News briefs

I am happy for the following reasons:

-My immediate family all seem to be in good moods today, when talking on the phone. I don't know why, but it's nice.

-My roommate is reallllly cute.

-Kate (above) is recovering and is starting to trust people again, according to the Humane Society.

Tomorrow starts February. That is not a reason I'm extraordinarly happy, but I thought it would mention it so that none of you fall prey to February Fools jokes.

Outside my window this morning


1. Gothamist has a fun discussion going on about the unfortunate pit bull. Seems that some people believe that animals get more sympathy than humans. Someone else points out that animals don't lie to your face.

2. I sometimes write these entries the day before, or at different times than the time listed. it is NOT really 5:31 right now.

3. Yes, roommate = fiance. Durr. ;)

4. Here is some new graffiti I encountered this morning.


More reader mail

Someone from down South writes:

Another reason you should not root for the Bears - Their fans were yelling at Saints fans, "Go back to your FEMA trailers!"Other things they yelled at women I will not repeat.I can show you the photo of a sign one fan held that said "Bears Finish WhatKatrina Started." I hope Peyton Manning, the Colts quarterback and a New Orleans native, makes all of those fans miserable Sunday.

Me too, if that's true. I heard about that sign but I thought it was something someone doctored for the internet, not something someone actually held up at the stadium. I think that person's sign should have been taken away for something so callous. I would also say that the person should have been removed from the stadium, but I guess that would violate his free speech...still, that's disgusting.

UPDATE: Apparently, I am not the only one who doubted that the photo was real. But also apparently, I have too much faith in humanity. It's on the "urban myths" website...and as it turns out, it's true. Check this out:


Well, even if I can't root for da Bears, I can still enjoy the Super Bowl food this Sunday.

A dictionary check confirmed recently that I am a fiancEE, while the boy is just a fiancE. I get an extra E because I'm a nice girl.

But a friend pointed out to me that most people ignore the "fiance" spelling these days and use "fiancEE" for both sexes. I've been trying to get it right, but I guess it doesn't really matter, does it? Should popular form or use eventually replace the original, if it's more sensible?

The word "enormity" is supposed to have a bad connotation and doesn't simply mean enormousness. You could say "the sheer enormity of 9/11" and be using it correctly, but "the enormity of our party overwhelmed me," theoretically, would be wrong. Yet, I recently looked it up and it said that enormity had come into common usage to just mean enormousness.

So, maybe it does, now.


Da Bears

I think I am going to root for da Bears to win da Superbowl, even though the Colts are OK too. There are a few reasons. One is, they won like the first seven games of their season and surprised everyone, yet, the minute their young quarterback started faltering, all of the commentators were saying he should be canned. He did really badly in two games, but geez, how fickle those commentators are! They were saying during the next game after that, if he didn't perform, he would be replaced in the second half. And he showed his stuff, and shut them all up.

So now da Bears are in the Superbowl, and they're still the underdogs. I like the Colts too, but it'd be fun to see da Bears win.

One thing, though. Why are they called the Bears, anyway? Is there a single bear in the city of Chicago? Come to think of it, are there colts in Indianapolis?? There are probably Dolphins in Miami. They can swim in and out. There are giants in New York. Shrek was playing in most theaters in the city, as far as I can remember. And Jeremy Shockey is 6'7". So, lots of giants in NYC, in one form or another. There are also definitely jets.

I could keep going on with this, but that would be unladylike and I should get back to Oprah.


I should know better than to write about things that my readers will all know more about than I do, like sports.

Sam from Hawaii writes:

I've never been so dissapointed in you... Da Bears? Indianapolis is my birthplace, and if Payton Manning and the colts lose, he'll be labeled a loser the rest of his career! You don't want THAT on your conscience do you? Also... Shrek is an ogre, not a giant... huge difference! Fire your fact checker!

Aloha, Sam.. Go Colts

A female reader writes:

Super Bowl is two words. I'm rooting for that other Manning 'cause he's adorable. Not the Colts, justthe hottie QB.

Great...confirm men's worst stereotypes of women and why they watch football!

She later added this correction:

Jeremy Shockey is 6-5".

