Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm the Grinch... and I like it!

Is there anything better than watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"?

I'm telling you -- no matter what mood I'm in or how tired I am, I cannot turn away from that holiday classic.

They don't make 'em like that anymore.

(Man, that makes me sound ancient, doesn't it? Just get me a walker and a plaid blanket for my lap and I'll be set.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

ha ha ha ha ha

Love the way my guys respond to a video camera that's turned on (though they don't realize it at first.)


video

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Too beautiful not to share


A long-lost picture of my great-grandmother on her wedding day. She was 15.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Which would you rather have?

a. A hot date.

b. A hot blanket.

c. A hot stock tip.

d. A hot pizza.

(I'm voting b.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm not stylin'... but I'd like to be


My son is five and has a signature style -- he always carries or wears sunglasses. For years, he's worn sunglasses almost daily and he switches between several pairs depending upon his mood and outfits. People actually recognize him by his sunglasses.

I'm quickly approaching 37 and I have never had a signature style. In fact, I am relatively non-descript. Physically, nothing stands out. I'm short and average looking. Style-wise, I'm conservative and pretty pathetic.

In other words, I'm as bland as warm, unflavored gelatin.

What gives?

I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled that my kid has fashion sense and the self-confidence to be a little wacky and different and fun. He's proud of his sunglasses and talks about getting camouflage ones for his collection. (Alas, I haven't found any for the cutie.)

I just feel like a dweeb, I guess. (That's GenX for "geek" or "nerd" for you GenY visitors.)

I'd really like to enjoy having a signature fashion style, too, but I'm at a loss for what that could be. The closest thing I come to making a "statement" is the fact that I frequently wear my hair in two puppy tails.

Is that a signature style? I don't know. (Maybe I should ask Sarah Palin, whose dark-rimmed glasses have bowled over so many?)

Sigh. All I can say is that my child is already more hip than I could ever hope to be. Guess the "coolness" gene skipped a generation, huh?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pet Peeve #4,308

Men's shirts that are colored or striped but have a WHITE collar.

Uggh.

Didn't those things die in the 1980s along with madras ties made from cotton fabric?

Monday, September 15, 2008

The sick puppy

I'm absolutely a sick puppy, and I'll prove it right now:

I like Mondays.

I do. How weird is that? Most people hate the start to the work week, but I find it invigorating. (Usually, anyway.)

Of course, it may have something to do with the fact that, being a freelance writer, I'm not workin' for "The Man". (Actually, I'm working for "The Gal" -- me.) So it's not as oppressive as when I worked in corporate America slinging around nonsensical terms like "paradigm", "out-of-the-box" and "buy-in."

So... am I the only Monday liker here?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just what I needed to hear...

Dear Visitors (especially those with kids):

So my son looks at me this afternoon and asks, "Mommy, how come you look so young?"

Flattered, I start stammering. And I reply, "Well... I don't know. Why do you think I look young?"

He says, "You're so short... you look young."

So I guess it's a compliment... sort of. Hey, it put a smile on my face.

But before you assume an angel burst forth from my womb five years ago, allow me to tell you what he said about half an hour later.

Giggling, he told me I was a "one-eyed hack."

Of course, he had no idea what he was saying (...or did he?) But what a phrase. I think I should use it.

Sincerely,

Angelique, a.k.a. The One-Eyed Hack

Monday, September 8, 2008

Memories

My son recently turned five years old. How it seems like just yesterday that I was up with him all night -- every night -- as a new, scared, exhausted, unsure mommy.

For the first months of his life, he didn't sleep. The term everyone uses for such kids is "colicky". To me, it was a hellish nightmare; I remember very little of the time.

One thing I do recollect very clearly is watching television in the wee hours of the morning. Anything to keep me awake. And this song became my anthem; every time it was on MTV, I literally hugged my squawling infant just a little tighter, vowing not to let my lack of psychic energy get in the way of our begin together for a lifetime.

Enjoy... and please share any tunes that take you back...





Why we need "Get Out of ______ Free" cards

My husband and son went miniature golfing yesterday and were privy to the incredibly painful conversation of a couple ahead of them.

This UN-dynamic duo was apparently on a first (and hopefully last) date; as hubby tells it, the discussion was enough to make you want to jump into the river. Let's just say that it turned to comments like, "Does your office have a cafeteria? Mine used to"

In cases like this, wouldn't it be nice to have little cards that say: "This date is officially over. It's okay. You can go home."? You could silently hand the card to couples on dates that are obviously tanking. Then, they'd be free to leave without having to worry about hurting one another's feelings.

What other cards do you wish you could hand out to strangers? Maybe "Please don't wear that color again" or "Turn off the cell phone... now"?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Could it really be August 20?

It's so strange to get sidetracked from blogging here for almost two weeks... how does that happen?

I'm not really so busy that I cannot breathe or take a break.

At least, I don't think I'm that busy.

Let me check.

(*breathes in and out a few times*)

Nope, still here and the ol' ticker's working, too.

