Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Horse of a Different Color: My Reply to a Senator

Saeed Abedini.

Heard of him?

He's kind of a big deal. He's been imprisoned in Iran for a year now. Why, you ask? Oh, because he's a Christian and was building an orphanage.

What a horrible man, right?

Well December 4th, 2013 was Save Saeed day. A day when thousands of us banded together to flood our senators, representatives, and president with letters requesting work towards Saeed's release. I sent a letter to my senator, who shall remain nameless.

I told him about Saeed and asked him to help use HIS power to make it happen. The response was about nuclear power in Iran and how he loved working for our state...(see at bottom of this blog).

I was more than a little angry by this response. It has NOTHING to do with Pastor Saeed! So, at the advice from a friend, I decided to send him a reply as nonsensical as his. After all, he did say he looked forward to hearing from me.

This is what I sent. (WARNING. It's ridiculous):

Dear Senator,

As you replied to my letter and addressed nothing even close to what I’d written about, but only wasted my time with a long letter that made no sense to me, I decided I could do the same.

Unicorns with purple horns are the rarest of unicorns. They, like ducks, are only pretty when males, as the females with purple horns are not the glorious white but actually a muddy brown - often mistakable for regular horses. Which gets me on the subject of purple ponies, but that really is a horse of a different color. Did you ever watch the Wizard of Oz? My favorite scene was the one with the horse changing color. Can you really dye my eyes to match my gown? Jolly old town!

Do you know what goes with purple ponies? Glitter. Glitter and rainbows and Christmas elves. I would love to have a personal glittery rainbow that would take me from location to location the way leprechauns do - would your office look into that? I think people would really be willing to fund something like transporting rainbows. Especially if they glitter. They’d have to be careful on how they inserted the glitter though, as if it gets loose it would be everywhere, and no place of business would want to be covered in glitter. Come to think of it, houses wouldn’t either. So it would have to be glitter infused, where the glitter was in the magic rainbow gel and wouldn’t fall out. Also, that way business men and women wouldn’t get glitter on their smart and snappy suits. I wouldn’t mind being covered in glitter though, as you see I am a Christmas elf. Or just a regular elf. Help me, Senator ***, you’re my only hope. That’s a Star Wars reference - I hope you know that, you have to be in touch with things like that to be cool.

I met a duck once, and it took bread from me. I like ducks. I’d like to think I’d like platypuses, but I’m pretty sure the whole “poisonous” thing makes them scary. Isn’t it weird that Disney chose one of the most poisonous animals to make the totally normal Perry the Platypus? Now all the kids want a platypus, but can’t have one. Of course, Lion King makes kids think that lions are super friendly but with potentially evil, black-maned uncles. Thing is, lions with black manes are actually less aggressive, so Scar wouldn’t necessarily want the throne. He’d be content to eat the food.

Really, Senator ***, I wonder if our letters are even read, as the reply you sent me had something to do with nuclear issues in Iran and nothing to do with Pastor Saeed Abedini. Do you look for buzz words and address those? I am not concerned about American-Iranian relations. I’m concerned about an American who does not belong in an Iranian prison when he was allowed in by the country to do exactly what he said he would do.
I am concerned by my Senator sending me a pointless letter in reply to a real issue.

Thank you for your reply Senator, I have replied in kind.
I hope it gave whatever intern checked it over a good laugh.


We'll see if I get a response.


Dear Kelsey:
It is good to hear from you about American-Iranian relations. I appreciate you sharing your views on this important topic.
On June 15, 2013, the Iranian people elected Hassan Rouhani as their new President. President Rouhani campaigned on a moderate platform, promising moderate reforms without threatening Iran's supreme leader or its institutions. In lieu of this, the international community has renewed hope for improved American-Iranian relations.
I still maintain my position toward Iran's nuclear program -- Iran cannot be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. I'm committed to keeping our country safe, and that's why I helped pass tough sanctions legislation. We must work with our partners in the European Union, Japan, and South Korea to enact existing sanctions that will further reduce Iran's oil sales. Please be assured that I understand your position and will keep your thoughts in mind as I continue to work toward improved American-Iranian relations.
Knowing your thoughts about this important issue helps me better represent the best one million bosses in the world: the people of *************. It's important to me to know the concerns of folks back home, and I am glad to hear from you.
Thanks again for sharing your concerns. Please contact me anytime by visiting my website at ****** I look forward to hearing from you again soon.
Senator (Name removed for his own safety)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Torn - Prizes Galore

Have you ever been so excited about a book? Like the kind of - oh hey, I just read this book and you should ALL read this book?

Today, a book like that releases.  I was lucky enough to get an ARC and ate it up. It's quick, it's fun, it's good.  So, if you like Young Adult Science Fantasy (flavored with some good ol' romance and action), then you will enjoy THE TORN, book one in the Holding Kate series. For those of you who eat up love'll have to tell me if you are Pro Corey, or pro Trip. Just know if you pick Trip we can't be friends anymore.

Now, you know I don't talk a lot about books on my blog (excption being those I enjoy most - like WARRIOR OF THE AGES), so then there must be something to this, right?

Especially since you can win a mondo prize (that I intend to win, thank you very much).

Without further ado, the book blurb:
Abducted to exotic worlds in quantum spheres, a 16 year old beauty, Kate Wilson, and a team of teen misfits confront inner monsters and demons brought to life by quantum science. Dragons, aliens, sentient tornados, and tree dwelling natives terrorize them as they fight for survival on strange planets and other worlds, and struggle to overcome emotional turmoil and mental illness. Kate is torn between sizzling passion and loyal stability, when two very different boys vie for her attentions. Trapped between self-loathing and independence, Kate must choose to live with horrifying consequences or kill the monster who loves her. A romantic thriller with action packed adventure, passion, science fiction and fantasy overtones for young adult readers of all ages.

