Monday, April 30, 2012

Zapatos: My Favorite Spanish Word

One time, I had a dream in Spanish. I am not fluent in Spanish so my subconscious adapted by putting the setting in a grocery store where I narrated my shopping experience.

"Naranjas" [holds orange, puts orange in cart.]
"lechuga" [holds head of lettuce or milk. I can't remember what this word means. Puts item in cart.]
"frejolas negros. [holds can of black beans. Puts item in cart.]

Who the hell knows what I was going to make for dinner in dreamland.

Pics of my new Zapatos...(That does mean shoes, right? heh. heh.)
How summery are these?!
Cute, eh?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

"You make the rain clouds disappear..." and my obsession with Weezer

Weezer is by far my favorite band. I could've done this entire A to Z challenge with topics solely revolving around my obsession love for Weezer.
A Sampling? you ask.

photo credit:
A - AOL Sessions with Weezer
B - B.o.B. featuring Rivers Cuomo in "Magic". This is the best song for working out.
C- Cruise, the Weezer Cruise. They had one last January. I couldn't afford to go. =(
F - Fonz, featured in the Buddy Holly video "Exactamundo"
G - Green Album. This is the show I saw live back in 2001. Along with Aquabats, it was the best show ever. Of course, I'm biased.
H - "Holiday" - A Christmas song just for nerd rock lovers.
I - "I'm a creep." - Cover to Radiohead's "Creep". Brilliant.
K - "King"
L - Lost cast member, Hurley, is the cover art for their album Hurley.
P - "Pink Triangle" - For those awkward moments when you discover you were hitting on someone who isn't into because of your sex.
R - Rivers Cuomo. I heart him. How could you not love that the rippling nerd muscles on that guy. And those glasses! Yum. (None of that was sarcasm. Swearzies.)
S - Snuggies. Weezer has their own Snuggies. Awesome.
U - "Undone". Really, do I have to explain the epic-ness of that song?
W -

Anyway, back to my point. My all time favorite Weezer song is "Miss Sweeney". And I even wrote this poem in Miss Sweeney POV. To maximize your Weezperience (see what I did there? hehehe), click on the youtube link, then read the poem as the song plays. Note that the white words are the song's lyrics and the red words are my additions.


Bzzz... Bzzz...
Hi, Hello, Miss Sweeney?
Could you please come in my office for a second?
Wearing heels and my Navy business suit.
A touch of crimson lip gloss. 
Push back my glasses, then enter your office. 
I'm heading home for the day
And I thought it would be good for you and me to check in
I met with the gal from Expo
And they do have the "slab" cabinets in white
She thinks we can take the measurements
Down at the site
If we do that, we'll be just fine, Miss Sweeney
Nod. Twice.
Tuck a loose chunk of hair behind my ear.
Look up over my notes.
A half smile.

That's all I've got to say to you at this time, Miss Sweeney.
Actually there's one other thing on my mind
Girl, you make the rain clouds disappear 
You're gripping my shoulders.
My legs wobble, like licorice whips.
The sun always shines when you're near
Heart palpitations.
Breath on my cheek.
I'm waiting until you love me
You release me.You look away, fists clenched.
Longing pierces my core.
I'm so sorry Miss Sweeney
I don't know where that came from
I think I was overcome by a spontaneous emotion
“I want…”
Don’t speak. Don’t say it.

Anyway, the cash deposit of $5, 000 will need to be sent to the property owner tomorrow
If there are any problems with the deposit or contract
The fire flickers. Threatens to extinguish.

Don't be afraid to holler
I don't want to have to approve each stinking dollar
That we borrow
Aww forget it, Miss Sweeney
You, you make the rain clouds disappear 
 In your arms again.
Enveloped by your hands.
The sun always shines when you're near
Body pressed to body.
I'm waiting until you love me

I love you.
Miss Sweeney, I got to admit the truth
I am totally head over heels in love with you
Every day you come to the office looking fine
Navy business suit clinging tightly to your spine
“Your laugh. The light in your eyes. In your smile...”

You ask me if I'm ready to get down to work
Sweeney, baby, I'm ready... be my...

Girl, you make the rain clouds disappear
The sun always shines when you're near
I'm waiting until you love me
Girl, you light the skies of my life
I swear I will make you my wife
I'm waiting until you 
“I love you.”
love me

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Marx

Marx is one of the main characters in the YA fiction I'm writing. He is partnered up with the VP character, Suavez.

Suavez and Marx are two high school freshmen who have very different backgrounds: Suavez is a Mexican/American charmer, and Marx is a self-absorbed emo kid. The two have been best friends for years, brought together for the passion for movies, TV, and games. Marx even has his own version of Gaming.

Nothing can come between them. Or at least nothing did, until, as part of a Game, they started investigating the missing puzzle piece behind a tragic school shooting that took place 2 years earlier. Suddenly the Game becomes life or death.

