Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just when I had nothing to post

I had a post written and then I deleted it.

I just about to go to bedn sad, because I knew my blog would be empty tomorrow (today because it will be posted at 7:30 in the morning) when BAM  John Green gave me THIS:

Dear Great Geek god Green I thank every day for the student who introduced me to your awesomeness which I adopted and make a critical part of my own life. 

If your firewalls block it, sorry and go check it out at home, before all the good TV comes on.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday- Best Book of September

Road Trip Wednesday
What's the best book you read in September:
Yeah sorry for the long post but yeah I read a lot of books this month.

Gone- See my review for a complete rant and rave. 10 out or 10

I am the Messenger --- cool book, very different from the Book Thief.  It's interesting because if you liked the Book Thief you may NOT like The Messenger. I have to say I TOTALLY did NOT see the ending coming. 8 out of 10

If I Stay- it was beautiful heartbreaking completely uplifting as well. 9 out of 10

The Duff-  Totally wonderful, totally entertaining. 8 out of 10

So Yesterday- The origin of cool and what happens when the pyramid of cool has a terrorist in it.  8.5 out of 10  Lots of VERY VERY COOL History bits. 

Leviathan- World War 1 with Steampunk tech and a flying whale as a weapon...throw in a prince and a cross dressing girl and BAM you have one AWESOME book.  9.5 out of 10

White Cat- Ok it took me 200 pages to figure out this book was taken place in my home town.  Seriously.  I spent 200 pages thinking it was happening in England.  So yeah. Um. yeah.  That being said, there were some mistakes with the setting that threw me off obviously.  But the characters were interesting and I dreamed about the plot... although my dream totally predicted the ending of the book.   Its the first of a series and I"m not sure if I"m going to read the rest of it.  6.5

Candor- Awesome premise-- a town controlled by messages and the one kid trying to stop it...  I got about 100 pages into it, predicted the ending, read the last three chapters and knew I was right.  I won't review it because I don't review books I didn't technically read all the way through.

But BY FAR the hands down winner was Little Brother. 

Have you read this book yet?  It's about a kid who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and is picked by Home Land Security minutes after a terrorist attack.  HLS assumes he's a terrorist because he refuses to unlock his techy phone.  The theme of the book is privacy verses safety.  It's really interesting.  It's a tough read.  It's SUPER techy. And sometime the back story of the tech slows down the plot.  But it was the first book I've read in a LONG time that I needed to take a break from, but then I had to pick it up and keep reading.  It's geeky and important and wonderful.

You can buy it on amazon or you can download it the author's website for FREE!!!!

Go forth and read this book.  10 out of 10.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

memories from Virginfest from years past.


This my account of what happened during Virginfest 09

I went to VirginFest this weekend.  Richard Branson the owner of Virgin Music puts on these huge festivals.  This year it was free.  Totally free.  You paid $5 to have the tickets printed and mailed to you, which is VERY cheap for ticketmaster fees.  Anyway Jet, The Bravery, Public enemy, Weezer and Blink 182 among lots of other bands no one has heard of, were there. 

As great as the show was, the PEOPLE at the show were even better.   This one is color coded to help you with all the characters.

   In front of Hubby and I there was a group of college students.  The night started off with me just watching Gray Tank Top Girl hitting on Green Shirt Guy.  Gray Tank Top Girl was saying how she needs to dump her boyfriend because he's gotten all Pycho on her.  She leaning in very close to Green Shirt guy.  Green Shirt Guy listens very intently to everything she's saying, nodding along, smiling, and basically working  WAY too hard to get into Gray Tank Top's pants. BTW She's bl@wing him with every word that comes out of her mouth.  If they could find an excuse to get out of there, they would be having crazy car $ex. 
    The guy in front of them, but still in their group, isn't wearing a shirt, we'll call him No Shirt Guy.  A girl shows up from the crowd, says something to No Shirt Guy, dumps HIS beer on him and storms away.   Grey Tank Top girl jumps up to help No Shirt Guy,.  No Shirt Guy starts screaming at Grey Tank Top girl and Green Shirt guy jumps up to defend her honor (see he's working WAY too hard to get her to touch his dick)
Then Overly Concerned Girl calms everyone down and acts as the go between for NO Shirt Guy and Chick Who Poured Beer on him.   No Shirt Guy is SO upset he's crying ANGRY tears.   Then they all get up to get beer, a very logical choice and will clearly SOLVE all their problems.  They leave one guy, White Shirt Dude to defend their spot of invading concert goers.  White Shirt Guy hasn't moved the ENTIRE time of the event and it's a good possiblity he's dead, drunk or asleep sitting up.
Overly Concerned Girl and Gray Tank Top Girl vanish in  the crowd and these three girls step up camp in the open space.   White Shirt Guy tells them the space is taken and modestly defends the area. 
Green shirt guy starts chatting it up with the new girls and I was convinced there was going to be another fight between Gray Tank Top girl and Green Shirt guy, but alas,  she didn't see his flirty transgression.

After all the drama ended with that group a WHOLE NEW set of drama happened behind us.  The girl was crying and her boyfriend was attempting to make her feel better.  But she was yelling, "Stop talking you're only making it worse."   He keeps talking.  They're having this HUGE emotional talk (possibly a breakup) in the middle of the concert about 20 minutes before Weezer is supposed to go on.  Neither one of them make any motions to LEAVE the concert.

Look if you're going to have a fight with someone PLAN it out, you still have HOURS left of the show AND the drive home. 

When Weezer takes the stage, we find out WHY they didn't leave.  HE LOVES WEEZER.  He wants to marry them and have their babies.  I know this because he was singing IN HIS GIRLFRIEND'S FACE,  "If you want to distory my sweater..." Like the sweater was really a metaphor for their relationship.   By the end of the act, they're kissing.  Moral: Weezer will fix your relationship.

Lastly there was a guy who wanted to leave but he drove everyone.  No one wanted to leave,  and he "didn't even want to be there in the first place. He had to get up at 6 in the morning for work." For the record, Hubby gets up at 4 and I get up at 5:30.  This guy was SO pissed he started crying.   They left the same time Hubby and I did and he was STILL complaining about it.

