Saturday, July 29, 2006

Roadshow Rules!

Today Matt and I went to a taping of Antiques Roadshow in Milwaukee. I have been a huge fan of the show for years and when I found out it was coming somewhere close, I had to get tickets. The ticket-getting process was not easy, as it was only on entry per household and tickets were given by lottery. I entered my sister, my mom and myself. Only my sister actually got tickets, and thankfully she gave them to me.

Strangely, I didn't actually have anything I wanted to bring to Roadshow. I was really more interested in seeing all of my favorite appraisers (none of whom I know the names of, but all of whom I have nicknames for, such as "Provenance Lady," and "Gun Guy," and "Sparky"). My Aunt Gloria helped me out by giving me a vase that once belonged to my late Uncle Norm. It is tall and green and swirly and has three strange gem-like protrusions on the top. We knew nothing about it except that my uncle bought it in the sixties at an estate sale.

Roadshow was so fun! We arrived at our ticketed time of 9:30 am, and got into a long, snaky line. The line took an hour an a half to get through, but it went quickly as everyone talked about their items in line. People were very friendly. The next step was to show our items in order to get tickets for the appropriate lines, i.e. glassware, toys, etc. Next, we went into the appraisal area. It was strangely small and crowded compared to how it looks on TV. Perhaps it is because of the lighting issues; I don't know why they would use such a small space. The appraisers were at tables around the perimeter, and the filming set-ups were in the middle. Matt and I brought some of my grandpa's cufflinks, and first went to the jewelry area. They weren't worth anything. Next we waited for a while in the glass line for the vase. It was fun to watch other people's appraisals; we saw some interesting instrument appraisals as we waited in line. When we got to one of the glass guys and took out the vase, he looked at it and asked where I got it. The three glass people got into a huddle. They said they needed to talk to a producer, and would we mind going out to a waiting table. Out at the table, I got really nervous. I was happy enough being at the Roadshow, but I didn't want to go on air and look stupid. I don't know why I was so afraid of that. There were a father and son at the table with us, and they had a set of Tiffany desk items. They said they had been waiting for two hours (!!!) for a producer to say if they would be on the show or not. Soon, a producer apologized for their wait and said that they would not be featured on the show. Then an appraiser came out and appraised their items. We learned that if an item is to go on air, it will not be appraised until the cameras roll. For the natural surprise of it all, I suppose. We waited. A young couple joined us at our table with a piece of glassware. They were nice, but a tad cocky about their item. I still had my doubts that the producer would put us on TV. The producer came to our table (under a half hour later, thank you), and looked at out vase and the couple’s glass thingy. He asked us about the items, and then walked away. I was freaking out with nervousness. He soon came back and said that he could only put one of the items on the air, and he chose mine!!! Matt and I were sent to wait (and wait and wait) in the "green room." There I would have make-up applied (Matt was not going on camera), and I would wait until the appraiser and cameras were ready. During the wait, we met some nice people, got some free food (which I didn't eat because I was so nervous), and watched live feed of what went on on the Roadshow floor. It was all fascinating. THREE HOURS LATER... I went on air! People were so nice as I sat and waited for the appraiser. "That is beautiful!" "Is it Polish?" "What did they tell you about it?" My appraiser finally came over, a woman who I had seen on TV usually appraising Tiffany glass. They had to stick a wire mic up my shirt, and I had to take off my cute necklace. I hope I looked OK. I couldn't really hear her appraisal, and I was so scared and in awe that I hope I didn't look like one of those duds on the show when she told me the vase was worth quite a bit of money! In truth, I didn’t really care too much what the vase was worth. I was just happy to be on the show and amazed at my luck to go on tape. I don't know if the segment will air because it's not guaranteed, although they filmed only one day and it will air for three shows. Plus, I don't feel right keeping the vase now that we know what it's worth. Where would I even put it? Amongst our King of the Hill collectibles?

The show won’t air until at least January 2007 (how will I wait???), so stay tuned for a reminder. What a crazy, PBS kind of day! Mega thanks to Uncle Norm and Aunt Gloria and to Uncle Al for his enthusiasm when I called :)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Exploding Tobin

My cat is starving. We have one of those automatic feeders, which feeds him at 6:15 in the morning and 4:45 in the afternoon. This works fine when we’re at work, and he sleeps all day. But while I’m home during the summer and he’s awake, he’s always begging for food. I feel terrible, since I’m snacking most of the time. It’s totally not fair to him, right? But he only has a little cat body, and I don’t want him to blow up.

In truly exciting news, Matt and I are getting a new couch. I ordered it today, and it should arrive in 6-8 weeks. We are also going to move the treadmill from the basement up to the bedroom. I am afraid of basements. I seriously think it’s because there was this skit on Zoom when I was little where there was a monster in a basement. Why would they do that to children? Anyway, we will be moving around the dressers, which will also allow us to get the bigger TV we have wanted out of my parents’ basement (oooh- the basement again). Life may not be too sexy-exciting right now, but it’s not too bad either.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Summer Crazies

I'm having the summer crazies. I know everyone envies the fact that teachers have summers off (as do school librarians), but I always get a little weird and anxious in the middle of the summer. Since I finished the first part of GWS editing, now I'm just waiting around. Not that I couldn't be doing other things, but I don't have anything I have to be doing. Now my scrapbooking stuff is all over the floor (but I just can't seem to get started), and I have some stuff on eBay. You know, I really have nothing to say.

