Friday, June 30, 2006

Isn't that just loverly?

We had a nice anniversary. My body managed to settle down (thank goodness), I guess it was the extra sleep that helped. Dinner at Lilly's was nice -- and it was fun watching all the other couples. Lots of first dates there, some going well, some going not so well. Body language is fun.

After dinner, we took a drive through the park and saw just an amazing number of fireflies. Thousands. It was really beautiful and hard to describe - I don't think words do it justice and I doubt if film could capture it. They were floating everywhere, decorating the trees like Christmas lights, settling down on the ground for an instant, then up again. Just beautiful.

We had a nice talk too, got a little maudlin and what not, but it was good.

9 years. Can't hardly believe it. Though really, almost 15. In August we'll have our "been together" anniversary.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Feelin' Strange....

I feel really strange right now. It started last night -- freezing cold but sweating like crazy. And some sneezing thrown in this AM. I hope I'm not coming down with something. I kept up with the sweaty-freezing all the way until I woke up and took a shower...and in my nice warm shower, I got dizzy. What is wrong with me?? ugh.

And today, of course, is our 9th anniversary. Tony got home about 11:45 last night (they can't seem to get a plane out on time in Chicago, I swear) and we pretty much went right to bed. He's at work now (no chance of a day off, but I guess that's just as well, since I think I'm gonna collapse for a while and drink fluids out the wazoo).

Tonight we have a reservation at 6:30 at Lilly's on Bardstown Road. We've only eaten their once and we weren't prepared for it, so hopefully my body settles down by that time. It will, darn it.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Titled: No Title

Wow, I'm just sooooo tired all the time. I ran out today for just a bit to find some fabric to re-cover the chairs in the dining room with (found some, and on sale to boot) and to make curtains out of (no luck here). Then to the store to re-fill my prescriptions and pick up various other sundries....and now, I'm plumb tuckered, as some Southern person somewhere has sometime said.

From 7 to 9 tonight there's an Argentinian tango/jazz thing at the library and Tony's plane comes in at 9:30. Am I gonna make it to the Argentinian thing? Not sure. I'd really like to sleep....

Was up way too late last night first talking to Denise about the art show stuff and her new job (go Denise!) and then researching new beds. We've decided we really do need one. Either that, or our nickname will be "pretzel people." I was thinking one of those Select Comfort Sleep Number beds, but after looking around, Comfortaire seems the way to go. Quite a bit cheaper and the guy who started SC actually started out at Comfortaire. So, basically the same product without all the Lindsay Wagner advertising overhead. Though, seriously, how much would her endorsement cost you??

I've read a TON of books in the last week or so. I guess because it kind of fits in with the whole "don't feel like doing anything" but still kind of doing something. At least, I don't feel as bad when I've read a book vs. just zoning out. 'Cause trust me, I could zone. I've pretty much done a book a day, sometimes more. Of course, I should be actually writing instead, but suffice it to say I am feeling grandly uninspired and the words that come, pretty much the same. I've never been able to fully figure out whether it is worth it to just force myself to write anyway when I know I'll have to re-write whole chunks. Anyway.

So...last night I finished Fly by Night (Harding -- very awesome. Definitely a new author to watch). Today I've gotten half way through The Year the Gypsies Came (I'd probably be farther along if it weren't kind of depressing). Before that, I'd finished off Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn, Theodora Twist, Secrets of My Hollywood Life (which I happily finished before the chat with the author), Grand & Humble (Hartinger, who is a heckuva nice guy), and Avi's Strange Happenings. I think I'm forgetting one or two. I need to finish off Gideon, the Cutpurse (what's up with Gideon's lately? It's not exactly a common name...) and A Brief Chapter In My Impossible Life.

Boy, it really would be nice if you got paid to read. I would be a kazillionaire. Perhaps my greatest talent is reading -- I can read fast and retain the whole thing -- and I don't speed read (don't really believe in it). But I read faster than most speed readers. This, of course, drove Tony absolutely insane when we had college classes together. For an average size book, like any of the above (save for Fly By Night, which was a little longer), I can read the whole thing within 3 hours. Approximately 100 pages an hour.

This talent, of course, doesn't work very well with, say, actuarial books. Or tax law. But it's still pretty handy.

The Invisible Girl

We've been watching more movies lately (when Tony is actually home) on the "big screen", though mostly the one in the house, since it is so godawful hot outside right now. Not to mention the mosquitoes....

Anyway, the last two were Elizabethtown and The Fantastic Four. Not exactly movies you'd normally associate together, but they happened to be next to each other in my Netflix queue. Elizabethtown we wanted to see since it's set (technically) in a nearby town and Louisville is featured in it. Kinda funky to see stuff you see every day in a movie. Orlando Bloom is in it -- a very different kind of role for him. And he was very committed to it. The coolest part was the road trip Kirsten Dunst's character put together for him. Awesome road trip. I wanna go.

