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Archive for April, 2010

So close!

113,773 words; 295 pages. 

Probably about 4,000 words/10 pages left to write.

What. A. Feeling.

Happy Friday!  This weekend, I’m gonna finish writing a book. 🙂

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Week in Review

I know it’s Thursday.  A week in a review should hardly come on a Friday morning, let alone on a Thursday morning, lest some terribly exciting milestone or event occur.  Then the entire week in review would be kaput.  But it feels like Friday, and my brain, therefore, is dead set upon writing a week in a review.  It seems irresponsible to ignore the urge.

But before you read this review thinking that something wonderful must have happened this week to encourage such a rushed review post, allow me to let you down gently.  This week has been pretty much unspectacular in every way.  The real reason behind writing a week in review on a Thursday: it lets me push this week to the past and start a new wonderful Friday-first-day week.

The good things about this week:

– I’m halfway through Andrei’s recommended reading, How I became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely.  It’s tongue-in-cheek, quippy, and written in the apparently trendy “arrogant, young guy writer” voice that all the books I seem to pick up are embracing these days.  But I’m actually quite enjoying it, despite its depressingly accurate depiction of writing.

– My own writing is flying along.  I’m at the good parts now — the scenes were it all comes together, the mysteries unravel, and the puzzle pieces begin to shift into place.  I was really flying until I got to page 101 of my outline (out of 111) where I realized I had basically fudged a whole scene that was utterly unbelievable.  My thinking on the day I wrote that section of my outline?  Probably something along the lines of: I’m almost done, and by the time I get to this place in the book, I’ll have figured this all out anyway.  My outline was the verbose equivalent of, and then he realizes it, yadda yadda yadda.  Damn.  But I did pull through the scene last night after work, and this morning swept through 111,000 words and hit 288 pages.  I have only four more pages to my outline, which means the end is very near.

– Did I mention I might finish the draft of my novel THIS WEEK?!  In other clarifying terms, BY MY GOAL?!?  (For those of you who were curious, my goal was April 30, which would mean that I had written this 300 page draft in exactly 6 months.  Though, putting aside work travel, holidays, and the death plague of late November, there were about five weeks squeezed in there that didn’t include one word flowing from my head to my laptop.  So about five months total.  Not too shabby, right?)

But besides the reading and writing adventures that have taken over this week, it has been (as I mentioned before) purely unspectacular.

– Linus has an ear infection, which he delightfully waved about all night long last night.  Crying, whimpering, shaking, scratching, and scruffing until his left ear, red and inflamed (and to be honest, only mildly infected), was actually bleeding.  At three in the morning, one doesn’t have the frame of mind to parse out doggy-approved pharmaceuticals, or to check every nook of the house where he has scratched lest some modicum of blood might have gotten on a sheet or pillow.  So I guess I’ll do that tonight after work.  He did, however, get ‘roided up this morning at breakfast.

– Greg hasn’t been home for the last two nights because of his late night galas, overnight room turns, and general lack of vehicular transportation.  We are all very excited he will come home: Linus because he needs love and extra attention; Lucy because she feels she hasn’t been properly spoiled by me (her number two); and Sally because one person can only play so much.  And of course me, because it’s never fun at night when Greg’s not home.

– I had to throw away dinner last night (and thus lunch for today) because the brand new package of shrimp I picked up last night was bad.  I contemplated bringing it back, but the thought of driving to the store with super stinky cooked shrimp was unappealing.  But still a big big boo.

– There are four bones under Greg’s pillow.  Sometimes I think I should just put Sally under the pillow.  But then she would find the bones.

– The delivery company has still not reached out to let us know when our kitchen will be delivered.  This weekend, it seems, will be spent sanding and painting so that whenever the new things do arrive, we’ll be ready!

– Caps lost last night.  I’m not really a hockey person, but there are so many Caps fans among our friends and colleagues, that I truly do pull for the Caps to win (even though, you know, whatever).  I should note that this empathy does not extend to the Redskins.  Nor to the Nats fans.  But who really knows any Nats fans anyway, right?

– Mom is going to save me $500 by making  the amazing Alice + Olivia dress I desperately want as a replacement / next generation to my black and white BCBG dress.  (If I blog it, it must be true, right Mom? 🙂 )

– This morning at Starbucks (words 108,552 – 111, 198), my fave barista gave me breakfast on a real plate instead of in a paper baggy.  It’s almost like home.  Except for the irritatingly loud and arrogant couple at the table next to me.  I would never invite them to breakfast at home.

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Kitchen comin’

Somewhere in New Jersey, a small line of kitchen accessories and appliances is forming.  Waiting to board a truck that will take them to Maryland.  Though we’re probably a couple of weeks from the Before and After reveals you are desperately waiting for, here are a few hints of what’s to come*:

*all pics compliments of the 2010 ikea kitchen brochure.

