Tag Archives: date night

One of those kind of days

I woke up this morning to the mellow tones of Otto barfing on my bedroom floor. That’s one of those sounds that wakes you completely up. It was 4:00 AM. He’s fine, sometimes he gets snotty and chokes. I’ve woken up coughing more than once myself.

Since I was up, I had some quiet time and spent it reading. I don’t often get to read these days, and relished the opportunity. As a young man I could devour a book per day. These days it’s more like a book per month.

I’m currently writing two stories at once, and intended to devote some time to both of them. I had a pile of critiques to address on one of them, and did that this morning. If I don’t do anything else, at least I got that done.

I looked to the other one and discovered a problem. This is me, being anal, but it completely stifled me. I’ve been working on it using two different computers, one Apple and one PC. (We get a lot of hour long lunches during January and February due to the holiday weeks.)

Specifically, I’m using Microsoft Word and Apple Pages for iPad. My problem involves straight quotes vs curly quotes. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? Some whizbang formatting trick and all should be well. (Apostrophes are the same way.)

I tried the help link in Pages to no avail. I Googled what to do, seemed like some reasonable suggestions, except they didn’t work. I found instructions to try on a Mac. Okay, I have a Mac. I opened my manuscript and went through the step by step instructions. Very easy to follow… except it didn’t work.

I fiddled around myself, and if I delete my paragraph marks, the entire super-paragraph takes on the format I want. Then I can hit return again, make the quotes the way I want them before moving to the next paragraph.

This is possible, but I’m not going to do it just yet. I’m going to see if I can fix it using Word. At this point I gave up completely.

This is my short weekend, and I have other things that need tending. I got a haircut, paid the bills, and we have some errands in town. We’ll probably go out to dinner while we’re out.

Tomorrow is the day I call my parents, and I’m not going to address it then either.

I have some decent time coming up, and I’ll take up the keyboard then.

I hope you are having a better weekend than I am. Boise is covered in snow and ice, but it’s pretty shallow. More freezing than anything else. Maybe some beef and beer will improve my outlook tonight.

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Better the second day

Everyone in my family loves Chinese food… except for me. It’s food, it’s okay, but I always just kind of went with the flow until a few years ago.

That’s when we bought our bibimbap bowls. These are carved from a solid piece of soapstone. Soapstone is wonderful, because it absorbs a temperature and hangs on to it. I have a huge slab I’ve even frozen before and used as a serving board for shrimp cocktail.

Last night our date night was to P. F. Changs. We made sure to order extra in anticipation of tonight. It really doesn’t matter what dishes you order, they all get the same treatment.

First stick your stone bowls into the oven and bring them up to 500 degrees. Think of them like a battery, they’re going to take on heat and hold it for hours. (Dinner won’t take hours, but it forces me to wait before washing them up.)

Add a generous splash of sesame oil to the bottom of your bowl. The first layer is leftover rice. Any kind works, but I recommend leftover fried rice. The kind they add everything but the kitchen sink to.

I like to stir mine around to get a good sizzle going. We shared the fried rice leftovers, and added a bit more of the white rice that nobody ever seems to eat with dinner.

Then we passed around the takeout cartons. Anything left is fair game here. Hopefully, there is a bit of some protein left, but it isn’t completely necessary.

Crack an egg, and place it raw over the top. Add a generous scoop of Asian chili paste, then put the lid back on. Old What’s Her Face saved me a spoonful of broth from her won ton soup. Makes a nice steam for my egg.

Give it a minute or so.

In my case, I like to place everything nice and neat, but that ends at suppertime. When you’re ready, place the lid aside, break the egg, and stir it all up. Add soy if you like.

This time we had noodles, sweet and sour, some choice beef bits. Other times there has been broccoli, shrimp, pork, it honestly doesn’t matter.

This is Chinese food I love. I’m sure it works with Japanese or Korean food too, but I haven’t gone that far. A few gyosa, maybe a couple of those tiny pork ribs, I’m sure it’s all great.

The bell peppers and chunks of onion will get lava hot, so blow on them.

Ahhhh!

Maybe I’ll clean up the bowls in a couple of hours after they cool.

