Diary, 10/28/2009

We had a “Fall Festival” party at Elizabeth's daycare/preschool tonight (called that because some parents don't like Halloween). Elizabeth went dressed up in her Minnie Mouse costume. She was very cute. But then, she's cute no matter how she's dressed. 🙂 They had a “magic” show that was cute, but I've seen better. 🙂 Actually, Elizabeth really enjoyed it. She sat right up front and interacted with the magician, though she was never asked to be one of his volunteers. After the show, he made balloon animals for all the kids. Elizabeth kept asking for a sheep. Over and over. Repeatedly. She's good at that. 🙂 The magician just kept ignoring her, it seemed. We finally realized why when he explained that he'd never been asked to make a sheep before and had to think about it while he made the other animals and swords, without thinking. In the end, it was a very nice sheep and Elizabeth was happy.

It was freezing cold later tonight as I walked the dogs. We only had a couple weeks of fall, and now it's apparently already winter. At least we're not in Russia. Most of Russia is so far north, their daytime only lasts about 8 hours or less this time of year. So, it's not only freezing cold more than half the year, but it's dark more than half the day.

Anyway, you'll be glad to know that all the dogs pooped on their walk tonight. Always good, but especially now that we just had the carpets (a couple of rooms, anyway) professionally cleaned because one (or maybe both) of the boys had peed on the dirty clothes hamper in the bedroom and it really stank. Yes, we washed those clothes, but the smell just would NOT come out of the carpet. We never caught them, but we suspect they kept peeing on it whenever we weren't looking. Two boy dogs trying to get in the last word, so to speak.

Well, this time next week they'll be counting (or miscounting) the votes to see who our next president is. I can only hope that the polls showing Obama way ahead are accurate, but I also suspect that the voting machines (hell, the entire process) are fairly thoroughly rigged in favor of McCain, as they were for Bush. Like Stalin said, it's not the votes that count, it's who counts the votes. Just so long as Obama's margin of victory is too much for McCain's vote “fudging” to matter, everything will be cool. No, I'm not a Democrat, but I'm even further away from being a Republican. Both parties are corrupt; the Democrats up to their necks, the Republicans up to their eyeballs. 🙂 If it comes to that, I can only hope that Obama has more balls than Gore or Kerry and actually follows through on the recount challenges, keeping it out of the Supreme Court who have no business getting involved anyway. Enough politics. It's a constant source of irritation for me in this part of the country where almost everyone expects everyone else to follow the herd and vote Republican.

Aaanywaaay! How 'bout those Tennessee Titans, eh!? Still undefeated, even after playing the (formerly?) mighty Indianapolis Colts. The Titans seem to be for real this year. Who knew?!

I was actually going to talk about walking the dogs tonight, but I tend to digress. Bad habit. Hence the title of my autobiography (on sale now at lulu.com!) 🙂

An Entire Day with Elizabeth

I can't believe I made it. Of course, it's not over yet. It's only dinner time. It's been a LONG day. I'm at McDonald's as I write this. I tried to get online with their free wi-fi, but you have to have an account already before you can use it. Now I know. For some reason, this McDonald's reminded me of the one in Moscow, Russia. I don't know why. There are no similarities other than the logo. Not even the name looks the same, because of their Cyrillic characters. But, even here in Nashville there was a foreigner behind the counter taking my order. At least this one didn't point and laugh at me like I was a freak, like the kid in Moscow did.

The first real activity Elizabeth and I did today was to go to the Belcourt Theatre for the play, “Hansel and Gretel”. It was pretty good. Elizabeth really enjoyed it. She loves live performances of every sort. Afterward, she was able to say hello and shake the hand of the actors at the entrance. She wouldn't shake the witch's hand, though, even though the woman said, “I'm actually really nice.”

After finding a parking ticket on my windshield (which I intend to fight because I saw no place to pay), we then stopped by the Fairgrounds where Tara/Mom was helping her dad at his jewelry booth at the monthly flea market. This month, not next month, is always the best-selling one, and he needed some extra help. His wife Linda was at their booth at the Jack Daniel's event in Lynchburg.

And now we're at McDonald's and all the other kids have gone and Elizabeth is begging me to play with her. She can't ever play by herself, she has to always play with someone.

And now I'm online somehow, but only with Firefox, not Internet Explorer. Something to remember. Anyway, a new batch of kids have shown up and Elizabeth is happy again. Even better, she saw a boy from her old school, and she's busily getting caught up with him. No, two boys, and they're now happily playing in the playground. One of the boys has a white NASA jumpsuit on, like he just came back from Space Camp down in Huntsville. Looks like I'm stuck here for a while, until they leave, anyway.

