Leopard Pounce

I have a confession to make.

Our family is Mixed.

Yep. Half of us (two out of four kids, my first husband and his wife) support the Dark Side.**

The rest of us (the other two kids, BH, & me) choose to live in The Light.

Two additional family members- my ex’s stepson Alex (who considers himself to be my nephew once or twice removed) and Steve (who is practically a son-in-law) – have been making bold steps out of the Darkness and into the Light of Macdom, the Light of Computers That Don’t Crash (hardly ever), the Light of Goodness.

Got that? (Yes, it is a complex family. We are thinking of having trading cards made up so we can keep us straight.)

Daughter Number Three, aka Meredith, aka adastraperasper is the Goddess of the Good. She’s a Mac tech at her college, and helps me out whenever I get confused. (Which is rare, because Macs rock.) All of this is to explain why Mer and Steve lined up in the King of Prussia mall last night to buy a family version (five licenses) for the new version of the Mac OS X operating system called Leopard.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Veeeery long line waiting for the launch.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Line continued in the store.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Happy Steve, almost 100% converted, at the after-party.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Leopard joins the family!

edited to add Meredith’s comments
“so yes, we did get tshirts! yay! a family license ends up, after tax, $210.

I did run into one, slightly major issue. I used file vault on os 10.4 (Tiger) to protect my files. It was a way of scrambling all of the files on my drive so the without passwords and such they could not crack my drive. I began using it to get in the habit for when I will be a teacher and dealing with confidential information. Anyway, I did not turn off file vault before I installed 10.5(Leopard), which meant that when Leopard was fully installed it was trying to read encrypted files created in a past OS. Well, this didn’t work so well. After some googling, I found out that many people were having this same issue. Luckily, I know a good bit about macs and how to find errors and fix them. So I started to poke around and eventually got to a point that I didn’t know what else to do. I was running into permissions errors everywhere. So I called up the wonderful people in Apple Care, and even though I had to be on the phone with them for awhile they eventually helped me. I ended up just backing up my most important files and deleting everything and installing a fresh OS. It is something that I had been wanting to do for awhile, because over the course of three years you end up with lots of little stuff that needs to be deleting. So the only downside to this is I am going to have to reinstall all of my applications, but in the end I have Leopard on my computer so it is totally worth it!!!”

** Despite their allegiance to Windows, we forgive the aforementioned relatives for their trespasses and honor their choices. All families need breathing room for diversity and tolerance.

We leave you with this classic Apple commercial from 1984. All hail the revolution. Enjoy.

a five of fridays

I am a huge word geek (show love for the linguistics majors, my friends) and one of my favorite things is collective nouns. So I am all over this Friday Five:

What would be a good collective name for your family, as in “A _____ of Joneses?”
We are a hug of Halse-Anderson-Larrabees.

What would be a good collective name for your closest group of friends?
Ummm… a babble of buddies.

What would be a good collective name for the stuff in your desk?
A despair of detritus.

What would be a good collective name for your next-door neighbors?
A glower of strangers.

What would be a good collective name for the people in your line of work, as in “A _____ of accountants?”
I am stuck here. Which do you like best?
1. A scribble of authors.
2. A shelf of authors.
3. An imagination of authors.

What are your Friday Five today?

Meg Rosoff: YA author? Adult author? Does it matter? Tell me true.

Time to rock the cupcakes

Do you know this song?

Da-na-na-na-na-na-na-na! (shunka-shunka-shunka-shunka)
Da-na-na-na-na-na-na-na! (shunka-shunka-shunka-shunka)

Still don’t know? Play this:

That’s right – it’s my birthday, which is a National Holiday here in the forest. I proclaim that this day shall be celebrated by writing for fun, reading new books, eating popcorn and pumpkin ice cream, and singing loudly.


::wanders off to kitchen, book in hand, ice cream stained-mouth, thrashing head violently to music playing so loud the windows are preparing to shatter::

Inspiration, revision truths, and silliness

This is a revision weekend. I’m actually excited about it, though I am feeling a little confused about a scene that I know should be in the book, but since I changed some things, I cannot figure out where to put it. Paging the Muse, paging the Muse, clean up in aisle three…

I had a reader question come into my Facebook. Kendall wrote: “… where (in general) do you get your inspiration and ideas for different books?”

I probably come across at least one idea that could become a novel every day. Generally, it’s a person trapped in an interesting situation, or facing a conflict that forces him/her to change and grow. This idea will pop into my head out of nowhere, or I stumble across them because of something I’m reading, some fragment of dialog I overhear, a scene I witness at an airport or the grocery store. I start to ponder: “what if….”

But not all ideas about books are robust enough to become books. Along with the initial conflict, I have to dream up a character with a rich interior life, well-defined background, and memorable secondary characters. And then I throw in setting. And then I throw in subtext; exterior image systems that reflect the character’s inner journey. And then I revise eight or eleven times and I have a breakdown or two and I pull out all my hair and I have a book.

Do you dream of writing a novel and having it published and living the life of an author? Read “My Book Deal Ruined My Life” and tell me what you think.

Nobel Prize winner (literature) Doris Lessing has a MySpace.

What if the Nobel in Literature were awarded in an alternate universe?

Fill in the blank, please

One of my kids recently said, “Life is too short to wear fake diamonds.”

That got me to thinking: what else is life too short for?

I am starting a list for myself:

Life is too short to watch American Idol.
Life is too short to finish reading books you don’t like by Chapter Four.
Life is too short for grudges.
Life is too short for low-fat cheese.
Life is too short to drink wine that comes in a box.

I’d love to hear what youse guys think.

Fill in the blank: Life is too short for ________________