"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Little Lost Fun

WAIT!!!!!!!!!!! NON LOST STUFF FIRST! LOOK!!!!!!!

All right, I know I promised a bunch of stuff the other day and I haven't delivered on ANY of it, but I swear that I will be posting my BEA thoughts AND the contest AND the book review soon. Craziness ate me last week and I have Grad school orientation Tuesday and Wednesday and then work on Thursday through Saturday and THEN Saturday night we got tickets to go see one of my all time FAVORITE comedians, Tim Hawkins. He is HI-LA-RI-OUS! And I am super super excited.

If you have never heard of him you HAVE to watch these videos. I love ALL of his stuff, but here's two of the best..
.



So, anyways - I've got a doozy of a Retail Wednesday post for you, but I don't know if I'll have a chance to get much else this week. I will try, try, try to get the BEA post done, and HOPEFULLY the book review.

I'm looking back over this and realizing that Mia and Tahereh have been seriously influencing me.

Okay, anyways.

One of the things I promised was a little hilarity that ensued at our house when Naomi, her friend Emdy and I were watching the finale of Lost

SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON
(just sayin')

We didn't talk over anything, but we made quite a few comments and they amused me, so I thought they might amuse some of you...


When the guy shows up with Christian's casket, Desmond asks if he can just take it around to the back.
Naomi yells, "We have to go back!!!!!!!!"


Bernard and Rose appeared on screen. I groaned. "eww... the Berneard"
Seriously. People complained about the Jeard (Jack's Beard) but, Bernard's is just horrendous!


When Sun and Jin remember they're just looking at each other and smiling.
Emdy says, "I wouldn't just be smiling, I'd be like... 'Dude! The Island!' 'I Know!'"


When Hurley says to Jack, "I believe in you." ALL I CAN THINK IS ... Clap your hands if you believe in Jack!


When someone at some point was eating a mango - or maybe it just came up randomly during a commercial... anyways, Naomi says, "How can they eat a mango without having juice running all over everything."
Emdy: I know! They eat mangoes like sexy people. No matter who you are you eat mangoes like you're five years old. 'Look, I didn't get any on my designer clothes that I happen to have on this Island that fit me perfectly and accentuate my best features.
Me: that I randomly pulled out of someone else's suitcase.

Right? srsly... it's ridiculous!


When Richard tries to calmly talk to ... I think it was Claire, all I could think about was this video:



When Charlotte leaned over Charlie to wake him up, we all groaned in unison and Emdy cried, "What the hay bale is SHE doing here!?"
(I've totally stolen that expression btw)


I think it was when Claire stepped out of the jungle to stop the group at the plane - I said, "well, that's not good." which was immediately followed by Sawyer saying, "Well, that ain't good." Which caused all three of us to collapse into laughter. What can I say? We're easily amused.


When Jack opened the coffin and it was empty, I hollered, "All right, where's the baseball bat?" I couldn't help it!


When Christian made his little speech that Jack was real, they all were real, everything he's experienced is real - this started playing in my head - If you're real and you know it clap your hands, if you're real and you know it clap your hands, If you're real and you know it, then the visions surely show it, if you're real and you know it clap your hands!


Okay, so you now know we are complete crazy cakes. Sooooo..... I shall leave you with this amazingly HILARIOUS video. (Trust me, it's the greatest)(You'll probably have to replay it. I think Naomi and I watched it approximately 14 times in a row)(not really, but I totally could, it's that good)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

YA Highway CONTEST

So! I found this amazing incredible superlative YA contest that is full of books and critiques and MORE!

So totally go over to YA Highway and check them out. I just found them, but they look like awesomesauce. And enter their contest because it totally rockssocks!

and I will be back later for the following...

  • BEA recap - with some PICTURES OF TOTALLY COOL AUTHORS
  • Book review and GIVEAWAY!
  • More Lost talk with the Hi-larious commentary Naomi, Emdy and I had while watching the finale
  • A special BEA CONTEST! (yup, you heard that right!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Retro Retail

So, I've had one day back from vacation (by the time you read this it will be two, but I have to do this early because I'M GOING TO BEA TOMORROW [which is actually today to you or maybe even yesterday, depending on when you stop by] AND I'M SUPER EXCITED. I'm hoping to meet Rick Riordan and LEMONY SNICKET [ZOMW I think I might hyperventilate just a little] and get to see Melissa Marr again and tons of other fantastic authors and AHHHHHHHHH!!! And we're leaving at 4 in the morning, which is why I'm doing this post ahead of time) and not much of anything of note happened in that one 8-hour shift (except a LOT of Lost talk, because we're cool like that) so I decided to do a Retro Retail post (as you can tell from the title) so I would still have something up here :D

If you can untangle that sentence, you are amazing!

And this just made me smile, so I thought I would share:


Back in the day (meaning 4ish years ago) I worked for Eckerd Drug Stores. They no longer exist - have you noticed that? I left and the company went under (or so I like to tell myself :P).

