Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What lives on my desk.

I went over to the NaNoWriMo forums and found a fun topic: What is on your desk?

I did my work desk, since I'm sitting here now and I sometimes get the time to do some personal writing when I should be working. Here's my post:

Oh boy. You asked for it!

Well, since I'm at work now and will be doing some of my writing at work (shhhhhh) here goes, starting on the left:

my purse, my keys, phone, stack of notes for NaNoWriMo stapled together, folder with work stuff, nine cubical clips, four lolcats pictures, tack board (containing: one photo, one photo xmas card from 2007, the definition of the word "skeevy", magnets, a push pin shaped like a little man), 3/4 full bottle of water, can of Diet Coke, coaster, black pen, yellow highlighter, paper holder, Purell, post-it notes, business card for a friend who does photography, two monitors, keyboard, picture frame of me and the boyfriend, two tiny plastic dragons (one purple, one red), coffee mug which says "Corporate Goth: Alt.Gothic.Fashion", sticker that says "Emerald City: Wizard", stack of my own business cards, a post it note with my Jan/Feb deadlines, two post-it notes regarding phone calls I need to make, purple bracelet that says "Merch Day", little stuffed animal white tiger, little stuffed animal of mini Totoro, earphones, mouse, mouse pad with wrist guard, birthday card with a cat on it from co-workers, snow globe of Delaware, pen shaped like a bird with feathers, badge from Photoshop World 2008, lamp, bamboo plant named Bert, mini Hanging Gardens of Babylon, tape dispenser, books (Adobe Photoshop CS3, 08 Photoshop Training Manual, packet of paperwork, 2009 Writer's Market, InDesign, Photoshop CS3), more cubical clips, two pictures of the family, NaNoWriMo calendar with word count goals, mini poster of "The only 12 1/2 rules for writing you'll ever need", another lolcat picture, stuffed Cactar, two apples, Thailand collector’s Olympic games can of Coke (looks like it says Erin, my name), mini orange beach ball, t-shirt from the company bowling party I didn't go to, granola bar, stuffed Chocobo, four tier paper tray filled with random paperwork, two bars of soap from England, a picture of a castle in England, peanut butter, stapler, cup filled with pens (including a purple fuzzy one with a Peep on the end), more folders of work stuff, stuffed angel fish, magnet of a bear wearing a UofD t-shirt, magnet of Simon the Safety Cone, lizard magnet, caricature of me as Angelina Jolie from the movie Wanted, magnet with a guide to recycling, and a keychain from Florida.

I have a huge workspace, so most of the clutter is well organized, believe it or not!

I just moved into my new place and bought a new desk, so sadly the one at home only has my computer on it right now.


That, my friends, is what one might call epic.

I get some Halloween action after all!

Warhammer Online is having a live event for the Witching Night!

I really want this mask for my Witch Elf. It looks awesome.



I shall kill as many stinky dwarfs as it takes! And then a few extra, just for good measure.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rattlesnake Mountain Trail

My brother Scott came out from Delaware to visit me this past Wednesday. Most awesome that he had the chance to make a trip out to Washington, as he was the only member of my family (parents and siblings) that had yet to come out and see me. Hooray!

Of course, Erik and I showed him a good time the best way we know how: food, games, and some nature. Scott got to try our most frequented food stops, including iSushi, Teriyaki Bistro, Outback Steakhouse, and Coho's. Aside from fine dining, Scott got a chance to play Fable 2, and join us for some multiplayer Geometry Wars 2, Mario Kat Wii, Wii Sports and Wii Play, and some weird ninja game. We would have played Raymond’s Rabid Rabbits as well, but someone had chewed up the rental disk. I expect Blockbuster to be giving me my $8.99 back, thank you very much.

Don't worry, we went outside too. Scott took a trip to Seattle on Friday, enjoying a pub crawl filled with microbreweries and very much beers. He saw Pike Place Market and the Space Needle, all before meeting Erik for a ride home after work. We also say Max Payne on Saturday morning, then went over to Acme Lanes for some bowling. I discovered I still suck at bowling. Some things will simply never change.

Sunday turned out to be our big adventure day. We had plans all along to go for a hike at some point in my brother's visit, and decided on Rattlesnake Mountain Trail.



Preparation was quite an adventure in itself. We bundled up, as it was a very mild 40 degrees Sunday morning. Since I've been watching a bunch of Man verse Wild with good old Bear, I decided we best be prepared. We had drugs, snacks, water, band-aids, sandwiches, power bars, and Red Bull. And I, of course, made sure to bring my Indie hat.

Now, we decided to be a little ambitious. We took two cars, parking on either side of the trail, originally believing it to be an 8 mile trek from one point to the other. Well, we started on the lake end, where we found out the entire trail was actually 11.5 miles. Yikes. Turns out the lake side is also the very, very steep end. Still feeling good about ourselves, we decide to check it out and see how we held up. We started by walking around the lake. As you can see, the water level was pretty low.



Erik is in the camouflage pants, in case we found bears, and Scott is in the far ground taking some pictures.