This isn't my query pitch. Just a start. Consider it practice.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I'm going to the Writer's and Illustrators for Young Readers conference this summer. It's a week long intense workshop where I'll get to work closely with published authors and meet other local writers.

I even entered their scholarship contest with the first twenty pages of my YA novel about two high school boys who use cunning and genius to solve the last remaining mystery behind a Columbine-type shooting at their school. Title: Saving Suavez.

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vampire: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I'm a huge Buffy fan. I heart it so much that I watch it every summer. All seven seasons. Mostly while doing laundry and blogging.

I'm not so much a Twilight fan.

That said...

The Twilight Generation's opinion of Buffy:
What? This is a show about vampires? What's with all the dialogue?

 (I made it into a meme on, but it wouldn't let me save it. WTW, memer?!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Unburden me here

The sheep herself is hoarse
That bleats the sealed gates of St. Peter
Above my battleground. Come, Holy Spirit
That tends to mortal hearts, unburden me here,
And fill me from the halo to the pedicure
Of warmest serenity!

[modified from Lady Macbeth's speech from Macbeth]

Monday, April 23, 2012

Too Many Genres?

I'm a chameleon writer.

I write articles for the paper.
I'm writing a weight loss memoir.
I have a YA fiction novel out on a Kindle.
I even finished a couple religious fiction manuscripts.
And I'm an editor and a blogger too.

My writer friend, Angie, and I. We're both writing memoirs.
I just can't stick to one thing.

I know which one I think is my favorite and the one I excel at, but does saying it out loud then make it suddenly the only genre I can write in?

Authors are always telling us to stick to a genre and stop branching out, b/c you'll lose your audience. I get the logic behind that statement, but I want to be able to write in different genres.

What do you think? Can a writer get away with writing in a lot of different genres?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spector, Prose-Spector.

A text msg conversation between my husband, who--a little background--has severe anxiety and believes in ghosts.

COLE: Doing OK?

ME: Yes. Well mostly. I sort of died.

COLE: What? Are you OK? Do I need to come home??

ME: No no. It's fine. The kids got it covered. They're digging my grave. [I text him a picture of the kids digging with shovels in the garden.] But you might wanna bring home some toilet paper. We're almost out.

ME: For them. Not me. Heh. What would I do with TP? There's no crappers in the afterlife.

COLE: Is your sister there? You really OK?

ME: Sure. I'll probably stick around to haunt you for a while. I mean the kids will need reminders to brush their teeth. What do you think, the words in a foggy mirror trick?

ME: Chris isn't here, but if you want I can pop over and haunt her too. I'll take Gavin's fishy blanket to cover my head. Then it won't be so scary for her.

[20 min. later]

ME: Are you driving home to make sure I'm not really dead?

COLE: No. Sounds like you're on drugs.

ME: Can I get a leopard print-lined coffin? And I wanna be buried with my Weezer albums.

COLE: This is not funny anymore.

ME: See you later, party pooper. = /

See if I haunt you when I really die. No way. I'm hauling my ethereal ass around to find out what really happened to JFK ...And a quick stop at Sylvia Plath's. I've got a few questions for her.

But I was serious about the toilet paper.

Friday, April 20, 2012

"Read My Manuscript Or I'll Cut You" and REDBOOK

"Read My Manuscript Or I'll Cut You" is the name of my critique blog.

Several of my writing buddies and I got together and started one. We post work and comment. It's pretty valuable. I know some writers hate these forums, but I rather like it. I appreciate their honesty, and I think we've got some pretty great writers in the making.

How do you feel about critique groups?

Also, my other blog was featured in REDBOOK almost a year ago. True story. It's cuz I lost a lot of weight.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quick poem for ya about the frustrations of being unpublished.

Originally published last fall. 

When she spears me with an you're-an-idiot look over the rims of her glasses,
and I end up at home hours later,
Frowning naked in the mirror while finishing off a bag of peanut m&ms, 
My chocolate fingerprints evidence for a diet forensic pathologist,
I slide to the bottom of the tub,
Let the water rain down on my convulsing body to bathe my tears.
Yet, the pain remains and now I have a stuffy nose.
Then, mentally, I finger my goals, 
 My dreams deferred and I curse aloud. 

Damn! Flannery O'Connor and her Southern genius on the human condition.
Damn! Meg Wolitzer and her Jewish feminist brilliance.
Damn! Damn! Damn! Stephenie Meyer for being a fluke success.

Buried beneath the weight of words;
I take heart, wipe away black tears, 
Kiss my daughter, the next generation feminist;
A Buffy...not a Bella.
A Buffy battling the Bella's of the world.
A roundhouse kick to her pining female foil.
An uppercut to Her male-dependent prose.
Because my daughter deserves an example of me. 
She needs to know how to defeat the enemy,
And stake inferiority,
While wearing stylish shoes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Postest with the Mostest

Hey, A to Zers.
This blog post, originally posted last summer, has had more than 850 hits. It's a record for my little blog, and I'm not sure why. You tell me.

