Thursday, September 30, 2010

Logic

ANYWAY. Rant deleted. I have been in Kafkaesque state agency land for a while here. And now I'm out and only just frustrated instead of banging my head on the wall. Whee!

Today is Rewrite Or Perish day. Rewrite! Or perish! And perishing is not an option! So rewrite it is.

I'm way too anxious lately, I tell you what. I paid the rent today, which usually  helps my state of mind quite a lot because it means a) I had the money to pay the rent and b) the rent got paid, check that off the list. Also I did not get eaten by ravenous 600 lb bears while walking to the landlord's house. And I walked back, which I kind of forgot was an issue what with the bears. (They keep putting pictures of gigantic shot bears in the paper. SO BIG.) I did Online Job. I called heinous agencies of heinousness.

I'm trying to clear the decks of all the things that will make me boing out of my chair and go flying around the house trying to get things done, when I should be stuck to my chair and writing until I can't write any more.

I think it may be time to deploy all my secret weapons simultaneously: anti-anxiety meds, apple smoothie, headphones, wool socks.

Let's get this off my mind first: I've been reading this ghost story called Her Fearful Symmetry (ER, SPOILERS) about two twins who are way too co-dependent or whatever and live in their deceased aunt's apartment where her ghost is. And it was great until the ghost communicated with the people. I totally just checked out of that book right exactly then. The ghost wrote in the dust on the piano and suddenly this book I was really enjoying turned stoopid.

Audrey Niffenegger, too, man. How come she can write crazy time travel, a notably impossible and fraught topic, and do it brilliantly, but the ghost is utterly lame? Is it really just because of dumb bad magic? The ghost is confined to the apartment but can live inside a drawer. She can affect the tv but then breaks it. She can play with a spool to entice a kitten and can push doors but can't move a glass. BE CONSISTENT. And the very worst thing about this stupid ghost: WHAT THE HELL DOES SHE WANT?

Yes, that's why I hated the book when she communicated with everyone. She has no story push at all, no arc, nothing. Everyone else wants something, to get away, to get past, to get out. The ghost is completely retrograde. Is this going to be like Truly, Madly, Deeply, where the whole time you're like, "Yay, love story with a ghost! Yay, Alan Rickman playing the cello is so gorgeously astounding I might turn up my toes and die of happiness!" and then it turns out she really needs to get over him and go out with Crispin Bonham-Carter or whatever his name is, the Dauphin of France in Henry V? I like the transformative arc of that but her narrative desire remains the same: love someone. She just has to realize it's the wrong guy and move to the right guy. Bridget Jones.

This story stopped dead in the water when this ghost was all, "Everybody look at me! Pay attention to me!" She literally writes, "Pay attention to me" when they ask what she wants. UGH.

Okay, I'll finish it, because it's Audrey Niffenegger, and everything else is amazing, and it would be a fantastic book if it were just the *figurative* ghost of someone awesome that everyone had to deal with instead of the literal ghost. But I'm finishing it under protest. I'm saying. People have to have story arcs. Is that not basic? Is that not essential? Is that not frelling bookery 101? And the bad magic, gaaaah!

I have a whole rant about bad magic over at Story on the Brain.

Also I am running out of rope here with the no-response thing from potential employer personages. Reply! Hello? Say something! Like, "Hi, you're awesome, come work for us! Yay! Have some cake!" That would be ideal in fact. Right after the phone call/email/letter from publisher types saying, "Your books complete me! Here, have an enormous check and the promise of many more!"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AaaaaaOOOOOOOgah

Signifying nothing! Carry on.

I have elements of good news for you. Are you ready?

1. The hospital made my bills go away because I'm too poor! Yay! I mean, yay for a very bad reason, but yay nonetheless. My brother already pointed out that the upshot of that is: I got paid $30K for getting fired. I think that's true in a certain sense.

2. My leg started working right again today so I went and did a whole lot of things and now it doesn't work again, typical, but at least I got those bushes on either side of the front steps trimmed so my house doesn't look like some straggly Dogpatch kind of place. Except it still does because I haven't gotten weedwhacker string yet and it's all long grass along the stone walls.

3. Also I vacuumed and traumatized the cat. But the vacuuming was mighty necessary because some GENIUS decided to work on the couch in situ with the Skil saw. Pause to contemplate the effects on your bookcases and carpet if someone starts cutting wood with a Skil saw two feet away. Yes.

4. But the good side of that is that the couch has a more or less complete back now. I'm not sure I'm willing to commit to how high it is, though. I mean I think it's too high. But I need a mattress to know for sure, dang it. It's kind of awesome, though. It looks like a barn. Like it's shaped sort of like a barn roof. I had high ideas about making curvy shapes but it's very hard with no sawhorses, workbench, or clamps, see. I can pretty much stand on a board and cut a straight line or whatever but cutting curvy shapes turned out to be beyond me with my current set of tools.

5. It's insanely more comfortable now. Kitty sits next to me. We watch tv or write books. One of my definitions of paradise is sitting on the couch/bed with a housepet companionably next to me, watching tv (and knitting) or writing books. Seriously. The more housepets the better. The ultimate goal of this giant barn/daybed is to have a mattress on there as planned and be sitting there with a dog and cat (or two) next to me, writing books or watching tv. See? Dreams achieved incrementally!

6. The other awesome thing about trimming the bushes (see item #2) is that I thought out a deal with myself wherein I get to write the genre-adjacent romancey Jenny Crusie-ish book about Realizing Your Potential as long as I write my awesome post-apocalyptic class war genocide dark and twisty Crichton does war crimes book FIRST. Every day, first. As in, I write the dark and twisty and then I write the fun and cheery.

Which should also help me not fall into post-apocalyptic doom zones and sit there eating peanut butter out of the jar and thinking, "After the apocalypse, no more peanut butter. Or can I grow peanuts in Maine? I doubt it. Maybe I should check into that. Maybe I can leach the tannin out of acorns and make acorn butter. But how would I grind them? Maybe I should get one of those hand-cranked grinder things like Mom uses to make peach marmalade. Which I could also make after the apocalypse, given peaches and oranges and that grinder. And jars. But you need sealing lids. They only seal once. I should get that paraffin they used to pour in the tops to seal the jars like in the old days."

So you see, the cheery book is going to make life much more manageable.

7. Oh! This should get top billing. Or did I tell you already? I HAVE NO IDEA. The doctor says I don't have You Know What. The brain scans are clear. Which is awesome and hurray! Except it doesn't answer the question of why all that bad stuff happened and I still can't fully use my right leg. Also there's this thing about You Know What where it takes like a year to get it diagnosed because it doesn't always show up until it's more super bad.

8. I finally replaced my useless pillows. Did you know pillows are really cheap? Even the hypo-allergenic ones that won't turn into giant bags of dust mites like regular pillows? DO NOT go read up on how long it takes for a pillow to fill up with dust mites and their detritus. I warned you. I've used the impermeable hypoallergenic ones since I first got asthma but after a mere ten years they wore right the hell out. Especially after I washed them and they turned into clumpy lumpy bumps. It's all part of Operation Get Some Sleep and Stop Looking Like Philip Seymour Hoffman around here.

9. I've been hand-washing woollens a lot too lately. I washed the blue hat my sister made me (I am 99% positive my sister made it) and it went from sort of stiff and unbendy to all soft and lovely. With wool that is called "blooming." The yarn blooms when washed. If I'd washed it when I first got it, I'd have been wearing it nonstop this whole year! Well, okay, no. But it's so nice now! But who washes new gifts? Not me!

10. I found another whole realm of Online Job which is the same as current Online Job only with different people, hurray! And so I was able to apply with them and hopefully will add that on and get all Independently Employed and self-supporting and earning of the big bucks very soon and can stop dealing with agencies who insist I'm disabled because some other dumb agency said I can't go to work if I need to use a cane or something so I have to submit umpteen gazillion forms explaining how I'm disabled even though I'm not and I'm certainly not claiming I am but the people who send me on jobs won't send me on jobs, that's all. JEEZ.

I think it's more like an asthma attack. In your leg. That's what I had, leg asthma! Like it's always kind of there and then sometimes whammo you get sick and have to go to the doctor but then it dies down again. Leg asthma is not a disability!

Original point being: I love applying for jobs where obviously they will totally hire me, as opposed to the usual ones where they're like, "Ehhhh, no," even though I could do that job in my sleep.

11. I keep getting all excited about DS9 lately because of most excellent writers on Twitter going back and forth about it. Do you know, I think an appreciation for DS9, Battlestar, and Farscape are sort of a judgy sieve I take to people? I do, although I wish I didn't and I acknowledge that makes me a judgy sieve sort of person, even though I sort of have a judgy sieve about the sort of person who has judgy sieves, if you see what I mean.

However I sort of think if you like sf but get put off by Farscape you might take yourself a little too seriously. Or else have limited appreciation for gorgeous men in leather pants--I can also accept that as a reasonable excuse. But when I find people who are all, "DS9! Battlestar! Farscape!" and who get excited and write things, I have found MY PEOPLE and that makes me very happy indeed.

12. Cream cheese and marmalade on Triscuits is good when you're starving but only for like ten seconds and then you're like, "Eeewwwwwwwwww." Like cheesecake. Well, exactly like cheesecake, come to think of it. I have an extremely limited cheesecake appreciation window. I think maybe three or four bites. You can have the rest. It's really good! Go on!

13. Duck fudge.

14. Here's how I resolved my first draft issues with the novel I just finished: on the parts where I was stuck I wrote things like, [Insert amazing revelation here!] It's totally allowable in first drafts. I checked. The important thing is to keep going and get done, not to make it perfect or think of every idea in the whole world on the way, gosh! So it's done but I don't feel very done about it because of the [think of something brilliant!] notes here and there in crucial spots. Also, who's the kid? I haven't decided! I might axe the extra kid who showed up. I dunno. It's a draft, though! Figure it out later!

