Penguins Like to Party and Other Things You Learn with a Two Year Old

We were in DC last weekend and, for my husband’s birthday, we spent some time at the Smithsonian Museums. Sunday we spent the morning in the Natural History Museum and then the afternoon at Air and Space. Both museums are great places. Really cool and if you haven’t been and get the chance they are some of the first places you should go if you’re in DC.

That’s not what this is about though. In all the times I’ve been in either museum I haven’t noticed one crucial thing about them. The Natural History museum has a stuffed penguin in it (Well duh, it’s a natural history museum) and apparently so does the Air and Space Museum. Theirs are located in the exhibit with the Polar Star, the first plane to land in Antarctica. Yep, you read that right. The penguins in Air and Space have their own plane. Which my two year old immediately caught on to.

Within an hour he had sussed out the whole sneaky affair. It seems the penguins in Air and Space have a plane and use it frequently to fly over and have a Penguin Party with the penguins at the Natural History Museum. Then, all of those penguins take the plane and fly over to the National Aquarium to pick up their dinner and take it to share with the ducks at the Reflecting Pool. Then, all the birds dance and play and then they go and visit the giant at his house (the Lincoln Memorial). He tells them all a story and then sends them back home to bed.

And here I thought the Air and Space Museum just decided to save some cash by using spare props from Natural History to make their exhibit more lively.

North of Need By Laura Kaye – A Review

First things first I should so outright that I’m not a winter person. I hate winter. I hate every aspect of winter. I hate snow and ice and I’d rather have my teeth pulled without anesthesia before I strap on a pair of skis. As far as I’m concerned a winter wonderland should involve a beach, margaritas and plenty of sunshine. So when the WLC gave me North of Need to review I looked at it twice. But, because I know Laura and we share a publisher, I picked it up and gave it a go. And am I ever glad I did.

For a God of Snow and Ice, a member of the Anemoi (elemental creatures who rule the world as nature Gods), Owen Winters is one of the hottest heroes I’ve read in a long time. His love of ice cream, sugary treats and his rather unique abilities at building igloos the man is charming, sexy and makes your toes curl while potentially melting your e-reader’s screen.

I’ve already recommended this book to several people and in one case bought it for someone else as a gift. This book is one of the finest romances I’ve read in the past year and I’ll eagerly await any other books Laura Kaye sets out to pen.

The Ultimate Writer’s Revenge

Normally I don’t try to go negative when I deal with things. I really do feel like it doesn’t do me any good, it doesn’t hurt the other person and it just wastes a lot of energy. That doesn’t mean I don’t have negative feelings about some people. Because I do. Trust me, I have some very negative feelings about some very particular people. People who have hurt my family, or me, or been dishonest. But up until I started writing there wasn’t much I could do about these people. As much as it pains me to say this you can’t give a dishonest real estate agent or the guy who short weights you at the tea shop a good swift kick in the pants. No matter how much you want to.

Then I started writing as a hobby. And one night I couldn’t sleep, so there I was, lying on the couch and trying to think of what I wanted to do with this new found hobby. What was I going to write about? I had no idea. So I flipped on the television and there it was. Arguably Heath Ledger’s finest movie—A Knight’s Tale. Wouldn’t you know it? The best line of all comes on not five minutes after I flip on the screen.

“Today I may be standing here naked but one day I’ll write about this and leave you naked and shivering for all of humanity to see, immortalized for all time.”

That’s when it hit me. Writing has a lot of great, wonderful things going for it. It opens new worlds of creativity, it makes your mind race and then there’s that dirty little secret that no writer really wants to confess. Writing is the perfect revenge. That horrible boss you had a few years ago? Make them look ludicrious for all the world to see. That teacher in High School that you hated? Give them a horrible fate to get the story started. And the guy from the tea shop and the real estate agent from above? Have you ever heard of better people to die slow, painful, and agonizing deaths at the hands of villains that would make Nora Robers alter ego JD Robb hide under the covers, quivering in fear? Me either.

