Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Names? Names? Names?

Because it is widely known in Internet Land that my readership is amongst the most brilliant, effervescent, educated, witty and charming in all the universe...

And because I am magnanimous to a fault, and wish to include you in my latest journey, embracing all as a mother hen would under her wings...

I've decided to let you in on the fun of NANOWRIMO!

I'm writing a chick lit novel and I need a name for the MALE ROMANTIC LEAD.  The female's name is Cora...but what should we call her soul mate???  First AND last name is highly encouraged.  Heck, throw in a middle name if you like.

Dig deep - concentrate - then let those juices flow.  Just don't get them on your keyboard, they are a bitch to clean.

Post your responses below.  If you submit the winning name, you will be the recipient of the most amazing prize, such as the universe has never seen!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Go Away. But Come Back.

So my latest post has to do with a fire station, and since that ties nicely into the 2012 blog, I've posted it there.  So please visit:

and learn not only what I did this weekend, but all about our next big blog adventure!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fine, GEEZ, I'll Tell You.

I think I'm going to have to pop the cork on November a little early, because our November project requires a lot of upfront planning.  I'm already spending a couple hours a night on it, and it's only mid-October.

November is National Novel Writing Month.  Complete morons  Adventurous souls like me and my cousin Queenie sign up to write a fictional novel in 30 days.  That's 50,000 words, folks.  50 big ones.  5-0.

My original intent, back around June or so, was to take my RDJR blog book project and "do" it during November.  However, the rules state that the work must be FICTION, and the RDJR blog was a it doesn't qualify.  And we ALWAYS FOLLOW THE RULES, do we not?

My novel is about a 40-something divorcee' blogger who enters the dating world.  I know - amazing.  Where does she get these ideas FROM, anyway?  It's so out there, I might be the next undiscovered sci fi writer.

Back to the question on the tip of your tongue - where's the RDJR book that you were so hot and heavy on back in May?  Well, it's still in my little pea brain, getting more and more locked down as each day passes.  You may recall that I met (briefly) with a publisher about the project last May.  He was very encouraging, even offered to read my manuscript when I had it done.  But his enthusiasm was tempered with realism...and I just hate realism, don't you?  Anyway, his point was (and I'm paraphrasing, but not by much because he only talked to me for like 10 minutes) when you write a memoir about a really painful part of your life, you handle it much better if you allow some time to pass between the "event" and the writing.  You would think it would be better to write it while it's fresh, right?  So much more bold and brilliant in your mind and all? Well, in some ways it might be.  But in other ways, it's much more raw and dark, like a constant series of lacerations...Mr. Publisher equated it to "running naked down the street."  I've made several false starts on RDJR, thinking that it's finally "time", and I can handle it...but when I go back to that place in my mind, it's much darker than I expected..anticipated...remembered.

Kind of like that scene in Titanic, when the old lady drops the Heart of the Ocean over the railing - only it's more like I just want to jump instead of drop my laptop.

Will I ever be in a place to write it?  Probably.  But not now.  Too raw, to fresh, too bloody.  I need some more scabbing, I guess.  And we'll always have  the the most awesome blog ever  that we can read whenever we want.

So anyhow, I'm busy developing characters for my 30-day novel.  Gawd help us all.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

National Tina Day - you knew it was gonna happen.

In celebration of my birthday (which is certainly going to be a national holiday any time now), my friend Sheila writes a story for me.  I, in turn, write one for her as well...almost every year.  (awkward cough)

This is the 2011 story; an "article" for our local paper.  Enjoy!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Barack Obama declared Sept. 23 National Tina Day, in honor of the legendary blogger who has made millions laugh with her frank and funny quips.
Tina accepted the award in a packed White House dining room, where fans such as the Dalai Lama, Pope Benedict XVI, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Bono cheered her on. Bono, of course, performed afterward in her honor.
Said Tina: “I accept this award on behalf of all fun bloggers everywhere, who pour their heart, soul and mental instabilities into blogs across the world every day.”
President Obama described his personal connection to Tina’s blogs, saying they affected changes in his administration.
“I have learned better to appreciate the sacrifices of veterans, the plight of the working woman and the wonders of the career of Robert Downey, Jr.,” Obama said, with a glistening tear in the corner of his eye.
In a surprise move, Obama presented Tina with a solid gold keyboard, begging her to continue her work of inspiring the world.
“I was shocked and delighted,” Tina said of the gift. “I especially appreciate the diamond-encrusted spacebar.”
No figures were given for how much taxpayers footed for the cost of the keyboard, but Obama said he’s sure no one minds.
After Bono’s set, which immediately followed the presentation, he and Wood danced and twirled around the floor to the musical stylings of Lady Gaga, Rascal Flatts and others who were dying to meet Tina in person.
“I could’ve done without Gaga,” Tina was heard to say, “I felt awkward in her presence without my meat dress.”
Toward the end of the night, a surprise appearance by Robert Downey, Jr., surprised and delighted the crowd, which by then had consumed a few too many cocktails. More raucous dancing ensued, but Tina maintained her cool.
“I had to be level-headed enough to remember those treasured events,” she said. “You know – so I can write a blog about it in the morning. For instance – who knew the Pope likes to dangle from chandeliers?”

