michaeldthomas: (Default)
No, I didn't quit LJ for Google +.

The last few weeks have been crazy busy. We had wonderful times at 4th Street Fantasy Conversation and CONvergence. We're only now just coming back to reality.

I would write con reports, but they would look like this:

1- We hung out with friends. Many of them are in the SF/F industry. :-)
2- We ate with friends. Mmm, food.
3- Drinking might have occurred, followed by gossiping, pontificating, and/or handstands.
4- We learned many secrets and got caught up in some small dramas (no permanent damage).
5- Lynne was magnificent. You should have seen her in that one dress.
6- Caitlin had a great time at my mom's.
7- We miss our friends. :-(

As we become more embedded in the community, there's just less and less I can talk about. It makes for a great life, but it's lousy for blogging.

Other than coming home to dead A/C (now fixed), everything else is fine. There should be a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT about my editor wife in a week or two (many of you already know what I'm talking about).

That's it for the next few weeks. Lynne is editing Chicks Dig Comics and working on the SF Squeecast. She should also be finished with The Scarlet Queen by the end of the week. Beta Readers should have it in two weeks.

We're pretty much ready for WorldCon.

Caitlin finishes Summer School this week. I'm working on a troublesome short story.

How are you?
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 10)
We picked up Caitlin's back brace on Thursday. We're calling it her HAPPY BUTTERFLY CORSET. Caitlin doesn't mind wearing it, and it helps her with her trunk control when she's sitting in a chair. Hopefully, her trunk muscles won't weaken too much from using it.


After we picked up her brace, we went to 2 different malls so Lynne could TRY ON ALL THE SHOES. She's on the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes for her Hugo gown. She found one possible pair, but the price was too high.

Caitlin bought me some early Father's Day gifts while we were out including a vintage "Hot Rod" Rowdy Roddy Piper t-shirt, two new shirts for con going, and The Very Best of WCW Nitro DVD set. (DON"T JUDGE ME!)

When we got home, the mail contained our new Pertwee DVDs. YAY PREZZIES!


We were about to leave the house for my cousin's Home from the Navy party when I discovered a leak from the toilet base. After playing phone tag with the plumber and getting a confirmation from him on my diagnosis, I decided to make the repairs myself.

We spent the night at our friends Sarah and David's house. This was GREAT FUN for Caitlin since she thought it was a sleepover with their baby, Iris.

Our friends Stacey and Dan came over to lend a hand the next day. The repair was easy and cheap. Thankfully, I wasn't surprised with any scary complications.

So far, everything seems fixed. I'm glad that we have wonderful friends. :-)
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Real life is managing to be as real as possible.

1- Entropy visited our home again. This morning the fridge started to make noises like the Tin Man with an upper respiratory infection. It's been a loud fridge for a long time, so its immanent demise comes as no surprise. Luckily, Lowe's had a nearly identical fridge on sale and in stock. Nice people will bring it here tomorrow while taking away the old one. Other than the dryer, that means every appliance in our household has been repaired or replaced in the last month (plus a kitchen sink repair). Homeownership is fun!

2- Caitlin is doing much better. She made it through the last few days of school without any screaming fits. Her brain has also been stable. Hooray for good Caitlin health!

3- Pink Raygun gave Whedonistas a good review.

4- I like my new short story (so far).

5- The week started off with the deaths of comic book creator Dwayne McDuffie and Doctor Who Brigadier actor Nick Courtney. They both will be greatly missed. I keep tearing up from all of the wonderful remembrances.

How are you?
michaeldthomas: (Default)
It was an average weekend. I missed most of the Super Bowl while dealing with a broken washing machine. It seems that the timer or kill switch crapped out (the cycles no longer advance). The Maytag man will be out on Thursday. At least most of our laundry is clean.

Other than that, the highlight was watching the second Doctor story The Dominators. Sweet Zombie Jesus, that's an awful story. It's probably the most boring and insipid tale in Doctor Who history. Even the documentaries focused on why it sucked like a sucking thing. I have trouble thinking of anything nice to say. Why did the universe save this story while junking most of The Evil of the Daleks and The Web of Fear?

I need to write. I think I have my characters and plot for the new short story, but I need to research some things.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
This post is really just to convince my mom that everything is fine (she worries if I don't post every three days or so). ;-)

We're enjoying our first weekend at home in quite some time. For Caitlin and me, this means a little bit of rest. Unfortunately for [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne, this means that she needs to finish editing the Whedonistas's manuscript for the Publisher. My poor wife never gets to stop.

Actually, next weekend is her birthday. Some guests are coming in for what's becoming the annual "Squee Weekend Spectacular." I've been knocking things off of the honey-do list in preparation. Home owning is so glamorous. :-)

Caitlin is fine. She's watching TV and working on a scrapbook of her Make-A-Wish trip.

