Day 1018

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Up at 4:30, racquetball from 5-7, home for breakfast, work from 9-2, then home to revise for a few hours before watching the GOP Debate on CNBC.  I watched on You Tube with my Twitter feed open to #GOPDEBATE.  These debates aren't really debates but national spectacles.  Ted Cruz is wrong; they are cage matches to see who can throw a punch, who can take a punch, and who can craft a memorable "You're no Jack Kennedy" moment.  The real losers in these spectacles are the politicians who don't naturally treat these performances like the melodramas they've become, and so Jeb attempted to throw a punch at Rubio but missed so badly that he was declared the loser of the night (again).  His Fantasy Football answer also didn't score him any GOP points.  I don't know how Bush recovers from his stalled campaign.  I don't see his present course reversing.  I think he's done.  Christie is a brawler and naturally good at these spectacles.  I see an opening for him.  Cruz is too crazy and sociopathic for my taste (and the taste of main stream America), but he did have a couple great moments last night when he drilled into the moderators for their biased questions and general lack of tact and order in turning the spectacle into the circus it quickly became.  Trump is Trump and certainly pleased those folks who connect with him.  Ben Carson is a total mystery.  I don't get his popularity at all.  Who knows what the debate will do for him.  Carley is always shrill and harsh and articulate in rolling off her grand vision for America the way a war general ticks off commands and ideas and hairbrained schemes.  She would like to shorten the 73,000-page tax code into 3 pages.  As a Tweet expressed, that would be a great idea if we were living in the year 1142.  Marco Rubio had a good night, unfortunately.  Of all the candidates, I find him the least likable and genuine.  I find him scarier than even Ted Cruz, perhaps because so many people seem blind to this shell of a politician.  The sooner he's out the better.  Mike Huckabee is probably wondered where the magic of 2008 went.  Wherever it went, he won't find it in 2015.  He may be the next one to go, along with Bush, who's on life support.  Oh yeah, and John Kasich.  No one bothered to tell him that these things are not actual debates but circus acts.  He loves talking policy and ideas and wow, that just doesn't work in these things.  He's probably the most sensible person on stage, but this is spectacle, not something to be taken seriously, so his upside is mired in his irrelevance.  Same with Rand Paul.  Was he even on the stage tonight?  I couldn't tell.  Winners:  Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz.  Losers, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, the moderators (they lost control and asked ridiculous questions).  Draw: the rest.

Day 1017

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Up at 4:30, drove home from Alice's, slept another hour, then got ready for the day.  Squeezed in 45 minutes of revising before work, then worked from 9-2.  Came home and revised another four hours before talking to Chris at 8.  He's revising as well and in total writing mode, so we didn't have much to talk about, our heads both in our projects.  Talked to Alice at 9:15, then went to bed.

Day 1016

Monday, October 26, 2015

Up at 4:30, racquetball until 7, then home for breakfast, 45 minutes of chores, work from 9-2, then home to write for an hour, shopping for Alice's birthday gifts, then dinner with Alice at Penrose on Grand Ave.

We had flatbread, lamb, squid, apple tart with ice cream.  Alice had the Perfect Day cocktail.  It was a wonderful meal.  We drove home to her place at 7:30 and had a slice of the birthday cake her mom made for her.  Alice's parents left today for a three-week stay in China.  I fell asleep by 10.

Day 1015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Up at 5:30 and wrote for an hour before Alice woke up.  We went to Irving Street at 7:50 for coffee and bagels, then I went home while Alice spent the day with her friends visiting Treasure Island.  I did a load of laundry, wrote the final 6,000 words of chapters 11 and 12 and watched my Fantasy Team implode in the afternoon (not my year for FF, that's for sure...I won't make the playoffs I'm afraid).  So all the chapters are on paper and I have 5k words of every chapter written.  Now comes the fun part, pulling it all together in one grand vision of what I hope to do.  I don't have much time and will be working a lot these next few weeks. 

