Lady Crumpet's Armoire


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November 01, 2002

A happy announcement from one

A happy announcement from one of Scott's former colleagues, now in Germany:

Lena Marijke Gschwend (sorry, no pictures yet!)
Born on 10/28/02, 7:02pm, 3800 gramm, 51cm.

Mom and Daughter are pretty tired - as is Daddy - but they are doing just fine.

Off to Park Slope tonight with the gals for a well-deserved round of margaritas. Mick's poor cat Geoff was put to sleep this week, so we're going to mix it up with girly dishing, trying to figure out men and their baggage (ha!) and toasting the memory of a dear departed kitty.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:38 PM |

November 05, 2002

Baby's Named A Bad, Bad Thing

I can't help if it seems all my friends are having babies. But this was too damn funny to pass up. Odd names are fine for one's pets, but one's children? And why is it people are giving their animals human names and their children animal names? Warning: not to be read whilst eating or drinking. (Thanks to Orchid at The Daily Dose for the link.)

Yours, &c., LC at 01:55 PM | | Comments (4)

November 06, 2002

If only I could have

If only I could have stayed in bed, as I did on Monday (on a rare sick day - and yes I was actually feeling unwell). I had a sinking feeling going into these midterm elections that any one race would send the Senate back the other way. I don't know why Democrats are surprised. You have to demonstrate that you stand for something, that you offer something different than the opposition - give people a reason to vote for you, and not just rally for the sake of bipartisan unity because you're afraid of the other side accusing you, wrongly, of treason. And people should not cling to the candidates who prey on fears about homeland security at the expense of civil liberties, gun control, corporate oversight, reasonable medical care, abortion rights. All of us who couldn't be bothered to vote because "it doesn't matter" - well, then it really doesn't matter what we think, does it?

Let's just have it out in the open, a formal two-tier system, say. There are voters, and non-voters. Voters get all rights and privileges thereto, and the non-voters will just have to scrabble for what they can get.Voters can get dibs on the good stuff, like a voter tax credit, parking spaces right near the mall entrance, season tickets for a favorite team, or opting out of the draft. Non-voters should just start packing for one-way trips into the streets of Baghdad, since the Constitution is wasted on you. Don't pass go, don't collect your two hundred bucks. We can make time to watch others humiliate themselves for entertainment on national television, we can spend hours online finding all kinds of fun inanities and chatter idly about whether Winona should have been prosecuted, but we can't be bothered to punch a few holes in our ballots and switch a lever for the candidates we hope will remember to represent their constituencies.

Poor Zeebah will choke when she reads this, but if I seem to be harsh and emphasizing the "we are losers" stance, it's because I'm on the list of shame too: I didn't vote. Doesn't matter that I'm not someone who thinks one's vote is irrelevant - the count for me versus that indifferent person is the same. Zero.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:48 PM |

November 07, 2002

And now, back to our program

Ok, NaNoWriMo is going sloowly for me. I think I've made it to 1350 words. Must get a move on! It doesn't help that my project is officially overdue - thank goodness my prof is tolerant of me. Must finish that so I can write like a fiend this weekend.

In the meantime, lots of British treats! My absolute favorite place in New York for a good cuppa is Tea and Sympathy. It is tiny, you are cheek by jowl, and Nicky, the tart-tongued (though not always!) proprietor with flowing silver locks, won't take any guff if your party is incomplete or if you wave your silly cellphone about. Oh, and the tea - divine! This isn't white gloves at the Ritz tea. This is someone's really cool mum's sort of tea. Jen introduced me to it, and we've done the full tea with scones and clotted cream and sandwiches. We've also had brunch - the Welsh rarebit's scrumptious.

Next door is their carryout shop where you can stock up on teapots and souvenirs and Brit candies - they even have Union Jack contact lenses. Next door to that is A Salt and Battery. (There's also an East Village location.) Amazingly, have only been in there once and that was to split a fried Mars bar with Jen. And yes, it was bloody good.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:54 PM | | Comments (1)

Good Thoughts

Scott is out on the academic market and is now going through the hoops of the interview process. Please send some positive vibes his way. Good luck sweetie! I miss you.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:44 PM | | Comments (3)

November 08, 2002

Gratuitous Plug

A friend of mine is involved with Incamail, a just-launched, free webmail service with a patented twist. You create multiple, live email addresses under the same account. Your email is then sent directly to the inbox for each specific address - which means your messages are sorted automatically. It's extremely easy to use, there's serious spam control and virus protection, and you get 6 mb of space.

