Friday, October 14, 2011

Jennifer, Hecate, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth

Thinking a lot about New Book (of course) and realized it has things in common with that book. That very very awesome book that I have to read again, like, tomorrow. Of course I own a copy, are you insane? I own almost every E.L. Konigsberg book there is. I even own A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, which I don't even like.

I could get all vehement about E.L. Konigsberg and how amazing she is and how she's my hero and I want to grow up to be her, except we'll just take that as read. (Ha!)

Well, here's the thing, though. I have five girls in my book, the four who are analogous to Elizabeth in all their different ways, and the one who is like Jennifer. I really love the four. Figuring out their changing stories is just about the most fun thing ever. What they're crazy about, what drives them, how they're screwed up or blocked or whatever so they're not able to do or get what they want.

What's cracking me up is that I started with this very compelling sci-fi idea and the story developed out of that, but now that idea has fallen away completely and it's a realistic normal world thing. I'll save it. I had this other idea many years ago that I keep trying to write except every time the same thing happens, that part of it falls away and I have this whole new story instead. They're like story generators that remain unused. Sourdough!

These characters are extremely pleasing to me in a kind of way that means I taught college for a long time. Meaning they're waking up and becoming adults but they're not quite there yet, but we get to be there while they figure out major stuff. Not boring things like sex but complicated, interesting things like how to make the film boys share the local access tv station's digital video cameras fairly.

I love how I've been studying to write books for years and years. Immersion in such a great variety of worlds! Priceless and so very very awesome.

I can be fond of characters who are around that age (16-24 generally) more easily than any other. More forgiving of the things that would grate other people. Generally more understanding. It seems to me that those are the kinds of feelings you should have about your characters. If you can't be understanding of and amused by the insane things they do, maybe you're not meant to be together. Which actually is kind of what the book is about in certain ways.

I also think you should feel that way about your book. But I might get exceedingly meta if I don't quit now, so off to the sleeping of me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The spine

I figured out the spine of the story while washing the dishes tonight. And talking to myself, obviously! Every so often I'd go make sure the puppy was still licking peanut butter out of his Kong toy and then go back to the washing and talking.

I'm especially in love with this story now because it's an awesome twist on the most common YA story. I'm sure it'll develop more between now and NaNo, like with actual story beats and such, but it just went from this:

beginning -- stuff happens -- awesome transformation has occurred!

to this:

beginning -- event, which causes -- event, which causes -- event (and so on) -- and awesome transformation occurs!

I used to draw this simplistic story diagram on the board in screenwriting classes at the beginning of the semester. Stick figure person here. Donut over there. OBSTACLES IN BETWEEN.

Absurd but it works. Except it's external. But you need external for internal! You need both! That just made me realize that I need to work much more on the internal because the external is kind of driving the internal change and that bothers me. It should be the other way around. Maybe external irritates and motivates the internal change that makes it so you can achieve the external, know what I mean?

Anyway. Building it up. Excellent character. Thing she wants. Learning all this crazy stuff to get what she wants, except that drastically changes how she sees it and whether she wants it at all. In the end she wants the same thing in a totally different way and gets it for completely new reasons. I know!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Focus focus focus

Oh, hi! I vanished. Now I'm back.

I'm back because I need focus and I think this will help. It's like a cheering section! Where I'm the one cheering! For myself! Or for writing in general, you guys, because I really need that. You know how you can be completely all about the writing but there's also work and this and that and keeping up with that one show that you're only watching because Buffy and Horatio Hornblower are on it? And next thing you know it's 10:00 and you have to be up in eight hours and the puppy is chewing on your face?

That, exactly. I need a place where I have to go and be accountable for writing so that I remember IT'S MY JOB and not some after hours dabbling thing.


This is where I have to do that horrible summing up thing so I really know where I stand. So I can move on from this spot. Oh dear. Okay, let's do it.

I'm working on the outline for a YA novel called Jess vs. The Neg, which I'm going to write for NaNoWriMo. As one does.

In progress, with stars for potential and enthusiasm:

Apollo novel. 44,094 words. Stuck because I'm not sure whether what's happening is really happening or the protagonist is kind of crazy, which is a big difference--between magical realism and some grim modernist commentary on blah blah blah. (I think I just decided.) ****

Z Company. 21,806 words. This is charging along, when I actually focus on it. Kind of an amazing story, to be honest. Needs continuity work given my utter lack of memory from one day to the next. Though that makes for a strangely entertaining read. (Hey, I thought you said....) ***

Minerva. 69,490 words. Complete first draft of a totally amazing YA book that I love. Needs to be revised a bunch. But it's awesome. This is the biggest winner of the bunch right now. *****

Perfect Monster: 31,309 words. I hate how grim and awful and sordid this is, when it shouldn't be. Problem. **

Cerulean Blue. 95,036 words. I love this book so much! I kept having cows about how it's not a cozy (so what?) so I think I should just finish it and make it awesome just the way it is. Yeah! Needs some rewriting but it's nearly done. Jeez. *****

Tethys Return. 82,154. I thought this was done and polished but there's a section that really bugs me that needs to get rewritten, especially because it ties into The Book of Stone very closely and they have to match.  *****

The Book of Stone. 67,030. It's actually awesome with all kinds of greatness but it got kind of sordid and unpleasant near the end, crossed some kind of line, so I just need to delete the last thousand words or something and go on as if they never happened. Seriously. Smacking myself for this. ***

Mercedes. It's not even on this laptop, wow. Complete novel, but also my first novel, with a lot of issues like, oh, the protagonist doesn't drive the story. Heh heh.***

A whole bunch of other ideas/starts that need attention one of these days but hello, I think my plate is kind of full right now, don't you?


I need focus. I knew that. I also know I have this ridiculously fragmenting and distracting life and no short-term memory, not to mention the Housepet Writing Prevention League. But that list is highly edifying. Here's what it tells me:

1) I write a lot. Duh.

2) I write two kinds of things, mostly: grim sci-fi and awesome speedy YA/mystery kind of things. Sometimes the sci-fi is also cheery and speedy. But not often.

3) I can't stand the grim stuff. I know it's good but oh dear and holy yikes. I wouldn't want to read it. I don't like working on rewriting it. Slightly perplexing why I would keep writing things I don't care for much but that's a different story for a different kind of couch.

4) What do I *want* to write? The speedy awesome kind of things, in all genres. Fast-paced, cliffhangery, exciting, mysterious, with excellent heroines who run around figuring everything out. Often there is a cute boy who is a puddinghead! And a cute boy who is not, but is instead surprisingly awesome! And our heroine must figure out which is which while saving the day! Tricksy.

5) I think it's fine to have a dual writing personality, and maybe that could work great with a pseudonym, actually. But Wilhelm and Sordid Grimm are not going to happen without Speedy and Awesome Gonzales. MUST HAVE BOTH. Can't have just one. At least, can't have just grim. That leads to a startling quantity of NOT WRITING THINGS.

6) Everything is a lot harder if I don't have an outline. And if I do have an outline, I can race through a book, even if I change stuff around a bit on the way. Given a good outline, I can probably do a whole first draft of Jess vs. The Neg in November.

I kind of don't care about obstacles. I know that if you want to do something, you're going to find a way. And I want this so much. I was reading Jenny Crusie's excellent advice on a writing career today and thinking about what she said about what you want. And I do know what I want. I want to write (AND FINISH) the most amazing books, exactly the way I love them. And then I want to publish them, so I can go back to teaching writing, which is way more fun and energizing and less life-force-draining than some other options.

So let's do that. I see six things up there that I love and want to work into shape and send out into the world with a little spank on their behinds as they get out the door. You're awesome! Love you! Now get gone!

Rah, rah, rah!

I'm going to use this space to make it happen. And I'm going to ask this question about a lot of things: does it make me write better? Yes/no? If no, it might get the boot, is all I'm saying. Except the housepets. For all their active intervention in the writing process, they make me very happy and that's well worth it.

Which leads me to the last important thing in which you do things that are not writing in order to make writing infinitely more awesome: field trips! Outings! Going places where there are people with whom to converse! I tend to think that writing means you stay home and write, but everyone knows you run out of juice that way. Except me. I mean, I don't know it, somehow.

I discovered it all over again today when I took the dog down to this gorgeous waterfront town and we walked all along the river path and back. And it was completely glorious. Early evening, sunset, sky and black hills reflected in the flat low-tide river, great blue heron, mud flats, mounds of seaweed, a smell like you would not believe, a nice motel right up against the path, that huge terrifying bridge just across the water, that huge old fort next to that. Holy lords of Kobol, I'm not kidding, it was like being given the hugest box of crayons when you're used to one pencil. MUST GET OUT MORE. Go places, see things, possibly even--gasp--meet people. I know!

Also I really need to use that town as a setting. I might replace the paper mill with a university. Or one of those scary prep schools that's been there since Jesus was a corporal.

Thing to remember: you know how Harry Potter is full of dark, scary, awful stuff, but it's also witty and fun and playful? That.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Plan and plan, what is plan?

This is one of those things I really can't stand, just so you know. A few weeks ago, someone made a tentative plan to get together some time today--an old friend who's visiting town for a couple of days--but she hasn't been in touch AT ALL since then. I can't reach her, of course.

So what do I do? See why I hate this? I have no contact information for her. It's all in her hands. So every time I go walk the dog or something, I think she probably called or whatever and I'm going to miss her. But that's daft.

So I'm basically just not going to wait around for her, is how it's falling out. I think that's so stupid, not making actual plans, but putting other people on hold for you. Isn't it? Isn't that just really, I don't know, self-absorbed? Especially since I'm feeling more and more sure that I will not hear from or see her at all. Really that part is MY issues, but most of the time, plans like this do not actually happen.


Things! Are getting done! Yesterday I mowed and vacuumed and scrubbed and laundered and stuff. Today I got the mountain of dishes washed (a whole week, oh my goodness) but then remember I worked for 12 days straight. Ahem. Not that that's any excuse. But it sounds like one!