But I have some pretty funny stories from my time working there. These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Enjoy!


Not The Brightest Crayon In The Box Award:

A customer came up to the register and handed me a bag. "I need to return this calculator," she said, pulling it out of the bag. "I've tried and tried and I can't get it to clear or enter anything new."

I look down and think, man, how am I supposed to do this without making her feel like an idiot. Suppressing a sigh I peel off the clingy plastic sample equation leaving the screen free. "Try it now. They put this on to protect the screen and show you the size of the font."

Woman takes calculator and starts punching things in giddily. "Thank you SO much," she gushes.

I honestly don't know which was worse - the fact that she couldn't figure out it was just a sticker, or the fact that she was so impressed that I figured it out so quickly...
Look! A poster for my AWARD! *does happy dance*
I don't know who originally did this, but THANKS!


Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? Retail Edition:

A woman came in looking for a specific type of makeup. I can't even remember exactly what her question was, but it's not really that relevant for the story. She was super nice and it was a valid question and we weren't busy so I didn't mind helping her.

We look back and forth at a few of the boxes and narrow it down from several options to a few.

We decide to call the 800 number on the back of the package. As we walk over to the phone the customer starts laughing - "I'd like to phone a friend, Regis," she said and I had to laugh with her. I called the number and it's... disconnected. Yup. By now we are both giggling and she says, "I guess we have to poll the audience!" She asks another customer and ends up deciding on which she wants to buy, but it was pretty funny that we had to use all of our lifelines...


Densest Customer Award:

This was actually a multiple offender award.

People would come into the store, march up to the register and demand to know where the batteries were. At which point we would point directly behind them to the giant 3-sided display of batteries about 2 feet from them. Most people would just kind of chuckle awkwardly or say something like, "Well, if it had been a shark it would have bit me."
Just. Like. This.

But one guy glared at me as though it were all my fault that the batteries were not hidden in some remote spot that he would actually have to be directed to.
It's your fault I can't see past my nose!

The Milk Lady:

We sold half gallons of milk - and at a REALLY good price. People would come in and stock up on milk like there was no tomorrow. It was kind of ridiculous.

But there was one woman who will go down in infamy amongst all of us who ever worked at that store.

I don't know how many times she tried to pull this off over the 8 years I spent there. She would wait for different cashiers so it took us forever to realize she was doing it like EVERY week.

This is how it would go.

ML (milk lady): (comes up to register with empty half gallon milk jug in a bag) Excuse me. I bought this milk yesterday and it was sour today. I poured it out, because it had like chunks and stuff. But I only bought it yesterday. You can see it's still within the date. Can I get a replacement?

Cashier: Yes, that's fine (which at the time, it was fine - we would do these occasionally, because with milk sometimes this happens.)

ML takes her new jug of milk and leaves.

Comes back a few days later to repeat performance.

Once we realized what was going on we told her she had to bring it in with the sour milk still in it so we could prove to our vendor that there was a problem. Thought that would take care of the problem.

Not so much. She starts bringing in half full cartons of sour milk for exchange.

At this point we're wondering if she realizes that you have to REFRIGERATE milk.

Then the delivery questions started.

For a while they were shuffling our delivery dates around, trying to find a good system to keep us well stocked with milk. She would call or come in ALMOST DAILY to find out when our deliveries were coming. Then she would rant and rave that none of us knew what we were talking about, that everyone always gave her different answers as to when the milk came. That she had to buy it as soon as we got it or it wouldn't last.

I think she needed a hobby.
Or at least this shirt...

Outright Bizarre Award:

I had a woman call on the phone (I think I might have shared this before, but it TOTALLY bears repeating!).

Woman: I'm looking for foundation and was wondering if you carry it.

Me: We have a lot of different kinds. What brand were you looking for?

Woman: I'm not sure. What brands do you have?

Me: Cover Girl, L'Oreal, Revlon, Maybelline...

Woman: I think it's Revlon.

Me: All right, which color did you need.

Woman: What colors are there?

Me: There's about twenty different ones.

Woman: Well, can you list them?

Me: (sigh) Hold on a second, I'll go take a look..... (I begin to list some of the different colors)

Woman: I'm not sure... (no joke) What color do you think would look good on me?

Me: (stifling laughter) I really can't tell over the phone. The best thing would be for you to come in and take a look at them yourself.

Woman: Oh no! I don't leave the house! Someone's coming to get it for me.

Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh! I thought of one more and then I have to run...
Drama Queen Award:

Two customers were getting milk. The male customer accidentally bumps the female customer's bum with the door to the case.

Female customer loses it and begins yelling at him for touching her bum and how dare he do that and yadda yadda yadda.

Male customer is trying to be apologetic, but obviously finds the whole thing amusing, because it was completely innocuous and accidental.

