Summer Rain

I woke this morning to a sky that was just beginning to cloud over, and two dogs who were begging to dash outside for their morning business. They came in much sooner than I expected, and when I looked outside to see if there was an animal that might have scared them, I noticed fading rain drops on the porch and picnic table.

The sky, was still predominantly blue, however.

Ten minutes later, the blue had been replaced by thick grey, and thunder was rumbling in the distance. I love thunderstorms. They invigorate me more than even the best coffee sipped at the coolest cafe. I may be a fire-sign (Leo) but water is my element. I am LEO hear me…splash!

There’s something especially magical about a summer rainstorm. Even when you live in a place where it rains frequently, warm rain is special, and freeing in much the same way that running through sprinklers is. It touches the kernel of childhood innocence in all of us.

Rain and thunder, to me, are as musical and inspiring as any symphony, and as accessible as any pop song, but when you combine rain with music? Sheer brilliance.

Just watch:

Marcy’s Playground

While my husband insists upon calling my “Word Lounge” the “Abode of Writeyness,” it actually has another moniker that dates back to January when I bought some weight equipment.

As someone who doesn’t keep “normal” hours, and doesn’t particularly like group exercise anyway, I determined that I needed some form of strength training in addition to the walking and dance warmups and calisthenics I was already doing, I found a weight machine that only cost $200, and I’ve been using it fairly regularly ever since.

The brand listed on all the documentation is some sports-equipment-y name I can never remember, but the name MARCY is stamped in friendly orange letters on the seat back.

Can you blame me, then, for thinking of the room as “Marcy’s Playground?”

I Hate Summer!

Temperatures over 100 should be illegal. Actually, I’m not fond of anything over 90, but when it’s not humid, I can deal. Still, I’m not a fan of summer because:

  1. I don’t like to sweat without exertion to earn it. It gives me acne breakouts that make me look even more like a twelve-year-old than I generally do.
  2. I become lethargic.
  3. The dogs become even more lethargic than I do.
  4. Ever since having LASIK six years ago, I’m very sensitive to bright light.
  5. The bugs from outside try to come inside. I hate bugs.
  6. Since I’m long past school days, those long summer evenings just mean I don’t want to ease into my evening routine. I stay up too late, and then I don’t function well in the morning.
  7. I am constantly reminded how near the beach we don’t live. I miss the ocean. The shark toy in the pool doesn’t help.

On the other hand, summer does bring my birthday and Shark Week, though not in that order.

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

It’s that time of year again, when the sun seems to be so close it’s cruel, and the temperatures are so hot that economy of movement is a necessity rather than mere laziness. It’s the week that my month starts (other people may celebrate their birthdays for a single day, but I lay claim to the entire MONTH of August…though I share it happily enough).

As if they’re doing it just for me, the Discovery Channel offers their annual tribute to sharks. Yes, Shark week begins tonight with a two-hour Mythbusters extravaganza.

Who can resist?

Lost Pictures

Somewhere in a box there are pictures of me as a young girl, when my hair was still more gold than brown, and my mother made most of my clothes. I’ve never really cared for pictures of me, but suddenly I want the one of me and a childhood friend in school girl costumes – you know, like when you put the hood of your sweatshirt over your head, and tie the strings under your chin, but slip your arms from the sleeves so that it’s a cape, and your ruler is a ray gun, and the cheap mask leftover from Halloween turns you into Supergirl or Wonder Woman or whatever.

Somewhere in a box there’s a picture of me and a boy my age dressed up like superheroes, with blankets and towels tucked into the collars of our t-shirts.

We were superheros who fought against JAWS because it was the ’70s, when the movie was new enough, scary enough, to keep our young toes on the sand when we went to the beach, and instead of pretending to fight with plastic light sabers (because they didn’t yet exist) we argued about who’s house the radio guy meant when he said, “Coming soon to a theater near YOU!”

Somewhere in a box there are pictures, but in my heads are the movies and the memories and the taste of innocence that lingers at the back of my mouth and the scent of childhood that wafts across my dreams.

Conversations with Fuzzy

“Lovey!” Fuzzy called in his panicked tone, as he entered the house last night. (It should be noted, however that Fuzzy, aka Stoic!Boy, is a midwesterner, and therefore his panicked tone is only fractionally different from his normal voice.) “Lovey, we need to talk about the car.”

This is not the way to begin a conversation, especially when your wife is a self-identifying Californian with strident Italian relatives, and a history of summering with them at the Jersey shore. (Translation: there is no way in hell I could ever be called Stoic!Gal.)

