Monday, June 30, 2008

My First Reality Show?

Okay so this probably isn't what you would have guessed but tonight I ended up watching an episode of "All About Dung". I'll have you know it was actually interesting once I got over the ick factor.

Bet you didn't know there are labs with boxes upon boxes upon boxes of stored dried dung and experts that can identify all on sight. They even have prehistoric mammoth dung. Studying the samples reveals a lot about environmental conditions of the time.

As part of the African dung safari, they did a segment on beetles. In one heap of rhino dung there were over 150 different species of dung beetles. Some burrow to feast while others roll the balls off the their lairs. The rolling ones can grow to be too big to fit in your fist and are strong enough to move something 40 times their own weight long distances which they put into perspective by having the host attempt to roll the safari wagon, fully loaded with guides and crew. He couldn't budge it. My question about this - why do all the rhinos go in the same spot?

Another interesting tidbit for you...Elephants have 62 feet of intestines and produce enough dung to fill an average car trunk daily. But, since they only absorb about 40% of the nutrients they ingest, it's highly fertile and makes up for the destruction they cause as they graze.

One of the biggest dung heaps in the natural world is in a cave in South America. It was formed by eons of birds and bats contributing to it. Seriously, this thing looked like a glacier. It was over 100 feet high at the peak and the whole darn pile was teeming with creepy crawlies. The host dug a few shovels worth just to show that the entire mound was alive. The host was sinking in up over his boots. I was itching just watching because I'm certain some of them ended up in the boots with him.

There was a family in England in the 1700's that mined guano on islands off the coast of Peru. They ended up incredibly wealthy. The workers? Conditions on the islands were so bad there is record of 342 Chinamen linking arms and walking into the sea to die rather than continue to use pickaxes on the centuries old build-up in order to shovel it into bags. And you thought you had a shitty job. Hey, quit groaning. You had to know that would be in here somewhere.

Did you know there are acutally restaurants that serve food and coffee that has been collected from dung? A few ounces of the coffee beans that have passed through a civet costs $650, Apparently passing through the cat destroys some of the coffee beans' natural bacteria thus giving it a mellower flavor. Another odd edible comes from tree-climbing goats. They eat fresh nuts straight from the trees which are then processed by the goat, collected from the ground and squeezed into an oil to be used on salads, much like olive oil. Um, nope, neither is a trend I think I'll need to indulge in.

One last thing and then I'm done with this one. The expression "sitting on the throne" comes from King Louis XIII. He had a thing about defecating in public so he had his throne modified to double as a toilet. When making proclamations and seeing those seeking audience it was not unusual for him to drop trou and go about doing his business. French aristocracy, go figure.

Imagine, spending your life traveling the world to research all things dung. There are lots of weird occupations that I wouldn't mind taking a stab at but this is definitely not one of them.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Was a Bad Teenager Too

Picture received from a MySpace friend in response to Saturday's blog.
I like it so I thought I'd share it with you.

Well, it's not shocking, but it might make you chuckle.

I grew up out in the middle of nowhere. The entire school district was rural except for the actual village that housed the school. I just checked and the population of the township, village included is still only 2600.

Yeah, not a whole heck of a lot to do there unless it was fair weekend. I'll tell you Oley fair stories some other time. Today, I want to share one of the activities my friends and I engaged in once the first of us began to drive.

Now you'll probably think this is lame but we got a kick out of it. And it was harmless for the most part, an inconvenience more than anything. We'd wait until after dark and then go rearrange real estate signs. See? I told you it wasn't all that big a deal. But think about it for a moment if you would.

Imagine coming out of your house in the morning and seeing a sign on the lawn. We always chose houses of kids we knew. Generally ones whose parents left for work earlier than the kid went out for the bus. We'd then individually corner them at some point during the day and ask why and when they were moving. Oh I should mention that we also tended to target the ones that we knew were overly paranoid.

Sounds like a worthwhile prank now, doesn't it? And just to make sure we never were suspected, we'd put a sign in one of our own yards now and then, to throw everyone off.

So, what did you and your friends do for fun when you had no money to actually go out and do something traditional?


No real blog today. That drudge who's supposed to deal with the household chores around here has been slacking off lately so now I have to bite the bullet and do them myself.

Hopefully I'll encounter something interesting in my travels tomorrow and be able to share it with you. If not perhaps you'll hear more about my misadventurous youth.

For a comprehensive report on world news stop by Amarinda's blog. She's summed up today's events for us.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I AM a Goddess!!!

Sometimes anger is a good thing. Mine finally kicked in last night. Unfortunately it took another round of kicking me for it to happen but it's here now and I'm going to use it to my advantage.

Without going into unnecessary details I'll give you what you need to make sense of my babbling. As you may or may not know, I ended a very bad long term relationship last fall. I've been redoing my life ever since, reclaiming me as it were, digging all the parts of me back out that I'd buried deep inside for safekeeping.

A few months after I regained my freedom, I happened to bump into an old, old friend who I thought would make the perfect transition guy. You know what I mean, someone who would help me relearn how to have fun and provide me with a much needed confidence boost. Someone who was good for me who, in turn, would reap the benefits of all my pent up, well, you know.

At the beginning, he was exactly that. And then it changed. I think he scared himself because he was more attached than I was. Would I have gotten there eventually? We'll never know that because last week he underwent a complete personality transformation and severed our contact in a very cruel and heartless manner. And yesterday, as if that wasn't enough, he added to it.

Yes, I was very hurt. In a lot of ways I still am. My confidence is even shakier than before. My self-worth is even more lacking. Until I sat down and honestly thought about it and put it into the proper perspecitve that is.

It's his loss, not mine. One day he's going to wake up and realize what a fool he was to carelessly toss me aside because sooner or later I am going to be so damn incredible that being with me would have made him the luckiest man alive. It's my sincere belief that he will end up a lonely, bitter man.

And, now that I've said that once, I will do everything within my power to make it happen. I will be a me so good that you can't even begin to imagine it now. And who will share that with me? I don't know yet but you better believe it won't be him. Nope, next time I'm holding out for someone who is truly worthy and will worship me for the goddess I am.

Hey, hold on a second. I'm having a revalation. I think, perhaps, this experience did serve a purpose after all, though not the one I anticipated. Instead of rebuilding my confidence in all things dating, something I assure you I won't be attempting again in the near future, he helped to restore something much more valuable, my abitlity and willingness to stand up and fight for myself. That's an aspect of my personality that's been very illusive the last few years. Hm, I wonder if I continue to ponder this if I'll then figure out why it needed to be such a painful lesson learned.

Friday, Finally

When I sat down to write this I had intended to do two things. One, thank you all for the kindness and concern I’ve received over the last few days. I must say it’s a bit overwhelming but you’ve made me feel hugged and worthy.

The second thing I planned was an apology for my blogs being so heavy lately. But then I thought about it and changed my mind. Life isn’t always sunshine and butterflies. Frankly, I don’t even think it should be because then the good things wouldn’t mean as much.

Just to let you know, I am starting to feel better. I’ve be doing things to cheer myself up. How, you asked?

I surfed the net, checking out foreclosures in Maine. Found a few that are doable but I’ve decided it might be wisest to think on it for a week. I’m not quite as brave as the individual who emailed me about how he really did walk out on his entire life one Wednesday afternoon. His sabbatical lasted two and a half years and he says he doesn’t regret a bit of it. Hm, perhaps Wednesday’s the day for that sort of thing so I’ll wait until then to do anything.

I sent the link for my free read to a local radio host. I asked him to read it and added that, since I’m local he may have passed me on the street one day while I was picturing the events from my story within my mind. Yeah, that should preoccupy him the next time he’s doing a promo downtown. Maybe I’ll stop and introduce myself one day.

