorry!

I'm just going list some accomplishments of the day because I feel like I spent it all fighting and not getting anywhere.

1. deleted old uplink hat site (after hours of fighting with help chat and everything)
2. updated Ravelry identity
3. wrote up hat pattern right
4. made a .pdf out of it in Photoshop which is the most counter-intuitive software I've ever met
5. got the Ravelry store set up
6. made a whole new hat store site
7. updated the layouts for that and here
8. swept up the garage and cleaned up after all the construction (of couches)
9. cooked dinner food, which was a miracle given how frustrated I was by then
10. wrote 2K words of book

Now I'm thinking of sewing the strips I've pinned to make the horizontal borders of the quilt. I tend to feel like after, oh, eight or ten hours of solid frustration, maybe everything I touch will implode, but that's absurd. Isn't it?

Also it's still bloody hot. Okay, it's 78.6 indoors, but that's hotter than I like, especially when I'm still in heat shock from 94 or whatever earlier today. I just can't handle that kind of heat. I sort of melt down emotionally as well as physically. It ain't pretty.

So there we go! Immense effort for things that ultimately don't matter at all and could just as easily not have been done! Okay!

I'd like to make plans for tomorrow but I don't dare when it's been such a sucky day, in case the suckage carries over, know what I mean? Same fear with the sewing.

I will tell you some good things:

I saw kitty looking out the sliding glass door and discovered he was watching a whole flock of new pigeon-sized baby turkeys rummaging around on the rock pile. They blend so well! I didn't know turkeys had multiple batches of babies per year. But apparently they do.

And I made brown rice for dinner, with the rest of the beans I picked yesterday. So many beans! So many tomatoes! Yum!

I know I should just lie here and read a book or something but my progress-o-meter is not assuaged by those meager accomplishments in online struggle land today. Quilting it is. Quilting and Bones, eh? I might even put in a dvd since I kind of can't cope with the stupid commercials, though I do like the ad for The Closer where Kyra Sedgwick has the most gigantic ludicrous Farrah hair that ever was. Seriously, I look forward to that because it's so over the top and awesome.

Photoshop the what now?

I do not have the slightest clue how to use Photoshop. I admit this freely. I can't figure out how to make that banner of the Diva singing wide enough to cover more of the page. Unfortunately Blogger doesn't seem to allow for some kind of *centering* of it, which would be the easier and more betterer solution.

So what do you think? I don't like the font, but that's another thing I can't seem to change.

Humph.

It all started because I couldn't change my old Uplink password, which meant I couldn't edit my hat site in Firefox, which can't seem to handle the sheer Java involved. Does that sentence already tell you more than you wanted to know about my day? ME TOO. Upgraded Java, tried again, no dice. Can't change OR reset the Uplink password because they want my (deceased) father's approval as owner of the primary account. They denied my mother's maiden name is what it is, etc. On and on. Can't open it in Explorer (I normally use Firefox) because I don't know my password. In Firefox it's saved, so I can log in, but can't get anywhere. Yes.

But I could delete the old hat site, and did that. Nine years and umpteen gazillion hats! Bye, site!

It seems the only people using it were coming in from Ravelry. Today Ravelry connected my hat patterns with me my own self on their site, so now I can do something crazy like oh, charge a buck for the pattern, or something.

Still more annoying website wrangling to be done but now there's a new frelling hat site on Blogger, where at least I know the goldang Chinese cussing passwords, and a new email address attached to it. Rassum frassum. Gah!

I tried to keep the layout and (crappy) design similar to the original to calm the worried hearts of Browncoats everywhere. Have no fear! I am still me!

See, I'd have left a link from my old site if I could have edited anything. But if I could have edited anything, I wouldn't have had to delete it and move in the first place. I know! Round and round!

I hereby report a positive thing today: the newspaper showed up. Amen, sister! The paper also called me and said they credited me for the two that got missed. Oh, a thing is working again. Hurray!

Also, the banana bread made great breakfast toast. Oops, it's practically dinner time. I've been working all day like a working thing. It's incredibly ungodly steamy hot here, too hot to do anything but sit still. I did run around the house tidying and putting things away, but when the droplets of sweat covered my glasses so that I'd have needed windshield wipers, I decided to SIT DOWN. And fight with stupid internet things. Whee!

But overall, success, right? Right. I hope.

Okay, off to struggle with Ravelry now, upload my patterns, engage in base commerce, and so on.

I hope your days are more fruitful and less struggleriffic than mine! Aggle aggle aggle!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bookery

Oh hey, how's it going? Busy day! First with assholery sundry and various, then with cousinage most awesome (and various), then with extensive bookery. Oh and also Online Jobbing and a bunch of yard work, not to mention that I made banana bread, but I've been writing so long today, that feels like it happened a week ago.

My old friend R. just had gall bladder surgery a few days ago, so we talked on the phone a long time tonight. First time we've talked in ages and ages. Like, years. Kind of a lot of years. Weird!

She got the best line, though. I said our warranties expired at the same time and that's why we needed parts removed, and she said, "No, I got the extended warranty!" Hee.

Banana bread is very good, isn't it? I had two perishing bananas and no bread, so it seemed like an obvious choice. I think I might explore the world of quick breads for a while here. I mean, they're cake. There's no two ways about it, quick breads are cake, but loaf-shaped and not as sweet. If I can toast them for breakfast, I'm happy, no matter what they are, really. I think that's one of those distinctions like a tomato is a fruit.

Lunch with my cousin was totally fun, the most fun I've had in about a million years, lunch with friends in L.A. kind of fun. Hurray! So cool! Plus, you know, wrap your head around this: we're cousins. My mom and her dad are siblings. That boggles my mind. I just didn't grow up around my cousins so it's kind of making me agog.

Also it was terrific to meet her son, who turns out to be exactly my people, like he knew my ring was a Starbuck reference and even knew the gosling reference from Firefly--hardcore! I've been seeing my mom make things and send them to him for his whole life long so it's pretty glorious to meet the guy finally. Plus he's in school right here in town, man! Extended family in town! How great is that?

The whole thing made me feel much less like a solitary apple bobbing in a river, or something. Know what I mean? I know I have family but we don't have all that much in common except shared history and dog obsession, and they always have that, "Oh, it's you again," reaction to me that doesn't exactly thrill me to bits. I mean I get more of a jolt of recognition from some stranger in an airport wearing a Jayne hat.

I wrote a whole long epic time this evening, 5500 words, and these other things happened in the book that I didn't plan that again are sort of the embodiment of pressures and fears, something like that. It's all "Try to make Hank quit" left and right and upside down and oh my poor character, but at the same time, unforeseen awesomeness keeps on cropping up for her, too. Dread and disaster and lose this and lose that but get this amazing thing you never even dreamed of hoping for.

In sum, I'm happy with it. Hurray!

You realize 15K is one fifth of a 75K first draft, right? (Pay no attention to the way my intended draft length alters depending on my current page count. It's actually just for ease of math. When I hit 20K I'll be all, Yay, a quarter of an 80K draft!)

I have to tell you, I was also deeply psyched by the whole thing where I got to go to the bookstore and drink a froofy iced coffee drink on a bloody hot day, then get a phone call from the peoples and meet up with them and go out to lunch together. That is like a WHOLE LOT of stuff! I know it's a teeny tiny thing in normal life but hello, I do not have normal life! I have reclusive hermitage life! So thrilling!

I'm not sure whether I can credit the froofy iced coffee drink or the excellent fun company with the great big writing session. But it did remind me of the month I stayed with D. and S. in Philly and how one day there I wrote 10,000 words. It's true. I think being around humans who are good and fun and like me has some kind of weird positive writing effect. How does that work, anyway? And can I have some more? I need a matchmaker or something. Hey! Make me a match! I am starting to think I might thrive in a thing where you keep people around all the time. Maybe. If they don't heinously suck. (Issue: noted.)

We also went to the grocery store separately but together, which was super fun too. I got peculiar conditioner made of blackberries and sage tea, or some improbable combination like that. It smells delicious. I will have delicious sagey berry hair.

Okay, also I'm in my new writing spot, so that may be a factor, in the glider chair in the office, where I spent all afternoon looking out at the oak tree behind the house and listening to wind in the leaves, one of my favorite sounds ever. So breezy, sitting by the sliding glass door. Paradisaical! Man that word looks wrong.

I know I saw my uncle's daughter's son, but quick, what do you call my uncle's son's daughter's kids in relation to me? I can't do it! Is it some kind of multiple cousin multiple times removed? Anyway they're here in Maine too, I think not too far from here, but I'm not sure. Isn't it cool I ended up in a state full of cousins without the slightest idea they were here? I know!

It's weird to talk to old friends who don't remotely grasp the idea that I'm a writer, when everyone who's known me for the last ten years is all over that fact. When I quit grad school, I became a writer. Well, before I quit, honestly. So it's weird to talk to people who are like, "So what kind of career are you pursuing?" Eh? What? Huh? Quoi? It's all writing. It's BEEN all writing.

Write write write. I like it. More, please!

Late

Work work work busy day busy day! Sheesh oh golly!

But I got the worst of the lush green area of the lawn mowed. Seriously neglected. I ran out of lack of blisters, though, and had to stop. My blisters wish I'd stopped earlier, except then they wouldn't exist, so maybe they're of two minds on the subject. Two blistery minds.

