January 30, 2007

3 Questions: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Tomorrow I will tell you the WHOLE SORDID story of DOG AND CAT AND INTEGRATION. It’s going a little bit like this…

Dog: Don’t you want to be friends??? Hmmm? Hmmm???? Because *I* want to be friends, so do YOU want to be friends? Please check one box! The first box says YES I WANT TO BE FRIENDS RIGHT NOW! And the second box says YES I WANT TO FRIENDS VERY SOON!
Cat: Where is the box for, “I hope you die?”

TODAY is a GCC day---the GCC is my li’l touring club---it’s where I find about 90% of the women who answer my 3 Questions. If you are a traditionally published lady type person, you can get in on this virtual touring. Here's
an FAQ and contact info.
We are now adding candidates to our waitlist.

But for today, Imma talk to Current Member, Jennifer Lynn Barnes about her recent release, TATTOO

It’s the story of four friends, four tattoos. And one ancient evil.

Bailey Morgan isn't the type of girl who shows a lot of skin, but she and her three best friends---quiet Annabelle, tomboy Zooey, and trendsetting Delia---all apply temporary tattoos. The tattoos will last for three days, and Delia's sure that with them, the four friends will absolutely kill at the school dance. Unfortunately, killing is just what someone has in mind, and Bailey, Delia, Annabelle, and Zo are in for the battle of their lives. Along with her tattoo, each girl receives a gift—a supernatural power to help them in their fight to save the world. And if they can get Delia to stop using her newfound power to turn gum wrappers into Prada pumps, they might actually stand a chance.

Booklist says, "Imagine the gang from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series with magic tattoos... Spunky, fun-loving, and sometimes cranky teen-girl friendships and realistic dialogue propel this character-driven, fast-paced read."

JJ: What do you think of your cover and how does it compare to the cover
you imagined when you were writing the book?

tattoocov.jpeg

JLB: The cover of TATTOO is actually almost exactly how I pictured it, down
to the glitter effects they used for the title. My editor has been
really great about asking for input on things like covers, and I had a
really specific idea in mind about what I wanted for tattoo- a girl,
viewed from the back, with her shirt riding up to reveal a tattoo, and
the title written blue-green glitter. The only change they made was
to make it so that the tattoo in the lower back WAS the title, which I
thought was brilliant.


JJ: I know you are a blogger ,too. Why do you do it? Does it feed you or take energy from you?

JLB: I started my blog a few months after I sold my first book, and
honestly, it was one of those deals that your mother always warned you
about, with everyone else jumping off a cliff and you deciding to
jump, too. A large number of my writing friends were blogging, and it
seemed like it would be a good way to keep in touch with readers.
Now, though, I love doing it! I've heard from a lot of readers who
wouldn't have otherwise contacted me, and it's been a great way to get
to know some other writers. Plus, now that I'm living abroad, I
really love sharing the little things that amuse me, like my
introduction to British slang and my temptation to go over to the dark
side and start drinking English tea. I've never kept a journal of any
kind before, so it's nice to be able to look back at the older blog
entries and remember what I was doing two years ago.


JJ: Tell us about the group of friends that made you want to write a
friendship story.

JLB: I started Tattoo the summer in between my sophomore and junior years
in college. Right before I started writing, my closest friends and I
had decided to move out of our residential college and into annex
housing, which basically meant that we got this really wonderful two
story suite with more bedrooms than we had people, two bathrooms, and
a plush common room. Even before we started living together, we
became really close, and by the time I went back to do revisions and
edits on Tattoo, our group was inseparable. This was really my first
time with a group of friends who were as tight-knit as the girls in
the book are with each other, and that made writing Tattoo that much
more fun. To me, the book is as much about the friendships that saw
me through the writing of the book as it is about the story itself.

Posted by joshilyn at 5:37 AM | Comments (10)

January 28, 2007

So...

It wasn’t a match.

Well, it was for ME. He seemed to be half bluetick hound, half SOFA, drooly and noble and fat and inert. I LOVE all those things in a dog. But he wasn’t terribly interested in PLAYING. The toy selection, from Frisbee to bouncy ball to pull rope, left him cold. The DOG BED section, however, caused him to become so excited that he ALMOST raised an eyebrow.

The eyebrow twitch was the equivalent of a regular dog screaming in ecstasy and wetting himself, that’s how low key this dog was. We tried to get him to go for a jog, and we made it half way down the small pet aisle before he slowed and stopped and flopped down to think things over. This dog was made to be a throw rug in a novelist’s office, and I loved him and wanted him, and the kids loved him and wanted him because he was, you know, a DOG, but Scott….well, Scott is our voice of reason.

If the dog was for ME ME ME ALL ME, we would have taken him home and that would have been the end of it. But the dog who is our dog must be multi purpose. He needs to have throw-rug-like capabilities, but he also must hit the trail for jogs with Scott and play in the yard with the kids.

By CHANCE. the rescue organization had brought one of the other three dogs that we had liked on paper. His name was Brad, the one I called “a mostly bassett sort of object” when I was listing the ones we’d flirted with. I had chosen to make the date with the Bluetick because the…B’object let’s call him for short, the B’object was on the small side (35 pounds, and likely to top out under 40) on the young side (10 months old is a puppies, and a puppies EAT SHOES) and it didn’t SAY he was housebroken.

Scott said, “Since he is HERE and we liked his internet profile enough to mark him as a favorite, it’s silly not to meet him before we take the carpet dog home. Let’s just have a chat with him.”

So, we leashed him up and took him out for a spin around PetSmart.

“YOU ARE A PUPPIES” I said to him. “DO YOU EAT SHOES?”
He said, “Absolutely not. Unless, you know, I FIND one. And you aren’t looking.”

Goodness, but Brad was a charmer. He was SO not an alpha dog, so submissive he OBEYED MAISY and then practically genuflected when we passed an aggressive looking Guinea Pig in an aquarium. This was important and ON OUR LIST because we have a definite ALPHA cat at home and NO ONE is interested in four weeks of ANIMAL DOMINANCE WARS playing out from attic to basement and beyond.

We took him to the cat room to see how he did and he was interested in cats, but NOT in the same EAT IT! EAT IT! way he had been interested in hoovering a Danish off a low countertop. Just tail waggy, and cautious and HELLO CAT! (Digression: WHO PUTS A HUGE PLATTER OF DANISH out on LOW counter in a PESMART? Some lucky shopper got a delicious cheese and dog suck Danish after we passed by.) He was energetic and rompy but NOT A SPAZ even though he is just a baby, really. When he got wildly excited he wriggled his middle and made a humming Yoy-yoy-yoy noise in his throat.

BARKY LEAPY dogs spook Maisy and she’s little enough still that a big careless spazzy dog could knock her down, so low key was one of the things on top of our list. But even low key, he was high energy and so INTERESTED in the four us-----very people oriented dog. Had a simple and immediate need to be friends and was also a DARLING on the leash, didn’t jerk or fight to lead, so that Sam could easily walk him and even Maisy walked him with supervision.

