Thursday, November 29

It is finished
... and a day early, no less. I hate procrastination.
Final word count: 50,010.

Wednesday, November 28

Somebody dim the lights
File this under "Kids say the darnedest things:"

Dessert is a rarity in our house. In fact, I'd say it's a once-in-a-blue-moon occasion. We just don't buy dessert, we don't need it. Doodle doesn't know any better, and my hubby isn't into sweets. I, on the other hand, furtively throw handfuls of Nerds down my throat during the day at work to make up for the lack of sugar at the dinner table. ;)

Even at our weekly Sunday dinner, when we go to my in-laws house, dessert is reserved for special occasions. Birthdays, usually.

So at Thanksgiving, we finish our gorging on the turkey and all the other carb-heavy fare, and then it's time for pie. Glorious pumpkin pie. We each are served our plates, including Doodle, and we wait patiently for everyone to be seated so we can mow down on the scrumptious treat.

Doodle has a look of utter confusion on his face when we commence the eating of the pie. Confusion turns to anger. "Lights off!" he yells.
I give him a look. "Lights off? Why do you want the lights off?"
"Hapbirday," he says. In English, "happy birthday."
"Ohhhhhh," I say, and explain to the rest of the family that Doodle thinks it's time to sing happy birthday, since we're having dessert.

So not only did we dim the lights, but we sang "Happy Birthday" to the turkey, because it was the first thing that came to mind. Too bad it wasn't alive to enjoy the song sung in its honor.

Then, and only then, was it acceptable to eat our pie.

Tuesday, November 27

A miraculous thing has occurred in the KJ household. The Wiggles have fallen out of favor. Greg, Murray, Jeff and Anthony have been replaced in Doodle's heart by a monkey who goes by the name of George.

Curious George is way easier to tolerate. There are no hokey songs or dances, no annoying pirates or dinosaurs. The episodes are cute, and most importantly, easy for an adult to tune out.

Plus I've come to have an appreciation for the Man in the Yellow Hat. The man has the patience of Job. How he's not taken is beyond me. Sure, he's a little eccentric, what with that whole yellow outfit thing. But he's obviously financially well off. He has a nice apartment in the city, with a doorman and a snooty Dachsund in the lobby, as well as a quaint country home near Lake Wannasink Lake. I haven't been able to glean what he does for a living, but in his spare time, he takes on projects such as taking a moth census, studying the nocturnal feeding habits of raccoons, etc. So I'm thinking he's some kind of Ph.D. in what, zoology?

Plus, the man has a monkey for a pet. Haven't you always wanted a monkey? He'd be a great dad. When George absolutely trashes his house, or worse -- someone else's, he just shrugs his shoulders in an "aw shucks" sort of way and either just cleans it up himself or offers to pay for whatever damage his monkey has caused.

I know in one episode he tried to work it with Professor Wiseman, but I don't know if she's into him or whether they're just friends. Me, I think he's a total catch.

Friday, November 23

Staring down 40k
Yes, it's true, I'm still on pace to finish National Novel Writing Month. Tomorrow I should reach 40,000 words. That's only 10,000 more to go. My novel is pretty much about to wind down anyway, so I just have to embellish some parts and tie up some loose ends, and my characters should have long, semi-happy lives.

I haven't really been up for sharing, but when it's over I might post excerpts just so everyone can see what a mess it's been all month. Or make suggestions as to how to fix it, should I ever be so inclined.

As I mentioned before, being forced to write a certain amount of words every day has made me pretty regimented. If I have certain things that need to be accomplished each day, I know I can't lollygag because I still have the daunting task ahead of me of pegging out 1,667 words before my head can hit the pillow. It really does amaze me how much extra time I have had during the evenings if I just cut out some of the time-wasting activities (hello, myspace! how are ya!) that I engage in.

