Posts filed under ‘Random Life of Lizzie’

Here’s the thing about starting a new job: You’re new. Which means everything you do is new…new procedures, new databases, new bosses, new building, new floor plans and faces and names to memorize. Not to mention the fact that someone will say something you that seems to be in English…maybe? I’ve been at my new position for a while now, and I swear to God, sometimes another assistant will say something to me, and all I will hear is: “Blah blah blah page proofs blag blag jumble tumble runmble. Got it?”

Sorry, can you repeat that?

I think I may be Dolly....

So because I am new and am therefore grappling with Newness-itis, I’ve avoided many forms of social media. See, at orientation for work they gave me this 20 lb. employee handbook. And said handbook had an entire chapter on things you can and can’t do in relation to work, personal life, and blogging. Which is scary. And upon that orientation day, I took a sacred vow to never speak specifically about my job or anything remotely connected to it online.

Therefore, I am announcing to all of you that–until I figure out what’s actually going on around me–henceforth all of my blog posts will be about my general life. Cause when you work with books and your job is to read romantically it’s kinda hard to maintain a blog persona and a separate work persona. I’m pretty sure people do it… I’m just not at that level of Enlightenment yet.

Now let’s see how interesting my life is without book reviews…

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December 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm Leave a comment

Not Dead Yet

Sometimes there are these little moments that reaffirm your faith in mankind. Little moments where for that brief shining second you pause and think, “Huh. That was nice.” And once more you believe in mankind’s ability to be nice.

And I do mean mankind. See, these moments  of affirmation are more precisely moments where you forget all the arguments for why chivalry is dead, why gentlemen just don’t exist anymore, and why your perception of all male-kind looks a little like this:

Sorry men

I know it’s not fair to all the men out there who don’t live the Jersey Shore/bro/douchbag lifestyle, but there comes point in every girl’s life where the phrase “men are pigs” becomes a mini-motto. That is until you realize  that maybe, just maybe, you’re being too hard on mankind and that maybe they can be gentlemen. Like when a man holds the door open for you, offers to help  carry your groceries, or even lets you go first in a crowded line.  Is chivalry dead?

Some argue...

Today was one of those days for me. There was this moment that made me take stock and reevaluate the dudes around me. And I came up with a new theory. Gentlemen do exist, but instead of riding their white horses and limos–I’m looking at you hooker-loving Richard Gere–they actually ride the subway. The urban steed of chivalry and politeness. And its opposite.

See today, I saw three instances of chivalric behavior on the subway during one trip and two connections.  First, this big, tattooed, bro-looking guy gets up out of his seat and offers it to the young girl standing next to him, saying, “I’m a guy” as his explanation.

Woah. And he wasn’t the only male on the subway to forfeit a seat for a standing woman. I also noticed that most men also let women onto the subway first, off first, and sometimes even try to hold the doors–though they get yelled at for this. It was an eye-opening trip that was topped of when I got off the train at my stop. The young guy in front of me gallantly held back and offered to let me go through the turnstile first. I know. Mind blowing.

So yeah, maybe the gentlemen best seen in Regency romances are a thing of the past–thank goodness because the trade-off was the right to vote for women– but chivalry isn’t quite yet dead. It’s just underground. In the subway. So ladies, next time you start to think that all men are assholes, take a trip to the metro, it’s the place to go to find modern examples of polite gentlemanly behavior.

 

September 28, 2011 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

How Are They Not Blind?!?

Life lesson of the week: when you get a can of mace, do not test spray it inside the house. It’s a pretty simple rule. Just don’t do it.  Sure, the back of that package will say “test before using.” But don’t listen to them.  They just want to laugh at your pain. It’s a trick, my friend, a nasty, no good, evil trick.

See, this week my roommate and I celebrate her birthday with our heads sticking out the window of our NYC apartment coughing, crying, and feeling like our insides were on fire.  And all because we trusted the back of the mace can and “tested before use.”  Here’s what went down…

Cee–my roomie–had just received a birthday package from her family filled with b-day surprises.  One of those surprises was a can of “It’s Your Birthday” mace.  So after unwrapping the presents, joking about the gifts, and eating cake made with booze, we parted ways to spend apart time doing apart things.  I’m happily surfing the computer when I hear Cee call out my name from the kitchen asking if I wanted to watch her test spray her brand new mace.  Being a very lazy person, I promptly replied, “No thanks!”

Little did I know that staying in my room would not protect me from that evil product.

Oh no. Next thing I hear is: Spray. Exclamation. Cough. And then my roomie telling me not to go into the kitchen because the fumes from the mace–which she sprayed into the sink–are really strong.  Two minutes later I am coughing, crying, and feel like my throat is on fire.  Cee is suffering from similar symptoms.

We maced our house. The whole apartment was filled with mace fumes that were so bad that we were literally gasping for breath out the windows.

My question: how is it that in all of the freaking romances I read getting maced is like, “Oh mace. NBD”?  Are these people made of stone? Can they not feel? How are they not blind? Is this really a funny scene?!?

This seems like a proper response

It’s like my world has been turned upside down. So life lesson from me to you? Say no to indoor product testing. It’s a bad idea.

