Friday, December 4, 2009

My NaNoWriMo Experience

I’ve had a story swimming through my head since I was on maternity leave. Wanting to put pen to paper, or more appropriately fingers to keyboard, I tried to steal snippets of time here and there. Months go by, I return to work, and the notes I’ve accumulated for this little idea of mine keep building.

November fast approached and I decided to try my hand at National Novel Writing Month. I signed up, hoping to keep pace with the 1667 words I would need to type everyday to reach 50,000 words by the end of November. My story is a melding of Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta in terms of science and Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson in terms of vampires, humor, snark, and a strong heroine.

Everyone should know that I am a novice at fiction. Apart from the assignments I had to do in high school English, I’ve never taken a creative writing class. I read constantly, going through 2 books a week on my commute to and from work. I’m a chemist by training and have written several technical projects, mainly a PhD thesis, a MS dissertation, and several scientific journal articles about my research. All of these works were very specific, outlining my procedures, results, and conclusions. There isn’t much room for interpretation when it comes to the kind of research I’ve done. My degrees are in analytical chemistry and my focus has always been on instrumentation and data collection. My PhD research involved acousto-optic deflectors for background correction with Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy. My MS research involved making carbon fiber microelectrodes and Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy to image neurons. Two very large mouthfuls of words, aren’t they?

Several of you were my NaNoWriMo buddies: OnePushyFox, FragileLittleHuman, TrueBloodTwilight, EyesofAmber, and UhYesPlease. Congratulations to Foxy, TrueBloodTwilight, and EyesofAmber for hitting 50,000 words in one month. I finished 14,108 words and FragileLittleHuman probably wrote 50,000 words. She just spread them out amongst Breathe Me and several other stories she’s working on.

While I didn’t get to 50,000 words, I did set a pace that I am happy with. I am gone from home for work 12 hours each weekday. I also have an 8 month old son at home who doesn’t get to see Mommy for very long during the week. Writing at home was out in my book; my job at home is to play, snuggle, bathe, and have fun with my sweet little boy. This left the time I am on a train to and from work for writing. Since I’m pretty dead in the morning from tending to said son, I usually go back to sleep on the way to work. I did encounter Foxy every morning, which got up at 5 am to write her NaNoWriMo novel. She is always super supportive and understands what my life is like, having kids of her own.

I’ve found that I can write 1000 words on a trip home, as long as I’m not distracted by Twitter or the smelly weirdo’s on the train. Some days I did well, other days I just didn’t write. One thing that was detrimental to my progress was my lack of a clear outline. I’m a procrastinator by nature and didn’t plan out my dissertation or thesis too clearly. They were both written in about one month, with several nights of only 3 hours of sleep before returning to school to teach. I'm currently going back and editing the chapters I have written. After I've done this I'm going to construct a clear outline which should help me finish more easily. I won't sit on the train and think "Hmm, what should I write about today?"

I kept my commuting activities a secret. The only people that knew I was participating in NaNoWriMo were the one's I know online. Not one member of my family knew about this, until now. I don't really know why I didn't share that I was doing this. One reason was my fear of failure. Another reason is my tolerance for being asked the same questions repeatedly. If no one knows about it, I won't have to keep asking the same questions over and over again. Therefore I won't want to get stabby.

NaNoWriMo was a good experience. I could have been much more successful. I’m not willing to sacrifice the time I have with my son and family, or my sanity. So I leave you with the synopsis for "The Immortal Drug." I’m still working on it and hope to make significant progress, one commute home at a time. Thank you to everyone for your support. A big thanks to MrsVanquish for reading a little of what I have and thinking I need to continue the story.

"Aubrey Kelly is a senior forensic scientist who analyzes drug evidence for the Federal Drug Agency. Due to a large backlog of evidence she’s forced to take on new responsibilities and additional lab workers whom she is now in charge of. In the current state of economic distress of the United States, drug crimes are exploding. Methamphetamine laboratories are on the rise and a deadly new heroin is appearing on the streets. Is the drug deadly only to the local junkies who then disappear from the morgue? Are the scientists tasked with decoding the pale pink powder’s deadly secret in danger? Little does Aubrey know that secretive and handsome new coworker Conor holds the key to decoding the secrets of the new drug. Will knowing what the powders contain put Aubrey and her best friend in harm’s way?"

Psst...the fabulous lady whose name I got in the Lemon Sister's Secret Santa swap is going to have a big surprise. My main character's best friend is going to be named after her!

Like the Lolcatz for NaNoWriMo? Click this link to see even more.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My New Blog Design By Twispired Designs!

If you've been a somewhat frequent visitor to this blog, you've seen only two stock Blogger layouts used here since June. Both of them were boring and super blah. I've always wanted a much fancier design and Mrs Vanquish from Let's Ride The Vanquish made my dream come true! She has started a blog layout service called Twispired Blog Design. Check out her site if you're thinking about getting a custom blog design.

Twispired blogdesign

Thank you so much Mrs Vanquish, you gave me the blog I had envisioned when I daydreamed about a fancy page to bitch and moan on. Hugs all the way from America!

So seriously, check out the other blogs she has worked on and get in line! I have a feeling the line is about to get really long! She's the best.

On a more personal note, now that I have a fancy new design, I'll finally post about my NaNoWriMo experience later this week. How did it go? Here's a hint - look to the left. I didn't make it to 50,000 and I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No Baby During New Moon

My sister and I saw New Moon on Friday afternoon. I convinced my about-to-give-birth sister to pick me up in downtown Chicago for lunch and a ride home, since the train takes forever during the day and goes through the ghetto (In the ghetto! end Cartman's falsetto voice).
On the fly I purchased tickets for the 2 pm showing, which turned out to be a smart move. I think the youngest person we saw was about 20 years old. The theater was really quiet except for my movie Tourettes and inappropriate laughing at various spots.

I'll post a review once I've seen the movie again. I loved the movie of course, didn't miss Edward while he was gone, and KStew actually didn't bother me so much. Except for her chiclet front teeth. Only braces will fix those bad boys.

In the meantime, my sister did give birth to an 8 lb 10 oz, 21 inches long baby boy overnight. I'm an auntie again and my poor mother now has 3 boy grandchildren. Sorry mom, chances of having a granddaughter are slim to none!

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's Damn You/I Hate You Friday Time, Kitty Style

What do you love this week, like those fluffy-wuffy kitties above?

I wish my cats would yell this at my douchebag neighbor's kids who are always on our lawn, leaving toys and garbage all over.
Tell me what's pissing you off and don't forget to include what has been awesome this week! Just trying to balance the positive with the negative before we all fall over to the negative side forever. Which is where I currently reside btw.
Super cute kitty images from

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And the countdowns begins

I can't believe it's already November. Before we know it, the year will be over and 2010 will start. There are some events of note that I'm counting down, for better or for worse.

T minus 7 days until the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 comes out and the hubs disappears. Amazon promises to have it delivered to our door on November 10. This gives my husband 7 days to finish the drywall for his game room in the basement. Is it going to happen? My husband would have to answer that but I'm gonna say the basement has a snow ball's chance in hell of being finished!

T minus 16 days until The Twilight Saga: New Moon opens in the US. I really can't wait to see this but have no idea when I will get to see it due to...

T minus 18 days until my sister's due date for baby #2. I have a feeling we're going to be watching New Moon and she's gonna go in labor. I'll just call for the ambulance and finish watching the movie. The theater's only 10 minutes away from the hospital.

T minus 26 days until NaNoWriMo is over. Current word count: 4791. I totally slacked off with twitter on the train ride home today. If anyone wants to see a summary of my work, just comment below and I will post it. (I'm hmmille on if you want to be buddies) FireCr0tch over at WeBitePrettyHard has deamed November BlogoWriMo and she's going to post everyday. I've promised to comment every day, even if the comments are off topic and make absolutely no sense.

