Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bittersweet

So life here has been overwhelming. We've got sick grandparents on both sides. My sister was diagnosed with asthma and probably has some kind of cardiac problem too. (This seems to be a trend in my family--late onset cardiac issues. Weird, huh?) My youngest brother got into a spot of legal trouble. Okay, not a spot. He stumbled into a huge fucking swampland of likely felonious, hopefully only misdemeanor trouble.

My dad had to go in for some cardiac procedures including a pair of stents in the vessels heading down to his legs. I'm terrified this is just the first of many similar procedures for him. I watched Apa, my paternal grandfather, lose both of his legs to diabetes--and I just can't imagine watching Daddy go through the same thing. It's really a sobering thought.

I'm also worried about my mom. She's the one trying to juggle all this madness at home. She's had serious heart problems in the past (heart attacks, hardening of the cardiac muscle and vessels) so I'm always secretly freaking the fuck out about her. I'm a notorious secret worrier. I worry about everyone and everything. It's so taxing.

Here at home Dave and I are coming to grips with the likelihood that we'll never have a biological child of our own. It's been so hard for me. I try to be, you know, all strong and shit but, Jesus, this has been rough. I feel so betrayed and angry. I worked so hard to get in shape. I took all the fucking meds and denied myself all the yummy little treats I desperately craved. I made a complete ass of myself with all those ridiculous post sex rituals, desperate to increase the chances of just one little spermie making its way to one of my eggs.

And nothing. I had one really good cycle after coming off birth control pills to calm my ovaries. I tried not to get my hopes up but, dudes, it was a textbook ovulatory cycle. I had all the changes you're taught to look for when doing fertility charting: the spiking temps, the EWCM, etc. I can't even find the words to describe what it felt like to sit there in our bathroom, pissing on sticks, and hoping, praying that maybe this time... But no.

I've done a lot of crying lately. In a way, it feels really good to just wail and get it out. There's really not much else you can do. You'd think I'd want to be around my family at a time like this, but, honestly, I'm sort of relieved Dave and I didn't have the traveling budget or the days off at work to make the trip. I just can't do it right now. I can't be around all these people who love us and pretend that everything is all right. It's not. I also don't feel comfortable talking to my extended family about our infertility struggle. I don't even know how many of them would even know why I'm so distraught lately.

And all the kids and *surprise* pregnancy announcements at family functions... I was talking to Mom on Christmas Day and there were all these babies in the background. Joey has a handful of friends with kids and Mom just dotes on all of them. After that phone call I felt like absolute crap. I just kept thinking, Jesus, I can't even give my mom grandkids. They've got to settle for surrogate grandbabies.

And, yes, obviously I know my mom wasn't in any way, shape, or form trying to insinuate that but when you're dealing with infertility, you tend to focus on weird crap like that. Unfortunately, I've known women for whom that's been absolutely true. People can be so cruel when it comes to infertility.

It's strange but generally I'm totally okay around kids. You'd think I'd be a sobbing, slobbering fool but shockingly I'm fine. On Dave's birthday, we were put in the family section at Olive Garden. We were surrounded by babies and toddlers and older kids and happy families. It didn't faze me. Well, I wished that one set of kids would have stopped running around our section. That's super rude!

So, anywho, Dave and I have decided to keep giving this reproduction business the old college try for another 6-10 months. After that, we're done. We won't be pursuing IVF or any complicated injection/IUI protocols. We've chosen our adoption agency and are working on saving the 15-40K we'll need for our first adoption. I have to say I felt the greatest sense of relief and calm when we made our decision. In a way, I've always sort of known that I'd be an adoptive mother. As a kid I used to write out adoption certificates for my dolls and bears. This just *feels* right.

And, it's like The Ash told me during our Killeen trip. One way or another, I'm going to be a mom. And really that's all that matters.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

42

With all the doom and gloom news lately, am I the only one obsessively clutching a towel? Hitting CNN or turning on the news is like being forced to read or listen to Vogon poetry. I just keep repeating Douglas Adams' sage advice, "Don't Panic!"

So long as my towel is within arm's reach I feel oddly calmed. You?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

51:20



So it's been super hectic in these parts. That's my only excuse for not blogging. If I'm not writing, I'm sleeping or dabbling in the domestic arts or spoiling the dog or loving on the man.

On Saturday the 22nd, I ran my first 5K Charity Race. It was hellaciously cold but I gritted my teeth and got through it. I was totally the last runner across the line but whatever. I finished. That's all that matters. And I clocked a personal best. Woo-Hoo!

Not that I've completed my first race I'm sort of in a weird place. I want to work towards 4 mile and 5 mile runs but at the same time I'm a little nervous about upping the intensity now that Dave and I are in the TTC game. So who knows. I'll probably just stick with a 5K 3 times a week and see where that takes me. If I feel like adding another mile, I will. If I don't, I won't.

All right. Back to work.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pirates!

No, not these oh-so-sexy pirates or these asshat pirates. No, these pirates. Or these. Or these. Or, hey, even this one!

E-book piracy is becoming a huge issue. I'd like to climb up on my moral high horse and scold people for downloading pirated e-books, but I was in college only a few short years ago. Yes, a good chunk of my musical collection was gained through LimeWire or Bearshare. Fortunately, karma kicked my butt by wiping out all those files when I switched from my old computer to this laptop. Since then I've acquired all my music legally through iTunes. I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever again download illegal files.

When I was a broke ass coed, I used to think musicians were a bunch of whiners. Now, I'm on the other side of that fence. Yeah. I'm the whiner, lol. In all seriousness, it's really demoralizing to search through these sites and see a novella you worked so hard to write being downloaded 3000 or 4000 times. You peek at your royalty check and choke because the number of books sold is nowhere near that high.

Yes, obviously, I realize those download numbers don't really correlate to sales. People who download free books probably wouldn't pay for books anyway. Still, though, it's annoying to know your work is basically being stolen. I fully accept this as my punishment for being a lame coed who pilfered free music. For other authors, those people who've never downloaded a pirated song or book or movie in their lives, the issue is different. They deserve to have their hard work protected--and so do I, of course, but the Catholic in me says to accept this as my divine punishment for poor moral behavior. So I will...

This is issue is one that will likely never be completely resolved. As a reader, I'm irked by DRM protected files. As an author, I understand the desire of the publisher to protect our shared interest. I'm not tech savvy enough to know if there's some kind of middle ground. For now, I think the best authors can do is educate.

Today's lesson: Pirates are bad. Well. Unless they look like this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From the Halls of WTF?!?

So during my 5K jog today I had to jump off the road twice to avoid being mowed down by careless drivers--one of them a K9 cop! Then on my cool down walk some creepy chain-smoking guy in a blue Suburban cruised right up beside me and scared the living shit outta me.

Creepy Dude: Oh! I'm sorry. I thought you were my daughter.
Me: Uh...Okay.
Creepy Dude: Can I give you a ride?
Me, starting to jog again: No, thanks.

This guy drives along side me the whole way back to our subdivision. Then, just as I hop onto the sidewalk, this random black truck comes out of nowhere and skids to a stop in front of the blue Suburban. A total asshat leans out the window and shouts, "Man, fuck you and your daughter!"

At this point, I start sprinting to my front door. Dave came home a few minutes later so I related the story as I took a shower. He was totally confused too.

Dave: I'm surprised he didn't ask if you'd seen his puppy.
Me: Dude.
Dave: It's true. Sounds like a real whack job.
Me: I know. I just kept thinking, "If he grabs me, how do I defend myself? Stab his eye with my keys? Strangle him with my iPOD cord?"
Dave: Er...sure?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Illicit Bargain


So it's been a busy week in Lolita's writing world. My latest novella, ILLICIT BARGAIN, released in e-book on Friday, and I finally received my box of author's copies for the TANTALIZING TREATS anthology. The cover for the antho is super sexy. Man-titty galore, folks. Right now, TANTALIZING TREATS is only available through EC's storeront. In a few weeks, it'll hit brick and mortar stores (like B&N or your local indie) and online retailers like B&N and Amazon.

As for ILLICIT BARGAIN, well, it's the steamiest novella I've penned so far. I had so much fun creating the characters and building their world. The BDSM research was interesting too. Speaking of which, this book has a "light BDSM" warning for those who prefer their erotic romances a little more vanilla. Obviously, "light" is subjective. I mean, what I consider light and what you consider light might be polar opposites.

So, to avoid a slew of perturbed emails, here's the Great List O' Deviance you can expect in ILLICIT BARGAIN. Blindfolds, rope bondage, hot wax, ice, Wartenburg wheels, clothespins, O denial, hand spanking, birch canes, rulers, ring gags, a spanking horse, sex toys, and a little knife play.

Did someone just fall off a chair? Sorry about that....

If you're intrigued, here's the blurb for IB:

When her fragile teenaged sister is held for ransom by a sociopathic sorcerer, Celia LadrĂ³n, a witch and professional thief, is forced to steal a topaz dagger from Evi Leshnikov, a reclusive shapeshifter and old acquaintance.

Before she can escape with the dagger, Celia is caught by Evi. Incensed, he offers harsh terms — submit to his darkest desires or leave empty-handed. Desperate to save her sister, Celia agrees, unaware the erotic test of wills may break her — body and soul.

In the end, however, it just might be Evi who is humbled.

To read an excerpt or purchase ILLICIT BARGAIN

To read an excerpt or purchase (or drool over man-titty) TANTALIZING TREATS

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Relieved

So I had an appointment with Dr. A this morning. I've been freaking the fuck out over it. No, really. I just knew it was going to be bad news. I was so worked up that when they did my vital signs check my pulse was 102 and my BP was 147/69. Yeah. I seriously needed a chill pill. Dave was, like, "Lady! Calm down before you blow a pupil!"

We get into the exam room and, well, it went beautifully. Dr. A and her student, Sally, were so upbeat and enthusiastic. I guess a lot of patients don't actually lose the weight and follow all the rules because Sally seemed a bit surprised when I told her I'd dropped 43 pounds since April, was running regularly, and taking all my meds, vitamins, and supplements as instructed. Dr. A seemed a bit surprised too. Sad, really, that so many people don't just do what they're told.