Original title:

Top 5 reasons you shouldn't judge me, and sometimes why you should...

(Spoiler alert: Beware of Guacamole loogies and leather-clad push-overs)
  1.  I like America’s Next Top Model, but mostly because the industry fascinates me. I know that many models have eating problems—once I heard a common trick they use is swallowing an orange juice soaked cotton ball, which, if you could get past the idea of eating a cotton ball soaked in citrus, it allegedly curbs the appetite for days. Seeing these on the big screen is sickly captivating. And even though it’s been preached to me in a million ways that the models “don’t really look like that”, seeing models with dark circles under their eyes and snaggle teeth still has shock value to me. I’m like “Whoa. They really don’t look ‘beautiful’ all the time.” Maybe you should judge me based on how naïve I am.
  2. I hate Harry Potter. The predictability makes me crazy. I read the first few books back in my early 20’s and I remember being on the last page of book four and thinking, I just read the same book 4 times, such is the cookie cutterness of HP. Everyone assures me that book 5 will change my perspective, that the story really kicks off there, but I’m am too jaded at this point. So my HP prose-spective remains unimpressed. However, I fully support my students’ obsession with YA literature. I say “Go for it. I don’t really care what you read, as long as you’re reading.” 
  3.  I wear ridiculously tall heels. I do. I wear heels so tall that when I walk down the stairs, I have to grip the handrail with white knuckles and take the staircase one step at a time.  Heels aren’t always comfortable, but I have new legs. I used to be 60 70 lbs heavier and now I have new athletic, limber legs which deserve to be put celebrated. I’m proud of them. You don’t put your wedding photos in a shoe box or a trophy in a closet, do you? No, you put your pics up on the wall in a fancy frame and your trophies in a display case or the mantel. Legs = trophy. Shoes = mantel. 
  4.  The lyrics may be catchy, clothes retro, and sideburns of one John Travolta dreamy, but Grease is a feminist nightmare. Sandy is glorified for changing her core beliefs for a man and mistakes sexual dominance for independence. In the beginning, the audience traipses through the film witnessing Sandy stand her ground about her beliefs and refusing to change for her summer love, Danny. Perhaps this doesn’t serve the sexual revolution, but as a feminist, I was proud of Sandy’s resolve all the way until the final scene; the scene in which Sandy transforms herself…for a man. It’s not as if she swapped out bad habits for good, which might be an acceptable transformation even if it was for a man, but no. Sandy demoralizes herself into a sex kitten with a smoking habit to appease Danny’s burning loins. You can tell by the way he devours her with his eyes while crooning:
I got chills.
They're multiplyin'.
And I'm losin' control.
'Cause the power
you're supplyin',
it's electrifyin'!

What power is Danny referring to? The tangible sexual vibe Sandy now emanates with sewn-on leather pants and an off the shoulder top? Even if Danny and Sandy’s relationship did result in a marriage, an institution that should foster equality, Sandy submissively caved at the pleading, manipulation, and peer pressure of her “friends” and boyfriend. The foundation of that hypothetical marriage would be built on Danny’s ideal of “if I push you the right way, I’ll get what I want. And what I want is you to be sexually appealing at all times”. Sex shouldn’t be the compass with which women use to navigate through life. It can be harbor on the journey (that’s up to you), but not the very compass. I suppose if I could change one thing about Sandy’s character, it would be that I wanted to see her voice become more powerful. I wanted her to be dynamic by breaking up with Danny, rattling off a Martin Luther King Jr. type speech on the acceptance of differences to Rizzo (maybe throw in some startling statistics about STD’s and a visual presentation of genital warts), and then removing herself from the toxic situation. Sandy could’ve been the epitome of an independent woman. Instead, she morphed into a sexual icon who will not be remembered for her hard work, intellect, aspirations, and sincerity. Sandy is remembered for her sexual prowess.   

5. I hate guacamole. It’s deceptive. It starts out a pleasant green, the kind of green that if it were craft paint it might be called, “baby cartoon frog”, but if you leave it out for a Mexican minute (this is a new term I invented that means for a short period of time. I don’t mean this derogatorily. It only refers to the way the Spanish language is quick and fluid to the ear…eh? Eh?) it turns into swamp monster green. And the texture! Guacamole slides across the tongue like a chunky loogie, invoking an involuntary retch. So next time you buy me Mexican food, order extra sour cream and no guac.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh crap! I don't have a "O" post...

Internet! Help me. I don't have a "O" post.

Here's a "finish that sentence" exercise that I just invented.

Type in the letter "O" + the first letter in your first name into a Google search box. Then, whatever word or phrase pops up first (or go by most interesting), finish the sentence. Repeat with subsequent letters in your name.

