Sunday, October 31, 2010

Charge!

No, I think the modem's charger croaked. I'm running it via the USB connector wire. This is deeply subpar because it's a lot slower than wireless (why? unknown) and because, hello, wire! Which goes across my entire desk area from right ankle to upper left and thus makes it all highly unworkable.

Is this all part of the universe being supportive of less online time during November? Is it? Because may I remind the universe that Online Job starts up Tuesday and is not surprisingly ONLINE? Do I have to do it during lunches again? Blargh!

Well anyway.

Today I got to be Nuclear Family Trick-or-treating Together Enabler, which was good fun. I just realized there are no pictures of my costume and I've already changed out of it so you'll just have to imagine.

Black and white stripey knee socks. Velvet tiered skirt which used to have four tiers and went to the ground but I cut two tiers off today. Velvet long tunic blouse thing with lots of burned out Renaissance Latin and Italian writing all over it, over a black camisole thing. Witch's hat all sparkly. And of course my boots. I tried on the Beatles ones but they looked all wrong.

No face paint. Couldn't be bothered with the mess and thought it might be incompatible with endless handkerchief action.

I baked them pumpkin pie and apple pie and brought over butternut squash soup, kale, homemade cranberries, and cider. But they had made pizza! Which I couldn't eat due to boughten crust. So it was good I brought all that, huh?

Plus of course CANDY CORN. Mmmm.

Hardly zero kids came but somehow a lot of candy disappeared. I did not assist. I am trying not to agitate the allergy gods (hence the bringing of Own Food) unduly given all the other medical malarkey going on.

I hope I don't have to get this charger replaced. Probably I should unplug it once in a while. But the modem goes to sleep when not in use so I don't bother, even though I know chargers are evil vampires and all that.

I hope you had a fabulous Halloween with all the candy corn you wanted! Even if that's none! Or a lot! Whichever!

I have the urge to go iron shirts and watch Doctor Who so I can send back the dvd for November's No Movies Either policy. I know, huh? I'm feeling very determined. I also shut off the newspaper.

Tomorrow the various jobs are:

1. return the library books due by Weds. (unless I do it after work one day) (hee, after work! yay!)
2. acquire flour so I can bake things. I ran out entirely! shocking! And I'm low on sugar.
3. I was going to get blood drawn for the appointment later this month but maybe doing so while sick and on umpteen drugs isn't the best idea
4. launder all the things.
5. vacuum all the floors
6. make some more soup so I have some
7. also biscuits or something to go with it
8. and that round oatmeal cake for Samhain don'tcha know.
9. and some white bean pottage thing in the crock pot. Oops, must put them on to soak tonight.
10. swing by Goodwill to see if there's some 50 cent pie plate since all of mine are away and that leaves me pieless, oh nooooo! though I could use anomalous shapes and depths of other casserole dishes. Is that allowed? also: cup pies!
11. rake the leaves around those trees by the mailbox

There's a lot of baking in all that. Baking is good! I'm a fan.

I mostly have this giant Must Finish Everything NOW NOW NOW thing going that's impractical and inexplicable and I do not know what my problem is there. Honestly, the evenings are not going away. I'll be very tired at first, though, I know. It's important to have things nailed down and cooked up and all baked in a row for general support system backup or else I might melt down, especially since I'm still utterly sick.

Shouldn't I be getting better now? Sheesh! My head is full of vile things still. I mean, only physically. My mind is not full of vile things. But the rampaging migrating eels are making me unhappy.

Really crucial: my outline. So what will probably happen is I'll go buy flour and sugar then come home and it'll be raining so I'll just work on my outline and have a nap.

I set the alarm to get up at six to practice but then I slept until 1:00. P.M., see. I missed my wakeup call by seven hours. Whoops! Must consider this whole going to bed earlier thing. For real!

Did anyone hear? Will we get Caprica this week?

Oy criminy, yeah, I feel terrible. Wuargh. Must kick this thing! More hot cider, please. I feel certain that has restorative properties. How can I be this tired given that absolutely all I've done today is bake two pies while watching Monsters, Inc., doled out a few miniature candy bars, sat around watching a Bond movie and eating candy corn, and eaten soup? Hello? Those are not exhausting activities, y'all. I've only been awake ten hours for crying out loud.

This Terry Pratchett book I'm reading called Wintersmith is good. I really like it.

Maybe the charger cord just got too cold against the window frame. It's below freezing out. That could be it, right? Let's hope.

Ooh, add to the list: salvage any remaining green tomatoes (but for what?) and pull up the plants, which are all frosted in any case, and bring the tomato cages in. Without severing any limbs or anything, kindly.

Must make some last crucial decisions ONCE AND FOR ALL for the outline. Do they trade with the outside or no? (I say no.) Oh so many delicious things to play with, like self-appointed aliens among us. Oddly it's reminding me more of L.A. than some boreal northern place where it's set. I mean, this sort of thing is already entrenched there. Anywhere there are gated homes or gated communities, obviously.

Anyway I expect I'll find out all sorts of new things I never thought of before. Woohoo! You know, I could start in another forty minutes, after midnight. Ooooooooh.

Pruning, cleaning, rah rah rah!

Well first of all yes it was bronchial pneumonia, which we knew, and I have lovely antibiotics to take for it as well as some giant whacks of steroids because I'm beset by infection and not fighting back very well apparently. No doubt due to getting two monster vaccinations when already sick though I didn't know I was. It knocks you down, so don't do that!

And so I'm gonna live, phew! I already feel ten times better. No, really.

You know I'm all literal so I think I'm going to eat a whole loaf of bread every time I take one of the pills, because the warning label has a loaf of bread on it. Take with loaf of bread! Can you imagine?

I was in Urgent Care for umpteen endless hours getting the asthma inhaler machine treatment (because of the not breathing--doctors don't like that) and getting the bubonic plague poked but thankfully not drained. I was having dread. And no chest x-ray because I've had so many before. I think we're onto "just treat it aggressively," at this point. I'm a fan of that!

David DeLuise. There was some teeth-achingly dreadful Disney kids show on in the waiting room. It's odd to see him outside Stargate world. I was just thinking about him yesterday, practicing his catch-phrase, "I can get behind that!" It really, really didn't work, awesomely. And now I've developed a severe allergy to Selena Gomez and will scream and run away if I ever see her again. Seriously.

They got me to the church MRI with moments to spare, where this poor very young doctor had to cope with me freaking on multiple levels, namely:

1. I cannot stop coughing. That's not an exaggeration. If I go three breaths without a cough, it's a miracle. MRI shots are two minutes, minimum. Ack.

2. I was only allowed to take the normal dose of anti-anxiety pills, half what I took before. Which worked half as well.

3. The asthma inhaler treatment makes you completely freaking hyper. It easily doubles your heart rate and your BP goes through the roof and your pulse races. Time for an MRI!

4. This time they had to slide me into the WHOLE TUBE, coffin-style, with my face three inches from the top.

5. I brought tussin DM instead of Dayquil. Dayquil would have knocked this sucker out.

6. Lying on my back causes that trickle and tickle on the back of my throat that makes it impossible not to cough.

So you may be all proud that I only pressed the panic button once to get out and sit up and drink water and cough my lungs out. And I only ruined TWO scans by coughing. And I only coughed so hard I threw up once, and not when in the tube.

Yay? Modified yay. Overall, yay.

Anyway IT'S OVER and that is awesome news for me.

Then I got to go play with and then babysit little niece while her parents (a pregnant nun and the Grim Reaper) went off to a party. We had a blast. We sat on the couch watching Wubbzy and Timmy Time and ate candy corn out of the bag.

My little niece just breaks your heart because she's so sweet. She would bring out a little fistful of candy corn and split it with me every time. Isn't that adorable? "One for you and one for me." Awwwwwww.

If you haven't seen Timmy Time, YOU MUST SEE IT. It's by the Aardman people who made Wallace and Gromit and it's entirely free of English dialogue. The owl hoots and is understood, the sheep baaas and is perfectly understood, and so on. I mean, you watch it and you know exactly what they're all saying. I love it so so much! It's the best show on television.

I totally DVR it and watch it event though it's meant for three year olds. It's absolutely brilliant narrative storytelling. It's like claymation "Hush" for little kids!

I'm racing around trying to get absolutely everything done for tomorrow. It is impossible!

And I'm racing around trying to get everything cleaned up, tidied up, put away, and absolutely pristine for the beginning of NaNo and over-employment again. Woohoo! It's a challenge, let's put it that way. I'm making great progress. But there's still a ton to do.

I'm also culling things I read online, including slimming down Twitter greatly. Nothing against anyone who disappeared, in fact quite the opposite! If you tend to retweet a ton of stuff I might have taken you off because those fascinating pathways eat up enormous amounts of time that I can't afford.

I really want to put heart and soul into this book. I really do. I know it can be amazing. I hope this is the time!

There's also going to be a new baby around soonish which should complicate things a bit. I mean, it's not MY baby, but it's my nephew, and I expect I'll get some niece wrangling out of it. No problem! Have Aardman and candy corn!

Wonder whether I have Wallace and Gromit on dvd....I must, right?

Meanwhile the great TR agent search must get underway NOW NOW NOW. I seem to have recovered my brains today, which is maybe the large dose of steroids, so I want to get that letter good and out. I want a hundred responses by Christmas! And I need to start rewriting the witch hippie book.

Interesting discussion with brother over whether there can be gun hippies. I maintain that yes there certainly are, the grungy crunchy lifestyle but with guns. Good grief, I had a neighbor who was a dyed in the wool hippie who'd done time for armed robbery and had a swastika on his neck. He was all, "Peace, dude," but I never turned my back on the guy, put it that way. Gun hippies! I maintain.

I just don't think hippieishness is incompatible with lots of other things. I've known hippie CEOs. Come on! Of course! Therefore I'm right, the end.

