Archive for April, 2012

So, no one even attempted to guess what today’s blog post was going to be about. No biggie, because you’re getting it anyway. ;) My clues were, “blue,” “hair,” and “travel.” Obviously this could only lead to one subject: Doctor Who.

I had heard about Doctor Who a while ago, but I’ve been inundated with snippets here and there of the new seasons since following Hypable and then working for them. I’ve also been wanting to increase my nerdiness repertoire, and what better way to do that than delving into some science fiction?

So, lucky for me, Netflix has the previous six seasons on streaming. I sat down at my computer late one night and began the first episode. It was…strange. But I don’t give up on things easily (call it a blessing or a curse). The next day I watched the next episode and it was a definite improvement. By the time I watched the third or fourth one I was hooked! By the time I reached the third season, I was literally watching an episode a day at least. I needed my Doctor Who time no matter what!

So, maybe at this point I should explain my clues to those of you who aren’t quite in the know. I’m not going to give away a whole lot about the show, because I knew nothing about it when I started watching it and I really enjoyed that. First of all, blue is the color of the Doctor’s time machine, which he calls the TARDIS – this is obviously where the “travel” clue comes in as well. And, as far as hair goes? It’s a tossup between David Tennant and Matt Smith for whose hair is more fabulous (but I’d wager on Smith’s, personally).

Matt Smith is on the left and David Tennant is on the right.

Basically the premise of the show is this: The Doctor travels along time and space in his nifty blue box and saves the world from aliens. It’s a bit more complex than that and a lot better in terms of story development. Actually, I’d say that’s one of my favorite things about this show: the story. It’s intelligent and witty, and it really does keep you on your toes. It acts like a really good book – it’s one in the morning, your eyes are just about glued shut from bleariness, but you just can’t go to bed yet. Just one more episode!

This show has been running on and off since the 1960’s and, believe it or not, there’s been no less than eleven different men playing The Doctor. But the cool thing about this is that you don’t need to have seen the older versions of the show to understand this one, although I’m sure they’ve paid homage to the original series and it’s just flown by my radar. I do want to watch the older shows eventually, as I think it would be really neat to see the origin story of The Doctor.

Another cool thing about this show is that it’s not that complicated. I know that I used to stay away from sci-fi because I just didn’t get it. But this isn’t like that. Sure, The Doctor gets wrapped up in his wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff (his words) sometimes, but it isn’t beyond grasping. Actually, I think it really adds to the character and you don’t need to understand the technical stuff to enjoy the show.

The TARDIS

I love this show in so many ways. My favorite Doctor has to be Matt Smith’s – he has this quirkiness about him that is so endearing. My favorite bad guy has to be the Weeping Angels, because they just scare the socks off of me. And, in that sense, “Blink” is probably my favorite episode. In this episode, the way the story-line unfolds throughout all the different layers and eventually comes full circle is amazing!

Oddly enough, I have no gripes about this show. There are obviously things that have made me sad and things that I haven’t liked, but it fits so well into the story that you’re left thinking, of course things had to end up this way, how else would everything work out in the end?

So, who would I recommend this show to? Just about anyone. If you hate sci-fi, then this isn’t for you. But otherwise? Yeah, pretty much anyone. It’s funny and dramatic and gripping and beautiful. The bad guys are scary, the good guys are three-dimensional, and the universe is so perfectly built that it makes you want to go outside and stare up at the stars to see if you can spot the TARDIS.

(And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, the new season starts up in the fall, so you’ve got plenty of time to get through the previous seasons before then!)

So, what do you think? For those of you who haven’t seen the show, have I convinced you to watch it? For those that have seen it, what do you like about it? Who is your favorite reincarnation of The Doctor? Your favorite bad guy? Your favorite episode?

And, most importantly, if a madman in a big blue box gave you all of time and space, would you take it? (I know I would!)

ROW80 – R2C4

Posted: April 29, 2012 in ROW80
Tags: , , , , ,

Can you believe it’s almost MAY!? I mean, where did the time go? We’re getting close to being halfway through the year. It just blows my mind.

