Thursday, May 28, 2009

Surprising Things about Almost Grown Up Children

My kids constantly surprise me. Both of my young adults are still living in the home (I was banking on at least one of them going off to college, but nooooo!) and this basically means we have four full sized people living in a house that was meant for two adults and two little ones. Or just two adults. And honestly, at 6'3, my son is like two and a half people.

Beyond the normal insanity, (like sharing one bathroom among four people that all need showers before work,) there are a lot of things that totally blow my mind. I didn't know that young adults could still be so... weird. Here's a few things that happened recently.

1. My son wore a Burger King crown all morning. He's nineteen.

2. My daughter spent all afternoon talking like Borat. "I have to go to the library and study till my brains fall out," isn't funny... unless you sound like Borat. To hear that voice coming out of a pretty, blond girl's mouth is... unsettling, to say the least.

3. My son now bbq's his own hotdogs... for breakfast.

4. On her way out the door, my daughter turned to the family and said, "Do you know this porch light has been on all day? I've been watching and waiting to see if someone would turn it off, but NO! It's five PM and still BURNING electricity! Money, people, money!" (At this point my eyes popped out of my head and rolled helterskelter across the floor.)

5.My son is perhaps the pickiest person on the face of the planet. Honestly, this kid eats nothing with actual FLAVOR. Yet he watches Bizarre Food with Andrew Zimmern religiously and says Zimmern has, "The best job evah." Huh? He won't eat anything white (like mayo or cream cheese, etc.,) but wants to fly across the world and sit in some dive eating deep fried monkey testicles?

Sometimes I look at these people and think, I did this? How?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Perfect Day

This isn't the perfect career day. Oh, no. That would be if my agent called me up with a three book deal and an option for film. This was the perfect personal day.

After working twelve hours in the yard that would not be done on Sunday, fisherman and myself decided to get the hell out of dodge before the yard sucked us in again and head to the beach on Memorial Day. Memorial Day weekend in Oregon is usually wet and cold. Think of the moors in Wuthering Heights. But not this one. In fact, some of the weathermen, (people, if that's how you roll) said it was the best memorial day weekend in recent history. A memorable Memorial Day, if you will.

So fisherman and myself headed to the beach. No children asking if we were there yet and could we go to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for candy, (A place in Seaside where the children were convinced the oompa loompas lived), no teens asking for money, just us.

Because it was just us, we went to Cannon Beach instead of the teen hangout, Seaside. We poked around galleries and shops and then headed on to Manzanita for lunch at the San Dune Pub.

Epic Burger. Epic beer.

We sat out on that patio and soaked up the sun, (and the beer) for hours. Much later we stumbled, er walked, out onto the beach. I actually talked fisherman into taking his shoes off and walking in the sand, something he hasn't done since he was a child because he has, as he puts it, "feet softer than a princess's cheek."

After that, we drove around the coast for a while before heading home. On the way we stopped at Krispy Kreme for doughnuts and coffee. Mmmm Doughnuts.

All in all an absolutely perfect day. The only downside was the yard didn't finish itself while we were gone. Sigh.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Communication Texting Style

Being a batshit crazy American family with absolutely no time to breathe, let alone eat dinner together, my husband, two teens and I have resorted to communicating by text. Some of my texts:

Son: Two famous donuts meet in the bar and have coffee together.
Me: What???
Son: Exactly.

Daughter: Old Navy is having a huge sale on flip flops! A dollar each!
Me: No money, Honey. Buy them yourself.
Daughter: Shoot me. I can't even afford a pair of flip flops at OLD NAVY!Remember when we used to go to Nordies and Hollister?
Me: Those days are gone. U a big girl now.
Daughter: Being a grown up sucks.
Me: You have no idea.

Hubby: You at Kaiser?
Me: Yeah. Boob squish appointment.
Hubby: Oooh. Sexy. What are you wearing?
Me: Old bra turned gray from too many washings, holey underwear, limp tee shirt and jeans. You?
Hubby: Same thing.

A few minutes later: Minus the bra.

Well, Thank God for that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Melissa Walker and Lovestruck Summer

I am so happy that GCC is presenting Melissa Walker this week. Not only because I love her books, but because Melissa is an amazing person, as well. She was one of our first book club picks and she not only sent my girls free books, but made them a vlog and answered all their questions. She is a SUPER PERSON! Check out her new book and then go buy it!

Lovestruck Summer
by Melissa Walker

LOVESTRUCK SUMMER (HarperTeen; May 5, 2009; $5.99) is the story of Quinn, an indie rock girl who came out to Austin, Texas for a music internship. She also plans to spend long, lazy days in the sun at outdoor concerts--and to meet a hot musician or two. Instead, she’s stuck rooming with her sorority brainwashed cousin, who now willingly goes by the name “Party Penny.” Their personalities clash, big time.

But Sebastian, a gorgeous DJ, definitely makes up for it. Sebastian has it all: looks, charm, and great taste in music. So why can’t Quinn keep her mind off Penny’s friend cute, All-American Russ and his Texas twang?

Sebastian is the kind of guy Quinn wants, but is Russ the guy Quinn needs? One thing’s certain: Quinn’s in for a summer she’ll never forget!

