Friday’s Fave Five

Where am I on the web this week? No where! It’s been a quiet week.

Instead of the usual, I think I will take part in Friday’s Fave Five.

  1. Movies – Watched two while I was in Omaha. As is our tradition, my sister and I went out to a movie. Unimpressed with the choice of current releases, we headed to the second run to see Paul. While not as good as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, it was funny, very geeky, and rather British despite its southwestern US setting. Also saw The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. If you’re following along at home, this is the movie Eric saw last summer when I went to see Inception. He claimed it would turn out to be the better movie. While I don’t entirely agree (I maintain that the first half of Inception is pretty darn good), The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is fun, uncomplicated, and has really good action sequences. And both movies were comedies. Laughing is good.
  2. Food – Had a good food day on Tuesday. Eric and I went to Imperial Palace Express, the last Omaha vestige of the chain. I had Princess Chicken. Not quite as spicy as it could have been, but still tasty. That evening, we went to Maria’s. We being Mom, Dad, Eric, me and…my grandpa. While I think he has eaten some Mexican food in the past, he’s not big fan. But he gamely ate a couple of Maria’s bready-shelled tacos. He might even have liked them. Bonus: My mother-in-law’s German chocolate cake. It was good on the first day. By the seventh, dense and rich.
  3. Air Planes – The flight back to AZ was uncomplicated. I love the feel of when the air plane takes off and lands, and when we encounter turbulence. It’s exhilarating. In between, I read. Just like I do in all public transportation. There are worse ways to spend a couple hours.
  4. Coffee Pots – More specifically, my uncomplicated coffee pot. Because it’s mine. Mine, at home. It makes coffee. It doesn’t make cappucino or hot chocolate or fancy 5oz coffees. It makes hot, good coffee in a large quantity. And like my hard bed, it’s mine. Mine, at home.
  5. Disc – Women’s league was last night. I hadn’t played since May 16th and had only run once while I was in Nebraska. My throws were lousy. Maybe if I would have been throwing to 6ft.+ guys with a decent ape indexes and/or good jumping ability, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but our team was short and short-handed. Half of our ladies last night had less than a year of experience and we were playing against a team of athletic college girls. We lost 15-2. Yet! Disc is better than no disc, nearly any day of the week. It was good to run and throw and be away from most things.
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RoW80: May 25th Check In

Still in Omaha. No progress on Divine Fire. I did take a look at an old short story and can see how I can improve it. Which I might do eventually.

The last week has been exhausting. I feel like I could sleep for a year, except that I can’t seem to sleep more than about five hours. Eventually, maybe tonight, everything will catch up with me and I’ll pass out.

Catch up with other RoW80 participants via Mr. Linky!

#RoW80 – May 18th Check In

My grandmother’s health has deteriorated rapidly in the last week and a half. I moved my trip to Omaha from next Wednesday to yesterday (Tues, 5/17). I spent Monday and Tuesday morning cleaning, packing, and generally getting my ducks in row.  (Eric was a big help in the duck organization. He called Southwest twice(!) to get our tickets straightened out. He’ll be up next week.) The rest of Tuesday was spent traveling and seeing family. I narrowly averted a suitcase catastrophe and had my first backscatter x-ray at the airport. The TSA officer still had to fondle my pony-tail to make sure I wasn’t packing heat in my frizz.

So, no writing progress since last week. I’ve brought stuff along, but the notion of getting something done is optimistic. I’d really like to get back to Luck for Hire after this Round of Words, and that should be doable since my goal is to finish this bunch of edits in two weeks and I’ll have three weeks between getting back to Tempe and the end of the round. Still, I’m antsy.

And anxious and sad and a few other things.

Have a good week of writing, folks. Make it count.

Finished reading Strange Wine by Harlan Ellison.

The book has a history. One of the few things I remember from the spring semester of 1995 is buying this book. I had taken a walk, this was before I had moved permenently to Lincoln, to find a bookstore on F Street. None of the other bookstore had anything I wanted. It seemed like such a long walk then, to F Street. I would have never thought that I would live in that neighborhood 3 years later and walked the distance at least once nearly everyday.

