Sunday, December 27, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? December dancing and January beginnings!

Happy holidays! I say this with a bit extra cheer. A couple weeks ago I was feeling pretty sorry for myself while sitting at the longest stoplight known to man. It was pouring. A Christina Perri song was promising that life was big and wonderful and we're all stronger than we think. Through the windshield wipers across the massive intersection danced a bright blur wearing a yellow rain slicker, sweats, and a gym bag. Shake shake shake. The movements kept going as cars drove past. After a minute I started laughing, not at the enthusiastic pedestrian, but in celebration. A black man walked up the sidewalk next to my car and stood on the opposite side of the crosswalk to the dancer. The yellow raincoat person pooped out after another minute but then the man started dancing and just like in a music video about living life no matter what's pressing down on you the two moved to their own beat facing each other on opposite sides of the street. I sat in my car clapping because it was so good. I thought for a second maybe they knew each other, but when the light finally turned green they crossed paths with grins, no hugs or high fives. Strangers, all of us, but I felt that music.

So let's dance ourselves into the next year and sing no matter what comes our way in 2016. I have goals, but that's not new. I could use a few less goals, so maybe that's a new goal of mine, to chill a little. Probably not. No matter.

Alabama Shakes - Hold On

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Friendship, fangs, and a bit of gore of course! #Review of E.J. Wesley's Devil's Snare

5 STARS!!!

Before I fangirl over Devil's Snare (my absolute favorite in the Moonsongs series), here's a taste of my first encounter with this story with Blood Fugue...

Jenny does her best to be your typical hostile gaming hermit. Then she opens a seemingly innocuous email. Suddenly she has a living grandfather she believed long dead, commits to doing a favor that involves bullets, and discovers a destiny that will test her tendency to push people away. You can read more of my review here.

Jenny is all sass and toughness as in the girl sports a purple mohawk and feels naked without her tomahawk. But Jenny isn't whole without her best friend Marshal. He's the bee's knees (in designer loafers). They come across some seriously gruesome baddies and they survive with a healthy dose of fear and an even healthier dose of humor. I love them! In Devil's Snare we see through Marshal's eyes at the start, which rocks the planet because Marsh isn't just sitting back being the gay sidekick. In E.J.'s world of monsters, you sink or swim or get eaten. He can write gnarly things that bite. I'm telling you. 

After a suspenseful glimpse into what Marshal is going through, we dive into Jenny's precarious situation. Back to the suspenseful glimpse for a second...I was reading my kindle at the window of my favorite coffee place waiting for my drink. In the few minutes it took them to make my white mocha I had sunk so deep into the story that I jumped when the barista reached toward me with my coffee. The writing is that good.

If you haven't started the Moonsongs series, dive in. They're divided up into short novellas E.J. calls episodes. 6 episodes so far and I cannot wait for the next one! 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? It's all about the ukulele!

I just realized it's November! It was the spectacular show of color this morning that clued me in. Plus the very unhappy kid raking a mile of yellow on the sidewalk. I smiled huge at the thought of sending my petulant teenager to rake and scoop leaves. My mind jumped from that thought to the first fall I spent in Washington. I was homesick and surrounded by strangers, but the colors fed a part of my soul that has never gone hungry since. There was this one day I was determined to rake leaves just like in the movies. Since I didn't have a lawn because I lived in the dorms I walked and walked looking for some old person who should not be raking leaves in the first place. Apparently, Tacoma is filled with spry elderly because I had not a single taker. So happy fall! Here's to yummy hot coffees and colors that make our hearts sing. And on that note (I'm killing with these puns!), here's my November theme song. It's all about the ukulele (for no good reason).
Joe Brown singing I'll See You In My Dreams

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Writer or collector?

Video archiveThis week while I measured and cut a thousand times making flashcards for the team I work with a teacher down the hall read a story to his class. Maybe his door was open, probably not. The man can project. But while I counted and cut, I smiled and kept smiling because he was creating memories. He was cementing his presence as a teacher who loves teaching and I cataloged him for my writer shelf alongside my eighth grade math teacher who told my mom not to worry about my grade. "She'll get it."

It got me to thinking about the rest of the memories on my shelves. A hoarder of feelings and senses ready to be dusted off and carefully held in a story of my choosing I sometimes feel like I should come with a disclaimer: I will collect you in some way. Sorry.

By mat Walker from Brighton, UK (Video archive) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Tacoma Narrows Bridge, by trainThere's this hill at the end of my weekend bridge runs I call John's Hill. My 6 year old told me I can make it up the hill, but I have to think I can. So I named it after him. It's a beast and I am not a graceful runner. My blindingly bright shoes clop. My lungs crush air into this terrible sawing noise I do my best to hush if another runner crosses my path. My undermining thoughts try to convince me I could walk the dang thing faster. Then I remember one word. Grit. I'm running the hill because I decided to. Nothing more is needed. I figure reaching certain dreams are like that too.

"By RustyObjects (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons"

Sunday, October 4, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? Movie trailers have the best songs!

Happy October! I drive by a park on my way to work with the best trees for fall. Tall and ancient, standing stoically beautiful in a tight traffic zone. Last week the colors took my breath away and had me daydreaming at the start of my day. So I think it's time for a wistful dreamy kind of song. The second I heard it during a preview for the movie Pan, I was hooked (haha, get it, hooked, Peter Pan). Here's I Believe by Christina Perri.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Domestic Camp, I made it up and now I'm camp crazy! Plus a movie soundtrack for September's theme song!

I had a fit one day after my youngest made the biggest crumb mess possible. Really, it was like some snack bomb went off. My problem wasn't the mess, not really, it was my brain jumping to a thousand scenarios in my future where this was my world, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and it was my brain throwing in the upcoming school year with work, trying to write, homework with reluctant learners, exhaustion. So it was a real fit you see. Then quiet little words sifted through the chaos, "Mom, I can help you. I'm a good helper." It all stopped. The whirlwind thoughts, the pounding of blood in my head, the vacuum cleaner. I looked at John totally coated in crumbs. "Let me help."

After some time cleaning together, I shouted across the room, "Next week we're having Domestic Camp!" John heard camp and cheered. We worked through what he should learn to do around the house and what fun snacks he should have (Gatorade, Doritos, and cookies). 

Since this was supposed to be a genuine camp we needed to do crafts. I jumped on Pinterest (not a hardship since I'm addicted) and checked out the board I created in case I ever fell into fantasy land and became a crafty person. I sent out an SOS to Bookworm Brandee for ideas on the camp and she mentioned creating badges and licenses. Ha! So I made "Super Clean" Superman style badges I attached to lanyards. After they learned a certain task I made them licenses, like a license to vacuum the floorboards or mop the floor or carry the laundry upstairs. Oh and every morning John got to have fried bologna for breakfast. 

