June 30, 2002
Happy Endings

Okay, so the evening ended up being fairly decent after all. *smiles*

Shawn called just after I had gotten Ryan to sleep, and Dani into bed (and trying so hard not to sleep). So I got to have a really nice conversation with Shawn and hear some about his life, and work, and Tatyana, and I talked about gaming, and life and my kids.

Then Kevin, Josh & Liz walked in, Ryan woke up, and Dani got out of bed. So much for peace. *laughs* So I had to say g'bye to Shawn and start dealing with the family again. I sent Kevin off to deal with the drain right away. It took a few pokes from the pipes down below (and two dousings of his hands with drano). We were just about to go out to get a plunger to try to dislodge whatever the big problem was when all of a sudden we heard a GLUG GLUG. Whatever it was had suddenly shifted after all the poking and the drano. So we dumped the last of the drano down, to ensure it finally completely was clear, and went out to do some other shopping.

I intended to buy drawer organizers and a dishpan (yes, that would be an intent to capture the junk BEFORE it goes down the drain now). We came home with those, a pair of DVDs (Enemy of the State free with Pearl Harbor), more pots and potting soil, flavored soda water for me, and a blender.

Yes, a blender. Both Kevin and I have been wanting one, so I gave up and bought us one today. And then we made shakes after dinner. Which gave me a wonderful treat tonight. I can make one for only 4 points, as opposed to the higher point one I made tonight, so this might become a more regular treat. Yum!

After we came home we did dinner, and then I went out and did some more twilight planting. I got the last 3 tomatoes into pots, and then planted some various more zuchinni and cucumber plants. Tomorrow night I need to fertilize the garden, and somewhere I need to get cages for all these poor tomatoes and the one cucumber that's going insane (BELIEVE the miracle gro commercials!). But our Home Depot was sold out of the cages. *pouts* Maybe Hewitts.

And now I'm sitting here, with Kevin napping (as usual) on the couch next to me. It'll be bedtime soon enough, but I'd like to get some writing and some more email. Yeah, its a good night. And best of all, I can curl up next to Kevin again tonight -- I've missed that the past few nights. Next camping trip I hope to go too, if my mom will help out with the kids when we go. *fingers crossed*

The weekend was a lot better than I expected, I think. I'll check the kitchen before bed, and I need to turn off the water outside still (the garden soaker hose is going). But overall, a lot more productive than I expected, and more relaxing. Yay!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:13 PM
What a Weekend

As some people out there know, I've been dreading this weekend. Mostly because I'm short-tempered and its me, alone, with both children, whom I love dearly but who sometimes drive me to distraction because I don't get a break.

It hasn't been too bad. Most of the difficulties I've caused myself, somehow. Like we all went out to get some shopping done, which meant Ryan catnapped, which threw off his schedule horribly yesterday.

There is one thing I'm horribly steamed about. And it has nothing to do with my children. It has to do with my husband. Y'see, I'm not mad at him for going camping this weekend. Jealous, yes, but that's an entirely different story and has to do with him getting to go off with all our friends and I can't go. *pouts*

No, this has to do with the house. Y'see, I figured out why the dishwasher had stopped working again. Periodically our dishwasher decides that instead of cleaning the stuff off the dishes it is simply going to redeposit it around. So if you put stuff through the dishwasher with junk on it, that junk ends up on all the dishes, and the whole mess is made worse, not better.

So that had been happening again. And I was getting frustrated because I was pulling dishes out of the cupboard that were still gross. Which is REALLY annoying. And yeah, Kevin thinks I ought to do dishes more often, but since I'm also doing the laundry and all every bloody night, I think maybe I can get out of doing dishes.

I'm getting distracted and ranting. The point is, since Kevin does the dishes most often, I would think that he would've noticed the dishwasher wasn't behaving. I'd think he'd have started y'know *rinsing* the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, so that the large globs of food get caught in the trap and get thrown out rather than going down the drain. But no... he does nothing, doesn't drano it, and doesn't even MENTION it.

So on Friday night when I go to do the dishes, the sink fills up. Then I realize that its backed up into the bottom of the dishwasher as well. I don't dare run the dishwasher in this state, so I wait until everything drains, then I run the dishwasher and pray that it doesn't overflow. Thankfully, it doesn't.

I do as much as I can of the dishes in slow portions over Friday night, and get the rest into the dishwasher safely stowed out of the way. I'm not going to run it again and tax the pipes further. At this point, drano is needed.

So this is all set by Friday afternoon, and I dump drano down the sink because by now the sink is full of water that is no longer draining.

Does it work? *dry laugh* No way. After an hour or two, the water's gone down maybe a millimeter. By bedtime it had mostly drained. This is NOT good.

I let it go overnight, knowing that the wonderful caustic agent was still in the pipes somewhere. Then in the morning I got up and started running the hot water to rinse it.

And watched in horror as it immediately backed up into the sink.

I was just about ready to cry as I'm standing there, surrounded by the dishes from the night before, knowing the dishwasher is also full and ready to be run, and the sink is still unable to drain. So I dumped more drano down it. And it finally went down after an hour or so. But the sink is STILL backing up.

It seems like no matter what I do, it doesn't help.

I'm considering going out for more drano, but since Ryan's asleep and Dani's going down for quiet time after lunch, that isn't feasible. Besides, the last time it got this bad, Kevin had to undo the pipe downstairs and remove the obstruction there. Lovely thought with all that drano stored up in there, isn't it?

Oh, the best part? Not only is my goal of getting the kitchen all caught up and nice blown, but I can't do laundry! The drain for the laundry meets up with the same pipe in the basement. And the last time this happened we discovered the worst of it when the washing machine couldn't drain and overflowed all over the mudroom. Given the piles of clean laundry there, and my unwillingness to deal with the mess, I'm not about to risk it.

So I feel like my hands are tied. If Ryan continues to nap, I'll at least manage to get some laundry sorted and folded, which will help. But damn it, not having a kitchen sink is REALLY annoying!!

On the other hand, other than natural fussiness and tiredness, the kids have been fun. We went shopping yesterday morning -- to yard sales and the clothing store because Dani needed summer clothes. She was so excited because she got to try on clothes for the first time like a big girl. She got a lot of new outfits, and has insisted on wearing her favorite so Aunty Liz can see it when she and Josh drop Kevin off this afternoon. The outfit, of course, is pink. *smiles*

Last evening was difficult because Dani never napped, and Ryan was REALLY fussy going to sleep. But eventually both went out and slept well. We had gone for ice cream earlier -- my treat to the peanut after we took a nice walk.

This morning has gone well so far, although I'm feeling a little trapped. Dani and I did some weeding once Ryan went down for his morning nap. He's been napping hard and long -- its been 2 1/2 hours so far. Whoops! Dani just came and told me that he's awake. So I'll need to get him after I get her lunch on the table.

Dani's been playing with Barbies a lot. She got a new barbie doll house for $1 at a yard sale -- it was the best find for her. She's utterly delighted with it. Although right now she's feeding Katie the Baby.

Off to go back to being mommy after this little break...

Posted by Deb Atwood at 12:24 PM
Site Continues to Update

Well, the site continues to pull together. I now have everything but Gestalt publishing through Moveable Type, although the templates are all still in flux. I have to pull the diet blog into this template, especially since Netscape doesn't handle the one its in AT ALL. Yeah, its icky.

I've added some more links to the side. If you wanna know the different between The Corridor and Places to Go... um, long inside joke. *wry smiles* I've tried to add the blogs I look at daily, which is a list which is still in flux. And yes, there will be blogs of people I've never met and probably will never meet because I've just happened to find some interesting things out on the net.

Oh, and I love blogs which are non-framed and organized with the big bulk of text on the left and navigation on my right. Why? Cuz I can read those on my BlackBerry which is any time anywhere. *big grins* No, this doesn't mean I expect people to change... just saying I *like* it. I *do* keep up quite nicely via RoadRunner on my laptop or desktop, too.

Hm, gotta add links for my comics. Must share my comics. *grins*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:10 AM
June 29, 2002
Being the Endless

Okay, so I'm quiz girl today. But its the *Endless* and I couldn't resist. And now I'm amused. *giggles*

I'm Death!

Which Member of the Endless Are You?

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:13 PM
What Fuzzy Animal Are You?

My first time posting quiz results, but this one was cute and well, amusing. I had to laugh at the description, since um... yeah, that would be how I get myself into trouble in real life.

You are intelligent and highly curious, which sometimes makes people think that you are evil.

What fuzzy creature are you?

Posted by Deb Atwood at 06:30 PM
GameWISH, Mark II

I woke up this morning and thought of a successful relationship that has a hell of a story behind it, and definitely trumps either Celia & Madoc, or Talis & Eldan. The hills and valleys in this one, and that it became one of the best relationships I've seen played through, make it SUCH a better choice.

So anyway, I refuse to edit my past post to remove the one I said. Because I said it for good reason. But this one is better, so I'm adding it to the list.

This romance began in the most unlikely of fashions, in my World of Darkness game (Where Chaos Reigns). Jim Rain, a 500 year old vampire, wanted to learn Thaumaturgy. At the time, he was blood-bonded to a new created vampire by the name of Linnette. The two of them sought out Lawrence (Laurie) Cuthbert, a Tremere, to teach them the basics of magic. Jim had been turned at the height of teenage hormones, and Laurie was just well, flirtatious and voracious. And Linnette was caught in the middle. The three had a strong relationship until Laurie and Linnette saw that the building Jim was in blew up (yes, Jim was the PC). They searched and searched, but Jim was dead.

Laurie was devestated. He left the States and returned to England where he remained for a few years. He began one relationship in the wake of Jim’s loss (only admitting to himself, barely, how he felt about Jim after his death) but that failed. [That story is the one published by Circlet Press actually.]

Then one day Laurie received a phone call, and a wispy little girl voice said, “Laurie? Its me… Jim.” Laurie stared at the phone dumfounded as the voice continued, “The magic worked. I came back. I’m in Scotland and I’m a little girl and my mom’s a mage. Come get me.”

While Jim had been learning magic from Laurie, he created his own path of tantric magic, which included a ritual for preparing the soul for resurrection. Of course, none of them knew if it would work for a vampire, but they had performed the ritual not long before Jim's death.

And so, in fact, he hadn't died. Jim Rain was now Bridget, who seemed to be the child prodigy of the greatest druid in Britain. Her mother was surprised by how early the girl's talents appeared, but took it in stride as the strength of her blood, not realizing that the two year old Bridget also had all the memories (and magical knowledge) of a 500 year old vampire.

Laurie appeared on Bridget's doorstep, wishing to take the child prodigy to his magic school in London, where she could be trained properly. When it showed that the girl took to the handsome vampire, and knowing that the vampire had a good reputation despite being dead, Bridget's mother agreed. And as soon as they arrived in London, Laurie prepared a ritual to age Bridget to a point of her desiring (she chose the same age at which Jim had been turned, with the intention that she could age normally from there). And Bridget joined the school.

But there was still all this ancient history between them. Laurie hadn't forgotten Jim, and having him back as Bridget was both joyous and painful. And Bridget had not forgotten Laurie either. She delighted in teasing him, tempting him. And being as Laurie was drop-dead gorgeous anyway, she didn't seem all that different from all the other girls in the school who also flirted outrageously with the headmaster.

Bridget was determined to have Laurie again. Laurie was determined to do the right thing and keep his hands off of her. In the end, Bridget won (the story, not currently on my site, is "A Mild Obsession", a part of the Chaotic Erotica and posted online probably around 10 years ago). The two began a tumultuous relationship.

Anyone who knew them knew how strongly they felt about each either. It was an open relationship, because neither was the exclusive sort. But Laurie was utterly devoted to Bridget, and she to him. When one was hurt, the other went to any lengths for vengeance. And when Bridget said that the one thing she wanted was a child -- *his* child -- Laurie agreed to perform a ritual that left him mortal for the space of a week. It was the biggest sacrifice he could make, to leave himself so vulnerable for her, but it worked, and the two conceived their daughter Jezebel.

Through the entire thing, Jim/Bridget was a PC -- the change in self had actually been planned by us because Jim had become unplayable due to being on the wrong side of the fence with the other PCs and Shawn didn't want to leave the campaign or start completely fresh. But we let people believe he had started fresh, and he left how Jim was reincarnated to me. I made him female in part because the name occurred to me so it seemed right, and in part because I wanted to challenge Shawn's roleplaying. Which worked.

The whole thing just kept coming together. Just kept working. They went through hell but in the long run, Bridget and Laurie were together. Laurie had his other loves, but Bridget was THE ONE. Their character, and their romance, came alive and was a central point of the game.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 03:54 PM
Voices Updated!

The Voices section has been updated with the latest GameWish question!

And one of these days I've got a long ramble to do on the subject of writing. And another one on the idea of spontaneous generation of personalities. I think I made a new one. Voice, I mean. But I'm WAY too incoherent to try to express it now (especially since I keep having to go typeover my typos I'm SO tired!!).

Posted by Deb Atwood at 12:36 AM
Describe two romantic relationships involving a PC you've seen in a game. One should be a romance that worked for the participants and the other should be one that failed, died, or came to an end. What was good and bad about these relationships from the point of view of plot and character development? How did the GM make the romance appealing to the players?

Oh gods, I could go on about this for SUCH a long time. To me, the best plots are based upon the relationships between the characters. As a GM, I usually find that the plots revolve around the relationships in some manner. As a player, I find that relationships tend to bind me more into the plot.

For a failed relationship, there is only one choice. Adrienne and Jerrym, in Which Endureth Forever. Ohmigod.

I love it when a character does something I don’t expect. I mean, there I am, playing her, and she’s just doing things which are happening and coming out of her mouth and I’m sitting back and wondering where the hell she’s getting that from and why the hell she’s doing that. And that’s what happened with Adrienne.

