Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas at Gwen's was wonderful.

Alice, Austin and I had a great time!

Santa was very good to Bailey and Zenna:

We played games...

ate food...

played video games and watched tv...

opened presents...

and bonded with the family!

On Monday, we visited the Arends in Olympia and had a blast. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Cards

I haven’t mailed out Christmas cards since December 2007. This year I was determined to update my address list, visit the card store down the street, and send out something that (a) updated my friends and family on my life in 2011 and (b) included all my old and new contact information. It took about three weeks to organize everything, but as of this week I’m finally putting stamps on envelops and sending the cards on their way.

For years I’ve sent out around 20-40 cards, but this year I doubled my address list to include new and old acquaintances through Facebook, conferences, and racquetball.  I bought four boxes of cards, one set with angelic renaissance paintings from the National Gallery, one set featuring cabin and forest drawings, one snowman set from Hallmark and one glittery old-fashioned set that was on sale. It’s so nice to have these cards crossed off my to-do list!

I had planned to create a one-page Christmas letter that updated everyone on my life; however, last week I received Curt & Megan’s Christmas card from New Zealand in which Curt’s paintings and the 2011 family updates were interspersed within an 8-page mini-book folded from one sheet of paper. I unfolded the sheet, studied how it was put it together, then I blatantly copied their idea. I think I’ll make these little booklets every year because they’re so cool. 8 pages from one sheet of paper…I love it! Maybe next year I'll print 16!  Thank you Curt & Megan for this great idea.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Back to "Normal"

I'm feeling like my old self again, minus the lingering pain in my lower back from that nasty spinal tap. My head is fine, no headaches, nothing unusual. I can't wait to get back on the racquetball court. A few of the morning players are playing left handed while Steve B. recovers from his wrist injury. Maybe we should start a left handed singles league in 2012. That might actually be a lot of fun.

While I wait for Sam to find a publisher for Julia Milan, I'm drafting the novelization of Botticelli Girl. I'm combining the structural efficiency of 24 with the narrative elements of Tom Perrotta's Election. I plan to stick close to the original storyline of my and Chris's screenplay. I may have to bang this one out quickly so that Sam can have a backup novel in case the unthinkable happens and he can't find a home for Julia. That totally boggles my mind.  The outrage only encourages me.

Alice and I will be tournament sponsors at the 2012 Stockton Pro/Am in April.  I cannot wait to see the world's finest racquetball player who ever lived (Kane Waselenchuk) compete against Rocky Carson, Ben Croft, and Stockton's own Jose Rojas. Last year, we saw the best female players battle it out in Stockton, and the championship match between Rhonda Rajsich and Paola Longora was one of the most memorable come-from-behind victories I've ever seen (Rhonda won in five games).

I'm reading a bunch of books right now, both hardcopy and ebooks on my ipad, Kindle and iphone. What I like most about ereaders is the ease of looking up words I don't know. It's an amazing time for readers and writers.

I'd love to see The Descendents this weekend, but I know Alice has wanted to see Tower Heist for weeks. Maybe we'll see both.

Two weeks from now we'll be in Seattle. It will be so good to see all my family and friends. I'm listening to

right now. After years of listening to this album, it only gets better, especially track 7's Skating.