T minus 51 days until Christmas. I really have no idea what to get anyone. I'm betting it's going to be a gift card Christmas this year. (And for anyone reading this blog that buys me presents: I want gift cards to or Barnes and Noble, thank you) Plus this means 50 days until I get a much needed week and a half long vacation.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Twitarded Meme Finally

Everyone knows the drill by now so I won't waste space reiterating the details. The girls at Twitarded started a meme and I was tagged by the fantastic OnePushyFox. I'm pretty sure everyone else has been tagged by now so I won't tag anyone. Here are my answers:

1) What is the craziest/most stupid thing you've ever done (that you would be willing to share!)?
Trying to get into a rock club with my high school bff when we weren't even close to 21. FYI: dressing slutty does not make you look any less 16 years old. I'm sure there have been other crazy moments but all of my edumacation has written over those memories. Seriously, a high school friend asked me if I remembered something and I had to lie and say yes I did. I had no clue what the hell she was talking about! Sad thing is I don't have the excuse of drinking or doing drugs back then to use for forgetting all of this stuff.

2) One of my personal favorite games: Fuck, Marry, Kill. With the Twilight cast.
Fuck: I'm gonna have to declare a slight fascination with Emmett on this one. He loves grizzly bears so maybe he'd be wild like that in the sack?
Marry: Easy, Edward hands down. He's a little stalkerish, but you'd never have to worry about him leaving you ever!
Kill: Most of the wolves. They are mostly whiney cry-baby bitches. And Rosalie just because.

3) What is your favorite band/type of music?
Hard rock/alternative. I graduated from high school in 1993 at the height of grunge. I still vividly remember seeing Pearl Jam open up for Red Hot Chili Peppers right before Alive broke big. Alice In Chains is my all time favorite band. Layne Staley had such a haunting voice that you can still feel his pain. I've seen them live 6 times now. Soundgarden, Peal Jam, Alter Bridge, Staind, Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin, Faith No More, Chevelle, Taproot, etc. I will admit I love Irish rock music (and I'm not talking U2). The Tossers, The Elders, Dropkick Murphys, Carbon Leaf, and Flogging Molly are my faves.

4) What is your favorite movie besides Twilight?
I'm a comedy kind of gal, so anything Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Broken Lizard are my faves. If I have to pick a few movies, I'd pick Super Troopers, Beer Fest, The Hangover, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers to name a few. I do like the girlie movies as well, my faves being The Holiday, PS I Love You (although that one makes me blubber like a baby and the book was 100 times better than the movie),

5) Do you RL life family/friends know you’re addicted to Twilight? A blogger?
I don't think I'm as fully addicted to Twilight as some of my bloggy friends are, I've only read the books one time through, my copy of the Precious II that I won from WeBitePrettyHard is still hidden away in it's mailing envelope, and my New Moon movie companion has yet to be perused too thoroughly. Since I went back to work I don't have as much time to peruse the blogs for spoilers. I don't avoid spoilers though. My husband knows I have a blog and twitter. He follows both. My sister and sister in law know about the blog and twitter as well, but my mother doesn't. I have a couple of work friends that I can talk Twilight with so I'm not totally alone. I think my sister is more addicted.

6) How many hours a week do you spend doing Twi related things? You know, blogging, looking at pictures of the cast, reading fan fiction, etc.
I really only spend about 10 hours a week between blogs and the majority of the time on twitter. I try to steal little snippets of time at work. I only follow 5 or 6 stories of fanfic so that doesn't take up much time.

7) Any random fact you might want to share. Big or small, it doesn't matter.
Um, I can touch my tongue to my nose? What else, I can sing. I haven't sang publicly since my sister in law’s wedding and did I surprise my husband's family. Everyone thinks I'm just a scary tall chemist and no one knew I could sing. I got so many compliments that day with everyone saying they had no clue I could sing.

I'm a serious procrastinator. I waited so long to start on my PhD thesis that I had one month to write the entire thing. I was up all night for the last week just to get it done, all 300 something pages of it. I really do my best work under pressure, so it just works for me even though I want to kick my own ass everytime I do it.

I'm really allergic to perfume. I had to go to the hospital when my sister sprayed me with Exclamation! perfume back in the day. If people wear too much perfume around me I get really itchy. Lesson here: please don't wear perfume when we go to the Eclipse premiere next June. Okay? Thanks Bye.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Damn You/I Love You Friday

Everyone knows what to do....comment below.

Here's mine for the week:

Damn you husband's new work for making him work on Halloween and missing our son's first time trick or treating. And for changing his schedule so we never see each other. Also damn you to my work for being so busy I don't have time to post me Twitarded meme yet. Hopefully tonight!

I Love You New Moon video leaks. I'm really looking forward to this movie!

PS. I love how the Edward Cullen costume here is called "Night Time Romeo."

And Baby C says "Happy Halloween Everybody! Give me all of your candies!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Return Of Damn You Friday, with additional I Love you Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Since I have more followers and bloggy friends, I thought I would bring back "Damn You Friday" to the blog. Since I've been told that I need to be more positive (I'm a glass is almost empty since someone drank all of my shit kind of girl). So to bring myself some good karma, I've added "I <3 You Friday." How does this all work? Just add what is pissing you off this week for the damn you part. Don't forget to tell me what you are loving this week too for the love you part.

Here's mine for the week:

Damn you to the migraines that are starting to plague me with increasing regularity again. I really, really don't want to go back on topamax.

I <3 the sneak peaks of New Moon scenes that are coming out. I really can't wait for November 20 now.

Have a good weekend everyone and see you on Twitter (when we actually have time LOL).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

OMG-What we looked like back in the day

Thanks everyone for being brave enough to share a few pictures of yourselves from high school. Sending in real life pics was just a crazy idea that I and Tasha had. This has been fun gathering these pics and emailing you back and forth, getting to know you a little bit better. It will be nice seeing what everyone looks like in real life. If you didn't send in your pics, you still can. I'll just add the pics to the bottom.

So, without further ado, I give you our bloggy and twitter friends (in random order of how they were in my photobucket account). The comments in italics by the pics are straight from the subjects mouth, not mine. (Well, except for my pics!)

Bex (website: Today I Feel Infinite, twitter: Becky_Boodles)

I turned 16 in the April and this was taken in the back of the limo on our way to Prom in the July 2000. My date got the crop treatment! ;)

Bitches (website: We Bite Pretty Hard, twitter: WPBHBitches)

I was probably about 16, and as you can see, had some bad bangage going on.

Call of Duty Widow
(Website: Call Of Duty Widow, twitter: hmmille )

My fave pic is the one from the musical I
was in. I remember that dress was super tight, it was hard to sing with it on! I had a blond phase my Sophomore/Junior year, but dyed it back right before senior pics. And I was rockin some high bangs there for a while! Man I miss that body!

