Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!


The picture didn't seem so dark on my phone. Well, that's the house fireplace spewing warmth and good cheer. Enjoy!

Monday, December 19, 2011

One of the best restaurant breakfasts ever!

First, let me admit I am blogging from my phone, so there may be some spelling and layout glitches. I'll fix them later!

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled crazy:

Did you know I am a little bit (okay, a lot a bit) addicted to groupon?

Sometime during Thanksgiving break, groupon demanded I visit The Breakfast Place in Attleboro. I'm sure you know that when the internets make a demand, you must obey, lest they withhold information just when you need it.

For example, say you wake up in the middle of the night and can't remember the name of Col. Potter's horse on M*A*S*H.*** You ask the internets for the info so you can peacefully go back to sleep and the internets cross their arms like a petulant toddler girl and say, "No." May as well do some laundry because you're all done sleeping for the night.

So when the internets wanted us to go to The Breakfast Place, I said, "Okay!"

Can I get a "Nom nom nom"?
The picture is of The Chef's House Skillet. It is called that because it is as big as a house. Or maybe you will become as big as a house if you eat it. I had the Portuguese skillet with chourico and potatoes and peppers and onions and American cheese and eggs and sourdough toast. And we also got gingerbread pancakes, which were OMG just by themselves. Coupled with the skillet? Heaven.

Did you know I am done with school now, speaking of heaven? That means I could theoretically go there for breakfast whenever I want. Or at least between 6am and 2 pm, cause that's when they're open. Every single day! Huzzah!

***Col. Potter's horse's name was Sophie. RIP Col. Potter.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

One of the top 10 meals of my life

Opa. Federal Hill. Providence, RI.

You must go. Right now. Go on. I'll wait...

Oh, while you're putting on your coat, let me tell you what to get: Lebanese tasting menu. It's part chef's whimsy and part old standbys, like hummus and OMGah! house-made feta cheese.  Plus!  Joseph Karam, genius chef-guy, even manages to make vegetables taste so good that I asked The Chef for part of his share. That NEVER ever happens!

Plates as far as the eye can see...One time we needed an annex table for all the small serving plates.  And usually I wish they were regular-sized plates. Oh, and this was just the collection of starters. 
FAIR WARNING: Don't make plans to go out afterwards because you won't be able to move and you will be sad because you'll be sitting in an awesome club with an expensive drink thinking about how your waistband fighting the seventy-unpity thousand pounds of delicious food you just ate is making breathing near-impossible.

Or I imagine that would be true...

Oh dessert, how I love you so...

In which I openly profess my love for Gilbert Gottfried...

The man is a comic genius.

First, from our front and center seats (VIP/reserved seats), we saw this:

And then we saw this guy:

And then The Chef told GG jokes that made them both laugh, which seemed only fair because GG had been doing that for us for the previous hour.
"What's 6" long, has a big head and women love it?"*

And then I got this: 

Who's the luckiest girl in the world? If you guessed me, you win a prize. (But you can't have my book. By the way, I was not the only person walking around Twin River casino with a book. Oh wait. Maybe I was.)


* Answer:

Friday, December 9, 2011

I just really like this. There is no hidden message

“‘I love you’ means that I accept you for the person that you are, and that I do not wish to change you into someone else. It means that I will love you and stand by you even through the worst of times. It means loving you even when you’re in a bad mood, or too tired to do the things I want to do. It means loving you when you’re down, not just when you’re fun to be with. ‘I love you’ means that I know your deepest secrets and do not judge you for them, asking in return that you do not judge me for mine. It means that I care enough to fight for what we have and that I love you enough not to let go. It means thinking of you, dreaming of you, wanting and needing you constantly, and hoping you feel the same way for me.”

—Jonathan Safran Foer

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Something to think about and 503 words

“You have a choice. You can make things better or make them worse. That’s really all there is to it.”
--from the mighty internets but I don't remember where. Sorry!!!

