Day 1047

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Alice and I took care of a few things in the morning before heading to Oakland to spend the day with the Youngs for Thanksgiving.  We arrived around 12:30 and left for the Oakland Hills and our annual 3-mile loop along Redwoods Regional Park.  Halfway through, we stopped for some music, bread, cheese, sausage, cookies and beef jerky.  What a treat and what a beautiful day catching up with everyone while enjoying the best of what the Bay Area has to offer. 

After our hike, we headed back to Richard and Lisa's and quickly baked a pecan pie before leaving for dinner.  We ate at the Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant in Emeryville.  It was delicious.  We had one of the best tables in the restaurant with a beautiful view overlooking the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

After dinner, we went back to R&L's and had pie and watched Youtube videos of Stephen Colbert doing his Hungry for Power Games sketches, a few of Jimmy Kimmel's Mean Tweets, and a couple other funny clips.  Alice and I headed home at 9:30.

Thank you Youngs for a wonderful Thanksgiving 2015!

Day 1046

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Racquetball in the morning, then work for three hours, then lunch with Neal Fowler and Karin Duval's daughter Kara and her boyfriend Eric.  They're sophomores at Indiana University in the music program.  Both are very talented, smart, inquisitive, imaginative, and amazing!  Kara is a mezzo-soprano and Eric is a tenor trombonist.  Eric had his first mocha today and Kara and I had our first Home Room experience. 

Mac & Cheese never tasted so good.  One reason Eric chose trombone as an orchestral instrument stems from rests.  He's a listener and realized early on that he had the best seat in the house (in the middle of the orchestra) to experience a Beethoven or Brahms symphony.  He also gets to end Brahms's 2nd in fanfare-for-the-common-man fashion.  I like that!

Judge Bason is in town until Sunday morning.  We hung out for a few hours before I left for Alice's.  We had an engaging discussion about world events, ISIS and what to do with them, and the continued fallout over that incredibly unfortunate and unnecessary war we got ourselves into back in 2003.  The Bush/Cheney's legacy sinks lower and lower with each passing day.  I don't blame Bush for staying inside painting pictures all day.  Worst decision ever since I've been alive.  Right up there with anyone who purchased WebVan stock back in 2000.

Day 1045

Tuesday, November 25, 2015

Up at 4:30, wrote until 8, then got ready for work.  Worked from 9-12, revising my response to Jeff.  I sent it out later in the afternoon.  My response ended up being 5800 words long.  Crazy, but necessary.  Here are a few excerpts:

"When Poitras filmed Snowden in Hong Kong, Snowden anticipated what our government would do once he outed himself as the NSA whistleblower responsible for the Verizon surveillance leak.  He knew the government would demonize him and focus the story squarely on him as the villain instead of the illegal activities and lies he exposed.  It’s all there on film as it’s happening.  He knew exactly what the consequences of his actions were, but he threw away his life anyway, because he couldn’t continue seeing democracy “flushed down the toilet,” knowing what the NSA was doing in secret with no oversight whatsoever.  In all your emails on Snowden and his revelations, you haven’t mentioned a single detail Snowden exposed that goes beyond the tepid, lackluster examples you provide (emails and phone metadata is perhaps the worst thing you’ve mentioned).  For example, you haven’t mentioned any of the really juicy capabilities he shared, such as the NSA’s ability to access any electronic device anywhere in the world and turn it into a microphone or a camera -- essentially a bug -- even when that device is turned off!  Was that a “Casablanca” moment for you, hearing that detail, or did you already know that?  Personally, I had no idea that capability existed (and it goes without saying that the NSA doesn’t need a court order to bug anyone it wants...just ask Merkel).  If you haven’t seen Citizen Four (or read No Place To Hide), then your perspective is fundamentally limited by a narrative of Edward Snowden the NSA and US Government want so badly for you to believe... 

