Thursday, April 28, 2011

Points? What points?

All right. I must respond to the comment made by my darling coworker Kristen. I promise, I didn't join Weight Watchers while in Las Vegas, or on my way to Las Vegas. I joined shortly before this scheduled trip and didn't get around to blogging/whining about it.

Can you believe it?? I missed an opportunity to whine??? I'm shocked, too. Heehee!

The point battle continues to be a challenge, but I tossed aside my caution while we were here today:

The Egg and I. Oh, dear invisible friend...if ever you are in Las Vegas, you should consider breakfasting here. Yum. YUM.


I should have taken a picture before diving into my meal, but my brain shut off when my Chile Relleno Omelet, home fries and fresh fruit arrived at the table. It shut off and I just dove in. This is what was left after the meal:

Remember, dearest, that I am what was once called a "good eater." I have been referred to as a "member of the Clean Plate Club." Does this give you a clue how much food there was? And every bite of it was delicious.

Don't worry, I'm not becoming a dainty eater. It'd take more than Weight Watchers to do that to me!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lust and Longing in Las Vegas

Dearest, do you remember my mentioning the baked goods? The pre-trip baked goods for Roommate's bake sale? Yes, those! See how smart you are? Do a hair toss. You've earned it. Go on, I'll wait.

Oh! Oh, sweetie! I should have told you to warm up first. Just massage your neck a little.

See, now I've completely lost track of what I was saying. Oh! Lust and longing. Boy, you'd think that would stick in my mind, huh?

Oh, shut up.

Anyway. Normally, Roommate and I would dive into baked goods with reckless abandon, rather than just stare longingly, but at my house, there has been a lifestyle change. Sigh. Yeah.

We joined Weight Watchers.

No, it wasn't because of Jennifer Hudson, though I'm delighted for her and rejoice in her personal and professional success. It wasn't because of any celebrity spokesperson. It was because of Great Big Sea.

Don't laugh. Because it's not nice. Listen, do you want to hear this or not? Thank you.

GBS [AKA Lisa Marie's favorite band] often plays in older theaters and venues. Older theaters and venues have smaller seats than today's movie theaters. Sitting in these seats becomes very uncomfortable for a woman with an ass that has its own zip code.

I want to be comfortable sitting in any seat. I recognize that my rear end will never be tiny, because that's how I'm built, but I would like to approach a seat at a GBS concert and not feel fear and trepidation.

I'd also like to go to the airport and not field questions about fitting into those seats, too. I'd like to go to Cedar Point Amusement Park and ride the scary roller coasters. [I'd like to have enough money to pay for the therapy I might need after the scary roller coaster rides, but that's another story.]

I'd like smaller laundry loads. No, seriously. It takes a lot of fabric to cover all this. Pile up four pairs of pants, six shirts and some underwear of a size 2 person, and set it next to a pile with the same articles of my clothing. Big difference.

A few years ago, I decided to join a gym. Yes, despite my deep and abiding hatred for all forms of exercise, I do recognize the need for such hideousness. The gym bunnies who merely had to give me prices and class schedules felt it necessary to follow their sales pitch training script.

GB: So what are your fitness goals?

Me: [stepping back, holding out my arms and looking down at myself] Seriously?

GB: Well, yes--

Me: Take a wild guess, pumpkin.

GB: [incoherent babbling]

Me: Look, I just want to be able to wear slutty clothes.

Maybe that's what it all boils down to. I just want to wear slutty clothes. Well, wear them and not frighten anyone. Because I'm nice that way.

It's just not an easy process.

The new Tool Of Evil. And it takes 30 minutes to order breakfast. Heaven help us.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011



Heh heh heh. My father owes me five dollars.

[happy dance]

What happens in Vegas...

...Is pretty fair game on a blog.

Have you ever heard anyone say, "Life is about the journey, not just the destination," or something very like it? If you have, and didn't serve jail time for your very understandable reaction it, this is the blog for you.

I may have told you, dearest, that a Very Nice Person invited me to Las Vegas. There's a work-related trade show here for VNP and was a lovely thing to be included in such a trip/vacation. The thought was, I could write during the day--or wander around, doing as I choose--and VNP and I could have fun and run around in the evenings. What a great opportunity! Fun, frolic and time with VNP.

The plan was to arrive, via separate flights, last night, meet at the airport, then go to the hotel after getting the rental car. And, for the most part, this is was happened.


