Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Things here

Health hasn't been so great here the last few days. I had my first official fibromyalgia flair-up--at least, that's what I'm assuming was the reason behind my neck, shoulders, back (both middle and lower), hips, and hands all aching in a bizarre way I've never really experienced before. It would also explain that buzz that was so loud in my ear I was walking around to every piece of electronics in the house and listening to it to figure out what was making that infernal racket. Not fun.

Then on Saturday Abby had a 24 hour stomach flu. It sucked, I felt so bad for her. Vomiting (including once in her carseat--gross), fever, lots of sleeping and whimpering, "Uppies!" But save for a bit of fever in the morning on Sunday, she's been fine ever since. Though we did get this little gem on Sunday:

"Mommy! I have a beaver again!"
"Um...you have a beaver?"
"Yeah, a beaver. Take my tempa-chur, I have a beaver!"

She's in the middle of a major growth spurt, too. Her naps have gone from 1.5 hours--2 on a great day--to 2-3 hours! I've had to wake her up the last few days because I don't want her wide awake at bedtime. When my parents saw her yesterday, my mom said she actually looked bigger to her.

On the writing front, I reached my September writing goal--10% of "Guilt" is complete! I also turned in my marketing pack to Zondervan, meaning I've made two deadlines on time in the past couple months. I'm quite proud. Writing is more difficult than I thought it would be--I really thought I'd done enough work on the scene synopses, but it turns out I didn't. But I'm learning a lot, and the next snowflake I do is going to be even better, and maybe *that* book will basically write itself.

Well, Abby wasn't up until 5 today, so even though it's nearly 9:30, I'm off to wrangle her into bed...


Regardless of whether or not you support the bailout bill, you should be outraged.

The outcome of the house vote on Monday was reflective of the opinion of the majority of Americans. That's how the system is supposed to work: the people tell their representatives what they want, and the representatives vote in a way that REPRESENTS the majority of their constituents. They don't say, "Well, I know 89% of the people in my district want me to say no, but that's not how *I* feel, so I'm going to vote yes."

Well, today the government basically told its citizens it didn't care what they wanted. They made some minor changes to the bailout bill and then attached it to a bill that was sure to get passed--a tax cuts for businesses bill. They also decided they didn't want to go through the house first, like they're supposed to. They're skipping the house--bypassing it altogether as though there wasn't a proper order for these things and you could just toss them anywhere willy-nilly--and going straight to the senate.

Is it just me, or is this underhanded, sneaky, and deceptive? Is anyone else as bothered as I am (and bothered is a gross understatement) by how the government consistently chooses to basically shred the Constitution in order to do whatever it wants? Yes, the minority of the country will be thrilled when the bailout bill gets passed, but how will you feel when they pull this kind of stunt with a bill you vehemently oppose? This isn't about the bailout bill anymore--this is about a government run by crooks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Excellent explanation of the problem

Dr. Paul's notes which he didn't have enough time to deliver in full on the House Floor this morning. Excellent observations as always from the good doctor.

Never thought politics would make my heart beat so fast

Dan and I just finished watching live video of the house vote on the bailout package. My stomach was literally in knots watching the seconds tick away and the vote tally change. The video was turning our connection to molasses so I quit it before the last vote was cast, but seeing the nay votes so far in the lead made me want to cry tears of joy. I am so proud of the citizens right now--because this was a citizen-led decision, make no mistake. The public outcry was so huge that representatives couldn't help but listen if they valued their seat in Congress. I know when I told my reps how I felt I made a point of saying I considered this a reelection issue and that I'd track how they voted, though Dan pointed out they don't always track who voted how. Which I didn't know, and which I think is bloody stupid. But I hope people see how raising your voice and making your opinion known can actually make a difference.

Dan's watching C-Span online (I can't because they don't support Quicktime--thanks a lot guys!) and they're saying people can change their vote and there's some arm-twisting going on right now to try to get people to flip their decision. That makes me sick. It's bad enough to think that there are reps who don't care what their constituents want (or what all the experts say is the right thing to do) but to then try to force their decision on others and try to get them to forsake their own conscience!? Talk about making my blood boil.

Anyway, it's not going to matter, but I want to say thank you to all the reps who voted the way their constituents wanted. That's their job, and they did it well. Chances are this package is going to be re-packaged and pushed on the people again, so the fight isn't done, but hopefully people will continue to be vigilant. Check out downsizeDC.org to get updates about what's happening so you know when to harass your Congresspeople.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

You are responsible.

