Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back to Work (Really!)

After all that talk about how much work I had to do, I got very little of it done. My brain just wasn't being cooperative, so I gave up and let myself have a holiday. Then just as I was falling asleep at night, I came up with the solution for the part where I was stuck, so I guess stepping away actually worked. My "I'm not in the mood for Star Wars" thing also fell by the wayside as I got sucked into that History Channel show on the legacy of Star Wars. It was all about the various cultural and mythological references and reflections in Star Wars, and if there's anything I geek out about more than all my usual geeking on TV, movies, books, etc., it's the use of mythology and archetypes in storytelling. They worked through all the main points in the hero's journey as described by Joseph Campbell, using clips from the movies to illustrate. I'm going to have to tape the replay tonight because I can probably use it in a writing workshop at some point. Other viewing included the season finale of Robin Hood, which was incredibly cheesy, yet very satisfying and fun because it was so cheesy. Sometimes it's best to embrace the cheese and just go with it because that ends up giving the audience what they want, yet don't want to admit they want.

I also hit the kitchen pretty hard for a big Memorial Day summer kick-off dinner. I made barbecued ribs (using my George Foreman mini grill and the broiler in the toaster oven, since it was raining off and on and it's illegal to grill on the patio in a multi-family building. And since I don't have a real grill), potato salad and baked beans. I did the baked beans from scratch, starting with dried beans, but I used the crock pot instead of putting them in the oven because I didn't want to have the oven on for hours in this weather. I'm not quite ready to join the Slow Food movement, but every so often I like to take something that I'm used to getting in a convenient form and make it from scratch, just to see how it works. Really, this wasn't all that much more complicated than opening a can. It just took a lot longer. I need to play with the seasonings in this recipe, though. There was something missing or not quite right, and I'm not sure what it was.

Of course now my kitchen is a federal disaster area. On the bright side, I may not have to cook much this week because I've got a ton of leftovers.

This weekend I've got A-Kon, and I'm scheduled for a couple of readings. I think I'm going to do the Rocky and Rollo part of Damsel Under Stress, which means I need to come up with character voices for them. I can hear them in my head, but I need to work on how to perform that. I also have to do some critiques for the writing workshop, and I always sweat those (which is why I seldom volunteer to do critiques). I want to do a valid critique that really helps people, but sometimes doing that also hurts them because nobody likes to be told that their work isn't brilliant, yet telling them it's brilliant when it isn't doesn't help. Usually, the people who participate in this kind of thing are there because they want to improve, so they're open to suggestions, but I have run into those who really just want validation, and so they're horribly offended that you don't think their work is brilliant, since all their friends say it is, and they get lots of positive feedback on all their fanfic, so there. I would never make it as an American Idol judge because I'd get caught in the want to help/don't want to hurt dilemma. Basically, I'm a wimp.

Now I really need to get started on the work I didn't do yesterday. Then tonight is the season finale of House -- and guess what the weather forecast is. Yep. Rain and storms. It's not supposed to be major storms, so maybe we won't get program interruptions.

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