15.  Okay, so that's great, but I have to finish the TR rewrites before I start EITHER of those absolutely ridiculously awesome books that I am FOAMING AT THE MOUTH to start right now. TR! Rewrites! Make it awesome! Rah rah rah rah rah!

16. Man if I were in L.A. now I would absolutely have to go to that Caprica thing. In fact you should probably look for me there because the limitations of time and space might not be enough to keep me away. I mean I might be there in spirit so strongly that I could *manifest*! You never know! It could happen!

17. Do you know why I made this kind of cake for my little niece? Because little kids live in a kind of cartoon world! So you should make things in reality that fit their cartoon view of things because then that's extra awesome! That is the kind of thing that makes me and toddlers and college students and writers get along so well, if you ask me. We live in cartoon world. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Musn't panic....musn't panic....

But a few things are piling up and I might panic.

To wit:

1. They might take away unemployment because the agency won't send me out to jobs because I can't walk properly. You have to be available and able to work to get it, see. (I wanted to go but the agency said I couldn't. Though with the driving issues...but a ride, maybe? Anyway.)

2. Online Job is giving me another unwanted vacation from Oct. 12 to Nov. 2. Upshot being, I don't really get paid in October, suddenly. (I will hope daily that this will change, I promise you. I could get another iteration any time. PLEASE that would be AWESOME! Double me up!)

3. The MRI said You Know What doesn't show which is GREAT except it doesn't mean it's not You Know What--just that it's not showing up right now. You Know What often doesn't show up on MRIs until it gets worse. I did not want You Know What AT ALL believe me but I do want to know what's going on and get on top of fixing it YES PLEASE. I'm better with a bad thing than knowing nothing, however. Oh square one, how I dislike you.

4. I can't get hold of the people at the thing tomorrow, which is fraught with huge perilous implications if I don't. Long story. Will keep trying.

5. My phone kind of doesn't work anymore. The battery dies after five minutes. I don't want to buy another cordless phone but I guess I will. This time I'll try not to drop it on any concrete floors. Heh.

So I have to run around and get the doctor to tell the state that I'm getting investigated for mysterious can't-walk-ness which then means I don't know what in terms of whether they let you starve or I have no idea.

Man! I'm not good with "I have no idea," am I?

Anyway I think the whole walking/driving/seeing/jitterbugging thing is getting gradually better. It's better than last week though not as good as Saturday when things were excitingly Almost Normal. So that's good.

On the plus side, I managed to change the ink cartridge in the printer. Small victories, people.

Also, hurray for not throwing up today! Yet! Wooooo! Can anyone explain to me how I totally OD-ed on the correct dosage of pills, though? I actually have an idea about that. What if they gave me 1 mg instead of .5 mg pills? Pharmacy error? It's possible. (No, I checked the manufacturer's information. It's the right dosage.) Something was wrong somewhere and it certainly wasn't my ability to count. Though I admit that's a reasonable thing to think. Math! But counting, I'm okay with that. FOR NOW.

Also it's all perfectly warm and humid and windy. Well, it's 68, which feels wonderful and I get to have the windows open. Yesterday it was 55 here and 113 in L.A. which made me glad I was here for once, so there's that.

It's funny how there's no "half" for temperature. You can say the temperature here was half what it was there, but of course that's not what those numbers mean at all because zero isn't zero, just a point on the line. Hmmm. Maybe I'm still tripping out from that overdose.

My desk is wreathed about with papers and I'm kind of wigging out so job #1 is to dig through the paperwork and mail off whatever can be mailed, cope with whatever can be coped. With. I've got that phone call to try to make again once the phone recharges (aaagh) but then it's just me vs. the papers and I submit: I will win.

It's starting to look like fall outside. The leaves had changed on a couple trees when we were driving to and from the MRI on Sunday. Very exciting! Except then I have to rake them and rake them and rake them. You can't do it too early or you do it all over again, but if you wait too late, they get all snowed upon and that's a big mess.

Oh gosh. Snow.


One thing at a time. I mean, twelve. Twelve things at a time. Okay!  No sense fretting about inevitable snowfalls at this point, eh? Ha ha! Hearty laugh.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Possibly the cutest non-otter thing ever

Baby porcupine with hiccups eats a banana slice. You're welcome!

In search of lost time

I don't really know! I lost from about 1:30 yesterday to 11:30 this morning when I woke up. My brother emailed to tell me I'd overdosed on my anxiety meds (which sounds like a punch line) except I'm sure I looked it up most carefully and took exactly the right amount. But the fact that I spent yesterday completely looped and barfing suggests that my resource might not have been the most reliable, I guess.

I remember odd little bits of things. My brother put Wubbzy on the tv when he left, which I think meant I was operating on the level of his three year old daughter, ha. So I slept on the couch in front of Wubbzy and the Backyardigans and Dora the Explorer and various other toddler fare for a couple of hours, until D. called.

Wait, how do I know she called? My phone does not ring. I must have seen the caller ID on the tv.

I don't really remember talking to her but I do remember saying goodbye so I could go throw up. Awesome.

I tried to watch other tv after that but I recall putting on a Chuck episode where Linda Hamilton apparently has been aging backwards because she looks younger than in the first Terminator. Weird. And I couldn't follow the plot. Soccer! I put on soccer and stayed there the rest of the evening until I straggled toward bed, only throwing up a few more times.

Clearly something went wrong somewhere. They wouldn't provide me with a sedative, though my doctor had told me they would, so it's good I brought my own anti-anxiety pills, right? If I hadn't been mad at the pharmacy (the exact one that fired me) I'd have called for confirmation of my research on dosages. I think I should have anyway. But it was all very clear from a reputable source. Hmmm.

Anyway the MRI was fine. They put a sort of helmet thing on which really helped. I had to explain I get claustrophobic based on fear of suffocation so the helmet was nice because it was this big open grid that meant nothing could get anywhere near my face. Cool! and just my head was stuck inside this big white donut. Well, head and shoulders. And I had the panic ball to squeeze in my left hand if I needed to get out.

But I did not! In fact I was exceedingly calm and cheerful and it was all very pleasant. See above re: anti-anxiety meds overdose. Heh.

The background sounds were truly awesome just as J. said they would be. There was this sort of club/electronica drum thing going boom chick boom chick boom chick the whole entire time, plus chirpy birdies going warble squawk in between. Boom chick warble squawk, boom chick warble squawk, boom chick warble squawk.

They did all these different series of pictures, but the one that was coolest was the Steve Reich one. Keep in mind the boom chick warble squawk is going the whole time, but on top of that you get someone banging on the back of a wooden kitchen chair in eighth notes ten times and then the big symphonic bass drum joins in also in eighths notes so its bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang bang BAM BAM BAM BAM etc. 16 BAMs.

It totally makes me want to whip out sheet music and write it down. How many MRI-based percussion pieces are out there, do you think?

Other scans were not as interesting. One was just like a jackhammer. Others were like large toaster noises, like the toast was coming up. Toast! Toast! Toast! Toast! I really enjoyed the Steve Reich one. If I had a record player I'd play my Steve Reich records right now. 

Chamber strings and percussion, those were always my favorite to compose for. Separately, I mean, not together. Gosh, it's tempting to write stuff for them now. Percussion ensembles always love really interesting things that aren't that kind of random beep squawk claptrap that modernist composers write who still think it's cool to do things that don't mean anything to anybody. Streaking Emperors, we are over you and have been since about 1955. How about this: write something that makes someone go, "Oooooh!" or else "Awesome!" THE END. Steve Reich's Desert Music: Awesome! John Adams's Light Over Water: Oooooh! And so on. I will settle for Einstein on the Beach to fullfil my MRI-based minimalists craving. I have that on cd.

So that's my MRI percussion drug overdose lingering terror of food story. I didn't manage to eat at all yesterday, net. A roll for breakfast, later lost, and a half a roll later on, also lost. I ate the second half of the roll for breakfast, very tentatively, but so far so good.

I asked the nice MRI tech what the boom chick warble squawk was and it's a compressor pumping liquid hydrogen to cool the magnets. I think. It's not really meant to evoke an ornithologists' rave. That is purely accidental.

I wonder what sleeping nearly 24 hours is going to do to my ongoing insomnia battle? I have trepidation about that. But on the plus side I'm all inside my head-ish again which is the opposite of flipping out with anxieties and being unable to settle down and watching lots of Project Runway. Inside my head means writing a lot and working through story problems and all.

I'm sure these typing issues will resolve themselves in time. Work, fingers, work!

I'm winding lots of hanks of yarn into balls from the umbrella swift today, enabling knitting left and right. Hanks are way prettier but you can't knit from them. It looks like this:

Blogger is refusing to cooperate, you weirdo thing. Here's a link to a hank. Here's a hank on an umbrella swift. Here's a ball of yarn for complete obviousness. Things in hanks tend to sit in my yarn stash for aaaaaaaages so I'm on a mission to knit them up instead.

While I was waiting for Blogger to try (and fail) to do what it needed to do, I walked out to the compost, got the paper, got the mail. I am mighty queasy now. Hmmmmmm. But then I'm literally starving myself so maybe food is the answer to that.

I woke up craving spinach so maybe I'll make some. And a yam. Doesn't a yam sound good? Mmmm, yam.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nearly done! Again! Still!

Yes but much MORE nearly done than before. I'm inching toward destiny, or something! I'm in the Zeno phase where I write and write and I'm still "almost there" just like the last five days or so. Ack! It's like driving west across Kansas around here lately.

You do eventually get to the Rockies. I mean, I'm not still there, in the middle of Kansas, stuck in the event horizon, am I? Pretty sure not.

Oooh, Project Runway got mean after all. In fact it started having the thing I like least about humans. Well, maybe there are worse things. But one of the biggest, most awful traits of humans is this thing where they band together and say, "You're not one of us," and then they're really mean to someone, or some group, or some race, tribe, nation, religion, whatever.