Also I weed-whacked around the place when I ran out of physical ability to shove that mower through dense thick soft grass anymore, which makes everything look much more trim and tidy, except the plastic string ran out, ack!

You know, the last time I filled it, I was in grad school, so I guess that spool had a pretty good run. More than a decade! All of it spent in the barn, but hey!

Add that to the growing list of things I need to get but will not be getting for a while now. But maybe this will inspire me to get the *other* weed-whacker up and running, right? The giant heavy scary one with the two-stroke engine and the wicked shuriken blade? The one I can't start? Right!

Told you: two of things.

The little niece was getting sick when I got there today and got sicker all evening, got dosed up with Tylenol and whatnot, had a fever, and in general wasn't her usual happy frolicking self. So they put on Finding Nemo and I knitted a lot. Knitting is good!

You guys, kitty is sitting next to me on the couch. This is what I wanted! Me and kitty on the couch! Because every other seating implement is a one-person solo proposition! Unless the cat sits on top of me, which is nice and cuddly but means I can't do anything whatsoever. So, tricky. Because I'm all, Yay, you are so nice and snuggly, mmmm, but I was riiiiiight in the middle of something here...

In a perfect world there's me and the dog and the cat and the other cat on the couch all together. With this giant barge of a couch, that would even be possible. Hurray!

Laundry is done, dishes washed, lawn mowed to the limits of my ability. You know, if I can get that scary weed-whacker up and running, I can use it on the rest of the too thick grass. Hey!

It looks like someone very small came up and bit a big piece out of my thumb, where the blister was. Deep. Ouch. Though the big cushy ones on the pads of my palms are more alarming somehow.

Hey, so after I mowed and mowed and weed-whacked and mowed some more, I came inside and just sat down at the computer for a minute to cool down before hitting the showers and getting on the road. And I looked at the various places I look on the internet, but there was nothing to read, so I looked at my book in progress, and then I up and wrote another 2000-3000 words and this awesome character appeared out of nowhere who makes perfect sense as the manifestation of a certain kind of pressure, and then I got to write this scene I've been wanting to write since I first thought of this book ages ago, and it was all so very awesome you must imagine my voice getting very high and squeaky right now, eeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Over at Stately Burns Manor I quizzed the oncologist about what kind of cancer to give this one character and she told me the one I needed and how you treat it and how someone can get super super sick from the treatment but actually they're getting better even though the nurses get mad at you because, the poor patient! Stop with the heinous chemo! And then they get totally better and all's well, hurray! And I was like, "And then they realize that all your education and expertise and experience have value after all," meaning the nurses, but I'm not so sure they ever get to that point.

Aren't nurses interesting as characters? They are so damn sure they're right about everything, and so bossy, and so very full of complaints about how things are versus how they should be, but then they're actually right about almost everything so that's true after all, plus they do all this really insanely hard work for long hours and don't get the respect they deserve. I don't know, I keep thinking about the ones I used to work with and how mighty and feisty they all were, and how I'd always want to make those sort of flattening, patting motions with my hands toward the table and say, "Whoaaaaaa, settle, shhhhh!" No more coffee for the nurses!

Whereas doctors just seem like people to me.

Anyway.

There's this whole class thing going on, too, but nobody's allowed to talk about class.

Hey, so my couch is awesome and has already been the site of some seriously high quality lolling. I loll! Sometimes I loll and mull at the same time. It's pretty glorious. And once it has a back and sides, look out! I'll never be anywhere else. Except of course for when I am.

Tomorrow I get to go meet up with my cousin, holy cow! And possibly her son! We'll see! I'm exceedingly darn excited about the whole thing and thrilled to bits. You know it's not actually legal to live in Maine without a bunch of relatives around so this weekend I might actually qualify as a resident person, having seen my brother, sister-in-law, niece, cousin, and second cousin, all in the course of two days. DUDE! But don't count the second cousin until he hatches.

Writing bliss, man. I broke 10K words today. That's awesome. I realize that if you write 2K a day you reach 10K in five days but somehow that didn't add up in my mathless brain and when I saw the number this afternoon, I flipped out. Ten thousand words! Holy wow! That's a significant chunk of a book! I mean if I'm going for 80K in the first draft, that's an eighth!

I realize you all got there long before me and were tapping your toes and going COME ON, but I'm mathematically challenged, okay? And I feel like I just started this book. Do you know why? Because I just started this book! Jane did one of those sprints and I wrote the outline when, Monday? Tuesday? And then whoosh!

Wow. An eighth. Wow. Yay!

Okay, next issue is: I can't sleep anymore, lie awake half the night just weirdly unable to sleep. Though possibly all that mowing in the hot hot sun today will have cured me. Let's hope! Even with benadryl or melatonin, no going to sleep for hours and hours. It's totally not like me. So let's hope it has already started receding into the distance, right?

I do think tv near bedtime is one of those sneaky proximate causes, though. Maybe it's the Bones that's to blame. I just love that show to pieces, though.

You know what? It's supposed to be 90 and above all week. I looked at the weather then checked the zip code to make sure it wasn't still 90027. Nope! It's probably 110 in Los Feliz, who am I kidding? Anyway after a couple of days in sweaters and wool socks, I'll be gasping in front of a fan again soon, no doubt. And using that laptop fan thing again. It got too cold to use it! Seriously!

Tonight I'm sure my hands will go numb about sixteen times and wake me up, after all that mowing.

Is it the power of suggestion? I'm totally conking out. Zzzzzz. Now if I could just carry that into actual sleep. Maybe I should stop using that triple espresso toothpaste before bed, I don't know.

Happy writing and enjoy your Sunday pancakes!

Friday, August 27, 2010

It really needs a back really really

How did I get to be such a freaking lightweight? And I don't mean poundage. (Though I guess that too.) Two benadryl at 3:30 and I'm still looped out of my mind. I took the hard kind that take longer to hit (oooh I sound like such a drug fiend) as opposed to the capsules full of teeny tiny balls that I always want to pull open and let the little benadryl molecules (that's what they are, right?) fall out in slow motion and bounce all over the place.

But I still ended up braking for rocks en route to Lowe's. Rocks. Rocks by the side of the road with people's house numbers on them. OH NO LOOK OUT IT'S COMING STOP STOP STOP! Oh, no, wait. That's a rock.

A trait of me taking any medication: I think things are moving that are not moving. It's a treat to drive behind me on days like today, I betcha!

So then I slept on the old "couch" for two hours by accident, stupid benadryl, and when I staggered to my feet instantly went and got out the Skil saw and cut the lumber I needed, drilled holes, ran a million screws where they needed to go, decided to give the couch two more legs such that now it is officially an insect, and brought it inside. Yay!

It's super comfy except that I still have to lean back against the bookcase, which is not. Sudden motivation to build the back!

Also since I took benadryl I can smell the exhaust from every car that drives by. How wrong is that? I know!

Stupid pasta. Last night I cooked macaroni for pasta salad on the theory that I had it in the cupboard and there would never be a better time. Which I guess is true. But I got the nastiest allergic reaction immediately after eating it this morning and I haven't been right since.

Stupid me for trying it, I guess--can't really blame the pasta. You don't think the reaction gets worse when you aren't exposed to something for a while, do you? Because how is that fair? Sheesh.

New couch: am very proud! It's a bit higher than I expected, but the inflatable mattress is very high for a mattress. Higher than normal. And I put the old inch thick mattress pad on top to prevent kitty claws from puncturing it. See why I need the real mattress before I build the sides and back? I could always shorten the legs but that seems like a question to be answered after the passage of much more time than ten minutes.

I'm very very tempted to build the back right away. Oh so tempted. But it would be a terrible idea.

Hey! I got the hand cure medication from Walmart for $4 for a month's supply except I used that inexplicable $5 gift card Walmart sent me a while back so it was free. Where did that come from? Thanks, wherever!

The pharmacist was fascinating, sort of rural counterculture with a giant tattoo on her forearm. She had to advise me on the medication, which is essentially just two Alleve in one pill. The advice was: don't take Alleve with it. Hee. I thought that was so funny, but I guess people need to be told that sort of thing. Also, take it with food.

I've been tortured all day by not knowing whether I took my morning Alleve. Yeah, I have a bit of a problem remembering whether I've taken something or just intended to. I don't *think* I did but it's not worth risking an overdose to find out. Wouldn't you think I'd know from how sore my hands are? But I learned today it can take two weeks before the inflammation really starts to die down. Oh! So I can't really tell if I took it or not since it's only been three days. Okay!

My hands were so bad last night I was awake forever and woke up constantly from the pain. Awesome. But hey, I got a backless couch out of the deal, so yay!

I really feel like lying down and going to sleep on this thing all over again. Zzzzz. However, tonight we quilt, if we can stay awake and keep it together sufficiently. Place your bets!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Get excited and make things!

And I certainly have been. Oh boy!

I got that quilt back all sewed last night. It was a major effort and I lost the pizza cutter fabric slicer entirely. I still can't find it. I had to dig out my old dull one that you can't get blades for anymore and use that. Where did it go? Where? I swear I was just in this one room at the sewing machine and the cutting table and NOWHERE ELSE so where could it possibly have walked off to?

Unknown. But it's going to be very hard to make those top and bottom strips for the quilt without my fabric cutter. Also, where are my leftover strips? In a fez in the garage, sure, but you know there are about twelve fezzes in the garage.

Some have been pressed into service as sawhorses!


