Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

About to ring in the new year with friends, games, and champagne - hope you have a fun night, too!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mmm... food...

Went shopping with Zoe at the Fresh Market today. WOW. The food there was just beautiful! There was so much there... it all looked and smelled wonderful. There was so much variety, and there were so many specialty items.

We ended up getting some vanilla tart filling and brown sugar whipped cream for dessert tomorrow (I've got pastry shells already), and we're going to have vanilla cream tartlettes. Yum! We also got some caramel machiatto coffee - freshly ground! I'm not a big coffee drinker, but I had a cup tonight with some of the brown sugar whipped cream on top, and it was delicious. I may end up becoming a coffee girl.

Now I'm totally up for food preparation - also picked up some phyllo shells to make chicken salad appetizers for tomorrow, and Zoe is baking up a storm as I type (puppy chow and haystacks, I believe). There is much fooding. It is good.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Maybe yay?

My luggage has been located! CommAir in Charleston called me today - my bag was there! The woman said she'd send it to ATL on the 11:30 flight, and that she'd call them to let them know it was on the way so it could be delivered to me. Unfortunately, I haven't heard from anyone else yet... and the luggage should have arrived about 8 hours ago. I'll keep you posted. *sigh*

At least it's not in Peru, right?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back to real life

I'm back to normal. And it kinda sucks.

I had to go back to work this morning. After having a full week away, I REALLY didn't want to go back to work. It wasn't a bad day, as far as work days go, really, but I was AT work, which just isn't as much fun as not being at work.

I also got to go back to the theatre in a stage-managerial capacity, which was nice. I haven't done that since Showtime in September. It'll be nice. The director, Chuck, seems like a no-nonsense sort of guy, and it looks like this should be a good time. I've got a copy of the script, and I'll read through it tonight and tomorrow. The second night of auditions is tomorrow night, and they'll be cast by the end of the night. First rehearsal will probably be Wednesday, to do a read-through, then really getting down to it next week. Things will be busy, but I think it'll be fun!

So I guess normal doesn't suck that much after all. :) Plus I've got Zoe and Mia.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Flying's a bitch

Well, some people get what they deserve.

Because of that idiot who tried to blow up a plane in Detroit, everyone flying into the US had to endure all sorts of extra regulations this post-holiday weekend. I flew from Winnipeg to Minneapolis on Saturday, and we were advised to arrive at the airport three hours prior to the departure time. So I showed up nice and early.

When I checked in, I was informed that carry-on luggage was not permitted. I had to check both my main bag AND my backpack. At least they let me take out my iPod, cell phone, and computer. If I'd had a purse, I could have taken that, but my purse was in my first suitcase. The one that ended up in Peru. The one that is still MIA.

Customs was quick and painless, and the security checkpoint seemed to go fairly well. I then sat upstairs in the teeny, tiny international terminal. Did I mention that it's teeeeeensy? And full of people. I bought a $3 bottle of root beer and a $17 book, and sat down to entertain myself. For four hours. Because not only did I get through the check points much faster than expected, my flight was delayed.

Once the plane actually arrived, it took over an hour to get everyone on board. They separated the men and women, and everyone had to have a secondary security inspection. This time, though, they physically removed everything from your purse/pockets/computer case and examined it, and gave you a full-body pat-down. Whee.

Finally on the plane, I was informed that I could not have my computer case stowed under the seat. EVERYTHING was to be placed in the overhead bins. We could not have anything under the seats, we could not have blankets or pillows, and, because the flight time was only 54 minutes, we were not allowed to move around the cabin at all.

When we finally arrived in Minneapolis (2 hours late), I had missed my connection. I was given a number to call to get a discounted hotel rate. Not a free hotel, which I would have had if the delay had been mechanical or weather-related. I didn't get my luggage back because it would have been a 3-4 hour wait to get it onto a carousel. At this point, I was only going to have about six hours to sleep, once I got to the hotel and hunted down food (which ended up being a $13 salad), so I decided to sleep in my clothes and get a toothbrush and comb from the front desk. If it hadn't been such a swank hotel, I would have been REAAAAALLY pissed off. As it was, I was kind of irritable.

