Monday, October 31, 2005

Cherry red desk

We went to Ikea and bought a small red desk. I love the absurdity of its ridiculous maraschino red. Ikea was celebrating its 20th birthday, so we also got birthday cake. And the icing on the cake matched the desk colours. Perfect.

My desk fits neatly in the alcove between the sofa and the kitchen table. And somehow I fit my writing in between all my other activities and it brightens my days. It has wheels, so theoretically I could wheel my computer around and write all around the house. qqqqqq122222222222222222223v Here Special K sat down and interjected her thoughts. That's one of the disadvantages of having this new ergonomic set up. My old chair was a bar stool. She still managed to climb up, but it was harder.

After Ikea we failed to go a friend's games party, which was sad, because Special K crashed and fell asleep. Though it turned out to be a good thing, because she's remained far. (knock on wood)

The day after we went to a lovely fondue party, which Owlmoose blogged about. Unfortunately C was very tired and fell asleep, because Little T was up a lot....getting sick.

At the party I had a parent moment. You know one of those moments where a non-parent stares at you in utter bemusement. Little T urped all over himself and me. He was quite cheerful about it, so I just calmly set about changing him and trying to wipe myself down with a paper towel. I know before I had children, the thought would fill me with horror. But now it's the screaming I can't stand. And I know it can get a lot grosser and I was thankful it wasn't.

Unfortunately my gratitude was short-lived. We're now into day two of screaming and explosions from every orifice. My nanny is here. He's finally gone to sleep. And I'm thinking sweet cherry red thoughts. I'm also taking a couple days off from writing. My writing is back in the NICU days, and I start to worry too much about his illness, even though he just has a stomach bug. At least I hope so. Knock on sweet cherry red desk.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Training Dumb machinery

Little T. is sick. I'm trying to dictate to my word document and it's making a total mess of what I'm saying. Kerensa is crying in the background. not sure what she's crying about exactly, but she's sitting on the floor crying. It has been a very long weekend. We had a delightful time last night at the fondue party, but that's now distant memory

Here's what Microsoft made of it:

Little tea is set and trying to dictate to mind word document and is making a total amounts of what I'm saying Kerensa is crying in the background not sure what she's crying about exactly what she's sitting on the floor crime has been a very long weekends we had a delightful time last night's at the forum to 40 that's now distant memory

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mediamonkey makes me happy

My mediamonkey playlist got me back in the writing groove. I'm up to 18,690 words. I'm 60 words away from rewriting my book proposal.

Pulling up

It's been an odd couple days

C's friend has calmed down, but nothing has fundamentally changed, so I feel the situation is only just waiting to explode again.

I read and critiqued a friend's novel that was wonderful, but also heart-wrenching.

I just joined a study that might actually help me with my dystonia. I'm scared to hope, but I can feel hope pressing against my chest.

Little T has started pulling up on everything. For weeks he would only lean up on the leather couch and haul himself up that way. He tried other places but couldn't quite do it and would cry at me to help. I tried to help and he'd scream at me more. On Tuesday Special K and I were doing puzzles on the coffee table, Little T had to pull and see. With huge effort, he pulled up all on his own. Now he pulls up as he never had any problems and he's working on cruising. All of this involves a lot of fussing and crying as he gets frustrated. He wants me to pick him up. I have a sprained ankle. I shouldn't pick up a 19lb boy especially one who's arching backwards. I relent more than I should. By about 6pm my patience has worn thin. C doesn't get home until 7:30. I try not to go crazy before then. Some days I succeed.

I got no writing done yesterday as I was so worn out with dealing with Little T that I slept through most of the time the respite care worker was here. C really doesn't understand how draining the constant crying is. Today I wrote about 300 words. I'm behind. I must borrow my quota from other days.

