Monday, October 30, 2006

Another weekend in a Hotel

Necronomicon * came and went with narry a ripple of excitement. It was an even balance of good stuff, bad stuff, and oh-who-gives-a-crap stuff.

Good Stuff

1. TAPAS! We had dinner Friday with an assortment, including Evil BookPimp and her hubby, a new friend the Evil Music Pimp (more on that later) and yet another Evil Book Pimp and HER husband. The restaurant was called "Spain" and it was a short walk from the hotel (Yes, I actually LEFT THE HOTEL). It was a clean, white, modern space. We ordered a variety of yummy things and everything I tasted was completely excellent, including a Sangria made with a white wine -- we think it was a riesling -- and a lot of lemons. However, all was not perfect in Spain. Much was ridiculous.

There was live music -- a group of three men, two on guitars and one playing some sort of hand-beaten drum, Spanish style music. It wasn't too bad, except it was TOO LOUD. We were in the rear of the restaurant and were shouting to each other across the narrow table. Then, the music changed and three of us (EBP1, EMP and me) realized they were playing "Careless Whisper". WHAM! Spanish Style? WTF? It was at this moment EMP said "Hey, it could be worse. They could play Stairway to Heaven." They played "Hotel California" instead.

Stairway to Heaven would show up later in the evening. I am not kidding. I have witnesses.

There was also Spanish style service, at least according to the people who'd actually been to Spain. Our server was very nice, very attentive, and very damned hard to find most of the time. We saw two servers working the floor. We could also see about 3 other people, dressed as servers, peeking around the kitchen doorway, or talking on their cellphones. They never once took a step toward a customer except by accident. The meal took over 2 hours. I've had tapas before. They do not take that long to make. It's sort of the point.

But the food was so very excellent. We are now hunting for some place that does such delicious food in our area (ok, in Orlando).

2. Evil Music Pimp

Oddball, or just cheap, cds. I bought the following (because she kept putting stuff out on her table every time I combed it over).

  • Rock Steady - No Doubt
  • Everybody Hertz - Air
  • 100th Window - Massive Attack
  • Amarantine - Enya
  • Sweet Dreams (are made of This) - Eurythmics
  • Medusa - Annie Lennox
  • Reinventing the 80's volume 2 - various
  • All You Can Eat - k.d. lang (this might end up as a present)
  • School House Rock Rocks - various
  • Amplified Heart - Everything But The Girl
  • V for Vendetta soundtrack
  • Hercules soundtrack (the Disney one -- that's for The Husband)
  • One - Dirty Vegas
  • Professional Widow - Tori Amos
  • The Messenger Original Soundtrack - Eric Serra
  • Poptronica Romance - various

Yes, someone else who will take my money while smiling. Yes, I bought some books, too, but mostly oddball reference works.

3. People I hadn't seen in a long while popping up. Some are local friends who just sort of vanished into their own lives. One was Gamera Spinning.

4. A teeny plushy Camel for my collection. I have named him Pitooie.

The Bad

1. The hotel bed felt exactly like Jello with a thick piece of cardboard on top. It was hard, yet wiggly. I have all new joint pain.

2. Slugs. I will not explain. Those who need to know understand. Those who are incurably curious probably would rather not know.

3. Mediocre sales. Hardly a thing moved. Most sales were quicky custom jobs we did in the hotel room over night.

4. Gravity was much heavier all weekend, all over. Things dropped and dropped often.

The Who Gives A Crap

1. This year, the bathrooms tasted/smelled like mints instead of fruits
2. The space for our booth was very narrow, so that I kept knocking things over with my ample hiplitude.
3. My favorite new shirt, found by The Husband, that says "I (Siloette of Godzilla) Tokyo."

Home is a good place. NaNoWriMo starts Wednesday. I have music to supply the muse. Must find munchie food.

*LG -- In this case, Necronomicon refers to Tampa's yearly Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Convention. But you can see a lot of zombies and other mostly dead people meeting, especially on Sunday morning.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I need a drain

for my sinus headache filled head. Why oh why, when I need to pack up everything for leaving early tomorrow morning, to be at a show all weekend where I will be required to smile and talk nicely, do I wake up with a swollen face and a head full of spikes and water balloons and vicious ennui? I'd bite someone, but it would require moving my head.

While I try to avoid taking medication for everything (from the fear that I will become immune to the painkilling effects), there is still an Aleve in my future. And, possibly, chocolate.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Random Thought Chain 40887

Because the Husband wants me to tell you all this.

My butt is loaded and I'm not afraid to use it.

