29 December 2013

I’m not sure how much walking I’ll be doing this year; I’m not sure yet if I’ll do a major breast cancer event in 2014 or not (the Pinks Slips, with whom I walked in Atlanta a couple years ago, are walking in San Diego…whether I walk or not I’m going down there. I could be a walker stalker for them) and I won’t be driving a sweep van for the Komen walk since they dropped SF from the schedule.

Still…I’ll be doing something. I’m looking for 5 and 10k events that can be walked and not run, and I’ve got my eye on a few virtual events for which I can set my own date and pace. I need to do things; I’m just not sure I have in me what I need to complete the necessary training for 60 miles. Not right now.

2013 was supposed to be the year of getting better, getting fit, feeling human…but it didn’t work out that way. So 2014 is in my sights; but rather than set these huge goals—knowing that at any time my own body might slap the shit out of me for presuming too much—I’m going to set smaller, attainable goals.

Cook more real food.

Ok, LEARN to cook more real food.

Move more.

Expand the things to which I hope to contribute more.

First up, at least the first thing I have committed to is the St. Baldrick’s Head Shaving Event. It raises money for research into children’s cancer; the premise is simple: I get donors, I show up, I get my head shaved in the middle of a very crowded mall. I’ve set a modest goal of $500, but y’all know me. I’ll do things for money.

Embarrassing things.

My initial offering: the first person to donate $100 or more gets to choose the neon hair color I’ll done for 3-4 weeks ahead of the event. Want to see me in purple? Green? Blue? I’ll do it…people around here expect pink from me and they’ll lose their shit over something a little more out there.

So go ahead. Make me uncomfortable for a few weeks.

Got another idea? Ask and chances are I’ll do it. I don’t mind performing pony tricks for donations.

Just want to donate a few bucks for something important and get me to shave the noggin as a result? I’m down with that, too.

No amount is too small, and DKM is going to tag along with me and take pictures.

As Max would say: it's for the Sticky People, people!


28 December 2013

As I wandered around the grocery store today, there was a woman pretty much following me as she shopped. She had sitting in her cart a little boy about 18 months-2 years old, wearing a drool soaked t-shirt, nostrils rimmed with all the wonderful things little boy nostrils get rimmed with, and he was squealing with delight.  He was adorable, truly. Happy, engaged, making everyone smile and wave their fingers at him...he was sweet and Mom beamed every time someone smiled at him and said hello, me included.

Delightful little kid...and I was so glad I was only going to be around him for a little while.

I just don't like being around little ones the way I used to. Small doses of toddlerhood is all I can take; after a while those high pitched little voices just grate on my nerves, and the volume at which little kids live turns into bomb-blasting thunder in my head.

When I was a teenager I couldn't fathom why so many older adults didn't like kids; I get it now. I don't dislike kids, but I'm sure as hell glad that mine is an adult now. If he ever has kids I'm sure I'll feel different about them...but for the most part, no, I don't want to hang with your sub-5 year old offspring.

Well, that's mean of you, Thump.

Yeah, maybe it is. But it is what it is and I'm not exactly motivated to change it.

I know its roots: too much time spent working drop-in daycare, watching other peoples' kids while thy worked out in the gym, putting up with their attitudes about their precious snowflakes--the biters, the kickers, the screamers--and the tens of thousands of diapers I changed. I think I chewed way too far into my personal allotment of patience for and enjoyment of little kids long before the Boy was much more than a toddler himself, and by the time he was grown, and we'd moved away from the neighborhood kids in Ohio, I was done.

The kids in OH...they were awesome. They were fun, I loved sitting outside watching them play, but they were probably at the tail end of my solid enjoyment of little ones. I'm glad that we had that time in OH and got to enjoy them...if we were in the same circumstances now, I'd probably be that grumpy old neighbor they run from.

Hell, they're in high school and junior high now; it's been a while.

I'm okay with not wanting to hang with the wee ones anymore. Other people...they don't get it. They tend towards a degree of upset because their kids are awesome.

Well, yeah, they are.  But that doesn't mean I have the patience for much of their awesomeness. How awesome there are isn't an indicator that they'll be different and I'll want to spend oodles of time with them.

Hell, I might be willing to bleed dry for your kid. Rip heads off to defend your kid. Beat the snot out of someone to protect your kid.

That's not the same as hanging with your kid.

It sounds personal, but it's not.

There's an indie publishing workshop coming up, being held in a venue where bringing ones' children is entirely appropriate. It's invitation only, and on the surface sounds like it will be informative, connections will be made, and it will be an incredible use of time and effort. But...I know there are writers and publishers planning on being there with their kids, and after the days' presentations they want to head out and have some fun.

As a group.

For three days.

Kill me now.


22 December 2013

I've emailed you four times and you just ignore it; what have I done to offend you?

That's paraphrasing, but it's a theme in the last year or so. Someone emails, I don't respond, they email again...feelings get hurt.

I'm not intentionally ignoring anyone; I get anywhere between 200-350 emails a day and I try to wade through them as best I can, but some fall through the cracks, some get shuffled into my spam folder and I don't check that as often as I should, some I tell myself I'll answer after I get to business email...some I have no idea what happened.

But I truly am not intentionally ignoring you, if you're someone who has emailed and expected a response.

If you are someone I've failed to respond to, I am truly sorry. You haven't offended me; I'm simply not as organized as I should be. I could use the excuse that I'm juggling my work, Max's work, the writers I work with, networking and marketing, but the truth is I'm often inattentive and I just lose track.

I am sorry, though; genuinely sorry.

2014 I will endeavor to do better, but I won't promise, because I am easily distracted by shiny things, and life has a lot of shiny things to show me.


18 December 2013

This guy

has dozens of different meows, and one of them sounds almost like "Yeah." Sort of a Mmyeah sound.

It makes for fun conversations with him sometimes, usually when it's time for food and he's working hard to get me to get up and open a can.

"Are you a hungry boy?"


"Do you want me to feed you?"


Tonight he started in on me early, about 45 minutes before snack time. It was non-stop whining, and I did my best to tune him out, not even acknowledge him, lest I encourage him to jack up the volume.

At about 9:55, five minutes before snack, he jumped up onto the back of my chair and stretched out...and finally shut up.

At 9:59 I told him it was time for snack, but he sure as hell had been awfully bitchy about it. And then I asked, "Are you a little bitch?"


At least he's honest. I kind of had to feed him after that. 


11 December 2013

Remember this?

It was my awesome (shuddup) first sketch of the tattoo I wanted to get in remembrance of my parents.

Then it became this:

and it morphed a couple more times, until I had a scribbled-out sketch of 2 cats that looked less like chipmunks, sitting under a tree, in front of the moon.

I took it to Big Greg, who did not laugh at my artistic endeavors.

He knew what I wanted from it: lots of color, and two cats, one leaning into the other; my parents were cat people, it made sense to represent them that way.

He had his own ideas, which sounded good because hey, he knows what works on the skin and how well certain things mesh together. HE said he'd come up with something kick-ass for me, and today was the day.

It was kick-ass, all right.

It blew me away, and that was before I saw the color.

He had an idea of two cats in the tree, a tree in full foliage, springing forth from a book...the story of their lives. And they're gazing into the sunset, together, where they should be.

He captured exactly what I hoped for.

It's on my left arm to the side of my bicep, near my tattoos for The Spouse Thingy's dad and mom.

My folks might not have liked tattoos, but I think they would appreciate this one, and how beautiful it turned out.

I couldn't be happier with it.

And no, I'm not done. There are more tattoos in my future, as I embark upon becoming the kind of person my mother was afraid of ;)


9 December 2013

The Spouse Thingy wanted a big tree. I wanted a small tree.

He wanted a nicely decorated big tree. I wanted a geeky Doctor Who themed tree.

We both got what we wanted.

I have my little tree that fits near the fireplace, decked out in Daleks, Cybermen heads, K-9s, and the TARDISes. At the very top is the 11th Doctor's sonic screwdriver. And around the fireplace and over the archway are lots of little TARDIS lights.

Merry Whovimas.

The tree in the front room--placed in front of the window so that it shows outside--is loaded with traditional ornaments and has a nice, soft, thick felt skirt. It's nine feet tall, the tallest I think we've ever had. The tree skirt is mostly for the cats, because in years past they've loved napping under the tree...which means that so far this year, there's been zero cat napping there.

But you notice, don't you, that I've only referred to them as trees. No adjective attached. Just trees.

Why? Because I can't fathom why anyone cares what I call my trees. And I can't fathom the annual outrage about what people "should" call their trees and how we should greet people this time of year.

"But it's Christmas!"


"They're CHRISTMAS trees!"

Not really. The bringing inside of a tree and calling it a Christmas tree is a relatively new concept, starting somewhere around the 16th century. Pagans used trees for holiday rituals long before Christians co-opted them. I don't seen an uprising of Pagans over this; they're trees, why the heck shouldn't we all enjoy them?

(aside: if you're looking to the Bible, take a peek at Jeremiah 10:2-4, wherein it pretty much says that heathens are the ones who cut down trees, drag 'em inside, and decorate them with shiny things.)

I've known a few Jewish people over the years who have used decorated trees in their house to celebrate that time period from Thanksgiving to New Year's...for the holidays. Should they not be allowed?

Now, the tree in our front room is a Christmas tree. Because that's what we celebrate.

The tree in the living room? That's a Whovimas tree, because that's just cool--the Doctor Who Christmas Special will play on the 25th, and you can be sure we're going to watch it.

I don't care what my neighbors call their trees, if they have them.

I don't care what you call your tree, even if you call it George. (If you have a "real" tree, you can ask everyone in the house, "Hey, did you water George today? Anyone feed George?" New holiday fun for the family...the running, groaner of a dad-joke.)

I also don't care if you say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, or Have a Nice Day. Not as long as you're nice about it.

My feelings might be hurt if you tell me to shove that Merry Christmas up my asterisk, but maybe not. Depends on how annoying I've been.

I'm not 8 years old; I'm not easily offended; I'm not walking around with a giant Christmas stick up my ass. I understand that a whole bunch of things a whole bunch of people try to claim as Christian have roots elsewhere. I'm not going to pretend that it really matters what you call your tree or how you greet people right now.

Because it really doesn't matter.

Oh, and if you're having a stroke about it because THIS IS CHRISTMAS, go hang a beautiful wreath on your door to compliment your tree. And know that the roots of that wreath are Wiccan.

Happy Holidays.