In short, the B’object charmed us all nearly to death.

The ONLY con of B’object was that he didn’t smell like a dog. He smelled like ONE THOUSAND DOGS. All the dogs smelled like one thousand dogs due to communal living, so we definitely put BATH on the agenda for today. Yes, for today, I said, because he is here. We brought the B’object right home, and he is currently flopped out in my office modeling his throw rug capabilities, exhausted from the stress of sniffing every square foot of this house.

THE CHALLENGES:

He IS a puppy. 10 months old is NOT a dog yet. He has several puppy-style missions lined up, including getting ahold of and eating AT LEAST one pair of headphones. We have about 10 sets lying around for various computer games and the CAR DVD system we put in for long trips, and he REALLY wants to eat a set or three. I have taken headphones from his maw and replaced them with rawhide more than 12 times now. Other missions include:

DECAPITATING MAISY’S HELLO KITTY DOLL
PASSING GAS SO VIRULENT IT MAKES YOUR EYEBALLS SMOKE AND BUBBLE AND MELT
NEVER POOPING (he has peed outside and only outside 4 times now, and this morning I let him out of his crate and he headed straight to the door, ran across the deck and down the stairs, and peed a copious amount the second he felt his feet hit grass. Then, business complete, he came right back in. I think he has the CONCEPT of where the bathroom is, but I REALLY want to see poo hit lawn before I will stop dragging him outside every hour and exhorting his intestines to void.)

We let the kids RENAME the B’object, because, dude, I’m not having a dog named Brad. It sounds like a posh, young financial planner with blown back blonde hair and enormous white caps who grins at you while wearing golf slacks and says, “The market is SO Bullish I’m thinking of investing in COWS, AhhhHa haha!” No, thanks. He was actually named BRAD because he came in with a sister (She’d already been adopted by the time we met Brad) and they called HER Angelina. See? But Brad without an Angelina sounds so…Protestant.

We asked the rescue ladies what breed the B’object was, because it was CLEAR some NON Bassett Hound someone had gotten over on a Bassett mama, and she said, “Half Bassett half Beagle. SO that makes him a…wait for it…a Bagel!”

Sam thought that was hilarious, and I like because it has a B sound at the front, which will make for an easy name transition.

And so, here is our future dog and current headphone obsessed puppy, completely exhausted from the rigors of being adopted –the Former Mister Bradley B’object, henceforth and forever to be known as Bagel:
bagel.jpg

Posted by joshilyn at 8:22 PM | Comments (39)

January 26, 2007

I Have a Date! WITH A DAWG!

The demented yellow fox is an unknown quality with cats. I can't have anyone marching boldly into the house and immediately eating Schubert. Schubert would not like it, and, most probably, he is toxic with villainous feline resins and would kill the dog, too, leaving me petless except for a fleet of gerbils...

I made a date to meet the bluetick hound, who according to his matchdog.com profile likes
kids and cats and grown ups and other dogs and long walks on the beach and old Meg Ryan movies, except the one where she gets arbitrarily mashed by a truck while she is taking a "FEEL FREEDOM AND REAL LOVE AND TRUE ALIVENESS FOR THE FIRST TIME" inagural ride on a bicycle. I hate that movie, too, so perhaps the dog and I will be a love match. Details as they unfold.

This morning in the bed I said to Scott, YOU KNOW! When we meet the dog, we need have PREPPED the kids to not LOOK at the dog and say OH YES I WANT THE DOG OH YES YES YES BECAUSE IT IS A DOG ANY DOG AND I WANT IT.

Him: Well, we've pretty clearly explained what responsibilities will fall upon whom and what dog ownership entails...

Me: Yes, but we also, I think, need to explain what WE want in a family dog and encourage THEM to articulate what THEY want from the dog, maske a list of the kinds of qualities they want their dog to have, size and temperment and such, to teach them NOT to be impulsive abotu animals but to make good decisions because we'll have the dog for a decade or more if we are lucky. SO the kids need BEFORE WE GO come up with a list of what they want in a dog.

Scott: By the kids, you mean SAM, right?

Me: Yes, I mostly mean Sam.

Scott: Because Maisy's list would stay stuff like, He should be Pink. And able to fly.

He is right. SO! Sam is looking for a dog that likes to play fetch. likes "froosby" and cats and who might consent to sleep in his room. Sam is looking forward to the date, too----here is our gentleman caller:

foster.jpg

Posted by joshilyn at 12:58 PM | Comments (16)

January 25, 2007

Me Type Pretty One Day

I can see in the comments that it’s time once again to drag out my standard TYPO, MISSPELLING, I FREELY ADMIT I SUCK AND I AM SHAMELESS AN|D UNREPENTANT IN MY SUCKAGE Blog disclaimer.

(Jeff, you didn’t leave an e-mail addy, or I woulda just shot you the version of this I have saved in my DRAFTS folder to send to spankers when I become a spankee for my deplorable typing and my pernicious and pervasive lack of attention to grammatical detail in my blog entries, but I didn’t; have an addy and it HAS been a while since I’ve covered this, so HERE WE GO!)

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I spend 20 minutes a day on blog entries. MAYBE thirty if I have a lot to say. I don't proof read and I often don't take the time to spell check. It's just off the cuff casual writing, and I don't correct it anymore than I would correct an error in my puffy pink spangled diary with the heart shaped lock on it. The entries are ALL ALL ALL ridden with typos and spelling errors and homo- errors both nym and phone, and they aren’t going to get any better. I apologize to all anal people in the universe in advance, abjectly and sincerely. It’s just going to be this way.

I know there are some folks out there who can TYPE with out looking, and they can STREAM these NEAT ALMOST TYPO ERROR FREE sentences out and never say IT’S when they mean ITS. I am not one of them. I am a different type. I am the tupe that has a HUGE cabinet and it has MANY MANY MANY Tupperware containers in it, and MANY MANY MANY Tupperware lids, and none of them go with each other. I have a bag of one socks I call the island of lost socks, and I cannot fit a car, not even a little mini EURO STYLE CAR into my garage because it is full of books and half finished painting projects including a kitchen hutch that has ONE coat of blue on it from when we moved into the new house. I am cannot even claim that I do everything half assed. I do things QUARTER assed at best.

If I put the kind of time/thought/effort into this blog that I put into my novels, I wouldn’t actually have time/energy/brain space to WRITE the novels. Warner would stop paying me and I would probably have to stop writing altogether and get some sort of actual JOB which, given my COMPLETE LACK of useful skills, I would probably have to trick someone with my masters degree into thinking I might make a good middle school English TEACHER. Do you know what I mostly did while I was getting my masters degree, Jeff? I mostly sampled BEERS OF |THE WORLD and helped my friends organize MAIL BIN racing up and down the hallowed halls of academia. That was where we would climb into giant mail bins and have boys push us down the halls at warp speed. THIS IS WHAT I DID FOR MY OFFICE HOURS IN GRAD SCHOOL. Do you REALLY want to give me free reign over some young minds?

