Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Decorate Your Life

That was my "fortune", or directive rather, from my Dove chocolate today. I like it. First thought was that I need some Arm Candy. Need to publish that profile already. Next thing I thought of was the progress on my condo. The hall is now the right shade of green. It's bright and cheery and aprox the color of my blog background, not the color of a dank cave.

Had a bit of a delay in the blog entries. Here's why: I love my mom. She's a great mom and a good person. And we stomp all over each others buttons as adults. My brother can live with my parents (but doesn't, don't worry); I can't. After a couple of days of sociability we drive each other nuts without meaning to. I didn't want to vent all that angst here; I've done enough of that already. And she did get the sharp sand ground mostly off the hall walls which took 2 days. These 3 small, declawed walls were finally able to be repainted in a bright lime green of my choosing (technically, of my architect's choosing) that perked the place up. And mom pulled out a super ugly light box, made of 1 board and some metal strips which held no load, that was held in with 49 (count 'em 49!!!) 1.25" nails. And some staples, just to be on the safe side I guess. I kid you not - she was so stunned at the excess that she saved them all to show me. And it's just not right to bitch excessively about someone who'll help you decorate your life like that, so no blog for me.

I've saved up a lot of randomness since the last post. Don't know about the happiness - I've mostly been in coma mode since mom left and then my aerobed deflated. I'm trying their online recommended fix from the FAQ - but I'll try.
  1. Cancer. No this doesn't make me happy. But I have a good friend who is now done with her cancer treatments, her hair is coming back in, and she's going strong. And I just checked out the EFO website and found that they cycle their songs while you surf the site. I haven't listened to them in a while, and and forgot how much I like them so have spent the last hour listening to tunes. You and me in a rowboat to Rio. Need to update the iPod library... anyhow, I wondered what was up with Julie, their lead singer who got breast cancer in '05. They had a concert in my old hometown after I moved, and it appears from other web updates (not theirs, strangely) that she's on the mend. US cancer deaths have dropped 7% in the last measurement period. And there's now a vaccine for preventing 70% of cervical cancer. Will pap smears become a thing of the past? Here's hoping.
  2. I made a change to a process at work that made things better. The equipment recovered from a down state more quickly and gave more controlled results with a couple of simple changes, one of which was suggested by the equipment guys, one I came up with myself. The equipment came up quickly from a major overhaul and was running production before I left. Yay! Now I just have to finalize the documentation and we'll be all set.
  3. Ameci's Pizza with sausage, mushrooms, and pepperoncini. I can't justify the cost of also adding black olives, but those are good too. It's thankfully near my workplace and one small pizza is enough for 2-3 meals. Their cheese reheats well and doesn't turn to oil. The sauce is tasty and added in sufficient quantity. The crust it puffy (I prefer thin) but is so tasty I enjoy it anyway. It's good tasty pizza. And comes with Dr. Pepper at lunch.
  4. Found a fun blog to read. Like her prose and her take on life. And her online name.
Ok. Just going to ramble now.

Saw a movie trailer for "Bridge to Terabithia". It looks like it'll be a fantastical romp for older kids, but I remember it as the unnecessarily upsetting book that put me off award winning "literature" the same year I learned to spell chrysanthemum and parentheses. Spoiler: the depressed kid's larger than life new best friend dies in a river accident. I never did figure out how that was necessary to the story. I read romance novels now. People might die in them, but you can count on the hero and heroine (or hero and hero, depending on sub genre) being better off at the end of the book than they were at the beginning, character and relationship growth, and other good things. One could argue that the mini-hero of Terabithia is better off for having known our tomboy heroine (who I never remembered as a little personality), but I still think he'd have been better off if she hadn't died and nothing in 26 years has changed my mind.

I've been talking to too many authors and reading too many blogs about writing. I've been getting picky about what I read. (I'm trying also to incorporate my new knowledge into my own writing, but am not having this professionally published so I'm off the hook. I know I use too many parentheses. Was it to hide from the end of BtT?) Published authors are not absolved.
  • I picked up a book from the TBR pile this week. There was a confusing punctuation error in the first paragraph. The second paragraph had a "chartered plane crash" - how much does it cost to charter a crash? It was hard to tell if the book was supposed to be from the POV of an omniscient narrator, just omniscient, or from the hero/heroine. I'm struggling with chapter 3 and I think it's the H/H POV. But she head hops in bad ways, or just writes in such a way that the POV could be from anyone, so it feels detached. One "rule" used by author Suzanne Brockmann is that if you're describing a scene from one character's POV, anything that character identifies with in that scene needs to be evident to the reader. Well, in this chapter 3, the 'hero' is trying to start a summer camp for kids suffering with his personal academic problems, but avoids letting us know what those problems are, even when we see his grey matter agitating over it. I'm 90% certain it's dyslexia, and am 100% certain that it's not worth the suspense of keeping the particular problem a secret from the reader, whether or not I'm right. He knows what the problem is, we're in his head, we should know it too.
  • I was reading another book by an author that I sometimes enjoy a lot and sometimes don't: Susan Donovan (Take a Chance on Me, with the vet, is fantastic). I was recently reading a later book and it was fun but... Most of the characters were pretty one dimensional. People had problems, but they got resolved too easily. The ex-husband was such a schmuck you know he's gone for good and good riddance, there's no messiness of trying to blend lives. And there was a theme building about the Heroine's (H) artwork. Author Jenny Cruise recently blogged about story arcs. She arcs the characters, the plots, and the secondary details/themes, and now I know why. In this book, we're left hanging! H starts thinking about getting back into painting. H goes to get art supplies and buys 3 large panels. H starts thinking about what to paint on the 3 panels to make a triptych. So far so good. We see some of her inspiration. Hero sets up lovely studio for H that is big enough for the triptych. Then nothing! I'm now 5 days done with the book and still waiting to see what goes on the triptych! SD went through the bother of building up this detail step by step in an arc that paralleled H's growth, then let it vanish into thin air. Why? Where did it go? Without it, there was very little need for H to be an artist. She could have vented her angst in some way that intruded into the story less. And without that payoff, this detail was just an intrusion.

One last thing. The hills directly across the freeway from my new home were redecorated by fire a coupla days ago. That's right, I saw flames and drove by fire trucks when I got off my exit at the freeway. I guess I'm really a Californian now. I'm starting to think that keeping the camping gear in the trunk is the way to go. Mom got me a hand cranked generator for Christmas to keep the cell phone fired up in case the fires or earthquakes take out the electricity and I'm cut off from civilization.

There, is that enough? I still need to do my glass site and match profile, so it better be.

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