Thursday, August 30, 2007


I saw this on Kali's blog:

Google the phrase "(Your name) looks like" and find the best ones from the first page of results.

My results:

"Natalie looks like such an incredibly adorable baby."

"Natalie looks like a little girl playing dress-up."

"Natalie looks like shit."


"Natalie looks like that truck driver from Pee Wee's Big Adventure!"

"Natalie looks like a rabid bulldog."

Most of the above are from other sites playing this game, but the following is not and is, amusingly, quite apropos!

"Natalie looks like someone playing the rock chick in some high school movie, who befriends our heroine but doesn't get the guy."

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Today is the last day of summer vacation--not the last day of summer, of course, that's nearly a month away, thank goodness. And it's not the start of "fall activities" in general because we've been doing soccer in one capacity or another all summer.

But it is the first day of school. So today is The End.

I was going to post about dining on vacation, but instead of doing a whole separate post, I'll just mention it here. It can really be summed up in one sentence:

We spent about twice as much on food as on attractions.

We stay in time share, so we have a full kitchen, but we weren't really inclined to either shop or cook much. Probably partly affected by our late-Sunday trip to Wal Mart for frozen stuff to make for arrival-night dinner. I have NEVER seen a Wal Mart so packed. Out of 24 or so check-outs, they had less than a dozen in service, and the lines snaked through the racks of T-shirts and artfully arranged produce. We managed to grab a line with only three people ahead of us, but they were either non-English speakers or taking advantage of their ESL appearance to have 60+ items in their carts in a 20-item line. Very annoying.

Most of our dining out was pretty mundane, even when it was very good. One stood out. Rioz is a new Brazilian steakhouse. They have fixed price dining with huge salad bar containing not only regular salad and prepared salads but all kinds of cheeses, hot and cold seafood dishes, and sushi. Each table gets cheddar mashed potatoes, polenta, and cinnamon bananas. The meat course is delivered by gauchos carrying over a dozen cuts and preparations of beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. If you want them to offer it, you have a paperboard disk that's green on one side. If you have enough and want them to leave you alone for a while, you flip it to the red side. They also make an awesome drink, Caipirinha, at table-side. And they have an incredible dessert cart. We spent over $50 more there than any other restaurant, even though they ended up not charging for one of the kids. But it was well worth it.

Yesterday Number One's soccer team participated in the first tournament of the year. They did well enough in the seeding round to put us at 3rd seed in the bottom bracket, which is a good place to be. They played the 6th seed and won 1-0, though the game was delayed twice and called early due to storms.

Yesterday the weather was horrible. Nearly 100 degrees, very still, humid air. Once the storm hit, it dropped to 72 in about a minute and a half. I do not exaggerate. Unfortunately, it stormed all night down there in Gettysburg, flooding the fields so that they canceled today's games. Which was ironic, as the weather was simply gorgeous today--80 with low humidity and a nice breeze.

Oh, well. At least we didn't have to get up at 6:00 this morning.

I had, like, six other things I wanted to blog about. How many times do I have to forgot blog topics and book ideas and scene development and charactization elements before I learn to write stuff down?

I need a holster. With a pen and pad. Seriously.

Okay, I'll end you all breathing a sigh of relief that this wrap-up is so short and simply say, to those of you who are also facing a new school year and new freedom tomorrow...

Good Luck and Congratulations!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

AT the Beach, Not ON the Beach

Apparently the major attraction area at Myrtle Beach is Broadway at the Beach. My husband noted that it isn't anywhere near the beach. I pointed out they don't say Broadway ON the Beach. In fact, in a commercial town like that, if you're not standing on the sand a few feet from the waves, you can hardly tell you're anywhere near the ocean.


BATB is pretty much a big black hole that you just toss money into. Hundred-dollar bills, if you please. But they do manage to give you a little bit of fun while you're doing it.

Within BATB we went to the movies, spent a day in the water park, did MagiQuest, and explored Ripley's Aquarium.

