Lost in Translation and a Few Other Places Chapter 1

When I last left WordPress, I was suffering from a terrible neck pain. My subsequent visit to the doctor pumped me full of muscle relaxers and pain medication. This did NOT work, much to my dismay. My appointment with the physical therapist isn’t until next week.

I spent a week in torture, and then more torture occurred. I was felled by a cold, a really bad one. My #2 contracted one from her boyfriend, and seeing that she was sniffling and sneezing for three weeks straight, there was no way to avoid her germs. There’s nothing worse than having a head full of boogers whilst one cannot turn said head to the right.

As a result of my assembled maladies, I became lazy beyond belief.  No, really, I am not exaggerating. I haven’t looked at my now-completed novel in a month. Instead of writing, I played on Twitter and Facebook. I think I am even “getting” Twitter now.  However, it wasn’t really playing… I logged on in bed and then promptly fell asleep. That’s what a combination of Nyquil and Flexoril will do for you.

All of this uncomfortableness caused me to seek another trip to the doctor this week. She sent me for X-rays, and a couple of days later I learned that I have developed minor arthritis in my vertebrae not far from where my neck is located.

I knew I was getting old, but to be slapped in the face with arthritis is the wakeup call. I restarted my stalled exercise of Malibu Pilates, purchased a huge bottle of glucosamine chondroitin from Sam’s Club and started taking the dog for afternoon strolls.

I thought long and hard about dying, which is something I do on a regular basis anyway. When you’re over the hill and coasting downward, you want to get in everything before the final farewell.

So, I am now reformed and on my way to productivity and creativity.

In the meantime, there has been a little drama going on with the Drunk Manager, which I will get to as soon as I send a care package off to Ms. MiniD. All it takes is one email titled “Moooommmmmyyyyyy!!!” and I’m there.

Writes, Rites and Re-Writes

I haven’t been here much, because as some know, I went to the writers’ conference in San Francisco, and that pumped me up but good. My head is full of ideas and strategies, and I’m as juiced up as Ms. MiniD on her ADD meds. When I’m not working the day job, I’m writing.

In fact, I’m writing so much, I’m beginning to neglect the house.  I used to clean our bathroom and the dog’s area every couple of weeks, but it’s now been three weeks and neither has been done. Gracie’s bed is starting to smell like dog, and although I took out the rugs and swept the bath, I haven’t done much else.

The other thing suffering is my exercise routine and my violin practice. The middle of me is getting back to post-holiday spread, so I suppose I’d better make time for that. As for violin, thankfully the teacher has given me a break and I’m doing easy pieces, plus scales.

Thank goodness it’s not nice out yet, or my yard would be knee length in grass.

Why exercise, clean or play the violin when you can write?

The blame goes to NaNoWriMo. Thanks to November writing month, I have established a routine, which is quite amazing when you consider what kind of world-class procrastinator I am. Without fail, I go home in the afternoon and pound out a couple thousand words on my new book. It’s a relief in a way, because this one is light and hopefully humorous, whereas the first one was dark. There’s a happy ending in the first one, but no hook up. There’s a happy ending in the second one, and a hook up.

I know I have to go back to the first one and rewrite, but I’m letting that one marinate for a while, at least another week or two. I have an online friend looking at it first, then I’ll go in, then send it on for the “real” editing. My first baby is going to have to undergo massive surgery, and I’m not quite up for the challenge yet. But, I know I will be, once I get the bones going on the second one.

So, if anyone wants to volunteer to come and clean my house, I’m game. I’m sorry I can’t pay with money, but I can always whip up a good meal.

Conspicuously Absent

I’m not posting much here these days, but I’m not sorry. The Little Cat would be proud to know that I’ve been typing my fingers to the bone, working on my novel. I have given myself a deadline of my birthday (coming up fast) to finish this epic tome. I plan on shipping it to several people 1. to read to gauge the enjoyment factor, and 2. for editing purposes as soon as it’s complete.

At over 435 pages and growing (double spaced), I have the end in sight. I know how it’s going to end and am giving myself seven, maybe eight chapters to get there. Hallelujia and pass the friggin’ pitcher of margaritas. Well, maybe not yet. Maybe for my birthday. Yeah, I know that 10% will likely be edited out.