The judgy hippie store didn't like my motorcycle boots, either, by the way. Couldn't get any help, got the sideways eyeball from the workers. It put my back up a little bit so when I was checking out and everyone in the county was aware of my cough, and the checkout woman tried to sell my some kind of elderflower something or other, I said, "I use scotch." Hee. That was maybe antisocial of me and I apologize. (Except I really do. Numbs your throat so you can sleep! And tastes mmmmmm lovely. Let's play bagpipes and annoy the cat!

I have to put hot compresses on the bubonic plague which is a distinctly awkward activity. Can't I just sit in the bathtub? I might do that instead. After I scrub it, I mean. SO MUCH TO DO! AAAAaaaaaaah! Oh plus I have to switch to waking up at 6 very soon. Six! A number I have more fingers than! Whoa!

I need a good name for a beverage formed of hot cider, cinnamon stick, cloves, and rum. Ideas?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tick tick tick

I've already taken the vile Nyquil so my time of verticality is very limited. But I had to tell you I have the most ridiculous Donald Duck voice! It's awesome. My voice is changing, but into what? Whoa.

Once again I failed to get medical attention but I'm having some MRI thing tomorrow (psssh, wave, old hat) so if it's well and truly bronchitis I'll swoop by the Urgent Care and get that looked at. It isn't quite yet, or else the powers of denial are strong with this one.

That's some awesome barky cough, though. Bark! Bark!

I also have a fearsome boil which sounds quite medieval to me, and in fact it's where buboes from bubonic plague tended to appear. Unfortunately I'm quite familiar with the symptoms of bubonic plague, which include fever (check) and greatly enlarged lymph nodes (check). Never mind that you also get that with a massive sinus infection (check) and that it's all just coincidence.

Anyway I might have them look at that too since it's going to need its own zip code soon. I'd stab it with my Exacto knife but I'm not entirely sure where the femoral artery is but I do know you can bleed out in some stupidly short amount of time if you even nick it. No thank you!

I suppose it could be bubonic plague. I have mice in the walls and all. Except it's only really out in the southwest. Maine isn't in the southwest last time I checked. Very little adobe. Very much mud.

What a thrilling day! I got my assignment all printed up on paper from the official people and am thrilled to bits about all this. Hurray!

What else did I do? I raked a million leaves. Interestingly, I sneezed and coughed a huge amount less when outside raking leaves than when inside being a potato. Don't you find that strangely telling? Maybe I should clean like a maniac. Though really I blame the fabric. You KNOW fabric is a total breathing villain. And I've been digging around in it nonstop for days.

Hey! Let's stop doing that! Okay!

And I got out the clippers to trim my hair so suddenly it looks all professional and coiffed. Funny how neatness does that.

And I made gorgeous pizza. Ooh, I even started the dough before raking, lookit that forethought! It was the fancy natural hot sausage that was on sale because it was about to perish, plus onions and fresh garlic. And I didn't bother making sauce. I'm kind of not a tomato-loving person, which is hilarious given how many tomatoes I grew and ate this year. Well, I like them fresh, just not cooked. I don't eat pasta! What am I going to do with tomato sauce? And on pizza it's all buried. So I just used a bit of olive oil and it was perfectly great.

Next time I might cook some garlic and herbs in the oil first.

The other fun thing was watching the first two Harry Potter movies tonight. I watched the third (which I own, inexplicably) yesterday. You know I haven't even seen the last two? So I'm planning to get my mitts on them soonest.

I guess either writing ability lies in the sinuses or else this sinus infection also extends to the writing cavity of the brain because I haven't had a single bit of movement wordwise since I got sick. That's not good! I don't seem to have much brain at all, actually. It's all very peaceful. La la la. I couldn't muster an analytical brain cell to save myself on Tuesday, for example.

My two main activities lately are: intending to tidy up, and making bigger messes. Humph.

Oh, and sleeping. Twelve hours a day minimum. In fact I'm going to go do that now. Will hope to be less potato-esque in future, my apologist! Heh. Because I have a massive literary endeavor to undertake. I will be the undertaker of it! Must get fit! Hup hup! Zzzzzzzzzup.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The bagpipe gene?

D. cannot stand scotch, can you fathom it? She speculates that the scotch liking is coded on the same gene as the bagpipe liking. Bagpipes have always made me freak out in the best possible way, like Get up and get going, it is time to RUMBLE! Even when I was a tiny thing and my dad played his LP of Scotland the Brave. Which now is on my iPod of course.

You know the cat leaps in the air and attacks me when I play bagpipe music, actually bites me repeatedly, so clearly it's wicked powerful stuff one way or the other.

I cut out a couple of skirts tonight while watching the unsatisfying conclusion of Project Runway. Spoilers and whatever if you haven't seen it. It bothered me on a striving-for-achievement level because the same things they've been praising all along in Mondo were what they held against him, which made me furious. From sheerly subjective judgment Andy should have won, meaning actually prettiest and most gorgeous and most appealing and best made stuff. But no, it goes to Team Humorless Hater for a bunch of droopy messy sacks. YUCK.

I just put on the Skye Boat Song and Mr. Kitty is at my elbow giving me the stink eye. Hee. That guy hates bagpipes so much. How long before he bites me? Tick tick tick.

Hi! Still ragingly sick. I raked leaves like a dope, but you don't understand the looming snow issue. The snow is going to come down and stay down, squashing the leaves into the lawn and killing all the grass. SOON. I have to get this done by the end of Monday, I'm not kidding. I did a couple of tarps-ful today and then nearly collapsed of oofdom so went inside, but not before I gave directions to a carload of boys.

Tonight I roasted another tray of pumpkin halves, so now there's enough for three or four pies in the freezer. Not enough! But there are about six more wee pumpkins to roast. I'll probably do as many as I can find since like cranberries they're only around for a short while and then gone forever until next year.

Though next year I hope to have a gigantic pie pumpkin patch of my own. I'm saving all the seeds. We shall see!

I didn't go to urgent care yesterday due to Tussin Dementia that made me think I wasn't sick anymore. But I might go tomorrow or Saturday since this is showing signs of heading for the chest. There's nothing scarier than choking on an inhale down in the bubbly middle of your chest. I mean, that is the scariest sensation ever. And it's definitely bacterial so antibiotics could kick its tiny collective bacterial bottom, blammo.

Skirts cut out: I think one red, one navy blue, one black, and one black corduroy that I might do Hollywood waist on since corduroy is bulky and stiff. I don't usually bother with all the fitting involved but I have an old black corduroy Hollywood waist skirt I made in college and it used to fit like a glove. I do it like this: sew a tube, then pinch it in in various spots and pin it, then sew them down. See. Low tech but effective.

I'm raging to get sewing tunic things. Long heavy silky synthetic tunics with those 1920s collars like Brooke's. I just have to work out a template with the ol' muslin from copying my usual long shirts (you know the ones, if you've ever met me even once) and then look out!

Blue Bells of Scotland. The cat is BACK. Will I make it through Green Hills of Tyrol unbitten?

Oh yeah, the quilt is sandwiched and basted up. It's very pretty. I'll get it quilted soon  and shipped off to the quilts for cancer patients people. Anyway tonight's tv produced an awful lot of progress in cutting and measuring and pressing and basting and now I have multiple garments and a quilt ready to sew, so that's fantastic, hurray!

However, this ailment is tiresome. I have had more than plenty of it already. Take it away!

Off to sleep, hot toddy having been consumed. Wuargh. But maybe I'll dream of Scottish armies with their giant orange stripey battle lynxes maddened by the sound of the pipes and tearing the enemy to shreds.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Everybody say SO SAY WE ALL or else AMEN if you're of that bent

For the Eagle has landed and I have a job. I know, huh? I don't think I hallucinated it in a fever dream, either! I have to go sign the paperwork tomorrow so we'll find out then but I'm already sure it's real, for true.

I am over the moon about this. HURRAY!!!

Of course it means everything starts all at once which is a recipe for crazycakes but so what? At least I'll be mostly over the flu by then, right? Unless it turns into bronchitis and bronchial pneumonia like usual but WHAT ARE THE ODDS? Heh heh heh.

Awesome.

Tonight presumably there's Bones and Grey's Anatomy and 30 Rock etc. to watch while I work like a busy creature on the purple quilt to get it done and off my plate. Er, ironing board. It's stuck there because the seams are pressed so I can't put it anywhere else or it might get unpressed. Anyway basting the sandwich happens tonight so I can iron my work shirts and sew some more skirts. The skirts are essential but getting the ironing done is part of my Getting Ready obsession and will not be denied.

Time for butterscotch butternut squash soup and corn chips and refried beans and a lovely bowl of kale. I acquired minimal pizza makings for tomorrow, woohoo!

Somehow while raking my hands turned into sandpaper. From the rake handle? From the leaves? Where from? They're all shredded and rough looking. Probably should have worn gloves, but I don't learn, apparently.

My big goals right now are to get that query letter written non-sucky and get it out to agent peoples, and to finish Book of Stone. All the ironing and raking and baking of pie pumpkins is beside those two major points.

Query letter!

Book of Stone!

Time for soup!

Okay!

I am alive

In case you were worrying. Sorry! Just enjoying the exciting delirium! Fevers, man.

Plus it hurts so much to swallow, I realized around 10:00 p.m. that I'd had half a glass of water all day, daft loon, when you're supposed to push fluids. So I pounded down a couple of glasses of water and instantly felt better.

My throat is killing me, though. Whine! Complain! But, dude, it's inescapable. When your leg hurts you can sit down and it quells it a bit but this sucker is nonstop.

I got Dayquil en route to the Thing and jeez that stuff is magical. I was all, "I feel amazing! Maybe I'll tell my brother I can go kayaking tomorrow after all! Wooooo!" but then good sense prevailed or it wore off and I was all wretched again, woe.

I did get the dishes washed from yesterday's cook-o-rama festival. And I sorted the fabric. I do not have very much fabric! I know, I'm shocked my own self! Because I *think* I have endless tons of it, what with the four big fezzes, but then one was mostly stuff to be mended, one had an antique quilt that needs to be fixed up and quilted plus a little mini quilt I made when I was very small, ditto, plus two bags of distinct material for specific quilts I can't give away because they're my old flannel nightgowns and such. One has that heavy moleskin synthetic I like to sew with, material for dresses and skirts but probably tops (never mind), and the last one is quilting fabric. ONE fez of quilting fabric. One!