I'm encouraged by the fact that the majority of the country realizes this bailout is a tremendously bad idea. However, if you haven't told your Congressional representatives yet how you feel, you *need* to make your voice heard. Our government was never supposed to bully its people the way it does, or act without following the will of its people. But somewhere along the line Americans got very lazy. We stopped thinking for ourselves and figured the government would sort things out just fine. We stopped taking them to task when they screwed up and stuck us with the fallout. We stopped speaking out and making our will known. It's time to shake off the apathy, folks, and get on the phone and the fax and the Internet and contact your reps whatever way you can to tell them you absolutely DO NOT support 3 trillion dollars' worth of bad debt being put on YOUR shoulders. The depression that this bailout will (not might, but will) cause is truly catastrophic.

This video does a phenomenal job of explaining what's going on and why the bailout must be stopped. It's ten minutes long, but worth watching--grab yourself a snack or some laundry to fold and put it on to listen to. Then email everyone you know and tell them the same thing: contact your Congressional reps, watch this video, and pass it on.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Yesterday was a red-letter day for Abby. She had her first McDonald's cheeseburger. We were at the mall, it was dinnertime, she likes hamburgers and chicken finger-type foods and anything else is very hit-or-miss, even if she's had it and liked it in the past. I was tired of buying her food she won't eat, and didn't want to deal with the whole eat-two-bites-say-I'm-done-then-complain-for-the-next-hour-about-how-hungry-she-is routine. SO I got the apple dippers to go with it, and a cup of water (which is all she wants to drink anyway) and comforted myself with the fact that she lasted about 20 months longer than a lot of kids her age when it comes to getting her first taste of the quintessential fast food.

Then this morning I ran across this.

WOW do I wish I'd just bitten the bullet and gotten her pb&j from Paradise Cafe instead.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Single Sashimi by Camy Tang

Camy is cool! Have you read her stuff yet? Here's a little bio about her:

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at http://www.camytang.com/ for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away ten boxes of books and 30 copies of her latest release, SINGLE SASHIMI.

I've blogged about Camy's other two books, which I luuuuuved, and today I'm blogging about her third, though I haven't had the chance yet to read it. Can't wait to, though! Single Sashimi just released, and here's what Camy had to say about it--as well as some other things...

What's the basic scoop on "Single Sashimi"?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Drake Yu. Why would Drake call her after … what, five years? Six?

Venus heard in his voice that resonance that was almost a growl, that titanium-hard determination to get what he wanted. And he usually got what he wanted. The voice said: “I want you to work for me.”

Not this time… If it was a choice between Drake and McDonald’s—she’d choose french fries. She’d never work for him again. It would take an act of God.

Venus Chau is determined to start her own game development company and launch the next Super Mario-sized phenomenon. However, she needs an investor to back her idea. When Drake Yu, an old nemesis, approaches Venus with a contracting opportunity at his sister’s startup, the offer to become Chief Operating Officer tempts Venus to think the unthinkable.

Venus would rather throw away her PS3 than work for Drake again … except Grandma bribes Venus to do this favor for Drake’s wealthy family with a coveted introduction to the most respected investor in the game industry. It’s also a short job—only a few months—so Venus won’t have to stand Drake’s presence for very long.

But one wild youth group, a two-faced assistant, and Grandma’s determined match-making threaten to make them both fail—or go insane. With the encouragement of her three cousins, Lex, Trish, and Jennifer, Venus discovers that even a wounded heart can undergo a beautiful transformation …

This is the third book in this series, right? Will there be a fourth? If not, what do you have planned as your next release?

Yes, Single Sashimi is the third book in this series. Zondervan didn’t contract me for the fourth book, BUT I will be writing it anyway and offering it around the end of the year as a free ebook download to members of my YahooGroup newsletter. It’s tentatively titled “Weddings and Wasabi.”

To join my YahooGroup is free and easy! Visit this webpage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Camys_Loft/join

(If anyone has problems joining my YahooGroup, they can email and I can help them out.)

As for my next “official” release, I’m writing a romantic suspense tentatively scheduled for August 2009 that will be released by Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Suspense line. It’s titled Deadly Intent, and it’s set in a day spa in Sonoma, California.

What was the most difficult or challenging part of writing "Single Sashimi"?

The research for Single Sashimi was harder than my other books because it was a completely new field for me. I had to rely heavily on friends who hooked me up with other friends who work in the field of video game development. The two women I dedicated the book to were invaluable help in creating Venus’s career around her and also accurately depicting the world of start ups in the Silicon Valley.

