Friday, May 27, 2011

Just Do It for the Faint of Heart

Courtesy of Brian McBride (CA)
A river runs through a nearby national park. Blackwater river, which pours into Blackwater Bay at a pace so perfect, you can float it three feet above its white, sandy bottom - if you can manage to keep your tube or raft from popping amongst the smattering of twigs and trees, their leaves taking a dip themselves in the clear, greenish water.

You're forced to pack light. Sunscreen, a sandwich, swimsuit, sunglasses. Your choice of drink. Your choice of friends, with whom you'll spend a lazy 3 to 7 hours talking shop or entertainment or kids or just shooting the shit about whatever your brain waves ramble over.

Bend after bend goes by, sometimes beckoning you to a small beach or large sandbar, sometimes to greenery surrounded reddish cliffs, off which people (carefully?) leap to the soft, watery shallows below. You pass people who've set their beach chairs up in the warm water, half bodies soaking up the sun and drinking mysterious liquids out of big, colorful water bottles. Few are fishing. Many have dogs.

Source unknown
We go as slowly as possible, not wanting the trip or the day to end, stopping at beaches for long stretches of conversation, meandering slowly through the repeating S beneath a wide strip of blue sky, much more current than languid paddling keeping us going. We approach the last bend, marked by a small bridge stretching stoutly out of the now dark green, almost black, water. I beach my beloved raft and stare at that white line between your toes you can never get tan. We pile into the second car and head back to the first.

If you ever get the chance to float a it. (Waterparks don't count, but they are easier on which to read a book.)

So, Oprah's Book Club is no more. Oprah seemed like someone who would remember the moment she learned to read, too - the moment it just...clicked. Not only was every Oprah's Book Club book a solid shot an big game read for readers, but, for most writers, that badge was up there with making a New York Times bestseller list and, er, appearing on Conan and being featured at Comicon.

But don't give up; you can still e-mail your manuscript to Maybe your pitch will at least make her read your words and reply with solid gold kudos and a Web site mention. So, in the meantime, print that manuscript out (Hint: set your printer settings to black and white, 2-sided, and the fasted possible speed - that shit will just shoot outta there - but be sure to be there to keep the pages in order, he, he, he). Sprawl out with a glass or cup of something, start reading for feel, highlighting story sections, moving them around, and getting some setting, flow, drama and tension in there. Then write some more and click SEND.

Do it.

The below is an ode to Gaga in celebration of her triumphant (subjective, so I understand the below is only for true fans) junior album (if deluxe versions don't count - not sure about the rule on that). If you're inclined to pop and haven't bought the new record it. If you're not, and need a good book to read besides vampire stories, 'Arry Potta', The Hunger Games (geeze, the UK's kicking our ass), and the Millennium Trilogy, Oprah's is a super-duper list.

If you don't read, do it, starting with this blog more - don't wait for the movie version.

Ode to Gaga

Oh, Chrome. Probably enough.

The beginning is the best.

Up for adoption?

Oh, Alex.

For more fun times, visit the official Lady Gaga YouTube channel.

For even more eye candy fun times, which don't require loading... Oh, Gaga fans. Oh, Japan - much love. (Courtesy of the blog.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Highlight Waiting to Happen

In the weeks leading up to Selection, when the hus and I will know what naval aircraft platform he will be embarking upon - and where we'll be for the next year or so - these are things most worth discussing of course...

(If you find yourself asking us the same questions over and over, review the chart at the end of this post and commit it to memory, or suffer the wrath of shortness.)

Cookie Cake

No real occasion necessary to consume
This is the most wonderful mall treat of late. Marine wife Leslie introduced me to this fantastic dessert many deserve after a day of shopping and traipsing - and then more traipsing, which is needed in order to burn off the sugar content that must amount to a week's worth. But don't think about that when granting yourself this slice of soft chocolate chip cookie decorated with sickening (you know, but in a good way) sugary icing.

Tip: If your bank account can't handle walking miles around a mall all day, run the McGuire's 5K (or a 5K near you, including your neighborhood) - then indulge.


I know only some of you actually care about words, and most of you only read this out of pity for a struggling novelist, but if you happen to be a fellow starving (er, minus the cookie cake) wordsmith, check out this awesome possum cartoon on PBS Kids, whether you have kids or not. And yup, I watch PBS Kids. And the Disney channels. And ABC Family. These are my main reasons to have children - so I can watch these unabashed and in good company.

