Tag Archives: Coffee

Got Christmas Blend?

No, you don’t.  Because I have it all.

Bwa ha ha ha haaaaaa.

Here’s a picture of my miser’s hoard:


The Mrs. and I really like Starbucks Christmas Blend.  A lot.  Coffee is very important to me.


A Rejection. A Submission. More Outlining. No Editing. TGIF!

Just a quick update tonight.  Another rejection slip in today’s mail:  “Jimmies” was rejected by one of the big three pro magazines, the only one of the three that I thought would want it.  I spent a while this evening combing through my bookmarks of submission guidelines and finally made up my mind to send it to a semi-pro journal that I like; the editor rejected TTB a couple of months ago, but that hardly makes him unique.

I’ve just about finished writing the synopses of the story for Project Hometown from the viewpoints of each of the major characters.  According to the Snowflake Method (link on the sidebar under “On Writing”), the synposes are supposed to be one page for each of the major characters, and half a page for the minor characters.  That didn’t work for me; of the four major characters, the synopses are approximately 1200, 350, 750, and 900 words.  I’ll have to try harder for the minor characters to keep to a limit, or I’ll be dealing with them through the end of the year.  After I finish the character synposes, the next step is to go back and expand the overall plot synopsis.

No revisions this evening due to exhaustion, researching where to submit “Jimmies,” and (most important) much needed & wanted catching up with Mrs. Unfocused — it’s the first night since Sunday we’ve both been home all evening.  This evening she noticed I got a haircut.  I got it on Wednesday.

Tomorrow’s Saint Lucia Day, which means Unfocused Girl and Mrs. Unfocused bring up coffee and cinnamon rolls for us all to have in bed.  I love Swedish holidays!  Happy Saint Lucia day!

Saltwatch 2008-09:  Days after Dec. 1 without seeing a City of Chicago salt truck:  12.  The good folks at Chicagoist have been on this story for a while (here’s a link to a recent post about my Alderman ripping Mayor Daley a new one, which I’m glad to see, even though I disagree with his proposal to raid the Midway privatization funds to fund snow removal).  As a commenter said earlier this week, apparently Daley’s snow removal plan is to wait until Sunday, when it’s supposed to go up to the high forties, so the snow will simply melt.  Long-term, we can all just wait until June before leaving our houses.

I Walk Like a Cowboy…

… because my quads are killing me. I was right — I’m paying for my caffeine-fueled race on Sunday. Damn DOMS.

I’ll Pay For This.

I ran the 2008 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K this morning. The Shuffle is the kick-off for the Chicago racing season and, for many of us, the true start of spring. In keeping with the kind of winter we had and the way spring has started, it was below 40 degrees at the starting line. For the first time since I started running this race (1997, I think), I wimped out and wore tights instead of shorts. I felt like a real wuss when I saw the guy with no shirt, covered in green body paint and wearing a neon green wig.

I set a personal record today by over a minute — I came in under 36 minutes, far and away my best time ever. Yes, I’m bragging, but with a purpose: I have discovered the secret to fast times, and I’m going to share it with you. It isn’t training; I haven’t done much running this winter, or any cross training. It isn’t diet; I have not been particularly careful about what I’ve been putting in my mouth the last few months. And I got less than seven hours of sleep last night.

Here’s the secret: drugs.

This morning, I arrived downtown just over an hour before the start of the race. I parked, emerged onto Michigan Avenue, and immediately began to look around for a dealer. I knew there had to be one nearby. There! I ducked into a storefront doorway, and placed my order. Minutes later, I had it: a double espresso. I gulped it down while it was still hot, and I was off to the races!

Oh, I know the side effects, but I was willing to bet I could get to the port-a-johns before the race started, and in fact I handled that issue just fine. Mrs. Unfocused says I need to put an asterix by my time this year, but I say if the major leaguers can do it, so can I. I just hope that I don’t develop a tolerance and have to move up to triple and quadruple espressos, because that could get expensive.

I’m going to feel it tomorrow, that much I promise you.

Rockin’ Saturday Night!

My mother-in-law offered to babysit last night, which was very generous, but we didn’t have any really good ideas for what to do. Ultimately, we decided to spend several hours at the Starbucks around the corner with our laptops. I wrote another 1500 words for my novel, and the Mrs. worked on her website. It was very pleasant. I know it’s pretentious as hell, but it worked. We didn’t have to put the kids to bed, I didn’t even buy web access, so my distractions were limited to coffee and the pumpkin loaf. Mrs. Unfocused gets distracted easily at home, too, because there’s always something that needs doing even if the kids are in bed.

So yes, we brought our laptops to the coffee house ( apologies to Scalzi), but we weren’t trying to be hip — just trying to get some things done, which we did. I’d like to have 5000 words written in the novel before I go back to work on Monday, which shouldn’t be impossible, although I have a response to a motion that I really need to finish, and I’ve completely stopped working on my article (which I really need to go back to soon). Now we’re talking about trying to do a Starbucks night once a week, at least when we don’t have other weekend plans.

The weather today is crazy warm — I just checked, and it’s 59 degrees. I went for an 8-mile run late this morning, wearing SHORTS. I’m going to try to get another couple of outdoor runs in before the weather turns bad again later this week. Shorts in Chicago in January — if that’s the future of our out-of-kilter climate, then there is clearly going to be an upside to global warming.