That rock poking out up there is where we were headed. Rattlesnake Ledge, the first stop on the 11.5 mile trail.




I found this before we even got on the mountain. Biggest leaf ever.

Being that about halfway up the 2 miles to the Ridge I was...um…very busy trying not to die, I don't have any pictures of the hike up. However, this is from when we got to the top:




See. We really did go two miles. Two miles over a 2000 foot elevation gain mind you. Took us under two hours, maybe an hour and forty-five minutes.




The view was awesome. It was really windy though. I was too paranoid to go all the way out to the edge. It was cold up there, too. Sucks the sweaty-warm right outta ya.




As you can see, there's the lake way down there. Waaay down.

So afterwards, we decided to try and go for a little longer. I picked up a walking still and considered killing myself with it after about another 30 minutes uphill. I was also taken off the backpack rotation by the guys. Apparently, they deduced that carrying the bag an extra shift to make up for mine was preferable to carrying me down the mountain should a mishap occur. (By the way, just for the record, I only slipped once and caught myself before I faceplanted.) After I growled a little for being excluded and we chowed down some lunch, it was time to descend. Scott was ready to go some more, but Erik and I were done. I was defiantly out of juice. I think Erik might have gone a little further, but forced the turn around for the sake of his melting girlfriend.

Took us maybe an hour to get all the way down, going about 2.5 miles. Total we did about five miles. Not bad, considering the incline. Going from the other end is a lot more gradual, so I think if Erik and I ever try again we'll be starting the journey from the other end for sure.

Scott flew out today to head home. It was good to see him, since I don't get much time with any of my family since I live so far from home. I hope he can make a trip again next summer, and maybe this time bring the kids. I'd love to take my five-year-old niece, Isabell, to see Mt. Rainier.

Great weekend. However, my legs and butt hurt from hiking and my shoulder and forearm are aching from playing Wii Bowling and real bowling. I need to start exercising before my muscles completely atropine.

Warrior Wisewomen 2: Rejection

Today I heard back on my submission to Warrior Wisewomen 2. Unfortunately, the answer was no, but once again I was lucky enough to get a few comments from the editor instead of a form rejection.

Thank you for your submission. While the story is interesting, too much of it
seems to be mood-setting and exposition, rather than showing. The actual plot
appears to begin on page 19, and we hesitate to task you to cut the first 18
pages out and show us what got eliminated, rather than telling us about it. We
wish you success in placing it elsewhere.

--
Roby James
Editor


While being told no sucks, I'm glad I got some useful feedback. I wish he would have tasked me with the task, as I would have taken it on with much enthusiasm. Ok, well, I would have done it willing and with understanding of the why, despite liking the content I would have been tasked to cut. I think part of the problem is that I'm drawing "Eidos" from a world I've already created. Basically, I'm writing it more as I would have written a longer piece of fiction, at least that's what I think. Despite having my short story "Savage" accepted for publication, I've not nearly mastered the art of short fiction.

However, I've taken a good look at the piece and decided to give it a few whacks with the good old metaphorical chainsaw. I've attempted to make the changes the editor suggested, removing about 3,000 words in two scenes. I then went back and sprinkled in a few tidbits to piece together what I removed, but only where it seemed most critical. As it stands now, the action begins on page 5 instead of 19.

This seems a good choice for a number of reasons. I've found another anthology, called Federations, which is looking for pieces closer to the 5k ballpark. Therefore, a 6,400 word story has a much better chance of getting in than 9,400. (The guidelines staw that he is willing to consider longer pieces, but they won't exceed the maximum payment. Nearly doubling the word limit, however, would certainly be poo-pooed.) I can submit starting November 1.

There is another anthology open as well, which closes November 15. However, this is a very small press (where Federations appears to have a little more clout and circulation and is edited by someone with strong credentials) that I've never heard of. I think I will base how I proceed with this second one on how the submission to Federations pans out.

Hopefully the diet version of "Eidos" will fair better than its pudgy predecessor.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Soundtracks for Books? Yes!

So I've just decided, while listening to my Pandora "30 Seconds to Mars" custom radio station, that Papa Roach's "Getting Away With Murder" and "Take Me" will both be on the soundtrack for my NaNoWriMo concept.

That is all. Carry on.

So yea...

I was just reminded of how needy writers are a moment ago.

Yup, that would be me. Checking my e-mail to see if I got a response for the submission I sent out 22 minutes ago.

Heh. No sense denying what we are, right?

Here we go again!

I finally sent out my submission for Warrior Wisewomen 2. The delay was mostly a result of a lack of title.

While playing on dictionary.com to try and get some ideas, I came across the word eidos, which kind of stuck in my head. Aside from the meaning, it also has a very nice ring to it. I spent a few days trying to build a title around it, and then figured what the hell.

So the short story is called "Eidos." Thanks to my writing group and my sister for helping get this one out of a very rough draft and into something I'm proud to submit.

The reading period for this anthology ends December 15. Let the waiting begin. Again. I'm still waiting on Permuted too actually. I really want my dirty little paws all over a book with my name on it. This is good though. Preparing myself for the longer waits that will come with getting a manuscript published, for sure.

