Sunday, October 31, 2010

NaNoWriMo Eve, a.k.a. Samhain, a.k.a. Halloween

It’s the evening before NaNoWriMo begins and this year will not see me putting fingers to keyboard at the stroke of midnight. Midnight will see my fingers, along with the rest of me, sleeping soundly. I hope. As soundly as one can when one expends restful hours listening for mischief outside after trick-or-treating should be over, or mischief inside after the Ancient of Dogs finally decides she needs to pee.

I would love to be able to get up nice and early and get started, but I know my best laid plans tend to go askew at the worst possible moments. Like tonight. I was hoping to get to bed early, but those darn little monsters keep knocking at the door, even though it’s after nine o’clock. It wouldn’t be so bad, but some of those kids are so cute, it makes my head explode.


WHAT? Oh, sorry, I mean, what?

I have a sign on my front door. Actually, I have two signs up there all the time. One says, “No Soliciting” which is about as effective at deterring solicitors as a picket fence is at stopping a tidal wave. So, after having yet another person inform me that they are not soliciting, rather they are offering me a substantial savings on whatever they were selling.

So, I put up a sign that basically said, if you’re selling ANYTHING (including religion) ask yourself a couple questions, including “can I stop the bleeding in time for the rescue team to save me, or will that bitch answering the door have to bury another ‘not a solicitor’ in the backyard?”

It worked, at least for the most part. Now, they don’t knock, they just leave shit all over the front stoop. Now, I’ve included a mention of politicians and their ilk. I put the sign up on the door for tonight, because the doorbell is broken. I don’t want any trick-or-treaters to miss out on our candy because we didn’t hear them stomping around out there. Besides, if you don’t feed them, they will uproot some of your plants.

It has done a good job tonight, they’ve all knocked, and the parents are entertained, so everyone is a winner.

Except me. I’m tired and I want to go to bed, but there are people wandering around out there and I’d rather not lose any more plants to the zombies and vampires.

Tam and I put out our offering to our ancestors and now we’re about to turn into pumpkins for the night.

Hats off to an interesting October, and to what I hope will be a fabulous November of writing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Last post I mentioned a few words that I like. I forgot to mention “quart.” Not “quarter,” just “quart.” I know, bizarre, but true. There are certain words that just sound marvelous to me, and even a mundane one like “quart” can fit the bill.

Then there are the ones that make me laugh. Every damn time I hear one of them. Sometimes I don’t even need to hear the word, I just have to think of it and I get the giggles. The worst culprit for this childish behavior?


Oh, dear gods, it makes me laugh. It wouldn’t be so bad, but one of my students is rather fond of the word and will shout it to the rafters (along with other things fart related, ie; stinky, poopy, and grunt (another giggle-spawner)). This makes for an interesting day at work, believe me.

The other night, Tam and I were in bed, discussing our day. It had been an unpleasant week for both of us, so that quiet, wind down at the end of the day is important. Sometimes, if we go to bed early, it can lead to something…romantic. That night, I was hoping for romance, and it was going great, until we started talking about words. She knows my Achilles heel. Just as I was leaning in for a kiss, she whispered, “fart.”

I got her back, though. We’d planned a romantic weekend at home. Her son was visiting his father, and mine was at work, so we had the place to ourselves. We were going to sort out the living room, then let things progress from there (and yes, we do have a strange sense of romance and foreplay). Those were our plans, but I fixed her wagon, yes indeed.

No, I didn’t fart (and yes, I do giggle every time I write it). Instead, I got sick. It’s very difficult to be romantic towards someone who sounds like the love child of Selma Diamond and Chuckie Finster.

Especially when she’s giggling and sneezing in your face.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday. Blessed, Blessed Friday

Da-yum, this week sucked. Work sucked, and finding time to get anything done at home sucked, simply because we were so damn tired from all the crapola at work, we just didn’t care.

My baby turns 19 this weekend and I’m feeling a little out-of-sorts about it. I have to schedule time to see him on his birthday. I realize this is something that happens to parents when their kids move out, but seriously, he’s still living with his father, so there shouldn’t be such a problem.

But that’s life, and I just need to deal with it. However, after this week at work, I’m not really into that whole “dealing with shit like an adult” mood, so instead I will whine about it for a while.

I think I need to take notes on the funny stuff that happens, because it’s getting harder to remember any of it at the end of the day week what-the-hell-ever.

The weather is turning chilly and I finally had to turn on the furnace, lest we all succumb to a state of torpor. Torpidity. I love that word! It ranks right up there with crocodilian, quart, and chalcedony. Ok, I also think Chlamydia is a lovely word and fun to spell, but, uh, no. Do. Not. Want.

