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Ms. Valentine is my new favorite person.

Here's why.

And if you like the Twilight books or enjoyed the newest movie, well...too bad.

Currently: Why do you like these people, Pike?
I guess it's high time I did some updating. Especially now that I have a new follower which almost knocked me out of my chair. No idea how you found me in the world of the internet babe(...though now that I think about it, I kind of am all over the place...), but HI! =D Good times.

Now then, let's back up and start from where we last left off, shall we?

February: Ice storm. Big one. Stuff was frozen for a while. I didn't mind since I work in my room so it's not like I need to go anywhere. Hah. I found myself getting really tired of winter at that point. I mean, basically once winter started I wanted it to be over, and that doesn't happen very often at all. Especially when we get oodles of snow. I enjoy snow. Heck, I want to live in Colorado (though that's pretty much all for the mountains and forests). But this time I was just done with winter. No idea why. Just...tired of cold and stuff. Maybe it's because I lost a month in August, what with losing Freckles only a few weeks before, taking a long time to get from PA to MO and then dealing with all the unpacking and lack of water and no refrigerator and so forth. Like August just disappeared. But ah well, now it's April, so I get to enjoy warm weather. Rock on global warming.

March: This would be Brutus. No, we didn't name him that. Some jackass bachelor did. I'll bet he thought it was funny to name a miniature dachshund Brutus. Though I do admit it would be fun to get another one just to name him Caesar. HA. But dad wanted a dog and so did I. I love dogs. I missed not having one even though I still have Freckles's tag on my car keys (and there it will stay). Except this house and the yard aren't exactly big dog friendly. Shame since I love bigger dogs. Small dogs are not my bag of chips. But dad apparently has wanted a dachshund since he was young (Lord knows why - is it just me or is there some correlation between large men and small dogs?). I told him whatever - this time it would be his dog the way Freckles was my mom's and my dog (somehow that's the way it ended up). Besides, I'm not going to be here forever and I don't want to get ridiculously attached.

So one day while I was out to lunch with a friend, everyone else went to a dog adoption thingy and voila. There was Brutus. Two days later he shows up at our house. The story behind this guy is that he's three years old, was owned by a guy who later got married and they had a kid. When they decided to have a second kid, the wife said that the dog had to go. Goodness knows, if he acted the same way he did here his first several weeks (and still from time to time), it's no wonder she wanted him gone. Brutus has a list of bad behavior problems that I do not doubt stem from his previous owners total lack of leadership. He gets into the garbage (and has dodged a bullet because he managed to grab a pork rib and hork it down). He poops in the house from time to time (it's like he doesn't know how to tell us he needs to go out). He gets possessive over items he steals or "claims" which can lead to growing and aggressiveness. He jumps on the dining room chairs to get to the table which he will then walk all over in search of food. He digs. When he is interrupted from something he is really focused on, he gets defensive and growls. And the one thing I really want to work with him on but don't know how to go about doing it (at least the best way I'd like to do it), socialization. I don't think his previous owners ever walked him and he has no idea how to be a dog - at least when it comes to other dogs.

But we've been working with him. He's much better on walks now when it comes to both pulling on the leash and going apeshit when other dogs behind fences bark at him. He no longer gets on the table. He doesn't poop in the house as much, but you never know. He's learning commands and follows them ("Drop it" being especially important). We keep an eye on him when it comes to the garbage because he'll still try to sneak in from time to time and get in it - even while writing this blog I've peeked into the kitchen a few times just out of sheer paranoia to make sure he's not alone in there. He's not as possessive over things, but if he snatches something food-like from the ground, he is not keen on giving it up. Odd considering he's not food aggressive. I've been taking cues from Cesar Milan on how to "fix" Brutus's issues and so far it's been working. But what I would love to have is a whole pack of balanced dogs like those that Cesar has in order to get Brutus to understand how to be a dog and that other dogs are okay. Today will be a particular challenge because my sister is bringing her new puppy over. Here's to the future.

April: Back in March I went to visit my sister for a week and wouldn't you know it, the first day I'm there Barnes & Noble calls me up and asks for an interview. After a brief moment of spazzing, I set up an interview for the following week. Having previously worked at B&N in PA, I miss the books and just the job in general. I know, weird right? But I had a good time there. I really enjoyed my co-workers, I had the best freakin' managers in the world, and it was, in a way, easy money. I like books and I enjoyed working in a bookstore. Heck, I'd tried for years to work at the one in Illinois. So after my first interview, I get a second with the store manager who told me that the manager they spoke to in PA essentially said, "YES. Hire her NOW." (Cookies to whoever said that by the way - I have no idea who it could be since there are several people I can easily see saying that). And happy day, my 5 minute (if that) interview with the store manager lead to me being hired then and there. Jackpot.

