shalanna: (bitchslap)
Perhaps we should offset the previous semi-sarcastic post with a few serious quotations.

"In times of unrest and fear, it is perhaps the writer's duty to celebrate, to single out some of the values we can cherish, to talk about some of the few warm things we know in a cold world."
Phyllis McCinley, American poet


"If you told me to write a love song tonight, I'd have a lot of trouble. But if you tell me to write a love song about a girl with a red dress who goes into a bar and is on her fifth martini and is falling off her chair, that's a lot easier, and it makes me feel free to say anything I want."
Stephen Sondheim


"I don't make myself work. It's just the thing I want to do. To be
completely alone in a room, to know that there'll be no interruptions and I've got eight hours is exactly what I want--yeah, just paradise."
Wiliam Burroughs


"Never save anything for your next book, because that possible creation may not be properly shaped to hold the thoughts you're working with today. In fiction especially, anything that could happen, should happen."
Tam Mossman, American editor, writer, and art critic


The pen is mightier than the sword. And easier to write with.
Benny Hill


"Be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle."
(Anon.)


“Long ago,” he said, “long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more.”
_Winter Dreams_, F. Scott Fitzgerald
shalanna: (FatLadySings)
It's simply too horrible. I don't want to hear the news any more.

(To the tune of many, many punk songs that consist of strumming guitars in an insistent rhythm)

I wanna be radioactive
Nothing can stop me when I start to glow
The world may be falling apart at the seams
I'll be standing in the fallout snow

I wanna be radioactive
You can't beat the party of Cerenkhov blue
The air's blowing all the stuff that gleams
I'll be bathing in electron beams

I have always believed that my friend Terry Sutton and I made up this song in Drama class in ninth grade . . . but he could have heard it elsewhere, because he used to go to live concerts just about EVERY night. Anyway, it has been an earworm for a couple of days now.

The entire crisis in Japan has blown my mind and it has disconnected from reality to the point that I now see the reactor problems as a Monty Python sketch. "I say, Minister, reactor #4 is on fire!" "Why, sorry about that, old chap! How are the radiation levels?" "No worse than in the basement of Fawlty Towers, I can say." "Jolly good!" *bam bam bam*

I guess we'd better not head to California this year. Maybe Rock City, high atop Lookout Mountain, Tennessee/Georgia.

I'm not sure who to trust regarding humanitarian help, either, since the Red Cross promised to give the money we raised for 9/11 to the victims' families, and later we discovered they hadn't gotten a dime. "We had to give it to other recipients," they said, or something similar. Can't be trusted. So who can? We'll have to take a chance if we want to donate. *sigh*
shalanna: (Irish duet jig)
When I was eight and first saw "The Monkees" on TV, I started plotting how I would get to Hollywood so I could marry Micky Dolenz.

I am still plotting how to get out there, but I've accepted that we're both taken now . . . however, although I may be chained to the fence, I can still bark at other cars! He was the first!! No, REALLY. Okay, after Jerry Lewis. (But JL was always SO MUCH OLDER than me.)

Interesting that they're all Pisceans . . . like me.

Here's a video tribute that I wish I had done. Cool!
shalanna: (martiniglass)
The Battle of the Alamo was a siege that took place February 23 through March 6, 1836. Many brave Texans (then called Texicans) were lost in the conflict. Including Davy Crockett! This year is the 175th anniversary--the Dodransbicentennial. (Word of the week!)

Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!
shalanna: (SallyBrown)
World Book Day meme--gacked from mrissa

The book I am currently reading: I just finished re-reading _Two Much_ by Donald E. Westlake and haven't started another off the to-read queue.

The books I am currently writing:
(YA adventure with witchiness) APRIL, MAYBE JUNE. Requested full with agent as a result of winning the Golden Rose contest. I have not heard from the agent, actually, and am tweaking the middle.
(Romantic suspense/ghost story/technology story) LOVE IS THE BRIDGE (formerly SONG FROM THE HEART). This one is still stalled in mid-haunting for some reason.
(Screwball comedy/romance with suspense-type plot) IN THE PUNDIT'S CORNER. This one is sort of on the back burner, but occasionally I return to it during lulls.

The book I love most: The King James Bible. The language is the standard that everything else used to be compared to. Yes, it's archaic NOW. However, there is much to be learned from its eloquence. Once, it was required reading for students of literature. But anyway, the next choice is a good dictionary such as Webster's Third New International or the OED. You could browse such a tome forever and keep learning.

