Monday, March 31, 2008

ring, ring!

as i am about to embark on a bananaesque journey, of the gastronomical variety, at my desk, i thought i would share the well-timed yet random discovery of salient banana facts.

also, please note the bananaphone's startling omission with a combination of respect and derision.

Friday, March 28, 2008

jesus loves us, now let's go kick some ass

in case you wondered how people get ideas like that.

my heart go asplodes for you

it does! oh and also, i suppose these are also part of my continuing quest for novel-related imagery.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

a spot of color

since my novel is *so* not ready for sharing, i thought i would share what i could: pictures. the first half of my book takes place in the distant past, and as such, i'm finding pictures of specific locales exceeeeedingly helpful in writing. once i've found an image i feel both fits the particular geography *and* mood, i make it my wallpaper and start writing all over it.

and now, in what will likely be a continuing series, here's my first three location shots, in order:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

and now, some minor word amusement

in the Incredibly Pleased With Myself Department: i used the word mahogany in a sentence today. a Serious sentence, mind you. but still, FlagSelfAmusementEnabled.

in the Thank God You Don't Spellcheck Department: i read a submission today with the phrase "terror fying". as in, "terror fying screams". because as everyone knows, only seriously scary screams are the result of unadulterated terror fying. also, terror fying is the #1 cause of giggling in my cube.

progress report

in lieu of a rambly post, here's a general rundown on the last month.

* ~35 degree days i've been able to go *comfortably* coatless: 5
* times i've had to scrape ice off the car: 3
* hours spent researching/plotting novel: ~30
* hours actually writing: ~8
* words to date: 3571
* number of holidays (familial, cultural): 4
* hours i've spent actually working on the job: 16 (includes 12 hours of meetings)
* so, hours of not working: 127
* books read: 6 (8 by april 1)
* average book rating: 3/5
* new coffeehouses located: 1
* times i have felt grateful (this week!): 5

Friday, March 21, 2008


i just worked for a whole hour STRAIGHT!

also, my dad is doing better. :)

that's it. hope you are having a Good Friday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

short attention span thea-tair

sure, that was a show i used to enjoy, and (i'd forgotten this) introduced me to another gem, but really, it's just a name for *me*. i am SAST incarnate, at least at work. give me a chance to focus on anything - reading, writing, actual work (what little there is), and i guarantee you that in a 15 minute period, i will have bounced between at least 4-10 app windows because WHAT'S GOING ON OVER THERE? THERE?

i think i'm bored. i also know that, as much as i enjoy getting to futz around at work, it will never feel right.

this has been going on for weeks, but not helping is anxiety about my dad. if these antibiotics don't start working soon...blegh. on his behalf, i can't think about it, other than to say bleggggh, and please hammer don't hurt him.

and what are you doing?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

enough with the writing already

here's a more general update, in case you were bored. although i will say, since there's still no work to be done here, i started actual *writing* yesterday and i'm already wondering if i should start on a different section. =p

saturday was the 11th anniversary of when min and i got hitched up in missoula (approximately 2/3 of the way across the photo). there was a lot more snow that day, which made it all the more surreal when we immediately vacationed in heat-wave stricken southern california. was about 90 degrees all week, i think. a nice little blur, though.

anyway, as often seems to be the case as we get older, we didn't do much smooshy stuff on the actual day, but min felt better sunday. we had some Time To Ourselves in the morning, then took off for (brief) jaunts in two parks, one of which had a rabbit, which is one of our little mascots. we took a scenic route to the surprisingly steep second park, and upon changing elevation a mere 50 feet or so, realized, wouldn't it be great to ditch and just go get lunch?

so we went to marcos, which i have glorified here before, and had a very tasty lunch, followed by a drive down to salem. we visited with my parents for a few hours, discussing all nature of reality shows, religion, health, and science fiction. all in all, a pretty typical parental conversation. then some dinner, where they treated us (happy anniversary/st patrick's!) to way too much food at mcgrath's.

incidentally, those of you who believe in prayer/good vibery, feel free to send some to my dad. a week and a half ago, he was hospitalized for cellulitis [mild ick]. they gave him some SuperAntibiotics -- this is after two weeks at home on pedestrian antibiotics -- and sent him home a few days later. apparently, the infection was not really gone. his left leg is all angry again, fever, the whole nine yards, so my mom's taking him back to the ER today. their doctor tried a few additional things last week but said if that didn't work, he might lose his leg. i'm guessing this is because my dad has diabetes and this, among other things, but suffice to say, this is a bit of an uphill battle, so again, feel free to radiate the good energy towards the tiny hamlet of salem, oregon, particular nexus of my dad.