"...Have you already forgotten how your government totally played you back in 2003?  Our government is not interested in the truth (no government is).  It's interested in controlling the story, maintaining its illusions and ideals, and distracting the masses away from reality and onto a villain (Saddam Hussein, Edward Snowden, etc.).  Our entire U.S. history is full of examples where the government's narrative of the truth and the actual truth are at odds with each other.  Since 9/11, we've had many examples.  Our invasion of Iraq was based on the undeniable U.S. narrative (“absolute certainty,” according to Dick Cheney) that Saddam Hussein had or was building weapons of mass destruction.  That turned out to be false.  Remember the government narratives of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch?  Even in the Obama era, we have this breathtaking, larger-than-life government narrative courtesy of Hollywood’s “Zero Dark Thirty” and the CIA’s infamous “enhanced interrogation” techniques, presenting us with the “official” version of the Osama bin Laden raid.  Did you read Seymour Hersh’s 10,000-word piece in the London Review of Books back in May, 2015, saying in effect that the entire “official” bin Laden raid narrative was a bogus lie, a “story that stunk from day 1?”  (The NY Times came out with a piece on Oct. 15 speaking to Hirsch's version of the truth versus the Government's version of the truth  (  ....gee, I wonder whose version will withstand the test of time.  I’m still waiting for the government to prove Hersh wrong, but so far no such luck)...

"...The guy who pushed the NSA to collect “everything” was former NSA Director Keith B. Alexander.  According to the book “Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend,” by Barbara Oakley, one out of every 23 people are Machiavellian personality types, or sociopaths.  I can’t prove it, but I bet Alexander is a total sociopath.  He fits the profile, not Snowden, but listening to Alexander talk, you’d think he was the nicest guy in the world while Snowden is the sociopath.  The one detail that’s worth remembering about sociopaths is how incredibly charming they are (and deceitful)... 

"...Your odds of being killed in a terrorist attack are 1 in 20 million, according to Richard Barrett – coordinator of the United Nations al Qaeda/Taliban Monitoring Team (2007-2011 stats).  Of course, these are pre-ISIS numbers, so today it may actually be more like 1 in 15 million.  I’ve never known you to give up so much in exchange for so little.  You are 33,000 times more likely to die from cancer than ISIS.  I understand your fears; however, they are wildly, wildly out of proportion to reality.  And yet, you’re willing to cede your 1st and 4th amendment rights to this notion that the NSA is going to guarantee your protection against a terrorist.  Wow.  No, really...WOW!...

"...Privacy matters.  It matters a great deal.  I don’t want the details of people’s lives being used against them unfairly and inappropriately (like Laura Poitras).  You haven’t convinced me at all that I shouldn’t worry about this.  History suggests I should worry about this constantly, just as you worry about ISIS harming you.  They’re both real and legitimate threats.  Finding the right balance to accommodate both is a worthy goal.  Snowden offered up his freedom and comfortable way of life to correct that balance.  I find his sacrifice heroic.  I find his demeanor and motives sincere.  I find him credible.  I’m perfectly willing to change my mind on Snowden with actual evidence that deems him a traitor who handed over US secrets to other governments (instead of someone exposing the truth to journalists), but if you’re the person to do that, you need to analyze and critique the full, authentic, actual story so much better than you have.  And that means putting away the government narrative and NSA talking points intent on demonizing and destroying Snowden’s motivations and character.  Until you do that, your perspective on Snowden rings hollow." 

It allows feels good supporting Luke Skywalker personalities against the Death Star. 

Day 1044

Monday, November 24, 2015

Racquetball early in the a.m, then a full day of writing, but instead of working on La Strav, I spent most of the day writing my response to Jeff's position on Snowden.  Insane, but essential.  I need to take care of this before anything else.  I wrote 14 hours today with few breaks.

