Sunday, October 29, 2006

Out of the Closet...

Today was an extra hour long, thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time, and we had a sunny Sunday. We'd been talking about going to the Chicago Botantic Gardens. So, what do we do?

We clean out the closet in the office.

It turned out that neither of us was really insistent on going to the garden--I wasn't in the mood for a long drive today. So Eugene decided to tackle the closet, since we'd been talking about it for a while. I have to admit he did most of the work moving things in and out. We were able to get rid of some old papers, and I undid a sweater I started to crochet several years ago but never finished. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of Eugene modeling his blue wig afterwards. But we did have fun finding some blasts from the past:

* a picture of my father in his service uniform (I called my dad and asked if he still had it, but he laughed and said no)

* trophies from high school forensics

* my school records, going as far back as kindergarten

* postcards, greeting cards, and letters. I even found a couple from Russ.

* Star Trek fan magazines

* Beatles calendars and other collectibles

We're going to store some of things at Eugene's parents' house until we get our own place. Hopefully then we can move other things into the office closet to make the office less of a landmine.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Slacking Off and "Shunning"

That's pretty much what I've been doing the last few days, at least in regards to blogging and writing. The last few days have been routine, nothing worth recording for posterity. Even today wasn't exciting: I did my chores around the apartment, and after dinner, Eugene and I went shopping. He bought some clothes at Marshalls while I bought conditioner and makeup at Ulta next door. At least we had ice cream at Ben and Jerry's afterward.

I've been trying to think of some new story ideas to inspire the muse again. (As much as I love the Lennon's Line and Season Lord stories, they've been in my brain for years. I feel the need for fresh meat.) One idea I've been contemplating has to do with shunning. If celebrities value fame so strongly, I think it would be an appropriate punishment to take that away from them. (And yes, I've been listening to Gilbert and Sullivan's "A More Humane Mikado" recently, but this idea was inspired by all the drama around Paul McCartney's divorce. Enough said.) The question is how could you enforce shunning in a technologically advanced society like ours? For example, even though Lennon's murderer is thought to have acted for fame, which is why Yoko requested that his name not be used, it's just as easy to find information about him as it is to find a newspaper article or encyclopedia entry that doesn't use his name. I'd think there would have to be some sort of SFnal element to make this work, such as a computer virus designed to eliminate all traces of a particular name or some spell cast over the collective public to make them forget the celebrity. But could you get an entire society to agree to something like this, and what effect would this have on the victim and anyone associated with the victim? (I picture this story as not being about the victim, but someone affiliated with him or her--say, a genealogist trying to trace his or her ancestry. I must be hanging around my husband too much. ;) ) There's still a lot to think about, but at least it helps me to put some of this down in text instead of carrying it all in my head.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

And There Was Great Rejoicing...

For Sandra has regained the use of the Internet at home.

Actually, it turned out to be a quick fix--I just used the CD that came with our new modem to install the new DSL on my laptop. And if you're wondering why I didn't do this before, it's because it's a backup CD; Eugene was able to get the new DSL working on his computer without even opening the envelope. I figured it was worth trying the CD before calling Tech Support; I had enough of that with Earthlink.

I'm still not home free; I'm connected via cable, not through the wireless router. So this means I still can't print. That's the next step to tackle, but I won't do it right now. Maybe later tonight if I'm ambitious, or even tomorrow if I'm not.

At least I was finally able to upload the pictures from the Thanksgiving dinner. Here's the link (they're at the top):

Yes, this is all I took, but Eugene has lots more. I'll remind him tonight about them. We'll see if he wants to upload them to his blog or to a site like photobucket.

More later....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Thanksgiving Reunion

Every year in October or early November, our college friend Sara (and her friend Eileen) plan a get-together dinner for the group. We look forward to it for a long time, especially since Eugene and I only get up to Madison a couple of times a year. So we drove up last night for the dinner tonight.

As much as I love visiting Madison, even I have to admit this was a bad day to visit. It rained the entire day, and it was so cold I used a blanket in the car. (What can I say; I'm a thermophile.) Still, Eugene and I went to State Street so I could stop at one of my favorite stores, the Soap Opera. They carry all kinds of scented lotions and other toiletries, and although the staff is friendly and helpful, they aren't as pushy as some chain stores I could mention. We also stopped at WinterSilks and walked around the Farmers' Market, though we didn't get anything since we didn't have a cooler. Then we hung out at the mall and the bookstore for a while until it was time. The dinner this year was at a room in the local humane society. We got to see some of the cats, but despite our predictions, kittens were not given out as favors.

