Friday, February 27, 2015

Flashback Friday: Chick Magnet #2 and 'New' Pick Up Line!

Feb 2005:
K was now in Pep Band (the school was small, so no separate band for basketball games), and I insisted we take in a game in order to watch him play.  When I was in HS, it was not unusual for parents to sit near the band section of the bleachers, so that's where I chose to seat my family.

Oops...we soon discovered the student section was in front of us.  Again, no big deal for me, but the spouse hated it.  However, this presented a wonderful opportunity for my 11 m/o Youngling!

The girls who knew me fawned over him, shared their popcorn, and even let him sit with him during cheers.

During the 3rd quarter Pep Band break, K took him around to show him off, and as we discovered later, used his little 'Mini-Me Chick Magnet' to collect email addresses from cute girls!  The spouse and I joked the new pick up line was not, "Can I have your number?  I lost mine..."  but now "If you give me your email address, I'll send you a picture of you holding this cute little boy."

I think he must have collected at least ten email addresses, and even more when we attended a Monrovia game and he got to see his football buddies from the previous two years.

Present Day:

My first five copies of Hotel Stories arrived yesterday!  We're having Open Mic Night tomorrow evening at the Open Gallery, so I'm hoping to read a short excerpt from my story, Night Wind, as well as one from either NiKoh or Heart's Last Chance.

We'll also have copies on hand to sell, so yay!

Then it will be off for a short karaoke session to celebrate.  I can't stay long, since I have to sing at 8am service, then spend all afternoon in heavy Requiem practice.  Here's how Sunday's schedule will go, if you're interested:

-7:30am:  Arrive in choir loft
-9 am:  Return home to get Youngling
-9:30am:  Take Y to REP.  Return home.
-10:45:  Return to church for 11am service
-12pm:  Service over; time for quick lunch
-12:30:  Spouse drops me off for Requiem practice; 'staging' practice', so we'll know how to get on and off the stage, plus when to sit down
-1pm:  Practice with HS singers
-2pm:  Break while soloists and orchestra practice
-3pm:  Dress rehearsal with orchestra
-4pm:  Doors open
-4:30:  We take stage; concert begins
-6pm-ish: Birthday dinner for Youngling (he'll be 11) with my dad, who is coming down to watch performance:)

So What's On Tap For Karaoke?
Doing a Cher Tribute:
Dark Lady
I Got You Babe
I Found Someone
You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Favorite book and why

When I was in the 1st or 2nd grade, my mother produced her copy of Little Women and gave it to me.  I wasn't that interested in some of the chapters, but I devoured as much of the first half as I could, especially since she'd read the first chapter in a 'Children's Big Book' anthology which included fairy tales and first chapters from classic books.  I wanted to know more about Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, and saw a little of myself in each character.

Meg:  I could relate to her because I was the oldest.

Jo:  I loved the fact she could write...and write....and write.  In fact, one piece of wisdom I've carried with me is 'write what YOU like, not what someone ELSE likes'.  When Jo is getting ready to submit her 1st book, she tries to please everyone by putting more suspense, 'lovering', and sermon-like monologues.  As a result, yes, the book is accepted and printed, but Jo isn't happy with it, and says, "I wish I'd kept it the way I'd originally written it."  Lesson learned:  Don't let anyone mess with 'your voice'.

Beth:  I also love music, and begged my parents for piano lessons.  My wish was finally granted in the 6th grade, though I'd been playing by ear for years.  It was finally revealed they balked at letting me take lessons, due to the fact my grandmother was a gifted pianist who became kind of a 'trained monkey' sort, who was trotted out at parties to play whenever my great-grandparents wanted to show her off.  Grandma hated it, so she never pushed my mother or uncles to follow a music career.  I would love to be more skilled, but by age 12, my left hand refused to conquer the notes.  Since we'd acquired an organ, and I was practicing on it, my teacher recommended I switch to organ.  I took lessons for 3 more years until my HS activities prevented it.  I'd switched to percussion by that time, and was playing the bells, xylophone, marimba, vibraphone...anything except snare and timpani.

