Friday, June 30, 2006

Beauty is pain

But sometimes it's only a little painful. Today was Nes' birthday so the plan has always been to get our belly buttons pierced to celebrate and mark the occasion. Nes had mentioned she wanted one and I mentioned I wanted one too and we both agreed that if we waited to have the belly that we wanted that we would never get the piercings, LOL. So while beauty is pain I'm not saying that my belly it beautiful but I am feeling a little sore *G*.

Nes has been psyching herself out about this piercing. This chick who has jumped out of a plane was living in terror of a little (or not so little) needle going into her belly. I was really worried she was going to chicken out so we decided she would go first so she wouldn't freak herself out watching me. She was joking about me screaming but I told her, being the big bad toughie that I am, that I have 2 tattoos, a belly piercing doesn't compare, LOL. Nes did her research and found a tattoo parlor in Amsterdam for us to get our piercings, called shockingly enough, The Tattoo Palace, LOL. I have decided that tattoo artists are my people. I always have a good time hanging with them and laughing and joking. The only problem is they have so many tattoos and piercings, LOL. One or two I don't mind but the piercing across the bridge of the nose and the tattooed head is just not attractive to me, which is unfortunate cause one of the guys there was telling us how he liked women with meat on their bones, umm, I qualify, LOL!

Donald was our piercer, he had green hair, a pierced nose and lots of tats, he was also from Vancouver so we were almost neighbors and he was really sweet. He promised that it would not hurt, well he said by the time it registered that it hurt that it would be over. He was extremely gentle with us. I have to say, I was a little disappointed by Nes. I expected screams of terror, a little crying at least and all I got was her singing Build Me Up Buttercup and she didn't even realize she was pierced! Of course I couldn't wuss out (I had no plan too) but I did get a little worried that since she handled it so well I wouldn't but what was I thinking? Of course I came through it like a champ! Considering how much I prefer to keep my belly covered it's funny that I have a tattoo and a piercing to highlight my lowlight!

Donald (as in the duck, his words, not mine, LOL) marking where the tattoo will go. He says standing up is better since it's more natural, I have to explain to him I spend more time laying down but I guess he didn't believe me, little does he know.Donald pushing the needle through. After the initial push it's not bad at all. Inserting the bar. Nes and were surprised we got a choice in piercings. We expected just plain barbells so we had fun picking out colors. I went with a more subtle color which is unusual for me but I figured I would be wearing it for 6 months so I went conservative in color. Well, I guess as conservative as a belly piercing can be. The happy piercees with their cool piercer, LOL. In case you can't tell Nes and I are sucking our bellies in like crazy! If you want to see Nes' blog about our adventures click on the link to the right, My Life Below Sea Level.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Margaritas and karaoke...

Is there a better way to end the night? Of course there is but I havne't had a chance to get the lay of the land, so to speak, LOL. Today was another active day, well as active as I like to be. It started a little late but I didn't get to sleep until late, let me just say the birds were chirping when I went to sleep. I didn't feel too bad though since Nes woke up after me, well, at least for the second time, LOL.

We wanted to get an early start to go to the beach but that didn't happen but we did get to the beach. We went to the neighborhood by the beach (Wijk Aan Zee) and the weather was perfect. It wasn't a totally topless beach but Nes and I went topless which didn't bother me, there were lots of other people topless but it was weird to be topless around teens! It seems like we were surrounded by them but they didn't think anything of it. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. Sometimes I get bored at the beavh but that was so not the case here. I didn't even really read much of my book, we did a lot of talking and laughing and when we weren't talking it was fine to just lay there and be in the moment.

Next up we went to have a late lunch at a neighborhood pub. Now when I think pub food I don't think good food. This was so not the case here. I think I had one of the best sandwhiches I have ever had, called the chicky chick, how can I not order a sandwhich with that name? It was chicken on ciabatta with bacon, guacomole, creme fraiche and arrugala. OMG, it was so good, and I've decided I need more creme fraiche in my life.

Afterwards we went grocery shopping again, I promise to share pics from that in my future blogs cause I so know Nancy will get a kick out of it. I totally think of her while I was helping to scan the groceries. Not that Nes needs the help but she knew I would enjoy it.

Once we got back to the house I had to take a nap, my sleep schedule is so whack. Once I got up Nes and I yakked some more until her friend Angeline got here and then it was karaoke time! Of course, to set the mood we had to have margaritas. Apparently margarita mix is not sold here so I brought a couple of bottles with me. Well, now we only have one left and let me just say, tequila does little to help my singing voice! Ear plugs for the other people in the room would definitely help but you know that doesn't stop any of us from singing at the top of out lungs. One bottle of tequila later and I say this was another wonderful day in Hollan!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I'm here!!!!!

