Friday, December 31, 2010

Copper & Outlaw's Gotcha Day!

Yesterday was Copper & Outlaw’s ‘Gotcha Day’ – before they were named Copper and Outlaw and before I knew they were NOT both girls. If you read the quick Post from Dec 30, 2009 it’s funny because I mention their parents.

A sad and a strange update to that – their mother (Buttons) went missing a long time ago and she’s never been found. At least not by anyone on my Dad’s farm. Hopefully she was picked up by a nice family who’s taking good care of her. I’m not sure if she was microchipped or had a collar – it can be dangerous as it can get caught on anything out in the woods. The break-a-way collars break-away so…

It’s also terrible the shelter told my Dad she was spayed – she wasn’t.

The tomcat from another farm in the area kept coming around my Dad’s farm – lots of cats gravitate toward it because my Dad has a soft heart and feeds strays. (How can you not?) But this cat was NOT neutered and very interested in some of these strays so my Dad shooed him away for months. The tomcat managed to get Buttons pregnant.

The neighbor told my Dad the tomcat was real skittish but if he could catch him, the neighbor would pay to have him neutered. My Dad spent weeks and more patience than I was given in a lifetime trying to sweet talk this cat who he’d been yelling at for months.

My Dad caught him, and the cat was neutered.

So now, it’s a year after I adopted Copper and Outlaw from Buttons and the tomcat’s litter of five – and I find out my Dad is housing five cats of the original 19 strays – one of these cats is the tomcat!

I asked HOW he got him to come inside and my Dad said patience and the fact that it’s absolutely freezing outside. The first day he got the cat inside, the cat was terrified, looked around, ate and the minute my Dad opened the door, he bolted.

The second day, when my Dad opened his door, he ran in with the other cats like he was one of them. He’s still a bit skittish and while the other cats sleep on the bed, he curls up on the nightstand. He’s also wary but when he sees my Dad, he comes – sometimes even runs – up to him. It’s so obvious the cats pick up on my Dad’s gentle nature. (Seriously, is it any wonder I turned out to be a vegan?)

If you told us one year ago that Buttons (the mother) would go missing and the tomcat (I named him Kimble) was now one of the chosen – neither my Dad nor I would believe you.

It’s funny how life works.

One of these days, I’m going to get my hands on photos of Copper and Outlaw’s siblings. There’s Bandit, a gorgeous, long-haired calico. There’s Pumpkin, a sweet orange and white. There’s an all black cat no one named.

I’ll Post something about them soon – I asked my Dad to stay in touch with the no-kill shelter he had to give them to. There were just too many to support and my Dad can’t bear to see animal’s suffering, even if they’re outdoor cats.

Makes you wonder what update I’ll have in a year’s time…

Sunday, December 5, 2010


My best friend got married yesterday!!!!!!! She wanted a snow-themed wedding.

On Wednesday, we got the slightest trickle of snowflakes. I think they melted before they hit the ground. Thursday was the same deal.

I woke up yesterday, opened my curtains and gasped.

She got her snow-themed wedding and then some! It was a winter wonderland outside and it was still snowing! Bare trees were now covered in glistening snow, cars were buried and the streets were cleaned.

(The meteorologists said Chicago was well prepared and travel shouldn’t be canceled or worried about. Chicago is great about keeping the streets clear of snow. It’s a perk - unless you get stuck behind one of the many snow plows!)

A bunch of us trekked Downtown and had tons of fun. The wedding was so comfortable and it was so easy to talk to people I didn’t know or hadn’t seen in a long time. It was thoroughly enjoyable.

After the ceremony, during the reception, the huge, snow-covered balcony caught a five and a half year olds’ eye. There were children building a snowman. (It was more like a snowbear, though the bride’s sister swore it was a snowpig. But to me, it looked like a rather scary snowbear.)

A few of us went out there and built a snowman and had a snowball fight.
This was the third wedding I’ve been to this year, the first in California, the second in Vegas and this one in Downtown Chicago.

I’m so happy for everyone and their bright futures and wonderful parties and supportive, loving friends and family. It’s a beautiful reminder of what life has to offer and what we make of it.

I congratulate my cousin and his new wife, my sister’s best friend and her new husband and my best friend and her husband. I wish them all the very best and can’t wait to see what future they make.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Can You Write Angry?

