Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy Leap Year's Day!

You didn't expect an important holiday like that to go unnoticed by me, now did you?

When I was a little girl, I had a fierce crush on a (very good looking)little boy, who was about one year older than me. Actually, now that I think about it, there was no about about it. He was a tiny bit less than one year older than me, because his birthday was in February also.

I remember him telling me when his birthday was, Feb. 27, I think, and I mentioned (in my adorable, approximately 5 year old way) how fortunate it was his birthday didn't fall on Feb. 29, because then he'd only have a birthday once every four years (even at age approximately 5, I understood the necessity of having as many birthdays as possible).

He gave me a very eyes rolling look, and pointed out his birthday was a good 2 days before Leap Year's Day, and besides, he wasn't born in a Leap Year anyway.

I continued to love him. Did I mention how very good looking he was?

Here's something I don't understand (and have never Googled to see if anyone understands it). When they were making up the calendar (I have no idea who they were, but I know I wasn't consulted), why didn't they design it this way?

January 30 days
February 30 days
March 31 days
April 30 days
May 31 days
June 30 days
July 31 days
August 30 days
September 30 days
October 31 days
November 30 days
December 31 days

Leap Year's Day- June 31 (no one would object to an extra day in June, at least not north of the Equator).

Also, they should have spelt February differently. I can never remember if it has that extra R in it, and it's embarrassing not to know how to spell the month of one's birth (and the birth of the very good looking boy I was so desperately in love with).

February gets a very bad rap from just about everybody who doesn't have a birthday in it (and that's just about everybody; it has the fewest births per month, although that does seem to be because it has the fewest days-according to my calculator's long division, April has the fewest births per day). But with the splendidly mild winter we've had, even the projected Leap Year's Day snowstorm is now downgraded to a snow/rain mix, a nuisance perhaps, but hardly a blizzard.

Hmmm. Now that I think about it, Leap Year's Day is when women are societally allowed to propose. Sadly though, the very good looking boy of my dreams is now married, a lawyer, and eligible for Medicare.

He'd be a lot younger if he'd been born on Feb. 29!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Waiting For The Waiting To End

Right now I'm waiting for the clothes drier to stop, but that's just a drop in the waiting bucket.

In a bit, I'll be waiting for Marci to pick me up, so we can have lunch with Carol (a variation of the birthday lunch I didn't get to have on my birthday).

I'll be waiting for Marci because I'm waiting for my car to finish up at the body shop, where, they assure me, I'll be able to get it at 4 PM. So that's five and a half more hours of waiting.

For some unknown reason, it snowed last night, so I'm waiting for the snow to melt, and for spring to show up. In spite of this being the sweetest little winter I can remember, I'm still eager for spring.

Since I'm midway through Young Queen Victoria, I'm waiting for Young Queen Victoria (who is currently Young Princess Victoria) to become Queen Victoria. Young Queen Victoria's kind of nasty mother is waiting even more impatiently than I, but that Nice King William The Something Or Other, doesn't seem to be in any hurry to die and turn the crown over.

Then I'm waiting to hear from the company that will miraculously turn my previously published books into e-books. I'm very eager for the process to be completed, so I can tell you which books they are and what made me write them. My guess is I'll hear sometime next week, and trust me, when I hear, you'll hear.

And finally, I'm waiting to hear from my agent about my ghost story manuscript, Dummy. My agent is an extremely busy woman, and she never gets back to me fast about manuscripts, but that doesn't stop me from waiting. In fact, it positively encourages it.

It occurs to me that Nice Prince William is going to face the same logjam as Young Princess/Queen Victoria, only with an extra generation to get through. And his dad, Poor Prince Charles could collect Social Security before he ever gets a job. Now that's something I'm glad I don't have to wait for!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Birthday Weekend Report

Granted, that's not the catchiest blog title ever, but at least it's accurate.

My birthday was a wee bit more complicated than I thought it would be. My friend Carol had a stomach virus, so she opted out of the birthday lunch, and then my mother decided she wasn't feeling up to it either. So Marci and I had lunch, and Marci had bought a carrot cake for me, and she and my mother and I had some.

I also got phone calls and cards and wonderful messages on my blog (thank your for them), and two great presents (a copy of Skating Shoes by Noel Streatfield from my cousin Ellen, and a biography of young Queen Victoria, from my goddaughter, as though her cheeses weren't enough). But the lunch thing was a little disappointing.

Joyce and Lew came up Saturday afternoon, and Lew decided as soon as he crossed the threshold that he wanted to take a nap (one reason why Joyce and Lew are such great houseguests is they like to nap). So Joyce and I decided to watch a girlie movie in his absence. We watched Born To Be Bad, which we both thoroughly enjoyed.

Then Lew woke up, and we had supper (chicken with multitudinous garlic bulbs- it could have used some more salt), and watched Conflict, while eating carrot cake and fudge and my goddaughter's cheeses.

