Friday, February 26, 2010

Looking forward...

... to spring.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Whip It

Nice little feel-good movie with all the right cliches (for most of the movie, I felt like I was watching Bend it Like Beckham) - but it nicely jettisons the not-so-nice cliches. This is a girl power movie, and it doesn't mistake itself for a rom-com (thank god). It may be the only movie I know where the girl tells the guy to shove it (and he's not explicitly a bad person) and her consolation prize isn't another guy... it's to just keep living her life on her terms. It's a movie about a woman finding her voice, her confidence, and reveling in her own physical strength while forming strong friendships with other women. You don't see that often... usually it's "I found a man and it solved my life!" Not so, here. 

What I really came away with was just how physical these women get to be. When you watch them knocking each other over, wrestling, hitting each other on the back, jumping around, horsing around, what you realize is how meek and soft and non-threatening women are trained to be, and how rare it is to see this. It was cool to see how things could be really different, and what women's culture could be like if we moved just one step to the left.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Moving Daze

The move to the new digs is beginning. We pick up the keys next weekend, and have started packing today. Or, in my case, cleaning up all the fucking stacks of paper in my room to *prepare* for moving. Figure we'll get keys next Saturday, spend Saturday cleaning the place up, Saturday night and Sunday moving smaller boxes, and then do an official move-in weekend March 6th.

We decided to do this mainly to cut down on utility costs, since we'll be paying for both places during March. Better to clean out the big house, jack it down to 50 and stop running the space heaters, and jack up the other house to 65 and sign up for budget billing, which is $100 per month (last month's gas bill for this house was a whopping $371).

So... here goes.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fitness Update

I made it a point to work in some pilates and a nice long walk with my niece while I was back in the PNW. This wasn't tough, as the weather was great. I ended up eating a piece of French bread too many while at home, and the numbers during my first day or two traveling weren't great (but that tends to happen anyway, when I travel). Overall, though, my average BG has gone down a few points (from 144 to 138 - which corresponds with a 5.9-6 A1c), and my morning readings have gone down about 20 points, on average. Still a ways to go - I'm looking for an average number of 120-125 (which would get me a 5.5-5.7 A1c).

Eliminating all that coffee cake and low-carb (read: almond flour) treats after dinner also allowed me to drop 6 lbs, which gets me closer to my maintenance weight again.Still, the last few days of traveling churned over some of the good work I've done, so it's good that I'm back in my routine.

Now that the eating part is back on track, I realize that much of what led to this sudden jump in weight over the holidays wasn't just coffee cake: I haven't ridden my bike to work since early December (cold and snow), and our twice-a-week workouts at the day job were canceled back in November. That means I'm getting at least 2.5 hours less physical activity every week, and that adds up. 

Winter is holding on - we're expecting more snow this weekend - but the new house is a little further from work, so when biking weather arrives again, I'll be putting in a little extra. Not sure what to do about the lack of midday workouts. I'm considering switching my tough workout to the morning and the pilates to the evening to ensure that I get in the tough workout (I'm more insulin resistant in the morning, so it makes sense to workout more then. One of the big obstacles I face with evening workouts is low sugar).

Overall, I'm feeling a little better, but still doughier than I'd like. Would love to take up boxing again when/if i can afford it. We'll see how much we can sock away once we're settling in our new digs.

Thursday, February 18, 2010



More here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

God's War Finds a New Publisher!

I am uber-pleased to announce that God's War and its sequel, Infidel, have been accepted for publication by the ever-awesome Nightshade Books.

Most of ya'll know that GW got lost in the shuffle at another publisher last year, so I'm pretty pleased to find it a home again - and a pretty awesome home at that.

The best part being, of course:

THE COVER WILL NOT SUCK (you can take a look at some Nightshade covers here). 

Looking like GW will be out the first half of next year (2011), so the wait is still on (publishing is a very slow business), but it's got a home again. Progress is being made. Huzzah!

Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yes, Ohio Drivers Really Do Suck

Every time I come back to the PNW, I'm struck by just how well everyone drives.

