Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Heart Zombies

I MUST have this:

It's out of print and so expensive, though.  Dang.  But I am back on a zombie kick (thank you, Dead Set), and I really need to learn how to type correctly.  Should I splurge?  Does anyone have a copy they want to share with me?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Love Me Some Google Translator

I do love that there is an option in google to Translate a page.  I recently showed you how Into the Wild Nerd Yonder has gone to Finland.  Now the Finnish links are beginning to pop up.  I don't know if the google translator is a little off, or if the Finnish are just kooky that way, because here is a review of Nerd, translated (click to see it larger):

I particularly like,"Jessie feels lonely, and in light of her life will bring a wonderful big brother Barrett and the punk son of Van, where Jessie has long been fond of."  And love even more the section that explains, "The best part is ...  Humorous and descriptive narrative, the book does not have the patience to count hands! :)  The characters were diverse and they would be tempted to explore the real life:)"  Does not have the patience to count hands!  I am totally going to start using that.  To mean what, I don't know.  How would you translate that phrase?  And what about "they would be tempted to explore the real life?"  Man, I love this.  The last line is priceless, how one of the places the book can be read best is at a summer cottage!  Maybe the book will do so well over, I can visit and buy myself a Finnish summer cottage!  Yeah.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Kind of Funny

Several days ago, a commenter asked if I was going to see the movie "It's Kind of a Funny Story."  Which is kind of a funny story itself.  Well, not really, but if you did not know already, the movie is based on a YA novel by Ned Vizzini about his experience with hospitalization for depression.  To answer the other question you are now asking: no, I have not read the book, either.  When I was in the process of writing Get Well Soon (my own story of hospitalization), I sent a portion of the book out to two different publishers at two different times before the book was complete.  One publisher (and I kid you not that I don't remember who the people were; I am horrid with names and feel like it makes me look snobby, when really I think it's one of the few glitches in my brain.  I believe both were publishers that I was introduced to at an ALA conference.) told me that they wanted to see Get Well Soon as a straight novel, not as a novel in letters.  That didn't happen.  The other publisher, someone at Hyperion, said that they already had a mental hospital book on an upcoming list, and I should read it.  Voila-- It's Kind of a Funny Story ended up in my mailbox.

I did start the book.  But I didn't get very far.  You see, I sort of have a revulsion to books about people who check themselves into mental hospitals.  Girl, Interrupted annoys me so much in its self-pity, look at me, poor sad rich girl vibe.  I haven't read it in years, so maybe it's not that bad.  Perhaps when I did read it, I was in an angry phase about my own being THROWN into a hospital.  Get Well Soon is very much about Anna's, my, lack of control in life, so it's very hard for me to read about someone young but of age deciding to hit the mental hospital trail.  And that's what Funny Story is about.  A few pages in, I decided it wasn't my scene and I was going to get all worked up, so I stopped. 

Sonya Sones and I had a conversation about this, about whether or not we like reading other stories about hospitalization (she, of course, being the brilliant author of Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy).  Sonya said she did not like reading other stories about this subject, and she has very strong opinions about the way people trivialize and misunderstand mental illness.  In fact, while writing The Sequel, I often get scared that I'm going to piss off or disappoint Sonya.  I wouldn't want to do that.

But I still haven't answered the question!  Will I see the movie?  I don't know.  Matt is a fan of Zach Galifianakis, since he's on "Bored to Death."  But not that big a fan.  And something about that kid's face in the commercials screams the Mac guy, who I can't stand.  I'm going to say that I probably will not see the film and will definitely not see it in the theater.  If I am on an airplane and they show it, then, sure, I'll watch.  But do they even show films on airplanes anymore?  Not on my flights.  Anyway, has anyone seen the movie?  Do you think Sonya would approve?  Would I?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Editorially Speaking

