Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Almost back into Blogworld. Hope all has been well. Will be updating soon!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Few Things; Some, Men Might Not Be Interested In.

I have an internet friend who has just had her first book published (GO KJ!),Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos, and if you're looking for a great gift for a mom-to-be or a gift for that special toddler in your life -- a gift that will not end up in the back of the closet or in a million little pieces strewn throughout the already-much-too-cluttered toybox, then you should really consider getting this book!

I have to admit, when I first heard about a book that is a guide to reading, I was like, "What, come on? You get out a board book and you point to the pictures while your kid is on your lap smooshing goldfish all through your already dirty hair."

But I was wrong! This "Guide to Choosing, Reading and Loving Books Together" offers unique ways to read to your child, to interact with him or her; it suggests books for children curious about all different things. I had a great time browsing through the book and remembering, "Oh Tukey LOVED that book," or "That's the book that Diva 'read' every single day she was potty training!"

KJ is not only co-author of Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos, she is also a freelance writer and a mother to three very, very, very young kids. She's an amazing woman and writer who has the passion and desire and ABILITY to be so creative, and still stays so true to her first love--her family!

Since my kids are above the "Baby, Toddler and Two's" ages, I'd like to give my copy of the book to someone, so if you're the first person to post in the comments section that you'd like my copy, it's yours!

Now onto another thing--
Breast Cancer and Mammograms.

This is the stuff the men might not want to read.

In the past month, three people dear to me have had breast cancer scares, one being my sister. Mammograms for these women showed something not right, and fortunately, for each woman, a biopsy showed non-malignancy. I have to remember to be thankful for these tiny little gifts of salvation when I'm asking God, "Why are you doing this to the people that I know and love?"

Obviously we hear it over and over and over again, and we see the pink ribbons slapped onto everything these days from yogurts to batteries (I kid you not!). Maybe we see it too much we become numb to it, thinking it's just another reminder to do something we're too busy to do.

But, it's important. It's your life, the life around you, your family, your friends, your sister, your mother, your neighbors and co-workers. Breast cancer does not discriminate. And all you have to do to keep yourself in check from a potential life-threatening disease is get checked.

When I turned 35, I requested a baseline mammogram. My dear friend Kara had been diagnosed with breast cancer and is now a survivor, after undergoing I-can't-even-begin-to-tell-you-how-many treatments... she's had a double masectomy, reconstructive surgery that led to infection that led to removal of an implant. She had a ... I can't even stress how much she's been through, but my point is, it's a little test where your boobie gets squished for not even one minute. It doesn't hurt.

I've checked with my insurance and there is no age limit for when I can start getting annual mammo's and I've scheduled one in about two weeks, which I'm sure I will blog about after it's done. Maybe I can post pictures!

Anyway, keep yourselves safe. I guess that's all I'm trying to say. Please.

Finally, on that note, I'm going incognito for a few days. I'm taking some time to surround myself with my loved ones and sit on a beach and enjoy my thirteenth anniversary with my husband. I'm going to watch my three children run around in the sand, cry because the salt water's in their eyes, and fall into the best night's sleeps they've had in a long time, living on fresh air, saltwater, and sunshine.

Ahhhhh. I can't wait.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Readers Want To Know...

What do you want to know that I haven't already shared on this here blog? I'm an open book today...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Contest: Manic's Music - Win a Prize!

Below is a list of phrases from songs on Manic's iShuffle. Match the phrase with the band/musician who sings it to win. First person to get all 15 correct will win an iTunes card, Starbucks, Target--whatever you want, but it's only for ten bucks. OR, I'll make you a CD of the songs that are represented here (maybe I'll do that for runners-up, who the hell knows?--It would be an awesome CD, at least I think so!)

Anyway, play my game.* You can guess up to three times, and I will update the answers to let you know which ones are right (maybe, depending on if I get enough participants)...

So, in no particular order, here are the phrases to the songs:

1. She turns herself around and she smiles and says this is it that's the end of the joke.

2. It's such a long time getting over you so many wimpy love songs with I love you I hate you I love you I hate you.

3. I am feathered by the moonlight falling down on me I will walk along these hillsides in the summer 'neathe the sunshine (this ones for caryn/anna and had been previously featured in a Manic post).