Sunday, Joyce and Lew treated me to the fancy brunch. I had an apple stuffed brioche french toast which was extremely fabulous. The champagne flowed (out of my glass, since I don't drink) and we had a fine time. Except when I backed the car out of the parking lot, I hit a concrete planter, which was clearly made of sterner stuff than my Civic. The body work will get done on Thursday/Friday and will cost more than the brunch did. There's irony for you.

We went back home and indulged in Linsanity (the Knicks won! Yay!- and since I don't much care for basketball, that will probably be the only time you'll hear me cheer for them). Well, Lew and I did, because Joyce napped.

When she woke up, we watched Wild Things, which we all agreed was very silly but we enjoyed anyway. Then we ate leftovers and cheese and fudge and cake and the Zebra Popcorn my editor had sent me for Christmas, and watched Wings and the really great Making Of documentary on the DVD.

Hmm. Either Spellcheck isn't working or Linsanity has made it into the dictionary. I think I'll try it with a small "l." Hold on.

I think it's stopped working. I hope I spelled multitudinous correctly.

Back to the weekend. We ate breakfast out on Monday (conservative, low calorie, good for us, breakfast), and then Joyce and Lew took the bus to NYC, and I went back to the apartment and did three loads of laundry and one load of dishwasher and let the air out of the air mattresses, and, oh yeah, I took a nap.

What can I tell you. Joyce and Lew are my role models.

Meanwhile, Scooter also enjoyed his birthday. He very much liked the flowers that my brother and sister-in-law sent me.

But he especially liked his own birthday present.

And clearly, Joyce and Lew are role models for Green Catnip Mouse as well!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How Scooter And I Will Be Spending Our Birthdays

I thought I'd be spending my birthday tomorrow enjoying the tulips I bought today, but Scooter, who shares a birthday with me, regards tulips as a noshy (who knew). If they're poisonous, he may not make it to tomorrow. But then again, if tulips were poisonous, there wouldn't be a deer left in suburbia. And, for that matter, my characters in Life As We Knew It would be dead, since I had them eat tulip bulbs for dinner one night. So most likely Scooter will live, even if my tulips won't.

Fortunately for both of us, there's more to this birthday business than tulips. Scooter is getting a bright green catnip mouse that he'll probably mistake for a tulip. And my goddaughter sent me a birthday present of two of the cheeses she makes, OPUS 42 and PRIX DE DIANE. I treated myself to a taste of each one last night, and they are seriously yummy.

Tomorrow, I'll be having a birthday lunch with my mother, Marci and Carol. Then Saturday, my friends Joyce and Lew are coming for the weekend. I'm going to make supper Saturday night (chicken with multitudinous garlic cloves), and Sunday morning we're going to the elegant Glenmere Mansion for a very very elegant champagne brunch.

When we're not eating our happy little heads off, we'll be watching movies, which is what Joyce and Lew and I do when they come to visit. I know we'll watch Conflict, which is a genuinely silly movie, but Joyce and Lew love Humphrey Bogart, and I don't think they've seen this one. Since it's short, we may have a double feature of either The Reckless Moment or Wild Things, which was also pretty silly, but had so many plot twists I got dizzy from watching. Then,on Sunday night, I think we'll watch Wings, the first movie to win the Academy Award. The only tricky part is Wings makes me cry every time I watch it, and the image of Joyce and Lew and me all sobbing at the end is a little worrisome.

Alas, Monday they go home, and I have to return to normal life. What's worse, I'll have to lose the 10 pounds I'm bound to put on from this orgy of birthday celebration.

Maybe I should follow Scooter's example, and limit my diet to tulips!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Here's How I Look In Taiwan

Well, I look exactly the same as I do in the United States, but the cover for Life As We Knew It,to be published by Sharp Point Press, looks a tad different.

Publication is scheduled for early March. So in a just a few weeks, I'll learn how to say "Lisa is pregnant," in a whole new language!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Mystery Of Who Closed My Bedroom Door In The Middle Of The Night

Will most likely never be solved.

The list of suspects is:

Me (in a non-drug-induced sleepwalk).

Scooter (who hates closed doors and revealed the door was closed by frantically trying to open it at 5:00 this morning).

Some unknown entity who slipped into my apartment for the sole purpose of closing my bedroom door.

Once Scooter woke me, and I opened the door for him (with an apology for misjudging his motives in making noise), Scooter decided I was awake and therefore it was playtime. I have now taken to hiding my glasses, since he's gotten into the habit of knocking them off the night table at 4:30 AM, as a subtle hint that playtime and/or breakfast should ensue immediately.

Mornings are not easy around here.

I can however solve the mystery of what I've been up to recently. First of all, I had to recover from my giving blood/fainting in the parking lot experience. And I had to tell my friends all about it (the vast majority of my friends don't read my blog, and therefore my life is a mystery to them). And I had to recover from the extremely exciting Super Bowl. And I do a lot of laundries (load number three is now in the drier).

But there have been a couple of other, slightly more professional, things going on.

The first is making progress on getting my older titles onto ebook readers.

