Sunday, February 25, 2007

Yeah! Vindication

I'm really jazzed that An Inconvenient Truth won the Oscar for Best documentary tonight. As you may recall, I've loved this movie since I saw it back in June. I blogged about it here. If you haven't seen it yet, please rent it.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Congratulations Honey!

I mentioned in a previous post that my husband recently earned his Bachelor's Degree from California Coast University. It's a private college where students work online and everyone completes their degrees at different times--ergo, no large formal graduation ceremonies. They do, however, give private ceremonies for those who request them. The hubby isn't the type to request such a thing, but we insisted. Hey, we live within driving distance. Why not? This is HUGE right? And doesn't he look handsome too! His mother couldn't be there, but his father was proud enough for both of them. My mom was there as well. And me. I always knew he could do it! Once he puts his mind to something, it's as good as done.
Congratulations again, honey. I am so inspired by you.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday babbles

It's Saturday and I don't have much to say. It was hot and windy today and it made both me and the hubby really grumpy. The good thing is that we both acknowledged that we were grumpy and that everyone was bugging us so neither of us thought the other was mad at him/her. The other good thing was that we were both annoyed, so we had a gleeful day of pointing out who annoyed us at the store, on the road, at Quizno's, whatever. Oftentimes just giving each other that look and small nod. Being with another person for many years is a funny thing sometimes. They say that you become more and more alike over the years. We've always been very much alike so I can't imagine us in another 20 years. Will we turn into just one person? LOL.

Hopefully the wind will die down so we can take Lulu to the dog park tomorrow. We went a couple of weekends ago on a windy day and the dirt flew everywhere and we both got dust in our eyes. Not fun. Too bad they can't get the grass to grow more evenly at the park, but it's hard with all the dogs running on it every day. The other thing they need is lighting. It closes at dusk and during the autumn and winter, that means we can only go on weekends.

If you've never been to a dog park, it's quite an experience. First you go though a gate into a small pen where you take your dog off her leash. Then you let her out through the gate on the other side and into the dog park. (You are not allowed to go inside with your dog on a leash. All the dogs are off their leash and they would see the leashed dog as weak.) All the dogs run up to greet the newcomer. It's really interesting to watch the way they interact. Some dogs find a friend and play only with that other dog. Some dogs play fetch with their humans. Some dogs like to meet everyone--dogs and humans. Lulu is like this. She usually makes her rounds to all areas of the park and meets everyone. Then she approaches people sitting on benches so she can get petted. She usually gets quite a bit of attention because she's not the typical retriever, plus, she's very friendly and smiles a lot at the dog park. A very happy girl.

Cross your fingers for no wind. Lulu deserves a little fun.
The photo above is Lulu, Atticus and their friend Delphi greeting each other at Delphi's house. Our friends M & K invited all of us over in December for lunch (Delphi's birthday party ) and a good time was had by all. As I think back on it now, I'm grateful that Atticus was happy and healthy that day. He loved it. M even made doggie cakes for them! It was a wonderful day.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3

"Do not try to be anything other than yourself, and try to do that perfectly."~ Author Unknown (from a motivational poster at work)

If you want to get straight to the TT, scroll down past the boring story of explanation. :)

Today's Thursday 13 came from a conversation with my sisters-in-law after the funeral on Monday. When we all went inside, everyone made a beeline for the coffee because it was a cold day. Regular coffee burns my stomach and there was neither hot water and tea bags nor milk to dilute the coffee, so I got a glass of lemonade. (SIL #1 looks at me and said, "You don't drink coffee, do you?" Like this is news. I never have.) Other people sort of looked over at me then, like I was so odd, I guess that's why I remember it.

