Eeeee! I mixed my own eyeshadow color for the first time tonight! So cool!

Was a little disappointed to find that my pretty "plum passion" eyeshadow was merely the distributor's purple in a smaller package with a heftier price tag.  If I was going to sell it I would at least mix it with something else so that it would be unique... Ah well... live and learn. I noticed that there were a couple of sellers who had taken the colors and merely repackaged them in smaller sizes. I suppose I shouldn't judge, that's what resellers do... it's pretty universal. So the moral of the story is... good thing I love the color... I have shitloads of it now. The sample baggies I bought are pretty huge when you think about how much you actually use... infinite possibilities.

OKC fell through for a second time, at least for that particular weekend. Maybe we can get a group together and go another weekend. It just wasn't meant to be.

I've got jerk chicken marinating in the fridge (or as I like to call it "ex-boyfriend chicken"). I ran across an awesome recipe. It's pretty easy, especially tomorrow when all I have to do is toss it onto the grill, and the flavor is amazing... I've made it a few times now, and everyone loves it. I'm having people over, it was a last minute decision - but the amazing part is that I don't think anyone turned me down - on a holiday weekend no less! Wow! So I'm looking forward to hanging out and having fun tomorrow. Yea for fun! Screw painting trim... I can do that on Monday. =)
Today was much better, felt like I accomplished a lot, and no one insinuated that I lacked compassion. Only thing that sucked was the two rejections I got, one of which was from an agent I was really hoping to snag. I'm telling myself that everything happens for a reason.

At the end of the workday, on a whim, I went to happy hour. I don't normally like Wednesday night happy hours, because it screws with my head and I think the next day should be a Saturday. And I can't stay out all night and get crazy. Of course I had a blast. A good friend of mine is in town and I always enjoy hanging out with her (as well as the rest of our gang). I think of her as sunshine incarnate, she just makes you feel good. I've missed her. But the good news is, work brings her to town from time to time, so we can still hang out, and when I go to see the shuttle launch, I'll see her again for sure.

And more good news, I might still go to OKC. My friend said he would be willing to drive, and that significantly cuts down on the cost, so I can afford to do it. Now I just have to talk to my boss and make sure I can work some comp time so that I can have a Friday off. I need all the current vacation time I have to go to Scotland... but I am dying to do this. I think it's going to be so much fun... I'm trying to talk a couple more people into doing it.

So now.... I'm winding down for the night. Tomorrow I promised someone that I was going to wear a skirt, so I'm a little flustered about that... I know it's probably going to cause a stir, because I never wear them. Then again, maybe no one will notice... and even if they do, I kind of like causing a stir sometimes, as long as it's a good one.
I've decided to be spontaneous. I have a friend who plays at Michael Murphy's in Oklahoma City, and next month I'm going to go see him play. Okay... maybe knowing that it's a month out isn't exactly spontaneous, but the decision to go was - and I'm proud of me. Let me have my moment.

I used to play the clarinet in high school, and I was good enough that I made it into the symphonic band. Every year we took a trip, kind of the way I take my vacations now... one year it was a local trip, the following year it would be someplace far away. Each year we had to hoof it around our neighborhoods, knock on people's doors and ask them to buy crap so that we could fund our trip. Luckily I always managed to pay for my trip without getting abducted by a pedophile.

Anyway, I loved band trips, they were fun. I miss the experience of going out of town in a group and getting crazy (though the definition of 'crazy' has greatly changed in the last several years). I hadn't done it in a long, long time until one of my friends got married in St. Louis a couple of years ago. It reminded me how much fun it can be to hang out with the same people in a different environment. This group will be a little bit of a stretch for me because I don't know everyone, but I'm trying to open myself up to new experiences.

I'd never thought about Oklahoma very much... not to visit... just to pass through. It's one of those states that doesn't seem to come up in conversation... not like New York or California. Well baby, they've been keeping secrets, because I was looking at the tourism website and it looks awesome! Besides Michael Murphy's, they have a dadgum river walk, just like San Antonio, but they call theirs Brick Town! And while I'm there, I am going to try to make it out to see the Survivor Tree. So I'm very much looking forward to this because I know it's going to be a blast!

