Saturday, November 14, 2009


I feel as though I was drowning and didn't realize it until I received a breath of air. For two weeks, I was underwater with a new job that took up almost all of my waking life. I pushed hard for this job, sacrificed many things to make sure it was done right, only to suffer a lay-off yesterday. An immediate lay-off, even. Not even time to collect my coat and say my goodbyes.

Part of me feels relief, as I do every time a job ends. Oh, and have jobs ended for me! I have been dubbed "the cooler" by my funny-sometimes-smartass husband because several companies have closed while I was working for them. Three, in fact. Three companies have gone under while I was in their employ. We've discussed the many possibilities of me taking on larger corporations, such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks, or McDonald's, to see if I might single-handedly bring back small-town America.

What it all boils down to, though, is that I am just not made for corporate America. And it certainly doesn't like me, either. I was a silly little school girl, training to be an opera singer, and never planned for a back-up career. I don't know if there are lessons on how to survive in corporate environments; if there are, I would have skipped them anyway. Damn the man, and all that stuff.

Sometimes, though, I can't help but wish that I had that particular bone in my body. Whatever the "can survive corporate environment without plucking out eyeballs" bone is called, I don't have it. I never will. For my own sanity, I should probably stop trying to force the issue. Whatever company I would have worked for should thank me. They'll live to see another day.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Crappy Blogger

I am the world's worst blogger, it appears. It's not that I didn't think about posting, it's just that... well, I just didn't do it. My husband claims that I have no stress right now, and no responsibility, and therefore should have plenty of time. I have to call bullsnot to that, though. I have a book coming out in three weeks. (Please allow a moment for shameless self-promotion. Apparently, it shows up in google if I put a link here: As such, I've spent most of my days connecting with readers of Twilight and Harry Potter to tell them about the book and ask if they'll consider it when they see it in stores. It's embarrassing at times, for I'm not really the greatest at shameless self-promotion (earlier example excluded, of course.)

The upside to all of this, besides looking at a hard copy of the book that represents several months of hard work and hair-pulling, is that I've met people from all over the world. Seriously amazing people, with huge hearts and surprising intellect, that are daily reaffirming my faith in the human race. Yesterday, I received a box of goodies from Australia, simply because the girl that sent them is the sweetest thing that ever lived. A month ago, a delivery of syrup waffles from the Netherlands appeared on my doorstep. Liam seriously likes this part of me meeting strangers from other lands; the free food. I like the part where I contemplate just what is American enough to send back so that I can return the gesture.

It will be a huge rush, seeing the book on a bookshelf. It will be an even bigger thrill if I witness someone buying The Kingdom. The biggest rush of all, though, will be getting the chance to meet some of these amazing people face to face for the first time. I'm so grateful to have them in my life, but that's something that sounds better spoken aloud and not typed into some tiny instant messenger box.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

How Do I Get You Alone

It has been pointed out that I might have an irrational love for karaoke. Someone once told me that, with years of opera training, I should probably run screaming from tone-deaf drunk people screaming "Don't Stop Believing," but this doesn't seem to be the case. I embrace it, fully and unconditionally. Besides, I live in Nashville, so the ratio of fantastic singers to tone-deaf idiots is actually quite high.

I used to make a point of going to karaoke at Twin Kegs every Friday night. It was sort of a comfort zone for me; my own Cheers bar where everyone knows my name. Unfortunately, my husband has an irrational hate for karaoke that rivals my own obsessive love. The disdain runs so deep that he claims an actual allergy to the madness. I claim that the beer is cheap, so shut your mouth and drink your Bud Select.

Anyway, the point of this particular post is that I somehow found myself involved in a karaoke contest last night. My original intention was to visit my friend, who is the fantastic karaoke host, and chat with her for a bit about catering the launch party for the book. Imagine my surprise when I stumble in, say hi, and find my name scrawled on the bottom of the list for contestants. (Many of you grumble Yeah, begged to be a part of it but the truth is that I tripped over myself to compete in classical singing competitions, but usually stare lifelessly at the screen when singing pop.) I pulled out my old standby and sang "Alone" by Heart. I felt pretty good about it, myself. And the judges liked it, too, though they told me I should "work the mic more."

When it was time to award the prizes, the guy who sang Josh Groban took first. And it's no lie, he was fantastic. Next time, though, I'm pulling out all the stops. If someone can sing Josh Groban in a karaoke bar, I can sing Madame Butterfly, right?


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jude's Journey

Posts about chocolate are lovely, aren't they? I find myself wondering just how many people dug around for a bit after reading. I had anticipated maybe talking about other "obsessions" of mine, including Starbucks and music. Those can be saved for another day, though, because something very real has been pressed upon my heart.

There's this book I wrote, and the greatest blessing thus far has been the amazing friends that I've made from all over the world. I am having the best time, learning about other countries and their cultures, but one thing is perfectly clear. Cancer affects people from Finland, Italy, Russia, Malaysia, Australia... The country of origin is no matter, for each person reading this knows at least one person who suffers; perhaps even may be the one suffering.

My new, and very dear friend, Genevieve from Sydney has kept me apprised of Judy Mulcahy's battle with melanoma. Of course, I know people from Nashville with cancer, and I know that we should always be concerned with home first. Sometimes we forget, though, that we're not the center of the universe; there is illness everywhere. I've read Mrs. Mulcahy's blog, and I'm so heartened by her optimism and strength. She is a beacon of light for us all, showing us grace and inner joy in the face of darkness.

I challenge you to read her words of despair and hope, of brokenness and strength, of heartbreak and love. Follow Jude's Journey, cheer with her and her family, and for the love of Ghiradelli, let's beat cancer!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Not my first rodeo

I've tried this before to, well, not necessarily disastrous results. I suppose I would call them more anticlimactic... ineffectual... perhaps even worthless. Nevertheless, I'm here again to give you bits and pieces of my everyday life. I can't imagine how this could be entertaining, but I'm all about giving it a try.

I sit with a box of Godiva chocolates that were a gift from a recent houseguest, and I'm faced with the realization of how truly impotent I am in the face of anything created from the cocoa bean. I confess that I ate all the milk chocolate pieces first because, let's face it, nothing but nothing is better than smooth, rich, creamy, milky, sugary chocolate. (Who's rummaging for a Hershey bar? Anyone?) I'm contemplating my third piece of dark chocolate, wishing I still had the milk chocolate, but still unable to turn away the delicious dark chocolate. Am even eyeing that little wrapped piece that says 50% cocoa and I know it will be darker than even the dark chocolate. And still I drool.

I was just rewarded for my contemplation of the darkest of dark chocolate, for I found a hidden gem of milk chocolate below. I'm staring at it, willing myself not to pick it up, but knowing that I will. On top of that, I'm praying that it's filled with caramel or, even better, more chocolate, but knowing that it will probably be filled with raspberry. Can I compromise and get mint? Mint is good. It's not caramel or chocolate, but infinitely better than sullying good chocolate with fruit.

My completely ridiculous and asinine prayers have been answered, for I did in fact succumb to the call of the chocolate and find it filled with a creamy chocolaty, hazelnutty goodness that truly pushes the limits of cocoa deliciousness. I will put away the chocolates after this, for no dark chocolate, 50% cocoa will possibly stand after this bit of heaven.

I bid you adieu and leave you in the grace and favor of Godiva. Or a Hersey's Kiss if you can get it.