Sunday, October 31, 2004

Dear Charlie:

Holy monkey, what a great day!

Now, I'm easy to please, but this was truly one of those God-blessed days that will stay in memory forever, even unto Alzheimer's. I had so much fun that I forgot to eat until after the game. Yes, folks, I got up at 7:00 a.m. and didn't eat until...ohhh...5:00 p.m. *sheepish* Needless to say, I was really hungry THEN. Heh.

Apparently, the Chiefs have gotten tired of playing football the old-fashioned way and have decided to break a bunch of records. Last week, we broke the rushing-touchdowns-in-a-single-game record. This week, with the Colts' help, we broke the total-combined-yardage-in-a-single-game record. The Chiefs and the Colts racked up 1,095 yards of total offense, breaking the prior NFL all-time record. How cool is that?

And all you wisenheimers who are rumbling about how the Chiefs defense should have prevented that record, look at the Colts' record and see how many OTHER defenses have allowed that much yardage to Peyton Manning! *grin*

Oh, and Tony Gonzalez caught his 500th pass. That was pretty cool.

Also, I'm LOVING the new anime look to the big Teletron thingie. I don't know if they showed it the same way on TV as they did in the stadium, but T. Gonzalez looks pretty damn sweet as an anime stud-muffin! Woo-hoo! Trent Green didn't look too bad, either. *grin*

Man, that game rocked. I have a headache and no voice from shouting at the top of my lungs for 4 hours straight, and I'm a little crashy from not eating all day, then eating a ton of chicken strips in about five minutes (before stopping abruptly as I remembered my stomach is still iffy), and I'm so damn tired I'm going to bed WAY early so I might be worth a buck tomorrow at work. Does life get any better??

Woo-hoo! *does a little dance*

45-35. That's just a cool score. Do you realize that the Chiefs have gained 69 first downs in the last TWO games? 36 last week and 33 this week? Unprecedented!

And we got to see Johnnie Morton do the worm in the end zone for the first time since last year! That never gets old. He just does it SO WELL. *smirk*

And I proved, once and for all, that I am NOT BAD LUCK! Woo-hoo!

Life...is good.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Dear Charlie:

Heh. Finished carving my pumpkins about an hour ago. One's nice and normal -- but upside down. The other one's the KC Chiefs logo, complete with arrowhead. It looks frickin cool lit up in the dark! Woo-hoo!

A couple of parents actually got out of their cars to comment. What a riot!

I'll count it a success. Yes, I took a picture. No, I probably won't put it up here. God only knows when I'll get it developed. The roll of film I developed for SmackDown in September had pictures from my car wreck in January.

Heh. I wouldn't hold your breath. *grin*

At any rate, I can't wait until tomorrow! Woo-hoo! Halloween at Arrowhead! How cool is that?

Friday, October 29, 2004

Dear Charlie:

I haven't puked today! Yay! *does a little dance* [since Sigge loves it so]

I'm not sure I really felt up to coming to work today, but I came in anyway. Too much to do to stay home. Two work friends and I had planned on lunch today, and I wasn't ABOUT to miss that, especially since one of those friends is leaving the company soon. *sniffles suspiciously* Yeah, I'll miss her like I would an arm. So, I couldn't miss lunch today, sick or no.

Plus, I had to finalize plans for the trip to Arrowhead this Sunday! Woo-hoo!

Happily enough, I apparently can't go ANYWHERE in town without bumping into someone I know. We go to Sweet Basil, a nice, tiny Italian restaurant on Main Street, for lunch today. I've never been there. In fact, I have only the vaguest memory of even hearing the name. At any rate, we decide to go there since it's easily within walking distance. I figure I can at least have soup if nothing else on the menu grabs my ill-stomached attention, right?

We order (chicken alfredo with spinach -- yum!) and sit around talking and eating like anyone should at an Italian restaurant, and all of a sudden, I hear a familiar voice. It's José, my conga-playing buddy from Woody's! He sometimes plays with Scott there, but I hadn't seen him for a LONG time. José always said to come by his restaurant and he'd make me something special, but I didn't know where he worked. Now I do! Yay!

He got one of my very few hugs (I'm not a touchy person, usually, but some people do get past the ol' handshake) and we chatted a moment before he went back to head-cheffing. Very nice. Made me feel good.

And the food was DELICIOUS. Of course, I barely ate half of it before my stomach started to rebel, but hey. I'll have lots for tonight and tomorrow, ne?

Anyhow, I'm glad I came in today. Good day today. My stomach's a little...rumbly...with malcontent, but if I can just keep lunch down for another half hour or so, I think it'll stay down for good.

So, here's to Friday, to bumping into old friends, and to Italian food when you're sick!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Dear Charlie:

Sick. Ugh. Pukey sick, even worse.

I apparently looked godawfully ill at work, as they sent me home. So now, I get to be sick at home. In a way, that's cool. But sick sucks.

However, I'm gulping down Gatorade and I'll try to eat some soup here in a little bit, as my stomach's finally settled down some. Until then, I'm watching Rose Red and playing some mahjong, both reading and writing my books and stories. *grin*

See, I can't even be home sick without multi-tasking!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Dear Charlie:

It's about time! Lordy! I've been trying to blog all day, but Blogger just wouldn't let me. *shakes head*

Anywho....

....

Shoot. Now I forgot what I wanted to blog about. Sheesh.

Oh, I remember! I'm going to the Chiefs game Sunday! Woo-hoo! Happy Halloween to me, ne?

*does a little dance*

I'm SOOO excited!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Dear Charlie:

I'm back, baby!

Woo-hoo! Ten pages last night, and I kept every damn one! That's better than the entire total on the weekend (9 pages, of which I only kept 5) and this just during Monday Night Football!

The Zone is back!

Sorry I didn't blog yesterday, but I was swamped at work, and I was definitely feelin' the Zone at home. *grin* Man, it feels good to have the words just pour out of me again!

I mean, you know it'll come back. You know it's not gone forever. But when it comes BACK after even a few days' absence and you realize how HARD you worked for even a few paragraphs just the day before....

Yeah. I'm feelin' it.

Oh, and by the bye, while I like Jake Plummer, it was lovely to see the Broncos get their butts kicked by the Bengals. No offense to the Bengals, but knowing they can beat Denver by 13 points makes me feel a lot better about that second division game at the end of the season....

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Special Update:

Okay, this is entirely too cool to leave as a comment.

