Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Week Before Vacation.

As usual, the couple of weeks before our family beach vacation are a complete nightmare at work.  This year, it’s complicated by a couple of looming deadlines that are actually in the middle of the two-week trip.  There was nothing I could do about them, so I’m stuck with a fair amount of work during the first week at the beach.  If I used emoticons, I would be typing a lot of colon-shift-9s.

One of the deadlines is a writing gig:  the first draft of my chapter for a legal treatise is coming due.  I’ve done a fair amount, but still have a lot to grind through.  I think I’ll be glad I did it once it’s done, but right now I’m kicking myself for agreeing to it.

As a result, the novel is stalled for another few weeks.  Project Hometown is at 14,479 words but I’m not likely to make any progress until the chapter is done.

Let me recommend a writer’s blog that is actually updated regularly, and provides valuable advice:  Jeremiah Tolbert, a science fiction writer and the managing editor of one of my favorite podcasts, Escape Pod. His latest post describes his insane-jealousy-inspiring week at Launchpad, the conference put on by NASA for science fiction writers to help them get the actual science right.


Liveblogging the Block Party, Part 5.

Well, the cops finally shut the music down a few minutes ago. The Siren has to sing tomorrow morning, so we’re turning in. All in all, it was a great party.

Here are a few final pictures, of Unfocused Girl on a late night bike ride, and one of people dancing before the Man shut us down.

Liveblogging the Block Party, Part 4.

The kids are finally both in bed. Junior crashed first, with a meltdown when our guests went home around 10.  Unfocused Girl rode her bike in the dark for another hour, until I finally was able to catch her, at which point she promptly collapsed from exhaustion.  Now it’s grownup time – music for another hour or so (until the cops shut us down), then hanging around until exhaustion kicks in. Last year we ended up in one of the neighbor’s above-ground pool at 3am; I think we’ll probably cash out a little earlier tonight.

Liveblogging the Block Party, Part 3.

The silly string battle rocked, but the highlight was Junior’s mad science experiment, dropping Mentos into different kinds of diet soda.

Diet Coke worked best.  If you haven’t seen the videos of people doing this, I suggest you go to youtube and search “Diet Coke and Mentos.”

Up next: the giant slide!

Liveblogging the Block Party, Part 2

So far, so good. The slip ‘n’ slide has been well-used without excessive injury, the city jumping jack has been and gone, and the kids have played two cut-throat games of musical chairs. The adults play later.

Here are a few pictures:

Liveblogging the Block Party, Part 1.

Every summer, our block has the awesomest block party, and today is the day. The Unfocused Kids are beyond excited, and while we are still going to Taekwondo, Unfocused Girl has asked that we skip our weapons class afterwards to come back sooner.  The Siren has been up since god knows when getting a big ol’ brisket on the grill so that it will be ready for dinner.  The giant slip ‘n’ slide showed up at 8am, two hours early, we closed off the street a little early and things are getting started.

I’ll try and check in now and then during the day, maybe post some pictures.  I may not post much — the block party is pretty intense — but I’ll give it a shot.

Hope your Saturday is also filled with awesome.

Decrepitude Has Crept Up on Me.

I will no longer be able to quote the line from “When Harry Met Sally” — “and I’m going to be 40… someday!” — with any sense of irony at all.  I am 40 today, and so far I am totally nonplussed, mainly because I went to bed too late and now I’m sleepy.

Where did the time go?  How is it possible I’ve reached this age without having more answers?  Without being further along?

And where’s my goddamn jetpack?

Gaaa. I’m going for a run.

Happy Birthday to the Green-Eyed Siren.

I haven’t posted much lately — you know how it is, busy busy busy.  But today is special – my lovely wife turns 40.  It’s clear that 40 will be much better than 39:

39 ended with catching a nasty summer cold and fever.

40 begins with recovering from a nasty summer cold and fever.

39 ended with our crawlspace being infested with rats.

40 begins with the rats on the run.

39 ended with a clunky old car (until last month).

40 begins with a cool new pimped out ride (last month)

39 ended with a dreaded milestone birthday looming.

40 begins with the next dreaded milestone birthday a full decade away.

Happy birthday, babe.

Oh, Goody.

We don’t have mice!  Just rats.  The two critters we caught in the traps last night, which I thought were big mice, were actually baby rats.  Thank goodness, only one kind of vermin.

Moving on to something less depressing, I liked this post by internet movie pioneer Earl Newton of Stranger Things, on “Dealing with Silence and Rejection.” Having just received another rejection slip (my most encouraging yet!), this was a good find.  Thanks to Mur Lafferty for retweeting it.