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15 posts from January 2009

Ski! January 30, 2009

I AM THE BEST SKIER EVER!

Didja know that? I am. I so am.

Except that I'm not. But when I learned to ski, back in like 1992 or something, even though I was terrible, the guys I was with dubbed me the best skier of the day because I'd obviously had the most fun. So that's been my rule ever since. Whoever has the most fun is the best skier.

And that was me! Me!

You all were completely correct to encourage me. In fact, I think I may be spoiled now for skiing with others. Now I know, it's way better alone.

The whole trip couldn't have gone better. I got up to the north shore of Tahoe at about 4:30pm. I'd read about Ferrari's Crown Resort online, so I drove there first, to check pricing and availability. You can always get a better price at a family-owned hotel. They have a vested interest in selling the room, whereas a corporate desk clerk just can't lower rates willy-nilly. If you're standing in front of the clerk at a small, local hotel, ready to pay, they'll sometimes give you a really sweet deal just to keep you on site. Miguel did just that, and he gave me the best room in the house (room 250 -- you should go).

IMG00691

This was from my balcony. The room had a fireplace and a small kitchen with almost everything one would need, up to and including an apple peeler, a cheese grater, and a salad spinner. The only thing that I needed and that was sadly lacking was a bottle opener, but Miguel helped me out with that, too.

Directly across the street from the hotel were the other two things I needed most: Tahoe Dave's rented me great skis and gave me a discount for staying across the street. (So I got a discount at the hotel and then a discount on skis for staying there. Oh, yeah, I bought my lift ticket for the next day at the hotel for a discount, too.) And next to that was Hiro Sushi, which from 5-6pm does all-you-can-eat sushi. Lord. It was as good as you think that might be. You sit at the bar, and as soon as you have one piece left on your plate, the chef asks you what roll/nigiri you'd like next. I was SO full by the end of that dinner that I couldn't even kill the wine when I got back to the room, which was my original goal. Nope, two glasses and I was conked out.

But falling asleep at 9pm means I was up and ready to go by 5am the next morning. This was unfortunate, since I didn't have to get up until 8am (I already had my lift ticket and my skis, so all I had to do was drive the 20 minutes to Squaw Valley.)

So I got up and wrote, instead. I opened the curtains and blinds and sat in the dark with the fireplace and worked, waiting for the dawn, which was worth waiting for.

IMG00697

THEN I WENT TO SKI.

People, I was nervous. The last lift ticket I'd had was still pinned to my hopelessly unfashionable jacket, and it said 2000, Northstar. So nine years had gone by with no skiing. Would I even remember how to put the skis on? I wasn't so sure. (Also, things have gone so high tech! Your lift ticket just goes in your pocket and when you approach the initial lift, the ticket activates the gate to open for you. Crazy!).

IMG00698 

    Nervous

But I remembered  how to get off the lift. And even how to ski. Just barely. I skidded and plowed ungracefully all down that first short green (which they put at the top of two lifts, by the way. You have only two choices to get off the mountain: ride the long gondola down (no! Mustn't!) or get good enough during the day to go down the intermediate slope to the bottom. Way to put on the pressure to improve).

I overdressed from jump. I figured skiing was the perfect opportunity to wear handknits. No, not so much. It was sunny as hell. The air was still cool to the skin, but after the first run I was dripping sweat. I didn't even have the two bucks in quarters to rent a locker, so I chanced leaving my sweater knit with yarn bought in Brugges in a locker without locking it. I didn't care. Stripped down to one layer of fleece, my snow bib, and jeans, I was good to go. I was even too hot to wear a hat. (I was the only one -- everyone wore a hat. I wondered how they weren't burning up.)

Appropriately attired, I did four or five beginner runs. And then I started wondering (AKA getting bored). Could I go down the mountain on that long blue named Mountain Run? I barely remembered how to get my skis parallel on turns -- I could do a left turn okay, but a right turn made me feel like a windmill almost every time.

I got close to the edge, where the signs warned that beginners shouldn't go any farther. I stood there and looked straight down the mountain.

I couldn't tell. So I flagged down the next boarder going by.

"Hey! Can an advanced beginner go down this run?"