Seriously, think about how many of the most horrible things humans have ever done that are exactly that. Like, I don't know, the frelling Holocaust? Ethnic cleansing? Kids being mean to other kids in school? Exactly.

So it was sweet for a while and then the claws came out and they went all Lord of the Flies but I'm still kind of hooked because I want to see the evil ones get their comeuppance. And I'm glad it's orchestrated because then probably justice will be served, right? Yeah!

Okay, I've taken steps to cure insomnia. Scourge of the...house! Yes! Yes, it's true, I cannot get to sleep. That's my curse lately. And I don't mean, oh, I finally drop off around one. No, I'm still awake when the sun comes up. And then I sleep until 11 or noon which is still not quite enough sleep, five or six hours, so I'm tired all the time. Not ideal! And I miss half the day, sheesh.

I've tried all the usual things: benadryl, melatonin, meditation, getting up and doing boring household chores when I can't sleep, etc. I think probably anxiety is the issue here, durrrrrrrrrr.

I can't do anything much about that, but I did put the electric mattress pad on the bed, which will make it all warm and cozy. I can't get to sleep when I'm cold and I've been cold lately, though my room is warm. I mean I get super cold before I even get to bed and then I'm chilled through and can't get warm. Another option is to take a shower before bed, I suppose. If this doesn't work out, that's plan B.

One piece of very good news is that my legs are working MUCH better today, which means this might be an Episode and not The Way Things Are, which is fantastic news even though it also kind of confirms the diagnosis again, eep! Which means it'll be back at intervals forevah. Suckage!

But I'm delighted to have easily triple the energy I did yesterday, even with being up until 6 a.m. and all that. Imagine if I could actually sleep, huh?

I did Online Job all the livelong day, though I also cooked a giant pot of feijoada and ran out and mowed the grass when it looked like it was about to rain, and then it started raining for about six seconds and stopped. Yes, I ran up the garage steps today. I ran up the garage steps! One two three! I could not walk up them without major reliance on the handrail two days ago, is all I'm saying. A week ago I wouldn't have tried. And I mowed the grass for half an hour or so and then was not utterly flattened. How cool is that?

So that's super freaking awesome. I don't think any variables changed, did they? I had an alcoholic beverage last night, part of my I'll Try Anything To Get To Sleep parade, even though alcohol doesn't work for that. But the theory was I was wound up pretty tight and it might chill me out a bit. That was the theory. No sleep, but then I can walk again, but then benadryl didn't have that effect, so....who knows? I think it was irrelevant.

I'm all wigged about tomorrow's MRI but I'm sure I'll manage one way or another. Presumably they'll knock me out somewhat. I wonder if I'm allowed to bring my bookcase quilt or something? Not to be all security blanket about it but I am a raging ball of anxieties lately. Aggle aggle aggle! Blargh! Waaaaaah! Zing! Boing! That's me right there.

Oh but my book is so awesome. And I got excellent advice on what to do with my squirrelly brains while in the machine that is looking at my squirrelly brains: plan a story. So my goal is to make a plan of attack for that awesome plague/apocalypse/class war book that I've started lo these five or six times or so. Because THIS book that I'm just finishing right now was the same way. I'd written the beginning a bazillion times.

Which all gives me tremendous hope that now I can write my beloved story that is so very cool. It's a matter of finding the right voice and the right approach and then it's all go go go.

Not neglecting the TR rewrite, either, of course. But I have unsolved issues there and I'm not sure how to solve them. Troubling. I hate to be bonking up against the same quandary repeatedly--I prefer new and exciting quandaries--so it has to get nailed down and done very soon. Maybe now that the exciting and debilitating brainstravaganza seems to be waning, it'll be easier, no?

The plan there is: articulate to myself in print exactly what the issues are. Then figure out possible solutions. Then pick the best one. Okay!

That's fairly straight-forward. The plan with Current Book is: finish it. Probably tomorrow, mind-altering substances administered by MRI techs allowing. (I love it when I mistype it MIR because then I'm going to stick my head in a Russian space station. Cool!)

Okay, I'll let you know if the MRI techs find alien hardware or SCORPIUS WAS HERE or whatever. I'm so curious to see what's in there. Do you think you can actually *see* all the Farscape and Battlestar Galactica? Can you see all the books and books and books? Can you see the Latin, arranged in neat paradigms? Can you see the bear that isn't there? I suppose not. But it all feels very sci-fi to me, this whole thing.

I looked a lots of pictures of what we hope not to find but probably will, so I can nod and say, "Hmm," not that anyone will let me see them, at least not tomorrow, I'm sure. As long as it isn't all Grey's Anatomy. That show has a neurosurgeon as a main character! You know where this sort of thing always leads with that guy around. We do not need to provide O.R. scenes for that actor! No thank you! 

You see why I don't sleep. TOO MUCH TV. Hey, should I watch the Farscape episode where the Diagnosan takes off the top of Crichton's skull and pulls all that black seaweed out of his brain and carves out the Scorpius implant and then Scorpius comes along and sucks the chunk of brain off the implant and Crichton's all "Bleaugh garrgh mwrraaaah!" because they frelled up his speech centers?

No? Probably not. Project Runway it is, though I kind of want to belt a lot of those mean kids upside the head. Pow! But it also makes me want to sew, and that's a good thing.

Mmm, Crichton. Maybe I *should* watch Farscape since our man Ben is who I imagine as the main guy in this new book I'm about to start, huh?

Whoosh!

I'm astounded to declare GOOD NEWS in that the lovely medical people made all my bills go away because I'm now too poor to pay them. Yay! Er, suckage, but then yay for uncompounded suckage!

Also yay that it happened before the highly expensive MRI tomorrow. Which I was going to do anyway because I have to to get treatment for the zombiedom but you know, gosh!

I had to go visit the state again whatever day that was and try to get coverage but my category of humans is "closed," which means they ran out of money, which does not surprise me because this is one big poor state. Which is because there aren't any jobs to do, I can attest. I mean, I work online. Is that outsourcing? Insourcing? I do not know what you call it but my paycheck comes from a state made of deserts when I live in a state full of boreal mixed deciduous forests.

I'm sort of reeling like I just put down a hugely heavy backpack.

Also I wish I could give back everything everyone helped me with that I gave the medical people because now it feels like it doesn't add up. Math, man.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hmm, yes, I see....

Tivo is different from the DirecTV dvr in that Tivo is very smart and if you tell it, "Record all Bones episodes," it will go find them everywhere they occur. It will not, for example, record reruns all summer for you and then NOT record the first episode of the new season! I love you, Tivo! I am mad at you, DirecTV dvr!

I was actually watching it in real time of course, but then D. called, and since I'd dropped a bombshell on her the night before, I picked up. I mean it was my bombshell but I was used to it and she wasn't. So I paused it and talked to D. and then quelle surprise, it had not recorded. The little orange light was on, too, but apparently for something else. Ack! Uncool!

Anyway I got it from iTunes today in a giant dose of irritable irony because that's what I did before I had tv, see.

It was a great episode, though with awkward yucky bits. And basically everything kind of sucks, mostly, but some things got better by the end. Oy!

Meanwhile I'm all full of feelings and stuff about the zombiedom. I'm having this MRI on Sunday to check for badness in the brains (braaaaaaains...) so it might be a while before I know whether it is what the doctor and I both think it is. But all the symptoms are highly present all the time and making me upset and useless and stuck to the chair when I'd rather be up and running around.

Were you not aware that I can barely sit still? It's one of my most evident traits. You know her, she can't sit still! Can't stick to the chair for more than ten minutes at a time!

Well it turns out I CAN stick to the chair if I can't really walk or stand. Who knew?

Plus I have this whole Question Reality thing where I never really believe in my own experiences so every day I wake up and I'm like, "Maybe I sort of imagined it, like I sat too long and that's why, or drank too much coffee and that's what made me shake all over, or, I don't know, something!" And then I'm sort of okay first thing in the morning but by the time I get into the shower I'm already having trouble standing up. Like it takes constant concentration. And then I'll do something easy like walk to the mailbox and back and oh yeah, I guess I didn't imagine it or whatever.

Today I ran errands. It was ridiculously stupidly hard. Only my left arm can do the driving, for one thing.

Though you know what? Another alarming aspect of all this is that these things have been going on for AGES. I've been driving left-handed since L.A. Left hand on the wheel, right hand resting on the emergency brake or on my leg. It's just how it's been forever: right hand doesn't drive. I've had my legs quit working on walks since L.A. too. I remember calling D. about it because I'd go up Vermont toward the Greek and Griffith Park and my legs would seize up. My doctor said this week that This Thing is often misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel because people's hands stop working and go numb and weak. I did not know that!

Then I think about mowing and how last year I could mow the grass no problem and this year I'd go for a while and my legs would seize up and I'd have to stop and do something else, then go back and do more. And dumb stuff like how if I turned on the burner to heat the griddle while mixing up pancake ingredients--which is very easy and takes two seconds--my hands would start to shake so bad I'd be flinging flour everywhere. I remembered that last night when I was making pancakes. Hmmmmmm.

So anyway. It's not like it's all of a sudden. But it's a lot worse now.

D. goes crazy if she even gets a blister because she's a triathlete and would lose her marbles if she had to stop exercising all the time. She kept going on 100 mile bike rides (or some other very large number) when she was on bed rest during pregnancy. So I think it's really freaking her out, the idea of suddenly losing the ability to stand and walk reliably, over the course of about two weeks.

It's freaking me out tremendously also, but not as bad as her, which is kind of funny. I mean, I guess I've kind of gotten used to these weird limitations gradually as they've come on. It's much MORE now but it's not new, in other words.

