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2011: Off to a Decent Start

Happy New Year! Or rather:

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic

Mildly productive yesterday. Read through Luck for Hire, had a talk with Eric about it and process. We had a bit of a knock down drag out, but that’s how it goes. Wrote a short piece for 52|250. Ready-ish for RoW80 to start tomorrow.

Received my PDF of the January issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly. And it is on sale via the website. My story "Breakfast in the Garden" is included. If you’ve read "Matthew Says There was an Earthquake," this story is the "garden incident" that Harold is referring to.


I suppose it’s time to clear off my note board. It’s so full of 2010: Bright orange paper flowers and rubber band bracelets from Hailey and Hannah. A guitar pick and part of an eyeglass chain from my trips to Omaha. The name tag from the water bottles Kaysi made for the Phxie Chicks, all spangles and purple and pink. A string of shamrock beads and a picture commemorating spring and fall leagues. My Skirt Chaser 5K number (661), that also served to remind me of strength and sunny, warm Phoenix while I was in Omaha. Mementos from parties and dinners with friends including a bottle cap from Bard’s Beer with "Does reading messages on bottle caps make you literate?" written on the inside. Movie tickets: Legion, Shutter Island, Iron Man 2, Inception. A card from my favorite new restaurant of the year: Beaver Choice. Mock up book covers for everything I’ve worked on last year, though I think I want something new for Luck for Hire. Many of those will stay up, as well as a small print out of ‘s illustration of Paul. 2010 was a pretty good year, all in all. Hope I can survive 2011.

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Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes

Yeah, kinda fell off the Reverb10 wagon. I can only be more introspective than usual for so long.

Spent the first day of year 37 goofing off in a pretty random manner. I did some reading, played some EverQuest2, listened to many cover songs, had my first Polish sandwich from Der Wienerschnitzel (which does not carry schnitzel, Viennese-style or otherwise), watched Kick-Ass (good, though sort of disconcerting), and chatted/texted with just about everyone I know. (Okay, didn’t really text anyone. I responded via comments. Is "texted" even a word? These kids with their new-fangled lingo…) A generally good day, even if my body is achy.

And now for the ever-popular (with me) "Year in Review" LiveJournal meme: Copy and paste the first sentence of the first entry of each month for this year to create your year in review post:

I’m not much of a New Year resolution person. I managed to post every other day in January, even when (for better or worse) I had little to say. As is tradition when I’m in Omaha, Tess and I went to a movie. Zeta Iota might be the most difficult project we’ve ever undertaken. I love word counts. I’ve been totally wiped out the last couple of days. The sore throat, ever so slight, started around the 20th of June. Nathan Bradford had a post on Tuesday about the The One Question Writers Should Never Ask Themselves When Reading. I sometimes listen to music; I sometimes put on movies or television shows. I didn’t bump anything to Eric in time for new Luck flash. No NaNoWriMo for me. Yesterday, Lifehacker presented Five Commonly Repeated Words to Hunt Down in Your Writing.

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Par-tay, or something like one…

Been updating social networks and the like. Seems to be a reasonable end-of-the-year thing. Re-re-purposed my blog. KatenRead will be the home of 2011’s ill-fated reading project. I’ll be keeping my LiveJournal, but I may be doing some reposting in the future.


Reverb 10: December 9 – Party Prompt: What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

I think my favorite social gathering of the past year was the happy hour that Tyler put together back in July. It was just six people: Tyler, Casey, Reif, Betsy, Jim and me. Eric was in Nebraska for the week. According to the Facebook thread, we went to Robbie Fox’s Public House. I don’t remember the name or location of the place since I was in the hands of Reif and Tyler to get me there (mostly Reif since he drove). It was a slightly odd mixture of people since, while we’re all ultimate players, Betsy didn’t really know Reif or Jim and Betsy and I were the non-engineers at the table. Which led to Tyler drawing up a Venn diagram of common interests. I love Venn diagrams and this is an event I still refer to. The food was okay. The drinks, tasty. I had a Foley sandwich (tomatoes, basil, Irish cheddar, scallions, with a tarragon cream dressing), several Guinnesses and a Murphy’s Irish Red. That Friday evening the summer heat broke a tiny bit and we saw some monsoon action…up close since we were sitting on the patio. The first short sprinkle didn’t scare us from our seats, though the dust blown on to the head of my Guinness was not ideal. The second round of showers was heavier and set us scurrying under the awning. Luckily that was after everyone had eaten. But the best part of the evening was the meandering conversations. A meal and a drink with a small group of people? That’s good stuff.

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…Or maybe a nap?

