Never a dull moment

The last five days or so have prevented me from providing the high quality distractions from whatever-it-is-that-you’re-supposed-to-be-doing-instead-of-reading-things-on-the -nternet, and for that I apologize.  Rather than fix that by delivering actual content, I thought I’d just talk about what’s been keeping me from updating.

My daughter has contracted … something.  The doctor believes it’s shingles, but is also testing to make sure it’s not a staph or strep infection (I didn’t even realize you could get a strep infection externally), which are both a bit more of a problem.  Shingles (think localized chicken pox) is apparently more painful in adults, and the girl has been in remarkably good spirits despite itchy spots on her side and a slight fever.  The biggest problem at this point has been daycare, which she can’t visit until everything she’s recovered.
In canine news, Dizzy has a pretty serious series of ‘attacks’ on Saturday, involving a lot of muscle seizures and utter disorientation and loss of equilibrium.  I was able to narrow down the cause of that to dehydration, but the reason for the dehydration (she still won’t go anywhere near a bowl — I have to give her water with a turkey baster) is still up in the air.   The most recent news from the vet’s test is good; it looks like it’s some kind of thyroid gland under performance, which can be treated with supplements in her food.  I’m already inclined to believe that diagnosis, as it would explain some lingering questions regarding her general fitness. (The fact that when she and Jake eat the same amount of food, and are the same size, she gains weight while he loses it.)
That’s been most of my spare time in the last few days.  Whenever I’ve had a few minutes to myself I’ve worked on the new website layout and cleaned up some old directories on the server that desperately need it.
Things to do this month: revisions on Hidden Things and scheduling flights to New York (both for the end of this month and in April).  I’m looking forward to meeting with my agent, face to face.
Things not to do this month: devote any more brain power to wedding reception seating arrangements.

Into the weekend!

A one sentence review of Mark Wahlburg’s “Shooter”:
“The fairy tale that redneck conservatives tell themselves when they want to believe that they could fix the government if it gets too corrupt… with the help of a good woman and a 30/30.”
Kate’s one-word review of the movie:

We’re out in Utah for the weekend — Kate’s one of the speakers/interviewees at a writer’s conference and I’m splitting my time between that and working on a book editing job in the (really) gorgeous two-story ski condo that the conference got for us. On a mountain lake a few miles from the winter Olympics ski site, free high-speed wifi, hot tub on the deck, roaring fire (that turns on with a switch!) and a bunch of DVDs left by the folks who own/sublet the place… not a whole lot to complain about for a short weekend away.

Week in Review: The week of Moving (Movies, Running, Biking, Swimming, and… moving stuff.)

Wednesday last week Kate got into town late, due to flight issues, so that meant she and Kaylee and I finally got back to the house around 2 am. Yuck.
Thursday Kate spent some time at the gym and biking around the neighborhood. She was heard to comment: “street names like TimberRIDGE and NorthRIDGE, all located in HIGHLANDS Ranch seem to indicate hilly terrain. Who’da thunk?”
When I got home, we finished up a project Kate had started — cleaning out the hallway hutch to make a space for our wedding china and other pretties. It felt good to get that generally cluttered and poorly used area all straightened up.
We then went to Transformers. This is a great, fun summertime flick. If you saw and enjoyed Die Hard for its summer movie goodness, you will enjoy this movie — that’s my personal belief. Good stuff — lots of funny — we had a great time.
FridayI had work, and Kate went back to the gym and a longer bike ride. This time, she was lulled into a trap by the innocuous sounding “Venneford Ranch” street name, which is actually both steeper and longer than any of the streets with “Ridge” in the name.
That evening, Dave and Margie and Jim and Ginger and Katherine came over. We ate a lot of good food, talked about home improvement stuff, let Kaylee charm us, and then Dave and Margie and Kate and I played Primetime Adventures, and other three headed home.
Saturday, we dropped Kaylee off at Jackie’s and headed to the Aurora Reservoir for check in and orientation for the Triathlon. Met up with Kate’s longtime friend Yi Shun and her husband Jim, who came in from Chicago to do the tri, as well as visit friends and do some work meetings. The orientation, bike drop off, and lunch took up most of the day. We headed home, got some pizza for supper, and watched the fourth Harry Potter movie on DVD.

