Saturday, January 28, 2006

My Running Buddy

It's gotten to the point now that my dog pal Moofie nudges my hand with her nose on Saturday mornings. She knows those are my "long run" days and she's not afraid to tell me she's ready to go.

I almost cancelled on her today, poor thing, because at 11:00 the rain was coming down sideways mixed with an icy wind. So I opened the shade in our bedroom and went back to the warmth of our bed and waited for the rain to stop--or, at least, taper off a little. Judging by the starlings nesting comfortably in the giant Douglas Fir high above our neighbor's rooftop, it was going to be awhile.

Lucky break, though, by noon the sun poked through the clouds and the rain lightened a little. Knowing that I had at least an hour and a half of running ahead of me, I took my chances and put on my gear. Moof flew off her bed as though she'd been shot out of a cannon. There was no way I was going to leave the house without her.

The first hour was virtually rain free and it wasn't until we crossed the University Bridge and headed up Roosevelt that the rain began again. By mile 8 I could tell Oatie was getting tired. Long strings of dog drool looped around her nose and dangled off her ears. She lost the spring in her stride and slowed considerably. I slowed my pace and talked to her--hoping my words would soothe her somewhat. We still had two miles to go though I was fully prepared to board the number 16 bus that'd take us the last two miles; but Oatie kept up.

Finally, 10 miles later in a mixture of sun and rain, we came home.

We've been bathed, showered, dried and fed and now it's naptime! Adieu!

Friday, January 27, 2006

It's Immoral, It's Repugnent and...What Time is it On Again?

Pa sent me a link today to this article.

Apparently, the joke was on the producers at BBC Three in the U.K. when they conducted a bogus focus group in which they pitched a TV show called "Let's Make a Baby". According to the article, they told participants the show "would centre around contestants - all strangers - living in a 'fertility house', with the least attractive being voted out each week. The remaining two couples would then have a race to conceive a child and win £100,000 each." Evidently, the focus group loved the idea.

Funny how this was all a spoof and yet a Dutch Television company is in the process of producing "I want your baby, not your love". In it, "men compete to be the one to donate their sperm to a single woman who wants a baby but not a boyfriend."

Set your TiVos! I'm sure something this whacked out will be gracing the U.S. soon!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Happy Worst Day of The Year!

According to this article, today's the worst day of the year.

It can't be that bad, can it? The sun is shining (after a month-long hiatus), I'm about to take Mr. Na to school and bring my dog pal Moofie for a 3 mile run. I also have a writing date planned.

Could be worse, eh?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Random Musings from Mr. Na

"Papa, you got a new backpack."
"Yes I did. Can you read what it says on it?" (pointing to the company logo).
"Yep. It's says 'Papa's Work'."

"I know why they call it hip-hop music, mama."
"You do? Why?"
"Because they dance around on hippity hops."

"This is papa's new school," I said, pointing to the university.
"Is that where Papa plays with big trikes, choo choos and soccer balls?"

"Once upon a time there was a mama who lost her ring. She cried. But then she found it in her backpack. And she didn't cry anymore. The end."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Happy Homecoming Day!

A typical "apartment building" in Ukraine. This one has "Nirvana Cool" graffiti on the side.

Two years ago today, Pa and I stood in a stuffy, crowded hallway of a courthouse in Donetsk, Ukraine. We were among several teenage hoodlums and various miscreants waiting to be heard by a judge. To pass the time, Pa played chess on his mobile.

The orphanage lawyer--I shall call him "Skippy"--lustily eyed Pa's phone. It just so happened, after the judge heard and approved our case, that he screwed up Mr. Na's name on the paperwork and wasn't going to go back and change it, despite numerous requests. "I like phone," he said in English. "It is Smart Phone, yes?" Pa handed Skippy the phone to have a look--but there would be no negotiations for it--no deals to be struck in exchange for fixing the one little fuck-up on our new son's adoption decree. Not only was this stupid, yet highly-coveted phone property of Pa's employer, there was no way the little weasel was going to get it in exchange for fixing his mistake.

"You can change his name back in Seattle," my translator reassured me. I nodded, still a little fazed from what had just transpired: the approval of our request to adopt a child and giving my utmost assurances to the judge that we would take care of this child forever--all overshadowed, for a moment or two, by this asshole who had the nerve to ask for Pa's phone in order to make one tiny, yet hugely significant change. Once Skippy realized Pa wasn't going to deal, he said to us, "It's much better this way anyway. I don't like (Mr. Na's new name)."

