Journal Entry: July 5, 2007

Tuesday, July 3
On Tuesday, I finished my second novel. I wrote the epilogue to Josh’s story, the first volume in the Sleeping Kings trilogy. Nobody needed that amount of detail (if you’re reading this blog, that event was nothing like a surprise), but it’s a dramatic enough thing for me that I wanted to spell it out.

Really, the rest of the day is just a blur. On Tuesday, I finished my second novel!

Work sucked. It was a bad day. Shouldn’t have been — a lot of people were gone because of the holiday (turning a day off into a five day weekend, through clever use of leave), and I usually really enjoy days like that (I never have enough leave saved up). There was just a lot of unpleasant work to do on Tuesday, though, and I wanted to be elsewhere.

I did get off work an hour early, and then for the evening K– and N– came over, and N–‘s mom, who is in town visiting, and we watched the Season Finale of Stargate Atlantis and the Series Finale of Stargate SG-1. That was kind of a big deal, too. We’ve all been watching SG-1 for years now, and it’s easily the best long-running sci-fi TV show I’ve ever seen. Watching it with K– and N– was a lot of fun.

Oh, and I had three 7-and-7s, because they were there.

They stayed kind of late, but since I didn’t have to work the next morning, I didn’t really have any excuse to skip my evening walk, so around 9:45 I headed out. When I got home, I found T– chatting with D– (he’d tried to reach me on my cell phone, but I hadn’t taken it with me). I checked in to see why he was trying to reach me, and he wanted to go see Live Free or Die Hard. There was an 11:20 showing.

I knew better than to take him up on that offer. But I did anyway. I called K– and B– both (it was nearly 11:00 at that point) to see if either of them wanted to join us, but they were wiser men than I. D– picked me up, and we went to the mall.

I guess because it was the night before the holiday, they were closing showings (probably based on the sales during the day). So when we got to the ticket booth there were no showings of Die Hard, but there was an 11:20 of Transformers. I pointed out that I would get in a lot of trouble for going to see Transformers first, without… well, really, anyone whose initials I use on this blog. So we agreed not to tell anybody, and asked for two tickets.

And, would you believe it, they were sold out. So we decided to go to Hudsons for a few drinks. But when we got there, it turned out it was karaoke night. Loud karaoke night. Bad karaoke night. And the place was packed. We finally found a couple seats, waited ten minutes without hearing from the waitress, and then left without placing an order.

From there, we went to Fox and Hound Pub, and it was a much more pleasant environment. I had nachos and a Jack and Coke and Long Island Iced Tea (and around the first sip of the Tea, I was thinking, “Man, I shouldn’t feel this tipsy…” and then I remembered the tree 7-and-7s from earlier and said, “Ohhhh…”). We talked for a couple hours. Good times. I finally got to bed around 2:30.

Wednesday, July 4
At 3:00, 4:00, and 5:00 in the morning, AB woke up (and made sure we knew about it). T–, generous, loving wife that she is, handled it. Still, it was not a lot of sleep even for me. I ended up getting up for real around 7:00, because she needed me to take care of some stuff around the house before our guests came over. Meanwhile, she went to a parade up in Edmond with N– et al.

Wednesday was N–‘s birthday, and it being the 4th, that always means some pretty dedicated celebration. This year was no exception. I spent a significant portion of the morning at Wal-Mart, buying needed goods, and then came home just as D– showed up with the meat for a cookout. I started the chicken marinading, made up two batches of salsa (Mild, which I was told by experts was still too spicy, and Extra Super Hot, which K– said was, “actually hot this time,” meaning it was probably pretty close to Extra Super Hot).

On a whim, I mowed the back yard real fast, realizing we’d be cooking out on the back porch, and possibly playing K–‘s yard game (backyard bolo, or golf horseshoes, or whatever you want to call it), so short grass would help. It’s not a terribly big back yard, but it had gotten hot, so I was already at a simmer by the time guests started arriving. I took a Benadryl, too, because of the mowing.

Guests started showing up around 1:00. K– and N– with her mom, my little sister with her whole family, B– and E–, D– was there…all told, we had 13 people in our house, not counting the zygotes. Considering that, the whole afternoon went amazingly well.