The three of us found a little corner to have a chat. They were talking about a wine tasting my older SIL (SIL#1) is going to (her boys are staying at our house that night) and the subject morphed into vacations. SIL #1 was upset that she couldn't use her frequent flyer miles to go to Hawaii during a August but it was the only place she wanted to go. I asked why she wanted to go there--she's already been at least twice--why not try somewhere different? She looked puzzled. I mentioned that we have beaches and palm trees here and she said the boys loved to go surfing and it was relaxing there. (They live 10 minutes from the beach. My older nephew used to get up early every day and go surfing before he went to school. The Hawaii trip is still a head-scratcher to me. Why not take the boys to Europe? They've only been there once and it was without the boys. They have family there that none of them have met.) Then she mentioned how she'd love to stay at a resort in Hawaii, but they're $800 a night. SIL#2 agreed that a resort would be wonderful, gave me annoyed look and started naming names of resorts. (SIL#2 is like me. Burns after 5 minutes in the sun. What's she going to do in Hawaii?) At least we all agreed that $800 a night was a lot of money.

Anyway, that's how it went. The more and more they talked, the less I had in common with them. I mostly just kept my mouth shut and made positive noises because it was clear that whenever I asked a question, they were just annoyed with me. Why couldn't I just like everything they liked because it would be so much easier? As I stood there I started making a mental list of all the things that the average person likes that I don't. I had nearly 13 in just a minute or two so it was the obvious choice:

13 Things I don't have in common with the average person:

1) Team sports of any kind- I have no interest. I like Horse Racing and figure skating and that's about it. Gymnastics perhaps. But baseball, football, soccer, hockey, basketball? Boooorrrinnngggg.

2) Trucks, minivans or SUVs- I like little sporty cars. I have no desire to own the whole road or be someone's chauffer. I'll be driving a little bitty car for the rest of my life. I'm not interested in sedans or bigger luxury cars either.

3) Hawaii/tropical island vacations- I live in So. CA. I am surrounded by palm trees and the beach is 15 minutes away. If I'm going to plunk down my heard-earned money, I want a change of scenery. Preferably somewhere with old historical buildings or museums. Or for just relaxing, the mountains.

4) Red wine/Dry wines- My in-laws are constantly trying to tell me why I should like red wine. Sorry, I don't. I don't care that making it is a much more difficult process, or how many tannins it has, or that's its supposed to be good for my heart (which really cracks me up because that's not why they drink it!) I don't like the taste of it. Give me some white wine, champagne, or Muscatel. Give me the sweet stuff and I'm a happy girl. I'm 38 years old and I know what I like by now. See #5.

5) Acquired tastes- After 38 years if I don’t like it, I don't like it. I don't want to have to learn to like fish, red wine, caviar or sushi. I don't. I don’t like regular coffee either. Give me a non-fat Carmel Macchiato loaded with milk and sugar or a cup of tea and I'll drink that.

6) Cell phones- I don't understand the addiction. I don't need to be reachable 24/7. I don't get people who can't be anywhere "alone" any more. I understand parents wanting to be accessible to their children, but I don’t understand $200+ phone bills and people who can't put their phones down. I have a pay-as-you-go-plan. I use my phone to tell you I'm on my way or I'm late and then I hang up. I pay about $8 a month for this and it suits me just fine.

7) Reality shows- I've yet to find one I enjoy. I don't watch TV to see an assortment of people who want to be famous, I watch it for escape, good writing and a good plot. Why does everyone have to live in one house? It's annoying and overdone. The only ones I watched a bit of were Rockstar (for the music) and Last Comic Standing (for the jokes). I don't even know if these shows are on any more because I haven't bothered to look for them in the last 6 months.

8) Camping- Vacations include hotel rooms, electricity and my own bathroom. Nuff said.

9) Celebrities- I could care less what the celebrities are doing. Really. I mean it.

10) "The latest" anything/Keeping up with the Joneses- I'm not interested in the latest fad diet. I've never had the desire to be just like everyone else and I don't understand why anyone does. I don't need the newest, bestest anything. It might prove to be a hunk of junk in a year and it costs way more when it's new. If you have that brand new $3,000 flat screen, good for you. If it makes you happy, I'm happy for you, but I have no desire to own one and I'm certainly not jealous. I'll get one in 5 years for $300.

11) Name brands/designers- I have no idea who the famous designers are. I have no desire to know who they are. I don't shop at upper scale department stores unless I'm desperate or with someone else who wants to go there. I drive a luxury brand of car because I love the size and shape of it and the way it drives. I was able to pick up a 2 year old for a fantabulous price. The logo on my car's hood is almost embarrassing to me because it's so not what I'm about. I just love my little car and I'd love it just the same if it was a Hyundai.