Anyways. My blood sugar levels are really good. My cholesterol is 131. My bad cholesterol is super low but so is my good cholesterol. Unfortunately the good cholesterol will stay low because I don't make enough estrogen to have normal cholesterol levels.

So we had a nice long chat and mapped out a baby making plan. I was so relieved I almost burst into tears. Since leaving Dr. A's office I've alternated between sobbing and laughing. I'm a mess. But a good mess. I know there's a lot of uncertainty ahead of us but for the first time in a really long time I have an overwhelming sense of hope. And that's a good thing.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

42

Just a quick weight loss update. I lost 5 pounds in October for a total of 42 so far. Woo-hoo! Just 8 more pounds and I'm halfway to my goal. I think November will be a good month. I have to kick up my training schedule since I'm running that 5K charity race on the 22nd.

Oh, and am I the only person who felt like she'd fallen down the rabbit's hole this morning? We have one of those atomic clocks which automatically updates and adjusts. So when I walked into the kitchen I saw the microwave clock which said 6:07. I glance over at the clock on the windowsill. 5:07. Wha-? I did a double take and started to get this panicky, wtf feeling when, suddenly, I remembered. Aha! Fall Back.

Yes. I'm that goofy.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaNoWriMo

So in mid-October I did the unthinkable. I joined NaNoWriMo. What's NaNoWriMo you ask? It's National Novel Writing Month. Oh, yes. The goal of the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. And I was dumb enough to sign up for it. Who knows if I'll finish. I managed to do extraordinarily well on the Sweating With Sven Challenge. (70 days of 1500 words per day was my goal.) I think I hit, like, 110-120K in 70 days. But I was a mentally and physically exhausted mess by the end of it. Here's hoping I don't plunge off the deep end with this challenge.

Writing starts today. I've stockpiled yummy, healthy snacks. I need to brew up some flavored iced tea and make a run for some Diet Dr. Pepper. Wish me luck!


*Edited to Add* OMG. I just signed up for Sweating with Sven Round 4 which runs from November 10 to January 26. I've pledged to finish my YA Urban fantasy, and erotic romance novella, and an erotica novel by January 26. What the hell is wrong with me?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monster Mash!

So Halloween is my most favorite holiday. I love October. It's my birthday month. Fall starts. Pumpkins and cinnamon and nutmeg and yummy squash are everywhere. I get to decorate the house and buy those nifty little candy bars and play Boris Pickett and The Crypt Kickers and make popcorn balls. How great is that?

I started my Halloween movie marathon a few days ago. I've got tons on my list to watch and I might have to go into next week to get them all done. It's a good excuse to avoid the TV campaign commercials! My list is loaded with classics, comedies, and B movies galore. I'm not a big gore fan.

A few years back, I made the mistake of watching Takashi Miike's AUDITION. I'd never seen or heard of the film so when I sat down to watch it I didn't know what to expect. Holy hell. I ended up puking my guts out for most of the night and didn't sleep for, like, four days. No really. It was a horrendously terrifying and disgusting film. I mean, like, super disturbing. Seriously, Rob Zombie did an interview about this film, and as he discussed it, he got this totally squeamish look on his face and shuddered. Rob effing Zombie folks.

*Spoilers ahead*

This dude decides he needs a new wife to replace his dead one so he holds this fake audition. This cute young woman shows up and he's like, omg, I love you. And she's like yay! But his friend is like, "Dude, she gives me the creeps." He doesn't listen because there's just something about her.

Cut to a scene with said creepy yet adorable young woman sitting in an unfurnished apartment. She's just staring at this phone, waiting for it to ring. There's a burlap sack on the floor near her. The phone rings. The burlap sack lurches and gurgles. She answers the phone and dating ensues. They finally decide to do the deed. She tells him all about her sexual abuse as a child and shows him these burns on her body. She urges him to love her, only her. He says he will.

In the morning, he wakes up and she's gone. He searches for her. He finds out all these really weird things about her by visiting the places on the resume she used during her audition. A lot of people she listed as references are, like, dead or missing. In one case a body was found with extra body parts. But he luuurrvves her so he just keeps on searching.

She, meanwhile, visits his house and finds a picture of his dead wife. She loses her shit and spikes his drink. She hides. He comes home, has a drink, and passes out. Then the audience is treated to a flashback where the crazy chick eats dinner and barfs it into a dog food dish. The burlap sack is opened and a naked dude missing a whole lot of important body parts slithers out of the bag and stuffs his face into the vomit--and laps it up because he's, like, starving.

So back to the present. The guy wakes up from the drugs and sees his dog all fucked up and dead. The chick comes in and injects him with some kind of paralytic drug that makes it impossible for him to move but unbelievably aware of what's going on with his body. She tortures him with needles in his eyes and belly. The whole time, she's rambling about how he loves too many people and things. She killed the dog because he loved it. She's going to kill his son because he loves him. I mean, she's really twisted. She then uses a garroting razor wire thing to hack off his foot. And she's got this totally orgasmic, blissful face as she's hacking this guy to bits.

The son unexpectedly arrives. She tries to knock him out with a spray bottle of paralyzing juice but the son evades the spritz and knocks her crazy ass down the stairs. She breaks her neck. Son calls the police. The end.

*End Spoilers*

So, yeah, after that horrid experience, I swore off gore. What am I watching this year then?

Prophecy
Prophecy 2
Prophecy 3
Bubba Hotep
Ernest Scared Stupid
Ghostbusters
Beetlejuice
Tremors
From Hell
Sleepy Hollow
The Burbs
Hocus Pocus
The Devil's Rejects
Transylvania 6-5000
Mary Reilly
Little Shop of Horros
In the Blood
Shadow of the Vampire
Fido
The Insatiable
The Frighteners
The Witches of Eastwick
Rebecca
Rocky Horror Picture Show (watching right now)
Rosemary's Baby
The Lost Boys
30 Days of Night
Hellraiser
Severance
Elvira: Werewolf of Washington
Wolf
Kinky Killers
The Rats
Elvira: The Devil's Wedding Night
Elvira: Count Dracula's Great Love
Elvira: Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks
Young Frankenstein
Elvira: Legacy of the Blood
Elvira: Doomsday Machine

Monday, October 27, 2008

Early Birds

So Dave and I participated in early voting. We even have the nifty "I Voted!" stickers to prove it. I was a little miffed that the only polling places close to us were all churches but whatever. It's not that I have anything against churches. I just don't think churches and voting should go hand in hand. It makes me nervous. I don't see why tax funded buildings aren't solely used as polling places. No conflicts of interest, you know?

Anywho. So we drove around for, like, half an hour trying to find this one specific church. Finally, Dave spotted a "Vote Here!" sign about the size of a license plate on the side of a major thoroughfare. That really perplexed me. Historically, most early voters are, you know, older folks. Older folks. Bad eyesight. Tiny signs. If I didn't know any better, I'd think it was a ploy to disenfranchise elder Republicans or something.

I like early voting because there isn't much of a wait. Our normal polling place was a nightmare during the primaries. It was packed and rowdy and discouraged Dave and I from going back for the caucus. The church lobby was quiet and there were plenty of open machines. Woohoo!

We had one of those weird ballots. For some races there were three candidates, for some two from the major parties, and for some only a Republican or Libertarian. I couldn't help but wonder why Democrats didn't run in some races.

I wish I could have been one of those "straight ticket" people. They just walk up, hit a few buttons and walk out. I have to stand there, spinning that damn dial, and clicking buttons for every space on the ballot. I'm a registered Democrat for the purpose of voting in the primary since you have to choose one line or the other here in Tejas. But when I vote I'm an Independent. My ticket looked pretty bizarre when I was done. Sort of like a schizophrenic monkey had haphazardly spun the dial and clicked enter. What can I say? I like some Republicans. I like some Democrats. I even like a few Libertarians.

So get out there and vote! It takes, like, fifteen minutes at the most (at least during early voting) and you get a totally nifty sticker. Oh, and it's your civic duty. So earn those bitchin' rights and cast your ballot!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Shenanigans

So this Ashley Todd business is sort of a big deal here in town since she claimed to be a TAMU student. Turns out she wasn't. She's actually a Blinn student. Yet another lie in her layer cake of asshatery.

What gets me though is how quickly the media and various political blogs took to this story without, you know, vetting it properly. Look, I'm usually one to believe victims, but I have to say my bullshit meter goes bugnuts whenever someone claims that a big, scary black man attacked them. Puh-leez. How friggin' cliche!

Within, like, ten minutes of hearing about this breaking story, I was able to use my Google-fu to snuff out the facts. First, I found Ashley Todd's Myspace page. Her shout-out to a Panic at the Disco song lyric, "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her cloths [sic] off but its [sic] better if you do," had me raising my eyebrows. First off, for her inability to spell "clothes" or to understand the difference between "its" and "it's." Secondly, um, well, read the quote.

Next, I found her Twitter page. Holy hell. Right before the alleged crime occurred, she Twittered the following. "Stubbornly searching for a Bank of America to avoid ATM fees," and "Pretty sure I'm on the wrong side of Pittsburgh." Uh-huh. Because when I'm driving around a strange city, alone, at night, I always have time to Twitter at red lights. This reads like a crappy setup in some badly written mystery novel. Give me a break!

Oh, and then there was her Youtube video I found of the "Mean Janitor" who just happened to be a big, black man. Right...

Throw all that together and it's really hard for me not to roll my eyes in disbelief. When the photo came out, I laughed. Backwards B. Black eye that looks like a mascara job. Oh, dear.

And then, suddenly, I felt really sad. This girl has no idea what kind of shitstorm she created by making up this unbelievable lie. She not only wasted community resources but she stirred up such ugly feelings. You should see some of the comments on blogs and online newspapers. I can't tell you how many comments I read that made me shake my head in disbelief that such hateful, ignorant people still exist.

