May 3, Houston: The big one -- the Inprint reading -- occurs at the Alley Theatre on Monday, May 3. Do not miss it or you'll be sorry. I'm not kidding -- I'm going to say the craziest, most intellectual yet hilarious stuff I can think of, and I'll be sharing the stage with the ultra sexy Oscar Casares, too.
June 24, Houston: I'm one of the peeps scheduled to read at Poison Pen, at Houston's famous Poison Girl bar. Besides me, everyone there will be ultra, *super* sexy. Come see me and drink!
June 26, Washington, DC: I'll be reading at the American Library Association conference. Come on down.
My other blog: Go read my the Houston Chronicle parenting blog (or my ChronMomBlog, as I like to call it) and make sure my kids won't resent me more than other kids resent their own parents.
Buy my new novel, Lone Star Legend. Already did? Well, buy a few more for your friends, then. :)
Thursday, June 18, 2009I'm going to write some new posts real soon.
Because I do have a lot to tell y'all - stories of adventure and danger, plus a bit of exciting new news.
In the meantime, feel free to check out our pics from Oahu on my Flickr page.
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Sunday, January 25, 2009Hermann Park, Houston, January
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Sunday, January 18, 2009Here's a picture
of me and my dad.
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Sunday, July 06, 2008shifted over to photo-blogging for a sec
Sometimes I'm in the mood to show y'all stuff instead of telling y'all stuff, and sometimes pictures are worth at least a paragraph or two.
See the empanadas I just destroyed, the fetish-y shoes I found at Ross, and exactly how fat/thin I am now.
Know that I'm reading all your comments and agreeing with them/ being educated with them/ appreciating them/ loving them. I just haven't had time to comment back lately.
(It's one thing when you have a job that you learn to do very well in the first year, and your boss refuses to promote you because you're just a silly girl and not a good old boy in a suit, and so you spend 4 years working for 2 hours per day and then goofing off online for the other 6 hours, every week day of your life. However, it's a whole other thing when you have a demanding job with a boss who respects you and people who appreciate your abilities. On the one hand, I no longer have as much time to respond to each of your comments. On the other hand, I no longer feel like calling in sick every other day for no reason at all. :) ) 6:41 PM # (2) comments
Thursday, June 12, 2008Here's a picture.
For now. It's me and my kid.
Y'all don't forget to come see me at the poetry workshop next week. Seriously -- if you're in Houston, near the Heights, come on down. If you have books of mine you want signed, we can do that, too.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007Lately
I used to never drink red wine but now I only drink red wine. I've gone from merlot to cabernet and chianti, and next must be shiraz.
We bought our cat a water fountain. She likes to drink the water right from its trickle source. Some people would say it's a waste of energy, to keep it running, but I think it's such a small thing to make a small creature happy, and therefore worth doing. You know?
I think I'm gonna be a fairy for Halloween. Maybe. I'll have to make the costume myself, though, because I don't want to be a slut fairy, and therefore there's no suitable costume in the stores. (All the women's costumes for sale are slut costumes. Remind me to complain about that later.)
This is what I have time to do, between my long commute home and bed time:
1. monitor homework
2. monitor everyone getting fed, one way or another
3. nag about the chores that should've been done before I got home
4. clean up only the very messiest messes, concurrently with one of the tasks above
5. exercise with Gilad
6. nagging the kids to brush their teeth and wash their faces
7. the reading of the bedtime story
and that's about it.
Every single other thing -- dentist bank groceries bills boyfriend oil change tires laundry -- I have to do over the weekend. Or during my lunch hours. Or in my dreams.
I'm glad we got a cat. This one doesn't tear up the furniture or make a big mess, and I feel fleeting joy whenever I see her little cat face. She always has a funny or cute expression. She walks around in a constant state of "Hey guys," or "Am I interrupting?" or "JESUS, A SQUIRREL!!" or "In my fantasies, everyone is chasing me. Look how clever I am, running away from them. Oops, sorry.. smashed into the plant again..."
Back to the Halloween thing.
Not a slutty fairy, and not a pink or purple fairy, and not a gothic fairy, and not an overtly glittery fairy. I want to be a nature-based fairy, in shades of green or aqua with brown, and only a little bit of magic in evidence. In my mind, as I design it, I think the words "pond fairy." I'm a pond fairy, dammit. We're going to a party where I always feel a little insecure. No, strike that -- I always feel insecure at any Halloween party we go to, because I feel like there's this giant expectation that all the women must be dressed promiscuously, and they all must be thin, and the whole purpose of the holiday is to put them on display to the men serving them liquor.