Came home and fought my so-very-sleepiness long enough to pound out 503 words, words I am actually happy about too! (Making things better!)

In other news, I am blogging from my iPhone. I may have just hit the pinnacle of cool. (Better!)

I have to go now. The Steelers are on! (I hope Ben R is better!)


Brain dead

I stayed up too late grading essays last night and now my brain? She is dead.  I thought I needed a jump-start, but the Diet Coke isn't doing it.  Either I need to be hooked up to an IV of pure, uncut caffeine, or... Actually, I don't think there's an alternative except fallling face-first asleep wherever my face falls first.


Monday, December 5, 2011


Last night I went to bed at 10:00 like a good girl, just like always (except when The Chef is away at Man Camp because there's no one to tell me "Go to bed" so I dont't, but that's a story for another day).

And then I woke up at 2:30.


In the morning, when even most of my students are asleep.

Yesterday we decorated the tree and the house and it was very fun. We put a clock that gongs the Reader's Digest version of a different Christmas ditty each and every hour on the hour. It's a little jarring if you're not expecting it over the course of the day/evening. It makes you go, "Oh. I didn't realize it was XXX o'clock..." and then you move on. Lather, rinse, repeat on the hour every hour.

I thought it would annoy me in the night time, but it didn't.

When I was asleep it didn't.

When it chimed/gonged/whatevered at 3:00 this morning, that was a little annoying. Same thing at 4:00. I vowed that if I heard that danged thing at 5:00 in the danged morning, I was opening the front door and throwing the clock on the dagnabbit lawn. Luckily for the clock, I finally fell back asleep.

Until 5:38 when the alarm went off. If I weren't so lazy and it was my alarm clock and not The Chef's, I would have thrown that on the lawn. One day, alarm clock. Watch your back, because one day, you're destined for the front lawn.

This is my long-winded way of telling you why I have no word count for you. I spent a good part of the day wishing I could go back to bed and the rest of it face-first asleep on couch. (I hope I didn't drool on the leather.)

Well, asleep on the couch until that effing clock chimed a Christmas carol at me.

XOXO (except for you, clock)

Friday, December 2, 2011

764 words (for now)

I came; I wrote; I showered, got ready to go out, and then went out and partied like the rock star that I am.

Stop laughing.

We are going out later. Probably partying more like a chamber music choir member than a rock star, 'cause that's how I roll!*

It's research for my next book! I pinky swear!


*Actually, in the movie Rock Star, wasn't Mark Wahlberg's Chris "Izzy" Cole a member of the church choir?
"When is choir practice?"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Chef is home from hunting and Man Camp!!!

So no words today. Tomorrow for sure! I'm so close to the ending I can taste it. Yum! Almost as good as the pumpkin pie, which I still regret throwing away.

Catch you on the flip-flop!


I'm not too shy to share this with you...

Is it really stealing if I tell you I stole this from Carl King's website?

Myths about Introverts!

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introvert. Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

Penny here again.
I thought I'd share these because they are interesting character traits--characters like in my writing, not like in real life. Who cares about real life? :)

And Penny here from the iPad, so you'll not be getting any pictures from me today!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I wish it could be more...

...but I only have time for 524 words today.

But! There should be much rejoicing because I figured out the thing that I couldn't figure out with the plot and now it's figured.  I will have to go through the whole darned thing to make the figured out stuff work, but I will do that at the same time I make my romantic hero Irish all the way through.

My main character's main squeeze is from somewhere on this map. Anyone know from where, exactly? His name is Ryan (for now). Do you know him? Do you know where he lives?

In other news...

Oh my gah! I just yawned so hard that I almost dislocated my jaw. Apparently that means I am tired and should start wrapping up my day and go to bed. But the internets! They are so shiny!

I'm looking forward to The Chef returning from Man Camp (where they hunt and drink and act manly) tomorrow.  If I go to bed now, his return will be that much closer. A week is a really long time!  Thankfully, that BFF of mine came and saved me from myself for a few days!