I did not include my 13 year old in the planning process because he's currently working very hard at being 13. That means he's moody, hostile, and perfecting the fine art of calling everything lame. He did not appreciate his badge as much or enjoy leaning how to fold and put away his laundry (day 1), but he loved the rewards. He liked vacuuming and mopping and cleaning the windows in my car. Yes, I did take advantage of camp to get my car cleaned. But we did get to go to the car wash and we all enjoyed that. He also took it as a personal affront to do any type of crafts. 

Even with the 13 year old telling me I was crazy every time I gave him a directive, the camp was a huge success in all the ways I hoped, but also in ways I never imagined. I'm a get it done kind of girl, always have been. Meaning I don't share tasks well...meaning I didn't even know how, but Domestic Camp opened my eyes to a whole new world. I liked doing chores with another person. Pretty neato, you know.

I got a little camp crazy once I realized I could create my own kind of camp. We moved onto "catch up camp with a bit of adventure." My 6 year old named it. We brushed up on math and vocabulary and paired that with an adventure we wanted to do this summer but never got the chance. Tomorrow we're having "Cyber Monday Camp" where we'll work on computer skills and play computer games together.

So if you have a to-do list to do with the kids, if you keep saying to yourself, "I need to teach them that," create a camp. And then another one. They're like tattoos. I'm telling you.

Now for some music! I just watched the movie Song One. So dang good! The music is the movie and the characters are just a way to give us the songs. I loved it! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

More Kristen Ashley Love! Buddy read time with Fire Inside!

Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley rocked. Laney Heron decides it’s time to start living again, at least the hot steamy sex part of living, and chooses Hop Kincaid to volley her into this new world. Hop’s never touched class like Laney. She’s always been this untouchable beauty and then he touches her (and more). He’s upfront with her. She’s explosive with him. Honesty and drama. It’s an addictive combination once you throw in a motorcycle club and romance. Bookworm Brandee and I buddy read it, which means we ignored our family, holed up and went on a reading bender, and then tore ourselves away from the book long enough to gush about it with each other. Here’s our chat.

(Brandee) I've been waiting for you to start this conversation but I thought I throw a few of my thoughts your way. :)

Can you believe how Lanie just propositioned Hop? This woman...she has cajones. And she definitely bit off more than she thought she could chew. I liked that Hop really had to consider the ramifications of what would happen if they got together. I'm still waiting for the shit to hit the fan.

I don't remember how far I was into or what exactly Hop was saying, but I thought that I love how simplistically he looks at things. Not like everything is simple but that in his world, things are this way or they're not. I like his way of looking at the world and his place in it.

I adore Lanie's inner monologues. Getting to know her history, what went down that was alluded to in Own the Wind, I can see why she was fighting Hop. And I could see why her brain was "fucked up", as Hop said. So getting to hear her thoughts on how she saw herself and why she thought she had nothing to give...yeah, that was some good stuff.

Hop's kids are AWESOME! Sometimes when authors put kids in a story, it feels wrong or like it's a plot device. But seeing Hop with Molly and Cody, seeing how they all interact, seeing Lanie with feels right. And it shows this whole other level to Hop. One that I like A. LOT. And I agreed with Lanie when she told him, "You're a good man, Hopper Kincaid."

I'm really liking that although Hop and Lanie come from different worlds, and kinda live in different ones, they just work. I know it's because they both don't give a shit what people think - and that's an attitude I'd love to adopt - but don't you think it's something that a badass biker, who's obviously all Alpha, can deal with the fact that his woman is a corporate success? That she can provide things for herself? Most men would be intimidated by that. But Hop is all "Anything you need, lady, I'm there for you one way or another."

Which reminds me about when he first started using "lady". I didn't quite know what to think and was thinking it was kinda derogatory. When he explained, I melted. MELTED.

Lanie has a backbone, which I really like. Her standing up to her Dad? That was excellent!

Oh, and getting Hop's life story was also excellent. I melted some more when he told Lanie he didn't learn from his parents...he'd learned from doing. But he *did* learn and knew what he wanted to keep forever. *swoon*

Okay, I don't want to go on and on...I hope you're enjoying this as much as me. I have a good feeling that you are. You're so right...KA just does *not* disappoint.
Two more things....

The know I'm not a huge fan of facial hair. And I have to say that I didn't imagine Hop looking like he does after meeting him in OtW, but he's sex on a stick, even with the 'tache.

Aaand, he's my new book boyfriend. Because... "Music is poetry, babe. Each note is a word that's uniquely crafted to go with the next note. For me, the only way it gets better is if you put that to lyrics." Yep. Gotta love a man like that. ;)

(Rob) Oh, KA, I love you so much. Okay, now that the fangirling is out of the way...I could not believe Lanie's boldness when she walked up to Hop and propositioned him. And then the no strings attached bit was so convincing I was taking it one day at a time with them. Hop's reaction, his respect for her and ability to see trouble walking won me over immediately. When he walked through her place and told himself he didn't get to have a look around and get to know her that way, the gesture was generous in a way I wasn't expecting. He wasn't going to take what wasn't given to him. Book girl crush time.

It's a strange layout again with this one where we get bits and pieces of this big drama in Lanie's past but it worked even better in book two. The bits we were given we needed to understand the push and pull she was doing with Hop (and herself). Didn't you just love Hop's role as shield? He wasn't down with her losing all that beauty and life to the "monster." He was all about being part of a team in whatever way he could support her. And you are so right that her money didn't seem to play a factor with him just as much as him being a biker and member of an MC didn't bother her.

What about Hop's honesty? I was so shocked the first time he brought up a previous hookup and than even more shocked at her ultra grown up reaction. Do you think she could be like that because he made it so clear she's a lady to him and nothing less and he's never had anything but less? I'm thinking I'd tell the guy not to tell me about a bathroom stall bang. There is the age factor. He's 40, she's 38. Gotta say, that rocked! Plus he's a dad. You don't get that very often and the kids were awesome. There wasn't a forced parent makeover for a few pages in the book whenever Hop had his kids around.

Oh, the freaking tache! I'm so annoyed that KA has finally done it. I actually find it hot that Hop has a tache. Ugh! But he is so hot and man. I hated it on Luke and pretended to miss all facial hair references. Man!

Okay, I'm off to read more. Love being back with Chaos!
I finished! It feels like I went on a reading bender and read it in a single day, maybe it's just that the story is right there, taking over my thoughts.

