October 18th, 2010

more renji art

Life and All That

I'm going to have another review to post here tomorrow. I tried to "sell" it upstream to my new ODDyssey gig, but my editor didn't bite, alas. It's for an e-book that a Facebook friend of mine has a story in. Mason and I also spent some time at the Border's in Roseville yesterday, and I picked up a fantasy YA book (on purpose!) It's called GRACLING. It was recommended to me by the woman who owns/manages Sixth Chamber Books as a good follow-up to HUNGER GAMES. I've been having a really hard time with anything other than urban fantasy, and this book actually starts with a MAP.... so we'll have to see if I finish it.

Over the weekend, Shawn and I picked away at all the various around-the-house/fall garden clean-up that needs to be done. We're trying to clean out that room in the house that accidentally became the "junk room." It was orginally meant to be my office, back when people had to sit in one place with a big, honking computer. But, I do most of my writing on the couch these days, so the room became that place we stored STUFF until we knew what to do with it... except we never ended up doing anything with it. Until this weekend -- we hauled some stuff out and brought up a new table and a metal cabinet, which the hope/idea that we could transform this room into a craft room for Shawn. She's got lots of fabric for quilts, beads for necklaces/earrings, and scrap booking material. All of it needs to get out of banker's boxes and onto shelves for easier access.

Needless to say, this is kind of a BIG project. I suspect it may take us until Thanksgiving, at least. I say Thanksgiving because it's our hope to have the room back in order before our friends, the Jacksons, make their now traditional sojourn to the Twin Cities to have turkey and bits with us.

Meanwhile, the neighbors on the OTHER side are now having some major work done on their house. The paint on their house has always been kind of shoddy (even when they attempted to get it painted a couple of years ago) because everyone who has ever attempted it, scrapped a little, realized how rotten bits of the house were, gave up, and just slapped cheap paint over the top. The new crew is actually replacing rotting boards and doing REALLY nice, careful work. I've been eyeing them up because we're in pretty desperate straits ourselves in terms of boards needing replacing, etc. I chatted with the foreman/owner yesterday and we're going to get an estimate for our house. Luckily, we have stucco that's in fine shape. The only things that need work are the trim and the cedar shakes. It would be nice to hire someone professional, because, IMHO, there's nothing worse than a paint job you just have to redo in a couple of years.

So my yard is pretty much packed dirt this year. Between our roof, the other neighbor's roof, and now this.... every single patch of grass has been stomped to dust. It's quite sad. I'm going to have to seriously re-seed next year.

Mason's swimming class on Saturday continues to be great fun for him. Having spontaneously learned to back float this summer, he's got this amazing new confidence, which has been working to propel his skill level forward by leaps and bounds. They had the kids in life jackets in the deep end of the pool on Saturday, and Mason was just buzzing around completely unaided. He also was really getting the whole swimming front-facing too. He was the first to make it across the length of the pool at the end of class. I couldn't have been more proud.

On Sunday our big event was a playdate with some of Mason's friends from Crossroads. Actually, it was with a friend who USED to go to Mason's school, but transferred to some Roseville school. So I found myself out in the suburbs feeling very... urban, you know? First of all, the parent's house was so clean it almost seemed as if no one REALLY lived there. If I may be brutally honest, I find that sort of creepy and off-putting. I suddenly feel like Pig Pen (from Charlie Brown), carrying with me a cloud of dust, and it's hard to be comfortable thinking that you might be smudging something with your very breath.

Plus, these people aren't SF/F fans. They're my kid's friend's parents.

The end result was that, while I had a fine time, I came home and told Shawn (who had to sit out thanks to yet-another migraine -- it's been a really bad season for her) that I found myself feeling very DIFFERENT. Several things contributed -- I don't drink beer or wine (and, actually, I'm such a lightweight that I can't drink anything, not even a sip, if I'm driving,) and so I don't have a lot of "we were SO drunk stories." Plus, at one point we were talking about wills and other legal stuff, and I realized that straight people are clueless about married privledge....

But, that's not to disparage any of them, honestly. I think that I probably wouldn't even have been aware of all this, had I not had a very similar experience on Thursday night when I was asked to be a guest at a book club meeting (also in Roseville.)

Maybe it's just Roseville.