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Temporarily out of service

My daughter just headed home. I always love seeing her, and we had a nice visit. She and Old What’s Her Face went shopping yesterday while I was at work, so I know they had a nice visit too.

Her work schedule isn’t one that allows actual full weekends, so we take what we can get.

The blog tour for Lanternfish is officially over. (Try not to cheer too loud.) This is the longest tour I’ve ever done, but I had a lot of hosting offers and didn’t want to let anyone down.

I’ve always been blessed in that my regulars will follow the tours, at least in part. Some of you made every stop and I’m so grateful for you. This is a benefit to those who hosted me too. It increases their blog volume, and they might gain a new follower along the way. My hosts were all pretty interesting people, so it’s fun to get acquainted that way.

We sold some books, had some fun conversations, and kept each post unique. It’s pretty tiring though. I have a habit of checking the comments for several days. I don’t want anyone to think I snubbed them. Every night, I surfed back across four or five posts to see if there were new comments. I’ll keep doing that for the last couple of posts.

It’s time to kick back and watch for reviews. Hopefully, there will be some. I try to reblog those that do blog reviews, but Amazon is what I’m watching.

My mind is filled with creative ideas this morning, but I’m not going to do any writing. This is a good weekend to spend some time with the Muse. I need to string some scenes into the overall plot of my stories. A bit of thought makes for better tales.

Work was crazy this week too, and is scheduled to continue into next week.

Right now, I’m watching the original Star Wars, except it’s the one they added extra crap to. They should have just left it alone.

We hope to work in date night tonight. No specific plans, but probably dinner somewhere. (Update, Old What’s Her Face just made reservations at PF Chang’s.)

For me, I’ll check blog comments, but otherwise, I’m temporarily out of service.

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Secrets, colds, date night, and new words

I took vacation from Wednesday through Monday. This time, I didn’t tell anyone, including my wife. This is because the last time I tried to get some writing time it got pirated away. I lose the vacation hours either way, and my employer doesn’t qualify whether I was content or not.

While everyone was reading my group post about hosts willing to promote our work, I was working on new fiction.

Old What’s Her Face was off Friday, and we both woke up with colds. No idea what that was about, but we were phlegmy and both had headaches. She got over it before I did, but by mid-afternoon we both felt fine. Fine enough to go to Old Chicago for pizza and craft beer.

I slung quite a few words today, but didn’t keep score. My tale moved from a transition scene into an action scene, and those move quite a bit faster.

I’d have to consider this vacation a success already. Tomorrow I dedicate some of my morning to calling my parents, so I don’t expect much else to happen. My story is at a point where I have to think about it, and hopefully the Muse will show up for me.

I’m also off Monday, but so is my wife. This isn’t necessarily a deal killer for new fiction, but it’s usually much less than when I’m alone.

If I were to wish for anything, it would have been a couple of guests for Lisa Burton Radio. I didn’t get any takers, and don’t quite understand why. I’ll probably do a promo again, but the risk is to get over a hundred at once like the last time. (At one per week, that’s two years of applicants to get through.)

I could have done without the cold, but it’s been a pretty good vacation so far and I have two days left. Maybe I should look for some December wallpaper.

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My weekend

I really only had two goals for this weekend. It’s a short weekend for me, between the holidays. We don’t get flex days on holiday weeks. I pretty much failed anyway.

I wanted to get some back of the book material out for Lanternfish, and I accomplished that much.

Getting a haircut was part of the plan too, and I failed. My hair lady has moved on to another shop in the same franchise. I went to her because she is good, but really didn’t like the franchise. Now that she’s 20 miles out of my way, my happiness with her skills doesn’t outway the other burdens.

This franchise has one of those computer systems you must use just to get a haircut. It reminds me of the thing at Red Robin where I have to place my own order, and pay at the table. It’s freaky. I don’t feel like I owe a server a tip if I’m doing all the work. Are they going to ask me to wash the dishes next?

I want to hand someone money for a haircut. I don’t want to contribute to their database, become part of their farm, or do their bookkeeping for them. I just want a haircut. They don’t need my email, Social Security number, phone number or anything else to do that.

There are two places closer to home, so I stopped in to them. One was booked solid, which is a good sign. The other didn’t have anyone on site who could cut hair. They only work Tuesday through Friday. Scratch them off the list.

