Thursday, April 27, 2017

Saturday Science

Saturday was Science! day.  I delivered posters from The Child's class to the UO Science Fair; which required being on campus around 10AM.   And reconfiguring the car.  And packing enough snacks and umbrellas and hats and coats to be prepared for the day.  Mark walked to campus and The Child and I drove everything to Willamette Hall, where the fair was.

We helped set up a little, and then looked at all the presentations.  The Child's project (he was the lead investigator) was about testing herbicides; he had control grass, and other hapless pots of grass that he or his team had poured salt or boiling water or vinegar on.   Other kids had exhibits like, what interferes most with WiFi signals, which car will go the fastest, and how much mechanical advantage do different ten-speed bike gears give.  Various groups--like the library--had demo booths.

The Grandparents and my sister came down and looked at everything.  Mom wasn't feeling so mobile, so we found some chairs and had a nice chat.  We managed to get pictures of The Child being grilled by the fair judges.  Other events called them back to Corvallis, and by then it was time for the Eugene March for Science.   I met up with Ray V. and all the other marchers in front of the Knight Library, and after the rally was finished, every turned and marched toward the student union building.  Mark and The Child were walking the other way to get some food, and briefly joined the march... but somehow we missed each other.   Ray and I chatted about writing and critique groups as we walked... neither of us is an actual bona-fide scientist, but we were marching anyway.

All day was a raining then sunny then raining again day, but during the march, it warmed up enough that I took off my coat.  About halfway through, I snuck out of the parade to get back to the Science Fair.  More friends of The Child had shown up, so they were running around looking at all the exhibits.  Around 3 PM there was a science demonstration and awards, and The Child's project managed to get first place (in the life-sciences devision, we think; there were so many participants this year that the judges created several divisions).  

Sunday I was tired.  Rain fell most of the day, and I think we all wanted to lie around the house, curled up with a book and hot cocoa by a fire.  Except all we really had were some books and the Internet.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Monday Gym

Monday I went to the gym.  Someone was on my regular elliptical, so I hopped on another one and watched the news.  200 cal in about 20 minutes.  100 cal in 10 or so minutes on the rowing machine.  3X12X60lbs on the pec-fly.  3X12X70 on the lat pull-down.  3X12 curl-ups on the Roman Chair.  3X12X30lbs barbell curls.  2X12X30lbs barbell reverse pulls (or was that 3X12?).  2X12X20lb triceps pull-downs.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Gym and Writing Reports

Gym Report:  Went to the gym last Monday and again Wednesday night.  Did the typical stuff.  200 cal on the elliptical, 100 cal on the rowing machine, 60 lbs on the pec-fly, 70 lbs on the lat pull-down, 3X12 Roman chair curl-ups, 30lbs bar-bell curls and reverse-pulls, 20lbs tricepcs pull-down.  Sadly (?) I've lost strength staying away from the gym in March, and a short-term goal is to get back to ten pounds heavier on all my weights (back to my January levels).

Writing:  The new work schedule has kind of thrown me for a loop, and I haven't mustered the discipline to write during the mornings or evenings when I actually have some time.  I have been snatching twenty to thirty minutes here and there.

Made the mistake of opening my e-mail Friday morning and found a 3AM story form rejection from a market I've been trying to break into and which I had a good feeling that the story I'd sent them was a good match.  It's frustrating.

Some markets are very competitive, and when I get rejected by them, I'm more likely to move on.  This one I'm going through the seven stages of manuscript rejection.

  1. Anger -- "Damn it, this story is perfect for you, why didn't you buy it?" 
  2. Envy -- "OMG, you published that string of dissociated vignettes? I mean really, I could..." (opens up web site, reads random story that just happens to be brilliant prose to spite me) "...ugh. 
  3. Loathing I --  "I suppose if I don't like the stories in this market all that much, I shouldn't be submitting there.
  4. Loathing II -- "Damn this stupid market system that sets editors against writers and writers against themselves.
  5. Loathing III -- "I'm just stupid and I can't write."  
  6. Singing-Sad-Musical-Numbers -- "Heeeeere's to the Ladies who Lunch; everybody laugh / Sitting in their caftans and planning a brunch on their own behalf."  
  7. Caffeine Abuse -- "...And one for Mahler!" (pops another chocolate-covered espresso bean)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Weekend 2017

Friday night was The Great Cleaning.  This made for a relaxed rest of the weekend.


We dyed eggs this year for Easter.  I think my favorite one is the one that had leaves on it.  I punched out a leaf shape from painter's tape using a craft punch.  Then I put the leaf-shaped tape onto the egg and dyed it.  I moved the egg from dye to dye, and moved some of the tape-leaves around to create a layered effect.

Mark and I hid eggs for The Child (Mark was a better hider than I was)

Sunday friends and family came by for a brunch.  We had sauteed asperigas; baked parmisan zucchini; fruit salad; and a selection of savories:  sautéed mushrooms, sliced cucumber, dill and cream cheese and Grandma's Party Saving dip.  Mark made carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Mark got a pinaita (a purple elephant) and we had a few rounds of swinging at it.  

This year I think we were pretty good about not turning the day into a total chocolate orgy, so there were no 1:30 PM sugar crashes or anything.
  

