Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Bitch is Back in Town

And that, my friends, is what happens when Nyx finally shows back up.

Damn, that was rough going for awhile.

I'm thinking it may end up running a tad long. Will print out what I've got tomorrow, but I think I'm through the worst of it.


The problem is, the book stops when Nyx is out of commission. These people can't slap their asses with both hands without her. Or, rather, there doesn't appear to be any narrative without her.

Once I push past this part, it's smooth sailing (which is why I skipped ahead and wrote those parts already), but this whole Nyx being out of the picture thing just fucks up the whole book.

I'm going to need to do a lot of revision once I have a draft. But I guess that was expected. Still.

I fucking hate this book, haven't I mentioned that enough times yet?

Got another 300 words. I need at least a thousand before I'm allowed to sleep tonight. That leaves me tomorrow to print it out and pull the last of it together.

I'm going to need more pancakes for this in the morning, seriously.

When this fucking book is done I will have seriously earned that month of WoW reward.

Blah blah blah emote emote emote

This book doesn't have enough fight scenes.

Parasite Induces Host to Suicide

Ways our behavior is altered by parasites, starting with the humble grasshopper.

Guns of All Sorts

Guns, quirky.

An Open Letter to Baristas Everywhere

When I say I'd like sugarfree syrup, it's not because I'm being an annoying hippie. Please do not give me regular instead and tell me it's sugarfree.

The next time I test my sugar and it comes up, inexplicably, over 200, it's you I will thank, vociferously.

Thank you.


That was a bloody hard-fought thousand words, man.

The problem with getting to the end of this book is, I've already written all of the big fun scenes, and now my entire word count consists of all the boring but necessary transition scenes and touchups where I'm stringing them all together.

It's like swimming through amber.

More words will be written shortly. Time for a pancakes-for-dinner break.

Sunday Swimming

10 minutes of swimming sounds really easy when you see it on your training schedule, especially when you've done 20 min jogging followed by 20 min biking twice the week before.

But whoa boy, seriously.

I haven't done more than the 5 min of lap swimming I did last week since... since... I was about 11 years old and still doing swimming lessons. Biking I do everyday, and I'm not a total stranger to jogging. But lap swimming? Damn.

I subtracted 2 units of insulin from my morning pancakes dose, which I though might be overkill because, hey, 2 units is what I kick off when I'm doing 40 minutes of cardio. But better safe than sorry, right?

I forgot that swimming is a full body exercise, and there's a reason that Phelps eats 12,000 calories a day.

After clawing through the last of my laps, I came home and tested my sugar, expecting that I would have to do a correction.

Oh, no.

I was a perfect 95.

After only 10 minutes of swimming.

When I get up to 20 minutes I'll be subtracting *4* units of insulin from breakfast in order to get through it. That's pretty awesome.

I love that I can judge energy output entirely based on how much or how little insulin I have to shoot myself up with.... heh heh. My life measured in units of insulin.

So: swimming was embarrassingly tough this morning, but I got there, I did it, and the ear plugs made a big difference. As did the moment when my old swimming instructor's voice came back to me, "Kick kick kick!" and I realized I wasn't kicking enough. Things went much more smoothly and quickly after that.

I also need to figure out how to rotate instead of just plowing through while horizontal, which is one of the reasons why it's so fatiguing right now. I'm wasting a lot of movement and losing my balance.

It's been a long time since I've done this, seriously.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stuff I Fucking Hate

I cut a bunch yesterday, so this is about another 2k.

I fucking hate this book. Must mean it's almost fucking done.

Weekend Training

Working out on weekends is new to me. At least, I haven't done it since Alaska, when I had a lot of time and very long summer days.

According to the training schedule, Mondays and Fridays are my off days, so today was 20 minutes on the bike and 20 minutes jogging. It's easy enough now that I'll be upping my jogging speed, which is cool. It's fun to be stronger than you thought you were.

Tomorrow is swimming. Let's get in the full 10 minutes this time, OK? For serious. I'll also be bringing my ear plugs (the ones I use for when I go shooting, funny enough). I've always had trouble with my ears, and just one swimming session was enough to remind me of them. I spent two days shaking water out of my head.

So. Onward.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Snip snip

Cut about six pages of crap that wasn't working, which pissed me off.

Then dithered around writing bits and pieces of personal emails and rants. Those, at least, did not piss me off.