Even if the story had been true, even if a big, scary black man had scratched the letter B in her face, it wouldn't have been a reflection on Obama's campaign any more than this girl's idiocy should be a reflection on the McCain campaign. Lord knows I don't care for John McCain or Sarah Palin but that doesn't mean I hold them personally responsible for this girl's asshatery. Could you argue that some of Palin's incendiary remarks might have spurred this girl's desperate actions? Maybe. Then again, some people are just sickos.

I do, however, think the Pennsylvania McCain camp representative who fed the story to the media should be fired. He not only made himself look foolish, but his candidates too. As for Ashley Todd, well, it's a good thing she was too much of a coward to do a believable number on her face. Otherwise, she'd be forever branded with a scarlet B. At least now she might be able get some help--which she seriously needs--and fade away into obscurity.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Opossum? Oh, Crap.

So I was working way late last night and Bos decided to keep me company. A little after 3 this morning, he decided he needed to use the facilities. I let him outside and flicked on the porch light. A cold front had blown through so I stood behind the door, shielding myself from the cold. It was one of those dark, creepy, howling wind types of nights. I didn't like it.

Suddenly something skittered across the back of the lawn. Bosley pinched it off and made chase, barking so loud and wildly lights in all the neighboring houses began to flick on. I walked out onto the patio and called him back into the house. He was losing his effing mind. He barked viciously and growled at whatever the hell he'd cornered in the far right side of the yard.

With no other choice, I had to scurry (barefoot and half-dressed in my jammies) out into the darkness. As I got closer to Bosley, he became more aggressive toward whatever critter he'd cornered. I guess his protective instinct kicked in as I approached. I tried to coax him back inside but he just wouldn't listen. I tugged on his tail. He clawed the ground and refused to budge. I couldn't see the mysterious creature because of the darkness and shadows but I knew that if I didn't do something quick Bosley was probably going to get bitten or scratched.

Like a complete idiot, I stepped up between Bosley and the creature. Suddenly, I was face to face with a furious opossum, its claws bared, teeth gnashing, mouth smacking, and tail curled defensively. Visions of enduring weeks of rabies shot flashed through my mind. It reared up and hissed at me. Bosley leapt forward and viciously, violently snapped and snarled at the little beastie.

Me? I ran like a little girl. Seriously. I squealed and jumped and high-tailed it back to the house. As I made the mad dash to the door, I spotted Klaus, Bosley's squeaky fish, and snatched it from the ground. Running like crazy, I rapidly squeezed Klaus and Bosley, thinking this was some kind of new game, chased me back into the kitchen. I slammed the door shut and nearly collapsed with a mixture of fear and relief. Bosley grabbed Klaus from my hand and trotted into the living room, still grumbling with annoyance at the interloper marsupial.

And Dave? Yeah. He totally slept through this spectacle of spectacles. He didn't even stir. In fact, when he came down to head out for work two hours later, he was shocked and highly amused. That man....

So now I have to worry about nocturnal beasties terrorizing the dog during his nightly visits to the john. Oh, joy! And I'm seriously wondering how my vegetable garden will fare next year. I foresee scads of nibbled upon veggies and irritation out the wazoo. Such are the joys of living up against the woodsen...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bizenghast

So I've started venturing into new and interesting literary genres. First I tried Bizarro fiction and absolutely fell in love with it. I think I may have converted Rob/Todd to the genre as he devoured Angel Dust Apocalypse during his short visit. Seriously good and totally mind-bending book. You should check it out if you get chance.

I've also tried some scifi a la John Scalzi and some super cozy Victorian mysteries. I'm considering a thriller or two and some horror. Maybe. Anywho. So manga/graphic novels were next on my list. Dave and I visited the library yesterday afternoon and the Halloween collection caught my eye. I wandered over and picked up the first thing that looked interesting: Bizenghast Volumes 1 & 2.

These are two of the most engaging books I've ever picked up. The illustrations are crazy beautiful. The storyline is whimsical and frightening. Dinah, a young girl who can see ghosts and has some serious mental issues (schizophrenia, maybe) and her best friend Vincent discover a mausoleum in the woods. Dinah accidentally signs a contract binding her to the mausoleum and to the task of freeing tortured, trapped souls. Each volume of Bizenghast is a continuation of her quest to free the souls and void the contract.

The books are super interesting and super quick reads. Drop by your library or B&N or indie bookstore and try them out! You won't be sorry!

$5000

The other day Mom and I discussed health care costs. My dad is having a health scare which means Mom is having a budget scare. We discussed how absolutely disgusted we are by medical care and insurance coverage in this country. My parents shell out major cash for premiums but get nothing in return. Mom's needed to go in for some routine and not so routine testing for months now but she's been putting it off because of the up-front cost. My parents make a decent living and yet...

We had the biggest laugh over the McCain healthcare plan. Oh, sure, give me $5000 to buy insurance. Uh-huh. I'm sorry, folks, but that's impossible. If Dave and I lost his group plan, we'd never get insurance again. NEVER. Dave has fairly well controlled Type II Diabetes and is overweight by, oh, fifteen or twenty pounds. I have PCOS/POF, a mitral valve prolapse, a systolic murmur, and am still overweight (but really working on that.) To me, these things are really minor, but to insurance companies? Yeah. Not so much. The shitty state of my ovaries automatically plunks me into the "rare disorder" category. When you're trying to get health insurance, that's the kiss of death.

Just for shits and giggles, I looked for private health insurance quotes. I nearly fell out of my chair. If you want a reasonable deductible of $1000 per person, you'll pay $463 a month for two healthy people. I'm afraid to even answer the health questionnaire to see what it would cost for not so healthy folks. I do know women in my support group who pay $750-1000 per month just to keep their COBRA plans. Yeah. Digest that. I know one woman who couldn't find insurance for her husband because he weighed 270 some-odd pounds. If you tip the scales at 250 plus, you're pretty much shit-outta-luck.

Oh, and that $463 plan doesn't cover any maternity care. That's zero prenatal visits and no labor and delivery coverage. A few friends have just had babies, and I can tell you from the horror stories I'm hearing that the cost of L&D ain't cheap. I'm talking 10K for a vaginal delivery without drugs and 20K for C-sections. The lack of maternity coverage seems to be a common theme in "affordable" private plans. Because, you know, healthy moms aren't a priority. I mean, really, what the fuck?

Right now, Dave and I pay a few hundred dollars a month for a somewhat useful plan. We have to hit our $1500 per person deductible before we get any coverage. Dave's employer provides half of that in an HSA, and we kick over a percentage of every check--but it's still not enough. We have absolutely no fertility coverage which means all of the tests I need have to be coded very specifically by my doctor's office or else our insurer kicks them back. If I have to do a medicated cycle, I get absolutely no monitoring or med coverage. That's complete and utter bullshit. We've paid our premiums. I should get quality health care. End of story.

The prescription coverage is pretty bad too. Dave would like to try some different diabetes meds but the prices are outrageous. We're talking $1000-$1500 per month. Our insurance doesn't cover them so even though they'd probably keep Dave healthier for longer, they're just out of the question. And that's just fucked up. People shouldn't be priced out of prescriptions.

I just don't get this philosophy of "Oh, hey, it's all right! The market will fix everything." Um, yeah, no. We've had private insurance companies since, what, Nixon and Kaiser and all that, right? If the market hasn't fixed the issue of health care costs in all those years, I think we can safely say it isn't going to any time soon.

Look, I'm not a socialist. When it comes to money, I'm a straight-up fiscal conservative--but that doesn't mean that money should come before the basic human rights of American citizens to have equal access to quality health care. It's a fucking disgrace that people in this country have to file bankruptcy because of medical bills. Or that someone who has paid their premiums for years should be denied coverage because of the cost to the insurance company. Um, that's the whole point of insurance. I pay this money every month just in case something horrific happens to me.

I know this is ranty but I'm just sick to death with hospitals and insurance companies and politicians telling us the system is fine. You know what I say to that? FTP!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

2.92

So I zoned out today and ran 2.92 miles. I'm so close to a 5K I can taste it. I have to be careful not to push myself too far at a time. I really don't need an injury. But, man, it felt so effing good to type my starting and ending into MapQuest and see my distance. I'll definitely achieve 5K distance by the end of October. Woo Hoo!!!!

I found a 5K run for bone marrow awareness here in town. It's a late November race, the 22nd, I think. I'll definitely be ready for it...but I'll be the last person across the line probably. That should matter to me, but oddly enough, it doesn't. I just want to finish and get that t-shirt. You know?

So I'm tentatively considering it. I've got a few weeks to make up my mind but I'm fairly certain I'll be running. It's something I need to do for myself. Sort of like the final proof. I did it. See? I've got the t-shirt to prove it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008

Poverty. It sucks. I hate that in the US we have a huge number of folks barely existing. I'm the most bothered by the working poor. What a slap in the face! To work every day and barely be able to feed one's family or a keep a roof over one's head. Minimum wage is a joke. Seriously.

But I think we all know that. We're all well aware of the problems. If we're not, we should be. So I've decided to focus on Microcredit as my contribution to Blog Action Day 2008. I really feel it's one of the best ways for people to claw themselves out of poverty and into sustainable entrepreneurship.

What's microcredit? Basically lenders like Grameen Bank, FINCA, AccionUSA, Compartamos, or Kiva make tiny loans of maybe 50 bucks to a few thousand to fledling business owners who couldn't otherwise obtain credit. You would be shocked to how people (women, especially) can take, say, $60 bucks and turn it into a vibrant business that allows them to not only feed their families, but provide employment opportunities within their communities. I'm particularly interested in the stories of women who have benefited from microloans. You read their stories and you see how much pride they have in their accomplishments. That pride filters through their children and into their spouses, friends, and community. It's really inspiring.

Most microcredit lenders are supported by people like you and me. Small donations add up quickly and allow these lenders to give women and men all over the world--even the US--help. For many this is a way to be intimately involved with directly affecting the life of another.

