Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Heading to the trees...

Twenty years have passed since my dear husband graduated from high school. Because I love him, and am anxiously awaiting 5 days of no diaper changing or lunch packing, I will be joining him in the great northwest. That's right--we're heading to a small town in Oregon where recreational activities include: rafting, smoking pot, hiking, smoking pot, not wearing deodorant, and...smoking pot. (I actually don't roll that way, but do enjoy being entertained by those who do)

So until I see you again; be well, write like you love it, play nicely with each other, and pet your goat often.

Friday, July 15, 2011


This is my goat, Nigel.

He lives in my backyard, though it's no secret he'd prefer to be back in his summer home in Bexley, grazing on the uptight British grass that works "brilliantly" on his immune system.

By day he's a struggling loan broker, but by night...well, I just found out he's something very different...

Here's how it went down:

While watering the plants last night, I stumbled upon a small, leather bound book tucked snugly between a planter and the ceramic patio fountain Nigel drinks from because bending over to drink from a rubber garden hose is beneath his station. Five, golden letters were scrawled across the cover of the worn treasure, DIARY.

Curiosity got the better of me, so I flipped the book open hoping to uncover the secrets of my mysterious pet, but instead found remnants of the parchment paper that once filled the soft, bound interior of the book. (Nigel considers heavy stock paper a delicacy befitting nobility).

I collapsed into the cushions of my new, wicker-like-vinyl love seat, while the diary fell to the cracked cement floor beneath me. "What has become of me?" I groaned, guilt-stricken by my juvenile behavior. For months I'd been trying to uncover some hidden truth to Nigel's illusive past, but I continued to come up empty. It was a hard pill to swallow, but maybe he wasn't a sinister goat after all--maybe I was just a suspicious, Fox News-watching conservative who assumed everyone was up to something. I closed my eyes and sucked back a deep, cleansing breath. "Never again," I vowed. "Never again will I think the worst of Nigel."

I retrieved the book, hoping to stash it back into its hidey-hole before Nigel returned from happy hour at VanOmerling's dairy, when I saw it. A scrap of thick red paper complete with nibbled edges and the cloven writing of an educated goat.

My heart raced as I did a quick over-the-shoulder check that the coast was clear. It was safe, so I hunched over the paper like it was a lone flame in a frozen tundra and read the following words:
If my owner does not answer these questions by midnight--I shall steal her panties and add them to my collection.

The thought of Nigel stealing anything that belonged to me made my stomach turn. After all, I forked out over $300 for the vaccinations he needed to enter the country and don't get me started on his deworming medicine. Even online Canadian meds are expensive! But the thought of him stealing my undies...No Way!
I pulled the blue Bic from behind my ear, because all writers carry a pen with them at all times (and a flask), and sat down to answer his questions.

What do you call your panties/underwear/undergarments? Do you have any commonly used nicknames for them?
I reeled my head back, "What do I call them? Undies. Obviously. Or broochies, what my Dutch neighbor, Mrs. Slegors, called them growing up." I jotted down the words while I spoke and moved on to the second question.

Have you ever had that supposedly common dream of being in a crowded place in your underwear? I couldn't help but laugh as I responded to this question. "NO," But I often find myself trying to feed fish who are living in only an inch of water who I've neglected to feed for well over a year. (I suppose that's not funny to the fish. They always seem really pissed in those dreams).

I moved on to the third question, it read: What is the worst thing you can think of to make panties out of? This wasn't an easy question to answer. I thought for a moment, uncomfortable-feeling items flying through my mind: burlap, barbed wire, Democrats--and then it came to me. I quickly wrote, "GRASS". Not only does it itch sometimes, but it also attracts neighborhood cats who want a change from litter.

Question four required less than a second of thought to answer: If you were a pair of panties, what color would you be, and WHY? My favorite color is purple. So I wrote, "PURPLE." But then, because I'm a writer and our motto is "edit until you die", I crossed it out and wrote, "DUSTY LILAC."