The music is poetry business was huge! Epic! In book one I wasn't impressed with the tidbits we learned about Hop, which was through Shy's and Tabby's eyes. I remember Tabby hoping the best for Lanie and it's so cool at the same time Lanie was thinking the same thing. That's one of the neat things about KA and always has been, girl solidarity. I loved the part early on with Lanie doing that stupid thing going to that rough neck bar and being sold out by a fellow girl. She was mostly pissed about that. And then how Lanie didn't like Hop's early descriptions of Mitzy. What a piece of work that one. Even Lanie's mom who has a long way to go to redeem herself never lost her girls' support when she needed it. KA also gives men credit too, not just with the brotherhood, but she lets them be deep and shallow at the same time and she lets them be so over the top alpha they get what they want, but boy do they work/pay for it.

Did you catch the part about the song doesn't have to be eternal, but if you have a rhyme to share, a story to tell, it's worth it? That had to come out of the heart of an indie writer. Well, and Debbie Macomber because she says the same thing.

For whatever reason I got a Rock Chick Revolution vibe, Ally and Ren's story, not the action, but the push and pull of the relationship maybe. Not sure, but now I want to re-read that one.

(Brandee) So, I had to wait until you were done because there were things I wanted to say but I couldn't remember where these things were in the timeline and I didn't want to spoil anything. :)

I believed Lanie when she said 'one night' too. But that admission she makes towards the end. Damn! That and all the things Hop had to say had me tied up in knots. Oh, and the "I don't get this" that they both felt - I broke my heart, honestly, because we could see how much they both wanted all those things they didn't feel they 'got' because they didn't have *that* kind of relationship. Even though they totally did.

The layout was similar but I didn't get lost in the timeline this time. I think it was because it was usually 1 week or 2 weeks later. I did like how KA presented the backstory in bits and pieces. I liked that those bits were usually given when Lanie and Hop were sharing honest moments and were laying it all out. It was interesting that they both had monsters that needed slaying - and that they were both able to help one another slay those monsters...they gave each other that.

So I was wrong about Lanie's job not being mentioned because it did end up being mentioned but that they each accepted one another, respected one another, just how they came was something. I think we *all* look for that in our friendships and relationships. Those two could definitely jump into the deep end over words, but I admit to being irritated when Hop told Lanie she should know what kind of man he is. Yes, that's true and she did, in her heart. But her monster would of course raise it's head over the information she'd learned because of her history. And yes, she pulled a drama over it - but Hop knew her and her reactions, so even though her words were awful, it shouldn't have surprised him.

Hop and Lanie were very intense...and although they kept certain things from each other, at least initially, they were nothing if not honest. No, I wouldn't want all his honesty if it were me. But I like that you said Lanie reacted in a grown up way. Because she absolutely did. I'm not sure I could be that mature. *ha* His words about how he'd never do her in a stall because a lady shouldn't be treated that way...crude but sooo swoonworthy!

And I was absolutely tickled about their ages being so close to ours. It's nice to read hot romances with couples who are 'mature'. *winks* I loved watching both Hop and Lanie with his kids. And you're right - he was always just Hop whether he had his kids or not. I admired that about him. But with Hop, you got what you saw.

So KA won you over to the dark side, huh? I admit I kinda thought Luke rocked the stache but Hop...H.O.T. I have such a vivid image of him in my mind and he rocks a 'tache like no one else. Mm-mmm!! (not that I want my man to grow one!)
I'm still thinking about Lanie and Hop too and I've had to move on! But I gotta say I have a heckavu book hangover. KA always does that to me...

I'm glad you enjoyed the music element as well. I had to youtube You'll Accompany Me because I didn't recognize the title. And it must be said that after listening to the lyrics, it made that scene all the more poignant. I'd have been standing up in my chair yelling to Hop that he's the shit too! Man!! KA knows how to incorporate good music, doesn't she? It meant to much that Lanie was spending every night drinking wine and listening to Bob Seger when she and Hop were apart. Seger's lyrics really speak volumes about those two.

I have to tell you something...when I finished and I told my kindle to 'go to' the beginning, I realized that my copy of Fire Inside was an ARC from Netgalley. So those extra things you talked about with what Hop said about music? They weren't in my copy. And I'm thinking I'm going to have to buy a copy just so I can read it again - and see what changed. (yeah, that's totally the only reason why *winks*)

KA does have a way of conveying the importance of sisterhood - how did you say it? Oh, girl solidarity. Yeah. I do like how all her heroines have their girls at their backs. It is important. And girls should always back their girls - whether they know each other or not. You're right that she does the same for her Alphas. She stresses the loyalty factor between them and they do all have each others' backs...maybe more so than the girls, at times. I've not experienced a 'family' of friends having my back but I like the idea. And chickie, I've ALWAYS got YOUR back, distance be damned.

I didn't get the Rock Chick Revolution vibe while reading but I can see where it would have come from. There was a lot of push and pull between Lanie and Hop, just like with Ally and Ren, if for different reasons. I liked the push and pull between Lanie and Hop better because it wasn't just a matter of a misunderstanding or just being plain ornery. (sorry, Ally!) Lanie and Hop had been through a lot of shit. They had their monsters to contend with. But they had something special and I was so glad they fought for it. Although, I had my doubts a few times.

I'm thinking the second week of August for the next Chaos book. What do you think? My kids have band camp that week and it'll be a nice to lose myself in the Chaos world and not have to think about the fact that my kids will be scarce for the next 2 months. :)

(Rob) So you thought Luke rocked the tache? Luke. Mmm. Okay, back to Hop. When he went up on stage, weren't you right there with Lanie saying What? What? How could you add rock star to the already long list of awesomeness? I had to youtube the song too. You're right about KA knowing her music. She always seems to incorporate music into her books and in different ways.

One thing I'm still missing is the zaniness. I want some crazy and not just Lanie's brand of crazy that makes her break up with Hop a million times. But I get it, this is a motorcycle club and they can't all have a thing for fancy coffees and old bookstores. We did get a RC world cameo. Teeny cameo and it still made me grin.

Now we have book 3 calling out to us and this massive book hangover that is still hanging. So mid-August and we'll see who these two new characters are since they are both a mystery to us. Lexxie gave it 5 stars though. Oh, last thought, isn't it always a surprise how many pages KA's books are because we read them like they're novellas?

More KA. More buddy reads. I hope we get more of the Beneto storyline because I'd like to see his ass severely kicked. He is not nice.

