Bring the Coffee, Hold the Blue Jeans

March 31, 2014 § 6 Comments

March 31, 2014

I feel a road trip coming on.

A lot of things are competing for my money this year, so my goal is to make it to the RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference in San Antonio this July as cheaply as possible.

The topic came up when we met for dinner and drinks after seeing the Cesar Chavez movie.

"De Colores" is on my mind.

“De Colores” is on my mind.

Martha drives to San Antonio to visit family a couple times a year. “We’ll rent a car and either get a room at Lackland or stay with one of my sisters.”

“And bring our own coffee,” I said. “You know I have to have real coffee. No instant vanilla-flavored nonsense.”

“And no blue jeans.” Martha said. “Because it’s hot hot hot in Texas in July. People will know you’re from out of town if you wear blue jeans.”

“What do the cowboys wear?” I asked, because I was picturing, you know, something like this.

Deep in the Heart of Texas #2

Deep in the Heart of Texas #2

“At night, when they go dancing, they’ll wear jeans. But during the day, it’s shorts and flip-flops. So for us, tank tops, shorts, and sundresses.”

Good thing I got that exercise bike.

“Because as soon as you get up and go outside, you start sweating and your hair blows up,” Martha said.

Don’t I know it. Check out my big hair from the Atlanta, Georgia RWA conference last year.


“So we’re talking five ways to rock a messy bun or ponytail time,” I said.

“Get that hair up and off the back of your neck, that’s right.”

“Oh, and bug spray,” I said. “Lots and lots of bug spray. I get one mosquito bite and the entire back of my leg swells up.”

“Me, too,” said Vic. “There’s supposed to be some kind of natural coconut oil mixed with something else repellent that works better than DEET.”

“We need to look that shit up,” I said.

I feel a road trip coming on.

Big Cat, Little Cat

March 24, 2014 § 4 Comments

March 24, 2014

Courtesy of Netflix.

Image courtesy of Netflix.

I’m doing this Sunday night movie routine (until Mad Men returns on April 13th, that is), and this Sunday I watched the 1966 classic Born Free.

Because I love animals so, I crooned and blubbered through most of the movie.

For some strange reason, after the movie was over, my two cats acted restless and hungry, even though I had already fed them their dinner.

So I said to them, “Go on out and hunt down your own food. If Elsa the tame lion can do it, so can you.”


That really didn’t go anywhere.

Weekend Reading: Veronica Mars and Archie Comics

March 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

March 17, 2014

Sunday morning I did 25 minutes on the exercise bike even though my neck hurt so bad from sleeping on it wrong that I was approaching nausea. Afterwards I threw my fists in the air and yelled “I’m the king and queen of the world!” One of my cats looked totally unimpressed. The other one just looked disturbed.

Not excited. Not impressed.

Not excited. Not impressed.

I hardly did any reading this weekend because I was binge-rewatching Veronica Mars episodes in prep for the movie release (I am one of the Kickstarter backers). I did lots of reading-adjacent activities, though, such as pre-order the first Veronica Mars novel after watching the movie. Yippee! The stories continue.

I ordered some Archie graphic novels because I just found out from Women Write About Comics that the story lines have gone all progressive including interracial romance and a gay main character!

I am super stoked about this. I devoured Archie comics as a kid, much to my mother’s dismay. She did not appreciate it when I went to her asking her to buy me Betty’s bikini and Veronica’s boots and Josie’s jeans.

She got a real kick out of Sabrina’s Aunt Hilda, though. Hm. I wonder why.

Putting It Out There: I Entered the Pitch Madness Contest

March 12, 2014 § 1 Comment

March 12, 2014

I decided to enter the Pitch Madness contest run by Brenda Drake, so I called in my Hot Tub Readers to help brainstorm my 35 word pitch.


After the bribe of food and drinks at Nob Hill Bar and Grill, I read off a couple of my ideas. On one of them, I already had the first 24 words, but needed the final phrase that would explain the “entrance into the extraordinary world” with sufficient mystery and vagueness. I brought out 3 examples of log lines from books and movies that I liked (the phrase in bold is my emphasis).

“Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future.”
— From Goodreads for Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen

“Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed.”
—From Goodreads for  S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline

“A hard-partying high school senior’s philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical “nice girl.”
—from IMDB for The Spectacular Now by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (screenplay) and Tim Tharp (novel)

I was looking for a phrase for my pitch that was along the lines of the phrases in bold from the examples above.

Then Dia threw out, “Deals with some ish.”

We all loved it. But we all agreed that we couldn’t really use it for a pitch.

We’ll see next week if what we came up with made the cut. There were over 500 entries in Pitch Madness, and 60 winners will be picked, so the competition is pretty stiff.

