Monday, October 31, 2011

Out of the Frying Pan...



...and into the fryer.


NaBloWriMo
ends today. Just in time to give me time to shovel out a path to my door for the trick-or-treaters (True story) before the madness that is NaNoWriMo begins.



I think most of you out there in the blogosphere know what NaNoWriMo is but here's a brief recap, just in case:

30 days has November and in those thirty days, I am going to attempt to write a 50,000 word novel. That's 1,667 words a day for you math geeks. I started doing this in 2009 when I wrote a chick lit novel. In 2010, I wrote a YA urban fantasy. And both years I started off with nothing more than my intended genre and a name for my main characters. With the help of my leftover Halloween candy, (some say I overbought on purpose but I say you can't prove it. Unless you actually saw all the bags in which case... shut up.) I stayed up all night so that I could begin writing promptly at midnight. I typed my main character's name into my word processing program and then went, "okay. Now I just need 49,998 more words!"

Or main characters with much longer names...

This year I had originally intended to write a suspense novel. I even blogged about it earlier this year. Maybe in September. I don't know; it doesn't really matter. The point is, I felt even less about that proposed story than I did my previous NaNoWriMo projects so I've stuck that idea on the back back burner and instead have decided to write the next installment of my wildly popular (with the two people who have read it) fantasy series, The Coileáin Chronicles.

So I'm feeling good. I'm feeling very excited because for the first time, I'm going into NaNoWriMo (13 hours and counting!) with more than just a genre and main character. I have a title that will stick (unless I think of something I like better). I actually know where I want the story to start. I actually know where I want the story to end. Of course I have no idea what's going to happen in between those things or if, once I get going with the writing part, if the story will actually end where I thought it would because sometimes it doesn't.

But I can't wait to find out.

Are you NaNoWriMo-ing this year? Did you write an outline or are you just winging it like me? Looking for NaNo buddies (and thank you to the people who have added me! I'm very excited to have NaNo buddies!!)? You can find me using the very clever handle "M.J. Fifield." You can view my profile HERE.

Good luck to everyone!!

Oh, and just one last thing before I go... one of my Facebook friends posted this picture on her profile and since I found it (slightly naughty) hysterical and timely, I stole borrowed it to post here:



I'm guessing it works for New Hampshire too... Now, I'm off to shovel that path! Happy Halloween, all. Be safe.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

One Day More



Tomorrow’s the last day of the NaBloWriMo and, to be honest, I’m a little relieved. It was exhausting trying to write a post that maybe didn’t suck every damn day. It was especially difficult the last few days when I spent a good deal of time looking at this blinking little cursor and thinking, “Yep. I’ve got nothing.”

But now it’s almost done. I have something planned to post tomorrow. The challenge will be over and I will have achieved my goal. All good things. And then there are even good things are on the horizon. Some of which I’ll be talking about tomorrow.

But today, I shall tell you that I’m totally making progress in my WIP. Well, progress for me anyway. I’m sure for a normal person, it would be a slow day. But I’ll take it. I’ve been writing a battle scene and while I’ve swinging a variety of pointy objects around (read: swords), my office I haven’t yet broken any lamps (or anything else for that matter). I did, however, manage to injury myself. I’ve hurt my back. I’m not exactly sure how I did it because it wasn’t like an instantaneous thing. But it gets weirder because I wrote a bit in the battle scene where a character gets stabbed in the exact same place where I am now injured.

I mentioned this to The Man and proposed a pain killer induced theory about how maybe I’m so devoted to my craft that whatever I inflict upon my characters, I inadvertently inflict upon myself. The Man’s response?

“Great. Write a sex scene, would you?”

Oh, and one more thing…

For anyone and everyone who might have been singing a certain song from a certain AWESOME Broadway musical (and also for those of you who maybe don’t know what song this blog post references), here you go:







This video’s from the 10th anniversary performance. I was originally going to use a clip from the 25th anniversary performance but then I realized that one of the Jonas Brothers (I can’t tell them apart) is playing Marius and I just can’t take that seriously. But I have made a new goal: get invited to perform (as Eponine or one of the tee shirt wearing chorus members. I’m not picky) at their 30th anniversary performance. I sing so much better than the Jonas Brothers.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

TV Talk (Week Ending 10/28/11)



Sunday

The Amazing Race: Teams made their way around Thailand, ride elephants, go swimming in ponds, dismantle a spirit house, go broke trying to pay their taxi drivers and feed some fish in this episode. Ernie and Cindy are this week's recipients of the Ugly American award for trying to foist American money on their cabbie and then telling him, "I can't believe you're doing this to us. You were a terrible driver!" over and over again when he takes issue with the currency. Laurence is proving himself to be kind of an idiot when he tells his son they don't need to take notes over where things on the spirit house are and then tells his son not to whine when it turns out they did need to take notes on that whole spirit house thing. Amani and the Colts guy (maybe next week I'll remember both their names) come in first. The snowboarders scare me but ultimately come in fifth. The twins, after screeching over the elephants, shoveling baskets of elephant dung and scamming a pair of free cab rides, come in last. Again. And this time, they're both eliminated from the race.

Once Upon A Time- A new show on ABC, one of a pair of fairy tale themed series to hit the air. It wasn't bad. It had a pretty decent sword fight so I liked that so I'll probably check out next week's episode.

The Walking Dead: Best zombie kill (and only, as it turns out) was the totally awesome Darryl saying (to a walker), "Shut up," and then shooting it in the head with his crossbow. (By the way, I'm totally investing in a crossbow and a large arsenal of bolts so I'm fully prepared when the zombie apocalypse occurs.) Darryl is frakking awesome. When the zombie apocalypse occurs, I want to be in his group. Not only did he save Andrea again, he raised everyone's morale revolving around the still missing Sophia and then swooped in and had the antibiotics to save T-Dog's arm. Darryl is king. As for the rest of the group...well, let's not bother with them. Eventually they'll get off the zombie highway and make their way out to the farm where everything will go horribly wrong. Oh, and Shane and Otis (aka the idiot who shot Carl) are dumb. So very dumb. They were so smart about getting into the FEMA trailer. Why were they so dumb getting out of it? Oh, and one other thing... WHEN THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO FIND OUT WHAT JENNER SAID TO RICK AT THE CDC?!?!?!?!?!?

Monday

How I Met Your Mother: I was so excited to see James back in the mix and then very disappointed that he disappeared so damn quickly. Most of this episode just wasn't that funny to me. I laughed but that whole thing with the gang's parents was really more creepy than anything. Loved Barney's line "We decided to wait until she decides to let me have sex with her." Also loved the Weird Al cameo at the end.

Wednesday

(that's right...there wasn't anything on on Tuesday because when the Red Sox aren't playing in it, I don't particularly care about the World Series.)

The Middle: A decent episode. This season's been a tad uneven thus far and I don't like it. Anyway, Sue asks Mike (this episode's MVP) what high school boys want. That whole initial scene where Mike's trying to foist Sue off on Frankie was quite funny. And then, when Sue is dressing in style, his reaction to that was pretty priceless too. The rest of the episode was just...all right.

Modern Family: This episode was a repeat but it still makes me laugh. I don't know about you but the baby cheeses/baby Jesus thing is too damn funny. Next week's episode is new. And involves Cam picking up a woman (and not in a bale of hay kind of way). Can't. Wait.