So now comes the waiting game. Nine more days until NaNoWriMo. That will be my focus for November. After that, I'll evaluate what I produce and decide if my effort will continue on zombie gladiators or return to the world of my space fungus.

As for short fiction, I think I'm going to wait until I hear back from this anthology. Should I get accepted, my effort will go towards revisions, etc. If rejection comes, I'll decide then if I'm going to write a new piece of short fiction or look for other places to submit what I've finished.

I want a dog-cat.

So Savannah cats look really cool. You can walk them on a leash, and they get HUGE. But, they still use a litter pan and otherwise function as your normal house cat. Except bigger, smarter and super playful.

Seems like the F1's are little too "wild" for what I'd like - basically because they don't like to be very cuddly. F2 and F3's seem a bit more like what I would want in cat, while maintaining SUPER sized-ness. Boys of course are larger, which makes me consider getting a male - something I've been set against after living with a really retarded male cat that I HATED. However, before that I lived with Le'Cinda's cat Sammy, who was a very sweet tomcat.

Before even considering this seriously, I'd have to find out more about how the savannah cats react to other cats - even though everything on the site says they love other pets. Also, these kittehs ain't cheap. However, F2 and F3 males are sterile, which means they are only sold as pets and not breeders. This translates to a lower cost.

I'm still working on Erik. He seems interested, as long as he's not forced to clean up dog-sized cat poop. Regardless, it would be a long time before I could get one anyway. First off, they stay with the breeders until 10-12 weeks old. Second, I need to save some money before I consider dropping $1k-$3k on a pet.

Maybe next spring? I can has dog-cat?

Excerpt from Madness : II

Next post for discussion on the Aspiring to Madness blog was: How do you pick names for your characters?

Here's how the process works for me, at least some of the time:

For me, varies.

Some characters decide what they want to be called. In other words, some smoke seeps out of my ears and suddenly, I just knowed it.

Sometimes I use an English-Latin or other translator to try and find some neat words to use or start from. Other times, playing with a dictionary/thesaurus can yield some cool results.

Other times, I just start with a letter. I just get a feeling that a character or place should start with, say, a w. From there, I just play around until I get something that looks pretty. And how do you say Wegexght? Well…is that really important? I normally don’t think so, and half the time I find out later I’ve most likely been saying my own characters’ names wrong. But, I can just pull rank and say well, damnit I made it up and it can sound however I want it to!

Also, I tend to keep a document of cool words I come across. In case you don't have it, you can subscribe to the Word of the Day from dictionary.com. Thank you Jenn for showing me that a few years back, else how would I ever have known how to bivouac?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dallas Trip : Part Five : My Blue Sparklie

Killing time is a dangerous thing. Particularly in the case of two gamers who are facing a five hour plane ride and are within driving distance of a Best Buy.

As the final stop in our Dallas trip, Erik and I went to Best Buy and dropped $319 in about twenty minutes.

Purchase list:

My Blue Sparklie - a blue Nintendo DS to match the black one we bought together a few months ago. I wanted a blue one when we got the first one, but they were sold out. Ah, for the little dreams being fulfilled. What can I say. We love each other very much, but gamers just don't share well when it comes to games. Seriously. How fair is it that one person gets to play while the other can't? (In all seriousness, we did share on the way down. I finished "The Witcher" and read part one of "Babylon Babies" on the plane ride to Dallas, while Erik play Sudoku and Brain Age 2 on the DS. Then, he let me use the DS to get some Brain Age action in while he read Hacker Quarterly. But why have one when you can have two though, cha'know?)

Car charger - We had about a 20 minute drive to charge the Sparklie before we had to turn over the keys to the rent a car.

Games - Even I can't justify why we needed this many games for the flight, being that we already had four in the carry on bag. We got: Final Fantasy IV remake, Nx (a ninja game that made Erik growl at the screen and shake the DS around a bunch), Civilization: Revolution, SimCity Builder, and New Super Mario World. We did play all of them except Final Fantasy IV between the two of us.

Being that we got to our gate at the airport almost two hours early, having the DSes worked out well. Passed the wait and the plane ride in a hurry, which is just what we needed at the end of a long weekend.

And now my Sparklie is all broken in for the long haul to Delaware this Christmas.

Dallas Trip : Part Four : The Reason for the Trip

was to go to the wedding!

Which we missed. No joke!

1. Erik had the wrong time. I still don't have the final verdict as to if his friend e-mailed him the wrong time, or Erik misread the e-mail. I may never know which was the case. hehe...

2. We got lost. We took a side ramp by mistake, which put us south instead of north of the church. We drove the wrong direction for a while, made a few U-turns, and pulled into the wrong parking lot which, ironically, had a bride standing outside the building. Go figure. Eventually, we found where we were supposed to be. Right after the wedding was over. I was introduced to the groom, Kenley, and we left for the reception.

3. The reception was really nice. It was at Melanie's, the bride, parents' house. They live in a really pretty neighborhood, and had the backyard set up with lights and flowers. (This was an evening wedding.) We had a few chances to talk with happy couple. They loved Erik's wedding gift for them - which was a pack of lolcat magnets. It was also really nice to hear how excited Kenley was that Erik and I were able to make it down to visit.

