Updates. Briefly, Ray's teething. She's had a 101F axillary fever since Saturday; we took her to the doc today. --Oh yeah, she might also have a viral infection.

She has a a ring of drool around her neck. And two new teeth so far. She's at 26 pounds and 32 and 3/4 inches.

So that was our weekend :P


Road Trip. We've all safely returned from the SD road trip. We missed Mike (sorry, Mike!) but caught everyone else.

The family gathering for my side of the family was too big for my tastes; I have a hard time dealing with that many people at once, unless I can ride herd on a basement full of kids somewhere. That's different. I did have fun with my immediate family and grandparents, but by then I was so sick of driving and dealing with the kind of questions that only a big group of relatives that don't see you very often can ask, I'm afraid any charm I possess had been sucked dry.

Ray tolerated the ride well but was damn glad to get out of that carseat last night, let me tell you. It got to the point where we were throwing things on the floor just so we could cheer as they hit bottom. I think of the three of us, she had the most fun. Probably because she was the most spoiled :)

Funny. None of the things that I didn't or couldn't get to before we left did themselves.


Tax day. It might help to kick the cat. If you have a cat.

Seriously, though, when payday and tax day fall on the same day, it's hard to be as bitter as you could be. The little accountant on my shoulder (no, I don't listen too often) releases his breath. Phew. I don't think he really believes in the money fairy until he sees the paystub.

Hm...now I have to wonder what sits on the other shoulder.


Mmmm...Chocolate. We may have to go out on a chocolate outing.
Curious George: as Ray continues to read books, I discover that curious George receives much more cooing, chattering, and pseudo-counting (she can count up to one real well) than any other book she's read so far today.
Road Trip. Going to SD (various locations) over Easter, Thursday through Monday. Hm...where is that old box of Mindtrap cards?
Taxes. While I sit here, finishing up the taxes Lee completed for the most part this morning, Ray sits beside me in her Ray-sized chair and reads books. She doesn't have a big enough lap for the larger books to sit steadily, so turning pages is a process: hang onto the page you're going to turn, lift the corner of that page, pick up the fingers supporting the book and the page, flip the page over, grab back onto the page. Exclaim, "Yeah!" every time you see a cat.

Sure doesn't look like a deductable to me.


Tea. Amazing how a good cup of decaf green tea can perk you right up when you're not a caffeine addict. In a non-perky way, of course.
Dream. I dreamed that I had just finished spring-cleaining the house we're in when we moved. Ugh. Well, it was a cool house, the kind of house with a floorplan that allows you to get lost the first time you're in it. A wandering house. I was mad at everyone else (because I was just mad, I guess, now that I'm awake enough to think about it), and there was something about a Goddess hiding in the attic. Lots of stairs, a good kitchen, for some reason it reminded me of a house that my Uncle Johnny used to live in, but my uncle never lived in such a house.
Blame it on tax day. This morning I took a paintball gun and shot the little old ladies selling subscriptions to The Gazette in the lobby of the grocery store. Then I picked up a copy of the Indy. No, I didn't. But I wanted to. Cutting letters to make them look idiotic so they can write sarcastic replies, ignoring news that doesn't fit their bias, firing local Life-section writers in order to use national sources. And using little old ladies to hawk subscriptions in the lobbies of the grocery store. No, I don't want a copy of The Gazette. I already have enough toilet paper.
Foul mood. Man, I'm in a foul mood today. Man, my foul moods just ain't what they used to be. Ah, for those angst-ridden years of yore...

Many thanks to my spouse and daughter, who make having a foul mood an enjoyable change of pace.