There was almost something else but I haven’t been able to locate the black pins required when using a voodoo doll. I don’t store them with the doll as I wouldn’t want to inadvertently injure someone if I happened to bump it and one stuck. There’s still one more place to check. If they’re not there it’s off to the local fabric store with me. I’ll let you know how it works.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sometimes There are No Goodbyes

Dreams die first. That’s what they tell you. What if you never had any? Or what if you only have nightmares? Would it then be such a bad thing to have them die?

Life’s too short. Depends on the kind of life you have, doesn’t it? What if life is filled with unending pain or paralyzing sadness? Maybe then life’s too long.

Don’t take it so personally. Mm, right. Like that’s possible. Really, how can you not when you’re directly involved and have just been squashed like the proverbial bug?

Stop overreacting. It’s not all that bad. Well, no, in and of itself, it isn’t that bad. But what if it’s the last straw in a long line of not that bad things? What if this little nothing is the one that finally tips the balance and makes it too much? What if you’ve reached the point where any further effort seems futile? Then what?

What if life has gotten so bad you can’t stand it another second? Wait, before you start jumping to inaccurate conclusions here I am NOT talking about myself. Honestly, I’m not. Yes, I do have some things I’m dealing with but none are anywhere close to being that bad. Besides I value myself and my life too much to even consider that. Not to mention I have a few good friends who I know I can reach out to as needed.

So what am I rambling about? I had a friend once, the one in the red plaid boxers, who couldn’t handle it anymore. He’d moved away by then and we only talked a few times a year. I didn’t know how bad it had gotten and he didn’t tell me. He did call to say goodbye only he didn’t actually say the words so I didn't realize it. I’ve replayed the conversation over in my mind a gazillion times and each time there is no hint of what he intended.

I know I’m not to blame. I know there was nothing I could have said that would have made a difference. Well, no, actually I don’t know that. I didn’t have the chance to try. And I most definitely would have had I been given that chance.

It’s been twenty years now and sometimes I still feel just as bad as I did then, like I let him down. Like I should have known somehow. Like I should have been able to do something. I wonder if the sense of hopelessness and guilt will ever go away. I doubt it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Just Because

Ever have a day when you have a strong urge to just walk out of your own life? That’s the kind of day I’m having today. I’m restless for absolutely no reason. Nothing new has gone wrong. Nothing’s changed significantly. No one’s harassing me. I like my job. Overall I like my life. I just don’t want to be a part of it today.

Don’t worry, I’ll still be here tomorrow. I may not want to be but I will. I go through this from time to time, always without cause. It seems to be just how I am. That’s part of the reason I have my cats. To keep me grounded. Without them, it would be much easier to run away from home. With them, I force myself to remain responsible in ways that merely owning a home does not. A house is just a building. The inanimate things within it are just that, things. Sure I like my things and would miss having some of them but really there isn’t anything I couldn’t exist without.

The feeling began last evening. I spent much of my night considering where I would go and what I would do. My decision? There wasn’t one. Usually I form a vague plan when I get like this. Not this time. I would simply leave and figure out where I was going when I got there. I think I’d be able to survive just fine. I’m not useless. I could come up with something to do to support myself. Yes, I’m certain of that. Still, it’s probably a good thing I’m not independently wealthy at the moment.

So what would you do if you suddenly decided to trade in your life for a new one? Have you ever wanted to do that or is it just me? What stops you?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wrting News

First mine:

I received my copy of the July issue of Scarlet Magazine today. My short story, Happy Birthday to Me, is in the center pull out Cliterature section. So cool to see MY name on the page even if I don’t know many people I could actually show this to. It’s not up on the Scarlet site until next month but you can read it in the Total-E-Bound’s Free Read section of their new and improved website. You can click on the Scarlet cover to get there. Warning – It’s a very short story with a whole lot of heat so don’t be surprised. That’s what the magazine people require. Generally, my stories have a plot surrounding the steamy stuff which makes everything fit nicely. I'd love to hear what you think.

I have a question for writers. What do you do if you finish something and can’t decide if you like it well enough to submit it? Send it anyway? Let a trusted few read it and go on their opinions? Trash it and start on something else? I am essentially finished with my most recent WIP and I think it sounds mechanical. I let someone new see it and she commented that I make the characters come to life, that she can picture them clearly. Maybe I’m just being paranoid but I’m still just not sure even though this individual reads a lot and makes sense when we’ve discussed books other than mine.

Now for something from Ellora’s Cave:

We've decided to hold the first EC Convention (2009)in Akron, Ohio. I spoke with the convention center this week and should have bids from several area hotels by July 1st. I will meet with them again on July 2nd to schedule some appointments with the hotels we are interested in. If all goes well, we should have details for you by the end of July. We are looking at the following dates (all Friday-Sunday) :

Sept., 18th - 20th
Sept., 25th-27th
Oct., 2nd – 4th

Please put a post out on your sites to see if your readers are interested in attending. This will help a great deal to estimate the number of rooms we will need. Ask them to respond with name, address and Ph# (optional) via email to
conventions@ ellorascave. com (notice that "conventions" is plural). Mention the above dates and the following "tentative" outline.

Friday Night – EC/CP/TLC Celebration Party
Saturday Morning – Continental Breakfast
Day – Workshops
Night – Awards Banquet **The city is working on something fun for you to do (if interested and thirsty) after the Awards Banquet.**
Sunday Morning – Continental Breakfast
Afternoon – Book Fair
Evening – An author sponsored event. RT has a movie and popcorn night at their farewell gathering. If you want to participate or have a suggestion please let me know.

Once I have an idea of the number of interested people (authors, readers, book stores, models), and we decide on the hotel, food, etc., we'll be able to determine the cost.

Am I going? I’d like to but really don’t know if I can yet. How about you?

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Was a Bad Child

Yesterday I went to a surprise birthday party for a friend of my father’s who turned 80. While there, I had the chance to speak with all sorts of people I haven’t seen for years and years. Let me tell you it was interesting to watch the reactions after I answered the question of what I was doing these days. I guess my response of writing erotic romance novels and working at a halfway house wasn’t what was expected.

Two of the ladies I chatted with were among my first babysitters. Seeing them brought up all sorts of memories. One of my mother’s which surprised me was that their services were often required not because I was bad and made to stay home as punishment but because I refused to go along. It turns out I started that at three and was so stubborn that my parents gave up forcing me to do something once I made up my mind I didn’t want to. It seems I’m consistent with that one.

Another memory that surfaced yesterday was about a babysitter that I honestly did not like. No, she wasn’t at the picnic. She rarely played with me and often simply ignored me. I tried to tell my mom this but for reasons of her own, she wouldn’t believe that it was as bad as I said it was. After all, who takes the word of a four-year-old over a supposedly responsible young adult?

Well, one day I was left to my own devices and I decided to do something about it. I found a red marks-a-lot marker that I was not permitted to play with since they are permanent and colored my entire hand and arm up to my elbow before she noticed what I was doing. When my mother returned, the babysitter had me on a chair by the sink and was using some sort of household cleaner in an attempt to scrub it off. Yes, that was the last time I saw her. And it only took the rest of the summer for the red to wear off.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Power of Suggestion

When I was in my teens I knew an extremely annoying boy. It seemed he went out of his way to irk me every chance he could. He pushed and picked and goaded until I was ready to scream. Seriously, he worked my last nerve in ways you can’t imagine. Thank goodness we went to different high schools.

We were, however, at various music festivals together throughout the year. They were generally three-day events where participants won their spots by audition. I was a fairly decent string bass player as was his best friend and he played the trumpet. I really think he was jealous that his friend and I spent so much time whispering during practices. What he always failed to understand was that his friend and I had become buddies long before he showed up and no amount of interference from him was going to change that. Our mutual friend always managed to remain neutral. He enjoyed us both and refused to get involved in our disputes. Good for him I thought. What I didn’t get was why I had no problem sharing the time while he couldn’t stand doing the same. Especially when my pal and I mostly saw each other at musical events and they were in the same school day in and day out.