Yes, yes, I know we have a hatred for drivers in every state (everyone's a bad driver who isn't us!), but after living in Ohio and Illinois and driving around Indiana a lot, I learned a new appreciation for PNW drivers. But how much of this was just my own bias? So I decided to look up the states with the top 10 worst driving records. AND LO AND BEHOLD....

Here are the states with the worst rate of traffic accidents, in order:

1.) Pennsylvania
2.) Michigan
3.) Illinois
4.) Ohio
5.) Georgia
6.) Minnesota
7.) Virginia
8.) Indiana
9.) Texas
10.) Wisconsin

See, I am not just biased! Ohio and Indiana really *are* full of bad drivers! 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Back in the PNW

I'm back in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) for my grandmother's funeral this weekend. I'd have much preferred being back in the PNW on a happier occasion, but since I'm here, I'm trying to make the best of it.

The air here is different, did you know that? Clear and clean; tinged with evergreen. I love it. I miss it. I miss the big trees and the water and the 40-50 degree "winter" weather. I miss eating fresh fish.

I do not, however, miss the cost of living.  I stood in the grocery store this afternoon suffering from quite literal sticker shock. Stuff here was often $1-2 more than I would have paid back in OH. Gas was 30 cents a gallon more expensive. But you know what? Folks are a lot more friendly. And they know how to drive as if there may actually be other human beings in those big hucks of metal they share the road with.

I'm sitting in bed now with the window open, listening to the frogs in my parents' pond out back gettin' on their early-spring song in the otherwise silent night, and man... I do love the PNW.

But who can afford to live here?

In any case, here's a picture of my niece, Kaylee, who is training to be a carpenter or perhaps an engineer, as you can see from how skillfully she removed this slat from one of the kitchen chairs. I anticipate getting her some overalls with a teddy bear patch at some point.

With a career like that in her future, she will have no trouble getting along in the PNW!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Yes, Book 2 is Done, Yo

Quote of the Day

"Don't smell like sunsets and baby powder. Smell like Jet Fighters and punching."
- Old Spice body wash ad

(I shit you not!)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Quote of the Day

"(on the creation of gendered fantasy genres in bookstores).... one which is full of boys' stuff like blood and killing, which is for boys and which boys should read, and one which is full of stuff that girls enjoy, like blood and fucking, which is for girls and which girls should read."

I'm not sure if graduating from "romance" to "blood and fucking" is an improvement (Twilight, best I understand, doesn't have much of either. It's pretty straight romance), but put in those particular terms, it does remind me that there's a primed but largely untapped "blood and fucking" market (Joe Abercrombie's "Best Served Cold" is a good example of a true "blood and fucking" book). I know this, of course, but every time somebody passed on GW because they thought it was "unmarketable" really threw me for a loop.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Book 2 Revision Progress, in Pictures

What Book 2 SHOULD look like: 

What Book 2 looks like right now:

Monday, February 01, 2010

New Digs

After much wringing of hands and moaning over our $900 rent payment and crazy utility bills, J. and I decided to downsize.

We can afford our current place perfectly during the summer and passably during the winter, but we're looking for a place we could afford should one of us lose our jobs. Crazy economy, and all. We also wanted something with a slightly more efficient heating system (no more radiators!), a fenced yard, a garage, and a liberal pet policy that would let us have a dog.

Enter our solution: $665 a month. Slightly better neighborhood. 2 car garage. Forced air heat. 700 sq feet smaller. Still has 3 bedrooms. Lacks a shower upstairs, but has one downstairs. Needs some extra 3-prong plugs upstairs, but we've got them in the kitchen and upstairs in what will be J's office (I have no problem using converters. He shudders at the thought).

We'll still be paying out the ass for utilities during Dec/Jan/Feb, but the furnace is more efficient and total sq ft is smaller, and I've learned my lesson about the whole "put plastic sheeting over the windows" thing. I detest the white trash idea of "winterizing" my house with plastic sheeting. But then, I grew up in the PNW, where it doesn't generally get below 40 degrees for very long. Winterizing is still a foreign idea. We're def. doing it next year.

We've filled out all the paperwork, so we'll see how it turns out. Move date would be around March 15th.

Click for full set.