I am seriously trying to overcome my deficiency when it comes to time management, procrastination and general laziness. These are lifelong character flaws that I am finding difficult to correct. However, this is not to say that I’m rolling over and dying in the goopy soup that is my character. I may be old, but you can always teach an old dog new tricks.

Hmm… maybe not my old dog, Grace. She appears to be set in her ways.

Other news from the tundra? Well, the prodigal daughter is still here. Three more weeks. I’m not sure I can stand it. Yes, I love her, but she drives me nutty, as I am sure I am doing to her too. Plus, she tries to read over my shoulder. She knows I’m writing a book and wants to know if she’s in it. (No. That will be the next book. Bwaaahhh wahhh wahh…) Normally, I can’t work under that kind of pressure, but I’m trying.

So, I’m absent. Here, but not here.

See you later.

Laziness Squared and Other Stuff

I do not know why, but this last week, I have felt incredibly lazy. I feel like the entire world has passed me by completely.

Could it be writing jet lag from NaNoing last month? Accomplishing the goal was rather impressive, if I do say so myself. Could it be that with the onslaught of winter, I am doing some mental hibernating? I don’t know… I just feel like doing absolutely nothing.

This does not mean that I feel sleepy. No, I’m not sleepy. In fact, I find it very hard to get a good night’s sleep, because Mr. Demonic keeps the furnace set at 68, which means in our room (farthest from the furnace) it is a bone-chilling 57 degrees. He also hogs the cat, which is my major heat source. (Grace is not allowed to sleep with us, which is fine. I don’t need a fight on the bed. The two critters are already jealous of each other.)

In trying to break from the laziness, last night we went to the symphony, where we were treated to a new, very illustrious conductor, recently snagged from a Washington. (I’m not saying which one, to make it hard for some people to figure it out who it was.) Mr. D usually sleeps through part of the performance, which is embarrassing because we have box seats right next to the stage. Everyone and their second cousin can see us. Last night was no different. During the performance of Carmina Burana, instead of being situated on the stage (which was jam packed), the tenor sang from the box next to ours. Doing so meant that all eyes were on the man, and therefore many saw my husband being roused out of sleep by a thunderous voice. (I literally could have touched the vocalist.)

I would like to think my husband’s constant slumber was due to laziness. He likes to think he is concentrating intently.

The other thing we finally did this week was to talk to an attorney about our estate. The last time that was done was ten years ago. We have been procrastinating this chore for at least three years. Our children are now grown and life is more complicated. The pot is also smaller, but that is due to our recent economic woes. Our former executors and trustees are now deceased. It was time. Dragging the old guy (Mr. D.) to the attorney’s office was like getting him to go to the dentist or the optometrist — it’s murder, man!

Restructuring the trust meant I also had to renew the life insurance policy on my husband. Every time I mention the word “life insurance,” Mr. D has a conniption. He thinks I am looking to off him like some of the black widows on Forensics Files, when in actuality, he is worth more to me alive than dead. Besides, when I found out how much we owe in total on our various mortgages, my breath was sucked from my lungs. This policy isn’t even going to pay the bank.

My New Year’s resolution is to end my laziness. I don’t know how I’m going to do that, but perhaps if I keep looking behind my shoulder, I will at last find a reason to do so.

Taking a Sabbatical from Garbage

The current political season has left me spent. Add to that our declining business, shaky economy and my girls-gone-wild 18 year old on the Left Coast, and I can honestly say there were times in the last month when I really and truly wanted to run away from home. You know, jump into the car and head south or west and drive until I hit an ocean. Before the Republican Convention, I had toyed with the idea of Alaska, but I’m now thinking that our last frontier is not far enough away. (It’s not Sarah Palin, really…)

Politics is starting to irk me. The barrage of television advertising in particular has gone from the Annoying Level to the Sickening Level. I can’t even find “Forensics Files” or “American Justice” without having to be subjected to continual mudslinging. I tried to find a weather forecast as Hurricane Ike’s eye ended up right over my house, but all I had to channel surf through commentaries. (For those who really want to know, Ike came, it rained like a monsoon for a day and a half.)

I write on another (couple of) forums, and petty political sniping is all I see there. What used to be interesting reading (I especially like reading others’ views) has become nothing less than a free-for-all. Emotions are running high.

