Hot under the collar

I'm in day two of isolation.  Friday I took radioactive iodine to burn out poison me turn me into a huge rampaging lizard monster treat my thyroid.  I have to stay 3 feet away from people for four days because of the residual radioactivity.  The cats are taking it hard.  I've gotten a few pitiful "why won't you pet me" meows while I'm holed up in the den. However, my beloved child, he of the incessant lap climbing and ambush hugs to ad nauseum, won't come closer than ten feet.  He also whimpers when I walk past him from across the room!

So far, I've felt OK; just tired and thirsty and my stomach is upset.  But that could be from anxiety and the low iodine diet.  (Yeah, right.)  And to be totally grossly TMI it feels unusually hot when I pee!  Freaky.  I'm disappointed that there's no glowing, though.  You'd think that if you were going to purposely poison yourself with radioactive materials you could at least glow a little.

The worst thing about this process is the low iodine diet.  I didn't think it was too bad at first; I'd figured you couldn't eat a lot of salty or processed, canned foods.  We always use Kosher salt in our cooking so I knew I could eat stuff at home. What I didn't expect on the "Do Not Eat" list were things like all dairy products and chocolate!  Then came "don't go to restaurants", nothing from a commercial bakery, no lunch meats, and nothing with "red or pink food dyes", and on and on.  But then down at the bottom, almost hidden, were the words "no tea"!  Christ on wheels that is crazy talk, right there!  I mean, you might as well just let the clowns out of their cages.  I think I got the shakes as soon as I read that.

So I was supposed to have dinner at this great French Vietnamese place for my birthday on Thursday which totally got nixed because of the diet.  My best friend baked me a cake instead and brought it over before she knew about the "no chocolate" restriction.  After I blew out the candles and everyone else cut themselves big slices of Mexican chocolate cake and huge scoops of ice cream, my best friend turns to me with fork in hand and says,

"Wow, you know... this is kind of sad."

Munch, munch, munch.

Me: "YES I'M WELL AWARE OF HOW SAD IT IS, THANK YOU!!"

Happy Birthday, thyroid, you rotten bitch.


Sometimes ya just gotta punk it out

So a lot has happened.  First, school has ended, and as usual the end of the school year kicked my ass!  It's actually rather pathetic.  I just can't seem to remember from year to year how busy those last two months are.  I'm totally living in a delusional haze, my childhood memories of blissful spring and early summer completely overriding what my brain tells me is actually reality.  I can only blame it on some sort of mid-life dementia.  Watch I do the exact same thing next year.

Since it's now summer, I cut my hair!  Whee!  Because if you're gonna make a radical change you might as well do it in summer!  (I don't know why I think that's logical but I do.)  It's now the shortest I've ever gone.  And it's not bad.  Short curls/waves all around my face.  A little boyish.  Super easy.  I'll admit I've had other cuts I prefer but it's still pretty cute.  For a change I think it's perfect.  I get bored you know, and hair grows... which makes it the perfect creative outlet!

Oh, and check this out.  After a long and nonexistent campaign, I was voted in as a co-president of our PTA.  I know, I'm shocked, too!  I thought for sure someone better would come along.  It was really like I was just holding someone's place in line to buy movie tickets.  And then BAM! All of a sudden I'm on the board.  I'm really not the poster child for soccer moms everywhere, what with the punk red hair and swearing sass mouth.  And, you know, letting people cut in line.  But maybe that's just par for California. 

