November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a fabulous day and that you all find many, many things (people, places, moments, etc) to be thankful for. And on that very subject, I received an e-mail today from a friend (one of my favorite people on the planet, actually) that I don't see or talk to nearly enough. She has started a blog. Here's what she has to say about it:
Untold numbers are experiencing Short Sale and Foreclosure on their homes, due to circumstances out of our control, and yet we're too ashamed to talk about it. I've recently joined these masses. The purpose of this blog is to document my own journey into Short Sale, in the hopes of easing the burden, allaying the fears, and answering the questions of others who are also traveling this path.
Visit her blog at Short Sale Mama.

November 20, 2009

For Barbara

This is just a quick update for my Aunt Barbara because I know she hates it when I take a blogging break. I can't get over how busy we are all of a sudden! This week alone we've had dog walking every day, knitting circle, teen laser tag, a field trip to Rhythm & Hues (a visual effects house), Japanese class was canceled, so we went to the doctor's office instead (Jerry has a hang nail). Then, I had book club and worked for my 94-year-old friend, went to the library opening, interviewed someone (another 94-year-old!) for the local paper, and now my sister and her family are arriving tonight so I need to get our sadly neglected house back in shape and do laundry--lots of laundry. Oh, and we're starting LARP (Live Action Role Play) today!! And I wanted to go to a homeschool teen/parent meeting to talk about getting more social things going, but I may have to give up on that. Sheesh. We've only added two extra activities (knitting circle for Summer and D&D for Jerry) but I feel like I barely have time to breathe. It's been really good though. Jerry loves the D&D game and is making some new friends, Summer is finally getting to know some other homeschooled girls, and I've really enjoyed the company of the other moms I've met. Oh, and we're starting LARP (Live Action Role Play) today!! I really hope Jerry likes it.

So there you have it. That's all the news. I'm off to do the laundry!

November 18, 2009

Big News!

Our local library branch opened on Monday! I was there for the ribbon cutting ceremony along with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a couple councilmen, the fire chief, some random city officials, and about 300 neighbors. It was awesome! Our library is so cool! The first cool thing is the fact that it exists at all. The voters of L.A. approved a bill to build more libraries a decade or so ago--but the Silver Lake branch wasn't one of them. However, the Office of Public Works, in an unprecedented display of a government competence, managed the money so well that they had enough money to build four extra libraries (four!)--and ours was one of them! The next cool thing is that the library is a Leed Certified green building. And it's beautiful! And the final cool thing is that I can walk there! It's literally around the corner from my house!!

Anyway, the library opening is big news, but it's not the big news. The big news is that after considering my frenzied excitement over the opening of our library, and thinking about how much I love books and information and sharing books and information with people, and how I'd love nothing more than to live a long fruitful life and die in a room full of dusty old books, I've decided to become a librarian! It's a long-term plan because I won't actually get a job until Jerry is off doing his own thing. I'm going to start by getting a certificate in Library Science at the local community college. (I registered yesterday and had my transcripts sent to the school and everything!) I'm going to volunteer at our library (which I would have done anyway) to gain some experience. And then, when the time is right for both me and Jerry, I'll apply to the UCLA Masters of Library and Information Science Program. Woohoo!

And then, I was thinking "How can I combine being a librarian with travel?" and I thought maybe I can start a nonprofit group that builds libraries in third world countries. Wouldn't that be awesome!!? Anyway, it's very exciting and I'm trying not to think too much about it so I don't start wondering how I'll have the time. I'm just going to dive in. I can't wait to start going to school again. I love school!

The other exciting news, also related to the library, is that I met Janet Fitch (author of White Oleander) and Cecil Castellucci (author of The Queen of Cool) at the opening--they both live in Silver Lake. Anna Hays, an author I had interviewed for the local paper (and really loved talking to), introduced me to them. So that was really cool. I was buzzing with excitement when I got home--and it's obviously lingered for a few days.

Well, the dirty dishes on my kitchen counter are calling out my name so I'd better go wash them. I'll dream about my life as a librarian while I scrub....