Day 1043

Sunday, November 23, 2015

I spent the entire day writing a response to several emails my friend Jeff sent me regarding Edward Snowden.  It all began a month or so ago after the first Democratic debate.  I wrote to the gang my reaction and impressions of Clinton, which were strongly positive except for her disingenuous answer on Snowden.  Jeff responded, "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...Snowden was a pure Casablanca moment in this country - "shocked just shocked that surveillance is going on here.... 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 with a benign reply, and then another, without hearing from Jeff for another month until a few days after the Partis attack.  He then sent me this email:

"I wonder if in aftermath of Paris your moral compass has found it's way back to some semblance of rationality.  Can we agree that the murdering of innocent people, the subjugation, slavery and physical abuse of women (125 million genitally mutilated, thousand murdered in the name of honor, acid thrown in faces for the crime of attending school), massive ethnic cleansing through areas controlled by ISIS and open and declared intent to kill as many in the west as possible by any means necessary from AK47s to chemical and nuclear warfare is a bigger problem than a computer reading your email header?Maybe these things are worse than meta-data monitoring and taping yahoo data centers?"

For the first time in 13 years of such email banter, our friend Susan responded with a "give me a break" email.  Jeff responded with two more crazy emails, and by then I was ready to respond with a full-on bitch slap.  Unfortunately, these responses take several days to outline, research and compose.  In the end, it will be worth it to put the nonsense in its place.  Anyway, I spent all day writing my response to Jeff, and will probably also spend all day tomorrow working on my response.

Day 1042

Saturday, November 22, 2015

Alice and I did chores in the city, then headed over to Oakland for lunch.  We had sushi at Mijori, then were planning to have coffee at Grand Fare Market but there was a sign saying it was closed until further notice.  It made no sense at all.  It's only been open a few months.  The owners put so much money into their vision.  So sad.  Alice and I hung out at my place for the afternoon, then went to her friend Tami's for dinner.  Tami had six other guests along with her mom.  We were there until 10, then drove back to San Francisco for the night.

Day 1041

Friday, November 21, 2015

Racquetball from 5-7, then off to the city to meet a recruiter at 10 for possible full-time positions in the new year.  It will be nice to have money again, but I'll certain the miss the time I've had writing stories and reading.  I have mixed feelings about this but right now there's no choice...I have to go back to work in the city.  Blah.

Day 1040

Thursday, November 20, 2015

A full day of writing, revising chapter 3, a good solid 7 hours of sitting at home.  Met up with Eleanor, another writer on Erie St., and took her to Grand Fare Market for coffee.  I love this place. It's so awesome!  Eleanor has a writing studio at the SF Writer's Grotto and writes there two days a week.  After coffee, I came back home, took care of a few things, then played poker at Mark's from 8-midnight.  I won $2.  Ha!

Day 1039

Wednesday, November 19, 2015

Racquetball fdrom 5-7, then another full day of writing, which was sweet.  I wrapped up revisions to ch 1, 2 and 4, and now I'm continuing on with 3 and printing off 5 and 6.  Wiped out by the end of the day.

Day 1038

Tuesday, November 18, 2015

Up at 5 a.m. and wrote until 4 p.m., revising chapter 4 and chapter 2.  I'll have to revise every chapter again and again until it's at a certain level, and then after folks read the draft, undoubtedly more revisions.  It never ends, but first things first...finish the first revision and get this thing in a readable state.

During breaks in the day, I read a great cover story in the Atlantic that came out in February called "What Isis Really Wants."  It was such a clear and haunting description of ISIS.  It reads like a stone age sci fi horror story.  Very scary stuff and also true.  Later in the evening after my E-Force demo, I watched a new Frontline documentary called "Isis in Afghanistan."  Also surreal.

From 5-9 I was at Active Sports for an E-Force demo with a couple of open players (Joe Blank and Joe Roth) from San Jose.  It was lots of fun playing with these amazing players.  