And I've even squeezed in some serious treadmill time. Probably the most walking I've done since I was pregnant and under doctor's orders to do so. I hope that the results are showing in my waistline. Next month when there is less writing to do I am going to step it up (har) even more. Or so I say now.

Maybe I can declare December to be National Treadmill Walking Month (NaTreWaMo) and come up with some kind of crazy mileage number to hit every day.

That's not such a bad idea, actually ... ;)

Tuesday, November 13

Young talent
Congrats to Cleveland Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia on winning the Cy Young. He may not have had as many wins as Josh Beckett but he had a damn good year. Too bad we don't have a ring to back that up.

Sunday, November 11

I just had to kill off one of my characters' high school girlfriends, and it was kind of painful. I hated to do it, because it makes my character a total train wreck for years. I do plan on giving him a happy ending, though.

Tomorrow, if all goes well, I will be hitting the 20,000 word mark. That's a lot of words. And it's not even halfway to the end of this crapfest I'm calling my NaNo novel. The last chapter, though, was not too bad. Might be its own story someday after this is all over.

Friday, November 9

So long, and thanks for all the fish
What did YOU get in the mail today?

I got a fish.

Look! You can squeeeeeeeeeze it!

It's a "pay it forward" kind of thing, as you may be able to see from the note. It is signed by the person who sent it to me (at first, I thought it was autographed by the Browns or something... dammit!) as well as, I'm assuming, the people who had it before her.

So now I am charged with this fish, and finding the next sucker recipient. Everyone in my office told me that they will be mean to me until I find someone to pass it to.

It also came to me with postage due. So thanks for that.
Are there just some songs that you hear and have to restrain yourself from belting it out along with the radio, cd, 8-track, or what have you? I have several. I am a self-admitted car singer alonger, so adding my semi-decent voice on top of an already good song is almost second nature to me. I tend to be drawn to songs which are within my singing range. And usually by male artists, with few exceptions (Shawn Colvin and Sheryl Crow come to mind). When I make mix cd's for my car, the same songs wind up on them, over and over again, with a few new arrivals to spice things up.

This morning as I was doing my commute across the turnpike, I popped in a scratched up mix CD that I picked up off the floor of the back seat, labeled "12/04 Mix". Surprise, surprise, it has 5 or 6 songs that are on the most recent mix cd I put together. But then, it took a pleasant turn.


The Doobie Brothers "What a Fool Believes." Oh my God, I love that song. Something about Michael McDonald's smooth barking voice (do those two terms contradict?) ... I just can't help but get a big old smile on my face. Of course I had to add my slightly stuffed up voice to do backing vocals.

Then I remembered that I have a live version performed with Kenny Loggins, and I love that version too, because it has a surprise Michael McDonald appearance, and so right now at work I have that song cranked in my headphones. And it is really, really hard not to bust into harmony for the chorus. An exercise in extreme restraint.

But I can see Bad Lady out of the corner of my eye, keeping me in check. I am having to settle for some furious foot tapping under the desk.

Thursday, November 8

Continuation of previous post

... she says just before she comes down with some crazy stomach illness that keeps her on the couch, under a blanket, and in bed by 9:30 last night.

Wednesday, November 7

A deadline is a hell of a motivator. And having a daily deadline has had a positive effect on my life in general. For instance, yesterday, I worked a full day (at least, I was present at my desk for the required amount of hours. What I did at said desk, however, was another story), came home, entertained Doodle (yes, this involved the Wiggles), ate dinner, cleaned up after dinner, entertained Doodle some more, got Doodle in his PJ's, watched half a tivo'ed episode of Grey's Anatomy, put Doodle to bed, walked on my treadmill shorter than I should have but did it nonetheless, showered, and then finally banged out the remaining 1500 or so words to make the 10,000 word mark last night. And I went to bed before 11.