There's tons of info out there on microcredit. Use your Google-Fu. Learn. Act.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Green Thumb Envy

So my friend Layna has, like, the best luck with plants. Cute, little plants too. No, really. She gave me the cutest little midget carrots and some totally adorable green and red peppers. I've also got this odd onion/lily plant on the back porch.

I used to be an awesome gardener. At the apartment, I had loads of potted plants and herbs that would just grow and grow and grow. Ever since moving to the house, I've lost the magic touch. Nothing lives. Or they get dug up and eaten by scavenging armadillos and possums and the like. (Yes. We actually have this problem.) Annoying.

I'm hoping 2009 will be a much better year. We're planning to put in a moderate veggie and fruit garden in the back. I'd also like to try my hand at container gardening on the patio. Some lemons, berries, and tomatoes maybe. I think we'll start composting soon. We've got to replace the mulch in the front yard landscaping so that would be a good a time as any to get a small compost pile going.

Until then I'll just heave heavy sighs of green thumb envy. Hmm. Maybe I should ask Layna to come over and help with the planting. Hopefully a little of her magic touch will rub off on my dirt, lol.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's All in the Hips

So Dave, Layna, Sara, and I went out for dinner at Pei-Wei and a round of glow-in-the-dark mini-golf in a belated celebration of my birthday. I'm really bad at putt-putt but whatever. I had a really good time and that's all that matters. Dave, Sara, and Layna hit hole-in-ones. Sara twice! Me? Yeah, not so much. I was lucky to par on most of the holes.

They have a good sized bowling alley there too. Dave and I have never gone bowling so I think we'll find a late morning or early afternoon when it's not so busy and go embarass ourselves. I have visions of myself sliding down the lane, my fingers still stuck in the ball. Also I wonder if they'll have big enough shoes for Dave? Must look into this...

Speaking of hips (golf stance and all,) Bosley went to the vet today for his annual visit and 3 year boosters. We've had some suspicion that Bosley had bad hips but today we had it confirmed. My poor little snuggle-bumpkins has hip dysplasia. I first noticed he had something wrong with his legs when he was running in the backyard. He loves to run--but his back legs move in tandem. He bunny hops as he runs at, like, 60 miles an hour around the backyard. I guess since he's always had effed-up hips he just compensated. He can run up and down the stairs, tear up the backyard, and jump up and down and stuff.

But he's apparently in pain. All the time. I felt so fucking bad. I never knew. I should have known. He's my fur baby. I should have been more vigilant. The morning I noticed him bunny hopping I should have picked up the phone and made an appointment. I am such a crap mommy.

So now he's on NSAIDs, supplements, and physical therapy. If he hasn't improved in 6-8 weeks, he has to see an orthopedic specialist. Can you say expensive? But we'll do what we have to. Our vet seems to think NSAIDs, therapy, and supplements will cause a huge improvement. We'll keep at it.

See this issue is a reason puppy mills are so shitty. Is the hip dysplasia inherited? Is it because as a puppy he was chained to concrete, malnourished, and probably suffered malformation of his bones? Who the fuck knows? At least with a good breeder (people who love their dogs and breed only a few per year,) we'd have known if hip dysplasia ran in his bloodline. We have no idea what kind of parents he came from and that sucks.

Seriously, folks, don't buy dogs from puppy stores or from newspapers or online or from those jackasses sitting in Wal-Mart parking lots. They all come from those horrendous puppy mills. Visit a shelter or the pound first. If you have to have a purebreed then research and find a good, ethical breeder who adheres to rigid standards.

Gah! Puppy mill owners are asshats!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Butter Cream Gang

Oh. My. God. I don't know why but that old school straight to VHS movie, The Butter Cream Gang, popped into my head just a few minutes ago. If you attended elementary school between, oh, 1989-1999 or so, you were probably forced to watch this film. It's not Oscar worthy or anything but it's cute and fuzzy and all about morals and volunteerism and stuff. I'm almost tempted to buy it so I can torture my kids with it.

Or they might be like my little sister, Tricia, and totally love the movie. I swear, she probably watched that tape every day for, like, three years. She was like that as a kid. She had this rotation of tapes she'd watch over and over and over. Seriously. My dad can probably sing the entire film score or quote pages of dialogue from Pocahontas, Fern Gully, the Aristocats, Great Mouse Detective, Willy the Sparrow, and The Butter Cream Gang. Mom too. Or not. She's probable blocked out the traumatic memories.

You know, memories like that, of my poor parents suffering through years of repeated videos gives me second thoughts about this kid stuff. I mean. Really.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

25


So it's official. I've been alive for a quarter of a century. Shockingly, I feel no different than yesterday or the day before that or the week before that or--well, you get the idea. That's not totally true. These days I feel incredibly empowered. I've proven to myself I can do anything I put my mind to and that's an awesome feeling.

Birthday was super low-key and laid back. Yesterday, I cooked up a hellacious batch of carnitas and pico de gallo. We noshed on that last night while watching DVDs. Also had a killer brownie. Tricia and Mom called me at 12:01 last night. I immediately thought someone had croaked. (Honestly, the first thing that went through my head was George Lopez. "Levantate! Get up! My mom's dying!" You'll either get that--or you won't.)

I woke up to beautiful fresh flowers and a cute card from Dave-O. He then proceeded to make one of my fave breakfasts. Generally, Dave's a nightmare in the kitchen, but the man can cook a mean breakfast. Mean. We vegged the rest of the day and hit Freebirds for an easy dinner. Oh, and yummy cheesecake with caramel and pecans and a chocolate crust. Do I feel even the tiniest twinge of guilt for eating whatever the heck I wanted this weekend? Nope. Why? Because I'm running two plus miles a day.

I received a slew of texts and emails and a card wishing me well. Gift wise, I scored super good from Dave: a pair of bright new kicks, the 3rd season of Charmed, and $25 in iTunes gift card. Woo Hoo! New running and writing music!

Speaking of writing, I need to get back to work. I need to get some projects finished and subbed. A super happy week to everyone!!!

*And, yes, those are the shoes Dave-O got me. Cute, huh?*

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

37

First off, a belated L'shanah tovah to all who celebrated Rosh Hashanah! Hope 5769 is a fabulous year!!!!

September was another weird plateau month for me. I lost two pounds but slimmed down an entire pants size. Goodbye 20's! Hello 18's! I will never, ever, ever go back. Seriously. I'm selling/giving away all my old clothes. If anyone wants some of my 26/24/22 stuff from Lane Bryant (most of it with tags still on) give me a ring or send an email. I'll let you have first dibs before I throw it all up on Ebay.

This month I also added 3/4 of a mile to my distance. I'm now running 2.1 miles in 30 minutes which ain't great but considering I couldn't even run 60 seconds the first day I hit the road, um, yeah, I'm awesome! The goal for October is to increase my time from 30 minutes to 50 and the distance by another 1.5 miles (at least.) I'm set to log 50-55 miles of running in October. I know. That's just insane!

But I love it. I really do. I'm so stoked to run my first charity race on March 1, 2009. It's here in town so if any of my local ladies or gents want to join--lemme know! The race offers a 5K or a Half Marathon. I'll be doing 5K this time around.

The cool thing about plateau months is that the next month is always a huge loss. I have a good feeling about October but I'm setting my goal low and attainable: 7 pounds. I can do it!

Oh, and the big 2-5 birthday is just days away. Oy veh. I'm getting old, lol

Thursday, September 25, 2008

All Growed Up

So Dave won a free will/power of attorney/advanced directive package as part of this Wills for Heroes project. Since we're married that means I get a free will too. I have to say there's nothing as depressing as thinking about dying and/or being a vegetable. Actually, that's not true. The most depressing part of the entire process was thinking about who would take care of Bosley if Dave and I kick the bucket. It's funny but there's really one person I can think of who would spoil my little snugglebumpkins as much as I do--but she lives in California. Bummer.

And, yes, I realize it's completely ridiculous to refer to our gargantuan Great Dane as snugglebumpkins. So what? Bosley-bear is the second greatest love of my life. He doesn't mind that I fawn all over him like some schmoopy lovesick nutter. Dave, however, often requests I not embarass the dog in public. Sigh. He's such a killjoy.

Anywho. So we talked to our lawyer today and answered all the tough questions. We also learned Texas has all these random rules about pets in wills since they're considered property, like, you know, a TV. I heartily disagree with that since, obviously, my dog is worth way more to me than any crappy piece of property but what can you do? I'm seriously considering setting up a trust of some kind for him so I know that whoever takes him in will make sure he gets vet services and his meds regularly and all the squeaky toys and featherbeds and Cheetos his heart desires.

Oh, and we also divvied up our junk among people. I also think we'll probably surprise a few people when they learn they weren't chosen as executors of our estates or given power of attorney but oh well. We carefully considered the situations and made the best decisions we could. Of course, we'll have to have all of this redrawn once we start adding to family. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it will be to choose who gets our kid and all the cash if we croak. I know who won't get our kid(s) though...

But that's another story for another time.

Man. I feel so grown up now. The final vestiges of my youth drew their last breath with the drafting of my will and such. It's depressing as fuck. My 25th birthday is just days away. I'm clinging to the final moments of my youth like a fat kid to a box of cupcakes. Or, you know, me when I was a chubby kid clawing onto said cupcakes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Being Poor

So I was cleaning out my Firefox bookmarks and I found a link to a post by John Scalzi about being poor. I'm going to paste it below since I know some people won't follow the link. It's not a very long piece but it's incredibly poignant.

I know how lucky I am. While we weren't wealthy (monetarily) as kids, we never did without the necessities and even most luxuries. Daddy busted his ass and Mom worked her own brand of financial magic to ensure we had a nice home, new clothes a few times a year, good Christmases and birthdays, and opportunities to participate in sports, music, and other extracurricular activities. Even when we went through a financial crisis and lost everything due to medical expenses and a series of family catastrophes my parents managed to keep us in a similar state of living. It was tight there for half a year or so but we got through it.
I knew plenty of people who were poor, who lived in soul-crushing poverty. The absolute love of my life spent a substantial portion of his childhood in poverty, and I recently learned a good friend of mine was poor for a good segment of her childhood too. I was shocked when she told me this but then I realized that, as a kid, I wasn't really concerned with what other kids were wearing, where they lived, etc.