(twitter: Erikasbuddy)
1991 -7th Grade Intermediate Middle School Band - I was a Clarinet player. I played for 2 years. Art Class 10th Grade = was taken in the winter of 1993 in my Art Class during my sophomore year. I am holding a SPIN MAGAZINE with NIRVANA showing through the pages. Can you guess the downward spiral that I took in April? Copy of 1996 Senior Talent Show - Erikasbuddy = was taken in 1996 at my senior talent show. I am singing DISARM by Smashing Pumpkins with my bff Erika. She signed us up to do this one day when I was skipping school. She was a sneaky little bugger lol!! I agreed to do it only if she did it with me. Copy of Art and Drama Banquet - Junior Year - 1994 = was taken in 1994 during the fall of my Junior Year. That was one of my favorite high school memories. I had a blast. I even had my first dance there. It was with a boy who had just broken his leg. He couldn't stand dance so we sat indian style on the floor and swayed to Cotton Eye Joe. I loved it!! Copy of Spring Fling 3-l3gged race 1996 = was taken during the last week of school in 1996 of my senior year. My bff ERIKA is who is attached to me. WE WON!! I think... at least that's how I remember it ;)

FireCrotch (Website: We Bite Pretty Hard, twitter: FireCr0tch)

Me at graduation. Check out those gross looking shoes. What the heck was I thinking?
Me and my senior prom date…my mom made my dress and cut my hair like 20 minutes before my date showed up. Previous to this pic my hair was down past my shoulder blades.
Ahh…more summer camp memories. I am the fatty in the pic (third from the right). I like how the mud nicely outlined my boobs. We had even more fun in the showers afterward…
My girlfriends and I were pretty geeky and so we stayed in on Friday nights and played games. And no, this was not strip poker. But check out the flannel shirt…I was rockin’ it before RPattz. Plus I totally love that green watch.
Doing the age old fun chicken dance at the senior prom. Who the he
ck had full length gloves on next to me?

OnePushyFox (twitter: onepushyfox)

OK, so I'm feeling brave (or stupid from the lack of sleep) and I've decided to send in some pics of me from HS. One's from my graduation in '93 (I'm with my baby sister) the other is from the early freshman year ('89) turnabout dance. I honestly can't tell which is more embarrassing: the wicked 80's perm from freshman year or the crazy Tracy Gold glasses from senior year. Sheesh! Why didn't someone slap me??

SmuttierThanYou (Website: Jackassery In The House, twitter: SmuttierThanYou)

Here is the one from my senior year (1999), Homecoming Princess, I was hammered and grinning like a Cheshire Cat! Taken the summer before my senior year. This was my first 4X4 and my step dad helped me completely rebuild it. Lots of good memories *sigh*

Tasha (Website: Something Less Productive, twitter: um_natalie)

(twitter: uhyesplease)

Ok - the show choir pic - obvious! I was also a band nerd. (Drum major) And a theatre nerd (I'm Glinda!) And then my senior prom pic. Just cause I loved the dress! All are from 1995! When I graduated from HS......

(twitter: bierbeck)

I always get lots of laughs with this picture. It is from my freshman year I think which is circa 1989.

Mrs_Robward (website: Peace Love Twilight, twitter: Mrs_Ro

1st pic is me & my mom, Jr year, I was going to the ROTC *gag* dance.

2nd pic is me & my DH b4 senior Prom. Ooo, if only I was that skinny again!

(website: Betti Music Twilight, twitter: Bettigefecht)

I know I'm late, but I finally found a pic from 1978. I was in the schoolband. Best I can do...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting to know your bloggy friends

Last night was an interesting night on twitter. @Bettigefecht was getting irritated with @fragilehuman and @FireCr0tch 's Glee discussion while @um_natalie and I (@hmmille) were trying to not be force fed the Glee kool aid. (You know you tried to make her drink it @WPBHBitches lol). I commented that I'd had enough of the glee club stuff in high school to Natalie and she insisted on seeing pictures. I missed a new South Park to hunt down the elusive high school year books, then fought with my $20 scanner from 2001 to get some pics on the computer.

After further discussion, we decided that we want all of our bloggy friends to be embarrassed with us and for us. Now taking your high school photos at We want to see you "The Way You Were", any photo from high school is fine. Please include a short explanation of the picture and you're website/twitter name by 5 pm CST Sunday, October 18. I'll post all of them here Sunday night hopefully. It will be nice to put a name with a face, even if it was from so many years ago.

Since Tasha requested a pic from my poms/dance team days, here's a gem from my freshman year in 1989. We're all lined up for the National Anthem at a basketball game and of course, the 80s hair is in full effect. Plus my skirt is shorter than everyone else's since I was so tall and skinny back then. I think I actually had a perm (oh the horror) back then. {{{shudder}}}

Come on, you know you want to see all of us, email away! I promise an actually photo from my Show Choir days and my basketball days! Please include your twitter screenname and/or blog/website so we can all follow each other. This is a good way to expand all of our follower lists and make some new bloggy/twitter friends ;) .

Monday, October 5, 2009

How Twilight and other vampire novels ruined regular novels for me

Let's start this up with a dream I had last week that I've been meaning to share. I was in a grocery store with Sam and Dean from Supernatural. The guy in line immediately before us bought porno mags and some shamwows. That last episode of Supernatural gave me weird dreams. I would throw those shamwows out after that guy's done if he knows what's good for him. Anyway, on to today's topic.

Last night I tried to read John Updike’s Widows of Eastwicke. I lasted through exactly 3 pages before I gave up. I haven’t read any of his other works, but this was just paragraph after paragraph of run on sentences. What’s happened to me? Have all these years of chick lit, vampire books, and chemistry texts/journals killed my ability to read regular literature and enjoy it?

I started my love affair with vampire novels a little over a year ago. I started with Charlaine HarrisSouthern Vampire Series after watching a few episodes of True Blood. I was hooked instantly. Once I finished all available books in two weeks, I immediately started over. Rereading these books at a much more leisurely pace allowed me to catch some things I missed the first time around. I read several more non-paranormal books before Christmas before I stopped reading novels all together. My pregnancy addled mind couldn’t focus on novels, so I read magazines and surfed the net on my crackberry to keep me from maiming the freaks on the train. Thinking ahead, I told my sister to buy Twilight as my Christmas gift since I had heard good things about the series. She bought me Twilight and New Moon. These two books were shelved away for the future when I could focus on a novel.

After Baby C was born in March, I found myself with three months of maternity leave ahead of me (Well, 10 weeks actually since Baby C was stubborn and came out a week late). On a baby supply run to Target, I bought Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. I hate to start a novel series and not be able to read them all in a row. I once spent two months reading through 13 of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series. I don’t like having to think about what the hell happened in the last book that I read months ago (I never said I wasn’t OCD about anything!). The next books that I was due to read out of the authors I follow weren’t going to be released until the beginning of May (Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Series Book Nine – Dead and Gone and Jennifer Lancaster’s fourth memoir Pretty in Plaid). I was recovering from an emergency c-section so what better way to rest than to sit stiffly with a good book and the cutest baby in the world in your lap? Then the wheels were put into motion for my fascination. Hey, I needed something to occupy my time while the hubs was playing Call of Duty nonstop.

I started Twilight and was done in two days. There is something about Stephenie Meyer’s writing that just sucks you in. I still maintain that there are subliminal messages in the text. How else could so many people of all ages love these books? I continued on to New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. Breaking Dawn nearly broke my psyche, but I finished it after taking a break to read the books I had been waiting for above. I did watch the Twilight movie on DVD with my sister. She was totally in love with it and I made fun of it the first time I watched it. Now I don’t have much of an excuse, I’ve watched it about 10 times now. It gets less hokey upon repeat viewings. There are still some scenes that make me cringe, which I’m sure will come up in MrsVanquish and Betti’s movie vs. book discussion on their blogs. Bottom line, I read these books quickly and probably missed some key points. I plan on rereading these before New Moon comes out in the theater to refresh my memory.

Through various True Blood websites like and Twilight websites, I found out about other vampire series. The first set I read was the Queen Betsey series by MaryJanice Davidson. These books follow the life of the Queen of the Vampires whose main hobbies are shoes and cussing. These are very comedic but also contain some lovely lemons. Seven books are available in this series. The next set I finished was the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. There are four books currently available, featuring a half-human half-vampire woman named Cat who fights bad vampires with her vampire husband Bones. This series is also funny but more serious than the Queen Betsey series and also contains serious lemony goodness. I can’t wait for a new release in this series to come out in 2010.

