Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Virtually Friends

On July 17th it will have been one year since I joined a little website called Authonomy. I posted my book and, not knowing what to expect, found myself submerged in a writing community that was both amazing and frightening all at once. Surrounded by dynamic characters with devious motives--and that's just the writers on the site, you don't even want to know about the books--I found myself overwhelmed with the whole experience. By the end of the first month, Seeking Eleanor (my YA Urban Fantasy novel)had over one hundred comments and had flown up the chart to the top 100 books.

This post isn't about Authonomy, my book, or how amazing of a writer I am (Did my head just get bigger?). This post is about the people I found within that site, the people who turned into my friends.

Before Authonomy, I had never participated in an online community. I didn't use a Facebook account, I didn't Twitter, I didn't blog about my writing efforts, I didn't have a website. The truth is, I had NEVER posted in a forum before. I was a forum virgin, and Authonomy deflowered me.

To be honest, before Authonomy, I scoffed at the idea of online relationships (friends or otherwise). I didn't think it would be possible to develop true friends, fall in love with people, or receive immense happiness from people I have never even met. It turns out. I was very wrong.

If someone were to slander the idea of virtual friendships in front of me, I would have to smack them down. I would fight tooth and nail to prove to them that, yes, you can have meaningful and fulfilling relationships over the Internet. And, no, it isn't all that creepy or awkward. Except that one went too far... (Another joke-one would think I was a comedian)

The common question from skeptics is, how can you get close to someone who you've never met in person?

In all honesty, I think it's easier to be who you are over the Internet. And the beauty of virtual reality is that you can show the world what you want them to see and not have to worry about whether or not they will judge you by the scar on your face or the hunch on your back. People can get to know the you that you might be afraid of showing the 'real' world, or the you the real world isn't interested in seeing. The most important thing the Internet can offer you is a clean slate. It is a fresh platform you can step on and test without worrying about falling through and losing track of who you are. And the beauty? You can move at whatever pace you want. If you only want to trade snippets and snappets on the forum, that's fine. If you want to exchange emails, feel free. If you want to talk over MSN, that's an option. And, for the brave and not so faint of heart, you have the option of Skyping (or webcaming).

And then, when you have the guts and feel it's safe, you can even meet the people you have been talking to for the last 12 months of your life.

I've done all these things. And I have met some of the most amazing people. They follow my blogs, give me feedback on the crap I write, ask for my opinions on things, like my facebook statuses, and encourage me to keep going, no matter how appealing stopping seems.

Even though Authonomy has fallen to pieces, I feel as though I have walked away with something unique. A community of people who I am proud to know, thrilled to be associated with, and think about all the time. (Some every day!)

Somehow these crazy people have wormed their way into my heart and my life. The romance writer in Atlanta who is a beacon of light on dark days. The one who insists I can call him Danny who is never in one place but is always in my heart. The taxi-driver in Ireland who might just be one of the coolest people in the world. The sweet-tongued poetic Englishman who I envy for his talent. I have learned that Authonomy, though originally was about my writing, turned into something so much better. It was a source of friends who I will adore until they piss me off and force me to defriend them on Facebook. (Just kidding)

Whether it is the woman who is out of touch and old (her words not mine), the lady in the shed, the sweetheart waving in Wales, the Guinea Pig keeper, the Red Vine lender from Utah, the fairy goth-mother, the guy in DC who helped my shorts, the one with The Heart Of Glass, Walker's creator, the Spanish smartass, rudeboy, the one who says 'yummy', the one who dragged me up the hill-err mountain, the editor of erotica, the one in T-dot, Cid Highwind, the one with the cleavage obsession, the music nazi, the spoilt writer down-under, the one with empty chairs, or any of the other eccentric and brilliant people I have met, I know, no matter what time of day I open my computer, one of these amazing people will be around to offer some sort of wisdom or distraction from my everyday.

And when someone says, "Oh, that's one of your online friends." I think I might just say, "No, that's my friend."

I learned a very valuable lesson this last year: Not being able to physically touch someone doesn't mean they aren't your friend, not when they virtually touch your heart every day.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

And Then He Kissed Me...

