Friday, February 25, 2005

The Bed List/The Dinner List

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This is a little game I like to play with my girlfriends. I can't remember where I picked it up, but it always provides some interesting conversation in that lull between clearing the plates and dishing up the pie. I happened to launch a round of the Bed/Dinner List game at a large dinner during a local RWA conference, a dinner that happened to be attended by dream agent. Let's just say that dream agent never forgot that night!

Here's how you play: Name a well-known man, then say whether he'd be named to the Bed List (i.e., you'd go to bed with him and not kick him out, crackers be damned) or the Dinner List (you'd love to have dinner with him, but not necessarily hook up for post-dessert activities, if you get my drift). Once you've called a guy, no one else can name him during that round. It gets interesting!

It's Friday night, a time when people are thinking of extracurricular activities, so I think this should become a Friday tradition here at the dish. Feel free to comment on my choices!

BED LIST: HUGH JACKMAN


I don't know about you, but Hugh Jackman is one prime piece of Australian real estate. Reasons Hugh makes the grade:
  • Good looks
  • Great smile
  • Wonderful voice (have you heard him sing?)
  • Devoted to his wife, an older woman (how cool is that?)
  • Looks good in black leather and claws (X-Men, anyone?)
Hugh gets my vote. How about yours?

DINNER LIST: STEVE MARTIN



Steve Martin is one of the funniest men on the planet. In addition to being hilarious, he's well-read, interesting, smart, and plays the banjo. Plus, he works that white hair thing to his advantage. Gotta love a guy who's not afraid to dress up like an Egyptian, wear bunny ears, or let Queen Latifah clean his clock. And he acts. And writes books. Did I mention that he's hilarious? Dinner with Steve Martin would be a kick!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

THE AGENT HAS LANDED

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After a long weekend of waiting, a day and a half of voicemail, answering machines, and email messages, I finally won the game of phone tag with dream agent, only to be told, "Can I call you back in two minutes? I'm on the other line." What's two minutes when I've been obsessing for four days? Sure thing.

Two minutes later, the phone rings. She loves Crash Test, thinks I'm hilarious, wants to represent me. Terms like "agency agreement" and "career plan" have suddenly taken on completely new shades of meaning. We talk about the next project. We talk about which houses are best for my voice. We talk--and it hits me that, journal flirt or no, I. Am. A. Writer.

As Frank Barone would say, "Holy crap!!"

You know what this means, of course. I have to write another one.

As Frank Barone would say, "Holy crap!!"

Celebrated with two of my favorite things: pasta at Macaroni Grill and chewy SweeTarts. DH and the kids are excited. I'm excited. I'm emailing friends, loops, just about everyone this side of "This woman is getting completely obnoxious about this agent thing. Somebody dump the Gatorade on her already so we can get back to watching CSI:NY."

I have an agent. Really.

Holy crap!!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Torture, Thy Name is Email

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Dream agent sent me an email this afternoon. She wants to talk with me about Crash Test. She's leaving the office early today, so she wants me to call her on Tuesday.

All together now for a primal scream: AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

This waiting thing may actually kill me. I'm going to have to snap on the surgical gloves this weekend to preserve what little intact cuticle I have (there's not much). All I can do is pray that she's not sadist enough to ask me to call her so she can reject me while I'm paying for long distance. That would just be cruel. Like making me wait over the holiday weekend isn't.

Hmph.

Off to freebase some pasta.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Confession Time

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I am a bad writer.

I don't mean bad writer in the sense of my writing is bad (at least, I hope that's not the case), but that I am bad. I do bad things. I do not have an appropriately writerly persona.

Take journaling, for instance. I have lots of journals. Lovely journals. Journals with just the right kind of paper, the creamy velvety kind that calls to you in a sultry voice, "Get your fountain pen and touch me, darling, the sensation will be eeeeeeeeeeexquisite."

And what do I do? The equivalent of the one-night stand. I curl up with the journal, make passionate love to it for the span of say, about, ten days, then abandon it. Harshly. As in, don't write, don't call, purge the number from the cell phone, have we met?

It's a shame. I have generous writer friends who are far more faithful than I who are constantly introducing me to yet another journal ("It's cute! I think you two would make a great couple!"). So I smile, accept the gift, and then proceed to toy with its affections. I use purple ink, so my journal will think it is unique and special ("It's not black!"). I use a fountain pen, so it will imagine itself in an upper echelon from other journals of its type ("Anyone can fish a ballpoint out of the sofa--my writer uses a fine writing instrument!"). Sometimes, I even sketch in it, the writer equivalent of kinky sex. (*shudders with abandon*) If I'm feeling particularly cruel, I'll toy with its affections by launching into an ambitious creativity exploration, like Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way or The Right to Write, and start Morning Pages ("She tells me everything! We have such a bond!") and creativity exercises ("I'm essential to developing her craft!"). Those are the cruellest breakups of all, because one morning I'll get up and find that getting DH and the kids dressed and in the car far supersedes my ménage-a-deux with the Journal of the Week, and Morning Pages bite the dust. Or the creativity exercises just stop at, say, number eleven out of a series of twelve. Yes, I toy with my journals and toss them aside until I start eyeing another with the enthusiasm of a writer on the make in a seedy literature bar ("Hey, handsome, may I ply you with ink?").