I've already set up my own account, including an address for any Crumpet-mail, and I get nothing out of this except the chance to tell you about it. :)

Yours, &c., LC at 10:50 AM |

November 10, 2002

6,186 words

I know, piddly for you folks for whom writing comes as easily as breathing. But if I'm gonna plaster NaNoWriMo's sticker on my site, I had to get cracking. My first late night for the cause: got going around midnight last night to get to around 3,000 - I stumbled into bed by 3 am. Wrote up a storm earlier this afternoon when I should've been working on stuff for school. It's complete drivel, I've already resorted to finding and replacing all my contractions (for example "Isn't this fun?" becomes "Is not this fun?" but that's not a sentence in my novel because nothing fun is going on right now for me or the characters). Also in desperation I've quoted a song lyric and started on my Acknowledgments. Lastly, I just bought one of the T-shirts, so if I'm going to take any pride in wearing it, I must slog on.

I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet but NPR just aired a segment about NaNoWriMo. I'm going to my first meeting of fellow writers tomorrow night, which I think will be good for inspiration, or at least commiseration, because I know I'm not the only one here on the isle of madness. Won't be able to stay too long because I'll still have the train ride home, but that will be a good opportunity to continue with the writing. And now I'd better get cracking, because even blogging is time not spent on the Way-Beyond-Not-So-Great-Never-to-Be-Published-Let-Alone-Viewed-By-People-I-Know-American Novel.

And for your information, this post is exactly 267 words.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:11 PM | Writing & Language

November 12, 2002

8,026 words

Yeah, yeah, pathetic. Go write your own bit of drivel then, why don't you.

Hello Erin, Olga, Navah, Lauren, Selli, Willow, fellow NaNofolk. We had a lovely time last night with dinner and coffee, hanging out in Union Square and comparing ways to up one's word count. I'm not as square as I seem, really. It was good to meet actual people - I feel more committed, and buoyed by the enthusiasm for this completely ridiculous artificial exercise that may just take most of the fear out of writing for me. If I'm stuck for ideas, I'll be sure to work in cabbage, a pirate, and/or a ninja. We're in this scheme together, thank goodness!

Yours, &c., LC at 12:40 AM | Writing & Language

Two For Tuesday

1. Hershey's Kisses: with or without almonds? Both.
2. Wizard of Oz: Scarecrow or Tin Man? The Tin Man. He's much more earnest and sweet.
3. Meat eater or vegetarian? I'm an omnivore.
4. Buy books or borrow them? Both, though I'm trying to borrow more than I buy.
5. At the bank: ATM or human teller? ATM - it's too expensive to deal with a live person!
6. Oil or gas (or other) heat? I have no idea; probably gas.
7. Pen or pencil? Usually pen.
8. Drive or use public transit?
Both, but mainly public transit. I love that you don't need a car to get around the city, though cars are good for road trips and toting things and gaggles of people.
9. Who IS James Bond: Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan (or any of the others in between)?
Sean Connery is, was, and forever will be James Bond. He alone captures Bond's ruthlessness and calculation, while at the same time presenting Bond's devastating charm. He's not some pretty, poncey nancyboy selling brands of vodka and cars and watches. My other Bond, though a somewhat distant second, is Timothy Dalton. Serve him up for breakfast, please.
10. Your ideal breakfast: full (bacon/sausage, eggs, pancakes, etc) or continental (bagels, muffins, fruit, cereal)?
Ah. I love breakfast. Between breakfast, brunch, and tea life would be a dream. Full on breakfast, ideally with fresh bread, sweet butter, whole milk, serious bangers - I'm not so keen on the baked beans and tomatoes of the traditional English breakfast. But pancakes or french toast, bacon, eggs scrambled with cheddar, crispy, flavored potatoes...bliss. One of the most decadent breakfasts I've ever had was at the Flying Biscuit down in Atlanta. Banana bread french toast, stuffed with cream cheese and topped with slices of banana and maple syrup. Scott and I each ordered one, but we should've gone in on one plate together. It was so divine, we went home and passed out from all that brunchy goodness. I even have the recipe, but I don't know if I could ever attain that level of nirvana again.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:42 AM | Memes | Comments (3)