I knew there was something going on in her head. But I didn’t know what was causing her to act the way she was. She was 16 ½, and new to Amber. She’d been Benedict’s protégé in shadow, and upon her arrival in Amber, he had asked Jerrym to continue teaching her. Jerrym wasn’t so thrilled by having this possible daughter of Benedict dropped in his lap, and their relationship went downhill from there.

I think Adrienne and I figured it out about the same time. She’d gone off into shadow to “grow up” because she was tired of being just the kid and not getting all the jokes. So she literally went off to learn more about life, sex, and magic. Hm, I think that’s when shapeshifting got added in as well, or slightly thereafter. She worked with Samuel, and had a wonderful little interlude with him, which other than friendship, meant absolutely nothing. She spent a lot of time centering herself, and figuring herself out. Which was when she realized that she was spending all this time knocking herself out, trying to get Jerrym’s approval. She was horrified to realize that somewhere along the way she’d developed a crush on him.

And it just went downhill from there. In Julia’s blog you can read about Jerrym and Rhiannon – her example of a good relationship. This should say enough about how badly Adrienne’s experience went.

Except that you still have NO idea.

Rhiannon died. Jerrym was in love and Rhiannon was killed by Ardath (Adrienne’s best friend, and the subject of another crush, but that’s a totally different story). But Rhiannon wasn’t totally dead. And over time, as Adrienne realized that her crush on Jerrym had grown into a full-on unrequited love, Adrienne also learned that Rhiannon wasn’t quite dead.

The scariest moment was when she literally offered to die for Rhiannon. She offered to give herself up so that Rhiannon could live. As a shapeshifter, it sounded logical to her, and it would give her Jerrym, in some manner.

Yes, Adrienne is a scary girl. Don’t confuse her with me. I don’t think I could EVER be as messed up as she is. Laughs

Thankfully, Jerrym didn’t accept. And that was the moment when he learned how Adrienne felt. And when he officially rejected her, which gave her a good reason to start to pull out of it and put her head back in working order. They almost became friends after that (and Adrienne finally learned what had attracted her to him in the first place, despite that he never gave her an ounce of encouragement). But then Adrienne fell in love with Stephan, and has done things that many don’t approve of (the story of Adrienne’s life) and that pretty much killed off her fledgling friendship with Jerrym.

After all that, she still wishes him well, and likes Rhiannon (they had a great tea after she came back to life), and wishes his daughter well. But it is most definitely the epitome of the most messed up relationship I have ever played through in a game.

For the best relationship that worked out really well… I had to really think about it. There were Celia and Madoc, from Tony Pi’s Paradox, who were the epitome of The Lovers tarot card. There are Krystol and Jacob from Honor thy Father and Mother at ACUS, who are still sorting out their relationship despite being married and him on the throne of Chaos. It’s a relationship that the players weren’t expecting but the characters just went there. But after all my thought, I came to Eldan and Talis, from The End of the Beginning, run by Felicia Olson.

It was a Chaos based game. When the characters met, Talis was studying the Logrus intensely (and to be Suhuy’s direct apprentice), and was pregnant and married. Eldan was a new student. They struck up a friendship. And Eldan was there when Talis took the Logrus, her husband died, and she birthed the twins (yes, all in one afternoon). Their friendship was cemented as they went through the next several years, going back and forth, and having the most difficult time trusting each other with their hearts. There were proposals of marriage, but Talis was too concerned that Eldan was only marrying her for her daughters’ sake, and not for his own sake. Finally they managed to get it through their heads that it was right, and the dam broke, and they were the perfect couple. It was a great setup to play through, and turned out great.

Now, I’ll admit, Celia and Madoc is right up there too… but that one lost out simply because I know it was engineered. I know that Tony set it up, and tried to put the two of them together (and he called it just right on what I’d do, and Celia and Madoc became the perfect couple… sort of).

Enough babbling. Funny how the failed relationship has so much more to write about than the good one, huh?

Posted by Deb Atwood at 12:00 AM
June 28, 2002
Gardening After Twilight

Last night, we had thunderstorms. Huge, ear-cracking, thunderstorms. Pulse-pounding, drenching, thunderstorms.

Of course, I had also asked Kevin to pick up some things so I could get stuff planted, and sort of needed to do it last night before the poor plants baked to death in their little teeny tiny seedling planters. Priscilla gave me a dozen heirloom tomatoes, and I didn't want to lose any more than the one that had already been eaten by the local bunny.

So the storm faded just about the time we got the kids tucked into bed. And even though the light was fading, we went outside and put 9 plants into pots, and hammered in the tomato posts. It was actually really cool. Kinda peaceful, and enjoyable. And the tomatoes were SO much happier after they got into nice big pots. I've got two more to do, unless one of them has faded, which it looked like it might be doing.

I can't WAIT to see the tomatoes grow and see what they produce!!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:07 PM
Friday Five

Me jumping into another new fray for me...

When was the last time you...

1. ...sent a handwritten letter?

Gods, I can't remember!! I remember writing obsessively when I was a kid -- to friend from camp, to my friend's boyfriend (who became my pen pal). Notes to friends at school.

But with email, just about everything I do is online. And even then I'm not that great a correspondent.

Oh, wait... no, handwritten was specified. Christmas letters, which are typed, don't count, do they?

That means the answer is probably too long... its a lost art, I suppose. Although, given the response some people gave my handwritten letters (as in, unable to read them even when I *thought* I was being neat), maybe living online isn't such a bad idea!

2. ...baked something from scratch or made something by hand?

Oh, that one's easy -- I love to bake and cook, so its more a question of timing for me than anything. I baked cookies, both some with Danielle and some on my own, before her preschool graduation a week ago. Making things by hand not so recent -- I haven't made jewelry in a while. Although I *have* been gardening, does that count?

3. ...camped in a tent?
Not recently enough! *laughs* Yes, there's a whole story there.

I grew up camping when I was littler, and less as I got older. When in college, I went camping with my friend CJ and her boyfriend. After that -- I never went. When I got together with Kevin, I tried to convince him to go camping with me. However, he was in the Army Reserves, so he didn't exactly see camping as a recreational activity. *smiles* But he's out now, and we're buying camping equipment with the intent of taking the kids out this summer. Yay!!

4. ...volunteered your time to church, school, or community?

I don't belong to church, and haven't donated to Dani's school yet. Not sure what would community, so I guess I don't really volunteer my time. I would, if something came up that fit with my belief structure, but nothing has.

5. ...helped a stranger?

*thoughtful frown* Um, not sure. When people ask directions, I answer. I let people know when they drop things. I'm not intrusive, and I'm not going to go out on a real limb (especially not with my kids along, like stopping by roadside to help -- that wouldn't work with the two little ones really). But I try to do what I can.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 12:51 PM
That Ringing Sound

Argh! My left ear started ringing during the huge storms that rolled through here last night. I assume its something to do with pressure, and sinuses, and all that crap. But I also assumed it would *go away* when the storms were over. Yeah, fat chance. So there's really annoying ringing/rushing sound on the left side of me, and while I can hear perfectly fine, there's that sort of "distant" feeling to it all, like when ears are stuffed up.

Its driving me NUTS.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 06:56 AM
June 27, 2002
Thursday Thumb Twiddlers

Okay, so after seeing them and wondering and well, being always interested in finding topics to babble on about, I'm going to spend some time exploring ***Dave's Thursday Thumb Twiddlers.

And damn these are... um... interesting and tough stuff...

1. Would you rather die peacefully among friends at 50, or painfully and alone at 80? Assume that most of those thirty years would be "good" ones.

That's a tough one. Let me state, I have a HUGE fear of death. HUGE. Unweildy and overpowering. Its a fact, one I've faced up to long ago, and one which has a huge impact on my life.

That said, I've also done research on the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) law in New York. I've seen the stories of people who did not have a DNR order, and who were resuscitated 30 times in an hour, breaking all of their ribs, and having a horrific death. I've heard of people who could not be medicated and had to end their life in excruciating pain, because without a DNR order the risk of the medication was too great.

Neither death nor pain appeals to me.

But then, I don't think they appeal to anyone else, either, do they?

I think, in the long run, I intend to live my life to the fullest. I want to get every possible day I can out of life, and I refuse to admit that the quality of my life can get me down. As it is, I have fibromyalgeia -- I live every day of my life in pain. I've learned to deal with this, and while it is draining and awful, I still want to live. I want to go on. And I will find a way to make it work.

I guess what that says is that I would refuse to accept that pain would be the end of my life. That I could succumb to pain in the end, and that I would go out in pain. I would banish the pain... while the end might come anyway, I will meet it head on.

Gah, that sounds SO full of myself!

2. Your teen arrives home one night with a big dent in his car fender. You find out the next day there was a hit-and-run in the neighborhood. Would you try to find out if your kid was involved? If you found out s/he was, would you notify the authorities? What if there was a death from the hit-and-run?

Gods yes, I would try to find out. I love my children but I will not condone that kind of moral behaviour. That's wrong, and in my mind, its sick. Human life is to be treasured. I have had two accidents in my life that involved people and both of them still haunt me today. Thankfully, in both, the other parties were okay. The child that ran in front of me was completely uninjured, although I saw her in my dreams for months afterwards, and can still summon the image to mind. The man who walked into me while on his cell phone also still terrifies me in my nightmares.

I can't imagine how anyone could live with that guilt. And I could never live with myself if I aided anyone, including my own child, in getting away with ignoring something like a hit and run.

And karma applies... if I were to ignore it, I would expect something horrific to happen. Wrongs would right... I'd rather do it with a good soul.

3. What would the title of your autobiography be (not including your name)?

Reflections. Does anyone who knows me (or sees the title of this site) have to ask? If not that, then Imagery. Because everything in life is a series of images in my mind. Okay, that's really similar, in the long run, to Reflections. *smiles*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 06:20 PM
Got it!

Yay! The support forum was helpful yesterday. Got what I needed to do a proper include that includes $MT tags. And its working beautifully. Now I can get my sidemenu working correctly and get the archive templates all done. Whee!!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 02:47 PM
Office Politics

"Sometimes when a person insists on putting a noose around their neck you just have to see if they find a branch to hang it from."

Have you ever had an experience like this? Thought this? Go. Think. Discuss.

Comment here to link or respond.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:33 AM
June 26, 2002

Okay, Kevin guesses that Ryan will be walking in about another month and a half. Lessee... that means by the beginning of August he'd be on his feet and toddling about. And I've recorded this bet for posterity (nope, no money on it, but hey, at least I've made a note of it!).

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:12 PM
Athena's Baby Pic


I promised a baby picture of Athena... here it is! I'll post a more recent one eventually. In this she's all cuddled up in the sheets on the old recliner, and looking almost more ears than cat. She was about a handful big when this was taken.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:45 PM

Okay, so I've broken my template in my attempt to fix it. Guess I'm not so good with SSI as I thought! Please be patient while I'm fixing things up!

UPDATE: ARGH! The Moveable Type site is undergoing maintenance, so I can't get to the support stuff. *groans* I'm trying to move my sidemenu into an SSI and failing miserably -- the $MT tags are showing up as just that, instead of what they should resolve to, when I put them into the include file. *sighs* Its including it -- its just WRONG.

I figure someone else has to have run into this, so there's probably something on the site. But first I have to be able to get there. *grumbles* *grumps*

NEW UPDATE: Hm, I suppose I could be doing these updates as comments, but just editing seems simpler somehow. I've gone through the MT site, now that its back in action with the new design, and have figured out what's wrong and how to fix. But that's a problem for another day. So hopefully sometime tomorrow the calendar will suddenly be back in action, and along with it, we'll start getting some archives and permalinks and such on the menu!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 04:42 PM
Pajama Party

Okay, now this is cute. Today Dani's daycare had a pajama party. So off she goes to school wearing her Disney Princess nighty, and her Disney Princess bathrobe. And a part of me is thinking, she's wearing *pajamas* outside the house. And then I realize... she's got a sundress to change into if she wants clothes, and y'know what, the sundress and the nighty are really all about the same sort of thing. She could just as easily wear one or the other.

But it was so adorable. The staff brought PJs too, I guess, so it was really going to be a complete pajama party, and the kids are just SO excited to be wearing PJs to school.

I can't wait to hear all about it this evening.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:01 AM
June 25, 2002
Book Review -- Alien Taste

I happened to meet Wen Spencer at the Other Meeting on Sunday. Wen, for those who don't know, is a Campbell Award Nominee -- an award which will be given at the World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose this August.

The Other Meeting is a NESFA function, held in a casual environment so everyone can get club business done and get some serious socializing done. Other topics of conversation for the day included my children (of course!), gardening, and Pittsburgh. The latter would be one of the things Wen and I talked about -- as we realized we knew people in common.

So we talked for a while. I hadn't realized she was a Campbell nominee at first, although I knew she was an author. Then I found out her books were part of the Roc line. To which I immediately responded, "I don't have to worry -- I'll like your writing. I like Laura Anne's taste." Which has been SO true. If Laura Anne recommends something, I love it. If Jenn recommends something, I love it. If they BOTH recommend something, I *totally* love it.

Sometime in the conversation about conventions and all I found out that Wen was a nominee. Which means I just have to read the books as soon as I can, since voting is due by July 31st!

This morning, in the few minutes before I had to leave for work, I gulped down the last few pages of Alien Taste, Wen's first novel. And oh, I loved it. I was frustrated that I couldn't start the second book (Tainted Trail) until tonight!

Wen's not writing a trilogy. She's writing a series of books -- a detective series with an sf/fantasy twist. The main character is Ukiah Oregon, a private investigator who was found living in the wild with wolves and was taken in by his two new moms.

