Banana Butt Jones (Picture)

Don’t even ask about the title. I’m going on about 5.5 hours of sleep here, and I’m barely sleepy now. Insomnia anyone?

I didn’t get to bed/sleep until about 730 or 8am. Then I slept until about noonish, and I took a 20 minute nap at about 9pm, which I think was a mistake. Not good. I’m going to go to bed anyway and try to read myself to sleep, but if I am not asleep by 230 or 3, I will give up and head back out into the living room.

I have a list of things I need to do this week.

1. Take down Christmas stuff. *sniffle* It’s getting to the point where I am getting tired of it, so it’s time to go to ordinary time for real. Blah. I’ll probably do that tomorrow/today.
2. Hunt down the mildewy smell and GET RID OF IT. Seriously, I cleaned out the fridge, Adam took out the trash twice, and I located the source of the bad potatoes. All of that is gone. I cleaned out the litter boxes. Nothing should be smelling bad. But something is still driving me crazy in here. Same scent as last night, and I think it’s the standing water that collects in the drain where the hot water heater is. Should the landlord have fixed this when we reported it a year ago? Why yes. Is it against city code for standing water to collect in a residence? Oh yes. Do you think the landlord gives a flying ice cream? If so, you’d be wrong. So, every week or so (more often now for some reason), Adam has to open the closet and pour water down this drain to get out the old stinky water that blows through the vents when the heater is on. He just did it Sunday, but he’s going to have to do it again sooner than later because the scent of standing water is nasty. This is only one of the things that have been reported and never fixed, and only one of the things that’s against code. TMG Management can suck it.
3. Clean the living room. Once I put away the Christmas stuff, I have to make it look like normal again.
4. Take a bath. I haven’t had a nice, long hot bath in weeks. It’s been showers and showers and showers. And the last bath before that sucked because the drain wasn’t properly secured so most of the water ran out, and by the time I realized it, there was no more hot water. It was a quick lukewarm bath and you know how much those suck. So I’m ready for a nice, hot steaming bath. And some tea. So that will be my reward for taking down the Christmas stuff. :)
5. Revamp my FarmVille farm. That’ll probably happen this weekend.

I think it’s time to scrap the story I have been working on. I am stuck and have been stuck on the same part for two years now. If you’re stuck after two years, it’s time to shelve and move on. The fact that I dread trying to write this book is a sign that it’s not the one I should be working on. I may use what I have for parts, or rework it, but for now, it’s done. There is no point in working on a book for free when I’m getting no joy out of it and when nothing of it is coming. The characters are still there, they just need to be used differently. HOW, I don’t know. But whatever.

This has been kind of a whiny post, so here is something yummy. My kitty, Helena, has gotten really cuddly lately. It started shortly after we switched the cats’ food from Meow Mix to Iams. Both cats are super soft now, and Little Lena’s been so much more affectionate. She hops up and sleeps on my feet just about every chance she gets. When she’s in our room at night, she doesn’t really jump on our feet anymore. She lies there and sleeps. Adam and I have taken to picking her up and putting her on my lap, because she rarely gets up on her own. Not sure if she’s waiting for an invite or what. She’s not exactly a lap cat yet, not unless I have a blanket on my lap, but once she’s on my lap, she’ll move down and lay her head on my ankle. Such a long cry from the little wild thing she was when we first brought her home!

Here’s a picture of me from New Year’s Eve:

Dressed Up for New Year's!

My mom got me the dress for Christmas. I need to get in shape and I don’t really care.

Blah ditty blah blah blah.

I feel like Eeyore.

That’s all for now.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

Finally, A Weekend! (Pictures, Long)

This will be my first full weekend in over a month. I’m so glad I like the work and the people I work with, because otherwise, working six days a week would be awful. As it is, I feel weird not going in tomorrow. If I hadn’t already turned in my time sheet for the week, I probably would reconsider and pop in for a few hours! I care that much about the work and I like the job that much. But I am tired and was encouraged by team members to take a break because I really shouldn’t work six days a week for ten weeks in a row. Plus, I got sick twice the past couple of weeks, and even though the colds were fairly minor, last Saturday, I was miserable! I came home, took medicine, fell into bed and stayed there until Sunday evening! Still, I remember last year this time, I was starting that horrific three-month sore throat. I am SO GLAD I’m not dealing with that this year!

I started to get melancholy this week, because my assignment is slated to end on November 26th. I’ve never been SAD about leaving a job before, but with this one, I really will grieve! I love the work, the culture, the commute, everything, even the six day weeks and sometimes ten hour work days. Today, some people dressed up for the holiday, and people were passing out candy, and the company bought pizza and salad and beverages for all of us to enjoy for lunch.

I leave work at the end of the day with a spring in my step, because I just spent all day working my butt off and loving every minute of it. And the thought of going back to combing the job boards, sending out a billion resumes to get maybe one or two bites, then going on interviews and doing hours of interview homework frankly depresses me. It seriously makes me want to cry.

