I have a number of things to do today in preparation for the trip up to New York this weekend. I figured I’d list them here for good measure:
Confirm dinner reservations (this morning)
Get a new tie (this morning)
Buy more spring water (on the way home from work)
Do laundry (this evening)
Pack for the trip (this evening)
Don’t forget GPS and EZ-Pass (this evening)
Gas up the car (for the first time since mid-March) (on the way home from work)
Clean/vacuum car (since I will have passengers) (on the way home from work)
Empty trash (this evening)
Clean dishes in sink (this evening)
Prepare iBook for Lisa (and don’t forget to pack the iBook either) (this evening)
Pack the smashing thing for Denisse (thanks to Kelly for the reminder)
- ADDED: Flummox the UCLA baseketball game tomorrow
That’s all I can think of at the moment. There may be more.
Also, I have to try and get to bed by 8:30 tonight. I’ve been staying up later (I was up until just after 10 PM last night for instance), which doesn’t sound like much, until you understand that I still get up at 4:20 AM. I need a good night’s sleep tonight because I’m still getting up early tomorrow, and because I have to drive up to New York tomorrow afternoon and need to be alert for that.
Oh yeah, and a significant streak of mine is coming to an end tomorrow, but I’ll have more to say about that tomorrow. Stay tuned…
Wow, this year is flying by. Already April is here! Today seemed more like an April day than a March day, what with the rain showers we had. It’s also opening day of the baseball season, and naturally, the Yankees/Blue Jays game was rained out. They’ll play tomorrow instead. I don’t feel quite as enthusiastic about it this year. I think it’s because of the whole steroid controversy. I’m sure baseball will get passed it–after all, it has survived two World Wars, several smaller skirmishes, strikes, gambling controversies, etc.
I emailed my accountant this morning to make sure she received my tax papers which I sent out more than a week ago. She did. I heard from her later this morning. She’s got them all entered into the computer and I should be getting a call from her tomorrow to “discuss things”. Stay tuned on that one.
Mostly junk in the mail today, although I did get a birthday card from my financial adviser and his team. And I got the June issue of ASIMOV’S, which still says it’s my last one, even though I sent in a renewal some weeks back.
I took my suit to the cleaners to have it cleaned and pressed. $4.50, which to me seems reasonable, but I rarely take in dry-cleaning. When I do, I always walk out feeling as though I’ve gotten a bargain. After all, $4.50 is barely more than a gallon of gasoline these days.
I’m 305 pages through I. Asimov.
Staying at Kelly’s tomorrow instead of Wednesday. She is getting her wisdom teeth removed tomorrow. The dentist says it will be a quick and easy job, but I’m going to stay with her tomorrow just in case.
I killed time last night by watching some episodes from the first season of The West Wing. In my mind, it still stands as some of the best writing ever to appear on television.
I was up around 8 AM today. Still not feeling 100% so I called AJ and Denisse and canceled lunch plans with them. I’d hate to get them sick. We’re going to reschedule for another time.
I did some laundry and ran out to get a haircut. It seems like I got it cut 3 or 4 weeks ago, but I felt desperately in need of another one. There was a fairly long wait but I kept myself busy reading. Yes, I finally decided on a book. I chose David Brin’s Starttide Rising, which was a winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards back in the 1980s. I read Brin’s Foundation’s Triumph in the late 1990s and thoroughly enjoyed it. But the only other Brin book I’ve read was Sundiver, back in 1996.
Haven’t done any writing yet today, but I hope to get through another 2,000 words or so before going to bed tonight.
Considering that I’ve been sick the last few days, I was pretty productive today. I was up early to take my car in for servicing. I did a full compliment of grocery shopping on my way home from that. I then spent several hours doing laundry and cleaning the house, including mopping the floors in the kitchen and bathroom–something I kept putting off. I cleaned up the mess that was on the kitchen table. What a relief that was!
I got my Apple Care papers in the mail today for the new laptop. I also got my second SFWA Forum and my name appears in this one. Don’t get excited, it’s only there because I’m listed in the directory insert that was included as part of the issue. But it is kind of cool that my name now appears in the official SFWA directory. It’s too bad I don’t have voting status yet. I noted that Joe Haldeman’s The Accidental Time Traveler had one recommendation for inclusion on the Nebula ballot. If I could, I would give it my recommendation as well. I loved that book. It was by far the best book I’ve read this year.