And to be honest, half of that was supposed to be blouses, until I realized a) blouse patterns don't remotely fit me and b) that fabric would not make clothes I would wear. I have a disconnect. I've been disconnected!

So apparently it's time to make some clothes, heh.

Last night I had to get out my dad's old scotch to try to numb my throat enough that I could sleep. Dang, man. Scotch is so good. But I can't use it in hot toddies, are you kidding? Heresy. I mean twelve year old single malt, get out of here with your hot toddies! And I'm out of cheap liquor.

I think that's a hilarious problem to have. I called my friend D. I said, "Oh no! I'm out of cheap liquor!" We decided I might get excommunicated as a WASP. That would be fine with me, actually. The meetings are terrible. Except they do have good drinks, heh.

Wait, what?

Apparently an entirely squash-o-centric diet has distressing ramifications, also, unless of course it's the frakking flu. Yeah, it's the frakking flu. I made a bunch of kale tonight though. I LOVE kale. I love kale so much I want to marry it. I knew a guy named Kale in college, but I knew everyone with every outlandish name in college, so go figure. I did not want to marry him, however. He was subpar as far as the awesomeness of the leafy green.

So they up and canceled Caprica which is completely IMPOSSIBLE. I swear. They cancel my show the same week they kill my puppy. Is there no limit to the heinousness? This is like that thing Buffy said that one time! About black hat, mustache twirling, tie them to the railroad tracks bad. Feel free to correct my quotation. I am hopped up on the tussin or I would do it my own self. I mean this is cartoon baddy kind of stuff.

I think I'm going to go around forever going, "This is like that thing Buffy said that one time!" Because it's so fabulously annoying. Maybe I'll make a character say it instead of me, though, so they can all punch her instead.

Dammit. Caprica. Sheesh. Granted Daniel Graystone is the skeeviest dude ever to sully the airwaves. I mean, he's amongst mobsters and murderers and terrorists and he's the creepiest ickiest guy of them all.

But I need my Sam Adama fix, people! Saaaaaaaaaaaaam!!! I vote for the spinoff the TWoP forum people were talking about, with Sam and his Cylon sidekick, going around kicking ass and taking names. Together, they fight crime! I would totally watch that. Sam would be all cool and noirish and the Cylon would be the straight man. Ha. No, seriously, though.

Aw, man. I hate it that Caprica is gone. Are we even seeing next week's episode or is it just yanked? Crap.

I think the board maybe was bought off, like maybe skeevy Daniel used all the dirt on them and so the members of the board (this is my own personal board I'm talking about) were forced to do things they didn't want to do. And that's why they're raining down plague and lamentations upon my head. Don't you think? They kill my puppy and cancel my show AND I get the goddamn flu all at once?

How would you get leverage on the gods? Isn't that interesting? You could put pressure on their favorites, I guess, but that seems most likely to get you thunderbolted to the floor. But what if you were indispensable to one of their favorites? I don't know, I kind of feel like the gods tend to hold the winning hand. Being gods and all.

There's a hole in my Finish It quilt. Yes. One of the purple pieces has a hole the size of a lima bean in it, with clean edges. That's weird because: how? I don't think it could burn. I mean cotton has to burn at a higher temperature than, say, my space heater gets up to, right? So what else? Did I drool acid on it from my slavering jaws from the tiny head that pops out of my mouth sometimes? But why only in one spot? I could see a basting thingy yanking through, or catching it on something, but that would be a tear, not a lima bean shape.

So weird.

Tomorrow presumably I can iron that muslin and baste together the quilt. Saturday I have some other goldang MRI but it's not my head and the machine is a donut thing so I guess I'll stick out both ends and be fine. The doc told me to take two grams of the anti-panic pills instead of the four that made me watch Dora the Explorer unironically and throw up a lot.

I did not tell her I take one or one point five fairly often without noticing any effects at all, including reduction of anxiety. But then again anxiety is a valid reaction to my circumstances. So mostly I don't take it at all. <---dysfunctional relationship with doctors, no duh

It sure is nice having COOKED FOOD in the fridge, the kind you can waltz in there and eat, oh yeah. I'm thrilled. Thrilled to bits! Thrilled to delirium! Wait, where's the delirium barometer weasel? Hidden behind the rocking chair. Well, it can stay there. The only eyes that are scary are the ones on the book Extras and the book Smilla's Sense of Snow. That is a fairly terrible book, why do I have that book? I think it's because I can never remember how it goes, because of how it's obviously made up as he goes along (I should know, ha) and because something about the heroine reminds me of the heroine of that book from New Zealand that I don't have anymore and can't remember the title or name of or author of. Rats!

She builds a tower and there's a deaf kid who's a monster brat named St. something and his adoptive dad beats the hell out of him and it's all that brutality on the res kind of thing. Ring any bells? Hello? She wears a jade fishhook and gets cancer and tries to drink herself to death but instead it mystically kills the cancer. Hey, I said it was fiction. No I didn't. It's fiction!

You will be glad to hear I did NOT make earrings from the bass lures I dug out from my animation supplies the other day, but perhaps you will be glad to hear that there were fishhooks in there. Just in case of apocalypse, you know. Fishhooks. That'll save me. No doubt.

I might still make the bass lure earrings, with googly eyes stuck on them. Or at least one eye each. I wonder if they still run people out of this town on rails? Probably not literally.

Which reminds me: I VOTED! Yay! I love voting. I wanted to get it out of the way in case of employment or exhaustion or employment exhaustion, plus Online Job starts up again Tuesday which means Monday, plus of course NaNoWriMo which I'm almost certainly not going to do online. Busy busy!

I'm about sixty seconds from clutching a stuffed animal (not the weasel though) and whimpering. Fifty. Forty. Better go knock back the store brand Nyquil and hope for blessed unconsciousness. And hope I don't wake in a raging terror a hundred times like last night. I kept dreaming I was part of Clarice's big love family so be glad I wasn't literally screaming. Jeez. Thinking of being marriaged to ONE person gives me the unholy flibberty jimjams so a whole raft of people, holy scary yikes with FLEE on top.


Please no more horrible things this week, okay? Or, like, ever? Like, don't let Gretchen win Project Runway and keep Mr. Kitty safe and let's be careful out there. Wear your seatbelts and chew carefully and look both ways before you cross the street. Even if it's one way. Especially if it's one way!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hoozah oof

Oh those bunnies.

It's an OOF for making all the food instead of sitting still, though mmmm, food.

I made:

refried beans, delicious
pie crust
pumpkin pie
bread
butternut squash soup

Notice how I carefully did the roasting of the squashes yesterday to make it easier today. Yessssss. Good plan.

The pie's in the oven and the bread is rising.

I'm sitting on the couch all wreathed about with quilts and whimpering because I feel so terrible. Blargh. The aches are the worst. My neck feels like someone picked me up by my head and swung me around for a while, whacking my jaw on a tree with each revolution. OW. Plus it feels like restless cranky eels are migrating around in my head.

Whimper, whimper. But at least, food! I ate a wee bowl of beans with those corn chips. And a bowl of soup later on. The soup is insanely delicious in that excellent way where you taste all these different flavors sequentially per spoonful. Fabulous!

I will tell you how to make it, since I kind of made it up:

seed and roast a giant butternut squash
when it's cool, peel the skin off and get rid of it (this is so much easier than peeling and boiling, oh boy!)
saute an onion in olive oil or butter (I used olive oil)
chop up 5 little apples or whatever your equivalent and add to the onions
pour in a cup of cider
add a bunch of curry powder, ginger, nutmeg, salt, cayenne, and clove
add a bunch of chicken stock. (I used two 2 lb yogurt containers full, frozen)
add a quarter cup of sugar (very optional--maybe wait until it's done and see if you want it)
add the squash
cook it up, stir it up, and then run an immersion blender through it, or put it through a blender or food processor

When it's done it looks exactly like butterscotch pudding, down to the texture, which is just awesome. You can dollop some yogurt in it.

Damp, that's good.

Maybe during MY SHOWS tonight I can find some quilt backing in the fezzes for the purple quilt. I might have to cut squares and make one, if there isn't enough flannel. Which I think there isn't. No buying fabric! Must make it from what there is!

Got a glass of cider and Glee coming on, then SGU and Caprica, oh boy! I hear there is lots of my beloved Sam Adama today so I am Filled With Anticipation. And tiredness. Did I mention the tiredness? Frakking flu.

Very pleased at all the making of the food, however. Mmm, beans, soup, and pie.

You know what's fun? Watching Sky Sports News with the sound off and accurately deducing each interviewed person's nationality and/or region of England by the way they move their mouths and express themselves. I've been doing it with deadly accuracy. It frightens me a little because I can't explain how I know. Only people I've never seen before, obviously! Ha, otherwise that wouldn't be much of a challenge. "I sense....that Didier Drogba, he speaks French!" Nice one, Sherlock.

I suppose Glee would be better tonight if I'd ever seen Rocky Horror, but nope. It'll be like the Brittany Spears show where I didn't get any of the references. Yawn. Oh well. Laundry to fold.

Yesterday

I woke up with this whatever flu thing yesterday in its beginning stages but by the time I was heading home from Errandsville, it was in full bloom. Ugh! I resent the aches. I feel I should actually get some yard work out of it if I'm going to be sore all over. In fact, I feel like DOING some yard work to justify the aching.

But that would be daft and oh yeah, I feel terrible, ha.

Last night I got my quilt top done, hurray for me! I roasted a squash and two pie pumpkins, so I can make squash soup (so good) and pumpkin pie (om nom nom drool drool) and somewhere in there I need to bake bread, too. And oatmeal cake. And make refried beans.


Somehow I haven't organized enough to have FOOD in the fridge, the kind where you can walk into the kitchen and go, "Hey, what is there to eat?" and open the fridge and lo! Options!

