Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Oh my, my my.....IMMORTALS

Here's a new movie coming out in a couple of weeks I MUST go see.  Hot, muscley men, who also happen to be Greek Gods.  Now that's just right up my alley!

And check it out.  Kellan Lutz is cast as Poseidon. Lord, have mercy....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Choking at the Fur Ball

Last night, my husband and I attended the ASPCA Fur Ball at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas. We were invited to the event by our close friends, who for privacy sake, we'll call Sweetie Pie and Jug Head. Love you, jug head, no offense intended. J

The event was a sold out success and if you don't know already, the ASCPA ( www.aspca.org ) is a charity close to my heart. I was astounded by the generosity of some of the donors of the live auction events. American Airlines, the very best local gourmet restaurants in Dallas, a year's worth of wine ****drool****, and suites for the Dallas Cowboys, etc. I readily admit that the fundraising geniuses certainly know how to execute these events. Have an open bar, get everyone liquored up, feed the guests well, then, BAM. Hit them with fantastic live auction items that mere mortals have NO ability to resist. If they're sloshed already of course, which - pregnant and fat - I was not. My husband, in direct contrast, was tempted beyond all reason.

At the announcement of the first auction item – a ski trip for two to the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – my hubby turns to me whispers, "Where's our number? Give me our number!" I start to look around, my thoughts fogged a bit by baby brain anyway, and the whispers turn frantic. "Come on Kelly, where is it? Faster, dammit, faster!" Now my heart is pounding and I'm sweating a little, the auctioneer trilling in that nonsensical way that's guaranteed to whip bidders into frenzy. Finally, I find the auction sign tucked into the back of the program bulletin. Thomas snatches the card from my trembling hand and waves it wildly in the air.

What is his problem, I think. And why is he bidding on this? It's a trip that the winner probably has to take within a year, and I'm five months pregnant. Everyone knows you can't go skiing in your third trimester, and the trip isn't going to hold ski season at the end of 2012. So I grab his arm about to jerk his butt back to reality when I realize people are bidding on this trip left and right. All men. Well, of course. That makes sense. You say the word "Grand Tetons" and the eyes of men glaze right over. It doesn't appear we're in any risk of actually winning this thing, so I encourage my sweet husband to drive up the bid price. It's for the puppies, after all.

The moment my husband raised his hand the second time, a hushed silence spread across room. Holy shit. "How much did we bid?" I asked. Thomas told me, excitement glittering in his gorgeous blue eyes. I looked anxiously around the room at those men who previously bid and their eyes are down, the women beside them looking thin lipped and dangerous. Oh CRAP.

Keep in mind, this is the first auction item of the night. People aren't warmed up yet. Some are probably still looking for where they hid their brightly colored auction sign. Only my husband is mentally lubricated enough to think this trip is a bargain and he's clutching the bid card like the yellow cardboard is solid gold. A hot flash had me reaching for my glass of ice water.

The auctioneer's victorious cry of "Sold!" had me choking into my glass, which I suddenly wished was filled with scotch. And I hate scotch. Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled the homeless cats and dogs are getting my hard earned cash, but the experience was over so fast. When I give away that much money to charity, I want to savor it a little. This felt like a hit and run to me; while Thomas was positively giddy, flushed from the excitement of winning.

After I was able to draw breath again, the bidding resumed and more packages were auctioned off. Over the course of the next forty five minutes, I find that Thomas is right. We did get a bargain. As the libations flowed liberally, inebriated couples bid up to $6000 for a dinner with wine accompaniment for ten guests at a local, chain steakhouse. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Good for them. Good for the puppies, I say. And great for the tax write-off.