Happy Endings: Goodness gracious, this show's on fire. Between this and Modern Family, I get quite the laughing work out. Penny and Max's costume was all kinds of awesome and creepy. Max's baby arm movements were so damn funny, especially when Penny was slow dancing with Honest Abe. The ZZ Top Gun costume was genius. As was Alex's comment on Dave's Austin Powers costume: "can't wait to see your Borat costume in nine years." Meanwhile, Brad and Jane head out to the suburbs to house sit and hand out candy. Brad's line (to a kid dressed as a doctor) "Guess you'll have to go St. Elsewhere" was hysterical. I love this show so much.

Psych: The vampire episode! This week's guest stars were Kristy Swanson, Corey Feldman and Tom Lenk. And some other people but whatever. God, Gus and Shawn crack me up. Their vampire costumes were a riot as was the line, "No one remembers Blacula except for us and Quentin Tarantino." The name of the bagel place "Lock, stock and two toasted bagels" really is the greatest name for a bagel place ever. And then there was Carlton's confession that he's spent years working up a tolerance to chloroform...I had a Princess Bride flashback there.

Thursday

The Big Bang Theory: The cold opening to this episode was fantastic. I laughed particularly hard at the bit where Sheldon was looking at the "see you in hell Sheldon" message on the walls and said, "the only thing scary about this is the missing comma" or whatever it was. It was hysterical because I had just thought: "they're missing a comma there." And I completely relate to Penny having to buy lots of Halloween candy because she keeps running out. I have the same problem.

Vampire Diaries: Two questions: why does the town keep throwing these big town festivities and why do people keep showing up? They always end up with the townfolk in body bags. It makes me think of the line from the episode "Anne" in season three of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Larry (who was killed by the mayor by the end of the season) says, "This is our year, I'm telling you. If we can focus, keep discipline, and not have quite so many mysterious deaths, Sunnydale is gonna rule!" Anyway, in this episode, ghosts run rampant through the town. They're gone by the end of it and I hope that's a permanent sort of thing because I was getting a little tired of it. I mean, it was awesome when Lexi showed up and pushed Stefan into that car (he doesn't do uncaring jackass nearly as well as my main crush Damon does) but I'm over the ghost thing now and am ready to move on. And here's hoping Damon has a much easier (and shirtless) time next week.

Community: Their Halloween episode. I thought it started off all right and then crumbled by the end. I liked how Britta's party appetizers were fruit loops (that's my kind of cooking) and I liked how the scary story telling started. The radio newscast in the Britta and Jeff making out in the car scene was quite funny as was Abed's version of the story. I enjoyed Troy and Abed as the top gun fighter pilots and Pierce's line, "I thought I heard something awesome out there!" There was also a great sight gaga of Britta reading "Warren Piece" but then the Dean and Chang appeared and the episode stopped being funny.

Parks and Recreation: Andy and April host a Halloween party and don't tell Ben about it before hand. Ben is, I think, my favorite character. Ron is a close second. I loved it when he asked Andy for the tool box and Andy gives him a plastic grocery store bag containing a hammer, half a pretzel and a flashlight full of jelly beans. The hilarity only increased when Ron then went to Lowe's for proper tools and, when asked by an employee if he needed help, he replied, "I know more than you."

Friday

Congratulations to the St. Louis Cards on their World Series win.... all right, so maybe I watched a little of the Boston-less series...

Chuck: Hey, look. It's back. For its last season, I guess. I've watched this show from the beginning and I've enjoyed it but I will say that I am very disappointed that the series did not end with last season's episode where Chuck proposed to Sarah in the hospital hallway while Ellie was giving birth to the baby because that was a great finale. I know they unexpectedly got picked up for more episodes so, fine. But then, I think they blew it when they had Sarah on her deathbed and didn't kill her off. I know it's dark but it would've made for a much more interesting storyline. As it is, I'm not totally sold on wanting to see more.

Grimm: People who were involved in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are involved in this show so, as a practicing Whedonite, I am obligated to check it out. It's not a bad show. I'm not totally sold on it yet but I'm not violently opposed to watching it (like One Tree Hill for example) either.

Supernatural: I'm so close to being caught up. I made it almost all the way through the episode where Cordelia is married to Spike and they're both witches. See, kids? Progress!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Flurries With a Side of Flowers




Well, we had our first snowfall last night. It's gone now (except for in the mountains... to your left, you can see what Mt. Washington looked like this morning) but still, we had our first snowfall and The Man spent the evening trying to convince me to move south. His latest compromise is for us to go south for the winter and then return to the Mount Washington Valley in the spring like we're a band of Canadian geese or his grandparents.

I told him I'd think about it. It'll keep him quiet for a couple of days... But for my out-of-New England readers, tell me what are your winter months like? I'm in the market for a winter home...


But as a result of the snow, however fleeting (this time...), I wanted to post some pictures from a happier time. A time when The Man complained about it being too damn hot. A time of colorful blooms and carefree dreams. That's right... Summertime.


The following are pictures I've taken of flowers in a variety of places. Some actually came from my "garden" (yes, I have to use sarcastic air quotes when I talk about my garden. If I posted a picture of the whole thing, you'd understand). Well, most of them are from my "garden". There are a couple pictures I'm going to include from the Bellagio Botantical Gardens (the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas) because they're just damn pretty.


Enjoy!


My hostas. No, really!


My hydrangeas. For real!


Day lillies

I don't remember what this flower's called. I found it at the Bellagio Botantical Garden and thought it was waaaaaaay interesting.



Iris, taken in Moscow







Thursday, October 27, 2011

Twist!


In the (completely wonderful and amazing) movie, Stranger Than Fiction, Emma Thompson's character says, "Like anything worth writing, it came inexplicably and without method."

She was talking about the solution to a problem she was having her with novel. She spends much of the movie trying to work out one tiny little detail (well, not so tiny. It was pretty major actually) and then the solution just comes to her out of nowhere and is absolutely perfect for the story.


Well, this is what happened to me this morning. I had a couple of quandaries where my WIP was concerned that I just couldn't work out. I had to get my characters from A to B but I couldn't work out a good enough reason for them to go to B. I had a lot of lame ass reasons but I wanted a really good reason. I don't much care for Deus Ex Machina and I like to avoid it when at all possible. I had a list of possible explanations written in my notebook (in full and complete sentences, mind you) but none of them was the right one. One of them inadvertently led me to the right answer though so it was good to know that page in my notebook was not written on in vain.


As with many of my Eureka! moments, this one happened in the shower. I was somewhere between shampoo and conditioner when it struck me and I had stop myself from screaming to The Man to come running in with a notebook and a pen to scribble down my brilliance lest it be washed down the drain with the cream rinse.


(That's what I have bathtub markers for. Even if they turn my grout blue. Bluish.)


And, what's more is that this one solution opened up a gateway that I thought might have been rusted shut because it's been so long since anything good has come through it. Before the shower was over, I managed to solve another problem I was having with the book. Of course, the solution for this second problem had the misfortune of creating a new problem but it's not one I have to worry about solving right away. And, if it turns out that I'm wrong, there's always tomorrow's shower.