Yesterday I spent an hour on the phone with my editor, Liz Szabla.  She is amazing, in so many ways.  I think our finding each other was kismet because she really gets me as a writer and as a person.  Back when GET WELL SOON was in its early stages, and Feiwel and Friends, my publisher, was also in its early stages, Liz and I shared tons of email banter and book chat.  Now that I'm working on my fourth novel with her, and we have the whole revision process pretty much down, we don't talk nearly as much.  Which is sad.  That, coupled with always missing each other when a conference is in town, has made me feel somewhat distant from Liz, the person.  So this talk with her yesterday really energized me.  We discussed several new ideas I had and walked through them a bit, talked about some industry stuff, and brainstormed a lot.  But we also just talked about life, which was lovely.  One of my favorite times spent with Liz was when I was in New York City, I believe for NCTE, and Liz and I took a walk through Central Park and then had tea and treats at a delightful little bakery.  I wish there were more chances for us to hang out like that.  I sometimes wonder how different my life as an author would be if I lived in New York City.  Would I have all sorts of author friends?  Would I have more opportunities for celebrity?  Would the publishing world take more notice if I were readily in their face?  Who knows.  Moving to New York is not something I ever foresee happening in my life.  I lived there for one summer when I was twenty, and it was perfect.  For my twenty year-old self.  It's too fast-paced and self-referential for the grown-up me.  Plus, I can't stand the tightness and loudness and smelliness of living in a city, which is why I moved out of Chicago six years ago.  I'm very sensitive, senses-wise, so cities are great to visit, not great to try and sleep in.

After our talk, I decided to try and start one of the books Liz and I discussed.  Just to feel it out.  And instead of writing into a  notebook, I began typing it into a computer.  It SUCKED.  I got out two sentences, and those took me several minutes.  Typing hung me up on words and spaces and misspellings.  I don't think I'll ever be able to creatively write a book directly onto a computer.  Sigh.  Which means I'll always be in the position I'm in now: dreading my typing hour or two each day until I finally get all my 397 pages trapped in my computer.  Not really dreading.  It's not that bad.  It sure as hell beats a commute.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What to Watch Part III, and Other Scary Stuff

As excited as I am about watching a TV show with Romy when the time comes, I'm kind of tired of blogging about it.  Today I'll put up the poll on the right side of the blog, and feel free to give suggestions until her birthday (November 1) if you think of something new.  Without saying much more, my other options are Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street (new or old?), and an episode of The Monkees.  Decisions, decisions.

In other news, I am wacky busy with book stuff.  My editor just sent me the final pages for my next novel, DON'T STOP NOW.  They're not final final because I can change things if needed (and I will), but I'm pretty sure they're the pages that are going into the galleys when they come out.  I have to read through it and see where I want to touch it up.  I am nervous, of course, because it's always weird to go back and read something you haven't sat with in a while.  Plus, it's reading my own book.  Like how actors can't watch themselves in movies (kind of, except I'd argue that writers have a lot more of themselves to lose when they write, as opposed to actors who are interpreting someone else's words while not acting at all like themselves.  Do you agree?).  While doing that, I am also still typing THE SEQUEL furiously into my laptop.  I'm on page 147 out of 397.  Not bad, but so much more to go.  And the more I type, the more my fingers stiffen.  Which means the suckier my typing gets, the more red squiggly lines I see, and the more frustrated I feel.  You should see this blog post as I type it.  Sick.  It's starting to make me a little crazy.  And my lack of sleep doesn't help matters.  I don't know what happened.  I was doing so much better.  Last night I watched the first episode of "Dead Set," a crazy British show that's supposed to be like Big Brother, but then all of these zombies attack.  It was really good.  And apparently scary, since I had many a bad dream.  Zombies do scare me.  Which is why I can't stay away from them.  So, in the spirit of Halloween, what scares you?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What to Watch Part II

As much as I appreciate all of the suggestions for Romy's first TV show (and I will take them all into consideration when she starts viewing TV on a regular basis), I guess what I was going for was her FIRST SHOW.  That's a huge deal!  And I get to choose!  Didn't you guys with kids feel that way?  And those of you without kids, wouldn't you love to decide the first television show that someone gets to watch?  I feel like it's a right of passage, a special occasion, a huge, honkin' deal.  I don't want it to just be some random show that she's going to get to see every day, I want it to be something unique and special to both her and me.  And Matt, of course.  But he doesn't seem as gung ho about this as I am.  So, now that you know I'm not looking for just your average kids' show, what would be YOUR first, really special TV show if you could choose one?  Like a last meal.  But a instead of a meal, it's a feast for your EYES.  And it's your FIRST, not last.  Got it?