They both end up at my register. He is starting to get a little heated as she continues to rail, her voice escalating. But he keeps his cool while she looks like a complete nutjob.

Manager approaches the register and asks what the problem is. Happens to glance over at the male customer as he asks.

Female customer FREAKS OUT... "You're just taking his side, because you're a MAN!"
Actually, this is more how I felt, than how she looked.

OMW.

Yup, pretty much wherever you work, the customers are INSANE! sometimes nice and sometimes nasty, but ALWAYS, ALWAYS insane!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gregor the Overlander and Lost

Pre Firstly - if you are here from Nikki's blog, the Lost stuff is kinda further down the page - look for the bold purple, but the book is Ah-mazing, so you could peruse that first if you wanna

First - a warning to my blogger lovelies - Um, Lost just kind of ate my head, so there's probably going to be an abnormally large amount of Lost contemplation going on over here for a while.

I will always tell you in the beginning so if you haven't seen the finale, or if you don't care the littlest bit about Lost you can skip it.

This beginning part isn't about Lost and you ALL must read it! I command you! Please :)


And by one, I mean one moment of your time :D

I'm going to take a moment to do a brief book review. For my Lostie Lovelies - I will get back to Lost - It all connects, trust me!

I thought about breaking this into two posts, but these two things are strangely connected to me now as I will explain below :)

Book Review:
The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins.
(there's actually a fifth book not pictured here, but I couldn't find a good pic)

Some of you might recognize the name, yes, she is the author of the Hunger Games trilogy.

These books are absolutely phenomenal. You will find it in the middle grade or independent reader section of a bookstore, but these are not simply children's books.

Collins somehow manages to deal with issues of death, war, morality, love, family, destiny and sacrifice that will engage adults, yet still be manageable for young readers. This is not your fluffy, feel-good series - it is a serious work of literature that has the potential to invoke some pretty deep thought and conversation. So why is it I have heard virtually nothing about them!?

Here's a brief, unspoilery synopsis (mainly of the first book, but the other four roll off of that one):

Eleven-year-old Gregor is the oldest of three and a lot of weight is resting on his shoulders. His father mysteriously disappeared and now he is the one that has to help his mom care for his ill grandmother and his two younger sisters. While doing the laundry one day, Gregor follows his three-year-old sister, Boots, through a grate and into a world that lies far beneath his own. While there he encounters the city of humans that relocated there long before; their perpetual enemies, yet sometimes allies, the rats; giant cockroaches; and many other creatures. Unfortunately Gregor also gets swept up in an ancient prophecy and is sent on a quest where he must rely on all of his courage, strength, intellect and heart to survive. Is he the answer to the prophecy or simply a boy in the wrong place at the right time?

I'm telling you these books are epic and you will not be disappointed. I wish I had enough money to send you all copies of the first one, but, alas, I do not - so go find them at your bookstore or at your library! Please, read these books!

All right, I am now going to enter Lost spoilery territory, so if you haven't seen the finale you might not want to continue.


My Initial Reaction:
As we entered the last ten minutes or so of the finale, I was so bewildered that I couldn't process much of anything. I was so confused about the flash sideways. All right with the stuff on the Island, but really, really befuddled with the rest.

I was expecting to be sobbing by the end, but my confusion overshadowed all. My only real tears during the entire 2 1/2 hour episode were when Kate helped deliver Aaron and Charlie came up to Claire. I was actually concerned about this, because I am a crier. I cry at commercials sometimes. I get choked up when someone else is choked up. It's a major emotional outlet for me and the fact that I hadn't cried hardly at all made me worry about when it was going to end up hitting me.

I hopped onto the live chat with Nikki and the rest hoping for some kind of clarification. My sister and her friend were as confused as I was and sat there throwing out all of the questions that were roiling through my brain. I got Nikki's initial reaction and it kinda sorta helped, but I couldn't get everything to fit. The rest of the chat ended up being more frustrating for me than anything, because all my serious questions never made it through. I think only 2 of the 6 comments I posted actually got put up and on such a delay that I might as well not have even made them.

Then I typed up my initial reaction to stuff while I waited for Nikki's post. There was so much good stuff that happened in this episode and I'm afraid it's being over shadowed by the end.

Then I read Nikki Stafford's brilliant-as-always recap and it kinda sorta helped a little more. I posted my comment, read the few that were there and then decided to put the computer away and try to read for a little bit. I only had a couple chapters left of Gregor and the Code of Claw the final Underland Chronicles book, so I picked it up. The ending is seriously brilliant. If she ends the Hunger Games as well I will be happy

But it is NOT a closed ending. Not everything wraps up neat and tidy. There are questions left, thoughts to think. It ends, but it doesn't END everything.

And something in me broke and I realized that Lost was like that. It ended, but it didn't END everything. I still didn't get it, I still was confused, but I realized there would be no more "previously on Lost"s. There would be no more "next week"s. There would be no more LOST. and I was literally convulsed with tears until I couldn't breathe. I pretty much cried myself to sleep with a giant headache.