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Maybe You Should Try Eating Oatmeal.

So, I'm sure I've mentioned this, but since January I've lost like 30 pounds.  I've shrunk, substantially.  Basically, I'm 2 sizes smaller than I used to be.

However, there's this little part of me that is completely convinced that tomorrow I'm going to wake up and be 30 pounds heavier.  That all these clothes I've tried on are just mislabelled, and I really still wear the size I used to.  I actually get scared to try on anything, for fear that it's all just some sort of really long dream and I won't be able to get that stuff zipped in the dressing room.

I wore my new FDNY sweatshirt today with a pair of straight cut jeans.  I caught a glance of myself in a mirror at my mom and dad's house and thought, "wow, I look really good in this!!"  I was genuinely surprised to see how, well, NARROW I looked.  The only mirror in my house is the tiny one over the bathroom sink.  I don't usually have that kind of view.

Anyhow, I went out and told my mom, "gee, look at how skinny this makes me look."  She gave me the once-over and said, "yes, you do look nice", in the sort of way you enter a room and comment on a beautiful Spring day, when it's sunny and 75, without a cloud in the sky, "gee, it sure is a lovely day out there!"  The person you just spoke to wants to respond, "Well, DUH, I can see that" but politeness forbids.   Anyhow, the fact that to my mom, my hotness was obvious got me to thinking - why isn't it so obvious to me?

I send HF pictures of myself frequently; probably 3 times a week. CLEAN pictures, usually right before I go out the door to work and my makeup still looks fresh, you pervert.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Anyhow, he always responds with some variation of "Beautiful, as always."  (He's sweet like that.)  I usually write it off with a self-deprecating - "well, it was a good angle, good thing he can't see my ass" or "well, he's just being nice" or "well, he probably says that to everyone, like a Spokompton version of George Clooney".  Why can't I just take a compliment?

It hit me today as I was looking in that little, tiny bathroom mirror.  I can't see myself as attractive because I am at the same weight I was when my Ex first told me I was fat, and then proceeded to give me a list of things I could do to lose weight and therefore make myself more attractive for him.  This girl, this hottie bo bottie in the FNDY jacket with the beautiful blue eyes and killer rack, wasn't good enough for the one person who was supposed to love me unconditionally.  Side note - I had decided that day after "fatgate" to break off my engagement (which is one of 3 times I had come to that decision, but that's a whole other blog, babe), but then some traumatic stuff happened in my life and it just blew over.  The rest is history.  You know how it goes.

I wish I could tell you that this resulted in some sort of epiphany; that I've got a tidy little resolution for you, and that I'll never again suffer from self-esteem issues.  I really wish I could, but I can't.  It's still front and center in my mind.  I guess the talking points you may take away are 1) HF is well-mannered;  2) my Ex is a complete self-absorbed asshole, and 3) I'm not sure what size I'll be in the morning.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Thin, Blurry Line


You can't believe how busy things are for me.  Seriously.

The only other person in my department is on maternity leave until the end of the year.  So I'm the Lone Ranger.  My days are a blur, pretty much.  I think I'm handling it least until around 4:00 every day, when I get really, REALLY tired.  So if you need something from me, you need to get that request in before 3:45 or so.

This is my excuse for not blogging.  I'm just too dog-gone worn out.  Be merciful.

On another note, I'm off to Spokompton next weekend, during which time I'll be going to an open house.  This concerns next year's blog topic (ooohhh, she's so CRYPTIC) so I'm not sure if I should just start next year's blog a little early and make it my first post, or if I should just post it here.

And the fact that I made this topic, about which you care not one iota, into a blog post just goes to confirm my soggy mental condition.

Plus - November is coming.  I've had to do a good deal of planning for November.  November will either kill me or make me stronger, to quote the Great Kanye.  So hang in there and work on yourselves this month in my honor.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Where Ya Been?

Yeah,  I know.  I suck.  I've told you that a thousand times.  You act like it's a flippin' news flash or something.