I don't know. I've just been thinking about money a lot lately. It's hard not to with the economy in the crapper. And, of course, I'm concerned about our ability to give our kids everything they need and a little more. Obviously, I realize we're in a much better position than most to provide for our kids but, still, I worry. I think that's natural though...


Being Poor

By John Scalzi

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.

Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they're what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there's not an $800 car in America that's worth a damn.

Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.

Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends' houses but never has friends over to yours.

Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won't hear you say "I get free lunch" when you get to the cashier.

Being poor is living next to the freeway.

Being poor is coming back to the car with your children in the back seat, clutching that box of Raisin Bran you just bought and trying to think of a way to make the kids understand that the box has to last.

Being poor is wondering if your well-off sibling is lying when he says he doesn't mind when you ask for help.

Being poor is off-brand toys.

Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.

Being poor is knowing you can't leave $5 on the coffee table when your friends are around.

Being poor is hoping your kids don't have a growth spurt.

Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your mom gets home and then telling her she doesn't have make dinner tonight because you're not hungry anyway.

Being poor is Goodwill underwear.

Being poor is not enough space for everyone who lives with you.

Being poor is feeling the glued soles tear off your supermarket shoes when you run around the playground.

Being poor is your kid's school being the one with the 15-year-old textbooks and no air conditioning.

Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.

Being poor is relying on people who don't give a damn about you.

Being poor is an overnight shift under florescent lights.

Being poor is finding the letter your mom wrote to your dad, begging him for the child support.

Being poor is a bathtub you have to empty into the toilet.

Being poor is stopping the car to take a lamp from a stranger's trash.

Being poor is making lunch for your kid when a cockroach skitters over the bread, and you looking over to see if your kid saw.

Being poor is believing a GED actually makes a goddamned difference.

Being poor is people angry at you just for walking around in the mall.

Being poor is not taking the job because you can't find someone you trust to watch your kids.

Being poor is the police busting into the apartment right next to yours.

Being poor is not talking to that girl because she'll probably just laugh at your clothes.

Being poor is hoping you'll be invited for dinner.

Being poor is a sidewalk with lots of brown glass on it.

Being poor is people thinking they know something about you by the way you talk.

Being poor is needing that 35-cent raise.

Being poor is your kid's teacher assuming you don't have any books in your home.

Being poor is six dollars short on the utility bill and no way to close the gap.

Being poor is crying when you drop the mac and cheese on the floor.

Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually stupid.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually lazy.

Being poor is a six-hour wait in an emergency room with a sick child asleep on your lap.

Being poor is never buying anything someone else hasn't bought first.

Being poor is picking the 10 cent ramen instead of the 12 cent ramen because that's two extra packages for every dollar.

Being poor is having to live with choices you didn't know you made when you were 14 years old.

Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.

Being poor is knowing you're being judged.

Being poor is a box of crayons and a $1 coloring book from a community center Santa.

Being poor is checking the coin return slot of every soda machine you go by.

Being poor is deciding that it's all right to base a relationship on shelter.

Being poor is knowing you really shouldn't spend that buck on a Lotto ticket.

Being poor is hoping the register lady will spot you the dime.

Being poor is feeling helpless when your child makes the same mistakes you did, and won't listen to you beg them against doing so.

Being poor is a cough that doesn't go away.

Being poor is making sure you don't spill on the couch, just in case you have to give it back before the lease is up.

Being poor is a $200 paycheck advance from a company that takes $250 when the paycheck comes in.

Being poor is four years of night classes for an Associates of Art degree.

Being poor is a lumpy futon bed.

Being poor is knowing where the shelter is.

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.

Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.

Being poor is seeing how few options you have.

Being poor is running in place.

Being poor is people wondering why you didn't leave.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tidbits

Not anything significant to post so I'll just offer a few tidbits...

1) Eating summer sausage an hour before a two mile run equals bad times. Really, really bad times.

2) Straws are my enemy. I don't know why but I just can't seem to drink with a straw without seriously harming myself. I've jabbed my gums, cut my lip and a whole host of other ouchies. Saturday afternoon was particularly embarrassing though. I was sipping Diet Dr. Pepper through a straw when, suddenly, the straw escaped my lips and shot right into my nostril, flooding my nose with fizzy fluid. Not fun. Super irritating. Oh, and Dave was sitting across from me when it happened. He nearly flopped out of his chair he was laughing so hard. Bastard.

3) People throw the weirdest shit out on the side of the road. During my Sunday morning run I spotted an eviscerated VHS tape, a blue flip flop, a pile of phone books, a squeaky toy, a pair of swimming trunks, a flat inner tube, and a cupcake, chocolate with Dora the Explorer candies and wrapper.

4) Dave-O's an asshat. First of all, we were leaving Wally World and I was super thirsty so I tried to take a sip of some iced tea I'd brought with me in a simple plastic tumbler, no lid. The second I took a sip, he guns it and hits a speed bump. I choke and splutter and cough. He pats my back--like that's going to help me after I'd just inhaled four ounces of tea deep into my lungs. Then, later, we were at the HEB checkout. He asked me to grab the 24 pack of Diet Dr. Pepper from the bottom buggy shelf. As soon as I lift it up, the cardboard rips and the damn thing crashed to the ground. He swears he didn't, but I just know he tore the cardboard and set me up...

5) The last time we had dinner at Katie's she made this totally awesome flavored tea. It tasted like blueberry Kool-Aid in iced tea. Hard to describe but it was delish! Dave and I were scouring the shelves at HEB for that particular tea when my gaze fell on an upscale brand of organic tea. With a mischevious giggle, I pointed to the box and said, "Dave, this should be my new nickname." Dave glanced up--and turned beet red. He looked positively scandalized. I admit it was a naughty thing to do in the middle of a busy aisle but you know me. I just can't help myself some times.

The name of the tea? Honeybush.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yarr! Arrgh!

Dudes! Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Omg! I am soooo speaking like a pirate. All day. It's going to be so annoying--and so much fun!

If you need help translating, here's the Pirate Speak translator.

I be goin' fer a run. Ya swabbies who ortin' t'be keel hauled!

Diversifying

So first off I just received the most depressing email from a friend in my support group. She found out she was pregnant last week but since she has PCOS she had to come back in for more beta tests to make sure her number was doubling. She gets to her doc's office yesterday afternoon after going for her bloodwork that morning and discovers a girl who tortured her in high school is now an intern in her OB/GYN's office. Yeah. I'm sure you know where this is going. The intern--her high school enemy--just walked into the exam room and bluntly told her she was miscarrying and to expect a bleed starting any day. Then she just walked out. No compassion. No follow-up instructions. Nada.

Yeah. Ouch. Ugh. The worst thing is this bitchy intern's behavior is fairly par for the course when it comes to infertility. ER docs and nurses are the effing worst though. You wouldn't believe some of the horror stories circulating in PCOS/POF/Infertility circles. You really wouldn't.

Anywho. So I'm thinking about diversifying my erotica career...but I just can't settle on what to write next. Lolita Lopez writes contemporary, historical and paranormal erotic romances; however, I've got some really sharp, super sexy straight erotica and M/M sitting here. It's seriously good stuff but I'm just not sure what to do with it. There are a lot of presses and publishers looking for this sort of material but by contract I'm sort of bound to my current publisher unless I negotiate a few terms. The thing is I'm really happy with my current publisher as far as Lolita Lopez is concerned so I'm not so inclined to go that route.

Looks like I may have to create another pen name for my foray into erotica and such. It's not a problem really but the extra work load--especially if I manage to sell my urban fantasy series--would be a bit of a stretch. Then again I do my best work when under pressure. It's not as if I'm not producing a novella and multiple short stories a month anyway. With a second pen name, I'd be able to sell them and get out in the market place.

So that's where I'm at the moment. Plotting career moves. Oh, joy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Whoa

First off, I ran 1.6 miles today. Yeah. I'm never, ever, ever going to skip that many days of running again. Good grief! I haven't huffed and puffed that hard in quite some time. Ugh.

Secondly, do you have extremely violent or bizarre dreams when you're super stressed? I used to have nightmares during stressful times but lately I'm having gory, violent, horrific dreams. Last night, I slept just under three hours because of them.

In my first dream, Dave and I are sleeping. The doorbell rings. I glance at the clock. It says 2:37. Bosley lifts his head and grumbles; Dave sighs and rolls over. I sit awake for a few moments, wondering if I'd really heard the doorbell. And then I hear breaking glass. Feet on the tile. Low voices. There are people in the house! I wake Dave, grab Bosley, and we rush into the bathroom. Bosley doesn't even bark (which would never happen in real life. He loses his shit if a butterfly farts. Seriously.) I call 911 and the dispatcher tells me it will be a while before they can get to us because we live out in the boonies. I'm freaking the fuck out. Dave is holding the door while a man on the other side tries to break it down. A crowbar slams through the door. Dave's bleeding everywhere. We're both shoving on the door. I'm screaming for help. I hear the click of a pump-action shotgun on the other side of the door--and then I woke up, sweating and panting.

After calming down, I fell asleep again. This dream was super violent and super creepy. It's a few years in the future. I've sold my urban fantasy series and have published six books in the series. Dave and I are super happy. We've got a second great dane--this one blue--and a kid or two. (I couldn't be sure. I just saw one high chair but there was a pair of larger kid shoes sitting in the kitchen.)

Unfortunately, I'd pissed off a rabid fan when I killed off a certain character in my series. We'd started receiving crazy letters and messages and all sorts of threats. We'd installed a new security system but still I felt uneasy.