And then, as if solving two problems (and creating a third) weren't enough, I came up with a twist. A big ass twist for the series. One that will make all four of my fans go "Wait...what?" and then when they realized what just happened, it will make them go, "Nooooooooooooooo!"


I'm really looking forward to it.


I hope I can not screw up the rest of the series so I can employ the big ass twist because I am really excited about it. I really, really want to tell you about it too. I really, really want to tell someone about it (mostly because I'm a little afraid I'll never get it written beyond the notes in my notebook stage and it's too good to waste) but I hate spoilers so I guess I'll just have to tell the Dynamic Duo about it when everyone else is sleeping.


It's a really good one. I'm not exactly sure how I'll write it yet but I am really looking forward to giving it a go because it's that good. It's exciting and it's made me excited about writing it, and writing in general. This last bit is especially good because it's been a while since I've been excited about writing.


Excuse me while I do a little happy dance.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Casting Call Character Blogfest


The Casting Call Character Bloghop is brought to us by Carrie Butler, Melodie Wright and Lisa Regan.

It's easy and fun and comes with the chance to win a three chapter critique. Intrigued? Well, it's not too late to sign up... here's what you have to do:

1. Go to Carrie's blog and sign up.

2. Create a blog post introducing us to some of your characters (use photos, drawings, blurbs, excerpts, book trailers--whatever strikes your fancy--but be creative!)

3. Hop around to other peoples' casting calls and meet some new characters!


Since I can't draw (except for ungainly stick figures) or have no idea how to create a book trailer (but I am in awe of those who do), I'm going with the "here's the celebrity I would cast in a major motion picture production of my novel" route, except I don't really have particular celebs in mind. Just pictures that capture certain moods. Maybe not the most creative choice but, come on, do you really want to look at a bunch of stick figures?

That's what I thought.

The novel is Effigy, of course. Effigy is the start of the Coileáin Chronicles, a female centric, character driven, swords and sorcery fantasy series that tells the tale of the Coileáin sisters and the role each plays in an epic struggle between good and evil. The first installment follows the path of the eldest sister, Haleine. Here's a run down of the main characters and pictures I've chosen to represent them:

Haleine Coileáin: She's eighteen, she's beautiful, smart and determined to do the right thing for her people, regardless of the cost. I don't have a particular celebrity in mind but I've always liked this picture:

from "The Wind at Hastings" by Royo Luis

Dana: Dana is the nameless, landless bastard who comes to lead a rebellion against the king (Haleine's husband). He's handsome and charismatic. He meets Haleine and the pair fall in love, complicating everything, just like a good love story should.



James ap Seoras: James is Dana's lifelong friend and second in command of the rebellion. He starts out serious and grows even more so during the course of the novel. He's moody and sarcastic but devoted entirely to his cause. I've always envisioned him kind of like this:


Omur: Omur is the novel's resident bad guy. Sure, Haleine's husband is not at all a good guy but he's really a minor character whose puppet strings are being worked by Omur, the true mastermind of evil in this novel. He's older and a mage (though not some conjurer of cheap tricks...) and, you know, straight up evil. I don't want to insult any celebrities (but if Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Irons or Alan Rickman were interested, I'd cast you in a heartbeat) by posting their picture here so I'll just go with this guy:



Revelin Maoilriain: Haleine's childhood love, Revelin is the prince of Haleine's homeland. He remains in love with her, even after she's given in marriage to another and even after she begins her affair with Dana. Revelin's motivation is honor, duty and Haleine. But not necessarily in that order.


Bronagh: Haleine's maid and confidant, Bronagh works tirelessly to protect her mistress. She's tough, she's strong and I've always thought Kate Winslet would be perfect for the part. Of course, Kate Winslet is so awesome that she could have any role she wanted. And I would make it work for her. Because she's that awesome.


And last, but certainly not least, is Willem. Willem is Haleine's guard. He's the strong, silent type and is utterly and completely devoted to her. He's turned out to be really kind of an awesome character.




And WOW. I have done waaaaay too many people but I didn't want to leave some out. As it is, I am leaving characters out but these are the people I really just had to include. If you've stuck around this long, I thank you for it. And I'd also like to extend my gratitude to the hosts of this blogfest. Thanks, ladies. I had a blast!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Work Haiku, Part Two

I don't really think this blog needs an introduction but just in case you're a little confused, I decided a couple of weeks ago to write about my day at work. In the form of a haiku. Because I am just that creative. Or bored. I can never decide which one.

Anyway, the past few days at The Store have been...challenging (to say the least) and so to keep myself sane (saner?) and my co-workers in one piece, I decided to repeat the exercise. This latest batch is a bit...uh...bitchier than the first as my sense of humor disappeared entirely for a while there but it's all good now. And do you want to know why?

The Store has run out of payroll and can't afford to have me on the schedule for the rest of the week.

So here, for your reading pleasure, is a new slate of work haiku...


Someone left Cheetos
Out on the break room table.
I am stealing them.


Someone left Kit Kats
Out on the break room table.
You know what that means.


Cheetos and Kit Kats:
The breakfast of champions
And surly stock girls


Cheetos and Kit Kats:
I am the epitome
Of healthy eating


Basho never wrote
A haiku about Cheetos.
I feel bad for him.


Attention shoppers:
Please ignore the stock girl as
She will not help you.


Best not scare the girl
Balancing on the ladder.
It makes her fall down.


I cannot deal with
The rampant incompetence
Infesting this store.


Stupid jackwagon.
What the hell is wrong with you?
Go work somewhere else.


That protein shake is
Say it with me: Mine, not yours.
So stop touching it.


I don't want to be
Your go-to girl anymore.
Please find someone else.


It's true that I have
A terrible attitude.
Good thing I don't care.


Beware the stock girl
Who has gone deathly quiet.
Nothing good follows.


What a happy day!
The Store ran out of payroll!
I have to go home!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Black Keys

So before I get going on today's Music Monday blog, I just want to say WOW. I seem to have accumulated more than three hundred followers. Truly, everyone, I am flattered. One of these days, I'll do a giveaway when I have a worthy prize. The Man would still like to offer up our cats (particularly the evil one) but I like y'all too much for that.

Thanks for following me!

Anyway...

I was listening to The Black Keys today in the car while I was pondering about what I should post today on My Pet Blog (only a week left in the NaBloWriMo challenge!). I think some things are just meant to be. This duo has become one of my favorite groups. I especially like to listen to them when I get in a certain kick ass kind of mood. And sometimes, I listen to them when I want to get in a certain kick ass kind of mood.

Here are some of my favorite songs:

Sinister Kid





Next Girl






When The Lights Go Out





Chop And Change
(Even if it was featured on the Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack)





And last but not least...

Ten Cent Pistol








Wishing you all a kick ass start to your week!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Books A Million



So The Man seems to think the book population in our house is insane and out of control. I don't know what makes him think that. I mean, sure the number of paperbacks swelled slightly with that whole Borders liquidation event. And yeah, maybe I'm running out of shelf space and have to resort to some creative book storage like:

The back of the sofa

And:

bureau drawers

And:

table tops

But I don't think it's out of control. Sure, my hallway looks like this:

and this:


And the newest bookshelves I purchased now look like this:

And this:


And I have yet another pair of Amazon orders on their way. (Unless The Man's reading this. Then it was the Gator Girl. She can't help herself when it comes to online ordering. Or anything else.) But come on, how is any of that out of control?