Good times. Erik felt great for making the trip, though he was disappointed that we didn't get to meet Kenley for lunch the next day for some Plucker's and fried pickles.

On a side note: I've discovered that control top pantie hose are the bomb (despite the fact that they're alternate function is certainly a torture device of some sort and they have the hidden capability of strangling a person they catch by surprise with relative ease). Aside from the pain that was involved in getting them past my thighs and over my ass, they were pretty comfortable once they were in place. And they did the impossible: They made my butt look smaller.

Dallas Trip : Part Three : Studio 54

Our hotel was pretty close to what I would imagine the sex crazy 70's nightclub to be like.

Disclaimer: Erik picked out a nicer hotel, wanting us to be comfortable instead of shoved in some shoe box room in Motel 6. For all the teasing that will follow, it really was a nice place and we had a great time staying there. However, anyone who knows me shouldn't be surprised that I was pretty darn amused. Granted, the Hotel Lumen gave me quite a bit of ammunition.

When first pulled up, my attention was caught up by the colored windows, which changed from green to purple to blue as we pulled up. After getting directions, we parked and checked in. I got the keys to the hotel room, while Erik went out to put our parking pass in the car. (By the way, we had to pay for parking at the hotel. Apparently, parking in Dallas is worse than in Seattle.)

So I take the elevator up to floor three, and my halfway alseep brain can do nothing but focus on the carpet in the hallway.

To be honest, I was hearing "Stayin Alive" in my head while having the overwhelming urge to ditch my suitcase and bust out some fierce rollerskating moves in some bell bottoms. I contained myself, mostly due to the fact that I had no rollerskates.

The room was spacious, with a giant king sized bed with extra pillows for the win. So I flop down on the bed, and turn around to notice the shower is made of tinted glass. Not so odd, except for the fact that you can see into it. Well, there was a curtain too, hanging between the been and the shower. Of course, once you pulled that shut it covered...well...not a damn thing. This made me chuckle, but I was more impressed by the shower's "car wash" function to dwell much on the odd layout at that moment.

So Erik comes in and we both have a good laugh at the toilet. Overall, nothing fancy. What made it funny was the fact that there was a sliding door for just the toilet. And it ain't sound proof by any stretch of the imagination. I guess they wanted you and your significant other to feel close at all times, and by all times, we mean ALL times.

Next, pillow inspection.

Bed pillows get a green light from Erik.


And the shwaggy chair pillow reminds me to share with Erik that I feeling very much like a retro rollerskating star. And that the shower is really interesting. And that I think we might be in something like Studio 54.

He denies my accusation. So, as I always do in a hotel, I begin my routine of nosing my way through every nook and cranny in the entire place. And also proceed to prove him epically wrong.

So here's the closet.



Yes, those would be leopard print articles of attire. At this point, I'm still getting the argument "This is not Studio 54." So I start snooping around more, convinced that my gut instinct of rollerskating sex-capades was correct! Here's what I uncovered:

In case you forget your undergarments, you can buy some leopard version.





Need some mood lighting?



How about some emergency supplies?



Or perhaps some "in-ta-mints" - get it?



Though I really think this was the funniest thing I found. Ya know, just in case the neighbors are using that stuff from the minibar/closet. Hahahahah!



I think I proved my point. And we did spend most of the time in the car listening to the XM radio station I found called "The Groove." I'll just let you guess what music they played, all night long!

If only things were this easy...

Dallas Trip : Part Two : Ode to a Warm Tush

Renting a car should always be a simple task. Of course, that never seems to be the case, particularly when you're tired from a flight and just want to get to your hotel and go to bed. Basically, in case you didn't know, be aware that you cannot rent a car from Avis on a debit card, no matter how much money is in the account. They wouldn't let us take a car out with a debit/credit card from Wells Fargo without calling a credit agency to get approval who - of course - would likely not have been open at 10:30 at night. Luckily for us, I had my Amex. They did, however, leave two people stranded because all they had were debit cards and not credit cards.

So, once that was sorted out, we rented this:



Compact and easy to park in the big city. It came equipped with XM radio, which have many a techno station that go: "dush-dush-dush-pshdish-dush-dush-dush-pshdish-dush-dush-dush-pshdish-dush-dush-dush-pshdish-dush-dush-dush-pshdish-dush-dush-dush-pshdish-dush-dush-dush, etc..." Personally, I prefer a few words sprinkled in with my neverending dance beat, thank you.

However, let's get down to what this post is really about. The above mentioned car kept my butt warm. See this:



That button makes your tush warm. 'Nuff said.

Dallas Trip : Part One : Food

Where else is there to begin? I think one of the highlights for Erik was taking me to all his favorite places to eat.

