Monday, December 31, 2007

The last book of 2007

I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince late last night. This one was, I think, the best since the first. Now to make my way though some other books on my nightstand and then I'll try to get to Book 7 before too long. It's getting to be too hard not to see & hear spoilers, so I need to read it soon. I just hate lugging these around in hardcover, so I usually wait for the paperback. But by the time Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes out in paperback I may have heard something (more) that I didn't want to.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

All I want for Christmas...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks

I came across this blog today. It's just "hilarious." But maybe that's me just being more of a "geek." Anyway, even my 7-year-old got a giggle out of it. She was reading the signs out loud and doing "air quotes." You should try it - it makes it even "funnier!"

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks

12 Days of Christmas

This is a great version of The 12 Days of Christmas. Thanks to *lizzie starr for the link!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Happy Birthday, Missy!

Halloween Party 2007 (16), originally uploaded by mdesive.

So we now have either two two-year-olds or two fourteen-year-olds in the house (depending on whether you're using dog years or not) - I think we're in trouble!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Quinn!

We have a two-year old in the house again! Or, a 14-year old in dog years. Either way you look at it: Uh-oh!

Quinn really enjoyed "opening" his birthday present. We got him a new kitty and he was determined to get the stuffing out.

Within half an hour of getting his toy, this it what it looked like:

Hey! Where'd my arm go?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Done...well, sort of

I reached a milestone tonight. Three weeks late, or 20 years late, depending on how you look at it, I reached the end of my first draft. I wanted to have it done before I started NaNo this month, but I got a little stuck. Thankfully, I have my great critique group who brainstormed me out of that, and I finally got over (or just pushed through) my own hangups about reaching the end.

Now I get guilt-free NaNo-ing for the rest of the month. Well, free from the voices that said "You haven't finished your main WIP yet! You never finish anything! You suck!" As to the other voices, well, I'll deal with them later. For tonight, I'm sort of floating in a weepy sort of way (if you don't cry when it's done, what was the point?). In December, the editing starts, but I'll think about that in a couple weeks.

Now I've got an incredible amount of NaNo-ing to catch up on! Can I just type "the" 45,000 times? I didn't think so.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Where's Mary

McGooganReception2, originally uploaded by mcmlapubcom.

I am somewhere in this picture. Can you find me????

Here's a hint: Find Dan first.

I know, I'm evil! :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Take your Muggle medicine

Fittingly for Halloween, I tripped across these articles on PubMed today. Apparently Wizarding/Muggle medical relations are an issue. Just in case you want to brush up on this important subject, I've provided links to the articles, both from respected Muggle medical journals.

Lim EC, et al. Duty of care to the undiagnosed patient: ethical imperative, or just a load of Hogwarts? CMAJ. 2006 Dec 5;175(12):1557-9 (PMID 17146093)

Lim EC, et al. Interesting in- and outpatient attendances at Hogwarts Infirmary and St Mungo's Hospital for magical maladies. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2006 Feb;35(2):127-9. (PMID 16565770)

If I find any more, I will certainly keep you updated. I think we all need to be aware!

Happy Halloween!

I just had to share one of my all-time favorite Looney Tunes. I like this one any day of the year, but especially on Halloween! Enjoy!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween is at the door!

Halloween is at the door!, originally uploaded by mdesive.


April Fools? The Onion? Nope. It's Nebraska.

Chambers Says He Found God: Tom Osborne

I wonder why it took Ernie Chambers so long to figure this out ;)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I took the plunge

I signed up for NaNoWriMo!

You can track my progress (or lack of it - we'll see how November goes) by clicking on the icon above.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More geekiness

The coolest thing I found on the 'net today: LibraryThing Haikus - WikiThing

I think every site should have their help pages written in Haiku! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oh, happy day

Yesterday was a book lover's heaven for me. I took a "mental health day" from work so I could go to the Bookworm's open house. There I got to hang out with some of the published authors from my writer's group. These are ladies I look up to and who always encourage me to FINISH MY BOOK!!!! (I think Julie's looking for the whip as we speak).