Here’s my updates:

  1. Exercise for half an hour each day, five days a week. Complete. Whoo hoo! For this one, I left myself no leniency. I’m not doing too great in the losing weight department, but I’ve been exercising consistently and that’s more important to me. I also came up with a new game plan. I’m actually running on the treadmill now and listening to podcasts that I’m behind on (multi-tasking!). I can’t run the entire time, but I’m working up to it. On Monday, I could barely make it through about 7 ½ minutes of running. Come Friday, I ran for 15 out of the 30 minutes, no problem. Now that’s progress!
  2. Each Sunday, visit Writer’s Market for at least half an hour. Complete. *happy dance* I’ve been doing really well with this goal in the last few weeks. I finally got through all of my e-mails that were stacked up from this place and now I’m ready to take some time to explore the site. I even entered a contest – my first one ever! I’m not getting my hopes up (it’s open to the entire WORLD), but I’m optimistic. I have to wait until October to find out the results, so I’m just going to put that in the back of my mind for now.
  3. Write every day. Incomplete. I just missed a single day here, so I’m not too upset over it. A lot of my “writing” went into editing the two stories I wanted to submit for the contest. I don’t think I actually wrote anything new this time around, but that’ll change for this coming week.
  4. Read every day. Incomplete. I finished Oppression by Jessica Therrien (and I’m thinking about reviewing it for you guys…) and it was really good! I had a hard time deciding what to pick up next (so many choices!) so I didn’t get around to reading much. I’ve finally figured it out, so I’ll go back to my regularly scheduled program this week.
  5. Finish my Cinderella story. Incomplete. Didn’t even touch it, but I’ll definitely get to it this week.

I’m pretty proud of this week, even though over half of my goals are incomplete. The first two are the most important to me, and those are the ones that I knocked out of the park. Next week will be a bit less hectic, I think, so it should be easier to follow up on the other ones.

Here’s some exciting new things going on right now:

A. America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC) is back on air for their 7th season. I love this show so much, even though the quality has definitely been going down the last few years. This year actually seems more promising, though, so I’m really excited. If you’re at all interested, you can watch the shows online here. Three episodes have aired so far, and all three are available (unless you live outside the U.S. – sorry foreign friends. :( )

B. Hypable got an exclusive interview with Raphael Sbarge – the guy who plays Dr. Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket on Once Upon a Time. If you’re a fan of the show, please show your support and check it out! The more popular these exclusive interviews get, the more Hypable will get to do them.

C. I’ve also been watching a lot of TV lately – Netflix has some great shows on streaming. I’m about halfway through the third season of Psych, I just watched the first episode of Firefly, I finished the first episode of Battlestar Galactica last night, and I watched two episodes of The Vampire Diaries. What are your thoughts on these shows? Are there any others on Netflix Streaming that I should add to my instant queue? I’m open to all sorts of suggestions (and chances are I might already have them lined up – there are so many good ones!).

Hey everyone! I’m over on Ddog’s blog today talking about the five things I’m MOST looking forward to in The Avengers, which is coming out in ONE WEEK. Go on over there and see what I have to say – and don’t forget to comment! I’d love to know what you’re most looking forward to in this movie.

A few weeks ago Ddog guest posted for me and asked us if the Spider-Man reboot movie was a good idea. If you missed it (or just forgot to comment!) head on over there and show him some love.

I’ll check into ROW on Sunday, and on Monday I’ll have a nice and shiny new post for you. Let’s see if you can figure out what it’ll be. Here are three clues: blue, hair, and travel. (No cheating! Leave your guesses in the comments below.)

I need a vacation. Like, right now. Let’s go to Greece, shall we?

The view from the Acropolis. That's pure history spread out beneath you.

I’ve been obsessed with the Greeks ever since I can remember. The mythology is what really got me started – all those stories passed down from generation to generation about gods and goddesses? How could I not fall in love with that? And then I discovered this wonderful thing called art that brought these stories alive. I was hooked!

Enter the Parthenon.

Too bad there's all that construction going on around it. Funny story: we almost didn't make it here, as Putin had it shut down the day after so he could visit it uninterrupted. Close call!