I have one million questions about it. Like, since this is an autoimmune thing, does that mean if they put me on immunosuppressants, I'll stop being allergic to everything and having asthma? And the big one: Is this all just an episode (because zombiedom comes in recurring episodes of badness that then wane) or is it here to stay? Like, should I just go, "Oh, whatever, it's bad right now but I'll be able to do stuff again in a week or a month," or should I try to get used to the reality of This Is How It Is? And what about driving and shoveling and mowing, if it is? Because those things do not work well right now.


Unknown! Also of course I won't even know if this is what we think it is until after the MRI.

I'm so pleased the MRI is on Sunday because it's in the building where I worked until I was summarily FIRED for doing exactly what I was told to do by someone who helped me do it. And on Sunday they won't be there! Yay!

Then there's the MRI panic. I'm super claustrophobic and let me tell you, having limited mobility only makes it that much worse. Like, imagine you're shut in a small space. Now imagine you're shut in a small space with your hands and feet unusable for some reason, right? NOT GOOD. I'm hoping they'll sedate the heck out of me. In which case I'm going to need a ride, come to think of it.

Oh! You want to know something awesome? I found out on my errands run today that they haven't hired anyone for my dream job yet. Hurray! Me! Me! Hire me!

No Eureka tonight, sad. That Bones episode isn't exactly one you'd want to watch over and over like most of them. I mean, it's full of sadness and loss and crapitude. Oh, plus, I got to the end of the last David Tennant Doctor Who regular season episodes but he hadn't regenerated into someone new, so I had to go do all this research (okay, five seconds on IMDb) and discovered a) there were specials I'd missed along the way, including some I had worked on way back in WB home video days, whoops, so I should have remembered they existed, though in my defense BBC does their own packaging, and b) I forget what b is. Hmm.

Well anyway I have some specials to watch, including the one where my beloved David Tennant doctor is totally going to DIE. I mean, regenerate. But it's the same thing! It is! Don't tell me it isn't. He's my favorite doctor in all of ever and I've been dreading the end and putting it off.

Oh, poor brains. Last night I made bread dough, right? I was going to bake a loaf of bread. And then on a whim I made it into dough balls and stuck them all in a round cake pan and they rose and became lovely rolls, absolutely perfect. Except that I got up off the couch and went to the kitchen three times to go make the bread into a loaf and put it to rise, when I had already made it into rolls. I forgot. Over and over. I went to make the bread dough into a loaf AFTER the rolls had already been baked and I'd eaten one.

It's like when I decided to make the dough into rolls instead of a loaf, I didn't tell myself (?) that there was never going to be the part where I made the dough into a loaf, so I kept thinking I'd forgotten to do it. I didn't delete that job off the to-do list and kept on trying to do it.

Damn, that's scary. I'm not kidding. This is when terms like "brain lesions" make me very nervous. Even though I keep transforming it into "legions" and imagining Romans tromping around in there and putting up the eagle on its pole and setting up camp. Hey, you Romans! Get out of there! Gaul for the Gaulish! Romans go home!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wrapping around

My full-time job lately is wrapping my head around the medical things. I'm not good at that, mostly because I'm prone to imagining worst-case scenarios, so when I'm actually faced with one that's completely horrible, I don't have anywhere to go, see what I mean?

Mostly I just sleep. A LOT. Practical denial! And watch Bones episodes compulsively.

I really wanted to mow but just making the circle from the door to the compost pile to the mailbox and back to the house used up all available leg power. I might do it anyway, though. I got permission to push it somewhat from the doctor. Work to exhaustion kind of thing. I didn't know if that was okay to do or was doing me harm or what, but apparently it's okay if I don't completely overdo it. Hahahaha. Me? Imagine!

I think in this case "overdo it" means "cause yourself physical injury" instead of "mow until you can't walk anymore." Seriously, it takes practically nothing to get me to the point where I can't walk anymore, so that's not a fair line to have. Good! So I get to go mow. Yay for mowing! The grass, it does not quit.

So I'm faced with finishing my book today or tomorrow. That's the hardest part! How should it end? I think I know so I'll just write it but I reserve the right to change it later. In other words, exactly like the other 200 pages or whatever. Wait, 203 right now. But I still have to go back in and write the missing parts, which are strangely large because I sort of left out one whole story line that's essential to the book. So "done" won't mean done. It will just mean I got to the end, not a finished first draft.

I think I might make Thanksgiving dinner next week for the fun of it, and to have turkey to eat for a long time. Except did you know cranberries aren't in stores yet? It's true! No fresh cranberries. Madness!

Also on the schedule today: baking bread.

Do you see why I didn't bother writing this for a while? SO BORING. So repetitive! Write books! Panic over medical situation! Be unable to walk properly! Stay at home being broke! Riveting stuff, I tell you what.

It's true, I'm failing to have insights into anything much with all this major medical meltdown going on. And of course I'm not going anywhere or doing anything what with all the CAN'T I seem to have a tremendous amount of lately.

This is where someone awesome would totally overcome and break through it all and find a way to some amazing new thing or I don't know, something, but all I seem to do is sit around with big eyes, agog at how ridiculously awful everything is lately and trying to see a way out. Ideas? Hello? I mean it was bad enough that I didn't have a job but now I apparently actually can't even work? What the hell?

Except Online Job. Yay! We won't talk about how I have 2.5 weeks to go and no offer of renewal yet, because those often come very late. Nor about how the state is miffed because I don't have a job yet and are making me go to some workshop thing. This is me pretending not to worry about that! Okay!

Jeez, my mowing calluses all peeled off. Definitely got to get back out there. Exercise is good for getting the mental gerbil off its little wheel and putting it instead on a blue couch with daisy patterns with a margarita.

OH BOY. I totally want to make my couch cover royal blue with daisies, like Opus used to have on his chair in Bloom County. How is it possible the internet doesn't have a picture of that? Madness!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I stop the world and list for you

You may take "list" in at least two senses. To starboard, if anyone's wondering.

1. My doctor is frakking awesome. She says it's probably You Know What and I have to have an MRI to look for (oh dear) brain lesions. That's how they diagnose it. She also said that bad hands are often a sign of it and nearly always misdiagnosed as something else. And one eye going bad is pretty much the jackpot. Then there was the part where she bonked my right knee with her stethoscope (no hammer around I guess) and it didn't kick. Twice.

2. I found a giant puffball mushroom the size of a soccer ball in the yard and fried it up in butter and ate it. SO GOOD. Wild mushrooms are miles better than any other kind, I tell you what. You are safe with giant puffballs because a) you cannot mistake them for anything else (except a soccer ball or volleyball) and b) as long as you eat them before they start fruiting, i.e. get all full of black spores, which will kill you dead or at the very least ruin your day.

3. No movement on any employment related front whatsoever. Not even a single call on any of it, actually. Isn't that weird? I think so too.

4. My book is all but done. Hurray! I'd say two or three more days to finish and then a couple more or a week to go back and write in all those parts I left out.

5. I got better enough to drive today so that's awesome. And ran some errands, which led me back to Goodwill to see if that cool $5 exercise thing was still there. It was not, but they had the most amazing boots for the most amazingly small amounts of money, such that I'm agog. I'm so strapped for cash, I don't buy cheese or meat, but I had to get these. Sheesh, a couple of days of pancakes and potatoes won't kill me. Actually that sounds kind of nice. Mmm, pancakes. Tortillas! Beans! Etc.! I'm totally fine, shhh. Okay.

I think what actually happened was I was wishing for very good things in relation to walking and it got mixed up in translation en route to Wishing Central and instead of the ability to walk normally I got AWESOME SHOES for practically nothing. Doesn't that sound likely? I know!

Exhibit A: Motorcycle boots. My feet have realized their fondest dreams. Leather, practically new, my size. Holy frakamole, man. You know the heroine's best friend in the book I'm just finishing always wears these exact boots. Therefore I wrote them into existence. Rock!



Exhibit B: Oh and replacement loafers for mine that totally wore out and got too big after I stretched them out from stupid glucocorticoids blowing me up like a pufferfish. With feet. Except these are way nicer and fancier.



Exhibit C: Bestill my heart, my dream has come true. These are vintage with leather soles and all, just like the ones the Beatles and my beloved 5th grade teacher, Mr. Chocola, used to wear. Aren't they awesome? I'm astounded at the awesomeness, I'm not kidding. Does anyone know what they're called? Do they have a name?


Exhibit D: Proof that the world wants me to be happy. These are a pair of blue suede Dr. Martens like my black leather ones that are wearing out. Pause to appreciate the fabulousness. I did not even know such a thing existed. Blue! Suede! Dr. Martens! Has there ever been a more perfect shoe for me? Essentially brand new. The kitty likes the laces. The kitty is a giant puffball himself, isn't he? My goodness. I've been brushing him a lot. Yeah, that's it!


See what I'm saying? Clearly I have powerful wish capabilities but very poor articulation and clarity of execution. Walking plus awesomeness, true...just not exactly what I had in mind.

I am not capable of complaining about this one, though, because what if it was like, "Well, we can't fix the walking thing, but here, have some outrageously perfect shoes, some of which you've been dreaming about since 1977. Does that make you feel better?" Yes, in fact, it does, so thank you very much! I will also accept a three book contract with enormous advances and huge success and unprecedented sales of the movie rights and concomitant tv series in which I'm a consulting producer with a high salary and a house in Ojai! In case anyone was wondering.

6. This was a list, remember? The power went off most of Sunday and I got all medieval and knitted and read a lot even though medieval people did neither. I do have oil lamps but the power fortunately came back on before it got dark. But then I was weaned off the internet or something. Or just having way too much fun reading and knitting to stop. I got a LOT done and enjoyed it very much. I'm still at it, actually. Knitting is good! Also books.

6. a. Note: you cannot boil water over Sterno because Sterno only heats to 205 degrees. Guess how long I sat out there before I read the label? I'm buying a camping stove.