But the kidney beans are boiling away so at some point I'll get to make refried beans. And I did get corn chips. So there you go, easily edible food.

Meanwhile since there's no bread, I've been making a little bowl of rice for every meal.

There is no earthly reason why there isn't any bread except I just haven't gotten around to making it. Failure to cope! Oh well. Failure to care about failure to cope! An associated syndrome.

The doc yesterday showed that very familiar unwillingness to try to figure out what makes me unable to walk or see or use my hands every so often. I am not kidding. She was like, Well, we know it's not this one thing, and we tested you for Lyme before, so... AND THAT WAS IT. She got all excited about my wonky hip (which she says is actually my back, what do I know?) and this weird skin thing she's going to chop off. So I'm going for a back MRI and some kind of excision or something.

Oh and I did get her to give me a flu shot and a pneumonia shot, thank you, members of the board! I do not need frelling pneumonia. But I already had flu even then, since they took my temp and it was through the roof.

You know how sometimes you're not sure whether you have cold or flu? If you're not sure, it's a cold. I have flu. I'm sure. UGH.

There's an enormous troll squatting in my sinuses, by the way.

I did not convince her to give me a tetanus shot, though. She said: two shots is enough. No doubt that's true. I was thinking of that garden stake I ran through my finger, plus the Exacto knife, plus the kitty piercing my finger with his razor sharp claw. But I did have one back at Penn State, I just don't know when it was. It might have been '98 or '99 or it might have been '05. There was me, there was Penn State, but that covers a range of years. How should I know? Actually the longer I think about it, the more I think it was in the 90s when that giant dog jumped and bonked me on the chin and split it open so that I needed six or seven stitches. But then I think it was '05 when the ammo box fell on my foot and broke it and while he was examining it, the doctor noticed the giant long gouge on my leg and asked how I'd gotten that, and I had to admit it was from a rusty strip of metal on my blue yarn trunk.

Okay, maybe it was '05. I still have to get proof for the MFA people.

This is why I never know whether I've taken my naproxen that I'm supposed to take twice a day. I have a clear memory of sitting in this exact spot and taking that pill, but was that today? Yesterday? Last week?

I finally got it together to put them into one of those days of the week pill containers so that I KNOW. Sheesh.

Help! How do I stop feeling so much like utter unspeakable hell? Is it too early for a very strong hot toddy? (Yes.)

I have a THING tomorrow, woohoo! Will acquire Dayquil en route and rehumanize myself.

Wait, email from the doctor...what does it say? Oh, it says I had a tetanus shot in '04. That's probably it then.

Heh.

Should I tell you the other hilarious thing? I took one of those unscientific "where do you fall on the autism spectrum?" quizzes on Facebook and scored ridiculously high, which surprised no one, but I was about to say, "I win!" and then realized, no, so I said, "I lose!" and the sister of someone I know WENT TO TOWN on me for implying that being high on the autism spectrum isn't a good thing.

Which...who's saying it's a good thing? I don't think anyone's all, "Autism, yay!" Being accepting and tolerant and taking good care of people who have it is not the same thing as saying, "Woohoo, we scored!"

Also, not to get all meta, but you're arguing about this with someone *who scored high on the autism spectrum,* which means you're probably being an idiot at least two different ways that I can think of. One being, I guarantee I know more about it, having done extensive research esp. on Asperger's, and two, we're almost certainly not speaking the same language. Also she was just being incredibly rude, jumping in and telling me off for having THOUGHTS. Imagine!

I don't actually think it's a great thing. But there it is. Can't shut out repetitive noises? Can't cope with humans most of the time? Inexplicable behavior from most, most of the time? I don't think it's the best thing ever. I would have to say that *that* (whatever it is) is what puts a person isolated and unemployed in a town with no friends, but who really knows, huh? Since in another setting I was very employed and had many friends and lots of fun times and I was the same me.

Anyway I'm not too judgy about how people are, including myself. I have many friends who are all over the map in many ways. I kind of feel like we all get various rolls of the dice and here we are. Now what are you going to DO? I've always been about the DOING and what HAPPENS rather than some external judgmental labeling process. Which puts a bit of pressure on too, but at least it's under the control (more or less) of the person doing it, unlike, oh, brain chemistry, or whatever.

One of the best ways to be a completely horrible human being is to tell someone else they don't have the right to their opinions. Other people's experiences tell them different things than your experiences. Neither one means the other is right or wrong. I don't have a lot of patience for judgy zealots who go around and get into other people's faces insisting that they don't have any right to their opinions.

And in a complete change of gears:

Poor Emma Waffle of Belgian Waffle has lost her job! Horrors! I hope she turns this into BIG WRITING because I can attest it makes you feel like lemonade from lemons and I'm proud of all the work I've done. I would even say it was a crucial step in turning me from STUFF (writing) to WRITING (other stuff), like it's a daily job, and I'm operating on a plan, and it's all chugging along. And there's the whole I CAN DO IT thing.

I really do feel like 31 flavors of dreadful over here. Pardon the ranting about some classless clueless bee-yatch on Facebook. I discovered you can just block people and then you don't have to keep telling them to shut up. Awesome!

Maybe I'll put Lord of the Rings or Farscape (antipodean sf!) on the laptop and do things in the kitchen for a long time. I really want to get the baking baked. And the beans refried. And the squash soup made into squash soup. I think there might be apples in it somewhere.

Ahahahaha...just coughed so hard it made me throw up, but then! Looking in the dog-shaped cookie jar where I keep cough drops and other sweets, I found almost a whole bag of candy corn! Ha! Awesome! And a Cadbury egg from Easter. Whoa! Now you know where to hide things from me in my own house.

Anyway once I get a dog that will go back to being the biscuit jar, which is why I never think to look there in the first place.

I put a card of a happy golden retriever on my desk, an old birthday card I got once. MUST GET DOG.

Must rework sucky query letter today. I left out Macon, half the awesomeness of Lena, and all of the tone. Which is a bad route when voice is part of what they're looking for. Blargh! SO hard!

Right, I'm on it. Apologists (I give up) for rambling yammers! Blame it on the goldang flu.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hi de ho!

It looks like I have a *thing* possibly on Weds.! Woohoo! I got the message too late to call back. Oh oh oh, I hope this leads to large leaps in financial security! I would not mind if I were to be, how you say, rolling in it for a while. Relatively speaking.

I had to buy food. It only stretches out the amount the rent check will fall short, but it'll just wait for the unemployment deposit either way, so no difference, really. And food!

squashes to roast
pie pumpkins to roast
fresh cranberries
carrots
green beans
corn chips
lemons

I was gonna get rum too, to go with the lemons, to soothe the fiery raging sore throat I woke up with today. What the heck is up with that? Have honey, sugar, butter, and lots of scotch that's too good to use in a sweet hot beverage but might get pressed into service anyway. The budget could not manage rum. Whiskey will do very nicely, it just feels a little high end for this type of things.

Isn't it a fall-y shopping list? I like it.

I also got a flu shot AND a pneumonia shot which means toddlers hold little terror for me anymore, yeah! Germy little critters. Are those shots supposed to make you totally loopy? Or is this my usual loopiness? It was like, can't sign your name kind of loopy.

Maybe it was just hunger. Oatmeal for breakfast, yum! But then by 4:00 in the afternoon motor control has gone way downhill.Oof. I can be an idiot about not eating, I admit this freely. I put it off as long as possible and then sometimes that's a little too late.

I found *awesome* stuff being given away by the side of the road, seriously. A great big Coleman lantern in a big green box, and an antique iron desk lamp, the kind with the glass shade that faces down. A banker's lamp, is that what you call it? A dog had chewed up the plug but I can replace that in my sleep. I may even have some of those around still. Gorgeous!

They said at the doctor I had a fever of 99, which made me laugh because of the usual 96.8. That's a noticeable fever compared to my normal.

Oh! And my nice doctor said I have back problems and is sending me for an MRI of that. Apparently that's what all the crunching and hurting in there is. I wonder what they'll find? I wonder what they'll do about it?

And she's going to excise some thing by my collarbone that appeared and looks like it shouldn't, even though it's one of those skin cancer wannabes who can't actually metastasize or do any real harm. Good! I won't miss it. Chop chop.

MRI, woo, joy. At least I know how much to take now and now much is too much.

I wore my vintage Beatles boots with skirt and black tights and all. They look extremely mod and awesome. Truly I should have a red vinyl messenger bag or something to go with them.

I did NOT swing by Goodwill, though not because I'm all full of good decision-making powers. It was because I didn't have any more money, heh.

Anyway then I got home and changed and put on those blue suede Dr. Maartens over argyle socks and that entertained me plenty for a while.

I'm truly VERY tired and possibly looped from the flu/pneumonia shots, but was already clearly sick before that, coughing and sneezing and achy and with a wicked sore throat. I made rice with mushrooms in it again, yum.

So tonight I should either a) do the laundry that I've been putting off (not likely); b) bake bread (possible); slap self to wake self up and get cracking with the writing of Book of Stone (dunno); sit on the couch and watch fun tv and sew that purple quilt for the cancer patients.

Yar. I can't even focus my eyeballs right now. What do they put in those shots?

I will tell you what's frelling great. I got my writing samples out to the MFA. I picked them yesterday, went over them about six times more each (very glad that TR had just gotten intensive beginning rewrite, yay!) and got them all printed out. Just before I left to mail them today I realized they wanted two copies of each sample, so printed more. It was weirdly free of psychosis and fraughtitude! I don't know why!

I might still not be able to attend, who knows? But getting this part done is AWESOME.

I even found and used the flat rate priority stamp I had lying about. $4.95! And I knew where it was! Whoa.

Strangely un-thwarty. Strangely un-meltdown-y. Maybe the board is happy about the MFA and will pull strings and move mountains to get me there. If (as seems to be the case) the board is bound and determined that I shall WRITE BOOKS and really nothing else, then I guess they see the value of the MFA.