No, you cannot want that. Especially here in the already burdened schools in the state of Georgia. We're already the state ranked forty-somethingth for “educational non-suckingness”, and NO ONE wants me bumbling around a classroom getting distracted by shiny things while teaching America's children the incorrect uses of there, their and they're.

Think of the children, Jeff, and let it go.
PS, I still like you too.

EVIL VET UPDATE: I wrote a letter. In a few days, when I am less angry, I will read it obver and revise it to be less FOAMING WITH INSANE BLACK RAGE, and then I will send it in.

DOG UPDATE: The beautiful dog got adopted by another while I was dealing with chicken pox/impetigo/contact dermatitis. We are back on the match.com dog love market, and I am winking at a blue tick coonhound, a mostly bassett sort of object, and this weird pale dog with smiley eyes who looks a demented yellow fox. They are all NEARLY right and one may be our dog. We’ll have to go meet them.

Posted by joshilyn at 1:53 PM | Comments (12)

January 23, 2007

The E.V. Strikes Back. Or Out. Or I Strike Him.

I’ve been trying to update what happened and becoming REALLY REALLY SEE RED angry and walking away to foam at the mouth and CLEAN things. I HATE to clean things, but I’ve taken the Comet and gone after the kitchen counter twice now after trying to write the follow up to EVIL VET. I may have even called the counter “Dirty trollop! Dirty trollop!” under my breath as I scrubbed. Oh best beloveds, that there is the sign of a girl gone angry.

On Friday and Saturday , Maisy’s odd illness ended, and she never broke out at all,. She stopped feeling puny and returned to being Maisy. Sambot’s possible pox or Impetigoes darkened and crusted over, which seemed to indicate a modicum of healing was taking place. All seemed well and right in the eyes of the Lord.

On Sunday morning, Sam came downstairs a little after 6 am. I was working in my office, and he walked up behind me and said, “My eye feels funny.”

I turned around and had to fight the urge to scream. His eye was puffed SHUT. The entire right side of his face was lumpen and malformed and angry crimson welts, enraged welts, more like sores, had burst open al over it. BY seven a.m. we were in the ER. Where, incidentally all the computers were down.

There were other people in the waiting room. 4 were drunk. 2 were scary. 2 were actively bleeding. 1 was asleep with a jacket wound around his head to cover his eyes, like a blue velour turban with one sleeve dangling down like a tail. Only one of the drunk people was also one of the scary people. There were six 6 total. It’s like one of those MATH problems where you have to work out how many people are taller than Susan, only with Crabtrees. The only reason there were six instead of thirty was the time of day…

And not to digress but WHY! WHY! WHY is the ER always full of rednecks? Is it a SOCIAL thing with us? I got the GRITS gene and the gene that makes you able to smell a YARD SALE from 50 miles away and head inexorably toward it like a bloodhound (not to BUY things so much as for the illicit pleasures of looking at the people having it and looking at the secret things they’ve unstored from boxes and the backs of closets and then extrapolating their lives from what they think is trash in the dollar bin and what they have hugely overpriced because it has a personal value to them) yeah, next time you have a yard sale, BEWARE OF REDNECKS AND NOVELISTS, we are surely trying to dissect YOU… but I somehow missed the “gather at the ER and catch up with Aunt Polly’s latest divorce news” gene. BUT OH MY BEST BELOVEDS…it was a close thing. I may actually have the ER gene lurking somewhere in my bloodline, just recessive.

ANYWAY, one of the nurses there was a friend from church and after watching 30 minutes of, no, really, TURNER AND HOOCH on TBS, we got taken back to a room. A that point, I went out to the car and mercifully found THE EVIL B.B. CHOW
under the passenger seat.

So I didn’t have to watch Hooch fling drool and Turner fling hyperbole any more, and NOT TO DIGRESS but --- Steve Almond can write him some short stories. I don’t even LIKE short stories, hardly EVER read them, the novel is my first and foremost love and I am generally faithful with maybe a wee dip into narrative non-fic when no one is looking----but wow. Wow. The Evil B.B. Chow ROCKS. I picked it up because I dug Which Brings Me to You , and then got it home and realized it was shorts and never even cracked it…MY BAD MISTAKE.

SEE I am not wanting to tell this next part I am SO SO SO MAD. And I have used up all my blogging time digressing so SHORT VERSION…

The ER doc walks in GLANCES at Sam and says: Contact Dermatitis. This kid has gotten into some poison oak or something.

My head exploded.

1) Sam is HUGLY allergic to poison oak and ivy – that’s in his chart. Which evil vet had RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. It never occurred to him, even though he flat told me he didn’t know WHAT it was.

2) 90% of the red dots were on one side of the body, which ER Vet said is common, almost USUAL for Contact Dermatitis and should have helped an early diagnosis---and EVIL VET even said “Wow its all one side. Weird.”

3) Emergency Vet said if he had been on steroid cream from the day it showed up, he would not have needed to miss ANY school and the welts would be gone by now. NOW it will take a COUPLE OF WEEKS of MISERABLY puffy red itching. The devil wants me to coat some paper in Poison Oak oils and write E.V. a THANKS FOR THE TWO WEEKS OF EXTRA DISCOMFORT note on it…

4) When he asked what EVIL VET had proscribed, and I pulled out the meds, he looked at the VERY EXPENSIVE CREAM that COULD NOT BE GENERIC and that we ABSOLUTELY NEEDED and his eyebrows went up and he looked at me and said, tellingly, “Put this in the trash. You don’t need this. You don’t need this even if it WAS impetigo.” Um. Yeah.

5) LAST but not least, PAT IN THE COMMENTS SAYS “Flesh eating bacteria is caused by Strep not Staph. Evil Vet was absent that day in school.” And the day they did poison oak. And chicken pox. He was, however, NO DOUBT at that steak dinner with 180 dollar a bottle wine the drug rep invited him to….

Posted by joshilyn at 4:04 AM | Comments (29)

January 19, 2007

The Long and Whining Road (that Leads to E.V.)

Day before yesterday, the girlchild stayed home with me because she was wheezy and sickish. Then Sam’s school called and asked me to come get him. Because he had broken out in Chicken Pox.

Me: Oh no, he dit’n’t!
School nurse: Oh yes, he did!
Me: But he has been vaccinated.
School Nurse: Tell that to these red bumps all over him…

We had to go see the pediatrician to confirm chicken pox, so the school could send out a STAR TREK RED DOT ALERT if it was indeed the Pox. Unfortunely, at my REALLY NICE pediatrician’s super big Wal Mart of a practice, the only doc available to see us ASAP was the one I call The Evil Vet. He is about as helpful as a teaspoon of gasoline poured directly into the eye, but not quite as pleasant.