(Brandee) I did think Luke rocked his 'stache. Man, he's all kinds of yum. Yet still not my favorite Hot Bunch guy. ;) I'm thinking Hop is my favorite Chaos guy though. But it is a close race because Shy...that is all. But Hop has so much going for him - his age, his kids, his honesty, his former rock star status, his knight in leather armor status...see what I mean? Totally my newest book boyfriend. :)

The zaniness is not there - I don't count Lanie's behavior - and I do miss it. I think KA tried to inject some of it with Elvira but since she's seen so little, it's not much zaniness. But I also like that there's a little more seriousness in this series. The Chaos brothers set a different tone than the Hot Bunch. They don't have a Tex or a Duke. But I'm thinking that's okay. I do really, really like that KA gives us glimpses of those characters though. ;)

Mid-August baby. We'll hit #3. I admit I'm kinda nervous since it's new characters but hey, I was nervous to start this series and it's been an amazing ride so far. I was glad to see Lexxie gave it 5-Stars because that means KA is *still* rocking. I don't know how I'll feel if she ever disappoints me. I don't even want to think about it, honestly. Oh, and yes I am always shocked at how long her books are. Because they absolutely do *not* feel long. I inhale and devour them and I know you do too. She's just that good. And I'm looking forward to a good ass kicking of Benito. He is not a good guy...

Saturday, August 1, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? It's going to take an album.

August is going to require an entire album. And I have just the one. Man, it's so awesome. Elle King, Love Stuff. I'm crazy about the entire album. Rocker chick, soulful, takes you places. So dance and rock it out this last month of summer. What about you? What are you listening to?

Here's one of their most popular songs Ex's & Oh's! I love it.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Rachel Caine rocks the planet with Ink and Bone! Review time!

I tore through this story, not quickly, but with this hunger to be in the middle of Jess's world, to be inside his head and know the people around him. From the beginning your heart will pound. Even as a young kid his introspection crawled into my heart and took over. The world is an alternative here-and-now with this all-seeing, all-knowing Library that controls all information, even controls how, when, and where you have access to it. You can imagine not everyone liked that plan for society. So there are your activists, the Burners. Then you have the black market traders who like that plan because it's their bread and butter. The idealists are a danger to everyone, especially themselves. The bad guys range in degrees. But throughout there was this creeping dread that no one had it right yet. The Burners have some thoughts on the right track, but mostly they are a bunch of crazies. The Library scholars live in golden towers far removed from the real world. The young idealists who desperately want to become scholars fight to serve the Library, but fight even harder to hold onto their long held vision of an ideal run amuck.

Rachel Caine's Ink and Bone had a very Orwellian vibe all the way down to the feeling that this could have been performed over the radio with static and voices that drew you in. There was also a steampunk slash hopeless dystopian feel. The world building was phenomenal. The characters will be with me...forever. I'm hooked.

On a book girl side note, I remember reading an emotional post from Rachel Caine years ago about censorship. I think it was in response to hate mail or some internet troll and when I started reading Ink and Bone I thought of my walkaway feelings from that post of Caine's, that any kind of censorship is a suffocating band around freedom. She didn't say it like that, but I had to breathe deeply after reading it. If I was a betting girl I'd say Caine spun those feelings until an amazing intricate world was formed and created Ink and Bone.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The summer drama of a newly minted teenager, a six year old who decided he has to be a drummer right now, and a mom who can't remember her kids' names.

I took Will and John to a library event called Tinkertopia. So cool. They bring bins of random stuff, junk in the minds of anyone who likes things tidy and minimal, candyland to anyone who lives in their imagination, and you build whatever you want. The program guide said six and up. Will took one look inside the room and fixed me with his death ray stare. So maybe a few parents brought their little tykes and maybe there wasn't a soul in there older than eight. "Mom, I'm thirteen!" I was speechless because my mind spat out "So what!" Not the most sensitive approach. He walked out. John created Bumblebee from Transformers and told me that it is also a drum set. Awesome. I scored as mom of the summer by getting wave pool passes for all of us. It's a place where you cannot not bump into random strangers wearing almost nothing. I try to encourage the boys to play with kids their own age but they still swarm me. I run and screech, but they catch me by way of tackling. The lifeguards think it's funny. Ha ha ha. In between, they bicker. They push and pull and yell at each other. I separate them and like some cosmic genetic twist, they gravitate back immediately to play the game all over again. I've taken to calling them "Whatever your name is there, quit it. Grrh." There are laughs and time outs and the little guy keeps telling me I'm adorable to throw me off. He also tells me I'm a fuzzy pink bunny, which I am not. It's been that kind of summer. How has it been for you all? Laughs, shouts, cries, maybe a couple sunburns?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Buddy Read Chat Time! Bookworm Brandee and robgirlbooks fall for Own the Wind by Kristen Ashely

We read the entire Rock Chick series. We started the Colorado Man series. And now we're hitting the Chaos series where bikes rule and girls drool. I know, that was pretty lame. Own the Wind gives us the story of Tabby and Shy. The timeline is completely wonky and the layout is different from any story I've read before, but the voice is all Kristen Ashley. Tabby is an MC brat, like a military brat, the daughter of an MC leader, raised and cherished in the culture of bikes, revolving women, and danger. Shy is one of the brothers, meaning his job is to protect his fellow brother's daughter. Not crush on her, or fall in lust with her, just keep her safe (even from her self as far as Shy is concerned). He crosses the line. She decides to hate him for eternity. And that's the start of their story. Cool, huh? It's good stuff. Here's my chat with Bookworm Brandee. We had a blast reading Own the Wind! Can't wait to hit number 2.

I'm loving it! Are you loving it? I'm still at the beginning, but it's KA all the way! And Fortnums for that one second was such a thrill! How can we love a series so much that the mere glimpse of past characters feels like we just ran into old friends at the airport? 

Off to read more (of course!!)

I stayed up later than I should have reading because yeah, I'm loving it! I don't know how it is that we can love a series so much that being in Fortnum's for a second was so awesome. But it certainly was. KA is an author who can just pull you in immediately. OtW does have a slightly different feel from other KA books we've read. I'm thinking maybe it's because there hasn't been anything least not yet. 


Dang it! It's killing me to have to stop and do anything because, as with every KA book we read, all I want to do is READ!

So yeah, I'm finding that KA's distinctive voice is present in this series as well. I really do adore the cadence with which all her badass heroes speak. Shy is no different. And I adore the Tabby isn't going to take shit - not even his.