As I was getting ready for the trip, I had a to-do list as long as your arm. Okay, half your arm. No, not just the hand. Unless you have a really long hand. Hand and wrist, that's my final offer. Anyway. It was a lot of stuff to do. And I was doing it. I was getting a lot of it done. Then VNP called.

A certain airline [that rhymes with BletSchmue] informed VNP that he wouldn't make his flight to Vegas. And strangely, no other flights to Las Vegas existed. Nope. None. Mostly because this airline has no arrangements with any other airlines if cancellations occur. I think this airline may be the only airline in US without such an arrangement. There was much anger. There was bad language. There was eventual resolution...but not without stress and avowals of never using this airline again. Ever. EVER.

Later, Roommate called. She asked how I was doing, inquired after my to-do list. Then...

Roommate: Hey, we're having that bake sale on Wednesday.

Me: Oh, right.

Roommate: If you have time, could you make chocolate chip cookies?

Me: ............Sure.

Yeah. I know. I know! But it was for a good cause. In the middle of seventeen loads of laundry, stripping the beds and remaking them, packing and trying to remember what I forgot, I baked chocolate chip cookies and banana bread. Because that's what I do.

Roommate came home and we both stared lustfully and longingly at the baked goods. We left them alone, but we really wanted to inhale all of them. We didn't. But we wanted to. We left them alone, loaded up the car, and set off for Sea-Tac. We made good time, but I was a trifle later than the airport would prefer its patrons to be. I arrive an hour and fifteen minutes before scheduled flight time and most airports suggest one arrive at least four or five years earlier.

I checked with the airline with a compass heading for a name and the young woman at the desk made sure to ask if I could fasten a seat belt around myself and put the armrests all the way down. Because, you know, if I lop over onto the next seat, I should be flogged and thrown off the plane, before being charged for a second seat. Oh, excuse me, it was only for the "safety of the other passengers." Hey, new flash, Airline Barbie, being crammed up against a fat woman in a crash will only proved more padding. And really, given that there were only FIFTEEN OTHER PASSENGERS, was this query really necessary???

Then the TSA agents broke a zipper pull off my new-ish purse. I wasn't delighted. But okay, okay. Let it go.

After landing in Lost Wages, VNP and I met in the baggage area and went to the car rental together. There was wandering around, I won't lie to you, but eventually, we got into a lovely vehicle that smelled only slightly of cigarette smoke. I didn't even vomit!

Then we pulled up to one of the largest hotel complexes I have ever seen, if not THE largest. Huge. We parked in the self-parking area, then trekked, hauling bags to the hotel lobby. I think we passed through a time zone. When we got there, VNP asked me to get food from the one restaurantish place still open in this gambling, 24-hour-a-day Xanadu. A quick trip to the next county, AKA past the casino, and I had sandwiches and chips and returned to the lobby.

VNP was nowhere to be seen.

The lovely boy at the desk informed that VNP had left our bags with him and was retrieving the car because...

...we were at the wrong hotel.

I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On the board again!

Darling, do you know what's great about writing the words "The End" in the final paragraph of one's work in progress? Starting the next WIP!

Yes, I am seeking medical care for this condition. However did you guess?

Anyway! I'm hanging out with new characters and their little world. They're nice people, really. Oh, they have their flaws, don't get me wrong, but all in all, they're a sweet group.

I hope they still like me after we hang out for a while.

Why are you looking at me like that???

Okay, listen. Sometimes after you spend a whole lot of time with your characters, they get a little...moody. They start to get snippy. Sullen. Uncommunicative. Frankly, they're just sick of me. They have lives, for Pete's sake. [I'm not entirely sure who Pete is, but his sake seems to be very important.] They have things to do. Place to go. Plot devices to fulfill. And there I am, just screwing around when they're revving up to move on.

I addressed this with my current characters. I told them my plans and goals, explained my timeline and expressed my commitment to getting them to their endpoint in a reasonable and efficient manner. They're not entirely convinced.

I don't really blame them.

I have let down other characters before. I admit it. Some have been so disillusioned that they just packed up and left. I was sad and sorry, but I understood. And really, I wish them the best in whatever imagination becomes their next home.

Seriously, why are you staring at me like that????