Also... as long time readers might remember I have a thyroid disorder, Grave's Disease.  Here's how that breaks down.  My autoimmune system, who is in general kind of belligerent, starts up the shit with, "Hey thyroid, guess what? I'm going to make you MY BITCH!!"  And my thyroid is all, "Oh no, you did not... I will cut you!  Don't test me, I WILL CUT YOU!" because she tends to overeact and spazzes out (which really, she should have figured out by now is just what autoimmune wants her to do. Don't take the bait, kids.)  But it's all good because I have meds that run negotiations between the two and generally keeps the antagonism at a simmering stalemate.  Except... just recently... my meds decided to totally pussy out of the drama (I'm sure they were sick of it, but still... rude!) and instead they went and hung out in the body's bar with the other miscreants.  Now, because of their loitering, I have liver damage!   Which basically translates to being itchy, tired, and having headaches because I've had to cut out all medications so my liver can recover.  It's amazing how much antihistamines and vitamins make a difference in your life until you cut them out!  I will never take you for granted again.  Well, there is one medicine I'm still on, a beta blocker so I don't have a heart attack while waiting for my radioactive iodine treatment to be scheduled. Yes, those are my choices. I can possibly have a heart attack from hyperthyroidism or I can become radioactive.  Which is just not as cool as Imagine Dragons makes it sound.  Not quite the relaxing start to summer I had anticipated.  But maybe I'll get some cool mutant powers out of this.  I'm hoping for time manipulation.  (Although I admit, all of this has been slightly useful for getting out of stuff when I just want to stare at the TV... "Oh honey, I would give you a backrub, but you know... liver damage!") 

Anywho, one of the possible side effects of making your body radioactive is your hair might start to fall out! Yay!  Which if it does, and since it's summer, I'm totally going to dye it blue.  Take that to its furthest conclusion and it's quite possible I could start the autumn with people wondering who the baldy-patched, blue-locked woman is. Oh her? That's our president.

I imagine membership will be leaving in droves!


Spring Break and I'm Exhausted

What's up with vacations tiring you out?  Spring break week just finished.  I was sooooo looking forward to sleeping in.  But apparently, I negated that extra sleep by just having too much damn fun!  I can't keep up with my own fricking party schedule.  We had playdates, went to museums, the amusement park, and the beach. I don't know what I was thinking.  I'm ending the week feeling frazzled and burnt out.  Chance isn't much better but, you know, he's younger so he recovers way faster or compensates by working mommy's nerves as a form of personal entertainment when he's too tired to watch TV. (Also, I think my period might be starting so there's that.)  I would like something chocolatey and alcoholic now, while I chant the eternal parental mantra...

School starts tomorrow, school starts tomorrow, school starts tomorrow.


My Smelly Pants

So I bought this new pair of jeans. Skinny, soft, they've got a couple of those pre-made holes in them (which I'm not crazy about) but they are oh so comfortable! I figured, what's a couple of questionably fashionable holes when they feel that good? It's not like they're work clothes. In fact, I was so excited about these jeans that the first time I wore them I just cut off the tags, put them on, and went out. I know, ew. But that wasn't the icky part!  As I wore them I started to notice a distinct odor. It wasn't horrible but it was definitely odd, in a decidedly bodily fluids kind of way. I'm not saying my pants smelled like poo, that would be going too far, but it was in the realm of an infected hangnail or maybe a stale fart. Did I mention these jeans feel like pajamas?  I thought, well, that's what I get for not washing them first. This is probably what an Indonesian truck smells like.  I threw them in the wash and didn't think any more about it.  Yesterday I wore them again, my deliciously comfortable pants. I didn't notice anything at first but as the day wore on I again began to smell that funky, body-gone-wrong odor.  It started wafting up every time I moved too much or squatted down to pick something up.  It still wasn't super noticeable. I probably was the only one getting a good whiff from my jeans that felt (and smelled) like a kitten's butt. But they are so comfortable!  So it really begs the question... how much stank do you put up with for comfy jeans?


Your Valued Opinion Please

I need your thoughts, please. The kid's chapter book I wrote is called The Psychic Cat.  It's about a cat named Zach who can see ghosts.  When a new cat moves into the neighborhood he goes to Zach for help with a haunted basement. Zach not only finds ghosts but he also finds a bigger problem threatening the entire neighborhood!  Da da dun!  It's up to Zach, his friends, and their new ghosts buddies to protect their families in time.  That's my basic pitch, minus the sounds effects. 