Ukiah is the biggest draw in the series to me. He is likeable, confused, off-kilter, intense, curious, honorable, and altogether *interesting* to read about. As the book went on and he learned more about his own truths -- pieces of his past long lost to him -- I came to want to *know* more and to want to see him gain his understanding of what was going on around him. I came to respect him for his morals, and to be entertained by what seemed to be a very direct naivete.

And in the end, the best recommendation is, I wanted more.

If I had to make a complaint, it would be that at times I wanted more while it was happening. What was there was wonderfully drawn, and very vivid imagery. But there were pieces I would have liked to see more of. A bit more time around Ukiah and his developing relationship. I'd definitely like to see more of his mothers (Mom Jo and Mom Lara). I got somewhat of a feel for them through Ukiah's eyes, but I'd love to get the chance to see them more for myself.

But that's being selfish. The book isn't short, by any means, and to have fleshed out anything more would have both interrupted the story and made it just too long. As it was, it was the perfect length for a rolicking quick read that was thoroughly enjoyable.

There are some authors I love but read slowly. And while I always enjoy their writing, I leave it sitting on my "to-read" shelf and wait and wait for the right moment to pick it up, simply because I know its going to take some mental work on my part to get through it. I'll love it, but its not going to be easy.

Wen, however, is one of that class of authors that I enjoy reading, and am likely to grab when I want something I can just sink into, enjoy the life vicariously for a while, and then drop out of with a wistful sigh of when will there be more? Its a good class to be a part of!

I'm starting Tainted Trail tonight, and am very much looking forward to the third book!

And for those who get the chance to meet Wen, take it. She was fun to talk to, and I enjoyed our conversation. She's a down to earth person. Yes, authors are people too. *smile*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:39 PM

Another milestone today! Kevin turned around and saw Ryan with a crib-bar in each fist, clinging to them, and standing up, watching him. Yes, he not only can pull himself up, but has figured out he can do it in his crib.

With any luck, he won't try to climb out!

But then, they say every child is different. Dani wouldn't get out of her crib, or out of her bed, on her own for almost 4 years. Which means Ryan will probably cilmb out as soon as he is physically able. *groans*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:54 PM
Dani's First Gymnastics Class

Tonight was Dani's first gymnastics class. We started out by going over to visit Audrey and Rachel for dinner, then we herded the girls into the cars and went over to World Class Gym for the gym kids class.

Dani had a wonderful time! They started out with a little tumbling. They bounced on a platform launch and both feet up onto one side of a foam donut. Then jumped into the middle, then back up onto the other side, then off again. Run along the mat, then climb through the tunnel. Then hop on one foot across another set of mats, and lastly, climb up onto the high end of a triangle and do a somersault down it.

She did forward somersaults and backward somersaults. She played with a ribbon and stretched out. (I wonder when she'll find my own ribbons from when I did rhythmic gymnastics). They did balance beam (Rachel walks backwards on the beam very well). And they ended with the trampoline.

I thought Dani was afraid of the trampoline. She was nervous as she climbed onto it, sticking one toe out cautiously as if she were entering the water and it was too cold. But then she started bouncing.

She was all over that trampoline. Coach Brenda showed her how she wanted her to bounce -- to jump up and do a side split before landing. And Dani did it! She's so petite that she just launches herself into the air. Then she went over to the other trampoline and leapt across that one.

Both girls were really wound up by the end, but definitely raring to go again next week. And me, I'm glad I get some time to spend with Dani on my own, which is something we haven't gotten a lot of since Ryan was born. And it was absolutely wonderful watching the girls as they giggled and laughed and enjoyed themselves.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:52 PM
Diabetic Kitty News

Jenn reminded me that I never got back to my blog yesterday for an update... I think that would be the fault of a lack-of-sleep fogged brain on my part. *smiles*

Athena's doing great now (as I suddenly remember I'm supposed to call Dr. K. at Capitaland Animal Hospital and discuss Athena's new insulin regime so I'm dialing the phone and typing at the same time).

The night was awful. Almost more from me not being really up to an all-nighter, tho, I think. I stayed up until about 2:30, and then I went upstairs for a snooze since she was doing okay. I woke up at 3:30 (I'd told my mental alarm 4am but it went off early) and checked on Athena and her food levels. She had food and water, and was okay, so I went back to snooze again about 4ish.

When the alarm went off about 5:30 or so, Kevin went downstairs and told me that she'd thrown up again. I quickly went downstairs, put out more food and water, and brought Athena to the food. She must've started dropping again a bit and ate up everything I'd left out at 3:30. So she ate up another half can of food and felt much better. Then I got myself all put together and packed up 'Thenie and headed off to the vet to meet them at the door as they opened.

Before I left I called my (new) boss and explained that I was having a cat diabetic emergency and would try to be in by noonish. I sent out emails and got all that under control, and had my BlackBerry and cell phone on me so that people could get ahold of me.

But the minute I got on the road I realized something very important. I shouldn't be driving. No way, no how. I was WAY too tired after only two really short sleep shifts and probably no REM sleep at all.

There wasn't really anything I could do about it, though, so I continued on my way and made it to Capitaland. They took Athena and checked her in, and I gave them all the details I could about what had happened and all.

And then I went home and passed out.

I put both my cell phone and my home phone on the headboard of the bed, and was out in under 30 seconds, I think. I woke up when the cell phone rang, and I talked to Dr. K. for a little bit about how Athena was doing. She was fine and eating, and starting to return to her "feisty little self". They were going to keep her all day and monitor her, and take her blood to do a blood glucose around 6pm, so I should pick her up after that.

I didn't wake up until close to noon. At which point I realized that while I might be *safe* driving now, there was no point in doing so because it would just be a waste of time and I'd get more done if I worked from home. So I did.

Me and both kids picked up Athena in the evening. And there was a sideshow, as I had the cat in the cardboard carrier, Dani singing and dancing and not listening to "indoor voice" reminders, and then Ryan crying because he wanted out of the car seat and down to play with the doggies. And Athena was PISSED and kept hissing at everyone who came near her carrier.

The minute she got home she jumped out and ate another half can of the A/D. Drank more water. Ran away and ignored me for a while, as of course, I am to blame for all of this, especially two visits to the vet in the course of 24 hours -- she was NOT happy with me over this.

Dr. K. called while we were out hanging laundry last evening, so I got the information from the message machine. We are starting Athena out at 3 units of insulin (she was getting 8) and are going to slowly creep back up. I just spoke with her on the phone, too. I am supposed to watch for the clinical signs -- eating ravenously, drinking/peeing excessively. If after a few days on one insulin dose these signs continue, up the dose by 1 unit and repeat until we're settling out near her dosage of 8. I figure I'll bring her in for a blood glucose in a couple of weeks, once she's up to a decent dosage again.

Part of the problem is that she doesn't eat the same when her sugar is normal as when her sugars are high. Athena is a picker. She likes to nibble a little bit of wet food, then walk away and come back and have dry food throughout the day. Although right now, she doesn't seem to be all that thrilled with either the w/d dry or wet food. She's feeling better, so she's getting picky. *groans*

So we have to play with her food over the next several days, too. Baby food (turkey, liver, chicken, etc in water) is one suggestion, so I might try that if she continues to turn up her nose at the w/d. The big important thing is to make sure that she eats *something* when the insulin is administered, so this doesn't happen again.

Cats are notoriously difficult to regulate. This scared the bejeesus out of me -- Athena's my first baby... I've had her since Gene gave her to me my sophomore year of college. I still need to upload those baby pics. *smiles* Maybe tonight, after Dani's gymnastics lesson.

But anyway, I have to try harder. Because last night she climbed up into bed and curled up behind my legs, kneading the backs of my legs and purring. My little darling demon kitty.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 01:01 PM
June 24, 2002
Feline Diabetic Panic

I'm just a blogging maniac tonight. But that, in part, is because I'm trying to stay awake. Until 2, or so, I figure, then I can snooze for a couple of hours before getting up again to check on Athena.

Its going to be a long night.

Athena is a 15 year old cat. A little grey "tuxedo" cat, who I wouldn't have called petite, but more little and round. Although now that she's getting back into the normal weight range, petite might start to apply.

Several months ago I learned that she is diabetic. This plunged our lives into chaos. She requires insulin, which means twice a day, completely on schedule, we have to give her a shot between 6:30 and 7:30, am and pm. It hasn't been easy.

And she hasn't been easy to regulate. After many many weeks of working on it, she ended up at taking 8 units of insulin twice a day. This is quite a bit for a cat. Hells, I think its more than I took as a diabetic when I was pregnant with Danielle!

The first few times we went away for the weekend, we boarded her. But the last time, during TBR, when we went to pick her up we learned that they had only been able to administer her insulin half the times they tried. And we'd been charged for it because of the great difficulties in doing it (special kitty gloves!). So they suggested that we should have her stay at home, giving her the right amount of food, the restart her insulin regime upon our return. The logic being that her sugar levels would not increase much more than if they were unable to care for her properly in the kennel anyway.

So this weekend, for WEF, that is exactly what we did. We left her the exact amount of food she should need for the weekend, and plenty of water. We arrived home tonight at 7:30, and the first thing Kevin did was come inside and feed her and give her her shot.

She nibbled a bit at her food, but didn't really get into it. But this isn't all that unusual -- she usually picks a bit, then goes away, then comes back, then goes away, and so on. But this time, after a little while, she started drinking a ton of water. She whined until I gave her more, then drank and drank. During this time Kevin and I were doing other things, like feeding the kids, and I was sorting the laundry.

Then we both heard Athena start to howl. We both ran, and just as Kevin scooped her up, worried about her, she threw up. It was like she exploded. But she seemed better afterwards, and then she went back to drinking more water.

At this point, I was starting to worry about dehydration. Maybe her sugar had gone up so high that she'd gotten severely dehydrated. Then she threw up a second time.

She was wobbling by then, and looked a little... odd... so I grabbed the corn syrup, poured a generous spoonful, and poured it down my little cat's throat. She was none too pleased, but it went down, and shortly thereafter, she really perked up. But she was acting like she was starved, so I gave her some tunafish since she was turning her nose up at her dry food. She ate ravenously.

And a half hour later, threw it all up again.

I called the emergency vet. I have to admit it, I'm thrilled that the Capital District *has* an emergency vet. I used them in the past for Tigger, when he spiked a sudden fever from an infection, or various other things that Tigger managed to do to himself. Tonight was the first time I had taken Athena there.

I walked in and explained that she was diabetic. They said, "You realize we need to take her from you." I nodded, knowing that they had to treat her immediately. If her blood sugar was low, it could be dangerous. Which is why I was so worried.

They came back out in a little bit to tell me that her blood sugar was 22.

Let me say this, if anyone out there understands diabetes. Cats actually require the same ranges as humans, which makes it really easy to remember. Humans should remain at a range of around 80-140. Anything over that is high. Anything under 60 is considered low. 22 is insanely low. Dangerously low.

In other words, its a damned good thing I took her to the vet.

They gave her dextrose, and then some babyfood to eat, which she wolfed down. Then they monitored her for a while to make sure she didn't start throwing up again. Thankfully, this time, she didn't.

They gave me a choice. I could either hospitalize her for the night, or take her home and monitor her closely, because even though she had been maintaining 100, she could go down again. Unfortunately, the visit alone was going to be expensive, and I really couldn't afford to leave her there all night, even though it would make me more comfortable.

So I am home with my little feline girl, and I am periodically checking on her. I gave her food (wet this time -- picked up at the vets) immediately upon arriving home, and water. I'm waiting until 2ish before catching my first sleep. I know that 1:30 is six hours after her last insulin, and therefore I think we're peaking right about now. So I want to make sure I monitor her through this.

Then in the morning no insulin, and we go straight to her regular vets for a blood sugar check and to start the whole figuring out her insulin again.

Its going to be a long night. Athena is my baby. My first child. I've had her since she was a kitten, and in a part of my mind, she is still the little handful that thought the front pocket of a backpack was a good place to sleep. I should find one of her baby pictures to post. *smiles*

But its 1:30 now. Time for another check (she is currently resting upstairs, still responsive, still looking good). Then soon I can snooze for a while.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 01:36 AM
Summertime Laundry

I hate doing laundry. And in the summertime, the reasons subtley shift.

There are good points about laundry in the summertime. Like, if I'm ever home on a weekend, at a time when Kevin doesn't need to mow the lawn, and its not supposed to rain, I can hang stuff outside. Admittedly, our laundry tree needs replacing (Kevin's promised me a new clothesline that actually runs from the back door to the shed -- whee!). And the days without rain sometimes seem few and far between.

And its easier to go longer before having to do laundry because sweaters and jeans are replaced by t-shirts and shorts. SO much easier to wash! So many fewer loads each week!

But then there are the stains... grass stains, paint stains, dirt stains. With the advent of nice weather, I go through a stain stick, or TWO, each week! And as our son becomes mobile, and eats solid food, the stains increase again.

So as I sit there, stainsticking away, I find myself thinking about the laundry. Its like the zen of laundry. How many times will a particular item take to be clean, even with judicious applications of stain stick, hot water, and color safe bleach?

Its laundry. Its mundane. But its one of those really scary times that my mind starts working overtime.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 01:04 AM
The Mighty Huntress

At least my husband didn't say "Eek!"

But I think he almost did, he was in such shock. There, in our dining room, was a mouse. A real live mouse.

He was starting to get things ready to feed Ryan -- we'd just gotten home from Massachusetts, and he'd just finished feeding the cat (so she was in the mud room eating). And he walked into the dining room and just stopped in shock.

As he said later, "I thought it was one of Athena's toys. I almost stepped on it, and then I realized its whiskers were twitching."

He called to me, and I walked in and saw it. He asked, "What do we do about it?"