November 14, 2002

2003 Neil Finn Tour Dates!

Time to start planning for some time off at the end of January.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:00 PM | Music | Comments (3)

November 15, 2002

Hmmm

I'm on the mailing list for Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day. I've noticed that since Election Day, Words of the Day have included "debacle," "Barmecidal" (providing only the illusion of abundance), "vulnerable," "swan song," "lachrymose," "regurgitate," and today's word, "kaput."

Yours, &c., LC at 11:03 AM |

November 16, 2002

11,770 words

Okay, so I just need to roughly double that by the end of the weekend. Ha!

I think it would be a wonderful job to be a lexicographer - one who writes, edits, or compiles a dictionary. A new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is just out, and it includes terms like "Klingons," "Jedi knights," and "go commando." Happily, Helen Fielding's added her own contributions: "singleton" and "smug married" from Bridget Jones's Diary. In a recent NY Times article, Angus Stevenson, one of the coauthors, brings up details from the world of lexicography:

He said the detective work made the job particularly interesting, though it might not be for everyone. "Obviously the majority of language references is not made up of fun phrases like 'go commando,' and we spend a lot of time arguing with equal vehemence about things that would seem extremely obscure to average people," he said.
He brightened at the recollection of one of them. "The verb 'to text' " he said. "That's the kind of thing that lexicographers get very excited about. 'Oh, they're using "text" as a verb'? We love that sort of thing."
I love that sort of thing, too.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:20 PM | Writing & Language

November 18, 2002

Didn't sleep well. Scott's away

Didn't sleep well. Scott's away on another interview. He comes back tonight and flies out tomorrow. We're staying at a hotel near the airport so we don't both have to wear ourselves out traveling to and fro.

Our upstairs neighbor is a retiree. Nice, keeps to himself, as do we. He walks around his apartment constantly; we can hear the creaking of his floor/our ceiling. I'm not sure when he sleeps - I've pulled all nighters and hear him throughout the night, walking around. I got to bed around two this morning, and there he was, treading away. I wonder sometimes if he would still walk around so much if I wasn't there to hear it.

Another instance of librarians in the media. There's a tv ad for T-Mobile, a cell phone service with Catherine Zeta-Jones currently hawking its wares. A couple is going through the car wash in their behemoth SUV, and the guy is mis-singing the lyrics to that Def Leppard song "Pour Some Sugar on Me," something about ramen noodles; naturally the girlfriend objects. So CZJ annoyingly cuts in and says something like "This would be a good time to call the library." So we suddenly have an inset of a bespectacled, uncool, middle-aged librarian reading out the correct lyrics in question in rote, referential fashion: I'm hot, sticky sweet from my head to my feet yeah. And then all is right in the world again. I wonder how many librarians will get reference calls needing to settle debates on song lyrics now.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:57 PM | Librariana | Comments (2)

November 19, 2002

Met up with more NaNofolk

Met up with more NaNofolk at Florent last night - a larger, intermingled gathering of both genders. There was a thrumming undercurrent of energy about, stemming from long nights of coffee and cigarettes and natural ebullience, at least on the part of some of us. Got there late but had some good conversation with several of the newest newcomers; also in attendance was a freelance grad journalist who plans to write a piece about NaNoWriMo and hopes to get it in print. It's great to talk to other people about writing, and what it's like going through this exercise, and not feel pretentious or apologetic about it.

