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The Start of a New School Year

My three week vacation wasn’t long enough. It really wasn’t long enough.

Last night was my first class of the semester, Public Budgeting and Finance. Exciting…right! Not so much but at least the Professor is entertaining. Four hours of marginal rates, substitution and income effects, and utility functions. Wait, let’s be clear about this. The first two hours were on “getting-to-know-you” exercises and syllabus review. Who spends two hours going over a 4 page syllabus? I don’t know. The second two hours were on marginal rates and such. I’m sorry but if you are teaching a four hour class, you need to give us more than one five minute break. That wasn’t even long enough for me to pee.

I have class again tonight. Wait – shit,I don’t even know what it is. I have to look it up.

Public Management. I don’t know what that means. It doesn’t even start until 6pm which means I have to hang around campus for an extra hour for shits and giggles. *Sigh* I’ll let you know how that goes.

Between classes starting up again and the new job (only four weeks in) I’ve begun to consume alcohol at an alarming rate, searching out happy hours like a nomad to water. The other day, my husband said he noticed I’d been drinking more. A glass of wine almost every night! *Gasp* I said that I didn’t think I had a problem, I was consuming alcohol just fine without help.

So now its back to the grind. Fifty hours in the office. Eight hours of class time. Ten hours of studying. Three hours of additional section for Budget and Finance (stupid fucking budget and finance). Then probably another two hours of group work. I fucking hate group work. How many is that? Seventy three hours a week. How many hours are in a week anyway?

168 hours in a 7 day week
-73 hours of productivity
-56 hour of sleep (and this is generous)
– 4 hours of commuting time
=35 hours remaining for leisure time and writing.

Oh Shit! I forgot about writing.

Take off another 10 hours for that. 25 hours of leisure time. I guess that will have to do.

Shenanigans @ RAGT

Hi Peeps! I know I’m a day late and I’m truly sorry but I had an economics midterm last night so I’ve been stressing about that for the past week. After that fiasco was over, I engaged in an epic binge session consisting of Wendy’s spicy chicken and some cookies. Immediately following that and the last half hour of Real Housewives of Orange County (the drama is ridiculous), I went promptly to sleep. I won’t lie, I might have snuck in like 15 minutes of million dollar listing. I <3 Frederick! Seriously, if he wasn’t gay and I wasn’t married, I might stalk him…just a little. My brain, however, had too much exercise and use yesterday and decided to shut down all on its own.

Sooooo, now that I’m back to the land of the living for at least a day – let’s talk about my weekend. It was Lori Foster’s Reader/Author get together in West Chester Ohio. For those of you not from Ohio, that’s a suburb outside of Cincinnati. There’s an Ikea which is all you really need to know. And yes, I did take time out on Saturday to hop over to Ikea and get some things. Cause that’s how I roll. 

Anyway, I drove down on Friday night after work. Which was nice to have a little quiet time to myself. I’d consumed 32 ounces of water throughout the day, then a biggie iced tea on the road. This proved to be a mistake. When I hit 275 (Cincinnati’s outer belt), the traffic stopped because of an accident and the waiting game and the pressure on my bladder began. And honestly, if you can’t drive in a straight line, I don’t think you should be behind the wheel. But I digress, forty five minutes later, I walked into the lobby of the Marriott bouncing up and down to keep from leaving a puddle on the floor.

I stepped up to the counter and said “I need to check in and where’s your restroom?” The kind lady pointed behind me to where the restrooms were located and I took off like a shot. Running down the hall in a dress and espadrilles, I wasn’t looking back. I couldn’t. There wasn’t time. The receptionist asked my name as I turned and ran down the hall. I yelled back at her across the lobby. Classy…I know. 

After check in and registration, I only had a little while before the book signing. So I trekked down to the lobby again and set up. They stuck me in the corner at a rounded table with three other others who wrote erotica. I can’t remember any of their names. Shit! I should remember this, we sat together for two whole hours and talked about orgasms and laundry. This is bad. So much for my networking skills. Anyway, after about fifteen minutes, an author at the next table arrives. Now, I only mention this because she was dressed at a viking.

