Knowing I've some cheques in the mail and a wad of cash collected from the good people in the community of Kensington Market, I am happy to announce that I've reached my $1500 goal for the Weekend to End Breast Cancer!
The fund-raising won't stop, of course--every penny counts, and I would like to thank everyone who has been so generous towards my campaign.
To those of you who would still like to donate, there's plenty of time! But since I've made my goal, I urge you to go to my team's web page and sponsor one of my colleagues who has yet to meet their goal. If you still want it to be "for me" you can add a note saying, "On behalf of..."
I don't know what to say to the passing of someone who was both a huge influence on the world, and yet was entirely out of touch with it. My sympathies to his kids and family, of course. But I'm having a hard time feeling any personal grief or remorse for the man.
Of course he had an illustrious career and changed the face of music. Of course he had a tragic past and fractured childhood that invariably warped him and likely contributed to his descent into celebrity madness. He healed the world, told us it don't matter if we're black or white, and brought his message to every corner of the globe with shining, glittering, chimpanzee-swinging, hip-swiveling, crotch-grabbing, hair-blazing glory.
And somehow, I can't muster a tear for the guy.
Maybe I'm still in shock.
Perhaps I outgrew MJ too long ago for his passing to impress any emotion whatsoever upon me. I was a child of the 80's, terrified whenever Thriller came on the Much Music video channel; I will still dance to Billie Jean when it comes on the radio. I liked his stuff back in the 90's, when Macaulay Culkin was one of his best buds and I could still do the moonwalk without hearing my ankles snap, crackle and pop. But after that, nothing.
In my mind, MJ had become a footnote on the Hollywood and celebrity section of the commuter paper, a tinseltown Boogieman for me to roll my eyes at every time he popped up, warning the world: Look. This is what fame can do to you.
Perhaps in years to come, I might mourn the loss of this titan of entertainment. But for now, I absolutely dread the next five months of TV tributes, radio marathons, special edition magazines, unofficial biographies, re-released CDs, 24-hour news coverage, hats, T-shirts, sparkly gloves and more that will be churned out by everyone trying to cash in on his death.
You know when you have a bag of chip crumbs and flavor dust that you don't really want to stick your fingers into, but don't really want to throw out because it is so damn tasty?
I just figured this out and tried it: smash the crumbs up (with a rolling pin or a hard cylinder you have handy...and get your mind out of the gutter!) and pour them into a batch of popcorn. Shake, and you have a tasty treat!
The yum tastes like brilliant!
Incidentally, actual popcorn chips (above) look like freaky abominations.
Finished my third edit on Fighting For Her Love. Got it to 65,000 words and change. Gotta let it breathe before I cut it down a little more, so it'll probably be going to big sister for a read. Don't know what she'll say about it, as I named the heroine after her and her son. But hey, she and Xiao Pangzi dared me to write it, so really, it's their fault this book exists at all.
Going back to Star Attraction for now--looking back, I can see all kinds of glaring problems with the opening chapter. This was one of those cases where I listened to way too much advice about writing instead of just writing what I felt. I'd overedited the first three chapters so much, none of it made sense to me. No wonder a judge gave me a 2 in the Golden Hearts.
If I can cut the word count down, I'm aiming to send this out to either Special Edition or possibly Harlequin (Mills & Boon Tender) Romance sometime in late fall, or winter. But I think I'm going to revise the plot a whole bunch and streamline it so it, you know, makes sense.
No word yet from M & B on Her Cinderella Secret.
My last fan fiction story is coming to a close. Just an epilogue left and I'll be free to pursue other fandoms or activities. I should really try to plan that wedding and find that place to live....
No other strikes of genius have hit me lately for a fourth book, so I might try my hand at some short story writing for a couple of quickie ideas that have been bouncing around. I need to get back to writing for my pleasure. Fanfic was that for me for a long time, but since the end of Avatar, I've been hard-pressed to come up with anything else.
I have been playing with the idea of writing a fanfic for Gabriel Knight, the game whose demise left all kinds of questions hanging in my mind and in the mind of other fans. But that'll entail more work than I am willing to put into a dead fandom.
I'd forgotten I had some ground beef in the fridge I bought on Sunday, and discovered it'd gone a little grey on the outside. I sniffed it, but couldn't detect anything wrong with it, so decided to cook up some quick and easy spaghetti sauce.
Now that it's on the stove, I'm a little afraid to try it. My sinuses are all stuffed up, and I think my sense of smell is botched. So I'm staring at a full pot of spaghetti sauce, and there's no one in the house to tell me, "Mmm, that smells delish," or "FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU COOKING, A THREE-WEEK-DEAD CAT?"
Lay in feverish dementia for most of the night last night and had to call in sick. It seems I've caught something, most likely Avery's croup, or laryngitis, as it is more commonly known in adults.
Even though my current symptoms are sore throat, fever, nausea, tiredness/weakness, and on/off chills, I'm still debating whether to simply go out and spread it around (I still contend it's the best way to recover) or simply to crawl back into bed and sleep. I can't stand staring out the door in longing, seeing the sun happily glazing the world while I skulk in the perpetual twilight of my basement apartment.
Seeing as I keep having bouts of can't stand on my own two feet at all, going out is probably a bad idea.