And that's fine -- I'm grown-up enough to ignore any bullshit that I don't want to take part in. But at the same time, I want to get all into it and make a nice costume. Yet I feel there's no use in wasting my creativity on such an event. You know?
I guess I could go to the Ren Fair, because the people who go there are more appreciative of creativity. But we're bored of going there and seeing the same exact stuff year after year. So I tell myself to make whatever costume I want, and then to photograph it and put it on my Flickr, and that'll make it worth the effort. But then I feel silly about that. How vain, to spend money and effort on photos meant to show off, right? (Same way I feel, now, about doing any creative thing for which I don't already have a fee negotiated. :( )
Worst part: I get envious of my boyfriend. He loves to work hard on his costumes and come up with something awesome every single year. And people appreciate it, and they compliment him. Then, they look at me and think, "Not sexy enough," and move on. And I feel... whiny because I haven't received enough attention, I guess. Hate to admit such a weakness, but that's how I feel. Creativity should trump plain nudity, in my mind, but it never will. Will it?
I was looking for inspiration online. (Fairy costumes, I mean.) I found this Flickr set called Convention Costumes Pool. Look at it. What do you think? How many of the women pictured here enjoyed making their costumes? And how many enjoy displaying their bodies to a bunch of convention guys? And how many women here enjoyed making their costumes, but got completely ignored in favor of the convention guys and the women displaying their bodies?
There were some bad-ass costumes among the social experiment, though. Check it:
1. Final Fantasy = awesome piping
2. meshy mer-person
3. Final Fantasy hangover?
4. Awesome Color Scheme Woman
5. I need this woman's wig.
And you know what?
Screw it, while I'm there, I'll just link y'all to some of my favest Flickr faves:
1. shoe fetish
2. If I had to date a non-human, it would be Relax Bear.
3. I want to eat this (then follow Jackie around and eat everything else she eats, too.)
4. Stained glass is always good.
5. So is just about anything that Jagosaurus photographs.
That's all. 7:57 PM # (9) comments
Wednesday, May 30, 2007I thought of this one all by myself.
LOL Avian Flu.
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Saturday, December 02, 2006Re-live the magic.
New Year's Eve 2005/2006:
The story. And a little bonus footage.
(Remember, you guys. NEVER AGAIN.)
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Sunday, November 26, 2006Thanks!
This year I am particular thankful for the following:
1. I'm not poor.
2. I was born in America and not, say, Afghanistan.
3. I was born in reasonable good health, with decent DNA.
4. The same is true of my kids.
5. I was able to buy a house this year.
6. I now have good credit.
7. I have a nice boyfriend.
8. I have good friends.
9. My family loves me and they make me laugh, too.
10. I have a decent job.
11. I don't have any health problems that can't be fixed.
Yay. Life is good. I give thanks.
I'm thinking I'm not going to buy a tree this year, after all, since my kids spend xmas with their dad in even-numbered years. So I'll save the money and spend it on things that last longer.
I thought I wanted to decorate my house like crazy this year, but now I see that it's pretty much all I can do to keep the lawn looking decent for my neighbors. You know? Mowing, edging, raking - I think that's all the decoration I can do. Not even to mention that I haven't knocked down the wasp house yet.
I don't want to staple a bunch of lights up. I especially don't want to take them down again.
Maybe I can buy just a tiny, tiny string of lights, and staple them to the wasp house.
We went to the zoo today. I had to force everyone - my kids and my boyfriend say they don't like the zoo. What's wrong with them, I wonder. How can anyone say that?
"It's the same animals every time," says my middle son Dallas.
"I know. We're going to check on them and see how they're doing," I say.
I forced them to go and they liked it, after all. Just like always.
My favorite part this time was the octopus molesting the toy boat. Check it out.
If I ever get rich, I'm totally going to buy a membership to the zoo. 6:00 PM # (2) comments
Tuesday, October 17, 2006Don't Look at Me
Look at my Flickr page.
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Monday, October 02, 2006The Ren Test
We went to the Renaissance Festival on Saturday, like dummies, in the hot sun. I thought, at one point, that I might die of low blood sugar and dehydration. And yet we all had fun, I think. As our friend Richard explained it, "All these women are hot. And they're medieval."