The bookstore was small, one of those places that specialized in books on mysticism and spirituality. That sold crystals and incense and soothing tapes of music. And they had a small used section of genre books. And there on the shelf, lo and behold was a book by Harlan Ellison. A rare find indeed. I slipped it off the shelf and opened the cover. The book was a first edition for $70. That was a lot of money back then. I was working in the dishroom, living on financial aid. And really, it’s still a lot of money for a book. But… I didn’t flinch when I had to buy chemistry books for more. Books that I would hate, books that would cause me grief, books that I would sell back the moment I didn’t need them anymore. What was $70 for something I would keep and cherish?

The publication date on the book was 1979. I decided I wouldn’t read it until 1999 when the book was 20 years old. An odd thought, buying an expensive book and then not rushing home to read it. So the book sat on my self and traveled with me. To Omaha and back to Lincoln, to the house on Q Street, to my Lincoln Mall apartment, to my F Street apartment so near to where I bought it, and then to Arizona. And in late 1999, I began reading it. Halfway through, I put it down. Short stories are hard to read. They’re short and I wanted more. I wasn’t quite in the mood to read it, even though I had promised myself I would. But yesterday, looking through the stacks in the back room I picked up again. And just finished it today. And it is, by every means, worth the $70 I paid.

My ear is hurting again. I think it’s a general reoccurring infection. A late-night cool-down shower is probably the cause of its flare up today. I’m hoping that some decongestant/pain-killers will help.

It was so freaking hot (and still is) that Eric turned on the AC at about 1:30 last night. He couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep, but instead of laying in bed for several hours I had been up until 1 am, reading. I hate this place sometimes…

Scared a year off of Eric’s life yesterday. I’ll tell you the story: Last night we had big T-bone steaks and black beans for dinner. Our “common china” is a set of old Corell plates. They are Eric’s, given to him by his parents when they bought new. I’m sure every unmarried twenty-something has a similar set. While we ate, we watched the movie “Final Destination.” Not a bad movie, btw, though it requires a healthy dose of suspension of disbelief. If you don’t know of it, the premise of the movie involved a group of people who dodge death in a plane crash only to have death come for them later. The characters end up dying off in bizarre accidents; most of the accidents involving things breaking. Well, the movie is over and while its rewinding, I gather up my plate and head for the kitchen sink. Eric does the same, walking ahead of me from the living room. Just as I step on to the kitchen floor, the only floor in our apartment that isn’t carpeted, the plate slips from my clumsy hand and shatters–right behind Eric. My poor husband. Good thing he has a strong heart.
In slightly related news, when I mean the plate shattered, I mean in a million very small pieces. I need to vacuum because there’s even minute shards in near my computer desk here. “No bare feet” was the order of the night, but I forgot about it this morning. Something got stuck in my foot. It wasn’t a piece of plate, it was a freaking burr from some prickly plant. How the heck did that get in here?

BACK!

Got back from our trip last night. I had a great time and came back exhausted and happy to be back in my cozy little apartment.

Our first stop when we got to Tucson was the University of Arizona. This occurred because we ended up taking the wrong exit. Since it was only noon and check in at the hotel was at three, we decided it would be a good place to waste time. We walked around campus, deemed it better than ASU but not as good as UNL, and took in a show at their planetarium.

Next, since it was on our way, we stopped at the original Bookman’s. We visited both while we were in Tucson and both had very good literature/general fiction section, but the horror/sci-fi/fantasy/writing sections were a bit lacking. The original is in a 50s-ish building, the side of the building painted with a mural of damsels and dragons and prime Shakespearean moments. Do any of you book lovers have this happen? You’re looking at a shelf of books and one just draws you? You pick it up, look at, it seems interesting, not something you usually read though so you put it back, only to pick it up again and end up buying it? Well, this is how I came to own Legends of the Monastic Orders, a small, squat book published in 1879, in good condition written by one Mrs. Jameson. Eric does not understand the whole phenomenon by which I end up with such books and neither do I.