My beloved Chiefs just DEVASTATED the Falcons to the tune of 56-10. They scored 8 -- count 'em, EIGHT -- rushing touchdowns against the #1 rushing defense in the League. This, my friends, is a new NFL record.

They racked up 540 yards of total offense. They held Atlanta's offense to a single field goal (their one touchdown was on a return). One of our running backs rushed for 130+ yards. The other got 90.

I think the phrase "kicked the ever-lovin shit out of 'em" applies here, folks.

Go CHIEFS!!!

Dear Charlie:

Oooh! Look at my Chiefs!!

I know, it's only half-time and anything can happen in the second half, but they're 28-3 at halftime, and Priest's already well over 100 yards, and the defense stopped Atlanta at the one yardline for 3 downs, making them settle for a field goal, and they've never threatened since! Hell, I'll take half a game!

Again, GutterBall is a happy, happy girl!

Of course, as I'm sure you can tell, it doesn't take much to make me happy....

WOO-HOO! Interception!! My boys! 15 seconds left in the half, and they get an interception!! *does a little dance*

ACK! Make that 35-3 at halftime! Wah-HOOOO!!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Dear Charlie:

Okay. I'm having a creatively retarded night. I wrote 6 pages and cut 3. I don't like the tone, and I'm not sure how to keep the main character in proper voice. Keeps being a bit sappy, and this character simply isn't sappy. It's pissing me off.

Worse, my beloved sister and I were just discussing our frustrations about not being able to find The Zone. I didn't admit I was feeling it, too. I kinda hoped that, since I actually WAS writing something, I wasn't creatively stunted. I was wrong. I read back over what I'd written.

It was merde. Pure and simple.

It's like the Creativity Nazi came along and smacked me over the head, shouting, "No Zone for you!" Damn Creativity Nazi.

So, I thought I'd just try writing on something else. That usually works. It didn't. So I surfed a few blogs. That usually helps. It didn't. Lyrics searches. No dice. Read several stories on Truckin'. Nada.

So, I played mahjong for an hour. Didn't help, but I did beat my old scores by a dumpload! Woo-hoo!

Needless to say, this is probably the best of the blood I've managed to squeeze from the turnip that is my brain tonight. How sad is that?

I'll be better tomorrow. It's been a long, LOOOOONG week.

Oo-ooo! I'm gonna play some Budokai! I haven't done that in WEEKS!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Quote of the Week:

I think this might well count as a motto:

"I think a plan's just a list of things that don't get done."

This comes in a movie where a bag filled with $15 million in cash is surrounded by a well of broken glass and two guys used a come-along and barbed wire as a torture device to get information. ROCK ON!

The Way of the Gun. I suggest, if you have a sensitive stomach or don't appreciate the very darkest sense of humor, you skip this one. Anyone else? *grin* Get in line, folks! This one's frickin' AWESOME!

But very bloody and very, very dark. Which makes GutterBall a very happy girl.

Heh. Here's another keeper from this flick:

"What are you gonna tell God when you meet him?"
"I was framed."

Killer music, too. Yes, GutterBall is one very, very happy girl.

Superfluous Sidebar:

Wow! I haven't had a good paper wad war in a looooong time!

That last volley was EXTREME. A good twenty or thirty little paper wads rocketing back and forth by the handful, most striking by sheer numbers. No real skill involved, just quick reflexes to duck and throw at the same time, to use all available furniture as cover, to grab that one stray before he does....

OH, SHIT! He's picking them up again! NO!!

*grin* Having a roommate kicks ass sometimes.

Dear Charlie:

Heh. Another quote struck me as I'm reading through....

Though she'd never know it, he was actually quite fond of her. That was, of course, the extent of his feelings toward her, as she well knew, but it was more than any of the other people had received from him. And, despite her current grumblings, she occasionally admitted he wasn't a complete beast.

Of course, she usually followed up that lukewarm compliment by reminding him that being a beast's ass wasn't much of an improvement.

Kinda struck me funny. *grin*

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Dear Charlie:

Tonight, I fended off a monster.

I shit you not, it was Spawn from Hell. I defended myself and my abode with nothing more than a spray can of Spawn Killer and an old, floppy boot. If they still gave commendations, I would collect mine with pride and minstrelize the story for future generations to marvel over.

Okay, it was really just a spider, but the little bitch was nearly two inches in diameter, pulsing on the wall like a malevolent, disincorporated heartbeat less than two feet from where I innocently and unknowingly washed my hands. Then I saw it. And it saw me.

And it SMILED.

Of course, that could have been the extremity of my terror talking, but I'd swear it KNEW, it UNDERSTOOD that I was there. Little bastard. So, I hosed it down with top-of-the-line spider killer. Oh, sure, it dragged two of its legs around a little awkwardly, but it survived for a good five minutes before I realized this Hellspawn wasn't going down without some weaponry. Chemical warfare simply wouldn't cut it against this...this...CREATURE.

So, I picked up a trusty old work boot, took careful aim at its weakened, but far from incapacitated body, and...

BOMBS AWAY!

The damn thing didn't even have the courtesy to splat. Two pounds of work boot, and it just kinda curled up and released a little bug juice. Egads. Monstrosity, I tell you.

At any rate, AFTER the evil was banished, Dave and his girlfriend showed up, and I proudly showed off my kill. Dave's enlightened reponse was, "Damn!"

Toldja it was big.

Of course, I wouldn't touch even the corpse with a ten foot pole, so poor Dave had to scoop it up in a paper towel and throw it away. *shrug* My courage only goes so far, and I think I exhausted all my resources by not screaming and pissing myself.

Dear Charlie:

No Woody's tonight. *scowls* I just remembered that Scott told us last week that he wasn't playing "next Wednesday". Bummer.

Mind you, I would probably still go for the pizza--it's to die for!--but there are about ten other things for which I need that $10-20, so I'd probably better treat this as a blessing and pay a little extra on a bill somewhere. *grin*

On another note, I feel obliged to report a public health crisis. Last night as Dave, his girlfriend, and I vegged in front of the TV, watching an old tape of Patton Oswald (sp?) and laughing our asses off, we all three nearly choked to death on Smarties. Now, we obviously didn't all choke at once, but the facts are clear.

Smarties are hazardous to your health, especially when combined with frank and direct discussion of the differences between Bob Ross's happy trees and that other, volatile, brooding German guy whose name I can't recall, complete with startingly accurate verbal depictions of both artists.