Sunday Laundry List
Then, on Sunday, my loud, dirty cousins came over. Tad made fried rice. We all played DDR and drank wine. Then we ate birthday cake to celebrate the twelth-birthday-en-ing of my middle child. Also, we looked at my sexy, sexy bead collection and made plans to attend Houston's October bead show with wholesale license in hand. Woo hoo - domestic bliss.
Female Trouble News Update
I forgot to say that the week before I saw the endocrinologist, I got off the effing Pill.
I'm the kind of person, my friend Rose observes, who lives in the moment when it comes to relationships. I'm a creature of experience. If I'm with a person and they do something weird, I just roll with it. I like to go with the flow. Sometimes someone will annoy me, and I'll say, "Don't do that. That's annoying." But it's never a big drama. I don't like confrontation or ultimatums to ruin a good time.
Then, a year or so later, I'll be sitting at home alone, and it will suddenly occur to me that I don't like a certain person anymore. Suddenly, every annoying thing they've done will parade through my mind, and I'll decide that that person is no longer my friend.
"Just like that?" asks Rose.
Yes. Just like that. Because, by then, I've already lived through several instances of telling a certain person, "Please don't do that. That's annoying. Please don't be mean to my kids," or "Please don't tell me how to conduct my romantic life," or "Please don't spy on me while I'm in the shower."
And the person keeps doing it. They know I don't like it, but they don't stop.
At that point, in my mind, there's no reason to continue hanging out with that person. At the same time, there's definitely no reason to have a big dramatic conversation with the person, in which I issue ultimatums. "I want you to apologize for poking me in the eye with your chopstick three times, and promise you'll never do it again, or I'm not going to be your friend anymore."
What's the point? I don't have time to teach people how to behave decently. That's not my job - I can only do that for my kids. So I quit calling the person. And it's over.
So, two weeks ago, I did the same thing with the Pill.
They put me on the Pill a year ago to make the double periods stop. They did stop, but, at the same time, I felt tired. And, as I explained to Rose, they affected my mind. Instead of fantasizing about pretty men with black hair, I found myself fantasizing about lemon-filled donuts. All the time. Nothing meant anything to me. I felt like a fat rabbit in a warm hutch, lying down waiting for my next meal all the time.
And then, the double periods came back. And then, I went back to the gynecologist, and she told me, paraphrased, "A year ago I put you on the Pill to stop the double periods, and now your double periods have returned. And, since then, you've gained 15 pounds. I know... Maybe losing weight will stop the double periods. Try losing 15 pounds."
It took me a while to figure it out, and to connect all the annoyances in my mind, but then I did and I decided to get the hell off the Pill.
Go to hell, Pill. I'm not calling you anymore. You were never my friend, and I'm not going to bother asking you to change.
I feel better already. As PJ Harvey would say, I'm happy and bleeding. (And nauseated.) But that's better than bleeding and lethargic, isn't it?
Recently I read Oryx and Crake (by Margaret Atwood), and less recently I read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, finally. I enjoyed them both very much. If you haven't read those yet, you should check them out. Unless you don't like science fictiony or magicky things, I mean.
Now I'm reading (maybe rereading?) The Beggar Maid, by Alice Munro. She reminds me of Atwood, even though I probably shouldn't lump them together just because they're both Canadian and write about children bullying each other near bridges.
Also, as far as not-books are concerned, I've been reading Project Rungay. Go there now, because that shit is super hilarious. 8:46 AM # (11) comments
Monday, September 25, 2006Go see.
My friend Rose and her friend Olive got invited to blog for Nerve.com. You have to register to see it, I think, but it's worth it, so go. The first entry is only a little bit Not Safe for Work.
Rose took the picture that I'll be using for my new author photo. She and I like to go to poetry readings together. Also, we like to eat bagels with lox. Also, we like to pretend we're getting ready to go out clubbing, but then sit around talking about monkeys and birds, instead.
I haven't met Olive yet, but I do believe she exists, and I like her words.
Go see their stuff. It's good.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006Puppies
Here are the puppies I told y'all about. One of them's going to be mine.
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Friday, February 24, 2006How to Survive White Trash Hell on New Year's Eve
an illustrated story by Gwen
When Tad told me that the gang wanted to attend a New Year's Eve event sponsored by a particular local radio station, I was skeptical.
"I don't know," I said. "I'm worried that, if it's sponsored by that radio station, it might not be... you know. Nice."
"No, baby, it'll be fine," he assured me. "It's black tie optional." Then he coughed, and muttered under his breath, "Or you can wear togas, or lingerie, but the guys want to go because it's open bar."