Back me up on this, fellow bibliophiles.

But in the interest of harmonious living or whatever, I have accepted the following challenge: Stop buying books. Not for like, all time or anything. Just until the end of the year. I won't lie. The idea makes my stomach hurt and my palms sweat. It's only been a couple of days and already I'm suffering from withdrawal but I can do this.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

How do you think I'll do? Place your bets below!





Saturday, October 22, 2011

TV Talk (Week Ending 10/21/11)




Sunday

The Amazing Race: The teams hang out in Thailand. The snowboarders continue to tear up the rest of the competition. Which is nice because I really do like them. My favorite part of every episode is when the cameras show the locals laughing their asses off over whatever the Americans are trying and failing to do. The twins come in last but it another non-elimination leg.

The Walking Dead: Really wanted to know what was going to happen next so I broke my hard and fast "no zombie tv before bed" rule. I wasn't at all disappointed by this episode and only had to look away during the uber gross autopsy scene. But that ending....oh boy, that ending. How's that for a sign, Rick? But seriously, what the hell?? I haven't read any of the graphic novels upon which this series is based so I have no idea how closely they're following the show but I was not expect that ending. This was the first show this season I think to make me literally jump up and go "WHAT?!?!?!?!" Awe. Some. But then I went to bed and had lots of dreams about zombies coming to eat my brains. So I'll have to watch next week's episode on Monday morning instead. Don't judge me. Or at the very least, don't laugh too hard at me when you see me.


Monday

How I Met Your Mother: We find out the sex of Lily and Marshall's baby. I don't like Kal Penn. Well, I like Kal Penn. I just don't like him on this show.

House: I like Charlyne Yi. I still don't like Odette Annable. Thirteen put in a brief appearance but I think she's off to enjoy a fabulous movie career.


Tuesday

Ringer: So Bridget thinks Henry killed Gemma and Henry thinks Bridget— Sorry, Siobhan killed Gemma. Jason Dohring makes an appearance as Juliet's English teacher in the lame-ass Juliet goes to public school as a punishment storyline. So disappointed that Jason's being wasted. I'd been hoping he would be someone more like Logan Echolls.


Wednesday

The Middle: Brick quotes Shakespeare, Axl tries to scam everyone in order to get out of a Spanish test and Frankie contemplates apartment living. They decide to stay in their house because of their neighbors. Obviously, their neighbors are not my neighbors.

Modern Family: Phil takes Haley to look at colleges. Embarassment ensues. Claire goes out for a night on the town with a guy she thinks is gay but isn't. Embarrassment ensues. Cam and Mitchell get the wrong prius from the valet and meet a scary woman with a bat. Afterward, when they get their car back and the guy says, "So, you met my wife" was my favorite moment. Well that and when Jay was on the phone with the housekeeper trying to find out what was happening on the soap opera.

Happy Endings: Not as totally awesome as last week's episode (but truly that episode was so damn perfect anything following it was bound to be a bit of a letdown) but still damn funny. Loved the part where Penny and Max create their vision boards and Jane said she had a picture of the guys from In Living Color on hers. Max calling the wicket bassinet a 'whisker basket' was just...odd but very funny. This show makes me laugh so damn hard. Jane's line, "I'm not so sure I'm not the universe" is the only line from all my shows this week that I wrote down.

Psych: The boys have a very bad hangover and try to solve a murder they suspect Lassiter of committing. It was pretty funny and all. I especially enjoyed the outtakes at the end but I'm really super focused on next week's vampire episode.


Thursday

The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon's mother comes to visit. Some stuff happened that made me laugh but I honestly don't really remember. I'm really quite tired.

Vampire Diaries: My stupid day job prevented me from watching this week. It's on the DVR and I'll get to it eventually but I hate it— HATE IT— when work gets in the way of my viewing schedule. Especially when it prevents me from watching one of my favorite freaking shows. That's it. I have to quit my job. I really see no other way around it.


Friday

Supernatural: I really, really wanted to watch this week's outing because Charisma Carpenter AND James Marsters guest starred and how freaking awesome is that. But I still haven't caught up yet. I really do need to quit my job.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Jupiter Is Eight Tomorrow!

Jupiter is my niece. As you may have inferred from my oh-so clever title, her birthday is tomorrow and she'll be turning eight years old. So today's Photo Friday is devoted to her. It seems like only yesterday she was this big:


And now, look at her:


Hanging in the hammock


Hiking Mt. Willard



The most stylist hiker ever!


Swimming in the Saco


Happy Birthday, Jupiter! We love you!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Magazine Madness

Dear Music Magazine Which Gathers No Moss:

Stop harassing me.

Stop sending me notice after notice telling me I owe you money because here's the thing... I DON'T OWE YOU MONEY. My subscription is paid up through July 2012 and since it is only October 2011, I don't owe you money. I don't owe you money for another nine freaking months. I could have a baby before I owe you money. I'm not going to have a baby but I'm also not going to give you any money.

Not now. Not in nine months. Not ever.

So just stop. Stop with the paper blitzkrieg invading my home. It's like that scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone where the letters just won't stop showing up no matter what Uncle Vernon does. That particular scene wasn't available on YouTube so I went with this deleted one instead (though in real life I would have nothing to do with eggs):






Oh, and one last thing? In every single one of your letters, you state that my failure to pay what is owed (which is still NOTHING, by the way) has resulted in the suspension of my account, meaning I shall no longer receive current issues of your publication. I just thought you should know that this would make more of an impact if (A) I still gave a shit about receiving current issues of your publication (I don't. I'm over you.) and (B) if one out of every four of these notices wasn't accompanied by THE CURRENT ISSUE OF YOUR FRAKKING PUBLICATION.

So go ahead. Suspend my account. Cancel my account, even because you, my friend, have just joined an exclusive club whose only other member is a certain Railroading Enthusiast magazine.

We. Are. Done.

Yours Truly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day Dream




My Horoscope Today:

A terrific daydream helps you glimpse your future. You envision yourself having a great time achieving one of your life's ambitions. See it over and over. You were meant for this.

And it just so happens that I was having a terrific daydream at work today (which was supposed to have been my day off but whatever...) and it in no way involved me working in retail.

I have various levels of daydreams. Right now, my daydreams tend to involve me having an actual day off and actually sitting down to do some writing. Not very awesome, maybe, but still something I'm looking forward to.

There are the fantasies where I'm quitting my job (That's my retail dream come true.) and there are the ones where I manage to publish a book (notice I didn't say sell a book. Just publish it). Then there are the daydreams where I kick ass like River Tam. Those are a lot of fun.

But today, right before I read this particular horoscope, I was in a much higher class of daydream. The kind where I'm a best selling author who has a fabulous oceanfront summer house on Mount Desert Island and takes leisurely walks on the shore while her dogs (the two I have now, plus two Irish Wolfhounds and one papillion) frolic at her side.

It was a great way to spend my morning while I worked my way through the latest shipment. So glad I wasn't daydreaming about something lame. Even more glad to know that I am totally meant for that.