However, The Psychic Cat was always more of a working title because I basically ran out of creative juice at the very end of writing, and I thought, at the very least, the title will give an instant clue about what the book's about. So I was wondering if you all out there could weigh in on title suggestions. I'd really like to write this character as a series so I'm thinking about Zach and the Haunted Basement for the first book. 

But at the same time I'm wondering if that type of mystery title is overdone?  What do you all think?  Especially those of you who may have been reading to your kids.

To get an idea of the flavor of the book here is the first page/intro.  (P.S. Critique is always welcome!) 

 

Chapter One

            My name is Zach. I’m psychic. I’m also a cat.

            Humans usually don’t think animals can be psychic. Either that or there are those few humans who think ALL animals are psychic. Those are the goofy ones who are always following us pets around waiting for us to predict an earthquake or something. But animals can be psychic too, and I’m one of them. I see ghosts.  

            It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. Ghosts are just like people. Or rather, the ghosts are just like animals. Those are the ones I see--the ghosts of animals. As far as I can figure human psychics see other human ghosts and animal psychics see animal ghosts. I think it’s due to a communication issue. I mean, humans can’t understand us animals, right? And we really can’t talk to people. Every once in a while I’ll see a human ghost… but believe you me, there’s certainly no discussions of the weather going on.

            Being psychic doesn’t have much to do with my day-to-day life. I live in a great house, in a great neighborhood, with the best little girl a cat could have. Her name is Samantha and she never welches on the affection. I get lots of petting, great food, and plenty of sunny spots to nap in while she’s in school. The edge of the neighborhood butts up right against forest and foothills, so if you really want to explore or even just commune with the real wildlife you don’t have far to go. Not that I go looking. I know the good life I have and it sure as heck beats living out of dumpsters. Or, yuck, hunting birds.

            Yep, there’s plenty of adventure to be found without the ghost thing ever raising its--ha ha--dead.

            But somehow that ghost thing always seems to find me…

The Story vs. the Selling

When I worked for startups I had to change hats constantly.  At the time I could switch my brain over to a new, unrelated task pretty easily... one minute you're writing, the next you're negotiating ad prices, then you're looking at art comps, and then you're picking up Jamba Juice. (I always got the Jamba Juice runs.) It was all part of the job.  You would think that working in marketing would make the selling aspects of creative writing - writing the query letter, pitch, synopsis, etc. - easier but it's not!  I figure part of it is because my brain was then. Nowadays, I find I have to make a major brain switch, and sometimes pretend I'm someone else, to do it. 

(Actually, I think it would be much easier for me to write a query letter and pitch for a client than for myself. Not that I'm offering! (Although, hmmm... I bet there are enterprising writers out there making a living writing pitches for authors. Writer for writers for hire.))  

Anywho, I am doing it. I've written the pitch, the query letter, and a synopsis (that I am almost happy with). Usually I need a bit of a break from creative writing and a lot of research before I feel back in the marketing mindset, and maybe a little bit of minor panicking. These are the times that I miss school deadlines. Or actually, any authoritative voice giving me a deadline, because apparently I don't listen to myself at all!

So I'm wondering, for those you who write or anyone who has to switch between creative and business, what are your tricks to get in the right mood?  My main trick seems to be over-researching until I'm sick of the subject and then either 1) taking a hot shower or 2) going to sleep. I think it's the "relax and let your unconscious brain work on the problem" method.  What yours?

                - wg


Lessons

I'm working on my final edit pass of my first complete book. I was kind of anxious to do the sit-down-read-through but now that I'm there I'm actually enjoying it. See, I can live happily in edit-brain, just as I can live happily in writing-brain... BUT I CAN'T DO BOTH AT THE SAME TIME!  The things you learn.

This entire project has been a learning process that I'm really, really thankful I went through. First thing I learned... I write creatively A LOT slower than I used to. All those years I wrote marketing copy quickly, I got rusty on the creative side.  So early on I made a decision to switch projects.  I originally took the hiatus to work on a YA/Adult novel.  When I realized my writing process had slowed down I switched over to a shorter project, a kid's chapter book that I had started previously, and concentrated on completing it.  Because really that's what it's all about, we can start a million books but it's finishing one that's the challenge.  I was trying to be organic about the process in general because I wasn't sure what my process was yet, and allowing my type-A self to switch writing projects midstream was part of the learning curve.  