Anyway, we were at this festival and I’d had enough. I’d been reading a series to do with witchcraft and it was in the front of my mind so I stated that I would put a curse on him if he didn’t back off. Of course he simply laughed and continued the torment.

A month later we all attended the next gathering. Much to my amazement my nemesis was quiet and respectful whenever I was near. While we were rehearsing he would steal glimpses at me, looking away the instant he was caught. Finally I asked our friend what was going on. It turns out the week following the previous festival, his family’s only car was stolen. The week after that, his mother ran away from home. The next week, the one before the current festival, part of his house burned down. The pain was totally freaked because he was certain my curse caused everything.

I asked for a private moment during the next break and the poor guy literally paled but followed me off to the side of the stage anyway. I assured him that I had merely been talking, that I was not any sort of witch, that my curse was bogus, and that I had absolutely no power whatsoever unless you count the power of suggestion. I also expressed my sincere concern for his family’s troubles and offered to listen should he ever need to ramble. He accepted, though timidly.

That one was the last for the season. By the time the summer music program began his mom was back, they had a new car and a rebuilt, nicer-than-before home. Even so, he always kept his distance and refrained from any additional teasing.

I’ve recently had a not so pleasant experience with a different unkind male. Even though I know better, I’ve been considering issuing another curse, one more personal that clearly specifies it only affect him. One that does no real damage but would plant questions in his mind when little, everyday things went wrong. You know, the kind of things that always go wrong anyway. Hm, perhaps I will. Or perhaps I won’t. You’ll never know, will you? Yes, I’m speaking to someone specific here who I know reads this while vehemently denying it so perhaps you should be afraid. And perhaps you should check your parts.

As for the rest of you, have a very pleasant day. I know I will.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

To Google or Not to Google?

I was being nostalgic the other day and my mind landed on my first crush. I was in fourth grade, at a choral concert for the school where my mother taught. Even then I was a people watcher. One boy in particular fascinated me. After the concert he passed us in the hallway and stopped to say hello. Gasp! He spoke to me!

That was the year I started string bass lessons. My teacher…the choral director. Funny how life works, isn’t it? Within two years I was participating in that school’s summer orchestra festival even though I didn’t go there. Yep, my boy, who was by then a junior, played an instrument too.

Even though I was an outsider most everyone knew me because of my mother. Still, not all were welcoming the first day. I’ve always looked older than I was so few realized I wasn’t also in high school. My fascination had always been kind, chatting with me whenever we ran into each other even though I was generally too tongue-tied to say much so he knew I was just a kid. He went out of his way to speak with me which earned me a little more acceptance from the others.

The following year I attended my first overnight music festival, the only one from my school, and the youngest person there. Yes, you guessed it. The same individual came to my rescue there as well. He had been attending for years and was very popular. Being included by him made me instantly part of the group. Nope, I still couldn’t manage to speak at first but he pretended not to notice as he always had.

After he graduated, he still attended various school functions in support of his younger sister. We didn’t cross paths often but when we did he was always his same pleasant self. I didn’t see him again after she finished school but I had heard he pursued his musical talent and went far.

Yesterday, when I thought of him, I decided to google him since I was sure he was famous enough to be found. I was correct. He had gone on to do lots of incredible sounding things all over the world. Unfortunately, I also found his obituary. He died last autumn in a freak home accident, a fall down the steps. Though I hadn’t consciously thought of him in years, it still saddened me. I always liked having him in the back of my mind, thinking he was out there somewhere and maybe someday I’d bump into him again. I always expected he’d be the same towards me, friendly and glad to see me. I’m certain of it.

As I sit here now, remembering his ongoing kindness to the scared kid I was when we met, I wish I hadn’t done that search. I wish I didn’t know he was well and truly gone. How can I miss someone I haven’t seen for 30 years and never knew very well to begin with?

The moral...Google at your own risk.

On a much happier note, I saw my great aunt today for her 92nd birthday. Her body is slowing but her mind is as sharp as ever. What a remarkable woman!

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Day

Today was chore day for my car. I had the day off for a different reason originally but plans changed and I was free to do some necessary though unexciting things.

I started the day having the chips in my windshield repaired. One was beginning to crack so I thought it best to take care of it before I needed the whole thing replaced. A man in average, everyday shorts showed up at the appointed time in an unmarked van. He was carrying a towel and a small, black, zippered bag that turned out to contain a nifty gizmo that managed to make my windshield look brand new. How? First, he drilled a tiny whole to expand the chip. Then he positioned the gizmo to hold some gunk over the spot. It was a sort of resin stuff that ate up the air that worked it's way into the center of the windshield through the chip. Using an ultraviolet light, the schmutz was cured, forming a clear seal which the guy then used a razor blade to even out so you can't even feel it's there. A few seconds of polishing and he was all finished.

Of course I hung out and chatted while he worked. The man himself is a drummer for various bands, including a very popular dixieland band who is playing in a local park tomorrow. Too bad I won't be home or I'd go. But I may have the chance to see them at the bar on the corner since he was busy checking it out as we talked. Pretty cool if that works out...great music in my own block at a place with tasty food and luscious beverages. Want to join me?

My next objective was my headlight. Mission accomplished at $14 less than the estimate. Woo hoo! As I waited, I saw one of the salesmen looking over my car while the mechanic replaced my light. I'm expecting another letter like the others I've gotten after every trip to the dealer, telling me how much they'd like to have my car on their used lot and that they have the perfect upgrade for me. Sure, no problem. Make it an even trade and I'm in.

Since I accomplished such useful things, I rewarded myself with an excursion to the Port Clinton Hotel. If you ever go to the Cabelas in Hamburg, it's only a few minutes away and I'd recommend it for a touch of local color. It's not the fanciest place but the food was great and today's company even better. I went with a few former coworkers, the ones I've stayed in touch with. I met them where I used to work and was a few minutes early so I went inside to say hi. Weird, I spent almost 23 years of my life going there five days a week and I can honestly say I don't miss it one bit. A few of the people, the ones I still see, yes but overall, not so much. If I hadn't already thanked my former boss for the deal he made that got me out of there I'd go back and do that next week.

So what are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I went out into the courtyard when I got to work this morning to feed my two squirrels and came face to face with a very fat and happy possum. I think perhaps she’s been snacking on the cat food as possums are known to do. She wasn’t at all concerned that I was there so I said good morning. She tipped her head and went back to what she was doing.

There was an article in this morning’s paper about a fawn that was running panicked through the city. Several residents were interviewed, all of which said they’d never seen a wild animal in person before. That amazed me even more than the deer wandering around downtown. Yes, Reading is a city but it is still surrounded by rural areas. I can’t imagine never having gone anywhere nearby and seen some nature along the way. Sadly, I later learned she broke her jaw during her excursion and had to be euthanized. I hope her spirit warns others away.

Something else that surprised me today was yet another individual that could not tell a flower from a weed even though the flowers are blooming. Is it just me or do you wonder how that’s possible as well?

I grew up about ten miles outside of the city. We had possums and raccoons that would come up on the porch. The bunnies, deer, foxes and wild turkeys would stroll through the yard whether or not we were in it. My parents, who were both city people, figured it out on their own and had both vegetable and flower gardens. I guess, in that way, my childhood was more fortunate than others.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Speak Clearly and Confidently

I have yucca plants growing in my yard that on occasion I separate and share. Years after I gave some to a coworker the woman stopped by my desk to tell me how nicely they were growing and spreading. She followed it up by asking what was causing the holes in her yard surrounding the plants.Without batting an eye and in all seriousness I replied, “Prairie dogs.” I went on to explain how yucca plants are known to attract them and therefore, any in the immediate area were being drawn to her yard. I expressed my surprise that she hadn’t seen any in person and told her that if she watched closely I was sure she would.