It's a relief, really. I was starting to think I was meant to unpack cardboard boxes for the rest of my life.

Anyone have any interesting daydreams they care to share with the rest of the class?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Time Off Top Ten

Psst! Over here! Today I'm blogging from underneath the bed in an effort to hide from The Store because I have a couple of days off. In a row. And I'd like to keep them.

So for today's Top Ten, I'm going to offer two lists. The first list is comprised of the ten things I should be doing on my days off. The second list is the top ten things I'll likely end up doing. I think you'll notice a recurring theme in the second list. In my defense, working at The Store this time of year is not unlike have a life sucking leech stuck on a spot on your back that you can't quite reach. It's draining and, honestly, I'm frakking spent.


The Top Ten Things I Should Be Doing

10. Taking the big pile of donations to the thrift store. There's so many of them now, I think I could open my own thrift shop.

9. Raking the yard. There's grass underneath those leaves and pine needles. Or so I'm told.

8. Getting my car fixed. It would be nice to be able to travel outside of a two mile radius again.

7. Paying bills. Oh...that could explain that no-electricity problem we've been having...

6. Cleaning the house.

5. Laundry. The only clean clothes I have left are workout clothes. And not even the stylish kind. More the kind you wouldn't want to be seen wearing at the gym.

4. Taking both myself and the Gator Girl for a jog. We both could use the exercise.

3. Catching up on my reading. I so woefully behind.

2. Editing and Revising. Even though I hate it with the fiery passion of 1,000 burning suns, it still needs to be done.

1. Writing. I have a WIP around here somewhere. Maybe underneath that big pile of dust.


The Top Ten Things I'll Likely End Up Doing

10. Going to work. Sad, but true. I just know how much needs to get done there and how much of it won't get done unless I'm the one doing it. Why did my parents have to instill in me a good work ethic?

9. Watching TV. I still need to get caught up on Supernatural.

8. Lazing about.

7. Lounging.

6. Dozing.

5. Snoozing.

4. Drowsing.

3. Catching some Z's.

2. Sleeping.

1. Oversleeping.


What are some of the things you're hoping to do today?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's Hear It For the Boys

Don't worry. Today I'm not going to bore y'all with another character play list or anything like that but as it is Music Monday here on My Pet Blog, I am going to talk music. I would like to extol the virtues of three artists (well, two solo artists and one quartet) who are currently sitting atop my most played list. They write awesome music with even better lyrics (I'm a lyrics girl after all) and I need them all to write and release more such music so I can have more.

First up is Tom McRae. Tom first popped up on my radar this past summer when his song "You Only Disappear" was used on So You Think You Can Dance. I find the best music on that show. All right, so the choreographers find the best music and then I copy them. But whatever. After the episode was over, I went and downloaded a bunch of his music. His song "My Vampire Heart" made my list of my all-time favorite songs back in January because it's absolutely gorgeous with heart breaking lyrics ("Darling, I'm lost/ adrift in the dark/ clutching your words/ to my vampire heart once more/ So let in the light/ turn me to dust/ If it don't end in blood shed/ it's probably not love") that make it a perfect song for a couple of my characters.




Additional Recommended Listening:

"Told My Troubles To The River"
"Me & Stetson"
"The Boy With The Bubble Gun"


The second artist on my list is David J. Roch (he doesn't seem to have a dedicated website but you can find him on Facebook). Like Tom McRae, I found David through So You Think You Can Dance. Melanie and Marko danced to his song "Skin and Bones" which led me to other fantastic songs such as "Yours" (another song with perfectly embodies the same two characters I mentioned before). There doesn't seem to be a YouTube video for this song so I'm going to go with this one instead:




Additional Recommended Listening:

"Yours"
"Hell Followed"
"Bones"


Last, but certainly not least, is the group Mumford & Sons. I actually first read about them in a certain music magazine which I shall be ranting about later on in the week. Their album, Sigh No More, is truly fantastic and is constantly in the CD player in my car. There isn't a single track on that album I don't like but the video I'm going to post here is a track that isn't found on that album. Truth be told, I can't find the damn track anywhere and I want it desperately. The song is called "Liar."



Additional Recommended Listening:

"White Blank Page"
"Little Lion Man" (there's the clean version and the not-as-clean version. I bet you can guess which one I like...)
"I Gave You All"
"Thistle And Weeds"
"Dust Bowl Dance"



So that does it for me today. What's on the top of your music list?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fun At Work



Well, all right. This post should really be called 'Fun At Work For Me'. Because all this post is going to prove is just how big a word nerd I really am. You know, in case you were still somehow unclear about that.

My last two shifts at The Store, I have amused and distracted myself by writing all about my day. In haiku form. Some of these made my Twitter feed and Facebook page. Those would be the ones I managed to sneak in via my so-called smart phone when Management wasn't hovering around enforcing their no-cell-phones-while-you're-on-the-clock policy because apparently, they don't pay me to tweet or update my facebook status.

Whatever, Management.

The point is, I had a blast doing this. I really did. While The Man didn't seem to think it was a very good use of my time (This coming from the guy who routine has discussions with his co-workers on such deep topics like whether it is advisable to date robots), I'll probably do it again sometime. Maybe with limericks.

You should probably consider yourselves warned.

And now, for your reading enjoyment (provided you're still reading this), my day in haiku:


Heading off to work
Sometimes I think this job will
Be the death of me.

I am so tired.
Maybe I'll take a nap on
This stack of cardboard

Never mind cardboard
I forgot about all the
new down comforters.

New down comforters
Make a much better place to
Take a nice long nap.

Wait...did I say nap?
Because what I meant to say

Was...No, I meant nap.

Creepy customer
Just won't stop staring at me
Can I help you, sir?

Oh, wall of cardboard
Do you never shrink in size?

Please stop mocking me.

Are you kidding me?
It's only been an hour?
It feels much longer.

A box labeled 'heads'
Arrived at the store today
Scared to open it.

I think the time clock
Is really moving backwards.
This shift will not end.

Feeling shaky now.
Maybe skipping lunch was not
Such a good idea.

Stupid co-worker
Why must you annoy me so?
Please go away now.

Haven't done much work
Wonder if that would change if
I stopped writing poems.

I don't know why but
The new henley shirts smell bad
Where's my hazmat suit?

Working in retail
Makes me so very glad I
Bothered with college

My co-worker is
The most annoying person.
I want to punch her.

It's time to punch out
And run screaming for the hills
See you all next time...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

TV Talk (Week Ending 10/14/11)



Sunday

The Amazing Race: Teams continue to hang out in Indonesia. They ride bikes through the streets where the snowboarders show off their daredevil skills and Cindy shows just how ill-equipped she is to actually be on this show. Seriously, I'm worried for her because if she was freaking out this much over a broken pedal, what is she going to do when she ends up with a completely inept cabbie? Will her head actually explode? I think it might. In other news, the father/son explorer team need to better read their clues (and listen when another team tells them "you need to read your clues, man." Marcus and Marcus's wife (I want to call her Armani but I know that's not right) need to pay better attention when a team GIVES YOU THE ANSWERS to the roadblock. But in the end, it doesn't matter because somehow the Vegas Showgirls are eliminated.

