Thursday, June 29, 2006

very quick update

Been quite busy lately, mostly with work and the writing classes I'm taking. I've just registered for a writing conference that is being held in my town. There will be agents and editors there, so it should be very cool. Actually, the sessions sound really interesting too. It will be my first writing conference, so I'm really looking forward to it. Now hopefully I can get the time off from work. I really only need one day of vacation, since the conference is on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I'm submitting a short story to the contest that this conference has every year. I haven't written a lot of short stories, so this is going to be interesting. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More Parking Nazis.

Okay, so today was a semi-productive day. I still have no internet and am therefore typing this from a super-secret location. So I went to Home Depot (the evil empire) to get some dust masks and a nozzle for my paint gun thingy which is clogged. The nozzle costs $30 bucks and seeing as how it'll probably get clogged again and I'll be out another $30 bucks, we'll stick to rollers and paint brushes

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Apres Moi, Le Deluge

Okay, so I took a few days off from work in order to get some actual work done at the ninja fortress. Just as my luck would have it, it's been raining nonstop for the past four days. There are three inches of standing water in my driveway; the basement is damp, smells like old people and is kicking my dehumidifier's ass; and I haven't been able to get much done. Plus it's supposed to rain 2-4

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Ninja Stock Picks

In case you're wondering, I'm not done with my spinoff Ninja stock picking blog. But I wanted to give you guys an update. First: An update on an honorary stock-picking Ninja: Warren Buffett. CNN is reporting that Buffett, the world's second richest man is giving away his fortune. Most of it is going to: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates? I'm sorry, but the Home Improvement

Friday, June 23, 2006

Random Fridayness

Well, I got my computer fixed today, hopefully for good. It was acting up worse and worse and I thought it might be something other than software. I tried to erase everything on my Mac to get rid of all traces of LimeWire and hopefully purge the machine of the sins of online music theft, but the machine couldn't find the Harddrive so it was dead. I previously took it to the Apple store in

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Houston, We Have a Problem

A couple of people I know in real life asked me about the Houston job yesterday, and I realized that I hadn't updated you imaginary friends on my situation. I'm sorry to keep you out of the loop. It's not a reflection on our imaginary relationship--really, I mean that--it's just that I have been busy and it slipped my mind. I hope you can all forgive me.So what happened? Well, basically, they

new obsessions can be fun

I spent an hour last night making playlists for my iPod. I now have a "mellow music" playlist, a "soundtrack" playlist for TV and movie soundtracks, a "Broadway" playlist for the soundtracks to Broadway shows, a "current favorites" list for the bands I'm really enjoying right now, an "eighties" list for songs from that era, an "instrumental" list for instrumental movie and TV scores, as well as classical music, and a "driving music" list for upbeat songs that are fun to drive to. I plan to create more lists, but those were good to start with. I downloaded the new Keane CD last night from iTunes and have been obsessively listening to it all day at work. It's really fabulous! One thing I love about iTunes is that you can keep up with who has a new album and can just download it, even if it's midnight. So much easier than driving to the music store and hoping they have it. I've decided iTunes is my favorite way to get music. It's just so easy.

On another subject, I got Janet Evanovich's newest Stephanie Plum novel the other day. It's "Twelve Sharp" and is absolutely hilarious. I'm not finished yet, but should be by the end of this coming weekend.

The writing workshop on Tuesday night was really cool. I'm excited about it and can't wait for next week. I have an assignment and have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but it's still fun. I need to spend some time brainstorming and hopefully I'll come up with something. I attend the other writing class for the first time tonight. I wonder what the other students will be like? I'm using this summer as an indicator, to let me know if I can really deal with going to class again. Hopefully it will help me decide what to do about Grad school. I hear the MFA calling to me...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sitemeter: My Internet Crack

I don't think I should've ever installed Sitmeter on my Blog. Now I check it way too often, to see who's visiting and how they got here. Some people get here by asking random home improvement questions like "how do you install a marble saddle". Which reminds me to get that done so I can post about it. Stay tuned you marble saddle people. It turns out my site in number one in google searches for "


Well, I didn't end up going home last night. Rhea called, so I went over to her house. She wanted to buy an iPod, and asked me if I would come with her. It was lots of fun. Then we went back to her house so she could put music on her new toy. All the songs we ripped from her CD collection for my iPod were already on her computer, so she transferred them. I had to leave before they finished transferring, so I hope it worked out okay.

