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Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Words on Wednesday-Hunky Hubby & Tari’s Excellent (but Soggy) Adventure

In Life Essays, quirks, writing on February 5, 2014 at 7:37 am

“It Never Rains in Southern California…it pours, man it pours.” Albert Hammond

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On Sunday there was a torrential downpour here in Los Angeles. No I don’t mean a wimpy little California sprinkle. I mean a heavy rain, the kind that floods roads and causes landslides (it’s true, part of California on the little peninsula we live on slipped into the ocean on Sunday!) yep, a real winter rainstorm. But I wanted to go to the Los Angeles Romance Authors Chapter of RWA’s monthly meeting to hear Jennifer Miller, a.k.a. Jennifer Haymore of the not just your typical author pseudonym split personality, but editor/author split personality…speak. Now, as I said, I live on a peninsula on the farthest south side of Los Angeles, and LARARWA meets in ‘like ya know’ The Valley. Which you may or may not know is north of Los Angeles.

So, my hunky husband, Paul doesn’t even hesitate, just says “Let’s go!” and ushers me to the car. The rain starts out as a ‘wimpy little California sprinkle,’ but as we hit the 110 Freeway, just minutes from our house it grows heavy…and everyone knows that we California drivers (hunky husband excluded) don’t know how to drive in the rain. Additionally, anyone who knows me well, okay who knows me for even a few minutes, is likely to know that not only am I a defensive (read paranoid) driver, but I also am a defensive (still read paranoid) passenger, and I’m not fun to be with in a car…not on surface streets, worse on the freeway, and even worse on a freeway driving through Los Angeles in a TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR. Did I mention it was raining heavily?

Since we haven’t gotten very far yet I tell my wonderful hunky hubby, who is willing to risk life and limb, not to mention 45+ minutes in a car in a Torrential Downpour (really, I’m not exaggerating a bit) on the 110 Freeway with his slightly (read massively) paranoid wife, just to get me to a romance writer’s meeting…hmm, I forget what I was saying…oh yeah! I tell my hunky husband, “Maybe we should just turn around, go home and curl up on the sofa and watch old movies.”

“Not a chance,” he says in his deepest, ‘trust me, I’m a man’ voice. And so we continue to Studio City…where as we arrive at our destination in the Torrential Downpour (I know, but really it was…it made the news!) the car starts giving us trouble. We park the car to attend the meeting, hoping the rain will let up by the time the meeting is over…and my loving, supportive and of course hunky hubby sits through the entire meeting with me.

Luckily, Jennifer Miller a.k.a. Jennifer Haymore was fabulous. The topic was deep editing, something I’m heavily into right now, and I can’t tell you how much I learned on Sunday…well, I would, but I’ve spent so much time writing about the trip there that I’ll have to tell you more about deep editing next week. I will tell you that it was more than worth every minute of the trip. I can say that, now that I’m safely home sitting at my computer!

So we leave the meeting, the one I’ll tell you about next week, and the car starts up fine. The Torrential Downpour has yet to let up, and we decide to drive a little way down Ventura Boulevard to see how it will run. It doesn’t get too far before it starts acting up again, so we pull into the parking lot of the World Famous Carney’s Restaurant, and if they weren’t world famous before I’m sure they will be now, because I just blogged about them. Did I mention they’re in a train? So, I suggest we call AAA. After all, that’s why we pay for the card every year and pay extra so that they will tow us all the way from Studio City to San Pedro…which is currently falling into the ocean…. But, of course, my hunky husband says, “No. Let’s have some lunch and if the rain slows down, I’ll take a look under the hood.”

Now, hunky hubby really is an ace mechanic, but we aren’t in his garage. We are in The Valley during a Torrential Downpour (I’m not kidding, Torrential Downpour just like in a story!) and I am now not only massively paranoid (read certifiably paranoid), but I’m hungry, so I simply say, “Okay.”

After a burger, chili fries and soda…look, I know they’re famous for their hot dogs, but I wanted a burger…it is still raining heavily (Torrential Downpour I’m telling you) but hunky hubby still vetos AAA. So we spend a little time shopping in the nearby strip mall. An hour or so and a couple of credit card transactions later, the Torrential Downpour decides to let up, momentarily. The car starts and runs fine, so hunky hubby decides to try driving home. Paranoid wife, much to hunky hubby’s dismay, refuses to be on the freeway in Los Angeles in a potential Torrential Downpour in a car that isn’t running properly, so hunky hubby sucks it up and takes surface streets home…from The Valley all the way to San Pedro…which is still sliding into the ocean!

We don’t get far before the car starts acting up again, which hunky hubby maintains is due to driving too slowly on surface streets…and of course the Torrential Downpour returns. As we get closer to home…and out of some ‘not so nice’ areas of Los Angeles, we decide to give the car a break and stop at a grocery store to buy Thanksgiving groceries, because clearly I won’t be driving anywhere to shop after this. I start to fill my cart with groceries and the power goes out in the store. We continue shopping, and just as a store employee approaches us to tell us that we must leave the warm dry store, the power is restored. Phew! We finish the shopping, but the car still isn’t running right. Imagine that. But of course, we are nearly home now, so AAA just isn’t going to happen.