12) Rap/dance/county music- I love music, but I hate this stuff. The only tolerable rap is the stuff that tells a good story without all those loud backbeats and swearing. I'm insulted when rappers call me "bitch." Dance music is just beyond me. Way too much beat, too peppy, too everything. Country is just too depressing and/or twangy and just not me. I make an exception A few older ones like some Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline for the new Dixie Chicks CD because it doesn't play like a country CD to me. It sounds like a rock band with a country flair. Plus, the lyrics are great--not depressing. Empowering.

13) Kids/babies - I've always known I'd never give birth to a child. Going through a pregnancy is just something I've never wanted to do. I don't hate kids and I'm tired of being misunderstood. I'm an only child and I like the company of adults. A chaotic house full of kids sounds noisy, stressful and unsettling to me. I've also always known that if I changed my mind I would adopt one little girl (not a baby) and do the best for her. And, to be honest, I still feel entirely to young to be a parent. Laughable I know because I'm almost too old to start a family now, but I still feel like a kid myself. I refuse to have children just because my family members want me to be like everyone else. My husband and I must be true to ourselves.

Get your Thursday 13 code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends in Blogger Land. Smooches!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rest In Peace Uncle Al

America lost one of her true heroes last week, my husband's Uncle Al. He was a man of few words and varied interests. He never married or had children, but he encouraged my husband (and his siblings) to always work hard to achieve their goals. He was buried in the Military section of the cemetery called Hill of Valor and the Marines were there to fold and present his flag and play Taps, which was fitting.
The thing that I will always remember about Uncle Al was that he always had a dance partner at every wedding--someone new to teach. You see, besides being a Marine, Uncle Al was a police officer, a forest ranger and a professional dancer. He could never resist teaching a new student those great dances that none of us know any more: the tango, fox trot, waltzes, you name it. He knew and excelled at them all, as his full trophy case will attest to.
Rest in Peace Uncle Al
June 13, 1932- February 5, 2007
Thank you for your sacrifices for our country and thank you for what you taught my husband, your nephew. God Bless.


Friday, February 09, 2007


This week my good friend Cory's daughter's poem YELL ME SOMETHING GORGEOUS will be published in a teen magazine. This is her second poem to be published, BTW. I see a very bright future for her. Congratualtions, Kiddo! You're fabulous! Please stop by and congratulate Cory's daughter Eldest Minion on her acccomplishment!


Thursday, February 08, 2007


Grey's Anatomy ROCKS tonight!

That's all.


Thursday Thirteen #2

Thirteen Things I love About Writing~

1) When I’m able to translate a scene into words on my computer screen—exactly as I saw it in my head. In my fantasy, the heroine “Brings down the Moon” and channels its power on the entire Pack, causing them all to shape-shift. It feels so right; my skin prickles whenever I read it.

2) When I write an emotional scene that not only makes me cry, it makes my critique partner cry too. I like emotional scenes and I write tons of them. There are too many for me to pick one to describe here.

3) When a character that I have complete faith in is able to grow and change just like I knew she could. My first heroine, a dreamy, waiting-for-her-dream-man kind of good girl chose to walk away from the hero when she thought he’d cheated on her. My critique group’s reaction was first shock, and then applause, but I always knew she had it in her.

4) I love the feel of a pen in my hand and the weight of a beautiful journal in my lap. I’ve written many a first person character study longhand in a journal. It’s very easy to channel characters this way. Being in touch with my characters is what I live for.

5) There’s nothing like reading a book that reminds me in some small way of my own writing. It’s nice to think that someday I could be holding my own book in my hands. After all, a publisher liked this book enough to buy it, so why not mine?

6) It’s only happened a couple of times, but it’s really cool to see a character I’ve created in real life. One of my favorite characters is a werewolf healer named Alissandra—the nemesis of my heroine Roma. She’s beautiful and she has attitude. Imagine my stunned speechless self when I started my current job and was introduced to her! She worked in my department. We later became friends and I had to tell her so she wouldn’t wonder why I was constantly staring at her. It was like magic. I imagined her and…poof! There she was.