Click here to buy the book! 

What is it you were meant to collect, you may wonder...having been sent here to get all the goods.


Now riddle me this:

The sphere has landed! Welcome to the next jump in the adventure. Leave a comment on this page and collect the item for your survival pack.

Take this item with you, write it down or copy/paste into a doc: In The Torn, there is a love triangle. What are the names of the boys involved?

Screeeeech! The sphere is coming! Your next stop is:

If this was your first and now is your last stop, go to where The Torn release party is going on! Enter all of your answers into a comment under the pinned post, Falling Spheres, for a chance to win the Grand Prize package.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Divorcing an Idea

I wear a ring on my left hand.
I'm not married.
I'm not engaged.
Not as Naughty as it First appeared -
Photo Credit: Kelsey Keating

It's my purity ring, and I've had it since I was 13.  The way I saw it, my purity ring was a place holder - a way of saying I was waiting for the one who would replace that ring when I reached the right age.

It has become a part of me.

Lately, as I've reached the age of 24 (almost), most people see my ring and assume it means I'm married.  Rightly so, as that is what it looks like at first glance.  People close to me have taken to telling me that THIS is the reason why no guy has asked me out, hit on me, flirted with me etc.

Recently I've considered switching my ring to my right hand to better show off that I am "available".

But here's my problem...
  • I LIKE it on my left hand.  It's comfortable. It belongs there.  It feels weird on my right hand.
  • Having a ring on my left hand keeps me from being hit on by creepy guys or jerks.
  • A ring on my left hand means someone has to get to know MORE than just my name to find out I'm single.  They actually have to make an effort to have a conversation with me as a human being and NOT as a prospect (I don't know why, but being seen as a prospect really irks me).

I've been married to this idea - to the idea that I can wear my purity ring HOW I want to wear it WHERE I want to wear it.
Yet everyone around me is asking me to divorce it.  They're asking me to divorce this silly notion that a guy would want to talk to me just to talk to another person. No man will bother to even ask my name if he sees I'm wearing a ring.
Isn't it Pretty?
Photo Credit: Kelsey Keating

Now, I like that a guy won't hit on a married woman - that's a very good thing - but each and every one of my coworkers and friends knows I'm single.


Because they know me.  They talk to me.  

So now I I divorce the idea of people caring about more than just my looks enough to have a conversation?  Or do I play stubborn, stick to my guns, and remain married to the hope that a guy who knows me will be the one to make a move? Come on, Brant*!

I can't decide, so feel free to sound in. 

*Brant - Semi-generic name for whoever "the one" is.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Why I Should Be Banned From Voicemails

I don't know many people who enjoy leaving voicemails.  In fact, most don't anymore - and when they do, plenty of people don't bother even listening to them.

Unfortunately, in my line of work that isn't an option. As an executive assistant, I receive voicemails and leave voicemails all day long.

But it gets more unfortunate.

I should NEVER be allowed to leave voicemails.  Try as I might...I manage to fumble my way through them every single time.

Examples of why Kelsey shouldn't be allowed to give voicemails (actual things I've said):
  • "I was just returning your call. Please call me back at (my number) and I'll see if I can help you out. I will be out this you want you can leave a voicemail so I can call you back. But otherwise I'll hear from you, wait. No.  Well, I mean if you call before after noon I will call you back next week!"
  • "Hi, this is Kelsey, Rocky's assistant just....................................................Oh, um, I'm sorry I spaced out there. I'm calling you back. You left me a message. About something."
  • "...and I'm so sorry. I'm awful at leaving voicemails."
Those things were actually said. Those things are only THREE of the things I've said.  Because of them, I've created this list.

Ways to Know You Can't Voicemail Like the Pros:
  • Your mind goes blank on the person's name the second the phone starts ringing.
  • You're trying to play back the message while the phone rings so you don't call them the wrong name.
  • You get the name and are psyched, only to get thrown to voicemail.
  • You're so distracted by having tried to find their name that you can't remember what you're supposed to say just as the phone *beep*
  • You start off in a stammer.
  • You say "uh" a lot.
  • Realizing you keep saying "uh" you switch to "um"
  • "Uh, um" doesn't sound much better, so you mentally chastise yourself to not say either.
  • You realize it wasn't was audible chastising while leaving  the message.
  • You now sound crazy.
  • You wonder if you are crazy.
  • In the moments you've been wondering, you've been completely silent on the voicemail recording.
  • You were mid sentence and - 
  • Now you're panicking.
  • Panicking leads to more "ums"
  • Finally, you laugh at yourself, apologize, leave your callback number and hang up
  • After all that, you look at the number you called and the message you references...
  • They don't match.

Just kidding. This makes me sound like I'm inept at my job.  Truth is I HAVE done all of those things, but hopefully not all at once (most extreme voicemail fail EVER).

What average, everyday thing are you awful at? Please make me feel better ;)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Struggling Single Somethings - The Life of a Girl on Her Own

There are rules to being single. Weird rules. None of them coincide, and nobody knows how to treat it. Especially if you're a single woman.

  • You get the people that don't get it - they treat single like it's a disease and they can't understand why you have chosen it.  Because being single is all up to me and there is no other party to consider. "Why are you still single?"
  • You get the ones who think single-hood is the best place to be ever, and often they make comments about how they wish they too were still single. "Never get married." 
  • You also get those who are determined to say the ultra-cliche, super unhelpful things like "You'll find the right one when you least expect it." "When you stop looking, that's when HE will find you." Or my favorite "God is your husband. You're so lucky."

I never know how to act, you know, as a single gal.  I'm young - twenty-three - and I know I have plenty of time blah, blah, blah, but the world has so many standards.  It's hard to figure out how to be a lady in 2013 (or 2014, 2015....etc).