Day 1014

Saturday, October 24, 2015

I had to pick up an E-Force back pack from Steve in Burlingame this morning, so Alice and I played ping pong a few miles away.  She's still a bit weak from the cold she had last week.  Ping pong is a great game to practice.  I don't really need to keep score or play games.  Just hitting the ball back and forth is enough.  We had dumplings at a restaurant a few stores away, then came home.  I wrote for two hours and slept for two hours.  I didn't mean to take such a long nap, but I was completely out and goneby mid-afternoon.  In the evening, we attended a San Francisco Conservatory of Music alumni concert featuring pianist Christopher Basso and violist Jodi Levitz.  It was a wonderful concert.  On the program were Six Bagatelles Op. 126 by Beethoven, Sonata for Viola and Piano Op 147 by Shostakovich, and Schubert's Piano Sonata in B-flat Major.  The Schubert was the highlight.  It's one of my favorites.  I have Horowitz playing it.  Basso's performance was amazing.  I'm not familiar with the viola sonata, but Jodi Levitz can really play.  The concert was long, lasting over two hours.  Alice's friend Cecilia joined us.  We came home around 11 and played more Schubert on YouTube.

Day 1013

Friday, October 23, 2015

I was hoping to get a good five-to-six hour writing session in, but my mom and Craig are vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, which was sitting directly in the path of a category 5 hurricane with 200 mph winds with a central pressure of 879.  Jill and I were on the phone off and on all day.  I followed Twitter from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. to track the hurricane.  Luckily, it missed where mom and Craig were staying.  They were evacuated at 2 p.m. and were camped out in a parking garage with hundreds of other tourists.  They returned to their hotel room at 7:30 my time.  What a relief!

Hurricane Patricia
Had dinner with Alice, her parents and Austin at a new Chinese restaurant on Noriega.  Good. 

Day 1012

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Woke up at 5 and wrote until 7:15.  I have 5k words in chapter 10, 1k in chapter 11 and 1.5k in chapter 12.  I'll write the final chapters quickly and begin the long revision process next week.

Work was very busy today from 9-3, but the focus group was filled and everything should be good to go tomorrow.

I came home exhausted but managed another hour of writing before calling it a day.  Had dinner, then had the great pleasure of watching the Seahawks behave like the Seahawks and totally destroy the 49ers 20-3.

Day 1011

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Played racquetball this morning and still felt stiff from Saturday.  I only played two games, then had to stop.  I left the gym before 7.  Worked from 9-3:30, filling slots for the upcoming mock jury on Friday.  Came home at 4, then met Murry and Lillian at the Wine Merchants for a little Wendel get-together for an hour.  Nice place and great company.  Next time, Alice is joining us!

Day 1010

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Woke up at 4, debating whether to go to the gym or not.  I decided instead to continue catching up on all the stuff piling up here at home.  I slept another hour, then went at it from 5:15-8.  I got ready for work, worked from 9-3, then came home and continued writing until dinner at 7.  Talked to Chris at 8 and Alice at 9:15.  Bed by 10. 

Day 1009

Monday, October 20, 2015

No racquetball today.  Still sore from Saturday's tournament.  I woke up at 6:15, took care of a few things at home, then worked from 9-2.  I came home and worked on chapter 10, began revising chapter 1, removing the first four pages of exposition and beginning the story on page 5.  I can insert the setup stuff throughout the book, or I might not even need it.  We'll see.  Got my bills paid and taken care of.  No ping pong tonight.  I read for an hour, then went to bed at 9.

Day 1008

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I slept until 6:30, then finally crawled out of bed and got ready for the day.  I left for Alice's around 7:30, stopping first at Arizmendi, then Costco for gas, then Alice's in SF, arriving at 9:45.  Alice's niece Sharon arrived at 10 for an videotaped interview she wanted me to help her with for her graduate class in physical therapy.  We had to role play a patient visit to the PT office.  We practiced for 30 minutes, then shot the video in one take. 

Afterwards, Alice and I headed to Irving for groceries and lunch.  I spent the rest of the day watching both my Seahawks and Fantasy team lose.  They're now both 2-4.  So painful, especially seeing the Hawks struggle like this. 

I practiced the four chords I know on my ukulele for Alice's party tonight.  Part of her bike gang came over (Chester, May, Cecilia, Jay and George).  Chester brought his uke and a bunch of sheet music.  He and Austin played piano while Jay, Cecilia and I played ukulele.  May danced and George and Alice sang.  It was great fun!  Alice made a lovely dinner.  I ate too much as always.  The party ended at 8:45 and I was fast asleep at 10.  Gearing up for a very busy week this week.