So the book is short, about 11,000 words, and that might not mean a lot to some people but it is done!  And I'm happy with it, to boot. I also feel like I can totally accomplish a larger novel now.  I just need to allocate more time to do it. I'm also confident that my creative writing will get faster with time.

I learned more, though, than just that I'm a pokey writer. I learned where the pain points are, I know where I need to improve organization, and I learned when to allow myself to breathe and when to push myself.  I honestly would tell anyone who wants to write a book but is afraid to try... do it. Just try it.  At the very least, you'll learn a lot about yourself. 

                  - Mary, the weirdgirl       

On a different note: Apparently, my blog has been eating comments. Sorry about that. I'm not sure why it's so hungry. When I'm not completely ignoring it I feed it some lettuce scraps at least once a month. Fiber is very important, you know.


In-betweens

The problem I have with maintaining a blog (and this isn't something that can be helped because it is part of life) is that there are long periods where nothing happens and then everything happens all at once.  My brain gets jumbled when everything happens at once and I flub around trying to get all the words down, trying to cover everything with the proper amount of gravitas each element is due. Which is, of course, impossible because this is LIFE so something tragic happened, and something silly happened, and something good happened, and something ridiculous and infuriating and hilarious all occurred within the same span of time and if I really wanted to capture all of it I'd have to be sitting typing blog entries all day. Then there's another long period of nothing going on.  (Which is undoubtedly why the term "blog fodder" came into existence.)

It's funny though, all my anxiety lives in the in-betweens and not the durings.  You'd think the in-betweens would be the relaxing portion.

Keen's grandfather just recently passed away.  Keen's grandfather who was a character, whom Keen was close to; it's been very hard on him and the family.  It shouldn't have been but it was unexpected.  Grandfather was 96 years old and he was healthy and we took his health for granted.  That's on us. But he was very much loved and will be missed.

Very shortly before that, I finished my first book.  It's a kid's chapter book so it's not as long as an adult novel but it's a start.  I'll talk more about that later.  

It was high time for me to unjumble my brain and get back here.  Emails have been trickling in, checking up on me, which I truly appreciate.  Thank you guys.

                                 - the weirdgirl


The Hiatus Challenge

Hi Everyone!  As you know, I've been writing on this blog for seven years.  And, as I think happens with a lot of people who start blogs, I thought I would get a lot of other projects done in that time, too. Then I thought, when Chance started school I would have more time to do other writing. However, in the two years he's been in school I really haven't gotten much done and that's two whole years!  I think one of the problems with blogs is that when you're a writer you generally feel compelled to write; it's like a burning itch - especially if you haven't written in a while - and you just need to get something out onto the page.  And what happens with a blog is you start feeling that way and you dash off a post and you feel a little better (even if the quality isn't very good) and the desire wanes.  (Yes, writing is like an addiction.)  That all kind of eats away at your energy for what else you might write, besides the time that writing a blog takes. 

So I've decided to take a hiatus from here for a few months. I've just started a novel and I want to concentrate on just that for a while.  This is really a giant experiment to see if I can get through writing a whole book.  And also to see what happens when I lighten up my tendency to overschedule myself!  Ha ha.  I know I have a tendency of getting very committed and I'm also constantly volunteering to help everyone else.  (Let's face it, I'm so busy I've been barely blogging as it is.)  I want to see what it's like to not feel like I HAVE to post, you know what I mean?  I think it's time I do something for me, and something that's bigger and harder.  I'm also reducing the hours I volunteer at school this year (or I'm gonna try) because I was there A LOT the last two years (besides picking up Chance for lunch, which we're changing this year).  I think having fewer commitments will force me to spend time writing.

And I've just announced here that I'm working on a book so feel free to pour on the pressure!  I need it!   