I said, "Hang on a minute." And I ran to the bathroom, grabbed the small trash bin, ran back to the kitchen (while yelling to Dani to STAY PUT with Ryan in the living room), dumped the trash into the kitchen trash, then back to the dining room to deposit the trash can upside down atop the mouse.

Who never even considered running away. He was eating a zweiback that had fallen and been missed in the after-dinner cleanup some evening, and the mouse was perfectly happy.

We then slid a magazine beneath it, trapping the mouse, and then a cookie pan beneath that for something solid. Flipped the whole thing over slowly, and Kevin took the mouse on a little outdoor trip before releasing it.

So I guess we need to pick up some human traps and then take them on LONGER trips after we catch them. Eyuck. I dislike this mightily.

And the whole time, Athena (that would be my cat) just ignored the whole process. Utterly uninterested. So much for the mighty huntress!!

Although, as Kevin pointed out, not hunting the mouse meant that she didn't leave a gift on our pillow. Which is a bonus!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 12:34 AM
June 23, 2002

The Voices section has been updated. Ginger's started a new topic -- GameWISH -- which is a writing exercise for gaming. Check it out!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 12:36 PM

Ginger has started a new writing exercise -- GameWish. This week's thought...

Describe three NPCs (not major villains) that you really liked and what they added to the game. The NPCs can be from any game you've been in as a player or GM, and any system or genre.

When Julia mentioned this yesterday, there was one name that immediately came to mind. Tessa, from Artifacts of Winter.

Tessa began her life in that game as a very short note to myself -- "Chris' NPC". Artifacts of Winter was a crossover fantasy game and the first two people to crossover into the world of Elendar were Chris and Josh. I was trying to setup each player character with at least one PC so I could help draw them into the game and use character interaction to draw them into the plot. Except, in the case of Tessa, the character interaction made new plot.

Tessa was 14 at the beginning of the game. Her introduction came with Chris -- a soft pattering of feet at the campfire where he was captured. She released him and rescued him, and begged him to come sing her mother away. In her first appearance in the game we met her -- barefoot and scrawny, but fully believing she was an adult in this world -- and her brother Ben, who she cared for as best she could. Her mother died, and was buried by Chris and Josh. And we met Jordan, who employed her in his household, and who they later learned was both her father and the bane of her existence.

Tessa touched the hearts of all of the PCs who met her, and they resolved to steal her away from Jordan's influence, and one morning the PCs gathered Tessa and Ben up and fled.

There was a plot for AoW when I began it. I'm not sure they ever really played it. Near everything that happened resolved around Tessa and who she was. She became a central figure, and the most important plot point in the game. And she became an important figure in the future of the world... she is now the mother of one of the PCs in the sequel (PBEM) game as well as the mother of one of the central antagonists in the new game. And that antagonism is drawn out of an event which occurred because of a defense of Tessa during the course of AoW.

The next character is from my World of Darkness campaign, and again, began his life as an off-the-cuff sort of creation. I needed a head of House Tremere for London, and so on the spot Lawrence Cuthbert was born. I had no idea that Laurie would take over a piece of my mind and become what he did for the game. But he became much more than a character they spoke to once. He ended up journeying to Boston and becoming a central figure in the game. He was instrumental in the future of one PC, who died for him, and then returned for him to become his lover again. Laurie's sire was one of the Tremere Council, and when Laurie was stolen and tormented to get at the PCs, the PCs then managed to pull in the firepower of some of the most powerful Tremere in order to avenge him.

Laurie lives on as well, and in fact has become one of my favorite writing subjects. He is still a Voice in my head. I can start speaking as him and everyone who was in that campaign (or "met" him otherwise") knows who he is almost instantly. He has even had a story published by Circlet Press in the Cherished Blood anthology.

Trying to decide on a third choice was a little harder. I started thinking back through games I've played in, searching for one as a player, but realized that for all that I play, so much of my playtime is influenced by PCs and not NPCs. There are definitely some influences -- Stephan, in WEF; Brand and Demeter in Shawn's campaign (my first ever Amber campaign). I know neither Adrienne nor Jenny would be the same without those characters.

But somehow I find myself gravitating back to the voices in my head for the final answer. And I realize that I can't settle on simply one.

In Between the Lines, 'Thelion's wives are definitely "alive" and major forces in how his version of the world, and his plotlines, work. Again, they were intended for character building. But Damara and Heria became something more to the game, important to the entire plotline. Not to mention fun from the RP sense, as they are so completely different, and both completely in love with 'Thel. That segment has actually been a great example of how both RP and plot can weave together to become one thing.

And then, back in my World of Darkness campaign again (Where Chaos Reigns, by title), there was Valerie. The insane Malkavian Prince of Boston, she was a riot to play, and came alive. And she was someone the characters trusted, despite her madness, and despite the fact that she was systematically killing people in order to try to bring them to greater power. One PC actually went to her and allowed her to destroy him so that he could ascend to another power level. Another PC spent a good amount of time protecting the NPC who had once been his greatest enemy (hells, Morgana deserves her tiny mention here as another amazing NPC) and had become one of his closest friends instead -- Valerie wanted to try the power trick with her too.

Sometimes I realize, as a GM, its hard to pick one NPC from any campaign. Because when a campaign goes well for me, there are SO many NPCs who come alive. And they become the ones who drive the game, whether villains or "the good guys". And since the question explicitly said not villains, I haven't even mentioned those, although there were numerous ones that also had a great impact on the game.

My brain keeps firing off with little voices saying "me, me". Mirya, the goddess of mystery and magic, who one PC fell in love with, and who destroyed people for her love, comes to mind. AoW wouldn't have been the same game without her interaction without her and Josh's tangled relationship. She was as instrumental as Tessa.

I think, for me as a GM, the NPCs *are* my PCs. And the more of them who are alive, the easier the game is to run. The better the game is, and the more "whole" it is for the PCs. Which just makes it difficult to choose just three.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:51 AM
Scary Noises

Its 3:30 in the morning. I was sound asleep when I heard this crash outside, and then a car motor moving slowly off. As I lay there, the night noises coming in through the open window, I heard this repeat again for our neighbors down the street.

Mailbox hockey, I thought.

Except my parents' neighborhood is one of those which seems rare in the US these days, where the mailboxes are on the house instead of streetside.

Which left the only thing breakable, accessible from the street, being... our car.

My adrenalin pumping, I crept from my bed and pulled on a pair of pants under my nightshirt. I crept down the dark hallway, trying not to wake my parents up. I peered out the front window. I couldn't see anything.

Nothing for it then -- I was going to have to go outside.

So I pulled the front door open and cautiously went down the walk towards the cars.

I looked everwhere as I went, worried since I could still hear the car in the distance. Praying that if it were drunks or something that they wouldn't turn around and come back when they saw someone outside.

I moved between my mom's car and ours, as we were behind hers in the driveway. My brow furrowed as I realized the car looked fine from this angle. I moved slowly towards the back of my car, trailing one hand along the window. Relief was slowly spreading as I reached the back of the car and touched the back window. But if the window wasn't broken, and there were no huge dents, then what had awoken me now, in the middle of the night?

My gaze went to the driveway, just at my feet. And there was my parents' newspaper. Delivered by car, having been thrown into the driveway. By way of the backend of my car -- hitting it and falling there just by the bumper.

At 3:30 in the bloody morning!

I picked it up and went back inside. Now I'm having something to nibble on while the adrenalin rush fades, and along with it, my blood sugar levels.

Its amazing what the mind can concoct for simple things, isn't it? But then again, who'd expect the paper to be delivered in the middle of the night!!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 03:53 AM
June 22, 2002
Forgive The Mess

Please forgive the mess as we undergo construction!!

In yet another change to the website, I am changing my blog publishing device. I am switching to Moveable Type from Blogger. Nothing personal against Blogger, but well, I can control my site a bit better with Moveable Type.

HOWEVER, this does mean completely reworking my templates and slowly moving my site over. *groans* So the archives are currently down until I get the templates all settled and can get the shtml in and all. It'll be done soon enough, I hope, but its just a lot of little details. I've already converted the diet blog over, but haven't done its template yet. I will change its template once I have the new base on designed.

In a way, though, this is a lot of fun. I'm remembering and learning more about HTML and its been interesting trying to get the design down that I want. But I hope to be much happier with it in the longrun.

And of course, any comments you care to make on the new design are always welcome. *grins*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:18 PM
June 19, 2002
surreal scene of the day

I was walking down the street and I saw this guy. He had spiky blond hair, in a sort of multi-mohawk style. Very punk. A black t-shirt, faded jeans. I figured there was a concert or something at the Pepsi tonight -- he looked about right for that.

Then he asked directions to Jack's.

For those who don't know, Jack's is one of the MOST posh restaurants in Albany. If not THE most. Everyone who is anyone eats there. It has been instrumental in politics throughout the years.

It isn't really the spiked hair black t-shirt and faded jeans sort of place. I mean, the waiters at Jack's are career guys who are the best in the business.

Gods, I so wanted to follow him just so I could see the image of him superimposed against Jack's. It would've been a great image to keep in the memory banks.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:45 PM
A Dollar and a Dream

Thoughts for the Day -- This afternoon...

I probably shouldn't be allowed near convenience stores when I'm in a pissy mood. Not that I'm dangerous or anything, except to my budget.

I went on a quest for low points chocolate (failed, so I opted for high points but healthy instead). Ended up buying a Win For Life ticket ($2 to try to win $1000 a week for life, for those who don't know the NYS lottery games *smiles*). A dollar and a dream, right? Or in this case, two dollars and a fantasy of being a full time writer. *dreamy sighs*

I ended up winning $5, so I turned that back into two more tickets (more scratching insta-amusement) and $1 (less guilt!). No more wins but at least I had my 20 seconds of daydreams.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:40 PM
Cleaning up the Mess

Thoughts from today -- this morning...

Walking back into work and immediately into the same problems as yesterday does NOT make a good start to the day. I stare at the computer seeking the depths of my source of political correctness in order to respond to a problem that was created by a group outside of my control. So not only am I dealing with problems, I am cleaning up after someone else's problems. And I have no data. Argh!

On the other hand, when it was done... the message came out sounding decent and no one yelled again. I hope.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:26 PM
June 18, 2002
Too Many Fights

Today was a day of too many fights. I fought with my laptop, which is now off to go to the shop to get FIXED. Fought with someone who refused to listen to the logic of "if the opsys breaks the functionality of the machine, then STOP USING a beta opsys that the software doesn't work with!" *rolls eyes* *sighs* Fought with end users who were taking me apart for something I had little control over... although hopefully I can help with a monitoring solution so problems don't happen again. It was a long and frustrating day. Just one thing after another.

But on the good side, Dani and I went over to visit Audrey and saw little Catherine. She is so tiny and adorable! Dani got some playtime in with Rachel and both were good, although Dani threw a tantrum when it was time to go home. And now, hopefully some relaxing time for me. I read some of Harry Potter to Dani (we've just finished the second chapter) and tucked Ryan in to bed too. Quiet time...

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:06 PM
June 17, 2002
DeLiriuM's LaPtoP

ARGH!!! I just spent several minutes ranting, and by the time I was done ranting, my login time had expired so when I hit post I lost the whole damned thing!

So of course, now I'm running about as hot as my laptop. *grumble* *grump*

Yes, the laptop is running hot. REALLY hot. Like fried and dead hot. *sighs*

The first sign anything was wrong came when a dialog box displayed in "deLiriuM sPeAk" and then the whole thing locked up soon as I got logged in. So I shut down and rebooted it. And the same thing happened again as Notes was starting (yes, including the Delirium stuff -- its like the laptop was on drugs!).

I shut it down and left it for an hour to cool down. My fan's been going a little weird lately, so I figured that was it. And after the meeting I started it up and down it went. BUT I figured out that even though the machine was frozen, I could still get at it from my desktop. So I started desperately burning a CD. Got through one CD and then it was time to leave to pick up the little ones from their respective daycares.

So I figured I'd keep burning at home, but its running so hot now that I can't keep it up at all. I've got to try again tomorrow when its cold and fresh in the morning. Some important stuff, like Quicken, is still on there!

Either way, the hard drive is NOT going to Toshiba for repair. I know that's not the root of the problem, so it isn't leaving my hands. There is far too much very precious data on that drive. And unfortunately, since there is only one other Toshiba in the company, and that's Charlies, its not like I can just pop the HD into another laptop and get the data burned off of it. *sighs* I'm just going to have to be patient and wait to get my laptop back. With a new fan and motherboard, likely.

I just hope it doesn't take too long! Yes, I'm going through withdrawal... go ahead, laugh! I am. *chuckles* I have to, or I'll cry. *wry smiles*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:28 PM
Voices Updated

The Voices section has been updated with the addition of Kale's page. I'm actually very excited about this one, from a design perspective. Its the first one I've done all by myself in a really long time, and I'm proud of it. I like the way it came out, especially the purple tie-dye look and feel. *grins*

Although I did just discover that I apparently uploaded it to my root directory in my needing sleep fog last night and it replaced my homepage. WHOOPS!! Publishing this at least should put *that* back to normal!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:23 AM

Kale from Bridgette Ruggles' Age of Retribution campaign has been added to the Voices. Kale's a fun character, and interesting to play -- she's not got all the brain cells that most characters do. Okay, so you might, if you know me, say that most of my characters don't have the sense they were born with. And for some of those characters (Adrienne in particular!) you would be SO right. But Kale does have sense. What she doesn't have is most of her life packed into her head in neat compartments that are actually accessible on a daily basis. She lives day to day (which reminds me that I forgot to put her small soundtrack up -- I'll have to do that tonight). So she's a little... scattered. But she's a great writing challenge in finding the voice for her backstories. And she's wonderful to play now. And Bridgette's doing a damned good job with AoR!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:07 AM
June 16, 2002
Busy Busy Weekend

It has been an amazingly busy weekend.