My favorite goddess is Athena, though I’ll admit that there are a few that come in a very close second (like Artemis). It seems logical enough, then, that one of the places I just HAD to see while I was in Greece was the most famous temple dedicated to her. And isn’t it beautiful?

And, luckily enough, one of my all-time favorite groups of statues is near by: the Caryatids.

These are simple columns sculpted in the shape of women. They help to hold up the porch of the Erechtheion temple (though the term can be applied to more than just this group alone). The ones pictured above are the ones that are on display, but they’re not actually the real statues. Those are safely stored in the Acropolis museum (which is fabulous, by the way).

As I was flipping through my FB pictures to find ones suited for this post, I came across this and a caption from my best friend that simply read, "How can they smell if they have no noses?" Doing these posts brings back SUCH good memories.

There’s just something about this place that speaks to me. The naturalism of the statues, the ancient feel of the buildings. The Greeks were fascinating people and they put everything they had into their way of life – everything was extraordinary, from their political views to their religious beliefs to their artistic endeavors and beyond. It’s no wonder that so much has lasted through the generations to allow us to appreciate it all to this day.

Have you ever been to Greece? If you ever got a chance to go, what would you most like to see? And, more importantly, who is your favorite god or goddess?

Most writers lead a double life if they aren’t lucky enough to write full-time. I’m here to talk about that other part of my life – my day job.

In my world, The Evil Day Job doesn’t exist. I’m lucky enough that I really enjoy my job each and every day. Sure, I can’t say that the craziness doesn’t get to me sometimes, but 99 times out of 100, I look forward to going to work each and every morning. How cool is that!?

My day job consists of a 15 minute commute to the house of a family friend. Oddly enough, my mom and my boss met when they both worked at the same doctor’s office. I became friends with my boss’ daughters, and we eventually found out that my boss’ husband used to be friends with my dad when they were younger. I know, small world, right?

This is the name of our soon-to-be website, though the business is filed under ItsAllOurVault.

Well, fast forward about 10 years, and here I am working in the same place I used to visit in order to dance around like an idiot and talk about Harry Potter with just about the only other person who I knew that was as obsessed with it as I was. What do I do there? Oh, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. A typical day consists of:

  1. Arriving in the morning and saying hello to the 3 dogs, 3 puppies, 4 cats, 5 birds, and the mouse.
  2. Looking at old stuff I would normally only find in an antique store.
  3. Writing blogs posts. (Yes, I get paid for this.)
  4. Coming up with crazy ideas that we swear we’ll get to one day.
  5. Finding loose change to add to our road trip fund.

This is the lucky puppy that was adopted by my BFF. His name is Ares. All together now: AWWWW!

This just part of what I do on a daily basis. So, what is my job, you might ask?

Well, my boss sells antiques and collectibles on eBay. I originally began there as just the shipping girl – it was my job to pack up and send out all of the items that our customers bought and paid for. Eventually I learned how to list, and I suddenly became as addicted to online selling as my boss. Now I do a little bit of just about everything and I joke that I’ll become the Vice President when we become a multi-million dollar corporation. The stuff that I come across every day is absolutely incredible, and I can’t say that I’m not extremely lucky work there. Here are the top 5 reasons:

  1. I work out of my boss’ house, which can get crazy, but is SO much better than an office building with windowless cubicles. *shudder*
  2. I am actually friends with my boss and my co-worker, and we all get along perfectly. I never have to worry about being shot down if I’m suggesting ideas or questioning anyone’s sanity. (Someone has to be the voice of reason!)
  3. I get to come into work in my pajamas any day I want.
  4. The animals. ‘Nough said.
  5. A typical Friday in the summer consists of going to yard sales and antique stores to spend someone else’s money (whoo hoo!), followed by being taken out to lunch.

Oooo, shiny!

The best part about my job is the flexibility. I can work from home when I want to, and I can adjust my hours whenever I need to. Taking time off is not a problem at all, and I can always make up the work ahead of time. Better yet, I get to use a lot of my skills as a writer when I list items online and when I write for our blog.