Specifically, I was cheering even as my heart cracked when Tabby told Shy he'd made judgements and he didn't know her. And as much as I delight in reading about a badass alpha, particularly one who rides a motorcycle ;) I'm going to rant on him for a minute. I could give him a pass over his error in judgement...I didn't like that he did that but I understood where it was coming from. You know? He made me a melty puddle of goo when he was there for Tabby when she needed him to be. BUT I don't understand how he could take on a *woman* when he was just passing the time. How can guys do that? And how is that fair? (in fairness, I'm ranting at the general male population, not just Shy)

I think there are some books (and some authors) that should come with pause buttons so we can stop everything around us and read our book! I'm reading and then suddenly the phone rings or the kids demand food as if they didn't eat yesterday! Rant over. KA is awesome. OtW has a different vibe than RC and you're right about the girls not being as wild. The men are alpha enough, but in a different way, less broody and more entitled. We're bikers, deal, babe. Or not and get out. This one also jumps ahead regularly where RC cuts to the past regularly with backstory that never was annoying (a hard feat). What did you think of the time jumps? 

Oh and getting the male POV first and for a while was cool. I think we needed a solid footing with Shy or he'd piss us off too much as the story went on. He does not pull punches when he needs to "sort shit out." Then we meet Tabby and she's feisty and unforgiving. I liked that she didn't melt for Shy and held a grudge and just kept holding it. I liked how pissed that made Shy. But I loved that part when he sees her in that red dress with her man and he's on his bike. I loved how that just pushed him into wanting that love for himself and not just wanting Tabby. 

So you were pissed about the side girlfriend, huh? I was shocked and not shocked and shocked some more! I didn't know how to process it. He made me love him (not as much as Tabby, but still). They cuddled. Freaking cuddled. You don't cuddle when you have a girl. Nope. I guess I'm right there with you and Tabby. Still, they both needed a fire lit or they'd friend themselves to death! 

Okay, I've read further...of course! And Shy redeemed himself a bit in my eyes. I'm glad he explained Rosalie to Tabby. That made me feel better right along with her. I still don't completely understand but I'm glad he took the time to explain. And can I just say that once Shy starts talking, the man lays it all out. Am I right? Damn! 

The next scene in Fortnum's...loved it! Tex booming VIP, slopping coffee grounds. *sigh* And Jett telling Tabby he was harmless. Good stuff! And the talk between Tabby and Shy's brother, Landon...excellent stuff! I was really kinda wishing Shy had overheard what she had to say. Because in a way, I felt those words belonged to him first and foremost. But I was glad they were out and it did need to be said to Lan.

I'm really excited to see how Tabby is going to find that *balance* she so admires between her Dad and Tyra. The way the sparks fly between her and Shy, I'm sure we're in for a hell of a ride. :)

Fortnums! More Tex and his coffee and shouting. I loved that they had coffee there and the tension building with Landon and what he had to say, I was just as nervous at the start as Tabby. And then she let him have it in a good way because it was slightly out of control like she always is when it comes to Shy. I'm thinking we'll get a Lan book, right? Maybe a Rush book too? Her brother wasn't a big part of the story but the building conflict, the fact that he's gorgeous and bossy speak to future main character potential. 

I was still conflicted about the Rosalie situation. I liked how Tabby listened and wanted to sort it out. She let Shy have his say and she could see he needed her to listen. Way more mature than I am. 

You mentioned sparks, whoa! In battle and in love. Those two. I love how they bicker. Some people bicker and you want to close your eyes and make yourself disappear. Those two fight and I want a bag of chips and a comfy seat.

I finished earlier today. Are you finished? 

Hot damn! That's what I gotta say. We've begun *another* KA series that ROCKS! Tabby is a kickass heroine. I so enjoy watching her stand up to Shy - or try to - when she feels strongly about something. Her "freeze outs" crack me up. Shy also delighted me with always knowing just what to say...even if Tabby may not like it. And I was right about those sparks flying! But dang! Watching them find the balance...that's something.

I'm glad we're getting acquainted with other characters - particularly Tack and Tyra but I enjoyed meeting Hop, too. And Elvira! Woowheee! I'm thinking we'll enjoy seeing more of her and Malik. 

What did you think of Chaos' reaction to Tabby and Shy? It kinda broke my heart, honestly. I mean, I knew they wouldn't necessarily be happy about it but I didn't expect the way things went down. I adored how Shy handled it...what he said. I was thinking "God, I love my man" right along with Tabby. And Tabby's *talks* with both Tyra and her dad? Priceless. I could only hope to get out all that needed to be said as eloquently as she did. 

Natalie? I have to say I had no real love her that girl. Especially after she came in and said all those things she said to Tabby and Shy...about Shy. If she reappears, it's going to take a lot for me to forgive her.

Did you enjoy getting to see Lee? I'd completely forgotten about Tabby's meeting with him. And then, there he is in all his badassness. I could totally see him standing there. He's such a good guy, isn't he? I mean, he may do things in his job that stretch moral boundaries, but he's a good guy. I was tickled pink getting to see him. And that he did what he did? 

What did you think of how things went down with Shy, his aunt and uncle, and the scumbag? I wanted to hug each and every one of his brothers. They totally had his back and I was proud of them. And I was proud of Shy as well. 

The ending - and epilogue...KA made me cry!! CRY, Robyn! "I dreamed a dream..." That's good stuff right there. Left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

The only thing noticeably missing from OtW was a girl brawl. But I'm thinking we may not get one of those in this series because these babes, they're not quite as wild. I think that's kinda funny in a way. But I also think it's a reflection of the lives they live.

I freaking love this book! I can't wait until we can read the next one. 

I finished too! I was more obsessed with this one and I think it's because we haven't had a KA fix in a long time. Too long, Brandee. Not pointing fingers at anyone. I needed to follow the relationship along. I loved when they were friends. Truly. It was so good and real and they both needed that. And then when it became more and the real world jumped in with their two cents, boy. I was just as pissed at Tabby and Shy! What the hell? I loved her not holding back and LOVED Shy's speech. Hot damn! 

And Lee! I did not forget about that meeting. I thought KA forgot about it. She told us there was going to be a meeting and then said nothing more. I was waiting and waiting and she still caught me off guard. The brothers needed to go big to redeem themselves and they did. 

So you cried at the ending did you? That line "dream" line got me every single time! That was such good stuff. I told you already I loved the red dress scene. And "dream" links back to that and to the first time Shy really want something. 

What did you think of the supporting cast? I was a little frustrated with this history with Tyra and Lanie that we know nothing about but was referenced several times. Was that a novella or do you think we'll get it during Lanie's story? I think we need a Tex type figure. We need some comic relief because it looks like things are going to get serious. Still I loved it. LOVED IT! The tone and vibe were different, even the style, but not the voice. And not the dialogue. You're so right about that. 