On Friday night, we went to Fireside Pies. It had a very college town feel to it, and we got there right before closing. We had a cheese and pizza sauce bowl for an appetizer, which came with sections of cooked pizza bread to dip. Pretty decent. Unfortunately, they mixed up our order and I think they rushed the second pie out. The crust was a bit undercooked, but otherwise it wasn't bad. We got a Maiu Zaui - Hawaiian pizza. Erik was in hog heaven.

The next day we went to Buzzbrews, a diner of sorts with a crazy selection of coffee and breakfast 24 hours a day. Erik had banana nut pancakes, which were super tasty, and I had a Mexican egg scramble called Aimgas. Interesting joint.

Later that night, before the wedding, we went to Carabba's. Their bread and oil, with spices, is YUMMY! We spilt an amazing chicken dish and had some ceasar salad's to top it off. See below:

Pollo Rosa Maria
Grilled chicken breast stuffed with fontina cheese and prosciutto, topped with mushrooms and a basil lemon butter sauce

We slept in nice and late on Sunday, only waking up because we ordered room service! Wasn't too shabby. We got scrambled eggs, apple sausage and a Belgium waffle with strawberries.

I must say, our last meal stop was by far my favorite for one simple reason. This:


Those are fried pickles, dipped in ranch dressing, at Pluckers. They are so good! They add dill spice to the batter and plate, which gives it a really nice flavor. Watch out though. These suckers are hot. Hot like, burn your mouth like I did, not hot like spicy hot. Aside from the pickles, Pluckers is basically like Buffalo Wild Wings, but the wings are bigger, meatier and more expensive.

Next on my purchase list would be a deep fryer. Yes. I am going to make my own deep fried pickles, and none of you can stop me!

Friday, October 17, 2008

To Dallas I go

A friend of Erik's is getting married this weekend, so we're flying down to attend the happy event. We leave this afternoon for Dallas, and shall return Sunday night. Everyone knows these trips - the ones that are far too short, yet tons of fun, and leave you wishing you had a rock to hide under come Monday.

Erik is very excited to take me to all the places he ate at during his year long stay in Dallas, including a fancy pizza place and a Thai place that has coconut curry chicken. As all I heard about for the better part of a year (as far as being related to food) was how delicious this particular Asian cuisine is, I'm looking forward to giving it a NOM NOM NOM!

My one small wish is that I had been better about exercising and eating well these last few months. I've packed on a few pounds, and my little black dress hides none of that. Perhaps this is just the motivation I've been needing to tip the scales from "I'm getting a little pudgy but I'm too lazy to remedy the situation" to "Holy cellulite Batman! Get that hiney on the elliptical, stat!"

Watch for headlines: "Ghetto Booty invades Dallas!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Halloween a little early

A fun e-mail from a co-worker. A little speckle of light in an otherwise dark and gloomy day:

An extremely modest man was in the hospital
for a series of tests, the last of which had left
his bodily systems extremely upset.

Upon making several false alarm trips to the
bathroom, he decided the latest episode was another
and stayed put. He suddenly filled his bed with
diarrhea and was embarrassed beyond his ability to
remain rational.

In a complete loss of composure he jumped
out of bed, gathered up the bed sheets, and threw
them out the hospital window.

A drunk was walking by the hospital when the
sheets landed on him. He started yelling, cursing,
and swinging his arms violently trying to get the
unknown things off, and ended up with the soiled
sheets in a tangled pile at his feet.

As the drunk stood there, unsteady on his
feet, staring down at the sheets, a hospital
security guard, (barely containing his laughter),
and who had watched the whole incident, walked up
and asked, 'What the heck is going on here?'

The drunk, still staring down at the bed
sheets in amazement, replied: 'I think I just beat
the shit out of a ghost.'

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Heroes - Getting Warmer

Spoiler Alert! If you haven't watched the episode from 10/13/08, read no further!



Dear NBC network,

So, I hate you a little less this week. At the end of this episode, the disgust I felt was countered by a good chunk of "they're moving in the right direction."

Mohinder now is the great evil in the series? Please. This man was a great character, as he was, without turning him into the bugman. My bigger problem is that the change took place overnight. Slap a gimmick - "Villains" subtitle - on the series, change the world. Mohinder would have struggled with becoming a monster, based on the character he's been for two seasons. He would not become an insta-mass-murderer.

Villain Claire. Now, at first I was really angry. She was a complete overnight change as well with all fear sunddenly gone, but then she melted back some to something more believable. Thank you for showing a character struggling with the change they are undergoing. Was also interesting to bring Sylar into the picture, and the whole idea of Noah trying to make the Void-person kill Sylar was cool. Was a little predictable that the dude sucked himself into the vortex, but not too bad. However, why would Claire just be like "Okay Daddy" after she argued to not kill Sylar? Conflicting stuff here. But actually seeing Claire struggling with doing "bad" things was redeeming.

Peter going all wonky - ok, I can buy it from him, because we've seen him changing and I'd be pissed at my mom too if she was the super-beotch. Plus, he's dealing with Sylar's addictive power. At least we're getting to see a downward spiral some, instead of being force fed it.

Ando and Hiro - always enjoy their dialogue. But if there isn't something else going on behind Hiro killing Ando (which I firmly believe is a farce, and I better be correct) I'm boycotting the show, for real. Hiro would not kill Ando, unless it was an act. If he did, EPIC FAIL, and I quit on principle.