Society tells us to sleep around - try different things on. Experiment.  That isn't my style. It's NOT my style. I can't even express how that is not me. I won't/can't/refuse to do that. It's not in my beliefs, my moral system, or my idea of fun. (Also, side note - women that DO sleep around as society expects are often called sluts after following the rules. Women who don't are called prudes.)

I have always been a fan of ladies and gentlemen. I like class.  The classier the better. So, for me (in my fun little head) I function on the guy making the first move. I love Pride and Prejudice (what woman doesn't), but I am not Elizabeth.

I am Jane.

Jane who is too timid and self-conscious to show Bingley that she likes him. 

I can't tell men I'm interested in them.  I just can't. I try, and always fail. I'm so afraid of rejection. So many people tell me "you'll regret not telling him more."

No I won't.  
I would rather never tell than have Brant (that's him. You remember how I said I'd tell you about him?) look at me with that sympathetic smile and say "I'm so sorry, Kelsey. I just don't feel that way."
That would be so much worse.
There's no such thing as a "sure thing."

I am Jane.
I have an issue with my self-confidence. I'm working on it, I promise. I'm not very good at thinking highly of myself. I can't imagine why anyone would want me.
So why would I admit to wanting someone I don't think I deserve?

It's so hard to be a single woman. 
Today I write this because I can't say it.  I can't say "Brant, I like you."  
I can't say enough "It's okay. I really don't hate being single."

There's never a right answer.

Now it's your turn to tell me why I'm wrong.
To tell me how "It's better to have loved and lost."
Say all those cliches you already know nobody likes.

Have at it. Find something I haven't heard before and I will send you a monkey.
No joke.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sleep Deprivation

There is such a thing as taking on too much.  I did it in my job once, and it was a miracle everything didn't come crashing down on me.

I did it again. (ha ha!)

This week I've been working full time, house sitting, kid sitting (for a DIFFERENT house), pet sitting, working odd hours, and entering contests among my normal appointments and meetings.

For those who are curious in these things, that means:
  • Seven pets (Two ferrets, two chinchillas, one dog, one cat, and one fish).
  • Four kids (17, 15, 12, and 9 years of age).
  • Two houses (on opposite sides of town).
  • Two jobs (Mine and playing "mom").
  • Several contests.
Any one of the "projects" I've taken on could be (and are) time consuming.  Here's what happens when you take them all on at once (parents have been laughing at me all week):

  • You start strong, taking the kids out for a day of fun.
  • You (wisely) bring your animal loving mother along with you to care for the Pet-House...she helps you do all the work (i.e. does most of it while you weep thankfully).
  • Because of an unforeseen circumstance, you end up working from 1am-3am, up again at 6am to get ready for work.
  • Zoning out becomes something of a professional talent. Your coworkers notice.
  • Juggling a full time job and four kids, something you didn't have last week, is not an easy adjustment.
  • The kids complain of boredom.
  • You learn you aren't the type to concern yourself with entertaining them if they're bored.
  • They huff off grumpily.
  • You go read a book.
  • You realize you need to promote YOUR book and get an agent (or go Indie)
  • You enter contests. Plural, because they all happen at once.
  • The houses your sitting need to be cleaned far more often than you have to do at home.
  • You're once again extremely thankful for your mother.
  • You tell her that regularly during the week of babysitting.
  • People stare because you won't stop hugging your mother in public, not wanting to let go.
  • You understand that while you want to be a mother someday, today is not that day.
  • Suddenly you're extremely thankful that you're single.
  • You realize if Brant asks you out, you'll be okay NOT being single (for the record).
  • You start daydreaming about Brant.
  • When you come back to earth, you're getting weird looks from the 9yo who has asked you the same question twice and you've yet to respond.
  • You tell him you prefer Cupid & Psyche to Perseus.
  • You realize this is the coolest 9yo ever.
  • Now you can't stop thinking about Greek myths.
  • Sleep has become a thing of the past.
  • You begin to wonder how people had kids when there was nothing to do - like in Pride & Prejudice.
  • You realize you don't know how to sew or mend like those girls did.
  • You suddenly have an urge to walk to Merryton.
  • Alas, realizing there is no Merryton, you decide to write a blog instead.
  • You run out of things to put in the bullet points as you've just alerted yourself to why you're writing the blog.
  • The kids want dinner.
Sometimes you just need a good laugh

Random, very little sense above here. My brain is firing in all different directions, and you just got your share of the madness that is my week.

What's the craziest week you've ever had? Do share. I could use the group therapy :)

These kids are awesome, for the record. Super good. Just not mine, and I am not theirs. Makes for some clashing along the way.  However, they're delights, but we're all looking forward to the return of their parents.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Playing Paranoia

It's one of those days.  Ever have them?

You know the kind - the ones where things go wrong.  The ones where only one thing has to tip your scale towards negativity, and then you are paranoid about everything.

Today is one of those  days.

I received the unfortunate and horrible news of an acquaintances passing today. He was in an accident. No survivors.
He's only been married two months. His beautiful, charming wife is now a widow before reaching twenty-five years of age.
He had the uncanny ability to find out what mattered to someone and ask them about that when he spoke to them.

He always asked me about my writing.

Today I grieve for his wife. I know he's dancing (or maybe more appropriately, flying) with Jesus, but it's those left behind who need our prayers and our thoughts.

His death tipped me into gloom. My own brain and enemy have found new ways to take that and make me think the world is out to get me.

