« November 2003 | Main | January 2004 »

December 31, 2003

There Is No More Time

And that's it for another year. Let's see, what happened:

  • Wrote some stuff and sold it (eleven times).
  • Had other stuff rejected many times (eighty-five times, to be precise).
  • Crashed some stuff (car, computer).
  • Bought some new stuff (including car & computer).
  • Went some places (LA, Vegas, the vast cornfields of western Illinois).
  • Experienced my first earthquake (that could be detected by, well, me). The fact that it was not while in LA is all the more noteworthy.
  • Added comments to this journal.
  • Read some books (roughly seventy-odd, give or take).
  • Saw some movies (uh, several).
  • Successfully satisfied the information needs of a (remarkably large) number of college students.
  • Successfully resisted the urge to strangle a (thankfully small) number of college students in the course of satisfying their information needs.
I don't know if those are really highlights, but I think you get the idea. See you next year.

Here's what was said at the time. And now no more will be said.

December 29, 2003

Breaking Into The Lead

Oh, and a new contender breaks from the pack: a 97 day personal (lovely, really) rejection from Ideomancer. Two more days! Oh, the suspense.

Recent Amusement: We've been watching DVDs. Isn't that what people do on vacation? Or house arrest, for that matter. ("So, have you got any videos?") Titles include The Importance of Being Earnest (witty), Seabiscuit (Very Important), Freaky Friday (better than I expected), and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (even more ludicrous than I expected). Also sitting about the place are The Producers and The Italian Job.

December 27, 2003

Oh, That's Right

I forgot: yesterday got a Red Form of Death from Argosy, 43 days. Will this be my final editorial response of 2003? Maybe. There are eight other contenders out there, most of them long overdue. We'll see.

Reading: Back on the Pratchett. Stuff's addictive. Small Gods (finally), now The Truth.

December 26, 2003

Happy Boxing Day!

Did you have a nice Christmas (assuming, of course, you celebrate Christmas)? Get anything good? See family and friends? Eat too much? Gawk at the neighbor's lights? Listen to old holiday favorites? Good. Me too.

I also see my attempts to shame my cats have inspired others. I'm so proud.

December 24, 2003

Last Minute

Snow on ground? Somewhere, but not here.
House decorated? Check.
Gifts purchased and wrapped? All purchased, Lisa's still needing wrapping.
Cards sent out? Check, but nagging feeling forgot one or two.
Christmas Eve dinner? Turkey cooking this moment.
In-laws arrival time set for tonight? Six PM, check.
Arrival time at my parents tomorrow morning? Ten AM, check.
Festive pictures of cats in Santa hat? Attempted, but abandoned for obvious reasons. Oh well. Mostly ready.

Happy holidays, people.

December 22, 2003

Late In The Evenings

Been staying out late the last few nights, but it's all right. I'm on vacation. Saturday night Lisa and I went to a concert: "The Star 94 T-Mobile Jingle Jam," where we ended up having 12th row seats thanks to the generosity of a kind stranger. We're not sure why she gave us these seats (think she got a better offer herself), but we weren't arguing. The lineup was The Whigs, Jessica Simpson, Maroon 5, Sarah McLachlan, and the Barenaked Ladies. Jessica Simpson was better than expected but she was still way out of place there. We bopped, we rocked, we sang with total lack of self-awareness. And afterwards we went and got waffles. Mmm, midnight waffles.

Last night was a late night showing of Return of the King. I managed to avoid this problem by carefully restricting my fluid intake, despite the thick dusting of salt on the popcorn. Pretty satisfied with the movie overall. And yeah, we're gonna see it again.

Today's been less impressive, but Christmas shopping got finished. And thanks to the insurance settlement from the earlier excitement of the month, this included our gift to ourselves. They actually used what's left of the Corolla to make those. No, really. That's windshield glass in the viewports. We were so impressed we felt we had to accept them. And considering our current fabric care system is a 15 year old washing machine and an 8 year old dryer, well, the choice was obvious.

In the mail, an 87 day form rejection from Asimov's for a trio of poems. Also: a Christmas miracle for Heather and Tim, a first novel sale for Toby, quoted in Wired for Derek, early voluntary retirement for John, and a Christmas story from Greg. And probably other news reports from other parts of the globe. Congratulations to all. Boy, you people are tough to keep track of. Phew.

Currently Reading: Galactic Effectuator, a fixup novel by Jack Vance.

December 18, 2003

Run For Your Lives!

A natural reaction to this little wonder, I believe.

In less terrifying news, a personal rejection from the fine folks at Strange Horizons, carefully measured at 38 days.

Currently Reading: (mentioned only because it wasn't the Pratchett after all) Superfolks, the recent reissuing of the 1977 Robert Mayers classic.

December 16, 2003

Art Imitating Art

This year for the library's winter retreat we went to the High Museum of Atlanta to see their exhibits "Verrocchio's David Restored" (no, not that David, this David) and "After Whistler," showing some of the influence of the man and his mother. Among other things, he inspired a number of similar works, such as this one, this one, this one, and this one. Oh, and this one. After that, lunch at Mary Mac's Tea Room. Came back to work to finish filling out paperwork, then came home to find a 102 day rejection from Polyphony 4. So then I ate cookies.

