Winter Sunday Stats #5: Surviving the Big Freeze.

It’s 8 degrees here as I start this post at a few minutes before 9, but my Dashboard weather widget says it’s going to get to 19 today.  When it breaks 20, I’m going streaking.

In the house, of course.  While everyone else is at church.  You think I’m crazy?

Junior just woke up singing “Hosty the Ho-Man,” his own version of “Frosty the Snow Man” but starting every word with the letter H.  Now it’s “Dosty the Dough-Man,” which may be more age-appropriate.

Yesterday I took the kids to the best child’s birthday party ever, for one of the girls in Unfocused Girl’s class.  The Green Eyed Siren was still sick, running what seems to be her 453rd straight day of fever, so she stayed home to rest (and post on her new blog).  Why was it the best birthday party ever?  First, the whole family was invited, which meant that Junior didn’t have to stay home and be miserable.  Second, the party started at a production of Dr. Doolittle — the girl’s parents had bought out a section of the theater — which, given our kids’ current obsession with animals, was a guaranteed hit and even kept Junior in his seat.  Finally, after the play, we all (50+ people) adjourned to girl’s parents’ lovely Italian restaurant for a full buffet dinner, including an open bar.

Let me repeat that:  a child’s birthday party, with calamari, pumpkin ravioli, and an open bar.  There were chicken nuggets and french fries, too, so even Junior had something he was willing to eat.  Not that he did, much.

I didn’t get to make much use of the bar myself because I had to drive, although if I’d realized we were going to be there for close to three hours I’d have allowed myself a glass or two of wine early on.  The only downside to the party was the length; it was a little rough on Junior, since there was no place to run around.  All in all, though, they had a great time, and I was generally able to relax.

Because the Siren felt so crummy, we had to cancel on an old college friend and her daughter.  The last time we saw them, the daughter was an infant; now they’re here for her college interview.   Instead, we watched The Librarian:  Return to King Solomon’s Mines, from the best (and only) adventure movie series where a liberal arts geek (22 university degrees!) is the hero.  The kids loved it, because it’s an Indiana Jones knock off with less gore.  It’s the second in the series — we have the third on our DVR as well, and may watch that later in the weekend.

On Writing: I haven’t gotten much done on Meet the Larssons since I posted on Thursday night.  I’m still on page 142, but there are three handwritten pages attached to it now.  I will finish rewriting this chapter eventually, but it’s a rough one.  I’m pulling out a major turning point in the original story, and instead building up later conflicts with some foreshadowing (which is what I’m in the middle of) and a dinner date that was canceled in the first draft but is going to proceed in the rewrite.  Not having gone out for a romantic dinner with the Siren in a very long time, I’m afraid that writing that scene will tax my (already limited) creativity.

I haven’t worked on “Jamie’s Story” at all this week, because I’m trying to make more headway on Meet the Larssons.  I expect to go back to it in a week or two, once I’ve gotten through this chapter.  Same with Project Hometown — I need to get back some momentum on MTL.

I am especially glad to have joined my novelists’ support discussion group this week, because the Absolute Write forums have been down for days.  I don’t spend a lot of time on the forums, but it’s the only online forum where I have spent any time at all, and I notice the lack (as have other AW bloggers, like Amy, who found the explanation — the host is having server problems, but it appears to be taking longer than expected to fix).  I got a full week’s fix of writing conversation on Monday; unfortunately, we only meet once a month.

On Running: Definitely a better week.  I got in two mid-week runs, plus a trip to the gym to lift with a 10 minute run at the end of the workout, and a Taekwondo class with both kids.  Today, I cut my run a little short, but kept the speed respectable (by my recent standards, anyway):  5.0 miles in 40:23, an 8:05 m/m pace.  The office is closed tomorrow, so I should be able to squeeze in a run tomorrow too, if I get up at a reasonable hour.  All in all, I’m moving past my slothful November and December and I’m happy with my progress.  If I can get my weekly mileage up to 20 miles per week, I’ll be even happier.  What would really make me happy would be to run outside, but it’s just too damn cold even for the winter running gear I have.  I’ll run outside at 20 degrees, but that’s about my limit.

On the iPod: I finally finished Scott Sigler‘s podiobook Earthcore, which was excellent.  In the Q&A after the last episode, he says he’s working on a sequel; this was several years ago, so I’m going to track that down next.  During my run today, I listened to I Should Be Writing #108 (interview with Grammar Girl); Grammar Girl #148 (writing your first novel) and #149 (top five pet peeves of 2008); and Writing Excuses, Season Two, Episode 14 (Writing Habits).  I had never heard of Grammar Girl before listening to Mur’s interview, so a hat tip to Mur for pointing me in her direction.  GG has a short weekly podcast, and the couple of episodes I’ve listened to so far were fun and a lot less sleep-inducing than Ms. Haggarty’s English class sophomore year of high school.

Now we’re off to The Diner for lunch:  omelettes for the Siren and me, soup and possibly a cheeseburger for Unfocused Girl, and chicken nuggets and french fries (no lettuce, no barbecue sauce, nothing on the plate other than the nuggets and fries and especially nothing green touching the beige food, please!) for Junior.  And coffee.  Lots more coffee.

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17 responses to “Winter Sunday Stats #5: Surviving the Big Freeze.

  1. Pingback: Posts about Apple Hardware as of January 18, 2009 | The Lessnau Lounge

  2. Hey I’m glad you liked EARTHCORE. I still haven’t written the sequel, too many other things came up. But, check out a bunch of my other free audiobooks at http://www.scottsigler.com and http://www.podiobooks.com.

  3. aaaand I should have checked that first. I’ll probably download Ancestor next. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I watched The Librarian too recently. It was on TV and I thought, “An adventure movie? About a librarian? This I must see!” So I did.

  5. Not such a hit in the Freshhell household?

  6. I’m one of those annoying people who poke holes in things when plots get a bit over the top (“oh, come on, that can’t really happen that way…”) and there was plenty to poke at but I enjoyed it for what it was.

  7. Yeah, I found a few holes in the plot of the latest Indiana Jones movie, too. HARD TO BELIVE I KNOW! I still enjoyed it. Mainly because I saw it at the movie theatre w/o kids.

    • Your cynicism is so discouraging. I talk to the extra-dimensional crystal beings all the time. So far, the conversation has been a little one-sided, but that’s just because I haven’t reached the appropriate mental plane yet.

  8. Well, my sci-fi knowledge is pretty much nil but I thought the whole thing was…..a tad inplausible. But that’s just me. After all, my descendants are apparently going to be apes eventually, right? So, what do I know?

  9. Nonononono. Your descendants will be savages, but still human, and the descendants of modern apes will rule the Earth.

  10. Ah, I get it. I think. As long as the statue of liberty is still in there somewhere. And Alf. I’ve always loved Alf.

  11. The Statue of Liberty is only in the Charleton Heston movie, not the original novel.

    Towels the robot cat would make short work of Alf, I’m certain.

  12. I’ve never read the novel, obviously. It’s a good touch, though.

  13. I read the novel 25 years after I saw the movie. They’re completely different, and the novel has a very different twist ending. Both good, just different.

  14. Wow! I thought we did a pretty good job with our son’s birthday party; I guess I need to try harder next time. And sell the house. :) It sounds like it was a great party though, even for the parents.

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