I'm trying to get adjusted to the time difference but luckily Nes took pity on me and let me sleep for a couple of hours, I should be good to go by tomorrow, back to my 10 hours of sleep a night (I kid, sort of).

The first leg of my trip was a little tough. I was in the middle seat. I hate the middle seat. my neck got a crick in it and it was hard to get comfortable. I feel sorry for people who are fully grown, LOL. Luckily the second leg of my trip was much better. I was in a window seat AND the seat next to me was empty so even though I didn't sleep as much I did spend a lot of time laying down. I didn't do as much reading as I wanted to, I just basically laid there and listened to my music when I wasn't napping. Oh, I am such a fan of naps, as you are all quite aware of, LOL.

Nes and Jan Kees were at the airport to greet me with big smiles and open arms! it was great after my exhausting flight. JK was on hand to document our meeting, too bad the pics didn't turn out that well, LOL. We'll have to work on our photog since Nes and I both want to be in the pictures (big shock). First things first, Nes takes me home and gets me settled, which means getting my computer set up, LOL. Then once I was settled it was karaoke time! I blame my lack of voice on tiredness. What I'm going to blame it on tomorrow I have no idea.

After a shower to make me feel human we went to the market. I was going to post a pic of the fries we had, a bag of fries with oinions, ketchup, mayonaise and peanut sauce which only cost 1 Euro but apparently Nes doesn't know how to work a camera also. But the fries were delish! There was so much on there that you have to eat it with a fork. After picking up some fruit we went to the store which was really cool. They have these things that you grab at the beginning of your shopping adventure which you grab and you scan your items as you go and by the end you go to pay and leave. I guess they do random checks to make sure people aren't stealing but it was very cool. Plus, Nes has her own shopping basket so we don't have to bag anything.

Then we came back to her house where we proceeded to take advantage of the gorgeous day by sunbathing topless in her backyard. Thank goodness for her fence. We had books to read but you know we spent zero time reading and all of the time talking and laughing, lots of laughing. Nes and I chat all of the time so there is no getting to know you phase, we talk like we saw each other yesterday versus 5 years ago. After the sun and fun I had to go inside and take a nap or else I would never make it throught the day.

It was tough waking up but I made myself do it, I am trying to get my body clock adjusted. It was nice though because while I was sleeping she made dinner. How awesome is that? Then it was time to chat and eat. Nes and I sat across from each other with our webcams on making faces and chatting online with friends, quite funny.

Now we're both bloggging. Of course, we took a pause to take a picture since my french fry picture didn't turn out. We're snuggled up on the couch watching Pirates of the Carribean annd eating beef jerky. So far the beginning of a great vacation!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

All my bags are packed...

I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again (well I do, John Denver didn't). OK, I'm in the hurry up and wait mode, yup, I'm at the airport! I rushed to get here cause everyone said an hour and a half was not enough time (I thought 2 hours was way too long) and of course my 7:50am flight is now leaving at 9:15am. I have a layover in Newark but brilliant startegist that I am I went with a 2 and a half hour layover in Newark. I found a flight with a shorter layover but I did not want to be stressed between flights and I am not. With our delay I still have an hour left. Of course, if it delays too much longer I won't be as stress free but for now, I'm chilling.

I have my laptop (obviousely) and my book (Dance Macabre by LKH) which is highly anticipated and big and a fully charged ipod. Of course all I want to do is sleep but I'm waiting until I actually get on the plane before I do that. I'm hoping to get at least 3 or 4 hours sleep on my flight. The hard part is I'm trying to pace my ipod and laptop use since they are both good for about 4 hours so even though I would like to be listening to my ipod while I type this that is smart so I will refrain.

I finally remembered to pack the perfect airplane pillow. My friend Dao is very craftsy and she made this ages ago for me and it's small and firm and will be great on my flight! I always mean to carry it with me and I always forget, this was a good flight to remember since my flight to Newark is 5 1/2 hours and my flight to Amsterdam will be 7 1/2. That pillow will certainly come in handy.

I live in terror of oversleeping when I have to get up early, especially when I'm relying on my cell phone alarm so I woke up 20 minutes before my alarm was set and just laid there waiting to get up (sure I could have gotten up then and not been so stressed but that is so not my way, LOL) and at 5am when my alarm should have been going off I had an early morning wake up call from my dear friend Mich. She, being the kind friend that she is wanted to make sure I didn't oversleep also. Isn't she good to me?