There's not much else going on around here. I now own a signed copy of Matthew Waterhouse's Blue Box Boy. I'm hoping that it lives up to my expectations.
michaeldthomas: (Caitlin 09)
Today was the first day of summer session for Caitlin. It went well. She's happy to be back with her friends and teachers. The only weirdness of the day involved her first bus ride to school ever. Other than having to make sure the bus company had her seizure plan, it was a smooth process. Cait likes bus trips. Still, I was a little freaked out about sending her off with strangers.

Things are pretty busy around here. I spent the last couple of days sorting through Cait's medical paperwork. I'm trying to make sure the decks are cleared off before all of the upcoming surgical shenanigans.

The rain also finally stopped, so I was able to clean up the jungle in my front yard. It looks much better.

Last night I had a story critiqued by my new writers' group. As always, the process was about as much fun as a prostate exam. I will never learn to love the Clarion style. It was worth it, though. The other members of the group gave me some great feedback. I think I now know how to fix that story.

Lynne's leaving for a librarian conference next Tuesday. If anybody wants to come over to hang out with Cait and me, just let us know. ;-)

Plan B

Jan. 8th, 2010 11:18 am
michaeldthomas: (Default)
It's a house-husband day. I shoveled the latest snowpocalypse, took Cait to school, and started some laundry. I also managed to go to the post office to mail away a short story. I feel full of virtue. :-)

I'm taking the day off from writing since I just finished a draft of a new short story, and it needs a couple of days to percolate before I start my rewrites. Other than housework, I'll probably spend the day catching up with my reading.

We had some so-so news about Caitlin's Make-A-Wish. Though she qualified nine months ago, there's still no word from the Disney Channel or Demi Lovato's handlers about scheduling. Caitlin's Wish coordinator called me yesterday, and we decided that we're probably going to ditch this Wish and move on to Plan B unless we hear from Disney/Demi in the next two weeks.

What's Plan B? A trip to Disney World! Caitlin is pretty excited about going. Lynne's also excited since she's never been there. We'll be there for a week at their special Make-A-Wish hotel. This will be our first pure vacation since Caitlin was born.
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Some things I'm thinking about today (other than that pesky new short story)...

1- I am really getting the urge to volunteer for convention programming at one of my regular cons. I did it once upon a time for the AS Family Conference. Since I attend so many conventions, I have developed strong opinions about what I like and dislike about their different programming practices. I realize that everybody is working very hard to get it right, but there are some things that just drive me up a wall. I find myself grumbling and thinking, "Maybe I should put my money where my mouth is and volunteer." [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne has told me that she will smother me in my sleep if I actually do this. :-)

2- I need to do some yard work, but we've had a constant drizzle for the last couple of days.

3- We're researching netbooks. If anybody out there has any advice, please let us know.

4- I got this commercial from [livejournal.com profile] matociquala and [livejournal.com profile] truepenny. It might be the greatest thing ever made.

michaeldthomas: (Default)
Well, that weekend sucked. I've had much worse, but that wasn't exactly the relaxing days off that we had hoped for. A week of Pertussis watch left me pretty stressed out. [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne was also fried from a week of meetings, events, Chicks Dig Time Lords's editorial work, and teaching.

With minimal plans on the books, it seemed like this would be a good weekend to relax. Then we had a plumbing event. :P

It turned out to only be a dead wax ring on the toilet, but it still wasn't cheap. Granted, it was much better than some of the worse-case scenerios that ran through my head. I could have fixed it myself, but Lynne insisted that we just have the plumber do it since he was already there.

In other news, my Bears were just awful against the Packers. Cutler had the yips, his receivers aren't talented enough to start for NIU, and Urlacher had a season-ending injury.

So much for hope.

Anyway, it's a new week. Caitlin is back at school, and I have a short story to finish. :-)


Apr. 3rd, 2009 04:43 pm
michaeldthomas: (Default)
I guess life is almost back to normal after 2 weeks of spring break, author events, visiting relatives, and home redecorating. This will be a weekend of sloth.

Not much going on around here. Caitlin went bowling with her class today. I wish I could have seen it. They made adaptations to the lanes for the kids. Cait rolled the ball and even knocked down some pins.

Caitlin is really digging the new home theater system. We just watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. She bounced off the walls in excitement. I have to admit, hearing things in surround sound is a completely different experience. We watched Doctor Who The End of the World last night. Wow. The dialogue was clear, and the house shook from the explosions.

I managed to write a 1000 words today at ye olde Panera. I think that I'm at the halfway point with this short story. So far, I'm having fun. New writing is a good thing. I tend to go crazy when I'm not writing. Also, as long as I'm working on this short story, I don't have to think about those novel revisions.