“What’s wrong?” I asked, my mind rapidly flipping through options. Did we need to find a truck accident lawyer because my generally mild husband finally lost it and attacked the driver of one of the ubiquitous monster-SUVs that block the sun from half our neighborhood. Or worse, had he hit an animal?

“We need to get the tires done, like now. I noticed one has visible steel.”

I refrained from pointing out that car maintenance falls into his purvey. I pay the bills, I do the cooking, and I deal with most home repairs, but the car is his job.

“Okay,” I said. “I thought you’d asked for a quote on new tires a few weeks ago.”

“Well, they never called me back.”

I gave him the sort of death glare that is so often used between committed partners. The one that clearly means, “And you aren’t capable of picking up the phone to follow up???” (The multiple question marks are obligatory.)

“I guess I should call them tomorrow morning,” he said after an excruciatingly long pause in which I practiced the technique I learned when still in mortgages of not talking first once a deal has been offered because the person who speaks first loses.

“Yes,” I said, “I think that would be a good idea, Sweety.”

Approximately seventeen hours later, the car was sporting new tires.

Smallville isn’t the only fictional town in Kansas

Over the last two and a half weeks, Fuzzy and I have worked our way through the entire too-brief run of Jericho, thanks to the superpass at Blockbuster that allows you to take out a movie, and keep swapping it for other movies and/or games for one monthly fee.

Those who know me will understand why I resisted watching it when it was on: Other than the fact that it conflicted with Project Runway at least some of the time, I have issues with movies and shows that involve people being tired, cold, scared, hungry, dirty, or lacking toilet paper. It is for this reason that I stopped watching Battlestar Galactica, and it is for this reason why the Underworld movies, which premise I like, did not appeal.

I have no problem with dark subjects, blood and guts, or violent scenes as long as they move the plot forward, and as long as they also involve the main characters getting to go home to a warm dinner, a hot bath, and bunny slippers after they’re done saving the world or fighting for injustice.

Nevertheless, once we were fifteen minutes into Jericho, I was wishing we had a living room with surround sound and home theater seating, because I was hooked. It helped, I think, that some of the writers had worked on one of my favorite shows, The West Wing, and that the producer, John Turtletaub was also involved with the National Treasure movies, which I think are lovely escapist entertainment.

So, this post sees me standing corrected. Jericho rocks, and I’m sorry I didn’t watch it when it was actually, you know, on.

Pink Ink.

I should be blogging about the sexy pink fountain pen that I bought from RichardINK, but I’m so tired, and have written so many words today for work and in my novel, and such, that I’m going to just crash.

However, I will note that among the ink cartridges he sent with the pen was a pink one that I cannot wait to try, and the weight of the pen is really satisfyingly solid without being uncomfortably heavy.

And on that note, I’m going to bed. Yay, bed.

Media Monday: Mamma Mia

It opened here on Friday, and we saw it on Sunday, and loved it. It’s fluff, but it’s joyful fluff, and reminded me of being seven years old and knowing the lyrics to all of ABBA’s music. I had to be restrained to keep from singing along. (Note: there needs to be a sing-along Mamma Mia in the same vein as the sing-along Sound of Music.)

As we were leaving, Fuzzy said, “So we’re buying this on DVD as soon as it comes out, right?”

As if there’s any question.

P.S. The calendar may say “Tuesday,” but as I haven’t been to bed yet, it’s still “Monday” to me.

Catching Up

I’ve been negligent about blogging here. I could list any number of things that were keeping me away, but the reality is, I’ve either been writing fiction, writing for work, prepping for my conference, or reading, and I feel like I’m gathering my energy. Also, I just don’t have a lot to say.

The weekend before last, we went to one of those seminars where they try to sell you a timeshare and give you prizes. We had no intention of buying anything, even when they offered to throw in everything from Callaway golf clubs to the kitchen sink, but we left with a gift certificate for 2 free tickets anywhere in the US (sadly, too late to use for San Francisco) and a seven-day car rental to use with them.

Not too shabby.

We also saw Hancock which was disappointing, largely because it was a black comedy for the first half than morphed into some weird romantic epic/action flick. The performances were fine. The script sucked.

We spent this last weekend at the movies as well, seeing The Dark Knight on Saturday afternoon, and both Journey to the Center of the Earth and Mamma Mia on Sunday. Gotta love matinees.

I also had my nails done, in preparation for my trip. I had a discount for services at a place Deb said was good, and we met there, and had some girly fun. I’m now sporting solar acrylics – I’ve never had fake nails before – but the cost is about the same, and it’s been two and a half days and they still look amazing. With normal nails, I can’t go two and a half hours without chipping or breaking something. They’re longer than I’m used to, however, and I can’t decide if I like the French Manicure look. Still, they look really good.

Two weeks to go.
Watch now as I panic.