Friday, December 31, 2004

Good Ideas for a New Year

Solly and others have a good idea -- encouraging Google to turn over funds raised from their AdSense program to tsunami relief. I've sent in my email and if they do it, I'll join AdSense and you'll see little Google ads showing up here. That would be something I can do, because this disaster will not go away soon. This is going to take years. When it falls off the media screen, those people will still be trying to rebuild from nothing. So send an email to Google -- use Sol's boilerplate, since he said it well, or make up your own.

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The end of another year. We are invited to two parties -- two! How did this happen? If I would just stay in the house and not talk to people, I'd never be promising to drive around on New Years Eve. I'd be home watching Godzilla movies (my personal New Year's Tradition).

New Year -- an arbitrary division of time. The whole millenium thing a few years ago, with people predicting doomsdays of various kinds, was just another example of how we give meaning to things that have none, really. Time is a thing apart from our measurement of it, after all. Most people don't realize that hours, minutes, years, centuries -- they are not time, but only units we use to measure time, because we are humans and exist in a finite reality that requires beginnings, endings, and durations in between. There's nothing in particular that makes this day the end of anything, or tomorrow the beginning of anything, except that point so long ago someone decided we'd count from. Check the history of the calendar if you don't believe how arbitrary this all is -- Roman Ceasars and Catholic Popes, among others, have fiddled and diddled around with our method of accounting for the days.

On the other hand, this gives the individual certain power. While there is a lot of power in mass agreement and belief (again, you can check that with your own experience), since things are really arbitrary, you can make a beginning or an ending of anything in your own life whenever you want, and count your days accordingly. New Year is a concept you can apply at any time you need it -- you don't need to wait until December 31st. But when it comes to resolutions, most of us don't think of them until this time of year.

And there is that positive side -- we've set aside at least one day of the year to think about our past and contemplate our future, to resolve things and to try to make them happen. Personally, I like the idea of pausing on each equinox and solstice to review and revise resolutions -- as the seasons change around me, my personal seasons change, and what was important 3 months go may not be important now.

I don't need to recite this past year right now -- I wrote about it or thought about it already. I had times good and bad, decisions made or ignored, chances taken or missed. Anyway, I've been comtemplating my resolutions for a good 2 weeks now, and here they are.

1) Keep my house clean by scheduling all the tasks that need doing, and trying to adhere to that schedule.
2) Improve my health by reducing processed sugars and fats, walking at least 2 hours each week or riding the stationary bike, and making space and time for yoga practice.
3) Return to my writing practice by not putting it off or letting mood or inconvenience distract me.
4) Send some of my damn stories off to be accepted or rejected, as fate dictates, but sending them out! Get over being scared and devastated by the thought of rejection. Do what I need to do to give myself confidence and keep writing.
5) Continue participation in the chorus and other activities that get me out of the house and with people I like doing things I like.
6) Don't promise other people too much until I'm exhausted and retreat again. I don't have to bleed to make people like me.
7) Remember my husband is a man with whom I want to share a life, not a project I'm supposed to complete. He will achieve his right state of being, whatever it is, if I love and help him, but I don't get to chose that state.

Those are pretty good, I think. I even got my degree into the act by including a "How" for each resolutions -- one of those business psych classes I took pointed out that in setting a goal you need to chart how to reach that goal. Then your chance of success is better. It took me long enough to get that degree and I use it every chance I get, since it seems I'm not going to use it in the "normal" way as resume fodder.

To each of you who visit here, and to the unknown hordes who know nothing of me, I wish that this year brings you growth and learning, change and improvement, and everything you need to continue your creation of yourself, and that you take all the opportunities of beginnings -- and endings -- you find. Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Whining

I can't even look at the news today. I just can't. If I sold everything I owned and devoted my life to helping, I couldn't make much inpact. I don't really want to do that, either.

I am, however, counting out the change in my change jar (don't laugh, I save a lot of quarters).

In other news...It MUSt be freaking time for the chiropractor, which I don't wanna do because it costs money I don't have. My head it aching down to the middle of my spine and I keep having flashes on my retinas. This is damned annoying. This has been a pricy month, and not just Christmas either. My car needed two new tires, the dryer has to be repaired, there are assorted medical bills to be paid and while I love the two dresses and the bits and pieces I bought for the trip, I could have scraped by without them and saved the money for other things. I bought em on sale so I can't return them.