Here we go...

O + R = "Originally OJ Simpson was known for" football and buying expensive custom made shoes. Size 12.

O + E =  "the shot heard around the world poem" didn't resonate with my students. =(

O + N = "quotes on teaching stress" are numerous. My personal favorite is...

 "A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary." ~Thomas Carruthers

I love it, because I'm all about the gradual release of responsibility.

O + A =  "toast master bread machine kneading parts" are only about $19, but I have yet to purchase a new one for my bread machine. I keep forgetting. I think my son or my husband accidentally threw it in the trash with a loaf of bread that didn't turn out very good. Maybe they're trying to tell me that my cooking sucks even when a machine does it for me. Hmm...Either way, I'll need to get one soon, we live off of homemade bread at the end of the month. ('Cause there's no money for store bought.)

There you have it. A fun little game for you if you don't have an "O" post or any letter post.

What was the  most interesting letter in your name when you combined it with "O" for the Google exercise?

Monday, April 16, 2012

nup·tial (npshl, -chl) adj. 1. Of or relating to marriage or the wedding ceremony.

Originally posted a month ago. One of my favorite pieces of prose thus far and intensely personal.  

*  *  *

I have three wedding rings.
The one on the left is my first original wedding ring. The others are surrogates.

Same marriage. Three bands.

The first one doubles as a wedding ring and an engagement ring. It's a white gold band with three sparkly, hopeful diamonds. Even though it is often admired for it's uniqueness, there's tradition in the center diamond, as it belonged to my mother and came from her engagement ring. When the jeweler removed the stone from the prongs on her gold thin band, somehow the diamond chipped. I had them set it anyway, and on May 10, 2002, Cole and I wed, exchanging bands, mine with an aesthetic flaw, yet nonetheless sturdy. The inside reads, "With all my love."

Somewhere around year 7, my wedding ring didn't fit. I lost so much weight, my body and mind underwent so much change that with even the subtlest movements, my ring would slide off and ping ping ping to the floor. And during violent gestures, it would launch across the room, a thud and a dent in the drywall.

Afraid to lose the ring, I boxed it safely in a velvet lined jewelry box between a wooden bracelet that my sister brought back from Korea--with some symbol on it that meant "friendship" or "love" or "dignity" and a red slap watch. I swapped it out with a ring I purchased years ago in high school. A band made up of 4 thin bands, which at first glance appear solid, but when removed the puzzle ring crumbles into the pieces; 4 weak rings that bend under pressure.

The middle ring is a puzzle ring, which is made up of four smaller rings. You can see from this shot that the middle one doesn't always have it together.
I kept the pieces together and kept the illusion on my finger, though on more than one occasion, the ring was mistaken for costume jewelry, not a sign of my marital status. There were a few awkward exchanges and explanations. Apologetic smiles and flattered glances.

I wore the puzzle ring for almost three years, watching it wear and flatten in places that should be round. Since the ring has so many crevasses, I spent a good deal of the time scraping the edges clean with my fingernails, but it was never fully untarnished.

At first I resisted replacing it, because I was waiting to see if I would lose more weight, to see if I was destined to shrink anymore. I had asked my husband to make the adjustments to my first ring, but when he procrastinated month after month and year after year, I grew used to twisted ring.

It wasn't until after I took a trip down memory lane that I decided it was time for a new ring. I was flying back to my family when I had a layover in Denver, CO. In a Native American boutique, on a rack between beaded arm bands and a rack of turquoise dangly earrings, I saw my third ring. It is a wide band made of a darker metal with a matte finish, and it has an etching of two flowers that seem to be reaching for each other, tails vine-ing out behind them, but never quite touching. To me it seemed a symbol of power and fortitude, something my high school ring didn't provide. However, when lifted, the heft I thought it had disappeared like a mirage.

Ultimately the longing flower ring cost me $12. Less than both of the other rings, but I felt it was a purchase of far greater value. It would endure the pressures of life without bending. It will never replace my first ring, but it also won't be mistaken for costume jewelry.

I doubt it will be my last ring. I doubt my body will stop enduring change in the years to come. My hands will no doubt be required to carry weights I cannot imagine. My tinted industrial, yet feminine band fits me, resting in the indented cavity on my left ring finger, filling the emptiness.

For now.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Meg Meg Meg. I heart you.

This post was originally posted a year ago in February. It's one of my proudest posts and was a guest post on and then reposted on BlogHer. It also got the attention of one of my favorite authors, Meg Wolitzer. Of course, I had to wave around the link on her blog first, but still. She responded. She KNOWS me. We're BFFs acquaintances now. 

