Month: May 2003 Page 1 of 2

Ouch. Stacey (Matt’s wife) just got back from vacation to discover that…the gent that had been watching their house had flushed an upstairs toilet, and the toilet had clogged. Fine. Well, it was the toilet that kept on running ’till you jiggle the handle.

Everything is mostly OK. Nevertheless, she’s had a bad friggin’ week.

She was over to see if Lee could rescue their computer; it turns out the water hadn’t hit it, but the new video card had outstripped the system’s power, and the system was forcing itself to shut down. Lee said it was something that he knew as theorhetically possible, but it was the first time he’d ever seen it happen.

Ach. Well, at least she’ll have her email back now.

Well. As it turns out, with the determined additude that you needn’t accomplish diddly squat, many things can be done without much skull sweat.

So far:

Wednesday. Did the remaining twelves pages of data entry on the novel; I’ve been writing it longhand and typing it into the computer. Why? I have a toddler. It’s easier to be focused on the computer, typing in words (mostly) as they appear on the page, for a couple of hours, than it is to stare at the screen and brainstorm with a toddler vying for your attention. Picked an area for an herb garden, put in a smallish stone demarcation/path. Not a professional job, but it’ll do the trick of letting me know where I can walk while the seedlings sprout. Looks OK. Finished hauling dangerous wood and steel-bar crap out of a corner of the yard, scared off all the centipedes, and raked up the moldery mulch.

Thursday. Spaded, broke up, and raked about half the herb garden, put in basil and anaheim peppers, which count as an herb to me, as I use them for flavoring. Nyaa. Spent way too much time getting stuff read for Nobilis, doing the writeup, figuring out the character sheet, filling out questionaires, etc. Nevertheless, deeply satisfying. Cool. Went to the Matrix (Lee decided not to go). Non-spoiling review: first half was dull, with good moments. As a fledgling novelist, I can say, “Hey! That’s a stupid plot trick to distract me from the fact that very little is happening right now, and we’re just covering pertinent information in a semi-interesting way!” The first half wasn’t as mythic as I had hoped. The second half had its flaws, but I completely lost track of time and was shocked when the movie ended, so any criticism I have is nitpicking and nevermind.

Friday. Did laundry. Farted around, bought a couple of used books (What’s the Worst that Could Happen? by Donald E. Westlake, a Dortmunder novel*, and The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynne Jones.) Worked past a couple of plot problems on the novel, which means I avoided using the stupid plot trick mentioned above by changing the plot. It’ll work, and I won’t have to find excuses to make exposition exciting. For the most part, it’ll all just come out as a part of the plot. Nyaa, Matrix. Cranked out nine thouroughly enjoyable pages, which should get me caught up to the page-a-day goal. Cool. I may even watch an episode of Angel.

*Dortmunder. Ah, if you do not know Dortmunder, you should. Some books belong in the genre in which they were born, like Star Trek novels. Some books belong not to a genre, but to the entirety of people who like to snigger. The Dortmunder novels are ostensible mysteries, but really they’re about a genius with no luck–until it comes to revenge. Hey. The Dortmunder novels are the kind of thing Spider Robinson either has or would recommend.

Time. I have five days off.

Five days in which to accomplish everything on my plate. Five days to get caught up. Five days to…

Finish watching the first season of Angel and continue to allow the ants to crawl over my bookshelf.

Ah.

Game. Lee and I have finally gotten together with the Doyce and Jackie House of Pain to start gaming again. Cool.

It’s a game called Nobilis, which, as the desc says, “lies between Sandman and Amber, but there’s no game like it.”

Lee is Death. I’m Reality.

We discussed this on the way to Denver. We both decided that each other’s characters would be too complicated to play, if we switched them.

And that, my friends, is marriage.

Twice. Ray will now bring you her shoes if you ask her nicely.

“Will you bring me your shoes? We’re going to go outside.”

“Eeee!” She runs squealing around the room, leaps on the couch, and hides.

“Shoe? Can you bring me your shoe?”

“Oh, no!” She looks around, crawls off the couch, looks around some more.

“It’s over there. Your shoes.”

“Shoe!” She spots her shoes, grabs one, and runs around in circles, dancing.

“Can you bring me your shoes? We’re going to go outside.”

“Shoe? Shoe? Shoooooooooooooooooe!”

She brings me her shoe.

“Thank you,” I say. “Where’s the other shoe? We need two shoes.”

She claps her hands together and runs around screaming.

“Where’s your shoe?” I point. “Bring me your shoe!”

“Shoe! Shh! Shh!” She picks up the shoe, leaps on the couch again, and hides the shoe under the cushions.

“Where’s your shoe? Let’s go outside!”

“Shoe!” She pulls back the pillow to reveal the shoe, then throws it on the floor. After a little shoe-dance, she picks it up and brings it to me. She looks at the other shoe. “Shoe!” she says, and sits in my lap so I can put them on.

Today.

Today is a day to blow off.

Today is a chocolate day.

Today is a my-tv-the-babysitter-and-source-of-cheap-entertainment day.

Yesterday was a spring-cleaning day. Funny how that all seems to work out…

Book Rack. This is a CS used bookstore-slash-computer place, the place where Lee got the laptop. I stopped in to look around–very cool. The owner stopped to talk to me; he remembered the laptop.

He also commented, “There’s a girl’s side of the store, and boy’s side of the store.”

The romance takes fully half of the shelf space. Feh! I told him I didn’t go over on the girl’s half very often.

“Sci fi?” he said. “Bring me some books.”

“Nooooooo! Those are my books!”

“You sci fi readers,” he said. “You keep books.”

Mother’s Day, part II. We went to the circus.

Neener neener neener.

Lions, elephants, ponies, horses, boa constrictor, baby white tiger, Florida panther. Clowns, jugglers, contortionists, acrobats, riders, and a human cannonball.

Everything larger than life and twice as expensive.

We had a wonderful time!

Mother’s Day. Lee said “Happy Mother’s Day” this morning. Hey. I’d forgotten.

Something happened this morning that reminded me why I like Colorado. Grocery shopping. A woman started flirting with my daughter, asked me how old she was. They played while I picked out pork chops. She told me about her granddaughter, two: a very big kid. I remarked that most of the little kids out here were huge. She agreed. Then she said, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

I love the fact that people will just start talking to you here.

Iowa, the conversation would have gone something like, “Your daughter has a dirty face. I have a granddaughter about that age. But she’s taller.”

Computer. I don’t remember if I mentioned it. Lee bought me a 386 laptop for $20 at this place called the “Book Rack.” –Actually, it sounded like the perfect idea for a business. Used books and computer shit. Throw in an espresso machine and I’m buying stock, OK? And all the computer equipment is guaranteed to work. Anyway. This is the greatest $20 laptop ever, because, among other things, it allowed Lee to save the hard drive off the $50 486 laptop he got me–four?–years ago, and every means of getting info off the thing died.

But the battery loses power.

I checked everything out; working perfectly if slow; took it to a coffee shop to write; powered it up; opened MSWorks; the battery warning beeper beeped.

Damn.

So I need to get a new battery…but let me just say that the data recovery feature was definitely worth the $20 investment. Already a kick-ass gift.

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