So please, folks, take action. Save yourselves. Take all appropriate caution when ingesting these tasty, yet addictive and highly dangerous little tidbits. Please realize that your friends, while remarkably helpful under usual circumstances, will be too busy pointing and laughing at your discomfort as you choke to death--I know I was!--to actually aid you in any resuscitation activities, so be prepared to pound yourself on the chest and hack until your eyes hurt to save yourself.

Smarties may well be the biggest threat to public health since the Black Plague, which destroyed a third of the population of Europe and crippled another third.

And for God's sake, don't try to choke them down with Coke! It only makes it worse!

Be warned, people.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Marvelous Sidebar:

Woo-hoo! The October issue of Truckin' is up! Yay!

And man, am I in good company. The inimitable BG's in there--I love how he intermingles the two aspects of his past until they're nearly indistinguishable--as is the brilliant Dr. Pauly with his gritty-but-witty portrayals of humanity at its best and worst. And Kristie, another newcomer like me, reminds us of a time we'd better never forget with aching prose and vivid imagery. And then, there's Sigge, everyone's favorite Norwegian novelist, who's hilariously serious treatise on how to be a shaman made me laugh out loud.

In other words, go check it out!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging...

...as soon as you go check out Truckin'! *big grin*

Dear Charlie:

HA! At least I'm not the ONLY person confused! Check this latest bit from the Tuesday Morning Quarterback:

As noted by reader Curtis Ruder of San Antonio, Texas, in the Kansas City-Jacksonville game, the time of possession was exactly 30:00 for both teams; both teams recorded 19 first downs, launched five punts and drew five penalties. This is the kind of hidden indicator that is essential to an insider's understanding of the game. Unfortunately, Ruder reports, "I have no idea what it means."

That's just what I've been saying! We aren't playing like losers (at least not ALL the time). So why are we losing??

Monday, October 18, 2004

Superfluous Sidebar:

If I didn't know better, I'd swear Tampa Bay threw the game. I mean, 4 turnovers is bad enough. But 4 turnovers on such crucial plays!

Ay carumba.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Dear Charlie:

I still can't figure it. I can't figure how some of the best defensive players in the league combined with one of the best defensive coordinators in history produce a 1-4 team.

It's driving me insane.

We should be kicking ass and taking names! My poor boys should be 5-0, even with a tough schedule! The Chiefs should reign supreme with a juggernaut offense and a brutal, larcenous defense!

But we're not. And I don't understand it. And the discrepancy is killing me!

What's the deal? And why can't we fix it? And why did we play like an unbeaten force to be reckoned with against Baltimore and like the Arizona Cardinals against Jacksonville!?

*hugs Chiefs* It can only get better, right?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Dear Charlie:

ACK! My boys lost! *cries* And I missed that last quarter to go to a baby shower! *cries harder* Kristi, ya know I love you, right? *grin*

At any rate, I'm finally back in town. Answered some e-mail, watchin some Smackdown, reading up on what happened in that last, crucial quarter. You know, catchin up.

So, not much to blog about tonight. I'll have more to say tomorrow.

Heh, Smackdown gets more amusing every week. Right now? A Battle Royale to find the #1 contender for the US title. *grin* That ring just isn't big enough for that many muscles! What a riot!

And yes, Luther Reigns--he of the lovely legs--is in the ring, pummeling away. *smirk* GutterBall is a very happy girl....

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Sidebar:

*blinks* I'm just reading over something I wrote, and I think this may well be the closest thing to a romantic thought I've ever written.

This wasn't anything like the relatively chaste kiss he'd stolen before. This was like tasting electricity, holding lightning in his hand, stroking his fingers over thunder. It filled him up, made it hard to breathe, and he couldn't get enough of it.

ACK! I think I'm getting soft! God forbid I should lose that edge of smart-assed hard-heartedness I so cherish.... Take thy beak from out my heart!

God save me from sap!

Dear Charlie:

I have a big weekend planned. Well, perhaps planned isn't the best word. Sketched is better. Yeah, I have a big weekend sketched. I know what I'll be doing...just not when precisely I'll be doing it. *smirk*

First, I'm taking tomorrow off to go to my beloved sister's house and see my dad, who's up from Mexico for a few days. Woo-hoo! Last time he was up, I got a set of maracas! *grin*

Then, it's down to my hometown to visit the very-pregnant-with-twins Kristi, my best friend since, oh, kindergarten? Yeah, around then. Her baby shower is Sunday and she's about six weeks away from safe delivery time, so this should be very interesting! She's just so CUTE pregnant! *Goku grin*

Technically, that doesn't sound like so much, but it's about 80 miles to my sister's house, then another 80 miles down to my hometown. Then, it's about 110 back home. Factor in the fact that I'm squeamish about girlie baby shower stuff and am only going because I love Kristi like a sister and would do anything for her (even singing at and being a bride's maid in her wedding, ye gods!), and that my three nieces are hilariously rambunctious, and you get why this is a busy weekend.

Plus, I plan on writing up a storm every chance I get. Good thing Kristi's doctor insists that she take a nap every day, ne?

At any rate, while I'll be around internet access and I'll have my laptop with me (I'd sooner leave behind a body part), I won't have MY internet access, so I may not blog until I get back in town. In that event, I wish you all a lovely October weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

"Submissions Update" Update:

Err...this just in:

Dr. Pauly over at Truckin' Blogzine [see link at right] very kindly accepted a short story of mine today for his October issue! Yay! Cannonballs -- actually short enough to be flash fiction, I think -- should be up for public viewing sometime this month.

The straight acceptance/rejection ratio has now risen to 2-1. Woo-hoo! I'm better than 50% on the season!

Dunno when the newest issue will be up, but I just wanted to do a little more Shameless Self Promotion -- *grin* -- and promote Pauly's blogzine, all in one fell swoop.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Dear Charlie:

Proof positive that you learn something new every day:

I love reading the Tuesday Morning Quarterback. This guy really nails all aspects of the game and his "Why are you kicking/punting??" jabs are usually hysterically right on. Plus, he came up with quirky cognomen for all the teams, like the Cleveland Tootsie Rolls, etc. I've added his link in my sidebar, but it won't show up until I republish, and that may not be today.