In between some of these books I’ve attempted to read non-vampire books without much success. I read Stephenie Meyer’s The Host with difficulty. The book was pretty unbearable from about 100 pages in until around page 450. Several of my friends have read this and it’s a pretty even split among those who loved it and those who loathed it. I’ve never forced myself to finish reading a book like I had to do with this one. I had borrowed it from a friend and didn’t want to buy it for myself. I finished it, gave it back, and am now on the fence about reading any future non-Twilight Saga books from this author. I read the seventh book in the Andy Carpenter Lawyer series by David Rosenfelt I had been waiting for (New Tricks). David Rosenfelt's books feature a reluctant lawyer and always have dogs in the story. In real life, his foundation has rescued over 4000 dogs from shelters and death. Then I read a book featuring a woman prophet and demons called Every Demon Has Its Day by Cara Lockwood. That book also took a little getting into even though it was supernatural. I never had a problem getting right into books before like I do now. If the subject is vampires, I’m right into it. If the subject is something else, blah. All of these vampire series has ruined me on regular fiction.

So what’s a girl to do that has free time on her commute to help her ignore the mutants that ride the train? I think I’m going to start the Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith. Next I’ll reread Twilight and New Moon. Maybe a little Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I still haven’t gotten around to reading the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton or the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward. The covers of those book seriously embarrass me, but who cares? I don’t ride on the train with anyone I know anyway.

I guess I might as well continue my vampire book obsession. I do have the new Patricia Cornwell book, The Scarpetta Factor, coming out in a few weeks. That will be my only non vampire book to read in the near future. Any suggestions to what I should read? I need to start compiling my Christmas wish lists...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How To Irritate Your Fellow Commuters

You can gather from my previous post that riding Metra into Chicago every work day is a challenge. The older I get the less tolerant I’ve become, so it’s very easy to annoy the crap out of me. The following is a list of train sins that one can commit with real life examples I’ve observed in my six and a half years of commuting via train.

The first sin and most common one that people make is talking loudly. Whether you’re talking on your cell phone or to someone next to you doesn’t matter. I don’t care to hear how your daughter’s day care check bounced and now no one will watch her. There are two construction workers who ride my train home at night once every couple of weeks. They are obviously drunk and feel the need to yell when they talk to each other. Apparently they don’t care that there is only 6 inches separating their heads and they don’t need to yell. If I can hear you over my iPod, you should just STFU and heed those daggers I’m staring at you.

Next up, seat misuse. The common seat misuse instances are putting your feet on the seats, jammed knees into the back of the seat in front of you, and taking up a free seat with your bags. I’ve witnessed King Douche Bag move people’s items without asking. People will touch your stuff whether you want them to or not. On a disgusting note, I have seen people with their bare feet or even socked feet on seats. That totally grosses me out every time I see it. Why would you even want your bare feet to touch those seats let alone leave you foot funk behind?

Commuters can eat and drink on Metra trains. Not only does this create a garbage problem sometimes, but gives people ample opportunity to eat and drink strange things while they ride the train. I saw someone eat cereal with milk on the way in to Chicago last month. They actually lugged all the cereal fixings with them. Seriously, just eat at home. I’ve seen someone eat an entire pizza by themselves. Eating pizza on a crowded train is just rude. You know damn well the rest of us want to eat it too. There are quite a few people who will drink a six pack of beer, leave the empties in the aisle of the train, and proceed to hop in their cars at the train station and drive home. I really don’t think this is very responsible. The stench of beer in a confined space really makes you sick if you’re scent sensitive like I am. I really couldn’t stand the smell of beer when I was pregnant, so the ride home was really challenging some days.

This leads us to inappropriate odors. You don’t know how many train rides I’ve been stuck next to someone who has a bad case of gas the whole ride. The stench just gets recirculated until it finally goes away. People who wear too much perfume are also a problem. I’m allergic to most perfumes and colognes so I have spent many rides itching like crazy and praying my throat doesn’t close up. Twice in the past I’ve seen someone taking their fingernail polish off with remover (which is acetone) and applying new polish. Hello, chemical sensitive here! This behavior is really more appropriate for the home, right?

Where do most people groom themselves? At home you say? I can prove you wrong. Women put on makeup on the train; I don’t know how they don’t poke their eye out with the mascara wand when we hit a bump. I’ve seen people clipping their fingernails on the train. I cringe every time I hear the distinctive high pitched “clip clip” through my iPod. I wonder if these are the same people polishing their fingernails?

Touching other people is a big no no in my book. Eyebrow Lady routinely has a female friend that sits with her on the commute home. The female friend will sit sideways in her seat so she doesn’t have to turn her head when she talks. I’ve seen her ass on someone else’s thigh several times while the person she is sitting on tries to hold it together. If she sits next to me she’ll be taking a page from Spread Eagle Man and getting the elbow. Overweight people need to make sure they will fit in the seat before they sit there. I had some dude sit on me before and I didn’t even get an “Excuse me for putting my ass on your lap.” He got the elbow too. If I don’t know you, don’t touch me. Even if I know you, still don’t touch me. That goes for your bags too. Please don’t side swipe me with your huge ass purse that is holding your entire life. It’s not nice to wake up because someone whipped you with their belongings.

Hang in there, we’re almost to the end. What’s the next annoying thing someone can do? Please don’t look over my shoulder to read my computer, book, magazine, or newspaper. If you do, I’m going to ask you for some money since I had to pay for this myself. Nobody likes nosy pricks who can’t quit trying to see what you’re watching on your iPod either. Odds are I’m watching Twilight or True Blood so don’t make me be embarrassed on the train by staring at it.

The second most disgusting thing I’ve witnessed on the train arises from the no smoking policy of the train. Five times I’ve sat next to someone who chews tobacco and spits into a clear colorless bottle. One time the guy left the bottle there for someone else to pick up. You seriously can’t wait an hour at most before you can smoke again. Better buy some nicorette gum or some nicotine patches buddy.

The ultimate sin in my opinion is leaving part of yourself behind when your commute is over. If you have a tendency to be greasy even though you just showered, do not touch the window next to you. In my previous post you will see a greasy face print on the window of my morning train. I took this picture last week and the spot is still there. Now I’m stuck sitting in a seat with less leg room since I refuse to sit next to anyone’s skanky body leftovers. Wash already!

Why can’t I have an Edward Cullen drive me to work in a Volvo? Oh right, my Edward drives me to the train station in an Explorer and tells me to “Be safe, stay away from the crackheads!” Gotta love the husband and his worries. Got to go, King Douche Bag is trying to block my way off the train…again. FML!

Update: They finally cleaned the giant greasy face print, I got my seat back! This will hopefully last for a couple of days (or not).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fellow Commuters Annoy Me

I’ve been commuting to my work in downtown Chicago from the south suburbs for six and a half years. To get to the Loop I take Metra, a commuter train system. After riding the same trains for years I’ve developed a routine for my commute. I always have my iPod, Blackberry, and a sweatshirt (lately my super cute Hurley hoodie) since you’ll freeze to death without it. The trains have two temperatures: boiling hot in winter and sub arctic in summer. When I get on the train, I look for my favorite seats that have extra leg room and scope out the window for greasy face prints. Yes, you read that right, GREASY FACE PRINTS. I can’t bring myself to sit next to one of those and the Metra cleaning crew isn’t so fastidious about cleaning the windows every night. I saw the same greasy face print for a whole month last year. Seriously, get some Windex already.

Yes, that giant smudge is from someone's face and hair. See that in person and not want to puke.

