A geeky girl living in the big city, making her way, the only way she knows how... no wait, that's The Dukes of Hazzard. Who am I again? Oh yeah, a pop culture obsessed writer, publishing person, and occasional nerd. And I'm getting married. I talk about that, too.

Friday, October 28, 2005

(iPod + Crowded Subway) x Vivid Imagination = Movie Magic!

I tell ya, throw a little Frank Sinatra on shuffle at the end of a long week, and, if you're me, you get a complete mental movie of a 1940s style musical, with everyone around me on the subway car bursting into Busby Berkeley-style dance moves. It's pretty inside my head.

Anyway, I promised pictures from last night. Take into account that for some of these, I had the camera on its night setting, and the flash off, which is great for getting the real colors of the night, but because it leaves the shutter open for longer than usual, can turn things squiggly. Still, I'm pretending it's a photographic style.

Here we have Lady Liberty, of course.

And sailing back to Manhattan.

I'm actually really happy with a picture of me and Yi Shun, but I've got this thing about putting my picture on this page, so... it's not here. Hope you don't mind. If I can figure out a way of hiding it somewhere, I'll do that. Cause I am somewhat sneaky.

Oh, and I'm really, really excited about the Nanowrimo project we've got going. I think it's going to be really special.

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...

It's not the sort of thing you normally think of on a cold night in October - "Hey, let's go for a sail!" - but that's exactly what I did last night, with a whole bunch of friends, to send Yi Shun and Jim off to Chicago in style.

It was chilly, and I was underdressed (I'd misunderstood our plans), but we all got wrapped up in polarfleece blankets, started drinking, and soon, being cold was just part of the fun. From the water, at night, New York really does look magical, and there's something about staring up at the Statue of Liberty from a boat that puts a whole bunch of stuff into perspective.

I got some great pictures too, which I'll have to post when I can get them uploaded to the computer.

Afterwards, most of us trooped down the street to a warm and cozy Irish bar, ordered some chowder, and warmed up in the company of friends. A great night.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Last night, I became a man.

I mean, a geek. Still a woman here.

But it was still a sort of rite of passage, I think. I bought my very first computer game for myself -- City of Villians, of course. I've bought games before, and even played the ones I've bought, but they were always FOR someone else. The roomie, mostly. This one, though it'll go on his computer to start, is for both of us. Eventually, when I get my swank new laptop, I'll put the game (both of them) on there as well, but continue to use the same account.

And I'm looking forward to creating a couple of new characters -- two villians, I think, plus another hero that I've been talking about with some friends. A revision of a character I made way back when on another server, but never really played.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Another writing plan

I talked a few weeks ago about trying to get together a fun sort of shared story for Nanowrimo, and thankfully, Doyce has come up with a really great setting and expanded idea. If you were interested before, and aren't already a reader of Average Bear, go check it out.

I go blonde!

Ok, not really. But I did buy a blonde wig for my Halloween costume, and I did hang out a bit in the apartment last night after I got it, just doing normal, everyday sort of stuff... but blonde. I like it lots. It's a good color blonde, too -- not too light to make my eyebrows look freaky dark, and of a good quality, too, so it doesn't look cheap. I think I'm going to enjoy this.

Did I mention what I'm going as? Hmmm -- should I? Let's just say for now that the roommate and I are going together to a couple of parties on Saturday, and we have complimentary costumes, with room for another friend or two to join us. And I'm going out to New Jersey on Monday to see the little munchkins at their school Halloween parades, and then going trick-or-treating with them. I think they'll like my costume too.

So there's a hint -- it's kid-friendly, party-approved.

Monday, October 24, 2005

End of the Day

Pretty much the end of the day here at work, and I'm looking forward to heading home, eating dinner, unpacking, and getting back online to play a little CoH. Ok, not so much "looking forward to" unpacking, and I don't know how much playing I'll actually do, as I kind of think my brain may not be up to it quite yet. I may take it easy and spend some time with my DVR, getting caught up on what it taped while I was gone.

But I just have to rant for a moment. Here I am -- sort of sick, or at least with a sexy Kathleen Turner rasp to my voice, still tired from a long day of travel yesterday, diligently working in the office til 5pm, even though I was told I could go home early and nap. But no, I'm here. Missing my family golf tournament today and everything. And where's the rest of my department? NOT HERE! My boss didn't come in, though I think she had an even earlier flight home than I did yesterday. My other colleague who was in Germany with us is enjoying some vacation time in Europe, and the one that stayed home to "hold down the fort" is in Vegas, baby, Vegas! I mean, really! After all that fuss and bother about making sure I came straight home after the fair and didn't take vacation time...