It's funny how when I'm so busy I can suddenly cram in twice as many things as I would ordinarily do in a day. I should be this productive all the time. I don't know why I'm not. Actually I do ... it's so much easier, immediately upon depositing Doodle in his crib, to plank my butt down on the couch and do nothing but watch the tivo. Or fuddle around on the interwebs for hours. Especially when the weather becomes cold, it's hard to want to do anything that doesn't involve sweats and a blanket.

I should do NaNo every month.

Tuesday, November 6

A welcome break from the monotony
Here! Having for you to enjoy, this moving picture document of toddler. Much happiness! He sing for you song of "Row Row Row Your Boat."

Behind the 8-ball
My NaNo word count is somewhere in the range of 7,300 and today I am supposed to crack the 10k word mark. Either I have to crank out some serious wordage today during work (oops) or I am going to start lagging behind. This is the precipice of disaster ...

As the first snow flakes of the season hit the ground, I buckled down and cranked my word count up to just over 8,000. That's just 2k shy of where I need to be today. And so far I've done nothing but tweak what I already have.

Monday, November 5

Who doesn't love a cupcake?
I have these bouts of domesticity where I do stuff like bake. And clean. It doesn't happen too often, so it's always a special occasion when either of the two events happen.

Cake mix just happened to be on sale at the grocery store so I picked up some and made cupcakes yesterday. With butter cream frosting and non-pareil sprinkles. Doodle ate the frosting off of two of them but left the cake.

This morning, we were leaving to go to work/day care, and Doodle turned around and went back into the house for something. I was assuming it would be his blanket or something of that ilk. But no, he returned with the Tupperware of cupcakes like it was going to come to school with him.

It's nice of him to think of sharing those with his friends, but those are OUR cupcakes. Ya hear?

Saturday, November 3

It was good in the beginning
Word count: 5891

The novel is progressing. I have found redemption in at least one of my characters and they are starting to behave themselves, although they are having a lot of one-night stands, which I guess is not so good.

But the other great news is of the non-fictional type. The Great Roofing Project of '07 is finished! This has been a four weekend long escapade in which my husband and his buddies tore off our old, rotting garage roof, replaced the wood, and reshingled the bitch. In the process my house has turned into the ultimate disaster area. Oh, and I should mention that I used to have side steps, and now I have side rubble. They have met the fate of Ye Olde Sledgehammere. The steps were not innocent victims, however. They had begun to crumble of their own accord. They were merely put out of their misery. Except now, we have to go through the front door, which, to a two year old who is, as my husband put it, a "rigid control freak," is contrary to the great master plan of the universe. Now we have to figure out how to replace the steps, and with what money. I'm thinking the rubble may be a permanent fixture. Or at least until spring.

Doodle is recovering from his cold, but I'm still bracing for the inevitable ear infection that always seems to follow. Oh, and the Wiggles are in town tomorrow. Please don't tell him.

Friday, November 2

My characters are shallow assholes.
Ideas, please!
Word count: 1636

I have had a Word document open at work all day, and I have been occasionally rattling off a few words here and there. I'm already behind, but I'm hoping to make it up and maybe pull ahead a little this weekend.

Because I'm too frazzled to think, I am asking the internets for assistance.

1. What are some food items that would be served at a small dinner party?
2. Name some interesting jobs that it is conceivable that someone in their 30's living in the midwest would have.

I'm trying to figure out how I want to post my story as I'm going along. I don't want it out for the whole world to see, and/or steal, not that anyone would want to ;) But I want to have it available for friends/blog readers if anyone is interested. Suggestions on that as well?

Thursday, November 1

Below is a picture of Doodle in his Halloween costume last night as he went Trick or Treating:

Oh, oops. There IS no photo, because Doodle refused to get into his doggy costume, and secondly refused to go outside even just to walk in the stroller and see the other kids. We ended up doing what we do every night: watch the Wiggles until mom and/or dad can't take it anymore.

There's always next year.
Every Day I Write the Book
Today kicks off National Novel Writing Month, an although I haven't typed one single word, I've got some good thoughts brewing. Wish me luck. And send snacks.