This was not the movie we watched.
My thoughts on HP #4, from a guy who hasn’t read the book yet:
#4 is not a movie adaptation of a book. It’s a audiovisual summary of the book… and not a great one; about like having a friend a stranger who read the book try to get you caught up before you go see Order of the Phoenix. I was left thinking “if all I had to go on was this movie, I would be wondering what on earth made someone think making a movie from these books was a good idea.” It’s not… BAD — it’s just… uninspired.
Sunday The Triathlon, about which more has been said elsewhere. Check out my Flickr page for more pictures.
I love Flickr, by the way. I’ve upgraded to the Pro Account for the extra functionality, more sets, unlimited uploads, and what amounts to a private domain just for hosting my pictures. The price is reasonable, the service is top-notch, and I can pick up prints from my local Target about an hour after making the order. Plus, it allows picture blogging from the phone, and a host of other goodies. I’m in the process of getting ALL my pictures up there.
In the afternoon, we moved Bert-the-Oven over to Jackie’s, and moved Unnamed Oven back to our place.
Yes, after getting up at five in the morning and doing a Triathlon, Kate then helped me move two ovens across town. She’s like a super hero or something.
That evening, Kate and I went to Harry Potter #5.
My thoughts on HP #5, from a guy who hasn’t read the book yet:
This is a great movie. It’s fun, it’s dark, the translation from book to film is inspired and well-done (notable: this is the only movie that hasn’t been translated to film by the same guy as #1, #2, #3, and #4, and it makes me sad and worried that Mr. 1 though 4 is coming back to translate #6), the acting is superb, the real villain of the piece (played by Imelda Staunton) is easily the most HATEABLE character in the HP stories, and quite possibly in any movie I’ve ever seen. Most villains (and the actors playing them) go for a kind of bad-boy cool — Staunton goes for the most pleasantly loathsome creature I’ve ever …
*shakes head* She steals the movie, then tortures it, while you watch, breathless. She’s THAT good at being THAT evil. GOD I hated her.
Anyway: good movie. Easily my favorite of the HP series to date. (Azkaban was good, but still managed to disappoint me in its delivery in some places. Ever nit I’ve ever picked about the HP series in general is handled with a kind of inspired grace in Order of the Phoenix.
To compare: OotP made me want to read the book because it was a fun movie and I want to reexperience the good stuff from the screen and get all the extra bits that they had to take out. Goblet of Fire made me want to read the book because I figure that the story can’t actually be that bad. (I’m assuming/hoping, there, that #4 isn’t bad for the same reason #2 was: that it was based on a bad story to begin with.)
Monday Countdown, a plugin for your iGoogle page, is very handy. What date could I want to count down to? Hmmm…
Did a bit of errand running in the afternoon, then picked up Kaylee (I have her all this week, due to some work stuff Jackie’s got going on) — we all sat around and watched Titan A.E., which both Joss Whedon and Ben Edlund wrote for — good fun stuff, and Kate hadn’t seen it. After the wee munchkin was off to bed, Kate and I watched Resident Evil, which she also hadn’t seen. Fun Zombie flick. No nearly as scary as the game, but good action movie zombie fun.
Tuesday Kate flew back to New York. Happy Doyce is all out of Happy. :P
That evening, Kaylee and I played and watched a bunch of Avatar, Book 2 episodes. That is one of my favorite animated shows ever, I think. Great stuff.
Wednesday Today! Umm… not much going on. How about you?

Because hey, it’s just March… I wasn’t doing anything else with it.

Having trouble revising your novel? Nanoedmo provides the support and deadline pressurefor one solid revision. Editing starts March 1. Just clock 50 hours of actual rewriting by midnight, March 31, and you’re a winner.

Am I doing this? Oh heck yeah. If people are interested, I’ll crank WiD back up and participants can use it as a forum. Let me know if you’re interested in participating and I’ll set you up (if you need to be set up — most of the WiD-ows are still able to post).


one word is a really fun writing project. Highly recommend.
I couldn’t see beyond the row of masked and helmeted police to the street beyond. The worst of it was that I’d seen my wife slip around the side of the quickly forming line just before the riot control shields had been locked into place and the rest of us useless public trash had been forced back by the —

Continue reading “BTW”