But fortunately they're done doing that now because the daybed/couch frame is more or less finished:


Those slats will be evenly space before I screw them down. It's making me itchy looking at them all wonky like that.

To finish up I just need more lumber, and some screws, and then the base frame will be all done. It was too late to go out tonight plus see that upside down blue dresser in the picture before last? I painted the odd-smelling inside of it with BIN sealant which apparently makes you kind of loopy when you spend the next three or four hours breathing its fumes, even with the whole garage door open, the window open, and a fan going.

Not that I spent the whole time talking out loud to myself or anything. Okay, maybe. It's just something about building this thing reminded me so strongly of my old neighbor and buddy M.! Remember him? Remember how completely freaking awesome he is? I know! And E.L. who I'm at least still in touch with on ye olde Facebook, yay! Two outrageously exceedingly awesome boys. I kept remembering all these great times and funny conversations and all this fun stuff with those two.

Yes, something about working out there with my beloved Skil jigsaw and two drills (one was being a screwdriver) made me remember M. most of all. He's a builder of things, that guy. I miss them! They actually met each other at either my birthday party or going-away party, I can't remember which, but my head almost exploded at the hitherto unreached boy awesomeness quotient. It's true!

Can you see the mistake in the last picture above? The center reinforcing bar is supposed to be level with the slats but it's level with the support for the slats. It's not that big a deal--I can move it up--but it will weaken the whole side if I don't reinforce it. Whoops.

I also knocked my old drill off the stepstool and broke the bit, but it's one I happen to have two of. Me? Imagine! Two of quite a lot of things you might not normally have two of, that's me. Pizza cutter fabric slicers. Fabulously awesome friends in the form of tall boys. And so on.

Anyway I ran out of lumber and screws or I'd be sitting on this thing right now, with the inflatable mattress on it.

It was weirdly easy since I've been thinking it through during half my waking hours lately. The other half of course have gone to the bookery. Which is going so very awesomely I don't even dare tell you. La la la! La! But I can tell you there are tater tots and math class and the tornado of extrication.

Anyway I think my lovely doctor's directive to take two Alleve twice a day has helped a whole hell of a lot because I can actually do things now. Talking on the phone still hurts so much I can't stand it, but I can wield a Skil saw. Isn't that weird? Holding the phone is the most painful thing I do all day. I think that's bizarre.

Whoa! It's pouring again! Hurray! I had to ShopVac up a bunch of rain out of the basement once today already. But that's okay.

Oh heck, I completely missed dinner. I was a little busy building a couch. I can't wait for the arms and back. It'll be a while because I have to afford the lumber which isn't happening any time soon. Well, maybe the back. The sides are the cool, complicated part. You cut out the nice curvy shapes and then attach them together with sort of spars and then bolt the whole thing to the side of the couch, then upholster it all up. The back is kind of frame-like, like a nice curvy edge and then spars and supports. Getting the angles right will be the tricky part. I can't really do that until I get the actual mattress. So it's going to be an ongoing project kind of thing.

It was very fun to download lots of pictures of the couches I like and extrapolate or concentrate what I liked best into the shapes I'd want. And I thought my Skil saw (which I've had for like six months but had never used before today) was just a regular saw, but guess what? It's a jigsaw! So I can cut those lovely curving shapes that I want! Yay!

I'm so very excited about this couch, wheee! The lumber and screws tomorrow will cost less than $10. I'm pretty psyched to get it into the living room, where it'll take up nearly the whole length of the bookcases. Gosh! Oh and I have to hammer little slidy feet onto the legs, and then put non-slidy chocolate square looking things underneath those. All so it won't scratch or slip. Fortunately I have all those things just sitting around. (Why do I have every possible thing? Why?)

All of that wood you see will be upholstered over, except the legs, I guess. Do I have to put one of those couch skirt things on it, like couches have, attached on? I could. Easy enough, I guess. One wouldn't want one's couch legs to be visible to just any passerby. Shocking! Not when they're made of furring, anyway. That square wood is called furring. Isn't that a great name? I love all the weird names for all kinds of lumber and tools and things.

Okay, so I'm crazy in love with my Skil saw, because with that and a drill you can make ANYTHING. Anything!

I'm going back to the quilt-o-rama tonight, though. For one thing, the lights in the garage are on motion sensors, which I put in so I could drive in and not be stumbling around in the dark. Except they go off if I hold still too long, see. So I was in there waving slats at them and yelling, "Turn on! Turn on! On! On! On!" and they were all, "Lum de dum, I don't seeeeeeeee you." And then I'd have to go turn the switch off and on again and that's how I knocked my drill off and broke a bit. Jeez!

Though I still didn't stop until I ran out of lumber. Ah, well.

Right, dinner. I really feel like baking cupcakes but from scratch? At 9 p.m. when I haven't had dinner? I don't think so. Maybe tomorrow, though. Because apparently it is a very good time to, well, you know....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh so cozy

I swear there's nothing at all cozier than sitting there reading under my bookcase quilt having my big fluffy cat come over and sit by/on me with his front half on my leg. Oh and then he starts purring a whole lot. He did this about a million times last night when I was reading two whole books in one big long epic too much is not enough reading extravaganza. Kitty!

We LOVE that bookcase quilt. Remember how I thought it was so ugly I wouldn't give it to anyone? Well, now it's like my favorite thing ever. And the cat absolutely adores it. It's thick and warm, first of all, because of the cotton batting. And it has corduroy books! Mmm, corduroy in quilts....mmmmmm.

We had an amazingly nice evening yesterday, point being. Reading my books, knitting the baby blanket, snuggling my cat, drinking many blue glasses of water. Yes, we were living large in the Bootstrap household, and loving it.

Also did I mention there was fantastic turkey meatloaf? It came out awesome. Thanks, chatty bagger girl, for telling me your aunt's secret to turkey loaf! The apples were excellent. And the oatmeal was key, though I might put it in cooked but not yet congealed into a rubbery disk, next time. I prefer congealed for eating, but it doesn't mix in as well that way.

Uncongealed oatmeal has this appalling fluffy wet soft texture that causes me to heave. Not ideal in a breakfast food!

What are we going to cook tonight? Who knows? Maybe it's turkey loaf sandwich night, but without a ketchup proxy, I just don't know. Cranberries would work, but I don't have any. I picked a lot of cherry tomatoes which somehow fit into that gap between ketchup and cranberries in my mind, but only because they're small, round, and red. Sure, I can cook down some tomatoes and add sugar and spices and make it ketchuppy but without vinegar it will just be tomato jam again.

Dang, I should always have bags of cranberries in the freezer. Note to self. I am NOT driving anywhere in a raging deluge (or even without the deluge, let's be honest) to buy a bag of cranberries.

I wrote a whole bunch more book already today, woohoo! I love it. I like how it goes in a straight line and how one event dominoes the next event and the next. Like a thing happens and our character has to decide and do a thing and that causes another thing. And so on. IN ORDER. Not all chaotic and confusing like things get. Which is my issue, I'm aware, but so? Still the biggest writing issue I have. Need a road map to keep track of things.

Ooooh...I would love a visual map of events. Wouldn't you? Maybe I will make one of those very things.

But I still love how things just sort of appear out of nowhere while you're writing, completely unplanned but so obviously right. Love that!

There's a math problem, though. I laid out twelve excellent chapters but even if they're 5K each, that's not quite a book. Of course I may find there's more that develops as I write it. But you know. Math. Hmmph.

Fascinating, Captain. The raging deluge has been going on for most of the day and in fact is raining so hard I took pictures. Of rain. But there's only a tiny trickle in the basement. It sure was dry out there, wasn't it? The ground was completely parched.

Pictures of rain. Riveting!




Making tortillas. Mmm, fresh corn tortillas. Mmmmmmmmm.



Toppings. Fillings. Whatever they are. What goes inside the tortillas. Notice practically non-existent counter space. Hey, move over!


Quilt in progress. Okay, I'll finish it, gosh! I sure do love this quilt. It's weirdly wide and short, though. Maybe going to run a line of strips across the top and bottom to fill it out. Before I complete the backing, right? So that the backing fits it? Riiiiiight.....good thought.

Fiction Bender (oh my head)

No, I didn't stay up until 3:30 reading Mockingjay, why do you ask? Ooh. SPOILERS AHEAD, yo.

Look, kangaroo rat bunny dogs! Here endeth your cute animal diversion.

Mockingjay was awesome. The issue was that I had to read Catching Fire first and only got done at around 11:30, at which point a SANE person would have said, "Awesome book! I will read the next one tomorrow." But you see, the internet is completely fraught with Mockingjay spoilers right now! People hating Peeta! People hating Gale! People hating Katniss! People flipping out over the ending!

So I had to read it. The internet made me do it!

I loved it so let's get that right out there. BUT...there's this thing in the second two books where it goes action action action Action ACTION OMG ACTION AAAAAAH!!!! flump. Wander wander wander. Dramatic reveal in prosaic non-action form. The end.

I hate that. Pay it off, twist it up and then pay it off, do whatever you have to do, but do not ramp up to your dramatic climax then go on a coffee break and then say, "Oh, yeah, this is what happened while your main character was unconscious/asleep/confused/kidnapped/looking the other way/didn't know about it." NOOOOOO. YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

I also don't like tearing down beloved characters in some kind of punishment at the end, reducing them from their heights of awesomeness to something not remotely awesome at all.Why would you do that?