What I've been doing instead over the past couple days is to put together over 20 hours of music that makes me happy. We can play music on our Tivo, but without a playlist after a while, it mysteriously kicks back to Live TV. During the daytime that's a lot of bad tv. Now I have music for parties too. I feel a real sense of accomplishment. I made the playlist using MediaMonkey, which also makes me happy -- the name of the program that is.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Last night we went to a singing party with some friends where we sang songs, eat dinner and the kids ran around. I loved sitting with Little T on my lap and singing with him.

C says I'm depressed. He thinks I'm more sad about missing this writing workshop than I should be. I dunno. I always worry about missing opportunities. I don't really have a good way to evaluate what I really need right now.

What I do know is that I keep writing. My non-fiction book is up to 17,808 words. I'm behind on my 500 word count today, but I'm more than ahead from other days.

Both Special K and Little T are wearing one sock.

Seems like a good time to do this meme:

Name 10 small things for which you're grateful

  1. My sprained ankle is slowly healing, so I can walk around the house now.
  2. The top of Little T's shoulder is now normal and not tumor.
  3. Special K is over her cold.
  4. Little T can wear little boy pants
  5. Eating ripe organic bananas
  6. Special K shuts the door to the bathroom so Little T can't go exploring there.
  7. A nice hot cup of tea
  8. Little T has started to look at books on his own just like big sis Special K
  9. C has been getting together with some old friends.
  10. After several "web site is down", I can finally pay my American Express card bill online.
I hate tagging people, but please carry on the meme if you feel so moved.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Waning moon

It's a waning moon and very bad stuff is going down with a friend of C's. C is helping as best he can and he can't take the kids along. So I can't be gone for hours and hours next weekend. My ankle's slowly getting better, but not better enough to navigate the extensive walking needed for public transportation. I can't drive that far. It also turns out that none of the other participants is coming down from the peninsula, so I can't get a ride. Bottom line: I can't go to the writing workshop next week. I'm really bummed about it, but it wasn't meant to be right now. One bad thing happening, okay? But three things are coinciding to make this not happen. There will be other workshops. This is a fiction workshop. And my current obssession is my non-fiction book.

I could sort of it see it coming when I sprained my ankle. I figured that sweetie that he is, C would drive me if it came down it. But it just felt a chain of events had been set in motion. Don't get me wrong. I do believe in free will. But I also believe in chaos theory. I believe a butterfly's wing can change the pattern of the weather in the amazon three thousand miles away.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Number of the beast

I got spam today. For the pet who has everything, now you can get it a cell phone.

My nonfiction book is now at 16,666. Well a little over.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


We had company over which was lovely. My friends had a nice lunch in my garden while the CCS social worker did her session with Little T inside. She showed me why Little T will pull up in certain places, but not others. It made perfect sense when she explained it, but I'd have to think about on my own. I don't think very well spatially.

I wrote 500 words today up to 15,325. I'm totally obssessed with my non-fiction book. But after having a good talk with Jenny last night, I know I'm in a down phase. I really hate spraining my ankle. Bad stuff from my childhood. I feel it's a moral failing. I'm literally and figuratively lame. It's okay to be disabled as long as I'm not limping around. It's okay to be disabled as long it's partially hidden. It's worse and better that my ankles are hyperflexible because of my disability. At least I know it's not just because I'm a total klutz.

I hate having to literally have to count each step I make. I started to tell her it was the writing that was killing me. Guilt about that coming out. But actually I was feeling pretty good before I sprained my ankle. I was getting stray projects done like getting rid of books. As she kept telling me, I was getting my groove back. It's hard to groove when you're lame.

But after I said some stuff that out loud to her and blogging more stuff here, I feel a bit more free. I don't want to pass on this crud on to Little T. I sprain my ankle about once a year. Last year I was 8 months pregnant with Little T, so it's a lot easier this time around. Maybe this time I'll do my exercises better or something and I'll avoid it for longer. But I just have to face up to the fact that at least for the foreseeable future, it's part of who I am. It's part of the me that jerks. It's part of me that can't drive on the highway. I just do the best I can with the body I've got.

