Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Londonsquared proclaims "Fine in Oh-Nine!"

That's right kids, let's start this off right! Mlle_aubergine and I did by hitting the gym for lunch to keep up with our FABULOUS selves and make sure we're good to go for her FABULOUS party in Paris this spring.

I'm supposed to be doing a year in review today, technically, however, I got wind of London's new mantra and I had to share.

SO! This year was something, wasn't it??

Let's review:
- January - Got married... AGAIN! If this one doesn't stick, I'm done with this marriage business! Met Neely of the Lexington Contingency and she came to my wedding! Had a HUGE party with my GREAT friends...thank you thank you thank you to all that came... that was the best time EVER! and thank you to Amanda and Stephen for staying with us for most of that time/ hosting the party room.

- February - Quit job, met Matt of the Lexington Contingency, moved out of old (but AWESOME!) apartment and shipped everything in one of those PODS type things to Portland. What a month! Can you say exhausted?! Still, I felt so free!

- March - Went to Europe for the whole month and met up with London, Liad, Ami, Leigh, Ezra, Chloe, Joe, Amanda, Luke and their friend Tim. AMAZING!

- April - huh... well there was the bullshit Fiasco, hiring a lawyer, My sister's wedding, moving in with my parents, the boyo's move to PDX, staying at Chez London, Linda and Dylan being super fucking amazing! Oh and Malia's baby shower on the hottest day of the year! Half bad, half good; this month made me realize that out of bad comes some good... and I have some amazing people in my life.

- May - the fiasco continues, my birthday, outings with Liz, never leaving the gym (if you lived with your parents, what would you do?), going very close to the edge of insanity due to my mother, missing the boyo, getting the boyo for my birthday (Again, Linda's AWESOME ... she got everyone to pitch in to fly him down AND we got our own little hotel room for a week... I was walking funny for 3 days after he left), the most surreal thing ever, and May 29th was "Here's Where the Story Ends"... 2nd miracle.

- June - More outings with Liz ( the Good Luck Bar!), Big Sonic Heaven, Robert's graduation, moving to PDX, moving in with Mlle_ aubergine, feeling FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

- July - unemployed but happy, being a good house elf, the boyo is unemployed, living in the City and the boyo living in the sticks, still happy, in awe of new city, my brother's wedding (parents express concern that I may be an alcoholic), land long-term temp job, meeting ALL sorts of people, writing writing and more writing, realizing I hate Summer no matter where I live, movie night.

- August - staying at Sir William's ('cause he's a nice boyo), living in the same place with the boyo, Lou(!!!), Breaking Dawn, the boyo's birthday, getting longer hours at the temp job, happy happy happy, finding our own place, things are coming together... slowly but surely.

- September - New place, Coidric and M's wedding, start writing for, first time at the coast, first time camping, The Graveyard Book, Coidric puts me in contact with current job, whenever things look like they might get worse, they somehow get better.

- October - New job (thanks to Coidric), Leigh's birthday (return to LA), HALLOWEEN, love new job, love writing on this blog and on ourpdx, meeting MORE new people, loving my new city.

- November - NaNoWriMo, gym a lot with no results, Let the Right One In, Ignite Portland 4, Thanksgiving with the in-laws (kinda weird), Thanksgiving on the coast (The island of misfit toys), Diana and Prime's wedding (20 sided dice!) ... and all SORTS of inspiration!

- December - finished NaNoWriMo (that's 50,056 words baby! Now to edit it!), Pocket Heather's visit to Portland, got sick, got sick again, snowed in (!!!), drinking in local bars due to being snowed in, more writing, Melissa Lion's writing class, Back Fence PDX, lovely friends, and all out lovely year.

that's a lot.

I wouldn't be anyone else :) Thank you to all that support me and that I call "friend," I couldn't have done it without you!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

...was what I told Cedric today at lunch.

So today we decided we were going to try out the new little french place called Chez Joly for lunch. My lunch partners today were Cedric and William and we had a good time talking about this, that, and the other. You know, like you do. We had a marvelous little lunch!

Oddly we were discussing how certain clubs in certain places won't let you in unless you're a)rich b) famous or c) special (unique/cool/etc.). It was agreed that Cedric would most likely be allowed in, but he had to work what he's got (which isn't difficult as Cedric is just... well... Cedric!)

So as we were leaving the owner was talking with us asked if we were painters or actors or ... something! There were odd stutters from around the table as William answered that he was a programmer, Cedric just answered that no, we weren't anybody and I sorter "er"d and "umm"d. Mainly I said neither yes nor no because my first thought was to say, "Yes, but no one you've heard of yet!" My second thought was to just say that I was a writer but this was negated by my third thought which is the fact that I don't write for a living, I just sort of dabble and technically my job title is analyst. Hence the "er"s and "umm"s. We thanked the owner and said we were basically no one he'd heard of and went on our merry way.

As we left, William argued that he was a programmer and I argued that whenever anyone asks you if you're special or if you are somebody, you say YES! Mostly because I do believe we are "somebody!" and also because I do believe that we are very interesting people (William, Cedric and I as well as the people we know).

I think it's proven just by the fact that someone thinks we're "somebody" even when technically (by definition in social and pop-culture terms) we're not!

Silly = Good

"People are, if anything, more touchy about being thought silly than they are about being thought unjust." ~E.B. White~

I'd like to thank Miss Kat for being my cheerleader and sending me the most wonderful text message last night (that I didn't receive until this morning since my phone DIED). Also for her tweet about answering her alarm phone. HEE! I love you, you're silly!