Clearly there was very little Virginfest 10 could do to impress me as much as 09 did. 

Monday, September 27, 2010


Saturday I went to the VirginMobleFest--- two years ago they had Bob Dylan and The Police, this year it was free and it was sort of lame.

Hubby and I left our house at 11:30, the concert is about ten minutes away.  I won't talk about the asinine parking cluster frak at the mall.  But I will say that the planners VASTLY  overestimated the situation.

Here's the thing. 
Two years ago the headliners were the Police, The Killers and generally HUGE names.
Last year the headliners were Public Enemy, Weezer, Blink 182--- again huge and recognizable names
This year.... drumroll please.... LCD Soundsystem.

You went from THE POLICE ( a reunion tour- BTW that was NEVER EVER going to happen)  to LCD soundsystem.   Really?

Here's the thing.  I know music.  I know more about it then most 31 year old mom living in suburbia and yes while I know LCD Soundsystem and yes, I know a few of their songs and I know they've been around for years, they are NOT main stage closers.  Sorry.

You can see the line up here --- BTW Ludacris wasn't even the closer for the second stage,  WHAT?  They put MIA there.  WHAT? HUH?  REALLY?  

Jimmy Eat World played at 1:30.

Jimmy Eat World created an entire genre of music and has had muptile hits on every CD they've put out since Bleed American (renamed after 9-11 to Jimmy Eat World).

Yeah.  Needless to say, Hubby and I saw Jimmy Eat World, walked around and left.  It was a free concert afterall.

I know I should be complaining about a free concert, because you know it's free and virginmoblefest is designed to be a charity event.  But I'm predicting that this year will be the last year it's free, if they do it again next year.

Since we left early we didn't get too much people watching in.  But we did see "Orange Shirt Guy, who was a HUGE Jimmy Eat World fan, he had hand gestures to the songs.  He was the kind of guy who drives around with the stereo blasting, banging on the steering wheel for the drum solos.   He rocked the  hell out during EVERY radio hit... the instant they  played something obscure he sat down.  Watching him I knew EXACTLY which albums he had and how often he listened to them.

He was highly entertaining.

I think he left a few minutes after we did.

When we walked out, the cops stopped us to help us get across the street to our car.  "You guys are leaving so soon?"

I didn't have the heart to tell him, "Dude like 90% of the people are going to be gone by 8:30."

Anyway what I did see that was SUPER nice.  It was 90 degrees and a guy working dropped a create of bottle water, people swarmed and HELPED pick up every bottle.  Not a single bottle was stolen.  I cheered LOUDLY for the people who helped.

Very cool contests going on at Adventures in Children's Literature.    It's a Giveaway for NEW BOOKS coming out this week!!!!  <--I just read a post about the awesomeness of explanation marks so I had to post it,


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Awesome Music Month Winner Week 4

And the winners of Week 4 of Awesome Music Month are
Cid and Cindy.

With the comment
Cid: Yea thirty minute call!

I think if you have a list, sort of like a guide for what TO SAY, you'll be more likely to stray onto things you shouldn't say.

Research the agent - which yes, I know you have. Come up with some questions about her or her work; including her in the conversation could help put her at ease and not so much the 'having to put up with a sales pitch'. Ask what she reads when she's not wearing her agent hat. What her favorite new book this year is.    PLUS MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE
Cindy:  Ask what should be deleted, should extra parts be added. Are there any insecurities you have about particular characters or particular scenes? Ask if she felt those were weak spots or did they come across to her in a different way? Maybe almost quiz her on your characters and anything that you were planning to infer to see if those inferences, character traits, etc came through. Ask about the title - you have changed it, does she think that was a good change? What are the next steps? What are the in's and outs of getting your book published? Should this be a one shot deal or should there be a sequel? Was she satisfied at the end of the book? As a mother (I am guessing she is one?) is this a book she would be proud to see her child is reading?

Why did I pick it?
I picked both of the because they CLEARLY UNDERSTAND WHAT A HUGE SPAZ I AM AND THAT I NEED A SCRIPT WHEN SPEAKING TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING... when things go unplanned, nothing good comes from it. 
Congrats to the winners!

Please e-mail me  fussymonkey2 at gmail dot com

I also want to thank anyone who  supported me during my Phineas and Ferb Addiction.  It's a long road and I don't think a recovery is in sight. 

53 songs 3.5 HOURS of music! 

There's A HUGE variety of music on the mix, from classic rock to music ruling the air waves now.

Trust me, you want this. 

You can INSTANTLY win a Mix CD if you run the same contest on your website.
 It's cheap, fun and easy.

Also if you like the music, please remember to BUY the full CD from the artist.  My goal with this contest is to spread the word about some bands I really like. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Confessions: you'll resepct me less after this blog

Confession1:  I haven't been writing.

Confession2: I haven't been editing.

Confession 3: I love Phineas and Ferb.  Seriously I watch at LEAST an hour of the show a day.  I bought a Perry the Platypus for myself-- not my two year old daughter-- and I hide him around my classroom so I can hear my students say, "Where's Perry?"

Confession 4:  I read 8 books in the month of September.  That's almost as much as I read all summer.
When I finish reading this blog I will continue reading Candor.

DEEP DARK CONFESSION:  Due to my lack of writing/editing or doing anything creative, my brain did something terribly humiliating...

It came up with an idea for Phineas and Ferb Fan Fiction.
It blended all the YA books I've been reading and Phineas and Ferb.

It flashes forward 6 years and now the boys are teenagers, Candace is home from college.  Phineas discovers that Isabella is a girl and really wants to touch her, but after Vajgeets accidental touching of a girl resulting in 16 hours of meeting with the guidance councilor and sexual harassment training, Phineas opts to keep his hands to himself.