4. When you move like a jellyfish rhythm don't mean nothing you go with the flow you don't stop.

5. Anybody could be that guy night is young and the music's high.

6. If I get it all down on paper it's no longer inside of me threatening the life it belongs to.

7. My life is brilliant my love is pure I saw an angel of that I'm sure.

8. Now they're going to bed my stomach is sick and it's all in my head but she's touching his chest now.

9. I'm twenty-two for a moment and she feels better than ever and we're on fire.

10. Remembering you standing quiet in the rain as I ran to your heart to be near and we kissed as the sky fell.

11. Did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?

12. Party nights and neon lights we hit the floors we hit the heights dancing shoes and pretty girls boys in leather kiss girls in pearls.

13. Her legs spread out before me as her body goes limp all five horizons revolved around the sun.

14. I'm not internationally known but I'm known to rock the microphone because I get stupid I mean outrageous.

15. Neon signs through smoky eyes tonight it's 2 a.m. I'm drunk again it's heavy on my mind.

Now, here are the musicians who sing these phrases:

*Rob Base
*James Blunt
*Anna Nalick
*Dave Matthews Band
*Jack Johnson
*The Cure
*Poi Dog Pondering
*Pearl Jam
*Psychedelic Furs
*Five For Fighting
*Counting Crows

*Disclaimers/Notes: I have purposely not put the lyrics in line format and have left out punctuation. Relatives of Manic's are not eligible to play. Some words might be not exact, but I got them as close as I could.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Didn't Do It On Purpose

It's a very surreal experience to realize you've just locked yourself out of your own home, and your children and husband are still inside and you get a happy little feeling knowing that you're outside, and it's cool out and there are a couple of birds chirping at dusk and you can breathe a little easier and you think, "Wow, maybe I just won't go back inside."

Oooh, I Am So Crabby!

The sun is out,
the sun is in,
the sun is back out

I'm in a crappy mood.

I started out this post in a bad mood, and then two seconds later I felt a little better. But I am just C.R.A.B.B.Y.

The day was kind of productive. In my eyes, anyway. I cleared away the junk on the dining room table. The junk I had left there through our party in March

[okay, see now two seconds later, I'm in a better mood because Homecoming Queen is coming over to watch my kids so I can go for a much-needed walk]

Anyway, the junk on the table has been there through March, through an evening of margaritas where the blender has still been out along with margarita glasses, and the half-empty Easter baskets with tinfoilly colored wrap all over the place and the bunch of candy not worthy of their lips all at the bottom.

So, the table is cleaned, I even washed the table cloth. I rearranged the stuff in the hutch (man, I have a lot of votive candles, so if you are a friend looking to buy Manic Mom a gift, forgo the votives -- I don't need any).

I also washed, dried, folded two loads of laundry (but they are still in the living room). I also did another load of mittens and hats in preparation for spring, even though this freaking weather is so crappy who the hell knows if it's spring or not!

I got to take a 'restorative' yoga class, which is basically stretches on the floor, or legs up the wall to bring all the blood to where it needs to be -- in my brain!

I am making something that will pass as a dinner tonight.

I didn't turn on the computer until 1:00 p.m. I feel that I am becoming too dependent upon the computer, upon blogging and other blogs, and that I miss my Internet friends who I don't even know and that my real life relationships are suffering, so I'm *thinking* a little bit about slowing down on the blog because there's really not much interesting to say anyway, and if I stop this stuff, I can work on the final rewrite of my novel, which would be much more productive and gratifying.

Oops, Homecoming Queen is here. More later!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Readers, It's Time To Share!

Question of the Day because I don't feel like blogging, and I really want to know your answers --

Favorite ice cream flavors. How you like it, what toppings, waffle, sugar, cake cone, no cone, tell me everything about it!

Here's me:

Pink peppermint ice cream with the blue/green/red bits of candy on a sugar cone

Dairy Queen's vanilla cone dipped in the butterscotch that hardens

Daquiri Ice and chocolate fudge double-scoop combo on a sugar cone from Baskin Robbins

Cake batter ice cream with brownies, caramel, fudge mix-ins from Cold Stone Creamery

Hot fudge / caramel sundae with no nuts from McDonald's, caramel in the middle.