7. I'm scared of the MRI because I'm claustrophobic but thankfully I have panic pills for that. I'll try to rid my brain of the thought that it's a transporter. I don't know where I got that but it definitely feels Star Trek-ian to me. Where does it send you? Where? I read and write way too much sci-fi not to have manifold weird feelings about an MRI. Plus that Bones episode, the X in the Files. I know! But I don't have ball bearings in my skull. That we know about.

8. The thing I loved about my doctor today, besides everything, was that she said, in regard to all the various malarkey that's been going on with my breathing and hands and my wonky eye and everything: "You don't have five things going on, you have one thing." In other words, I haven't had a whole series of weird medical issues, just one thing going wrong that frells everything else up, and no one put it together until now.

9. The place that sends me out to jobs won't let me work anymore because I can't walk properly. Let's just let that one sink in for a while. You can see their logic, of course. I am completely unsteady and can't see right and can't drive half the time and could fall and cause all sorts of legal/liability issues. On the other hand, that's deeply messed up. But on the third hand, until I know what I'm dealing with, I'm kind of on their side. And on the fourth hand, which is really the first hand, I get so exhausted I shake all over just from washing the dishes. Ten minutes doing stuff and I'm out. So I'm okay with it with intermittent bouts of outrage that then pass because of sense.

10. You guys, I just saw awesome ultrasound pictures of my little nephew! SO COOL!

12. NEW BONES EPISODE TOMORROW!!!!!!!

11. I got so excited I forgot number 11!

That is all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's the plan, hen?

The plan! The plan is as follows, though not in this exact order:

cook down all those roma tomatoes into sauce
make pizza
nom nom nom
(okay, those three are in order)
Online Job
rewrites some more, and some more, and some more
more writing of new book which is (gasp) almost done, seriously

mow grass until legs quit
watch saved up tv and quilt the quilt

I'm delighted to find that Project Runway is sweet and not mean-spirited like every other reality show that has briefly singed my eyeballs. You know, all the schadenfreude? All the mocking of people who are trying to do something and sucking at it? My meanness tolerance has gone waaaaaay down and was never high to begin with.

That and characters who are sort of recurring single jokes. "Ha, he's dumb." Okay, maybe once or twice, but it's not actually funny after the ten thousandth time. Is it? How is it still funny to anyone? I'm mystified. Things like this make me feel like Brennan.

Yay, Brennan!

So all kinds of tv is starting up, hurray! Things I watch! Bones comes back Thursday and Grey's Anatomy, which is on thin ice with me after the terrorizing bloodbath of the season ender. (There's a reason I don't watch shows full of shooting and blood and terror, Grey's Anatomy, so why are you being them? Stoppit.) Stargate Universe, which from previews seems to be much weirder than I remember. I might have to rewatch everything so far and see what I've forgotten. And Glee! Yay! Looking forward to that very much.

What else that I have to see? Is that it? Okay. But then there's cute fluffy shows like Chuck and 30 Rock and Castle.

I'd like to watch No Ordinary Family because hello it stars Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz with accidental brand new superpowers in a normal world, which is pretty much DESIGNED for me, but the dvr says it conflicts. I'll have to figure out what with and sort that out, since I think it can record two things at once, can't it? Or record one and watch another? I can't remember. Time to find the manual! Hoo. It's....somewhere.

Tv is good because tv equals quilting and knitting, both of which need to get into High Gear. You know I have this manic productivity thing. Well, lately I've been going "Gaaaah!" a lot because I seem to be wasting enormous stretches of time doing nothing.

Though I tried to articulate it the other day and my friend said drily, "So you've been unemployed--wait, half-employed--for a whole month and all you've done is make a quilt, build a couch from scratch, and write almost a whole novel? SLACKER." Ha. Okay, yes. Acknowledged!

It's still true that I waste enormous stretches of time playing Spider Solitaire or following arcane research trails. The former can be spun as thinking time and the latter as pre-writing but all I know is I sometimes look up and go, "HOLY CRAP IT'S TEN O'CLOCK AT NIGHT AND I HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING TODAY." (Except Online Job and the usual search and apply.) And then I write my daily pages and look around in a panic. Which you can see equals doing everything I was supposed to, but feeling like I've accomplished nothing.

So anyway, back to the list. I mean, I'm going back on the lists every day. Not jousting. To-do.

Because part of the problem is this frelling rewrite, which is so hard to *count*. How can I tell I've done it? I might have to resort to a timer or something. Otherwise I never feel like I've really done it because it's so nebulous and open-ended. I'm very task-oriented and really like getting done and checking things off and all that. If I can't, I just get frustrated. That in a nutshell is what's wrong with rewrites for me.

I was reading another Scalzi mini-rant on writing, about how he's paid to stick to that chair x hours per day. I usually like word count because it's oh so easy to quantify (being numbers, duh) but I think the timer is going to be my new best friend.

So let's rephrase the to-do list, shall we?


cook down all those roma tomatoes into sauce
make pizza
nom nom nom
(okay, those three are in order)
Online Job
rewrite TR for two hours
2K words of new book which is (gasp) almost done, seriously
mow grass until legs quit
watch saved up tv and quilt the quilt

There! Excellent.

I have this weird book in my head that's clamoring to get written. It would be infinitely faster than this current/last one but it's sort of a different genre and all that. I think I'll probably just write it anyway. The other awesome thing about that is: if I have two books going, I'll write 2K on each one every day. Did you know this about me? It's true. It's like there's a separate gas tank for each project.

So obviously I should have morning book, afternoon book, evening book, and night book. All job-like Scalzi-wise. You know, that tickles me so much I might have to do that. WITH GOOD NOTES because I still can't remember my main characters' names from whole entire books I've written. Well, you know. I've said. I forget *the existence* of whole books I've written. Whoops!

Now if afternoon book is a block of rewrite time, that could really work great. Hey!

One last unrelated thing except it's re: tv. I'm delighted that 30 Rock had Matt Damon play a dreamboat heartthrob plane captain for Liz Lemon in episode 22. I am your demographic! Hurray! Maybe there's another Bourne film festival coming up in my near future, whee!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A theme song!

The hymn the Quivering Brethren sing in Cold Comfort Farm, of course! It's been running through my head for a week, I can't imagine why. It's at about 9:00 in this clip. (You don't have to watch the whole thing to get there, just click on 9:00 and go.)

Countdown to popcorn, is all I'm saying

Friday afternoons, I know! It's all they're for: waiting for popcorn o'clock. Mmmmmm. With the garlic and the butter and the cayenne pepper and the nutritional yeast.

Hey! How's it going? I have spent the morning and okay part of the afternoon Coping With Anxieties Head-On. Which is exactly no fun at all but very good for making them get off your table/desk/plate and go away. Now I'm imagining the runaway pancake again. Running away! Get out of here, you runaway pancake of unpleasant anxieties!

Yesterday's sorting and tidying extravaganza turns out to have made me very happy about things being where they belong. You'd sort of guess that about my character makeup anyway, no? Left shoe on the left, right shoe on the right, obviously! Gaaaaah, put it back! Left on the left! Right on the right!

And when you move a lot, things get separated and jumbled and it's all very irritating. So it's highly pleasing to me that the hair bands are in the cup in the bathroom cupboard where the hair bands go, and not in the Cernunnos krater or the desk drawer or any of a dozen other places they don't belong.

I haven't reached 100% yet (and never will) but the orderliness of the order is highly satisfying. Also I threw out a bunch of weird stuff that needed to get thrown out.

My mandate yesterday was: pretend you're moving, only instead of not having enough time to sort and toss, you DO have enough time to sort and toss. So do that! Yay!

I really, really did.

I'm trying to think of how to chart the progress of various other electrical system crap. Well, fizzy/spazzy is holding steady or maybe slightly improved, eyes are working better, but my right leg has shuffled off to Buffalo. Hip to foot, it's all weird, lumber-like, uncooperative, hurts and goes numb at the same time, full of stabby stabbing. Sitting is pretty ridiculous. Standing is not really a good idea. I don't think I'll be driving any time soon, either, since that's the driving foot and it does not do what I say.

I can't decide whether overall things are better or what. Unknown! It is nice that my eyes are working a little better, though. That improves my quality of life no end. And seeing improvement cheers me up. Yay! (Unless they're better because I haven't been working on my revisions, in which case, boooooo.)

So I'm back on the revisions today after a galactically traumatic week of massive physical malfunctions that carried a whole lot of emotional mindfrakkery. And it poured and poured and poured last night so no mowing today.

Research I've been doing of the "if it's this, then..." variety says to stop trying to fight it and just ride it out, let it run its course, and for heaven's sake stop mowing the lawn every day, knucklehead. "But!" I protest. "I mean!"

Anyway, back on the rewrites. Oof. Ack. But, popcorn! Coming soon!

And also my second cousin down in D.C. is going to have golden retriever puppies (not HERSELF, jeez) that I can have, oh boy! A little golden girl! Awesome! I would make a road trip down and swing by and visit the EF. I'm already agog at the thought of Siegfried next to a matching fuzzy puppy his own size. And planning to build stairs to the bed, because puppies sleep on the bed, obviously. And I'm all excited about meeting my second cousin whom I've never even met before I don't think, but her daughter looks just like me, at least in certain pictures, see, so that's cool.

The internet. It is full of cousins!

I realize that a 12 hour drive and a puppy are incompatible with a non-working right leg but didn't I just say it's supposed to pass? I know! Pass already! And of course I'd take the cat. Imagine a 12 hour drive with a puppy and no cat, how bizarre. Hey, I bet Sieg would litter train the little pup in no time flat.

What?

Meanwhile Radiator Serge is heating the whole house better than all the baseboard heaters ever do. Which is weird. I think they might be pieces of crap! It's certainly in keeping with the rest of the housely gestalt. Speaking of which, I should probably go ShopVac the recent deluge out of the basement. And wash the dishes. And in other ways fulfill my mundane responsibilities, now that I've vanquished the more ethereal ones.

Raaarrrr!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A disorganized but fairly explanatory list

(There was a joke/reference in that. Sorry, very obscure.)