One of this (Monday) morning's dreams involved nuns at Reed College extolling me not to fly around in my black purple cloak.  The Reed College setting isn't new; neither is flying around in my black cloak.  Nuns are a new motif.  Having other folks notice that I'm flying around and extolling me not to is a new motif, too.  

In writing news:  My story, "Dust to Smart Dust" is published at On The Premises, here: http://onthepremises.com/issues/issue-29/issue-29-honor1/ 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Gym Return

Gym:  After about six weeks (!) I made it back to the gym last Saturday.  I took it easy and eased into my usual routine, decreasing the weights by about 10 to 20 pounds.  Eliptical 20 minutes; rowing machine, about 10 minutes; pec-fly 3X12X50 lbs + 8X50lbx; lat pull-down 3X12X60lbs + 8X60lbs; Roman chair curls, 2X13; barbell curls 3X12X30lbs; reverse barbell curls 12X30lbs; uh, reverse row barbell pull 8X30lbs; triceps pulldown 3X12X20lbs.

I was pretty sore Sunday and Monday.  Tuesday after Wordos, I went in again.  Elliptical 20 minutes at about 210 calories; someone was on the rowing machine; pec-fly 3X12X60 lbs (and when my upper chest muscles snapped in a good way, I'm afraid I made a somewhat embarrassingly sensual noise -- luckily no one was around to wonder if I was having an intimate moment with the pec-fly machine); lat pull-down 3X12X70lbs; Roman chair curls, 3X13; barbell curls 3X12X30lbs;  barbell shoulder shrugs 3X8X10lbs; reverse row barbell pull 2X12X30lbs; triceps pulldown 3X12X20lbs.

Although I sort of wanted to slip into the local bar and grill where the Wordos may have been holding their post-critique gathering, I figures tequila on top of a workout probably wouldn't be doing me any favors.  I went home and had a virtuous bowl of low-fat yogurt with raspberries on top--and four squares of melted 70% dark chocolate drizzled over it. 

Thursday I was virtuous once again.  Elliptical 20 minutes at about 210 calories; someone was on the rowing machine (two people this time...); pec-fly 3X12X60 lbs; lat pull-down 3X12X70lbs; Roman chair curls, 3X13; barbell curls 3X12X30lbs;  barbell shoulder shrugs 2X8X12lbs; reverse row barbell pull 2X12X30lbs; triceps pulldown 3X12X20lbs.

Writing:  I'm working on a short story, and I'd like to use penises in it in a metaphoric way, but it's coming out like porn -- which is exactly what I don't want, because I'm trying to explore themes of holistic male-body-as-lens... maybe I'll just have my character wake up one morning and discover he's transformed into a giant penis.  Either that or press my naked paint-covered body up against plexi-glass along with a datura flower.

Monday, April 10, 2017

April Flowers

We're getting April blooms here.  The local Magnolia trees have opened, as have the (pleasantly pungent) narcissus along the side of the house and the tulips that Mark has in pots on the outside deck.  The grape hyacinth (which I particularly enjoy) are up and blooming, as is the rosemary (we have a hardy, two and a half high shrub).  The cherry tree has tight umber buds that I expect will open in a few weeks, and the irises are still only green swords.

Mark does the lions share of the yard work, and he's got foxglove, lilies, goldenrod, strawberries, and a raspberry cane going.  He's also done good things with various arbor vita trees, which give the yard a little more privacy than it had when we first moved in ten years ago.

Yesterday (Sunday)I planted some poppy and borage seeds in our yard.  I like poppies; we had a few growing last year, and I very much enjoyed their orange blossoms.  Mark doesn't care for borage much, but I like borage flowers because they are blue and purple and they attract bees.  The bees added an extra puzzle as to where to plant borage.  I think the plants would like the south facing side of our house, but I'm pretty sure The Child would object to bees being too close to various backyard activities.

On the writing front:  I'd been writing up a lecture proposal Saturday.  The way home machine availability worked out, I ended up doing a lot of it on my iPad.  This probably wasn't the best thing, because I managed to get a pretty bad headache by the end of the session.  I think it was caused by a combination of bad table ergonomics and wearing the wrong set of glasses (if I wear my old glasses, the correction is a little old; if I wear my progressive glasses, I have to tilt my head back to focus).  Thinking about it more, even though I'd propped up the iPad on an easel, it was too low.  



Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Submission Errors

Ugh. I've been wanting to submit to a market that's been closed to short fiction.  Just before turning out the light Monday night, I was looking at their website, and I could have sworn that they'd closed their poetry and opened their prose submissions.  Tuesday (today) I forced myself to get up a little early and I got everything ready for submitting to them -- I checked my word count, composed a cover letter, made sure that I'd used the proper subject line in the e-mail submission, and sent it out... only to have an auto "we're closed" reply.  When I went back to the web page, I saw that no, both prose and poetry submissions were closed.

In a fantasy, I might receive  an e-mail that said, "Dear Mr. Burridge, normally we'd think that somene who can't follow simple instructions is a boob, but the deathless prose that an author of your calibur writes transcends rules for mere mortals, and we'd like to pay you for your story twice."  Oh, I left out the getting a unicorn part.  Oh well.  I wish I could find when they're open for prose submissions, but I'm not finding the information, so I guess I'll have to re-visit their web site.  When I'm more awake.

The tree pollen count was over 500 yesterday, and I've been slightly conjested for the last week.  I don't mind the eye-goop in the corners of my eyes when I wake up, but the tickly throat is tiresome.