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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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...


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.


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.


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.


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...


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.


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.


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.


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.


15 January 2017

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.

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.


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.


I waited.



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.


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.


10 January 2017

I'm squinting at the monitor right now, because I had an eye appointment this afternoon, during which my eyes were dilated, and three hours later they're still quite dilated. But, that's over for the next year or two, and in a week or so I'll have new glasses...and given that mine broke a few weeks ago, it's a good thing. Even though it was $$.

Still, even though it's hard to see, here I sit with the computer on my lap, surfing around online. Because clearly, I like to torture myself.

And speaking of torture, I'm doing the Donna Virtual Breast Cancer Half Marathon again this year. There's the in-person Marathon and Half, but I have no desire to travel to Florida for this, so again, it's the virtual. They raise money for the Mayo Clinic's breast cancer research programs, so it's a worthwhile endeavor.

The Spouse Thingy has a couple of weeks coming off, and I'll probably pick a day during then to do it, hopefully in San Francisco where pounding out the miles doesn't feel like torture.

I'm not going to hard-core fundraise for this one, but if you want your first tax deduction of the year, I sure as hell won't discourage it. You can donate here.

Later this year is the 3 Day, but we deferred from last year, so most of the funds have been raised for that (but dammit, we need to re-register and I keep forgetting)...the Spouse Thingy has a little bit more to raise, but we'll get to that later, once I nail down a prize or two.

Tomorrow we have an appointment to join the new gym--kinda fancy, needing an appointment--and after registering for the Donna this week has a here we go kind of feel to it. I want to hit the ground running (metaphorically) and get training underway for the 3 Day and, hopefully, a Disney race this time next year.

So yeah.

Here we go.



8 January 2017

I heard music until one this morning. At some point it went from death metal to country, so whatever freak is lurking in my head or in the air vents needs to develop better taste, because neither of those things appeal to me.

I realize I will probably never know where it's coming from; it just freaked me out to hear it in the living room. That was a first.

So. Meh.

I have done very little this weekend, at least little that involved moving. It's rainy as hell, so I haven't been keen on going anywhere. Mostly I sat here and worked, typing out notes while Law & Order: SVU played in the background. No, I don't know why I didn't just turn the TV off. It's not like I was paying attention to it.

But this week...movement. We're joining the new gym and letting go our membership at the old, and getting back to a regular workout routine. I still can't swim because my shoulder just won't allow for it, but I can kick my way across the pool and stretch out my back while I'm at it. There's an indoor track to use when walking outside doesn't appeal to me, and I still harbor those thoughts of running. It seems like it might be easier to do the run/walk 30/30 thing there.

Well, it would be easier to not do anything, but that's not going to shave weight off my fat asterisk and is not going to get me ready for 60 miles. There's 11 months to go, but I'm trying to shift my focus away from that, because it would be too easy to just put it off.

So, join the new gym, get one of my 2017 Intentions started.

Go me.


7 January 2017

Nearly every night since we moved into this house, as I try to fall asleep, I hear music. It's horrible, death-metal type music, and I've always just assumed that it's phantom noise generated by my tinnitus. I get in bed, turn the fan on, and generally within 15 minutes it starts.

But right now I'm in the living room with the TV off, and just before 11, when I'm often in bed with the lights out, the music started up. From my seat, it sounds like it's coming from the air vent in the ceiling. When I'm in bed, it sounds like it's coming from the air vent...but I assumed it was just one of those things.

So now I'm a little freaked out. I'm home alone. There is not a TV nor a radio in in this house. So where the hell IS that music coming from?


6 January 2017

I still harbor delusions that one day, I will be a runner. Or a jogger. I’m not picky. I just want to be able to move at a pace that would allow me to participate in events for shiny medal things, and not wind up with a DNF at the end. I can handle the distances, but it’s the pace that eludes me. Give me enough water and a few places to pee, I can pound out 13 miles…but not quickly. My near-jogging pace is other peoples’ walking pace.

A year ago I was registered for the Hot Chocolate in San Francisco and chit happened and I wound up not going; I did the miles closer to home, but it wasn’t speedy and I didn’t get anything shiny. I played with the idea of registering for it this year, counting on the training miles for the 3 Day to be a springboard, but then more chit happened and we didn’t do the 3 Day (but we trained!) and then I kind of forgot about it.

But it’s this weekend. And this weekend looks to be a horrific one for rain in the Bay Area. If they still hold the race, the runners won’t just get wet, they’ll be drenched. With added wind, the lighter ones might even take flight. I saw the weather forecast earlier and was a little glad that I’d forgotten about it, because not only am I still sick, I’m kind of a weenie and wouldn’t make the drive for a race where I would get wet and likely not finish.

This weekend is also the Dopey at Walt Disney World in FL, and they’re supposed to get a wet mess tomorrow, just in time for the half marathon. It’s bad enough that the race has already been canceled—it’s a safety issue, given the lightning that tends to arrive with storms in the area—which leaves runners kind of stranded.

