I’m Back!

totoro buddhaWow… it’s been a month since I posted here, but I swear I have a good reason. A few of them, actually.

Life has been INSANE. There’s a shit ton of stuff that I can’t talk about here that’s been eating my time and brain space. Personal stuff. Professional stuff. Stuff. On top of … well, that, I’ve been working my ass off on… well, let me put it this way. I have 3 project deadlines coming up. One April 1, another April 17 and the final one April 30. Can I tell you about any of them? Sadly, not yet. (Soooooon.)

BUT! The awesomeness? I totally discovered my superpowers yesterday. Truth be told, writing was really hard for me for the latter half of the year. I poured a lot of energy into the UNVEILED Kickstarter and production of that book. It was a true *labor* of love to make it happen and get it out in the world. While your support was astounding (and I love you all!) the situation itself took its toll. I had a lot of moments of, “Maybe I should just quit.”

I tried working on a new project (Code Name: Tin Foil Ears) but that fizzled quickly (and I had to abandon it for other pursuits). When I had time to devote solely to it? It wouldn’t “talk” to me. Again, “Maybe I should just quit.”

And there was pressure. Pressure to get SOMETHING out quickly and in the hands of my agent. Something we could sell, something we could get out there to “salvage my sinking career”. (These are all things I’ve thought to myself or pressures I’ve imposed on situations… nothing but love from the Red Sofa team. Seriously. <3)

What I’m trying to say is, for the past 6 months or so I haven’t really felt like a writer. I’ve felt like someone who when she sits down to write can barely crank out 500 words, someone who has nothing relevant to say and will just fall by the wayside like a lot of other washouts.

So when I wrote 6855 words yesterday and finished a novella, you could say I was a tad emotional.

I am mighty.

Rawr.

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Now, if you’re sitting there thinking, “Well, that’s you, I am an ass-dragging sea creature who can’t string together two words in a day.”

First, unto you, I say, “back off. Ass-dragging sea creature is my self-deprication go-to.”

Second… look. I don’t know anyone whose career has taken the exact path they wanted/intended. We all make up our own pace, our own rules. Sure there are blueprints. There are dos and many, MANY don’ts. There are helpful hints, guidelines, suggestions and a slew of “rules” that have been shown to lead to varying degrees of success. But no one has concrete steps that lead to a pot of gold. No two careers look the same, so you can’t compare your apples to JK Rowling’s oranges. Shit like that just leads to sour grapes.

YOU define who you are. YOU make your path YOUR way. You write your story.

One bloody word at a time, if that’s what it takes.

So write.

Balls

As most of you know, I despise the New England Patriots. Color me unsurprised that the Assholes of the league have been caught cheating. Again. I’m less than thrilled that my city will be hosting them for the Super Bowl.

*Edit: For those of my readers who don’t follow the Sports, the Patriots were found to have used balls inflated below the league regulation PSI. This would make the balls easier to throw and handle, therefore giving the team an unfair advantage over their opponents. The rile up has been called “DeflateGate” (because every scandal must end in “gate”.)

I’ve been watching “deflategate” for some unknown reason. (It might be because I’m waiting to see Belichick and Brady–two men who embody my loathing for the New England Patriots–fall on their faces. Not sure.) So I watched Belichick’s prepared speech Thursday morning and thought it was exactly what you’d expect to hear. A bunch of denial and passing the buck. What surprised me was that the coach flat out put the onus on his star quarterback.

Hubbawha?!

No honor among thieves, sure, and these two seem thick as the aforementioned felons. I’m actually a little taken aback that Belichick didn’t hoist blame onto one of the equipment managers or some lackey ball boy.

What pissed me off about Belichick’s speech (other than the man himself), was his comment that in his 40+ years of NFL coaching experience, he has “never talked to any player, staff member about football air pressure. That’s just not a subject that’s brought up.”

Okay, other than the fact that his own comments later kinda sound too specific for someone who hasn’t discussed it before, I call horseshit on this one. You’ve been a coach in the NFL for longer than I’ve been alive and you’re telling me that you have no clue about ball pressure? (I know about ball pressure–I’ve watched that episode on Mythbusters about the supposed helium-filled ball getting more hang time–and I’m not an NFL coach!) Also, dude, it’s your fucking job to know this. So what you’re saying is this: you’re either ignorant about what your job entails, or you’re lying. If the former, perhaps team owner Kraft should rethink his choice of a head coach. (If the latter, pack your bags, assface.)

But really, Belichick’s prepared remarks were exactly what you’d expect of a known cheater trying to cover his ass and make the most of the asterisk that will permanently accompany his team’s 2014 season record.

Tom Brady’s press conference Thursday afternoon was far more interesting to me. Yes, I giggled like a 12 year old at the double entendres flying all over the place. What I really wanted to hear was the quarterback’s reaction to Belichick’s speech. Thankfully, a dauntless reporter got that one in early.

brady smirk

The look as he’s being asked about Belichick’s remarks.

Brady shrugged it off, citing that everyone’s just “trying to figure out what happened.” While Tom’s answer was calm and tactful, the expression on his face spoke volumes. (Admittedly, I couldn’t gif it and show you the evolution of the sneer to smirk to calm face.)

And now, comes the part that surprises me most of all.

I’m about to defend Tom Brady. (I know, it tastes bitter, guys.)

So, the reporters kept harping on, “How could you not notice? Did you notice that the balls felt different? You handle the balls and like them a very specific way, couldn’t you tell a difference?”