Is that butt loaded?

What else has a butt?

Guns have butts.

Cigarettes have butts.

People put cigarette butts in their mouths.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mercury is falling!

Or whatever it is they use in the digital thermometer I have near our front door. It's COOL again. No, not in that uber-hip, world weary, been there done that way. I mean Open Window Weather. Cool, clear, bright, and very nice. We put a blanket on the bed last night. I kicked it off sometime around 2, I think, but I had most of it by 6 am. Lucky for my husband the cats were on his side of the bed, sharing body heat.

I hope the temperature change settles in and stays. I've got PLANS. I have to do THINGS. Most of these things require me to move around once in a while, maybe even leave the house. I find it all nearly impossible when the weather is hot. Cool suits me.

Of course, it is all relative. This weather might be considered warm somewhere like, oh, I dunno, Toronto. But I like it. I can wear pants and a fuzzy shirt! Weee! The high point of luxury in my life!

Oh, and if you haven't signed up for a month of suffering and celebrating in NaNoWriMo, consider this:

Why are you doing this? What do you get out of it?

NaNoWriMo is all about the magical power of deadlines. Give someone a goal and a goal-minded community and miracles are bound to happen. Pies will be eaten at amazing rates. Alfalfa will be harvested like never before. And novels will be written in a month.

Part of the reason we organize NaNoWriMo is just to get a book written. We love the fringe benefits accrued to novelists. For one month out of the year, we can stew and storm, and make a huge mess of our apartments and drink lots of coffee at odd hours. And we can do all of these things loudly, in front of people. As satisfying as it is to reach deep within yourself and pull out an unexpectedly passable work of art, it is equally (if not more) satisfying to be able to dramatize the process at social gatherings.

But that artsy drama window is woefully short. The other reason we do NaNoWriMo is because the glow from making big, messy art, and watching others make big, messy art, lasts for a long, long time. The act of sustained creation does bizarre, wonderful things to you. It changes the way you read. And changes, a little bit, your sense of self. We like that.

(from the NaNoWriMo FAQ page)

Everyone needs an artsy drama window sometimes. Especially when the weather finally turns cool.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Weekend Roundup

The fine spate of cool weather we had has run out and it is once more Augusty in October. That means the nice flood of high energy I had, which caused me to clean house and organize stuff has also gone. I am now one with my chair again.

I don't like it, but I don't really feel like doing anything about it. That would require getting up.

I'm contemplating doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Last year was a real experience. There are problems, though, one of which being my office is still stacked with boxes that need to be stored/disposed of/emptied. I need to be in my office, if only because the distraction potential is much lower where there is no TV. Any other room in which I would sit to write has a TV in it. If I am in a room with a TV, said TV must be on. I hate having that blank screen staring at me.

The office is not being cleaned out in part because there is no storage for some things (storage is planned but not yet actual) and in part because I am one with my chair and not going to move until the temperature drops and the A/C goes off.

And next week we will be at Necronomicon, and I need to make some Jewelry, but, like everything else, that requires me getting my ass out of this chair and DOING something. It's amazingly difficult.

I also blame The Husband. He decided to load The Sims 2 on his computer, which reminded ME about The Sims, so I have spent the whole week downloading new content and building virtual houses. That's really the only part I like -- running little virtual lives is too much effort, and they whine at me all the time, so I'd rather just build the houses. But that eats up HOURS of my time. It's terrible.


Hey, you, up north! Send our cool weather back! 90 degrees is RIDICULOUS for October.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday night, The Husband and I attended a reading by David Sedaris. If you haven't been so lucky as to hear David Sedaris read his own work, either on NPR or on This American Life, or if you've not read any of his short stories or books, you've missed far too much. He is easily the funniest writer running around loose today.

He's also a very short, unassuming looking guy. His hair is too short or his ears are a little big. Last night he stood behind a very large podium that had a large microphone set up on two supports in a triangle. The mike itself was round and black. From my seat in the central orchestra section, I saw a weird effect. Whenever he looked down to read from his manuscript -- which was much of the time -- the microphone centered on his face like a huge black cartoon nose. Given that he's already pretty funny -- his delivery, his raised eyebrow, his manner of underlining his already funny words with more meaning by his tone and emphasis -- and the fact that he has a rather high, nasel voice, and it was all side splitting. He might consider getting himself a black foam nose for those audiences that aren't getting it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

And While I'm Bitching...