Once I’ve sat down, I immediately put my Bose in ear headphones (they sound way better than the crappy ones that come with your iPod) in and start the iPod playlist entitled “No Iron Maiden” on shuffle. My husband likes Iron Maiden and since we share the same iPod library I have to block them out. Sometimes I say hello to people that say hi to me, but I’m usually mute and slightly angry looking. That’s the only way to get anyone to leave you alone. In the morning I take a nap for an hour and in the afternoon I read a book or magazine, or I catch up on Twitter. Some days are worry free. Other days I see some things that make you go “WTF.” Last week I saw a guy talking on his cell phone. Common occurrence right? His cell phone was encased in a zip lock bag and he didn’t take it off to talk on his phone. I really don’t want to know what was on that phone that he was afraid of. Did it fall in the toilet, a pile of manure?

Some of you have heard me complain on Twitter and Facebook about the annoying people on the train. The following people annoy the crap out of me on a routine basis. I’ve included the nicknames I’ve given them and photographic evidence of their sins (if I was brave enough to catch a pic). The list is in order of increasing annoyance level, from mildly irritating to “I want to kick their face in everyday” anger.

1. Fat Armband Guy: I actually have photographic evidence of this guy. His arms are so big he wears an iPod armband on his forearm since it won’t fit anywhere else. He also talks on his cell phone really loud about his trashy life. I’ve heard way too many conversations over my iPod about someone trying to beat him up. This is the only guy who actually lets you walk out ahead of him. Chivalry is alive and well in this larger and louder than life commuter.

2. Weird Eyebrow Lady: I’ve never been able to snap a picture of this chick due to her staring off into space in my general direction, so a description will have to do. I’ve never seen the arch of anyone’s eyebrows fall so far towards the sides of their face. Instead of the arch being towards the nose, it's almost to the outsides of her eyes. They look like evil cartoon eyebrows. I will admit to being mesmerized by them. She’s always in formal business wear so I do feel sorry for her while I get to look like a bum and wear t-shirts and jeans everyday.

3. Spread Eagle Man: As you can see from the picture below, he must air his junk out at all times. Plus he wears the same dirty, beat up White Sox World Series hat everyday. Wash that thing! He used to sit by me and instantly his thigh would be touching mine. After many elbows being stuck out by me into his ribs, he finally got the hint and won’t sit anywhere near me. He still sits spread eagle wherever he does park his ass, but at least it isn’t next to me anymore.That's actually a smaller angle of leg spread than usual if you can believe it.

4. King Douche bag: This guy is the ultimate douche of the commute. He moves your bag without asking if he wants to sit next to you. He will get up and block the aisle so you can’t get off the train before he does. He won’t pull his foot in since he insists on sitting cross legged with one of his feet in the aisle. I’ve pushed his foot away with my body so many times I’ve lost count. Nothing fazes this guy. Do you want to know what the ultimate assbag behavior out of this guy is? He picks at his head and eats it. I don’t know what he’s picking off of there, but I can’t even look in his general direction without wanting to vomit.

Most of the commuters on my train route are like me, just trying to get to and from work with as little frustration and annoyance as possible. The four little gems above are really in the minority of train riders thankfully. Hey, my work actually pays for my entire train ticket. I guess I shouldn’t bitch since I’m not out $150 each month. When you hear some girl yell into her phone “Who you yelling at Bitch?” 5 minutes into the trip home, I bet you’d bitch about everything too. And wish that you sat in another train car instead of your usual one. Coming up on this blog, “Widow’s top things that piss me off on the train” or “Get some train etiquette A-holes” tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The worst thing to happen, for some people...

Once upon a time there was a girl, happy and free with no responsibilities except for work and home. She could laugh and play with her two precious kitties and fulfill her nosiness and need to keep busy in technological ways whenever she wanted. Then a precious little boy came into the world, and everything changed. For the better, of course. When she was on leave enjoying her three months off with the precious one, she joined Facebook to talk to old friends and be nosy about who her husband was talking to (Hey, I told you I'm nosy…it’s genetic). But then some activities that were taken for granted have fallen to the wayside. Activities like reading a book at home at night, surfing the internet, checking her email, going to movies without feeling guilty for leaving the little one at home for a few hours with grandma. (Even though the elephant house theater is where she would have to suffer through the movie) You get the point. Then everything changed when she joined Twitter and had to go back to work.

I used to be really good at keeping on top of my email. I would only have about 40 or so waiting in my inbox maximum. Want to take a guess what my email backlog is at now? It's at 1152. You would think having a crackberry would help me keep on top of the bulk, right? Thanks to Ubertwitter I'm constantly emailing myself tweets that have internet links that I want to check out. Now my inbox just keeps expanding and expanding.

When Twitter went down last month, I didn't panic. I'm sure some people were curled up in the fetal position rocking back and forth. I actually used the extra time to my advantage and worked without interruptions. Well, except for the email interruption from FireCrotch about the Twitter outage. It was actually pretty nice to not check my crackberry for several hours. The outage even allowed me to finish Stephenie Meyer's book The Host, which had been kicking my ass for two weeks. I swear that book didn't get "can't stop reading it" until 450 pages in. Boo.

When FireCrotch emailed me, I had to look twice at the name. She has the same first name as I do as well as my best friend. Let’s just say we need a Veronica and our little group is all set. And maybe Christian Slater, the young version, not bloated old version. My BFF never emails me during the day since her federal job is even stricter than mine is about email, so I had to read the email before I knew who it is. It was really great and unexpected hearing from her during the day.

While Twitter has been very entertaining for me, getting sick and a long holiday weekend has left me ignoring tweets. I’ve found that I just don’t have the patience to keep up with hours of tweets, take care of baby C, and do all the other stuff I need to do. So reading tweets and posting on this blog has been the first things dropped to compensate. Plus work has demanded all of my attention these past few weeks. I have missed talking to all of my twitter and twibloggy friends.

On another note, I’ve been reading Fragile Little Human’s Twilight/Moonlight crossover fanfic Breathe Me. The story is awesome! Mrs Robward, your fic is next on my list. I hope to read that this week. I’ve been reading the Night Huntress Novels by Jeaniene Frost. These books feature a half human-half vampire named Cat who fights other vampires with her vampire husband Bones. I’ve really enjoyed these books and I am starting book 3 of 4 today. The stories are gripping and there is also much lemony goodness in each book. You should check these out. I’m also planning a blog about the freaks on my train line, complete with pics. Hopefully I can post that later this week.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Let's all go to the movies..."

We saw the Adam Sandler/Seth Rogen movie Funny People on Saturday night. We had to sit in the second row since we were late and I’m sure this may have tainted my enjoyment of this movie. The movie was pretty funny but simultaneously depressing. Adam Sandler's character is just pitiful and it's his own damn fault in the movie. This fact makes it pretty hard to actually feel sorry for him. The movie also seemed like one big dick joke, but that's all the spoilers I'll give away.

We saw the movie in the newly built theater in our town. I seriously think the stadium style seating is made of elephant skins. This was the third movie (other two being Night at the Museum 2 and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince) I've seen there and the place reeks like the elephant and rhinoceros house at Brookfield Zoo. I've concluded I can't really enjoy a movie here. The place fills up quickly and the food is cafeteria style. You have to get your own popcorn and drinks, then pay almost as much as you did for the tickets. It cost $17 for two tickets and $15.50 for a large popcorn and two large drinks.