I had the FIRST appointment of the day yesterday, and got up at the crack of dawn to work and work out and still get my kids up and ready and battled rush hour traffic to arrive well before my scheduled 8:30. They were UNLOCKING the doors and turning the lights on when I arrived, so you can’t tell me EVIL VET was already behind because he was caring for patients who needed his sage input. I was the FIR|ST appointment…yet Evil Vet managed to avoid seeing us before 9:15 anyway. He was probably late because he had to vivisect some kittens, or perhaps he was right outside the door the whole time, giggling as I tried to entertain two miserable sick children in a windowless cube for close to an hour.

He spent maybe ten minutes with me all told, and if it had been eleven, oh my best beloveds, I would have committed murder, truffles or no truffles. Here are the LOW POINTS of our AWFUL conversation.

Me: Is it chicken pox.
Him: No idea.
Me: …. Do you think it might be chicken pox?
Him: It might. Or might not.
Me: Because if it LIKELY to be chicken pox the school needs to send out a note. Would you say it is likely?
Him: he was vaccinated, so he shouldn’t;have the But sometimes they get them anyway. I do not think it is chicken pox. But it might be.
Me: Okay. So what do you think it is?
Him: Something else.

At that point, I attempted to strangle him with his own stethoscope. After he had escaped me and gotten enough breath back to speak, he managed to allow that he suspected it was something I had never heard of, called IMPETIGO.

Me: Is that viral or is it a bacteria?
Him: Bacteria. A form of staph infection
Me; So, will he need antibiotics?
Him: If it is impetigo he will need antibiotics, but if it is chicken pox, he won’t.
Me: …How can we tell?
Him: We can’t.
Me: …. So …what should I do?
Him: I think I’ll TREAT it like impetigo, and if it goes away, it WAS impetigo, but if it doesn’t then it may still be chicken pox. Or something else.
Me: So how likely is it that this is impetigo? Is that a COMMON thing?
Him: It’s common, but it’s the same organism that they call “Flesh Eating” bacteria, if you have heard of that.
Me: WHAT? OH DEAR GOD! ARE YOU SAYING HE HAS FLESH EATING BACTERIA????
Him: No. But it can BECOME flesh eating bacteria.
Me: OH DEAR GOD! IS THAT LIKELY? WHAT WOULD WE DO THEN???
Him: Then we hospitalize him and try intravenous antibiotics and hope they work---it can be very resistant---
Me: HOW LIKELY IS THAT? OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!
Him: Oh, that almost never happens.
Me: …
Him: Well, you asked. Once you ASK I have a medical duty to answer you, you know. If you ask, I HAVE to tell you, even when it’s just silly things that will scare you. That’s the law.

So, yes, that’s right. HE said the words FLESH EATING BACTERIA to me. I did not ASK that, I did not say SO IS IT FLESH EATING BACTERIA? He said the words. Then he ENJOYED me panicking and then USED my panic to scare me to encourage me to NOT to ask him, the doctor of my children, questions. OH HE IS SO EVIL!!!!

Here’s the best part. While he was explaining what he was proscribing, my kids were PINGING OFF THE WALLS. I was SO tired I was having trouble following him, and I turned to them and said, “Guys, I am trying to listen okay? I need you to be still and quiet so I can get these instructions. Seriously, Mom has had it. Zip the lips and let me hear.”

When I turned back to him, he had drawn himself up and was doing his best to look at me in what he may have thought was a KINDLY and AVUNCULAR manner, but since he is evil it came out more like he was dyspeptic. THEN HE SAID TO ME, O REALLY HE DID, HE AID TO ME:

You know, you don’t have to impress me. Your kids are well behaved and you seem to be doing a good job as a mother. This is a PEDIATRICIAN’S office. We know how kids are. Relax, quit worrying what I think of your parenting skills and let them be kids.”

No, really. He said that to me. REALLY.

Me: Sir, I have been up since 3:45 this morning. I’m tired, I need to hear what you are telling me. (and here the ENORMOUS load of things that I did NOT say ---- including, but not limited to, “YOU THINK I CARE WHAT YOU THINK OF ME??? HAHAHAHHAHAHA! ASK ME WHAT I THINK OF YOU.” and “SUCK IT, DORKHEAD” ---- was so weighty that it caused my spleen to burst)

Him: Well that information will be on the bottle.

THEN!!!! We waited ANOTHER 45 minutes at the pharmacy because he didn’t write how many times a day Sam should be dosed which medicine!!!! HA! So we sat there while the pharmacist called to find out. Evil Vet sat in his office eating live kittens and not calling back and rubbing his evil tummy and cackling to himself and NOT CALLING BACK and then still not calling back some more.

ALSO, The pharmacist called me over and said E.V. had proscribed a CREAM form of the topical antibiotic. The CREAM has no generic and cost me 45 bucks, while the OINTMENT has a generic and would have cost me ten. The pharmacist said it was the same thing and equally effective, and did I want him to change it. Evil Vet has proscribed for me three times now --- when I could not get a different doc---- and he ALWAYS writes things with no generic and he ALWAYS refuses to change them. Well, you know, when you feed only on human tears and the tenderest cuts of baby puppies, you need those drug company kick-backs. Human tears don’t come cheap.

I LOVE my pediatrician, but I may have to change just to never be in a building with that spawn of hell again.

UPDATE: Due to RED BUMPS we have not gotten to meet the dog yet. Sam stops being contagious today, so I am trying to set something up. OH BUT WOW I LIKETHAT DOG’S FACE! ALSO, ask me how much work I am getting done with two sick kids sproinging around? GO ON, ask!

Posted by joshilyn at 7:06 AM | Comments (22)

January 16, 2007

A Conversation with Universal Commenter

….that is YOU, except I am folding ALL of you into a single person for the sake of tidy dialog. Will you mind the folding less if I tell you are five eleven and a size six with FANTASTIC wavy hair? You are like TELEVISION pretty, not real life pretty. You are also misty and ethereal, as if you are being filmed through CHEESECLOTH!

In fact, as I sit here in my exercise pants with my toe polish chipped and my dirty hair in a ponytail, I wish I was folded into the amalgamated you. But then we wouldn’t have anyone to talk to. Also, gentlemen, before you get irked that you are being forced into girl shoes, please realize that I have given you a perky bosom, and that here in this great country of America, you have the unalienable right to spend the whole conversation looking at yourself naked in the mirror.

ANYWAY. Here is our talk.

You: Well, I just bought Gods ----

Me: OMG! You just got PRETTIER!!! How did you DO that?

You: I know, right? Anyway, now I have to get Between! Is it on Audible?

Me: Why yes, it is.

You: HOLY CRAP! What is THAT?

Me: That’s Schubert. The cat.

You. You weren’t kidding…Is it possible that Schubert has... I don't know... a thyroid problem?

Me: Vet says no.

You: Maybe he is borderline diabetic?

Me: Maybe he is borderline a walrus.

You: Maybe he is eating somewhere else too?

Me: He is an indoor cat. With the one eye and the strong desire to murder all other cats, we don’t think outside is a good option for him. But he could be ordering in Chinese food.

You: Crab Rangoon FTL. Schubert NEEDS A CAN OF TUNA!
Me: Schubert needs a can of whoop-ass. He is very dastardly and I bet when my Amex bill comes, I’ll see 795 dollars worth of eggrolls have been dropped off here while we were sleeping.

