Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Free the Dog!

I've been planning to post today about my new favorite show, Dog the Bounty Hunter. I'd been hearing some buzz about this show for a while, and since I've read all twelve Stephanie Plum novels, I sort of feel like a bounty hunter... I mean if Stephanie can do it... ;)

So I tuned in and fell instantly in love with the show. The cool twist to it, is that it isn't just "Cops" but with a bounty hunter. Each show starts with them all pumped up to get some criminal off the street. But by the time the get the "bad guy" in the back of their big black SUV, they're already feeling badly for the the guy (or girl) and talking to them about how to get their life straightened out. Sometimes they forgive the bond. Sometimes they offer them a job. Always they try to instill hope that they can turn their life around.
He says he always tries to live "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and the show really captures that. Also, the interplay between Dog and Beth is hilarious - they're both larger than life characters, except they're real. I love that.

Then, before I posted, I looked up some info on my man, Dog, online, only to find out that he's been ARRESTED! What for, you might ask? His hook is that he's been on both sides of the law. He did some hard time in Texas before straightening out, so he gets the way the criminal mind works. Did he slip up? Did he revert to old ways? No. He brought in that punk Andrew Luster, the Max Factor heir and convicted rapist. Andrew is now doing a 124 year sentence, because, of course, he's GUILTY. He fled the country during his trial for poisoning and rape and was convicted in absentia on 86 counts including multiple rape charges. And what does Dog get for it? He's arrested because he did the take down in Mexico where bounty hunting is apparently, techincally, illegal.

Fortunately he's out on bail because, being a bail bondsman, they don't consider him a flight risk. Still, I'm buying my Free Dog shirt and wearing it proudly. I'm not the only one. Twenty-nine congressmen signed a letter to Condoleeza Rice asking that he not be extradited. If convicted, he could serve 4 years in a Mexican prison. So far, Ms. Rice hasn't responded. I'd like to add my voice to the mix.
Free the Dog!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Boxers

To Santa or Not to Santa

"We shall find peace. We shall hear angels. We shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds." Chekov's words sum up how I feel about Christmas. It seems like we are just *this* much closer to heaven - as though it bowed down to touch Earth, so many years ago, and every winter does again. There is an exquisite magic about the entire season for me, and I've tried hard to pass this onto my children. So far, Kira seems to have the same sense of wonder about it and I couldn't be more happy.

But, I do get a little sad when I see the magic, and the faith, and the belief that is so much a part of the season co-opted by Santa Claus. Don't get me wrong, I love Santa, and he's all over the house with his little bag of toys, but the posters that say "believe" under a picture of the man with the bag, rather than under a manger feels like the wonder and majesty of Christmas being misdirected.

Last Christmas, I had to decide very clearly how I was going to handle Santa when Kira asked, point blank, (or rather asserted) that Santa was real.

My parents never told me that he was real, but "Santa" still always brought the big presents that couldn't be handled with conventional wrapping paper - doll houses and bicycles and such and we were always very excited to hear that "Santa" had one more gift for us... then ran and hugged Mom and Dad. I didn't want to completely deprive her of the fun of Santa Claus. I knew houses where Santa was nearly a swear word, and that always seemed unfortunate.

I said that Saint Nicholas was very much real and we read all about him, and the three girls he saved from slavery and all of the gifts he gave. I told her that Saint Nicholas, or Santa, gave gifts just like God gave us Jesus and that's why we give gifts to each other at Christmas time. She seemed pretty satisfied with that.

I figure, while I'm telling her that the long awaited King was born of a virgin, heralded by angels, witnessed by shepherds, worshipped by astrolgers, and is coming back one day - best not to also tell her that a guy in a red suit brings the presents. One day she'll grow up and know that Mom and Dad brought the presents, so why would I then expect her to believe in the rest. I feel like her faith is a precious thing.

So how do others of you deal with Santa? Is it a concern in your house? Did you do what your parents did? Or did you do something different?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm here, really!

First off - I'm sorry for the sad lack of posts. I have the month of December off from my office job (I refuse to say off from work, because, I'm certainly working!) so, lots less time in front of my laptop. ;) In the interlude, my big girl has turned SIX! WOW!!! Stay tuned for a retrospective in pictures.

For now, I wanted to share a recent conversation. For background, Kira is learning a memory verse every week for each letter of the alphabet at school.

As I'm bringing silverware to the table I hear...

Kira: "Daddy! You took a bite! Mommy isn't here yet and we didn't even pray!"
Daddy: "What? I didn't take a bite."
Kira: "Yes you did, I saw you!"
Daddy: (extra innocent voice) "I don't know what you're talking about, Kira!"
Kira: "K Verse, 'Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.' John 34:13. I just thought you should hear that, Daddy."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Here's to Greg!