In My Dreams....
But somewhere in the night my subconscious sorted things out for me. My eyes fluttered open this morning and it was seriously like BAM! I get it! Holy cow! It's amazing and I'm happy that I GET IT!

Okay, so I still have questions and I still think there are a lot of things that I would have preferred they answer, but every time I come up with a major question that didn't get answered, I think of something someone on Nikki's blog said and I nod my head. Yeah, I'll take that explanation. Or I can figure something out for myself. Maybe I'll come across something that doesn't jive, but for now I am satisfied. I am content.

So What Does It All Mean?

I am mainly writing this out for myself (and my sister and her friend, because they are still confused and Naomi asked me to post something so she can read it and try to get it too) so excuse me if this gets a little long-winded.

This is MY opinion of how it all fits together. I'm still contemplating things and I'm sure other people will bring up points I haven't fit in, but this is where I am now.

Flash Sideways?

I think it's better if you don't consider it a Flash Sideways. That insinuates some sort of other universe. In fact, it might be easier if you take all of the flashes from S6 and think of them as separate from the narrative - these are (as Shelb on Nikki's blog coined) AfterFlashes.

People are throwing around terms like "purgatory" and "afterlife". I think we have to take the AfterFlashes as a part of the Lost narrative, not as a nod to any specific religion or ideology. Remember the window behind Christian - they put all of those different symbols in for a reason. NOT to say (imo) that you can take your belief and make it fit, but instead to say, it is NOT going to be any of those. They don't want it to be pigeon-holed into a specific belief - they wanted to leave it open. (do I agree with their theology? no, but that was never the point of the show.)

The AfterFlashes are a construct of these people (who exactly? I still have questions about that and will address that in a moment - but it's not just Jack). I don't think it's a specific place (like purgatory). Someone put it this way (sorry I can't remember who): the AfterFlashes were a way for the characters to come to grips with the fact that they were dead. It also was a sort of purgatory in that it was a place for them to work through remaining issues they had before they "moved on". Were they going to heaven? Were people not in the church going to hell? I don't think it's that definite. Remember, this is the Lost mythology, not Christian, Jewish, Buddhist or Hinduism - there are flavors of pieces of each of those belief systems.

But Is It REAL?

Christian says " Yeah, I'm real. You're real, everything that's ever happened to you is real. All those people in the church. They're all real, too."

Here's MY take on it.

The Island is real.
Everyone on the Island is/was real (except some of those ghosts and apparitions, but they were real ghosts/apparitions so I guess that counts)
MOST of the people in the AfterFlashes were real.

Yeah, most of them.

I really believe that a number of them were part of the construct of the AfterFlashes created by certain people.

This includes:
David
Helen
Nadia and Sayid's brother whose name escapes me right now and I'm too lazy to go look it up
Carmen

This is obviously not an exhaustive list and some of you are probably shaking your head at a couple of these.

That's Why He Was SO Creepy!

In the AfterFlashes Desmond and Bernard TOTALLY wigged me out. Now I can see why. I mean, if you knew you were dead and that most of the people around you were dead and you were just waiting for everyone else to figure it out so you could move on, you might act a little creepy too. They understand. They have seen their lives (Desmond didn't act REALLY creepy until after he met Penny and Bernard would have had each other to trigger the memories) and they have seen their deaths and they realize that there is something binding a group of them together - their shared experiences, their intense need for each other and the way they bonded on the Island - hey, maybe even the Island itself - was a thread that kept them all together and pulled them together to make the "moving on" together.

Umm... Why Was The Island Under Water?

Maybe this was just a plot device to show us that the (then) FlashSideways was going to be different. I think the point was that they didn't need the Island in this construct. The Island was not in play - this was something different. The people building this world needed to work some things out without the interference of or impact of the Island. I think it was also a red herring to make us believe that this was an alternate timeline.

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall..

Remember all of those mirrors? All of those reflections? We've been talking about them all season, but I haven't heard anyone bring it up yet after the finale. And the mirrors figured in this episode too.

I feel like the AfterFlash is like a LookingGlass kind of world (you know, Alice in Wonderland?) Not that things are exactly backwards, but they're a sort of mirror image of what their lives were with the Island. Some things are the same, but a lot of them are turned on their heads.

Jack: Still a surgeon, but with a son and working out his daddy issues with Christian by learning how to be a father to David

Kate: Still a fugitive, but this time with a cop that believes her story and is courteous rather than creepy to her. She's out of places to run.

Sawyer: Still out for vengeance, but now surrounded by people that care about him and that won't let him destroy himself through it.

I could go on - my point is that a lot of things in their AfterFlashes seemed good or better than their actual lives. I think this was to accentuate the one thing that each needed to overcome or come to grips with before being ready to move on.

By looking in this strange mirror at their lives as they could have/might have been they were better able to see those last things that they had to let go. Once they did that they were ready to remember the "truth", ready to "move on".