Which becomes part two, or rather "Today I'm paranoid and the things that I can't allow myself to believe":

  • When someone doesn't text you back - okay, nobody likes being ignored. But on a day like today, not getting a text back after taking the chance to be heartfelt and/or honest (I went with honest. Maybe that was the mistake) starts to make the little voices in your head chant unkind things.
  • Things like "You're stupid. They don't like you. Nobody likes you." - A TOTAL moment for the enemy to swoop in and drag you down.
  • You combat that with caffeine. 
  • That caffeine wires you and now you're trying to figure out if you're bouncing off the wall, or about to have a sugar coma.
  • When you talk to someone and they casually nod and offer no return and suddenly you're thinking "oh shoot! What'd I say wrong?"
  • When you blog about your insecurities and realize "I can't share this anywhere! I can't let people know I'm crazy!"
  • When you post that blog anyway, because you're a blogger and that is what bloggers do.
  • When you are traveling to see a friend in a month and start to get panicky about planes, work, and whether or not that friend will hate you after you're their house guest.
  • When you keep checking your phone because the people (plural) that you texted are STILL not texting you back.
  • The ones you emailed aren't emailing you back either (different people, for the record. I am not THAT crazy...yet).
  • When you write out letters to express how you feel, then shred them or hide them in a drawer to never see the light of day.
  • When you're too scared to share who you are.

Ah, poignancy. I've reached you.
Here's the truth:
I'm terrified to share myself with people.
That's funny when I run a personal blog.
But I can't see you. I can't see your rejection. I don't have to hear it. I can "delete" the comment (can't unsee it though).
IN person, I'm a guarded mess.  I'm always afraid they'll leave me.
So when they don't text back, I figure I'm annoying. When they don't email, I'm frustrating.
When they nod but don't verbally respond...I'm wasting their time.

I call this ridiculous (hopefully) paranoia Life Draining Paranoia, or LDP.
LDP can hit anyone at anytime (mainly women).  LDP can create fear, depression, and so many other things.

LDP isn't real.
Paranoia is in your mind. It's how you think. It's allowing the negativity of your own self consume you. Allowing the enemy to win.
Go to war. Take down LDP.  It doesn't work always.  It doesn't make things perfect or suddenly sunshine and unicorns and rainbows...
But if you give up the fight, why will others fight for you? 

This is probably the least coherent I've ever blogged, and that's saying something.  I feel better, though, so I'm pleased with the result.

Ever suffer from LDP? Do you play with paranoia? 
Do you have your own sorts of crazy you're brave enough to share here?
I did, so you know I have no room to judge.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Very Public Potter Rant

Oh Facebook, the things you ruin for the rest of us.

MuggleNet is apparently supporting a "Team Gambon" or "Team Harris" fiasco.

I take issue with this.

Aside from trying to compare apples and oranges, which everyone will ALWAYS have an opinion about, but no one can come to a clear scientific conclusion, asking people to decide between the two Dumbledores is disrespectful.

Here's why.

Richard Harris, the original Dumbledore, set a bar so high I don't believe anyone could have met it. Unfortunately, the wonderful and amazing actor died at the 72. We mourned Harris's passing, and all Potter Fans wondered who would (could) step in.

The answer is:
No one.

However, Michael Gambon, a respected and talented actor in his own right, stepped up to the plate.  Did he play Dumbldore different? Unequivocally yes.  Did that mean he was wrong?
Many Potter Fans debate this, but whether it be because he stepped in during the strangest Potter installment (movie 3 POA) or because he wanted to give Dumbledore a new edge, Gambon was here to stay.

You can argue which one was better. Who wore the better hat. Whether you liked Sweet Dumbledore or Strong Dumbledore.

But to pick sides?

That's wrong. It's unfair. It's not cool.

Richard Harris DIED, okay?  He passed.  We lost him.  He didn't quit, get fired, or step down. He died. We didn't have a choice but to get a new Dumbledore. There wasn't an option of keeping him.

Michael Gambon took on a big deal role, not only because of the legacy left by Harris, but because of the grandness that IS Dumbledore.

I mean, seriously. He's the Obi Wan Kenobe/Yoda, the Aslan, the Gandalf of the Harry Potter Series.
It's a big deal.

I don't think it's fair to ask us to choose, because in the end I'm going to choose Dumbledore. The real one. The book one. The sweet man who no one directed (though J.K. Rowling did write).

As a writer I know that characters take on their own selves. Dumbledore is real to so many. Why should we try to attribute him to any actor?  Do we try to say Daniel Day Lewis was the best Lincoln...better than THE Lincoln?

So instead of asking fans to choose, why don't we all just do what's right?

Let's honor Richard Harris's memory.
Let's respect both him and Gambon for taking on this iconic role.
Let's stay true to our Potter selves and not resort to putting who we pick on t-shirts (which feels disrespectful to both, but mainly to Harris's memory).

Maybe I'm crazy.
After all, this is just my opinion.
But then, I've always liked Apples better than Oranges.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Insignificantly Significant

There's something about living in my state.  If you never been there, I can explain but I'm not sure you'll care.

I've been to several other states around our country, and other countries on top of that.
Yet nowhere...


Has the skies we do.

The world is large and vast and covered with land.  It seems everywhere else I've been that's been the biggest factor - the land. Everywhere you look you see tall, green trees (Tennessee); big brown hills and desert 'beauty' (Arizona); tropical plants and vast bodies of water (Hawaii).

In Our state, we have beautiful land, but it isn't the first thing you see.  When you walk outside the greatest, grandest, and sometimes most stunning feature is our sky.

It's so large you feel like you'll never be able to see it all, yet at the same time - when the clouds are just right - you feel like you can reach up and touch it...maybe brush a few away and see the vast universe beyond.

It's storming today.  The grey, billowing clouds are my favorite.  There's something MASSIVE and POWERFUL about them. They're a reminder that this world, this universe, is even bigger. A reminder that the world doesn't revolve around me (though I wish it did).