1. There's a dead mouse or something in the kitchen wall. Dead, certainly. Species unknown. Unless some of that bacon I flung around got lost somewhere. I'm unthrilled. Ick. On the plus side, there wasn't a furry carcass in my boots, which I was afraid was where it was. They are by that wall, see. Okay.

2. My own Gmail account put my own blog post into the spam folder. I think that's some record new depths of media mutual self-loathing.

3. I spent a lot of today sorting stuff into where it really belongs instead of where it was, and finding the two halves of one widget and putting them together. Like the metal tube that fits over the bar of the trailer hitch locking mechanism from my Jeep. It's pretty satisfying to match those up. And all the keychains are on the keychain hook. And yet it feels like absolutely nothing got done.

4. My new couch back improves couch comfort enormously, but the flat cushions on those blue pads are still pretty hard to sit on for long. Ow.

5. I mowed some more. Woo. Unfortunately I have way more lawn than legs.

6. The paper had an article about a guy who got mauled up by a bear *after* he mortally shot it. AFTER. As in he shot it in the heart and then it mauled him a lot and then it died without needing to get shot any more. Bears are scary, man. Though so are hunters. I mean, who started it, am I right?

7. I thought I broke my finger but I didn't. It's way better today. It bends and the grape disappeared. Yay!

8. No news from the super long shot that I was hoping and hoping for even though it's a super long shot. Not that it's over yet but you know how wild-eyed hope goes. At least I won't have hear I didn't get it via a phone call from the person who I told about the job who got it instead of me like with a certain tv show. Ahem.

9. Some robot keeps calling me and saying, "Four," in this opera lady voice, and then hanging up. Like six times a day. "Four." Click. Am I in some kind of minimalist Twelve Monkeys scenario?

10. I'm going to start Christmas knitting today, to add to levels of quicksandery and accomplishment that is so tiny and incremental that I can't see it at all and wind up staring at the Green Man face sculpture on the wall in despair, wondering if his eyes just moved, or probably not, really, but didn't it look like they did? What's he looking at, anyway? Creeeeepy.

11. Oh yeah and my left leg is iffy and my right leg pretty much feels like a two by four, but it's interesting because the inappropriately too old yet super awesome boyfriend of my heroine's best friend in the book is an Iraq vet with an artificial leg and so now I feel like I wrote it into existence. Except I didn't. I mean, mine is real. It just doesn't work or feel like it's real. Nothing like thinking about artificial legs to make you appreciate the real thing, no matter how suckily they work/don't work right now.

12. I'm going to cook some chicken and rice and veg. And maybe shut the windows because it's 52 degrees, but there's a reason they're still open, see #1 above. Eventually you do get hungry, though, despite that. Weird, huh?

Gandalf goes to the World Cup

I had to post this just so I'd never, ever lose it. Yay!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Een draaikont

Dutch word of the day. It means "a fidget," as in, "That Boostrap Maggie is such a *fidget*!" I thought it was awesomely appropriate.

Strange day, ja? I went to get my prescription. But first I thought, no, I can't go out wearing sweatpants, what is the world coming to? Imagine, going to Walmart in sweatpants! So I put on my black jeans, and then oh yeah I got to wear those new short boots. Awesome! They're a little slippery. This isn't foreshadowing.

I went to pick up the prescription, the one where I had said, "Okay, I have to make sure to get the name brand, not generic, because I'm allergic to the generic for whatever reason." And so when I got there the same (super nice) girl gave it to me and said, "Oh no, you were supposed to get the name brand, weren't you?" See how cool that is? She forgot somewhere along the line, when putting it in the computer or whatever, but remembered when she saw me.

I don't know, I'm all impressed by that. People owning their mistakes is very cool. We all make them, but you get get all pissy and crabby or you can go, "Ack! D'oh! I screwed up!"

So I got to go wander around and kill time and buy stupid quantities of shampoo and conditioner (a known phase in survival panic for me) plus they're discontinuing it or whatever so it was 78 cents each. 78 cents! Crazy! Now I have a whole lot. Phew!

Oh plus I went by Goodwill to see if they sell canes, which they do not, for a very interesting reason: sometimes they get recalled. Same with carseats and children's furniture. They don't sell anything that could possibly have been recalled for reasons of liability. Isn't that interesting? Who knew that *canes* would be recalled? Aren't they a pretty straightforward and ancient technology? Gosh!

Apparently they also have to take the strings out of hoodies, the man said, in case kids pull them tight and choke. That seems to reach a whole new level of paranoid if you ask me. They sell them with those strings in them in regular stores. I mean, huh?

Yes, so I'm using my walking stick my dad made me to get around the yard, where honestly I'm much more likely to get unexpectedly horizontal, because of uneven surfaces, but where it's also nice and soft and squashy. My feet don't know where the ground is. I can't think of any better way to describe it.

I'm also alarmed and displeased to discover a whole bunch of dings in my windshield suddenly. All I can figure is we had hail. They're spread around like that. I surely would have noticed if a bunch of gravel had flung at my windshield. I mean, I would have. How could you not? And it's all across the whole windshield. Gravel is rarely so evenly spaced.

I learned recently that auto glass places can fix anything smaller than a quarter, so I suppose I ought to look into that? I don't really know. So weird!

The phone has rung FIVE TIMES today and none of those were the call I was hoping for. Five! Five! Madness! Five! I don't even know who called because most were hang-ups and one was a robot.

I laid in bed for ages this morning, wide awake, refusing to get up. I'm kind of fed up with the non-working legs. And arms. The arms don't work either, as witness flinging a library book accidentally, flinging bacon around, dropping absolutely everything, inability to write with a pen, etc. But the legs are a constant bother, even when sitting down, because they're all fizzy and tingly and pins and needley. Gaaah!

Ahem.

But I did think through plans to build a railing on the basement stairs (sadly necessary) and thought through the design of the back of the couch a bunch more, too. Couches: they take a lot of thinking. Think think think.

Yep, that's my days. Grumpy about the electrical storms (internal), pretty bored with being home alone all the time, agitated about The Thing that may or may not be, hoping for phone calls about places to be, worrying about income and all that, mowing small amounts of grass and then staggering inside to fret about immobility, writing things and getting all excited about that, rewriting things and getting all wigged out by that, watching sci-fi tv on the dvr and knitting until oh yeah mutiny amongst the limbs and I have to stop. Plus Online Job. Yay for Online Job!

I have to go do that now. And then mow for a while in a lurching zombie-like manner.

Ooh, plus the bread is rising. Yum! I sure do love fresh hot bread.

Pay no attention to the grumpy zombie. Look at this gorgeous picture from NASA instead! That's what I do. Got suckage? Acknowledge the suckage and then distract yourself with something awesome. Hey, look at the cool thing over there! Exactly.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Zoom and cars and mission accomplished

I had a big mission to accomplish today. Okay, a small but vitally important mission. And I accomplished it! Well done, ye. Of this I shall say no more! Until maybe it's time and then I'll say a lot, or some, or a little, but I'm hoping it'll all be good things, is all.

Potentially yay! One hopes.

What else? Hilarious antics trying to eat sushi with chopsticks. Oh dear. I might need a new electrical system. I keep having car/body thoughts lately because of something someone EVIL once said that made me suddenly reevaluate a) our friendship, was like the Titanic, and the iceberg was that thing she said about the car, and b) what divides the kind of people I like from the kind of people I want to punch in the face, part 7844.

This was someone whose name afterward became Evil Someone. As in, maybe you know someone named Tina and then they turn evil so you call them Evil Tina. Let's just call her Evil Tina because I don't actually know anyone named Tina, do I? Is anyone named that anymore? Was it always short for Christina? Are we headed into a tangled thicket of entrancing diversions? Let's not.

So one day Evil Tina said of a celebrity who was driving a modest car: "Why would he drive THAT car if he could afford a good car?" And the world wobbled on its axis because, what? What? What? What does that even mean? What, you really think there is a clear hierarchy of cars (there is not--there is matching between need and use) and the more money you have, the higher up that hierarchy you move, automatically, unless you are some kind of ascetic or know-nothing?

In other words I bonked into propertarian snobbery and it totally startled me, because nobody I know thinks that way. NOBODY. I seem to know people who are utilitarian, who have a designated purpose in mind, like hauling two small children, or moving several trees, or pulling a trailer across the country, and acquire the appropriate car that way.

Anyway so Evil Tina's world view startled the ever-loving heck out of me and made me realize just how little we had in common and then of course later she was late for a lunch and I was waiting and realized like a choir of singing angels descended from heaven and bopped me on the head with their rubber mallets simultaneously just how much I dreaded seeing her, because of : EVIL. And then I didn't anymore. See her, I mean. Yay!

You don't have to see people who are evil and make you feel like shit, it turns out. Who knew?

But anyway: cars. See, someone glorious and wonderful out there does not feel good about how she looks. Which is true for a lot of people. Maybe they don't particularly like how they look. But they're healthy and feel great and their body works right for whatever they want it to do, like go up the stairs or do tae kwon do or whatever it is.

You see where I'm going with this.

There isn't some hierarchy of bodies any more than there is one of cars. And you don't have to have the one on the top because there isn't a top because there isn't a hierarchy dammit! You need the one that does what you need it to do, like pull a trailer across the country--wait, that's the car. Like go for walks and carry the groceries and sleep right and dance around the room and hug people and fit into your clothes. That's what you need it to do.

You do not need it to be in a nationwide print ad for perfume, for example. You wouldn't like what you had to do to get it there, anyway, would you? The deprivation and objectification and everything? Would you? No you would not. And it wouldn't be any good for any of the things you DO want it to do, like eat pie. Mmm, pie!

A Lamborghini would not be useful in my neighborhood, for instance. Imagine in all that snow!