…and my favorite number is 16, I’m an Aries/Pieces cuspidian (I just made that up, because that’s another thing I like to do) and people hate to play scrabble with me. Except for that one time, at Writer’s Camp…

Gawd, my head…where was I…?

I’m still slogging through the manuscript, but with fatigue constantly on hand to beat me senseless whenever I attempt to think, the process is going a lot slower than I’d hoped. I can still get it done before the next NaNoWriMo begins, but only if I sequester (another favorite word) myself away from family for the rest of this month and do nothing else. Except work. And sleep. Maybe shower a couple times.

It will get there, I promise. And? I just learned that another NaNoWriMo novel just hit the NYT best-seller list. Awesome sauce, man, awe some sauce.

I need to get busy…

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How Not To Blog

Maybe I should title this one, "How to Not Blog."

It’s a good thing I didn’t make any promises about this blog…or join NaBloPoMo. Right now, I cannot think of any way to put up a post a week, much less one every damn day.

And it’s not like there hasn’t been anything happening that is blog-worthy, because folks, let’s face it, my life has some very odd people in it, and they make things blogable. No, it’s because I’ve managed to find things to keep me away from the blogosphere.

Important things.

Ok, maybe not ALL of them are important things, but enough of them are, that I find they justify my absence. Some of the time, anyway.

Let’s just get the nonsense and ridiculous things out of the way first. It’s the biggest time-suck, and definitely one of the most entertaining, but also the BIGGEST time-suck (yes, I know I said “time-suck” twice) has been Diablo II (expansion pack).

Now, before you get all, “Bitch, please” on me, just let me explain. Tam and I have figured out how we can play together on BattleNet and it’s been a blast. We get a couple of characters and go rompy-stompy through some dungeon, or forest, or what-the-hell place, and kill monsters. I find it rather cathartic after dealing with middle school children all day long.

When I’m not saving the world from the demonic forces, I’ve actually been editing the novel. My plans on getting through chapter 10 over the weekend fell through, thanks to a nasty little virus I’d picked up (probably from work… or one of those putrid little demons I bonked with my “scepter of might” in the Blood Moore). But, progress is being made, and I’m also putting down ideas for the next NaNoWriMo (which begins soon… too soon).

Then there are the cards. Tam brought home a TON of cardstock in various colors, punches, glitters (man, that shit gets EVERYWHERE), and decorative-edge scissors. I’ve been immersed in sculpting cards again, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The Halloween ones have been some of my favorites, although the note cards are a blast to make. I’d like to add other embellishments to them, but right now, most of my supplies are buried behind and underneath stuff that has yet to be put away after Tam moved in. Over a year ago.

Because we’ve been busy… weren’t you paying attention? We’ve been killing demons and saving the world, jeeze…

Plus, we’re both back at work and this year has been really hard on both of us, physically. Because I like my job, I cannot write about it, you’ll just have to trust me when I say, “I’m glad I have quick reflexes, and I hope these kids don’t kill me before I can retire.” No, I’m serious. Para’s in my kind of classroom have a tendency to get broken.

On a lighter note, coffee.

Tam and I have started to think we’re under some kind of coffee curse. Shortly after she moved in, my old coffee maker sprung a leak. We sent my older son out to get a new one, because we were too broke to do it ourselves. That machine lasted three whole weeks before it refused to heat the water.

By that time, we had figured out we could afford to get something of quality and have it last. After some research on the topic, we saved our pennies, took the plunge, and purchased an electric percolator. Let me tell you, that was AWESOME coffee! And that coffee pot lasted almost six months!

Instant coffee? Not a favorite around here. So, in a fit of pique and “take that, Universe,” Tam went out and bought a stove-top percolator. We danced the dance of joy and took that first sip of wonder and rejoiced. This would be the last coffee pot we’d ever have to buy.

Famous last words.

Not even a week after our first pot of delicious coffee, the damn glass percolator thingy on the top of the pot broke. It. Was. Tragic. We went back to instant for a little while, hoping to find a replacement part, but none were forthcoming. So, after channeling my inner McGyver, I took some aluminum foil and formed a new little perc-o-dome. Now that we can’t see the color of the brew, we have figured out that as soon as it’s going full blast, we turn down the heat to “low” and leave it. When it’s quiet, we go out, remove the innards and serve up the coffee.

Yay, Universe! Yay, McGyver! Yay, coffee!

Yay, blog!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When the World Goes “Tilt”

Chalk it up to my age, but when I saw the posters with the kid’s photo, I was sad. There was something vaguely familiar about him, but nothing clicked.

Until today. Until they found his body. Tam’s son texted to let her know and I passed the information along to my youngest. That’s when he told me he had gone to school with Dwight and that’s when all the pieces fell into place. Dwight Clark and my son were buddies through grade school and middle school. They would have continued to hang out together, but the district had other plans and they ended up in different high schools.