with that, i'm going out for lunch because i screwed up the one i brought with me. and in case you're wondering, no i don't have a french press yet, thanks!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

[citation not really needed]

if you're researching a novel that will have at least a cursory basis in fact, seeing lots of [citation needed] references within relevant wikipedia articles is really really cool. why?

because no one can call you a liar. there's no proof, man! no citation available! bwahaha!

i mean, what a shame that no one has documented these things! sad.

excuse me while i start creating some "facts".

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


outlining a book is a weird kind of tedium. it's exhilarating, actually, because your mind is going a million miles a minute thinking through the possibilities. but then when you stumble into a messy point of logic, or realize that you've already seen that plot point on tv/film a few times, it can be a little frustrating, coming up with That New or Mostly New Idea.

i wouldn't trade it for anything though. well, ok maybe for a couple things, but at any rate, it certainly beats working, which i'm still not doing yet. i hear that's coming next week. :-p

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


apparently i am all about the twists, when it comes to writing. you see the words 'strand' and 'shoulder', most immediately think of a person. their hair, their body, something like that. and i thought that, too, but then i waited a minute. i stared at the words. then i thought, what about being stranded on a highway shoulder? and from that (and the rest of the prompt) i wrote a fun little snippet yesterday. full of twists and dark humor, which are apparently my native tongues.

taking a moment, to see where my mind pushes me, seriously feels like the best ever. as another example, i just spent the last hour looking through writing prompts. because, you know, i'm here at work and bored shitless, so i'm harvesting writing prompts. i had a lot saved up in bloglines because, apparently, i have trouble writing on min's computer. and my computer is not hooked up yet. haven't found the power cord yet. oops.

anyway, because of this, i haven't been reading anything from my bloglines 'writing' folder. until today, since i'm writing at work, and so i found this.

oh, interesting, i thought. and then a moment later, a twist on that idea had me practically chomping at the bit to write a full blown story. people, i do not write full blown stories. i write snippets. i don't have the patience to write a book. at least, that's how i feel 99% of the time. it will be interesting to see how far this progresses but suffice to say:

this feeling rules.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Enabled, which yes, is weird. i’d rather, i don’t know, work. but in the meantime – yes, tres cool.

a night for the ladeez

work has me in limbo yet again, partly due to my new status, partly due to external issues thwarting regular progress for many folks. which leaves me in a space where i could either read (on the computer, since i forgot my book), or write. i'm tired of reading, apparently, so here's the first in a possibly lengthy series of random posts from yours truly.

last night had 2 great things: my mom, and good food. it is always so wonderful to see her; even when she's miserable, she's still silly and smiling. no wonder pearl loves her more than us. seriously -- she follows my mom to the bathroom.

after catching up for a little bit, we tried to pick a movie and although no one was crazy about it, settled on this, which was playing at the laurelhurst. first, though, was to eat, and being in the mood for japanese, a little research landed us at masa east.

this was seriously some of the best japanese food i've ever had in my life, and having lived in the bay area, i've had some damn good japanese. i had this udon-shitake-scallop soup that was incredibly dreamy. the decor was adorably hip, all of the food so incredibly divine, and the entrees were all around $10. we will absolutely be going back.

incidentally, if you're in the mood for chinese food, do not go to mandarin palace in sw portland off allen. that is the worst faux chinese i've had in decades, so thank god we didn't pay much for it (coupon).

anyway, our tummies delightfully sated, we headed up to the laurelhurst. i had been there several times in my youth, and surprisingly it still looked pretty good... for a secondrun theatre. standing in line to buy tickets, i notice the SOLD OUT sign for our movie. crap. only thing left is some old guys...well, it won some awards, we're here already, it's only been playing for 5 minutes, let's give it a whirl.

so we whirled on into our designated room, apparently after the Impetus For The Entire Film had transpired. luckily min caught the end of it (mom and i had been acquiring liquid sustenance) and filled us in, not that it really mattered, because this movie? a little weak. i will give plenty of kudos to the actual acting. all the major characters, and most of the minor ones, gave pretty solid performances. but the writing, even the art direction...too predictable. there was an occasionally interesting turn of phrase, but that's about it. and the ending, well it was just awkward and sad. realistic, i suppose, and i don't need to have a happy ending for my movies but... i don't know, it just felt like they didn't know how to bow out.

