It's been several weeks (OK, months) since I've last blogged, and even my SiteMeter is nagging me, in the form of weekly emails telling me my blog hits have gone down from a few hundred a week (most likely looking for miscellaneous X-rated shots of famous people I've mentioned) to zero.
Although I have to give a shout-out to the lovely Jen McKenzie, who has been kind enough to not only visit the long, dark night of my blog, but virtually prod my lazy shoulder from time to time and ask why I've fallen off the planet. (Thanks, Jen!)
So what have I been up to? Nothing terribly exciting. Most of my hiatus was taken up by my head exploding after completing Telling Secrets, my December book (let no one say I'm not good at self-promotion), coupled with a major onslaught of work, and an exhausted start on my 2008 Intrigue (An Untitled Intrigue of Indeterminate Nature, Soon to be Determined Once I Hash Out the Synopsis).
Other than that, here's what I've been doing:
* Watching American Idol, of course. I swiftly came to the conclusion that this was the nicest bunch of contestants AI had ever seen, and I couldn't bring myself to snark at them anymore. Plus, with the quality of the performances vacillating more than the scale while I shift my weight on it trying to get the needle to stay on the smaller number, my voting choices vacillated right along with them. I'm no fun when I'm not being all opinionated. ("I don't care. What do you all think?" Squeak!)
That said, my girl Melinda was completely robbed by not making it to the final. A beatboxer? People, please. A Blake album would probably be about as fun as Max Headroom's short-lived TV show back in the 80s. Not that he isn't a very nice boy.
* Working out. Yes, I've finally dragged my pasty self to the gym, in an effort to stop my booty from pseudopodding around my office chair when I'm not looking. No one wants to be dragging an office chair around when she walks.
* Potty training Maggie. And let me just say that, for a few glorious weeks, we were DONE and had kicked the diapers to the curb. And then she backslid. But she's getting better ... again. But I suspect she might be wearing a nighttime diaper doubler at her senior prom if I don't figure out something fast.
* Attending RT. Which was fun and entertaining, as always. Oh! Oh! Creepy story: So I'm sitting at lunch with Caridad Pineiro and this year's Best Kimani Romance winner Shirley Hailstock, when lo and behold, a cover model plunks his zero-body-fat self across from us. Now I know some women like their cover models, but they scare me. Most of the time, they either cringe away from you because they've been pinched and Tailhooked by too many way too many Women Who Can't Contain Themselves, or they're flirting outrageously--and can I just say unconvincingly?--because they want to win the $10,000 Mr. Romance prize and they Need Your Support.
So anyway, said cover model sits down and, as Shirley and Caridad were otherwise occupied, started talking to me. So I made small talk with him, telling him about the model who graced the cover of my first romance--Isabela's Dreams--and sent me a very sweet email to let me know, as did his mother. (He went on to star as half of the Hillside Strangler in a TV film and probably has several more acting credits by now.) That led to my discovery that the cover model I met this year had a brief walk-on performance in one of my favorite shows, Ugly Betty. (I'm Latina--I think it's mandatory that we must all love this show. But I have to say, my love is genuine and uncoerced by my loyalty to la raza.)
I must've looked a little too impressed by this news, because, apparently feeling he was on a roll toward securing my Mr. Romance vote, he then whipped out a calendar and dropped it open with a flourish, revealing a giant color photo of himself in the centerfold--stark naked and cropped JUST at the point of no return. (You know, it's swimswuit season. I should've asked him for waxing tips....)
While a guy generally needs at least a few brain cells for my hormones to kick in, I, of course, don't MIND a nice-looking picture. But the LAST thing I want to do is ogle a nearly naked photo of some random dude while said dude is WATCHING me ogle him.
While my first reaction was to do my best impersonation of Bela Lugosi exposed to sunlight ("Blaaaarrrgggh! My retinas are burning! My retinas are burning!"), I did manage to remain calm, rewarding him only with a cool "Huh. OK, then."
I was saved from not-so-cool further embarrassment when a couple of women he knew zoomed in on either side and turned him into a Not Remotely In His League sandwich.
One, a size ten or twelve with a shirt cut down to South America, proceeded to do the Hippy-Hippy Shake in her seat, apparently aimed at affording the poor man a dizzying variety of perspectives on "the girls." (Here they are ... and there they go. Here they are ... and there they go.)
I spent much of the rest of the luncheon either stuffing my face (did that a lot, hence the whole gym thing), or talking to the other people not involved in this spectacle. But I did catch a few interesting snippets of their conversation, which seemed to be about how monogamy is overrated, and everyone should have a lover when they're married, like the Italians (allegedly) do, at least, according to the prow-of-a-ship sitting across from me.
While the aforementioned events were all highly amusing for an observant, people-watching writer, it also prompted me to come up with the following ...
Cover Models: 7 Rules for Engagement.
1) You are married. Contain yourself.
2) If you are married to a deployed soldier and acting like that, let me just introduce you to my novel new and free service, the Smack-O-Gram. God bless America.
3) If it would be considered sexual harassment if he were ugly, dumb, and doing it to you, then stop. For the love of humanity, stop.
4) Yeah, they're pretty. That's no reason to force all of your brain cells to abandon ship while you act like Marcia Brady the first time she talks to Doug Simpson, Big Man on Campus. My inner feminist is donning sackcloth and ashes just watching you.
5) If he's flirting with you and there's a $10,000 cash prize at stake, you are probably not the love of his life. I'm just saying.
6) If you do not work out in a gym for eight hours a day or at least LOOK like you work out in a gym eight hours a day, chances are you will not have much in common with a guy who has zero body fat, anyway. I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule (i.e. Robert Smith, former running back for the Minnesota Vikings, both worked out for eight hours a day and had a Ph.D. in physics), but seriously....
7) Rolling your eyes and pushing the bread and cake at lunch away while declaring that you don't eat bread or cake is idiotic when you are faaaaaaar from a size two. Your spontaneous attack of anorexia is not going to impress a man who works out eight hours a day. Just eat the bread and cake, and enjoy your curves.
That is all.