Naturally, she wanted to know if there was anyway to rid her yard of the prairie dogs because the ridges from the tunnels they were digging were becoming a nuisance. I informed her that her only hope was if someone else in the neighborhood planted yuccas and suggested she may want to pass some on.

What you need to keep in mind is that we live in eastern Pennsylvania. The only prairie dogs in this region are in zoos. But I sounded so knowledgeable and reasonable as we were speaking that she believed me. For days, I sat back and listened to the story of what a nuisance prairie dogs were as it circulated throughout the office until someone finally explained to her that I was teasing. Even then, she still returned to me to verify that with me before accepting the other individual’s word on it.

Just goes to show you shouldn’t always believe everything everyone tells you no matter how convincing they may sound.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Cosmic Reminder

Last night Harry and I went out to sit on the porch to watch it rain. I was feeling a little mopey because someone I believed to be a friend showed his true colors. He is not to be trusted. His insanity is not the good kind. How disappointing.

Patches of sky lightened, though it still rained. Blindly watching the ridge, I saw first one, then a second rainbow form.

Years ago there was a woman I worked with, SP. We talked often about pretty much anything. One day, we were heading home, her walking because she lived just up the street, me driving across town. We ended up at the same corner just in time to see a double rainbow over the mountain on the other side of Reading, the same one my porch faces. We smiled to acknowledge we'd seen it together. The next day we were discussing it and discovered that seeing the rainbows filled us both with a sense of peace and hope. A world that can create something so beautiful out of a little moisture and light can't be all bad.

Soon after that she moved away. We kept in touch only sporadically but every conversation started where the last had ended no matter how much time had lapsed. During one, she told me she had cancer. After that we talked more frequently, the last time just days before she died. That was when she brought up the rainbows and told me when I saw one it would be her saying hello.

So I sat there last evening in the presence of such beauty and had to smile. My friend, SP, was with me. She had been a very independent woman who would have kicked my butt for wasting a moment's worry on a second-rate poser who wasn't worthy of me to begin with. And she would have been right to do so. I am better than that. I do deserve more. I should be treated with respect and kindness and genuine affection, not taken for granted and used when convenient. She would have urged me to hold out for someone really, really good who matches me in all the right ways and to stop selling myself short. She would have reminded me that although it would be nice to have a man in my life it's not essential because I am more than capable and perfectly fine on my own. Yep, all the same things another friend said on Sunday after I ended up rambling at her - thank you again. I think SP decided I needed an extra push to help me listen, thus the rainbows.

Thanks for stopping by, SP. I've missed you. Come back soon.

Come along to Total-E-Bound's Pictionary Games Night on Thursday 19th June! We'll be playing from 7-10pm EST at Literagasm.

We've got some great prizes and a really fun games night for you, so get ready for some entertainment!!
Playing alongside you will be Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Barbara Huffert, Catherine Chernow, Desiree Holt, Jamie Hill, Alexis Fleming, Dakota Rebel, Ann Cory, Kaenar Langford. And the judges will be the fearsome TEB Editors! Grrr!

Here's how to play!
Every 10 minutes we will post a picture. All you have to do is think up a suitable caption for it. The funniest captions will win prizes.
And of course the night would not be compelete without some hot excerpts from our authors' latest offerings, so watch out for those in between the games.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Befriend Me at Your Own Risk

Two days ago, my friend Neeley moved back into the dorms. For the next year she's going to be working as a GA. Yesterday, she sauntered off to the shower wearing just her towel and locked herself out of her room. She had to knock on the dorm manager's door and ask him to go for the master key. Fortunately, or maybe not, they've been friends for years. Good in that he was so willing to drop everything in order to help her, not so good in that she'll never live this one down. Thank goodness she has a tremendous sense of humor. Otherwise I never would have heard about it.

Years ago I had a friend, we'll call him John, who was a salesman. At times, he travelled a lot. He used to be very sweet, calling when he was on the road, just to say hi.

I remember one trip when he was in a slightly odd hotel. It was in two parts, one on either side of the street. One morning he opened his door to get the complimentary newspaper. In his boxers. Problem was the paper was a bit too far from the door for him to reach without stepping into the hall and the door was weighted to close on its own. See where this is going? Being the polite southern gentleman that he was, he did not to tap on the neighboring door since it was very early in the morning. Now remember how I mentioned the hotel was in two parts? His room was not in the half with the lobby. And, although it was a fairly large hotel, there weren't house phones on each floor. Nope, the only one was on the first floor, just inside the exterior door. At the wall of windows. It may have been early but it was a big city where of course there's always someone around. Can't you just picture him in his red plaid boxers, on the phone, explaining to the desk clerk that he needed someone to come unlock his door and then riding up in the elevator with the staff member sent to assist him while attempting to maintain his modesty with the newspaper? As you might guess, he was a bit annoyed with me when I couldn't stop laughing long enough to make the sympathetic noises he was hoping for when he called. Unlike Neeley, John did not think it was the least bit funny.

Hm, I seem to have the tendency to expose portions of me at random and I have friends who end up running around sans clothes though not intentionally. Is it just me or does it seem like there is a pattern developing here?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

And the Winner is...


I won a wet T-shirt contest yesterday.

Hahaha, got your attention, didn't I? I should tell you that I was the only contestant. I was also the judge. Even so awarding me first prize was based on audience reaction.

I was outside, watering my flowers. Mm hm, now you're beginning to get it The hose nozzle isn't the best so it tends to spray water in all directions, not just where it's aimed. I hadn't really planned on watering at that particular instant but I looked out the window and saw a few plants that were really sad. I started without thinking much about it. In fact, I didn't even notice I was soaked and that my pale green tank top had turned translucent until the man who walks his tiny dog daily tripped over something in the alley, nearly squashing the dog. Naturally, I looked to see what was happening and caught him with his mouth gaping as he scurried away, dragging the poor dog behind him. Hm, not sure if he was running in horror of him or me.

I was already wet so I saw no point in going in to change since I'd just soak myself again. Who needs multiple sets of wet clothes drapped all over the house? Besides, I was in MY yard. Look at your own risk. I chuckled, quietly so he wouldn't hear me, and went back to what I was doing.

That's when the bunch of young teens wandered by. Well, wandered to my fence and stalled. The boys actually did the nudge each other and point bit. Yeah, like any of them could have missed me once the first one stopped dead, causing the others to plow into him. The girls, all very flat chested, weren't at all happy, especially once the comments began. Side note - just because someone's shirt is drenched, it does not follow that they are also deaf. I think the boys may have milled around until I was finished but the girls weren't having it. Good for them.

I suppose I should be more embarrassed than I am. I probably would be had someone I know gone by. Weird, aren't I? But they're only breasts. We've all seen them. Every second person you pass has them so what's the big deal? Technically they were covered so it's not like I was flashing the neighborhood. Not this time. Heck, that's happened so often since I moved in that I'm surprised anyone even notices anymore. And I'm sure it'll happen again because I'm so unconscious when it comes to that sort of thing so why get all worked up about it?

How I Woke Up Today

I sensed his presence on my pillow even before I was fully awake. The warmth under my cheek told me he'd stayed right as he'd been when I drifted off to sleep. I could tell he was waking when I felt a change in the soft puffs of his breath against my face. Slowly, I stirred, opening my eyes to meet a gaze as blue as the early summer sky. I smiled, happy simply because he was there.

Okay now calm down. You haven't missed anything, like me going out and meeting some ruggedly handsome stranger that I decided to invite into my life. I'm just messing with you as I get warmed up to write this afternoon. Who am I referring to? Why Mouse, of course!