Ferb is devastated because despite finding dark matter and doing the impossible time and time again, the pesky age of consent law is keeping him away from Vanessa.   Vanessa decides she doesn't want to wait another two years for Ferb (after all she might be a little bit evil but some laws can't be broken because it's just creepy) she opts to marry Carl the Intern.   Ferb is horrified.  Carl has been an intern for six years, how can anyone work somewhere for college credits for six years and not get hired or get a degree.  Beside Ferb is British and that's way cooler than being American.

There's a whole subplot with Doof and Perry teaming up to stop the wedding.
Comedy ensues.

***hangs my head in shame***

I'm SUCH A LOSER--- this was BY FAR my geekiest moment on this blog ever. 


In other news I'm going to the  Virgin Mobile Fest on Saturday.  Mostly because it's free and 10 minutes from my house.  There's really NO excuse not to go.  Jimmy Eat Work will be there.  That's all I care about.

Hubby and I went last year... we saw a fight between drunk preppy people---awesome.  We saw a couple breaking up in the middle of the concert but stuck it out because they needed to ride home together and he was REALLY REALLY into Weezer.

Maybe I'll post the exploits from last year on the blog next week and compare it with this years activities..

Thursday, September 23, 2010

blog fail







My blog has been lame lately.


I am drowning in my real life.

This year teaching is much harder then it was last year.

Parenthood is harder this year and the it was late year.

Write isn't happening. 

Editing isn't happening.

I am not just drowning in real life but LAMENESS.

At least this makes me laugh.  Thank You FAIL Blog.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday- friends with your characters

Road Trip Wednesday

If you went to school with your characters, would you be friends?

It depends on the characters and the novel.  For how to Pwn nOObz I would have been friends Colin and Dave.

Colin is a music obsessed kid who's also smart in a pretentious way.  But he's snarky too, which is why I like him and I'd put up with my own big brain envy.

Dave is a comic book geek, fiercely loyal and all around AWESOME.  Yeah, he was my friends in high school.

But most of my characters I don't know if I'd be friends with.  They are either in a league way out of my own and I'd feel inferior to or they're too much like me and NOTHING annoys me more than people who are too much like me. 


I write to explore people, people who are VASTLY different from me, who live in worlds who mirror my own but are still alien to me.

I write to escape my real mundane world, I write because I have a story to tell, I write because I own it to the characters in my head to tell their stories.

In someways I am friends with ALL my characters, because they're my imaginary friends.  They keep me entertained when I'm driving or cleaning my house. 

So would you be friends with your characters with they are 3-D and in the real world? 

Better yet, have you ever met your characters in REAL LIFE?  I met a guy who looked exactly like Colin would like when he hits 25.  It was super weird.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Making reading not suck.

I'm a teacher.  I teach middle school and my job is awesome.  Seriously I mentally mock anyone who doesn't get to stand up in front of 25 kids every 45 minutes and spew all sorts of knowledge on them.

Problem is, my kids HATE reading.

You know why? Because we teaching them boring and crappy books that are WAY too hard for them.
1) Frankenstein in 8th grade
2) Watership down in 6th grade
3) Roll of Thunder hear my cry in 7th grade (this isn't too hard for them, it's just sort of a boring book)
4) Romeo and Juliet 8th grade

All of these books are wonderful works of literature... but really above the head of any 10 year old. Add to that, comprehension checks, vocabulary drills, projects, class discussions and wow could you possibly suck the fun out of reading more?

Teachers why do we do this?

Well we need grades.  Yep it's true.  A HUGE part of our teaching lives revolves around a score.
We also need to know if they kids understand teh material... but let's face this fact too, if they don't understand there's not a lot of time to go back and reteach.

This year I told my students up front-- sorry guys, the stories we read in class are going to be LAME.  Sorry.  It was out of my control.  I didn't make up the curcilulum.  But to make sure you don't hate reading I want you to read outside of school.  Good books.  Books you care about.  Hunger Games, Gone, Twilight, Maxumin Ride.  Whatever book you enjoy.

Everytime I read a book I share it with the class.  I will tell them I read Little Brother and it's really for mature readers.  I will be upfront if the book has a sex scene, or mature language or whatever.  I tell the kids that if your reading a book for a sex scene you will be SADLY disappointed because it's like one sentence and if you're reading a book for one sentence, you've missed the point of the entire book. 

If I don't recommend the book, that's cool.  Not every book out there is going to be amazing.

I'm keeping a list of everybook I've read all year, online. 

Students are going to keep track of the books they've read all year.

Students will do book reviews online about books they've read.

I think book logs suck.  I think keeping track of how many minutes you read a day is bull.  I think having parents sign off on it is a joke.  A kid is going to read or they are not.  It's really just fostering a community of liars instead of readers.

This is what I want to do.

I want the parents to keep a list of books they are reading and post them online.

I want kids to recommend to EACH OTHER books they've enjoyed.

I want student's grades to be based off of how many kids enjoyed the book they recommended.

That's what I want.

Let's see how it goes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

30 minutes with an agent

A few months ago my hubby won a full MS crit and a 30 minute phone call from Kathleen Ortiz.  Awesome right?  I'm sure you've stopped reading because you've been blinded by jealousy.

Well here's my issue, it's the 30 minute phone call.

I"m sort of a spaz.  Seriously I'm a freaking idiot on the phone,  I'm even worse when I'm speaking to ab agent,  See How to Lose an Agent in 30 seconds if you don't agree.

So I need a plan of attack.  A list of questions to ask her.

1) Did you like How to Pwn nOOBz? <----I figured though I'd be able to infer the answer from her comments in the MS.

2) Do you think it's marketable? <--  That's a pretty important one.

Now it get's tricky...

So readers, lurkers, bloggers, writers, puppy sized elephants, what would you do?  You have an agent for 30 minutes, what questions would YOU ask?

I need really specific questions.... I don't think you guys FULLY understand what sort of a spaz I am.  I need a plan of attack before this phone call happens.  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

awesome music month winners- Week 3

And the winners of Week 3 of Awesome Music Month is:

With the comment
Kate: You won't have to replace your iPod in the future, because it will be implanted in your head. #spoiler

Tabitha: Frankly school reading programs bore me to tears. I am a teacher so I can say that. I think school does an excellent job of killing the joy of reading for kids.

