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NaNo Eve

First, a link of interest, considering Eric and I were talking of running and injuries the other day:
Learning More From Athletic Injuries – NYTimes.com

Tomorrow is the beginning of NaNoWriMo. Today, I tried to get a few things done and mostly succeeded in being annoyed with the world. I won’t get into just what annoyed me, it’s not worth it. Since I’m embarking on a large writing project (my writing fling as I put in a previous entry), I figured I’d go through my 101 Things and clean it up a little. Some things on it were causing me undue stress. The list isn’t meant to do that, exactly. It’s meant to push, but not to the point where I’m avoiding the list. And since I’m coming up on the year anniversary of it (in a month and a half), I figure I’d evaluate what I’m getting out of it too. The cleaning goals haven’t become habit. The exercise goals have taught me that it’s hard for me to do anything for five weeks straight without associated joints acting up. The writing goals are…just sort of there. With writing, it’s a fine line. Weordan is an exhausting endeavor, but I never feel like I’m doing enough for my writing career. The one thing the 101 list has given me an excuse to do that I’ve found…enriching?…is visual art. I haven’t quite decided what art is giving me, but I had missed “doing art.”

Hallowe’en was again a bit of a let-down. While there were lots of kids out and about, very few come to our street, much less to our second floor apartment. I had four little girls visit us and then we went out reverse trick-or-treating: basically heading to the next street over and giving candy away. The bucket we took lasted maybe five minutes. I still had extra at the apartment, but no one else came by. Oh well, I’ll need the sugar during NaNo.

I will be working on a re-do draft of Fuel Eaters for NaNo.  The intention is to get a 50K draft based on the outline Eric’s worked up for it.  My first try at this novel was in 2005.  I got 25K done before the revisions took over.  I want to avoid that this time.  We’ll see how it goes.  I’m moderately excited.  I’ll be diving in at midnight.

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Barefoot and in the Kitchen

Arrr!Acquired a pumpkin yesterday after disc. Carved that baby up last night in pirate-ish style (see crappy web cam shot at right). I always toast up the seeds. It’s a level of cooking a can generally manage: two ingredients (minimum) and lots of room for error. But the velvety yellow pumpkin flesh always calls to me. People cook with this. There are possibilities for its use and it seems a shame to throw it out. Sort of dishonorable to the pumpkin to just toss it. Now, I’m not a great cook, and I was never good in chem lab. Therefore, I’m a really poor baker. Around 10-11 years ago, I made pumpkin cookies and I think it was about then that Eric told me that, for the good of society, I should give up on baking. I agree. Mostly.

I’ve been in a pretty rotten mood for the last week or so and I probably should have broke out the acrylics and pastels because writing creativity hasn’t been with me. Since I had pumpkin and all the other ingredients for this recipe, I figured I’d give it a try. I pureed up the pumpkin last night and set about creating Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread this morning. What resulted does not look like the picture. Instead of dense and orange, mine is sort of spongy and dark yellow. Tasty, though. ‘Course, I’ll be the only one that will eat it, so only my opinion counts. (Eric doesn’t like pumpkin stuff anyway.)  It could use powdered sugar frosting or something, but I’m done with the tempting the baking fates.

I tossed my pumpkin seeds with a little butter (okay, Smart Balance), cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg and cloves before baking them. Didn’t turn out as good as I hoped, but decent once I added a little salt to them. Funny how salt brings out all the other flavors. And I really should stop eating pumpkin seeds while my tongue is still in one piece.

Cripes, I forgot I was cooking dinner/lunch today too. I wish I had a dishwasher…

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Brace yourself while Corporate America tries to sell us its wretched things.

Pimp-age:
Entangled Continua Blog » Oil Cartels Just aren’t Sexy Anymore
Revisit the Nightmare Before Christmas’s Definitive Halloween Music – Associated Content

I’m really bad at promoting my work, or Eric’s work which is as important. It’s not a skill set that comes naturally to me.

Moths!:
Zooillogix : Horror Alert: Vampire Moths

Been very blah the last couple of days. Got a bit excited yesterday over my Halloween costume, but that was pretty much negated by a miserable disc performance. I threw another Callahan, for pity’s sake. Just sucked. Disc today was, in comparison, orders of magnitude better. I, in fact, threw the disc in directions I preferred. I must say, if I haven’t said this before, one of the most fun aspects of Wednesday discs is playing with people you know fairly well as players. It’s nice knowing what cut will be made next, and knowing that it will be cut that is useful, to an area I can throw to.  I love the feeling of “Yep, knew he was going to do that.”

Tonight, I have a pumpkin that needs carving and a story that needs revision. And first, a pizza to be eaten. Also contemplating doing something with pumpkin innards. It’s times like these that I really should channel my creativity into something less destructive than cooking.

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I could enjoy temporary tattoos too much.