My "favorite" novel is _To Kill a Mockingbird_. I can see how people might prefer Gatsby or one of the Steinbecks, but I'm Southern.

The last book I received as a gift: I wish people would gift me with books. (Instead of the desk calendars and useless trinkets that they find at the dollar store, which is what they usually resort to.) Hubby always goes out and gets some electronic gadget and adds to it some piece of costume jewelry that catches his eye. Generally there is a Hello Kitty component, or sometimes frogs. When I was a child, my grandmothers would send me Bobbsey Twins books. There was a VERY long series and there was always a new one or one I hadn't read. Classmates used to give each other the "Peanuts" books such as _Happiness Is a Warm Puppy_ or the softcover collections of strips--or maybe even Nancy Drew books, after we had read all the Bobbseys. Of course, back then you could buy a hardcover children's book at the supermarket or discount store for a couple of dollars, and a softcover went for sixty cents to a dollar. I think perhaps the last time I got a book was a couple of Christmases ago when a co-worker gave me a fantasy novel that wasn't my cuppa.

The last book I gave as a gift: I always give people books, although I don't think too many of them appreciate that. My aunt did, and so the last book I gave her was one she'd asked for--_When God Laughs With You_ or something like that. She had seen a TV show where Tim Conway had promoted it. I suppose the last book I actually gave was the Christmas book to hubby. I think it was OLD MAN'S WAR by John Scalzi. I knew he hadn't read it, and he only reads fantasy/SF.

The nearest book on my desk: _Scout, Atticus, and Boo_. It's a collection of essays about what _To Kill a Mockingbird_ means to people. I happened across it at the Borders closing sale; I had first seen it on my aunt's coffee table when we were in Sherman after the funeral of my OTHER aunt.

Generally it would've been some kind of reference book. But you caught me carrying this one around.
shalanna: (kittyblinks)
Check out Lev Raphael's post to authors about improving your reading and speaking engagements.

Also, Kurt Vonnegut's rules for writing stories:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. (SC: I see so many books filled with antiheroes and Mary Sues that I simply find annoying! Characters should have weaknesses and quirks, even if they do need to "save the cat" up front to compensate.)
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things: reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
shalanna: (nap cat)
March, I thought, would come in like a lion, judging by the last few days of February. But the wind has died down, and I suppose it arrived seeming more like a lamb.

Were we in ancient Rome, we'd have celebrated Matronalia today, in honor of the goddess Juno. Women got presents from their husbands and daughters, and husbands offered special prayers for their wives. Women were also expected to prepare a meal for the household slaves (who were given the day off work), as Roman men did at the Saturnalia.

The only bit I got to do was fix food. Here, today, the slave did not get a day off! Sometimes I wonder how in the heck other people do it. We only have three adults and one spoiled dog in this household, yet enough trash is carried out the door that you'd think we ran a private school. And there are ALWAYS dishes in the sink, and the dishwasher always cries to be emptied. (It's spoiled, too, just like everything else I own.) No one else can empty it, you see. It's some sort of unwritten rule. They put their dishes in or around the sink, and they magically get rinsed or scrubbed and put into the washdisher! It's magic! Same with clothes and the washing machine. Did you know that some people actually have a laundress? Yes. It's amazing.

I tire of this bright world. We need some time floating down the river. It's time to plan a tubing expedition.
shalanna: (SallyBrown)
I need to divest myself of a great number of books. I won't re-read all of these, and I don't need all of them for reference, and there simply isn't enough storage space to keep everything.

But! I don't like e-reading. It's tiring. I have an eye problem anyway. And I'm thinking about the lifespan of each format, too.

For example . . . my husband's grandmother, towards the end of her life, began gifting me with a few of the hardcover books off of her shelves. These books might be a bit foxed, and they might have wear on the bindings, but they're still perfectly readable. Many of them date from the 1940s and 1950s. I only have ten or so of these books, but they've lasted. Books from my childhood have also held up pretty well (the few that I still have). Softcover books are a bit more fragile, but I've picked up eBay copies of many of Jack Douglas's old comic reminiscences and the Shell Scott detective stories that originally cost 60 cents at the supermarket and are still perfectly readable today. Oh, and copies of all the "I Hate to Cook" books by Peg Bracken. Old cookbooks are some of the coolest finds around, even if you don't make the recipes. I love to find the spattered ones or the ones with handwritten notes and corrections!

