lilrongal: (upward facing dog)
( Friday, 4 May 2012 08:00 pm)

Ashley Turner and Me Skull Shores Frankie Stein
Mmmmmm Rainy Night on May Street
Pretty Day in Naperville Pink!

The weather has finally warmed up in Chicago. But I’m not being fooled again. I’m still keeping sweaters and hoodies at the ready, because I know that in two weeks it could be the 30s again.

It always confuses me when people on TV or in movies are like “What, we’re going to talk about the weather now?” Like it’s a bad thing. I mean, weather is a big part of our lives, especially for people like myself, who is so sensitive to temperatures. So, I’m OK with talking about the weather, until someone in a movie or a TV show starts scoffing at that particular topic of conversation. Then I start to doubt myself.

Well then. That was a tangent.

Wednesday, I got to see one of my favorite authors, Laurie Halse Anderson, again. This is one reason I love living in Chicago. So many authors come through and I get the chance to meet them! Laurie is an inspiration beyond inspiration. This woman loves writing, she works damn hard on it, and she’s damn good at it. She gives everything to her books and to her readers, and that makes her amazing. She’s just an awesome person. I adore her!

Here we are:

Laurie Halse Anderson & Me

So far this week, I’ve learned some serious shoulder strengthening yoga vinyasas, attended a marketing meeting and dinner at Moksha’s owner’s home, cried over Make It or Break It, visited Naperville, and got my Skull Shores Frankie Stein doll (now I have them all).

I ate lunch at an amazing place called Prasino, and enjoyed a very delicious but expensive juice. I got a pedicure, a really cool new bag from Katmandu Imports (I didn’t even notice it had an Om on it until yesterday!), read two books, and cuddled with the kitty cats.

It might be Friday, but I have a full weekend scheduled. Teaching, volunteering, apprenticing. I’m going to see Maya Tiwari speak Sunday morning. Lots of yoga-related stuff to keep me busy. Not to mention that I have homework and library books to read. On top of all this, there are some exciting things happening in the Mickey Mouse Club world and I’m so eager to see what happens next! So many Mousketeers are talking again and sharing their memories of the show with us fans and it’s SO FREAKING COOL. Love it!

Tonight, I’m going to take it easy and prepare for the busy weekend. Adam’s watching Ironman, which is way more violent than I like, so I’ll be watching something sweet and/or funny to counteract it when he heads out to work. Or maybe a few episodes of Downton Abbey, that first season. We’ll see.

So yeah, I’m busy, but it’s a wonderful busy. I’m making new friends, meeting new people, and learning so much. Summer is coming! Farmer’s markets are starting up. Flowers are growing everywhere. AND Aidan will be here before long!

I am happy. :)

May the 4th be with you!

"It's Fun To Stay At The ..."

‘Til next time! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...(Originally posted at Comment here or there.)
lilrongal: (halloween)
( Wednesday, 19 October 2011 01:34 am)

So, I’ve been pretty busy the past few days. In addition to two really big deadlines (that I made because I AM AWESOME), there were two very limited edition dolls I had to procure. And there was social stuff, some cleaning involved. I’m ready to be done for a while! Just a little while, though. Gotta make that $$!

I never thought that working from home would make me more busy than working full time AND working from home. But it’s OK. I love it this way. My commute is awesome, and sometimes, my “cube mate” is this:

Little Lena
Little Helena

Plus, I get to do the work I love.

Last Wednesday, Adam and I headed out to The Morton Arboretum to look at the trees. I was shocked to see that a lot of them had not peaked yet, but there was still plenty of brilliant color.

Autumn in The Morton Arboretum Autumn in The Morton Arboretum
Autumn in The Morton Arboretum Autumn in The Morton Arboretum
Autumn in The Morton Arboretum Autumn in The Morton Arboretum

Sunday, we headed out to Naperville to see the Dark Days of Autumn author tour, but mainly because Claudia Gray was there, who we hadn’t seen since July, when she packed up and moved to New Orleans. *sad*

It was SO FUN to see her and hang out again! (Ignore my hair in these pix. It was a TERRIBLE hair day.)

