Category: Everything Else

Can you hear me now?

After nearly three years of attending my daughter’s orchestra concerts, I finally heard her play. See, her orchestra is filled with about 400 violins, 200 violas, 150 cellos and 3 double basses. The wind section is buried at the back. I never see her except when she walks in and walks out. Nevermind trying to hear her. But it’s ok. The music is nice, though it would be better if I could understand the choices the director makes for the concerts. They seem so random.

For example, last night’s concert began with Schubert, included some Brahms and Wagner, and ended with… a Wizard of Oz medley. WTF?

Anyway, last night’s concert was the first time I’ve ever been able to shoot video of it. And of course, I youtube’d it so I could showcase my precious snowflake πŸ™‚ If you listen very carefully during the Scarecrow’s theme in the Oz medley, you can hear the kidlet’s clarinet. Briefly.

15 minutes

Earlier this week an email landed in my inbox from Pam Fessler at NPR. A few days later I’m sitting down for an interview. A proper interview that requires a stringer to record me, sound checks, photos taken, the whole shebang. It was very exciting and just a little bit nerve-wracking πŸ™‚

Why the hell would NPR want to interview me? Good question. Luck of the Google search πŸ™‚ NPR has a series of features called In Character where they explore “indelible American characters” in-depth. One character they will be exploring is Jack Bauer. Woohoo! One Google search later and Pam found my 24 fansite, She emailed, asked if she could chat with me, I said, “Let me think about it.” Just kidding, I actually said, “…” and blinked a lot before my brain started working again and I said, “Umm, yes please :)”

So sometime in March, I’ll be babbling like a squeeing fangirl about the virtues of Jack Bauer πŸ™‚ And the best part of the whole experience for me is getting a tiny taste of what it feels like to be the interviewee. It was way cool. Many thanks to Pam Fessler for the opportunity and to Brett Erickson for coming down to record it all. I had fun once I got over the nerves.

So now when I publish my book and head off to do book tours, I’ll be totally prepared πŸ˜€

Ficlet Featured Author


I was looking this old photograph yesterday of the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. It’s a great photo. But it got me thinking about the one in 1989 that hit SF. So I did a little ficlet on it, which I knocked out in about 10 minutes, and a few minutes later, I noticed that it was showing up as the featured story on That was a pleasant surprise πŸ™‚

During that earthquake, I was working at a video store in Marina, CA which is a couple hours south of SF on Monterey Bay. My sister was hanging out with our neighbours, and my parents were at Candlestick up in the city to see the World Series. Then the quake hit.

What I couldn’t fit into the ficlet is that when the first shock passed, my boss and I scrambled through the debris of the store checking on any customers. I had to step into the little section o’ porn to make sure no one had been knocked out by When Larry Ate Sally, and then aftershocks started to hit us.

We didn’t think it was safe to stay in the store so we ran outside – directly underneath the cement overhang that was over the sidewalk (the store was in a strip mall.) Not too clever eh? But it did not come crashing down on us. I do remember, the waterbed sensation then. Felt like the earth was rolling. I watched my car rock like it was trying to do the Wave. It was surreal as hell.

That’s all I remember until I got home. I don’t remember if I went back into the store, I don’t even remember how I got home. All I remember was trying to find my sister and when we were reunited we spent frantic hours trying to contact the G’s back here in GI but could not get through. I heard rumours about the damage in SF, especially that the Bay Bridge had collapsed which scared me bigtime. My parents had to travel on that to get home. We had no idea where they were, if they were safe or if they were on their way to the bottom of San Francisco Bay.

In the end, they arrived home, safe and sound. But it took them around 12 hours or so to do it. But we were all okay, everyone we loved was okay, our house was okay. We were very lucky.

The aftermath was pretty devastating around us. The whole of Monterey seemed to be spared and I found out later it was because much of it sits on a granite base which had absorbed much of the shock. But the further up the coast you went, towards Santa Cruz, or the further inland, and it was a different story. Once-proud houses collapsed into haphazard zigzags of wood and glass. Whole buildings imploded. Bridges fell. A lot of people died.

I really hope that’s the only natural disaster I have to go through. Then again, I live in Tornado Alley so the chances of that are slim.

Just messin’

Apparently, my crappy $100 digital camera (not my video camera πŸ™‚ ) can do some fairly spiffy macrophotography. I read an article last night on how to shoot close-ups like a pro and Crikey McNike (TM Nick Brendon) it actually kinda sorta worked.

I messed with it last night trying to get a shot of Shannon’s hands as she played her guitar but the light in my room is so ambient (just like I like it) that she either came out paler than pale with the flash, or bright orange without it. I might try again in sunlight or something.

The pic above is just this little wire fiddly toy I mess with at my desk when I’m waiting for programs or pages to load on the comp. But this is fun! I might see if it would work with the photo option on my videocamera too. It has a zoom and my digital cam does not (told you, crappy camera. Want a better one.)

Here’s a couple others I did with a mucho better camera. This is Sid the Wily Gnome who guards my monitor (Ok so I like tacky gnomes. I just don’t let my daughter anywhere near them):

A Dooce moment

Been doing a little bit of shopping recently. I can’t seem to stay the hell away from Hobby Lobby. So many goodies in there. And bargains!!

Like this clock:

Which opens up into a jewelry box:

Originally, it sold for $40 I think. Guess how much I picked it up for. Go on, guess. Ok I’ll tell you: $7. Seven measly bucks. I think that might be the best bargain for something I didn’t really need EVAR! It’s pretty shiny though. I love it.

Chelsea Clinton visits my town

I’ll admit it, I’m a fence-sitter right now when it comes to the democratic ticket for President. I like both candidates but I’m not sure which one I like more.

Last night, Shannon and I went to see Chelsea Clinton speak at the local HoJo. Nebraska is holding its first Democratic Caucuses this weekend so Barack and Clinton are paying attention to us. Granted Barack actually came to us and spoke in Omaha yesterday and Hillary sent her daughter. I’m not really fussed about that. Some people feel slighted but I didn’t.

I sort of had to twist Shannon’s arm a bit to get her to come with me to see Chelsea but after it was over, she actually thanked me for bringing her. She was impressed by Chelsea, as was I. The woman is well-spoken and incredibly well-informed about her mother’s policies. I’m so glad I went.

I’m still on the fence, but my feet are dangling on Hillary’s side.

General blechiness

What a blechy weekend. I had big plans of shopping ’til I dropped (ok, actually I had plans of finding a vacuum cleaner and a Swiffer wetjet but ‘shop ’til I drop’ sounds better) and instead I found myself wondering if 5:30pm was too early to go to bed.

I got hit with a whopper of a migraine on Saturday. Woke up with the bastard and it maintained a steady drumbeat against my skull all day. When it finally began to ease up I was left feeling weak and sort of fevery. At least, I think I had a slight fever. My thermometer is broken. All I know is I went from chills to sweating, all day yesterday and I had zero energy to do anything.

So now it’s Monday and in waking up 45 minutes before the damn alarm I discover that I’m still not feeling “right.” I feel weird. So I’m staying home from work and I intend to bury myself under the covers and read/sleep and only get up to make tea. Unfortunately, the kidlet has also woken up this morning to find she’s not feeling so hot either. So she’s staying home as well and we get to be whiny and irritating together.

So why am I blogging instead of snuggling up under the aforementioned blankies? Because I’m killing time. I can’t call her school to excuse her absence for another 45 minutes and I know if I crawl into bed I will fall asleep. I can’t believe they don’t have a messaging system set up. That’s just irritating.