“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Exerpt Day

Friday, March 31, 2006

I still haven't finished Mansfield Park. Yesterday I got stuck on a phone call at work through a large chunk of my lunch break, so I didn't get much reading time. I could have read in the evening, but I watched a movie I borrowed from Hot Rod Mama and Daddy Warbucks instead. Great movie! I'll comment on that later.

As for today, it seems like a good time for another Nanowrimo novel exerpt. This one involves chocolate. Can you believe it? Me writing about chocolate? I had to do a little "research" to come up with a good positive definition of the taste of it. The visuals though? They're all mine. I love the way chocolate looks. It's the taste and the smell I can't handle.

Please, no hate comments or threats. Just remember, the less chocolate I eat, the more there is for you.


Austen vs. Billerbeck?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I did it. I finished reading my first chick-lit novel – at least I think it was my first. I'm still not entirely sure of the definition of chick-lit.

I picked up a copy of She's All That by Kristen Billerbeck at the library last Friday. Holy Mama had recommended anything by Kristin Billerbeck, so I had to check it out. I felt just a teensy bit guilty reading it. It's squeaky clean, being written by a Christian author, but it's a bit shallow, and since I've been on a Jane Austen kick lately it was a bit of a jump for me. Now, like I said, this is not a review, but suffice it to say that you are not going to be presented with any life-changing revelations, unless perhaps it is the fact that God's love will never fail you, no matter how big your hair is.

When I started reading, I almost set it aside because it was written in the present tense. (or is that perfect present? I'm really bad with tenses.) That usually drives me nuts, but shortly after that I was hooked. The Geek would ask me, "How's the book?" and my reply would be, "Pretty shallow," without removing my eyes which were glued to the pages.

I couldn't stop reading! I had to know! Which guy would she end up with? The one
her friends hated with the dreamy eyes and the sexy English accent? The one who sat around watching TV all day and yet somehow managed to hang out with gorgeous model types? The one who rescued her more than once like a knight in shining armour but who didn't share her faith? I couldn't pull myself away.

In the end I came to a conclusion that may surprise and shock some of you. It happened when I was mulling over a conversation I'd had with the Geek. I was telling him about Mansfield Park which I was reading at the time, and still am, in fact. (I'm almost done. 30 pages left out of 574 and I still can't figure out how it's going to end.) I was explaining to him that Fanny, the heroine, was in love with her cousin Edmund (not a weird thing back then even if it has a huge eeewww factor now) who (not knowing Fanny loved him) was in love with Mary. Meanwhile, Mary's brother, Henry, whom Fanny despises, loves Fanny and in fact proposes to her, though unsuccessfully.

Did you catch all that? Sounds a bit like a soap opera to me. My Geek just rolled his eyes and laughed while muttering something about women's novels.

The conclusion I came to when thinking about this was that Jane Austen was really just the Kristen Billerbeck of the early 19th century. Come on now, stop gasping for breath. Think about what I just told you about Mansfield Park. While the language may fool us into thinking it's much more complex and important than a modern chick-lit novel, the truth is that the subject matter is just as shallow; it is just fit into the life of the people of Miss Austen's time rather than ours. The one thing that makes a Jane Austen novel higher than a Kristen Billerbeck novel is that it is written in an English language yet unspoilt. Miss Billerbeck simply writes in the language of today which is exactly what Miss Austen was doing at her time.

So there it is. My startling discovery. If you choose to argue with me I don't mind at all. I encourage it, in fact. I'm curious to see what arguments people might have to this subject.
What it all comes down to for me is that I enjoyed both novels (I still am enjoying one of them, though I expect to finish it today), and neither of them contained anything that would improve my life or my character, though one of them might improve my vocabulary. I still feel a small twinge of guilt for comparing them, but I believe I will continue to read books written by both authors, and I expect to continue enjoying them both.


Isn't It Lovely, Hmm?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Look what I'm getting! I am so stinking excited! Blond Girl had an extremely successful Longaberger catalog party, and she is so incredibly sweet; she gave me one of the three 1/2 price items she earned. That means this gorgeous work of art is mine for only 1/2 the price! Won't it look beautiful outside my new dome home? Woo Hoo!

Yesterday, when BG called to tell me the good news, I couldn't help but let out a little "eeeeeeek". My co-worker actually thought I had sold my house I was so excited!