It took a long time before I was ready to let go of this blog.  I'm not planning on shutting it down permanently; I just need to take a break.  I'll still be on email and Facebook so you can find me there, and I'll still be doing Cougar Beat because that's pictures instead of writing.  I may still blog an update now and then, but no promises.

I'll see you in a few months.  Love you all!             - the weirdgirl 


I swear I'm not doing it on purpose

So I keep accidentally reading porn. And this isn't like that time when I accidentally got a Brazilian bikini wax (hint: if you hear the wax technician say, "whoops"... stop it right there!) because going in to it I knew that we would be dealing with that bikini region but then it suddenly just all got more involved than anticipated.  Like a bad date but with hot wax.  No, this is me picking out books that look interesting and then reading a bit into it and then totally getting sideswiped by porn.  I blame it on my Kindle, actually.  There isn't as much detail as on the regular Amazon page or maybe the info is in a different section so I'm missing it, or maybe it's because I'm being exposed to newer authors that I'm not familiar with, and I also didn't realize that steampunk has kind of been co-opted by the romance industry, but where it really gets me is the samples!  See, you're allowed to try to a sample of a book before you commit to buying it.  But see, these wily writers?  They never put the porn in the first two chapters!  So you buy the book and get into the THIRD chapter and then realize that what you thought was a plot was just a flimsy set up for the porn!  Or the other thing that has been happening is there is a perfectly decent plot that I'm rather enjoying and then the side plot starts dominating with a lot of pulsating and blossoming and other things that anatomically don't really happen the way they describe. (And really, if a boob suddenly "blossomed" in front of you wouldn't that just freak you the fuck out? I mean, that is like some Alien shit going on there! I don't need boobs changing shape, thank you very much.)  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against porn. I like a good romance with a hot sex scene just as much as the next person (which was SO the problem with Twilight, amiright?).  But I don't want to read a whole book of it.  Because after awhile?  Yawn, manroot, yawn.


Colds and other suckasses

I have a cold. That is all.

Actually, that's not all. Chance started school again yesterday!  He's in second grade this year.  He was very excited and I'm pretty excited to have some quiet time, too. But what that means is... it took exactly ONE DAY of being around school children for me to pick up their germs and get sick.  1 day and 1 hour to be exact because I felt fine up until coffee after morning drop off today. Then I started feeling like crap.

Educations are kicking my ass.


Seven years blogging!

This weekend was the weirdgirl blog's seventh anniversary!  It's been a long, winding, sometimes strange road.  I think we (myself included) mistake these online spaces as static.  I mean, they are just a pixellated frame, pretty unchanging except for the occasional new banner or background.  And by extension it can look like our lives are static as well.  We scramble for content, get blocked and unblocked, talk about the same things over and over.  But they are windows (sometimes with half drawn curtains, sometimes open doors).  People say community is the biggest contribution of blogs, but I think the biggest impact is perception.  In a million major and minor ways, personal and at large in the internet, blogs change perception.  And what we do with that is how we change.

Anyhow, thank you for sharing these glimpses with me.                 

Sincerely,

the weirdgirl

 


Flying

The summer flew by.  And I don't mean that in the usual way where you go, oh wow, where'd the week go? in a general attempt to deflect from the fact that you spent too much of it playing Cleopatra's Pyramid on your tablet and being summertime flaky. I mean as in this summer literally went by faster than any other summer I can remember!!  Short, fast, over.  Some would say, "Hey! That just shows you're living life!"  But I don't feel so much like I'm living as I'm getting sucked through a cosmic time warp like a root beer float through a straw.  And the ice cream chunks are my squishy bits.

I think the universe is speeding up as the punchline to some joke that I'm not going to get until it is much, much too late.  Awkward silence.  Delayed chuckle.

Anywho, school starts next fricking week!  I've decided that for the remainder of summer I will wear short shorts, oversized jewelry, and spray tan (short, fast, over!) as if I jetted off to fabulous sun-shiny locations with lovely shiny people.  I'm sure that will go over well as I uniform shop at Target (navy pants: check; white polo: check; yawn: check).  Because I figure if you blink and accidentally miss summer you might as well fake it like you were awake. 

