No Energy

If I was Link from the Legend of Zelda right now, my little energy level meter would say half a heart. I am completely wiped. A week of staying up until midnight to watch the speeches of the Democratic National Convention has finally caught up to me.

What did I think of Obama’s speech last night? I thought it was brilliant. I was invited to watch it at an old opera house (now a movie theater) with the local Democrats, but chose to stay home to help my wife with my daughter. I’m glad I stayed home because it would’ve been embarrassing to be all teary eyed in public.

For those of you still reading this blog, I’ll try to refrain from writing about politics. However, I’m writing about my life here and politics are on my mind right now.

Even some republicans are giving Obama props for his speech. Below is conservative Pat Buchanan’s (!) reaction.

I sooooo need some sleep.

A Historic Day

Yesterday was truly a historic day. It was a day my wife and I actually got caught up with our laundry. What? You thought I was going to mention something else?

Seriously, though. For the first time in a loooong time (two years maybe?) we were able to get through the mountains of dirty clothes and actually make it to the bottom of our hamper. It felt like we would never get there. I imagined one day I would throw something in the dirty clothes pile only to have it topple on me trapping me to be found by future archaeologists like a pre-historic leaf in a tar pit.

We got to the bottom of things was due to my wife’s work. She has spent the past few days trecking downstairs to do the laundry and putting away said loads of laundry upstairs (I’m definitely not as good with the folding and putting away part). I did my part when I was home, doing maybe three or four loads total. She did the bulk of it, though. Thanks honey! ๐Ÿ™‚

As far as the other historic stuff that happened yesterday? It’s pretty awesome. As you may know if you have been following me on Twitter, I stayed up pretty late last night watching the Democratic Convention. I thought Bill Clinton did a good job. Joe Biden had a few touching moments.

I was most impressed with John Kerry. I wish he was this fired up four years ago. He got in some really good digs last night. My favorite bit was this:

Candidate McCain now supports the wartime tax cuts that Senator McCain once denounced as immoral. Candidate McCain criticizes Senator McCain’s own climate change bill. Candidate McCain says he would now vote against the immigration bill that Senator McCain wrote. Are you kidding? Talk about being for it before you’re against it.

Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself.

For some reason, I picture John McCain in a “Candidate McCain” superhero costume. Somebody needs to make that Photoshop happen.

British Superhero Sitcom

I came across this via The Beat, an Comic Book blog. It seems there’s going to be a sitcom in England titled NO HEROICS about “about a bar where out of costume superheroes hang out”. This has been done before, including a comic I’ve read called Superhero Happy Hour. However, upon watching the trailer, this looks pretty fun and interesting. Check it out:

I’m totally going to watch that if it’s ever on around here.

Also, be sure to let me know what I should write about.

Finally, I’ve added a link to “My Fiction” below my picture in the right hand column there. If you want to read a bit of what I’ve written, that’s a good place to start.

What Should I Write?

I just received an email in my inbox, from someone I don’t know, but with a subject intrigued me. The subject of the email was Town & Gown’s Fiction Contest. I usually don’t open emails from people I don’t know, but Town & Gown is the name of a magazine in town here (specific enough I doubted it was a virus). Anyhow, I help my breath and double clicked.

Annnnnd…. it was legit (probably from the local writers’ network). They are looking for unpublished short stories (2,000 words or fewer) in one of four categories: Drama/Suspense, Romance with a Twist, Comedy (or Make Us Laugh), and One Fine Day in Happy Valley. The deadline for this is October 24th. That gives me roughly two months. Should be cake.

If you know me, you know which category I’m going to choose: Comedy. That’s the easy part. The hard part is to choose what to write about.

So, I thought it might be fun if you all came up with some funny short story ideas for me to write about. I would be eternally grateful. Heck, if I pick one of your ideas I’ll even name one of the main characters after you (if you’d like).

Leave your ideas in the comments here. I’m excited to see what you all can come up with. I promise to share what I write with you all, even if it doesn’t win.

What do you all think? Sounds like fun? Sounds like I’m lazy? I like cake?

Or, a little bit of all of the above.

A Day at the (Ball) Park

Friday night we attended our first professional baseball game of the year. In August. *sigh* This is so sad because the team we went to see is only a ten mile drive from our house, is located in the town that I work, and tickets are only $7 a piece. It’s also sad because I nearly bought season tickets for said team before my daughter was born.

Anyhow, we went to a game on Friday night. Things started out poorly just before we left the house, when my daughter injured herself. We were determined to go to the game anyhow, so we loaded into the VW and started on our drive. The more we drove, the more my daughter cried. This wasn’t an “I’m tired” cry. This was a genuine “I’m in pain” cry. I pressed on saying, “Once we get there, her grandparents and the game will distract her from the pain.” I don’t know if this was a smart strategy or a selfish one.

We get to the game, and she’s still crying. My heart is being broken into a thousand pieces. I decided to try one final thing before we get in the car and head back home. I told my wife to go ahead an eat dinner (she is pregnant after all) and my dad and I took my daughter to the “Fun Zone” to jump around in the inflatable jumping things. Eventually, this helped.