Currently reading: Territory by Emma Bull
michaeldthomas: (Default)
After five years of hemming and hawing, we’re finally painting the living room. Like many things in our life, this is sort of a big production number. Lynne took time off from work, I moved everything out of the room, and now she’s painting while I watch Caitlin upstairs. If all goes well, we should have a lovely green living room by Monday night.

The biggest snag at the moment is a winter storm. That should hit later tonight with 4-6 inches of snow. I am very tired of weather. I really hope that we have a temperate summer.

For the rest of the day, I will be hiding in Caitlin’s Princess Bedroom. She’s currently listening to Laura Linney reading The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew #3). I have a bunch of little things that need doing, such as writing up some editorial notes. I expect us to be crawling the walls in about another hour.

If anybody has snowshoes and a love of painting, feel free to drop on by the house. :)
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Spring has sprung. It's going to be something like 65 degrees today, so the Thomas family is headed outside. We have a bunch of chores to do around the house. First, I need to adjust Caitlin's wheelchair. Little miss must have grown an inch over the winter. Once that's done, we will be in the yard doing some clean up. I need to empty the gutters that I can reach. I would call the gutter guy, but I want to wait until after the front gutter refills with the tree sex. [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne will be cleaning out the flower beds. We'll see how long Caitlin lasts before she gets bored.
michaeldthomas: (Default)

(Take that, John Hodgman!)

It was a a Monday filled with annoying tasks. I spent a decent chunk of the day doing laundry. How the hell do we go through so much clothing? If I didn't know better, I would swear that [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne and I change outfits three times per day.

Our new television is also broken. It's not a big deal; one of the speakers is dead. One the plus side, we still have the box and receipt from Target. On the minus side, our Target doesn't have the TV in stock. This meant that I spent the whole morning on the phone with different Targets. Tomorrow will involve a trek to South Elgin to make an exchange.

Caitlin is now old enough to have a strong opinion about which Jonas Brother is the cutest. I am not dealing with this well.

It looks like I'm not going to get any writing done until Wednesday.



Oct. 1st, 2008 08:33 pm
michaeldthomas: (Indiana Jones)
It's already been a very long week. The positives were two nice dinners with friends. Monday night we ate a fun dinner at Pita Pete's with [livejournal.com profile] eeknight and [livejournal.com profile] chats_noir. [livejournal.com profile] eeknight was doing the famous alumni author thing and giving a talk at NIU. We would have liked to hang out more, but that will have to wait until our couples excursion to see Dirty Dancing: The Musical next week.

Last night we had our friends Mary and Charles over to the house. Mary was [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne's boss and mentor at NIU. We hadn't seen them since they retired to Georgia. We spent a wonderful evening catching up. We really missed having them around.

Today we took our long trip to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago for Caitlin's orthopaedic appointments. Caitlin impressed the doctors with her strength and progress. Unfortunately, her x-rays were not great. Caitlin's scoliosis went from 18 degrees to 35 degrees. Since it's still not affecting her sitting, standing, or lungs, there's not much that needs to be done yet. It seems likely, though, that Caitlin will need painful, invasive spinal surgery in 5-6 years.

I had a surprise call this week. After months of waiting, some of our windows are getting replaced tomorrow. It should be fun trying to write during that.
michaeldthomas: (Doctor and Ace)
We've had record rain falls in Chicagoland over the last couple of days. It sucks out there. Luckily, our house has been okay, and our local “river” is only flooding a little. The biggest excitement came yesterday when we lost power. Turns out there was a loose power line that was setting the pole on fire a few houses down. The lovely people from the electric company fixed it in 45 minutes.

Today should be quiet. After the Bears game, we're off to the public library to see how much trouble I can get into during the dollar-bag book sale. By that point, the rain should finally be gone.

Speaking of rain, WTTW's PBS pledge drive hit a new low. I'm used to the make-more-money seminars, Doo Wop spectaculars, and mediocre-Irish-singer specials. I put up with it knowing that such pandering brings in the money. Last night, though, they unleashed the worst thing ever to get foolish baby boomers to give up their money. They actually showed a concert of a tacky Beatles tribute band called Rain.

Don't get me wrong, I've been known to enjoy the occasional Beatles tribute band at a summer festival. The problem with Rain was that they weren't actually any good. Their musicianship was lackluster, and their “singing” sounded nothing like the Beatles which is kind of a problem if you're a tribute band. To top it off, their Paul seemed to have had extensive plastic surgery to look more like Macca. His close-ups burned my eyes as his results made him look like a McCartney/Phyllis Diller love child.

I have an idea, how about PBS tries showing some intelligent, creative programming during pledge drives?
michaeldthomas: (Doctor and Ace)
My thoughts go out to the people of Texas getting hit by Ike. Though it's not a hurricane, the rain here has been pretty constant for the last 24 hours. We live in a very wet Illinois right now. It sounds like we have another 48 hours of this.

