Not nearly as widely feared as Friday of the same date, although I’m not sure why. The dreaded Monday combined with triskaidekaphobia should make Monday the 13th a day to stay home and hide under your bed.

Since it’s not a thing (can we make it a thing?), I came to work anyway. Today is my second Monday at my new job. Surprisingly, I have managed to get through almost seven entire business days with only one tiny urge to stab.


I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m only doing one job now or the new medication I’m on, but I’ve not had a single panic attack in 13 (there’s that number again!) days.

The one thing the new medication is doing that is bad is that it is preventing me from my favorite stress management pastime.

dash of gin

Of course, since my new medication is anti-anxiety medication, I shouldn’t need to relax via gin. Gin tastes better than pills, though.

Instead, I am yoga-ing. I’ve done more yoga in the past 13 days than in the first six months of the year. Maybe Bianca the Yoga Butt has a chance of showing up in time for Festivus after all!

I’ve also managed to spend hours and hours working on the landscaping and the project that I started last fall might actually be done by the end of the summer! (I just need to buy some rocks.)

(This image is 100% for my PSM because I’m hoping she’ll snort tea out of her nose.)

The rest of my time being spent suppressing my urge to sell my child. Whose idea was three anyway? He is currently refusing to answer to anything but Captain Barnacles (FYI, I’m Kwazii, a brash, one-eyed pirate cat; and the architect is Tweak, who either smokes a lot of meth or is the ship’s mechanic. Based on the speed with which she invents new stuff, maybe a bit of both.)

Based on the number of children who are not sold to carnies in before their fourth birthdays, I can only assume that this, too, shall pass. But I swear to Freya if he doesn’t shape up soon, I’m running away from home.

I go to work and deal with adults who may or may not be ass-candles. These adults have full frontal lobe development and should understand consequences of bad behavior and still behave badly. All that, and I can keep my temper.

Ten minutes alone with a miniature human with very little real empathy, a desire to push every boundary, limited knowledge of passage of time and consequences and I’m ready to take him over my knee. How does the tiny one push every button I have?


I am holding on to the hope that Captain Barnacles will soon regain his agreeable personality and I’ll be able to remove the old priest and the young priest from my speed dial.

In the meantime, I’m spending the rest of the day hiding in my bed.

Book Review- Elizabeth Hunter’s “The Scarlet Deep”

Before I get deep (heh) into the sandwich metaphor-free review of Ms. Hunter’s latest Elemental World Novel, I need to do a little disclosure.

  1. I received an advanced copy of this book a couple of weeks ago for the express purpose of reviewing it on my blog (and elsewhere)
  2. Elizabeth drinks gin and is awesome and nice and funny and I am totally planning on colluding with my PSM to kidnap her so she can take up residence in the (fully stocked with Hendricks) writer’s dungeon drinking a martini with her someday and not giggling like an idiot.

I love the writing style of Elizabeth Hunter. I don’t remember why I picked up my first book of hers (The Scribe), but I know who influenced me (Cat). After devouring the first two Irin Chronicles, I wolfed down (heh) the first two Cambio Springs novels (mmm…Alex) and then plunged into the much larger (in terms of time commitment) Elemental World.

I am feeling fairly confident at this point that I’ve read everything Elizabeth’s published. I have enjoyed everything I’ve read. This is not insignificant. There are other favorite authors who have published things I just can’t quite get into.
I do have favorites, though. I’ll not rank them, but I will admit that anything that involves an appearance from a certain Hawaiian-shirted vampire is going to always come out on top.

Not that one, but I suddenly feel compelled to write some cross-over erotic fan fic.

On the waves of the North Atlantic, a poison spreads, sapping the life from humans and striking madness into immortals.

Patrick Murphy, the immortal leader of Dublin, has been trying to stem the tide of Elixir washing into his territory, but nothing seems to stop the vampire drug. While others in the immortal world work to cure the creeping insanity that Elixir threatens, Murphy has been invited to London to join a summit of leaders hoping to discover who is shipping the drug. If Murphy and his allies can cut off the supply, they might be able to halt the spread long enough for a treatment to be found for the humans and vampires infected.

