Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Nice Night

I'm making an effort not to jinx anything, but I did want to report that Drew had a very good night tonight, free of the fits he's been throwing just about every other night since I started the new job. It's amazing how energized and good Mark and I feel when the night ends peacefully with Drew. Of course, then I went and used all that energy to get caught up with a college buddy on the phone instead of writing, but I certainly don't mind that.

I'm not going to hope or cross my fingers or anything like that, just reiterate again that this evening was very nice indeed. It was a joy to share time with Happy Drew instead of Fussy Drew.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Back in Daycare Crud

We knew it was going to happen. We knew it would likely happen at least once a year. We didn't expect it to happen at the end of Drew's very first week back in daycare.

While suffering from only some minor congestion himself, Drew has lovingly passed on some sort of cold/flu ickiness to Momma and Daddy. Daddy is congested with a sore throat and mostly feeling lousy. Momma felt listless earlier today (and napped for an hour and a half to make the feeling that much more authentic) and has a sore throat.

This means that, since I'm in a probationary trial thingamajig at work, I can't take time off (and I'm already pushing that by demanding as a condition of my acception their employment offer three days off in October due to a pre-existing trip to Vegas planned and booked) and Mark generally isn't able to take time off due to being like one of two people who has to manage and care for (translation: actually, you're better off not knowing what my cruel cruel husband has to do to the dear sweet things) the mice, that the chances of my resuming regular blogging this week are slim to none. Better luck next week.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh, Lookee! A Learning Curve!

The brain is fried. Not only did I force it to work a full eight hours today, I also forced it to concentrate through an hour and a half commute each way. Then there's the learning curve. Clinical research is not a new thing to me and, theoretically, neither is cancer research. The technicalities of oncology as a medical field of study is a realm of new with tantalizingly familiar vistas. So short story: love the new job, will love it even more once I find my groove and get jiggy with the jargon.

Short story for Drew: Five to ten minutes of meltdown when we dropped him off at daycare, the sounds of which haunted me throughout the rest of the drive. But, true to Drew Monster style, he got over it a couple of minutes after we left and was a happy and eager kid the rest of the day. Definitely excited about going back tomorrow; we'll see how he handles it when he remembers that school involves large chunks of time w/o the 'rents.

Longer stories (or at least longer musings) to follow as I get the hang of this working full-time thing again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Tomorrow starts a new phase for Drew and me. Drew goes to "school" full-time, and I go to work out of the home full-time. We haven't been here in nearly two years. We're both more than a little giddy anticipating these changes.

My giddiness was mostly expressed in the glee and speed with which I unceremoniously dumped all of my previous DDJ files and laptop and such off at the UPS Store for mailing on Friday. No kidding: I wasted only fifteen minutes between when I shut down for the last time from my the old job to when I loaded up the car with everything to return it. This is not to say the old DDJ was terrible or really horrible or anything. It wasn't. But my projects involved a lot more contact with the customers rather than with my colleagues, so I hadn't felt integrated or connected with my team in a while. Plus, I'm really stoked about my new job and coworkers.

Drew's giddiness is expressed in different ways. He felt big boy enough to use his potty a bodily function not involving pee for the very first time. When he saw me stacking up the stuff we need to bring with him for his first official day tomorrow, he carried his dinner from the kitchen table to where I was at the dining room table so he could watch and direct the flow of items into proper stacks. Then he danced and screeched his way into his shower with Daddy.

I guess you could say we're both more than a little excited. I'm sure by next weekend, though, Drew and I will be a bit clingy with each other as it sinks in that all the time we've had together for these past two years has changed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Saturday

1. Jimmy Clausen doesn't really work with long hair. But, thankfully and much more importantly, he works much better with an offensive line that actually, you know, protects him long enough to do anything with the ball. Go Irish!

2. It really hurts to cheer on USC even if doing so means they slaughter OSU. I whimpered after every positive, encouraging thing I said about USC in that game.

3. I'm getting sick of store rewards programs that require you to print out coupons for benefits that are inextricably linked to the reward program card itself. We are immersed in the digital age, people. Please bring your business models into alignment with this fact.

4. I never discussed the free samples BPAL sent with the last order. The first is "Blood Kiss" which overwhelmingly smells like honey when I open the sample and first apply it. Then it mellows into this sweet musk that is just divine. Me rikey. The second is "Loup Garou" which reeks of pine extremely when the sample is open but almost immediately mellows upon application. It reminds me of the Bath & Body Works holiday fragrance "Winterberry" and this is a good thing. Once you get over the eye-watering pine bit.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Perils of a Geek Marriage

Mark and I were up until 1 AM last night having a heated argument. It wasn't about the bills or the house or the chores or the car or whatever the Greatest Hits of matrimonial dischord are. No, we were duking it out over, essentially, what the Grand Unified Theory will do about the logic dichotomy of classical physics vs quantum mechanics. The reason this got so heated is that I was approaching the discussion from a philosophical, follow-the-bouncing-ball-of-logic position (which, given my background in biochemistry, is clearly rigidly locked with classical physics and Can See No Other Way) while Mark was actually, you know, arguing from the current body of scientific evidence that quantum mechanics has produced.