Where's my whiskey?

Things I Need Tonight

Loud music and whiskey.

I don't have any whiskey around, but oh yeah, we've got the loud music in spades.

And I think I have two beers in the fridge.

Burn Notice

This is a smart, funny little show that does a lot of things I want to accomplish with Nyx and co.

You've got the gun-toting former IRA member ex-girlfriend, the alcoholic FBI-informing best friend (played by Bruce Campbell. Seriously!), the chain smoking hypochondriac mother who's really bad at being a mom, and the ex-spy who's gotten a "burn notice" i.e. been kicked out of spy business by a mysertious 3rd party.

There's the overarching story - the spy wants to find out who kicked him out and get back in - and then there's the story in each episode where our spy does good works and solves little mysteries, runs local jobs, blowing up cars and saving key witnesses and little old ladies and etc. for cash (all of his accounts have been frozen).

So you get to watch him and his quirky team - who have their own history together - work stuff out and screw up jobs on occasion ("Here's what happens when you attach the bugging device to the gas tank instead of the electrical system"), and best of all, the ex-spy is incredibly good at what he does, but woefully bad at relationships. Not just with his on again/off again love interest, no, but with, well, everyone. He just doesn't get it. The scenes where he's trying so hard to say the right thing during an emotional situation just make me laugh. He's far more comfortable blowing shit up.

It's also set in Miami, and hey, sun, sand, and surf are pretty nice. Thus far, there's been no "new chick he could possibly be romantically involved with" per episode, the way you see even in stuff like The Dresden Files series. Which wasn't done so badly there - there was more a possibility than an actual inevitability that every chick in every episode would be a damsel in distress he'd get it on with - but it's a noticeable difference here in the first three episodes that I do like (this could change, but I enjoy it so far).

I like that he's got no money, he likes guns and hitting things, he's terribly short on friends, and he's really bad at connecting with people.

Basically, I like that he reminds me of a way cooler version of me.

Now, give me a chick hero like this, folks. Cause though Fiona is a pretty awesome character, the actress who plays her looks hungry and terribly breakable most of the time. I keep thinking she's going to trip over her feet and snap her spine or something.

But: her character doesn't suck. Nor does the mom. And if you look at the "main players" ratio, it's an even split between male and female main characters. You've got Campbell and the spy, and Fiona and the mom in primary, recurring roles. And mom and Fiona are powerhouse characters who take active, strategic roles in every episode. They aren't one-off or passive, and they get and give just as much as the guys.

Now, tell me how often that happens?

(and then: make a show like this with a chick lead! Until then, I'll be waiting around for Sarah Conner to show up again)

Well, you know...

... if McCain dies in office, things might get interesting. Less interesting than if Obama dies in office (hey, she's Alaskan! When is *she* running for president? Crappy about the pro-life thing, tho). And is this really only the second time in 20 years that somebody's run with a woman VP?

Indeed it is.

But at the end of the day, we're voting for the prez... and not for the VP. Crappy chickens.

Note: I can also tell you honestly that this is the first time in eight years where I haven't been like, "If so and so is elected, it will be like electing SATAN!!!" Either way it falls, I'm feeling pretty positive.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Here We Go

I actually wrote the last scene of the book tonight, which was weird. It's so strange to write a book so completely out of order. I did the same with GW, but not to this extent. It's funny to be so close that you can taste it, but you still have to write about 5k of transition stuff to get you from one big scene to the next.

So close you can fucking taste it, but so much fucking work still to go. Frustrating as hell.

I'm taking a four-day weekend to finish the book. I'm off tomorrow through Monday. This fucker needs to end.

I cut 1K of what I had last time, so this is actually slightly more progress than it appears.

Tra-la. Early morning tomorrow.


Did 20 minutes of jogging followed by 20 minutes on the bike. I skipped the bike yesterday because my weight training session at work was brutal. Not physically brutal, oddly enough, but mentally brutal. That whole almost crying because I had to do three sets of pushup rows and squat jumps thing was pretty demoralizing. I just couldn't stomach getting back into the gym after that.

But today ended up going really well. The jogging is already getting easier, and this is just my third session. It's fun to feel myself getting stronger, getting back into that old Chicago jogging mindset. It's funny to remember that I used to do 3 (and, when I was feeling cranky, 4) miles back then, before I got sick.

