you can get with this, or you can get with that. part deux.

So, here comes the part where I shamelessly attempt to drum up votes by making promises I can’t keep. I probably shouldn’t have opened with that. Nix the promises. Instead, just vote for the best one (mine, duh). Are you confused by all this talk of voting and lying?? Start here . . . then go here . . . and, finally, remind yourself that I’m a defending champ.

To vote for “Dark Paradise”, follow the simple directions HERE. If you do, I promise you rubies and tigers and castles and those dark chocolate sea salt caramels that Trader Joe’s makes.

because I had that other picture of that Lynx and now my blog is about big cats.

Because I had that other picture of that Lynx and now my blog is about big cats.

photo credit

dark paradise

There are 17 lights on my commute to work (another 17 on the way home). What would be a 5 – 7 minute drive is easily 20. And not a smooth 20 . . . a stop and go 20.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to announce the posting of my short fiction piece. Click here if you have no idea what I’m talking about. Please do me a solid and check it out over on Tim’s website. It’s about the most ambiguous love I can think of, set to the smooth vocal stylings of Lana Del Rey. (You can hate her if you want to, but she’ll just hypnotize you with her pouty lips and cat’s eye makeup.)

For those of you who dislike it when I babble, here are the straight facts:

Dark Paradise <— Ripe for the clicking

Read it and weep (well, you probably won’t be crying).


In July…or whenever the eff that was…I said I was back. I said it with sass. (See here.)

The truth is, that was a lie.

I was not back; I was just visiting/toying with the emotions of the general public.

The next truth is, I’m not entirely sure that I’m back this time either. But I’m here right NOW, and (in a world where that matters) that’s all that really matters.

Alright, let’s cut to the chase:

Aren’t you guys just freakin’ crazy for homophones?!? I know, I shouldn’t even have to ask – it’s a total and complete given. So, this cat right hurr has some information to share with you. And in order for you to get the most out of the information, you are going to have to do a lot of clicking.

I chose the kitty that meant the most business.

I chose the kitty that meant the most business.

Photo Credit

You may remember a writing contest that I took part in last year. Or you might be blocking that time period from your memory for reasons that I don’t understand, but would never judge. I announced my participation in that contest the only way I knew how: a Red Hot Chili Peppers themed blog post.

Then, I bugged you about it a little here while shamelessly plugging away here.

Finally, I won the shit out of that contest with this piece of enlightened prose (ahead of its time yet simultaneously harkening back to a purer period in writing’s history) followed by a bit of a Katniss themed touchdown dance.

This is likely the point where you start wondering why you should care. I think it’s obvious, but if I must spell it out . . . the February Prompt is back (in March – that Tim Stevens is a wily fellow). Because I can hardly give up the chance to spend hours of my life agonizing over story structure while riddled with self-doubt, I have signed up again!! Details can be found on Tim’s newly revamped but always fresh as heck website. <—- That’s clickable in case you didn’t know.

My story will go live on 3/21, but I’ll probably be back to remind/annoy you sometime before then. In an unprecedented move, I would like to offer up a clue about my inspiration song choice. The singer is a female with hair that is sometimes brown, but sometimes blonde. First one to guess correctly gets the spam letter from Uganda that arrived in my inbox this morning!!!

Well, I don’t know about you, but it’s dinner time on the west coast, and I am totally in the mood to chow some sausage links.

i’ve got kitty pryde – and nightcrawler, too. waiting there for me. yes i do. i do.

Trillions of nerds, super fans, cosplayers, pop culture junkies, LARPists, geeks, toy enthusiasts, comic lovers, and others generally seeking to avoid human contact by befriending televisions, fictional characters, and inanimate objects ventured out of their garages and into the open arms of San Diego Comic Con 2012. Okay, so, maybe there weren’t trillions, but until you’ve waited in a 6 hour line, please don’t judge my need to exaggerate for effect. (Oh, and P.S. – I’m back, bitches. Pretend like ya missed me.)

The curious thing about Comic Con is, that by any amount of reasonable logic (see above), it should be a cesspool of terrible human to human interactions. It should be a whole lot of awkward, awful exchanges born solely out of necessity.