It can make a girl feel insignificant.

But the best part about them, for me personally, is how they make me feel insignificantly significant.

I am staring at the sky that's been there since God put it there in the beginning.  I am staring at the amazing hugeness that is our life.
There are many others all around the world seeing pieces and patches of it as well (and in some places, just as much as I see).
We're all seeing it together.  We all pass through time in a blink, some of us without making a dent large enough in history to be remembered.
We're insignificant.

And yet...

And yet I know I can walk into my parents home, and to them I am significant.
I know I can run and embrace my best friend because to her I am significant.
I know that to God above I matter. To Him I am (undeservedly) significant.

In a world where I am nobody...I only need to be somebody to a few people. It only takes a few to make me feel like I am loved, special....kind, important, smart.

We can sometimes strive for importance and significance. We can fight, claw, cheat, steal, whatever we have to do to get ahead.
But you know what?
I don't want that.
I don't want to be North West - infamous baby at only a few days old.  I don't want the pressure of the world always staring down on me as I strive to be just as "significant" as my parents.

I want to be me. I want to be loved by those who I have been blessed to have in my life.

I want to be insignificantly significant.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Wrath Of Ice Cream Withdrawals or Why My Dad is Awesome

Ben & Jerry's Brownie Chew Gooder Ice Cream.  The greatest ice cream known to this woman. Everything I've ever loved about ice cream bundled together in a neat little pint.

It's a Target exclusive. Didn't you know?

My first and only affair with this delectable treat was while in Scottsdale AZ for a Mumford & Sons concert. While the concert experience trumped the ice was in second (a far second, but still).

Upon returning to the cozy haven that is my hometown, after relishing in the cool breeze my state has in droves (while AZ has NONE), I knew I had to find that ice cream again.

Photo from the Concert of the beautiful Marcus Mumford
You see, I know I'm not going to find Marcus Mumford or the boys in Chardeau, but the ice cream...I thought that would be possible.
So I went to Target.
It wasn't at Target.
I checked Albertson's.
Walmart was also searched.

Wondering why it was so hard to locate, I went online. Google can tell you almost anything and is sometimes very accurate.  The interweb was where I learned of Target's exclusive hold on my dream treat. MINE must just have sold out.

Like any good web surfer, I went to the source. listed the ice cream, OBVIOUSLY, not sold online. However, there was a "find in store" button.

I clicked it.
Entered my zipcode.
Was given a list of Targets in my state.

The two (TWO) in my city had the following words listed next to their location:

Not Sold At This Location

I blacked out. Fainted, maybe. My world spun and I crashed to the ground, only to be found later in a pool of my own blood...

Okay, no. I didn't do any of the above. But man, did I pout. Pout. Pout. Pout.

So what does the fact that MY town doesn't SELL my awesome ice cream have to do with my dad being awesome?

Well let's head there.
My dad is awesome.  He just is.
He's one of those guys that's pretty willing to do anything for anyone who needs it, regardless of how inconvenient it is.  He worked ridiculously hard while my siblings and I were young so that he'd be able to give us things he didn't have.  He doesn't make promises he can't keep.  He LOVES going to movies and takes me to them whenever I have one I want to see (and pays for everything, despite me being an adult able to pay for myself).  He's good and he's kind.
He's logic. Like, Spock logic.  When I need to work through a situation, I go to him because I know he'll help me rationalize the best situation.

He is WICKED good with numbers. Scary good. "I'm kind of creeped out by how fast you just did that immense multiplication" type good.  (Ex. The other night he guessed a whole bunch of stats for a show before they appeared on the screen.  He does the math in his head and it 99% right 98% of the time.)

Enough of my gushing.
My awesome dad, who is awesome in his own right, is going on business trips next week. He's driving up to a few other cities in our state.

He's planning on taking a cooler of sorts, going to their targets (which list as In Stock) and buying me my Brownie Chew Gooder Ice Cream.
Picture from Christmas 2011

My dad is the best.

Father's day is almost here.  How awesome is your dad (or father-figure in your life)?  What's the BEST or coolest thing about your dad?
Let's celebrate dads :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

You Like Me....You Really Like Me...

I have been nominated. Always a good feeling, though it is generally a friend of yours who loves you and therefore thinks you and your blog rock.

I owe the pleasure of receiving this award to Katie Cross - a fantastic writer/book reviewer if there ever was one.  Want an idea of what to read next? Head over to Katie's place and see what she recommends! She also does this nifty "Question of the Day" thing that will entertain, amuse, or provoke thought.

So, because Katie said so, here I go!
Rules for The Sunshine and Versatile Blogger Award are as follows: 

1. Post the logo above

2. Accept the nomination and link back to the blog that nominated you

3. Answer the questions

4. List seven random facts about yourself

4. Nominate blogs and inform them of the nomination

Answers to the questions I KNOW you've been dying to discover:

Favorite color: Always green, though I do love a nice blue.

Favorite animal: I love animals. Ocelots have always had a special place in my heart for some reason, but aside from them...wolves. Or maybe panthers.
Photo Credit :

Favorite number: 3 (and any repetition of three. Like 33)

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Dr. Pepper, Raspberry Lemonade, or Throwback Mountain Dew

Favorite alcoholic drink: No alcohol for me, thanks. Not a fan of the taste.

Facebook or Twitter: Neither and both. Twitter used to be my favorite, but I haven't the time for it as much these days.

My passions: writing, reading, people, artistic ventures, baking, cooking, carbohydrates.

Giving or receiving gifts: Both. I LOVE being given gifts. Feel free to give them to me whenever. I also love to give them - finding just the right thing for the individual on the receiving end.