And while I'm at it, I had to get this as well. This wasn't 1/2 price, but it sure is pretty. It will look lovely hanging near the table and chairs. I can't wait!


My Blog Got A Haircut!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Okay, so it's a little more than a haircut – more like an extreme makeover, but really, it was about time, don't you think? Thanks to all of you who already noticed and gave such nice comments.

There are a few problems – a few needed tweeks which I will get to...eventually. Don't hold your breath though. I'll try to tackle the most obvious ones first, like the margin problem which Yellojkt noticed. (My words apparently really like that border.)

And no, I won't give your blog a "haircut" for 5 cents. Sorry. I can't afford the time and you know what they say. Time is money, which I don't have much of either. Hmmm maybe that 5 cents could come in handy afterall.

On another note entirely, thanks for all your prayers and well-wishes regarding the house showing we had last week. The showing turned out to be Friday. We haven't heard from them yet, but since today is only the next business day after the showing – well, you never know.



Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's been awhile since I posted one of those silly quiz things, and I'm up to other mischief today, so you get to find out what my French name would be and what that says about me. It's mostly correct, but not entirely. I really just like this picture.

Autumn winds
Your French name is
which means 'sky'.
You are a day dreamer. You sit and stare at the
clouds, wishing that you could be somewhere
else. You love to imagine what life could be
like if you were someone else, somewhere else.
You are curious and sometimes inattentive.

What is your French name?
brought to you by Quizilla


Random Stuff Floating Around In My Head

Thursday, March 23, 2006

We have showing today! People are coming to see our house! Pray pray pray people! Pleeeeaaaassse!!! One of our pastors told us how he spoke to his house and told it to sell itself. Well, we're speaking to the house! "Sell yourself, and make yourself look real pretty today for the nice people." Sure it sounds crazy, but God does work in mysterious ways.

I had a dream the other night. It was a movie trailer. Stephen Baldwin played the lead character. I have no idea why. Anyway, I think the movie idea might actually make a good book, but I'm not sure I'm up to writing it. It's got this whole "dark future" kind of thing going on and some pretty serious political themes that would require understanding today's political world and how it might affect the world of the future in say 50 or 100 years. It also requires some historical knowledge that I don't have.

Yes, I could do some research, but this is mostly stuff my husband already understands. He's a bit of a history buff and understands politics much better than I care to. I told him about the dream, thinking I might convince him to write a book about it. He just laughed and said, "That's really weird." Grrr.

Oh, there are so many other things to say, but I have to go get dressed and ready for work and tidy up a few more things around here before I go. I've only got 20 minutes so gotta go!!

Remember, pray!!!


What's Going On?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Does this explain all the annoying problems with Blogger lately?

Well, the limerick is entertaining anyway.

By the way, has anyone seen Debra? I'm getting an error message at her blog and I miss her.


Happy Birthday to...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Happy 60th Birthday Hot Rod Mama!
Hope your day is fabulously fun!!

birthdaycatDon't let the surly look fool you.
See that pink frosting on his fur?
He's had a taste of the cake, oh yeah.


They're Out Of Control!

This morning when the Geek woke me up, I was dreaming that I had a single 2 foot long hair coming out of my eyelid. I was trying to pull it, but the darn thing wouldn't come out.

Yeah, I think it's time for a brow wax.


On Snow Days and 2nd Exerpts

Monday, March 13, 2006

It's snowing here. This lovely Northland is very very white at the moment, and I'm home. Yup, I'm taking a snow day. The Geek left this morning a few minutes early and called me about 10 minutes later – from the driveway. His little sports car got stuck before he could even leave home.

I went out and helped him get back in the garage, and after realizing that the snow was deeper than the distance from the ground to the bottom of my car, we decided to declare it a snow day. If they come by and plow the alley, I'm still obligated to try to make it to work, but considering that the snow is still falling, I'm thinking the city plows are probably too busy working on actual roads at the moment.

The view from behind my house
Quite white, don't you think?

In the meantime, I've posted the 2nd exerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my explanation. It's a little something I promised my mom who happened to win a contest and chose this as her prize.

Oh, yeah, one last thing. I'll be posting on the Dome Geeks blog later today. The project is back in progress as we anticipate winter being over soon, so after a long winter's nap, the Dome Geeks blog will be awakening again today. Be sure to stop by and tag along as we make progress on our dream home!