So I'm standing in the kitchen, making dinner. (By the way, Dave and I had redone the kitchen with gorgeous new cabinets and Saltillo tile and stainless steel appliances.) I've got my back to the entrance from the living room/dining room. I hear someone enter the kitchen. Assuming it's Dave, I ask him to get something out of the fridge for me. The fridge opens, and I turn to ask Dave about the kids' baths--but it's not Dave. It's him! It's my stalker.

All I can think is I have to protect Dave and my kids. We start fighting in the kitchen. I scream for Dave to get the kids out but he comes rushing down the stairs. My stalker yanks a gun from his back pocket, a Sig-Sauer, and pops Dave in the chest. Dave falls and blood spills all over the gleaming wood floors. I manage to wrench the gun from my stalker's hand and throw it into the pantry. We grapple. We wrestle. We're clawing and biting and gnashing. I spot my chef's knife on the counter. I grab it and slash at his throat. He falls, clutching his throat, blood gurgling and spilling down his shirt.

Dave struggles to his feet. He's been hit in the shoulder. He gets to the phone and calls 911. As I pant and stare at my bleeding stalker, I realize the wound isn't fatal. And suddenly I just can't let him live. I know he'll get out of jail eventually. I won't let him terrorize us any longer. When Dave turns his back, I move to my stalker's chest, press my knees down hard so he can't breathe, and clamp my hand over his mouth and nose. He struggles, his eyes wide with fear. His teeth tear into my palm. But I just push down harder. His legs kick weakly. I just squeeze harder. He dies.

When I glance over my shoulder, Dave is staring at me, his expression disgusted, shocked, awed. And then I woke up.

Yeah. Yeah. I know. WTF? I'm so avoiding anything violent or gory for a few weeks. It's Jane Austen/BBC films for me...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sabotage

So I didn't run or workout for ten days. Ten freakin' days. Ugh. Luckily, I kept my diet clean so I managed to lose 2 pounds but still. I didn't effing move! And why, you ask. Because I'm paralyzed with fear that all of this hard work is for nothing.

When I started this weight loss adventure, it was with the sincere hope it would help my PCOS. I want to have a family with Dave. I want to be pregnant. I want to carry a child that's half me and half Dave. I want what others so blithely take for granted.

So I've worked my ass off--literally and figuratively. But it's just not working. My PCOS symptoms are out of control. I'm almost forty pounds lighter and I'm in a worse situation than I was at my highest weight. It's so fucking disheartening. I lost the motivation to get out there and move my ass.

Looking back, I realize I made a colossal mistake in tying my weight loss to my fertility. Instead of being so happy and rightfully proud of my progress, I'm bitter. I see so many women in my support group in the 300-400 plus range who have loads of babies and healthy pregnancies and fairly regular cycles. It upsets me so badly. I have a hard time getting over the fact that I'm doing everything right and still nothing.

Don't get me wronge. I don't begrudge anyone a child. I know what a blessing a child is. But, still, it's so difficult to swallow the unfairness of unprepared or unfit or uncaring couples having children.

So mini rant over now. I'm moving forward. Yesterday I worked out for an hour. I used to be able to do my cardio and strength training routine so easily but after ten days of nothing it was difficult. I huffed and puffed my way through it though. Tomorrow I run. No excuses. Hell, I even started a full cleaning of the house. Clean my space, clear my mind.

No more excuses. No more pity parties.

Ripples

So we're running out of gas here in town. Why? Because people are driving in from surrounding counties to fill up since we have power to operate stations. Of course, this means people here in town are getting pissy with evacuees and folks from Conroe and other places who are making the drive in search for gas for their vehicles and generators. Are we getting fuel shipments to resupply? Yeah. Not so much. Thanks, again, FEMA for all that stellar preparation. You guys are just swell!

Can you see this fueling issue spiraling into a much larger issue? I sure as hell can...

Right now I'm so glad Dave and I get our power through BTU. All those folks who chose MidSouth or Entergy are straight-up fucked. MidSouth seems to have their shit together and are restoring power quickly according to news reports. Unfortunately Entergy's slow-go is making it nearly impossible for MidSouth to restore power to customers in areas serviced by Entergy. Of course, people around here have always complained about Entergy's total shat service.

Take Navasota, for instance. If you live on one side of Hwy 6, you've got power because you're likely serviced by MidSouth. Everyone else (the majority of town, it seems) has Entergy which means lights out.

And what is with all these idiots who don't understand how to properly use a generator? Why would anyone put a generator, a machine that makes ELECTRICITY, on a wet patch of ground?!?! Who in their right mind puts a generator inside a house? Who are these people? Seriously. And don't even get me started on folks who don't realize the start-up wattage for most appliances is higher than the operating wattage. Oy veh.

Can you tell I'm generally annoyed today? Asshats. Asshats every where...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Start Wearing Purple

So we survived. Since Dave was called into work as part of the county's emergency response protocol he saw the worst of the storm as the eye passed through M. County. Bos and I had a few nerve-wracking moments here at the house. There aren't a lot of trees to break the wind around here so the winds buffeted the exposed sides pretty good. There were a few times during the early morning hours when I thought we were going to lose part of the fence. A pair of trees in the wooded acreage behind the house looked a bit iffy as well but luckily everything held. If we have another storm like Ike, well, who knows.

Anywho. Dave and I watched Wristcutters: A Love Story this evening after a few games of chess. (I'm learning. Slowly. Dave almost blew a pupil. Twice.) I love indie films, and surprisingly, Dave liked this movie quite a bit. And, really, how can you NOT love a film that uses Gogol Bordello as part of the soundtrack?!?!

OMG. I so effing heart Gogol Bordello. They're this awesome, eccentric Gypsy punk group comprised of random folks from Eastern Europe, Israel, Ethiopia, and a few other places. I'm not quite sure how to explain the sound. It's like polka meets The Pogues meets Borat meets The Velvet Underground meets DeVotchka. I don't know. It's just an extremely unique sound. And their live shows! Holy shit!

If you're curious....

Start Wearing Purple


Through the Roof 'N Underground

Friday, September 12, 2008

IKE

Fuck off, Ike!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

End of the World As We Know It?

Maybe. Possibly. Could happen. Tomorrow, in just a few hours really, the Large Hadron Collider gets switched on and who the hell knows what's going to happen. Basically scientists are trying to figure out particle physics by sort of recreating the Big Bang. They're going to slam together protons at incredibly high speeds in hopes of creating a Higgs bosun, you know, the God Particle no one's seen yet. They also hope to research other grand unified theories and find answers to questions like the mass of quarks, the nature of dark energy and matter, the symmetry violations of matter and antimatter, the existence of extra dimensions (gravitons, string theory), and of course, the possibility of time travel.

Now, obviously, a lot of folks are up in arms over the idea of, you know, recreating the Big Bang. I sort of get the panic. I mean, I'm not too keen on the idea of spawning accidental BLACK HOLES. But, hey, Stephen Hawking says it's safe so it must be, right?

Oh, and just as an aside, The Ash and I met Stephen Hawking during our freshman year of college. Except, and this is the embarrassing bit, we were so busy chatting about fajitas and guacamole that we just sort of blithely passed him by. The Ash held the door for him as his motorized chair wheeled past, and I gave him a polite smile that he returned. We took a few steps and then both stopped dead in our tracks.

The Ash: Holy shit, dude! Was that Stephen Hawking?
Me: Yeah. Yeah it was.
The Ash: Ohmigod.

Yeah. Not one of my great moments, lol.

Anywho. Enjoy your evening folks! It just may be your last...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Checkmate!

So the Dave and I are heading out tomorrow--er, later today, really--to buy a chess set. I've decided it's high time I learn to play the game. Dave loves chess so he's going to teach me. I just hope this doesn't go the way of Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit or Clue, all games in which I've soundly beaten his skinny bohonkus. Oh, yes. I foresee many nights of Bosley dodging flying pawns...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Call It, Friendo

So Dave and I finally got around to seeing No Country For Old Men. I read the book when it came out, and like most McCarthy books, I wasn't so impressed. Yes, I can appreciate Cormac's novels as amazing examples of Southern Gothic/Western tales but they're just not books I'll pick up and read again and again and again, you know?

Anywho. I thought the Coen Brothers' adaptation was fantastic. They captured the bleakness of the novel through the cinematography, and, of course, the use of dialogue-empty stretches during the tense scenes of violence heightened the suspense. (I'm specifically thinking of the motel scene where Llewellyn is trying to grab the hidden case and Anton is walking, sock-footed, toting his cattlegun and silenced shotgun. Another example would be Llewellyn sitting on the bed in a darkened hotel room while Anton stands outside and unscrews the light bulb.) Watching those scenes made my whole body go rigid. I curled up my legs, my fingers tightened, my breath caught in my throat... Very, very, very well done.

Movies aside, I'm still running and losing weight. I'm up to 1.5 miles/day now. I hope to reach 2-2.25 by the end of September. My knees and ankles are starting to protest the runs but I just tell them to eff off. With each run the discomfort is significantly less so I'm fairly certain my bones/joints/muscles/tendons are just trying to catch up to the increased pace.

It seems my weight loss is causing some problems with my PCOS. Instead of my symptoms improving, they're actually worsening in some cases. Oh, joy! But I know as soon as my weight levels out so will my hormone levels. Hopefully my symptoms will decrease or disappear. Regardless, I can't stop now. I'm too far into this weight loss game to quit.

It also looks like my meds may not be working as well--or rather too well. See I augment my super low female hormones (POFishness), and it's worked great. But no longer. My meds are too strong and/or are being absorbed differenlty due to my revamped metabolism. And I'm growing more ovarian cysts.

How do I know this? Well, and this is really upsetting, I'm having pregnancy symptoms. Yeah. I know. What a mind fuck, huh? I've got the nausea and the swollen, sore breasts and all that other crap....but no little bean. My body interprets the cysts as, well, a pregnancy. Which sucks. A lot. Like I'm crying right now. I don't know. It's just depressing as hell.