So I will be able to read these books for years to come, or just prop them around the room if I like.

On the other hand, there are many digital files from five or ten years ago that have become worthless or difficult. They're in formats that the common programs don't want to read, or they came off an old BBS and are on floppy disks or memory sticks and therefore at risk of being lost . . . I know that I've lost digital files many a time. They can get corrupted or you can lose the ability to unpack the archive. Even text files can go crazy.

I'm really reluctant to buy into the concept that you buy a book as an ebook file and then everything lives happily ever after. It does take up less "room" in a sense, but it's not really "there" in the same way that a physical book is. I can't pick it up and dip into it in the same way. And if the file format goes obsolete and it has DRM on the file . . . well, then it becomes a brick.

Now that Random House and others have adopted the "agency rule" about pricing e-books, there will probably be even more fighting out there.

It's tough to relinquish these physical books. "They got the library at Alexandria--they're not getting mine" has been my motto for years. Of course I wouldn't give up the special books and the ones that were passed along, but I do need to weed out all the paperbacks that I bought to "support" some published author after I heard him/her speak and was all impressed . . . but as it turned out, I didn't really like the novels. Those people aren't goin' out there to get MY books, I tell you what. So why should I hang on to all of theirs?!

Putting on the armor for another try at the living room bookcase. Surely I do not STILL need "Introduction to RVing."
shalanna: (Default)
*sigh*

Many of you have read my novel LITTLE RITUALS, or at least snippets from it.  I put it on the Kindle early last year, but most of the text had been set in stone for some time by then.

Early in the book, the dwarf/fairy godfather that Daphne has the car fenderbender with tells her, "Check yourself before you wreck yourself."  That's a phrase my neighbor's kid used starting about five years ago.  I heard him and his friends use it, and thought it was good.  But not a quotation from any film, as I Googled it.  It's just like "I know, right?" in origin--began with someone and spread.  As far as I can tell.

Well, now I discover that the film "Due Date" uses this line.

They stole it from ME.  I had it in print first!

Well, they probably heard it the same way I did.  But now they will be credited with originating it, and I will get even more complaints and rejections, saying, "You stole that line from a movie!"

Now I will need to come up with another catchphrase for him to give her.

Lately I've felt all "what's the point?" about writing anyway.  There are so many books out there, and what the market and editors/agents like is not the same thing that I like, and publishing is undergoing a sea change.  There's got to be some other thing I could be doing.
shalanna: (clippy)
The other day a teenager whom I'm teaching a bit of piano by ear made an observation about probability that I have not been able to shake.

I know that all my old math teachers, my dad, Professor Angus, Professor Erna, Professor Richmond, and all of 'em are sittin' up there in Heaven shaking their heads at me. But this makes perfect sense and I can't find anything wrong with it.

We were discussing middle school math (which I have also tutored him in--he's a neighbor's kid) and he said, "All this probability stuff is a crock."

Now, I've often suspected the same. I never have fully followed the logic of the "proofs" as to why conditional probability is correct and all that stuff. I did accept that a roll of the six-sided dice is a one-in-six chance, but further than that they went into la-la land with the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

But . . . this makes sense right here:

"I reject all those calculations. Everything's binary. It either happens, or it doesn't." He threw the chord chart to the carpet. "It either landed face up, or it didn't. Fifty-fifty."

I blinked.

"You either win the lottery, or you don't. You either live through the battle, or you don't. The die rolls a six, or it doesn't."

My brain cranked.

"See? I either learn this piece flawlessly, or I don't. I either eat the cheese, or I don't. You like me, or you don't. It's all just Do It or Don't. Do, or not do."

Try as I might, I couldn't come up with a coherent reply that actually refuted this.

Either you liked my book, or you didn't. Either we went out on a date, or we didn't. Either your number came up, or it didn't.

And on that note, we leave you to your regularly scheduled Saturday night computer gaming.
shalanna: (Default)
As of noon today, Hubby has been called back to his job at The Folly!

