Showing posts from February, 2010

Week in Review

I just love this, don't you? Just an inch past 30 days since my last week in review , we're doing another one. Sad to say, I did have an awesome post lined up, but work being work exploded and made a very sticky, nasty mess all over my workspace. So without anymore bullshit... Alicia's Week in Review  Work Hubby left on Monday morning for a not fun-filled week worth of business trips. Since Hubby snuck his luggage out of the house when it was kitty-cat nap time, it took Lucky longer to realize that he was down one human. When he did realize it, that meant that I had to deal with a grieving cat . Monday also saw me scrambling around the office to get an RFP out. I won't go into too much detail, but it ended with me leaving after almost 11 hours of work and my boss showing up to the UPS warehouse to drop off our package. RFP Hell took up the majority of my week, the culmination was today with the bonus RFP. By 9 this morning, I clocked my forty hours of w

The House of the Dead: Overkill

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Video games, which are so often written off as mindless entertainment, can often serve a learning purpose. And no, I’m not talking about little kids’ educational games. For me, go-kart games help me to become a better driver, music games help me to become a better player and performer, and zombie killing games help me prepare for the coming outbreak and apocalypse. To further prepare myself for the coming hordes, I spent a good deal of time this week with The House of the Dead: Overkill . This game was only released on Wii, and while I know many people are not fans of the Wii, trust me, this game is worth it to get over your hatred. I’m not saying to go out and spend $200 for one game (although, you really should), but if you happen to have a friend who owns a Wii, pick this game up and get ready for some fun! And if you already own a Wii and don’t have this game-- why not?? A li

Ritual: Why We're All a Little OCD

Confession: After years of needing to lock the old school lock that secures my parents' front door, I can't leave my apartment with a sound mind unless I have my hand wrapped around my apartment keys. Sometimes, I even need to gaze upon them to leave the apartment perimeter. This is my constant indulgent OCD moment. Wikipedia goes into a lot of detail about ritual including religion and law. (Yes, I was surprised about law too.) Ritual is funny because so much of our day-to-day consists of it, but we don't even realize it. Every morning, I have a pecking order to start my day: Hit the snooze button 3 times. Let The White One into his favorite room ever - the bathroom. Put kibble in cat bowl. Get ready (dressed, washed, brushed). Throw lunch in bag. The White One even has a morning routine: Yodel. Grumble. Make sure favorite room ever hasn't changed since previous evening. Narf on kibble. Chase tail. Superstitious folks are OCD* to the nines. Have you

Superstition, or When the Sane Go Crazy

6 1/2 years ago when Hubby only owned the 'boyfriend' label, the Boston Red Sox were having a very promising year. They made it to the post-season and, as always, the whole of Red Sox Nation said "World Series Baybee!!" Since now-Hubby is a die-hard Red Sox fan, he wasn't the exception. Each game night of the ALDS, he would order toasted ravioli while wearing a cheaply made white shirt from Hampton Beach with black lettering that read "Pysch Ward In Patient" and light tan shorts with black checks. The raviolis were always ordered from the same pizza joint halfway between his apartment and work. They were delivered before the game, but not eaten until. He would sit in front of the television and watch the game fold out with a nervous excitement. Once his meal was finished, he would pace between the kitchen and his bedroom. He refused to wash his "lucky outfit." Then the Sox made it to the ALCS. Rinse. Repeat. I asked him about all this d

Blog Spotlight: Combreviations

Work is pouring around my ears and I have never spent so much time in MS Word while not working on my writing. That said, today's blog spotlight is Combreviations . The blurb on the side explains combreviations as what happens when you talk too fast (and too often) and force evolve English by combining words to abbreviate. Combreviations are dogs, bred to be likable, useful, and friendly, while most words come out of the natural selection of English. Sure, they may not be the fittest, but damn if everyone doesn't love them. Combreviations is an awesome blog for the following reasons: There are multiple entries a day. The entries are funny, short, and smart. Blogger, Laura, is pretty kick ass. AND... It introduced me to the waffle iron cookie .

Goal Update

Six weeks ago, I publicly announced my goals . For my 100th (yep, I was surprised too) post, it's update time. Goal 1: Complete the most recent FALLING TO NORMAL revision before conference time. Status : I've thought about revising. The manuscript has notes all over it. I have a better chart. And cards. Just not the brain power. Whenever it comes to sit and buckle down, there is something more pressing that needs tending: cat cuddling, craft projects sitting, sleeping. The first 25 pages had been redone last month for some critique sessions. I have that feedback now though, so there is no reason not to start. Tonight. I will start tonight. Goal 2: Keep up with the blogging. Status : This is the 100th entry. Some days are harder to blog than others. Please send suggestions/comments/questions to help me keep up my 5 day a week pace. Goal 3: To drop at least 1 pants size. Status : Goal 4: Clean the little box on a more frequent basis. Status : Litter box needs to be