I discovered the Wiggles with Kira was about 2 1/2. I'd been laid off three times already that year, with one more layoff yet to come. Money was tight. We lived in a tiny, little apartment, and I worked in a very trying job that I couldn't walk away from. Every day, I'd come home, pick up Kira, and whisk her into the bedroom to pick out a Wiggles video. My favorites were Hoop De Do and Yule Be Wiggling, but I usually let her choose. Her favorite Wiggle was Murray, the quirky red head (hmmm.... I wonder why?!) but I loved Greg. We'd sit and cuddle together and I wouldn't do anything, not fix dinner, not change clothes, nothing, till the Wiggles were over. Often Randy would come home mid-Wiggle video and sit down and watch with us. They were so purely happy, so energetic and funny and lovable that between them and my crazy little girl my spirits were lifted and I could go about my evening happily.

So, it is with sadness that I direct you to this link: Greg Wiggle, is stepping down. Apparently he's been suffering from some health issues that make touring impossible. I know he has some beautiful little ones at home that need a healthy, strong daddy, so I understand, but he'll be missed!

Kiraism of the Day

Kira: "Mommy, if I go to a Christian school where everyone loves me, and everyone loves Jesus..." pause

Me: kind of in mommy tuned out mode "uh huh"

Kira: "And I'm say a teenager, and I meet a boy who loves Jesus and loves me"

Me: "uh huh" still cleaning dishes absentmindedly

Kira: "Then I think I should go ahead and marry that boy."

Me: finally paying attention, "In this scenario are you getting married as a teenager?"

Kira: "You never know, Mommy."

Me: "Um, how about if you marry that boy after you graduate... at least from high school."

Kira: "Well, ok."

Winter Wonderland

Sunday night we here in Seattle were blessed with a dusting of beautiful, sparkling snow. Sadly, it's caused a lot of problems for people, because we're just not equipped to deal with snow, and it quickly moved from a dusting to a dumping. My poor little Volvo didn't like it and protested twice while I was trying to get home from the store Monday. Fortunately my Alaskan grown husband came to rescue me. ;)

I'm going on day three of being grounded here behind the icy drive. I'll post pictures of our snowy playground soon, but of course the kiddos are here too and crazy things like attaching camera cords are really frowned upon by the special little baby who thinks all cords belong to her and should be worn as crowns. She also thinks she should be involved in all typing experiences. You can imagine the fun I've had working from home.

One more fun note - a big HOORAY for T-Mobile, because I checked out their holiday ring tones today and I'm now sporting "Christmas on TV" by Chris Isaak on my lovely Samsung slider phone. They had not just one, but FIVE offerings by my man, Chris. I'll, of course, be downloading the others and cycling through. ;)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And now... Christmas!!

With Thanksgiving safely behind me, I can now celebrate Christmas without any fear of the sideways glance from those who think I'm slighting Thanksgiving. And sure, I am, it's not my fault that it comes in the middle of the Christmas season. ;) And I only know one Thanksgiving song - that's not much fun.

So, without further delay - on to Christmas! First, I hope you enjoy the subtle Christmas theme to the blog. I searched for days for a good Christmas template and couldn't find one with code that would work. So, we'll have to settle for the red and green theme. ;)

OK, enough intro, my first Christmas themed post is on Christmas music. I've been playing mine since October, but for those of you just pulling out the CD's, I'll offer some suggestions. Every year I buy a few new ones, and get rid of some that just didn't quite work and I've developed a list of tried and true albums.

1) Michael W. Smith's Christmas. He has several Christmas CD's, but this is the one I can't live without. It plays like a symphony, with common musical themes throughout the songs and really captures that feeling of magic and tradition that is such a part of Christmas to me. I can easily imagine myself in a chilly stone church with a boys choir and snow falling in front of gas lamps outside while I'm listening to this. In fact, Kira was named in large part due to track 6. ;)

2) Bryan Duncan Christmas is Jesus. Another old favorite - it has my all time favorite Christmas song on it "Please Come Home for Christmas". The only version of this song that comes close, is Bon Jovi's on "A Very Special Christmas 2".

3) Russ Taff - A Christmas Song - this has lots of brass and big band sounds and has survived many, many Christmases

4) Amy Grant - Home for Christmas - she also has many Christmas albums and this is far and away the best.

5) Harry Connick Jr. - When My Heart Finds Christmas - We actually had the title song of this cd sung at our wedding! I'll readily admit that I always skip past the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, but even with that, this is a standard.

6) Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas - Ella, Christmas, need I say more. We've played this so many times that Kira thinks "I'm just crazy 'bout horses!" comes at the end of Jingle Bells, always.

7) Marcus Roberts - Prayer for Peace - beautiful piano album

8) Blind Boys of Alabama - Go Tell it on the Mountain - I love the Blind Boys always, and their Christmas album has a ton of energy and a good gospel feel.

9) Chris Isaak - Christmas - Well, really, it's Chris, and I'd listen to him recite the phone book. That said, this really is an outstanding album. And for any of you who might doubt his sincerity (can't think of who that might be...) I direct you to "Brightest Star". He also has some heartbreaking songs about lost love... of course... ;)

10 and 11) Brian Setzer - Boogie Woogie Christmas and Dig That Crazy Christmas - both have made it into my rotation. I believe he has 1 other out, but I haven't heard it yet.

