Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Last night I had a bit of a start. I was watching TV and nursing my mouth (I'd had a tooth extracted earlier in the day) when my sister came home and asked me if "I'd picked up the ham."

My buying the ham was news to me, and that's what I told her.

She said I'd said I'd do it three times, but I only remember talking about having a ham instead of turkey.

So now I have to buy a ham this morning. I fully expect there to be none available at any price. The markets don't have much, anyway, because of the strike and HoneyBaked probably has some "you had to order it" nonsense.

Not only that, but Christmas dinner is tonight! Her daughter and grandson are coming over tonight, so it looks as if Christmas will be ruined and it will all be my fault. I'm used to Christmas Dinner happening on Christmas Day. Christmas Eve, my niece's birthday, is solely devoted to opening gifts.

Less than perfect

You'd think someone who spent as much time, effort, and money on computers as I do would be better with them.

For several months I've been thinking of moving everything to a better computer and off the W98 machine that has some weird problem with not playing sounds. An eventual step was to get a new, cheap box. It was working fine until I screwed up the partitioning tables and lost everything. I've spent the last week restoring and installing stuff, trying to get all the components to work. I had a decent arrangement Thursday or Friday, but the Linux part of things wasn't seeing my printer, which is necessary.

Got (actually bought!) a new Linux distro, SuSE, installed it, but the BSD boot loader wouldn't see it so I had to reinstall it a few times. Now I'm loading everything with GRUB and, wonder of wonders, all three operating systems work!

SuSE had no trouble at all finding the printer and it works. As an added benefit, it even kludged my non-supported sound card, and sounds play when X-Windows starts and stops. But, for some reason, I can't hear CDs playing.

I'm in the laborious process of moving all my e-mail stuff over to the new box. Eudora has no export feature, which blows.

Dreams and disturbing habits

After waking up at three this morning I was able to reclaim a couple hours sleep from seven until nine. During that nap I had an interesting dream. Minardi was tearing up the house, or at least the couches, and I got a phone call from someone I didn't know offering me another dog (an Austrailian Shepherd) from someone I *did* know. It may have been one of those people I only know in dreams, though.

I turned down the offer because there were already too many animals in my life, including birds, rats, and a monkey, in addition to several dogs.

I was bothered by the interruption since I was trying, endlessly, to write down a shopping list (something I rarely do IRL). I was trying to write it on the smallest sized yellow stickies, and kept having to re-do it because my writing was bad and the list wasn't making sense. For some reason, Glenlivet was the first thing I listed, followed by some antisceptic and some software (tax acctg?). There were other things on the first list I made, but I got stuck trying to write those first three down, and made several attempts.
...the disturbing habit?...

Tribal Customs

I may have adjusted things too quickly: my mood is now logged at being over medium over half the time. That can't be right, that can't be me.

Today...foreign affairs. For awhile I had a couple online friends who lived in Croatia, and from them I got sort of an idea of Central Europe and all the crap that's going on in the Balkans (this was years before Kosovo, but lasted through that). Now, with all the mid-east nonsense, I'm reminded about the biggest problem I have with some of these distant cultures.

I have no idea what it is to be a member of a tribe, to have tribal loyalties.

I can relate to family and friends, maybe to even country, but to a lesser extent, but I can't fathom what it would be like to associate myself with a member of a tribe. Is there anything except animosity that separates tribes from each other?

Maybe I should try starting one of these tribe things.


Oh my.

Last night I got bored or something and read Kicker. It was worse than I expected as far as continuity goes, but some of the writing is pretty good. I think I even had a couple good sections of dialogue, and that's the part of my writing I think I do the worst. I may be getting better!

It surprised me how much I talked about underwear. I fixed some of it first revision!

It's far away from what I want it to be and I'm wondering what to do. I can either try to make it more like what I envisioned or (and this is the better idea) make it more of what it is. The thing I was too stoopid to realize before I started is that if I have two POVs, it ends up being more than one person's story. To do the thing justice, I may need to bring Lotty's side of things to some sort of conclusion, too.

Oh well. It's not like I have anything else to do with my life.

Grocery Strike

This is just sad...

So I just went to the grocery store. It's been drizzling a bit, but not right now. It's a little chilly, but that's about it, maybe a touch of mist, but nothing I needed my windshield wipers for. I go to Vons, just because I don't like being told where to shop, and there's a man and a woman striking. Sort of.

They're huddled in a corner near the entrance wearing rain coats. Their signs are propped up against the wall. Instead of hassling me like they're supposed to, or even handing me their new fear-based warnings, they're fighting off the elements which aren't even threatening.