Saturday morning we did a lot of running around, getting ready for the weekend. Got the tires rotated and oil changed on the subaru, which took an annoying long time (during which we were trying to entertain both kids -- eek!). Did some shopping. And Kevin treated the family to breakfast (Denny's, and that was an awfully nice break and start to the day!).

We then got home and got everything packed to go to Mike & Al's party. I was in the middle of wrapping the ice cream cake (more on that later) when I realized we had a phone message. So I listened to it, and it was Janice and Rachel calling to tell us that Rachel's little sister, Catherine Grace, had been born. So exciting! So I called Janice back on her cell phone, and talked to her for a little while. I still haven't gotten to talk to Audrey yet because we *did* go out of town after that, but I have tried to call her this afternoon. Dani and I picked out two outfits for the baby and can't wait to go visit and bring the gift.

So then we hit the road for the party. With me praying the whole way that the ice cream cake wouldn't melt before we got there! *laughs* And the kids finally managed to get some sleep in the back of the car. Which was a GOOD thing!!

We got there 45 minutes after the start of the party, but we weren't by any means running very late it turned out. I shoved the ice cream right into the freezer, the chocolate ganache which still needed to go on top went into the fridge to continue thickening, and the homemade salsa got put right out with chips. And we settled in to enjoy the evening.

Which we did! We met lots of new people, some we had never heard of and some I've heard about but never met. And we saw lots of old friends, like Jenn & Dave (Dani was SO thrilled) and jenn & Dustin. We go to do some catching up, and Jenn and I got to talk gaming a little bit.

Serving the ice cream cake was an adventure. I ended up blushing. Amy had seen the ice cream cake when I came in, and she hoped to have some before she left. So when she was about needing to leave I pulled the cake out and got out the ganache. I immediately garnered an audience ("She keeps saying ganache!") as they watched me. The ganache wasn't as thick as I'd like. So we got the ice cream cake successfully out of the springform pan and started to frost it. The ganache was still pretty soft, and just kinda dripped over the side, just draping the whole thing in a rain of dark chocolate. Some people snuck in and ducked their fingers into the drips (and I passed around the container from carrying it) and declared the ganache good.

Then they all got to eat the cake. The two most notable comments were the offer to take me off for a poly relationship if I would cook... and the ovation when it was all gone. Like I said, major *BLUSH*. But I was thrilled at how well received it was. I do love to cook, and I have been wanting to make the ice cream cake for ages to try it out but wanted some place to bring it to so I wouldn't eat the whole thing afterwards!

Now, the cake... Start with a nine inch springform pan. Press brownies to cover the bottom. Then I made chocolate ice cream (whisk 1/2 can non-fat sweetened condensed milk with 1/2 c powdered baking cocoa, mix in 1 pint fat free half and half, some cornstarch -- cook and whisk to thicken it somewhat) and poured that into the bottom. Let freeze overnight. Crumble up light oreo cookies and put in while making peanut butter ice cream (whisk 1/2 can fat free sweeetened condensed milk with 1/2 c peanut butter, whisk in 1 pint fat free half and half and then freeze in the ice cream maker). Put that over the cookies and let freeze overnight. Almost done! The next morning, make the chocolate ganache (use whatever recipe you want -- I did simmer 2 tbsp butter with 3/4 c heavy cream, stir in 1 tbsp sugar, then pour over 6 oz semisweet chocolate and whisk until well mixed -- it was a bit thin for my taste even after cooling so I'll probably modify it next time). Let it cool, then pour over the top and spread. Cut, serve, enjoy!!

We finally left around 9:15 pm and took the kids and us off to my parents' place to spend the night. So we got some time with my folks, which made Dani VERY happy, and we were there for Father's Day morning, which was also way cool.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 04:52 PM
June 14, 2002
Just Another Reflection

I've updated the Voices. After going through all kinds of fiction, and getting all reflective, I've decided to start posting some old pieces of fiction here. Mostly things that have been on the net before in some form or another. Anything to keep this site being built, slowly but surely, and to give me a place to wax philosophical. Or wane. Or whine. *laughs* Okay, so maybe more of that last than I should be. I've been wistful lately, kind of missing pieces of me that have dropped by the wayside.

Yeah, I know, life doesn't run backwards, nor does it run in place. We are always marching onwards. And I wouldn't give up any of the things that have happened to me over the last several years.

But sometimes I reach back and touch those memories gently, rearranging them inside of my head and holding them tightly for just a moment. Remembering when Chris lived in our apartment, and how he moved in the day before Kevin and I got married. Remembering the Lady visiting... and when Josh and I visited the Lady. Remembering the simple ease we all had with each other -- being able to curl up on the couch together in complete comfort. Lines in the story that reflected the reality of life...

When did we all grow up, and grow boundaries? It changed over the years, and that part of me which adores Anita Blake's shapeshifters because I *understand* how they need that touch, that closeness, in order to live... that part of me craves the things that have gone in the past and are now... well... gone.

I haven't slept enough of late, and I'm being perhaps more honest than I should be. But I'll let it lie, and let you read it. After all, it is simply another piece of me, of who I am. And was.

Look into a mirror and see her staring back at you. See the me that was, and the me that still is in many ways there. Just another reflection.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:14 PM
Into the Dream

A few days ago, I babbled about the Voices in my everyday blog. Last night I found one of the pieces that is sort of a defining moment about the Voices. About one Voice in particular, and about how those Voices interact with other people's Voices, and well, I suppose if you read between the lines you can see a lot of other things in there. If you're not careful how you read, you'll see things that aren't there.

Wow, that makes no sense. *laughs*

The piece is called Into the Dream and Chris Gladis and I cowrote it back in 1995-1996. It began as a challenge thrown out during The Mad Tea Party -- a vampfest that started out as a simple exchange of photos between friends and then suddenly had over 20 people attending it. Whoops! The story was written during a curious dance that helped define our friendship.

It won't spoil the ending of the story to say that Chris is still very much a part of my life -- he is the godfather of my eldest child, Danielle.

But you won't see that in the story. Instead, it is a psychological exploration of self. Of how we represent ourselves, to ourselves. How we, as writers and gamers, deal with reality around us. Of who we are.

I'll admit, it isn't our best writing. I know both Chris and I have done better since then. And I suppose its possible that we may take this and work to clean it up somewhat. But for the moment, I'll let it stand in its original form, written as we passed it back and forth. Many of the scenes within it are taken from life -- mixing fantasy and reality in a way that really is a defining part of the story.

It certainly made for an interesting few months, even in reality. *chuckles* *fond smiles at remembrances*

I've changed a lot since then. After all, that was the year that ended with me getting married, buying a house, and shortly after that, conceiving my daughter. I've gone on to be a manager, to have a second child. Published my first (and only) professional sale of a story. Had to grow up because I'm a mom. Sometimes wished I didn't have to.

And in the middle of everything, the Voices are still there. Still oh so much a part of me, and of how I deal with things. The players change, perhaps, some becoming silent while some others become louder. And periodically, as they are invoked, they remind me of their presence with a sudden earth-shattering clarity of noise.

And I once again feel Laurie's hand on my shoulder. Or see how tall Jezebel has become. Or wonder how Jenny is doing now.

I want to write again. And to let the Voices sing through my fingertips.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:41 PM
The Devil's Panties

Time to share a little -- The Devil's Panties is one of the comics I bumped into while just wandering around Keenspace. And NO its not an x-rated comic. *chuckles* What it *is* is a very humorous view of life, including goth clubs, violently feminist chicks, burger flipping post-graduation... well, I think its funny anyway. And I always enjoy sharing my sense of humor. *grins*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:09 PM
Ryan's Standing (With Help)

Ryan is now not only crawling, but also pulling himself up to a standing position and trying to use solid objects to pull himself along. Yes, this means he wants to walk. Which is sorta funny, because big as he is, he still looks kinda like a giant doll wavering around on two legs.

He reminds me vividly of his sister, who also walked young, and she looked just so tiny as she raced around the house. Its weird when they walk while they are still so small. They go *under* things instead of around. We used to have a very low island in the kitchen, and Dani could go under the leaves when they were up. And then when she got tall enough to bump into them, she just didn't think of them being there, so she got a lot of bumps on the head.

Tomorrow afternoon we hit the road to Massachusetts, to go visiting. I'm both looking forward to it, and dreading not being able to just curl up. Yes, the extrovert and introvert are having a noisy war in my head again. Really, you should hear it. Its LOUD. And somewhat annoying.

The piece of me that adores my friends is just dying to go and see everyone and just hang out. Show off my darling kids (yes, I'm SUCH a mom sometimes). See my mom afterwards. And well, just be social.

The part of me that's been through hell the past couple of weeks just wants to curl up with my computer and have a weekend of doing what I want, mixed in with what I need to do (like weeding the garden, the laundry, etc). Bake some cookies for Dani's graduation next Friday. Lotsa little decompression things that usually involve quiet and well, being on my own.

Somehow these two pieces just don't make a very coherent single person, do they?

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:00 PM
June 13, 2002
This afternoon, while out walking

This afternoon, while out walking with Josh, I kept coming up with all these rambling philosophical commentaries. Now, sitting here in front of the computer, all I can think is, "What a wonderful shade of dried blood this nail polish is and I hope I don't rub it all off as I'm typing on the keyboard."

Sad, huh?

I think I do some of my best thinking when I'm walking. Which, oddly enough, was a quote that I found in my planner (preprinted, I didn't write that part) after the walk today. Interesting day for those sorts of coincidences -- finding things written down that seem to mean what I was just doing.

I was daydreaming, for just a moment today, about what it would be like to be home with Ryan all the time, and to be a full time writer. Then I went to myyahoo.com and saw my horoscope for the day, which talked about getting frustrated at work and striking out entirely on my own (and then went on to tell me to cool off and give it a few days). I started laughing.

I guess the gods have been paying close attention to me, and are teasing me these days.

And yet, this evening, I'm still sitting here, trying to figure out what my nail polish says about me. *smile* It was metallic purple earlier this week, then this morning I turned it jewel tones blue, to match my sweater. Knowing I won't be wearing blue tomorrow, I took the nail polish off tonight and have replaced it with the dried blood color I have on now. I figure that matches most of what I own (now what does *that* say??).

The sad part is, I really *want* to just find a topic and ramble onwards. My brain just isn't cooperating. *sighs* Ah well.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:40 PM
June 12, 2002
Ryan is sitting in front

Ryan is sitting in front of his car seat, working hard on dismantling it. He has the pad half off of it, and is now concentrating on tipping it over (nope, just put it back the way its supposed to be) and pulling on and inspecting the seatbelt.

Its awfully cute.

Dani insisted she was tired -- too tired for a book after I'd read one more page of Harry Potter. But now she is resisting falling asleep and keeps calling us back in for more cuddles.

Ryan seems to have completed dismantling the car seat (the pad is hanging on, barely, because the seat belt keeps it attached) and is moving on to the diaper bag. Seems like songbird-boy is also the engineer. *chuckles* Does that mean he'll end up building sets for the high school musical productions, and dating the lead? *laughs*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:47 PM
Nail polish review (okay, its

Nail polish review (okay, its the only makeup I wear so its a big deal to me *smiles*). Sally Hansen Chromes are even better than Afterthoughts, which are my faves. After two solid days, its still barely chipped. Given the stuff I put my nails through, this is impressive.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:02 AM
June 11, 2002
My day has been... in

My day has been... in some strange ways... peaceful. A sense of settlement has draped about my shoulders, and for the first time, there is at least a piece of me which feels no stress. The rest of me is still stressed, yes, and still seeking far too much chocolate. But a piece of me has found peace. Er, yeah... that sounded really weird when I said it, didn't it?

Tomorrow I will be working at home. Ryan's daycare is closed for a staff training day, so its either work here on the couch or bring him into the office. The couch is a *far* better idea. Especially since he loves to be a tripping hazard now. He's actually quite happy if I put him down on the floor and spread a bunch of things around for him to explore. He'll roll (and attempt to crawl) from thing to thing and check it all out, giggling happily like he's getting away with something.

Today when I picked him up, he kept holding his little arms out to me. Lotsa hugs. *happy smiles* I love baby hugs and little girl hugs. When my children show me how they love me it is one of the absolute best feelings in the world.

Tonight we had to take him out of his car seat which he usually snoozes in until we go to bed, because he wanted to sleep on his side. Once we did that, he clonked right out.

Dani and I baked cookies. We made the Cookie Monster dough a while back and froze logs of cookies. I defrosted one last night, and tonight we baked it. We're going to make chocolate chip ones tomorrow, and peanut butter chip chocolate cookies later. We are bringing cookies to her "graduation" ceremony for pre-school. I can't wait to see them all performing! Its going to be SO cute, and then there's a picnic afterwards. Kevin and I are both taking that day off so we can play with Dani, and maybe go to a movie before we need to pick Ryan up from daycare.

I'm looking forward to getting to spend time with my daughter.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:32 PM
It is just WAY too

It is just WAY too late. Here it is, 1am, and I haven't slept yet. I was being good, getting ready to go to bed around 11:30 or 11:45 or something. And I was *tired* but I had reminded myself that sleep was necessary and I'd finally decompressed enough to do so.

Then Ryan started fussing. So I calmed him, and went back to getting ready for sleep.

Then he fussed again. So I snuggled him and rocked him and he went back to sleep all comfy like. And I finally crawled into bed.

A half hour later his fussing was not ignorable anymore. So I got up, and tried to calm him. Didn't work. So I sent Kevin down for a bottle and he had to make up more formula and then finally he came back up with one. And Ryan drank it, got to the end, woke up (he'd been ASLEEP) and started fussing again. So I dragged him downstairs and got him more. And as we're coming back up the stairs Kevin's calling out "He hasn't been crying, oh, so you've *got* him."