Now that you get where I'm going, here are some more choices.  I am a huge Disney fan, and I particularly love some of the old shorts.  They were clever, brilliantly animated, and really unique.  Below are some of my complete faves (and I can't believe they're on YouTube!  That seems naughty.):

This first one is probably my all time favorite Disney short.  Those turd-shaped guinea pigs get me to laugh every time.

I think Romy will really dig this.  She loves music and pretending to play different instruments.  And I remember watching this at school.

This is soooooo cool.  Noah's Ark made out of found objects.  A tad long, but gorgeous.

I'm sure she'll like anything we show her.  Just this morning I turned on the news for a minute to see what was going on with this horrible storm Chicagoland is having, and there was a still picture of a rat on the screen.  Just a photo while they reported about the worst rat-infested neighborhoods (hilariously, some of the nicer Chicago 'hoods).  Romy could not get enough of it.  She was like, "He's looking at me!"  This is going to be AWESOME.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What to Watch Part I

The big day approaches: Romy turns two on November 1, which means Matt and I will finally allow her to watch TV.  Not like, sit around and watch it freely, but selectively.  By us.  We've read from various studies that say it's best for children not to watch TV until after age two, in terms of brain development.  I'm sure there are many studies that say TV altogether is evil, but I was probably too busy watching TV to read those.

Now comes one of the biggest decisions of my life: what should we show her first?!  Matt and I ate dinner at a new Indian restaurant in our town last night, and I made us create a list of options.  This week, I'll share with you clips from the list, and along with considering all of your comments and suggestions (bring 'em on!), I'll have a poll at the end of the week for you to vote on your choice for Romy's first TV show!

Today's options: The Muppets.  We love us some Muppets in our house.  But which episode?  Which songs?  Here are some of my faves:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Really Late Twilight Thoughts. And Some Shirts.

I've been watching "New Moon" whilst on the treadmill this week.  The previous week, it was "Paranormal Activity" (pretty good!).  Before that: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (hardcore!!!!).  I chose "New Moon" because I gave "Twilight" (the movie) a second chance recently and didn't hate it.  To rewind, my history with "Twilight" began when TWILIGHT was the only book out by Stephenie Meyer.  In fact, Stephenie and I had a little email friendship going for a while.  We discussed how I was afraid of the revision process for GET WELL SOON, and she told me how she was working on her revisions for NEW MOON.  Crazy, huh?  She was sweet and super nice.  Admittedly, I only read the first book in the series.  I read books as a librarian, not for my own pleasure, so once a series is super popular, I generally move on to other books.  Harry Potter and Georgia Nicolsen books, not included.

Because I haven't read more than the first book, my opinions may be a little off from those who read the novels.  But I really don't get the appeal of Edward AT ALL.  What does Bella see in him?  What does he see in Bella?  They don't even seem to enjoy each other's company.  It's all stupid stares and brooding looks and PAIN and longing.  Ugh.  They are so BORING.  Now, Jacob, he seems like a nice guy.  Not the brightest bulb, but at least he makes Bella laugh.  They can talk.  Fix up bikes together.  Something more than looking at each other with constipated looks on their faces.  And I'm not just saying this because of Jacob's buff bod; that's not my thang.  Edward does nothing for me, though.  Nothing.  And I don't like the other vampires, either.  They are so snobby.  What makes them better than the werewolves?  At least the werewolves are born that way, part of a tribe.  The vampires are at the mercy of other vampires who have to turn them.  I don't know.  I'm having trouble focusing on writing this blog post while I watch "Cake Boss" at the same time.  Plus, I can't stop thinking about this taffy apple I have in the kitchen.  The post was waaayyyy funnier when I wrote it in my head yesterday.  Sorry.  But it's a Sunday post, so I don't think many of you are reading it anyway.