Is it me, or is there no such thing as “normal” precipitation anymore? I miss my youthful/non-home-owning innocence. To think, there was a time in my life that I liked storms.

We have a relatively quiet day scheduled. Lynne wants to do some house cleaning, and I'm hoping to write a bit while keeping Caitlin amused. Later, we have some friends coming over. I would say that our life is boring, but I think we have plans for every weekend after this until New Year's
michaeldthomas: (House of Cards)
I’ve been in a weird mood today. There are a thousand things on my mind, and I’m just not adjusting well to my return to reality. Here are some things from my crazy brain:

1- My mom had minor surgery today involving the removal of a salivary duct that kept forming painful stones. Thankfully, everything went well.

2- With Caitlin back in school, I was able to return to my novel rewrites. The current chapter sucks donkey bullocks. I believe it’s salvageable, but not without some serious work. I’m growing impatient with the process, so Lynne is going to help get me some extra writing time this weekend.

3- There are no excuses for racism, and using your petty power to shield yourself from the consequences is disgusting.

4- I mowed the lawn.

5- The Cubs won again. Big Z looked great,
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Today is a day for boring household tasks. Caitlin is still on break. Next week she starts summer school. This is a week with only therapy for her. She’s quite happy with that. My life today will consist of laundry, dusting, and mopping. I also need to do some edits on a sekrit fanzine essay.

For her graduation from Early Childhood, Caitlin received The Muppet Show Season 3 boxset. She has been very pleased. [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne and I are extremely happy that we infected her with our love of the Muppets.

Yesterday the rain was on hiatus, so Caitlin and I walked down to the DeKalb Public Library. It’s nice to saunter through our modest neighborhood. Once we got to library, Caitlin got all crazy and picked out some audio books. Since she prefers chapter books, this is a good thing for my voice. Over the next few weeks we will be listening to Nancy Drew: The Mystery at Lilac Inn read by Laura Linney and Wild Magic written and read by [livejournal.com profile] tammypierce. It should be fun.

While we were at the library, we bumped into Caitlin’s boyfriend and his mother. He and Caitlin were very excited to see each other. His mom had a lot of trouble getting him to leave.

This weekend, Lynne and I are off to Duckon. I don’t know much about this con, and the website doesn’t do much to enlighten me. I’m sure that we’ll have fun anyway, though it will be odd for me to be at a con without doing any panels.

Just finished reading: Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link (it blew me away)
Currently reading: Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
michaeldthomas: (Doctor Venture)
Ah, it’s Saturday morning. I’m watching Caitlin while [livejournal.com profile] rarelylynne goes to Sprawl-Mart to get some staple goods and mulch. She’s still fighting the good fight against the weeds of our backyard perimeter. We are fully expecting her to stumble onto an unknown Amazonian tribe.

I have one last quick hit from WisCon.

Hooray! The NIU SF archives gained three more official authors at WisCon. Tobias Buckell ([livejournal.com profile] tobiasbuckell), Caroline Stevermer ([livejournal.com profile] 1crowdedhour), and Kelly McCullough ([livejournal.com profile] kellymccullough) joined Jack McDevitt, Don Bingle, E.E. Knight ([livejournal.com profile] eeknight), Kage Baker, Sarah Monette ([livejournal.com profile] truepenny), and Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala). More authors are coming soon.

This afternoon, I’m back to my novel revisions. Is there a better way to spend a beautiful spring day than in a Panera on a computer? :)
michaeldthomas: (Default)
Today was my day to man up. Today, I was handy.

Normally around here, Lynne and I have inverse traditional gender roles. She’s the breadwinner, and I’m Caitlin’s primary caregiver. I also do most of the housework. There are some things, however, that we’ve kept traditional. Lynne will not mow the lawn. It’s practically a phobia. She also doesn’t do repairs. Since we’re enjoying one of our four days of spring here in Illinois, I used my time while Caitlin was at school to catch up on some chores.

As of this moment our grass/weed mix is at an acceptable height, the fertilizer/weed killer is spread, and I think I fixed my wonky garage door. I am now a good homeowner.

I have an odd relationship with the handy. I know what I’m doing, but I take little pleasure from it. A lot of this has to do with my late adoptive father being a That Guy who pretended to know how to do everything and tried to convince me that I was useless. There was a lot of driving home to me that I was “book smart” and useless at “man” tasks. In retrospect, he was a complete moron who used chemically-induced bluster to cover for the fact that he had no idea what he was doing. The amazing thing is that he managed not to kill us in the apartments and cars that he “fixed.”

Luckily, I had some better role models in my early 20s who helped my confidence. I also learned that you could, in fact, use books to understand the principles of home and auto repairs. As it turns out, it’s not encoded in the “real man” gene.


michaeldthomas: (Default)

August 2011



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