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I am a winner of bragging rights galore [Nov. 30th, 2009|12:15 pm]
I've wanted to do NaNoWriMo (the National Novel Writing Month) for a few years now. Last year, I got about 500 words into it, and then life went absolutely insane with things like finding an apartment and moving. So that was a wash. But I still wanted to write the novel, and this year, I was inspired to try again.

And this time around, I totally won!

Sure, it's just 50,000 words of a novel that's going to probably balloon closer to 200,000 words before I get to the end of the story and can go back and clean things up and tighten it together. But still. I'm well on my way, and I know where the story is going, and I'm confident that it's a good story.

So maybe I'm now a grown up, since I've started being what I want to be when I grow up?

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weird psychic moments, and some excitement [Mar. 26th, 2009|11:28 am]
(this is copied from facebook, so apologies for any overlap)

most of the time, Wen and I sleep in separate rooms. But tonight, as I was winding down to go to sleep, I felt an inexplicable urge to go sleep with her instead of in my own room. This was around 10:20. I'd gotten into bed with her, and we'd both settled down to go to sleep. Around 10:35, the noise in the hallway picked up, and then all of a sudden there was a TON of shouting. From what we were able to determine, there was a police raid on several of the apartments in our building. It was all very exciting, and rather noisy (as one might guess having seen occasional snippets of police shows). One difference between actual and fictional police raids is that in an *actual* raid, it seems that most of the cops will stand around in one's front yard, discussing things like baseball. But others will have discussions with one's neighbors in the hallways. Sadly for my nosy, gossipy self, although they were noisy, they weren't using their "drama voices," so we couldn't work out most of what they said.

Snippets that we *did* overhear:

(One neighbor to another, I think): "Viagra?!?! You're young. Why do you need VIAGRA?"

(The final words from the cops, one of them clearly putting his high school Spanish class to good use): "Vamanos a la playa!"

In the midst of the excitement, when they were searching our back yard, Wen had the back door open and was asking them what was going on, and one of the cats escaped. She high tailed it for the open door to the basement (which they were also searching), so I was out back, with cops digging holes in the yard, trying to coax the cat back into the apartment without me going into the basement. (She's safely home, along with the other two.)

So that was tonight's excitement. I'm hoping that this means things will be quieter around here. i feel a little guilty about hoping for that, but then, it's not like I was the one who called the cops, or, for that matter, chose to deal drugs. I just hope they don't think it was me or Wen who called.
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Check out my mother's quilt store [Mar. 4th, 2009|07:47 pm]
Whippletree Quilts.

My mom has started an Etsy store to sell some of the wall hanging quilts she's made. This one is my favorite. I'm trying to talk her into just giving it to me, but oddly enough, she's trying to make some money. :)

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Rejoice, my nerdy heart. [Feb. 27th, 2009|11:20 pm]
I went out today and got two large magnetic dry erase boards so that we could put our magnetic poetry collection in the hallway, where it's convenient to use, rather than on the fridge, where it would have been hidden. Wen and I proceeded to spend several hours sorting and putting up the words. (This is an involved process, as we have at least eight full sets of magnetic poetry, probably more.)

We realized that we'd need more space in order to actually *use* the magnetic poetry, so we decided to dedicate one entire wall of our hallway to words, in various forms. The door to my room is already covered with words, since this year I have both the Word-a-Day calendar and the Forgotten English calendar, and I tape up whichever words I want to keep seeing.

In addition to a couple more magnetic dry erase boards for further display of poetry (and to give people room to post some actual poems, rather than just showing the words), we're going to put quotations about reading, writing, and words above the more interactive stuff.

One thing I particularly appreciate is that not only am *I* this nerdy, but I managed to marry someone who thinks this is as cool an idea as I do.
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random observations [Feb. 20th, 2009|12:30 pm]
The bodega on our corner is called "Pinkey and Brain." Today I noticed that a tagger in our neighborhood signs "Papa Smurf." People in my neighborhood apparently like '80s and '90s cartoons.