7) It’s really cool to get so sucked into writing that hours have passed and I was unaware of it. I sat down once at 8 AM and didn’t look up until 4PM. I’d never had breakfast or lunch, never changed out of my PJs or showered, didn’t do anything I’d needed to do that day but write. Tons and tons of golden pages.

8) There’s nothing better than hearing a scrap of conversation, seeing an object or reading a headline and boom! A story idea pops into my head. It’s like a gift from my muses because I was paying attention.

9) I love, love, love that my plots are all subconscious. That I never know what’s going to happen next and if I keep writing, I’ll find out. Three cheers for my muses! (AKA The Girls)

10) I love that writing is something I can do anywhere, any time. It costs me nothing and the satisfaction I get from it is immeasurable.

11) I love that writing makes me think—even if the thinking part (AKA the plotting) also causes me such pain. Nothing worth having comes easy. The more I learn about writing craft, the harder it gets. But everyone would be a writer if it was easy, wouldn’t they?

12) I’m not a humorous writer by any stretch of the imagination, and I have no desire to write a comedy, but I love it when I write a scene that makes people laugh out loud. It’s usually because I’m in the zone and the characters are saying exactly what they should be saying.

13) I love the writing community. I’ve met the nicest people since I started writing again 8+ years ago. (Many of them are listed on my links in the right margain.) From RWA to my local chapter, to the Cherries, to my friends in Yahoo E-groups, Blogger and LJ. There’s nothing like another writer to really “get” you, support you and cheer you. When I first started writing, I emailed a local author who invited me to sit with her at our local RWA chapter meeting--I still sit with her today! Last year a published author I didn’t even know offered to send me to a writer’s conference when I mentioned on a writer's loop that I couldn't afford to go. When I came up with the money later and told her I didn't need it, she told me to donate it to our Michele Fund auction for my friend's breast cancer medical bills. I’ve had people send me free books and I’ve made the best friends in my life all in writers (and readers) groups. Writing can be a solitary thing--you hear it all the time--but it certainly hasn’t that way for me.
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Leave me the link to your TT and I'll add you too.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Six Months

Today, February 4, 2007, is the 6 month Anniversary of the day we lost our precious Niki, Kiki or Nikita Bonita to us, Lady Kenpo Nikita to the AKC. As I spent this quiet Sunday around the house with Lulu, I thought of Kiki a bit, what she'd be doing while I put away the groceries, folded clothes and balanced the checkbook. She'd have been by my side, of course, as she always was.

I miss her. I can't get around it. I just do. Having Lulu here is a comfort and a blessing, but she'll never replace Niki. Just as Niki could have never replaced Kilroy, Kilroy couldn't have replaced Dotty, and Dotty my childhood dog, Louisa. Just as Atticus will always be in my heart, they all will. I feel very sorry for someone who has never experienced the unconditional love of an animal. I feel truly sorry for him indeed that he'll never know that each animal has his own personality, has feelings and worth (and I'm not talking monetary worth here).

Nikita was feisty--no two ways about it--and she was the alpha dog. Niki liked some people very much and others not at all. Niki loved Kilroy, her puppies, and us. Niki loved pig's ears, blankets, Mexican food, candy, and her fuzzy bed. Niki even came to like Rutherford (our cat) in her old age. Niki destroyed all her toys, while Kilroy's were always pristine. Niki liked nothing more than to be near us all the time and she asked for nothing in return. She gave us more than I could ever measure. I miss her more than I could ever measure as well.

Tonight I look out at the clear star-filled sky and I send out a silent prayer of thanks to my Kiki for gifting us with nearly 12 years of her life. I will always miss her, and I will never forget her.

Lady Kenpo Nikita
September 23, 1994- August 4, 2006

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I'm enjoying writing my new Blog Today's Beautiful Thing very much. If you're feeling blue, please stop over and read the short posts. Just one positive thing a day that makes me happy. Some might be "just me", but others will make you happy too. :)