Well: I made it to Afrah but my laptop is not talking to the server this evening, for some reason. I can only bonk heads against the server for so long before it gets old, so tonight’s blog post is being composed on Word 2010, which I’m grudgingly getting used to. Okay? Okay.
Six months ago, in September 2010, I was engaged in a losing battle with some famous backyardigans, procyon lotor (the common North American raccoon). I'm pleased? Somewhat? to report I'm still on the losing end of this battle. I recently ran into another of the critters--or maybe it was the same one, I don't know. They look a lot alike. This one spotted me, hid behind the cat food bin, and stuck a paw around the bin to grab a handful of food out of the bowl. He (she?) did this repeatedly, despite having been told that he (she?) wasn't fooling anybody. I mean, the paw was a dead giveaway. White bin, grey paw, you know what I'm sayin'? So it appears the 'coons are back. Not surprised, me. There's no way to get rid of them apart from not feeding the feral cats, and the feral cats and I have a handshake deal on that one. Okay, a pawshake deal.
Let's see, what else was going on: I'd just been packed off to a neurologist to find out why my hands were shaky and my head had developed this interesting lateral wobble. The verdict: Because you were born that way. Get over it. This was infinitely cheering, and it would be months before I wrangled with posterior iritis. One thing about my brain, there's always something happening even when there's nothing going on. (John Lennon. Nope, sorry, it wasn't original at all.)
Big Country, despite its lead singer being about nine years dead, shocked hell out of everybody by announcing its resurrection and its, get this, northern European tour dates. If I had more money and less sense, I'd have flown over there, followed them from town to town and done the whole Greatful Dead thing. That having a responsible job and wife and family thing kind of puts a damper on that sort of behavior, though. Hey, this is interesting; yesterday at work somebody asked me who my favorite band was, and when I said, "Big Country. You've never heard of them," all three people sitting at the table actually had. It must be fate. It must be destiny. It must be--well, it was one hell of a coincidence, anyway. One of the people at the table was actually born after "Restless Natives" hit no. 1 on the U.K. charts, and she'd still heard of them. I mean, wow. I was blown away. Somewhere in Beijing, a fourth-grader just got chills down his spine for no apparent reason.
Labor Day weekend, Joan and I flew to Salt Lake City and spent several days with my parents and my sister and brother-in-law. That was pretty cool. There was a baseball game involved, some nice dinners out, a ride to the top of Mount Baldy in the Snowbird tram and Oktoberfest, which isn't the same without the beer but was interesting, anyway.
Oh, and six months ago, I was seven pounds heavier. A minor point but I thought I'd throw it in there.
Now then: Where would I like to be six months from now?
Well, look, people. I've been really patient on this point, but it's been long enough and I want a frickin' literary agent. A decade and two years (and a trilogy) is really way too long to have one's career on permanent hold. So let's get this ball rolling again, okay please? Throw me a bone, already, people. Like a request for a partial or a full or something. You might even like my stuff and decide you want to work with me. You'll find me relaxed, even-tempered, open to suggestions and pretty darn agreeable. Also, I make excellent sourdough bread and yes, I do ship.
I'd also like to have some money saved. The two kind of go hand in hand, but you'll notice I didn't say I wanted a publishing contract, just a literary agent. One thing at a time, folks.
Six months from now it will be late August/early September. I would like to have the trim in the front of our house repaired and repainted. I'd like the trelliswork in the back fixed, too, but I'd cave on that point if I could have the much more important covered rain gutters. I want 'em all the way around the house. And a new water heater. Preferably before the bottom falls the hell out of the old one.
Hmm, where do I want to go for Labor Day weekend this year? Maybe nowhere. Maybe I'd like to just hang around the house and watch the leaves fall. Or maybe New Orleans. Yeah. New Orleans sounds kind of nice, actually. And it's within driving distance, so no untoward groping from TSA agents.
And last but not least, I'd like to be twenty pounds lighter still. I'd like to be. Don't know if I will be. But I just thought I'd throw that in there.