I can't believe it's finally time for me to leave. It seems so surreal to me. I don't think it'll really hit me until I land in Amsterdam. I'm guessing in 15 hours when I'm greated by Nes' smiling face I will know it's real. I can't wait!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Leiha's Nancy

Lina was right, I need to talk about more of my best friends other then my famous one, LOL. So today I'm going to talk about Nancy. Many of you who read this blog have met Nancy and if you have not you have heard me mention her name a hundred times or more, LOL. We met the senior year of HS which would be almost half my life ago, EAK! We have always been friends but it takes years to develop the friendship that we have. When I was in the Army we lost touch but when I moved back home we picked right back up and when I moved to LA we both realized that friendship takes work so we have both put effort into being as close as when we were roommates. Luckily, we now have cell phones and the internet so it makes life much easier. Nancy was not much of a letter writer. I on the other hand, used to write pages and pages, LOL. I had a cush job even in the Army *G*.

Nancy and I have a friendship that is easy. Being easy doesn't mean it's not a deep and meaningful friendship, it is and she's the closest friend that I have and as close to me as my sisters and to be quite honest, closer most times. But it's nice to have a friendship like that that is easy also. We get each other. Lots of people look at us and see the differences but we actually are a lot alike. I mean, who else but us would take enjoyment out of our farmers tans? This is probably my favorite picture of us. And there was the party we threw where we wanted to be drag queens so we were girls being guys being girls. People think I'm the outrageous one but trust me, it's usually Nancy giggling right beside me, LOL. We used to even finish each other's sentences because we knew each other so well.

Our favorite thing to do is guess. When someone says guess what or guess this we actually love to guess. So we do that with each other all of the time. We're excellent guessers. People think I'm the bossy one (OK, I'm the louder one, LOL) but as she likes to say, I'm a benevolent ruler and Nancy gets her way 9 times out of 10. When we moved in together she made me messier and I made her neater, I got the loosing end of that stick, LOL.

Yesterday is actually the reason today is about Nancy. I was driving up to WA and since she carpooled she wanted me to pick her up along the way, which I did. We chatted in the car, I dropped her off at her car and followed her. We went to her home and I dropped off my plants, which hopefully she won't kill, I checked my email and then left. My plans for dinner fell through and I was bummed so I called Nancy who was cleaning (trust me, you won't hear that very often) and she decided to go to dinner with me since she hadn't eaten either. She was still cleaning when I got there so I sat on her computer and played and when she was ready we went to eat sushi. We talked or didn't talk. We are as comfortable with the silences as with the laughter. Not that she didn't have me LMAO, she did. She ordered something with peppers, tried it, thought it was a bell pepper, kept chewing, realized it was not. I was dying, LOL. Anyway, I decided I needed to color my hair and I was going to do it at her house instead of my brothers so we picked up the color at Walgreens and Nancy being Nancy was touching everything and again making me laugh, not on purpose, just being herself. She gets enjoyment out of looking at the new tic tacs! On the way home I was telling her about this song I had downloaded (I still miss someone by Johnny Cash) that I never knew who sang it but loved it from a movie and my excitement over having it. She pulls my ipod out of my purse so she can hear it and then next thing you know Leaving on a jet Plane is playing so she hands me one end and I hold it to my ear while she holds the other and we sing as we're driving home, looking like recording artists holding our ears, LOL. It's the moments, days like this that make Nancy such a wonderful friend. Our friendship is easy and simple but it is true and I love her for it.

Friday, June 23, 2006

This is it

The last night in my old new home. I'm typing from the floor of my bedroom since all of my furniture is now in storage. Of course, I am not turning off my internet until the last moment, LOL. So we moved here in the middle of Feb and now it's the end of June, unfortunately, I've been at other places for a shorter amount of time. I'm hoping that my next major move will last a bit longer, at least a year would be nice but really, my move from LA was difficult, this one is just inconvenient. It'll be nice to have my own space again though. But my own space is still a few months down the road, I have to get some traveling done and then find a job so a landlord will rent to me, LOL. So this is the beginning of the transition point to the next phase of my life. Not as scary as my last transition and shocking as it may sound, I actually look forward to getting a job. I know! But it's time, I need the discipline a job gives me. I also need the money a job gives me too, LOL. I probably won't be posting quite as regularly in the next month but I will definitely check in as often as possible (Nes has me on a busy schedule) and of course posting lots and lots of pictures.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Don't worry about me...

I think I've recovered from my food coma. I was just too fat and full to post last night. Yup, I went to Linda's for dinner. She invited me to partake in her leftovers from her Father's Day Feast. Let me just say, eating leftovers at Linda's is like eating a dinner at a 5 star hotel. When I got to her house dinner was already almost ready so I just started tasting while she put together everything.

