Journal Entry: January 5, 2009

I haven’t posted since before Christmas, and that’s down to laziness and forgetfulness more than anything else.

Christmas, we spent in Wichita with T–‘s family. I took along a laptop, and whatever time I didn’t spend on other events, I spent either sleeping or playing WoW. You can take that for granted, and I won’t bother to spell it out.

We got in Wednesday, Christmas Eve, and spent a couple hours discussing Gods Tomorrow. T–‘s parents had been reading it aloud together, and they’d made a point to finish it before we got there to visit. So I brought our stuff in and Karla made us up some sandwiches for lunch and then we sat around the table and talked about my book. And really for the rest of the afternoon, during pretty much any lull in the conversation, I’d pull out some other question about their opinion on this or that, and they were always happy to answer. I got some fantastic feedback from them, as well as a markup. I told them I’d decided to make Gods Tomorrow my NaNoWriMo project for the indefinite future, so I would work on one every year. As we were leaving Sunday, Karla said, “Do we really have to wait until November to read the next one?” That warmed my heart.

But back to Christmas Eve. Wednesday night, T–‘s family (40-something guests, if I remember right) all gathered at her mom’s house, and we had a big fancy dinner, then we went downstairs and gathered around the tree for a gift exchange. Before too late, everyone headed home so the kids could get in bed before Santa came.

Then Christmas was a pretty quiet day, with just the five of us for the most part. Her brother Matt brought his family and her sister Nicki brought her family for dinner (so only about 12 of us Thursday night), and then we watched The Dark Knight late into the night.

Friday I was left home alone for most of the morning, while T– and her parents took AB out shopping the after-Christmas sales. They came back after lunch, then went out again while AB took a nap. When they got back, we all went over to D–‘s mom’s house for a big dinner.

She invited both of the Vickis (our friends from high school), with their husbands, and Kali (another friend from high school), so we had 12 at dinner again that night. It was some fantastic beef brisket, and I had to fight AB for whatever was on my plate. She finally went to her mom when T– got ice cream for dessert, so I took the opportunity to grab a third helping of brisket for me, and I delighted in it.

Afterward, D– and I went to see The Spirit at a late showing, and I heartilly recommend it. It’s weird. Absolutely weird. As weird a movie as you’ve ever seen, in parts. It has a feel very similar to Sin City, but it’s adventuresome and playful where Sin City is dark and brutal. Or, to put it another way, The Spirit is to Sin City as Iron Man is to The Dark Knight. So there you go.

Saturday I don’t much remember. Just lots and lots of WoW, I guess. I know T– and her parents went to a museum downtown while I watched AB, but that’s all I really remember. Then Sunday morning we headed home when her parents headed to church.

That put me home in time to watch the Cowboys’ devastating loss to the Eagles. Damn.

After that we had dinner with the Austins, who hadn’t seen the game yet, and I didn’t have the compassion to warn them to skip it. Instead, I just fought to hide the disappointment from them. That was made easier by the fact that, after watching the whole fourth quarter, I was completely dead inside.

The week after Christmas was a weird one at work. I worked three days, and it was pretty quiet around the office. I discovered a questing guide for the new zones in WoW, by one of my favorite guide writers, and I decided to start entering that into my TourGuide Addon format, which is something of a huge project (I’m guessing forty to fifty hours, total, give or take ten). It’s work I can do in small chunks, though, and pretty rewarding.

In addition to that, I’m also still working on my financial software, and K– got me working on our media library software again, too — a project I haven’t touched in a year and a half. I’m crazy busy.

So then Wednesday night rolls around, and my little sister had invited us all to her place for New Years Eve. Mom and Dad came in for that, too, and we all got together over there. We had some delicious snacks and drinks, and rocked out on Jeff’s new XBox. D– and I left around 9:30 to bring AB home, with Dad and T– caught up in a 7-song set. For our part, we greeted the new year in Northrend.

Thursday I was off work, of course, and Mom and Dad spent it with us. We had lunch with D– and K– and N– at P. F. Chang’s, then Dad and I spent the afternoon on our laptops while Mom and T– went out shopping. They brought back fixins for chili, and we took a big pot of it over to my little sister’s place for dinner. K– and N– came for that, too, and then afterward we played Partini, a new party game T– had picked up. It was her misfortune that Jeff’s family is about as enthusiastic about party games as I am. So it wasn’t much of a success, but I’m sure when she finds some fun people to play it with, it will excell.

We got home late-ish, and Friday I had to work. I tarried long enough at the house for my parents to wake up so I could say bye to them, then went in to the office. I expected to be the only one there, but over the course of the morning about half of my team showed up. Still, nobody got too much accomplished.

Saturday, T–‘s friend Rebecca took her out for a morning at the spa, as a Christmas present, and T– took Rebecca out to an afternoon at a crop as her Christmas present, so between the two T– was gone from 9:30 in the morning until 6:00 at night. I watched AB for the day, I guess as my Christmas present to both of them. Or, more accurately, as my one day of being a dad. Whatever.

I took AB to the gym in the morning. A couple times over the past week or so, I’d been to the gym with K–. Saturday was the third. Strength training, I’m basically at the same place now as I was when I quit going last June. That’s both astonishing and encouraging. In terms of aerobic endurance, I’m much worse off. And, of course, weight-wise.

Anyway, I’ve been back three times now, and the story is that I’m a regular again. We’ll see.

After that, K– came over and we had leftover chili for lunch, then I put AB down for a nap and we spent the afternoon working on our media library software. Specifically, we spent it researching new GUI builders, because the one we’d used a year and a half ago, that was obsolete then, is no longer available at all. So before we can make any changes, we have to completely rebuild the GUI. Yuck.

T– came home from the crop about 6:00, and K– went home to meet N–, who was just getting off work. We talked about getting together for dinner, but it was really too much effort all around. Instead I ran up to Schlotzky’s and picked up some sandwiches for T– and me. We ate, she printed out some more pictures to scrapbook, and then she ran back to the crop to get the most out of the all-day pass she’d bought.

By then AB was ready for bed, though. I put her down, then played some WoW and watched the pilot of Leverage, which my dad had recommended. It tries to make a TV show with the same feel as Ocean’s Eleven. I’ve watched the first two episodes so far, and I plan to watch the rest. It’s not as good as the movie, obviously, but it’s certainly not bad. I like it much better than Fringe, and I sat through six episodes of Fringe.

Sunday morning I slept through church, then went to lunch at On the Border with T– and K–. After that, I pretty much played WoW for the rest of the day. We watched Mamma Mia (which I’d picked up for T– on Friday), then K– and N– brought pizza over for dinner, then T– and I watched the pilot of Leverage and the second episode. Then it was bedtime.

Today…. I know I don’t usually do today, but this seems worth mentioning. Today I started on the sequel to Gods Tomorrow. I intend for it to be a long-running series, murder mysteries set in the world established by Gods Tomorrow. I’m toying with the idea of doing NaNoWriMos every odd-numbered month this year. If I go with that, then I’m starting January four days late, and that’s going to put the crunch on.

If I go with that…I’ll have a pretty damn hectic year. And I’ll probably write my first truly terrible novel since The Poet Alexander. On the other hand, if only couple of the six books I’d write turn out to be any good, that still puts me on par with my best year to date. And if four or five of them turn out quality, then I’m looking at doubling my portfolio in one year. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

So we’ll see. In all likelihood, I’ll scrap the project a couple weeks in. Then again, last year at this time I was saying that about my gym membership, and that one lasted six months before I took a crippling injury. So maybe I’ll get accomplish something after all.

For now I have 656 words and a basic premise. I’ll keep you posted as it develops.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.