Well, I shall just endeavor (as I've done before, I admit with much shame) to be a better blogger. Or to hire someone to blog on my behalf. I can pay in applause. Maybe gummy bears. (Nah, I'll keep the gummies. Sorry. I'm a selfish only child.)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Nothing like a bit of controversy!

UPDATE 8/3/2008: It looks like the posting has been removed. I'm guessing that with this round of the contest over, Deb and Jodee at FWJ decided not to keep an article with questionable language "live". Sorry if you missed the piece; it did make quite a splash!

****************

There's a post at Freelance Writing Gigs that's stirring up tons of old-fashioned controversy.

Written by the anonymous "Candidate #12", a contestant in FWJ's Idol contest, the piece has generated tons of comments.

Some people are offended by the tone of the post. Others find it confusing. I find it quite inspirational and witty.

What's your take?

Is it over-the-top or does it motivate you to get your tush in gear?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What motivates you the most?

Writers are notorious for having "off again, on again" motivation. And I'm no exception. Often, I have to struggle to put a sentence together, but when it's for a client, it must be done. Period.

So I have to find motivation to put my fingers on the keyboard. Unfortunately, depending upon the hour of the day, what motivates me varies tremendously.

Currently, my top ten writing motivators are:

1. The challenge of completing a project.
2. Getting to meet new people and hear their stories.
3. Working with clients from around the world.
4. Deadlines. Always deadlines.
5. Treats. Gummie bears work nicely.
6. More treats. Salty snacks. Mmmm...
7. Getting a new clip for Ye Olde Portfolio.
8. The feeling of moving forward; stagnancy worries me.
9. The joy of doing something I greatly enjoy.
10. Financial gains. (Yep, I'm a capitalist. Hey, bills have to be paid.)

What are your motivators? Be honest now...!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Please help with a title

I think I need a title for my past week. Here are the top three things that happened:

1. Work
2. Sleep Deprivation
3. Vertigo

Have at it! I'm too exhausted to come up with anything witty or clever.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It still makes more sense than anything politicians say

video

(FYI -- We habitually practice this kind of "nonsense" talk. If you want to get your creative juices flowing, I highly recommend it!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

How I do so love southern "charm"

Ladies from the south have such a beautiful drawl that even when they insult you, it comes out sounding sweet. Then later, you realize, "Holy crap. That was really nasty!"

Today, I was at a community pool and a southern-born and -bred woman of a mature age (who has known me in passing for a number of years) mentioned that she couldn't get in the water because her recently highlighted hair might turn green.

As a modeling/acting instructor, I often give my students beauty tips on how to remedy such disasters. So I told her that if it ever happened, she should crush 4-6 aspirins in warm water and let the concoction sit on her hair for about 10-15 minutes. Supposedly, it gets out most (if not all) of the green.

She smiled widely and said, "Well, thank you, Angelique! If anybody should know about hair dye, it's you."

Southern charm, indeed.

Still, you have to give her credit. She pulled it off and I didn't bite. Now, I just have to think of a way to throw it back the next time I see her. In a sugary-sweet way, of course.

(For the record, I do color my hair and it does vary from a medium shade of blonde to a light shade of brown depending upon the season. I try to keep it close to my natural tint, though, and except for one shade of red I tried two years ago, I'm very conservative about the choice.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

You write the caption


This is a pic of my little dude taken with one of his "gal pals".
I love the expression and although it almost "says it all", I invite you to write your own caption.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I hate TV

I do. I hate it. It's official.

It hit me today that not only do I find TV boring and uninspiring, I resent it for taking away so many hours out of my life.

When I was younger, I watched TV incessantly. In my 20s I did, too. Today, I probably watch an hour or less a week, and I loathe myself for doing that rather than working on my writing, reading a book, playing with my son, going to the gym or just sleeping.

I don't deny that TV can be entertaining, but it's just gotten to the point where I'd like to say to ABC, Fox, NBC, et cetera, "Give me back all those hours!" Can you imagine how exciting that would be? Getting hundreds of hours BACK to do anything you wanted?!?

Sure, you'd be unable to recite lines from "The Simpsons" or "Seinfeld", but you'd have time to travel, learn, enjoy life! Wow!

Incidentally, my family doesn't fully embrace my stance.

My mother loves TV.
My husband loves sports (on TV).
And my son has become a fan of ice hockey and NASCAR (on TV).

*sigh*

I've threatened to call the cable company and stop our subscription, but I think I'd be drawn and quartered. So for now I seethe in semi-silence, casting angry glances at the flickering screen.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Retro Post from 7/4/2007

(Originally posted a year ago, but I still like the topic...)

Happy Fourth of July!

In celebration of Americans' love of picnicking and barbequing each fourth of July, I have a very important question to ask my fellow writers:

  • If you were a condiment, what would it be?

For me, I'd have to say tangy mustard. It's deceptively "normal looking" and then packs an unexpected wallop.

How about you?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Maybe polygamists have something...?

It's official.

My husband and I need a wife.

Not for the fun stuff, mind you, but for all the duties typically assigned to the female in the family, especially down 'n dirty cleaning. (I love to cook, love to take care of our son, but loathe scrubbing or even dusting.)

