October 5th, 2012


I'm Not Really Left-Handed

I am very, very close to the end of the first draft of Book 7. However, this is going to be the tricky part because the closer I get to the end, the less I know what will happen. The first part of the proposal synopsis tends to be really detailed, but by the end, there's a bit of handwaving, so it reads along the lines of "and then they defeat the bad guys, save the day and live happily ever after." I figure that by the time I get there, I'll have worked it out or I'll come up with an idea. Yesterday, I got there and still didn't have an idea, so I went with something that popped into my head and that veered things off into a crazy direction that is either stark-raving insane or utterly brilliant. It might possibly involve disco as the ultimate weapon for defeating the forces of darkness. I'm almost afraid to look at what I wrote last night, for fear that it really might be crazy and now I'll have to rethink my plans for having the Bee Gees save the world.

My writing got disrupted yesterday by my attempt to buy a new dishwasher. I say "attempt" because I was thwarted. I went to my neighborhood Home Depot, where I must go pretty often because the greeter guy at the front door recognized me. I usually get pretty good service in that store. All I have to do is stare at a shelf for a moment and I get swarmed with help. But that's in areas where I can help myself and just need to take something off a shelf. I went into the appliance section, where you can't just pick up what you want and take it to the cash register, and found something different entirely. For one thing, they don't have much on display these days. I guess you're just supposed to buy online. For another, the one person working in that department was with a customer. I browsed the few things they had in stock and waited for him to acknowledge me enough to let me know he'd be with me in a minute or to call for someone else to help me, but nothing happened. I wandered off to look at the garbage disposals and decided that I definitely need someone to install it because it was a bit too heavy for me to be able to lift and maneuver, especially since in working with it under the sink I'd have to rely entirely on upper-body strength, which I don't have. I wandered back into the appliance section, and it had been totally abandoned. So, I went and picked up a few other things I needed while I was there, then returned to appliances. Nobody was there. By that time, I'd spent about half an hour in the store, so I gave up, bought the things I needed, and left. When I got home, I sent an e-mail via the web site feedback form, and to their credit, the manager of my neighborhood store called me within about fifteen minutes of me sending the e-mail. It might have helped that my slightly snarky e-mail was still polite and kind of funny. If you get a customer-feedback e-mail that uses terms like "lone survivor of an apocalypse" and "invisibility cloak," you're probably going to be curious about that customer.

The guy who called me was able to answer all the questions I wanted to ask the appliance person, and it turns out that there's no advantage in buying the garbage disposal and dishwasher together because they're installed by different people, and I suspect their disposal installation is more expensive than if I just called a local plumber, who can get contractor rates on the parts. The dishwasher installation is free. So I figure I'll call a local plumber and get the disposal taken care of, and then I can get the dishwasher some other time. They had a model of the one I was looking at online at Best Buy, but when you factor in delivery and installation, it's cheaper through Home Depot, and I can just order it online and not have to deal with the store.

In entirely unrelated news, the flurry of posts and articles on the subject has reminded me that this year is the 25th anniversary of the release of The Princess Bride (the film -- the book is older). That makes me feel very old because I was in college when it came out and I remember going to see it with a group of friends. I always hedge when asked my favorite movie of all time, but I think this one may have to be it. Lines from it have become a regular part of my vocabulary, and among the people I hang out with, you don't even have to explain using a Princess Bride reference in conversation. I can watch and enjoy it no matter what mood I'm in. If I stumble across it on TV, I can't seem to stop myself from watching at least a little of it. It doesn't get old for me, and I think it's aged very well. What I love about it is that it's a spoof of fairy tales, adventure stories and fantasy stories while still within itself being a brilliant fairy tale/adventure story/fantasy story. The one weakness is that the romance part of the plot is pretty lame, but I think that's deliberate. The book even hints that this isn't a relationship likely to last, and that's part of the fairy tale spoof, since in all the fairy tales, there really isn't much foundation to the relationship. Sure, the guy went through all kinds of hell to win the girl, but after that, what do they really have between them? That slight undercurrent of edge keeps all the declarations of love from being too saccharine.

I'm rather surprised that Cary Elwes didn't have the kind of career you'd have expected after that role. He seemed destined to be a romantic/heroic leading man, but instead he's either spoofed that image in things like Men in Tights and Hot Shots or he's played creepy bad guys. I rather liked his turn as the shady boss toward the end of The X-Files (when the show was actually pretty good if you didn't think of it as The X-Files), and he's been fun when popping up in guest roles on cable dramas lately, particularly when he played the WWII codebreaker hallucination on Perception. He's one of my mental candidates to play the Doctor on Doctor Who if they want to veer away from the absurdly young after Matt Smith leaves. He has the range for cold and scary, dashing and romantic and wildly funny, all with some of the most supremely snarky line delivery in the industry. Few can do snide superiority better, whether in American or British accent.

I may have to add a Princess Bride viewing to my weekend plans, in addition to reading, baking and visiting the library. Today, though, is all about the writing, and then my Friday TV double feature.