Monday

How I Met Your Mother: Not their best episode, but still came with some funny moments. Most notably Barney's Ewok slides and the argument between Ted and Barney over Edward James Olmos vs. Jacob James Olmos. I have to go on the record as saying that I do not like Ewoks. But, like Norah, it can likely be contributed to me not watching Star Wars until my old age set in. I also appreciated Marshall's line "It's a matter of principle. I don't care how good the cake is. I'm not having a third piece!"

Tuesday

Ringer: So Gemma discovers Bridget's secret and then tries to blackmail Bridget into sleeping with Henry so she could accidentally on purpose walk in on them so she could divorce Henry and take him for everything he's got. It turns out he doesn't have much because he's just been dropped by his publisher. Too bad, dude. Bridget tells Henry Gemma's plan and tells him to make it right with her. The end of the episode leads me to believe that he makes it right by killing her. But I'm guessing it's not as clear cut as all that. In other storylines, Juliet returns from Miami, does some more drugs and is sent to public school. Because you won't find any drugs there. Good call, Andrew. One other note: I continue to adore the music they use on this show.

Wednesday

The Middle: So this one time in high school, I received a letter or a phone call or whatever from the National Honor Society telling me I'd be accepted. Then, a little while later, I got a phone call saying I hadn't actually been accepted. They just got me confused with another student because our names were quite similar. I shrugged and said, "whatever" (probably the reason I hadn't been accepted in my own name). My mother took it much harder and went to bat for me (I heart my mom). So I could relate to Sue and the cheerleaders this week. Although high school me never would've even considered trying out for the cheerleading squad. But anyway, this was a much, much better episode than last week's cringefest. This episode was very funny. Loved everyone finding Sue annoying while she was waiting to hear from the cheerleaders. Loved Brick using his bully philosophy on Mike and I loved Axl's dream about the dragon. So glad this show's back on track.

Modern Family: This episode made me laugh so hard, I actually couldn't breathe for a while there. My god, I love Phil. I mean, you knew when Claire left Phil in charge that chaos was going to ensue ("I take my eye off the ball for one minute and I've got one in a coma, one with a black eye and one running a crime ring!") but this was terrific. I also loved his line, "If you want to fly I don't want to be the one to hold your feet to the ground. I want to be the one to push you off the cliff." Loved the boys riding out to get Haley's money back (especially when Cam called, "Shotgun!" and Mitchell's response was, "No! No weapons!" And Luke with his frozen assets? Too damn funny.

Psych: Woo Hoo! Psych is back! God, I love this show. It's so ridiculously awesome. Lassiter giving Shawn the lie detector test was a great scene, especially everyone's reaction after Shawn said he loved Juliet. Did you see Juliet and Gus lean ever so slightly to see what the machine read? I adore how the usual flashback didn't happen until the end of the episode as to not give anything away like it so often does.

Thursday

The Big Bang Theory: It's always a good time when Wil Wheaton stops by. I wish he was still Sheldon's mortal enemy because that's more fun but I'm somewhat flexible. Loved Wil's line, "don't worry. It doesn't take up too much of your time" when Data becomes Sheldon's latest mortal enemy. Didn't care for Bernadette and Howard's storyline very much but let's face it, I watch this show for Sheldon.

Parks & Recreation: This show is freaking genius and as much as I love Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler was robbed of an Emmy for her role on this sitcom. Shit, this is a funny show. I don't really know what else to say. Ron Swanson and April are my surly heroes. Ben was in a Batman costume tonight and I laughed so hard I cried. And then when Ben cried while in the Batman costume, I cried harder. Loved Donna's line (said to Ben. I heart Ben), "What is wrong with you today? Did they cancel Game of Thrones?"

Vampire Diaries: This show is freaking insane. I cannot believe it. I swear, I didn't breathe for like ninety percent of this episode. Are you kidding me? Awesome, awesome, awesome. I do wonder why Caroline still gives a shit about making these school activities perfect. Doesn't she know by now that something will go wrong and that that something is going to make viewers' minds just... explode? Dammit, this is awesome and Sebastian Roche (he played Balthazar on Supernatural) has just joined the cast and I LOVE Sebastian Roche. Almost as much as I love Damon Salvatore.

Community: Finally! A good episode! I've been waiting and waiting and waiting. You know what made this episode so great? There wasn't any Chang anywhere. Nor was there any Dean. There were a lot of awesome laughs to be found, from the pictures hanging on Troy and Abed's wall to Jeff's exclusive club opening invite (a ruse by Abed to make him keep the night open for their apartment-warming) and the seven alternate storylines. I love the unconventional episodes most. And I love Evil Troy and Evil Abed. I'm going to go cut myself out a felt goatee right now.

Friday

Normally this is where I would rave about the Winchesters and whatever feats of awesome they performed this week. But the truth remains that I have yet to watch last week's episode and so I recorded this week's episode but didn't watch it because I don't like watching my shows out of order. I'll get caught up. Eventually. Probably.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pay It Forward Friday


Alex J. Cavanaugh has done it again.

Today's blogfest is all about introducing others to some of the blogs you enjoy. I'm looking at the list of participants Alex has managed to accumulate and I can't wait to check them out. I love how clever people are with their blog titles.

Here are my three blogs:

Ava Quinn at Tongue In Cheek. I don't remember how I first stumbled across this blog but I'm so glad I did. Ava is a fantastically funny person and you never know what you'll find on her blog. It may be strange and some times disturbing (Sorry, Ava, but I found that squirrel boxing thing to be waaaaaaay too creepy...) but it's never boring. She's the first person who wasn't related to me to comment regularly on my blog and for that, madam, I salute you.

Jolene B. Perry at Been Writing?. Jolene's blog is a lot of fun to read. She has a great attitude and a wonderful writing style. Speaking of writing, her first book was recently released and for that, madam, I salute you.

Brent Wescott at Building Castles on the Beach. I like this blog a lot. I like Brent's writing style. And his novel sounds awesome. I hope a publisher picks it up soon because I'd like to read it.

Cole Garrett at Dry Humor Daily. This blog just cracks me up and I really love to laugh. Be sure to check it out if you love to laugh too.

Bonus Shout Outs:

My sister's blog: Our Maine Life

Faerie Mama's blog: Creating My Own Nirvana (this is a truly amazing woman. I don't know how she does it all.)

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Doomed?



I don't wish to seem fatalistic or anything but I don't see success in my immediate future. Below is my horoscope for the day. The first part (like the first eight words) is awesome. The second part is what makes me think I am so very screwed today. But don't take my word for it. You be the judge...

Your talent, good looks and drive are undeniable, and yet they have no bearing on the outcome of the day's events. Your success will depend entirely on your ability to get along with others.

Frak.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Writing Wednesday's Sneak Peek


Today's Writing Wednesday and so I though I might share with you an excerpt from my 2009 NaNoWriMo project. It's tentatively titled "Vinnie and Ellie" although I'm not wild about that title and am trying to come up with something better. I first posted an excerpt of this WIP back in April during the A to Z Challenge. It was the moment where my two main characters first meet. (If you're interested, you can click HERE to read it.) The main character, Lavinia is really rather snarky in that scene (which I hear is how you can tell I wrote something) and a couple of my generous commenters were curious as to the hows and whys behind Lavinia's prickly exterior. This is the scene that explains just that.

