Saturday

18 February 2017

I'm sitting in Starbucks--pretty typical for a Saturday for me--trying to edit the vomit draft of the current manuscript. The place is pretty well packed so it's not in any way quiet, which is fine. The sound of voices tends to become background static, and I don't mind.

But fifteen minutes ago a family sat at a table very near me. Several kids. Fine, this is a public place, I really don't have a leg to stand on if I complain.

Everyone knows a kid who has a naturally loud, whiny voice. The kid can't help it; that's just their voice. Even their quiet voice is oddly loud.

This family has one of those kids. I could normally tune him out, but he has said--at least 50 times and I am not exaggerating--"quit calling me that." And Dad keeps on calling him whatever the hell it is that the kid doesn't want to be called.

I am starting to twitch, and it's taking every ounce of restraint I have to not stand up and yell, REALLY, STOP CALLING HIM THAT SO HE WILL SHUT THE FARK UP.

Only I wouldn't say FARK.

If I ever win the lottery, I'm opening a place for people to come where they can write, study, read, drink coffee and tea and eat pastries, but I swear anything over a whisper will get a patron bounced.

In fact, that's what I'll call it. Whispers.

Damn. Now I really want to make this happen.

4 February 2017

Yanno, If you pick up a guitar for the first time in about 10 years, two things happen:

1) Your fingers feel like they have gained 5 pounds and an extra inch in girth
2) Your fingers will farking hurt.

If you sing...it displeases the cat.

Wednesday

1 February 2017

Freedom of religion also implies freedom from religion; if you honestly think that this nation needs to be insulated by Christianity, that we need Jesus in the White House, then you really don't support the Constitution. #showerthoughts

Tuesday

31 January 2017

Okay, NOW it's the last day of the month. I have no idea why I thought yesterday was, but for most of the day I was convinced there were only 30 days in January.

Training for the 2010 3 Day
We end the month with making sure we're registered for the San Diego 3 Day in November. Our fundraising from last year was deferred and will show up on our 3 Day pages in April, so the current $0.00 showing isn't correct. But I probably won't even mention it again until after St. Baldrick's, at least. I've reached my minimum as it is, and the Spouse Thingy isn't too far off. We'll still do some donor prizes, because donor prizes are fun.

But.

I hit $600+ for St. Baldrick's, so I'm gonna have to sing. Give it a couple of weeks; I need to figure out where I stored my guitar, see if it can even be tuned, and then try to remember how to play.

It's been a while.

You poor people.

In other news...I was super surprised to learn this week that a 10 day old baby can fly internationally. I'm not sure why I thought there was a minimum age, but nope, the kid could have flown as young as 2 days. I haven't heard how the flight went, but a part of me feels kinda bad for the other passengers if it didn't go well.

In other other news, I get the proof copy of the paperback version of Ozoo tomorrow. Kind of excited to see it, even though it will look like the hardback.

Also...for some reason a few of my books are no longer being sold in print by Amazon, only available from 3rd party sellers. I have no idea why. It includes The Emperor of San Francisco and Ozoo. They're both still in print and in distribution, so I assume it's a mistake, but they're not exactly easy to contact. If you want one, holler at me. I have copies.

Monday

30 January 2017

With just a month and a few days to go until the St. Baldrick's Shave, I'm more than halfway to goal and halfway to having to video myself singing.

You poor people, if I do have to sing.

I'm apologizing up front.

I'm also not cutting my hair until the day of the shave. This is already driving me a few levels of nuts, because I don't like my hair anything other than really short. It's still short by most peoples' standards, but I'm at the point when I would be either risking a trip to Supercuts or having the Spouse Thingy take the clippers to it.

More likely the latter. The last haircut I got was at Supercuts and the kid cutting it was literally hitting me in the head with the clippers, and at one point jammed them into my ear. No blood, but it hurt like a mother, and I walked out with a horrible haircut that I still had to pay for. It still doesn't look very good and I'm itching to get it fixed, but...

I will wait.

In other news...how the hell is this the last day of January? Ok, I'm an idiot. There's still one more day left.

Sunday

29 January 2017

I find it very telling that a person I know who worked for 20 years in U.S. Intelligence, who has always been incredibly gung-ho-rah-rah-America-First, has been quietly moving his family and business interests out of the country.

Very telling.