Best in the Zombie Show

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . It probably seems like I am all zombies, all the time. While part of this is true, I also have several other interests that may surprise you. Right now the world is coming down from one of the biggest sporting events of the year-- the Super Bowl. And they’ve headed right into the Olympics. Soon to follow will be the bracket insanity of March Madness, a large factor in my household when I was growing up, one that (much to my parents’ disappointment, I’m sure) I never really got into. The whole planet is sporting event crazy, and although I am not the athletic type, there is one sport that I support obsessively every year-- The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which is the second longest consecutive-running annual sporting event in history, second only by one year to the Kentucky Derby. This year marks the 134th show! It is true that my love for dogs far surpasses my love for zomb

Jeopardy Review

The quiz that was scheduled for last Friday was postponed to this Friday. Phantasma's classmates are struggling with the animal kingdom, even with the extra study aids that Beth sent out. I'd be lying if I said Phantasma understood everything - she didn't. She had problems finishing the study sheets and blamed the cat. (Quite possible it was either The Stripey One's or The White One's fault. They do love sitting on the one thing you're working on.) Subject: Jeopardy Review Hello parents, I hope you are all enjoying the snow.  I just wanted to let you know that I've posted a Jeopardy review game on the animal kingdom on my eBoard.  The quiz will still take place on Friday as scheduled.  Warm regards, B. Fisher For the record, Beth, I'm not enjoying the snow. I broke up with winter. (However, it was very pretty on the trees this morning.) I haven't looked at the review game yet. It should be fun, even if there isn't any Sean Connery.

Some Things Shouldn't Cost a Buck

In the continued effort to hold off on revising for as long as possible, I took a break yesterday to pick up some fleece. In the same shopping plaza as Jo Ann Fabrics is a Dollar Tree. Everything in Dollar Tree is a dollar - everything . Stationary? A dollar. Kitchen stuff? A dollar. Winter accessories? A dollar. Even these, were a dollar.

On Valentine's Day and Red Roses

Before my full-time temp job, I worked part-time at a local florist. I had gotten the job because I knew how to turn on a monitor. I started working shortly after my honeymoon and would still be there if it wasn't for our suck-ass economy. I learned enough in 18 months to become a junior designer - a feat that would be much more impressive if there were more than me, the owner, and her dog. The job was great. My days were short enough that I could get writing or laundry done in the morning without waking up too early. The dress code was casual - as long as it wasn't offensive, I could wear it. More than half of the year was spent in velour pants just because. My boss, even though a flake, was fun to work with. It sucked when it was the holiday season because the tempo of the store went into triple-manic mode. My boss didn't handle stress well and her brain would shut down. This mean miscommunication would hit hard; we would spend most of Christmas Eve and Valentin

I Love Zombie Day

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . February is a short little month filled with many holidays. In fact, February may be the most festive month of all! First we celebrated Groundhog’s Day, an odd, but cute little holiday. Next was arguably the best one of all-- my birthday! It was also George Romero’s birthday as you may have learned from last week. Throw in some presidents’ birthdays, and a leap day and you have one packed month! This weekend most of the world will be celebrating another holiday that revolves all around love! No... I’m not talking about stupid Valentine’s Day. I’m referring to “I Love Zombies Day.” Yes, apparently February 13th is to become the official day to celebrate the love of the undead. I first heard about this somewhat dubious holiday via Twitter. Twitter, like most of the interwebz, isn’t always the most reliable source of information. Anybody can say or post anything online (often with

Dear Winter: A Letter

Dear Winter, I'm over you. A little past the 32nd anniversary of The Blizzard of 78 , we're getting a snow storm. It will be nothing like what the mid-Atlantic got over the weekend , but our office is closing early anyway. Hubby and I are discussing the execution of shoveling out tomorrow morning. This is something I don't want. It's bad enough with the Canadian blasts we've been getting tempareture-wise, but do you really have to include snow? I own a white cat - he will blend if he escapes. (And if he manages it, I will blame you, Winter.) You've been warned. Let your sister Spring come in. I want some flowers and bees, dammit. Signed, Alicia PS: In case my intent isn't clear, please look at the image below.

Native Accents

I'm a Boston native. I'm so native, in fact, that I haven't moved away from my hometown. I didn't even move when I was in college - I commuted to the next town. I'm so native that Hubby is born and raised from one town over. Needless to say, I should sound like I'm an extra in Good Will Hunting. But I don't. After years of working in telephone customer service, I've managed to tone down the accent so when I say Waltham (pronounced correctly as Wall-tham ), the person on the other end isn't confused (by a mispronunciation of Walthum .) Some people think that pahking the cah in Hahvahd Yahd is the sound of the uneducated, which I don't understand, but whatever. I'm not going to rant about the preconceptions that accents generate because it's pointless and we all do it. However. Why does this quiz tell me I'm not from Boston? What American accent do you have? Your Result: The Inland North   You may think you speak &

Blog Spotlight: Guide to Literary Agents

If you're a writer with the intent of becoming a published one, you should be reading The Guide to Literary Agents blog. It's informative and concise. They go over everything from query letters to formatting specs. Chuck Sambuchino also blogs about his cover band occasionally, which I love. (I think I might love those stories more than the information I get.) Recently, Chuck started monthly contests over there. This month the contest focuses on young adult and middle grade books. The winner gets a critique. You know who wants that critique? This gal right here. Shameless pimping aside, go and read the blog. I have found some many useful articles from there that I've lost count. The Guide to Literary Agents is owned by the same parent company as Writer's Digest. WD is only my favorite writing magazine, so I'll admit that my opinions are highly skewed. (Who cares? They've been around for 90 years.) & The New Music Search

