Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Holy Shmoly!

I don't mean to judge, (ya, right! This statement is only ever made by those who do wish to judge but don't want others to judge them) but (see!) I had a little lunch with a marginally annoying friend who was so absolutely rude during the lunch that it took all of my strength not to smack her and send her to her room.

It's not that she had 2 beers during a lunch that was less than one hour when she has to drive back to the office. That's a whole different rant that's far more serious and important than my actual rant, which is trivial and more in line with my overall nature.

She took not one, but 5 phonecalls during our 45 minute lunch!!!!! I abhore mobile phones in general (it's an aversion stemming from my previous life as a PM when I had one surgically attached to my hip by my company), and believe that in particular they have no place in:
    golf courses
    movie theaters
    anywhere where they might annoy me
I don't like hearing a mobile go off in any of these places, let alone be with the person who's rude enough to be the cause of the interruption! Holy shmoly!

Arthur, as you may or may not know is a Financial Planner. When he goes golfing with his colleagues (which is often, don't kid yourself), if anyone takes or makes a call on the course, the other members of the party take the phone and throw it in the water hazard. I should have dunked the mobile in her soy latte, but I don't think it would have had the same impact.

Whew. That's better. I'm done now

Fits and Starts

I have not written anything in my novel for a mind-boggingly long time. I'm pretty sure I'm avoiding it by writing in this blog (which I might like better, though it won't pay me royalties...). Also, I've been painfully obsessed with getting my house and yard ready for a pending family reunion we're hosting, and that's taking up a goodly chunck of time (gotta love the word goodly, and don't underestimate the satisfaction derived from saying the word chunck).

So - in fits and starts, I think I'll start writing bits of the novel via the blog. Thus killing two literary birds in one fowl (heh heh) swoop.

Here's the beginning:

My coffee tastes like piss. It is truly abhorent, and I momentarly wonder if someone hasn't actually pissed in the pot. I know it happens. I remember seeing it on one of those overly dramatic news magazine shows. You know the ones - "Scandals Caught On Tape!". I wouldn't put it past some of the developers - they're still pretty miffed about all their stock options going to rot. I know how they feel - I've got a couple thousand that are never going to be worth anything, but you don't see me squatting over the brewing machine.

That's enough for now - I really have to get back to work. Hmmm, I don't know that I'll post a lot of the novel - Arthur thinks someone will pinch it. But, with only maybe 5 people reading the blog, I doubt that I have anything to worry about.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Bones Heal and Chicks Dig Scars

While watching the riveting coverage of the Canadian Federal Election last night Frankie Mouse slit his wrist.

No - it's not nearly as interesting as it sounds. He was "helping" his father build the deck out back and cut his arm with a chisel while trying to carve his initials in a piece of spare lumber. I took him to the emergency room (where there were 3 other boys his age - all with "boy type" injuries - skateboard mishaps, basketball net-building misadventures, and one with a large piece of wood in his foot (it was big enough that you wouldn't call it a splinter)) and he got two stitches.

When we got home he immediately called all his friends and cousins to let them know all the grotesque details. Good god! It never occurred to me how different boys are from girls. I'm going to go play Barbies with Benjy Mouse - I can at least relate to that!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

My First Photo Op

Well, I successfully posted my first picture. Pretty cool. I'm feeling very technically savvy. I usually encounter user errors during these forays into the 21st Century. Sweet!

This is clearly Someone Else's Problem Posted by Hello

Who Are You People?

For the record, I've only told Carmi and Arthur (my husband) about this blog - but I've had 30+ views on my profile. Not a lot, but about 28+ more than I expected.

Hmmm. You people could leave me some comments or something...

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Dude, Where's My Post?

I'm a little miffed. I just noticed that a post I made yesterday didn't show up. I'm sure it was a user-error, but what a pain. It was very link-intensive.

I'll give you the short linkless version because I don't feel like doing the whole thing over again.

On Sunday, I bribed Frankie Mouse into making the 4KM hike to our local video store to drop off some DVDs by promising him he could rent a GameCube game. When we got there, I realized I'd forgotten my bank card. I thought he was going to cry! So, when we got back home, we got in the car and went back, bank card in hand! Very pathetic.

