Monday, October 31, 2005
By posting this, I'm taking the chance of completely publicly humiliating myself, but in roughly 3-1/2 hours, I will begin tapping out the first tentative sentences of my Very First Novel
If you're not familiar with NaNoWriMo
, it's a, well, a challenge, I suppose. A challenge to write a 50,000-word novel between 12:00:01 a.m. November 1 and the stroke of midnight November 30. Now, at 50,000 words in 30 days*, this will be what Anne Lamott describes as a "shitty first draft." In fact, you're encouraged to check you inner editor at the door. The point here is to write, write, WRITE!
So, why do something so, um, INSANE? I think that's one of the best reasons for doing it. It is crazy and it's challenging and it's a chance to let my imagination loose. Also, come November 30 (assuming I haven't had a complete meltdown), I'll be able to say I've written a novel. (I'll have another 11 months to edit it and the rest of my life to flog it to publishers!) Seriously, how many of you out there have thought about writing a novel but just keep saying you'll do it Some Day? Or, worse, you have this great idea for a novel, but you won't sit down and write the bloody thing because you're afraid of ruining your idea by actually writing
it (a point that NaNoWriMo's founder echoes in his book)? For me, it's a matter of firing up the computer, killing my Internets connection and just writing it (and having notebooks and Post-It index cards at close reach when I'm not at the computer). No more "one day/some day" novel: today (um, tomorrow) I write this novel BECAUSE I CAN.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go conjure up some characters. And one of those plot-thingies. Wish me luck!
(pssst! You still can sign up for this year's NaNoWriMo!
...just click the image or the link in the first
*(For the mathematically-challenged, 50,000 words / 30 days = 1,667 words per day, more or less.)
NOW GROOVIN' TO: It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
from the album "Document" by R.E.M.
Technorati Tags: NaNoWriMo
Guest Blogger: Simon
I am NOT a happy cat! I don't know much about this "halloween" thing, but there have been a lot of loud small humans pounding on my door all evening. And mom keeps opening the door and talking to these loud small humans. And as if all that weren't bad enough, now my
big bowl of chocolates is empty
!!! SHE GAVE AWAY ALL MY CHOCOLATES!
There will be payback. I can't get to all those loud small humans, but I can
gack a big ol' hairball on mom's head at 4:00 a.m.
That is all.
NOW GROOVIN' TO: Exhuming McCarthy
from the album "Document" by R.E.M.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Twenty years ago, I would never have believed that the words "honor student" would be uttered in the same sentence as my name. Or that I'd ever have a snowball's chance in hell of going to an Ivy League school.
Today, I'm a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society. I've got a very respectable 3.91 GPA, but have been more than frustrated because my college career is stalled once again (for reasons I will not go into right now). A couple of weeks ago, I got an invitation from Columbia University to attend an information session, which was held today in San Francisco.
I read and re-read the invitation. I thought of 1,000,001 reasons why I couldn't possibly go to an Ivy League school--in New York City, no less. But a voice inside me told me I had to check it out.
Columbia has a college for "non-traditional" students (folks like me who have had long interruptions in their education). It's geared toward students who have to juggle Real Life and school, something that has proven extremely difficult in my life.
Those million-and-one reasons and voices of fear and doubt still ring in my head. But I'm going to apply because I hear that one lone voice inside me telling me I have to check it out. It's hard to hear that voice because the voices of fear and doubt are very shrill. But the one telling me I owe this to myself to explore the opportunity is steady and calming. Applying is not the same as loading the U-Haul; I may not even be accepted. I don't see any shame in being turned down by an Ivy League school. But it would be a terrible shame to not try and wonder if I might have made it.
NOW GROOVIN' TO: Dirty Old Town
from the album "Rum, Sodomy And The Lash" by The Pogues
...why this is the best weekend of the year.
1. It's my best buddy O's birthday (your present will be late...why break the streak now?)
2. Halloween. 'Nuff said.
3. DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS!!!
NOW GROOVIN' TO: 20th Century Boy
from the album "Velvet Goldmine" by Placebo
Monday, October 24, 2005
Misty Morning Commute
Misty Morning Commute
Originally uploaded by Planet Vicster.
I haven't posted a piccie for a while. Here is a recent shot taken while I was waiting to catch my ferry from Alameda one morning.
I'm just a girl who can't say no...
to a 2/$5 sale on BIG VATS OF GUMMY BEARS at Blockbuster Video.
NOW GROOVIN' TO: Boots Of Leather
from the album "Haywire" by Dharma Bums
Technorati Tags: gummy bears
Thursday, October 20, 2005
A day in teh life
Here's a picture of the last 24 hours of my life: The cats fight. Bad. Bad enough that it's one of the rare times I feel I must intervene. I try to lift Billie out of Simon's reach. For my trouble, Billie sinks her teeth into my arm, leaving a few nice punctures. (My friend suggested I go get a tetanus shot. But right now, a nice bout of lock-jaw sounds like fun.) So I while was trying to NOT snap that little bitch-troll cat's (I really do love her, except for the screeching, biting banshee bits) neck in half I yelled at Simon for starting the fight in the first place.