The blog is the real reason why I’m writing this post. I want to show you guys another side of me, another passion that I have. Writing will always be my number one, but this is my second love: vintage and antique items. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on them, so I’m lucky that I get to be surrounded by them each and every day. I’d love for you guys to check out our blog. I’ve got three series that I run on there regularly:

Mondays are dedicated to our “How to Sell” posts. The blog is a way to help struggling eBay sellers who are just starting out and don’t know how to buy and sell inventory for online retail. In these posts, I pick a single topic (ie. costume jewelry) and explain our own process. Hopefully it helps someone to get their foot in the door – I understand how scary it can be to take that leap and start selling.

On Wednesdays I talk about our “Word of the Week.” I pick one word to discuss for that day – all related to antiques and collectibles. There’s a lot of jargon associated with this line of business, and it can get pretty overwhelming. We’re going to make a website soon, and this is my way of slowly putting together a glossary for our site.

And finally, on Fridays, I have our “My Weekly Score” posts. In these posts I pick one thing that we’ve sold that we have made a good profit on. I tell our readers what it is, what we bought it for, and what we eventually sold it for. The purpose of this is to show specific items that sellers can look for – things that they know will sell.

I’ll admit that this post is a bit of shameless self-promotion, but I don’t really expect anything to come from it. I know a lot of you like antiques and collectibles, so hopefully you get five minutes’ entertainment from checking out my other blog. If not, no worries! It isn’t for everyone.

If you are interested, you can follow the blog by visiting it here. Our Twitter and Facebook pages are on that site as well. If you know of anyone else who would be interested in our material, feel free to spread the word. If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, I can take them here or over on the other blog. I run it all by myself, don’t hesitate to drop a comment over there!

This is what I get really excited about: costume jewelry!

Regardless of whether or not you go visit, I’m curious: do you collect anything? Do you remember your parents or grandparents having a collection of some sort? If you don’t have a collection yourself, what is the one item you’d be willing to splurge on just for the sake of looking at it?

ROW80 – R2C3

Posted: April 22, 2012 in ROW80
Tags: , , , , ,

This week was nuts!!  Between just being super busy and trying to get ready for a weekend away, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to get things done. Hence getting this up a lot later than usual. But here’s what I managed to accomplish:

  1. Exercise for half an hour each day, five days a week. Incomplete. I did it Monday and Tuesday and didn’t find a second of time after that to do anything else. I’m going on a beach vacation in exactly two months, so there’s my motivation to make sure I get going on this goal from now till then.
  2. Each Sunday, visit Writer’s Market for at least half an hour. Complete. Whoo hoo! That’s two weeks in a row that I’ve gotten this done. And I’m definitely going to sit down tonight and go through some more e-mails. I really like some of the contests I’m finding. I’ve never entered a writing contest before, so this is something I’m really looking forward to.
  3. Write every day. Incomplete.  I fell waaay off the bandwagon with this one, but I just didn’t have time to do it this week. The good news is that on the trip down and back I had two hours to work on my writing. I ended up reading a few of my stories out loud to my BFF, which allowed me to fix up some minor mistakes. It really helped though, and I’ve decided which ones I want to enter in the contest! She had already read these before, so I also read her a new story and part of the one that I’m writing specifically for her. And she liked them!
  4. Read every day. Incomplete. GUESS WHAT GUYS!? I finished Tiger’s Voyage finally, and I’ve started on a new book. Whoo hoo! It’s really good so far and she’s a new author, so I might end up doing a review of it. I only missed one day this week and that was because I just had zero time. Not bad at all, in my book.
  5. Finish my Cinderella story. Incomplete. I didn’t get a chance to work on this at all this week, but I’m hoping this coming week will give me enough time to finish it up. I’m going to be putting the final touches on the stories I want to enter into the contests, though, so that will be my main focus. As long as I stay organized, I think I’ll be able to finish this one up pretty well.

So, not a wonderful week because life definitely got in the way, but I didn’t mind so much. I feel like I know what I want to accomplish for this following week, and that’s the important thing. That and I got to see one of my other best friends for the first time since last year!

Oh, and this past week I also got VIP tickets to see Starkid on their Apocalyptour. I AM SO EXCITED. I have to travel to Maryland (five hours away), but it is TOTALLY worth it. Here’s the promo video for the tour. If you’ve never heard of Starkid before, make sure you look up some of their videos!