I believe that if you put the energy out there, then something can happen with it. So this is what I’m going to put out there. I want to work full time at Schawk. I want to be a permanent employee. Everyday I go in and hope that they see something in me that makes them say “You know, this girl is good. Her attitude is awesome, and we can really tell that she cares about and likes the work. We’re going to offer her a position here because we know she’ll bring value to our team and our company.”

We’ll see what happens. I know the economy, and the reality though, and I’m going to try not to cry too much that day. In the meantime, I’m trying to enjoy the time I do have there for sure. It’s the best job I’ve ever had in my life. And I mean that 100%.

Today is Halloween, and I didn’t dress up. I did wear a tee-shirt to commemorate the occasion, though.

Me on Halloween

I got a lot of compliments on my headband. :)

Adam did dress up, though. Here he is with Hector before their crazy night of Weird Chicago tours.

Halloween 2008

Helena has been a very good girl and hasn’t peed on the bed in a long time. I’m proud of her. She’s gotten used to me being gone, and I give her a little extra attention in the mornings before I leave for work which she seems to like. Some of my best evenings are when she and Crookshanks curl up beside me while I play on Flickr or something.

Honestly, though, I’m only missing one thing from my life and that’s Aidan’s hugs and kisses. It’s so hard not hearing his little voice every day and having him clinging to me and touching my cheek. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and wonder how he’s doing. The other day I was talking to him, and he said “Mommy, I was looking at the picture of you and me and Daddy and I started cwying.” I asked him why, and he said because he missed me. That’s a big void, and even though I don’t regret moving to Chicago and being with Adam, I miss my son terribly and I want need to see him soon.

Other than that, I’m really happy. And I’ve been happy for a long time now. I like working. I like coming home to Adam at the end of the day. Some nights he makes the most delicious dinners. Wednesday night, I told him I wanted something light, and he made tomato basil soup with chicken. It was perfect and amazing. Tonight, he made beef and noodles. The beef had been simmering all day in the Crock-Pot. And one day last week, he made the most delicious homemade beef stew. I have to watch so I won’t gain a ton of weight–my pants are all fitting snugly! It’s time for me to really put the Wii Fit to use.

Yes, that was a major splurge I made a couple of weeks ago! I went to Best Buy in search of a new external hard drive because my original one is almost full. Well, I found a 1T hard drive for a good price, and ventured over to the video game section. I was shaking me head at the Wii Fit towel. I mean, really? $8 for a towel because it says Wii Fit on it? And I was thinking “well, that’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to a Wii Fit….” then I walked out of that aisle and over to a center pallet that was stacked with Wiis and Wii Fits! I debated for about 30 seconds on getting it, then decided to go for it, and I am so glad. Working out with that thing is SO fun. I love the step aerobics and the yoga. Before I know it, I’ve clocked 35 minutes of exercise and for something like me who does NOT care for exercise, that is a big deal. Wii Fit = PURE WIN.

I’m trying to think of what else I’ve been up to besides working, resting, reading, and playing Wii Fit, and I can’t come up with a whole lot. I did finally get to read the latest Leven Thumps novel. I devoured the thing in a day and a half and was very sad when it was over. I have to wait probably at least a year for the next one!

Another writer friend of mine finally got a book contract, and I’m very happy for her. Out of that little group, I’m the only one who still hasn’t been published, and right now, I’m OK with that. I’m not even sure I want to pursue a writing career so much anymore. I’m getting so much joy out of the agency proofreading work, I wonder if I shouldn’t focus on that career path? We’ll see where my heart takes me. I still have the soul of a writer, and I’m always thinking of characters and making up people and scenarios in my head, so maybe it’ll come back one day. At this point, I’m at peace with where I am now, career-wise. Who knows what will happen?

A few days ago. Rosa asked me to post 7 things about myself that most people don’t know. This is going to be a challenge, as I am pretty open on my blog. But let’s see.

1. I have a terrible singing voice. I mean, it’s awful. But that doesn’t stop me from singing along with the stereo when I am home alone.

2. About twelve years ago, the house I lived in for most of my growing years was foreclosed on. I didn’t get a lot of stuff out of it, and some of that stuff includes rare 12-in. album singles with remixes of songs like Killing Me Softly by Al B. Sure and Lucky Charm by The Boys. I really, really wish I had a way to get digital copies of those songs–but the 12-in. singles were rare enough when I bought them. I’m sure it’s impossible to get them now.

3. Even though I do not like winter or the cold, I love cold-weather accessories. I have tons of scarves and hats and gloves and mittens. I like to change them up depending on my mood, and I just love the new cute ones that come out every year. Monday, when I was at Aeropostale to get a few sweaters for the upcoming winter, I started considering a new winter coat. Adam, with an exasperated look, told me that I have QUITE enough coats, thank you very much. OK, he didn’t say all that, but he did point out that I have four winter coats and I probably really don’t need a new one. But we’ll see how my coats hold up against Chicago winters. I might need to take a trip to Eddie Bauer soon. Macy’s has beautiful wool pea coats, but I really don’t want to spend $500 on a coat that may or may not keep me warm when the single digit temperatures hit.