What are you reading for fun right now?

Miss Fortune by Sara Mills. It’s like a Christian Maltese Falcon with a female protagonist.

What do you hope readers will take away from "Single Sashimi" (besides a craving for sushi, that is)?

I hope, first and foremost, that they have an entertaining, satisfying read. Second, I hope they come away with a renewed sense of how God is always in control.

Thanks for having me here, Alison!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pepper is the new ketchup

We've always known Abby likes her food with some taste, you know? She loves salsa, for example. I didn't even try salsa until I was 21.

But really, this is ridiculous.

It started at Claim Jumper's the other day. Dan took her there for dinner because I needed a break. They started putting pepper on her...grapes. Yes. Grapes. And she loved it.

Fast forward to today. We're eating dinner at my parents' place. I come back from putting Penny Jane down for a nap and find Abby sprinkling pepper on her...cucumber. Ooookay. Then Mom tells me she ate six cherry tomatoes--which she has previously loathed--all dusted with pepper. For dessert, she had applesauce, and, well...

Looks like I'm it

My book club buddy and doula, Sheridan, tagged me for this survey. I haven't done one of these things in a while, so I figured why not? :)

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules to your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

1. I have 1.5 chapters done on my fourth book.
2. I just ate an apple with peanut butter for my mid-morning snack.
3. Today I'm wearing my glasses instead of my contact lenses.
4. Five objects that are within reach here on the dining room table are: my FlipVideo, the baby monitor, PJ's appointment card for her 9 month well-baby check, the remote to Abby's GeoTrax train, and my peanut butter-smeared plate.
5. There are currently eleven tabs open on my Firebox browser window.
6. I am a world-class procrastinator, evidenced by the fact that I just chose to spend 10 minutes on this blog instead of doing any of the hundred or so other things I really *ought* to be doing.

The five people (I don't follow directions well, what can I say) I am tagging are: My sister-in-law Kelli, my friend Marcela, my friend Meg, my brother Kyle, and my husband.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It curls!

I was going to get it styled like I did when I first moved out here, but when Brooke started going at it we realized that it really curls when it's short. So, voila, the new me!

Monday, September 08, 2008

So long long hair!

I've finally reached the end of my rope with my hair. Tomorrow at 2:30 it's getting HACKED and I'll send it in to Locks of Love. I'm going back to my super-short cut that I got when I first moved out here. I CAN'T WAIT. It's been way too long since I did something with my hair.

So tune in tomorrow night for the results! Here's the BEFORE:

Friday, September 05, 2008

So this is what we've come to

We used to have a first amendment, if I remember correctly. And the freedom to assemble peacefully. Apparently not anymore.

Our government has more in common with Nazi Germany these days than it does with our own Constitution. God save us all.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wonder Pets, we love you...

One of Abby's favorite shows is The Wonder Pets. For those of you not hip to the toddler TV trends, The Wonder Pets are three preschool classroom pets--a duckling named Ming Ming, a turtle named Tuck, and a guinea pig named Linny--who rescue baby animals from various quandaries after the preschoolers have gone home for the day. There's lots of singing--it's sort of opera-ish, where they sing instead of talking (though not always) and the theme of the show is always teamwork--they always work together to save the baby animal, and always employ some outside-the-box solution which they used previously to put together the Fly Boat. It's a cute show, overall, despite the disturbing hints of gender identity issues Linny (supposedly a girl, but not quite) displays.

Anyway, I've been noticing lately how much Abby has picked up from this show. Anyone claiming kids aren't influenced by what they watch should just observe her for a week and see just how much--good and bad--she soaks up from this show. Some samples:

1. She's BIG into teamwork, which overall is a good thing, though not when you're trying to sweep or change the baby's diaper. She'll say, "I need some teamwork over here!" when she wants help, and while you're working together she'll make you sing the teamwork song from the show.

2. One of the episodes involved helping a baby rooster who didn't know how to crow loud enough to wake the farm. After they give him some suggestions, he says, "Okay! I'll cock-a-doodle do it!" This is now Abby's favorite thing to say.

3. Lately she's talked about "being in trouble." I was confused for the longest time about what she meant since we never refer to her as being in trouble and, as far as I could remember, none of the shows she watches have characters who get in trouble, either. But just the other day I remembered one of the lines to the theme song is "There's an animal in trouble somewhere!" I realized she always says it when she's stuck or unable to get something to work right--like today, when trying to get her shoe on. "Mama, I got my foot in this one, but I in trouble with this other shoe because it keeps closing!"