A former editor at ELLEgirl and Seventeen magazines, Melissa Walker knows her indie rock. She hails from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She loves talking about books, fashion, magazines and all kinds of pop culture. Visit her at or on

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I wonder

1. I wonder: why my 19 year-old-son has yet to master the art of turning anything off. You would think a boy who can beat Call of Duty could figure out how to turn off the TV or the stereo or the stove. But no.

2. I wonder: why my daughter keeps a planner more religiously than anyone I have ever known and yet still misses appointments.

3. I wonder: why editor time is not the same as writer time. It's the same for a deli worker and a customer, A dockworker and a ship, even a doctor and a patient. But some magical space/time continuum happens between a writer and an editor that keeps their times wildly different.

4.I wonder: why dogs are only potty trained in the summer and not in the winter.

I wonder: why, if my husband has asked the same question for twenty years "what's for dinner?" and I keep giving the same answer, "I dunno" why he keeps asking. Like I'm magically going to start planning dinner before dinnertime?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Job Search Update

Dear Ms. Bigwig,

As you can tell from my resume, I have many qualifications that would make me right for your cushy, well-paying job. Thank you for taking the time to consider my resume.
Teri Brown

Dear Teri Brown,

Thank you for your interest in answering phones, making coffee and coordinating schedules. It looks as if you have all the right qualifications for the job. Unfortunately, you do not have a degree. I understand if you did have a degree you would have received it before personal computers, (or any computers for that matter,) were common and would therefore be out of date, but without that degree you could not possibly know how to answer a phone.
Thanks, but no thanks.
Mr. Bigwig's secretary

Dear Mr. Burger Joint Owner,
As you can tell from my resume, I have many qualifications that would make me a master burger flipper. Thank you for your consideration.
Teri Brown

Dear Teri Brown,

Thank you so much for your interest in the position of master burger flipper. I'm afraid you are over-qualified and would not be happy in this job for the long term.
Mr. Burger Joint Owner's wife

PS. Can you sign a book for my daughter? I know she would love it.

Dear Perfect Job for Me Boss,

I would be perfect for this position. Thank you for your time.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Biggest Loser Ever: The Economy

Before I get into the doom and gloom, (Oh, I bet that made you want to read on didn't it?)I just wanted to say congrats to Helen, who won this season's Biggest Loser. Not only is she a woman, but she's also 48. That's what I'm talking about, people! The at home winner was 64! Great season, my favorite so far!

Now for the DOOM: My freelancing writing seems to be slowing down to the pace of a salted slug. (How's that for a visual?) Which is why I am blogging from home instead of S-bux, because my coffee shop money just got reallocated, to, oh, I don't know, ELECTRICITY! FOOD! WATER! As we tighten our belts, I discover that mine is especially tight. Must be all that toast. Hmmm, maybe I should run more.

Now for the GLOOM : Community Partner's For Affordable Housing lost a grant they have been receiving for the last four or five years. It's the grant that pays my salary among many other important things. So the job I adore, the one I have put so much effort into is gone, poof!! No more. What is heartbreaking is how hard it is on the kids whenever anyone leaves. On the upside, I am leaving a wonderful YA library, thanks to you all, and I am still volunteering my time for book club. So all systems are still go on that front. The downside, I have to get a full time job. Hopefully, I will be able to find something that I love as much as I did this one.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Disclaimer: Don’t read the following post if you are carb-o-phobic or trying to lose weight. Toast is many things, as you will see, but weight reducing it is not.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about toast lately. I know, I know, I need to get a life. But if you think about it, toast is one of the greatest foods ever discovered. Bread is important, (you couldn’t have toast without it) but the act of toasting the bread and slathering it with butter takes bread to a whole nother level.

It’s one of the most versatile foods going, (right up there with cheese, but that’s a different blog) and honestly, breakfast would all but disappear without it. If there is little else in the house to eat, you can always have toast.

For instance, are you in the mood for something sweet? Add a little jam, or better yet, cinnamon and sugar. Need something more substantial? Add peanut butter and bananas, or cream cheese. Or take it a step further and have a Hole in One. Add garlic to create a side for spaghetti , (in case you’re like me and always forgetting the French bread!)Are you a purist? Toast with tea or coffee might be more up your alley.

Just the thought of all these toast delights makes me stalk to the kitchen like an automaton and pop some bread in the toaster.

So next time you eat a piece of toast, take a second and marvel over it. Toast. Mmmm. I honestly believe that the manna God dropped from the sky was buttered toast. The smell of toasting bread ranks right up there as the most heavenly smell ever sniffed.

Toast recipe: I developed this recipe when I was a kid. Make toast and spread with butter and then peanut butter. Sprinkle eight chocolate chips on top. Broil until the chocolate chips are melted and then swirl with a knife.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Things I Said I'd Never Do

It's humbling to recall all the things you said you'd never do. You know, the great pronouncements you make that you end up having to take back. This isn't just in teendom either, it's that haughty mid twenties age when you still think you know it all and your opinions are ironclad. The most famous one that most people make is: "I'd never allow my children to do that."

Sure you won't.