At any rate, here's just a nip from his latest article [http://nfl.com/news/story/7786742]:

"Baltimore kicking off in the fourth quarter, Nanticokes' returner Chad Morton ran toward the ball as it approached the sideline at the Washington 15. Morton deliberately stepped out of bounds, then reached back in to touch the rolling ball on the field. Brilliant! Kickoff rules specify that if a player who is out of bounds touches a live kick, the kickoff is declared out and the receiving team gets possession on the 40 -- regardless of whether the ball actually goes out. Morton knew that deliberately stepping out of bounds, then reaching back to touch the ball, would advance the Redskins' drive start from the 15 to the 40. Tuesday Morning Quarterback is constantly amazed that highly paid professional football players on special teams so often seem not to know the quirky rules of kicking plays. Morton knew."

I did not know that. *shakes head* This is why I love this guy. I mean, who just knows that off the top of his head??

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Submissions Update:

Okay, folks. Time to tally up the score.

One short story accepted and published. Woo-hoo!

One short story rejected, but quite nicely. Could be much, much worse. I was at least told that the imagery was good and memorable, even if not what the editor wanted at the time. I'll treasure that.

One short story anthology shit-canned after a 4-month wait, so no acceptance or rejection there. Yeesh. Four months.

One short story out there, somewhere, floating around in cyberspace to an e-zine that hasn't responded in 7 -- count 'em -- SEVEN months, even to the politely-worded request as to whether or not they even received the submission. I gave up on that one at the 5 month mark, but it's still kinda sadly amusing to mention. No acceptance or rejection there.

As near as I can figure folks, with straight acceptance/rejection ratio, I'm tied 1-1. However, as for submissions in general, I'm a sadly lacking 1-3. *grin*

Good thing I don't count a cancelled anthology and an incommunicado e-zine, ne?

Dear Charlie:

"And it's a fumble! Fumble-aya! Fumble-roosky!"

This quote from Necessary Roughness pretty much sums up my adored Packers last night. The poor guys. If it wasn't a fumble, it was an interception. SIX turnovers, and that's just the ones that stuck. Ye gods.

How Brett Favre managed to amass 338 yards in a game in which he threw 2 interceptions is anyone's guess. The man is a machine. Unfortunately, the machine just wasn't as finely oiled as usual last night.

But that's okay. Just because my two favorite teams are 1-3 and 1-4 in this first quarter of the season doesn't mean things can't improve. The Chiefs won last week on Monday Night Football, making a HUGE statement about their intent. The Packers did a lot of things right. They just did more things wrong.

All will be well. All will be well. And all manner of things will be well.

In the memorable words of Igor (pronounced "eye-gore") from Young Frankenstein, "Could be worse. Could be raining."

Oops. It is raining. *grin*

Monday, October 11, 2004

Sidebar:

Ah...Monday Night Football and Meat Loaf in the background....

Your every wish will be a wish that I will make come true
And if you want the moon I swear I'll bring it down for you
Let me into your heart

Believe me, baby, got your name carved on my soul
'Cause you're the only one that I'll give it to
Don't let 'em say that I'm a fool to act this way
'Cause if I'm crazy, I'm just crazy 'bout you!

Unfortunately, if Green Bay turns it over one more time, I may very well hang my head and cry. I love Tennessee -- I got to shake McNair's hand at the ProBowl in 2000, and that's just cool -- but it's KILLIN' me that GB is so far behind. Lordy!

Between interceptions and fumbles....

Heh, reminds me of the song stuck on my head earlier -- "Under Pressure". I've heard that phrase applied to Brett Favre more times tonight....

Hilarious Sidebar:

Dunno who this guy is, but he's absolutely pegged the situation.

First let me just say, in my defense, that it was early in the morning, the light was not good and I was not yet fully awake.

So, in all likelihood, the spider was not really the size of a Frisbee, it did not have blood-red fangs and it was not in the process of swallowing a whole, live squirrel.


But when you stumble groggily into the bathroom, snap on the light and are suddenly confronted with a black, eight-legged throw cushion staring down at you from the top of the shower stall, well, your mind can start playing tricks.


The first thing that crosses your mind when you go face to spinneret with a spider the size of a steel-belted radial is: This is not really the way I planned to go. Sure, living out your final years in a nursing home where the high point of your day is the diaper change is not that great. But it beats being a late-night snack for a hissing, steroid-enhanced arachnid the size of the governor of California.


The second thing that crosses your mind is: Are there any others? Given a flame thrower, a 12-gauge shotgun and a stout rolled-up magazine (National Geographics work best), you might stand a chance against one of these babies. But if its extended family is lurking under the toilet seat, plotting world domination, you may as well resign yourself to the fact that you're doomed to be a canape.


But I like to think that I handled the situation well, or at least as well as a situation can be handled that involves a spider the size of a manhole cover with a basset hound in its jaws. In fact, I did what any red-blooded American male would do in similar circumstances: I ordered my wife to come into the bathroom and kill the spider.


And, no, despite what it might have said in the police report that was filed after I made the 911 call, I was not sobbing at the time. My voice may have sounded a little high-pitched and strained, true, but I was not openly weeping, nor was I curled in a fetal position in a corner of the bathroom next to the toilet brush. (Why would I do that? There could have been another spider there.)


Again, in my defense, I don't think my wife ever got a good look at the spider. If she had, she never would have attempted to pinch the thing in a Kleenex and flush it down the toilet. Also, the spider might have been a trifle lethargic given the fact that it had just consumed an entire wild hog. If the thing had been fully alert, she could easily have lost an arm.


"This is the enormous spider you've been screaming about?" she asked. (Again, to set the record straight, I was not screaming. I was simply speaking emphatically in a somewhat agitated voice. There's a big difference.)


So, obviously, most of the credit in this early-morning, life-or-death struggle belongs to me. I held the spider at bay with nothing more than an aspirin bottle for protection until reinforcements arrived in the form of my wife and her tissue. (The next time weapons of mass destruction are discussed, I would definitely place Puffs on the list.) So, physically, everyone is fine. But emotionally … well, that's another story.


After the spider episode, my wife made herself a cup of coffee and sat down to read the morning paper. It was clear to me that she was deep in denial.


As for me, I stood in the bedroom for some time, trying to summon the nerve to pull on my pants.

Because you never know what might be lurking in a trouser leg.

But I bet it would go for a big, juicy steak.

- - David Grimes

HA! What a riot! I gotta give kudos to Daniel for sending me this a while back. I was cleaning out my "Keep a While" folder in my Outlook Inbox (isn't that kind of an oxymoron?), and it tickled me just as much now as it did when I first read it.

I understand, Mr. Grimes. I understand.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Dear Charlie:

Weird Monday, but aren't Mondays always a little weird?