I must be PMSing.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Awake at 8:30 a.m. Hubby next to me. Hubby reaches slowly over to my side of the bed.

Me: "I bet you wish it was Father's Day today, dontcha?"

Bwahhhhahahahaa. He sure the hell did.


Hubby: "Don't you want a little 'sumthin' today for Mother's Day?"

Me: "Look. I can get that any day of the year. What I would like would be a 20-minute back massage."
Why would I want 'that other thing' when I can basically get it

Huh? Why?

That's like eating a hamburger every single day of your life, and then FINALLY, you get to go out to a nice steak place and when you're there, the waiter suggests to you that you might be interested in the quarter-pound hamburger they've got on the menu.

No. Dammit. I want a steak! I can have a hamburger any old day. Any time I want. I NEVER get to go to the steak place. I WANT A STEAK!

I know, I know. It's all hypothetical anyway. I didn't want a hamburger OR a steak today. Just a freaking back rub!!

The joyous thing about Mother's Day being on the calendar before Father's Day is that we moms can gauge our own enthusiasm toward their day in June. The father basically plans his own Father's Day destiny according to his Mother's Day behavior.

So, come June 18, I will probably wake up with a hangover and lay on the couch for most of the day. I will probably get to be home alone for a while when Hubby goes outside to teach Tukey how to rollerblade, and then I'll get some more alone time when Hubby takes the three kids to Einstein's for a breakfast bagel because he'll really want one that morning, a Honey Wheat with Honey Almond schmear, and he'll certainly want to spend some quality time with the kids seeing as he's a father because of THEM!

Oh, and then we'll go out to a nice dinner and get some ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery.

So, ha, most of this is 'tongue and cheek' and I really did have a fairly nice day. Really. I did. And I hope you did too! But, I truly can't wait for Father's Day!

Following are some great things the kids wrote for me, and I do cherish them.

From Diva:
These Are The Top 10 Reasons Why I Love You (certainly in no particular order, and the part in bold was already written. The italic part is the stuff she filled in)--

10--I love my mom because she reads me:
she reads sometimes to me.

9--I love my mom because she helps me:
do my homework.

8--I love my mom because she makes me laugh by:
When do stuff that is fun.
[Not sure what that means?]

7--I love my mom because she taught me how to:
ride my bike.
[I did? Where was I?]

6--I love my mom because she finds time to:
to help me to get ice cream.

5--I love to hear my mom sing:
sing with the radeo (radio) when we are the car sometimes
[and ONLY when we ARE THE CAR]

4--I love my mom because she:
let's me have ice cream
[are you seeing an underlying theme here with Diva?]

3--I know my mom cares about me because she:
she helps me when I am ill
[Phew--for a minute there, I thought she was going to throw out that ice cream thing again!]

2--I love my mom because she works so hard at:
getting me up for school.
[Ain't that the truth!]

1--I love my mom because she is the BEST MOM EVER!
[This one was already written for the kiddies. I guess finding ten things to love about a mom was going to be kind of hard so the teachers must have done this one for them!]

And, a lovely poem from Ajers:

I love her.
Ask Me Why. [Okay, this part was done for them. The next part, minus all the BECAUSEes, is all him]

Because she makes me touch the sky
Because she raised me to be a great guy
Because she makes me blueberry pie
Because she lets me play with my friends
Because I could love her till the end
Because she helps me mend, mend, mend my things.

Because. That's why I love Mom!
Love, Your first son.

Okay, it's a beautiful poem, and I love it, and I know it was hard for him to come up with rhymes, but do you for a minute think that I would have a single clue on how to make a freaking blueberry pie? I don't even think I've ever BOUGHT blueberries for him.

And sewing?

He has never seen me touch a needle and thread. I have never had to mend anything of his. I just pack it in his overnight bag when he visits G'ma and she fixes the broken stuff.

I guess this is what they call using Poetic License?

And I cannot forget Tukey, who came in this a.m. with a beautiful smile on his face and lots of hugs and kisses for me today, and a cute bookmark he made for me at school.

I love them all. I hope you had a wonderful day everyone!