When I come out of the store, and it still hasn't rained as much as a drop, they've given up sheltering themselves from the December Storm and are busy making out.

Okay. I'm a jerk for crossing the lines, something I never did before this grocery thing. I just don't like being put in the middle or having to shop at more expensive places right now when I can afford it.


I was pretty proud of myself a couple years ago when I followed a dentist's advice and got one of them Sonicare toothbrushes. It polished up the teeth I have, or made them feel shiny, anyway, and I had several good checkups after.

Then, a few months after I got mine the guy in the cube next to me got one, too. He had the same reaction I did, that his teeth felt brushed for the first time in his life. It may be all that buzzing, but something was at work here, and we both liked them a lot.

Then, yesterday, mine died.

I'm pretty pissed. It's one thing to spend a hundred bucks on a toothbrush, but quite another to have to do it every couple years. I can't now, of course, afford such an obvious yuppie luxury, but I think I'll write the Sonicare people and tell them of my disappointment. Yeah, it outlasted the warranty. BFD.

Today I went to Sav-On and got a Braun. Much cheaper, works about the same.

Overcast and depressed

I think the greater miracle is that more tortillas don't look like religious icons.

What to do. Part of me wants to keep on writing about the triplets, but it doesn't feel right when I do it. Kind of like their story has already been told. I hadn't expected that, not when I missed them so much on Dec 1st, but my attempts to carry it on into another chapter feels forced and totally artificial. I'm resigning myself to spending time with them again later, when I look at what I wrote and decide if I'm going to rewrite it.

I'm also considering seeing if I can make some money. That scares me, too. I used to feel totally employable, but lately I see my age really working against me. No one I've talked to wants to take me in an entry level position, they all want someone younger, someone with a burning desire to work, that whole "fire in the belly" nonsense. I don't want to wear any more suits. I 've had it with corporate culture and don't have any desire to put up with all the lies and bullshit.

I wish I could make a living doing what I want. I'm too old for this nonsense any more.


Oboy! A mood adjustment!

Due to recent events, I've readjusted the Russ-o-Meter to more properly reflect current realities. Today I'm the new, improved "average."

The DVD experiment was a success. The disks are okay, but why would I want to watch anything on my PC? Besides, I think Paris Hilton would get jealous if I watched other movies.

Last night, after writing more on the new final chapter of Kicker, I wondered why I was doing that. I guess I'll see it out, but it seems where I ended before is probably a better place. This new one would just be forcing the ritual issue, which didn't play any part in what I wrote earlier.

Today I should do some chores.


I'm about to find out just how broken something is. I got LOTR DVD over Thanksgiving and while the movie plays, neither of the bonus CDs did anything. Instead of going and buying it somewhere else, I took it back, got another copy, and nothing changes. I find it more likely that my DVD player is hosed than that I stumbled on four bad CDs.

The DVD player in the new computer I don't use refuses to work until it has sound. Oddly, this computer has no sound, and that's why I bought that one. But then I broke that one and had to reinstall everything and then November came and I didn't feel much like doing anything. Also, I'm hoping to save that one instead of freshly installing everything.

I do lots of disk swapping.

Last night I broke down and kept writing my novel. I'm adding (at least) one more chapter to the end to see if I can get a better ending. I cried at the end of the first one, but I don't know if I would again. Then again, it's easy to make me cry.


I spent a sad evening not writing and seeing what Chester and Lotty would do next. I guess I ended up liking them a lot more than I thought.

Also, last night was the TGIO party, and I didn't go but kept thinking about it. I was up most of the night, and have no explanation for that.

Today I've been pretending that I have something to do and have finished playing with the Kicker website. Also, caught up on e-mails and other computery stuff I've neglected the last few days. Pretty much just trying to keep busy so that I don't think too much.

I recover much more slowly than I fall, but I think that's normal. I see that happen with the market, too.

I should do something worthwhile. Where can I get some of that industriousness I was talking about the other day?

It's Over

Well, the novel's done.

How sad that I won't be spending time with my characters any more, at least not for awhile. I miss them already!

The novel didn't come out at all as I expected. The big, major themes and ideas never made it onto the page and it ended up being a love story. I crammed the whole story I wanted to write into a couple of chapters, big "exposition dumps." I do nothing to *show* what's happening, I just tell the reader what's going on. That makes the climax, which I also "tell," very flat.

What can I say? I ran out of time. I had to struggle as it was to get from beginning to end in thirty days, but didn't have any trouble getting to the 50,000 words that were needed.

Now I need to find another justification for my life. The role of amateur novelist can only be milked for a month.