So what is the moral of this? The idiot who covered his crotch in explosive crap deserves whatever he gets. If you're going to be that stupid, you deserve third-degree burns on those sensitive spots. Plus, you've ruined the days of many, MANY people. Jerk.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Let's NOT make this a tradition

Two years in a row, my luggage has been 'misplaced' by the airlines. Last year, United had my stuff to me within three days. It wasn't optimal, but it was acceptable. This year, I'm at seven days and counting from Delta. I spent every penny allowed to replace clothes - my little sister's wardrobe had moved with her when she left my parents' place, so I couldn't just steal her clothes out of the closet.

This is not cool.

I've been assured that my luggage will arrive in Atlanta at the same time that I do. If it doesn't, I think I'm just going to sit down in the airport and refuse to move until it shows. Maybe I'll hold my breath, too.

Delta is getting a very unhappy letter from me, and they're going to be paying for more than just the replacement cost of clothes. Did I mention that my luggage hadn't arrived by the time I left to go back home? Which means I needed a new suitcase, since I had a bunch of clothes but nothing to put them in!

Can you tell that I'm a little bit irritable about this?

Next year, maybe I'll fly Air Canada. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Right, like I'm EVER flying through Toronto again if I can avoid it!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Well then!

It would appear that the posts I've been posting from my phone never made it to my blog... hmmm... It looks like I'll spend today searching my phone to re-post those. Sorry, folks! Although I'm guessing that, with all of the holiday fun, there haven't been too many people looking out for my posts!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone out there! I hope your holiday season has been fun, regardless of which holidays you do or don't celebrate.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the night before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas
Didn't know what to do
My gifts were all somewhere
Near Lima, Peru.

Yes, that's right. My luggage did not follow me home for Christmas. It doesn't look like it will be here before I leave again. Woot! On the bright side, Delta/NWA bought me a new wardrobe.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's really getting close now!

I'm super-excited about Christmas! I'm almost done my shopping - just five more things to pick up tomorrow, four of them from the same aisle of the same store. Hooray for shopping! Hope you're all having fun shopping, too!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I like not working

There's nothing better than having the week before Christmas off. Seriously. It's wonderful. I'm soooo happy that I saved up my vacation time for this! Thanks, boss!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Getting things done

I've completely finished one part of my sister's Christmas present, part two needs ends woven in and buttons attached, and part three is about 2/3 finished, but I need to buy another ball of yarn to get it done. Whew.

I've started on something for Gleep (whee!), and it should be done shortly after Christmas, so I can give it to her the next time I see her.

I've got stuff finished for Zoe's mom, grandma, and my mom.

I've picked out one of the things I'm going to get for Zoe.

I've picked out one of the things I'm going to get for my dad.

I may get something for Mia, but we'll see. She's a pretty spoiled brat all year round. ;)

But I'm starting to feel like I'm getting things done! Which is good, because Christmas is just around the corner. Eep!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ever have one of those

Ever have one of those days that was a mixture of really crappy and really good? Today was one of those days...

Friday, December 18, 2009


I just saw Avatar!!!!!!!!! It was awesome!!!!11!!1!!!1!!!

Seriously! You should go see it!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Okay, so the idea of taking photos of the gifts before I gave them away was a great one. However, I've realized that I also should have finished taking photos BEFORE I got into a wrapping frenzy.

I now have a pile of neatly wrapped gifts under the tree... and no photos of the contents. *sigh* How about this? If I give you a handmade present, will you please take a photo of it for me? Thanks!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas time = craft time!

So I've spent the last two evenings making Christmas presents... my fingers ache, my left thumbnail is all torn up, and I've got random cuts and scratches all over my hands. But the end result looks awesome!

Unfortunately, since several of the gift recipients read my blog, I won't be posting photos of them just yet. But no worries - I've taken some photos, and I plan to take more. They'll just be posted AFTER the gifts are all given out. Some of them are very similar in style, so I don't want to give anything away.

I'm VERY excited, though! And I hope you all don't mind that I haven't blogged too much... Actually, I hope anyone is reading at all...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I have stayed up far

I have stayed up far too late watching 'Sing-Off' and 'Goat Slap'. Or is that 'Ghost Lab'? I can't tell from the way they say the title...

Monday, December 14, 2009

I <3 princesses

I went to see "The Princess and the Frog" this afternoon with Zoe, and it was great!

I'm a sucker for Disney movies in general, but there have been many that just didn't appeal to me. That weird barnyard thing, for example, was one that I just skipped. The princesses, though, have always appealed to me. I don't own too many of them - just "Sleeping Beauty," my favourite. However, I think that I'll be picking this one up!