I bet I can carry that look into September before people start talking.                - wg


Dieting with Cobbler

Here's the story... last winter I ate a lot of carbs.  I also sat around, a lot.  And, as often happens in these cases, I gained weight.  Not a ton of weight, not enough to be very noticeable, but enough weight that my clothes were not fitting!  This was clearly unacceptable. Not so much because of the few extra pounds (before you start wagging your finger at me, sighing heavily, and saying, "This can only be expected.  You're getting older you know"), but because I didn't want to go out and buy new clothes

So with Spring I started counting my calories and working out. I felt out of shape and lethargic so I knew it was time to get up off my butt.  Plus, I figured it was way cheaper to get healthy than to go buy the next size up.  Actually, I got all pissy and stubborn about it.  "Oh, I'm beating this bitch! I am NOT buying new clothes!"  You know, except for the sports bras, and some new shoes "for training", and some sweats, and, um, a cute top or - ahem - two. 

Anyway.  In two and a half months' time... working through those beginning workouts until I didn't feel like I was dying, reducing calories until my stomach shrunk enough so I didn't feel like I was starving, cutting out my precious cookies and baked goods until I didn't crave them anymore... guess how much weight I lost?!

Not one fucking pound!

Not one!  In two and half months!  However, I was starting to look pretty toned, and my stamina and energy were up. I figured I must be replacing some fat weight with muscle weight. Right?  (Right?! Just lie to me, damnit.)  So I decided if the weight wasn't going to move I would just get really toned and look fabulous as I kicked and screamed gracefully into middle age. (Because I'm still pretending that I haven't already been middle-aged for quite some time.)  I continued watching my calories, I bought an exercise book, and proceeded to target my (big surprise) abs for this transformation. 

And it threw my back out. Every stupid stomach exercise also targets your core, but my back is already really strong so it gets all jacked up if I work it wrong.  I know that sounds like total bullshit but it's this thing where I have dense muscles in certain places (i.e. big butt) that then wrench other muscles and my vertebrae out of alignment and then those same damn muscles lock in around the jacked up place so it can't relax.  It sucks.  And several masseuses/therapists told me that's what's happening so really, it's not wishful thinking about my superhero strong back. 

Anyway, at this point I'm about three months into my "diet" (the quotes are because it only counts as a diet if you actually lose weight) and I pretty much gave up.  I still work out on my elliptical or do calisthenics (which don't hurt my back or joints) and I still count calories.  It being summer, I'm hip deep in fruit and jamming like a crazy woman.  I loosened up on my eating and I started making goodies again with the extra fruit.  For example, some nights I would just have a big old piece of cobbler for dinner. I mean, BIG.  The next day I would have toast with jam for two meals in a row.  Then we'd go out for dinner and I'd order pie for dessert.  (Note: not as good as mine.)  I also found an awesome cheese that just went so nicely with fresh plums!

And guess the fuck what?  Now, after I already broke down and bought shorts that fit, in the last week and half I've lost fucking weight! 

On cobbler!  That is just crazy.                     - wg


Impasses and other fish

I've hit a wall with Chance about his occuptaional therapy.  We've been doing rhythmic movement therapy (Primitive Reflex Integration) since last October.  (Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long.)  But just in the last couple of months, my son is giving me total attitude about it.  There is a lot of whining and fighting it and not doing it correctly, trying to push my buttons while doing it, etc.  So I decided to let him have a break for a couple of weeks.  It is summer after all and I think he's just fighting anything that is beyond relaxation.  Poor overworked child.  *utter sarcasm*

I wasn't convinced yet that this new therapy was doing much.  It was giving him some more coordination, but it's also supposed to give a kid more impulse control and I wasn't seeing that yet.  But by the end of the two week break... he was losing control of his body!  I mean, a lot more unconscious flailing of his arms; throwing his body around without realizing it, stuff like that.  I was like, Wow! OK, I guess this IS helping.  It's subtle, but for long-term control I think it's good for him.