Day 1037

Monday, November 16, 2015

Racquetball from 5-7, then home briefly, then off to SF for a recruiter interview at 10.  Unfortunately, the person I was supposed to meet had called in sick, so it was a waste of the morning.  I wrote for two hours in the city, then had lunch with Alice and R&G.  I came home at 1 and wrote until 4, then went to Richard and Lisa's and met with Sophie about ideas for our web blog.  I filmed a few things which was fun.  I'd love to get a few of these done before Christmas.  After 7, I came home, had dinner and then went to bed. 

Day 1036

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Up at 6:00 for an hour of writing at Alice's.  She was planning to go shopping at the Stanford Shopping Center with Amy today, so I headed home at 9 and wrote the rest of the day until 6.  Watched the Seahawks play badly but take the lead in the 4th, only to lose in the end.  Ugh!  4-5 is a tough place to be.  They might not even make the playoffs this year.  Unbelievable.  To bed at 9:30.

Day 1035

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Wrote for two hours in the morning before doing chores with Alice, including repairing her front tire.  I wrote another two hours in the afternoon, then watched the news. 

I watched this YouTube with Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz.  It's helpful to listen to articulate voices explain what's going on.

The Paris attacks feel different from the other terrorist/murderous attacks in recent years.  Maybe it's the indiscriminate nature of the attacks in which ordinary people enjoying life on a Friday night were targeted.  These fanatics welcome chaos and self-sabotage, believing as they do in the afterlife for themselves and hell for non-Muslims.  It's troubling to think there are many thousands of men out there who would love to see the entire world blown up.  The problem for Muslims is the context these terrorist acts are creating for those who aren't Muslims.  When a Christian terrorist bombs an abortion clinic, we have context for that and lay blame on the warped individual, not Christianity.  No so with the religion of Islam.  There's a growing war over the beliefs of these fanatics and the insistence that more moderate Muslims vociferously condemn their actions.  Do we focus on the individual terrorists or the relgion itself?  This battle has been going on for years now.  Bill Maher, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens before he died, and other thinkers point the finger at the religion itself, while others are not so comfortable with that, fearing the blanket prejudices and judgments that seem to go hand-in-hand with sweeping generalizations about an entire religious group.  I don't know much about Islam, aside from various quotes people pull out of the quran.  I'll be watching where the discussion goes in the days and weeks following this horrific event.  It feels as though the rules have changed with this awful, unnecessary event yesterday.  

Day 1034

Friday, November 13, 2015

Racquetball, work from 9-12, then home to write.  SF to pick up Alice at 4:20.  I heard about the Paris attacks at 5 p.m.  What a horrible nightmare.  Unfortunately, there will be more of this kind of indiscriminate killing on civilians.  It is truly despicable and monstrous. 

Day 1033

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Michael & Michael

Michael and I woke up early, hit Lakeshore at 6, then he left for SF Airport while I took care of the tasks at hand.  A full writing day, even at work which was quiet, revising ch. 2, making additions to ch. 1 and going over ch. 3.  

Day 1032

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Racquetball from 5-7, oatmeal with Michael from 7:30-8:30, work from 9-2, home at 3, back to Grand Fare Market with the crib board and Michael from 5-6, sushi at Mijori from 6-8, then home to bed.  No writing today, but another quality day.

Michael Bell

So good!

Day 1031

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Worked from 9-2, then met Michael Bell at my place. He's staying until Thursday morning.  We went to Grand Fare Market for an hour, then Star Pizza for dinner.  He was dubious that Star rivaled Zachary's, but after one bite, he got it.  Star Pizza totally rules.


Star Pizza...yum!

It was great catching up, hanging out, playing cribbage with and enjoying delicious pizza with Michael!

Day 1030

Monday, November 9, 2015

Racquetball from 5-7, then work from 9-2.  Cheryl's mom passed away yesterday at 94.  She lived a long happy life, but her last few months were painful and hard.  Cheryl will be out the whole week.  Things are quiet at the moment, so I have time to revise chapters.  I seem to be rewriting everything, which is how the first major revision usually goes.  The first draft doesn't count for anything once the revising begins.

