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Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Not so Subtle Clean

I see the fairly impressive health trainer and nutritionist standing two rows down from my cubicle. I may harbor a small, less than innocent interest, but seeing the both of them wandering the rows, I nearly gagged on my Pop Tart, after I swore up and down that I was a health junky, etc… Okay, maybe I fabricated just a tiny bit to them on my healthy behaviors. So I start shoving things into my desk. It’s not enough. I collect all my sticky notes, pens, page tabs and tuck them under my monitor, and push all my cups to one side of the desk, throw things away, put my phone piece on its peg…
Michael says, “Christina, are you leaving?” Me: “No! I just put a few pens away.” Michael: *snorts* “You put more than a few pens away.” Me: “Never mind, just leave it alone.”
Next thing I know, Nicole has passed by and stops. Nicole: “OMG! Are you work at home now? When did that happen? When are you leaving?” Me: “I’m not work at home.” Nicole: “Where are you going? What are you doing? Your stuff is all gone.” Me: “No it’s not. It’s in my desk. I just moved a few things.” Nicole: “Your desk is so… so…” Me: “Clean? I clean my desk! I’m not dirty!” Michael: “I’d say you are more… maybe… settled than the rest of us.” Me: “Okay! Can we just drop it! I cleaned my desk.”
I’m watching over my co-workers shoulders, because the trainer and nutritionist are just a row over and my heart is pounding. I need to look like this is casual, but secretly I’m trying to decide how to strike up a conversation.
Terri comes over. “What’s up chicka? Nicole is afraid you’re leaving and not telling anyone.” Me: “I cleaned my desk! It’s not uncommon for me to clean my desk!” Terri: “Yeah, but this is really clean.” Me: “Good lord! Does everyone think I’m messy? I don’t get it. I put a few pens away and everything things there is some conspiracy!” Terri: “We’re just concerned.” Natalie: “You keep saying ‘cleaning will kill you’ so this is a little odd for you.” I sighed, almost sure the nutritionist and trainer heard some of this.
P.S. I shoved the remaining Pop Tart in my mouth. It was dry and I’ll probably not crave them for a good while. I usually like them in the winter, straight out of the toaster, but I made myself gag doing it like this.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Haunted Houses and Writing

Last Saturday was great. We went out for dinner at this little hideaway Mexican restaurant and since there was four of us; we got the party platter of tacos. That included 32 tacos on this super long plate, and sides. I had the veggie tacos which were fabulous. It’s been a long time since I ate avocado. I overdosed on guacamole way back when, and made myself so sick that I just haven’t touched it, but I’m more than willing to go again after these tacos. The other tacos were a little of everything: pig, chicken, beef, fried fish and shrimp. I wish I had tried the fried fish since I love fish tacos. The rest I could leave. I have a very hard time stomaching cow and pig. I’m okay with chicken as long as it is boneless. It makes it easier pretending like I’m not eating a feather friend and we all know how much I LOVE my feather friends. I love birds as much as I love bugs. Okay, I just love nature.

Rob Zombie Haunted House Arizona

Afterwards, we had to part ways with our company, because they had absolutely NO interest in hitting up Rob Zombie’s haunted houses. This was an opportunity that I couldn’t let go, though truthfully, I wasn’t in any hurry to actually be there. I can’t say I love or hate the guy. I just don’t listen to his music unless it comes on the radio, which is my answer about most artists, because I usually only listen to soundtracks or artists who don’t have a super huge following.

The three haunted houses were inside this large dome, which made it a little stuffy waiting in line, but the first maze was actually pretty horrifying. There were monsters in the first portion of it, but that’s not what was terrifying. It was the utter pitch black that you had to walk through in the second part. I’ve never known claustrophobia. I have blood and I have friends who experience it. I have crowd anxiety, maybe the direct result of being anti-social, but I’ve never known pure, unadulterated claustrophobia until I went into that maze. At first, it was just this itch under my skin. That itch was like this growing awareness that I was a little uncomfortable, but I kept saying, “I’ll be out of this soon.”