The cinema was the nicest one I've been to since Showcase in West Springfield, MA (that one had a full dinner menu in the food court!). The Carmike has really soft velour seats and uses Christie projectors, which are amazingly clear. We don't have those here in Where The Hell Is That, Pennsylvania.

The water park was okay. The few cool rides were overwhelmed by the hour-long lines. The wave pool is always good, but the lazy river was booorrrring and the whole place needed updating. There's another, better-sounding water park in MB, but we got free tickets to this one for listening to a pitch from the South Beach Resort. And since we bought a unit there, we get free tickets every year.

Ripley's Aquarium was cool, your typical aquarium. I liked the dangerous reef, which we toured on a moving walkway that wound around through tunnels in the tank. The sharks and rays swam over us, which was cool. But my favorite thing was this:

There was only one in the tank, with a bunch of weedy seadragons (not as leafy), but I could have watched it all day.

Probably the most fun thing we did at BATB was MagiQuest. Our ownership got us a 40% discount there (it pays to buy time share from the company that owns 71% of the town!). You buy a wand that is computerized. When you point it at stuff, it communicates with it. Opens chests and gives you gold. Collects items virtually. You go on quests to collect certain runes that enable you to have adventures (which are like expanded quests). There's a castle with a dungeon and a crypt, a treehouse, and various magical beings to visit (on screens). We ended up going twice, and I think if it didn't make our feet so tired, the kids and I could have gone again. The wants will retain their info for the next time, so we can finish the last quest we didn't quite make in time.

Outside BATB, we did mini golf twice. MB is considered the (or at least A) mini-golf capital of the world. These places are elaborate! We did one that had two courses, one around a lake, one in caves (we chose the caves on that 95+-degree day!) and one that was a pirate theme, with special effects making it seem like pirates were firing on us, cannon fire hitting the water near us.

The best thing we did on the whole trip though was a boat trip with Hurricane Fleet. It starts and ends with a leisurely cruise through part of the intracoastal waterway. When we got out to open ocean, it was very windy and the swells were five to six feet, which meant lots of up and down as we went out. We loved it! Usually the boat follows a working shrimp boat and explains what they are doing, but the only one nearby had its nets raised. We spent our ocean time chasing a pod of seven dolphins, which were moving around quite a big in the choppy surf. That was very cool. Then the guide dumped a pail of stuff that gets caught in the shrimp nets out to show the kids. We saw sand dollars, squid, jellyfish, and more (I started to feel sick from the exhaust since we were facing leeward at that point so I didn't see everything he had).

We spent twice as much on dining as we did on attractions. I'll talk about how much was worth it next time. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Here's a Different Kind of Tag

Courtesy of Mary...

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts.

4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Gah, this is mean. I don't like my middle name. I think I'll use my current legal middle name instead. Which is longer, so it's not really cheating.

Judgmental (though almost always privately, or with a select few people who are like me)
Assertive (when I need to be)
Courageous (in an emotional way, and in my career)
Obsessive (see my Passions page *g*)
Bossy (all my life--and now, my own boss, as well)
Unconcerned with appearances (like wearing makeup only once a month)
Serious insanity (I mean, come on, I'm a parent!)

Most, but not all, of the people I tag ignore me. That makes me feel bad for tagging them. Also ignored. So I won't tag anyone in particular, but if you want to do it, please do!


I grew up at the beach. Well, not as literally as I would have liked, but I come from a long line of beachgoers. We frequented Cape Cod and the Connecticut beaches, but the majority of our day trips and week-long vacations were taken at Misquamicut, Rhode Island. I spent the summer after my freshman year working at a concession stand on the beach on Long Island Sound.

When we went on day trips to the beach, it was a total event. We brought coolers of fried chicken and fruit and drinks. We'd get there really early to stake out our place on the state beach, and try to pick a spot close enough to the water so my mother could watch us, while far enough away that at high tide in the late afternoon we wouldn't get flooded. We often missed the target. :) We'd stay on the beach until the sun started to drop, then shower and change in the giant bath house and go to Paddy's Wigwam for dinner.