Project Runway Commentary:
Does anyone else do that Fashion Face-Off on the Bravo website? You have to guess who's going to win and who will be out the next week. I suck at it. I feel back that Malan was out. He seemed so sincere and sad and weird. The drama of reality TV.

You know, I am boring myself with this crappy blog entry. Sorry to all one person who reads this.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Get Well Soon Editing

I just finished the first major round of editing of Get Well Soon. Actually, I still have one part left. I edit this way: Liz Szabla, my editor, sent me my manuscript filled with suggestions and grammatical fixes. She also included two pages of things to focus on while editing. I went through the whole manuscript and rewrote a ton of it, either directly onto the manuscript or into a notebook if I had a lot to write. The next step was typing in all of the changes, which is my least favorite part. After that, I printed up the manuscript. The part I just finished was reading the entire mansucipt again, fixing things and circling parts I questioned. I have a lot of grammatical insecurities, and I want to make sure Liz knows that she can't rely on me to punctuate correctly. Finally, I will type in the last of my corrections, and then I will send them off to Liz!

I have obviously read my novel before, but tonight I really cried when it ended. Not because it was so incredibly moving (although I can hope; it's hard to know how it will make others feel), but because it brought back so many strong memories. I don't want to give away the ending of the novel, but it's insane how I remember everything and every feeling I had when I was hospitalized in high school. I really hope this book connects to other teens feeling wrong about life. A little over a year (Fall 2007!) and I'll know.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

All Grown Up

Matt and I are now getting estimates to cover of fascia and soffet with siding, as they are now wood. How exciting, you say? Damn straight. Being an adult is weird. I called one place to get an estimate, and the woman who answered was so surly and condescending. I don't know what fascia and soffet (sp?)are, and why should I? This is my first house. I am afraid when the actual estimates come in. How much is this going to cost? I had the idea that we should also get new sliding doors because ours are crappy and let in air and bugs. The guy who came out today said each door could run a few thousand dollars. Whatever! I feel like any money we save will either go toward the house or toward a vacation, and I would much rather spend on a vacation. The siding project is important and necessary if we don't want to paint every few years, but the doors... Ugh. Is this THE most boring blog entry ever?

Thursday, July 13, 2006


For those of you who may be confused (which would mean that you went to my blog recently and are actually visiting again), I switched blogs. The Yahoo one looked good, but it made everyone log-in in order to post, and it did this weird thing where you couldn't post if you went to my website first. I'm hoping this one works for everyone. We shall see.

Last night I did not sleep AT ALL. I have a feeling it is because of the damn Stephen King book. I am half-way through, and it's not as scary as it was. However, my sleep is being affected, and I think I'm going to stop. If my sleep is crap again tonight, I'll know it's not from the book and I'll go back to finishing it. For now, I will move on.

Anyone out there watch the season premiere of Project Runway? Is anyone out there?


This summer, I am trying to be a good librarian and am reading my ass off. I just finished SABRIEL by Garth Nix, which I liked a lot. I think fans of the Tamora Pierce books would like it. I am being a bad girl, though, and, instead of reading the YA books that I have to read in order to book talk them in the fall, I am reading the newest Stephen King novel, CELL. I love his books. His characters are likable and fully developed, and something about his writing hits just the right creep spots with me. CELL is about (so far) a bizarre infiltration of cell phones that causes their users to go crazy and violent. The way they’re behaving reminds me of the zombies in 28 DAYS LATER, which scared the shit out of me. So as I’m reading this last night, I start to think about how I should really have an emergency stash of food and water in the basement. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. For zombies? For terrorists? I don’t know. Would it even matter? I did not sleep well, and I think it’s because I had the heebie-jeebies from the book. That’s good writing.

As many of you know, I have terrible problems sleeping. Because of this, Matt and I put Tobin (our cat) in the basement sometimes overnight. The basement is finished, complete with couches, carpet, and his litter box, and we put his food and water down, too. All the comforts of home, right? Tobin is not a na├»ve kitten, but this morning when I opened the door to get him, a plastic Dominick’s bag was wrapped around his middle! He had somehow snuffled through the handle and stretched his way through until he was stuck. Thank God (and I really do thank him) that Tobe did not get it stuck around his neck. I love this little guy so much, and don’t know what I would have done. But why did he stick his head in there in the first place? He’s a smart guy- almost ten years-old! Such a guilt trip he’s giving me. So what do I do now? Not put him in the basement? Drift into insanity due to lack of sleep? Needless to say, he’ll be sleeping on my bed tonight. Will I?

What do I say for my first blog entry? First of all, that picture is of my super-cute birthday cake from last year. Damn, I loved that cake!

For those who don't know me (why are you looking at my blog?), I am the author of a young adult novel called Get Well Soon, to be released Fall 2007 by Feiwel and Friends. I also have a picture book called Toby and the Snowflakes, illustrated by my adorable husband, Matthew Cordell. This blog won't really matter for at least another year (after GWS is released), and then I'll probably have to wait even longer than that for someone to actually read the book, find my blog, etc. But it seemed like a fun thing to do right now, so here is The Official First Entry to My Blog. Thank you for sharing. I hope to hear from you sometime next year. Or after that even. I'll wait.