Tag Archives: Green Eyed Siren

The Siren Is Awesome.

The Green-Eyed Siren made the coat for me — it came off the sewing machine and on to my back at about 4:30 this afternoon, accompanied by a chorus of the kids chanting “Can we go now? Can we go now?” — and ordered all of the accessories. Because she loves me, and she’s just as geeky as I am.

She also made the costumes for the Unfocused kids: Katara from The L@st A1rb3nder and Sun Man, Junior’s secret identity:

 

Happy Mother’s Day to the Green-Eyed Siren and the Unfocused Mom.

My wife, the lovely and talented Green-Eyed Siren, is one of the most creative people I know, and our children have received so much of her spark. Unfocused Girl had a big solo during the Mother’s Day children’s choir performance at their church this morning, and she clearly inherited the Siren’s voice and her picked up the seriousness with which the Siren approaches a performance. Junior is a ham in front of the camera and is exceptionally good for his age at building this with his hands.  Neither of them could have gotten those talents from me, but more important than the genetic transmission of some innate ability is that she’s teaching them how to use those talents, both by teaching them directly and by example. They’re also pretty nice people, which I have to believe has something to do with the person they spend the most time with. So happy Mother’s Day, Siren, you’ve earned it, through hours and hours of driving the kids to and from school, the gallons of chicken barley stew you’ve made for Unfocused Girl’s lunch, the dozens of different things you’ve made in attempts to get Junior to eat something recognizable as food, not to mention two C-sections, thousands of diaper changes, potty training, midnight vomiting, and Junior screaming in your left ear for hours on end. The one thing I can tell you is that the kids know how lucky they are, and so do I.

And happy Mother’s Day to my own mother. I know I was a smartass and probably not always the easiest kid to deal with, but the Siren thinks you did a pretty good job and I certainly never had any complaints. One specific thing I can point to that you and Dad did right — so I guess you’ll have to share the credit on this — is that after your divorce, however tense things got between you, and I assume there were times when they did, I never really knew about it. Maybe once in a long while I picked up on a tone of voice from one of you that seemed off, but that was it, and hardly that. Neither of you ever spoke ill of the other in front of me, and I don’t remember witnessing any significant arguments. As far as I know, you always treated each other respectfully and, most of the time, seemed genuinely friendly. I’ve seen a lot worse, especially since I graduated law school, and I know how lucky I was. Thank you.

NaNoWriMo Day 29, 50,570 Words and Post-NaNoWrimo Victory Update.

The first thing I did this morning was 15 minutes of Write or Die Desktop Edition, and quickly knocked out 448 words for the novel.  I added a sentence here or there later in the morning, for a total of 535 more words for the novel.  Since I WON NANOWRIMO YESTERDAY, the pressure is off, and I had a bunch of other things I wanted/needed to do today.  Here, in no particular order, are some of the things that occupied my time today besides working on my novel:

  • Ran 6.39 miles very slowly (1:04:04).  It was my first run since Nov. 17, and my longest since Oct. 25. I lost a lot of speed (and muscle) in the month spent in front of the computer every waking moment, and it will take a little while to get it back.
  • Read a little of the Sunday New York Times for the first time in mumble mumble.
  • Worked. I’ve got a lot going on at the office (and out of town) between now and Christmas.
  • Went to lunch with the Siren and the kids at the diner for the first time in weeks.
  • Played Sorry with the kids while the Siren went to the supermarket to buy more butter, flour, and sugar for NaCoBakMo.
  • Went to the supermarket after the Sorry game to pick up the dishwasher detergent that the Siren forgot so she could focus on baking cookies.
  • Worked some more.
  • Listened to Christmas music. The Hanukkah music comes later, closer to the holiday itself, because there isn’t as much of it that I like.
  • Ate some cookies before dinner.
  • Listened to the first episode of The Cinnamon Bear with the family during dinner.
  • Ate some more cookies for dessert.
  • Got the kids to bed.
  • Worked more.
  • Had one last cookie.
  • Paid our property taxes.
  • Told the kids to go back to bed.

As much as I enjoyed NaNoWriMo, and I did, it’s good to be able to do a few other things, too.

IMPORTANT: You may have noticed my references to NaCoBakMo and eating cookies, lots of delicious cookies.  The love of my life, the Green-Eyed Siren, has started the first ever National Cookie Baking Month to raise money for our neighborhood anti-hunger charity, the Irving Park Community Food Pantry.  You can read about Day 1 here, and Day 2 here.  She’s baking cookies every day from now through Christmas Eve, and will send a batch to everyone who donates $25 to the IPCFP before then and emails her the receipt. Please participate so that I don’t end up eating all of these cookies myself.  To encourage you further (although if you’ve ever tasted the Siren’s cooking, you would need no further incentive), we’ll match the first $500 in donations.  Get off my blog and over to hers to read the details and see pictures of the delectable dainties as she makes them.

FINALLY, I leave you with The NaNoWriMo Song, because it’s awesome:

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.

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.

Mrs. Unfocused Declares Independence.

I’d like to welcome my wife to the blogosphere.  Mrs. Unfocused informs me that I do not say enough nice things about her in my blog (even though she deserves to be praised to the skies), and she has decided to take matters into her own hands.  The-Spouse-Formerly-Known-As-Mrs.-Unfocused is now blogging at The Siren, Syncopated under the screen name the Green Eyed Siren (which fits, because she is one). I’ll use that name for her here as well, since in real life she never took my name and it rankled her a bit that here on the tubes she was stuck with it.

Something else to add to the list of Things Daddy Must Never Joke About:  explaining the myth of the sirens to the kids, I said that they were beautiful women whose mesmerizing songs would lure sailors to their doom, and then added, “they were beautiful and dangerous, just like Mommy.”  And then we all had a good laugh and moved on.

Not.  But Junior eventually stopped berating me for being so mean, and only brought it up three or four more times before he went to bed.