As I read it I kept thinking about my TR rewrites and how I do exactly all of those heinous things to the letter. SIGH. Notes for rewrite: don't do that.

Honestly I think it's all a big side effect of massive disenfranchisement and feeling like we're not in control of our own destinies. And punishing people who get good things. I don't know that we believe we can control things AND be a good person. If you control things, i.e. determine how the book ends, then you can't be a good person and have to be punished for it.

I'm not saying it's right. Jeez, of course it's horrendously wrong. I just think it's so deeply ingrained that it takes a whole lot of conscious thought to fight it off. I'm talking about a whole range of books I adore written by brilliant women here but that doesn't make it any less of a bad thing.

Here's how it plays out:

-They get what they want but lose something else (this is fine)
-They get physically beat up, scarred, damaged, raped, abused, tortured (I have issues with this, duh)
-They lose all control over their own lives and only get it back with help (problematical)
-They get reduced to a powerless and completely un-awesome state at the end despite how self-evidently full of awesomeness they were throughout.

Obviously I can see this all through the first two books I wrote which is why I was all, "HEY!" when I ran into it all over again in The Hunger Games series and in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Though you can see Clare constantly going that way and then FIXING IT. Clary (the character) (I know, that's super annoying) is in charge of her own destiny for the most part. And when she gets all "Woe, all this bad stuff happened because of me!" as one does, someone will set her straight. No, those people made their choices.

I am all for people making stupid choices and screwing up and doing stuff wrong (I am talking about characters here--writers aren't allowed) and then fixing them. Getting themselves out of terrible jams with the help of others because goodness knows you can't do it alone, but the hero of the story ought to be the motivating factor in her own story. She needs to drive things. She needs to say, "I want that cup of tea," and then overcome heinous obstacles and villains and betrayal and ugly outfits and GO GET THAT CUP OF TEA.

It's disturbing to me that this is basically the them of the Hunger Games series all throughout, very overtly the theme. Don't be someone else's tool. Be your own person, do what you think is right. Don't let yourself be used by someone else. But the opposite of "don't let yourself be used by someone else" is not....the epilogue. In fact you could kind of say that IS letting yourself be subsumed into someone else's narrative. People have said it already today, that it's a Mad Men ending and have even referenced (gasp) Stephanie Myers.

I'm trying to think how you can reconcile all of the horrible trauma and abuse that a revolutionary goes through and get them to a suitable happy ending. I mean, in a selfish way, because I have books to write here, people. And speculative fiction YA (that's my thing) is pretty much always about changing the world. How can you go out there and change the world and then give up all your awesomeness and hopes and dreams and stop being the person you are? People don't really act like that. Not without mental illness. Because the person you are IS the person you are. When you recover, you come back to being yourself.

I suppose the counter-argument with Mockingjay is she went back to who she was in the very beginning of the series, except, wait, she didn't. That girl fought and hunted and broke the rules and protected her family at all costs. It's a very dark series all throughout, I know. Hello, it's about a government that sets children to fight to the death to keep its people down. I just don't think the resolution needed to destroy our heroine, especially when the hero gets to come back from just as bad or worse and be perfectly fine.

I'm not thrilled with the ending/epilogue, I guess that's what I'm saying. And I DO NOT think you have to destroy your heroine at the end. People can stay awesome. And they can stay themselves. No matter what they've gone through. This, we got a happy ending but it sucked. I'd rather have people stay themselves and not get a happy ending. That makes more sense to me. Once you've become such a large screen hero/villain it seems like you'd want to keep on saving the world with your own particular brand of world-saving-ness.

Again my novels are standing there on my desk with their little hands on their bookish hips, glaring at me accusingly. I know! I know! Okay? I totally know! I WILL FIX YOU. Don't get your quires in an uproar. Not that you have them since you were never printed and bound, but you know, your imaginary quires. How come you have plain dark library bindings in my mind? That's good, right? I want you to be in every library in the land! Only not with those grumpy expressions.

Hey, I was up all night on a fiction bender, what do you expect?

Positive positive positive: Mockingjay and all three books were about how we let ourselves be used by powerful entities for their own purposes, something I feel very strongly about, even on the tiny level of which company you work for. It doesn't have to be as a national symbol, but of course there's that, too. I'm the person with the bumper sticker that says "WHOSE TOOL ARE YOU?" after all. Still available from that online store, along with Team Agathon merchandise! Unless it isn't.

That's because what you do means a huge amount and who you work for means you're putting yourself behind what they stand for. And if you go out like Katniss as a very visual symbol for the entrenched evil government and then actively allow yourself to be used for the revolution, that's very powerful. It's all about actively standing for what you stand for. Heh. And I love that subject! That means a lot to me.

I also believe you're saying all those things every day with your shoes and using makeup and everything, too. Everything is an argument and all. But you can fight about that later.

Anyway it's brilliant that Suzanne Collins used that same visual made-for-tv trope from the original book and turned it backwards into a weapon to bring down the corrupt government. I love that!

I keep trying to think how you'd carry that through to a logical conclusion that would make me cheer. And you know what I came up with? Katniss would stage her and Peeta's martyrdom (faked) to turn everyone against the evil government and bring it down, and then sneak off and go live happily ever after, the two of them traveling around and keeping the revolution going. That would be Katniss taking the reins and using herself as a tool instead of being someone else's all the time.

I'm all about the internal logical consistency.

Oh the fiction hangover. It's pouring outside and cold inside. I think I might go build a couch.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Loafen

I have rendered the turkey loafen and put it in the oven. Bake! Bake, turkey loaf! Does this make me a loafer? One who loaves?

The to-do list is barreling right along in a pleasing manner. However, I have Mockingjay to read, which means I might not quilt as I intended. Terror! Fear! Anarchy!

Or maybe I will.

It was an odd day of cascading events. Like, I suddenly thought: I don't need those brake pads, and I'm all broke, so I'll take them back. And then lo, sixty bucks! So I was able to get Mockingjay with no anxiety. Well, less. And a pound of ground turkey for turkey loaf. And then the chatty bagger girl told me about her aunt's turkey meatloaf that had apple in it and how good that was, so instead of turkey burgers I made turkey enloavened, with sage, apple, onion, pepper, Helo, salt, and already-cooked oatmeal. I don't do breadcrumbs, see.

Though I do have bread. But no! I'm not crumbling up my bread to make breadcrumbs! Forget it!

What is it my mom makes with crumbled up Triscuits on it? Mac and cheese? Something. I'm just not of the crumble up your baked goods psycho-social grouping or whatever. I feel like this way lies a world of recipes made with cans of mushroom soup. Fie! Duck fudge upon thee!

Oh I wrote a whole bunch and now I'm in writing euphoria, pardon.

Especially because it cured my chapter one issues. I've been going around thinking about it all day every day lately because I keep writing chapter one and it sucks, and then I think, Oh, do this instead, and I do that instead, and it still sucks, and then repeat repeat repeat. But this time it sucketh not! It achieves all of the goals I set for it and is unmistakably AWESOME. Because it introduces and bonds our two main characters and lays out the world and it's all terrorizing and aaaah and makes me oh so happy.

I even have ideas for how to rewrite chapter one of Tethys. With your hair on fire, that's how! Look out!

Honestly I think your hair should always been on fire in writing, except for those lovely lulls where you go phew, and then discover aaaaaah! While I rested peacefully everyone's hair went on fire all around! Aaaaah!

You see why I often feel like I'm living in a book. I know! Just when I get lulled into a false sense of security and buy mary janes, blammo!

One day I would really like to get lulled into a true sense of security. Does that ever happen? I would be okay with that. Eagles! Vast financial stability! Pie! Dogs with fur!

Oooh, I had the best idea for the couch. Or possibly the worst idea for the couch. See, I don't think there's enough of anything to upholster it with, but what if....I quilted fabric onto muslin and upholstered it with that. Huh? Huh? What do you think? Unspeakably brilliant or a terrible idea?

Here's how it's a terrible idea: not as strong, has seams which will imprint on your legs and be uncomfortable to sit on, will age rather fast. Quilting fabric is designed that way.

Here's how it's an awesome idea: quilted couch! QUILTED COUCH!!!

Yeah, that's really all I've got.

Oh that's the other thing I got with the brakes: the front and back of the frame for I think $6 and change each. So now I can build the couch any day I want. I could do it right now! Or in ten minutes! Or an hour ago!

The pre-registration woman and I got into a giggle fit today because I called to pre-register for my appointment but only an hour before, so I was all worried and said, "Am I too late?" And she said, "It's never too late!" And I said, "Yay! Unless your appointment is over," and then she started imitating someone calling: "Hi, I had an appointment back in '85? Can I still pre-register?" and then we were giggling a whole lot and I said, "Post-registration!" and then we couldn't stop giggling and finally she said, "Ooh, now I have to pee." Which set me off again. Ha!

Yay!


Also I got square with the unemployment people. I was all flipping out worried because in my rageful tizzy I'd forgotten about Online Job the first week I applied, which is like LYING and stuff, but there's no way to go back in and correct mistakes. But I did remember it the second week and was literally lying awake over it and stuff. But I told them today and they went back and fixed the first week. PHEW.