That evening, we decided to splurge and eat at the Olive Garden. I say splurge because we intended to eat cheaply during the trip. We took soda, cheese, meat, and crackers along to fill out our menus instead of eating out all the time. For example we had cheese and crackers for lunch, picnicking at U of A and feeding the very brazen birds pieces of Triskets. It turned out the Olive Garden was a good choice we had enough leftovers for dinner Monday night as well.

All of Monday was taken up by Tombstone. A word first about AZ. I don’t understand why more people haven’t settled further south. Tucson is generally a little better off weather-wise than Phoenix. The area around Tombstone (further south, but higher) is even better. The land is greener. It reminded me very much of Nebraska or Iowa. It is much more honest land. It sounds weird, yes, but there is a pretentiousness to this valley I live in. It seems to promise things and it knows they are false promises. The land south isn’t much. Its rocky and shrubby, but it says, “I’m rocky and shrubby. I’ll understand if there is nothing here for you aside from a few minerals in a few mountains.” It’s alot like how the plains, where I’m originally from, say, “Well, I’m good for growing, but you’d be nuts to live here!” Anyway…

Tombstone was pretty much how I expected it to be all in all. Which is to say, it’s a bit of a tourist trap. “The town to tough to die” is filled with gift shops, “saloons”, and gun fight re-enactments. This isn’t to say we didn’t enjoy the place. We picked up our share of stuff, including a huge mug and t-shirts we had especially made. We walked around the Oriental hotel (now a vintage clothing store), the Bird Cage theater (badly in need of restoration), the Grand Hotel (now Big Nose Kates’ Saloon), the Courthouse (a state run museum) and of course Boot Hill (still a rocky cemetery though one with a gift shop you must pass through first). Everything aside from the Courthouse took full advantage of every legend Tombstone ever spawned, and the bawdier the legend, the better. Tombstone isn’t a place for the whole family unless you want to explain about dancehall girls and bordellos. But if you’re expecting the remains of a turn of the century den of iniquity, that’s certainly what you’ll find. The people running the shops were very nice though. We ended up just talking to them about things. Luckily the busy season hasn’t started up and nothing was overly crowded.

Yesterday, we went to Old Tucson and the other Bookman’s. Old Tucson is a nice family-oriented theme-park-style attraction. It’s built around the sets movie makers have erected and used over the years. It has a hyper-real quality about it. It’s not the Old West. The Bird Cage theater, crumbling, dusty, and decaying, is the Old West. Old Tucson is the Old West recreated and made better. (Makes me want to go back and read the essay by Umberto Eco about this subject…) The main reason to pay the hefty admissions to Old Tucson is to see the shows. We didn’t go to see any “gunfights” in Tombstone mainly because we realized, we hadn’t even heard any blanks being fired after being there for hours. The shows in Old Tucson were done by actors. One was a true story about a rancher taking on an out law. The other two were fictional Zorro stories. The acting was fair to middling, but it was a lot of fun none-the-less with shooting, sword fighting and yes, even explosions.

I will have pictures eventually. I intend to document this trip in my scrapbook as usual. It was a good vacation. Let’s hope the rest of Eric’s week off is as good. I’m intending to go place disc with Eric this afternoon at Motorola, DM for a bit, and hopefully Eric and I will pow-wow about Marie a bit.

Doing a Happy Dance!

YES!!!

Small trip/honeymoon to Tucson is planned! We’re leaving tomorrow and will get back Tuesday night. I’m so stoked! We booked rooms at a rather nice, but cheap, hotel and planned trips to the University, Bookman’s, Tombstone, and Old Tucson. Eric can’t get over how excited I am. I just tell him it’s my parent’s fault. We never took vacations and now I’m deprived. *cheesey grin*