Then the itch became worse, it wasn’t just at the base of my neck, it was down my spine, limbs and inside my head. It was this growing tightness that I was more than uncomfortable. I could feel panic blooming. It was so strange. I’ve been panicked about a lot of things. I’m just a highly nervous person, but this was different. I wasn’t just panicking, I was really super afraid. Emory had to take the lead when I got up backed into an alcove for the third time. We were alone, I could feel it. The people that went in with us were gone. The group got separated because some people panicked and got taken out through an exit. Others just got ahead of us. If I lost Emory, I think I would’ve found an alcove and waited. It gets worse though. At one point, there is this tunnel you have to walk through that is fabric with air behind it so you have to push through a very, very tight hall that pushes back.

The second one was a 3-dimensional clown haunted house. LOVED IT! You get glasses so when you walk through everything is moving on you, the walls, the characters and the decorations! I jumped and screamed a lot in this one, because the wall would detach and come right at you. It’s a classic haunted house parlor trick, but I fall for it every time, and laugh, because I got spooked by something so simple. Then we get out of that one and go to the next.

The last haunted house was a hillbilly one. You got to love the American hillbillies! They make super great horror movies every time. Something about the country is scary to city folks, mostly maybe because we don’t know how to live off the land and make it beneficial to ourselves. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have supermarkets. There was a mini show where the police and the hillbillies have a standoff. That was exciting! Then we got into the haunted house and the sounds start to become overwhelming. At the beginning, Emory starts to whisper in my ear, “I hope they separate people.” Sure enough, we get to this part where there are 3 doorways and two men guarding them, separating the people we came in with. So we get the middle room and of course, I jump because I’m an easy scare. Emory is loving it!

We get into a kitchen and a hillbilly is waiting there. He gnaws a huge slab of meat and Emory whispers, “I think it is real.” I’m like, “GAH! He’s eating steak! Horror! Horror! Dead cow! HORROR!” Emory’s like, “Really?” My answer, “Nightmare! If he held me down and made me chew it, I’d die! Just die!” Emory laughs. But that aside, it really was a super great horror house. I love being scared. And bonus: No chainsaw! Lots of chainsaw like sounds, but no chainsaw. This was so much fun. I’d do it again if they gave us a pass to go through it again!

Writing Update

HBA: 133/147 pages edited. So glad I’m doing this edit. There are a few small portions that needed additions and it is so much easier to do it after I’ve had a small break. I wanted to finish this before I go on vacation, but it doesn’t look like that will happen.
It's crunch time with the three projects I'm about to juggle during my autumn/winter write-fest. This is when I take every project I meant to start and actually get a first draft and hopefully a second draft before spring.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bad Day Sweets and Writing

I was having a super bad day so I went to Target after work and got two bags of Halloween candy, and a box of Little Debbie Halloween cakes (the white cakes with the white filling because I like those ones the most come Easter). The guy at the checkout said, “Starting your trick-r-treat shopping early?” And I had to grumble, “Bad day.” I try not to physically feed my bad days. I usually push anything horrible into a writing project, but this was beyond writing. It was something so vast that only a mindless sugar binge followed by hangover effects, could fix.
Speaking of tricks, I have two co-workers who need to be fixed with a trick and I have a great idea for one of them. I need to go to the dollar store and get a pack of fake roaches. I know exactly where to hide them too, so they won’t be super obvious at first glance, or I can just keep telling them I’m going to seek revenge, but do nothing about it. Sometimes the very thought can leave the mind itchy. My partner in crime thinks my second idea is the best, so I left little sticky notes that they both had something waiting for them and “did you spot it yet?” I think that’s a pretty good amount of revenge, especially for my one co-worker who is as jumpy as I am.
P.S. Speaking of tricks, I just bought a toilet cling that looks like spiders are climbing out of the toilet and stuck it in my roommates bathroom. Emory helped. I have one roommate that just came back from California, but the other one is still in Dakota. The one that came back from California screamed and then yelled a choice of words before laughing. Nice to play a few house hold tricks. :) However, I like spiders, so I don't think that would ruin my day.
Our first demo for the year was cancelled. This was on Sept 27th due to a pretty bad storm that passed through. At first it was just gray skies, but very quickly, it turned into such strong wind and rain, that we couldn’t see the houses surrounding us. At one point, Ann and I heard this constant roar in the sky. I’ve never lived anywhere with tornado weather, but she has. She was suddenly really worried about it, so I ran outside to see if I could see the sky, but the rain was lashing and I came back soaked as if I’d jumped into the shower with my clothes on. I toweled off and within seconds the wind stopped, then the rain grew very soft and we just held our breath trying to see if that sound would get louder, but it didn’t. After an hour, we decided to venture outside, since it was a Saturday. We were hoping GoodWill had 50% off, but when we got towards that area, all the traffic was backed up. The stores in all the lots were closed due to no electricity. We turned the car around, went to the grocery store just up the street from us and got dinner and a few night snacks since it looked like the rest of the night would be indoors.
Later we found out that the power went out in many major areas. Thankfully, it wasn’t our area this time.
Writing Update:
Untitled Horror: 2 chapters done, and 2 more outlined. Sometimes just writing it gives some pretty amazing ideas in the making.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Halloween Shopping and Writing