In Conclusion:

All right, so I know I have a ton of thoughts still floating around in my head, but hopefully this helps a little bit. I'll be back later if I think of things I want to clarify. Also to tell you some of the HIGH-larious commentary that took place at our house. And some of my favorite quotes. :D


Sunday, May 23, 2010

WARNING!

The viewing of the Lost finale may cause the following symptoms:

Nausea
Headache
Hyperventilation
Heart palpitations
Hysterical weeping
Alienation from family and friends
Hallucinations
Consciousness bleeding
Catatonic state
and/or
Death

Watch with extreme care and under the supervision of a Doctor and/or Island Protectorate

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Abbreviated Retail Wednesday

Of course, since I'm on vacation (sorry, am I rubbing that in a little too often? I only get to say it once a year and it makes me happy :) I have very few stories to share so I decided to do something else.

Here is a list of some of the most annoying types of customers (I'm sure there are others, but these came to mind in the couple days I worked since last Wednesday :)

Revolving Doors:

Customer: I'd like to exchange this book for this one. I got it home and realized I'd already read it. I have my receipt.
Us: ummm... on this receipt it shows that you bought this one in exchange for another one. How funny that this is the fourth time you've "realized you'd already read it." Could it be that you "already read it" after you bought it? Did you know there's actually a place you can do that for free? It's called a library!


Tagalongs:
Us: Hi! Can I help you with anything?
Tagalong: (long slow head dip/turn to look at their significant other)(apparently no words are necessary if you're only visiting the store because of someone else)

Actually, this just makes me chuckle.


Denial...:
Us: I'm sorry, nothing comes up under that.
Customer: What if you put it in this way. Or this way. Or with this spelling. How about if you do it backwards. Or upside down. or by the possible secondary author. Or the illustrator. Or the publisher. Or the size of the book. It has a blue cover!


ADD Followers:
Us: It's right over this way.
Customer: la de da de da - I will follow you for ten step - ooh! Look! shiny! - hey, where'd you go.
Us: Um, I turned left and you went right.
Customer: You walk too fast.




And just because I thought it was really cute -

I was helping a man place an order that he wanted shipped to his granddaughter. He opened his wallet and pulled out a piece of paper with her address on it. "This is my address book. I don't do those Blueberries or Applesauces and cream cheese things."

Oh goodness, I was trying not to laugh at that one. He was so freakin' adorable!

Next week will probably be a retro week since again I will only have 2 days worth of stuff - of course, sometimes 2 days is more than enough :)

Tata!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vacation Rocks!

Hello all my blogger lovelies!

Oh goodness, I'm just having too much fun here at the OBX (that's Outer Banks for the uninitiated) and I had to just share some of the highlights with you.

On Friday I left work around 3, stopped at Sam's Club to buy milk and then drove about 6 hours down to our friend's house in VA where my Dad met me. We slept a few hours and then left my car there and jumped in his truck to make the rest of the trip to NC. As we're driving along - coming towards Richmond Dad asks me if I bought juice at Sam's Club too..... um, no, I wasn't told to. So we pick up the GPS. Turns out Sam's Club is considered a "point of interest" on our GPS. We meander through the suburbs of Richmond, following the friendly lady's voice until we get there. This gives us a nice time to stretch our legs and buy fresh strawberries....mmmmmm..... :D

Then we drove a lot more and got kinda loopy from Dr. Pepper (only the greatest drink ever invented by man) and when we were sorta almost there we stopped at a fruit stand to buy nectarines!

But they were out of nectarines, so we bought a few peaches, but not before I took this giggle-inducing picture.
Those are some strange looking cantaloupe!

Finally, eventually we arrived at our rental "cottage"
They call it a cottage, but this thing is huge.

Relaxed that day until my other sister, Rae, and brother-in-law, Pete, made it with Titus, their cutest puppy evAR!
Isn't he?!

We've wandered on the beach, gone miniature golfing

(At Jurassic Putt!)
and just lounged around reading and sleeping.

There's a hammock right outside my room and I love sitting out there and reading. *sigh*

here's Titus in the hammock.

Sunday night we saw a commercial for IHOP with cream cheesy filling so we decided to make our own. This was the result we had for breakfast Monday morning....
Are you hungry yet?

Today it was pelting rain, but still so nice. It stopped in the afternoon and we decided to build a sandcastle. It's a vacationly tradition. We've done some pretty sweet castles and towns over the years. Last year Naomi and I were hooking the parents on Lost and our sand castle turned into a whole Lost themed thing. If you want to see pictures you can go to the post here.

This year Dad decided to go another direction.
Here's what we did!
See that metal ring? Yup - we built a StarGate!

Why yes, we are huge SciFi geeks, why do you ask?

And then Pete decided to build a Sphinx.
Pretty sweet, huh?