And all for naught. I am doomed to repeat the cycle, furled pages in my wake. I am a journal flirt. I want nothing more from my journal than cheap entertainment. A hookup. A scribble call, if you will.

And yet, I want to be better. I want to settle down. I want to develop a long-lasting, passionate relationship with a journal, something that will say to the world that I Am A Real Writer--I Keep A Journal, Of Course! Alas, I fear that will never happen. I know me. I am too attracted by a fresh set of pages to remain devoted to just one volume.

Don't even get me started on "write every day." It'll take something along the line of the Anthony Trollope Dedicated Writer Development Bootcamp to cultivate that habit.
(You did know that he wrote five thousand words every day, in longhand, before he went to his "real" job at the post office, didn't you?)

Bad writer. No office supplies.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Why Today?

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My husband is a lovely, lovely man. One of the annoying things he has to put up with is a little game we've developed. "Why today?" I'll ask him, and he's supposed to respond with one little reason he loves me today. Occasionally, he'll pop the "Why today? question on me, but usually, he's the one on the hot seat. Ah, the neuroses of adult love.

In honor of Valentine's Day, here are some of his "Why today?" responses:
  • You have a nice face
  • I love your roasted chicken
  • You have crazy hair
  • You're nice to people
  • You bought me beer
  • You let me sleep in
  • You make me nuts
  • You keep asking me this question
  • You're always smiling
  • Even though I feel like strangling you, I'd rather be with you than anyone else
Why today? Because he puts up with me. He's a great dad. He's good looking even as he goes gray. Most importantly, after nearly ten years of marriage, he's still my hero.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

"Life IS pain, Highness"

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One of the more fun exchanges in one of my more favorite movies, The Princess Bride, goes like this:

Buttercup: "You mock my pain! Never do it again."

Man in Black: "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

That Westley's onto something. Turns out I haven't heard from dream agent because my manuscript arrived in New York, disappeared into the Manuscript Protection Program, changed its own title, and hid comfortably in plain sight as The Old Woman and the Sea until it was finally ratted out by rogue office supplies like Guido "The Sharpener" Boston and Luigi "The Stapler" Swingline.

Life is pain.

I've already whined about my waiting disorder. Now my cuticles face more shredding as I wait some more to find out if CRASH TEST and I have a date to the prom.

I'd surely like for someone to be selling something.

Hmm. Moose Tracks with chocolate sauce is looking pretty good for breakfast.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

STILL Waiting...

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So I think, "What the hell!" and email an editor I've been courting about my book. She says yes, please send me the full! (Go me!)

Then I email the agent I've been courting (still no word, and only three days until the 30-day exclusive expires) to tell her about the editor and she emails back with "Good for you!"

And that's it.

No phone call? No auction? No obscene advance?

More waiting in my future. Urk.

And did I mention I got rear-ended in traffic today? Talk about insult added to injury...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowl Sunday!

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Well, it's Super Bowl Sunday, and here I sit with bad cable. I suppose I could go to a sports bar to watch two teams I don't really care about play the game, but it's not that big a deal. The commercials are more fun than the game usually anyway.

On the menu at Chez mimi:
  • Steak
  • Baked potato
  • Wedge salad with gorgonzola, bacon, and bleu cheese dressing
  • Chex mix (store-bought this time; no time to make the family's world famous secret recipe)
  • Hot dogs for the kids
You could make the argument that since this is the Super Bowl, you ought to serve all of your food in a bowl. That could mean:
  • Ice cream (Ben & Jerry's Phish Food is a favorite)
  • Cheerios
  • Chex Mix (why buck tradition?)
  • Ramen noodles
  • Cashew chicken
  • Cheese grits and sausage
  • Salsa--or better yet, that killer queso dip you make with Velveeta and Ro-Tel

Nah, we'll stick with the steaks. The queso dip sounds good, though...

My office mate's husband is from New England, so they're rooting for the Pats to win. Maybe I should root for Philly just to be difficult. It's hard to get excited when there's no Florida team playing (thanks a lot, Jon "Chucky" Gruden). Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Princess mimi

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Confession: I own a tiara. Once, after a particularly nasty day at school, I ended up at a friend's house and told her, "I deserve my own tiara." I do not have beauty queen envy. I just understand, completely and totally, that I am the Queen of My Own Universe and as such deserve my own tiara.

So I bought one. Three and one-quarter inches of blinding rhinestones (if you're going to wear one, it needs to make a statement). I've been photographed in this tiara pumping gas, buying snacks and beer, and celebrating a milestone birthday. Yes, I wore it to school. Photos will be in this year's yearbook.

In keeping with the princess theme, and in honor of my own lovely five-year-old princess, I took this quiz to determine my secret Disney Princess identity. No surprise here:

Intelligent and kind. Your beauty goes much further than your apperance. Also, you make judgements of people based on their personality and not their looks. Attaining all the knowledge that you can is one of your major goals in life, but you are also a person who can make things happen.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Makes sense. I read all the flippin' time, and DH surely can be a beast, especially when he hasn't eaten. Good thing I can see through that gruff exterior, huh? True to form, when we got married, he moved in with clothes, some family furniture, and about fifteen cartons of books. Remind you of a movie?

Now if only my furniture and household items would come to life and cook me gourmet meals...

 

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