I’m going to call the busy place, and maybe I can find a new person to do business with. Kind of rough on Thanksgiving week, so I’ll be a bit forgiving. (I may have to buy a ponytailer soon. Or do something like Einstein did with his hair.)

Then I started a different kind of Lisa Burton Radio post. It might take a week or two to sort out, but it’s going to be interesting. Having fun with it, and I won’t post it on Thanksgiving day.

Since we got paid Friday, we managed date night on Saturday. Nothing too fancy, just dinner at Kahoots, which is one of our favorite places. They had pumpkin beer on tap too. It’s the second place I found all season that had some. (Elysian Pumpkinchino.)

We had matinee tickets to watch the Grindelwald movie today. We had a great time, and I would like to see it again to look for all the little things. I like the way Rowling portrayed the rift in a society. Someone has to drink the KoolAid before a movement gets underway. I didn’t like the division of KoolAid drinkers, but I wasn’t supposed to. It was very well done. Go see it.

Okay, so for a two day weekend, it was still kind of productive. A lot of it was family stuff, but it was fun. I need to get back to work on that Lisa Burton post, but I may have to peck away at it during the week… unless I get a haircut one night.

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Planning and scheming

This is my flex day. I mentioned before that I work ten hour days, and get a rotating day off each week. We get the occasional three day weekend out of the deal, and this is one of mine. It also allows for a bit of manipulation if you watch the calendar. That’s what I’ve done for November.

My next flex day is Wednesday the 7th. I took vacation on the 8th and 9th. This means I’m off from the 7th through the 12th, because the 12th is a holiday. Burn 20 hours of vacation and get six days off. Not a bad deal.

This weekend is going to be all about clearing the decks. We’re taking the camper to have it winterized this afternoon. Since we got paid, we’ll probably work in date night. I can still get my Halloween tee shirt at Old Chicago if we hurry, and that’s likely where we’ll end up. Probably time to coil up the hoses and drain the water heater to keep ahead of the silt. I might even get a haircut, just to get it out of the way.

I’ll have time to work on some Lisa Burton Radio slots if anyone is interested. The recent ones have produced really well. Some of that has to do with the book being presented, but also the involvement of the author. The last few authors have shared everywhere, and are still sharing everywhere. I see the click throughs to Amazon too. Lisa could use another few guests right now.

I’ll probably keep polishing up Lanternfish this weekend.

During my vacation I want to hit it hard. There is a new story I started, and my work life just didn’t allow me time to do much with it. If I clear the decks this weekend, my vacation time is wide open to make some real progress.

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Presto!

Today was my day to get some things done. I screwed that up before I even got home last night. I was supposed to pick up medications for Otto, one of our dogs. This is about two blocks from where I work. I failed to do this. Let’s face it, at the end of shift you have hundreds of reps involving getting in the truck and going home.

This meant that I had to go back downtown this morning and pick up his pills. It took me an hour and a half. It’s a forty mile round trip, plus the time inside the vet’s office. It kind of killed any forward momentum I may have had.

My wife wanted to go to pizza tonight, and our daughter decided to drive over from Sun Valley to go with us. Sounds nice, right? The hospital called my wife back in, so we had to cancel the whole thing. She has to work until eight o’clock tonight. I feel bad that our daughter drove all the way over here for nothing.

I don’t know what some employers are thinking. They are cutting everyone’s hours due to what they call “low census.” I won’t go into a deep explanation, the main point is reduced hours.

When there is a problem, they seem shocked that people don’t want to drop everything and pull extra hours now. “Gasp!” I’ve learned over the years that happy employees will do anything. Unhappy employees will place you lower on the priority list.

I got a decent small visit with my daughter after Old What’s Her Face went back to work. Everyone is gone now, but it’s time for baseball.

Today, I had low expectations and failed to meet them all. Things can change fast, so I’m just going to go with it. Tomorrow will be partially about packing and getting ready for my flight. I’ll be in Texas next week, but I’ll take my iPad with me. At least I can keep up with blogs and such.

I’m looking forward to the trip. There are times in life where the author in me has to take a back seat. Perhaps I can get some forward momentum when I return. If not, I have vacation coming around the Veteran’s Day holiday.

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