Amy:  I loved her name.  I loved her antics.  I loved her curls.  I even tried to get my parents to change my name!  But no....

When I was older, probably 4th grade, I finally read the second half, and wept when Beth died.  I've also watched two adaptations on TV:  One with Susan Dey as Jo and Eve  Plumb as Beth, and then the Winona Ryder version.  I THINK I also have the Katharine Hepburn version on VHS, but have never watched it.

Why do I love it so?  This movie is timeless!  The themes, poverty, family, love, and overcoming hardships....can be related to today's culture as well.

I used to volunteer my time at school during Book Fair week, and encouraged any young reader to try this book.  If they did, I'd later ask them how they liked it, and the answer was usually a resounding 'I LOVED it!'  Next step:  "Why don't you read Little Men?"

"There's MORE?  Oh good!"

What about you?  What's YOUR all-time favorite book, and have you ever tried to read Little Women?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

HDH #1

I've not participated in this for quite a while, but today I'd like to share a few lines from my latest release, Night Wind:

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” wheezed the man she'd knocked down.  Jeni turned her head and saw the half-dressed man push himself from the back of the sitting area couch.  “Greg, I heard your signal, man. What gives?”
“Sorry Sam.  She had her key out before I could say anything.”  Greg helped Jeni to her feet.  “Sam, this is Jeni, assistant manager.  Sam Malone, Aiden's bass player.”
“Sam Malone?  As in-” Jeni shut her mouth.
“Yeah, yeah, same as Ted Danson's character in Cheers.  My parents have a sense of humor.”

Available in print 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Flashback Friday: Back To Work!

Feb 1995:
With the spouse home all the time, I soon grew tired of having him around all the time, plus living off unemployment.  We'd eaten several times at our local Sirloin Stockade, so one day I walked in, found the manager we'd gotten to know, and demanded he hire me.  Turned out they were having a training session that evening, so I filled out the application, went home, told D what I'd done, then went back for the training session.

Financially, it worked out.  My tips covered the daily expenses, such as milk or quick grocery runs, and my paychecks covered the electric bill.  We used his weekly unemployment checks for the rent and groceries.

That first night, we had a record crowd, and I was soon given my own two rows of customers.  But I'd worn the wrong socks with my work shoes, so it wasn't long before my big right toe was in agony.  I'd even asked Todd for an advance on my pay, so I could go get a larger size shoe.  He refused, so I put up with the pain.

At the end of the shift, Todd complimented me on a good first night, and remarked how they'd not had that large of a crowd before.  I told him my history of larger than usual crowds on my debut night, and he joked, "You're fired.  Come back tomorrow!"

I went home and soaked my aching feet, then wore panty hose instead of black socks.  It eased the pain in my toe, but the damage had been done.  I would fight a painful ingrown toenail for the next ten months.

Present Day:
NiKoh's edits are finished!  Received round 1 Wednesday night, and sent them back yesterday afternoon.  Then the final round arrived in the evening, with only two things needing addressed.  Sent them back last night, and NiKoh is off to the proofreader!  Now, still waiting on cover art...and to see if maybe we need to tie up one slight possible loose end.  I might be able to address it in SaLie's book.

Projected Release Date is April 13th, though I'm hoping it will arrive before April 3rd, the day I travel to Madison, In for the Author's Fair.

Don't know if I'll make it to karaoke tomorrow or not; our truck may not be ready until Monday.  I'm bummed....we've had 7 inches of snow this week; schools have been cancelled every day; payday was Wed, and I haven't hardly left the house, except for a whirlwind trip through Walmart Wednesday morning for emergency lunch fixings.  I'm dying to eat something I've not had to cook myself.

If by some miracle I AM able to go, I'll sing the following:
I Don't Want To-Toni Braxton
I Don't Want To Live W/O You-Foreigner
I Can't Drive 55-Sammy Hagar

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Favorite Quote

I have many favorite quotes from the Bible and movies, but I think my all time favorite quote is a lesson illustrated by sand.

"If you love something, set it free.  If it doesn't return, it was never yours to begin with."

What does that have to do with sand?