4. In one of the shows, Ming Ming and Tuck get in a fight and Ming Ming sings, "I'm not going to talk to you anymore!" Well, now every once in a while Abby sings the same thing, complete with dismissive head-toss. Oops.

5. The Wonder Pets always reward themselves with celery after a successful rescue. Now she eats celery. Woohoo!

6. Dozens and dozens of "Hey! Like on Wonder Pets!" that occur throughout the day--animals we see (like the cranes at the Wild Animal Park), instruments (there was a mouse in a saxophone once, then we saw a sax on Riverdance), etc. I'm stunned sometimes by the details she remembers. Just one more reminder to watch our p's and q's around her. She's soaking it ALL in.

Catching up

My apologies for all the spotty blogging lately; there's been a ton on both my mind and my plate and I just haven't had the energy to sit and write anything. But now that we're back from our vacation in La Jolla (which, in all honesty, wasn't all that relaxing) I feel ready to at least post some updates.

First off--make sure you received my newsletter from August 17th. If you know you signed up but don't think you got it, check your spam and it should be there. If you aren't sure if you signed up, go ahead and do it again--the system is smart and won't list you twice, so if you're already signed up you're not going to start getting multiple copies of the newsletter. And if you haven't signed up, then you can do it right now--just put your email address in the little box up there in the right-hand column and click the wee button. When your submission goes through I'll send you a copy of the August newsletter, and if you want you can read the the June issue in the archives.

Second off--I have officially begun working on book #4, and since I'm sick and tired of calling it Book #4, I hereby dub it with the working title of "Guilt." Though, to be completely accurate, I actually haven't started working on the book itself--I've just started the marketing for it. That's a kick--filling out a marketing packet for Zondervan for a book that doesn't exist yet except in my snowflake notes. Which ROCK, by the way: of the 5 things Zondervan (hereby called Z) requested in the marketing packet, 3 of them were steps in the snowflake and are thus already completed. A little cut-n-paste and I'm done. Woohoo! Unfortunately, one of the other things it asks for is 15-20 pages of completed manuscript that is representative of the whole of the book, and since I haven't started writing yet I am not only short 15-20 pages, I am clueless as to what section of the book would actually *be* a good representative of the whole. The marketing stuff is due in to Z on Oct. 1 so I've got some time to sort it out. And who knows--given how comprehensive the snowflake is, I may have half the book done by then! Wouldn't that be a trip?!

Third off--If you're ever in San Diego, you've GOT to go to the Wild Animal Park. We went the other day and had so much fun! Though I did learn some things:

1. The Wild Animal Park is nowhere near the Zoo, which is, of course, in San Diego. It is in Escondito, which is inland quite a bit. Therefore...

2. ...when planning a trip to the Wild Animal Park, do NOT check the weather in San Diego and get all excited at the thought of a nice day in the mid-70's and decide to wear jeans. Because when you get to Escondito it will be 93 degrees and you will feel like a giant sweating pig by hour #3.

3. Bring strollers for ALL children. Do not assume that the forward-facing carry you read about online will work with your sling and that your baby will want to be in it all day, thus freeing up the stroller for your toddler. And when you're on the Safari Walk for 45 minutes and are going up the third hill, your toddler is going to want to ride, or else be carried, and then you're really stuck.

4. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the prices. No, it's not cheap, but it's not highway robbery the way some places are. And their kids' meal is awesome! (Though the bees will want to sample everything, too, which makes for a sort of dicey eating experience.)

Giant sweating pig-ness aside, it was a fantastic day and we can't wait to go again. It's only about an hour from us here in RSM, and since we have annual Zoo passes we get free admission and parking, so there's no reason for us not to go back a bunch, especially before the crowds start picking up. We went on the day the public schools all started classes, so the place was really empty, and the parking attendant said it's usually pretty empty through October. We're going to just keep an eye on the Escondito weather and head down there on cool days.

The only two things Abby said she wanted to see while we were there were, "a cat and a giant chicken." All the big cats were in hiding because of the heat, but we did see some meerkats, which she seemed happy with:

And while there were no giant chickens to be found, there were flamingos aplenty:

We also saw gorillas during feeding time--the trainer was atop their rocky enclosure and dropped whole bell peppers, corn on the cobs, and carrots to them, prompting Abby to say, "I want to be a monkey so you can throw food at me!" And there were tons of elephants, including one giving himself a bath, which Abby really enjoyed watching. Next time we go we're going to take the safari bus tour--can't wait for that!