Filling in the blanks


I finished my novel around 10:30pm on Saturday, November 29th. I got it verified and I am officially a winner. 50,053 words.

It ended strangely, not how I expected at all. I think I like it. I’m giving myself a week off before I start editing it.


I bought a fake tree, after much debate. Actually, the debate occurred as I drove home with said $16.99, 6’ fake tree. Made in China. I hemmed and hawed. I really love live ones, but know we will have one at home. How many trees must I kill in pursuit of a Merry Christmas? Then again, how many young Chinese women must I exploit for some fluffy green plastic?

Yes. I seriously think like this. If I become a drunk, you can point back to this post and say, “I saw it coming…”

Ultimately I decided that after many Christmases of disappointment, my joy over hanging ornaments was worth a little sweatshop sweat. I was worried about the cats peeing on a live one.

It’s a spindly little Charlie Brown type thing, and looks perfectly silly with my hodge-podge of decorations. I love it.

The cats have shown their approval by chewing on it.


I tried a gingerbread latte. It’s good, but I’ll stick to eggnog.

I consumed my latte while sitting in the coffee shop’s gorgeous, plush purple chairs with a wonderful friend. I have only known this woman for a few months, but we get talking and can’t stop. It’s amazing how a few hours of good conversation with someone with which you are completely comfortable can rejuvenate you.

She helped finish off my Christmas decorating. Not only is my tree lighted, but also the entranceway to across my bedroom/bathroom and all around the dining room. I’m typing this by rainbow glow.

I know there are lists somewhere that need check marks, crossed-off lines, question marks, margin notes, numbering, and even perhaps indented alphabetical sub-lists.

I hope they enjoy the night off. I have.

Pile It On

I have listened to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” for the first time this year. It is now officially Christmas season for me.

I think I shall ask Santa to bring me someone who will sing it with me.

I have 2,943 words left. My back still hurts and I don’t think typing is making it better.

I’ve decided that I finish tonight, no matter what. So far today my consumption has included 4 cappuccinos and the crust of leftover pizza. That pretty much screams “masochist” already, why not just pile on?

No Good Answers

Oh, so you’re having one of *those* nights, are you? You’re tired and cranky and you’d love to whine to someone except you’re worried that if they suggested you relax, you just might beat them.

You are beyond relax. You need a coma.

So why are you still up? Why aren’t you showered? Why aren’t you snuggled in those sheets that are better than sex?

And while we’re asking questions, why don’t you have any clean socks?

Software Engingeering Isn’t All Bad

Who knew it is was possible for you to have a good day?

Not that everything went well. Not that you felt you were spectacular. But you got up in time, pushed some of the right buttons, gave some good explanations, had answers, asked some good questions, made some good jokes, and taught someone something that they were interested to learn.

That’s pretty cool.

The one day a lunch break is actually called, we had lunch ordered in. No way were we letting what happened yesterday occur – a harried run at 2:30 to the sub shop.

We had Chinese food. There were two fortune cookies left on the table as we were packing up. I grabbed them and put them in my jacket.

Two fortunes:

1) Your exotic ideas lead you to many exciting, new adventures!

2) In order to take, one must first give.

Pretty cool day indeed.

Dear Neighbors

Dear new downstairs neighbors,

I apologize for everything up front.

Yes, 7am is the latest I ever sleep. If you have ideas on how to rectify that, please drop them in the suggestion box.

No, I don’t have Great Danes galloping through here. It’s just a cat. A 20 lbs. cat. Yes, he’s on a diet.

Yes, that was water dripping onto your front step. I am horrible at caring for my plants. Drought or drown is my method. You seem to have lots of green things on your patio. May I steal one when mine dies?

No, Trick Pony is not just a phase I’m going through. Wait until I have a really bad night and put “Secret Garden” on repeat 53 times. You have my permission to come knocking and inform me that although it’s not too loud, it’s just too damn annoying. I’ll agree wholeheartedly, I just won’t be able to make myself stop without interference.

You’ll still appreciate that more than when I have a really good night. All bets are off on a good night.

Yours, J

Only In My Dreams

I had two disturbingly vivid dreams last night.

The second one made me think I needed to call someone as soon as I woke up. It took several layers of thought to re-discover reality. The clock radio from my parent’s kitchen is stuck in my mind right now and is making me very homesick. In my dream, the radio played a song that I have been hearing a lot lately and feeling it’s a sign. I heard it through the window as I sat on our air conditioner, smoking.

In the first dream I was been reprimanded for what amounted to sexual harassment at work. Among the complaints against me was, “You should really wear panties with those ripped nylons.”

My retort? “I was wearing panties with those ripped nylons.”

Even in my dreams, I am a fashion goddess.

Of Lists and Lemons

I get the point.

Flexibility, it’s all about flexibility.

Because the moment you say, “I’m going to make lists and check some things off” the toilet will overflow.

So I bought conditioner and a plunger.

Then, my body decided to defect to the “you’re too busy” camp and sleep. Yeah, I thought I’d take a nap at some point. But I’m talking two cups of coffee and I still crashed so hard I couldn’t remember my first name.

Since the whole day was going out the window, I’m baking lemon squares. I might eat them all tonight. Start tomorrow with a clean slate.

Table for More Than One?

Let’s say you’re going to have a dinner party. Grown-up like.

But for 8 people, you can only think of 7 chairs. And that includes:

1) Two real chairs with cat hair-infused cushions

2) Two green plastic patio chairs

3) One computer chair

4) One stool from your vanity

5) One small step ladder

Do you pull out the huge rubbermaid container full of action figures, throw a pillow on it, and call it chair #8? Will your friends find it charming, the dinner a success, and be amazed at your “can-do” attitude?

Or, will your friends pity the tacky chairs, the slightly burnt rice, and the frantic look in your eyes?

Shut up darling. Because they love you no matter what. Convince yourself to do the same and then you’ve accomplished something.