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Janet Evanovich Rocks!

I met Janet Evanovich at her book signing in Michigan and she is a one terrific lady! I’m a HUGE fan.  How HUGE? Well, recently, I helped plan a fan party at our local library in her honor and then went in costume to her book signing and helped the book store entertain the long lines.  It happened something like this:

My friend wanted to throw a “little” dinner party with all the favorites from the books (mashed potatoes, meatloaf, pineapple upside cake)  complete with character costumes. Picture someone dressed as Lula or Vinnie!!  What a hoot!! Then – I don’t know what came over me but I thought — why not make this a community event? I contacted the local library and it snowballed from there.

Each day we came up with more fun ideas and it was like planning a wedding! Food had to be DONUTS (all Stephanie Plum series readers would get this) and of course I figured I’d ask local businesses to sponsor this.  At first it was just the donuts — Dunkin Donuts and Tim Hortons were super generous! Then the library provided coffee and gift cards for the used book store.

Hmmm….why not promote local businesses and help the economy while we’re at it? The responses were mostly positive! We had gift cards that related to the stories:  Lula loves her chicken — so KFC donated gift cards! cars blow up in every book — Lighthouse Car Wash donated GCs! Food is a central theme in all the books so we had GCs from Wendy’s, Holiday Market, Leo’s Coney Island and Big Boy too.  Big hair in New Jersey? Salon Anew GC! Rex the hamster and Bob the dog? Pet Supplies Plus GC!  It was amazing!  Even the Janet Evanovich website sent us tons of goodies to give out!  (Thanks Alex!!)

The library wrote up a little blurb about the event in their newsletter (we just barely made the deadline) and their website (alright!) and our local paper wrote about it too! (AWESOME!)

In the meantime, my friend created most of the trivia questions and I typed them up and put them in balloons!! (okay that was much later…) The only way to get the questions is to have fans sit on the balloons and POP — like the cars that blow up in the books! Okay…more on that later…We came up with an ice breaker type game and little details and whammo – we had our games and activities!

Food? Check! Gifts? Check! Press? Check! Games and activities? Check! Costumes?….wait, what? I have to wear a costume? 🙂

I decided on the Stephanie Plum character because she’s one of my favorites — and, okay, so that one’s pretty easy without looking ridiculous! 🙂

By the way, my friend and I work in a school and the fan party was on the Saturday after school started!! Talk about a busy week!!!

Okay – now – my friend decides she still wants to have the dinner at her house after our fan party at the library and actually cooked a fabulous meal! She made mouth-watering meatloaf, chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls!! To top it all off, we had upside down pineapple cake AND double chocolate cake!! I could hardly move the whole night!! (Think: Thanksgiving).  The characters in the books eat like this all the time — good thing they’re fictional — too much of a good thing.  (And of course, we had wine, but that’s another story).

The morning of the event was filled with runs to the donut shops and bakery but the best part was loading my car!! Remember all those balloons with the questions tucked inside them for the game? I thought I was smart by putting them in four huge black garbage bags and putting them in my garage as I loaded up my SUV.  I was standing in the back of my car watching my hubby put the seats down to make room and per chance, I glanced up — only three garbage bags are in my garage.  One of the bags blew away onto the neighbor’s yard — complete with balloons inside – AND two of the balloons escaped from the bag! I made a mad dash after the bag and the run-away balloons!  Did I mention how windy it was? Oh for pete’s sake!

The event was a blast! The fans were terrific and we all shared our favorite LOL parts of the Stephanie Plum series.  The games and activities were fun and thanks to our generous sponsors, the gifts were great too!! (Big Boy even made a special appearance!) Oh yeah, and did I mention the DONUTS!!

YUM!