We grilled burgers and chicken and brats, and a selection of vegetables N– had brought, and everyone said it was all delicious. We had two extravagant desserts, by way of birthday cake, and some delicious ice cream by way of Blue Bell. We invested a significant portion of the afternoon in eating, and of course there was chitchat throughout that, and as people started falling asleep standing up, we realized it was about time to split up. My sister’s family left to get the kids some rest, and B– and E– left to get themselves some rest, and those of us who stayed mostly crashed out on couches. We turned on the Wii and showed N–‘s mom how to bowl, and wasted a couple hours that way.

Then, around evening-time, we headed out to Bethany for a big Independence Day carnival they were throwing, with the expectation (of course) of fireworks at the end of the evening. This year, for reasons having to do with the penultimate scenes in Sleeping Kings, I was looking forward to the fireworks more than at any point in the last two decades. We picked a good show, too, and I was not disappointed.

Before that, though, we had to find parking. They’d set aside a big field for parking, but when we got there we learned it had been closed off because of all the recent rains (and the risk of getting stuck in the mud as a result). So, instead of a parking spot within sight of the Live Music stand, we had to find a place somewhere in town. And everywhere within a couple miles was off-limits, as clearly indicated by the “Road Closed” and “Towaway Zone” signs posted everywhere.

It turns out, though, that by simply ignoring those signs and slipping down a street we weren’t legally allowed to be on at all, it became quite simple to find a really fantastic parking spot. So that solved that problem.

Then there were the long hours waiting for the fireworks to begin. We walked around the carnival, but couldn’t convince ourselves to spend money on any of the mediocre attractions there. We did buy some of the mediocre fried foods, and delighted in it the way one does in such a scenario, but that quickly passed. Oh! I tried out a 1920’s door-to-door salesman voice that worked out pretty well, so that was something accomplished.

S–‘s family showed up about an hour after we got there (so 7:30-ish, but that’s just a guess) and B– and E– showed up shortly before the fireworks (so, two hours later). Figuring out landmarks to meet up with B– was an adventure in itself, but we managed to rendez-vous behind the port-a-potties, and all was well.

The fireworks show was spectacular.

We got home around 11:00. D– had stayed at our house all evening watching AB for us (he’s not a big fan of fireworks). I invited him to go for a walk with me, so we did the usual route and talked of life and things. It was fun. Afterward, he went home, and I got to bed around 12:30.

Thursday, July 5th
Today, significantly less happened. Oh! I mentioned earlier that I never have leave saved up to supplement a holiday, but I do get a regular day off every pay period. I was able to move mine for this week (that should have been Friday) back a day, so I could recover from the merriment of Wednesday.

To take full advantage of that (and much in need of it), I’d vowed to sleep until noon. Instead, I ended up getting up around 8:30 so I could watch AB while T– went to the chiropractor. I played Civ 4 all morning, and had a couple leftover burgers for lunch. At 1:00 we headed over to K– and N–‘s place, because N–‘s mom had invited T– to go see a movie with them (“them” being the girls — it wasn’t the sort of movie that guys go to). I took AB with me and hung out at K–‘s place for the afternoon.

We downloaded a game from XBox Live Arcade called “Band of Bugs.” I’d heard favorable discussion of it in a Penny Arcade newspost, so we decided to try it out. It’s a surprisingly fun game. It’s a combat strategy game, that simple to play but has a surprising level of complexity to it. Could be a lot of fun. We had just started trying the multiplayer out when the girls got back, and T– and I came home.

I spent most of the evening playing Civ. D– came over to pick up his iPhone, which he’d had delivered here, and he hung out all evening getting it set up. T– and I watched some TV, and had a frozen pizza, and…I dunno. She probably did a lot of work. I just played my game.

At 8:45, I did the dishes so T– wouldn’t have to (after yesterday’s party, some had piled up). Then, a little after 9:00, I decided to go ahead and go for a walk. I’m glad I did. At this point, I’ve only missed once. I want to see how long I can keep that up. I spent most of the walk working on an Afterword for Josh’s story, which I hope to get typed up and posted tomorrow, but will do sometime in the next week. Just to let people know where the story stands, really, and that it’ll be a while before I start posting Sarah’s story.

And then I came home, and typed up a ridiculously long blog post. That was my holiday weekend, in the middle of the week. Now I’ve got a Friday that’ll probably be pretty quiet, and then another weekend that I actually get to spend at home. I’m excited about that.

I’m going to bed. Later.