So anyways. Barring any cyst emergency, I'm going to just have to tough it out until I see Dr. A in early November. Yeah. I know. But I just keep thinking this has to get better, right? I mean, I'm doing everything I possibly can to get healthy. I'm taking all the meds I can. I'm a voracious researcher on PCOS and POF. I'm looking at alternative treatments.

And yet I know from family members who have suffered through this shit disease and friends in my support group who have fought against it that it's not always that simple.

So I keep trying and hoping. What else can I do, right? Gah, I feel like Gatsby....

"So we beat on, boats against the current..."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Arachnophobia

Spiders have invaded our home. Ick! Blech! I hate, hate, HATE spiders! A silver-dollar sized brown spotty spider attacked me in the kitchen last night and met a squishy death by hardback Chuck Palahniuk novel. It was a library book so I had to clean off the spider gunk. Gross!

A few hours later, a second brown spotty spider (even BIGGER than the first) scuttled across the living room and toward my desk. Bosley freaked out and tried to catch it--but forced it right across my foot. I yelped and jumped up, knocking over my chair. Bosley chased the spider toward a lamp. The lamp crashed to the ground, snagging my printer cord and yanking the printer down with it. Dozens of sheets of pink paper flew through the air. Together, we cornered the spider, Bosley snarling, me jumping and squeeing. I slapped the spider with a cookbook. Whack! Whack. Whack! Die, Spider, Die!

Now. You would think all this commotion would have woken Dave. Yeah. Not so much. He slept through all of this, the crashing furniture, Bosley's bark, my shrieks of terror, and books slamming into walls and carpet. Yes. I feel so safe having Dave in the house.

Gah.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Needy Dog

So Bosley is having a particularly needy day. I tried working on the couch but he wouldn't stop climbing onto my lap--all 150 pounds of him. I moved to my desk and so did he. He crammed his massive body under my legs and the desk. After being accidentally kicked in the ribs twice, he finally moved to my right side. He's now resting his head on my thigh and being severely mouthy and snippy.

I'm now typing with my left hand and petting with the right. Yeah. That's quite a feat for me. I'm not very coordinated.

I think it's time to pack it in for the night. Dave would be sending out "Can I interest you in a slightly used dog?" texts right about now. Sigh. The things I do for this dog...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

35

August was a good month. I lost 7 pounds which brings me to a total of 35. I missed my 12 day challenge by three days due to knee/ankle swelling and pain and piss poor planning on days it rained. (Should have run in the morning when the forecast was clear.)

I'm more than a third of a way to my overall goal. Yeah. I know. It's a bit overwhelming to look at it like that but there it is.

All right. Back to work.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Chai Story

Oh my god. This is just the saddest and most aggravating thing I've read in quite some time. The basics: A sweet dog named Chai was playing with his Pimple Ball (red ball with nubby chewy things on it) manufactured by Four Paws, Inc when the badly designed toy created a suction against his tongue. Poor Chai ended up losing his tongue. Four Paws basically told Chai's owner to eff off. Chai's owner started a blog, THE CHAI STORY, and lo and behold, another pet owner's dog died because of similar injuries--in 2005!

Folks, please, please, please check your dog toys. Now. Go. If they only have one hole, they can create a similar vacuum to your fur baby's tongue. Get rid of them!

And, seriously, even if Four Paws decides to do the right thing and recall all these balls and make reparations to these dog owners, I won't ever buy anything made by their company. Rotten bastards. What kind of dog toy company doesn't carefully test their products?!?!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Query Hell

So the dark urban fantasy novel is polished and the queries/synopses/sample chapters are making the rounds. This is the hardest part of being a writer: snagging an agent. There are all these fiery hoops to jump through, but it's so worth it. So far things look good. My first query received a request for a partial in 12 minutes. Not bad. Now it's a waiting game.

Still running and working out. I ran 1.4 miles in 25 minutes today. That's not great but it's not bad either...especially for someone as chubby as me. Hell, when I started this a few weeks ago, I couldn't even run to the end of the sidewalk and back without dying. The C25K program ends at 30 minutes but I'm just going to keep adding 5 minutes a week until I'm jogging 60 minutes. Surprisingly, I'm not having a hard time building endurance. I think it's because I'm dropping weight so my stubby little legs don't have to carry as much weight...

All right. I've got to go wash some grapes and fix a glass of tea before Obama makes his speech. History in the making, folks!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ribbon Dancer

So apparently I'm a super nerd but I'm about thisclose from logging onto Ebay and hunting down an old school Ribbon Dancer. Or heading to Lowes for a dowel stick and JoAnn's for some ribbon.

I can't help myself. I love, love, luurrrve rhythmic gymnastics. I want to run around our super big backyard with my very own Ribbon Dancer and gold sprayed hoola hoop and those nifty maraca-looking tossy things. I can't help but wonder how long it would take to bedazzle a hot pink leotard....

Dave, of course, thinks I've finally cracked. Pishaw. He just doesn't get it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Release Day!


*Self-Pimpage Ahead*



My altar-ego's spicy cougar novella, Pressing the Flesh, releases as an e-book today from Ellora's Cave! Yayness!

Here's the blurb:

Heath Sanders is slowly going insane. He hopes an impromptu vacation to Mexico will get his mind off his object of lust—until she saunters past him in the resort lobby. It must be fate. Throwing caution to the wind, he decides the opportunity to taste his fantasy is too good to pass up.

Texas Senator Luz Hernandez is surprised by the attention from the smolderingly sexy, much younger man. Her job is too important to risk on a fling—but she’s far from the prying eyes of the press, and the hungry look in Heath’s eyes quickly convinces her to unleash her inner cougar.

When Luz learns that Heath is the anonymous blogger behind BeltwayBlitz.net, the most influential political blog in the country, she panics and bolts, certain she’s been set up. But now that he’s had a taste, Heath is determined to prove he’s not interested in her politics—only her passion.


Ooh! Sexy, successful older woman. Check. Totally hot younger man. Check. Political scandal. Check. Smoking hot sex scenes. Quadruple check.

To read an excerpt check out Pressing the Flesh.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Challenge

So after skipping so many workouts and a few jogs, I've decided I need to get back on the wagon. I'm four pounds down for August. With two weeks left in the month, I should be able to squeak out another 2-4 pounds. I've decided to challenge myself to workout/jog 12 of the 14 days (counting today) left in the month.

After majorly slacking the last two weeks, it's going to be a bit of a bitch but I have no other choice. I refuse to lose my weight loss momentum. I'm so effing close to hitting the 35 pound mark, I can taste it. It's time to sweat.

Comfort Food

So after numerous false starts, bouts of writer's block, and postponements for various other projects, I have finally, FINALLY, finished my dark urban fantasy novel. It's gritty. It's sexy. It's darkly humorous. And, well, it's long. For the genre, it's on par with other novels but for me, after writing erotic shorts and novellas of 15K or 30K, this one seems like a dictionary. My new tome clocks in at 115K. 70K of that was written in the last ten days or so.

Yeah. I'm beyond exhausted. I'm teetering on the verge of hysteria. I actually made myself sick, folks. Writing mania doesn't mix well with my oh-my-god-I-have-to-be-the-perfect-cook-housekeeper-lover-dog-mommy-friend-daughter-sister fanaticism. I'm a tad punchy and pukey. Not good. Must rest.

When I get like this, I turn to food. Since I'm dieting, that's sort of a bad thing. Luckily, I seem to have learned how to eat well when emotionally gorging. I stuck to fruits, veggies, and yogurt. Even with the constant grazing, I still lost a pound this week...and missed pretty much all of my workouts.

I did give into one comfort craving though. As a kid, I used to love hot tortillas slathered with butter. Ama (my paternal grandmother) used to pull them right off the stove, rub a stick of butter over them, roll them up, and hand them out like treats. We'd all clamor and line up at the stove like it was an ice cream truck. God, those were the days.

Meh. Now I miss my grandma.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Coupon Queen

So most people know Dave-O and I have decided to become "gazelle intense" on paying off what little debt we have and piling up ducats for the future. We'd like to purchase a freezer, a newer, safer car, and, if the babymaking goes south, fertility treatments (conveniently NOT covered by our insurance) and/or a few adoptions.

That said, we've been living like no one else, as Dave Ramsey likes to say. We've stopped eating out. We've switched to the library instead of Barnes & Noble. We've kicked up the thermostat a few more degrees and water the grass according to a water conservation program. Lately, I've been looking for more ways to squeeze pennies out of our budget. Through my support group, I've discovered a new addiction: couponing.

Oh. My. God. I can't even begin to explain the absolute ecstasy I experience through couponing. Getting loads of stuff for a quarter or a few dollars is so effing fun. Today, for instance, I coupled coupons with local sales to cut 30 dollars off of our weekly food budget. If I save a similar amount for the rest of the month, we'll have an extra $120 bucks for the savings account. Holy Crap!

Right now I'm a coupon amateur but there are ladies in my support group who are extreme couponers. I mean, seriously, they'll get $150 worth of groceries for ten bucks. It's crazy. And, again, addicting. I get that it's not for everyone. But it's good for us.

Yeah. I know. I'm a coupon nerd. :)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Mucho Gusto!

So last night Dave-O and I attended the wedding of his friends, Terri & Scott. Really great people, sweet couple. The wedding was very pretty and rather relaxed. The bride looked a bit peaked but that's not surprising considering it was hotter than hell and she's in the family way. I imagine the stress of a wedding, a baby on board, and an impending move took its toll.

Anywho. I finally met a good deal of Dave's colleagues. It's nice to finally be able to put a name to a face, you know? Rhonda is a hilariously talented storyteller. I don't think I'll ever forget her fishing pole and spider tale. Craig and Rachel T. are quite a pair. Rachel's probably one of the bubbliest personalities I've met in quite a while. Sara H. cracked some rather funny jokes... I could go on and on.