As we're standing there, thousands of seagulls start circling overhead. We're trying to figure out why when we see that some wonderfully idiotic people are standing on their deck holding out food and trying to get the birds to eat out of their hands.

So Naomi and I start coming up with a story - about where they're from (somewhere without seagulls) and why they're so excited to feed the birds and how stupid it is, because um... after you feed seagulls, they poop. Fact of life.

Then I joke that they're from West Virginia (sorry, I spent over half my life in Northern VA where we had WV jokes instead of redneck jokes) But Naomi says that if they were from WV they'd be shooting the birds not feeding them. We decide that is why they're feeding the birds, to draw them in so their husbands can run out with the shotguns. Then we laugh about how we're such writers, finding stories in everything.

Then I wondered if one of them is looking down and making up stories about us. Naomi says, "They're probably looking at us and saying 'look at those cool people. We should write a story about their...awesomeness'" and then we burst out laughing.

Ah... good times.

And to make up for that horribly random story, I give you some beachy pictures:


And I think I am going to do a mini Retail Wednesday post tomorrow - just to let ya know :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Brain Explosion Imminent

Tahereh aka T.H. Mafi is holding a contest that is designed to completely and totally blow your mind!

That came out REALLY small! Weird. And now the link isn't working. Gah!

Anyways, click here to see all of the awesomesauce!

I am really enjoying my vacation and I will put up pictures later and make you all drool with envy. But for now I'm going to try to catch up on some of the blogfesty posts I am ridiculously far behind on and then maybe, just maybe catch up on some of the straight-up blog reading that I am shamefully and beyond excessively behind on.

Tata!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flirty, Flirty - It's Another Blogfest!

It's time for the Flirt Blogfest sponsored by Critique_This_WIP!

I will actually be in North Carolina as you read this, so it may be a while for me to get around to all of your entries. Ah.... vacation! So excited!

But I wanted to do this blogfest, so here you go...

This is an excerpt from my unfinished, untitled WIP that I started during NaNoWriMo. I really don't do the flirty thing in real life, so I have virtually NO flirty stuff in my books, because I never know what to write. But I got this scene in my head and it's the flirtiest thing I have. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Oh, and also, this is actually 2 scenes that come one after the other, so pardon the length. I really tried to trim it down some, but it's long anyways.

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Elana lifted her arms and let the smooth fabric slide down over her head and settle around her. Reaching back she pulled the zipper up and shook the midnight blue dress into place. Looking into the mirror she smiled. The dress was perfect. A spray of rhinestones trailed from her left shoulder across to the bottom right hem, which ended just below her knees.

Then she sighed. As soon as she had walked into the store this dress had called out to her. She had looked at the price tag and winced, but decided to try it on anyway. Now she wished she hadn’t, because it was going to be so much harder to put it back.

Craning her neck, Elana twisted and turned, trying to see her back in the narrow mirror, but it just wasn’t working. She stepped out of the changing stall and down the short hallway to the tri-fold mirror near the entrance of the dressing room.

The dress looked even better. The deep blue color set off her dark bronze curls and matched her eyes perfectly. Aside from the color, it fit as though it had been made specifically for her, something she rarely found. Elana would never understand why dressmakers seemed to think that everyone that wore a size 14 was either a fuddy duddy grandmother or rich. To find a dress that wasn’t several hundred dollars, that fit her and actually made her look thinner? Well that was just beyond rare. She gritted her teeth. It might not be hundreds of dollars, but it was still more than she had budgeted for dress shopping.

Tipping her head, Elana smiled again and couldn’t resist raising her hands over her head and performing a pirouette. The skirt fluttered around her and she laughed softly.

A low whistle behind her made her freeze. In the mirror she saw a tall man with startled brown eyes, curly brown hair and a sheepish expression standing behind her in the entryway to the dressing room. She turned around, unsure how to respond.

His cheeks burned red and he took a step back.

“Dad, this dress fits fine,” a girl’s voice called from one of the other stalls.

“Cara, we talked about this. I need to see and approve it,” the man called back.

Silence met his statement.

“Well, I guess that explains it,” Elana said

“I am so sorry,” he said with another sheepish grin. He had the most adorable dimples, she noted, her irritation melting away. “I don’t usually hang around women’s dressing rooms. Honest.”

“I would certainly hope not,” Elana laughed.

Then the door to the stall opened and a young teenage girl stepped out, a sulky expression on her round face and her arms folded defiantly over the plunging neckline of the dress she wore. She tilted her head and stared at her father, obviously expecting his veto.

He didn’t disappoint. “Absolutely not. That dress is way too short, on both ends.”

“Dad, this is the dress that Brooke got, but in green. We want to match.”

Elana stepped back, feeling like an intruder.

“I am not Brooke’s father,” he said. “Now go change and we’ll try to find something more appropriate.”

“Da-ad.” Cara dragged the word out into two syllables. “Don’t do this to me. You have to understand I’m growing up. You can’t treat me like a little kid forever.”