I took my car to have the headlight fixed earlier. Or so I thought when I made the appointment. As it turns out, today was just the preliminary check-up to determine what was required and to provide an estimate. They need to order the part after having my approval for the expense. So now I get to waste part of my Friday off next week to return and sit there yet again while paying them $450 for the privilege of doing so. I'm now debating whether to go through insurance or not. If I do my rates will increase since they've already warned me that would happen with the next occurrence. I live in a high risk area. That means even though I park legally out front of my house, the idiots who leave the bar and then play bumper cars in the street are causing me all sorts of continued aggravation.

There's a free preview of all the movie channels this weekend. Oh goody, 32 more channels of nothing to watch. That's not entirely true. Currently, I'm watching Miss Potter, a biography about Beatrix Potter and the obstacles she faced in being published. She viewed the animals in her illustrations as her friends and to her, they were. In her mind, she saw them come to life within her stories. Her mother constantly nagged her on her unmarried state and the nonsense of doing something so frivolous as writing books. Hm, except for her subject matter she wasn't so different, was she?

If you look to the right, you'll see the cover for the Lust Bites Anthology Volume 3. It contains Beyond Meddling and will be in print this July as part of the Total-E-Bound anniversary celebration.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just a Bit

Mouse hasn't been doing well this week. In fact, when we went to the vet today I fully expected him not to be coming home again. Yes, I've been a mess for days. Happily, he's here tonight. Arthritis, pinched nerve, ear infection, dehydrated from sleeping in the attic, with a lump on his side from the IV fluids he needed and probably will weekly for the rest of the summer, but still here.

Whew! I'll never be prepared for it but when the time comes and the vet recommends it I will do what is best for him. Even so, I must confess how glad I am that today was not that day. He's here next to me now, purring even though as he's flopping his tail in annoyance at me for stuffing him in the carrier and taking him to that place.

Since I'm feeling so wrung out and really just want to sit here and cuddle with Mouse how about a spicy excerpt?

Blurb - My Last Dark Day

Things are often not as they first appear…

What’s a woman to do when faced with yet another in a never-ending cycle of anniversaries

guaranteed to ruin her day?

Step one, respond when contacted on-line by a friendly couple.
Step two, accept the wife’s claim of the husband’s empathic sensitivities as fact.
Step three, go along quietly when the husband miraculously comes to the rescue just when he’s needed most.
Step four, have the courage to put complete control in his more than capable hands.
Step five, don’t think. Go with the flow. Be open to all possibilities. Relax and enjoy.
Step six, repeat frequently.

Excerpt My Last Dark Day - VERY Adult

“Stop thinking. Concentrate on your body instead.” One hand returned to my bare pussy, petting, rubbing, stroking. “You’re aroused. Look at your nipples,” he paused until I did, seeing the truth in their puckered state. “Your pussy is already wet just from that little bit of attention. It wants more. You want more. I’m here, hon. I know what you need. And I will give it to you. Oh yeah, I can give you exactly what you need. I can help you. I want to help you. I can make you feel what you’ve been missing all these years. I know how.” His thumb traced my slit but didn’t part it. “But not until you say it. Not until you tell me this is what you want. Not unless you ask me to help you.” A fraction deeper but no where near deep enough. I moaned. “It’s up to you. You have to say it or nothing more will happen tonight. You have to tell me you’re putting yourself in my hands, that you want me to teach you how to find pleasure.” The movement ceased, his palm resting on my mound, poised to continue if I actually found the courage to do what we both knew I desired.
“Please,” I said in a small voice.
“Please what?”
“Please. P-please help me. Show me what it’s like,” I pleaded. I waited but he didn’t respond. He merely stared with one eyebrow raised, silently demanding that I continue. “Please teach me to feel. Teach me about pleasure and passion. Do whatever it takes so I can finally get it. Give me what I need. Please help me. Oh please,” I practically sobbed.
“You’re sure? You’re turning yourself over to me willingly, knowing that if you do, I will be intimately acquainted with your entire body by the time we’re finished here?”
“Yes, I understand all that. Yes, I’m giving myself to you completely,” I said, hearing myself, wanting what I was asking for yet not quite believing I was about to do what I was about to do. “I’m putting myself in your hands because, I trust you to take care of me.”
His expression was pure satisfaction. I responded correctly and he was pleased. Until then, I hadn’t realised how important that had become, but apparently it was. Very much so. And, my actually having done so made me feel proud of myself. So proud I would have giggled with glee had he not chosen that second to curl his fingers, cupping my mound firmly. I gasped, my eyes blinking between his hand and his face.
“Flat on your back now,” he said. “You’ll be able to feel what I’m doing so there’s no need to watch.”
I hesitated, glancing over his shoulder at his wife. For a moment, I let myself get so caught up in everything that I all but forgot she was there, that she even existed at all. Now that I was on the brink of having sex with her husband I was suddenly panicked at what she must think of me. Surely, she thought me a real tramp, a total slut, begging for it, offering myself up for anything and everything right in front of her.
“I told you to stop thinking,” he snapped. “If you want my attention then keep yours on me.”

Click on the cover to find out what happens next.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Well, I did it. I pushed the big scary button to publish my new website. But first I had to delete all of my old website with no way of saving it (that I know of). Amazingly enough, it worked!!!

D, wonderful individual that she is, helped send me in the right direction and taught me a bunch of basics and then I was off and running. It's not quite the same as hers was for her class project but overall I'm happy with it. Click on the banner and take a peek. Please let me know what you think. As long as you're kind, that is. I must confess I'm kinda proud of myself since I'm about the biggest techno-moron there is. Or should I say there was since I probably no longer hold that position?

I can now insert pictures within boxes and add links that open seperate windows all while balancing on my head in a bottle with a poodle doing battle with a noodle in a puddle. Oh, wait. That's Dr. Suess, not me.

And now for a brief rant. I just don't get it. What is the point of taking misplaced aggression out on harmless inanimate objects? What do those who do it get from it? Do they think it's funny? Something cool to impress their buddies? I'm asking because last night, some inconsiderate, er, individual smashed my headlight glass. There's not a chance I had angered anyone when I came home yesterday. My car was parked legally in front of my neighbor's house while his was in front of mine. See? No problem. Only it was, just because it was there. Now I have to lose part of my Saturday and spend some of my hard-earned money to have it replaced. The only part that makes this not entirely pukeable is that living in this general area means the odds of the same happening to whoever did it are very high. I wish them tenfold the aggravation and expense they caused me.

Feeling a Bit Dumb

For reasons I really can’t explain, I read a Farm Journal. Not something I ever did before and I doubt I’ll do so again because let me tell you it has me feeling somewhat ignorant. Honestly, I only read a few of the articles. Er, okay, I admit it. I started to read a few of the articles and then quit because I had no comprehension of what they were going on about. Obviously I don’t speak farm.

For example, did you know there is a Corn College? Apparently it’s a hot ticket because you can do an early bird registration, $325 for two days, and sessions are filling up fast. There will be hands-on training in the field as well as the classroom and attendance earns Certified Crop Adviser credits. Wouldn’t want to miss out on them now would you?

Something that intrigued me, well, maybe not, is that the same enzyme that helps cows digest grasses is now being implanted into corn cells in order to unlock sugars in the plant’s leaves and stalks for ethanol production. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for biofuels that are more environmentally friendly but do we really want to be messing with inserting animal genes into vegetable matter and all that implies? Another question about this is what happens if cows eat this genetically altered corn? Would they then be considered cannibals?

Here’s an interesting tidbit. In an attempt to cut the sow herd, Canada is offering its hog farmers a breeding animal buyout of $225 per head. In order to qualify, producers must empty one entire barn and can’t restock for at least 3 years. They anticipate 150,000 animals which will not be sold for human consumption. That’s $33,750,000 that the Canadian government is willing to pay for a contrived shortage. The point of it? To drive up pork prices for the farmers.

Just one last thing before I end today’s lesson on farming. Calf scours. Do you know what that is? Do you know the seven causes? I now do and trust me, you don’t want to.