 *  *  *

I just finished reading The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer. It’ll be taught in colleges one day. Eminent Authors 450 taught by Professor Trey Abernathy—who will no doubt be a balding man with a bouncey nod, and light in his eyes. Also, this imaginary professor wears Chuck Taylors with his tan suits. But the important detail is that the class will be taught by a man.

I’m in a ten-year nap. I gave up my life.

For them.

That’s what motherhood is. The truncating of a woman’s life for the nourishment of another, beginning at conception and filling and fulfilling the innate function of our breasts with milk of women’s sacrifice. Shouldn’t the book be called The Eighteen-Year Nap? The Eternal Nap? Will I ever “one day…just [wake] up, and there [will be] somewhere that [I] need to be”? as Meg so poignantly states in her last line of this book.

I both heartily agree with and reject the idea behind Wolitzer’s last line in the book. Am I to suppose that my early motherhood years are to be considered a “nap”, when in fact I do very little sleeping and a whole lot of dirty work that a sanitation engineer may wince at. Is the latter part of the sentence insinuating that working a paying job or volunteer work or anything that isn’t stay-at-home-y is the awake part of my life? The real living? That staying home with my kids is the “dream” and all else is the part where I’m awake? I’m quick to ask if Meg is a mom.

She is…which then leads me back to tending to agree with the same statement that I’m so infuriated with.

“But now the world […] had taken [the mothers]. He knew that this could happen. One day you just woke up, and there was somewhere you needed to be.”

Is it wrong that I feel myself trying to wake up every day? I smack my cheeks with “good literature”, splash the water of “continuing education” in my face, and jostle myself “meaningful conversation” just to get out of this motherhood “sleep”. This ethereal place where I can have a 20 minute conversation about my kid’s pink eye and spend another 20 on my hands and knees scrubbing the carpet free of a marker ink…again.

“Are you being Superman?” I’ll ask my son, “Or Batman?” And meanwhile three more homes in the neighborhood are repossessed and the families left SOL.

“Did you just poop your pants again,” I’ll ask my son. And the next day, a student asks me if I was alive during WWII (I’m not even 30), then I have to scold a kid for derogatorily calling someone a “Jew”.

“Your son can really read,” I’ll say to a fellow mom, “He read ‘pizza’ on my microwave panel.” And meanwhile Egypt is single-handedly starting rebel wild-fires in snafu Middle-East.

And back to the other hand…

My daughter says, “Look , Mom. I read the word, ‘pot’. P-O-T. pot,” And in high schools across the nation, students are reading on a 5th grade level and experimenting with pot—some given to them by their parents. And other parents complain about their kids having too much homework. And everyone blames the teachers and the education system. And I wanna give President Obama a hug for telling parents to turn off the TV already and read a book for Lincoln’s sake.

Motherhood is the most important job of a society. More than soldiers who protect society. More than politicians who lead society. Because…

We raise society. We provide a moral and educational foundation that ought to be firm enough to withstand life’s alterations, tempests, and Time.

But it is a sacrifice. Perhaps allegorical to the sacrifice. After all, we lay down our lives for them. Take an eternal nap for our children. We won’t be waking up because there’s somewhere we need to be. We are already here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lucky Charm

This is what I did for St. Patty's Day last month.

Spinach shake for breakfast, which isn't unusual for me. It's a pretty regular meal. Antioxidants, you know.

Green Tuna Noodle casserole, which was a lot better than it looked. It's green, b/c I blended a can of spinach with the soup before mixing it in as the sauce.

My kids made shamrock pictures for fun.

My son was born in March, and I call him my lucky charm. =) Mostly b/c he was due on the Ides of March, and I thought karma-wise that would be a BAD plan. Luckily he came early.

But he's also lucky, b/c I couldn't get pregnant for a while, and didn't know if I'd ever get pregnant. But then my doctor saved my life and my son was born.
My little captain underpants. Love that guy.

For more on this see my other blog: The Redbook Experiment: Results part 1 and Results part 2.

Feel free to follow that one too. =)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for my kids and for that time I visited Larry King's house.

 My kids are going to narrate these pics for you.
San Fran Zoo
ME: Can you tell me about this photo?
LAYNE: First let me wash this out. [runs off.] ...OK I'm back. The turtle's just stone. He can't move. I'm laying on his back.
GAVIN: She's getting on that turdle. Laying on it with her tummy.
Angie Berrio Photography
 LAYNE: That's when we lived in our apartment, and I was really shy and I only came out half way.
GAVIN: And you were holding me and without my shoes on. That was a long time ago when I was born.
LAYNE: How old was he?
ME: 7 months old. Not even a year.

Universal Studios a couple of years ago. They were so excited to see Spongebob
 GAVIN: It's Spongebob. I'm thirsty.
LAYNE: Spongebob's my favorite character.
GAVIN: [runs away and back with rainbow gold fish] Have some a dis, mom. [runs off chanting "nah nah nah noon].