Nathan finding out his powers are fake - Now that was a cool twist I was hardly expecting. Nicely done. Explains the reason we had Tracy in the picture, even though I could still care less about her.

Thank you for finally starting to make the story lines converge. However, this was episode five. We should have been moving down this path a bit faster. Thank you for not cluttering this episode, however, by not visiting Parkman and Peter being incapacitated. It was much less jumpy, which made the episode better as a whole.

Now, the ending was cool. Original, with some twists. Finally we get to know the WTF about Linderman, which was making no sense whatsoever. The puppet master scene was neat - though I didn't need the super zoom on the puppets to reiterated what the scene and backdrop of puppets suggested (but hey, alot of people just don't get stuff unless it punches them in the face, so, I'm willing to overlook that one.) Also, the preview for next week looks awesome.

Is the tide turning, finally?

I sure hope so.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hello sleep?

So last night I had a nightmare that I was getting my tonsils out (again)(again, as in, I already had my tonsils taken out about three years ago). Except this time I was awake while they were doing it. I was waving my hand, but they wouldn't stop. I felt them cut it out, then I spit out my tonsil. From there, they started sewing me up. ::shudder::

I woke up at 5 a.m. a bit unnerved. So I went to the bathroom, and came back to bed in an attempt to squeeze a bit more sleep out of the night. Then Chunky Butt decides she's hungry. Squeak, squeak, squeaky go little paws on my door.

First time I open the door, she gets a face full of water. Second time I open the door, she's clever enough to run out of range of my cup. So I screamed "GET OVER HERE!" (Very Scorpion style via Mortal Combat Fatality.), which terrified her enough to freeze and huddle against the carpet. Promptly, I chucked her in the second bedroom and locked her ass in.

So I get all cozy back in bed, ready to for a few more winks, when a bird starts squawking outside of the open window. Non-stop for like two minutes. I think this time I screamed something along the lines of "Are you F'ing kidding me!!!!??!?!" before slamming the window shut, so hard it bounced back open and I had to shut it again.

Lucky for Erik, as he was awake through all the drama, he kept his chuckling silent. We did share a good laugh (kind of) as we were getting ready for work.

Good news is, I'll certainly be overtired tonight, and hopefully have a coma after Heroes. (Or during, if it sucks again.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The New Diggs, Part 3

Right when you get to the bottom of the stairs, you come to the balcony. The view is awesome.

Hanging on the door is Erik's new apron, for the grill he doesn't have yet. WTF right? Hahah!

The balcony is great. It's very spacious, and the view is awesome. It's really nice to not have a big building blocking the sunset over the mountains.

This is the middle floor. Living room, dining room and kitchen. All those boxes on the couch are various electronics and consoles we have yet to hook up.

My new kitchen is the bomb. Check out the size of this puppy! To the left is a powder room, where we keep the cats' food bowl, which forces them to go up and down the stairs. Exercise, you can has it!

When I took this picture, I was standing inside that pantry. That is Chunky Butt, clearly up to no good.

This pantry is HUGE! I love it. LOVE IT!

And here's the stairs down again, which go to the garage and the front door.

Fini.

Unless Blogger eats more of the photos I put in this post....

The New Diggs, continued

Looks like Blogger ate some of my pictures. Boo!!!

Well, here we go. Again. I'll break the rest down in a couple posts, so I don't have to keep doing this over and over.

These pictures belong between the bedroom bathroom and the garage:

This is my view from the bedroom window. Best part = no neighbors behind me!

Here is the hallway looking out from the bedroom. That there, in the middle of my photo, is Kyra, otherwise known as Sausage Cat.

Here's a close up of Fatty. This is the one who peed on me. On a good note, being all stressed out from the move has resulted in a one pound weight loss for Sausage. Go kitteh! You can almost lick your own butt now!

Believe it or not, I have yet to fall up or down these stairs. Give it time folks, give it time.

The New Diggs (as Washingtonians are fond of saying)

So, after much delay, here are some photos of my new townhouse that I'm renting with Erik. Ignore the mess. We'll start on the top floor.


This is the Dork Room. It is, indeed, the larger of the two bedrooms. It will, indeed, house our computers and an ungodly amount of gamer and other assorted dorky swag.

This is larger of the two bathrooms. But, since Erik is understandably fed up with cat litter in between his-tosis, we gave up the larger bathroom for happy feet. That, and this way we can lock the cats out of the bedroom at night, and not smell the wonderful fragrance of poop while trying to sleep.

This is the hallway leading out from the Dork Room, looking into our bedroom. On the left, are closets!

Yay, washer and dryer! Right next to the bedroom. Very convenient.

Here's the bedroom.

And the bedroom closet.