“I don’t... wait.” He turned to Elana. “I hate to put you on the spot like this, but would you mind giving your opinion? I totally understand if you don’t feel comfortable, but if you could...” he trailed off again.

Elana smiled. “Sure.” Taking her time, she looked at the teenager. The girl’s green eyes pleaded at her.

“Well, that color looks perfect on you,” Elana began and Cara brightened. “I do think that the style isn’t right for you, though. It really doesn’t fit you well. If you’re going to get a dress, you need to find one that fits you right and that you can be comfortable in. With this one you’re going to be spending all of your time worrying that it’s hiking up in the back or sliding down in the front. You won’t be able to enjoy yourself.”

The girl nodded reluctantly. “All right, I’ll go change.” Cara went back into the changing stall and her father sighed.

“I never had a problem with this when she was five,” he said. “Thanks so much, ummm, I guess I don’t even know your name. I’m Anthony.”

“No problem. I’m Elana. I remember some pretty intense arguments with my mom when I was that age over clothes.” Elana felt the familiar twinge of pain in her chest – the one she felt every time she thought about her mother – but it passed quickly. “It’s a tough age and I’m assuming her mother is out of the picture.”

“Why would you think that?”

“Because the alternative is that you are a creepy stalker man that takes his daughter shopping so he can peek into dressing rooms.”

Anthony tipped back his head and laughed, the dimples appearing in his cheeks again. “Let’s go with the first option.”

“I’d prefer it,” Elana laughed along.

“Well, I’m just going to head back out into safe territory before security shows up and I embarrass myself even further.”

“Good luck with the dress shopping,” Elana called as Anthony disappeared around the corner. She turned back to the mirror for one last glance before taking the dress off for good.

“Want my advice?” Anthony said, his head popping back into view. “Buy the dress.” And he disappeared again.

A slow smile spread across Elana’s face and she bit her lip in contemplation. So she cut back on a few things over the next couple of months. Suddenly she really needed to have that dress.


Leaning her elbow on the table and resting her chin in her hand, Elana bit back a yawn. This was the part of weddings that she dreaded the most. The ceremony was always beautiful, waiting for the bride and groom to arrive at the reception hall was a bit boring, but a good chance to say hello to anyone she knew. Then there was the arrival of the wedding party and the food. It was after that, after the first dance and the toasts, but before the cake cutting, that she dreaded.

Everything went into limbo. Some people danced, others floated around the room and chatted. This particular wedding was worse than most. A large amount of people had been invited and she only knew a handful well. There was a larger group that she was acquainted with, but she just wasn’t the kind of person to walk up to someone she barely knew and start up a conversation.

Of course this was also the time that people approached her and gave her the pity chat, as she had started to call them.

They always began, “and how are you doing, Elana?” with sympathetic eyes and occasionally even the pat on the hand or the arm. The matronly ladies would give her a quick, awkward hug.

“I’m fine,” she would say and smile. “How are you?” And then they would launch into a story about their adorable grandson who had just lost his first tooth, their handsome son who had just gotten a promotion, their troublesome daughter that just couldn’t seem to get it together at school. She would nod and make the right comments and then, within five minutes they would remember that they wanted to ask so-and-so a question and would leave her alone.

If it made them feel better, fine, but it certainly didn’t help her mood. One of these days, when some old lady asked how she was doing, Elana was just going to snap.

“Oh, I’m doing just fine. Last week I was actually able to get out of bed a couple of times. My psychiatrist is thinking it might be okay to take me off the anti-depressants because I haven’t tried to kill myself in a couple of weeks. My dog died and I think it might be my fault and the bank is about to foreclose on the house my parents built. Other than that I’m just peachy.”

None of it was true, of course, but she would just love to see the expression on someone’s face if she did say it. Elana smiled to herself. Not that she would ever be able to work up the courage to actually do it.

“I see you took my advice,” a voice near her ear startled Elana and she looked up into a pair of warm brown eyes. “You make that dress look fantastic,” Anthony smiled.

Something in his gaze unsettled her. What is wrong with me? Oh, yes, this is the first real complement I’ve gotten since... Elana tipped her head. It had been so long she couldn’t even remember it. She suddenly realized that the feeling wasn’t discomfort, but pleasure. “Thanks,” she said.

“May I?”

“Please do.” Elana gestured at the empty chairs around the table. “Take your pick. So what brings you here?” she asked.

“Ben and I met in college,” Anthony said. “And you?”

“I’ve known Emily most of my life.”

“Amazing how little things bring us together with people,” Anthony said. “I mean, one day you meet someone in a women’s dressing room and the next you run into them at a wedding. What are the chances?”

“You mean, one day you’re whistling at someone in a women’s dressing room,” Elana corrected.

“I’m not going to live that one down any time soon, am I?” Anthony shook his head and smiled.