Chat tomorrow, June 12, at TalkingTwoLips from 7-10 EST with a bunch of great Total-E-Bound authors. Stop by and join in the fun. I'm sure there'll be lots of spicy excerpts!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bittersweet Birthdays

Look, even Harry thinks it's too hot!

Today's his birthday. You know what that means? More birthday tuna. Yeah! No cooking for me tonight. He's going to be four and still hasn't outgrown his terrible twos. Yes AJ, cats have them too. His latest trick...unrolling the toilet paper while I'm attempting to sleep. Yell at him and he comes to the door to peek at me before going right back to it. I can actually see his naughty little boy smirk. On the odd occasion when I do manage to sleep through it, he's kept it up so long that he rerolls the paper in the other direction. That got me thinking the first time it happened. I tried putting the roll on the other way, just in case that was bothering him and nope, didn't matter. He still messed with it.

The other birthday today is a sad one. My dad's. He would have been 79 today. Since he ran out of things he actually needed years ago. I started the tradition of taking him to see a Broadway show every year. He was an awesome musician and loved musicals. Although he could play anything, he specialized in the piano. He was one of those who could play just about any request you could come up with. When I was young he was in a band. One night they played at Crystal Cave. Being five, I thought he meant in the cave itself. I hadn't been there yet so I envisioned him sitting at a baby grand like he did at home, surrounded by sparkly crystals in the floor, walls, and ceiling. This stayed in my mind for years until I went to the cave on a field trip and then came home and asked him about it. Turns out he played in the little club of the same name right next to the cave.

He was a Marine during the Korean war. During that phase of his life, he played a French horn in the Marine band on Parris Island. I wish I'd been able to see him in his dress uniform. I bet he was dashing. There are a few pictures but it's just not the same.

After that, he became a teacher. Music and history to start. Then he switched to guidance and eventually got his psycologist's license to help troubled kids in even more ways. I was always amazed at how quiet he was since that just doesn't fit with the whole Marine/musician image but that was my dad, a mass of contradictions and all of them interesting. My father was a genuinely nice man with a kind heart and a caring soul. I can't tell you how much I miss him.

My dad's favorite was cheesecake. The kind with both a cream cheese and a sour cream layer. It took all afternoon for me to make one since first you make the crust with melted butter which then has to chill. Next you add the cream cheese mixture, bake it and let it chill again. Finally you put on the sour cream mixture, bake it and chill it one more time before it's ready to eat. I sure wish he were here for his cheesecake now.

Yes please, away!

Have I Mentioned...

...that I hate summer? It’s only June and we’re already in the midst of a heat wave. Technically that means there have been 3 days over 90. A heat storm, which I suspect we’re having, is when the temperature is over 100 for 3 days. Factor in the dew point and the heat index is even higher. All I know is that it’s too hot to breathe out there today and is predicted to be even worse tomorrow.

The national weather service has been issuing heat advisories. They instruct you to check on the elderly and infirm, not to leave children or pets in the car, don’t leave pets outside to bake in the sun, especially without water. You know, basic common sense things. Sad isn’t it, that people need to be officially reminded?

I’d like to add something to the list that should also go without saying. Don’t put infants in a cool tub and then go outside to mow the grass. Yes, someone in this area actually did that and was then surprised to discover that the baby had drowned when he went back in later. This happened years and years ago and it still horrifies me.

Another thing that comes with summer are storms. Personally, I love thunderstorms. They’re predicted for tomorrow night but it’s not supposed to help significantly. Once when we had a rare tornado, I followed it, just to see. I hate that they kill people and do so much irreparable damage but still, they hold a certain fascination. There’s nothing that looks quite like a swath cut through a stand of trees by a tornado.

I have a screened in porch that faces the mountain behind Reading. I love to sit out on it and watch the lightening playing on the hill. It’ll start at one end and slowly move across the entire distance of about 15 miles before it disappears over the other end. With the way my house is angled I am rarely forced inside because of weather. The one exception to that was when the house across the alley from mine was struck by lightening. As much as I love storms, that was a little close, even for me.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

One of Those Days

I went on a local garden tour with my mother today. Six weeks ago when she asked if I was interested it sounded like a good idea. It was arranged to benefit the community library and had locations all around the local university town which is only about 20 minutes away so why not? Two reasons.

Reason one - It was 99 today in the shade of which most gardens had very little. Remember, I'm the girl who dies in the heat. I had half a migraine when I woke up this morning. But I said I'd go so I went.

Reason two - I already spent Thursday with my mother. Twice in one week is too much for us. One of the town yards was all garden and had no remaining grass. The one right after that belonged to someone who works with my brother. She's in the process of doing the same thing. My mom introduced herself, mumbled something about me and then went on and on about how lovely the yard was, including a discussion of the last full yard garden as well. After a few minutes the woman asked a question that made it clear she was trying to figure out just who I was. So I told her. Yes, much to my mother's horror, I explained that I was the black sheep of the family that no one talked about because I write "those" books after which I handed out bookmarks to the now small group of people who either also work with my brother or are known to my mother through her gardening. Then I mentioned that my yard has no grass and all flowers, something she failed to comment on all day. Yeah, I'm sure I used up my bitch quota with my family today but I think it was more than justified.

A side note here - the various gardens were each pretty in their own way and it was interesting to see what some people managed to do with small spaces so overall I am not sorry I went. And it was for such a good cause since I feel that anything that promotes reading is worth it.

You'll be very proud of me. This morning, at 2 AM, I installed my bedroom air conditioner all by myself. I was planning on asking my neighbor's muscular son to help today since the window no longer stays up on it's own and it's better with one person holding it while the other maneuvers the air conditioner but it didn't work out that way. I attempted to sleep of the sofa since the downstairs air conditioner stays in the window but Mouse had other ideas on that one. It's amazing how much space a little cat can take up when he spreads out. Anyway, I envisioned either the air conditioner falling inside, breaking my foot as the window crashed onto my head or falling outside, smashing through the cellar door. I was very pleased when neither happened. Also it was extremely nice to push the button and have cold air pour out as expected.

Back to work tomorrow. It's going to be a very tough week. The weather isn't supposed to break any time soon so I'm dreading it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Today's News

Apparently it's not only black cats that people need to be afraid of. There's been a new book found in Salem, in the floorboards of the first coven's house. Gee, imagine that. What a coincidence. The name of the guy that found it...Goth. The book...Black Beasts. Sensing a pattern here?

Among other supposedly unknown spells and curses, it contains a section on the consequences of crossing paths with various black critters.

Here are just a few:

Black horses give people huge sores on their butts. - Just by walking by? Wonder what happens if you ride one.

Black birds make you fall out of love with your spouse. - Sorry, doesn't specify if this is blackbirds or birds that are black.

Black bears put people in a coma for several months. - Maybe the bears just want a pillow for when they hibernate.

Black bats cause migraines. - Ah, so that's why I get them. Some witch sent a bat flying by when I was 8. Guess that's what happens when you're a bad child as I was.

Black goats cause the facial hair of onlookers to grow one hundred times faster than normal. - So it's not just a side-effect of aging? But I can't remeber encountering any goats on the streets of Reading lately.

Black squirrels drive people nuts. - Making a note to ask several people I know what color the squirrels in their yards are.

Goth goes on to say that, "This book could explain a number of mysterious maladies that people have suffered over the years.” Hm. Okay, moving right along...

There's a man in Kenya who after failing at being a plant safari guide, melon farmer, and impala rancher is now attempting to raise his body temperature by sitting in the sun during the hottest part of the day while drinking hot tea. He's already up to 106.6. His goal is 112 even though it's against his doctor's advice because there's a such good chance his head will pop before he reaches it. Why? Because he's never done anything important and this is his chance. And this is important because? He also claims his mother always wanted him to earn a degree or two. I suspect this is not what she had in mind. Hm, perhaps he played with black squirrels as a child.