Favorite city: Most people don't count Chardeau as a city (Though I like it).  Other than that...I've been to Jerusalem. That was a heckuvuh city.
Sunset over Jerusalem

Favorite TV shows: I love TV.  It's a list. Arrested Development, Teen Wolf, The Killing, Merlin, Sherlock, Downton Abbey...all for their own reasons. I'm missing some. Oh, New Girl. A.T.L.A. and L.O.K (yup. Cartoons. Well written cartoons)

Seven random facts (I think I've done this before...)

1. I can't handle the feeling of velvet (everyone should know this from Christmas)

2. I have an over sensitive Ulnar Nerve (for that potentially hilarious story, click here)

3. I want to go to Ireland. Bad. I want to be where my people are from. I intend to make this a reality within the next two years.

4. I work in a fish bowl. A big glass container. Or as one coworker affectionately refers to it...the Penalty Box.
My fish bowl. The glass wall doesn't even go all the way up...

5. My office has an entire wall of posters from TV shows, movies, musicians, and actors (mainly classics like Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant).  I intend to get more. The most recent Star Trek is the newest to my collection (Placed just below my Star Trek TOS poster)

Portion of my wall. It's hard to get the whole thing in one shot.
6. I went to Israel this year - my first time over seas and out of the country. Had a hilarious time with Brosef, Owen, Joanne, and many others (See those stories here

7. I spend an inordinate amount of time day dreaming. Sometimes I'm playing with the muse and we're writing books, but more often than not I'm imagining up things in my own immediate future (Like time with Brant-CCW. Haven't told you about  Brant? I'm sure I will. Drool.)

BONUS FACT: My bestest buddy Goose and I have British Dinners. We go to our favorite restaurant and speak in accents the whole time.  We also have a fondness for dolphins, geese (surprise, surprise) and squirrels. More on Goose to come.

You have been selected as Tribute:

Stephanie Karfelt of the Glitter Globe fame:

LaDonna Cole the Beta Warrior :

JB Lynn - the woman who can make me laugh better than any other published author :

Karen Amanda Hooper, the fantastic fantasy fiction femme fatale (say that five times fast. Oh wait, I did and it wasn't that hard.) :

Friday, June 7, 2013

And The Winner Is...

Katie Cross!!!

Katie takes the first prize win for the 5 blog blitz!  Our lovely first prize consists of all these goodies PLUS a neon monkey:

True to my word, there will be a second runner up who gets a CR Smith CD, a little something from Israel, and a monkey as well.  Who is THIS lucky person? I will tell you right now :)

Donna Kilgore!

Donna and Katie, please contact me with your info so I can send you your treats! Also, Katie you need to pick which $10 gift card you would like.

Now I don't want to leave you all with the sadness of defeat, so I am going to let you in on another give away going on from now until Sunday.

Follow this link to the blog where you can enter to win an ebook bundle from author Karen Amanda Hooper!

For those who still want a bit more from's a book review for an upcoming novel that I know you'll love.

Warrior of the Ages book review:

What is there to say about S.R. Karfelt's Warrior of the Ages? Sheer genius, that's what.
When I first nabbed a copy of this book and read the back cover blurb I thought "Immortal Warrior protecting his world and people from a far too instinctual blonde bombshell? Count me in."

Falling deeply in love with the characters was something I didn't know to expect. I ping-ponged between Kahtar - our immortal hero - and Beth - the woman who would ruin everything he's worked for. Several times I stopped to ask myself "Whose side am I on, anyway?" only to dive back in for more.

Kahtar is the epitome of duty, honor, and steely intimidation while Beth encompasses my vision of an intellectual woman with a loving heart.
Opposing clans, murdering rogue warriors, and bloodline prejudice threaten to tear apart everything they've fought for and drive a wedge in between the two already clashing individuals.
Duty has been the only thing Kahtar has ever fought for. Beth White offers something more, something he'd never thought possible. Choosing her truth might unravel everything Kahtar holds dear.

But the question remains:
How far would you go to protect what's yours?

Not Actual Cover*
Warrior of the Ages comes out August 15th. You can guarantee I'll be talking about it - as will many others. Stay tuned!

If you liked this giveaway/blog blitz, let me know. I'm always willing to do another! I'm thinking maybe in August. Hint. Hint.

*Official cover not released yet.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wings For the Good Little Girl

Kelsey's Israel Blundering Confessional: Part 5 - The Finale

Brosef and his awesome handstand on Mount Carmel
We have reached the end of our blogscipade as well as the end of my silly stories (I'm sure I have more, I'm just not going to tell them all, lest we be here all year).

By the final day, we'd seen so much. My feet trotted upon the very spots history had made famous. I saw and did more than I ever have in my life. I made wonderful friends - family in their own way, really.  Of course, by this point I'd also made quite the fool of myself, as you may have read. (My elbow is perfectly fine by this point, thank you.)

Our final trip was through Caesarea Philippi - King Herod's Roman-esq home. One of his many palaces.  This was the location of the games in Israel, similar to the Roman games played in the Olympics.  Herod, it is said, is the first to suggest a prize for the second and third place winners - silver and bronze medals.
Pool cut from rock by Herod's Builders

All fascinating, wonderful, and breezy. You'd see why they wanted to be there. After Caesarea, we went to our final dinner, and after our final dinner... we went to the airport. To better be comfortable, I put my blonde hair in braids under my Dead Sea Hat. As I'm sure you know from Two Trips and a Loss, Brosef and I followed Owen nowhere.

Now, if you have been keeping up all week, you know from Sick Ain't Pretty On Me that I am dreading this flight. I don't want to get on this plane.  After my last experience, I'm trying to come up with a way to become an Israeli citizen and never come home...
Creepiest LONGEST millipede ever. Almost as long as my foot

Luckily, I was given a prescription anti-nausea pill and prayers of health.
Life saver.
I survived the flight.  I slept through part of it (red eye flight) and watched several movies for the rest of it (Here Comes the Boom - funny but not one I'd watch otherwise; Premium Rush - very interesting and I enjoyed it; The Hobbit - Already knew I loved it).