Michael Bell from Boston is visiting tomorrow and Wednesday, so I won't have much time to write in the next few days.  We'll play cribbage and catch up.  It'll be fun.

In the evening, I caught up on my blog, tidied up the place, paid bills, and read.  I was in bed my 9:15 and missed a call from Neil Bason, who's visiting over Thanksgiving.  This month is starting to get very busy with visitors.  I just need to go with it and put the writing aside for a few days, though it's hard.  It's so much easier to live in the land of make-believe.   Maybe that's why most writers are so nutty.

Day 1029

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Wrote from 6-8 a.m., then got ready for the day.  Drove with Alice to Lafayette to get Austin the shots he needs for his upcoming midterm trip to China.  We dropped him off at St. Mary's, had lunch there, then headed back to the Sunset.  It rained in the morning but by the afternoon it was clear and sunny.  My fantasy team lost so I'm done for the season. 

I wrote in the afternoon and also replied to a letter from my crazy aunt Kathy, who wrote me a letter a few weeks ago from Centennial Hospital in Alberta.  She was not allowed any electronic devices of any kind, so she wrote me a letter.  We used to write many letters to each other in the 80s while I was in college.  I haven't written an actual letter in many years, but I have to say I really enjoyed writing this one.  Letters are so much more personal and substantial than emails.  At least they are to me.

My letter

Kathy's letter

We had a delicious chicken for dinner and I continued writing until 9.  I hit the hay by 9:30.

Day 1028

Saturday, November 7, 2015

I spent a full day with Alice going to Costco, playing ping pong, hanging out in South San Francisco while she went to an eye appointment, eating good food and watching a couple of "I'm Having What Phil's Having" videos on Apple TV's PBS app.

I did manage to squeeze in a hour's worth of writing before the day began, but after that, it was all Alice all day long.


Day 1027

Friday, November 6, 2015

After racquetball, I spent the next six hours writing, napping, writing, napping until 3 p.m.  I wish every day could be like this.  I was out of the house by 4 and went to pick up Alice at 4:30.  We had chicken wings for dinner at San Tung and pork belly at a place Alice likes.  We took it easy the rest of the evening.  

Day 1026

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Worked from 9-2, then played an hour of ping pong with Howard at Albany before heading home and revising for a few hours.  My energy level was low, so I wrapped things up by 8 and went to bed at 9.

Day 1025

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Racquetball in the a.m., then work from 9-2.  After work, I prepared for a meeting with Sophie about a series of YouTube videos we're planning to create.  We met from 4-6:30 and brainstormed ideas.  Here are a few thoughts:

Then vs. Now - Sophie discusses how things are now and Michael contrasts that with how things were in the 70s. 

Learning how to… - Sophie asks Michael to manage her Instagram feed for an hour.  Chaos ensues.   

Learning how to… - Michael asks Sophie to compose a two-page handwritten letter to a friend, place in envelop with stamp and mail.  Sophie shakes her head in dismay.

5Ws (Who, What, Where, When, Why) - Michael finds five things from the 70s that Sophie doesn’t recognize or know that everyone in Michael’s generation knows (i.e., who is the Fonz, what Tony Orlando and Dawn sang that was so huge they got their own TV variety show, where do you go to find a card catalog, etc.)  Score 1 point for each item Sophie doesn’t know.

5Ws - Sophie finds five things from today’s generation that Michael won’t recognize or understand that everyone in Sophie’s generation totally recognizes (i.e., what does IFLY mean, who is Bethany Mota, name any two albums by any artist that came out this year, etc).  Score 1 point for each item Michael doesn’t know. 

5Ws Reversal - Michael and Sophie choose five things from their generation that the other does know (i.e. Star Wars characters, the band who sang the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, who is Justin Bieber, what are emojis, etc).  Score 1 point for every item the other knows.