When dear Brandee are we hitting Chaos 2? Crazy how one Superbowl bet turned into a life of its own and characters that are so part of us now! You chose to give me Rock Chick and see what happened?

Good stuff!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [19] Teasing your favorite character!

July people! It's hot here, not Southwest hot or Midwest hot or east coast hot. Okay, it's not really hot unless you're a Pacific Northwesterner. Last time we had a summer like this, and I can remember vividly, my oldest was brand new to this world and I was so very lost. I'm not so lost anymore and the feeling, the feeling of distance and perspective and knowing what I've pushed past, well it's time for some fun!! I've been on a Fever Series reading bender. If you haven't dived into the world of Mac and Barrons by Karen Marie Moning and you like your urban fantasy on the unscrupulous side, what's keeping you? Pick up a book. Anyways, Barrons is beyond an Alpha male. He's an endless storm always free of human shackles like morals. He's not big on words though his actions require a very open mind to remain judge-free. After devouring seven books I heard Hugh Laurie's "You Don't Know My Mind" and I laughed the whole time imagining Barrons drunk crying in his beer or warm blood (whatever sauce he gluttons himself on). So here's my July pick. He'd kill me hard if I played it for him and told him "This is you, Barrons, you whiny baby!" Oh, by the way, you know who Hugh Laurie is right? House from the retired doctor show of the same name on Fox?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer's here and I missed my June theme song post!

Have you ever sucked at something? Thought you were going to rock it out because in your mind you're so awesome, but then real life snickers at your pretty daydream? This happens to me a lot. Maybe I have an ego problem. Anyways, I have a new job (substitute teacher). And as you can guess I'm not so great at it (yet). I thought because I wanted to be a teacher so long ago and I tutored math, reading, and writing for years before my life veered into the land of mom-town that I'd fall right back into teaching mode. Well, the Kindergarten kids chewed me up and spit me out. There was a girl fight on the way to class at 8:55 in the morning! I really had no clue little six year old girls had anything to brawl over. I was six once. I loved climbing trees and listening to the Cinderella soundtrack until my mother took the record away. Okay, I also stole my evil step brother's quarters from wherever he tried hiding them (never a good enough hiding place). Still. I was not prepared. Then halfway through my shift I heard "Ms. Jones?" I jumped and looked up, "Yes?" "Ms. Jones, Robert's mom is coming to pick him up." Okay, so not a heavenly intervention. I spun around and found the intercom. Robert then preceded to tell me the woman walking down the hallway was his mother so he could stay in the hallway instead of waiting in the class. "I am not his mother," the woman told me. I did not tell Robert he's a stinker but my smile told him all he needed to know. I also did not tell all the crying children to suck it up. Mostly I said, "Uhhhhhhh." One girl left the classroom and hid behind the door then pushed the door in my face three times to keep me from bringing her back inside. My win for the day was at the end of my shift (three very long hours later) when I offered the girl who closed the door in my face a hand and she took it.

It's June with a summer of greatness ahead full of playing, reading, and writing. Here's a song that makes me think of summer heat and barbecues. It also clears my head of everything but the song because it's so dang fun to sing to! Any songs out there that stops the daydreaming or quiets the admonishments? Happy summer people!
Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky"

(Photo found on Public Domain Archive, source public domain images)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pete and repeat?

I'm here and I'm not here. Kids, work, kids, chores, bed. I fit in exercise, Pinterest (because I'm freaking addicted), and writing (because). And I'm tired. Some days I'm on it like a bonnet. Others I try to clear the fog, but only more sleep could do that. Friday I drove to work in tears, but bitch slapped my emotional state in line because there is no crying at work! Yesterday I gave my boys the "I'm a single-working-mom-with-a-dream lecture." If you haven't heard it before, feel lucky because only an overtired ready to snap mom runs with it with enough gusto to count the words off with her fingers. Today I took the keys out of the ignition . . . while I was driving the car! A story just came over the radio that spun my head into so many writing threads, I was smiling and probably mouthing lines I hadn't even typed yet when I yanked the keys out thinking I already reached my destination and parked. The car was still going when I lifted the keys in my hand and shouted "Oh shit!" My six year old thought it was so funny. Me? Not so much but sort of. Will it calm down any times soon? I'm not sure. Last summer I got exactly nothing on my to-do list done. Still, I think I'm going to rock it this summer. So let's get shit done. Anyone out there drowning just a little bit? Maybe treading water until your limbs feel like jello? I'm with you, so you're not alone.

(Photo found on Public Domain Archive, source public domain images)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [17] It's all about mom

May. What the heck? Fine, we're up to May and I'm not ready for it, but I am ready for summer. I keep daydreaming about sunshine and laughter and the water, pool, ocean, doesn't matter. But back to spring time and Mother's Day coming up and a song that reminds you of your mom (or mom figure), or of being a mom, or gets you all sentimental about your kids. Happy May people!

My mom is a big music girl. She taught me the classics and not so classics. She danced and sang and still does. She's got music style.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Always an artist

Flamingos flying
I was an artsy student in college (but don't think I was cool or anything because I wasn't). I had paint under my nails and holey overalls and a constant faraway look on my face. After parties, I'd study my coursebook to plan out all the amazing classes I could take. Then in my less than sober state, I'd plan semester after semester. Which was why I ended up taking classes like History of India and Artificial Intelligence (it had a seriously cool title).

In the mess of liberal arts classes that would in no way prepare me for the real world, I discovered poetry. I don't write poetry now, maybe because I don't drink anymore. I plan to start drinking. It's on the list of things to do, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. But back then with a glass of wine I'd climb out my older than dirt living room window onto the older than snot roof and write (and drink...just a tiny bit, honest).

I was inspired and a little broken. I'd lived enough to see too much but not long enough to move on. Maybe it's the artist way, to hold on to what cuts us, to hold on so we can give it away one day in a magical way. I'm not broken anymore. Not healed either. I'm holding on just long enough to find the world my story fits into so it's not my story anymore because I'm finally ready to let it go. I think that's good.

(By Paul Mannix (Flamingos flying, Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

On another note, check out those freaking flying flamingos!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [16] Blogger's choice!

April. I have no words. Just kidding, I'm a chatty girl. It's going to be a busy month since I'll continue to work almost double the hours at my job due to an incident that took out two members of the team for a while. I don't have all the tools to blend such long hours at work with my full time mom gig, but it will get sorted out. In the mean time how about a song? Here's a Battle Round song from the NBC show The Voice. I get all emotional watching it. So what song is on your mind right now? Do share. I'll be away from my blog for a bit because it's spring break time and that means Colorado, my dad and step mom and apparently new floors but no furniture (we'll see how that goes), and super awesome Bookworm Brandee.