I'm not crazy. I'm just a writer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another New Gadget

After being roundly scolded by spicy Cuban Mo, I shall be stepping away from dog reports for a while. A woman of many talents is our Mo. I have rarely heard a verbal smackdown of that skill and effectiveness. Well done, Mo!


I had to get another phone. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

Now, before you laugh mockingly and shout, "TECHNOPHOBE! TROGLODYTE!" remember, please, that I am not against technology. I'm not! I just...learn slowly on the new stuff. And I hate that.

I want to be as fast as lightning, to quote a certain Wicked Witch. You know, minus the flying monkeys. Which I have.

But that's another topic.

I want to be fast, but I am hideously, annoyingly slow. This is why I chose the last phone, for its physical Qwerty keyboard. At least I can use that to text. Which I do slowly. Gah!

The new phone is a Droid. As the lovely and talented Karina says, "Probably not the ones you're looking for." She says that, then does a weird little hand motion. And things get fuzzy after that. I have no idea why.

But back to the Droid. As far as I can tell, it can make phone calls, send text messages, check and reply to emails, surf the web, do my taxes, plan enormous events, launch space shuttles and wash the dishes while minding the baby. At present, I am using approximately 0.037% of the phone's capabilities. I may go as far as 1.62% one day, but that's a ways off.

The phone came with an outlet charger, a car charger and potentially the ugliest carrying case known to man. Or woman. Ghastly. Seriously. I spent a fair amount of time yesterday getting the things to protect the phone from the mountain of clumsiness that I am and trying to figure out how to make it more usable to me.

Really, these things ought to come with a teenager.

All right. You may point and call names, now.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Good and the Sad

Today, I witnessed birth.

Debbie, my dog's water therapist, breeds and raises whippets. Beautiful, elegant dogs. When they run, it's poetry in motion. I adore them. If I didn't live my life controlled by scruffy, rotten little terrier beasts, I would beg a whippet to be my dog. It'd probably turn me down, but in a really nice way.

It was Debbie's middle dog, Julia, who had puppies today. No, I don't have pictures. I was in the moment. Leave me alone. Hey, it's Roommate's job to take pictures. I...well, I suck at photography. But I promise to ask Deb for a few. Soon. Soon! Jeeze.

I didn't see the first four babies come into the world, but not long after I arrived, I saw the fifth. Contractions made Julia's body ripple and she pushed and pushed and when the baby came out, it was like lightning. Whammo! Baby dog, here.

Sadly, when the fifth puppy arrived, there was something very wrong. Part of the head/skull didn't close and brain matter was exposed. Debbie quickly wrapped the pup in towels and set it away from the mama dog, who wanted to clean off her puppy. It was obvious that this little dog was not able to survive. And then cries came from the towel.

Debbie and Beth, my dog's former obedience instructor and another whippet breeder, exchanged sad and resigned looks. There was a short discussion about asking Deb's husband to "go to the vet's" in the neighboring town, and Beth shook her head in sympathy for Deb's husband. And I said, "I'll go."

Beth studied me with her wise eyes. An old soul, Beth knows very well that I'm not exactly a toughie when it comes to dogs and certain necessities. "Do you know what you're going for?" she asked kindly.

"To euthanize the puppy," I answered, trying not to let my voice or lip quiver.

After a small flurry of activity, I took the tiny bundle, the address of the vet's office and Deb's credit card and went to my car. I managed to hold it together until I was driving down the road, but the little noises and the knowledge of what was happening was a bit more than I could stand.

Though the puppy had been wrapped before anyone checked, I just knew he was a little boy and I decided his name was Thomas. As we drove down the country highway, I stroked the tiny bundle and told Thomas that God had kissed his little head and that we would send him home to God very soon. Soon, it wouldn't hurt anymore and God would take good care of him.

I saw a throw pillow a while back with a saying on it that I absolutely believe:

"Heaven is the place where all the dogs you've ever loved come to greet you."

Thomas is in Heaven now, but he will always be my dog. And if by some miracle or loophole I actually make it in, Thomas will be with my dogs who have gone before me, waiting to welcome me home.

