Tuesday, September 30, 2008

700 billion has a lot of zeroes

Wall Street had a big sell-off yesterday amid disappointment that the U.S. government (i.e. the American tax-payer) was not going to bail them out of their current financial crisis. In their shoes, I'd be bummed, too. But as someone who's been watching the debt rise amidst consistent deficit-spending, I worry about the government's plan to "lend a hand."

Last I checked the United States is 9.8 trillion dollars in debt. I'm no economist, but I do balance my checkbook each month and 10.5 trillion (our post-bailout balance) sounds like a lot of red ink to me. All I can say is that if they end up having to auction stuff out of the Smithsonian to pay the bill, those corporate executives on Wall Street who are making $44 million a year better be at the auction buying things and donating them back.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fricka Frack!

How in the world is everyone else doing?

I'm a little dizzy after a whirlwind week. I wrote a column for our writers' chapter newsletter, judged four writing contest entries, edited 200 pages of the sequel to Would-be Witch, worked some overnight shifts at work, met with a contractor to fix Ike's damage to my fences, etc. AND dealt with some people who tried to StEaL My IdEnTitY. *$A%!! Bastards!

Anyway, I haven't been to a police station in...well...ever. It was kind of surreal, and I felt like a character in one of my books. "At least I can use it for research, right?" she asked, while perpetually trying to look on the bright side.

Also, I hate to complain, but honestly... after Hurricane Ike gorged himself on entire houses on the coast, did he really need to eat some shingles off my roof, too?!

Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes! I luv ya.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Through the Rain!

Hurricane Ike was a wild ride. I didn't know trees could bend that way! From 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday was a bit of an adventure, but I survived without flooding or broken windows. Yahoo!

I hope to get some pictures of the aftermath for you later, and like most everyone here I did lose power, but mine is back on now. My fences were blown down so I have a community yard and there are huge branches blocking my driveway, so I'll be doing some manual labor when I finally do decide to venture out, but overall I feel extremely lucky.

Thanks for all your good thoughts!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Central

Houston - 10:45 a.m.

It's sunny and hot. There are intermittent swells of wind followed by a stillness that's not quite ominous but is getting there.

I'm eating up my frozen foods, doing laundry & dishes, and, in case the windows later decide to cave into pressure from the wind and the trees, moving anything that might (with the right inspiration) fly around the house. Oh, yeah, and I'm charging every battery that can take a charge. 

More later (er, at least I hope so.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Spitting in the Hurricane's Eye

Monday (on e-mail) -
"I just don't worry about hurricanes anymore."

Tuesday (at work) -
"It's too far out to know where it will hit. We all made ourselves miserable and exhausted getting ready for Rita, which turned out to be much ado about nothing as far as Houston weather was concerned."

Wednesday (on the phone)-
"Hmm. Yeah, I guess we should cancel our Saturday meeting. There could be a lot of rain. No use driving in that."

Thursday 5:10 a.m. (at the gym)
"It looks like Hurricane Alicia because it's wide, warm, and slow-moving? I didn't live here then, what was Alicia like? Tornadoes, huh. People lost power for weeks? That would be a serious problem for me. I can't go more than a day or two without using a laptop."

Thursday 5:45 a.m. (in the car)
"No one else is awake. I'll be able to pick up a few supplies just in case. Wait, what are all these cars doing in the Randalls' parking lot before 6 a.m.? Don't people work?"

Thursday 6:10 a.m. (in the grocery store)
"This is more canned food than I've ever bought in my life. If we don't lose power, my pantry's going to be overcrowded for months. Now what kind of batteries does my flashlight take? Oh, must be D since there's a big space where the D batteries used to be. What the hell, I've got candles and matches at the house. Time to go home and back to bed."

Thursday Noon
"Wow, look at the traffic. The lines to get gas are outrageous. I wonder if the stations will run out like they did before Rita. Glad I have 3/4 of a tank. Unlike during Rita when I was on my last 1/4 tank and had to drive back and forth to the hospital every day, coasting on fumes at the end of that stint was rough on the nerves."

We have not forgotten...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Guest-blogging Gig

I am guest-blogging today at my friend Shane's place. Come and visit Jaunty Quills to hear me dish about the search for happy historical fiction.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Unmastering Zen

I was at an outside table at Starbucks in the morning--an interloper in Smoker's Territory since when it's ninety degrees they're usually the only ones out there. But I was chatting on my cell and hate to do that in a restaurant or cafe. I prefer the privacy of the open street ;)

Anyway, while I was outdoors enjoying the pollution of the nearby intersection, some mosquitoes bit me. I tried not to be furious at them. I tried to remember that lots of bigger creatures need mosquitoes for their food supply...like bats, the inspiration for great comics. I tried to be in a zen-like state. At one with the universe. But instead I squished them.

Here's a little reminder to myself to appreciate nature. ;)

"To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
- William Blake

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Make like a pin cushion...

Hey there,

So today I went to get a TB skin test, and the nurse asked when my last tetanus shot was. It's been over ten years. Naturally, since I update practically every trauma patient that I see, I agreed to a booster myself.

And honestly the needles for the TB test and the tetanus immunizations are so small, I couldn't even feel them at the time. Afterward, however, the tetanus site feels like I slammed my shoulder into something hard enough to raise a bruise. I suppose it is better than getting tetanus though. I am very much anti-lockjaw. That smile might have worked for Heath in Batman, but us normal people not so much.

Anyway, tomorrow morning's workout should be a lot of fun. ;)

Are you due for a booster?

Kissing the Suspect Release!

Chapter 1 Callie Melville was wanted by the law, but to put it that way made things sound worse than they were. She hoped. The rumors...