He's so happy. I am less thrilled, considering that ten of them (including him) have been recalled to work complete with badge and laptop as of RIGHT NOW, whereas the other 80-something people in the layoff continue to get paid for not working until April 4th. But on the other hand, he was too stressed out and neurotic to live until April 4th without working. So he's happy! He wanted to go with this new startup and do all the extra hours and so forth and all the "exciting" stuff. He couldn't enjoy doing fun things with me or going on a road trip knowing that he wasn't working. (But, of course, now he has a job again. Until this one somehow gets de-funded. I am a realist.)

The only really unfair part (aside from the others getting to sit on their butts and be paid until April 4th) is that those who get called back in a later phase will have gotten their severance package worth about $30K. That is REALLY UNFAIR, if he has to work starting now and they get to sit around until after the cutoff date and apply to get their big money and THEN get called back to work. But oh well. We seem to always be "lucky" this way. Who needs a lump sum when I'd probably just squander it on car payments and house payments??

I want to thank those of you who have prayed and sent positive thoughts and energy. I truly believe that they are the reason the Universe decided to go ahead and call these guys back. They're probably all type-A like Hubby and were going crazy.

By the way, the fellow who was in line to get that job ("Job A" with the company, not part of this project but still good) didn't get to take it. He was part of this same Tiger Team and was called in today. But he told them no--that he had accepted a job at Cisco Systems, and wouldn't be taking this opportunity! So he wouldn't have taken Job A anyhow. Of course, he COULDN'T have, and neither could Hubby, because the way the paperwork is written, they had to either take the recall to this project if it came before April 4th or leave the company entirely. It says something that this fellow chose to leave. But ANYWAY . . . Hubs is happy, and they've all gone to lunch and will work out the day. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but at least he has a job. And perhaps I should be more thankful for that.

I'm terrible. But anyway, perhaps I'll go to ConDFW this weekend to get away from all the excited happy talk of the plans for the new project . . . I don't think I can take it. I'd rather wander around and see what's new. *grin*
shalanna: (Default)
Poor Hubby.

You may recall that he was laid off on January 31st. His entire group was dumped that day--80 people.

I mean, I know that maybe the Universe wanted him to be humbled a bit. It really got his attention when he was laid off. He simply doesn't know how to not work . . . having had a job since he was 15 and worked at Pizza Inn part-time, moving up to Penneys catalog and then credit clerk, and then while he was in college to computer operator, and then upon graduation becoming a software engineer, ending up as a staff engineer and software guru. Unlike me, he is really good at working for The Man and being a team player.

There's one particular job on the company's internal hiring list thingie that reads as if it were written for him. From the day he left the company, his previous supervisor has been telling him to apply for this one and that he and X would recommend him. His paperwork was processed at last on Friday, and he got e-mail Monday telling him that the big boss wanted to have a phone interview with him. This made him very happy. He stopped growling and snarling at me and began pacing around saying that he could do the job and that it was just like the job he had before he joined the Folly. (The project that was just cancelled, I mean.)

This morning the director called him and did the phone interview. It went very well. He knew the answers and they spoke of people they both knew. She talked about figuring out how to do the callback/recall paperwork in order to get employees back. He hung up feeling that he was definitely going to get an offer.

So . . . what does he do but go onto the e-mail list that he and a few trusted co-workers had set up to discuss their contacts and jobs. He posted a jovial message reading, "The call went well. Maybe I'll be back working with y'all in a couple of weeks."

Maybe this could be interpreted as being cocky or arrogant. He didn't mean it that way. Someone who knew him would understand that it was just a "whoopee" sort of deal.

But! The guy, X, who had said he'd recommend him (this guy is still employed and works in the group in question) wrote back, "Not so fast. You should know that L is also a final candidate for this position." L is another of the layoff casualties, but he's not as experienced as Hubby. Also, not as old. (hmm)

Well . . . that message was a slapdown. Was that really necessary? Or perhaps it was just a nice little heads-up. Whichever it was, I thought it was very passive-aggressive or whatever.

[Guilt: It's my fault! It's all because I listened to the Bad Luck song* in the car this morning! I knew better than to listen to that song! The last time I heard that song, I fell and shattered my kneecap. That song screwed up his chances this time! *sigh* Or maybe the dude X is just a back-stabber. Or maybe he didn't realize how that would come across.]

I think I would have written in reply, "Good luck!" And that's all I would've said. But that's just me.

Anyway. Hubs read that and was crushed.

