Month: July 2002 Page 1 of 3

Submission. “On Hold (The Uncanny Adventure of Mrs. Kurtz)” has been submitted to Quantum Muse.

A pretty readable site; the editors are in a state of grace due to excess alcohol and thus aren’t scrabbling for money. Or so they say.

Neat. For those of you who don’t get here through Doyce’s site, he posted a story online during the blogathon this Saturday past. It’s called Vayland Rd.

I liked it.

Note: Read from the bottom up. I’m sure he’ll post the whole thing in regular order as soon as he has time.

[Snorkle.]

Frustrating. You know what’s frustrating? Non-paying websites that want more than non-paying rights. I’m trying to find a place for the serial I put up here, Mrs. Kurtz, but I’m having problems. Guess what? The places I’d consider sending it out to don’t want it, because I put it up here. One place even wanted all rights. All rights. With no reversion to author. Ever.

Grrrrr.

No. Turns out that Ray does better going through her day if you say “No” and mean it sometimes. The interdiction doesn’t last very long (thirty seconds), and she’s upset, but she isn’t hurt. She seems happier dealing with a straight-out “no” than a general sense of annoyance. It seems obvious, but I’d always wondered.

It seems like she understands that people have emotions now, that it is possible to communicate emotions from herself to someone else and back. (I don’t know if she understands that two people that are not her can do this yet.) I don’t think it’s empathy (beecause she doesn’t care yet that it hurts when she yanks that cat around), it seems more like a pre-talking thing. When she babbles, now, she isn’t just expressing what she feels, she’s trying to communicate what she feels, on purpose.

In basic English, that means she’s started whining.

Raynews. She now has two teeth. She can stand on her own for five seconds at a time, but she doesn’t try to walk yet. She can nest dishes inside each other.

We took her to her nine-month doctor’s appointment on Thursday. She may not eat whatever she wants, although not to the point where she misses any nursing meals — we shouldn’t wean her yet. She is twenty-eight inches long, and weighs twenty pounds, three ounces. Her head size is OK. She didn’t like the student nurse that was seeing her, so the student nurse (right after shoving stuff in Ray’s ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and rubbing a cold stethoscope all over the bebe–all without a single smile at the bebe) decided Ray has stranger anxiety. The assistant (who gave her her shots) got nothing but Raysmiles, having first flirted with the bebe.

Lee helped hold Ray when it was time for the shots. I had the upper half, and he had the lower, so he had to watch the shots. He said that the needles did indeed look huge sticking all the way into her legs. She had a little fever that night, and the dire rears for a couple of diapers, but she appears to be fine now.

Almost forgot. She can play peek now. She doesn’t hide behind her hands (we don’t, either, I guess), but she’ll crawl around a corner and stick her head out to peek at you.

Park.Lee and Joe and Ray and I went to the park. We each had our separate picanic lunches (Ray got a couple of funny looks when she had hers), fed old bread to the ducks, and played on the playground equipment.

Playing on the playground equipment was mostly Ray and myself, of course, the guys having used up all their loss-of-dignity in a bread-throwing contest that the ducks, obviously, won.

Review. Five Novels, by Daniel Pinkwater.

Not much needs to be said about Slaves of Spiegel, Young Adult Novel, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, and The Last Guru, because you can say it like this: “Daniel Pinkwater writes Tim Robbins novels for kids.”

I wish I’d known about this guy when I was that age. It might have made things a lot easier to bear. Speaking of bears, I think Justin would like these.

What’s the word? Have you ever noticed the particular moment when you’re just over it? Whatever it is?

I don’t know if anybody’s noticed, but the last two years have been rough.* I tend to keep a straight face for everybody but family — a grand midwestern tradition, I think. Anyway, I had a couple of nightmares, a cathartic cry on Lee’s shoulder, a couple of good dreams, and then…on the way in to work one early morning, I thought to myself, “Well, those two years are over.”

It wasn’t a thought in words, but that’s what it meant. So what’s the word for that?

*The roughest part has been losing friends. One to coke, another to general manipulative assholeness, and a third to her husband.** And the general loss of nice folks you know when you move.

**No, we weren’t lesbian lovers.

Up?

Things may be getting a little better.

Lee’s finally been offered a full-time job at Best Buy, supposedly with raise. And I’m finally done paying off the maternity leave (they decided that I hadn’t been working there long enough to get the full, full-time benefits, so they…took it back). So we may be able to slowly creep out of the pit of the underemployed. The barely-hanging-on. Maybe.

Look, I didn’t grow up with money, and I’ve never really made any. Didn’t bother me. If I had enough cash for basic living expenses and used books, I was good to go. With Ray, everything is different. I care about things like insurance now, and having some kind of financial security. I want to get out of places where you can’t let your kids run around for fear that they’ll pick up shatters of glass off the sidewalk from last night’s upstairs drunken orgy.

Lots of people I know have been burnt worse by the enconomy lately. A couple of single mothers who started the day with nothing and ended up with less are at the top of the list, but it seems like the greater percentage of actual tech people I know have been laid off in the last year. Granted, a couple of them got tech jobs again right away, but some of them didn’t. And it seems like Lee can’t even get a nibble from anybody but Best Buy, even after almost a year of applying.

So…even the possiblity that this might not go on forever comes as a particular relief.

Wish us luck.

Review.I’m getting behind. I’ve read a bunch o’ good books lately.

Don’t Ask, by Donald Westlake.

I don’t know if this is the real story, but this is what I imagine: Donald Westlake mails his M.S. into his agent, without a title. The agent opens the box, calls Westlake, and says, “Well, Donnie (you don’t mind if I call you Donnie, do you?), what’s the name of the book? And what’s it about?” And Donald Westlake says, “Don’t Ask.” “Right-o,” says the agent, because Donald Westlake is one of those perennial sellers, and can get away with that kind of thing.

Any description of the plot would be meaningless. For those of you in the know, this is a Dortmunder novel. For those of you not in the know (like myself, although I do intend to get in that there know), the opening scene of the book is Dortmunder and couple of his associates riding in a fish truck which they have stolen to get the frozen fish. The a/c is dripping icewater on Dortmunder’s foot, and they’re stuck in a traffic jam in NYC for hours. Three big guys. Dortmunder can’t move his foot out from under the drip, so he flips off the a/c switch. Doot da doo. The drip shuts off, get off the bridge and out of traffic, get out and…pheeeeeuw. They’re riding in hundred degree heat, and nobody notices that the cab hadn’t gotten any warmer.

So much for the fish.

Dortmunder is a brilliant thief. He just has these…occaisional lapses. Mishaps. Bad coincedences.

I giggled my way through this thing.

Dortmunder, for some reason, reminds me of a Spider Robinson character. Not any character in particular, just a Spider Robinson character.

I especially recommend this to my brother in law, Mike.

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