First, the case I was so loaded down with settled out of the blue, so that's a HUGE burden off my shoulders. Woo-hoo! One less thing, right? And we've already done a lot of work on the next one, so it'll just be brushing up and getting it ready for trial. That, I can do.

Also, I got that bizarre story idea out, finally. It's not FINISHED, of course, but I got to the end of the plot idea. I can put it aside and go back to better things. Of course, dearest Jane will want to smack me because, instead of adding in my insight for my sci-fi trilogy that's about as far from romance as you can get and still have sex in it, I'm working on a young adult novel I'd started back in...oh...March?

I had a great idea for it, then found a contest that richly rewards the one book it chooses by publication and a decent advance. Seemed like a sign, you know? At the time, I wasn't worried about getting it done because I couldn't even send it in before October 1 and the deadline is like December 31. Now? Well, folks, it's October. Time to finish her off. Luckily, it's pretty short (especially compared to my monster trilogy, the shortest book of which is well over 400 pages).

Listening to "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie. God, is there a better, more true-to-life song?

This is our last dance
This is ourselves....
Under pressure

I just love it. Gets me every time. I can kinda see why Vanilla Ice (egads!) kyped the theme, if not the words. It just stays with you.

At any rate, back to the grindstone.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Funny Sidebar:

Well, it's not a Halloween flick, but it's definitely a classic. It's Payback, a Mel Gibson flick from back in '99, and it's one of those movies with a stellar cast of familiar faces, all of whom perform with gleeful viciousness. It's dark as hell, but I find myself laughing my ass off, just the same. Like this priceless quip:

Whore: [taps Porter on shoulder with whip] I've got a few minutes....

Porter: [turns away] So go boil an egg.

*snorts* He just says it so dryly -- half in disgust and half in utter disinterest. Priceless.

The whole point of the movie is that he wants what was taken from him -- $70,000. Everyone thinks he's after more than that, and they're all damn incredulous when he keeps correcting them. *grin* They try every dirty trick in the book to get this guy, and he just keeps bulling through, taking down those who oppose him though he would honest to God leave them alone if they'd just give him his $70 grand. What a riot.

Dear Charlie:

Ah, Football Day. Err...I mean SUNDAY. *grin*

I watched Smackdown last night, I'm watching Giants vs. Dallas today, and all is right in the world. *happy sigh*

I really ought to post my football picks for each week, but I'm sure I'd only embarrass myself. It gets harder and harder each year to predict winners. Free agency (which I have no problem with, mind you) makes for so much change in the roster that, unless your teams have the same basic line (like the Chiefs offensive front, for the most part), it's nearly impossible to extrapolate from year to year. In a way, it makes it more interesting. But it's a little frustrating sometimes.

But, it's time for some lunch, so I'm keeping this short. I kinda feel it necessary to balance out the ridiculous length of my last post. Ha!

Friday, October 08, 2004

100 Things You Didn't Know About Me

I've seen this on other blogs. Usually, the facts therein are pretty damn amusing, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. We'll see, I guess.

I honestly don't know how in hell I'll come up with 100 things to say about myself. Seems a little self-centered, if you ask me, but others have managed it. Surely, I can, too. I'll think of it as a challenge and try to make it as entertaining as possible while still telling the boring truth.

Warn you ahead of time, folks, this is really, REALLY long.


1. I know all the lyrics to all 6 verses of Don McLean's American Pie.

2. While I have an almost obsessive need to separate my computer files into neatly labeled subfolders until no extraneous, uncategorized documents clutter my "My Stuff" file on my laptop, I have absolutely no desire to organize my house in similar manner. The result is mass clutter.

3. I've been to 24 of the 50 states, and my goal is to at least drive through the rest before I die. I'm working on it, folks.

4. I've been to Germany, Austria, Cheq Republic, Italy, and Switzerland during a one-month class for my German minor in college. I spoke German for the vast majority of that trip.

5. While in Italy, I had a two-hour-long conversation with a total stranger on a park bench though she spoke no German or English and I spoke no Italian. Communication is a many-splendored thing.

6. I learned to write in katakana (one of three parts of the Japanese written language) so I could correctly write the names of the Dragonball Z characters I draw. I can recognize hiragana, though I don't write it as well as katakana. Now, I'm working on kanji.

7. I memorized "Jabberwocky" for a play audition my freshman year in college. Now, I can't forget it.

8. My fingers are ridiculously double-jointed, but I can't pop them. Go figure.

9. In the right pants, I can hook my foot behind my head, but I don't do it often because releasing the position usually pulls my hair, and I really hate that.

10. I'm such an insomniac that I sometimes have to meditate for two hours, just to fall asleep.

11. I read 9 books in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series in 5 days. I was sick with bronchitis, off work for the week, and felt so crappy I literally couldn't think of anything better to do.

12. I once wrote 37 pages, single-spaced, in a single day. That's around 25,000 words, folks.

13. I once annoyed the hell out of a too-handsy date by flagging him with football penalties. You'd be amazed how many apply: offsides, neutral zone infraction, holding, illegal use of hands, illegal touching, illegal man down-field.... You get the idea.

14. I make a much better friend than girlfriend.

15. I have a running list of reasons I'm glad I don't have kids. I'm currently on #384.

16. My hair started going grey at 16, though I didn't start coloring it until I turned 26. Actually, "grey" is somewhat misleading. My hair is either black or white, depending on which strand you pick. No shades in between.

17. I used to sing back-up in a local band. I also did a little rhythm with an egg shaker. I'm still occasionally recognized as the Shaker Lady, much to my chagrin, or the American Pie Lady. I'm not sure which is worse. Ugh, actually The Molly Bucket takes the cake, but that story is entirely too long to share.

18. In high school, I played B-flat clarinet, alto clarinet, and electric bass guitar. Outside of school, I also played saxophone, trumpet, flute, violin, and piano.

19. I've taken seven pottery classes at my local university. Two were for college credit; the rest were for "continuing education" -- ie., for the hell of it. If I wanted, I could probably make a case for a minor in art, but I already have two minors -- German language and psychology -- and I graduated 4 years ago with 30+ hours over the required curriculum, so I figure I'm good.

20. I know enough lyrics to enough songs that my music friends have dubbed me "The Teleprompter".

21. I have the most eclectic musical tastes of anyone I've come across. The only thing I can't bear to listen to is that bubble-gum pop crap popularized by Brittany Spears and her countless clones. I don't consider that music any more than I consider Ramen noodles fine cuisine.