Okay, I've got a question for you guys to assure myself that it's not just me...

By Saturday, 11/6, I'd written over 25,000 words of the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words of a new novel for the month.

Yesterday, I had an unpleasant argument with someone. Well, one unpleasant argument after another after another - there was no pleasing this person! Anyway, I ended up shaking mad. (It's been a while since I've been shaking mad! Probably since the last time I argued with this person. ('Doctor, it hurts when I do this. So don't do that.') Sigh.)

The point is that I didn't write yesterday. I planned my day to write. I set my goal at 5,000 words minimum. (I'm pretty busy for the next seven days straight so I want to keep my word count high to offset living my outside life.)

I didn't write one word. I even wanted to write one word just to have written at least one word but I didn't write one word. I couldn't look at my notebook - I couldn't even think about the murder mystery, the Westins or my fictional town.

What about you? When you get shaking mad (assuming I'm not the only one this happens to outside of bad movies) and you're in a bad mood for the rest of the day, can you write? Or do any kind of creative thing you might enjoy? Quilting or singing or even chores where you have to think like paying the bills or doing your taxes?

What do you do with the rest of your day once you realize you can't break free from the prison of a bad mood but it's noon and you can't go to bed?

I'm very curious and eagerly awaiting your answers...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Touched on Halloween

Words are needed for the pictures below so they come across as powerful as they are.

Trick-or-treaters came to our door. A bunch of little kids - one dressed as a witch with awesome green face paint, a cute teeny tiny sheriff, a cowboy and so on.

Then there was the mailman. I held the bucket out for the kids to chose their choice of chocolate sugar and he handed me a little card. "This is for you," he said in a little boy's voice.

"For me?"

He shrugged his little shoulders. "I'm giving them to everyone." He took his candy and left.

I opened the tiny card and choked up.

Sweeter than any candy...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Friday 56 - Three Shirt Deal by Stephen J. Cannell

This is a cool weekly meme from Story Time With Tonya.

1. Grab the book nearest you right now.
2. Turn to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like).
5. Post a link with your post to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.

And remember - no spoilers. We want to share books and suggest books - not spoil books!

"It's a whole rigamarole. First, I gotta notify my supervisor, Captain Sasso, how I lost my ID, and you know that's gonna turn into a mud fight."

Yikes - that's look pretty bad for a cop. Me? I lose my license every few months but then, I'm a madcap writer, not a copper!
Awwww...I got his autograph, I think in 2008. So glad I did.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stephen J. Cannell

This guy inspired and entertained me since I was a little girl. His humorous writing, witty characters, fun, action and adventure shows got me through days I didn't think I'd get through. I was very sick as a child and in a lot of pain most days. What he did with his life affected mine in the most positive ways. He's part of the reason I write - I want to use my life inspiring, entertaining and helping people just like he helped me...

Stephen J. Cannell, you will be missed but never forgotten.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

National Talk Like A Pirate Day

So it's National Talk Like a Pirate Day again - though since it's Sunday it's National Talk Like a Pirate Weekend!!

Love Johnny Depp - who's he? Never mind, let's try that again.

Love Captain Jack Sparrow! Best. Pirate. Ever.

Here is my pirate name. Suspiciously similar to my Pirate Name of 2007
My pirate name is:
Iron Jenny Flint
Get your own pirate name from
part of the network
"A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with  you though, since you are a tough person. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But also like flint you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arrr!! "
Here is my TTOTLAPPI Results (The Official Talk Like a Pirate Personality Inventory), important for resumes and the like:

"You are The Cap'n!
Some men and women are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any scalawag who stands between them and unlimited power. You never met a man - or woman - you couldn't eviscerate. You are the definitive Man of Action, the CEO of the Seven Seas, Lee Iacocca in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. You're mission-oriented, and if anyone gets in the way, that's his problem, now isn't? Your buckle was swashed long ago and you have never been so sure of anything as your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off his head if he shows any sign of taking you on or backing down. If one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not."

What's Yer Inner Pirate?

brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

Hmmm, interesting...what did you all come up with?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stargate Convention 2010

     Friday morning I found out David Hewlett was going to be in Chicago Saturday. I didn't even know the convention was this weekend because I'd decided not to attend any more of them - unless David Hewlett or Richard Dean Anderson showed up.