Does it make me sexist to assume that another woman would be perfectly suited to do our laundry, tidy up the place and run the vacuum?

Perhaps we need a maid instead, but that sounds so luxurious and embarrassingly elitist. "Wife" has a nicer ring to it.

Until that day, though, the dust bunnies will reign.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Motivational speaker, motivate thyself

I was a motivational speaker for a while.

Today, a door closed.

I need motivation to find the open window.

Think I could go back in time and attend one of my pep rally speeches?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Top New Shows on The Neanderthal Channel (TNC)

  1. Fire!
  2. How to Live to 30
  3. What dat?
  4. Cavez
  5. Gruntin' with Grog

Friday, June 20, 2008

Our Monday-Sunday Office Team (I'm on the left)


Fear not

Most people who meet me professionally assume I'm always the way I present myself when in an office or networking environment -- bubbly, positive, outgoing, confident.

Though I'd love it if that were the case, I have to admit that I sometimes allow myself to become swallowed by fear. It's not always a specific fear, mind you, but just an overall feeling of impending doom (a wonderful phrase coined by my dear friend Susan.)

Working from my home exacerbates the "fear factor", I believe. When your sole colleague is just shy of 5, you don't have many opportunities for deep water-cooler discussions. I can tell him, "Mommy's just having a rough morning," and his answer is, "I'll kiss you. Are you better now?" And though I'm touched, I'm not necessarily moved to action.

Ironically, I gave a motivational talk on Wednesday night to a group of about 150-200 people. (Yes, I love public speaking -- the more audience members, the better!)

The topic?

Overcoming Fears.

(As a side note, I wasn't talking about rational fears; those are important to our survival. Instead, I focused on fears that aren't based on anything real but are ways we trap ourselves into self-made "boxes".)

The presentation went very well, and many people told me afterward they were inspired to try something new, something different, something uncomfortable. The experience was a blast and I was thrilled to hear several attendees' personal stories after the speech was finished.

Today, I'm feeling a bit shaky. There's no one reason for this sudden lack of confidence. But there it is.

I guess I need to listen to my own advice and keeping moving forward. But I'd rather listen to advice from you, my "virtual" office mates.

What do you do when you're suddenly seized by unfounded fears?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Think my husband should be a satirist?

My hubby is a lawyer who is trying to escape from the law. (Well, not "escape" as in Prison Break or 24 but as in find a different career track after 20+ years of being an attorney.)

Fortunately, he has a great sense of humor. Check out his latest cartoon...




Monday, June 16, 2008

An FYI for the Self-Employed

If you're self-employed, those fun estimated tax checks need to be postmarked today!

(I know it hurts to fork over the money, but it'll ease the pain next April 15!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lyrics

Lyrics to a song made up by my almost-kindergarten aged office mate. (He's a poet, I think...)

Socks go in the laundry...
I don't know why everything is rearranged
Into my life...

(humming)

I just don't...

(By the way, I have no idea what this means, but it sounds pretty cool. And let's face it -- half the songs on the market are rather obscure, so why should his be any different?)

Friday, June 6, 2008

When you're a work from home mom...

... this is the kind of memo you receive from your office mate:




Thursday, June 5, 2008

I thought you knew!

In a recent comment, Beth asked me what it is that I write, exactly.

And that's when it hit me... I have just assumed that everyone who visits Recess for Writers knows what I do for a living (and a playing.)

First, let me say that I'm a mom. That's first and foremost. It has to be. And my son keeps me busy as well as laughing. (Sometimes yelling, too, but that's for another discussion.)

I'm also a work at home mother (WAHM) with a professional freelance writing career. I have had the privilege to work on nearly every type of writing from articles to blogs to website copy to ad/marketing copy to press releases to reports. The two things that I don't tackle are white papers and novels.

But wait... that's not all!

On the weekends and some weeknights, I work for an acting/modeling agency teaching students of all ages how to "work" the camera and the stage. It's a fascinating gig and one with many stressors... and far more rewards.

Finally, I also perform a one-woman play in local high schools about 7-8 times per year. The piece is a 20-minute performance that revolves around relationship violence issues and is based on the story of a real gal who was killed by her abusive boyfriend several years ago.

All in all, I'm one lucky person.

I don't know why I've been blessed to have a career like this. It's incredibly demanding, but makes me (mostly) happy.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Do you understand "client speak"?

I have a client who doesn't speak my language.

Or I don't speak the client's language.

One or the other.

But it's not what you think.

See, we're both using English. And our sentence structure is similar. But for the life of me I'm totally confused by the way this person puts phrases together.

I can't quite explain it, but it would be akin to having someone say to you, "The blouse is on the stall of the modicum of horror." The words are legit, but the sentence is crazy.

How many times can I say, "Ummm... can you explain that again?" before I have to accept that I either need a translator or a new client?

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Skin of a Writer

Last week, I received two very different responses from writing clients within the same hour. One praised my writing style and thanked me profusely; the other all but damned me to hell (then requested I not take offense.)