Day 1007

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Up at 6:30 to get ready for our club doubles tournament.  I arrived at the gym at 7:45 ready to go.  There were 12 strong teams in the hunt.  Dorian and I were in the Girl Scouts division.

Play began at 8.  Dorian hadn't played in two weeks because he was getting treatments for his cancer.  He found out yesterday that he was cancer free, which is fabulous news.  He looked good today and we managed to make it to the playoffs with 60 points as the 4th seed in our division.  We ended up playing the #1 seed in the Cup Cake division, Joel and Victor.  We upset them 15-9 and advanced to the semi-finals against the Commish and his open partner Carlos, who was probably the best player in the tournament.

This was a crazy match. Carlos covered the entire court while Mike just hung out on the right side . Against Dorian, those two were always in each other's way.  There were some fireworks in this match, but our z-serve to Mike's side scored us several points and kept us in the game.  We pulled it out in the end 15-12 and headed to the finals.

In the finals, we lost to Stevie and Garry 8-15.  Stevie was totally on today and the game wasn't as competitive as I would have liked.  Still, D and I went a lot farther than we should have and managed to collect another piece of hardware to add to the collection.

Me & D

We had our lunch afterward at Le Cheval across the street.  Good times and good food!

I went home afterward and crashed hard.  I was useless the rest of the day.  What a great tournament Robbie puts on.  He's the best!

Day 1006

Friday, October 16, 2015

Racquetball in the morning from 5-6:45, then home to write until 6.  It had been years since my dear friend Jeff and I got into an email war, but I encouraged one after Tuesday's debate and Jeff delivered.  He's such a good friend.  I got the ball rolling with this to the Bham crowd:

"Remember our Clinton/Obama debate emails back in '07 and '08?  Is it me or do they feel like another lifetime ago?

Has the world always been this scary or are we just getting older?  Damn!  Build a "Great Wall" across the US/Mexico border?  Good to know channeling Genghis Khan plays so well with the GOP.

As for the "grownup" debate last Tuesday...

Hillary Clinton's Edward Snowden response was so profoundly on the wrong side of history, and yet, given her frustrating flaws, it was sweet seeing her A game as she rendered the boys (Webb, O'Malley, Chafee) totally obsolete and the truth-telling "socialist" sage (Sanders)  progressively on point but ultimately impractical for a party that finds the extremist fearmongering and neo-fascist Republican rhetoric beyond tiresome (and actually quite scary).  I hope Clinton continues to stay sharp and aggressive.  She's far from ideal, but given the choices we have, I see no other option.  Barring any further unforced errors, I think it's her time.  Go Hillary!

Any other views out there or are we all pretty much on the same page here?  Jeff, any other viable option?"

Jeff wrote:

"Snowden?  The only one on the stage that called him hero was Lincoln Chaffe.  Even the only guy who voted against the Patriot Act, Bernie knows he belongs in prison. And for good reasons.

And I say that as someone who considers Daniel Ellsberg a hero and supported privacy reform for US citizen surveillance long before Snowden supposedly outed NSA meta-data surveillance.

Snowden was a pure Casablanca moment in this country - "shocked just shocked that surveillance is going on here."  I mean the US government's access to your emails and wireless communication is about the most benign set of people who have access.  At least you are still protected but a whole array of uses of that information.  The biggest problem with US access to that data was mentioned by the Jim Webb.  It's storage means someone really bad might steal it!   Ignoring the fact that really bad people already can get at it and regularly do.

99% of Snowden leak content wise was not about the NSA meta data program - most of it was garden variety intelligence gathering that was neither illegal nor immoral - the revelation of which makes every person in the world less safe.  He applied for the job solely to access that information.  He lied to get his clearance.  He violated his oath and contract.  he lied and made illegal requests while employed to get to the data he wanted.   He immediately within hours of the leak went to China (that big human rights center of the world LOL) and shared the information with one of the biggest threats to world security there is and then days later went and shared it with Russia where he is being protected.   Putin?  Yeah another glowing icon of human rights, democracy and world peace.

Michael - even Bernie thinks you are nuts."

I responded:

"Parcher, you're a true friend.  You knew exactly what I was craving and you delivered!