I am never as still as I can be on the beach. Not just lying on my towel, burning my back and the backs of my legs six shades darker than my front while I read for hours. But sometimes, just standing, feeling the rhythm of the surf and the wind and allowing it to calm my center.

Our beach vacation last week? Was nothing like that.

Not all of the differences were negative--in fact, most of them weren't. The world is different now. I worried about the damage to my kids (not to mention my own potential sunburn) with the thinner ozone layer, so we didn't spend days at a time on the beach. We went three times, always late in the day, and only for a couple of hours. The beaches were amazingly EMPTY. Seriously! Totally empty. Part of that was because the local schools were already back in session, but where the heck were all the tourists? (In Broadway at the Beach, apparently, but that's another post.) I liked that--I am so not into crowds.

The sand was very soft, and the free parking just over the dunes was nice. The shell collection was stellar, though I ended up with only three tiny, perfect specimens. The water was clear. But MAN, was it warm! I'm sorry, there is something seriously wrong with that. Sure, it's painful to walk into icy water in June up North. But when it's 98 degrees, it's also refreshing. None of the water I put my body into last week was in any way refreshing. Not that South Carolina has any control over that, of course.

We spent all our beach time in the water, which was the best part. I love bodysurfing, but let me tell you, the mojo of my youth is gone. When I was a kid, as far as I knew, boogie boards didn't exist. You crouched in the water, timed it, put your head down, and rode those babies into the sand. I think my memory is slightly faulty about how good at it I was, but I'm definitely worse now.

Part of it was the surf. High winds most of the week, plus really strong cross currents (the waves were at a 45- to 90-degree angle with the shore), made the waves very choppy. They crested in all the wrong places. But my kids, who haven't had much (if any) experience at this, took two minutes of my instructions and became experts. The little one, especially, had excellent timing to catch the waves. Using a boogie board makes it easier, of course, but I wasn't getting anywhere with those, either. I decided the vast different in my weight between then and now was the reason I couldn't race in to shore.

Until my husband soared past me. Jerk.

Despite my failure to ride much, we had a lot of fun. The first time we went, the surf was SO choppy you couldn't stand in one place at any point in the water. It was constantly pulling us in every direction. Good exercise, but worrisome for a mother. I wondered how my mother ever bore it, watching us swim from way up on the shore. I stayed within five feet of my kids at all times. A storm rolled in as we were getting ready to leave, so it cut that visit short. The Thursday visit was nearly the same, though maybe slightly tamer water. Saturday, everything had completely reversed. The surf was still choppy, but now heading the other way down the beach, and the wind was in the opposite direction, too.

The worst part was that after 36 summers of swimming in the ocean, sometimes with a jellyfish every two feet, and never in my life being stung...this time I got stung, with nary a jelly in sight. Okay, they're clear. Of course I couldn't see them. And it's possible that's not what it was. But I don't know what else it could have been. At first I thought the cable on my board had rubbed my thigh, but when I brushed it with my hand it hurt there, too, and then on my opposite knee. I was pretty pissed. Speaking of which, luckily, the pain was minor and subsided quickly, so no, no one peed on me. I rubbed sand on it and went back in the water and eventually all the sensation went away. On the last day Number One got stung on her hand, bad enough to get welts, but it faded as quickly for her, too.

And finally, my last comment, about the lessons of our childhood. After so many years of being told The Rules, it was easy to impart them to my kids. How to use care and good judgment in inherently dangerous water. How to stay aware of the people around them when boogie boarding. How deep they were allowed to go, both in wave and in trough.

But the really funny rule was the one about watching where our stuff was on the beach, and keeping oriented to it. All my life I've swum with one eye on the striped umbrella next to our blanket, or whatever bright thing I was able to see with my extreme nearsightedness (oh, that's something that was different, too, in a good way--I had disposable contacts this time!). So I taught my kids, especially with the very strong longshore current, to keep an eye on our chair and move back so we were always in front of it.