The result was that Hubby spent around two hours walking around the house talking about how L was probably going to get the position because of this and that, and he could see why, and all this kind of rot. But you could see just how disappointed and hurt he was. He doesn't ask for much . . . he has had his heart set on this job, and he can't think of anything else but being unemployed. I don't know why the Universe couldn't have just let him think whatever. Now he's back to being horribly depressed and saying sad things and treating us ankendosh. He says he can't stand to go on a little road trip or anything at all and couldn't enjoy it. Can't even enjoy going over to the Arboretum or the nature preserve for a walk. It's all the fault of this bigmouth that shot off his mouth to take somebody down a notch . . . kick somebody who was already down.

The bigmouth X must be zapped.

I am crushing his head.

Don't worry--I'm also crushing L.'s head. And zapping his guideas rod**. And cursing him so he never gets his blah blahed again***. My voodoo is at work. Justice will prevail.

*sigh*

Crud. I suppose it isn't L's fault. (But I'm still crushing his head.) It's all a crapshoot. If they don't pick Hubby, it'll be their loss. He knows the product line and he can do the job. They may still choose him. But now that he thinks X would prefer to see L get the job, he's all depressed. He's applying elsewhere, but his heart isn't in it.

I'm accustomed to being rejected. But Hubs isn't. Apparently he's got a lot of his identity tied up in his job and his ability to support the family and so forth. And this entire sequence of events may be designed by destiny to knock that out of him and change his direction.

However, it's tough to see him suffer. And Mama suffers because she's a child of the Depression who went through being poor and is completely freaked about being poor again. I am the only one with any faith here. Dum-dum me, always trusting that Something Good is about to happen.

Surely something will. That's not the only job in the world! But I still hate to see him so disappointed.

(sigh)

* The R. E. M. cover of John Lennon's "Dream #9" off the CD done for the Darfur relief charity. It's a really good cover. But every time I hear it, something bad seems to happen right after. That's not the only Bad Luck song, but it's probably one of the worst. I really like the song, but hey, how many times do you have to touch the hot stove??

** "Guideas rod" comes from an old family story. One of my mother's uncles back in the day when cars were new got a Model A Ford. Everyone was duly impressed when he drove it up their gravel road and showed off his new Horseless Carriage. But about halfway down the road something went wrong. He came back trudging along crying and carrying his steering wheel and the shaft it was connected to. "What happened?" the family cried. He looked up miserably and held out the parts. "My guideas rod broke," he shouted. (Not knowing what to call the car parts.) So whenever something goes wrong with the car . . . you know the drill.

*** Refers to the Lenny Bruce "blah-blah-blah" routine. I first heard it on the "Lenny" soundtrack album made from the Dustin Hoffman film. (It's at 01:18:57 in the film.) You can probably guess what it is a euphemism for.
shalanna: (ThatGirlCutesy)
Have some Valentine's jammies!



We went to the mall (big woo) (well, it is for HIM, anyway) and I got one of those aluminum credit card holders to keep my cards from being read by an RFID reader. Next up: aluminum foil hat!

(And that'll be sad. Because I look terrible in hats. No, really . . . comical. I tried on a hat once in Nordstrom and my cousin went into hysterics, attracting the attention of the clerk and several bystanders who also hooted and hollered as if I were Minnie Pearl wearing a Carmen Miranda fliptop. It's something about a square face and glasses. Or not.)
shalanna: (8ball)
I'm a finalist in the 2010 Robert Benchley essay contest!

The Robert Benchley Society is relieved to finally announce the long-awaited Top Ten Semi-Finalists (in alphabetical order) in the 2010 Robert Benchley Society Humor Writing Competition:

http://benchley.blogspot.com/2011/02/rbs-announces-top-ten-entries-in-humor.html


Go read the top ten essays, if you haven't. They're really good. I think my entry is very Benchleyesque this time. Maybe it'll place in the top four.

I also have won another manuscript contest through an RWA chapter and received a very pretty hand-beaded necklace with a camellia as a charm. It's very comforting to think that "regular readers" (as well as published romance novelists) like my work, even if it isn't good at impressing Those Who Count.
shalanna: (clippy)
Here's a free book idea. There are, as I see it, three basic ways this could go.

