Tag Archives: shopping

Sometimes I get lucky

My wife’s new schedule sucks, but it plays into my plans on occasion. I also call my parents every Sunday, but they’re on vacation right now. I started my day, like always. Dogs got fed, social media got surfed, other apps that drive news to me got browsed.

Then I read the last two chapters I wrote on The Hat. I’m at the phase where plants and payoffs have to get installed and not just the loose storyboarding I do. This led to deleting nearly a thousand words. Some of this has to do with the fact that Lizzie’s Mini Cooper doesn’t have a trunk, it has a tailgate. Oops.

The dogs were in sleep mode for some reason. They’re crazy right now, but I’ve learned to strike when the iron is hot. I replaced everything I deleted with better words, then added more. Days like this make me wish I kept a better count, but it looks like I wrote about 5000 new words total. The story is a handful of words under 20K right now.

Lizzie came away from the disaster with a partial victory. Any subsequent attempts won’t go so easily. She had a crisis of faith during the disaster event, and there was a bit of soul searching. We also learned about some new abilities the hat has, and they’re kind of scary.

I need to go back again and make specific parts of the aftermath more personal for Lizzie. It involves little things, but will make some of it more real. My next move will be to go back through and flesh a lot of things out. In fact I may start from the first page and do this. I like to move forward with confidence, and doing these things helps me move forward. It may sound like one step forward and two steps back, but I’m about ten thousand words ahead of where I thought I’d be right now.

Lizzie did a bit of shopping therapy after moving where the bad guys went. In a way, it’s revealing the confidence she will need to get through the next phase. She’s looking like a more legitimate superhero now. She also has a new fatalistic attitude that could be just what’s needed… or actually fatal if things don’t work out.

I engaged in an extensive text thread with my daughter, and fashion consultant. I needed to make sure Lizzie’s new outfit made sense. She read what I had and said it sounds great.

I’m setting myself up for something odd too. This story will require a longer denouement than others I’ve written. After the main story ends, I want about three things to happen to sew up loose ends. I’ve always believed that was a bad thing. I’m worried about it, but maybe I’ll gain clarity by the time I get there. This has to do with it being a buddy story. They each need their bit of something, but they need something together too.

I want to try something fun in this book, but I’ll be damned if I can figure it out. When I do a story break, I center three asterisks (***) and jump the story ahead. Easy peasy right? This time, I would like to do three bass clefs. I can’t find a keystroke to include a bass clef to save my life. I even looked for emoji’s, and can’t find a bass clef. There are some treble clefs, and plenty of musical notes. Why no bass clef? I thought for sure Times New Roman would have one, it has all kinds of symbols.

Do any of you know how to tell a word processor to make a bass clef? Maybe I could use clip art and squeeze down to size.


Filed under Writing


We didn't take anything too seriously this weekend. We started off with gift cards from Christmas. We did the standard thing, by each spending more than was on the card. Mine went to Men's Wearhouse, and my wife's went to the Apple Store. I wound up with some nice dress shirts and ties, plus a couple of pairs of pants. It was a buy one get one free deal, so not too bad. My wife got some wireless Beats headphones. Her 'phones are awesome too.

After dumping our cards (Plus about that much more of our own money) we stopped at Old Chicago for beer and pizza. All in all, it was a nice day together.

Today, we decided not to go out at all. There are a couple of movies that look interesting, but we both weren't feeling it.

I sequestered myself away and added 1500 words to The Yak Guy Project. It's not great, but it's progress. I'm off tomorrow and have the house to myself. (Myself and Otto, who has his own demands some mornings.)

I spent several hours doing research into one of my future projects. I may start outlining both of the future projects, but won't begin writing until I get my current projects finished.

My intention was to work on The Enhanced League for a while tonight, but I never got that far. Something about a Steelers game that got a late start.

I hope you all had great weekends. I'm very content with mine. We managed a fun date – day, as opposed to date night. I made small progress on projects today, and being content seems to cover it.


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It’s Black Friday

Today is the day that makes keepers of the family budget quake in fear. The day we dread all year long. Our family members are all well fed from Thanksgiving dinner, and are in prime shape to hit the stores running.

Not me. Not this year. Not ever again.

I'll be right here. I'm worn out from all the peopleing yesterday. I may write. I may veg in front of the television. I may even read a book. I still have to meet my book club quota for this quarter.

Are you heading out for Black Friday?


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Blogging with my beer goggles on

My mother and father came to Idaho this weekend. Mom wants to do her Christmas shopping, so we're at the damned mall again.