I've gone from feeling like this:

©Universal Press Syndicate/ Bill Waterson October 14, 1993

to feeling like this:

©Universal Press Syndicate/ Bill Waterson

Monday, December 29, 2008

OK... I'm gonna 'fess up, kids.

I'm down. I can usually cheer myself up out of this and they seem to work temporarily but in the long run I've just been sorter "eh" all day and at points I'm fighting off tears mostly because I don't know what's affecting me so much!

Partially I feel a bit disconnected with my friends so far away. Also there's the writing issue I'm having as I'm not getting a lot of feedback from those that I gave the draft I have of the novel I was working on. I wonder if I ask too much, if it's just too busy of a time for me to expect anyone to read it. Perhaps I should hire an editor.

I feel slightly out of touch and yet I feel hopeful. I know this will pass, but I can't seem to shake it.

What do I do? My bag of tricks is empty and I've no cheerleaders.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I like to go back and watch this little video on the Puppet P.O.V. with Henry Selick who talks about what the puppet might think.

The part that always makes me smile comes about 55 seconds in where they show an animator animating Coraline and Coraline being very aware of it.

I really love this P.O.V. as I do think that it must take an extraordinary amount of attention for the puppet to do such a film. You have to want a lot of attention!

Extraordinary, really... it makes my creative head reel and take off.

Blues on a Sunday

Sometimes Sundays get me down... mainly because I'm not looking forward to the rest of the week and sometimes I'll account it to a hangover. This one seems to have a little bit of both.

Usually 2 things that I can do on my own can help me with this. One is a bath and the other is singing. If I cannot take a bath, or don't have the proper time for one, I generally try to sing to myself. If the bath can be done, then singing is not only mandatory, but somehow automatic.

I tend to sing a lot, though, and have even been known to sing myself out of a migraine. Something about it, about remembering the lyrics and hitting certain notes and breath control, somehow do the trick. I've equated it to executing a grand jeté perfectly; achieving that perfect jump that feels almost as though you're flying/ were lifted up by both legs to travel a distance. I remember my heart soaring.

For me, hitting the notes just so, or perfecting a certain phrasing will make me feel that same way, like I was flying. That always makes me feel better, makes my heart feel a little lighter.

There's a whole lot of things that I can sing, and it basically just depends on my mood (ha!) as to what comes to mind and what works.

Currently, however, the songs that cheer me up, that make me giggle are cute little songs. Like Mhazz's I is for Igloo or even more so, the song from Coraline that I've finally confirmed is They Might Be Giants and can be found in Mr. Jones' Study on the Coraline site (click on the record player) or can be heard during this bit on meeting the inhabitants of the Coraline world when they introduce the Other Father:


Friday, December 26, 2008


Paul Cezanne LA MAISON RUSTIQUE Ambroise Vollard Estate Etching

(a) (Class. Antiq.) A house for the reception of strangers. (b) In the Middle Ages, a room in a monastery for the reception and entertainment of strangers and pilgrims, and for the relief of paupers. [Called also Xenodocheion.]
[L. from Gk] a house of reception for strangers and pilgrims; a hostel, guest-house, esp. in a monastery (also called xenodochion)

This was the first Christmas I've ever spent without family. Every year since I was a kid we would gather at my grandfather's house (which is now my aunt's house) for dinner and drinks and a whole bunch of family in a house that used to be too small to hold my large family. This year I had none of that as the boyo and I now live in another state and were sort of snowed in. Christmas eve was a little difficult as it seemed sad not to have the large crowd, the yummy smells, the drinks and the conversation. This year was a poor year for us, so we also had no gifts to unwrap and... well, it didn't really feel like Christmas.

For Christmas day, we had decided that we would spend it with some good friends watching movies and drinking. This was, essentially, what we generally did at my aunt's house so we figured it would be the closest we would get on a smaller scale.

Still a little down and not quite feeling the Christmas thing, I grabbed my coat and glanced at the frame we have near the coat rack. It's a needlepoint that the boyo's mum made us for our wedding with all sorts of words for "home" save one, as well our our surname and the date of the wedding. The one word that I didn't know, the different one, was xenodochium; they had included the definition on the back of the frame. I remember when we opened it, the boyo was moved beyond words because, they finally got it, they got us. They could not have picked a better word.

Seeing this reminder that this is what the boyo and I had always had for all our friends new and old, I cheered up again. Why? Well, it's sort of what we do here. We open our doors to everyone. Also, it's what we had in our friends, reinforced with the happy invitation from 2 of our new, good friends. We had created and are still creating our family out of friends and strangers that will always have a place to stay with us, and vice versa. This made me smile, this made me lighten up as I remembered that, what we were building, what we stood for and believed in, was truly wonderful.

I miss my old friends a lot, sure, but it's good to know that I will see them again and that we will always have a place with one of them no matter what state they're in and no matter what country.

I really like what we've built; I really love our family.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

For those of you getting ready to get home to start holiday festivities and for those already home, I thought this might start you up:

(and thank you Chloé and Juggle Jane for these marvelous videos!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bugs and Snow

No... not that kind of bug. I'm talking about a 1970 Volkswagen Bug (or Beetle).

Yesterday I was called by the transport company because they were actually not far from here. The car, they told me, should be in town by 7 or so.

"Yeah, right," I thought to myself. "Not in this weather!"