You read that right folks! She was dressed as a fucking VIKING! Furry hat, horns and all – very Brunhilda-esque.

Hitting on her and garnering quite a bit of attention, was our favorite cover model – dubbed in previous years as Skeezy Bastard.

Several friends and I named him this because he hit on all of us and every woman at the bar. He asked poor Amanda if she was sharing a room and if she would like to share it with him. When one of us shot him down at the bar, he moved right on down to the next one…literally. *Sigh* Good times. Skeezy Bastard hit on a lot of women this past weekend, and by late Saturday, he wasn’t being picky in his selection of women either. 

Tiff, Eva and I ended up going back to the room after that and having a good old fashion slumber party with lots of giggling and crude jokes. 

Saturday, was pretty uneventful. Tiff left so Eva and I were left to our own devices which is never a good idea. We holed up in our room and worked, giggled, and drank. Also, never a good thing. After consuming an entire bottle of wine by myself we headed down to the bar where Eva sucked down 3 tequila Sunrises like someone was going to take them away from her and I had this:



I have no idea what was in this thing except for the nerds at the bottom. It took Eva to explain that it was supposed to be gravel – you know, like in a fish tank. Not my finest moment. And three, count them, three Swedish fish. It was delicious and STRONG! I watched the bartender make one for someone else and said:

“I don’t even care what’s in that but I must have one. This shit is happening!”

We made jokes about Skeezy Bastard, talked about writing, and made friends with the bartender – who by the way, remembered us from last year. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I like to think it just makes us AWESOME!

I drove home Sunday morning, hung out with my husband then we ran over my glasses with the car. Yep, so that was fun. On top of dropping my phone in the zoo’s public toilet a few weekends ago, my expenses for ridiculous shit has skyrocketed. Lug in the nonsense with the Slanty Shanty and we can just call it a day. UGH! I have yet to replace my glasses. I feel like its summer time and I can just use my prescription sunglasses instead until I get new ones. Its worked so far. Also, I haven’t replaced my phone (dubbed the pee phone this weekened by Tiff- Thanks Tiff!) since it’s kinda working with a new battery. I don’t want to talk to anyone anyway and if its important, they’ll just email me.

Slanty Shanty Strikes Again

I don’t know why my husband and I think we can fix this shit. Its like asking Lucy and Ethel to do home improvement. It can only end badly.

All I wanted was a simple screen door on the back door. That’s it, not something complicated like a storm door. We wouldn’t even need help to install it. Just a cheap’o wood screen door. Yeah right!

First, putting up this screen door would have been easy if our house wasn’t slanty. And really, we should have known better from the get go than to expect something to work right. A regular door and the corresponding threshold is in the shape of a rectangle. Ours, however, is in the shape of a rhombus. A damned RHOMBUS! So my husband and I spent the weekend sanding and painting this stupid door. Only to find out when its all done that it doesn’t fit. So, AFTER its all painted, my husband starts sanding down the sides to make it fit. As you can see, this ruined our paint job.

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You can also see how the constant shaving caused some of the lines in the door to be uneven. I think this is due more to the tool my husband used (which looked more like a cheese grater than the tools I’ve seen on New Yankee Workshop). It’s especially noticeable at the corners.

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Second, We decided it probably wasn’t a good idea to paint through the screen for the cross bars on the back side. Yeah….look how that turned out.

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This looks absolutely ridiculous but it’s up now which makes painting it and correcting the mistake that much more difficult.

Third, as we were peeling the painter’s tape from the screens, we ran into a slight problem. We’d thought enough ahead to keep the screen from getting gunked with paint. That, at least, we’d done right. However, upon peeling the tape back, it wasn’t coming off clean. I’ve come to the realization that painter’s tape is stupid and doesn’t really work correctly. I’ve never had it work as it’s intended and not destroy the lines on the wall. NEVER!

At some point, I get the great idea to get the box cutters to cut the tape and paint apart. Honestly, I don’t know why he even lets me near home improvement project. This turned out to be a bad idea about 15 seconds in. If you look closely enough on the left hand side of the middle section, you can see the cellophane tape I used to hold together the hole I sliced through the screen.