And I made cold lentil salad. SO GOOD. But oddly unsalty. I wonder if I salted it last time? Something with feta and olives should not need salt.

I need to make a flour-based food of some sort, pancakes or tortillas or something. I might make more of those excellent spinach wrap thingies. Beans and flour and spinach and red onion and spices all kneaded together and then rolled into tortillas and baked on the griddle. Oh so good! Plus I love how they already have the whole meal right in them.

And I need to iron all the things. Oops, buy starch first. Maybe only iron some of the things, the things that don't need starch. Which is mostly those shorter dress pants that I wear all the time. Cool!

So I'd like to go kayaking later on. I have a hard time going out when I'm home on weekends, I know this! And especially leaving the dog. But, kayaking! I love it! And I'm so caught up on stuff for once! Except sleep, which is in strangely short supply. The only reason not to go is the chance that Melissa will actually call and we'll get together. But I'm trying to figure out how likely that is based on....nothing much, except my own negative feelings about people showing up or calling back or being in touch or whatever.

Which to be fair to me has been ABYSMAL lately.

Yesterday I *did* take the pain pills after mowing, like a smart cookie, so I'm only in moderate pain today instead of lurching about screaming with every motion. Yay! And I had a bath, which is supposed to help with muscle spasms in my back.

Mr. Dog, he seems to have crossed some threshold of maturity or something. He's been AWESOME all weekend. I kept dashing off from the dishes to see what he was doing/chewing/destroying, and there he'd be, calmly lying in a lawn chair and looking out at the world, or chewing on a chew toy, or lying on his dog bed. He'd always look at me surprised, like, What?

Of course then later he chewed the corner off the footstool, but nobody's perfect. We just had a lovely long snuggle. Everything's so peaceful now that he's not a raving lunatic!

That or he's feeling sort of lousy from the de-wormer, heh heh. That was well over 24 hours ago, though.

Oh, he's such a great dog! I want to say "little" but he's officially medium-sized. So evil-doers will have to say, "I'll get you, and your medium-sized dog, too!"

I keep thinking about the doctor people and how they're so sure everything is stress. How do you reduce stress? If you're in such a state that stress is causing physical problems, can you even do anything about it yourself? Though I disagree that stress is causing either allergic reactions or the (mostly absent, and stay that way) trouble walking. Because it does not coincide with times of greatest stress, duh. Not at all. I think maybe they see someone stressed out and decide that the stress is the cause instead of the effect. Bad science, medical profession! Try again!

Oh gosh, it's such a beautiful day. The wind is whooshing through the house all nice and cool, not even damp. I'm going to go kayaking. I love it! Good times.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sleeping dog alert! Ding ding ding!

Hold perfectly still! Don't make any moves, sudden or otherwise! I hope you visited the facilities recently because you're not going again until he wakes up!

The dog is awesome, I fully admit this. Gawain is an excellent dog, despite his little quirks like how if he grabs something and I say NO! and take it away, he instantly grabs it again.

Me: Hey! What part of NO! didn't you understand?
Gawain: The NO! part. Also rhetorical questions. I'm a dog.
Me: Oh, right.

We get to go on walks now, which makes me exceedingly happy, because it's ridiculously fun. We go see the giant beaver, who has not been caught conversing with a duck since that one time. We walk down past the Christmas tree farm and I have to tell Gawain that that's where I got my tree the last two years and this year maybe he can go with me! In the snow! With a saw! Christmas tree!

And we walk up past that lot where there's a foundation and some tire swings but no house and all the trees have grown up through everything, where there's all kinds of clothes and garbage strewn around this matted down area of tall grass, which always makes me think someone got murdered or something but obviously someone just dumped a bag of garbage there and the coyotes strewed it around.

Strew is a great old Anglo-Saxony word, isn't it? Strewn.  Must look up the etymologies but I'd suspect straw is related, either as source or result, because of how you strew it around. Do you ever think about hay versus straw?

I'm having a SERIOUS problem with words looking utterly peculiar lately. Discrepancy was one yesterday. What an odd looking word. But straw is another one.

Well! Today I've already vacuumed and tidied up (in the opposite order, of course) and showered and done various this-and-thattery. I have to mow but the grass is still very wet from the world's heaviest dew, which we had in lieu of our promised thunderstorm. Also must go pick up the you-know-what from the lawn before mowing. Oh and there's laundry in the washer, but that has to wait until Mr. Dog wakes up or I have to get up for some reason, like a catastrophic tea lack. I feel that one coming on. Must have tea!

I worked 12 days straight, yes, that's correct, twelve, a dozen, a whole lot. It was heinous and really hard, especially for the puppers. I don't think I'll have to do it again.

I've been allergical all week since the stupid (but delicious) scallops but then yesterday someone fed me plain chicken which apparently had been treated somehow and it turned into allergic red alert, throat swelling, tongue swelling, off to the Walk-In Care, where they saw me right away for once. And I met another very irritating doctor.

Let me tell you about irritating doctor. He was wearing mustard-yellow pants and desert boots both of which I recognized from the old J. Peterman catalogs, which is sort of an interesting thing to find here in nowheresville. He had that cute messy curly graying hair and the roundish glasses. And he seemed super nice. But he contradicted everything I said, which really makes me not trust a doctor AT ALL. Oh and he didn't listen.

For instance, I told him I was on a lot of steroids when I lived in L.A. three years ago, and he went into this big spiel about how you shouldn't be on steroids all the time, it's so bad for you, and he wasn't going to give me more despite the life-threatening allergic reaction because blah blah blah, and I had to interrupt and say THAT WAS THREE YEARS AGO. I've been on them maybe ONCE in the past year.

He is not a good listener.

And then he contradicted everything every doctor has ever said. You're not having an allergic reaction, you don't have chronic bronchitis, that huge facial swelling isn't angioedema, it wasn't the scallops you were allergic to (how on earth did he decide that?) and it definitely wasn't the chicken, even though that was the only thing I ate right before it started, blah blah blah. I stopped listening because how likely is it that every other doctor is wrong and this guy is right? He's the only one who really sees the truth? Not very likely.

Honestly. Why was he so invested in telling me that I was wrong about what I thought I was reacting to, when he couldn't possibly have the slightest idea, and I'm me and therefore fully conversant with my life? And he met me ten minutes before? This is why we hate dealing with doctors, people. He had one piece of the 1000 piece puzzle and thought he knew the whole story.

Anyway he prescribed me the steroids I needed, which is what matters.

I got paid and went and bought a bunch of fruit. Mmmmmmm, fruit. It's about all I've been eating lately, except when I sleepwalked and ate half the package of provolone slices. Did I tell you about that? Madness! I woke up to find those pieces of paper from between the slices left on my bedside table, backtracked into the kitchen and found the kitchen scissors and the top of the package on the counter, and the rest of the package in the cheese drawer, folded under. It was the kind you can reclose, but apparently in my sleep I can't comprehend the ziplock mechanism, so I cut it open.

Reclose does not look like a word.

I gave the dog pills to kill parasites, but now I keep thinking, "I wormed the dog. No, I de-wormed the dog. Who would worm a dog?" But that's what it's calling, worming.

Worming definitely does not look like a word.

The little bright yellow birds keep flying up and landing on the birdfeeder pole and CHIRPING at me. CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP! Seriously, they look in the screen. They can't possibly see in here, can they? CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP!

Moving the bird feeder pole so the seeds don't fall onto the steps where the puppy eats them and gets sick? That's on my list for the day. Yep! Hang in there, goldfinches!

It was the goldfinches who flew out of the woods that day I was whistling while walking the dog on the dirt road. They flew out and landed on the road and looked at me and hopped toward me. I have no idea what I was saying in goldfinch but I guess they did. And it was something good!

Mmmmmmm,'s what I got: apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, wild Maine blueberries, apricots, cherries. I guess I missed fruit while I was on starvation rations! I've already eaten half the bananas, more than half of the apricots, and quite a lot of the cherries. Oh boy, I love fruit. And veg. But fruit more.


Also I got something called a canary melon that looks like a spaghetti squash. In fact she charged me for spaghetti squash until I said what it really was. Hey, I'd never seen one before yesterday either, it's okay! We'll see how it is. I do love the melon.

And I made popcorn last night, oh holy yum! I finally wised up and sat in the comfy chair to eat it, which prevents Mr. Dog from clambering all over me and trying to lie on my chest while I'm eating. Instead he sat faithfully at my feet and snarfled up any fallen popcorn. That stuff gets away!

Okay, I hit my limit. I really need some tea!

Still to do today:

pick up lawn
wash dishes
mow grass if it ever dries
quilt that quilt

And of course write my book! The main character is the kind of hilariously selfish and unselfconscious person you'd want to punch in the face, but of course he's changing fast as the story progresses. It's third person, which I almost never do, but I think it works really well for this guy. I love writing him! He's SUCH a jackass but so unaware of it, I'm really fond of him. It's a totally fun thing to write.

Speaking of obnoxious behavior, the dog sieve works perfectly. And all my NO BITING THE CAT work is paying off in peaceable kingdom housepet detente. Phew! Dog got too big and too strong to be allowed to wrestle kitty anymore. How do I get his attention on this matter when he is not clear on the whole NO! thing? Small squirt bottle mister that is intended for orchids. Yep! Does him no harm but he hates it, and now all I have to do is pick it up and he's all, Eep! I'll behave!

Dog woke up, time for laundry wrangling and the making of tea. Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oh, right!

I engaged the thinkery today and determined that I would not Do Things when I got home, but would only spend time snuggling and playing with and walking the DOG. And lo! The dog is so happy! And so am I!

It did occur to me during thinkage that I worked all weekend and that poor Mr. Puppy has basically spent ten days straight shut in the bathroom. Obviously with evenings together, from about 5:30 on. But also he's been sick so we haven't gone for walks. Poor Mr. Puppy!

