23 years ago today

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23 years ago at 11:41 a.m our son was born. He had a rocky journey into the world, but we were so overjoyed by his arrival. The poor guy had a black eye and a broken collar bone. We were so in love with him.

Fast forward 23 years and I made him veal scallopini with a lemon butter sauce, sautĂ©ed green beans with garlic and we bought him an ice cream cake which he isn’t eating but I am!

Query letters and submissions

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I have been busy, busy, busy. I sent my first query letter with a few chapters of my book last night via email. Fingers are crossed!!! Today I printed my letter of introduction, Introduction page to the book for my readers and a few chapters to send directly to NYU. The saga getting my pages printed oh boy!
Staples needs to up their game if they insist on calling themselves Your Copy/Print/Scan center. I have written everything in Google doc and since this isn’t quite new technology I assumed that Staples would easily take my USB and print out my documents; meaning my book, my letter and my introduction page but never assume is said for a reason. Staples doesn’t use software that recognizes Google Docs but I didn’t know this until it was too late.

I went into Staples intent on sitting at their computer work station and print out my documents myself, all you need is to insert a debit card; I logged into Google, opened my book and the other pages that I needed and clicked on print accepted the charge and then nothing. The printer was out of ink, I called over the copy sales associate and she told me that they were out of stock in the ink cartridge. I told her that I had already been charged for the printing job and she assured me that she would print it out for me at her station. This was the beginning of my lesson in the limits to what Staples can accomplish for those who write in Google docs, not much. After trying to email the documents, pulling them from the USB and still no printing to be had, the manager had a brainstorm and downloaded and converted my google docs to Microsoft and I got my book printed, however the format was completely off, but I wasn’t going to complain to the manager or the sales associate because they both worked so hard to get me my book printed.

If I had known that I would have had to convert these pages into Microsoft, I would have done that myself at the workstation beforehand but that is neither here nor there. I came home and printed what I needed myself and hooray my printer didn’t break down, didn’t have a hissy fit and didn’t try to eat the pages and didn’t run out of ink. Miracles do happen!

And now the ball is out of my court; this doesn’t mean that I am not going to keep sending out more letters, but I broke the ice so to speak.

Doppelgangers

My father used to tell me that I looked so much like Isabella Rossellini; I would not believe him or at least I would not let myself see it. But hearing him say it, used to make me feel so special and happy, I was not accustomed to feeling pretty.

When I saw the daily prompt with the word doppelgänger, I dug up an old picture of me and found an old picture of Isabella to put them side by side, just to see. I showed them to my son and told him about what his grandfather used to tell me and he agreed. I’m not sure if he agreed just to make me feel good. Thinking of how my father used to say such nice things to me makes me miss him so much.

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Daily Prompt: Local Color

Imagine we lived in a world that’s all of a sudden devoid of color, but where you’re given the option to have just one object keep its original hue. Which object (and which color) would that be?

There have been a few movies that went from black and white to technicolor and the impact on the mood of the movie was quite spectacular, just picture The Wizard of Oz. I would not want that to happen in the real world, though it would be fun painting flowers different colors. One of my favorite plants or shrub that I look forward to each and every spring is the lilac, so if I could have lilacs along with their scent as the sole color in an otherwise black and white world, it would help offset the dreariness, especially if the scent permeated throughout the air around me. Now if I could have lavender as well as lilac, because they are in the same color family, that would be even better. I know that I am being greedy, but the lavender scent is just as delicious in my opinion so that to have both scents surrounding me wherever I am would be heavenly.

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Cross-eyed and satisfied

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I have been at it for hours every day, cutting and pasting the individual essays into a singular document to make it feasible to print out at my local Staples. The editing was completed a week ago, this is organizing the essays into a book format, so it is a tad tedious. I used to spend at least three weeks proofing the fonts, font sizes, font styles and kerning way back when I worked as Catalog Coordinator at Conran’s-Habitat, it has been a long time since I spent hours on the computer doing that type of tedious work and to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t fun back then, this time it is different because this is my book and not just copy for affordable furniture and table linens.

I am getting there slowly but surely, I am also looking into finding a literary agent, small publishers and self-publishing. I am busy, busy, busy and it feels good.

John Wick: a movie review

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My husband and I went to see John Wick today. We are both big fans of Keanu Reeves and my husband has especially been waiting for this movie to come out since we had seen its previews a while ago.

We both loved it, it was the perfect movie for us today; a real badass action picture. I cried twice at the beginning, once when John Wick’s wife dies from her terminal illness and the second time when very bad men break into John Wick’s house to steal his car and they kill his puppy; the last beautiful gift that John Wick received from his wife.