Oh! And the doctor told me to take two Alleve twice a day for my hands. And she wrote me a prescription for it at Walmart, where apparently it's $4 for a month of prescribed generic drugs. Holy wow! That's insane! That's cheaper than buying Alleve over the counter. Anyway I'm going to try this and see how well it works.

My doctor (she is so awesome) asked a lot of excellent questions and decided my hands got busted up from carrying my heavy baritone (45 lbs in its case) back and forth to school from 4th grade until the end of high school. For some of that time I had a locked cage for it but not all by any means. And carried my cello from the age of 8, though it was a little cello back then. I only got a full size one in 7th grade. You know there were days I carried both of them to and from school? And later my electric bass. No wonder, huh?

I thought that was so brilliant, figuring that out. What a smartypants! She's fabulous!

She wants me to go to physical therapy for it and I was all, Waaaaah, gonna hurt! and then realized, oh yeah, everyone thinks that, shhhh. I'm sure they know what they're doing.

One last thing: my cell phone people sent me this hilarious card today and I just had to share it. Just be aware that Credo isn't the religious kind of credo belief but, like, lefty. Okay! Here you go:

"Credo Mobile works for progressive causes like wildlife protection. AT&T works for a different kind of endangered species: the right-wing loon." Ha! Awesome.

Loafen

I have rendered the turkey loafen and put it in the oven. Bake! Bake, turkey loaf! Does this make me a loafer? One who loaves?

Lookit!

This site is glorious! If you're obsessive about YA as I am, anyway. Thanks, Jen! It might as well be subtitled "Let's get super excited about YA!" And the banner has The Hunger Games (awesome, I own it) next to some kind of citrus-having adult beverage in a martini glass! I am so there!

If you're YA obsessed (ahem) you know that Mockingjay comes out today, woohoo! Third in the series starting with The Hunger Games. Borders is onto me because they sent me a coupon for half off this morning in my email. Oh man! What's a person to do? An underemployed person? Borders says right on the email that it's $9 with the coupon so I think I can swing that.

Thanks for the enabling, Borders!

Someone mentioned to me that they get $200 of groceries for $20 with coupons which made me go, "Hey, *I* want to do that!" only then I remembered why I don't, which is to say: I don't get any processed food. Coupons are always for processed food. It's true. Have you ever seen a coupon for eggplant? Or any produce? What about eggs or butter? See.

By the way I got weirdly healthier after I quit eating that yogurt all the time. Like, pink complexion instead of dead fish, feeling so much better, waking up early instead of sleeping all day. I don't know if you can attribute it all to that but once again I'm reminded of how powerful being allergical can be. It can mess you up, dear oh dear. Or maybe it's getting out of that hellish windowless solitary confinement room that converted into an extended No Exit scenario, what do you think? How sucky must a situation be when getting fired IMPROVES things?

Hey! When I don't hit myself on the head with this hammer, it doesn't hurt! Whoa!

Speaking of which, yesterday's list. Hmmmmm. I was out in the garage hammering nails into the walls and hanging things up instead of having them sprawled all over the place when I got distracted by the giant fezzes of quilting fabric, so I found the flannel I needed for the quilt backs (the flannel I bought in the Glendale JoAnn when my brother asked me to make changing table covers then changed his mind immediately after) and sort of put down the hammer and forgot about it until just now.

So that is kind of on my list of things to do. Let's assess, shall we?

Yesterday's list:
Online Job
search and apply
go to post office and mail all the application things
pick and freeze Roma tomatoes
find/sew quilt backing (it's all set to go)
square off quilt top (cease failure to commit! cease!)
lay out and baste quilt
write outline in form of chapter list of point to points plus arc segments (geometrical!)
write some bookery
make potato dill soup (made tortillas instead)
hammer lots of nails into garage walls to hang up all the things (begun)
eat food at reasonable intervals to avoid fainting and croaking (poor performance so far)
drink more tea (I can't believe this has to be on the list! astounding!)


Okay, that's not too bad. Jane gets credit for lighting a fire under me to get the outline done, though she had no idea. It was one of those writing sprints! I'm sort of incapable of NOT joining in! I see it on Twitter and I'm all, "Yeah! Let's go!" And this time it happened to be a 45 minute one, so I started typing as fast as I could and lo! My outline, she is done.


Partly that's because I've been thinking about it nonstop for days. Seriously. Washing the dishes? Thinking outline. Picking tomatoes? Thinking outline. Considering whether to walk down my path in the field with clippers so I can take down the giant goldenrod stalks that are leaning across the path and covered with bees? Thinking outline. (Haven't decided about the path yet. Some other path-using animals have been going around the goldenrod blockages, I can see. Hmmm. Should I take advice from foxes, coyotes, deer, and other wildlife? Or exert my opposable thumbs, tool-using capabilities, and large forebrain?)


Anyway that's how I always do it. Think think think think think BLAM! Write a whole lot super fast! It's because I write faster than I can think. Or something. So the thinking has to be pre-loaded.


How did that make my brain sound like a gun? My brain is nothing like a gun. It's much more like an apple pie that's still in the oven. Or possibly an etymological dictionary. Maybe both! And a spaceship.


Anyway NEW LIST is the point of all that:


Today's List:
Online Job
search and apply
write book 2K
work on outline/edits of TR, a book WHICH I LOVE BEYOND ALL SENSE
research Brooke's brainwave (awesome!)
sew quilt backing together
lay out and baste quilt
phone appointment with unemployment people

doctor appointment to fix busted up hands
hammer in some more nails out in the garage, tidy up chaos
run on the trampoline
weed and water the garden since it hasn't frelling rained
walk down the power line cut to the lake, seriously! (and back) (got to be specific)
oh yeah and vacuum the house



I hate vacuuming.

No cooking on the list because I made tortillas last night with refried beans and garden tomatoes and Anaheim pepper and onion and lettuce and I am still full, no kidding. Get away from me with your cooking ideas! (I always want to call the Anaheim pepper the Los Angeles pepper of Anaheim. But it's a little labored.)


The rest of the list is okay. Except the part about how they might call "within one hour of the interview." Does that mean before as well as after? It gives me all sorts of tizzies. Well, the whole thing makes me a bundle of anxieties. Fun times!


Time to run around the house putting things away and tidying things up and in general racing around like an OCD person being chased by a slow-moving axe murderer.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Point A to point B

I think that's my outline plan. A chapter = point A to point B, not just plotwise but characterwise. Right?

I mean I'm trying to think through what outlines do and how they do them, so I can do it the most useful way. I'm not the biggest fan of prescriptive thinking, but on the other hand, I can follow a recipe until I have it memorized.

Hmmmm.

But say your outline is a list of point to points. Would that work?

This will sound dumb without the specifics but let's try anyway:

Chapter outline entry: my character has x complex and sucky situation ABC but by the end of the chapter has a whole new boatload of problems that makes the first situation look kind of good.(In other words, stuff happens! Things change! Story story story.)
My job: get her from A to B, but also get her to change [in specific ways] en route. Not exactly after-school special blatant but I do have a plan in mind. A segment of a character arc.

I'm not explaining this well. Low blood sugar! Eat lunch! It's 3:30, you daft loon!

While I'm absorbing this leftover salad, can I just say that last night at one a.m. I heard an unmistakable loon calling? It must have been down on the lake and the sound just carried bizarrely far. Because of the lake. Right. The surface at night is smooth and flat and reflects sound ridiculously well. Or was it the cloud cover? Remember when I lived right on that other lake? It was as loud as those loons sounded. How? How?

It startled the heck out of me, anyway. It was a busy day of being startled by a whole range of local ornithology! Wait, according to the map it's about 3800 feet to the lake. That's not that far. It's just really super far if you walk there by the roads because you have to go all the way around the long way. Through the woods as the loon hollers it's what, six tenths of a mile? I HAVE TO FIND A PATH DOWN THERE!

Busy morning of work work work, both doing and seeking. I think it may have mushed up my brains a little bit. But so very good for the progress-o-meter in my head! That's what rules me, you know. If the progress-o-meter isn't registering, well, progress, then I feel terrible and get panicky and that is very bad for making actual progress...so it's wise to keep the progress-o-meter fed.

Hmm, that's reminding me, I need to pick and freeze some of those Roma tomatoes. Like right away. They're so gorgeous! You're supposed to blanch and skin them but that seems so barbaric, I never do it. (The pathetic fallacy also rules me, along with the progress-o-meter. Wait...did I tell you that weeding the garden always makes me think of genocide? You're the wrong kind, therefore you die! And that picking the ripe veggies reminds me of the Slaughter of the Innocents? I kill your first born!)

I made a list of what to do today, you know. I did. But then Word freaked out and crashed and I lost it. With only two items crossed off, too! I guess I can reconstruct it and cross off more things, including item one, make a list, and item twelve, reconstruct the list.

I'm wearing those awesome brown and purple shoes today that I blame for my losing my job. No, wait! Not in any sensible way, of course! But because it was the first time I went out and purchased a frivolous--by which I mean not strictly absolutely life-preservingly essential--item, which always seems to precede getting sacked somehow. I'm only explaining this so that I'll realize by process of articulation how LOOPY that really is. The shoes are not to blame. Though I kind of wish I hadn't gotten them given how I'd rather have the money in the bank just now, see?

Anyway they're super comfortable. Mmm.

So if my own personal daily list involves getting from Point A to Point B, and you know it does, then the progress-o-meter measures how well I'm doing on that each day. You can call it work ethic or whatever. Determining the points is crucial for knowing whether or not to go bananas from not getting enough done. In fact determining the points is the ONLY way not to go bananas, because then you can tell whether you did it. Aha!

