Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fancy Pants!

So it was my Mom's 50th birthday yesterday, and to celebrate my Dad had a dinner for her at their favorite resturaunt, The Boathouse.

My parental units are adventurous eaters. I'm an avid Food Network fan, but I know in my heart i'm not really capable of being an Iron Chef judge, because some of the concoctions make me a little, well, nauseated. The first course was a French sorrel soup with scallop mousse and truffle oil: the flavors were lemony and earthy with a mix of sweet sea and cinnamon. They were extremely tasty and weird at the same time, but the texture of a scallop mousse was just downright odd.

The second course was absolutely gross, but I suppose that could be due to my aversion to brussel sprouts and anything sweet and protein was a mushroom and egg concoction that looked sort of like a custard, sitting on top of mushrooms and baby brussel sprouts. They in turn sat on top of pears poached in a sweet sauce of cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe some allspice. I couldn't do it. Ish.

The third was unbelievable: spiced duck breast that was so perfect it melted in the mouth. Wow. Really, critic I am not becuase it was so overwhelmingly good "wow" is all that needs to be said.

The dessert was an apple walnut cake that was quite tasty and fall-inspired but not as mouth watering as the main course. I love that resturaunt: you can taste truly gourmet food, good wine, and discover your palate may not be as fancy pants as you'd hoped. I so need to take Dave there next time.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

News of the Duh

So there's a couple of potentially sensitive subjects that are irritating the crap out of me.

A college student in my state drank herself to death by accident on her 21st birthday this week. Tragic? Absolutely. Stupid? Yup...sorry bleeding hearts, but if she drank herself into alchohol poisioning when she was a NURSING STUDENT, it was stupid! College students regularly drink themselves into a stupor, into the hospital, even into their deaths: my issue here is that she not only made the front page of the major metro paper, her story was bigger than MAJOR world news, even major local news.

Did she make it to the front page because she was a young, pretty girl? Are there continuing updated stories about the police investigation becuase the double murder that happened last night isn't as interesting? Because the war in Iraq or the impending actions that could easily lead to a war in Iran aren't as important as a college girl who, in an act of irresponsible stupidity, killed herself? And why does a legal adult's actions leave her NOT responsible for her own death? Why does the legislature for our state think it's right to make laws forcing 21 year olds to wait until 8am on the day of their birthday to drink, when an 18 year old can be recruited to kill people and potentially die in the war? Maybe I'm harsh. Maybe anti-hazing and anti-drinking rules are the way to "protect" ADULTS from themselves. Yeah...they're called "kids" when they do something stupid that effects the rest of their lives, but they're adults for everything else. Ah, double standards.

The other major issue? My city has a referendum up this November to increase property taxes (in a housing market that's TANKING) to pay for the school system. A school system we have no intention of ever joining since we're not having children. AND our city recently built a whole new downtown area with cute, convenient shops. Oh, AND they just broke ground on a fancy-pants new Arts center. But there's no money for the schools, and I should have to pay an extra $100 every six months to fund other people's kids' education. Am I the only person who sees an issue with is, when the assessment of property taxes is supposed to be based on market value and the market values all over the country are swirling around the bowl?

NaNoWriMo Begins!

Today is November 1st. National Novel Writing Month begins today!! 50,000 words in 30 days: if you have any interest in writing a novel check them out: it's a great way to give yourself permission to write like mad and put the internal editor in a box under your bed. Although I have one in progress (therefore ineligable for the contest) I'm using this month to kick start my lazy ass...because I haven't worked on either book since before Convergence in July. Yeah. It's been a while.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Yeah yeah, it's been months and months since I've posted. Tonight is Samhain: the Pagan New Year when spirits walk about, the dead are remembered, negativity can be put behind you to start fresh, the harvest is all in, and we're moving toward the darkest time of the year. I've been spending my time (while waiting for trick-or-treaters to show up) thinking about the past six months' events. I turned 30, my marriage has made it through a serious rocky patch, I've returned to the book...and suddenly tomorrow is November 1st and we only have two months left of 2007.

It's our anniversary today, which also causes reflection in my mind. After all, four years have flown by. I've discovered since turning 30 that I have very little patience for drama, especially drama caused for "fun" by lonely, sad people. I've discovered that I'm far less concerned with looking stupid so I'm much more open to learn. I've discovered that I wasn't being fair to my husband in a truly fundamental way, and while our rocky patch was caused by multiple factors, fixing it required us both to make some changes. By the time Festival started in August I was exhausted in every way. I discovered I wasn't happy and need to make some serious adjustments, and now is the time.