Last week, some of my coworkers and I were talking about what movies we are looking forward to seeing in the theater. One had just read my copy of The Time Traveler's Wife and mentioned that movie. Since I couldn’t remember when everything I wanted to see would come out except for New Moon and Eclipse, I've compiled a list of the movies I'm looking forward to seeing. They are in order of release date, even though New Moon and Eclipse are the ones I have to see most. Most of these movies are adaptations of books. I hope they can do the books justice. The adaptation of PS I Love You was good if you haven’t read the book, not so good if you have and realize they cut out most of the book.

Here’s my list:

The Time Traveler’s Wife (August 14, 2009)
All About Steve (September 4, 2009)
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (November 20, 2009)
The Lovely Bones (December 11, 2009)
Sherlock Holmes (December 25, 2009)
Sex and the City 2 (May 28, 2010)
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (June 30, 2010)
A Very Herald and Kumar Christmas (November 5, 2010)

What movies are you looking forward to seeing? Oh, and I refuse to watch a movie in that smelly theater again. We’re going to the Kerasotes in New Lenox from now on.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Collaborative Fan Fiction or Madlibs Gone Wild?

Twilight fan fiction seems to be on all of my twibloggy friends’ minds lately. I haven’t really read any since I was on maternity leave, but there are some pretty good ones out there. All this fiction talking got me thinking, want to write some of your own fan fic but don’t think you have the writing skills or the time? What if we all pitched in to write some fan fic collaboratively ($5 word)? I’m too lazy to write one all by myself. Plus, the last things I wrote were a master’s thesis, PhD dissertation, and a few chemistry journal articles, all from my chemistry grad school research. Can we say boring? It was my research and it even made me yawn.

Let’s try a little experiment here on this blog. It’s going to be kind of like madlibs, except you don’t just fill in a word. You will help write chunks of the story. I’ll post a topic, the characters, the setting, and the first paragraph. You can write a portion that happens next in the story in the comments section. I’ll leave the comments open for a couple of weeks and we can see what kind of short story fan fic we generate. Will it be craptastic? PG-13? NC-17? Rated X? Who knows, but we’ll try. You can write as little or as much as you’d like, as often as you’d like. I just ask that you follow what has happened in the story before you.

First topic: Edward (vampire) and Bella (human) go to a drive in on a rare non-raining night in Forks. They see a double feature of the new Harry Potter movie and The Hangover. Bella’s POV.

Ok, begin. This is going to be strange. And tell your friends, this little experiment will be better (or more strange?) if more people to contribute to this. I don’t want to do this alone. I’ll start….

Finally we had a cloudless sky on a Saturday night. After raining every day for the last week, a dry night was very welcome. Edward decided that we should take full advantage of the abnormally dry weather and do something we usually don’t do. When he suggested we go to the drive in to see two new release movies, I couldn’t help but get a little excited by the prospect of being alone in a car with Edward, in the backseat, watching movies and snuggling closer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Review

Damn, Daniel Radcliffe is short.
Warning: I am not a "die hard" Harry Potter fan. I have not read the books nor do I intend to any time in the near future. This post contains spoilers about the movie Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and my sarcastic ass comments and opinions. If you are easily offended or take HP way too seriously, then do not get mad at me after you read below.

My sister, her spoiler-phobe boyfriend, and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Friday night. I know, wait a minute, WTF was he doing there? If you read my post in June about how seeing the Harry Potter movies in the theater with just my sis was our ritual, you didn't hallucinate. Thinking ahead, my sister went ahead and bought two tickets to the movie earlier in the day. Read that, two. Our tradition was spoiled since the boyfriend came along even though he knows about our tradition. So dear husband, you are going to see New Moon with me and my sister when it comes out. She can't complain since her boyfriend went to this!

My sister wanted to get to the theater early. Getting there 45 minutes early was a good thing, that movie theater was already starting to get packed. We sat in a set of four handicap accessible seats, so we had an open seat by the boyfriend and tons of leg room. I'm 5'10" so leg room is mega important. The sis and I were super duper excited about seeing the New Moon preview on the cinema screen. Unfortunately that was a no go, they didn't show it.

I've mentioned before that I have a huge case of movie Tourettes. You should have seen Dawn of the Dead with me. I got so many dirty looks for laughing during that whole movie. It didn't help that my sister jumped at everything, which made me laugh louder. Anyway, I can't keep my comments to myself and I'm always asking what happened in the books since I haven't read them. The spoiler-phobe boyfriend gets pissed if you talk during the movie, so I had to use my sister as a buffer between us. The lights went down, I said WTF no New Moon trailer probably a little too loud and the movie started.

(I don't remember the whole sequence of events in the movie since I was talking a decent chunk of the time, so forgive me for stuff that's probably wrong.)

I'll just list the stuff I didn't like first

  1. That guy who plays Malfoy gets uglier and uglier every movie. Maybe it's the bleached hair, but yuck. And I know bad teeth is a British thing, but if the Luna hippie chick can fix Harry's nose, why can't Neville fix his damn teeth?
  2. Really, killing off Dumbledore? They're all freaking wizards, I'm sure Snape could have just used a spell that made everyone think he was dead. (And yes, my sister had to text me what happened in the last book so I now know that was all a ruse.) Then Dumbledore could go to Jamaica for a few years. Drink lots of drinks, get a tan.
  3. The nostrils on young Tom Riddle (Voldemort) drove me crazy. They were like two giant caves in a very smug and manipulative head.
  4. Lavender's (Ron's girlfriend) bandannas and 80s hair irritated me too. Unless you're riding bitch on a Harley, don't do the do-rag.
  5. At the end when Harry's chasing after Snape and the rest of the Ugly Crew, clearly magic wasn't working on anyone. If I made this movie, I would have had Harry chuck a sharp rock at Snape's head. He's expecting magic, not a rock. I bet Harry could have at least nailed him in the balls or something. And I totally would have used that wand to shoot electricity through all that water in the bathroom, frying Malfoy to a crisp. Or at least burning all of his hair off.
The things I loved:
  1. I really loved how the first half of the movie was so comedic. They really showed how angsty and uncomfortable being a teenager could be. I didn't laugh as hard as I did at The Hangover, but this movie was definitely pretty light.
  2. As the movie opened, I really liked how they went right into the death eaters messing with everyone. They didn't waste anytime getting right into the action.
  3. The movie was just gorgeous. The landscapes were especially breathtaking.
  4. Recognizing the actors from other movies. My sister didn't appreciate me saying "Hey look, there's Bridget Jones' mom and dad!" every time I saw them in the same scene together. Luckily, it only happened a couple of times. She didn't know that's who they were, so now she does thanks to me.
  5. I really loved how Harry acted after drinking the luck potion. There were definitely more adult jokes and themes in this movie. (Which gives me hope for Breaking Dawn being more adult, cough*juicyhoneymoonscenes*cough.) Also, in all of the quidditch scenes, much phallic imagery.

I really did like this movie and I'll have to watch it again when the dvd comes out. I'll borrow my sister's of course. I'm waiting for the complete series on blu-ray how ever many years from now. Oh and as a last note, if the Harry Potter Experience comes to a museum near you, go see it. It's at the Science and Industry Museum here in Chicago and it was pretty cool. Except you couldn't bring a stroller in. And I had to carry a sleeping baby through the whole damn thing.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Books, books everywhere, but not one to read!

I haven't read a non-vampire book since April of this year. Actually, my streak goes back to October when I read all of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series. Yes, that's the series the HBO show True Blood is based on. Then I read them again right away. When you're plowing through a book series at warp speed, you miss a bunch of shit that you didn't digest the first time around. A second reading was much more leisurely and thorough. When the ninth book in this series, Dead and Gone, came out in May, I dropped whatever I was reading at the time to read this. I happened to be wading my way through Breaking Dawn at the time and due to my shaky post-partum mental state, I don't really remember much but disappointment with this ninth installment. I think I'll have to reread this before I make my judgement. Plus I'll still totally buy book ten next May.