Let's hear it for measurable, incremental progress.

Today's list:
Online Job
search and apply
go to post office and mail all the application things
pick and freeze Roma tomatoes
find/sew quilt backing
square off quilt top (cease failure to commit! cease!)
lay out and baste quilt
write outline in form of chapter list of point to points plus arc segments (geometrical!)

write some bookery
make potato dill soup
hammer lots of nails into garage walls to hang up all the things (begun)
eat food at reasonable intervals to avoid fainting and croaking (poor performance so far)
drink more tea (I can't believe this has to be on the list! astounding!)

Anyway. I guess I have some things to do. Hup hup!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

But not the third one?

You know I went for a walk along the road, and as usual I wanted to pick up the cans and bottles to turn them in for a nickel each and also because my left eye keeps on watering all the time, so I often have this tear trickling down my cheek, which makes me think of that ad with the Native American man who cries because of the litter. Right?

Only I didn't have a bag. So I picked up a can or two and then I said, out loud because I'm kind of like that, spend a lot of time alone, "I need a bag." And then two or three steps later, there's a brown paper bag. So I said, "I mean a plastic bag," and then two or three steps later, there's a plastic bag. Ha! So I picked that up and put the bottles and cans in it, and then I said, "I need a roll of hundred dollar bills lost by someone who acquired them illegally and won't miss them or come looking for them." Because you have to be *specific.*

Alas, it wasn't there. But I must have gotten at least a whole dollar's worth of cans and bottles. Do you think if there's less litter my eye will stop watering?

The good news is

I baked biscuits. Yum! You know how you make them stupidly good? Well, I never have milk, so I mix up some from this buttermilk powder that lives in the fridge. Yep. Something about biscuits made with that just causes my head to explode with happiness.

No, my head was exploding anyway. What's with the excruciating headache, brains? Is it because I stayed up until 3 a.m. putting away all the laundry I washed the day I got fired? Is it because I'm still deathly ill? I would accept either of those as an answer, but I would still like not to have the headache anymore.

I thought biscuits would kill it, but no! Must have recourse to strategems. I mean, ibuprofin.

High hopes for this doctor visit Tuesday...high hopes that she'll give me some way to cope with the major hand pain problem. The number of things you can do without hands is startlingly low, and oddly enough, I don't seem to do any of them. Like, go for a walk. Wait, what are the others? Go to the movies. (Driving involved = hand usage, sorry.) Watching tv or movies or reading at home = knitting or sewing, sorry, it's like closing your eyes when you sneeze. It's part of the process and not negotiable.

I'm also hoping the doctor can tell me why my fingernails are going all nuclear on me. Wouldn't you think they'd get better by now? Six weeks of meds. Okay, five. But they're so much worse, all split horizontally and vertically and lengthwise from just grabbing something like a bowl. Anything that puts pressure on my fingers bends them backward. Horrifying.

Oh right! The good news! It wasn't really the biscuits. It's that I found the outline I already wrote for that book, secretly hidden in a handy online location!

Pause to be appalled all over again at how often I write things and then TOTALLY FORGET ABOUT IT. Okay!

Well, the outline is more a series of sequential notes. Is that an outline? Sort of. I like to go through and highlight or underline actual actions and events, because otherwise it can be very fluffy and you get things like a chapter or act where someone *realizes* something. Which...is not enough on its own. It's not. There has to be something that happens because of it. Like she finds out something and burns up all the books. Or, yeah, makes a plan! Or something!

No realizing. I can't remember which show I was watching where there was a series of episodes where people *realized* things, but it made me want to bang my head against the wall. And I know I write books like tv in some ways but in a lot of ways that's supremely good because of the very thing I'm talking about, where things happen.

Things have to happen! Boom! Action! Doing stuff! Talking!

There is the weirdest smell outside today. It reminded me of a combination of that horrible homeless person smell and someone smoking hashish, which is not just outrageously unlikely here but impossible because it's all just woods. Most likely some middle-distance neighbor is burning trash, heh. Seriously. Oh! Though I suppose it could be the bear again. That's actually extremely likely. They get into trash and eat dead and rotting things and can utterly stink to high heaven.

Do you know how bear biologists in the Pacific Northwest lure bears? With deer carcasses that have been hit by cars. Bear biologists out there also carry alarmingly large handguns as sidearms. Like the kind of handgun that looks like a cannon. You only get one shot if an angry bear is coming at you, see.

In Pennsylvania they use Bavarian cream donuts--as lures, not as sidearms--which tells you a lot about the difference between Pennsylvania and the Pac NW.

I often think I would have a much more peaceful life if I hadn't met all those Pacific NW bear biologists. This was way out in the wilds. And probably they were talking about grizzlies, come to think of it, or brown bears. Here we have black bears.

ANYWAY. Between all the loud crashing outside at night lately and the powerful smells and the drought and the way the cat crouches down low and runs like hell whenever he smells whatever it is, I'm having Bear Thoughts quite a lot. They've started their manic eating for hibernation, haven't they? I forget what that's called. They kind of go bananas and eat like maniacs. Much like me with the biscuits. Hey!

Hyperphagia? I think so.

It's supposed to rain and rain and rain for days and days and days. I really hope it does. Even though I like watering the garden now that I've stopped using the stupid sprinkler and use the flat spray attachment on the hose. It makes the water come out like a paintbrush, flat like that, and doesn't spray hard. It means I only put water where I want it to go. Doy. Took me a while to figure that out. The water pressure is so variable depending on how full the well pump reservoir tank in the basement is, the sprinkler would be all I SPRAY HUGE NOW okay now tiny tiny dribbles HUGE HUGE HUGE maybe medium for a while ha ha LET'S WATER THE ENTIRE LAWN. In sum I was chasing it the whole time which is dumb.

No coffee filters, so no coffee yet. In case you were wondering. Hee.

Jeez, can they make deodorant for bears? Though actually I suppose I'd rather not have them sneak up on me. Right. I can't believe it hasn't knocked down and crunched up the bird feeder yet. Maybe because it's right on my front steps?

Anyway, I'm in love with my book and have this whole big plan and see the story from beginning to end.

And I don't know what all the weird exhaust smells and illicit smoke smells and garbage smells and homeless person smells and other reminders of a certain city in the Pacific SW are all about. It's like I'm having an olfactory haunting. Cut it right the heck out. Oh my golly, I just realized that the combination of weird smell sensitivity and blistering stadium-sized headache and trouble seeing (yeah) probably just means migraine. OH. RIGHT.

Must do Online Job then consider collapsing on bed all wan and feeble (and stuffed with biscuits) with whirring laptop nearby for emergency book writing purposes.

I have to tell you, having coped with that laundry and the dresser/shelf situation and the ten thousand dishes is amazing. It feels amazingly great. Guess what else? The dresser drawers fit under the bed. Yay!

Edited to add: as soon as I hit publish and went to make tea, a couple of eagles flew in and circled over the field behind the house, then actually landed out there, which mean: carrion. So there's something dead out there and that must be what I can smell. Bleah! But: not bears! Yay!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Drafty lap or baked legs?

I'm going to go with drafty lap for now. I really dislike getting my legs all burned up by the laptop. The little fan support lap dish thing is working great. It goes whirrrrrrrrrrrrrr and does exactly what it says it's going to do. Yay!

Never did get around to cooking all those beans. I ate half of them fresh instead. So dinner was what now? A banana and some green beans? I feel like maybe I ate something else but can't quite remember.

Part of my big self-talking-to included lots of fierce determination about this and that. One of the items was outlining. Because when I drive around seeking dramatic renewal of purpose and then actually find it, I get it in the form of actual practical directives. For which, yay!

So yes, stop writing that mystery that's really annoying me and feels so dead-endy and is all muddle and issues. Issues and muddle and issues and also, hello, not working right now. I have enough things not working right now (including that I'm not working) without my book bugging the hell out of me too.

I want to write that YA one that's been on my mind for ages. I'm going to do that. Except I'm changing the type of thing [detail detail unnecessary detail] to something more general and applicable and all. Never mind, I'm not explaining it at all, am I? Anyway suffice it to say I'm doing that but FIRST I'm going to make up a decent outline that goes Chapter One: XYZ, Chapter Two: UVW, or, you know, maybe the other way around. Even if it's very general and I don't know exactly how events will happen, I need to have an outline plan map thing.

Okay!

And that rewrite, oh holy heck, but it has to get done. Brainwork. Outline work. Rewriting by slogging through and just getting it done. Grim determination! Raaaarrrr!

That's really all I've got. It's plenty though, huh? Plenty to go on with!

I kind of think it's good to stop banging your head against one wall and go bang your head against another one for a while. Hey! No no no, too negative. How about this: stop banging your head on the wall and go type many things on your drafty whirring lap, eh?

I was going to bake some bread today, even quickbread, because MAN do I want a bread food product, but time and the hour something something whoops!