Here are some of mine. (The ones I can bear to admit to)

1. I will never buy whole bean coffee. My mother began buying whole bean coffee before I did and I was vocal in my ridicule. Folgers is FINE, I said. I drink too much coffee to pay that much for it, I said. What a pain in the arse, I said. Now I'm fully equipped with a grinder, an espresso machine and a french press. How I ate my words. Or drank them, as the case may be. Now when I go to my FIL's place and he hands me a cup of Folgers coffee, I grimace inwardly at every sip and look at it as if it were an alien, seeking to destroy me. Shudder.

2. I will never spend four dollars on a cup of coffee. Uhhuh. It took me several years to become a Starbucks addict. I refused to step into the place. I laughed at all those espresso swilling people and thought it was just for the local rastas and college kids. Now we BUDGET for Starbucks. How the mighty have fallen.

3.I will never listen to rap/hip hop music. This one took longer. Then I heard Usher and Luda and Lil John do Yeah. Blew my head right off. Pretty soon my daughter was teaching me Soldier Boy dance, bopping my head to Lollypop, and wishing I too, could wear apple bottom jeans and the boots with the fur. (At over forty, I totally can't.) Some of my favorite artists now have the first name Lil.

4. I will never watch reality TV. Now my favorite shows are almost all reality TV. The Biggest Loser, Survivor, The Bachelor... the list goes on.

5. I will never cuss in front of my kids. Yeah. That one lasted until the fourth day after giving birth to my son as he cried in the middle of the night for another feeding. I said, and I quote, "OH sh*&. Not again." It just went downhill from there.

What things did you say you would never do... come on, join the eat your words fest.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Introducing Little Bear Bubbo Brown

Awww, doesn't he look so sweet and innocent? We watched this kitten being born after a stray we took in turned out to be pregnant. Little Bear, as we called him, was the runt and we had to remove the other kittens periodically so he could get food. The other wouldn't let him eat. He turned out to be my daughter's cat and they have been together for the last eight years. Bubbo is a huge black boy (eunuch) with a roundy head,(did you know that you can separate cats into two groups? Roundy heads and pointy heads. Each have their good and bad points. Yes, I am a cat sterotyper.)

Inside the house, Bubbo is as sweet as you would like a cat to be. Affectionate, big purr, willing to sleep in any position as long as he's cuddled. He loves Megan more than life itself and will patter through the rooms screaming, I mean mewling, for her when she isn't here.

A quality cat.

But when he goes outside, he becomes something else entirely. He's the neighborhoods equivalent of feline mafia. A true gangsta. It's like he turns his baseball cap around backwards the minute he walks out the door. He does this hip-rolling swagger onto the porch and curls his little kitty lip in disdain as he surveys his domain. Godfather Kitty. Birds screech off in terror. Other cats tremble and hide their young. Even dogs avert their eyes and walk away from Bubbo. He fights, he sprays the neighbors tires, he kills things large and small, and leaves their heads in tribute outside Meggy's window.

Then he comes in and reverts back into a gentle, loving family man, offering up purrs, gentle paw pats and adoring head butts.(When cats butt their head up against your face because they are so in the mood.)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in feline form.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Late and Vamped

First off, I seem to be late on everything lately. Been thinking a lot about how it's the little things that kill me... like the book that has been waiting to go to a chaptermate for two weeks. The boob squish appointment I have put off making for six months and now the teeth cleaning I haven't scheduled. WTH? Why can't I get it together? To top it all off, my muse seems to have been stricken with swine flu because she is totally absent. Totally.

You know how weird it is to not want to write anything? The ideas are there, but the need to get them all worked out isn't. I hope she gets back in shape soon, cause this is too odd to live with.

Anyway, GCC is touring Lucienne Diver's new book, Vamped. Check it out!

From “Valley Vamp Rules for Surviving Your Senior Prom” by VAMPED heroine Gina Covello:

Rule #1: Do not get so loaded at the after prom party that you accidentally-on-purpose end up in the broom closet with the surprise hottie of the evening,say the class chess champ who’s somewhere lost his bottle-cap lenses and undergone an extreme makeover, especially if that makeover has anything to do with becoming one of the undead.

Gina Covello has a problem. Waking up a dead is just the beginning. There's very little she can't put up with for the sake of eternal youth and beauty. Blood-sucking and pointy stick phobias seem a small price to pay. But she draws the line when local vampire vixen Mellisande gets designs on her hot new boyfriend with his prophecied powers and hatches a plot to turn all of Gina’s fellow students into an undead army to be used to overthrow the vampire council.

Hey, if anyone's going to create an undead entourage, it should be Gina! Now she must unselfishly save her classmates from fashion disaster and her own fanged fate.

About Lucienne!

Lucienne Diver is a long-time book addict who went to work for NYC’s Spectrum Literary Agency fifteen years ago to feed her habit. Recently, she traded in her high-rise for a lake view. She now lives in Florida and works for The Knight Agency ( Through various play-dates and in various coffee bars, on the backs of envelopes, carry-out bags and anything else within reach, including, sometimes, her checkbook, she's penned the serio-comic tale of what happens when a young fashionista goes from chic to eek