Keanu Reeves was on fire in the movie; he was so believable as John Wick; an effective and highly efficient killer. John Wick was completely focused and controlled at every second and this was one of the few movies an assassin or contract killer did not waste movement, bullets or emotion. Keanu Reeves played John Wick as one stone cold killer bent on getting justice and retribution for his puppy, the last beautiful gift from his beloved wife. The movie made a point of explaining how even in the world of contract killing there are rules and especially there are consequences to pay for breaking those rules. Chaos reigns without rules and that means disruption of business if chaos is allowed to ferment. Money is the driving force and it must flow easily and freely which is why rules must be respected.

For those who like action, shoot them up movies, this will be a keeper. If you don’t enjoy them, than this movie will definitely not be your cup of tea.

A place that feels just like home

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My husband has over the years, accumulated so many points staying in so many hotels, that he has become a Platinum Ambassador of the Intercontinental Hotel Group. Several years ago we discovered the Intercontinental Hotel on Atlantic Avenue in Boston and the excellent staff has made us feel at home since we started staying with them.

This afternoon when we pulled in front of the hotel, the doorman came right over, took our luggage and put them onto the cart. We were personally greeted by Marc and Inilta who checked us into our room and being a Platinum Ambassador we were automatically upgraded to a suite. Inilta and Marc took the time to speak with us and we shared quite a few laughs. They both are so warm and friendly; we have come to know many of the staff on a first name basis which makes our stay feel even more like home. They even asked about Jack because the last time we were here with him, he made quite the impressions with his very good manners and quiet demeanor.

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What makes our hotel feel like our second home are the people who work here. They go over and beyond their job description to make us feel comfortable and welcome. Whenever I walk through the lobby or down the hall, I am greeted by hello or good morning or good afternoon and more often then not it is followed by a Mrs Nichols. I love our hotel and I always look forward to our stays here.

An Ode to Frankie’s Pizzeria

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Imagine my sadness when I discovered that may favorite pizzeria in all of New York, that I have known since 5 years old, was closed for good without any warning.

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I remember going to Frankie’s with my father when I was about 5 or 6 and a slice was a quarter. Their pizza has been the definition of consistency; same great crust, same great sauce and same great cheese.

I am still taken aback by the thought that I will never again bite into a slice of Frankie’s. I make my own pizza at home and I really love my pizza, but it is a very different pizza than Frankie’s and so there was always room in my heart for both.

An era is gone, a great era of pizza, Astoria is a little diminished with the loss of Frankie’s.

Daily prompt: Grand Slam

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The World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)

The first thought that came to mind when I read the prompt was a Mets game that an ex boyfriend took me to when I was 18 and our seats were way up high in the bleachers. It was a sunny afternoon and he was cheering, eating a hot dog and I was sitting there trying to make sense of what was going on way down below us out on the field; a pair of binoculars would have been nice. I don’t remember if the Mets won or lost, I do know that I fell asleep very quickly into the game and he kept waking me up every so often, I think that he gave up after a while and left me alone until the end. It was on the way home that he broke up with me; he blamed it on the lack of things that we had in common, but I think that it was me falling asleep during his beloved Mets game that put him over the edge, he was a HUGE baseball fan and I couldn’t fake it. I don’t really get sports, I don’t mind playing sports, but for the most part I don’t particularly enjoy watching sports. Poor guy, I’m sure that he found his perfect match and they have been watching the Mets ever since.

Daily prompt: Fourth Wall

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You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

I would absolutely love to be sisters with Jane and Lizzy, what is one more female in the Bennett household after all? I know that mother Bennet would probably have an apoplectic fit, but I am sure that Mister Bennett would soothe her rattled nerves. I can easily see myself spending hours in bed with Jane and Lizzy talking late into the night about our hopes and dreams of the future as limited as they might be.

I could see us trying to put some common sense into the younger girls and even if I wound up as a governess or the wife of some poor but good man, I would stay close to my sisters Jane and Lizzy.

Don’t misunderstand I love my little sister and if it were she and I in the movie, we would be sharing a room, talking and giggling into the wee hours of the morning. She would be the equivalent of Jane, in that with her beauty, she would be the belle of the ball whereas I would be like Lizzy, my head in a book constantly, spending hours walking through the countryside and speaking my mind, often without thought, oops.

There are a lot of other movies that I love, but each and every time that I channel surf, the minute that I land on Pride and Prejudice, the surfing stops and I have to watch, no matter where I landed, it doesn’t matter. I love that movie.

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