Anne O’Dea, Murphy’s former lover, retreated from public life over one hundred years ago to help immortals in need… and to heal her own broken heart. Though powerful connections keep her insulated from the violence of vampire politics, even Anne is starting to feel the effects of Elixir on her isolated world. The human blood supply has been tainted, and with Anne’s unique needs, even those closest to her might be in danger. Not just from infection, but Anne’s escalating bloodlust.

When Anne and Murphy are both called to London, they’re forced to confront a connection as immortal as they are. As they search for a traitor among allies, they must also come to terms with their past. Behind the safe facade of politics, old hungers still burn, even as an ancient power threatens the fate of the Elemental World.

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The Review

Anne & Murphy: I really liked them and the dynamic they had. It’s refreshing to read about immortals who are BOTH old instead of the old and wise vamp with the freshly turned human (which is fine, but I always wonder why no one can find anyone their own age).  I thought their chemistry was well developed and it was easy to believe they had a long, simmering history even though we missed the early days.


“If I tell you that most of the rumors are likely true and that he was impressively adventurous for a man of his time, would you stop feeling guilty?”


Patrick: “I do miss the bite of your tongue, Dr. O’Dea. Miss a lot about your tongue, in fact.”

There’s something powerful that appeals to the romantic in me about an immortal connection that has survived harsh words and a century apart only to burn even hotter when the spark is re-ignited.


Ms. Hunter’s world building is amazing and every time I read something of hers I have no doubt that this is how it really is. There are powerful vampires controlling the major cities of the world, manipulating them, each other, and us humans in an intricate dance that is equal parts protective and exploitative. I half expect to stumble across the leader of Portland when I’m lost after dark (and would like to inquire as to where I might stumble across him and if he’s a wee bit nicer than the erstwhile leaders of Rome and southern France).

Murphy and Anne were brilliantly written. I felt their pain at their long separation; a pain that flared tempers and made a reunion both harder (a long grudge is harder to give up) and more desirable (who doesn’t want the other half of their soul back?).

sad ten
“I tried to forget you, Anne. Not because I didn’t love you, but because I loved you so damn much. It didn’t matter. None of it mattered.”

But Ms. Hunter writes more than romance – she writes mystery and this was a well-crafted one. Even when the identification of the big bad (to use the parlance of my second favorite vampire hunter) seemed iron-clad, I was still unsure if I was being led down the garden path by a red herring (if I can’t have sandwich metaphors, I’m going to throw everything else into a blender to see what pops out). My hesitation to believe in the seeming inevitability of the bad-guy unmasking (“I would’ve gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids vampires!”) was partially due to the fear that Elizabeth was going to hurt my feels even more and partially due to my stubborn refusal to believe she really wanted to hurt my feels this much.

I’m not delving into spoiler territory, but I will tell you that I said angry words about the author in question. Also a tissue or two at the end might not go amiss if you’re the type to cry when fictional characters you like have bad things happen.

In Summary
GAH! BUY IT! Read it now! I mean, I received it as an ARC, but I totally just bought it too because why not?



The time between things. Switching from one sport to another in a triathlon. Going from laboring to pushing in childbirth. A life pause between two states.


1. movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change:
the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

2. Music.

a passing from one key to another; modulation.
a brief modulation; a modulation used in passing.
a sudden, unprepared modulation.

3. a passage from one scene to another by sound effects, music, etc., as in a television program, theatrical production, or the like.

verb (used without object)

4. to make a transition:

He had difficulty transitioning from enlisted man to officer.

This is where I am right now. It’s midway through the year. Today is my first day at a new job (since I am sans computer, desk chair, office key, or boss [she’s on vacation]) it’s been a very strange first day – more of a transition day than anything else.

It feels kinda fresh and new. I have an entire six months with nary a mark on them yet (and very, very few work meetings on the calendar as of this moment).

So much potential – like a fresh field of snow (it’s so hot in Portland that I’m actually fantasizing about snow) waiting to be peed on for snow angels.

Don’t blink!


Things have not gone as anticipated the last 9.5 weeks (wait a minute – I’m beginning to wonder if the time when my health issues started AND my training took a hit are more than merely coincidentally related to me giving 9.5 weeks notice at my old job…hmmmm…).

I may be onto something here

I may be onto something here


I’m hopeful that new job (which is, so far, only one job instead of the two I’ve been doing since Novemberish) + new attitude of calm + new fitness priorities for the year + new drugs* = a fantastic second half of 2015.