She had a three cheese bread bowl with a vegetable dip inside and fresh veggies to dip them in (dip, another love of mine, LOL). So I dug right in. But sparingly because I was saving myself for dinner. Linda offered me a drink, I had to turn her down, I wanted to taste my meal without and booze tarnishing my palette. I'm a girl with priorities (which she appreciates, LOL). Let me tell you what I had. Her version of "leftovers". I had a pork chop that was about 2 inches thick! I asked her if she expected me to eat the whole thing, she did, LOL. That pork chop was brined over night, then seared and them smoked. We also had cedar planked grilled salmon (cooked to perfection, no dry fish here, same thing with the pork of course). She roasted asparagus and tomatoes for dinner, the asparagus was cooked with a salt blend, pepper and a basil olive oil (there was one other spice in the oil, I can't remember, I try to get the details for you my readers but like I said, I was in a food coma). There also mashed potatoes and gravy. Have I ever mentioned my love of gravy? It makes or breaks my Thanksgiving, but I digress. This gravy was citrus infused to go with the pork and salmon, both of which had citrus seasonings and had bacon and pork in it too! Jealous? You should be.

Looking at my plate you wouldn't think I could finish it but I knew I was going to Linda's for dinner so I ate sparingly all day. Not only did I do a credible job with my plate but I got seconds, LOL. Hence the coma. I had more pork so I had to get more mashed potatoes and gravy and the asparagus was soooo good I had to get more, well, you get the picture, LOL. I was not able to finish all of my pork but that's ok, guess what I had for breakfast?

But I haven't finished because Linda never makes a big meal without making dessert so we had homemade strawberry ice cream! And if that was not good enough and trust me, it was (the chunks of strawberry in it were huge!) she had a strawberry topping to put on top. The strawberries were soaked in balsamic vinegar and powdered sugar. It does not sound like a good combo but OMG, the tartness perfectly blended with the sweetness of the ice cream. To me, ice cream needs no adornment, I was wrong, LOL.

To recover from my culinary feast we watched a couple of movies, National Treasure and My Best Friend's Wedding. How great an evening was this? Plus, I didn't drive home which was good, putting a seat belt on would have hurt, LOL.

Monday, June 19, 2006

As you all know

Today was Father's day. My brother was in town with his children so I wanted to take him out for Father's Day. Gramer and I are a year and a half apart in age so we grew up together but we don't really spend any significant amount of time together. We've gone in very separate directions. But I think with me living a lot closer maybe we can reconnect again.

He is stepfather to three children, Bowen who is 1, Honesty who is 2 and Kelsey who is 9. So we went to lunch along with Jordan who is also 9. Let me just say, he earned that lunch. Wow, dealing with all of those kids by himself he's a pro. Honesty is daddy's little girl so he's carrying Bowen while holding Honesty's hand. I have to admit, she has a special place in my heart. She's incredibly smart and so sweet. He said they thought something was wrong with her when she was younger because she never cried. Of course, she's now hitting the terrible twos and is not quite as sweet as she once was but she's still a dollbaby. She was sitting with my until the first time I told her no, then she practically flew to her dad's lap, LOL. It was funny watching her use her charm on him. He said the problem is it works everytime, LOL. It was fun to go to lunch with him and to try and build a relationship with his kids. They are really sweet. Definitely one of the reasons I'm in OR is to be closer to my family and I'm close to the middle kids but I'm hoping to reconnect with the rest (the middle ones make the effort and reap the benefit of my love and attention, LOL).

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Father's Day and spent today with someone you love.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Trivia Pursuit

How could I almost forget to post about it! You all know I love my game nights! Nes and I even plan on having one while I'm in Europe, she is very competitive, more so then I, so you KNOW I want to win, LOL.

Anyway, after we came back from the BBQ we sat around gabbing, painting nails and snacking and decided to pull out the Trivia Pursuit. I would have to say that the other girls are as competitive as I am, so the games are fun and challenging, well, if we're sober they are. I still don't remember much about the game night when they visited me, LOL. To make the teams fair (Linda and I would kill is we were on the same team) we rolled the dice to pick teams. It was Aimee, Su and Linda versus Lina, Nancy and I. Pretty evenly matched. Early on the other team took the lead and we struggled to catch up but eventually we did. I won't say that I'm one of the smartest people I know, I certainly know plenty of people who are smarter then I am, several of them were in the room but I'm an excellent guesser, LOL. Just when we got them in our sights they pull into the lead again and they have all of their pie and are going for the win. Su was on it tonight. All of her answers were right and her team listened to her (versus when she visited me in LA, LOL) and she rolled a six right away and got them into the center circle! This was it, for the win. What does Steve Jobs, found of Mac, wear to work everyday. Yeah, they didn't know it either but they do now, that would be a black mock turtleneck and jeans. Mock turtleneck? Yes, we were still in it!

Keep in mind that we were at the BBQ earlier and had been drinking all day and it was afte 1am. All the girls were tired. They actually got into the circle one or two more times but we still eluded death. Finally Lina and Nancy were ready for bed and wanted to concede. I was having none of that, LOL. So they fought off sleep and continued on. And you know what happened don't you? Yup, we had a come from behind victory! Normally the celebration would have been greater but by that time we were all pretty beat but now I can share our win with you all. See, I'm a gracious winner, LOL.