He hesitated, and then said in a deep Scottish brogue, "I dinna. Ski for me."

I skied a few feet.

He paused some more. Then he said, "Yeah, I think you should be able to make it. I think. Probably. Good luck!"

Then he sped off going a hundred miles an hour or so down the eighty-five degree slant.

And off I went!

I was terrified.

But I did it.

I was elated.

And I did it six more times.

IMG00706 

    So going past this sign!

It was empty yesterday. No wait at any line. I never had to share a lift, just plenty of time to sit and swing and think.

IMG00701 

It kind of made the long steep downhills more scary, though. Either I had expert skiers flying by me, going fifty, or there was NO ONE around. A lot of the trail was high and narrow, with plenty of room to go wrong. But plenty of it was wide, too, which made slaloming around without regard to getting in anyone's way SO FUN. Usually when skiing, I manage to knock over at least one person, and it's usually a kid, and I always feel SO badly. But yesterday, none of that.

IMG00700 

I skied for about five hours (didn't even waste time eating), and then I had to get back on the road home. 

This is on my way up for the last time. You can tell I'm tired, but I had to retrieve my sweater from the locker (it was still there) and ski down one more time.

IMG00708 

But oh, so happy.

It was THE BEST!!!!

No, really. Yay.

SoloJanuary 28, 2009

Apparently, I have energy to burn. I am dying to go skiing. YEARNING.

I love skiing. Love it with a passion. I'm not that good at it, but that doesn't really matter to me. I can do the intermediate slopes if I go really slowly, and I adore a long, slow green.

But I haven't been in nine or ten years. Every year I talk about going, and sometimes I get as far as starting to organize a trip. Someone always wants to go but then the timing doesn't work, or something comes up. Every year I am disappointed that the snow has melted without me crash-landing in it.

This year. I'm going skiing.

Like, today. I think I'll go today. By myself.

Dude, it would be easier for me to go overseas to a country I've never been before than to go to Tahoe by myself. I don't know why it's making me nervous to think about, but it is. I know guys do it, go skiing and snowboarding by themselves, just because they feel like it. Do girls? Do you?

I'm going to drive up this afternoon. I don't even have a hotel reservation, which is very unlike me. I called a couple of places -- everyone has rooms available. I figure I'll just get there and look around, ask for a good price at the front counter. I used to work at a hotel and it was always easier to give a great rate to someone smiling at me at the front counter than someone on the phone.

Then tomorrow I'll get up, rent skis, and hit the slope. I think I'll do Squaw Valley. Then back home in time for dinner with the pocket vegans.

I'm telling you this so that I don't chicken out. It's not the drive, or the skiing, or the lodging, or the eating by myself that has me worried.

It's the lift line. Standing in line by myself. That's going to be weird, right? Or not? I don't know.

I feel like a challenge, though, and I feel like snow. It's supposed to be sunny and 41 degrees tomorrow. I'm so there. I'll keep you posted. (Twitter feed, above to the right, will be chock-full of little tweets, so keep your eye out....)

srsly funJanuary 25, 2009

Rc5

Don't I look bad-ass there? (I'm not bad-ass, so I like it when I look that way.) I'm really high here -- maybe three stories up? There's an indoor staircase that Lala climbed to take the photo.

Rc1

Here I'm lower than the previous photo. Note the floor below and the little man climbing behind me for some kind of scale.

I find it amazing that I got that high under my own power. That's the best part of rock-climbing, seeing people use just their muscles to go in a direction we don't normally go.

Rc2la

I love La's orange mohawk in this one.

Rc3

Trying to see around the corner here..... not enough handholds.....

Rc4

Coming down! I love coming down. Yowza!

Stealing Time from Writing to Say: January 24, 2009

1. I like coffee. But I am sad we are out of milk. Ever since I went off sugar, I've needed milk in my coffee, something I never used to want. Mmmm. Whole milk. 

2. I like yoga and rock-climbing. They seem to feel similar, but on different planes.

3. I like getting up early and writing on the weekends while Lala sleeps. Harriet is too old to sleep with us all night now -- she pees on the carpet and the other day she fell off the bed. So now she sleeps in the living room with the rest of the menagerie. But in the early morning, I  carry her outside to pee (she's all soft and sleepy and sweet -- I love that), and then bring her in and  put her up on the bed. Lala and she get some good cuddle time then.