I was like yeah, otherwise he'd have been screaming for you. So we settled back into the rocking chair and he finally spits out the bottle and so there he is. Ryan's wide awake, Kevin's asleep again, and me, I'm miserable. So Ryan's in his crib talking to himself, and I can't go to bed because he's so wide awake and I just really can't sleep when one of my kids is conscious. Not to mention that the babbling keeps me up anyway.

If he doesn't go out in a few minutes I'll try the last of the bottle and see if he'll take it. He's actually getting too big to cuddle easily in the rocking chair -- he slips and slides all over the place.

Okay, no more talking -- he's fussing again. Time to try again.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 01:09 AM
June 10, 2002
Not ranting takes up a

Not ranting takes up a great deal of energy. I mean it! When there are all these words piled up just behind my fingertips, it takes all I've got to keep them from pouring out.

Which means if I actually had any free time, I'd probably write a story, twisting the rant and shaping it into something else, but in such a way that it comes out anyway.

That's what writing is for. In part anyway. It can be very therapeutic. I look back at some of the pieces of stories on my hard drive and I can point to them and say, "Yeah, I know why I started that." The scene might not have anything to do with the original reason. The average person reading it probably couldn't identify the people it was based on. Or the episode of my life that spawned it. But a lot of my writing just comes from life.

That's the trick, you see. Making the story purge some memory, getting it out of the head and into a safe place so it can be talked about without ever divulging the truth, but not letting anyone *see* the truth of it.

Some of the stories are of things I thought I never would be able to talk about. There is this one story, about a girl who meets this guy, Patrick, at a party at her own flat in college. I'd intended it to be an erotica story, but it didn't have a happy ending. Funny that -- not all of my erotica has happy endings. "A Moment in Time" most definitely didn't. Poor Laurie. Hm, but I digress.

Anyway, so there's this story that I started writing, but never finished. But just plotting it out, and going over the thing as fiction allowed me to separate the real life event from reality in my mind and place it instead into the context of the story. So at a time when I was utterly unable to talk about what had happened between myself and this one guy, I put it into "her" head, with her being the voice of the story. Instead of being my reality, it was hers. And that made it okay. I could talk about that, and it didn't hurt. Didn't feel like pouring alcohol onto this huge open wound.

I've done this a lot. Most of the stories never come to completion. But really, there isn't always a need. You see, the Voices fill the voice whether their stories are written down or merely composed in my head. They take on lives of their own and deal with things for me. This isn't some major revelation -- I've known this is how I do things for a long time. There are things which can be said and done by the things I think, and the things I write, and the characters I roleplay that simply do not fit into my everyday life. But they are still so very much a part of me. Not always parts of me I like, but I find it very difficult to create a voice that is not in some way drawn from my own depths.

Perhaps, in a way, I am a little bit insane. But very much on purpose. *With* purpose. And for me, it works.

So I suppose that yes, this is what I need to do now. Extrapolate life into a story, and create a new voice who can handle this whole situation. Who can not be so utterly stressed that she shakes during the day. Who can have a little time to herself to do things that she needs to do in order to wind down. To sleep. Or rather, so that she can *have* all that stress and I can relax. Alhough the hard part right now is that my brain is just SO busy stressing over work that there is little time to be creative.

I am obsessed by work. Possessed by work. And its driving me insane and not in a good way. *groans*

I'll get it sorted out. I give myself until Friday to find a new Voice, and relegate this hell to her. I'll feel MUCH better then.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:57 PM
June 09, 2002
I have no idea how

I have no idea how to describe the weekend. There were definitely good points, and to be honest, those are the ones I should focus on I suppose. After all, if I start spinning off into the frustrating stuff I'll get into things that I really shouldn't blog in a public location. If you know me, and you want to hear all the things that are wrong in my life, drop me an email. You know where to find me. *tired sighs*

Surprisingly enough, got most of the laundry done this weekend. I like summer. Not only can I hang stuff outside if the weather's good enough and I'm home (and not watering the garden like I was yesterday) but the loads of laundry can have more clothes and STILL be smaller. *smiles* So it makes it easier to get the laundry actually done and out of the way.

Dani tried to help with the laundry too. She matched her socks and folded them, and did her undies and undershirts as well. Then she got them all put away. She was a very big help. Sometime this week, if we can ever manage it, we need to go through all the clothes in her drawers and pull out the things that don't fit anymore and the things she doesn't need for the summer. Then I can have her put her own clothes away -- when they all fit in the drawers!

Oh, she is so cute at night now! She only has two summer nighties, so when they are both in the laundry, she is wearing a t-shirt to sleep in, and she's been wearing some of my old fantasy and convention t-shirts. I saved all my favorite old t-shirts and have given them to her for when she is older. So yes, someday she can wear a t-shirt from a con I went to when I was 12 or 13. *chuckles* Only almost 20 years before she was born! Anyway, there was a black t-shirt in there with a white unicorn on it. She *loves* it.

We went to Kaitlyn's birthday party today, which was nice. Dani ran around outside, and saw a magician, and she was still talking about the magician later. She had such a great time. Me an Ryan sat in the shade with Audrey and Robin. Audrey's looking good. She isn't due for another 3 weeks or so, but I figure the baby's coming any day now. Rachel will be so excited to have a baby brother or sister. I'll take Dani over when Audrey is home again and rested a bit.

At this point I'm just totally rambling. We're watching the barbecue special on Food TV and I desperately need to get some sleep. I normally have to be at work by 7:30 am on a Monday, but tomorrow I want to get in even earlier so I can get some things finished up.

Therefore, I think sleep is the most necessary thing right now.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:16 PM
June 08, 2002
Sand & Delwin

I know not everything that sounds like Amber *is* Amber, but to one addicted, I suppose it seems as such.

Hence my vast amusement today when my daughter, out of the blue, names one of her Barbies "Sand". Now I guess I'm waiting for a Delwin. *chuckles*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:53 PM
So many times today I've

So many times today I've made a mental note of something I want to write. And then promptly forgotten two minutes later what it was. Its hard to wax philosophical when one's brain is like a sieve!

I got the planting done today. My herb garden is in, as are the rest of my vegetables. We're going to try to grow okra. *chuckles* Never grown it, but there were seedlings at Hewitts so we bought them. The garden looks good. The herb garden looks really good. I'm going to enjoy this!

We're watching Harry Potter. Many thanks to Julia for pointingout in her blog that the widescreen and pan and scan are two separate DVDs so we didn't end up buying the wrong one by accident! This is my first time getting to see the movie, although of course I know the story well enough, having read it. Its still fun. *smiles*

I still haven't managed to do al the work I was suppose to do today. So I've got some time ahead of me tonight. *groans* Either that or tomorrow sometime. Not like I can avoid working on it -- it has to be done by 9:30 am on Monday.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:51 PM

Gestalt has begun!

Chris, Josh and I have started a group fiction blog... Chris posted the first piece last night. Hopefully it'll be a good way to keep our writing skills honed! And perhaps, as it goes along, we'll find others to join in our creative effort!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 03:11 PM
Gestalt has begun!

Gestalt has begun!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 03:08 PM
The Tivo has left the

The Tivo has left the building.

*sad sighs*

The other night, Kevin discovered that the last time the Tivo downloaded the schedule was Friday morning at 4:45am. *groans* The modem's not seeing a dial tone. So Kevin's off to Circuit City to take it in for repair. We'll see what happens and how long we are without it. Gotta admit, I'll miss it. Its been so nice to get to see just the things I wanna see and not be bound by the TV schedule.

Today I get to do the planting. Whee! I picked up a whole ton of herbs and stuff at Hewitts and I'm really looking forward to putting them in. But work first. I've gone and downloaded everything I need to do, so I can get my project list and everything done.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 02:30 PM
Argh! And already the day

Argh! And already the day begins not as planned. *grumble* Last night, on my desktop computer, I downloaded an email message with Klez. Now, this actually shouldn't have been a big deal that I was sent it. Everything had worked beautifully in the past. Y'see, I downloaded mail to my laptop and deleted from the server. BUt now, I'm not deleting it from the server so I can keep logs on multiple places and use my BlackBerry effectively. So I only delete what I don't want kept on the server. So it stayed out there, instead of being downloaded to my laptop and KILLED in transit.

So it was a surprise when it downloaded to my desktop. And stupid me saw an email I didn't remember reviewing yesterday prior to that, so I clicked on it. And of course, there was nothing there. Then I panicked and shut down for the night to deal with it when I was awake in the morning.

So this morning I've gotten McAffee installed and am transferring to Eudora which I know McAffee hooks directly into (and its already killed two emails with Klez in them!). What fun, what fun. But hopefully it won't take me all THAT long to get resetup.

Oh, the quote from yesterday that I loved from Microsoft.

"Critical Update Notification will no longer offer critical updates."

There is a reason behind this, of course -- they've replaced the program with one with a new name. But that statement was just laughable!!

I need to go catch a shower. And get ready for the day. And get things DONE. Eep!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:47 AM
June 07, 2002
Its very strange how blogger

Its very strange how blogger works sometimes, and also frustrating. Twice now I've done a post to my diet blog and twice its disappeared as if it never existed. *grumbles* Both times I've had to rewrite it. Its really really annoying.

On the cool side of thing, Ryan continues working towards crawling. He's pretty good at backwards, although it still ticks him off to see things getting further away from him instead of closer. He can go forward, but its harder, and he doesn't believe it, so he won't do it when we're watching. But I walked back into the living room at one point to see him diving forward to get the cables for my laptop (he LOVES cables *sighs*). So he can do it. He just doesn't do it all the time yet. Soon, though, he'll be utterly unstoppable, I think. Time to get the baby gates back out!

Dani went swimming today after school, with Kevin. She had a great time. She really loves the water, although I think she's more of a self-made fish than a natural fish. She still doesn't like to put her face in the water. And soon gymnastics lessons start. She's REALLY looking forward to that. Although I should probably remember to call and confirm that she and Rachel are all set in their class!

I'll be starting a new team blog soon. Well, actually, its started, and planned, but hasn't been linked in yet. The name is Gestalt, and its a collective writing exercise. I'm really looking forward to it. Between that and gaming and ATW, I'm hoping to get some of my creativity back. And I'm really looking forward to playing with writing with other people. Sort of like a controlled V-Party from the old days of the Vampyres mailing list.

Since it turns out I have to work all bloody weekend, I probably won't be babbling as much. And in fact, I'd better go and get my game moves done for the night and get all settled out so I can be sure I get them done at least once in the next 24 hours. I'll want to grab game time as much as humanly possible, I'm sure, because I'll need the break. But I've got to be ready for our first really big meetnig with the new CTO on Monday, and I've got a way to go, despite that I was working on prepping things all afternoon, and parts of the previous days, when I could escape from help tickets. I still really wish we could hire a "junior grunt" - someone who could do both junior admin and junior development, which would mean help tickets, id creation, stuff like that. It'd certainly save some of us a lot of time if we didn't have to spend all that time on tickets! *wry smile*

Okay, babbling now. Which *is* the point, but I think I'd better take myself off to do other things. Later!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:25 PM
June 06, 2002
Tonight has been blissfully peaceful.

Tonight has been blissfully peaceful. And oh gods, did I ever need it.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got home tonight -- Kevin was here. It was about 6:30 when we pulled in, after me and the kids stopped off at the store and spent even more money on the weekly groceries. Having to keep buying formula will do that. But only six months more to go on that, thankfully. And he's starting to drink less and less of it as he gets more into real food.

So since Kevin was here, the evening did go a bit more smoothly. He'd originally been going to be at a function, and home much later, but since it was so cold and wet and rainy he only made it through 15 holes of golf.

So we managed to get both kids into bed. Woohoo! He was tired, so he headed upstairs to watch the hockey game and fall asleep, and left me to decompress on my own.

Peaceful. *happy little sighs*

I've spent the evening trying to catch up on some of my game moves which have gotten horribly behind the past few days. And now I think I'm going to head upstairs and search for fiction again to put under the Voices section. My mind is so meandering, and so exhausted (still not enough sleep -- we're over a week now!), that I can't even ramble along and find a good topic to write on for the evening. I know there are things in there, stuffed into the corners of my mind, but I'm not finding them at the moment.

Although if I'm true to form, I'll never manage to get to bed yet, and maybe one of those weird topics will show up and be incoherently posted around midnight.


Okay, maybe not. I really really do need that sleep!!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:24 PM
Some mornings are particularly frustrating.

Some mornings are particularly frustrating. I just added a new blog (Confessions of an Overweight Mom) to track my re-entry into the dieting scene. I did a nice long post for the morning, published it, and poof. Its not in my listing under that blog, its not on the site... its just gone. All my babbling, gone. *heavy sighs* I hate it when these things happen.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:16 AM
June 05, 2002
Book Review Diplomatic Immunity, by

Book Review

Diplomatic Immunity, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Diplomatic Immunity is the latest in the Miles Vorkosigan saga by Bujold. I picked up the book, interrupting my reading of Perdido Street Station, and started to just inhale it. True to her usual form, the book was a wonderfully engaging and easy read, about characters I've really come to care about.

I don't want to say too much about it, lest I give the plot away. But I will say that it was a joy to see Bel, the Betan hermaphrodite, returning in this book. I hope to see more of it again in later books because I think there's still a lot of stuff left not totally settled. Ekaterin continues to be the perfect woman for Miles. And Miles? Well, if you've read any of the other books, you already know Miles. *laughs* He may be 32, but he is still the same Miles we know and love.

Although eerily enough, as memories of Cetaganda were invoked, I realized that he has, indeed, matured since that book which took place ten years in his past. Its just a question of how MUCH he has matured.