The opening:
Happy couple and two children are on vacation at the beach. Husband excuses himself to go into the cabin to tinkle. Instead, he gets on the phone to his mistress and reaches her voice mail. "Hey, it's me. I've finally decided. I'm going to tell her as soon as we get home. I can't stand it any more. It's what you've been asking me to do. So, anyway, see you on Saturday. Love you." Then he stares thoughtfully out the window at the children happily playing and the surf eternally crashing.

Around the time he's saying "I've finally decided," the wife follows him in and stops short in the doorway. He doesn't hear her or doesn't notice, so she listens and waits until he hangs up. There are three ways this could go from here. . . .

(1) The screaming harridan. The woman picks up something and hurls it at him without asking for any explanation. "Liar! Cheat!" She throws his clothes out and ends the vacay right there. You know the drill from here.

(2) The woman goes into the kitchen/bar while he is standing post-call to stare out the window into the distance at the kids making a sand castle. She makes a tray with two glasses and a pitcher of "martinis," but the martinis have hemlock in them. (Maybe curare, too, just for the paralysis factor.) (You'll have to set up how she got this stuff . . . maybe she's an herbalist.) She carries it in and says loudly, "Tell me what?"

He spins around guiltily and knows he's been made. He walks over to slug down the first drink to steel himself. She sets the tray in front of him on the table and sits down. "I'm listening."

By the time he is halfway through his story, she knows it's working and he knows there's something wrong, but attributes it to the booze. The reason they used hemlock for executions in ancient times is that it allows lucidity up until almost the end. She's well rid of the guy. . .and gets to sue the resort for his death, to boot (if they prefer to hush it up instead of thinking it's murder).

(3) The woman hears, but does nothing. For now. This is the tale of the She-Devil who will ruin him without his even knowing until the end. This is the far more interesting story.

Let's see what you can do with it.

shalanna: (cat drummer)
This seems like something that a lot of people would want, so it SHOULD be possible. I'm just not seeing it when I Google.

I have lots of tracks now in my iTunes library. I would like to separate out the classical and Christmas music so that it's not in normal rotation. I have the stuff tagged by genre and even in separate playlists, but it's all also in the main library, which is too large for the new iPod I have now. (The original 60GB iPod was stolen, remember.) Is there any way to take these tracks and create a new, separate iTunes library? Then you could just hold SHIFT down as you launch iTunes and open the different library instead of the main one. I could create new libraries and add all this stuff and then manually delete it from the main library, of course. But that would be a hassle and dangerous (I'm afraid). I also have the stuff scattered all over the disk in folders, and I would like it to all be consolidated, but that ship has sailed, I think.

iLounge never talks about this in particular that I can find.

Perhaps I shouldn't have added ALL those tracks in the first place.
shalanna: (Gopher)
Head groundhog Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow today, which means we'll have an early spring. Yay! About time!

I baked a cheesecake in honor of Chinese New Year's Eve. . . .
shalanna: (HappyNewYear)
Everyone's saying today is Chinese New Year, but it's really tomorrow, Feb. 3rd. However, it starts on the eve, so let's go with this.

Xin Mao, the Year of the Rabbit 4708, starts on 2/3/2011.

Chinese New Year's Eve dinner is "the most luxurious meal of the entire year," explains one site. "Make eight to nine dishes for the New Year's Eve dinner. In the Chinese dialect of Cantonese the word for eight is baat, which rhymes with faat, the word for prosperity. And the Chinese word for nine means 'long-lasting.'"

Good enough for me. *rooting around in cabinets to find something to go with the rice I made last night and the chicken salad that'll have to serve for the chicken dish*

We'll miss the parades. I don't think they can get out in this ice. *pout*

Don't sweep today! You'll sweep all your new luck out the door.

I had no trouble complying with this proscription.

shalanna: (Gopher)
Happy Groundhog Day!

I'll just bet he didn't see his shadow. *I* certainly wouldn't come out in an ice storm to check. Hibernation is the way to go.

But we'll see.
shalanna: (Lucy-No-Snow)
All right, the Universe doesn't approve of Dallas making any money off the tourists for the StuporBowl. But we don't need to be completely iced in and closed down! This morning we were colder at 14 degrees than Green Bay at 19! This is outlandish!

Also, we have had rolling 15-minute mini-outages of electricity since 5 AM. I awoke to the sounds of the dog freaking out and Hubby saying, "The power's out." Mama's oxygen concentrator beeps, and the computers' UPSes beep, and the alarm beeps. I ran around getting everything turned off and getting flashlights before I called the electricity provider and discovered they were doing this purposely, to spare the grid. All the school districts and city governments are closed, so you'd think we could generate enough power, but I guess what with everyone at home playing "Kill Everything" and surfing the 'net and turning those all-electric heaters waaay up, it couldn't.