It was great seeing our college friends again and meeting some new people. Unfortunately, we were unable to have a Blog Summit, as Russ was stuck at work the whole day and couldn't drive down. Needless to say, he was both missed and dissed. ;) (Just kidding, Russ.) There was a lot of good food, including a brined turkey, candied yams, macroni and cheese, Eugene's famous apple cranberry pie, and my own homemade rolls. Toddlers provided the after-dinner entertainment by running around, banging on things, and attempting to escape. I got a few photos before the batteries in my camera died, but Eugene got lots more. I'm sure he'll post them when we're home. I'm in the middle of uploading mine to Photobucket; they should be done soon.

We only had the room until 8:00, but another part of this tradition is having breakfast together the morning after at a local restaurant. Hopefully I can find fresh batteries and take more pictures then.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Getting Closer...

We're making progress with our Internot problem. Today we set up the new connection with a different ISP. It works when it's hooked up to a single computer, but we're having problems with the wireless router. I wonder if something got messed up with it while we were trying to fix our connection problem before. Maybe our IT provider at work has some ideas. But at least now I can get online from Eugene's computer.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Still Here!

No, I haven't given up blogging, but it's kind of hard to do without an Internet connection. Friday will make two weeks without a Net. At this rate, we may switch Internet providers, since our current ones can't help us figure out what's wrong. Even the new modem we bought on Sunday isn't helping.

We did do some interesting things this weekend. Saturday night we went to the local improv comedy club at the mall. Eugene got to brush off his "deboning ice cream" suggestion from undergrad. They did it, but it took a while for the guy to figure it out. On Sunday, we got together with a friend and visited the arboretumn. Although there's been some color development where we are, there wasn't much in the arboretumn. It was still nice to walk around and enjoy the weather.

I haven't done much writing or editing lately, and I need to get back into it. Well, I have done some editing on Lennon's Line, but it's more nit-picking than anything else. I need to pull out my OWW crits and go over them again.

That's it for now. Hopefully one of these years I'll be back online and able to post more regularly.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Update on Us

First of all, our Internet at home is still down. We originally thought it was due to a "scheduled" interruption of service (which for some odd reason we were never informed of--I only found out about it on our provider's website), but even after that was supposedly fixed, we still couldn't get on. After two calls to tech support, along with the prerequsite transfers and frustration, we have a new modem on the way. Hopefully that will fix the Net.

What you missed: Saturday night we got together with some friends from a local forum to play games. Although there were a bunch of board games available (such as Would You Rather? and Balderdash), the most popular games were Spoons--like Musical Chairs--and Celebrity, which I skipped because I really do know more about quantum mechanics than I do about celebrities. Yes, like Wierd Al, I too am White and Nerdy. But we had a good time getting together with people and getting to know them better. Eugene brought his famous flourless chocolate cake, and it got rave reviews.

Sunday afternoon we drove out to Woodstock to pick apples. It was very busy when we got there--probably because the Bears game was in the evening. Some of the varieties weren't ready yet, and one that we wanted to pick had been pretty much harvested. Luckily, my favorite, Golden Delicious, was available, and there were a couple more types that we picked too. In all, we picked nearly three bags (or pecks) of apples. It's time for Eugene to make one of his other famous desserts, the apple-cranberry pie.

Monday night was a flashback to The Flood. I think we got close to three inches of rain. As if it wasn't strange enough to have no Internet, we also lost power around 9:00 p.m. We lit some candles, cuddled on the couch...and called Russ. Hey, we may still be newlyweds, but we have to take a break occasionally!

Last night and tonight were taken up with straightening out our Internot problem. Tonight we also checked out a local fitness center we're thinking of joining, then headed to the library, where I'm now blogging.

I've been slacking off with regard to writing or editing, but I did finish a couple of books. Even better, I received the contract for the anthology. It will be available in both e-book and paper form, though the e-book will be ready much sooner. But it's time to get some discipline again and get back to the keyboard, even if I hate editing. It's just got to be done.

I'm still uploading pictures from the weekend, but I'll post a link when they're done.

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