My point being: unless you need your body to do things it can't do, it's already the right one for the job. See what I'm saying? I guess I hate seeing people look at their terrific Jeep Cherokee (or whatever) and going, "Man, I hate my Cherokee! I want a fancier car!"

Maybe I'm thinking about this a lot lately because my personal electrical system seems to be having hysterics, which reminds me a lot of my old Jeep with its myriad interesting quirks. Find a mechanic! Get it fixed! Yes, do not follow the metaphor too far or you wind up trading yourself in, heh.

Plus I keep fantasizing about an inexpensive lean blue pickup with a V8 engine and a plow rig to clear the driveway, and the next thing you know I've imagined an appropriate personage driving it and oh my goodness, maybe this metaphor has done all it can really do for the day, don't you think? I know! Or else it needs to become a happy Jenny Crusie novel about an auto detailer with self-esteem issues, hee.

Where was I? Oh right! Evil Tina. EWWWWW. I think there are whole reams of book to be squeezed out of that situation, too. Electrical problems. Yes. I haven't quite fallen down yet but I did fall into the car when I was getting in it, but that's because my skirt was narrower than I realized--this is true-and I sort of yanked my other leg out from under me. Anyway it just meant I fell into the car seat, which is where I was going anyway.

And I did almost fall at the deli counter, when I stepped forward but my leg didn't go all the way but I had already moved my center of gravity, see what I mean? It's just like tripping over something unyielding, effectively. Well, that plus the vertigo thing. Anyway I caught the deli counter and all was well.

I think I may have mispronounced the hot capicola, though. It's probably not Capi Cola like Coca-Cola. It's probably caPICola. However, this is Maine, and it didn't matter. It was big on sale and is going on my pizza, mmmm! Little bits of it all cut up.

People will sell you small amounts of deli products and also fabric, did you know? I never think I can get just a quarter yard/pound but of course you can. Silly. And so I did. THEY DO NOT CARE. I don't know where I got the feeling they would mind.

So then Jane had a writing sprint again and I was like, "OH BOY!" and wrote a whole bunch, and it's so vivid and tense and stuff, I love it. I thought it would be the big action scene, and I guess it's action, but it's creeping up to the big activity-filled battle or whatever, which means it's all tense and scary and people are doing really hard stuff that's beyond what they think they can do, which I adore! ADORE! And so I'm very very thrilled about that.

Now I have to wash the dishes and maybe cook, but the eel sushi (and accompanying hilarity at slapstick chopstick efforts) sort of filled me up. So maybe just wash the dishes.

Tomorrow I have to go out again, twice in two days, stop the presses, to pick up that thyroid prescription. I took it away from that rude pharmacy with the rude people who were rude (so rude! and misspelled, RITE AID) and took it to Walmart instead, where it's a lot cheaper and they're nice. They are. I like them.

Three! Three days! Because of the brown sugar odyssey yesterday.

Today however I did not engage in the vigorous exercise of denial. I mean, exercise, designed to deny the fact that I can't do it, if you see what I mean. Not exercising the power of denial. I have exercised that enough! I have an Olympic medal in denial and they played my national anthem while I was on the podium, pretending they weren't and generally acting like I was elsewhere. No, I mean vigorous exercise, done to see if I can, which I can't, which also seems to make things much, much worse. Today I'm just all stiff and wonky clockworky. I'm like one of two dozen very similar Doctor Who villains! Where are the rest of my robotic throngs?

They have gross blobby families, solitary flower-like female aliens, those cat people, and the marching robotic throngs. Did I leave any out? I include the frelling Daleks in the last category, obviously.

Whereas when I make up aliens (so far) there are the ones with radically unfamiliar slime mold agglutinations (boy doesn't THAT sound appetizing--with fries, please!) and the solitary disease-borne mutation ones who go crazy in the forest alone.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

To be honest the ones I like the best that seem to keep getting invented over and over are the latter, all Green Man and social commentary.

I'm just going to say it's sort of unfair that the inability to get around well is paired with some kind of hysterical electrical fiesta that makes it impossible to sit still. Not cool, wiring! Not cool!

I'm seriously comfortable in the comfy chair, though. Kitty keeps glaring at me because he wants it back. I switched it out with the rocker a few days ago, so now the comfy chair is in the office, opposite my desk. Now nobody wants to sit in the rocker at all! It's perfectly comfortable but it has arms that make it insanely uncomfortable to type, like you have to have them straight out down the length of your body, instead of elbows deployed where they normally are. It was making me cranky. And now it's not. Yay!

Nothing beats the Poang chair, it's true.

Anyway if I get up, kitty will steal the chair and then stretch and yawn and look so comfortable, I won't have the heart to make him move. So I'm just going to write a bunch more if you don't mind. Okay! It's a plan.

Tra la la

I sure do like it when a whole great big book-wide plan comes together even though I did not make the plan. I didn't make the plan! Oh sure, I had an outline, but it just had events in it. And then there's easily twice as much stuff that happens in the book anyway, AND the coolest part is that all of the most excellent and interesting big thinky connections and big character stuff and massive changes....all that stuff JUST HAPPENED.

Or, I don't know if that's the right way to say it. It's below the level of surface organized brain, anyway. I think it's the really good thing about any book but I sure didn't plan it. And I only realized it on Thursday at Tardiff St. It's like I had the bones but none of the life in mind, but then writing the bones meant it sprang to life while I wrote it.

Isn't that cool?

Did I finally learn how to write? Awesome!

It's like the difference between a serviceable song you write and one that is catchy and people want to sing it. That indefinable difference. Which I just sort of defined, and anyway I usually call that sort of thing awesomeness. So, awesomeness!

Remember when I told a class the ancient Greek word for awesomeness and it turned out it meant good-bye? Ha! I would look it up but my ancient Greek dictionary only lets you look up Greek words, not the other way around. Google translate gives me modern only. Awesome = tromeros, if I'm transliterating properly. But what is awesomeness? What is another good word? Glory or something? Is that word doxa? It is. There should be an analogous form for awesomeness, like awesomy, but that sounds like a genetic disorder. Anyway it should be Germanic to match the rest of the word so awesomeheit. Oh, Germanic languages. Why must you be so train-car and LEGO-like?

I'm going to find a better word if I have to read the whole Anglo-Saxon dictionary to do it.

How's it going, eh? I find the whole sitting around and writing portion of the day to be MUCH more satisfying than the part where I'm supposed to run around washing dishes and mowing grass. We'll just take the reasons why as read if you don't mind. I keep thinking, "Hey, it's gone!" and then I realize, "No, I just haven't done anything but sit on the couch and write for four hours, heh."

I have big plans to build the back to the couch tomorrow. And possibly think out and maybe even start the arms.

Hey, you know what sounds like a GREAT combination? Tremors, muscle spasms, and a Skil saw!

I have a plan, though. It involves setting up my workbench of fezzes with a middle section such that something falling will not land either on my feet or the concrete floor. Honestly, couch back supports only need two cuts. And some curvy bits for shape. But it's not like building the base, with the ten million slats and all that.

...she protested defensively.

I wrote my thing I had to write, huge thanks to Jen for her insight and help! Oh my golly I want it so bad. I want it SO MUCH! We shall see. I'm aware it's a massive long shot. Like, jeez, moving to Hollywood and then meeting all the Battlestar peoples. Or, you know, getting to meet Starbuck and hang out with Apollo and tell President Roslin how freaking awesome she is. Just to name a few examples.

I have to remember my crazy impossible things that all came true. Sometimes things I think are impossible are way less impossible than all of those in terms of sheer odds. And then I also have to remember all the steps that got me there, because it didn't just happen. It was showing up at the right place at the right time and being persistent and someone being nice to me and also being very lucky. But you don't get lucky if you don't show up.

This is my after the fact pep talk from today's writing and my before the fact pep talk for tomorrow's endeavor. I swear writing is 99% showing up. Especially because all the good stuff isn't what's planned, know what I mean? So it actually can't come into existence if you're not there going, "Man, this part is such a big old cliche," and then HOLY CRAP!

I'm nervous about driving tomorrow but I went out to get brown sugar for the oatmeal cake today, from the nearest store, and that was okay.

Mmm, oatmeal cake. I couldn't find a good recipe for oatmeal quick bread so I made that round cake I always used to make. I put apples in it. And into the soup I made today. And in my smoothie. Guess who has a big bag of apples and not a lot of other non-garden produce right now? Heh. Man, I LOVE apples. They're Macintoshes. Mmm.

You guys, I got to write a heroic paladin-type park ranger with a Smokey the Bear hat today. I am so happy about that I can't even tell you. Awesome!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Twitchy McSpazalot is a weirdly happy camper

Hey and all that.

Today my head is full of names I want to make sure to use in books: Hejduk, Rossiter, Mullinax. Why those? I don't know! But they're delicious and chewy and I like them.

There was a character in The Monkey Wrench Gang called Hayduke which is Hejduk rendered Anglo-Saxon-wise. That was one weird book, wasn't it?

What are you up to? I just got done with Online Job and now I'm wondering whether I can go out and mow some or whether that will render me immobilized. This thing, using leg-power really knocks you flat. But then what's the alternative? Sit here? Which is what happens when I'm knocked flat? I know, see?

So I'll probably go mow for a while. I did some yesterday to prove to myself that I couldn't, and indeed I was right, heh.

I called the doctor's office, which entertained me no end, because I was like, "Yeah, I have this recurring thing where I can't walk and stuff? Or see? And I was making pizza and flinging the bacon everywhere?" And the phone answering person was like, "You put bacon on pizza?" No, she didn't, I made that up. I would have her say that in a book, though. I LOVE when people focus on interesting irrelevancies in the midst of actual scary crises.

But she did say, "Okay, how about next Wednesday?" Meaning not the one two days from now. Which kind of entertains me because that was the wrong answer. I mean, neurological symptoms, you're supposed to get in right away, but she's all busy and I was scared they'd make me see that freaking NUTBAR who picked through my hair like a chimpanzee and denied I had very very evident hives which were all over my face like mosquito bites. Not that I'm still mad or anything. Heh.