Yesterday was a pretty good day at work. Lots of meetings. Today I'm going to work on our newsletter and (hopefully) our Web site. It's been a year long project so far, mostly because I keep stopping and working on other things, and then going back to the Web site when I have a little time. My deadline is July, though, so I'd better get finished pretty quickly!

Needless to say, no writing was done last night. Tonight is my writing workshop (the first one!) so I'll be doing something relating to writing this evening. Tomorrow night I plan to go straight home and write. I have writing class on Thursday and then Friday night Rhea and I are going to see The Lake House, so I won't get anything done then. Maybe Saturday I can sit down and write. I'm thinking I'll never catch up, but I still have July and August. I have a four day weekend coming up in July, so maybe I'll be able to get some work done then. I need to get back to my research on publishers who might want to take a look at Summer's Blossom. I'm not giving up on it just because one editor at one place didn't think it was right for them.

Today is a great day, by the way. The next Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich is on sale today! I will be going by a bookstore on my way to the writing workshop to pick up this book. I love the Stephanie Plum novels... they are just so much fun! So I'll have something fun to read this weekend.

Monday, June 19, 2006

A time to rest

Bible School ended Friday night, and I can't say I miss it. Working all day and then going straight to a class full of preschoolers is not my idea of a relaxing time. It made me admire my mother so much for working every day with preschoolers. I don't know how she does it.

That's not to say we didn't have a great time. We really did. Small children are beautiful and have great personalities. I've just decided I'm not good with them in large quantities. I'm better with the one on one interaction when it comes to very young people. They were delightful, but exhausting.

This weekend was supposed to be about rest, but it wasn't. Rhea and I went to the beach on Saturday, which was very nice. I got a little pink, despite the SPF 30 I slathered on the minute we sat down on our towels. It was an interesting experience, lying on the beach beside my Barbie doll-shaped best friend. Her in her bikini and me in my one-piece bathing suit (but still wearing my shorts) It made me seriously reconsider how much I like french fries and soda. It was just what I needed to motivate me to stop eating fast food and start working out again. All that time with the cast on my leg and then through the recovery after getting the cast off made me gain more weight. It's time to work on getting rid of that and more.

Other than that, it was an uneventful weekend. Yesterday I bought the first season of House, on a whim. I've only seen one episode of it, but everyone I know raves about it, so I took a chance. I'm going to watch a couple of episodes tonight when I get home, I think. Then I'll spend a few hours writing. Not terribly exciting, but that's fine with me.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Random Friday Thoughts

First of all, to whomever was honking their horn at 5am this morning: I HOPE YOU DIE. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. To Quote the great Klaus Kinksi, "You should be thrown to the crocodiles alive. An anaconda should throttle you slowly. The sting of a deadly spider should paralyze you. your brain should burst from the bite of the most poisonous of all snakes. Panthers shouldn't slit

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bible School can be dangerous

So last night my nephew Kohl was stung by a wasp at Bible School. They were playing outside and it just sort of happened. Knowing him, he was trying to pull its wings off or something and it just defended itself. Of course, he couldn't stay at Bible School with a swollen arm, so I took him home. Not 5 minutes after I got back (after a 15 minute drive both ways) my other nephew, Noah, came out of his class crying. Some badly behaved child threw his Bible at Noah, cutting him above and below his eye, and across his nose. I really, really hope it doesn't leave a scar. He was trying so hard not to cry, but it was obviously very painful. So I took him home then, and insisted on taking Hannah with him because I didn't want anything to happen to her. It seems my sister's kids were marked for injury yesterday or something. Two out of three... the odds were not in her favor, wouldn't you say?

So there was drama last night. While I am really enjoying the experience of teaching Bible School, I kind of wish I could go home tonight and watch TV, or play The Sims, or both! Or sleep. Actually, that sounds best. What I really need to do is go home and write. I'm so behind on WriSum it's not even funny! Maybe this weekend I can catch up a bit. I don't have any plans, so it's possible.

