Friday, March 31, 2006

Here Lies Rebecca the Moth

You probably can't read it but it does say, "here lies Rebecca the moth." Apparently, Globulists don't believe in cremation. Rebecca the moth was only with us for less than 24 hours but she made a big enough impression on Girlie that she got a full-sized headstone. Much bigger than those of Sunset, Starfire, Aleeshia, Bob, Carly, and Ron the fish. Trapped today is Rebecca's replacement (mind you the ink wasn't even dry on Rebecca's headstone). Ron the itsy-bitsy spider (not to be confused with Dead Ron the fish) has the misfortune of residing in Girlie's plastic tub o' death today. She put in a couple of sticks so that he could weave a web but I'm thinking he'll lack the inspiration (let alone oxygen). There are a couple of air holes but they are necessarily tiny. I don't like bugs (thus my contract with Terminix). But I don't like squelching Girlie's scientifical (her word) exuberance even more. So I allow the bugs. The pet cemetery is my bigger concern. I'm going to need a bigger side yard. And if you read my blog, you know I'm a long time Stephen King fan. He wrote about pet cemeteries a long time ago and I haven't forgotten the outcome. One of these days we're going to have a night of the living dead around here and it's going to look like decayed flopping fish and a rag tag assortment of buzzing little bug zombies. Fodder for Scream 4, the movie, I guess.

Goodbye Allergies, part one.

Today is my first appointment for my N.A.E.T. treatment. I hope there's no homework. Oh, and to get the above cartoon, you have to visit it's first incarnation.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Okay, best present ever

Just a few minutes ago, a friend of mine from high school surprised me with a happy birthday phone call. I haven't spoken to her in more than 15 years. For some reason, after all this time, she still has my birthday marked on her calendar and this year she tracked me down from our hometown in Oregon. I could cry. Seriously. She has always been an amazing, positive influence to anybody around. We played Little League Softball together on the Southern Oregon Masonry team that my Dad coached. She played second base to my catcher. We had a killer move that caught people stealing from first base on a regular basis. Now? She has five kids, the youngest of them 11 years old and picking her new softball bat for the season online. My Girlie? She has declared that she hates sports with balls. Cripes. Now don't let me digress. This old friend just made my day. If you looked up "upbeat" in the dictionary, you'd find her picture. And that's saying a lot from me -- the slap-happiest girl around in most situations. She's well. Her folks are well. And she has five wonderful kids. Thanks for the gift, S.

At Play

Girlie is a funny little first grader. She can play dumb. Yesterday, Hubby asked her about the amount of wrapping paper that she'd used on my present. She replied, "Geez, what's a kid supposed to know about how much wrapping paper to use?" She can play know-it-all. On the way home from school today she told me that she was doing subtraction flashcards and that she thought that "0 - 1" would be a difficult one. I explained to her that she wouldn't be seeing a card like that and proceeded to give her a five-minute explanation about it. Or I would have if she hadn't cut me off and said, "yeah, negative numbers. I know Mom." So she knows about negative numbers but not how to wrap a present? She can make me believe that she's smarter than the President. In that same conversation, she explained that negative numbers are what you get when you spend more money than you have. I love my Girlie.


That's the sound I made when my British girlfriend, H, gave me my birthday present today. First we got pedicures (a first for me, don't know what I was waiting for) then we got coffee and then I got, hee hee, an umbrella. A Burberry umbrella. Plaid and all. Don't ask me why, but little luxury items just absolutely make my week (month, year...). So next time you're in Tampa, if you see a short-haired chick with jeans and an Old Navy tee shirt spinning a Burberry plaid umbrella in the sunshine, you'll know that it's me. Thanks, H!!!

Orchid Food

I meant to point out in my last post that on my window sill is an old jar of orchid food next to a silk orchid. Tells a story, doesn't it? So do the wine glasses by the sink.

UFO's, Lindsey Lohan, and knitting

My title has nothing to do with my post. I've simply discovered that when others do a google search for something totally unrelated to my blog, if the subject is also in my post's title they sometimes stop by to say "Howdy." So today I plan to capture alien-loving starlet watchers who knit. Wish me luck. As you can see, I'm in a very good mood, in spite of this (see photo of my kitchen sink above). It's my birthday and I'm trying to finish the sentence, "Now I'm forty-three ...." Past versions included, "Now I'm forty-one derful" and "Now, I'm forty-two good to be true." Any suggestions? Oh, but I didn't get you anything. Perhaps you can make both of our days by buying a copy of my fabulous novel, if you haven't already. It's a chuckle, it really is. Oh, and I think today would be a great day to hear from My Agent! about novel number two. But enough about me - what are you up to today? If you're in Florida like me, you should definitely get outside on your lunch break. It's gorgeous today!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tomorrow is my birthday! So I...

