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Tying Flies
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Such a nice busy nice busy weekend. We slaved away a fair bit on Flytrap, a process made more difficult by the continual crashing of Photoshop (anyone want to donate new Photoshop software to Tropism Press? Because even after re-installing my decrepit Photoshop 4.0, it still keeps crashing, and I mean every single time I open it to do anything). But the photos are finally fixed (by desperate incremental corrections slipped in and saved before the next crash), the typos are corrected, the last bios have arrived (or else bios have been faked for people), and we think it's done, done, done. We hope. We took it to the printer, but we have to go back on Monday morning to talk to our man on the inside, Rob, who always gives us killer discounts (he wasn't there Saturday). We're planning on a HUGE, INCREDIBLE INNOVATION for issue #4: a non-white cover. We're going with something really wild like ivory. Small steps, people.

We didn't finish the 'zine until mid-afternoon, so I missed my writing group, unfortunately. Sux. But I want the 'zine to be ready by WisCon!

This is the last day to submit stories to Flytrap for issue #5.

After finishing the 'zine we went out and I bought myself a new desk chair. For someone who spends as much time at a desk as I do, I had a pretty crappy piece of equipment, an old secondhand chair I got for super cheap upon arriving in Oakland. Lately the padding has worn away completely, and it's been so uncomfortable that I've been stealing Heather's chair whenever she's not using it. So I broke down and bought a new chair, and it's really nice, great padding, very adjustable, super-comfy, and with no arms! I cannot bear arms on an office chair. It's just this thing I have, mostly because I tend to spend a lot of time sitting cross-legged with my knees sticking out where the arms would be. So now Heather's stealing my chair every chance she gets, and her chair feels like a torture device in comparison.

I finally set up my new flatscreen monitor and new speakers (I say "new" -- I got them over a year ago, but they were hooked up to the backup PC, which had little purpose in life except as a dedicated Sims gaming machine. But since we haven't played Sims on that machine in many moons, I decided I wanted the flatscreen for myself). The speakers are better, too. My workspace is a lot less cluttered now -- it's amazing how much space a big ol' dust-magnet monitor takes up.

To celebrate finishing Flytrap, and the arrival of the rest of my advance money, and etc., Heather and I went out to a niceish dinner at Bay Wolf. It's odd -- I used to think of that place as the outer edge of luxury, the most expensive place we could afford to eat on special occasions. We haven't eaten there in a couple of years, though, and when I got there last night I thought "This isn't that expensive." Heather and I are both making a lot more money than we were two years ago. It's been an incremental thing, and I hadn't really noticed, but we are doing pretty well. We still have a lot of debt, but we're actually able to pay it down, pay more than our minimums, etc. And we can afford a wedding (thanks to Rangergirl). We're still fairly broke this year, paying for the wedding and the honeymoon, but at least we can afford those things. Barring catastrophe (and one can never rule out the chance of catastophe), we should be on pretty good financial footing in a few years. Of course, predicting anything that far in advance is kind of a fool's game, but I say, tentatively, the future looks fairly bright...

Dinner was lovely. We ambled in a bookstore, I bought some cheap used paperback airplane reading. Varley's Red Thunder, a couple of Westlake books. Seeing Westlake books always makes me think of his alter-ego, Richard Stark, who wrote the Parker novels. And that, in turn, always makes me think of Stephen King's The Dark Half (because he named a character in that book after Stark), which I still think is an awfully cool book, if a bit uneven -- that's the novel that taught me what psychopomps were, and he did some interesting things with the notion of twinning. Anyway, in one of those odd coincidences, the not-very-good movie version of The Dark Half was on Sci-Fi Channel at 3 a.m. last night, and I watched a bit of it, just up to the point where nasty ol' George Stark appears and then woefully fails to beat the photographer to death with said photographer's own prosthetic leg. I mean, if you're gonna cut that moment out of the movie -- and yet still show us the prosthetic leg, dangling out the truck cab's window! -- I've got no use for the film.

Oh, and I'd like to thank longtime Tropism reader Richard in Canada for sending me all that good music -- the Weakerthans, because I mentioned I liked them here, and also stuff by Paper Moon and Metric, a couple of bands I'd never encountered before (I really dig Paper Moon). Thanks for thinking of me.

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