Keeper writes:

I hope the Staleys win also!
Before the white man; there were bears around Chicago, and Indians, like my great grandfather. Whose ancestors once occupied most of New York, and your home state as well. True times have canged; the Indians are now in Cleveland. I got to quit, I can't bare anymore of this!

Okay, I give up. No more writing about sports for me! Pretty, sparkly things only.


Future topics

When I get around to them...

-Dogs on cable
-The Killer App
-Other stuff I keep meaning to write about



It was nine degrees outside this morning. NINE. Good excuse for oatmeal and/or cocoa.

Usually we get the real blizzards between Feb. 10 and 17. Maybe if we get one, it'll be on a weekend and it won't be so bad.


Reward up to $12K (from press release)

(Newark, NJ) -- The reward is now up to $12,000 for any information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrator who sodomized a 10-month-old pit bull in Newark. The Associated Humane Societies and the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offered a reward of $5,000 when the incident first happened. Posters went up in the area along with a media alert and an additional $7,000 was raised.

The dog, who has been named “Kate” after her veterinary caretaker, arrived at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls after being rescued in Newark where she was found in the hallway of an apartment building in a pool of her own blood.

Roseann Trezza, Executive Director of the Associated Humane Societies, says, “Kate was a neighborhood dog, belonging to everyone and yet, no one. She was given infrequent meals and was grateful for any attention or treats she received. Just before the horrible tragedy, she was seen walking on a leash with two teenagers. A short time later, she was found in the hallway near death.”

Since Kate’s arrival in Tinton Falls, she has been given round-the-clock-care. When veterinarians first examined her, she was in the process of shutting down physically and emotionally. She has been fed through a tube and is beginning to take small amounts of food. Her medications are expected to be switched from intravenous to oral and once she is eating and having normal bowel movements, she will be transferred to The Associated Humane Societies Medical Department in Newark.

The Associated Humane Societies is asking anyone who has any information about this incident to come forward. If someone is convicted of the crime, penalties range up to $7,500 in fines and 18 months behind bars. The Associated Humane Societies would be grateful for any donations towards the cost of Kate’s medical care.

The Associated Humane Societies (AHS), founded in 1906, is the largest animal sheltering system in New Jersey. AHS consists of four shelters located in Newark, Forked River, Tinton Falls and Union. The Forked River facility also includes the federally licensed Popcorn Park Zoo which is a sanctuary for abandoned, injured, ill, exploited, abused or elderly wildlife, exotic and farm animals and birds. For more information, visit http://www.ahscares.org/ or to make a donation, send it to Popcorn Park Zoo, PO Box 50, Humane Way, Forked River, NJ 08731. The Society is open 7 days a week from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Update: I found this quote on the web: "Debbie Beyfuss of AHS told 1010 WINS, 'Hopefully Kate will make a complete recovery and be adopted to one of the many wonderful people who have offered her a home.' "



I'm catching up on my e-mails; please be patient. Catching up on work at the same time.

As for novels, right now I'm just waiting for news. No new projects; waiting for word on the recently-completed.

While you wait for me to respond to your e-mail, and I wait for other things, here's some music from back in the '50s.

Gonna blog around the clock tonight
Gonna blog blog blog 'til broad daylight.
Gonna blog, gonna blog around the clock tonight!

They were ahead of their time.


That's cold

So I heard it was cold and windy this past weekend. Was it? I guess I'll believe you.

Where the Boy and I were, it was 80 degrees and sunny.

I'd never seen ocean water so blue. Downtown was nice as well.

That was the view from our balcony, through the zoom lens. Anyway, we enjoyed the pool.

(The Boy is covered up to protect the innocent.)

I also saw a rainbow one morning!

The Boy was more excited about car-watching, and I can't blame him. There were a lot of interesting high-end cars to see. When it's sunny all the time, people like to show off their convertibles. I kind of liked this car:

But try as I might, I looked up and down A1A and didn't spot Vanilla Ice.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the show. Signing off, your host... (also hidden to protect the innocent, namely me)



"847 dollars a night to stay at a Days Inn? You couldn't pay me $847 to stay at a Days Inn!" - The Boy (will be explained later)

"I was watching Everybody Loves Raven, and he said that he was a good cooker, and he started a fire in the kitchen and it burned the house." - Boy's anonymous nephew, describing a sit-com episode


Cigars all around!