Claudia Gray & Kierstin White Me & My Friend :)

What was really funny is that I was talking with some really young girls in the store as the event was winding down. They were 12. To be honest, preteens tend to scare me, and I’m not sure why. But these girls were super sweet. I’ll talk to teens all day every day but preteens? Not so much. It’s weird. Anyway, Claudia came over to hug me again and to make arrangements for hanging out after the event was over. The girls freaked out. “OH MY GOD. YOU KNOW HER? YOU’RE FRIENDS WITH A REALLY, REALLY, REALLY FAMOUS AUTHOR!” Claudia goes “I’d take off a couple of those ‘reallys’.” Ha.

I bought her new book FATEFUL (werewolves on the Titanic! HELLO!) and because Kiersten White was so adorable and funny, I bought her book PARANORMALCY because well, it sounded awesome. I’m reading that one now. I really need to stop reading that one and read the remaining four library books I have before Monday. But I’ll do that once I take care of my remaining deadlines tomorrow (why do I get the feeling something more is going to come up, though?). I’ll go on a BOOK READING BINGE. OR I’ll just try to renew the books I have to buy me some more time. In fact, I should do that now…..

Monday morning, I got up SUPER EARLY because I wanted one or more Disney Designer Princess dolls. There are ten dolls total. The first three dolls sold with no fanfare. They were being released once per week in the stores and online. Only a few people knew or cared about them, apparently. Some of them were in the stores for weeks before selling out. I hadn’t found out about them several weeks ago, when I ventured into The Disney Store and saw the display and went HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THESE DOLLS ARE AMAZING I MUST HAVE ONE. Then suddenly, it went to a fever pitch! The dolls were selling out within hours and showing up on eBay just a few hours later at nearly 7x their retail price. And unfortunately, the ones I wanted? Tiana and Jasmine? They hadn’t been released yet, so although I had a chance to get them, I knew I’d have to fight for them. The dolls are very limited edition, and the eBay dealers are being jerkwads about it by snatching up all they can and then jacking up the prices. Suck. So, Disney decided to put the remaining five on sale AT THE SAME TIME. Which meant, if I had any chance in hell of getting one, it was going to be about early morning rising and standing in line.

I got to the Disney Store at Block 37 at 7am. There were already more than 20 people ahead of me. Turned out the most of any doll they had was 20. They passed out cards at 9am. Guess who lost out? BUT. My darling, darling awesome husband was standing in the cold at the Michigan Ave. store. For an hour and a half, he froze, and when they go to him, well Tiana was sold out but there were still Jasmine dolls left. He got the card, and I squealed and ran out of the mall and caught the first bus to North Michigan Ave. I joined him in line, got the card, and told him to go somewhere and warm up. By now it was about 9:20. Forty minutes til the store opened. I didn’t get my doll til nearly 11am because they were letting people in one by one or two by two or something like that, to pick up the dolls and pay for them. Fortunately, I was standing near some really nice people, and talking to them (although they were so obviously frozen) helped. It was cold!

But I got my Jasmine.

Princess Jasmine

She’s still in her case–it’s so pretty, plus I need to clean the hell out of this apartment first before I even think of displaying her. (The cleaning is supposed to take place this weekend.)

This morning, I had to get up to try for Tiana. Because honestly, I couldn’t NOT try. She’s my favorite princess! The site came up at 11 CST, and I got in, managed to get TWO Tianas in my cart somehow. Took ages to get one of them out (they were only allowing one type of princess per person–I didn’t want to screw ANYTHING up). But then I couldn’t go any further. Checkout button was like NOPE. THANK YOU! The site was a mess. It kept crashing and freezing and doing all sorts of bad things. But AGAIN, my awesome husband came through. He was on his computer and HE MANAGED TO GET THE ORDER TO GO THROUGH. I got a confirmation email and everything. Tiana didn’t sell out on the Web site until at least an hour after Adam placed my order, so I’m hoping and praying I don’t get an “order cancelled” notice. I am eager for Tiana to arrive. I feel extremely lucky in so many ways and I will love these dolls forever.

I bought Adam brunch for standing in line, but it seems I owe him again!

I’ve been neglecting my yoga. :( I won’t be going tomorrow either. Stuff to do, stuff to do. But Thursday I should be able to go back. YAY.

And that’s all for now. Til next time….

