Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All Quiet on the Western Front, My Beloved Treasure

Not a lot to report today. I worked until 0300, fell asleep around 4, and was up and working by 1115. I was actually quite surprised to get seven hours of sleep. Lately I've been in one of those 4 hours of sleep, 20 hours awake cycles that I despise. 'Course those wacko sleep cycles mean I've captured the Inspirado and I'm writing like a crazy woman.

Bosley took advantage of the nice weather today and spent two hours outside. He loves it out there, but man is he rough on grass! When we had the back sod put down (in August?) he would drag entire squares of sod around the back yard. I would have to chase after him, drag them back into place, and hope to god Dave didn't notice when he came home from a shift. Nowadays he's so big and heavy that his strides throw up massive clods of grass and dirt. It doesn't help that the lawn is soaked from the recent rains.

His digging genes seem to have kicked in during the last few weeks. There is nothing quite so terrifying as glancing toward the backyard and seeing your 36"tall (from feet to shoulders) Great Dane standing in a trench that's deep enough that you only see his head peeking over the sod. Seriously--our back yard looks like a shooting location for Im Westen nichts Neues. I'm just waiting for some stunt guy to start setting off mustard gas squibs.

Needless to say Dave and I are considering renting out Bosley as a gravedigger/landscaper. We have to pay for new sod somehow.

So anywho--Bos is digging today, but I can't see him because I'm not facing the back window and I'm busy revising my opening scene. He gallops throught the back door, slides across the linoleum in the kitchen, ricochets off a wall, and races into the living room. He trots over to me and drops a seven pound "gift" in my lap. At first I'm stunned. What the hell is that thing? The more I look at it, the more it starts to resemble, well, a human femur.

Suddenly I have one of those The 'Burbs moments. You know what I mean. "Ray, there's no doubt anymore. This is real. Our neighbors are murdering people. They're chopping them up. They're burying them in their backyard. Ray...this Walter!"

I jump up, take the possible femur into the kitchen and start knocking chunks of reddish clay off the outside of it. My mind is racing with paranoid thoughts. I remember our sales agent's shifty eyes when I asked what, exactly, was on this tract of land before we put our house on it. Those bastards, I think, they did build our houses on top of Indian burial grounds!

And then I realize that it's just a really strangely shaped root/stick that had lumps of clay on either end. I heave a sigh of relief, step out onto the patio, and hurl the femur stick over the back fence. That's when I see Bosley's latest trench. I tried to explain to him that the Germans aren't, in fact, advancing on our Western Front. He can cancel his order for barbed wire and scrap the plans for the machine gun nests. Im Westen nichts neues meine liebe Schaetzen, I tell him.

Anyways. So before I go I have to pass along this hilarious quiz: How Many Five Years Old Could You Take In A Fight? Try it. You'll laugh your ass off. I did.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Since My Last Post...

I have learned:

1) That Dave is a Rhesus monkey. Seriously. The man is a walking petri dish. In November, he brought home some vile plague/influenza/Oregon Trail-esque dysentery hybrid. I was sick for seventeen days. It was horrid. Oh, and it completely effed up my plans to spend a weekend with The Ash in Houston. There was no way I was going to risk infecting Ash since she's, you know, preggers.

2) I can buy a Decon Shower (perfectly sized to fit on our front porch) for $1095! (See Point Number One.)

3) I have the same psycho reaction to Nyquil as I do to Benadryl. As a child, I was given Benadryl twice--as in two doses over 18 years. The first time I was a toddler, and instead of becoming drowsy, I became a super-charged, babbling, rampaging terror. My mother still talks about it with a tremble of fear in her voice. When I contracted chicken pox at nine, I was subjected to oatmeal baths and that icky pink lotion to cool the annoying itch. Eventually Mom caved and gave me the Benadryl--and, well, I became a 9 year old super-charged, babbling, rampaging terror.

Sometime between my childhood and young adulthood my reaction to Benadryl changed. During my freshman semester, I couldn't sleep so Lauren (my roomie) gave me two Benadryl capsules, certain they would knock me out. Yeah. Well. Not so much. I was awake for, like, two days and had the most bizarre hallucinations. Seriously. Green elephants and talking spiders and a dancing desk. Needless to say, Benadryl is now on my "NEVER TAKE THIS" list.