I keep trying not to look ahead at the schedule. At the end of week 11 I should top out at 30 minutes swimming (right now I'm thinking: 30 minutes of laps holy jesus), 45 mnutes of running (HAAH AHAH AHAHahah ahaaha ahah um ha umm hrm), and 55 minutes on the bike (now *that* I can do, seeing's as a bike is my primary mode of transit, and I was commuting an hour and a half to work on a bike [3 hrs a day total] in Chicago for several weeks there at the end).

And now, you know, looking at what I just wrote, it's funny. I forgot about the jogging 3 miles thing. I forgot about the 14 mile roundtrip bike commutes.

You know what?

I still have it in my head that I'm a totally doughy, unfit geek. Isn't that funny? I just had this thing in my head that was like, "Well, you're a doughy person, so this is going to be HARD." But then I remembered biking to work in 25 degree weather with crashing lake water splashing up at me and a brutal headwind and not being able to feel my fingers while I biked merrily home, and I'm remembering... dude. I can do this stuff. *Sticking* with it will be the challenge. But the actual, physical ability to do it?

Shit, I *have* that. I just need to fucking *do* it.

Like I said: just trying not to look too far ahead. It's the vertigo that's the killer, not the fall. It's the fear of failing that keeps you down, not the physical doing.

I just keep telling myself that.

Lost Highway

Continuing my Twin Peaks-inspired Lynch kick, I watched Lost Highway last night.

This is a Lynch I'm a much more comfortable with. The obscure cyclical story. Messages to yourself from the future. Dopplegangers. Body jumping. Choppy, nonsensical narratives. Creepy fellows. And, also, whores who get slaughtered. Ho-hum (I'm thinking that one of the reasons I liked Mulholland Drive is that it's a Lynch movie that actually passed the Bechdel test. Thus far, I have not found any others that do. Maybe Inland Empire? I'm thinking Dern talks to the gypsy about something other than a guy. Maybe). Though at least this one wasn't a damsel in distress.

I think what I like about these whacked-out jump narrative dream-logic movies is that they force my brain to try and make connections between things that just aren't connected. Our web designer tells me this movie was apparently Lynch's way of sorting out the whole OJ trial fiasco, looking into how a guy can live with himself after committing an atrocious murder.

I admit I was struck dumb at that event as the catalyst for this movie. The only connection I see is... guy kills his wife and is set free... um, but he's set free because he literally transforms into somebody else. And then goes and has an affair with his supposedly dead wife, who is now somebody else's wife, only not really.


It's a Lynch movie, all right?

In any case: dream logic. It's why I like these. It's a crazy brain exercise, which is likely good for my plotting muscles.

This one is a typical Lynchian brain-exercise.


Bees at war.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reasons to Make Supplemental Income

What you can get for 135K in Portland, OR (price reduced!).

What you can get for 135K in Dayton, OH. Or, if you want something more contemporary. Or something with a bit of land.

Must... write... more... books. And etc.

Fan Art (No, this is not my work!)

Someone has apparently created a pony mod based on Jay Lake's novel, Mainspring.

I've seen a lot of mods inspired by movies and television characters, but I think this is the first I've seen inspired by a book.

Death to Personal Trainers

This was the last day of this quarter's brutal upper body routine with the personal trainers at work. I received relief a couple of weeks ago on the lower body workout (which was primarily walking lunges, squats, and one-legged lunges, all weighted), which made going to the gym bearable (we're now doing drop sets).

Today was my last day of this routine (they change them every 4-6 weeks, depending on how we're performing). I admit that I nearly cried there a couple of times at the beginning, because I fucking hate, fucking hate, fucking hate pushup rows, and knowing this was my last day of them made me hate them even more. And then I hated myself for hating them.

No pain, no gain?

The routine:

Pushup rows: set of 12 with 15 lb weights
Squat thrust jumps: set of 10

Repeat X3

Assisted pullup: set of 12
High knee jumps: set of 15

Repeat X3

Lateral raises with band: set of 15
Jumping jacks: set of 12

Repeat X3

And then:

Tricep extensions with 30lb weight: 12 reps

Bicep curls with 20 lb weight: 12 reps

And finally:

Medicine ball situps: 45 sec
Knee tucks: 45 sec
Plank: 45 sec
Oblique crunches left: 45 sec
Obligue crunches right: 45 sec

It was the first time I wanted to kill my personal trainer.

