Saturday, August 29, 2009

what're you griping about?

It only feels like it's 99, because the humidity is low. So what if the temp is officially 103?

I was in the grocery store for a long time (sat down and drank an iced decaf coffee and read a few chapters of a book before getting the 5 things we needed). They keep it cold in there, so when I stepped out, it felt like opening the oven. You know that blast of heat that makes your eyes sting?

Only low 90's tomorrow - fingers crossed.

And that rain that I said I wasn't holding my breath on? Not even on the forecast anymore.

books and more books

I got 3 separate emails from Borders saying that my orders had shipped. It's more like one of the orders and then some pieces of the other order. One of the titles I didn't recognize, so I had to go back to the website and look it up. It's the newest Anne Gracie and there's no note on the fedex site saying they've actually received the package ans started it on its way. But hey, I like Anne Gracie. I've had this 3rd book in her current series on my wish list almost since they announced the publication date.

All that and all the other fabulous books I am waiting for.

I have been reading Dorothy Sayers lately - a parent-friend at the kids' school brought up Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey a few weeks ago so i got the Vane books out of the library and have recently read the last one. I have the last one she started and never finished - it was finished by someone else - yet to read.

I got books at the next door neighbors' garage sale today - a couple of Agatha Christie and a parenting book and a kids' dictionary and such.

And I have 7 books, including 2 I want to use for research on Victorian Era America, waiting at the library. And another 3 in transit. And another 15 or so on my request list.

And I already have 20-ish books out of the library ( a few ready to go back when I go to get those 7).

And I went to the used book store a couple of days ago and sold a stack of books (sold BACK many of them) and picked up 3 more.

And I have a couple of other paperbacks that I'm not even sure where I got them, but they're up on the to-be-read shelf.

Basically, I have enough books here and on their way here to last 2 months.

And in 2 months, it's November and NaNoWriMo. So I have a lot of books to read and a lot of editing to do on the books I've already written and then November is devoted to churning out more deadly pose.

I mean deathless. Yeah, deathless. Which term always seems ominous to me, but it's supposed to be a compliment, right?

Saturday morning

Because the server was down this morning, here is my list of random topics.

My zebra-striped flannel pajamas are falling apart. I made them about 5 years ago and have worn them lots and lots, but still very sad.

DS1 is speaking some shouty-grunty-zooga-boom-boom language. According to DS2, he is trying to take over the world. Well, I hope I get some sort of position as an advisor, being the all-wise mother of the world potentate. Or at least my own office or something.

Apparently it's an alien language.

DD hasn't slept well for a couple of nights. She's flopping and rolling all over and definitely won't sleep alone. Maybe teeth some more? I don't think all the eye teeth are in. But anyway, I'm tired. Her longest rest last night was from 2 to 6. At least I don't remember looking at the clock if she did wake up between those times.

And the server is down because it's off because the electricity went out again last night at about 11 pm and back on at midnight, but DH had by that time shut the computer down (it's on a big battery back-up thing that gives him plenty of time to shut the computer down and protects it from brown-outs and such) and come to bed.

I want to find out why the electricity was out again, for the 2nd time in 2 weeks. But I can't get on the internet. If my neighbors were more community-spirited, at least one of these wireless networks that my computer detects wouldn't be password-protected, right? Kidding kidding.

And this is my 900th post. All 5 of my readers will rejoice, I am sure.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Weather again. For heaven's sake Phyllis, can't you shut up about the weather?

Well, no I can't.

It's about 100 out there right now and it's cloudy and breezy, but it's not a breeze that cools you off, it's a convection oven sort of breeze. It'll be 100 again tomorrow, apparently, but only 90 on Sunday. They're predicting rain for a week from Sunday, but a prediction for 10 days out, as usual, doesn't inspire confidence.

I am ready for summer to be over.

In better news, I have some tomatoes getting ripe. I haven't found more hornworms for a while, but there are some missing leaves that I don't know if they are newly missing or from the old hornworms that I picked off.

Oh, and did you know that tomatoes can be up to 122 degrees inside when they're in full sun? I'd be willing to bet ours get even hotter than that when it's 110 out. I bet they can't perspire fast enough to cool them off. Transpire? Do that release of water thing that plants do that we don't call sweating, but is? (and "Things you wouldn't know if we didn't blog incessantly" is my new best friend.)

Just posting this all over

Really, wickedly funny.

Some strong language (but fairly appropriate, for those of you who know Pride and Prejudice and who dislike Caroline Bingley)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

$51.13 for 1/2 an hour on the phone!

Sounds like one of those work at home spam things.