So now, happily, I'm back to two jobs. Freelance and bookselling. That almost makes it like I have a full time job. And lucky, lucky, I get hired back at my original pay rate and I'm back into the 401k program. Sweet. I officially started in April and have now been there for three weeks. Hours are low, but eventually I'm willing to bet I get more. That's how it worked at my other store anyway. Besides they like me because they don't have to teach me anything. Haha. Well, except the cafe since they cross train which kind of freaks me out since I'd really rather not do anything in the cafe...ever. I'd rather they throw my butt back in recieving because I can do that with my eyes closed. But oh well.

"And now for something completely different."

Miscellaneous: In the future I'll try to remember to post updates I do on my other blog and elsewhere just for those that are curious. I do tend to update my Alt. Ramblings blog more than this one just because life is slow whereas writing is not. I still haven't gained back any hats at Epinions which means less money which sucks. On the other hand, when it comes to writing books, the one I started back in November finished just a month or so later (that's right, an entire book) and now I've been working on fixing it so I can start querying. If no one likes my SF book, maybe they'll like this one. It's not paranormal romance, but damn it if it isn't close.

Interestingly enough, moving close to Kansas City has allowed me to be near one of my original critique partners from Seton Hill (even better because she was one of my favorite critiquers). She has a writing group that I've joined, which gives me even more access to people to look at my work. Sweetness.

I very much enjoyed Alice in Wonderland. Like many others, I think Tarrant and Alice should have gotten together, which is why I support page 113 in the original script.

In a few days we open up our pool again. That is awesomeness waiting to happen.

So that's what's happening in my life. Good times. Plenty of chocolate. Good music. And walking the dog basically forces me to exercise. At least he's good for something. =D
We all appreciate your ethusiasm and graciousness in hosting the Winter Olympics and look forward to everything that Canada has to offer. It looks like it will be another exciting year full of gold, silver, and bronze medals for first-rate athletes all ready and willing to do their part to show their amazing skills and promote peace and goodwill worldwide.

Having said that, fix your fucking luge run.


At the present, their answer to blocking off steel beams is to erect a 12-foot wooden wall.

You guys spend millions of dollars building all this Olympic stuff and you can't spring for some fucking padding?

After having some issues (such as my skin freaking out on me and some sub-zero or near sub-zero temperatures), I have a lot of things to look forward to. how about we start with soonest first?

  • Sunshine.
  • My first ever pecan pie.
  • A nightstand instead of a cardboard box like I have now.
  • A papsan chair. I've wanted one of these for YEARS and after squirreling away money for some time, I'm going to freaking buy one.
  • A $50 Barnes & Noble gift card (jackpot!)
  • Working out again.
  • Whatever I have leftover from the gift cards and such after I use them to get the nightstand and chair.
  • My skin not freaking out (*fingers crossed*).
  • Payday.

Now if only I could figure out how to fix the layout of my book blog...

Currently: I can bake. Really, I can!
I remembered the Live Eagle Cam from college and have since tried to find something similar. I've looked for live wolf cams and all sorts of other potential goodies, and have found a few, though none have quite met the true idea of live, streaming video the way the original live eagle cam did (or even the puppy cam when that craze went around). I'm not quite sure why this is. Maybe because high quality webcams are expensive and there's no sense in buying them. Not when you're only going to have one or two people looking at it at any given time.

But I did find two neat sites. One is live eagle video, though it's essentially black and white and therefore not as cool as the original eagle feed. The other is one I stumbled upon by accident and really is some awesome live cam goodness. If you've ever been to Yellowstone, you know how cool it is. If you haven't, well, now you can live vicariously through the webcam. Crystal clear and streaming live 24/7, you can see Old Faithful and other geysers as they erupt in real time. I'm not sure who is in control of the camera, as occasionally it moves to focus on other geysers and zooms in on them (maybe it's automatic?), but it's cool. The guy is on a loop, so it's not like there's a guide nearby chatting through the cam all the time.

Anyway, here are the two live cams. Enjoy.

Live Eagle Cam (and yes, the eagles do visit the nest from time to time - I saw both of them just this morning)

Old Faithful Live Streaming Webcam

Currently: Just kinda happy.
My blog ~ Wordle-ized.

Currently: Seriously rocking out to some music. **