Well, fine. I'm taking Monday off to go out to New Jersey and see my little munchkin niece and nephew at their schools' Halloween parades, and then go trick-or-treating with them. And next Thursday (as opposed to Thursday Next, I'm heading down to Florida with one of my sisters for 10 days in the sun. If the Keys are still there after another hurricane hits them. But I'm not going to feel the slightest bit guilty about leaving. I've already finished my notes through Wednesday, and plan to get the rest done tomorrow or the day after, and send them to the Powers That Be with a subliminal "Ha! So there!"

Sunday, October 23, 2005


... Or almost. In a cab on the way from JFK.  Exhausted and hungry. More tomorrow. I just want to stretch out and go to sleep.


Stupid, stupid me. I forgot to put my keys in my checked bag, so when I tried to go through security here at the Frankfurt Airport, they stopped me and made me get rid of my sweet little purple Swiss Army knife.  And I'm totally kicking myself, because I knew I had to check them, because of the teensy, tiny knife, and on my way here they were tucked in my toiletries bag in my big suitcase. On the way home, though, since I moved a bunch of stuff around and figured I'd put my toiletries in one of my carry-ons, I got stuck.

And I'm so mad at myself, and tired, and there's no cute little German ornaments to buy that aren't ridiculously expensive, and I just want to be home.  And a hug. I want a hug, too.

Oh, but I watched some more MTV before I cheched out, and the Robbie Willliams song is called "Tripping," and there's another song whose title I just really like, by the Cardigans, that's "I need a fine wine and you. You need to be nicer."

I think MTV Europe is getting to me

I'm suddenly contemplating downloading a number of songs I've heard recently on MTV - probably because they're in English, and don't suck, unlike some of the other stuff on some of the channels. Still, I think it's a worrisome trend. I'm glad I'm coming home today.

For the record, some of the tunes I'm thinking of buying:

  • "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls - I know. This may be the most worrying to me.
  • "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo" by Bloodhound Gang - This I may have heard before I got here, but has a certain kind of appeal. Plus, the video is silly and tongue in cheek.
  • The new Robbie Williams song, but I can't seem to find it on iTunes, so maybe that's a sign.
  • "Push the Button" by a group called the Sugarheads, or something like that. Sweetteeth, maybe?
  • "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt - he's got a weird, high kind of voice, plus some radio djs in England were totally messing on him, that the song sucks, but the chorus is ridiculously catchy.
  • "Precious" - but I haven't the faintest idea of who sings this. Is there a different version of iTunes for Europe? I'm thinking maybe...

Anyway, makes me feel better to share my craziness.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Being a tourist

I haven't had much of a chance this week to see the city, except from the back of a cab as I journeyed from hotel to hotel. Tonight, post-massage and -swim, I'm out and about, having braved the tram system on a slim understanding of where I thought I was heading and what line I needed to take.  So. I successfully made it to the Romerplatz, which is that very pretty old European-looking open square that's probably Frankfurt's big tourist spot. At least, I hope it is.  I mean, I took pictures of it and everything.

Now, I'm sitting in a restaurant on the square - the platz, I guess - with a nice big stein of beer and a plate of sausages and sauerkraut on the way.  Yummy. I'm starving.  In the background, faintly heard below the chatter of Japanese from the tourists at the table next to me, is another one of those European sirens.  Above me, a sudden dash of raindrops on the canopes over the table.

Canopy? Canapy? Really big umbrellas? Whatever.

I've just toasted with the herr who sat down across from me, leaving his open-air seat at the table across the aisle to join me under my umbrella.  And now he just lit a cigarette.  Oh joy.  For so many reasons, I'll be glad to get home, but finally being free of the constant haze of cigar and cigarette smoke is one of the biggies.  Also, tv not in German.  Can't wait to catch up on all the shows my sweet DVR is holding for me.

Didn't manage much shopping either, except for a stroll through the small crafts fair in the Messe.  Bought myself a green amber ring with matching earrings.  I guess I'll have to hope I can pick up some souvenirs for the munchkins and all at the airport.  And Maltesers once I get to Heathrow, of course. I've had a heavy handful of pound coins in my wallet all week. Don't know if I'll get anything more exotic than chocolate though.  Maybe, maybe not.

Still starving.  Hurry up, food!

Oh yay, it's here!


So there's a rumour that someone was taken out of the party last night in an ambulance, and now my 12:30 meeting is not here, and I think she may have been at the party, and now I wonder if she's the one. A possibly delicious scandal.

Eeeks! Overslept!

Woke up way later than I'd planned - thought I'd have both the hotel's wake up call and my blackberry to get me up, but I rolled over after the phone rang, and the alarm never went off.