Mostly my head hurts. Hurts too much to try to sleep it off. Two Aleve aren't helping as much as I'd like them to, and I'm slipping into a dark well of self pity. Feh. I don't even feel much like having my own pity party. I feel like I need to get my vertebrae back in line. Fucking things are deformed, I think. Why should a spine go "out of alignment"? I mean, it's designed to line up, isn't it?

Feh. Maybe I just need a meal. It's been a good 14-15 hours now and I'm not hungry and I didn't finish even drinking my juice this morning. Did do dishes and make some attempts to clean around here. Played Sims for an hour. Did the morning online reading. Bitched and moaned here. Yeah, I seem to be on schedule.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

And on the personal disaster front

Our dryer has died.

I noticed yesterday after tossing in a load of wet stuff that, after two hours of tumbling, it was still wet. It was COLD and wet. Ever the optimist, I reset the dryer and let it tumble more. It was slightly less wet and cold when I checked it.

I've been through this one before. Dead heating element. Call Sears. They can show up next week.

I have wet laundry. I don't have a clothes line (they are not permitted by deed in our neighborhood). This means there is a laundry mat in my future.

I don't like laundry mats. I have been spared them most of my life (except for a couple of apartment buuilding laundry rooms). Laundry mats are strange places peopled with folks with little regard for my underwear. I fear that, while reading my trash novel and waiting for the spin cycle, someone will leap upon the dryer where my precious things have just taken their final turn and toss them onto the floor, even if I leave my laundry basket sitting right there. I don't like digging for quarters under the seats of my car. I don't like checking my dryer sheet to see if it has one more cycle in it, or cramming as much into one washer as I can because I only have so much soap, thus creating grey (or even more terrifying, pale pink) everything.

I'm almost 40 and I did all that already. I make house payments and buy my own machines just so I can skip all that.

Another disaster is the immenent de-Christmastizing of the house.

I love the decorating. Everything looks so warm and festive and picture perfect. I love the lights in the windows and the silk poinsettas (Hey, I have cats) and the smell of cinnamon spice.

When I take it all down is the moment I realize I need a new storage box. After Christmas is NOT the time to shop for storage boxes. It is also the time to realize the teeny tiny attic space we have under our huge roof (I don't get it -- we have a HUGE roof, and far too much space open to the house under it -- Cathedral Ceilings should be restricted to Cathedrals. In houses, they suck) yet, due to the strange conjuntion of our rafters, crawling through our attic requires contortionist's skills and no hips. Hips cannot get into our attic (techically, atticS, plural, as there are three of them, quite separate, none very large and none terribly good for storage. That's Florida for ya.)

Anyway, taking down the Christmas stuff is depressing. On the positive side, the mothballs under the Christmas Tree saved my ornaments from Bea-predation. She only broke one this year and I don't think she hid any.

I am also spending too much time playing Sims 2. I should be ashamed of myself, really.

La La La

Despite the fact that my overwhelming response to the growing disaster in SE Asia is to stick my fingers in my ears, close my eyes and sing "LA LA LA LA LA" loudly, some news does creep in. LIke this little note from Dan.

Nothing humbles and shakes us like a disaster, when our illusions about ourselves and our lives come smack up against the indifference and power of our planet. Whether you are at the epicenter or safely tucked in your bed at home, if you are aware at all, you feel that humility and that fear.

I"m trying not to pay attention because guilt will crush me. I can't really donate money to them. I'm going on a cruise, planned months ago, paid for months ago, and that's where my money went. There ain't no more. So I"m putting my personal pleasure above helping desperate people.

Of course, in reality we are all doing that, since there are desperate people everywhere, all the time. Once you head down that road, you've got a few choices -- become another Mother Theresa, kill yourself because of the inability to be another Mother Theresa, or just stick your fingers in your ears when it gets to be too much and self-preserving instincts overcome altruistic impulses.

I really recommend "LA LA LA LA", although old TV theme songs work, too.


UPDATE: Solly has a list of places to give, if you are so inclined and able. I've been seeing reactions pop up on other sites as well -- Sole Prop and Rien, for instance.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Post Holiday Vegetation

It wasn't so bad. Everyone behaved and unpleasantness was avoided, often through keeping people in separate rooms or even separate houses (Husband's aunt lives just around the corner from Mother In Law).