It's Thursday! You almost made it through another week. Congratulate yourself.

Just for clarification's sake, the post below is from a press release, and is not my writing. I posted it 'cause I felt bad for that dog. I'm sure someone will adopt her. Maybe in time she will get over her trauma.

Happy Thursday!


Trash pails in love

In New Jersey, even the trash pails hook up outside of Hoboken bars.

I hope they catch this ass----....

The Associated Humane Societies in Newark has rescued a 10-month-old female pit bull who had been sodomized by a local resident. Newark Police called officials from the Associated Humane Societies to the scene at 321 Seth Boyden Terrace and an ambulance was immediately dispatched to rescue the dog.

Roseann Trezza, Executive Director of the Associated Humane Societies says two residents witnessed the situation but refused to get involved. “We have two people who saw this terrible act, but no information on the perpetrator. This is a horrendous crime of bestiality and it cannot go unpunished. This dog was terrified and compliant and when she arrived, was totally traumatized. Her body temperature had dropped, she was bleeding and efforts were made to stabilize her and warm her up before she was taken to Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls.”

The Associated Humane Societies has posted a $2,500 reward and the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has matched the $2,500 reward. So, $5,000 is being offered for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of this perpetrator. If the perpetrator is found guilty, penalties range up to $7,500 in fines and 18 months behind bars.

The Associated Humane Societies (AHS), founded in 1906, is the largest animal sheltering system in New Jersey. AHS consists of four shelters located in Newark, Forked River, Tinton Falls and Union. The Forked River facility also includes the federally licensed Popcorn Park Zoo which is a sanctuary for abandoned, injured, ill, exploited, abused or elderly wildlife, exotic and farm animals and birds. For more information, visit http://www.ahscares.org/ or to make a donation, send it to Popcorn Park Zoo, PO Box 50, Humane Way, Forked River, NJ 08731. The Society is open 7 days a week from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.


All your questions, answered

I have been getting a lot of the same questions from my blog readers lately. Here are some answers.

1. Q: When is the wedding?

A: We are tentatively planning to have our wedding the same day as we get married.

2. Q: When is your next book coming out?

A: Someone has to buy one first. I will let you know when I know.

3. Q: What is your favorite kind of dog?

A: No one actually asked this, but I like all dogs. I have a soft spot for beagle mixes.

4. Q: Why is this blog so boring?

A: Because I don't tell you about my scandalous, scandalous life. Maybe someday.

5. Q: Tell me more about The Boy.

A: No way! Then you'll try to steal him. And that would break my heart.

That's all. Now run along.

Dear diary...

Someday I'll have to go to "Cringe Night" and hear New Yorkers read from their teenage diaries. It's the newest 'nerd event' (as the Anonymous blogger calls them) in the city. I guess trivia night is old news now.
Debate on Times 'love' column

This past Sunday, the New York Times ran an essay by a woman who, when she was 19, met a guy who was 20 at the camp where they were both counselors, and fell in love. Then...he confessed to her that he was on leave from Harvard after being accused of date rape.

The essay was sympathetic toward the guy, and as a result it has unleashed a host of condemning comments on the web. Interesting reading.



Happy Martin Luther King Day, or Lee/Jackson/King day, as it used to be called in Virginia. We Northerners liked to point that out to feel more superior than usual.

Do you think that any more national holidays will be created? It seems like a door we shouldn't open again, being that everyone will have a different idea of who or what should be honored.

But if we do honor someone, it should definitely be someone who was born in March, due to the lack of holidays in March. I will have to go with Judd Hirsch.


Progress report

I dropped off my novel at my agent's office Thursday morning before work. It's actually cheaper to take it into New York myself than to mail it. That means no major book projects for a while. Whew.



So I went to the Strand. Unfortunately, the Book Nazi was there. You've heard of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, right? Well, the Strand has a Book Nazi.

When you hand in your books to sell, there's a guy who decides what he wants and doesn't want. If he doesn't want something, he is mean about it. One of my books that I brought in was signed by the author. The guy working with the Book Nazi said to the Book Nazi, "She says it's signed by the author." The BN responded, in a monotone, "Whoo-pee." What a jerk! I think he is trying to cultivate some sort of twisted fan base.