I put him in the garage for the afternoon and then we went for a walk this evening. He got to wear his new fancy harness outfit thing. Not the nose leash, but the funky royal blue sort of singlet thing. He outgrew the old harness I'd gotten for the cat, see.

Tonight I also tried a well-known dog training technique: keeping him on a leash in the house. I tried to do that yesterday but it was incompatible with what I was doing AND he was all crazy-anxious and acting out, biting and jumping and being bananacakes. Today he's doing perfectly awesome.

Also we're working hard on NO MAULING THE CAT, which meant the cat and dog both hung out together on the couch for a long time, holy crap! Awesome! Well, I wouldn't hang out with an animal who jumped on me and chowed on my face either, would you?

You know how most therapist type conversations (according to my perceptions through fiction and friends) boil down to: say the thing you want to say instead of not saying it and making yourself nuts? Well I said a thing I wanted to say but hadn't been saying. And apparently it's fine. So there you go.

Dog and cat and I are all zonked out and might just have to go to sleeeeeeping. Two more days to get through! And then I get to see my old friend on Sunday, woohooooooo! Seriously, we are friends from freshman year of college. I haven't seen her since, ooh, maybe 1990? Something like that. No, wait, it was 1993, when G. and I drove from Ohio to Nova Scotia and visited her right here, actually in Orono, just up the road. So only eighteen years, heh.

I have a big cup of peppermint tea to drink and then a dog outage and then beddedness.

I have to tell you one funny thing. I had to make up a form for the drivers to fill out when the truck needs repairs. But I decided to make it in local dialect, so at the top in big letters it says, "THE TRUCK'S BROKE." Fortunately everyone thought it was funny. They kept suggesting line items, like, "Are you all set to fix it?" And mine was, "Was it your own damn fault?" I guess you'd have to hear it in the local dialect to get the full effect of why it's so funny.

The truck's broke!

It's actually fixed now, to be perfectly accurate.

My little blond dog has finally curled up on the other end of the couch and looks like he might go to sleep! Just as I'm about ready to put us to bed. I LOVE the part where I wake him up and he toddles outside to pee in the grass, looking all sleepy and bewildered. D'awwwwwwwwwwwww.

I've collected maybe six or eight of the probably forty big flat flagstones I'll need to make a shovelable area at the foot of the front steps. Which should be two hundred so I can make a path. Except you know I don't use the front steps in the winter anyway because the front door will be sealed shut. I'm going to take a plane to the door outside from the garage so I don't have to shake the whole house down slamming it just to get it shut.

On our walk today, Gawain and I saw the gigantic beaver seemingly in conversation with a duck. They both looked totally flustered when they saw us and the beaver dove under the water and the duck flew off. What on earth was that about?

And on our earlier walk down the dirt road, three Cooper's hawks flew out of the woods together, screaming at each other. The first one was carrying a brown snake in its talons. Or possible someone's intestine. Hard to say. I suppose both are equally likely. I see more snakes than intestines around, but I'd guess that intestines are readily available from road kill and the like.

Did I tell you that a very very tall animal bellowed and whinnied and barked at me last night? The only possible candidate is a moose, it was so big and crashy and tall, but it was dark and I got totally scared and so puppy and I scrammed inside before I got a sight of it. The porcupine was screeching at us anyway. Ahh! So much belligerent wildlife within twenty feet of the front door! This complicates taking the puppy out to pee!

Anyway I'm excited about possible new Other Job iteration, woohoo! Because I like it, and money, and the promise/likelihood of MORE money to follow, and not being so all-fired PO all the time, and things like that! Yes! NO MO PO. I hope!

And now beddery, for real.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I dunno. Hey! Perplexity.

My dog has been an absolute monster for the past few days, which at first meant I was tired (from working all weekend) and now means I'm terribly, horribly stressed out. Because dogs act the same all the time. Or maybe he acts out more when I'm stressed and impatient. That's possible.
All I know is I'm exhausted beyond endurance and always shouting at the dog, who to be fair has hurt the kitty today, bonked him in the eye or something. At least when I got home for lunch, the dog had bite marks in his ear and the cat's right eye was red and swollen. Housepet battles are not okay! So dog has been on the leash all night, which is driving both of us insane, but hello, they're hurting each other. Not allowed.

Guess how much you get done with a dog leash in your hand at all times? And the dog complaining about it and biting you and jumping up your legs? And when I was building the dog sieve, he stuck his face between the hammer and the nail about six hundred thousand times. And this was before the leash.

And I took him out six or eight times and he still peed on the kitchen floor. Argh.

Half an hour ago, I took him out and some animal up a tree keeps shrieking at us, but we managed to ignore that long enough for him to take care of Certain Things, but then just now I tried to take him for One Last Out, so I could stick him in his crate and pretend to be going to bed myself but really sit up in bed typing, only something truly huge and long-legged started sort of this mutant whinny and honking and belling from over by the woods. No doubt a MOOSE. Anyway we both went YIKES and high-tailed it back to the house like a Scooby-Doo cartoon. Seriously, there were little cartoon puffs of dust and our feet never touched the ground.

I hope little Gawain isn't emotionally scarred by my days of being so tired I'm incapable of rational thought. Obviously it pays to be calm and collected, since the more tired and short-tempered I get, the crazier and more creative about misbehaving he gets.

Well, he didn't rip my jugular out given the opportunity (phew!) and I haven't wrung his little neck (duh) so I imagine we'll get through this.

I made scallops tonight from the freezer, consulted with the chef today about what to put with them and we decided: yellow curry paste, sweet potatoes, pea pods, fresh basil, and a red pepper. So I did all that except I only had green and red curry paste, so I went with green. And I forgot the sweet potatoes, whoops! It was insanely good and now my lips are swelling up! Freaky Angelina Jolie duck lips!

It was the store's Naturally whatever brand, which means no additives or preservatives, but I suppose they can't prevent scallops from hobnobbing with shrimp or whatever. Can they? Time for benadryl and bed bed bed, if I can calm down this raging agitation and wrath and stuff. Hollering at the dog gets me all riled up, obviously. He just attacked the cat AGAIN and I had to yell at him to stop.

I need, like, puppy respite. I'm at the end of my rope with this maniac, with how tired I am. And he has gotten me up five or six times a night again since he got sick last weekend. Which, combined with working all weekend, has me really truly out of coping energy.

If I can get him to pee one more time (OUTSIDE) I'm not going to take him out during the night. He's slept all night for what, a month or more now?

So anyway, if they find me roaming the streets with a colander on my head, this is why. That and how the dog keeps biting me. I didn't get that muzzle but I might. He bites the cat and me all the time and has to learn not to. Telling him NO doesn't work, the tap under the chin doesn't work, hollering doesn't work--well, obviously, hollering doesn't do anything, it's just frustration. He was perfect about it until he started losing his teeth, so presumably teething is involved, but JEEZ. Enough already.

As my mom always says, this too shall pass.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Almost there

One more weekend work day to get through, and then the strangely difficult and stressful week will begin again! Woohoo! Woohoo? Woo. Hoo!

My sister and her sister-in-law showed up today unexpectedly and drove home with me over lunch to walk the puppers. Yay! It was surprising and fun and of course they looooooove the puppy because who could not? He's awesome. All furry and cute and snuggly and stuff!

He's sick but I think getting over it already. I think he ate something vile/sickening/incorrect and it made him sick but hopefully it has now worked its way through, via a roll of paper towels and the bathroom floor. Oh argh, horrors best left unspoken. But as I say, hoping it's over now. Please?

Work was very stressful and crazy. I think it'll be okay. I DID MY BEST. Oof!

So that was busy and stuff. And a fun variation on the drive home and walk the puppy routine! Visitors! Plus the chef was like, "It was nice to meet your sisters," which tickled me. My sister's sister-in-law is essentially family in my view, just like my sister-in-law's sister, Birgit. Know what I mean? Even if she's my sister's husband's brother's wife. Hey, I like her. Sold!

I've been pressing fix-your-innards foods on the puppy: yogurt, chicken, rice, and beef bouillon. He ate a little of everything in a sad and pathetic "Oh I'll try just so I don't hurt your feelings" kind of way, which was very effective until I discovered he would eat lots of rice if I fed him on a plate next to me on the couch, out of my bowl. Hmmm! Anyway he perked up after the bouillon and was back to his old self after the chicken and rice. He's gonna be okay.

Seriously, I put shredded chicken in a bowl on the floor and he sort of licked at it pathetically and looked up at me, so I picked up bits and fed them to him, and strangely enough, he was able to eat them just fine. My puppy is milking it! He's being overly dramatic! Do boy dogs get man flu like humans?

I'm all wrung out with tiredosity and about to hit the hay as soon as the dryer stops. Er, some things like the bathmat and some chew toys had to get WARSHED is all I'm saying. Oh, the horrors, shiver, brrr.

I got all my old jeans down from the attic but haven't been brave enough to try them on yet. But there were all these one size smaller brassieres and that made me very happy, though they're the old less supportive style. But still! There is, shall we say, a lot less to support now. So many excellent khakis and jeans! So many lovely skirts, of the knee-length khaki variety (also navy blue) and of course my jean skirt I wore for Invincible with the butterfly applique on it! The very skirt Mark Wahlberg looked up! (I was wearing bike shorts underneath.)

I'm afraid hauling those smaller things down from the attic will make me spontaneously gain ten pounds but maybe not. Anyway I wore my current jeans today and they're starting to look pretty absurdly large and too long and stuff. Which of course means they're very comfortable, heh.

Right, off to bed, another early start tomorrow, but we're all hoping it'll be a much quieter day with fewer mystifying Talmudic interpretations of things. At least now I've grasped that it makes no sense, so I'm not as frustrated as I was when I thought I just couldn't figure it out. No, you have to extrapolate and make it up half the time. And then even though it's extrapolation, someone will say I did it wrong, I promise. I'm just hoping the person doesn't come in tomorrow to do that, because if not I'll have a nice, peaceful day and could even write some things. With the writing!