Surprisingly, I was not overly moved by either. The former, though sweet, did not make my head swell to the size of a Macy's Parade balloon. The latter did not turn my hands clammy with fear.

It would seem that I am developing, ever-so-slowly, a thicker skin.

The way I see it, this development is both good and bad.

Obviously, being able to take harsh criticisms with a grain of salt (or a tub of it, if necessary) is always preferable to turning into a sobbing mess whenever someone says "Your work sucks." However, I worry that I will somehow lose my artistic "sensitivity" if I become too immune to uncouth remarks directed at my writing.

I know there is a happy medium somewhere in this jumble, but I'm not one for staying in the center. Typically, I gravitate toward one extreme or another.

What do you think? Is a leathery exterior necessary for this line of work? Or should one always feel a slight sting when one's writing is rejected?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Time to hang up the whip?

Let me preface this by saying that I think Harrison Ford is hot. He may be in his 60s, but he's a lovely specimen.

However...

I don't think I can embrace his Indiana Jones character quite as much as I did in the '80s. Some things just shouldn't be resurrected.

Of course, since the next movie is already in the bag, I'd like to make a few suggestions should they choose to produce more:

  1. Indiana Jones and the Aluminum Walker of Doom
  2. Raiders of the Lost Personal Care Home
  3. Indiana Jones and the Medicare Premiums
  4. Indiana Jones and the HoverRound
  5. Indiana Jones and the AARP
  6. Indiana Jones and the Dentures of Doom
  7. Indiana Jones Meets Wilford Brimley

(Thanks to my hubster who came up with the first two!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

You know you need to perk up your life when...



... incredibly psychotic stalkers lose interest in you;



... peeping toms fall asleep in your shrubbery while watching you blog and write for hours;


... the only people who whistle at you are visually impaired;


... family members actually suggest you go back to your computer;


... the suicide hotline calls you, and then puts you on hold;


... Mormons skip your door...


... your child would rather play with toe jam than with you;


... telemarketers say, "Oh, wrong number..." when you answer the phone.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Do you celebrate Mom's Day?

Generally speaking, my family doesn't celebrate what we dub "Hallmark Holidays".

Consequently, today I'm doing what I almost always do on Sundays -- working out, working, cleaning (very little), perhaps snoozin' a bit, playing with my son, making dinner and reading the paper.

Real thrilling, huh?

So how about you? Doin' anything special today?

(On a side note, who do you think is the world's worst mom? Ms. Lohan is in contention, but I think that Ms. Hilton might be pretty bad, too...)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nothing like a little anti-social behavior, right?

The Setting

The park, complete with plenty of playground stuff to do.

The Set-up

My son (a.k.a. "Mr. Anti-Social") heads to a piece of gym equipment. He is headed off at the pass by a little fellow about a year or so his junior.

The Conversation

Little Guy: (to my son) Will you be my fwiend?

Mr. Anti-Social: (says nothing and walks past the kid while rolling his eyes and making sure their bodies don't bump into each other)

Little Guy: (again, in soft tone) Will you be my fwiend?

Mr. Anti-Social: (says nothing and looks at me like, "This guy is kidding, right?")

Me: Be nice!

Little Guy: (eagerly, knowing Mr. Anti-Social is in a bit of trouble) Will you be my fwiend?

Mr. Anti-Social: Eh. (looks at me, then looks at Little Guy) I... don't know. (shakes head)

Little Guy: Let's pway!

Mr. Anti-Social: (backs away) Nah...

Little Guy: Come on!

Mr. Anti-Social: (walks away from equipment) Let's go home.

Me: (to Little Guy's mommy who has been watching this whole discussion without any expression on her tired face) Uh... sorry... my son... uh... sorry...

Nothing like a fun time at the park, right? And I call myself a "lone wolf"... sheesh.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Unconventional dieting methods

It's almost bathing suit season in the northern hemisphere!

So for all you folks who don't want to starve yourself to drop the pounds, why not try some of these methods (tongue-in-cheek, of course) to shed some weight?

To lose 1-5 pounds:
  • Shave hair off head and body. Sure, you'll look like a rat, but the scale will love ya.

To lose 1 pound (or so):

  • Get rid of that appendix. Do you really want to wait for it to burst? (Look into dropping a kidney while you're at it. Maybe you can get a two-for-one sale from the surgeon.)

To lose a few ounces:

  • Ask your physician for a tonsillectomy. After all, they're just hanging around.

To lose another few ounces:

  • Get those pesky wisdom teeth removed.

OR you could...

Learn to love yourself for who you are and know that the outside doesn't really count.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Another reason to eschew Chuck E. Cheese

I'm telling you -- Chuck E. Cheese is the devil's den. Wait. I take that back. Even Satan would have trouble staying sane amidst the clanging, screaming and tasteless pizza.

Here's a news item that proves my point. It's from our local paper.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

If "Only"...

I'm an only child.

But that's wonderful. I've never wanted to be anything else.

No brothers, no sisters, no problem!