Now sitting at IHOP with my trusty laptop on the morning after, contemplating the cost of ramen noodles and if the server wouldn't mind just bringing me toast instead of that rooty-tooty breakfast special I've been eyeing… I'm warming to the idea. With baby number two knocking at the door of my uterus at the beginning of 2012, this will be the last chance for Thomas and I to get away together for what will probably be at least another two years. And here we are with $1000 worth of American Airlines vouchers, three nights at a luxury boutique slope-side hotel, gift certificates for mountain passes and two 5-star restaurants on the mountain. Exciting, right? Should be, but the earliest we'll be able to go is December if we want guaranteed snowfall to accommodate my husband's need for kamikaze skiing, and I'm going to be so round by then it will take two seats on the plane just to accommodate my girth. No skiing for me, obviously, but I'll amuse myself at the spa while Thomas tackles the black diamonds. He'll find friends to ski with – he's remarkably good at that sort of thing. Now the only wrinkle is finding someone to watch the first child while we go. Any takers? J

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Halloween Blog Hop

Hey everyone!

If you're a reader and want to check out some new authors, I'll be participating in a Halloween Blog Hop, as will dozens of other authors. Each author will be blogging and giving away prizes, including copies of their books from October 28-31!

When you get some time, check them out!

Drea Becraft * Lee Brazil * Avril Ashton * Kellie Kamryn * Elizabeth Black * Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy * Lacie Nation * JoAnne Kenrick * Daisy Dunn * Cassandre Dayne * Jessica E Subject * Sara York * Wendy Smith * Anne Holly * Lucy Felthouse * Kiki Howell * Julie Lynn Hayes * J.S. Wayne * Robin Badillo * Karen Erickson * Cari Quinn * Mahalia Levey * Dawn’s Reading Nook * Raine Delight * D.B. Moon * Kay Springsteen * Jillian Chantal * Cindy Jacks * Ashley Lucas * Rose Anderson * Eden Gleen * Beth Barany * D. Renee Bagby * S.L. Danielson * Ella Jade * Elizabeth Morgan * Rawiya & BL * Jean Joachim * Jambrea Jo Jones * Trinity Blacio * Debra Dennis * Natasha Blackthorne * S.J. Frost * Jaime Samms * Tabitha Shay * Sandra Sookoo * Kristyn Nicols * Roz Lee * Billi Jean * Dyanne Davis * Kharisma Rhayne * Erotic Diaries * Fiona McGier * Pender Mackie * Lily Sawyer * Roxanne Rhoads * Jodi Redford * Angel Martinez * Mary Absire * Sandy Sullivan * Kaily Hart * Dakota Trace * Lindsay Klug * Marie Rose Dufour * Stephanie Beck * Cara Bristol * B.A. Tortuga * Nicole Morgan * Missy Lyons * Secret Cravings Publishing * Marie Sexton * W. Lynn Chantale * Gabrielle Bisset * Karenna Colcroft * Lia Fairchild * Naughty Between The Stacks * Lelani Black * Wendi Zwaduk * Megan Slayers * Karen Marie Nutt * Kinley Baker * Paty Jager * Katherine Kingston * Beth D Carter * E. Jaime * Elizabeth Noble * Sarah Makela * Gracen Miller * Kerry Adrienne * Staci Brush * Cynthia Arsuaga *  Kelly L Lee * Melisse Aires * L.K. Below * Selena Kitt

Friday, September 9, 2011

Anger Management – or, How to NOT throw shoes at your husband’s head

I had a dream the other night. The details aren't important, but I woke up angry. Not just a general 'mad at the world' type of malaise, but a 'brimming with venomous rage' type of pissed. At my husband. Lucky him.

I think I got over it pretty quickly, but he might disagree. Now that a few days have passed, I've become a bit more philosophical about anger management. Actually, I'm analyzing it. Which my husband might claim is worse than my irrational fury.

Thanks to a recent Laurell K Hamilton Facebook post (she's one of my favorite authors… if you haven't read her Anita Blake vampire hunter series, you're missing out) I was introduced to a profound quote. Aristotle said, "Anyone can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."

Now, when I woke up mad the other day, I concede that my husband did not deserve the serious case of 'tude I threw his way. Not an appropriate expression of anger, nor was it directed at the right person.

In my defense, when he accused me of being "hormonal" I still firmly believe that a commensurate response SHOULD have been a clunky high heeled shoe thrown at his head. But I didn't. I held it in check. It was a proud moment for me. Sidenote: I haven't always been so self-contained. Shortly after we married (or maybe it was before, ancient history, you know) he was in fact a recipient of a clunky shoe against the noggin. I never said I was perfect, people….