We share so much in common.  Our love of America...our support of Hillary...our deep respect and affection for Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.  Here's what Ellsberg said about Edward Snowden in the Guardian last June:  "He should get a Nobel peace prize and he should get asylum in a west European country." (

In Tuesday night's debate, Sanders said, "I think Snowden played a very important role in educating the American people to the degree in which our civil liberties and our constitutional rights are being undermined.  He did break the law, and I think there should be a penalty to that. But I think what he did in educating us should be taken into consideration.”

In January 2014, Sanders said, "In my view, the interests of justice would be best served if our government granted him [Snowden] some form of clemency or a plea agreement that would spare him a long prison sentence or permanent exile from the country whose freedoms he cared enough about to risk his own freedom."

During Tuesday's debate, Chafee said, "The American government was acting illegally.  That’s what the federal courts have said; what Snowden did showed that the American government was acting illegally for the Fourth Amendment. So I would bring him home.”

Here's what Clinton said of Snowden:  "He broke the laws of the United States. He could have been a whistle-blower. He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistle-blower. He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. And I think there would have been a positive response to that...In addition, he stole very important information that has unfortunately fallen into a lot of the wrong hands. So I don’t think he should be brought home without facing the music.”

John Cassidy in The New Yorker wrote on Wednesday, "From a civil-liberties perspective—and a factual perspective—Clinton’s answers were disturbing enough that they warrant parsing."   (

I shared your "Casablanca" attitude re Snowden, privacy and government surveillance until I read Glenn Greenwald's "No Place to Hide."  It was the sheer scale and magnitude of the NSA's surveillance programs that had me so dumbstruck.  It felt like a total gutting of American civil liberties and the United States Constitution.  At least we're all talking about privacy as an issue, thanks to Snowden.  Yes, he knowingly broke the law, but the way he went about revealing his information was far better than a Wikileaks data dump or any disingenuous whistle-blower trap Clinton so cunningly talks about (Snowden couldn't have chosen better journalists than Glenn Greenwald and Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras to bring out the truth.)  You should feel very proud of your former student, Jeff.  He's been arguing and debating civil liberties, privacy rights and the principles of our Constitution with all the pro-NSA anti-Snowden hawks and totally sweeping the floor with all of them.  He learned from the best and it shows!

Your assertion that Snowden went to China and shared information with the Chinese is factually wrong.  He flew to Hong Kong knowing the US government would be on his ass the millisecond they realized what he'd done.  That's why he met Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras at his Hong Kong hotel (haven't you seen "Citizen Four" yet?).

Your assertion that Snowden then went to Russia to share information with the Russians is also factually wrong.  Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow enroute to a South American country seeking asylum, but the US annulled his passport at the Moscow airport and put pressure on Cuba not to allow any plane holding Snowden to land.  One month later, Snowden was granted asylum in Russia, where he still lives today.  How ironic.

When the dust of Snowden story eventually settles, maybe twenty years from now, Snowden will be seen as a hero.  Clinton is on the wrong side of history on this one (just like she was in 2003).  But for the time being, who cares.  She's our girl and she needs to continue kicking ass!"

Jeff responded:

"Glenn's an old friend of mine.  And not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.  If a Republican is elected in 2016 he's going to be joining Snowden in federal prison I suspect.

My Casablanca point isn't that the surveillance wasn't massive.  It's that Americans already KNEW or ASSUMED it was massive.  And they don't care.  Government reading of emails is soon going to be seen as walking through a body scan.  A necessary violation of privacy.  I don;t want that world - but its coming.

Let me group all of your stuff and challenge you with this: name one person hurt by the NSA surveillance program?  A person you know thrown in jail or whose reputation was destroyed illegally or who lost something.

I'll concede to you that flying to the China protectorate had the additional motive of saving his ass - but the real question is why did they let him in?  Why did they refuse extradition?  What did Snowden give them in exchange for protection from the U.S.?   Do you naively think China wanted to know just how extensively Americans were being watched or do you think maybe China was interested in the other 99% of the data?????

The naive notion (absurdly constructed by Glenn who should never play in my business - ie spin) that Russia just happened to be the stopover point enroute to Cuba is well - come on dude.  Cuba doesn't give in to US pressure - you don't need a US passport to enter Cuba.  Russia wanted Snowden.  Do we really have to guess as to why?????