In Romania vampires have determined that tuna blood has the same nutritional value as human blood. They are now lining the shores of the Black Sea, feasting on unsupecting tuna, throwing their drained carcasses back into the water. It's predicted that the tuna will shortly return to life which will severely damage the local fishing industry.

I see.

I think that's enough news for one day. I'm off to pick the last of my strawberries and then find a place to hide from the heatwave that's arrived six weeks ahead of schedule. Stay cool everyone.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Random Friday

Had the day off in order to do various errands that can't be accomplished after hours. Oh okay yes, I suppose they could be but it sounded like a good reason for taking a vacation day.

I confirmed something I've suspected for some time now. I can't afford to live. *sigh* Not much left to cut out but I'm sure I'll come up with something. I shouldn't be so dramatic. I'm a lot better off than most of the world so I have no call to complain. I have a home, not the fanciest and definitely not in the best neighborhood but it's sturdy and it's all mine. I don't share it with 23 various and assorted extended family members, all depending on me to keep them fed and sheltered. I have limitless books so I'll never be at a loss for entertainment. I figured it out once and at the pace of reading five books a week I'd have to live to be at least 127 in order to finish them all. And that was several years and many new books ago. Also it was before I started being such a slacker as far as reading goes. I am pleased to report that I'm half way through The Kite Runner. Maybe this'll get me back on track since I am enjoying the act of reading again. I also have a steady job with adequate health insurance, a decent savings plan, and a better than average amount of vacation. Yes, I really do need to suck it up and quit whining over not having anything leftover to play with.

My other errand was a much needed visit to the eye doctor. Still no contacts for me. I had cornea problems a while ago so there will never again be contacts for me. Hiss, spew - I ordered my first pair of progressive lenses. Isn't that a nicer word than bifocals? Not! They're not fooling anyone with it either. I'm now officially getting old, needing them. Another sign of that is the baby cataracts forming in both eyes. The doc says no need to be concerned for now. I have at least 15 years before we have to start to consider dealing with them. Oh goody, something to look forward to. I was stubborn and determined so I drove myself home after having eyedrops. Ever wear sunglasses on top of glasses? Not an easy trick but it's the only way I could see to get home. Well that and closing one eye at a time because it was too bright with both of them open.

I had my vicarious exercise with Neeley when I got home. She was hiking back from a physics midterm while I was semi-watching a show on the food network. Something about diners, drive-ins, and dives. Today's focus was burgers. One in particular caught my attention. Ground steak formed into patties, fried with onions, cheese melted on top, lettuce. Sounds good so far, doesn't it? I thought so too until they got to the last step of assembling it. Do you want to guess what they used to hold it all together? You never will so I'll tell you...peanut butter toast. Yes, that's correct...peanut butter toast. As someone who would rather eat smelly sweatsocks than peanut butter this sounds like the least appetizing thing ever. The diner owner said people either love it or hate it. I hate it without even needing to taste one and the show's host didn't much like it either. Neeley, on the other hand, is one of those who eats peanut butter straight from the jar so of course she's planning on trying one.

97 here tomorrow. Where are those cabana boys with the fans when you need one? Anyone have a spare you can send over for the next three months? I promise to return him with a smile.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Mostly Good Day

Only half a day of work and then I was off for the bike race. But first, lunch with my mom. Along the way we bumped into old friends that I haven't seen in almost two years who we then discovered again at the same restaurant as we were leaving. Too bad we didn't know or their plans or they could have joined us.

We got to our spot along the race route just as the first lap went by. Sorry the picture isn't better but it was taken with my phone. I always take my radio so I know what's going on the rest of the course. As the announcers switched from location to location I was pleased to hear plenty of cheering in the background. Hopefully there was enough support that the organizers will extend the commitment and keep the event in Reading. If so next year I'll either be on the steep hill or at the start/finish line.

Though I spent the day in the shade and the sun played peek-a-boo with the clouds I still managed to turn a nice shade of pink. Ah the hazards of being extremely pale with an aversion to heat.

After the race I was pleasantly surprised by a visit from a different old friend. This one is someone I've seen recently and who has been going through some tough times. I've been a tad concerned so I was very glad to hear things are back on track. A different track than before but one that seems to be much better for him. Seeing him relaxed and smiling has me doing the same.

Now for the part that detracted from my day. My Penguins season ended last night. They were thiiiiis close to scoring in the final seconds of the game which would have forced overtime but Dakota's Red Wings prevailed. Congrats D. We'll get you next year. Actually, I blame J for jinxing them during the first game of the series. He's the Flyers fan I mentioned before and I don't think he handled their loss to my Pens at all well. I think he figures if his team didn't get to win mine shouldn't either. Sorry for stirring him up, L but I know he's gloating. Thought I better remind him who just knocked his team out!

Back to the good stuff...I'm off tomorrow too so my weekend is already underway. Hope yours arrives soon.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

And braindead. Sorry, lots to do and not enough time to do it so how about an excerpt? A steamy one? Those of you who have already read this one, please forgive me. Those of you who haven't, why is that? Teasing, just teasing!


Deal of a Lifetime
Ellora’s Cave
ISBN 978 14199 0964 1

Annette thought she had the perfect solution to prevent what was meant to be a pleasant anniversary celebration from deteriorating into a never-ending lecture from her older sister on the sub-standard status of her entire life. Inventing a fictitious boyfriend, reportedly detained in an unavoidable, albeit imaginary business meeting, seemed like a harmless fib if telling it would ensure a festive evening. She even had a plan to cover his exit from her life later on.

Rich’s estranged wife had gone too far this time and he’d had enough. He had no clue what setting him up as another woman’s date for an evening of drinks, dinner, and theater with the woman’s family was supposed to accomplish but he was determined to find out. When his new better half didn’t so much as blink at his unexpected arrival he decided right then and there that he wasn’t letting her out of his sight. He’d play his role of escort to the hilt to get to the bottom of it even if he had to tie her to the bed and seduce the answers out of her once the other couple said goodnight.

Excerpt (Adult)

Deal of a Lifetime
Ellora’s Cave
ISBN 978 14199 0964 1

“Whatever you say,” he grinned down at her. “I must confess that this is a first for me. I never had such a thorough massage in the shower before. The few women who bothered to start, gave up long before this point and none ever offered to continue once they got what they were after.”
Annette took her time lathering up her hands, aware of Rich studying her. “Then clearly you’ve been showering with the wrong women,” she stated plainly as she forced herself to meet his eyes, hoping hers were as emotionless as she managed to make her voice. For an insane moment, Annette was flooded by an unreasonable sense of rage at the idea of some other woman standing in her place and touching her man. She squelched her anger instantaneously, reminding herself that she was taking advantage of an opportunity with a virtual stranger, not engaging in love play with a new partner.
“Most women fail to appreciate the entire man. They go right for the parts they deem most useful and ignore the rest. They don’t understand how arousing a man’s body can be. I, on the other hand,” she began to massage his chest as she had his back, “am not most women.”
“Oh hell no,” Rich exclaimed. “You are definitely not most women. You are one of a kind.”
“Thanks. And thank you for this too.” She kneaded his arms and hands thoroughly. “Very few men have the patience to let me finish. I guess that makes you one of a kind too.”
“Then obviously you, as you put it, have been doing this with the wrong men,” he stated in a husky tone.
Annette concentrated on soaping her hands to hide her smile from Rich. He had no idea how close to impossible it was for her not to abandon the massage and beg him to take her however he wanted. The only thing that made her resist her body’s needs was the fact that he was struggling as much as she was. Judging by the state of his penis, he had to be nearing his limit. It was harder than any other she’d touched and was miraculously larger than it had been. The drops of pearly liquid were practically oozing together to form a stream.
Avoiding his groin after a perfunctory scrub, she worked her hands from his hips to his legs as she slipped to her knees in front of him. Tormenting them both, she massaged her way down one leg and up the other. Flashing Rich what she hoped was a seductive smile, Annette lifted his testicles and slid her hand between his legs to caress the soft skin beneath them. He inhaled sharply when she flicked her tongue along his shaft. Annette meant to tease him until he either demanded more or showed her by directing her head with his hands. Her plan changed with her first taste.
“Oh wow,” she whispered as she drew the engorged head into her mouth. “Mm,” she hummed as her tongue devoured what pre-come her lips had missed. “So good,” she murmured around his shaft.
Rich growled with primal need. The feel of Annette’s hot breath combined with the vibrations from her words almost destroyed what little control he still possessed. He tried not to thrust wildly into her mouth and thought he would succeed until she sucked him into her throat. He might have been able to restrain himself even after she began to hum as her swallowing motion nearly set him off. But when her finger sought out his prostate, nothing could prevent him from losing it entirely. He snapped. He unleashed the beast within and savagely ravaged her mouth and throat. He was so far gone that he failed to recognize Annette’s encouraging sounds for what they were.
“Fuck,” Rich swore when her whimpers and moans penetrated the carnal haze clouding his brain. “God damn you, Nettie,” he snarled, forcing her from him and hoisting her to her feet.
“Rich, what,” she squeaked, startled and confused.
“Shut up. Just shut the fuck up,” he ordered as he trapped her against the wall. Holding her wrists above her head with one hand, the other captured her leg. With his elbow under her bent knee, Rich rammed his cock into her slippery opening. He pummeled her relentlessly, each thrust pushing her higher until she dangled from his arm and shaft. “Why are you doing this to me?” he demanded between grunts. “What the fuck do you want from me?”

