Missing RWA

This week is the RWA (Romance Writers of America) national conference. I stopped going to this years ago. The longer I went, the more I discovered that the panels and discussions were the same, repackaged and updated but the same every year nonetheless. Each year, I had a hard time finding new things to interest me and it began an endless cycle of business panels about marketing and brand building that I could get on YouTube for free instead of the cost of registration, travel, and just eating. As a not very successful author, I have limited funds for this type of thing.

Also, every year, I realized more and more how I am not a romance writer. I don’t miss sitting through endless panels that didn’t apply to me and trying desperately to gleam some bit of useful information from them. Also, sitting through presentations and awards that I never qualify for because I don’t fit into their box was frustrating.

I don’t miss the throng of people. As we’ve discussed previously, people exhaust me. I am not the extrovert to go out there and just be. One of the reasons I love writing is because it’s a solitary occupation. I can get in my own head and play around in there for a while. That is very appealing to me. I think it’s appealing to quite a few writers.

This week I’ve been watching the pictures of all my friends on Facebook who are at RWA in Denver this week and feeling a bit . . . nostalgic maybe. I’ve met some amazing people at conferences. But I also have friends that I haven’t seen since Scarlett was born because, you know – baby/toddler. There they are at RWA having a blast. There’s a part of me that is jealous that they’re having all the fun and I’m not. There’s another part of me that understands, I would not have been having that fun with them. I probably would’ve been hiding in my room, recouping from exposure.

So there you have it, a mixed bag of emotions and kinda regret but not really.

Retro is New Again

I know I’m late today. I forgot to set the schedule. Ugh! #sleepdeprived

Without further ado…

Can we talk about this for a moment?

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I bought this for Scarlett on Saturday. Because, why not? First of all, I don’t remember these things being so big in the ass. Second, once we got it home and open it was lacking something very specific. That weird plastic/baby powder smell that all the toys in the 80’s seemed to have. Don’t get me wrong, she loved it. She carried it around with her all weekend. And the brush. But don’t think for one minute I didn’t call my mom to ask if she still had my old My Little Pony dolls in the attic.

Target also had 35th anniversary edition Strawberry Shortcake dolls. Those were only $4.49 but all they had were the weird secondary characters, so that was a no go. No Strawberry Shortcake, no sale.

Woodpeckers Ruined Everything

For my 40th birthday, we were supposed to be in Europe. We got our passports renewed. I’d looked up where we were going to stay, the prices, things to do. For Christ’s Sakes, travel books were purchased. I was ready.

Then…

Woodpeckers. What do woodpeckers have to do with your trip? You might ask. Well, woodpeckers bore holes into you house, leaving large round openings and it’s illegal to kill woodpeckers in Ohio. So until we figured out that it was the carpenter bee larvae that they were digging for and treated for that, they kept drilling holes into our house. Honestly, it might be time to treat for the bees again because I’m pretty sure I heard knocking the other morning. The side of our house looks like Swiss cheese on one side and that, of course, is the side that faces the street.

Again, what does this have to do with your trip to Europe?

Well, in order to repair the damage and repaint the house, this blows my Europe budget out the window. And not just out the window, like across the street and in the neighbor’s yard out the window. Europe is so far out of reach, I was looking on if there was a return policy for the $250 I spent to get our passports renewed. There’s not, by the way. Fucking, stupid woodpeckers. Also, adulting sucks!

So, instead of real Europe, Ross and I took a much more cost effective trip to fake Europe. That’s right, as many of you know we went to Las Vegas.

We visited “Italy”…

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We visited “Paris”, kinda…

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And we visited “London”, actually we just rode an even bigger London Eye. We’ve now been on both but here’s the conversation that followed:

Ross: How many people do you think have been on both the London Eye and this thing?

Me: Probably alot. More importantly, how many people do you think have been on all of them?

Ross: Are there more?

Me: Probably. They probably have one in Singapore or some place like that.

Ross: Why Singapore?

Me: Cause Singapore is like that. They all kinds of shit.

Guess what the Google machine told me today…Hello Singapore Flyer

Anyway, we had a good time and I don’t miss the tourist death march of WWI battle fields that Ross would have taken me on through Belgium. There are only so many grassy fields that you can look at before you go bonkers.