Well guess what, kids? At 8pm, I got a call from the driver saying he was about 8 miles away but might have to drive the car to us if the streets are too much for his truck (a big covered car transport one) couldn't make it on these roads. Ummm... 1970 bug that needs restoration being driven in this snow? Only if you have a clear shot of the road. 'K.

So I grabbed my jacket and scarf and told the boyo that we had to figure out where we were putting the car (see Sunday's photos of what it looks like in front of our house). The problem? We don't own a shovel. Back inside to see what we could use and the boyo comes up with ... cookie sheets (well he had a cookie sheet and I had a pizza round).


So... we're up front... the few cars that are on the road are slowing to watch... and we're clearing a spot for the bug... using... cookie sheets. Yup.

We get half way done with a space that I was arguing was not big enough (sure it would FIT the bug but how were we going to position it into said spot?) when the driver called. He was stuck on Alberta off the I-5. Can we come and get it?


"SURE!" says the boy, "No problem!"

Hike half a mile at 8:30pm in the snow to get my car. Sure enough... there it is. Unloaded from the truck and, well, almost ready to go. So the boyo gets in the car and starts it, I get in and we start off but the bug is stuck in a groove that has us going towards snow. Lot's of snow. Bug gets stuck.

I get out and the driver (nice guy) comes over and says he'll help us push it out. LOTS of pushing... I think my left thigh cramped up (reminding me that it's been 3 weeks since I've been to spin class). Finally we got the bug pointed in the right direction and on well packed ruts in the snow. The boyo drives it getting past the snowy bit where we got stuck, I wave to the driver and run after him to where he's finally stopped and jump in.

That should be the end, right?


We get the car to the spot and GUESS WHAT?! How the hell are we getting it into the Bug-sized spot? *rolls eyes* So he at first tries to have me drive it in. Doesn't work. The snow level varies from 6 inches to a foot higher than the pavement. So I drive the car into the spot and I'm stopped by the foot of snow in front of the car and now I have 3 of 4 wheels up on varying levels of snow. The back tire... not spinning there's so much snow! After a lot of struggling (and arguing) 3 guys take pity on us and come over to help a) get the bug unstuck and b) shove it into the spot.

FINALLY, it was in.

I wanted to take pictures last night but I'm sure that it would not have been appreciated if I asked if we could pause the pushing or if the boyo could stop driving so that I could take a pic for this blog. (KitKat, I don't care what you say, it did happen, even if I don't have pictures to prove it :P)


So instead, I have pictures from this morning (but you can see HOW and where it got stuck)

(that big trench it's in... we dug that with cookie sheets! and no we didn't throw the snow onto the car you see behind the bug)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

One Week Later

Remember last Sunday's snow? Where here's this Sunday's snow:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

So when the boyo woke up this morning he saw that it was snowing... and knowing that I love it, he woke me and then started breakfast.

We were cheerfully and playfully singing Christmas songs until I thought of an old favorite
A John Waters Christmas

and I looked up songs like Santa Claus is a Black Man just trying to think of the best non-traditional and plain ole kooky Christmas songs.

With the help of friends (thanks Juggle Jane and Mlle_Aubergine!), we came up with:
I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey
and the always great, Christmas in Hollis

We all have a song like this from our past that you can't believe you know, but that it wouldn't be Christmas without, don't we kids?

*If you click the title, the link sends you to the Horatio Sanz song that was done so long ago on Saturday Night Live. Sorry about the video... but the song is right.
** UPDATE 12/23/08: Thanks to Miss Jane, I've got it linking to the original. YAY!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wanna know something funny? (funny odd not funny ha-ha)

Well, no matter what you kids say I'm gonna tell you anyway 'cause it's my blog and ... well that's what I do.

The boyo and I are on Ceci-watch. As I've mentioned before, I was on anti-depressants for a while and my therapist thinks it might just run in my family. Both my therapist and my doctor were a little concerned that I was moving to such a... dark, shall we call it?... climate. They didn't know what would happen, especially since they wanted to start weaning me off the meds.

We (the boyo and I), had a different theory, however. Generally, it was the usual sunny and "nice" days that would depress me. The nicer the weather, the worse I felt. Once fall hit, I started getting happier, most especially so when it was a dark and gloomy day or it happened to rain..So we just figured it would have the opposite effect.

I know, I know! It's different when you live here, but there are things that give me hope that we are right (like we generally are).

First of all, I've been off of my meds since I got here because I had no insurance and I'm not paying $600 a bottle for my meds, thank you! Oddly, with the exception of a few days once the meds were leaving my system, I've never been happier!

Secondly, I've been nothing but optimistic since The Fiasco and Miracle #2 (also about the time when I moved) and I've gotten nothing but good from it. I'm getting and doing everything I want... well, you know, within reason!

Then there are days like today:
It has been snowing on and off and the clouds go from light to really dark and it just makes my eyes widen (That's a good thing; like when someone kisses you like no other and your eyes go REALLY big?? Like that). I've been in the BEST mood today and my mind is in over-drive with ideas and so many inspirational things outside of the weather... like Neil Gaiman and Coraline and TheAmazingPhil being silly and The Gamble House...
*takes a breath*
yeah... !!!

Is there a inverse of SADD???

Ok ok...

I'm having too much fun on the Coraline website!

Go there and don't forget to visit The Other Mother's workshop.