12) Tuck Andress - Hymns, Carols, and Songs About Snow - I admit, this one grew on me, but now it's a must have. Tuck has a really unique style that you have to hear to appreciate - lots of finger picking and detailed finger work on the guitar.

13 and 14) A Very Special Christmas volumes 1 and 2 - I'm not as crazy about the other volumes but these two are must haves. See above re: Bon Jovi!

15) Diana Krall - Christmas Songs - perfect Diana Krall style applied to Christmas music - it's a no brainer.

And now for the new additions for '06!

16) Third Day - Christmas Offerings - I should first talk about my love for Third Day. I LOVE THIRD DAY!!! I've worn out Offerings 2 and several other of their CD's. They are good southern rock and love to sing about Christmas and I can't help but play this CD at full volume.

17) Sarah McLaughlin - Wintersongs - Sarah hardly has a miss and this is no exception. It's very wistful and a little melancholy at times but gorgeous. And of course no collection is complete without her bootleg duo with the Barenaked Ladies on God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I don't know if it ever made it onto a CD, but you can iTunes the single.

Stay tuned for more Christmas themed posts, coming soon!

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a very busy, fun-filled Thanksgiving weekend this year. First, we had the "feast" at Kira's school for all the Kindergarteners, and the Thanksgiving Day assembly. I did manage to come up with a Waldorf salad recipe. Whew! Kira and her class recited a Thanksgiving poem, sang 6 verses of O Worship the King, and recited their memory verses, A-I (they learn a verse each week, corresponding with the letter of the week.) The school is very heavy on memorization, but so far Kira is keeping up and it's fun to hear all the big words coming out of her little mouth. I'm not still sure she knows what "ineffable" means. Here she is in her uniform (or part of it - the tights come off awfully quick after she comes home) reciting the poem for me:

Next, was the gathering at my aunt's house. I snapped a few pic's of the girls before we left in their holiday outfits, hamming in front of the fireplace.

After that, Randy cooked me a "gluten free" Thanksgiving at home. YAY! All the bread pudding and stuffing I could eat! Incidentally, I think Kira may have a food allergy that's causing her excema, so she's off gluten and dairy for the next two weeks. I can't tell you how thrilled she is about the special diet.

And, last but not least, my mom threw a Friday Thanksgiving meal for some friends of ours. I didn't think I could eat one more bite of turkey, but Kira "never misses one of Grandma's parties" so she dressed up and attended. She even spent the night for her long awaited sleepover! I know there was a very late night, dessert, hopscotch in the cul de sac with Grandpa and some favorite books, so it's no wonder she said she thinks she likes sleeping there better than our house, but I do still wish she preferred Mommy. Such is the curse of wonderful Grandparents. ;)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Wintry Boxer of the Day

Twice baked sweet potatoes

A new gluten free, mostly plant based recipe for your viewing pleasure. :)

This was inspired by a recipe in a cookbook I picked up at the library, but I changed it up a little bit so it had a more middle eastern flavor rather than Mexican and it was delicious! And sweet potatoes/yams are so good for you with all of that beta carotene. :)

This is a really easy recipe, but you need to be home for a while so you can bake the potatoes in the oven.

1. Wash and prick 3 sweet potatoes
2. Bake at 350 in foil lined baking pan for 1 1/2 hours
3. Split potatoes down the middle lengthwise and scoop out flesh, leaving enough around the edges for the skins to hold their shape.
4. In a bowl, combine scooped out potato, 1/2 stick butter, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cardamom, 1/2 tsp salt
5. Scoop mixture back into potato shells. Top with minced onion and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese
6. Bake 10 minutes or till cheese melts.


BTW - I found it easier to smash up the cardamom pods with the mortar and pestle if I added the cinnamon in with it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Boxer of the Day

That's one tough lookin' boxer!!

Reasons I'm happy today...

1. I don't seem to be in danger of either sneezing uncontrollably or throwing up today. YAY!

2. The 76 station next to the Barnes and Noble near me already has it's Christmas decorations up. YAY! I'm not the only one! (And no, I don't wait till after Thanksgiving which comes right smack in the middle of the Christmas season, if you ask me)

3. I'm making forward progress on my novel again. YAY!

4. I only have 4 more days to work till my entire month off. Double YAY!!

5. And this is my very last day of being 31. Which is fun, both because I'm still 31 today, and because tomorrow I get to celebrate my birthday. I don't care if I'm turning 120, birthdays are always fun!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Boxer of the day...

She appears to be thinking about something troubling... like why she doesn't have a tail.

More on food...

Sorry for the lack of posts - between a crazy month at work and all kinds of illnesses, blogging has been crowded out.

