Saturday, July 30, 2011

Suck It, Apple!

So you all know about my iPod being stolen, right? And how much I miss it?

I promise, this is the last time I'll post about this! :)

So seven or so years ago, I guess, my husband bought me an iPod photo for my birthday. In 2007ish, the battery died. No Apple stores around here, so I sent it in for a new battery for around $63. They don't actually install a new battery and send it back, they send you a refurbished unit. Which is all nice and shiny and unscratched and everything, but the battery failed again 6 months later, which totally pissed me off.

What pissed me off more was that Apple wouldn't just replace the battery again, because of the icon I was getting. It was the same icon as before, but it could indicate hard drive failure, so they would charge me over $300. Frak that, I could get a new iPod classic for $189. So I did.

And, as you know, it got stolen last week. I hope Vicki is enjoying Pottercast and Jason Manns. Bi***.


I was also pissed at Apple because they never notified me of a recall on my laptop, even though I'd bought it directly from them and registered it. When the logicboard failed, I was lucky that it was one month before the recall expired, and I sent it in to get repaired for free. Guess what? Six months later it failed again, and they charged me an outrageous amount of money to replace it again.

Clearly, I have a love/hate relationship with Apple.

My iPod Classic lasted three years without needing a battery change or any other repair, by the way, even though I dropped it three times on ceramic tile, chipping the plastic front of the case.

ANYway, geez, digress much?

My wonderful husband loaned me his iPod, which was excellent because with the NFL lockout ending, I was withering without my podcasts. Seriously, when I started listening again, I was like an outdoor plant in August being taken inside and doused with water. I am sooooo refreshed.

But it was a temporary solution, and I feel guilty every minute I'm using it, even if he wouldn't be at the time. So I thought of something else. I can't believe I didn't think of it earlier!

I called Batteries Plus about replacing the battery in the iPod photo. I almost hung up when I asked if they could and he scoffed. "No. They won't let us touch 'em." After I pushed a little and explained that the iPod photo *is* an older generation and that I did *not* mean the iPod Touch, we established that he had a battery in stock.

It is now in my iPod! For only $31 and change!

I also got some Apple Cores. I never saw these before. They're awesome! One is wrapped up in the cassette adapter in my car, and another the dock that I will once again be charging my iPod in.

Add the 2,000 words I've already written today, and the fact that I made a new Twitter friend who loves Wes Welker as much as Shannon Stacey and I do, and I'm flying high!

Back to Heavy Metal, followed by City Islanders soccer watched online and reading of Ghost Story, which I have to devour because even only 90 or so pages into it, I MUST KNOW THE END RIGHT NOW OMG.

"Yep. Gooood day."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Man, I Miss My iPod

I couldn't have picked a worse time to get my iPod stolen. Right in the middle of summer, with lots of expenses like biology prereq, conference, vacation, a new muffler... Why couldn't it have been some time when I could easily justify the expense of a new one?, there never is a good time. Maybe after Number Two is done with college. In 10 years.


I miss my iPod because doing chores and exercising are tedious again. MORE tedious. But worse is the 25-minute drive to and from work. Did you know music on the radio sucks? I did, that's why I listen to my iPod. But I didn't expect it to always suck. I have 12 presets on my radio, and every single morning and every single afternoon, I end up trolling for "Rolling in the Deep" because that's the only decent song* anyone ever plays. I usually catch the last four lines of it.

Commercials actually take up half my commute, because everyone plays them at the same time, for at least 10 minutes.

Once in a while, I hit talk radio, but that usually just aggravates me. The other day, they were reporting a "new" announcement that peroxide is not good to use on cuts and scrapes.

First, that doesn't surprise me. Though I grew up having peroxide poured on my injuries, it always made things worse—yellow and puffy and sore—so I never really used it as an adult.

More importantly, that news isn't new. They were telling us this at least as far back as 16 years ago, because I'd heard it and read all the reasoning for it before Number One got her first boo-boo.

It kind of boggles my mind, how much information we're inundated with, and yet, how much we still miss. I avoid watching or reading the news, for one because it's usually depressing, for another because journalistic style, whether written or performed, drives me insane. For how much still gets through, how much more is out there that I never hear about.

Do you think news and information are important? How do you learn about the things that are going on in the world? How do you feel about it?