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...(Originally posted at Anywhere Is...)
lilrongal: (Default)
( Friday, 27 May 2011 10:34 pm)

I love the Friday nights of a three-day weekend because I still have the entire weekend ahead of me. Three days of freedom. Sweet. :)

Life’s been pretty good lately. Those work weeks from hell are now in the past (there are more coming up but not for several weeks–we’ll let Future Ronni deal with that). I’ve discovered new music, met new cool people, and eaten a LOT of sushi! The weather is still acting way too wishy-washy. I wish it would break already. But fortunately, it’s been nice on the weekends and crappy during the work week, which is how I prefer it.

I’ve still been working out. These days, I alternate between yoga, the bike, and The Firm stability ball workout. I also toss in some New York City ballet and Denise Austin power kickboxing from time to time. I’ve also been lifting weights a bit. I’m thinking of getting and starting the 10-Minute Trainer. I work so many hours it’s sometimes hard to get motivated to work out when I get home. But I can spare ten minutes, right?

I’ve had the past two Tuesdays off from work, and they’ve both been amazing. On May 17th, I got up and did a great workout on the bike. Then I met with my Plurk friends Jon and Rho for brunch! We ate at Horizon Cafe, my favorite diner in Chicago. This is what I had:


Jealous, aren’t ya? :) After brunch, we came to our place and hung out, and of course, took pictures!

Hanging with J and Rho

It was so much fun hanging out with them. I didn’t want them to leave. We play all day every day on Plurk, but it was totally better when I got to talk to them in person.

After Adam and I dropped them off at their hotel, we headed out to Naperville to Anderson’s bookshop so I could meet Sarah Dessen again! I’d met her during the summer of 2009, but I was not going to pass up the chance to meet my favorite author again. I was #31 in line, and when I got to her, she looked at me and said “I totally know you. You always comment on my blog.” She gave me two hugs! Oh my God, y’all. As if my day wasn’t already awesome, right?

Sarah Dessen | Anderson's Bookshop Naperville Sarah Dessen | Anderson's Bookshop Naperville

Sarah Dessen | Anderson's Bookshop Naperville

Sarah is a great speaker. She’s very entertaining and down-to-earth and honest. I really enjoyed listening to her read from her newest book WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE and having her share life tidbits with us. She’s very relatable and I think that’s what I like best about her. And of course, her books continue to be incredible. She really is an inspiration.

So, it was back to work for four days, then an evening with Jen, eating sushi and hanging out. I took her to her first kirtan, which she enjoyed. There was a kid there who was about 8 years old. He was clapping, singing and dancing, ALL WHILE HULA HOOPING. What! Yeah, that was pretty awesome. It was a great kirtan. I’m VERY much looking forward to Rich Logan’s Acoustikirtan on June 11th!

Jen came over again Sunday and we watched Twilight with RiffTrax. We need to make a date to watch New Moon with RiffTrax as well. Good times.

Crookshanks turned ten last weekend! Can you believe he is ten? And look how handsome he is:

Happy Birthday, Crookshanks!

I took this past Tuesday off because I wanted needed a break, and also because my s00j was in town! She was performing with two other tremendously talented women named Bekah Kelso and Ginger Doss at the Life Force Arts Center. The three of them together is known as The Traveling Fates and you guys, they are amazing. Their harmony is so tight you can bounce a dime off of it. I enjoyed every single song they sang. I could tell they were having a great time and enjoying singing together and singing for us. I ended buying both of Ginger’s CDs and the one Bekah had available, and I’ve been listening to them non-stop. I even made a “Traveling Fates” playlist in my iTunes at work, and will need to do so on my iPod. If you go to the Traveling Fates site (linked above), you can download a free compilation of some really great songs. DO IT.

But first, look at my pictures. :)

s00j Ginger Doss Bekah
s00j Ginger Bekah

s00j, Me, Bekah
s00j, me, and Bekah. Watch out now!

Seriously, it was a great show, performed in a great space, and attended by great people. It was a very good night.

Dancing the Night Away

Oh, and I have to share the picture of the meal I had before the show.

Mixed Grill
Mixed Grill. I couldn’t decide on which kabob to get, so I got this one which was a sampler of sorts. Super yummy.

And just randomly… The lilacs are finally starting to bloom! YAY lilacs!