Anyway, I find that it's more difficult as we get older to determine appropriate times, places, and (ahem) targets for our anger. I'm a mother, wife, friend, and hard worker at not only one, but two jobs if you count writing books as a second job. Which I do, because it takes far more discipline to write in the scant off hours of my day than to focus during 8-5 for my "real" job.

I'm far more likely to repress anger and let it seep out in unfitting areas of my life than face it head on, afraid I'll offend someone (at least, anyone other than my husband, God love him). But really, isn't this the case with lots of people?

All the normal things we're told to do…take deep breaths, take a walk, drink heavily…those don't really work so hot for me. Taking deep breaths only provides more oxygen to fan the flames of rage, and taking a walk makes me feel like I'm running away from the problem, which irritates me even more and incites an exponentially worse confrontation when I get back because I've had time to think up all the caustic remarks I'm going to make. Ok, maybe drinking heavily isn't something "they" say to do…but it works better than the other crap. Unfortunately, it's not my style. So I'm stuck with just dealing with it, and I'm not ashamed to say sometimes I think through my anger better than other times. As a general rule, I'm a typical "woman" who buries my irritation and lets it fester, becoming a virtual powder keg. Waiting, ever waiting, for that fateful, altogether unpredictable match to strike that will unwittingly set me off.

Luckily, my husband is the opposite of me. He blows up at the slightest provocation, and then forgets his anger just as quickly…like smoke dissipating after an extinguished birthday cake candle. He is the only reason our fights last about as long as a 30 minute sitcom when you fast forward through the commercials, and my slow fuse is the reason they are as infrequent as Groundhog Day (if you choose to watch the movie about once a month anyway).

I figure together, we can navigate the rocky road of marital anger management with only a few bumps and scratches, other than the very rare but necessary occurrence of a clunky shoe hurled with love against his head. J

Here's to anger management – and the weekend. Cheers!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Public or Private?

No…..you dirty minded people. I'm not talking about sex. I'm talking about schools. This has been a HUGE topic of conversation in our group of friends lately, as quite a few of us have preschool to kindergarten aged kids. We also live in various areas of the DFW metroplex. Dallas has a notoriously poor public educational system overall – however, there are some very respectable pockets where schools appear to be great. There are other Independent School Districts around Dallas that have solidly rated public schools, so it's a mish-mash, and everyone feels differently.

I myself am a proud graduate of a public school system education, as well as a state university. I followed that with a master's degree from a small private institution, not because it was super-cool status symbol stuff, but because I could attend at reasonable cost and they offered night classes which I completed while working full time. I am not a product of fancy-schmancy schooling, but have a respectable job making a better than average salary, and I'd like claim 'reasonably smart' as one of my personality characteristics. Same goes for my husband. He went public and state all the way as well, other than post graduate work he completed to be able to keep people alive during surgery. It still boggles the mind that my husband, who for all the crap I give him about his severe case of CRS (can't remember shit), gets paid a boatload of money to do anesthesia. And apparently, he's damn good at it. But don't tell him I said that, his ego won't squeeze through the friggin' door.

So for the 2 of us to be arguing about this seems silly, right? Not so much. We, like most of the rapidly shrinking upper middle class, are far more worried about the education of our youngster than is probably within the realm of reasonably sane lines of thought. We want to make sure she has every opportunity, every advantage, and putting her in a challenging academic environment is a hallmark of ensuring her future success. Right? I honestly don't know.

It was less than 100 years ago that nationwide compulsory education became law (1918 – just so those of you with 'research OCD' don't have to look it up). Since that time, not only do we pay a ton of taxes to ensure every child has a 'proper' education, but now in many circles, its considered a form of child abuse to send your kid to a public school. Like every kid who graduates from Podunk High School is doomed to life as a factory worker, which by the way, hardly exists anymore to begin with. Fundamentally, I think that's crap.

There are lots of kids who will graduate public high school, get scholarships either through hard work or genetic smarts, go on to college (and/or be the next Mark Zuckerberg) and be very successful productive adults. By the same token, private school education will produce a decent percentage of complete idiots who are wholly incapable of holding a decent job.