Last night's hour on the treadmill seemed longer than the night before, but I did it - and I burned 100 more calories to boot. And I'm going to do it again tonight. So far, so good on the soda, too. It feels good to commit to something and not talk myself out of it. I'm pretty weak willed most of the time, but I'm also ornery. I'm an exercise in frustration is what I am!

Oh, and since I added the Survivor Tree to my bucket list, I forgot that watching a shuttle launch was also supposed to be on there. I want to do that next year.

I'm sure my neighbors hate me. Ah well.

Dinner was a success, the Tyler Florence chicken enchilada recipe was really good, and much more authentic than the recipe I was originally going to make. The margaritas were tasty. Sue Beth's sopapilla cheesecake totally rocked. Most of all, the guests were awesome. Nothing like a quick game of Dirty Minds to get everyone acquainated. Although I think pass the plunger probably brought us even closer, lol. That was really fun. More fun to watch really; I seem to have a real talent for PTP so it was over much too quickly... it's much more entertaining to watch people struggle.

The night got even better when Mike sat down at the piano and Cade began to sing. They're both incredibly talented, I can't even put it into words. Seems like Mike can play damn near anything, and Cade has an amazing voice... not only that, but he puts everything he's got into the song. And they're hilarious... I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Didn't realize it, but Dawn can belt out a tune, too! Hell, I even sang a little (in the background).

So today I have to clean up the aftermath. That's the part I hate. Cheese is delicious, but it leaves a huge mess that's not so appealing.

And here I go again... SyFy... House of the Dead 2... not only gory, but rife with zombies - which I already know I can't watch. So far it seems to be okay, and I'm going to be cleaning up as I watch it, so my focus won't be completely on the television. Zombies and demons scare the crap out of me, I usually go out of my way to avoid watching movies if I know either of the two will be a central focus. I know it seems like zombies should be fairly benign... they (usually) move slowly, and don't have any real brain power... but there's something about the idea of a virtually unstoppable eating machine... one of your own kind who has turned against you... the idea of one bite quickly becoming a pandemic, because with zombies it's really a numbers game, one isn't really much of a threat unless it takes you by surprise... but an army of zombies? Baaaaaaaaad news. I dunno, it just really messes with my head. One of my friends has a theory that either zombies or SkyNet are going to take over the world... if it's SkyNet I'll stand and fight with him... if it's zombies... I'll probably just take the cyanide capsule!

See No Evil didn't last long. The guy threw a chain with a hook on the end of it, it got caught in the guy's leg, and he drug him off somewhere... I changed the channel. I didn't want to know what happened next. I think they put the most gruesome deaths at the very beginning of a movie, to get their point across, then the rest of the deaths are fairly quick... until the end, where there's an equally gruesome (but much more dramatic) death scene. That last death scene pretty much makes or breaks the movie... too long and dramatic and it becomes tiresome and unbelievable... too short and people feel gypped. It's a fine line.

I'm tired because I was up until almost 4 am... and I feel like being lazy, but there are things to be done, so I'm gonna get off my butt and go do them. Hope everyone had a great weekend, I'm going to go enjoy what's left of mine!
Nothing like the SyFy channel if you want to watch something mindless... rife with bad acting, lame special effects, and flimsy plot lines that are completely beyond the realm of possibility. I don't know why I watch them. And believe me - I really wish I could come up with an answer. Only thing I can think is that I'm testing my endurance like I did with The Haunting in Connecticut. How long can I watch before I chicken out? Usually not long, because the other thing about SyFy movies is that they are usually spectacularly gory, and I don't like gore.