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Seriously! It’s like a sitcom. This took us three days. THREE DAYS to fuck up! Next is the side yard and some landscaping. If I could keep anything alive this wouldn’t be so bad but I’ve already killed my share of plants.

Welcome to the Slanty Shanty

About 3 years ago, my husband and I bought our first house. We looked at alot of houses. I don’t like the suburbs. Having grown up in the country, I wanted to be as close to the city and downtown as possible. We looked in Grandview, Clintonville, and finally German Village. We ended up getting our first home just outside of German Village in Shumacher place.

We like to call it “ghetto adjacent”. But we are downtown, we have a yard the size of a yoga mat, and we have 2000 square feet in a lovely victorian brick home.  Upon moving in, we discovered several things.

1. None of the floors are level. They slope and curve as the house has settled. You may say, “So what.” This however, has several implications. First, a line of bookcases along the wall do not sit evenly. Each one of them needs to be shimmed at different levels. This makes the bookcases, at best, precarious and at worst, dangerous. The last bookcase, we got at a different time because we couldn’t fit them all in the car. The repercussions of this is that we couldn’t bolt it to the rest. Below is the result. Also, that’s right. Those are my Minnie ears. And you know what? They’re not my only pair!ImageImage

2. There is no subfloor. This means that if the light is on in the basement, you can see it through the slats above in the dining room. HA!

3. The walls are not flat…any of them. They are plaster and who ever did it must have been cross-eyed to the point of double vision. This means that hanging pictures or, really anything else is difficult. Let’s be honest, impossible.

So, we took this house on, understanding that there were some updates that needed to be done. So far, we’ve replaced about half of the windows (we couldn’t afford to do all of them), replaced some plumbing in the downstairs bathroom (it was galvanized pipe and wouldn’t fit any of the shower fixtures we bought), we’ve redone the kitchen (during that process we discovered one wall didn’t have studs – just two sheets of dry wall and then brick), and now its time for the garage.

The shenanigans have already begun. We’ve had to replace the door since we “accidentally” broke the window in the entry door. Glass is at this moment precariously situated in the door with painters tape holding it together as we wait for Lowe’s to come and install a new door. Although, its not like the thing was keeping out intruders or robbers before the glass got broken.Image Next, the garage roof which hasn’t been replaced in…oh, I don’t know – since the house was built in 1880. See all the up turned shingles…Yeah, that should be fun.Image

Stay tuned for the next installment of Adventures in the Slanty Shanty!

Midnight Ash Book Trailer

It’s all fun and games until a dismembered hand gets nailed to your front door.

When a woman is mutilated and murdered steps from her home, Dahlia Sabin is thrust into the middle of a territorial vampire war with a target on her back and an assassin on her trail.

A 500 year old vampire ninja assassin is unleashed on the city to claim Dahlia’s head, she has to convince the men in her life to work together before Midnight Ash can claim their prize. Animosity and jealousy sink Dahlia deeper into the werewolf Pack.

In her race to uncover the plot behind Midnight Ash, Dahlia is confronted with old arguments, forgotten traumas and a new complication in the tempting Pack Alpha. As she’s driven further into the supernatural world, Dahlia is torn between the the vampire she loves and the primal pull of the Pack.

If Dahlia can’t stop Midnight Ash before blood is spilled, she may never find out who has a contract out on her head, what they hope to gain, or if she’s strong enough to survive losing everything.

Sliver of SIlver Book Trailer

Dahlia Sabin is Fertiri, carrying both the ancient magic of the grave and the primal power of the Pack. She’s marked for death by her enemies, protected by the vampire liege in love with her and the Pack Alpha infatuated by her. Strays have moved into the city, terrorizing the innocent and leaving mutilated bodies in their wake as a message that no one is safe.

Hot on the Strays’ trail, Dahlia must stop them before they can destroy the Pack and rule it as their own. As her life crashes and burns around her, Dahlia has to put all her inner turmoil aside and become the Blushing Death to protect the people she loves. If she can’t expose their plans, she could lose everything and her most fearsome enemy is still hiding in the shadows…