And the bedroom bathroom. Those who know me well should recognize something very important here. That's right. The shower curtain. I bought this curtain in Greece, in 2002. I tossed it in the shopping basket with some food at the local market. After checking out, I was a little confused, and upon looking at my receipt I realized they had charged me $50 for the damn piece of plastic. I asked for a refund (as best I could, ya know, not speaking the language) and was told that my only option was store credit. Well, we were leaving the next day, so I certainly wasn't going to spend $50 on food in that time. So the curtain came with me, and I will have that thing hanging in my bathroom til the day I die. And for $50, it better last me that long.

Here is the inside of the garage. Yes, 97.8% of this is my crap. Ask Erik. He'd be more than happy to confirm.


Finally, here is the outside, when you fist walk up. Yes, that's my little car. Yes, it still has Delaware plates.

Once the dork room is in full dorky glory, I'll take a few pictures of it. Til then, thanks for visiting!

Lightbulbs

Zombie Gladiators.

Oh yea.

I think for NaNoWriMo I'm going to go with my idea from the submission to Permuted Press' The World is Dead anthology. In my rejection letter, the editor liked the idea but passed on it due to some predictability with the ending. In hindsight, it was fairly obvious what was going to happen, but I think the world has a lot of potential. That short story was about "the past" and my NaNoWriMo project will take place in "the present" of this world.

I spent some time yesterday jotting down a few notes. Normally, I start a new idea with very little outlining ahead of time, hit about chapter 6, and then take a break from writing to do some seriously planning. Since I'm not going to have the luxury to stop in the middle of this piece to iron out the rest of the plot, I'm trying to get as much of a general flow of events as my brain with allow. Besides, I can stop at 50,000 words to reconsider everything, right?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Uh oh...

I just officially signed up for NaNoWriMo.

This means I will be taking a fresh start, and attempting to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

I better bust out my thinking cap. This new idea isn't going to think itself up all alone now is it?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Is that your final answer?

I'm going through my short story one last time for the Warrior Wisewomen anthology; cleaning up some more pesky typos (Titled and tilted. Fingers, get it right already.), and considering some of the suggestions of my writing group. Will this be my final draft? I think so. After today's edits, I'll shelf it for a few days, do one more "once over" for sneaky typos, clean up my formatting, and send this puppy off.

Oh snap! I need a title still. Err...

Unavoidable Delay...(Hah! I'll have to explain this one in a later blog.)

Heroes.

(Some spoilers might be included if you aren't caught up on the new season)

Dear NBC network,

So what is going on with Heroes?

I was so excited for the new season, and the two hour premiere was pretty awesome. However, now that we've passed episode four, I'm starting to get a bit annoyed.

How many times can we do the whole "alternate future, fix it" theme? Every season? Like, five times in every season? How many cliches can we possible shove into a single episode? How predictable can we possibly be? How many characters can we stuff into a single season? Can we jump around a little more? Because five minutes per scene is just enough to make me hardly give a poop.

My suggestion? A purge, dear NBC. Too many characters. Particularly Tracy Strauss. I could care less. And we just found out she's #2 of a set up triplets. Which means once we kill this version of the actress off, we'll have to suffer through another version of the same thing. Joy. That and she screams Emma Frost.

Also, Parkman and the dude in the desert is a boring arch. Making Parkman see the future was dumb. So now it's not a super power to paint the future, like Issac, it's an African drug and a walkman?

Evil Claire seems like a snotty teenage more than a super villain - though the concept is neat. But I want to see her evolve, not be fast forwarded to the end product. It would have been much more interesting to watch her slow downfall, not be told what's going to happen. (Of course, how would know to send Hiro and Peter to fix the future though, right?)

The speedy girl is just plain annoying. Period. Though she serves some purpose. But I didn't feel bad at all when she croaked. In the future. Drat, that means she's still going to be around...

Kill child, father goes insane and blow up half the planet. How many people didn't see that coming the moment we knew Sylar had a kid?

Linderman in Nathan's head. Meh. Boring. Nathan trying to be president. Been there, done that.

What I do like is Ando and Hiro's interactions, Evil Mom's unknown motives and the fact that Sylar is her son and she fed him another person with powers, and Noah and Sylar as partners. I liked Mohinder's experiment, but it did feel a bit cliche. I liked the idea of him dealing with controlling himself more than making him turn into a reptile. The mental struggle is more interesting than a physical one, at least to me.

Anyway, I hope we can get this monster under control. I like a lot of stuff, and enjoy watching it, but find myself a bit frustrated. NBC, please reign this puppy in. Concentrate on a slightly smaller cast, stop repeating the same story lines, and stop making us change the future once an episode.

Thanks,
E.

The Dude. With the thing.

Hah! This is hilarious!

For those who don't play Warhammer Online (which you should be doing) this basically sums up why doing PvP (player verses player) matches with random people you don't know can be so incredibly annoying. To their credit, it is a new game so people are still learning how it all works. But when I see the same person in multiple scenarios in the same night doing the same retarded stuff, I have to wonder...

Yes. Kill the dude with the thing folks. You can do it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

What to do.

So I was really excited when I saw this submission call, mostly because of the authors that were already included. However, since I was already in the process of working on my short story for Warrior Wisewomen 2, this kind of took the back seat. I did have a piece about 1/3 of the way done, which would have been giant lizards in the mountains.