And while we made it through and are now stronger than we were four years ago when we said our vows, I wonder what makes people willing to do whatever is necessary to keep a marriage alive and intact, and what makes them give up. Close friends of ours are currently in the midst of what could end up a very nasty divorce. In some ways their relationship started similarly to ours, so how did we avoid going wrong? It's something I think about a lot, actually, because I don't want to fuck this up by being an idiot. And I don't want to fuck it up by being blind, either.

Halloween makes me think of my grandfather, Ron, who died three years ago. Our wedding was the last big event he attended with the family, and I still miss him. His death has drastically changed my aunts' and cousins' lives, because they were so close. The way people deal with death is so very interesting. Dave tends to be sympathetic but relatively unmoved by death in general: becuase it's a part of life and he's not really afraid the way most people are of dying. If I really think hard about it, death itself doesn't scare me too much because I'm pretty firm in my belief that it's a door, just as birth is, to whatever's next.

No, it's pain that scares me, because underneath all my bravado I'm a wimp at heart. Still working on that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Convergence 2007

I spent the past few days immersed in geekdom, and while I'm rather proud to say I never donned Spock ears or a Klingon mask (my husband speaks Klingon: I figure one ubergeek in the family is enough), I did learn a few things.

Women over 350lbs can be gorgeous. Not in a schoolgirl miniskirt outfit jiggling their knees.

Men at ANY size look silly in cardboard costumes.

Don't mess with Klingons: they stick together.

Avoid any Rudybrew UNLESS you're trying to get completely schnockered. If that is your goal, enjoy! Excellent mixes if you like 100% alchohol and no mixer...yum!

I cannot share a hotel room, even withclose friends, because inevitably someone snores...or moves...during the night and my husband can't sleep, which in turn causes a 4:30am drive home, thus completely wasting the $100 we spent on the room.

I am not an exhibitionist, although I do enjoy giggling at those who are.

I voted Xena for President.

Normal life takes some serious adjustment after 4th of July weekend. Oy.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


So we saw the new Transformers movie on Monday night. Flashback to opening night of the first new Star Wars movie...peeps in really bad cardboard costumes, reeking of spray paint, and way too much audience participation. I'll probably go see it again after the fanfare wears off so I can actually watch the movie without as many interruptions...because it was damn entertaining.

Michael Bay, of Armageddon fame, made a pretty wild ride, although I'll say right off that the ORIGINAL Bumblebee camaro was WAY'll see what I mean. The Autobots and Decepticons themselves were so realistic you couldn't tell the real car from the CG robot: very cool. And the desert scenes were flat out awesome. A little too much teen angst, but overall it was a great fun movie. Shia LeBouf did an excellent job! Rumor has it there's already a sequel in talks, which could be great if Bay does it again.

Then again, I'm not a movie snob: I liked 300 and can't wait for it to be released on DVD this month. Doesn't make any difference to me that the movie didn't accurately portray the event as it happened, becuase MOVIES ARE FICTION. Fiction as in fun, not-entirely-truthful depictions, even if loosely based on actual events. On top of that, the movie was based on a COMIC BOOK, so there's an entire extra level of dilution. And I loved it loved it loved it. I'll be 30 in a few weeks...and that one will be on my list!!

Apathy Abounds...

I don't know if it's the heat or what, but I've been excessively uninterested in life lately, much to the hubby's dismay and, I'm sure, irritation. Ugh. haven't worked on the book, haven't worked out, haven't wanted to work in general, or play, or do much of anything that doesn't involve emulating a pillow on the couch.

I could say that's all going to change as of right now, but to be fair it's about 90 degrees outside today and instead of playing in the sun I'm hiding in my room, so I guess that's not an accurate statement after all. I did, however, apply for my dream job today at Llewellyn Publishing. In all fairness I'm probably not qualified enough to get my foot in the door, but just sending in a resume made me feel like I'm doing SOMETHING to fix this whole work situation. The thing is, I've been at my job now for just shy of 7 years. I get paid way too much for what I do (rough, I know) and have most excellent benefits, but over the years I've discovered the REASON for this particular company's most excellent pay and bennies is that nobody wants to do the work! Ugh...I went from plumbing (an active, project-based job that gave me a sense of accomplishment etc) to pushing paper, and I think that's the crux of the situation. I push paper. A lot of paper, and unfortunatly I'm not an accountant who gets all excited by crunching numbers and such. Lordy I can't even tell you how much I wish I was! My boss is: it's clear she loves her job every day she's there...which is what I want.