I'm sure I read a few books in there that had to do with regular people, but the only one that really comes to mind is 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. It was a really good book, it was young adult however. I certainly don't remember anything too racy in there(damn). The author is on twitter, and she's hilarious. I definitely recommend following her. She just announced on twitter that she's writing a sequel to that book, so I'll definitely buy that when it comes out. That book was definitely one where I needed to know what happened to the characters after the book ended.

I'm currently finishing up Jennifer Lancaster's fourth book, Pretty In Plaid. Her previous three books, Bitter is the New Black, Bright Lights, Big Ass, and Such a Pretty Fat, were hilarious. I've been working on this fourth book since it came out in May. I started reading it over Mother's Day weekend and just couldn't get into it. So I put it aside and finally finished Breaking Dawn. Then I got distracted by a new vampire series that I found through this website that let's you read the first chapters of tons of books for free, Book Daily. They are adding new books all of the time. I really like it since I can get a sense of the book before actually buying it.

That new vampire series I read is the Undead series by MaryJanice Davidson. This is a really fun series centered around a 30 year old woman named Betsy Taylor that gets killed by a car and wakes up a vampire. She is pretty self centered and super funny, so her exploits as the new "Queen of the vampires" are really hilarious. After I finished the last book available in that series, I picked up Pretty in Plaid again. Once I got through a few of the early years chapters the book got much better. The snarky, bitchy Jen we all know and love comes through and I'm really enjoying the book now.

Which brings me this dilemma, what do I read next? I don't plan on rereading the Twilight Saga books until October. I want those to be fresh in my mind when the New Moon movie comes out. I have about 50 books that I haven't read yet. Here's a picture of just one of the bookshelves in my office. I have two more that are this packed as well. I've read about half of the books on these shelves. Plus, I think there's another box of books around here somewhere from when we moved the office into our basement before baby C came along.

Any suggestions on what to read next? My sister got me a giftcard to Barnes and Noble for my birthday, so I'm totally prepared to go and buy something. Any new series that you guys have read that you've liked? Even standalone books would be good, since I'm waiting on David Rosenfelt's next book, New Tricks. Holy crap, that comes out on August 6. Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Yes, I'm still around....and random thoughts

What can I say? I forgot how much of a drain my work is on me. Three months of maternity leave will definitely erase any bad mojo you have about work. I have plenty of ideas for posts on this blog, I just have so little time to actually type them up. When are they going to invent telepathy typing? Wait, I would probably make people's eyes bleed with the level of profanity that spews forth from my mouth. Another side affect of the job. The only way I've been somewhat keeping up on things is due to twitter on my blackberry. I usually am 8 hours behind on that thing, but I'm more up to speed with that than I am on most of the internet.

So what's next for this blog? I'll try to have a recap of all new True Blood episodes this weekend. I plan on doing a recap for each episode. They've been really good so far. Plus, I have some things planned for books and movies.

Oh, and how are the activities of the video gaming addict husband? He hasn't really played Call of Duty that much lately. He's partially replaced that game with Mafia Wars on Facebook. I preordered the next Call of Duty for him, so he better still be into it by November. However, I did take a nap with baby C on the couch last night for a couple of hours. What woke me up at 10 pm? The loud, annoying sound of gunfire. Maybe he still likes that game after all?

I found a companion photo to the underwear halter top. This picture is quite a bit cuter than the women's version. Baby C definitely needs that t-shirt below!

So that's pretty much my life. Get up with baby C sometime in the night, go to work, come home, snuggle with the baby. Repeat. Not too exciting!

Monday, June 29, 2009

What the hell kind of handbag is this?

Introducing the latest in handbags/weaponry, the McQueen Knuckle Duster Patent Leather Clutch.

For $1595, I think I'd rather just buy some brass knuckles and go buy this lovely Coach purse from their Poppy collection plus about 3 more handbags. This new Signature Large Spotlight handbag in black just might have to be a Fall purchase.

And before anyone starts on me about getting black handbags all of the time, there is a very valid reason for this. I don't like to change purses that often since I inevitably lose things when I do. Plus, black goes with everything and I have to testify in court sometimes. I so don't want to be the witness showing up with a bright orange or shiny metallic designer handbag!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Damn You! Friday

Photo from here
Damn You! Friday through Monday time again. Post your rants and bitches in the comments section below.

Here's my rant: Damn you fellow commuters riding Metra into Chicago. If you don't smell like you dunked yourself in a 5 gallon bucket of perfume, you're hitting me with your gigantic heavy bag. Or sitting next to me spread eagle to air yourself out (men only). Or clipping your friggen' fingernails on the train. It has been a while since someone was chewing tobacco and spitting it into a clear bottle next to me. I probably just jinxed myself.

Feel better yet? I know I do. I still loathe most of the dumbshits that ride my train though.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Confession Time

I have a confession to make…I’m 13 weeks post partum and I’m still wearing maternity jeans. Why you ask? Is it because I’m still holding on to about 20 pounds of pregnancy weight gain? Or is it because I’m too lazy to try on all of my other pants to see what fits? Is it because I don’t want to be depressed that I’m the fattest I’ve ever been? How about all of the above?

My sister is 18 weeks pregnant right now and she’s given me shit about wearing maternity pants. Let me tell you, having a c-section does a number on your gut. It’s bad enough pregnancy stretches everything out, but then you get this weird shelf thing going on. Not pretty!

Since I’ve been back to work, I wear jeans everyday. I’m a chemist and I’m clumsy so I definitely don’t want any exposed skin sticking out. Working with ether, chloroform, and methanol everyday is definitely hazardous. Since I’ve been lazy about figuring out what jeans from pre-pregnancy still fit, it’s been easier to just wear some of my maternity jeans. And why the hell not? Old people can get away with wearing elastic waist pants so why can’t I wear pants of the same genre for the with baby crowd?

I’ve dug my capris and shorts out of the closet. Some are still a bit tight, but wearable. I just can’t give up my maternity pants. I think I need an intervention. Or someone to make me go shopping. I’m just really annoyed by spending money on a bigger size! The doctor says to give it time, but the irritatingly perky posters on the Webmd message boards who went back to their pre-pregnancy selves piss me off. Why not me too? Oh, right, I haven’t hauled my ass to the gym. My bad.

Anyway, I have a few posts planned. Obviously I'm having trouble getting them written since work has turned into the hellish life sucker that it was before. And home time is baby C time. I will rewatch episodes 1 and 2 of season 2 of True Blood here before the week is over though and write my opinions. So far, two thumbs up!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Damn You! Friday

It's that time again, Damn You Friday. Post your bitches and moans in the comments below. Don't worry, I have plenty to add. I just have to do it when I get to work since you apparently can't comment from your blackberry.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Jasper and Spongebob?

Finally, a video that combines two of my favorite things....Jasper from Twilight and Spongebob. Yes, I know I'm 33 but I still love me some Spongebob! Here's another New Moon trailer.

Since I'm admitting to being mentally about 10 years old, here's a video that really made me laugh! Thanks to Lauren's Bite for turning me on to this video.

The husband is playing Call of Duty 5 again. I know big shock, right? There are some pretty funny screen names on there tonight though. I just saw "I'm-Fat-An-I-Suck." Man, that person is definitely keepin' it real!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Damn You! Friday

Every Friday will be "Damn You" Friday here at Call of Duty Widow. Just leave a comment below and start your sentence or paragraph with "Damn You." (Inspired by WeBitePrettyHard's Rant Wednesday)

I'll post the first one, inspired by my lovely train commute into Chicago this morning.