     (Creation Cons are just too much about the money. I am spoiled by Doctor Who Conventions of old - $30 bucks gets you in, you sit where you want (pretty much), you get three signatures free for each actor/writer/producer... and can wait in line again if you want. You get pictures with them for free. And the actors stay and talked for the three days. Now THOSE were Conventions you could be proud to attend.)

     But there goes David Hewlett so I cleared my schedule and dutifully went to the hotel. He is one of my two all-time favorite actors. I'm inspired by his acting, envious of his attitude and love the way he treats his fans.

     I got to 'meet' him. He was so funny and genuine and humble and goofy and entertaining. (I didn't meet him in the sense of any real conversation but I did get to hug him so I'm going to say that counts!)

     Around 11:30, Hewlett & Flanigan walked on stage and Flanigan started talking about the chairs they sat in (director's chairs) and wondered why they're made that way. The chairs are tall and uncomfortable and he can't think of any other industry in which they're used. He asked Hewlett if it's for the make up and hair artists because they couldn't possibly bend down long enough to work their magic.

     Hewlett just stared at him. He spoke in the microphone, adopting an aloof tone. "So I went to Chicago to see Joe and David talk about the history of chairs."

     Flanigan looked embarrassed and shut his mouth - such a funny start!

     The questions started and a group presented Flanigan with the 'Twitter Actor of the Month Award' and Hewlett got the runner-up Award.

     I have been following David Hewlett's Twitter for years now, from the beginning. (I learned about Twitter through him, in fact.) I didn't even know Flanigan Tweeted. (Of course, as I said, Hewlett is one of my two all-time favorite actors.)

     Hewlett was beside himself. Again, he picked up the microphone, this time doing an impression of Flanigan. "So David, what's this Twitter thing?"

     Flanigan said, "It's true. I didn't even know what Twitter was. I just signed up three weeks ago." He turned to Hewlett, smugly. "Now I'm the 'Twitter Actor of the Month'."

     Hewlett shook his head. "Always Joe's sidekick." Then he looked at us and blurted, "I've been Tweeting and writing and typing for years!"

     He's so funny and I really do adore the way in which he treats his fans. He includes them. Talks to them. Answers them. Never once takes them for granted.

     If I'm blessed enough to develop a fan base of my own when I publish my mysteries, I'm prepared to model my attitude after this inspiring writer/actor/producer talented man.

     Later, he craned his neck to see someone at the microphone on one side and fell out of his chair. The funny thing was, it looked like he gracefully slid off of it. (At least from my angle in the nosebleed section!) I thought nothing of it until he said, "That was a rock star move right there. I totally meant to do that."

     He talked about family and what he's up to now (some movie with evil snow monkeys as his Twitter's been mentioning - come on! I want to see him in a cool, weekly program again!!) and a little about Atlantis. He said they should make the next show in the franchise Stargate McKay: SGM.

     There was lots of applause.

     I would totally watch that.

     I never would have known how short Hewlett & Flanigan are! I thought I was short but these guys barely stood over the top of my head. (Well, I guess Flanigan is a bit tall...) I remember when I saw Jason Momoa - he was gargantuan!

     It took four hours to get Hewlett's autograph. Michael Shanks was done long before - but he wouldn't do personalizations. Hewlett did.

     I didn't feel bad for Hewlett or his writing hand because this is part of his job and he chooses to do it. He's getting paid for it - he's at work. I do stuff in my job that isn't fun. But then, I don't know, around 9:30 or 10:00 I did start to feel for the poor man and his poor right hand/wrist!

     As a writer myself, I know how a bout of muse can cramp a hand fast. By the time I got up to him, a dozen or so people in front of me, Hewlett looked at this woman and said, "If I'd known I'd get up to 500 I'd have brought a balloon to give away."

     She was autograph number 500! How awesome for him. I only hope I could be as graceful, humble, humorous and in good spirits after four hours, 500 signatures and eleven o'clock at night if I ever got the chance...

     (His Twitter this morning is: "Chicago you owe me one signing arm! Thanks so much for the long and happy lines...See you soon!")

     I had him sign the DVD cover of his movie, A Dog's Breakfast. He said, "I see McGillion signed over my name. How about I sign my forehead?"

     "Wherever you want is perfect." It's past 11PM. I don't care where he signs! He then signed a picture for me. "Jenny. I have a Jenny." His sister's name is Jenny. Then he made a mark over the picture of Mars, his dog. "And there's Mars' signature for you."

     "Oh, how cool!" He signed for his dog - that's awesome! Who does that? (I love fun. Thank god I didn't have to pay extra :) )

     Oh, that's another thing. This guy adopted Mars from a shelter. The shelter thought Mars was sick or injured or something but it turned out he just had a slight deformity and is a perfectly healthy dog. Hewlett put him in his movie. Someone asked him about writing for the dog and Hewlett said he literally wrote the movie around the dog and the dog's facial expressions.

     As usual, the convention became more about the people I met then the actors I came to see. I met a funny woman who, it turns out, was in the group that gave the Twitter Awards away that morning. I met another lovely lady from Texas, also quite funny and enjoyable to talk to. I met up with an old friend, Matt. Met a new gal who is a photographer. Then I met a writer - published! In fact, she lives off her writing. (That's my dream that I work toward every day.)

     She's published over 20 books - historical romances. I'm going to check her out and you can too here. Her name is Teresa Medeiros.
     Do you know what she and her friend did? (Forgive me, Sir, I don't remember your name despite our having talked nearly four hours!!! And I'm not sure if you are her husband or friend or family...yikes! I'm so bad - my excuse is that I'm simply not my best (i.e. smartest) at night...)

     They walked me to my car. I parked a block away. I had to walk under a bridge and in a neighbornhood I'm not too familar with - certainly not at night. They both walked me to my car about 11:30 PM. I mean that is something I will forever be grateful for.

     I have met some of the nicest people on this earth in the audience at Conventions. It's amazing how, not only do writers/actors/artists keep me going through the darkest times in life, giving hope where there was only darkness and pushing people to be better than they think they are, but our love of the art brings us together.

     There are a lot of quotes about life and moments  such as "Life is not about how many breaths you take but about how many moments in life that take your breath away" and it's times like these that prove it so true.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Simba Follow Up

A couple of you inquired as to why I hadn't seen Simba in 9 months.

You can see why at my Post entitled Bye-Bye

and laugh at this Post called Radioactive Poop.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday 56 - Murder of Roger Ackroyd

This is a cool weekly meme from Story Time With Tonya.

1. Grab the book nearest you right now.
2. Turn to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like).
5. Post a link with your post to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.

And remember - no spoilers. We want to share books and suggest books - not spoil books!

"No suspicious strangers been hanging about anywhere?"
"Oh!" I said suddenly.
"What is it doctor?"
"I met a man this evening - just as I was turning out the gate."

Cool, huh? Right in the middle of an interview to collect evidence?
Perfect 56!!

Jennifer Oberth's Overview:

     Agatha Christie's done it again! She's brilliant. I love her books. I prefer character-heavy, character-driven books and Agatha Christie provides neither but her plots are so well written I don't miss anything.

     This particular entry is the first Hercule Poirot. The way he is introduced to us is priceless. (You'll have to read the book, or reread if you don't remember, `cause I'm not telling you!)

     Clues are there as you go along and you see some, not others. The minute you form an opinion, something knocks you in another direction.

     The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is suspenseful, driven and brilliant.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Transformers 3

These are more pictures (courtesy of E. Oberth) of the Transformers 3 filming. It's some incredible stuff these people are doing. These pics were taken in July in Downtown Chicago.

I hope you enjoy them!

This is a car hanging off the open Michigan Ave. Bridge
Upside down Chicago Bus!
On Wacker Drive
Billowing smoke on Wacker Drive
Cars on fire on Wacker Drive
Part of the Unitron Sign - reduced to rubble!
Look close at the middle left of the pic. That's a stuntman doing an amazing jump over the open Wabash Ave. Bridge
Stuntman walking back to jump over the Bridge again
Stuntman doing a roll after jumping over the open Bridge
Look again for the stuntman jumping his little heart out. Could you imaging this being your workday?
Stop drop and roll!!!