Oh so today, I went to The Disney Store. The one in Block 37, on the corner of State and Washington, smells amazing when you walk inside. Today, I found out that they’re actually offering the scent, called IMAGINATION, for purchase. I got the home fragrance and the body lotion. So, not only can my apartment smell like Disney, but I CAN TOO.

You’re so jealous. Admit it. Hee hee. Just kidding. It does smell really good, though. Woodsy and fresh.

Randomly, my upstairs neighbor is blasting O.P.P. What.

That’s all for now. I will leave you with a quick Friday Five, then Imma be out.

FRIDAY FIVE: In The Mood (4)

What puts you in a creative mood?
Reading a really good book. Looking at pins on Pinterest. Good music. Movie scores.

What puts you in a silly mood?
I’m almost always in a silly mood. Also, playing with Aidan. And watching funny stuff on TV.

What puts you in a contemplative mood?
Vivid dreams. Feeling unsettled or unsatisfied or discontent.

What puts you in a competitive mood?
Not much these days.

If you’d call yourself a talkative person, what puts you in a quiet mood? If you’d call yourself a quiet person, what puts you in a talkative mood?
I’m probably in the middle. Bringing up a subject I am passionate about, like Aidan, books, writing, yoga will make me talk a lot and loudly, too. I get quiet when I am upset, puzzled, or tired.

And that’s all, folks. PEACE!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...(Originally posted at Comment here or there.)

Woo Hoo!
O hai! I’m on my way to Schaumburg! Look how excited I am!!!

With the exception of a headache, I feel pretty good today. I went to a new yoga class today, Mindful Vinyasa, and it was really amazing. It’s getting to the point where my body craves yoga practice, and if I skip one for any reason, I feel all knotted. AND, apparently, I have bad dreams! Last night/this morning, I dreamed that I went to class and went to unroll my mat and it was all ripped apart! Eeek?!

Fortunately, the are 57 classes that I can always make up if I have to miss. :)

I’ve been practicing yoga in this classroom/studio setting for more than a month now, and already, I’m stronger in some ways. Weak in others, but that’s the beauty of yoga. We’re all different. Everyone has their own practice, and it’s OK not to be perfect all the time. Such a refreshing view to have (and a hard one to learn in this competitive society). So, I plan to continue practicing and learning and growing. Plus, I meet the most incredible people there. Even if we only touch lives for a brief moment, it’s a gorgeous moment.

I went to the library today. Got out a bunch of awesome ones, but before I read those, I’m going to finish Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti. I had the pleasure of meeting her Wednesday evening at Anderson’s Bookshop in Downer’s Grove. (I just have to say, that if I ever move from the Chicago area, I will miss Anderson’s a great deal.)

Anyway, getting to Downer’s Grove SUCKED. I swear, it’s rush hour ALL the time in Chicago. Still, once we got there, I got to spend hours in a bookstore and eat yummy pizza in a cool-looking pizza place, so that was cool. And meeting Susane was such a treat! She’s hilarious and so much fun! I love how candid she is. Here are some pix from that night:

Susane Colasanti and Me
Me and Susane. Isn’t she so pretty?? Pictures don’t do this woman justice, just sayin’.

Susane loves her some cupcakes, so when someone brought her some, she was totally thrilled:

Susane Colasanti

AND then Susane shared them with us!!!

They were red velvet and totally yummy!

This week was busy. Not that I can remember WHY, but it was. Yesterday, we headed out to Schaumburg so Adam could do an Author Event. It was interesting. The Schaumburg Township District Library, though? OMG. Amazing and awesome. Five star. I didn’t know libraries had a rating system but apparently they do (and Columbus Metropolitan is a five-star library too, but I’m not surprised by that at ALL). This library. People. It’s crazy. Bright and welcoming. Board games and computers and books and books and books. NEW books! And the best part is that they let Chicago library card holders borrow books as visitors. :) It’s like Heaven on Earth for me. I wish it was next door to me. I took out books last week when we were there for a different Author Event type deal that Adam was filling in for, and returned them yesterday. Today, we went to one of the Chicago branch libraries, which is five million times more pleasant than going downtown to Harold Washington, where I rarely feel welcome at all.

So… how awesome was Betty White on SNL last weekend? I hadn’t watched SNL in years, but I made an exception for this. She was hilarious! I was also very excited to see the return of some of my favorite SNL Ladies, Molly Shannon and Maya Rudolph especially.