Special K seems largely unaffected by my lameness. She can now dress herself, get her own food, go to the bathroom, and play. She does need some help, but it's not like last year where she was frustrated and hobbled by my injury. Little T is too young to care. He just wants to be picked up. But I'm asking for more help this time. Next year will be better too. Little T will be able to do more. Special K too. I'm not sure what it is about this time of year that causes ankle sprains. I'll have to think about that. Got any ideas?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I wrote 1000 words today so my non-fiction book is up to 14,800 words.

I'm enjoying Season 1 of "Lost" on DVD. I just got a membership with Blockbuster Online. At the store, Blockhead has a one-month trial membership for $9.99, 3 DVDs out a time, unlimited DVDS. Membership includes coupons for two free in-store rentals a month. Pretty good deal, at least for a month.

However "Lost" gets a little repetitive. Stop now if you don't want Season 1 spoilers. For example, we learn that Sawyer's dad killed his mother and then killed himself after a grifter swindled Sawyer's mother. Then a few episodes later, we actually see the scene. Gratuitous. We already know that it made Sawyer very very sad. Similarly we see several scenes in which we learn that Jin beats up people for Sun's dad the mafia boss and he hates it. Also weird things happen that surprise me, but so far the characters themselves haven't surprised me. Now in the "Sopranos", the characters themselves do things that surprise me while still acting entirely in character. Now that's really really cool. I hope I write like that.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Ghost of blogs past

From akienm:
1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

From Grief and not eating "Intellectually I know that he's actually getting all the nutrition he needs via tube and he has large reserves of fat." He's still getting most of his nutrition via tube and most of his fat reserves are gone. Yet he continues to grow. He gets stronger every day.

But to be honest, I still struggle with his eating issues. It doesn't loom as large as it did in May. I no longer fear that he wants to die. "But I still mourn the fact that he no longer breastfeeds." That's still true. But gradually my mourning became less constant. Like any type of loss, I became reminded less often.

And right now he's forcibly telling me that he's fiercely attached to me as he demands that I hold him while he goes to sleep. Gimpy as I am, I oblige. Though no standing and rocking today.

16 years ago, Now lame and sick

Sixteen years ago, I was at Bryn Mawr College during the Loma Prieta earthquake. A lot of kind people asked if my parents were okay. My parents live 100 miles away, so they were fine. I was touched by people's kindness and also amused by their ignorance of just how big California is.

I sprained my ankle on Saturday night. We were rushing to see Wallace and Gromit. I stepped too quickly off the step to the garage and slipped and fell. I have hyperflexible ankles due to my disability. But mostly I was rushing too much. I also should have asked C to get my ankle brace before going to the movie. He did get me an ice pack. But shoulda-coulda-woulda. I'm trying to let go of useless recriminations. It's a hard habit to break.

My cold has also worn me down. Special K asks every few hours "Mommy, are you still sick?" "Yes, I'm afraid so." I answer. C told me "You've been sick, lame or sleep-deprived for over a year." It made me feel sad at first. Then I realised it's basically true, yet I still carry on. I wrote 300 words yesterday on the Road to Mandalay. I wrote 1200 words today on my non-fiction book, which is now 13,820. Still keeping up with my quota.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Writer's liberation

I found more words of wisdom from Jenny Crusie about writer's liberation. She compares getting published to getting married. It really resonated for me. It's not supposed to be a goal and it's not an end in itself. Marriage is delightful. I'm sure being published is also. But getting published also means you have more work and more criticism. And instead of rejection letters that you receive privately in your email or mailbox, the criticism is public. That's why I held off submitting my writing until I was ready.

One of the best decisions I made was choosing my husband. But I did work a lot on myself first. And I continue to work on myself as a writer, to make myself a good match for an agent. I read books and blogs about how it's supposed to be. That great relationship. Except I'm not even looking yet. I look at personals now and then. My non-fiction book is now at 12,600 words.

Writing and Doctor Atomic

Yesterday I wrote 1000 words today up to 11,775 on my non-fiction book. I thought I had chased away my cold with Vitamin C, echinacea and goldenseal, but it's back. Or maybe it's a different cold. I'll try these remedies again.