And it was my money in the first place.

Turns out that Borders had taken the money from my gift cards on an order that was never processed. I spent about 1/2 an hour on the phone with a nice young man with a southern accent (sounded like my junior high math teacher, who was from.... North Carolina, I want to say) and he restored my money.

And this was after sending them 2 or 3 emails over a month and nothing happening.

So I put through one order on one of the gift cards and put in the other two (one had $1.13 left from an earlier order) and the system won't accept my order because something is wrong with it, apparently.

If it messes up my gift cards again, I might pop a vein...

Monday, August 24, 2009

deleted it

I finally took down my winner 'sticker' from last year's NaNoWriMo. Only just over 2 months until the next one begins now. I'm trying to do some research before it starts and I've come up with some scenes. Maybe I'll even go so far as to think out where the plot is supposed to go. That might help on the editing end.

Speaking of editing, it's not going anywhere with last year's NaNo. It's too big and overwhelming and I need to make a chart with every single scene just to decide if the scene does something and if it does what it should and if it should do something somewhere else instead.

I have been adding a lot more of the internal stuff to dig deeped into the characters. I have been deleting useless bits as well.

Or else I should put it away for a bit and mess around with the 2nd book I wrote.

logging it in before I lose the paper

The baby went to the doctor last week (got one shot. Delayed MMR and chicken pox until maybe next time). Today, she almost made off with the tiny paper they wrote the weight, etc info on.

So here goes:

Weight: 21 LBS 11 oz (15-20%)
Height: 33 1/4 inches (90%)
Head: 18 1/2 inches (65-70%)

(HERE's the post from her last visit in May. Pretty much 1 lb and 1 inch since then.)

Yep. Still tall and skinny. Her head's gotten bigger in relation to her body.

She has a new sign. When we say something is stinky, she slaps her hand over her nose. She has lots of new signs, but this is my current favorite!

And the doctor commented on her new teeth, but he meant the eye teeth that are just coming in. I had only noticed they were red right next to the brand new molars. So 8 teeth in a month. Yay.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

one of those vague things

I am messing around in, not so much to do my own ancestry, but to see if I can find out anything about the people who lived in my hometown in 1883. Yeah, random.

Anyway, there's a feature I hadn't seen before that plots the various points of people's documentation on a map. So i plotted my maternal grandfather and discovered that until there is more census, etc data released or until I find more documentation, it looks like he lived his entire life, birth to death, in Ohio. Never mind all those years in Florida and elsewhere in the south, there's only proof up until 1930. I need to search more for their marriage record, but even that was in Ohio (I think. Maybe PA) and my mom and her sister were born in Ohio. So 40-ish years are still lost in the mists of time.

The war of Northern Aggression

I don't think I've seen a picture before of the destruction caused by vindictive Northern troops as they chased the Confederate Armies to the sea.

Brings to mind the destruction of European cities during WWII, such as the firebombing of Dresden.

Friday, August 21, 2009

weekend rambling

Well, 2 minutes until bedtime here.

1st week of school is over and the weather looks like it's going to be slightly cooler over the next week. It'll be in the low 90's which is too hot to exert oneself and yet not hot enough that I want to puke as soon as I step outside.

I have 80 gradations of hot weather.

It's sort of like the 80 words for snow allegedly in some Eskimo dialect.

And my kids are earning their keep: DS1 (9 yo) mowed the front yard and DS2 tried to tidy up the raggedy pieces still sticking up when he was done.

DS1 has to go to karate tomorrow morning. I should exercise, too, because I only made it once this week so far.

OK. The toddler is squawking. She needs to go to bed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


not enough sleep+allergies+pollution+Midas who took 2 hours just to give me the estimate and then said it would take 2 more hours to do all the brake work and it took 4 1/2 hours+too much coffee this morning+not enough other liquids



Oh, but it's only going to be 95 tomorrow. Phew! It's like winter!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

re: "good ol' Paul"

I had a stack of books waiting for me at the library. One of them, I had never heard of before. So maybe someone did get into my account? Or else I oredered it and just don't remember...

Monday, August 17, 2009

so, ah what's new?

First day back at school. Saw some teachers, parents and kids I hadn't seen since Spring. Didn't see others, still. Kids seem to have had a good day, though they're not telling all yet.

We're going to the pool because it's about 100 out there - and we only have today and tomorrow left on our 8 day trial membership at the local gym ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

good ol' Paul

I was requesting a couple of books from the library on the Internet and I clicked on "requests" to see if I had requested all that i wanted and.....

suddenly I was looking at the request list of some guy named Paul. He has 5 things to pick up from the Central Branch, by the way - in case he's reading my blog.