Meanwhile, this funky allergy/cold thing I've been dealing with for a week or so kicks into high gear again. After going through half a roll of toilet paper (guess who forgot to get tissues?), I gave up and went to bed. While I was reading my book, my nose started bleeding. I don't get nosebleeds. I've had ONE nosebleed in my life and it took a well-thrown softball to do it. After several minutes, I get the nosebleed under control and then, completely stressed out, cry myself to sleep.
Simon always sleeps with me, but he was so freaked out over the whole fight with Billie and my being freaked out that he couldn't sleep. Any time anyone or anything moved, he'd jump. At 2:15 a.m. I was wide awake, trying to soothe him so he might get just a little bit of rest. However, I did NOT go back to sleep, except for a brief trip to REM around 4:30.
My new recurring dream played, the one where I'm driving and there's this old man driving a beat-up Lexus with two old women riding with him. He keeps weaving and driving erratically and I'm trying to pass him. I find an opening and start go go for it, only to have him cut me off and stop in front of me. Now, every other time I've had that dream (about 4-5 times in the last week or so), I've stopped in time. In this morning's edition, I collide with him. Then I woke up.
So, except for that little 15 minute nap, I've not slept since 2:15 this morning. I'll skip over the part of going to work today other than I felt like shit which made it a very very long day. I finally get home after stopping for Chinese (when I have a cold, I crave hot and sour soup by the bucket). I'm in the middle of enjoying my supper when Simon horks up a massive hairball. Trouble is, he decided to wait until after he had inhaled his supper to hork said hairball. And he doesn't just pull up and gack. No. Simon projectile vomits: a bit here, a bit there, some over there, more over here...so I've spent the last 25 minutes consoling him and cleaning up partially-digested Prescription Diet kibble in the bedroom, hallway and living room (of course he can't spew the cheap stuff...it HAD to be the Prescription Diet).
And wouldn't you know it, Simon is complaining about being hungry.
NOW GROOVIN' TO: It's O.K.
from the album "Crack In The System" by Dead Moon
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Today's Etiquette Lesson
If you are so exceedingly rude as to hork a lungful of cigarette smoke in someone's face, you forfeit your right to be offended if someone slightly upwind of you passes gas.
(My tears were part having to deal with the smoke blown into my eyes by that obnoxious twat and part from laughing so hard...it's not often you get to be an eyewitness--so to speak--to Instant Karma. And no, I was not the "slightly upwind" party, but an innocent bystander.)
NOW GROOVIN' TO: Romeo
from the album "The Best of Wipers and Greg Sage" by Wipers
Thursday, October 13, 2005
No escaping it in the Bay Area
While waiting for the ferry this morning, I watched one of those GINORMOUS cargo container ships glide along the estuary only to hang a U-turn to get to the parking space the captain wanted.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Voice mail greeting
(from a local parish): "Press One if this is an emergency and you need a priest
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Actually, I think it was the "wafer-thin mint" that did him in
Sunday, October 02, 2005
I did it. I took a deep breath and I made a life change.
I switched mobile phone service providers.
After weeks of deliberating, which to the casual observer looked more like weeks of hemming, hawing, hand-wringing and general angsting, I switched from Sprint to Cingular. There were a few reasons for the switch, not the least of which is Cingular's coverage here on the Island of Misfits seems more steady than Sprint's. But what it finally came down to was this:
Cingular wanted me as a customer. Sprint couldn't have cared less.
I ventured into many a Sprint store in the San Francisco/Oakland area, hoping to find a phone that 1) wasn't another cheap piece of crap; 2) I could take/send photos with; and 3) could use iSync to synchronize with iCal and Address Book on my iMac. Sprint's offerings seemed quite flimsy--both in terms of selection and the actual phones themselves. Seriously, these looked like phones that Simon would be able to destroy in about 12 seconds (assuming he ever gets bored with his latest obsession--the Cat Dancer). One of the Sprint Stores had some of the more sturdy-looking Motorola phones from the Nextel line (the two companies have recently merged). However, whenever I tried to ask about the Motorolas, the sales rep would shoo me back to the cheep-o Sprint phones. Out of sheer frustration, I gave up.
I researched online and chewed over the possibilities for another week or so, then wandered back to the Cingular store where Jason cheerfully absorbed (and answered) my previous barrage of questions. When I got there, he had a customer he was helping and asked his manager if she would help me. So Tami, the manager, and I headed over to the phones. I had narrowed my choice down to two, both priced the same, but my "first choice" was only that price after
a mail-in rebate. I told Tami that I really liked the phone and it was my first choice...but I have a near-religious aversion to mail-in rebates. Her response, "OK, then. Instant rebate! It's the end of the month and I feel like it!"
I took another deep breath. Part of my hesitation with change (of any kind) lately is that fear that not only will it not work out all right, but might just bring all kinds of doom into my life (the events of this year have created a personality quirk that leaves me somewhere between Piglet and Eeyore). Well, come what may, I now own a Sony Ericsson S710a. It's a phone with a 1.3MP camera. It's sleek and sexy, plays MP3's and, after picking up a Bluetooth adaptor, it synchs beautifully with my iMac. It takes pretty damn good piccies, too. Behold:
NOW GROOVIN' TO: Bunnyman and Chickengirl
from the album "20 Minute Loop" by 20 Minute Loop