I have completed my morning quest to the Kingdom of the Bull's Eye (aka Target), where I was assisted by many a friendly local. Meanwhile, I have been issued a challenge by the court of the land (a jury summons -- boy, do they love me, every other year, like clockwork, and I always seem to get picked for the jury).
Maybe it's the economy, but I'm finding my shopping trips lately to be both more pleasant and more frustrating. I guess people are really glad to have any job because the staff all seem to be much friendlier and more helpful. There's no more standing around, feeling invisible. Granted, Target was never that bad, but they're even friendlier, and the checkout clerks are better and more efficient. No more bored teens who acted like they were doing you a favor and who seemed to resent you for interrupting their day (again, Target was never that bad, but there were a few clerks like that). On the other hand, they seem to be cutting costs by replenishing less often, so the shelves are pretty bare in places, and they were out of stock in half the things I went after.
Speaking of things that make you wonder ... I don't watch reality television at all, but just in reading the newspaper and being on the Internet I seem to be exposed to a lot of it, and I've noticed an interesting omission in all the "star" and "celebrity" competitions -- no authors! (I mean, no people who are known for being authors, not people who've cashed in on their fame to "write" books.) They're really scraping the bottom of the barrel to dig up people who kind of, sort of count as celebrities, including people who are known only for having been on other reality shows or people who are known for dating someone famous, but really, no one who's famous for doing something that doesn't happen on TV? Granted, most novelists don't have a fan base big enough to compete with anyone on TV in viewer-voting shows, other than maybe people like Stephen King or Nora Roberts. King probably isn't up to dancing after that accident, but it might be interesting to see him go up against Trump on that Apprentice show. And I've danced with Nora, so I'm pretty sure she could tear it up on Dancing With the Stars (though that might cut into her 18 hours of writing a day). Bringing that kind of public attention to people who write books would probably have more benefit than perpetuating the idea of being famous for the sake of being famous. At the rate they're going, all the non-celebrity reality shows are going to become farm teams to create celebrities to compete on the celebrity shows, in a ghastly self-perpetuating cycle.
A little online schedule checking reveals that the Battlestar Galactica finale (hopefully with the killer robots doing some serious killing, for a change) will be repeated the following Friday, so if disaster occurs and the hotel doesn't get Sci Fi, my VCR doesn't work, I can't manage to watch it online and I can't obtain it from a friend, I will eventually get to see it. That just means I'll have to avoid the Internet all week to avoid spoilers.
After a ton of brainstorming, I think I'm ready to plunge into actually writing. One sign is when I find it more difficult to get into reading anything because I'm more intrigued by the idea of my story than I am by anything I try to read. Another sign is that I'm not sleeping well because I can't shut off my brain. Fortunately, the weather is cooperating by giving me a cloudy, rainy week. As I am a water-powered creature, that bodes well.