I'll find out next week what new torturous routine he's cooked up for us for the next 6-week cycle.


Or, Harrison reimagined.

This is one of my favorites. Can't wait to see what they do with it.

Find of the Day

Reel Music, a streaming radio broadcast of movie soundtracks.

I do about 95% of my writing while listening to movie soundtracks. This radio station is full of awesome.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Try half an hour of jogging followed by ten minutes of swimming.

You wouldn't think this would be that bad - I mean, there's a 5 min warmup and cooldown attached to that half hour, so it's really only twenty minutes of jogging, and the swimming is only ten minutes - but, but... I only managed four laps before I started seriously worrying about my sugar. It's been so long since I swam laps that I forgot what an incredibly intense exercise this is. I figured, hey, if I can jog, I can do anything!

Oh no it ain't so.

Turned out my sugar was fine at a respectable 148 after exercise. I had plenty of wiggle room to finish out my set.

This week is mainly a fitness test week for me. How much can I do, how hard can I work, etc. I think I'll be able to knock out the swimming part much more easily next time, knowing that my sugar is on track.

Next week, the miles start counting toward Lothlorien.

Where I Was At Tonight

Toby and Scalzi were reading at the Books & co. at The Greene! (don't worry, somebody else got much better pictures). So it was straight from work to the gym to the reading (these guys make a great couple).

Man, I miss the SF/F crowd.

When's Wiscon, again?

Sometimes Synopses are Awesome

I'd been knocking my head against a plot point here at the end of the book the last couple of days.

Today, in preparation for my big weekend push, I printed out and re-read the synopsis I had to write for Black Desert in order to sell the series.

"Ohhhh," I said aloud, "so *that's* how they do that."

Sometimes you get so tangled up with plot threads at the end of a book that you forget that you did, in fact, figure out a way to write yourself out of them.

Putting it in Simple Terms

Hollywood is not creating female heroes.

"Kameron, why do you write what you write?"

Because I want to live in a world that actually tells the stories of female heroes.

Doc Says...

Man, I'm an overanxious freak every time I'm due for a doctor's appointment.

Turns out I have not, in fact, gained any weight since starting the pump. In fact, I've lost two pounds. And my a1c is 6.1, which she says is a pretty incredible a1c for somebody who just started on a pump (for those keeping track: the target a1c for a diabetic is less than 7.0. A non-diabetic a1c is 6.0 or less). My blood pressure, as usual, is great, reflexes all great, etc. etc. And my doc didn't yell at me for anything (I think my first experience with a diabetes doctor in Chicago has just scarred me for life. Why do I always expect to be yelled at and told I'm doing things wrong when I'm, like, a model t1 diabetic?)

Why do I freak out right before every appointment?

You know one of the big reasons I'm not good at math or budgeting? Because I don't believe in it. I don't believe that's it's an unshakable, inevitable truth, like gravity. I keep waiting for some magic.

After the last two years, dramatic weight loss/weight gain is something I've been overanxious and freaked out about, understandably. I keep waiting for some bizarre, nonesense thing.

But here's the deal, yo: I'm using less insulin on the pump. I'm working out three days a week. In a normal world, that would equal a steady to lowering weight and a very nice a1c.

But, you know, I've never lived in rational land. I'm always preparing and expecting the out of the ordinary.

This is probably why I'm a fantasy writer.

But it makes for a pretty overanxious life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

“Community approval isn’t the motive for a hero anyway. It’s the motive for a politician. A hero does the right thing because it’s the right thing.”
- Frank Miller


Are you doing it right?

Every year, I go to Wiscon. If I were to go to one other SF/F convention a year....

... which con should it be?

Line edits, how I loathe theeeeee....

Typo of the day

vile - for - phial

I seemed to be absolutely convinced of this spelling. I wrote it as "vile" four times.

Lazy phrase of the day (used at least four times in forty pages)

"His eyes looked too big."


Sunday, August 24, 2008

What I Hate About the End of First Drafts....

... is that during the last 1/4 to 1/5 of the book, I'm focusing mainly on tying up plot threads and loose ends. This takes all the fun out of writing, for me, which is why squeezing out the last 10K of this book holds about as much "fun" for me as the idea of running a marathon.