Here's a couple of recipes I've worked on lately for my gluten free dinners:

1) Pad Thai - super easy

First of all, rice noodles are $.99. Very nice, and gluten free, of course. Take about 4 oz of them (a quarter of a package the way I get them) and cook them in 3 cups of boiling water for about 4 minutes. Then drain and rinse them with cold water.

Next, scramble an egg.

Next, in the pan where you had the noodles, cook some tofu cubes up in a little olive oil, then add back in the noodles, egg, and jar of pad thai sauce (See, I said this was easy). Just make sure there's nothing scary (aka chemical) in the sauce. Add some veggies - bean sprouts are ideal but I put in broccoli last night because that's Kira's favorite.

Once it's all heated through, serve and enjoy!

2. Chicken, broccoli, and potato casserole

First, chop up 2 potatoes into thin scallops and sautee
Next, dice some red onion, green onion, and garlic and sautee in another pan.
Dice chicken and add to pan with onion.
In a small sauce pan, add a cup of milk, and a pat of butter. Heat through then add some corn starch and bring to a boil so that it will thicken. Stir constantly! Add a bay leaf, some parsley, and tarragon and Parmesan cheese. This is the sauce that will hold the casserole together instead of cream of mushroom soup or something like that. Feel free to use soy milk in this step - I have and it works just as well.
Once potatoes are soft, layer them in a casserole dish, dump chicken mixture in when chicken is cooked through, drizzle sauce on top.

Optional: Sprinkle mozzarella on top. I've done it both ways and can't decide which I prefer.

Cook in oven at 350 for 10 minutes or so. If cheese on top - cook till cheese browns.


I also made pizza last night with a gluten free crust, but I'm still tweaking that recipe and it's not good enough to blog about... yet. ;)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Smile Greta!!

Miss Greta is now grasping the concept of smiling for the camera. Holding up the camera and saying "Smile Greta" gets a laugh on command and a wide, dimpled grin. Here is the evidence:

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Question of the Day

*warning I will be referencing current events (not spoilers) on Lost, Gilmore Girls, and Grey's Anatomy

How do writers craft characters that leap off of the page or screen and seem to live long after the book is put down or the television turned off. This is what I've been pondering lately. I just finished Grey's Anatomy Season 2 and I've been walking around sad about Denny for days. Apparently, I'm not the only one.

Some enterprising fan found tony Phelan's home number and called him asking why Denny had to die.

I won't even comment on the night I had to work after watching Luke and Lorelai break up (the first time). I was not in good shape.

And then there's Shannon's death on Lost. I was pacing the floor ranting about the insanity of it at 1:30 in the morning.

Characters in books get under my skin the same way: Jay Gatsby, Heathcliff, Sophie Zawistoski, Rhett Butler, Ellen Olenska. Many a book has been flung against a far wall when it was over.

So, what characters come alive to you - in any medium? I've decided that this is key in crafting a book that really works. I can't think of a single "classic" with characters that I don't care about.

I'll leave you with a picture of my dear Denny while you think about it. :)

Halloween at the Lemkes!

Here are some pictures from our Halloween celebration here at the Lemkes:

Gigi's first pony ride at the pumpkin patch
Gigi loved the goats!
Hanging out in the patch, waiting for the tractor to pick us back up. My pumpkin is the one in front with the funny shape. Isn't it great! It got a less than enthusiastic response from the rest of the family, but I loved it!
Gigi seems to be looking for The Great Pumpkin

Kira all dressed up for her Reformation Day celebration!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bat dog

Not a boxer - but in honor of Halloween - another front paw doggie from Cute Overload!

Boxer of the Day

How kissable is that face?!

More recipes and dinner ideas

I know some of you out there are trying out UltraMetabolism - so I wanted to share some dinners I've had lately that are working out well:

1) Salmon Burgers - I bought these at Costco for $10.99 for 10. They are wild salmon with all organic ingredients. Since I can't have buns, I serve these more like crab cakes. I pan fry them in olive oil, about 5 minutes, then add a sauce on top.

Sauce ideas
  • Plum sauce: I mixed 4 tbsp Hoisin sauce, 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, and 1 tbsp olive oil in a small sauce pan. When the burgers were done, I drizzled it on top with some chopped green onion
  • Garlic aioli: I took approx 1 c mayo (no high fructose corn syrup in the mayo!), 1/2 c lemon juice, 2 tbsp dijon mustard or so, 2 cloves minced garlic and some salt and pepper. Stir it up and refrigerate for an hour at least then spoon on finished burgers

I had a harvest salad (chopped romaine, diced apples, chopped raw walnuts, blue cheese crumbles, balsamic vinegar and olive oil) to go with, and sauced apples (slice up about 4 apples, peel, toss in a pan on meduim heat with 2 tbsp butter - when they are soft, add some brown sugar and cinammon until it makes a nice sauce - big kid favorite!)