This spat may well have unseated the previous Geek Marriage Moment of 03 when Mark and I went at it over dolphin and monkey intelligence metrics.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just Another Day, Apparently

Had I needed to write down the date or heard it aloud on the radio or something, it likely would've sunk into this thick skull of mine that today is another Sept 11. But without those cues, today is just the day that I have to juggle transitioning my current DDJ responsibilities to colleagues with jetting up to Mesa with toddler in tow for a date with a rheumatologist.

As it was, the date didn't click until I read this brief but excellent post by Scalzi. In fact, it didn't click until I got a few comments in. I read Scalzi's post and figured it was a clever and sarcastic reference to some goings-on in the science fiction community that I, in my infinite lameness, had completely managed to miss. Being slightly more nice to myself, I also thought it might be one of Scalzi's random posts to serve as a way to get silly comments about imaginary events and such. Then my brain finally came around to the big picture.

Every now and then I'm surprised by how much humanity, while decrying the daily grind, seeks to get right back to the status quo at least in the space of our own minds.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If Only I Could Fit This in Attractive, Cutesy Print on a Door Hanging

Dear Solicitor/Salesman/Proselytizer:

I am sorry that your vocation requires you to schlep around in this Arizona heat, but you will not find anything more than a polite dismissal at this house. If ever I should wish to partake of your services, product, or faith, I will find you and inquire further.

To forestall any follow-up concerns: If you do not have a website with which I can easily find your company or church, then I will likely never be interested in your services, product, or faith. If you have a spectacular deal on your service or product that is only available for the duration of your visit to this house, then you should not be upset that my potentially choosing to purchase your service or product at a later date will result in more money for you.

The Family Residence

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Retreat for Advancement

As I mentioned in my previous post, I went on a writing retreat this weekend. This was different from my retreat in March in that I went with about a dozen of my writer pals from my RWA chapter. We trekked down to Bisbee, a beautiful little tourist town leftover from the mining boom of the late 1800s. The drive down was gorgeous--maybe one day Arizona will cease to amaze me in the many different ways it can be beautiful, but I'm not sure I want that day to come any time soon.

(Driving aside: For a stretch of about twenty miles, lots of tarantulas were trying to cross the road to varying degrees of success. I wasn't quite sure what manner of creepy-crawly it was I saw crawling its way across the pavement until Sunday on the joureny back home. Then the sun happened to strike the nasty spider just right as I came up on it. I clippled one of the icky things with a wheel and sent it thunking up into the car's undercarriage. Ah, desert driving.)

We broke up into groups for chunks of time on Saturday to brainstorm our books in whatever fashion the groups chose. My group, thankfully, was less about novel structure (in terms of acts and turning points and beats and scenes and such) and more about characters and the best conflict we could create to force the most dramatic arc. It was exactly what I needed to confirm I had a good revised outline for PPR and to sketch out the central premise and characters of Books 2 and 3 in the PPR universe. That's right, dear blog readers, I actually have more of a vague outline for two novels than I've ever had before--and I haven't written a single word of draft for either story yet. I don't know if this means my overall process is adjusting or if this set of stories is lending itself better to pre-planned writing than my others. I guess I'll find out if PPR sells next year.

It was a fabulous weekend that revitalized my writing plans for PPR and also gave me ample time to relax and revel in a whole boatload of extended adult conversation about all manner of things. Plus I got to know my fellow chapter members better and had a blast brainstorming other stories besides mine. I hope those books sell as well, because it would be fun to read elements that unfolded right before my eyes this weekend.

Sigh. I love this state, I adore my chapter (both the members and its continual focus on advancing our writing skills and careers), and I can't wait to see where all the ideas I fleshed out this weekend take me over the course of the next year or two. Yup. Life is good, and that's how you know it was a very successful retreat.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Find My 'Cool

I'm not sure what manner of divine inspiration visited Mark and me when we started talking to Drew about going to daycare, but inspired we were. Instead of calling it daycare, Mark and I called it school (this is not a lie; the service is more a preschool/daycare hybrid than anything else). Drew found the entire concept of school extremely exciting and is eager to go. Of course, he can't quite say "school" and calls it "cool" instead, but really drags out the "oo".

He had his first taste of school last Friday. We had a free trial day at the facility and took advantage of it so I could leave as early as possible for a writing retreat this weekend. Drew had a blast. He happily waved good-bye to Daddy and got busy playing. Granted, he noticed about five minutes in that Daddy wasn't coming back and he was alone and this was not exactly OK by him. But after a couple minutes of crying, he shook off the disappointment because school was just that exciting for him.

He's in a room with other kids who aren't quite on the potty training ball yet, so as to keep their little minds collectively focused on moving forward in that area. Here's hoping peer pressure succeeds where stickers have failed. At any rate, he's looking forward to going back, which is nice.

On the other hand, he does seem to understand that going to school means the end of spending his days at home with Momma. So he's foregoing his nap. And climbing all over me while I work. And generally making a nuisance of himself as I try to transition my current DDJ responsibilities to my coworkers. While that is annoying, it is still sweet in its own way.

It's exciting, though, to see how happy he is about this change and how quickly he's taking to it. It's something a relief to me, too, that trained professionals in child education will be guiding his daily learning rather than me. One thing the past two years have taught me is that my skill set in education certainly does not involve any age under 14.