Oh and now someone named Mehrdad owes $2.25 in fines. Busted!

So then I went to the Borders website to use the gift cards I bought myself with my Discover rebates. It won't let me check out and tells me that my credit cards are at fault 9I tried 2 different ones). Ummm.. Actually, no, they're fine. YOU'RE messed up.

Monday, August 10, 2009

teeth and more teeth

The toddler has all her first molars poking through. She's been working on them for a long, long time and they've all appeared within the last few days. (No, we haven't been sleeping well)

And DS1, who is 9 1/2 has just lost the last of his first molars.

So when they say the tooth fairy recycles teeth, I have to say that she very likely does.

book review + doggerel = WIN

I almost forgot that I was supposed to review a book as part of the terms of my ereader loan.

So here goes.
Ode to A Wicked Liaison by Christine Merrill
A review in verse by Phyllis Laatsch

Tony was Eustace and useless as well,

Until his whole family went to hell.

He became a thief to make a living,

Now that he's older, he works for the king

Constance is a widowed duchess,

Since her duke died, she's in a big mess.

Her skill set comprises curtsies and babies,

To keep up appearances and be a lady.

Now she's in a lot of distress,

Because the foul villain wants a mistress.

He slaps and snarls and gets his hand on her deed,

In the midst of printing up the money he'll need.

(You must pay the rent!

I can't pay the rent!

You must pay the rent!

I can't pay the rent!)

So Tony helps out because he's in love,

Castles in Spain, white turtledoves,

Eating rainbows, pooping butterflies,

Stealing the deed back with stars in his eyes.

(You must pay the rent!

I can't pay the rent!

You must pay the rent!

I can't pay the rent!

I'll pay the rent!

My hero!)

And the good guys win and the bad guys lose,

And finally Connie knows whom to choose.

She won't be a duchess, just plain Mrs. Smythe,

And they will be happy for all of their lives,

Once they get in touch with reality.

A fun little tale, I'll give it a B

Friday, August 7, 2009

freakin' ebooks and freakin' software and freakin' drm

I've just spent over an hour trying to figure out how to move an ebook from the library that's in mobipockets format to the sony ereader. i need a magic code number which i don't have. or else i need to know how to crack the drm. i have full rights to the book and could read it on my cell phone.... if i had a cell phone that was compatible. but it won't let me put it on the ereader and they only had it in mobipocket at the library website. it's just sleazy romance novels (not even the good ones - the first is a seeekrit baby-daddy story and i haven't got to the other 2 in the bundle)

anyway, i can read the book on the computer. only i don't generally read books on the computer. but oh well.

just frustrated, really.

re-reading Jane Austen

I downloaded Jane Austen's Mansfield Park from the Gutenberg site a week or so ago and read it.

Boy, that Fanny Price is a wet noodle, isn't she?

I tried to read Richardson's Pamela a few months ago. That's from a few decades earlier.

And boy, that Pamela is a wet noodle, isn't she?

OK, so they both resist the heartless villain's attempts to win her over. Poor Pamela faints a lot and tries to send letters to people who might be able to help her - the whiny, gorgeous servant girl who is going to be ravished be her eeeevil master. I got to the part where she's sitting around, held prisoner on his lesser property, trying to figure out how to escape. I finally had to give up. So either she escaped or she discovered he wasn't so eeevil. Either way, I didn't actually care so much.

I know, it was a big deal back then to show how the depraved lords could do what they wanted with their servants, but she was so very much a perfect lady who had been raised by a ditchdigger and was a paragon of every virtue. See, if she'd been more common, less educated, less faint-y, I would have appreciated the story a lot more. It was radical that a servant was lauded for resisting her master's eeeevil advances and it was social commentary rather than so much a love story, but Yikes.

And Fanny is pale and shy and lets everyone tromp all over her roughshod, but she manages to resist the seducing villain who eventually runs off with her pretty cousin who was married to a bore. And then she just sighs and weeps while her lunkhead male cousin moans about how the seducing villain's sister has a bad character and he can't possible marry her now, which if he hadn't been so focused on her boobs (presumably: Austen doesn't say boobs), he would have stopped apologizing for long ago. But of course, Fanny's perfect for him, because he's the only one in the family who paid any attention to her and practically raised her himself and taught her how to think. And SQUICK, she's in love with her father figure, who's her first cousin.

Right. So fainting, pliable heroines are fine in the 18th and early 19th centuries. I'm not a huge fan of modern historical novels that show a lady doing everything that would have had her kicked out of society, but I am even less fond of the doormat.