Now for my favorite Sunday activity: the hideous newspaper clothing ad.  Today's ad is for all you dudes out there looking to bring back the grunge look.  With snaps.
How can you go wrong?  I bet Edward would think he was too cool for these shirts.  And Jacob wouldn't bother wearing one.  Or he would be all, what's a snap?  Neither could resist the multiple offerings of free postage, though.  Such a deal!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

TV Time

This morning I was up at 6:45 because that's when my body decided to get up.  I could have worked on the typing of The Sequel, but I wasn't in the mood.  So I tried to set my DVR up with a number of new programs that Entertainment Weekly had listed in their TV roundup.  Naturally, the cable was acting wonky and none of the programs were showing as listed.  Sad.  Here is what I want to record:
  • Sherlock  -A new, modern version on PBS.  Sounds interesting.  Could be one of those things I tape and never watch, though.
  • Dead Set  -This looks crazy good.  It's a play on a British reality show where zombies attack the people!  Love me some zombies.  Which also explains my next recording...
  • The Walking Dead -Based on the comic I was into for a little while.  I think I like my zombies in film form a little more than book form.  They scare me more in film.  Or is it less?  I think film does such an incredible job of creating nastiness in zombies, and I appreciate that.  But when I read about them, they're in my head.  I don't want them in my head.  Zombies are sooooo scary.  Scary awesome.
  • Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40 -Not sure about this one.  Have always had a love/hate with Kevin, but I'm usually interested in things that he does.  We'll see. Let's just hope he's not too fat for my DVR.
The next big TV list I need to make is a very important one.  Romy is turning two on November 1, and she will finally be allowed to watch television.  Not a lot, but one program a day or so.  But what will she watch FIRST?  This week, I'll offer up some ideas, and feel free to offer some up, too.  At the end of the week, I'll give you a poll.  Right now?  I'm trying the DVR again.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Don't Feel Glee

For a while now, Matt and I have been waffling about whether or not we want to watch Glee anymore (was that the correct use of waffling?  I'm really hungry.  I waffle sounds soooooo good right now).  At first, I LOVED it.  After episode number one, I downloaded "Don't Stop Believin'" and listened to it twenty billion times.  I never do that.  Or haven't since eighth grade.  When we didn't have downloads.  So it was probably like I rewound my Glass Tiger cassette over and over again to hear "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone".  What a pain in the ass that was.  Although, it probably taught me a lot more patience than the "get it now" attitude of people today.

Enough of my old lady lesson.

About half way through the first season of Glee, except for maybe the relationships between Kurt and his dad and Rachel and her mom (I particularly loved when those two sang together), I felt like the show had no real emotional resonance.  I talked about this with my friend, Joyce, and she said the show wasn't supposed to be realistic.  The problem with that, for me, is that they keep throwing in plotlines that are supposed to be emotional (Kurt and his sick dad, teen pregnancy), and it doesn't work to make those cartoonish.  I can't go back and forth between the lame, reaching "theme" of each week's assignment to someone almost dying.  It doesn't work.  The songs aren't very interesting to me anymore, and how many times can everyone turn against Rachel?  How many times can Sue Sylvester like, then hate, then like Mr. Schuster?  Yawn.

Here is what helped make my decision:

The spread (a perfect name, considering the positions these women are in) is extremely trashy.  Who the hell are they kidding with "Gentlemen's Quarterly?"  Is this magazine only out four times a year?  And every cover is just a step away from Playboy.  Not very gentlemanly in my book.  The issue here is that Glee is a show about people with talent.  Lea Michelle has an incredible voice, and Dianna Agron, the blond, is decent, too.  She is now saying that she is sorry about the photo shoot.  Too late, dear.  Because the magazine is out there.  Young women need to respect themselves more than this.  What you're showing them is that even though you have the gifts of singing and acting (TBD), you still have to pander to the pervs.  Who are disguising themselves as gentlemen.

I'm over it.  My DVR is full enough with shows I know I want to watch, and my time is worth more than a waffle.  If you'll excuse me, I'm going to have some breakfast.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fighting Orcs Makes You Smarter

Yesterday I went to visit my school (the one where I normally work as a librarian but am taking a year off to be home with my daughter).  Not because I missed the school (not yet, anyway) but because one of my graduated members of the Dungeons and Dragons Club set up a reunion.  We ended up having several last minute cancellations, but we had a great turnout of current freshmen and sophomores, guys and gals.  Did we play any D&D?  No.  But there was enlightening conversation.  And pie.  And brownies.  And something sparked a HUGE idea for a new book in my brain.  So it was a wonderful experience.