As we got back into our driver's car, my translator handed me a gift of three lillies. In Ukraine, the custom is to give an odd number of flowers as an even number signifies bad luck. I smiled, still a little shellshocked at the prospect of being a brand-new parent to a 19 month-old boy. I think I stayed that way for at least a month after we returned to Seattle--shellshocked, sleep deprived and in slight disbelief. Over time, though, I settled in very comfortably with parenthood and watched my son grow from a little sickly child with rickets to a handsome, healthy and clever 3.5 year-old whom I love more and more every day. Despite that minor setback in Ukraine, Mr. Na's name was legally changed the following November when we readopted him in our local county courthouse.

I bring this part of the story up--certainly not to put a damper on this day--just to recount the facts because our adoption wasn't all wine and roses; but all things considered, that was the worst of it. In fact, my hope is that when we go back some time next year to adopt another little one, the process will be a smooth as the one we experienced with Mr. Na.

Oh, and I'll be bringing that phone next time--since I inherited it; but you can bet I won't be playing chess in the hallway of the courthouse!

Mr. Na's flight to his new home. January 2004.

Mr. Na today, January 2006.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Have you ever had one of those moments in your life where the little voice inside your head says, "Better not do that, or something could happen..." Sadly, I had one of those moments today, just before I lost my wedding ring.

It could be much worse--I lost the diamond band, not the engagement ring, thank God; but I'm so busted up about it I could spit. As I'm sure anyone could attest to theirs, my wedding band is beyond sentimental. Not only does it match the engagement ring, I also have a very special inscription on the inside.

The little voice spoke to me at the gym this morning as I placed the ring on the shelf in my locker so I could put on body lotion and not get it all gunked up. I put it in the front, though, so it wouldn't get lost in the pile of clothes behind it.

"Hey, don't leave that up there,"
it scolded.

I ignored the voice, of course, as I often do, and then for some strange reason, my mind wandered and I thought about the jeweler who made the ring. He lives close by and I often see him driving his big Lincoln Navigator around town. I always know it's him because the SUV is a baby barf brown and it has a big bike rack in the back. He's a nice guy, though. And then I wondered what it was that made me think about him and then I thought about the quality craftsmanship he and his brother do and I thought about how happy I was with all of the pieces they had made for us and then I thought about my husband and what a great guy he is and how kind and generous he is and how he needs a watch battery for his watch and how he never has any time to do anything like get a watch battery and how he needs some sort of a personal valet service and then I'm all, "wait, what about me? I mean I could get him a watch battery..." and then a woman who had shared my lap lane with me in the pool came over to the locker next to me and asked, "Is this your locker?" and I nodded and went back over to it to get out of her way and I hastily scooped the clothes that were laying on the top shelf and got dressed.

It wasn't until I headed back up the stairs to pick up Mr. Na in daycare when I realized my mistake. A tearful search ensued, which included several concerned women (the woman next to me had already left), Mr. Na, and the person at the front desk--all for naught--though on the plus side, a lot of the older ladies are saying prayers for me (smiling).

And now the little voice is doing it's "told ya so" number inside my head.

I had assurances from the gym staff and from the concerned ladies and from the police officer who took my report that in all likelihood it could turn up; but I'm not feeling terribly optimistic.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

40 Days and 40 Nights, Didn't It Rain Children?

Well, it's not that bad...but it's bad enough. 25 straight days of rain with no end in sight according to Jeff Renner. Normally I'm not one to bitch and moan about the weather--I leave that up to my mother; but this rain just sucks. It makes training for a marathon a nightmare, plus I'm getting into the snacks a bit too much and I have no motivation to pick up my manuscript. So I'm in bed now (Pa's downstairs doing his homework) hoping to get a little bit of writing in before bed.

Moof and I ran around the lake this morning after dropping Mr. Na off at school. The poor dog came back home looking like she dragged the entire lake. She had burrs and twigs stuck in her fur and sand and mud caked between her toes. At least she's in good spirits. Last week I had to take her in to see the Vet because she was whiney and wouldn't eat her food. $300 dollars and one set of X-rays later, it was confirmed she had a good, old-fashioned case of gas. Must've been something she ate since the Vet concluded it was some sort of bacteria--which is exactly what Pa's been suffering from as well. Not very pleasant in my house these days. And it certainly doesn't smell an awful lot like flowers.