If you've ever held a handful of loose, dry sand, you know the tighter your fist, the faster the grains slip through your fingers.  Keep a loose grip, and the grains stay put.

This works with relationships.  If you love someone, don't try to keep a choke hold on them.  There has to be a great deal of TRUST for a relationship to work, which means no checking up on someone.

THAT book, illustrated by THE MOVIE, shows this clearly.  CG tracks AS's movements and everyone is up in arms, not by his scarlet room of discomfort, but by the way he TREATS her.

Yes, yes, I hear you...."But if I don't care about where s/he goes, won't that encourage cheating?"

Not necessarily.  If there is solid trust between two people, the urge to cheat won't surface.  You know your partner trusts and loves you, so therefore temptation isn't so readily at the forefront of your mind.

Again, what does that have to do with letting someone go?

You cannot force someone to stay.  The tighter you try to keep them with you, or in your control, the more they will try to get away.

Years ago, I 'knew' my roommate and I were destined to be BFFs.  But when we did meet, she preferred the company of another roommate.  Instead of getting huffy, I sat back and waited for the opportunity, and it came seven months later, when she introduced me to her boyfriend's BFF, and discovered I'm actually a lot of fun in a quiet way, ha ha!  Then, when our other roommate dropped out of college, that's when our bond strengthened, and we're still BFFs to this day.

Had I whined, followed her everywhere, or pulled a soap opera stunt, I think she would have done everything in her power to move out of the room....

So what are your thoughts?  Yes, there is a time to put your foot down, but there's also a time to take a step back.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Yes! Right Choice This Time!

Celebrity Apprentice wrapped up last night, and I was hoping Leeza would win, and she did:)  She also kicked Geraldo's butt in the fundraising ($300+ to his $140-something), and won the task.  Aside from that, several things still bugged the crap out of me:

-'Phonegate':  When asked, Kenya threw her makeup artist under the bus.  I still say she did it.

-Kenya:  Her sticky-sweet kissing up made me nearly go into a diabetic coma.  She had her head so far up Trump's butt, I'm surprised we could even see her.

-Kate:  Can't the woman make a decision without sounding like a teenager who's afraid to stand up for herself?  Geez...

-Trump's Treatment of Keisha:  1st, he mispronounced her name.  Then later, when he corrected her, he cut her off.  If you don't respect someone, why invite them back on the show?

-Shawn's MIA w/o Comment From Anyone:  Sig was also MIA, but then again, he's in the middle of Opilio season.  I don't know why Shawn wasn't there.

In Other News.....
Valentine's Day was enjoyable.  I baked all afternoon, with 'help' from the granddaughter, who tested the limits of my patience by dumping in the brown sugar before I was entirely ready.  It was maybe a millimeter or two shy of a cup when I had to open a new bag.  Just after I opened it, she dumped the packed sugar into the melted butter.  Sigh....

The spouse went with me to karaoke, where I sang the 'anti-love' list.
Faithfully (nailed it!)
Are You Happy Now (little flat at times)
If I Could Turn Back Time (good)
I Hate Myself For Loving You (duet with another girl; we rocked the bar!)
Don't Stop Believing (sang the high notes on the chorus for another girl; again, we rocked the place!)
Better Dig Two  (nailed it!)

Then we went to Denny's, and took a short drive before heading home.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Flashback Friday: Valentine's Day!

Feb 1985:
By now, you know I have a history of lousy Valentine's Days.  In 1982, I broke up with my b/f for a stupid reason, then spent months trying to win him back; in 1983, I'd had a fight with my Valentine; in 1984, I poured out my heart to my Valentine, then made myself scarce the rest of the day.

This year, I thought things would be different.  After all, I returned from Christmas Break back to my lover's arms, but after two weeks, we suddenly discovered we had nothing to talk about.  A week went by, then I received a letter from my HS boyfriend, whom I'd spoken to over Break, and in a letter, had informed him of the recent break up. He wanted a 5th chance with me, and included his HS Key. Being lonely, I slipped the necklace over my head, wore a nice outfit, and had my roommate take my picture.  I sent him the pic, then went about my studies.  I'd also switched my major from Early Childhood Ed to Social Work, and was really enjoying my classes.