Heh heh heh--Now, what's the countdown till Father's Day!?!?!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Show Swishy The Love

Okay, this is a hilarious post to me, maybe because I was involved in the escapades but I thought you'd all laugh at this post from Swishy.

I'm still cracking up.

9:22 A.M. Saturday

When you read this, picture me upstairs, Hub in the kitchen, Tukey in the bathroom near the kitchen.

Tukey: "Mom! Mom! Mom!"

Me: "What!"

Tukey: "Come wipe my butt!"

Me: "Where's Daddy?"

Daddy: "I'm making Ajers an omelet!"

Me: "Okay Tuke, I'll be right down."

Upon entering bathroom, notice Tukey is sitting on the pot with his eyes squinched tight. (I think I invented the word "squinch.")

Me: "Why are your eyes closed? Did you fall asleep waiting for me?"

Tukey: "No, I was praying."

Me: "That's nice."

Tukey: "When there's nothing else to do, I pray."

Me: "What were you praying about?"

Tukey: "That Jesus will praise our Lord."

(and probably that somebody would come wipe his poor butt!)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Tagged and Procrastinating

CMommy tagged me, so here are my answers to the ABC meme tag.

ACCENT: Native Floridian-turned Midwestern girl, but with a twang of East Coastness whereas I still refer to Pop as Soda, but refuse to call H2O woooter, which is how it's pronounced in Philly.

BIBLE BOOK THAT I LIKE: Luke, because that's the name of my son. Or, okay, how about the first story, about Adam and Eve. A story about two nudies living in The Garden of Eden is just so neat! And with a talking evil serpent!

CHORE I DON'T CARE FOR: Cooking and Laundry

DOG OR CAT: Sorry, neither. Used to be cat, then I had kids

ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS: Something that holds a Double A

FAVORITE COLOGNE: Obsession. Ex-boyfriend. 'Nuff said.


HANDBAG I CARRY MOST OFTEN: Don't know, doesn't matter to me. I'm simple. Kate Spade who?

INSOMNIA: No. I can sleep 16 hours a day if I was allowed to.

JOB TITLE: Mom / Writer

KIDS: Ajers: 8; Divabitchdoll: 7; Tukey 4-1/2

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: Very nice, thank you.

MOST ADMIRABLE TRAIT: I am kind to everyone and try to make people comfortable.

NAUGHTIEST CHILDHOOD BEHAVIOR: Reading Judy Blume's at my Catholic school and getting in trouble for it.

~Kidney infection age 6 maybe--I didn't know it then, but now I am sure they catheterized me when they told me to put the bottoms of my feet together and ribbit like a frog and this won't hurt a bit.

~Tonsils when I was four, when I woke to see a plastic measuring cup next to me and I thought I had won some sort of "I-was-good-during-surgery" prize, then I puked all over myself.

~C-Section four days. They said I could go home after three, but I begged to stay.

~Overnighter when Ajers was 18 months and had his tonsils out. They put him in an oxygen tent he was so blue. He was my real live boy in the bubble. Sidenote: I was two weeks away from having Diva and slept on one of those stupid fold out chairs, and the damn bitch nurse could not give me another pillow.

~Two weeks after AJers tonsils--VBAC with Diva. Two nights.

~Two nights for third and final, Tukey.

PHOBIAS: Spiders in my hair, which has happened once when I was driving.

QUOTE: “Talent, Persistence, Timing." Quoter unknown.

RELIGION: Catholic school for 11 years. Now attending a Lutheran church. I prefer to call myself a Cathoran or a Lutheric, depending on the situation.

SIBLINGS: Three, all with the same initial as I have. 37 me, 36 Irish twin sister, 34 brother who called me Whale-Bone-Whaler when I was younger, 26 brother who is getting married this summer.

TIME I WAKE UP: Monday through Friday--when Ajers wakes me up at 7:01. Saturday and Sunday--Whenever I wake up. Well, not true. I usually wake up, roll over, look at the clock, see that the first number is an 8 and go back to sleep until the first number is a 9 or 10.

UNUSUAL TALENT OR SKILL: I remember names and situations and events and little things like what someone wore on the first Tuesday of July in 1984. Really. It was an orange Forenza v-neck sweater. Right.