2) Standby Pasta

I made up some marinara sauce yesterday and froze two portions to pull out as needed. The recipe is a melding of two of Giada de Laurentiis's marinara recipes and my own additions:

  • sautee 1 small onion chopped, 4 cloves chopped garlic, a few chopped carrots in olive oil
  • once soft (about 10 minutes) add tomatoes. You can go lots of different ways here, but I love to use Muir Glenn Organic Crushed Tomatos with Basil - 2 28 oz cans
  • add 1/2 cup Marsala wine (any will do - I use cooking wine)
  • bring to boil, then simmer on low for 10 minutes
  • stir in 1/2 c shredded paremesan
  • salt to taste - don't be stingy!

You can refrigerate for use the next day, or freeze. I froze 2 thirds of this, then took 2 chicken breasts, sliced them very thin, and sauteed them with olive oil and garlic, added to the sauce, and mixed up with brown rice penne.

Be warned, brown rice pasta takes much *longer* than semolina does to cook, whereas *quinoa* pasta takes much shorter time. I far prefer quinoa pasta, but it's a little harder to come by.

3) Bean tostadas

I buy either crispy corn tostadas or soft corn tortillas. If they are soft, then I fry them in a little olive oil to make them crispy - your choice. The soft take more work but they don't break in the pantry, either. ;)

Next, heat up some refried beans. I use vegetarian low fat beans, and tonight I'll be trying chipotle style (organic, of course). Spread on tortilla, add chopped onion, green onion, tomato, and cheese. Or, if you're 5, just cheese. ;)

Voila! Serve with chips and salsa if desired and if your 1 year old hasn't spread them all over the kitchen floor to add ambiance.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Two-thirds, baby, two-thirds!!

<----- Check out that word count!

TV Week in Review

I'm finally almost caught up on TV. Watching Grey's Season's 1 and 2 put me seriously behind. Here are some brief thoughts:

Gilmore Girls:

'nuff said


Kate *does* love Sawyer. I know she does. She might love Jack too, but she's gotta love Sawyer.

The Nine:

Still compelling. What did Scott Wolf do in there to make Lizzie so mad?!

Studio 60:

Loved seeing my girl Lauren when she's not being mean to Luke. Love Aaron Sorkin. The whole thing is fantastic.

Grey's Anantomy:

I'm still not caught up through season three, but nevertheless they win the quote of the week contest...

"There is a land called Passive Agresseeva, and I am their queen." Addison Shepherd.

And just for fun, here's a pic of McDreamy himself:

More pets that crack me up

I'm wondering if I could get Norah into one of these...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Front Paw Pet Costumes

Go look now - you won't be sorry!
This is your preview!

Brrr!!! Bundle up Boxers!

I'm getting requests for my boxers! Here's your Thursday fix. :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Some fun things I laughed about yesterday:

1) Pulling out my lunch bag and seeing that Randy had drawn a Mr. Yuck face on it. I assume it was a commentary on my turkey wrap, but I wasn't really sure. Just a funny thing to greet you at lunch time

2) On getting home, Randy said "Did you special order an eskimo?" Um... what? "Explain this!" he says.
Then, in toddles Greta wearing Kira's new winter coat. I wish I had a picture. It was a walking purple puffy coat with little feet sticking out and a face in the middle of the hood and that was it. She was laughing at herself. Apparently, whenever he tried to take the coat off she'd cry.
3) Kira's comment on going to bed"I hope Daddy *never* puts my lunch in a *paper bag* inside my lunch bag again. And he'd better not write anything on it. That would be so embarrassing!" So, who do you think has her lunch inside THREE paper bags this morning... all with a little note on him. I stopped him when I saw him wrapping it all up in a giant paper grocery bag...
Almost enough to help me forget the 2 hour commute I had yesterday!

More thoughts on publishing

I just read Janet Evanovich's book on writing and discovered that she was published TEN YEARS after writing her first book.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Stephanie Plum books, well, you're missing out, but beyond that I can tell you that they're wildly popular. She's referred to by her first name on publishing blogs as in "If you're Janet, yes, you get to pick your covers" and that sort of thing. Still, she worked for TEN YEARS before publishing her first category romance. That's both encouraging and sobering -- especially in light of Agent Kristin's post today that says she gets approximately 24,000 queries a year, and takes on 4-5 new clients in a good year. Those are some odds.

But it's not about odds, right!

Miss Snark's crapometer is back on 12/15, so I really have to be done and have gone through 1 revision by then so I get in. And then it's query time. WOO!!!! I only have 9 scenes left to write, so it's definately doable, barring natural or unnatural disasters.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday's boxer

I think this guy looks like he's wearing a mask on his ears. ;)

More on the novel

So, my progress has slowed again. Bummer, since this is the month I was really supposed to haul and hit my goal - 90K words (and a finishe dfirst draft) by Oct. 31.

But, here's something key I've discovered. Often writers talk about writing "organically" which really means sans outline and often sans plotting. That's more my style. I despise outlines.