The Fantastic Four was better than I thought it would be. If I remember right, I don't think it got stellar reviews at the box office. But I actually enjoyed it. Jessica Alba (of Dark Angel fame) is the Invisible Woman (or girl, as her brother, the Human Torch, would have it). The best part though, might be the extras that include Stan Lee waxing excited on the whole experience. He's a guy that would be cool to meet.

I feel like the Invisible Woman sometimes myself lately, especially at home. The MIL almost never directs a question or a sentence to me and when I do speak, she invariably cannot hear me -- but instead of asking me what I said, she always turns to Tony for him to translate. "What did she say?" she asks him. Hello? I'm right here! And when she does talk to me, it nearly always seems to have something snide hidden in it (not that I think she does this on purpose (I hope) -- she's just always negative -- even when she's talking to Tony she's either completely doting on him or completely sniping at him) --lately, to me, it's been: "Boy, that kid that *you* hired sure did kill *Tony's* lawn," though it's *we* in both cases. And yes, darn it, I know he did. I don't need to be reminded again and again. (And yes, I realize that this is exactly the kind of stuff I'm not supposed to write in a blog. But oh well. That's what I get for not having any female friends close by. You can just pretend I'm invisible too. You never read this.)

*Sigh* Our poor lawn. We'd gotten it to a lovely green state, the kind of lawn you wanted to walk in barefoot and curl your toes in (which you couldn't do in Florida -- there'd be sand spurs waiting there for you). Now, it's green in parts, and scalped in others. Tom's son cut it way, way, way too short. I guess that's what you get for trying to do a favor for a friend -- his son needed some spending cash for the summer. We've been watering it every day, hoping for a comeback. I'm not sure what else to do with it.Maybe some fertilizer or something. Maybe some plugs, since it's looking like a dog that got into an argument with a hair trimmer and lost.

I dunno. Lately, I just don't really feel like doing anything. I just want to curl up in bed with a book or just...sleep. Sleep, perchance to dream. I'd go visit one of my sisters for a month, except for the kitties. Gracie is my teddy bear. A teddy bear with admittedly fishy breath and a very demanding attitude, but she's still quite cuddly when she wants to be. Even Harley is being a good cuddlebug.

The dreams though...been having those weird sci-fi-ish ones again lately. I need to keep a pad of paper by the bed so I can write them down a la Holly Lisle. Especially since I can't seem to remember them just a few minutes after waking up. I think the one last night had something to do with a penguin...or maybe a civet.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

6 Hours...

The time change is totally kicking my butt. I don't know how Tony does it. It barely seems to phase him at all. In fact, I dropped him off at the airport this morning for Chicago (and then he leaves from there tonight to go on to Toronto). The man is like the Energizer Bunny or something.

Spain was great, all around. Some things surprised me...
  • Everyone smokes there. It's hard to get away from. Much more than in Italy (at least from what I remember). And our brief stopover in Frankfort at the airport...the whole airport reeked of smoke. It was awful. And I thought Kentucky was bad.
  • Very few people spoke any English and even those that did, really didn't want to use it. It's like what you hear about the French.
  • I'd always heard about Castillian Spanish (you know, the lisping), but there are actually a total of 6 different main dialects in Spain. The Basque is really, really hard. They have all these K's and X' looks a lot like Greek and sounds like a mush of French, Portuguese, and Spanish altogether. Madrid was easiest -- it's Castillian there, but at least it is closer to what I learned way back when in school.
  • Graffitti was absolutely everywhere, especially in the larger cities. It's really terrible. Beautiful, incredible and very historic buildings even have graffitti. I'll never understand that because it isn't strangers coming's people doing it to their own town. That was the most depressing thing. More graffitti than I've seen anywhere else, including places like New York and Miami.
  • No one drinks sherry (jerez). All those travel channel things about how everyone drinks sherry with their tapas? Not even close. Yeah, everyone eats tapas, but they pretty much are drinking either cerveza, vino, or sangria. The one place we were actually able to get sherry (once I got the guy to understand what I was asking), he actually had to leave the bar and get it from another area. And it wasn't just regional -- same thing in all the places we visited. The Food Network lies.
  • Flamenco still rocks, but the Spanish don't go to see it much anymore. We went to one of the older places (Torres Bermejas), and only tourists were there. I read in an interview later (here at home, and with two of the people we actually saw - Toni el Pelao & Uchi) how the dancers are lamenting the fact that the Spaniards just don't go anymore. Such a shame. Such a beautiful thing -- both the bailaors (dancers) and the cantaors (singers), not to mention the guitar playing guys. Tony was just in love with it. He could hardly contain himself from clapping.
  • Spain is expensive (es muy caro!), even in the smaller cities. Not sure we could afford to live there.
  • We still love the markets (mercados). Probably the reason we will one day have to live in Europe. Well, that and the food.

