Sunday, November 29, 2009

Final day of vacation

Those six vacation days went by in a flash. A lot was accomplished. In lieu of a regular entry I give you a status update:
  • Jer and I painted the TV room with Benjamin Moore's "October Mist." The color is a gray green and I love it.

  • I reached page 62 of 70 of my play.

  • I leveled my rogue in World of Warcraft from 26 to 31.

  • I got most of our Christmas shopping done.

  • And I cooked enough food to feed about 10 people.

The electrician will be here tomorrow to install the motion sensor light. I hope that goes without a hitch. And now it is nearly December. This year... man. I should write a recap to keep it straight in my head.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Now with more meteors

Now that the play is over two-thirds done I need to write a synopsis, which means I should know what it's about.

For the few who may have seen "Lifeblood" I'm sticking with my favorite formula: one character, built out of vignettes. Only in this play she is guided by an imaginary friend, and she's a smartass scientist-in-training. She's partial to physics but doesn't believe learning should be reduced to easy categories.

This play could be interpreted as my version of the coming of age, road-trip teen story.

But with more meteors. And less road.

On a personal note, this play is my love letter to science. And since I am uncomfortable with proper feelings, I've inserted a lot of dry humor. Like the salami of dialogue.

Cured and dried, people.

I woke this morning with another idea for tying up loose ends. So that's worth noting.

I'm not actually sure what the hell I'm doing, but hey, it's still happening.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Errands and motivational montages

I haven't written enough today. That may still change.

Jer and I did manage to run a few errands before he left for work. We bought the paint and assorted painterly supplies for the family room, picked up some bacon for the unhealthy salad I'm making, also wine, and bought cat food and a new litter box at the pet store.

The new litter box is sea foam green and has an entrance with tiny stairs that curve up and around to a luxurious bed of sand, all enclosed by a dome, capped with an air filter. I'm tempted to crawl inside and pee.

Later I made the salad -- it has to refrigerate overnight and think about how unhealthy it is, and baked a loaf of banana bread. Our smoked turkey just has to be brought to room temperature, so no preparation needed there... I'm planning to make a pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, Greek stuffing, and a green bean casserole tomorrow. That may end up being too much food for 2 people, but I can live with that.

I spent the last 2 hours watching The Biggest Loser, "Where are they now?" special and I totally fell for it. I ate my slice of banana bread between stupid snotty tears. Damn you, with your inspirational soundtrack and motivational montages.

As for the play title I mentioned in the earlier entry, I'm leaning towards "How to Weigh the World." For those of you who left feedback, I really appreciate it. I've been staring at Final Draft for so long the words are losing meaning.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Your opinion is humbly requested

I have two three ideas for a title:
  • To Weigh the World
  • The Collide-o-Scope
  • (11/25 edited to add) How to Weigh the World

Do you like one? Do they all suck?

This is for my unsecret project, but the content of the project isn't all that important for this. What's your gut say?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hello, decadence

I am oh-fficially on vacation for the next six days. Yep, just me in my home office. Door shut to the cats. Par-ty.

I've just reached page 45 of my play and it's all about the next six days. I've got about 25 pages until I hit the minimum finishing point. And, what the hell, I should pin down a title and find the ending while I'm at it.

Or I could just hit page 70 and stop. Write something like, "And then the world exploded. Good night and be good to one another."

If I could predict anything, it would be that the next six days will bring lots of procrastination, possibly a newly painted room, and stuffing my face. We picked a paint color, "October Mist" by Benjamin Moore and I've masked off a door. Just the one though. I got bored and wandered away.

Hey, I know what I need to kick start this grand writing extravaganza: white russians.

It is good to be a grownup.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A trip to Ace hardware

I wrote my unsecret project pages in the morning, made Quiche Lorraine in the afternoon (recipe from, and in the evening Jer and I took a trip to Ace hardware. Later we watched "Night Watch" on DVD, which mostly made me want to read the book. It held my attention and I enjoyed wondering what would happen next, but I had the impression that there's a lot more happening between the scenes that hadn't translated from page to screen. Let alone from Russian to English.

At Ace we bought 3 paint samples of sage green and gray green, wood paste wax, a gutter re-directer, and a roll of painter's tape. We're planning to paint the family room/dining area some shade of green because the putty color in there is, well... not my taste. With all of the dark furniture we have (or plan to have), a green gray seemed like a good choice.

I am now trying to get motivated enough to write. The immediate problem may be due to a caffeine deficiency, so I will seek out my stimulant of choice and see if that helps. The play has just reached 42 pages of the 70 page minimum I need to reach, which means accelerated progress will need to be made this week.