Not those kinds of drugs

Not those kinds of drugs


I’m trying to take a page of the book of moderation (whatever that is) and set smaller, achievable goals that honor my body’s (and my mind’s) need for physical activity while also keeping in mind that my priorities have seriously shifted over the past years and endurance racing is not at the forefront of those priorities right now.

It’s more important to strive for balance and long-term health than push myself, unwillingly, towards arbitrary goals.

So, shiny new 6 months: here’s my pledge to you.

No pledge but to do my best to be a little better most days. Better food and drink choices. A little more movement, even when I’m not feeling it. More patience with the three-year old (this will be the easiest AND hardest as I currently have ~0 patience with him so more wouldn’t be a stretch, but also, he’s three), read more, edit more, write more, and work really hard to get through the entirety of the X-Files.

The wrappers are blueberries and the tampons are named after characters from Octonauts

The wrappers are blueberries and the tampons are named after characters from Octonauts

So – just a bit more, but I’m going to try hard for a general feeling of moreness rather than elaborate spreadsheets tracking the more.

I obviously need this shirt.

The main goal, though, is balance. I don’t do well with balance (my father always said I was a bit unbalanced; then he’d laugh and laugh), but I think that’s the best goal I could make.


Balance with a heaping side of badassery…that’s the way to live


I couldn’t be much happier today unless a trench coat-clad stranger handed me a large briefcase filled with unmarked, non-sequential hundred dollar bills.

This is for all the anti-love haters out there.

This is for all the anti-love haters out there.


Today the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is just marriage!

An updated map of all the states in which same sex marriage is now legal.


Kennedy’s majority opinion brought tears to my eyes.


After work tonight, I’m going to go home and celebrate with some Pride Punch, which was invented for this very occasion by my PSM.

Check out that fancy rim job!

Check out that fancy rim job!

The only thing that made me sad today was finding out that this was a parody twitter account that, however probable it is that this is happening somewhere right now, there likely won’t be any photographic evidence.

Totally plausible, right?

Totally plausible, right?

Today is a very good day for this country.

Tears of joy

The Care and Feeding of your Introvert (now with bonus social anxiety)

People who know me a bit socially or professionally are often surprised to find out that I consider myself to be introverted and that I occasionally suffer from nearly debilitating social anxiety. (My Myers-Briggs results also consider me to be an introvert – I’m consistently INTJ – that’s right, I’m judging you RIGHT NOW!)

Last week was a shite week. Absolute shite. I was social (in that I left my house and talked to strangers two nights in a row).

Mad Props to Me

Mad Props to Me

Then I spent the rest of the week recovering.

All that talking to people plus this job transition I’ve got going on plus my special lady time meant that by the end of the week I was an absolute mess.

My good friends may know that when I get too anxious about leaving the house, I will randomly fake sick (having a kid is priceless for this, by the way – they are well known germ factories).

(I am giving away all of my secrets here, but I promise that I am telling the truth about random illnesses at least 85% of the time.) (Hmmm…maybe I should just start saying, “sorry I’m flaking out on you, but I’m too anxious to hang out tonight.”)

I spent the week in physical pain (special lady time!) and fending off anxiety attacks (while locked in my office at work) and googling all the weird symptoms that led me to articles like “Is it Anxiety or Heart Disease?” and speculating about DIY hysterectomies.


Friday afternoon, my good friend Lemissa (as Alvie calls her and he wouldn’t stop talking about her all weekend and maybe Lemissa should keep an eye out for kids in baskets on her front porch) came over to drink wine with me. That was perfect because it (a) involved wine and (b) involved me not having to leave the house – two of my favorite things.


The weekend was properly unbusy and I woke up this morning energized, optimistic, and ready to have a really good week.

And so I made plans to go out and interact with strangers (and people I work with) because I am a slow learner. Hopefully I will continue to fool people into believing I am socially competent (or continue to fool myself into believing that other people actually believe that).


And then I will spend the rest of the week hiding in my bedroom before taking my family to the woods to hide from people even more effectively.

And to get through the rest of June? I’ll be employing that time-honored anxiety cure: a positive attitude and some mindful meditation.