Luckily, my first appointment stuck around even though I was late, and we quickly ran through the highlights of our list, and I got back on schedule quickly. Phew.

Those Russians and their late night parties!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Dance, publishers, Dance!!

Not sure this fuzzy image of various international editors and publishers dancing can BEGIN to do justice to tonight's festivities. Best.BookParty.Ever.

The band got the crowd up and (Russian) dancing to "Hava Negila," and kept us there with an accented version of "I Will Surive." Words cannot express.

In a taxi again

On my way from a small, civilized party thrown by a German publisher to what I understand is a wild baccanalia thrown by a number of Russian publishers. There will be vodka, and caviar, and music, and dancing. And hopefully, pictures.  More later.

Free time?

My 1:30 appointment is ten minutes late, and I don't have another until 2:30, so there's a slim but quite delicious chance I'll have some free time.  Gasp! Whatsoever will I do with myself? Why, I could even - shudder to think of it - eat lunch.

I know!

My afternoon is almost relaxed - only 6 more meetings, including this possible no show.  Maybe I can get in some shopping after all.  Or perhaps I should save my money for all the shoe repair I'll need to do when I get home - between the cobblestones and the moving walkways, I just lost another heel tip.

Though I have arranged for a massage tomorrow evening if I survive the rest of the fair.

-P.S.- He showed up, so this is time-delayed.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

8 Kisses from Serbians

In a taxi on my way to dinner after my drinks with the Serbians - who couldn't have been nicer.  I have to try to work out a way for the office to cover a trip to visit Eastern Europe. There's a bookfair in Belgrade right after Frankfurt, or one in Prague in the spring that sounds deliciously tempting. And then I was told about the Mediterranean's longest beach in Cyprus...

Anyway, went from drinks at my hotel across the street to meet my boss and share a cab with her and the Gallic version of our company's senior partner to the grand crush and gala of the fair, which I've just left.  Crowded, and though I could have happily stayed and socialized, I promised my coworker I'd come to her dinner party.  At a very German restaurant named Edelweiss.  I feel like singing, or escaping through the Alps.  One of the two.

Surrounded by a Gaggle of Koreans

Just finished a meeting with three folks from our Korean subagent, followed by four Korean publishers who are, it's safe to say, not the most reactive of publishers.  Also, it's really hard to get a sense of what one publishers wants when they're sitting at a table with three of their competitors!

Anyway, for discussion - what's the group name for Koreans? A cluster of Koreans? A conundrum? A crash? Your suggestions welcome.

Otherwise, I'm halfway done with my meetings for the day, and looking forward to drinks tonight with some really lovely women from our Eastern European subagent, and then dinner with one of my colleagues and a group of people she put together.  We'll see if we make it to any of the big parties - I think I'll be more than fine if I don't!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Calling it a (relatively) early night

After coming back here and updating, my boss and I wandered pass three hotels, including our own, before finding a short enough taxi line to wait on. Of course, by the time we grabbed one and told him where we were going, she had to pretty much head straight to her dinner party, so I went into one cocktail party with her nametag, grabbed a beer, and spoke to the two people I knew there. Then, I slipped off my nametag, and went across the hall to ANOTHER party, where everyone was speaking French (in contrast to the first party, which was mostly German). Did a quick buzz through the hotel lobby to see if I saw anyone I knew (nope), then found those two folks again and joined them for dinner in the hotel bistro. Which would have been really delightful if not for the annoying cigar smokers at the table next to us. Ick.

I'm almost glad I still can't breathe through my nose.

Tomorrow's a long day at the agents' center with no breaks -- although hopefully another meeting or two won't show up, and I'll have an unexpected half-hour off. There's what looks like a fun little bazaar between the halls, and I want to see if I can pick up some Christmas presents.

Sneezy the Dwarf here

1pm here, or thereabouts, and I've been going pretty much nonstop since 8am.  Yawn.  The sniffling's actually calmed down a bit - yummy drugs - and I can deal with a sore throat through my plethora of sooooooothing cough drops.

Though I'm not sure how much is being sick, and how much is dealing with the smoke that hangs over every room, every meeting. Last night, it hovered over the crowd at the party like a noxious cloud. After a while, as much as one wants to be social, and network, you have to get out and breathe fresh air again.  It's not too bad here, but then, this is a no-smoking section. 

Took the S-bahn last night from one party to the next, and felt like a proper travelor getting about by public transport, rather than just relying on the company expense account and a fleet of German taxis.

And while there's more I could say, I'm going to fire this off before I get interrupted again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Just a quick post...