I'm sure you could imagine my excitement when we landed and I was still going strong - no need to be sick.   I pushed my braids behind me, straightened my hat, and stretched my muscles as we finally were allowed to stand. Bubbly as could be, I followed one of my other coworkers (We'll call her Joanne) whom I'd been by on the plane.  Her husband John was far ahead of us, so the two of us traipsed down the aisles and off the plane.

Little Brother Brosef, Big Brother Owen and I under one of the aqueduct arches at Caesarea
As we neared the entrance to plane, there was a man (either flight attendant or co-pilot) saying farewell as we passed.  Joanne gave him a nod, a thank you, and a smile.  He did likewise.  It was my turn, and I followed suit.

The elder smiled at me, eyes crinkling so the wrinkles on the sides deepened, and pressed something into my hand.  I thanked him as I glanced down at the little object he'd parted with.


My special United Wings
I had just been handed wings.
You know, the kind they give to all kids 12 and under.
The ones who have been really good on such a long flight.
Such good kids.

And I was on of them.

As I stumbled into the connecting gate, I stared dumbstruck at my little plastic possession.
"Joanne." I said, face reddening in amused embarrassment. "He gave me wings."
"What?" Joanne spun around and stared at the little blue item I held out for her observation. For a second, and only one second, she was quiet.

Then the laughter began.

"JOHN!" She called ahead as soon as we saw him. "Kelsey got wings! WINGS! They think she's twelve! I bet they thought she was our daughter."
The laughter continued.
I laughed too, though I was still a bit horrified.  You see, it isn't the first time I've had someone question my age.
"How old do you think I am?" I once asked an intern at work where I have been FULL TIME for 2 years. She's 19, and knows my younger brother. She looked  me up and down.
"Eighteen, nineteen tops."
"I'm twenty-three."
"No you aren't."

Do you know how often I pull out my driver's license to prove myself in these kind of situations?

This is essentially the look - add  braids.
Do you think I look 12?
There I was, holding wings, laughing with two individuals whose oldest son was 4-5 years my junior, holding my little plastic wings.
Brosef, who wasn't even carded on his 21st birthday (and wouldn't have been before then), had an even more jovial response.
"Ah! HA HA! It's the braids. No. No it isn't. It's you and your face. You do look twelve!"
Owen was kinder. He never flat out said I looked twelve, but he did say "That's the best thing I've heard. So funny."

Stick with me, blogosphere...I'm the fountain of youth.
Yet as I sat there, staring at my new plastic contraption, I realized something.

It was the perfect end to my perfectly hilarious trip.

Now it's your turn - what's the worse mistake others have made about YOUR age? Too old? Too young? Thought your mother was your sister or vice versa?


Remember, this is your LAST CHANCE to enter to win something from Israel, a giftcard for $10 of your choosing, CR Smith's latest CD and a monkey! You must be a follower of this blog (over to the right click "follow") and you must comment below! The more comments over the week that you've accumulated, the more entries: you can have up to 5 entries! Did you send someone my way? Have them mention that YOU sent them and I'll throw in a bonus entry.

In fact, I've had so much fun, I'll give away a second place prize of an Israel cross, a monkey, and a CR Smith CD.
So comment away! Winners will be announced next week!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Between a Rock and a Tender Place

Kelsey's Israel Blundering Confessional: Part 4

Confession: I have an insanely sensitive right "ulnar nerve".


It's the nerve that lends to the term "funny bone".  The one that, when hit just right, gives that fuzzy, tingly feeling all over your arm that is anything BUT funny.

However, when that nerve is sensitive, it means hitting it just the wrong way causes a pain slicing up your arm so intense you want it to fall off.  It's like a hot blade sawing through your ring finger and middle finger, trailing all the way down to the elbow.
My left side is normal - fuzzy, uncomfortable, but manageable. My right side...

The Gates of Hell
 On the second half of our trip, we went to a place which made me laugh due to its name.
The Temple of the Holy Goats.
Seriously. We went there.

This was also the place where it was believed the Gates of Hell were kept - here, hell/hades/whatever you called it lurked. If you were quiet, you could hear goats bleating.

Just kidding. You couldn't. That would have been really disturbing.

Near here is also a place called Abraham's Arch. This is relevant (and awesome) because Abraham actually came by this This man from history who is way back in BC walked through this place. There are still things from the people old, yet preserved as best they can.

From my point of view, we walked on from the arch and I lost myself in my own thoughts. That is, until a searing, white hot pain shot up my arm...
Back story time! 

Now, because this was Abraham's Arch and there were several things about this place enriched in history...
Abraham's Arch - thousands of years old
The jokes were bound to begin.

"Look! It's Abraham's dirt! He touched this dirt."
"Hey, Abraham's he walked through this exact water."
And my personal favorite.

"This is Abraham's rock. He touched this rock, you guys," Owen said to a group around him. I was ahead of him, and being who he is, Owen thought it would be funny to throw 'Abraham's rock' at my backpack.
Being the musician (not athletic) he is...he missed.  The rock sailed by and I continued on, oblivious.  Not one to give up, Owen plucked another rock from the dirt and gently lobbed it through the air at me...

And dropped me to my knees.

He didn't hit my backpack.
He hit my ultra sensitive Ulnar Nerve.

