Friday, October 11, 2013

Hiding Out In (*from*) the Crowd, GRL Edition

GRL is less than a week away. I'm registered as a reader this year. After the abysmal way Spunky's been treating me (or is it the other way around?), I would have felt like a fraud taking up Author space when I've been buried under an avalanche of The Nothing taking over my brain. 

So, are you ready for next week then? I am looking forward to hitting Atlanta and hanging out with all y'all. And I'm not. I love meeting up with friends I don't get to see often. I love being around people who have share my passion for passion. And I love making new friends. But, I hate it at the same time. 

See, I am a Public Introvert and a private extrovert. Here's what I mean:

Meeting new people is tough for me. For one thing, I really, and I mean really, suck at small talk. It's not that you're not interesting.  It's not that I don't want to get to know you; I desperately do. I just have this 'thing' going on in my head when I'm in a group of people. I am completely and utterly convinced you have better things to do than talk to me. Look at all the people around us -- why would you really want to waste time talking to me? I also don't want to impose on you when surely you must be looking for someone with more to offer.

If we're in a crowded room, and you're standing next to me, don't be offended if I disappear when you turn around. It's not you; it's not me... it's just that!!!! MUST LEAVE....ahhh, look at all this space in the hallway, outside the door. Feel the clear, non-stuffy air (even though it's the exact same air as in the room...).  I'm not really claustrophobic. Except when I am. Yeah, I get that it makes no sense. It just is. It's the same thing that makes me want take a Valium before I go to Costco. *shudder*

At the same time, if we're in a small-scale environment, I will be chatty as hell and cutting up with the best of them. I will laugh and joke and make you scratch your head wondering where I come up with some of the shit that comes out of my mouth. I'm almost a completely different person at those times. 

I guess in a way, I am. I know my boisterous self is best in small doses, and I know others feed on the energy of a crowd. I'm not one of them, but I'm happy to stand off to the side, lurking in a corner, just enjoying the vibe around me. If you wanna hang with me, that's cool. Maybe we'll loosen up enough to join the crowd (after a few shots). Or maybe we'll just sneak out the side door into the quiet night air. Either way works for me. 

Okay, now I feel a little more ready. If I could just find a damn suitcase.... 

See y'all there!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: X Rated and Kinky

I taste tested the flirty fruity fusions for you. You're welcome.

They're both pink. Both combine vodka with passion fruit, blood orange, and mango. Kinky lists the mango first, while X Rated touts the blood orange first in its listings.

Bottle Shape: X Rated has a kind of X-shape to the bottle, which makes it easier to hold. Kinky is shaped more like the bomb that's going to go off in your taste buds. 

Color:  I'll give X Rated the lead here. It's a deeper hue of pink, electric and exciting in its presentation.

Flavor Profile: Both lived up to their flavor listing order. X Rated has the bitter tang of the blood orange as it's lead flavor. Think grapefruit, backed off a hair. Kinky is more mellow in its sweetness, with mango as its primary assault. 

Price:  Kinky costs considerably less than X Rated at my local Spec's. Perhaps because it's newer on the market? Or at least newer to my market. I've been drinking X Rated for years, and Kinky is new to me.

Verdict:  (because face it, bottle shape and color is irrelevant when it comes to actually drinking it) Kinky drinks smoother on its own for me, but either way, they are both sweeter than a basket of puppies cuddling kittens. Cut it with a citrus-based soft drink to help ease the acid. Your trachea will thank you. Trust your Auntie X on this one.

If you want sweet and fruity, either will work well for you. Just be sure to enjoy it responsibly. And with something to help break down the sweetness, because, as Willa Wonka said, dayum.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: On Location

Margarita Prima, from Macaroni Grill. Fried Mac & Cheese bites, along with bread, oil, and balsamic vinegar starters joining it. It's a lemon-based 'rita, with Milagro Silver (which is what I mostly use at home) and a Tuaca floater.

(Have I mentioned I like tequila?)

Have fun, responsibly. 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Texas Breeze

Vodka? On the 4th of July? Sure, why not? When it's from a Texas distillery at least. :)


1.5 oz Dripping Springs Orange Vodka
3 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Grapefruit Juice


The grapefruit juice overpowered everything else for me in this drink. I added another 1.5 oz cranberry juice, and that mellowed everything out more and brought out the orange in the vodka better.

But it's your taste. Have at and have fun. Responsibly.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: On Location

Chuy's Texas Martini. Who needs the glass? Just give me a straw....

Be safe. Be responsible. 