However, I'm writing a mystery here, and while I can do some thinking as I write, I've realized I'm not just coming up with one storyline, I'm coming up with three that I have to weave together. And I'm not talking about sub-plots.

To write a mystery I have to develop:

A) The storyline of the crime, which happens "off screen"
B) The storyline that belongs to my heroine that happens on screen
C) The storyline of my heroine figuring out the mystery in her head. I can't reveal to the readers what's going on in her head, but the clues have to be on screen.

No wonder I was a little stalled. So, I spent some time plotting out these three things and I'm ready to go again. Hopefully this time I can push through to the end and wrap this puppy up!

I've realized that most of my writing support is either from people writing literary novels or SF/F - both of which are well and good but not what I'm writing. I wonder why I can't find a good community of mystery writers online? Hmmm...

Congratulations, Jeffrey!!!!

I have to admit, that for the last several episodes, I've really been pulling for Jeffrey. He started off as the punk rock bad boy, but I think we've seen a lot of sensitivity from him, lately, as well as a really innovative sense of fashion.

He's taken a lot of flak for the "mom challenge," but really, he was put in a very difficult spot and you could feel the frustration coming off of him on the show. Sure, he could have handled it a little better, but I don't think it makes him the bad guy that a lot of people are blogging about right now. I cut him some slack on that one.

As much as I love Michael and Uli, it really came down to Jeffrey and Laura for me here the last few weeks. How can I not root for the pregnant mother of 5 1/2 who's so effortlessly glamorous. I've only got 2 kids and can't pull that off!

After seeing the final collections, I felt the same way, although everyone on the show seemed to have lots of great things to say about Uli's clothes. They still aren't clothes I'd wear - maybe because Seattle is nothing like Miami, but they were very pretty.

I'd honestly wear everything Laura's ever made, including her piece from the recycling challenge. Jeffrey - I can't say the same, but he does have more range and he's very original. I'm so happy that he'll get a chance to develop his line and show what he can do.

Yay Jeffrey!!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday's Boxer

I hope you are enjoying the boxers. I have a few posts I need to publish but things are crazy busy at work right now. Darn day job!!! So, I'll just leave you with this lovely thought.

Look for more posts this week, I promise!

Doesn't he look like he's trying so hard to be a big boxer!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday's Boxer

Look at that face!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Boxer of the Day

Today's beauty is a reverse brindle. Boxer's don't come in black, it's like trying to get a true blue Dahlia - the gene isn't there. If you see a black boxer it's probably half lab. But, they do come in "reverse brindle" that almost looks black. So here's today's lovely boxer for your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Glass Ballerina

Yes, this is a Lost post... spoilers ahead if you haven't seen it...

Let's start with the fun stuff:

1) The kiss

How much did we all love the Sawyer/Kate kiss?! It was perfectly done in the moment, and also so "Lost" that Sawyer had an ulterior motive to see how much fight everyone had in them. I was most interested with his assessment of Juliet and the "she'd have shot you, no problem" comment. She's seemed like the "good one" so far, but maybe she's not.
2) Alex

I love that we saw Alex again. So, do we think she's a double agent? Working for the "others" while pretending to be against them? Or is she actually against them and if so has she found her mother yet?
3) The outside world

Wow. Ben (formerly HGI) has contact with the outside world? But he's been there his whole life? How is this possible? I'm very interested in where they're going with this, but don't have a theory yet. Do we think they really sent Michael and Walt home? Or did he kill them?

4) Sun

So, now we have the question answered - Sun being pregnant was not an "island miracle" it was Jae. Oops. I thought she might tell Jin last night. We also have a better idea about why they were leaving Korea. As I recall, Sun was going to ditch Jin at the airport and decided not to.

5) Enemies

"We're not the enemy, but we will be if you shoot me." Done. So, *now* are they the enemy? And if they weren't, who was? The whole cage thing makes me think they are pretty enemy like right now. unless there's another enemy out there, and there could be. Why when they saw the plane crash did they immediately send out "teams". They obviously aren't just hanging out on the island playing coconut bowling. What are they up to?!

6) Nicknames

"Shortcake" Love it!

That's about all, except to way that with all the new show previewing we've been doing, I can say that Lost really stands apart. It seems like all the shows this year are trying to do a Lost/Alias kind of thing - hour long drama, lots of questions, long story arc.... but Lost is still the best at this.

That's all for now...

I've decided

Drew Barrymore. I could handle Drew Barrymore as The Bionic Woman.

Thursday's Boxer

Don't you just want to cuddle her!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wednesday's Boxer

For some reason, this face reminds me of Greta.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!

The Bionic Woman is coming back!!!

This was my all-time favorite show as a kid. It goes in the hall of fame with Moonlighting, Sports Night, Lost and The Gilmore Girls (assuming I forgive them for this season).

Woo hoo!!!! Now let's talk casting. Who should be the new Jamie Sommers? Comments please!

