4 Days, 13 Hours in the Car, and 1 Sick Wife!

My wife and I don’t travel much, but when we do we make it count.

Wood Table
Check out the table…it might look like a bunch of mangled wood but to me, there was a whole other world beneath that glass…

It’s Day 6.5 of my “open novel” experiment for Ice Storm, aka my “Development Hell” book. Last Friday, I reached 21,000 words of the second draft. Just 69,000 words to go. I’ve spent the last four days on the road, traveling up and down the East Coast. I’m excited to be back to work but first a little vacation recap is in order.

4 Days, 13 Hours in the Car, and 1 Sick Wife!

May 25: Early in the morning, Julie and I drove 5 hours to visit our friends Graig and Michelle for a BBQ. I know what you’re thinking. 5 hours for a BBQ? Well, it’s a little more than that. Over the years, my close college friends have moved all over the place. Thus, I don’t get to see them very often. Anyway we ate too much, drank too much, and slept too little. All in all, a great time. Unfortunately, our hosts got extremely sick that night. They thought it was food poisoning. But since the rest of us felt fine, Julie and I decided we were safe. Oh, how wrong we were.

May 26: We drove another five hours to Massachusetts. My parents recently bought a retirement home in Cape Cod. So, they’ve been gradually moving into it and sprucing up the place. Julie and I drove out to meet them and got a chance to see my aunt Karen and uncle Brian as well.

Karen and Brian own a home right down the street from my parents. They’ve been renovating it and it looks terrific. My favorite addition is a glass coffee table built on top of curving, winding pieces of wood (see photo). The table originally belonged to my grandparents. As a kid, I used to take my action figures and thread them in and out of the wood, weaving them through the nooks and threading them through the crannies. It was like a world in of itself. Seeing it in their home brought a huge smile to my face. Good memories!

We also looked through some of my grandfather’s old belongings. He passed away four and a half years ago and left behind a variety of trinkets, paperweights, and geological specimens he collected from his travels. I was fortunate enough to be able to take a few things with me. My favorite one is a carved rock. On the bottom, my grandfather wrote “PAKISTAN” in large letters on a piece of tape. In smaller letters, he wrote “Bought in Colorado.” It’s hard to explain but this sums up my grandfather in just a wonderfully succinct way.

May 27: At about five o’clock in the morning, Julie woke up with stomach pains. Two hours later, she got violently sick. Around noon, she started to feel a little better. I took her outside for some fresh air. She was okay at first but eventually got sick again. After another spell of sickness, I got her into bed and she napped on and off for a few hours. By night, she was feeling well enough to eat some noodles and watch Moneyball. I’m guessing she caught a 24-hour bug from Graig and Michelle. Fortunately, everyone seems to be feeling much better now.

Moneyball was an interesting film. I read some of Bill James’ books as a kid. They were interesting, albeit a little over my head at that point in time. I’ve always thought sabermetrics was best used to analyze history. I also think it leads to a more focused understanding of baseball. Even before I found Bill James, I was stumped by why batting average got tons of attention while on-base-percentage was virtually ignored. I’m a little less bullish about its ability to predict future individual performance. I worked on Wall Street for a number of years and the first lesson you learn is that past performance cannot predict future results. So, I’m not convinced it has much to offer for draft analysis or team construction. Regardless, I enjoyed the film. The concept of an outsider trying to spread a powerfully-felt philosophy in opposition to an old guard has particular meaning to me. In fact, this is a sub-theme that runs through Ice Storm.

May 28: We drove three hours home. I was tired from the trip and decided to extend the break for an additional day. Today, I’m back at work on Ice Storm!

Other Stuff

Later today, I plan to begin my 30-day drawing program. Look for more on this tomorrow. The link to buy Chaos at Diesel (see sidebar) is still broken. Diesel has a revised version of Chaos in hand so hopefully, this will be fixed soon. Also, my Goodreads link still isn’t working. Finally, the Chaos paperback continues to be on sale for $13.25 at Amazon. Cheap!

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