WORST HABIT: Over inviting people when I am trying to keep the get-together small. I just can not include everyone.

X-RAYS: Knee, don't know. Do MRIs count?


ZOO ANIMAL I LIKE MOST: Monkeys, especially when they are doing this!

Tagging these good folks:

Joel, except I fear he has deserted the blogosphere forever, which is a shame because he is a good writer.

TommyDoc! because he posts like 17-pound benign tumors on his site.

R Martini, cuz anyone with a last name of my favorite cocktail has to be interesting.

Larry Resnick... And Jess, I do mean Larry. Let HIM answer these questions! Seriously

Swishy cuz you need to blog more.

Time Sucker

This machine.
Which can definitely create trouble in the life of a Stay-At-Home.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Gots The Goods / Manic Contest

And it only cost $17.80.

Here's how/why:
2 kid-size hot chocolates, extra mocha, one drunk, one half-way
1 tall cafe vanilla frap with whip and chocolate drizzle (I finished off the whip)
1 organic milk box, half-drunk
1 tall nonfatsugarfreevanillalattenowhip
1 reduced fat blueberry coffee cake, of which half ended up in my purse*
2 chocolate chunk cookies, of which I got to eat the remains of one
1 iced lemon cake, or which I got two tiddly bites, none with the yummy frosting

$17.80 and I didn't even order myself a freaking cookie.

*Speaking of purses, here's what's in mine currently, in no particular order:

~Wallet, with only ONE credit card thankyouverymuch
~Thank you note from neighbor for birthday gift
~mammogram script
~Sbarro receipt for $25.11
~Two-day supply of Effexor
~Month supply of Xanax (never know when you might get stuck in an elevator with three kids!)
~Three Maxalt-MLTs for migraines (again, see above and the elevator thing)
~Swiss army knife keychain with keys that open up a metal box that holds my college/highschool journals
~Three partial packs of Orbit Sweet Mint gum
~One partial pack of Orbit Peppermint gum
~Cell phone
~Four pens
~Revlon colorstay overtime lipcolor
~Business cards from a variety of people from the writer's conference, including Eddie's from Phoenix
~Two Panera cards that I have no idea what the amounts are because my friend Kara gave them to me since she doesn't go there
~This girl's business card, who's book is coming out and I think it'll be a success!
~My business card, Swish's business card
~Target receipts
~Loose change
~Kohl's receipt
~Super-Plus Playtex tampon
~Perfume sample from Kohl's which I will throw out right now cuz perfume gives me headaches.
~Flirt! Big Flirt Thickening Mascara (again a sample from Kohl's)

Here's a challenge--make up a short story aka flash fiction of 500 words or less using 10 of these items, but NOT using a reference to an elevator. Of all the entries, I'll have readers choose the best one for a prize to be determined later. And Valerie can assure you I make good on the prizes. OH, and SHOOT! Cubmommy -- I forgot to give you Baby Proof when we met the other day! Good excuse to get together again!


I am soooo not a chocoholic but I am craving a really, really, really good big chocolate chip cookie that's fresh and warm right out of the oven. I'm trying to figure out where I can go to get one of these suckers. I wish there was a cookie place around here. Then I'm thinking of hot fudge, or a turtle brownie drenched in chocolate. I was thinking I could go to a restaurant and just get dessert. Now I'm thinking of some chocolate flourless cake that's just dense and chocolatey and when you take a bite it just stuccos to the roof of your mouth and you let it sit there for a while and you take your tongue and begin to scrape it off the top of your mouth and it's just so rich and yummy and Oh God!

Why am I craving this treat?

And most certainly, NO... it is not a PMS thing right now.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Another Reason Why I Love Bloggers

Breakup Babe's first book is coming out and I could win a free copy just by putting this up here, and how ironic is it that I already CHOSE her as one of the bloggers I would love to meet in person in the post just below!?!

So, check her out here, check out the 411 on her upcoming book here, and go buy it! We've all been dumped right?

Okay, so maybe not 'we all' but I have.

My "Other" Number

I mentioned My Number the other day and there is another number I want to share with you. I wish this number was MORE than the previous number, but it's not. However, unlike the "other" number, this number is absolutely positively okay to grow.