Except unlike when I was a kid, all four of us were always in the water. My mother usually kept an eye on us from shore, so it was important we stay where she could see us. But last week, we were always together so it didn't MATTER that we were a quarter mile away from our stuff. Even once I realized that, though, I still kept checking for it, and making everyone move back up the beach. It was far too ingrained of a Rule to defy. :)

So, tomorrow (which is really today already) I'll talk about what we did all week that kept us away from the beach.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm Back, and I'm Bushed

We got back from vacation last night, and all day today, as I tried to play catchup, people asked me if I was bushed/whooped/exhausted. I kept saying no, but now I am.

Of course, it's nearly midnight. That might have something to do with it. :)

We had a great vacation. I have plenty to blog about, but I will break it down over the next few days, so as not to overwhelm with one big Mega-Post. Tonight I shall simply mention a few random things.

I saw Stardust with my 12-year-old on vacation. It was a wonderful movie, and made me think maybe I should be reading Neil Gaiman. It had some very male influences (all the murder at the end, and the "prologue" at the beginning where a guy crosses into a new world but all he does is get laid and run away home), but those are balanced by the heart--and, of course, the romance. :) The acting was superb. I wasn't very enamored of the hero in the beginning, but fell completely in love by the end. Robert de Niro was a delight, as was Michelle Pfeiffer, one of my favorite all-time actresses (ever since Grease II). This is one I could see buying and shelving next to The Princess Bride.

I got the final proofing of The Color of Courage done and submitted to my agent, so now I should be getting back to Hummingbird. Smack me if the progress bar doesn't move. I haven't looked to see how many pages a day I need between now and next Saturday (9/1) to meet my goal of completing the draft. Too many, I'm afraid. But I'm determined.

The problem is, this week is preparation for the kids going back to school. So we have school shopping to do, and soccer practice, and three dentist visits (each kid and me), and next weekend is a soccer tournament (six games, all played an hour away over two days, which means we won't be home much at all). Plus, we have to visit each of the schools, get the middle schooler's schedule, meet the third-grader's teacher and see where all the classrooms are, etc.

Next week, of course, should be better, as they'll be in school and I shall have tons of time to write. Except for taking the car in for repair (assuming they can figure out what's wrong). And more soccer practices every evening. And lunch with my old coworkers, because I've been putting them off all summer, though I can keep that short and I always combine it with a necessary trip to the post office, which is a block away.

Overall, I'm very excited about school being back in. :)

The other thing I'm excited about is my new nephew. Miller Logan Jacobus is a looong baby (21.75 inches!) and a normal weight (which I can't remember right now) and he looks like he's a very relaxed, contemplative kid. Since he's my brother's son, I'm sure that won't last. :) I can't wait to see him.

So, tomorrow I'll talk about the beach portion of my vacation, and how it's so funny that deeply ingrained rules from childhood can dictate your actions in adulthood. And what happened to me for the first time ever at the beach. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hooked Ya

I've been remiss with this blogging thing for several reasons. I was deep in revisions of The Color of Courage, for which my agent is waiting. I've also been highly focused on my 8-year-old's new mouth of metal and her inability to eat anything without swallowing it whole. And preparing for vacation. We leave on Sunday for Myrtle Beach. Today it was 97 degrees there but felt like 115. Yay. So anyway, don't get your hopes up, you robbers who troll blogs to find out when people go on vacation. Our house will not be empty, and there's nothing here worth stealing, anyway.

So. MaryF was talking about chapter hooks today. That is, I say with a touch of modesty, one of my strengths. So I thought I'd share a few:

From The Color of Courage:

When my positive emotions touched Gino's seething, negative ones, he seemed to explode in the conflict. He wrenched his arm away from me, grabbed a fistful of my jacket at the shoulder, and jumped.