On my end, after minding my own business, I was suddenly on my knees, eyes watering, feeling like my arm was being cut in half by a knife.
Probably what I looked like when
I spun around after being hit...
Super cute, right?
But I know I must have looked like a professional soccer player. A small rock barely plunks against my tender elbow...I whirl around, 180 degrees, grabbing my arm in shock and pain only to see Owen's face light up in amused concern. The group behind him cock their heads and raise their eyebrows as I drop to my knees and let out a pitiful whine.  The chorus of "Oh my gosh, Kelsey!" begins and I berate my stupid nerve.
If I thought Owen apologized one million times in the line through Denver security (Two Trips and a Loss), it was nothing to how bad he felt at this moment.

While Owen felt awful...I was mortified. Of course the one stupid place in which the lightest touch can cause discomfort is THE landing place for the stupid rock thrown by the usually gentle pianist. 

My world went a bit black around the edges, my arm throbbed, and Owen chuckled guiltily while repeatedly apologizing.  If mine was the trip of blundering embarrassments, his was the trip of apologetic shenanigans. 

An hour passed before I could use my arm again - it's that stupid. I tried to play it down "Oh. I'm fine. No big deal. Why am I holding my arm awkwardly at my side? For fun of course! It's really comfortable..."

Shoot me now.

What's your Achilles' Heel? Do you have a trick knee, a bad hip, or maybe ankles that click? Can someone undo your world with a little flick of your ear? Let's commiserate together, I bet you won't look as foolish as I did :)

Come one, come all and FOLLOW my blog! Don't forget to comment below once you've done so to enter for a chance to win something from Israel, a gift card, a CD, and a little neon monkey! Comment on all five blogs and you will have 5 entries!

What you're winning!

The Day Hiking Kicked My Sorry White...

Kelsey's Israel Blundering Confessional: Part 3

I'm not an outdoorsy person, but if I am going to go outside, I hope it's for hiking.

However, since I am not often outside, I don't hike much. My friends don't hike much. It's not something I've had a lot of experience in, no matter how much I enjoy it each time I actually do.

In Israel, there were several hiking opportunities. Each one kicked my sorry white hide, and all in different ways.

En Gedi is where David hid from Saul up in the caves. Of course, I always expected this to be a desert place, dry and barren - no one would go there and they chose it for that reason.
En Gedi is a tropical waterfall area with lush green vines all around.  This hike, I more or less well as saw some sites we all could have done without.

Russians don't follow the "NO SWIMMING" rule
With the exception of missing my step and clattering down onto my face and dropping the camera I'd borrowed from my mother (and didn't get a scratch!).

The real beast was Masada.

Masada is a mountain with a snake trail slithering up its side. If you're willing, you can hike uphill for five miles in the desert sun to reach the top. If hiking isn't your thing, you can take the 1-2 minute gondola ride scaling up from the lobby below.

Masada is a tourist site due to its history.  Ages ago, the people of Masada were invaded by the Romans, but because of the difficulty to get to the top, the Romans weren't able to acquire Masada for an embarrassingly long time (for the Romans).
When they finally built a ramp to scale the mountain and take captive those from the land above, the heads of the families - deciding they wouldn't fall prey to Rome - killed their loved ones and then drew lots to kill each other.
When Rome reached the top, only Josephus remained.  His stories are where Jewish people get much of their history.

Being the dumb-dumb that I am, I took the challenge. Of COURSE I wanted to join Brosef and the rest in scaling this ridiculous mountain when I am not athletic or capable at all.
How far up we hiked. That white line is the trail. Those tiny black dots are people.

At first, trekking with Big D (one of my travelers) was easy. We set a good pace and made good time.  Brosef and Owen were racing far ahead of us, but I already knew Owen would win. Brosef didn't have the right shoes AND had brought his heavy backpack. It slowed him down.
Eventually, Big D had to leave me behind so I could wheeze up at my own pace.
So. Much. Wheezing.

Masada ruins
As I pressed on alone, the metallic taste in my mouth grew strong. I was sweating everywhere- EVERYWHERE. My parched mouth couldn't be satisfied with what little water I had. As if from a movie, I could hear the vultures calling out for my defeat, demanding I drop so they might feast...the world blackened around me. It was the end...
Pretty sure that part was in my head.

Eventually, I reached a place where Brosef was resting, Big D having passed him as well.
"Come on, Sister." He demanded in his most encouraging tone. "You can do this. Come to me."

He coaxed me the rest of the way up the mountain.  In part, I kept on because the person behind me was catching up and I didn't want her to beat me.

I finished in 29 minutes.
Let me break that down for you.
They consider Masada a 45 minute hike.  25 minutes is what kids do it in (young agile kids) - 24 minutes is the best time for a man who does this regularly.
I did it in 29.

Triumphant, I turned the corner to find all those from the gondola as well as those who had come before me - Brosef (28 minutes), Big D (25 minutes) and Owen (22 FREAKIN MINUTES).

Panting like the chubby kid who had to walk the mile back in school (that might have been me...), I dumped water all over my fire-truck-red face. I whined and moaned and couldn't cool down.
Nothing I did made me feel better.

So I sat and wheezed for ten minutes.
And then we were up and moving again, which, once the mountain beats rewards you.
The view from the top

Masada is amazing. One of the most spectacular views, a fascinating story, and a city still very intact for being millenniums old.

Honestly, I'd love to tell you that the silliest thing I did on this trip was turn beat red and dump a bottle of water all over myself.
But if I said that, I'd be lying!
You know you want to hear about what happened next...when rocks go flying.

What about you? What's the most proud you've been after a physical accomplishment?
Talk to me below, and don't forget...all comments of followers are entering themselves to win something from Israel, as well as a hearty gift card to one of your choosing: Amazon, Barns and Noble, iTunes. The prize pack keeps growing as I've thrown in a Neon Monkey and the newest CD of CR Smith

Brosef and I - less red, but still....