It appears that Nyquil is going to be the newest addition to said list. While I was suffering from the Oregon Trail-esque plague, Dave advised me to have a few Nyquil shooters and call it a night. They put me to sleep quickly, but when I woke a few hours later and stumbled to the bathroom, I realized that something was off. It wasn't until I was stumbling back to bed and happened to look out the window that I realized what, exactly, was wrong. See I saw not one, not two, but a horde of Death Eaters (yes, those Death Eaters) in our backyard. I freaked the fuck out. I mean, I was trembling and hyperventilating and on the verge of a full out panic attack.

Dave, bleary-eyed and congested: What's wrong?
Me, whispering in a paranoid panic: There are Death Eaters in the back yard!!!!
Dave: Right. I'm going back to sleep.

He turned over and was out in a millisecond. When I asked him about it in the morning, he was like, Huh? (He does that a lot. Has lucid conversations in his sleep without remembering the next day, that is.)

4) Bosley has a drag queen streak in him. No, really. See he has this favorite sheet. (It belongs to my once-favorite set of t-shirt bed sheets. They're so pretty! They're blue with white clouds. And I'm rambling... Back to Bos and the sheet.) He used to sleep curled around it. Then he started chewing on it. Lately he's taken to wearing it. Somehow he manages to put it on so that it looks so flamboyantly camp!

He chewed a hole in one end that's big enough for his head to fit through it. When he manages to work his head through, he looks like a super hero as he lopes around the living room. Other times he wraps it around his torso toga style. On those days I address him as Emperor Bos the Munificent. He's also torn a few strips from the sheet. A few days ago I found him with a strip loosely wrapped around his neck. I panicked like an overprotective mother, of course, but he wasn't in any real danger. He seemed to like it. I realized that he looked like he was wearing a cravat. That made me laugh. I called him Fitzwilliam Darcy, Viscount Bosley that day. He liked that too.

5) Sara is one hell of a lecturer. During our drive to Clear Lake for Ash's baby shower, she filled me in on her PhD work at TAMU. It's so interesting, and more importantly, it has the potential for real impact on the economy, foreign oil policy, and that oh-so-desirable energy independence.

Sara is working on biofuels, specifically biofuels from sorghum. Apparently corn (starch-based) ethanol is crap because it's so inefficient. Cellulose ethanol is way more efficient and produces loads more energy per unit. Why haven't we, the public, heard of this alternative form of ethanol? Let's see. Idiots in DC writing energy policy without any scientific knowledge? Lobbyists pimping corn as the next big thing while pushing for initiatives and grubbing for more subsidies? I could go on....

So Sara is working on the roots of the sorghum. Her goal is to identify specific genes regarding nitrogen efficiency (because the cost of fertilization impacts the overall cost/gallon of fuel) and breed them with plants that are kickass biomass-wise. She'll either end up creating plants that use half as much nitrogen or plants that use the same amount of nitrogen but double their mass.

I know! She's so effing smart! I heart Sara! The earth hearts Sara too!

6) Ash is going to be such a great mom. I know people say that all the time, hoping they're right, but with Ash, I just know. There isn't even a shimmer of doubt. When she talks about Nick, her whole face changes. I can't really explain it, but there's this sharp glimmer of protectiveness, warmth and radiance of unconditional love, and a fierce determination to give him the best life she possibly can. It's a very moving thing to see your friend morphing into a mother.

7) The 28th is my new favorite day of the month. That's the day my royalty check arrives, lol.

8) I seem to have found my literary niche. My first erotic romance novella garnered awesome reviews, the kind that made me cry. I so wanted to brag, but I didn't. I got most of my reviews in November and I just barely got around to sending copies to my mom, lol!

Unfortunately I'm starting to panic about my second novella slated for release in November. I mean, when you get a review that calls you "...an author who has the talent to become quite a voice in erotic romance," well, that's a bit tough to top. So fingers crossed, my newest tale, Illicit Bargain, will be just as well-received as Nocturnal Obsession. (Oh, please, please, please!)

On that note--I should get back to work. I started a new novel yesterday morning, and my characters beckon. And yeah, I've finished my blogging hiatus. New entry tomorrow! Promise!