“Hey, Panthro – you’re stepping on my foot. Actually, you’ve been stepping on it for the last 20 minutes. I figured I would just continue to endure, but I have to go to the bathroom.”

“No cuts, no buts, no coconuts, buddy. If you really loved Firefly, you would have gotten here last night like I did.”

“Yes, this is the line to get into the line to get into the line for Hall H.”

However, it’s not like that at all. I mean, sure, you have your occasional encounter with the wild-eyed socially inept: “Oooooh, you would like one of the free Last Airbender posters on the display case above my head? You don’t have to shove or crush me to get it. Just say excuse me . . . then I will gladly move out of your way while explaining to you how lame The Last Airbender is.” Seriously, of all the things to get pushy about; IRON MAN himself just made an appearance a few feet away. (See how I used Robert Downey Jr. to provide perspective? Only at Comic Con.)

The actual worst interaction of the entire experience took place on the last train back up to Carlsbad on Friday night and involved guys coming from the bar, not the convention center. So, my point here is that my SDCC experience was full of awesome interactions with awesome people who were all just as jazzed as I was to share in the magic.

Alright, admittedly, I am a little rusty with the words after such a lengthy hiatus. In lieu of more rusty words, I think I’ll let pictures do most of the talking for the rest of the post (you’re welcome). Some of the pics are mine, but some are not. The excitement and visual overload of the Con caused me to take pictures in a way that would not even be considered advanced for a hyena. Without further ado, here are some of the highlights.

More costumes than you can shake a stick at.

How unbelievably happy are Wolverine and Gambit here? Props to Psylocke for killin’ it.

And while we’re talking X-Men…

The best part about Scarecrow’s costume was that it interfered with his vision. I saw him walk into the girls’ bathroom.

Closest I got to the Firefly panel. Literally – this was in line outside the Ballroom 20 doors.

Who knew? Jayne fandom knows no bounds.

Totes ugly.

And then there was this guy.

. . . and this Thing.

You can be one, too!! Yeah, no one knew who we were . . . probably because Planeteer clothes are our regular clothes. WIND!

I hope he didn’t have to drink all that swill. Photo credit:

Absolutely does not need a caption. Photo credit:


At this point, I feel like I need to recognize two very special costumes. When there is such an abundance to choose from, it can be difficult to distinguish the true leaders of the pack. Actually, it really wasn’t that hard.

Best kid costume ever. Best kid ever. If my own kids are half this cool, I won’t have to hit them very much. Photo credit:

Supremely clever. So clever, in fact, that my short-circuited brain made me yell, “Deadpool of mi5e!!!” before steam came out of my ears. Photo credit:

Hey, did you know that trying to format photos on this blog is like trying to herd kittens?? Aaaaanyway, there are a few more things/people that/who deserve tribute before I can close out the Comic Con chapter.

The King of Con

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Joss Whedon a few years back in a much smaller venue (Wesleyan University – what up, M-town?). He was no different in that setting than in this one. No matter where he is, no matter how many people are staring at him (about 4,500 at the time of this picture), he remains the same witty, humble, radical dude. I salute you, Mr. Whedon.

The King of Meth

If you don’t watch Breaking Bad, then I probably don’t like you. Don’t worry, I will continue to “tolerate” you. Just understand that if we are ever in a situation where I am clutching both your hand and Brian Cranston’s hand as the two of you dangle off of a cliff, you’re going to die.

The Queens of Con

What a treat this panel of intelligent women was. Didn’t hurt that Kristin came out in the Walmart sweatshirt and that Sarah referenced Prison Break. Oh, and Lucy Lawless was an unannounced guest. I wish I’d recorded the reaction the girl in front of me had when Lucy walked on stage. I was pretty sure the girl was giving birth and began to boil some water.

The Grand Finale

If there was a better way to close out my Comic Con experience than Sons of Anarchy, I don’t know it. Remember what I said about the whole cliff dangling thing and Brian Cranston? Same goes for the competition between you and any one of these cast members (hell, I’ll even throw Sutter in there). Thirty seconds of the trailer for season 5 was blacked out for content. Epic.