... on my way out the door to a cocktail party. Although I've been told already that the food is amazing, which is good, since it's probably my dinner. Got another party starting in two hours, where I have to meet some colleagues, and I just came from drinks with some Japanese that we work with. It's ok though -- I drank orange juice. With vodka, sure, but OJ, because I'm taking care of myself!

Walked over with my boss and our London colleague to the halls of the bookfair this afternoon, and got all oriented, though I'm mostly all in the same place tomorrow, and I have a pretty good sense of direction. Plus, the signs are all in German, French, and English, so I don't make a fool of myself pushing open doors when I should be pulling them, etc. etc.

Went to a meeting this afternoon at the Frankfurter Hof, which was a bit of a madhouse with editors and publishers and agents and scouts all running around, trying to steal a quiet corner to speak. It's kind of how I imagined the fair would be, though the halls themselves are wide and open and seemingly organized. We'll see if I'm still saying that tomorrow.


Feeling somewhat better

Actually, my back is all better, but I'm still feeling seriously sniffly. Oh-so-pretty. I hope my supply of Sudafed doesn't run out, or I'll have to brave the German pharmacies.

Also, interestingly enough, sirens here sound just like they do in the movies. I hope the Stasi aren't on their way to arrest me.

Oh, and for a laugh, this is what the hotel considers an "American" breakfast: "Scrambled eggs with bacon, chicken wings and baked beans, muffins, cornflakes and maple syrup, fresh fruits, jam and honey, selection of rolls, toast and butter or margarine, coffee or tea." Yes, that said chicken wings and baked beans. So not what I want to see on a plate first thing in the morning.

Monday, October 17, 2005


One meeting down, 58 to go! (Man, what'd I go and count them all for? Now that just seems like such a HUGE number!)

Anyway, had dinner tonight with a really lovely couple who run a big Polish publisher, who buy a ton of books from us, and recently paid us a record amount of money for one of our big authors. AND they took me to dinner!

So much food, too. Amuse bouches first, which were some kind of cabbage thing, and a potato soup, I think, then a cold plate of lobster and scallops, thinly sliced in a citrus stock of some kind, then for the main course, canard! For dessert -- creme brulee, with different wines for dinner and dessert, and champagne to start. By the end of the meal, though, my nose was running crazy from the smokers at the next table (and the slight head cold I seem to have come down with), and I was happy to get back to the hotel, write up my notes, and place my breakfast order.

And finally, because I'm photo-crazy, another shot from my hotel window, this time at night.

About to go for a stroll

...but before I do, a quick shot of the view from my hotel window.


I'm sure I spelled that wrong.  Anyway, I'm in Germany now, just waiting for my luggage.  The baggage carousel has just started up. Need to move again to get into a better position to grab my bag when it comes. Later!

Sitting in another airport

Heathrow this time, which is worlds away from JFK, both in terms of distance (duh) and style. I'm here in plenty of time to shop and get something to eat, though I seem to have managed to sit in a non-waitress area.  May need to move...

Yes, I did need to move.  Sorted now.  Anyway, I'm staring out a window at some planes, though it's very very foggy.  Hopefully, it'll clear up soon.

About to dive into a book, which will probably be my last bit of pleasure reading for a while.  Still, enjoy it while I can, huh? Read one book on the plane here - "She Went All The Way" by Meg Cabot - and another yesterday sitting around the house - "Bad Kitty" by Michelle Jaffe, who happens to be Meg Cabot's best friend.  I wish my best friend was a cool, famous, published author, and I could use her connections to get my own stuff published...

Hey, wait a second...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Still shiny

Saw Serenity again. Still just as good the second time around, and some of River's ramblings made a lot more sense. Still, my all time favorite line, from Kaylee:
Goin' on a year now, I ain't had nothin' twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries.
Heh. Head to Germany tomorrow. Wooohooo!

After all that...

After all that chat about being tired yesterday, I couldn't get to sleep for the longest time. I flipped through a couple of glossy British magazines, read a few short stories, tried countless different positions, and listened to my iPod, and it still took for-EVER. Sigh. I hate that feeling. Normally, sleep comes so easily to me that I don't think anything of it -- it's only when you just can't get to sleep that suddenly, it's all you can think about. And all the crazy things that run through your brain when you're trying NOT to think about the fact that you're not asleep, because if you think about that, then it'll be ever harder to fall asleep.

And it wasn't just general insomnia. No, I was tired, as per my last entry, but I'd pulled something in my back, I think, so most of the positions I tried were some form of painful. And I was sleeping (or trying to sleep) on a futon, which didn't really help.