Denial of reality makes me crazy. It does. I think it's the biggest rage trigger I have. That and obviously hurting people/children/animals/beings who can't (and shouldn't have to) defend themselves. That makes me insanely rageful.

Ah, let's think of a nice cup of tea. Ahhhh.

It's cold in here but it's daytime so I don't mind, or something. Well, it's 67. But I'm cold. Or maybe being all twitchy and shivery makes me feel colder than I am. It's like I'm getting constant electric shocks, which I suppose in a sense is true. My arms and legs are all, "Woooo, let's dance!" and I keep on practically putting my eye out every time I have to take my glasses off and de-tear them and put them back on. It's like being in a school bus with bad springs driving on a rutted road, jitterbugging all around.

Mousing is the worst. It's funny, though. I keep going, "No, left! Over, up! There, that one!" and the mouse is skittering around in a very mouse-like manner. I know! But the track pad is even worse than that so I guess mousing is second worst. What else is tied for worst? A spoonful of peas. BOY is that not going to end well. Fling! Scatter! The surprisingly agile and energetic bacon was just the beginning.

Isn't it weird to have so much trouble describing something? That's my job, after all. Well it's most like forgetting to eat lunch and then working out really super hard, running and running and running, lifting weights until you can't lift any more. Then you head for the showers and realize you totally overdid it today, such that your arms and legs are shaky and trembling and you keep on dropping the soap because you wore yourself out. And you wobble out to the car and make a beeline for a cheeseburger and a smoothie.

Except it's like that after I walk to the mailbox and back.

Though that cheeseburger and smoothie sounds really good right now. Mmmmm. Time to defrost that ground turkey!

Okay, electrical system, pull yourself together so I can mow the dang grass. What's nice is that I get to do it with my sweater and boots on because it's 50-something out there. I won't do much, but man I have this compulsion to get some of it done. Denial is excellent for getting the grass cut. Or, more like testing. Let's see what happens!

Booking is what's really on my agenda for the rest of the day. MUST BOOK. Book is coming along well and has gotten out of the boring slogging explainy section, which will all get deleted/rewritten into two pithy scenes later. You have to write it out to know what it has to be, though. (I.e., not that.) And now we're into awesome going places and doing things and coming into one's own and all that great stuff. It's all third-acty and awesome! So second act needs a lot of work, so what? That's for later on. Forward! Onward! Upward! Excelsior!

50K

I'm awfully proud of that. Balloons! Confetti! Sparkly things all around! Hurray!

So that's 2/3 of a novel, since 75K divides easily at this point. When I hit 60K , it'll be 3/4. Oh those handy shifting boundaries. I sure do like 'em.

I know there's a lot of condensing that's going to have to happen, so 80K is probably a good point to shoot for with a YA novel. BOY are there some parts where people explain stuff to each other! Which I have to translate into action and doing stuff and causes and effects and all that great stuff, oh yeah!

Don't worry, we'll fix it in post.

As for TR, which is in post right now, I'm not too pleased with my sudden lack of progress. Get going! I got scared by the deadline and that whole "Finish the thing and then say you think it's good" problem that I have. Apparently it's bigger than just saying it will cure. Bastard thing.

Anyway it should shut up because when I finish this rewrite, there's no earthly way it'll be the last rewrite. I guarantee you that if my favorite publisher decides next Thursday that they love it and want to publish it, it'll have to go through rounds and rounds of editorial letters and rewrites and fixing of things. You never have to say "It's done, I am proud of this, let it be carven in stone!" until it goes to press. Sheesh!

So lighten up, bunnies. And by bunnies I mean me. Designate a new mental zone: awesome for now. So the best it can be FOR NOW. It doesn't have to second guess every potential reader ever down the whole arc of time into infinity. That way lies bananacakes. It has to be awesome for now. Okay!

Radiator Serge is my new best friend, I'm not kidding. It heated practically the whole house set on three of six. Which sounds like a Borg designation. Wrong series! It makes me much warmer because it's right by me, too. And it has that oil so it stays hot for ages, unlike the baseboard electric jobbies, which incidentally put a lot of their heat into the wall.

Radiator Serge: a revolution in not paying sixteen arms and seventeen legs in your heating bill. I hope.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

3-4 weeks

I looked at old blogsville. It lasted 3-4 weeks when it happened the first time.

It got a lot worse than this, too, with flailing Muppet arms and tremendous difficulty shoveling snow. So hang in there, is all I can say. To myself. Ha!

It was funny to read about how frantically I was trying to find other things to think that it was. Though part of the food reaction was probably my gall bladder going belly up (snork) and causing problems all around itself.

But yeah, the feeling like I'm slipping on ice all the time, feet can't find the ground, arms and legs full of electric sizzling, all twitchy and crazy weak and stuff. It's all there in the record. That is so ridiculously handy, I tell you what!

My arms don't want to type. I'm getting mad about it, which is oh so helpful. They're being all weak and wimpy and it's bugging me.

But having my office all warm and cozy with the radiator Serge makes me very happy. I never usually heat this room because one whole wall is open to hallways and there's the giant sliding glass door issue too, but with radiator Serge anywhere is possible. Radiator Serge feels like a dog who stands there next to me trying to make me feel better. Awwww. I love radiator Serge! Especially once I unfolded his wheels so he won't tip over all the time! Didn't realize they needed to be unfolded, is all.

How weird, on this picture they airbrushed out radiator Serge's one eye! There's a rectangular space near the top of the, er, face, above that dial, which has one deep dark eye socket in it. Which is a screw holding things together, but looks like a Serge eye to me. Not that I'm OBSESSIVE about Serge or anything. Who, me? But if you could see that faceplate from the side, it has exactly the same proportions and shape as a Cylon face. I kid you not.

Every short cute helpful independent household robot is of Sergekind! It's true.

Ahaha

I made pancakes and that fabulous chunky bacon for brother and little niece, who came over since I was not up to driving yesterday. Oh, woe. I'm practically legless today. It's a little alarming. But dang those pancakes and bacon were good.

Little niece took all the toys out of the toybox, which is my grandmother's old wooden chest, which is actually probably exceedingly old, now that I think about it. It's a curvy topped trunk thing. Full of action figures and spaceships. Yes!

She has so much fun with the toys, man. I love it. She especially likes the Enterprise playset where you can open up the top and there's tiny 3/4 inch high Captain Picard and Data and Troi and all, and you can put them on the bridge or in sickbay or in the ready room or in ten-forward. Awesome! So fun.

I made her a stegosaurus-shaped pancake with some molds my sister gave me LO these many years ago, which I've moved from Philly to Oregon to Philly to central PA to LA to Maine and only opened today. They're deeply awesome, though.

Little niece wanted to sit on the couch (which held all three of us, thank you, urge to over-engineer!) and watch Chicken Run and play with bunnies and Star Trek action figures and eat bacon, which just goes to show she has EXCELLENT TASTE.

I think she grew an inch and a half since last week. When I observed this, brother said he thought she'd grown since last night. She's having a growth spurt, look out! Good time to eat lots of bacon. I trim all the fat off it, so it's not as bad as you might think.

Always get the bacon ends, if you can, I'm serious. There are big fabulous chunks and the fat to meat ratio is lower than with actual strips. Why are people so into those strips? I'll never know. I guess because you don't have to stand there with kitchen scissors cutting the fat off. Or if you did, there'd be nothing left, unlike with this kind. Mmmmm.

Anyway I was fine before but then went to poke around in my jewelry box for my Starbuck ring before last (joints are swollen again, harumph) and looked at all of my grandmother's old costume jewelry and then was looking for this old three-pronged copper pin I soldered together once upon a time--hammered the pieces flat--and rummaging around in the little drawers with strange things in them, and then all of a sudden, my legs kind of quit.

I was trying to explain this, how they're fine and then if I'm walking or whatever they run out of zoom. Like if you were running and hit the wall, except it's like the wall is at the edge of the yard. And then they're super shaky and weak and want me to SIT DOWN.

Which is where I am now. What the what, legs? Pull it together. I have grass to mow, for one thing. Not today, I guess. See, that's what's driving me bananas. Last week I mowed for hours. Hours! Remember? Not very long ago! And now I'm having trouble walking around the house. And stairs, woo. There are hand rails on the three steps to the garage and the four or five out front. But jeebus, it came on so fast and is getting worse even faster. I'll call up the nice doctor tomorrow, what say you? Oh the dread. I dread the doctor part, for real. Official notice and all. Makes denial a lot more difficult.

The absolute perfect job appeared in the paper, and I mean it's my dream job, the one I wanted since I was a little kid, but I won't say anything about it until I know. But wish me luck!

I found this weird obsidian arrowhead necklace pendant when rootling about in jewelry boxes and put that on, plus this purple Never Surrender bracelet. What's that about? Is it a political thing? I love how these rubber bracelets have no context. But Never Surrender seemed like a good thing to be thinking right now.

I'm utterly freezing what with how it's oh, 58 out, and the garage door is open. Brrr. Kitty's going to miss that a lot when I have to keep it closed. I'm wondering whether I can configure a shelf near the window so he can look out. But of course soon I'll have to take down the big screen over the front of the garage and put the car in there so it doesn't get all blizzarded up.

I'm feeling all vehement about exercise so if a stagger down the road is off the menu (and I'm afraid it is) maybe I'll get on the goofy Nordictrack for a while. Everything is better than nothing. Go go go! Plus you know this'll pass (IT WILL PASS) and I want to have muscle tone at the other side. (Dang, I have to go read back and see how long it lasted in December.)

And I have my fleece sleeping bag for the office comfy writing chair and the regular sleeping bag for the living room couch. Heh. I'm pretty adamant about avoiding heat, huh? I've had it on already though. Brrrrr. It doesn't look at all like fall out yet but it'll happen fast. Look out!