*I'm not an old fuddy-duddy who hates that modern music, honest! Half the stations I troll are oldies stations. They just all never seem to have songs that *I* like, and even the newer ones I do like, they play incessantly until I hate them anyway.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Entangled Launch in T-17 days and counting...

Under the Moon, my paranormal romance with Entangled Publishing, doesn't come out until November. But you don't have to wait for fantastic stuff!

Entangled is having 2 Spectacular Launch Events! over at Coffee Time Romance on August 2nd and 5th. Click the link for details on the EP blog. See you there!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Smaller, Better World

Log on to the Internet on any given day, and you're likely to find an article or blog post about how bad the Internet is. We (and our kids) are spending too much time on our computers, too little time outdoors or interacting with other people, absorbing damaging material, blah blah blah. I sometimes feel bombarded by it, and it sinks into me, leaving a greasy, sick feeling that I'm a bad person.

And then the U.S. women's soccer team loses the World Cup.

"Congrats Japan" trended on Twitter to #2 that I saw, and well over 100 new tweets were loading every minute. Hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people were not only bonding over the experience of watching a tremendous competition, they were being good sports. Obviously, winning a soccer game isn't going to magically fix the challenges Japan has faced and is still facing, or the repercussions worldwide, but the whole thing raises morale, and the positivity seeps into everything else. And without Twitter (and all the other social media and Internet-based tools that make instantaneous communication worthwhile), the ripples wouldn't go nearly as far.

Anyone reading this post knows the power of the Internet. It allows millions of dollars to be raised in a matter of hours, for aid to victims of natural disasters everywhere. Via the Internet, regular people can team up with their favorite celebrities to go to Haiti to build schools. When a woman tragically loses a husband and finds herself a single mother of four kids, her friends thousands of miles away can mobilize to organize an auction, drawing donations and bidders on a scale unheard of when all we could do was put cans on convenience store counters for loose change.

All of that isn't even touching the smaller ways it connects us, like when I got an e-mail from my Hawaiian cousin I'd never met.

Any technology has the power to be used for good or bad, but I would far rather dwell on the ways it changes the world for the better. This weekend, I watched it happen, and it made my day brighter.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now

But first, I forgot a couple of things that are annoying me. And it's every day, too! I can't believe I forgot.

First is the clumps of hair on the bathroom floor every time I go in there. I eliminate them whenever I see them, even scan the edges for more, and still, every time I go in! More! Maybe we need to shave our heads.

The other thing is the water here. It's town provided, but we border a rural area. I don't want to live in a big city, but when I was in NY, my hair always looked great, and my makeup came off clean with one swipe. Here, my hair looks like it needs brushing two minutes after I brush it, and I have dark smudges under my eyes, even days after I last wore mascara. The skin gets sore from rubbing at it with makeup remover swabs or cloths.

Okay, now the important stuff! What's making me HAPPY right now!

The Kids Being Home All Day
It's really nice to have the dishes always done, and I can assign chores to them every day, taking a couple of items off my shoulders.

I'm sure they aren't so happy about this one. They may even be eager to go back to school by now.

My Loaded TBR Shelf
It was getting very empty before RWA. I had maybe a half dozen books in print and half a dozen on my Kindle. Now I have at least a couple dozen in print, plus the ones I gave Number One to read first and demanded she give back.

Not that I have time to read much right now, but a full shelf makes me happy!

New Jim Butcher Coming
I never have an answer when someone asks my favorite author, but at this time of year, it's easy to say Jim Butcher. It has been way too long since Changes, and I may pull another all-nighter with Ghost Story.

Jason Manns
Jason's finally coming back to the east coast! For a while, he was here quarterly, but it's been over a year since we saw him last. As I mention that every so often, both here and on Twitter/Facebook, you can imagine the glee I feel about being able to see him sing live again. If you've only ever heard his produced albums, or even heard him recorded live, you're missing out. He's amazing in person.

I shouldn't complain that it's been too long since his last gig out here. Every time he announces one, he gets a stream of complaints that he never goes where they live. I'm lucky to live close enough to some major cities!

