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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.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Garage Sale, Horror Movies and Writing

There are many mysteries in the world, I know because I watch the mystery channel, but nothing is so strange to me than mosquitoes in the desert. They need standing water and you’d think given my location and how quickly the sun dries everything out, there wouldn’t be a lot of standing water. Then you have to realize that I live in the city and practically everyone has a pool and a yard. If the filter is broken on the pool and the water becomes standing, that is a huge breeding ground for these little pests.

We had a garage sale this weekend, both Friday and Saturday, so we were out in it and I got chewed right up. I did a run to our local medical store CVS, but they weren’t open that early. We have a Walmart Grocery in the same lot so I went over there and I did get sidetracked by the cupcakes, but after a few minutes of oohh-ahhhing, I went straight to business looking for bug spray. I found what I needed and itch cream for the red splotches up my legs. The worst part is, now they are in the house. We have to use bug spray inside and outside. It’s no good to any of us. The mosquitoes are biting parts of me that bug spray won’t stay on, like the bottom of my feet when I prop them up on the bed or couch. Emory has a lot of bites too.

I went with Ann to Target, which is one of my favorite stores to shop at. She bought two more bottles of bug spray since they were on sale. I gave one to our roomie Nadine, and Ann gave the other one to my brother. I won’t be surprised if my brother uses the whole thing in a day. He’s been in the kitchen working on his technology fix and I hear the can of spray every couple of minutes. I called my mom and asked her about this and her only reply was, “Your brother hates bugs. Remember when we took him camping?” Yeah! When he was six. You’d think he’d grow out of it by now. He also ate the entire bag of Reeses Buttercups my mom bought us. I think that was his breakfast. From the looks of it, the chocolate melted inside the wrappers. That’s Arizona! The only way chocolate survives is in the fridge, though sometimes chocolate has a longer shelf life in the winter, though it’s not terribly cold out here by some standards.
Horror Movies Watched: Doom, Demon Knight, Bordello of Blood (got bored and turned it off 20 minutes in), Trick-r-Treat (My favorite), a few episodes of the Munster's television show.
Bought: 4 bags of Reeces Peanut Buttercups all for the house.
HBA: 89/148 pages edited.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fun Committee, Tailgate Parties and Writing

The “Fun Committee” thought it’d be grand to have a tailgate party. It’s a cute idea and when you have nearly sixty plus people in one location, at first glance, it appears like fun. I looked up recipes for a few weeks trying to find something creative and different to bring to the party. I asked around to see what others were doing. Everyone informed me they were bringing chips or dip. At a real tailgate party, that’s probably what people bring, but we aren’t at a real tailgate party. I was hoping for a little more fun and inspiration, but all there was on the table was chips, donuts and cookies. I’ll eat chips. I like them when we go out for Mexican food, but I’m not a big chip eater in general. Emory and I don’t buy them. I can’t even say when I really craved them last, so it was a disappointment. Donuts are good, but usually not something I crave after A.M. turns to P.M. and the store bought cookies must’ve been on an easy to grab shelf, because a lot of the same kind were brought. Over all, I don’t think anyone really wanted to be involved with the tailgate party.

One of the ladies I frequently see is trying to raise money for her child’s sports. For schools and sports, they partner with businesses to sell things and then get a percentage. Lately it’s been cookie sales that I’ve seen in the last couple of years for bands and sports events. She was hitting everyone up and I love those little magazines though everything is inflated 3x and the band/sports only get like 5% from it. I still did it though. I put myself down for snickerdoodles, which is the best of the best type of cookie in my eyes. I love them so much. What did these cookies cost me? $16. That’s why I only ordered 1 container (36 cookies). In this house hold, they aren’t going to last long. Usually when someone orders something, they order a few.

Speaking of which, I think there are still chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer. I should check that out.

