I finally did it!

This is my own personal version of Natalie's Saturday Sketch, Renee's Photoshop Friday and Kasie's Maddeningly unhelpful advice Monday. Let's call it Stick Figure Thursday.  What, there's no alliteration in that?  Well let's just say that the quality of the drawing is represented by the totally sub-par title.  (And no, don't expect a reoccurring column.  Come on people, this is me we're talking about.)

So without further ado, here it is, my creation.  Tada!

In honor of Natalie, I drew it myself; in honor Renee, I added captions; and in honor of Kasie, it will in no way help your life.  Oh yeah, and in honor of Carrie, it makes me snarf!  If the rest of you all want honors then you must start a reoccurring series that somehow relates to the themes I write about (good luck figuring out what those are).

So why the extra blog effort today?  I finished my first book...again.  For the third time.  This time for real, maybe.  And this is a big deal, not because I think I'm going to get an agent with my first book (I mean I guess it could happen, but what are the chance really? ), but because it means that it is no longer hanging over me.  I can now focus whole-heartedly on my two other books (one which is almost done)  without feeling like a loser/quitter/ non-committer. I feel free and happy and light as a feather!   And in the coming weeks I will be experiencing the joy of beta readers who for once have a whole book to tear apart instead of just tearing pieces of a book into even tinier shreds.  I can't wait!

Me, the awesome blog buddy: An exercise in shameless self-promotion

I think you should like me.  I'm biased really, but why should that matter?  In case you disagree I would like to layout a few reasons why I believe you might want to be my blog buddy. 

1. I like YOU! It's true, I really do.  Even if I haven't met you, I like you.  I think my blog buddies are the best. All the ones I've met (Kasie, Jenn, Michelle, Natalie, Linda, Tricia, and Jenni) I just adore.  And the ones I haven't met--I just know you're awesome. 

2. I'm a low maintenance blog buddy. You will hardly ever have to comment on my blog.   I know a few of you may be thinking, that's because I'm  lazy, and while that might be true, I really don't see how that hurts you.  Less of my posts=less of your time reading and commenting on my posts.  I on the other hand will visit and adore your blog how ever often you choose to update it.  See?  There's no downside.

3. My third and final reason for stating that I'm an awesome blog buddy is that I have switched my blog to Blogspot!  It's about time, you're saying.  Yes, I know, but I just felt so loyal to Wordpress.  It treated me well over the last year and gave me multiple pages all on the same site.  But alas it was cumbersome for commenting on other blogs, and I couldn't customize it and make it my own (I shamelessly stole that phrase from American Idol).  So now it's even easier to be my blog buddy.  What are you waiting for??

A partial recounting of the last few weeks, interuppted by my laziness in writing about it. Also, a reference to salacious material, but not actual salacious material.

Warning:  If you didn't like, As I Lay Dying or other such stream of consciousness works, you may not want to read this post, because I am about to go with whatever comes to my mind.

Soooooo, I've been MIA the last couple of weeks since my mother-in-law was in town and we were busy doing stuff.  Fun stuff (hi mom 2, I miss you!).   Some of that stuff included going to Chicago.  I've decided that I love Chicago.  Enough to pay $60 dollars to park there for a day.  Not everyday.  Just A day.  As in one day.  Seriously though, the city is BEAUTIFUL.  Architecturally stunning and so clean.  It's far different than I imagined.  Everyone was nice, even the homeless people.  We kept running into one guy, who my mother-in-law gave money to, in various parts of the city.  He was so friendly (I wonder why).  We saw him on the street.  We saw him outside Cheesecake Factory, we saw him at the park where we let my four-yr-old run around for a bit.  He was like our own personal homeless person for the day.

There was however one blemish on our trip.  Our cab ride to dinner (yes, I know I paid sixty dollars for parking, but we still had to take a cab).  I was absolutely sure that we were going to die, if not from the driving than from the gang of Turkish mafia that would have dumped our bodies in Lake Michigan undoubtedly.  Now you may be asking yourselves, Why would the Turkish mafia want to kill Candice and her family?   And that would be a reasonable question to ask.  So, I'll tell you why.  My husband got in a fight with the cab driver (who informed us he was Turkish).  No, not a fist fight (thank goodness for the plexiglass divider), but they were both quite upset.  Here's what happened.

We walked out of our hotel, which was in the financial district and hence quite deserted on a Saturday night (but we had a stunning view of the opera house, so I got over that). There was nowhere to eat since everything was closed, so we decided to grab a cab and head over to the waterfront.  I was a little nervous about it simply because I hate not having my son in a car seat, but we didn't really have a lot of option if we wanted to eat.  So,  we get into the cab, give the driver directions and then proceed to clutch the seat as he weaves through downtown traffic.  About halfway through our drive, a couple of teenagers in a fancy SUV (who are driving even crazier than the cabby)   Flip off our driver and yell a few unrepeatbles to him.   So what does our cab driver do?  He rolls down his window sticks out his head and at the top of his lungs says the single most foul string of suggestions I have ever heard.

Now I know you all think you can imagine what he said, but I'm here to tell you that you can't!  And least you think I'm naive let me remind you that I worked for the California Department of Corrections as a teacher for several years.  I not only thought I'd heard everything there was to hear, I'd heard it as threat or personal suggestion by a student who wasn't happy with me.  But THIS--this shocked even me.  And really, that's hard to do.

So imagine now my husband.  My clean cut, well mannered, Air Force Officer of a husband (who also happens to not be shy [though he is a very nice guy] and over six two and two hundred lbs.)     Also imagine that my husband is sitting with his mother on his right, his wife on his left, and his four-yr-old son on his lap.  Yeah, it wasn't pretty.  It involved my husband "suggesting" what the cab driver could do with his own mouth (especially when there were children in the car) and the cab driver letting him know that he didn't need to hear what my husband had to say  because he had grandchildren (like that somehow made it better?  Does he make the same suggestions about their mothers that he made to those teenagers?).  Anyway, lets just say that it went on for quite a while, and I was quite afraid we were going to turn into a dark alley at any moment a meet a few of this guys friends.  But we didn't, so maybe the Turkish mafia has more important things to worry about than teaching a couple of tourists a lesson.

And now I could proceed to tell you about our many adventures in high buildings and elevators that go up a hundred stories in a matter of seconds, but really I'm tired of writing this post.   Just the memory of that night sent me into a near panic attack, so I'll just end the stream of consciousness recounting here for a now and say, I missed you all over the past few weeks, and I'm glad to be back!