I'd taken one Advil-y type pill earlier in the eveing, then another right before bed, and when I lay on my left side, I could so easily hear my heart beating that I worried I'd somehow managed to overdose on OTC pain medication. When I turned on my iPod, which managed to drown out the sound of my beating heart (how very Edgar Allan Poe), I got caught up listening to a very pretty instrumental song by the Corrs, which I decided would make a gorgeous processional for my wedding, and was able to pull from the music cues exactly how many bridesmaids I should have, even though I'm no where near getting married, which got me thinking about my friend, and her various comments earlier in the day about our friendship, which made me revisit all of her emails and our other recent conversations, and ...

It just went on and on and on. I don't know exactly how I was able to get to sleep, just that I finally did. And then I slept until noon today.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

You'd think I wouldn't be tired...

... but you'd be wrong. A couple of Stacey's friends were just over, chatting about mutual acquaintences, and one of them just headed out to the pub, but I'm happy to hang out here with Stacey & Richard, watching tv (well, making fun of some of it), and popping exciting British painkillers. I did something wonky to my back on Thursday, I think, and then the various contortions I tried to sleep in on the plane certainly didn't help.

Anyway, I finished off a big deal I've been negotiatiating for work, finally. Should be a nice kick-off to the fair next week. And I got a rather interesting couple of emails from a friend of mine, which bear further consideration.

That's all for now.

Saturday afternoon here in the UK

Saturday afternoon here in the UK, after a lovely lie-in. Which I get to blame on jetlag, even though I slept just about as late as I would on any other random Saturday if I were home in New York. Which I'm not. So...

Last night, Stacey and I walked back to the Keystone pub to meet her husband for drinks. His office was out wishing one of his co-workers well on his last day, so the place was packed, but they have a very nice little outdoor patio, so that's where we stood. And I only got my heel stuck in the wooden slats of the patio twice! Yay!

After one drink there, we headed out for dinner, but had to wait about an hour for a table at a nice French restaurant off the high street, so went to another pub, and met up with another group of Stacey and Richard's friends, before heading back to the restaurant for dinner. Where yet another friend of Schmoopie showed up. So yes, if you're getting the idea that this is a small town, you're about right.

But I already got my important shopping done -- bought the UK edition of Thud! by Terry Pratchett, plus Where's My Cow? and a few other books. Also got my sister her tea, but still need to get more for my sister-in-law. With no exact idea how I'm getting all this stuff home, but that's a worry for another day.

More later!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Settled (for now)

Made it safely from the airport -- didn't really have a doubt, actually -- and over to Schmoopie's before she had to run out for a short bit. But she made me a cup of tea, and I had some toast, and I was able to check in with my blog. Aw, you guys! You rock.

Also, on the subject of toast... British bread is yummy. Soft, fresh, delicious -- everything that store-bought bread in America just isn't. Which I probably should be grateful about, else I would ate it all the time and be a gigantic house. Still, yummy.

Will have to see about napping later. For now, I'm working on staying up and pretending this is a day like any other, and ignoring the fact of the very few hours of sleep that I've had. Maybe I'll grab a nap before we go out to the pub tonight. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Safely landed!

Took us about an extra hour to take off from JFK, but the flight itself was lovely and uneventual, AND I got to watch "The Fantastic Four."  Which was just about as cheesy as I'd imagined.  Delicious.

Now, in a cab on my way to Stacey & Richard's, having been met at the airport by a driver holding a card with my name on it.  Ain't I posh?

(Yes, I'm in the UK for less than 30 minutes and already I start using their phrases.  Although, to be fair, I use a lot of Britishisms in New York, too.)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sitting at the airport

Oooh, isn't this exciting?  All the glamour of air travel, sucked out by fast food restaurants, the overwhelming smell of popcorn wafting through the concourse, and the very unsexy striptease we've all just been through in order to procede to the gate.

Remember when folks used to dress up to travel?  When women would wear hats, and gloves, and specially made travel suits, and all the guys looked like gangsters in fedoras and suits?  Ok, me neither, but I -wish- people still treated travel like it was something special, and not just a airbourne bus.

And people, people, people!  Here's a clue that your suitcase is too heavy and will be hit with an overweight fine - you can't lift it.  I can't tell you the number of people in the check in line I saw struggling with gi-normous suitcases.  I have no pity for these people.  If you can't manuever your baggage by yourself, don't expect me to help you lift it to be weighed, or handed over to the baggage clerk at the security checkpoint.  And I can't believe check-in clerks even give people the opportunity to repack their bags, shuffling items from one bulging suitcase to another, trying to get them under the weight limit.  Please, just charge them, and let's move this line along.  Maybe if they collected all the overweight baggage fees the airlines were due, they could charge less for airfare.  Wouldn't that be nice?