In the middle of working on a post, I was also tooling around my usual sites and saw that Neil Gaiman posted this:

It's the best use of those balloon-y things I've ever seen! I love it!

So I thought I'd post it on here so that you could all see the magic of it to be just as inspired as I was. And if you haven't read Coraline, GO GET IT (or I can lend it to you)! The movie comes out February 6th and I'm ever so excited about it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

For my Shebee

... and for anyone else that needs a boost.

Oh I just know that something good is gonna happen
And I don't know when,
but just saying it could even make it happen!

Kate Bush "Cloudbusting"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm getting a WEEE bit better. I'm hoping that working from home again today will allow me the rest I need to be, well at least 90%... Hell, I'll settle for 85%, better by tomorrow!

So the holidays are upon us and I'm sorter Eh about them. Don't get me wrong, kids, I love this time of year 'cause things slow down and, aside from the shopping bit (which I've had NONE of thank you very much!), people are generally pretty nice. There's also a kind of magic in the air. Maybe it's the colder weather... who knows!?

It's just gonna be WEIRD! I'm used to a BIG Mexican Christmas and a big Friends gathering for New Year's Eve. This year... well all the Mexicans save this one are in So Cal and the friends I usually see for the holidays will be mostly in So Cal too, but a few are scattered around the globe.

I'm not depressed about this, although it sounds like it, doesn't it? It's just, different and I don't have that usual giddy excitement about going to my tia's (that's "aunt's" in Spanish) and sitting around the table being catty with them and drinking or about what we'll be doing for New Year's; generally impromptu, always fun.

No, instead I think I'm just sort of... quietly excited? happy? about the unknown of what I'll do this year for the holidays. Maybe start a new tradition, maybe a new party. Any thing is possible!

Still, I can't help but think ahead to next New Year's Eve, for which I'm already giddy over. The Clan (which means the friends...mostly Irvine and some from other contingencies) will be gathering for one of our usual trips to Europe, this time for Asef's wedding AND Hogmanay 2009/2010 (The Revenge, Part Deux)!

The giddy part has not only to do with Scotland and another Hogmanay (although that is pretty exciting in itself), but has to do with a gathering of ALLLLL our friends for another one of those inconceivably great gatherings that we are so known for. The last major one was my wedding and looked like this (with some people missing 'cause they passed out or had to go put passed out people down):

I know, I know... I post this pic a lot (and if you click on it you can see a bigger version)...but I LOVE IT, kids, I love it!
Do you see those people!?? Can you imagine them (well, some of them...and some not pictured... and some who couldn't make it) gathered in Scotland for a wedding right before Hogmanay!? Oh the insanity!

*wipes a tear *
Yeah yeah yeah! I miss my friends... and I know we'll always gather no matter where we are or what we'll be doing

...bunch of drunks!

Monday, December 15, 2008

You can thank Chloé

Well I can't very well leave you guys bored on a Monday night?!


And now, back to my regularly scheduled Nyquil-taking

SICK!... and tired...

...'cause "and tired" always went with "Sick."

I surrender, cold. You can have me. Please, by the grace of this surrender... go easy on me.

Just please, be gentle.

© Natalie Dee

That is all, kids... this girl is going to go hit the nyquil... and it's ONLY 6pm!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This morning I realized that I've spending too much time with the boyo. What I mean by that is that I woke up with a slight sore throat and vile, nuclear-green phlegm. MMMM!!

So we've been home bound and I've been staring out the window wishing I could be out and enjoying the snow. That's right! I said out. I would be out there enjoying the crunch sound that the snow made beneath my boots and catching the snow on my tongue.

I don't know if it's just me, but too much time indoors makes me go something something something. That and it really brings out the worst in me.
Like what?
So a little known fact is that I have social anxiety issues. Weird, huh? Me, the one that gets out there and talks to people and tells you EVERYTHING, including the stuff you don't want to know. Yes, I have social anxiety issues, I can even have my therapist fax you a note if you don't believe me. Somehow they're amplified when I spend too much time without much or any interaction.

*This is Social Anxiety Ceci with her head in the speakers... or rather her headphones on*

Yesterday I went to a class given by Melissa Lion called Write Right all Right. The night before I was scared to go. Why!? I don't have an answer for you outside of the fact that it was not something I would normally do and that I wouldn't know the people there. Scary, right?

I went, kids, don't worry, I went.

Know what? It was great! I loved it and I came home inspired. Before I left the class, however, I went up to say "thank you" to Melissa and I felt the anxiety coming on again. I hugged her, I thanked her (it was truly an awesome class!), and then I babbled... and got shaky.


Again, I don't know.
I don't let myself become trapped by these things, but they're there. Sometimes I want to hide and just, not be anyone and not go anywhere. I don't know how to explain it and I wish I knew how to get rid of it. The thing that keeps me going, that makes it not so bad, is that I remember that most people are scared, too. If you're not, please don't tell me (joke!). Seriously, though, we're all human and we all wonder what so-and-so thinks or even how we're coming across. I generally have the over-excited puppy problem sans the pee thing, thank god!

I used to have meds but I stopped taking them when we moved here, as I had no insurance. Oddly, will power and my sickening "I can do anything" attitude have kept me right as rain. This doesn't stop the anxiety from happening, however, it just helps me combat it. I like to think of it as a built-in self-defense mechanism.
So I've a birthday party to go to and having this little chat with you guys has made it ok for me to go out and meet up with the people I know and with the people that I don't know ('cause there's always those there when you're the new kid in town). You'd think it would go away wouldn't you? That's the thing with social anxiety, though, it doesn't - I just have to fight it every step of the way.