I don't think Diplomatic Immunity is my favorite of the Vorkosigan books. I'm not sure which one is, exactly -- they are all so very different at times! Although I think one of the tops is definitely A Civil Campaign.

If you haven't read the Vorkosigan books, I highly recommend them. They are fun, light, and extremely well written. There is a good reason why Lois has won a Hugo twice for her novels. And even though there are a lot of them, they won't stretch out interminably in front of you in your to-read pile. In fact, if it is anything like my own experience, you will find that you have no sooner begun them than you are turning the last page of the most recent novel and wondering when the next will be out and hoping for soon!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:09 PM
So I'm practicing unsafe blogging

So I'm practicing unsafe blogging tonight. *laughs* There was a serious line of thunderstorms which just ripped through this area. I think they are mostly past, although I will still very much turn off the computer for the night once I am done. But there are still rumblings. Which is why the laptop isn't on, and why A Twisted Weave isn't getting updated tonight.

Its hot as hell up here tonight. We still need to put all the air conditioners in, although the new one we bought from Jamie is already in the bedroom. So we should at least be able to sleep tonight. The rain has come down just rain now, and is no longer sounding like its trying desperately to beat its way in through the walls and slip into the house. Thank the gods.

Ryan has been fussy today. Actually, he's been fussy, on and off, for a week or so now. Teeth? Growing? Who knows... most of the time he's an utterly happy boy, so we know there isn't anything major going on. But he's been having a tough time sleeping lately. It could also be the heat, I guess.

Of course, his tough time sleeping, and my own personal sleep habits, mean that I'm operating on an average of 4 hours of sleep a night, split into two too small shifts. *groans* Yes, yes, I could try to go to bed earlier, but that isn't going to happen. Because while I could go lay in my bed, I'd be bored out of my skull and all wound up. At least this way I get to decompress and get sleepy.

Yes, I'm serious. No matter how exhausted I am during the day, and no matter how much trouble I have (literally!) staying upright during the day, sometime around 10pm a switch is thrown in my brain and whee! I am AWAKE. Its lasts until at least 11pm. So yeah, since I know I'm burnt out, I'll try to get to bed soon.

I think I've managed to stop panicking over the thunderstorms.

Actually, it isn't the storms themselves -- its the tornado watches and warnings that go along with them. Eek! I came as close as I wanted to to a tornado four years ago and have no desire to get any closer. That was scary enough, and no, I wasn't close enough to see it.

But as Ryan settles down, and as my headache from the shift in pressure intensifies, I begin to think about sleep, and start realizing that my typing is filled with typos. So I suspect that it is time for bed. Soon, anyway.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:03 PM
Why did the turkey cross

Why did the turkey cross the road?

This morning, after dropping Ryan off at daycare, I saw a really big bird racing across the grass to the right of the car. I slowed down so it could race across the road and disappear behind a house. Excitedly, I pointed it out to Danielle. "Did you see that bird? Do you know what it was?"

"I saw it. What was it, mommy?" she asked me curiously.

All in a hurry to educate, and fascinated because its only the second time I've ever seen one (although Audrey assures me there are huge flocks of them in this area), I said, "Its a wild turkey."

Immediately my daughter erupted into laughter. "Its just like the joke, mommy!"

I started laughing along with her, asking, "Why did the turkey cross the road?"

"To get to the other side!" she chortled. And the whole way to school she just kept telling me what a silly, silly turkey that was.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:51 PM
June 04, 2002
Once upon a time, while

Once upon a time, while I was packing up things at my mom's house, I started a novel titled "The Memory Box". It began around the concept of a box of things from high school -- a box full of bits of memory.

Tonight, while looking for old stories I wrote for the Vampyres list long ago, I ended up at The Lady in Black's page, and re-read some things she and Eric and Josh and I all wrote together (as The Lady, Jester, Jaye, and Laurie & Bridget). I found myself being sucked back into the person I was 7 years ago, and the person I oftentime miss still. The things the Voices said to me inside my mind, and the things the Voices were in my life.

And an hour or two later I looked up and remembered I was supposed to be doing something else. Like posting game moves. Or sleeping.

I did not trip down memory lane tonight.

I was sucked into the memory vortex.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:08 PM
Lost in the Ether

Sometimes I realize that my time on the net has resulted in great frustration for me.

Its been a boon, in that it has kept me writing, for various sources, ever since 1988 or so. Fairly regularly, and I've seen a lot of improvement in my own work. I look back, and I can see the different voices, and see what worked and what didn't. I see different phases of my life through the eyes of the voices in my head.

But the frustration comes from the things I cannot see. The writing I can no longer find.

I just searched the archives of the Vampyres mailing list, looking for a few stories I remember writing, and could not locate them. I was... depressed. And yeah, frustrated. *wry smiles* I know I found one of them not all THAT long ago, but I can't find it right now. And I was going to post it here, which is honestly, even more annoying.

There are so many things that I have done and said which are lost to the annals of time. *sighs*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:59 PM
At least the gods apologized.

At least the gods apologized.

It was a hell of a day. I was hammered all bloody day by help desk tickets. My own fault, in part. I didn't mind sending Charlie to class while Ethan was on vacation, even though that left me as the only Notes Admin at the office originally. I figured no big, I lose a couple of days to help tickets. I'd survive. But I wasn't expecting quite the proliferation of help tickets we've had. Nor was I expecting the changing of the guard, and the huge impact *that* has had as well.

So I was working furiously all day. Then stayed late and finished up some of the issues once it was quiet and peaceful. Hoping to do the same tomorrow night.

And finally, when I left, I went off to Price Chopper to get the food shopping done. Called Kevin on the way to let him know I was running later than I'd expected, then I called him again after I finally wrote my list up to warn him I wasn't buying diapers. Then with the list done, I set it down on the seat, grabbed my stuff, and climbed out of the van, locked the door and closed it. I walked around to the other side of the van and tried to open the door.


I looked at my hand, noting that I held only my pen and my phone. And there, on the seat of the van, were my keys. Idiot!!

I called Kevin back, and when he answered, I said simply, "I'm you."


"I am standing outside of the car with only a phone in my hands and I am calling you. Can you guess why I'm you?" I asked.

"You locked your keys in the car, didn't you."

Y'see, in the first few years we were together, in fact in the first YEAR we lived together, Kevin locked his keys in the car three times. Twice while parked in the same exact parking spot at the bank in downtown Troy. Most recently, he actually *lost* his keys while golfing last summer, when I was just coming off of bed rest while pregnant.

So yeah, I was him today. Just managed to not realize they weren't in my hands when I closed the door.

By the time Kevin packed the kids in the car and came to rescue me, about 35 minutes had passed, and since I couldn't do the shopping (the money was in the car too), I was pretty fed up. So I decided to scrap the shopping until tomorrow night, and I went to Subway to pick up dinner for Kev and I while he took the kids home again.

And then the gods said sorry. Yeah, its silly, but getting enough little Subway stamps to fill up both of my partially filled cards, thus resulting in two really cheap lunches at work some day, was a nice little apology. Hey, at least *something* went right today!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:56 PM
June 03, 2002
Four year olds feel things

Four year olds feel things deeply. They care about things far more differently than we do. More, perhaps.

The other day while I was weeding I found a little tree in my garden. Unlike all the other weeds, and the multitude of maple trees, this one had an acorn attached. A little baby oak tree. Now like I said, there are a ton of baby maples around, but I'm not sure I've ever seen an acorn survive to sprout.

So I tucked it into a pot and gave it to Dani, and we put the pot by the side of the house.

She's been watering it, and been so excited about it. We told her she can keep it and cultivate it, and if it grows well, we'll put it in a bigger pot and she can plant it when we move to another house where there's a place for it. If we can keep it alive for the next five years or so.

This morning I looked at the pot, and it was empty. Completely, and utterly, empty. I pointed it out to Kevin, and he mentioned seeing a chipmunk by the side of the house.

I didn't tell Dani this morning. But this afternoon, as we drove home, I heard her in the back saying, "Mommy, when we get home can I look at my oak tree?"

I sighed heavily. "Honey, I've got some bad news. When I looked at the oak tree this morning... well... what do oak trees come from?"


"Well, chipmunks think that acorns are food. I think a chipmunk saw the oak tree and thought it was dinner, and didn't know it was a tree."

I thought she was taking it okay at first, and then I realized, she was snuffling... then bawling. She was so upset, and crying horribly, over the loss of her little oak tree (and we'd only planted it over the weekend). It took a while to console her.

When we got home, we looked at the garden, and the flowers. And as we walked down the front yard, I found two more baby oak trees, almost invisible against the retaining wall. Dani asked me to dig them up, and I told her we could bring them inside. So tonight, once she was tucked into bed, I put the two of them into a pot, and we have them upstairs. Safely inside away from squirrels and chipmunks, and also away from a curious cat. She can water them whenever she wants, and watch them grow. And with any luck, we'll cultivate them, and transplant them, and someday she can plant a pair of oak trees she's raised from "babies". Maybe one for her and one for Ryan eventually, if we split them into separate pots.

If the little trees live, it'll be pretty cool. What a story to talk about after twenty years, hm?

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:55 PM
This is attempt number two.

This is attempt number two.

I've already written this part of tonight's blog once and erased it. I'm breaking my rule and talking about work. In general, I'd rather avoid it. This is, after all, a public forum, and who knows who might read it and find it utterly inappropriate.

But tonight, I'm breaking that rule. And probably will, on and off, for the next few months.

Because everything changed between Friday and today. My boss, who has been my boss and my friend as well for the past six years, is no longer my boss. He has been let go as CIO and a new CTO has been brought in, beginning today.

It was a long, weird day as the changing of the guard happened. It was so sad to see Sal go. It is still hard to believe that in the morning I won't be seeing him in his office, talking to him and finding out the day's emergencies as I'm trying to get my breakfast. Going over code or infrastructure layouts. We've worked together so long that we worked really well together. Life at work is going to be completely different.

On the other hand, there is a piece of me that is hopeful. Is this new guy the one that can really make a change for IT? Is he the one the business will listen to? What's going to happen? How will he change things? How will I have to change my own management style? Is this for the good or for the bad?

Like I said, everything's different. My mind is in a whirl, trying to sort all of it out.

Its just another corporate rollercoaster ride. I should be good at these by now, but y'know what. I really, really don't like rollercoasters. *sighs* But I'm getting pretty good at surviving the rides.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:17 PM
June 02, 2002
So, my camera's broken. Well,

So, my camera's broken. Well, the lens anyway. It was sitting on Kevin's deskchair (which is just a folding metal chair) in the living room. Which wasn't a great place for it to be, but not all that dangerous. Then Dani was vacuuming (gotta love being 4 when to vacuum is actually *exciting*) and Kevin was helping her out by moving things out of the way. He picked up the chair, camera and all... and the chair folded in his hands. The camera tumbled to the floor, and the lens went one way and the camera the other.

At least, since its meant to have the lens changed on the fly, the film's okay. I'm *assuming* the rest of the camera's okay. Nothing broken I can see anyway. But the lens... well, it won't go back on because a part of the fastening part is broken off. *sighs* So the film's trapped in the camera, and the camera can't be tested (and there are these wonderful pics of the kids on this roll, too!). And I can't get a new lens yet -- it'll be a couple of months before I'm caught up from buying the garden stuff and can afford it.

Its frustrating. Moreso because it could've just been moved. But well, there's nothing I can do about it now, right?

I can't sleep. I'm tired. But I can't settle down enough to sleep. Tomorrow's going to be... strange. I've made most of my lunch and set out about half my clothes. The decisions are made anyway. And I'm looking forward to lunch cuz I made this lunch box sorta thing. I took the leftover wild rice, which has a really great texture and nutty flavor, and mixed in the leftover roasted veggies, as well as some fresh veggie salsa we made earlier in the week (peppers, vidalias, tomato). So that became a wild rice salad. Then I laid out strips of rare steak over the top of it in a pretty pattern. We usually eat leftover steak cold anyway, so we don't have to cook it while heating it in the microwave, since we both like it really really rare.

The whole setup looks like a lunchbox type of thing, so I figured I'd make an Asian style salad to go with it, and pull out the chopsticks tomorrow.

Okay, so I've got one thing to look forward to tomorrow. *smiles*

I got a decent amount done on the website tonight, which made me happy. I did some game moves, although I should still do more, definitely. I'll try and crank through a couple of those now. Something to help me wind down a little, although I may yet just go read some of the Bujold. Make sure Ryan's sleeping well, and that Dani's asleep again. She was completely out, then we decide to come upstairs and she wakes up and freaks out. *sighs* We've never done the family bed, but all of a sudden Dani's decided she wants to sleep with us at night, which is just a no go. I can't sleep with her there because she wiggles and I'm worried we'll crush her. Which just makes for me getting no sleep, so I'm all crank, and its a bad scene.

Which is why I should make sure I get sleep tonight. Soon, soon. Hopefully the kids won't be up at 4am!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:21 PM
A recipe: 1/2 yellow pepper,

A recipe:

1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 orange pepper, thinly sliced
1 vidalia onion, thinly sliced
4-8 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray. Pile vegetables on foil. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, then rice vinegar, then a small dash (1 tsp or so) of sesame oil.

Make into a package, then double wrap it with a second piece of foil so the seam is wrapped too from the other side.

Put on the grill for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway.

The veggies come out wonderfully sweet and perfectly cooked with almost no oil. Yum!!!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:37 PM
Whee!! Updated the design of

Whee!! Updated the design of Between the Lines tonight. I've still got a long way to go on content, though. I'll get there as I'm going through the histories so I can restart everything. Some of the content is more important than others, really.