A super famous guy is coming to town Monday but I won't say who because of course not. It's kind of cool, though. Anyway. Er, still not as cool as that night I met Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell and Jamie Bamber and everyone. I don't think anything is going to top that because they MATTERED to me the most, of actors, see. There is no empirical scale of importance. What's important is what you care about. Durrrrrrrrrrr.

Am all fried and stuff! Asleeping soonish.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Arrrr! I tried to leave work early, but Things intervened. Worky things! Things from work. So I finally got out of there at almost two instead of noon.

Anyway that was monumental and took literally hours and had multiple people zooming all over town fetching this and that and on and on and on.
It was awesomely Hollywood. I got all nostalgic and stuff. Like how she called and asked for me by name every time in accepted assistant style.

Holy criminy. I know it's the tiniest drop in the famous person assistant bucket. So glad I was never part of that.

And then I mowed the lawn. Yay! I kept taking breaks to comfort Mr. Dog who was beside himself. I think I figured out why. It's because he sees me walking away out of his line of sight. It's the very worst, most panic-inducing thing for him, even though obviously he grasps on some level that with the mower, I'm COMING BACK. And that I come back from everywhere ALWAYS. But watching it happen drives him bananacakes and he yelps and cries.

Awwwwww! Me too, Mr. Puppy!

He just went to sleep on the giant dog bed on top of the other giant dog bed on top of the mattress on the couch. How to find the most comfortable spot: look underneath the dog.

I have laundry in the dryer but I'm planning on a 9 p.m. bedtime, yo. I didn't take the usual post-mowing vicodin and will probably regret that very much, as my legs are going numb and all that stuff. But I'm afraid of how awful it'll make me feel tomorrow, when I have to get to work at 7 and work all day.

Money isn't everything but if I could get out of this hole, that'd be awesome!

Let's talk about the dog! Who is also completely awesome. His paws are getting huge again all of a sudden! And he just seems really big to me, bigger and bigger all the time. I got him a tag finally, with his name and my phone number. It's...okay, it's shaped like a bone, which is silly, but that was the only blue one they had! And I got him a new collar because the last one wouldn't stay at its assigned tightness but kept slipping looser. This one has a buckle and all. Actually it's on the tightest hole, which left a long flappy tail, so I (this is weird, I know) attached it by using my quilting basting gun. It shoots a thing shaped like a capital letter I into two pieces of fabric, connecting them. It's perfect! Except I can't take his collar off, but that's okay.

I believe I got some other things. Oh! Kitty grass! He loves it so much. They were out of kitty's favorite toothpaste, but I gave him a bunch of hairball remedy yesterday (my clue: he's been barfing in the basement) and today he feels MUCH better. He's visibly feeling better. Poor kitty! I only go downstairs once a week so finding an archipelago of tremendously gross moldy cat vomit islands all at once made a bit of an impression on me.

Brrrr, shiver.

Argh, gaaaaaahhhh, pain and stuff. Headache and back is killing me and eyes hurt and blah blah blah. Ibuprofin it is!
I can't get over the official as of today loss of 25 lbs. Seriously. That is a lot of weight to lose without actually trying. I'm delighted with how well my clothes fit and all that. And I'm moving around a lot faster, which surprises me. Like I'll jump out of my chair and go zooming down the hall. Things hurt less. I'm stronger. Basically everything is better and nothing is worse! Until I have to buy new clothes, that is, but hey, skirts! I have a million skirts. You can wear too-large skirts for ever and ever.

I haven't tried the khakis yet, but their time is coming, or possibly has already arrived. Maybe in the morning.

Oh! Morning. I AM OFF TO BED. Wish me luck on the crazy long hard weekend! Woohoo!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Remember how much I was dreading the mandatory work trip to Portland? Well, it was today, and it was perfectly fine. The drive was fine, if boring, as only Maine can be boring, somehow. It's so weird, it's all pretty green forests and then after a while you're like, aaaaah, stop with the pretty green forests already! There's a sameness.

Also billboards are illegal in Maine, though you aren't always aware of what you're missing there until someone tells you.

Seeing actual bald eagles on their nests on the power lines between the north and south bound highways makes up for an awful lot. It's true.

I had to eat illegal food at lunch and took benadryl and got all glassy-eyed and swimmy and then fell asleep in the car for a while on the way home, but that's okay! Everyone else bugged out but I tried to get some work done, but didn't make much headway.

Apropos of nothing, there are GOOD REASONS why I'm so frelling broke.

Tomorrow I get paid, yay! I have things to purchase.

I could make lists but oh so boring! Or possibly entertaining. I think I will anyway.

proper collar for Mr. Dog since I live in fear his crappy collar with the unreliable sliding sizer will come right over his ears one day when a car whooshes past us on the road.
and a choke chain
tag for Mr. Dog with name and phone number on it, sheesh
lots more cat litter
some kind of powerful Don't Pee Here substance because someone (who?) has been missing the pee pads in the garage, ewwwwww
more of that cat toothpaste that Siegfried likes so much

Well, that's the animal section covered, anyway.

vegetables (any, all)
fruit (any, all)

I'm not quite out of everything. Still have many beans, rice, grain, honey, shortening, and a can of tuna! And dried mango and various other items. And frozen spinach and cranberries. See, so much! And I'm getting SO GOOD at living on practically nothing, which I really do think is an amazing skill. But I'm going to need groceries anyway, because without veg, all is lost! Lost, I say! You need the veg.

We went for such a good long walk today, out toward Bucksport Road, all the way to the sign, which of course I had to go and touch because I'm like that. It was a huge long walk for a little dog, who is strangely NOT ASLEEP right now, but showing signs that he might conk out soon.

I decided he needed a tag with my phone and his name, duh, but couldn't figure out what to write it on. Finally I decided a three-legged stegosaurus keyring was ideal. So I wrote it on there with a Sharpie and put it on his collar. Which is great except that no puppy in the world can ignore a three-legged stegosaurus hanging from his collar. I mean, seriously, who could?

I liked the idea, though. But maybe I'll put it on his gym bag. Wait, does he have a gym bag? No. Hmm.

I knitted that excellent acorn cap the whole way in the car today. I'm going to write up a pattern and sell it on Ravelry when this sample is done. Except, ack! Not enough yarn to finish the hat, no idea what the color is named or the dye lot might be, because it's an old skein. Drat! So I might have to finish this one differently, like with oak leaves on top or something, and get enough of one color of yarn to make another one.

I'm a little intrigued by the oak leaf challenge. Hmmm! Especially from the bottom up.

Also I have to figure out and invent decreases that keep the bumpy bobble pattern intact. The stitch is trinity, cluster, or bramble stitch--looks like blackberries, does a three-into-one-into-three thing--but I've adapted it so you knit the hat inside out so it's all kind of complicated, in a really simple four row lace pattern repeat kind of way.

Lace in the round! I love it.

Oh! Pause there for dual housepet snuggling, one on each side of me, YAY! I love that SO MUCH!

Pumpkin pie: seriously the best thing ever. Good to use up last year's last can (good until 2013) before this year's pumpkin comes out, right? And the evap. milk. Also, hello, pie is simply the best thing ever and I have to make lots of it, not just fruity sweet pies but much more savory pie. Quiche! Shepherd's pie in regular crust! POT PIES, you guys! I am going to be the pot pie queen!

So look out, I say.

Off for some beddage.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Quick like little bunnies

Must have a quick shower and take Mr. Puppy to bed as we're both completely tired out from Many Walks. Yes! We have mastered walking on the road! And so we get to go for lots of long walks! And my legs grew back or something after all that slothitude and sluggardly slackness so I can walk and walk forever. Hurray!

There is going to be a LOT of walking. We love it so much!

Today we went north, but yesterday we went south. Yesterday it was pouring the whole time. Today it was just hot and muggy. Today we saw many hopping frogs and toads, and also that gigantic beaver who lives in the pond at the bottom of the next hill. You know, you go up the hill to the Christmas tree farm and then down the hill and there's the pond, and then we go up the next hill to the top then turn around and come home.

These walks are not tremendously far, but then again, they don't have to be! I'm really looking forward to walking to the top of the mountain with Mr. Puppy. Yay!

He is currently sitting on my sewing stool with his leash in his mouth. Awwww! Given a galaxy of dog beds, he prefers to sit on the sewing stool (it's right next to the couch) or the blue cube. Circus dog!

I'm so horrified by what's going on in London. Jeez. My old student Hari is in the middle of it and keeps tweeting about things and of course that makes it very personal and direct. Lawlessness is completely terrifying, just like any time people agree to do one thing and plan accordingly and then just throw it up in the air. I go, "Wait, but we agreed!"

It highlights the agreement, that's what I'm saying. Yes, people could mug other people AT ALL TIMES, anyone could just walk up and steal your purse or bash you on the head, but you don't do that. We AGREED not to do that. It's so much better for everyone if we don't do that! In fact, things are not possible if people do that all the time. Nobody can live that way.

Also, why isn't it on the news? I put on CNN expecting to see it all over the place and there was nothing. So weird.

But then Eureka came on and I was like, "Woohoo, escapist sci-fi, yay!" Oh, me.

That's it, the puppy alarm just went off, got to get outside and then off to bed. I am beat!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Mmm, slept all morning on the couch with the puppy snuggled up, awesome. Well, after the usual gnawing/wrestling match where he tried to eat my hair and step on my face and burrow into my tummy and perch on top of me and stare into my face in a disquieting manner before suddenly barking, ARF!

But then we slept a bunch and that was nice.

And then I made pancakes! And washed the dishes. And everything's all nice and clean because I accidentally vacuumed on Friday night before I even knew my sister was coming over. Isn't that cool? Clairvoyant cleaning! I don't think I've *ever* come home from work on a Friday and cleaned before.