Randomness - discussions about random things, like how teenagers get any of their homework done with so many social media distractions in their life, who uses Pinterest and why, are books better than Kindles, what was life like as a teenager before computers, DVDs, the internet…basically, civilization as we know it!

R&R (Reviews & Reactions) - Michael screens five awesome comedians from the 70s for Sophie to review.  Sophie screens five contemporary beauty blogs for Michael to review.  Michael plays five awesome 70s songs for Sophie to review.  Sophie plays five popular music songs/videos for Michael to review.  Lots of possibilities here.

Special Guests:  Sophie and Michael welcome special guests, friends of Sophie & Michael’s, parents, teachers, Oakland’s mayor, business owners, etc. to their show to discuss similarities and differences between generations.

Field trips:  Sophie and Michael walk down Lakeshore and Grand Ave., hang out in cool Oakland venues, and maybe even visit retirement centers talking to folks from generations older than Michael’s (wow, that’s old!). 

Central theme, guiding principles:  Aside from capturing Sophie’s general outgoing coolness and Michael’s irreverent ridiculousness, our show emphasizes the general awesomeness of different generations and how amazing it is to compare, contrast, discuss and learn about everyone’s life experiences.  With our natural rapport and engaging personalities,  we can expand and enlighten today’s YouTube generation with insights about today’s generation gap that teens might find interesting, fun and worth watching. 

Sophie's an 8th grader.  My 8th grade feels like a completely different world.  We didn't even have VCRs when I was in 8th grade.  

Day 1024

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I had the whole day to write and revise and was focused much of the day, but wasn't able to sustain things beyond a few hours before veering off into tangents like YouTube videos and my Kindle.  This sometimes happens after a busy stretch when I'm back in writing mode.  I read maybe 50 pages of Frederick Douglass's first slave narrative on my kindle after seeing a thick copy of Slave Narratives edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. at Richard and Lisa's over Halloween.  It got me thinking about Solomon Northup's 12 Years a Slave narrative I read last year after watching the film.  Reading these narratives are surreal because it's difficult to imagine just how cruel and inhumane many of the slaveholders were in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Frederick Douglass's narrative is no different. Reading it takes my breath away.  Not only did he endure unspeakable acts of cruelty and punishment, he also learned how to read and write whenever he had the chance, often in secret for fear of repercussions if caught educating himself.  That he was able to articulate his life experience so beautifully and clearly with such force and grace is stunning even now, 170 years after his first narrative was published.  I'm struck by many of his insights, in particular how the most religious personalities he encountered were typically also the most cruel and inhumane.  I've noticed that myself in life, the hypocrisy of the extremely religious and how consumed they are with vengeance and punishment (I remember the arguments Pete Santorum and Michele Bachman made in favor of waterboarding four years ago during the GOP debates and how chilling their vicious perspectives were).  I will never understand sustained, methodic cruelty.  I get having bad days, being in a bad mood and sometimes being snippy and short with people, but not every moment of every day over the course of months and years.  Some of these slaveholders were so sadistic and sociopathic while the slave system they supported encouraged their depravity and acceptance toward pure evil. Reading Douglass reminds me of Christopher Hitchens who said, "religion makes morally normal people do wicked and disgusting things." So much of the argument for slavery in the 19th century comes from a religious context in which God has condoned the practice of slavery as pure and good and Christian. It's all there in the historical record.  No wonder the most religious and extreme among us have no patience whatsoever with history, facts and actual narratives written by actual human beings who had to endure such unimaginable horrors.  The horrors exist to this day in an economic slave trade that impacts 20-30 million people.  Man, I've had it so made in life.  Like living the dream.  