There's nothing better than a first kiss. Unless it is unwanted and you toss a guy down a flight of stairs after (yes it happened-no I won't go into detail.) I'm talking about the first time you kiss a new guy you think is the bee's knees. Maybe you've been out on a date, you're in the car afterwards, he leans over and...


I am not sure if this is a girl thing, or if guys participate in this as well. The cynical bitch in me wants to write that guys don't think about kissing the girl they like because they are too busy thinking about wanting to have sex with them. But, the hopeless romantic in me wants to write that she is positive guys long for that first kiss as well. I mean, the other stuff doesn't come (no pun intended) unless that first kiss happens, right?

What makes a kiss so great? Things that help are if he smells great, had firm lips, picks you up, has strong arms, and is someone who sends your blood boiling. The issue of the the kiss is that there is room for error. On both parts. Bumping teeth, bad breath, wrong hand placement, pulling away before it is over, not pulling away when it is over. Kissing isn't easy, no matter how the movies and books and songs make it seem.

The upside? There are some people out there that just know what they are doing. Some guys just have it pegged. (I try not to think about how they became so fluent in the language of kissing-something about practice makes perfect that worries me) But it's worth it, isn't it? To have that knee quaking kiss that you think about for hours, that keeps you up at night, that makes you long for the next one. It's almost enough for you to abandon all reason and actually fall in love with a person.

And while I am scoping out guys and wondering whether they have the kissing skills to set my soul on fire, you can contemplate some of your first kisses. I've had a few lousy ones, but I've also had a few momentous ones. And the magnificent ones make the ghastly ones worthwhile. Trust me, I know.

Ingrid Bergman once said, 'A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.' And if all goes as planned that's exactly what happens. While I dream of kisses delivered by men in white t-shirts, leather jackets and ducktails (I was totally born in the wrong era) you can listen to this:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bad Day

Sometimes you just have them, but don't they seem like an exceptional waste when you have one on a Friday? It's the end of the week, no work for two days. And you come home a little, grumpy, ball of hate. It's hard to shake a bad mood too. So you sit back on the couch, put on a show/movie you love, make yourself an excellent meal and just hope it dissipates.

Have you ever noticed how once something bad happens things sort of cartwheel out of control. You lose a button, you run low on gas and have to make a stop on the way home. Some stranger gets out of his car when you are parked at a stop light and tells you that "your tire is damn near flat". And you sort of hoped he was going to ask for your number. You spill something on your white blouse, strata contacts you and tells you there is a leak coming from your apartment, but you haven't turned anything on yet.

One thing leads to another and you're sitting on your couch listening to morose tunes and blogging about the crappiness of June 25th. While on the other side of the world the Brits are asleep in their beds. And all you want is to curl up in a blanket, eat something that's really bad for you, but all you can do is accept virtual Red Vines from a lovely woman in Utah. Not that I don't appreciate the Red Vines, I just wish they were real!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

And It Only Took Fifty Years...

In the year 1960, female musical groups such as The Ronettes, The Crystals and The Shirelles were sparking up the airwaves. These women had big hair, wore matching dresses and mastered the art of the shimmy and shake. They were rock & roll, but yet still had dignity and class. And the solo acts were just as tasteful.

With the likes of Lesley Gore and Little Eva, you were guaranteed a snappy pop song served with a smile. The songs mostly revolved around dancing or love, and were some of the best hits of our time. They will go down in history as classics, and were tunes that coined the phrase 'oldies but goodies'.

My question, what the hell has happened?

We went from sweet-faced ladies doo-wopping across a stage, to scantily clad women gyrating on poles. Modesty, along with self-respect, seems to have been tossed out the window. And while the general public, encouraged by the media, gasps in horror at Mylie Cyrus for the songs she sings and the outfits she wears, they are still tuning into trash TV like Entertainment Tonight and TMZ to see the next big scandal. And there always is one.