I'd like to meet the board one of these days. Waaaaaaaaaay later, of course! Ha ha! Since don't you only meet them once your run is over? Yoicks! Delay! Delay! Must write many super awesome books and things first! Back off!

I'm pretty darn psyched about my gorgeous new antique banker's lamp.

And Coleman lantern.

And my squashes all ready to be roasted.

I decided that I'll save the pie pumpkin seeds and plant ONE MILLION of them next year and be absolutely covered with pie pumpkins, yum! Oh yes. That's my plan. I'll also plant a ton more beans, all the way around the whole garden, plus only plum tomatoes, and lots of greens.

Maybe I'll just start that bread going and go mess with quilts for a while. I seem to be short on brains this afternoon. Evening. And roast some pumpkins while I'm at it. I could really use more pie. As when can I not?

Pie: it is for always.

We get new Caprica and SGU tomorrow? I don't trust tv after it took away Bones last week for some SPORT. Sheesh! Want my shows!

As I've been typing this I've been feeling progressively worse so I think lying down is the next big plan here. OH yes. Defiant horizontality, you betcha.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Aieeeeee, petition the board!

I'm not sure I'm even fully awake yet. It's one of those weird days where I was awake super late (4 a.m. at least) and the phone and the cat woke me early (go directly to hell, people who call me at 8 a.m. on weekends and don't leave a message) (damp you! damp you for eternity!) and then I went back to sleep and had horrific nightmares and slept half the day away.

It's all gloomy and atmospheric out. Well, it was. Now it's dark.

Bad things have happened today. The worst is that none of the puppies had muscular dystrophy, so they put the whole batch down. Which means that if I feel like someone killed my puppy today, it's because someone killed my puppy, you guys. That is so awful I don't even know what to say about that.

What else? Mid-edits, my wireless mouse completely failed at last, so I had to shut down and find a spare mouse (I had two, OF COURSE) and install that, and of course now it's connected by a cable so I had to move the box to the right side of the desk, which involved unplugging things and knocking things over and whatnot.

I also managed to dip the computer's plug right into a cup of tea. Obviously. How could that not happen?

There's also no food. Well, there's a cup of feijoada that's been in the fridge over a week so I'm scared of it and will just have to throw it out. I ate the last of the pumpkin pie for lunch along with the tuna I'd opened for the cat when I ran out of cat food, which now I have. So the tuna is mine, Mr. Kitty! Mine! And the last of the crackers.

What I'm going to do, lest you think that's all foodless and pathetic (granted, it is, I admit) is go buy a gigantor bag of preservative-free corn chips (most of them are, did you know that?) and make refried beans of some sort and eat those.

Also there is in fact PLENTY of food, just not ready to eat. Like potatoes and an acorn squash and flour and masa harina and grits and oatmeal and dried beans and peanut butter and so on. I can bake bread! I can make tortillas all day long! Or pancakes! Or soccas! There are many options. But they all involve cooking, see.

I am starting to feel like this one book I thought up is sort of true. It's about these Olympians, as in Zeus, not superfit swimmers and whatnot. Their task is to make the world go right by changing things, but each has a particular area where they're allowed to do that, just like regular Olympians have specialty areas. So Apollo can change things that are Apollo-esque.

See, I keep thinking there's some board of directors that looks at all of my plans and job applications and all that and says, "Will it make her write more and better books? No? REJECTED." So maybe they zotzed the puppies and won't let me get a job.

I know, it's crazy, but at least it's sort of projected fictionalized paranoia instead of internalized. Surely that's better, right?

Anyway that's my tv pilot and it'll be the world's biggest philosophical headache to do, so mitts off. Seriously, what would make the world a better place? If you go to some dictator and kill his little daughter, will that make him empathize with his victims or make him a total monster? Are you SURE? If you take away the weapons of mass destruction, then they aren't there, true, and that's good, but if nobody finds them, what does that do to American society? Turn it all polarized so everyone's at each other's throats? Is that a good thing?

It would be a really hard job, in other words. No job for a second-guesser!

So anyway, I'd like to petition the board for vast funds (though you are not allowed to provide them by offing anyone I care about or am related to) because I really don't think this whole poverty thing is so great for the writing. Though you may disagree. Let's try it and see, okay? I suspect I would write just fine from my big rambling house full of golden retrievers and foster kids in Ojai. I would, honestly.

Okay, maybe I wouldn't. And maybe a puppy would have been all distracting and stuff with the happiness and cuteness and little round tummy and eating the house. But come on! This is awfully extreme. No friends for you! No job! No dog! No distracting money! You may do nothing but sit at home and write! FINE, sheesh!

I had to read the beginning of the witch book to submit for the workshops tomorrow. Yes, I had to spend all day rubbing my nose in my work. But guess what? The witch book is frakking awesome. It's fantastic. I would have said, had you asked, "Ehhh, the idea is good, but I'm not sure how well it came out." No, dummy, it's fabulous.

So I want to start rewriting that as soon as I get done with this phase of things, namely: finishing Book of Stone. Who wants to get chapters of the witch book to read as they're finished? Anyone? Hellooo?

Which is why I was up so dang late last night. Writing 5000 words of that most excellent book. Hurray! I have about 15K to go to get to the end. Very doable in the next week.

I'm submitting the first 18 pages of TR and the first of the witch book. The witch book is so much better it makes me dizzy to contemplate it.

I thought about submitting the beginning of the other Book of Stone, the literary one, but I started reading it and it really needs to be those other things I mentioned. It needs the alien crud (which will coalesce into skeets and aardvarks if you let it) and it needs to be crazy Ahab ferrying scientists all around the Kuiper Belt to study things she doesn't understand, while she obsesses about the one who got away because she fired his bottom.

There's a town in the Netherlands called "The Bottom," I discovered today, when looking for a better name for Mr. Ahab's Obsession Fired Bottom. Or it's an area in an autonomous region. I'm not sure what Wikipedia meant since the terms were without context or explanation. Or it could be lying entirely.

Anyway that book is going to be totally excellent to write. But Perfect Monster is going to be super awesome also and it's up next. One week! Dun dun!

I realize all this is just FODDER for the board, where they are rubbing their manicured hands together in glee and congratulating each other for making the right choices. You bastards! Gimme that scotch.

So here's my plan now that I've slept half of today and worked the other half and my pages are printed and ready to mail to my school.

write another whack of Book of Stone
go back to that query letter and make it echo the style of the book (i.e. funny) and include Macon
wash all those mountains of dishes while watching the Stargate Atlantis movie, oh the shame
cook some food of some sort
make some soup
bake some bread or biscuits
bake oatmeal cake or carrot cake
soak some kidney beans to make refried beans tomorrow
go to bed reasonably close to 10:00 even if it takes massive drugs to make sleep happen

Though the dreams really were entertaining. I especially liked the one where I was in this fancy store with a guy and the store people *knew* I was part of this underground movement of extremists so they kept giving me survivalist stuff for free for my move to Mars. It bothered the guy a lot but I went to pay and this enormous mountain of stuff was around eleven dollars because they wouldn't charge me for most of it. Awesome.

But my favorite dream was that I was on a publicity tour for Book of Stone and doing a signing and all these fans kept shyly giving me river stones and I'd give them a different one back, because that's what people do in the book. And then they'd look completely delighted and hurry off. The tour nanny person thought I was bananas for showing up with a huge fez of stones but I needed it. Though she pointed out I could just give people the ones other people gave me, but I said that was rude in this circumstance, even if it was technically true to the book also. Then we had to ship boxes of stones home. Yay!

Okay, dishes, fine. I'm on it. I'm also frelling freezing. Washing dishes warms you up! Really must shrink-wrap the sliding glass door asap but I'm thinking of ways to insulate the sides and base better. They have this clay stuff, but I'd need a lot. But it might be worth it in terms of return on investment. I kind of don't want to wait as long to shrink-wrap as I'd have to wait to get the clay stuff, however. Tricky!

Mmm, oatmeal cake....

Like or like?

Twitter entertained tonight by suggesting that the four people most similar to me on Twitter are....are you ready for this?

Amy Berg
Drew Z. Greenberg
Wil Wheaton
and a profile I made up because I thought the name was funny: Cats Sporting Armor

Whoa, huh? I think it might have confused "like" as in "I like them" with "like" as in "I'm like them." Because as awesome as that would be, I am not worthy, Twitter gods!

Except for the last one. I am totally exactly like myself in most respects.

I have to get back to Book of Stone which is devouring my whole brain lately. And getting WROTE which is good. Also tonight I finished one aborted beginning to Perfect Monster by turning it into a short story that's kind of awesome but could use some fleshing out and fluffing up toward the end where it gets a little outliney.

A great use for beginnings that I'll never use! I liked the character too much not to use it for something.

I had to stop just now because I wrote, "He's my right hand ham," instead of "He's my right hand man," and it cracked me way the hell up in an incurable (ha! ham joke!) way. As in, I will always think of this every time anyone says "right hand man" and laugh inexplicably in that way that makes people think I'm bananacakes.

Right hand ham. Hee.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wassup?

Ooh, ah, shiver shiver, brr. The cat seems fine so I'll assume it's just me. Actually the cat keeps licking the condensation off the sliding glass door. There's a LOT of it. Which means a) I need to haul the dehumidifier up here again, b) the sliding glass door needs to get shrink-wrapped, and c) I must be doing a good job insulating the house because that didn't happen before. So yay!

Today was much workful. Got up early to go help brother move furniture into his new office house. It's a tiny house that will be his lawyer office for lawyering. I think it's actually smaller than my house (I think) which is saying something.

Moving furniture with brother is always fun because we've done it so many times. Like that hot summer day unloading things in Oregon when the ice cream truck went by and the two of us and my friend's teenage daughter who I was taking care of for a while (long story) went running after it and got ice cream, yum. And when we were unloading stuff in L.A. and walked out in front of Orlando Bloom, who kindly stopped and waved at us to go instead of getting mad or running us over or anything, which makes him a very nice person in my book.

And moving his stuff into the house in Philly, though I missed the move up here by a couple of months. But I believe *professionals* were involved so siblings weren't required.