However, I got Sims 2. I played for, oh, about 14 hours straight. Now, Husband (unable to resist because 1) I have impeccable taste in games 2) because anything he says he has no interest in will become interesting as soon as I stay up all night playing it) is playing, as I demonstrate my great love for him by surrendering the playing disc into his hands. Ah, the sacrifices I make for my marriage.

So I've been a vegetable since about 4 pm Christmas day. Happy me, I don't have to work tomorrow either, so I can waste another day telling little video animated people how to live their lives. They listen only slightly better than real people. However, unlike real people, I can wall them up in little cages until they die if they piss me off. Their pitiful little cried are nothing to me. Besides, the reaper animation is kinda neat.

Oh, I also got the Annotated Sherlock Holmes. I'll be reading that for a while, although the volumes are large so they don't travel. There were a few other trinkets, and one really beautiful item from MIL -- a family heirloom of a box shaped like a large book, made with inlaid wood everywhere. I wish I knew the history of it because it really IS beautiful. It has a tiny skeleton key lock, but no key, so I'm thinking of hitting the local antique restoration hardware market in search of a key that fits.

Good Christmas. I'm going to go kick Husband off of Sims now.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Pre-holiday tension

The prospect of spending the entirity of Christmas with relatives I hardly know isn't exactly filling me with boundless energy. I don't like going places on Christmas Eve, for one thing. My favorite way to spend Christmas Eve is cuddled in bed or on the couch with Husband, with hot tea and all my favorite Christmas movies.

Oh, I've got a load of favorites -- White Christmas, Miracle on 34th street (both versions), A Christmas Carol (the Alaistar Sim version), Meet me in St. Louis (not technically a Christmas movie, but still). Hell, I even like watching Die Hard -- action movies in the Christmas vein are unusual, to say the least.

I will also watch "It's a Wonderful Life". I haven't seen it the millions of times so many people have. I still enjoy it. I don't enjoy as much the multiple variations and remakes. I like Jimmy Stewart and that's it.

I don't know if we will be able to spend Christmas our prefered way at this point, with all the driving and the hours of sitting and trying to think of non-offensive, non-controversial, non-opinionated things to say. I'm tempted to take movies with me on Saturday and sneaking away with my laptop to watch them in a quiet corner somewhere. At least that way I won't get anyone riled up -- I'm sure they will be watching football or something anyway...*sigh*

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

What is cool?

The brilliant (and usually cool) Rob posed this question to himself and the world at large, which sent me to pondering -- just what is this "cool" thing spoen of so much? Why do we aspire to be "cool"? And how does one do it anyway?

I've not tried to be cool since I realized I wasn't and never really would be, as cool is decided by others. You don't get to pick these others, either. In fact, I'm not sure how they get selected to be the arbitrators of "cool". No one ever asks me to vote. I don't drive a "cool" car, live in a "cool" area, wear "cool" clothes, or do anything "cool".

And, honestly, when I consider it, I can't see the attraction.

Obviously, to be "cool" is to be admired by others, often by those you don't really know. Admired almost slavishly, in that those others will try to copy what you do, be where you are, say wht you say, etc. Once they start getting your act down, you must change your act so as to make them "uncool", inasmuch as you are only really "cool" when there are the "uncool" around you, setting off your diamond bright blaze with their cubic zirconia twinkle.

It gets more complicated. You can declare yourself "cool" if you can persuade other people who are "cool" that you are "cool". However, you can lose your status if a group of them back off and cancel it, or if one of them becomes "uncool". I swear, balancing a controlled nuclear reaction is simple compared to this stuff. If a "cool" person has enough cachet, they can be caught doing something "uncool" and convert it to "cool". If not, they are doomed to fall. IT's like playing follow the leader in a circle -- no one is really sure who's leading and everyone eventually looks stupid, unless you want into the circle.

That's what it is, isn't it? Belonging? The whole admiration thing is about acceptance. To be declared cool -- and have it stick -- is the height of acceptance. People who don't know you want to know you. You are confident, you have high self-esteem, you are successful.

Until you move passed the whole thing. It does come to an end, and if you don't have self-confidence that stands beyond what others think, you are doomed to searching out the elusive "cool" forever, until you become a sad, pitiable creature wearing the latest trend on an increasingly support-hose-worthy body.