In the next draft, I'll be adding in all the cool scenery and worldbuilding stuff and cleaning up all the dialogue, but for now it's thread, thread, plotpoint, thread, and hunkering down and getting everything to make sense is just no fun at all!

I'm sure David Lynch feels the same way.

I should just throw in some red curtains, backward talking dream sequences, and have my heroine turn into a blue box at the end.

That'll keep `em guessing.


Somebody needs to make a caffeine-free version of Coke Zero.

Then my life would be complete.

Pump Weight

I go in to see my endo on Tuesday.

It also so happens that the last couple of days, I've noticed that the dreaded pump weight seems to have caught up with me. I'd actually thought I'd avoided this, as it appears to me that I'm using *less* insulin than I did before I switched to the pump. Maybe I really am eating more than I was, pre-pump?

I don't think so, tho.

I do honestly think a matter of better control - and eating too many of the work lunches instead of the lunches I bring from home. I haven't had my latest A1c yet, but my last one was 6.5. Not too shabby. A 6.5 a1c corresponds to an average blood sugar reading of 138. My current average is 122, which would be an a1c of 6.0. Still not as good as my 5.9 (which I got while being, what 5-10 lbs lighter?).

As usual, my concern with the weight gain has more to do with the fact that I can't afford new clothes than it does with the "OMG I'm Fat!" rant.

I've also finally gotten comfortable enough adjusting basal rates that workouts more than twice a week are starting to look less annoying. I'm hoping it's just a matter of getting back into my regular eating and workout schedule.

For the record, though, I did finally stop buying peanut butter. Those flourless peanut butter cookies, paired with all that WoW playing, is when I first started noticing that my jeans weren't fitting as well. I needed to ditch those bad habits and pick up some better ones.

Eternal vigilance sure does get annoying, but when I stop paying attention, I go to seed really quickly.

It's a bitch.

Blue Velvet

The robin in the opening credits of Twin Peaks? It's apparently supposed to symbolize love.

Also, watching Blue Velvet will help you win a lot more rounds of the Kevin Bacon game.

Blue Velvet is a David Lynch murder mystery that came out in 1986. It's set in a small 50s town, where Agent Cooper and Laura Dern get mixed up with a weird drug dealer/kidnapper/psycho (a la Bob of Twin Peaks).

This wasn't a great movie. In fact, it was kind of boring, mainly because I could never figure the main character's motivation out. Agent Cooper is looking slightly younger and just as pretty, but he's not Agent Cooper, just a small town boy whose motivations, again, are just... impossible to figure out. He comes home from college after his father suffers from some weird heart attack/bug bite/neck injury and proceeds to sort of woo Laura Dern (who I just can't stand in any movie. She's incredibly annoying, and she doesn't work this role at all either, even with the little she's given).

Now, truth be told, I ended up with a terrible crush on Agent Cooper while watching Twin Peaks, but in Blue Velvet, he lost a lot of his niceness and intelligence, leaving not much for wanting but a couple of great ass shots and pleasant but brief full frontal. Neither of which were all that exciting, as, again, I couldn't connect with his character in any way (if there was ever a doubt that it's largely a guy's inherent "niceness" that's one of the big factors in my attraction, this was a good example of that. I was terribly keen on Cooper, but when the actor switches roles, I had trouble sustaining interest. This is my big problem with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I was first introduced to him in Bend it Like Beckham, in which he plays the good guy girls' soccer coach. I literally could not sit still in my seat I was so hot over him. In every other thing I've seem him in, he's played a totally creepy, whiny, asshole, and I've just never been able to get all that excited about him again).

In any case, my interest in the hero aside, the dialogue is pretty poor, there's that stunning lack of character motivation, the ending is syrupy sweet in a totally inexplicable way, and most of the movie's weirdness consists of a single bizarre sex scene.

I'd recommend the movie mainly to Twin Peaks fans interested in some of David Lynch's themes and imagery. You can see his interest in small towns, diners, logging towns, red curtains, and that incredible fake looking robin that, in this movie, symbolizes love (which did make that robin in the Twin Peaks credits far more interesting in its fakeness). You see the beginnings of the Agent Cooper character, Bob, and there's even a cameo by another Twin Peaks actor.