Well, snoozed and lost. The mountains category is all full. A bummer, for sure. So now I need to decide between starting a new story in the Jungle (as it is the only category with more than one spot left) or scrapping this submission.

My Warrior Wisewomen 2 submission is in what I believe is the final draft, after a second run through with my writing group this past Sunday. In addition, I'm considering doing an unofficial National Novel Writing Month attempt (meaning, aiming to write 50,000 words in a single month, but unofficial as I won't be signing up at the website because I plan to continue my work in process instead of starting a new idea) which will begin November 1. That means I need to do about 1,660 words per day for the entire month of November.

Also, October is going to be a zoo. I just moved, so that's over, but we still have unpacking to do. Not this weekend, but next weekend, I'll be flying to Dallas with Erik to go to a wedding. Then, a few days after we get back, my brother will be in town for a long weekend. So this puts extra writing effort in October into the "not so likely" category.

Basically, unless I have a strike of genius and come up with a phenomenal idea involved jungles and some giant critter in the next 48 hours, I might have to just let this one go, albeit with a bit of a pout. I really can't blame anyone but myself. And Warhammer Online.

All better!

So I think my toe is finally healed from last week. Hooray! I no longer walk with a limp. And here is an lolcat to match the theme of my post.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Random Humor

Is your monitor dirty? Perhaps this is the quickest fix.


And here is the new shirt Erik bought for me! Love it!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The WAR goes on and on!

Whew, things have been busy. That, however, has not prevented me from cranking my way through Warhammer Online with great enthusiasm.

My thoughts: 9/10 fo sure.

Awesomeness

Public Quests - a quest that anyone walking by can join, which has a number of parts. Based on your contribution (i.e. how much you heal, how much damage you do, etc) you receive a rating when the quest is over. This rating determines if you get a bonus to your roll for loot. Then, a random roll from 0-1000 takes place, which your contribution bonus is added to. Roll big = yum yum lootzors. I like it for a number of reasons. First, other quests often involve killing monsters that are quests monsters, allowing for the whole two birds with one stone mentality. Also, you gain influence for participation, which eventually leads to rewards - so if you never are lucky enough to roll high, you'll still get a reward for hard work. In addition, these promote easy team work - open parties let you jump in with people doing the same quest, making for seamless cooperation and not spending hours looking for a group.

RvR - This is what the game is built for - Realm vs Realm, which basically pits you against other players from the opposite side. Good verses evil on an epic scale. There are a number of ways to RvR - you can do a scenario, which is a 15 minute match. These have different rule sets depending on which you enter, and normally it doesn't take too long to get selected to join. As a bonus, you can take quests which will give exp and money upon completion related to the different scenarios. Also, there are sections of each zone that are dedicated to RvR. So if you don't feel like waiting in line, you can just jump in these "lakes" and fight fight fight. The only downside is if there are no enemies players in the zone, you won't have anyone to fight. The other thing that makes RvR fun is Renown. You gain RR (renown ranks) for killing other players and participating in Scenarios and other RvR related events/items. Essentially, this is a second leveling system, which gives your character access to cool gear, skills, and character enhancements.

Crafting - The system still needs a little work, and is defiantly hindered by a buggy Auction House, but whoever decided to allow you to craft ANYWHERE at ANYTIME deserves a cookie. You can even craft while your walking or riding your mount. That alone makes the system the bomb. As for usefulness of the crafted items, I'm personally too low to see huge benefits, but the potions I make for myself have proven helpful in both RvR and PvE.

Dual Targeting - If anyone has a ever played a healing class, you know the pain it is to try to target both a hostile mob and the players you need to keep alive. WAR fixes this, allowing you to target two things at once - one ally and one enemy. Again, someone get these people some cookies!

Maps - They show a red highlighted section over the general area where you can find the monsters/quest items/NPC/etc. Very nice.


As for not so awesome:

The game as a few graphical bugs, which happen pretty often. Is it game breaking? No way, but hopefully it will be fixed along the way.

The auction house not sorting stuff properly and only showing a limited number of results sucks, but I'm sure it will be fixed soon.

I might be mistaken, but it appears that Order has more moves that bind players in place - perhaps a balance issue to be considered? Or I might just be mistaken. Also, the Sorcerer's bind spell seems to be much less effective as compared to the Engineer, Shadow Warrior and Bright Wizard.

The "Target Out of Range" message when the monster appears to be standing on top of you is my only major grip. I really would like to see that fixed VERY soon. Nothing worse than running in circles around something while your dying and you can't hit them back. This is a PvE issue.


There's lots of other things I like, but this post is kinda long. Oh yea! One other thing I like is the "Realm War" page, which lets you type in a character name to check out their gear, rank, level and stats. Very nice touch. (Seemed to be broken for a few days, but is apparently working again.)

Check out my characters:
Erinyes - Witch Elf
Jessari - Disciple of Khaine

And this is the Guild Erik and I joined (Another cool thing is that your guild also levels up as the characters do. Neat neat!):
The Black Dawn

My toe.

It still hurts.

That is all.