Bookworm 20070919, originally uploaded by mdesive.

On top of that, I got a ginormous stack of free books. It's funny what you'll pick up when you don't have to pay for it and don't have a due date. I grabbed a few I hope will get my entrepreneurial spirit going and some that just had titles that were so crazy I couldn't leave them there. Some I'm really not sure are fiction or non-fiction or what they're really about, but the titles caught my eye so I took them. Most of these are ARC's (advanced reading copies), which explains the lack of, well, explanation on the covers. It'll be fun finding out what they're about.

Bookstack, originally uploaded by mdesive.

I only bought two books. It's easy to limit yourself to that when you're already lugging around a bag (oh, yeah, I got a free bag, too!) of fifteen free books.

On top of that, there was free chocolate, thanks to Cyndy Salzmann! So, right there, I was already having a perfect day.

In the evening, Tonya and I went downtown to the Holland Performing Arts Center and met Claire so we could see Anne Lamott speak. I've been a fan of Anne's since college (way, way back <grin>) when one of the librarians on campus recommended Bird by Bird to me. I read the library's copy, bought my own, and read it and read it and read it. The book is yellowed, dogeared, highlighted, underlined, sticky-noted, well-traveled among my friends, and now, IT'S SIGNED!!!!! I'm so excited!

Anne Lamott, originally uploaded by mdesive.

Even today's return to normal life (or my out-of-character encounter with the protesters just before going in) couldn't bring me down. I think I floated out the door last night. And I have to say again, CLAIRE ROCKS! She got us seats in the SECOND ROW! And a THANK YOU to Tonya for driving me downtown because I'm a wuss (I hate driving downtown, but I do when I have to, and I was going to, but I was incredibly relieved when Tonya offered to drive.)

Claire Rocks!, originally uploaded by mdesive.

This all feels like the culmination of a literary bender that lasted nearly a week. Last Saturday, I got to attend the (downtown) omaha lit fest (Yes, downtown - I drove myself! But it was early on a Saturday, so I wasn't very worried about traffic or parking). I'm a little disappointed in myself that I didn't take the time to meet some of the authors, but it felt like more of an absorbing day than a schmoozing day, if that makes any sense. I took pages and pages of notes. My arm felt like it might fall off by the end of the day. I've got a list of books I want to read and authors I want to explore more. And, again, I got to hang out with some of my writer friends.

So now the fun is over, and I'm pumped up to get on with the writing. If I want to get where all these people are, I know I've got to get to work and just write past all the scary, sick voices in my head who tell me I can't possibly finish this book. I'm firing my internal editor until the end of the year. She can come back when it's time to rewrite. (And when I'm stuck again, you all have permission to send these last few lines to me, throw them in my face and tell me to get to work!)

*happy sigh* I'm heading to bed now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This has been a freakin' awesome day!

It started off with free books, chocolate & time with the women who inspire and encourage me to keep writing. It ended with meeting my favorite author, Anne Lamott, and pizza & drinks with one of my best friends. This has been the best Talk Like a Pirate Day EVER! :)

More details tomorrow, gotta head to bed now. I'm exhausted and have to return to normal life in the morning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why I Don't Cook, Reason #1

I put some eggs on to boil today. Not even thirty seconds later, I went "Oh, the space shuttle is landing!" Twenty minutes later (best guess) I remembered the eggs. At least I didn't need the smoke detector or anything like that to remind me.

Fortunately, the eggs weren't ruined, but they were a leeetle overdone. Still, they went into some pretty good tuna salad sandwiches. Those were a wee bit runny because I put in too much mayo, but in my (cook)book, anything edible is a success.


We had quite the storm last night. The tornado sirens went off during dinner, so we headed to the basement, but pretty soon hunger won out so I ran back up for our plates and we finished down there on the couch, fighting off the dogs who kept "innocently" sniffing at our food. ("What? I just want to see what you're case I want to take it!")

After the storm was over, light started filtering through the thick clouds so I went out for some pictures. Most of them didn't come out well in the low light, but I got a few good ones.