Saturday

28 January 2017

“We knew what we were voting for when we cast our ballots for Trump. Obama wasn’t a bad president, but the entire system is broken and needed a wrecking ball taken to it. Trump is our wrecking ball. Tear it down so that we can build it back up.” ~Random Trump supporter from a discussion online.
It was actually a calm discussion that wasn't peppered with vitriol; someone asked others to explain why they voted for Trump, knowing the things he said and did prior to the election, and people answered.

The thread that wound through most of the answers: they knew he was the worst choice, but that's what they wanted. They wanted to blow the process apart, and use his nearly guaranteed horrific job performance as a way to take a wrecking ball to everything.

I get that, I really do. People are tired of the status quo, of rich white men having control of the minutia of our lives. Tired of not having a voice. Tired of the bickering and political in-fighting, and the absolute stalemate of working representatives. People wanted change, and they didn’t see it happening by electing someone who is part of that elitist cadre.

Here’s the thing, though. When you take a wrecking ball to something, that thing doesn’t always get rebuilt. Often what you’re left with is a vacant lot that sits empty for years, because there’s nothing to replace it with. Sometimes you wind up with a pile of rubble that never moves and becomes infested with vermin, because there’s no one to haul away the detritus.

Without having concrete building plans in place, taking a wrecking ball to anything is simply an exercise in destruction.

Taking a wrecking ball to the Presidency of the United States is like tearing down a mansion because the bathroom is in ill repair. You might rebuild, but what goes up isn’t necessarily another beautiful mansion. It might just be two single-wide mobile homes built from corrugated sheet metal set down without a foundation.

But electing Trump as president in order to take a wrecking ball to the entire process of a functioning government goes beyond that. It’s destroying the beautiful family home set in the center of urban blight, and leaving all the decay around it.

The house was not the problem; the problem was with the neighborhood.

So a large number of people voted for Trump thinking they were effecting change, understanding it was going to rip apart the government that leads the free world. The problem is that they also voted back in the people who were largely responsible for how broken things have become. That wrecking ball should have been aimed at the House and the Senate, and ripped away from long-term and career politicians the power they crave for themselves.

Yes, you’re getting what you wanted: the President is going to chew up and then spit out every single thing that doesn’t benefit him directly. Your want of tearing down the office is happening, but the result probably won’t be what you were hoping for. When he’s done, when he has that catastrophic meltdown that most of us can see coming—even many of his supporters—there might not be anything left to build upon.

Friday

27 January 2017

In the interest of promoting the betterment of literature, last night I poured  glass of Fireball, say down with the laptop, drank a bit, and then got to work.

There's a strong tradition of drinking and writing--Hemingway was a pro at it--and I figured why not? What if deep within me is literary genius untapped because of some inhibition I'm unaware of, and all it takes is a drink or two to let it out?

I had to find out.

I sipped and wrote, sipped some more, and by the time the glass was empty and I'd written five pages, there was only one conclusion.

Fireball makes your tongue hurt if you keep it in your mouth too long.

Thursday

26 January 2017

I want this as a tattoo.

Just behind my right ear.

However, now that I'm back in the pool, I don't want to take 4 weeks off from swimming.

I can't do both.

Dammit.

Wednesday

25 January 2017

There are a lot of old people at the new gym. I seriously think more than 50% of the members I've encountered are over age 70 and many are pushing 80+.

Mostly, my thoughts are Kudos for getting out here.

But sometimes, my thoughts are Stop making me look so bad!

The other day I was lapped on the track more than once by a guy who has to be 75. He was just walking, but blew past me like I was inching along. Today in the pool, there was an old guy who probably did 10 laps for every 7 I did, and I only felt better about it when he only swam for 20 minutes.

But the big thing about old people in the gym. They no longer give a shit. About anything. Walk into a locker room with old ladies, and one of 'em will be drying her crotch with a hair dryer. Yet another will be bare assed naked on a bench, spread out so far that if you cared to look you could probably see her tonsils.

I will one day be one of the old people at the gym and by then I will have no more fucks to give, too. But for all that's holy, please don't let me practically grab someone coming out of the shower to check out her tattoos. Seriously, make sure I let her get dressed first.

Yes, the tattoos are spiffy. Yes, my artist is talented. NO I DON'T WANT TO STAND HERE TALKING WHILE I'M WET AND NAKED.