Why did I pick it?
Hashtag!  Hashtag and she knows the future!

Tabitha: I totally agree which is why I'm trying to come up with a new way of getting kids to read.

Congrats to the winners!

Please e-mail me  fussymonkey2 at gmail dot com

Also I wanted to apologize to Sarah Enni and Alicia for making their Thursday Morning in the office awkward for random burst of laughter in a silent room.  Your comments were awesome but you already won. 

53 songs 3.5 HOURS of music! 

There's A HUGE variety of music on the mix, from classic rock to music ruling the air waves now.

Trust me, you want this. 

You can INSTANTLY win a Mix CD if you run the same contest on your website.
 It's cheap, fun and easy.

Also if you like the music, please remember to BUY the full CD from the artist.  My goal with this contest is to spread the word about some bands I really like. 

Friday, September 17, 2010


I'm a teacher, as you all know.  Students are required to read X number of books a year.  Lots of teachers have students do reading logs.  Students have to read X number of minutes a day and parents sign off on it.

Problem- it's a pain and makes reading a chore.  It's stuff like that makes kids HATE reading.  It's a strain on the parents because they have to sign off every week.

Question:  Is there a for kids to LOG information on-line? Like how many pages they've read, how many books they've read.  Is there a way to have parent confirm it.

I was thinking about the writing progress widgets, but how would you do it for 500 kids?

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thank you!

Gone: Book Review

Back in June I won a contest on Katheleen Ortiz's blog and she sent me three books.  One of them was Gone.  Gone was HUGE.  Seriously over 500 pages.  All summer it sat on my night stand, mocking me.  It was so BIG, I didn't want to read it.  But it was the only book on my summer reading list I hadn't read it.  I felt pressure.  My list mock me more than the book did.  So the Sunday night before school starts, I started the book.  When I hit page 120, I had to put it down and go to sleep.  The next day I brought it to school with me and told my kids about it.  My exact words were, "I'm kinda annoyed I have to teach you today because all I want to do is read this book."

So sum up this book in a few words, BRAIN EXPLODING AWESOME.

Here's the premise: One minute everyone over the age of 15 is gone. (This occurs in the second paragraph of the book)  With no adults to control the kids, bullies step into the power vacuum. There's a bubble around the town, no way to get in or out.  Kids are developing powers.  Food supplies are running low.  And when you turn 15, you vanish too.  Btw the main character, Sam, his 15'th birthday is in two weeks.


What I loved about his book:
1) Realistic.  This book deals with every problem the kids face with total realism.  No one is working, it takes the kids 5 days to organize and search for missing people (it deals with the repercussion of that) they don't know how to drive, kids are getting hurt, food and medical supplies are running low.  Sam doesn't want to be a leader.  His best friend Quinn isn't brave enough to handle the situation and no one knows how long this is going to last.

2) Tension:  There's no cheesy love triangles. No sparkly vampires.  Is there romance? Yes.  But everyone is nicely partnered off.  The tension comes from survival.

3) Pace:  Page 1 the adults vanish.  By page 2 you see the repercussions of that.  The book moves lightening fast.  I read the whole book in two days and I still worked full time.

4) Kid appeal:  So I ranted and raved about this book on Monday and Tuesday.  By Tuesday night, few students had problems going to the library and getting a copy.  By next Wednesday all 20 copies at the library were checked out and there were 10 people on a the wait list.   BAM! I DID THAT! ME!!!!!

What I didn't like:

Rating 10

There's at least two more books in the series and I don't know when it's slated to end.  It looks like there's going to be at least a forth book.


Remember all comments made enter you into Awesome Music Month Contest.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

If I was Bella, a Twilight retelling

We read to experience things we would never experience in real life.  But if my boyfriend was a vampire, namely Edward Cullen and if I was Bella, then I think the whole vampire confession scene would go like this:

We're standing in a typical northwest forest, surrounded by giant trees and woodland critters.  His voice is husky, "Say it, Bella."

I know the truth and now he wants me to say it.  "You're kidding, right?"

He repeats his words, "say it."

I sigh, "I don't know how me verbalizing the situation will change your state of being. You're a vampire. It's not like's a magically curse of something.  Or maybe it is, I don't effing know."

His eyes grow wide, "Bella, language." But he shakes his head, "You're in danger I could kill you at any minute."

I check my cell phone, these big ass trees are blocking my signal.  Damn.  "What is that supposed to be a turn on or something?  Do girls really get all hot and bothered because they might die.  That's one hell of a niche market you're trying to fill with your sexual deviancy  and to be honest, that's just not me."

He turns away from me, "Bella, I"ve been waiting for you my whole life.  I haven't been with anyone else."

"WOAH!  Stop right there!  You're like 100 years old and you're still a virgin.  Yeah that's effing weird.  I don't think I can handle that."

"Don't you find that romantic?"

"Dear God NO!  I can understand waiting until marriage, if you plan on getting hitched at like 23, I can even understand not doing until you're like 30 because you're wrapped up in your career, but after 30 it gets like serial killer creepy.  Hell, you were alive during the roaring 20's and you couldn't get any hot flapper action?  1960's sexual revolution, you sat out on the sidelines?  What the hell is wrong with you." I pace back and forth and throw my arms up in the air.  "And do you have ANY idea what sort of pressure that puts on me?  You waited a century and now I'm expected to be good at it."

I shake my head, "I don't know how to give a blow job, I've only practiced on a lollipop and I think there's a size difference." Or at least one would hope.  But maybe that's the reason why he's a virgin.

"I didn't bring up sex, you did, Bella. I'm trying to change who I am so I can be with you."

"Why the hell would you do that?  Are you really that insecure?  You have more baggage than LAX.  How repressed are you?"  I eye up the path back to my house.   "I don't think I want to be in a paranormal YA book anymore.  I think I'm going home."

Another person walks up the path.  "Hey Bella."