Two more weeks of school after this week, which is more than halfway done, so we can stop counting it. Two. More. Weeks.  And you know what that means!  The birthday countdown begins!

25 days until my birthday!
(Shop early; shop often)


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

528 and a red hairring

Words.  528 words tonight.

But! This day was so incredibly productive, with some Christmas shopping and our most fabulous hairdresser coming over to make my hair even redder than it has ever been.  Deep delicious red. LOVE it. Also love that she comes over to the house rather than making us go to a salon like the commoners.

"Hello, Commoners... We don't go to the salon either."
So that's that.

Color me lucky and red, actually...


I can't hear you...

...pumpkin pie. I can not hear that evil siren song of yours because you are in the trash in the barrel at the end of the driveway.

(Pssst. Say "hello" to the pumpkin pie for me!)

I can't hear you!

LALALA...Did you hear something?


Monday, November 28, 2011

Today's word count

A mere 510 words on the Julia project*. I'm inching towards the end, like a tiny little inchworm.
Tomorrow's going to be better. I swear!

*By the way, the Hazel project is long done, in case you thought I abandoned her.  Oh no way. She is resting comfortably in an undisclosed location.


The siren song of the pumpkin pie...

Pumpkin pie...

why must you beckon me from across the room?
I love you so much,
but I am so lazy.
Come to me, please.

Five months and one day later...

Wheee! Look at me! This is like a pattern!

I downloaded/purchased this:

It will now be responsible for keeping me organized and keeping my characters from turning Irish with fifty pages to go.  You know how those crazy those rogue Irish characters can be! Earn your keep, Scrivener! Earn. Your. Keep.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Five months later...

I swear, I've been thinking about you a lot. I really have. And I have lots and lots to tell you, except I'm feeling shy and awkward because its been so long. You know how that goes, right?
In bullets, because that seems like the easiest way to get through a bunch of it--the blogging equivilent of pages flying off a daily calendar in a movie.

Oh, and keep in mind that this is nowherenear a complete list.  In fact, it's just this past week...
  • My son decided he is going to move to Missouri for his job.  I don't know if you know this, but Missouri is far away from Massachusetts, so far it is actually a place that I couldn't find on a map if hard-pressed. (Shut. Up.) This also involves much parental angst and staring off into space, not to mention map-Googling.
  •  The Chef (with whom I now live--in sin!) is off shooting things in the woods for a week, after many shopping trips and errands and lists. I think much drinking will also be going on at Man Camp, although probably not at the same time as the shooting. (Not to be all girly, but I miss him.)
  • I cooked my very first Thanksgiving dinner for eight people. No one died (that I know of). Pies were made! Bread baked! Turkey watched obsessively!
  • I plotted out my next writing project (adult!), complete with character sketches and location descriptions and chapter outlines.  Can't wait to get to it! [This burst of genius brought to you by the mad brainstorming skillz of the best BFF ever.]  I've always been a pantser-type writer (as in flying by the seat of your pants) but this thinking about it beforehand might actually have some merit. I reserve my right to go back to winging it at any time.
  • But first I must finish the current project, an adult chick-litty novel., which has not been plotted out except with some shady bullet points in my head.  This weekend I managed to pound out about 25 pages (with about that much more to go before much-needed revision--my romantic lead turned Irish about 40 pages ago; a little warning would have been nice).  I would have done more this weekend but there were too many snacks and leftovers that needed to be eaten and that takes TIME, people!
 Okay, I have to go. It's an hour past my bedtime; blogger is being stupid and I'm getting frustrated; I can't leave my main character literally standing in the middle of the street while I head off to bed. (That's just mean, especially since she's smack dab between a bakery and a cafe.) Oh, and I may need one more snack to cap off this Thanksgiving weekend.  The rest of it goes in the trash tomorrow. Swear!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Many Faces of Me

I have tons TONS to tell you! But right now, I also have TONS and TONS and TONS of stuff to get done.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I am a world-class runner. Or: Epic Fail

In Penny World.