As to the wrong side of history.  I'm pretty doubtful that we are entering a renaissance age of privacy delivered by Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald. The attacks coming from inside and outside of this country will have people begging more than ever to give up the privacy they already care very little about.

Ellsburg didn't run to North Vietnam.  He didn't issue silly statements of praise for monstrous human rights violators like Putin and Xi.

Ellsburg stood his ground.  And stood trial. And fought his case under the rules of democracy.  And he proved democracy works.  That option is no longer available for to Snowden because unlike Ellsburg he acted like a traitor and hence is likely to be treated like one."

I responded:

"Time for a bet:

In October, 2035, if Snowden is seen more as a hero than a traitor, you're buying me dinner.
In October, 2035, if Snowden is seen more as a traitor than a hero, I'm buying you dinner.

If Glenn Greenwald was a dull bulb when you knew him back in college, these days he's grown to become a very bright star atop your Christmas tree.  He's become an articulate pitbull when debating privacy issues and civil liberties.  I've watched many of his debates on YouTube and I find him persuasive and impressive.  He's also a strong writer.  I think your good friend deserves a re-evaluation.

In answering your question re "Name one person hurt by the NSA surveillance program?  A person you know thrown in jail or whose reputation was destroyed illegally or who lost something," I'll let Glenn Greenwald speak to that, since he wrote a long piece in Salon about Laura Poitras more than a year before Snowden handed over his NSA cache to Greenwald and Poitras in Hong Kong.

Nope, I don't see Snowden as the villain here.  He affected change and that's a start.  At least he cared enough to do something.  He's a hero.  Yes, he broke the law, but so did Martin Luther King back in the '60s."

When Jeff and I go at it, to me it means the presidential election season has officially begun.

After 6, I made mashed potatoes and headed over to Mark Slatter's for his annual poker party complete with steaks and wine.  I was there until midnight playing with bad cards.  I think I won two pots and that was it.  I only ended up losing $10, so that was something.  I came home after midnight and immediately went to sleep.  Tomorrow's the big doubles tournament at Active Sports. 

Day 1005

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Another full day of writing.  I love these days.  I have another tomorrow, then a full week of work next week.  Today I kept at it from 6:45 until after 10 p.m.  I just kept going and going, writing 2,500 words in chapter 10, catching up on emails and blogs, and tidying the apt. a bit.  Ch. 10 is a little bit boring right now and I'm not sure what I need to jazz things up.  It needs something more.  I think what I'll do is get 6,000 words on paper, then go right into chapter 11 and also bang that out quickly.  Then I'll work on chapter 12 before revising 10 and 11.  I like writing and finishing final chapters before the penultimate and antepenultimate.  I've always been that way.  Don't know why. 

Neal sent me a clip on YouTube tonight and I love it!

Day 1004

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Racquetball in the a.m., then a full day of writing (Nice!), my first in a while.  I sent my revision to Chris after dinner.  It's close to my vision of the first chapter.  Now it's back to chapters 10-12 and more research on all things Swiftopian.  I know my friends will get a kick out of this book, especially Neal and Jay, who were instrumental (no pun intended) in giving me the idea for La Stravaganza.

I can't remember if I've written the moment down, but it was at Neal's house last December.  I was talking to Neal and going on about my heightened appreciation for Vivaldi and his genius in coming up with endlessly creative, imaginative, unique melodic sequences in expressing himself without ever repeating what he'd already done in other instrumental concertos.  I'd never fully appreciated his ability until this past year.  I also mentioned to Neal my total fascination and love for baroque violinist Fabio Biondi, who plays Vivalid unlike anyone I know.  When Jay overheard me rave about Biondi, he jumped right into the conversation, sharing his own Fabio Biondi story in which he was listening to a piece on the car radio that was so mindblowingly incredible that he actually pulled over.  It took him a few minutes to realize he was listening to Vivaldi Winter, only it was performed in such an original way that he couldn't believe what he was hearing.  When the performer's name was mentioned -- Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante -- he became an instant fan.  Jay and I dragged Neal to his TV and fired up a YouTube video of Fabio Biondi playing Vivaldi Winter.  Neal needed to know what we were talking about.  We were like classical music Swifties squealing over our beloved pop star.  It was such a great and memorable moment for me that it inspired my latest novel.

Day 1003

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Worked from 9-2, then home to write for a few hours before the democratic debate.