The book signing was a total hoot! My friend arranged for us to provide the entertainment while people wait in the long lines.  I was happy to do it and didn’t even mind wearing my costume — it’s like Janet Evanovich fans all “understand” each other — we love her books, the humor and the men in the stories!! So many women told us they LOVED Ranger!! I asked trivia questions and the best reaction was when I asked what was Lula’s previous profession — the answer was always “She was a HO!” complete with attitude and all! People were so funny – my smile was still plastered on when I left the store a few hours later…

I’d read so many things about the author previously that I felt I already knew her when it was finally my turn to meet her. She was all smiles and friendly (and probably a little surprised at my costume). Besides devouring all her Stephanie Plum series books, I’d read her “How I Write” book and found her to be very down to earth and refreshing as a person and writer.  What a classy lady!

Pictures by Jennifer Wilmarth.  I’ll post more pictures  soon!

~~Maggie

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2010 in Funny, Games, Writing

 

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Snickers turned Cujo!

I took Max for a long overdue walk (it’s been too humid before tonight) and on our way home, I detoured through the neighborhood park where we found an adorable Yorkie. Of course, Max was super excited and they did their silent talk — I think Max dominated him by the way he kept lifting his left up (4 times) at the nearby tree.  (Mind you — his bladder is completely empty by now).  I looked around, expecting to see the dog‘s owner, but the nearby gardening neighbor said no. No one else was around.

I decided the adorable Yorkie must be lost so I took a closer look on his collar — he had one of those special invisible fence things on it and I could make out his name — Snickers.  Cute,  so I thought, until I tried to get the phone number and he turned all CUJO on me. I know he’s tiny, but I wasn’t taking any chances, so I backed up. He decided he had enough of the park and took off.  I couldn’t leave him alone without finding his owner so I decided to follow him a little until I could get his number…somehow.  In the meantime, I called my daughter to meet me at the park with some treats — bribery always works with Max when I want him to come.

Luckily, he stopped a lot — he liked Max, I guess — but every time I got closer — Grrr!! I was sure he’d get my hand or ankle one of those  times.  As I waited for my daughter, I saw two women with a stroller coming through the park path and a boy on a bike coming from the street. I asked them if they knew the little dog. The women didn’t but the boy recognized him after we said his name was Snickers. He pointed to a house down the street by the park! Phew! We returned the dog to the owner — she said the battery died on his collar and she had no idea he’d gotten out. (I resisted the urge to tell her to rename her dog.)

Some people are like Snickers – aren’t they? They look all cute and adorable, but you try to help them with something and they turn all  Cujo on you. They put up a brick wall and don’t want to hear it, even if it’s in their best interest. If you push it, they show their teeth too. My reaction is the same with these people — step away slowly and no one gets hurt.

~~Maggie

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2010 in dog, Funny

 

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Funny incident in Japan between five year old and American traveler….

A certain “someone”  (suffice it to say he’s a  smart, six foot tall, handsome man) went to Japan recently and encountered a bright five year old Japanese boy at a train station.  This is what happened:

As handsome man stood in front of a very complex train ticket machine, for what  felt like hours (he was feeling flu-like symptoms to begin with), the little boy and his mother stopped by.

The little boy looked up and, in perfect and clear English, said “Sir, do you need help?”

The man looked down at the little tyke and mumbled, “Yes.”   He didn’t really expect any help from the little guy, but he was impressed at his language skills.

The little boy pointed at the train ticket machine and said, “Sir, maybe it would help if you pushed the “English” button.”

True story.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2010 in Funny, kids

 

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Max’s point of view

Here’s a little jab at point of view – from Max’s perspective:

“Maaa–!”  My ears shoot up and I zoom over to the One Who Drives and Occasionally Walks Me.   Wag, wag, wag — I’m here, I’m here.  Notice me!  Ahh!  that feels soo good.  A walk?  A walk?  Take me!  Take me! TAKE ME!  Sniff, sniff — yum, is that steak? Wait!   Nooo!  Come baack!  The red thing is here.  Where’d she go? Trot,skip, trot, ooh – wait – what’s that feather doing here again?  Gotta get it — gotta got it — round and round I go — oooh – I’m soooo dizzy!  Where’d she go?  Sniff, sniff.  Oh, good, there she is.  Wag, wag, wag — I’m here, I’m here!  Hellooo?