Captain Jack Harkness
I agonized for months about whether or not to shell out the money for Starz because I didn't want to wait forever for DVDs or streaming. Then my husband sees an ad for Torchwood and says, "This looks interesting." I say, "But it's only on Starz. We'd have to subscribe." He says, "Okay." So I did. And got to watch the premiere live, and it was awesome!

Upcoming Vacation
This has been a work-centric summer, plus the travel for RWA and my chapter retreat. I try to have focused family time, but having a week together in which I will only work when the time becomes organically available will be awesome.

Harry Potter
I guess I should put this on here. The final movie comes out this week, and like my kids, I've grown up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I'm eager to see the final battles portrayed on film. Even if it means three hours of sleep Thursday night, and a houseful of teenage girls, and cleaning, shopping, and chauffeuring. My eagerness to see the movie is tempered by the changes I know they've made and I'm not convinced I'll like. We'll see if the most important line remains, and is attributed to the right person. :)

Each Bit of Work I Finish
Yesterday, I focused on fiction, which felt really good. I'm on track for my deadline, but hadn't touched it since I got back. But my workload is so heavy, progress on Heavy Metal put me behind on editing work. I'll catch up today—at least, that's the plan! But it's been really difficult to balance it all, so I'm happy with every small bit of progress, whether it gives me a praising or scolding note on my tracking spreadsheet. :)

Behind the Scenes in audiobook!
I learned yesterday that my next romantic adventure from Carina Press was picked up by Audible. That will probably come out in October, too.

So what's making you happy this week?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things That Have Annoyed Me Lately

My Stolen iPod

Yep, my iPod was stolen out of my room at the Marriott Marquis when I was at the RWA conference in New York City. Of course, the hotel denies any responsibility, which I accept. I knew the policy. But it still burns me that it happened in the most expensive hotel I've ever stayed in.

When I got to the train station on Monday, I wrapped the headphones around the iPod in its leather case and stuck it deep in my laptop bag. I never thought about it again, until Friday night. My roommate was gone, and I decided to listen to the iPod while I did my hair and makeup. But I couldn't find it. I dug and searched and emptied the bag. My headphones were coiled up in the bottom, but the iPod wasn't there. I got on the floor to look under the bed, thinking maybe it had fallen out, and spotted the leather case deeeeep under the bed, up against the baseboard. I guess I could tell just by looking at it, because my heart sank even before I reached in there to get it, and yeah, it was empty.

It had to be housekeeping. Who else could have had the time to do all that? I don't get tossing the case. If they'd taken it with them, it could have generated doubt about how it disappeared. It could have maybe fallen out in the train station or the train itself, or I could have decided I didn't remember using it and storing it somewhere else. But the empty case under the bed, that couldn't have gotten there in any manner except deliberately? Total giveaway. And housekeeping is really the only possible thief. They clean with the doors closed. My roommate was in the room most of Wednesday and Thursday, but not Friday. So the evidence is damning.

I hope you enjoy it, Vicki.

My Killer Foot

I pulled a muscle in my foot on Sunday, and it's been killing me. It's the top of my foot, so it's fine when I walk, but hurts most when I'm driving or sitting at my desk--which I do more than half my day, so by the time I go to bed, it's really throbbing. It also made me yell when I bumped it against my chair last night.

This isn't annoying so much because it's an injury, as the way it was injured. I bet this is a new one for you:

Walking too fast in slippery flip-flops.

Stupid People

I think my biggest pet peeve is stupid people. Number One (not the stupid person) is having a slumber party Thursday, and we're going to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter. One of her friends (also not the stupid person) couldn't give us her RSVP until yesterday, and it was late in the day. I tried to get tickets online, and they said there weren't any more, I'd have to try at the theater. So I headed out. And had this exchange with the guy at the box office:

Me: "Are the tickets for the midnight showing of Harry Potter sold out?"

Him: "Just the 3D."

Me: "Oh, good, then I need 6 tickets for the 2D show of the 12:01 a.m. Friday showing."

Him: "That will be $73.50."

Me: O.O

Him: "The 3D tickets have--"

Me: "You said the 3D tickets were sold out. I don't want 3D tickets."

Him: "I said we only had 3D tickets."

Me: "No, I asked if you were sold out, and you said just the 3D."

Him: "Oh, I thought you asked if tickets were available."

Yeah, because "available" and "sold out" sound exactly the same.