So...

It was with great interest that I read a CareerBuilder article suggesting that first-borns and only kids tend to make the most money. (The author apparently decided not to talk with me... ahem... the life of a freelance writer does not a huge bank account make.)

The article goes on to suggest that middles make the least money, but are awesome negotiators, and those "babies" of the family do pretty well because of their innate charm.

Interesting, but is it all a parlor game?

  • My question to you is: Do you think birth order has played a significant role in your life? Why or why not?

(For the record, I definitely feel being an only child has affected my world, both negatively and positively... but mostly positively.)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I knew it!

AHA!

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!

Check out this link: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_a7jkcMVp5Vg/R_hU3FTzP7I/AAAAAAAAElU/oMQxYEKzx-c/s1600-h/iknewit.jpg

(From today's PostSecret batch.)

(By the way, I've been out of blogging action recently just to finish some major projects. I've missed everybody and am hoping to finally get back into the swing of some spring blogging!)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A sad, but beautiful, post

I just read a lovely post at Lively Women and thought I'd share the link, though I must warn you -- it's very, very sad.

Blogger Kristen King has written an incredibly moving tribute to the younger brother she lost five years ago today in a car-related accident. I think it's worth a look, and if it touches you as much as it touches me, I'm sure she'd like to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

101 Unconventional Uses for a Wood Chipper

I'll need everyone's help on this one...

Here's my contribution:

101. Carrot shredder.
100. Dead body disposer.
99. Enron documents graveyard.

Your turn...!

Monday, March 24, 2008

I want to do this!

If you have about 2 minutes, play this video. I definitely could see myself being a part of such a great "prank"... could you see yourself doing it?

http://www.maniacworld.com/frozen-in-grand-central-station.html

Friday, March 21, 2008

If you were a color...

... what would it be?

(I would be burnt orange.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Five Fortune Cookie Notes You'll Never See

1. "You're going to be hit by a bus tomorrow. No lucky numbers here for you."

2. "The meal you just ate was poisoned. Love, Your Ex"

3. "Why the hell are you reading me? It's your life. What do I care what you do with it?"

4. "You have no future. In fact, even your present looks a little sketchy."

5. "Eat a breath mint, for god's sake! You reek!"

Your turn.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Creativity Infusion

I have tons of writing projects that are going to require more than a modicum of imagination. Consequently, I've decided to come up with creative titles for classic novels. Please join me!

  • "Whore and Peas" (about ex-Gov Spitzer, perhaps?)
  • "Atlas Unplugged" (for the MTV generation)
  • "For Whom the Smell Rolls" (I need a better one for this)
  • "The Drapes of Plath" (Sylvia Plath fans will love her decorating tips)
  • "All Quiet on the Festerin' Stump" (amputation at its worst)

Help! Help!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Makes ya wonder

A Random Thought That Entered My Busy Brain Today:

Does anyone else have the sneaking suspicion that grocery stores simply label bruised, "imperfect" fruit as organic?

Then, they can sell the stuff at higher prices instead of pitching it.

It would be a brilliant, if deceptive, marketing ploy.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Zaniness

Has a week passed already? Is it really Monday?

With all the zaniness (and Foo-Foo's evil declaration, of course), I've barely had time to think or breathe. Thank goodness I had a FABU (pronounced "fab-'ooo" for the uninitiated) brunch with two of my bestest-in-the-westest buddies yesterday. It was fast, but fun. And then it was back to the grind.

In any case, I wanted to give a shout out to Jason over at Clarity of Night. He had to judge 73 (!) awesome entries for his latest contest, and yours truly (#73, by the way -- got it in with a minute left on the deadline) even snagged an honorable mention. Stop by and read 'em all. Trust me, though -- mine is incredibly blah by comparison. (I really love Sarah Hina's. So touching and gorgeous. She's a terrific writer.)

I hope to post more often this week, but you never know! Regardless, Foo-Foo has not yet unleashed his bunny weapons, but I'm half expecting a stealth attack any minute.

(Wait... are those footsteps I hear behind me... carrots I smell?... uh, oh...)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Seven Big Honkin' Lies I Told Myself This Week

7. The dust bunnies won't form a union. (I was served with papers regarding their new organization morning. Now I legally can't get rid of them. Oh, well.)

6. Using bathroom cleaner in a poorly vented area won't make me see pink elephants on the ceiling.

5. Sure, I have time to get that done. Pile 'er on.

4. My muse will come back to me any minute. She promised, right?

3. I'll just lie down for a second and then get right back up, recharged and ready to hit the computer. Really. really. r.e.a.l...zzzzzz

2. I'll only blog-surf for five minutes this afternoon... maybe ten, tops. Seriously.

1. I'll have immediate inspiration for the new contest at Clarity of Night. (uh, oh...)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hey, everyone! Happy V-Day!

I don't usually promote new books, but one of the gals over at WOW! Women on Writing, Annette Fix, has a new book out and I thought it sounded interesting enough to agree to give you the lowdown here...
The Break-Up Diet: a memoir by Annette Fix is the true story of a 30 something single mother/aspiring writer who is working as an exotic dancer, searching for Prince Charming, and trying to find a perfect balance between her dreams and her day-to-day life as Supermom.