BTW, Nes says her version of Trivia Pursuit is in Dutch, I say, "game on!"

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Dirty Martini

What, did you think I was done talking about our adventures in Seattle? Nope! The great thing about going on trips is it gives me plenty of things to blog about. Don't worry, I'll be talking about painting my nails soon enough, after all, I have another trip to get ready for, LOL.

The reason we weren't able to drink our bottles of sparkling wine was because we decided to go out and check out Everett's nightlife. Who knew they had one? We went to the Dirty Martini since we are all fans of martinis. They have a great martini menu, although I don't recommmend the key lime, Nancy and I had tried that in the past. I had a dirty martini, they called it something else cause it was stuffed with blue cheese and it was yummie! The best thing about it was, they accidentally made 2 of them so my second one was free, woo hoo! Other then the drinks the place was kind of lame. The DJ hosts MySpace parties there! No wonder they carded us at the door, LOL. But the best thing about the evening was just sitting around the booth laughing and joking. The great thing about wherever we are, we're going to have a great time with lots of laughter.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The title of my blog should be....

The Adventures of being me and Linda, LOL. But I cannot post about last week without mentioning the lemon tart that Linda made for us last week. While hanging out with Linda yesterday (and flipping through food magazines figuring out what I wanted her to cook) I told her I loved her before I moved to Portland and she cooked for me but I love her more now, LOL.

Anyway, the night before Linda came to WA she made everything for a lemon tart and brought it down to us. Needless to say, I was more then happy to carry the cooler inside, LOL. She tried a new crust that was so good Lina kept trying to eat by itself and then she topped it with lemon curd and fresh strawberries AND a white chocolate mousse. Foodgasm anyone? I swear, it was the best tart I've ever had so when she says she can cook, she means it.

BTW, I am more then happy to let my other friends impress me with their culinary skills. I admit it, I'm a food whore, LOL.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

It's a shortie tonight...

I was going to post about our further adventures in Seattle but that shall wait until tomorrow. Linda and I went out to happy hour tonight and we finished off a bottle of sparkling wine that we bought at Chateau St Michelle. For long time readers of my blog you know that Linda turned us onto champagne POPs that are individual sized champagne bottles that you drink out of with a straw. Needless to say, you get a buzz going quickly with the bubble and the straw. While we were at the Chateau Linda said we should do POPs again, this time with full size bottles. Us being us, we all agreed so we all bought our own bottles of sparkling wine. Of course, the Chateau was our first stop and luckily we came to our senses and decided maybe we shouldn't each drink a bottlee of sparkling wine so we had mimosas the next day but I was able to snag a bottle to bring home with me.

Of course we can't let it go to waste and since my stuff will soon be in storage Linda and I made a plan to drink it. I think my body had enough time to detoxify, LOL. She took me to a new happy hour place in Lake Oswego called Five Spice which has asian cuisine. She knows how big a fan I am of the happy hour and we ate wonderfully. We had pork lettuce wraps, barbecued pork, salt and pepper calimari. an asian cabbage salad and I had an oyster shooter in sake. It was all fabulous but the lettuce wraps were my fave. After we ate like Queens and had a couple of drinks we went to Linda's place and had the wine and watched a little Brad Pitt and Georger Clooney in Ocean's 12. Good thing she prefers GC, that leaves BP for me. After watching a bit more of Brad in Troy I decided to call it a night. Needless to say, I will definitely have to get a job when I get back from Europe so we can further explore all of the happy hours in Portland. Linda knows where to go (yes, the bartender knew her name) and I happily follow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wine, women and song

For our last full day together we decided to hit a couple of wineries. Let me say, we almost didn't make it out of the house. Originally we were going to go to Whidbey Island and try to find a couple of sailors but the weather was crap. What we all really wanted to do is take a nap, but like always, we rallied. We went to two of the most popular ones Chateau St Michelle and Columbia. A bunch of us did the Chateau tour a few years ago so basically we were going for the tastings. Both wineries are gorgeous but Columbia had this beautfiul flower garden that was in full bloom, we were throughly impressed.
Linda had come up with the brilliant idea to go to the Herbfarm, which is supposed to be a spectacular restaurant but apparently they weren't going to be able to fit 5 of us in at the last minute so we talked to someone at Columbia and she recommended the Barking Frog so off we went. They didn't start serving dinner until 5 so we killed time at the bar next door, having, drinks, of course! I'm not much of a wine drinker so I switched over to martinis, very dirty, just like me, LOL. Lina ordered an almond tart there that we all shared, oh my goodness, it was so divine!