She and my brother-in-law and the big black dog came over yesterday and we hung out here, walked the dogs, watched the dogs riot, drank tea, etc. Then they went to my brother's and I made some food to take over and followed. Between the two kids and the two dogs, there was a LOT going on at all times over there. And everybody got really tired.

My brother and I came up with the theory that my sister is an energy vampire. She does more than any other human being could possibly do, and everyone around her gets exhausted, so see, it makes sense!

Oof. They didn't want the food I'd made, hummus and carrots and that awesome cold barley salad, so I went home early-ish and ate, fully intending to conk out by nine. But instead I pressed the quilt down and found backing material (yay for fezzes full of material) and pressed and sewed a backing for it.

I was just getting ready to trim the quilt top when good sense prevailed. It was late, I was exhausted, and mistakes can really screw up your quilt. So instead I wrote book for far too long and zonked out.

Today it's pouring, yay! That means I can't mow, which is problematic, but it also means I get to stay indoors in a nice clean house, with the dishes already washed and food already made. Which is UNHEARD OF and AWESOME and LIKE A VACATION.

Here's what I have to do today:
1) laundry
2) sandwich the quilt

How great is that?

I have pictures to show you! I'm hoping that removing tons of pictures (to thumb drives) will make it so Firefox can get pictures from this computer again. I don't know, though. There might be larger issues.

I still don't have that new prescription. They never called and the email that says it's ready never came through, which means it hasn't come through, right? Maybe. I could drive out today and see. I'm nearly over the worst of the asthma thing by now anyway--I used the allergic inhaler when I had to and turned bright scarlet--but I'm going to need a rescue inhaler that I'm not allergic to. As long as it doesn't cost $100 or something. Which it easily could. Asthma meds cost a FORTUNE.

Those with long memories will recall that's where a lot of my money went, the last year or so in L.A. One inhaler was $100 a month alone. Ugh!

So the quilting with puppy plan is: lay it out on the bed, do the straight-edge measuring with my WB 25 foot measuring tape, cut it, then put it back on the bed to sandwich and baste it. It's not ideal and it's going to kill my back, all that bending, but there's just no way to do it with Mr. Puppy going boing boing boing on it all the time. And chewing. Eep! It's hard enough with Mr. Kitty, who loves to bite the batting and shred it apart.

Puppy is all curled up in a ball on his dog bed and Kitty has gone up the attic stairs to hide out in his lair. I have plans to get up into the attic today while it's cool and find my smaller jeans, that giant stack of them, get them found and washed for when they fit. Because I think that day is coming, y'all, hopefully soon. My bigger jeans are getting hilariously big. These are the two pairs I bought in L.A. when my regular ones got too tight.

Also the bigger ones are so very patched up, there's not too much more patching I can really do before they get super uncomfortable. I'm still resisting throwing out my favorite long white cargo shorts that I wore as PA camo and my green hiking-Mt.-Hollywood shorts that both have their patches worn all the way through. They're all worn to bits. And my favorite royal blue rugby shirt that an old boyfriend borrowed and wore once. So shredded! Must sew it up, and then admit it's futile and turn it into dusters.

I think I might make cinnamon rolls. This book Sunshine is incredibly draggingly slow and tedious and has no dramatic tension whatsoever and has bored me stiff as well as explained and explained and explained, BUT it features a baker who makes amazing cinnamon rolls and so now I might have to make some. Mmm, don't they sound good? I could make a batch and take them in to work. Those people LOVE to eat!

What a deluge outside. I really love the rain. This Sunshine book is all about how sunshine is her element and all that. Well, rain and water would be mine. Give me a cold rainy lake any day over hot dry sun. And this view of a downpour against the row of giant old white pines along the field makes me very, very happy, even the part where I have to take the puppy out in it and he stands underneath my raincoat, using me as an umbrella, and looks up at me all woeful. Awww.

Whoa, it uploaded pictures! The alert will catch sight in my brother's house of the bibs I made for Julia before she was born and the quilt I made for Ryan, which he uses all the time both indoors and out. Yay!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Today marks...

Twenty pounds lost since getting the pupper, hurray! I could not believe it when I looked at the scale this morning. Awesome!

I was all mad at the doctor's office for saying I'd lost 12 lbs when I knew it was more, but of course, duh, I'd gained and lost 8 lbs they didn't know about while I wasn't visiting them. Doy!

20 lbs is a lot! You can't really tell except my clothes fit a lot better and there is some deflationary action in the bosomnal region. Which I am ALL FOR.

And because boys check me out, which is weird and freaky. Today I had to run up to this Mexican restaurant to pick up six bags of Mexican food for some corporate private flight and cute boys were literally jumping up from the bar to help me carry them out to the car.

That is new!

I also did my hair all pretty today. I mean I just pulled the front back into an oddly placed ponytail on each side, sort of high and back. The result is that it goes all curly and pretty. Goodness! Boys! What next?

Still no inhaler. I did use the old one so I could go walk Mr. Puppy down the road at sunset. And that's when I somehow taught him the absolutely crucial skill that I never did manage to teach Elsadog: how to walk on a leash without pulling my arm off. I didn't plan it or anything. He just kept yanking and yanking and I jerked him back and said, "Just WALK." And he was like, Oh! Just walk? Oh! Walk walk walk walk walk. Which brought on a huge flurry of GOOD BOY!!! and snuggling and praise and joy. And then he could do it!

It's all about finding a way to communicate what you actually want. They really do want to do the right thing. Mostly.

Before our walk I bounded into the bedroom and joyfully put on my favorite old jeans shorts, the ones that haven't fit for ages, and of course they're loose, hahahahaha! The ones I wore as default shorts in L.A., with the dopey cuffs that unfold down all the time. I really should either sew them up or cut them off and make a new hem. They're sewn down only at the seams, so they can't fold down, but then there's nothing to convince the middle parts to stay folded up. POOR DESIGN.

I also have to cut off some black jeans, the ones that are too short right now. Though too short will be okay in Motorcycle Boot Weather, once that returns.

Guess what, my sister is coming to town tomorrow with no warning! Aaaaah! What are we gonna do? Will I see her at all? Will she spend all her time at my brother's house? I'm expecting that, so prepared for that.

But! I came home with the inexplicable and unusual urge to vacuum everything and put the rugs back down (finally) and tidy everything way the heck up. I just have to wash the dishes still. Awesome!

I'm feeling kind of famished, actually, due to the not eating very much and having a margarita instead of a dinner of popcorn and margarita, which was my plan. Must make popcorn! But it's nearly 10:00. Well, maybe I'll make Not Much.

Right now must take dog out. He's so good! He wants to know what I want him to do, is all. I realized I was communicating with the leash instead of with words. Common mistake. But must use my words. He learns so very fast! And he really is a very very very good boy. He might get to see Cousin Echo tomorrow, very large black dog, and chase and play! It would be so good for him and very fun to get to play with another dog, especially his cousin who's four times his weight. Roundabouts.

Taking dog out now, and then making popcorn, oh yes. But take a moment and look at those word counts, yo--they are charging along and making me supremely happy. A yard sale tour is about to happen in one. Discovery of new abilities sequence like in every superhero story is about to occur in the other. Yes!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


So many adventures! So little training that sticks with the dog when we're out and about! Argh, dog. Must train dog better.

But I did manage to get puppy chow at Pet Smart despite Mr. Maniac flipping out and trying to climb up all the other customers. One guy said to him, "You are aggressively friendly." Which is true.

And I got those basting thingies at JoAnn, which meant Leaving The Puppy In The Car and spending the whole time flipping out that he had strangled himself with the leash (he was tied to the back seat headrest to prevent destruction and chaos) or choked on something or who knows what.

And then we went to the awesome little park which is on the creek right where the lazy curving flat stream part goes over some giant flat steps and into rapids before it becomes a faster bubbling stream all the way to the river. It's dammed to make the lake but then there's the pond after that and all the swampy swamp and marshy marsh and then the aforementioned lazy curving flat stream part, which is lined with purple flowers and lilypads and has ospreys and awesome bright green flattish frogs and fish and every kind of thing.

I have NEVER stopped there before. MADNESS!

We had a fun visit. Puppy hasn't ever seen a stream! Can you imagine?

I keep having this excellent fantasy about putting him in the cargo section of the kayak in his little orange flotation device that I don't actually own because it's $18 and hello, I just have a kayak, and then paddling around with him looking out over the edge with his paws up on it. Except you know he'd either crawl over the kayak to get to me and/or jump so he was dog overboard. No doubt both.

Also it's behind me as I sit in the kayak. But, I don't know, I like thinking about it. Obviously a canoe is the answer. My mom has one I could have, a light one-person (and one dog) canoe.

I might go to puppy class. This dog is irrepressible. He gets excited about anything, including a piece of grass he wants to sniff, and he doesn't even hear me. Maybe I need pockets full of hot dog pieces like my sister used to have. Oh well, I know it takes time.

The kitty has suddenly completely lost patience with him and growls and snarls at him. So I'm keeping him on a leash in the house, which sucks for everyone except the cat. Right now the leash is on my ankle so I can type, though he did conk out at last, phew. SLEEP MORE, dog!

Today I did math to assuage my feelings of impossibility and figured that I'd need to save $450 per month for a year to be able to afford to move to Oregon a year from now. If I get Other Job back, I can do it, if I'm really really frugal and careful and live on, like, grass. No, I can eat food, but very very cheaply and low on the food chain, which is in the ideal manner after all.

Today poor little work buddy had to stay hours late so I gave her all my change for the machines since she had no dinner foods, though in retrospect giving her my almonds and walnuts out of my desk drawer would have been smarter and more helpful.