Writing Update:

HBA: 84/148 pages edited

Friday, September 12, 2014

Costumes and Shopping

Halloween shopping starts at the end of August. The school supplies get pulled and Halloween gets put up. I really like Target, but the last couple of years I noticed that they don’t really sell adult costumes at my local store. Last year, I didn’t see anything for adults and a sign said to shop online for adult costumes. I started looking online and they have the female fleet outfit for Star Trek 1960’s! I was debating sewing my costume, but that’s a lot of time and, let’s face it, a talent I don’t really possess. I’m so excited that they have the costume. I don’t really need it for Halloween, but I wouldn’t mind having it for the comic conventions I like to go to.
I’m also looking for a TARDIS dress. I found them online at Hot Topic. I actually found a lot of Doctor Who stuff online, so now I’m sure I need a cookie jar that lights up, a lamp that has flashing images, a mug that has a disappearing reappearing TARDIS depending on the temperature of my drink, a T.A.R.D.I.S. wallet and hat. So my search started off looking for a dress.
I need to finish gathering stuff for my Betty Boop and Olive Oil (Popeye) outfits. Outfits are a little hard to shop for in Arizona, because you never know how cold it actually will be. I know a few times in late October, early November, it’s warm enough for shorts. I’m looking at all these super cute costumes, all fuzzy and long sleeves and thinking, “Yeah, way too hot for out here.” I love fuzzy, long sleeve things but I might only get to use them for a week in the winter.
I need to look for some clothes I can zombie-fy. If Emory and I want to do the zombie race, we can apply to be zombies and chase runners. There are three parts to it. I think I’d like to be in the maze, but my mom mentioned the chances of getting hit in the face by a startled runner, so maybe doing the outside run will be better. It sounds like a blast! I need to see which friends said they wanted to do this. We get a free tent space, and I have a tent! I don’t know how to make it work, and I’m not sure Emory does either since he’s not the outdoor sports type. Still, need to check that out. I don’t think I have too much planned for the month, otherwise.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Drones, Ice Challenge and Writing

Carol and I were taking our morning walk when she says, “That looks like a drone.” I’m looking across the parking lot for something out of Star Wars. I don’t see anything. I look up when I realize her attention is at the sky. There is a little mini helicopter contraption, a drone, floating over the parking lot. I’m tempted to wave when she mentions, “Oh, the ice challenge is today. Where are the news vans?” We come around the corner and there is a line of people in tank tops and sport gear with blue buckets in front of them. They go down like the “wave” (baseball term), dumping water over their own heads. Carol mentions, “That would be the worse.” Me: “Yeah, Danne cried when she had to dump water over her head for the challenge.” Carol mentions “Can you just fill a water glass and dump it over your head?” Hmm. Clever.
It was exciting watching the line of people dumping water over their heads. There was so much positive, exciting energy outside, watching the group do it and run down to the next group to watch the last person dump water. It was wonderful and though Carol and I weren’t expecting to witness it, I think we both soaked in the excitement and brought it back inside with us.
I’ve been watching Doctor Who from the beginning, which I believe is the 1972 start of the series. The first two seasons is in black and white. I didn’t realize immediately when the third series was in color. Emory’s brother found the early seasons too slow so we went in it unsure how we’d feel. The story does have a long setup, not like today’s television shows, but we both took to it. We were on our fourth show when Emory and I got into a fairly long discussion on the season. What else would two nerds do? He looked up the actors and sadly, the early actors have passed. There was a part of me that hoped they might show up to one of our conventions so I could get my picture with them. I guess this mentions I’m going to idolize them from afar.
Writing Update:
HBA: Made it past the halfway point on the editing. YEAH! Now it feels like downhill from here! Excited to jump on the next project!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Not the Wine!

After work, Emory and I like to come home and throw our swimsuits on and hang out in the pool. Now that the super huge tree was cut down, the water gets more sun, which usually means you can warmer longer before the water cools off with the sunset. We planned to do just that, but on our way home, I realized I wasn’t even sweating and the air conditioner in the car wasn’t turned up all the way. That’s usually a sign that the pool isn’t even needed a quick cool down. We decided on the way home that the water might be too chilly and decided against swimming. My roommate still swims and she’ll do it until it’s too cold, but she said the water wasn’t as warm any more. It’s not nippy, but it is cool. I guess that means fall is coming.