September 11, 2011 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

These Are My Confessions

I used to hate to read.  Hated it. Like I simply Did. Not. Read. Ever. My mother was terrified that I would grow up to be functionally illiterate, something she laughs about now. But at the time—elementary school to be exact—she was sure that I was heading down a path that would lead to an early marriage, a gaggle of children, some sort of criminal record, and an inability to read or write.

Which sounds pretty dramatic now, but in her defense I think she had good reason to fear.  I would never pick a book up—unless I was stealing it from the teacher’s personal collection or the library—and I was quite popular with the little boys in my class. Yup, I was a little delinquent child headed down a path of book hatred. Luckily for all of our sakes, in sixth grade I had a teacher who changed everything:  Mrs. Passinteno.

Yada yada yada. I know what you’re thinking, “Okay now she’s going to go all Freedom Writers on us and talk about the power of one teacher in changing a life.”  But no, I’m not going to cue the dramatic “she can read!” music. I’m just going to say that Mrs. P gave me my first taste of romance.

Okay, so here’s the deal. Children grow up with fairytales, right? Right. They are in all the picture books, television shows, and movies.  Come on, I still have my Little Mermaid pillow case from when I was little. Now, what is the central element in a fairytale?

Romance.

Prince, princess, evil something, love. That’s the plotline of all of these stories.  And yet, all of the books my teachers tried to make me read growing up were about Girls in America and Boys that are Hardy.  Silly stupid plots about children being children that just were not interesting.  Reason? They were “age appropriate.”

Screw that. If you’re gonna let a little girl watch all the Disney films then give her a break and write some age appropriate children’s books with romance.  Sweet young love.

So when I finally got into Mrs. P’s class and she gave me my first Ann Rinaldi book, I realized something important: book didn’t necessarily have to be boring. Shocker. They could be fun and dramatic. Their stories could be like the stories that I loved on TV–visual, emotional, engaging…romantic.  From the first moment I opened that worn, used, falling apart paperback copy of A Break with Charity during one of our class’ reading periods, everything changed.  Books were not for stealing anymore, they were for savoring.  I devoured every single one of Ann Rinaldi’s books—up to that point–in a month and then moved onto other classics like Garth Nix, Phillip Pullman, Robin McKinley.  These authors understood my desire for a touch, a hint, of love and affection  in my books.  Genius.

So yeah. Romantic plots are the reason why I am not the very thing my mother feared I would become. A grand book thief with huge library fines.  By seventh grade I was reading other romantic plotlines — less age appropriate– with Mary Higgins Clark, Iris Johansen, and Elizabeth Peters, but I think my mother is eternally grateful to Mrs. Passinteno anyway.  She laughs about how once I started reading, I couldn’t be stopped, skipping the normal young adult books and heading straight to adult fiction before sixth grade was even finished.  My question: if Barbie has her Ken, Cinderella has her Prince, and Cory has his Topanga, then why do people insist that books should be romance free? Nothing else in our culture is. . .

September 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

Letters to an Unknown Fairy Godmother

Remember how I recently found a whole stash of my childhood diaries? And remember how I exposed some of my embarrassing childhood moments to you online where they will now live forever? Well, I have another confession:

For the longest time I believed in some faceless, nameless, anonymous fairy godmother. Way past the point where it was socially acceptable.

A good point....

Yes, apparently, I have been blogging about my random life long before “blogging” was a word–my sister recently confessed to reading every entry– and there nestled within my  journals were pages and pages of letters spanning back in time starting when I was 6 and going all the way up until I was 13.  Letters upon letters, upon letters.  All addressed to my Fairy Godmother.

My Fairy Godmother was not a slut. Just saying.

They talked about my life, my wishes, my worries about my future.  They were misspelled and random.  Some were about my dream playhouse. Some were about boys. Then there were the letters during my environmental phase when I was 9 where I asked my Fairy Godmother for fewer cars and that “animals not be hunt down and killed for their fur.”  Those letters were then followed by my Born Again Christian phase where I somehow managed combine Christianity with fairytale beliefs in magic when I asked my “F.G.” –cause by that point I was too cool to say Fairy Godmother– for the salvation of mankind.  I was 10.  Good times.

But despite my different phases and interests, the letters to my F.G. never stopped.  They lasted all the way up until high school, and always included not just my wishes but also all of the things happening in my life that I though she should be aware of.  When 9/11 hit, I wrote F.G a letter–just in case she missed it–and when I changed schools when I was 10–I wrote her a letter about that too.  She was like my imaginary, magical friend straight out of reading too many fairytales.  And each letter would end with some random wish.

I don’t really know if I honestly expected my F.G. to grant me my wish or write me back–most of my letters included inquires about her own well-being–but I do know that I must have felt there was some benefit in writing them. I guess I’ve always been a fanciful person, as my F.G. could probably tell you if you ever manage to locate her. And not looking back at all those letters, I realize that the magic of fairytales has always tickled my imagination.