My friend and I went to Applebee’s for lunch and got the all you can eat salad and soup. We were both surprised when “all you can eat” ended up being only one serving, because we weren’t hungry after that and didn’t want more. It’s still a great option. I’m a firm believer that it makes a great lunch. I had tomato basil soup and Asian salad.

After that, we stopped off at Target, Kohl’s, Ross and Michael’s, looking for Halloween stuff. We took a side trip into Ultra just to see what makeup was there. I have a huge interest in lipstick right now. Strange. I seem to go a long time without having to be girly, then BAM! It hits and I obsessively do girly things like look at makeup. At Target, I bought a haunted, talking phone and a Halloween card. There was so much I wanted to buy, but there is no space right now in our living quarters.

The Halloween section at Kohl’s consisted of a two single shelves of items. Major disappointment. Last year, I did a stop with my mom at Kohl’s and they had super cute witchy items and boards with sassy seasonal sayings. They had cute little witch shoes that had chocolates in the stockings and a variety of black cats. All of that was sized down to two book shelves of cheap 99 cent looking items. They had their Christmas items up so we drifted in that direction. Patti stopped to admire anything that was a snowman or a cat. Those are her weaknesses. I ended up getting enamored with a mouse made out of a corkscrew. There were other corkscrew ornaments, but that’s the one I bought. Since my family and I love wine, the corkscrew just seemed memorable to me. I showed my mom and her first reaction, “We have tons of corkscrews! We can totally make these.” I should’ve bought the other one because it would’ve been easier to duplicate.
Ross was another place that lacked a huge selection of Halloween things. There were a few things I would’ve bought, but again, space being an issue; we decided to just skip to the back of the store to see what existed. On our way out, I saw this magnificently cool cupcake, long sleeve shirt, and peach in color. I ended up buying my very OPPOSITE of Halloween, shirt.
Michael’s, the craft store, had a lot of cool things. I found a wire bird cage, which I wanted for a fake raven. It’ll go in my Poe-Halloween office. What can I say, macabre is my style. I don’t think a lot of people get it when I say, “this is my season.” I won’t get into the psychological issues I might have, but this is me. There are skeleton masks that you can paint. I watch a witch on YouTube and she does a lot of witchy crafts and she saw the same masks as me and she is actually talented enough to paint them. She’s going to make one for her ancestors. I sort of want to do something similar to that, but I’ve yet to think how I want to set up an ancestral shrine for the month of October, being that it’s a time to respect our ancestors and those who’ve come before us
Our last stop was Walmart, one of Emory’s most hated store lines. I wasn’t really impressed. I think last year had way better Halloween stuff. On our way out, I noticed apple spice mini cupcakes and got a tray of 12. Sadly I ate 8 of the little cakes. My roommates had the rest. I’m a glutton for cupcakes.
Writer Update
HBA: 126/148 pages edited. Now I need to work on what kind of cover I want.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

"ARG" like a Pirate and Writing

A few weeks ago, I was informed that it was talk like a pirate day. That means another year has passed where I missed the pirate races out in California and Pirate Invasion at Long Beach. The pirate races are boats that race to Catalina Island, which I believe start at Long Beach. I hear the boats are pretty decked out and people get into the celebration. I wish I could’ve seen the race. As for the Pirate Invasion, dude, it’s just another reason to dress up and yell “RUM,” which is the only word I know in the pirate language.