This one, called See No Evil, is already making me edgy because the guy apparently gouges peoples eyes out. I got a taste of the aftermath before the credits rolled, which was bad enough, I just hope they don't show it happening because I don't want to watch that. But I tell myself that it's TV-14... how bad can it get? (I'm so naive)

I don't understand the name change from "SciFi" to "SyFy" except that it goes hand in hand with the dumbing down of our language to a bunch of acronyms that masquerade as conversation. This is what the people behind the magic had to say: "If you ask people their default perceptions of Sci Fi, they list space, aliens and the future,” he added. “That didn’t capture the full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes.”

M'kay. First time I saw it on my channel guide I thought the system got hacked by an idiot, but whatever.

Today is one of those 'take it easy' days where I pamper myself while I wait for the fun to start. I'll take my time getting ready and then I'll crank up the happy tunes while I take care of putting the food together. I enjoy days like today and I know tonight will be a blast whether we actually play pass-the-plunger or not (yeah... a bunch of people running toward each other with plungers between their legs... I have visions of Anton Merriweather... and interesting sihlouettes like the ones from Austin Powers). All in all, it's shaping up to be a great weekend (except that my alleriges seem to be acting up). Hope yours is, too.
The house is clean. At least until the dust settles and the cats shed all over the rugs. It's almost embarassing how accomplished I feel once I've cleaned the house. And how much better it makes me feel. Clutter makes me antsy. I sound obsessive, don't I? I promise you, I'm not. I've pared down in the last few years and that's made it easier for me to give the appearance of order. Cleaning the house pays off quickly because it really doesn't take very long. Just don't look in the closets.

Today I was thinking about the upcoming dinner party. It made me think of my friend Christa, who used to throw the best parties. She made it seem effortless. Whether it was really the case or just the appearance she gave, she didn't seem to sweat the small stuff. The atmosphere was relaxed, the food was delicious and everyone had a good time. Most of the time she'd still be cooking when people arrived, or maybe that was because I always arrived a little early. She helped me grow in more ways than she'll probably ever know. I never had the courage to dance in front of other people until Christa coaxed me onto the dance floor; literally and metaphorically.

I love to cook. I love to have friends over. Unlike Christa, it does make me anxious. I think it's because, until recently, I was too focused on 'the rules.' The way I grew up was... mom invited people over... they showed up... we ate. There was a lot of stress involved in the preparation because everything had to be perfect. I'm trying really hard to break the cycle. To relax. Eventually I'd love to invite people over and still be getting things ready when they show up. Maybe even involve them in the process. I think that cooking with other people is fun. Right now though, I try to have it all done before they arrive, because I don't want them to see me freaking out. I'm getting there. I don't feel the same tension I did about the last dinner party. I'm still a work in progress. Until recently I was so afraid to screw up that I never invited people over at all... not for dinner anyway.

As you can tell, I do a lot of introspection... I like to understand why people act the way they do, even myself... maybe especially myself. Sometimes I worry that it makes me sound pathetic because I admit to all my neuroses, but mostly I think that a lot of people have the same questions, the same hangups, the same doubts, and they appreciate when other people admit to them. I always do, it makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only one.

Yesterday I fell off the wagon. I had two sodas because I thought the carbonation might make me feel better. Being nauseous, I also didn't hop on the treadmill. I did stick to the food part, and being queasy certainly helped me cut calories. Tonight I'm back on the horse, one soda, stuck with the food, and I'm about to hop on the treadmill and burn some calories. Crisis averted. =)
My samples from Pink Quartz Minerals showed up in the mail today... so pretty... four tiny little plastic vials of shimmery red eyeshadows and one small baggie of a gorgeous shimmery gold. Makeup is my latest addiction, I'm actually ashamed at how many eyeshadows I own, and I just bought more today... (samples from sellers on Etsy! cheap and fun and it keeps me out of trouble because the alternative is Ulta or Sephora or CVS...) So I went online to get inspiration from Makeup Geek, because she tends to do looks that have more impact than my other two faves, Lauren Luke and Kandee Johnson, and I'm still trying to put together a look for Samhein (Halloween). I don't know why, but I have gotten sucked in to these tutorials. My inner Barbie has only recently come out, but now that she's out, she's out with a vengeance.