Jingle, jingle, jingle —  a ride?  A ride?  I’m ready! Let’s go! Let’s go!  LET’S GO! Oh, there’s the red thing – click, click – yeay! Now, we’re ready.  But – oh yikes! Not that thing again!  Oh – fine!  Itchy – scratchy itchy -oh well – let’s go!  There IT is!  One, two — threeeeee — I made it!  Phew!

If you haven’t figured it out yet – Max is my dog!

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2010 in dog, Funny, Writing

 

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Guilty pleasures

Heroes  – season finale is tomorrow night and…..I CAN’T WAIT!!  I’m totally hooked!  I don’t care what the critics say, I’m still a loyal fan.  The cast is impressive and the plot is entertaining.

American Idol –  yes, the audition stage is painful sometimes, but I like the touching stories and there are some great singers –  oh yeah, I laugh at some of the contestants — one word: delusional!  Some are downright ridiculous, I mean, come on, bikini guy?

Real Housewives series – right now it’s Orange County — each season seems to get a little over the top, but the women prove that money doesn’t buy happiness nor friendship.

Grey’s Anatomy – it’s been a bit of a roller coaster, but I’m a loyal fan – the characters have grown on me, what can I say?

90210 – yes – I know it’s not like the original (and yes I watched that one eons ago) but I like this one too.  Too bad I have to wait until March for the new episodes.

Dollhouse – so sad it was cancelled….good acting and much better than some other shows on the air — who makes these decisions? 😦

new shows:  Modern Family and The Middle – love both! The Middle has some great characters and I think the writers are VERY creative!

Good thing I have DVR!

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2010 in Funny, TV, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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A-hem…

As I’ve said here before — I LOVE working with kids.  They keep me in stitches and what makes them even more hilarious is that they’re not even trying to be funny.  Just today, in Kindergarten, one little girl cracked me up and I thought I’d share.

The teacher was in the process of calling small groups of students to choose their centers.  In order to avoid a stampede at the white erase board, she gives each group a chance to get up from the carpet, line up and make their selections by placing their Popsicle sticks; then she calls the next group.  While she was doing this, she and I briefly discussed a concern we had over a student who had been absent for several weeks.

At this point, only one group was left.  All of the sudden, one bright-eyed and anxious  little girl, who was sitting on the carpet, clears her throat and  says “A-hem” – exactly like an adult would, to get someone’s attention.  TOO FUNNY!

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2010 in Funny, kids, Teaching

 

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

The first real snow of the holiday season is especially magical.   My whole family is home because of winter break and we’re all still in our pjs in the afternoon.  I look out my bay window and everything outside is pristine and so white that I have to step back a little and take it all in.  Sitting inside my warm house, still in my bathrobe and sipping my daily coffee, adds to the magic.  It’s so peaceful that I grab a good book and curl up on my couch.  Ahh! Bliss!

My dog, Max, loves the snow too.  He plays in it, as if it was a friend who came for a visit.  He especially loves to lick it and comes back in the house with a funny little white beard.  He has to hop around when the snow gets too high.  Too funny.

Even though I’ve lived here a few years, I still love to see the flurries come down, as if from a giant sifter in the sky.  I grew up in a tropical climate and didn’t experience my first snow until I was an adult.  I’ll never forget it.  It was during the work week and my car was completely covered with snow.  What was a girl to do?  I happily cleared the snow off my car — every inch — and loved every second of it.  In fact, I was a half hour late to work.  Luckily, my boss was pretty cool and just laughed when I explained why I was late.  She probably knew that I would never again feel that excited about clearing snow off my car again.

She was so right!  Now – I park my car in the garage – thank you very much.   I love to look at snow, but driving in it is not fun.  (I’ve had my fair share of nerve-wrecking spin-outs).  I’ll just live in the magic a little longer – it’s a good book after all.  Soon enough, the snow will turn into a nice gray slush and I could just hope for….more snow.

I think we’ll go skiing soon.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2009 in Family, Funny, Holidays

 

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