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Heat vs Humidity

Let’s be real. Las Vegas is H-O-T . . . HOOOOOT.

Everyone says, “Oh yeah, but it’s a dry heat…”

NO! Just NO!

Yes, Ohio is hot and humid, like walking through a swamp but Vegas is like being in a 400° oven. It weighs you down. We actually walked half a mile out of our way so that we wouldn’t be outside longer.

I think I’ll take the humidity. I can’t believe I’m saying this because I hate the humidity but at least that way, I’m getting something out of it. Sweat. But still, there is a physical reaction to the heat. In dry heat, it’s just a weight pressing down on me and making my brain fuzzy.

 

Closing Out Vegas

So, it’s Friday and we’re prepping to come back to Ohio from our vacation. I’m excited to say that we did nothing of substance. We didn’t see a show. We didn’t gamble. We didn’t do any of the random weird shit there is to do on the strip. We lounged at the pool, lounged in our room, and ate a shit ton of good food.

We stayed at the Venetian and our room was pretty epic. I’ve never stayed in a room with stairs.

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As awesome as our room was, there was some weird shit. There were three televisions; one across from the bed, one in the living area, and then one in the bathroom. Now, if this wasn’t weird enough…the television in the bathroom didn’t have as many channels and the channels that were on the television in the bathroom didn’t match up with the televisions in the other rooms. Shouldn’t they all be the same? I’m not even sure how you get that to work. Also, the shower has two random sprayers in addition to the main showerhead. They aren’t spread out and I can’t understand what purpose they serve.

On the credenza in our room is the usual selection of snacks that you would normally find – you know, nuts and candy and water – there is something else included in the line up between two bottles of water. I didn’t look that closely at it until Wednesday.

That’s right kids, if you’re fresh out of dirty stuff, you can open this little can and be provided with some quick and useful sexy item. Be careful though because below is the price listing…

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That’s right! That little intimacy kit will run you $45!

On a happier and only mildly cheaper note, we went to buffets, we went to Bouchon and the Bouchon Bakery (Pistachio Macarons!!!!). AND. I. HAD. DIM SUM.

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I love dim sum, soooooo much!

All in all, a success!

Ambient Colors

I’m sitting in the car driving from Dayton after dropping off my daughter. Today is the day we leave on vacation and we are child free. And yes, I’m typing this in the car. Thank you wifi in the car. Ross has already mocked me once that I was working in the car and that we were supposed to be on vacation. Whatever.

Last night we were watching TV and evidently, Volkswagon has this new thing where they have ambient lighting in their Jetta’s. Why? What exactly are you doing in your car that you need ambient lighting for? You have 10 choices. What the hell are those colors supposed to be ambient for and how does that help you exactly? One of them was red. Is that the ambient color for murder? If you see some guy sitting in a Jetta with the red light on…run. None of the colors are beige, which I hear is supposed to be very soothing.

Also, are you supposed to drive with the colors flashing in the cabin of the car? That seems kinda dangerous to me. This is just going to spawn a bunch to texting while driving about these stupid ambient colors, cause millennials.

This just seems like a bad idea all around. Ross said that this is the shit companies do when they don’t have real shit to add to a package. Maybe that’s true, but I feel like there are real features you could have added instead of ambient lighting…

Vacation Prep Stress

I leave for Vegas on Monday and I have nothing ready. I haven’t packed anything. I haven’t washed anything. Hell, I still need to buy stuff for myself, Ross, Scarlett, and the cat just to get through the week. I’m in trouble. I can already see this mad dash on Sunday night to get everything ready.

I don’t know what books I’m going to take or if I even want to take them. This is a conundrum for me. I should take my laptop and write. The question becomes, will I be more stressed out because I’m working or because I’m not. This is how my sick mind works.

Here’s my list:

  1. new flip flops
  2. new bathing suit
  3. new clothes (because nothing fits)
  4. cat food (because we don’t have any and a cat needs to eat…apparently)
  5. Yogurt for Scarlett. You can’t imagine that child in the morning without her yogurt. It turns into an international incident.
  6. travel soap
  7. new underwear and bra (not specifically for the vacation but because, you know, I wear it every day)
  8. new sandals that are comfortable to walk in
  9. water wings or floaties or whatever the hell you want to call them for Scarlett

These are not small things. I should have gotten some of these things a month ago but when did I have the time? Never, that’s when. That’s why all of this shit is waiting until the last minute.