Um, I'm thinking the 5k won't be happening this Saturday morning. I mean, it'll probably still go on even if I'm not there, but I'll never know, because I won't be there. Probably.

I've fallen so far out of shape that I can't even run an idea by someone, so forget actually running by someone.

But all I'm going to do is shrug and say, "Meh. Maybe next time." No beating myself up about it. Crap happens. Or doesn't happen. Whatevs.

Soon--SOON!--I'll get back to working out. And I suspect it'll be because The Chef is dragging my sorry butt with him. Or I'm dragging him. It'll depend on the, it would take a forklift or a piece of cake on a pole hanging in front of me.  Mmmm...cake....

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Other S&W

No, not Smith & Wesson, although I love their work, too.  This was Smith & Wollensky, where The Chef and I had the most amazing dinner.

A. Maze. Ing.

We went here:

I am a castle. I was built by soldiers who raised enough money for construction by putting on theater shows. All men. Playing all roles. (Think "drag.")
 See that booth on the left (below)? That's where we sat, after we got a tour of all four floors with Executive Chef Matt King. I would like to have a big fancy party in this castle. Anyone interested in paying for it?

I am not necessarily even the most gorgeous floor in the place. You should see my level three! (And my three kitchens are nothing to shake a stick at either.)

The Chef and I each had this:

You will love how my 28-day dry-aging process further intensifies the flavor before the house butchers create the final magnificent cut you’ll savor. Oh wait. Translation: Damn good meat. And lots of it.
 Before we got to the steaky goodness, Chef King brought us each a sampler plate of meat (steak), meat (scallop), and more meat (shrimp) to whet our appetites. Consider us whetted.

Then I had the curried asparagus soup and The Chef had steak tartar. (Insert your own joke here.)
Then! The bone-in ribeye (medium rare), creamed spinach (his choice) and onion rings (my choice. You can take the girl out of the...)

And then the best coconut cake ever made on this or any other planet. I want to go there again, sit at the bar, and eat cake. Daily.


I'm all for challenging myself and crap, and usually I don't care if I meet that challenge, but I have gone waaaay overboard this time. And telling people and getting their support only made it worse.

SOME weisenheimer* decided that in April I will:

What? Do you think you're some kind of wise guy???
1. Perform stand-up comedy at Catch a Rising Star
2. Run a 5K

Tomorrow I'm tackling #1--or it's taking me down. We'll see. It'll be the longest 5 minutes of my life. If I don't keel over first. (It would be a shame to keel over afterwards. A waste of a perfectly good keeling.)
Unfortunately, taking on #2 fell off the radar because #1 is powerful and strong and makes me eat lots of things because that's how I deal with FREAKING OUT.

::goes to get a snack::

Now #2 will be even harder. I've gained about 500 pounds in the past month. Okay, maybe five. And another thousand since last Tuesday. And I'm SO underprepared, although I have a week and a half. Bwah ha ha ha ha!

When I reminded him that today was Patriots Day so everyone in the state could celebrate the Boston Marathon and laugh at the idea of driving that far, nevermind running it, The Chef said, "Don't you have something like that coming up?"

I told him, "I am the human epic fail on that one."

Plus the 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday. Um, hello? Saturday? I've already paid for it, so I feel like I SHOULD do it. We'll see. After tomorrow, of course, when my brain returns to normal crazy, instead of the dangerously high levels it's currently running on.

Urgh. Running...

I'll be needing major kicks in the pants--beginning Wednesday morning. Kicks before that time will be returned unopened.

*me. No one to blame but me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Where credit is due OR: My guy is the BEST!

Not only does he put up with my special brand of crazy, he's also an active participant in Crazytown. (And I am thankful for that many times a day.)