And one more thing (because there is always an additional scene after the credits roll) . . .

A Comic Con sized thank you to this gentleman, who offered me a free pedi-cab ride from the train station on the last day simply because I smiled and responded to him politely. Kindness, people, it makes the world go round!

clip show

Hey! Who remembers clip shows?? Maybe I shouldn’t be asking that question like clip shows are a thing of the past. I just realized that I haven’t watched a sitcom since Friends. For all I know, clip shows could be alive and kicking, just as relevant (ha, I certainly don’t mean relevant) as they were in the 90’s.

Back in my day, you could smell a clip show from a mile away. Danny Tanner would gather everyone around the kitchen table, the Seaver clan would hunker down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, and there would be some trumped-up reason for everyone to start reminiscing. Cue the flashbacks, anecdotes, and lowered production costs.

This is really my over-complicated way of telling you that what follows will be a montage of clips designed to catch you up on what’s been going on out here in the land of sunshine and assholes. While this post differs from traditional clip shows in that it will not be a collection of stuff that I have already shared in this blog, I am willing to ignore that if you are.

Now, imagine me, staring off into space as the screen gets progressively more fuzzy until clearing on a new scene . . .

Remember the time when: I actually won that writing contest on Breaking Up to A Beat.

I know, right?!? Believe me, no one was more surprised than me (except maybe the other writers in the contest). I can’t thank everyone enough for voting – because of you guys I am now the proud owner of a $25.00 Amazon gift card. (Well, I *used* to be the proud owner of an Amazon gift card. Now, I am the proud owner of one “Girl on Fire” t-shirt . . . which I wear while running around with a rubber band, launching pencils at Nate and screaming, “May the odds be ever in YOUR favor, bitch!!!!!”)

Remember the time when: I saw The Hunger Games three times (and counting) in the theater.

I have this thing with even numbers; so after seeing it twice, I pretty much had to see it again.

Katniss for freakin' President.

Remember the time when: I got a job.

A real one. That pays dollars.

I didn’t know it was picture day. If I had, I might have made some different styling choices before heading out to the district office that afternoon. I also probably would not have chosen to have the light hit my nose that way.

Remember the time when: I bought the most delightful lip balm in all the land.

photo credit: Long Winter Farm

I know I am prone to exaggeration (let’s call it hyperbole, sounds less crazy that way), but I really don’t think I have ever been this pleased with a lip product. For the record, a neon narwhal smells delicious. And so does everything else in this shop! I also have a couple perfume oils that are equally as awesome. Buy things, you won’t regret it: Long Winter Farm.

Remember the time when: I yelled at a 12 year old boy.

To be fair, he was harassing a bird. This bird actually:

I wish I didn’t have to yell at the kid, really I do. I wish his parents (seated a few feet away) gave enough of a shit to teach their kid how to treat other living things. Oh, but never fear, crappy parents and punk-ass kids, the bird-crusader is here to tell you exactly what you are doing wrong and why you should never do it again. The boy got an earful (and then hid behind a display of stuffed animal snakes . . . coward), but the parents were spared the lecture I was planning to give them on the connection between animal cruelty and future serial killers. My mom thought that would be going to far.

Remember the time when: My mom came to visit, and we held a baby panda!

pay no attention to the levitating camera at the bottom of the frame. this picture is 100% legit.

Wonders never cease out here. I tried to make sure there were as many “wonders” as possible during my mom’s visit in a desperate attempt to convince her that moving to California would be a good idea. I think I had almost persuaded her when she heard the sound that our toilet makes when it flushes (kind of like a dying T-Rex meets a giant’s stomach after too many beans). Back to the drawing board.

Remember the time when: Kira came to visit!

It was a glorious time, full of TOMS, Mexican food, and tattoos. However, I have no photographic proof that she was really here (other than a Kira-like shadow eclipsing a lizard on a rock) . . . so maybe I imagined the whole thing.

