Happy Friday! I’m very slowly getting my pictures of our trip up. This particular one was taken at Rancho Del Oso just north of Santa Cruz.


25 things about me.

Queen Marie Antoinette of France, daughter of ...

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I didn’t mention on my blog that I joined Facebook. I did! I am already stalking most of you who read this blog. But if I somehow didn’t track you down and you want to be Facebook friends you can find me here.

My Sister-in-law tagged me on Facebook for this meme. I’ve done a “100 things about me” post a few years ago but that was a few years ago.

Rules: Once you are tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 25 people to tag. You have to tag the person that tagged you.
Note: I will only tag those I know in Facebook and if I do tag you please don’t feel like you have to do this. Only if you want to.

1. I am dying to visit Italy. I am hoping we can go this year.
2. One of my dream jobs is to be a kid lit author. Unfortunately I don’t sit down and write. Kind of need to do that to be an author!
3. I really, really want to learn how to play the banjo.
4. I have the Santa Cruz Beach Harbor cam bookmarked and I check it several times a day. It is my “happy place.”
5. I got through an entire literature degree without taking a single Shakespeare class.
6. Photography is my creative outlet of choice.
7. I will be 40 in 2 months and this kind of freaks me out. I don’t feel 40.
8. I have been happily married for almost 12 years to my soul mate and best friend.
9. I love to knit. I don’t really feel like it is a creative outlet, though, because I just follow directions. I do enjoy doing it though. It keeps me sane.
10. I was hit by a car this year and didn’t get hurt! Well physically anyway. I’m a little hypersensitive when it comes to crossing the street. Regardless, I was VERY lucky.
11. I don’t have children. I am still trying to decide if I want them. Or one.
12. I’m not really a “snow person”
13. I want to be more fit. This is a perpetual goal of mine.
14. I generally like music from all the genres. If it’s a good song I like it.
15. I am slightly obsessed with Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution.
16. My two favorite movies of all time are Vertigo and Rear Window.
17. I am the “Story Lady” at the library. The kids call me “Miss Monica.”
18. I am a lover of picture books because of this. My favorite storytime book is “Bark George” by Jules Feiffer. However, my absolute favorite picture book in the whole wide world is the book “We were tired of living in a house” by Leisel Moak Skorpen. I’m talking the version from the sixties with the awesome pen and ink drawings. I have fond memories of my mom and my older siblings reading it to me. I LOVE that book. I bought myself a used copy of it a few years ago.
19. I grew up in Spokane WA, where I live now.
20. I have become a beer snob.
21. I miss the ocean. I have to see it at least once or twice a year.
22. When I was a kid I was a fast runner. I kicked ass in the 100 and 50 yard dash. I was in a rotary track club and my relay team in my age group was the 4th fastest in the nation.
23. I love poetry and wish I was a poet. I would love to someday write just one poem that someone reads and says “wow. That was brilliant.” Because I love reading poetry like that. It is one of life’s little joys.
24. I hurt my knee slam dancing. I like to say things like, “Yeah, I’ve got an old mosh pit injury” to be funny.
25. My all time favorite song is Baba O’Reilly by the Who.

The last few of them I grabbed off of my list of 100 things because I couldn’t think of anything new. But they still apply.



I’m back from Vacay! We had a fantastic time. I didn’t want to come back to cold, dreary Spokane. I really, really miss the Bay Area. You just can’t beat the weather there. I just wanted to touch bases. I’ll post more in the coming days.

I wanted to thank all of you for your very kind messages on my last post. You’re comments really helped me in may ways to be more positive about this daunting birthday. And I really, really appreciate the encouragement about my wanting to write. Thank you very much. I feel all warm and fuzzy now.

thoughts on turning 40


note: One of the things I am trying to do is write everyday. To make things easier for me I’m doing my daily writing here on my blog space. Most of these posts will be private, but some of them I think I will just go ahead and post. It’s all a bunch of rambling jibberish, but who knows. Maybe someone will like it 🙂

Here I am again. I told myself I would write and, damn it, I’m gonna write. Everyday.

I’ve been having really interesting dreams lately. I’ve already forgotten most of the dream from last night to write it down in a coherent fashion but it made me feel really nice. I think it was about love, and how important it is. I feel so blessed to be loved by Rafael. Especially after all of these years. I’m so happy that he still loves me and thinks of me as attractive.

I’m upset that I’m turning 40. I want to be o.k. with it but I’m not. I’m freaked out about it. It is over the hill. It really is. I can’t get around that. I can’t get away with pretending I’m in my 20s or 30s. I’m fucking 40. ugh. It’s depressing. I feel like I need to accomplish something big. This is the decade that I do that. I don’t have kids, and still don’t know if I will. So I need to do something with my life. Something that matters. Something that I can look back on and be proud of. I was heartened to hear the story of Woody Allen and that he didn’t start making films until he was 40. Now, I hate Woody Allen. I think he’s a complete jerk, but the guys makes good films. So it made me feel good to know that he didn’t accomplish this until he was 40. Maybe there is hope for me?

This might seem weird but I think that thing is writing. I had a kind of weird experience last Summer. I was sitting at a writer’s program we were having at the library, listening to Terry Trueman talk about his books, and I had a very clear feeling that that is what I should be doing. It was strange. It was like something outside of myself was telling me this and it was very loud. It was telling me that I should be writing for young adults. I kept having these feelings, and keep having them actually. Another time it happened when it felt very strong, like my intuition was yelling at me, was when I was at a Sherman Alexie event. I was so moved by him and and his writing. That little voice inside of me was yelling at me, saying, “YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THIS MONICA.”

And yet, I am not. This frustrates me. I feel empty. I feel like my ideas are dumb. I don’t know where to start. Hell, I don’t take the time out of my day to sit down and write. But books don’t write themselves. I need to make it happen.

This is going to be my mantra for 2009 I think. Because so far, the three weeks of it, this year hasn’t been the best. I mean, we still have the crappy weather and the crappy snow. I just came to the realization that I need to make it a good year. I need to do it. It is not going to happen unless I do it.

So I will do it.

The Hunger Games

Books, Music, Art, Movies

The Hunger Games The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This is the story of Katniss, a girl who lives in a future United States that is very different from what we know now. In the future the United States is divided up into numbered districts, with the Capitol being the ruling district. Each district is known for a service or product. For example, District 12, where Katniss lives, is known for mining. There is a kind of caste system attached to the districts, as well. District 12 is very poor, for example.

At one time in the past (but still the future for us) the districts rose up against the Capital but failed in their attempt at revolution. The Capital came up with The Hunger Games to as a way to repress the districts and remind them that they have power over them.

The Hunger Games are held once a year. Every year each teenager for each district has to put there name in a drawing. Then names are drawn from each district. One boy and one girl is chosen randomly to participate in the Games. A big to-do is made over these games. The districts are forced to watch them and celebrate them, while the Capital loves the entertainment.

The thing about the Hunger Games, though, is that the teens are put into a stadium and made to fight each other to the death. Guess who gets picked to be in the Hunger Games this year? Our Heroine, Katniss.

I started listening to the audio version of this book last week and literally couldn’t stop listening until it was finished. It was a very compelling, exciting story. Katniss is a wonderfully strong female character which I love. The male protagonist is also awesome. A little romance develops between them which adds to the drama. I absolutely loved this book and am considering reading it again. I am really looking forward to the followup!