The "other" number however, will remain the same. Hey, that reminds me of a song.

Anyway, this number is the number of cool people I've met because of the internet. These people are bloggers and authors, and actually, I have met many other wonderful people through email exchanges but here is the number of bloggers who I have met through the gift of blogging.

One might worry that they're planning a meeting with a whacko person when one sets up an arrangement to get together with a person they know nothing of other than what they say on their blog. However, I have found that the bloggers I know are good and kind and funny and real and honest and what they say on their blogs tell me so much about the people they are. I truly feel you can connect with a person this way.

I had the opportunity to meet Cubmommy and her adorable cubs the other day and it's interesting and exciting. You drive up, get out of the car, and wonder, "Will she like me? Will I say something stupid? Will we have anything to talk about?" Then, the face meets the face, rather than the words meeting the words and it's a very neat experience. Cubmommy was so nice and sweet and we had stuff to talk about and there wasn't ever a time where we were like, "Uh, okay, what can we talk about now?"

Same when I had the opportunities to meet these wonderful people, who I remain friends with:

Here are some bloggers I have 'talked' with rather frequently who I would love to meet someday:
Breakup Babe
Cool Kelly Nelly

Here's one I hope to never run into:

If we've 'talked' and I've forgotten you, please send me a note. This old Manic Mom is getting quite forgetful!

Monday, May 08, 2006

I Wake Up For THIS?!?

This a.m. as Diva and AJers are leaving for school, Diva approaches me with a Mardi Gras-like beaded necklace and places it lovingly around my neck. She is clearly honoring me, her mother, and is obviously christening me in some sort of child-like devoted way.

Diva, as the beads go around my neck: "Queen of The Bumpfmumblemumble."

Me, not hearing her: "What?"

Diva: "Queen of The Butts."

Me, still not quite understanding her (okay, I heard what she said, but I really didn't want to know what she said), so I give her a chance to say something else and I ask her: "What?!"

Diva: "What? You have a big butt."

Me, not knowing how to respond, I say nothing and just stare at her.

Diva: "For real."

Queen Big Butt is taking her fat ass and going back to bed now that Princess Bitch-Face is on the bus!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My Number

I'm reading 20 Times A Lady. It's not out yet, but I got an advanced reader's copy. I'm loving this book! Here is a quick blurb from the back of the book:

All right. Honesty time. Everybody's got a number—in fact, everyone's got a few numbers. There's the one we tell our friends, the one we tell our spouses, the one we tell our parents, etc. But only we know what our true number is...

How many people have you slept with?

When Delilah Darling wakes up naked in a bed that's not hers after a drunken night out, she experiences one of the biggest regrets of her life. Not only did she have sex with her disgusting boss (who fired her the day before) but in doing so she has reached her self-imposed "number" limit: she's had sex with twenty men. Since Delilah refuses to up her limit but also cannot begin to imagine a life of celibacy, she does what any normal girl in her position would do—she tracks down all the men she's ever slept with in an attempt to make it work with one of them.

20 Times a Lady takes the reader on a hilarious cross-country romp with Delilah's past loves and proves that in the end numbers don't matter—true love comes when you're open and ready to accept it.

In the first few pages, Delilah discusses 'the number' and says "the average person has 10.5 sexual partners in their lifetime." Okay, let me just say that I am SOOOOOOOO average, well, okay, a teeny-tiny bit above average. I mean, how do you have sex with half a man?

Oh nevermind. I guess you can. Ever hear anyone say, "He's not half the man I thought he was"? (This would be number three on my list, for certain.) Haha.

So, after I read the first couple chapters, I started thinking about my 'liaisons' and jotted down the names on my list. And I laughed, and I recalled some events, and I wondered what ever happened to so-and-so, and I wondered why it was THAT twin and not his hotter fraternal brother?

I think in some upcoming blog entries I may reflect upon some funny moments about these liaisons (sorry, I just like that word, and when I type it, I say it aloud. Lee-Ayh-Zyun...It's just a fun feeling mouthy word). Because there were certainly some interesting ones!