stole my husband's iPod Shuffle. It's been sitting around unused on his desk since Christmas. The statute of limitations has run and I grabbed it before Girlie did. Like those seagulls said on "Finding Nemo," mine, mine, mine. Too bad I scraped so hard on the iTunes gift card that came with the iPod. I can't make out the code I'm supposed to enter to get my (his) $15.00 worth of downloads. Drats. I also found out what he's getting me for my birthday: a course of treatment with a recommended alternative physician (read accupuncturist) to see if I can lessen my allergies to Earth. I will be blogging all about the experience, I'm sure. And now that you know what my birthday present is going to be, surely you can see that my iPod theft was fully justified.

It's what's for dinner

Papa Bear invites sculptor Danial Edwards to a private reception.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Curse of the Dead Monkey

A little background. I'm one of those people who moved to Florida and memorized the only important part of the rhyme that can save your life: Red on yellow, deadly fellow. Coral snakes, people. Uber-poisonous and not at all sporting seeing how they don't rattle or otherwise announce their presence. And yes, you nay-sayers, I have seen TWO out in the not-so-wild. And what does that have to do with monkeys? I'll tell you. Today, I screwed up my courage and took a nature hike, all by myself, in a nature park in Pinellas County. I put on my hiking shorts, brought some water and a bird identification book, and slung some binoculars around my neck. Then, I ventured onto a path that was not one of those safe raised wooden boardwalk things. It was a real path. Through woods. I've lived in Florida long enough not to jump at the sound of lizards scurrying through the brush. I can also readily distinguish the scrape of palm fronds on other trees. But I'm ever vigilant about snakes. I don't like 'em. (Which is probably why Girlie LOVES them, but that's a story for another day.) So, I'm creeping around this path when I hear a loud brushy sound. Yikes! Oh, it's only a senior citizen about forty years older than me looking for a different path out of the park. She's wearing a twin-set (I'm not kidding you) and nice slacks and telling me that the last time she was in the park, she'd climbed somebody's fence looking for a different exit. Ignoring the obvious questions about exits and such, I asked her about snakes. She said, "Oh, I never give that a thought." Hmmph. She took off in a different direction, on her way to the White Rabbit's tea party I guess. I round the bend in the path and see up ahead that there is something dead in the path. Brown, furry, monkey-like and dead. Never mind that monkeys are not indigenous to Florida. In my mind it was obvious -- somebody's poor pet monkey had escaped to the woods and been killed by a Coral snake that was probably still lurking around somewhere. I was frozen. Crikey! WWCHD (What Would Crocodile Hunter Do?). Never mind - he likes snakes too. I wish I had a video of my approach to that poor dead monkey. One step forward, pause, look around for snakes, repeat. Finally, I saw that I was right about one thing. It was a monkey. Hah. A stuffed monkey. Dead (well, abandoned) right there in the path. I claim the out-of-context defense for not recognizing its stuffedness as quickly as I recognized its monkeyness. And I guess the title of this post really should be I Cursed That Dead Monkey. But it did teach me one thing: Coral snakes will attack stuffed animals as readily as live ones. Poor little monkey.

The Alien Invasion Has Finally Begun

I thought that they'd be more subtle. Nope. I knew the second that Girlie walked into my room this morning that the alien pod people had finally arrived. "Mommy? Can I get up now? I hope so because I'm already dressed. And I have my shoes on. Now I'm going to go make my breakfast." Sob! I feel so guilty. I should miss my Girlie but this new alien version is awfully compelling. Let's give it a few days, shall we?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Why people come to Florida in winter

This photo was taken in February. It's for all my relatives up north to remind them to come visit me. All others in harsh environments may avert their eyes. Posted by Picasa

More Fun With Wendy

Tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 7:30, I'll be speaking to the Women's Fiction Group at the South Tampa Barnes & Noble. It's a tad north of Kennedy so of course it's not in South Tampa at all but I'm sure you can find it. ANYBODY can come. Anyway -- they read PARVENUE THROWS A PARTY this month and I get to tell them why they loved it. As a bonus, I'm thinking of reading the prologue to the sequel, TEACUP TRAVELS, just to whet their appetites. TEACUP TRAVELS is in the capable hands of My Agent! up in New York and will hopefully get published next year. I hope to see you tomorrow! Wendy

