Monday, April 30, 2007

Out of control!

Do you ever have one of those days where everything is going smoothly and you think you'll be able to get everything done? Work, grocery store, write a thousand words in your new book, work on your column (which needs lots of research this week) spend time with the kids, pet the cats, feed everyone, etc. etc. only to have everything start snowballing around two PM so suddenly you notice it's 11 PM and you have a gazillion things to do? That's me today.

Tomorrow I have the appointment to start work on my crown, Thursday is Cullen's bone scan, I have to call the college about my graduation, Cam needs a thousand things to get ready to be inducted into ITS, somehow the cats don't have any food even though we spent too much at the store this evening. Sheep and wool festival is this weekend but by then we'll be exhausted!

And I missed the deadline to enter the poetry competition at Balticon by a MONTH! I forgot all about it until today.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

This is infuriating and sickening

Most Katrina Aid From Overseas Went Unclaimed

Allies offered $854 million in cash and in oil that was to be sold for cash. But only $40 million has been used so far for disaster victims or reconstruction, according to U.S. officials and contractors. Most of the aid went uncollected, including $400 million worth of oil. Some offers were withdrawn or redirected to private groups such as the Red Cross. The rest has been delayed by red tape and bureaucratic limits on how it can be spent.

In addition, valuable supplies and services -- such as cellphone systems, medicine and cruise ships -- were delayed or declined because the government could not handle them. In some cases, supplies were wasted.

Miss Snark, the literary agent: So THATS what this thing is for

Miss Snark, the literary agent: So THATS what this thing is for

I must be the only person in the world who hated this site. I'd say I hated it with a passion but that gives it too much credit. I was extremely bored by the third click and only managed to get through another ten or so because I trust Miss Snark. Ah well.

Perhaps the fact that it trigged my PTC and made me nauseated and gave me a stabbing headache has something to do with my lack of love...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Guess who finished another book today?

That's right, me! This is only true if you look at it the right way. It's 32,000 words, clearly not enough for a regular novel but I decided it works well as a YA serial novel in the format of A Series of Unfortunate Events or Spiderwick. At Capclave in 2005 a certain blogger and editor for Tor said these types of books were very hot. So if this works out for me then the thing I've just finished would be The Kitta Chronicles: Out of the Castle. I'm pretty excited.

Now for the hard part, figuring out what comes in the next book. Eep!

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Swimming cows

Today I was merrily writing along and I decided that a cow (and a school of silvery fish) were going to save Kitta from drowning. So I write the scene and then I wonder if cows can swim. It seemed like they'd be able to but then you always hear about these horrid bloated cow carcasses during floods and such so maybe I'm an idiot and, despite the fact that they're shaped like a crappy rowboat with legs, they can't swim a lick.

I asked Uncle Google what he thought and he patted me on the head and said of course cows swim, why just look at this! So I did and I was happy.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

My eye doctor is awesome

Today we noticed that Cullen's pupil wasn't retracting so I called my optometrist and he saw us right away. Dr. Barr is the same doctor who saw that I had bleeding in my eyes and swollen optic nerves, sending me to a retina doctor who diagnosed my PTC.

He looked at Cullen's eye pretty carefully and said there is a tiny tear in the iris and lots of white blood cells in the aqueous part of the eye causing inflammation. I didn't know you could see white blood cells in the eye - that's really interesting. Cullen is starting steroid eye drops and will go back in a week for reevaluation and possibly a referral to the retina specialist to make sure there are no holes or tears at the edges of the retina.

The injury to Cullen's eye happened earlier this week when he was struck in the orbit by a tennis ball. It wasn't even his partner that hit the ball, it came from a neighboring court!

If you're anywhere near the Annapolis or Kent Island area you could not go wrong with Dr. Barr as your doctor. He's been treating my family and me since before Cullen was born and he's gotten us through some difficult eye problems.

He's got a special deal if you donate to a local charity, be sure to check it out.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cold Calling

Cullen got a phone call today from a university offering him a five thousand dollar renewable scholarship. He didn't apply there or anything, they just randomly called him up. The thing is he's won the Heritage Scholarship at UMBC and that's ten thousand so I suggested he start a bidding war but he didn't pay me any mind...


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Source Material for Kitta

If you want to see the script I'm adapting right now you can access it here.

The thing I'm writing now is much better. Although I'm fond of some of the lines in the script. Oddly I've made the ogre mute in the new version. And he's a vegetarian who likes to wear frilly nightclothes...


Monday, April 23, 2007

International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day

Here is my contribution to International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day.

Miss Goodie Two Shoes

I don't smoke, drink, or drug.
I don't drink coffee, no caffeine for me please.
I don't eat meat - but here it gets a little tricky, maybe, I'm not quite sure - maybe I eat meat sometimes.
So what do I do for fun?
Oh you know, the usual.
This and that.
No, no, not that, I guess more of this than that.

The thing is, I kind of do lead a boring life except for that time, that um, time of the month.
The time when the moon is so big that it blots out everything else in the sky, or hell, in the universe, and becomes the most important thing ever.
When it sings a song so quiet and so damn loud all at the same time and you can't concentrate at all and you call in sick to work and people frown, you can hear them frowning over the phone and they sigh and say okay when you mumble something about the terrible, terrible cramps
Really you feel great, you feel good, you feel like a woman should
And you know if you just twist it/braid it/knot it/weave it the right way you could make those moon beams strong enough to carry you to the moon but just as you think you've got it figure out your thoughts are turning silver and melting together like the beam and you throw your head back and howl, howl, howl and you start to change.

The wings come tearing out of your shoulders, feathers flying everywhere as you shake your head and scream, blood spatters the room so the air is filled with white and red and silver to match the feeling in your head and the fangs come through and you run your tongue over them, exulting in the sharpness and power, dizzy with desire and pain and anguish and a great and terrible throbbing joy and the fur is coming in, under the great feathers, coating you, comforting you and finally you're complete and you leap into the air to start your hunt, laughing and crying and moaning and howling but most of all, being.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Not what I was imagining

When I first heard this story of a woman who traded sex for enough gold to buy her epic mount in WOW I thought maybe she had been talking trash on her server and saying how much she wanted the mount and how she'd do anything to get it. Some dude says okay, I'll give you the gold if you have sex with me and she says okay bitch! You're on! Get over here and get me off!

But it looks like it didn't quite happen like that.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Apollo 13 Astronaut’s Medal Recovered

This is interesting. The FBI recovered a Presidential Medal of Freedom that was up for sale on eBay. According to the story the medal actually belongs to the White House so the private collector that was selling was breaking the law.

Since the medal still technically belongs to the White House, the collector’s possession of it amounts to theft of government property. No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed, but the investigation is continuing. The actual medal presented to Captain Lovell by President Nixon is still in his possession.

The medal was the original, made with a small defect and was supposed to be destroyed when the new one was made.

The posting on the auction site touted that the medal was the “original” version meant for the Captain Lovell and called it “the ultimate collector’s item.” It read, in part: “This original medal was destined for the trash but lucky for us it was saved 37 years ago.”

It's an interesting story. Check it out.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What's the deal with these little tiny infrequent posts?

I started another book. I finished the Gabriel book on the 27th of March and started the new one on the 18th. It's based on a short story I wrote about ten years ago called Kitta and the King Carp, which in turn I adapted into an eleven page animated short script. Now it's morphing into a novel and I think it's going to be dreadfully long because in terms of events I'm only like page two of the script but page 103 in the book...

Of course the book is much more detailed and has all new scenes. It's not I'm padding, this stuff flows because there is a lot of action and silliness.

But with my chronic illness, Cullen's sickness, full time work, raising a family and writing another novel I'm running short of time and blogs, both mine and the ones I read, are feeling the pinch.

Maybe you'll like the book and that will make up for everything. I'll try to post the crazy hospital lady story tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Errand week

I've been running around all week getting things done. We're taking Cullen to a specialist tomorrow so I had to pick up his scans and x-rays and referrals from three different sites today. Tomorrow is his appointment and an MRI.

I'm sick, sick, sick with a fever and a horrid headache. Interestingly the GI doctor I went to make sure I wasn't having gallstones rang me up to say I have a kidney stones. Four scans and x-rays for Cullen and still no idea if he has any and mine show up while looking for something else.

When I'm feeling better remind me to tell you the crazy story of what happened at the ER last Friday.

Speaking of crazy stories, a man who is suspected of a murder and a kidnapping over the weekend went into Glen Burnie High today, dressed in women's clothing and hiding a gun. End result eight schools locked down and the man vanished when the security guard left him alone at the school...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Suburban Peepshow

Here's some info about my friend James Comtois' new show in New York called Suburban Peepshow. There's a little about the show and then a review.

I haven't seen it and I likely won't be able to because traveling is out of the question for me right now but I read the script and enjoyed it very much. If you're near NYC you should check it out. The price is so low it's practically free, especially when you consider that it's New York money!