The Problem With Naughty Sidekicks – Blog Hop

Okay, okay I’ll confess—I have a thing for guys with a naughty sense of humor. The raunchier the better in some cases. I like a man who can be a bit of a tease and I think most romance readers are in the same boat as I am. We want a man whose jokes are a little bit risqué and can be taken a couple ways (and one of those ways always involves getting naked).

There’s only one problem with this for me. In my current Speak of the Devil Series (Book 1: Luck of the Devil was released in August of 2011) my hero is a straight laced angel. He’s not uptight. He’s not stuffy. And for the record he’s sexy as hell in my opinion. All messy dark hair and big white wings wrapped in a studly lawyer body. But now, writing the third book I’ve noticed something that come to think of it I’ve faced in all three books. He keeps getting upstaged by my heroine’s cheeky bodyguard.

Now to be fair, it’s not Malachi’s fault. The guy is damn funny in my opinion and he’s sort of an all purpose sidekick. He can tease the neighbors dog, divert the Devil’s attention while Lucifer’s youngest daughter sneaks a guy out of her apartment, and help hide the body of the man her best friend and newly minted succubus accidentally killed.  He’s like the Clorox bleach of sidekicks—he can and will clean up any mess. Even the bloody ones.

But this particular demon keeps stealing scenes. So every book I let him run rough shod in the first draft. I let all his snarky glory come out and I see what happens. Then after a short vacation from each other we go back and start negotiating. Usually he insists on prime real estate and story lines in future books and he always gets what he wants.  And well I’d complain more but what’s the point? He’s a demon he’s always going to win and add to that he’s a cheeky bugger and writing him always makes me smile. The only problem? Now that I’m in the process of winding down the writing of the series he’s starting to suggest that you know—maybe we’d have a good time together. Alone. Just the two of us. Without the kids. Maybe a whole series of his antics and right now? I just don’t know if I have the strength  of will to negotiate successfully against him.


 

 

Pizza Isn’t a Food Group and Other Things I Learned from the Super Smart People School

So for those of you who didn’t read last week’s post on my craft fail in relation to the toga here’s the sitch. We’ve recently moved to a new town where my Oldest was accepted into a charter school for Gifted and Talented Kids. I’d call it Nerd School but apparently they’re sensitive to that particular nickname. Don’t ask me why.

So Oldest is amongst people who have entered the teaching profession to help enhance the minds of bright young people. Unlike other school teachers who have signed on for the high pay rates, amazing benefits and luxurious working conditions of today’s public schools. Uh huh.

Anyway, I’ve noticed some slight differences between daughter’s old school menus and new school menus. At the old school they had Pizza. Here they have Chicken Caeser salad with spring vegetables. And while the other school was perfectly fine with the Twinkie I threw my daughter’s way each morning for her to have as her at school mid afternoon snack (and when did this whole lunch plus snack thing start anyway? When I was a kid you got breakfast at home, lunch and recess at school and then dinner after you’d dragged your skinny butt in from playing each night). Doritos were not frowned upon. But here? Here, Cheezits are an issue.

This week I get a phone call. “Um is this Mrs. Elmer? Ashley’s mom?” ‘

Gritting of teeth. “Yes this is Ainsley’s mom. What can I do for you.”

“This is Mrs. Administrative Assistant to the Super Smart People School. Her teacher asked that I call you and request that from now on you send nutritionally appropriate snacks for her to eat during snack time.”

“Cheezits aren’t nutritionally appropriate for snack time?”

“No Miss Eimer.”

“Actually it’s not Miss Eimer it’s, you know what never mind. What do you want me to send her if Cheezits won’t work?”

“You could consider sending nutritionally sound foods like cut vegetables or organic fruit.”

“For snack time? You want me to send her cut vegetables for snack time?”

“That would be nutritionally sound.”

“Could you clarify for me why you have snack time?”

“So that the kids don’t get hungry after lunch.”