Fatigue is an RA symptom that I have trouble gauging. After all, when my joints hurt, well, *my joints hurt.* I take some ibuprofen or naproxen, maybe drink a beer, and I’m either good or my joints still hurt. With fatigue, I can drink coffee and still be tired. I can drink an energy drink and still be groggy. I can go for a walk or a run and still be addle-brained. I can take a nap, go to bed early, and wake up tired. But I always wake up groggy. I’m not a morning person. Surely, another cup of coffee will put it all right…

Anyway, I apparently over-did it over the last couple days and paid for it yesterday (and am probably still paying today).

Thursday, we went to Mark’s for Thanksgiving dinner. Nice, quiet meal, though I might have drank a wee bit too much sweet tea vodka over the course of the afternoon and evening.

Since Eric’s parents aren’t in town this weekend (they’re going to come down for Eric’s graduation next month), we didn’t head back up to Mark’s to watch the Nebraska/Colorado game. Instead, I decided on the spur of the moment to head to Fran’s tailgate/pig roast. Since I hadn’t made any arrangements for a lift (like last year), I figured I’d head out to where they were supposed to be and if I didn’t find anyone I’d head back home. I’d have a nice morning walk and a rail ride if nothing else. Luckily, I spotted Fran unloading the pig roaster as I was headed back and thus avoided a repeat of the Cell-Phoneless-Girl-In-a-Parking-Lot Incident of 2008. Had tasty smoked pig and potato salad, way too many beers, and a conversation with Dan’s four-year-old about Star Wars.

And then on Saturday, the fatigue hit. I wasn’t hung over, I was just utterly tired. I got up, went for a run (felt decent), napped. Listened to half of a Nebraska basketball game, napped. Tried to do some reading for gaming, went to bed. It seems like the rest of the day, I sat and stared at a computer screen and contemplated napping.

Right now, I’m a little creaky in the joints, but not zapped. I’m doing some writing, watching some tennis. I do kind of wonder if over-indulgence of alcohol doesn’t cause more flare-up symptoms than over-doing exercise. Or maybe last weekend’s games are catching up to me too. Or maybe it’s the changes in weather we’ve been having (it’s cloudy today!). Or maybe… *shrug*

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Keeping Busy

Summer is definitely here. Remembering how my ears hurt after a frightfully short amount of time in the 17 degree weather in Omaha in February, I’m not complaining. I will offer up, with no other comment, that the low last night was 92 degrees.

I suppose I’m not doing too badly, work-wise.  Luck for Hire is being worked out slowly. I’ve also been puttering around with a Divine Fire scene and have an alternate #FridayFlash in the bag if I need it. I have already gotten a rejection back for Model Species so more querying is needed.

Did a bit of cleaning Monday. I got it into my head to wash some of my blinds. What a pain… Generally ignored work, letting my brain mull on the possible hi-jinx of Mr. Luck.

Tuesday, I headed to campus to work for a while and got a bit done. Then met up with Cathy & Betsy (former NDLB teammates) and Marnie for lunch. Such lunches at Four Peaks are becoming a nice standard, though I should probably limit my beer intake to…less than I’ve been drinking.

Yesterday started out with disc, which was a surprise considering how many people are on vacation.  Due to a couple of players from Portland, heading to beach tournament, we had fours. Good game. I felt good; unfortunately, better than my actual ability. I took off on a couple of cuts and just could not catch up to the disc. During the last two non-disc workouts, I’ve been using an elliptical trainer instead of the treadmill. I have hopes it might be gentler on my knees, and might provide a small measure of strength training. No judgment on its merits yet. Got a very drafty version of the second Luck for Hire vignette done with the help of a phone chat with Eric. I was glad he called during the day when we weren’t both tired. Then topped off an already good Wednesday with dinner at Rula Bula with Reif.

On the slate today, rewriting the second Luck for Hire vignette. I bounced it to Eric yesterday and had suggestions waiting for me in my inbox last night. I also want to clean up the backroom closet and stash the books I’m babysitting for Chris. Might take a look at some gaming materials too.

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Good Day: 06/04/10

A while back a had a good day, the kind you look back on that night and think, "Yup, that was a good one." But in the manner of adults with busy brains and little kids who have entire years filled with the Best Day Ever!, about a week later, I had forgotten what made that particular day notable. Because it’s the little things that make a good day, not the hulking news or windfalls that throw life into chaos. So, before it fades, here a summary of June 4, 2010.

Had a good night’s sleep and woke up feeling good. All day yesterday, I didn’t feel bad. My head didn’t hurt, my joints felt decent. Okay, my back was a little stiff occasionally, but nothing bad.

