And the livin’ is easy

So today’s my first real day of summer vacation, or at least I’m counting it as such– I suppose I could have counted Friday but I had all kinds of shit to do and the boy started his summer camp today so let’s say it was today.

I am, therefore, at the same place I’m always at whenever summertime starts: looking at something like seven or eight weeks off before school starts to ramp up again and pretending that I’m gonna be super efficient with all that extra time and Make My Summer Count.

Let’s take a moment and just contemplate the pure American-ness of being given time off and immediately feeling guilt that I, in the future, won’t spend it working hard enough, and mourn our deeply stupid culture.

But anyway. This is the first summer in a very long time that I haven’t actually had a job. Since the summer The Sanctum of the Sphere was written, I think, and technically I did have a part-time job that summer so this may be the first genuinely job-free summer since early in high school.

So, therefore, knowing that my one real responsibility all summer long during the weekdays will be to get the boy to his summer camp and pick him up a few hours later, I would like to do each or at least most of the following things every day until school starts again, excepting weekends and major holidays:

  • Eat something vaguely resembling breakfast;
  • Write a blog post;
  • Write a minimum of 500 words fiction and preferably 1500;
  • Be showered and dressed by 10 AM, if not before I take the boy to camp;
  • Once a week, at least, put something on Patreon, preferably a microfiction or excerpt from item #3 up there;
  • Play video games (yes, I have to schedule this);
  • Clean and/or organize and/or maintain something;
  • Move around a bit somehow so I don’t gain 300 pounds in the next two months;
  • Spend an hour reading, and time before bed doesn’t count.

So far today I have done all but three of those things, and I’m betting you can guess which three if you’ve been around here for more than a couple of weeks.

I want a new book ready by Kokomo-Con X in October. And unlike my last several I want to launch this one right. That’s only gonna work if I get to work now.

Anybody wanna take bets? Let’s take bets.

STATUS: Ridden Hard, Put Away Wet

So we ended up going with Pair #2, against the advice of virtually every single person who voted except for my entire actual family, all of whom preferred this pair– and since my wife, in particular, who has to look at my face a lot more often than y’all do, liked these the most, that was what we went with.

But man, do I look raggedy right now.

That face is the face of a man who has just completed his fifteenth year of working in schools, and who is mildly surprised that it only turned out to be fifteen when he sat down and did the math. In accordance with tradition, I’m completely and utterly fucking exhausted and I plan to sit in my chair for a couple more hours and then go to bed.

Oh, and I got rehired for my job. So … good news, I suppose? Sure.

In which it’s almost ready

I did promise that I’d post a picture of the pool once it was actually full. The boy has been in it, briefly, but right now we’re making sure all the chemicals are balanced and shit before making it official. We will probably be swimming in it by Monday or so.

(Oh, also: don’t look straight down into a gallon container of muriatic acid to see if you’ve poured out half of it or not. Bad idea! Bad! Don’t do that!)

Anyway. Pool:

I am buying a new ladder today, one more suited for a man of my … robustness, and I plan on spending most of the rest of the day staring at this thing while it sucks all the little tree thingies out of the water. It’s fucking hypnotic, I tell you:

Three more days

…well, five, actually. But I’m not going to work tomorrow and day five is a teacher work day. So three more days, with the kids, for me, specifically.

I can do this.

So here’s a thing I’m thinking about


Anybody ever heard of the Lilly Endowment’s Teacher Creativity Fellowships?  I found out about them on Facebook the other day– it’s a $10,000 grant given out to 100 teachers across the state of Indiana for the rather nebulous purpose of “creative projects that are personally renewing and intellectually revitalizing to individual Indiana teachers and education professionals.”

In other words, ten grand for writing a grant proposal about a creative way to fucking relax during the six weeks of the summer.  And they even say that if your budget for your relaxing thing doesn’t add up to ten grand you can designate the rest as a stipend.  Here’s some examples of some of the crazy nonsense that people got handed ten grand for this year.  These are all direct quotes from the website:

  • travel to Costa Rica to dive on a coral reef; study environmental conservation; learn to speak Spanish
  • “Hooked on Becoming a Nova Scotia Hooker”—attend workshops in Nova Scotia to learn wool dyeing and rug hooking; visit textile-arts museums in Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine
  • travel the country, taking lessons from master guitarists in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine and Hawaii; write songs and post a blog; record new songs written during the journey
  • create artwork from debris found while scuba diving and beachcombing; participate in workshops in Oregon and California that promote using trash to make artwork
  • attend workshops in Montana and Oregon to learn landscape quilting; visit and photograph four national parks; prepare quilts of national park scenes
  • visit historic sites in France, Greece and Italy; capture images of sites using high-dynamic range photography and video techniques

I swear I’m not cherry-picking the ridiculous ones, guys; the recipients are listed by alphabetical order by the city they’re from and I didn’t get through F.  That last one boils down to go to Europe and take pictures of shit, gimme ten grand.  And it got funded.  That’s insane.

I am pretty damn sure that I can come up with a way to spend someone’s ten thousand dollars this summer.  They apparently have way too much money if they’re giving it away for nonsense like this.  Which means that some of this shit is gonna be mine.