The Hot Chocolate is one thing. It’s not that spendy to register, and if you wind up in SF and not running, there are tons of free things to do. Registering for a Disney race is an investment; the race itself isn’t cheap, and there’s usually air fare and hotels involved, and those runners are already there, they’ve already spent the money, and they’re not getting it back. They’ll get choices—a Disney gift card in the amount of the race registration, or two one-day park hoppers, or a deferral to another Disney race—but they don’t get to run and thy don’t get their travel expenses back.

The challenge runners, the ones who registered to run multiple races—5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, Half Marathon on Saturday, and Full Marathon on Sunday—don’t get the shot to meet the challenge.

It’s got to be seriously disheartening.

Sure, it’s the risk of registering, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing. And having had to bail on more than one event in the last few years, I have a little bit of a notion what that’s like.

Still…I keep hoping that one day I’ll be at one of those races. If our training for the 3 Day goes well this year, and I can peel some speed off my pace, I’d still like to do the Hot Chocolate or a Disney race. I may take a chance and register for the Star Wars at Disneyland next January…the question is whether I shoot for a challenge or just pick either the 10K or the half. Or save the Disney race for May and do the Tinkerbell, and give the Hot Chocolate a try in January.

Then that little voice in the back of my head reminds me I haven’t actually made it to anything lately, so why get my hopes up? What if I take on the training, and real life crap rears up again and I don’t make it yet again?

But…what if I do?

Maybe think about it when I can actually do more than walk to the bathroom and back without getting tired. Today is not that day.


5 January 2017

It figures that I would get (mildly) sick right when I decide to give the post-a-day thing a whirl. All I want to do is curl up in bed. I don’t even feel particularly bad; I just have zero energy and sleep is constantly calling my name (this is why you should have no sympathy at all for me…I’m sick but not even half as sick as most people get with a URI.) I got it into my head that I would get in bed and read, but that lasts for all of two minutes before I shove the Kindle aside and close my eyes.

The one thing it’s been good for: weeding through the things in my brain that are trying to create the next couple of Wick stories. I’ve got two books going right now; one is the third book in the Wick Chronicles, the other will most likely be shuffled off into its own set, tentatively Wick After Dark. The former is a good 80,000 words along, the latter is just a compilation of notes, but I’ve got over 55 pages of notes and I’m not done.

The thing tripping me up is that I’m not quite satisfied with the next Wick book. I love the story; it’s fun and is swirling with sci-fi and fantasy elements, but the execution it just a bit off to me. It’s been just off enough to have set is aside in favor of writing notes for the too-oft-requested-from-a-single-person-Char-you’re-a-prevert WAD novel. I’ve let it simmer in the back of my brain, and while I’ve been lying in bed dozing, it started to bubble and a few of the bubbles popped, and I realized where I went wrong.

I started in the wrong place. If I wrote both books at the same time, Wick 3 would take place smack dab in the middle of Wick After Dark, which in the hands of a much more skilled writer would work well, but I:

1-don’t want to force people into buying two books to get the meat of one story.
2-Wick After Dark will not be a YA book, so it needs to be separate.
3-I think I’m good but not quite that good. I could do it, but something would suffer for it.

Haven't tried this, but hey...it could be good
Mainly my sanity.

I can see the new start to Wick 3; it drifted in front of my eyes the way the opening to The Flipside of Here did when I was training for the 2010 3 Day…although, this time, perhaps, cold medicine may have been involved and may play a part in how I write it. Well, maybe not cold medicine when I’m actually writing. Booze is more likely. Thanks to my son I have a new love of Fireball and am tempted to test out the “Write drunk; edit sober” adage.

At least something good will come out of this crud.

Possibly a drinking problem, but hey…


4 January 2017

While I curled up in bed, dozing most of the day away, the Spouse Thingy took down the Whovimas tree and put all the decorations away. The living room now looks depressingly bare, and Max in unhappy because the tree is no longer there to hide his mancat cubby near the fireplace. Now when he he relaxes in there we'll be able to see him, which will suck half the joy out of having it.

I've gotten zero work done, because all I feel like doing is sleeping...and when I go to bed tonight I'll probably lay there wide awake, because all I've done today is doze.

It's just a cold, though. I will survive. Hell, if I didn't feel so sleepy, it wouldn't be bad at all.

But I was also right, it's annoying the cats. Max wants me where he expects me to be at any given time, not curled up in bed.

He, too, will survive.


3 January 2017

This is my best friend right now:

It feels like someone shoved a blowtorch down my throat, but I'm pretty sure it was really just the Spouse Thingy's cooties floating through the house.

Also pretty sure the next 5 days will be spent doing as little as possible, because I tend to sleep when I don't feel well. This annoys the cats, but they'll survive.

It would help if dinner would present itself.

We're gonna live on cereal, I think.