Monday, March 30, 2015


Cupcake madness
I saw a glimpse of myself the other day, my old/new self post a dozen heartaches and many soul remodels. All because of a vanilla cupcake with yellow frosting and a plastic bunny ring too small for my knuckly fingers. A friend once told me she loved my hands. "You have artist hands." I kept that in my vault of good words. So this cupcake, it made me lightheaded with glee. I'm like that. I sat there at work on a chair that I could swear swiveled, but I think that was just me bouncing in my seat and I held my stomach with one hand and said with the biggest smile and song in my heart, "I love cupcakes. I'm so happy!" The room erupted in laughter. I continued to bounce. It was so good.

"By Nadia Khattab (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons"

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The world is in your hands

Pink Moon (2936081649)
I surfed under a pink moon once long ago. I was a terrible surfer, barely knew the etiquette, kept falling off the board because that first second you pop up and land on a surface pushed by the warm Pacific you bounce, or I bounce. It wasn't my board or ride to the beach or even my idea. Midnight surfing under a full moon? Still, I was giddy. A couple times early on I thought about how turtle-like I looked for hungry sharks, then my eyes found the moon, huge and pink and so close I lost my breath. It was a pure moment, salt water dripping from my hair, goosebumps traveling my body, laughter all around me because my friends were crazy, the kind of crazy that plan a midnight surfing trip. It was a moment when the world stretched forward and stood all around you, not so out of reach, not so unattainable. That's it. It's that moment when you feel like you can take on the world. It was so good.

"By Rennett Stowe from USA (Pink Moon  Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Friday funny!

Happy Friday people! Here's a funny youtube video to send you on your way to good times!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [15] The perfect song for that book!

March is here. Impossible! My oldest starts up Special Olympics swimming this month and my youngest will continue with his art classes. My list is filled with author girl goals and find my spirit goals and hopefully wake up early and workout goals. What's your March look like? Whether you're just going to sit back and enjoy the cherry trees blossoming or you plan to kick your butt into action, how about doing all that to music? This month we're tapping books for inspiration.

Into the Mystic drops me into the book Slammed by Colleen Hoover. There's a part of the song where I can see the main characters dancing together, not giving into the temptation of crossing the line, but unable to resist having this one moment that says everything. Great freaking song.

Give Into Me from the movie Country Strong is so the book The Gamble by Kristen Ashley. I don't want to say anything about the book because I'm buddy reading it with Brandee only I accidentally read it before her. I'm a bad buddy, but awesome book and song, right?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Looking, looking, and not finding it

Paul Signac Le Pin Saint Tropez
(painting by Paul Signac [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

I used to have a house, cute as can be. I looked at it from every angle, drew pictures of it with additions that would make it dreamy, perfect. Home. I had a neighbor who loved his yard in an intense, brooding way. One day I was out mowing the lawn with one of those push mowers. A shitty old one with dull blades and a handle that kept popping off. He walked up to me, "Robyn, what are you doing?" In these few words I understood. Why have you painted flowers on the front of your garage (because I did this) and planted a ridiculous Eucalyptus tree next to your spruce that we all wanted you to take out in the first place? What is up with the all the chimes and yard doodads? And what on earth are you doing with that ridiculous mower? It doesn't edge your lawn or cleanly bag your cut grass.

I loved roses so I planted a bunch of them. Turned out I hate roses. They poke you and scratch you and judge your lack of grace when pruning. I removed them (during wintertime) and gave them to my mother. I loved trees so I planted as many trees as our yard could handle. I quickly discovered why our house was barely damaged during our last big earthquake (back in 2001). Rock. We were built on ground that just wouldn't budge. Did that stop me? Nope. I drew pictures, went to the garden place, bought way too many plants.

I painted the interior. Every room. Annoying colors too because when you're in search of capturing a feeling, you should not go out paint shopping. I organized and planned and organized again.

And it was never enough. I couldn't find that feeling of home. I'm not sure why. When we search and compare the real word to dreams we've had since we were kids, can we ever find that thing? Can we remake our world into what we see in our heads?

I'll have a house again one day and I probably will paint flowers on the garage. I'd love another push mower, one of those fancy ones where the handles do not pop off. I'll plant tons of trees because man I love trees. I'll steer clear of roses because they suck. But I'll enjoy it. Maybe even give the walls a pat for rocking the planet because home is you in a place that makes you smile.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

20 Things You Don't Know About Me

I was tagged by Brandee @ Bookworm Brandee to share 20 things about me that you all might not already know. Impossible! But I'll give it a try.

1. How tall are you?
5'5 (probably not, more like 5'4, but this is what I tell the nurses and DOL people)

2. Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?
Oh goodness, let's see. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue. Wow, classy. Double knot too. Extra classy.

3. What is your biggest blog-related pet peeve?
Pop up advertising or advertising that blasts volume suddenly. I encounter those situations most often on the grammar and how-to blogs.

4. What is your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?
People who litter. I mean come on!

5. What's your favorite song?
Right now I'm loving "I like you" by Ben Rector. The words rock. I'm also crazy about Ellie Goulding's Fifty Shades song, "Love me like you do."

6. What's your favorite ETSY shop?
Sorry, ETSY is not my bag. I lose actual hours on that sort of stuff, so I stay away.

7. What is your favorite way to spend your free time when you're alone?
I usually have my laptop, a library DVD, and a current read all around me because I can't decide. 

8. What's your favorite junk food?
Ask me what junk food is not my favorite. The list would be shorter. But I cannot refuse Doritos, root beer floats, homemade fudge...See what I'm saying.

9. Do you have pets?
Nope. One day (when I grow up a little more even though I'm completely grown up).

10. What are your favorite fiction and nonfiction books? 
Fiction...The Twilight series carried me through one of the toughest times in my life. I will always love those books. The Mercy Thompson series. How can you not love a tough girl mechanic who also happens to be a coyote? Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley, good times. There are many, many favorites. Nonfiction...Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott teaches me something new every time I pick it up. A Giacometti Portrait by James Lord makes me feel not so alone when my artist mind starts up with that "I suck so bad" nonsense. 

11. What's your favorite beauty product?
My Elizabeth Arden moisturizer. 

12. When were you last embarrassed? 
Last Friday when I dropped off my 6 year old at school late because I forgot about the Valentine's Day cards for his class and my suggestion to never mind the cards this year didn't go over well. The school secretary asked him why he was tardy with me standing right behind him. "Because my mom and me were signing the Valentine's Day cards."