A week later, I received another letter, asking for his key back.  Apparently his mommy wasn't happy, so I removed it and sent it back, thinking 'why in the HELL had I done this?  Didn't the first FOUR times show me he was unreliable?'  

Valentine's Day arrived.  My roommates were all paired up, and talked about their romantic nights ahead.  Determined not to be alone, I called my ex and invited him to lunch.  He accepted, then to my delight, spent the afternoon with me, took me to dinner, then we spent a few hours in his dorm room.  I thought me might be back on track.

But the next day, he called me, and said we could be 'weekend buddies'.  I told him I'd think about it.  This resolve lasted only until the following weekend...let's face it, my hormones were raging.  But this only happened a few times before we came to our senses.

Present Day:
My Valentine's Days are no better now; we're usually strapped for money, and on rare times when our Tax Refund has arrived, I do get taken out to dinner.  But this year we're facing a $500 truck repair, plus I have money set aside for upcoming trips in April.  I'll be making a festive dinner for the family, then dragging the spouse to karaoke.

I'm also thinking of doing some 'anti-love' songs tomorrow:
Are You Happy Now-Michelle Branch
If I Could Turn Back Time-Cher
Hate Me-Blue October
Faithfully-Journey (I DO love this song, and hope I get to sing it!)

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Flashback Friday: 1st Slumber Party:)

Feb 1975:
My bff KB decided to make her birthday party into a slumber party.  I rode the bus home with her, then went with them to pick up several others.  Since I loved her Barbie Townhouse, I headed straight for it....and that's when I discovered not everyone was 'in synch' with my storyline.  See HERE for the post where I talked about this in detail.  I also discovered I preferred to sit back and watch the other girls interact, since I couldn't stand 'Miss Popular', but was fascinated at the way the other girls agreed with everything she said.  I didn't, but kept my mouth shut.  While I enjoyed myself, I much preferred it when it was just KB and myself at her house.  She also had a playroom in her attic, accessed by a set of pull down stairs.

Mrs. M read Marie Kilillea's book, Wren to us, a chapter a day, and I was so excited by it I would go home and tell my mom what had happened in that particular chapter and could we pleeeeeeeease go buy the book?  I think I finally got it several months later.

I was terrified when it was my turn to go to the office and call Time and Temperature.  I hadn't been allowed to use the phone, except if someone called me, and the phone number was unfamiliar.  Alice, the secretary, helped me, then I skipped back to class and carefully wrote the temperature on the board.  This must have been part of a Science lesson, since I only did it once.

It was also this time that I discovered the wonders of the nurse's office.  All you had to do was tell the teacher you had a headache and you could go take a nap for an hour.  How wonderful!  Unfortunately, I chose to do it too many times in a row, and my mother intervened.  I was only allowed to go to the office twice a month, unless I had a temperature or was in OBVIOUS pain.

The Infamous Phonics Disaster also occurred this time:  If you left your workbook at home, Mrs. M let you read a book.  I was in the middle of a particular exciting chapter in By The Banks of Plum Creek, and was having trouble locating my Phonics book in my very messy desk.  Just when I'd given up, I spotted it near the back.  Disappointed, I covered it back up and prepared to spend the next few minutes reading.  But 'Miss Popular', whose desk was behind mine, had spotted my book and tried to loudly point out where it was.  I tried to shush her, but the teacher had heard and came over.  I had to pretend to be surprised at the sight of it buried under papers and grudgingly got to work, seething with anger at the other girl.

Not sure what we did for Valentine's Day, other than the usual cards taken to school and my mother giving me a card and a chocolate candy heart.

Next Month:  Spring Break!

Present Day:
We received an inch of snow Wednesday night, and thankfully it melted yesterday.  I wrote 900+ words on my Heart of Braden story, and maybe 100 more on SaLie's.  I hope to get back to both stories today.

Karaoke Songs:
I Can't Dance-Genesis
I Can't Hold Back-Survivor
I Don't Want To Fight-Tina Turner

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Wrong Decision!

