Saturday, December 30, 2006

Constantine meets My Man Godfrey

Proving that I am utterly insane, I started yet another novel last week. I know, I know, I need another project like I need more spinal fluid in my head, but this really annoying character popped into my head while I was taking a bath and won't leave me alone.

I tried writing a few notes down to exorcise him but it didn't work. Then I wrote the first two pages and put it away, thinking I could go back to my November novel but all that happened was I couldn't concentrate on anything and didn't write another word (besides my column) so today I gave in and wrote another thousand words.

It's about an angel called Gabriel (no, not the famous one) whose been laid off and is bored and upset so he goes off to find his favorite human, a flapper he used to know back in the day, but she's very different in this life. After her guardian angel told her she'd never amount to anything she took a vow of goodness and is determined to devote her life to charity. Unfortunately she's no good at it and has left a string of disasters in her wake. In fact she's sitting in jail right now on fraud charges, all because she just wanted to help that nice Nigerian princess out of a jam.

Gabriel's determined to teach her to that charity begins at home and she won't be able to make much of a difference until she's happy. Step one, get rid of her gloom and doom guardian angel. Step two, give Mercy a makeover like no other.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Important announcement

January 23rd is pie day!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

If you know the story behind this please let me know

I found this while researching my column:

The Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center is closed indefinitely due to significant life, health, and safety issues.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Reading after death

You remember that guy you used to hang out with in college? How you would stay up all night talking about deep philosophical issues? And how you each promised if you were the first to die you would come back and tell the other one what the afterlife was all about? But then he died and never came back so you figured there wasn't any afterlife?

Actually Shakespeare has been writing one play a year since he died four hundred years ago and P.G. Wodehouse has written another fifty books, a couple of plays and quite a few short stories, and well, the thing is your friend really does mean to drop by one of these days but he's really busy catching up on his reading...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick

I've been sick all week, getting sicker each day. Even with phenergan I'm so sick to my stomach that I throw up as soon as I get out of bed. When I'm in bed I just complain and moan about how much my stomach hurts. Naturally this put a rather large crimp in my getting ready for Christmas plans, although somehow I managed to get all my office work done. And my column and I wrote the first couple pages of something I may work on.

Today I picked Chris up from Baltimore and tomorrow I think Cullen and Cam are supposed to fly to Alaska. I say think because this is something I heard from Cam, not from any adult. Very odd.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ghost Brigade

I finished Scalzi's Ghost Brigade. While I didn't like it as much as I liked Old Man's War I liked it very much indeed and highly recommend it.

In other news I'm sick and it hurts to type so this is all I have to say. Good night.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hate those commercials with the car crashes?

Do they make you want scream and jump? Have you been in an accident and have PTSD that's kicked into overdrive by those commercials? Do you have to jump up and turn off the TV every time a commercial with people talking in a car comes on?

Check out this WaPo article that ran a few months ago. Then get in touch with the advertising company, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, and tell them they're soulless bastards thriving on pain and that you will never, ever buy anything they're trying to sell as long as you live.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Random advice from some spam

When you see some tornado living with a squid, it means that a salad dressing ceases to exist.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Losin my sight; losing my mind

I started back up on Advair, an inhaled steroid to prevent asthma, about a week ago and I've gotten steadily worse every day. Monday was a two narcotic one anti-emetic day. Tuesday was a one narcotic one anti-emetic day.

But more annoying than the pain and nausea are the vision problems. Cam was standing in my doorway over the weekend and I couldn't see his face. When the pressure in my head is high faces often look like bees made of buzzing around. Cam looked like that.

Then yesterday I took my final for my math class and had a lot of trouble. The very nice fellow at the testing center did all he could for me; putting me in a small room with only two people in it and seating me next to an open window so the heat wouldn't make me faint. But there was nothing he could do about the florescent lights or the sheer stress of the two hour test.

I made it through (and think I did pretty well) but when I walked out my eyes were very bad. I was seeing double, but it was weirder than that. I actually saw an effect like this on House the other week, a boy with some kind of crazy thing going on who thought he was a faith healer saw the same kinds of things. It's like a tunnel with the very middle being least blurry and the edges more blurry, but nothing looking good.

I took my glasses off and walked around for a little while, in fact I didn't put them back on until we were in the car ready to go home. Things were better then, good enough that I drove us home.

This morning I reviewed everything, all the visual disturbances, the constant headaches, the deafening tinnitus, the feeling that my heart isn't really pumping my blood, that it's just kind of sitting there meditating, the gasping for breath, all the other PTC symptoms and wondered how long I was going to try to ignore all this. I remembered how bad my eyes were when I was first diagnosed and decided it really wasn't fair to put everyone through that and called my doctor.