Monday, June 24, 2013

My Birthday, You Get The Present

Well, my birthday was actually yesterday. And yeah, a new freebie from me isn't much of a present, but this awesome cover by the fantastic A.J. Corza is something, right?

(This is my convoluted way of saying my Love Has No Boundaries story is up today at the Goodreads MM Romance Group.)

The Five Times Raptor Messed with The Bull
(and the one time he got the horns)

Raptor has been the only openly out officer in his SWAT team for a while now. Being smaller than the other guys, and leaning more toward pretty than handsome, he's had to work extra hard to prove himself to the bulked-up 'roidheads that continuously challenge his abilities. When Bull shows up in the middle of the night, he presents a new challenge for Raptor: keeping his heart from getting in the way of doing his job.

Tags: law enforcement, sparring turned sticky, back alley hand job, public shower handies, seriously handsy protag, bathroom blowjob, self-denial, repeated cases of blueballs, snarky heroes, plot-what-plot?
Word count: 9,599

I'll have the download available here and on my website soon. (I guess that means I'd better get on getting my site updated, huh?)

Happy reading!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Let Them Drink Cake

Smirnoff Iced Cake Vodka.



Dangerous stuff. Seriously. Tastes like frosting. Licking a(n alcoholic) cupcake. You can easily drink it straight. Keep it in the freezer so it's always chilled. 



If you're mixing it, remember it's got a sweetened vanilla flavor to it, so mix wisely. 

Although... Iced Cake Vodka and orange juice?  Think it would taste like an Orange Julius Screwdriver? Guess I've gotta hit the grocery store for another taste test. Stay tuned... and stay responsible.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Shake It Up

I know all these Thirsty Thursday posts could give you the impression that I always have a cock...tail in my hand. That I'm a lush, that I have a problem and may just need an intervention.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I really don't. Seriously, when I do drink, I tend to drink heavily. But, I'm perfectly content to go months without having a drop of alcohol. I do enjoy the spirits, but they are not a part of my every day life, and I try to indulge safely when I do. I usually do my heavy drinking at home - saves money and public embarrassment. 

At restaurants, I'll order the first drink. The second is on the waitperson - if they ask, why, yes, I will have another, thanks for asking. If not, I'll just have the one and be content. 

This is all just an aside to get to the real point of this post: Shake It Up. 

Want another secret? I'm a closet health food freak. 

I have no bread in my house, no pasta, no deserts, no packaged food stuffs. I'm not going gluten free or anything like that. My thing is what I like to call "closest to the source." I eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole cuts of meat, and a lot of nuts. I like to recognize what's on my plate for what it once was, and I like to know exactly what I'm eating. 

That's not to say I don't love all the other stuff. I could eat Texican/Tex-Mex/Mexican food all year long. And pasta? Dayum. Gimme. 

Alas, that doesn't help me reach my ultimate goal. (Yes, weight loss, looking better, feeling better, and more energy is part of that, but my Ultimate Goal? Stay medication free for as long as possible. That's it. I just want to stay off any maintenance medication for as long as I can.)

 So, it's salads, steamed broccoli, and grilled turkey for me. 

And protein shakes. Yes, those 'delicious' liquid creations to help save muscles after a work out. So, let's shake up this Thirsty Thursday, why don't we?
Try it. You'll like it. ;)

Almond Joy Protein Shake

1 cup Coconut Almond milk 
2 scoops Cookies and Cream Protein powder 

**Mornings, I add 1/2 cup Oats to it and blend the heck out of it.

 (I use Intek Isolate. Its Cookies & Cream is more chocolaty,
 and the cream makes it smoother.
Isopure is also good, but its Cookies & Cream is more cream than chocolate)
You can use a shaker (do yourself a favor and get one with a wire whisk ball in it. Trust me.), or your blender. If you're adding the oats, definitely use the blender. Big flakes of oats in your drink is just nasty.

Till next time, live long and prosper. And maybe get off the couch for a while. You'll feel better for it.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: On Location

The Jumbo Zapata at Mi Tierra in San Antonio's Market Square. 

Don Julio Reposada Tequila, Paula's Texas Orange, and Lime.

Be fun. Be safe. Be responsible.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Suit Up Sunday: Fury!

As in Dan Feuerriegel. 

(dude, you're killin me here)

As in Agron


With the dimples.

(sigh...smiles kill me.) 

Who can wear a loin cloth 

(work it! that sense of humor, I mean. love a man who can laugh at himself.)

or a suit ...

or, uh, neither
(.... dayum, where was I?)