From Brianna's Navy SEAL:

Pulling Brianna hard against his chest, Cable had one thing to say before his mouth found hers again.


From Rebuilding Forever:

Seconds later Seth felt cold and empty, aching with missing Cassie.
But at least he wasn’t fantasizing about ****ing Julian anymore.

From Unbreakable:

She wondered why she hadn’t allowed herself this before. Why she had let the bad guys steal a large part of her life, just by keeping her afraid for so long. Wondered what it would be like to really let go. What it would hurt.

A short time later, she knew.

And from my newest work in progress, Hummingbird:

Jason leapt up the two steps between him and Matt, shoving him back against the wall. Something hot slammed into his shoulder. He jerked. Tripped over the legs of the attacker at his feet, and lost his balance.

He had only a moment to register the shock and horror on Matt’s face before tipping backward over the railing.

In searching for some good examples, it occurred to me that the impact of hooks is difficult to convey with just a line or two. We tend to think of them in terms of the last line, the shocking or intriguing or scary or tender thing that makes us want to see what comes next. But that last line by itself is really nothing. It's the payoff for a buildup that has been going on for paragraphs, pages, or chapters. So you may be looking at my chapter hooks and thinking, "well, geez, she's unjustifiably arrogant." :) And you might be right. But hopefully, when you read those books, and you get to those chapter hooks, you'll keep right on reading.

Even if it's 2:00 a.m. :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Music Tag

Mary tagged me with a Pop Culture meme! SO not the right meme for me. I sang songs, sure. But damned if I usually had any clue who was singing what, and when I hear some of my "favorites" now, I realize how few lyrics I actually ever knew. *sigh* Okay, here goes.

Here are the rules:

1. Go to this link at Pop Culture Madness (scroll down - see the list of years on the left?)

2. Pick the year you turned 18

3. Pick five songs from that year

4. Wax nostalgic about each song and why it’s special

5. Pass it on to 5 more friends

I turned 18 in December 1988

1. The Flame, Cheap Trick

Huh. This was a hit in 1988? I would swear I remember roller skating to this song during doubles with a guy I dated in junior high. It was a sweet moment, ruined when he let go of my hand because he immediately commented on how sweaty we were from holding hands. Hmmm. Maybe that was that Kenny Loggins song from that movie, instead. Or was that Kris Kristofferson?

2. Kokomo, The Beach Boys

I always liked the Beach Boys, but this song drove me INSANE my senior year of high school. It was the epitome of far too much air play. To this day, I can't listen to it.

Already, I'm having a hard time choosing a song that meant anything special to me, except one, and that one has to be last.

3. Look Away, Chicago

Chosen only because it was the #1 hit the week that ended on my birthday.

4. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Poison

I suppose Poison was a "rock" band, but none of the "rock" songs on the list really seem to. This song, and Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N Roses, and the previously mentioned Cheap Trick are easily identifiable as 80s rock because the lead singers all wore really, really supertight pants--they had to, to get their voices that high. Most of the other music was bouncy and soft and lyrical. Now that I think about it, that's kind of how I felt that year. So I suppose it's fitting.

5. Wild, Wild West, Escape Club

After The Flame, this is my favorite of the weekly hits. I betcha you won't guess why. It's because it's so DIFFERENT from all the rest! Yes, when you listen, you can guess--even if you're a music dunce like me--what era it hails from. But the lyrics and the images and the instruments are all unique, and it endures even to today because of that.

Oh, wait. No, that's not completely right. It is my second favorite, and it is different, but I keep mixing it up with One Night in Bangkok. That's the one with the instruments and the images. And the one where you stand in the place where you live, now, face west--that one keeps playing in my head. But this one has the gunshot, so I still mean it.

See what I mean? Totally worthless.