Anyway it was lots of lifting and whatnot and plenty ache-ifying. And then I borrowed the old electric mower from the EF and spent the afternoon mowing half the yard and wrestling with the hundred foot extension cord, gaaaah! Those are a gigantic pain in the neck, especially when you're under a Murphy Curse, because the cord is always where it shouldn't be or comes unplugged or gets tangled around a tree or something.

I somehow managed not to run it over, so I win. Nyah, cord! (I was going to say: Nyah, Murphy! but I have WAY too much sense for that. Shhhhh.)

Anyway I have to rake (actually re-rake, argh) more of the yard and mow that too. By this time last year it had already snowed, dude! Though it didn't stick. I'm not sure when it snowed and stayed, but certainly November. Must get leaves raked! Must get lawn mowed! Hup frelling hup!

After all that heaving and mowing and exhaustification I kind of had a cat nap with the cat. Nap. Cat! (Nap.) It's a circle, help, I'm stuck! Somebody slap me! (People line up around the block and crack their knuckles.) It was one of those things where I was getting ready to have a shower and the bed looked impossibly inviting and sort of gravitationally pulled me in. I couldn't resist! WE HAD NO CHOICE! And then the cat came and sprawled all over me because I was the only warm spot in the whole house. Which meant I really couldn't get up because it's illegal to disturb the cat, unless he's hogging the writing comfy chair, in which case OUT!

So anyway.

Exercise: CHECK.
Eating: CHECK. Brother took us out for moosebreath burgers. Oh yes. That's what they're called. In the restaurant with the reanimated moose and buffalo and Canado goose and owl and whatever else. There is animatronic taxidermy stuck all over the walls, actual dead animals full of animatronics. It is just as ridiculous and moderately disturbing as you think. It's very very Maine-y. Anyway they have fabulous hamburgers called moosebreath burgers for no apparent reason, so yum.

They also have the life-sized wooden Mountie who scared the crap out of me the first time I went in there. He only startled me today. Cut that out, wooden Mountie!

When you come to town, we can go there! My treat. (People hurriedly cancel tentative travel plans.)

I made many excellent suggestions for baby names, but most were rejected. Can you believe it? So no Macon, Jackson, Kingman, Sedgeumkedunk, Edmund, Osric, Wulfric, Aethelstan, Jasper, Casper, Banff, or Saco. I like place names and Anglo-Saxon kings, okay? However some of the geology names I gave to characters in Book of Stone were real hits.

I will be startled if I turn out to have a nephew whose name derived from a character in one of my books. The geology names are deeply awesome, it's true.

To wit:

Agate
Arkose
Breccia
Chert
Coquina
Drumlin
Esker
Feldspar
Flint
Gabbro
Garnet
Gneiss
Greywacke
Hornfels
Horst
Karst
Lapis Lazuli
Malachite
Marl
Mica
Opal
Porphyry
Scarp
Scoria
Sill
Skarn
Slate
Tarn
Tephra
Tufa


The heroine's kids are named Drumlin and Esker so mitts off. Actually there was a Battlestar character named Tarn who died horribly on Kobol, but it's an unrelated phenomenon.

I'm still voting for Owen but I still strangely don't get a vote. Hmm. Votes for aunts! Votes!

Sleeping: CHECK

Writing: NOT YET. Though I did get fantastic and very helpful notes and now have some more work to do on that finished rewrite to make it even yet still more finished. And I have much new writing to do on BoS tonight if I'm going to make my self-imposed deadline. Again I say hup frelling hup!

So Operation Exercise Yourself Into A Stupor is going well, even though that wasn't the plan or anything. I hope I can summon enough brainery to get writing done. If not, I'll go absorb more fiction, but honestly it's writing time.

Except it really is frakking cold in here. It was 40 degrees out when I was mowing and the heat was on 50.

Good things about mowing in cold weather:

1. I remember to wear gloves
2. I don't get all hot
3. No bugs
4. Probably won't have to do it again for a long time, like next May

Bad things about mowing in cold weather:

1. It's cold
2. Leaves on the ground

Oh! We also went to Walmart to exclaim over the local inability to walk down an aisle in an efficient or orderly manner (keep right, keep moving, how hard is that?) and to procure costumes, yay! I got my spangly starry witch's hat and brother got a grim reaper outfit to wear with his scythe. Yes! He has a scythe! And is totally going to carry it around!

I got him a sickle once to go with it, as part of the Sharp Objects present theme that runs rampant through our family history. This makes my sister-in-law shake her head but oh well. Sharp things! Yay!

He's also going to memorize Death's classic line from The Seventh Seal in Swedish. Which is awesome.

I am having way too much fun putting together my outfit, with the orange and black striped kneesocks and the Beatles shoes and a black dress and green face makeup and possibly a Swiffer instead of a broom because I'm all modern like that. Maybe a dustpan and brush as a subcompact. Or a dustbuster. Hee.

You know how they say that thing about the kids making bad choices instead of being bad? Well by extension we figured I could be The Witch Who Makes Bad Choices of Downeast. (The only fictional part of that is the witch part! Dude!) Anyway I like it. I'm just not sure whether Downeast is one word. Hmm.

I'm just completely freezing and shivering. Bad choice: not turning the heat on before getting in the shower. It's time for...Radiator Serge! Save me, Radiator Serge! Then I will read parts of my novel out loud to Radiator Serge and he will say, "The crowd goes frakking wild," in his deadpan voice. Yay!

Good plan

Oh so much good work done on planning Book of Stone out to the end. I can do this! I have what, nine days? For 20K words. Very doable when you have a plan, but close to impossible if you don't. Now I have a good solid plan and some good notes to help pull all the threads of the book through to the end, very tricky when the bulk of it was written ages ago.

I can't even remember which NaNo years I won and which I didn't. How many did I win? When? NO IDEA. Did I even do it last year? Did I write that cozy mystery? I think so.

That has severe genre issues, by the way. The character needs to be older, there are elements that simply can't be in a cozy, and overall it's darker and grittier than it ought to be, which is pretty funny coming from me. But it's not boring old Usual Dark And Gritty elements that bore me stupid, like drugs or alcohol or sex or any of that crossing of lines in very self-conscious ways.

No, it's this hilarious thing that's like the opposite of me in every way. She can't stop running. Like with running shoes kind of running. Urge to go! Go go go!

Maybe I have the urge to go go go in a larger state-to-state kind of way, and maybe I can't sit still, but BOY can I not go running. I can not go running with the best of them!

So anyway. I guess that could stay if the rest of it were changed, but even that is too squirrelly and wacky for a cozy. Cozies feature pretty staid characters because of their intended audience. The model is Murder, She Wrote, so you're definitely more in the zone of Jessica Fletcher than Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The reason cozies appeal to me is I find the usual sex-and-violence thing exceedingly tedious. I got utterly cured of it forever when I had to read this Laurell K. Hamilton book a few years back. Ever since then, it's almost like a running joke, how the same old things are trotted out as EDGY. I do not think the same old things can ever by definition be edgy, you guys. No more edge to them. It's just reduced to Edginess Signifier and then a big cartoon sign shaped like a hand pointing that says EDGY on it and I've been asleep for hours by that point.

SO ANYWAY.

It makes it a little trickier to shock and awe when the usual suspects aren't in the palette but oh, it's so much more interesting.

For instance, one of our characters, a formerly dissipated aristocratic kind of guy, suffered a heart attack not because he was doing any of the usual tedious minor vices but because he'd gone ascetic and lost so much muscle mass that his heart was like tissue paper and he suffered an infarction. Which of course I learned from Grey's Anatomy ages back, when Meredith put a fingernail through a dieting person's heart.

Guh, Grey's Anatomy tonight. I've heard this criticism elsewhere so don't give me credit, but the way they've gone where everyone does the shrill babbling thing is not doing anyone any good. There are lots of ways to stress out. Am I back at the thing I was talking about before? Yes. Only with stress. They used to be so good with this! Cristina got stressed out and went and bought all sorts of crap at the 99 cent store, remember that? Tonight's episode actually featured everyone going to talk to the Chief one by one and having a stressed out babblefest. ALL OF THEM.

I might have just broken up with Grey's Anatomy. It's to the point where I never sink into the show anymore, ever, but bounce off it, always.

Whereas Project Runway is absolutely murdering me. Did you see it? Did you see how devastating it is to try to do anything creative when you have this wicked unsupportive family? I know! Don't think I didn't identify with X Person because I totally did. How come some people get sent home and are philosophical and others completely fall apart? It's because they know that everyone who supposedly cares about them never expected to do anything but fail. Because FAIL is set up for them as an expectation. I saw that and thought, "Get away from your emotionally abusive family, jeez!" And then I thought, "Oh." Anyway you take that stuff with you wherever you go. You know it's true.

I did all this research about how to lift curses today, because writing = awesome. And it was so interesting. The feng shui material on curses was particularly fascinating to me because it said you open yourself up to bad something something coming in when you feel anger and hatred and whatever going out and you have to let yours go to get rid of the other. And I can't really summarize because I'm frelling exhausted, but it gave me eight million ideas and I LOVE MY STORY! The one about Murphy, you know.

Now if you combined those two last paragraphs, what would you come up with? Ooooooh. I know! I always want to know the rules, though. So if someone was dreadful to you, and you just let it go, and then they show up again wanting to be friends (which happens to me regularly, I do not know why) are you better off: a) taking the high road and letting it pass and hoping they go away, or b) engaging with them and trying to make something good out of something awful?

I will always go for option a because I kind of figure life's too short to spend time wrangling with assholes who just want to work out their own issues on other people, and I also don't think you can really change people, nor should you necessarily since even heinous assholes have a right to exist and hold their stupid wrong asinine opinions, la la la, but I really don't know which is the right choice. What do you think?

Right, sleep. I'll get right on that. Good plan.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My brilliant idea

I bet you can't wait! Hahahahaha. Oooh.

