Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Because THE HOME STRETCH is stretching on and on and on and on and on ....

Frappucino Martini

1 9.5 fl. oz. bottle of store bought Starbucks frappucino

4 oz. vodka


Pour frappucino into martini shaker. Add vodka. Add ice to fill. Shake and pour.

Serves 2.

Who am I kidding?

Serves 1.

Next time I'll take a photo of the drink before I drink it all.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Perfect First Date

Twenty years ago today, I went out on a most amazing date that would change my life forever.

We met through some friends of my college roommate and her boyfriend, hanging out together at a study center after hours with a motley group of undergrad engineering students (my people) and physics grad students (his people). I tried to study and he totally distracted me. We would play video games together on the Mac Classics in the labs there. Tetris, Risk and my favorite--Crystal Quest. 

One night we went out on this double date with the purpose of fixing up one of my friends with one of his. Our match making didn't work out so well for our friends, but we hit it off right away. I was so thrilled when he called the next day and asked me out for the following weekend.

So on May 5, 1989, we had our first official date. He took me to dinner at a nice Chinese restaurant. Really good wonton soup and great conversation. Some of the conversation was serious, some of it was silly, and some of it was flirty, but it was always comfortable.

After dinner, we went to the movies and saw Stephen King's Pet Cemetery. The perfect excuse for sitting close enough for him to put his arm around me.

After the movie, we went out for a drink at a jazz club that was on the first floor of this fantastic cajun restaurant downtown. We sat close to each other at a little round table lit by a single candle, holding hands and just talking and listening to jazz music. To tell the truth, it was a wonder I could hear anything above the pounding of my heart. I was so happy to finally be on a date with a guy who I was into and I was pretty sure was into me, too. It just felt right--and exciting and romantic-- to be with him.

After a while, we got up to leave the jazz club, and I knew this awesome date was coming to an end. I was afraid to even dare hope for the perfect ending to this perfect date with a kiss when he dropped me off at my dorm. But I hoped anyway. 

Fortunately, I didn't have to wait too long for my hopes to be answered.

As we walked hand in hand down the sidewalk outside the club, he took a few steps around the corner of the building, pulled me to him and kissed me. The kiss was a little bit sweet, and a lot bit passionate, making my insides tingle from my heart down to my toes. The chemistry between us sparked and I couldn't help but think that this was the beginning of something really special between us. It was.

After that date, I never dated anyone else.

Just the same guy.

I fell in love with him.

And married him four years and some months later.

Twenty years later he still makes my insides tingle from my heart down to my toes with a mere kiss.

I'll never ever forget the magic of our first date.  I love you.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Quilting For A Cause

Author Brenda Novak is hosting her 5th Annual Online Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research. The auction opens today and runs for the whole month of May. Last year, the auction raised over $250,000! Since Brenda is an author, many, if not most of the items up for auction are related to you guessed it . . . reading and writing! There are literally hundreds of items of interest for readers of ALL genres and for authors as well. For the reader, there are autographed books (including many ARCs of upcoming releases), lunch dates with authors, and other great items.

For those of you who are aspiring authors, there are even opportunities for you to bid on manuscript critiques and other evaluations related to getting published.

In addition to book related prizes to bid on, there are items such as trips, tickets to shows, autographed CDs, collectible items, paintings, and hand crafted items such as jewelry, beaded purses, and quilts. Speaking of quilts....

My blogging friend Phyl of the blog Phyl's Quilts & Books has sewn the gorgeous quilted wall art shown here that she has so generously donated to the auction. Isn't it pretty? You can see some close up photos of the details at Phyl's blog HERE.

I first 'met' Phyl last summer on my blog when I posted about my cross-stitching hobby and she popped on to comment about her love of quilting. Of course, since we both also have a passion for reading romance, our blogging friendship was sealed! Needless to say, I've been following Phyl's blog since then and hence have followed Phyl's progress on this quilt. I truly admire Phyl for putting her time, effort and love into such a beautiful piece in order to donate it to this wonderful cause. If you have ever made a handmade gift for someone, you know what it is like to be inspired by your friendship or love for that person as you spend all those hours working on the piece. You enjoy the craft even more knowing you are going to give it to someone who will cherish it forever. In this case, Phyl poured her heart into this beautiful wall art with thoughts of donating it to this auction, knowing the bids on her quilt will be funding diabetes research which will affect the lives of anyone who has diabetes. I admire the quilt as well as Phyl's giving spirit. :)

If you want to put a bid on Phyl's quilt, click HERE.

You can browse the hundreds of items by category HERE or from the sidebar of the auction website.

I noticed there is an ARC of Nalini Singh's upcoming July 2009 release Branded by Fire up for auction. I want it. :)