There seems to be a rivalry between Agentoo7 and Miss Snark, so I should say I read both.

The opera Doctor Atomic promised a big bang but ended with a whimper. I even heard a woman say "That was nothing." The bomb was still there at the end of the show! The music attempted modern cacophony, but it never varied in its deviation from the norm. So after a while it became too familiar. Though at times the sound effects were interesting. The composer said he wasn't familar with opera and sadly it showed.

The singing was frankly quite boring. Lots and lots of narrative singing. A couple of arias. No duets. Lot of words that explained the history. No rhyming. No couplets. No poetry. It was more like a recitation of a history lesson. I was moved a couple times by the music and the image of the atomic bomb hanging over the crib. I was never transported. You'd think with such a gripping subject as the building of a nuclear bomb, he could do better. I was disappointed, even with the low expectations I had.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Brother and sister laughing, bills, more writing

The kids are laughing together at some joke known only to themselves. Little T doesn't cry when he falls down and his head hits marble if his big sister is there to watch. It amazes me how well they get along. I remember that my younger brother regarded me with adoration when we were kids, but I also thought he was rather a pain until he was sent away to boarding school. Special K seems to really enjoy entertaining her little brother. And bossing him around. Now that part I did enjoy. "Here's your baby shark that you must play with." And of course he does. Then they both laugh again.

C sent me this article just after wrangling with T's medical bills: Treated for Illness then lost in a labryinth of medical bills.
It spurred me on to write more.

I wrote 1000 words today of my non-fiction book. It gradually coalesces into a sleek shape all its own at 10,778 words.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Drop-off class & Finding an agent

I managed to write 550 words somehow today. I took Special K to gymnastics and to a ballet/tap class. The ballet/tap class is her first truly drop-off class. You drop off your kid and go away. The sign explicitly says parents aren't welcome. It's another milestone for us. I'm not there with her in gym class, but I can watch and most times I do.

I pulled two interesting essays about it's all about you about defining yourself as a writer and Impossible Dream: finding the right agent by Jennifer Crusie from Miss Snark. I agreed with the first essay. I think it's my MBA showing, because it's all about setting a career plan. The second essay also reflects me as well, because it talks about chemistry, although it doesn't actually use that California fru-fru word. After years of working, I know chemistry really is important.

I also think it's funny that Miss Snark writes "I don't agree you "hire" a agent." She's technically correct, of course. To hire means that you engage the services of the person for a fee. With a agent you engage their services for a percentage of the royalties you earn. However I think Jennifer's connotation was that she's the one bringing in the money.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


On Sunday we drove up to the Salmon Festival. Special K loved feeding the rainbow trout fry. Little T loved watching her and everything else.

We gazed down at some ambitious salmon who were trying to gather early to spawn, but the gate to the fish ladder wasn't open yet. We talked to a park official who said the water wasn't cold enough yet. The salmon were immature. The eggs were unripe. In some ways I feel like those salmon. I'm not ready. The gate hasn't been opened yet. And even after the gate is opened, I'll still have to jump up. One of my friends wrote a poem about salmon leaping up the salmon run and law school.

I'm still an immature salmon who has 9250 words of her 75k non-fiction book written. I wrote 850 words today. I'll write a lot more and have a solid book proposal before I send it off to agents. I think I'm about a month away. That's about how far the salmon are too. It amuses me.

I talked to my sister more about her former life as a literary agent. I've also been reading Miss Snark's blog. I thought it was interesting that she wrote she wasn't one of the most powerful agents in town. On the Internet no-one knows if you're a dog. And I laughed when she told people to stop querying her. I can't imagine querying someone whose work I know nothing about. Of course I need someone who believes my non-fiction book is wonderful. But I'd also prefer an agent who's already sold a book similar to mine.