After a certain point, age, for the most part, is a state of mind and doesn't matter. Still, there are definite stark lines, such as the age of adulthood or drinking age, that very much matter for legal purposes. I couldn't help but notice, the difference between the manic energy of the college kids, and those of us that were at least (gah!) a decade older - sort of like the indiscriminate sparks flying up from the edges of a fire versus the more focused flames burning in the center. A disconcerting, but not unpleasant, mix of people and perspectives. I find that I have to be "on" in order to get myself involved instead of just sitting back, soaking things in, and perhaps being perceived as very dull. I usually dread this sense of artifice but I somehow manage to be social when I force myself to be out there, engaging others and being engaged by them in turn.

But thinking about how I am now versus what I was like ten years ago in college, it's startling how much I've changed. Maybe I'm a little wiser, a little calmer, a little more centered - but I know I have a long ways to go, and even then I hope I still realize that I will never be all-knowing and superior. Truly intelligent people don't have to preen; they know things, can understand or analyze or conceive ideas in ways that are well beyond the rest of us. And yet they remain incredibly humble, knowing there are others beyond them. Though there can be self-satisfaction in having the right knowledge of something, there's a difference between the sheer joy of knowing and the smugness of knowing more than others. No, people aren't of equal talents or intelligence, and I'm plenty guilty of excessive pride. But any of us who like to think of ourselves as better might practice not a little humility - we'll all turn to dust sometime.

And that's my pompous thought for today.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:45 AM |

It's not up to you

It's not up to you
Oh it never really was
It's not up to you
Oh it never really was
It's not up to you
Well it never really was
It's not up to you
-Bjork

This chorus has been going through my head this afternoon. Although it looks like it should drive me crazy, the sounds of the notes are too pretty to be annoying, at least for now. Plus, I really like the zen of the words. I wonder if Bjork and yoga go together.

I've been checking out Googlism lately to see what random references it will find for Lady Crumpet, but not very much. So I just typed in "crumpet" to see what might be found. A sampling, below.

crumpet is twice as far from faxmouth as mortar castle
crumpet is currently in discussions with fetish to specify its participation in more detail
crumpet is connected to the following things
crumpet is not able to make a reservation
crumpet is off to the beach for a few days
crumpet is always on the lookout
crumpet is best toasted
crumpet is absolutely gorgeous
crumpet is pale gold
crumpet is unique looking
crumpet is smooth and brown and the top is full of small holes
crumpet is thick like an english muffin but chewier and richer
crumpet is more than happy to announce to the people waiting in line they just missed this famous star
crumpet is 14 inches tall and a limited edition of 15 each
crumpet is awful rubbery
crumpet is awesome
crumpet is entirely hand
crumpet is getting too dark
crumpet is waaaay better than anything hostess
crumpet is one of the nicest ponies in the world
crumpet is golden brown and the bubbles on top have burst
crumpet is especially suitable for information brokerage
crumpet is special because "she was an orphan lamb bottle
crumpet is just too kiwi
crumpet is a slightly softer version of the commercial variety
crumpet is a bong smoking
crumpet is to implement
crumpet is a lovely cat with a crumpled ear that gives her a unique look
crumpet is well rounded
crumpet is a good idea for mopping up the yolk and grease
crumpet is getting a little burnt on both sides
crumpet is a highly sought after pony
crumpet is totally addicted to knitting and has a traveling companion
crumpet is what i eat for brekkers during winter and babe is a small human being
crumpet is australian slang for utterly worthless
crumpet is the ill
crumpet is truly the 'once in a lifetime' dog
crumpet is ready so too is our laser like implement of rock butter slicing
crumpet is
crumpet is to understand cricket
crumpet is like a piece of ass
crumpet is looking for a home of her own
crumpet is not worth $150
crumpet is so cutsy wootsy cute
Hey, I am worth way more than $150, I am not like a piece of ass, nor am I utterly worthless. Hmmmph!

Yours, &c., LC at 05:37 PM | | Comments (1)

November 20, 2002

Passing through Penn Station last

Passing through Penn Station last night, I spotted on a commercial electronic marquee in big bold letters: "Terror Fox News Terror Fox News" scrolling over and over. I'd say that's about right.

I was trying to remember the full title for the movie Dr. Strangelove. It's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. It's time I saw it again.