In fact, I’m looking for a good s.f. book to read right now and I’m having trouble coming up with one. Earlier this afternoon, I read the first few pages of Ian McDonald’s Brasyl but I’m not sure that’s what I’m looking for at the moment. The truth it, I have no idea what I’m looking for, but I want to read something good. Anyone have any good s.f. suggestions? (You might check my reading list first in order to see if I have read the suggestion already.)
And I did some more writing this afternoon. I did about 500 words of Graveyard Shift while at Saturn this morning. While writing this afternoon, I did another 1,600 words. That’s 2,100 words on the day so far, which is better than par for NaNoWriMo. But I didn’t get any writing done yesterday because went to bed so early, so I’m still about 600 words behind par overall. I may get some more writing done this evening.
[Posted on Monday, October 22]
We all kind of slept in on Sunday morning. We headed up to IHOP for breakfast at around 10:30 AM and afterward, I dropped AJ and Denisse off at the metro station so that they could head home.
Most of the rest of the day was a very lazy one for me. I finished watching Season 4 of The Shield and naturally, immediately wanted to watch season 5. Fortunately, season 5 and 6 are available on the iTunes store, and in fact, it was far cheaper to buy them from there than order the DVDs online. So I downloaded all 21 episodes that make up seasons 5 and 6 and I watched the first 4 or 5 of them.
I cleaned up the house a bit, but didn’t end up doing any laundry, as I’d planned to do. I called Doug and left him a message. (He called back but it was after I’d gone to bed.) I also called he11o_sunshine and we spoke for 10 minutes or so. But I was pretty tired, having been up so late last night. I ended up climbing into bed at around 7:30 PM.
I was up at 8 AM, ran up to IHOP for breakfast (for the first time in a while) and then spent the rest of the day on chores. I did every scrap of laundry available in the house and it is finally all done. Every last bit of it.
I decided my bedroom needed some rearranging. It has been the same layout for 4 years now. This started with the fact that I decided to flip the mattress. I then decided I wanted new bedding. I ran out to Target for that. When I returned, I decided to rearrange the furniture in there and that too is done now. I also vacuumed the house. Thoroughly. And got rid of a ton and a half of trash. And cleaned the kitchen. Really, it was a busy day today.
I fell asleep last night listening to the Yankees game on the radio. I heard the amazing 4 run comeback they made with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th but eventually fell asleep sometime during the 13th inning, so I didn’t know they ended up losing the game until this morning. They are in a back-and-forth battle in today’s game against Toronto too. The road to October is paved in excitement!
My shoulders and neck are a little sore from the arms and shoulder workout yesterday, but not nearly as bad as I thought they might be. And the soreness in my legs has almost completely vanished.
Warm today. In fact, I finally turned on the AC a little while ago because, even with the windows open, it was well over 80 in the house. Supposed to be beautiful weather tomorrow. Glad I got a lot of my chores done today.
Up at about 8:30 AM and I headed out at once to get a haircut, which I’ve been needing for some time now. (See the before and after images below.) It was nice, I walked right into the haircut place, and was taken right away. No wait. It’s not the best haircut I’ve ever gotten, but it’s shorter and that’s all that really matters as far as I’m concerned.
I came home, grabbed the empty gas container from the garage, and then ran to the gas station to fill it up with gasoline. I needed more gas for the lawn mower. When I got back home, I popped some Boston onto my iPhone (hoping for their defeat later this afternoon) and listened to their self-titled album one and a half times while I mowed the lawn. It was the first time I’d cut the grass in a long time and there was a lot to cut. It took a little over an hour (and that included getting some kind of metal wire wrapped around the mower blade, which I had to cut off with wire-cutters). But the yard is done now, front and back, and I feel much better.
While I was mowing, the Water People came by to read my meter. I have an inside water meter and usually, they just leave me a note and I can phone in my reading using the automated phone system. This is the first time since I’ve lived here that the meter people caught me at home and were able to take a reading directly.
After mowing, I took a well-deserved shower, and started the first of what will probably be a half dozen loads of laundry. I also called AJ & Denisse to see if they wanted to come over this afternoon to watch the Yankees game with me.
I plan on getting some writing done today, and there are probably a few more errands I need to run, but as of noon on Saturday, I feel pretty good about what I’ve gotten done today.
I’m feeling better, but still not 100%. I had the worst ear pain of my life in the decent into BWI this morning, to the point that I literally thought blood was going to ooze from my ears. It passed and hasn’t returned.