Great, just great, "Oh hi Jacob."

"Hey um, yeah so I"m a werewolf and all my werewolf buddies can read my mind and I can read theirs.  So I was wondering if I could cop a feel so I could go back to my pack and feel like a bigger man, because let's face it, that's all I'll want in books 2 and 3 and 4."

I sigh and think it over. "Sure but keep it over the shirt."

"What the hell!" Edward yells.

I shurg, "Well Jacob's like 16, this makes sense and it's not as creepy as being 100 years old."

"That's just wrong."  Edward says.

"Not as wrong as a repressed vampire virgin."

"I meant he's not a werewolf, he's a shapeshifter.  His pack doesn't adhere to any the comformaties of werewolf lore."

I exhaled all the air out of my lungs. "How long were you going to go before telling me that?"

"I don't know, like, four books." Edward shrugged.

Ladies and Gentleman, I've got my cue, it's time to make a speedy retreat.  "Douche.  I think I'm going to be in a realistic fiction YA about the relationship between me and my dad.  I think I'll call that townie guy, whatever the hell is name is, and go be his girlfriend for a while.  And if the teen statistics are right, I'll probably end up having sex with him in under six months of our relationship.  Because that's how teens do it now a days.  Bella is out!  Peace."

Remember all comments made enter you into Awesome Music Month Contest. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday- travel in space and time

If you could travel back to any historical era for research purposes, which would you choose?

ooohhh good question.  I don't know how much time traveling I would do for "research purposes" because that makes time travel seem all educational and stuff.  

At first I wanted to say something cool like Woodstock, but then my super buzz kill logical brain would say, "Yeah but you would probably get stuck in all the traffic and stuff."

The 1920 would be cool, flappers, gangsters, pinstripe suits and overall sassyness, but I could do without the whole white entrance, colored entrance thing.   

Italy in 1490-1550's would be very cool, art and science explosion.   But you know, there was a plague and bad hygiene too.   


No, maybe I would go to the future and see the space elevator and see how the Apple Overlord Steve Jobs' empire grow.  I'd like to know how many times I'm going to need to replace my iPod. 

BTW- WRITEONCON is have like a BILLION contests.  Check out here for a recap of all the contests that opened yesterday.  Today they are giving away lots of cool things too. All you have to do to enter is make a comment.  Shannon Messagner is giving away A TON of things on her blog... go check it out!

Remember all comments enter you into the Awesome Music Contest!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What it means to be a DUFF?

Last weekend I read the book The Duff.  By now, if you've been following any YA blog you've heard about it.  The release was almost as exciting as the Mockingjay. 

I know I said I was going to do a full review on it,  but I also figure by now lots of people have done their reviews and you know exactly how awesome it is.  I also figure it's going to top a LOT of people's best books of September list on the YA Highway WRT.

I will say it was a solid read, enjoyable, completely believable.  And since Kody is a teenager herself, it's nice to know I got a lot of the lingo and mannerisms right for my own novel. 

For those of who you don't know, a DUFF is a designated ugly fat friend, and according to the book, every group of girls has one.  So look at your friends, if all of them are hot, chances are, you're the DUFF.

Ok that was a little mean, sorry.

In reality though every group has a weak link, one who is either less attractive then the rest, not as smart, too smart, or just can't seem to get their life in order.

There's a dude, I don't remember his name so I don't want to misquote him, but he came up with the idea of relationship economics.  EVERYTHING has a value.  Including relationships.  You "spend" time or energy or emotions on a person and in return you get "something."  Most of times its trust, compassion, humor, a mental break from reality.  Sometimes the relationship is physical but most of the time it's not. 

If you are the Duff of your group, then chances are you are there because it benefit you too.  You're in a cooler crowd or they have a car and you need a ride or something.

I'm not sure if I was the Duff of my group in high school.  I felt like one, or more like a butterface, (butterface definition:  cute body but her face, yuck). AUTHOR'S NOTE:  I didn't post that line so I could get all sort of comments about how I'm not a butterface because I'm using the term to prove a point.    But I hung out with my friends, because they made me laugh and I made them laugh.  I pride myself on being funny despite the current topic of this blog.  My friends were there for me when my cousin passed away.  They were good people.  I didn't mind being the Duff of my group. Whatever.

Besides if relationships have their own economy then some people are long term investments.  I might have been around to make other people look more attractive, but flash forward 13 years and damn, some of my friends are just train wrecks--- thank you facebook for making me feel good about myself.

I'm not saying some of my friends got fat, but I am going to question their ability to pick a profile picture... THAT'S THE BEST PICTURE YOU COULD FIND! Seriously?
Or on the other extreme some people never grew up, never left college and high school.  They look like they should be auditioning for a VH1 reality show. 

Back to the point, everyone is a duff or a butterface or pig, dog, bitch or whatever.  We give ourselves the labels because of our own self esteem issues.  Or other people give us the name because of their self esteem issues.

And let's face another fact, we ALL have someone in our lives we keep around just to make ourselves feel good about ourselves.  That one person who attracts drama like fresh shit attracts flies.  They can't get their lives together.  They are the comparison, the gauge, we all have to figure out how far we've come, to make us feel good about ourselves.

Everyone is SOMEONE's DUFF.

Go forth and read the book.

Remember all comments made enter you into Awesome Music Month Contest.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blog house keeping

This blog will come to you in four parts:

Part 1
I've been thinking about switching up my blog layout.  Mostly because it dives me nuts that my tabs at the top aren't functional.  Yep, I don't know anything about HTML and hence I'm unable to make my blog look pretty, I can only use free blog templates but I can't modify them.  Loser.

Anyway I wanted to give you all a heads up about the potential change.  There's nothing more jarring then when you're favorite blog changes for no apparent reason.

Part 2
Another question I have is about comments.
When you make a comment on a blog, do you check to see if anyone replied to your comment?
Do you check off the notification box?

I normally don't comment in a response to my comments, but I read them all.

