Thursday, February 28, 2008

Grrrr ...

So my ancient TiVo did not record "Lost" tonight. It should be recording this very second but it isn't. Ken and I went out to dinner and hung out at the bookstore for a bit. I looked forward to watching "Lost" while zipping through the commercials. The rest of my night is ruined, I say, ruined! Yeah, yeah, I know. I can watch the episode online tomorrow night or wait a week and watch it before the new episode next week. But it's not the same.

I'm so calling the cable company tomorrow to upgrade our service. Take that, ancient TiVo!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

And the Oscar goes to ...

Oh, yeah, the Academy Awards, baby. Every year I say, "Self, I'm going to have an Oscar party next year. I'll get some friends together and we'll dress up and drink wine and eat fancy cheese on expensive crackers." And then every year I watch them on the couch in my pajamas with a bowl of snacks in one hand and the TiVo remote in the other. Ah, well.

Watching the Awards via TiVo is really the only way to go. I start an hour or so after the broadcast begins and fast-forward all the commercials and boring and/or political acceptance speeches (of which there will be plenty this year, guaranteed). I usually have caught up to the broadcast by the last 45 minutes or so, which is kind of cool because I get to find out who won the big awards at the same time as the rest of the world.

I used to really get into the fashion-police type shows that typically air the week following the Oscars, but not so much anymore. I can only take so much negativity before I want to yell at the TV "get a life already, move on!" Sure, I like look at People or with friends and talk about the fashion as much as the next person; I just don't need to hear a Joan Rivers clone bitch about how "fat" someone looks or how "last season" this dress is.

On a completely unrelated note, the weather simply must get better soon. If we get anymore snow or "wintery mixes" I'll scream. I want nothing more than to go for a jog outside and plant flowers and soak up a little sunny warmth with my bare arms. Someone pass the serotonin.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You say it's your birthday?

Well, it's my birthday too, yeah!

I think I'm the only woman in America that loves her birthday. I have to admit part of it is the me-me-me quality of the day. As I get older, though, the celebration of life factor is part of it as well. I got to have another year to play around on Earth, and God willing, I'll have lots more. It probably doesn't hurt that I look younger than 33, too. :)

Today I'm running on the treadmill, maybe going out for breakfast, window shopping, then heading to Biaggi's for dinner. I've been craving butternut squash ravioli for a while, so I'm having that and foccaccia and wine and perhaps some chocolate cake.

Tomorrow at work we're celebrating me and another co-worker's birthday with Papa Del's pizza, cookies, and german chocolate cake. For those who haven't had it, Chicago-style pizza is like eating a loaf of chewy/crispy bread loaded with cheese and a gallon of tomato sauce. It's heavenly. And then I'll be going to the gym tomorrow night after work, no excuses.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bookstore shenanigans

Anton rubbing spines with some fellow authors. We tried to take a picture of him next to Pat Rothfuss, but the bookstore seemed to be sold out of The Name of the Wind ...

Our Intrepid adventurers buy a book

So the other night I found out my friend Anton Strout's book had landed in bookstores. The official publishing date is Feb. 26th, but unless your name is Rowling, pub dates don't really mean much. Anyhoo, once I heard the news, Ken and I hotfooted it to the bookstore.

6:55: *I go to the information desk and wait*
6:55:30: *Ken goes to the stacks to see if it's there*
6:56: Nice information lady comes to the desk. I ask "Do you have ..." While Ken pops out of the stacks waving the book.
6:56:05: I squeal and run to join Ken at the stacks!
Kelly: Oh, look, they've got a bunch here!
Ken: We need to take pictures. Did you bring the camera?
Kelly: Of course. *Brandishes camera*.
Ken: *Fiddles with electronic device* It'd be funny if we did a little movie.
Kelly: We can totally do that! *fiddles with electronic device* Now hit the button like you're gonna take a picture ...
Ken: *hits button* *screen goes blank* Ummm...what did you do?
Kelly: What did I do? *fiddles with electronic device* Crap, I think that batteries are dead.
Ken: *fiddles with electronic device* Yep.
Kelly: Gimme your keys, I'm going to Target.
7:00: I drive to Target, obeying all traffic laws.
7:02: I run across parking lot, purchase batteries, and run across the parking lot again.
7:04: Drive back to the bookstore, once again obeying all traffic laws.
7:05: I hit the stacks and have a moment of panic because I've lost Ken.
7:06: Ken finds me.
7:06:20 Maniacal picture taking-ensues.

I'll post some pics later. Right now blogger's being fussy and I don't have time to mess with it. (See next post).

The Wonder of Science

Ken has had chronic heartburn for ... sheesh ... years. He's taken Prilosec quite successfully for that time, but now his doctor wants to find out what the heck is going on. Today he gets to be knocked unconscious and have a camera shoved down his throat. I don't think it'll be all that bad, but the last time Ken had anesthesia he had sort of a bad reaction and was sick for a couple of days. That was for a gallbladder surgery, though, and so I hope they don't have to give him as big of a dose today. Fingers crossed and all that.

ETA: We're back home now and Ken is sleeping it off. Nothing serious, but they did find some polyps in his stomach that they've sent for biopsy. The doc seemed to think they were benign, so I'm not worried.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Guitar Hero III news

I just got through five new songs plus the Tom Morello battle on Hard. My left hand and wrist are shredded but I'm a happy camper.