*takes a breath*
Ok... let's go.

*The music helps, I can go out now... this is as good as it gets *


So I've never lived anywhere where it snowed. Today when I woke up and looked out the kitchen window as I was filling the kettle I saw snow! I think I gasped 'cause I could hear Da5id from the other room ask, "What?"

So we went outside and looked around our "new" neighborhood that had been magically transformed into this:

Coming out of my back door and towards the back

From my back door looking towards the street

Down the street and looking at the boyo's bikes.

I don't think you can see it here but it's actually SNOWING while I'm taking this.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Have you heard about this?

I just heard about it.

So I'm trying to come back to the present/catch up, but there's a lot I've missed in the past 3 weeks!

Again, I was catching up on Neil Gaiman's blog, which usually ends up with me catching up on Amanda Palmer's blog/tour info (BAH! she's in PDX tomorrow and I've no money for tickets... even if they are only $22 plus those ghastly charges) and that's where I got news about The Rebellyon all caused by this:

Amanda's Belly(from her the pic-y).

To sum up, Roadrunner wanted Amanda to fix/change/edit her video for Leeds United because they said that her belly was not attractive.

Here's the video:

I read the story from The Guardian through a link in Neil's blog and you can see her post about it in her blog (that link's on her belly pic above). I think her belly looks fine! I think she looks GREAT! What the hell are they on about?!

That is one of the many reasons as to WHY I love Amanda Palmer.


Today has been a bit of a wash of a day for me. I'm not sure exactly what is wrong with me, but I've been light-headed and dizzy. My first thought was that I was probably hungry and really needed to get some food. Well, that didn't work. On the way back from lunch, I dumbfounded Coidric with the utter nonsense that was coming out of my mouth (honestly, I don't know how you didn't shove me into traffic to make it stop). I can't seem to make my mind or mouth work properly and the feeling dizzy is not helping!

It's almost like if I try to look at something, my sight starts going dark, like a tunnel closing in... making only so much available to see.

Christ! There's been so much wrong with me lately that I'm baffled. Nothing seems to be working like it should... not even going to the gym.

For Christmas, I'd like a new body, please... one without what ever's going wrong with the current one!

Could it be, perhaps, that the sex has made me stupid?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The song of the day is by the lovely Mhazz in Glasgow. I've been addicted to her since Monday, and she saved me!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008 last and...

I got the hair cut and colored.

I basically had it trimmed and thinned. It was WAY too bushy as I've a LOT of hair.

BLUE!!! Only on top... the rest is the usual black

The overall look with the hair curly.

oh and...

My helmet came in today!


I can now ride on the Motorcycle with Da5id!

So I know that I haven't been on a lot lately and I've just been posting bits and I am very sorry and I miss my little blog.

The thing is that November saw me attempting NaNoWriMo, plus the Thanksgiving holiday, and I just had very little time to do much else. It seriously zapped me of all but the energy that running or spin class helped me regain.

December found me winning NaNoWriMo (50,056 words submitted by 11:55pm on Sunday, November 30th) and instead of being OVERJOYED on Monday... the vile green negativity monster reared its ugly head and I felt exhausted. EWW! Mainly I think it was just shear exhaustion, so I gave myself a week off and decided to do nothing but CRAM my social calendar and listen to lots of music!

The good news is that I let myself do all sorts of things that I hadn't been able to do. On Tuesday I went to see Un Conte de Noël with Kat. Wednesday was just as bad as Monday and I felt sick and exhausted again. Thursday was better and Pocket arrived! We went to Tony Starlight's for dinner and a show with Linda Lee Michelet doing Peggy Lee songs. The food was excellent, the staff was better than excellent and the show was magnificent. She's playing again on the 18th and we're hoping to go.

We did soo many things that I'll post on later, however, I wanted to explain that I was exhausted/busy/ exhausted again...

I will be posting more, I promise.

Now...for an early bed! WEIRD!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday is Movie night

So every Monday (when I'm not sick or grounded) we get together for movie night. Tonight. we're out for a field trip of sorts to the Living Room Theater here in Portland.

What are we all going to see?


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cuteness of the day

Today someone sent us chocolates (us being the office) for the holidays.

He was as yummy as he was cute!

***If you would like to order some to give out, click on the post title as it links to the L.A. Burdick site.

Big, BIG Monkey Mat!

So a couple of weeks ago we went to Target with the lovely Kat as she was getting gifties for her niece. Whilst there I happened upon this (the boyo and I were in need of a bath mat):

and what happens everytime I see it (of course we bought it! I have a monkey thing!)??? Everytime I see it I sing this

... Well, changing "man" to "mat" of course

The loo is all ska all the time!

speaking of my monkey thing... perhaps someone should get the boyo this for those long walks home with a drunken Ceci

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tomorrow is actually better than Rex Manning day*!
Tomorrow is Pocket Heather** day!

Our first visitor to our little place here in Portland will be the lovely Pocket!

(Pocket and me at my Cocktail Party October '07)

She's coming out to check out PDX and to see how we are faring. She's also coming for the Holiday Ale Festival (this is what we used to time our visits with before we moved here). It's going to be a lovely, lovely weekend and I can't wait to see the pocket! I'm so excited I can't even sleep!