I love the old-school hand-drawn animation. Don't get me wrong - CGI is awesome, and movies like "Toy Story" were very nice to watch. There's just something about real animation (as opposed to computer animation) that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Maybe it's because that's what I grew up watching. In any case, this was a very visually appealing film. There was even a section of animation that looked more like the style seen in some of the sections of "Fantasia." It was very 2D, rather than attempting to look 3D; there was no shading, none of the usual attempts to give depth. It was well-done, though, and I think it was well-integrated into the storyline.

The storyline itself was a wonderful twist on "The Frog Prince." If you've seen the trailers or any reviews, you know that Tiana is not a princess. She's a waitress in New Orleans, saving up to buy her own restaurant. The visiting Prince Naveen gets mixed up in some voodoo and is transformed into a frog. He sees Tiana all dressed up, and mistakes her for a princess. He kisses her, hoping that he'll change back to a human. Instead, she becomes a frog. The two of them then get into all sorts of fun as they try to find a way to become human again.

The supporting characters are awesome. My favourite has to be Raymond ('but everybody calls me 'Ray'), the firefly. The inbred, Creole firefly. And his extended family. I think they had maybe a dozen teeth between the hundreds of fireflies that appeared... John Goodman plays the voice of "Big Daddy," the father of Charlotte, Tiana's childhood friend. Charlotte has Big Daddy wrapped around her little finger, and Goodman's portrayal is spot-on. Charlotte herself reminds me of the stereotypical southern-belle-sorority-girls I've met, complete with squealing. She verges on irritating at times, but is generally a good character.

The bad guy is creepy. REALLY creepy. And he looks a little bit like Prince. His shadow is equally creepy, but I love that it is a character in and of itself. Unlike Gaston from "Beauty and the Beast," I don't think I'll run into any little kids that idolize Facilier.

Like all Disney fairy tales, this one has a moral, and it's a pretty good one. The secondary message is also a good one... but don't worry, I won't spoil them for you!

I really recommend that everyone check it out.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Geek time!

I was a geek today, and it was awesome.

We planned games, we talked games, we talked MMOs (well, they talked MMOs and I listened and learned). We ate pizza and drank coke. We nommed on snack platters.

All in all, it was a good day.

The only things I didn't do? Finish Karen's present and wash clothes for tomorrow. But the night is young! As long as I don't get swept tooooo deeply into gaming fun, I can totally do at least one of those things.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Miserable weather today resulted in

Miserable weather today resulted in a night in - watching movies, drinking hot chocolate, and working out future plotlines. It was a good night.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Office Christmas party. Open bar.

Office Christmas party. Open bar. Yeah. I'm fine, but the rest of the co-workers are, well, blitzed. Love.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


"You'll be gone by 8:30!"

Yeah, right. It was almost ten by the time I managed to get away from my volunteering tonight. And I still had to go shopping for the gift for my secret Santa thing at work tomorrow. And I couldn't find anything because the only place open after 6 pm is frickin' WalMart.

So I must shop tomorrow. At lunch. Woot.

*le sigh*

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Go brain!

So I was helping out at the theatre tonight, and got called upon to help a few of the teenagers with their English essays. We chatted for a few minutes and I mentioned that I'm all up on the slashing of excessive words because I'm in the middle of writing and editing a novel. They wanted to know what it was about, so I gave them my 30-second pitch for "Happily Ever After."

They loved the idea! All three of them want to read it and sounded genuinely excited. Hooray! My target audience would actually pick the book up and consider reading/buying it!

Now, off to edit! Well... sleep, go to work, finish the ending, then edit. But still.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No helpful dreams

Well, I tried the 'let it come in my sleep' way of getting a story idea, and it failed. I had some crazy dreams, but nothing story-worthy. Well, nothing publishable or usable... some really crazy stuff, though. And remarkably realistic. Have you ever had one of those dreams where you actually dream part of your day? That happened to me last night, and I started my day off irritated at the doctor, despite the fact that I didn't even have to work with him today! He showed up REALLY late for work in my dream, and that was enough to get me pissed off.

Tonight, instead of trying to let the dream come to me as I sleep, I'm going to try thinking about it as I lay in bed, trying to fall asleep. That weird, not-quite-ready-for-sleep-but-not-awake-enough-to-do-anything-else time seems to be good for developing ideas.