Please visit The Break-Up Story Forum (
www.mybreakupstory.com)
A place where women can go to read and share their break-up and dating stories. Check it out and join the fun!

Annette Fix is the Senior Editor for
WOW! Women On Writing, an author, and spoken-word storyteller, living in Laguna Niguel, California with her Danish Prince Charming, her aspiring photographer son, and two rescued dogs.

Book Website:
www.thebreak-updiet.com
The Break-Up Story Forum:
www.mybreakupstory.com
Blog:
http://thebreak-updiet.blogspot.com
Myspace:
www.myspace.com/thebreakupdiet

If you purchase "The Break-Up Diet", let me know! (It could be the perfect Valentine's gift for a single friend!)

And now, onto a new video starring my son and me.

It's on the romantic topic of "Kissing Toads". Hope you like it!


video

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Anti-Valentine's Day Story

Here's my more practical, decidedly (and deliberately) less romantic version of the steamy scene over at The Clarity of Night.

I call it "Two Too Many in the Tub"

Maggie turned on the water, sighing. The kids were finally in bed. Ten o'clock. A bath to herself. Lovely.

She searched through the cluttered cabinets and finally found a bottle of nearly-empty lavendar-scented bubble bath. It had spilled all over the drawer, destroying a tube of expensive lipstick as well as soaking a package of heartburn medicine.

"Dammit," she muttered, but didn't clean the mess. It would be there tomorrow.

Slowly, she poured what little was left of the bubble bath into the tub. The smell of fake flowers hung heavy in the air. Maggie sneezed and turned off the water.

She quickly undressed and got into the tub without testing the temperature. "Ahhhh!" she yelled, jumping out and hopping around on the fuzzy blue bathmat. She looked down. Her legs were bright pink from mid-calf to her toes.

Suddenly, the door opened. Bruce stood there, silent at first, then laughed.

Maggie was pissed. "What the hell is so funny?"

Bruce's grin faded... a bit. "It's not every day that I see you looking like a boiled lobster."

Maggie flipped him off and gently got back into the tub. She turned her head from her husband of eleven years, hoping he'd get the hint.

When she didn't hear the door close, she looked back and was mortified to find him undressing. "What in the world are you doing?"

Bruce stood in his stained underwear, hairy belly flopping over the stretched-out waistband. "Well, I thought it would be romantic..." He stopped.

Maggie rolled her eyes. She had been so looking forward to time by herself for a change. But she knew Bruce would pout if she didn't give in. "Come on," she said, scrunching her body up against the faucet to make room in the tub for 220 pounds of testosterone.

Bruce disrobed in record time, knowing his window of opportunity was limited. He got into the tub, wincing at the pain of the steamy water. "This is hot."

Maggie stared at him. "No shit, Sherlock."

Once settled, Bruce smiled at Maggie, who returned his expression with a frown. She crossed her arms. "What now?" she asked.

Bruce tried to extend his legs so they intertwined with hers, but soon discovered that whenever he tried to move much, the water sloshed over the top of the tub, spilling onto the floor.

"You're cleaning that up," Maggie said without emotion.

Bruce desperately wanted to salvage the mood that had never come to fruition. He began to stroke her legs but quickly recoiled in disgust. "When was the last time you shaved?" he demanded.

It was time for Maggie to laugh. "I don't know. It's winter." She turned her head to rest her face against the cold water knob.

Feeling foolish yet determined, Bruce maneuvered himself so he was close to Maggie's face. He kissed her cheek. It felt like a moist, dirty sponge beneath his lips. He resisted the temptation to gag.

Maggie turned to look at her husband. She knew sex was inevitable tonight, but she was damned if she was going to do it there. Too much chafing. Too little pleasure.

"Let's get out of here," she muttered.

Bruce awkwardly escaped from the tub and began drying himself with a threadbare towel. Maggie got out, too, wondering if she had remembered to take her birth control pills and hoping to heck she had.

Without warning, Bruce pulled Maggie close to him. She could smell the garlic on his breath. His face came closer and she resigned herself to the knowledge that there would be no "down time" this evening. Again.

"Wahhhhh!" The voice wailed from down the hall. "Mommmmmmy!"

Maggie brightened. "Jenny's crying! Gotta go now, hon!" She pecked Bruce on the ear. "Coming, sweetheart!" she yelled to the nursery. In a millisecond, she was gone.

Bruce stood naked, dripping lavendar-scented beads and standing in a pool of rapidly cooling water.

"Happy Valentine's Day." He slowly walked to the bedroom. He needed a cigarette.

And the winners of The Steamiest Internet Couple Award are...

... Mr. Jason and Ms. Aine!

And if you check out their latest post at Clarity of Night, you'll know why. I literally was feeling guilty while indulging in the writing because it's a bit... ummm... real.

You'll understand what I mean after you read it.