Is that really a GenX thing? To be dissatisfied in a job, no matter how good it is, if it's not THE DREAM job? People my grandparents' age stayed in one crappy job for 40 years for the pension and pay, regardless if they liked it or not, because it was a job. Do we simply have too many positions floating around and too many options now-a-days? If so, I'm determined to find a niche where I'm not dreading the alarm clock every day. i'd rather bee short on cash for a while than stay somewhere that pays well and I'm miserable. I suppose that's monumentally selfish, and maybe it's not right, but every few months I go through a long period of loathing of my life, and 99% of that comes from what I do for a living. A girl with big dreams of helping people somehow or making a difference in the world can't live on pushing paper alone!

Hahahahaha...the irony of that statement...the job I just applied for was MANUSCRIPT EDITOR. Pushing paper indeed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Positively UnManning

Tonight a sound emerged from my husband that I've never heard before. Get your mind out of the gutter and I'll elaborate...

My husband is 6'5 and generally manages to intimidate most people simply by virtue of the serious look that seems to be his default setting, especially at Renaissance Festival. The man has dealt with all manner of violent people, ishiness, and tense situations.

Tonight he was momentarily brought low by the one of the most natural reactions a dog can have to people eating: drool. We have a German Shepherd...long ropy drool remiscent of Turner and Hooch isn't his norm. In fact, other than the explosion of shedding we deal with twice a year, Thor is quite tidy. Unless you have something on your plate that smells particularly intoxicating...tonight it was lemon chicken and couscous.

Not only one, but TWO long ropes of clear, sticky slobber slowly stretched from the corners of Thor's mouth, as he very politely tried to sit still and hope against hope that SOMEONE will drop something in the vicinity of his mouth. Of course, early on we taught him "wipe your mouth" in defense of wild dribbling following a trip to the water bowl, but the boy was just so enamored with our chicken dinners that his wiping was cursory at best.

So he reached out toward the hubby's bare leg, undoubtedly to indicate he's DONE the mouth wiping, thank you, and where's the reward?

My husband said, and I quote "EWWW!" in a VERY 13-year-old-girl tone, and jerked his leg out of the way. This is the same man who will not notice he's bleeding all over the place until he gets it on something or I holler at him.

And luckily my dog is too dingy to realize a fundamental truth in our household: Drool is power.

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate for me...Spoiler

So Pirates 3 did NOT provide the Disney-like fairy-tale ending I craved. I'm disturbed by the relatively tragic ending, and the "wait until after the credits" advice was not enough to replace my general sense of sadness upon exiting the theater. I actually dreamed about it that night, and not only because Orlando Bloom is ridiculously hot in black silk.

Perhaps it's the lack of closure: to this day I'll have nightmares if I watch a supernatural/monster horror movie and the evil entity doesn't die in the end. When I was a child I saw exactly half of Tremors on tv. I wasn't allowed to see the end because 8pm was bedtime when I was 10. For the entire summer I RAN from my front porch to the barn, convinced that if I could just make it to concrete the ishy, girl-eating worms couldn't get me. Of course, my horse would announce any danger when I was riding, so that was never an issue, but I didn't set food on the grass for months.

I'm nearly 30 and haven't changed: The Grudge? I was up for three days. I actually woke up hearing that horrific sound the ghost made coming from some dark corner in my room. Turned out the dog snores.

Back to Johnny Depp's protuding probiscus and the un-Disney ending. I'm unsatisfied! It's been nearly a week and I remain downright depressed about the fate of the lovers, because seeing my husband once every 10 years would be damned disheartening. If he's immortal, is she also? If not, what a horrible fate for both of them! Jesus, they FINALLY get married and get some, only to find out he's only allowed to see her once every 10 years? I find the lack of details irritating, and hope the whole thing is hinting at another sequel instead of leaving it at that.

Often legends are legends because horrible things happen to the hero and heroine, but dammit, there should be SOME closure! Maybe that's why I'm so fascinated with Nora Roberts books...she takes horrible lovelorn legends and RESOLVES them with happy endings. And who couldn't use a happy ending now and again?

Captaining the Flying Dutchman clearly agrees with Will Turner, though...good God I needed kleenex to wipe the drool. I've already informed my husband that I won't rest until he's in possession of a black silk pirate costume...Yum!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Shimmying Abounds!

So in a few weeks I'll be in a bellydance show. It'll be the first time I'll have performed in over a year...I'm already a little nervous. I was going to do the student performance at the hafla in June, but it's been cancelled. Instead, on Father's Day weekend I'll perform with some of my class (NOT a solo:woohoo!) at a benefit for no-kill animal shelters in the Twin Cities area.