Yeah, I'm a Fury. 

Another day, we'll discuss the evolution of Agron over the seasons of Spartacus, from Duro's goofy big brother to Spartacus's right hand. Because his arc was really fascinating to watch, regardless of historical accuracy. We were only there for the sex and blood anyway, right?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Getting Kinky with Poppy Dennison

The Minions at work, recruiting

Poppy Dennison was here visiting me, and we got a little Kinky Saturday night. 

Have you gotten Kinky yet? 

It's bright. It's pink. 

It's sweet.

(Seriously. This stuff is SWEET. As in Willy Wonka would say "Damn" at it.) 

Fire from the dragon
It's "a naughty fusion" of vodka, mango, blood orange liqueur, and passion fruit. And it's 17% alcohol by volume, meaning it's 34 Proof. Grand scheme in the liquor store, that's not a lot. Granted, it is more than a beer (given your standard Bud is 5% ABV or 10 Proof), but compared to, say, Jack Daniel's, which is 40% ABV/80 Proof, this is nothin'. Which makes it very dangerous, because before you know it, the bottle will be empty. And then, well...what happens after Kinky stays after Kinky. And maybe on Twitter, depending on your handlers.

How I drink it:

One shot Kinky Liqueur

Add as much Fresca (or other citrus soft drink) to tasted, and to cut the sweetness down to a more tolerable level. Just be responsible when getting your drink on. We want you to stick around, in one piece, for a long time to come.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Trust me. I do this for a living....

We all have our moments, right? 

No matter what you do for a living, you have had an EPIC!Fail in your field. And it's always embarrassing, no matter who you are. 

I was reminded of one of the first rules of SysAdminning this week: ALWAYS check the physical first. But I forgot. Or rather, I only half-checked. 

See, I have UVerse for my cable provider. We have one of those "You kids got it so good now" wireless TV receivers, but we haven't really been using it.

I went to use it this weekend, and lo and behold, it has no signal. I checked the connection to the TV, unplugged it all, plugged it back in, and nothing. Zip. No signal.

It paired with their device just fine, but it never initialized the client (which means it acted like it was talking to the box just fine, but it got no TV shows from it). 

I tried to initialize it several times before I finally gave up and called Tech Support. I followed all their instructions, allowed them to remotely reset my connection (wiping out my phone, cable, and internet while it rebooted), and still nothing. 

One Service Call, coming up. Luckily, I was not at home when the service tech showed up to fix the problem. Spouse got to show him our set up and set him to work on the problem. 

He found it immediately: the network cable was unplugged to the receiver unit. He plugged that cable in, paired the receiver, and MAGIC! Reception!

It took him longer to fill out the paperwork than to actually resolve our issue.

Bottom line: ALWAYS check the physical first. And then laugh at yourself for having a momentary moment of moronicness. (what, it's a word. now.)

Yep, I am a professional IT person. *head. desk*

It happens to all of us at one point or another. Don't let it define your qualifications. Just laugh it off and move on. Because there's always another minor catastrophe just waiting around the corner to teach you a little humility again. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


That's two dozen, for those keeping track.

That's the number of hours in a day.

That's 99.9% pure, if you're talking about gold.

That's nearly two and a half decades I've spent with you, Spouse. 

That's not nearly enough. That's not even halfway to enough. That's just the start.

(And that's the beginning of the Elvis Silver Anniversary Celebration campaign.... Remarried, by Elvis, in Vegas next year. Who's with me?) 

"Love isn’t an emotion or an instinct – it’s an art." Mae West


Friday, May 17, 2013

Who Made You?

When you hit that 'tween stage, the media starts telling you how you should act/dress/behave for your gender. That's when you start to identify with the role models who will shape your life.

There's the teachers, and the firemen, and the soldiers, who all inspire you to reach your greatest potential, to give back, to stand brave in the face of adversity.

There's your friends, family, and the strangers who make a difference every day. The web is full of them.

Your heroes. They help create your overall outlook on life.

But that's just a part of who you are. 

You're human. You have these...urges. Needs. Desires. And that's what I want to talk about today. Because we always look up to our heroes, and we all have our career aspirations, but has anyone ever asked about your sexual identity? 

I'm not talking about your preferences, blond or brunette, bear or twink.  It's not what you want in your bed, but how you project yourself to get them in it. Can you look to someone and say 'yeah, that's what I'm going to be like when I grow up'? Someone who had the qualities you just knew would become your own?