To wit:
I've been working on this manuscript for, oh, I'd say since God was a kid, and there's food in it. I mean, not on the pages, because that would be gross (especially since it's on the laptop) but there's lots of food described and lots of cooking and none of it is the sugar-free chocolate pudding and/or cool whip I just ate.

Hello, friend.
 No! Its is good, delicious food.

Food I couldn't possibly cook myself, for I am not an idiot savant in the kitchen--just an idiot.*

Describing the aforementioned delicious food being deliciously cooked while attempting to cook it was/is near impossible. So I asked The Chef if he could please please please make a couple of recipes so I could watch and then use my smarty-pants brain to describe the process. And then put some plot points in there too.  And he did!

First, there was a pasta and cauliflower dish that was A-MAZ-ING (even though a vegetable was involved)

The amazing pasta dish, Strascinati con cavolfiori e mollica fritta ( pasta with cauliflower and fried breadcrumbs). Doesn't everything sound better in Italian?
... and then there was veal piccata** with artichokes (which I didn't even know I LIKED!) that I would marry I loved it so much.

I do.
I guess we're all just left to wonder what flavor of crazy is coming up next. ***

*Unless we're talking about baking, in which case, I am a monster genius. Or at least geniusy.
**Spellcheck wants to change this to pinata. Veal pinata would not be nearly as delicious. And much more messy.
***Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How DOES The Chef put up with me?

You know that whole thing about challenging yourself?
Howzabout this duplex of crazy (poor April; poor Chef):
  1. Comedy Boot Camp, performing 5 minutes of stand-up at Catch A Rising Star in April.
  2. C25k,* running a 5k at the end of April.
Plus there's the writing workshop with a TON of amazing friends,** run by the AMAZING Patricia Reilly Giff. Last time it ran, I wound up in the hospital for over a week. These two items are not related.

*I'm on Week 2, Day 1, if you must know.

**Including but not limited to her and her and her and her and her

Monday, February 28, 2011

Knee-Slappin' (or Lickin') Funny

The Chef and I saw Michael Ian Black at Catch a Rising Star* in Little Rhody** on Friday. (See photo. Yep. That guy. You've seen him a million times. Remember The State? LOVED that show!)

Anyway, I won tickets via the facebook and then a most awesome friend scored us a front row table.*** I could have licked his knees. MI Black, I mean, not my friend. That would be weird.

*I have something to tell you about this place, but not today, dear. I have a headache.

**I HATE when people call it this. Is there a Big Rhody somewhere I don't know about? Like when a father and son have the same first name so one of them is the Big and one is the Little?

***The Chef taught me that "It doesn't hurt to ask." If you don't ask for what you want, you're not giving someone the opportunity to do something kind. So really, asking people for what you want is a public service. Please note that this is MY interpretation. The Chef's mind isn't nearly as convoluted.

Worth the Wait

I think I need a better phone. When the picture is small like this, it's in focus and real purdy. Not so much when I do this:
It's like real life--without my glasses or contacts!

P.S. This is NOT my kitchen. My kitchen is about the size of the red box right there. The red box when it's closed.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I wish I could figure out how to add pictures from my iPad

I have other wishes as well, but that is a biggun right now. Because I would like to show you photos of strawberries as big as your head, covered in chocolate delicious enough to make Willy Wonka weep.

And you should gaze upon the flowers prettier than any gown you'll see at the Oscars tonight. But you can't because I am stymied by the iPad technology. That doesn't make me like it any less, for I love the iPad so very much. Even if it autocorrects like crazy.

Some recent autocorrects
What I meant to say: I love you to bits.
What I actually said: I love you robots.

What I meant to say: Is that possible?
What I actually said: Is that sable?

What I meant to type: Humphrey
What the iPad thought I wanted to say: hump hey

And then this epic fail:
I don't. Shrinks I? DAMN you autorotate! No! autocorrect! dammit!
I don't. Should I?

That is all. For now...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sorry, kids. Be back soon!

And then I will show you cool Valentine's Day pictures.  But in the meantime, this should keep you occupied...