Yup. Terror is setting in, but excitement is close on the heels and I need to get some SERIOUS practice in before we start rehearsals, since class doesn't even start again for two weeks. Dave thinks it's hilarious that I shimmy subconsciously when I'm supposed to be standing still. I seriously don't know I'm doing it until he points it out. I probably look like I have to pee, but all practice is good practice!

Oh, and I'm EVER so glad to be home. Missed my hubby, missed my dog, missed my own bed. About in that order, too. One more week until the MIL moves out, which will be weird. She's been here so long I may actually miss her, since when Dave's in a gaming craze she's usually around and able to have a conversation without getting distracted by killing giant spiders or whatever else is on WOW.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I'm stuck in Columbus, OH until tomorrow night. Boring business trips give me some quiet time to work on the book, but it's 7:22pm and I just wish I was home.

Book Review

So I finished Lady of the Light by Donna Gillespie on the plane yesterday. It's the long-overdue sequel to The Light Bearer. Donna Gillespie has done SERIOUS homework on Roman and Germanic history to write this series. In The Light Bearer, Auriane, the lead character, is a Chattian chieftain's daughter who "marries Wodan" to become a fierce woman warrior in the fight against Rome during the despotic reigns of Nero through Domitian. She's captured and becomes the most famous and celebrated Gladiatrix, falling in love with a Roman noble somewhere in the mix, having a daughter, and turning the world upside down. It's the most engaging depiction of Roman life, from the wonders of their engineering to the daily life of the average soldier, that I've ever read. And I read a LOT of Roman, Celtic, and tribal histories. Contrary to a certain snooty perpetual (as in 5+ years) masters student I know, people can learn as a hobby and know as much as a student. But that's a different post entirely.

I waited YEARS for the sequel, which starts years after Auriane has won her freedom and has renounced iron in favor of peace. Now the Domina of a noble house on the border between the Chattians and the Romans, she struggles to reconcile her love of her Roman philosopher and her duty to her people. To complicate her life even further, her two daughters are night and day: both 1/2 Roman, the eldest thinks she's full Tribal and hates all things Roman other than her own family. The youngest prefers to think herself a future Domina and has no interest in learning about her mother's people at all. The family, tribal, and political dynamics layer Gillespie's story with reality well beyond a simple hero-worship story told around a campfire. Unfortunately, this is only the 2nd in a series of three: all I can do is hope the final chapter takes less time to show up on the shelves than Lady of the Light.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Work is Hell!

I wasn't ready to come home!! Portland, Oregon is quite possibly the only place I'd move barring Ireland and Duluth. Since Dave's interested in neither of my other two options...we may be hoofing it out to the west coast after all, someday. Preferably in Cannon Beach, where the water is gorgeous and the town is small and touristy...Dave could open a custom shop becuase the cars NEVER rust out there, and I can write. Very inspiring view.

It was the most dog-friendly city I've ever seen. Dogs were even allowed on the beach: Florida has laws against that sort of frolicking. WEed need a week or two more to really decide, but I loved it there.

Erin was there, which is hard to even articulate properly. I missed her. A lot. I miss her more now that we're home, but she's coming to visit us sometime this summer...good thing. Two years is too long to go without my Erin fix.

So. I have a few more days then a trip to Ohio (Columbus, woohoo) for work. Then Memorial Day weekend, then Girls weekend. I haven't even seen Elyse's Lola yet!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Day 2, and PORTLAND!

It's day 2 of WW...I'm giving this a 17 week trial (because the damn meetings cost a BIG chunk o'change for the stupid 17 weeks) to see if I hit my personal goals. If so, I'll continue WW online (which is significantly cheaper and actually has MORE resources than the meetings, where you have to buy everything separate on top of the near $200 to join). Yeah. I guess I'm in a skeptical "we'll see" stage.

We're off to Portland to see Erin tomorrow. AND to check out the Pacific Northwest. I've figured out I need to live someplace 1) GREEN, 2) near big water and 3) preferably more temperate than Minnesota. Since I'm fairly certain moving Dave to Ireland isn't an option because I haven't gotten that 5 book deal yet (haha), we're searching for alternatives. I'm hoping the Portland/Seattle/Vancouver area of the world will be one, but if not we'll be off to find another corner to explore.