To all makes of documentaries and TV shows that show historical recreation:

When are, for instance, looking for someone who can make a log boat for transporting your giant monolithic stone, do NOT check in the phone book for "ANCIENT LOG BOAT MAKERS". Why not, ask you? Two reasons:

Reason 1) BECAUSE NO ONE MAKES ANCIENT ANYTHING. When someone makes a log boat, or a hand forged ax head, or a shirt of chain maille, it's NEW. Every item ever made was NEW when it was made, and became ANCIENT when it sat around for a while.

Reason 2) When you say "Ancient Log Boat Maker", what you are REALLY saying is the guy who is making your log boat is REALLY FREAKING OLD.

This would be funny if I'd only heard such a remark once or twice, but noooooo. Apparently, when you make something using a historical instead of a modern method, it is automatically an ancient thing, or, possibly, all those young guys and girls I see who are hand carving or hand forging stuff are REALLY all hiding these damned ugly pictures of themselves in closets somewhere. I want to find someone at Discover or History Channel and smack them with a copy of "The Elements of Style" until they cut it the hell OUT.

The Perfect Comeback

It's no secret that I am a fan of the giant, baggy shirt. When friends or family want to buy me a shirt and ask for my size, I usually answer "If I can't get my arms and my legs inside it, it isn't big enough." Thus, I own a lot of t-shirts. Only a few actually meet my criteria, and I wear those to rags (really. I have two shirts currently that would make my dad proud, as they have about enough fabric to keep the holes together.)

For that reason, I also eschew the fashion torture device known as "the bra". If you can't tell I have KNEES inside my giant shirt (and shorts), then you certainly won't notice I have breasts. And if you do, well, lots of people have breasts. I wear a bra when I must, but in general, if it's a giant T-shirt situation, I go without.

And I'm waiting. I'm waiting for the day someone dares make a remark about my bra-less condition. You see, I have the perfect response just waiting, made up the way you make up the perfect comeback long after the incident where someone said that "thing" to you -- you know perfectly well what I mean. But I am thinking again. I can picture it, exactly.

"You forgot to wear your bra!"

"And you forgot to wear your muzzle!"

In fact, that remark can be used as a response to almost anything, now that I think about it. Feel free to make use of it whenever a smart ass remark is required. Like anything for which one prepares ahead of time, I'll never get the change to say it and mean it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Because All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

Ah, the wonder of referral logs.

Oh good lord, I hope not! Someone has been watching too much Boomerang. I am scarred.

husband started duck lips in sleep
I can not think of a single thing to say about this. I don't think anyone needs to say a thing. Just wake that man up.

finding a doctors in tijuana writing a pain prescription 2006

I'm sure they do. It's catching them in the act that's the hard part.

Those are about the most interesting ones to show up today. Everything else is someone researching a health problem. I have obviously complained about my snot condition far too much -- which, by the way, is dwindling away. Any moment now I could get my voice back.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

No Kids, No Animals

Last night's gig was...interesting. It was a birthday party of a friend's sister, in a rented hall and with a pirate theme (yo ho ho and all that). Miss P and I found out that part shortly after we arrived. Next, no one was quite sure what to do with us. The hall had a little stage at one end and that was where we were put. Right next to us was set up a plastic perch for 4 lovely tropical birds -- pets of the birthday girl and, of course, pirate decoration. Three were Eclectus - very sweet birds, actually (especially compared with my own Demon Bird), in particular the one named Ava who took a liking to me and huddled on my shoulder a long while.

Of course, where you have animals, you attract children. There were several kids at the party, who clustered around the stage to talk to and about the birds, try to pet them, try to feed them, etc. There were also about 30 adults at tables, all laughing, drinking, talking -- you know, partying. We were, in effect, two odd looking women miming a singing duo. That's ok, if you like mimes.

We were on a stage at one end of what had seemed a good room when mostly empty. We were unamplified and inaudible. Remember, too, that I am still reasonably voiceless (I can pull it out for singing if I must, but it wasn't great. My head felt like it was loaded with Quik-set cement.) So, we sang our first set knowing that maybe 10 people could hear us and perhaps 4 of those cared. One man actually walked up while we were singing to inform us that he could not hear us and no one at his table could hear us, and couldn't we maybe sing louder? My first thought was maybe he and his friends could laugh and yell more quietly, but I didn't say that. Miss P was rather shocked that he did it while we were both singing. I put it down to the Jamacian beer being served.

We gave up through the second set, ate some really delicious carrot cake, collected $100 each, and went home. Really, not that bad a night.