Michael: “My nephew dressed as a pirate. I’m concerned that a 25 year old keeps a pirate costume in his closest.”
Me: “What are you talking about? Everyone has a pirate costume.”
Michael: “Uh… no. Most people do not have pirate costumes in their closets.”
Me: “Uh, yeah they do! I have three pirate costumes! You never know when you’re going to need to dress up like a pirate.”
Michael: “You realize that the situation will never arise, right?"
Me: “Psh! Today would’ve been the perfect day to dress like a pirate to get free donuts for Pirate Day.”
Michael: “I’m not going to win this debate.”
Me: “If you were right, maybe, but you aren’t, so no.”
Michael: *under his breath* “Cos-players.”

I have two pirate wench outfits, but one I don’t really think I need any more. I had it when I was twelve, and though it was cute back then, it’s not my style now. I like the heavier clothes, the ones that layer. I really should see if Arizona has any pirate events.

Speaking of costumes, what I don’t have is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Onesie costume. Seeing as I was of the era with the original series, I feel entitled to the TMNT hype. I wasn’t terribly young, elementary when it came out, but I did think I was going to marry Raphael. We had so much in common and in my heart, I knew he would completely understand my view point on everything. Seeing as I was of that particular age where I was right and knew everything about the world, I figured he’d get it. I look back and the whole thing makes me chuckle, but I still want the onesie at Party City has it.

Writing Update:

Down to the wire on projects. NaNoWriMo will be starting soon. I want a new project to start by then.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014



In a small, old world, farm town, Aleida gives in to her secret lesbian romances for her friend, Jacquelyn. When the romance is denied to her for lack of being a man, she is forced to find another means of winning Jacquelyn’s heart. With the help of a fairy, Aleida disguises herself as a man and lives a double life of indulgent romance in town and brave expeditions in the magical forest. Aleida discovers a world beyond what she knew and now she questions to what extent she will go for a life with the woman she loves. Novella 24,500 words

FROM OCTOBER 1st to the 5th.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dirty City, Freak Flooding and Writing

Arizona often gets hit with monsoons and sometimes the storm is pretty fierce, but usually, even that is mellow compared to other parts of the country. The monsoon that hit in September was far from mellow. It’s weird how we get so use to all the noise in our lives, but I woke up at 3 a.m., and thought, “Something’s wrong.” What was wrong? It was quiet in the house… too quiet! The drone of the air conditioner wasn’t the only appliance off. The house was dark, the fan stopped whirling. The electricity tucked behind the walls was dead still, even the vibration of the pool pump stopped. It’s surprising how hard it is to sleep in the stillness. By 4 a.m. it was super, duper, humid, muggy, and uncomfortably hot in the house, even in the dark.

The rain was still coming down, but with all the streetlamps off, we couldn’t see how high it was. We got in our little normal size car, and rolled out into the street, where reality hit. The water was pretty high. Even crawling along in the dark, I could see how high the water shot up from the tires. The entire block had electricity issue. It wasn’t until we were on the main road that we realized how vast an issue it was. It took an hour and ten minutes to get to work. We were stuck on the freeway, then kicked off the freeway by large, pink signs. Parts of Arizona were flooded and the drains weren’t dragging the water off the road quick enough. I heard the drains over flooded and manhole covers were floating away. Cars were getting their tires stuck in the holes. Emory and I got to work and no kidding, three hours later, you’d NEVER know there was a state wide emergency for flooding. Welcome to sunny Arizona.

Our pool didn’t overflow, and we had no problems with the house. My friend never showed up to work, so I called her and she was in the area of town that got hit hard. Her carpet was soggy and there was countless issues. It caused a great deal of buzz out here. None of my blood had issues. I texted everyone out here and most of them seemed pretty carefree about it.

The news warned people not to play in it because the flooding was bringing the sewage up, and the industrial garbage cans were getting contents mixed into the water. Bummer. I have this unexplainable desire to play in unanticipated waterholes. If it was Florida, I might actually be 100% turned away, considering the alligators, but this time, I did get my feet wet in the parking lot, before I saw the news. The reporters showed kids playing in the flooding streets, and if I was twelve years younger, that would be me too, danger be damned. Now, my body just can’t stand the cold. It hurts. And the water did look cold, except the little puddles in the parking lot were nice and warm and made my clogs soggy.

What is the point of this story? The city is a dirty, dirty place to take opportunistic swims.

Writing Update:

HBA book 1: 106/147 pages edited

Untitled: suspense/horror. Need to learn a little more on the topic, but starting to outline and piece some ideas together. Research might be fun.