WordGirl teaches as well as follows the adventures of 10 year-old 5th grader Becky Botsford, originally from the planet Lexicon. Her sidekick is Captain Huggy Face, a monkey who was a pilot in the Lexicon Air Force, (this would be a good 'call sign' for the hus, yeah?). On Lexicon, Becky stowed away on Huggy Face's spaceship; Huggy was startled by Becky and crash landed on Earth, where they were both taken in by a kind family (whew).

Captain Huggy Face becomes their pet, and they name him Bob.

Becky finds she has superpowers now - flight and super strength. Becky and Captain Bob use the broken spaceship as headquarters to fight the crimes of creative enemies including one who inserts the word "Wham" into sentences at the most inopportune time. Okay, okay, words don't play a huge part except for the introductory and concluding lessons and searching for a couple certain words during the episode. But Becky has cute bangs, and Captain Huggy Face? I mean, come on, you gotta love that chunky monkey.

Friday the 13th and the Impending Year 2012

Yup, from the movie
I typically celebrate Friday the 13th with a scary movie. So Scream 4 was an obvious choice. But I couldn't bring myself to put pants on and drive through a downpour-ing thunderstorm to see it. So I stayed in. I encourage you to not be like me and brave hydroplaning in order to be a true horror flick fan.

I also encourage you to research the Mayan prophecy of 2012, because who doesn't want to? Don't answer that. I'm voting for an intelligence transformation on Earth, instead of a physical or spiritual, that will let us figure out terrorism, economy, gas prices, processes, paperwork and pollution solutions - or that we collide with a black hole so I can finally understand those things despite having taken astronomy freshman year of college. If you don't read the Wikipedia article, at least watch the movie 2012, or the somewhat related Apocolypto (in spite of Mel Gibson), on the eve of December 21.

And party like it's 1999!

"I was gonna wink at them, and then they would know - WINK."

This is an example of what the hus does to me in social situations. I warn you, it may seem cute, and it does to me now, and often during the situation, which only makes it worse, because I can't prove my point while laughing and smiling. So I'm at least recording it for posterity.

We're late to an event. And it's not my fault. It rarely is. Seriously! And the hus admits this and says we can blame him. Which is true anyway, I point out. And he's on the phone with some of our friends from the event. And he blames me! I freak out as he hangs up. "What are you doing?" I say, "You were supposed to take the blame." "I was gonna wink at them, and then they would know," he says and winks at me. "But you were on the phone; they can't see you!" "Oh." "Fuck me." "Okay."

The last few weeks have continued to involve social tardiness, seeming nagging when I'm really just trying to usher the boy to our next so-called event, and almost getting arrested for "staying too late" at our friends' apartment complex pool - a situation that could have been avoided if he just answered the officer with "I'll be right out," instead of "we'll be right out." SIGH

Whizzing and Shitting, AKA the Facebook for Dogs

We were walking the dog one cool, dry evening after a cold front (which the hus explained to me), amused at how our three-legged, yellow lab wanted to sniff, pee and poo at different sites. "Is she really marking that as her territory?" I had asked, adding to my many questions to the hus that should be rhetorical since it's not like he knows everything. Yet. "Just sayin' she was there, what she was doin'...

It's like Facebook for dogs."

Star Freebies 

During an evening of rainbow chip cupcakes, rum and disorganized Cranium and Apples to Apples, several ladies and I discussed the topic of freebie affairs with celebrities. Most agreed you and your spouse can pick one each; the subject can change but should be announced prior to the astronomical chances of meeting that person. But some still felt, no matter if it was one of the Jessica'sAngie herself, Pitt, or Pattinson, that no such freebie should ever exist. This made me wonder if an Indecent Proposal and that one Entourage episode could be mashed up into a catastrophic version of Notting Hill. These are the kind of ideas I come up with people! So if you have a better book or script idea, please, please, help me.

Credit not guaranteed.

The New Beetle

Like this. Save for it. Buy it. Cheer the world.

The new Beetle/Porsche mashup in image mode.

Courtesy of Volkswagen
The Office of Letters and Light

This office organized NaNoWriMo, the national novel writing month (November) writing marathon and April's Script Frenzy for aspiring screenwriters. They also promote young writers and photography. So snaps to The Office of Letters and Light. Also for mashing up photos and words; nice job photog and subject for portraying how to literally write where you are.


The aforementioned have been the highlights (inspired by an ESPN anchor during a highlights segment) of my life since my far off last post due to a substantial boost in beach time. And, er, work and novelizing - sure, yeah. At least I just learned novelizing is a real, live word.

Click on the chart below to enlarge.