4. I like the internet. Isn't it amazing?

5. I really, really, really like falling asleep on the couch, especially when Lala is watching TV and knitting. There is almost nothing better than that. She probably wouldn't know that by how grumpy I act when she wakes me up to go to bed, but it's true.

6. I like you!

BONUS ROUND

In the WE LIKE category, we like holding things like babies, especially Waylon:

-5
He could seriously hang out like this all day.

-4
What's up?

-6
This looks like he's in motion, but I got out my camera and took the shot AFTER Lala pointed out that he was HOLDING HIS PAW. Just hangin'. Paw-holdin'.

But you know that we are equal-opportunity holder-like-babies:

-8
We like it. But Clara's laser eyes tells you how she feels about this.

Back to work for me! Rock-climbing later! Woot!

I Get Paid to Do This? January 22, 2009

Okay, so it finally feels real. I got the contract in the mail, and the check payable to me upon signing with Avon for the three book deal.

I had NO idea how gratifying it would be to get real money for writing, not just the two-copy payment most writers cut their teeth on. Paid? Really? Where's the hidden camera? Come on.

I've been calling myself a writer for so long, even though the first question I always seem to get is, "Really? You get paid to do that?" Then I have to shake my head and say firmly, "Not really, but it's what I do."

Now? Getting a payment in the mail is a validation I never knew I craved. Sure, most of it is going to taxes and bills and fixing the water heater and getting a dishwasher which I hear will extend our marriage warranty.

But I did something really smart. I was talking to Lala in the kitchen, right after I opened the FedEx envelope. My hands were still kind of shaky.  I said, "Maybe now, just maybe, I'll get those shoes I've been wanting for so long. But maybe not...." Then I decided, hey. I'm GETTING the shoes. I stood up, went in my office, opened Zappos.com and ordered my Dansko Sallys, size 39.

Shoes

Sexiest shoes ever, shoes that seriously go with every single thing I own, from jeans to dresses. I first saw those shoes on Too Much Wool Cassie, when I met her for the first time in New York five years ago. I remember we were standing in front of Purl Soho, and I said, "THOSE ARE THE BEST SHOES I'VE EVER SEEN." I've wanted them since then. Cassie, we are twinners now.

And it is possible that later today I will go buy a celebratory skein or two of yarn. In the past I've celebrated things (like the completion of the Nanowrimo that led to this book) with really nice yarn made into socks -- memory socks. I think I might do that again. Hooray!

Also, in big news: I HAVE AN ISBN. An ISBN of my own. Actually, I have three reserved, although since I bet they can get changed before publication, I will wait till the books are out to get them as tattoos. But seriously, wouldn't that be a cool tattoo idea? DUDE.

Climb! January 19, 2009

Climb

The only problem with rock-climbing is that you can't take pictures of yourself or your partner while you're doing it, because if you could I SO WOULD. So that's just some random guy climbing, and only two-thirds of the wall is showing in that picture.

It was awesome, people. THE BEST.

We got there and it just looked ridiculous. People everywhere in the gym, crawling up insane inclines. I knew I wouldn't be able to do it, and I kinda wondered why we didn't just leave.

But our teacher hooked us up into our gear and taught us how to tie the knots, and then we started up our first wall. Of course, a birthday party of little girls was filling up the easy walls (what a great birthday party!), so our teacher took us to a hard wall. Okay, it was, if you know climbing, a 5.8. That's not HARD, I guess, but it was kick-ass hard for us. I pretty much fell off the first time only a few feet up, surprising both Lala, my belayer, and myself. Then Lala tried and got a little farther than I had.

After a couple more false starts, terrifyingly, our teacher snapped little cards onto our belts that said we were good to climb by ourselves and LEFT US THERE. (This was after she'd reinforced to us several times that if we tied the knot wrong, the climber WOULD DIE. It was no joke.)

We looked at each other. Ack.

We tied those knots and then double-checked them. Then we triple-checked them. Then we thought about running and getting the teacher to check, too, but we managed to stop ourselves.