I've never been cool, and, blessed be, managed to stop worrying and being miserable about it some time back (I found completely new things to worry and be miserable about). I am free of the pretense of coolness, and wallow luxuriantly in my not-giving-a-flying-fuckedness.

So -- how many of YOU are cool?

Monday, December 20, 2004

All kinds of appealing

For Florida, it's freaking ass cold. It's 3 in the afternoon and our high today was 49 degreens (That 9 celcius for you in civilized areas). Mind you, last week it was in the mid 70's, so this is quite a swing down the thermometer. They are expecting freezing temperatures tonight.

I live in the subtropics for a reason. It isn't SUPPOSED to get cold like this. We aren't constructed for it. I don't own the right socks, for one thing (well, I do, but I have to dig them out of storage.) This place is designed for temps in the 90's.

I guess it just comes on top of the hurricanes. Our roof is scheduled for repair in January. Whooo hoo! Lots of our neighbors still have blue tarps . They reflect the Christmas lights nicely.

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Strangest realization of the weekend -- now that I'm more or less turning into the person I was becoming back before the Big Dark Depression, Husband is having some difficulties adjusting. He's spent the last few years dealing with Dark, Drab, Depressed Sherri and my gear shift in the last few weeks has left him sort of paddling around in the shallow end, wondering what happened.

Never thought of that. Depression is a family affair.

Anyway, my house is pleasingly clean and organized. It smells good and everything. I'm so jazzed about this that I'm baking. Oh no, making 4 apple pies (and yes, I actually peel and slice the apples and make the filling myself. The only modern convenience I use is the Insta-Piecrust because...well, damn, it takes magic I don't have to make a pie crust from scratch and why torment myself? Who knew combining flour and shortening could be so DIFFICULT?) I even pressed the poor Husband-man into housework. I think he's recovering still.

Now I'm slowing down a bit, relaxing more, and thinking about that room across the house where I'm supposed to write. I want to write. I'm feeling ansey about it. I'm gonna put dishes in the dishwasher, a load of towels in the washing machine, and then... I think I'll read a book. Yeah. Haven't done THAT in a week or more. Might watch a movie ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Haven't done THAT in even longer.

My thoughts are actually skipping right past Christmas (which is not shaping up into a day I'm going to enjoy) to January, when Husband and I will be CRUISING. The whole idea of a week on a cruise ship, traveling through the Carribean, is all kinds of appealing.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

You Really Like Me!

WOW! Big grin! WHOO HOO!

Kevin over at Hidden City just make my day, and possibly my week, by sending me two (That's TWO) DVD's from my wish list! Sunset Boulevard ("I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille...") and a Godzilla double feature!

I really am grinning like an idiot. There's not much that delights me more than knowing someone thinks nice things about me. Getting cool DVDs just tops it off! Thank you, Kev! Thank you very, very, VERY much!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Strange Energies

I've been cleaning house with fiendish intensity the last few days. This is highly unlike me. I'm more the "sit in a pile of my own accumulated filth and flip channels" sort. But this cleaning thing has gone on for WEEKS. I've had episodes where I've been overcome with disgust and cleaned up a room or two. I've had the week of "pre-mom" panic cleaning. It's this strange new thing that has me boggled.

I'm serious . I was up last night at 11:30 pm folding laundry that had lived happily in a basket for over 2 weeks. Coming home for lunch today, I grabbed a broom and swept away cobwebs forming around the the little sidelight by the door -- they've easily been there since July or so. I got HAPPY when the floor was finally mopped to my satisfaction. This is just not normal Sherri "Housework Kills" behavior. I've given my vacuum cleaner a pet name, and I LOOOOOOOOVEEEE my Swifter Duster.

Husband and I have been theorizing. If (for some esoteric reason) you've read this weblog for any length of time, you know that my Mother-in-law (MIL) has finally moved into her own Florida home and will no longer be an occupation force in my home for the winter. This happened at the end of October. She is now firmly entrenched in her new home, getting settled into her new life, and we see her about once a week or so for lunch or to help with some project. My house is MINE. The room that once -- quite literally -- had a brass plaque on it procaliming "Mom's Room" has that plaque no longer, and is MY OFFICE. Getting that together has changed everything.