[That's not to knock Ramen noodles, mind you. I've eaten more than my fair share, and they are the Average Joe's best friend between paychecks.]

22. I once played mahjong for eight hours straight.

23. I often forget to eat, especially when I'm enamored of some new knowledge interest.

24. Halloween is my favorite holiday, hands down. Fourth of July comes closest, but it's still a far second, and it's only that close because of the potential for explosive damage.

25. I seriously considered going into the Army right out of high school and becoming an explosives specialist to have entrée into the Bomb Squad. Too bad the Army frowns on a bad knee and flat feet.

26. My high school English teacher once asked us students to choose a memorable line from Shakespeare's Hamlet, memorize it, and spout it in class. I picked, "Oh, what heinous speed to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets." She wasn't amused.

27. I have good enough throwing aim to kill a dime-sized spider from across a 30-foot room with a hurled shoe.

[Hey, we arachnophobes have to work within our means.]

28. I have a decidedly juvenile crush on Luther Reigns, a WWE Smackdown wrestler, because he has the most beautiful legs I've ever seen on a man in perfect proportion to the rest of his incredibly gorgeous body.

29. I actually liked the movie Freddy vs. Jason, though I couldn't care less if the ridiculous teeny-boppers lived. I was rooting for the monstrosities.

30. People who know me well are continually surprised at my ability to be practical.

31. I was once bet $20 that I couldn't remain silent for 10 hours straight. I won the bet, then continued the silent treatment for another 2 hours, just for spite.

32. I have two separate and distinct voices -- a speaking voice and a phone voice. Even my beloved sister didn't recognize my phone voice the first time she heard it. I've been told on several occasions that I should have a 1-900 line.

33. I once won free tickets to a local haunted house by spewing 30-seconds of curse-free invectives at a hapless local DJ over the phone on-air. That's what they get for having an insult contest. Everyone else had to be so heavily bleeped that it was pretty pointless. This spew of insults culminated in "You would be a pariah on the Island of Misfit Toys". For some reason, that really, really cracked the DJ up.

34. I love every song I've ever heard by Meat Loaf.

35. I have enlarged pupils, making me incredibly sensitive to light. However, they also give me pretty good night vision.

36. I hand-painted the Chiefs logo on an old field helmet. That helmet now has 8 very famous signatures on it, and I am always on the look-out for more.

37. I and my (now-ex) boyfriend won a free trip to the Pro-Bowl in Hawaii. As if that wasn't amazing enough, the day before the game, we went to a practice session, bumped into James Hasty's entire and incredibly wonderful family, and got to go down on the field, shaking hands, taking pictures, and getting signatures. We, of course, grinned like star-struck idiots the entire time. One of the more mind-blowing moments of my existence....

38. I have all of Stephen King's books except Cycle of the Werewolf and the two latest additions to the Dark Tower series. They take up an entire bookshelf in my house.

39. I got my nickname, GutterBall, by being the only person I know to bowl 6 straight gutter balls in the same game in which I threw 3 strikes.

40. I am inordinately (and unfashionably) fond of the art of war -- strategy, skill, instinct, insight, reflex, bloodlust, remorse, life and death, study and reaction, form and function, weapons and hand-to-hand, the very mindset therein.

41. I have a knack for mimicking accents. The longer I speak with someone with a heavy accent, the more likely I am to accidentally pick it up.

42. When traveling abroad, I feel it polite to know at least a few common customs and traditions so I don't offend any more people than absolutely necessary. Again, people who know me well and know the solid core of spite lurking under my genial, easy-going nature are often surprised at this level of diplomacy and courtesy.

43. I like to keep people guessing. Predictability is a small death.

44. I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks. I do, I do, I do, I do believe in spooks. Or something, anyway....

45. I am infinitely more likely to turn on my radio than my television.

46. I do not watch reality TV. Except for Last Comic Standing, and only because...hey, it's comedy.

47. I love the term "The Governator". It just stays with me.

48. Steak is God's greatest gift to mankind.

49. I have loved and lost a legion of pets -- cats, dogs, hamsters, mice, rabbits, birds, fish, horses, calves, etc. -- and I still think steak is God's greatest gift to mankind. I have no problem eating something with a face. After all, fruits and vegetables are plant ovaries and eggs. Now who's eating gross stuff?

50. I'm convinced that "O Holy Night" can be both the most hauntingly beautiful and the most painful song ever performed.

51. I'm equally convinced that this is the most self-aggrandizing exercise to which I've ever been privy. I'm a little ashamed to continue it, but I promised myself the full 100. Sorry, folks.

52. I taught myself to juggle in high school. It seemed like the thing to do at the time.

53. I sometimes have dreams so real that I wake up with lingering, physical side effects.

54. I like to chew gum. A lot. It helps me keep my mouth shut at inopportune times.

55. Coca-Cola is my favorite multi-function product. It tastes great, it'll strip the wax off your windshield if you ran your car through the automatic wash, and it degreases an engine faster than most professional cleaners on the market.

56. I don't like dresses. I don't like pantyhose. I don't like fixing my hair. I don't like make-up. I don't like dress shoes. If I had my druthers, I'd wear jeans, a t-shirt, a ponytail, and my Chiefs hat for the rest of my life. Too bad I work in a law firm.

57. I played every sport my school offered -- except football, though not for lack of begging -- at one point or another. Ironically enough, football is the only sport I still like.

58. I've made doodling both an art form and a way of life.

59. I'm nearly as eclectic in my taste in movies as I am in music. However, I can honestly say I've never watched a porno.

60. I can touch my nose with my tongue.

61. I think casual cruelty is both more common and more horrible than anything in the world, perhaps because of its off-handed nature.

62. I love baking. It's one of my few girlie habits.

63. Some day, I want either a Great Dane or a British mastiff as a companion. Big dogs rule. Small dogs are a waste of both fur and air.

64. I love Vin Diesel's voice. He could read stereo instructions, and I would listen for eternity.

65. 2000 was the luckiest year of my life. Not the happiest, per se, but definitely the luckiest.

66. Lying in a pasture and staring up at the stars is one of the best ways to waste time I've ever found.

67. I grew out of a poison ivy allergy and into seasonal allergies.

68. My best friend and I used to go road-tripping on the gravel roads around our home town, wait until no one was around, then scream at the top of our lungs, just because we could.