Worse than shopping for a new bra

Here's the thing. I had an appointment this morning at nine o'clock to listen to my options regarding the results of an ultrasound (no, I'm not pregnant). I already know that instead of finding the polyps that they expected to see, they got a three-fer: two cysts (one on each ovary) and a fibroid (in the ole uterus). All are normal -- I'm not harboring weapons of mass destruction. So I sat in the waiting room planning the cartoon I would draw. I pictured the fibroid as a George Bush character. It's small and inconsequential except for the fact that it managed to lodge itself in a position of power (something called the endometrial canal). The cysts I would liken to Irish dancers a la Lord of the Dance. They dance around, move back, and new ones move to the front on a regular basis. I've been staging that show since at least 1990. So imagine my disappointment when the doctor never showed up. I left at ten o'clock. Others in the waiting room were sticking it out. But when I'd gone up to the counter, I'd seen a State required notice that my doctor had elected not to carry malpractice insurance. I'd never noticed it before. SHOOT! I really liked him. I've never sued anybody in my life. But I'm a former attorney and I just can't recommend to myself, let alone anybody else, that I see a doctor who is not insured. And I don't like getting stood up. Crappity, crap, crap. Now I must find a new one. I hate that.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Why my cats hate my dog.

Late Night Search

It's late. I should be in bed but instead I'm noodling around on the computer. On a whim, I searched for "nuts" on MSN search. I'm thinking of gourmet nuts, roasted, lightly salted. A bedtime snack. What did I get? Bumpernuts. Gonads for cars. That was the number one ranked thing on my search. Killed my appetite. Good night all.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'm not having an affair.

This post if for my Hubby. He doesn't like change. Once I moved the couch in our living room and he got nervous. My friend informed me that men just don't like change. Move a couch? You must be having an affair. So yesterday I dyed my hair. I was really just trying to cover up the brassiness from a past dye-job. I wanted it to look dark brown like my real hair color. It came out nearly black. In fact, it's got burgundy mixed in if you catch it in the right light. Rather than freak, I simply cut it a bit shorter so that the color is less noticeable. My hair is short -- it will all grow out very quickly. In the meantime I look sort of Goth and edgy. But to Hubby, dyed hair and a cut must mean something dreadful. He hasn't said "boo" about my hair change but he's twice tried to get me to pay attention to him this morning instead of work. Poor thing. I love you Hubby.

Whatever Girlie wants

For an assignment, Girlie had to list her career aspirations. 1. be an artist 2. run a restaurant 3. be an author and illustrator (one-upping her mother) 4. invent something. That last one is the most curious. Remind me to ask her what type of thing she would like to invent. I'm guessing invisible spray or human wings. You go, Girlie.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I used to be a more fun dinner date.

Books, Blogs, and other alliterative items

My mind has been in the Big Apple a lot lately. My Agent! is there working hard to sell my next novel, "Teacup Travels," a stand-alone sequel to "Parvenue Throws A Party." Naturally I'm distracted by the thought that editors at big publishing houses are looking at my manuscript (maybe even right now!). Also, I'm going to New York next month for a writers' conference. I'm so excited. It's been too long since I paid a visit. Hubby and Girlie are tagging along to take in some sights while I'm at the conference. If you have any suggestions for seven-year-old sightseeing in N.Y., I'm all ears. She loves art museums so we're not completely without a plan but she'll only want to visit one or two. As for blogging, I've been asked to give a talk to the Tampa Writer's Alliance in May about book/self promotion on the web. I'm going to try a few experiments between now and then so that I can relate some more personal experience. I'm open to suggestions for experiments too. Of course I'll be relating my experiences with blogging to the group. Finally, burns. Can somebody recommend a brand of casual dishes that you can put in the microwave and not burn the shit out of your hands when you take them out? Every day it's the same thing. I should be on Candid Camera. I try to use hot pads but I end up dunking them in my oatmeal or dropping the bowl. Help is needed. Thanks.

Fancy? Or Not Fancy?

Last night we took Girlie with us to Roy's to celebrate Hubby's birthday. She put on her fanciest dress and nicest shoes and smooshed her face into a fancy expression. Then she told us how to tell the difference between a fancy restaurant and a not-fancy restaurant. 1. A not-fancy restaurant will have less fancy fish in its tank -- like puffer fish. 2. A not-fancy restaurant will have hot dogs on the regular menu -- fancy restaurants will only offer hot dogs on the kids menu. If she'd also mentioned about the fancy vs. not-fancy bill, then I think she would have summed it all up fairly accurately.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It walks like a duck.