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This House

It was a typical weekend.  On Saturday morning, we had the HVAC serviced (all clear and clean for summer!); went to Home Depot and Lowes to compare brick prices (44 cents at Home Depot, 59 cents at Lowes in case you are planning a major 1,000 brick backyard reinvention); went to Bray & Scarff and Sears to compare kitchen appliances and watch fancy demonstrations of paper towels on induction cooktops; saw Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in Swedish; hit up Barnes and Noble so I could buy a new batch of books (including a recommendation from Andrei); went to dinner at Calypso Bay on the water (which even had a fireplace going on the rainy spring night!); and returned home to play with the puppies.

On Sunday, we hit the city early to avoid Earth Day parades, concerts, and festivities.  Greg went to work, and I went to Starbucks where I knocked out another 2K.  (Here’s a secret: I’m almost done with the draft!)  I had soccer — the championship game! — but we don’t need to talk about that or why I didn’t come home with a trophy.  After potbelly for lunch, we headed to IKEA to check out kitchens and appliances.  Having eyed the butcher block countertops for a while now, we had to see them up close and personal before making a decision.  We left IKEA with a pending delivery for 6 countertops, two cooktops, a convection oven, a new sink, and a fabulous faucet.  Plus a basket full of accessories (damn you marketplace!).  Then we swung by Home Depot for everything else we needed to complete our kitchen remodel: paint (Martha Stewart heavy cream), shelf liners, backsplash (still pending), and more.  We’re home now.  Dinner was delicious (if I do say so myself).  Greg had some work to do, and Lucy brought a giant lizard in to share with us — made more fun by the game she calls “find the other half of that animal”.  When I heard an absolute ruckus downstairs (with only Lucy missing from the bunch), I made Greg walk down without me.  Because Lucy making noises alone in the basement inevitably means dead animal.  But this time, there was a catch.  Greg met Lucy downstairs where she was keeping watch over a wriggling, bouncing tail squirming its way around the game room.  Nothing says a good time like finding a tail before finding the animal the tail used to belong to.  As always, thanks Lucy.  You’re such a lady.

It’s bedtime now.  It’s been quite a weekend.  Lucy is sulking because she didn’t get the cookie she was promised, but the bone + lizard combination she enjoyed tonight seems sufficient, no?  I am going to dream about quick-cooking ovens, giant sinks, and a beautiful kitchen. 

But first, here’s a pic from our date night last night:

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One, two…

There are a lot of great reasons to have three labs.  They’re more adorable (have you seen their three little faces together?!).  They play together constantly, something Lucy and Linus had never really established.  With only two dogs, one often wanted to play while the other was sleeping; now, two dogs are always up for a romp.  Well Sally and at least one other dog anyway.  And they’re more of a pack.  When it was just L and L, he would do what he wanted, and she would do her own thing as well.  But now that there are three, there are many more instances when they all follow the lead of another dog.  If one dog goes out, another will; if two dogs are out, why wouldn’t the third just go check it out, too?  Whether it’s Sally in particular or just the addition of the third dog, they are much more united as a group than they were when it was just L & L.

But three dogs is not without a downside.  Because with three labs, even though two of them might be zonked out tired, one is always a little off schedule.  Sometimes it’s Lucy, silent-barking for attention or slamming her dishes; occasionally it’s Linus, staying up late to chew his bone; and most often it’s Sally whose eyes pop open the instant play enters her mind (5:30am is an ideal time).  Occasionally, she will roll over in bed and land on a bone she had discarded the night before.  So elated to find a toy, she will wake up and promptly begin chewing.  L and L would never consider such ridiculousness.  And once Sally is up, she’s Really Up.  Which is why the four of us got up early this morning, to let G get a couple extra snoozes.  And even now, Lucy has fetched her ball a few times and is winding down; Linus is asleep on the love seat in the living room (wondering why he doesn’t ever get to sleep anymore and why two dogs now eye his food hungrily each morning); and Sally is bouncing around like a jack rabbit with a bone — that she stole from Linus the instant his eyelids fell — hoping someone will play along with her.

Rain is coming today, and the clouds are moving in quickly.  At 8, a heating and cooling expert is coming to clean out our HVAC and ensure it is season-ready.  After that, we hoped to go to the dog park, measure the backyard, check out a garden sale… but imminent rain might postpone all of those activities.

Before I head up to shower, here are a few other pics from Charleston:

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Walking Low

Some more pics:

White apron sink, soapstone counters…swoon.  Apparently, my vision of an amazing kitchen is the same as the guy who lives in this primitive, historic house.

Walking through Charleston.  You can see what a beautiful day it was.

It’s LOW country.

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I was inconsistent in taking pictures over the trip.  I took a crapload on one day, and not so many the other day.  But to be fair, on the second day, we laid out (who takes pictures then?), and then we went on a tour during which no photos were allowed.  So it wasn’t entirely my fault.  But still. 

So I can’t do all the pics in one giant swoop of posting because I would be here all night.  Here is a taste from our walking history tour of Charleston on Friday:

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