Then I went up.

And up.

And up.

I kind of just kept climbing. I didn't look down -- I just looked at the next handhold, and felt for the footholds. I know I was doing everything wrong, I'm sure, using my arms too much and my legs not enough, but I was going up.

From below me, I kept hearing Lala say "Wow." Then, "WOW!" And her voice kept getting farther away. And while her excitement was thrilling, finally I yelled down that maybe she shouldn't say Wow so much, since every time she yelled it, my heart froze in fear. But I kept going. I went almost to the top! Lala looked across to the staircase at the side of the gym, and she gauged I went up about three stories. DUDE.

Then I just got too scared. My muscles were fatigued and my hands were shaking. I had to stop. AND OH MY GOD I WAS SO HIGH UP! I was above the clouds! I felt an eagle flap by! Lala was just a tiny little orange mohawked speck, far below me on the earth's floor (okay, on the padded blue gym mat, but whatever).

AND I HAD TO LET GO AND TRUST THAT SHE HAD ME.

I am Type A. That was not easy for me. But I did it. I yelled, "Take!" and I let go of the rock wall. I swung in space. I think I screamed, but I'm not sure. Then she lowered me down.

It was amazing. Seriously, it was the best kind of scared I've ever been. 

We're hooked. Totally, completely hooked.

And what goes better with rock-climbing than happy hour at Sea Salt?

Oysters 

Oh, yeah. Five buck well drinks (including a very nice Manhattan) and dollar Miyagi oysters seated IN A BED OF SALT. How happy was I? So happy, I tell you.

Fun weekend.

Full DisclosureJanuary 17, 2009

Oh, y'all are so sweet. Thank you for the compliments. I love my glasses, too. And the bangs aren't bad.

But that sweater? I guess I thought you all would just believe me when I said it hung funny. Sure, from the front it's kind of okay. I like it from the front. And as Lala said, "When you're sitting, it looks fine, too."

But this is what it looks like from the back:

Photo 316

Oh, god. You see? How it drapes like a ball? It's decidedly weird and Not Good, and Feral Janine agrees with me, and I defer to her wisdom in all things knitted (and most other things, come to think of it).

I only post this because some people (I'm looking at you, Sil) said they were going to cast on for it. Think twice. Or add some shaping. A LOT of shaping.

Now, me? I've had the most lovely lie-in-bed morning, and I did not work. I will write some later -- working on some edits for the first half of second book before I plunge into writing the rest of it -- but I am not writing this morning. We're getting ready to eat eggs and sausage, and then we will be headed out to try rock-climbing at a local gym!

Rock-climbing is one of those things I've always thought would be fantastically fun. I am a realist, though, and know that I might get up on the rock and look down and think firmly, "Hell, no, never again." But I want to give it a shot.

I hope you try something new and fun this weekend! Let me know in comments what you're up to. xo

New ThingsJanuary 15, 2009

I have new things!

First, a new sweater.

It's the artistically named 110-23 sweater by DROPS. On the model, it looks like a lovely bell-shaped sweater. Bells work well on me in theory. I had high hopes.

Photo 319

But in practice, it is only rather meh. It is not bell-shaped; it is ball-shaped. It's an excellent writing-at-home sweater. I love that the yarn (Paton's Classic Merino) is soft enough to wear next to the skin, although I know it will inevitably pill awfully. I love the three wooden toggles I got at Lacis.

I love the detail at the yoke/neck:

Photo 307

But the rest, yeah, just okay. I wouldn't recommend the pattern, but if you're making it, you might as well finish. How's that for faint praise?

But do you notice the other thing up there? Besides the sweater?

Glasses!

Photo 326

They're for reading, working on the computer, watching TV, and driving, so really, they're for wearing all the time, since that's all I do. You know the weird thing? I can see better with them on! It keeps tripping me out! It's awesome! We went to a show last night at Yoshi's, Le Yeux Noirs (gypsy klezmer), and I could see all of them without straining. Eye strain is tiring, another thing I bet you didn't know. I didn't!

(I am a little embarrassed to admit they're Juicy Couture glasses. I am SO not a label girl, and in fact, I got them cheap at Costco.)

