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).

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Lynx

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.

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.

the heathers

What is your damage, Heather? - image via guardian.co.uk

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.

there’s no bathroom, and there is no sink. the water out of the tap is very hard to drink.

That’s right. Tomorrow. Tomorrow (2/13)  is THE day to tune into Breaking Up To A Beat for an original short piece of fiction by everyone’s favorite blogger. I think it’s probably necessary that I specify that I mean me.

On a side note (there is always a side note), I’m not sure it’s common knowledge that the tap water in San Diego is legitimately hard to drink. It tastes like a cross between an old puddle near a dumpster and chlorinated sour milk. Now, I did grow up in Newington, CT, home of the most delicious water to ever spring forth from a tap. However, I don’t think that my distaste for SoCal water is a form of water elitism. They can hardly keep Brita pitchers on the shelf at Target.

English: Drop of water falling into a glass of...

Image via Wikipedia

tell me baby, what’s your story?

The Red Hot Chili Peppers band members in 2000...

Image via Wikipedia

Gah, I know. Second post in a row with a RHCP title. Can I blame California?? The Red Hot Chili Peppers must hold some sort of record for the most references to the Golden State . . . if not in song/album titles, certainly within the lyrics. With California monopolizing all levels of my consciousness, it only makes sense that I would arrive at RHCP music while using song-related free association (my favorite school bus game of yesteryear btw) to title my posts.

I guess it’s not entirely fair for me to blame California (for this anyway – if you would like a list of the other things I am currently blaming on CA, just ask). My thing for the Red Hot Chili Peppers didn’t start when I moved here . . . nor did it start when Anthony Keidis and Dave Navarro made out in that video (H-O-T). It actually started in 5th grade when I insisted on singing Under The Bridge to an audience of parents at some girl scout event. Yes, that really happened, and nothing I can say right now can possibly encapsulate how monumentally amazing it is that a moment like that actually occurred.

Want more examples? Oh good!! Because I have one more. I also walked down the aisle to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song (an orchestrated version of Soul to Squeeze). *Sigh* I am such a romantic.

Well, I sure am glad I just spent all that time establishing my feelings about something that has nothing to do with the reason I started writing today. My intention for this post is to announce my participation in a very special guest blogging opportunity set up by talented writer and all-around keen dude, Tim Stevens. I was going to explain the particulars, but since I wasted a lot of writing energy on the Red Hot Chili Peppers thing, I will instead direct you to the blog where Tim does a better job of explaining it than I would have anyway (he wasn’t the NHS class of ’99 El Presidente for nothing, folks).

Breaking Up to A Beat <—– click it or ticket

I will admit to being a little nervous here stepping outside my comfort zone. (Do I even have one of those? I am almost always feeling at least slightly awkward.) I’m fairly certain that I have not touched this subject matter since I was an angsty teen, and I’m really not trying to do the angsty teen thing . . . right now. In the end though, I was intrigued by the concept, and the idea of doing something a bit different than the usual for me was the clincher. I encourage everyone to follow along for the month of February, and then vote for your favorite at the end. Your favorite doesn’t have to be my piece, but it would be a lot cooler if it was.

I will post again once I know the date that my story will appear. Then my loyal readership can feel free to flock to the website in droves, overwhelming the server with sheer numbers and also with brute force (because that’s just how my readers roll).