4. I wish I had a best girlfriend. But then I wonder if I really want the time and commitment that comes with having a best girlfriend. Jen and I are pretty close–we’ve known each other since the early 1990s–but I don’t have that *best friend* who is local and who I see all the time, who I can yap on the phone with for hours and then turn around and email/IM her as soon as I hang up. It’s been so long that I’m not even sure I KNOW how to have a best friend anymore, not like I did when I was in grade school. I remember Charla and I used to get on the phone and yak yak yak for hours (13 of them once). Now, it just seems strange to call someone other than my mommy just to talk, even though when someone does catch me at a good time, it’s always great to hear from that person, and I enjoy catching up and chatting. I think every girl needs a best friend, but I guess I’m scared and not so sure how to go about it.

5. I’m generally not a phone person. I will email you long, long letters, I’ll write you letters, I’ll text you, but I’m not huge on the phone. Again, I like when people call me, but it’s hard for me to take the initiative to make the call to anyone unless I really feel driven to action. I even had a hard time calling Adam, the man I was dating, then engaged to, because I always worried about bugging him. But if someone calls me, I’m terrible about letting him or her off the phone, and we can talk for hours and hours easily. Ask anyone about my marathon phone calls with my mom. Last time it was five hours.

6. I enjoy good, long, late night conversations. I love talking to friends about anything and everything in the middle of the night, when the inhibitions are down just a bit, and we’re comfortable sharing everything.

7. I really really want to take Aidan to Disney World within the next year. Just a mommy-son trip. I know it’s probably crazy and ambitious to do a single-parent trip of that magnitude, but we both LOVE Disney World and I think the time together would be amazing. I just wish something would happen to make that a possibility very soon, before he outgrows Disney World… and hanging out with his parents. For the record, I also want to take a huge trip to Disney World with Adam, Aidan, Chris, Matt, my mom, and Adam’s mom.

Because traveling for Thanksgiving will be a logistical nightmare for me this year, Adam and I are staying in town and having Thanksgiving here. We’re going to make a turkey and stuffing, and I’ll make a bit of dressing (hopefully not as dry as I made it for Christmas–eep). I’m also making my famous macaroni & cheese and we’re having gobs and gobs and gobs of mashed potatoes. Probably some corn and/or green beans too. And a Jell-O cake for dessert! Local friends who have no other plans are DEFINITELY welcome to join us. Just RSVP to me or Adam and let us know so we can have enough food to go around.

Tomorrow is November, which means I need to start thinking about Christmas. Once Halloween is over, I feel OK thinking about it, making plans, etc. So far, I plan to fly to Columbus on Christmas to surprise my little Aidan. How much fun will that be? :) That’s all I have so far. Has anyone else started thinking about the December holidays?

I think I got everything out that’s been building up in me the past few days and/or weeks. If you read all this, thank you. ♥ I leave you with a picture of my street in Chicago. I took it as I was walking home from work one evening.

Down the Block

‘Til next time!

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

Brilliant!

Over at Books, Boys, Buzz (http://yawriters.blogspot.com), the authors are interviewing their characters and posting the interviews on the blog. It’s awesome, and also a good excercise to do with WIP characters, to help get to know them.

I used to take all those surveys I fill out on lilrongal and have my characters fill those out–I should start doing that again.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, I threw the proverbial pen to the ground, tore up all the paper, and threw the most unholy fit ever.

I QUIT!

I was fooling myself. I may not have been writing novels, or anything for publication, but I never stopped writing.

I am dipping my toes back into the writing world. Verla Kay’s boards don’t make me want to run and cry like they used to. A few friends of mine have finally sold, and instead of wanting to lock myself in a room and berate myself on not making that goal, I was able to be happy (albeit a bit envious) of them.

I can’t quit. It’s like telling myself not to breathe, for God’s sake.

It may have been journal entries. It may have been long, handwritten letters to friends. It may have been me completely rewriting sentences in a guide at work, just because I felt that I knew how to say it more clearly and better (and most of the time, the seniors on the project agreed with me).

I don’t know. But I never stopped writing.

I read my writer friends LJs and I am amazed at the joy they get out of writing. I remember what it was like. It was manic energy, living on ideas and characters who wouldn’t let me sleep. It was having a pounding heart because I KNEW it was coming together and meshing in a way that was pure magic. I remember working all day, tending to Aidan until his bedtime, then staying up all hours because I COULDN’T STAY AWAY. I need that back. I need writing to be fun for me again. To STAY fun for me. No more trying to impress or please or sell. Just writing for the sake of writing, because that’s when the most beautiful stories come out of me.

Energy. Passion. Strive. Creativity. Writing. Me.

I’ll try to update here more often. Thanks to you guys for not de-friending me. I update Semagic from the server regularly and nervously bite my lip, wondering who will have cut me. People rarely do.

Some of you followed me to my lilrongal journal which tickled, touched, and bewildered me. But thank you for doing so. Please keep checking there, as I will update there most often. If you haven’t friended me there, feel free to do so! :)

I think I’m finally back. For good this time.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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