So we started up again. And he went right back to giving me crap about it.  I keep trying to make it fun but it's hard to keep it fun when you're getting mad.  I'm frustrated.  On top of that every time I try to give this one goldfish medicine another goldfish dies.  Non sequitur, I know, except I kind of feel like the goldfish are a giant fucking metaphor! 

I think I'm also running out of creative ideas TO make it fun.  I mean, I've been basically doing one form of therapy or other with him, almost every day, since he was 3 1/2.  I know therapy works; he's just being a total twirp.

This week I started incorporating music with our rhythmic movement.  Hopefully music will tame the savage beast and blah blah blah.  I wonder if I should bribe him?  I haven't tried that yet.  (I try to save the bribery for special events, you understand but maybe we're at that point.) 

But...  if anyone has any other ideas I'd love to hear them.     

                     - the weirdgirl


Swimwear Must Die 2012

It's time for swimsuits!  2012 Edition!  Woot!  It's just too much work (i.e. I'm lazy) to link all the previous years' swimsuit editions so if you want to see more, just click under Fashion Rules According to Me in the Categories section.  Because I am a fricking expert!

"I've got this magic feather and if I flap real hard I can fly!"

2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami

"I'm feminine all the way down to my ruffly cootchie-coo."  Warning: may droop when wet. (heh heh heh)


2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami

"When I'm biking at night I don't even NEED reflectors!"


2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami

What you always knew went on behind the runway. Now smile for the camera!


2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami

What's black and white and red all over? This guy's face after his suit dissolves and floats away. (Come on, tell me you didn't think of that immediately?)


2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami

And under the garden is a swimsuit. Please take your antihistamines before wearing.


2012-Swimsuit-BluMarine-Spring--BLUMARINE-SPRING-2012

And for the finale... I stumbled across this hilarious page of hand bikinis like the one below.  Check them out and give the guy's page a round of applause.  Ha ha. Shit, I'm funny.

"Hey, pull my finger!"


2012 swimsuit adriennebailon-miami


The Cat's Meow

I've been working on some new projects, which is responsible for my terrible slackardly effort in posting.  (Also apologies to everyone I have not visited.)  One project in particular I'm pretty excited about.  It's a new website and, while it's not "ready" yet, it is live while I progress in building it.  Since Wednesday was my birthday (41! I know! I'm old!) and I really didn't have a whole lot going on special that day except work stuff I decided to give myself a birthday present and soft launch the new site. 

It's called Cougar Beat and you can just go on and visit to see what it's all about. You may not all quite fit the demographic but I hope you see the fun in it as much I do. :)   

I'm also still writing for Culture Brats which I love. I need to be better about re-posting links to the stories there because our group is really doing some cool stuff!  It's just gotten better the longer we've been at it.  And I love summers because I usually have more time, feel recharged, and there are a lot more events going on to see and write about.

For now the sun is calling and my boy toy is taking me to dinner.  Meow!            - wg


In the city things happen

This summer we're not doing any big vacations.  Things have been busier this year than either Keen or I expected so we decided it would be better to do some small trips and day trips instead. (And we want to save up for a European trip next year! Squeee!)  For our first stop we spent a couple of nights in San Francisco and went completely tourist!  That's like going native, but not. Because we're already natives, see? Which means when you live in a place, you haven't seen the tourist spots.

No, seriously, I hadn't seen anything!  Not Alcatraz, or the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, or China Town. I mean, who hasn't gotten to go to China Town?  Me, that's who.  Keen actually got to visit these places as a kid, but I didn't.  That shit took money, yo.

But now that is all nicely corrected.

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San Francisco 023

San Francisco Brians phone 083


San Francisco Brians phone 083

Another thing that made the trip special was, of all things, a PR event I went to.  I don't often get a chance to get out and do blogger/web related meetups but I received an invitation to Hallmark's Moments and Milestones tour that just happened to fall right while we were in San Francisco at a nearby hotel. And you know what?  It was just lovely.  Three of Hallmark's writers came to talk to us bloggers about writing.  About how to capture the right words, how to say the things it's hard to say.  The focus was on Father's Day since that was right around the corner and (as always seems to happen with bloggers) there were tears and laughter as everyone shared stories and moments.  It wasn't what I expected but I loved it!  It was wonderful meeting the Hallmark team because you could tell that they really care about what they're doing and they were pretty inspiring. 