How frugal can I be? Can I cut tv down further? Gosh it costs a lot. I could stop having this stupid cell phone that is never useful anyway. I could maybe have a smartphone and not pay for internet anymore, which is an astonishing thought, but other than Other Job and reading fun stuff like Twitter, I don't use it internet for anything. I mean I don't watch Hulu or download from iTunes or any of that. So there might be a way to combine things and make it a) more useful because then it would be a working cell phone and b) more portable and convenient, and c) less tempting when I'm writing, ha ha. Because of course I can distract myself endlessly. I wonder what the limbic system really does? Hmmm.

The book, the book! It's crazy. There were these kind of cyborg guys in my very first novel who got machined up as a penal system. Like if you committed a crime you would get turned into a cyborg soldier person with no self-will for a period of time and if you survived, you got uncyborged, at least theoretically, but how would you enforce that, after all? So I don't know why but this book, which originally had nothing of the sort in mind for it, turned out to tell the story of the genesis of that technology, incidentally, while telling the story of some seriously dysfunctional thieving conscripts who learn loyalty and honor and such esoteric concepts when big things disrupt their cozy thieving ways.

It's doing that good thing books do where they unfold themselves in all these ways I never expect. That acorn thing. How on earth did this acorn turn into a whole tree? That's insane!

Also excellent escape. I swear, I take the dog outside in breaks from writing and I sigh and say, "I'm still *here.*" Because for a while I'm not.

I do love my little house, and my maniacal untrained puppy, and I like doing excellent work at my job, and there are awesome people I really like. And I KNOW the secret of happiness is to look at the good things and not the bad. It really is as simple as glass half full. And I'm trying! I am. I don't always succeed, but I'm trying.

Plus I'll think, Okay, I can save up that amount this month except I still have to pay my federal taxes (and boy are they getting testy about it!) and I have to get the dog neutered, not to mention buy gas and food in reasonable quantities, whoops. I cannot do all or even some of those things and save up $450. It's just not possible. And that's with no electric bill!

But then I think: but Other Job will come back (they will--I called them and was Officially Reassured) and if this month is short, another will be better, and so on! And I can do it! I can. I have to BE STRONG and FIGHT and stuff. And never let my guard down with the money at all. Stack it up! Make it go into savings and stay there!

I am actually very good with money, for evidence of which consider that I earn so very little and manage to make ends meet nearly all the time. Nobody can make 2+2 = 17 but I do very well, considering.

And if I feel thwarty I can put energy into getting rid of things to Goodwill and Powell's, which will lower costs of the exodus.

The exodus fund! I am working on it.

I finally got to talk to someone at the doctor's office today who grasped that I'm allergic to my current inhaler and looked up the ingredients of the various possibilities and found one for me that doesn't have sulfites, she thinks. I love how they say, "Well, which ones aren't you allergic to?" How should I know? If I had that one, why would I ever give it up, huh? We wouldn't be having this conversation. I don't even know what the choices are. Gosh!

So she called it in and I can get it tomorrow, but I'm alarmed at the potential cost. Generally the first choice inhaler is the cheapest one, see. I dunno. I still have to get gas to get to work next week.

Also, and I don't know how this could be, I'm allergic to the prednisone. Prednisone is what they give you to CURE being allergic to things. It reduces inflammation. Except it's made me come out all fuchsia and flaming like the world's worst sunburn, and I have angioedema again, where half my face swells up all huge. It's awesome.

There's probably sulfites in it as a preservative or whatever. They contain pregelatinized starch, whatever that means, but nothing else that should set me off. I guess it's that. All food ingredients or additives called "starch" are on the forbidden list.

May I just wax rhapsodic about food? Oh yeah!

Breakfast: perfectly legal yogurt with banana slices and walnuts.
Lunch: baked sweet potato (plain), some legal no preservatives ham, and some cherries.
Dinner: four slices of provolone and a Hershey bar with almonds. What, I was out driving around! Oh and a glass of that no-sulfites wine my sister sent, which I forgot about.

I'm reading this book Sunshine that is just amazingly not very good, for a book that Neil Gaiman called "practically perfect" in a blurb on the cover. It really isn't, Neil. Sorry. It's pretty terrible a lot of ways, including but not limited to: endless boring explaining, tedious vampire plot, hackneyed explorations of vampire lore blah blah, hideously awkward and uncomfortable sex scenes featuring the word "dick" a lot in ways that people don't actually use that word, almost as if the author is speaking a foreign language. GACK. I'm only staying with it for the reliable flashes of Robin McKinley brilliance. Lordy. This book is Not Good.

Dear authors: don't call either male or female sexual apparatus ANYTHING. You are guaranteed to eek someone out no matter what you try. Be oblique and funny! Or be in the voice of your characters such that different people say different things, so that we're not hearing *you* say anything! Ack! Blargh! Yucky!

Plus, hello, I don't think we're in it for the detailed play by play, authors. I mean those scenes have a role in the story so play that role but the details are not what makes those scenes good and worthwhile. Character does that. Seriously. NOBODY WANTS TO READ ABOUT VAMPIRE PRONGS. Certainly not IN THOSE TERMS. Gaaaaaack.

Hee. Shudder. Prongs! Hahahahahahahahaha!

Also of course I hate the arbitrary magic thing where there are no ground rules and you get to do whatever you want with no coherent system whatsoever. Nothing works like that. Not anything. It's just lazy. Stoppit.

Prongs. Ha!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Eh...points for trying

I still get to be all proud of myself for overcoming Vast Loathing and Dread to go back to that doctor's office. But! The results were not that helpful! Though I'm sure the steroids will help reduce all the nastiness of the great big ongoing asthma attack that's been squashing me since Saturday.

Some day I'll meet an intelligent, thoughtful medical professional with listening skills, who can put all the pieces together for me re: allergies, asthma, arthritis, and so on. BUT NOT TODAY.

The nurse practitioner had the most disconcerting habit of looking straight at me blankly as if listening while she was typing on the computer, which meant she was not listening at all. Which no doubt is why she renewed a prescription (which I do not have, so how did she renew it?) for the inhaler I'm allergic to. Which I TOLD her I was allergic to, and we talked about it for literally 15 minutes.

So she renewed the thing I'm allergic to except in a manner that meant I couldn't actually get it. Like, there was no prescription. The pharmacy doesn't have it. I don't have it. Nobody has it.

Seriously, I am never going back to that place. They are not competent.

Also the front desk person somehow sent my prescriptions to two different pharmacies and then blamed the nurse practitioner when I called to ask about it. And then said she'd fix it, but then of course did not. I had to drive to the other end of town to pick it up.

Uncanny ability they have to screw absolutely everything up. Except the steroids. Yay for steroids! They really will help.

I went to work while waiting (in vain) for my prescriptions to be filled, so I could catch up on things and do my job and all that.

Also, did I mention? Two other things at the doctor's office. One, she did not believe AT ALL that my old doctor was not pursuing a diagnosis for the neurological whatever it is that makes me have trouble walking. She just didn't believe me. I wouldn't have brought it up, but she kept insisting I'd have to go back and see the doctor, and I finally had to say, Look, I'm not going to back to see her. She won't even try to figure out what's going on with me, and she contradicts herself every time I see her, and there's just no point. I am not getting medical care from her.

And I explained the tests and the results and the specialists--all this is in my records--and how the neurosurgeon was like, "Why are you here? And why hasn't she tested you properly for M.S. when you have all the symptoms?"

And the painful joint thing that hurts so much, and how she wouldn't even deal with that. No investigation whatsoever, no blood work, no referral to the pain center, no treatment, no cortisone shots, not even any pain mitigation beyond telling me to take truly massive doses of ibuprofin.

The nurse practitioner obviously works with the doctor closely and I assume that's why she just couldn't hear it.

Imagine if you had some kind of weird thing going on that made it so you couldn't walk sometimes and your doctor was like, "Huh. I dunno." And told you different things, and then denied saying them. And she ignored the advice of the specialists she sent you to. How would YOU feel?
I know!

Also I have a $3000 deductible, so I think I'll just go to the Walmart clinic from now on. It'll be cheaper and far less annoying and frustrating. They might actually deal with what's in front of them. Imagine that!
By the end of my time there, the nurse practitioner just shoved some papers at me and walked out without saying goodbye, I suppose because I'd maligned the doctor when pushed into a corner. I wasn't rude or mean or anything, but just laid out the facts. Oh well. Sheesh. Yikes, huh?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Bronchs

I feel like calling it The Bronx with the cool hipster use of x to indicate plural of chs. Anyway I have the bronchs! Bronchitis! With concomitant unpleasantries, like being up all night throwing up, so maybe I have the flu or something and it contains the bronchs within its manifold glories. Who knows?

I'm having seriously scary deja vu that feels like clairvoyance, about how I got fired next week last year out of nowhere. Oddly enough of course I do NOT want to get fired, nor lose my job, nor be unemployed. Is what I'm saying.

I have the feeling that in retrospect I'll be telling this story from a podium at a writing conference and will say Meaningful Things about it.
Anyway, the giant iron fist has my chest clutched in its grip. Can't breathe nohow. I have an appointment with the smart and awesome tiny feisty nurse practitioner tomorrow. Not the first one who started making up diagnoses on the fly when she couldn't figure things out, which come to think of it is exactly what my doctor did that lost me any confidence I had in her also.

Medical people can't just stand there and say, "It's x! No, it's y! No, it's z! So do this!" See...I'm not going to trust you on z when you just said it's x or y with just as much truthiness in your voice. You lose all authority.

I don't mind at all when they discuss possibilities. "It could be this, so let's check that." That kind of thing.

Anyway this one is a specialist with brain things, both psychiatric and physical, and knowing the difference, and figuring out what's what, so she's my choice, since apparently I HAVE to go back to the same doctor's office. I'm hoping she'll know what to make of the severe memory problems and all that. And I'll run M.E. past her and see what she thinks.