Pre-meditated Murder

This weekend, I will kill these two shrubs; A double murder. I know you're thinking that my "garden" looks pretty pathetic. And that I shouldn't be killing the only two living organisms in my garden. Well it took a lot of work to get my garden looking that pathetic. I had too pull out so many giant weeds from that patch of dirt that now it's finally safe for Vietnam vets to walk by my place

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Quick update

Just a quick update for now, hopefully I'll have some time to write more this evening.

Hannah's irrational fear of the blow up moose continues. However, she was able to enter the room it occupied last night without completely melting down. That's progress, right? (but I'm still afraid of clowns)

Bible School is exhausting. We finished Day 2 yesterday and I'm wishing it was Friday. Preschoolers in large quantities are even more frightening than clowns.

I wrote about 10 words on After the Storm yesterday. It's really not going well. However, my writing workshop starts next week, so hopefully that will help infuse me with creativity. And the writing class starts a couple of days later, so it should help too. Either that, or this summer I will completely burn myself out on writing and won't pick up a pen for 20 years. (I'm hoping that doesn't happen!)

My dad turned 60 yesterday. How did we all get so old?

That's it for now...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Unwritten" in another context

Looking at the song I posted yesterday makes me realize something. It's great when your life is "unwritten," a blank page with so many possibilities. It's another thing entirely when your book is unwritten. Literal blank pages are less fun. Needless to say, progress on "After the Storm" is not... well... progressing. I think hurricane season has drowned my creativity. With the news that the first tropical storm formed and has now hit land, everyone here was brought back into reality. The season is here and we have to deal with it. Fortunately this one wasn't bad. We don't know about the next.

In other news, I'm teaching Bible School again, which is always a blast. This year, two of my sister's children are in my class. Hannah and Kohl seem to be enjoying themselves. Well, that's not exactly true. Kohl (who is 2 years old) is having a blast. Hannah, on the other hand, (3 years old) is terrified of this massive blow-up moose that the decoration committee thought was a cool addition to the sanctuary stage. They brought the moose in while my class was finishing music last night. It took 4 adults to bring it in and it barely fit through the door! It almost looked real, like it was walking through the door by itself, the way they were carrying it. Hannah looked up, saw the moose, and screamed bloody murder, right in the middle of "This Little Light of Mine!" Everyone stopped and stared. She has an irrational fear of very large animals with antlers. Well, now that I think about it, not so irrational... they are kind of scary. But the funny thing is, she knows it's a blow up moose. She is perfectly aware of the fact that it can't and won't hurt her, but still she is afraid. She won't even let anyone she loves go near the thing, for fear that it will hurt them somehow. But then, I have no room to talk. I am perfectly aware that a man in a clown suit is probably not a knife wielding homicidal maniac with plans to murder me in my sleep, but still I am afraid of them. Thanks a lot, Stephen King!

Ninja Stock Picks.

Well, like most things I do, this experiment started as idle boasting. Johnny Vegas was bragging about how he's winning our bet about the recession and I'll be owing him $65 soon. The subject turned to investing and I mentioned that, if I wanted to, I could start a hedge fund and outperform every index (like the S&P 500 or the Dow) and that there isn't a hedge fund manager or other stock picker

Monday, June 12, 2006

lunchtime lyrics post

It's time for another song post. I love this song and the lyrics are just perfect. It's called "Unwritten," performed by Natasha Bedingfield. Thanks to Rhea for introducing me to this wonderful song!

by Natasha Bedingfield

I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Underpinning Stuff

Okay, I got a couple of questions about "underpinning" in my last post on the Sudanese guy. In case you are wondering what it is and why it upsets me, here is an explanation. Imagine you are standing on a ladder and can't reach something. Your friend comes over and tries to help by shoving a few phone books under the ladder--while you're standing on it. That's what underpinning a house is

Sunday, June 11, 2006

From this day forward...

I am never drinking again. I know that I say that after every hangover, and say that I mean it. But this time I really mean it. I don't know what the hell will happen to all that beer I have in the fridge, but I'm not drinking it. Maybe I'll donate it to the homeless, they seem to like beer. Although I don't know if their pedestrian pallets can really appreciate some of the good belgian stuff

Friday, June 9, 2006

Writing update

Haven't written much in the last few days. Been busy with other things. So no progress right now. However, I did sign up for a writing class and a writing workshop, both going through the summer. One is on Tuesday nights and the other is on Thursday nights. I've decided to write at least two short stories, because I found out about a couple of writing contests in the next few months. I've never entered a contest, so I'm going to go for it.

