Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I'm at the Applebox with Rebecca, getting ready to flesh out my plot for my second National Novel Writing Month effort, which begins tomorrow. Eek. I know it will be fun but I'm concerned (in an OK way) that the 50,000 word goal will once again elude me. I do have a week in New York and a long Thanksgiving holiday planned this month after all. And jury duty, though maybe that will actually help. I do plan to go to as many write-ins as I can, I think that will help with the word count. And I have NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty's book (which I have yet to crack) as inspiration. (His inscription to me: "To Suzanne, This year we move into the promised land beyond 10K. The world needs your book!" Aw…) If you're wondering, it will be set in the same town as my last effort, but following a different character. My own little Peyton Place or Tales of the City (which I just started reading, and finding very inspiring as well).

I'm excited about doing the November novel thing this year, but other than that, tricks have been on the blah side. Maybe it's the post-improvement blues--not having any new big projects to accomplish is leaving my endorphins less stimulated or something. And we're in that trough of final details that I swore we would not wallow in--we really should touch up the paint, the artwork is still leaning up against the wall waiting to be hung, the last bits of décor are out of the garage but still in boxes in the craft room. Part of it is I haven't found the right shelving/furniture for the living and TV rooms, or curtains that we're replacing closet doors with. But I realize that even these last unfinished bits, small as they are, make me feel a little unsettled.

In even more mundane news:

Our sewer backed up on Thursday. I had taken the day off, hoping to have several pleasant hours of errands and relaxation in our gorgeous fall weather. Instead, I waited glumly and sans adequate internal and external hydration for the rooter guy, who was of course very late. He delivered the bad news that the drain runs directly beneath the cedar tree in the front yard and the roots have severely damaged the pipe. I did get quite the interesting view of the drain via their pipe cam, however. It cost us quite a bit to get the new clean-out installed, but M talked me out of the very expensive new pipe, which he thinks he can do himself for half the price. In the meantime, regular snaking appears to be in our future.

On the bright side, though it took hours, while waiting for the sewer assistance, I assembled all of the documents necessary to move the re-fi forward. Interest rates are still really low, so I'm hoping it will go through smoothly. Send good thoughts for a positive home appraisal--hope all of those improvements will help!

I had my toe cyst drained again, so my foot has been a little sore--should I worry that it's also a bit on the dark purple side? If it comes back again, I'll have to have surgery to fuse one of the joints together.

It's Halloween. It's lunchtime and people are already taking to the streets in costume, Death, an angel, clowns. M and I are meeting up with friends tonight and going dancing at a local club. Well, I'll dance, he'll watch and listen. We threw a festive office party yesterday, and it went very well, though it was more subdued than last year for some reason. I think lots of us are a little low energy around the office--it feels like it's been a long year and we did have a big show last week. I managed to pull together a vampire costume and received a number of compliments on my black wig. Maybe I'll don it again tonight, though I don't think it will stay on long.

OK, off to novel prep!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

City Visits

I'm in bed, under the covers, a northerly view of the Paris of the West before me. The screech of brakes is barely audible here on the 32nd floor. When the weather is clearer, the Golden Gate bridge, Coit Tower, Alcatraz, and the southern curve of the Bay are all visible from my two floor to ceiling windows. But in its teasing San Francisco way, much of the view is usually shrouded by night, fog, or a combination of the two.

As usual, staying in a hotel only confirms that cable TV is a wasteland. I couldn't stay on one of the 60 channels for any length of time last night or tonight. How sad is that? Though it was a tad amusing to watch "Pretty in Pink" in the bathroom mirror while primping for the day this morning.

I had a great Saturday in the city last weekend. M had a continuing education class all day, so I came down with him and whiled away the morning hours shopping in the Union Square neighborhood before friends joined me at the SFMOMA to take in the Avedon exhibit. We headed over to the Mission to see more art, plein air style in the form of murals, then dined on South Indian food at Dosa on Valencia. It was a long day, but it was such an energizing mix of activities.
Sunday was spent mostly on domestic chores, including washing clothes in our washer and dryer now settled on their handsome new platform, and getting ready for the show this week.

I drove down Monday morning, and am now I'm back in the big city, enjoying the experiences, though they're mostly limited to the universe of the hotel. I did get out and about early this morning, picking up a latte at my favorite organic coffee shop, sipping and walking around Yerba Buena Gardens with elderly Chinese Americans, admiring their dedication to exercise. It was a very good work day today, but I'm looking forward to going home. And going to sleep, it's a little past my witching hour…

Sunday, October 11, 2009


M is out with a friend at the cinema. His yellow legal pad with his novel notes is just a few feet away from me, lounging naked and inviting: Read me! But I can't give in to temptation. It's better and right that I'm surprised on November 30 when National Novel Writing Month is over and he shares the more "baked" version with me. At least, I hope he will. I do know that the odd recurring character in his story is modeled after our infrequent mailman, the one who maced Rex soon after we moved in, traumatizing him against mail carriers and their trucks everywhere. Well, M hasn't helped. He's driven into post office parking lots when Rex is in the car, laughing and encouraging him when our poor mutt freaks out at the sight of all those mail trucks.