You: Is it more of a Maisy-feeds-him-constantly-when-you're-not-looking problem?

Me: DING! DING! DING! I suspect the cat is subverting my minions and making them feed him. I see no other explanation.

You: Your cat apparently has my metabolism.

Me: Dude, you’re a size six. Shut. Up. The cat has MY metabolism.

You: Four actually. I lost a whole size so I could go star in The Devil Wears Prada Two. I had something similar happen with our diabetic schnauzer. He finally had to go on diabetic low-cal, low-fat, tastes-like-shingles-in-little-kibble-shaped-bites dog food.

Me: Yeah Schubert is ON THAT FOOD too. HOW did he gain two pounds on DIET CAT FOOD?

You: I return to the Maisy theory, and suggest she is floating the kibbles in cream like it was French cereal.

Me: *dour* I need diet kibble, too. I exploded over Christmas.

You: And yet, and yet, you have an odd glow about you. Are you perhaps, why yes, you ARE! I recognize that doe-eyed googley look. YOU ARE IN LOVE!

ME: WHY YES I THINK I MAY WELL BE! You are gorgeous AND intuitive, and if you would JUST stop staring at your own topless image in that shopfront window we might become best friends. But anyway, I do not know if it is LOVE, but I have a crush. I have been cruising the personal ads online, and I think I MAY have found a match for my family. Hpefully we will get to have a coffee date with him in the next few days and see if we click.

You: Did he post a picture?

Me: Yes. Peep this face:
misterdog.jpg

Posted by joshilyn at 5:03 AM | Comments (25)

January 14, 2007

SUPER GOOD and then CRAP!

SUPER GOOD: I just found out that the audio version of Between, Georgia has won a LISTEN-UP AWARD from Publisher’ Weekly in the category “AUTHOR-READ FICTION.” I am revoltingly pleased, especially since Between also made AudioFile's Best Audiobooks of 2006 list.

Remember how nervous I was about reading it? I had been told that the mike is SO SENSITIVE it can pick up your HEARTBEAT, so instead of just being horrified that I might read poorly and ruin my book, I had an STACKING horror that I might pass AUDIBLE PERMANENTLY RECORDED gas in front of MALE PERSONS OF THE BOY PERSUASION.

Good times. Good times. Anyway, it seems neither thing came to pass (so to speak). Publisher’s Weekly and Audiofile don’t seem to think I ruined my book, AND I remained a lady, let us euphemistically say, for all four long days of taping. Although right about noon on day one my producer, Bob, said, “I can tell we need to break for lunch,” because the mike was picking up my stomach rumbles. I immediately died and fell into a hole and have been there, dead of humilialtion, ever since. *waves from bottom of hole.*

ON THE OTHER HAND: My cat is extremely fat. SO fat he cannot clean any part of himself except his front paws. So fat I will no longer take him to the vet. Scott has to take him because I don’t want to get yelled at.

So about 2 months ago, I decided that my cat had to change his life.

“Schubert,” I said to him, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.”

His single eye glared balefully at me and he said, “You have clearly never tried Iam’s.”

Never the less, I set out to DIET him and exercise him. I measure a scant cuplet of cat food out at the beginning of the day. He is a WRECK over this and HAS been a wreck for two months. He wails and follows me around and suffers great palpable sufferings. ALL DAY LONG I dole his ration out to him, a bite at a time, because igf I give it to him in meals he becomes so bothersome and distraught between them that I can’t get anything done.

TWO MONTHS OF THIS, PEOPLE. Two months of Schubert leaping at my legs every morning and tripping me and dragging me by my hair to his food bowl. Two months of him waking me up by poking me OVER AND OVER with his relentless poke-toe all night, and then galloping like a madman downstairs to his food bowl whenever he gets me stirred up enough to raise my head and cuss him.

YESTERDAY he went to the vet and got his shots and a nice flea dip and ….weighed. Since he was last there, in November, the ()&@*^@&($%^_%@(&@ cat has GAINED two pounds. It defies physics and logic and justice and truth and reason. I give. I am going now to dump him out an enormous bowlful. Fat wins.

Posted by joshilyn at 11:54 AM | Comments (17)

January 11, 2007

3 Questions: Melissa Senate

YOU HAVE TO READ MELISSA SENATE'S BAD BOYFRIEND STORY IN THIS INTERVIEW. You will be SO sorry if you do not. But first, three questions with me. You can pretend to be me and ask them, and I will pretend to be a guest and answer you as you rpetend to be me. Put on a serious interview face, please.

You, pretending to be me: Will you be blogging on MYSPACE instead of here?

Me, pretending to be a guest: No. I will be here with you always because you are my favorite. But I will prolly put up some entries from the category ESPECIAL PET FAVORITES over there with links back to here to try and lure unsuspecting MySpacers off into the Kudzu. *evil eyebrows*

Y,PTBM: Did You FanGrrl Plotz when Ze Frank checked the yes box on your MySpace DO YOU LIKE ME WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND note?

M,PTBAG: Absolutely not.

Y,PTBM: YOU ARE A GREAT BIG LIAR! YOU DID TOO PLOTZ! Did that smart, funny writer you like, what’s her name, she wrote that book you told me to read that I am JUST about to go buy…what was her name..OH! YES! Laura Florand? Did she ever send you the promised truffles if you told the boobs stuck under the bed in Paris story?

M,PTBAG: Yes. She did. And they were SO amazing and rich and dark with little bits of CHERRY in them that I now am her worshipful slave. In fact I am about to go commit murder, serious bad murder, so that I can come on the blog and say “Well THIS ONE TIME I committed murder, but I am not going to tell about it,” just in the FAINT hope that she will say “OH! If you tell about it, I will send more truffles.”

Now it’s Melissa's turn to answer a 3 questions about her upcoming title,
I Love You to Death.

Senate wrote SEE JANE DATE which was made into a movie starring Charisma Carpenter who played Cordelia Chase on BUFFY and ANGEL which were both JOSS WHEDON projects, and since I am an enormous geek who plays an almost CONSTANT game of 6 Degrees of JOSS WHEDON, and since Melissa Senate is only FIVE degrees from Joss Wedon, I of course heart her forever and will be getting this book next time I leave the house. It sounds like all kinds of good, dirty fun to me anyway, so the Joss Whedon thing is bonus:

I will let Melissa tell you what the book is about in the interview, but know that Publisher’s Weekly said, “Readers will cheer Abby every step of the way as she tries to clear her name and find her prince.”

JJ: What's a day in your life like?