Anyway with a severely ailing uncle and a job that seems to be threatening to end suddenly, I keep thinking about this day. And of course the way my mind works, I put myself into that imaginary situation. Do you do this all day long? I do. How would I feel in that position? I would be upset about money and security and medical care.
I don't think I have the anti-panic stability and security to go it alone as a writer, especially without Online Job income. I mean, freelancing. Can you imagine? I'd be huddled under the desk in no time. Or maybe I'd be all awesome pioneer woman and Do What I Had To Do and fiercely send out queries left and right and compose outlines and shoot off partials and be published in no time flat. Not that you can live on that, really.
What a night! Outrageous thunderstorms, crazy lightning that went from down to up such that I was sure the yard was on fire, which it was not, and anyway lightning *does* go from down to up. I'm just not sure how I saw it that way through all those trees, know what I mean? You can't even really see sky from my bedroom windows.

I was up closing windows and unplugging things in the middle of the night because the power kept going off and on, between bouts of vomiting, staggering around confused in a benadryl stupor, because I'm still so allergical it's not even funny. And I got up to call in to work and then went back to sleep. I look so awful right now, I'm tempted to take a picture, just because it's so bad it's funny.

Let's move to Oregon! The only real exit strategy I have right now is that I'm planning to buy a trailer like this, or actually that very one, from that very store, preferably at an end-of-season sale for much less, or even used, who knows? And then I will be PORTABLE. My furniture is scanty and light enough that the Outback could tow it.
Isn't it adorable?

Because the hold-ups for moving far away are money for setting up there, money for gas, and money for getting my stuff there. This reduces #3 to a tiny fraction of what it would cost otherwise. And I can sell it at the other end if I want. I know!

Doesn't solve most of the problems, like memory issues and employment and being broke, but it feels so nice and pragmatic. I love thinking about the trailer. Blissful sigh!

I should go get a job at Tractor Supply. I absolutely LOVE that store!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Most gorgeous day

Oh yes it is. Gorgeous!

I'm home from work due to feeling utterly grody such that I'm all ehhhh and uuurrrrrrgh and bleeeaaaaaaaaah. I'm in that dopey mode where I keep on thinking, "My stomach feels terrible. What will help? Chocolate covered smoked salmon? Peppermint scallops? Spicy sesame noodles with super solid jam on top?"

And then I eat regrettable things and feel even worse. Though I did open up and microwave and then throw out yesterday's weird omelet thing made with dubious smoked salmon and milk that was far past its prime. The smell...ohhhhh YUCKY.

I'm sure that was the source of feeling vile today. Positive. Sure of it. How could it not be? NEVER EAT EGGS. Eggs are the source of all that is super gross!

I'm starving. I've eaten essentially scones for two days. Come to think of it, the cream looked pretty sketchy, too.

I can't figure out whether I've eaten anything else. See, my memory has gotten a hundred times worse lately, to the point where I not only forget whether I've fed the dog, I forgot there WAS a dog. I came around the corner and went AAAAAAAAH! I mean, I remembered right away once I saw him. Isn't that freaky, though?

Oh! I ate some purple coleslaw. I remembered. There's no food, hence the cooking of the (ewwww) eggs.

And so on.

My best guess is: I am exceedingly stressed out right now.

Oh and I forgot that vicodin has acetaminophen in it, which is made with a sulfite preservative, durrr.
Other sulfur-heavy foods you should totally avoid if you have sulfite sensitivity: eggs, cabbage (coleslaw), ha ha ha. So maybe eating EXACTLY all of the worst possible things wasn't the best plan.

And of course what causes my memory to go straight to the compost pile? Allergic reaction. I saw it starting yesterday but of course it comes with STUPIDITY and I didn't figure it out.

I need to go cook some food of some sort (even I am quailing, thinking about what that might turn out to be) but it's sci-fi day on tv. Hmmm. Popcorn? Can't actually go wrong with that one. But not just yet. The dog is asleep next to me on the couch! I'm rubbing his nice soft tummy. He's leaning all along my leg. Awwwww.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bake me a cake

Craving the sugar here, which I guess is what happens when you reintroduce JAM to your diet. More! More! More! I use little bits of sugar here and there in recipes but that jam, woo, boy.

I'm about to make a cranberry smoothie to use up the cranberry sauce I made that wasn't sweet enough so didn't get eaten up fast enough and is fast approaching the line of DOOM which food may not cross. This fah, no fahthah!

I have wicked cute dog and cat show pictures for you, including the most splendid action shot where the dog is moving like Neo in The Matrix to avoid a swiping cat paw. It might be the single best picture I've ever taken, for sheer awesomeness. The dog is actually standing on his back paws and blurred in motion, eyes closed. YAY!
Where is my smoothie? As soon as I talk about it, I feel sure it exists. And then it feels like time has reversed because there's the cranberry sauce still in its jar. Oh so complicated being me!

The new book is completely glorious and filling me with joy joy joy, doing what a book is supposed to do, to wit:

--obsess me all hours of day and night
--grow new ideas out of itself when I'm not looking
--invent new characters seemingly without my intervention
--get all sci-fi-y without any need for me to sit there going, "Hmm, now what would be cool?"
--pester me to write it, basically in the manner of the puppy

The puppy pictures from today are so very Corgi-fied! He has Corgi front legs, for sure. And back ones, I'd guess--I mean, don't they come in sets of four? But his front legs are exactly Corgi legs, thick and strong and in 1st position like a stocky, furry ballerina.

I might have to bake that oatmeal cake. It's practically a granola bar! No? Okay. But, so good! Surely there's some esoteric holiday I can pin it on! First of August? Anything? Let's see, beginning of Ramadan and a Civic Holiday in Canada. There you go!

I feel like all the Honda Civics are going to go lie on the beach and rub sunscreen on their roofs.

Oh, that's the other two things a book is supposed to do, to wit again:

--wake up my previously zombified (bored to death) brains
--make me really really super extra double happy with happiness on top

Today I am going to work hard on sewing things for the house, like, oh, the curtains that have been held up with straight pins--and in one case, an earring--since I moved in two years ago. Ack, argh! Must sew the curtains. The long blue curtains need hems. They've been hemmed with straight pins for about a year and a half. See, that's just not okay. The dog beds need polarfleece covers made from my piles of blanket-sized polarfleece remnants from the Woolrich outlet, owned LO these many years now. The piece of fabric over the bedroom door needs to be trimmed and hemmed. Again, been there two years. What else? That'll do for now.

And then they all need to get washed. Crivens! Feeling the urge for, um, summer cleaning, I guess. Though it's distressing how dirty the house is already when it was absolutely pristine on Wednesday. How did it happen? How? How?

I made purple coleslaw and ate it up, yum! And purple potato salad is next up to make. After that smoothie. Boy oh boy, I really want that smoothie now. And this cup of tea. YUM. And I might switch the chairs so that the cat sleeps in the one that hurts my back and I can use the comfortable one again, unmauled by dogs. Sitting on the couch and trying to write is not working so well. He crawls all over me and steps on the keyboard and it's just a matter of time (not long, even) before he unplugs the thing and loses my work, since the battery died.

Must buy new battery. They cost a hundred dollars! Most of the things I need around here cost $5 or $20. Sometimes I'll get the $5 ones but I almost never get the $20 ones, because there are about forty of them lined up and I can't get them all, so which ones? See. Tricky! And things are going to be tight for another two weeks, because of a prescription, though wasn't there some funky deal where they had some mysterious non-existent discount card on file for me? Maybe it won't cost as much as I think. But with gas and no doubt some veg and fruit and possibly yogurt required, yeah, it'll be tight.

Oh! This is weird. I got gas last Monday, but still have half a tank. Normally a week takes a whole tank, now that I run home every lunch time. And okay I didn't go to work on Wednesday and got that gas halfway through Monday, but that's still not enough to make it last twice as long. That's 7.5 round trips instead of 10.

I did get the middle grade kind instead of the cheapest kind, in some kind of fugue state I can't explain. Is that why? Does higher octane improve mileage that much? Is it actually cheaper to buy more expensive gas? Fascinating! Car is running better, too. Which I think proves it, or something.

Time to switch the laundry, find the putty knife, scrape petrified cat vomit off the basement floor (oh YAY) and then make that smoothie that I've been looking for all this time. Or possibly have the smoothie first, once I put it like that. Heh.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Boing boing boing

Dog is boinging around the house, playing with his stuffed golden puppy, in default of the cat, who is in hiding. And who can blame him? Getting gnawed on all the time is exhausting. Cat smacks dog's nose, I smack dog's nose, yet dog continues to gnaw on us.

I have the compulsion to say, "Gnarr, gnarr, gnarr," whenever he does that. Except you pronounce the g. Like gnarr is the sound of gnawing, where you also pronounce the g.

I have a new secret weapon against the work oppression feelings. Want to know what it is? A tiny blue notebook like those black speckledy composition notebooks. I don't even have to write anything in it! It just sits on my desk and reminds me that I can turn ANYTHING into writing. Hurray! It's true, anything, no matter how awful.

Tiny blue notebook says: you can always ramp up the stress and chaos levels of any situation (in a book) by adding in lots of dogpiled pressures on your poor protagonists.
Tiny blue notebook is just the best tool ever. I wonder if I'll ever write things in it? I strongly suspect I will.

Guess what, my jam came out very solid indeed! N diagnosed too much sugar and cooking too long. I concur! (Tiny blue notebook says...yeah!)

I truly adore N. She's all crankypants and says exactly what she thinks, or if she doesn't say it, you know anyway because of how she looks.

Like one day when someone was telling us a story about something cool and funny that *I* had done and said, but attributing it to someone else, N and I just looked at each other and kind of smiled, because we both knew. AWESOME.

My jam, though. It's good! Excellent flavor. But oh holy sticky-haloed Lords of Kobol, so very very very very sweet! And also solid such that you can turn the jar upside down and hold it there and then shake it and turn it every way you can think of and then shake it again and it WON'T MOVE. Hahahahahahahahaha!

