Saturday, June 30, 2007

The ailwiens are coming!

Do you believe in aliens?

I used to. I even once had a terrible fear of being abducted by aliens. (No, really!) I guess I was too caught up with all the frenzy over The X-Files, a show which I was a huge fan of. Or maybe I was having too many dreams of alien abductions.

Yup. You read THAT right. I used to have nightmares of being abducted by aliens. (I guess this makes me a candidate for being an abductee; that seems to be one of the symptoms experienced by people claiming they were abducted.) I even shared these fears with one of my sisters and she had a good laugh over it, assuring me I had NOTHING to worry about. Still, other goings-on in my life had me worried. They even had me thinking what if I have ALREADY been abducted? (Please try to bear with me. I came to my senses much later in life.)

One thing that happened a lot is that I’d see flashes of bright light whenever I closed my eyes to go to sleep. These flashes were so bright, I could see them right through my closed eyelids! I was terrified to go to sleep each time it happened (and it happened MANY times). These episodes had me thinking there was an alien intruder in my room! Eek! (Good thing I didn’t sleep in the nude!)

I also had many blackouts. They just happened unexpectedly, and for no apparent reason at all. There was usually someone around when they happened, and they often brought me right out of it. Sometimes, before the blackouts happened, I’d hear voices (even though I was deaf!).

Still another thing that happened was my one and only experience of “lost time.” I have no explanation for this event and still thinking about it sends a shiver down my spine.

This happened in Palm Springs, when I was staying the night at my sister’s house. I awoke early in the morning and, around 9:30ish, decided to watch Little House on the Prairie. At some point as I watched the show, there was a knock at my sister’s door. It was the UPS guy delivering a package. When he saw me standing there in my jammies, he pointed at me and laughed. I was confused over this reaction. I mean, it was still MORNING, for crying out loud! People were still in their jimmies at this hour!

Or so I thought. As I went into the kitchen still carrying the package, dubious over the whole thing, I looked up at the clock and gasped. It was almost 1:30!! Good grief!! (Good thing I put the package on the table first.) I couldn’t believe it. Where HAD the time gone?? I mean, the WHOLE TIME I had been sitting on the fold-out bed I’d slept on and watched TV. Just ONE show, Little House on the Prairie. And it was NOT that long! Almost 4 hours had transpired. And I hadn't been watching a Little House on the Prairie marathon, either.

Talk about bizarre.

One other final alien-related experience I had was a dream. In this dream, I went inside of this empty warehouse and, almost immediately, I was abducted by an overhead UFO. While aboard the ship, and strapped to a metal table, I saw the aliens using high tech equipment to examine my teeth. I even saw the screen, where they focused on 4 of my back teeth, using something to implant something in them with. Afterwards, I was back in the warehouse and saw myself walking out, completely oblivious to recent events. Oddly enough, two of those four teeth have since fallen out. (So I guess I can send them my dental bill!)

Still, despite all of this, I don’t believe there are aliens. And, if there are, I don’t think they’d be conducting experiments on humans. Or even implanting them with offspring.

When my daughter first saw the movie Signs, she became HOOKED. She LOVES that movie! She watched it so many times and even imitated Joaquin Phoenix swinging a bat and saying, “Swing away!” I thought it was cute, especially how she called the visitors from outer space “ailwiens.” She soon became fixated on aliens in general and, although she’s never seen an episode of The X-Files, she still has an interest in them. (My daughter, the future female counterpart of Fox Mulder.) I try to handle it delicately, leaving the possibility of alien existence open. When she asked me if aliens are real, I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know. I’ve never seen them.”

And that is, I think, the best way of handling it. Just saying, “I don’t know.” There really isn’t scientific evidence that people are being abducted. There’s no evidence on the existence of an alien-human hybrid. We just don’t have the facts. All we have are the possibilities, the stories and the ideas. All we can do is just look to the stars and say...”Maybe.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm married! Again.

Today I remarried my ex-husband. It was a beautiful ceremony, although very civil and very low-key. That is exactly how I wanted it. A couple of friends were there. My family, who live out of state, were there in spirit.

My good friend, Nicole, interpreted the ceremony for me and my husband. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. I almost cried during the ceremony. It was just beautiful.
My daughter, Jennifer, was also there. She was our ring-bearer.

My good friend, Jimmy, took pictures. I will be posting them as soon as I receive them.

