Today marks the first year of being officially married to Bariguy, my other half here at 2phatgeeks. We’ve been together for years, so long that everyone who knew us simply assumed we were already married. So it was a shock that early last year I revealed that not only were we not married; but that I had to return to Canada to get my paperwork in order for us to get married.
Luckily, everything turned out alright. And here we are, 1 year later and official in paper work.
To be honest and cheesy, though, we were already official in my heart–years ago.
I’m a lucky woman. I have a husband who not only understands my Star Wars quotes, but joins in with his own favorites. Who understands when I reference an internet meme and who not only gets my jokes? But laughs at them.
In celebration of our 1st year anniversary let me share with you some of our most embarrassing and geeky moments!
Our little notebook investment arrived yesterday. A little sleek black Asus meant to simply help us store the wealth of information I will be shoving into it this March because Shawn and I are spending four days at Disney.
Originally, we were simply going to buy a lot of storage cards for my digital camera, cell phone and video camera. We realized this plan was not-so-brilliant and Shawn, my one true geek went shopping around for other options.
The little notebook is perfect. It’s all shiny black with that New Computer smell and nothing delights me more than watching my husband come skipping home when we have new gadgets for him to play with. He literally spent the entire night setting it up, removing programs, installing the ones we use, customizing as well as tweaking. During all of this he generally kept up and entire line of conversation excitedly extolling the add ons, features, and wonderful uses this new notebook will bring. He might as well have been four years old again–skipping through the Star Wars toy section. His eyes were bright and his hands expressive, he’d stop for five seconds to press a button here and there or type something then continue telling me of dis wondrous shiny device we had purchased.
Sadly, my excitement only ran as far as, Neato! A new thingie to type on and decorate with the added bonus of being transportable! and to name it Piddles the Notebook.
I had an even more difficult time focusing on anything he had to say. As he was babbling happily away about what programs were installed and what weren’t, he was fiddling with a removable stick of ram the entire time. It’s on a long, long string meant to be worn about the neck. He’d start spinning it to the right and winding it around his fingers until it stopped short. Then, in mid-sentence, he’d start swinging it to the left until the string was fully wound around his fingers just to immediately switch directions and repeat.
After about six minutes of being entranced by this as if I were a three-week old kitten, I shook my head abruptly and demanded, “What are you doing?”
He stopped in mid-speech about being surprised how fast it was, given how small the notebook was, eyebrows quirking upward. “With what? Huh?”
I fluttered my hands absently in his string-spinning direction. “What are you doing with the swinging and the thing and the–wtf?–is this some sort of weird geek sexual strip routine I’m not aware of? Like a routine featuring a feather boa except–”
He interrupted me entirely calmly and as if he’d been waiting all his life for this moment to say a single line he’d been saving for decades.
“Don’t deny it. You find it sexy when I swing my big ram stick.”
And it is in those moments when I’m done staring agog or laughing my fool ass off, that I realize each day I love him more and more. Big hard drive and all.
Sometimes you just don’t know how much you can do until you set a ridiculous goal for yourself.
This year, I decided to participate in something I’d never heard of before: National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. The trick to this little contest is this, between November 1st and November 30th you write novel (hopefully) of at least 50,000 words. The better half was participating this year and, since I’d just been promoted and just finished up with some arduous immigration stuff, I apparently needed something else to stress over.
I did not expect to finish. I work a lot, and some of that work ends up getting brought home. I have a history of getting great ideas started and having those ideas die out when I begin dealing with the agonizing minutiae that most projects of mine tend to have. I also happen to enjoy time watching TV and movies just vegetating in front of the tube.
No one was more surprised than I was that I finished it.
Not only did I finish, but I finished 5 days early on November 25th! I really did have a good time, despite days where I just couldn’t find anything to write about and spent 1600-1700 words playing out conversations just to fill space. It’s horrendous, I’m sure. Fortunately for me the goal is not to produce a finished product, but a very, very rough draft. It doesn’t have to be good. Hell, judging by the hints, tips and tricks from past year participants, it doesn’t even have to really be a novel. Some people write poetry. In one of the of the many confidence building emails sent out by the staff, they describe portions of the novel where their characters read from the dictionary. The point is to put 50,000 words on paper in a month, period.