Once 5 hit though we rushed over to dinner, we love our booze but we also love our food, LOL. We all did a tasting menu, with Lina having a vegetarian version (I swear, hers was better) and Linda and Su having wine with dinner. Nancy needed to sober up from the tasting, LOL, and I didn't want anymore to drink, I had a pleasant buzz. The food was divine, at least the first 3 courses, but after that we started getting more full and a little more picky but we did have a wonderful time with each other and at dinner.

The song came on the ride home. Linda had syrius satellite radio and so you know we were listening to 80s songs singing at the top of our lungs! We were some happy gals!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Whips, part deaux

Lina came through with a full body pic of me so you can see the whole ensemble. I left the whip in the car during the booksigning, I didn't want to scare anyone. OK, that's not true, I think I would have been too tempted to use it so I decided it would be best to put it away, LOL.Here is a great pic of the gang that Lina took. Don't we look like we can kick some Daimon butts? For those of you who don't read Dark Hunter books, they are the bad guys.

Thanks to a little groveling Sherri actually joined us for dinner before the signing. Yeah, we're cool like that. Actually, Sherri is cool like that. She also brought along her friend and fellow author Dianna Love-Snell and she brought her author friend Mary Buckam. So we were a lucky bunch of gals that night surrounded by three authors and a restaurant with a full bar, LOL.Afterwards we headed to the bookstore where Sherri was doing a Q & A. I was a little buzzed at the time so I don't really remember what all was said. Then we hung out in line to get our books signed and while in line they had a raffle so I won a laniard and Su, the hussy won the t-shirt, which there was only one per signing. Lina won the t-shirt in Jersey. After the signing we went home to change and drop off Aimee and Linda (she was going to go, until I accidentally shut the truck door on her finger *OUCH*). By the time we made it to their hotel the bar was closed (really, we didn't need anymore drinks, LOL) so we all sat around the lobby chatting and having a great time until we were all so tired it was time to go. It was a wonderful experience to finally meet an author that I have loved for a long time and to make new friends while at it.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Whips, leather and tattoos

The whole reason we decided to do a gathering in Seattle was because one of our favorite authors, Sherrilyn Kenyon was doing a booksigning. I have read and loved her books for years and I had never met her. She had a signing in Los Angeles and April and I was sooo looking forward to meeting her but of course, I decided to move before she came so this was my second opportunity and you knew I wasn't going to miss it and of course, if I'm going to do something, I like to include as many people as possible. Luckily there are a lot of Northwest RBLs and we also imported a couple. Su came in from TX and Lina from the East Coast so next thing you know there were 10 of us.

Su came up with the idea of us dressing goth for the event. Sherri has a very gothlike style to her. I've never dressed goth but hey, I was up for the challenge, LOL. In this pic you can't tell that I'm wearing fishnets and boots but really my favorite part of the endsemble was the lace gloves. I need to find more reasons to wear them.

Su and I also came up with the brilliant idea that while we were waiting in line she was going to go to the restroom and change into her LT Uhura costume from Star Trek (she really is a nerd at heart). We weren't going to tell anyone else so when she came out it would be a big suprise and the girls of course, would have a good laugh. She was going to ask Sherri is she was married to William Shatner. We had it all planned out but then Su decided to go meet Sherri a week earlier at her TX booksigning so now she couldn't look like the crazy fan, LOL. I wanted her to still do it but she decided to look normal, well, as normal as she can look.

Lina picked up some Dark Hunter tattoos at her previous Sherri booksigning so we put those on in preparation for this one. If we're going to do something, might as well go all out, LOL.

I hope someone else's camera has a pic of us all standing up because the outfits were awesome! You can't see Linda's leather skirt of boots in this pic, trust me, they're hot! As is Aimee's jeans and Lina's vest and Nancy has a new top on. Debbie said she would take off her sweater when it was time to go hunting so she would blend too, she came to the signing from her day job, LOL.

I'll tell you more about the signing tomorrow so I can add more pics, LOL. Otherwise, this would be one super long post!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Another love of mine...

Is the Barbecue! I love me some BBQs! Lots of food, lots of drinks and good friends and family and did I mention the food?

While I love Nancy's house, it is a little small AND she doesn't have a BBQ so I invited myself and 5 of my closest friends to my brother's house, not only does he have a grill but his house is on the lake! Too bad the weather wasn't cooperating, so we didn't lay out on the dock to absorb extra rays but we did absorb a different kind of Ray, my brother's roommate. He is a cutie! As a joke once, he sent me a pic of him on the lake shirtless. He did not know who he was messing with. Not only did I make it my desktop wallpaper, Nancy made it hers. So the first thing Lina says when she sees him is, you're the wallpaper guy aren't you? Insert big blush, LOL. Good thing he doesn't know I sent it to a couple of other people too.