Sleep well, baby boy.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Darling, you might have seen NYC Mo's heartbreaking comment about cake mix cakes throughout her childhood. I feel I must speak to this. First, I will admit a shameful secret. I can be a bit snobby about food. This isn't to say I refuse to eat foods that don't meet a certain "standard." No. No. In fact, HELL, no. If it's not nailed down or moving, I'll pretty much eat it. Maybe even ask for seconds. But if I'm making something for an event or a person in particular, I want to make cakes from scratch. Between you and me, dear invisibility, there is nothing wrong with a cake made from a mix. That's right, I said it. Nothing wrong at all. The end product is usually a moist, tender cake. And if you find the mix for 85 cents, so much the better! I think I just channeled my mother for a moment there. [cough] Okay. Better. This is the deal: baking requires precision. Cooking is an art, but baking is a science. When one cooks, there may be extravagance and silliness, last minute mix-ups, wild abandon. When one bakes, experimenting may occur, but one had better be wearing a white lab coat and appropriate protective eyewear. Changes and measurements should be noted in an official notebook. Or scribbled on the wall. Whatever. But it's a chemical reaction, baking is. The ratios of flour and sugar, egg and oil, salt and baking powder are critical. CRITICAL. The cake mix takes the likelihood of error out of the equation. know, most of it. Some of us can screw up Top Ramen. I'm just saying. I'm not judging. Just saying. The cake mix starts with cake flour. Cake flour is lower in gluten, a protein that toughens as it is mixed and handled. Using cake flour makes for a softer, more tender crumb, or cake texture. And the other stuff that goes into the dry mix is measured precisely. It's all in there! How cool is that? And yes, I know I geeked out on you right then. Get a cool cloth. The horror of it will pass, I promise. So there is NOTHING wrong with a nice cake made from a mix. Also, I don't think I can ship a red velvet cake with triple cream frosting to NYC and have it be anything close to edible by the time it arrives. Mo, either you have to visit me in my kitchen or I have to visit you. Do you have a KitchenAid? A Mix Master? A Cuisinart? Let's pick a weekend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Sigh

I'm working, I swear I am. But this was for a birthday, and the lady who ordered the birthday yummy will make a donation to Roommate's 3-Day Walk fund. Yes, she's doing the walk again this year. I know. How noble! How dedicated! How utterly wackadoodle!

But that's Roommate. As you can see, I did some old favs for the cakes today. Four-layer coconut cake with dark chocolate sauce and clove bundt cake with peach sauce. The nice lady emailed after the party and told me that not a scrap was left of the coconut cake and only some left of the bundt. I think she must have recognized that after I make cakes and give them to other people, I immediately start thinking the worst and need all the emotional reassurance I can get. I know it's ridiculous. I know! But something could go horribly awry, you know. It could. It could!

Fine. Mock the afflicted.

Oh! I almost forgot. One of the ladies who let Roommate and me in the building with arms-full of cakes and sauces asked if the clove bundt was made from scratch.


You'd be so proud! I only paused a moment and smirked a little when I said, "Yes."

It was almost as good as the time Mo [at work, not spicy Cuban Mo] asked what type of cake mix I used for my carrot cake with triple cream frosting. After appropriate expressions of shock and horror were emitted, Mo said, "As soon as I said that, I wanted to reach into the air and pull the words back."

Oh, darling. Haven't we all felt that way?

In the meantime, it's the first night of NHL Playoffs and the Canucks shut out the Blackhawks. Lovely. Just lovely.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I did it. I finished my rough draft. It's not the first, it won't be the last. But is finished.

Except, you know, for the editing and polishing and querying and selling. Other than that, it's completely finished.

Now, on to the next one.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Outside My Window

Roommate came home for lunch today, as is her wont, and informed me that our street had a new piece of decor. Sure enough, right across the sleepy little street where we live, was this: Now please, darling, don't misunderstand me. I am delighted that the police force in town is encouraging all drivers to be safe in their jaunts down the road. I simply think this set up would be more useful on a road that sees more than two cars an hour.

I have no idea who might have had the brilliant idea to plant this cautionary tool across from my house. Should it be needed elsewhere, I shall let it go with grace.

That's right. I said grace. I have some.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So close...

Oh, darling invisible friend, I'm so sorry I haven't talked to you for so long. I've been trying to get through the end of the current WIP so I can attack my next. Yes, yes. I know I was supposed to have it completed before this. I know I've spent a third of my time off on this.

But oh, I have really enjoyed my time off so far.

And more lovely things are to come. Toward the end of the month, Roommate and I will be transporting an eight week old puppy across the state to my mother. That's right! Mom's adopting a puppy!