It wasn’t easy. The first 10,000 words aren’t too bad, but when you’re sitting down to write your 1,667 words a day and realize you have no idea where to start or what to say it’s pretty damn frustrating. I found 10,000-25,000 words to be the hardest part. I wanted to move ahead, but was scared I’d finish too soon and fall short of the 50k mark. I started stretching scenes and putting in what I considered filler. I kept hearing the other writers, some of whom had tried multiple times in the past, talk about the fact that it accelerates once you get to around 25k-30k. I was stunned how right they were. The last 25,000 seemed a lot more effortless. I was busy with the action and the ending of my story and before I realized it, 50,000 was only a couple days away.
It’s horrible, of course, and I realize that. Is there a publishable story there? Probably not. If there is, it needs to be heavy edited and probably expanded, I still think the ending just sort of happened. It really doesn’t matter much. I’d never been a writer. I tended to stick to more visual forms of communication. I surprised myself. I got up every day a little earlier and wrote about 600 words before leaving for work, would write more at lunch. If I couldn’t finish off the 1,667 words a day off during lunch, I’d come home and wrap it up. With one exception I hit or exceeded every day. I’m not bragging, I’m just amazed I did it.
Will I do it again? Probably, yes. It’s a lot harder than you think to bring a novel into being and it takes a profound amount of dedication. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ridiculously relieved when I made the finish line. Everyone should complete it once just to see how it feels. It’s a pretty exhilarating experience to pull off.
It’s not about winning or completing something marketable. It’s about writing. It’s not even about hitting the 50,000 words; the fact you take the time to write each day is far more important, even if it’s only 500 words. Write. Don’t make excuses, just write until you’re done and stop. Making the 50,000 is just the icing on the cake; it’s so delicious and moist, after all.
Next November, I hope to see you all and the 2010 NaNoWriMo! I will try again!
It was just black Arial text on a white back ground staring at me unflinchingly from the frame of my monitor.
Eight little words delivered to me via a tool bar downloaded and installed into my fire fox to entertain me as I browsed this great tangled mess called the Internet. He didn’t send it to me directly you see, he thumbed it up. Possibly several months ago, maybe a week before I received it, could have even be the day before it arrived onto my screen.
It arrived, actually, sometime early last week and I haven’t said anything about it–that’s a bad habit of mine. I don’t say things to the important people. I write them for the world to see; I bare my dark little places with courage to a room full of strangers. When it comes to close friends or family, to the people I should say things to? My mouth shuts tight with the clang of savage bear trap. So I never told him that I got it. I never told him how it rang within me like old sounds lost forever in endless deep-earth caverns.
I know that after I read it several times, I went very still.
The television had long been turned off before he’d gone to work. The birds were unusually calm, the cats napping, the house hummed along with its central air conditioning; everything appeared to follow me in this moment. Movie directors have been attempting to perfect this single moment without much success. It is when the span of a heart beat stretches on for endless minutes, when the world to your right and left become a blur and all you can see is the tunnel of clarity directly in front of you.
For me, it was nothing more than black font on a white page.
“I need you so much closer.”
It wasn’t noise that brought me back to this world. It wasn’t the cat knocking something over or the sleepy chirp of our pet cockatiel. It was the emotion that welled up into my throat to make the back of it ache then tighten.
It was the understanding that right here on this very planet, in a million, million lost souls gasping, lamenting, clawing, screaming, wishing, praying, wanting for love–trying so hard to be loved–fighting for love, that I had already. That I’ve always had it. That I have it every day. That is sleeps beside me, snoring away every night and it gets up in the morning and it goes to work and it plods through shitty people with shitty attitudes to bring home money that it spends on me even when it doesn’t really have the money TO spend on me. It wakes up in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep to roll over when he’s snoring because it knows I can’t fall asleep when it does. It’s the hand that curves around my hip jolting me awake after fighting all night to go to sleep anyway. It’s the cheesecake that mysteriously appears in the fridge when I’m on my period and ready to kill everything that tip toes around me. It’s the quiet, adamant insistence that there’s nothing wrong with me and that I am beautiful no matter how many rolls of fat I can count.
It’s the man I married, quietly thumbing up a web page with the words: