And They're Off!

I’ve had one of those productive days today. For one thing, I replaced the flat tire on my bicycle, which is something I’d never done myself before. Can you imagine a more effective way of feeling accomplished and manly? I got to play with tools and get greasy. Yes.

I also cleaned my grill, which is always a lot of fun when it’s windy: the wind blows the ashes everywhere in the world, including into your eyes. Oh, yes. Much fun. The other night I had grilled up some chicken in an apple/vinegar/ketchup sauce (don’t wince like that, it was tasty!). This sauce had dripped off the chicken and onto the food rack, and the drippings were just lovely. Fortunately they came off easily with a copper brush. The chicken, by the way, was good, but a bit dry; I’d overcompensated by undercooking them earlier. Evilpheemy shared some ideas with me about keeping the chicken moist, and I tried out a couple of them. Jennifer, for her part, says she doesn’t mind being part of the learning process.

It’s nice to have a wife who’s so supportive.

We also swung by the Scottish Festival and Highland Games in Woodland this afternoon, where we ate meat pies, wandered around and looked at Celtic artwork of all types, and discovered a new band called Seven Nations, a Celtic rock band which reminds me of Tempest and the Pogues. Tempest doesn’t feature a bagpiper in their lineup, though. They should. There’s nothing in the world like seeing a piper up on stage next to the electric guitar. It’s great! We bought two of their albums, and listened to one of them on the way home. I’m always quite happy to make new musical discoveries.

And we picked up something to occupy our time: a paper castle, a model of some castle built in Syria during the Crusades. It’s going to be quite pretty when it’s finished, but cutting out all of those little tabs is going to be a bit of a nightmare. How appropriate that we should work on it while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But I suppose that the most significant thing that I did today was ship off one of my short stories for (hopefully) publication. It’s been close to fifteen years since I last submitted a manuscript to any market for publication, and even then I didn’t do it all that seriously. But now off my story goes, thrown upon the mercy of the heartless editors.

No, no. Sorry. What I meant to write was, "Into the loving, thoughtful, and discriminate hands of the wise editors who will judge my story purely on its merits."

Yes, the cover letter I sent with my story has the URL of my personal webpage on it.

And while I was at the post office anyway, I realized that I still had to register to vote. With election season coming up, I’m hoping desperately for a bill that will require intelligence and honesty and integrity in political advertising. But, then, I have always lived in a bit of a fantasy world.

And one last thought. I hope this writing thing works out. I also had hopes that going back to school would work out, or that an IT career would work out, before I found that I don’t really have what it takes to make either one work.

So I can’t help but wonder if Mick Jagger wakes up in the middle of the night sometimes and thinks to himself, "Cor, I shoulda been a truck driver. If my voice ever quits on me, I’m toast."

Oh, and I also did my laundry today. It needed it.

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