DISCLAIMER: Have the sexpot of your choice or a cold shower handy.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Figure out the context

I just found myself asking:



"All white buns?"




Any guesses as to the context of the question?

Beware the Two-Headed Blogger!


Bwah, ha, ha!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

When freelancing isn't fun

Okay, so I know the rules: When you work for yourself, not every day will be spectacular.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

But the past two days have really kind of sucked. I got turned down for a writing gig. I goofed on the organization of a project. And, to top it all off, I have a super-duper-pooper-scooper case of tonsilitis. (Thanks, son! I love you with all my heart, but couldn't you have given me a lovely handmade drawing instead of your cold?)

Can someone out there please promise me that things will be better tomorrow? Or will the old "bad things come in threes" omen come to pass?

I need a soothsayer... or at least someone who will don a funky turban and wave his or her hands around a crystal ball or deck of Tarot cards.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

WWW Day


I hadn't been to the gym in a week. I was practically trembling from withdrawal. So I wound up heading to the health club early and doing WWW.

What is WWW? That's easy...

"Weekend Warrior Workout."

Yeah, I know, I know. Stupid. Foolish. Idiotic. And I'm paying for it right now.

Can you say, "OUCH"?

A call for dream analysts !

Do you love to analyze dreams as much as I do?

If so, I have a little project for you, courtesy of my crazy mind!

Last night, I dreamed that I suddenly realized (at this age, 36) I had
never finished by last semester of college.

Consequently, I dropped by Bucknell University (my alma mater) to pick up information from my mailbox (I don't even remember which number it was, to be perfectly honest!) to find out what homework I'd missed.

I kept thinking, "Oh, man. I'm so close to a degree, but I forgot to do my assignments, and I haven't even been in class! In fact, I don't know which classes I'm supposed to take or what times they start! How on earth am I going to explain this to the professors?"

I was panicked, but more disheartened than anything, wondering how on earth I would be able to achieve grades that were good enough to earn my diploma. (In reality, I earned that diploma almost 14 years ago...)

When the dream ended, I had found out the four classes I was supposed to take, but I couldn't find my homework assignments nor could I figure out how to juggle everything I had to do to graduate on time.


So... what does it all mean, my sage readers? Is my psyche telling me something? Or did I just eat spicy food for dinner?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

No rest on Saturdays

It's early Saturday morning, just before 7:00 a.m., and I'm getting ready for a long day of teaching acting and modeling. Yup.

I love being an instructor for teens and adults, but some days, I wish I weren't so diligent and responsible. Sometimes, I just wanna play hookie, dang it! But see, I can't and I won't and I wouldn't and I don't.

Ironically, I have worked with far too many people who think nothing of calling off work without a second thought. No worries, they either call in "sick" or simply never appear and figure they'll deal with the consequences later.

Though I can't fathom that kind of behavior, I do envy it just a teeny bit.

Imagine -- being able to say, "Hell, I want to sleep/play/goof-off so screw everything else!" Must feel good, at least for a nanosecond. But I'll never know because at heart, I'm still the geek kid who wouldn't dream of taking any other path than the "straight and narrow"!

The upside? You'll never see my face on a "Wanted" poster... unless I make a mock one on my blog! (Hey, there's an idea...)

Happy Saturday!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

1st Luvs

Do you remember the first person you thought you "loved"? (I'm talking romantically, not your mommy or daddy... unless you're a wacko or sicko or weirdo who should really be in therapy instead of reading this non-Oedipal posting.)

For me, it was Scotty P. I was two or three, he was five years my senior. We both hated getting our hair washed.

Love, I tells ya. Love.

He didn't like me, of course -- what seven-year-old is going to dig a toddler? But fortunately his brother Mark (who was two years older than Scotty) would hold him down so I could smooch away.

Those boys were handsome, and I'm sure they are hunky forty-somethings. I've long since abandoned my adoration of Scotty, but I still have fond feelings for my first true love. So innocent, so naive.

So... tell me about your first love.

(And make sure you name names -- that's more fun.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Perfect Character for Kids !

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Unconventional methods to teach abstinence

Fab gal Aine inspired me with her comment in yesterday's post to come up with some unconventional methods to teach abstinence to teens. Her thought was to have them work at Chuck E Cheese (a.k.a. "The Devil's Den".)

A few others I managed to come up with during this quick break from work are:

- Have them spend a week with a teen mother who has a newborn at home. Make sure they have to sleep in the same room with the baby. Ha!

- Give them an allowance, then take away what they'd have to shell out for diapers, creams, lotions, formula, and other necessities. Watch their mouths drop in horror when they realize there's nothing left!

- Make them assist during a few deliveries in a local maternity ward. Provide them with a bucket in case vomiting ensues. Don't allow them to look away.

- For a month, don't allow them to do anything with friends. Keep them in the house. Make them do laundry night and day. Let them know this is what will happen if they have a child. No parties, no dances, no hanging out. Nothing.

- If you're a mommy, show them all your stretch marks (otherwise known as "war wounds".) As they run screaming from the room, yell, "Honey! Wait'll you see what happened to my breasts!" Then laugh maniacally.