Lest you think I accomplished nothing, let's enumerate:

1) met up with brother-in-law and reacquired crucial pillow of sleepingness left in New Hampshire, alas
2) drove the other side of the river and went new places
3) ranted and raved and figured things out because my brain only works in motion, apparently
4) drove across the most awesomest bridge ever and did not perish
5) bought coffee and coffee maker as part of resolutionary rantings and determination (supplementary awesomeness in liquid form, see)
6) weeded garden, watered garden, harvested many beans
7) laundered all the things
8) exiled vile dresser, brought in colorful shelf unit for t-shirts etc.
9) did Online Job though not the big block of it, ack
10) put up clothesline
11) washed all the dishes in the whole wide world
12) watched three Doctor Who episodes
13) ate many fabulous fresh green beans
14) reached evening full of determination and accomplishment despite unpleasant breathing ailment, rah!

Right now I'm having that very familiar fight. Do you have this? It goes like this: all ready to write things, but first I ought to go put the clothes on the shelf unit thing so I can put the sheets back on and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

See, that sounds so sensible but secretly it's procrastination masquerading as pragmatism. Stop! Stop that right now! Write all the things and THEN go mess with arranging this and that! Sheesh!

Everybody knows that one. Seriously, huh?

Probably this winter I'll be glad to have the leg-baking attributes of the laptop again, but right now this fan platform whatever thing is an excellent writing enabler. Hurray! Oh, I should go do that now, huh? Okay. Outline. I'm on it.

Progress

Well. I woke up deathly ill. I mean I slept forever, woke up deathly ill, and went back to bed, which I never ever do. Some kind of sinus/chest infection thing. Isn't it handy I'm already seeing my lovely doctor on Tuesday, in case it turns even nastier? It seems to be increasing in nastiness by doubling every four hours, by my estimation.

I had to pull myself together so I could drive out to meet my brother-in-law to get my pillow. Then I drove home the long way, down the other side of the river, where I'd never been before. Isn't that daft? It's right there! But it just never came up. It's very pretty over there and they even have stores and banks and things, unlike my town of 3999 people or however many there are. (Not a lot.)

Very fruitful drive in that I got to do a lot of peaceful thinking and work out some stuff. Oh and I drove past a lot of yard sales verrrrrry sloooowwwly so I could see if they had any couches or dressers, but nope. I did find some excellent little adjustable back floor chairs that have rockers on them. How silly and awesome is that? Tiny little rocking chairs!

My nefarious plan is to have comfy places to sit and write in all of the rooms of my house, can you imagine? I know!

Well, not the kitchen or the bathroom. The other three rooms, though. I get burned out on one space but then this weird miraculous thing happens when I go into another room. I sort of start over with all new energy. I don't get it, but I like it!

Also I went to The Nearest Store and bought a can of Normal Coffee from a monosyllabic youth and only after that found an excellent coffee maker at a yard sale across the road. Isn't that awesome? It's the kind with a thermos instead of a glass carafe, which is doubly good because a) I can't smash it and b) it doesn't sit on a heating element/burner thing and therefore I can't forget it and burn the house down. Win!

Right now it's sitting there soaking in vinegar to get the coffee deposits off it. It's like a coffee-maker exorcism.

What's on tap for today? Oh, jeez. Online Job, much and many. Seal the inside of the dresser in a last-ditch effort to make it not make my clothes smell funky. (NOT OKAY.) Blah blah weed the garden mow the grass vacuum blah blah blah. I'm not going to do any of that. Maybe seal the dresser. Possibly.

However I *will* bring one of those primary colors heavy plastic shelving units back in from the garage and put my clothes on that instead, for the interim or possibly forever (does not mean forever) if the sealing doesn't work. That dresser, argh. Dislike.

I fully intend to buy proper furniture as soon as possible. It's just that it might not be all that soon.

In sum, thrashing about and getting things done are both happening in approximately equal proportions. The drive was absolutely lovely though. There's just nothing like rural Maine for driving. It's unspeakably gorgeous and empty and there are mountains and rivers and farm stands and all sorts of fascinatingly odd things put out by the side of the road for sale. Some of them I couldn't begin to identify. Often there are things put out to be given away. It's just endlessly interesting and very good for thinking. Good choice, making the big round trip instead of coming back the same old way!

Plus I got to drive across the scariest bridge ever, the Penobscot Narrows bridge. I'm terrified of it but it's also possibly the most awesome bridge ever, for the same reasons. The supports are all up the middle so you're sort of hanging off the edge, only one lane each way, and it's ridiculously high up. Also, for extra zest, this time I waited forever at a light before I could make the left turn onto the bridge, but coming toward the light at the top of the T was this older guy in a midlife crisis car who didn't see that his light had turned red. So I was watching him zoom forward while I was inching out and he suddenly realized and went screeeeeeeeeeeeeech and took years off his tires and both of our lives.

See, sometimes I'm right when I think, "That guy is not slowing down. He's looking at the bridge and didn't see that the light changed. Or am I being paranoid and overly cautious? Still, best to LIVE TO TELL THE TALE."

Crikey. Not the best spot to have an accident, either, given the half mile plummet to the Penobscot below. (Probably not a half mile. But plenty far enough.)

Also the tide was coming in the whole time. That doesn't affect any of that but does mean that the rivers were all running uphill, which always gives me a weird creeped out feeling even though, hello, it happens twice a day. Rivers running backward! Trees growing upside down! Excellent coffee makers in yard sales! Dogs and cats living together!

Right, laundry and online job. Oh and I have to wash ten million dishes. Goodness gracious, the dishes. I wanted to make scones for my brother-in-law but there literally wasn't room. Okay, there's only about two cutting boards' worth of counter space anyway so it's easy to fill it up. I mean, two plates fill it up. There are small boat galleys with more counter space. But still!

My head is full of couch design plans. It's an excellent way to use up all that processing power that would otherwise be gnawing holes in the walls to get out. To mix a metaphor or two.

I'ma go put up a clothesline on the deck so I don't have to use the dryer for everything, woohoo! Crap, forgot to buy clothespins. It's okay (I love typo-ing "it's oaky"), most things don't need them. Actually the deck is under an oak tree so my laundry might well become oaky. Yay!

Great big hearts

Are you watching Eureka and Haven and Warehouse 13? Because oh my golly they are all just making me get all teary-eyed with happiness lately, for a whole host of reasons, some of which are...the same! No. Yes!

Like how Haven and Warehouse 13 have these male/female teams as leads and there is not even the remotest slightest hint of any of that will they/won't they kind of thing. They won't, end of story. I love that! Because aren't you sick to death of that?

I mean, I'm not sick of it at all in the show where I like it, which is to say Bones, because it's about so much more than that. It's about educated/not educated, normal/weird, instinct/science, and all that glorious stuff, so much more than just two people who can't quite figure it out. But the normal boring way is very very tired.

Plus I'm sure the brilliant creators have figured this out but when the leads aren't into each other, there's infinite room for them to get connected with all sorts of other people, hello! Plus they can tease each other about it.

The teasing was fantastic on this week's Haven, where this outrageously great character came back, the Quebecoise woman who's supposedly a witch or something, or else isn't. She has the world's best accent and is very funny, like a less intimidating Michelle Forbes. Oh yes, seriously. And our man Nathan turns out to be extremely awkward around people who are attracted to him, which made for so much wonderful character time, I'm still delighted by it all. Both the awkwardness and Audrey teasing him and the non-witch and Audrey laughing about it together and on and on. YAY!

Plus I love how on Eureka men are always going over to their men friends and talking about their women troubles in such a terrific post-Bechdel way, know what I mean? It's the thing where if women do it (and only it) you get in great big Bechdel trouble but this not only reverses that but goes the whole other way and makes the men (as well as the women, who get this more often) full, well-rounded, emotionally adult creatures too. It's awesome. It's the best. Thank you, Eureka!

Seriously, how great are Carter and Dr. Blake? They're whole complete people. You practically never see that on any tv show ever. They're way more complete than Booth and Bones, for instance. They have whole rich complicated lives at the same time as the rest of their lives. Wait, let me explain. Like they can worry about their kids and their jobs and their relationships and the crisis of the week and their friends and their friends' relationships too. Look at this week's Eureka when Jo is coming into the infirmary (or whatever) where Zoe and Zane are talking all flirtatious and Carter rushes to the door because he knows Jo will be upset when she sees them together. That is AWESOME. That's like Jane Austen level relationship/scene intricacy and fraughtness. That's like the scene in Sense and Sensibility when Edward finds Elinor and Lucy talking and realizes that Elinor knows everything but Lucy doesn't, or at least only is afraid of what she thinks she knows.

Know what I mean? Depth! Complexity! Richness! I love that!

Even look how nuanced the whole thing was with how Allison Blake didn't get that Carter meant a date date. She didn't get it until he showed up all dressed up and she said, "Got a date?" and he said, "Yeah," and then the light kind of dawned on her and then he got it that she hadn't really understood at first and What That Meant about how she thought about him and then she realized how he thought of her was not what she thought it was. Jeebus. Do you write scenes with that much character depth and complexity and change and meaning?

I really have to step up my game about sixteen thousand percent. I'm not kidding.

Goodness. I'm all smitten with all three shows this week! Fabulous! They're doing such terrific fun things. Eureka did this crazy cute funny thing with Henry and a disco in the foyer of Global Dynamics that it's impossible to describe. You'd have to see it. But it filled me with insane joy. And then my beloved Carter went and Said The Things to Allison and it was so very scary and sad and then, hello, awesome! Did you see how it was all like that picture of the sailor and the nurse and my yay was mitigated with SIGH because really? We have to have the scene where the guy runs in and kisses her by surprise? And then you could almost hear Eureka staff going, "Hey, what if..." and then Allison threw Carter up against the wall and kissed him and I practically stood on my chair and cheered because they turn hideous convention inside out EVERY TIME! I love that so much!

