Nov 30

Perhaps it’s phishing…

I got an email from Wells Frago (yes, that’s how it was spelled) telling me I needed to update my account.

Sad thing is that there are STILL people who will fall for it, even with the misspelled name.

Nov 30


Yes, I know that this site is a bit hard to read right now. I’m fumbling my way through making changes to the theme and style sheet to get it to more of what I want. I am completely unfamiliar with php and css and that stuff, whiche means I’m doing a lot of trial and error fumbling as I stomp through the style sheet and recklessly make changes.

Okay, if any of the three people who are reading this site are familiar with website creation, what do I need to do to have the time I post an entry show up as well as the date? The last theme I used did that, and I kinda liked it.

Nov 30

Aga Khan

I finally FINALLY got through to Mom in Kenya. I tried about six times yesterday and got a busy signal each time. I tried again early this morning and on the third try managed to actually get through to her room. She seems in quite good spirits, and was quite garrulous. We talked for about half an hour, and I continue to be amazed at the quality of the reception. It was as clear as calling next door. She says that they feed her six times a day in the british style of several “tea times” between meals. She also described the way they do tea–instead of hot water they use hot milk, which sounds seriously yummy and I will have to try it. She’s also already gone through the two books that were in her carry-on, and is now bored out of her mind. (They probably don’t have cable TV there in the hospital rooms.) Oh, and as an added kicker, her luggage was lost in transit on her way to Kenya, and she’s been spending a lot of time on the phone trying to figure out just where the hell it is. She said it’s probably a good thing she’s in the hospital and thus does not need several changes of clothing.

Still not sure when she’ll be coming back. I’ll keep y’all updated.

Nov 29


Via Jay Lake:

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don’t speak often) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you’re finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON’T ACTUALLY remember about you.

Nov 29


I discovered this morning that I have no way of calling my mother, at least for the next day or so. I have no home phone, and I am unable to make an international call on my cell phone, and somehow I do not think I can get away with making an international call to Kenya from my work phone. My sister offered to let me call from her house or office, but I can’t get over there until this evening, and by then it’s too late since there’s a 9 hour time difference. Extremely exceedingly frustrating. I still have not spoken to my mother or anyone at the hospital or anyone involved with the expedition. Thankfully my sister is giving me constant and frequent updates.

Nov 28

ID10T error

My email is working again. Thanks to everyone who gave advice.

Nov 27

I am definitely a specialist

Specialist: Someone who knows more and more about less and less.

Because sometimes I totally a suck as a nerd.

All right, I need some nerdly help. I’ve been trying to set up a new mailbox for my new domain, and for some reason it’s not working. I can send email from it, but I don’t get any email sent to it.

Edit: Fixed it. Thanks!

Nov 25

Where Diana discovers that Anna cannot possibly be her child:

Anna cleaning

There’s just no way that this child has my genetic material. She must have been switched at birth. Somewhere there’s an OCD clean-freak mother who’s in for a rude awakening in a few years.

Still more proof here.

Nov 25


We had a nice Thanksgiving in the Rowland/Hoffstadt household. Anna decided to sleep in until 6:30am and then came and cuddled with us and slept a bit more. After we all got up I headed over to Slidell to do a bit more work on the house. Kelly (the woman who will be renting the place) met me over there and helped me haul the dead linoleum and carpet to the curb, then we both went back to my home and cleaned ourselves up.

We then headed out to Copelands restaurant for our Thanksgiving dinner. Jack and I had no desire to cook, since it was just the three of us, and we had planned to go out to eat a while back. We invited Kelly and her daughter along, our treat, and had a really nice time. Any restaurant that stayed open for Thanksgiving had booming business since there are so many people in FEMA trailers, and you can’t cook a turkey in a FEMA trailer. But we must have timed it perfectly between waves of people because we only waited about ten minutes before getting a table. We exchanged evacaution stories, and Kelly told the story of how she had carefully placed all her pictures and photo albums in plastic bags and put them upstairs in her condo, since she was pretty certain she was going to get water, but she’d figured they’d be all right up there, since she was at 13 feet elevation, even though she was on the waterfront. She hadn’t planned on coming back to find nothing. She figures that those bags of photos are somewhere in the swamp. But she amazes me with her resiliency. She’s picking up the few pieces she has left and continuing to grind on.

After Kelly left, Jack and I had a nice lazy day of relaxing and reading. Anna was amazingly cooperative and played quietly byherself for several hours while we sat around and read and just kept track of where she was. I read Bee Season by Myla Goldberg which I HIGHLY recommend because the writing is excruciatingly beautiful and the character studies are incredible, and even though is it not being marketed one bit as speculative fiction, there’s a strong mysticism element (especially at the end) that would definitely place it in the genre. This is actually a book that my husband read, and I only read it because I wanted him to read some literary SF and we made a “I’ll read yours if you read mine” deal. I made him read “Sergeant Chip” and have bookmarked “Bears discover fire” and “Sandkings” for him for later. I’m going to wait a bit before having him read “Story of your life” because that story, as fabulous as it is, I think requires a certain immersion in the genre before one is able to fully appreciate how stunning it is.

No writing yesterday, but I do have more ideas and concepts brewing. I’m also getting back into working on the novel that I’m doing with Kat. But for the rest of this week I’m just going to relax and see what happens.

Nov 23


I am tired. Holy crap, I’m tired.

I got up at the usual hour, got the kid ready for daycare, drove her there and slowed down enough to push her out in a semi-controlled fashion. She’s learning how to tuck and roll quite well, actually.

Then went back home and waited for Mom to show up so that I could drive her to the airport. She’s going to Nairobi to study Lions.

Okay, It’s not like I want my mom to kick off or anything, but really, if she were to get eaten by a lion, I mean, how cool would that be to tell people? “Mom passed away last month.” “Oh, dear! I’m so sorry. What happened?” “She was Thanksgiving dinner for a lovely pride of lions.”

No, really, I’m kidding. I don’t want my mother to be eaten by lions for Thanksgiving.


After dropping mom off at the airport I drove over to Slidell by way of New Orleans East and the Twin Spans bridge. Although it’s not really a Twin Span anymore since one span is mostly in the lake and the other span is two way traffic. Driving through N.O East is a sobering experience. There’s just so much devastation… it feels like driving through a war zone. I swear, much of the area looks like footage from Iraq.

I made it over to my house in Slidell a little before noon and got to work on the ongoing and at times herculean task of getting the place cleaned up, stripped out, and ready for a new tenant. I managed to get the carpet pulled out of the back room, and was surprised to find that beneath the carpet was some quite decent linoleum that looked a lot nicer than that ugly-ass carpet. I think that a thorough mopping and a decent area rug will be more than sufficient.

But the big chore was pulling up the nasty and rotted linoleum in the stove room (thus dubbed because there’s a wood burning stove in there. Not that anyone would ever use the wood burning stove to burn wood, but it’s kinda cool and decorative.) I had to take a break and go to Home Despot to buy a special tool for scraping the linoleum up, which made it only marginally easier. I also discovered that the former feline occupants had made liberal use of the floor in lieu of a cat box. Before I left I poured about half a bottle of odor-removing enzyme stuff all around the perimeter of the room. The next time I get over there I’ll Kilz the whole floor a couple of time, which will hopefully kill off any residual smell.

Now I’m whupped. And stinky. And sore. And also incredibly thankful that my house only requires a bit of replacement flooring. There are lots of people still working on gutting their houses after taking several feet of water.

Hard to believe that it’s been almost three months since the storm.

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