I stood around while my wife and my mother looked at purses, and sniffed perfume cards. Mom asked me to come so I could help her at the Apple Store. My brother is going to have a nice Christmas. After we finished at Apple, I took the bags to the car, and headed for Old Chicago.

I've been drinking thick black beer, and decided my attitude improved enough to update this blog. I'm not a fan of shopping in general, and Christmas shopping is the worst. Everything is harder, from parking to crowd navigation. Thank God some genius decided to place good beer here. I'm stuck among a mountain of bags while updating this site.

I could have watched college football with Dad, but Mom need me. I'm such a sucker. I need to get to my critique work, and catch up on some reading. It would be nice to visit with Dad a bit, but here I am.

In case anyone is worried, my wife is a tea totaler. She will do the driving when we leave. I hope all of you are having a great time wherever you are. It's hard to post when I have company, so this is all I have.


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It’s…the mall

I get it. I grew up in the same small town my parents still live in. When you get to a real town, you need to go shopping.

We, on the other hand, can go to the mall anytime we choose. (And frequently do.) The difference being that my mother has to look in each store to see what's new. We tend to hit and run, only going to the one store we need.

I followed the girls into Dillard's and kept walking. Old Chicago pizza was busy, and the only chair available was in a group setting on tall hard stools. These stools don't have any back either. I'm a short guy, and they kill my back.

Still, I'm a trooper, I downed three really good craft beers. I'm entitled to one more every time I stop off on the World Beer tour. My back told me it was time to check on the girls.

I met my daughter, dragging my grandson my way. (Not her child, for clarity's sake.) Apparently, my daughter-in-law decided to show up to do a bit of school shopping. My daughter said, “Grandson has been saying he's hungry for an hour.” They wanted to go to Old Chicago so he could get something to eat.

I'm a sport, and offered to buy them lunch. Everyone else showed up before our order arrived. I only had another beer, but was pretty happy that shopping appeared to be over. Silly old man.

I got to see everyone's new haircuts, and that was fun. The little ones decided to cut each other's hair. My daughter had to clean up the mess, and she did a good job. The oldest, and third one, got highlights out of the deal, and my daughter did a good job on those too.

After everyone ate, we had another hour of mall cruising ahead of us. Ultimately, we decided to grab takeout food before calling it a day.

On the writing front, I never accomplished one damned thing. Tomorrow, we have to haul the camper over and start getting it ready.

I may get a few things done on Monday or Tuesday. We had a nice visit, and sometimes that's more important.

I hope everyone out there is having a good weekend.


Filed under Uncategorized

My Preciousss

Old What's Her Face* told me a few days ago that she needed a new iron. I figured, small appliance, they don't last forever, okay. I assumed we'd wind up at Target or someplace this weekend.


My phone rang at the office this afternoon. “Well, I got my iron.”


“That's cool. One less errand this weekend.”


“Well, I decided to go to Bed Bath & Beyond and take care of it.”


I might have done a small face palm. There are no witnesses, so I'm not sure. “I thought you were going to Kohl's or someplace.”


“I looked at Target last week, and I don't like what they have.”


“What else did you buy?”


“Just–” Oh yeah, notice how there is no attempt to deny anything. Also notice how the word “just” minimizes the shopping experience.


Just some tea tree oil, a new pumice stone, an iron, and a new dog blanket.”


“I didn't think there was anything wrong with his old blanket.”


“I've been watching these special dog blankets, and they're only eighty dollars, but I had a coupon and got half off.”


I leaned against my desk. Huh, I don't think we use an eighty dollar blanket.


She continued, “I needed the right iron. An iron is a very personal item – Gollum Gollum.


“So about two hundred bucks or so?”


“Pretty close.”


This is wife-speak for I've guessed too low. I've been married long enough to recognize the time to quit – while I'm behind.


I'm writing this at home. The dog is curled up with his new blanket. Old What's Her Face is in the kitchen filling The Precious with water. I'm pretty sure she's going to spend part of the evening on the couch working on her hooves with a pumice stone and tea tree oil.


*Not my wife's actual name.


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Target owns me

I successfully convinced my wife to stay away from Bed Bath & Beyond. We took our shopping spree to Target instead.

For those who missed my post about the camper, we bought a camp trailer this weekend. Now I've been around these things all my life, but I've never owned one myself. The natural progression was to retire items from home service and move them to the camper. Old dish towels, less loved kettles, that sort of thing.