And now to put some words behind me on the WIP. This should be fun, considering my left hand is nearly worthless.

Friday, February 15, 2008

NIU Shooting

Apparently the Northern Illinois University Shooter lived in Champaign and attended the University of Illinois. This is the area where I live and work. My gym is just a few blocks from the shooter's apartment. We may have shopped at the same places or eaten at the same restaurants. The idea that someone I may have passed on the street is capable of opening fire in a classroom sickens me.

Why NIU? Why not UofI? Why not anywhere? The crazies live among us; the scary part is we can't always tell the difference between the crazies and the normals.

One of the Virginia Tech victims attended high school in Champaign. We have a street named after her now.


You've probably noticed I've cleaned the place up a bit. Now that I've got an *ahem* official website, Ken had to change some settings and such to make both blogs fit into the page format. That said, I've decided that I'm going to make the blogspot blog my personal blog and the livejournal one more writer-oriented. Hey, I might be a professional, but that doesn't mean I still can't be zany on the internets, right? For now I'll have tabs for both blogs on the website.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The best husband evah

For Valentine's Day Ken surprised me with my very own website!!!! It's pretty bare now but it's up and running and looks awesome. Go on over to and have a look around.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Food Porn

I don't cook often. When I do it's like grilled cheese or an easy pasta dish. If meat's involved it's a pretty good bet that a crock pot's involved, too. I'm not a good cook by any stretch of the imagination.

Oh, sure, I bake a lot, but that's just chemistry in action. It must be the scientist in me. I love knowing that if I measure precisely and follow the procedure, it'll turn out right. And, let's face it: anything with fat and sure is all sorts of awesome.

So, while I am an award-winning baker, my cooking is ... meh.

Which brings me to the Valentine's Day meal I've prepared for tomorrow. I've assembled the lasagne and apple crisp (two follow-the-procedure dishes) so they can just be thrown into the oven after work. I've got the accoutrements of garlic bread, ice cream, and salad waiting in the wings. We'll eat like kings! We'll eat like princes for the next two days! And then by Sunday we'll curse the Italian grandma that invented baked pasta! And that's assuming I haven't screwed anything up!

Monday, February 11, 2008


Topped 15,000 words tonight. I'm deep into Chapter Eight, which I hope to nearly finish tomorrow. I've also done a few loads of laundry and baked a batch of brownies.

My work here is done.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Retail therapy

Today I went shopping and totally blew my wad at the bookstore. "The Muppet Show" season 1, Apocolypse 2012, and two books by Lilith Saintcrow found their way into the proverbial shopping cart. Next week I have four glorious days off work, one of which is my birthday, and I intend on spending the time reading and writing and watching nostalgic TV. Hopefully it will take my mind off the empty e-mail inbox. Or at least slow my incessant checking. We'll see.

Ken and I are going to sign up for the local mini-triathlon this year. No, we really are this time. So I suppose I can't spend all my time holed up on the couch. At least some of it has to be spent on a bike and a treadmill.

Two things to make the work week go faster: Jericho on Tuesday and Lost on Thursday. Well, I'll probably end up watching Lost on Friday because of Valentine's Day. Ken wants to make a big multi-course meal to celebrate. Salad, pasta, garlic bread, cheesecake ... oh, yeah. My jeans feel tight already.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss--book review

The Name of the Wind is a tale that answers the question "How would a legend tell his story?" Kvothe is a man with a past. He's known by many names--Kingkiller and Kvothe the Bloodless among them--but now he has fashioned himself as a innkeeper named Kote. He's in hiding from his enemies--we don't know who they are--but a man that calls himself Chronicler has found him and wants to transcribe Kvothe's stories. It turns out that even the most unbelieveable tales have a kernel of truth in them, if you dig hard enough. In this first volume, we learn about the events that shape our hero and drive him to the man he will become. While its structure is framed--our movements back and forth in time are marked by shifts between first and third person--it's essentially a first-person epic fantasy told after the epic events have happened. It's the first volume of a trilogy, and so while we learn a lot about the world and its inhabitants, many events and relationships are only foreshadowed. The prose is wonderful, as is Rothfuss's world-building. Fans of sciences such as chemistry and biology will find lots to like here. It's hard to find an author that, after reading 250,000+ words, you're dissappointed to finish the last page. Not because the story was bad, but because the story has to end at all. I can't wait until the next volume hits the shelves so I can live in Kvothe's world again.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I have got to stop checking my e-mail every three seconds. Agents will get back to me when they get back to me. Not before.

As noted on the progress bar, I'm up to 14000 words on Through the Portal. Not great, but not bad considering I spent over a month tearing my hair out on a short story. Oh, and I have those other shorts to write, too. I'm not going to let myself stress out over it, though. I'll keep chipping away at it--five hundred words here, two thousand there, a page or two between loads of laundry ... and before you know it I'll have a rough draft done. Right now I'm thinking it's not quite magic-y enough, but I figure I can add that in later. I tend to build my world around the characters instead of the other way around. Whatever works, right?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Jewelry goodness

One of my writer buds (Brad Beaulieu) is married to a wonderfully creative woman that designs jewelry. You can buy her wares here. They're funky and retro and very reasonably priced. Valentine's day is just around the corner, you know ...