Remember the time when: it was way past the time for the clip show to end.

So, here’s the part with the hearty laughter, warm smiles, concluding music, and return to the original scene. I hope you all have learned whatever lesson you were supposed to have gleaned from this dog and pony show. Please don’t ask me what that lesson was supposed to be; you’ll likely just get a rant about the proper treatment of peacocks.

you can get with this, or you can get with that.

Hey remember that short piece o’ fiction I wrote last month for Breaking Up to a Beat???

Me neither. Luckily, it matters not that you remember it, only that you vote for it here: official voting spot. Integrity is not something I value, but if you do and would prefer to make your own “informed” decision by reading all the stories (wow, I bet you’re fun at parties), then please, by all means click right HERE to access the linked list.

The poll closes at precisely 11:59pm (EST) on Saturday, March 10th, so I guess I’m not sure why you are still dilly dallying. There is an Amazon gift card at stake!!!

The choice is yours (but probably, you should vote for this one).

Schoolhouse Rocks the Vote!: A Benefit for Roc...

This picture has a loose association with my post, but that hardly matters now that Conjunction Junction is stuck in your head.

the heathers

What is your damage, Heather? - image via

What better day than Oscar day for a movie-themed post (kind of)! I jumped out of bed this morning, threw open the window, took a deep breath, and sang out (towards THE FIVE), “it’s Oscar Daaaaayyyyyy!!” The red carpet interviews, the dresses, what I just saw Sacha Baron Cohen do to Ryan Seacrest, the awkward hosting/speeches – I love it all! I am currently relishing the fact that award shows air nice and early out here on the left coast. No more battling with my eyelids until the final award is given. No more nodding off during a commercial and coming to just after the best actress Oscar winner has walked off the stage. And (this one might actually be unfortunate) no longer using the best song performances as opportunities to power nap. (Let the record show that I would never power nap during “It’s Hard Out There For a Pimp,” the best song ever to win an Oscar . . . take that Celine Dion.)

As usual, I have gone off the course here. Refocusing . . .

I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure I have wandered through that little door behind the filing cabinet at LesterCorp (it’s on floor 7.5 if you are having trouble locating it). Instead of finding myself behind the soulful eyes of John Malkovich, however, I’ve found myself in a Heather-centric recreation of the infamous scene where Malkovich himself ends up inside the portal. Perhaps I am exaggerating slightly (me? exaggerate?? never). It’s not as though I am surrounded by people of all shapes and sizes sporting my head and speaking to one another in a little language I will call Heatherish. But that being said, everywhere I turn (on reality TV), nothing but Heathers.

Being John Malkovich

Just in case you had no idea what I just spent the last paragraph referencing. For shame, by the way.

Too many Heathers to ignore:

Heather Sinn – Ink Master (Spike)

The Heather with, by far, the coolest last name. I haven’t done my post-wedding legal name change yet and am now considering the plethora of options open to me. I will entertain all suggestions that make me sound like a bad ass.

Heather Henry – Face Off (SyFy)

SyFy shows are not good. Don’t argue with me by naming the one or two shows over the years that have not blown. Usually, Ghost Hunters is the only reason SyFy ends up in my channel rotation (Can you believe Grant’s decision to leave?!? For real, I teared up.), but Face Off is actually pretty entertaining. It’s all monsters and creepy things. Seriously, it is worth checking out.

Heather Macia & Heather Grubb – Next Great Baker (TLC)

The show with so many freakin’ Heathers that they had to resort to using last initials.

Heather Dubrow – The Real Housewives of Orange County (Bravo)

Get this: she is new to the show this season, she is a brunette, and she is originally from the east coast. Was there an open casting call that I missed??

As you can see, the world of (questionable) entertainment is just oozing with Heathers. This leads me to the only logical conclusion: my 15 minutes of fame MUST be just around the corner. The universe has never spoken so loudly and so clearly.

I’ll leave you with my favorite clip from one of the greatest films to ever grace the silver screen. For reasons I cannot begin to fathom, this film was not an Oscar winner. Major snub. It’s your turn, Heather.

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