My wife doesn't feel the same way. Oh no, no, no. The camper is shiny and new, and it must have shiny new things inside. All the colors must coordinate. She actually filled up on minor kitchen items, then took them all back because she couldn't get the same color in everything. They had everything in black only. We got black.

Once again we compromised. My extensive collection of cast iron cookware contributed a few items to the camper. I also had some old items with years left in them, like flashlights, lanterns, and even some old towels.

We still need to visit Home Depot or Lowes. Today it was all about Target. It turns out we need throw rugs and runners. We needed new pillows and sheets. To give her credit, the camper has a queen sized bed, and we don't own anything that will fit. I stayed well back when it was time to pick out pillows. Never get between a woman and her pillow. I read Joeyfully Stated, and she described my wife to a tee.

Tomorrow, all the throw rugs and runners are getting returned. Who knows how many times we'll have to go through this process. Wrong size, wrong pattern, wrong color…blah, blah, blah. (She actually suggested that Bed Bath & Beyond might have a better selection. I faked a stroke. I may get nominated for an award for Best Stroke Under the Pressure of Shopping.)

We added in some plastic glasses and one of those things that holds your silverware. (My old camping silverware. Yay!) I wound up sharpening the knives for an hour.

We added some miscellaneous items, lots of them actually. I talked my wife into a hand held vacuum to keep the camper nice and neat. We added a fly swatter, a bottle opener, a little of this, and a little of that. Oh, and a cheese grater. She was so excited to get a new box grater, you have no idea.

I think we're pretty close. We never made it to a hardware store, and there are a couple items we still need. I think we could have a great camping trip right now…if we could still afford the gasoline to go. It sure looks pretty parked in front of my house.



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Giant Nuclear Lizard and Bed Bath and Beyond

I started my day off poisoning weeds for Old What’s Her Face*. It was supposed to be a day of yard work. I insist on bathing after spraying poison, and intended to move on to trimming roses and spreading fertilizer.

She suggested going to the movies and stopping to get some new towels on the way home. It was presented as, “Now that you’re all cleaned up…”

We went to Godzilla, which I have always loved since the black and white versions. It’s kind of a trope today, but Godzilla was what created the trope. It was the original. (King Kong is older, but it was a different kind of tale.)

I expected some changes to the story, but I also thought it might be a nice change up. The changes didn’t add all that much to the tale. Mostly, Godzilla has grown some since he conquered Manhattan over a decade ago.

My disappointment is mostly in spending more time with two giant nuclear cockroaches. Wasn’t the name of the movie Godzilla? I mean there were any number of Godzilla vs. whatever movies, and that’s what this really was.

There was a mistake here and there. When he makes his first appearance, in Hawaii, he causes a tidal wave. Why was there no tidal wave in San Francisco?

I’m not disappointed with the big guy being the hero this time out. He always did split his time between hero and villain. I thought the news banner about Godzilla saving the city was kind of stupid. The cockroaches did less damage than he did.

Hollywood seems to think there is no ordinance between rocket propelled grenades and nuclear missiles. Just once, I’d like to see someone drop a daisy cutter on a giant cockroach, no nukes required. Maybe that would have rendered Godzilla unnecessary. There was little enough of him as it is.

I liked the way they touched upon him being a force of nature. They missed the standard sermon about how we caused all this. I can’t help myself, I still like Godzilla. It’s almost like they can’t screw it up, I just want more. I have to say that it wasn’t a great Godzilla movie, but it was a Godzilla movie.

We left the theater and went straight to Bed Bath and Beyond. We matched colors on bath towels, compared softness and size. Then we needed wash rags and hand towels to fit the scheme. Add in a new garbage can, toothbrush holder and soap dish. Then we needed to redo the half bath downstairs. (One of those things my wife saves until we’re in the store). More towels and rugs went into the basket.

We couldn’t leave without a few “isn’t that cool” items. The old pit bull scored a new squeaky toy (which he’s already killed). I nearly fainted at the checkout stand. I never thought this stuff was so valuable. I wonder if I should call my insurance provider and tell him to include new towels on our policy.

So we have a pretty new bathroom decor, and did it for about the same price as a weekend at the coast. Maybe this is why wives usually do this without their husbands present. I’m off to look for Godzilla on one of the classic movie channels.

* Not my wife’s real name.

PS: If any of you would like to buy one of my books, I’m sure Bed Bath and Beyond would appreciate it. (We need to go back for one more rug.)


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