I also revised my personal essay about my struggles with breastfeeding to send to another parenting magazine.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Pancakes and Rodelinda

On Saturday we went to the first annual FireFighter's Pancake Breakfast. It reminded me of the pancake breakfasts I went to in my youth. Special K had a great time wearing a plastic firefighter hat and climbing fire engines. Little T loved scooting about on the straw and rolling a small pumpkin about.

On Saturday C and I had a lovely dinner at Jardinere with my dad. Then we all attended the opera Rodelinda which was done by the same people as Alcina. Alcina was memorably awful. It featured folks in leather costumes writhing around on the floor. Rodelinda ended almost every scene with a man on the floor. The first act no-one could sing an aria without at least three other people doing something else completely unrelated in the background. I guess they feared we might get bored. I found it distracting. I did like the 1940's noir set, but I disliked the Mussolini references.

I also hate when a producer blatantly ignored the libretto. If someone sings "I embrace you." Then she should be embracing someone literally or figuratively. But the second and third act are much darker and the ethos of the production seemed to be that it was okay to let the singer just sing if they were singing something sad.

I wrote 600 words on my nonfiction book today. It's up to 8400 words now. I think it'll be 85k. 79.1k to go. I also revised "Cascade".

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Got my 500 words in after all

Woohoo! Special K and C took a nap while Little T was content to explore the living room, so I wrote 500 words on my non-fiction book.

Word, Singing and spam

Word ate my cover letter to Lee & Low, so I finally decided to install Microsoft Office 2003. After a lot of painful waiting and restarting I installed it and Service Pack 2. I think singing "Go service pack, go" helps the process, but it only worked the third time after I sang it throughout.

The new word wasn't able to open the cover letter either, but the new help was more helpful, so I was able to retrieve a backup copy from this strange directory I was vaguely aware that existed back when I was a sysadmin.

So I feel okay about more $$ to the man. Or rather to my sister-in-law who works there. I think one of my exbfs still does too. Both them are nice folks.

Speaking of word, I'm turning on word verification here, because I'm getting spam not penis enhancement or Viagra, but speech therapy of all things. I did mention it a couple times in my blog, but to comment "I found a lot of useful info about speech therapy on your blog" is stretching it a lot. Hope you actual commenters don't mind too much. Please let me know if it's too much of pain.

I didn't actually write anything today, so I have to borrow from yesterday's count.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Please Petition Your Hospital

One of Little T's life-threatening infections was probably caught from the hospital, so this issue is personal for me. Please please sign this petition and Consumers Union will deliver it to each hospital in your area. The petition asks the hospital to publish its hospital-acquired infection rates.

Sock, Library visit & Word Count

There's a wool sock on our back porch. It's probably a gift that the cats brought us. I know that Mori really really loves wool to the point where he ruined a brand new cashmere coat a boyfriend bought me by biting a huge hole in it. I ditched the bf and I still have the cat. I guess Mori thought we'd like the wool sock. However it seems to disturb Special K who keeps asking why it's there.

Today I dropped off a box full of books at Bookbuyers, then went to the library and talked to the children's librarians. Neither of them had heard of the New Voices Award, or of Lee & Low Books. Oh, well. I wrote my cover letter today. I also wrote 800 words of The Road to Mandalay. I just wrote some random scenes. I do have the entire novel fleshed out in my head, but I've been stuck on how to make it flow. This way is much more productive.

I've decided I'll aim for 500 words a day. At that rate, I can write 10k (novel length) in 200 days.
Word count for the day: 1050
The Road to Mandalay: 2500. 97500 to go

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Nanowrimo & writing status report

Last night C talked me out of doing Nanowrimo this year. That's where you write a "novel" in the month of November. Well, it's 50,0000 words, so it's technically a novella. He pointed out to me that now probably wasn't the best time and I could try to do it next year. That satisfied me.

Now some of you are probably thinking I'm insane since you don't know how I find the time to write anyway. And it's a good thing that I'm married to this man who manages to steer away from the ditch. Then I just realised I can have some of the benefits of a nanowrimo right here by blogging about my writing goals and progress.