Wait, what does this have to do with writing? Oh, yeah, I went to the wonderful LARARWA meeting and heard the very entertaining and truly informative speaker Jennifer Miller a.k.a Jennifer Haymore, who you really deserve to hear about but will now have to wait until next week. Really, I promise to share some of her tips on deep editing.

(This column was previously published at Fact to Fiction, but it’s one of my favorite posts, so I thought I’d share it here as well. Coincidentally, Jennifer Haymore will be speaking again at LARA February 16th. I think I need to go…..as long as there is no rain in the forecast!)

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Did I mention I got a real job?

In Life Essays, quirks, Uncategorized on April 22, 2013 at 7:34 am

So Friday morning I left an hour early, planning to get to the store at nine a.m. to set up for our ten a.m. training. There are two main roads that leave the harbor side of the peninsula and the city is doing road work on the one I normally take, so I thought I’d be smart, avoid the delays and take the other. Of course, so did most of the other more than 80,000 people who live in the area.

So getting off of the peninsula was slow, and when I hit Sepulveda Boulevard things slowed down again. I arrived at work stressed out and only twenty minutes early….or so I thought. Apparently, the training was supposed to start at nine a.m. not ten a.m.. The trainer, who had driven down from Modesto was already there along with two employees from the Thousand Oaks store….. and I had a new employee starting on Friday, and I’d told her to be there for her first day at nine thirty a.m. to fill out paperwork before the training began. So I arrived at work only forty minutes late…well, an hour and forty minutes because I should have been set up by nine a.m.

As my boys would say major “fail”.

I rushed in the door, apologized to everyone, threw paperwork at my ‘new girl’ Janice, apologized some more, grabbed a cart, and went out to unload the lunch that I had made for everyone attending the training. Janice cheerfully pitched in and helped since I was so late. First I unloaded the cooler filled with drinks from my trunk, put it in the shopping cart, then grabbed a slow cooker of hashbrown casserole, and a second filled with BBQ pork, and put them on top of the cooler, I grabbed a bowl of ramen noodle salad and a lemon cake to hand to Janice, when I realized that in the less than five minutes that it had taken to run into the store, apologize, throw papers at Janice and grab a cart, the glaze on my lemon cake had melted and seeped out the sides of my cake taker, as I’m lamenting the melting frosting, I realize the drain spout on the cooler has popped open, and water from the melting ice is spilling out. I can’t roll the cart into the store this way, so I put the cake and the salad on the trunk, Janice grabs the slow cooker with the potatoes in it and puts it on the ground, I quickly grab the slow cooker with the BBQ pork and of course….I spill BBQ sauce all over the cooler and parking lot, and I think Janice’s shoes.

So luckily Janice is laughing and I’m just getting more nervous by the minute, I have people waiting inside and all of this food in the parking lot, so I grab the roll of paper towels that I always keep in the trunk for emergencies, at least I should get points for knowing that I need to plan for the emergencies that I sometimes might be responsible for….and I clean up the cooler and cart as best I can, put it back in and put the slow cookers on top.

I turn to shut the trunk and the water spout pops open again. This time I am much more careful with the slow cooker, I pull out the cooler, shut the spout and decide to turn it around because I can see that it’s hitting a metal rung on the end of the cart.

Janice is so sweet, she tells me she can see she is going to enjoy working in the store. I laugh, and give her high marks for her attitude.

So, we get back into the store, Karol and Lori have arrived, Karol is going to run the store so that Lori, Janice and I can have serger and software training. Did I mention that Karol already knows everything?? She’s amazing, and I’m so sad that she won’t be working at the store much longer. I have Janice and Lori grab some sergers while I plug in slow cookers and put food away as quickly as possible, and we are finally ready to begin.

Just as I’m about to sit down with my notebook and pen in hand, slightly disheveled, majorly embarrassed, and very apologetic, I realize that I’ve left my laptop at home, which I will need for the afternoon software training….thank goodness software isn’t the morning class. Now I have to slip out of class discreetly (you all have been paying attention and know that I’m the true Queen of the Run On Sentence right? And that you should read my blog very quickly because that’s the way I talk!) or at least making great effort to be discreet and call Hunky Hubby to ask him if he can leave work early today to bring me my laptop because I can’t leave the training that I’m “hosting”. Please honey….pretty, pretty please?

So lunchtime arrives, and with it Hunky Hubby and my laptop computer. Which luckily I have already set up for the training….with the help of another manager (Stephanie) and the very patient lady on the other end of the phone at our company software support line. My new laptop has Windows 8, so this was extra challenging.

Luckily, I learned to thread the sergers, do a five step demo, and lunch seemed to be a success. Janice handled her chaotic first day of work with graciousness and a sense of humor, so I know she’ll fit in, and Karol and Lori? Well, they’ve been working with for a while now, and choose to continue. Karol was supposed to leave months ago, but thankfully has stayed…and stayed to help me out. She has no idea how much I appreciate her and all of the ‘girls’ that I work with at the store!!

So I got a ‘real job’ last October, whether they let me stay after this, remains to be seen. It’s time for me to get ready to leave, so I’m not going to bother editing this story!!

I’ll let you know if Janice comes back for day two!!