The media writes articles about how a not-even-legal Mylie fake kissed a girl at one of her concerts, and they cry "oh the horror!". While pointing out how she shouldn't be wearing something, they are blasting her picture all over the Internet asking fans to vote whether the outfit was too sexy, too skimpy or too mature for her age. What people fail to touch on, is that Mylie is giving the public exactly what they want. We have taught the females in the music industry that sexy sells, and that to be a successful pop singer you need to shake that ass and show some skin. If she walked out on stage wearing a tunic at her next show I guarantee the magazines would go crazy about her conservative look.

Is this evolution?

I would have to say no. This is regression, to what I do not know. But the world has taken one giant step backwards. Looking at this decades musical generation is going to be like looking at a train wreck. We have virtually nude 'stars' flitting around Hollywood and singing music I don't even understand. And if I don't understand it, there target audience of 13-15 year olds don't understand it.

There is an undertone to this blog, it really says...what is this teaching our children? In a society that is driven by sex, is it all that unusual that teen pregnancy is on the rise? Is it all that shocking that the average age for our children to have sex is thirteen? No. Not really. Actually, considering the amount of sex we brainwash them with, I am surprised they aren't having sex at eight.

And while my mother had Patsy Cline and Aretha Franklin as role models, our children have Christina Aguilera, Pink and Britney Spears to look up to. And I won't even touch base on the example these women are teaching our girls to act...and teaching our boys to expect. Drugs, strolling around with no underwear, drunk in public, horrible tattoos and ridiculous body images = a lifetime of turmoil for our generations youth.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against strong women. People might think that I am advocating to staunch feminism. That's not the case. The truth of the matter is sexy does not equal strong. And a half naked woman writhing around on stage singing about how dirty she is or how toxic she is does not a strong woman make. Actually, if you ask me, they are delivering a swift kick to the balls of feminism. Not me.

In conclusion, it saddens me that many preteens and teenagers are running around out in the world having no clue who Dusty Springfield, Doris Day, and Carly Simon are. These women kicked down the door for women into the music industry, and to thank them we give them the likes of Lindsay Lohan. What a travesty!

So, do me a favor? Play your kid some Wanda Jackson and make the world right again. And skip the Ke$ha (who makes me want to bash my head against the wall).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

She's A Lady

Contrary to what this blog's title suggests, I am not a lady. Tom Jones wrote a sweet little ditty called "She's A Lady". I know for a fact it wasn't written about me. While listening to the song, I started thinking..."Is this what guys want?"

It starts out fine and dandy, she's all you'd ever want, she's the kind you like to flaunt, and take to dinner. Sounds nice, right?

No one ever wants to take me to dinner. I'm a vegan. And that only reiterates one thing to potential man-meat that might be interested...complicated. People tend to take my eating preferences to heart. I don't understand it at all. I am perfectly content on eating a salad and drinking water the whole night. Also, I don't drink alchohol which, they often think, depleats their chances of getting me drunk and getting laid. Little do they know, I'm a tramp. *insert roll of eyes here*

On with the song. The next line baffles me. She always knows her place.

Excuse me?

What does this mean? It reminds me of the time my ex made me a mix tape of 'romantic songs' and put "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones on it. Not romantic at all. A woman's place is where ever the hell she wants to be. It just so happens that I never know my place. I have the feeling that Tom and me wouldn't jive.

She's got style, she's got grace, she's a winner.

Let me just pause here and let you take those lyrics in. First off, my style consists of jeans and t-shirts. I am a creature of comfort. None of those ridiculous high heels and skirts for me. I got thighs, I like to keep them from shaking hands all day.

And the only grace I have is my good graces, which virtually none of you are in. ;)

She's a winner????

I think Tom needed something to rhyme with dinner and didn't think 'sinner' would jive well with the theme of the song.

The more I think about the song, the more I realize that Tom Jones doesn't want a lady. He wants a dog. Never in the way, okay to be left on her own, never asks for every much dog.

When all is said and done, and it will be done when I say it is done, I am glad I'm not a lady. I don't want to pretend I don't fart. I don't want to excuse myself every time I burp. I like cussing like a sailor and trying to pull down people's pants. I much prefer not to sit cross legged and to be blunt, I don't have the time and energy to put make up on or straighten my hair. I rarely have anythig nice to say and, to be honest, I am always in the way. These are qualities that anyone who wants to team up with me has to understand.