All in all it was a great night. I was glad to get away from the house for a while. By the way, Bosley behaved surprisingly well. He practically mauled us when we came through the front door though. In theory, it's sweet that he misses us so much. In reality, having 160 pounds of Great Dane flying at you--well--not so sweet.

So that was our Friday night. Tonight's lineup equals Dullsville. I'm heading out for a run in about half an hour (2.5 miles) and Dave's probably going to read or dick around upstairs in his Man-Cave. We'll have dinner and then a few rounds of marital relations.

Mmmm. Marital relations....

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Run Ragged

So in the last five days, I've written 30,000 words on various projects. My sleep schedule is completely off so I'm getting a few hours here and a few there while also trying to juggle my normal Domestic Diva duties. I've also run a crap load of miles and put in hours upon hours of cardio and strength training.

Yeah. I'm learning I can't keep this kind of pace. I think I've broken my tummy. You laugh, but seriously, my belly is totally not working. I haven't felt hunger in days. Like, normally, I'm ravenous every three hours or so. Eating numerous small meals throughout the day is my trick to weight loss but lately I've been eating once or twice a day. And, for whatever reason, I've developed random and surprisingly violent food aversions. Yesterday, the smell of ham and spinach quiche sent me racing for the bathroom.

Needless to say, the Dave intervened today and made me take the day off. Seriously, I'm surprised he didn't hide my laptop and running shoes. I was basically confined to the couch and the bed. I feel a little better rested, but I still don't have my appetite back. I have a feeling I'm going to spend tomorrow lounging too...

All right. That's my update. I should probably get back to bed before the warden realizes I've escaped....

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

30

Quick post before I get back to work. I lost another two pounds so I've finally reached 30 pounds of weight loss. 30 Pounds!!!! Whee!

Oh, and TS Eduoard is drenching our dehydrated yard. Yay for free water! I love rainy days. They're my most creative.

All right. Back to that old chestnut...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Kiss of Death

So I just escaped a near death experience by about 15 seconds. No, really. I just stopped shaking enough to blog.

Since it's a nice cloudy and cool day, I decided I'd go for my run an hour earlier than usual. I was trying to get out the front door but Bosley wouldn't stop tugging on my shirt and snapping at my shoelaces. I had the door open and was backing out onto the front porch when suddenly I hear this WHACK! BOOM! and squealing tires. I turn around, and holy shit, some young girl driving an SUV had slammed into another parked SUV right in front of our house. She didn't hit the breaks until AFTER she'd already hit the car. She hit it hard enough to shove it seven or eight, maybe even ten feet (I'm not spatially blessed) from the street, over a curb and sidewalk and onto our neighbor's yard. There's a chunk of bumper lying in our front yard along with random bits of glass and plastic and god knows what else.

Uh, yeah, so if Bosley hadn't been snapping at my shoelaces, I would have been right there on the sidewalk when that girl hit the other car. I don't think I'll run today. I think the universe is trying to tell me something. And, of course, Bosley is losing his shit because there are cops and angry car owners and tow trucks crowding the street. Leaving him alone when he's this agitated means I'll come home to a ripped up living room.

Yep. Off night. Definitely.


***UPDATE***

I went running after all. After I gave my statement to the State Trooper, I decided to escape the daggers of death from the woman who caused the accident by running. Far. Away.

Apparently, telling the trooper that I saw her fumbling with her cell phone as her car rolled to a stop makes me evil. The way our house is positioned--higher than the street--made it easy for me to see inside her untinted, wide windows. She was totally in the middle of a text, with the phone balanced against the wheel, her thumb over the buttons. The trooper asked if she was, in fact, texting and after much arguing (the lady doth protest too much!), she grudgingly admitted she might, MIGHT, have been distracte by her cell.

So yeah. I totally expect to have our house egged tonight. Oy veh. So much for telling the truth, huh?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Four

So July was an odd month for me. I plateaued the first two weeks and lost four pounds the last two weeks. I definitely think my longer, harder runs are having something to do with it. At any rate, I'm happy with the four pounds.

As of this morning, I've lost 28 pounds and four sizes--in seventeen weeks. Not bad really. I've never lost 28 pounds in my life, lol. I've got quite a ways to go but that's okay. I've got one helluva support system in place, and I'm going to reach my goal.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Carnitas!

So first things first... I lost another pound this week. The scale is finally moving consistently after that icky plateau. Just three more pounds and I'll have lost 30! How effing awesome is that?!?! I try to focus on small victories rather than looking at the 70-some-odd pounds I still need to lose.

Running is going well. I'm zeroing in on Week 5 which means the runs are getting substantially longer in time and distance. Right now, I'm focusing on time. When I complete the running program, I'm going to focus on distance. By the end of August, I'll be running 10 miles a week. I'd like to reach 60 minutes or 6 miles/day, 3-4 times a week by the end of October. That works out to what? Um... 18-24 miles a week. I know. I know. It sounds like a lot, but seriously, once you start running and building endurance, it's not as horrific as it sounds.

I made a new personal goal. I'd like to compete in a full marathon before I turn 30. Right now the plan is a 5K in February, a 10K in the fall of '09 or spring of 2010, a 21K (half-marathon) in fall/winter of 2010 or spring of 2011, and a full marathon in 2012. The schedule is really fluid and will have to be adjusted when we get preggers. Obviously, lol.

Anywho. Oh, the title. So Dave and I have been having huge Mexican food cravings. This week I'm cooking some of my favorites like arroz con pollo and carnitas. Oh. My. God. I so freakin' heart carnitas! We're having those tonight. The smell. The SMELL! It's delicious. The whole house smells like yummy, savory, crispy, tender porky goodness.

Speaking of which...I should go give the pot a peek. It might be time to kick up the heat!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch died today. That's just so sad. It was inevitable, yes, but I just really hoped, wished, prayed he would get more time with his kids and wife. What an amazing, inspiring, courageous, enduring man.

If you're not familiar with Randy Pausch, check out his Last Lecture. Or this NYT article.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dark Knight

Wow. Just wow. The movie is fabulous! It lives up to the hype--and then some. Heath Ledger is marvelous as the Joker. He's demented, blithely commits jarringly violent acts, and spouts bizarre yet oddly and uncomfortably reasonable truths. And the Magic Trick! Holy crap. That was a moment of dark humor genius.

Not Dark Knight related but sort of interesting...

I finally broke down and bought some new clothes. I've only lost 26 pounds but I've gone from a size 26 (yeah. ouch. ugh.) to an 18. All of my clothes look ridiculous. They hang on me like sacks. And yet I've been paralyzed with fear at the thought of buying new clothes. Logically, I know I've lost weight and need smaller things. Unfortunately, I'm in a mind-fuck sort of state when it comes to my body image. I've always been confident despite my size but I'm suddenly having problems reconciling the new me with the old me. Apparently, this is part of transforming one's self. It's annoying really.

It's weird because I used to wear an 18 when I weighed like 185-ish my freshman year of college. I'm nowhere close to 185 now but I'm wearing an 18. For some reason, my body is reshaping and carrying weight differently. I think it has something to do with all the exercise.

Oh, and the running is going well. Runs are getting longer and more difficult but I'm pushing through and dealing with it. I've decided to run a 5K for charity in February. If anyone's interested in running, lemme know. The charity run also has a half marathon but I'm not comfortable signing up for that. Hopefully, (fingers crossed, rub those rabbit feet, kiss your lucky shamrock, pour a shot for your Orisha)I'll be for shizz up the spout by February. Running is totally fine when knocked up but I think a half marathon would be a bit much. For me, anyway.

Writing's going well. I'm maybe 8 chapters from the end of my dark urban fantasy novel. As soon as I'm finished, I'm setting it aside for my betas and Dave. While I'm waiting for critiques to roll in, I have to get some erotic novellas knocked out. I'm so effing behind in that genre. I need to get some stuff to my editor before all the '09 slots are full.

It never ends...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Talk Nerdy to Me

Science geeks unite behind the awesomeness that is automatic pipetting and nifty thermocyclers! I can't even begin to describe how effing hilarious these videos are. The first is a science-tastic taken on the infamous "D*ck in a Box" skit. The second is "We Are The World" meets DNA analysis. Holy shit. I haven't laughed this hard in years. Years, folks.

Pipettes in Motion

PCR

Friday, July 18, 2008

46664

You know what that number means! Yep. Nelson Mandela. Today, he's 90. 90! Whoa.

Happy Birthday, Madiba!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Not So Flash

So Dave-O has been dying to see Flash Gordon. For years, it was nearly impossible to find a copy of the 1980 version of the film unless you imported through Brazil. (Why Brazil? I have no idea.) A few months ago, Flash Gordon became available through Netflix. It's been steadily climbing up our queue since then. It finally made its way to our house two weeks ago. We watched it on Thursday night...and...yeah.

Can you say super campy? Seriously, folks. I guffawed through the entire film. My sides still ache. Melodramatic acting. Shat lines. Special effects a third grader could cook up with a roll of duct tape, a flash light, and some colored transparency sheets. A plot without a plot. The costumes were spiffy. I can give it that much praise.

Dave was really disappointed. Our conversation went something like this:

Dave: I'm so disillusioned. I know this movie was better.
Me: Dude, you were, like, seven when this film came out. Everything is cooler when you're seven.
Dave: God, did it really come out that long ago?
Me: Dave, this movie is so old my parents hadn't even been introduced yet! Technically, I was two haploid cells chilling out in two different states separated by thousands of miles, just waiting for my chance at the baby dance.
Dave: (After a long pause.) That's just wrong.
Me: It's not my fault you're--
Dave: Old. Yes. I know.

Then the last few lines of the movie's end credits rolled by and, as luck would have it, twisted the "Damn, You're Old!" knife a little deeper in Dave-O's belly. What were those lines, you ask?

Soundtrack Now Available on Record and Tapes.

Me: Dave, AND TAPES!!! (And then I fell off the couch laughing.)
Dave: I hate you. Really. I do.

He doesn't. We're so desperately, madly, foolishly in love with one another it's quite sickening. Or so I'm told from outside sources...