Watch. Instead of coming up with solutions/ideas for this play, I'm going to write half of my red-hot fairy tale. At least it's writing!

Monday, December 7, 2009

I want to write!

But I can't manage to actually get started. I know what I want to write, but I can't quite get a grasp on the specific storyline. I've got a few possible conflicts to choose from, but none of them are really jumping up and down trying to star in the story.

This is frustrating. I'm going to bed, and hopefully my subconscious will come up with something awesome while I sleep.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Perhaps I've been writing too much lately.

I just watched an expositional play.

I just finished working through NaNoWriMo. I've had a piece of writing critiqued by a group of writers. I've got one completed second draft in editing. I've got one complete first draft which will not be taken any farther (although I learned a lot from writing it). I've got a nearly-complete first draft that is going to be finished very shortly. I've got the beginnings of a novella due in February.

I've read about 35 novels this year. I've read 6 in the past month. I keep up with about four writerly blogs on a regular basis, and about a dozen others intermittently. I love to read.

So why is it important that I'm a reader and a writer, and how does all of this relate to my opening statement? When you are a reader and a writer, you learn very quickly that a good story shows you things. It doesn't just tell you. A good story will let you use your mind. "Dora was excited about her news" and "Dora's eyes shone and her grin widened as she leaned forward, the words tumbling from her lips in a rush" both let the reader know that Dora was excited. The first way of saying it, though, is kinda boring.

Exposition can be useful in a story, but it can also kill a reader's interest. Have you ever read "Les Miserables"? There are several hundred pages of exposition. I don't recall anything from those pages. I basically ignored them until I got back to the real story. In my critique group, we're very careful about watching for what we call "info dumps" - large sections of exposition that lose a reader's attention. We all try to avoid them, because info dumps are boring.

I watched a play full of exposition. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Another year over.

Okay, so it's not an official year that's over, just a NaNo year. But tonight, we had our TGIO party, the official wrap-up of NaNoWriMo.

It was a good time, for the most part. We hung out, we ate pizza, we asked ridiculous questions and had equally ridiculous answers - much fun!

There's always a bit of a sense of disappointment, though, when the last person leaves and you finally realize that you probably won't see many of these people again until next year. *sigh*

Thanks, November. It's been a blast. See you next time around.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cards, check!

I finished writing out and addressing my last Christmas card tonight, and I should have them all in the mail tomorrow. Yay! I'm all proud of myself - usually it's much later in the season before I even start making the cards.

I also took Mia to get her nails trimmed today... that's always fun. Richard came along to help, but ended up getting a bit banged around by the overly-anxious dog. She did much better in the car when sitting in his lap, though. Usually, she spends the entire ride whining. Today, she talked a little, but didn't cry. I think she's forgiven us, though, because she got a pile of new treats when we got back home. There's a reason I try to avoid PetSmart...

In other news, I'm heading downstairs to clean up, since the Mooselings are heading over to party tomorrow - should be much fun!

Also, on row 28 of part two of Karen's present, still on ball 2 of AH's present.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I like surprises!

Okay, let's reword that - I like good surprises.

And I got a good surprise today! Cookies! Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies. I only discovered these things a few months ago - I had heard of them, of course, but never tasted one. Once I tried them, I fell in love. Well, as much as one can fall in love with a cookie.

And today, when I got home, there was a package of them waiting on my desk!! Yay!

Also on the desk was another good surprise - a package of Lindt Lindor Truffles! Yay!! Hooray for chocolate and sugar!

Thank you, baby!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Emotionally drained

I spent most of my day worrying. Low-grade to mid-grade background-level worrying, but worrying nonetheless. R was in a car accident today, just before lunch. Truck was totaled, but R ended up with a mild concussion and a sprain or hairline fracture of his wrist. It could have been much worse. Still, until I got to see him tonight, I worried. He is, relatively speaking, fine. However, I don't ever want to have a week like he's had this past week!

And yes, Mom, you can call me to chat about this. I know that you'll worry, too, until you hear the whole story from me. I'll be up for a little while longer.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A new look

What? Where'd the pink go?

I decided that the pink had done its job. I'm done with it for now, although I will keep it in mind for future bloggy pursuits.

Enjoy the new colour palette... I'm going to go to bed, because I have caught a cold. G'night.