I ended up with $13 cash. The trip to and from the city cost a total of $3 on the PATH, so I guess I've got a windfall to deal with. I gave away the books I didn't sell.

The important thing is that I got rid of books I no longer need, and The Boy and I have more room to breathe.

Anyway, I'll be posting a photo of the line of people trying to sell books, when I download it from my camera.

If you have a lot of books to sell, you can sell them to the Strand, but usually they only pay about a dollar a book unless it's something relatively new, special, or in perfect condition.
Catching up

I am behind on some e-mails, even though I have responded in some sense. If my responses to you have been brief, it was not you, I swear!

I finally got someone else's recommendation letter written this morning. It's still harder for a person to ask for one, than to write one, so I sympathize. But it was still something I kept putting off...now I got to it.

Other tasks today: Cleaning, cleaning, selling some old books back to the Strand. They tend to give you about a dollar a book. If you count my PATH fare, I should make a $5 profit. Maybe I should get some cupcakes at Magnolia. ;)


More combonyms

One I made up - Vullible. Vulnerable and gullible. (I am certainly that sometimes.)

One I saw on VH-1 last night - Blaccent. Used to describe what Justin Timberlake adopted when he started getting into hip-hop. (That's kind of offensive though.)


You got through another week!


Quick post

I got a few responses to my post yesterday, most of them pretty short, on the order of "Good post." I guess we've all had those unattainable crushes or idealized other people.

Some excerpts from responses:

"Hey there,
Just thought I’d tell you how much I enjoyed your post about real love vs. fantasy love. Many good points there...Have a great day!"

"Nice post on fantasy vs. reality love. Real relationships do take work, and living together does too. But in the end it's worth it. Good luck!"

"I stopped having Pamela Anderson fantasies when she started dating that drugged-out heavy metal guy."


The book, and fantasy vs. reality love

I'm handing in the book to Superagent Thursday. It could take months to find anything out, but I'll be glad to have it done for a while.

The main thing it's about is the difference between 'fantasy love' and reality love. You know, pining for someone you think is perfect...when, in fact, if you were actually with that person, you would have to put up with the day-to-day mundane responsibilities etc. and have the fantasy shattered.

Most of us have had intense crushes on attainable people at some point (especially back in school), and sometimes it takes a while to get over them. Part of the reason for that is that you don't actually end up in a relationship with them, so you don't get to see how they'd really treat you or what kind of boyfriend/girlfriend they'd actually make. You only see or remember what you WANT to see - the good parts.

It usually takes a while to realize the difference between fantasy love and reality love. I read a book not long ago, non-fiction, about a woman preparing for marriage. She talks about how, a few months into dating her then-boyfriend, she told him she loved him. His response was that the only girl he ever truly loved was the girl he had a crush on in high school. (That girl didn't love him back, of course.)

It's very easy to get hung up on (and have dreams and fantasies about) someone you don't end up with, and only remember the good and not the bad. A question for you guys out there: When you fantasize about Pamela Anderson being your love slave, does she ever say to you, "Um, I can't today, I have my period and I don't feel well?" I doubt it. Not in your fantasy! But in real life, yes, she gets her Aunt Flo too.

I guess the point of my book is that sometimes you have to recognize that clinging to unattainable fantasies, or putting your best spin on a past love or crush or relationship makes it hard to appreciate what's in front of you.

I have a few single friends who have had trouble with this, because they were hung up on someone from the past and were slow to commit to a new person. Hey, give those new people a chance - don't make them live up to a prior fantasy. Instead, have the patience to discover what's new and fantastic within them! Especially if they really love and respect you.

Disclaimer: I am only a fiction writer and am not licensed to give out advice. In fact, about some things, I shouldn't even be listened to whatsoever. Bye.

The good news

The good news is that true love can feel like a fantasy at times. Writer Robyn Schneider's most recent blog entry is a lot of fun to read. By the way, her first novel just got published this week!


On language

This is one of those entries I thought of two weeks ago and now it's come to mind when I'm on the computer, so I'll post it...

Isn't it kind of funny that if I say to you, "What's on tonight," you'd know I mean on television?

Is there anything on tonight?

Nope, nothing on tonight.