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On your Mark...

Reading has a problem retaining city managers. Ever since the first they all to run for the hills before a year passes. This trend makes it unlikely that they will accomplish much of anything useful. However there was one exception. Nope, sorry, don't even know the guy's name from two years ago, don't know any of them, but he did bring something pretty cool to the area.

In cycling there's a Pennsylvania event now called the Commerce Bank Triple Crown. It's a three-day event that attracts international participants. Think Tour de France on a very small scale. The first leg is today, in Allentown. The second, Thursday, in Reading. The third, Saturday, in Philadelphia.

Originally Reading was signed up to host the second leg for three years. This is the third and I really hope out current city manager arranges to extend that commitment because it's so weirdly fascinating I'd hate for it not to be here.

For those of you who don't know anything about the area, Reading is nestled in a valley. Everywhere you go is uphill. The course winds around the downtown streets for seven laps and then for the last three they through in a loop that takes the cyclists up Duryea Drive, also the locale of the Duryea Hillclimb, a car event that is professed to be "the most diverse and challenging hill in the Northeast". Okay, now imagine that on a bike instead of in a car after you've already ridden 50 miles in 85 degree heat. And then 60 miles. And 70 miles.

My spot to watch the race is all of four blocks from home, at the Spring Street subway. Here, they come zooming down a hill at speeds up to 50 mph and then make a sharper than right angle turn. All 200 of the cyclists at once. Believe it or not, these guys do so without crashing! It's damn amazing to see. Picture a cartoon swarm of bees suddenly all changing directions at once. Yeah, it's like that.

What's also cool is watching the chase cars zipping along after them, just as fast, all in a bunch, each painted in the team colors. When a rider breaks down, the guys from the car hop out and have him fixed and back on his way in mere seconds.

I have no idea who any of the riders are. I cheer for them all. I take my radio, my folding chair, and some water and hang out, waiting for them to fly down the hill straight at me since I sit right on the corner where they turn and I love every minute of it. It's one of the few moments that people in Reading come out of their homes to stand around on street corners together and watch something good that's happening in the city.

More Thursday after the race.

Stanley Cup update - It took three overtimes but my Penguins did it. Back to Pittsburgh for game 6 Wednesday night.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Today's Rant

Ever get the feeling that you’re back in kindergarten? “You took my favorite toy.” “You stole my best friend.” “Your half of the sandwich is bigger than mine.” All said, of course, in the whiniest voice imaginable. My thoughts when I heard these? Grow up and get over it already. We’re supposed to be adults here. How do kids stand a chance of learning by example when this is what they have to observe?

I miss the days when you could verbally reprimand someone else’s child without fear of retribution. I was out and about at lunch and saw a little boy, no older than five, heave a handful of rocks at a turtledove. Why? I asked and was told the dove was trying to take his toy. Um, no, the dove was pecking around in the grass as birds do and could care less about the hateful little monster’s toys.

In general I adore windy days. Except when it’s also trash day. Why, when the trashcan has a lid, can’t people manage to put it on securely so the trash doesn’t end up everywhere but where it belongs? And then why, when the trash is all over the place, can’t the owner, who knows darn well it’s his trash, go out and pick it up? Also, why can’t people be bothered to retrieve their empty trashcans after the truck has gone by? They leave them sit for days, to be blown all over everywhere, usually where I’m driving. Somehow though, I’m certain they would be right out there accusing me of attempting to steal their precious trashcan if I stopped to put it back on the curb.

Okay, enough for one day. I’ll try to be more interesting tomorrow.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Kitty Birthdays

My twins are 17! Yes, they are identical twins. Or they were the first twelve years of their lives. Then Bixby, the one on top, started getting darker and Mouse, on the bottom, got lighter. The only explanation for that is Mouse has developed some weird health issues that could perhaps influence his coloring too. Much to his vet's amazement, he's still here and doing just fine even though he is down to six pounds.

And so is Bix, also a very happy and unexpected thing. He spent the first two years of his life having terrible crystal problems. At one point they were so bad the suggestion of removing his penis was made. Hm, though I am a firm believer of spaying and neutering a sex-change operation is not high on my list until every other option has been explored. I switched vets, to the one I have now, and after extensive analysis by various nationwide experts, it was decided he needed to drink more water. The solution, wet food only. He's been fine ever since. Oh a note for those of you who doubt the weight loss potential of added water, he's a perfect test. Bixby was up to 19 unhealthy pounds before his diet was switched. Within four months he dropped a third of that and has stayed the same ever since. Too bad there isn't a human equivalent of canned cat food.

When they were little they looked truly identical. Their personalities, however, are as different as night and day. Mouse would be very content being carried everywhere. In fact, I think he'd be happiest if I got one of those baby harnesses and took him with me everywhere I go. Bixby, on the other hand, would prefer to never be picked up. Even as a six-week old, one pound infant, he struggled against being held. Not that he doesn't like attention. All I have to do is look at him and he starts purring. And he loves to be hugged as long as I don't scoop him up to do it. Pet him and he gets all prancey and nudges my hand non-stop.

Another difference is their conversational habits. Mouse got his name because as a kitten he squeaked incessantly. He still does. I timed him once when he was making me insane. Every nine seconds until his voice gave out and even then he continued to try. Talk aboout frustrating! Imagine a cat, obviously aggravated, yowling in your face for hours. Bixby is the opposite although he's starting to speak up for himself now. For years, he rarely meowed.

Anyone who thinks cats don't communicate hasn't met these two. Mouse shares my pillow while I sleep. When he's ready for breakfast, he nibbles on my hair to wake me. Bixby generally sleeps on my foot. Every now and then they switch places. The only thing is Bix doesn't quite get it. Instead of pulling one hair at time he grabs a whole mouthful and tries to pick up my head. As soon as I ask what he's doing and scratch his chin I can see him laughing like a silly little kid. Look to the bottom of the bed and Mouse is there watching, snickering as well. And that's just one of the games they play. I'll save the rest for another time so Amarinda quits rolling her eyes.

As I said, today is their birthday. To celebrate, we're spending it on the screened in porch, watching the birds, napping in a sunbeam and eating pounces - them, not me. Tonight, join us for a feast of birthday tuna.

Mouse's Very Own Cheezburger