MSWIPBFFWJW**: My four-year-old, Max, is my alarm clock. 7:21 a.m like clockwork! (Bbetween ages 2 and now, he woke up at 5am every day, so I’m grateful for 7:21. He climbs onto my bed, where we play Superman (Max is Superman and I’m either the evil bad guy or someone needing rescuing), then two rounds of hide and seek (he always hides in the same place), and then when I return from dropping him off at preschool at 8:45, I sit down to write. Well, I sit down to answer emails, take care of administrative stuff (like, right now I’m finalizing arrangements for a reading and an appearance at a book festival), read my favorite blogs, and then I write. Till 2pm. Yesterday I got so stuck and couldn’t think my way out of it, so I did three loads of laundry and mid transfer of washer to dryer, the solution came to me! Love how that works. After 3pm, it’s all about my son until his bedtime at 8:30. Then I read until my bedtime, which is boringly early these days.

JJ: What is the relationship between writing and motherhood? (I mean this in a personal way -- for you. Does one feed the other, are they similar for you, does doing one make doing the other harder, do these things compete or come from the same place or? What?

MSWIPBFFWJW**: My first novel was published the very month my son was conceived, and I wrote my second novel during the first six months of his life. I can’t tell the difference, emotionally, between the two books. My writing didn’t change, which is interesting. It seems that I am who I am. That sounds crazy, because surely motherhood has changed me. And my writing would reflect that. But it doesn’t seem to be the case in my writing. I think that’s true because what I like to explore in my fiction seems so separate to me from my son and what motherhood is to me. I’m now a single mother, and lemme tell you, that will inform my writing. Whoo boy.

I do think motherhood, single or not, makes writing harder. When I wrote my debut (childless!), I stayed up till 2 a.m. to write. Hopped out of bed at 4 a.m with an idea. Every spare moment I had went into writing. Now, every spare minute I have is devoted to my son; my writing time is my working time, and I’m lucky that I’m supporting myself with my writing because otherwise I would be writing at night only, after Max’s bedtime and I would be a zombie! I work very hard to keep the two—writing and Max—separate. Otherwise, while playing Superman or hiding, I would be thinking of chapter seven.

senatecov.jpeg

JJ: Tell us about LOVE YOU TO DEATH and THE BOYFRIEND YOU MOST WANTED TO KILL:

MSWPIBFFWJW**: Abby Foote’s worst ex-boyfriends (the biggest slimes, weasels, asshats) are on someone’s hit list. Everyone, including family and a very hot Portland police detective, thinks that someone is Abby herself. With the hot detective on her trail, Abby sets out to clear her name and find out who’s either trying to frame her . . . or do her a warped favor.

Yes, indeedie, there are a few former boyfriends that I could imagine meeting a grim fate. My worst ex-boyfriend I’ll call Tiny. I needed Tiny to pick me up from the hospital after I had an invasive procedure involving my esophagus and a balloon and anesthesia. Tiny wasn't much of the pick-you-up-from-hospital type, but he finally agreed (oh thanks!). As he helped me (still dazed) outside, he did not say, “Did it go well? How do you feel?” He said: “You know what I don’t understand? You like your hair when you blow dry it straight. And I like your hair when you blow dry it straight. So why did you leave it curly today?” Could he have cared an iota less about me? The answer was no. We broke up that day and I did wish a television would mysteriously fall out a window and land on his head. But then I took it back. Didn’t take him back, though!

**MSWIPBFFWJW means “Melissa Senate who is practically BFF (best friends forever) with Joss Whedon.” In case you were wondering.

Posted by joshilyn at 9:53 AM | Comments (14)

January 9, 2007

Peer Pressure and THE LIBRARY FAIRY

I have bowed to peer pressure from Karen Abbott. SHE MAKES ME DO STUFF. But no one else answers the phone by saying, “Oh Dude, My Dude” instead of HELLO when she sees it is me on the caller ID, so I have to do what she says. Friends who will custom craft a greet for you must be preserved.

SO because she is the boss of me, I am trying to create a MY SPACE page. TRYING is the operative word here. I can’t work it and so far my only friend is TOM the FAQ ‘bot. ALSO, my My Space Page is very uppity and independent and a BIG LIAR who says things about me that are not true.

Right now it says I am a single and I do not want kids when actually I am married and it is about ten years and two kids too late for that last decision….Basically my My Space page is not really MY space yet. If it was a puppy, it would be pooping on my floor while chewing the heel off my black boots and it wouldn’t even glance up or PAUSE if I screamed, NO NO NO.

SERIOUSLY – if you KNOW how to change the SINGLE and KIDS options on the profile box, can you SLOWLY and CLEARLY explain it in the comments? Use small words.


Find me on MySpace and be my friend!

I like the cut and paste message so did not change it. It sounds so HOPEFUL….
“Find me on MySpace and be my friend” is the techno-geek equiv of “DO YOU LIKE ME I LIKE YOU CHECK ONE BOX I HOPE IT IS THE YES BOX!”

I am going to put up songs I like JUST AS SOON AS I LIKE A SONG and books I like and movies and TV and more pictures and do a SHOCKINGLY ugly background that looks like multiple toddlers threw up
Rabbit Annie’s Parmesan Peace Pasta onto purple velour and I shall also have links and maybe even GAMES… just as soon as I can learn to work it well enough for it NOT to say I am a single. And a baby hater.

LAST but NOT LEAST, I have to tell you about CAPTAIN RAY and I hope he doesn’t mind being called THE LIBRARY FAIRY. Or CAPTAIN RAY. Both of which sound like a disturbing person who may or may not be wearing hip boots, and that’s not him. Really. Ray is ALL KINDS OF THE AWESOME, and he did something really cool for his local library that was ALSO really super cool for me, personally. I practically got misty. It’s something YOU can do too, with my books or with ANY book you LOVE BEST and think needs to be out there and more available…You can read about his
secret captain good fairy doings on his blog.

If you can’t be my MY SPACE FRIEND because you can’t work the menus EITHER, you COULD go to his blog and thank him for being so groovy in his comments. And maybe say, “Nice Boots.”

UPDATE! Helpful John explained in an email HOW TO CHANGE the married thing...YAY!

Posted by joshilyn at 10:07 AM | Comments (20)

January 8, 2007

Quintessential Random

Yesterday afternoon, I headed out with Sam to endure Eragon, his reward for reading the entire 500 page book….he’s nine so that’s a pretty impressive read. I KNOW he actually read it, too, because he had to tell me in excruciating detail exactly how the book differed from the movie. There were manymanymany ways in which they differed. Many.

If you are a nine year old boy hoping for a lot of fantastical magic-based violence and no kissing, it is the best movie ever made. Period. If you are not a nine year old boy, it’s…probably not. I enjoyed it, but I shamelessly enjoyed Conan the Barbarian, Dragonslayer, and even Krull. So. Grain of salt. Even from a seasoned geek like me, the movie gets only a moderately cool thumb up, but I will break out TWO BIG FAT THUMBS WAY UP for the the big Smoke Dragon fight at the end.

ANYWAY. I was getting ready to leave with Sam for the movie and before heading out, I engaged in the following smatter of loving dialog with Mr. Husband.