Watching the final episode of The X-Files finally... its almost over, and its interesting watching how they are bringing every possible thread back together here. Which is cool. I've been enjoying the last few episodes, watching it wind up. I guess its added something to it that's been missing these past few years.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:13 PM
BTL Updated

The Between the Lines website has been updated to a new design. New content is still pending.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 10:08 PM
Just updated the "Voices" link

Just updated the "Voices" link to link to a new section of the website. I'm redesigning that section of the site, which is all of my roleplaying and fiction stuff (ie, The Voices in my Head, or as Laurie would say, "Just us."). I'll be ripping apart that whole section as the days go on, and as I prepare to restart Between the Lines as a PBEM and as I try to get a site together finally for A Common Disaster which has been running on and off for um... 6 years now? Eek!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:17 PM
Damara got a battlefield promotion!

Damara got a battlefield promotion! Woohoo!! I am SO riding high on this character right now!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 07:54 PM

Welcome to The Voices in My Head. Its time to do a massive redesign of this section of my website, and with this I can at least keep a "what's new" sort of babble going on, as well as various ramblings on the subject of fiction or roleplay. This won't replace my main blog, but will supplement it because its specific.

First things to revamp will be Damara's website, the Between the Lines website, and creating (finally!) a website for A Common Disaster. So some of these link URLs will be changing.

The things here will range from RP to fiction and all kinds of similar things. Whee!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 05:02 PM
Ryan doesn't like Linkin Park.

Ryan doesn't like Linkin Park. Every time it comes up in the shuffle he looks up all startled and stares at the stereo.

Of course, the funny thing is that he blames the stereo, despite the fact that the music isn't coming from it... the speakers are next to it or above it, but not at it. Hm... smart boy, eh?

But now there's something peaceful on -- don't know what disk cuz I'm not familiar with all of these yet (Linkin Park's just WAY distinctive) and Ryan's staring at the stereo and smiling. He loves music... he can be screaming his head off and if I start singing, anything at all, he'll quiet down and smile at me. I think I've got musical theater boy here.

And Dani... yeah, her too. She spent the morning watching Oklahoma! on DVD. She loves musicals, and loves to sing and dance. I can see a seven or eight year stretch of attending high school plays ahead in my future. *fond smiles*

Posted by Deb Atwood at 04:42 PM
Sometimes being productive around the

Sometimes being productive around the house can really bring a sense of peace. And watching the baby learning new things brings joy. And Dani, being so eager to help... wow. I figure today I should actually be really stressed, because I'm worried about tomorrow and trying to get a lot of things done, and not really getting to do the writing I'd like to do, but honestly... I'm actually kinda happy.

Right now Dani's napping,and Ryan's rolling around on the floor trying to get to things and working on crawling. Hm... if he keeps up what he's doing at this moment, he's going to bring the diaper bag (and box of wipes) over on his head. Maybe I should rescue him.

Heh. Moved the wipes so at least he can't get hurt, placed toys all around him, and the cord on the front of the diaper bag is still the most enteraining thing he sees. Babies!

Dani and I planted most of the last of the garden today, putting in 4 types of heirloom tomato seedlings, two types of heirloom zucchini seedlings, and some mixed types of bell peppers (everything but green). The zucchini's surprised me -- they were already starting to produce flowers while still in the little tiny seedling planters! Wow! I'm hoping this means we might have zucchinis really soon. YUM!! Okay, so I love gardening. The snap peas are doing wonderfully. I lost the seedlings for the beans and heirloom cucumbers a week ago when it snowed (yes, really!) and we had a frost overnight. Came back from TBR and they were all dead. So I planted a few more seeds, and it puts us behind schedule, but at least later this summer we should have some. I'll also buy some cucumber seedlings and plant some normal ones too -- I've got just a little bit of room left.

So all that's left to do in the garden, really, is the herb garden. This is a new part this year -- between the two vegetable gardens. I need to plant all the annuals, and a few more perennials to come up next year as well. I'm rimming the second layer in rosemary, and need to find a way to girdle some thyme so I can put it in without it taking over completely (because it WILL). Need lots of basil, and all different types. Next year I want to grow basil seedlings indoors, but I didn't get that far this year. I need to set up some kind of tray table thingy upstairs for my planting so I can do lots of flats of seedlings.

I did learn one thing this year -- I really like doing my own seedlings. I like the better control over what I get to plant, and I'm really looking forward to taking care of the heirloom vegetables this year, and preserving seeds for next year and beyond. Plus heirloom veggies are SO cool. I'm going to have pink, green, and black tomatoes, round zucchini and black zucchini. Isn't that cool?

The laundry's almost completely done, and its so windy (even if cool) that hanging it outside is getting it dry really quickly, which is nice. I'm being good and folding it right away so for once I might get caught up. Yeah right, but I can hope! Laundry and dishes are like the bane of my existence. Okay, so maybe housework in general. But laundry and dishes are winning as most frustrating with a baby in the house. Between bottles and blorpage, we go through a lot of dishes and clothes!

Yup, there goes the diaper bag over on his head. Now he wants to fit it all in his mouth. I should probably go get the camera. *laughs*

After Dani gets up from her nap we're going to back some cookies. We froze dough last weekend in logs of sugar cookies, and only baked one log then. So today we are going to bake a log we defrosted yesterday. Pink ones, I think they are. I suppose I'll remember when I open the fridge. Its nice, because I cut the cookies and she lays them out on the tray. We worked together to make the logs, although I had to do the food coloring part myself. I didn't want my daughter to be green and pink from head to toe! *laughs*

I wonder if he'll crawl *into* the diaper bag if I let him play with it long enough? Nah... I'll stop him before then. That could actually start to get dangerous.

Kevin's working on the shelves upstairs in the hallway, at the head of the stairs. We need more places to put books. Okay, so we need a LOT more places to put books. When we bought the house, we had a computer room, a family room (which used to be the master bedroom before we moved in), our room, the "blue room" which can't be used for much of anything, and downstairs there was the "eventuality" room (otherwise known as Dani's room now) and the library.

Then we had a second child.

So.. now the library will be Dani's new room, and her old room will be Ryan's room. And Ryan is currently in the nook in the blue room, but that won't last much longer so we have to get cracking on redoing the library. In the meantime, all the books have been put in boxes in a five by five by five cube of paperbacks in the blue room because its really the only place left to put shelves. And the hardcovers, which go mostly in the living room in the built-in shelves around the window, are sort of overflowing in a serious way.

So Kevin is building some shelves at the top of the stairs. He's doing them in a really cool way so that they'll be built-in but also adjustable, so we can use them for hardcovers or paperbacks. I like that. Floor to ceiling so we'll have lots of space. And if the design works, we'll use a similar one to put in shelves in the blue room. Which would make an excellent library except for the fact that its under the eaves so we sorta lose a lot of wall space. *sighs*

I think its time to do a little more baby cuddling, check on a sleeping 4 year old, and then do some site design and gaming. Woohoo! Its been a productive, but oddly relaxing, Sunday. Which is really good. I need it before this week hits. Cuz its gonna be insane.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 03:33 PM
June 01, 2002
Oh, almost forgot my cool

Oh, almost forgot my cool gaming note of the day!

Last night I made a move in Chaos Theory (run by Michael McGovern) and I was hoping I was coherent. My mind was pretty mixed up, and Damara has done some pretty nuts things in the past when I was incoherent. She's ended up branded as a traitor to Amber, and well, generally loathed by the Amber populace. Most of it was bad decision making and some nasty mistakes on her part. But she is fighting with Amber, and at the end of the reply I received from Michael today, she was being cheered by Amber's army. She is doing well, and raising her own reputation, and it feels so amazing to be playing through this. Damara is one of those characters who has come alive, and who has been so amazingly enjoyable through her trials and tribulations, and now through her rise. Wow. Yeah, this feeling is why I roleplay. Yummy yummy emotions. *happy little sighs* Kudos to the GM for a good game.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:41 PM
Its sad when I took

Its sad when I took long enough to type the blog that I'd timed out on the site and had to relog in to actually get it to save!

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:36 PM
Tonight, while talking to Josh

Tonight, while talking to Josh & Liz, I had to think aloud that blogs make conversation kinda obsolete.

Y'see, I talk about my blogs with Josh (hells, I've already referenced our walks at work, haven't I?). And Liz is now reading it. And since I live with Kevin one would think that *he* knows what's going on in my and our children's lives. So there we are, and among the conversation is things like Liz asking Dani about the rides at Jeepers cuz she'd seen it in the blog...

Although no worries -- there's no way I could write everything down, so we all still had plenty to talk about. Plus, Dani and Ryan were providing a floor show.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. That's probably because I'm exhausted. Yes, its only 11:15 and I'm so passing out. My eyes are heavy, and if my back and shoulder didn't hurt so bloody much, I'd definitely be asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow in a little bit. Probably still will be, in fact.

Had trouble getting to sleep last night, because I was so... agitated... about everything going on in life just now. Then when I finally *did* fall asleep, I woke up two hours later and had trouble getting *back* to sleep. Before I could manage to doze off after an hour or so, Dani was awake and climbing the stairs complaining that it was "too dark to sleep." I gave her a choice of who would walk her back to bed. She chose Daddy, and so Kevin went downstairs and I finally managed to sleep again. Until Ryan started fidgeting and kicked the scary Pooh toy which started singing loudly in his crib. Eep! I got a little more doze time and then had to get up to feed him. After Kevin got up, I went back to bed for another hour and a half or so. But since all my sleep last night was in itty bitty chunks, well, not much of it was *worth* much for what sleeping is good for.

So tonight I'm tired and achy. Y'see, that's one thing I've learned over the last four years. A part of having fibromyalgia is a sleep disorder, and when I *don't* sleep well, the pain gets worse. Making it really a self-perpetuating cycle. I'm trying to do it without sleepy meds this time, using the guaifenisen to damp the pain down and back it out. If I make it through three months of treatment and am still miserabl, I'm starting in on the sleep meds again. It means I'm half asleep before Dani is, but well, at least I can function during the day again.

The low point of the day was the sudden realization that even though I mailed everything on time, I still haven't received anything for my driver's license. Eek! So I've got to call them on Monday in a panic and wonder what the hell is going on. Although I haven't checked today's mail. Either way, we're talking about two weeks late here, which is a bad thing. And it meant I couldn't get cash today, which was just plain old annoying. I hate not being able to get my hands on my allowance. *pouts* Not like its *much* but buying gas for the car is a *nice* thing. *smiles*

The high point of the day was, well, most of the day. *grins* The whole family trooped over to visit with Josh & Liz today. We had a good afternoon, just hanging out and visiting. Josh and I walked outside and I took a good look at the wild garden that is their back yard. Its got so many cool things in it just waiting to be found and discovered. And Dani played with Liz and had a fantastic time. And we talked music and shared music which is *always* a cool thing. I have to do some new mixes now that I think I have access to all the songs I want to put on them. And I definitely have to finish up the Adrienne soundtrack before the next WEF session. I think it will be my first mixed CD if I can get the levels right. Not being able to do levels properly on a CD mix is what has kept me with doing tapes until now!

I have now had the best sushi experience of my life. *happy little sighs* Josh & Liz brought us to Sushi Na, a little hole in the wall in Clifton Park. Its got about 7 seats at the sushi bar, and 2 tables for 4 people, and 2 tables for 2 people. And that's it. Its *small*. So we had one of the tables for 4, and an extra chair at the end for Dani, and then Ryan's car seat on the floor.

And then the fun began...

First, let me say the staff there are just so amazingly NICE. I wanna go back. Tomorrow. *sighs* I just wish it were possible! But the staff wanted to make Dani happy and kept trying to bring her things. And my little girl, being a four year old, was stubbornly insisting that she didn't want to try anything new. Not the crab sticks. Not the rice with soup over it. Not even the rice (which, with the hint of rice vinegar, "tasted funny" in her terms *heavy sighs*). And all announced in a little girl glass-shattering voice. We assured the staff it wasn't them -- she only eats chicken nuggets and fish sticks and spaghettios. Don't all four year olds eat like that? *groans*

But Ryan was the funniest of the trip. Normally in a restaurant he either naps (its boring) or sits quietly and plays with his toys. Hah! Not tonight by a long shot! He yelled to get out of his chair almost immediately. Then on my lap he started grabbing for anything that *wasn't* a toy. Paper especially. He tried to yank my placemat out from under everything. He *did* get Liz's. He ate all the wrappers from the chopsticks (well, gummed them -- we didn't let him actually *eat* one). He chattered constantly. And he thoroughly entertained the other diners (although I *did* feel badly when he literally threw his hourglas toy at the next table).

We have determined this is NOT a place to take kids. *laughs* Although they were so nice there and none of the other people really seemed to mind. They all seemed to understand, which was good. And Liz was really helpful -- at the end she took Dani and Ryan for a little walk so Kev and I could finish eating.

And oh my gods... it was the most amazing sushi. Oh yum. I didn't want to leave. I just wanted to order more and keep eating. They had a fabulous selection, and it was fabulously made. *happy little sighs* Oh yeah, we've gotta go back. And no, it wasn't just because it was my first non-vegetarian sushi since I got pregnant with Ryan back in March of 2001!!

I added more books to my recommended reading list I'm carrying around in my Blackberry to buy eventually, but I don't remember the exactness of the titles/authors. I'll mention them another time. Right now I'm reading the latest Miles book by Bujold and Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. I'm trying to read all the Hugo award nominee books before voting, since I realized when the ballot came out that Kevin and I had already read three of the six nominees. I won't start babbling about what I've liked and not liked. Suffice to say, I've only got Cosmonaut Keep and Perdido Street Station left to read, as does Kevin. It'll be cool having read all the novels for once. I like this idea -- we have to try this every year, I think.

And this year its a good crop of nominees. Go buy all of them. Then curl up and read. You won't regret it.

And now, I've babbled long enough. No philosophy tonight. I'm lucky to be making it to coherence. *grins* G'night.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 11:36 PM