In the mean time, I’m low grade stressing and waiting for the weekend. #Adultingishard

Don’t forget to follow my exploits next week on the hashtag #TreatYoSelf

 

Infinity War

We finally managed to see Infinity War. I’m not even sure what just happened. I feel betrayed. Angry. Grief-stricken.

This was one of the most AMAZING things EVER! This shit never happens. There’s a comfort in knowing that all your favorite characters are going to survive and that they are going to win the battle. That didn’t happen.

**SPOILER ALERT**

I cried when Gamora died. I could see it coming and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I lost my shit when Quill lost his shit. I cried when when Thanos actually did what he said he was going to do and people just started disintegrating. Again, I was prepared for death. I knew it was coming since it had taken me two months to see it. The tears were not as hard or as many as they should probably have been, but even knowing that people were going to die, I cried.

Now, having the foreknowledge that some of those people have upcoming movies. Does that mean they are back and the time stone fixes all wounds or that they are re-envisioned. I personally would love to see Shuri (T’Challa’s sister and mega genius) take over the Black Panther role. That would be AMAZING!

I might have to see it again to take it all in.

Odds and Ends

I don’t have a particular topic today. Just some random stuff hanging around. First, lookie lookie at my new banner on the website. You’re probably very proud that I figured out Photoshop. Don’t be. I didn’t do it. I conned someone else to do it for me for free. Hey, that’s a skill. Don’t judge me.

Also, it rained here really hard yesterday. Here are some pictures from the street in front of my house.

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That’s a sidewalk over there that you can’t see because it’s covered in water. Uh huh.

I was really hoping that I wouldn’t be able to go to work. I was hoping I would be trapped in my house and need a boat to go around the neighborhood. Alas, that was not to be. It cleared out and the storm drains did their jobs in about 15 minutes.

I didn’t get to stay home.

Ray is the worst Disney Death Ever

Our router got fried at some point on Saturday. What this means is that we don’t have Wifi or cable until Tuesday. This is a problem. We’d managed to go all day yesterday, entertaining the toddler until around dinner time when we were both exhausted. We decided to put in a movie. Thankfully, we managed to talk her out of all versions of Toy Story. I can’t watch it again. I need a serious break from Woody, Jessie, and Buzz. I just do. Watching this began a conversation that has happened many times but needs to be addressed again.

Why does Disney feel the need to kill everyone’s parents? Why?

At first, you may think, there aren’t that many…

You would be wrong. Let’s go through the list.

  1. Snow White – both parents are dead
  2. Cinderella – Both parents are dead
  3. The Little Mermaid – Dead Mother
  4. Moana – Dead Grandmother
  5. Lilo & Stitch – Both parents are dead
  6. Lion King – Mufasa! NOOOOOOO! DEAD!
  7. Frozen – Both parents dead
  8. Beauty and the Beast – Dead Mother
  9. Aladdin – Who the fuck knows. I’m going with Dead.
  10. Toy Story – Where is Andy’s Dad? No one knows.
  11. Finding Nemo – Dead Mother
  12. Princess and the Frog – Dead Father
  13. Pocahontas – Dead Mother
  14. Tarzan – Both Parents are Dead
  15. Sword in the Stone – Both Parents are Dead

That’s a lot! I mean, come on. They had to start doing movies about inanimate objects just to get around some of this. Coco is all about death.

This has a point, I promise. One of the worst deaths to ever hit a Disney movie is Ray the lightning bug in the Princess and the Frog.

This was about the point where my daughter started screaming “Don’t step on him!” from atop her cozy coupe.

 

If this doesn’t have you all teary then I don’t know what could reach your icy black heart. And this is coming from someone with an icy black heart. Just sayin’.

I went to see this movie in the theater, by myself. Yes, cause I’m that big of a Disney fan. I remember thinking that Ray’s death was a bit harsh but looking at the list above, I’m starting to think I should have been expecting it.

Not Everyone is Meant to Walk in Darkness

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