It's refreshing to hear party candidates debate each other without condoning the construction of a "Great Wall" across the US/Mexico border, as if channeling Genghis Khan is the right way to the White House. 

Tonight's debate was for grownups.

Hillary Clinton's Edward Snowden response was so profoundly on the wrong side of history, and yet, given her frustrating flaws, it was sweet seeing her A game as she rendered the boys (Webb, O'Malley, Chafee) totally obsolete and the truth-telling "socialist" sage (Sanders)  progressively on point but ultimately impractical for a party that finds the extremist fearmongering and neo-fascist Republican rhetoric beyond tiresome (and actually quite scary).  I hope Clinton continues to stay sharp and aggressive.  She's far from ideal, but given the choices we have, I see no other option.  Barring any further unforced errors, I think it's her time.  Go Hillary!

Day 1002

Monday, October 12, 2015

Racquetball in the a.m. until 7:15, then work from 9-2, entering stats into the system from Friday's focus group.  I came home at 2:30 hoping to write for a few hours (that was the plan), but instead slept until 20 minutes before I had to leave for ping pong at 6:30.  Played ping pong in Albany from 7-9, another great group lesson from Lynn.  Came home at 9:30 and went right to bed.

Day 1001

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I had a very enjoyable birthday breakfast with Alice, even though she was still under the weather.  We came home around 10 and she rested in bed while I wrote, watched the Seahawks lose a head scratcher to the Bengals after enjoying a 17-point lead at that start of the 4th quarter (hadn't seen one of those painful loses since the Dave Craig years), then watched the Raiders and 49ers lose.  At least my Fantasy won big. 

I read, wrote a little more, watched 60 Minutes with Alice, talked to mom, Gwen and Jill on FaceTime, then called it a night. 

Day 1000

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Spent the day at Alice's writing all day while Alice is recovering from a nasty bug that's shut her down.  Poor Alice.  I spent all day revising chapter 1.  I want to get the sound of this chapter right before wrapping up the first draft of the whole book.  It's coming along.  There are aspects of the story that I really enjoy.  It reminds me of my summer in Bellingham in 1980 as a 16-year-old embracing the world as a young adult, alive with new ideas and a healthy addiction to the music of Vivaldi.  That's what La Stravaganza brings up for me.

This was a fast 1,000 days.  I realize I need another 1,000 days to get where I need to go.  I've really grown to enjoy the writing process and now have no trouble writing ten hours every day.  Banging out 3,000-5,000 words of new material isn't nearly as difficult as it once was.  That's an accomplishment of sorts.

Of the first thousand days of writing, I probably wrote full-time maybe 500-600 of those days.  The rest was spent working, going on cruises with Alice, and reading/relaxing/living.  I wrote three novels and had one book submitted for consideration but not picked up.  I'm looking forward to the next thousand days, what ends up getting written and where the journey takes me.  It's nice to know that when all is said and done, making up stories and creating characters are what I truly enjoy.  More than reading.  More than watching movies.  More than playing cards and swinging a racquetball racquet.  Making things up is better than just about anything.

In the evening, Alice and I watched two documentaries, a Joshua Bell masterclass and another foodie doc called Three Plates Spinning.

This was a fabulous 40 minutes of music making.  I love how beautifully and expressively Joshua Bell performs Bach.  The Mendelssohn String Quintet was a real highlight.

Alice and I have seen several culinary documentaries.  Chefs are impressive to me. They're workaholics and perfectionists.  Though the 3-star Michelin environment seems crazy to me, I can certainly appreciate the creativity and performance aspects of these dining experiences.  I'd love to check out the Iowa restaurant featured in this film.  Now that's my kind of place. 

Day 999

Friday, October 9, 2015

Racquetball in the a.m. and work from 9-2.  A fairly mild day considering the last few days this week.  I researched options for a new printer in the back and took care of phones with Cheryl.  I left at 2, came home to buy a gift for Austin, who's 19 today, then picked up Alice at 3.  She wasn't feeling well (sore throat, aches and pains) but we had a birthday dinner to attend for Austin at Hong Kong Gardens II on Geary Street.  We picked up Sharon (Austin's cousin) and met Gary and James (Austin's father) there.  It was a very enjoyable dinner with great food.  Austin was happy.  I got him a cool Oaklandish Warriors World Champs shirt.