It also works with "What should I watch tonight?" If someone asked you that, would you say, "Your neighbor's dog getting a tummy rub in the window?" No, you'd say, "CSI: Topeka."

It's funny how television has become such a staple that even saying "TV" is too much...we only have to say, "What's on" or "what should I watch?"

I wonder when that started. Also, I wonder when "TV" as an abbreviation started, in general.

I've also been thinking lately about how fortunate it is that the members of my family had things they watched at completely different times - being that the only good (a.k.a. color) TV was in the living room.

My brother and I controlled prime time nearly every night. My mom watched the soaps in the afternoon and ABC news at 6, 6:30, and 7. And dad watched sports on the weekends. It all worked out. And even when I wasn't interested in what they were watching, I sat on the couch with them and watched because there was nothing better to do. I accidentally saw George Brett storm onto the field because they said there was too much pine tar on his bat, I followed the exploits of General Hospital's Luke and Laura every summer, and I watched all the news. Clearly, TV was a cornerstone of my childhood.

Now I watch here and there (more now because there's cable in my home), but there are shows that have been on for ten seasons that I haven't even seen a complete episode of. Strange, huh?

Kids today have so many more channels to choose from, but they also have the internet and IM'ing, so TV isn't as necessary. I guess it's still the main form of entertainment in most homes, but the big color living-room Zenith probably isn't the big gathering place it was.



No time to post all of the things that swirl around my brain, but....has anyone else had major problems with slow holiday-time mail this year? I've had major problems with packages in the last two weeks. And I sent a Barnes & Noble gift card to someone on Dec. 27 and they still haven't gotten it. And today I got an Xmas card in the mail from someone.

The fact that they closed the post office for Gerald Ford's death didn't help matters. Not only weren't packages delivered, but that's a day of paperwork and stuff the postal employees got backed up on.

But there's something bigger going on, I think. Today was a record year for people ordering gifts on-line. With all those extra packages floating around, I don't know if the post office was prepared. I know that UPS hired a lot of extra people, one of whom supposedly delivered a CD to my front door on Dec. 8 that I never got.

Anyway, whine, whine, whine, whine.

Get back to work, bum.



While the responses to my announcement of a few days ago have been of the "Congratulations!" variety, two people added that they are sad to be losing another single friend to marriage, even though they are quite happy for me. They just hate being left out. I understand that sentiment; it is a common one. Another person said she has trouble meeting people, since she doesn't go out much. I probably will have things to say on these topics at some point. I don't really blame anyone who feels left out when their single friends get married. I think people really need to support each other. I recently tried to set up two acquaintances (nice, interesting people) on a date, trying to do my part to get good people together. BUT I don't really want to say too much on these issues here, because after all, this is the internet and anyone can read it. If you're a friend, you should feel free to ask me by e-mail or in person about such things. But don't feel left out if your friends are getting married. It can happen to you at any time. I may write more about that someday, but for now, I just wanted to respond briefly.

Long project at the end

The book I've been working on for a long time is going to be mailed to Superagent VERY soon. I need to do final nips and tucks.

Today is the birthday of someone I knew in elementary school, whom I haven't spoken to since I was about 14. Why do I remember such weird things?

Nuts over Grape Nuts

Last week I ate my no-fat sundae that I thought up many years ago when I'd graduated from college and decided to finally get rid of the extra dining-hall pounds.

It's actually very tasty.

Put Grape Nuts cereal in a microwave-safe bowl with skim milk.
Cook in microwave for 2 minutes, until cereal is warm and thick.
Put cold yogurt on top.

I love the way the cold fruity yogurt tastes on the warm soft grape-nuts mix. YUM.

Note: A certain boy I know thinks that Grape Nuts "smell like kitty litter." Guess they're all for me, then.


Something raw

More of why it's hard to be a young writer. Boy, Ned doesn't hold back, does he?

Thanks to everyone who sent kind wishes yesterday! I'm very happy.



I got engaged this weekend. To The Boy! He's wonderful. I may post more details some day. No, we don't know when the vedding is.

See, it can even happen to a dork like me!


I feel your pain

Back to work.

Except the post office, which I think is closed today in honor of Gerald Ford.

Cheer up. Here is a photo of beautiful Meg (1985-1999).

More news in a few days after I've notified other nosy people of news.