Book #20 –To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is one of the many Great American Classics that I managed never to read despite honors English classes in high school and a BA in English in college.  I know it might seem strange to compare this book to two lesser books in the great classics scheme, but I will do so. I’ve never held with the notion of literature existing in a vacuum or only in the context of the time it was written. While reading, I couldn’t help but make comparisons to Berent’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Both are Southern novels (though Midnight is actually nonfiction) and both deal with crime and the court system. Both are filled with Southern peculiarities, though the primary difference is that Berent’s is from the perspective of an outsider and is an order of magnitude more tabloid in its treatment. (Not saying that Midnight is strongly tabloid at all.) Both are exquisitely written. The other novel that kept coming to mind is Alice Sebold’s Almost Moon. Yeah, I know, I’m comparing a Classic with a book that no one likes. One of the things that Sebold does well with Moon is that she doesn’t look away from the nastiness that being human can be. Lee doesn’t either. For example, Mrs. Dubose is not pleasant and Scout’s attitudes toward her are rather cruel. And that’s a good thing. No character should ever be entirely sweetness and light (or pure evil for that matter).

As for the Issues of the book, much can and has been said. Honestly, I thought it got a little too didactic at the end instead of continuing to show attitudes through the behavior of the characters. As with many books, I wish I had read it earlier in life. Scout’s a great tom-boy character and I would have appreciated her more at a time in my life when I needed her.  Great book though.

#####

So, ten more books in two months to make my goal. Yeah, right. Especially considering that next month is NaNoWriMo. To that end, I’m giving up on Divine Fire rewrites and using this week to prepare for writing Fuel Eater. Among other things. There will also be some gaming. Maybe I’ll rewrite the short story that I really should send out by the end of the year (so says my 1001 Things list). And, of course, much Halloween prep and revelry.

I volunteered to put together the prize goodies bag for league’s costume contest tomorrow and Thursday nights. I hit the dollar store for some skull-shaped containers and silly goodies. I’ll top them off with yet-to-be-bought chocolate candies. And I will be dressing up tomorrow as well. My pirate regalia is pretty much set, aside from a few minor details.  Still need a pumpkin and to decorate outside for Friday.  I hope there’s enough kids in the neighborhood that will trick or treat.

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Oranges?

Well, no wonder I have this nasty caffeine habit! It’s all my parents’ fault! (Via: Found in Mom’s Basement)

While I’ve never disliked being a woman, I do find the whole hormone thing to be rather lame. I have gotten rather good at identifying when my irrational thought patterns are due to chemical shifts, it doesn’t actually change the fact that I’m being irrational.

Work has been less than stellar. I’ve was overly anxious yesterday and I’m overly apathetic today.

I was all over the place at disc last night. I caught a score, threw a score, got scored on, and got D-ed which resulted in a Callahan score. Handled well in zone; totally biffed a gorgeous long pass from Rob and dropped a few other things as well. We won, but it was closer at the end of the game than it needed to be. We took the half 8-3 but ended up with 7-6 in the second half. Somewhat backward from usual. Eric managed to bruise his heel landing wrong, so that may have affected the second half as well.

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Mostly, no comment.

Science on the ‘Fringe’ | LiveScience:

Whitman and Chiappetta are “media consultants,” not scientists, and while they’ve been advisors on several TV shows, they note their expertise comes from curiosity and researching science journals and the popular press, not formal training. Chiappetta has a law degree from the University of Texas, and Whitman has his PhD in economics from New York University.

The Island of Doubt : We’re clueless when it comes to the whole greenhouse thing:

We simply aren’t equipped with the sophisticated understanding required to go about tinkering with planetary heat and carbon budgets.

Half of Doctors Routinely Prescribe Placebos – NYTimes.com:

The most common placebos the American doctors reported using were headache pills and vitamins, but a significant number also reported prescribing antibiotics and sedatives. Although these drugs, contrary to the usual definition of placebos, are not inert, doctors reported using them for their effect on patients’ psyches, not their bodies.

There is an expectation on the part of patients for the doctor to *do* something when they come in sick. A common cold, for example, doesn’t really benefit from anything a doctor can prescribe. It runs its course and that’s about it. But if your feeling poorly and you drag yourself into the doctor’s office and the doctor says, “Yep, you have a cold. Go home, rest, keep hydrated. You’ll feel better in a couple days,” how acceptable is that? It should be absolutely acceptable. You shouldn’t say to your doctor, “Well, how about prescribing something for me since I dragged my sorry self into your office?” Yet, I’ve heard people do that. They expect the doctor to give them something even if it’s not going to be physically affective.
 

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Surf’s up space ponies!

More on the “being skipped” issue:
SF Signal: Do You Care if Borders Doesn’t Stock All Science Fiction Books?
It’s interesting that in the comments there’s a lot of “it’s too bad that Borders has come to this” and very little “it’s too bad that science fiction doesn’t sell enough that nearly every title is a slam-dunk choice for Borders.” I’m sure that one day I’ll have a book skipped and get indignant too. Until then, I’ll shrug and agree that economics can be a bitch.

Played some windy disc at noon.  Gah, I had some awful play.  Poor throws, drops, got spooked by my defender a couple times.  I was a little too neurotic I guess.  Played slightly better toward the end.  League is Thursday night this week, up in Scottsdale.

Still in a pretty lazy mood, work-wise.  I’m making the changes to Divine Fire that I just made to Model Species.  The two novels, while within the same world, involve two different cultures.  The changes needed are therefore somewhat different.  I have to think my way through some of the “superficial” changes to make sure they make sense within the culture.  As usual, I’m distracting myself with research that may or may not affect what I’m doing.

Working on my Halloween costume, on and off.  I need to figure out how to make some bracers.