It got me thinking (again, because I already knew this) how kids who play Dungeons and Dragons are so freakin' cool.  I can confidently say that I believe that that are even cooler than kids who don't.  Because they are smart.  And funny.  And quick-thinking.  And well-read.  And full of ideas-- constantly full of out there, brilliant, mind-bending ideas.  Dang, I love them. 

For anyone out there who has ever pegged someone a dork or a loser or a freak because they play Dungeons and Dragons, I have this to say to you: You don't get us.  And we could care less.  We have more important things to think about.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

That's funny!

I am rarely one of those writers that leaves gaping holes in my book while I write.  I know some writers like to say, "I'll just write that part later," and skip over sections of their book that they don't want to write at that moment or can't think of what should go in that place.  If I do that, it makes me feel like I didn't finish my assignment.  And that when I go through this painful process of typing up my longhanded manuscript, I not only have to type what I wrote, but I still have to create what I type instead of just edit it.  With GET WELL SOON 2: ANNA'S DILEMMA [do you think anyone believes these are my actual title ideas?], I did have to leave a few spaces for technical reasons, mainly that I was planning on visiting several classrooms for research, but I had already reached the scenes where I needed to write about what I hadn't yet researched (huh?).  Today, I found one of those scenes.  It actually wasn't a difficult one to write, only a paragraph or two was needed, but here's what I had written in my notebook to come directly after the newly written portion:

"My laughter was rudely interrupted..."

What the hell was so funny?  Did I think I'd remember what funny things I wanted to write?  Now I'm all annoyed with myself and haven't typed more than a page this morning.  Stuck, and it's my own dang fault.  Maybe the laughter to which I was referring was my real life laughter at what a tool I was for writing that.  Maybe I was making a joke for me!  To come back to as a surprise!  Like a private joke that only me, myself and I would get!

I don't get it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Might As Well

I should totally be typing up my manuscript for GET WELL SOON 2: The Walk of Life [if I keep making up stupid sequel titles, maybe one of them will actually be good].  I'm 62 pages in.  Out of 397.  Poop.  It's so slow-going and gives me great anxiety.  I have chewed six pieces of gum in the last hour.  The gum loses its flavor and texture almost instantly.  If I'm not chewing gum, then I'm chewing my fingers.  So it's pop another piece or my fingers turn into nubs.  It's also one of those days when I was actually quite productive, but I still feel like I'm being a bad girl.  I woke up (naturally) at 6:30, worked on my book for an hour until Romy woke up.  Then I took Romy to gymnastics class and to the grocery store.  We had lunch, she made a big poo (hurrah!), and she went down for her nap.  I called and refinanced my mortgage with a decent, but not as great as I'd hoped, rate.  They claimed I'll save $59,000 if I pay it off in twenty years.  That will probably pay for one month of college by the time Romy's of age.

So I guess I've been busy.  But 62.  That's it.  And here I am blogging and checking my (pathetically empty!) email over and over again.  The only motivation I have is the idea of finishing, but that's so far off that I'm not inspired by it at all.  Instead, I keep hoping some magic email is going to come that will announce a fabulous book deal or film adaptation or something else ridiculously unexpected. 

Time for another piece of gum

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Funnies

This Sunday's paper had not one, not two, but three hilarious clothing options.  You know how I love the hideous Sunday paper shoe offerings.  This week we have more than shoes.  Behold:

I call this one the Blair Fleece Project (because Blair is the company that makes this ensemble).
I don't know what makes it so bad.  I just know I'm not ordering a sweatsuit from a newspaper ad.  Or from anywhere else, for that matter.

This is a real beaut.  They claim it is the (all CAPS) COZIEST FLANNEL LOUNGER you'll ever wear!
It makes me sad to think I would possibly wear more than one flannel lounger in my life.  If you're interested, the price is right.  2 for $19.99.  Keep one for yourself, and give one away to someone you loathe.

The final item is scaring me a little.  Because I think it is somewhat cute.
They are designed for ultimate comfort!.  They look like the perfect winter maternity shoes, for when your feet get all fat and freaky and don't fit into normal footwear.  Or maybe they just look like loaves of bread for your feet.  You be the judge.

