Month: October 2002 Page 1 of 2

Hoo hoo! Tomorrow I work. After that I play for twelve days. It’s good to have PTO.

Calm, Happy Thoughts. So my spouse kindly swaps out the video card in the system upstairs, thinking that it would help the monitor problems. And does something else, something mysterious, “to keep the system from overheating.”

Well, gosh darned if I didn’t get a good half hour of work in before I tried to save it. And gosh darned if the f^#*@^% thing didn’t lock up. And double gosh darned if it wasn’t locked up when I sat down. And triple gosh darned if my kindly spouse didn’t mention a word of it on his way out the door this afternoon. Well, gosh darn me for not trying to back up right away then, eh?

The Count of Down. M’lord.

De’s vacation starts on Wednesday. De went to the new worksite today and checked out the digs. Tiny. Poorly organized. Snazzy, in a beige kind of way, and no duct tape on the carpet. Vacation = going to stay home and write. Got to get up in the morning. Unk.

Semantics.

se·man·tics n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)

1. Linguistics. The study or science of meaning in language.

2. Linguistics. The study of relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent. Also called semasiology.

3. The meaning or the interpretation of a word, sentence, or other language form: We’re basically agreed; let’s not quibble over semantics.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

“Semantics” does not mean “meaningless distinction, a quibble over two words that mean the same thing.” Using the phrase “just a matter of semantics” or “mere semantics” in an arguement with me is like saying, “I have a problem with winning arguements…please whip me like the dog I am. Please? Please?” You could almost get off easier by saying, “But that’s women’s work.”

On an unrelated note, (cough) the Testerman Band (Guitarzan! Guitarzan! He’s the leader of a jungle band!) and the mysterious couple that “likes Arcanis; Jack says they’re funny” should arrive here at an unidentified time for some living Arcanis. And barbecued chicken. Mmmm. Chicken. I should be working on the newsletter (they’re letting me take it home now. Whee!), but my brain’s doing the “we’re having people over, woo hoo, woo hoo” dance, and if I get anything done today it’ll be a miracle. Ray would like to add that naugahyde chair cusions are a taste treat and that her day has gone ever so much better since she pooped. She advises both. Make of such advice what you will.

Sanity. I noted to my husband yesterday that I had yet to meet a man who was entirely sane. His response was, “Yes, but you like freaks.” So I do. Nevermind.

Rayup. Her growth curve appears to be slowing down a little. 30 inches, 20 lbs 13 oz. I asked the Dr. about Ray grinding her teeth, and the Dr. said not to worry about it. All appears to be well with the bebe!

Ramble. I don’t know how to say what I want to say…here goes:

Writing isn’t just scratching the cat until it purrs, but it seems like so many people have forgotten to scratch the cat at all that fewer people like to read than like to watch TV. Go to any bookstore that sells magazines. I’ll bet you a dollar that there are more “writer’s” magazines than there are reader’s magazines, story magazines, and I’ll bet you another dollar that both types are shelved together, and that the number of both types of titles together don’t remotely compare to “popular entertainment” magazines. Isn’t it a dead giveaway when magazines containing stories aren’t popular entertainment?

On the other hand, I’m just not a purely cat-scratching writer. I just haven’t got it in me to write the type of thing that people watch on TV. Not even the good stuff that people watch on TV. Well, unless you wanted to start up another “Twilight Zone”-type show, or an episode or two some something similarly odd, but I generally don’t write popular entertainment.

Is that what fiction writing (short stories, especially?) is for right now? All the leftover ideas that are too good to waste but inappropriate for mass media a.k.a. popular entertainment? Damn it, what I need is for someone big in entertainment to start sponsoring a magazine. I don’t mean Zoetrope, I mean something cheap, sleazy, and wonderful. I bet (from what I gather from people I know) if we could get Joss Whedon to stick his name on (editor-in-chief?) a reincarnated Amazing Tales, a genre could be revitalized, drift back over to “popular entertainment” once again.

Denver. Despite being a very good girl for a teething, sniffling bebe, Ray drove me up the wall yesterday.

She was great over at the Testerman’s. Two (big) dogs romped all over with her, she opened (after a few belly-flops onto the package) her birthday present (including a shirt with a fuzzy bear that she petted and talked to), she didn’t fall down any stairs, etc. But by the time we went over to the Hill-Kleerups, it was naptime, and she had no intentions of taking one. She did eventually sleep for about half an hour, but this was after I was nearly in tears.

Lesson du jour. Bebes who are good at taking naps at home may not be very good at taking naps anywhere else. Time to adjust the home routine if I want to go out more…

Anyway, Lee and I had a good time. I usually have a hard time meeting people I don’t know (ask anyone who’s had to wait a week or two to get a word out of me), but Dave, Margie, and Katherine were very good about making everyone feel welcome. We played a “living campaign” type module* of Pulp Adventures** — if you want to check out the game, it’s at www.pulp-adventures.com. Writeup to follow, if it so pleases the muse.

And many thanks to Justin, who good-naturedly weathered all children, dogs, and toy tragedies.

*I’m not too familiar with the exact details, but from what I gather, a living campaign is a campaign shared across a large number/area of gamers. The campaigns you can run are standard; all the characters live in the same world and on the same timeline. The eeps and stash you gain in one gm’s campaign can be brought over to another’s. Doyce makes it sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread. Pro: interchangeability, common experiences. Con: it’s still a pre-made campaign. I prefer gms on the fly.

**Think “The Shadow.” Any flick with a mad scientist. The Maltese Falcon. Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. The Tick, set in the thirties. Lee was a mad scientist; I was a Heinlein uber-chick in training; Margie was a girl reporter; Jackie was a wealthy society dame who likes to stick her nose where it doesn’t belong; Dave was an American martial artist. Doyce was nuts.

Ray. The two upper teeth are officially both in now. Ten days to birthday and counting.

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