C. A. Casey

Another worthless writers blog

Archive for July, 2007

Sirens Report

Posted by Casey on July 31, 2007

Bj reports that they were creamed–her word–by the Detroit Demolition. She also said they played really well and hopes they win the Championship to keep the title in the west.

Here’s Bj (no. 39) doing her thing on the field. The photograph was taken by Terri Formico, mother of Cornerback, Jamie Formico.

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Update on the Sirens

Posted by Casey on July 30, 2007

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Well the battle for the Western Conference Championship of the IWFL is over. The Detroit Demolition has defeated the Sacramento Sirens for the second straight year.

The Karma just hasn’t been with Sacramento against Detroit for a couple of years–just ask Ticha Penicheiro. Next year will be different . . .

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Saturday Round Up

Posted by Casey on July 28, 2007

First off, the Monarchs won both home games last week. They’re slowly working their way back into the top position in the West.

Monarchs Douse the Sparks

The Thursday morning game was camp day where thousands of kids practice their screaming.

Monarchs to Fever: “Go Fly a Kite” 

When I logged on this morning, a rejection was sitting in my Inbox. It was for the story I sent to a literary magazine. It took them 181 days to decide they didn’t want it. I think that’s probably about average for the more popular lit mags that get a lot of submissions.

As always, when I get a rejection, I take another look at the story. Sometimes I see a couple of things that need tweaking–I never believe a story is ever truly finished. “Finished” is more of a reflection of mood at any given time. This story has had three trips through various magazine slush piles with minor tweakings between trips.

This read through, I spotted something that was probably the fatal flaw of the piece. It was a matter of moving the opening paragraphs to another place in the story where they had more relevance to the story line.

So I went to the markets list, found the next place to send it, and sent it on its merry way.

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Organic Strikes Back

Posted by Casey on July 25, 2007

This is funny and organic . . .

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http://www.storewars.org/flash/index.html

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Update on the Glory Hole

Posted by Casey on July 24, 2007

If it’s raining where you are, send it to California. The drought is getting critical and just giving a dried patch of grass a smoldering look will set it ablaze. In an earlier post, I have a picture of the Glory Hole on Lake Berryessa with lots of water flowing into it.

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This is what it looked like last week . . .

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In other depressing news, the Monarchs have their first home game after the All-Star break. Their first game after the break was against San Antonio–who have swiped the first place position in the Western Conference from the Monarchs. The Monarchs lost. They’ve lost the last three games. They’re playing Los Angeles tonight. If they lose to them, it’ll be beyond embarrassment.

It’s hard to cover a team that’s not a favorite. It was fine when they were the defending champs and made it to the finals for the second year in a row. Now? Not so fun. My favorite teams aren’t winners, but they’re fun, with interesting players on them.

I’m glad the Chicago Sky is breaking out in its second year. Not only breaking out but is becoming everyone’s favorite team to watch because the players are plain entertaining to watch. I’m proud of the team from my home state.

 

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On the Other Hand

Posted by Casey on July 23, 2007

Some people were doing other things besides watching two very exciting WNBA basketball games yesterday (Go, Storm. Go, Sky)

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A friend Pottering in So Cal.

Now that the series is finished, I guess I should make the important decision whether to spend the better part of a month reading it, just so I can understand all the discussion about it.

Should I read it or shouldn’t I?

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That Potter Kid

Posted by Casey on July 22, 2007

I guess the next Harry Potter movie is playing on half the screens of the multi-plex near you and all the bookstores had to re-enforce their floors for the hundreds of copies of the two pound last book in the series.

I guess you can tell from my tone that I’m not one of the excited followers of Harry Potter. Fantasy is my favorite genre to read, but a certain type of fantasy–swords, warriors, grit, realism. Harry Potter is not my cup of tea. I can take highly exaggerated British whimsy and eccentricity only so far. I tried to read the first book but got bored three-quarters of the way through and really had problems with the writing.

I’ve seen all the movies, except the most recent one. I’ll most likely see it some time. I absolutely hated the last movie–sorry, I don’t know enough about the series to remember its name. In fact, I can’t even remember anything about it, except it was excruciating to watch and I couldn’t wait to get out of the theater.

Now, on the other hand, I enjoyed the movie with the map–mostly set in winter. I loved the look of it and the distinctive European feel that came from the director.

So I hope the series ends in a satisfactory manner for all you fans. I’m sure Rowling is relieved that she never has to write another word about Mr. Potter and his world. And she never has to write another word or do anything else that resembles work ever again. It must be nice to be the first person to become a billionaire from writing books.

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Oh, no . . . they have a blog

Posted by Casey on July 20, 2007

Remember this?

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Well, these guys have a blog:
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World

Vegans love to have their fun.

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Shall We Pray?

Posted by Casey on July 19, 2007

This little critter visited the front fence today . . .

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Return to Nature

Posted by Casey on July 17, 2007

We returned to the place next to the lake, armed with binoculars and camera. The most entertaining critter to come out and play was an otter. Unfortunately it was too far away for a good photo.