From BBC News: "The president admitted there would be tough fighting ahead in Iraq, but after referring to the sectarian violence that followed the bombing of a Shia Muslim mosque in Samarra last month, he said: "Iraqis took a look and decided not to go to civil war." " So what did they decide to do? Play tiddlywinks? Hmm. We, the United States, are a nation at war. But all that violence, killing, bombing, then reprisal violence, reprisal killing, and reprisal bombing between the two factions in Iraq is not war, according to the President. What exactly is it?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Snicker, snicker

It's the last day of Girlie's spring break

I love her. We had fun at Busch Gardens, the beach, the mall, the movie theatre, the park, etc. Tomorrow she's back in school. Cue the Andy Williams: "It's the most, wonderful tiiiiimmmmeee, of the yeeeaaaarrrr." I need to get back to work.

Friday, March 17, 2006

An insight about myself I learned from Harvest Moon

Stupid game. I'm in the fourth year out of five or six, I can't tell. I've bought every farm extension available and I've upgraded my house interior three times. I've made every conceivable hybrid and planted loads of crops. I've bought a sheep and upgraded my livestock herd. Now, there's nothing left for me to buy. I've got a ton of money, but no mall. Boring. Hubby to me: "So basically you're driven by consumerism?" Me to Hubby: "Well, duh." Only in the game, of course.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Gluten is the devil

In the past few weeks, I've been experimenting and quite sadly it appears that I must give up (NO, not cartooning - shut up), something called gluten. It's in wheat and other stuff like beer. No bread. No beer. I'm over the suicidal stage thanks to all the gluten-free products available at many stores these days. I even made GF bread in my bread maker and it turned out great. I'll probably lose weight. What I've already lost is a bunch of physical discomfort. It wouldn't be so bad if I weren't also allergic to dairy and a few other things like apples. I think it's time to try some alternative medicines. The gluten thing is not an allergy but the others are and I believe that a few accupuncture needles will take care of them. I'll let you know.

Sun Worship

Bella likes the new floor. Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bad Mix

Oak pollen season and spring break should not coincide. The only allergy medicines that work for me are the ones that leave me totally high. "Mommy, I'm bored. Can I use the electric carving knife?" asks my 7-year-old. "Sure thing, thweetie," I would reply if I hadn't already left her alone to go almost-naked bike riding with the protestors who were on Bayshore Boulevard yesterday (and not today, oops). So maybe that didn't really happen. Who knows? I was high on Benadryl all day. Tomorrow will be the same. I promised Girlie that we'd go see a movie. Somebody puh-leeeze steer me into that dog movie. Thanks.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Soft Bigotry.

A Matter of Perspective

Yesterday, I spent the morning unexpectedly babysitting a six-year-old friend of my daughter's while my Girlie was at school. I spent the afternoon waiting around the St. Joe's Women's Hospital radiology department for my appointment (routine stuff). When I got home, the floor installers were nearly finished but the fumes in my house made me gag. I opened the windows and doors only to find that I'd rather die a slow death from glue fumes than a quick anaphylactic death by live oak pollen. (It looks like yellow powdered sugar outside.) We ended up sleeping at the in-law's house last night, dog and all. I got nothing done. So this morning, my daughter came to wake me and Hubby and reminisced about yesterday. At school she'd had a party and only a half-day because of spring break. Then she'd got to play for a couple of hours with the aforementioned friend. Her grandparents (the in-laws) babysat her while I went to my appointment and although she was bummed out when I picked her up, her spirits soared when I informed her that we were being gassed out of our house and needed to camp back at Grandma's. She sighed this morning and said, "Wasn't yesterday just the best day ever?" Now I have to admit that for her sake, it was worth not getting anything done yesterday if it made her have her best day ever. It's not like I had to go to Disney World or something.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Some mysteries are better left unsolved.

I see Wood and Moons

I'm sky high (probably from adhesive fumes). After several weeks of walking on the cement slab, we are finally getting the wood floors replaced. They're the solid oak, pre-finished, glue it down on the subfloor (which was also replaced) kind of floors that look like the solid oak, unfinished, move out of your house for a two-weeks kind of floors. Never mind. If you have dealt with wood flooring, you'll know what I'm talking about. Oh, the moons. Well, the nicest installer on the planet likes to wear his pants ultra-low. I don't know why, but he always has his backside towards me when I walk through the house. Thus the moons.