As I mentioned, I'm writing another children's picture book. It's called Mya Mya Marionette. The deadline for the contest is October 31, so that's the deadline. I'd like to have it done before then so hopefully it gets there before the deluge. I'm shooting for October 15th to have the final draft ready. Just today I finished the second draft. I think I now have all the scenes I want fleshed out and I think the plot, characters and their motivations are clear, at least to me. So now I need to show it to some folks to see if they understand what's going on. It feels short to me, but then I also don't have an incredibly complex amount of information to convey like I did with Greg. So if you want to read it, please let me know.

I've only written two chapters of my novel, The Road to Mandalay which isn't as much as I'd like. And the chapters are short at 1700 words. I need to have at least 2500 words before my writing workshop at the end of October. That's another reason I need to finish up Mya Mya before the deadline.

My nonfiction book on the other hand is 6800 words, so there's progress there and I don't think it's going to be a long book. I also want to write a book proposal and start submitting it before I finish the book. I would actually rather work on my non-fiction book, but the writing workshop isn't about non-fiction.

Oh, I also wrote a 1200 word short science fiction story "Cascade". I'm taking it to the writing workshop.

Well it was certainly helpful to lay this all out here. I do spend a lot of time with my butt in the chair considering that I have two small children, but I wish my output was higher. I'm not sure if that's realistic considering that two of my books are children's picture books, but it would make me feel better. So after I've finished Mya Mya Marionette, I may try a daily word count with being able to borrow/lend within a week. I'll start low at 250 a day. Oh, and I suppose I should write before I blog. Sorry, people. This is over 500 words right here.

Yes, this was very helpful. I do regularly churn out prose here. But here I just write. I don't feel the need to write beautiful tightly crafted prose. I sit butt in chair. I put fingers to keyboard. I think. I type. I do edit some. But I don't have the pile of voices in my head telling me I should write something else. That it's all crap. That I will somehow horribly offend someone because of something I write. That I must censor myself before the words even reach the keyboard.

Instead I know that at least some of you reading this are my friends who know and like me. And if you aren't my friend, at least you read to the end of this. Thanks. So maybe I should pretend I'm blogging. I guess anyone can always read and put down the book. Hrm.

I think a daily word count is the way to go. Thanks nanowrimo and thanks readers. I just made a breakthrough.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Inside jokes

Shadesong blogged about how she and her husband shared an inside joke. My husband C and I share a lot too. A lot of them wouldn't even seem funny to outsiders even if we explained the whole story. It takes a special person and a special situation to laugh in the ER. We make a lot of jokes about death too. I think it stems entirely from the past year. We make a lot of jokes that relate to stuff the kids do. The kids have a wide range of peculiar gestures and noises that they make at various stages of development. Sadly I can't blog about most of them lest the teenaged versions of these kids google this blog and descend upon me with all the wrath of outraged adolescence. But you dear reader would laugh and find them sweet and cute.

Well okay I'll share two things with you. Right now Little T is so delighted with the sheer ability to move. Just before he leans forward to move he gives this little grunt of sheer effort mixed pleasure. Sometimes we'll grunt in the same way.

When both kids are particularly outraged about something, they'll fall silent and open their mouths wide to draw in a lung full of air so they can scream their loudest. Special K was kicked out of the nursery for being too loud. And Little T was the loudest in the NICU until he got his first dose of Interferon. C and I will now open our mouths wide to express manic outrage.

Losing & keeping track of time

I haven't lost track of time in a while. I used to lose track of time a lot and I'd get into trouble. I didn't know that keeping track of time was a skill that one could acquire, but apparently it is, because when Little T was in the NICU, I acquired it. I had to learn it, because otherwise we'd get fined if we didn't pick up Special K in time from preschool. Sure there are clocks everywhere, but somehow you have to know that 5, 10, 15 minutes have gone by. You have to eke out each moment, because you have to divide up your time between your baby in the NICU and your child in preschool. Five minutes more of holding your baby means a lot, so you try to time things perfectly.