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So here are a few snapshots, taken with my digitally-challenged digital camera, which is now just like an old 35mm SLR. Manual focus and everything. I’m surprised the photos came out as well as they did.

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And of course we went home by way of Winters . . .

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Sirens in Detroit

Posted by Casey on July 16, 2007

SportsPageMagazine has pictures from the Sacramento Sirens-Seattle Majestics game.

BJ has clarified the Sacramento Sirens’ game in Detroit:

“Yes we will be playing Detroit in Detroit. We lost to Detroit last year, but this time we are even more determined to WIN. Detroit won this week due to a forfeit by Kansas City. The good news is that they will not have played a team in a month by the time we play them. That could be to our advantage.”

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There seems to be a Karmic connection between professional womens’ team sports and Detroit, except Detroit is a part of the Eastern Conference in the WNBA and a part of the Western Conference in the IWFL.

Good luck, Sirens. Hope you do better than the Monarchs did against the Detroit Shock last year.

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Congrats to the Sacramento Sirens

Posted by Casey on July 16, 2007

The Sacramento Sirens beat Seattle 29 to 12. Next stop, Detroit on July 28th, to battled for the Western Conference Championship.

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Go Sirens!!

The Monarchs lost again Thursday night. Here are the bloody details . . .

Monarchs Scorched By the Sun

The title says it all.

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Getting Over the Blues with Blue Moon Ale

Posted by Casey on July 16, 2007

There’s a nasty, dark little beastie that lives inside my brain. It crawled in there when I was born from the Casey mix of the genetic soup. It can crawl out and pull a dark curtain over my world in a matter of minutes. It’s all chemical, so it doesn’t matter the season (that little problem–called SAD–is the other little beastie that lives inside my brain), it doesn’t matter what’s going on in my life or the world, the only thing that triggers that critter is a specific change in my brain’s chemistry.

People who suffer from this kind of depression don’t like to talk about it because no one can really understand what these episodes are like, unless they experience them. It’s the kind of thing you never want to experience ever again, but you know you will and that’s, well, a very depressing thought.

Anyway, this is the only time I’ll refer to this beastie in this blog because I don’t like to talk about it, but I mention it now because it decided to come out and play with my sanity this week and it all led up to the events I do want to talk about . . .

So Wednesday afternoon I was an emotional mess and a friend said, “come on, we’re going for a ride.” We went out into the country headed for Lake Solano Park (which charges a fee) and we passed a road and I said, “Have you ever seen the lake from that road? You can get out and walk and it’s free.” Well, “free” was the magic word and we went to where the lake met the road and parked.

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We found a bench that was cracked down the middle, but was surprisingly sturdy and sat and just soaked up nature. We sat there for a couple of hours, taking a wonderful mental vacation.

We watched a couple of young women fish their kayaks out of the lake. The banks were so steep, they had to swim for them and drag them up. We watched the black and white dragonflies and a bright red one dart about.

The most interesting thing were the birds. There was a pair of baby ducks running across the water, their wings sounding like a paddle engine. Their parents floated nearby, keeping an eye on them. Vaux’s Swifts chattered and darted around the opposite shore. Swifts are birds without a care in the world as they entertain each other with acrobatic whirls and dives. The occasional Great Egret, Anhinga, and Great Blue Heron skimmed across the water in search of a meal. Turkey Vultures floated on the thermals.

And then there was the Osprey. It circled high above the lake and then dove into the water. It didn’t catch a fish on the first try and flew out of sight toward the dam for the Putah Creek Canal. It flew back and circled over the same spot and dove. We couldn’t tell if it caught a fish, but it wobbled as it flew close to the water to the trees, like it was carrying something. The third time it came around, it dove closer to the middle of the lake and a fish dangled from its claws as it triumphantly flew away.

It was getting on toward six and hunger took us up the road to the small historic town of Winters. The whole way there looked like this:

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Walnut and almond groves for as far as the eye could see.

Winters is a quaint town with a restored downtown. They’re trying to turn it into an artists’ colony of sorts and it’s the gateway to nearby parks and lakes. Bicycling is big on the windy hills between Vacaville and Winters. It doesn’t matter the day of the week or time of day, I’ve never driven on those country roads without meeting up with at least one cyclist.

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So where did we go in this wonderful quaint town after a couple of hours of communing with nature? Here . . .

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. . . of course. It’s a typical California Irish Pub. Small, dark wood interior, bar, couple of tables, couple of video games . . . this one had a couch and a couple of overstuffed chairs in front of the window. Sole purpose is to drink and socialize.

My friend had a Corona. I’m an ale, not lager, person, so I asked what ales they had. The young lady on the stool next to me pointed to a tap with a blue moon on it. She explained it as having a wheatie taste that was cut with a slice of orange. Sounded interesting enough to me so I got one. Very nice. The orange mellowed out the taste.