Okay, let me tag some people who are completely the opposite and will have interesting and pithy things to say, and were born in different years so have different music from which to choose. Megan, Smith, Misty, Bicky, and Jody, have at it!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Goals Progress, July

Whew, was July a hectic month. Probably a little too much going on, too many big events. Still, my goals didn't fare too badly:

I said I wasn't going to talk about this anymore, but I'm down 11 pounds. Not too bad for someone not trying nearly hard enough.

Probably the most successful goal so far, and the most surprisingly so. My goal is 300 days of exercise. I'm at 187 and skipped 29. That means I have 113 to go and can skip 36 more, which is 7 a month maximum. I don't think I'll have any trouble meeting this goal.

I read 12 books in July, in addition to 7 magazines and 3 critiques of varying lengths. And guess what? For the first time all year, I'm at my goal! I actually have a possibility of reading 115 books in a year. I have to keep up the pace, though. No slacking off, or I'll lose it again.

*sigh* I thought this was going to be the easiest one. But revisions are killing me. I have had a huge aversion to them, which translates to taking wayyyy too long to get them done, which has meant less writing all year than I planned. Plus, the current work in progress is not coming very fast or smoothly. So even with my copywriting work added in, I only had 24,362 words for July. I'm at 147,914 for the year, but I have 202,086 to go, which means almost 41,000 words a month from here on out. I'm not sure that's going to be possible, especially if I get the revisions of The Color of Courage done and it gets sold and needs more revisions.

But I'm not giving up!

Things I'm looking forward to in August:

The Bourne Supremacy (date night tonight!)
Vacation (Myrtle Beach)
Football preseason! (makes the very late start to the fall TV season less painful)
School starting (and me being alone to work)
Visiting my new nephew (and his parents) (only listed last because it's at the very end of the month)

So how are you doing, IF you set goals for the year?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #17

Thirteen Reasons I Haven't Posted In A Week

1. I didn't wanna
No offense, it's not you, it's me. Seriously. Not enough sleep, a very busy schedule, and consequent fatigue made me not care about low-priority stuff. That mostly meant housework and this blog.

2. Appointments
Orthodontist (x2)
New tires on car
Service for car
Eye doctor (x2)
Plus travel time for each. Really cut into my days.

3. Errands
Grocery store (like, every freakin' day)
Pick up Triptik from AAA
Post office
Picking up files for transcription
Shopping for pets and kids
And so on

4. Workload
I'm trying to do revisions on The Color of Courage so my agent can start submitting it. They are daunting, and I feel I need silence and hours of time to tackle them--which, of course, is virtually impossible during the summer. I've been working on it in pieces, but allowing fear to hold me back, something I very rarely do. In addition I've had medical transcription and proofreading work, and critiquing for friends (which shouldn't take priority but this time did because last time I didn't).

5. Family Time
With the kids home in the summer, there's a lot more demand on me in this area. Soccer camp and practice, cup stacking camp, the aforementioned appointments and errands, playing games, making meals, driving to friends houses or taking them to the pool or park. It's neverending.

6. The Damned Ants
We have had those little tiny grease ants (or whatever--I assume they are grease ants because you throw a butter or peanut butter knife in the sink and they are all over it in our kitchen for weeks now. We had traps out at first, though I said they are not colonizing ants, but nomadic ants (according to some "expert" in my childhood). I may not be right about that, but the eight traps around the sink were not helping. We never can see where exactly they are coming in, but we figured it was the windowsill. We tried white caulk. Plumber's goop. And finally fingertip rope caulk, which stuck the best and was easy to use. I have spent hours over the last week sealing every crack and hole I can find around the window. No luck. So yesterday I bought Borax. It's boric acid, isn't it? The stuff the Naturzone people use. So I laid a very Supernatural-like trail along the windowsill and around the sink. For 12 hours, not a single ant. This morning? They were swarming the sink and crawling ACROSS the Borax.

Damned ants.