Annoyingly, there's also that damsel-in-distress thing going on in this movie, much as it was in Twin Peaks. And there's the black-haired temptress/crazy woman vs. the good/blond woman (and Cooper goes around sleeping with the temptress and the then the blond totally forgives him because really, why not, we couldn't have a happy ending otherwise! And hey, she was technically still dating that Mike guy while romancing Cooper, so all's well that ends well. Hey, it's like that foursome in Twin Peaks - Nadine, Ed, Norma, and Hank!). I'm not sure what the whole madonna/whore thing is about, except maybe it's the only way he can think to give women the same monster/hero battle that he plays up between men. It's annoying and lazy.

It's an interesting artifact movie, but if you're looking for neat, brain-twisting David Lynch weirdness like Mulholland Drive, well, skip this and just go watch Mulholland Drive again.

Have I mentioned that I find Laura Dern totally annoying (maybe it's just that she ruined Inland Empire for me? She comes across as so completely flat and fake and devoid of... anything)?

Ok, I'll stop now.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Stay away from people who belittle you ambitions. Small people always do that. It is the great that know that you too, can become great."
- Mark Twain

Friday, August 22, 2008

Twin Peaks: Final

Dude, that was a silly ending. In no small part because that's what should have happened back at the beginning of the season with the owls, and the end of the season should have been bringing him back.


EDIT: And you know, there's only so many damsels in distress you can take before it just gets old. Not one of them fought back. Heather Graham is a foot taller than that guy, he has no weapon of any kind trained on her, and he's got her with one flimsy hold on her wrist, dragging her through the woods. Seriously? Come on. All she'd have to do is sit down.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Plotting My Way Out of a Paper Bag

As somebody who's incredibly bad at plot, I must say I'm ridiculously proud of myself for the triple-cross that plays out at the end of this book.

It fills me with glee.

Magic Number

I wanted to start a training program that required me to be able to jog for 20 minutes in order to start with it, so tonight I figured I'd see about where my jogging ability was. The days of the 3 mile night run in Chicago were never picked up after I got sick, so I was interested to see about how I was.

I hate running more than just about anything else, especially post-diagnosis, because it's the exercise that will drop your blood sugar the fastest (pre-diagnoses, I just hated it because it felt absolutely dreadful and made me incredibly self-conscious). I remember jogging after lunch for a few months after getting diagnosed by going right after lunch and just shaving 2 units of insulin off my lunch bolus.

The great thing about a pump is that I don't have to experience a really high post-lunch number in order to make it to working out after work. But I had yet to find the right combo. It's one of the reasons I've avoided most of my post-work workouts since I got the pump.

But today was the day, so I decreased my basal rate to .15 for the hour and a half before I exercised and during the hour of exercise. I ended up jogging (at a verrrry relaxed pace, let me tell you) for about 25 minutes, with 5 minutes of warmup. It really wasn't bad at all, and my post-workout sugar was a comfortable 133, which means I have wiggle room to extend the time/up the pace and still not bottom out.

Looks like that basal rate schedule is a keeper, for now. Which makes me so happy you don't even know. Man, I hate figuring out new sugar tricks when I switch up routines. I hate lows. I hate feeling so awful during them. They just suck all the strength and willpower out of me.

So, hey!

The protagonist is jogging again.

How many miles to Lothlorien, again?

The Trouble with Black Desert is...

The first two-thirds of the book is all narrative. The last third of the book is all dialogue.

Oh, for serious.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

"I worshipped dead men for their strength,
Forgetting I was strong."
- Vita Sackville-West

Mirror Lessons

It occurred to me tonight while I sat in bed doing line edits of the last 50 pages or so of Black Desert that I've been struggling with a real blow to my self-esteem for some time now. It started when I fled Chicago, and got worse in December, despite a book contract, my own apartment, and a now manageable credit card debt.

I've spent the last few weeks corresponding with folks online, looking to setup more dates, but instead of feeling like it's a fun thing, it feels like a chore. Like I'm desperate for people to like me. And all the ones I really like don't like me back, and then I run around in a tizzy, running through all the bullshit stuff I was told during my last breakup, and I beat myself up. I tell myself that if I was just thinner, or hotter, or even more accomplished, at this point, that I would be loved and desired.

The funny thing is, it's not that I'm *not* loved and desired. I certainly am. Just not by the folks I desire. And that's a tough thing for anybody. That's life.

I've spent the last couple of years in a perpetual state of dating. I forgot what it was like to just be me, funny as that may sound. I got used to playing the part of me, of being strong, wise-cracking Kameron in the frumpy clothes, the one who made up for her bad haircut with her great personality. I got used to giving the appearance of being strong and self-reliant and gung-ho all the time.