In final Sunday paper news, I am a little pissed at the Chicago Tribune (and will be writing them a letter accordingly).  They have this feature in the funnies where they pit two comics against each other.  The one who gets the most votes stays, and the other one leaves the paper.  Originally they were doing this with comics new to the Trib, so not a bad way to figure out what their readers like.  But as of last week, they pitted one of the newbies against Broom Hilda.  That's so insulting to a classic like good o'l Broom Hilda!  How rude.  I shall exercise my right when it comes time to vote and call one million times, to prove my loyalty to the oldies.  I hope you all will do the same.  I'll let you know when it's voting time.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm Still Alive

After the past two days of musical discussion, I wanted to address something I've thought about quite a bit as a young adult author.  You see, and you probably already know, I was music.  My music defined me.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this, since so many of you had things to say about me going to see one of my favorite bands of ten or so years ago.  The question is: when did it change?  When did my life stop being fueled by my passion for music?  When did going to shows become more of a burden than my lifeblood?  When did I stop wanting to hear new music, be on top of my musical game, and discuss obscure bands with other obscure band obsessors?  I don't know when it stopped.

I do know when it started.

It was the summer before seventh grade, when The Monkees were celebrating their 20th anniversary.  MTV aired old episodes, as did a local channel, and I was hooked.  Not that I wasn't into music before that.  We had cable very early on, and I watched MTV religiously.  I knew every video, bought tons of tapes, sang along with the radio, etc.  But it wasn't until The Monkees that it became love.  Maybe it was the hormones of middle school.  I adored The Monkees.  I owned every album (in both tape and record format), watched the show multiple times per day, and even cried when I saw them in concert (good thing my seats were so far away I couldn't see how old they became).

Eventually, I branched out into what was then known as "alternative" or "college" rock: U2, INXS, REM, The Church.  The thing I remember the most was the need to let everyone else know how much I liked these bands, how I knew more than they did about them, how I was the true fan.  And tears.  Lots of tears.  I loved crying for my music.  I moved on to harder groups, not quite metal, mostly grunge, like Soundgarden, Faith No More, and Pearl Jam.  I can even remember the first time I heard (saw) Pearl Jam: I was watching Headbanger's Ball on a Saturday night (the usual), and they had on a segment called "Frantic Fringe" where they showcased newer bands.  The video for "Alive" came on.  I was at first totally excited when I recognized the drummer in the video.  (I can't remember any names at this point, and I don't want to slow this post down with doing research.)  It was the drummer from Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, one of my favorite early high school bands (I totally had Edie Brickell hair).  But then I heard the song.  And I was lost.  Or found.  It happened to coincide with a period of my life where I was clinically depressed.  So depressed that my parents put me in a mental hospital the beginning of my senior year (which eventually became the story for my novel, GET WELL SOON).  Pearl Jam saved me.  They came around at the right time, had the right angst level, and a beautiful front man for me to swoon over.  Then I met Eddie Vedder.  I have a whole story about it that I can post if you'd like.  Maybe I already did once.  I wrote it for my zine, cul-de-sac.  Anyway, it was a hugely important moment in my life, meeting Eddie.  It showed me that good things could actually happen to me.

In college, I was all out indie girl.  It was such an annoyingly guy-heavy scene, but I could always go to bat with my hipster knowledge.  I had a fake ID at 18, not to drink, but to get into bars to see bands.  And I saw a ton of them.  It was easy in Madison, since the shows were frequent and in walking distance.  That's was the Guided by Voices era.  The music didn't make me all weepy and withdrawn like my high school choices.  Instead, it made me feel like I rocked.

But when did it all stop?  Was it as I got older and saw how annoying it was that even though I liked the same bands as people I talked to, it was never about a shared appreciation but more of an I know more than you pissing contest?  Was it that the music didn't speak to me anymore?  Was it the whole scene, standing around in sweaty clubs, buying albums I thought I was supposed to buy, paying more and more money for shows that weren't worth it?

No clue.