I just finished watching last night's Celebrity Apprentice, and I'm furious again.  Not because of the 1st task...I was thrilled Kenya was finally fired.  Once again, The Donald didn't listen.

The teams were tasked with writing jingles.  Team Vortex did a wonderful job, and rightly won.

Team Infinity faltered....badly.

Ian's jingle was catchy, and yes, needed a different tune, since I'm not sure Anheiser Busch needs 'La Cucaracha' to be tied to their brand (LOL!).  Brandy didn't like Ian's attitude, so she went with Johnny's.  Ian was worried it was 'too wordy', and that's exactly what the executives thought it was.

But in the boardroom, after Team Vortex left, Ian was asked about his jingle, and immediately The Donald jumped all over it, complaining about the tune.  Ian TRIED to explain he fully expected to change the tune, but The Donald wouldn't listen and fired him.

If Ian could have been allowed to press his case, and I'll admit, he might have, but ended up on the editing floor, IF The Donald would have slowed down and LISTENED to him, MAYBE Ian would still be there?  There could have been an Ian/Vivica vs Geraldo/Leeza  or Men-vs-Women?

Then in a twist, The Donald fired Johnny, since he'd written the losing jingle, then Brandi, for being Project Manager.  One loss and Team Infinity dissolved.

The final 3:  Vivica, Geraldo, and Leeza.  Can't wait to see who goes head to head!

For the record, I DO believe Kenya stole Vivica's phone.  It was never addressed whether or not she ever 'found' it, but I hope she did!

Monday, February 2, 2015

February Goals and Reading Schedule

Books Read in Jan:  11

Songs Added To Karaoke Good List:  1.  The  last of the 'H' songs were not kind to me!

NiKoh Sent In?  YES!

February Goals:
-Add 20K to SaLie's story
-Add 20K to Shana's story
-Edit NiKoh (if they arrive)  Check:)
-Approve NiKoh's cover art
-Pay for next year's CGAH show  1st installment sent:)
-Reserve slot in Day With Authors (before 15th)
-Start getting promo together for NiKoh and Hotel Stories
-Hotel Stories Release Party
-Practice Requiem for March 1st performance

February Reading Schedule:
April Fool- Blanche Marriott  Very good:)  RR
Wicked-Madison Scott  DNF
Triple D Ranch-Beverly Ovalle  Not bad; was expecting more of a plot.
Broken Pieces-Rachel Thompson  LOVED several of the essays and poems! 
I Like 'Em Pretty Nawlins-Michael Mandrake  DNF
I Love It-Michael Mandrake   DNF
The Bull Rider and Bare Boycotter  Good story!  Slightly repetitious in places.
Hell Hath No Fury-Carol Lynne  Interesting take on Hell and Lucifer:)  Enjoyable if you're in the mood for M/M.
Bound For The Holidays-Brynn Paulin  Good story:)
Breaking The Silence- Tricia Anderson  Excellent!  DRR Was surprised to find my name in the credits:)  Thanks Tricia!
The Anniversary-Crowe Gray  Hot story, not much plot.

Karaoke Songs
Broken-Amy Lee/Seether  Sounded good!
I Can't Dance-Genesis  Think it sounded okay; I'll check video.
I Can't Hold Back-Survivor  Nailed it!
I Don't Want To Fight-Tina Turner  Little shaky, but okay:)
I Don't Want To-Toni Braxton  Okay
I Don't Want To Live Without You-Foreigner  Okay
I Got You Babe-Sonny and Cher  Slightly low, but still good:)

Seahawks ROBBED of Super Bowl Title!
With less than a minute to go, Seattle was on the 1 yard line.  Yes, it was a dumb call to try to throw it in, rather than run it into the end zone, but the refs missed a pass interference call, when a Patriot player slammed into the receiver before the ball descended.  Instead of winning by 3, Seahawks lost by 4.

Definitely  an exciting game!  Commercials were a little blah, with the exception of Doritos and Budweiser.  Loved the Brady Bunch spoof with Snickers!