I'm very happy over this taking place in my life, but very tired and relieved all of the stress and preparations are done and over with. I consider this a new chapter in my life. Turning over a new life. Starting new. And I'm anxious to see what this new chapter brings about.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Day in the life

I have decided to do a 'day in the life' blog post today. This idea pretty much involved "day in the life of a writing parent" but I decided to go with today's 'day in the life" instead. Maybe it's my reaction to a woman's question in the newspaper to "just what DOES a stay-at-home mom do all day??" that's got me doing this one. Anyway, I don't have exact times for everything, so bear with me!

The alarm goes off at 6:30. Given that I didn't get to bed until 12:30, I am dying for some extra sleep. At least ten more minutes. I can crank out a shower and be ready to go by 7:15 if I sleep for 10 more minutes, right?

At 6:45, I get out of bed, cursing whoever it was that decided school should start at the ungodly early morning hours. Grr!

At 7:15, I'm dressed and ready all right, but e-mail calls to me. I just HAVE to see if someone responded to an email for quotes on an article I'm going to run in the E-zine. As the computer boots up and I get online, I tie my shoes. No response to my email. Sigh! :(

At 7:20, I get my daughter up for school. Of course she wants to sleep longer. (She's a night owl just like her mommy!) But I eventually manage to get her up and dressed for school. She doesn't want any breakfast; she gets breakfast at school. she doesn't even want water. Okay.

At 7:50, we head off to school. I drop her off and ask her teacher if it's okay for me to pay last week's and this week's fee after school lets out, because I forgot to go to the bank yesterday AND I haven't gotten the new checks for my new account yet. She says it's fine. Whew!

I drive back home wishing I could go back to bed but I have to watch for the UPS guy, who I kept missing on the two days before he tried to deliver my package (a birthday gift from my baby sister). This was his final day and I DID NOT want to miss him! So I turn on the movie that's in the VCR (MOMMIE DEAREST), open the curtains and make sure my dog stays within eyesight. (Yesterday I was too late to notice him at the door barking; the UPS guy was long gone by then. Gah!) I see Jason off to work then settle on the couch to watch Joan Crawford race her daughter across the swimming pool. ( I really DIDN'T want to be watching TV while I waited, but I knew if I started writing, I'd get distracted by it. Or if I was reading a book or checking email.) I get restless as time passes, though, so I start moving around the house, tidying up here and there. Right after I finish sorting the laundry, I come into the living room to see out my window the UPS guy running to my porch. Success!

My birthday present from Millie has FINALLY arrived. YAY!!! :) I open it to see that she decided to get for me....AN EXCALIBUR LETTER OPENER!!! OH! MY! GOD!!! I squeal with delight as I look it over, admiring it. It is SO COOL! It speaks to two things which I adore: Swords and the Arthurian legends. Click here to see what it looks like, where I have it on one of my bookcases:

Now that the UPS business is taken care of, I stumble to my bedroom, barely alive. I want to work but my brain IS NOT awake yet and I knew I'd just be setting myself up with writing and e-mails that would be riddled with typos. I collapse into bed thinking I'll sleep for only 20 minutes, a half hour at most. I ended up waking up an HOUR later!! AACK!!!! (Note to self: Set the alarm next time!) I hate napping for too long because I'll end up being a zombie afterwards but fortunately I actually felt refreshed and energized.

I let the dog out and, finally, I get online. I got an email from Jason reminding me to watch for UPS then I check my writing email account. One person I interviewed for my Shadowlands article wants to put the article up on his blog. I rack my brain for the copyright guidelines of reposting material in subscriber-only newsletters. Would it be okay for him to do that? (I HAVE noticed some of my other Shadowlands articles being reposted on blogs and message boards, without the rest of the newsletter it was in or even a link to the Shadowlands site! Gah!) Just to be on the safe side, I ask him to please ask permission from the site owner first. I also respond to emails from contacts for my haunted houses book. One person in that industry is offering his time for an interview and I ask if an email interview would be okay. I go over an interview with another contact then respond with follow-up questions. Still yet another contact has an email waiting for me to answer but I'm not able to get to it yet because I LOST my follow-up questions which I wrote down. GAH! (I think they're in ONE of my notebooks...) I make a mental note to find those questions and get back to him ASAP. No response on the quotes for my article yet. Double sigh!

I also responded to emails from the editor-in-chief of the DPPi Journal (of which I am on the editorial advisory board) and one of those emails was to tell her my friend wasn't interested in sharing her experiences being a deaf mom to deaf kids, but I could ask some OTHER deaf parents I know. I thanked her for approving my article ideas and noted we should keep the "deaf parent of a special needs child" topic open.