Flowers are blooming like crazy all over the neighborhood:

Flower In the Neighborhood Flower In the Neighborhood
Flower In the Neighborhood Flower In the Neighborhood

And this is on the ground on the way to the yoga studio. I don’t know.


Hmm, what else?

· Adam and I have been trying to eat better, thanks to watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. This result of this is that there are snow peas in the house almost all the time. And BEAN SPROUTS! And clementines! I try to eat something raw every day, even if it’s just a little bit. Less processed, more real please!

· In 25 days, Aidan will be here for the summer! Woohoo!

· Still enjoying the new Doctor, even though some of the episodes are a great big cup of wtf.

· I am sooo behind on emails, game requests, etc. I’ll get to them. Eventually.

· I’ve been going through and editing the categories/tags on my old entries. Unfortunately, I thought (wrongly) that the updated entries would simply update on LJ. Oh no, the cross-poster cross posted the entries AGAIN. So I have doubles of a lot of my LJ entries from before 2010. It’s a PITA to go and individually delete thousands of LJ entries, so they are just going to be some doubles in the archives.

· Adam and I can’t take Aidan to Disney World this year, so of course I’m getting all kinds of emails from Disney Destinations with all these fantastic deals! They’re driving me crazy. If only I could get a huge, crazy windfall….

· Excited about … well never mind. Adam interrupted me to tell me something and I forgot. :O

That’s all for now. About to watch some Molly Shannon and chill out. ‘Til next time! :)

(Originally posted at Anywhere Is...)

Today, Adam and I went to the International Reading Association convention. He to do a book signing event, me to tag along and look at the exhibits. Exhibits are FUN. Lots of information, pretty displays, and free stuff. (My shoulders are quite unhappy with me thanks to the load I was hauling around today.) I knew there would be author events sprinkled about, but I had NO idea the authors would be people like:

Adam, Jerry Spinelli, and Me
Jerry Spinelli

Me and Ann M. Martin
Ann M. Martin

Shannon Hale and Me
Shannon Hale

… and even fun online friends like:

Kate Messner and Me
Kate Messner!!!!

I had no idea that publishers put out ARCs and ARCs and ARCs. Seriously, I kept walking by a few choice booths because they’d not only put out loads of ARCs, but they’d ROTATE them, so there were different ones almost every time I walked by; I came home with about 40 new books to read. And if that’s not enough, Little Brown had sheets where you could check off the ARCs you want and they’ll mail them to you. I am most excited about my SISTERS RED and THE GUARDIAN AND THE GATE ARCs. I also enjoyed seeing books by people I know on display or advertised with big posters.

Meeting Jerry Spinelli was such a treat. He has the kindest eyes and he was so soft-spoken and sweet. Meeting Ann M. Martin was a blast. When I first realized that there was something set up, and I saw the line, I thought to myself “not even close.” The line was SUPER long! But I wandered by about 45 minutes later. The line had calmed down, but I noticed that the people in line had on yellow wristbands. I thought that meant you had to pre-purchase or somehow have signed up for the event in advance, but there was a lady there handing out wristbands! So I got in line, freaking out with excitement now. THEN I found out that I didn’t have to buy the book–they were giving them away free (a hardbound AND and ARC), and that I was allowed to get my picture with her. Plus they were passing out free cookies. Ann was very sweet and gracious. It was fun talking to her. She probably thought I was crazy, cause I was fangirling all over the place. She signed my book “BSC 4-ever!”

After that, they had a photo booth set up where people could get their pictures taken, then Scholastic would give a printout so it looked like we were on the cover of KRISTY’S GREAT IDEA. I will not be posting that, as I think I look quite creepy in the picture! :)

Rumor has it that Holly Black and Scott Westerfeld were wandering around the convention as well, but I didn’t see them. And I am kind of bummed that I missed running into Julie Halpern, because I absolutely loved her book GET WELL SOON and would have liked to tell her so. I did get to meet Jane Yolen, so that was all right. Still, it’s all good, BECAUSE I FREAKING MET ANN M. MARTIN AND JERRY SPINELLI WHAT!

Now I am very tired. Time to sleep. Yoga tomorrow. Night!

(Originally posted at Anywhere Is...)


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