Rule # This one. Dripping sarcasm is a handy rhetorical device used to trick your audience into thinking that which you mock is worthy of being mocked. It's useful in preventing 1) honest discussion, 2) open-mindedness, and 3) discovery of a shaky opinion, as well as for other worthy purposes. Of course your oponent is a f#$@@ idiot, and so is any member of your audience that disagrees. Often used by the self-righteous as well as the overt con-man. Mmm. Warblogging.
My book. I've hit writer's sludge, a slow period in which you're not sure if what you're written is honey or crap. Nevertheless, still grinding along.
Unfortunately, the daily poop occurances have drifted into my shift. For the logest time I enjoyed both relative poop freedom and ghastly stories of The Poop You Missed This Morning. Oh, well...
Inhumane. Lee thinks it's disturbing to watch our daughter do inhumane things to a baby doll.
When encouraging artistic skills... you must also remember to promote critical thinking.

Ray has come into that fine age in which she has begun to see all surfaces as canvases for her pen. She also has come into that fine age where she doesn't take criticism well. I told her her cubism looked more like scribblism, and she tried to stab me with her crayon. Fortunately, they don't make crayons like they used to.
Reviews. Boo!

Crooked, Laura and Tom McNeal.

A good book of the adolescents' realism variety, well-written enough to make up for the depressing realism (why is it that "realistic" books are usually so depressing? Life isn't always depressing, unless you're the kind of person that should be on Prozac anyway) and "literary" (unresolved) ending. Humor's tucked into everything, but it's a quiet kind of humor that does not gain Victory Over All.


Faked to Death by Dean James.

The writing in this murder-mystery-farce is bad, but I think it's purposfully bad. The main character is a gay vampire (and bestselling pennamed romace/mystery/adventure writers) who's been invited to a posh writer's conference (in his guise as a writer of historical fiction), only to confront an insufferable woman who's posing as...one of his pseudonyms. His secretary has the hots for him, but he can't tell the charming chap the real reason their relationship must be strictly business (if you count catty remarks as such). His editor is unethical. His peers are being blackmailed. His hostess is a tyrant. He has the hots...erm, the colds...for the investigator on the case...

The Coffee Trader, by David Liss.

Oh, God. I just don't care. This isn't a bad book, but after all the trivialities, I can't bring myself to care how it comes out. Does the hero get his brother's wife? Does the brother's wife's maid betray her? Has the Dutchwoman betrayed our hero? Has our hero knocked up the brother's wife's maid? Or has the brother done it? Can the brother even get it up? Is the brother's wife addicted to eating roasted coffee beans whole? What a little tart! Will the Jewish community kick out our hero, as it has our hero's confidante, for unjust reasons? I don't know how this all works out, and I could care less. Blah, blah, blah. Sure, there are many individual sentences that can be read with pleasure, but when you start stacking them up against each other, you have a story that only an All My Children addict could love. This is a historical work crossed with enough backstabbing to make it "readable." Not my cup of tea.

Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones

Ah. The reason I read books is for books like this. I hadn't read any Diana Wynne Jones before. Why this woman isn't famous is beyond me--well, that's a lie. She isn't famous because she's too good. You can't make easy movies out of her stuff, like you can Harry Potter. Too many twists, none of which could be left out. All of it's surreal, like a dream, only better. The ending can't be predicted by the beginning, except it can. It's not catchy, except it is. It's not realistic, it's a fairytale--but not a fairytale for adults.



Duck. Yesterday we drove to Memorial park to feed the ducks. We fed ducks, we fed pigeons, we fed a brave squirrel, we tried to bonk a bullying goose on the head with chunks of bread (but we missed so he just ate them instead). And then Lee said, "Is this a walk away day or a chase the ducks day?" I said, "Chase the ducks."


Pigeons exploded, fat ducks scattered.

All three of us laughed. We're so naughty.


Quantum Muse Stephen Brust Interview.

QM: If you had 20 million dollars, would you spend it on a trip to the space station, or would you just waste it?

SKZB: I would not waste it. I would make good, solid investments in drugs and hookers.

Ah ah ah ah ah!

With no warning whatsoever, our nearly-eighteen month daughter started trying to count a couple of days ago. Um, soo, shee, seden, yay! Soo, shee, soo, shee, um, yay! The rythm of the words is just right, and she's usually pointing at one thing after another or doing one thing after another when she does this.

O-kay. Alien mutant or Sesame Street addict? You decide.