What I do know is that I don't have that drive inside me anymore, that one that makes me need certain bands and songs for specific moments.  Of course I still love music.  I listen whenever I'm in the car, and we play it all the time in the house.  But it's different music.  Happier music.  Ella Jenkins.  The Monkees (I guess they're the same, but for certain not angsty any more).  Elvis.  Music that doesn't make me feel guilty when my daughter listens, too.  Sure, I still blast NWA and Metallica in my car when I'm alone, but it doesn't make me feel like I'm the only person left in the world like it used to.  Instead of rolling my windows down so people can hear what I'm listening to, I put the AC on, embarrassed that my thirty-five year old, white, Jewish self is singing along to "Straight Outta Compton."

Do you know what I mean?  Do you still have it?  That musical drive that you felt when you were younger?  Or do others out there feel what I'm saying?  Maybe I should go put on my headphones and let Slick Rick give me the answers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Decision

The Guided by Voices decision has been made.  Not by me, however.  Romy woke up this morning with a wicked cold.  I believe I would be a crappy mom if I left Romy to a sitter tonight while she is sick.  You can believe whatever you want.  Truly.  I feel all weird and a little judged by yesterday's post.  I had a bunch of comments both here and on my facebook page, and it made me feel like people were going to look at me badly if I decided not to go to the show.  Maybe you thought I was asking for encouragement, something to get me off the couch and out of the house.  Thing is, I am ALWAYS off the couch and out of the house!  Last week, that's all I was!  And you know what?  I'm tired.  I'm trying to take care of myself (sleep), take care of my daughter, and type up my 400 page novel that needs to get going.  Not going to a concert doesn't mean I'm compromising something of myself; it just means I have different priorities nowadays.  I worked insanely hard to have a child, so I don't think that choosing to be with her instead of not with her for a night is something I should feel bad about.  And as far as missing a GBV show?  Seen 'em.  Like, a dozen times.  And they weren't always good shows.  Sometimes it's a huge bummer to watch a man who used to be a married elementary school teacher continue to act out his rockstar fantasies now that he's divorced and permanently drunk.  Maybe he's not that way anymore.  I hope not.  But that's how it was the last few times I saw them.  Whatever.  They'll be back.  They always are.  Maybe by then Romy will be too busy going to her own concerts to care where I am.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Old Lady and the GBV

In most situations, I don't consider myself young anymore.  I look younger than I am, or so people tell me, which I appreciate.  But I don't feel young.  My body isn't what it used to be (not that I was ever some bikini-clad Bond girl.  I'm referring to the creaks and cracks of not being able to move as fluidly as I once could.).  I definitely have a few lines and gray hairs.  Even at work, when I'm there, I don't feel as young as I used to.  Once, I was the go-getter, youthful librarian.  Now, there are teachers ten years younger than me.  At least the students stay the same age.  My not-so-to-the-point point is this: one of my favorite bands of all time is reuniting with its original members, I bought tickets, and now I'm trying to get rid of them before the concert tomorrow.  The band?  Guided by Voices, an incredible indie group whom I adored during my college years.  I've already seen them more than ten times live, several times with the original line-up, and even hung out with them a few times.  Musically, I still think they're wonderful, although I don't know if the hit or miss nature of their songs and albums fits into my current musical frame of mind.  Why did I buy the tickets?  I guess I was in a mood where I thought, yeah!, I can stay up late and hear some good music and not mind driving over an hour into the city and find and pay an exorbitant amount of money for parking.  Yeah! I say again.  But, who was I kidding?  I hate sitting in the car, I hate staying up late, especially now that I'm on meds to try and regulate my sleep, I hate trying to find parking, and I hate standing close to sweaty, drunk idiots who are all at least half a foot taller than me.

So now I'm kicking myself, thinking about how I could have spent the money on clothes for Romy or a movie or books.  People aren't even buying cheaply-priced By It Now tickets on eBay.  I'll probably just end up giving them away.  Will I feel less guilty if I go?  Perhaps, but then the guilt will be placed in other areas: too much money spent for parking, not being home to put Romy to bed, being tired and grumpy the next day for Romy because of lack of sleep.  So I can't win.  Unless someone buys the tickets.  And I'm so old I forget the whole thing even happened.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Back! And in Finnish!