As an aside, my list started the summer I was 18 (the book notes again the average age people have sex is 17.7, so I guess I was a late bloomer). My list ended when I nailed the one and only, my hubby, at number 11 (or was he twelve, I'm not sure really? I'll need to think about this for a bit) when I was two months shy of turning 21.

The author Karyn Bosnak(she's Karyn of the famous website where she web-begged people for money and became a rich, famous author because of this, and no, I'm not bitter. She's an entrepreneur extraordinaire!), has dedicated the novel to "anyone who's ever second-guessed a decision they've made. Our past makes us who we are. Have no regrets."

And you know what? I don't have any regrets (except for the fact that now everyone knows my real number, including my in-laws. Thank GOD my grandmother doesn't know what the internet is!).

What's your story? What's your number? Too many, not enough? The one and only? Any regrets?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Conference Canoodling, Part I

What I Learned about the Craft of Writing at a Writer's Conference, by Manic Mom
(Oh, and some other fun stuff we did in between the 'drinking in the knowledge' of our mentors and peers!)

First off, my friend, Trish, whom I had the pleasure of meeting through our online writer's Yahoo group back in October, had planned on making the trek up to attend the conference. The weeks before the conference, did we practice pitching our novels? Did we research the agents and editors of the event? Did we brush up on conference etiquette?

Nooooo. Of course not.

Instead, I convinced Trish that she had to get her first bikini wax and I would be her chaperone to the wax-on, wax-off experience.

I told her not to shave. I told her it wouldn't hurt. I lied to her.

I took my friend to get her maiden experience of a bikini wax. And, I held her hand in the room. And, folks, yes, I took pictures.

No, you sickos, not of "that!"... but I did manage to forever capture the half-laughter, half-horror on her face as the waxed strip was torn away from her skin. We were HOWLING in that room, so much that I thought the poor folks getting massages next door would beg for their money back because we were so disturbing.

It was a classic event that started the weekend off in full swing!

We get to the hotel where the conference is at, and we're so psyched because we are going to meet amazing and wonderfully talented and funny and beautiful Jess Riley, debut novelist of Riding With Larry Resnick. We pull into the parking lot, and THERE SHE IS, and she looks so cute and adorable, exactly like she does on her blog, and Trish and I start yelling out the window:


She either thought we were completely whacko or crazy fans of hers. We're both, actually. And the three of us just meshed incredibly well, and sorry for those male readers of ours, there was none of that fantasy-invoking girl threesome stuff going on, so get your heads out of the toilet.

And speaking of toilets, this toilet is going up on eBay when Jess's book comes out. Yes, folks, this is where Mrs. Riley tinkled. It's true. Unfortunately, due to a case of severe constipation, she was unable to do anything else in it. Too bad we didn't meet the guys I'll be telling you about momentarily the night previous. They had some involvement in the, how shall we say it? Constipation industry.

Please, read on.

The Three Amigas

So, the conference was awesome.

Except when in the very first workshop, what do we hear? My stupid cell phone blares in the middle of the lecture. And it's not one of those quiet little beep-beeps. No. I had my phone turned up on high, and the ringtone was the Waltz of the Flower or Whatever, and it keptgoingandringingandringingveryloudly and of course, I am completely flustered and cannot find the damn phone in order to turn it off. If you've ever been embarrassed before, and you feel the red of your face crawling upward, you know how terrible that feels. My heart started racing and I felt the heat rising to my cheeks. Shit. It sucked. I couldn't concentrate the rest of the workshop. If I had, I would have known how to Get Out Of Deadwood, (as was the title of the workshop) or, to those non-writers, I would have known how to cut extraneous words from this here paragraph.

So, not to bore you non-writer folks with the stuff we writers like to learn and do, I will fast-forward to the next evening...(If you're that interested, visit my Writing Blog for that information. Wait. Never mind. I don't have a Writing Blog.)

Saturday night at the hotel lobby bar, it was very quiet. We figured the more serious writers had gone home to their Dell computers or up to their room to sit at their laptop and work on the Next Great American Novel. What did we do? We sat at the bar.




Till 4 in the freaking morning.