The rains have cooled the air considerably. I’m debating if I should go ahead and sprinkle the boxes of wild flowers I have into the front yard. Ann loves and truly wants wild flowers in the front yard. With winter coming, seeds go through a process of hibernation. I never took botany like I thought I would, so I’m no longer so certain how the process works and if it works for everything beside tree seeds. The spring comes up quick, and at least the monsoons right now would get the seeds into the ground. By the dead of summer, all flowers are dead and gone. It’s a very small window of opportunity for the flower season.

So what is there to do now that swimming is over? The State Fair will be coming along shortly. We have Halloween. Usually everyone goes out of town to do something festive. Ann really likes the tiny mining towns that have haunted activity. She’ll stay the night and do ghost tours. I did that a few seasons ago with my blood. We went to Jerome. Just last year, Emory and I spent Halloween doing the theme parks in California.

Napa Valley in California had a 6.0 earthquake and the news was showing all the wineries that had major destruction. If you're like me, you were screaming at the television, "NOT THE WINE!" Emory thinks the price of wine might go up on certain brands. My wine rack is low. Sad. I don’t miss those earthquakes in California.

The Spirit Stores are now open! Those are the stores that pop up with everything Halloween. I really wish I bought Emory a werewolf costume last year when everything was on sale. I super love werewolves. Something about them just makes me squeamish and allured. I hear pain and pleasure is a very close cousin, often confused in the brain. Maybe that’s my deal. I get so scared that I confuse it for a sense of desire. Either way, the mask I saw was electric, so the jaw would actually open; all sharp, snarling teeth with lips drawn back. Super awesome!

Writing Update

Crazy character frenzy is finally at a low. The muse has released my heart from its overactive chaotic overdrive. I'm guessing I have a few weeks before it kicks back up, but until then, I can finally work on my projects again.

HBA: 71/148 pages edited.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Monsoon Heart

As I watch the monsoons pass through, I can’t help but think this time last year, one of my co-workers and I went outside and played in a mini hail storm. I wasn’t in Arizona when the really big, damaging hail had hit and ruined everyone’s cars, their house roofs, the “cool deck” which is what we call the ground around the pool that shouldn’t retain the worst of the summer heat like cement does. One of my co-workers stood with me at the window and she said, “Go get her; she’ll play in the rain with you. I know you want to.” I did want to play in the rain. That part of me that finds rain exciting has yet to find it wise staying indoors and dry, but things have changed. Everything has changed since this time last year. My personality took the biggest hit. I’m far more cautious now about the people I chose to have my fun with. I’m not in that carefree, excited place here with the company and I don’t know when I’ll get it back.

Emory and I took Mozart for his walk. It wasn’t a long one, because when we got out of the house, it was already lightening overhead. We were a few houses down when the sky turned dark with storm clouds. We were at the corner when the lightening was right over head. We were around the corner when it started to thunder. We were nearly around the block when the first heavy drops started to fall. When the rain became heavier, we had to run. I had Mozart’s leash, so with a little encouragement, because he’s not too fond about getting wet, we ran the rest of the way home. Every tree we passed, I wondered what the chances were of it getting struck by lightning.

The storm was heavy. It sounded like our house was directly under a waterfall. That morning, the radio said that the rain hit one of our valleys hard enough to flood in some areas. People were rafting down the street. I’m glad I’m in such a large city. We get the flash flood warnings, but I haven’t seen issues in my part of the city.

My mom and I were standing on the front porch watching the rain. She turned to me, “Last time the water came up this high, you were out playing in it.” I remember that, but I don’t remember how old I was. Fast forward to the present; It was already dark, and the cascading rain made the light from the streetlamps limited. Watching the water climb up over the sidewalk and into the rock yard, I really wanted to be out there in the gutter with the cold water rushing over my ankles, but visibility was limited, and the thought that the rolling water carried broken glass and rocks stopped me. It’s weird what doesn’t concern us as children. As an adult, as tempted as I was all I could think was, “Do I have time to roll up my jeans and get soaked with the rain? I should be going to bed soon. If I get cut, I’ll be at the hospital and I’ll be tired tomorrow.” How boring it is being an adult.

Writing Update

HBA: 61/148 pages edited.  I’m at the heart of the book. My assassin is now forced to work with someone he’d like to keep distance from. It’s very emotionally draining working with so many aggressive characters.