Well, maybe other people do, people who are fit and trim. I am neither of those things. Let me get dressed, then you can look at the ink all you want.

Tuesday

24 January 2017


This is where we planned to be today. Well, not necessarily Chinatown, but San Francisco. We were going to check out the Museum of Modern Art, then bum around and see what there was to see.

The problem is that I've been having some pretty awful insomnia lately. I'll be sleepy, go to bed, lay there for 2 hours feeling like I almost asleep, and then bam, I'm wide awake.

It's really starting to suck, and cutting into the Spouse Thingy's time off. Between me not sleeping and being too tired to function, and the weather, we really haven't done any of the things we planned to over the last couple of weeks.

Instead of SF we thought we'd go to a movie, but halfway there realized I was yawning so much that I'd probably fall asleep in the theater...made more likely by their new reclining seats. Put my feet up, lean back, and I'd be gone. So we went to Costco instead.

You know, just to walk around.

It only cost us $190.

But yeah...this is starting to super suck. I already take benedryl every night so I'm not willing to take anything else, nor increase the dose. I cut caffeine out really early in the day, generally nothing after 2pm. My brain just won't shut TF up at night.

Tomorrow's plans are the gym and then Starbucks, so I damn well better sleep tonight, just so I can get an early enough start that Starbucks can happen. Because...tea. I need my tea.

Monday

23 January 2017

I missed swimming. Like, a lot. While I'm glad I'm back in the pool, I am not happy with how much I lost in all the months I couldn't swim because of my shoulder.

Today was a short, still-getting-back-to-it swim, because I'm babying the shoulder, lest I screw it up again. But still...man, I was slow.


Last March:


Now, my math skills aren't great, but a 3:03 pace over 100 yards seems a hell of a lot slower than a 2:51 pace over 100 meters.

I'm sure it'll be better when I can swim without worrying about the damage, but that doesn't help my ego.

Not super happy with my pace on the track, either. I can do better than this and not sure why I didn't.


I pushed it a few times, thinking I would shave a few seconds off, at least, but my HR shot up to150 so I wound up backing off. I need to get my pace to under 16 min/mile...something I don't think I've done since high school.

Seriously. Even when I was training in TKD and in really good shape, I was slow.

I'll get there. As long as I stay ahead of the balloon ladies at Tinkerbelle, it's good. And once I see the shiny things, chances are I'll start running.

And hey, I don't even do that for cake.

Sunday

22 January 2017

According to Timehop, two years ago we were at Disneyland. I think that was the last of the DL Indy Pub Panel meetings, which ended in a drunken writery fist fight.

I missed that. Sorry I missed it, too.

But, it gave everyone a lot more free time to just enjoy the place, and since Disneyland is one of my favorite things, I had no issue with that.

We went back later in the year, just before Christmas, but we haven't been back since.

The Spouse Thingy was off this week, and is off next, and I really wish we were heading down that way. I like simply walking around the park; we'll do an average of 10-12 miles a day at Disneyland, easily. It's just a hell of a lot more fun than walking around Six Flags here; we go there a few times a year, but it's for 2-3 hours tops. There are no rides there we really want to get on, so it's mostly a place to go walk when it's too hot to be outside here.

We thought about going but decided to stick closer to home, and go to San Francisco a few times...but then the rain rolled in and ruined that.

Still. Disneyland.

I freaking love it, but a trip there comes guilt. We know a lot of people in the area; lots of family and friends, but because we're there to, you know, DISNEYLAND, and I generally never know when I'm going to crash and burn, we just don't make plans to see anyone. If we planned to meet with someone, I'd have to suck it up, and if I have to suck it up, there's a really good chance that the rest of my week is over.

And with that comes the guilt. "You can see me, I'm family." Well, yeah, so are X and Y and Z, not to mention This cousin and That cousin and The Other cousin. Who do we pick? Who do we piss off? And the friends...yeah, the friends have been far more understanding, but I'm sure they're still annoyed.

I get that, I really do.

That doesn't change anything. Chances are, next time we go down there, we won't be making arrangements to see anyone. Hell, next time we go will be for a race. If you want to hang, register and huff and puff alongside me. That would be fun as hell, and I won't even get mad when you pull ahead of me and finish like an hour before I do.