In sum: fabulous week from the SyFy channel and I'm very very happy about it. I wish they made more scripted shows and did less of the dopey ghost hunters and wrestling and stupid stuff like that. Seriously. I guess that's all that's on because that's all the ads I see. Right? Three scripted shows and the rest is that junk, at least right now in the summer?

Later we'll get Caprica again (YAY!) but what else? Need more! More, more!

Very few of the agents in that Writer's Market book say they will accept sci-fi. Hmmmmm. They make it sound so marginal and derogatory. More of them said they would take westerns than sci-fi. Westerns! Really?

Well anyway great big hearts to SyFy and to the lovely shows and I have total hearts in my eyes like a cartoon character over Colin Ferguson and Salli Richardson-Whitfield and their scenes together, oh my goodness gracious me. But most of all to the Eureka writers for seeing what was and what is and what could be. Hurray! If I could live in any fictional world it would be the one they write. Jeez, they're enlightened! All this and Terminator jokes too!

Something is crashing around outside the garage door, giving me and the kitty that panicky paralysis where you just hold perfectly still and listen. Should I go see what it is? Do I *have* to? Because I think I smelled bear out back earlier--and I mean, through the window, because they are potent in the olfactories, bears. Think of the biggest unwashed dog smell ever only sort of more like a hay barn, that dry wood smell. Oh, you know! No?

Tomorrow I might have to Google to see if anyone can accurately describe the smell of a bear. You're not allowed to use the word "musk" which doesn't really mean anything. I mean, it doesn't. It's a word people use without a referent. Like how villains will curl their lip in fiction. It doesn't mean anything really. It's just a thing you say. Go ahead, curl your lip, then take a picture and send it to me. I'm so very curious. Also take a picture of sneering--the visual kind, not with words. Doesn't exist, sorry.

It's probably after the cherries after I threw the pits out in the compost today. Bears, man. They love cherries. I should maybe close the garage door the rest of the way.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fuchsia

Fuchsia post-its in the Market de los Writers and fuchsia straw (large bore) in the fuchsia smoothie made of rhubarb, cherries, and blueberries. IT'S SO GOOD. I decided that would cheer me up. Hard to figure what causes a sudden mood plummet when there actually isn't an immediate reason. So why not cure it with a generalized deliciousness bomb like that? I have to agree.

I got a perplexing letter from the Red Cross saying that 70% of first-time blood donors never return for a second time. Which, jeez, those are terrible numbers, but also: why are you telling me? I've been giving blood for a billion years in about five states. I gave them my donor card when I went in.

Anyway now I have a new donor card which goes like this:

My Name
A Negative

Doesn't that make me sound like I am A Negative [Something]? Can negative be a substantive? I think not!

I had to run all these outrageously tedious and annoying errands today. Maybe that's what sapped my joie de vivre. Like buying printer ink. That always feels like a ridiculous amount of money to pay, which means I feel cheated, plus of course the Staples girl was one of those rude kids. You get them now and then. But you know. It's not so fun. I'm all cheerful and engaged so when people are rude back, I want to kick them hard.

However I also ran into one of my students from last fall in another store, so that was nice. Aww! It's nice to see them all thriving and moving on and doing great! Yay!

In other good news: apparently I'm getting peppers after all. There are tiny pepper nubs! Woohoo!

Gosh, that smoothie was really good. Should I be worried that I only found 1/3 of the cherry pit shards? They probably won't puncture my intestines or anything. I mean, seriously. Surely not.

The fuchsia post-its are for marking places for which I have article ideas in the Market de los Writers. Probably I don't have anything in mind for Australian Amateur Boatbuilder magazine (quarterly) but if anything comes to mind, I have their address. Oh yes I do.

It's odd thinking of getting paid for articles, coming out of academia, where you certainly do not get paid one bit. And sometimes they'll charge you for offprints.

All I know is I look at some of these titles and I think, "Ooh, I could write THIS for them!" And I get all excited and write a bunch of notes and put in a fuchsia post-it and then feel like there are POSSIBILITIES out there.

Did you know about a journal called "Combat: The Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones"? I did not!

Anyway this R2 unit has a bad motivator again today so although I did manage to go to the playground with brother and niece (arrived five minutes before them and sat in the car, getting MANY hairy eyeballs from protective parents with their kids) and to lunch and ran my errands and got dismayed and drank up my smoothie and now I need to do some or all of the following: a) mow the north and back yards, b) weed the garden some more, c) vacuum, and/or d) wash days and days of dishes.

Or possibly just go lie down for a while. The dismay is so very flattening! It makes me go oof.

Actually I'm wondering whether they slipped me a mickey (allergical mickey) in my turkey burger (no bun) and baby portabellas (instead of fries) and that's why the feeling of DOOM. Maybe it's just chemical. It could well be.

You know what's in the front of the Market de los Writers? Agents. Dun dun!

Y'all, I spent $16 on a flat fan-having thing to keep my laptop from frying my legs off. The pink and royal blue haired Claudia from Warehouse 13 person in the Target electronics department said she has the same one and it's awesome. I believe her so very much! She's the girl Claudia represents! Also I loved her hair. Truly.

I predict great things. Great things. Probably I just need sixteen cups of tea, right? Okay!

How do you build a couch?

It turns out to be fairly simple. You build a box with supports inside it for slats. Those hold up the mattress, if you're making it a day bed, which I am. Otherwise you do various other more complicated things with supports and straps and whatnot. But me: box, supports, slats, legs.

And then the fun part: arms and back. (I love how chairs and couches have so many body parts! Arms and legs and backs!) For arms you cut flat shapes the way you want, front and back, and join them with supports/connectors, and bolt the whole thing to the box frame. The back I haven't really studied yet because the arms were what was perplexing me, but I think the back is essentially the same. You'll wrap a bunch of padding over the supports and then upholster over that.

I tend to over-engineer absolutely everything. My dad did the same thing. I have an oak box he made that could hold up a house. So I'm trying not to over-engineer the couch. It doesn't need to withstand a million tons of pressure. Just daily use.

I'm fascinated by what I discovered by searching for shapes of frames. I have very definite yet unsuspected taste in sofas. Who knew? I can't stand modernist rectilinear shapes. In fact the ones I liked were all antique or fancy designers, all with those lovely curved wing arms and swooping backs. I hope I can cut shapes like that with the Skil saw, heh. A jigsaw would do much better but I don't have a jigsaw.

I'll wear safety glasses in case I bust a saw blade trying to make it be a jigsaw, not to worry. Also my steel toed Doc Martens. Okay!

The main thing I keep thinking about is how to make the arms lean back at the right angle and hit my back/shoulders in the right spot. Most couches are unbearably uncomfortable because they don't do that. But how do you figure out that angle without one to try? And without someone else there with a protractor going, "Okay, okay....78 degrees!"

Actually one of those adjustable lawn chairs would be a pretty good way to figure that out. Maybe I'll have to go to Walmart with a protractor and try different angles on one and measure the proper angle.

Stealthy!

It got really cold in here. How cool is that? It's the first night in ages that I've been able to relax about the garden because instead of relying on the flaky sprinkler, which changes breadth and distance all the time due to varying water pressure having to do with how full the well pump reservoir tank is (never mind) I went out with the hand sprayer and put water exactly where it needed to go. While weeding with the other hand, heh. Well, I couldn't just stand there directing water! I got a lot of weeding done, too.

The busted hand blues are really getting me down. Guess what I like to do that doesn't involve hands in any way? NOTHING! You are correct! I can't even watch tv without knitting. Dang it. My friend D. said to take anti-inflammatories to stop the inflammation cascade, or something. In sum it makes it better more than just making it not hurt. So I'm doing that. It's pretty dang bad though. Just talking to her on the phone I had to switch hands two dozen times because the hand holding the phone would go numb. No, it isn't carpal tunnel, but the mechanism is similar, only the swelling is everywhere, so it has the same effect.

Right! Suckage. Anyway I accomplished A Great Deal today and that's not nothing, so hurray for moi and bring on tomorrow, bunnies. Except I get to mow some more. And you know what that'll do for me. Ooof. But tomorrow is popcorn day! And don't we get new Eureka and Havens tomorrow? I've been watching all the saved up Warehouse 13s and I am IN LOVE with that show now. It's so good natured and funny and adorable!

You realize that what I love about Eureka and Warehouse 13 are the same things I loved about the Stargates, right? Sweet, nice shows, with sort of cartoon tension. Awwww. And I got smitten with Pete and Myka. Pete does the Booth thing of being all heroic and dopey and kind and caring, which is very appealing. And Myka is outrageously hilarious and has the best freaked out alarmed face of anyone. Possibly better than Colin Ferguson. We'd have to have a face-off (ha ha, get it?) to determine for sure.

Oh oh oh! And I saw the one with Michael Hogan as Myka's dad, and Susan Hogan as her mom. Hurray! Love Michael Hogan! So happy to see him again! I vaguely remember now that that's why I got motivated to watch the show again. Oh yeah! Isn't it nice they got cast as a couple? Awww!

Yep, fun cute sci-fi and Battlestar actors. Between that and purchasing produce and couch structure research, WHAT A FULL DAY. Ahem. Cough.