I'm back!  But it's a holiday, isn't it?  So maybe you are away from your computers and not reading my blog.  This is a good one, though, so read up.  I just returned from a fabulous, laughter-filled, sleep-deprived trip to Disney World with Matt and Romy.  Romy met twelve thousand characters, and every moment is captured on film.  She also very much enjoyed watching some manatees in rehabilitation and will tell you their names are Lou and Jasper because that's what their handler said.  Lou and Jasper.  Love that.

When I arrived home, there were twenty million boxes and packages at my house.  Apparently, Romy's grandmas on her dad's side were itching to get her birthday gifts off her Amazon wishlist ASAP, even though her birthday isn't until November.  So there were those.  And then there was an envelope that contained THIS:

A Finnish version of INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER!!!  From Finland!!!  I had no idea my book had been translated.  Do other authors know when their books are being translated?  It was such an awesome surprise.  The book is slightly smaller than the original, with no dust jacket.  From what I can gather from the wacky google translator, the book is being published under some sort of girly series called Sister Disco (yes!!!!).  So cool.  So so so cool!  Here's the spine (you can click on the pictures to make them bigger):

So Scandinavian.  And here's the back:

The first page:

And check out the acknowledgments:

All of the names have been Finn-ified!  I hope this is the first of many translations of my books.  Because I love this one so much, I keep it right next to my bed in case I want to look at it in the middle of the night.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Ow, Baby

I'll be away from my computer next week, so please don't forget to come back to my blog when I'm back.  Seriously.  Because there are a lot of blogs out there, and I know when someone doesn't blog regularly it makes you forget.  So, in order to help you remember, here is a classic Poison tune (WAY better than "Every Rose Has Its Thorn, IMHO).  Weep not, friends.  I'll be back.  No Unskinny Bop about it.

Friday, October 01, 2010


I wanted to blog yesterday, but I didn't sleep at all the night before and then Romy didn't nap well.  It's all about sleep, and we're not getting any here.  I still haven't started on the meds the sleep doctor gave me because I wanted to read more about them.  Now that I have, of course I'm afraid to take them.  The cycle of sleeplessness never ends.  Today, Matt woke up really early to head out to his first ever solo school visit!  We did one together years ago for "Toby and the Snowflakes," but that didn't totally count because it was at the school where I worked.  He's going to do great today, I know it!  And then hopefully he'll have conquered his phobia and do a million more school visits.  Because of the early wake up, but more probably because Romy can sense my every location at every moment, she woke up hella early.  She's awake as I type this.  But mama needs her time!  I get no time!  I need a little bit, for sanity's sake!

This is sounding like a crazy mom blog.

Today is the last day of the farmer's market in my town.  So sad.  So officially the end of summer.  Not that I covet summer.  I'm a winter baby.  But there's always something a tad bit sad about it.  It's definitely different not being at school or on a school schedule.  Maybe even a little more sad.

So let's talk happy!  I tested typing the first page of the GET WELL SOON sequel this morning.  It took me about six minutes (maybe five, but my mind wandered, and I couldn't get comfortable).  I multiplied that by the 397 pages I wrote and divided it by sixty (minutes).  It came to almost forty.  That's forty hours it will take me to type the beast up.  I thought it might make me feel better to know, but it kind of doesn't.  Even if I get to type for one hour a day (which is, seriously, seeming like a pipe dream right now) that's forty days!  And then I have to revise it again!  I guess I thought I'd be finished sooner.  But how?  I guess that wasn't so happy.  How about: Thanks to everyone who attended Adam Selzer and my Banned Books Week event at The Book Cellar on Wednesday night!  The crowd was a little rough.  I mean, not like biker chick rough, but they didn't seem to be in laughy moods.  I like my audiences laughy.  So does Adam, I'm guessing.  But it was a lovely night, and I finally got to visit The Book Cellar, which was awesome.  I'm hoping to be back there someday for more events.  And it was just down the street from my old martial arts studio!  I wanted to stop by and visit, give a little bow, but I thought they might kick my ass for quitting every time I was up for my yellow belt test.  I didn't want to spar!!!

Romy is doing her "Pick-er-up-a-momma" chant, so I gots ta go.