And, fortunately, we only paid for one round of drinks, thanks to our friendly new friends, the "Rear-Releasing Reps", aka Pharmaceutical Reps for Constipation Medicine. Man, Jess, where were these guys Friday night when I was demonstrating the Williams position and we were chewing Gas-Ex like we were acid popping groupies at a Dead show?!

Wanna know how we met our Poop Pals? Here's the story...

So, anyway, you know how football players tap each other on the butt when they have a good play? It's like a camaraderie thing, a "Hey, nice job, lemme at your bootie" kind of thing. Well, Poop Rep #1 who will remain nameless for fear he could get into some serious shit over this --- hahahah, shit, get it, that is a P-U-N, for those of you just joining us!... anyway, Poop Rep #1 had his eyes on Trish, and yeah, we all know why, right? Well, obviously, it's because I am severely happily married (even though there's a laundry tiff going on in our love shack right now)... and the glare from my Bling told everyone at the bar, "Don't EVEN try to hit on me, I'm married!"

(As if. Riiiiight!)

So, PR#1 kept staring at Trish, and it was kind of boring at the bar, not a whole lot going on there, so I took it up a notch, and when I knew PR#1 and his good pal, PR#2 were looking, I innocently, yet provocatively tapped Trish on her tushy. Nothing major, nothing explicit, just a football-good-play kind of a tap.

Boy, did that get the ball rolling...

We gals sat at our little end of the bar in a cozy corner and continued drinking. Me, my all-time faves, the incredible Appletinis; my good friend Val was drinking Chocolate Dreams, and Trish was a lightweight, sipping on a Pina Colada that might have well been a virgin for cripe's sake.

PR#1 and PR#2 move to a more strategic location in the bar. Front and center as if we are the Widescreen viewing of the Superbowl and they are on the 50th yard line (waiting to score--ha, had to throw that one in for another one of my hilarious puns).

Around 11 or 12 or who the hell knows at this point, my contacts begin bothering me, my pants are too tight, and I want to go upstairs to change. So I leave to do so, and when I return, PR#1 sees me coming and he says, "What do I have to do to get you to do that again?"

"Do what?"

"What you did to your friend earlier."

"Grabbed her butt?"


"All you have to do is ask." And I go back up to Trish and position her just so, and WHACK, a two-handed booty slap right there for PR#1 to see.

Trish and Jess
New author friend, Stephanie, below with Manic

Isn't this a beautiful martini? Just look at the colors!

Late night, probably two or three a.m., I invented a new cocktail --
The Beertini:


And finally, it just wouldn't be a writer's conference without some random men locking lips, now would it?

This is the end of Part One. I'm having Guest Blogger Extraordinare Trish write her version of the evening, where we can all hear about how she was text messaged the next morning with some very interesting words from the boy who got lucky enough to kiss her!

Gypsy Girl

She is dancing
From me now
She was just
A wish
She was just
A wish

And her memory is all
that is left
for you now
You see your gypsy...
You see your gypsy...

My Diva turned seven today. Every time I hear Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac, I think of my Diva, growing up, becoming a gypsy, leaving me someday to find a life of her own. It makes me incredibly sad, but also proud to have such a beautiful daughter who belongs to me.

When she was born, seven years ago today, I had thought I had another boy, a brother for Ajers. Minutes after her birth, when I realized she was in fact not a son, but my daughter, I lost it. There's video of me saying, "Oh my God, my little girl. I wanted a little girl!"

I got my little girl.

She is my little gypsy girl, with flowing blond hair, and a style and attitude all her own. I love her so much, and as much as she challenges me every day of our lives, I know it’s just because it’s who she is, and I hope to be raising a strong and courageous girl who will become a brave woman who will feel she can accomplish anything in life that she sets out to do.

My gypsy daughter. I hope she doesn’t leave me soon.

Happy birthday McKaelen, my sweet gypsy little girl.

Opinion on Random Subject

Suppose your spouse asks you this question at 6:30 a.m. as he is getting ready to leave for the day and you are just waking up, still in bed:

"Do you want me to help take some of this laundry downstairs for you?"

I really would like to know the general public's opinion on what your immediate thought/reaction would be to this statement?

(And I hope to Dear God this is not the morning he decides to read my blog for the first time ever!)