San Francisco 032


San Francisco 032

It was nice getting an unexpected mini writing workshop in the middle of our trip. I love writing workshops. Just another thing I don't get out to do very often.  It's ironic how many of us writers are out there and while we talk about blogging a lot, we don't talk about writing.  It's different and it's needed. To get that feedback, to exchange ideas... it was very cool and it was it's own special occasion.  So thanks for that.

                  - the weirdgirl


Instead of a little brother, how about a snail?

School's out for summer! (I keep singing that and Chance has no frame of reference. Guess I need to play more Alice Cooper.) Chance's last day was last Thursday and May was absolutely packed with school events, last minute field trips, and productions. I also helped the librarian with the school's textbook inventory (4500 books! yikes!) so that took another chunk of time.  And a LOT of walking.  I think I was more ready for summer vacation than he was.

Naw, that's a lie. He was TOTALLY ready for summer. Sleep in! Sleep in!

Anywho, he's been on another kick of asking for babies, pets, and betas.  His best friend got a beta fish so he's dying to have his own, never mind that he already has two goldfish and an algae eater that, oh yeah, he never takes care of.  So the only word in my vocabulary right now is "no". It's very caveman-like, what with the grunting and the growls. 

But he's also been into bug collecting.  Roly polies, ants, snails. I view that as science in action as long as they don't get loose in the house. I've been trying to work on self-sufficiency skills with Chance, such as, instead of asking mom a million questions about bugs that she doesn't know, utilizing his new reading and writing skills on the Internet to do research. 

So what came up was the question... can regular garden snails be kept as pets?  You know what, they can! And I'm totally cool with that as his new pet!  We did some research and built a terrarium.  

A seven dollar storage box from Target and a lot of drilled holes later.

Terrarium 017

Add dirt, and compost or moss for moisture retention.


Terrarium 017


Terrarium 017

We learned that snails are social so it's best to keep two of them and to always give them a place to hide if they feel like it, like in an overturned pot.


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We found out what they ate and the best way to give them water.


Terrarium 017

Get this... garden snails can live up to 15 years!  I know!  Let's see if these ones last the summer.


Terrarium 017

Summer science project complete! The best thing about this pet is we can run out to the garden for a new one if they kick it.  What?                       

      - the weirdgirl


Do they have Rosetta Stone for that?

This is what conversations have been like in my house recently.

Chance: "Hey MOM!"  Super loud, in my ear.

Me: "Ow. Stop yelling! What?"

Chance: "Mutter mutter mumble mutter."

Me: "What??"

Or the other version...

Chance: "Moooooooom!  Whine whine whine whimper whine."

I swear to God I cannot understand a thing he's saying lately.  It's indecipherable because of the muttering or whining. Sometimes I catch the odd phrase of, "Pokemon! Ninjago! Star Wars!" but that's pretty much it.  God forbid he gets bit by a snake or other emergency because I imagine the conversation would go something like this...

Chance: "Mooooom!!! Whine WHINE WHINE!!"

Me: "What?! What is it?"

Chance: "Mutter mumble MUTTER mutter! Whine."

Me: "What?"

Chance: "MOM! Mutter! Whimper! Mutter!"

Me: "Can you say that in a regular voice so I can understand you?"

Chance: "WHINE!"

Me: "Did something happen?"

Chance: "Mumblewhine!"

Me: "Did Timmie fall down a well?"

Chance: "WAIL!"

Me: "How many words?  How many syllables?"

Chance: "MUTTER MUTTER MOM!"

Me: "Um... How about a popsicle?"

Chance: big shaky breath, "Whimper OK."

Me: "Here you go.  Wait, is that a bite mark?"

And I just know the emergency room would give me grief about that.