Day 1023

Monday, November 2, 2015

Racquetball from 5-7, then home to get ready for an interview with a recruiter for a manager position in San Francisco.  It was pouring rain earlier in the day, so along with wearing a suit and tie, I had my wool Eddie Bauer jacket with me that I haven't worn in years.  Taking BART was thoroughly unpleasant.  Each car had folks packed like sardines.  It's madness.  It was so hot inside the car I thought I was burning up.  Once in SF, I hung out at a Peet's on Kearney and Post.  It's been decades since I've been in San Francisco on a weekday morning.  I love the energy of the city.  It's funny how all these coffee shops have large communal tables for people to hang out and use their laptops.  Communal tables have been a thing for a while now, and I notice more and more of them in restaurants and places to hang out.  I met with my recruiter at 10 and she was high energy.  She wanted me to give a lot more detail in my resume, mentioning all the programs I've learned and all the various legal documents I've worked on.  She showed me an example of what she meant.  After my interview, I went home and revised my resume for two hours, then sent her what I had.  With that behind me, I took a one-hour nap that actually lasted two hours.  I think I'm still tired from Halloween.  The position the recruiter has in mind for me sounds good with enough flexibility for me to keep my job with Howard, which would be great.  After La Stravaganza is finished, I'll work around the clock to pay off bills and fill the coffers with cruise money, etc., and take what I've written and work with an editor to shape the portfolio into something an agent and editor might be interested in.  I also have lots of ideas for short stories and feel it's time to knock a few of those out.  It's going to be so busy this next year.

Day 1022

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Woke up sore and sluggish at 5:30 a.m., which was really 6:30 a.m., but that extra hour sleep really helped.  I revised a section of chapter 2, then watched my fantasy team battle against Steve today.  My team looked good and the Seahawks won 13-12.  Sad news at the Youngs.  Their dog Rocket died today after a lengthy illness.  He held out for Halloween, but today he was in too much pain.  The vet said it was time.  I went over to their house and we headed to Grand Fare Market on Grand Ave. to drink wine, eat crackers and cheese and celebrate Rocket's amazing life.  A larger-than-life dog for sure.

Rachmaninoff Rocky Rocket Young
Richard, Lisa, Sophie, Miles at "our table," Grand Fare Market
Came home around 6, talked to Alice, prepared for an interview tomorrow for another work-related gig, watched 60 Minutes, read, then fell fast asleep.

Day 1021

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I woke up at 6, wrote for an hour before going to the gym to play some racquetball and deliver a back pack to Xavier.  Afterward, I went to a shoe store and bought new black Rockports for 50% off (sweet!).

Came home, wrote another hour, then headed over to Richard and Lisa's for another Halloween extravaganza.  This year's theme, Victorian Seance, ended up being a mega-hit!

With Rossana

Sophie & Sidney

Most of the cast

Professor Nosense and the spirits

Our show stopper
Just got the cast photo from Richard. 

We went from 7-10.  I was exhausted afterward.  Every year I say I'm getting too old for this and every year Richard "pulls me back in!"  I can't believe we've been doing this 20 years.

Day 1020

Friday, October 30, 2015

Racquetball in the morning, then work from 9-2, then a few hours of writing before heading off to Richard and Lisa's for our dress rehearsal.  My accent is coming along, thanks to watching a couple of YouTubes on how to speak with a French accent.  The special effects this year are really good and the lighting sequence is pretty complicated.  Sophie and her friend Sidney are in the show for the first time and they're pretty excited.  We rehearsed until 10 or so, then called it a night.

Day 1019

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Up at 5 to write for a few hours before work.  Revising takes forever.  I'm rearranging everything.  Right now, the first two chapters are in total disarray, like a stuffed garage with all the boxes and junk pulled out into the street.  The big question right now is what goes where and what gets cut.

Work from 9-2, then came home and wrote another two hours before heading over to Richard and Lisa's for our first rehearsal for Halloween.  This year's theme is a Victorian Seance and I'm the spirit guide who talks with a French accent.  Since my French accent sounds more German than French, I'm making my character Swiss.  He is Professor Nosense (Tim) and he's totally crazy of course!

By 9:30 I was dead tired and had no energy left.  Should be another amazing Halloween.