Extra! Extra!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

This morning as I showered and dressed I had a post forming in my head. The entire post could be summed up in the following statement: I have held many jobs in my life, but at 34 years of age I still don't know what I will be when I "grow up". The problem with this post was its tendency to lament, a thing I find myself doing all too much lately.

Later, I sat down at my computer to read some blogs. One of my favorite bloggers is Debra over at "As I See It Now". Her blog is one of my daily "must reads". She has a unique and refreshing perspective on everyday life that can pull me out of a funk without ever making me feel guilty or condemned. In fact, while I can't pin it down exactly, I'm pretty sure she's posted before about the futility of spending your life feeling guilty.

Today, her post, "Writing Your Own Newspaper" woke me up. It made me realize that I was approaching my perspective on life from a completely wrong angle. She wrote about choosing how we look at the world around us. We can watch the news and sink into the depths of despair, knowing that there's nothing we can do to solve all the horrible problems in the world, or we can choose to see the blessings God has given.

Sure, it seems almost too simple, too obvious – how many times have we heard this same concept, but sometimes a person can hear the same thing over and over again until one day someone forms those same words into a statement that just clicks. It goes beyond making sense to being a part of you. If you would have asked me before reading her post, I would have told you that I thought I was approaching life from a positive perspective, and in many ways I was, but I was still holding on to my resentment in some areas of my life.

Today, I have decided to "write my own newspaper". At the end of Debra's post, she encouraged her readers to write the headlines that would appear on their own newspaper, and that is what I am going to do. If I had my own newspaper, the headlines today would read:

Geek And Geekwif Prepare To Build Their Dream Dome Home In The Country

Geekwif Rejoices In The Hope That She Will Be a Housewife Someday

Sweet Geek Hubby Is Willingly Helpful In Keeping House Tidy

Geek and Geekwif's Kitties Have A Safe Place To Live While Home Is For Sale

Geekwif's Mother Celebrates 60th Birthday – Family Gathers For Evening Of Fun and Food

And there are so many more I could write. Today, I choose to be grateful for all the things I have. It doesn't mean that my life is perfect. It doesn't mean that I don't long for certain things, like a job that I can enjoy. It certainly doesn't mean that I will always walk around with a fake smile on my face no matter what I'm feeling. It simply means that I choose right now, in this moment, to realize that I've got a great life and so much to be thankful for.


Just Breathe

Friday, March 10, 2006

I'm trying really hard to breathe. Big. Deep. Breaths.

The house is now on the market which means it must be absolutely, perfectly, 100% spotlessly clean at every moment just in case someone happens to drop by at the last minute to see it.

Sorry, honey, you can't eat dinner until the house sells. I may not have time to wash the dishes before a potential buyer comes. Grrrr.

We did have a showing on Tuesday – the day after the house went on the market. It was very encouraging, but we haven't heard anything from them since. Someone must come and love our house. It's really really cute. If I get a chance this weekend, I'll try to get some good pictures of it to show here. I need some pics of my kitchen anyway for a couple of kitchen memes I promised to do.

Meanwhile the stress is building. The house must sell quickly so we can get started building our new home. We must get bids from contractors, choose our contractors, and create a detailed budget of absolutely everything that will go into building that house to prove to the bank that we are serious and can do this. The current house must be clean at all times. The kitties are gone which stinks because I miss them and because we're spending about an hour over at my parents' house every night to feed, clean boxes, and be sure they're not too lonely...or we're not. I'm not sure which is more accurate.

Anyway, I'm trying to remember that, while it feels right now like our life is a pair of dice that's been thrown and we're hanging in the air at the moment just waiting to see where we might land, it's really all in God's hands. I know He has control of it all. He knows who is going to buy our home and when. He's got our kitties in his hands. He's in control of our building project. If I can just continue to remember that, then perhaps I can continue to breath.


More Random Thoughts (With Pictures!)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I feel like posting pictures today. It's been a quiet day, but a busy day – off and on – sort of.

Yesterday was a bit crazy. We packed up the car with boxes, and drove out to our future hometown (slightly over an hour drive) to rent a storage space. It's time to start moving things out so people who want to buy our house can actually see the house beyond the clutter. Then we drove another 1/2 hour to the Geek's grandparents' home to pick up a truck we're borrowing from/taking care of for his parents while they are in Peru. We drove the truck back to future hometown and out to our future home.
The camper we'll be living in while we build our house this summer.