Between my great-grandma's death last week, the concert, an arrest in the family, and this trip I've had about as much success in getting significant writing done as my dog. And he drools on the keyboard. Hopefully things will slow down (or I'll speed up) a bit in the next week or two. The shit of it is, I've been particularly idea-full lately and have multiple characters and plotlines ready to develop, after the book of course.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The WW Office

Tomorrow is W day. As in in Weight Watchers because my fat butt needs some help. There, I said it: I suck at dieting, and I need help. I only hope it's not too horrifying to be weighed in a group of people. But maybe it'll motivate me with shame. *sigh*

Actually I feel pretty guilty right now: I'm a bad dog mommie. My 2 year old German Shepherd, Thor, is seriously tired out and panting like a madman right now, because I threw the stick for him for about a 1/2 hour. A 1/2 HOUR! So not only am I woefully out of shape, but HE is. And that's my responsibility. Grr.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My Mental Health

Waning. It's waning. I had to take most of the day off today and put my resume out there for a bunch of different jobs. Still looking, actually. If I'm going to be stuck in Corporate hell at least I should be able to be part of creating something instead of JUST pushing paper.

I know, I know. I should be working on the book. I've been working on the outline, but every time I get ready to actually write I freeze. How damn stupid is that? Today, instead of getting some writing done I'm watching Sex and the City, putting my resume out there, and updating my blog. The blog nobody reads, of course.

yah. having a depressed day, I guess.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Random "ARGH!"

I know someone interested in becoming a law-enforcement official of some sort. The idea of that person with more power than the average dude just scares the bejesus out of me.

If I was prone to believe such things I'd think it's another sign from the universe that it's time to move out of Minnesota to somewhere else entirely. So we're off to Portland in 2 weeks to see if it's a possibility. The hubby wants to move someplace with little to no snow...I refuse to move anywhere the road melts underneath my car. This leaves us very few options in the US, actually. I'm working on Ireland, but I think Carlee would freak out if we moved that far away.

My psycho dog has managed to give himself a yeast infection between his TOES. That's right, athlete's foot can apparently be given by too-vigorous foot-licking. Needless to say I've kept Thor away from MY toes ever since. Ishy.

My MIL is moving out in T-30 days. If I could figure out how to put a countdown on this blog I'd do so...30 days until I get my office and some little shred of my brainpan back. Until then it's picking up kleenex and closing the garage door as usual. *sigh*

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My Dog is Barking!

And other distractions...but today I'm getting a good couple of hours in if it kills me! On the bright side only a couple of months until I have my office back...aah a door that closes!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


So the auto fill when I put the "I" in the title bar for this post put "Interesting guy looking for interesting girl." Um, yeah...

and for some reason the AC adaptor for this laptop keeps loosening without any sort of notice, so suddnely the screen goes on powersaver mode and dims a little. This laptop: it's a TOSHIBA in case anyone's intersted, was the worst thing I've ever purchased from Best buy. Next time it's going to be a Dell, Gateway or Mac for me. I've lost pages of work on this thing because it will randomly freeze or the screen will suddenly go black. Not overheated, not out of power, just random blackness. AAARRRGHHHH!!!

I'm still in the stage when I can't imagine actually accomplishing the writing of a novel. Every time I start writing I get bogged down by that negative voice in my head that insinuates evil whispers about how terrible I am and how I should just stick to my boring 8-4:30 job in an office, because that's all I'm good for. Maybe it is...I don't know. Am I writing this because I'm a writer or because I'm not satisfied with my job? Will I be satisfied with a "career" if I can manage to make the switch to professional writer?

Will I be satisfied with anything, or am I one of those idiots who just can't see the good in anything because NOTHING will be enough? Sometimes I wonder if I was a stupid debutant in a former life and part of me misses the idle rich style...even though if I WAS wealthy in this life I would be anything but idle. Either way, I keep blocking myself from really believing I have any shot at writing, because if I truly had talent wouldn't I have been able to do SOMETHING by now?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Attack of the "I Suck"

I'm a whopping ten pages in now. Have one of the backstory scenes done and moving along in the main storyline. It's true that writers are an odd breed: I find myself wondering repeatedly what the fuck I think I'm doing (no talentless hack that I am). Silencing the monstrous bitch of procrastination and fear is harder than getting any words down on paper.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Worked on outlining and character development today. Yes, I'm fully aware it's just another form of procrastination, but it's a necessary form. After all, the one thing I've picked up from various rejection letters (including one from Marion Zimmer Bradley which I'm STILL kicking myself over...think I lost it in a move) is plotting. I have a hard time doing evil things to my characters. The hubby says he can help with that, but I need to get 'em established first. :)

Enough procrastination...on to writing!