That business taken care of, I log in at MySpace and answer messages, check out comments and read bulletins. I leave a nice "thank you" comment on my sister's page, a "congratulations" comment on someone else's page then log off. Next I get some lunch; it's 12:45 and I'm STARVING!! While I eat my grilled turkey and cheese sandwich with chips, I check other sites and more email accounts. (I think I have about 5 of them...) I also start thinking about an article idea I came up with last night. I'm stuck on a title and I start wondering if I can even fit THAT in right now. I check my writing email account again; the email interview with a contact for my book is a go. Sweet!

After lunch, I get up and start the housework. I make the beds and tidy my daughter's room, also looking in extra places for her glasses that she lost 3 days ago!! (I swear, they have, like, disappeared!) I can't move her dresser so I make a mental note to ask her dad to move it for me later. (I did see something shiny back there when I flashed the beam of the flashlight down there. Hmm.) While I'm loading some laundry, I think about this morning's movie and sigh. It's made me SO nostalgic for L.A. I swear, if we were able to, I'd move us out to L.A. myself!! I sooo miss sunny southern California. Sigh. Right then and there I resolve to one day move back!! Oregon is nice but it's Southern California that I call home. And that's where I want to be RIGHT NOW! Meanwhile, we can only take trips out there.....

In the middle of my cleaning, a question strikes: What IS a Web site consultant? What do they do? (I have no idea why this question struck! Maybe because I kep thinking of how my own author site is in limbo.) I hit Google and look it up, thinking, "I really SHOULD buy that book, HTML for Dummies, so I can do it myself!" (One Web guy swears by that book.) I look at the search results and click on an article a Web site consultant posted on Associated Content. I read the 7-page article and reach the following conclusion: "This isn't for me! I'll have NO TIME to write!" After I'm done, I see that it's 3:00. AND I still have more to do before I pick up my daughter from school at 3:30. OOPS! I hurriedly vacuum the living room, dining room and hallway, wondering if I'll have enough time to fold the sheets in the dryer. Nope; it's 3:10 and I STILL need to go to the bank and put gas in the car. So I let the dog back in the house, lock the storage room in the backyard, grab my jacket, keys and purse and head out the door.

Fortunately, the traffic isn't heavy on my way to the bank. I talk with one of the employees about my joint account then move to a counter to receive some checks so I can pay the phone bill. (There is no payment center here in Eugene; the company is based in Washington and I have to either mail payment or phone it in. And since I haven't gotten new checks or my debit card for my new account, I have to get some from the bank!) One of the clerks there is really friendly and she commented on my hair looking nice. I smile, thank her and wonder what's different about my hair today. She asked if I've come up with any boy names for the baby yet. I tell her I haven't, but I might go with "Jonathan." I also told her of how my daughter got to feel the baby move for the first time yesterday and she tried to feel the baby move, too, but the baby was pretty inactive at the moment. Still, we all tittered over the excitement of feeling the baby move. She asked how big the baby was at this point and I TRIED to measure it out with my hands but really had no idea. (I'm only 4 months along!) I started to wish I had the latest ultrasound pictures in my purse to share with her but I only had the ones from 2 months ago. (I'm getting the new ones scanned to email to family.)

That done, I got $7 of gas (it was $3.21 per gallon!!) and headed off to pick up Jennifer. Unfortunately, I was 10 minutes late!! But thankfully, I wasn't charged for being late. Phew!! Jennifer had broken a strap on her sandal at school today and got caught up in trying to fix it while I was reading the new school newsletter. She had one week left of school and I asked her teacher what plans she had during her break before summer school started. She said they were planning to do some painting in the house. I decided against asking what color; I probably wouldn't understand her. Suddenly, a large sheet of construction paper is shoved in front of me as Jennifer shows off her artwork from the day. "Oh, that's beautiful, honey," I gush, wondering what the heck all that blue was supposed to be. (An ocean?...) This reminds me of a scene I have planned in one of my stories, where a child shows her mother's roommate a painting she did and he says, "That's very nice work!" When the child turns away, he holds it up to the mom and inaudibly asks, "What is it?"

After we leave her school, we walk to a nearby liquor store to buy her an ice cream cone. I am DYING for a cookie and thankfully they sell those BIG cookies at $1.50 each. We walk back to my car with our treats and head home. As Jennifer settles down to eat her ice cream and watch STUART LITTLE 2, I settle in at the desk and eat the cookie while notifying her dad by email that she is home from school now. I haven't yet gotten any ACTUAL writing done, but the day is not over yet!