Ok, rant over.  I've got about an hour before they start boarding, and I think I'm going to dive into a book.  More later.

Ready as I'll Ever Be... I guess

All my bags are packed
I'm ready to go
I'm standin' here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin'
It's early morn
The taxi's waitin'
He's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome
I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Words and music by John Denver

I do so love that song. It's corny, I know, but so am I. My bags are all packed and ready to go, I guess. Excerpt for my computer, which I'll pack up tomorrow morning. Gotta be able to check my email first thing in the morning, or I just go batty. (-er) It feels like I'm bringing a lot, but I don't think it'll seem like that once I'm actually in Germany. Maybe in England, but that's just the fun stopover, time-for-relaxation, before the heavy duty work stuff commences.

It's been raining like gangbusters for days, so all I can hope is that it won't affect my flight tomorrow night, and that I'll be able to get all my luggage to work tomorrow morning with a minimum of fuss or drenched Kate.

I didn't get any more work on my proposal done this week, but I'm bringing it with me, so there's still a chance that I will. You know, in my bountiful free time. (Yeah, right.)

And I'm hoping I'll be able to update regularly from the road, and will try to add pictures whenever possible. In the meantime, try not to have too much fun without me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Got a haircut last night, in prep for the big trip, and man, but there's just something so relaxing about being pampered like that. It's the whole atmosphere of the salon, I think. Knowing as you walk in there that they're going to take care of you -- offer you a drink, take your coat, make sure you're comfortable -- and then, bliss. The shampoo. Lying back in a comfy chair, feet up, nothing to do but zone out as someone massages your head. Honestly, it's like a mini spa day. An instant trip to relaxo-ville.

Hoping today to get a manicure and pedicure, which covers much the same territory. It's pampering, pure and simple, and I love that feeling of someone doing for me, taking care of me and my needs. And again... the massage. I could just melt.

I honestly can't fathom why some people don't like massages. Even a bad massage is likely to hit some of the right spots some of the times. And a good massage... man, oh man. Bliss. Pure and total bliss.

Even better if you don't have to pay for it, if you're lucky enough to be with someone who likes giving massages, likes the hands-on. Heh. Although, for the rest of us who aren't so lucky -- a little decorum, if you please? Though I'm a sucker for a massage, I'm not all that about the p.d.a.

(I was going to say "unless it's mine," for the pithy joke, but that's not even true. I'd rather something secret, and private. Personal. So there.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Shocked and surprised

So, my little CoH character got promoted last night, made an officer of her supergroup. And I really had no idea it was coming. There were times when I thought it'd be cool, but then I'd hear about various hullabaloos on the leader boards, and things like that, and I thought, "No thanks, perfectly happy just to play."

But honestly, I am so thrilled! Plus, it's something I can do with her now that I'm so close to level 50. I mean, I'm just about to run out (sort of) of my own content, and now I have a bona fide reason for exemping down and playing with lower level characters.

Of course, I guess I have to do interviews now. Gonna have to see how those go, get some advice from others on what to say, what to ask.

And afterwards, a team made mostly of members of our supergroup saved Statesman from his evil doppelganger, which kind of feels like the ultimate mission.

Anyway, it was a nice way to leave things for now, since I doubt I'll get to play again before I head to Europe.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Testing something out

Not that I don't have a ton of other stuff to get ready, but I want to make sure I can blog from the road. I don't know that my phone will work for sending pictures or short text messages, but the shiny blackberry which my office provides will let me email as much as I like, and -- hopefully, fingers crossed -- will work as a phone while I'm abroad.

(Ok, I'm always a broad, but you know what I mean.)

It's just past 5 o'clock here, and though I have work that could keep me here for hours and hours more, I know I can get it all done in plenty of time, so I'll look forward to heading out in about an hour, going home to eat the lunch I forgot to bring with me today, and playing a little CoH with my supergroup buddies. I think I'll throw a bunch of the stuff I don't want to forget to pack into my suitcase tonight, too, just so that it's all already there. Wednesday night I'll do the big, official pack. For I am queen of organization!

Ok, not really. I'm just a wee bit compulsive.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Nothing much to say

I don't really have anything to write, beyond an update on what I did today to get ready for my trip later this week. But really, how exciting can that be to read again and again? Do you really care that I got the suitcase, and my mom gave me another new bag to bring with me that she doesn't like? I mean, it's a lovely bag, but still.

And I could tell you about going out to dinner last night with everyone, which was a load of fun, and not at all awkward that the last time I saw MJ's new boyfriend was when he and I were out on a date together. Not at all awkward when someone asked if I'd met him before last night. Nope. It was all just fun, laughter, interesting conversations about books, politics, and England.