As true as the above comments are, the odds are actually in favor of my husband's opinion: private = better; public = lesser. So I'm torn. It's not that I think my bilingual 4 year old is superior (proud mommy moment)… she's probably not… other than in my eyes which see her as truly exceptional from time to time. Truth be told, I usually have to bribe her with brownies to get her to trace the letter A. Sigh…

Maybe the fact is, it doesn't quite matter yet. Or maybe it does. Who the heck knows…. But in the meantime, until we experience for ourselves what the local elementary school has to offer, how will we know if she's challenged enough? Maybe the playing field only equalizes once you get past the 'I know all my colors, letters, and can count to 100' stage. If the lesson plans in 2nd grade are goofy and sad, and my kid either a) comes home every day complaining she's teaching the teacher how to read, or b) can't read at all yet… maybe that's the time to pull her out and pay through the nose for private education.

So the bottom line is – I have no idea what we'll do. But I'll tell you this. Nobody is going to bully me either way. I won't have someone looking down their nose at me for sending her to the very well rated public elementary around the corner, NOR will I allow someone to shame me for going private when I have a "perfectly good ISD elementary" in our backyard. Our decision is ours, your decision is yours. Each child is different, and everyone comes at this from a different angle. Live and let live, I say.

Tell me YOUR opinion!!! Post a comment if you're brave, or shoot me an email if you're not. I'd love to know what you think – and feel free to tell me I'm off my rocker if you want.

Happy 'hump day' everyone!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Well, I wasn’t going to give them MY cell number!

I confess. I'm sorry. It won't happen again. In my defense, I was bored out of my mind.

This afternoon, I spent over three hours completing webinar training sessions for my day job. Mandatory trainings, such as the rules around the Fair Labor Standards Act, Affirmative Action, and Electronic Records Management. Scintillating stuff.

So in order to maintain sanity, I elected to multi task by taking approximately 60-90 seconds out of my very intense concentration on the important regulatory material to check Facebook to make sure I wasn't missing any critical current events of friends and family. As I was doing this, I noticed a quiz application titled, "Which True Blood character are you?" Knowing how deeply invested in this show I am, of course I took the quiz.

But, bastards that all quiz developers are, they take me completely through the Q&A, then at the very end require me to enter my name, email and cell phone number. So I enter my favorite name….Anita Dick (just wait for it, the humor will hit you soon). I already have an email that I use for this purpose that I never check, so no harm done there. Then I hit the requirement for a cell phone number. I try the old standby of 888-555-1212, but its smarter than that. Now I'm stuck. I really want my results. Am I Sookie, or am I Jessica? Surely I'm not Pam – she's a be-atch. So I think – I'll just use my husband's cell phone number. He'll never know.

I enter it, then BAM. I get a screen that says, "Check your text messages for a 4 digit PIN and enter here for your results."

DAMMIT!!!! Now, to get my results, I have to call Thomas and tell him what I've done. Crap. If you know anything about him, he's, like insane about personal security, protection of all data in desperate fear of identity theft. This conversation can't go well. He's currently enroute on the highway, returning from a long work week in Houston. And probably cranky. Great.

Our conversation went something like this….

Me: Hi. Whatcha doing?

Him: Just stopped for gas. What's up?

Me: Did you get a strange text message?

Him: Yea, about some kind of offer? I deleted it.

Me: You deleted it? Can you get it back?

Him: No, my phone doesn't save deleted text messages. Why?

Me: Don't be mad, but I was doing a Facebook quiz and in order to get my results I had to enter a valid cell phone number.

Him: Why would you put in my number?

Me: Well, I wasn't going to give them MY cell number!

Him: You're a witch.

Me: So you really can't get it back?

Him: No, I deleted it.

Me: So now I'm not gonna know which True Blood character I'm like.

Him: Goodbye, Kelly.

So, all in all it didn't go nearly as poorly as it could have, but dangit… I still don't know what TrueBlood character I'm like. And I'm still not going to give them my cell. That would just be asking for it. J

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!