Right now I'm thinking Lauren Graham would be fantastic (though she really is more of a Wonder Woman, isn't she?) I'd love to see them make Jamie 30-something and put Lauren, Felicity Huffman, Christine Lahti, or Alison Janney in the role. If they go for someone younger, then I'm having trouble coming up with someone, (although I suppose Jennifer Garner is an obvious choice) but I'll tell you who it should *not* be:

Katie Holmes, Jennifer Love Hewitt, or Jessica Simpson.

OK, how about Evangeline Lilly?

Writers Have Responsibilities!

First, let's take a look at the way things were meant to be:

This is what happened the last time they had a fight, then Luke came to apologize. This was back when Lorelai was being written as a real person, not a plot device. Oops, did I type that?!

I'm going to try to keep this positive, instead of just ranting about Gilmore, yet again.

What I'd like to talk about is the responsibility that writers have toward their readers. The goal of a writer is to create a character that lives and breathes in the readers mind, that sucks them into the fictional wall, obscures the 4th wall, and engages the suspension of disbelief.

If you've succeded in doing this as a writer, then, I believe, you need to take very seriously the state of the reader. I'm not saying you can only have a happy ending. My favorite books don't have happy endings (Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, The Age of Innocence), but, they do set up rules for the world they've created, then they create their characters to play within that world. The characters need to remain true to themselves, and true to the world. It's like throwing a racquetball (very appropriate metaphor if you've seen Gilmore this season) in a court. It has to bounce off the walls according to the laws of physics, but you can throw it any direction you want.

Here is where Gilmore is failing miserably this season. Whether or not you think Luke and Lorelai should be together is beside the point (gulp), but the show needs to make the characters act like themselves, or it isn't a story anymore. So right now, Lorelai is rejecting Luke in a way that's completely unlike her, and Rory is responding in a way completely unlike Rory, to serve the interests of the plot. You can't do that!!! If you need the plot to go a particular way, you have to find a way to make that happen while being true to the characters.

For example, if the writers really want L&L broken up (gulp), they could have had Lorelai be a brat and give Luke an ultimatum like she did (very true to character), then had her be stupid with Christopher (a stretch, but still believable). But.. rather than have Luke come apologize and offer to whisk her away to Maryland which is all she wanted *yesterday*, they should have had Luke be mad at her for being a selfish brat (which she sometimes is) and let her go.

As an aspiring writer, I see this as a cautionary tale. It's a wonderful thing to make readers believe your characters, and also a big responsibility.

And one more happy thought:

TV update

So, we've kicked a few new shows to the curb already:

1) Kidnapped - just not as gripping as we'd hoped

2) Smith - really didn't care about the characters. Plot can only take you so far. 24 does this perfectly - it's definatley a plot driven show, but they manage to make you care for the characters in the meantime

3) Jerhico - as my husband said "If I have to see that mother wring her hands one more time I'm going to scream!" 'nuff said.

4) Heros - it got a brief trial last night and we were very hopeful. Greg Grundal and Milo Ventimiglia are big faves, but, no. It didn't even get a second try. Just no. Although I will say that Greg's storyline was good, but not good enough to carry the rest of the show. Apparently it had a very disturbing ending. I was fortuanate enough to be cutting out a million (approximately) bananas out of construction paper for Kira's class, so I didn't see it. Then they said "another surprising Heros ending next week." I don't need a show that will bushwack me like that.

Apparently, we're psychic, because the network kicked Smith and Kidnapped to the curb shortly after we did. Yay us! However, I've also heard that Studio 60 isn't getting stellar ratings and this makes me question the state of humanity.

Tune in people!

5) The Nine - just added to our season pass - so far so good!!!

And lastly, Gilmore Girls. I can't kick it to the curb, it means too much to me, but I'm very, VERY disappointed. Yes, I finally watched the season premiere. Yes, it was painful. So painful in fact that it rates it's own rant in an upcoming post.... stay tuned...

Don't worry, Josh!!

I saw this headline today: Josh Holloway worries about Lost death

This is the pain and the glory of Lost - you never do know what will happen next. But, I do hope that the producers know how central Sawyer is to the show. I *barely* survived Shannon's death. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't survive Sawyer's in one piece!

Tuesday's Boxer

As a rule, Boxer's looooove kitties!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Oh boy.

Me: Kira, I think we should look for a new lamp for you at Target.
Kira: Or we could go to Libby Lu?
Me: Sure, we could look there.
Kira: 'Cause Libbly Lu's hot.
Me: uhhh...
Kira, quickly clarifying: You know, by hot, I mean sexy.
Me... pretending not to hear

The Boxer Who Started it All!

This is the boxer from the pet store that I fell in love with. She's chewing on my finger here. See, she loved me. I hope she's loving her new home somewhere!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Boxers of the Day - Friday

Perhaps one boxer had the last of the biscuits? I think they should kiss and make up. :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Meanwhile, back on the island...

Lost is back!!!!