Adam was going to grill for me but I don't have a lot of patience so instead of waiting for him to grill I started it with a lot of help from Su so we ended up cooking. We cooked like we were going to feed an army. To be fair, some of my other sibs were supposed to stop by but they are a little flaky. The boys were going to play volleyball so they didn't want to gorge on food. Since I was not going to volleyball I had no such qualms. We had hamburgers, cheddar brats, chicken (using Linda's special BBQ rub), fruit salad, egg drop soup, chips, dip and grilled veggies. I am sad to say we did not make a very big dent in the food or the booze we brought but we did our best! While the boys went off to play we sat around the backyard around a fire that my brother had built and talked about books, planned future trips and just basically had a lot of fun. Yup, I do love me my BBQs!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Friends don't let friends

Time warp alone! Yesterday Su and Aimee came to town. While we were waiting for Aimee to show up we had a couple of drinks and sat on Nancy's porch and got some sun. Nancy's porch in the summertime is a fun place to be. We set up her cd player, played some 80s music, maybe we sang a song or two and just enjoyed ourselves. Nancy even pulled out straw hats for us to enjoy because while I wanted to work on my tan I don't want to age before my time so we wore Nancy's tea party hats, LOL.

Then Aimee showed up and we sat around some more, talked some more and of course, drank some more. Then we went to the seafood buffet and had dinner with Nancy's parents, whom I love. Then we were off to WalMart to purchase an outfir for our evening. We had decided to stay in and watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show but you know this movie is all about audience participation so we all purchased bras and slips and then we went and rented the movie. Ok, to be honest, by this time I was feeling the drinks. While everyone was renting the movie I stayed in Aimee's truck and slept. My mouth may have been hanging open. But I found my second wind when it was time to pop in the movie. No, there are no pictures from this event, we had just eaten as a seafood buffet but it was a blast taking a step to the left and a hop to the right! We played the movie with subtitles so that we could sing along. Turns out, we didn't know as many of the songs as we thought, LOL.

a fabreeze bottle, a car charger and a water bottle

What do these items all have in common? Why they would be what Su, Nancy and I were using as microphones yesterday on our ride home. Who needs a karaoke machine when Nancy has a cd player in her car? Nancy doesn't have a lot of songs to choose from but we did find a couple that were sing at the top of our lungs worthy, such as My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. A truck went by with a dog in the back, I do believe the dogs ears were bleeding. The look on its face was not one of pleasure. We were singing All By Myself by Sheena Easton (I think) at a stop light and some guy looked back at us funny, again, not a look of pleasure on his face. It was more a look of who is dying and should I call 911? It's interesting, having a mic in your hands makes you really concentrate on singing, my eyes kept closing. Of course, that's cause I was singing sooo loudly. Anyway, it's a good thing I wasnt' driving because we would have gotten in an accident. Don't worry, Nancy put her mic down when we went on the freeway. But good friend that I am, I shared my microphone. I wouldn't want to be left out.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bye Bye Everwood

I am a girl who loves my tv. Even if there are shows I don't watch I'll usually tune into the series finale to see how things are wrapped up. You all know I love closure. Everwood is actually a show that I've followed pretty consistently. I can't say I've seen every show but I've watched more episodes then not. Tonight was the series finale and I'm a little sad. They wrapped everything up wonderfully and everyone got their happily ever after which you all know is a must for me but it was bittersweet. There are so few good shows on tv and this one was. There was no murder of the week or great mystery to solve. It was a show about people. You cared about what happened to them. It was wonderfully acted and written and I'm going to miss it.

Don't worry, we haven't been slacking in our cleaning (I tried to clean while Nancy was at work but it was too overwhelming). We cleaned during the commercial breaks. Needless to say, we liked commercial breaks even less then we normally do.

FYI, Chris Pratt who plays Bright on the show and reminds me of Michael Vartan graduated from Lake Stevens HS and went to school with my brother. Now I have to figure out when he's home for a visit so I can meet him!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Maybe I should have waited a day...

Before I drove to WA. I mean, it's certainly nice to have free weekend minutes when driving up so I could make a few phone calls but dang, Nancy isn't done cleaning her house! Guess what I'll be doing tomorrow?

Luckily, her parents were over this weekend helping her, they did the deep cleaning, now Nancy and I have to find a place to put all of her junk and she has a lot of it. Good thing I didn't make any plans for tomorrow because Nancy has plans for me. Her bookcases need to be put in order, seems like I'm always trying to organize her books for her and she wants me to hang a picture up for her. We've already been to Target, yes I spent $40 there. I swear, that store is evil! Looks like I will have to leave my bed before noon tomorrow. The things I do for my friends!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Me Goth? It'll be a stretch

For the signing on Thur Su came up with th idea that we should dress sort of goth since Sherri has that sort of sensibility to her and of course I loved it! How fun that will be. The problem is, I'm not a goth kind of girl so I'm trying to pick things out of my wardrobe to wear because I don't want to spend any money if I don't have to. I have plenty of black clothes so it's a question of the correct combo. I found a dress that I thought would suit and then ended up buying a new skirt and tank instead, LOL. but I got them on sale and I will wear them both again.