And damn. A random thought of "I want to go to Disneyland" turned into a rant.

But I really want to go...

Saturday

21 January 2017

This guy


has decided that sitting on the arm of my chair, very close to my face, is his favorite spot. If I'm working, my lap taken over by the computer, he sits there THAT close to me, and either tries to stare me down, talks nonstop, or paws at my boobs.

Usually, it's the latter. The little shit has gotten to 2nd base more in three days than anyone did the first 30 years of my life.

It's not exactly helpful, and I've gotten far less done than I think I would have.

But. The angry-glasses snit is over.


Okay, fine, I don't look any happier, but I am. New glasses--yes they're identical to the old, other than not being broken--got in yesterday. Second pair of new glasses should get here next week...because I clearly need a backup pair.

But the thing that got me...the cost. With insurance coverage, the glasses purchased at the doc's officer were nearly $400. I went to Costco for the spare pair, and the exact same lens, all the same options, and a much sturdier frame was a hundred bucks less WITHOUT insurance.

Yeah, next year, Costco right from the start.


Friday

20 January 2017

The storms we've had over the past few days are going to be spendy...


That's looking out my office window to the front yard. The fence we share with one of the neighbors bit the dust in the middle of the night Wednesday. It's not reparable; we've both been sort-of fixing it off and on for the last 8 years, and this time the posts finally cracked.

I'm surprised they didn't break sooner, given that whoever did all the fencing around here didn't seat the posts in cement, just jammed them into the ground a few inches.

Still...the much-needed rain is going to cost us some bucks, because the fence is half ours, and with it, half the cost. I'm just glad it was only the one fence, because we share a fence line with 3 neighbors, and it all needs to be replaced sooner or later. I'm just glad we don't have to do all of it at once.

Thursday

19 January 2017

All right, by the time this posts at midnight 1/19/17, if I am not asleep, just shoot me.

I went to bed at 10:30 on Tuesday night, tossed and turned, got up at 1:00, annoyed the cats because I was awake and breathing, and went back to bed around 2:00. I felt sleepy, so off I went.

:::blink:::

I tossed and turned and gave up at 4:15, got up, decided to be nice and fed the furry little monsters, and got breakfast because apparently being awake all night stirs up an appetite.

The Spouse Thingy woke around then, too. We sat here and stared at the news, neither of us happy to be awake.

I went back to bed at 5:00. And fell asleep, finally, about 15 minutes later.

And phkit, I was awake again at 9:45.

So I've been sitting here pretty much all day , with only a few instances of movement, trying to not drool all over myself and trying to stay awake, so that I have hope of sleeping tonight.

The only good thing about being a zombie today, and missing the gym, is that it's been rainy and windy, to the point where I wouldn't have wanted to drive to the gym, anyway.

Not that I didn't send the Spouse Thingy to the post office and the grocery store...

Wednesday

18 January 2017

I had an odd impulse last night: I wanted to do the Tinkerbell 10K.

I was going to do the Pixie Dust Challenge last year--the 10K followed by a half marathon--but then the Spouse Thingy needed surgery, and we had to back out. And in backing out, we backed off on our training.

I don't think I have time to train for 6.1 miles followed by 13.2, but I certainly have time to get ready for the 6.1--I can do the distance, no problem. It's meeting the pace requirement that will be an issue.

There's four month to prepare. If I can't get my pace down to 16mm by then I probably never will. But as long as I'm ahead of the balloon ladies (they start the race last...you only have to be ahead of them) I should do ok.

The problem with deciding now that I wanted to do it, was the fact that Run Disney is sold out for the 10K. I could have gotten a Challenge bib, but realizing I likely won't be ready for that, I wanted the 10K.

All was not lost...one of the travel agents that handles some Disney race things had one. So I'm in.

I got a hotel room.

Only thing not procured is airfare, but I need to wait on that until I know if the Spouse Thingy is coming or not.

Because, really...I'll do this alone. I'll fly alone, get the the hotel alone, to the race alone...that's how badly I want to do it.

Y'all know, I hate flying. But I'll do it.

Now I better train for it, because I damn well want the medal.

Tuesday

17 January 2017

Oddz N Endz Redux987

Took the broken glasses back to be re-welded. No problem, it's covered under their warranty, come back in an hour.

Went back in an hour: come back in 15 minutes.