Incidentally, and I probably shouldn't admit this because I know all books start with disclaimers that any resemblance to real people is purely circumstantial, but I loosely based my character Lauren on the Lauren who does the makeup tutorials. I guess it's not surprising... I observe people every day and over time the character traits find their way into my writing. She just has this every-girl personality that you can't help but like, she seems so genuine and... likeable. I don't know her, never met her, haven't spoken to or corresponded with her, so the character is only a representation... my interpretation... and I'm sure when all is said in done it really does bear no reselmblance to the real person... it's based on her vivaciousness and openness and how comfortable she seems to be in her own skin. I was happy when one of my friends said they loved her in the book. So. Not actually Lauren, but yes, based on Lauren. And the fact that she's also named Lauren? I actually had a character named Lauren in my screenplay, so I wanted to give her a second chance.

This morning one of my friends returned my manuscript with her suggested edits (and no, I haven't gone psycho - I'm still marvelling at the cool binder it's in). Throughout this process it has been so interesting to see what other people think as they read my story, what they key into. Almost everyone brings something different to the table. I love to read the comments... "No!" or "Gag" or "I love this!" or "You switched metric systems." My mom thought the scene in the hardware store went on a little too long, just prior to that, one of my friends told me he loved the scene in the hardware store. You can't please everyone I guess, but I like that I'm not getting too many people pointing out the same issues. Most of what I see is positive feedback, and questions that make me rethink how I worded something.

Tonight I spoke to one of the friends who is coming to Scotland with me, and he asked me if I would help out with a press release for a charity event that his Harley chapter is putting together. Awesome! I love this guy (and the cherry on top is that his wife is incredible, too). Our friendship was forged in  a non-traditional manner, one not likely to have lasted for this long: I met him over the telephone at my last job... over ten years ago... egads! I worked as a buyer supporting the western region of a major telecommunications company, and he was one of the project managers I frequently worked with. We developed a rapport and over time became friends... he's a hell of a guy. As luck would have it, I had a relative living in the same general vicinity, so I got to meet up with he and his wife a couple of times, and we now have this great, almost famial relationship. I guess my point is, you never know who is going to come into your life, or where they'll pop up, but sometimes you get lucky. I feel lucky anyway. Most of the time (gotta keep him grounded).

Spent my lunch hour looking up more agents. I added about 25 to my list, and unless the whole winery thing works out for tomorrow... which is not looking promising... I'll spend a good portion of my day sending out more queries and working on the book (my friend had some valid suggestions so I want to go back tomorrow and implement some of them). My enthusiasm is back now that I've gotten a positive response from an agent, and I know better than to put all of my eggs in that one basket; it's not a yes yet (but it's not a no... it's like purgatory...).

So that was my day. Oh - that, and the bathrooms were out of order for over half the day, so I had to walk half way to Albequerque to pee. Fun! Sometimes I think other people must have way more exciting lives than I do... Oh, and I take far too much joy in puns... a friend of mine is an electrician and he was getting worked up over something so I got to tell him not to blow a fuse... I slay me.

Now I'm going to get off the computer, lie back on the sofa, and watch A Haunting... and possibly freak myself out so that I will have problems falling asleep... even though I'm completely wiped out... I don't know why I do this to myself, but the paranormal fascinates me. If they had a paranormal channel I'd be watching that puppy all day long... as long as the shows were worth watching... and okay, honestly most of them are crap... Paranormal State, on the other hand... that's one of my faves...

...and before I start to ramble again... I'm getting off this crazy thing!
Went to happy hour last night, only intending to stay for an hour or two and once again staying out all night. I should have stuck with the cider. But I had a great time. And everyone has made me believe that I look like Kirsten Dunst, more or less, lol. I was out shopping a couple of years ago and this guy rounded a corner, coming toward me with eyes big as saucers and said, "Oh my god... you look just like that girl... what's her name... she had red hair in that movie... she was in Spiderman..." I said, "Kirsten Dunst?" and I was puzzled. "Yeah! You look just like her." I was flattered but still puzzled. A few aisles later we ran into each other again and he says, "Just like her!" So last night, out of the blue, a friend said the same thing (albeit less dramatically) and it brought the memory back. I'm totally flattered, I still don't see it, but I think she's gorgeous, so I'll accept it as a compliment and smile.