Here’s a picture from we took from our seats:

There really aren’t any bad seats in the stadium as it’s a small stadium for a Rookie League (New York Penn League) team. By the way, the oldest player on the team was born in 1983. Me = old.

My only quarrel with the game was the speakers were LOUD. I have nothing against music at ballgames, or those videos they play to get people to clap. However, does it have to burst my eardrums? Could I have a conversation with the person beside me and hear what they’re saying? Again, me = old.

Here’s a picture later in the evening of the view of the mountains past the outfield. We live in a valley and are surrounded by mountains so I tend to take them for granted. They make a pretty backdrop for a stadium, though.

Our team wound up losing in the 10th inning, a couple innings after we left. My daughter was tired and kept getting startled awake by the LOUD SPEAKERS! I guess I should’ve expected them to lose. They are affiliated with the Pirates.

Still, it was a great evening and a nice start to the weekend. Maybe next year I can attend TWO games.

Give Me a Second

As usual, my daughter made me laugh yesterday. She said something so funny I had to write it down, just so I could share it with all of you. That’s just the kind of guy I am.

Yesterday my wife had another appointment with the OBGYN to make sure she and the baby are doing OK. Everything went well with that. We even got to hear the heartbeat. It was healthy and strong. Unfortunately, because the appointment was at 4:30, my daughter was napping when we heard the heartbeat. I tried to wake her, but she was OUT. I felt a little bad, because she had brought one of her dolls with her to have the doctor listen to the doll’s heartbeat. I told her when she woke up that the doctor listened to the doll and she was fine.

Now to the fun part of the story. So, my daughter napped super late, finally waking at 7:00 PM. I had saved dinner (ham and scalloped potatoes) for her and was preparing it for her when she brought over the loaf of bread and asked me for butter bread. Here how the rest of the conversation went:

“I need some butter on my bread Daddy,”

“Just give me a second,” I said. “I’m cutting your meat.”

A few moments pass and then she says, “Can I have some butter?”

“Just give me one more second,” I said.

We go about back and forth a few more times and then, getting a little frustrated I say, “Just give me one more second.”

At this point she says,”OK, I’ll give you one,” and then she walks over to me, pretends to put something in my pocket, and says “Boop. There you go.”

Yep, she gave me a second, just like she asked. It was at this point that my wife and I stopped what we were going and gave her some butter bread.

Boy did we smile after that.

Some Happy, Some Sad

Some happy stuff for today, and some sad. I nearly cried at work yesterday. That’s the sad part. Lets talk about the happy first.

I’ve been able to get some fiction writing done the past few days. It feel very great, much better than my usual “I’m going to write today” followed with “Eh, maybe tomorrow”. Yay me. I know exactly why I’ve been so productive the past few days too. I have a deadline.

Yep, I’m one of those people that needs deadlines. They help combat my horrible procrastination problem. The reason why I got so much writing done during NaNoWriMo is the very tight deadlines. Deadlines are my friends.

My deadline for this month is my upcoming writing group meeting on Monday. I really want to share some of my writing, and I’m working on a totally new chapter of my novel, so I better have it done by then. I’d say I’m 80% there. Yay me again!

Here’s a little excerpt (two sentences) that made me laugh as I was writing them. I may need to clean it up a bit, but I’m happy with it.

The words had barely left his mouth when a tremendous thump shook the cottage’s heavy wooden door. The knock was less of a “please let me in” and more of a “I wouldn’t stand there if I were you unless you enjoy being crushed with large objects made of wood.”

Now on to the sad part. John Challis, the 18 year old boy with cancer who got a hit in a varsity baseball game who I wrote about in May died Tuesday. He made the most of his last few days though. He got to attend a Stanley Cup Finals game, he met Mario Lemieux and Big Ben, he hung out with Alex Rodriguez in New York, and he founded a charitable organization to help kids in similar situations. He was even featured on ESPN.

If you don’t know the story, I encourage you to take some time and check out some of these links. Here is John Challis’ obituary. Here is a nice article about John from the Beaver County Times. Here’s a link to The Burgh Blog, where I first read that John died.

Here is an excerpt from the piece ESPN did about John (this is the one that made me cry at work):

In his own words:

Courage + believe = life.

Amen.

Lego Castle

Paradise

Well, we attempted our Lego castle as you can see above. I don’t think we did too bad of a job for our first try, especially if you factor in that we were using the big little kid’s Legos and did have any arch pieces.

To be honest, my wife did a lot of the building and architecture on that castle. I mostly handled the front gate. Our daughter, of course, made sure Winnie the Pooh and Tigger had their proper place in things ๐Ÿ™‚

Sadly, not long after this picture was taken, Pinky Pie My Little Pony crashed her giant Ice Cream truck through the mighty castle wall and took the throne by force, turning the once mighty kingdom into a Red Lobster. She immediately felt remorse, promising not to crash her truck into the castle again because “her wheels would fall off.” Unfortunately, the damage was already done.

Watch Out Pooh!