Sort of on that subject, I did read a good book today, "Permanent Rose" by Hillary McKay, which is the third in a series about an eccentric family living in England, whose children are all named after paint colors. And I finished off another CoH conversational thread.

But I didn't get the work done on "HtDaS" that I hoped I would, and I didn't watch yet another movie that I borrowed from the library from the Entertainment Weekly list I spoke about earlier (but I think I'm ok with that).

And I'm beginning to feel rather out of my league with some folks' OneWord entries. I guess I'm just not that quick a creative thinker. I like to tinker over things, fiddle with them -- which is weird, I guess, because I never was much of one for editing myself. But then, editing something you've already written and polishing something the first time around are two different things. Anyway, on the topic of writing, Doyce said he had an idea for a shared story a bunch of us could do for Nanowrimo. I'm looking forward to hearing more about that. (Cue Doyce's comment, I hope!) I think I'd rather do that, and work on "HtDaS," and keep revising last year's Nanowrimo novel than start something else again. Though I do have a short story to write by the end of the year for a contest.

Plus, I just booked a Florida vacation with my sister, leaving on the 3rd of November and coming back on the 12th, and I'm thinking I'll try to avoid computers during that period, just to see if I can.

(And I had a whole 'nother paragraph or two here that I wrote at least twice, which I lost by hitting the wrong key, or losing my wireless connection, or because the Powers That Be like to mess with me. So I think I'll just quit while I'm mostly ahead.)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mission Accomplished! (No, really)

Rainy Saturday, but I got all my errands done, my laundry is hanging to dry, I finished writing up one of the scenes I'm working on with another CoH player, I figured out most of what I'm bringing to Germany for work, and the roomie and I are heading out soon to meet some friends for dinner. Plus, I got a chance to see Yi Shun, Jim, and Sprocket, one of whom was sporting some very nice new bling!

Tomorrow I'm heading up to the Westchester Luggage Kennel (aka Mom's) to get a suitcase and have lunch.

Friday, October 07, 2005

In lieu of something more exciting to write about...

I went shopping at lunchtime and bought a bunch of tops on sale for my business trip next week. Pretty colors, nice soft fabrics, and fun, different necklines. Now I just need to decide what I'm going to bring to wear with them!

Looking forward to heading home after work, getting casual, and playing some CoH. The rest of the weekend's going to be about running around like a madwoman doing errands and such, heading up to Westchester to get my suitcase, and the always exciting trip to the laundromat.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"Maria Full of Grace" is my "Officer and a Gentleman"

So, I may have mentioned this before, but I love the New York Public Library. Not just for the gorgeous building, and the two big lions out front that get bedecked with wreaths every year for Christmas. No, I love all the little branches, and I adore that they've gone all sorts of high-tech, and you can search their catalogues and reserve books via a website. (Check out the link on the sidebar.) Anyway, at any one point I have 10 or so books and DVDs on reserve at the library, waiting to make their way to me. Some take longer than others. Fight Club, for instance, I put on reserve months and months and months ago, when the boy who was my f.i.b. recommended it. Sure, I could have gone to the video store on the corner of my block thousands of times between then and now, but it wasn't something I was rushing out to see, clearly, so I wait patiently to get a free copy. Nora Roberts' new book is also on reserve, though 259 other people had the same idea as me.

Which brings me to Maria Full of Grace. Way back in January, Entertainment Weekly published a list of twenty or so movies that were likely to be top Oscar contenders, and I thought of working my way down the list, checking each movie off as I saw them. I saw Sideways, The Aviator, Finding Neverland, and Closer in theatres, Kill Bill and Collateral at home on DVD, and put a bunch of others on hold at the library, including Maria. And eventually, it came in. DVDs are one week loans, so when I didn't get a chance to watch it the first time I borrowed it, I returned it, put it back on hold, and tried again. And still didn't watch it.

So I tried again. And again.

I've lost count now of the number of times I've had this movie out, and I've just about given up on seeing it. My friend B has done the exact same thing with "An Officer and a Gentleman."

I mean, I get that it's an excellent flick, and I'm sure I'll be glad if I ever do manage to watch it -- but it's not something to get totally enthused about seeing, is it? "Aw, gee, I can't wait to get home and watch that film about the girl swallowing heroin! What fun!"

So, if I get a few spare hours this weekend, between the shopping and the laundry, and all the other errands I need to do before I leave next week, I think I'll skip Maria and just go see Serenity again. For lo, it is shiny.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Busy as a beaver

Is that phrase still acceptable for polite conversation, or are we all too gutter-minded for anything but snorts? Anyway, work is a mad rush. I didn't manage to wake up early today, and so while I wasn't late, I didn't get the jump start on my day that I'd hoped for. And now I have to catch up with everything.