But yesterday I received some disturbing news (not related to me personally) and I'm coming down with a cold. I've trying somewhat successfully to stave my cold off with vitamin C, echinacea and goldenseal. What I haven't been doing is going to bed early. And so I'm rundown. So yesterday when I received this disturbing news, I lost track of time. Suddenly I looked at the clock and realised I was already supposed to be at my daughter's preschool. Oops.

Anyway it's funny because I didn't even know I had this skill until I found myself rushing to Special K's preschool. Usually I time it so I'm there right on time. I always thought that I had to solve this problem by calendars and external alarms and so on, which do also help, but that internal rhythm is vital.

One of the things I've learned is figuring out how long a task actually takes you. I realised that I consistently underestimated the time for some tasks and overestimated the time for others. That helps a lot too. I guess actually timing those tasks helped getting a better sense of time too.

Silly quizzes now over at LJ

I've decided to do silly quizzes on my Live Journal using the LJ cut tag since they tend to be spammy. If you object, please let me know by commenting here or LJ. You'll continue to receive my scintillating commentary here since I find that LJ doesn't quite give me what I want. Neither does blogspot. Yes, I swing both ways. Can't help it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Kepler's will reopen with memberships

According to SJMerc, Keplers will reopen on Saturday. "Kepler's will ask customers to sign up as ``members'' with financial pledges of support, a tool often used by public television stations and other non-profits, but uncommon among retailers. Depending on their level of support, Kepler's members will receive gifts or other perks such as reserved parking, invitations to book signings and chances to dine with prominent authors."

Kepler's is too far away to be a big part of my life. And I doubt I'll buy a membership. However I do like having a bookstore within walking distance of my house, so it does motivate me to start buying books at my local bookstore more often.

The reopening of Kepler's as a charity illustrates how wealthy and yet geeky Silicon Valley is. Enough people have thousands of dollars they want to spend on a bookshop to keep Kepler's afloat. Of all the charities I'd want to spend my money on, it wouldn't be a bookshop, but still it makes me glad to live here. It also struck me as slightly absurd. One of the things that keeps me going when things are bad is how absurd life is. I certainly donate dollars to absurd things. Most of my absurd donation dollars go to opera.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Little T's debut & our weekend

C and I were going to the world premiere of the opera Doctor Atomic. Unfortunately our sitter flaked on us, and our nanny had other plans, so we couldn't go. Instead we all went to Beth and Eric's birthday bbq. We haven't been to one of their parties in ages and it was great to see them and Zed.

Little T had never been to their house. He had a wonderful time scooting about on their floor and interacting with people. For someone who only says "gah" and "hi" and raises his arm in what might be a high-five, he communicates very well. He was outraged that someone picked him up off the floor without asking first. He also appeared to comment on what someone was saying by babbling just as the person finished speaking with the right intonation. It was quite funny.

Special K also had a great time and someone said what poise she had. She played Apples to Apples, which I recommend as a good party game for adults and 3 year olds. The cards that the 3 year old puts down and picks can be quite unpredictable, but it makes for an entertaining game and some adults pick weird choices anyway.

This weekend we also packed up two bookshelves worth of books to try to sell to Bookbuyers and then donate to the library. I'm really pleased, because we really need the space for the kids' books and toys. I've also packed up all Special K's 18-month and 2-year clothes to send back to Stacey who kindly gave them from her kids. They're beautiful clothes and Special K was crying at the thought of my sending them away. She still tries to wear the 18m dresses, though at this point, they're the size of shirts on her.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

D&D alignment

This quiz purports to calculate your D&D stats
Str 7
Int 15
Wis 15
Dex 10
Con 10
Char 17

I think it actually says a lot more about the quiz makers than me. The question for strength simply asks how much you can bench press. The question for wisdom are about not forgetting things and planning ahead, but have nothing about spirituality. And the questions about charisma were too far too easy IMO. Nothing about leading people on quests that would lead to death -- now that takes charisma.

Here's how my D&D alignment.