Friday, June 22, 2007

One Year Later

One year ago today, Anna Eva Meding passed away at the wonderful age of 88 years old. I spent the day thinking of her, trying to come up with a post that showed how much she meant to me. To describe what a wonderful, complex, loving woman she was. The funny thing is, I couldn't think of a thing to write, because what she meant to me is so ingrained in who I am that it's impossible to put it into a few hundred words.

Instead of an essay, I've decided on a word collage. Things that, while they may seem random to you, mean something to me.









Every story she ever told ended with the same phrase, so it seemed appropriate to sign off with it: That's the way it goes.

I love you, Grandma. I miss you.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It's Not Rocket Science

I love that grocery stores have those Self Checkout lines. Yes, I know it means fewer cashiers, but even before they became popular, I rarely saw more than a third of the available registers at use. The number hasn't seemed to change much with the installation of Self Checkouts in grocery stores across the country.

I like using the Self Checkout because it's more peaceful. I don't have to smile at a discontented cashier who looks about as happy as a constipated gorilla (especially if I've had a bad day, and I look as happy as said gorilla). I can scan my club card, scan my groceries, pay, bag and go.

At least, I used to bag my own groceries and go. Now some stories have wandering baggers, who toddle from line to line and bag the groceries.

Grocery baggers are nothing new. Larger chains used to have them all the time. And bagging groceries does not take a degree. Just common sense. Don't put a jar of spagetti sauce on top of the bread. Don't put canned goods on top of the eggs. Double-bag heavy stuff so the handles don't break.

Every bagger who's bagged my groceries has managed to follow all of these simple guidelines. However, one exists that is never followed. Given that it's summer and very hot, this one should be first and foremost in every bagger's mind: put cold stuff together!

For crying out loud!

Don't put my non-dairy creamer and deli meat in with the box of rice. Don't put two frozen dinners in with my bread. Put the creamer, meat and frozen dinners in one bag; put the rice and bread in another. I don't want my room temp stuff getting damp or accumulating moisture. And I like my cold stuff to stay cold on the way home, thank you very much.

It's not rocket science! Like things together! Which one of these does not belong?


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Couple of Throw Pillows, A TV News Reporter....

Whaddaya think?

Who knew changing the look of my blog was so easy? Probably thousands of other Blogger users who've already done it. *snicker*

I love the new digs, and hope to add a few more features over the next couple of days.

Monday, June 11, 2007

100th Post

I hadn't given much thought to what my 100th blog post would be about, so imagine my surprise when I decided to blog about a great rejection.

Some folks will say that there is no such thing as a great rejection. A rejection is just a rejection. Period.


I submitted a full manuscript two weeks ago. This morning I received an email rejection from the agent, and while the "no" stung a little, the message contained enough hope to soothe the wound. She said I had a lot of strong prose, stronger than a lot of writing that passed her desk. She also felt I had a sympathetic heroine.

The major downfall for her was some of the plot turns. Some didn't feel natural, and those reservations prevented her from taking on the novel. It definitely gives me something to look harder at tomorrow (day off = editing day).

She closed the letter by inviting me to submit future projects, if I find myself without representation and another book available. *swoon*

So there it is: the good, the bad, and the hopeful.

Friday, June 08, 2007

AW Blog Chain 9

I haven't participated in an AW blog chain for quite a while, and I'm ecstatic to be back. I neglected the poor thing for a few months (the blog, not AW, heaven knows I spend too much time there).

If may be so bold as to quote from A View From the Waterfront (the lovely blog that preceded mine), Alan writes: What will Kelly at Organized Chaos do with this thread?

What, indeed?

Alan blogged about food security in Alaska. I have to be honest here--I never pondered the notion that food would be a problem to get in Alaska. Why? Well, I admit to a somewhat limited worldview, since my life has been spent in Southern Delaware and Northern Virginia (with a brief stopover in Los Angeles and Pennsylvania for college). I know Alaska is snowy and cold, and most of its major cities are along the coast. Dummy me never really understood why until I read his post: food.

My roommate is a huge fan of "Deadliest Catch," and she could probably write me an essay on the importance of seafood to Alaskan survival. Or on the sound a grown man makes when a crab pinches his nethers. I imagine it contains swear words.

Living here in the continental US, it's hard to imagine not having immediate access to all sorts of groceries. If I want steak, I go buy steak. If I want shrimp, I go buy shrimp. If I want peaches, I go buy peaches (although ripeness is negotiable, depending on the time of year). The idea of subsistence foods being provided by the Federal Government just astounds me. It sounds like something we do to villages in South America, not to our fellow Americans in the great white north.

It truly instills a sense of respect. Respect for the folks who carve out a life and a living up there in Alaska. A place that is fifty degrees in the summer and can have upwards of six months of constant sunlight in certain areas is not a state I'd want to live in. But my hat is off to those that do. It's a beautiful state, and you have been blessed with its wonders.


Well, not the post I thought I'd create for this chain (I just watched The Guardian, which takes place in Alaska, and was prepared to go off on a tangent about films set in Alaska....alas...).

Next up is Williebee.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's the small things in life that tickle me most.

Like walking into a bookstore with no intention of purchasing anything (yeah, right) and walking out with a book you had forgotten about. I loved Star Trek: Enterprise, and watched all four seasons during its abbreviated run on UPN. I'd gladly buy the DVD's if I could afford them (I do accept gifts!).

I've picked up a handful of the tie-in novels that Pocket Books publishes. Some, like the Daedalus duology, are excellent. Others, like *Deleted By Nice-O-Matic*, sucked eggs. Still, I first heard about "The Good That Men Do" during last year's Shore Leave convention, when editor Marco Palmieri gave a preview of upcoming Trek books.

Needless to say, a book that explains Trip's "death" in the show's series finale and revealed he did not, in fact, die at all, was immediately added to my Wish List. I adore the character of Trip Tucker (can you tell by the avatar?), and Connor Trinneer is such a sweetheart in person. Sick as a dog, he still shows up to do his scheduled talks and sign hundreds of autographs. *sigh*

Anywho, I haven't read it yet (come on, I've only owned it for about eight hours), but look forward to it. Once I finish this one, I will finally (finally!) read the next one in the Crimson City series. Dunno why I haven't yet. Yeesh.

Forgetful much?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

'The Return' Should Go Away

It is a rare movie that makes me want to stalk up to the clerk at Blockbuster and demand my rental fee back. The Return, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, is one more film on that rather short list (which includes The Grudge, Wolf Creek, and Starsky & Hutch, among others).

Don't bother. Really.

It's billed as a psychological thriller, but the trailer makes it look like a haunted house/horror flick, so imagine my surprise when nothing remotely scary happens for the first...oh...what's the running time of the film?

Anyway, it did explain itself by the end, but I was so thoroughly confused during the first hour of the movie that I just didn't care. I was too excited to realize it was over to really care how it ended. Don't get me wrong. I love a good psychological thriller (The Usual Suspects and Unknown come immediately to mind), but this one was just bad. The script was schizophrenic, the characters bland, and the overall look of the film unimpressive.

Unless you are a die-hard SMG fan, skip it.

I wish I had.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Back on the Chain

It's been a while since I've participated in one of the AW Blog Chain's. Number 9 just started, and I'm near the bottom (as usual, I'm so slow at joining these wonderful chains). It'll be a bit before it's my turn, but I wanted to post the entire chain. A few familiar blogs and a couple of new ones, too.

I've got some reading to do.

Virginia Lee: I Ain't Dead Yet!
hunt & peck
Life, Writing, and Other Things
Food History
A View From the Waterfront
Organized Chaos
The Road Less Traveled