One of the people who reads my blog suggested a company that knows how to do it, and I exchanged many friendly emails with a person at that company. He explained that for already published books, they need a hardcover copy and it doesn't hurt to have a letter saying the rights have reverted back to the author (aka me).

So I plowed through my outside storage closet that holds all my extra copies, and found some that I already have reversion rights letters for. Kind of arbitrarily, I selected three and mailed them off. It's going to take a few weeks before they magically appear on Kindles and Nooks (at extremely inexpensive prices). I will update you on the wheres and whens and whats as I know more.

When I cleared out my file cabinets in early January, I found a manuscript for a young YA ghost story novel called Dummy that I had written around the same time as Life As We Knew It, and which had gotten lost in the LAWKI scramble. I reread it and liked it all over again, so I retyped it, editing and polishing and updating it as I went along. I emailed my agent yesterday to ask if she'd like to read it, and she gave me a cautious yes. I think I've scared her with my past couple of failed novels.

When I hear from her (which will probably take a while; she's a swift negotiator but not a swift manuscript reader), I'll let you know what she says.

I think that solves all mysteries, except what am I going to get Scooter for his birthday (which I decided a while back falls on my birthday). He certainly doesn't need any more twist ties (my apartment is littered with them, since he never puts his toys away).

Whatever I get him, I hope he'll enjoy playing with on his own. He may like 5 AM playtime, but it's no mystery that I don't!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's True What They Say About Good Deeds

I am not a noble person. And from now on, I'm not even going to pretend to be one.

I read in the paper that there was going to be a blood drive, and since I couldn't come up with a good excuse not to go, I felt I had to. I've given blood twice in my life, and both times it was a bit of a struggle, but that wasn't going to stop me.

So I bought a chicken salad sandwich at Panera Breads, and went on to the blood drive, in front of our brand new hospital. Our brand new hospital turned out to be quite busy and I parked way at the end, but it's a gorgeous Feb. 1 day (more like April 1), and I was full of noble thoughts.

I went into the There Will Be Blood trailer, had my blood pressure taken (100/70) and answered a lengthy questionnaire, which mostly asked if I'd had sex ever with anybody even remotely interesting. Apparently I answered correctly and since they weren't concerned about my week in Germany or the baby aspirin I take nightly, I was cleared for takeoff.

Takeoff took quite a while, which is one reason why I never give blood. Apparently I have very shy veins (although the blood taker person thought it was because I hadn't drunk enough this morning). Eventually one vein volunteered, and I squeezed the rubber ball every five seconds, and my blood dripped out at a socially acceptable rate.

Next came the part all sensible blood donors anticipate-the eating of the donut. I went to the front of the trailer and was offered orange juice, apple juice, or water. I went with OJ, and checked out the many sweets alternatives. Since I didn't want them to think I had donated my blood just for a donut (although that was true), I selected the small donut rather than the far more appealing big donut. Having treated a mirgraine with a box of donuts last week, I felt obliged to go with small size today.

The orange juice wasn't very good either.

I left the trailer and my blood behind, and began walking through the parking lot to get to my car and my chicken salad sandwich. Only about a few yards from the trailer, I realized I was feeling very woozy. Then I realized I was feeling very very woozy. Then I realized I'd be much better off sitting. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the pavement with a half dozen people surrounding me.

I give blood and I end up being a Code Blue.

It seems when you faint in a hospital parking lot, they take it seriously. There was much concern over whether I'd hit my head (I said no, but the truth of the matter is, I have no idea) of if I'd had a seizure (again no, this time with even more certainty). They rammed me into a wheelchair and then a stretcher, and zoomed me over to the emergency room.

My blood pressure there was 100/44, which is probably why I fainted, and it was 100/44 because I gave blood. I may not watch Grey's Anatomy, but I have some idea of cause and effect.

It was decided that the best treatment for me was a chicken salad sandwich. They brought me one and I ate half of it, grumbling about the far better one I had in my car. They agreed that a Panera chicken salad sandwich would definitely be better than what they were serving me, but they insisted I eat what was in front of me so I could be cured.

We all agreed I should have had the big donut. Chocolate with yummy crumbs. A definite blood pressure picker upper.

After a while, I hopped off the stretcher and said I was going home. They said I couldn't without discharge papers because then my insurance wouldn't pay. Think about the injustice of all this. I didn't even want to go to the emergency room, and now it would be my financial responsibility.

Eventually the doctor came. He wanted to give me an EKG, but I pointed out I was perfectly healthy and had a chicken salad sandwich waiting for me. I guess that convinced him, because I was given some papers and shown out. I walked the long way to my car (a lot longer now, because I hadn't parked in the emergency room parking lot, not having anticipated being an emergency), hopped in, drove home (five minutes or less) and ate half my sandwich.

I will never give blood again. All you A+ types can find your blood somewhere else.

One good thing came of all this though. I was given my very own hospital ID bracelet, and as a result, Scooter has a brand new toy!