I finally picked up the album by The Strokes. At eleven songs and 35 minutes, I'm instantly smitten. I listened to it on the way to work this morning, looping it on the train, on the street. I could hardly keep my fingers from strumming against my sides. It's like musical speed and was perfect writing music while I was working on the novel during the train ride. They're on tour, and wouldn't you know it, they're sold out in New York, and on my birthday no less. Oh well, that's what I get for taking my time to check out the newest band who's supposed to save rock 'n roll. Again. But I'm loving the album - I feel like I've already had three cups of coffee.

Yours, &c., LC at 10:06 AM | Music

Booked my ticket!

So I'm now confirmed for Neil's New York show. One is the loneliest number, especially when it's assigned seating. And I'm 10 rows back from the stage. Maybe I'll make friends with the people around me. Let's hope they're not freaky Finn fans who are going to call out song requests so often that Neil will finally play the damn song in order to shut them up.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:12 PM | Music | Comments (2)

In a mood

Maybe it's the lack of sleep, my sense of juggling tiers of spinning plates, too much coffee and not enough of the right food. My novel seems to be a disjointed grouping of lame dialogue and smut. A bunch of little things at work are bugging me today and I railed at Zeebah during lunch about why the whole world is pissing me off.

One of my co-workers basically used me today in order to make herself look better. Had the issue really been serious, something official would have been said to me already. It's simply a matter of updating a catalog entry; in the meantime, the title was still easy to find, had someone been looking for it. But she's coming back from disability and I think she feels she needs to demonstrate how the world fell apart and how we were so incompetent without her to lecture us and throw her weight around. The truth is, we hardly noticed her absence, except when there was a problem that had never been fixed until we dealt with it.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:57 PM | Librariana | Comments (2)

November 21, 2002

Ten days

Damnation! I have maybe 17,000 words at this point. And I forgot to bring the Alphasmart with me for my commute. I just can't bring myself to handwrite bilge. Typing it in somewhere makes it seem less substantive and therefore easily deletable. Last night the Alphasmart crashed on me, but I was able to completely recover the files. In the future, I don't ever want to recover this crap, so I'm going to have to do some permanent clearing. Scott was amusing himself finding parts of his master's thesis. I wouldn't even let him near the computer last night until I finished the text transfer, even though I know he wasn't reading anything.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:03 PM | Writing & Language

November 22, 2002

Survivors First database

Survivors First has prepared an online database listing priests publically accused of sexual abuse. Names are gathered from public material, such as newspaper articles and court documents, and a second team checks newspaper or other document citations, which are listed in the database as well.

U.S. young people geographically illiterate The National Geographic–Roper 2002 Global Geographic Literacy Survey came out this week - according to the article, it "polled more than 3,000 18- to 24-year-olds in Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden and the United States." Guess where our young people fit in? Next to last - we did better than Mexico, woohoo. You can take the survey yourself and see how you do. I missed the religion question - apparently there are a lot of Christians out there.

[Update: I sent this link to Scott, and he wrote back, "Alan Wolfe (with whom I'm not in the habit of agreeing) wrote recently in the Boston Globe that resistance to the American imperial aspirations so clear in the statements of Bush figures like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and years earlier in the journalism of the Weekly Standard would come not from moral concerns about interventionism, but from the fact that the GOP electoral coalition is just not interested in the rest of the world. I think this is pretty good evidence."]

Yours, &c., LC at 10:36 AM | Librariana

November 23, 2002

23,897 words

Getting there. I'll have 7 days to come up with the other half of my novel. As the logo on the shirt says, "No plot? No problem!" And why am I only at -24k words? Because I went into the city with Scott for a nice brunch and a viewing of the Michael Moore documentary, Bowling for Columbine. We stopped at a Starbucks (ugh, I know, but we don't have anything cool near where I live) and hung out for a bit and that's when I managed to write. I'd better try to hit 25,000 tonight, at least. Sleep is so overrated.