I decided I had to paint my nails dark for the look, I don't know why I did my toes too since I will be wearing boots but I had to be coordinated, LOL. I didnt' want to go buy new polish and looking through my stuff I saw I had purple polish so I figured enough coats of that would be dark enough. Unfortunately, even 3 coats of fee fi fo plum is not very gothlike but it is a pretty color, LOL.

I still have to work on the finishing touches on my outfit, I'm hoping I can find some mesh gloves but needless to say, you'll be seeing pics of it soon enough. My number one goal was to not be an ugly goth girl, I have my priorities set, LOL.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A girl can only be so productive

Well, if that girl is me, anyway. Yup, the packing has begun! I can put it off no longer. As I was packing I noticed I have a lot of photo albums, imagine that. I also packed most of my books, which is nowhere near as many as a lot of you have. Considering how often I have moved over the years I am sure you can understand why I have to have my keeper list small. I even got rid of some more books this move and I just paired down in Jan! I just got rid of some to be read books that looked like they were never going to be read. Of course, I will be making a trip to the UBS to see if I can find other books to add to my TBR pile, LOL. I also packed most of my picture frames so I guess when I want to see myself around the house I will have to look in a mirror. And the toughest part, figuring out what clothes to pack. I need to have clothes that I'm taking with me to Seattle, clothes that go to Amsterdam but also clothes for here. Those are all different things, well Seattle and Amsterdam not too different. So far I am packing clothes I know I will not be wearing, like turtle necks and workout clothes, LOL.

I also made my bed today. I pretty much only make my bed after I've washed the sheets, why make my bed if I'm going to be crawling back into it in a few hours? But there is something wonderful about crawling into a freshly laundered made bed. Which is why it's time for me to take a break. I need to pace myself on this whole packing business. I wouldn't want to experience burn out and my bed is calling me. So I grabbed Sherrilyn Kenyon's NIght Pleasures to get me ready for her signing this week and I'm going to take a break. I will get back to my packing....... eventually.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Make each day count

I read an interview with my friend Karen (she's a frequent poster here) in which she says her goal is to make each day count and I found that incredibly moving and I have decided to make a concerted effort to do the same for myself. When I am with my friends I have the time of my life but when I'm at home I can easily become a hermit. I'm a nester at heart and while I don't mind that I still want to make each day count. I want to try and have a laugh out loud moment each day. I think that's easier said then done. How often do we really laugh? Not as much as you would think. So I'm going to make each day count by laughing out loud and enjoying each day, no matter what it brings.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The joys of being a romance fan...

and I'm not talking about romantic romance, I'm talking about romance books! Reading romance books has shaped my life in so many ways. Mainly it was because of my love of reading romances that I found RBL Romantica and over the course of time created friendships that will last a lifetime. I honestly cannot imagine my life without these gals, my life would be so boring. OK, it's me, it wouldn't be boring but I would miss the joy of friendship and love that my RBL sisters have brought into my life. They really are as close to me as family and sometimes I feel like they are closer.

But that's not the point of this post, you all know I love you and I KNOW you love me (modesty is not one of my strong suits). Another joy that RBL Romantica has brought to my life is authors! Romance authors are one of a kind. To me they are like rock stars, actually better than because I'm more excited to meet an author then a rock star. Romance authors have a very real relationship with their fans, something I have yet to see anywhere else. Through the internet, with message boards and author website a sense of community and friendship is built.

I'm lucky to be part of a board that loves authors and that authors love. Some of the authors I read before RBL, such as Emma Holly and some I never heard of before RBL, like Karen Marie Moning. Both are authors I love and I feel comfortable enough to call my friend. But there are so many other authors whom I love and it's always so amazing to me that they know MY name, they're famous! They're awesome! They rock! Alright, I'm awesome and I rock but I'm not famous, LOL. I just appreciate so much the love that they share with their fans.

My friend went to a booksigning for Sherrilyn Kenyon today and she told me how Sherri spent time with every single person and when she was talking to them she was only talking to them. I thought, how cool is that? I can't wait to experience it first hand myself since I and 9 of some of my closest friends will be going to her signing next week in Seattle. Of course they're all RBLs. Our love of romance is what has drawn us together, what better excuse to get together?

Here is a picture of me and my best friend forever Emma Holly, the same Emma Holly who mentioned me in the acknowledgements of her newest book All U Can Eat. Remember, I not only sign pics of myself, I sign books too, LOL. Now I need to work on Karen Marie, she really does need a spunky asian heroine named Leiha in one of her books (remember, modesty, not my strong suit).