I was glad to hear Pat Robertson today publicly apologize for his obdurate remarks regarding Ariel Sharon. Perhaps he got a call back from God saying "I didn't MEAN that. Really. Take it back." You know, since he's got His direct line and all.

Well, before it gets too late, I'm going to open Chapter 12 and work on it. Ni'night.

( sure to click on the link in the title so you, too can have "Elementary My Dear" stuck in your head!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Create Your Own Moz Lyrics

With his new album, Ringleader Of The Tormentors coming out in March, Morrissey's been working hard (as always) at creating catchy titles to his woeful lyrics. He doesn't disappoint, either:

01. I Will See You In Far-Off Places
02. Dear God Please Help Me
03. You Have Killed Me
04. The Youngest Was The Most Loved
05. In The Future When All's Well
06. The Father Who Must Be Killed
07. Life Is A Pigsty
08. I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now
09. On The Streets I Ran
10. To Me You Are A Work Of Art
11. I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
12. At Last I Am Born

Now here's your chance to take a crack at creating some Moz-like titles and seeing what other goofy people like me have come up with.


1) It's Inconceivable To Think That I Like Jell-o.
2) If You Found Prozac Would You Mind Sharing With Me?
3) Clearly I Meant To Be Morbid.
4) I Loathe The Sound of Packing Peanuts.
5) A Feeling of General Discomfort is What I've Been Told To Expect.
6) Since I've Moved to LA I've Noticed the Sun.
7) You Bore Me To Death Now Go Fetch Me a Coke.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Scene: the bedroom. Ma's already in bed reading a borrowed copy of Diana Gabaldon's Dragonfly in Amber. Pa plops his book, Syntactic Theory, down on his pillow.

Ma: Oh, look honey...our book covers match.

Pa: Yeah, but yours is about fuck buddies traveling through time.

The above was from last night, before my husband came down with a nasty flu/virus whatever that took away any last shred of humor. Poor guy!

I suppose, though, he does have a point--that the book I'm reading is about fuck buddies traveling through time--but hey, we all need a brief distraction now and again, eh? How I ever got caught up in the world of historical fiction set in the Scottish Highlands is beyond me; but Gabaldon's prose is as intoxicating as listening to her speak in person. She--and her writing--is charming, intelligent and graceful.

It's late and my boys are asleep upstairs. Rain is streaming off of the roof's pitches and Moof is contentedly curled up on the other end of the sectional here in the den. I'm tired too but I think I'll put on some tea and cozy up to those time traveling fuck buddies!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!

I'm awfully glad the holidays are over. I'm Christmassed out and Coneyed out...and yet the tree is still up, the lights are still on, and we still have about 24 servings left of coney sauce.

Holidays and vacations remind me that Mr. Na is very much a creature of habit. Without his normal schedule of school, Kids Club and soccer, he gets cranky. Throw the grandparents' two-week visit into the mix, and we had Mr. Franken-Na who, despite having every one of his friends over to the house during the Coney Dog Bowl, went up to Pa and asked him if they could go into our bedroom and snuggle in bed to read "Go Dog Go!"

Still, it was hard to see Pa off to work after his week of RnR and the rain hasn't let up in the last two weeks so it's been kinda quiet and uneventful. I'm already looking forward to a long weekend visit at Gran-pa-pa's house in Nevada in February. At least there'll be some sun!

So yeah...New Year, new goals, eh? Everybody has 'em, so I've got mine. Here they are:

1) Begin the adoption process for Puttie #2--Electric Bugaloo in January;

2) finish current edit of my novel and dive into second edit; It'll be done when it's done. I'm not trying to rush it but...

3) I hope to pitch the novel to agents/editors at the Whidbey Island Writers Conference in March and have the first 50 pages ready to send to any takers afterwards;

4) train and run the Whidbey Island Marathon on April 2--the whole enchilada this time--none of that wussy half-marathon stuff. I'm looking forward to crossing the Deception Pass;

5) train and compete in the Danskin Triathlon in August;

6) read another 35 books.

So marathon training starts this week. I'm running every day now instead of every other. It was a bit tough this morning, adjusting to a half mile swim after a 4-mile run but all is good! And just to follow-up with my previous post, I wound up getting the Nike Philips MP3 Run and I love it! I can't tell you how frickin' cool it is to have a calm, soothing voice tell you your time/distance/pace every few minutes.

Well, it's T-two minutes to Rose Bowl kick-off (I started this post last night and fell asleep part way through!) Pa's heading off to Wingdome after his first day of classes to bring home the food. So I'm signing off. Go Trojans!