I'll be spending the weekend out of town so I may not blog much. I may not write much either, so next week I'm really going to have to get to work!

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Another Ninja News Segment.

Okay, It's time for another ninja-news update. Since there are several entire cable channels devoted to home shows, at least two devoted to shopping, and and one for cooking, I'm surprised that no one has spotted a hole in the market and come up with a news channel that reports on ninja news. It could be like CNN, but for ninjas. NNN, the Ninja News Network. Until the whole cable channel

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Florida Trip: Part 3

Okay, this Part 3 of the Florida Trip. I didn't feel like finishing it, but since I left off in the middle of the story, if I don't finish it people will see me in the street and say "hey, you said you were in lied. Now I can't believe anything I read on your blog...and a little piece of my innocence died just now". Since that would be awkward for both of us, here's some more of the

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

I made up a word!

My word made it into The Urban Dictionary! Check it out here!

Take a moment today to think of hunger

Today is National Hunger Awareness Day. Take a moment today to think about the last time you were hungry. Now imagine feeling that way all the time. Imagine being a mother who cannot afford to feed her family. Imagine being a child who doesn't get enough to eat. Now find out where your local food bank is located and do something to help them. You can give time, money, or canned goods. I promise you they will appreciate whatever help you decide to give. We should remember hunger every day, not just once a year, but at least one day a year is a good start.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Quick writing update

I turned off my phone and TV tonight so that I could concentrate on writing. I typed the parts I had written in my trusty notebook and then went further with the story this evening. I made it past the prologue and into chapter one. The story is really flowing now, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

A long wait for a new post

It's been awhile since I've gone that long without posting. Sorry about that! I have no excuse other than that I've been obsessively playing The Sims 2 and working on my writing for NaNoWriSum. I've been doing most of it longhand, so I don't have a word count yet, but the new book is going well. It was really difficult to start due to the subject matter, but I managed to get it started and now it's flowing pretty smoothly.

This past weekend was pretty relaxing. I spent most of it playing The Sims 2. Like I said, obsessed!!! What happened was, I made the characters of my first book (the one I finished last year) into Sims and have been playing with them, watching them interact with each other and living their lives. All went well and pretty much according to my book's plot until Summer decided she wanted to have 10 children! And then she had twins. She now has 5 kids and I think I'm cutting her off. Three of her sons are in college and one is married. But she keeps thinking about having more kids. It's crazy! That's one thing about that game, you can get sucked in and can't stop playing.

Today I took a little trip to Thomasville, AL to see one of our summer lunch sites. It was so great to see all those kids enjoying the lunches! I love getting out into the field and seeing the result of all our work. It's rewarding in a way that I can't begin to describe. (and I'm a writer!)

Tomorrow will be another busy day. It's National Hunger Awareness Day, so we have a lot of events and interesting things planned. It should be fun.

The Bensonhurst Kid Rides Again

Okay, so I kinda sorta crashed a wedding a little on Saturday. My friend, who we'll call Anthony (cuz that's his name) was in town for a wedding, so I went to pick him up to hang out afterwards. And by "afterwards" I meant I showed up before the reception was over to snag some free booze, deserts and dance with some hotties. Showing up uninvited, drinking your booze and leaving with your women

Friday, June 2, 2006

A Victorian By Any Other Name...

All in all, this has been a pretty crappy week. During a conversation, my Real Estate Broker, Jimmy the Greek, mentioned that my house probably isn't a Victorian. He said it's probably a Federal, whatever that means. A google image search reveals that the ninja fortress does indeed look the untrained eye. In terms unattractiveness, the impenetrable fortress falls somewhere

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Help a Ninja Decorate His Fortress

Okay, I need some input from the non-decoratively challenged. One of the drawbacks that comes from being so macho and studly is that I have poor decoration skillz. (another drawback is that sometimes I'll unintentionally break things with my powerful male arms, just because I don't know my own strength, so being so studly is a mixed blessing). So this weekend I went to Home Depot (the evil empire