Actually there will be only six days to finish the novel, because I've gotten it in my head to do a Thanksgiving/birthday sort of gathering, and somehow I've managed to get Zeebah and Jen to agree to this crazy idea - and I only have to help with the cooking. (Hopefully Jen won't crack a rolling pin over my head by the end of it, being the ridiculous clueless novice that I am - she's got turkey duty and is hosting the hootenanny at her place, bless her.) Lauren (Zeebah's partner) and I are having our birthdays as well on either side of the turkey day itself, so this should be fun - normally I am so not a person who decides to forcibly rustle up people for the sake of my birthday, but since next fall could see us in some remote part of the country, I'd better celebrate with people while I can. It's the Anti-Embarrassment Thanksgiving - if we wanted to suffer insufferable people, then we would be heading home for the holiday. It's going to be a small, casual, cozy gathering, with no pressure and everyone will enjoy themselves, damn it.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:35 PM | Writing & Language

November 26, 2002

33,971 words

I haven't been staying up late on a regular basis or writing for more than two hours at a time. I'm taking this exercise mostly seriously - there are tongue-in-cheek discussion threads at the NaNoWriMo boards about how to pad your word count and I'm guilty of some techniques. Scott asks me if I'm enjoying this because all I seem to mention is the word count - well, I'd rather not talk about the book itself - it really is a pile of dreck that needs reworking (more like total rewrite). But I haven't gone back and made edits - I just ramble at the keyboard, typos and all. I have stuck only vaguely to my original, now seemingly lucid outline. I find it interesting that as I try to write a certain point in what there is of the plot, that I end up suddenly throwing in a detail that gives me a new idea for where to take the story. I'm at the point where I'm becoming a little obsessed, maybe because the end is in sight and I haven't resorted to too many tricks - most of the dreck is actually of my own creation. I realize it's really quite liberating to run away on the keyboard. I can always go back and rewrite something - I just have to write it first.

I'll spill this much about the novel: it's gratuitous chick lit, set in a major metropolitan city - New York, say. There's a heroine, she has a best friend; there will be romantic travails but she will win the boy in the end and manage only just a little humiliation during a drunken night of karaoke.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:47 AM | | Comments (1)

Goodbye Yai

I called my sisters at work today. One of their departments is having a Thanksgiving luncheon, so they're going comatose over deep fried turkey and pumpkin pie, all that good stuff.

We're Buddhist, although I don't really practice much of anything. So one of my sisters tells me that she found our mother weeping this morning. During the night she awoke to the sound of crying and smelled the distinct scent of a medicinal ointment that our grandmother always seemed to be using. She kept waking up our father, who couldn't hear or smell anything.

Our mother believes that it was our grandmother's spirit telling her goodbye, because she is about to be reborn as some other person and have this whole new life. So the spiritual ties are now severed. Our grandfather passed away first, but our mother hasn't ever gotten a sense that this has happened for him yet. Apparently there's no timeline for when someone is reborn, but she likes to think his spirit was waiting to be rejoined by our grandmother's. Or maybe it's because he was rather a shit in his last life that he's having to wait his sweet time before being reborn.

So our mother is very sad and very weepy because she feels that she's lost her mother now for good, as though she's died a second death, even though what it means is rebirth. Now that I think of it, I remember our cousin once telling her father that she wished their spirits would always be reborn as father and daughter, she loved him so. My mother isn't some religious wacko; if she says she heard crying and smelled that scent, I believe her. And so I can't help but feel sad about it too, because my mom is sad. I hope for my grandmother to have a better life, because she deserves it.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:13 PM | Slice o' Life

37,551 words

I wrote on the train coming and going. I wrote during lunch. I've tried spinning a couple of albums while writing, and so far The Strokes still rule. It's not that the music is thematically related - I think maybe I've conditioned myself, or something; once the music's going I'm free to let go and write. I just hope I don't go deaf by the end of this.

Did you know that Monopoly became a hit during the Depression? Mr. Monopoly, the iconic figure for the board game, is going to appear as a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year. Strikes me as a bit ominous that he's making such a grand appearance while the city economy sucks royally and there's talk of fare hikes for the subways and railroads. Meanwhile city libraries and firehouses have only just avoided the axe, for now.