I tried to force Frankie and Benjy to ride the 3KM to the library on Monday, but it was raining, so we drove. Yesterday, we didn't go anywhere because we had to bake 1 milliion cupcakes (well, it felt like that many) for Frankie's last day of class. We had some leftovers, so Benjy took them to daycare.

I can assure you that the original post was much more interesting, with links to the games and movies we chose, as well as our library selections. This is the Reader's Digest Abridged Version - it lacks the detail, but contains the meat. Maybe nobody really cares what I think about Sliding Doors anyway...

Butter in the Coffee

I accidentally dropped a pat of butter in my coffee this morning. My last coffee - no beans left. I seriously considered fishing the butter out and drinking it anyway. I didn't, but I really thought about it. Yuck. Does that make me a gross person?

Monday, June 21, 2004

Why Stupid People Shouldn't Be Allowed To Vote

As you may, or may not know, there's a federal election in Canada on June 28th. I have no idea who I'm voting for since all of the parties suck hugely. Having said that, I've made it my busniess to understand the platforms of the three main parties (Conservative, Liberal, and NDP) as well as the Green Party, who've been able to run candidates in every riding across Canada.

I will eventually come to a decision (I've narrowed it down to not the Conservatives), and it will be based on my research and my gut feelings. Apparently a family friend is basing her decision solely on the party's name. Since she thinks she's conservative, she's voting for them. She has no idea about their policies, who is running in her riding, or what the other parties' policies are. It's pathetic. I asked her if she agreed with Stephan Harper's (leader of Conservatives) anti-Kyoto, anti-gay rights, pro-Iraq involvement stance, and she said that they didn't affect her, so she didn't care. Nice.

What makes it even worse is that she's otherwise a very nice person - she's just apathetic and uninformed.

So - what's my point? My point is that if you can't be bothered to at least find out what the candidates stand for, then you shouldn't be able to cast a vote on June 28th. She doesn't get it. I'd rather have a well informed prisoner vote than an uninformed civilian.

Maybe if I'd explained that it would be akin to blindly voting for someone on Canadian Idol without ever having watched the show she would have understood.

The End Is Near

Carmi, a fellow PM-in-another-life writing refugee sent me these helpful hints on what to do if the internet goes down. Good information.

Lack of Completion

Another great weekend. My house is clean, I exercised, I shopped, and I ate (a lot). We had a great Father's Day - Benjy and Frankie mice made nice gifts for Arthur and we also bought him a new golf bag and some sandals (to replace his 8 year-old Nike's (phew!).

And, dum dum da dum...I wrote a couple of pages this weekend! Excellent. My biggest problem is that I'm really motivated to start new chapters, and get about 3 pages into them, before I lose interest. Then, I wait a few days and start another chapter. I lack even one finished chapter. It's a disgrace, but I'm willing to bet that I'm not the only one who writes like that. The good news is that I have the entire plot in my head (it might be better on paper, I know), so I can jump around from chapter to chapter, but wouldn't it be nice if I finished one? Who knows? Do you know?

Alas, I'm in an excellent mood. I fear that such a great mood will lead to a lack of productivity in the novel arena - as most of my inspiration for it comes from a sense of panic, stress, and doom. (Not that my current job inspires those feelings (at least most of the time), but it's easier for me to recall Project Management events when I'm in a state of learned helplessness, which I'm currently not). Perhaps I'll have to invent some stress....healthy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Playing with my Writer's Blocks

I haven't posted for a while. It's been crazy busy at work (I'm supposed to be creating a new product series for our publication) and yada, yada, yada, I've been playing a lot of typer shark in my spare time instead of writing. No excuse, I know.

I've got lots of great amunition for the book, however, based on the crazy week I've had, so that's the good news.

Also - I saw a deer crossing the road on the way to work today. It was pretty cool because it didn't run across, it just sort of sauntered slowly, stopping to smell a strategically placed chip of tar, and then scampered off into some trees.

I plan to play with my writer's blocks tonight, though. Promise.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Magic Number

I was talking to Arthur (my husband) this morning about the novel-in-progress, and his major concern is how many pages I think it's going to be. I have to laugh a little - as my feeling on this is that it will be as long as it needs to be. But, of course, he's pragmatic, and thinks that a solid 200 - 300 pages is the ideal number. He thinks that a book about this long would be more appealing to publishers than if it was longer or shorter. I think it doesn't matter, but maybe I'm an idealist?