I had a minor work-related meltdown on Friday night, which led to a love-life related meltdown Sunday night.  Finally today, late today, I started feeling a little better about my job and life in general - at least to the point where I don't want to repeatedly slam my hand in a door anymore.

My point is, sometimes you gotta take a I did.

I've been pondering next year's blog, I think it's going to be a fun one.  Lots of pictures, that will be something new for me.  That's assuming, of course, that I survive November, which will be HELL ON EARTH month.

Want a hint?  Google "NANOWRIMO".  You may wish to empty your stomach first.  Every time I even think about it, I vomit a little.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thing 3 - Turn off the radio in your car from time to time.

Boy howdy, am I EVER going to ace Thing 3.  I love the radio, love to sing along to music while I drive.  I'm the nut bar you see sitting at the stop sign, singing "Where the Streets Have No Name" at the top of my lungs.  But the only radio station I get that isn't Country recently changed its playlist, and has been inundated with crappy 70's easy listening.  It goes without saying that I now FREQUENTLY turn down the radio.  Every chance I get.  Seriously.

Todd tells us that we should turn the music off in order to "take control of our mental agenda."  I agree wholeheartedly.  I do my best thinking in the car.   And I do it out loud.  Yes, I am not only Psycho Car Singer Girl, I'm also Weirdo Talking to Herself Car Girl.  Ah, but thanks to the legislators of the State of Washington, if you are going to talk on your cell while driving, you MUST do it now I look less insane, and more like I'm just on the phone.

But you know better, now don't you.

I like thing 3, Todd.  Go Todd Go.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thing 2 - Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper

Well, you KNOW how this is going to go.

Todd says, on page 16 of his book, that "a diet with a big breakfast resulted in five times the weight loss of one with a lower-calorie breakfast."  He then goes on to cite a study which showed that big-breakfasters lost an average of 40 pounds of 8 months, versus 9 by us light-breakfasters.

I CANNOT eat in the morning.  CANNOT.   I have to be up for at least 2 hours or so before I can stand the thought of eating.  I would like to cite the "Tina the Siren Sex Goddess study" which states that if you eat as little as you possibly can all day long, then eat a small dinner, you will keep your ass smaller than the size of Delaware and you won't feel like barfing at the thought of eating a big ole plate of victuals 15 minutes afer you get up.  It's totally, like, scientific.

I don't think I'm going to be able to check this box.  Ever.  Epic Fail on Thing 2.

Moving on....I've discovered yoga pants.  I bought a pair at Wally World - they are a size 12, thank you very much, and I haven't worn a 12 since the mid-90's.  Anyhow, I now race home from work and fling off my work clothes as quickly as possible, so that I can slide into my yoga pants and my tank top.   I want to live and die in my yoga pants.  In fact, I would love to try everything in my yoga pants - except yoga.  And breakfast.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thing 1 - Start Each Day With a Glass of Water

Todd has informed me that I should start each day with a glass of water.

Well, if you recall, back in August ("I'm the kind of person who..."month), we started drinking 100 oz of water every day.  I also started taking daily supplements.  So, guess what?  I already start my day out with a glass of water. 

Easy squeezy.


(rest assured, dearest reader - my cockiness is about to collapse.  I'm already balking at what I have to do tomorrow.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October: 21 Things to Create a Better Life

So, Baby Girl and I were in the Chelan bookstore back in August, and I ran across this little book - "21 Things to Create a Better Life" by Todd Bottorff.  I'm sure you recall that I mentioned this in a post at the time.  What I may not have mentioned is that, while I was at that bookstore, HF was texting me from a fire and sent me a picture of himself, looking all hot and sweaty and sooty.  That's just a side note.

Anyhow, for you less dedicated folk who don't live and die by this blog, I did in fact purchase this book for our October project.  I went to the author's Facebook page and gave him a heads-up that we would be exploring his work this month - we'll see if he plays along, like the awesome Sarah Taylor did during Vegan month, or if he ignores us, like, well, pretty much everyone else on the planet.

For those of you who like to play along at home, you can get the book here.  And, of course, I highly recommend that you do. 

So, here's how it goes down (and I'm quoting from page 1 of the book now):

"1.  Write down descriptions of various areas of your life as it is now.
2.     Read the 21 Things.
3.     Go to the final section of the book - 21 Things for 21 Days - and check off the things as you do them for 21 days.
4.     Write down descriptions of various areas of your life after the 21 days have passed."

You know I love me a checklist - and this little book has 21 of them at the end!!!!   We are going to modify slightly (of course, don't we always?) in that we are going to focus on one per day and build on that, rather than looking at a checklist and saying, "Oh, today I did #1 and #8 and #9 and #12"... you get the idea.