Went shopping on Sunday with my two lovely bridesmaids. Having no idea what I wanted, I left them to make the decisions for me.
My only real requests: under $200, and no ginormous train or hoop skirt. I don't want people to be helping me pee. I go often.
After some rooting around Kensington Market (which, sadly, produced nothing of interest) we headed for the bridal strip on Spadina around Queen. After trying several dresses on, the basic style has been narrowed down:
Taffeta (crunchy!); off-white (white-white looks freakish); with rouching around the midriff (to hide my lumpy belly).
So, yay! Now I can go outlet shopping and actually do some real looking!
With just under a year to plan everything, I'm discovering that, no matter how simple I want things to be, when it comes to family, things are complicated.
The parents insist they will financially cover whatever is needed, but it also means that I have to invite all these people who I wouldn't have otherwise put on the list. Apparently, I can't not invite them. GOTTA GIVE FACE!
Fine, more people means more gifts. Whatever.
But then there are the things that they're insisting on because "I should have a good wedding" and "I don't want to look cheap"...like flowers (I was just going to go get some plastic things from the dollar store!) and cake (McCain's, anyone?) and centerpieces (we were going to gather our crap together and just leave holey socks and bad books for people to fight over).
News flash: this is one day. I have no money considering John and I need to find a place to live. And, hello? I AM CHEAP.
Speaking of crap...we started our registry at the Bay, and OH MY GOD, it was terrifyingly complicated. We thought we'd just waltz in and sign up and get a scanner and go nuts.
No, no, no, the main store at Queen and Yonge sends you to the fifth floor where you have to make and appointment in this fancy lounge area to set up your registry. A woman in a sharp suit accosts you with bottled water, sits you down in designer chairs and interrogates you for 30 minutes about you home, your lifestyle, what you own, what you need to replace. And then she tries to push a whole new lifestyle as a married couple upon you. One in which you apparently entertain a group of 12 on a regular basis and break out the fine $85+/4 pc. set of fine china.
Hell, when more than 8 people come over, I break out the Royal Chinet. Nothing but the best paper plates when you have no dishwasher.
A sample of the typical line of questioning:
Mei (she was very nice, but really intense): How many sets of bedsheets do you own? Us: Uh...two? Mei: THAT'S NOT ENOUGH! Us: ACK! Mei: You should have at least THREE! You have guests over, you have one dirty set, you have one more, what will they sleep on? Too much trouble to clean the other set, and you're busy. NO, you must have THREE, AT LEAST! Us: But...we only have one bed....
And more questions:
Mei: How many rooms in your house? Us (despondently): We don't have a house. Mei: Apartment? Condo? Us: *sad hangdog puppy eyes* Mei: (frowns in disapproval)
Mei: How many showers are you going to have? John: Er...one a day? Mei: I mean wedding showers or engagement parties. Us: None. Mei (frowns): Huh. You're keeping it simple then. Us (a little sheepishly): Uh...yeah...
Here's the thing: John and I have tried to live frugally and without waste; plus we don't know what our living situation will be in a year's time, exactly, so space is always going to be an issue. This whole concept of getting stuff--and whatever we want, at that--was really foreign (but novel) to us. Chinese tradition is simply to give red pockets full of money. So the idea that someone would actually buy me new towels (the one major thing I look forward to) blew my frickin' mind.
In the end, that first day, all we put on were a new set of dishes (enough for eight people--are you happy, now, Mei?) since everything we own has been passed down to us and doesn't really match; and a stainless steel 4-slice toaster (because John really, really wanted it). I'm sure we'll go back for more, once we actually know what we need.
For now, I really look forward to new towels. In fact, they would not go amiss if I got them for my birthday....
Thanks to everyone who came out for P.S. Kensington! Jenny's game raised a total of $37! Woo hoo! Stay tuned, because there will be more events over the rest of the summer during Pedestrian Sunday.
And now for another random fund-raiser!
Our very generous neighbors in Kensington Market have donated 50 barbecue spatulas to the campaign! CAAM United Hardware is now offering these unique and useful items for only $2.00! The entire amount for each spatula purchased will go towards my WEBC campaign!
Hurry and get one today! You can't have summer without barbecue, and you can't have barbecue without burgers. Why not flip a patty and save a boob at the same time?
Thanks, as always, go to brilliant little sister Jenny, and my parents, without whom this campaign would not be possible. Special thanks to the guys who donated the spatulas...as soon as I find out their names, they're getting thanked!
Just thought I'd draw your attention to the fanciness I've put up on my blog as of late.
Tag cloud: I got this HTML script off the net. Sorry it's so long, but I think it's kinda neat...and it's really making me limit the tags I use to describe things.
New links and blogs: Six Degrees of Separation: Big sister started this blog after I insulted her by saying, "What on earth do you have to blog about?" I've always known anger was a good way to inspire people to do something. Check out lots of stories about the niece and nephew, and some generally hilarious stuff. Yardbarker--Georges St. Pierre: The inspiration for the hero in my third novel writes occasionally about his life in the UFC, and has some interesting tales to tell. I particularly like the fans' comments. Lots of evidence that women watch UFC, too...specifically for GSP, of course.