Wednesday, December 12, 2007

the cat

one day he was old.

i did not want him to be; last week he was
in his prime
a few days ago he was as he had ever been and then
one day, he was old

and sick, and staggering, and i
was his only friend
when he looked at me with uncomprehending and
unquestioning eyes

i would have given much, and much
of what i had and what i did not have
to have answered that trust with

yes we will fix this
yes you will be whole
again, and happy, and as you were once
last week
yes i can move mountains and shift the universe and
change the immutable laws of time and change

and what i said was, yes
i am human and
i am fallible and
yes, what i would do if only i could do is irrelevant and
what i can do is see that there is no more pain
or imbalance or

and i will tell myself the lie that everything is better this way
when there is no possibility of it being better in any way
i will only ever see him again
as someone just about to come around the corner
as someone who just left the room

Monday, December 03, 2007


I actually got through NaNoWriMo in one piece. Admittedly, it was a fried and frazzled piece by November 30 (some of which in all fairness does not have a thing to do with trying to write fifty thousand words in thirty days. But still.)

I also learned that I can churn out an incredible amount of verbiage in a very short period of time. Because I wrote those 51064 words in seventeen days. I started out all right, put in a few hundred words here and there, and then life interfered, and then before I knew it twelve days had gone by where I hadn't written anything. Not a single solitary much maligned word.

Whereupon I learned that I get quite grouchy when I feel like I'm under pressure. Note to self: NaNoWriMo 2008 -- get it done in the first 17 days and then put your feet up. At least one of my NaNo buddies managed this and there were a couple of others who weren't too terribly far behind. And they were busy. Like, painting boats and starring in plays busy.

In a funny sort of way I owe those words to the ones that didn't make it. Several writing buddies had to stop their challenge mid-way through because real life intruded in very adamant, much-more-serious-than-writing ways -- and then it became sort of a personal, I have to do this for those who could not carry on thing. Granted, the words that I wrote are inelegant and many of them are destined for the compost heap but a few are likely going to make it into the finished project. After all, "...the rumors that he had been circumcised with a fish knife had never been substantiated...." have a certain ring to them, don't you think?

Friday, November 02, 2007

2304 Words Nov. 1

For a first go, not bad. But today I've been horribly behind. I just couldn't shake the tired, down, don't-wanna-do-anything blah feeling. After a while the blinding light came on -- it's an overdose of chocolate. I never thought such a thing could happen, but the correlation is pretty hard to miss. Several days of too much chocolate, suddenly my brain doesn't want to operate right. Now I have a sudden craving for carrot sticks, celery, something crispy and vegetative and non-sweet in nature. Unfortunately there's nothing like that in the house now...but I do have some canned and frozen veggies, so at least I can get my chlorophyll fix if I need to. And I have tons of potatoes; as long as I don't smother those in butter and cheese (and don't worry, the thought of anything greasy right now...igh) I should be just fine. And there's the rice steamer (it works great with lentils too) so really, if I choose to be intelligent about it I have plenty of good, nutritious, non-chocolate writing fuel lying about. I just have to get over my chocolate-induced lethargy and get it done.

But there goes plan A for staying awake and energetic; I couldn't even look a chocolate-covered coffee bean in the eye right now.

However, having been a Boilermaker in a former life, I do have some strategies that I had completely forgotten. For one out-of-town job I decided that I'd had enough of sandwiches and I let my cravings guide me; for nearly a week I took nothing but a loaf of artisan bread, a bagged salad, and a half gallon of grapefruit juice to work. My new co-workers thought I was a vegetarian for the longest time! But it worked; tons of energy and no lethargy. When my body told me it was time I started throwing a little protein in here and there. Grapefruit juice for me is legal speed without the bad effects (I get to keep my teeth and my freedom, for starters). And I wish I knew who I would have to bribe to get the bread recipe from Smith's -- they don't have those grocery stores around my home town, otherwise I'd just buy it and be happy.

I wonder what I'm going to have to do to bribe the dh into a grocery trip...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Just 'cause

One of the blogs had to be the knitting blog. This one got to be the writing blog. I'm settling into my diversities; my dh would probably call it caving into my insanity -- but they don't have to be mutually exclusive, do they?

I'm staring at the clock, waiting for midnight to get here so I can start NaNoWriMo and then get to sleep. I have baking to do for a potluck tomorrow -- it was supposed to be last week but the smoke from the sunny southern Cali fires was so thick that any outdoor activity was deemed unhealthy. Yeah. I know. It was healthier to delay and now I won't have to worry about hacking and coughing but....

darn it, I have a novel to start. And I was realllly looking forward to being able to sleep in a bit tomorrow. And plan A. for staying alert went out the window when I got all of four trick-or-treaters; I have enough chocolate to feed a regiment and I'm already sick of it. No chocolate covered coffee beans for it a sign of madness if someone seriously considers eating the espresso beans straight out of the bag?