*Rex Manning Day is in reference to Empire Records... laugh if you will but I like it 'cause it was just like working at Tower Records back in the day...

** Pocket Heather is so called because I think she's SOOOOO cute, I just want to put her in my pocket! I don't care that she's taller than me, she's still really freakin' CUTE!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The things we do

in case you didn't know... NaNoWriMo is over and...
(click on the title of this post up there to go to my NaNoWriMo stats)

I had to spend most of Sunday writing and it didn't end in a spot where I'm even finished yet, but that's ok 'cause I at least made it to 50K! So I'm going to finish it off and then end it.

I feel a little happy, sort of scared and very tired.

Happy that I did what I said I would do.

Scared because, well it's not finished exactly and I want to finish it. Not only that, but I'm scared of what might happen to the story. I mean... can I do anything with it? Will I just keep writing until I find something that I believe in enough that I want to put out? Scared also of... well is the idea even any good? Yeah... the ugly green monster is rearing his head.

Tired because I was up 'til midnight (duh!) finishing off what I needed to to meet my mark. My friend Stephen called me as I had uploaded my "novel" and had finished typing in the synopsis & an excerpt. We had a challenge going and he wanted to know what had happened. We talked 'til about 1am.

I just HOPE... that I continue this streak, and that I can follow through on everything I want to do.

Today, maybe it's the tired speaking, but that hope seems very small. You'd think that after the things we do we'd be hopeful, but somehow, I'm fighting the urge to belittle the whole thing. *makes a face*

Perhaps I scared myself with what I can do... perhaps I'm just tired. I really wish I could stop thinking about it this way.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Little Big Planet

I... have found my latest addiction.

It's a game for PS3 and it has ME written ALLLLL over it.

I think I just fell in love...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Naked But Safe


I've been doing a lot of it these days. I've got my little space here, where I don't post nearly as often or nearly enough like me, the odds and ends that I scribble in the many journals I keep lying about, the submission for Ashley over at Nostus Cookbook that I promised her a month ago and there is the novel I'm writing for NaNoWriMo. Then there are the projects that have gone by the wayside, like Waiting for Amanda and my websites.

Writing is my lover and my enemy. It's loved and hated. It's being naked but safe.

I guess you could say it's like sex... one wonders about how the body is viewed, how good one is, if one is really loved and yet, it's put out there, vulnerable. Writing, for me is very much like that. In a sense it's sort of a no-brainer, you do it 'cause you love it... and the person... sometimes. heh. It's an expression and this is how I choose to express myself, this is how I feel it. So I don't think, I just do.

It's also a lot like a relationship: it's perfect, it's horrid, maybe it's not for me, of course it's for me, I need to work through this.

These nights I've been struggling with the writing. It's a chore, but it's a chore I love, that I get caught up in. I do it because... because I love to. I think about that because a lot of people ask me what I expect to get out of it. Well, nothing really, except for the very act of doing it. When I don't write... it irks me, I feel out of it. Then again, when I do it, I question it all the time.

Ibsen wrote, "To write is to preside at judgment day over one's self." I cannot think of a better way to describe it.

Would I love to be able to write all the time and make my living off of it? Yes! Would it drive me mad because of how hard it is to try to come up with something without over-thinking it? YES! Do I think I can cut it? ... Maybe.

The point, mainly, is that I love to write, with all my heart, with all my soul, with every particle that's me. It's a labor of love. It's what I need to do. How it's done, whether I get paid for it or not, that doesn't matter. The problem still lies in that sometimes in the midst of it all, it scares the hell out of me! However, I'm learning that I can't help but do it, and the more I try to do, the more I want to do, and fuck the questioning of it! I find myself asking what I tend to do with the finished novel (as I will finish it!), and then what, and then what after that?

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn, I just want to do it!

*Note: I'd like to thank IAMX for the title Naked But Safe as I can't get the song out of my head and the title worked perfectly for my thoughts on writing.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Third week of NaNoWriMo and I find myself grounded for not hunkering down last week and keeping my nose to the grindstone! I was too distracted with previous engagements (Peter Seller's The Party for movie night on Monday and Ground Kontrol on Tuesday for game night) and with inspirational and... dare I say, outings in the name of research ( meetup and ignite Portland 4) to do so. Since I was not responsible... I'm grounded for a fortnight!...even though the latter 2 did give me much inspiration and were GREAT in just what they were.


grounded. yeah.

I'm finding inspiration in dancing, quotes and music. Most importantly, Jesca Hoop as I find her stuff to be very fitting for my writing (especially Dreams in the Hollow).

So for those who are hunkering down with me for the last half of NaNoWriMo... here's some inspiration from my favorite, Neil Gaiman:

"By now you're probably ready to give up. You're past that first fine furious rapture when every character and idea is new and entertaining. You're not yet at the momentous downhill slide to the end, when words and images tumble out of your head sometimes faster than you can get them down on paper."

Now... to the grindstone!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Yeah... that's me!


I miss dancing...
and there are some J Lo songs I like.

(clicky the pic-y for video... you've been warned!)
Sometimes I dance around like back in the old days of The Firm in LA... and the old jazz classes.
It energizes me.

I miss my dance partners (Amanda, Leigh, Dora, Liz, Ingrid, Monica, Dylan, Linda and Bud )

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Music in my Head

I'm working on the novel although not very well.