Came into Bread Stuy today, and they are playing '80s music. It's nice to feel like I'm not old, no matter how my body is feeling today.

I have been craving eggs lately, so I looked them up to figure out what's in them that my body needs. Clicked on a link purporting to show eggs' nutritional profile, and instead had a bunch of ads for being an egg donor. I don't think that would quite meet my needs. (Best bet for the egg thing is Iron, vitamin A, and B-complex. I should boil some eggs for lunch.)
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Battle of the Boroughs [Feb. 9th, 2009|10:02 am]
Ok. So we had the highly exciting experience yesterday of renting a Budget truck (sadly, not one of the ones with the snarky comments on the side) and then hauling altogether too much furniture. Coming back from the Queens leg of the trip, right around where the Long Island Expressway meets the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, we passed one of the massive, crowded cemeteries in Queens. Wen commented that there was something oddly creepy about a cemetery that was that full. Stuck in traffic, we continued to stare at the cemetery for far longer than was healthy. I joked that I wouldn't want to live in Queens if anyone ever decided to raise an army of the undead. Somehow, this led to a discussion of the battle of the NYC boroughs, with each borough represented by a group characteristic of that borough. (I've discussed this before with someone, but now I can't remember who. Maybe K?)

Obviously, Queens would be represented by the zombies, since there are so many huge cemeteries there.

Staten Island would be represented by mutants (I know, joking about Staten Island landfills is a lame joke, but there it is. Toxic seepage and whatnot.)

Wen pointed out that the Bronx should be represented by human-animal hybrids, what with the zoo being right there.

So then we're left with pirates and ninjas, the group that started off the original discussion of the battle of the boroughs; and we're left with Brooklyn and Manhattan needing representatives.

We decided that pirates should represent Brooklyn, what with all the beaches. And ninjas seem more urban than not, so Manhattan gets the ninjas.

If I had more time, energy, and friends who lived nearby, I would make a little film of the cartoon style battle of the boroughs. Maybe someone with all of those things would want to steal this idea, because I'd love to see it.
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Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger: This Land is Your Land [Jan. 29th, 2009|10:11 am]
Ok, so maybe "Lift Ev'ry Voice" won't work out as a national anthem. How about This Land is Your Land? Watching this video almost makes me wish I'd gone to Washington to see it live.

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Peanut recall [Jan. 29th, 2009|09:40 am]
Here's a list of the companies recalling peanut products.

What's appalling to me is that the Peanut Corp. of America knew they were selling contaminated products</i> for years, and DID NOTHING.

And what's ironic to me is that ever since the peanut recall, I have been craving peanut flavored products. Um, hello sense of self-preservation. This would be a good time to hate peanuts!

edited to add:
And now they're finding that high fructose corn syrup has mercury. This is going to lead me to renew my goal of taking that stuff OUT of my diet. Dang. 'Cause I happen to like soda.
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What do people think about the "lead law"? [Jan. 23rd, 2009|10:27 am]
I've been surprised not to hear much from people about the new "Lead Law," which outlaws selling products for children under the age of 12 if they have lead or pthalates in them; from what I understand, even people making handmade toys or clothes, or people reselling toys or clothes, would be liable for large fines and/or jail time.

It also apparently applies to children's books, including the ones found in libraries or used bookstores; if the books aren't tested and proved to be free of lead and pthalates, they're not supposed to sell them, or let kids use them.

To me, it seems like using an axe where a scalpel might be a smarter choice. But then, I don't have external children, and I tend not to chew on my toys or clothes. At least most of the time. :)

So, what do people think about this? Have you heard about it?
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I suppose it could have been titled "The Democratic Potty." [Jan. 17th, 2009|01:45 pm]
Or "Behind the Inauguration"...

Best quotation? "I set up the toilets for Barack Obama's inauguration," Alsberry said with a broad grin, standing before an endless stretch of porta-potties. "I enjoy my job."
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