Yours, &c., LC at 10:33 PM | Writing & Language

November 28, 2002

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sheer ignorance led me to propose a gathering of friends. Jen, bless her, was gracious enough to take on the big dishes - the turkey, the mashed potatoes, and stuffing. And she stayed up the night before to bake a to-die-for pumpkin cheesecake. I helped with some of the cooking, but Jen took the lead, and we hail her mightily. Zeebah, Lauren and Sarah brought the wine, a vegetable dish, crudite, and assorted yummy Italian pastries. I brought some extra chairs, and contributed a wedge of Vermont cheddar, a port wine cheese ball, and crackers. (A gathering just isn't complete without a cheese ball.) Scott was sent off into the city to go see a movie; he ended up seeing Secretary, which he enjoyed. Jen's new beau arrived bearing wine and using his manly expertise to add another leaf to Jen's dining table. Hours passed by, and we managed to enjoy each other's company. I even brought what was supposed to be a cool cd mix, but clearly I have to learn how to use my burner more properly.

Afterwards, a visit to some friends of Jen's, who hold their own orphans' Thanksgiving. Some good live tunes, raucous laughter, and standing around with Jen and Liz in the smoking room. I don't smoke, but I envied the natural cool they had holding their cigs up in the air - both vow to quit, so we'll see what happens. Lauren and Sarah had gone home already, so we dropped off Jen, then dropped off Zeebah, and made it home by two, two-thirty.

I am thankful - for my husband, for my family, for my good friends - all of whom hold me in relatively high regard in spite of the trials and tribulations I put them through. I have affectionate, healthy cats, I have my own place to make my own mess in, I have a job that is getting my foot into the door of librarianship.

40,009 words. On the train, after class last night. I feel like a shipwrecked swimmer, flailing wildly - but land has been sighted! I hope Friday and Saturday will go breezily, but I could get stung by a jellyfish before 11:59:59 pm on Saturday. So I think I can afford to give up one day, even though it's right before NaNoWriMo's deadline. But that's me, living dangerously. Yeah, baby, that's me, going wild and crazy with a cup of Starbuck's Peppermint Mocha Latte in one hand and the other typing away furiously.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:45 AM | Writing & Language

November 29, 2002

Birthday Girl

As I've said before, I usually don't go around touting my birthday, and anyway no one's around to notice because they all go home to their families for Thanksgiving. (Yes, boo-hoo and all that.) But people do remember - there are lovely cards and lovely gifts and phone calls from friends and family. The Green Llama sang me Happy Birthday in Italian on my voicemail. There were flowers and Junior's cheesecake at the office. One of my co-workers gave me some eau de toilette called Charming - for I could certainly use a boost in that department, being the surly librarian grrrrl that I usually am (yeah, right, ha! goody goody is more like it).

Scott totally surprised me. First, there were chocolate truffles. That was the teaser gift. But then he presented me with a necklace - three diamonds, for our past, present and future. Isn't he great? (Altogether now: "Awwww" or "Ugh" depending on your point of view.)

We had brunch at IHOP, went to school to go work on stuff - I managed to get to 43,876 words by the end of the day. Dinner was at a romantic little place called The Printer's Devil ("a pub of the old type"), where Scott had sirloin, and I had salmon. We each went for chocolate desserts - brownie sundae for the husband, and a rich mini chocolate bundt cake for me. Yum.

Yes, it was a good day - a happy one, even.

Yours, &c., LC at 06:43 PM | | Comments (4)

November 30, 2002

50,451 words!

I did it! In the eyes of some, I too am a winner. Through sheer stubbornness and disregard for spelling, grammar, narrative flow, let alone character and plot development, I made it. Scott's been telling everybody about my NaNoWriMo participation. But everyone will have to be satisfied with knowing I accomplished the feat, because if I get around to rewrites, it will be a loooong time before anyone gets to see it. In the meantime, I have a new, cool icon - check it out!

Now it's back to being responsible. Paying bills, doing classwork. Dishes, laundry, filing. I have a paper and a take home final to work on. But I think I'll think about all that tomorrow. In the meantime, many heartfelt thanks to all of my cheerleaders for encouraging me and thinking this project was actually kinda cool, in an insane kinda way.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:18 PM | Writing & Language | Comments (3)