Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My new alarm clock

Although yesterday morning was one of those sweet rarities during which my son had actually decided to allow me to sleep in, I woke anyway around 5 a.m. Other family members had different ideas.

I would have stayed in bed, mind you, through most anything. But this particular disruption came bearing fur, a loud voice and a mind of its own, and wasn't about to be ignored. At said ungodly hour, I'm minding my own business, drifting pleasantly in a dream of bowling alleys and barbecue ribs (a story for another time). I feel a slight poke on my eye. I roll over and ignore it.

I feel a thumping following my roll. Poke, again, on the eye. Poke-poke-poke. I ignore it, trying to give not the slightest indication I feel anything.

Poke. Poke-poke-poke. POKE-POKE-POKE. SHOVE-POKE. On this last one, my eye pushes in, making those dark swimmy spots and that blechy feeling, which, since I have a headache already, feels real swell. I open the assaulted eye and see a giant orange paw coming in for another round, until its owner realizes he's had success.

"Mraow? Rrow. Purrrrr," the assailant says. I let him know my head feels like the site of a recent Rage in the Cage match, that it's too early, that he'd be wise to keep his paws to himself if he plans to keep them attached to his body. I close my eyes.

Poke. Poke. I open my eyes, call the cat a derogatory name, and lay down for one last try.

Poke. "Mraow? Purrr..." Poke. This time, he's doing it while perched on top of my neck and chest.

I get up, after which I am herded, sheepdog style, to a dish already mostly full of cat food.

Aldous Huxley once wrote, "To his dog, every man is Napoleon." He said no such thing, however, about cats.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A conversation I had tonight...

My mom's moving, and I still have an old bed at her place. No big deal, right? You obviously haven't met my mother. See, in my head, this is how the conversation goes:

Her: Can you get the bed?
Me: Sure.
[Bed gotten.]

Maybe it's that I work in words all day and I'm intolerant of superfluous ones. I don't know. At any rate, here's the actual conversation:

Last night:
[Much preceding conversation]
My mom: So when can you get the bed?
Me: Any time is fine.
Her: How about 8:30?
Me: Sure; 8:30 is fine.
Her: 8:30 p.m.?
Me: 8:30 p.m.
Her: So you'll be ready to move it then?
Me: I'll be ready.
Her: See you at 8:30 tomorrow then?
Me: See you at 8:30.

So tonight, after unrelated craziness, I'm getting ready for the big bed move. It occurs to me that I accidentally left my cell phone in the car for a few minutes. I pick it up, and find two terse messages from my mom. I call back.

Me: So you called? I thought we were about to move the bed.
Her: Well I didn't know what you wanted to do.
Me: Uh, I thought we were moving the bed.
Her: I didn't know when you wanted to do it, or if you wanted to do it, or what...
Me: Didn't we say 8:30?
Her: We never really pinned it down.
Me: Yes, we did. We said 8:30. Like five times.
Her: Well, I didn't know if that would be OK.
Me: I said it would. A few times.
Her: Well, since we didn't know, we reassembled the bed. We might as well not move it now.
Me: Well, when would you like to do it?
Her: I guess tomorrow is fine, if you can.
Me: I can.
Her: Just call me tomorrow, so I'll know if you can do it.

Gotta love moms.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

No website for now

So apparently the folks at Geocities mistook the imperative "change payment information" for "cancel account and screw user." When I received a new Visa recently and updated my information accordingly, the site (and my ability to edit it) vanished. They're working on it, I'm told.

On the plus side, if I do have to start from scratch, it will at least give me an excuse to do some serious spring cleaning to my online portfolio. You ever come across something you wrote in sixth grade decades later, and find yourself unable to read it without laughing, cringing, or both? That's about how I feel when I read the early articles I wrote. They're serviceable, of course, but you can almost feel the insertion of writerly-ism. Ick.

My mom, bless her heart, has kept several of these, including my very, very first article for a college newspaper, which is possibly worse than several things I wrote in sixth grade. Can't blame her, I guess. But these certainly (at least I hope) are no longer really representative of my writing right now. It's kind of like publishing your online profile at 40 with a high school graduation pic.

So perhaps it's best you haven't seen my website just yet, not that I'm particularly thrilled to be paying for a canceled account. But in the meantime, here's me:

I'm a 26-year-old, recently married freelance writer. I have a degree in journalism from Arizona State University, but in-depth studies and stories intrigue me much more than the fire-off-a-story, get-the-quote-right-now, inverted-pyramid world of newspaper beat journalism. I still rely heavily on my journalistic training every day, and I still write for The Arizona Republic and The East Valley Tribune when my schedule and their ever-changing editorial structure allows. The journalism training has allowed me great professional and personal growth, and some of my favorite mementos (my first front-page piece, my article that got close to 200 personal responses, my photo of me and Walter Cronkite) are from that world. However, I've recently gone the direction of the longer-form narrative, and I'm now pursuing a Master's in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in Maryland. It's an awesome, low-residency program that allows me to stay in Arizona while completing the degree, although there have been a fair share of misadventures and fiascoes inherent in correspondence learning.

My interests in writing tend toward science and nature, though I've done a fair share of human-interest and travel pieces as well. I've written for Arizona Highways Magazine for some time now, after scoring an invaluable internship there two years ago. I'm currently in the proto-planning stages of a book-length work on couples in which the husband and wife are/were both scientists, and the unique accomplishments and idiosyncrasies inherent to that type of arrangement. I've already gotten to meet some pretty cool people through that, and my biggest challenge will be remembering to be in unbiased-reporter mode rather than starstruck-dork mode when I'm spending time with them. It's tagged "Love in the Lab." I know this sucks. The title will change.

I'm also a mom (my son, David, just turned 5 March 11th) and engage in all the momminess that goes along with that. Until recently, I was a single mom, although I had (still have, in fact) inexhaustible and invaluable support of many family members, most of all from my own mother. I recently got married, December 2, 2006, - to my longtime best friend Aaron. Between his schedule (he's a retail manager) and my writing schedule, it's a juggling act, but we manage, and we're having fun. Our family is rounded out with two parakeets, Pretty Eyes and Rainbow (my son named them) and a recently-acquired large, sweet stray cat we named Momo.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

So now I'm one of "them"...

"Them" being the multitudinous cretins who publish blogs to log the everyday minutiae of life. "Them" being practitioners of "so I ate a bagel today ... not as good as the onion ones I used to have ... why do you think bagels have holes?" drudgery.


I was sure my level of conceit would never quite reach this level. But I've been urged to publish a "writer's blog," whatever that is. And today, after the third time in a few hours encountering pivotal information on folks' wonderful blogs, I'm gaining a new respect for the form. Plus, I am looking for every possible way to meet new people and discover new possibilities in my magazine and longer-form writing. (More on my writing tomorrow, or maybe actually today, since it is currently the wee hours.) And double plus, it's in the writing that I discover what to really write about, so maybe I can discover a little of that here. (Lucky you -- you can read all my stuff in a really sucky proto-form! Yay!)

In the meantime, please visit my website at -- I'm a freelance reporter, magazine writer, student, mom, and sometime amateur photographer, and the site contains samples or stories about these varied pursuits.

Welcome to my corner (molecule?) of the blogosphere.