After watching the news, I'm really glad we live in a new development where the trees are still little. No car- or house-crushing branches to fall on us. Other parts of town weren't so lucky in that respect.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What I'm riding to Sturgis

I wish...

I'd ride this if I could go! *sob*

Oh well, I guess I'll just keep checking out the Sturgis Street Blog for my fix this year.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oscar the cat

There's an essay about this cat in the latest New England Journal of Medicine. I can't forward that around (as much as I would like to), but here's the link to the CNN story. This cat lives in a nursing home and predicts when people are going to die - he simply goes to their room and curls up next to them. According to the article, "His mere presence at the bedside is viewed by physicians and nursing home staff as an almost absolute indicator of impending death, allowing staff members to adequately notify families. Oscar has also provided companionship to those who would otherwise have died alone."

If you have access to the NEJM, I'd recommend reading the original essay by Dr. Dosa. It's in the July 26, 2007 issue ( vol.357, p.328-9). If not, searching "Oscar the cat" on Google News brings up quite a few hits.

Friday, July 20, 2007

My Harry Potter encounter today - and it's not what you think

I got a request today for an article about Boomslang bite. I see odd words every day, but they're usually more along the lines of psychoneuroendocrinology. "Boomslang" struck me funny, like it belonged in something like a Harry Potter book more than a medical journal. Little did I know.

I had no idea what a boomslang was (a bug was my guess) so I took a minute and looked it up. It's a venomous snake native to Africa. In my quick search, I also came across a reference to Harry Potter. Since it was Wikipedia, I took it with a grain of salt and wanted to verify that for myself. When I got home, I pulled out my copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and found that "shredded skin of a boomslang" really is an ingredient in Polyjuice Potion (page 165 in my paperback edition).

Of all the days for that request to cross my desk and grab my curiosity. Serendipity?

In case you're wondering, I won't be in line for Harry tonight. I just finished Order of the Phoenix a few weeks ago and it will be awhile before I start Half Blood Prince. If I can just keep from hearing how the series ends before I read it for myself, I'll be a happy camper. But I doubt that will last long. If you see me, don't tell me. :)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Pew Internet & American Life Project: "Omnivores embrace all this connectivity, feeling confident in how they manage information and their many devices. This puts information technology at the center of how they express themselves, do their jobs, and connect to their friends."

That would be me. I groan when people tell me NOT to e-mail them because they don't check it very often ("WHAT? How will I communicate with you then?"). If the internet goes down, I can't do 95% of my day job. If I forget my cell-phone at home, I have a panic attack. The thing I call my brain is not the gray matter in my head, it's the gadget in my pocket. And I don't think I even know how to load film into a camera anymore, even though I take more pictures than ever.

The term my husband often uses for me is "Ubergeek."

See more about Ominovres and how they fall into the rest of the tech-using population here and you can take the quiz yourself here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Arrrh, Matey!

My pirate name is:

Mad Mary Bonney

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Just how stupid is my dog?

She's taking chew toys to a whole new level.

(Two posts in one day, can you believe it?)

At last!

After *only* a year-and-a-half (or so) I FINALLY finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on Monday night. Yay! Just in time, apparently, because I saw the first TV spot for the movie on Tuesday.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

An interesting take

Tim at LibraryThing posted this on the Thingology blog a couple days ago. I really hadn't looked at the whole CDs-and-DVDs-in-libraries debate (as in, do they belong in the library) this way before. Basically, he sees it as a moot point, since "This stuff is on the way out," as he puts it. And when I stopped to think about it, he's right. I can't remember the last CD or DVD I got from the library (though I know I have done so occasionally, but so rarely and so long ago that I couldn't tell you what they were now). He says "let's all stop imagining a library without books, and imagine a library without CDs and DVDs. Let's imagine a library with books, and hope for one with more of them."