But first a little backstory. Before Lavinia (nicknamed Nia) meets the male lead (a cop named Llewelyn, nicknamed Lew), she was in love with another man, Brian, a Boston cop. This is how she became not involved with Brian and developed her "I don't date cops" policy. At the start of this particular scene, Nia has just received word that Lew (who she dates regardless of her policy) has been shot while on duty. So thanks for hanging in there with the exposition portion of this post. I hope you enjoy the excerpt...

I fall apart.

It’s happened once before. Three years ago.

I got the call from Joyce, Brian’s mother. She was an er nurse at the hospital. She was there when they brought him in. Gunshot wounds to his chest, his abdomen. The majority of a clip emptied into him, bullets piercing every part, tearing and destroying a life and a love. Joyce was covered in his blood before she realized who it was.

They pulled her screaming from the room. She called Brian’s father, Kevin. She called me. I was talking about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism in The Great Gatsby when Martha came into my classroom, bearing the message.

I ran.

I drove myself, weaving in and out of traffic with the precision of a professional stunt driver. I parked in the first space I found, not even caring if it was legal or not.

The emergency room was crawling with policemen. They were angry and anxious and the room stank of it. I couldn’t breathe.

Sam Willey, Brian’s partner, was there. He came toward me and I threw myself at him.

“Tell me what happened,” I said. “Sam, you have to tell me what happened. Tell me Brian’s all right.”

“Come on,” he said. He did not say anything else.

We got into the elevator and went upstairs. Surgery. Sam took me down to the waiting room where Joyce and Kevin were sitting. Joyce still wore her blood spattered apricot scrubs. They rose when I entered, Joyce coming to engulf me in a hug.

“Oh, Nia, Nia, Nia,” she said. Sobbed.

I had never heard Joyce sob before.

“He’ll be all right,” I said. Sobbed. “Tell me he’ll be all right.”

She sobbed my name more but didn’t tell me he would be all right.

We sat in that waiting room with its beige walls and blue chairs. We sat there waiting for news. Waiting to find out the fate of that beautiful green eyed boy we loved. My parents arrived. Jeff too. I don’t know who called them. The McFaddyns’ priest, Father Patrick, came too and said his prayers. We all sat together and stared at beige walls and a beige carpet. We stared at the muted television. They kept showing Brian’s face so eventually my father turned off the television and we stared at a white ceiling. We sat for hours. In the waiting room, he was alive. In the waiting room, he was dead. He was Schrödinger’s Cat and we held our vigil, wishing, praying, hoping that the vial wouldn’t break.

But it did anyway.

He died.

I died too.

I shut down.

I went away.

I went home to my empty little house and looked at the shadows and ghosts. I slept, heavily, like the dead, thanks to a pair of sedatives they thought I needed because screaming like a banshee suggested one was disturbed.

Or so they tell me.

I don’t remember screaming. I remember quiet. I remember shadows and ghosts. I remember stumbling downstairs later, one day, two days, I don’t know, and finding my father asleep on my couch. There were flowers everywhere, on every available surface in the living room. There were blooms of every color, an ocean of pigment. Red like the blood on Joyce’s scrubs. I found I couldn’t look at them and so I took them out. I removed every single one from every single vase. I made a pile of them, a beautiful stack of crimson, and I cried.

The dining room table was covered with casseroles. Casseroles were the community’s panacea because macaroni and cheese coated with saltine crackers would cure your ails. Tuna and egg noodles would make everything better. Lasagna and baked ziti, bread and more. There was enough food to feed an army.

But I couldn’t eat. None of us could.

Even at the thought, my stomach lurches.

“Pull over,” I say to Susannah. “Pull over, pull over now.”

She yanks the steering wheel to the right. Cars honk and tires squeal. She hits the brakes and I undo my seat belt and open the door before the car has completely stopped. I vomit again, the sour acidic taste of bile flooding my senses.

When I sit up, I am crying. Susannah rubs my back. She holds out a bottle of water. I take a sip and use it to rinse my mouth. I spit it out onto the pavement.

“I can’t,” I say. “I can’t.”

“You can, you have to,” Susannah says. “But it’ll be all right. They’re not going to take him too. He’s going to be all right. And so are you. And Nancy and Jeff. All of you. It’s going to be all right.”

The wake was the worst part. I had thought the funeral would be the worst. I thought sitting in that damn cathedral surrounded by forlorn bagpipes and a nosy media would be the worst. I thought sitting next to a still sobbing Joyce would be the worst part. Then I thought standing grave side listening to a gunfire salute and seeing only bullets tear through the body I loved and touched and kissed would be the worst. I thought watching my future sink into the earth, wrapped in a black steel casket and wanting only to crawl into that box with him, would be the worst part.

But it wasn’t. It was the wake.

Gretchen and Grace helped my mother set it up. We were at the McFaddyns’ home, not far from my parents’ own house. Joyce disappeared early on, still clutching the folded flag they had presented her with at the cemetery. She returned a few moments later, still holding her flag, but also holding something else.

A box. A ring box.

“We found this in some of Brian’s things,” she told me. “I know he’d want you to have it.”

Most of Brian’s stuff was in my house but of course he wouldn’t have kept that there. I didn’t open it. How could I? It wasn’t for me. It was for Lavinia. It was for a woman lost, a woman who wasn’t me.

But I sat on that sofa, flanked by Joyce and Kevin, and received condolences. We’re so sorry for your loss, people would say. Everyone was sorry. Then it was a clasped hand, a kiss on the cheek, maybe a full hug. Those and their condolences were all they had to offer, along with a bowl of fruit salad for the buffet.

I didn’t blame them.

I didn’t know what they were supposed to say or do either.

So I sat on that sofa, clutching a ring box as though it were a life line, as though it weren’t pulling me under, as though it weren’t suffocating and choking me, and thanked them.

The rest of the time, I was what people called catatonic. But I know it wasn’t that. Catatonic is a state. Catatonic is something.

And I wasn’t anything.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Irresistibly Sweet? Me? Surely You Can't Be Serious.


Tara Tyler over at Tara Tyler Talks has bestowed upon me the Irresistibly Sweet Blog award.

Pause For Laughter.

No, really. She did.

It's very kind of her to do that especially since this blog is, more often than not, an exercise in whining and complaining. I'm working on that. I promise.

Now, before I go much further, I just want to say that I've been the lucky recipient of other blog awards in the past. I've never posted about them actually in my blog before but if I know about them, I always make it a point to go out and thank the person who thought I was worthy of being singled out. But as I'm in the throes of NaBloWriMo and Hell Week, I'm currently running a bit short on creativity (although you could probably make the argument that I'm never exactly flush with the stuff), I'm going to take advantage of the timing.

So thanks again, Tara, for helping a girl out!

Except that I'm supposed to list seven fun facts about myself. I'm not even sure there are seven facts about myself, fun or not. But as this is the Irresistibly Sweet Blog award, I think I'll just list my seven favorite desserts.

It's not the best picture but still, you get the idea.

1. Double Chocolate Box Cake from the little coffee shop in the lobby at the Treasure Island hotel in Las Vegas. As seen on the right...