So in honor of my box of letters to an unknown Fairy Godmother, I give you my latest review for RT BOOKREVIEWS. A sexy, modern take on a classic Cinderella tale. Enjoy!

August 31, 2011 at 8:22 am Leave a comment

The Diary of Lizzie P.

I was recently packing up my childhood room in one of those symbolic, “graduated college and now moving away to the Big Bad City” kind of moves, and while packing up clothes and books and more books and then some more books, I found an old box under my bed where I kept all my old diaries and journals.  Can you say Memory Lane?

Well, I can! And while reading those entries–dated from age 6 all the way up to high school–I learned three things.

Number 1: I have always been “wored about my futur” which since I couldn’t spell at all apparently translated as “worried about my future.”  Yes, once upon a time a little 8 year-old Lizzie poured out her heart into the pages of her diaries and along with wishes for a boyfriend and a playhouse–one she got and one her parents still refuse to give her–there were numerous mentioned of how she was “worried about her future.”  Because what would she do career-wise? What about college? Yes, college was a huge concern for me.  When I was 12, I confessed in another diary that I was very concerned about what school I would attend, my GPA, and whether I had the grades after all “college is only 5 years away.”

Number 2: I do not have a future as a children’s book author or a Spelling Bee champ. Oh man, I found a collection of stories written for class projects.  And they were…yeah.  One was about a missing cat,  just look at that picture to the left. That should say, “I bet he may be upstairs in the bathroom.  That’s where he always hides. No he is not there but I did find my…”  The other image is from my original picture book, The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Butcher because apparently, I thought the butcher was the new wolf. And a great idea for a children’s book.

Number 3: I really wanted two things: a play house and a boyfriend. Almost every other entry was about either some crush I had at school or my ever-present desire for a place of my own. I wanted my own crib and a man to go with it. Or well, boy in this case.  First I loved Lee, then I loved Chad, and then I loved Everett, and the lists went on and on about how cute they were and how awesome and how funny.  And to combine #1, 2, and 3 by the time I reached 13, I started writing about how worried I was because I liked the same boy as my BFF.  I actually commented that I knew “it was just a crush and nothing serous like love (bec I don’t think I have the maturty for love yet) but still.”  Even if I couldn’t spell it at least I recognized my age and “maturty” level!

So in honor of my walk down memory lane, my worries about my future, and the most unlikely children’s books ever, I give you my list of 5 Essential Childhood Reads.  The five books that I read over and over and over again from 6-13–discounting the whole HP series because that’s really not fair. I think you may understand why I was so strange after reading this list.

  1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. What little girl doesn’t love a fairytale? Apparently, I thought they were true.
  2. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien .  These book were so worn out by the time I reached high school that I had to buy a new set.
  3. Anna and the Duke by Kathryn Smith. In my defense, this romance novel was cleaned-up and meant for teens. Or in my case pre-teens.
  4. Moonlight Becomes You by Mary Higgins Clark. I really wasn’t a fan of picture books so by the time I was 11, it was like Adult Fiction here I come.
  5. Sabriel by Garth Nix.  I still read this every year. Sometimes more than once. Necromancy is so fascinating.

August 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

It’s a Love/Hate Kinda Thing

There are very few things I actually hate in life. Honestly, the list is pretty short… seaweed, mushrooms, that guy from that class that time who thought just because my hair was blond–at the time–that I was like some kind of like idiot or something. Yeah, I do hate all of those things, but really that’s not a whole lotta hate going on there. I dislike yellow jackets–both the bugs that sting you and make you cry and the kind people wear that just aren’t cool–and I don’t care for Vince Vaughn because his characters are always assholes, but I don’t hate him. Yet.

So when I was talking to a friend the other day and I mentioned how much I just loathed, hated, despised this one person who I had been going on and on and on about–and no it was not That Guy from the first hate list–she looked at me and asked, “Really? There’s a thin line between love and hate.” Good point, my friend, good point.

But no, wrong.

I do not love said individual who is honestly a huge jerk, but it got me a thinkin. Is there a fine line between love and hate?  Looking at romance novels, it sure seems so. Heroine hates hero. Hero hates heroine. Misunderstandings. Passion. Boom, an epic event. Sex. Love. Some more sex. The End.

This baby scares me

Hmmm….it makes you wonder. Could my new nemesis The Jerk be my One True Love without me knowing? Could our arguments, snippy comments, and general dislike actually be the basis of Love?

Probably not. Cause while I am not a fan of The Jerk, I realized that I really don’t actually hate him, I just think he’s a bit of a jerk.  But maybe there’s something to Hate/Love relationships.  They do tend to involve Great Passion.

Looking for a story with a lotta sexy Hate turned to Love sizzle?

Try Iris Johansen’s romantic suspense The SearchSearch and rescue worker, Sarah Patrick is sure she hates John Logan, the wealthy, conceited, arrogant millionaire that seems to bulldoze his very way into her life and blackmails her into working for him on a project, but when a determined killer targets Sarah as his next victim, she just may find that her hate is a lot closer to love.

Romantic Question: Do you think there’s a fine line between love and hate? And what about in your books, do you like a little turbulence?

August 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm Leave a comment

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