Pride and Joy.

Ray has pooped on the poopin' chair. Last Saturday, also today.

She was just kind of hanging out, when all of a sudden there was a...plop!

Lee and I stared at her in stunned silence. Then we broke out in cheers. Praise and praise!

So if I effuse at anyone, it's just that we've got the happy cheering thing (and the poop song) going on at our house.

As expected and probably best enjoyed all around, Ray made out with the majority of the swag.

Some details:

The Giant Tickle Me Elmo monster of doom has had the honor of sharing primo stuffed toy award with the Cat in the Hat; however, Elmo wins the tiebreaker of having his eyeballs thoroughly licked. What Cat in the Hat can claim that?

While the Powerpuff Girls are a favorite of child and parents alike, it was the CareBears Movie that was selected for first viewing pleasure. Jackie, I'd just like to say that you can go #$*& yourself the next time you have a bright idea like that again.

Everyone at his job thinks we're obsessed about sex because of the Christmas gift I got him. I mean us :) Anyway, none of them have the gumption to tease me about it to my face, so all is well.

Once again, my parents managed to find a present for Lee that was perfect: coffee and a new-age Native American CD that he thinks is "okay." One of the things I'm proud to have inherited from my parents--a good sense of gifts.

Speaking of, the gift that I sent them was the Far Side collection. To buff my nails and understate, they liked it. --Oh! Mailing it, the woman at the counter asked me what it was, because it was so heavy (22 lbs.). I told her it was the Far Side collection, a book. She said, "Ah've heard of coffee table books, but ah've never heard of a fire side book." I laughed, because I thought she was making some kind of joke about how big the book was. Then I realized... "The cartoons..." I made a frame with my hands. "You know, the little ones, The Faaaaaaaaaar Side, with the bugs with glasses and stuff."

She laughed and said she hadn't meant to make a joke...but that she was from Texas, so that was joke enough.


Time to catch up on the blog...


Brothers. Lee's brothers Mike and Dale drove up from SD for to hand out with us for a day. Dale's back from boot camp in Georgia!

A good time was had by all, especially Ray, who said, "uncle" over and over again after they left. Maybe that was her way of saying "no more tickling!" but I doubt it.
Return of the King

I sat next to a little girl (4-5 years old) at the movie. For the first ten minutes, she pet the arm of my fuzzy shirt and told me it was very soft and that she'd gone to ballet lessons today already.

I think her review of the movie would go like this:

  • Gollum is scary.
  • Brothers fighting is sad.
  • Lots of scary stuff happens, and there's a big spider.
  • But if your daddy holds you in his lap when it's scary, then it's okay.
  • You should say "Yay!" when everyone says "Yay!"
  • And clap at the good parts.
  • It's okay to take a nap.
  • Make sure to tell daddy when it's time to go pee.
  • There's a boat at the end but daddy didn't know what kind.
  • The movie was pretty good.

I didn't fall asleep or have to go pee, but I pretty much agreed with her.



A pun:

What's the opposite of appetite?


--via A.Word.A.Day
Playground Slang:

"Ever been called a "shreddie", felt like a quick "wallace and gromit", shown your "spider's legs" or been given a "hitler"? If you have, well, so sorry. If you haven't the slightest idea what the terms mean, then Chris Lewis has the very book for you."
--from an online article about playground slang.

The book? The Dictionary of Playground Slang.
The website? Online Dictionary of Playground Slang.

Not for anybody subject to junior high flashbacks.


Like a Virus:

It's been going around.

Top 5 things wrong in my field of vision right now ::
-calendar page still on November
-paint chips, scratches on the wall
-most of a page of Halloween stickers stuck to my pants
-torn book jacket on the collected works of Rudyard Kipling
-a sippy cup of milk drunk down to the point where you can see the last ounce of milk, but you can't drink it. Who the @#$% designed these things?

Name four things you wished you had ::
-a good contract to write novels
-magic kisses to make it all better
-more time for s-e-x (i.e., the bebe sleeps earlier?)
-a longer attention span

Name four smells you love ::
-lavender, lavender, lavender! esp. on boys.
-garlic sauteed in butter, as a prelude to other items also sizzling away

Name four things you are thinking about:
-how am I going to mail that @#$^ing book?
-does that string theory thing really mean there's a yoyo universe, or did I read into that wrong?
-novel editing
-lovey-dovey thoughts. sort of.