The 2nd novel I finished, the one I haven't started editing yet, had a shy, quiet girl who has been badly treated by her whole family and she has very little self-esteem and she is afraid of a lot of things, but I hope that the reader sees the core of steel, the brains and that all she needs is some encouragement and she can be fabulous. I hope. I'll be trying to balance her head bowed, agreeing with everything, nearly beaten self with what's going on in her head and heart.

Because Pamela and Fanny don't have a whole lot going on in their heads, as far as I can tell.

Next up: Northanger Abbey. I don't remember much about it, to be honest.

Now, if I could only get a handle on what I need to do with the 1st story to make it work, I would get to work on that one.

Because there's a 3rd one building in my head. I wrote a first chapter and have some clear ideas of what to do with it. I've just ordered a book for research purposes.


They told me the wrong class for DS2 for next school year, so I no longer know if he'll have any friends in his class.

Apparently, they had redone the assignments and then were reading off the old list by mistake.

Same supply list, luckily!

oh yeah. the movie.

This is fairly tame. Not like the standing on the unprotected end and cannonballing times that make me think "Oh boy, she's gonna die."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

it fits it fits it fits!

I've lost about 15 pounds since the beginning of the year. I'm not breaking any records, I know, but it's at least going in the right direction. About 15 more and I'll be about where I should. Not skinny, but I have never ever in my life been skinny.

I was getting dressed this .... um... afternoon (yay summer! PJ's all day until I need to go to the store!) and spotted a shirt that I hadn't worn since well before I got pregnant, because I was heavier than I am now before I got PG (nothing worse than STARTING a pregnancy about 30 lbs up. At least i didn't gain as much this time, though I ended up weighing more than I have ever weighed in my life. Look ma! A whale!)

Anyway, where was I? Oh, I spotted a pale turquoise shirt that I love and I put it on and it fit.

Life is good :)

kids' classes

I mentioned it a few times on facebook, but not on here. The boys each have at least one friend in their class next year. DS2 has the teachers that DS1 had for the last 2 years (Or rather, the one he had for almost 2 years and the one that came in as a sub when that teacher went and had a baby - they're each going to be part time, if I understand correctly)

I found this out on Monday morning and by lunch, we had most of the school supplies we need. Still a few things that I'm going to need a craft store or maybe an office supply store for - maybe both stores, sigh - and we're all set.

We got DS2 some new shoes, too. His feet are huge. DS1's are too, and he's about to need new shoes, but he swore he didn't need them yet, so we couldn't get the 2nd pair at half price at Famous Footwear.

So the last few supplies, a haircut or two, and I want to make them a shirt or two each and we're ready for August 17th. (yeah, WAAAAAYYYYYY early, I know)

Bring it on!

Good news!

My English online friend whose son has recently been treated for leukemia (and had a lot of side-effects and a hard time of it) has found out that her son's leukemia is in remission.

So they're going to Disney World. Woot!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

backlist reading fest

I've been reading the Smart Bitches and Candy posted a list of her favorite romance novels. Quite a few are ones I have really liked, so I'm trying to track down some of the other ones. I'm not as huge a fan of Laura Kinsale as she is, but I have liked the books of hers that I have read. (and I have to say that though I love SB Sarah with an almost unhealthy sort of girl love, I am really really happy to see Candy posting more, presumably on summer vacation from law school. Law school. Oh, so that's why they're SMART bitches?).

So anyway, I am trying to track down Kinsale's backlist.

And Loretta Chase's backlist.

The library has some of each, but not all. Most are fairly old in book publishing terms (like, 20 years - even though some have been reprinted since), so I might have to resort to amazon marketplace, even though my bright and shiny Borders gift cards are begging to be spent.

In somewhat related news, I've downloaded Mansfield Park (Jane Austen) from the Gutenberg Project. And it was a pain to get it into the ereader. The format was fine, but I put it in the appropriate file and the Sony software didn't recognize it. The Adobe software didn't recognize it either, but at least it would let me search around for it and add it, even though it was already in the same place as all the other books. (yeesh)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Still thinking of my mom

I am guessing her friend's funeral is today. I hope everything went well and without much drama.

And I still am thinking of my English friend who lost her baby.

And yet life goes on. A high school acquaintance and his wife have a new baby. A different English friend posted a pic of her engagement ring. A friend who was staring down the barrel of divorce a couple of months ago has reconciled with her husband and they seem to be working things out. People are going on vacation and coming home having had a good time. A guy I knew in college has a hernia and not cancer.

Lots of love to my mom. Call me when you get home! (She doesn't give out her cell phone number so I can't call her)