We came home around 9 and Alice went right to bed.  I stayed up and read a few pages, then crashed around 10:15.

Day 998

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Another full day of work confirming participants for tomorrow's NY focus group.  Little if any writing today.

Day 997

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Steve and I were the only two who showed up for singles this morning.  We played three tough matches and for the first time and months I took all three.  He must have been a little off or something!  He's become such an amazing player.  After racquetball it was insane at work.  I was there from 9-5:30 confirming recruits for a huge focus group in NYC. We're actually running two minis on the same day.  After work, I came home and was planning to write for two hours before bed, but Rossana called to get together for dinner.  I hung out with her and caught up for an hour.  When I came home I was too tired to do anything, so I talked to Alice, then went to sleep before 10.

Day 996

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I had the morning to write and continued work on chapter 1, setting everything up.  I hope the chapter isn't too loaded with info.  I'm trying to be selective with the backstory.  Went to work from noon-6:30 confirming recruits for our big focus group in New York.  Back home, I ate dinner and relaxed the rest of the night. 

Day 995

Monday, October 5, 2015

Racquetball in the morning, work from 9-2, then spent most of the afternoon assembling training materials for someone who might have an opening for me as an IT Trainer.  Little if any writing today, unfortunately. 

Day 994

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Alice came over to Oakland in the a.m. with dumplings from Irving St.  We had breakfast, then headed up the Oakland Hills to Howard and Leslie's house for a little ping pong.  It was a blast! Alice is a natural and showed Howard her great spins and returns.   We arrived a little after 10:30 and stayed until 1.

In the afternoon, Alice worked on a new cruise she wants to go on with me and Austin.  We're looking at a 7-day cruise aboard the Royal Princess in late May from Barcelona to Rome.  Nice!

In the evening, we watched Iris, a documentary about a costume jewelry collector and NYC fashion personality, then 60 Minutes which had a couple of riveting segments on the Holocaust and Ted Kennedy's son Patrick Kennedy (the secret of addiction and alcohol abuse in families).

Alice left around 8.  I watched another documentary about a children's book illustrator that was extremely well done.  The production was amazing and the story about Tomi Ungerer was interesting, too.

Day 993

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Up at 6:45 and wrote the entire day with an hour to hit the farmer's market and maybe another hour or so for lunch and dinner.  Revising chapter 1 and setting everything up.  It all hinges on this first chapter.  I also spent an hour or so on my tumblr blog, creating my first two entries.  I'm trying to make the first section of chapter 1 sound engaging and smooth without making it so dense with details.  I sometimes bring too many specifics to the page, bogging everything down.  I was up until 11 p.m., then called it a night and went to bed. 

Day 992

Friday, October 2, 2015

Racquetball, work from 9-2, then writing in the afternoon, banging out 1,000 words of chapter 10 and revising chapter 1.  I met with Richard, Sophie and Miles for dinner.  We walked to the food trucks beside the Oakland Museum and talked about this year's Halloween effect.  We're really going to make it simple this year.  Went to bed at 10:30.

Day 991

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Still revising ch. 1, worked from 9-2, then came home and took care of some items until dinner.  I was hoping to write another hour or two before bed but couldn't.  Too tired.  

Day 990

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Racquetball in the morning, worked only a few hours in the afternoon so I had the morning to write ch. 10 and revise ch. 1.  I also looked at Tumblr and started putting things on that site.  There's so much to write about and so few hours in the day.  Ch 1 is tricky (as opening chapters always are). They just take time.  Ch. 10 has it's own issues that I haven't worked out yet.  Work is also going to be very busy the next few weeks.  Lots of balls in the air right now.

Day 989

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

No work today, so it was another full day of writing.  I managed to finish a draft of chapter 9 and sent it off to Chris this afternoon.  He read it and gave me some good ideas when we talked tonight.  Just three more chapters left and I'll have a draft of the novel on paper.  Nice!

Time to celebrate with a little Vivaldi:

Day 988

Monday, September 28, 2015

Racquetball in the a.m., then a full day of writing, working on ch. 9.  I hope to send it out to Chris tomorrow.  I went the entire day, drafting scenes and working out the details of the big breakup between Mindy and Nathaniel.  I talked with Alice before bed and crashed around 10:15.