I don't like Tom Jones anymore. He's like the first douche-bag to ever walk the earth. Look at him prancign around in his shiny shirt, thinking he's god's gift to women. Even the way he tosses his jacket into the crowd in this video makes me want to rip his face off and wear it like a mask.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Raining

While Vancouverites the province over get into a funk because of the grey clouds casting their gloomy shadow over the city, I sit back and breathe a contented sigh.

I love this weather.

Why people would move to the west coast if they didn't like a little temperamental weather is beyond me. This is what the west coast is all about. Rain, clouds, wet pavement, thunder, lightening, having to wear hoodies and use your windshield wipers. These are just a few of my favorite things. What's not to like?

People get depressed in this weather. I understand. Humans love the sun. And though I certainly can appreciate a hot day where I can lay on the beach in skimpy clothes and burn my pale bits, the rain is my lover. It sooths me to sleep by tapping on my window pain. I curl up in a blanket, sit by the sill and listen as the water dives from the eaves trough with a rhythmic beat that lulls me into a state of utter contentment.

The grey backdrop it sets is comforting. The sound, the smell, the feeling of it as it falls on your face when you look to the heavens. The way it bounces off the ocean when it drives into the water. The way it shines in the streetlights when night befalls the city.

Maybe I'm wired different, but it leaves everything clean and fresh. It makes the trees greener, more vibrant. It keeps our air quality cleaner by reducing the smog. It stops forest fires.

It washes my sins away when I stroll to the park.

Okay, okay. It's rain, not magic, but still...I love it.

It makes me feel at peace.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Naughty Dreams

All I wanted was a naughty dream last night. Instead of doing unmentionable thing with people I cannot mention I murdered someone. It was a strange dream, one where I decapitated someone and then flattened their head into a pancake and then, in a rush of panic, tried to tear their face into pieces and flush it down the toilet. Even though it was unexpected, and not what I wanted to dream about at all, it did teach me something.

I wouldn't be able to avoid the guilt of killing someone.

Therefore I will try my best not to take someones life.

The other night Scraps says to me, "If you were guaranteed a publishing contract worth millions of dollars would you strangle a stray cat to death?"

My response was, "What does the cat look like?"

Now of course, I was joking. I couldn't strangle any animal to death. This morning I saw a raccoon limping across the street and got a little weepy that he might not be making hit home to Mrs. Coon this evening. (Mrs. Coon sounds really bad...) But the point is, if I can't handle an injured animal, I highly doubt I could extinguish one's life.

I never understood hunting for sport. Here is my thing...

They say serial killers are often noted as children who like to hurt and kill animals. What is a hunter? They enjoy hunting and hurting animals. Actually, they feel a sense of pride to killing an unarmed four legged creature. Most hunters are taught from an early age how to kill a buck or bear, often holding their first gun before they even reach puberty. Deriving pleasure from hunting and killing is, in my opinion, wrong. It is also a sign to pinpoint potential serial killers in our youth. In conclusion, if we include hunting for sport in with our profile for serial killers then our demographic for crazy will be broader.

These are the thoughts I try not to share with people. And I just blogged them. Oops.
I wonder how many people who have committed murder hunted for sport in their life. I bet that would be an interesting statistic.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Stupidity Reigns Supreme

There is very little that irks me more than stupidity. One thing that goes hand in hand with stupidity is not thinking before you speak. As Twilight rocketed to fame it put Kristen Stewart (a mediocre actress with a pension for biting her lip) in the spotlight. I don't care about Twilight, my opinion falls in between "meh" and "blah", but that Kristen Stewart annoys the fuck out of me. It could be because she is making millions of dollars for subpar acting jobs and then has the audacity to complain about being in the limelight.

I'm sorry? What?

You are an actor. If you don't want to be plastered all over InTouch and US Weekly then move out of L.A. Paparazzi is part of the job. It would be like me complaining about having to answer the telephone at my desk or interact with my co-workers. You don't see Johnny Depp's face on the cover of the trashy magazines. You know why? People he doesn't live in LA. He did something about hating the press, he removed himself from the situation. Come to Vancouver or New York where people don't give two shits that your a celebrity.