Get On With Your Life Already

I read a lot of paranormal young adult fiction, and there's a commonality in some that just doesn't make sense to me.

Why would immortal beings keep going to high school?

The whole "Edward controlling Bella" issue would never have happened if the 90-year-old vampire had actually graduated, like, 72 years ago. Angels who are millennia old and fighting a war shouldn't have to wind up in reform school. That they look young is irrelevant. They need fake IDs anyway, right? So why not make them fake-legally of age and get a job or something?

A mission or destiny that requires them to be in a certain place temporarily makes sense, but to happen across your reincarnated true love in high school without placing yourself there intentionally is hard to swallow.

So any authors out there writing YA with immortal or ancient characters, please consider the motivation a little more thoroughly. :)

So that's it. Tomorrow I think I'll post the things that are making me happy lately.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Soccer Sunday

So much soccer going on right now!

Number Two and her father were watching the women's World Cup match today, and kept sucking in me and Number One, though we were trying to get ready to go see the City Islanders play. They were only five minutes into the first overtime (USA down 2-1) when I couldn't stand it anymore. They'd paused the game for a while and were behind, and I couldn't stand not knowing what happened, but I didn't want to miss kickoff of the CI game. Soccer live is so much more fun than soccer on TV!

So I went into Number Two's room, where she had ESPN 3 queued up. I was just going to check the score, but they had a live stream, and when I clicked it, I saw they were at 123+ minutes and tied! So we lingered to watch the penalty kicks. It was so hard to scream and boo silently, especially when it was over and we'd won. I actually hurt my throat a little without making a sound. LOL

The CI game wasn't so exciting, though it was a good game overall. We tied in the first few seconds of stoppage time, but then the weirdest game ending I've ever seen happened. We were driving toward the goal. The referee started to blow his whistle just as we shot, and scored. It sounded like he was whistling a foul, but he was whistling the end of the game.

Which you are NOT supposed to do in the middle of a play on goal. That's like declaring a football game over while a pass is still in the air, or a basketball game as the player shoots the winning basket. Part of what makes soccer exciting is that you never know when the game will be over. Control is fully in the referee's hands.

I've never seen the players react so violently to anything. Half a dozen got in the ref's face, shouting, and the fans were screaming, and yellow and red cards flashed. I have no idea who got the red card. One of the coaches came to lead the ref away from the players, who subsided a little, but were justifiably furious.

I'm sad that there are only four home games left!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

So Random it's Got a Pattern

An article/blog post about building followers/readership/commenters said to remove the word verification from your blog, because people hate it. Doesn't seem like THAT big a deal to me, but I've never had that much problem with spam, so I removed it yesterday.

Today? Only comment was porn spam. *sigh*
Back from New York! I'll post some pictures soon. Not ones of Lisa, because last time I said I could post it because she doesn't read my blog...and she read my blog. I room with her at RWA National, y'all, I'm not risking it again. :)

But there will be feet. And maybe some pictures with other people I didn't get permission to post. :)
I could still use input from people who've read my books. Click here to take survey. I'm leaving the survey open indefinitely, so if you've come across this post months later because, say, I mentioned "Harry Potter," and you want to take the survey, feel free! :)
Picked up tons of books at the conference. I'll be reading print books for a good long while now! :) Won a couple at the YARWA (YA writers group) meeting, and bought some at the Literacy Booksigning (raised over $46,000 in 2 hours!!!), and scored most at the publisher signings. My TBR pile was getting low; now I have so many choices, I can't pick one!
Firefly was marathoning yesterday. I am DYING to watch the series straight through. Right this moment. But alas, I have copy edits and client edits and client proofing piling up, and too much responsibility.
So here we are in July. July is Number One's birthday month, and guess what she got this weekend?

Her AAA card.


So, yeah, getting her permit will be the big thing. Second only to a weekend at the beach and the last Harry Potter movie. She is very, very sad that it's almost over. I'm not, because I went through it with the last book. THAT was when it was all over for me. :( Anyway, I guess we're doing the midnight show and a sleepover, and she's marathoning the previous movies right before that. So it's a big month.
Stay tuned for announcements about The Goddess Society and The Film Crew, celebrations of my fall releases, Under the Moon and Behind the Scenes.