Of course, we always have to snap a few photos when we're out there, so the Geek posed nicely for this picture, just before he scooped up a giant snowball to whip at me.
After the snowball fight, we hopped back in the truck, drove back to current hometown, loaded up the truck with boxes, drove back to future hometown, unloaded truck at storage space, dropped it off back at grandparents' home, picked up our car, drove back to future hometown, had dinner, and drove back to current hometown. By the time we were home it was about 11:00 pm, but it was a good day. We love a good road trip, especially when it takes us to our future home, and yesterday was so nice and sunny and about 40 degrees. Great weather for a late winter road trip.

Another picture of our lot yesterday with a pic of someone else's dome home super-imposed over the spot where ours will be built. I faded it out purposely so you could see the rest of the lot. Kind of ghostly, dontcha think?

Today was a mix of good and bad. It was cloudy, rainy, snowy, and sleety which is good because it's warm outside, but bad because it's so gray and damp. I wasn't feeling well (bad), so we skipped church. (deep breaths) Since we were gone all day yesterday, the laundry wasn't even started (bad), so my very sweet Geek took over laundry for the day while I worked on some computer projects (good).

Late this afternoon, before our realtor came over to sign papers so our house can go on the market tomorrow (very good), we took the kitties over to my parents' home where they will stay for a while (very bad). They didn't take it very well – not that we expected them to – but they will get used to it. We'll be visiting them every day, so hopefully we they won't get too lonely.

In the meantime, it is very very very quiet around here. We ordered Chinese and didn't have to choose who would pay the delivery guy and who would block the cats from getting outside. I keep hearing little noises and thinking it must be the cats, but it's not. I think I'm going to have kitties on the brain for a while. I certainly do tonight. Since they're on my mind, I'll leave you with a couple more pictures of our sweet little furballs.

Anyone who has ever had a cat is familiar with this look.
In Maestro's case, it means, "Sshh. I'm hiding. Don't tell the other cats where I am, okay?"

Boy, if looks could kill! Take a look at Maestro glaring at YoYo and Mozart.
Chances are he was there first and he's not big on sharing space with other cats.
Oh, and the horribly ugly couch? GONE. Yay!
I'm sure the trash guy loved us for making him take that one.


The Answers Are In!!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Warning! If you have not guessed yet and want to do so, skip straight to the next post down without reading this one!

Do you wanna know the answer? Are you sure? Do you
really want to know the answer?

Well, okay then. Here it is...

1) At the age of 17, I had decided to go to acting school. I was enrolled and everything, but dropped out at the last minute in favor of an office job.
Absolutely, completely and in all ways false. I am terrified of the stage. Actually, there is one true thing about this statement: I started my first office job when I was 17.

2) My first cat's name was Mac. I was five years old and my mom was obsessed with Mac Davis at the time.
My mother was obsessed with Mac Davis – okay, maybe not quite obsessed but she did listen to him quite a bit – but my cat's name was not Mac. Her name was Heidi – after Heidi in the book I was obsessed with at the time, so this one is also false.

3) I grew up listening to country music. Now I hate it.
Well, I do hate country music, but I didn't grow up listening to it. My mother mostly listened to classical and my dad listened to jazz – mostly dixieland jazz – so this one is also false.

4) By the time I graduated from high school, I had lived in 13 different homes.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! This one is absolutely true! Most people ask me if I was an army brat when I tell them this. I was not. We just moved a lot. This does not, however, mean that I have traveled much. All the 13 homes I lived in have been concentrated among South Dakota and Minnesota.

5) I went to a Catholic school, but my family was not Catholic.
Substitute Episcopalian for Catholic and this one would be true. As it is, it's false. I was hoping the uniform in my 1st grade picture up and to the right would fool you into thinking this was true. Tricksy, I am, but apparently not tricksy enough.

Thanks to all who played along. Valiant efforts all around, but congrats go to Kristi, Victory, and Faith for guessing right! Sorry, Kristi. No prize this time. ;) Thanks for reminding me though. I need to post the next installment of HRM's prize soon!


Yay!!!!! It Worked!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Blond Girl posted last night. It's good to have her back! Thanks much to all who commented to her in response to my request. Your efforts are much appreciated!