But I digress. It was lovely meeting the other Pointy Pals at the Applebox today. I felt that writerish feeling again as I roughed out my own outline, that one I haven't had for a while. Later in the afternoon while walking Rex, I recalled that my very first career choice, I think the one that even predated librarian, was novelist. That pull has stayed with me for so long, you'd think I'd pay a little more attention to it.

In other not-so newsworthy news, I did think I was going to get a lot farther in the moving-back-in process this weekend than I did. There's really not that many boxes left in the garage to be cleaned and repositioned inside. But it's all in the details, isn't it? Yesterday I got sidetracked shredding all of my bank statement from a decade ago. They used to print my SSN on the statements, so I didn't feel comfortable just stuffing them into the recycle bin. The cheap shredder I picked up at Target kept jamming, and then it was amusing to scan the statements to recall my monthly rent and my paychecks from NYU and then later from Martha Stewart Living that seemed to increase/decrease at cross purposes. I also found a fairly substantial check to the husband of one of my friends from the NYU poetry program for some artwork, and I saved it from the shredder. For some reason it makes me feel like a true patron of the arts, as well as a participant.

While at the Applebox, I had my first bowl of soup of the fall season and was inspired to simmer up my own tonight, a lentil stew concoction. I'm out of practice, so it all turned into a pretty but similarly textured pot of carbs, unfortunately. But I have months of soup ahead of me, don't I? It's funny how much the season dictates consumption, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Weekend of Babies

Ry & My
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
How often do you see a post title like that from me, eh? I think it's a first.

M is sitting across from me in our now lovely if still teeny living room, "noodling around" on the guitar, picking out pleasant notes. Ah, it's quite the domestic scene. A good ambience for blogging. Since we still haven't found the old clicker and can't figure out how to get a new clicker to get the TV and DVD player communicating and therefore are left with just the laptop to watch movies on which is very unsatisfying and therefore may not watch anything at all tonight though we both really just want to zone out and means most likely that a new large flat screen TV is in the offing after all--hell, I might as well blog. Whew.

M, Rex, and I headed out Saturday morning to Chico for a tete a tete with the new charmer in our family, Myla. We had a fairly leisurely drive into the interior, as usual admiring the oaks and golden fields and rows of bow-stalked drying sunflowers on our way to the interior. We're both greatly enjoying our "new" home, which is done but for the details of hanging art, placing bric-a-brac, and the like, but was nice to get away from it for a bit.

Myla is indeed adorable to behold, peeking out at us from her Mobywrap swaddling between naps and nursing. The weather was fine, so after a bit of visiting, M and I took Ryan for a wander around downtown Chico. The National Yo-Yo Championships were being held (who knew there even was such a thing?) so we watched that for a bit, though their moves were a scoche unintelligible to me. Ry played photographer and snapped a few pics of M and me at the Stansbury Home, where we married lo these four-plus years ago.
Then we wandered along the main part of downtown, admiring the world's largest yo-yo, considered seeing the Yard Dogs Road Show at the El Rey but thought better of it when we found out the cover charge despite the promise of sword swallowers, shopped at a comic book store with a gaggle of other geeks, and rounded out our tour with a refreshing pause at the local root beer establishment (hello, 1995 called and wants their website design back!). We lugged a jug of the caramel colored bubbly back in time for a delish dinner, then crashed at the local Motel 6 with a number of yo-yo aficionados.

After breakfast and check-out the next morning, we reconvened at Mark and Glori's, where the Axtells of Redding joined us at lunchtime for even more family quality time and delish comestibles, with a little football thrown in. Ah, how I miss watching the tossing of the pigskin. On the way out of town, we stopped at Felicia's for a tour of her new digs for the year. Made me miss those relatively carefree college daze…And to pile on the babies in their Mobywraps: As we were driving home, M turned to me out of the blue and asked if my coworker had had her a baby. I bah-ed him off, saying she wasn't due for at least a week yet. Why would he even think of such a thing? And so of course when I got to work the next day, the first news I heard was that she was indeed delivered of a son on Sunday (sonday, hah). She left all in very good order, but it does mean a little more on the plates of those baby-free among us.

Fall is here, and I welcome it. I think it's my very favorite season, at least as it begins. It feels like the pause, the gathering, before something really beautiful blossoms, and I like that sense of pulling in before pushing out. It's as though anything could happen. What will it be?