Oct 31, 2010

The Scariest Halloween Ever

It was Halloween morning and I was in my son’s room, changing his diaper. The Little Man was in a pleasant mood having had a good night’s sleep and a big breakfast. He was smiling, babbling, and being all kinds of cute, distracting me completely from everything else that was going on.

If I’d just been paying a little more attention, I might have thought longer about the fact that my sister-in-law had just pulled up outside our house and she had come from the wrong direction. When she came inside, I overheard Hubbie mention that he’d thought she’d said her fiancé (hahaha, I know how much she’ll hate me using that word) was coming too – but strangely, she had arrived alone.

I didn’t think about it though, I didn’t question what was going on. I was just happily doing my own thing, tickling my Little Man and making him laugh as I finished cleaning him up and redressing him. Sometimes I am so naïve and much too trusting.

My head was down as I walked out of his bedroom, dirty diaper in hand. My Hubbie (yes, he was involved by now in the conspiracy too) casually asked if I’d seen what was outside? He sounded so excited, I thought for sure I was about to see something pretty or funny or cool. I was sooooo wrong.

Peering through my living room window, its giant, distorted head just above the level of my couch, was an evil bunny. Have you seen the movie, Donnie Darko? Remember Frank the Bunny? Well, he was standing right outside my house, staring straight at me. You might be starting to make some connections here between this incident and the Evil Bunny statue (click here for a refresher) that my sister-in-law likes to move around the outside of my house and position so that he’s peering in my windows (yes, same sister-in-law). That Evil Bunny figurine is only about 9 inches tall though. What I was now looking at was a full-size, 7 foot, psychotic-looking bunny who had definitely caught me by surprise.

None of us were prepared for my reaction.

I screamed bloody-murder; the sound even scared me a little. I don’t remember doing this, but my traitor-of-a-husband and sadistic-sister-in-law assure me that I launched the dirty diaper in my hand into the air (narrowly missing my poor Little Man) and dove back into his bedroom like I was being shot at. I curled up into a ball on the ground beside the change-table and my whole body instantly started shaking. Even though I already realized that Frank the Bunny must really be my sister-in-law’s FIANCE in his Halloween costume and that this was all some kind of prank, I was still scared $hitless. I tried really hard to laugh but I was so scared I could hardly move or talk and tears were already uncontrollably sliding down my face.

My sister-in-law was horrified, I think they all were. It obviously wasn’t very funny. I have to admit though, it became funnier later once I saw the Frank the Bunny costume from a distance and was prepared for it. Watching my Hubbie organize a little photo shoot with Frank the Bunny peering through our windows and posing in our front yard even made me crack a smile too. I even laughed a bit when Hubbie described how he’d looked out the window when his sister first arrived and had seen Frank the Bunny walking slowly down the street towards our house along the neat sidewalk in a fairly quiet neighborhood at ten in the morning. I wonder what our neighbors think of us now?

Anyway, today was a Halloween I will NEVER forget. I guess the prank ended up working out because we’re all laughing about it now and not only did they manage to scare me but I got to scare all of them too!

Hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween!


Oct 17, 2010

10 Things I Wouldn't do Again

I’ve been incredibly busy lately with work and getting ready for the launch of my Young Adult/Teen paranormal-romance novel, Amber Frost (available Dec. 7, 2010 through all major ebook sellers!). I apologize for the lack of recent posts. I’ve been thinking about writing a lot lately – it’s just finding the time that is the challenge. Anyway, at some point over the past week or so I realized I started creating a list in my head of Things I Wouldn’t do Again and I had to write it down. I decided to cut it off at 10 because… well, why not?

1. Setting-up Friends
Who doesn’t love the idea of taking credit for someone else’s successful relationship? On some small level, don’t we all want to be pimps? Or at least just wear a pimp hat? No? Just me? Anyway, setting-up your friends is a horrible idea because ultimately, most couples break up. And when they do you’ll have to take a side – it’s unavoidable. I thought I was a genius for setting up two of my friends in University. They were so obviously perfect for one another and dated quite happily for several months; I couldn’t have been more smug. Then the messy breakup happened and things got awkward fast. I lost my bragging rights and ended up losing one of my friends. I will never set-up friends again.

2. Work at a Fast-Food Chain
I got paid minimum wage to work the most stressful, unpleasant and demanding job I’ve ever had which (as a bonus) also happened to be accompanied with the least amount of respect. I had to deal with rude and obnoxious customers on a daily basis, an unintelligent manager on a power trip, and for the ultimate humiliation, I had to wear tapered pants made out of fire-resistant material. Never again.
By the way, I admire the people who can work in these stressful and fast-paced restaurants because I certainly wasn’t cut out for it! It really was the hardest job I’ve ever had and we should all respect the people who do it. I definitely do.

3. Go to Art School
Why not? Because I only met three cool people who I still talk to (in 4 yrs), I use my degree in Visual Arts for… well, just about nothing, I racked up a student loan in excess of $30,000 and I really didn’t become that much of a better artist – just more cynical. I wouldn’t go back and change it if I could though, I’m glad with how my life’s worked out. I just wouldn’t do it again!

4. Party too Hard
We all say “never again” the next morning but I’m hoping the last time I said that really was the truth. After completely avoiding alcohol while trying to conceive for a year, then being pregnant for nine months, then nursing my child for 14 months after that – I haven’t uttered this phrase in well over 3 years. To some the extent of your hangover the next day may be the main defining quality of how much fun you had the night before but Momma’s don’t have the option of staying in bed all day to nurse a hangover. My Little Alarm clock goes off somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 am every morning – “mommmmmmm-mmmmaaaaa!” and I’d rather wake up ready to play than to puke.