Today, I am back to fulfilling my Indian Name -- Croaks with Big Toads.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bring Me the Head of Kermit D. Frog

so I can give him back his vocal cords. I won't use the world "Ironic", mostly because since that Alanis Morrisette song I'm never sure I know what it means, but...I have a gig tonight with Miss P. I'm supposed to sing and someone is supposed to give me money. However, I have firmly stopped-up ears and a voice still reminiscent of one of those parties you don't really remember but have the bail receipt and the court date ticket for.

Other than that, I feel pretty good.

Today I went in to work and Bosszilla had a little task for me. Last month we got a contract from a Most Favored Customer that was all full of weasley words and tricky paragraphs, and I had to write a letter protesting those. A month later, we still haven't gotten a satisfactory answer, so Bosszilla decided the best defense was to be offensive and just rewrite the contract. That's where I come in. I get to do the rewrite, which means I also get to retype. Oh joy, oh rapture.

First, I should point out this is a 50 page contract. Second, only portions of it are written in grammatical sentences. I don't have a copy of Strunk and White at the office, but I will be remedying that shortly. I was using every online resource I could access because, DAMN, I needed to DIAGRAM some of these mishmashed paragraphs to find a freaking VERB. Of course, being good legalese, it's all passive voice. It never uses a pronoun when a 16 word specific designation will do. I spent 15 minutes parsing out the use of "That" and "Which", and another 15 comparing "Affect" to "Effect". I've got reasonably good grammar instincts, but I always check on the trickier stuff. I find my commitment to subject/object cosntruction is intensified. We make parts. They buy parts. Sign here.

I also rewrote the "Force Majuere" paragraph (that's a fancy French adopted Legal term for "Acts of God") to include terrorist attacks and govermental decrees. A year ago, I would have thought banning bottled water on airplanes impossible. Now, I don't put anything past 'em. Whatever it is, we ain't liable. I figure that's a safe stance. I can easily picture some loony putting explosives into a box of electronic parts and trying to ship it via truck, thus causing Homeland Security to institute the "Intrastate and Interstate Truck and Transport Inspection" act.

Oh, and that was page 6. Of 50. Did I mention it was a 50 page contract? Yes, it's a 50 page contract. And I'm on page 6. I think I shall be busy next week, too.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

New from Planet Snotball

Well, ok, I'm getting passed the snotball stage. I am now more like a mass of snot pellets. I have spent the last two days filling a trash can with gooey Kleenex because I'm special like that. Today, having determined that I was only perhaps 50% contagious, I went to work. My ears are stuffed up and I am using my frog voice (not a cute Kermet D. Frog voice, but a serious, chain smoking, whiskey drinking, leather wearing, tattood forehead frog voice). Still, I made it through the morning without any serious mishaps (as far as I know.) I didn't fall asleep on my computer and I only used maybe 7 Kleenexes from the box I keep at my desk. That's progress.

My boss seemed happy to see me, judging by the number of memos he had lined up and his desire for me to go online to buy him a grill. He'd already been to the website and printed the pages, so I don't know why he didn't buy it right then and there, but that's how it goes. He handed me his AmEx and ran to an appointment. I didn't even think about adding anything for myself -- I mean, I had his card and everything -- not because I'm so dreadfully honest and all that, but because it was hard enough just managing what he asked. Getting creative was beyond me. I didn't even fantasize about it until 3 hours after I put the card back on his desk.

I caught him today actually learning to use AOL email because he's been dragged into Fantasy Football by his son. Just a skant few months ago he swore loudly he would never learn to use a computer. It won't be long now until he is managing his own Netflix account and ordering his stuff from Amazon himself. I'd better polish up my resume.

From my day:

The Husband: I need you to sign this refund check.
Me: Ok
The Husband: A whole $1.85
Me: Hey, that's my $1.85 and I want it.
The Husband: (laugh)
Me: Do you know how many Diet Pepsies I can buy with that?
The Husband: Three.
Me: Yeah, and some days that's important.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Just call me Snotty

Something unexpected from our trip arrived at our house last week and has been residing with us ever since.

Germs. A virus, in fact. It attacked The Husband first, surprisingly enough, and now it has turned its slimy eyes toward me. Oh yes, glorious. It was surprising that it got him at all, since he is usually immune and I'm the wuss. I'm a little concerned that it was just warming up on him and now that it has its act down, it's going to blow me over and laugh. Germs do that. I've been doing so well the last year or so, and now...ah well. I am Snotball.

Of course, I am supposed to be singing with Miss P at a party on Friday. Talk about perfect timing. Excuse me while I rehearse my elephant imitation.