New Yorkers Can Wipe Their Own Noses

TF-site-small-banner11Shhh. Listen.

Wait for it.

Do you hear that?

That rapid pitter-pattering, like a pair of shoes tap, tap, tapping against the floor?

Those are my feet. In my shoes. Tapping against the floor, because I’m excited. For the second year in a row, I have the unparalleled privilege of attending the International Thriller Writers Conference in New York City.

For six glorious days, I’ll be traipsing all over the greatest city in the world, free as a bird, learning and networking and having the best frigging time of my life. And the best part? I’ll not be doing any mothering while I’m there. I swear by all the fish in the sea, you New Yorkers can wipe your own darn noses while I’m there. I’ll have no part in it!

The ITW conference is going to be amazing this year. Day one takes place at…

:::DRUMROLL:::

FBI Headquarters!

That’s right. I’m spending the first day of the conference at an all-day FBI seminar held at FBI Headquarters in New York City.

Seriously, someone pinch me. I might pass out before I ever even get there.

Obviously, I’m going to miss my family. Every time I have leave them, even if it’s just for a couple days, I get all choked up and can’t even talk properly. They’re as much a part of me as my fingernails.

And yet, once a year, I get to go be by myself, soaking in the minutiae of the craft of writing, and it is so worth the pang of missing my kids and husband.

My hotel is a short subway ride away from the Guggenheim Museum and Central Park, so I’m thinking I’ll check those out on my free day. Stay tuned for pictures (this will happen in early July) and plenty of exclamation marks. There will be exclamation marks in abundance, I think.

Brace yourselves.

Daydreams of Browbeating

3383af5aac2e00c735ffd0295d7e4e6eI was on the road the other day, driving incognito (which is my fancy way of saying I was driving my husband’s Camry instead of my customary minivan) and minding my own business when I noticed the car in front of me weaving. That distracted tilt-a-whirl jerking back into the middle after drifting off to either side weaving I’m sure everyone has seen before.

Simple curiosity urged me to catch up to the weaver in the other lane, and that’s when I saw it. A tan, skinny arm. A bright green phone at the end of it. All of which connected to a teenage girl wearing aggressive aviators and looking up every once in awhile at the road.

There’s nothing quite as comforting as knowing there’s a teenage driver in an SUV who’s paying scant attention to the road.

I decided the safest place was behind her, so I merged back and was treated to a satisfying variety plate of dangerous driving behaviors. She changed lanes without using her blinker, cut people off, sped up to at least 50 mph in a 35 mph area, changed lanes in an intersection, and then, to top it off, took the carpool on-ramp onto the freeway even though she was riding solo.

It was impressive how much she was able to accomplish in such a short length of road. She must have finished texting.

I’ll admit, I really, badly, wanted to pull a Dwight Schrute and put a cherry bulb on the roof of my car so I could pull her over and make a citizen’s arrest. Or, at the very least, browbeat her soundly for making teenage drivers everywhere look bad.

Instead, I kept a prudent distance and said a quick prayer for everyone on the road with her. Egads.

Is it wrong to hope a police officer pulls her over soon, and then fines her double when she attempts to cry her way out of multiple tickets?

Captain America 2’s Writers Give a Darn

captain-america-2-poster-fullWes and I had the pleasure of seeing Captain America 2 last week. I’m happy to say that we, along with 99.8% of the other people who have seen the movie already, really enjoyed it. Excellent pacing, plenty of intrigue, and some breathlessly intense scenes that were tremendously satisfying.

This may sound weird, but I really appreciate how much of a darn the writers of the Marvel movies seem to give about their movies. Given the fan momentum and merchandising revenue they’ve already accrued, they could easily phone in a half-baked, lazy contrivance of a movie and people would still fork over money to see it.

Instead, they’re being really bold with their story lines and taking some risks. The new Captain America movie proves that you can’t take anything for granted in the Marvel universe, which I find refreshing.

It’s funny, the more I write, the more I notice about the structure of story telling. Much like an architect can probably get a good sense of what a building’s blueprint looks like just by looking at the finished product, I can see a story’s bones as I watch it unfurl. I think this skill makes it even more satisfying to watch a good story told well.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, go see the new Captain America movie if you haven’t already. It’s well worth the money. Here’s hoping that when you do go see it, the people behind you decide to leave their six year old kid at home. Seriously, why are there little kids at a violent movie like this???

Exes Are Everywhere

They were these, only bright green. Note the cuffs on the ankles, which somehow manage to make them worse.

They were these, only bright green. Note the cuffs on the ankles, which somehow manage to make them worse.

I was at Nordstrom over the weekend and happened to be passing by the hosiery section when something caught my eye. Something bright. Something…unnatural.

Bright Green.

Floral print.

Pajama.

Overalls.

None of these nouns or adjectives are pejorative in or of themselves, but together? So strange. So odd. So unnecessary.

I mean, it’s possible they weren’t pajamas. They were in the pajamas section, so I made an assumption, but it’s possible they were just parked there on their way to…the circus section? I don’t know. I can’t imagine an instance where that garment is au courant outside the context of a circus. A festive, overpriced circus.

In non-sartorial news, I passed by an ex-boyfriend at the selfsame Nordstrom (though thankfully not in the Hosiery section). We did that thing where we recognized each other, then looked away real fast and pretended we didn’t because neither one of us had any interest in the awkward stop-and-chat. And oh, it would have been. Awkward, that is.

He and I did not part on friendly terms. I would have been perfectly content to have never seen him ever again, and yet, there he was. Yikes. This is the problem with living in the same neighborhood where you went to high school. There are exes and memories all over the darn place.

At least I could take comfort in knowing that I was with my daughter, who is delightful, and I was wearing makeup. I once crossed paths with a sort-of ex while I was 1,000 months pregnant and wearing sweats and a ratty t-shirt with no makeup and let me tell you, that is not how I’d like to be remembered as a grown-up. Still, he was really sweet so, y’know, I didn’t spend too much time worrying about it.

Let this be a lesson to you: If you live in the same area where you went to high school, or are visiting, always look presentable when you leave the house. Exes are frigging everywhere.