If I don’t make it, it was still a great experience. It’ll just be back to the drawing board.

Well, actually, it’ll be back to the bar first.

So That’s Why They Say You Should Exercise

March 10, 2014 § 2 Comments

March 10, 2014

I made it to hot yoga at nine in the morning on the day of the time change!

A little loopy, a little dazed, but I made it!

A little loopy, a little dazed, but I made it!

This is a big deal to me because this Sunday marked the second straight week that I have been consistent and dedicated in my workouts. For the first time in, like, years.

A few years ago, I regularly worked out six to seven days a week. And I had the goods to show for it. I would put on a pair of short shorts without a second thought.

Then a series of issues and injuries—lower back pain, messed-up Achilles tendons, a jacked rotator cuff, made it so that I was lucky to be able to take a walk around the block. Which I usually didn’t. Way too boring, and discouraging, for someone who used to jog for 30- 40 minutes in the mornings.

Finally, I said enough of that. A couple of weeks ago I changed my routine. On weekdays, I work out in the evenings or during my lunch hour, when my body is awake enough for me to enjoy it. On weekends, I get it done in the morning when I have had enough sleep and have more time because I don’t have to rush off to work. And I switch it up. Some days I ride the stationary bike, some days I walk around the park, some days I go to hot yoga.

I realized something I had taken for granted from my previous, consistent workout days.

How much better I feel! Forget the mini-skirt ready legs—I ain’t getting there in two weeks, anyway. Not to mention I am still in injury recovery mode, so no high impact, high intensity cardio for me.

But now my appetite is better. I feel more connected to my body. I don’t have that persistent, low-level sense of loneliness and anxiety. I am enjoying life a lot more. I’m talking about the little things, like getting a pedicure and then watching TV on a Friday night, or sitting outside in the sun with a fresh cup of Ethiopian blend coffee, or taking a 20 minute catnap in the afternoon, or just inhaling a long, deep breath.

The cat joins me in a cat nap.

The cat joins me in a cat nap. My elbow makes a good pillow.

It really is no wonder all the doctors and health experts say to eat right and exercise.

Whoop! A good song just came on the radio. Gotta go dance!

Reading for the Weekend (March 7)

March 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

March 7, 2014

I have a couple of books I am anxious to start reading. Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas beckons from my Nook and The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen is calling to me from my bookshelf.


Speaking of paperbacks, this is what the one I bought from Target looks like.


Then I saw this on Goodreads. It is the original cover from the author’s self-published edition.


I really wish I had the one with this cover.

Crashing an Oscar Party and Crying Besides

March 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

March 3, 2014

I remember the conversation like this:

R: So let’s just plan on having Oscar night at my place. I get off work at 5:30, I’ll pick up something to eat, and be at my house by 6:00. Let Vic know.
Me: Okay!

R remembers the conversation more like this:

R: Let me know if you want to come over to my place on Sunday. Otherwise, I won’t pick up anything, I’ll grab a bite to eat at work instead, and I’m putting my pajamas on as soon I get home.

So when I showed up in R’s driveway on Sunday evening with Vic in tow, R opened the front door wearing her snowflake pajamas and yelled, “What are you doing here?!”

I have officially become an Oscar party crasher. It was a good thing I brought the Chinese food.

And the champagne.


After a good laugh and multiple apologies on my part and assurances on my and Vic’s part that it really was okay R was in her PJs, we settled in to watch the Oscars.

Some things we did all agree on:

Bring Ellen DeGeneres back! She classed up the Oscars and made them fun again. Remember the last three years? Exactly. Between taking the adorable selfie that broke Twitter and passing Pharrell’s hat around to pay for the pizza, Ellen really knows how to bring people together for jolly good times.

We are more in love with Jared Leto than ever. After I saw Dallas Buyers Club, he was my favorite for Best Supporting Actor. But when he paid homage to his single mother during his acceptance speech, he elevated himself in our eyes to favorite all around guy period.

All the nominees for Original Song were fantastic. When I saw Frozen in the theater, though, kids really latched onto “Let It Go.” One girl turned to her dad after that respective scene and breathed, “That was so cool!” After the movie was over, I heard another girl singing that song in the restroom.  Something that resonates so immediately with its target audience deserves to win.

Lupita Nyong’o made us cry, and she looked damn good doing it. I was fanning my face before she even started talking, but when she paid tribute to the spirit of Patsey, it was all over for me.

We all wanted 12 Years a Slave to win, but I was pretty sure the fact it was such a difficult movie to watch would not work in its favor. It seems Ellen called it when she said that possibility number one was 12 Years a Slave would win, and possibility number two was that we were all a bunch of racists. When the Best Picture winner was announced, Vic said, “Yes. Yes. Yes. Hell, yes.”

Amen to that.

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