Photo 284

I had way too much fun with the Photo Booth on my computer.(Also -- WHOOPS with the scissors. Those bangs are SHORT.)

Here's me wondering:

Photo 276

What I'm wondering is what movie I might go see today. Sure, it's supposed to be a pajama day, but in reality, I'm just going to try not to do anything I don't want to do. Like dishes. No dishes today! But Wii Fit, yes, definitely. And reading. And catching up on Friday Night Lights. And possibly a dumb movie, like Marley and Me, or something like that.

In knitting news, I've started this for Lala (Ravelry link). I think she'll like it. And she isn't a Rav member, so she can't see it! HaHA!

Quick question: This week, for the first time ever, coffee that's brewing smells exactly like tuna. It happens every morning, whether I'm at home or at work, and it catches me off guard each time. But coffee itself still tastes good. Any ideas what the hell that is? (No, not pregnant. Stop it.)

Cancelling Knit-InJanuary 14, 2009

All right, darlings. January 23rd for the knit-in is right out, isn't it? No one can make it -- there's a spinning group meeting, and the Knitters (!) are playing at Slims. Let's put it off until March, shall we? I know, it feels like a long time, but it will be here in a minute, and the BEST part is that Joy will be in town. We shall have a knit-party for her! I'll let you know what day's best for her.

So for now, no knit-in this month. More details to follow.

Today I've got to go fight with Home Depot, and I'm not looking forward to it. Our hot-water heater is leaking from the top where connections have become corroded. It's under warranty, but the warranty was bought in the name of the people in the house before us. The warranty people assure me that I now own the warranty, since GE backs up this particular water heater for ten years, regardless of who bought it. Home Depot does NOT understand this, and the GE warranty people say this is common. They say I have to go there and make the manager call their service line while I wait.

This is confrontation, and I don't like confrontation. It doesn't make me ill or anything, but I'd prefer to avoid it, which is why the poor water heater has been leaking for so long. However, at work the other day we had a structure fire that was caused by the water heater EXPLODING, so I figure I shouldn't put it off any more than I already have. Wish me luck in being pushy.

But then I get to go to Costco and pick up my new specs! Can't wait to show you pictures of Bookish Rachael!

In the meantime:

Boyssleep

I don't usually let any of the animals touch my love-blanket (they have enough soft things of their own), but I couldn't move those snoozing boys.

Knit-In! January 13, 2009

Oh, it's been too long, hasn't it? Local friends, a knit-in?

When: Friday January 23rd, 7pm-11pm
Where: My house!

EDITED TO ADD: THIS HAS BEEN CANCELLED

Time Off for Good BehaviorJanuary 12, 2009

This is a lovely three-day work week. And I just looked ahead in my calendar, and I was shocked to find that for my four days off, I have NOTHING planned except a concert (Le Yeux Noir at Yoshi's in the City) and yoga. There will be writing, of course. There is always writing. But that is natural and they still feel like days off.

You know what that means.

PAJAMA DAY. For real. Last week I managed to get a pajama day, but it was only because at first I was just too damn lazy to leave the house, and then I got stubborn. Even though I SHOULD have gone out to run errands, I just wouldn't. I dug my heels in and refused to leave the house -- got all Cancerian in my woolen shell. So all day I was justifying staying inside, arguing with myself and losing.

Instead, I want to plan a day-long staycation. I want to have the whole day all blocked off. I want movies on the Tivo and food in the house. I want knitting that I don't have to think much about. I finished a sweater yesterday (cute, but strange shape) which I will show you soon, so now I have to cast on for something else. That requires thinking, and gauge-swatching (my typical 22 st/ 10 row minimal swatch that wouldn't even make a Barbie's cape), and I would like that over with by Pajama Day.

And I have decided. It will be Thursday! That is now officially my Day of Rest.

Maybe it will cure me of this eye twich that has been plaguing me since January 1st.

Now I'm going to eat an apple! With peanut butter!

Loka YogaJanuary 9, 2009

Oh, my god. I just got back from the best yoga class I've ever been to. At the risk of sounding like I'm joining a cult, I'm going to tell you all about it. I'm JAZZED, people.