That's how we roll.
 GAVIN: That's my new cup. But I lost it.
LAYNE: Gavin is eating very sloppy.
GAVIN: [jumps up.] What's a berry sloppy, mom?
He's got that Mr. Burns conspiratorial look about him. "Excellent, Smithers. Excellent."
 LAYNE: That's a wagon. But it's not real.
GAVIN: We are on a roller coaster. What is it? A roller coaster to connect to another roller coaster. A long one.
Zombie faces.
 LAYNE: We are making funny faces. I like funny faces. [Both kids then demonstrate favorite funny faces.]

Two seconds after this photo was taken, he shot me in the face with that foam rocket.
GAVIN: We are playing in the sand with toys. And you have a toy and I'm gonna show you someting and then I pump it out. What is that, mom?
ME: A foam rocket.
GAVIN: Whoa. I like foam rockets. It's Dale's. But he left it at Chris's house. I want that for my birtday. The one that opens up. I want every single toy for my birtday.
"Someone get me a latte."
 LAYNE: I think I'm saying, "Be careful" to Miles because he's I think he's swimming out far. Except he knows how to swim. So...
Objects may be cuter than they appear.
 LAYNE: We're doing funny faces and that's a pic of me with my new backpack.
GAVIN: Making a funny face.
This was his Captain Underpants phase.
 GAVIN: I'm playing with my stool with my swimsuit on.
LAYNE: That's your underwear!
GAVIN: I'm wearing underwear! I'm driving...going to outer space and driving in outer space in my spaceship.
Festival of Colors. See this post for more info.
 LAYNE: That's us at the Festival of Colors. And I threw some at Trevor. PINK dust at Trevor. [giggles] I tried to throw it in his face.
GAVIN: And I threw orange at Trevor's head. [giggles] and his back [giggles] and his everythi...and his face.
LAYNE: I threw it at his butt! [giggles.]
GAVIN: NO! I DID! [They argue over who threw dust at Trevor's butt.]
Cutest kid ever. 
I also got to visit Larry King's Utah home last summer. He wasn't home, but I did get these photos.

Yes, that's him with the Bushes.

I'm really not that big of a fan. My face just gets overly excited sometimes.

This is only one shelf of his awards. One shelf in one cabinet in one home of his awards.

His balcony.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

James Joycian post: New Girl

Once in a while, I like to post my stream of consciousness, because why should James Joyce have all the fun. And just to make it even more difficult to follow, I like to write it while watching some TV show. Today I picked an episode of New Girl with Zoey Deschanel.

So here we go.

She's so cute. I love her clothes. I wish I could look that cute as a brunette.
That guy looks like ...

My laptop is burning my legs. Switch position.

OOOh is that the guy who used to play James Bond? What is that guy on?

Zoey, what the hell? Are you wearing a sandwich board with Miss Monogamy on it? What the what? Hmm...

My phone keeps buzzing for people to play Words with Friends. I'm tempted. Not giving in. Not giving in.

North Korea and Math are a thing? they go hand in hand? I would've thought the joke would've been North Korea and crazy evil dictators go hand in hand.

OOoh shoes. pant pant pant. 
I want those blue pumps.
I should've gotten those other blue pumps I saw at Payless the other day. hmm...

I can do lunges like that. With weights too.

I knew a guy who memorized facts a lot. He was pretty smart. But spent a lot of time making other people feel stupid that they didn't memorize useless facts. Why are brilliant types always dumbasses too. I bet a brilliant person would say something like, "That is a paradoxical statement. A person cannot be a genius and not smart simultanblah blah blah."

"The credit score of homeless ghost" hahahaha.
"Are you driving a lawn mower?" Awesome. Feels like that sometimes with my 1998 minivan, which we named Master and Commander. For the irony.

What is that guy on? Not James Bond. Pause to look it up.

Dermot Mulroney. 

Who the hell is that?
Looking up IMDb...

... My Best Friend's Wedding! Duh. He's Julia Roberts love-interest. Not even close to Bond. oops.

He's getting old. But still looks good.
Is he hitting on Zoey? Nice coat, Zoey. Love it.
Glee commercial. That show sucks now. But my fave Sue Sylvester quote is--
--Oh my gosh those are the shoes I just said I shoulda gotten at Payless!

Looking for picture...

Yep. Shoe-gasm.

Back to Sue's quote...

 "I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat. And then on some dark cold night, I will steal away into your house and punch you in the face.’’


Unpause New Girl. Why isn't it The New Girl. Is our economy so poor that we have to limit our articles?

I just got my hair done today. I shoulda styled it.

Cute dress Zoey.
"Veto a law" hahaha.
I seriously want that dress.
"I think I understand hunting." hahaha.

So now every time I see that dude, I can only think about that line from My Best Friend's Wedding, where that weird lady was like..."Kimmy. Kimmy."