Scott: I am going to run to Target while you are at the movie. Need anything?
Me: Izze pomegranate soda.
Him: Okay.
Me: Taking Maisy with you?
Him: *looks at me like I am being a nougat-head* As opposed to…
Me: Oh, I don’t know. You could tape her to something…
Him: Like the cat?
Me: Well, you COULD tape her to the cat but I would prefer you to tape her to something stable. Like the wall. Or this bannister.
Him: I suppose I could tape her to you.
Me: Nah. The movie will scare her.
Him: Yeah. Plus you already specified something stable.

AH hahahaha! He is so witty. Or he was so witty. Right up until I killed him and ate him.

Actually I did not kill him OR eat him. Mostly because Scott may have had a POINT in not taping Maisy to me. I am NOT particularly stable right now. I am sleep deprived and working to a schedule that can ONLY BE DESCRIBED as DROOLINGLY INSANE.

To Wit: I go to bed at 8 PM, same time as Miss Maisy. I get up ---no alarm, just pop up---somewhere between 1 am and 2am. I work on the book and maybe blog until somewhere between 4 am and 6 am. Then I go back to bed and nap for an hour or two. It’s crazy but it’s EFFECTIVE. I am liking the book more and more as I work in these small dead hours that belong to me and the cat alone.

The score right now is Book, 3, Mental Health, um, ZERO, but with a deadline looming February, I accept this as reasonable.

Apropos of nothing except the state of my union (the one between my left and right brain hemispheres, I mean, not my marriage) yesterday morning in church, we had a guest preacher, and I was ----well. Not stable. I was note passing like a naughty Tween, even though, evil as I have been recently, I probably could have stood to get a good scoop of preaching.

Me *writing along the edge of the announcements*: If we got a NICE BIGGISH DOG! We could cancel our security system. Because the dog would kill all the murderers that come trooping through.
Him: Yeah, and if we named the dog ACKERMAN, we could leave the security signs up in the yard and they would still be true.
Me: THAT IS BRIL! Can Ackerman be a LABRADOODLE?
Him: I was kidding.
Me: Oh.

I tried to listen to the sermon, and it was about how we are lambs; and how when we get lost, God leaves all his flocks and comes to find just US because our relationship with God is personal.

The preacher said, “God calls you back by NAME.”

And Scott passed me a note that said, “Sometimes I think I am the lamb that God calls “Dumb - - -.”

He really did the little LINES like that, not wanting, I suppose, to write the word “ass” on our church bulletin that we would most likely forget and leave in the pew covered with arguments pro (me) and con (him) LABRADOODLE and very little that could be considered Godly or even decently human.

Which really, don’t you think I NEED A DOG, right at this moment? RIGHT NOW? With the yard still not fenced and with a BIZARRE work schedule that is BOUND to lead to mental sleep dysphasia syndrome? I just made that syndrome up but I SUSPECT…

1) ...it causes one to eat hydrogenated-oil-filled-foods and then get one’s son’s super soaker water gun and fill it with unsweetened blue raspberry Kool-Aid and climb up a water tower to spray anyone wearing white on the theory that it is definitely AFTER Labor Day.

And

2) ...they already have a drug for it. And an obnoxious commercial for the drug that will tell you to please self diagnose and then ask your doc about the SPECIFIC drug you think you need because hey, they probably OWN your doctor and if you come in and ASK for it he will certainly scribble it on a pad for you. The commercial will tell you in great detail exactly what symptoms you need to trot out for your doc to give you the drug (“I can’t stop with the Twinkies, and even though I KNOW the fashion industry INVENTED WINTER WHITE a while back, I can’t help feel a helpless wash of blue tinged rage whenever I see someone wearing it in JANUARY...")

PS: The drug probably will wreck your liver and cause sexual dysfunction, but luckily, there are pills for THAT too.

Do I have to say the disclaimer? You know the one, about how I KNOW there are actually sick people who actually need drugs and that my issue isn’t with medicine but with COMMERCIALS that hawk pills like they were shiny red scooters? I don’t have to do that HERE, right?

The commercials work though--- someone is even buying all that CIALIS from the people who can’t spell the word “YOU” but who never the less think they are qualified to supply me with many fine prescription medications and who send me 50 – 100 emails every dern day to tell me so. I know the e-mails MUST be effective marketing to SOMEONE, because Viagra is being gobbled up by all kinds of guys, many of whom no more have “ED” than I have mental sleep dysphasia syndrome. Except I may have that. SO they no more have “ED” than I have… a Labradoodle. Named Ackerman.

I saw it on Scrubs, which is TELEVISION! So you KNOW it’s true. Plus then I risked all manner of truly creepy pR0n to GOOGLE it---the things I do for you! I must TRULY love you!--- But hidden in the festival of resulting ick, I found a slightly more credible source for the increased recreational use of Mr. Happy Pill----USA Today.

Some dark days, right about 4 am, the only thing that can make a girl feel cheerful about the state of the world is one of these…

Posted by joshilyn at 3:53 AM | Comments (19)

January 5, 2007

Stinky, Linky Love Day

Okay, this is cool---I heard from Cat Taber, the veryveryvery fine actor who read the audio version of gods in Alabama. She’s set up her own website which has all this SEXY FLASH. In film clips you can see stuff like Cat being SUPER MEAN to Reese Witherspoon in Just Like Heaven, and in AUDIO you can hear a chunk of her reading the STUFFING out of gods in Alabama.

BUSINESS: If you won memes, I WILL get to the post office before January is over. PINKY SWEAR. But I am slow, slow like the way you cook Chili, only less gassy. Wow. THAT Metaphor sure got away from me… ahem. Beg Pardon. I am SO tired. Been up working since about 1:15 this morning.

TOGWISS has decided to violently come together for me in a weird way that has me bolting upright in the middle of the night and heading down to tip and tap and poke and dab at my poor keyboard all through the hours when sensible people are dreaming about being mermaids and singing Johnny Depp off ships and then tugboating him off to a deserted island to feed him on Sushi and coconuts and ask him if he wouldn’t like to put on just a TEENY bit of eyeliner and dance around waving a cutlass---- Yeah. That one got away from me too. I’d best shut my cakehole.

My beloved friend Lydia had a video go VIRAL on YOU TUBE a bit ago. She’s a homeschooler and she’s set up a program where kids come to the library every week and do a book report. Her daughter, Sadie, is only TWO, but she does a book report because she can’t stand to let her older brother Benny get all the glory. It's hysterical...little SADIE got HECKLED!

There are two videos posted – you want to scroll down to the SECOND. There is a transcript below in case you do not speak toddler.
Run go see…

Posted by joshilyn at 5:34 AM | Comments (6)

January 2, 2007

The Boobs Stuck Under the Bed in Paris Story

I went to Paris when I was about 16 years old with a gaggle of big smartipantses from every high school in my hometown. The hard sell at the schools was that we would PRE-get college credit for going, because we would look at a LOT of art and open our fresh pink American mouths wide to experience great heaping tablespoons of culture.