13. If you could drink one beverage for the rest of your life, what would it be?

14. What's your favorite movie?
Impossible! I'm a total movie girl. Star Trek. Top Gun. Lord of the Rings (all of them). Harry Potter. The Incredibles. I'll stop because the list is insane.

15. What were you in high school? Prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, etc?
Hmm. I was friends with everyone, except those I wasn't friends with, then I was a shit.

16. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
I'm not sure. I'd like to go to New Zealand and spend time in Alaska.

17. PC or MAC?
PC for sure. MAC makes me cuss.

18. Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boyfriend/girlfriend?
I got nothing. Sadness.

19. Favorite Celeb?
Since pro football players have celebrity status, I'm crazy about my Seahawks boys.

20. Which blogger do you secretly want to be best friends with?
Yikes! I've been such a bad blogger, I don't even have best friend blogger envy! Man.

Now it's someone else's turn. I'm tagging Athina at Between My Lines and Jennifer @ Donnie Darko Girl.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sidekick Showcase [56] Best kid brother duo!

Sidekick Showcase is a monthly bookish meme, hosted here by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! I will post my Sidekicks on the first Saturday of the month, then whichever day during the month that you would like to post yours, you can put your link in on my page. Just do the following:

• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fits in the week's topic
• Share a picture (if you can) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• The day of your post, click the 'Sidekicks' link in my header and enter the link for your post. Here, you can also see anyone else that posted during the month to visit their Sidekick Showcase's as well.

Topic ideas for February are: Favorite minority character, Favorite Couple or Favorite Smaller than average character.

Jack and George Drayton from Ilona Andrews' The Edge series are the best kid brother duo ever. They haven't had an easy life with their mom dying, their dad running out on them, and their reanimated dead grandpa living out back. They both have their magical troubles, but their older sister Rose brought them up with love and strength and a grandma who is the best curse caster in their realm. Jack and George are the stars of the show.

“Yes, I'm too mad to punish you right now. We'll talk about it when we get home. Go brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on dry clothes, and get the guns. We're going to Wal-Mart.”
Ilona Andrews, On the Edge 
(Rose to the boys)

“Georgie, stop trying to resurrect the shoes. They were never alive in the first place.”
Ilona Andrews, On the Edge

“Grandpa?" Declan raised his eyebrows.
"We keep him in the shed out back," Jack said helpfully. "So he doesn't eat dog brains.”
Ilona Andrews, On the Edge

Friday, February 13, 2015

Have you ever been sent to the principal's office?

My sister works in the schools and had to fill the principal in on something that happened during her shift. No big deal. She handled everything right, but it still shook her to go into that office and talk to the big man on campus. She's a grown up! Which I told her because I'm her sister and it's my job to be insensitive. I also reminded her that she did nothing wrong (after I asked her if she did anything wrong just to be thorough). My attempt to comfort her did not work at all. The girl was a total stressball. But it got me to thinking of the times I was sent to the principal's office when I was a kid....

I made a teacher cry. It was high school. Our teacher gave us a study guide for a test that turned out not to have anything to do with the test so the entire class bombed. I had a word with her. She cried. And I met our new principal. A nun of course, but by that point in my life, nuns had nothing on me and I wore that knowledge openly. No matter what they said or did, I didn't care. It was a short talk.

I told our Theology teacher she should definitely have sex before she got married. I even quoted my mom, "Why buy a shoe without trying it on first?" Yep. Another short talk.

I let a former friend of mine have it in the cafeteria in front of the vice principal. Not smart. This was a longer talk because of all the girl drama, but in the end no biggie.

There were a few more times, a scar on my neck that looked like a hickey but wasn't a hickey, but still warranted a chat. That turned out to be a blessing because they never got on me when the actual hickeys started showing up. Hey, don't judge. During my senior year, I made another teacher cry, but he totally deserved it. There were a few trips to the vice principal too, but she was this mean little lady that I couldn't help but love.

How about you all? Were you sent down for a chat? Do you still twist in your seat at the thought of talking to the Principal?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

When life's kicking your butt, how about a theme song? [14] Big Production Numbers

January, oh, where did your days go? It was a busy month and ended with my oldest winning silver at his Special Olympics Basketball Regionals. Good stuff. On the way to the games, I got us lost a few times. Will told his coach, "My mom had to ask three men for directions." This is true. And you know what, the kindness of strangers is a wonderful thing. One guy offered to lead the way back to the highway to get me going in the right direction again. I didn't hug him, but only because he was in his truck and I was in my car. 

This theme song was tough even though I chose it. My first thought was Queen, but then I moved to Aerosmith, but then Adelle won out because her voice is massive. So here's Skyfall from the James Bond movie, Skyfall. 
And here's Queen.
And here's some Aerosmith (Jaclyn picked this last year, but it's so good a repeat is good too).
Okay, here's another bonus video because I can't stop. 

How about you all? Any big songs, big videos, big music moments you want to share? You can even throw in a love song since it's the crazy love month. I won't be mad. Have a great February!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Looking at Normal

I've been thinking about normal lately. I remember the standout kids when I was little, the ones who didn't give a care. I also remember looking at a sea of brown skin and dark eyes and wishing away my Irish/German/English mash-up heritage. I came home one day in Kindergarten/first grade/somewhere in there with a forced accent lacing every word. My mom put a stop to it. Adults cherish the unique and cringe at the thought of normal. Kids at some point strive for it. They fall in line with the group. They look down at themselves and back up with a plan to change. At some point the tide changes. Mine changed in third grade. I'd fallen in line (the back of the line) with a group of girls. I'm not sure I liked a single one of them, but 3rd grade was hell, so I figured the kids were supposed to be too. Then I had my accident. That was it. Not even the back of the line was open to me. I didn't have a single conversation at school with another kid with the exception of answering the "what happened to your face" question for the rest of third grade and fourth grade. Normal lost all my respect.

Now I live in the world of special needs kids and professionals in the field make it their benchmark. They throw the word around expecting smiles and nods, maybe cheers. Let's make these kids not stand apart, not stand out, not stand alone. When my oldest was in third grade, the occupational therapist told me I had to fix the way he held his pencil. This was truly dire. She'd pulled me aside in the hallway and told me his entire future would be affected by his finger grip. He'll look odd. He won't write fast. Kids will make fun of him. He won't fit in. That was the last time I spoke to her. 

Normal. I hate the word, but if my son could wish for things like that, if he could pinpoint exactly why he felt so out of place, would that be his wish? I should ask him what he wishes for and see what he has to say. Until then, I'll keep guard of his spirit and try my best not to tamp it down.