Thursday, April 30, 2009

Several levels of batty

Daily Stats:
Words: a metric shit ton
Caffeine: morning cup + midday iced cappuccino
Evil Calories: chocolate chip cookies (I may or may not have stood in the kitchen for twenty minutes chainswallowing the entire batch.)
Reality TV: Millionaire Matchmaker

a) Just so we're clear, you CANNOT get "swine flu" by eating bacon. An intestinal bug, maybe, but I don't think it's even biologically possible to contract a flu virus from something that is a)dead and b) cooked at 400 degrees for twenty minutes. I understand the mass media's need to keep us all scared shitless of everything, but c'mon peeps. Use thine noggin.

b) Currently I hate chapter 1, which is bad because there are 31 more chapters that need to be revised, yet chapter 1 is all up in my face giving me static. Trying to rework it is like trying to jello wrestle with a porcupine. I want to punch chapter 1 in the face, give it an enormous wedgey, freeze its bra and dip its hand in warm water while its sleeping, but I can't quite figure out how without doing serious harm to Sexy Beast.

which leads me to...

c) I must find my center. I must breathe. I must trust myself. I must do all that crap I tell everyone else when they're armpit deep in dry heave inducing revisions. I must not go postal on Sexy Beast. Sexy Beast is my friend. Chapter 1 is my friend. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

d) Those "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" people on TLC really bug me.

e) I can do this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Motivational Posters

Daily Stats:
Words: okay
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino
Evil Calories: Coconut madeleines (I heart you, Ina Garten!)
Reality TV: Biggest Loser

I couldn't resist posting these, because I feel I must share anything that makes me laugh so hard I almost spew Ritz crackers out my nose. Thanks to the fabulous Amy Ellis for sending these to me and almost causing me to embed flecks of Nabisco treats into my brain.


(by the way, I have NO idea why there's a big blank space down there before the comments. Blogger gives me rage.)

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Daily Stats:
Words: shiny
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino
Evil Calories: chocolate chip cookies, massive amounts of sushi for dinner last night (I'm on the fence whether this is actually evil. I did have to lay down after because I was so full. I really need to learn to stand up and take little walks in between spicy tuna rolls.)

So, my fellow writery/blogging friend, the talented and witty Debra Schubert over at Write on Target, nominated little ol' me for the prestigious Sexy Blogger Award! What does one have to do to have their blogging considered sexy, you ask? Well, here's what Ms. Legs-for-days-Debra had to say about me (seriously, check out the pics on her blog. She has stems to die for):

Vivi's the bomb. She's an awesome writer, keeps us updated on "evil calories" and thinks Rachel Ray is the anti-Christ. How sexy is that?

Never in a mil' did I think my propensity for sugar and my firm belief that Rachel Ray should play the next Pinhead could elevate me to "sexy" status. But if the shoe fits...

So, in order to accept this award highlighting my blogging sexiness, I must list
FIVE SEXY THINGS ABOUT MYSELF! (I have no idea why all that is in pink, so don't ask.) Then, I need to pass this award along to bloggers that I think bring a little sexy somethin'-somethin' to our blogosphere. Wow, no pressure or anything.

Okay, let's start with the
FIVE SEXY THINGS ABOUT MYSELF! (again, no idea why it's all in pink.)

1. My neck. It's long. According to my hubby, this is a good thing. I always thought I looked slightly ostrich-like. But apparently this is sexy. It's funny because I spend very little time on my neck. But now I'm thinking I should start investing in scarves. Hermes, naturally. Also considering bedazzling my neck from time to time. Must first investigate whether the glue will give me a rash. I'm fairly certain flaming red bumps would not be sexy.

I write. Okay, I think it's sexy. But I'm convinced only writers find writing sexy. Everyone else thinks we're a bunch of weirdos.

3. I can cook my ta-tas off. Hells, yeah. Life is too short to eat shitty food. I HEART cooking. Last week I believe our dinner menu consisted of spicy corn chowder w/homemade tortilla chips, slow cooked pulled pork tacos with a cabbage and pickled onion slaw, and ham and asparagus frittata. I love making things from scratch and I DETEST prepackaged convenience foods. In this country we've been hoodwinked into thinking we can't make anything. I mean...frozen mashed potatoes??? Prefab pot roast? Seriously? And they try to make you feel like you're saving time/money. It's BS peeps. Come stay with me for a week. Mama teach you how to make some good eats.

The fact that Dumb & Dumber is one of my favorite movies. It's true. I've probably seen it about five million times and the part where they eat the hot peppers still sends me into hysterics. As does Lloyd's daydream sequence where he fights the chef, the part with Harry in Mary's bathroom after Lloyd put laxatives in his tea, the part where Lloyd sees Harry and Mary together and starts to dry heave, and hubby's favorite, when they show up at the fundraiser and Lloyd sprays breath spray into the bad guy's eye.

5. I can throw a punch. First, let me say, I am NOT one of those crazy girls you see in a bar starting a fight with another girl over a fugly dude in a Kid Rock t-shirt. But I took kickboxing for many years and I can/will go all Jean-Claude Van Damme if I need to. I was taught well. Of kickboxing instructor is now in prison for having questionable relations with an under-age girl, but still. (ever hear of Ken Levy? Yeah...he got himself into a bit of pickle.)

And now I have to pass the sexy blogging torch:

First one has to go to Bonehead Racing. Okay, so he hasn't updated his blog in about a year. He's still smart, handsome and happens to be married to me, which is awfully convenient. He likes to talk about tires and turbo injected thingy majiggers and torque modulated bla-blas, which usually makes me glaze over, but he can also make me laugh until I pee my pants. Now, that's sexy.

Second goes to Amy Ellis over at Girlworks. Of course I have to give one to my own sister! Clearly this "blogging sexiness" runs in our DNA. She's smart, her writing rocks and she's a total Star Wars geek. Hubba, hubba!

And lastly, I've got to give one to my girl Elizabeth over at Inside My Oyster. She's funny, her writing is amazing and her passion for digging around, finding the truth and telling it unabashed is inspiring. Plus, she looks like Laura Dern. I mean, c'mon. If you look up "sexy" in the dictionary there's a picture of Laura Dern. It's a no brainer.

So, thank to Debra for passing along this illustrious award. I will try and live up to the blogging sexiness that is expected of me. But mostly I'll just keep eating evil calories and throwing holy water on the TV every time 30 Minute Meals comes on the Food Network. That seems to be working for me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm goin' in, people

Daily Stats:
Words: okay go
Caffeine: morning cup + midday cappuccino
Evil Calories: AMAZING chocolate chip cookies that my dear friend Jessica brought me for my birthday. I've been chain-swallowing them by the handful.

I know I said we needed time apart. We weren't getting along and we were so sick of looking at each other we had nothing but curled lips and stink-eyes to share. I vowed to stay away until at least the end of May. But I can't. Because writing a book, that, for some sick and twisted reason you were meant to write, is like being in love. Real-life love, not cliche, stereotypical, birds chirping/butterflies fluttering, fakey frosting with sprinkles love. Real-life love can make you feel sick, can give you a headache, can make you question everything about yourself. It can make you feel like a dull, talentless sub-human with fat ankles. But you can't just walk away. You have to grab it by the ear and make it work, because you've come too far; put way too much of yourself into it. And even though you may appear silly, deluded or just plain stupid, you believe, in every nook of your bones, that you can make it work.

So, starting tomorrow, I am beginning my rewrite on AC. I've got my checklist all ready:

- fridge stocked with grapefruit flavored seltzer water
- desk candy jar fully stocked with Runts
- playlist assembled on iTunes (featuring Apres Un Reve, Op 7 No 1. If you haven't tried writing to this song, you should).
- gardenia scented hand lotion
- picture of The Brain from Pinky and The Brain on bulletin board
- box of tacks ready to maim above mentioned picture of The Brain, because he represents my stinky-faced inner critic and he can go suck it as far as I'm concerned. If he gets in my way I'll go medieval on him. I'm not kidding.

So, breathe...namaste...bonsai...wax on, wax off...paint the fence...there is no spoon...yadda, yadda, I go...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Copious amounts of "duh"

Daily Stats:
Words: up
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: Let's not even talk about it, okay. Life is about moving forward and not dwelling on things like onion rings, coney dogs & cheesecake

Does anyone else have spring allergies that make your head feel like it's part cotton candy, part lava-lamp? I hate it with a fiery passion, and no matter how many allergy meds I take, I still feel like my head is about to fall off and bounce away. What's funny is that I notice odd things when I'm cavorting around town. Thing perhaps I wouldn't notice if my head were clear and non-slurry like. When I was at the mall, I bypassed all the spring handbags (clearly I'm ill) and zeroed in on the men's fragrance display. Namely, the men's Hummer fragrance that is now available for douche bags nationwide. Yes, Hummer. Because, you know, nothing says "sexy" like smelling like the gaping hole in our ozone layer. "Gee, babe, you smell like the death of our planet." "Thanks, it's my cologne. It reinforces my manliness when I'm going 90 on the freeway in the pouring rain, cutting off insignificant, fuel efficient vehicles and taking up 4000 parking spaces at Whole Foods."

Anyway, the other thing that suck rocks about having a head that feels like it's made entirely of Easy Cheese is that I find it slightly challenging to write anything worthwhile. However, I shant let the Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition pass me by. I encourage all of my writery/blogging friends to participate as well. There are several different categories and the grand prize is $3000 and a trip to NYC. Although, you do have to pay to enter a MS, but, c'mon, what brings us more joy than shelling out $20 so some half stoned skater dude in the mailroom at Writer's Digest can spill Mountain Dew all over our work? Gives me warm fuzzies just thinking about it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

my week

Daily Stats:
Words: some
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: see below
Reality TV: ANTM reruns on Oxygen

Last Sunday morning, I woke up to this:

Monday morning, I woke up to this:

So, I spent the week making these:

However, not wanting to compromise my recent EIGHT POUND weight loss and ending up with this physique...

...I sent them to work with hubby. Because I'm counting on those EIGHT POUNDS to help me convince the world that, even though I'm going to be 36 tomorrow, I am still young and chic:

...and not:

Because I swear that just a week ago, I looked like this:

(note the stylish eyepatch and homespun haircut. Love ya, mom!)

Anyway...happy weekend everyone! Oh...

...and Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Daily Stats:
Words: some
Caffeine: morning cup + lunchtime cappuccino
Evil Calories: evil fudgey brownies
Reality TV: ANTM reruns on Oxygen

I'm having one of those days. I'm sleep deprived, the darling boy is coming down with a cold and has spent most of the day using me as a pillow, and a snowstorm is fixing to dump on us at any moment. I was going to post, but when I dug into my bag of wit and charm, I came up empty handed. So, instead I decided to post an excerpt from chapter 6 of After Charlie. There's no particular reason, other than when I went to pop in and say hello to my vacationing AC folder, it was the first chapter I opened and was reminded how much I miss my girl Annie. It's not edited in the least, so it may seem clumsy and disjointed, but whatever. It's me. Currently I'm clumsy and disjointed as well.

Chapter 6

On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Annie received a strange call from a total lunatic. She wasn’t in the midst of a huge celebration surrounded by mingling friends about to slice through layers of sponge cake and butter cream when the phone rang. She was alone, watching the X-files and picking mats of yellow and white fur off of her cat, Poe, who, at nineteen pounds, had a rather difficult time tending to task by himself.

Aiding Poe in his grooming process wasn't exactly the way she'd envisioned ringing in her leap to adulthood, but when she dug the cordless phone from between the cushions of the couch and answered, her world took such a deep and neck-wrenching plunge that dander-ridden tufts of tabby hair where heavenly in comparison.

“How would you like to come to California for a weekend?” where the first words that came barging through the receiver, the voice abrupt and deadpan. It wasn’t that Annie was shocked that after fourteen years, her mother was making an attempt at parenthood; it was that, after fourteen years, these were the first words that her mother chose to say. It seemed not much had changed; that her mother still didn’t deem Annie fit for basic social pleasantries. No “hello”, “how are you?” or even a simple “happy birthday”. Her next words were, “There’s great shopping in the city. You should see for yourself. They have an FAO Schwartz too.” Annie wanted to pause the moment, pull out a pen and paper and begin making well arranged, bullet-pointed list of how flawed the conversation had been so far. Starting with the offensive non-greeting, moving on to the fact that Annie lived in a city and she was well aware of the shopping to be had, jumping then to the fact that she, her mother, had the audacity to suggest what Annie should or shouldn’t see, as if she’d been living in a barrel inside a cave for the last fourteen years and hadn’t seen anything worthwhile and thank God she called and decided to make an attempt at being human so Annie could finally live, and lastly moving on to the fact that, though her mother may have missed this little detail since she’d been away and missed so much, Annie was no longer seven, and the dangling of an FAO Schwartz in front of her face had little effect.

Annie would later realize that the pain stretching from her forehead all the way down to her pinky toe was absolute, unadulterated dread, and there wasn’t enough sighing, groaning or burying her face in her hands to capture just how much she did not want to go to California. Of course, to her dad it was a Greek tragedy in the making. Go meet your mother, the cold, cavernous void from whence you sprang, soak up all the irony, study all her nuances for signs of guilt and regret, have tense, metaphoric conversations, grope for answers, but end up leaving with more questions, then come home, write it all down in iambic pentameter and call it something deep yet quirky, like
Regret is a Bologna Sandwich on Rye.

Annie agreed to go, not because of her dad, but because of that little pest inside of her, nudging her, like she was passing a crumpled, overturned car on the side of the road. She didn't want look but she had to, just to see how bad it was. To say they were the worst three and a half days of her life would be far too mild a statement, since it limits the horrific weekend to just her life, when more accurately it would have been the worst three and half days for anyone in the history of time had they been forced to live it. Within five minutes of Annie’s mother picking her up from the airport (out on the curb at baggage claim, mind you, not actually parking or coming inside) they’d covered every topic (“how was the flight?” and “are you hungry?”) and every moment from that point on was drenched with a unnerving silence that made Annie’s skin hurt. Her mother had remarried a balding, alpha-male know-it-all with three kids from a previous marriage, who acknowledged Annie only when she accidentally unplugged their Nintendo 64 to plug in her alarm clock. There was no actual trip to the city or to FAO Schwartz and instead her mother offered to drop her off at the mall to shop on her own. When her mother wasn’t shirking her parental responsibilities, she’d just sit and nod along with her husband while staring out the window, seemingly as unattached to her current family as she had been to her last. On the last day of the trip, Annie broke her oversized sunglasses, came down with a horrible sinus infection, and discovered as she was packing that their evil Siamese cat had been using her suitcase as a litter box.

It was unclear why the distinct, prickly memory of that weekend suddenly hit Annie while she was re-filling coffee cups at the counter, looking up every so often to see Pepper Ann giving her little nods of approval from across the cafe. Just a few short minutes before, she'd introduced Annie in way that made everything in the room feel like it was letting out a long, relieved sigh.

“This is our friend Annie. She’s giving us a hand today.” She said it proudly, without apology, without that slight cringe that read, “I’m sorry she’s not Phoebe, but we’ll push through.” Our friend Annie. Not even our new friend Annie, just our friend, giving it weight and history. Our friend, instantly fusing Annie into a close-knit circle, which made her feel strange and content. And the customers didn’t protest or reject Annie’s attempts at small talk. Even the silent shriveling Len, who hadn’t seemed to notice her going from customer to pseudo-employee, put on his best fork-raise when she filled his coffee cup.

Her world - the one laden with boxes of letter and absent parents, traveling sort-of Aunts and silent, empty condos, estranged jobs and retreating friends – immediately lost its luster compared to the world of “our friend Annie”. She wasn’t usually one to entertain thoughts of a being a different person and heartily subscribed to the theory of the grass always seeming radiantly greener on the other side. Every life had its pitfalls, and yes, she could sit around imagining herself four inches taller, boobs a cup size bigger, hair thicker, wallet fatter, friends nicer, career sounder, but it would do nothing but make her feel worse when she when to live out the less impressive life she already had. But as she delivered eggs benedict and a sausage omelet with well-done hash browns to table six, passing Pepper Ann, who was itching the end of her nose, but still managed to smile and make it look effortless, she was “our friend Annie”, snuggling into it like a thick, wool pea coat.