Some true things about me in high school:

1) I was a GOOD kid. Except I had a foul mouth. I could, with pride, out-curse any chick in the school. In several languages. I could curse in languages I couldn’t use otherwise to ask where a bathroom was or even opine that my pencil was yellow. I considered it a vital part of a complete vocabulary.

But to mis-paraphrase the immortal Adam Ant, I didn’t smoke, I didn’t drink, and I most certainly did not “what do you do.” How many shoes did I have? Two. What kind were they? Goody. I had never had an alcoholic beverage before I went to Europe, barring perhaps a sip of oversweet communion wine when I went to a friend’s Episcopal service after a sleepover and maybe a parentally administered taste of champagne at New Years.

2) In my freshman year, I went from being five foot nothing with the figure of a broomstick to being 5’ 7” with a C cup front that can best be described as mighty. The Mighty Rack…and THAT perfect phrase is stolen willfully from Julie at A Little Pregnant who has one, too--- was the biggest part of me. It was absolutely my widest point. <---this will be important later.

While in Paris, one of the EDUCATIONAL SPOONS we were to open wide and swallow was a trip to The Moulin Rouge to see very culturally laden but often top-free singers and dancers and every table of four would get a bottle of REALLY FOR TRUE French Champagne so we could experience a mild French culture laden buzz. No drinking age in France, right?

My parents had discussed this with me BEFORE I went, and said part of the reason they asked me not to drink at home was that it was ILLEGAL, BUT that while in Europe they knew this Champagne thing was happening and also that a wine tasting thing would be happening in Italy, and they encouraged me to enjoy these events in Moderation while using my Good Judgment.

RIGHT! SO!

My good judgment told me that my friend Charlotte and I should CLEVRLY PLOT to be seated at a four top with these two girls from Catholic school who DID. NOT. DRINK. Charlotte and I downed the whole bottle between us. In the interests of culture, you understand.

Now, back at the hotel there was a beautiful lion man who ran the front desk. He was veryveryveryreallytruly French and he could not POSSIBLY have loathed us all more and he had deep limpid blue eyes and a noble nose and BLACK hair that had gone prematurely gray so it had I SWEAR TO YOU genuine silvery streaks and it was long and luxurious and thick and swept back into an ENORMOUS mane and all the girls loved to think of dumb reasons to go to the lobby to ask him things so he would sneeringly answer and make us all swoon.

When we had arrived he had stood NOBLE AND DRIPPING WITH MALE ANIMAL HOTNESS before our whole group in the lobby and said, in his elegant sexy-accent, “Foul teen spawns, drink not of the liquors in the mini bar, for I will look and know and tell on you, and you will be punish’ed most mightily.” And every girl there sort of sighed and dreamed of what the punishment might be while the boys said, “DAMMIT” under their collective breath.

So anyway, after the show, we went back to the hotel…

Charlotte and I are BEYOND buzzed. Were we SO enriched by culture we couldn’t walk a straight line. My ability to make good and wise decisions, never that keen to begin with, was wrapped in a cozy blanket of REALLY FOR TRUE French Champagne and it had already nodded off.

A few of the boys had this GREAT idea to TRICK the lion headed Man-beauty below.

They decided they would go from ROOM TO ROOM, to EVERY ROOM THERE WAS, and remove the caps from all the small bottles of CLEAR liquor in a delicate fashion so the little tabs did not break off and the little screw-caps could be put back exactly. Then they DRANK UP ALL THE CLEAR LIQUORS and refilled the bottles with water so they looked full and unmolested.

Oh best beloveds, my good judgment let out a lingering snore and declined to object when a boy I knew suggested it might be culturally enriching as ALL GET OUT to experience…

GIN.

He had already drunk up all the clear liquor in my room, so we went to the room of a tiny, pretty doe-eyed girl named Jodi Gup, who let us in to ravage her minibar. Okay, look, let me just say here that CHEAP LUKEWARM GIN IS VERY VERY BAD. It tastes like petrol and it burns and hurts. While I was busy choking to death, I accidentally DROPPED the little oh-so-carefully-removed cap and it went scampering off under Jodi Gup’s low bed.

Now, Gorgeous Lion Man-Beauty aside, this was not a ritzy place. This was a tour for HIGH SCHOOL KIDS. The TOILETS in the hotel were FRIGHTENING FLOOR HOLE LOOKING THINGS (<---this will be important later) and the beds were these low slung metal objects that looked like what would happen if a cot and a bear trap had a baby. I got down on the floor to go after the cap, but the earth started to spin REALLY SUPER FAST so I turned onto my back. Then I pushed myself along the floor with my feet, stuffing myself under Jodi’s low bed, going after the cap.

There was this sort of BAR THING under there and I managed to goozle the mighty rack UNDER the bar. My head hit the wall then, and I looked left and SAW THE CAP! I grabbed it…and couldn’t get back out. I could have easily slid my belly and hips under the bar, but my head had hit the wall and I couldn’t get out that way. And I couldn’t get the boobs to go back. They had passed under once, but they absolutely refused to go the other way.

By then the boys had moved on to ravage the mini bar in the next room. It was just me and Jodi Gup (who was MAYBE 5 feet tall and probably couldn’t bench press a puppy) and her roomie, a girl whose memory I have entirely repressed, and they could not lift the bed. It was made of IRON or LEAD or possibly BLACK HOLES, so DENSE was this cot-bear-trap of a metal bed. It would not be lifted.

So Jodi, none too sober herself after her little nips of French Culture and Vodka, went and got….well…everyone. Everyone and all their friends. The ENTIRE TOUR ended up in Jodi’s room alternately laughing their butts off and trying to make a getting-my-boobs-out plan that did not involve beautiful, evil lion-man knowing what we had done to the minibars and destroying us. Jodi stood at the door welcoming late comers and helpfully explained over and over what the problem was. ("Her boobs stuck under the bed, doncha know.")

Finally I think it took about 4 boys, ALL OF THEM THRASHED BEYOND IMAGINATION on clear liquor, to lift the incredibly heavy bed just a FEW INCHES so another boy could grab my ankles and pull me out, and I SHOULD have gotten college credit for the rest of that evening, because I spent it learning SO SO VERY much about what French toilets look like from REALLY REALLY close. As a bonus, I learned that cheap gin burns as much coming up as it does going down, and I made an important and mature decision I have stuck with to this DAY, which is that when I became legal, I would be a top-shelf-or-nothing girl.

*********************************************************************

Dear Mom and Dad,

I feel obligated to point out that THAT WAS JUST ONE NIGHT THOUGH! In Paris, I pretty much spent ALL the rest of my time at the Louvre and an assortment of Medieval Chapels! I didn’t even get drunk ever again. Oh, except for that wine tasting. I seem to remember making out in the hotel lobby with an excrutiatingly lovely Spanish boy on Holiday with his parents and little sister. He spoke about nine words of English, all of which seemed to be about me being a most beautiful lady.

Thank you for sending me to Europe. I experienced really a lot of art and also culture and also Spanish French Kissing in Italy. It was completely great.

Love,
Me

Posted by joshilyn at 3:55 AM | Comments (29)