I learned how to de-tannin-ize acorns so you can eat them. I've been wanting to know! Basically you dry them then shell them then boil some water and turn it off and instantly dump them in, then let them sit 1/2 hour while you boil another pot, and do the same thing.  And then you do it again if they still need it.

The word is, white oak acorns are much better than red oak, which are all tannin-y and bitterer. So now I'm going around staring at all the trees in a manner they would find disconcerting if they were not trees. So far, tons of red oaks, including the one right outside the house that makes the deck all shady, but no white oaks at all.

Stay, do they even grow here? Ah! In fact, no, the range ends just south of here. Drat! Well, I won't stop looking, anyway. White oaks could be like the mountain lions.

Speaking of which, puppy and I were out in the yard at twilight and something large and tan across the road made some very odd sounds and bounded away. It was probably a deer. Or quite possibly a bobcat, which we KNOW live right around here. Weird sounds, though. Do deer make noises? Other than crash crash crash through the underbrush?

Yes! Deer will snort, wheeze, bleat, grunt, and growl. Well that explains it. Probably a couple of deer.

Every day lately--because they're nesting--I see bald eagles and ospreys. And most days I see the turkey flock of hens and babies walking up the side of the road. EXCELLENT volucri lately. I see deer maybe one out of seven days, but see their tracks every day.

By the way, the mountain lion (or whatever) tracks are still visible in the dirt, even after all that rain, though the definition is gone. But you can see stride length and all that. Awesome! I remain scarily convinced that there's a not too old (but more than a year) mountain lioness about, based on the stride length and depth of the pawprints.

Did I tell you what the hunting and fishing store guy said when I went to get bear spray? Too expensive, by the way, costs $45! No thanks! Anyway he said I didn't need it because bears would just run away and a mountain lion would eat me before I knew what was happening. Okay! Then he talked me out of getting more shotgun shells because I don't actually hunt. But he did allow me to buy a highly discounted shotgun cleaning kit with the crucial oil I needed, since the kit itself was less than a regular bottle of the oil.

I feel bad that the puppy gets smacks from everyone around him, but then again he keeps on biting and biting and biting everyone around him, so what else can we do? STOPPIT. Sheesh! Plus from me it's a tap. That's what the monks who wrote the puppy book say to do. A tap is a signifier of a smack without being a real smack. But you know, I feel bad picking peas off the pea vines so of course I feel like I smacked him when I really just tapped him.

A tap on the nose would be startling, to be sure. I would stop biting someone in those circumstances.

This has taken me something like two and a half hours to write because SOMEONE keeps being a BANANA and making it IMPOSSIBLE to do anything for more than TWO SECONDS. Gaaaaah! But I also ate dinner in there, which involved lots of shoving the dog off my popcorn bowl. Sometimes dogs have these days where they're super extra hyper crazypants go go go. Hey dog! CHILL THE HECK OUT!


Off! Hurray!

Guess what? Nine days is too many days to work without a break! That is nearly ten! I know!

It's also not necessary. I really didn't need to be there today. So I asked if I could not, and boss said yes, so there I'm not. Awesome!

Anyway, today, woohoo!

They're widening the power line corridor that's a block or so away, if we had blocks. Maybe two blocks away. I saw them cutting down a huge wide swath of trees and thought they were putting in a road, so walked Mr. Puppy up there yesterday and asked. Nope, just expanding, or something.

I wasn't quite clear whether they were just expanding the treeless zone, or were going to build new pylons, or what. I would guess new pylons at some point, right? Otherwise, why?

It could mean an excellent new dog-walking zone for me once it grows over a bit. Right now it's a world of mud and shredded tree branches and things.

Hi! I have one of those killer day-off headaches. Woe! And alarming things have happened, like accidentally knocking a superball into the dryer vent place, where you pull the screen out to clean the lint off, know what I mean? I turned the dryer on and it went thumpity thump and then seemed fine. So presumably it fell through to the bottom or something like that. Eep!

Dog and cat are playing together nonstop these days. Wrestle, chase, yelp, yowl! They keep biting each other on the neck and wrestling like a pair of dogs or pair of cats. But they are one of each! It's tremendously awesome and makes me squeal with joy. Yelp, yowl, squeal!

They also did this fabulous thing: I was sitting on the couch and Gawain the Dog came and laid next to me with his front half on my leg, then Siegfried the Cat came and did the same thing on the other side. So they were lying there on my legs the same way, all peaceful and content and together. AWESOME. And then Gawain leaned over and licked the kitty's ear just the way kitties like it, so Sieg sort of leaned into it and looked blissed out.

I LOVE that these two are getting along so very well! I was hoping for detente at best, but I got best buddies who play together! HURRAY!!! I never imagined it would go so well.

So Jane had a writing sprint today and I got to join in for once, hurray! I was at my desktop computer so I just opened up the folder of ideas and grabbed the one that grabbed me first. It was this Z Company thing about some lower decks space marine kind of people who have no idea what missions they're being sent on or what's going on in their falling Empire, but are out to scam their way to money and fun and whatever they can get. Their leader is a beautiful loser (which is a term I credit to James Marsters from a commentary I heard once, where he called Spike that, but who knows where he got it?) with severe physical injury that he's hiding so he doesn't get remanded to a border outpost to die. His friends help hide it. And he masterminds their shenanigans.

As usual in my sci-fi novels there's a big social change going on that our characters aren't that interested in, but get sucked into, and then they turn out to drive it where it's going. You know, you think it's about surviving high school but in the end you have to save the world.

Here's what my ideas file looks like: lots of documents with a couple of sentences each, or as much as a couple of pages of plans and character sketches and story outlines.

I know perfectly well I have no memory whatsoever, so I keep everything organized and labeled that way. It's completely awesome to go look in that file and find all these excellent ideas that just haven't come up to bat yet. So today when sprint time came and I was actually able to play, I looked over the titles of the documents and pulled that one. So that's the book I'm writing now.

I wrote myself into a corner on the Apollo book. I think I'm actually going to back up and just delete everything after a certain point. Like ripping out your knitting. I have to figure out what point and then just rrrrrrrrrip.

Meanwhile, today is make strawberry jam and vacuum the dirty floor day. Possibly should vacuum first.

I took half a vicodin for the blistering headache. I don't understand the headache. I've had more caffeine in tea than I usually get in coffee at work. I didn't get to sleep late much, as puppy kept getting me up, though I kept putting us both back to bed after we went out. I think we finally got up at 9:00 or so.

Oh, he's such a good boy. He's turning out amazingly well. He's all affectionate and good, though not as obedient as he needs to become. And so big! And so very, er, capable! For instance, I came back to my desk and discovered he was sitting on my desk chair. He had climbed up. Whoops! Of course instead of shooing him down, I took a picture, but by then he'd figured out he could get on my desk from the chair. Ack! No one is safe!

Must remember to keep chair pushed in. Aiiieeee! Look out, kitty chow!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oh so worky

Working all weekend is full of work! And no weekend! That's seven days straight and I'm going in tomorrow, too, though I'm really hoping to get caught up enough that I can skip a day this week and not have to wait for Friday. Ooooooof. So very tired! Weekends you have to start at 7 instead of 8, which causes increased tiredosity. OH and there was the horrible heat, which exhausts a person, and the not sleeping well because of the heat, ditto.

Hee! I mistyped "ditty." Awesome!

I heard a radio guy on NPR say "insipid" when he meant "insidious" the other day. Madness! Those words are not even remotely close in meaning! The only way to use the wrong one is not to be sure what either of them means. Wow!

I keep having very interesting conversations about the negativity and high-stress drama that some people love to get into. They love it! And they think anyone who's not upset or involved is not taking it seriously, or doesn't care, or whatever. They have to pull everyone into their fit of cows. Am having cow! You must also have a cow!

Anyway the conversations are enlightening and very helpful for, um, writing. Yeah! Writing! At least, I hope so.

We went up to Borders after work to see what's left on the shelves. A lot, but some notable areas were pretty cleaned out, for instance YA and children's lit had been seriously decimated. Oddly enough, the self-help books were doing fine.
I wonder what that says? People who look for self-improvement do not take advantage of sales? People who need that sort of help aren't practical about saving money? I'm trying to draw some kind of conclusion but it's sort of like the XKCD that concluded that cancer causes cell phones. (As cancer rates rose, cell phone usage rose similarly but at a slight delay, therefore cancer causes cell phones. Awesome!)

I got some BOOKS. Yay!

Tonight dog and cat and I are snuggling up a storm, so fabulous! It's all because I got rid of the heinously uncomfortable brassiere after getting home. It's...heat and losing weight and I don't know what other variables, but the upshot is that those suckers don't fit right anymore and therefore cause major pain. So then I was all, Phew! Comfort! And laid back on the couch with the laptop propped against my legs. And then puppy came and crawled all over me and then laid down on my chest, chewing a rawhide, and then he moved so he was next to my head with his front half on my shoulder and chest, and the kitty came and laid across my midsection and got petted exceedingly, with the puppy leaning against him companionably.

You know that I LOVE that SO MUCH! That's my dream come true, all three of us snuggling together, so adding in my laptop was kind of hilarious, like, "How about a cherry and whipped cream on top of that, huh?"

We're still working on the whole no biting thing. I can tell the whole time he's like, "But I WAAAANNNAAAAA" even though he totally knows better. Self-control is not the first skill a puppy develops! It's true.

We have to go water the pumpkins, which sounds like some kind of weird metaphor but just means: water the pumpkins. Dry out there! There are actual peas on the pea plants, oh boy! I know it seems like the world's biggest miracle to me every year, but seriously: SO COOL. I can probably pick and eat some today. And should!

The exhaustification might mean going to bed super early tonight, though. Like, is now too soon? How early is too early? I don't want to be up at 3 but I am just beyond all sense with the tiredness.

After pumpkin watering and feeble attempts to find dinner (have eaten one date so far: insufficient) I'm going to read one of my exciting new books. Oh boy!