And you know, it gets tiring sometimes, being me. Especially when I don't know who me is anymore.

I was talking to Stephanie about how I think I'm ready now to get a dog, and she quoted something from a movie about these recovering addicts who were asking their counselor when they could start dating again, and the guy said, "First, get a small plant. If you can take care of the plant for 6 months and it doesn't die, get a small animal. And if you can take good care of that small animal for 6 months, and you're plant's still alive and in good shape, then you're ready to date."

Provided, of course, that you don't live in Ohio.

And you know, I have a lot of living plants, many of which I brought from Chicago, and I'm taking care of myself again, and soon I'll start looking for just the right dog. But here's the thing, I think.

I was in a relationship when I got sick. Bounced into another one immediately after that, then stumbled into another immediately after that. No breaks. No "just me." It was a crazy, wild time after taking six years off from dating all together. Suddenly there was all this dating, and then craziness, sickness, all rolled into one.

There hasn't been a lot of "let's just think about the future that has just me and my chronic illness in it." I haven't spent a lot of time on that future, really. I don't know what it will look like. I still don't know what I can do. I'm still struggling to understand a lot of the secondary shit that comes with being a t1 diabetic. I have nightmares now about my eyes bleeding. I wake up some mornings terrified because there seems to be poor circulation in my leg, and does this mean it's going to be chopped off? And afternoon exercise often terrifies me to the point of inaction. I hate having low sugar. I hate that it makes me weepy and full of self-hatred.

When there's something rotten inside of you, you tend to bash at things on the exterior, things you can actually see. It didn't help that I dated somebody who bashed me about how I looked, too, and used it as one of the lame reasons we should break up, and when I'm weepy and full of self-hatred, it all comes rushing back, and I want to claw myself apart. I'm too fat, I'm too tall, I'm too ugly, I'm ill-shaped. I hate myself in all the ways I've taught myself not to hate myself. And then I hate myself for hating myself.

What I want, instead, are long, warm summer nights. Line edits. Book contracts. Projects. Leisurely bike rides. I want to just not think. I want to stop thinking all together. And for me, that generally involves socializing very little with strangers for a good long while, so I don't look for the measure of my worth in their eyes, thinking they're a mirror, making me up, reflecting me back.

I don't look strangers in the eye very often. People think it's rude. But I do it because I'm afraid of what I'll see. I'm afraid I'll see how they look at me, I'll see myself, reflected back, and I'm terrified I won't like what I see.

I don't know, sometimes, what's rotten inside of me, what it is that I hate so much. I try so hard to be good, to be better. And the default, it seems to me, is just so rotten. I want to tear it out.

Things That Make Me Happy

Trust me. This is an amazing improvement. Budgeting sucks, but the results are pretty tangible.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Things Which Are Retarded

Downloading OpenOffice on a pirated wireless connection. I just don't have any interest in unplugging my hardline from my shiny desktop.

But my pirated printer won't work on my Vista machine (without a lot of canoodling by the not-Boyfriend, and I haven't heard from him in three or four weeks), and my OpenOffice training schedule won't print from my laptop, so we find ourselves in this situation.

Silly rabbit am I.

My Kingdom for a Cookie

They've had boxes and boxes of cookies leftover from the company picnic this weekend, and today I finally gave in and snatched two of them.

The carb count was 26. I figured that was what, a serving size of two cookies?

Oh no, that's for just one cookie. A whopping 52 carbs for two cookies.

Seriously, why did I just eat this?

Also, seriously, I'm frickin' tired of thinking about what I'm eating all the time.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cheap Night Out

Biked over to the park, ate my pre-made rice and veggie dinner and some mixed berries. Continued reading The Stand. Got eaten by some mosquitoes and nearly run over by the folks playing frisbee golf.

Came home, finished up some more Twin Peaks, tended to said mosquito bites.

Would not have been a bad night, if not for the mosquitoes.

It occurred to me tonight that I'm starting to make singleton plans again.

And you know?

It feels good.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Steph & Kam (& Oscar!) Take on the Darke Co. Fair. Or, Chicks Who Aren't Afraid to Eat

Steph and I decided to go to the Fair! Because it's fucking summer, yo. And the fair is full of awesome.