There were four boys that stuck together, from kindergarten through middle school, nice guys. Good guys. I remember many a field trip with those four. Dwight was one of the good ones, easy to be around, not one for getting lost at the zoo or aquarium.

He graduated this last June and headed to Western Washington University. They found his body on Sunday. I was sad to learn the news, but it wasn’t until I connected all the dots in my memory that the world went “tilt” and my heart broke.

I sent another text to my youngest; “I just needed to tell you I love you.” But what I needed even more was his reply, “I love you too.”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Oh, maaaannnn…

I just did something stupid. I just looked at my (sort of self-imposed) to-do list and nearly had a heart attack. There hasn’t been that much mayhem since Pandora had her little incident. At least with Pandora, she managed to keep Hope. Me? I blindly reached out and snagged Chaos by the tail.

Because I’m just that awesome.

Right now, I’m supposed to be taking full advantage of a quiet house and editing another chapter of the manuscript. I’m not. Instead, I messed around on Facebook for a little while, before turning my attention to the blog (and that would be AFTER I did a little blog reading. Not mine, just a few others.).

It’s the way I have always “managed” my life; make a list, then put it “somewhere safe.” Then, when I least expect it, I find the list and realize that I’ve not done any of it. Not only that, but things have been added in a mysterious handwriting in something that looks like blood.

Then parts of the house break and, well, priorities get shuffled and the next thing you know, there’s a new list tacked onto the old one and my bank account goes into hiding. Somewhere on that list is a new roof and gutters, as well as some foundation repairs that need to be done.

Either that, or I say, “screw it,” write the next best selling series and roll around in a room filled with money.

Then I’ll hire someone to handle that damn list.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Shopping

I… do not really like some kinds of shopping. Saying that might get me thrown out of the Girl Club, but seriously? To me, shopping for necessities on a Saturday is akin to taking a hammer to my head while simultaneously blasting insipid music through each ear drum AND flooding my already aching sinuses with migraine-inducing old-lady perfume.

No, I don’t exaggerate, what the hell makes you think I exaggerate? I have issues, that’s all, little issues that drive me nuts.

Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead shopping on a Saturday, but I don’t really feel much like going out for groceries after a day of attempting to convince special needs children they need to sit down while I teach them how to recognize their own names. It is physically and mentally draining, so shopping after a day of work would probably make me cry.

Shopping on a Saturday, however, may be worse and we try to avoid it at all costs. This time, however, we couldn’t wait until a better time. We were out of everything in the kitchen. Also, we get paid once a month in our school district, so that means we do most of our shopping when the paychecks are still warm. It’s also the same time that lots of folks get their monthly checks and have decided to wander around, clogging the aisles while trying to remember if they wanted tamarind paste or tamari sauce.

But this time, there were lots of errands that piled up on us, so we had to take them all on at once, which was probably one of the dumbest things we’ve ever done as a team. Our first stop was a nationally-known craft/fabric chain. The service is never exactly stellar at any of their stores, but today they managed to outdo themselves in the YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME! department.

I needed fabric for the classroom. Two yards off one bolt of fabric. No notions needed, just the flippin’ fabric. I took a number. I looked up. They were helping number 38. I had just drawn 41. I figured I could live with that, so I stood in line behind a mother/daughter team.

But the line did not move. It stayed static for a long time because the clerks were moving at glacial speed, when they moved at all. If they started talking to the customer about the weather or the project the customer was making, they stopped working, hands idle, only mouths moving.

Fine. This couldn’t go on forever, right? Tam grabbed a couple of aspirin from my purse and took herself to the women’s room while I stood with the cart. She took a long time. When she got back, I hadn’t moved. Neither had the women in line in front of me. NEITHER HAD THE WOMEN AT THE COUNTER! Why? Because BOTH customers being waited on had forgotten important items for their project and had wandered off to find them. Evidently, that meant the clerks had to FREEZE until the customers returned.

Tam went to look at other fabric while I waited. Finally, the customers at the counter were done which meant I would be next in line. Oh, the joy!

That’s when I remembered nothing happens when there is talking, and customers must always wander away to find another bolt of fabric to be cut.

Tam looked my way and hurried back to where I was standing. When both customers had wandered off to find something else to be measured and cut, I turned to the woman in line behind me. “Here, have a number 41,” I said thrusting it into her hand, “I am finished with this place.” Then I wheeled my cart to an inconvenient location, and left the store.

“That went better than I thought it would,” Tam said, “I was expecting artillery shells at the very least.”
“I did the next best thing,” I said as we climbed into the car, “I let a huge fart at the door as we were leaving.”