2. Any other chocolate cake.

3. Pretty much any other kind of cake.

4. Cake like brownies (let me know if you notice a theme developing).

5. Fudge like brownies.

6. Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

7. Boston Cream Pie.


As I understand it, I am now supposed to pass on the award and so I would like to give a shout out to:

Bonnie Rae at Just Words

She has a great blog and I love going out to see what she has to say. You should head out there too!

That does it for me today. I'll try and do better the next time...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Music Monday: Character Playlist

I apologize for the repetition— I certainly didn't intend it, but this week is the week at The Store un-affectionately referred to as "Hell Week." That's right. With all the zany craziness that goes on there the rest of the year, we have a week that sucks even worse. And that's this week. So I kind of forgot to come up with something new and exciting to post here on Music Monday. And for that I'm sorry. And I'll apologize in advance for next Monday when I most likely experience the same damn problem.

Anyway, today's playlist belongs to Haleine Coileáin. She's the main character in my newly blown to bits WIP Effigy. And because she's one of my characters, you just know she's put through the emotional ringer. (Why have happy characters when you can have miserable ones, right?) The playlist, I'm sure will reflect that.


1. My Skin by Natalie Merchant






2. Broken Harp by PJ Harvey






3. I Am Only One- We Are The Fallen




4. Breathe No More- Evanescence


Saturday, October 8, 2011

TV Talk (Week Ending 10/7/11)



Sunday

The Amazing Race: The teams head to Indonesia where they ride a scary looking train to a giant cave and go spelunking. That's awesome. I'd love to do that. The other challenges involved dancing on the street or parking motorcycles (Neither a challenge I'd like to do) and then reading a sign at an orphanage. It's this last challenge that proves to be too much for all the teams but two. The flight attendants and the Survivor Survivors are out. I'm hoping the siblings follow because their fighting is tres annoying.

Monday

How I Met Your Mother: The scene with Marshall at the doctor's office made me laugh so hard I cried. "It's fascinating how profoundly little I know about vaginas" followed by "What's that little guy up there do?" Oh My God. Too funny. Robin was also in therapy with Kal Penn (loved his line "My next patient thinks he's god. On the off chance that he's right, I don't want to keep him waiting.") for assaulting a woman she sent to sabotage Barney's date with Norah (sorry, Norah, but he's not marrying you) before an attack of conscience. Kal Penn's supposed to be sticking around for a few episodes as Robin's new love interest.

House: Though I normally like the episode which remove House from his element, this episode left me a little bored. I think I might be done with this show. Also, Dr. Adams is really lame. I liked her (well, the actress who plays her) so much better in Breaking In.

Tuesday

Glee: This episode I really enjoyed. Really. There was good music that actually fit the storyline for a change and there was a good storyline. Mike Chang has a crisis over what he should do. Follow his dreams or his father's. And then sings and dances for his spot in West Side Story. I don' t know why everyone's suddenly interested in running for class president, but whatever. Nothing's perfect. Loved, loved, loved Mercedes and Rachel singing "Out Here On My Own" because that's one of my all time favorite songs. Did not care for the group's cover of "Fix You."

Ringer: This was a pretty good episode too. There was too much "did you just do that? Because Siobhan never would do that" stuff going on (amazing she didn't have any of these faux pas incidents before, you know?). We had a lot of flashbacks in this episode. It's the twins' birthday so the group heads to the Hamptons. Gemma finds out that Siobhan has a twin and then finds out her best friend and her husband were sleeping together so Bidget tells her that she's Bridget and not Siobhan. I have no idea what Gemma will do with this information but I kind of want to know.

Wednesday

The Middle: I did not really care for this episode. I didn't think it was very good at all. I don't even have anything else to say. Just...ugh.

Modern Family: Another episode from a show that's seen better times. Am I becoming too picky maybe? Gloria is grating on me a lot more than she did in the first two seasons. My favorite part of the show was probably the reemergence of Clive Bixby. That and the youtube video with Phil and Luke.

Thursday

My cable went out (stupid cable) so I was unable to watch any of my shows tonight. I had to read instead. That's right. Read. What is this world coming to?

Friday

Well, the cable was back but I missed Supernatural because I took an adult dose of adult cold medicine and passed out for a good fourteen hours. I bet it was good though. Awesome, even because as we all know, the Winchesters are awesome.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Photo Friday: Bar Harbor, Maine

Hello all and Welcome to Photo Friday. This morning I had to scrape ice— actual ice— off my windshield. And while doing so is kind of inevitable in New England, it's a tad early to be breaking out one's ice scrapper, so I thought today's photo show should be devoted to pictures I've taken in Bar Harbor, the magical land I usually go visit every summer.

Sunset over Frenchman's Bay
Jordan Pond
The view from Pemetic Mountain
The view of Sand Beach as seen from the Beehive Trail
Sand Beach
Penobscot Mountain Summit
Maine's rocky pink granite coast

Sunset from Cadillac Mountain

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday Thoughts



Welcome to Thursday Thoughts. These posts will be devoted to whatever happens to be on my mind. It just so happens that nothing really happens to be on my mind today as I've come down with the flu and adult cold medicine makes me a bit loopy. All right...
really loopy. So today's post is more of a pointless DayQuil induced ramble. Enjoy!

Today is my day off from The Store. It is my only day off this week and it's my last day off for the next seven days. My next day off isn't until next Friday. So naturally my phone rang at 9 o'clock this morning.

It was The Store. They wanted me to come in and work today.

I said no. Doing so will probably earn me some black marks on next year's performance evaluation but, strangely enough, I'm all right with that.

Besides, the truth remains that, in addition to being sick, I have a lot to do today. There's a Malinois to exercise who hasn't been properly exercised in a while. And you know what that means... there's a dog in my house literally climbing the walls and the refrigerator (I put the cat food up there, thinking it would be safe. Silly, silly MJ). There's also the more typical chores: laundry and dishes and the like. I also have to vacuum out the heaters because it's (and you can't tell The Man I said this) damn cold in the house this morning and I want to turn on the heat. It's forty degrees outside and fifty degrees inside. I'm currently writing this blog wearing a hat, fingerless gloves and an afghan. Over three layers of clothes.

The Man is reacting to the cold the only way he knows how: whining. And planning a move to the southern part of the country. He does this every year. This year, however, he's added something new. He's planning a trip to some tropical island paradise. And he actually wants me to go with him. Every day this week, he's come home from work with some new island vacation plan. Yesterday it was for us to go somewhere from November until April. I told him no because I wouldn't send the dogs to the kennel for that long.

At least he's given up (for now anyway) the idea of going on a cruise. He's wanted to do one for a long time now and each and every time he brings it up, I say no. I say Hell No. I consider those ships Cruise Ships of Death and have no desire to set foot upon one. The island resort thing scares me a lot less. He'd have a much better chance at getting me to agree to one of those vacations.

I really need to stop blogging now and get on with my day but I'm lacking the mental capacity to write a decent transition into a decent closing paragraph. So I'm just going to skip it today. I'm going to fumble through those household chores so I can stumble my way to the couch where I can sit vacantly watching the Game Show Network
while throwing a ball for the Little Gator Girl That Could.

Hope your day's plans are more ambitious than mine. Of course, it would be hard not to be.