End result, back on Diamox, 500 mgs a day and we'll see if that gets things under control without so much of the blood sugar side effects. I'm pretty bummed about it, I really want to get better and stay off the meds. But my vision is kind of important.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Or a screenplay or a story or even a poem...

From AWAD - Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation. -Oscar
Wilde, writer (1854-1900)

The best kinds of stories have character growth. Something happens to jolt the protagonist out of their complacency and sets them on a new path. Luke's Aunt and Uncle are killed and he goes off with Obi-wan (of course he was also discontented with life on the farm) to rescue the princess. It's all about goals, obstacles and changing as a result of all of this.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What is the point of final exams?

I was just reading the requirements for my kids' final exams, which are twenty percent of their grade and have to last at least two hours. I also have my own final I have to take before Wednesday, which is meant to take two hours and is half of my grade for the year.

I don't really understand the point of these things. If we've been doing well all semester why do we have to regurgitate it all back up again at the end of the year? What about those of us who do poorly on tests? I do particularly poorly because the conditions of the exam trigger PTC - fluorescent lights make me throw up and give me a headache, in fact the first exam I took for this class made me so sick I was useless for two or three days afterwards, taking lots of painkillers and whining a lot. Then there's the fact that they won't let me lay on the floor to take it...

What about kids with test anxiety who have managed to muddle through the rest of the tests in the class and now face the risk of blowing the entire semester on one test. Or what if you're sick? I'm taking this whole math class over again because I missed the final exam the first time because it was the day after Dan died and I took the makeup exam the same month I spent 21 days in the hospital with a retroperitoneal bleed and a giant blood clot. That's certainly going to prepare you for a final worth half your grade. I got a 52 on it and am somewhat surprised I did that well.

I can see one more test at the end of the semester on the new material, but this going back and having to do everything over again and making it worth so much of your grade makes no sense to me.

Is it a throwback to some other teaching system? What possible use is it? I don't see anything positive from this at all.

Oh yeah, what about people who stay up and cram and then forget everything? That's good for your body and your memory. Not.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The murders are out of control

My NaNoWriMo book wasn't meant to have any murders, or murderers, in it but I've just added another one. A child killer no less, who killed some kids he was babysitting. How's that for lighthearted?

I've just hit sixty thousand. Go me!

I sent a short story off to Will Shetterly for his correspondence course writing school. We'll see what he says about it. Here's hoping he likes it.

I'm mostly unsure about the ending, it could be a bit cliched. It's a horror story and it's got the ending where the horror keeps on going, but it makes sense because the horror hasn't really been resolved. I don't know so I'm getting an expert opionion.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I miss my mommy sometimes

I was reading a book today, a hilarious book by Christopher Moore called A Dirty Job and I read something my mom taught me, about how part of San Francisco is built on buried Gold Rush shops, and I realized I don't know any cool facts like that about where I live. I wanted to call my mom and talk to her about it but she died eleven years ago. That makes it kind of hard, I guess.

And on the subject of grief, I've developed an ear for true writing about grief and Mr. Moore knows his stuff. When someone you love very much dies, especially unexpectedly, you can recognize falseness when you run into it. Someone at a casting agency once told me that I'm a better actress since Dan died because now I cry at the drop of a hat. When I read anything that makes me sad I cry because it brings all that old pain right back up again. And it could be anything, it could be a story about a cat getting lost, it doesn't matter, any pain is enough to turn into lots of pain. And Mr. Moore seems to understand this and describes it really well in this book, which really is a comedy, but it's a comedy about death so there's plenty of grief involved.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Things I don't understand

What is this commercial I hear for the world's first television for men AND women? Have I been committing a sin for the last 43 years by watching a television meant to be for just one gender? I can't even begin to comprehend what they mean by this.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sometimes I'm stunningly stupid

I overwrote everything I wrote yesterday. Five pages. Google desktop said they had a cache (631 of them to be precise) but it turns out to be just the first line of the first page. Not terribly helpful.

I can't believe how sad and angry I am over this. I mean really it was just a few hours work, I should be able to rewrite it but I'm plenty upset. Sigh.

Monday, December 04, 2006

It's December, now what?

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, what am I doing? I'm setting a goal of 400 words a day but really I'm hitting four pages a day, which usually works out to more. I'm still not quite sure where the book is going but I figure if I write it long enough it will all work out.

Cam had his vocal audition for Anything Goes today. He's got bronchitis and is dead tired but did a good job. He says there are 51 kids trying out. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pissing the Night Away

I was just thinking if he sings the songs that remind him of the good times and he sings the songs that remind him of the better times and that song is Danny Boy, he must be having some very bleak times indeed.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Why did Will Shetterly and I get the same results?

He's a million times nicer than I am. This is odd.