Went back 25 minutes later: come back in an hour.

I said things from the bad word list (Are you fucking kidding me?) I could not hang around the mall for another hour, so we have to go back tomorrow. The mall is not, like, a 5 minute drive. It's a pain in the ass.

* * * * * * *

Got in the pool for the first time in a very long time; I've been fighting some fairly serious tendonitis in my right shoulder for the last year, to the point where I couldn't even reach up to scratch the back of my own neck. Couldn't lift anything more than a few pounds, nor reach out to my right. But, after PT and months of stretching and ice and heat, it was time to give it a try.

After warming up, I could manage a modified stroke, as long as I didn't push it. I only swam for half an hour, but it was a start. We'll see how it feels tomorrow, but as long as it's not worse, I think I'm back swimming. Which is good, because it's my favorite exercise thingy.

Downside: when you haven't been swimming for nearly a year, you get super flabby. I gained about 5 pounds, but it looks like 20 of flab. I was grossed out on my own behalf.

* * * * * * *

Because he hates me, Murf came up with a fundraiser idea. If I hit $600 raised for the St. Baldrick's shave, I will sing on video, and upload it to Facebook and link to it here (I apologize to all ahead of time, I don't sing well.) If I hit $1000, he will match the entire amount. Over $1000, he will match. So let's suffer the horror of my singing, and murder his wallet.

* * * * * * *

I am going to make brownies tonight. Because it seems like the smart thing to do after getting back to the gym.

Monday

16 January 2017

See how happy I am?


I only needed to weld point to hold for about another week. New glasses were ordered last Tuesday, with a 7-10 day delivery expected. It's been 6 days and I'm not counting on them being ready until the 2 week mark.

So of course, as I sat here last night, I realized somekitty had smudged a lens with his nose, and started to clean them.

Snap.

I'd barely touched them. It was the exact way they broke 3-4 weeks ago. Start to clean, barely get cloth to the lens, and snap.

So I'm sitting here with the broken frame perched on my face--I don't want to use tape because once the Spouse Thingy is up and awake he'll hopefully drive me to get them re-welded--and I can sorta see, but because of my progressive lenses, it's far from perfect. I'm going to have a headache by the end of the day.

Go ahead, point and laugh. There are worse things that can happen. They can likely be re-welded and I have new ones coming, it's not the end of the world. But dammit...one more week. That's all I needed from them. One more week.

The real downside...I had a lot of work planned today, sending people into a war with a giant kitty and a massive black dragon, but I don't really want to strain my eyes that much.

Wait. They're not fighting against the giant kitty and the black dragon. They're allies. I wouldn't want the kitty to be my enemy, because Fluffy? He'll eat a bitch.

Sunday

15 January 2017

2015
Remember this?

This was in February 2015, right after getting my head shaved. This is what happens when you agree to dye your hair just before having it shaved from your scalp--splotches. In this case, green, because that's what the highest bidder asked for.

Dye your hair green! It'll be fun!

For the record, I hated the green It did not look good on me, not at all.

And damn...it too a long time to get the stains off my scalp.

The first year I participated in St. Baldrick's, my hair was purple. I kind of liked the purple, and it went on well in advance, so that by the time I sat in front of the masses and lost all my hair, it was no longer dotting my skin like a weird stubble-pricked map.

2014
Last year I escaped the clippers when a friend made a last minute, super large donation, but the kicker was that I had to keep my hair. She did it because she was aware that the Spouse Thingy was not thrilled with me getting my head shaved again, and also because she knows it's pretty much my least favorite weird thing to do for charity.

I don't think she'll do it again. Her own spouse thingy will likely hide her credit card to keep it from happening again.

So. I've registered for my 4th St. Baldricks, shaving my head to raise money for childhood cancer research. I will do humiliating things to raise money (sand nudity, because no one wants to see that) and while I am willing to dye my hair, you gotta know by now that I like doing that. In fact, I'm probably doing that tonight, at least bleaching it to prepare for color on Monday.

Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves, figure out what you want me to do this year.

And while you're talking, please donate. I set a goal of $500, which is less than last year, but if I could blow over my 2015 high of $1000, that'd be awesome.