I was thinking about how to do the right thing and not, you know, spin my wheels worrying until I'm tangled up ball of anxiety attack. So I thought, what if I categorize things? This is when you know (as if you didn't already) that I'm spending WAY too much time absolutely alone.

Anyway I came up with the categories of excellence. Which are:

writing
reading (includes tv/movies of course)
exercise
cooking/eating (and washing dishes, etc.)
sleeping and other routine maintenance

I know, right? Awesome. I already busted myself from starting the worry cycle, though as it ended up with me out raking leaves in a drizzle that turned into a downpour, I'm not sure it was the best of all possible ideas. However, the side yard got raked, and that's solid gain as far as I'm concerned.

AND I got the most awesome idea for a book while struggling with the stupid tarp that always does exactly what I don't want it to do, like it KNOWS, just like everything does lately, like all the laws of physics are being tweaked so that if I put a piece of paper on a flat, empty table, it will somehow fall to the floor. If I put a skein of yarn with the other skeins, it falls off. If I take a box of tea out of the cupboard, it knocks one thing over which knocks six other things over.

Last night this reached some kind of apex when I was making tomato sauce and took the basil out of the cupboard. A little container of hot peppers fell into its place, not that I could see that, so when I put it back, the basil jar fell off the shelf and knocked four other jars out of the cupboard, one of them falling into the pumpkin pie filling I was mixing (multi-tasking!), one into the cat food, one into the sauce, and one on the floor.

It just astounds me how every little thing can go wrong this way. From the state getting my income wrong, despite detailed documentation, to the doctor's office sending me a letter about no-shows, even though I called and canceled my appointment and was not a no-show. Honestly, people. Must everything go wrong? All at once? Constantly, for weeks? This is another reason I'm holding my queries until I'm SURE.

So anyway after I got done wrestling the tarp into position to dry for the fourth or fifth time, while I was standing the mower up for the sixteenth time after it tipped over and whacked me, I got this idea and ran inside all dripping and wrote it down. Win!

The character's name is obviously MURPHY but I might have to change it later since everything is going wrong so that is probably wrong too. Ha ha. Um. I wonder if units of going-wrongness are murphies? Because I'm heading for maximum murphage over here.

I took a picture of my purple and blue striped socks complete with velvet chinese slippers (excellent look) but due to foreshortening my legs look a thousand miles long and my feet tiny and distant and I'm right back in the Oz books somewhere, but can't remember where exactly.


Do you think bigots turned their Twitter pictures some other color yesterday? I am curious. Do they have movements of support like that, like the cool people do? Like do they have little logos that say "H8"? I am just wondering what they do. On Twitter, you don't get exposed to people you dramatically disagree with much. Thank goodness. Eesh.

Oh holy crap! Tv night! I nearly forgot. Bones, Grey's Anatomy, 30 Rock!

Fortunately I have both pumpkin pie AND pizza left over (well, I'd certainly hope so) and so I can go sit on the couch and eat leftovers and sew the purple quilt and turn on Radiator Serge so my hair and sweater will dry. Actually I will turn on Radiator Serge right now. Brrrrr.

This quilt

You could totally make this quilt fairly easily, right?

Sew a whole bunch of very long strips together into one big stripey panel. Then cut it at two different angles, a bunch of strips from each angle. Then sew them together to form chevrons. Use the triangles that get missed to make up the backing or another smaller quilt.

Whoa! I kind of want to do this, like right now!

I like this

"It rarely takes more than a page to recognize that you're in the presence of someone who can write, but it only takes a sentence to know you're dealing with someone who can't.

(By the way, here's a simple way to find out if you're a writer. If you disagree with that statement, you're not a writer. Because, you see, writers are also readers.)"

That's from here.

I have to admit, I get instant dislike of writing that uses "..., you see," or "..., then," and stop wanting to read the person, because they're more interested in sounding a particular way than in saying what they're saying. But I think this guy is right on target. The same exact thing goes on when you teach college English. Someone who's in a non-writing class will come up with a manuscript.

I have a less assholian way to deal with it, though. I read it (I read very fast) and give sort of high level criticism, like, "The main character's arc sort of dips around page 87, with the shipwreck, but otherwise he seems to have a great story. Except I'd look at giving him more to fight against." In other words, treat the writer like a professional. I don't think it helps anyone to be condescending and they actually do learn about story structure that way. Nitpicking is utterly unhelpful. But big story questions are something everyone grasps because they (college students) are completely saturated with movies and television. They KNOW this stuff deep down.

I really think the big story questions are much harder than the actual writing. Or...what do I mean...I mean that someone can go through your manuscript and write notes in red pen about every little mistake, as long as you have basic writing chops, but how to structure a story isn't something you can write in the margins. We spent most time on that in my writing classes because it's the hardest thing.

Also I think you learn a lot from reading and writing about other people's writing. There's always more to learn. Right?

You go like this: "You're writing something like [Ocean's Eleven, The Usual Suspects, When Harry Met Sally], right? So you're going for [X,Y,Z]?" A funny thriller, a psychological whatever, a romantic comedy. It's important to get that out there first thing because you may have the wrong idea entirely about what the person is trying to do, especially if they're not doing it very well. But you can't help if you don't know what they're trying to do. Plus it saves their dignity a little. And it gives you common ground to work with. You can talk about that GOOD movie/book/whatever that they aspire to, while you're discussing theirs. Which isn't. YET.

Then you can look at the existing good one and see how it does what it does. Get the book. Get the script. LOOK at it. Mark it up. Study where the breaks are and when what happens. Write an outline. I don't know why they don't do this in the first place, but maybe it has something to do with fear of unoriginality.

Students love going around with marked up scripts with post-it notes flapping out of their ruffled edges. They love it. They love everything about learning to write screenplays, actually. They love *brads.* It's one of the reasons it was such a pleasure to teach it, besides the part where I learned practically everything I know from those classes. Certainly infinitely more than taking classes on the same subject.

The best advice I got on writing tv is that: study the scripts, break them down, and do what they do, when they do it. I really think it's the best advice on learning structure, period.

Why don't I have novels with post-it notes flapping out of their ruffled edges? Oh, because I write the way I do everything, as if falling down a mountain and figuring things out as I go, whoops! But I seem to be getting a slight handle on things now, finally, thank goodness.

I wouldn't want to give up anything I learned from the excellent combination of:

1) teaching college literature for ages
2) teaching screenwriting for three years and giving endless feedback
3) writing a million tv scripts and a bunch of features
4) writing a big stack of novel drafts
5) going to Hollywood, man! yeah!
6) talking writing with awesome personages who really know story
7) figuring out how to rewrite FINALLY

It's excellent to look at things this way because it makes me imagine a cheesy melodrama hero standing on a crag and hollering into a storm: "Everything has been leading to this! All of it! It's DESTINY!" And then his hat blows off.

So back to the query letter, ha ha!

Am done, let the awesomeness commence!

Right? Woohoo! Bring it on! Showers of awesomeness falling from the sky!

I have this weird mystical feeling like getting through the rewrite MEANS SOMETHING. When actually what it means is that I got through the rewrite. Though it does also mean I GOT through the rewrite, which pleases me immensely because it means I CAN DO IT.

I cracked myself up a dozen times tonight, all from funny narrator things in the book. Ha. Turns of phrase or attitude or whatever.

Also I'm super full from pizza and pie.

And the cat has finally started using his other cat bed, today, first time ever, since he got it back in oooooh, I don't even know--last year? The orange one. I'm so glad! He uses it so he can hang out here in the office with me when I'm hogging the comfy chair. Which is why I put it in here. Hurray!

Um, now I have to write my query letter. I am not sure I'm good at those. I know the idea is to write it the way your book is, to make it sound all fun and interesting and awesome, and to tell the story in just a few lines. The whole story. My instinct is to keep some back for the sake of Intringuingness, but that is incorrect. You have to tell how it ends. I research and learn, see.

What's tomorrow? Thursday? How about we work stupidly hard on the letter tomorrow. I already wrote a draft but it's not good and really needs a lot of time and head-banging (on keyboard, not to heavy metal) and trying to read it as though an outsider who would go, "Yay! Is book for me!"

And then hurry off after moose and squirrel, apparently.

Yo, I spent half the day up a stepladder, hanging out the windows to wash them. Busting the top sash free from the frame where it was painted on, prying it with a putty knife and banging it with my fists. Are you so proud that I managed NOT to perish untimely in the process? Nor to sever limbs or put my fist through the glass or drop anything (much) out the windows? Are you not so proud? (I only dropped one paper towel, and I only just remembered it. Whoops.)

I didn't really accomplish anything else besides all that cooking. Delicious pizza! Including homemade sauce out of homegrown tomatoes and homemade crust! And the most delicious pumpkin pie ever! Out of actual pumpkin and homemade crust! Am Pioneer Girl!

If I were really Pioneer Girl I'd get a hunting license and shoot a turkey from the back deck and roast it, but guess what? Not going to happen. Sorry, pioneer forebears.

Actually, my forebears never got out of the east coast. And they never even arrived there until the 1800s, after pioneering was over with. Something about a Kaiser being annoying? And land grabs in Scotland? I do not know. My parents were both born in New Jersey but their families came from there and Massachusetts and Maryland. Sure, I grew up in the midwest, but I don't think you get to count it as pioneering when the urge to go west strikes in the late 1960s and there are family restaurants on the prairies.

So what's the plan, hen? The plan. The plan! The plan is to finish Book of Stone (the first draft) in time for NaNo, ten days away, when I will celebrate briefly (yay!) and start the ultimate draft of Perfect Monster, where it is all dark and twisty and first person from hell. I mean, the characters are in hell. Not that it'll be hell to write.

That's the plan. Wait! I should rewrite something while writing Perfect Monster. Maybe the witch book. I sure do love that book. It's really uneven, though! Needs so much work. Rewrites, plural. But you start with the first one and go from there.

It would be best to be rewriting something and writing something At All Times so that there's that whole constant progress thing. I'm not fooling around, here, but building things out of bricks. This is a battle plan. Apparently I'm at war with a wall. Ahem. Pay no attention to my muddled imagery.