I love my music. I listen to it all the time. One thing I love to do is to find new bands to listen to. This can be difficult when you have radio stations that don't push the envelope. (This is not counting college radio, which I do listen to once and a while.) Because of the suck factor on regular radio, I would use internet radio. I used to listen to a lot of Pandora Radio when I would be writing, but after NaNoWriMo, I got tired of the selection that kept coming up on my channels. It's great to suggest music based off of key attributes, but sometimes I just want to know what Person X is listening to when they're not listening to Band A. Bring in . is an internet-based radio system that plays recommendations based off the other bands/songs/pachyderms you like. It uses this thing called a Scrobbler , which ultimately adds the song into your music library. I'm finding that this is a more effective way of finding new music than Pandora's music g

Hot damn!

I wanted to be official and give a big welcome to all the new followers to the blog. I'm happy that I got four new followers this week. Welcome, welcome, welcome! And, thanks for the comments. I feel like I owe an apology to Blog . And soon.

Phantasma Update Now with Bonus Material

Just when I was panicking about getting photos ready for today's post, Beth sent another email. For all newcomers, you can learn about the birth of Beth and Phantasma here and follow it all here . As predicted, Phantasma left a horse on Tessa Wolstein's desk. Also, as predicted, Tessa ratted my child out to her mother. This left me with an annoyingly painful conversation with the uber-perky Tara Wolstein where my daughter is the devil and I'm a crap parent. (So not.) Anyway. Beth emailed twice, but not about the Tessa-Phantasma feud. Subject: upcoming quiz Hi parents, Just a quick note to let you know that we will be having our animal kingdom quiz on Friday, February 12th .  The format of this particular quiz will be all multiple choice .  I've attached a review sheet that your child can begin now.  We have not yet covered birds or mammals.  Warm regards, B. Fisher Subject: additional review Hi parents, I've attached additional review material for y

Happy Bir-rrrraaaiiinnnss!

Zombie Thursdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Each week as I plan out what I’m going to write about for Zombie Thursday, my mind is usually stuck on one main idea or theme. I have this outline in my head, then I start writing it in my head. I also decide what kind of pictures I need to find or what kind of photos I need to take. All of this mashes around inside of my brain and eventually I sit down and write, write, write. A couple of weeks ago I had a pretty solid idea on a cool blog to write, but I had this incredibly random zombie dream and at the last minute decided to write about that instead. The same idea that I bumped from that week was supposed to make an appearance today. I’m sure you can guess where this is going... Yes, I am bumping it again. When it finally does get published on Zombie Thursdays, I’m hoping you all will think it is a fun one! I think it is going to be good. But once again, it seems as if the fa

Rear Gear - Newest Trend in Pet Fashion?

Danielle, purveyor of all weird internet findings, sent me this Etsy link for butt covers yesterday. And all I can say is. What. The. Hell. As the servant owner of two cats - both of whom like to stick their ass in my face - I understand that the butt is not attractive. There's the hole and sometimes... residue . In some cases, it can be toxic. (As is the case with Stripey and her anal glands.) I totally understand the want to ignore it's existence. But. This goes beyond unnecessary. Just like Everyone Poops , everyone (and thing) has an asshole. People are the ones with shame on that front, not some unsuspecting pet. It looks stupid. My cat's tail is not a rear view mirror, nor is it's ass a windshield. And what happens when the animal has to go? The creator has nothing explaining that on their page. They might assume that it falls to the side and will never touch any waste. Right. The most frightening thing is that at least one of them is sold out.

Plotting Revisals

This dark sketchy picture represents the last complete draft of FALLING TO NORMAL, the young adult novel I'm shopping around. Or was until I got no hits from the queries sent in the last half of 2009, now I'm in revision-o-rama . I admit, I hate it. That is, the revision process. More specifically as it holds to this project. When I began this years (and I do mean years) ago, the first draft was done in by the seat of my pants fashion. While fun to write, it's a bitch to revise. Why's that? Because it's hard to connect all the scenes together and not sound like something the cat would create. (Assuming that The White One could write.) With each pass, my timeline shrinks and more events are left out. This is making it more difficult to create a strong story arc and really showcasing my protagonist's growth. So your revision isn't going well? It's not going as planned. The process is much slower than I anticipated, partially because I had two

Blog Spotlight: Project Nice

Back in December, I highlighted Be Nice to a Stranger in the first blog spotlight. Well, it's back - both the blog spotlight and Be Nice to a Stranger, but it has a shiny new address. Project Nice is based off the success of Erinn's Be Nice to a Stranger, but she is making it more interactive and will last a little over a month. Today is the kick off date. I'm unofficially participating in since I rarely get away from my work desk or my writing desk. If you get out and interact with people more often than me, you should definitely sign up for Project Nice. They even have a Twitter feed .