The good news is I am still on track.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Barbeque sketch

My kind of humor. "A friendly barbeque turns dangerous when everyone forgets to bring meat."

The Barbeque:

If you can't see the video embedded in this post go to Funny or Die.

Colossal Squid Video

Discovery last night showed a program on the Colossal Squid. They're incredible. They have huge bodies, hooks on their tentacles that swivel, and the eye, even while dead, looks practically sentient.

Footage of the Colossal Squid captured in 2007:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Semi-elaborating on the unsecret project

Tonight I hit a minor milestone with the project formerly known as secret. I reached the halfway point, so I will provide another spoiler.

It is a play. For the first time in 4ish years I am writing a play. It is still untitled.

Okay, one more spoiler. It features a character named after my favorite alcoholic beverages. PBR Laphroaig.

That last spoiler isn't true, but maybe it should be. Sir PBR Laphroaig sounds like a fellow I would very much like to know better, old chap. What, ho!

I am one day behind schedule because I didn't write last Saturday. I aim for 2 new pages each day, after edits, which are copious and constant.

And last night I joined twitter. Finally. So you can all stop now and move onto the next big thing. My twitter name, not unlike my stripper name, is follyblaine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My secret project -- now with less secret-ness!

I've been coddling it, treating it very gingerly, but I'm ready to share I'm working on a project. Right now it's just for me, but I'm writing something and if it goes well I'll finish it. And that'll be a thing, all right. Finishing something.

Much of the last two weeks has involved 2-4 hours per day, sitting in my home office after a full day of work trying to stay focused. Last night was tough. I finally completed a page after 3 hours, but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

To be fair, last night I spent more time researching than writing. And in the end the research was a very small part of the output. It came down to a few lines of dialogue.

Pandora is helping me make progress for now. My station is tuned to "Owl City." I've learned I am finicky about my environment, and the thing that helps me concentrate today is full of capriciousness tomorrow. At any moment my station may be tuned to something else entirely, like "Me First & the Gimme Gimmes," or "Flogging Molly" for example. Or maybe it already was. Or maybe I just really like to use double quotes for no reason.

See also: I am a loose cannon. And it's corollary: Don't make me cut a bitch.

I've set a deadline of the end of this month to have the first draft done, and to that end I'm taking a couple days off next week to write and maybe cook a meal for that holiday I've heard so much about.

I should probably come up with a working title for my thing. That would give the thing an air of respectability and permanence. Or maybe I should shut up and go write.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

it's for research

There's nothing quite like Googling "women’s inferiority in the Bible" to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Discovering local restaurants

I have been working on a thing and now I'm procrastinating. Somehow it got to be 4pm on Sunday and I haven't worked on the thing since Friday night, and now it seems far too late to start but if I don't start I'll be behind, which I already am, so it doesn't make much difference if I refresh Facebook or follow links across a dozen different pages that don't interest me at all.

Or I could come here. It's comfortable here. Maybe I'll stay here awhile.

Jer and I had an excellent meal last night at Hudson: new American Public House. I had the Hudson Cassoulet, which was made with pork belly, rabbit, Flageolet beans, and breadcrumbs. It was very tasty. For dessert Jer and I split a piece of chocolate stout cake with a salted caramel frosting, which was also very tasty.

Last night's meal made up for Friday night's dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, which was not good. I probably shouldn't be surprised by that, but I used to love their rosemary chicken and potato pizza and was hoping they still had it. When I didn't see it on the menu and asked the server, he said, "We don't put potatoes on pizza. Maybe you're thinking of a sandwich?"

Right, because those words are so easy to confuse.

Even if I had liked the pizza I ordered, it would have been spoiled at check time when the server disappeared. I had to go find him after a 5-10 minute wait of sitting in front of our pushed aside dishes and empty water glasses. We won't be doing that again.

At the corner of 80th and 15th in North Seattle we've found a number of excellent restaurants. Mr. Villa's is awesome Mexican. LC's Kitchen is also fantastic. So I won't mourn the loss of CPK too strongly.

Now I think I'll eat my leftovers from last night and then get back to work. Or something.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Forcing a perception shift

If I were the exaggerating type I would say today was like totally the worst day ever, or at least the worst in a long long time. So let's focus on some happy stuff!