***Damn you, stinky perfume lady. I'd much rather smell your BO than that chemical bath you seemed to bathe in. At least I'm not allergic to BO! Thanks for the rash and itch I have now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beware: Twilight Saga can be hazardous to your mental well being

***Disclaimer, post is not very funny, really long, and may be TMI for everyone, myself included. Oh, and there's a few WTF pics too.***

Back in my very first post on this blog I alluded to my opinion that reading the Twilight Saga books gave me post partum depression for a few days. I luckily have a lovely support system in my husband, mother, and sister so I wasn’t like this for long.

I’d gotten Twilight and New Moon for Christmas as a gift from my sister. Since I was already starting to feel not so hot from being pregnant and working on my feet full time, I wasn’t reading as much as I usually did on the train. I mostly surfed the net on my crackberry on the commute home and tried not to kill the people who routinely annoyed me on my rides to and fro. I tried to pass out in my seat on the way to work which isn’t so easy when you’re ballooning to walrus size and aren’t very bendable. After waiting an extra week after my due date, I finally gave birth via an emergency c-section (no squished head!) to the cutest baby boy (okay, I am a little biased) towards the end of March.

Fast forward to April, I’m really sleep deprived and still sore from the major surgery I had undergone to have baby C. I’d been at home since the beginning of March, there was only so much of the internet I could surf. I’d basically played Mahjong Safari on for 2 weeks straight waiting to have the baby while the husband played Call of Duty. This was pre-Twilight blogs and websites to check each day. When the Twilight DVD came out, my sister bought it and eventually made me watch it with her. Now I’ll admit to being a movie talker, I’ve got some kind of movie Tourettes and I can’t shut my trap for very long. You so don't want to watch a scary movie in the theater with me, I get dirty looks from everyone from laughing so loud. So you can imagine how my first viewing of Twilight was. The lipstick on all of the Cullens drove me nuts the entire time. And I mentioned that, a lot. The movie did pique my interest though so I decided to start reading the books. I did have plenty of time to read them, since I was on leave until June 1.

After that first viewing, my sister and I headed to Target for some much needed baby supplies. We walked past a display housing all of Stephenie Meyer’s books. I figured I might as well buy the Eclipse and Breaking Dawn since I have Twilight and New Moon waiting for me at home. There is nothing I hate worse than having to wait to read the next book in a series. Once I know I like a writer’s style and the book, I usually buy the rest of the series that is available. I should probably own stock in Amazon, I buy so much from there (I don't only buy for myself, I'm an enabler and preordered Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for the hubby. Guess I'm a glutten for punishment). Our local Barnes and Noble is a crap shoot and we’re always looking over our shoulder because our crazy neighbor goes there a lot. We’d rather not get stuck talking to him so we have to cut our trips short if he’s there. When we got back to my house, I let my sister borrow books two through four since she already borrowed Twilight from a friend, and I start reading book one.

The hubby can regale you with stories of how I’ve ignored him in the last 16 years while reading books and magazines more than he has with his crap-ass Call of Duty game. So he probably does have me there. And now I started another consuming book series where the books just got longer and longer. I read Twilight in a day with an infant in my lap, continuing on through books two and three without incident. You try holding a 700 page monstrosity in one hand without hitting your baby with it. It’s not that easy. Finally, I got to Breaking Dawn. And this is when I could swear I was having panic attacks at night for a few days. I was fine through book 1, no problem with Bella and Edward’s wedding, honeymoon, even when she got pregnant. Again, reading Jacob’s perspective was pretty uneventful, until the birth was about to begin. Then I was really tweaked at night and pretty bummed during the day.

There were too many coincidences in the birth of Reneesmee (what a stupid name) and baby C. We both had to have emergency c-sections, there was no chance of a regular birth. Bella would die so no option there. Baby C was starting to have heart rate fluctuations and I didn’t dilate enough or have strong enough contractions after 15 hours of labor. Bella didn’t get to see her baby after the birth. I had to wait several hours before I could hold my own baby C after going through recovery, etc. Plus, Bella and I were both really doped up. Let me tell you, an epidural of fentanyl straight into your spine combined with vicodin and ibuprofen make you feel nothing. I couldn’t remember what I had done 10 minutes before, let alone stay awake without nodding off for a few minutes over the course of two days.

The worst thing was not being able to move. Bella couldn’t move due to the morphine and I was immobile as well. I’m extremely claustrophobic and not being able to move anything below my neck during the c-section was pure hell. I had a blue sheet in my face so I couldn’t see anything, an oxygen line in my nose, and a husband in my face. How I didn’t totally freak out, I don’t know. I know my husband was just trying to comfort me, but he got yelled at for his effort and I am sorry for that. He doesn’t grasp how my claustrophobia has gotten worse the older I get. I had to get an MRI of my head for migraines, and I was barely able to do that. The kicker is that I didn’t have a choice. If I wanted baby C out and healthy, I had to endure this living hell. The decision was made and 10 minutes later I was being wheeled into surgery. I’ll readily admit that I feel ripped off that I didn’t get to have a regular birth. But what really pisses me off is that if we want more children, I’m going to have to experience a c-section all over again. I’m not sure I’ll ever be strong enough to endure that again. And now I have a shelf gut now to show for the first one.

When I went to bed that night at about 2 am after reading the birth scenes, I couldn’t sleep. I just lay in bed thinking how I wouldn’t live forever, I couldn’t live forever. Eventually baby C would be without a mom and dad. I’m sure a lot of this stems from fear of death and what follows. Reading the twilight books, especially Breaking Dawn really struck something in me. Fluctuating post partum hormones and severe sleep deprivation weren’t exactly leaving me the most rational woman around. This sleeplessness and panic about dieing and leaving everyone behind continued for another night. I realized that for my own sanity I had to stop reading that book.

By this time it was the beginning of May and I had preordered two books by authors that I really love. I didn’t read anything at all until I received Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris and Pretty In Plaid by Jennifer Lancaster, both New York Times best selling authors. The new Charlaine Harris book is the ninth book of the Southern Vampire Series that the HBO series True Blood is based on. Jennifer Lancaster’s books are autobiographical and she is one of the funniest authors that I read. She is very snarky and borderline bitchy, but it makes for some hilarious reading. This book is her fourth and I really recommend reading her other three in order. You can read their descriptions on (damn you Amazon for taking all of my money) or find them at your local bookstore (damn you too local Barnes and Noble).

So I had a choice, read something that was sure to be very funny, or take my chances with another vampire book. I chose to read the further adventures of Sookie Stackhouse, so I read Dead and Gone first. This book didn’t give me any panic attacks. I really just think there were too many coincidences between my birth story and that of Bella. My subconscious fears about death and dying really came to the front during those few nights. So, a word of warning to people who are pregnant, newly post partum, and have issues with death. You might want to wait to read book four of the Twilight Saga until your hormones have leveled off and you're mentally stable. Plus it still bothers me that Stephenie Meyer described the birth scene in detail but faded to black on Edward and Bella’s honeymoon. I mean, come on, your audience has grown as your books have come out. You can describe a huge bloody mess but not a word of some action? Even a little description of the nookie would have been fine.

Obviously I’m incapable of being serious for the whole length of a huge ass post such as this, so here are a few new WTF pictures that I got in an email recently. Sorry to anyone that I have scarred for life on the ideas of childbirth or claustrophobia. Since my husband might be the only one reading this, now you know what I went through during one of the hardest and best times of my life. And we have a beautiful, perfect son to show for it.

Notice anything in particular about what this shirt is made of? I really hope those were new underwear.

Um, where I hail from, we usually wind up running racoons over, not feeding them. Especially not feeding them this way. Have they not heard of the lady who was polar bear bait? Or what about the person who was panda bear bait?

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