Woke up this morning with a pounding headache and pretty much slept the day away. Only got up to eat, work on my bucket list, update my budget and try on the clothes I intend to take to Scotland, just to make sure I don't need to rethink the wardrobe. Some of the tops were a little snug, but I'm happy to say that most of them fit now, and the ones that don't have been replaced. All in all I wasted a day, when I should have gone out and done something, but I think I needed it... there's been too much going on lately that I was just constantly exhausted. I feel reenergized now, so maybe I will feel like getting out more... sigh... I remember what it was like to have a life...

I'm watching Underworld: Evolution on FX, and as they come off the commercial breaks they're showing how they created the special effects in the movie. I always find that fascinating. I can't think that wire work is easy to do, but they make it look effortless and the ingenuity of what they create is just magic. I used to want to be a film editor until I saw how little money they make (in comparison to the cost of living in California), and then I gave up that dream. I still think working in the film industry would be a really cool job, something a little different every day.

Rearranged some of the pages on this site, there were too many... there are still too many, and I still want to add more and more information. I just added a Random Stuff page. As I was looking for a peasanty top for my Halloween costume I ran across and thought it was incredibly cool because it's an online marketplace for people to sell handmade stuff. They really have some nice things on there, and I did find a blouse (as well as a billion other things I want if I had the money), and some makeup. I thought it would be neat to have a page with some lesser known websites, if nothing else, for my own records.

I like the idea of going back to basics, and I think that's why a site like Etsy is so appealing to me. There's too much mass merchandising and not enough passion, everything looks the same, quality is low. I like to think that people who are trying to build a business based on their own handiwork put more heart into it. I think part of the problem we have in this country is that we've been trying to produce more and not better, we replace people with machines, and expect people to work for the lowest wages we can get away with paying them but there's no sense of community anymore, no sense of pride. I know it's not the case all the way around, but it's pretty widespread and it frustrates me. I like going to the local farmer's market, I like to find rare gems, my house is mostly furnished with stuff from antique stores because it's unique, the craftsmanship is superior, and it's actually cheaper if you go to the right stores. Stepping down from the soap box...

I'm still working on the makeup for my Halloween costume, I think that my eyes need to be rimmed in red, but I don't know what to do with my lips, black is too jarring, and red battles with my eyes. Good news is that I can play around with it for a while until I find something I like. That's part of the fun of being a girl and getting to play dress up.

Life imitates art.

Just like in the book, woman throws dinner party, but the guests don't necessarily cooperate... Started with six guests and now there are four + me... I think... I haven't heard from two of them and that makes me nervous... My situation is entirely different than Grace's of course, because this was never meant to be a romantic dinner for two... but I am roasting a chicken.

See, when I went to Vegas about 5 years ago, I had this kick ass roast chicken at a "French" restaurant in one of the hotels, and I've been on a quest to duplicate it ever since -- just like the horseradish escalloped potatoes on my recipe page, except that in that case, I succeeded (I hate to fail, it chafes me). The chicken in the oven right now will be tasty, it's juicy and garlicky and... rosemary-y, but it's not going to be the chicken I had oh so many years ago. Geez, I feel like I'm obsessing over chicken... moving on...

It almost makes me sad when I get something that good because I know that (probably) nothing will ever compare to that experience (I'm not just talking about chicken anymore... just so you know...). Still, I guess it gives me something to shoot for, and I've decided that's the meaning of life -- having something to look forward to. I mean, imagine if you had everything you ever wanted -- do you think you would be happy?  I don't.  I'd still want something to look forward to, or else I'd stall out.