  • The motion sensor light I ordered was delivered
  • I like the rain and it is raining
  • I love that our front stoop is covered so packages don't get wet. Also, I don't get wet digging out my keys.
  • I'm at home, finally!
  • I'm reading an interesting book
  • "The Red Tree" by Caitlin R. Kiernan was delivered yesterday. I'll read that next.
  • Everyone I know is healthy, or with only a little flu
  • I am drinking a pumpkin beer
  • I've been watching Cosmos for the first time and I like it
  • I love my little home office with its cushy red rug
So there you go. Look at all the swell stuff I got goin' on!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The funny

Jeremy surprised me Friday night by installing a new chandelier in the family room. (you can read about the purchase in this entry). It looks very nice, although it makes me want to paint everything and replace the dining room table.

Then tonight I broke the knob off the dryer. It's nothing a little wrench can't get around though.

We also got the trash and water bill yesterday.

Homeownership, FTW.

We started watching "Father Ted" and it's my new favorite thing. Here's a description from Amazon:

Join Fathers Ted, Dougal and Jack, three Irish priests exiled by the church to their own private purgatory, a twisted lump of rock called Craggy Island, as penance for indulging their daft vices. With the help of the world's most devoted housekeeper, Mrs. Doyle, they tend a demented flock of island dwellers and try to make a heaven out of their rocky piece of hell.
After watching "My Hero" on PBS, I wanted to see more Ardal O'Hanlon, and that's how I found "Father Ted."

Just for fun, here's a clip of Ardal's standup:

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

rotting my brain

I'm all caught up watching Mad Men, finally, except for last Sunday's episode. Now I may continue to have informed opinions about the show.

I did watch the new "V" mini-series last night. Eh, I say. It would be easier if I liked, or identified with, any of the characters. I also haven't seen the original since it first aired, but I still remember certain scenes vividly. My hopes might be too high (unrealistic) for this new version. However I don't remember them throwing around the words "terrorist/sleeper cell" quite so frequently which felt so strained. I can imagine the staff sitting around saying, hey, how can we make this more relevant?

While we're on the subject, I do have a show recommendation. I've just started watching "Jeeves & Wooster" starring a young Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Not surprisingly, it's hilarious. I'm not sure how I never heard of it before.

Last night, before the sun set too early, I engaged in some much needed raking and sweeping of leaves. I filled up half our yard waste bin. Very exciting.

It's a bright day now, full of clouds and promise and caffeine. Toodles.

Monday, November 02, 2009

looking to buy 50 shares of whimsy

"What,” said he, “makes the difference between man and all the rest of the animal creation? Every beast that strays beside me has the same corporal necessities with myself: he is hungry, and crops the grass; he is thirsty, and drinks the stream; his thirst and hunger are appeased; he is satisfied, and sleeps; he rises again, and is hungry; he is again fed, and is at rest. I am hungry and thirsty, like him, but when thirst and hunger cease, I am not at rest. I am, like him, pained with want, but am not, like him, satisfied with fulness. The intermediate hours are tedious and gloomy; I long again to be hungry that I may again quicken the attention. The birds peck the berries or the corn, and fly away to the groves, where they sit in seeming happiness on the branches, and waste their lives in tuning one unvaried series of sounds. I likewise can call the lutist and the singer; but the sounds that pleased me yesterday weary me to-day, and will grow yet more wearisome to-morrow. I can discover in me no power of perception which is not glutted with its proper pleasure, yet I do not feel myself delighted. Man surely has some latent sense for which this place affords no gratification; or he has some desire distinct from sense, which must be satisfied before he can be happy."

Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson

I'm having a heckuva time finding motivation. (I must have misplaced it.) I hate to admit this, but I'm just too darned comfortable. I spend most of my free time reading and doing the bare minimum to survive. I just finished a biography on Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn and I'm a third of the way through the 900 page Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson. I also find documentaries about physics on the community college channel especially fascinating.

Electromagnetism, for the win.

On a positive reinforcement note today there was progress. I made a vet appointment for both cats to get caught up on their shots and get checked out. I am also looking into a cat boarding place for our next trip south. The online pictures are very nice and it comes highly recommended by our new vet's office and Angie's List.

I also finally ordered a motion sensor light for the front of the house.

Oh hello, raindrops.

I bid on my first corporate bond this week but did not win.

We had about 30 kids trick or treat at the house on Saturday between 6:30pm and 8:15pm. I'm glad some people are still doing that.

The old man went away sufficiently discontented to find that his reasonings had produced the only conclusion which they were intended to prevent. But in the decline of life, shame and grief are of short duration: whether it be that we bear easily what we have borne long; or that, finding ourselves in age less regarded, we less regard others; or that we look with slight regard upon afflictions to which we know that the hand of death is about to put an end.

Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson