Friday, February 29, 2008

Just For Fun

I'm currently

reading: WHAT THE DEAD KNOW by Laura Lippman (incredible author!)

listening to: UNDERWORLD SOUNDTRACK (thank you Paul!)

writing: SHADOWING FATE, outlining the following 4 books in the series, and fleshing out another idea for a series (Nope, not the one with Earl. Yet.)

wishing: for a magic wand to wave over my ironing pile. =D

Poker Face

Beware the Logophile

Logophile: someone who loves words.

Not to be confused with Legophile: someone (usually male) who loves small pieces of plastic that can be planted like tiny, primary-colored mines in the fibers of a bedroom's carpet, waiting for an unsuspecting mother to crush them into her bare foot while tending to her children in the middle of the night.

I discovered two new words today.

One, I find incredibly ridiculous in a fascinating sort of way.

Pulchritudinous: beautiful, gorgeous, lovely.

One wonders why this gem of a word hasn't made its way onto the glossy cover of millions of Valentine's cards. Smart is sexy, right? Although since the pronunciation of this word is highly reminiscent of the mouth-motions made immediately before vomiting, perhaps only someone as suave as say - George Clooney or Pierce Brosnen could carry it off.

The other word just made me laugh. All of my friends tease me about my proliferous use of fancy words. Now they can use a fancy word of their own to describe me (if they practice the pronunciation first!):

Sesquipedalian: characterized by the use of long words.

Look, everyone! I'm a loquacious sesquipedalian!

Hey, it's not everyone who can accurately describe themselves using multi-syllabic words, both of which contain the letter "q".

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Kindred Spirit

Two nights ago, I took my oldest, The Scientist, to Target so he could spend his birthday money on Nerf blasters and Tech Decks (little finger skateboards with cool designs underneath that, I am assured by my children, are the toy to have at school).

Naturally, I do not enter Target without also browsing through the clearance in each section of interest to me (you know...handbags, accessories, clothing, shoes...). It didn't take long for The Scientist to announce his boredom and arrange to meet up with me in the toy department when I was finished rumaging through hoodies marked down to $3 each.

I let him go. It's more fun for everyone that way.

My browsing was cut short, however, by a young mother with a furious toddler captured inside her cart. The little girl was screaming at the top of her lungs and, while I couldn't understand most of what she said, the volume conveyed her meaning with exquisite clarity.

The mother, while undoubtedly taking the wisest course of action by simply ignoring her daughter's tantrum rather than pandering to it, was also ignoring an important bylaw in the handbook of Shopping Etiquette.

The one that states that if your precocious youngster decides to test the strength and endurance of their lungs in an all-out screaming session in the middle of any retail establishment, you have 45 seconds to get said youngster under control before you must exit the premises for the sake of every other shopper in the building.

You have to endure your toddler. I don't.

At least that's the generally accepted rule of courtesy.

This mother, however, calmly walked through the women's section, ignoring the screams even as they reached a decibel that set my teeth on edge and no doubt alerted every canine in the vicinity to her presence.

I was not pleased.

I left the women's section and wandered through handbags. I could still hear her but at least my ears were no longer ringing. Unfortunately, the mother also decided to peruse handbags and the little noisemaker followed right on my heels.

I went to accessories.

She followed.

I began to wonder if a conspiracy was afoot. I searched my brain for a time when I had somehow violated the sacred Shopping Etiquette bylaw thus deserving my current circumstances.

I'm happy to say that, while my kids tried their share of tantrum throwing as toddlers, I was one of those mothers who would leave a full cart of groceries behind rather than subject other shoppers to my own spawn.

This mother was oblivious to the discomfort level of the other shoppers. Perhaps she was a miserable puddle of embarassment inside but needed to prove a point to her daughter, even if it meant she could never return to this particular Target without wearing a wig and sunglasses. Or perhaps her ears had been abused so much at home, she didn't actually hear the piercing screams of rage emanating from inside her cart.

I left accessories (even entertained the fleeting thought that I should crawl behind various displays so as not to leave an obvious trail for the mother to follow...) and headed for my personal sanctuary: shoes.

I was there for maybe a minute before I heard the unmistakable approach of oblivious mother and screaming toddler. I was about to make a rather snarky suggestion to the mother when the little girl suddenly fell silent.

Had the mother finally given in to the tantrum? Had the child exhausted herself? Were the shopping gods finally satisfied that I had paid penance for my imagined wrongs?

The cart came into my view and I saw the little girl sitting up, staring in wide-eyed wonder at rows of gorgeous heels in patent, linen, and glossy red.

"Shoes?" She said in an adorable baby-girl voice. "Mama, shoes?"

"Yes, shoes." The mother said absently, clearly not giving this moment the weight it deserved.

"Shoes." The little girl sighed and smiled happily as her mother pushed the cart through the department.

I caught her eye and smiled, one shoe lover to another.

The mother, apparently not sharing her daughter's affection for footwear, left the department before I did, heading toward books. The little girl watched as Shoe Wonderland was left in her wake.

Ten seconds later, the screaming commenced.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

LOL

Yes, yes, I'm addicted. I didn't make this one personally. I'll post links to the ones I make so you can vote on my crazy sense of humor. =)


Monday's List

1. Talk about doing this first thing on Monday. It's 12:36 a.m.

2. Just got home from watching Jumper with Kailani.

3. Would have been a great movie if you removed whiny Rachel Bilson and wooden Hayden Christensen.

4. I am, once more, irritated with my computer/email/technology in general.

5. My friend and I have debated the merits of goat's milk as an acceptable form of liquid refreshment and concluded that few beverage options could possibly be worse.

6. Anything coming from a bison comes to mind.

7. Well, ewww. I just grossed myself out.

8. Moving on.

9. As per our most recent survey, it looks like most of the readers here are die-hard C.S. Lewis fans. Can't blame anyone for sticking with the master.

10. Made more lolcat pics. Here's a link to one: lolcat

11. Told you I was becoming an addict.

12. My laundry is now manageable again.

13. Shouldn't take my boys long to fix that.

14. Katy, feedback arrives today (although much later today since I'm off to bed in a second).

15. Yay for leopard print shoes!

16. I was going to say "Yay for leopard print anything" but then I stopped to consider all the many clothing options and thought better of it.

17. I think we can all agree that what looks amazing on shoes would look ridiculous on tube tops or overalls.

18. The South, I'm sorry to say, has an abundance of both.

19. Tube tops and overalls, I mean.

20. And, most unfortunately, many of those are for men. At least many of the overalls are. I've never understood the fascination.

21. But whatever.

22. I need to have a really productive week. I want to finish SHADOWING FATE and start the next book in the now 5 book series (and I'll need two more titles, natch).

23. Also, again, most unfortunately, I need to clean my shower.

24. Perhaps my oldest can do that chore for me.

25. It's time to break him in. *cackles evilly*

26. I'd ask Daredevil and Starshine for assistance but one look at the walls of their room tonight and I can promise you they have hours of scrubbing ahead of them that have nothing to do with a shower and everything to do with testosterone and poor impulse control.

27. Paul moves into his condo Tuesday so I have to finish Juan Pedro's photo shoot tomorrow and get my stupid email account to actually receive the emails I send. Novel concept, I know. At least to yahoo.

28. Right, then. Off to bed for now.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lolcat

Check out the new lolcat pic I made. All the funny cat pics I've posted here have been created by someone else but I've been bitten by the lolcat bug now...

And while you're there, feel free to rate the pic - there's a five cheeseburger rating system. =)

Friday, February 22, 2008

For Paul

10 Questions Every Boy's Mother Wants Answered

1. Why do toy makers find it necessary to weld large, unbreakable plastic toys to their cardboard containers with no less than five thick, barely flexible plastic cables?

2. Why do fast food restaurants dispense ketchup to children in packets that can easily be transformed into condiment-squirting missiles with one well-placed stomp of the foot? And shouldn't a pile of extra napkins be an automatic addition to any tray bearing food for boys?

3. Why do grocery stores put delicately balanced pyramids of produce at elbow/head/shoulder reach of a 7 year old boy?

4. Why do cities make beautiful parks full of swing sets and jungle gyms and then put the one bench available for parents as far away from any semblance of shade as possible?

5. Why can't someone figure out how to produce a tube of diaper cream with a child-resistant top? Ditto for toothpaste. And shaving cream.

6. Why can't the makers of Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser turn their attention to stain removal from boys' play clothes?

7. Why doesn't some enterprising company make a Teflon spray for every surface of a young mother's home?

8. Why doesn't a box of Legos come with anything beyond a "choking hazaard" warning? Like a "could impale your foot in the middle of the night" warning? Or a " DO NOT FLUSH, might clog your toilet" warning?

9. Why do makers of ant farms and bug catchers assume a boy needs any assistance at all in bringing a collection of nasty insects into his house?

10. Why don't the makers of Febreze try their products out on the smells emanating from an average boy's room and then see if they can realistically claim to eliminate odors?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Amazon Contest Update

Today, Amazon cut the entries down to the top 100 in each category. They never gave us a date for doing this, just the date (March 3rd) for posting the top 10 entries, so it was a bit of a surprise but hey, it's their first contest. There are bound to be bugs.

Anyway, I had solid reviews (average 4.9 stars) but not enough reviews to make the 100 cut. So, a big THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to review my excerpt and write a review. I appreciate it and I'm okay with the results. Editors read my work and something may come of that and I already have this novel in another contest where editors select the winners so we'll see how that goes. =)

Off to assuage my bruised ego by writing another chapter (wherein Alexa learns how to kill Cain...)

10 Random Things

1. Saw Spiderwick Chronicles last night with Kailani and LOVED IT!! It was action-packed, the plot held up well, and the visuals were really cool.

2. It snowed this morning which meant the kids thought school would be cancelled because in mid-Tennessee, that's usually what they do. Thankfully, the county had their heads on straight this morning and school is in session.

3. Starshine does not want to drink water now because he's convinced there are water spiders in it. SEE??? This is why science should be an optional subject.

4. My laundry pile has reached critical mass.

5. Hubby has three cakes to bake this week...a train engine, a treasure chest, and a black cake with flames around the sides and an electric guitar coming out of the top.

6. I love the movie Clue. (Flames!! On the side of my face!!)

7. Green beans ruin anything they touch.

8. When my parents were visiting, my Dad proved himself to be an amateur in the "Proper Etiquette And Use of Lavatory Facilities in a Home Wherein Young Boys Reside" by sitting without first examining the seat.

9. Ewww, yes, but still, nothing teaches like experience.

10. I came up with a chilling (and exciting!) twist for the second book in Alexa's series as I was driving the freeway yesterday. Prepare to be left hanging until book three...

LOL

This one totally reminds me of my cat Taz when she was a kitten. On my hubby's first meal with my family, my mom cooked lasagne. We'd already explained the origins of Taz's name to my hubby but either he failed to believe our claims of a small feline Tasmanian Devil or he seriously underestimated the lengths to which she would go to procur something to her liking. My mom had already dished a serving of lasagne onto my hubby's plate but he was lingering at the sink to wash his hands (or making some other rookie mistake). Before anyone could react, a black blur raced through the dining room, leaped to his chair, and one furry black paw swiped across his plate, sending the entire serving of lasagne flying onto the floor.

Lesson learned.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Week In Review

1. Starshine + markers + glue stick + infatuation with Star Wars = Darth Maul where Darth Maul should never go.

2. Honestly, who flushes K-nex???????

3. Turns out I don't like sparkling grape juice very much. Tastes flowery.

4. Hearing the words "Hey Mom! I washed the dog!" causes an instant adrenaline rush.

5. Especially when mud was involved in lieu of soap.

6. The Scientist loves texting just a little too much. (As evidenced by the fact that after bedtime, he now texts me to tell on his little brothers.)

7. Knighthood on Facebook is addicting.

8. Girl Scout cookies (and, by proxy, Girl Scouts themselves) are of the Devil.

9. My mother finally has a cell phone and knows how to text. Now to get her hooked on an ipod...

10. People who do not wish to appear ridiculously unintelligent should refrain from throwing tantrums over the fact that we ran out of potato soup after the dinner rush.

11. Also, people should not throw tantrums over the lack of buttermilk to drink.

12. Although perhaps the simple act of ordering a tall glass of buttermilk to compelment your catfish is an act of ridiculous unintelligence in itself.

13. But I digress.

14. Or do I?

15. Belk has the sexiest stilettos I've seen in a long time.

16. Too bad they start at $98 a pair.

17. They'd have to feel like Reeboks for me to pay $98 a pair.

18. Jumper looks like the first interesting movie of the year.

19. Had to buy new shoes for both Daredevil and Starshine because, through an act of staggering inconsideration, they both chose the same day to outgrow their current footwear.

20. Hopefully, The Scientist will wear his current pair until summer.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Political Wisdom

Gathered over the years:

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."
-Mark Twain


Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress... But then I repeat myself.
-Mark Twain


I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like
a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
-Winston Churchill



A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
-George Bernard Shaw



Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have dinner.
-James Bovard, Civil Libertarian



Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
-P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian


Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
-Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)



I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
-Will Rogers



If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!
-P.J. O'Rourke



Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!
-Pericles (430 B.C.)


No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.
-Mark Twain (1866 )


Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it.
-Unknown


The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
-Ronald Reagan



The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
-Winston Churchill


The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
-Mark Twain


The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher


What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
-Edward Langley, Artist


A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
-Thomas Jefferson

Something to think about as we head into the 2008 elections.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hang On To Your Dusty Fedoras!

First, we've got Prince Caspian coming out on May 16th. Now this hits the theaters May 22nd.

May is shaping up to be a really good month. =)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Flowers and Candy and Cards - OH MY!

I loved Valentine's Day as a kid. What kid doesn't? You get to carve out an hour of school time to gather in envelopes full of free candy while you munch on heart-shaped sugar cookies and guzzle fruit punch.

As an adult, I find I really don't care. I don't like chocolate. I'm allergic to flowers. And I buy my own jewelry.

Don't get me wrong - I love to celebrate romance with my hubby. I just don't need a day set aside for it.

Because I'm of the slightly cynical opinion that Valentine's Day is a conspiracy put together by a high-level corporate conglomerate consisting (yay! alliteration!) of Hershey's, Hallmark, and 1-800-Flowers, I thought I'd go to Hallmark's website to find a list of days set aside for card-sending, chocolate-consuming, or flower-buying.

Here's what I found:

Valentine's Day 2/14: How can I possibly take seriously a holiday whose mascot is a chubby naked man-baby with wings and a glittering bow and arrow?


April Fools' Day 4/1: Do people really send cards or gifts for this? I used to hide rubber rats in my mom's bathroom cupboard and start screaming "Rodent!!" just to test their blood pressure.


Tax Day 4/15: If you send me a card for tax day, make sure it's stuffed full of cash. That's a concept I can get behind.


Earth Day 4/22: Oh surely you jest. A card? For Earth Day? Isn't that sort of against the whole point? Or maybe they just want to encourage mass recycling of gift cards that day.

Administrative Professionals Day 4/23: I really do think honoring secretaries and receptionists - oops! Administrative Professionals! - is an excellent idea. Having been one to put myself through college, I can tell you that the only drawback to this holiday is that it comes only once a year. We should have more days set aside where bosses have to stop behaving badly and instead have to spend their money to honor the person who makes them look good. =)

Cinco de Mayo 5/5: Oooh, thanks but I'd rather have a pinata. One in the shape of Hillary Clinton's head.


Mother's Day 5/11: No argument here. :D


Armed Forces Day 5/17: Also no argument, though I think we need to do better than to honor our armed forces only once a year. That's an individual thing, though. I don't think our poor calendars can take on any more "special days".


Memorial Day 5/26: Again, no argument that this is a worthy holiday but I'm confused as to whom I'm supposed to be sending a card...we don't really wish each other Happy Memorial Day, do we?


Father's Day 6/15: My hubby prefers homemade cards from the kiddos but to date, he's never turned down offerings of chocolate.


Canada Day 7/1: Well this is interesting. I was looking at a list of American holidays and this popped up. Do we really need a Canada Day? Isn't that sort of exclusionary toward our other allies? Where is our Great Britain Day? Our South Korea Day? Our Israel Day?


Fourth of July 7/4: Leave off the card and the chocolate and bring me fireworks instead, please. Big ones.


Friendship Day 8/3: Now, see? This is the kind of holiday that just makes me roll my eyes. This is a blatant attempt to garner more of my money by making me feel guilty if I don't honor my friends on August 3rd. Fortunately, I'm immune to such pressure.


Sisters' Day 8/5: Ditto what I said for Friendship Day. And did we have to stock so many useless holidays into one week? Furthermore, where is Brother's Day? Surely we could fit that into 8/7 just to round it all out?


Grandparents Day 9/7: Ditto Friendship Day again.


National Boss Day 10/16: Hmmm. Sounds like management wants to recoup their expenditures on Administrative Professionals Day. Really, I think this is close enough to Christmas that employees should get to choose one gift that covers both. Or just ignore it. Either way.


Sweetest Day 10/18: What does this even mean? Anyone?


Halloween 10/31: Again, no card for me. Just send candy.


Veterans Day 11/11: I think we could roll this day up with Armed Forces Day because really, we're honoring them all. But that's probably a really politically incorrect sentiment and since I strongly believe in honoring our troops all year through, I'll silence the part of me that longs for just one week that doesn't have a little Hallmark label at the bottom of one of the days.


Thanksgiving 11/27: I don't send cards for Thanksgiving. Does anyone? If you do, permit me to inform you that you are an over-achiever. A nice one, but an over-achiever all the same.


Hanukkah 12/21: 8 days of presents has to make Hallmark absolutely giddy.


Christmas 12/25: *sigh* Now THIS is a holiday where I do my part to support the conglomerate.


Kwanzaa 12/26: Not my thing but combine this with the two before it and the conglomerate is having a banner month.


New Year 1/1: You know, Korean families have a New Year's tradition where the entire clan gathers and the elders pass out wads of cash to the younger set. This is a tradition I think we should all embrace. At least until we find ourselves classified as an elder.


National Mentoring Month: What?? Get real.



Groundhog Day 2/2: The only good thing to come out of this holiday was that movie - and even it wasn't so great.

LOL

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Since You've Been Gone

It's been too long since I blogged, but I have two excellent excuses.

1. My internet didn't work for 4 or 5 days. (I blame Paul, though I have no concrete proof.)

2. My parents have been visiting from California for the last week and to say we've been busy is to make the first GIGANTIC understatement of the year.

So...what's been happening in the week since I last blogged?

1. My oldest, The Scientist (aka The Lawyer), turned 10. I don't feel old enough to have a 10 year old but since he looks like my hubby and I vividly remember the 26 hours of labor, I have to admit the strong possibility that he is, indeed, mine.

2. We gave The Scientist a cell phone for his birthday with rules like "Only call those on your contact list" and "Don't answer any call from a number you don't know" and "Text us in the middle of the night and die a slow and horrible death".

3. The Scientist was showing the features of his cell phone to his younger brothers (who are suitably in awe of their older brother's recent voyage into BIG KID status) when he discovered he had several games on his phone. He was reading off the names when he came to one called "Midnight Pool". Our middle child, Daredevil, perked up at that and responded with "Midnight Poo? That's silly. Everyone knows you can go poo any time you want."

4. Paul and I have had a few food fights at work, just to keep life interesting, and in our most recent skirmish, I nailed him in the eye with a cooked carrot, for old times sake.

5. He pretended not to be amused.

6. Who needs a sword collection when you have cooked vegetables at your disposal?

7. Speaking of Paul, he recently bought a pair of handcuffs so he could practice on the likes of my children before taking on the criminal element in Nashville.

8. The Scientist thought the experience of being handcuffed was interesting but not very exciting.

9. Starshine thought it was the coolest thing ever and ran around the house, proudly displaying his restrained wrists to anyone who would listen.

10. Paul's plan fell apart with Daredevil though.

11. Daredevil has more testosterone running through his little fat-free frame than most grown men.

12. Daredevil makes his momma proud with his ability to smack-talk anyone, regardless of how much they outweigh him.

13. Also, Daredevil does not back off when challenged. Sometimes, as his mother, this trait is the bane of my existence. Other times, this is a source of great amusement.

14. I found this vastly amusing.

15. Paul went to lock the handcuffs on Daredevil's wrists and discovered what I have known for years: Daredevil is one slippery little sucker.

16. A scuffle ensued and the end result was this: Daredevil wore the handcuffs on his ankles and Paul had lost the key.

17. Paul did not have time to consider the error of his ways.

18. Paul was standing, holding Daredevil's handcuffed feet, and looking around for the key when Daredevil launched his attack.

19. He twisted, squirmed, hit, kicked, licked and finally, as Paul was trying to placate him with instructions to just hold still and he would find the key, Daredevil twisted up, yanked off his shoe, and threw it, with unerring accuracy, at Paul's head.

20. The other shoe soon followed.

21. Paul was very grateful when The Scientist located the key.

22. Perhaps Paul should practice on the criminal element in Nashville and work his way up to Daredevil.

23. New pics of Juan Pedro were taken and will soon be posted here.

24. It snowed today.

25. Off to the airport to return my parents to California.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Vocabulary Lesson For Men

Thanks, Mom and Marilyn, for the hilarious email!

9 WORDS WOMEN USE

(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but it is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you - do not question, or faint. Just say "you're welcome". (I want to add in a clause here - This is true unless she says "Thanks a lot" - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say "you're welcome" ... that will bring on a "whatever").

(8) Whatever: Is a women's way of saying ____ YOU!

(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has asked a man to do several times, and is now doing herself. This will later result in a man asking "What's wrong?" For the woman's response, refer to # 3.

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