Saturday, November 25, 2006

Tryptophan Check-in

Ah, nothing like sleeping in after a late-night turkey snack. No, there is: waking up to a couple of mental exercises in quick succession. I woke up this morning after Mark let me sleep in (we alternate weekend days for this; I'll be letting him sleep in tomorrow) only to find the door to Drew's room open. This was strange because I knew that Drew was napping. So I peeked in to see if the crib looked like it had been tried and abandoned--only to find that the crib was not in the room at all! None of his stuff was there. It was like Drew had never been in my mother's house. Had I woken up to an alternate reality? I wandered up into the loft and found my mother's boyfriend. After some ribbing about where they had stashed my son, he finally told me that they had moved Drew's stuff into another room that actually worked better for everyone. Talk about a strange way to wake up.

But it got stranger still. I had been awake not more than ten minutes when we get a phone call. It's one of my uncles calling to say Happy Turkey Day, and calling because one of my cousins needed some help with an organic synthesis problem for a big, bad orgo assignment. I fumbled around with my long-buried knowledge until I finally remembered that I think I actually had my orgo book handy. Sure enough, it was in the box with all of my currently needed writing notes and such. Then I went on a tear. I think I gave him a nudge in the right direction. It was actually surprising how easy the lingo and concepts clicked right into my noggin. Unfortunately, one of the other things that shook loose was a remembered tendancy to overlook the obvious reagent or mechanism. Still, in principle, the synthesis I suggested should work.

So, just to recap my morning: missing son a la potential alternate reality and scintillating conversation regarding nucleophilic substitution reactions.

The rest of the week wasn't nearly as exciting. More Joy of Tech with the damn DDJ VoIP phone. Got a new phone shipped to me as the other one ended up getting fried a couple of minutes into working. The new phone got stuck at one phase of the connection process. So we fixed that problem (something about which ports we could use on the switch), only to find that the IP address or something that I was given wouldn't work, and neither would any subsequent one provided. Grrr. This has taken up so much of my time.

On the writing front, I managed to get back into the swing of Velorin again. Finished a bit of the backstory (well, enough of it for the moment) and started and finished a chapter. So the word count will continue to increase on the side bar. Yay! I should definitely break 100K by the end of the year. It would be nice to get more words, especially seeing as how I think the first draft is going to clock in at 160K. But progress is progress.

That progress could get derailed come January, though. We swung by our house yesterday, and the construction manager was there. He told us the anticipated finish date for our place was Jan 10. And I'll probably be going back to the DDJ for a few days at the end of Jan. So that's a two to three week window in which we'll be closing, painting the house, laying down the gravel in the backyard (temporary landscaping), and hauling our junk across town in several trips. Not that we have to get everything done in that time frame, but I know it would help my sanity if we did.

And, last but not least, we had a great Turkey Day. We planned the cooking out well so we had nice long breaks while things baked or simmered or roasted or chilled. I was even able to snag an hour for writing. Drew appreciated his first few tastes of turkey, but after a bit he decided he would be kind and give his pieces to the dog. He liked the mashed potatoes, but really nothing could compete with the power of his new sippy cup that has a straw in it.

Another week as come and gone, and now we're officially in the holiday season. It's odd to be here in the desert after so many winters in front of the Rocky Mountains. Even if there wasn't snow on the ground in Denver, even if it was 75 degrees, you could still look to the snow on the Rockies and appreciate all the Christmas carols about the white stuff. Here, it just makes you do a double-take. Like, oh, yeah, it is Christmas.

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