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Good news for Gorey fans

Publisher's Lunch reports that Edward Gorey's The Doubtful Guest, a very fun book, will be made into a feature film. I'm thinking the book's got about a thousand words or less in it so I'll be curious to see who it works as a feature. It's being done by the Jim Henson company so hopefully they won't ruin it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stuff I found interesting

Here's an interesting and well done article called Differential Diagnosis of Flank Pain. You may be able to guess from that that we still haven't diagnosed Cullen's horrible pain. One x-ray, one ultrasound, one CT scan still no diagnosis beyond proteinuria and hematuria. That and him rolling around on the floor writhing in pain. It's been pretty grim around here. Not appt with the urologist until the 27th, which I thought was ridiculous but at least they'll call if there is a cancellation.

And this Wikipedia entry about the sinking of the Lusitania was also interesting, pretty much from start to finish.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Neil posted this amazing video of a film inspired by Blake's Tyger Tyger Burning Bright poem. He got it from Dave McKean. I've watched it four times over the last two days, despite being incredibly busy and not really having the time. It's quite lovely and the music is contagious...


Sunday, April 08, 2007

What is your definition of modern?

I'm up to rank 13 playing Hangman Hijinks at Pogo and I've noticed something jarring. I play easy because I'm lazy and brain damaged so I get a little clue as to what category the words fit into. Like grow for it, things like vegetables and hair. Modern marvels includes the word boat. Really? The boat is a modern invention? As compared to what? When algae ruled the earth?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Stitch and Bitch

I just finished reading an interesting timeline showing how a company has tried to take an expression, stitch and bitch, and trademark it while pretending they are the first to ever use it.

(This is reminiscent of Marvel and DC trying to trademark the word superhero. My understanding is the two rivals are trying to keep the word out of the hands of the independent comics.)

Sew Fast, Sew Easy has used two dodgy companies, CafePress and Yahoo, to try and shut down as many small knitting communities as possible. The owner of the site with the timeline, a boycott Sew Fast, Sew Easy site, states more than once that the members of these knitting clubs are not for profit but I don't think that even matters. Sew Fast, Sew Easy did not invent the expression. I remember my mother and a friend, who taught me to sew a button on my playsuit when I was eight, using it to my very juvenile delight.

I'm disgusted by corporations attempts to own the building blocks of language. I heard (don't know it it's true or not) that Donald Trump trademarked "you're fired."

What's the purpose of a trademark again? Isn't it supposed to be to keep people from being confused as to what product they are getting? You don't want Coke and Koke to be manufactured because someone might get confused. That makes some sense. But you're fired? *Pouring cereal in a bowl? Make me laugh.

*Patent pending


Zell is a flipping idiot

Zell Wants End to Web's Free Ride

It's time for newspapers to stop giving away their stories to popular search engines such as Google, according to Samuel Zell, the real estate magnate whose bid for Tribune Co. was accepted this week.

"If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content, how profitable would Google be?" Zell said during the question period after his speech. "Not very."

He's ridiculous. Does Google steal their content? No it indexes it and makes it easy for me to find. I would never read newspaper X if it weren't for Google because I wouldn't know it existed and I certainly wouldn't know they'd written an interesting article about how dolphins play games with sponges.

Zell can have his newspaper which only attracts the attention of local people or he can take advantage of fabulous free publicitiy and let people in Thailand or Fiji read his articles.

Stealing? My eye. When I read the articles I'm at the newspaper website, not Google. And if it's a decent paper I'll see links for several other articles I want to read. It's very common for me to look one subject and end up reading five or six other articles in the same paper.

Why would want to give that up?


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Really fun and interesting blog

I'm doing part of this week's column on papercraft and I found this blog while looking for interestingg things. (Astonishingly, Chris was also looking for a papercraft project up in New York and imed me the same blog.) There is so much too look at and quite a few posts caught my eye, including a jungle book that grows, but this one really spoke to me. This is great fun.

Thomas Allen's Pulp Covers

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

More reasons to love Dr. Bob

In this thread many people want to know if they can catch HIV from an uninfected person. Dr. Bob points out that our educational system has failed if so many people don't understand basic biology.

And in other news, I was saved from terrible embarrassment by the skin of my teeth. I was looking at my library books, trying to decide which one to read next, Saving Fish From Drowning or A Quick Bite and decided to go with the lighter read as I just finished a fairly dense book.

I took Cullen in for his ultrasound of his kidneys and there was a woman reading Saving Fish From Drowning!! Imagine if I had the same book; it would have been worse than wearing the same dress!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Where do you get your ideas?

This is on the ceiling above my head.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tree scientists

This week's column has tree scientists as well as advice on how to survive the coming apocalypse in style. You owe it to yourself to read it.