I felt my cheeks flush when I read the fifth question: Have you ever thrown your panties/underwear at a rock star or other celebrity? If so, which one(s)? If not, which one(s) WOULD you throw your panties/underwear at, given the opportunity? The memory washed over me like an ocean of feel-goods I wanted to drown in. Ray Romano's baby face, and these panties...damn, that was a great post-9/11 comedy fundraiser.

The sixth question was a no-brainer for this preacher's kid:
You’re out of clean panties. What do you do? I wrote in big, capital letters: GO COMMANDO, BIATCH!

Question number seven actually stirred up a buried emotion I hadn't realized I was carrying. I sat down on the love seat and pondered the best way to answer.
Are you old enough to remember Underoos? If so, did you have any? Which ones? The answer was obvious enough--of course I remembered Underoos. I was born in '75--everybody had them. Everyone but me, that is. I wiped back a tear as the vision of the Wonder Woman Underoos I nearly stole from Amber Webb's drawer flashed through my mind faster than an invisible jet could travel. White, chin-high undies with tiny pink rosebuds was all I was good enough for. A package of six for $6 at Penney's...I quickly penned my answer, "YES." and "No." and "WW." and moved on to number eight while the taste of resentment still lingered in my mouth.

Thankfully, question eight offered some levity to my mood:
If you could have any message printed on your panties, what would it be? I considered my answer for a moment before jotting down the response, "REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT."

The last question left me a little confused:
How many bloggers does it take to put panties on a goat? I had no idea what a blogger was, but figured it had something to do with Nigel's drinking mates back in London. I wrote down "5", because I would need at least five stiff drinks to dull the humiliation of falling victim to panty-thieving goat and called it good.

Just when I thought I was done, and the knowledge that my favorite cheetah print undies with the tiny pink bow on the front was feeling secure, I read the last line on the page. It said,


My heart was beating outside of my over-priced, lightly-padded Vickie's T-back--I couldn't give this deliberate thought. I scrawled down the first three names that came to mind:
Angela, Huntress and Marian, I capped my pen, slipped it back behind my ear and tucked the paper back into the diary.

The morale of the story: Always wear clean underwear. And never trust a goat named Nigel.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Boo, hoo, hoo

Because I have a sore throat, headache, and an impossible amount of mosquito bites, I thought I'd share my favorite poem with you. Because it makes me feel a little better.


'I cannot go to school today, '
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
'I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more-that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut-my eyes are blue-
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke-
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is...Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play! '

-Shel Silverstein

Thursday, July 7, 2011

BLACH! Quick, get it off!


Son of a BIATCH!

Somehow I thought I could sneak through another round of Memes without having to participate (I'm lazy, guys), but at least three of my blogging b
uds have tagged me like a cheap hooker at closing time--guess that means I have to put out. Because I have some very talented, funny, and slightly sadistic friends who have already contributed to this round of debauchery, I thought I'd combine a few of their questions and a few of my own, creating one, seriously jacked-up meme. So, here we go...

1. If you were a rutabaga, would you be hot?

I would be. Especially if I was on the grill.
Wait, what is a rutabaga?

2. When was the last time you ate lion meat?

I live in San Diego, which means we are just one Disney dvd ride from the happiest place on earth. If you've ever been to the Magic Kingdom you'll recall they used to serve enormous turkey drumsticks from an umbrella'd cart just outside of Fantasy Land and also near Sleeping Beauty's Castle. What you may not know is
that under President Obama's recently implemented turkey embargo (It's true. I read it online), the fine folks at Disney are no longer allowed to serve their famous turkey legs. Instead they're using Lion. They call them SIMBA STICKS. I agree...it's a little tasteless considering the venue, but damn, they're good! Anyway, the last time I had lion meat was...spring break.

3. Upload a picture of something that makes you smile.
WalMart and I go together like toe fungus and banana bread. The fine folks I see trolling through the ROLL BACK bins always bring a smile to my face. Always.

4. Name one habit that makes other people plot your demise.
I am a schedule Nazi. I like routines. And I expect others to follow them, too. HEIL!