Now, I've done yoga. I've done classes and class-packages, intro 1, into 2. I'm not a beginner, since I've done it for so long and know how the moves should work, but I'm back to beginner strength since it's been such a long time since I used my yoga muscles.

Most yoga studios are a little stuffy, and I don't mean air-wise. Most places I've been have had a This Is How You Do It vibe and if you're not doing it right, you feel like you should still be struggling alone in front of your video tapes of Rodney Yee. They'd deny it, but some yoga studios tend to make you feel like you should get in shape and tone up at home before you come in.

Not my new local yoga studio. I am in love.

Loka Yoga, just down the road from me, is the BEST. The place had the best reviews on Yelp I'd ever seen, and that would have been enough to get me there, but the deal was made sweeter that they have an intro offer of three classes for a total of fifteen bucks. Dude. A five buck 90 minute class? How could I go wrong?

I didn't go wrong. Alice, the owner and main teacher, was amazing. I have such a big crush on her now. She was warm, kind, and sweet, while still being strong and managing to direct us all, calling us all by name (even me, and I'd only told her my name once).

The room felt like a neighborhood. Everyone was friendly. There was DIRECT EYE CONTACT. There was a childcare room for kids under three, and they made happy noise while they played during the class. At the end of the class, the kids' room door flew open and many short little people pattered out, all directions, all over the big room and threw themselves into their mothers' arms.

But what I liked best was the take Alice had on yoga. I've always felt known there's a strong connection between meditation and yoga, between Buddhism and yoga (although I'm only an accidental Buddhist, not a practicing one), but I just couldn't find it in other classes. Alice brought the spirituality without sounding kooky or weird. She brought balance. Oh, god, it's hard to explain. She helped me be completely present, something I struggle with, just like everyone else. She was utterly lovely. It seemed as if she were ministering to each person in the room, and I'm not sure how she accomplished that -- there must have been twenty of us scattered around the floor.

And she played a HARMONIUM while we were in corpse pose at the end! That was the raddest thing EVER. (That, and she made us think about corpse pose, about what it was practice for, and I loved that. No one in classes ever address exactly what corpse pose is good for, other than making your back feel great.)

And damn, it was hard. It's been a long time. My legs were shaking sometimes, and I was in a full sweat. But for the first time in a yoga studio, I wasn't self-conscious. I didn't care that I was sweating, that my hair was a mess, that I was having an allergic reaction and that my left eye was all puffed up from touching one of the cats earlier.

God, it felt good. I think I will take a nap now. If you're local, you should go, no matter your fitness level. If you're not, you should go find your own Alice. Keep shopping until you find her.

Namaste.

For Lack of a Better Title, ThursdayJanuary 8, 2009

No riots in my neighborhood last night. They were across town. You did hear, didn't you, about the BART shooting? I thought Oscar Grant, the man shot, looked familiar, and then I thought I was crazy, but it turns out he was the butcher at my local grocery. Sigh. We are hoping for peace and a swift resolution, but I'm thinking that might not happen as fast as we'd like.

Also, don't parents teach their kids to protest anymore? What the hell? Those kids lying down on the ground, in the position he was in when he was shot to death, that's an effective protest. Chest-bumping riot police and jumping on police cars (of the wrong police agency, at that)? Morons. (Of course, I think I knew We Shall Overcome before I knew my ABCs. It was an easier melody.)

From heavy to light.

I'm back to writing every day again. I managed to take three days off before I got too cranky to even be around myself. I wrote, and everything slipped back into place. I think I might actually be a workaholic or something. I'm not even kidding. I think lala would say I'm the last to know, but it does kind of come as a surprise.

Now, having worked for a few hours, I'm enjoying my morning. It's overcast, but it's that bright, hectic overcast that comes right before a shower. I was going to go for a run, but if it rains, I'll just stay inside and Wii Fit it a little.

I just about died the other night when I was playing with it, and I unlocked the MEDITATION game. Dude. What's it called? Locus Focus? The goal is to sit in the lotus position on the board and not move while staring at a candle on the screen. You can hear boards creaking, and then a moth flaps by and gets burned in the flame, and then a mosquito buzzes. If you move your center of balance, the candle flickers, and then if it flickers again, you're out. I made it all the way through! 180 seconds! Champion of meditation! Woot!