Querying: keep records. If I were writing in my teenage diary I would underline that three times and put !!! after it. KEEP RECORDS.

Also don't send any out until the letter is actually good. Whooooooaaaaa, there. Don't let eagerness to get it done get in the way. Especially with email where there's no hang time.

Oh, the hang time! I love that! Because it's all full of IT COULD BE GREAT! Until you hear back, it could be anything, could be positive and awesome and who knows what? I love that. I think this is why people enter contests, for the hang time, to enjoy that bubble of potential while it lasts.

Well, ideally I'll have lots of that, the lovely pause where you get to think "Oh boy!" because someone out there is reading it and could totally love it. Right? Right!

Have I mentioned lately that I just love the Finish It quilt? Which I'm snuggled under right now. Mmm, quilt. Quilt that makes books get done. Mmmm.

Tomorrow I can sew the purple one with Bones and Grey's Anatomy. You better not bring me any of those reruns like Glee did yesterday. Betrayal! Inappropriate! Nooooo! But I'm pretty sure I saw a preview for Bones. Yay!

Hi! Excited! Don't mind me!

Should wash dishes but suddenly completely exhausted, so off to sleep. Oh yawn. Happy Thursday, y'all!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things Chloe could do

I'm still thinking about this, because it seems like a really big and common character problem. Insufficiently realized characters, maybe. Maybe you have someone in your story who you want there for plotty reasons, but you need to integrate them more, or make them not just stand around like a potted plant all the time.

What could Chloe do on Destiny?

1. Learn Ancient. She seems sharp enough, why not fill your otherwise empty days by gaining a useful skill?
2. Explore the dang ship. It's huge and no one has been to most of it.
3. Keep official records. You'll wish you had them one day.
4. Draw pictures, even just portraits of the crew.
5. Learn Air Force stuff, as long as you're stuck on this ship with a bunch of bored airmen.
6. Bother Rush. Because it's always entertaining when he gets testy.
7. Bother the Leathermen and learn about their various cultures, though not that scary Simeon guy.
8. Be the colonel's administrative assistant.
9. Be Neelix, even though Neelix made me highly stabby.
10. Follow other people around and learn their jobs--for instance, TJ, the medic.
11. Something she would *hate,* because it would be interesting. Say she's claustrophobic. Put her in a space suit, inspecting rivets.
12. Oh, I don't know, give her something to WANT that she can't have, so she has motivation of some kind.
13. Give her something to take care of that is in terrible shape, so she can try hard and be frustrated and really care and then lose it and be miserable.
14. She could take care of the hydroponics garden.
15. She could review recordings and accounts of the places they've been and build a comprehensive map.
16. She could really, really hate someone and be petty and crabby about it.
17. Religion.
18. Dissipation.
19. Depression.
20. Acting out.

ANYTHING.

Uh. You know how when you're talking to toddlers or college students, you always have a direction to your questions, because they get so anxious when they don't know where you're going? I feel the same way about characters. I feel like they have to have PUSH or PULL or LOVE or HATE or WANT or SOMETHING that gives them energy and drive, and it has to go somewhere--it can't be dead-endy. What they say and do has to be going somewhere. You have to give it somewhere to go.

Like that thing I complain about with women on Stargate(s), where the women go, "No, you can't do that, for these very good reasons!" and then the men are all, "You are dumb! We are doing it! We have no choice!" and you want to throw a rock through your tv? Well, one reason I hate it (among ten million) is that the thing the women say has nowhere to go. "I forbid you!" "I'm doing it anyway!" "...Okay, but next time you'd better listen to me, since I'm in charge after all!" I mean, there's absolutely nowhere to go. One reason (among ten million) that Stargate(s) are infuriating. They do it in SGU, too, with Everett and Wray, but at least it has evolved beyond the whole woman: "No!" man: "Yes, I'm doing it!" woman: "Well, humph, I am powerless!"

I think it's fair to read A LOT MORE into that exchange, especially since it's repeated all the damn time, especially on Atlantis, holy crap. Like every episode of Atlantis, even with Sam as boss, and you know the writers love Sam. You wonder why people look down on Stargate? That's one reason, that dynamic. Hey! You can be rebellious hero types without this! 

Ahem, moderate tangent there, but SERIOUSLY that's annoying.

ll those hours studying Farscape and Battlestar, see. People have trajectories. Maybe they bonk heads but that spins them off in different directions, and everything has consequences.

I feel like when you have a zero character, he or she sucks the energy out of every encounter. There's no bounce. You can watch every scene between Chloe and anyone ever and see how the momentum just stops with Chloe because she has nowhere to go with anything, nothing she wants or loves or hates.

She doesn't even seem to appreciate the ungodly gorgeous Lieutenant Scott and his excellent Texas accent, you guys. Hey, make her absolutely crazy about him and kind of weird about it, like he's the last thing in the whole world she can hang on to, which would make sense since her father died in the pilot. Wouldn't that make her kind of overly attached? Sure!

Good characters, you can imagine what they're going to do in a situation. Someone squirrelly will react in weird ways and might do something unpredictable or self-sabotaging. (Okay, you know I'm thinking of Baltar there.) A paranoid, defensive person might interpret things as threats that aren't. Chiana is going to find a way to have fun with whatever's going on and isn't going to worry as much as you think she should.

Chloe would just be limp.

Chloe is REALLY bothering me today. I guess because I'm rewriting. It's making me hyper-aware of giving everyone a trajectory, even just walk-on parts. I know I've written characters just as problematic as Chloe (Lincoln, I am looking at you) but hopefully they never live past the first draft without getting a personality transplant and at the very least some major issues. Yay, issues!

Hey! Get back to work!

I'm doing that thing I shouldn't do, where after toast I sit there and think and think and do necessary online things and play Solitaire while waiting for the INCREDIBLY SLOW pages to load. Seriously, what is with the internet this week?

This is a bad practice because it leads to the unfruitful spin cycle in my brain. Round and round! Worry about things! Don't do anything practical about anything, though! Goodness, no!

I dreamed about Zoe, which is kind of awesome. Oh, I'm so glad the show unblipped after that blip. Also I love seeing that Jacob and I totally agree about everything because of course that proves we're both right. Or something.

It's weird to see the forums on TWoP so empty. For Battlestar there would have been 24 pages of comments by the time I finished watching an episode--which of course meant everyone on the east coast had seen it before I did. But now there's four pages after a whole week. It's sad. And there are lots of stupid complainy people saying idiotic things, which you didn't really see with BSG, either.

You know, complaints that make no sense. Like saying that last night's episode was bleak. What? Compared to what, all the sunshine and puppies of the previous episodes? That's the nature of the show. Complaining about the nature of the show is asinine. Presumably that's something we've all accepted and even like or we wouldn't be watching the show.

So anyway. Yet another thing going around and around in my head right now.

Actually tv is making me see things (you know, THINGS) differently. Because if you saw a character in my situation, you'd think the following things:

1) can't we just do this in a time-lapse training montage thing, because OH so boring
2) the character thinks that grim now is what matters, but actually it's awesome future that matters, so she should use grim now to make awesome future happen
3) if Sarah Conner had let things get her down like this, the world would have ended
4) no one who has seen Groundhog Day as many times as this character has should have any excuse for doing the same dumb stuff day after day

Hee. And possibly other things, who can say?

But, Sarah Conner! When I first saw Terminator 2, that was one of the things that struck me. She was locked up in a mental institution by people who (reasonably) thought she was crazy for believing the world was a particular way. She kept on believing it! And she did a million chin-ups and got insanely fit so that she'd be ready when the time came!

Did you wonder what you would do in those circumstances? Stuck in an isolated cell where no one believes in what you know to be true? I always thought I'd do the chin-ups but it turns out I sort of huddle in the corner, panicking. With bursts of accomplishing things. And then back to the panicking.

See. You have to be Sarah Conner. And Groundhog Day. You have to believe every day that you are in the training portion of the program, getting ready and in fact causing AWESOMENESS. And you have to live every day the way you actually want to, not all crabby about being stuck in a snowstorm. Of gerbil on a wheel kind of thoughts. Right!

There is a gap between what I want to be doing and what I actually do. How do you get rid of that gap? I guess that's the secret of happiness or whatever.

Anyway I was out bashing around the yard yesterday and gooping caulk onto random plants and wiping it up with oak leaves and thinking about all that, especially about doing versus thinking about doing, or worrying about doing, or worrying about not doing, or flipping out about how I spend so much time worrying about all of it. Which is when I remembered there's medication for that, ha. Not that I took it. I had sci-fi tv instead! Sci-fi tv is just my favorite thing. Oh it makes me so very very happy. Even when it freaks me out and upsets me. Like when it shows me a gang of ten people beating a teenage girl to death in an arena in front of an audience.

It's easy to say, "Stop worrying about things and do something." I wish I knew how to make that happen, for real. There must be a way. Just like there must be a way to get up at, say, 8:00 instead of ten or eleven. Right? I'm usually too busy worrying to go to bed, like I'm on watch duty and if I bail, who will be on guard?

I KNOW that's dumb. But I don't know where the off switch is.

Maybe the doctor who thinks everything is psychosomatic will dose me up with anti-worrying pills I can't afford, woohoo! Maybe if I do a punishing amount of physical activity every day, I'll feel like a champ and won't worry anymore! Maybe something will change!

Maybe I'll finish this rewrite today or tomorrow and suddenly feel amazing and be cured of worrying! Heh. It always reminds me of when I finished TR and walked over to Albertson's, feeling amazing, that moment in the parking lot where I felt like I could fly and wanted to tell all the Armenian guys all dressed in black with gold chains and hair gel, hanging out with their fancy cars with the doors open and radios on, "I just finished a book! And it's good!"

This really feels like a holding pattern, here. How much of my time in Maine will I even remember? It'll be like trying to remember being asleep. And can it be over soon so I can go live somewhere with humans and jobs and quiet and food and a garden and all of the good things and none of the bad ones? Okay!