November 13, 2009

No Mo' NaNoWriMo

Well, that didn't last long. Writing 2000 words a day just isn't my thing. It's no fun if you can't go back and make the writing good. Part of what I like about writing is going back over it and reading it--but if it's all hurried drivel and I can't go back and fix it, I don't really want to read it. So, I'm bailing on NaNoWriMo. The good thing about it, though, was that I realized I do have time to write. I can squeeze it in after Warren leaves for work and before Jerry wakes up. So, that's a big plus.

We've been so busy this last week. Lots of social things. I started a weekly teen knitting circle so Summer can meet some more homeschooled girls her age and that's been really great. Jerry now has a weekly D&D game with a couple friends (run by a fabulously patient mom). And we spent the night at Mandy's last Sunday and played Rock Band well into the night before heading off to homeschool day at Legoland the following day.

We've been devouring the Ranger's Apprentice Series on audiobook. We're starting Book 3 today. While we listen Jerry has been doing lots of perler beads projects and even a little knitting. I've been knitting a bit (I'm pretty pathetic) and trying to learn to crochet so I can make some cute little amigurumi creatures.

The night before last, in one of our 2 a.m. talks (Jerry really opens up at that hour, for some reason), Jerry told me that he feels like he's been watching too much television. And then the heavens opened up and angels began to sing and a rainbow stretched across the sky and--oh, sorry. None of those things happened. But I was so happy the sheer force of my happiness could have made them happen. What actually happened was that we talked about other things he might do instead, thought of some new project possibilities, and then I went back to bed. But I was so excited I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking, "Oh my god. Maybe the deschooling is done! Maybe the cocoon phase is over!! Maybe he'll start to get excited about learning again!!!" I just couldn't turn my brain off. So, instead of sleeping, I got up and finished watching the first season of Weeds (the best show ever). I didn't go back to bed until 6:45 and by then Warren was getting up, so I gave up on sleep all together. I managed to muddle through the day pretty well, though, even on three hours of sleep. I think it's the happiness adrenaline. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will last!

In other news, I've started keeping track of how Jerry spends his time. I really didn't want to do this. But Warren was feeling like Jerry does nothing but watch television and it was the only way I could think of proving to him that that's just not true. I've been doing it for over a week now and it's not nearly as invasive or annoying as I thought it would be. It's actually given me a lot more confidence. Before, when I would argue that Jerry doesn't watch tv all the time, I didn't have anything to back me up. Now I do--of course, on the rare day that he does nothing but watch tv the plan can backfire, but if Warren can see it's a rare event, then I've made my point. What I really like about the record-keeping, though, is being able to look over our week and see that we really are doing a lot. So, I think I'll keep doing it for a while. Once I clean the scanner off (it's buried under the piles of office crap I've been "organizing") I'll scan some of them for you. I'm color coding them so it's easy to see at a glance what we've been up to (and it's pretty).

Let's see...what else is happening? One of that cats has worms--just thought you'd like to know. Also, I'm trying to wrap up my grandma's estate by the end of the year. So I have lots to do there. I'll get a small stipend for all the work I've done and I'm thinking of doing something completely selfish with the money. Something like leasing a horse for a while, or paying for riding lessons, or--actually those are the only selfish things I've come up with so far. The other things I've thought of are building a new closet in the guest bedroom or putting new cupboards in the kitchen. But it won't be enough money for either of those things so, they're probably out of the question anyway. That's all the news really. Oh, Warren and I are going to see Ray Davies on Saturday night. And we're even going out for drinks and dinner with some friends beforehand. So that's exciting. Though I think I might need to buy an new outfit first--my wardrobe is pretty sad these days. Oh, and there's an all ages Derby Dolls brawl on Sunday. So that's cool. Jerry will get to experience the roller derby at last!

That's about it.

November 4, 2009

Sita Sings the Blues

So, I'm 5669 words into my novel, but I decided rather than completely let the blog go this month, I'll post links to websites or videos that I really like. The first one is an animated movie called Sita Sings the Blues. You can watch the entire thing online. It's made by a self-taught animator who combines the story of the Ramayana with a bit of autobiography. It runs about an hour and twenty minutes so pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy!

November 2, 2009

It's NaNoWriMo!

I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year! So, you probably won't hear much from me for the next month--except for the occasional brief update. So far I have nearly 4000 words written. I'm cheating a bit because I actually started this novel a couple years ago. Still, if I can write 2000 words every day this month I'll have a very rough first draft of my very first novel. Wish me luck!