 
Have a happy ROW. :)

Bottom Line:

Watch It.

Details:

[No spoilers!]

This isn’t really a movie, but a one hour Comedy Central special by my all time favorite comedian – Gabriel Iglesias. Gabriel is a gut-busting hilarious guy. He can do what other comedians rarely can: stay funny. I wouldn’t call him family friendly, exactly – he does talk about sex and sometimes he swears, but he is much more PG than a lot of other comedians out there. He’s great at poking fun at himself and he does awesome sound effects. Seriously, how can anyone not love this guy?

This is his first Comedy Central special. He’s been on the scene for a while before this, but this is the video that really got him going. And it’s been all laughs and chocolate cake since then.

There isn’t too much more I can say about this special, other than to watch it. I don’t want to ruin any of the jokes, so all I’ll say is: “fluffy,” “doughnuts,” “cops,” and “but it was funny, huh?”

If you don’t believe me, check out one of the best clips from his show down below. You can actually watch pretty much the whole thing online!


 
He’s had a couple more shows out since then, and they only get better! My favorite clip from I’m Not Fat…I’m Fluffy! is “The Chocolate Cake Made Me Late.” And even though it has nothing to do with this special, I can’t just walk away and not provide a clip for it:


 
So, if I didn’t already love Gabriel, the next bit of information would seal the deal: this guy is one of the nicest ones you’ll ever meet. Now, I’ve seen him once live, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to him. However, you can just tell the type of person he is. At our show, he went well over his time limit and he even took requests to do favorite jokes from previous specials. He took questions from the crowd, too! He always says that if you see him out in public, to never be afraid to approach him. He’s happy to sign autographs and stop for pictures, no matter what. And here’s two little tidbits from his website:

Gabriel once did a meet and greet at an El Paso Best Buy store that lasted over 5 hours. He signed autographs and posed for photos with every person in line.

And…

Gabriel’s longest show ever was over 4 hours long and he still did a meet and greet after that took another 2 hours.

It isn’t often that entertainers care so much about their fans and have the patience to do things that Gabriel does. All I have to say is… THANK YOU MR. IGLESIAS-WITH-AN-I.

Website

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

This is a little outdated, but I don’t care.

Because it’s still funny.

And I’m still bitter.

I’ve been feeling kind of nostalgic lately, you guys. I’ve decided to write up a blog post to make me feel better. Here are all the things that make me miss my childhood.

(And before you laugh, YES I am a 90’s kid. I’m only 23. Cut me some slack. :P )

Video Games

You can blame my choice of video games on my cousin. He started it.

Donkey Kong - How could you not love this guy?

My cousin used to get rid of all the bad guys in a level, and then let me go around and blow up all the computers. I was too scared to try to fight the bad guys on my own.

And this is what we played it on. We didn't even know what a CD was at that point.

And lastly - any wrestling game. Yeah, I don't know why either. And this guy happened to be my favorite: The Undertaker. Kind of morbid, right?

Music Videos

I don’t care what you say, these are the five music videos that basically defined my childhood (and my taste in music).

N*Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye”
(Chris was my favorite, by the way. I’m still not sure why.)

Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time”
(I also have to admit that I must be on the verge of getting old. Someone in the comments section for that video said they had just heard this song for the first time two days ago. *sigh*)

Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady”
(How ironic that he picks on both N*Sync and Britney Spears in this video, haha.)

Spice Girls
(Not sure if this is my favorite song or video – it’s too hard to pick – but the song is a great sum of what the Spice Girls were like.)

Destiny’s Child
(This is by far my favorite DC video, and one of the best videos I’ve seen in general.)

Other Games

Tamagotchi: Because what kid doesn't want to carry around a tiny alien egg in their pocket?

Yes, I still have my Pokemon card collection. No, I'm never getting rid of them. (**Not actually my cards)

Pretty sure Pogs were popular for about a year or two before they fell off the face of the earth. Also pretty sure kids "these days" wouldn't have a clue what they were.

Four Square: The most brutal recess game at my school. We were so into it, they even let us play it in gym class.

Cartoons

Bugs Bunny. A classic. How can you not love him. (Also, the new cartoons look weird, and I refuse to watch them.)