When I was young the public library would show old movies every Saturday afternoon. (For your reference, I hit that point during the late 70s, early 80s,  - yeah, forever ago)

I remember going to those showings and seeing a bombshell up on the screen, completely owning the world and her place in it. She had curves, and she wasn't ashamed to show them off. She was sensuous, sexual, and a bit scandalous.

She was blond. 

She was brassy. 

She was sassy.

She was not Marilyn Monroe.

We don't have her vulnerability, my maven and me. We don't say 'Please love me.' We say 'you do or you don't' and leave it at that.

We don't have Garbo's mysterious aloofness. We put it all on display for everyone to see.

We don't have the grace, elegance, or sophistication of either Hepburn. We're dirty and a bit rough around the edges. 

We don't exude Bacall's cool confidence. We're bawdy and brash.

Nope. I am a Mae West. 

Confidence is sexy as hell, don't you think?

The wit. Check (I think?)
The comedic timing. Check (mostly? sometimes?)
The voluptuous curves. *looks down* Uh, yeah. Big, round check.
The heaping helpings of innuendo.  Fill that box with a long....fat.....check. Repeatedly. ;)

Like her, I'd say I'm a terrible flirt, but I am so good at it. She knew her assets, but she also knew they didn't begin and end with her measurements. Her curves were a big part of who she was, but they didn't define her. 

Unashamed, unabashed, and unassuming. Not a bad way to live your life, don't you agree? 

So, who helped define you as a sexual being? Are you still looking for someone to jumpstart your self esteem? You're always welcome to come up and see me sometime. Because you're perfect, just as you are. 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Mexican Martini

Mmmm. Tequila..... 

My mini minions, lined up for battle

I gotta tell ya, I'm a big fan of the margarita. It's pretty much a staple down here, deep in the heart. You just can't go wrong with tequila, triple sec, and lime juice.

When you start tinkering with it, the options become endless around these parts: rocks or frozen? regular or flavored? salt or no salt? floater or not? It goes on and on.

Then you get to the Mexican Martini. Tequila, orange liquor, and citrus juice, served with the shaker (built in refill - hell, yeah!) Neighbor and I did some tinkering with the basic recipe, and we've come up with something that, well, you just might not remember tomorrow, so go easy....

There's no real measurements to this - it all depends on your taste and the size of your pitcher (and yes, you are making a pitcher, not a glass of this). Remember, this is supposed to be fun. Roll with how you like it, not what some recipe demands.

Fill your pitcher with ice
Fill about a third with tequila
Fill a third with triple sec
Fill half of what's left with orange juice

Add One (1) can or bottle Mike's Hard Limeade (or the Black Cherry or Cranberry for a different flavor)

Squeeze an orange, a lemon, and a lime

Stir, and serve. In a BLUE Solo cup. (Yeah, I went there. I know red is the popular choice, but let's buck the trend here).

I'll be over there. Probably on the floor. But that's okay too. Because it's five o'clock somewhere....


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday: The Accidental Hiatus

So..... yeah.

I haven't done this in a while. Why? I can't tell you. 

Seriously, I can't say why. 

It's not because I'm some big secret-keeping secret keeper. There's no hidden agenda.  No massive project brewing. 

It's really nothing. Or, probably more accurately, The Nothing.

The Nothing crawled inside my head and made its way to my heart, and took over.

I've been a big blob of 'meh' for a while. 

I haven't been able to do any writing. It's not a block; it's more of a pit. A big black hole (without the cool robots), sucking every bit of light and energy out of me. I get about three sentences in, and I get an overwhelming feeling of 'blah' about everything, then I wind up back on the web. 

And we all know where that leads, right? The evol that is AO3. I found my way to Sterekville, lost for months now. I took a couple of turns and wound up hanging out in Nagronia for a while too. (Don't worry - there will be more blog posts coming discussing these boys. I can't.... I just ... yeah. We'll talk about it later.)

The real problem here....
So, I've identified the problem, and now I need to resolve it. (That's me. I'm a problem solver.)

I'm working on breaking out of Beacon Hills. Stepping away from the Sterek.

I've finished a story for the Goodreads MM Romance Group's Love Has No Boundaries event. It was like pulling teeth, but I'm pleased with the results. 

And Lauren, I'm sorry. You're next, and.... It. Will. Be. Done. This. Month. 

Falcor, will you give me a ride?
Time to pull my head out and get on with the getting on. Where's my luckdragon when I need him? Because this really is a neverending story. All we need to do is keep writing.