What do you think? Is there a magic number? Arthur may be right, based on what this reveiwer had to say.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Meet the Meat

Well, the weekend's pretty much over. It was a good one - no regrets.

Frankie Mouse and I read a few more chapters from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy tonight. We've made it as far as Chapter 6 of Life, The Universe, And Everything, but I thnk it's time to stop. He's only 9 and while he's been really keen on reading it up to now, I know that the rest of this particular book is going to go way over his head. Most of the story has anyway, I will admit, but he's really liked the parts that he "got", like the Cirus Cybernetics Corporation's drink machine's mantra, "Share and Enjoy!" He says it everytime he gets a drink from the fridge.

Also - I have to admit that I've really liked that we have inside jokes now about "42" and "Eddies in the space-time contiuum" and my personal favorite, "Let's meet the meat". Anyway - I'd like to go out on a high note, so I think we'll move on to something more age-appropriate like Harry Potter, and go back to Hitchhiker's when he's a bit older.

Also - for the record, all the times I've read HGGTTG I've never noticed the swearing. It's not foul, but there are a few "hells" and "shits" that come up. Live and learn., I suppose.

Friday, June 11, 2004

About the novel, sort of

So - I promised that I'd tell you more about my novel-in-progress, and have as yet, not done so. In my past life (before I became an IT writer) I was a project manager for a small software company devoid of business ethics - I did that for five years until the stress of it chased me into my current lower-paying but slightly more fulfilling job of writing about IT, (rather than worrying about IT).

Well, then - my novel is about the escapades of a project manager for a morally-bankrupt software company. Obviously I'm drawing on a lot of my own experiences, plus stuff that my friends and colleagues have lived through. It's hard not to have friends and colleagues in IT - everyone's in IT. That reminds me of a quote from Douglas Adams (my hero):

I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001), The Salmon of Doubt, p. 95

Therefore - being as IT took off while me and my friends were 15 to 35, we all have careers in it. Lovely. As far as I can tell, none of them really enjoys working in IT, but I think the real issue here is that none of them enjoys working, period. Who can blame them. Which is why I really want to kick this novel writing in to high gear, perhaps make a comfortable living on it, and work from home, where I meet the children as they get off the school bus, and walk off into the sunset...

Seriously, though, I like writing, especially when it's not about picking the right antispam product for your enterprise, and I'd like to do it for a living. Obviously, if I had the choice, I'd rather if someone just gave me money every week and I didn't have to do anything, but there doesn't seem to be many openings for those positions. Maybe I'm looking on the wrong job board...

I'm working on it...

Do you ever have so much work that you don't know where to start and you end up doing nothing? Yeah? Me too. That's the day I'm having now. I was highly productive this morning, but this afternoon is going to the dogs. I'm thinking around 3 I'm going to see if the beer fridge has been stocked yet. Yes - that's right, our company supplies beer to it's employees on Fridays. Sweet! I'd tell you more, but you'd be jealous...

Anyway - at our company meeting on Tuesday, we were asked to write down on a slip of paper something we want to work on doing to "better" ourselves - it doesn't have to do with work. They were all posted in our games room. Some of them are good. The sales people all put lame things down like more dials, and one of the VPs said he is going to try to not read his email when people are talking to him (nice). I said that I'd try to be more patient - i.e not yell at other drivers, not thump my mouse when my PC freezes, let my son take his time when he's telling a story (even if it doesn't make sense) and let my 4 yr old daughter brush her own hair. It hasn't gone terribly well so far, but I did let a couple of drivers in when it was highly inconvenient for me to do so.

I'm working on it....

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Today's My First Post

Here I go into the brave new world of blogging. I've been an avid reader of other people's blogs and thought it time to start my own.

I'm currently writing my first ever novel (more details later, obviously). It's a struggle. Baby steps, as it were. It's all good and will happen eventually. My goal is to have a first draft completed by 2005(ish). I know nothing about hiring an editor or the publication process, though. I'll be researching that and will post my findings here.

I don't really know if anyone will be interested in this blog, but for now, it will be for my own satisfaction and enjoyment. Let the chips fall where they may.