7. Potter Issues
I'd said I was going to post on Monday about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I started at least three posts, writing two of them almost to completion. But after an abruptly ended discussion with a friend (my fault) and participation in/witness to discussions elsewhere, I decided I'm not going to post about the book here. Why? Because I love it. I love the entire series. I do not find it flawless, but the flaws are meaningless. And in every conversation I see, the list of things people love is glossed over, and then nitpick after nitpick is made. I end up going into defensive mode--not necessarily defending Rowling, who needs no defense as she wrote the books she wanted to write and doesn't care if they are universally loved or loathed--but defensive of my own appreciation. As if people calling the epilogue "nasty" or "cheesy" are calling me such things because I love it. I don't like myself when I get that way, and I don't like anyone who puts me there, so it's best to just avoid the topic.

8. Fatigue
Kind of connected to #1, except #1 is about not caring, #7 is about not having the mental energy to come up with something to say. Last night is a good example of this category. I have avoided blogging in the morning because of all the other stuff filling my regular day (see numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). But by the time night rolls around, I'm way too tired to think. Then I have issues about going to bed. Whether it's because my biorhythms trend later, or because I don't want to give up the peace and solitude of the late evening/middle of the night, or because I have a computer/book/food addiction issue, I've been going to bed very late every night. Last night I finished transcription at 10. Finished critiquing near 2. Skimmed a few blogs, was about to head upstairs, but saw about the bridge in Minnesota, and had to read the timeline of events/notices about that. It was 3:00 a.m. by the time I fell asleep, and I got up at 9:00. I won't go to bed before midnight tonight, at least, which means just as little sleep for tomorrow. Which makes me tired. I know, I know, go to bed earlier, idiot! Maybe someday.

9. Summer Overload
July was a very, very busy month. Family in town for a week. Nickelback. Harry Potter movie (midnight showing!). Harry Potter book (midnight release!). Number One's 12th birthday and subsequent slumber party. It's been one big event after another, leading to fabulous highs and one big crash at the end.

Also, there's the desperate need for the middle of my day to be mine again. I always reach a point where I loathe the routine that becomes a rut during the school year, and I'm not ready for summer to be truly over. It's been a nice one weather-wise, with all the extra light. I love not having to get up at 6:30 every day (unless I flake out when scheduling auto service). I like the lack of structure, the unlack of flexibility (I LOVE flexibility!). But I really, really long to be alone for six hours.

10. Gilmore Girls
I've been watching it on DVD from Netflix, and enjoying it a lot. Also Dark Angel, as you know. But Jim and I watch DA together, which means pretty much just Friday, and I can watch two GG in a week. I have a problem watching less than a full disk once I start, though, and have not wanted to sacrifice GG time for blogging time.

Here's the funny thing--on several levels, actually. Jim has gotten hooked on the show. So much so that the other night he turned off City of Heroes to come watch on the couch with me. He says he likes the banter and the dialogue, but what he comments on most are the relationships. It's delightful and amusing and I love him. But he wouldn't let me watch last night because he has a standing team on Wednesday nights and they are very experienced and move very fast and he can't split his attention. So that kinda sucks. But I'm not complaining that we have another shared interest, especially when we've had so few over the last few years.

11. Nothing good to say
Usually, in the shower I'll think of something I want to post about. It comes out well-written (hopefully) and makes me want to post it right away. I've had nothing like that for more than a week. I'm not sure when, or if, the drought will lift. Hey, if you think of things you'd like to hear me talk about, post them in the comments!

12. Instant Messaging
On the rare times I haven't been away from my desk or working on the workload, I've had some really interesting and valuable conversations with friends. It's the only way I do it, usually, because I hate the phone. HATE it. Hatehatehatehate. I can do IMs for hours, and not resent the lost time because I can do other things at the same time. In theory.

13. Thursday Thirteen
Items 1 through 12 applied intermittently over the last couple of days. But then I thought this would be a kinda good TT topic. Which meant I shouldn't post until today. Yes, I am a cheater. But you love me anyway. :)

Stay tuned tomorrow for my July Goals Progress and hopefully the End to Ennui!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!