"What's that, sweetie? I didn't catch that last part," I said.
"I said, we should go to the mall this weekend and buy you a nice dress." And the subject was promptly changed.
This was the picture I wanted to use to show y'all how I looked on New Year's Eve.
But my boyfriend said not to, so I'm using this one, instead:
I think I look nice.
When our group met up in the line for the event, all our female members immediately shared with each other the fear that, being sponsored by this particular local radio station, the party might not be quite as... elegant... as we were hoping. As we were dressed for, I should say.
All too soon, we discovered that our fears were well founded. Because, while our group had chosen to dress like this:
... other attendees had chosen to dress like this:
Let me rephrase. While we had chosen to dress like this:
... other people had gone with the option of dressing like this:
No, seriously. I don't think you're getting it. I'm trying to tell you that there were people there dressed like this:
You see the situation clearly now, do you not? Yes, not, I'm sure that you do.
And I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with dressing like that. In public, on New Year's Eve. No, because I don't judge. All I'm saying is that, if I had known that 70% of the attendees would be dressed like that, I might have left my good rhinestones at home.
The women in our group felt many emotions at that point. Now that it was too late to get a refund for our tickets... Now that we'd spent several hours getting ready for the evening... Now that we had not yet gotten our money's worth from this beer-sponsored, Linkin-Park-cover-band-ridden event... I'm not going to say that the main emotion was disappointment, and I'm not going to say that the chief sentiment was "Mike is never, ever picking the place for New Year's Eve again." I'm just going to let you imagine how you would have felt at that point, if you were us. And I bet you can imagine it well.
Obviously, there was only one thing to do.
And once we did that, we thought of a few other ways to pass the time until the 1 AM buffet.
Such as, for instance, cursing our fates...
Catching up with friends...
Coming up with new variations on the classic devil-horn photographic pose...
Dancing our troubles away...
Getting to know young ladies seated near our party...
In more than one sense...
Or, in my case, stealing Cyra's camera and using it to photograph myself with strangers.
It's easier than you'd imagine. Especially after everyone involved has had a beer. Here's the key: Don't ask the strangers to pose with you.
Just put your arm around their shoulders, and hold up the camera.
And, instinctively, they will look into it and smile. Voila! (Or else, they'll look down at your boobs.) (Voila!)
Sometimes, they will kiss you. Whether you realize it or not. Whether you're absorbed with doing your "Sailor Moon fingers plus prominent tongue" pose or not, and whether you remember it the next morning or not. But don't worry - you'll have the photo, so you can treasure the moment forever, either way.
One guy's group of friends caught on to what I was doing, and they gathered around me. "He thinks you're hot," one of them screamed, pointing at the one guy and then at me, in order to facilitate his point.
"I am hot," I agreed.
"No... He thinks you're hot!" the guy's friend screamed. A little louder, so I'd understand.
"I am hot," I screamed back, in case he'd missed my point.
"No... Our friend thinks..."
Finally, I realized what they were trying to tell me. They wanted me to take a picture of myself with their friend, and then post it on my blog. Okie dokie, guys. Here you go:
I have to admit that, in that photo, their friend was totally right. And so, although I'd felt insecure earlier in the evening, with this man's approval of my appearance, my life had suddenly become complete.
All too soon, however, the new-found fun was over. As the clock struck midnight, like magic, heated misunderstandings broke out in the ladies' room. Like a beautiful rainbow, some guy didn't appreciate Richard trying to make out with his wife. Like fairy dust sparkling on gurgling streams, vomit emerged from partygoers' mouths.
It was time to go home. And so we did, with designated driver intact. And as we rode down the city streets, with Richard lying wrapped in a tablecloth across the laps of everyone in the back seat, our hearts welcomed all the potential of 2006. And we promised ourselves, through laughter mingled with tears, that next New Year's Eve, we'd stay home. 11:29 PM # (19) comments
Monday, January 16, 2006Pictures of Accessories
Here is the necklace I mentioned in the post below.
Here's the bracelet my son made me, also mentioned in the post below.
Here's that bracelet on a human wrist.
Here's a new purse I got from Harwin. I get lots of compliments on it.
Here's a purse I didn't get from Harwin. (It's Guess.) I got more compliments on this purse than on any I've ever owned, for some reason. Even men complimented it.
Another Harwin purse. It looks cheap because it was cheap, but I still like it.
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Wednesday, January 04, 2006Goodbye, 2005. It was fun.
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