We just missed The Ohio State Fair in Columbus, so we traveled a tad north to the Darke County Fair.

We are arrived. Free parking, yo!

Did I mention we are arrived? Boy, we both needed a vacation....

Stephanie kicked my ass (TWICE) at the pig races. We decided beforehand that whoever won would gift the prize to the loser. I figured this was perfect, because I am awesome at rollerball games and I could totally win her a prize!

Then she kicked my ass. TWICE. So she won me this chicken! Or, maybe, it's a duck. A duck chicken. Really, we're not sure. I named him Oscar.

It's not the fair without some dinky princess tiara. The closest I'll ever come to wearing a Campbell tiara! I guess I just try and look forward to a Tiptree tiara?

Then it was on to other fair-time treats... like giant produce!

Stephanie, tho, had her eye on tasty, award-winning desserts. These were under bulletproof glass, let me tell you.

Checking out all that food made us hungry. Cause, let's face it, why else do you really go to the fair except for all the food? This place drew us in with this impressive BBQ rack. Those are old-school coals cooking that meat there yo.

And oh.... what meaty goodness it was!

Oscar, too, was getting pretty parched by this time.

Have I mentioned we were really here for the food? The tasty, tasty roast chicken? I suspected, at this point, that Oscar really was not a chicken, as this massacre of his fellow beast did not seem to bother him. But really, how could he be a duck? Have you ever seen a yellow duck?

Excuse me, this chicken bone here, ah... that's better.

Tasty food elicits goofy faces, srsly.

But Stephanie isn't such a meat person. Oh now, Stephanie had been pining after the fresh corn on the cob.

And oh boy, yes. Fresh corn, people. We passed fields and fields of Ohio corn on the way in. This was our reward.

And that was that.

Time for a brief rest before that other fair time attraction - livestock! What? You thought we'd do the rides right after we ate? What do you think we are, 15?

This is totally what Tessa and Kimmie the dawgs would look like if they were goats. Srsly.

Stephanie was not terribly interested in visiting the animals, but she seemed to get on well with this goat.

I think she fell in love with it, actually.

We found out later that we weren't supposed to be touching this sheep, as it had just been groomed for showing. Ooops. Way to read a sign, Hurley.

Kameron says, "This is a big motherfucking turkey."

Stephanie's imitation of this rooster.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a winner! This pheasant must surely be one of Oscar's kin. Could our duck-chicken really be a pheasant?

Which of these things is not like the other???

I don't think this is one of Oscar's stock.

This duck, then, perhaps?

Maybe this duck is Oscar's mom? Note the similiar hairstyles. We may never know. These are the mysteries that will keep me up at night.

Holy crap, Monty Python and the Holy Grail figurines. No self-respecting fair-goer should go home without these.

Classic Ohio vs. Michigan baby chic.

OK, yo, lunch is settled. Ferris wheel time!

View of the fairgrounds.

High up over Ohio! High on life, that is!

High on life with Oscar!!

Look, more fairgrounds! The fair was just about the right size for two krazy kats like us.

Rockin' out with Oscar on some more rides.

Singing the "Ooooo hiiiiii oooooooo" song with Oscar.

Oscar pretends to fly. I pretend to be impressed.

Rides are done. It's time for ice cream!

And what trip to the fair would be complete without face painting? What, you thought I'd leave without getting my face painted??

The look on my face says it all. Deep fried twinkies. Yes, they were selling deep fried twinkies at this Ohio fair. I just couldn't leave without one. Did I mention I stocked up on insulin yesterday in anticipation of just such an event?

Seriously. It's a deep fried twinkie. He totally dipped it in batter and fried it. "You want powdered sugar?" he said. "Oh sure!" I said. "Chocolate sauce?" "Er, I said, uh, no!" I mean, I have to draw the line somewhere, people!

Trying the first bite....
Actually, this is pretty fucking good!

Stephanie's obligatory, "I can't fucking believe I'm sitting here with a deep fried twinkie eating hippie in Ohio. What have I done with my life??"

My response, "Stop your bitching or the duck-chicken gets it."

And finally, what trip to the fair isn't complete without totally making yourself sick with that one extra treat just before you leave?

My obligatory "Gee golly the patriarchy loves me and my phallic desserts" shot (OMG this should totally be the author photo on my book jacket).

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.

Next year: deep fried Oreos and skee ball!