Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A... Novel?

I have periodic bouts of creative malaise. I get mopey when I don't feel like I've been able to channel my imagination. I haven't been blogging as much as I would like, but that hasn't kept me from putting words to paper. Unable to resist all the internet has to offer, getting away from the computer is actually the only way for me to start any of the fiction that I have been thinking about. A first draft is on the table as I write, ready for my wife's editorial oversight. One of the perks of being married to an academic.

Why writing? For the same reason it also has been music, I can do it for free. Noodling around on Apple's music program led to posting some music online. Putting words to paper is just the cost of paper. And I often have loads of time to spare. If I can be productive, all the better! And I would have something to show for it.

Might National Novel Writing Month (November) be the motivator for me to complete a first draft of a novel? Maybe. An increase of work is filling the bank account and leaving me less time and energy to putter with pursuits like writing. An excuse, I know. So here's hoping December starts with the end of a book.

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William Shunn : Manuscript Format : Short Story - This author's guide to the short story format was invaluable for me in getting my first creation looking like it should.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Baby Baghdad, Where Are You?

A really nice trip to Dallas made for a relaxing weekend. But my search for weirdness before the trip was fruitless. Unlike Houston, Dallas (as far as I can tell) likes the status quo. Right before returning home, I was given a tantalizing lead. Somewhere in the city, a recreation of Baghdad. My friend knew that the band Faux Fox had found several blocks that looked like the Iraqi capital and used it for their album cover. After arriving back in Houston, I found all I needed to make another Dallas trip worthwhile.

BMW in Baghdad, originally uploaded by alexmuse.

Baghdad, Iraq (in South Dallas) - a photoset on Flickr "This is the set for the 'Saving Jessica Lynch' movie filmed in Dallas. Still there as of July 2006."

Despite the lack of weirdness that I usually need in a trip, the weekend away was great and much needed. And our lovely Vegas friend turned us on to Campisi's Egyptian Italian Restaurant.

Campisi's Egyptian Restaurant - Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Girls Love the Kitty

Hello Kitty AK-47. Putting it on the kid's toy registry. I think I saw this on Boing Boing.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Grace: A Definition

Grace. It's not a word that I hear often used as an adjective. If used at all, it is on a casual level. Like someone with good balance moves with grace. But the word has a deeper meaning, because my wife has it in abundance.

There is no mistaking her now as a mother-to-be. Maternity clothes are now a necessity. Always tiny, she's never been bigger than she is now. Her growing shape is the only change that she has gone through. She remains more herself then ever. Witty, stylish and with her usual sharp, cynical sense of humor. She is my wife, plus one. She hasn't been hijacked by hormones or lost herself in the role of nurturing mother-goddess. Which we both joke would be just unbearable for both of us. I continue to be surprised at how well she is handling this first pregnancy.

Grace. My love has it in spades, always has. Lucky me.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What Floor Am I On?

What Floor Am I On?, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hi (Yes, I Mean You!)

For those who are feeding on my feed, this post is for you! You know me, for you are hanging on my every (blogged) word. Do I know you? Either way, drop a comment if you are so inclined.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Original Shipley's

The Original Shipley's, originally uploaded by mlsnp.

The lovely Shipley's Do-Nut sign.

Now This is The Texas I Was Hoping For: Larry Kilgore

If Larry Kilgore was elected to represent Texas in the Senate, what would he do?

"I would use the office to negotiate the withdrawal of US Troops from Texas. I do not plan on voting for or against any US legislation not directly related to Texas Independence."

But, that's not all. Abortion, death penalty, and eating pork on Sunday, he's got a stance on all these issues and more.

The best thing about crazy ideas is when a passionate believer articulates them well. That's when the fun starts. When I say "fun," I mean "bat-shit crazy lunacy."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Thank you, Target!

It was free Sunday at the MFAH, thanks to Target's generosity. Finally, the missus and I went to the "Red Hot - Asian Art Today" show. It was so nice I might be paying just to see it again. And, so good, that my wife (a particularly harsh critic of modern art) wished that it was a permanent show.

We also saw this crime against spelling...

Old Spansih Trail, originally uploaded by Mr. Kimberly.

Found on Flickr: "Flight"

Flickr is a favorite site for me, a total time suck. The following pictures were found while looking for Houston related images. If they look cropped on my site, I'm trying to correct fix the template. But I'm not quite sure how.

Alabama vs. Houston, originally uploaded by Diamondduste.

One-Job-One-Car Family

Since we moved to Houston, we are a one-car-one-job family. While the missus has worked full-time teaching, I have almost always worked a collection of on-call art and theater positions. Like fitting small puzzle pieces around a larger one, my jobs have always fit around her schedule. And it has always worked to our advantage. For over nine years, we have been a one-car family and it works well for us.

Recently, I interviewed with a great Houston-based company. It was almost a dream come true, a combination of art installation and fabrication. I have been so used to working freelance, it came as a complete surprise to me that they offered their employees full-time work. I told them that, while I probably couldn't take it, I'd need to talk to the missus about it before I could make a firm decision.

If I took the job, we would have to buy a second car immediately (and incur a whole set of new expenses relating to it). Further, expecting our first child, my wife and I need to have flexibility in our schedules that a full-time job for me wouldn't allow. So, for the time being, I'm taking a pass on the job, and we'll postpone the purchase of another car until our baby's arrival is closer.

Job or no job, I keep thinking that this new daughter of mine is going to be getting cool toys and goodies at the expense of all the goodies I want!

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The OC Register has an interesting article about a family that got rid of their car and ended up saving a lot of money. - Life: Giving up gasoline and getting in gear

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

How Could God Let Me Have a Child After This Blog Post?!!!

"Shaking the life-sized infant simulator is disturbing. Watching the damage progress across the brain through illuminated LEDs is powerful. Hearing the piercing cry abruptly stop is devastating. There’s no denying the instant and permanent effects of shaking a helpless baby when this new, electronic simulator is in your hands."

I am a horrible person, because I thought this could be turned into a videogame. CPS: Baby-Shakerz for the Wii, maybe?

Admit it, if you had my wife's email, you would try to convince her to leave me!

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Thingamababy: Hands-on Education: Shaken Baby Syndrome Simulator

Monday, October 01, 2007

Kirsten Hassenfeld at Rice U. Gallery, Too Much Stuff & Mama Cat T-Shirt

Last week, I went to the opening of Kirsten Hassenfeld's opening at the Rice University Gallery. It was worth dealing with the stupid parking situation because the show is a beauty. My pictures don't do justice to the large, delicate, nuanced pieces.

I would have attended her free lecture the following day, but I promised a neighbor that I would help him move. He was moving his girlfriend back to Boston. Having moved cross-country three time in the last eight years, I knew wouldn't fit all the stuff in the 12-foot truck he rented. As we packed his truck and there was less and less room, I told him that he should get a 16-foot truck. He said that it would all fit. It didn't.

I now have a large box of really nice, gourmet food, four folding chairs and a new TV.

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My sweetie is modeling my favorite shirt I never wear. I worked an Asian art show in Vegas years ago. All the shipping and packing materials had this great mama/baby cat logo. I asked if they had any extra t-shirts, and the gift-prone Japanese guests gave me this one. They must have thought that I doubled in size when I left the museum because they got me a XL when I'm a M. I would wear this all the time if it wasn't a circus tent on me.

It's a perfect shirt for mom-to-be.