“Right. Well if I send my kid a bunch of chopped up broccoli she’s going to find the ghetto scholarship kid in there and convince him or her to trade their Cheezits for her broccoli and a couple of bucks she will have desperately lifted from my purse.”

“Miss—“

“Fine, fine, tomorrow I’ll send her some Jello Chocolate Pudding Snacks. They have added calcium.”

“I’m not sure that’s what the teacher had in mind. If you could—“

“Sorry I think I just heard the sounds of the coming Apocalypse. Since I’m a part time zombie slayer I think this is going to have to wait. Zombie Apocalypse and all. Don’t blink and remember your towel. ‘Kay?”

Hubby who has just stopped by our temporary apartment right next door to his office to have lunch with me and the Toddler: “I think you may be mixing your sci-fi Apocalypse metaphors.”

“Oh shut up. Did you know Cheezits and Pizza are no longer nutritionally sound food for children.”

“Really? Damn, how the hell did we manage to make it to functioning adult hood?”

Ketchup is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves – A Review

Let me let you in on a little secret – good comedy is a damn hard thing to manage. Robin O’Bryant manages to not only do it but to make it look remarkably easy. O’Bryant takes on such wonderful trials of motherhood like casual nudity (whether you want it or not) and what pregnancy does to your boobs.

Between the constant laughs, the dead on observations about life, kids and husbands, and the fact that O’Bryant seems imminently relatable this book is a laugh a minute and should come with a warning to NOT read it in the dark, on your  Kindle with the little reading light while waiting for your own toddler to finally drop off to sleep. It’s still funny but dear God help you it’s possible to rupture something trying to keep your giggling quiet.

It’s rare for me to give a five star review to a debut author but if I had the chance I’d give O’Bryant six and then come back and give her a few more.

Go find this book on Amazon and give it a read today. You’ll be glad you did.

 

You Want Me To Make a What?

So  last week Oldest started at her new Super Smart People School. Yeah, that’s what I’m calling it because that’s what it is. Anyway, after she trundled off last Monday with her four bags of school supplies she came back that  night with a bag stuffed to the brim with more stuff. Different stuff. Stuff that required me to start digging out insurance cards and looking up the numbers for doctors and all that other good stuff. But there, at the very bottom was two pages stapled together and unlike the other papers these were a lovely shade of periwinkle blue. And there at the bottom I spotted a permission slip. Crap, could they be going on a field trip already?

Oh if only it were a field trip. Somewhere educational like a  museum or a dairy farm or I don’t know where. No these lovely periwinkle blue pages were for the upcoming class presentation where they will show off all the things they’ve learned about Ancient Rome and perform a play about Julius Cesear.

I look at Oldest and think to myself “really?” But there she is, large eyes shining at the idea of being in a play and before I know it I’ve signed the permission slip and wrote a check for $10 to take part in the pre-show pizza dinner to benefit the technology department. We don’t even eat pizza in my house because Hubby is a celiac and youngest just curls his nose up at it. Which means after said play I’m going to have to take them out for dinner anyway so they can all get something to eat while I choke down pizza from school.

I make my peace with this because it’s what you do when you have kids and schools. Right? Until the next day when another form comes home—this one lavender. And I feel my eyelid begin to twitch because I’m learning that if it’s on pastel paper it’s going to involve something. The lavender paper said – Costumes for Play: How to Make Your Super Smart Genius Child a Toga (Because even if they are doing Calculus we don’t trust them with a sewing machine).

Great. Because if school plays, choking down pizza for a good cause and otherwise socializing with people I’ve never met before weren’t bad enough. Now we’re going to show off my nonexistent crafting/sewing skills. And let me repeat this most important part – to people I’ve never met before. Ever. Not even the teacher.

I am so hosed. That’s all there is to say about it. I. Am. Hosed. Now, if you’ll excuse me—I have to go back to sewing and figure out how the Hell to make a shoulder pleat.