Look, here’s the thing…he’s not sitting on the sideline caressing his footballs while the other team has their go. No quarterback is doing anything other than his job–looking at game shots from upstairs, talking with his team/coaches, PLAYING THE GAME. And when they’re on the field, the top notch stars like Manning, Luck and Brady? They are in contact with the ball for less than 3 seconds per play. Think about that. Most of these reporters probably can’t adequately pick their noses in 3 seconds. And during that short period of time, quarterbacks of this caliber are doing their jobs as master strategists. After the snap they’re assessing incoming threats, wind direction and speed, the positions of their receivers, coverage on said receivers, their own physical form, the position/handling of the ball itself, doing mental geometry and plotting trajectories for their upcoming pass. Add to this weather conditions like we saw during Sunday’s game. And that’s just what *I*, a woman who took a season off of her fantasy league, can think of off the top of my head. There are literally at least a dozen other things that a quarterback is thinking about in the 3 seconds he’s in contact with the ball that are more important than the PSI of said ball.

So yeah, I’m going to step in front of Tom for just a moment and say, “Dude, I think you’re expecting a little too much of someone who may have held a ball for a maximum of 5 seconds at a time, let alone 12 of them over the course of a whole game, when you ask him how he couldn’t possibly tell the difference. If I licked your pen, you’d probably notice. But would you notice if I removed 15% of the ink?”

And now I turn to Tom and say, “Dude, your team is cheating. If you’re not directly involved, I’d be pissed as hell at the person who a) didn’t think my team could win without breaking the rules and b) is taking my time away from serious game planning to deal with this utter bullshit. Own up if it’s you, and prepare for the worst. Also, Belichick’s an asshole and I hate your face.”

Well, maybe I’d omit that last part. About the face. But not the rest. Pretty sure right now Brady’d back me up on the fact his coach blows goats.

So how do I feel about Deflategate? (Other than the fact that the real winner is Gillette with their ill-timed hashtag #flexball appearing on the screen during both pressers?) I think it’s ridiculous. It’s the second time the New England Patriots have been caught cheating. There is now speculation that they also cheated during their play-off game versus the Baltimore Ravens. This whole thing has put an asterisk by their team record. Sure, they could win the Super Bowl, but who would believe it? There’s always going to be this stain on their 2014 season reminding them and us that this team and its management cannot be trusted. Their wins always come with the caveat of, “assuming they weren’t cheating”.

Team owner Robert Kraft has a lot of thinking to do. His coaching staff has tarnished the legacy of his team multiple times. He needs to consider firing Belichick. (If this happens, it will be after the Super Bowl. This is assuming some poor hapless ball boy isn’t set up as a patsy for this shit.) He has to do something to take back the integrity of his team.

Chairman Goddell and the NFL need to do something more than strip the Patriots of draft picks and levy fines that it’s obvious their coffers can handle. That’s not discipline. Also, being their second known offense and in such a high profile game, this seriously effects the integrity of the game. Goddell needs to consider long-term suspension (of Belichick AND Brady), and a post-season ban for the 2015 season.

As to the Super Bowl itself, well…The Ravens or the Colts can’t replace them. Time and logistics negate the idea that anyone but the Patriots will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Should Belichick be suspended? Absolutely. Regardless of his knowledge, it’s his JOB to know about ball pressure and the process of what happens with balls prior to a game. He has failed and it caused a serious problem on his watch. Should Brady be suspended? I don’t know. Part of me would love that, but then if the Seahawks win the Super Bowl everyone will say, “It’s because Brady wasn’t playing.”

No, I want Seattle to have what Indy and Baltimore didn’t: a chance to win the game fair and square.

Obligatory End of/New Year Post

I have been known to do a Year in Review post. But I don’t feel the need to this year. Stuff happened… amazing things, empowering things, things that have yet to bear fruit.

Sometimes I use my end of the year post to talk about what I want from the next year, but I don’t feel the need to do that either. All but a few things on my “2014 to do” list were checked off (woot!) and those? Well, 2015 definitely has room for them.

This year, I look at the end of a calendar with a bit of a shrug. Things are still happening, always in motion. There are projects I’m in the middle of, I’ve got a few irons on the fire that I can’t talk about (professionally) and I’m waiting on word back on still more ventures. This year (2014) was all about laying foundations, I think. For me at least.

So as we head into 2015, I want to continue some of what I started this year. I want to meet goals and watch the seeds I spread this year sprout and grow in the coming months.

As we bid adieu to The Year of Standing Together, I thank you for your love, support and kindness.

We’ll see tomorrow what 2015 shall be.

The Marvel Experience

marvelgifSo yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the Marvel Experience with 9 of my nearest and dearest. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the Marvel Experience is an interactive immersion into the Marvel cinematic/comics universe. The company’s website boasts “3 acres of fun” and a “must see event” of “hyper-reality”. Tickets are approximately $30 per person with no variation for children or seniors. You can, however, upgrade to their VIP package for an additional $60. (That’s right, triple the standard price.) VIPs don’t have to wait in lines, can enjoy the onsite lounge and get a little bit of merch at the end. Parking was an additional $10/vehicle, but that might be due to our specific location and not controlled by the Marvel Experience itself.

Our group of 10 went for the basic entry fee with no bells and whistles. We even managed to squeeze our entire party into one large vehicle. (We’re squishy and cuddle well.)

What follows is my personal experience of the Marvel Experience. Some parts might be seen as negative and as TME has removed any and all negative feedback from their social media pages, I’m taking to my own space to tell you about it. Meet me after the jump.  Read more

Party Recap

signing 12814So Monday, December 8 I had a launch party for UNVEILED. WOOT! Some local backers of the Kickstarter and I descended upon Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ. (You can get signed copies of UNVEILED by contacting the bookstore, even if you don’t live in Arizona. They will ship to you. Support this amazing indie store.)

I read the first half of the first chapter and took audience questions before signing books and having one-on-one time with readers. Yay!

I was so crazy before the gig. Stressed out to the point my brain began leaking out of my ears.

To give you some understanding of how nervous/frazzled I was… Read more