The Pom baby really freaked out. He whined, coughed, wheezed, had attacks, shivered, and walked through the house barking. I had to hold him as the power went UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN. The outages lasted 15 minutes and then we had power for an hour in between, so he kept freaking out anew. I took him out (and you would have frozen to death! You couldn't balance on the ice in our courtyard! His little toes slipped!) and fed him and held him and everything, but the poor baby. He couldn't handle the beeping, I think. It reminds him of some crisis we've had or of some medical thing, perhaps? Simply awful. He wouldn't settle down until around noon, when the company made the power stay on longer and longer and gradually faded into normalcy. I had already gone to bed on the sofa and he was running in circles through the house, and he eventually decided it was safe to get on the sofa with me. Then he jumped down and settled under the piano bench where the vent blows. That's his usual guard position.

But anyway!! I had to hurry to microwave my oatmeal and Hubby's gruel, and Mama had to hurry to take her nebulizer treatment, because we had to coordinate it within the time the power was on. The heater kept having to shut down and then start up again, because it's a gas heater and when the power is cut, it does a shutdown. Hassle!

FINALLY I got my computer back up again and got our 'net connection back. Whee!

Hubby did get laid off on Monday. But they told him and the others that they were keeping his badge, laptop, and phone stuff in a Special Box because they could be called back at any time during the next nine weeks. He came home immediately and contacted the other company that had said it was interested in him (the woman called him specifically when she heard this project was closing), but the job they have is a contractor position. He explained he needs a full-time job, but that he might call them when this nine weeks is up. She said she'd try to make this into a permanent job, as she wants him specifically for some skills they've seen him display with the network. (The company is a vendor and they know all about this project being shut down.) He was really disappointed and didn't hide it.

So, on Monday, we started a project fixing Mama's car. At first it was just to get the trunk closed; we had shown it to this crazy firewood-company man who had tried to buy it from us two or three times, and he'd opened the hood and trunk. But it's a 1984 Lincoln Town Car, Cartier Edition, and the trunk closes itself--you put it down until the latch clicks, and it finishes the job. So the trunk had been sitting slightly ajar (the car's battery was down), and we had left the battery on the charger since Sunday.

Sure enough, the trunk closed itself as soon as the battery came up. Then Hubs decided to try starting the car. (It had been sitting since Mama got her pacemaker . . . that's nearly a year and a half.)

It revved on the first try!

So he decided to check the fluids again and back it out of the side yard. The tires looked pretty low, so he aired them up with this little compressor thing he got last year. Then. . . .

"Want to go around the block?"

We all piled in (including one happy Pom) and went slowly around to the front of the house. The tires were REALLY low. We decided to see whether it would pass inspection, so I jumped into the van and followed them--very slowly--to the corner tire store that also does state inspections.

It passed! We also got four newish tires at a discount, because the originals just weren't impressing me. We need new wipers. But the car runs fine!

To top it off, when I opened the mailbox, I found they had sent her replacement driver's license.

Cosmic.

Anyway, then we went on to do several more errands to prepare for this storm, including getting Hubby's iPhone transferred onto our family cell phone plan. I was hoping we could Go Somewhere, but now we're iced in until Friday, the weather says. Stir crazy!

Hubby's e-mail beeped on the iPhone as we were walking out of the AT&T store. They expect to put together a deal so that a skeleton crew starts back to work next week. They think they will know on Friday. Guess who is on the Tiger Team (skeleton crew)?

Yes. He's that important to them. (They ought to pay more.)

So everyone else gets nine weeks off with pay and full benefits, and ten of them have to go right back to work. Sigh!!

I'm looking at it all wrong. He will have a job to go back to, at the same salary. And they'll HAVE to let him take some time off later, because he's contributing like this. Still, I think it's unfair. I didn't get to go anywhere for a week. *pout*

We don't know if this deal will fall through or not, though. We're in limbo until they tell us something on Friday or on Monday. I really, REALLY wanted to go to Austin for a few days before he started back to work. I guess I think like a little kid, but we haven't had a vacation in forever. . . .

I think I'll bake something. . . .
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