As tongue in cheek as I'm being, there really was something to it. Sure, I was playing a game with a controller and a TV, but I was meditating. I was watching my body, my breath. My mind went pretty empty, except for focusing on my center of balance. I am completely aware of how anti-meditation this sounds, but it was strangely effective, too. Whoever came up with that one had a lot of cojones, and I love it.

I'm getting a cheap massage-school massage later today, and I'm planning on spending a couple of bookstore gift cards today, too. (I think the new Meg Cabot books, book 10 of the Princess Diaries, where Mia writes a romance sounds delightful and it has great reviews. You can also purchase the "romance" she writes, too! I've never read her, but it sounds like fun. Good marketing ploy.)

On Not Writing and ApplesJanuary 5, 2009

The Wii Fit is WAY more fun than I thought it would be. You play little mini-games, which usually feel kind of dumb and annoying to me on regular game platforms, but when you're doing it under the umbrella of Exercise, you can just lean into it and have fun. It's a multi-tasker's dream! Plus, when you measure yourself and find out you're a whole inch and a half taller than you thought, your BMI goes down, even if your weight goes up! Ask me how I know!

I am not writing for a few days. I turned in the book on my deadline, January 2nd, and I need to launch back into the second one, but it's a long work week (five 12-hour shifts in a row). I have given myself permission to sleep in (until 4:45! Whoop!) for these few days and not write. HOWEVER, it has made me a big grumpy-pants. A grumpy-pants who gets even grumpier when the hole in her sweats is pointed out by Lala, who is knitting behind her. A grumpy-pants who feels like something is just wrong and can't figure it out and OH, I'm not writing, and I feel like I'm withdrawing from something. Actually, upon reflection, I think I'll just get up and write before work tomorrow. That'll fix it.

I love that not writing is hard for me. I love that SO much.

Also, you need to know that an apple slicer, that ring thing that cuts the apple into pieces, is the most genius kitchen gadget ever. Best four bucks I've spent in recent memory. I only like apples if they're sliced, and I hate slicing them. Then this comes along, and whooomp! Apple, sliced! Ready for peanut butter application! What could be better?

ResolutionJanuary 1, 2009

We had a lovely New Year's Eve -- an impromptu games night at home which led to none of us really noticing or counting down the year. I heard gunshots and glanced at my cell phone. "Happy New Year," I yelled into the living room, but at least one person missed the announcement entirely and asked for the time about an hour later.

I loved being at home for New Year's. We never get to do that, and it was perfect. I might have had a drink or two (ahem), and I was feeling quite nappish by about 1am (I go to bed closer to 8 or 9), so I went in our bedroom and put up my feet. Nothing makes me happier than to drift off with the sound of happy people in the house. Of course, it wasn't the nap I thought it was going to be -- instead it was just bedtime, and had I known that, I would have brushed my teeth.

Resolutions? Only one: I will not stab anyone this year.

I make this resolution every year, and it proves that making resolutions TOTALLY WORK!

(Also, I'd like to love a lot and write a lot and eat lots of nice things and hug lots of animals but not take any extras home.)

You're supposed to start the year the way you'd like it to go, and I did all sorts of nice things today:

We stayed in bed late. I made quiche. We walked dogs. We ate garlic fries. We watched a great movie, Slumdog Millionaire (which was almost, but not quite, ruined by the lady behind me who kept squealing at the grim parts and running out of the theater, saying "I can't WATCH this, this is HORRIBLE!" Then she'd kick my chair on her to sit back down. She did this three times. And she was a talker. I don't mind a whisperer, but a talker? Do you see why I make that resolution every year? We consoled ourselves later with realizing that she was with the dumb-ass we'd watched get a ticket earlier that evening. They'd been parked in the bus zone. When the cop rolled up and put his lights on behind them, the guy STARTED HIS CAR and started to drive away. Now, that's kind of the wrong thing to do when you've been caught by the long arm of the law. So Talker was with the right guy, for sure). But grim parts aside, you should run to go see that movie. I loved it. All in all, a lovely day, and a lovely start.


Atbeachskld

So, Happy New Year! 2009. It's gonna be good.