Name four things you did today ::
-made my daughter laugh
-stood up in front of people to get complimented, and blushed
-started picking apart the novel scenes
-snuggled with Lee

Last thing you ::
• Did :: blew on a party favor so loud it made my ears hurt
• Read :: Big, Little by John Crowly. So gooooood...
• Watched on TV :: The PowerPuff Girls

Who do you want to ::
Kill :: Er?
Hear from :: Mur
Look like :: someone with a better haircut. I hate getting my hair cut.
Be like :: myself, with a purple hat

Last time ::
Last song you heard :: David Bowie, The Wedding Song
Last movie you saw :: Austin Powers
Last movie you saw on the big screen :: The Matrix Revolutions
Last thing you had to drink :: water
Last thing you ate :: tortellini with creamy tomato sauce
Last time you cried :: over a printer at the end of a bad day
Last time you smiled :: just now
Last time you laughed :: just now
Last time you danced :: just now!
Last person you hugged ::Ray
Last thing you said :: Wooo! WooooooOOOOoooooo!
Last person you talked to online :: er, don't
Last thing you smelled ::baby shampoo
Last car ride ::home again, home again, jiggety jig!
Last CD played :: David Bowie, Black Tie White Noise
Last item bought :: chocolate covered cherries with clear filling

Albums playing on the regular right now ::
Bjork, Homogenic
Cool World soundtrack
Until the End of the World soundtrack
Disturbed, Believe
Static X, Shadow Zone
NIN, Fragile

The Chronicles of Riddick

Not a trailer...a teaser?

Strange. Looks like a sci-fi end of the world thing. Neaaaaat.

Via Xkot
Bork! Bork! Bork!

Via ***Dave:

chef jpeg
You are the the Swedish Chef.
You are a talented individual, nobody understands
you. Perhaps it's because you talk funny.

"Brk! Brk! Brk!"
Kokin' der yummee-yummers

"Wild Strawberries...and Creme"

"Der Swedish Chef Kokin' Bokin'"

"Vergoofin der flicke stoobin mit der brk-brk

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla



Mental survival due to Lee, Ray, hot chocolate, and loud music over the headphones at work.


Word Count.

Finally finished typing in the last pages of the book.

Final count for first draft is 483 pages, with a true word-count of 93,641 words and an estimated word count (manuscript-formatted pages * 250) of 120,750 words.

And so, so much work to do.


Book Review. Watching My Language, by William Safire.

William Safire writes a column for the New York Times on language. This is a collection of them.

The main thing that I'm taking away from this book is the idea that grammar isn't fixed, constant, or even consistent from expert to expert. Yes, it's possible to be picky about your grammar, but once you get so deep into it, you start finding inconsistencies, arguements, etc.

For example, what is "fall over" as in "The tree fell over"? Over isn't a preposition; the tree didn't fall over anything. The column on the subject rambled on for about a thousand words; following were about six thousand words of readers' letters. None of them agreed on what it was.

--Another funny-odd thing: He could give citations for "the Beltway crowd," tracing what year it had first been used, when it started moving into (more) common usage, and so on, but he didn't know what "in the moment" meant--Alan Alda had to write in to tell him what it meant and assure him that it was a common phrase used in California.

Anyway. Good book. He's a good, entertaining writer. He prints readers' letters, so you can see 1) just how wrong he is, and 2) just how easy it is to mistake error for opinon.
I killed my bonsai tree.

Not on purpose.

Maybe that's all that needs to be said.


Zen and Sex.

You may want to skip this post.

I've been reading a zen book to de-stress; more on that later.

Some thoughts:

The author talks about light and darkness. Light is a metaphor for the things we see with our intellect--the example he uses is a meal. We prepare separate dishes with separate techniques. Salad. Soup. Entree. That's light. Darkness is a metaphor for the source of all things. He explains this as the fact that food isn't food until we eat it, mix up all the separate ingredients and dishes into proteins, etc. That's darkness.

It's important to see the light in the darkness and the darkness in the light, because they aren't separate. They're parts of the same thing. It's important to understand things intellectually as well as beyond or before intellect.

So. It's important to see your lover as a separate person, but your lover is also you (and you are him). There are the techniques of sex, and then there is Sex.