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Diary, 10/17/2009

Been trying to learn Cisco (network routing equipment) online through skillsoft.com, which I was given access to in my severance package. Maybe I need to just move out in order to get everything done that needs getting done. My 4 year old daughter thinks just because I'm working from home right now, that means I can play all the time. It makes it hard to concentrate, and some of this computer stuff takes some serious concentration.

I love my daughter, but she is easily the most demanding child I've ever come across. Of course, she's the first one who is MINE, and I don't want to avoid her. I don't want her to grow up thinking I don't want her around, so I have to spend as much time as possible with her. She's going through a needy stage.

I've also been trying to finish a screenplay, which also takes concentration … and quiet. Actually, I think that's finished. Let me back up. First, I wrote a novella as if I was writing a screenplay. It was in prose form, but was more visually oriented, with a lot of dialogue as a movie would have. That was not very well received, so I reformatted it into screenplay format, updating it along the way. Then I just recently wrote another outline because the screenplay had too many flashbacks and voice-overs, I thought. This third version started at the beginning chronologically. It's just taking forever, and it's really not that great of a story to begin with. It was just a writing assignment I gave myself. I should probably drop it and start something fresh and new. The only problem is that I would love to sell it, or at least something, because I could use the money right now. I'm too old with too many dependents to be a “starving artist.”

The weird thing about this story is that it involves someone who gets fired, finds his girlfriend cheating on him and videotaping it, and learns he has a fatal disease, all in one day. Actually, that's not the weird part. The weird part is that I've always had this vague worry that what I write will come true. And then, I write a story about a guy getting fired, and guess what, I get fired in real life. I don't see my wife having an affair, though. And if she did, I really don't see her videotaping it. 🙂 Of course, my previous story involved a guy who wins the lottery and runs for president, and that hasn't happened yet. 🙂 Both of these stories, by the way, are available at http://stores.lulu.com/holmeswa.

Down by the Creek

Elizabeth and I went down to the creek this cold fall morning. With all the recent rain, Indian and Mill Creeks both had a lot of rushing water. We walked along the edge of Mill Creek. Usually, we stick to the closer Indian Creek. Elizabeth went as far as she could (or wanted to), then I had to carry her. At one point while carrying her, I slipped and got my knee muddy, but we were otherwise fine. Best of all, when we got back to our bikes, they were both still there!

Her bike was stolen last week. It really made Elizabeth sad. It pssed me off. I hate having things stolen. No one likes it, but it really ticks me off. A couple months ago, I'd left a shovel out in the front garden, and it was missing the next time I needed it. We never used to have that problem around here.

Anyway, while walking the dogs with Elizabeth (on her scooter) a day or two after the bicycle theft, we just happened past a house with several kids' bicycles parked/dumped in the front yard. I did a double take when I saw what looked like Elizabeth's. I wasn't sure because half the little girls' bikes in the neighborhood look like her pink and purple Barbie bicycle. Hers has a basket and a bell, though, which this one had. It also has her name written on clear tape on it, but I'd forgotten about that and couldn't see it in the dark. The clincher was the well-worn back tire (that Elizabeth had recently painted, thinking that would fix it). Anyway, it was hers, so we just took it back without incident. Elizabeth was very happy; almost as happy as I was. 🙂

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Diary, 10/15/2009

Two weeks shy of my birthday and I'm still looking for a job. I don't know why. I never really fit in at these corporate soul-sucking places. Oh that's right, I need to pay the mortgage, daycare, grocery bill, utilities, car payment and its insurance. And don't forget the exorbitant health care premiums. You ever tried buying health insurance when your employer didn't get you a HUGE discount? It's ridiculously expensive.

It just occurred to me: Maybe the corporations actually sorta LIKE having healthcare costs being out of control because then they can lure prospective employees away from smaller companies by promising healthcare cheaper than the smaller companies can offer it, thanks to their volume discount.

Can you believe Obama wants to FORCE people to buy health insurance? What if you can't afford it? They're going to force you, anyway? Isn't that pretty much the epitome of fascism? And people thought he was a socialist! Actually, he belongs to some sort of new “ism” yet to be named. Or maybe it HAS been named: “commulism” like what China has evolved into. Maybe he's just copying them?

I'm not one of these right-wing-nut email-forwarding rabid anti-Obama people, but I'm definitely incredibly disappointed in him. He's just such a corporate whore. Too bad he doesn't use his charm and intelligence for good instead of evil. But then, anyone who wants to be president pretty much HAS to be a megalomaniac.

Well, that turned into a rant, didn't it?

On another subject, I'm still getting used to this netbook. It's an Acer, and it's so small and my hands are so big! I didn't realize netbooks were this small. I knew they were smaller, but not THIS small. hope I CAN get used to it. It was only $290, and then I got a mysterious $10 rebate. You're probably wondering why I'm spending that kind of money after losing my job, but I HAD to have a laptop or netbook in order to continue writing. I'd been borrowing an old unused laptop from work, so I had to replace that.