I digress.

Here is the stupidity part. In a recent interview the Hollywood local was quoted as saying being followed by the paparazzi is like being raped. Actually, here is the quote, so I don't butcher her lovely words.
"What you don't see are the cameras shoved in my face and the bizarre intrusive questions being asked, or the people falling over themselves, screaming and taunting to get a reaction. The photos are so... I feel like I'm looking at someone being raped. A lot of the time I can't handle it. It's f***ed. I never expected that this would be my life."

Did she really just say that? First of all, is she really that fucking stupid? Is it like being raped? I bet the hundreds of women the world over would disagree. Maybe if they shoved the camera up your twat it would be like rape, but having someone yell at you and take your picture is not like RAPE at all. Secondly, stop acting if you hate it so much. Move away, get a job at the local dive hustling grub, no one will be taking pictures of you when you are a waitress in slow-poke Idaho.

Regardless, of the horrible quote, people are actually making excuses for her. She's young, they say. Excuse me? She is twenty years old. She is old enough to know how to think before she speaks. When I was twenty I lived on my own in the city and was dating an old man with a kid and paying my own bills and not saying ridiculous things. Not to mention she has been acting since she was nine. Perhaps her publicist should groom her. And if she is unable to think before she speaks (and acts-since the onslaught of photos depicting her fingering the camera proves she is not only an idiot but also thirteen years old) perhaps she should remain indoors.

Of course she apologized, but in my opinion there is no apology for stupidity. And Kristen Stewart has it in spades. I am so thrilled this is the role model of so many young impressionable teens. First the pot bikini and now this...and I am sure the list will just grow of the idiotic ways of KStew (as her friends like to call her). And I will leave you with this picture of the classy and not-so-talented Miss Stewart

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pregnancy Scare

I've never had one, but it seems like a pretty common thing for women between the ages of 19 to 35 to have. I know many girls who have had them. I imagine there is a moment of panic, followed by a recounting of the life you are currently living and, most importantly, the sizing up of the potential father.

Now assuming this isn't an episode of Maury Povich, you will indeed know who the father is. If, by some chance, you are unsure who the father is, I would suggest (perhaps) abstaining from sex until such a time that you A. learn how to use contraceptives or B. not have sex with a multitude of men in a short period of time. If you do know who the father is and the first thought that comes to mind is, "oh fuck". I would strongly suggest not sleeping with this gentleman ever again.

I know it seems a bit harsh, but if the person you are sleeping is the type of guy who gets an OH FUCK response at the thought of having a child with him then you should probably discontinue use.

I find something very strange...and this is it:

Kids are a huge responsibility. Everyone will admit that. And yet the amount of people who don't have sex responsibly is amazing. First and foremost, a kid is the product of sex. Somehow this fact gets lost in the mix. If you don't want to have kids, or one of those pesky sexually transmitted thingys, then you should be taking the necessary precautions. Do you want to know what is NOT an acceptable form of contraception?

Pull and spray.

Here is where I stand on pull and spray (or the much nicer term of Pull and Pray.) We don't trust men to take out the garbage on time, so why would we trust them to take their dicks out in time?

Just something for you to ponder.

It isn't like I am saying I have never been reckless or done something I shouldn't have or made an unwise decision by letting the guy decide the method of birth control (NO guy likes condoms...that isn't a new fact). I have made plenty of foolish moves, but I have never missed my period and had that 'oh shit' moment.

I imagine a pregnancy scare would be...scary. Especially if you are at a point in your life where children are not wanted. I was a mistake. My mom told me so. But that isn't all that shocking, now is it?

And then, what if it isn't a scare...what if you are pregnant? What if you don't get to sigh with relief when the stick doesn't change? Then you are thrust into a whole new realm of what the fuck? To have the kid, to not have the kid, that is the question.

A woman's body is her body. And I do believe in the woman's right to choose. What I don't believe in is using abortions as a form of birth control. I know a girl who has had six abortions. SIX. When the number of abortions you have had surpasses the amount of dogs you've owned in life there is a problem.

Thus in conclusion, I am happy I have never had a scare like this. And will not be trying to cross it off my bucket list.