I posted all the pictures via the other blog ( ) and if I weren't so tired, I'd link them from here too. Maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Counting Down... Cinco, Quatro, Tres, Dos, Uno...

Counting down until Thursday, when we're off to Spain. This will be our first really real vacation since we moved--no work involved, though Tony is taking his laptop with him. I don't think I could talk him into leaving it if I tried.

I am leaving mine behind though. I need a break. Shoot, my elbow needs a break.

Tomorrow I'm going to stockpile a few more reviews and mail a shipment of prize books and then I'm gonna shut the sucker down.

Well, probably not. I'm sure I'll be checking e-mail until the last minute. But I can dream.

I've been doing some of the Spanish CD's -- I got through 3 of them today. It's helping me to remember some things, which is good. At least I can remember a lot of the vocabulario -- I just can't put it all together very easily. And now I've got Italian fighting it out with the Spanish in my head. What comes out is often not even Spanglish...more like Spanalianish. I'll probably wind up resorting to pointing and hand gestures, but I'll try. Hopefully that will count for something. And at least I can still read it fairly well!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bath Time

I gave Harley and Grace a bath today. Harley took it surprisingly well -- maybe he knew he was starting to smell. Grace didn't even struggle too much -- but she kept up a steady meowwrrr the whole time to let me know she was not at all into this whole getting clean thing.

They still smell like wet cat. What's with that smell? How do all cats smell the same when wet? The same with dog -- anyone can identify wet dog smell. At least wet cat is slightly better than wet dog.

Trying to cross stuff off my list in preparation for our trip. At least we don't have to worry about the house -- Tony's mom will be here and Lisa Casey will be coming in to take care of the kitties. And, of course, I'm sure Rich & Bob will keep an eye out for us.

Now I'm just trying to find clothes to pack that won't make me look too sausage-like. I don't know what it is about moving North, but both of us have been battling the bulge a bit. This past weekend's walk around the Bernhein was nice; we'll have to try and do that more often. Maybe even get some bikes. Perhaps a tandem. I have as much trouble keeping up with Tony on a bike as I do running -- his legs must be at least a foot longer than mine.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

ERrrrr...what was it again?

Darn. I had a whole post in my head last night and now heck if I can remember what it was at all! Ugh!

We watched Hotel Rwanda last night with Don Cheadle. He's such a great actor and hardly ever gets his due. The movie was...heartbreaking. I had always been curious as to why the Hutus and the Tutsi's hated each other so much and to find out why/how was just awful. There's really NO reason. Not that there's ever a good reason for genocide, but in their case, the distinction between a Hutu and a Tutsi is primarily a made-up one (former Belgian colonists) -- the Belgians who occupied the country basically made the distinction based on whatever they wanted -- thinner noses, lighter skin...but it was arbitrary. And after they left, the Hutus took power and took revenge upon the Tutsi's who had enjoyed more liberties under the Belgians.

There's another, perhaps more historically accurate, description here.

History...ah, it changes with every writer.

But, no matter the who, the what, and the why, the story and the genocide that happened are just heartbreaking. And, of course, similar things go on every day in other countries. Nothing is more shocking and terrible than the things that people do to each other. We always seem to find a way to group ourselves and ways to define "outsiders" or "others." Even if we were all colorblind, there would be ways. It would be based on height or width of the eyes or who knows what.


Today we have to go to a AAA office to get our International Driver's Permits for Spain. You have to even get some passport-sized photos to go with it. Joy. Another official picture I can look awful in.

In writing news...still haven't heard anything from the publisher, but I know they are busy, so I'm not reading anything into that. I've actually worked a bit on Abigail, though I'm feeling generally uninspired, so I get the feeling that whatever I've added lately is going to get some work done to it in revision.

In site more donations have come in. :-( Expenses...still going up. I'm hoping to move to a new (and cheaper) hosting provider sometime in June or July. That will definitely help. I did kick off two new contests (and please, do enter! I always have a cadre of site members who enter every contest, but if new people don't enter, there's really not much use in continuing them. It's kind of silly to just give away books to the same people every month and not much use to the publisher or the author. So far I've always had enough new people to give books to both groups -- some new, some old, but summer is always kind of strange -- a lot of people find the site when searching for information on a book for school). The chat with Sarah Mlynowski went pretty well. I'd have liked it if a few more people showed up, but enough were there that the conversation never lagged. I'll have to see about setting up more chats in the future. They kids in the forum are asking me to set up one with a publisher. And we are planning on having a chat with Stephenie Meyer in October.

I need to update the Prize Bucket. I'll hopefully get that done tomorrow.