Do you feel like this a one sided relationship?  I try to comment on blogs I enjoy reading and I try but sometimes I fail, but I try to comment on everyone's blog who commented on mine.

Part 3
In other news:
I read through Penny and Hank in one sitting, and you know what, it didn't suck.  In fact it was pretty damn funny.  It made me laugh a lot.  I think this story might maybe be worth spending a few more months, maybe a year on, and see if I should query.

It's a good feeling.  It's a great feeling.

I don't think it will take 3 years of solid revising like How To PWN nOObz did.  I think it might take about a year.

I'm ready to give it to my beta's, I think.  YAY.

Anyway.  That's all I have for now... but I think I'll rehash a fun little story about Puppy Size Elephants from my very old project, Project Nice.

Part 4

Once on this planet, when the water levels were different, there was an island on the coast of California.

This island had elephants. ELEPHANTS!

But as the water levels started to rise and the island shrank, so did the elephants.

At one point on this planet there were puppy sized elephants.

Stop. Picture an elephant, perfectly proportionate but the size of a puppy.

Yes, that is the cutest thing in world.

Now stop and picture a HERD of puppy sized elephants.

Now picture that herd of elephants RUNNING.

Yes, now you have the cutest picture nature has ever produced, in your head.


Remember comments enter you into the awesome music contest.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Awesome Music Month Winner Week 2

This week I'm giving out THREE CD'S--- what? huh?  for cereal?  

And the winners of Week 2 of Awesome Music Month is:

With the comment
Jen: I loved this!!! Number One had me cracking up, what a creative way to put something... these are always so hard, it's moments like these that I second guess my creativity... hehe... just because you're awesome!

1) The Italian Hot Chocolate from this place in Saratoga Springs, NY that basically turns into pudding when it cools. A-mazing.
2) My Simple clogs. I've had them since freshman year of college and I'll never get rid of them. They'll have to disintegrate first...which they might.
3) The Family Stone (even though it's ridiculously sad) because I adore and want to marry Luke Wilson.
4) Brownie sundaes. Lots of them.
5) My long black open sweater that I bought for $10 at Old Navy and wore every single day for two weeks at my Vermont residency.

P.S. I love The Prestige. I want to recreate the scene at the very end (hats) in real life and take a photograph of it.

Why did I pick it?
Jen: Because apparently I really like it when people say nice things about me ;-)

Meg: Because not only did she write the longest comment of the week but she also tells you were you can buy all of her favorite things... nothing better than using someone else's blog you pimp out the stuff you like.  :-)

Congrats to the winners!

Please e-mail me  fussymonkey2 at gmail dot com

By the way Alicia is running the same contest over on her blog!  YAY

Look the contest is SPREADING! 

53 songs 3.5 HOURS of music! 

There's A HUGE variety of music on the mix, from classic rock to music ruling the air waves now.

Trust me, you want this. 

You can INSTANTLY win a Mix CD if you run the same contest on your website.
 It's cheap, fun and easy.

Also if you like the music, please remember to BUY the full CD from the artist.  My goal with this contest is to spread the word about some bands I really like. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

7 Truths and 1 Lie-- the lie revealed.

 7 Truths and 1 Lie-- the lie revealed.

1) I’ve encountered a zombie, a demon, someone who may or may not be Kevin Smith and Bill Clinton. <--  TRUE I saw a demon at a Sum 41concert, a zombie walked into the comic book store I worked in and asked me if I believed in voodoo.  And A dude that looked just like Kevin Smith walked into the same store, a different night.     Oh yeah. I spent 3 years working in a comic book store. 

2) I’ve been in the Vatican on Easter Sunday,  Catholics know how to party.  <---TRUE  I was in high school on a trip to Italy during spring break.  It was awesome. 

3) I lived in Maryland for 13 years before I went crabbing. <-- TRUE Labor day weekend 2010.  It was very cool.  And I caught a couple of crab one and of them I caught off of a line and netted him all by myself.  Yeah I’m a total pro. 

4) A kid tried to impress me by tell me he was an assassin. It didn’t work the way he had hoped.<---TRUE yet another comic book store encounter.  Everyone who reads comics, either wants to draw them or write them. And every writer has a story he or she is just DYING to tell someone.  This kid unloaded his entire story, casting himself as the main character. 

5) My first car was pink and it blew up on the side of the road my first year of teaching.<---- TRUE  Yep it was a pink (the official color was sunburst red)  95 Mercury Cougar.  I drove through college and into my first year of teaching.  I never told the car I was thinking about buying a new one, I didn’t want to hurt it’s feelings.  On day it started smoking,  A LOT I turned off the car.  Called a tow truck and got the news, “your engine is cracked and leaking coolant.”  

6) One of my students sent me into an early labor because he though plastic forks have an expiration date. <--- Very TRUE.  I yelled at him and told him the educational process had failed him if he thought plastic forks go bad.  I started having contractions, but ignored them because I thought they were Braxton hick contractions.   Two hours later I was at the hospital 4 weeks before my due date.  My daughter was born the next morning.

7) I’ve been to San Diego Comic Con three times,  each year the crowd gets bigger and filled more and more with non comic book fans.  Posers.  <- LIE  I’ve only been to comic con once.  It was the most geektastic wonderful weekend ever.

8) I hate water rides and I’ve walked off of the rapids ride in Heresy Park sobbing .   <- TRUE.  I hate not being able to control water.  I don’t like getting wet.  I LOATH wet jeans.  Water rides are my hubby’s favorite.  There were 3 waterfalls and I was drenched.  My waterworks started the instant the first waterfall hit my head.  

Next week I promise a whole lot of book reviews.  Maybe I'll tell the full story of one of my truths. 
Thank you to all the new followers and all the comments!  You guys are awesome!  
Remember you can automatically WIN a mix CD if you run the same contest on your blog. Just tell me about the contest in the comments. 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

7 Truths and 1 Lie

So my life has been one crazy event after another.  7 of these statements are true and 1 is a lie.

