February 11th, 2004

there!, Hello

Reading Machine

And the beat goes on...

Well, I forgot to mention last time, that I got 50 pages into Richard Laymon's *Blood Games* on Sunday. Monday, I jogged up to page 180-ish. Yesterday, I got to 367. 100 pages to go tonight. Should finish it relatively easily tonight. The story involves five friends who met in college (all chicks) who meet every year for an adventure. They are all about going odd places and doing odd, quasi-illegal, fun stuff. This time, they've ended up in an abandoned "Haunted" lodge in Connecticut, where twenty-eight grisly murders were performed 15 years before. As this is a horror novel, things get a little gruesome -- not as bad as early Laymon, but there's still a hundred pages to go. Lesson: when you go out in the middle of nowhere, be sure to bring an extra set of carkeys!

Monday night I finished off the first "draft" of the February story. I really need to revamp it. Reimagine, I suppose. There are parts that are interesting, but the whole lacks... Tuesday night I read through a book on "Conflict, Action and Suspense" -- a Writer's Digest book on how to evoke these aspects in your writing. Maybe I'll try to transform this story into a nailbiter, a pageturner. You never know, it might work.

Monday my copy of Gehenna arrived. What is this? Why it's a book about the end of the world, for the Vampire: The Masquerade RPG. It is the last installment of VTM. The end. Finuto. Fascinating read. Brutal. It is composed of an introduction, a tying up of loose ends, a story to initiate the final act, three suggested stories (adventures) for dealing out the end of the world (that is, three possible final acts), and a chapter of storyteller tips and tricks. All in all a good book. Sad, though, that something I've been playing on-and-off for the past thirteen years has come to an end. Of course, on the last page of the book, it mentions something about a New World of Darkness coming out, called Requiem. Is this just a cheap ploy? Your guess is as good as mine.

Monday Trista and I were supposed to play Grimm or make Gamma World characters. Didn't happen.

Tuesday was a weird day. I instructed a Master's Student from WPI on her master's project apparatus. In the afternoon, I got to talk to my second job's lab about how the program I designed for them isn't working as they envisioned. In the evening, Trista went to Stitch 'n' Bitch, after complaining about how tired she was -- maybe just the hungry sleepies, but I had to listen to it. Kat chickened out of actually speaking to a person she thought was interesting at Best Buy. I watched half of The Castle of FuManchu, and decided it was horrid -- I really got ripped off on that Christopher Lee boxed set, at least two of the four movies (and probably the other two) are the biggest waste of time I've seen in a while. Then, Trista got home and wanted to watch the Cocker Spaniel part of the dog show.

My cocker spaniel is dead. Dakota was as close to being my dog as I've ever come. My mom was allergic to him, so I didn't own him for more than two weeks, but my uncle took care of him. He became their dog, but in my heart he was still mine. He got tumors. They made him inflate to twice the size he was -- I remember how tiny he seemed when we first got him. He was one, already, but he seemed so small and happy. Dumb as a post, but a happy dog. The tumors made him big and miserable -- though he liked his hamburger flavored medicine. He died, and I was miserable. I'm still miserable about it, sometimes. I don't think I ever want another dog. I talk about huskies, and such, but I won't own one. Knowing that Cyc (one of Lori's cats -- a sweetie of a cat, intelligent, shy, and magical. When you rub his belly, while he's lying down, he turns his head up and looks like a Peanuts character singing.) may very well die before I see him again also makes me miserable.

Kat and Trista thought I was bored watching the show last night. Nope. I was trying not to weep miserably for my poor, dead, tumor riddled Dakota, the cocker spaniel who seemed to smile whenever you had a tasty treat, and who was reduced to barking terror by thunder, who had a weak bladder, and had to meet people outside, who peed on my mom's white carpet the first night he was in our house (I thought she was gonna kill him). It's been years, but the nerve is still raw. I really don't know how to cope, it seems.

This morning, the Check Engine Light came on in my car. I have an appointment for Friday morning, 7:30, for an oil change and inspection.
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