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March 27, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

Homework

I stayed at home today. Brought the machine home and had it all set up on Friday and John went off to work and Fezzik went outside and he didn't even know that I was in the house until really late in the afternoon. I mostly just sat upstairs and worked away frantically. I was leaving Thursday afternoon for Pittsburgh and had a deadline the Tuesday after, and eventhough I was coming back Monday night I had absolutely no illusions about ever being able to do anything after spending all weekend with Geoff. So I had to finish coding things now. As soon as possible.

It's astonishing how much one can blaze through when one is completely and totally uninterrupted.

It was a gorgeous day, too, and I took some time late in the afternoon to take Fezzik for a quick stroll down one of the neighboring streets and he enjoyed the very short walk as much as I did. Just a good break for the brain. Then back into the trenches. By the time I was done I had finished all the interface plumbing that had to run through all the guts I was working with. That was nice to finish. It was my very first goal for next Tuesday.

Already done.

I had my massage at 6, which was the other reason I wanted to work at home, another reason for John not to have to miss his late meeting. I saw Boon out in the parking lot when I pulled up and tried to call her in, but she ignored me completely, she's CeLena's cute dog that is tiny and jumpy and energetic. I told CeLena she was out there, and she called her to her and Boon started just running, but right to another dog being walked by his people instead of to CeLena, which had both CeLena and I laughing. They played a little and, finally, the three of us went into the office.

It was a good massage. I'm knotted up a bit from the stress of work and the prospect of travel, but not too badly, and my hands and arms are really messed up, but we got them to a point where they'll likely work for the rest of the week. A four day rest should help some. She really worked over all the tendons and muscles in my forearms and shoulders, which were really crackly. I might well be pushing things a little bit harder than I should be simply because I know that I'll have this relief, that's something I really have to watch. It really made me all squishy afterwards, just all loose and relaxed, finally. That was very good...

Got home pretty floaty and found a box in the mailbox with Fezzik's name on it. So I went in and opened it and, as expected, it was from Carl. The contents, however, were unexpected, entirely, as it was the book The Weekend Novelist by Robert Joseph Ray. And it has a week by week agenda to getting a book written in a year. It was really, really cool to have it all laid out like that. I immediately called Carl's answering machine and burbled cheerfully on about how cool a gift it was. John arrived after I got home, so it was really good that he hadn't had to come home early for me. I read the first few chapters while John made dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and sauce and stuff.

Brandi, who's from Montana, has a mom who likes to makes potato burgers, which are hamburgers with a lot of potato and onion grated into them and then the whole is deep fried until the edges are crisp. She sent a few home with John and we had them with our dinner and they were actually pretty astonishing with a bit of the Heinz chili sauce. Yum.

After dinner I went upstairs and played with the 4.01 version of Dragon's NaturallySpeaking software. It doesn't seem to be too much more accurate than my previous version, but it has much better correction tools. I was mostly stuck with going forward with the old tools. Now I can select previous text and do by-voice replacements. That'll change how I write, significantly. I can actually go back and edit for voice or flow. Though it does give more of the feeling of what it's like to write with a pen, i.e. there's little going back and editing possible, it will be nice to be able to polish again.

So, after reading the chapter, I dreamed of my first reading when my first book is published and Carl is in the audience and he's asking funny questions to make me laugh and put me at ease in front of a nice, small audience of about twenty. Nice. Comforting even to have it be like that. So familiar in some ways and so amusingly right. The cover showed a bit of painted desert landscape. So I wonder if I wrote about the Magic West, or something. The first few exercises look like they're easily enough done. Should be interesting to see how and where that goes.

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