When I got home, I took some NyQuil and got into bed and slept. And slept. And slept. When I woke up it was almost 2 PM. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight. Now it’s already 4:15, the day is gone and I haven’t even gotten started. It’s a weird, disconcerting feeling. I’m behind in everything, including a thread of about 600 email messages involving Andy, strausmouse, kruppenheimer, and rmstraus. And these guys are supposed to be working today!
I’m hungry so eventually I need to eat something, but it won’t be here because I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet. I have laundry to do. I have other errands to run. I don’t know it it will happen today. Nevertheless, I expect to be okay to go into work tomorrow. We have a practice at noon on Thursday for softball. Playoffs is this coming Saturday.
Oh, while I was gone, I got shunn‘s chapbook, An Alternate History of the 21st Century in the mail. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’ve added it to my reading stack.
I’ve also finally updated my posts for the weekend. You can find them here, here, and here.
I was up at 7:30 AM in order to take my car into Saturn. I was scheduled to have the door check link replaced on the driver’s side door. I also asked them to check my brakes, which were squeaking. They fixed my door and brakes (only the front brakes needed fixing), resurfaced the rotors, rotated the tired and balanced the wheels. All is well. I got out of there around 10:30 AM, and then headed over to Staples to run some errands.
I set aside this weekend to begin full implementation of GTD. For those of you who don’t know what GTD is, you can read all about it here. It’s based on a book by David Allen called, Getting Things Done and I’ve read the book twice. I found the theory interesting, but as always, I’m a bit skeptical. Still, it seems worth giving it a shot. A few years back, I gave it a half-hearted attempt, but in order to be fair, I’m going full-out. I’ve got the weekend blocked out to do my initial collecting, processing, organizing and reviewing. We’ll see how it goes.
William Gibson will be signing books at Bailey’s Crossroads this evening at 7:30 PM and I’m thinking that might be a nice break. I’m not certain I’ll head over to the signing yet; it will depend on my progress and energy level, but the bookstore is only 18 miles away so it’s not a long trip.
The weather is beautiful today. I’ve got just about every window in the house open. There’s a nice breeze and its about 76 degrees out.
For those who follow these things, there has been much chatter about s.f. writer Charles Stross‘s blog essay in which argues why he thinks we will never colonize space. He has some good arguments, but I’ve been somewhat disappointed that no one has taken up the other side of the debate. And then I saw today’s Washington Post Parade magazine which contained an essay by Neil deGrasse Tyson called “Why America Needs to Explore Space“. It’s not exactly a rebuttal of Stross’s essay, but it is a good, well-thought argument for why we need to continue exploring space. The most frequently made argument against this is that we have too many problems to solve down here; here is where we should be spending our money. As Tyson points out, we do. 99 cents out of every tax dollar goes to programs other than the space program. Less than a penny goes to space. Even at the height of the Apollo missions, American’s were paying 4 cents of every tax dollar to the space program.
Education columnist Jay Mathews has a novel idea to eliminate homework in grade school in place of an hour of reading each day. Apparently, studies show that prior to junior high school, homework assignments in grade school do little to improve learning or test scores. Attempting to make reading a habit–rather than a chore–during these early years might just lead to other improvements in education down the road. I like the idea, but apparently, there are some parents that would be unhappy with this. I would mean that they would actually have to read to their children.
So much for what I said I was going to do today. I didn’t go downtown, didn’t even do much reading. I sat at home, ordered a pizza (bad idea!), watched a movie, did some quick grocery shopping, and then eventually, watched more TV. Ugh! I feel lazy!
I allowed myself to sleep in until 9:30 this morning, which is a rare late morning for me. The house is more or less a mess, but I’ve felt lazy today and haven’t done much about it. I have some grocery shopping to do, as well as a ton and a half of laundry, not to mention countless other little tasks. So instead, I’ve spent the morning reading and updating my 2007 budget with stuff that I missed while I was away in July.
We have a softball game tomorrow after work, which I am looking forward to. In the meantime, I’m trying to decide what I want to do for the rest of the afternoon. At the moment, I’m leaning towards: (1) head downtown to get something to eat. (2) Walk around the Mall for a while, find a spot to read, and sit there for a few hours reading. (3) Head back home, do the grocery shopping. (4) Start some laundry and take out the trash.
I’ll let you know how the second half goes later this evening.