i believe i've mentioned there is a DQ 2 blocks from my house. i also believe i've mentioned regular attendance is compulsory. thus, we stopped for drive-thru dessert, which we enjoyed at home so that pearl could alternately dance all over us and beg, an activity with which we happily complied.

and then i cursed myself for the late-night sugar high, because it took me two hours to go to sleep. even so, as you can see, i'm coherent today. well, at least enough to pretend i am.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

a spot of ramble

it was another quiet week at work, with more spells where i actually got to read a book. even weirder, apparently such spells are not abnormal. once i get into a non-training schedule, it will be interesting to see if i can actually write at work. in the meantime, i'm getting paid to read and play scrabulous, plus do a little work, and that ain't shabby, folks.

it's been a mellow weekend too, haven't felt well, but my mom is coming up so we can grab a bite and possibly a movie. probably a 2nd run, still not a lot of scrilla, but it shouldn't be hard to top the last movie i saw, which was the worst book rendition i've ever seen. the book? great. the movie, holy kiwi.

have any of you been in a writing group? i'll be joining one shortly, one that's just starting, and so if you have any advice, give it up. i'm looking forward to some writing accountability -- i know it's the only way i'll write on a regular basis, despite *thinking* about writing every single day. so here's to some caffiene-punctuated progress, since we're meeting at the home of my favorite coffee dispenser, borders.

and what's up with the rest of you? some of you've been a little quiet lately. snowflake's the only one getting a pass, since she hurt her back, poor thing. but the rest of you - speak up!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

all in a week's work

[written friday morning]

well it's not even 10am and i'm bored. in fact, i've been bored since i got here 2 hours ago, during which i've had 1 hour of legal compliance training and 1 hour of random but worksafe web surfing to keep me busy. i have potentially hours to waste before my next task -- a test "sometime" today. which means this is a great time to write about my inaugural week here.

the first thing i noticed about being in this office is that it feels *really new*. as in, 'huh? i'm not at my old job?' and repeatedly catching myself from saying FormerCompanyName instead of NewCompanyName.

the second thing i noticed was the lack of free coffee. I AM NOT KIDDING. turns out there is barely passable machine-dispensed caffiene at the other end of this floor for 65 cents, and crappy coffee in the cafe for $1.20, which means i am looking into buying a french press, people. if you have suggestions, toss 'em over; i've never used one but i'm desperate. there *is* a st@rbucks a mile away but that's too pricey considering my intake quotient.

so. for work itself, naturally i've been bored off my ass. i forgot how brutally slow one's first few weeks can be what with setup and training and waiting for busy supervisors to set things up in a timely fashion. and i mean brutal because i have NADD.

i will say though, that monday also included the weekly staff meeting where i got to see how excellent our group's demographics are. young, old, mixed races, genders and (looks like) economic status. coming from several years of rather homogonized yuppified workplaces, well, this is refreshing.

there's been technical and style tests, sure, but also the amount of cheesy compliance training, wow. for example, ethics. i've always maintained that any reputable ethics course will include a calvin coolidge quote. anyone who says otherwise is probably a communist. another good axiom: how do you know the right thing to do? because it's the right thing to do.

it is this kind of logic that leads late night comedians to invent faux fights during a writer's strike.

the other thing to note, i'm sure, has a perfectly valid business reason behind, but is nonetheless disturbing. there are apparently two main types of employees here, and respectively, we have different badges to prove it. i happen to be part of the lower caste (LC) and as such, am forbidden from certain areas. this is in addition to any super-secret areas, mind you, from which plenty of folks are forbidden. no, i am talking about certain rows of the cubicle farm, with warnings that LCs can only enter with a proper escort. and rooms like the fitness center. seriously people - don't you want us ALL to be healthy?

my favorite one, though, was this morning. in looking to kill time, i was browsing the intranet, reading about new company features, etc, and oh look! company blog! that's a good way to amuse myself. but wait! access forbidden because you are an LC. that's right, even my computer knows i'm an LC.

which is pretty damn funny to me because i've read corporate blogs before and i can't believe these would be any full of anything other than the self-congratulatory hot air those blogs are prone to.

even though this leaves me with a lovely separate but mostly equal dichotomy, i am still very grateful to be here. everyone is very nice, and the work, when it finally arrives, looks to be manageable. bring on the scrilla, man.