5. Smoke
I just wanted to point out I quit about… 4 yrs ago now! Woo hoo!

6. Bake a Double Batch of Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies (when I know the only one who is going to eat them is me!)

7. Buy Halloween Candy Long Before Halloween (same reason as the cookies)

8. Give Birth
Just one of the many stupid things I have done and will do for my child. Ok, it wasn’t stupid and it really wasn’t that bad but I would LOVE not to have to do this again. And even as I say it, I know eventually, I probably will. I really am stupid.

9. Shop with the Hubbie
Sometimes I get these images in my mind and I become so obsessed with the perfection of these little imaginary scenes that I convince myself reality will be just as magical. It isn’t. Shopping with the Hubbie is not a fun, relaxed, bonding experience – it is excruciatingly painful for both of us. The main issue is that Hubbie does not (like many other men) understand the concept of “browsing”.
Hubbie – “What are you looking for?”
Me – “I don’t know.”
Hubbie – “Why are we in here then?”
Me – “In case I see something.”
Hubbie – “Like what?”
Me – *irritated* “I don’t know yet.”
Hubbie – *just as irritated* “I’m waiting outside.”
Hubbie approaches shopping like a military operation. There are ETA’s and EDT’s and specific mission objectives. There are meeting points and hydration breaks but no other unscheduled stops and absolutely no “browsing”. There is also no slow-paced strolling or hand-holding though sometimes I can slip my hand into his before he notices. Naturally when this happens, I make fun of how lame he is for walking around a mall on a Sunday afternoon, holding hands with his wife! This is our relationship in a nutshell. (Hubbie is objecting that he is not the shopping-Nazi that I’m making him out to be. In his defense, he tries his best to grin and bear it and still takes me shopping every year for my birthday – I’m really a very lucky gal.)

10. Have my Hair Cut into a Mullet
I was nine, my Mom convinced me it would be a good look for me. A nice short, easy-style for a nine year old to take care of while still long enough in the back that it would look feminine. Momma lied. Until the mullet grew out, my older sister was able to convince people I was her younger brother, Steve. I’m not entirely convinced that Mullets are for anyone, but they are definitely not for girls.


Oct 7, 2010

A Review of David Nicholls' "One Day"

Let me start off by saying, I want you to read this novel but only so you can tell me what you thought of it because as far as my reaction goes… I’m undecided. I’m not using my usual format for this review because it is quite an unusual book. And (since I’m starting off with all these side notes) I’d also like to apologize for the lateness of this post (it’s been a crazy week) and I also want to take a moment to announce the official launch date of my novel (Amber Frost) which will be made available Dec. 7 through ireadiwrite Publishing!!

Ok, back to business.

So I was pretty excited about reading One Day – I’d heard great things. It’s an International bestseller, the film adaptation has already completed filming, it’s been getting some amazing reviews and I’ve always had a weakness for an interesting love-story (not to mention the author, David Nicholls, just looks like a really cool, interesting guy) but this… was not what I expected.

I think my main issue with this novel is the characters. I didn’t love them, for the most part I didn’t even like them but through it all, I was completely fascinated by them. The protagonist, Emma (Em) Morley, is an idiot – there’s no avoiding that fact. No matter how badly I wanted her to be clever and confident and secure in herself, she was not. Though I enjoyed her sense of humor and inner dialogue, I was so frustrated by the poor choices she made that I frequently found myself wincing and groaning out loud. And then there’s Dexter – the douche bag. He really is a douche bag; he takes his friendship with Em (and just about everything else in his life) for granted, he’s self-possessed, disrespectful, egotistical and arrogant, and despite it all, Em loves him and you will too (and you may even hate yourself a little bit for it). Why? Because for some strange, inexplicable reason, we are often attracted to the people who are the least worthy of our love. That’s just the way it is and this is certainly the case with Dexter Mayhew.

The timeline of One Day, though unique, only added to my frustration with this novel. The plot moves at an unusual pace and leaves many gaps as the story leaps forward a year at a time, revisiting Em and Dexter’s relationship every July 15th, starting in 1988 and ending July 15th, 2007. Many of the events and details that you will crave to read the most are only hinted at because they do not fall on this specific, crucial day. July 15th is the only day that Nicholls provides us access to though he does follow his characters through 20 years of their relationship; it’s contradictory and frustrating and because of this, you may not be able to put it down. The entire novel (characters, plot and all the details in-between) was unsatisfying as a whole but that was ultimately what kept me turning the pages and left me craving more.

On the book’s cover The Guardian proclaims this novel to be “roaringly funny”. Apparently “The Guardian” is easily excited or at least prone to exaggeration. Obviously my sense of humor is on a whole different plane (good or bad who knows!?) or maybe I just didn’t “get it”. Either way, I don’t know how anyone could consider this a “funny” book; it’s actually quite a sad book. I think Tony Parsons’s endorsement was more honest when he described One Day to be “about the heartbreaking gap between the way we were and the way we are”. I wish I said that – let’s pretend I did as it sums up One Day quite well.

So while I can’t really decide how I feel about this book, and I definitely won’t read it again, I will say that it is still, for some indefinable reason, worth reading. One Day is interesting, unique and completely irritating. I hated it, then I loved it, then I hated it some more but I think, just like Dexter and Em’s relationship, that was sort of the point.

Would love to know your thoughts if you’ve read it. If you haven’t, you can borrow my copy because there’s one thing I’m certain of - it was not worth the $17.95 cover price I paid. I think I’ll have to stick with ebooks from now on. Hey… did I mention there’s this really great ebook (Amber Frost) coming out on Dec.7th? Mark your calendars...