I use the public library often for books. I use it even more since I discovered that they'll hold items for me at the circulation desk for me so I can just come in, ask for them, have them checked out to me, and leave. This makes it very easy for me to pick them up on my evening commute when I'm in a time crunch to pick my daughter up from school. Since I live in a newer part of town, which leaves me without a convenient library on weekends (hint hint: We need a library further west than 132nd Street), it's great that there's a library directly on my route home which will perform this service. It's really a win-win - I get the use of the books (free, as always!) and the books get circulated, helping the library's usage statistics. I've been meaning to send them a note saying how much I appreciate this service...Guess I'd better go do it now.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Mmmmm, thunder. Spring is here!

Of course, I won't be happy when lightning zaps my computer, but for the moment, it's bliss to hear that rumble and know that rain is coming, not snow!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Green food

I just realized my last two posts were about green food. Either I need to blog more or eat strange food less (maybe both). More non-food-related posts coming soon, I promise! They're all in my head, I just haven't taken time to polish them yet. As soon as I do, they'll be here.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!, originally uploaded by mdesive.

We started the day off right - with green food! (It seems to be becoming a trend in our house) Then we tried to go to lunch at the Brazen Head, a local Irish pub, but that turned out to be standing-room only and you couldn't hear the band anyway. We went a few doors down to Old Chicago, who were all decorated for St. Patrick's Day but not nearly as crowded. Still, I missed out on the music I'd been counting on all week. Guess I'll just have to put on a CD tonight and get my fix that way.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!, originally uploaded by mdesive.

Mmmmm! Green Eggs and Ham! I do like them, Sam I Am! (and they taste MUCH better than they look. The eggs were a little psychedelic-looking (the food coloring came out of the bottle much faster than I expected) and the green made the ham look rather, well, BLEH. But it all still tasted normal.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Not going anywhere today!

The worst is, it's still coming down! Can't find my car and haven't seen a snowplow yet. Our neighbor did our sidewalk with his snow blower about half an hour ago, but you can't tell now. Good day to stay in and write. Hmmm, where's the hot cocoa?

Finished: Circle of Stones

Circle of Stones: Woman's Journey to Herself is a short book, but I kept it lying around as the one to pick up when I had just a few moments to read, so it's taken me a couple months. It was very interesting. I'll probably pull the second one off the shelf soon to read in the same manner. First, though, I have only a week to read Now, Discover Your Strengths. It's assigned reading for a workshop I'll be attending, so I have to drop all my "fun" reading until that's done.

Friday, February 16, 2007

My dog can talk...but is he saying anything?

Apparently, I was fairly bored this week, between getting snowed in and then being home with a sick kid. So, I started filming the dogs...

Missy usually falls asleep on her side, curled up like a "normal" doggie. But as soon as she's really asleep, she rolls over on her back with all four legs in the air. Then she starts to twitch...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Starting over

D'oh! Apparently all the Valentine's chocolate went to my head.

One of the goals of my local RWA group, Heartland Writers Group, is for each of us to write (at least) 100 words a day for 100 days. If you miss a day, you have to start over at day one. And I was doing so well, but I completely forgot to write my 100 words yesterday. I was 43 days in! And now I have to start over at Day ONE. Gah! Maybe it's some subconscious thing about being at the 9000-word mark. I don't know. But here I go, starting over. You can watch my progress here.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

At least there's humor in Scotland...

You are very, very naughty!, originally uploaded by juliebee.

...unless you misbehave near the hot water.

The theme for today

That's one way to deal, originally uploaded by waiting line.

I hate Thursdays.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More Darkfever

I was poking around to see when Bloodfever comes out (nothing says yet, and that's frustrating because it probably means "Not for a while yet"), but I found this from KMM about the Fever series.


I'm going to try keeping better track of what I've read this year, and share on my blog.

I just finished Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. It takes place in the same "world" (this world, but peppered with the Fae, Sidhe-seers, possible vampires and some things as-yet unidentified) as her romances, but this isn't a romance. I love her romances, but I thought this book was the strongest of hers I've read. And I'm itching for the next book!!!!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More 'Fun with skeletons'

Doc, originally uploaded by X-travalueMeal#2.

Apparently dressing up skeletons in more widespread than I thought. :)