I feel like I need the cheerleader now! I can't do it all on my own all the time! Sometimes my hold on ...well... on my dreams, teeters. The thing is, I'm trying to not keep a hold on reality. I'm trying very hard to remember that my world is my own and I can change the color of the sky in it. I feel that only by remembering that I can rearrange the atoms that make up solid matter can I get through that wall. Just like David Knight and Martha Valiant.

For those of you that question the sanity of this... think about it.

Why can't you change your reality? Isn't that what life is about? What we do with our lives and how we shape the world around us? It's all just a matter of knowing HOW to tweak it.

I'm stronger than I think I am most times... so are you.

There are a lot of people around me right now that I've been cheering for and I don't know that they're listening and I'm running out of pep! I'm about ready to smack you guys. Just... listen to me for a minute, ok?

Miracles (for lack of a better word) happen. I can make things happen and so can you. I married the boyo I wanted... it worked and even through the tough times's working. It was no easy feat, this. There was a time when it seemed impossible that we'd be together. Honestly. We had to cheat death to do it. Work? Well, here I am aren't I? Working for a company that finally wants to utilize all I've learned AND I'm writing a freakin' novel... even if it is just to prove that I can do it. I'm here. I'm alive. I've escaped some bad situations and I have the scars to prove it.

I don't know how else to prove it to you people! Especially to those who have been through some of these things with me and have seen that I... we... prevailed. You can change anything... most especially your life.

I believe in you. Just... trust me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Dear blog,
I'm sorry for neglecting you. My room is neglected too, and for that matter so is the kitchen. I've been busy with what I call "research" (reading) and with writing as I'm participating in NaNoWriMo (you remember that, right? I told you about it 2 or 3 posts ago?).

I will try to communicate more with you soon.



So it's not that I've been doing anything that's life changing, really, but I have been trying to get in the swing of the job AND this writing. Oh...and Halloween... and the election... it's been busy!

As for the election... I'm sure there are people far better at expressing this than I am (like, say, Coidric), so I'm not gonna say much about it here other than this:

Seriously! I feel at least like I have a fighting chance with this country now. It all seemed stodgy... so... backwards... so... embarrassing!

So yes! I'm happy with the outcome... save for Prop 8 passing in California. WTF?! I mean... putting a ban on gay marriage INTO the CA constitution seems very un-California to me.

Ah.... now I can travel to Europe again without hiding my passport or feigning a Mesican accent ... although I do have problems with going Madonna in England *sigh *

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This is Halloween

Halloween at the Virtue-Clouse house...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yesterday was one of those days when you just want to deny you exist.

"Who? That dumb girl over there? No... don't know her... Can't say as I want to."

It seemed that most of the tasks assigned to me were fairly simple, however, I seemed to mess them all up. Some were complete and utter mind farts, others were just... not as easy as they were made to sound due to lack of information or files not appearing to be how/where the task setter said.

That my brain got fried was my own fault. I should have just ignored my stupid "let's plow on!" sentiment, brushed my hands and called the day off. Instead I ended up with a 9-1/2 hour day.


I need to learn to say, "Screw you guys, I'm going home." (just like Eric Cartman)

Thankfully... today... well today is another day and I love it.

"Yesterday was plain awful!
You can say that again
but that's
not now
that's then!"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Update Post

There's this pipe that I like to use when I'm drunk/ playing board games/ writing (this goes with drunk sometimes...ok most times too). The boyo hates when I use it. It's his, he doesn't use it and I think it was a gift to him from one of his best friends from when she went to Africa. So when I'm sitting here writing... or (to Kat's annoyance) playing a game... you can find me like this:

So the new job is going very well. They're throwing all sorts of things at me and I only hope that I'm coping with them well... from the mundane to the not-so (travel arrangements to compiling data). Seriously, these guys have an idea in their heads about what they want and how it's to be done and I can only hope that I'm doing well with it. I'd like to hope that they think..."HEY! I didn't think of that." However, I've not had anything that provides that opportunity. SO... I hope they think that things are as spiffy as I think they are.

So last weekend I went to LA for Leigh's birthday and found myself in one of my favorite rooms in the Beach House. This was my room:

and this was my view:I DO so miss Manhattan Beach from time to time...especially the view of the ocean (it's better from the balcony above, which is where we usually hang out).

I do have pics of people and stuff we did... but then this post would be all pics. I'll post a link later to them once I upload them completely.

So going back to MB was like... I never left. Since Leigh's birthday festivities were for the most part taking part on Friday, it was very much just getting in there. I felt like it was any day when I would hang out with all the kids. It was comfortable and I easily slipped back into the whole thing. I had a great time just talking about things with people...nothing in particular, just... stories of our lives. My friends are GREAT storytellers. I loved hearing all the latest and we even had some "remember when???" times. Saturday found Leigh and I at Ava's soccer game (5 year-olds + soccer = hilarious) then we sat around and talked followed by a walk along the beach into town to sit and have a glass of wine at the bar. Loverly! At 4pm, Dora picked us up for tea and we were off to The Peninsula to have tea with Liz for Leigh's birthday (it's a thing we do). Miss Hannah Leah had her first tea with us. Oh so fun and she told us a great riddle which I greatly appreciated (and helped solve along with Ms. Dora). Sunday found Leigh and I having breakfast with my parents at one of our old spots and then it was off to see my Tias(translation: my Aunts). I loved seeing them. I got to see Bonnie and Ang too (as well as Alex and Robert) so really, it was all good times!