**warning** spoilers follow if you haven't seen the episode yet.

So, let's dive right in. First off, it was just great to be back in the company of Jack, Sawyer, and Kate again. I'd almost forgotten how much I love that show... almost.

Things I noticed:

1. The book club - Juliet had a Stephen King book in her hands. I'm assuming this was another nod at The Stand, even though we didn't see the title. I love that they keep reminding us of this. Originally, I assumed that the 2 camps would be led by Jack and Locke. Then I thought they would be the orignal islanders and the tailies. Well, we don't have many tailies left, do we! Now, I'm thinking it's these "villagers" and our plane crash survivors. Although, I'm ready to be wrong again. And why was Juliet so nervous to get things right?

2. "the others" - ok, I think we can now say with certainty that this group of people is "the others". We were defining the others before as the ones responsible for taking the kids, Charlie, Claire, etc, and now we have confirmation that they were dispatched from this group. To what end, is still a mystery. I still think there could be another group of people at odds with these guys, but that remains to be seen.

3. Hanso - so... we still see the remains of the Hanso organization with the "behavioral tests" for the bears, etc. Juliet seemed to say that they were left over from something - maybe these sociologists were abandoned on the island and have reproduced or not aged or something like that?

4. Jater vs. Skater - ok, I've been routing for Jack and Kate since the beginning, but with the last few episodes of last season and now this one, I'm really starting to switch my allegiance. Sawyer just seems to genuinely love her so much and Jack seems so wrapped up in his issues. Though maybe he'll be able to "let it go" after last night? I'd also like to say for the record that this is not at all the same thing as Lorelai going out with Christopher on Gilmore Girls. There was never any doubt who she should be with and she's just crazy right now. Kate's fate has always been ambivilent.

5. Which brings me to the dossier on Jack. Do these guys really have access to information off the island? Or did Ethan collect that info from random people Jack had mentioned things too? Or, remember the poke in the arms, did these guys get sodium pentathol and reveal lots of things to Ben (previously called HGI - Henry Gale Impersonator), et al.

6. Where is Alex? Is she with these guys or did she escape? She seemed to think they were evil, thus freeing Claire.

7. I can't wait to see Sayid take these guys on! He blames them for Shannon's death, so it should be no holds barred.

8. Best line of the episode:

Zeke: it only took the bears two hours
Sawyer: Well how many of them were there?!

9. So, what do we think they plan to do with these guys over the next two weeks? Poor Kate! Who thinks Sawyer is gonna stage a rescue attempt?

10. Who do we think cage guy is? Another prisoner? or a plant. If he's a prisoner, where did he come from?

11. I guess we know why Jack's mom told him he "did this" to his dad and made him go after him in Sydney. I love the complexity they've added to his relationship with is dad.

12. Screen cap of the week:

Can't wait for next week!!!

Thursday's Boxer

This is how Gigi looks when we try to put her in her crib. Let me out!!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More on Studio 60...

I just saw the 3rd episode last night. Now I'm officially emotionally involved. That's some good writing.

Also, I read that the relationship between Matt (Matthew Perry) and Harry (Sarah Paulson) is loosely based on Aaron Sorkin's relationship with Kristin Chenowith.

Kristin had a guest role on The West Wing, is very open about her faith, and has had a lot of success on Broadway. But, of course, she's important to me because she played Miss Noodle on Elmo's World. :)
I've also read that the relationship between Matt and Danny is based on Aaron Sorkin's relationship with Tommy Schlamme. But... Tommy has never been on Elmo's World.

Wednesday's Boxer

This was me on the way to work this morning.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Beverage Alert

OK, folks - I know it's a pain to click on a link and take my word for it that this is worth your time, but trust me. Set down your coffee. Make sure you've swallowed, then click here.

I got the link from Agent Kristin - this is Bookseller Chick talking about why life is not a romance novel. :)

Do boxers fetch?

That would be a yes....

More tofu crumbles

So yesterday I made the tofu crumble recipe with masala sauce. I cut corners and bought it (all organic, no scary stuff or GMO's), so it didn't take me nearly as long this time. I just mixed some of the sauce with olive oil and water so that it would soak into the tofu more, rather then sit on top. The crumbles absorbed the sauce perfectly!

Then for dinner, I made jasmine rice and sauteed some veggies, added more sauce and combined them all. Yum! And I took the leftovers for lunch today.

I'd also like to recommed Lara Bars - they are unprocessed, whole foods, just smushed into a bar. They are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, kosher, and all around yummy! It's great if I run out of time to assemble trail mix.

Where you go, I will follow... or not

It's Tuesday night and the Gilmore Girls is still collecting dust in my Tivo. I just read that the theme of this season is... consequences. That makes for some fun tv!!! And I think it's just crazy that there were almost no consequences for Rory and her homewrecking fiascos of season 5, but Lorelai makes a mistake and we devote a whole season to... consequences.

Riddle me this, Batman... how does she choose this:

over this:

or this...

or this or this or this, for heaven's sake

I mean, suspension of disbelief only gets me so far.