Best line of the show:
"I just came in here and it smelled like Shakespeare, if Shakespeare were a damn cowboy. And a hawk's nest, and boat fuel, and cigars and stuff!"

Did that toilet open itself? hahaha.
That's how you spell bidet. I guess that makes sense. It's French, right? Etymology, Rena. Etymology.

Another great line. "He smells like strong coffee and going to see a man about a horse."

That dialogue sucked. 

Who's Jodeci?

Pause to look it up.
90s R&B artist. Famous for Freek'N You (spelled exactly like that.)
Watching video. Link for you to see.

Is that Whitney Houston?
Oh Geez.
But now I get the joke from New Girl.

Back to the show, b/c I cannot handle all the gyrating against the hotel hallway walls.

Zoey just fell in the pond. HAHAHAHAHA.

OK. Show over.

That is always fun. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


(I'm writing this post in March to prep for the A to Z challenge, so hopefully we are all better by now.)

Went to the doctor today.
I have strep throat.
When I swallow it feels like there's a jagged toenail stuck in my throat. 

Took my kids to the pediatrician.
Layne has Bronchitis.
She coughed so hard today that she threw up in the sink.

Gavin has Bronchitis and an ear infection.
He woke up last night at 3am and wouldn't go back to sleep. Through sips of orange juice, I whispered the story of "The Boy Who Called Wolf", then let him watch Blue's Clues on the laptop until he fell asleep.

I feel like poo.
The end.
A healthy day. You wouldn't want to see us now.

Monday, April 9, 2012

UPDATED: Hunger Games with a new picture.

I wonder how many of you guys wrote about HG in the assigned "H" day for the Blogging from A to Z challenge.

Anyway. I went with my friends to a 7:05pm showing the Thursday before it's official release date. My friend's dentist sponsored the show and gave out gift cards and teeth whitening kits too. It was pretty sweet. I painted the Mockingjay on my friends' faces, on my kids' faces, and on some of my students' faces (the next day). My friend painted a 24 on me for District 24.

Movie rocked. My friend says the movie is just like the book but in fast forward, which I totally agree with. I loved the fire dress. That detail was cool to see instead of just imagine.

Overall I loved it. However...

Peeta should've been hotter. I mean, I just kept imagining him as the annoying big brother in Zathura, and it creeped me out. He should've been cuter. Just sayin' Hollywood. You couldn't pick someone from your Rolodex of age-appropriate hotties for this 30yo housewife? eh?
A gift to me from

Robert Downey Jr.?
or Hugh Jackman? (I'm pretty sure he wouldn't won the Hunger Games.)

Anyway. Go see it. And may the odds ever be in your favor.
I realize gold would've been way cooler, but I only had red.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G - across the worldwideweb

I couldn't think of ANYTHING to post for "G", so I decided to let the internet do the work for me.
I punched in "G" into some popular websites and here's what came up first...with my commentary of course.

Family Guy
New Girl (funny show)
Grey's Anatomy (McGreat.)
Glee (used to be good.)
Grimm (never seen it.)

Ghostbusters ("Don't cross the streams.")
Gabriel Iglesias: Hot and Fluffy (WTW? Dare I click that? ...Oh, he's that comedian. Gotcha.)
G.I. Joe Renegades ("Knowing is half the battle.")

Glee Cast
Gotye (Who? ... According to Pandora, he's "Gotye (pronounced "go-ti-yay" or "Gauthier") is the alias of Australian electronic pop trickster Wally de Backer." I listened to half a song. Not a fan.)
George Strait (no thanks.)
Gorillaz (Actally on my list.)
Green Day (Also on my list.)

glutton for punishment quotes (What was I looking up?)
grad school study tips (husband's in grad school)
gross but popular Germanic recipes (Not sure how to explain this.)

You Tube:
Gotye Somebody I used to Know (Guess he's pretty popular.)
gummy bear song (sold! Clicking to listen...HUGE let down. The video is like what a corporate thought might be funny to tweens. LAME.
gucci mane (interested. Clicking...Girl in underwear and a rapping cartoon bird. WTH?)

Hmmm...I have no idea what you were supposed to learn from this, except that maybe the internet is the best resource for writers. You can get info on ANYTHING. Even things you'd rather not.