So, there are 6 areas that Todd wants us to examine (I don't know him, but I'm sure he'd have no problem with me calling him "Todd" as opposed to "Mr. Bottorff", it's a bond all us writers share) and I will do so with such candor that you might either cry or throw up in your mouth a little.  After all, what's the worst thing that can happen when you put personal, intimate details about yourself on the Internet?


So, the general question from page 2 of the book is, "How would you describe the following areas of your life now?"

1.  Health and Wellness

Both could be better.  After our Vegan month, I'm eating much healthier and have cut out a lot of the crap and sugar.  I try and move a little every day, but it seems that I come up with excuses not to do it.  I've developed a pattern where I eat nothing until dinnertime, then eat as little as possible, and I drink a lot of water to fill my stomach up.  I'm not wasting away - in fact, I'm only losing a pound or 2 per week - but sometimes I wonder if I'll be able to stop.

2.  Emotional State

Riding high, for the most part, now that my divorce is final and I'm officially single.  I get anxious about the future on occasion, mostly because I plan on moving next summer, but I don't know where to, or how I'll make a living when I do.  My emotional state seems to blur with #3...

3.  Relationships (friends, family, colleagues, adversaries, general public)

Well, there's this guy.  Volumes could be written there, right?  He's got the potential to be The One.  But we are a galaxy away from each other for the next 9 months.  So I spend most of my time thinking about how impractical this is for now, and the rest of my time thinking about how much I like him.  This gives me a dating "safety net" so I don't have to get entangled with anyone locally....which would royally suck, since I am moving next summer.  

The general public is getting on my nerves, at least at work.  I have an uber-small circle of friends, and I'm actually okay with that.  I've had a much larger group in my past life.  When it came time to stand up for me, I learned that most of them were complete shams.  You live and you learn.

4.   Career or work

Love what I do, not so much where I do it.  I've maxxed out my opportunities and I feel like there's a giant ax hovering over my head.  My job is tied to the banking and real estate industries; nuff said, right?  I would rather do something else, someplace else.  I would scrub floors all day if I knew I would be going home to a man that truly loves and adores me.

5.  Leisure activities

I spend my spare time watching old episodes of "Rescue Me" on Netflix; writing blog posts; checking my e-mail; and staring at Facebook.  Seriously.  Pathetic.

6.  Overall level of stress

Actually, not terribly high.  But the only other person in my department went on maternity leave on Friday.  So when I answer these questions again in 21 days, boy howdy - that one might change a little.

So there you have it.  Tomorrow we make change #1!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

FDNY - I Love You Anyway.

It's now October, my pets, so it's time to start anew.  Which we will do.


Today I'm thinking about our 2012 topic.  I really need to get this hammered out this month.  You see, October is going to be an 'easy' blog month, in that our project is challenging, but not sleep-depriving or vomit-inducing, as November's promises to be.  (Seriously, it's gonna be a bad month.  If you know me personally, if you see me approaching on the street in November, just back away.  It's for your own good.)  Then it will be December....and I know it's hard to believe from the quality of my finished product, but this blogging sh*t takes time and research, and I need to get my act together before December arrives so I can keep you entertained next year.

It seems that my readership spikes during months when I'm doing something that either a) causes me a great deal of physical pain, like sit-up month; or b) causes a great deal of mental anguish and a moderate amount of deprivation, like vegan month.  So then I had this brilliant idea for 2012 - I was going to test to be an FDNY firefighter.  No, not really BECOME one, but I was going to study for, physically prep for, and take the actual test.  I figured you guys would absolutely pee your pants at the thought of me trudging around a track next year with 80 pounds of gear, and learning how to handle a fire hose - while maintaining my status as the resident Siren Sex Goddess of Okanogan County.  And hello, think of all the firefighters I'd get to meet while I'm "training."

But it turns out that FDNY isn't interested in 42-year old women who spend 40+ hours a week sitting at a desk, and who have only actually handled a fire hose once when they were 17, and that was only for like 15 minutes in boot camp, and they were scared sh*tless the whole time they were doing it.  To quote one of the greatest movies of all time - "INCONCEIVABLE!"   According to the FDNY website, if you are over 29 years of age, you are encouraged NOT to test ("encouraged" meaning "we won't let you sign up").  So now I'm back to square one, topic-wise.  Upside - I did find a link for this really cool "FDNY" jacket which I plan on ordering for myself as soon as I finish the post.  Hopes dashed, but at least I get a souvenir out of it.

Your ideas are encouraged...the more outlandish, the better.  I know that you have my best interests at heart.