Elana couldn’t help but smile back. His face was boyishly handsome and those dimples... well, she had found herself thinking of them far too often. “So did you find a dress for your daughter – Cara, was it?”

“Yes, and yes.” Anthony pointed across the room where Elana noticed Cara for the first time.

The teenager was looking sweet in a rose pink dress with a fluttering ruffle that swept from one shoulder across the dress and down to the hemline. It was perfect. Next to Cara stood another girl wearing a green version of the dress Cara had been trying on. She looked extremely uncomfortable and had her arms wrapped around her chest as though trying to hide the vast amounts of exposed skin.

“She looks beautiful,” Elana said. “Good choice.”

“Actually, I have you to thank,” Anthony said. “Once you told her that color looked good, she wouldn’t even look at anything else and she picked that one because the ruffly part kind of imitated the way those sparkles are on your dress.” He wiggled his fingers toward Elana and she had to smile at his charming lack of understanding for feminine things.

“All right, enough about Cara,” he said, standing up.

“Are you going?” Elana asked, realizing that she didn’t want him to leave.

“Nope,” he said. “It’s just that your dress is far too gorgeous to leave sitting over in the corner here. Let’s take it out for a spin. I don’t really dance, but I’ll try to avoid your toes.”

“Well, I don’t really...” Elana started.

“Is it against your religion?”

“No.”

“Are you paralyzed?”

“No.”

“Have you taken some sort of vow against dancing?”

“Not really,” she laughed.

“Then there’s no reason for you not to. Come on,” and Anthony held out a hand giving her another smile.

“All right,” Elana gave in. “I suppose one dance couldn’t hurt anything.” She hadn’t danced since... No. She cut herself off. She would not think about that now. She was going to just enjoy this moment, allow herself to actually enjoy the company of a young, attractive man that wanted to dance with her and complement her. Good things had happened so rarely recently that she was not going to allow herself to sabotage this moment.

She held out her hand and Anthony helped her to her feet and led her to the dance floor. The music was some sort of big band thing and was great for getting you moving to the beat. Anthony was just a few inches taller than her, even in her low heels, and Elana enjoyed being able to actually look up at a man. She was five foot nine and, therefore, as tall or taller than most of the men she knew. Anthony was just over six foot. The perfect height, she thought to herself and then tried not to blush.

After only a few moments it became obvious that Anthony was a good dancer. He led her around the dance floor quite competently and, even though Elana had never been much of a dancer, his confidence had her moving with barely a thought.

“You can dance,” she accused.

“Caught me,” he grinned. “But I didn’t know if you were a terrible dancer or not, so I didn’t want to make you feel bad, just in case you were.”

“So what would you have done if I had no rhythm and wobbled all over the place?” Elana asked.

“I would have promptly stepped on your feet, tripped a few times and possibly spun you into some unsuspecting couple so that your clumsiness would be overlooked in the shadow of mine.”

“The perfect gentleman.”

“Oh, no. It just gives me a reason to act like a twelve year old,” Anthony grinned impishly down at her. “Perfect opportunity to completely embarrass my daughter.”


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Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pretty Please with Sugar on Top and a Cherry

I have a small request to make of all you lovelies.

A number of people have been posting lately about the whole word verification thing. No, I am not going to talk about that.

I, for one, don't mind the WV. I find it quite funny and am one of those people that makes up definitions for them. Some of which I will share for you in a minute.

But please, please, please with sugar on top change the way your comment boxes pop up. There are some of you that I dearly, dearly love and I will not avoid your blog if you don't change this, but it would make my visit even more enjoyable.

The thing to which I am referring is the dreaded reloading page.

You know, when you leave a comment, hit post and then have to wait for it to reload before you can put in the VW and then have to hit post again and then wait for it to reload so you can click on the follow up e-mail button. Please, my lovely, lovely blogger friends. This is my single biggest pet peeve when it comes to your blogs.

If you don't know how to change it I will even give you step by step instructions here :)

  1. Click on Customize at the top of your page (you can also get to this through your dashboard I believe)
  2. Click the Settings Tab
  3. Click the Comments Tab
  4. Change Comment Form Placement from embed to pop up (like mine) or full page. (personally I like pop up better, because I can refer to the original post while commenting)
  5. Hit Save Settings at the bottom.
That's it! It's really easy and I will love you forever and ever. Promise.

Okay, now for some of my personal VW definitions:

tromphoo - trombone cleaner

baticonf - a conference for Batman fans

sledepo - a store for toboggans

tablephi - where a sorority eats

Mothyte - a faithful worshiper of Mothra

bomist - the fine dust left after an explosion

gratest - the best way to shred cheese

tridoid - the three fold ruling council of the robots

bervabor - someone that only eats bear meat

mindamp - used to make one's thoughts louder

AuthAway - a writer's retreat - and no stealing this one - I'm totally copywriting it!

How about you? Any fun words you've invented? How about leaving me a comment and making one up :D