So the theory goes that, now I no longer have "panic cleaning" in my life, now that I no longer hybernate in the bedroom for 3 months, keeping my head down and my mouth closed while MIL runs the world, I've finally -- after 10 years and 10 months -- got a HOME OF MY OWN. No more "out of bounds" areas. No more storing stuff for other people. No more feeling like an unwelcome guest for a quarter of the year.

And, damn it, MY HOUSE will be clean. At least most of it. The bedroom still looks like I live here. Then again, I've NEVER managed to have a clean bedroom for more than a few days at a time (it's the place I go to unload everything, and I read in bed a lot so there are always piles of books and magazines next to the bed). Still, I'm thinking I can change that. I am pleased with my house. I WANT it to be clean and sweet smelling. I want it for ME, not to avoid the frowning looks and disapproving comments of someone else. It's freaking amazing how removal of a negative incentive brings back the energy.

The only downside is neglect of my writing practice, but I'm not terribly worried about that. I have to make time to do that, and I have been using that time -- not to stare mindlessly at a computer or tv screen, but to improve my life and my environment. I'm always happiest when my house is mostly tidy and clean, with just enough messy spots that I don't feel scared to eat in the living room.

Of course, this new trend of sitting at an actual table on an actual chair may take some getting used to.

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We are going on a cruise in a few weeks -- at least theoretically, as our tickets haven't arrived despite the huge dent in our credit card. This is a real, actual, 10 day cruise to the Carribean. One of those cruises where you dress up in evening-wear for dinner.

I bought dresses. I mean dresses -- one is burgundy georgette with beading and this incredible velvet trench coat, the other is a plum velvet with silk inserts at the skirt. They are the kind of dresses usually called "gowns". I have to wear heels and stockings (well, cheater stockings -- I hate and abominate pantyhose) and make sure my pits are shaved and ALL that. I need sparkly jewelry. I may even need a freaking EVENING BAG (the two I have are roughly 40 years old and were my mother's...I'm afraid of them. My mom didn't have a lot of evening functions and these bags weren't intended to last this long. They may bio-degrade at any second.)

There are still some other items to purchase, like another pair of dress shoes (Mine are pretty ratty at this point).

Here's the kicker -- I will have to take approximately three pieces of luggage. I no longer OWN three pieces of luggage. I gave away my set to a friend because I had gotten one of those rollaway bags and never used the rest. Suddenly, I need a bag just to carry FREAKING SHOES.

I'm not a shoe whore. I have friends who are shoe whores, who grow faint at the smell of new leather, who have more shoes than they have bobby pins or eyeshadow or old ex-boyfriend stories combined. I buy a shoe, I wear a shoe, it falls apart and goes to the back of the closet in retirement. I have big ol' feet that don't LIKE shoes much. I go barefoot most of the time, actually, unless it's blisteringly hot or freezingly cold.

But I will need, by my reckoning, at least 5 pairs of shoes for this trip. I will need a shoe I can walk a lot in (either my trainers or my walking boots), a pair of everyday shoes for shipboard days, a pair of not-that-dressy-but-sort-of-dressy shoes, and at least two pairs that go with my dresses. I will possibly need some sandles for beach-ish activity. I'll need shoes in case it gets cold (and, at sea, it does -- I've cruised in winter before.) I'll need shoes I can wear when it's hot. Foot comfort is a big deal to me. I'm in trouble here, folks!

Men have all purpose shoes. My husband figures he can get buy, even pushing it, with black dress, brown dress, trainers and slide-ons. He could conceiveably skip the brown dress shoes.

Eh, it's not that I'm precisely COMPLAINING, mind you, I'm just facing a problem I've never considered before IN MY LIFE. I have little experience in shoe-packing, shoe-outfit matching, and shoe chosing. I can't really judge what is and isn't necessary. I am not shoe-coordinated.

Maybe I'll just get some of those rubber-soled socks and crouch so my long skirts cover them...

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Post Concert Pale Blues

Ah, yes, it is over. Three concerts in two days is hard work. My legs and feet are very unhappy with me over the whole thing. We had to stand a lot more this concert than last. That's just brutal, standing for an hour at a time.