Friday, April 6, 2012

FBLA Field Trip

I helped chaperone the FBLA field trip last weekend and here are the highlights:

I'm wearing the plastic red bows. Oh yeah! They would've worked if I had plans to dress like a naughty Dorthy. Which I don't.
  1. Trying on the prom dress from hell. Imagine leopard print bodice and a fuchsia skirt like a mullet, short in the front, party in the back.
  2. Trying on tons of TACKY shoes. And some cute ones.
  3. Dominating at late night Speed Scrabble. 
  4. Monty Python quote-off.
  5. Getting 2 new pairs of summer wedges.
  6. Swimming laps for exercise.
  7. Writing for 5 hours straight. Unadulterated time away from kids and husband and dog and work. Pure bliss.
  8. Catching up on cable. (I've been cable-free since August. So I watched Leverage, Psych, and What Not to Wear. Also, cable hasn't changed much in the past few months. They're still showing Die Hard marathons, and yes, I watched one too. "Now I know what a TV dinner feels like." - J. McClane)
  9. The girl with the tacky rhinestone bracelets. She wore maybe 15 on each arm. We debated giving her an intervention. 
  10. Having a king-sized bed to myself. 
  11. Outback steak.
  12. Free brownies made with love. 
  13. Words with Friends.
  14.  Singing "Party in the USA" at the tops of our lungs. (parody-like)
  15. Josie's "birthday". 
We were going for "furiously happy".
And Josie didn't even get a year older. =)PS, the students planned this surprise. Teenagers never change, except for their haircuts.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eat. Pray. Love.

[This post was originally written last April--is that cheating?--and gets more hits than almost any other post on my blog. I'm still not sure why.]

Eat. Pray. Love.
Ate. Prayed. Loved.

This movie took the idea behind The Feminine Mystique and applied it to...people. Not just women. But all persons who feel out of place, like a misfit, or who is a don't-fit-the-mold type. I've felt out of place before, perhaps not to the extreme as the characters in this film, but I've felt alone in a room full of  people. Neighborless with neighbors living above, below, and next door. It's unnerving.

But Eat. Pray. Love. suggests embracing the scariness of situations like that, and learn from the people around you. "I need to be unnerved," says Julie Roberts, the lost femme fatale, and then glances away from James Franco, cradles the coffee cup...two long blinks.

This line prefaces her journey of self-discovery. "I need to be unnerved." It resonates, "Try something new."

Another favorite quote: "Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face." You have to be fully committed. I must've laughed for a full 5 min. If only every parent brought the same kind of commitment to a parent/child relationship than it takes to ink the forehead. (I already know if I had a tattoo on my forehead it would say RELAX backwards, so that I could remind myself to take it easy every time I looked in the mirror. Either that or permanent eye-liner. Or the Weezer symbol: "=w=")

Another favorite quote is "Maybe you are a woman in search of her word." Julie ends up picking an Italian word that means, "Cross over with me". It had plot significance in both the journey and the resolution. I wonder what word would I use to be the symbolic representation of my life's journey and current resolution. If I'm going for a foreign word like Julie, the language would have to be Spanish in honor of my heritage.

And my word...escritora  (writer)
And my fave English word...vermilion. It's the color of my personality.

Finally (just for fun) when Julie's character visits India she meets a man who she accuses of "always speaking in bumper sticker." I imagined a conversation I might have with bumper stickers, and here's where my mind took me:

BS: Honk if you hate noise pollution.

ME: Honk yourself.

BS: Honk if you love Hanson, then drive into a tree.

ME: Good one.

BS: I is a college student.


ME: Better stay in school.

BS: I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing.

ME: [Puts arm over BS's shoulder. Head tilted. Polite Smile.] Of course you're not.

BS: [revs engine] Honk if you're horny.

ME: Whoa, Mister. I'm not that kinda girl!

BS: My son is an honor student at the state correctional facility.

ME: [eye brows pinched] Okkkaaaaayyyyy. I don't know how to respond to that.

BS: Some people are only alive because it is illegal to kill them.

ME: What does that mean?

BS: Honk If You've Never Seen An Uzi Fired From A Car Window.

ME: [running away.]

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Disney World

Reunited with Lisa after 12 years!
I went to Disney World in January.
By myself.
No family.
No kids.
Just me and an old friend.
It is the BEST way to vacation. I'm telling you. I didn't have to worry about strollers, snacks, entertainment, snotty noses, sticky fingers, complaining, melatonin, extra strength Excedrin. I'm telling you, vacations with the girlfriends are the best kinds.

The proof is in the pictures.

At a karaoke joint. We didn't get to sing. =/

But we rocked the heels.

BIG FOOT 5K with Shan and Nicholette.
Ogden with my friend Shan.

Bear Lake with the sisters. Granted we took our kids camping too, but it was still all about laying out, eating, and reading.
Bear Lake sister camping trip two summers ago.

 Maybe that's why I like going to conferences so much too. I get to leave the stress at home and chill with other professionals for a while.

Shakespeare, writing, and Funny in Farsi with Ashley.

Hello friend, Chris!
There's a manic-ness to our fun here.
The moral of the story:
Girls just wanna have fun. Especially when our day is consumed with spit up and Spongebob on a regular basis.

And isn't that what we do when we read? Take a vacation with our fictional friends? My favorite friends to vacation with are any of Neil Gaiman's characters and currently, I'm vacationing with The Only Alien on the Planet. (Reading it for my students, but loving it all the same). 


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