69. I think the human mind is capable of things of which we can't even conceive. Telepathy, telekinesis, self-healing...you name it. Placebos can cure cancer. A terrified father can lift a car off his child. A wife can feel when her husband or children are in danger. Etc.

70. Gelatinous is a funny word. It's just fun to say. Gelatinous.

71. I don't like feet. I think flip-flops should be outlawed.

72. Nothing in the world is more beautifully dangerous than an electrical storm.

73. I have better than average reflexes. This isn't hubris; it's fact. The doctor told me so.

74. While I'm not afraid of anything but spiders, I'm a ridiculously jumpy person.

75. For someone who doesn't do too much girlie stuff, I love arts and crafts. I like making stuff with my own two hands. I like quilting, cross-stitching, making cloth wreaths, wall paint techniques, woodworking, that kind of thing.

76. I really, really don't like to cry. I do it as rarely as humanly possible.

77. I tend to keep most people at arms' length.

78. I can talk to perfect strangers as easily as to my friends.

79. My hair is a good 5 inches longer when I straighten it.

80. I love sleeping with my windows open. I love the smell of night.

81. I have so many books that I don't have enough shelves to unpack them all. I love books. I love reading. I love the written word.

82. Paper fascinates me. I love the weight, the texture, the sound, the sight. I love different sizes and colors. Lined and unlined. Newsprint and résumé quality. Typing paper and construction paper.

83. I worship classic cars. Mustangs, Chargers, Barracudas, Camaros, Corvettes, Novas, Chevelles.... Muscle. Rolling iron. Drool.

84. While I can quote entire scenes from movies I've only seen once, I have the maddening tendency to forget important things like anniversaries and birthdays and appointments.

85. I am not a touchy person. I don't like people who hug on first acquaintance. I don't kiss on the first date. Or the second, usually. I'm the friendliest person you'll come across, but keep your hands to yourself unless you're only offering a handshake.

86. Rain is quite possibly the most powerful aphrodisiac known to man. At least, in my humble opinion.

87. If you've never stood in the path of a herd of stampeding cattle with only a big stick for protection, you've never truly lived.

88. I think this is worse than one of those internet surveys. Ye gods.

89. While I don't particularly have a sweet tooth for candy or chocolate, I love sweet food. I like sweet barbeque sauce, sweet spaghetti sauce, just about anything teriyaki, sweet wine, etc.

90. I like watching other people play video games. I don't like playing much. While I'm pretty damn good at fight games (I particularly love playing DBZ Budokai, both 1 and 2), I suck at just about everything else.

91. I've been known to intentionally neglect my houseplants, hoping they'll die so I don't have to tend them anymore. Works great until Dave comes along and waters the damn things.

92. I don't like phones. I especially don't like my phone. I most especially don't like my phone ringing at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning when I'm trying to sleep in.

93. As I know where I'm going when I die, I have no interest in extreme survivalism. I wouldn't start eating my fingers to keep from starving if I were trapped on a deserted island. I wouldn't give in to a rapist if he promised not to kill me. That kind of thing. However, I would live forever just to spite someone and screw up said someone's plans, so I pity the fool who takes me hostage for any reason.

94. I have never tried any illegal drugs, unless you count the time I got drunk before my 21st birthday. In fact, I've never even tried a prescription drug stronger than naproxen sodium.

95. I've broken both wrists, the tip off my elbow, my kneecap, countless fingers, and two toes.

96. I was in a school bus that rolled over at least twice, if not three times, down a ravine.

97. I have naturally good aim with a rifle. My dad used me to set his .22 sights several times. I can't take credit for this; I didn't practice it. It just is.

98. I still pray almost every night, a habit from childhood, and several times during the day. However, I cuss like a drunken sailor.

99. My youngest niece only truly recognizes me if I wear my hair in Indian-style braids with my black Chiefs hat.

100. Perfect vision is 20/20. Legally blind is 20/400. My vision at last count was 20/1000. I'm legally blind by 2 ½. Thank God for contacts, ne?

Dear Charlie:

Egad! Just a quickie here, as I'm busy as hell at work and am blogging during lunch, when I should probably be eating because I can GUARANTEE I'll forget to eat tonight!

Still writing madly on the supposed-to-be romance that's turning more into a study on rivalry with every paragraph. It's lots of fun, though! Trash talk, battle, blood and bone, little more trash talk, the difference between rivalry and hatred, the difference between rivalry and friendship.... That kind of thing. Over 100 pages now, single-spaced. Dammit.

I also had a revelation about a detail in my sci-fi trilogy. I'd never explained where a certain frequently-mentioned implement came from, and it struck me as I lay in bed one morning, cursing at my alarm clock. I know what it is, who developed it, what it's made of, etc.

It's pretty damn nifty and the PERFECT addition to a science fiction piece that's been mostly aliens and battles and sex up 'til now. *grin* Well, not entirely true as I got into a little bit of culture, some android physiology and programming, and quite a bit of depth on actualizing the body's energy output into visible, tangible attacks. *grin* Been watching too much anime, to be sure, but it did get me thinking....

At any rate, I gotta run because I DO have to eat before going back to work. Overtime is great on the paycheck, but bad on the body. I'll likely be at work until around 10:00 tonight (gotta love those 12+ hour days), then go back in from 7:30 to probably 6:00 tomorrow. Again, looks great on the ol' bank account, but I'm gonna be one pissy, tired girl come Sunday morning!

Just in time for football to cheer me up, ne? Though the Chiefs have a bye this week, there are a few other games I can't wait to see, so that's good. Football always cheers me up!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Dear Charlie:

Woo-hoo! I finally got my Meat Loaf Welcome to the Neighborhood CD! Yay!

Those were days of roses
Poetry and prose
And, Martha, all I had was you
And all you had was me
And there was no tomorrow
As we packed away our sorrow
And we saved it for a rainy day....

God, I love this CD! And I'll get to listen to "Where Angels Sing", which wouldn't play on my old tape because it was so worn out. That's one of those songs that just gets ya where it hurts! Picture Meat Loaf's oh-so-distinctive voice and a slow but driving gospel beat, backgrounded by a choir....

I got my ticket in my hand
I know my price is paid in full
No man can stop me
Their words won't sting ya
No dreams will haunt me
Where angels sing

I get so weary of this troubled road
Unlock these chains and gently
Rock me home

And...

Where time means nothing
No hustle, no one rushing
No dark of night, no hate or spite
No wrong or right, no day or night
No towns [no towns!]
And no cities [no cities!]
No pain [no pain!]
And no pity [no pity!]
Where hunger is no longer
And a good man....