What are your ideas?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Medieval blog post

(I'm tired of 21st century living today, so the following irreverent posting is written as though I were a woman living in the middle ages. Sorry to offend. Happy to amuse.)

January 17, 1350

What a surprise. Another burial to go to tomorrow. It's the third one this week. Can't we just email our respects? They're GONE. They don't care. And I'm tired of all the gloom and doom.

Plague, plague, plague. I'm sick to death of it. Can't people talk about anything else these days? I mean, yeah, you lost most of your family who oozed and hacked until they rotted on your family's floor. But, geez, at least you don't have to make dinner for a tribe of 15 anymore! Come on! Look at the bright side!

Seriously, things have gotten really macabre around here. I can't remember the last time we all got together for some rollicking good fun like playing "stone the leper" or "poke fun of the mentally weak." Now THOSE were some good times!

Instead, we're all relegated to sitting around and counting the rats that have accumulated in our homes. Damn little pests -- but they can get kind of cute, too. Just wish they didn't carry those bugs on 'em. Oh, well. They don't do any harm.

Oooops -- gotta go. The porridge is boiling over... what a day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Tibetan Monk

In a recent post, I predicted that in 2008, a Tibetan monk would figure out the answer as to whether a tree falling in a forest makes a sound when no one's there to hear it, become disenchanted with his lifestyle as a result, become a hip-hop singer, and then return at the end of the year to the monastery.

That made my sick little mind wonder... what would the titles of his songs be?

So far, I've come up with the following ditties:

Himalayan Ho
Never Forget the Yet(i)
One Hand Clappin', Monks a-Rappin'

Obviously, I desperately need your help coming up with better fodder than this crud...!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Vomiting, Teaching, and Writing

Vomiting. Teaching. Writing.

Those are the three subjects that have consumed my past 48 hours.

The writing thing isn't much of a surprise -- I mean, I'm a freelance writer. If I'm not writing, I probably should be. (Or I should at least be doing legitimate research or querying... which I confess sometimes goes by the wayside when I start blog surfing on my virtual boogie board.)

And teaching -- that's not a shocker, either. I'm an acting/modeling instructor on the weekends, so every Saturday, I'm offering advice, encouragement, and pointers to a class of teens and adults. It's cool, it's demanding, and it's refreshing.

The vomiting... well, that was a bit unexpected.

We all went to bed Friday night a tad later than usual, but it was no biggie. At 1:00 a.m., I was interrupted from a deep sleep by a sweet voice coming from my son's bedroom. "Mommy... can you come in here?" he called. This isn't unusual. He's not a good sleeper and I often find myself heading into his room in the middle of the night to help him get back to la-la-land.

But I digress...

I walked in and the blue nightlight illuminated his figure sitting up in bed. All seemed fine. Until I got closer to the bed.

At that point, my darling guy piped up, "I had a little pukey."

He needn't have mentioned it. The smell was overwhelming. It was a lovely mixture of bile and half-digested pepperoni pizza washed down with water and a pink candy cane for dessert.

This was truly a Mommy Moment.

After hugging my frightened sweet pea (all the while trying not to barf from the stench), I turned on the light.

"A little" pukey? I think not.

Apparently, my son had turned into a vomit volcano.

He swears he only threw up once, but I have no idea how a 40-pound body could violently dispose of that much matter in one upchuck.

The bed was a mess. He was a mess. And all I could do was smile and cheerily say, "Well, this isn't so bad! Let's get you out of those pajamas and we'll wash you off in the bathroom!"

Yep, my 26+ years of theatrical training came in handy.

So what does this mean, a day-and-a-half later? Probably nothing.

But I'm way behind on tons of stuff around the house, my work is just starting to come together again, and I'm hoping neither I nor my husband awakens in a pool of puke.

Did I learn anything from this life lesson? Yes. There's a reason they manufacture plastic sheets for kids' beds. Other than that, I'm stumped. So if you have insights, lay 'em on me.

(And while you're at it, feel free to share any fun throwing up stories!)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Predictions Galore!

Doesn't it seem like everyone you turn there are [insert pompously loud musical introduction]:

PREDICTIONS FOR 2008! (echo, echo, echo...)

So why shouldn't we make some here?

Thus far, these are my predictions for the coming year:

1. A popular blogger will be elected president of the United States thanks to a massive write-in campaign. Unfortunately, it will be discovered that she is really a 17-year-old masquerading as a 40-something dude who writes terrible, as-yet-unpublished romantic comedies. The ironies abound and the country delights in the foible.

2. YouTube will endorse a spinoff website -- BoobTube. Its popularity will surpass that of all Internet sites to date and will cause the World Wide Web to crash for several days, resulting in depressed writers everywhere wandering around aimlessly and muttering: "Must. Leave. Comments." The only ones profiting will be YouTube and the makers of Paxil.

3. The question "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?" will be answered by a Tibetan monk. He will then lose faith and record a hip-hop album. By the end of the year, he'll return to his religion a wiser person.

Your turn...