But, everything went wall all three performances. No significant mistakes, no terrible events. People laughed at the right points and applauded a lot. We got standing ovations at both evening performances and a slightly "rigged" one at the matinee. The "sing along Halleluja Chorus" went off well, but Mr. Director asked everyone to stand to sing along. He forgot that this would leave people standing afterwards, since it was our finale.

Singing with my ensemble went really well each time. I got a lot of compliments from people who've never really heard me sing (except as part of the larger group). I'm debating attempting a solo, and I've been asked by one member to consider a duet. We shall see. Now I've got three weeks before rehearsals start again.

Oh, and Solonor showed up! I haven't seen him in 11 or more years, when we met through a mutual friend, and only in the last year have we started chatting via blog and email. I'm trying to talk him into auditioning for the group. Gay-friendly people are a plus in this chorus. That straight folk will stand and be identified as "gay" takes some of the sting out of it, I think. There are those who feel that it dilutes "identity", but my feeling is it is better to be an individual rather than a minority demographic. If those easy lables get mixed up and messed with, all the better. It makes those folks who like lables have to pause before they speak.

Aside that, the group is a lot of fun. I had more fun this time than last concert, despite my swollen ankles and painful knees. I had a real blast. I feel like part of the group. Husband is working in the support section and we both are making friends and developing a *gasp* social life.

Now it is time to start ernestly cleaning the house for the holidays. Ugh. However, I will be happy to have my house tidy because I'm proud of my home and want to have friends over without having them step over and around things, or not have a clear chair to sit in or a table clean enough to put a plate on. So, tomorrow, entry and dining room and library. Them's my goals for Monday. Tuesday, kitchen. Wednesday, back yard. Thursday, front yard. Friday, family room. Saturday will be the bathrooms, and that should be plenty to carry us through to January. Weeee.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

A mystery

Somehow I've managed to be very busy without anything intereasting (aka record worthy) taking place. For example:

All the bookshelves are done and in place and filled. The highlight -- husband whacking himself in the forehead with a board, for no apparant reason.

Christmas tree up, fireplace mantle decorated, lights up in the dining room window. Highlight -- the mystery light strand that worked until I changed a bulb.

Christmas Concert Rehearsals are over and tonight is the first performance. Lots of highlights, all of the 'you had to be there' variety. Oh, and I have a sore throat (of course).

I suppose, after surveying the other weblogs and journals I read regularly, that in order to have something to write about, I must have

1) a negative experience about which I can rant
2) a negative experience about which I can be bitingly sarcastic and funny
3) a negative experience in which I can display my dazzling wit
4) a negative experience that makes me feel miserable
5) a positive experience that is extreme, or somehow funny

It's hard to write about general contentment, happiness, or just the mundanity of living one day after another. I don't see my life in the appropriate terms, I suppose.

Oh, I am looking forward to our cruise in January, and trying very hard not to daydream about it. I guess that will have some memorable events, although I'd really perfer that nothing bad happen to be annoying.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Scattered Bits

It's been a fruitful and busy week of what looks to be a busy month. The OCG has two concerts tomorrow, next week is rehearsal and worry and next week it's THE BIG DEAL. After that, I may collapse.

No tree up yet. My room is still a mess, but ONE book shelf is finished. Two more to go.

Most of my time is spent writing, reviewing, thinking about writing, reading, fussing with the pens in my new pen cup (office supplies, whoo hoo!) and writing. It's promising to get a little chilly tonight (by Florida standards, mind you).

Three movies I ordered showed up today -- "The Big Sleep", "Key Largo", and "Meet Me in St. Louis". Yeah, I'm planning a little film fest for myself as soon as I get some hours. Watched "The Big Sleep" again tonight and finally realized that the sense of completion is completely false -- yeah, we learn who killed who, but why? That's sort of fuzzy. Not that this is a big revelation to anyone who's seen the film, but it was news to me. I always was so entranced watching Boghart and Bacall that I forgot all about "plot". Now, that's great acting!

Got one of the "lost" stories retyped and revised today. So, from my summer hard drive disaster, I've only one story to recover from the printed version. The retyping is interesting -- just like I have retyped the work of classic authors to use as scripts and learn a lot by the act of "writing" their words, retyping my own stuff pointed out a lot of things that just didn't show up when I was reading it. I'm kinda looking forward to it.

Ok, that's my life caught up. How about you?