5. How many goats, stacked atop one another like Yertle's Turtles, would it take to reach the moon?
Uh...it's my understanding that space exploration has been given the big middle finger so...I can't even contemplate an answer for this one. But I'm guessing more than 4.

6. Describe yourself using obscure Latin words.
Pelo grande y rubio, ojos azules y
muy sarcástico. Latin?? Seriously...who speaks Latin any more? Hable Espanol or go home!

7. If you could shave someones head while they slept, and they'd never know it was you who did it...would you?
Definitely. I'd start with this chick.
And finally,
8. Where da muffin top at?
Is that something you can order from McDonalds in the bad neighborhoods??

I'm not tagging anybody with this meme because they've all done it already and, as previously stated, I'm just freakin' lazy.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Writing the Love Interest: The Jake Ryan Complex

I hadn't planned on re-posting anything just yet (this blog still has new car smell) but in reviewing my "stats" it appears this post gets a lot of attention. I couldn't figure out why...so I reread it. Now I know. It's awesome! So, because I am a lazy girl, eagerly awaiting a spring break trip to Disneyland, I am go to re-post for the first time ever. Hope you enjoy. (Again)

They say that inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places. In the case of today's post that sentiment couldn't be more true.

Let me set the scene: It's about 6 am Thursday morning. I'm blowing my hair dry in preparation for a day of work, praying for an epiphany as to what my next blog post will be. My husband stumbles into the bathroom, eyes narrowed to pinch out the morning light, and that mysterious nighttime crust is wedged in the corners of his mouth like he'd been making out with a glue stick. (Hands off, ladies, he's taken!) He drops down onto the toilet seat and begins lacing up his running shoes, grumbling about the stupid dog not caring whether he gets walked or not, and that's when it happens...INSPIRATION STRIKES!

With as much maturity as a four-year-old boy who licks mailboxes and chews on his own toenails, my husband discovers he has a little booger dangling from his nose. Rather than depositing said snot rocket into a tissue or square of toilet paper like a civilized person, he determines that an appropriate relocation would be to smear the little sucker on the leg of my pajama pants. Under different circumstances I would have thrown a royal fit, going all blond-afro-girl on his disgusting arse, but I opted not to because he'd just given me my next blog topic, and therefore I was extremely grateful.

It's what I refer to as: THE JAKE RYAN COMPLEX

For those of you who don't know who Jake Ryan is, (Cherie!) please pull your head from beneath the rock you're buried under and rent SIXTEEN CANDLES. It's this movie that absolutely ruined the realistic love interest for any teenage girl.

You see, Jake Ryan was really a thirty-year-old man trapped in an eighteen-year-old boy's body. He didn't care that he drove a zippy red Porsche when all the other kids drove hand-me-down Honda's. He was the most popular guy on campus, dating a gorgeous cheerleader with big dairy pillows, but it was of absolutely no consequence to him. Jake wanted more than a good time. He wanted depth. He wanted sincerity. He wanted Samantha Baker, the flat-chested sophomore who took a sex quiz in Independent Study and, stupidly, answered honestly!

"I don't know, Rook," you say skeptically. "This guy sounds too good to be true."

Brilliant deduction my underpaid fan club. He is! HE'S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! Which is why we love him so much!

As YA authors it's our job to create a desirable 17-20 year old boy that any girl would be thrilled to tongue tangle with. He shall be good looking, mature for his age, loyal, funny, smart and be willing to walk through fire, slay dragons, stake vampires, publicly humiliate snobby cheerleaders, or put an abusive father in his place on his girl's behalf, all within forty-eight hours of meeting her.

Is he realistic? HECK NO! But who wants to read about a pimple-faced kid who lights his own farts for entertainment? Our job is to create the ideal boyfriend who says all the right things and makes our tummy quiver with just a glance. Is it misleading to our young readers? Yep. But if we had our Jake Ryan moment it only seems fair that they should have theirs, too. After all, in fifteen short years they'll look down and find a booger stuck to their cotton jammies.