I logged in to promote a lovely reading of one of my favorite snippets of fiction (that I’ve written). I had fun cutting down my own flash fiction piece, an excerpt that ran about 1700 words. Slimmed it to under 1000. I took care of a few emails, read a few pieces of flash fiction, and watched some tennis on TV. Then, I headed off to the book sale at the library. I had very good bus luck. The light rail pulled in as I was buying my ticket and the driver of the southbound 72 waited until people had disembarked from the light rail and decided where they were going next before leaving the Rural station.

The library renovations seem to be going well. The downstairs kid’s area is especially charming with nooks and crannies and an exhibit of Chuck Jones art. The sale itself was well-stocked and I came away with The Goblin Companion by Brian Froud & Terry Jones as well as a Clive Barker novel, Capote’s In Cold Blood, and an anthology of myths and fantasies. All for $3. I headed up to the Connections Cafe and had a piece of lemon bunt cake and a cup of pecan caramel coffee while I worked on Divine Fire. I went through my manuscript and plotted the course of the two romantic relationships. Both need work, but I have a better picture of where the faults are. The travel back home wasn’t as fortuitous, but I had a nice chat with a guy from Hawaii about the Arizona heat.

Back home, Eric went for Pei Wei and I had the best Thai Dynamite they’ve made. It was good and saucy with lots of tangy red peppers. After dinner we retired to the back room to play some EverQuest 2. We grouped in Castle Mistmoore, a gothic vampire extravaganza. Despite getting our butts kicked repeated in one area, it was pretty relaxed. I even learned a few things about playing my cleric. Around 1am, I headed to bed.

There you have it. My meager definition of a good day. Productive, filled with stuff I like. The only thing that could have made it better would have been playing some ultimate. (That other good day was probably a Wednesday…)

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When I put together my 101 Things in 1001 Days list back in 2007, I included doing a "fun run" as the sort of end point to a series of running goals. At the time I was running a couple of miles fairly regularly, but not taxing myself. Other running goals on my list were Couch to 5K (which I could never quite get the hang of…too much structure), run 10 miles a week for 5 weeks (which wasn’t too hard after I managed to run 3-4 miles in a row), and interval training 3x a week for 5 weeks (pushing my pace seems to result in a unhappy joints, especially doing it for five weeks in a row). I was interested in testing my limits as much as simply providing things to do that would burn calories. Doing a fun run  would be a gut-check. Could become a confident enough runner to do a public run? (Granted, what I lack in confidence I make up in obliviousness. I am certain I would not want to see a video of myself playing ultimate during 2001-2007.)

Yesterday, I ran the Skirt Chaser 5K. I didn’t do it last year mostly due to fitness considerations. I hadn’t run at all in January 2009 according to RunLogger. From journal entries, it doesn’t sound like I was doing much else either. In the interim, I’d seen Skirt Chaser shirts and skirts and been a little envious. Considering that people I knew were doing it this time, I took the opportunity even if I hadn’t been running much this year either.

Per my advisement, Casey and Reif parked by my apartment and we’d took the light rail to quite-near Tempe Beach Park. Once there, we met with Laura, Josh, and Jeff (our cheering section/holder-of-stuff (And stuff there was. I didn’t remember that the fare kiosks gave change in the form of dollar coins and therefore didn’t warn Reif before he received $13 in non-runner-friendly currency.)). Much to my relief, this plan worked well. I was also very happy to have Laura there, considering the women’s start time was 3 minutes before the men. As a race veteran, Laura dragged me with her to near to front of the pack and was generally a reassuring presence.

As for the race itself, the experience wasn’t as I expected it to be. I’m used to saying, "I’m going for a run" and going. No waiting in line for a tracking chip or for the race to start amid other antsy people. As soon as the race did start, I was thirsty, needed to use a restroom, and most annoyingly, my shoes felt too loose. Running with people wasn’t as energizing for me, mainly because I was concerned that I was going to overpace myself. The course was nice, though again I was distracted by how I was doing that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I might have if I were running on my own. I slowed to a walk a couple of times to change my music and after the substantial hill about a mile in. I didn’t think I did very well and was tired enough to not think of looking at my time at the finish line. I was hoping for better than 30 minutes and figured I did about 29. (The results were posted this morning and I managed better than I thought: 27:39. Not the best 5K I’ve ever done, but decent for me. I crossed the finish line 241st (or with the 354th best time, if you subtract out the men’s 3min. penalty) (or 15th among women age 35-39).)

Post-run festivities included music and free beer which were loud and not that tasty. After Josh, Laura and Jeff took their leave, Casey, Reif and I adjourned to Rula Bula, a downtown Tempe establishment that I had heard about but never been to. Much better beer and atmosphere more conducive to conversations about television, movies, ultimate drama and lack of drug usage.

In all, a good experience, but made so by the people involved. Due to that, I’m really glad I didn’t do it last year.