Pikachu was (is), of course, my favorite Pokemon.

I really don't know why, but I always loved the Road Runner.

Jupiter was my favorite because she got to wear a green dress.

Donatello was my favorite one because he was smart! (Besides, they're ALL green, so I had to choose my next favorite color - purple!)

Storm was, by far, my favorite, but I always had a soft spot for Wolverine, too.

TV Shows

I never was crazy about Prue, so I didn't mind when they replaced her. Piper was always my favorite!

This show was so amazing! I have yet to see all the episodes, so it's a good thing that my best friend is slowly collecting all the seasons. ;)

TRL was a great show! I'm glad Carson is on The Voice now, so I get to watch him on my TV again.

Apparently I used to race home every day to watch the Power Rangers. I don't even remember why I liked it so much, but it was great! The yellow one was my favorite because she had those awesome Sais. Plus, she turned into a saber-toothed tiger!

And, finally, Hercules, whose awesomeness went hand in hand with Xena's.

Food

Fireballs! These were great.

If anyone other than my dad made me toaster strudels, they tasted weird. And he always "designed" them for me. It was usually pretty cool, except for that one time he wrote "X-Files" on one just to freak me out. (I had a strange childhood fear of that show.)

I remember everyone used to have these on the bus, but I could never eat them. WAY too sour for me.

And here's the one thing from my childhood that started this whole post: Schweppe's Ginger Ale. It was pretty much the only soda I was allowed to drink at my dad's house. I just had some the other day and BOY did that bring back (good) memories!

I applaud you for making it through this gigantic list! If you’re a 90′s kid, did I miss anything? And if you’re not, what things from your childhood do you have fond memories of?

ROW80 – R2C2

Posted: April 15, 2012 in ROW80
Tags: , , , , ,

Ugh, no. You're in the wrong place. I said R2*C*2!

There we go. Much better.

This week started out strong, then sort of fell by the wayside. Even though I didn’t get a lot of the smaller goals done, I still feel like I accomplished a lot. Check it out:

  1. Exercise for half an hour each day, five days a week. Incomplete. I didn’t exercise once this week. Not once. *hangs head* I’m planning on getting in a good workout today, though. And  someone from the last post gave me a great idea of alternating my exercising and reading until I’ve met the goals for each. I might try that!
  2. Each Sunday, visit Writer’s Market for at least half an hour. Complete. Did you see that? It said COMPLETE. You don’t have to beat me over the head with your keyboards!! I actually sat down and started weeding through all of the e-mails I have from WM and I’m trying to make heads or tails of everything. I even found a contest I’m thinking about entering. It’s been pretty productive. I’m planning on being good and going through some more e-mails today.
  3. Write every day. Incomplete. I wish I could say I got the chance to do this each day this week, but Thursday and Friday were kind of nuts. Still, though, 5/7 days isn’t too shabby!
  4. Read every day. Incomplete. I missed Thursday and Friday, however – I’m starting to read whole chapters in this book again, instead of just a page at a time. I’m almost done with it! By this time next week, I’ll have finally started a new book. Promise.
  5. Finish writing “The Necklace.” Complete. Yep, I finished it! It’s not spectacular, but it’s done. It was an experiment and I tried using a different sort of voice for this one, so we’ll see how it turns out once I can find some people to beta read it. The new goal for this week is to finish my Cinderella story. I’m writing quite a, uh, unique spin on the fairytale for my best friend. I think it’s going to be pretty interesting. Hope it turns out well!

I came across a great blog this week through my Triberr buddy Juliana Haygert. It’s Anne R. Allen’s blog and she wrote a fabulous post called, “Why You should be Writing Short Fiction.” This blog gave me some serious hope, as I feel that (right now, at least) my short stories are a million times stronger than my novels.

I also wanted to share an article with you guys that my dad sent me. It’s a short one, so please just take a couple minutes to read it. It’s an inspiring little story about how the police helped a blind writer get back 26 pages of a manuscript that she had lost.

Do you guys write any short fiction? What genre do you usually like to stick to? Have you ever lost any pages to your novel? If so, were you able to get them back?