7 Truths and a Lie

1)   I’ve encountered a zombie, a demon, someone who may or may not be Kevin Smith and Bill Clinton.
2)   I’ve been in the Vatican on Easter Sunday,  Catholic  know how to party.
3)   I lived in Maryland for 13 years before I went crabbing.
4)   A kid tried to impress me by tell me he was an assassin. It didn’t work the way he had hoped.
5)   My first car was pink and it blew up on the side of the road my first year of teaching.
6)   One of my students sent me into an early labor because he though plastic forks have an expiration date.
7)   I’ve been to San Diego Comic Con three times,  each year the crowd gets bigger and filled more and more with non comic book fans.  Posers.
8)   I hate water rides and I’ve walked off of the rapids ride in Hershey Park sobbing.

See I told my real life was WAY more interesting than any lie I could make up. 

Remember all comment automatically enters you into the Awesome Music Month Contest.  

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday- Duff Kit

Your Duff Kit.

For those of you who don't know, a DUFF is a Designated Ugly Fat Friend or a kick @$$ book by Kody Keplinger.   I finished this book in a day and would have been finished faster if I wasn't checking crab traps ever few minutes. A full review will come next week but for now you'll just have to trust me, it's good.

A duff kit includes:
1. Your favorite (very caloric!!!) drink
2. Your most comfy and old shoes
3. Movies featuring your favorite male actor
4. Your favorite junk food
5. Your most comfortable piece of clothing

 My kit is:

1) Turkey Hill Ice Tea Lemonade
2) Gray sandals I've worn every day over teh summer, they look disgusting but are SO comfortable.
3) I love Seth Green but besides Rat Race most of his movies aren't that awesome.  Christain Bale has a special place in my heart ( although his terminator rant broke my heart)  So my chick flick movie would be The Presitage.
4) Chocolate Cupcakes
5) The jeans I've had since high school (over 12 years ago)  It was my first pre pregnancy clothes I could fit into.  Now it has holes, in the crotch.  I think it will need to be retired soon. :-(

Remember any comment you make enters you into my Awesome Music Month Contest

Next week I'll give you my review of the Duff and discuss some other issues the book made me think about. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Yesterday I posted my 6 lies and a truth.

1) I can sing the theme songs to Go Diego Go, Dora the Explorer, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse without making a mistake. ,<--- LIE  I still screw them up, to the point where my daughter has asked me to stop singing

2)  I've traveled to Hawaii, Italy, Canada, Mexico, various countries in the Caribbean and my favorite place is my couch.,<--- LIE I have been to all those places but my favorite place is my bed.

3) In college I worked as a waitress in a bar.<--- Nope but I did work in a comic book store when I was in high school.  If you want to know the proper way to bag and board a comic, I'm your girl.

4) I met my husband in high school in a play.<-- Nope we met in college.  It's a pretty awesome story I might share one time

5) I have a deep rooted fear of bathrooms at my work, namely, I'm terrified I will be locked in one.<--- TRUE!!!! Yep I hate the school bathrooms and it's even worse now that we're down to 2 unisex bathrooms.

6) I punched a camel in the mouth because it stole my bucket in a drive thru safari.<-- Lie, I didn't punch it but I came seriously close.  I was hanging out of the car window yanking at a plastic bucket.  Hubby and daughter were completely useless in the situation.

7) Since my daughter was born I haven't slept past 6:30.<--- LIE.  During the summer she sometimes lets me sleep until 7:15, but not much later.

Next Thursday I'll be post 6 TRUTHS and A LIE... Trust me it will be WAY MORE INTERESTING. 

Monday, September 06, 2010

6 lies and a truth

All about me Monday

Alicia sent me this award and challenge a few weeks ago.  I've been avoiding it because I'm a terrible liar.  It sort of goes against my nature to lie.  My characters are all VERY honest because they don't know how to lie.

So I'm going to write 6 lies and 1 truth and you have to guess which is the truth.

1) I can sing the theme songs to Go Diego Go, Dora the Explorer, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse without making a mistake.

2)  I've traveled to Hawaii, Italy, Canada, Mexico, various countries in the Caribbean and my favorite place is my couch

3) In college I worked as a waitress in a bar.

4) I met my husband in high school in a play.

5) I have a deep rooted fear of bathrooms at my work, namely, I'm terrified I will be locked in one.

6) I punched a camel in the mouth because it stole my bucket in a drive thru safari.

7) Since my daughter was born I haven't slept past 6:30.

Take your guesses. 

Remember every comment enters you in AWESOME MUSIC MONTH CONTEST!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Awesome Music Month Winner Week 1

And the winners of Week 1 of Awesome Music Month is:

Sarah Enni

With the comment

I keep picking up Perfect Chemistry and ALMOST buying it... gah! Might have to just take the plunge.

And OK I really need to win your mixed CD because I bought Freelance Whales at your suggestion and they are blowing my mind, like on the daily

Why did I pick it? Because YES Freelance Whale WILL blow your mind.  :-) 

Congrats to the winners!

Please e-mail me  fussymonkey2 at gmail dot com

53 songs 3.5 HOURS of music! 

There's A HUGE variety of music on the mix, from classic rock to music ruling the air waves now.

Trust me, you want this. 

You can INSTANTLY win a Mix CD if you run the same contest on your website.
 It's cheap, fun and pretty easy.

Also if you like the music, please remember to BUY the full CD from the artist.  My goal with this contest is to spread the word about some bands I really like. 

Friday, September 03, 2010

Writing Friends- Where are you?

Where all my writer friends at?

I promised last week I would do a post about where to find writing friends.  Lately this blog hasn't had a lot of writing content on it because I'm been trapped in my real world getting ready for the new school year and sadly, when that happens my writing life gets tossed aside for a while.  Bummer.

But here you go.
Where can I find friends?

Well it's not like your in grade school and you pick your friends based off of the teacher's seating chart or who has the coolest my little ponies... that might have just been me and it explains why I don't have many long standing friendships from my childhood.

When it comes to writing friends you need to be picky.

Why? Because you will be sharing your most intimate thoughts with them.
Can you trust everyone? Nope.
Will everyone give you good feedback?  Nope.