Oh, and someone has created the World's Largest Book. Uh, good for him.

Currently Reading: Samuel R. Delany's fantastically short (big type on 124 pages) The Ballad of Beta 2. I bet it can't be over fifty thousand words, tops. When (yes, when) I finish it before Queer Eye comes on, I'll likely start on Pratchett's Small Gods.

December 15, 2003

Let The Gingerbread Men Go And We All Walk Away Happy

Today was the day of the cookie exchange at the library. It's a great event, even if it does sound like a police training simulation. Simply put, we all bring cookies (fresh baked preferred but not required) and then take samples of everyone else's, uh, product. I brought Chocolate Chip with Fudge cookies, made with that pre-scored dough that easily breaks apart into bite sized chunks of raw, delicious, cookie dough. Um. I mean cookies. Yes. That's it.

Recent Read: New Skies, an anthology of cool SF stories by all sort of writers, including this guy. Sweet, just like the sweet sweet cookie dough. Mmm...cookie dough...

December 11, 2003

Three Things At The End

  • Good (hey, at least Watterson's not dead).
  • Bad (scary, actually).
  • Amusing (also a little scary, when you think about it).
Today's the last day of finals. Now, all over campus, things are grinding to a halt. Hurray! After tonight, it'll be quiet, quiet, quiet! here at the library, for a few blessed weeks before the spring.

December 10, 2003

'Twas In The Bleak December

As of this moment, outside it's 52 degrees, windy (16 mph gusting to 23) and raining. That's bleak enuf by my standards, even allowing for that today's also my birthday. Whee. (Note: really not concerned about getting old, as it usually beats the alternative; I just like griping).

No real major plans: dinner out with Lisa, which is always a fine and lovely thing. Otherwise, nada.

Currently reading: The Dark, the Datlow ghost story antho.

December 08, 2003

Dusted

A 75 day response time from MarsDust. Basic rejection: short with specific reasons why not.

December 07, 2003

And We Have A Winner!

And it's John Sullivan, who correctly determined that if I'm not stupid, I must have bought a Toyota Matrix! I'm not stupid, so that's what I bought (I think that logic holds up). Congrats to John, and thanks to everyone who took a stab at it.

December 06, 2003

Audience Participation

After a brief rewrite of a single line, I'm pleased to report that the folks over at Flytrap have accepted my poem, "Another Tuesday Night in Transylvania," for issue numero dos. Woo!

Also, after much consideration on my part, I'm pleased to report that I've got a new car! Wheels! I'm mobile again! First person to guess what I'm riding around in will receive a small prize of some value, possibly from inside my office (and no, it won't be paperclips or stamps. I need those). A hint: I did not buy any model I specifically mentioned, nor any specific model suggested by anyone else (not that these suggestions were not appreciated, that's just the way it worked out). Email me or post your guesses in the comments. If no one has guessed by Wednesday at 5pm, I'll put you out of your misery as to what I bought.

Currently Reading: Wyrmhole, the debut SF mystery thriller by Jay Caselberg.

December 04, 2003

Deploy! Deploy!

Ah, yes. Over there, that's what's left of my car after this morning (here's a closer shot, if you're morbidly curious). Don't worry, I'm fine. I've got a bruised nose from the airbag deploying, a partially separated shoulder from the seatbelt, and a variety of other cuts and bruises scattered about, but otherwise fine. Got an arm in a sling for a few days, but that's it. The other guy is also OK. 'Twas his fault: cops cited him for failure to yield, which is a fancy way of saying he pulled out right in front of me on a wet road. And that sums up my day. On the whole, I should've stayed in bed.

So, looks like I'll be needing a new car. Any recommendations? I'm leaning towards another sedanish car, like a Camry or a Civic or an Altima. A hybrid might also be cool, but I understand they've got no pickup.

December 03, 2003

Fancy A Cuppa?

Albedo One sent page proofs for my Bridget Jones-reminiscent tale "Twelvepenny Weather" this afternoon a la PDF, and told me to look for it in issue 28, soonish. V. good. Also, the prize for Dark Wisdom's Cthulhaiku contest came this afternoon. The curious can see it posed here, front and reverse, along with my hand and emergency backup brain. Don't get me wrong; crockery will never replace cash in the long run. But still. It's a very nice mug. Fits nicely in the hand, holds liquids well, easily survived the dishwasher (yes, it arrived and I promptly added it to a nearly full load. all in the timing). What more could you ask for? Buy one of your own and drink my words.

Currently Reading: Strange Travelers, a Gene Wolfe collection.

December 02, 2003

Mister Picassohead

Now this is what the web is all about (thanks, John!). Which is, of course, probably why those science guys are now building themselves a new Internet, where ordinary mortals such as ourselves can't play.

December 01, 2003

Back

And that's that. My holiday was fine and dandy, thanks for asking. No pictures, chiefly because we never bring our camera to these little shindigs. Oh well. Good time was had by all, with no major injuries. Rest of the holiday was pretty uneventful, altho' Lisa managed to wrench her back in some muscle-relaxant requiring way. As for me, finally finished what had been sucking away a great deal of my free time. Have decided not to buy the next one anytime soon (say, six months, at least). Too easily do they eat away the hours, and all that.