Deep Impact

Your son pulled on a tree root and we're all going to die. That was the logic in Girlie's argument/tattle-tale session at the park. She was playing with some boys that she likes in a sand pit when a tree root was uncovered. Boys being boyish, one of them was excavating and that tree root had to go. Girlie being Girlie, she wanted to give it a name and make it the mother in her snake family. Several heart-stopping screams later, she dashed across the playground to inform me and the boy's mommy that he was messing with a tree root; it might hurt the tree; we need trees for oxygen; we're all going to die. I can't help feeling a little pride for my lawyer in training. She put forward the strongest argument available to her and sold it. Watch out boys.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Love the Art

Yesterday was pretty much perfect. As we usually do, we attended the Gasparilla art festival downtown in Tampa. The art was top notch. We bought a really cool painting for our family room. Girlie liked the artist's work too and wanted one for her room. (Uhm, that would be a no). Pissed that we didn't choose the one that she liked, she declared our choice, "hideous." I hope the artist will recover from such a scathing review. We saw Kathy Castor and her daughter at the kid's craft area. I'm voting for her anyway, but it really pleases me to see politicians supporting the arts. Castor's cool. I know her personally and I can vouch for her. Then last night we supported the Tampa Theatre by attending an Oscar night event there. Boy was that fun. They even had a fake Joan Rivers out front commenting on the clothes. I love Tampa.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Brokeback Plot

Uhm, none. Well, okay, they love each other and it's not going to work out for them to be together. I finally saw Brokeback Mountain and I loved the scenery, I loved looking at the movie's two handsome stars and it didn't bother me that they loved looking at each other. But somewhere in the second half while I was marveling at how they'd made the characters age, I realized I wasn't paying attention to the story anymore. That's because there wasn't one. At least not much of one. Great acting though. I'm sure it will win lots of prizes tonight but I wouldn't vote for it. Of course I'm one of the few who loved The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. I can't be trusted.

Friday, March 03, 2006

AT LAST! (all about me, me, me)

My new novel has found . . . AN AGENT! An AGENT! in New York. I love my AGENT! and I'm going to work the phrase, "my agent" into every conversation I have from now until July. If you are a writer, you know how difficult it can be to find an agent. It's work, work and more work. So three snaps for me. Stay tuned for the announcement that I have AN EDITOR! (i.e., when a publisher buys my novel). That might be worth six snaps.

I do hate crybabies.

Your Monster Profile
War Darkness You Feast On: Pickles You Lurk Around In: The Backseats of Cars You Especially Like to Torment: Crybabies

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I don't care that Girlie isn't a natural-born athlete. Sure, I blanched a little when she pronounced her hatred of all sports with balls but so long as she didn't care, I sure didn't. They do sports at her school and I've spied on her once or twice for my amusement. Once, they were playing kickball and not only did she refuse to kick a rolling ball (the teacher had to hold it in place for her), once she got on base she forgot about the game. The kid after her ran by her around the bases because she was staring at a butterfly or something. Out in the field, her team made her stand under the swing set out of the way and they still yelled encouragement just in case: "Girlie! If the ball comes to you, you have to run after it. Then pick it up and give it to so-and-so. Or just get out of the way. Yeah, just move." I laughed because Girlie is simply oblivious. I was the best kickballer at my grade school but Girlie will have to be the best at something else. Then, quite calmly, she announced this morning that yesterday during sports, she had scored not one but TWO goals. A boy she adores told her that their team won the game because of her and her teacher told her she was proud of her. Oh boy, they've created a monster. Girlie demonstrated her running prowess for me over and over again this morning. If they think that this new, two-goal Girlie is going to be content being stuck under the swings, they're in for a suprise. All I can say is you go Girlie! Be the best butterfly watcher or runner or whatever you want. Keep surprising yourself like you keep surprising us.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

If I had a million dollars

That song is going through my head. Bare Naked Ladies, was it? So now I'm musing about what I would do with a million dollars. I'm sure my answer would be different on any given day but today, now, here's what I'd do with a million dollars. 1. Give chunks of money to various charities, of course. 2. Put money in my Girlie's college fund, of course. 3. Buy a Prius, of course. Wouldn't everybody? With a million smackers I could insist on a red one with all the extras and then get that converter I've heard about that makes you get 200 miles per gallon. Who cares if that nulls the warranty? I'll have a million dollars. After that, I'm not sure. We already travel a lot. I like my house. I might like to have another Italian Greyhound. I've dreamed of flying Business Class instead of coach. I must be pretty darn content. A million dollars just wouldn't be all that life changing for me. So, what would you do with a million dollars? Do they still make K cars?