Saturday

14 January 2017

Like most Saturdays, this morning I put my laptop into my backpack, shoved wallet and keys into pockets, and put on a sweatshirt; Saturdays are for sitting at a table in Starbucks with more tea than I need to drink while I pretend to work. This Saturday, I needed to run to Walmart first to pick up the Spouse Thingy's meds from the pharmacy, and Max kindly escorted me to the door.

Hey. Move it closer. I can't reach.
Every time I leave the house, if there's a cat near, I tell them I'll be back. It's only polite, and there might be a tiny part of them that actually gives a damn.

This time I told Max I was going to the store.

And then asked if he needed anything.

And then I actually waited for a response.

In my defense, I have not slept much in the last week, because the little shit sits outside my door and talks all damned night.

Still.

I waited.

Shuddup.


Friday

13 January 2017

Max is perched on the back of my chair, literally breathing down my neck. Every once in a while he slaps the side if my head with his tail--he knows exactly what he's doing and that it annoys me--and it feels like he's reading over my shoulder as I work. It's like, thwap, change that sentence. I don't like it. Thwap, fix that; Wick is funnier than that.

He spends a great deal of time lounging near my head if I'm working from the recliner in the living room. Since this is technically his work, I suppose that's a good thing, but I could really do without the tail slapping me and the frequent vocal reminders that I am not worthy and he's just letting me do this because he's nice.

But...we're (yes, we're) working on two projects at once, the third book in the Wick series and the volume that follows, which will not be a part of The Wick Chronicles because it's definitely not YA material. It's not erotica, either, but it falls on the side of good-thing-my-mother-won't-read-this. I'll give a copy to the Boy when it's done, but I won't want to know if he read it.

I've never written as out-of-sequence as I am this time. The third Wick book is about half done, and I stopped for a while to pound out notes for (working series title) Wick After Dark, and wound up with so many pages that the word count could have won NaNoWriMo again. For the freaking notes. Now that I've gotten that done, it's back to the third book.

The problem is that I tend to get a little absorbed when I'm this deep into something, and I'll be this deep until both books are finished...but I also need to get to the gym, go for bike rides, and do normal-people kinds of things, lest I become fused with the chair.

The Spouse Thingy also had a couple of weeks off coming up, and I should probably spend some time with him.

Life would be so much easier if sleep wasn't a requirement.

Sleeping is another issue. Still. Always. I envy those of you who are normal sleepers. Every once in a while I get a string of nights where I actually manage it for 8 straight hours, and I very much enjoy that. This sleeping for 3 and waking up for 3, and sleeping for 3 more is getting old.

Maybe I should take up drinking. My writing might be a lot wilder, and I might even sleep after.

I have Fireball in my freezer.

Maybe I'll try.

Maybe Max will get his damned tail out of my ear.

Wednesday

11 January 2017

I have to admit, I was not looking forward to quitting one gym to join another. While I know that the gym minion doesn't give a chit if I stay or go, there's always that little part of me that worries they'll take it personally. And then we'll do the whole It's not you, it's me! thing, and there will be tears and tearing out of hair, and everyone is just unhappy at the end.

How it really went:

Spouse Thingy: Yeah, we need to quit.
Gym Minion: Okay. Give me the account email so I can send you the confirmation.
Spouse Thingy: Okay.
Gym Minion: Okay.
Spouse Thingy: Bye.

A peek of the track and the pool
There was nothing wrong with that gym; it had everything we needed. But the new gym is about half the cost, and the pools are indoors, and there's an indoor track. Since swimming outdoors when it's cold or raining is sucky enough to keep me home, the switch is a good thing. AND NO BEES IN THE POOL! Bees in the pool are a problem when you're allergic.

So tomorrow we'll go work out and I'll try my first swim since, I think, last April. I'm still rehabbing my shoulder, so if I can't handle a crawl, I'll just kick my way across and work on not swimming flat, which is what got me into trouble in the first place.

The track is only 1/10th mile, but on days when I just don't want to walk outside, it's an option. And looking at it, it might be the perfect place to attempt running. Run the short straights, walk the curves. Maybe I'll actually get where I can find a sub-4mph pace.

Shuddup, I know you walk faster than that. I'm old and fat and slow.

Then again, I was slow when I was young and thin.

Still...it'll be good to get back in the water. We kept up with the walk training until November, so I think we'll both be able to jump right into that without having to build back up, but damn I am so looking forward to the day when I swim a mile again.