Good writing friends, get you.  They get your humor, they understand your writing, they might not share the same writing process but they understand what you are doing or at least trying to do.

Good writing friends give HONEST feedback, if it doesn't work, they will let you know. 

Good writing friends return the favor.  If you spent 15 hours reading and commenting on their work, they should be doing the same for yours.  Or at the very least, as much time as their life can reasonably dictate.

 So where do you find these people?

The internet is a good place to start.  There's lots of websites that can help you find a critique partner.

Here is where I find one of mine and she's become one of my best friends. is another great place, you can post your work up there and other people will critique it, what's nice about it you have to critique too in order to get your work critiqued.  if you trust someone's feedback you can sent them a private message and strike up a friendship there.

Mary Kole sometimes posts finding a critque partner want ads on her blog.

Blogs are also GREAT.
Blogs tell you a lot of information about a person, whether the blogger realizes it.  Mostly they will write about their genre.  Do they write the same genre as you?  Do you agree with any book reviews they've done?  Do you like their writing style?    Then there's other stuff,  if the blogger is complaining all the time that they've got too much going on in their life, maybe now isn't the best time to say, "Hey, let's be friends.'  Do they maintain their blog, keeping a pretty regular schedule? 
Most bloggers post their e-mail somewhere on their blog.  I don't.  And my contact me, FAQs and other headings are just for show because I don't know how to use HTML.

NOTE:  If you are a teenager, like still in high school.  Tell people be up front about it.  Your insight is VERY valuable don't forget that.  But I pretty much ALWAYS assume whenever I read someone's comments on my blog or e-mail, or even their blog, that they are exactly like me.  Female, in her 30's, a professional, a mom, a wife an a writer.  I've been thrown off a few times by teens.  It's not a bad thing and it's probably my fault for assuming, and I've NEVER EVER disregarded their feedback because they were a teenager.  But if I had known they were a teenager, I would have chosen my language a little differently.   It also could put me at risk to losing my job.  So please, be up front and honest about it.
Thank you

The BEST place is to take a writing class at your local community college.  Lots of times after the class people form a writing group.  This is perfect because everyone lives near you, you can meet on a regular basis and they are people who chances are you wouldn't have met any other way.  Also you get to brush up on your basics about writing and learn a few new tricks. 

So go off and meet new people.  Be safe and be honest.
Writer friends are some of the best friends a writer can have.

Remember all comments enter you into the AWESOME MUSIC MONTH CONTEST!

Comments must be in by 5 PM Friday.
They will be announced on Saturday.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Handwriting MEME- Special Thursday Edition!

I hate my handwriting, and in a few seconds you will see why.  When it comes to my deepest insecurities, my three biggest ones are my face, my handwriting and bees.  I think my handwriting looks like a 12 year old boy's handwriting.  I was filled with terror when Sarah Enni did hers, because not only did she have perfect handwriting but I knew it was only a matter of time before it got to me.

Thank you Blue Lipstick Samurai for making me face one of my biggest fears.  Hopefully it won't be too bad.

So here you go

1) Name & Blog Name

2) Right or left handed, or both?

3) Favorite letters to write?

4) Least favorite?

5) Write 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."

6) Write the following words in CAPS: crab, humor, kaleidoscope, pajamas, gazillion.

7) Write your favorite lyrics.

8) Tag seven people.---- I'm not going to tag 7 people, if you want to do it, go ahead, it's lots of fun.  Well it's probably more fun for other people who aren't me.

9) Include a special drawing or doodle.

How many times did I have to stop and restart?  Three.  By the third time I realized I could just edit out the mistakes by not doing a screen capture when I went to post it.  Sigh.  

Remember all comments will be open to the Awesome Music Month Contest!
Remember also if you run the SAME contest on your blog I will send you a CD too!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday- Best Book of August

I read a few books this August, Lock and Key,  Numb, Maximum Ride and Perfect Chemistry.

Lock and Key is the perfect, girl in a bad situations and slowly changes her ways to get her life back on track.  It was a solid, filled with lots of all the stereotypes these sort of books have.  Although Sarah Dessen made them seem very fresh.

Numb- Well it left me numb.  It was a good story, at no point did I wonder why was this book published or was I pissed I spent the $10 to buy it, but I just wasn't too into it.  I am going to stop reading books because a certain agent sold them, instead I'm going to read books that come highly recommended.

Max Ride-  My students LOVE these books and I can see why,  lots of action, the characters feel read, the writing is attainable.  Yep I get it.  It made me want to read the sequel more than The Hunger Games. 

By FAR the best book this August was Perfect Chemistry.  It's about a perfect girl and the gang member who makes a bet he can sleep with her by November.  But the perfect girl isn't so perfect and the gang member isn't so bad.  They start to fall for one another and have a whole new slew of problems.  Predictable? Yes, but it was the good kind, the kind I love to read because even though I know what's going to happen, I still care enough about the characters to WANT to see it happen.  The characters were real and fresh.  Despite using the word PERFECT far too often in the beginning of the book, it writing was strong and I couldn't put it down.  Even though I was rocking a 101 fever and sort of wished for an early death.   I'm all better now.  I know you were all worried.
Also it has one of the FUNNIEST book trailer EVER!!!!!!

TODAY starts AWESOME MUSIC MONTH.   In celebration of all the very awesome music coming out this month, every week I will be giving away one music mix CD to a commenter.
How do you enter?  Leave a comment, if it's witty or funny or insightful.  It might win!
You can also win if you run the same contest on your blog too.  This way I can enter and I might win a free CD.  YAY!  Just leave a comment to let me know. 

Being a follower is not required but it will make it easier to find out if you won.
Entries are from Monday to Friday.  All comments must be made by Friday 5 PM EST. Winners will be announced on Saturday.

The only rule is: if you like the music on the CD, PLEASE go out an BUY the artist's real CD.  Don't illegally download it or steal it.  If you thought the publishing industry was hurting, you should see the music industry.  YIKES.