Coming back home was fine and dandy. Taking the train from the airport, I started wondering if I missed the whole thing and came to the conclusion that ... no... no, I wasn't sad to be back. I was happy and I was excited. In as much as I missed LA... there's still the problem of the weather (did it seriously have to be in the mid to upper 80s in October?!) and then there's just the fact that it will always be home... where my family is (and it was very nice to see Linda, Jen, Damien, Ingrid, Chloé, Joe, Clark, Logan, Annie, Ezra, Dylan, Asef and even TIM!... not to mention the already mentioned Hannah, Leigh, Liz, Dora and Ava). Getting off the MAX at the Rose Quarter Transit Cneter to get on the Yellow line that would take me home, I still couldn't help but look around at the unfamiliar familiar surroundings and think, ah but this.... this is me now... and that I know it but still don't know it... I love it!

I loved that I had no idea what the next day would bring and that it's all still so new to me... and that I had a forever of "what next?!" coming up. Does everyone get this when they first move to a new place? Can only a new place after 32 years in the same place bring this perspective? I wonder...

All I know is that I'm having a fabulous time here in Portland and I love that I don't know what's going to happen ...and what my future may bring.

I... LOVE my life!

**UPDATE: Kat I included pics of my room 'cause it was your guest room too and I know how you loved it. The room says hi!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I feel like I've been gone forever and yet I went no where!

Well, technically, I did go to LA last weekend (I'll post about that later... when I can provide photos), but you know what I mean.

I've decided I have to get to focusing on what's going on here with me, in all aspects.

To begin with, I told myself that THIS time (...with feeling) I'm going to participate in NaNoWriMo
since I think that this time, I can do it and not talk myself out of it.
For those of you who aren't in the know, November is National Novel Writing Month. Basically, you spend all of November trying to write a novel (50,000 words) - no editing allowed! You're basically just getting it all out there to see if you can do it. I decided that this year, I'd go ahead and run this marathon for writers and see if I can finish.
Anyone wanna join me?

So yesterday this kid at Mother's Bistro called me Ma'am and would ALWAYS do so. Do I look like a ma'am to you?! I do?! I dunno... someone should tell that kid that using ma'am all the time and with everyone is just... weird and bothersome.


... ma'am...

I'm considered a Lord in some lands, kid! I have photographic proof of this:

I'd like to thank London for this peecture. It's ever so great!

I have a new job! I love it and they sorter created a position for me as they knew they needed help but weren't sure what and they basically took a look at my resume and said, " yes please!" So they want to utilize all my mad skillz yo! Heh! Anyway, the guys are nice and the job has all sorts of aspects that I'm learning and it's really very exciting and... I love it!
I also love that I work in Cedric's building if ONLY for right now. It's fun!

Other things I'm doing:
-sweating like crazy at spin class 3 times a week... and loving it!
-trying to do better at keeping in touch with all my friends *hello out there!*
-putting plans together with Kat for Kat's Birthday European tour 2009! That's right!
-whining a lot (I'm not proud of this one, but it's true)

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13th!

Today is october 13th and I love it!!!!

What did I do today??? That's not the point. It's my cousin Bonnie's birthday (Happy birthday, Bon!) but mainly it's October, which is my favorite month.

Seriously, Fall is a time when everything changes. Good or changes... and I've always been a big supporter of it.

So...what comes with fall??? Hmmm... new hair... new friends... although my old friends are taking me back to LA (Leigh's birthday and apparently I can't miss it for the world!)

This... is life.

I love it. I'm not sure where things stand with the boyo ... or even myself... but I'm still here... and I'm still logging the hours.

Which reminds me... don't think that all strangers are good! Da5id and I had our first housewarming and some kid came knocking at our door at about 1am or so and, against my better judgment da5id let him in to a "friends only" party. A housewarming party where we had figured out who we wanted there because of their involvement in our lives at the stage where we were merely getting help from our friends and those around us, so it was a sort of thank you to those responsible for our involvement in the PDX clan and just... being here.

There were a TON of people I wanted to invite, mind you, but we decided that it was better to keep it small since we only had so much room to work with.

Da5id learned that we might want to save everyone, but not everyone is worth saving. At about 1 am or so, there was a knock at the door. Being an expert at dealing with the police, I figured I had this covered. So I answered the door only to find a boy who was intent on persuading me that letting him in was the best thing to do. I am used to people trying to come in off the street, having given my fair share of parties, however, this kid made me think, no! Not only no, but that this party wasn't just a party, it was about celebrating the people that allowed us to get here... in any way, shape, or form.

Well, the kid abused it. Once people had left, he demanded (really!) that he be allowed to stay. Da5id's thing was that he had been cool and allowed him into our party, given him drink... and now he wanted more???? So Da5id, after calling Cedric over for back up (thank you Cedric), told the guy to leave. At which point he (the kid) went around to the front (Cedric and Da5id having already closed and locked the back door) and started opening it when Da5id ran over and finished opening it for him. The kid started saying something about how we were stupid for leaving the door unlocked and Da5id basically told him how stupid he is for not getting out of there since he was calling the cops. I don't know if it was shear stupidity that kept the kid arguing but as Da5id dialed, he was still talking and standing around. Did he really think he was going to get back in and stay with us?


Ah, October! What more do you have coming up for me?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back in Blue

That's right! Thanks to Nate (anti-J to some), I have new hair. It's shorter (but not AS short) and it's BLUE!

This is one happy girl!

Step one to full Bringin' Ceci Back is ON!