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So we sat there talking to the young lady behind the bar and her mom, who owns the place, was playing one of those video games and she explained how much take they got from having it in the bar, except most of the money was theirs because they played it so often.

The girl next to me and the one behind the bar talked about the glory hole near the dam on Lake Berryessa. How only one of the three people who ever jumped into it survived.

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They also talked about the time emergency vehicles whined through town when they were younger and how a bunch of them followed the vehicles out to the dam. The big emergency was a couple of climbers stuck on the bluff over the dam. They were too scared to move up or down.

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I couldn’t help but think about when I grew up near the Shawnee National Forest which was full of deep hollows with tall climbing bluffs. Rock climbing and rappelling are major outdoor activities in Southern Illinois. They were always rescuing people off the bluffs there.

We were still hungry so we walked around downtown until we came to a Chinese restaurant. Good food. Good company . . . Just what the doctor ordered. Thanks, friend.

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Sports Sunday

Posted by Casey on July 8, 2007

Sunday is my day off and this is the perfect Sunday. Federer and Nadal are battling away the morning in the Wimbledon finals. Then there’s a WNBA double-feature all afternoon, starting with the Monarchs going against New York and then Taurasi and the Mercury against the bad girls of the WNBA, Detroit.

Speaking of the Monarchs, here are the links to the reports for the last two home games:

Monarchs Soaked By the Sky

Monarchs Declaw the Lynx

I don’t think the editor touched either one of them much, if at all. One of the challenges for writers who has to work with an editor who has a very different style is to figure out how to find that medium between the two styles without actually changing one’s style. I’m working on it.

Congrats to Venus Williams on her fourth Wimbledon win. She was my second favorite player — after Mauresmo — in the draw, so I’m happy.

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Okay, okay

Posted by Casey on July 6, 2007

I know I should to be posting links to my latest articles on the Monarchs. I haven’t brought myself to reading them yet. I’m beginning to dread the little surprises the editor can’t resist adding.

Also the thermometer outside the door says 114 degrees. My internal circuitry starts to malfunction at 105 degrees.

In the meantime, I ran across this:

Your computer: In Irish! [As Gaeilge!]

Brings back memories for me. A friend and I spent the summer between high school and college teaching ourselves Irish. Yeah, I hung out with a wild and crazy bunch. She went on to live in Cambodia helping refugees find relatives, helping rid the country of violence, and fighting human trafficking. I, well, never mind.

This is all I remember from our lessons. I also took the opportunity to try out a new piece of audio software. Works quite nice:

Tá an bóthar díreach

It means “the road is straight.” The book we used was filled with all kinds of useful phrases like that. Another one–and I can’t remember the Irish for it– was “The men are breaking stones on the road.” I never knew my ancestors had such an obsession with roads.

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Sigh

Posted by Casey on July 4, 2007

 

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It’s a sad day at Wimbledon. Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo was playing beautiful tennis in the previous rounds and nearly won Eastbourne. Grass is her best surface but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be this year.

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Heroic

Posted by Casey on July 2, 2007

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At Wimbledon, Serena Williams went down with what looked like a severe cramp in her match against Daniela Hantuchova. Williams won the first set 6-2 and was tied 5-5 in the second set. After being attended to for ten minutes, she managed to get back to her feet. She let Hantuchova finish serving the game and win. She came out of the timeout with the calf tightly wrapped and won the next game with sheer power and determination. The last point an ace and a loud scream.

Everyone was praying for the imminent rain to begin. As Mary Carillo put it, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I wish it’d start raining at Wimbledon.” To which John McEnroe responded, “Well said, Mary.”

Serena limped around the court for the tiebeaker and mercifully the rain started. Maybe for the first time in Wimbledon history the crowd actually applauded and cheered the coming of the rain.

She came back three hours later in sweat pants to keep the calf warm and won the match 6-2, 6-7, 6-2.

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In Our Own Image

Posted by Casey on July 1, 2007

Okay. What do I do to relax? Art. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always painted and drew. Even though I spent my childhood pursuing music and being known as a musician, my family thought my real talent was in art. I flipped a coin before college and decided to major in music. Then I spent all my breaks painting and my music sketch books (I was a composition major) were filled with as many drawings as musical themes and harmonic structures.

Sometimes I think I made the wrong choice of majors, but music was where my heart was at the time. So I pursued art as an avocation and took many classes over the years.

So I have some ideas rolling around in my chaotic brain and I wanted to do some sketches of kids without using any references. Just playing around until I got something that looked like a kid and going from there. When I was finished, I studied my result and saw something startling in the little girl staring back at me.

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I was looking at me as a kid. Tomboyish, athletic, stubborn, curious. It was kind of scary that my subconscious could conjure that image so easily. Sometimes I really miss that kid . . .

And I just can’t stop playing . . . computers make great coloring books.

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Hey BJ!!

Posted by Casey on July 1, 2007

Didja win?

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Yep!! 

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