2 January 2017

Back when we lived in Vacaville--and for a short time after, before it closed--I used to go to Borders a few times a week. The idea was to work, but more often than not, I watched people. Being tucked into the back of the bookstore, the cafe was a great place for people-watching; the variety of Borders customers was pretty freaking wide, and as a result I had a lot of things to blog about.

Then the whole chain went belly-up, and for a long time I had no fun place to go when I didn't feel like working at home. There was a Starbucks here, but it was tiny and I'm not a coffee drinker; I didn't care for even the aroma of coffee, so it seemed like punishment to spend much time there.

The Dixon Starbucks was located right next door to a Quiznos; I really liked Quiznos, but it, too, went out of business. The space remained empty for over a year, until Starbucks expanded into it. It underwent a remodel, and when it was done I had to check it out. Because, why not? It's not like there are a ton of entertaining things in this little town. Two minutes spent scoping out a coffee shop I would never use seemed like an okay idea.

It was huge. Tons of people could be here and it wouldn't feel confined. It didn't have that overbearing coffee smell.

I decided to give it a whirl. I've been writing here since then. I think the bulk of 5 books have been crafted here, and there are surely more to come. I love my home office, but...it helps to be around other people sometimes.

There's the downside to being a writer...you spend a lot of time alone.

The view from my favorite table...still doesn't show the whole store
So I'm still not a coffee drinker, but they have lots of different types of tea, and I have a place that is not cloistered away in the house, absent of other people. On a given day there's someone who catches my attention, but I recently realized that no one had caught it enough to pull me away from my work, and nothing was especially blog-worthy.

Lately, the place has been filled with students from UCD cramming for finals, and people taking a break from their holiday shopping. There have been a few meltdowns, but they've been cringe-worthy and not funny enough to write about. There have been a couple of times where there's obviously been a job interview happening at the table near me, and I've had to bite my tongue to keep from feeding answers to the poor interviewee. And right now there's a guy sitting next to me who is eating the most obnoxious smelling thing in existence...but he'll be done soon and hopefully to odor will go with it.

Either this just isn't the best place for people-watching, or I've been buried deep enough in the Emperor and Ozoo to not notice.

Probably the latter.

And cripes, I was going to go home after writing this, but I just looked outside and it's raining hard.

Fine. I've got work to do. And maybe someone worthy of note will come in. I can always hope.


1 January 2017

You used to blog a lot. You should do that again. Like do that whole post-a-day for a month.
This said by someone who once had a very good blog but shut it down for reasons never really made public. (Oh I know why, but if I said, that'd be telling, and I'd be a lousy friend if I told.)


I've been told I suck before.

Nah. I won't.

My response: Don't people usually do that in November as an alternative to NaNoWriMo? It's, like, NaBloWriMo or something like that. Which I find far more difficult that NaNo, which is only pounding out 50,000 words in a month. I did 50K of total crap in the last 2 weeks; it's easy when it doesn't have to be good (in my defense, it's all notes.)
Do it and I'll bake you some cookies.
Note the offer is to bake the cookies, not actually send the cookies to me. I'm still waiting on promised cookies from 2009.
Just get back in the habit. Make it one of your INTENTIONS. 31 posts in January.
I was still waffling about the idea. I mean, I'm working on 2 books right now, and dedicating myself to a blog post a day cut into my Reddit surfing and kitty porn time. But then my resolve to go to bed early went out with a bang last night, thanks to the assholes nearby who were setting off tiny little bombs, and I realized I have a lot to complain about, so maybe I will do it.

Random, very old picture of Max and Buddah
No, seriously, the fireworks were insane last night, and to describe it as tiny bombs is not an exaggeration. Regular fireworks do not shake the house so hard you worry that windows have broken, and regular fireworks don't bug Max. Last night it was so bad that both cats dove under the bed, and even after it quieted down, they were freaked out. I had Max literally laying across the top of my head all night, and Buddah was on the floor by the bed until around 5.

I invited him to come up on the bed with us, but I think he wanted to be able to dive for cover again.

The Spouse Thingy fed them when he got home from work, or he tried to. He opened 3 different cans and they wouldn't eat. At 11 I tried to feed them again--Fancy Feast beef, which is the favorite and even gts eaten when they don't feel great--but they each took a bite or two and walked away.

Stressed kitties don't eat, and these guys were still stressed nearly 12 hours later.

At 1:45 I drove to the grocery store and bought bacon, came home, and fried 2 slices, just to see if they would eat something. That, at least, worked. I split one slice between them (saving the rest as tomorrow's treat) and then snuck some crunchy treats onto their plates.

So hopefully they're fine now. But I'm still pissed off that people think it's perfectly fine to set off very-much-illegal fireworks, just because they feel like it, using the date as an excuse.

People, when your fun scares the shit out of your neighbors and sets off their car alarms, it's a bad idea. Find another way to celebrate. Like, in front of the TV with booze, like the rest of us.

Yeah, I never got around to that, either. I have Fireball in my freezer, and didn't even take a shot.

Oh. Maybe that's what I should do for January. Drunk blogging. 31 days worth.