Just gets stronger....

God, I really, really love this CD. Can't wait to get home and listen to it in full!

Funny Sidebar:

At least I think it's funny....

If anyone was curious over the OTHER Moebius strip crack in the other story -- you know, the one that had 4 out of 5 remarkably intelligent people scratching their heads -- here goes:

"And her inventiveness? Well, that went without saying. Sake could think her way to the other side of a Moebius strip."

Heh. Makes me snicker every time I read it. There's just something about an obscure mathematical reference in the midst of an otherwise perfectly literary work....

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Dear Charlie:

I don't usually put samples of my own writing on this blog (other than the few character haikus and some song lyrics), but I had to share this little bit. I don't know why, but it cracked me up something fierce!

"If he didn't know better, he'd swear the man actually had a three-dimensional personality underneath that Moebius strip of happiness."

Ha! I can only hope more people know about Moebius strips these days....

The last time I made a Moebius strip joke in a story, four of the five people who read it just kinda blanked out on me. *sigh* Though the one person who DID get it joked back that he "wasn't sure about the Moebius strip argument because the debate all seemed to be one-sided".

HA!!

Also in this little tale I'm weaving (far away from the tale I'm SUPPOSED to be weaving, of course *sheepish*), I have some lovely trash talk. This little exchange comes after one guy gets just SMACKED down and has the nerve to be a smart-ass about it.

Fighter 1: "Tough talk. It would be more effective if you weren't flat on your back."

Fighter 2: *snorts* "I don't have to stand up to look down on you."

Ouch! That's an Old School burn!

Wait, didn't I suggest this story would probably be a romance? *wicked grin* Well, there is a chick in here somewhere. Now, where did I put her...?

*sigh* I tell ya, folks. I just can't write romance. I guess I'm just not girlie enough to pull it off. I'd much rather write about fighting or football or fu--...errr...um....

*sheepish* Well, you get the idea. *blush*

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Dear Charlie:

Classic line:

Doc: He's a hermaphrodite.

Cop: Think of the possibilities.

Doc: Yeah. You could be impotent and frigid, all at the same time.

HA! That line slays me! The Prophecy rules!

Monday, October 04, 2004

Marvelous Sidebar:

WOO-HOOOO!!!

Chiefs WON! They beat BALTIMORE, a well-known defensive giant! I'm so stinkin happy right now, I could...could...well, I dunno, but I'm in-frickin-credibly HAPPY!!!

*hugs Chiefs*

That's my boys!

1-3! 1-3! Not 0-4! We're 1-3!!

Dear Charlie:

Yeesh! I didn't blog all weekend! Shame on me!

But I had good reason. This, my friends, was a baking weekend. Mind you, I didn't bake steadily, 24/7 all weekend, but it was a close thing.

I got up early Saturday and read Rose Madder, one of my favorite Stephen King novels. This was a huge relief for me. If you've been peeking at my beloved sister's blog, you'll know we've been agonizing over whether or not we'll be able to read other people's stuff without a jaded eye anymore. Thankfully, I can say that, while third person omniscient POV is no longer my favorite to read, I can still swing it now and then. *grin*

At any rate, by about noon, it was time to bake. I made my mom's secret-recipe sugar cookies. Now, all humility aside (which I can do because I didn't make up this recipe, though I use it almost religiously), these are the best sugar cookies in the world. Simple as that. The Best.

But, I made a double batch, so between chilling the dough and hunting for my favorite Fall Leaf cookie cutter, not finding it, and having to run to Wal-Mart for another (only to discover that unless it was Halloween or Christmas, no seasonal cookie cutters were in stock), the baking did take most of the afternoon. I also had company until evening, so that kinda took up some time, too.

And I forgot to eat. *sheepish*

Anyway, after I was done baking, I sat back down for some more Rose Madder. Sunday, I managed to get up a little later (I LOVE sleeping in!), then got to work frosting the bazillions of maple leaf shaped cookies I'd baked the day before. Okay, maybe not a BAZILLION, but definitely over 9 dozen. That's a lot.

Plus, I had a Dungeons & Dragons campaign at 4:00, so that took a big chunk out of the day, too. But, it only took me about 4 hours total to frost all those maple leaf cookies in various fall colors. They look quite pretty spread out on a dish in the office kitchen, too.

*smirk* Of course, they won't look pretty for long. They're usually gone by about 2:00!

Friday, October 01, 2004

Dear Charlie:

I should probably be ashamed of myself. I just spent the last hour reading up on Japanese pottery, rather than working. *sheepish* Worse, I'm gonna waste another several minutes blogging about it!

But I honestly just got on-line to look up one little thing about sake, which fascinates me though I've never tasted it, and kinda...got sidetracked by the rich tradition of shuki, the pottery that should accompany any true sake experience.

Now, I've taken enough pottery classes to have a minor in the craft, if I wanted to push the issue with the college. I've made plenty of RAKU pottery -- just ask my beloved sister, who has been plagued with both RAKU and high-fire pottery from me for years -- and I love the whole process.

With high-fired pottery, you blast the hell out of your creations for, like, 13 hours, then require a good day for the kiln to cool enough to open the doors without cracking the pottery. With RAKU, you fire a piece for about an hour and a half, drop it in a closed container of shredded newspaper or sawdust, etc., for another half an hour, then dunk it in a bucket of water and call it good.

It's instant gratification, baby. I love it!

At any rate, upon reading about the craft of making tokkuri and guinomi (flasks and cups), I felt the ol' pottery ape jump right back onto its accustomed spot on my back. I want to take the pottery workshop class again and make my own shuki. I think drinking my first taste of sake out of my own, hand-made guinomi, pouring from my personally crafted tokkuri would just about leave me in ault of the whole process.

Not that it would take much, of course. Hell, just knowing the Japanese words for these implements makes me pretty damn happy. *grin*

At any rate, if I can scratch up enough blunt, I may take my beloved pottery class again in January and make dozens of sets of my own shuki with which I'll plague my family and friends. I can already see myself carving in katakana, hiragana, and kanji as I used to carve in the Chiefs arrowhead symbol, playing with glazes and silts, and dinking around with shapes until I find just the right one. I love throwing pottery on the wheel, and this gives me the perfect excuse to blow another $275 on another semester of enjoying the hell out of myself.

Err...if I can afford it....

It's a long time to wait, but as fast as this year's gone already, January will be here before I know it and I won't have saved up enough. *smirk*