Tonight, though, I will hopefully be able to relax in front of the tv and enjoy "Lost" and "Veronica Mars." And on the subject of today's headline, Logan's line last week to our gal Cordy (yes, she has a new character name, but I didn't catch it. She'll always be Cordy to me) -- "Can Dick and Beaver come out to play?" -- as a cover for his daytime nookie call was truly brilliant. And one of the reasons why the writing on this show, and the continuity, is so often-praised.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Moving on...

... from yesterday's brouhaha, I had a great meeting last night with my writers' group, where we discussed my proposal for "How to Date a Superhero." Got lots of great comments and suggestions and ideas on improvements, and was left all-over with a really positive vibe about the project. This, among all the stuff I'm working on right now, feels like something that's really going to sell.

Big bucks, baby, big bucks! No whammies!

In other news, I came into work early again today and already got one huge project off my desk, and am going to tackle the next now. I did cancel the lunch I had scheduled with an editor, though -- it just didn't seem fruitful to skip out of the office for the two hours that would probably take, not when I still have a lot of other stuff to do. And not all Work work, either. I have to respond to a PM from another character about a scene, write up some exciting defense testimony, throw some ideas on paper for a short story contest I'm entering, and decide if I'm going to do laundry tonight, write, or just bash people about the head online.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Feeling really guilty

To the folks who know what I'm talking about, I am so so so so sorry. I feel like I just got scolded. I did just get scolded. And I really regret that it's because of me anyone else got in trouble too.

I need to have a talk with someone, I guess. Not that it will change what he said, but...

Shite. Sorry again.

Pride of accomplishment

So, having not gotten ANY of my Work work done over the course of the weekend, since the remote connection to my office was so buggy, I woke up early this morning and got to the office about an hour and a half before I'm usually here. With my headphones on and all the rest of the lights still off on the floor, I feel like I got more work done in the last two hours that I usually get done in a whole day. So I'm feeling a little pride.

Still busy, of course. And still more to do before I leave in a little over a week and a half, but I'm feeling that everything will be ok. Of course, it could all go to shite momentarily. Hopefully not.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Weekend recap and a book giveaway

I'm staring at the gorgeously empty basket next to my computer, that for the last year, it seems, has been piling up with papers and bills and receipts and such to file. Yesterday, finally, I put everything in its place. Every paper filed, plus, I went through my files and tossed old bank statements, utility bills, and all that sort of stuff that I don't need to hold onto for more than a year. Now just to find the right way to discard it all, since I don't want to just toss them in the garbage. That's how identity thieves steal your soul, ya know.

Anyway, after that necessary cleaning and organizing, I got all my reading and commenting done for my writers group, played some CoH, hung out with a friend who hasn't updated her blog in AGES, and basically just had a really nice today. Today, I slept in, then sat out on my "balcony" after breakfast reading, basking in the sun. Good stuff. I need to run out and get some cash, if I want to get some food later... which I do, of course. And I signed up for a respec trial, so I have to do that, but otherwise, I've got a bit more reading to do, and will give connecting to my office another try, so work's not quite so busy tomorrow.

Spoke with some folks about "Serenity" yesterday, and I love it even more after discussion. Can't wait to see it again, and yes, I'm putting both the soundtrack and the Visual Companion on my Amazon wish list.

Oh, and I went through my bookshelves, and I have a big pile of books I've decided to get rid of. Some of them really good, that I just don't think I'll read again or need to hang onto, and some that I just don't think I'm ever going to get to. Here's a list:
  • Sunset Express and Voodoo River by Robert Crais
  • A Song for Arbonne and Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Jewels of the Sun, Tears of the Moon, and Heart of the Sea by Nora Roberts
  • Seizing the Enigma by David Kahn
  • Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques
  • Pirates! by Celia Rees
  • Isabel of the Whales by Hester Velmans
  • Almost There by Nuala O'Faolain
  • The Short and Bloody History of Knights, Spies, and Pirates by John Farman
  • Monster by John Gregory Dunne
  • The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle by Col. Robert Morgan
  • The Cigarette Girl by Carol Wolper
  • Merrick by Anne Rice
  • Mondo Barbie by Richard Peabody & Lucinda Ebersole
  • Stolen by Kelley Armstrong
  • Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo
  • Jennifer Government by Max Barry

So, in a one-time only, act now, quantities are limited deal, I'm offering these books to you, my readers. If you live in NYC, feel free to come by and pick them up. If you're an out-of-towner, and there's something on this list that you absolutely must have, let me know, and we'll figure something out.

And that's it for now. Later!