A bit over an hour to go. I'm going to clean up the last of the pumpkin guts and blow out the candles, and then I'm going to use up all of the hot water in the house. Hopefully I will be wide awake when midnight comes around, 'cause I'm hoping to chunk out 2000 words and crawl into bed asap.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Somewhere Saint Vidicon is laughing

My brother, bless his heart and may Saint Vidicon watch over him, left me his pricey, the HP laptop with the Vista system. It has been an education in and of itself, with more learning coming up quickly on the horizon.

If ever I get a laptop again, I am going to go into a computer store on an off day in a dead time so I can sit and play with the keyboard. I keep wanting to go left on this one and end up playing endlessly with the capslock key.

Anyhow, his plaintive wail as he headed towards his new job was, Make it work, O please make it work. And make all of those annoying popup thingies go away. Did I mention that he has a Norton security system? I keep looking for a way to convince the system that the very act of wanting to go online is, well, proof positive that I really want to go online. So why does it keep asking me if I really want to go out there? And every time I want to download anything it squalls and squeals and asks if I really truly mean it. Good grief, this is why I rid my system of it lock stock and bitter barrel. The last time Norton played nicely was when I was running Windows 95.

And his trackball is irritating too, but he knows that.

What is absolutely hysterical are the wise nodding owls in the background. What's Mom doing? She's fixing our Uncle's computer. Cool. And I have to keep qualifying that I am NOT fixing anybody's computer; I don't have enough system savvy to do anything like fix something. I'm doing what was requested: I'm playing with the system and figuring out practical ways of dealing with it. I'm also advocating for Apple or Linux with every fibre of my being. I run Windows and I have liked or at least amicably endured everything through XP, but Vista is driving me to drink and I don't even own this computer.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Resolutions 2007

A bit of background here: a few days after Christmas my husband woke up from a nap and declared that the house smelled of gas. That certainly explained the headache I had and it was an easy trace -- the oven, which I had just finished using for a massive round of bread-baking, had reached the end of its useful lifespan. Technically, it was the gas valve feeding into the range that had gone kerplunk but it gave us a wonderful excuse to get rid of the appliance that was falling apart and spend money that we can't really afford to get something that we really needed. With me so far?

All right. Found a suitable replacement (floor model, on sale, yippee!) and I should have taken the hint from Murphy when the salesman got all stressed out on the matter of delivery. I wanted it 1. delivered 2. installed 3. the old appliance made off with. I found out that that was easy as cake IF you bought anything BUT a floor model. Floor models, it seems, are installed by an outside contractor who 1. couldn't be reached to make arrangements for delivery 2. was going to charge an arm, leg, and Megan for delivery, hookup, and disposal, and 3. probably wouldn't have the right parts and I'd just end up having to call the gas company anyway to get it hooked up. At which point I said I could take my van around to the loading dock and drag it home with me then. Seemed like a lot less hassle. On the way home I had the bright inspiration that hooking up the stove couldn't be THAT difficult. Right?

Long pause for the laughter to die down.

We will pass swiftly over the unloading of the stove, wherein I nearly squashed my husband. He's a good sport, and the bruises should go away in a few days :O.

It was at this point that I found out the valve leaked, and that I would have to return to a hardware store to find a new one. Three stores later we find someone who actually knows what I'm talking about and where the valve I need is located. Then I return home where I play Final Fantasy XII for two hours, working up the courage to clean the gunk of nearly 20 years, ten of which I'm actually responsible for. I found that home-made soap takes ancient grease off far better than 409. It wasn't even the good stuff, just the kitchen-scrap soap I did just to see if I could. I have also vowed to find whoever decided that textured walls would be a great idea in a kitchen. If I get a true jury of my peers I will never be convicted.

Tomorrow I get to hunt down the line I need to connect the stove to the house; after that I get to do the fun stuff -- actually connecting the stove to the house and leak checking everything. (My brother is considering getting a pool going as to whether and when the house burns down, if you're interested :D).

And speaking entirely without irony, I haven't had this much fun since I replaced the squirrel cage in the central AC unit.

So, my resolutions for 2007 have suddenly turned into a very short list. 1. Prove to my children that it's entirely possible for a woman to recover her mind after renovation.