I don't know if anyone's filled in Dad yet. Heh.

And [and!] I'm going with A Very Nice Person to Vegas at the end of the month. I'm not turning cartwheels about the Vegas part of it, but I'll be in the hotel for hours at a time, with no distractions. Perfect writing time, huh?

Yes, I plan on spending my time in Las Vegas, writing. Why?


Do you have any better ideas?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What the...?

Are you KIDDING ME??? Snow? In April? APRIL????'s...GAH.

No words. I have no words.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Writing Buddy

I have had amazing writing buddies. People from college, soon-to-be BWDDA Karina, and of course, the lovely and talented GF Jen... Inspirations. Every last one of them. I'm blessed. And I'm blessed with this new writing pal. Darling invisible friend, meet....


Now, don't get worked up, dearest. Cider and I have not developed an unhealthy relationship. At this point, we're just enjoying each other's company. I haven't stopped seeing my other friends. Tea and I will always be close, nay, inseparable. But Cider was a big help today. Bless its barely-alcoholic little heart.

I think I told you before that I set a fairly lofty goal for myself. For me, anyway. No, not with cider-consumption. With writing. Try to keep up, darling. And we know that the first day wasn't as successful as any of us might have wished. But today.... Today I wrote 15 pages. All of it complete crap, but 15 pages. I sat in the dim woodiness of the Irishmen pub and typed and sipped and ate way too much food. I also got a parking ticket, which made for an expensive day of writing. But I wrote. 15 pages.

All I can say is,

God bless Cider.

Monday, April 4, 2011

First Official Day

All right. So I set a lofty page goal and didn't meet it today. That's okay. Isn't it? I'm not Karina, fer chrissakes. Oh! Speaking of...look!! YUM, huh? And it's a really good book. Coming out next month! Yes, the high pitched squealing noises are mine. Sorry. I'll try to keep it down. So I didn't write like a madwoman today as I planned/hoped/wished. Madwoman, Karina...tomato, tomahto. Tomorrow is still another day. And I got five pages written. I also folded a small load of clothes and towels and baked a batch of cookies. Mmm. I've tested them several times in an effort not to release bad baked goods into the world. Additional test may be necessary. Yes, I am just that generous. I also watched the New York Rangers come back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Boston Bruins. Heh. Good job, boys.
Don't they look happy? Hit your head and say "awww" with me.

And tomorrow will be a better day. A different day. A blank page on which I can write what I please.

Channeling the Madwoman!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Pressure!

Roommate asked me today, "What was your blog about yesterday?"

"Oh, I complained about not being able to go to the cabin."

I received a faintly incredulous look. "You didn't say anything about being a grumpy spouse at the nail salon?"

We went to get pedicures on Friday while HRH Tuppence Marie visited Rochelle, her stylist, and I admit it; I got impatient and wanted to leave. Was it right to compare me to the grumpy spouse, sitting in the one chair by the dressing rooms in a clothing boutique? I think not.

And once again, how did I get to be the guy in this faux-bian relationship????


Then she asked, "Well, did you write anything funny? You have to make it funny. There were funny things that happened."


Okay. Roommate doesn't even read this blog. She doesn't! And now, suddenly, there's all this pressure to be funny? Well...what if I'm not in a funny mood?

Yes, that happens. What? What? Ohhh, you're being sarcastic...right. I should have noticed the font. That was good. Really.

Now stop it.

And this is still MY blog, right?



Saturday, April 2, 2011

The mice. The men.


See, this is what was supposed to happen. I was to babysit Big Head Ted this weekend, take HRH Tuppence Marie to water therapy on Monday and Tuesday, I was to go to the cabin. My family's lake cabin. And then I was to write. Write. And write some more.

Alas. This is not to be.

Evidently, there is snow everywhere and my dad and uncle can't get to the crawlspace under the cabin to turn on water and electricity. [It's a summer cabin and shut down for the winter.]

And then there are the bats.


Yes, bats like the attic space in the cabin and need to be encouraged to live elsewhere. So the attic has to be made bat-proof and bat condos have to be established. I'm not sure if there will be a bat condo association, but it might be a good idea. Bats are, after all, party animals.

Now I have to find a way to write every day of this time off without being distracted by my home. And my yard. And the forty-five kabillion things that need to be done.

No problem, right?