People are now yelling at each other when they’re not trying to insert “gotcha” moments, you know, something like pigs in lipstick. What sows wear on their lips not important to me; for Petey’s sake, I seldom wear lipstick myself, and don’t recommend it for any mammal. Besides, there are far more serious issues than comparing people to animals in various forms of make up. For all of the fray, for all of the noise, no one is being heard. In the end, though, it’s all garbage.

Friday, I decided to take a “mostly” sabbatical from garbage. I say “mostly” because I managed to come here and rant about my daughter, and I managed to go over there and rant about the stupid level that the political process has now sunk to. I refused to get sucked into any ideological commenting, which was fine by me. I also refused to watch TV, and only looked briefly for hurricane reports.

So what did I do?

Here’s one thing I did:

I made jewelry. Lots of it. I just started experimenting with it a couple of weeks ago, and now find myself inexplicably drawn to bead shows and craft shops. I found these really cute little charms, and voila! the “Be Here Now” bracelet was born.

“Be Here Now.” I remember that mantra from the early ’70s. Even though there was a war going on, things seemed tranquil compared to today. There was plenty of excitement, but no sniping.

I also canned a lot of tomatoes and corn. Buying a pressure canner was the best investment I could have made. We can’t eat the tomatoes fast enough, and I’m going to love opening a jar in December.

This weekend, I also started Chapter 13 of my novel. Coincidentally, Chapter 13 is when my main character gets the worst of her bad news. Her life plummets from a pleasant complacency to the gates of Hell, before taking a turn toward normal. I toyed with the idea of skipping right over Chapter 13, you know like some hotels do with the 13th floor. But serendipity intervened, and I’m not arguing with that kind of Karma.

I knocked off a couple of restaurant reviews I had on the back burner as well. Remembering what I had to eat during my vacation put me back into a California kind of mood.

I also took some time to read. Yes, read a book. Although, I have to say I am reading books written by our major political candidates, but I figured doing so would enlighten me more than watching TV would.

And finally, I finished cleaning out Ms. MiniD’s room. I took all of the photos stuck onto the walls and boxed them up with her knickknacks and doo-dads and put everything in the attic. I plan on painting the room, in a color she will no doubt hate.  She had admonished me NOT to do that before she left, but seeing that her behavior has led to some consternation on my part, I found that I no longer gave a damn what she thought. It was somewhat freeing, even though I found evidence that in addition to drinking and having sex, she was also smoking weed.

*sigh*

There’s garbage everywhere, isn’t there?

By the way, if any of you see a gray Prius speeding south or west, please do not stop it.

Update on the Lazy Woman

Despite recent reports from local weathermen, rain has refused to fall out of the sky. Instead, we find our humidity clinging to every blade of grass, every dirty, disgusting muscle shirt, and every sweaty-assed landscaper. Believe me, I’ve seen plenty of all three of those things in my yard just in the last week.

When it doesn’t rain, Mr. Demonic goes crazy with the watering. He thinks it’s important to have green grass. As the grass cutter of the family, I do not think it’s important. He thinks the grass will “die.” In all of my experience at this house and others, grass does NOT die if it doesn’t get water. This is because regular lawn grass is a member of the Weed Family. It just goes into a dormancy until the next downpour.

The past week of hot and humid has made this Demonic lazy. However, since the other half has gone hog-wild with sprinkling, today I have had to drag my limp butt out of bed early this morning to mow the front yard. Even though I started at 6:45, I was a whipped, stinky, sweaty mess by 7:30.

However, you can’t tell Mr. Demonic to stop watering.

As for other Lazy Woman News, the kitchen has been largely dark. This is because Mr. Demonic is thrifty (i.e. cheap) and refuses to turn the A/C on downstairs. I can’t have both ovens going without A/C. This, in turn, has caused quite a bit of consternation over on the Left Coast, where Mr. Demonic Junior’s roommate has threatened to have the Hell’s Angels come and pay me a visit, and it doesn’t sound like a friendly one. I believe him, since the dude writes for a motorcycle magazine and a guitar magazine. He’s made it abundantly clear that chocolate chip cookies had better be forthcoming or else I would be in deep trouble.

I guess I will turn the A/C on today and bake some cookies.

I took advantage of the heat to finish another book. It’s relaxing to sit right under a ceiling fan and read. You will have to read my book page to find out which one it was.

A recent check of the weather shows more promise of rain. I won’t believe it until I see it, though.

Laziness x2

I feel lazy about writing today.

So I’m posting a photo.