Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just Kill Me Now

Seriously?! Because I don't have enough things to worry about? No, really, this is great because I had just been thinking how great life was and that I really hadn't had any anxiety issues in a while. I was totally in need of something new to keep me up at night, so this is perfect.

What's awesome is that when I started hearing about it, I wrote it off as another "pandemic alarm," you know, like the devastating avian flu and West Nile virus that wiped us all out a few years ago. I rolled my eyes and went about my day. Then as I was running errands, I saw not one, but two separate people in two different places wearing masks. I won't deny, the anxiety kicked in a bit, but I made myself feel better by laughing at them inside my head and judging them for their obvious paranoia.

But, just to be safe, I decided to come home and actually learn about this alleged pig flu. You know, not because I was genuinely worried or anything, but because I don't want to be ignorant. I like to be on the up and up of current affairs.

Yeah, so it turns out that people are like, dying and stuff. And the virus is like, spreading, at an alarming rate. And, the alarm level is at a five now, which I guess is like, high. So....yeah. I'm a wreck. All I hear is "swine flu" and the heart palpitations and accelerated breathing kick in. I tell myself it will all blow over, just like the other ones, but it's so hard when every time I get online (which, let's be honest, is about every half hour) there's a new update on how "the death toll is rising" and "the vaccines are months away" and "it's spreading like wildfire" and "there are now suspected cases in Seattle." Awesome.

Even better, my husband seems to think this is the real deal, and has reminded me more than once that "it's going to get a lot worse."

Cool. In the meantime, you can find me locked in my bedroom, curled in the fetal position, doing breathing exercises. Let me know when it's over.

*Update: I just heard there have been six cases reported in WA state, one in Spokane. It begins.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

I want to first state (just in case it wasn't horribly obvious) that the excerpts you are getting are from my first draft. You know, the rough one? This means everything I put on here is probably riddled with grammatical errors and is subject to change; meaning, it may not even end up in the final product. But hopefully it will. Cause I likes what I writes. (I mean, what I've far.)

Beep. Beep. Beep. My alarm. I rolled over to turn it off, but something pulled at my arms, preventing me from moving. Irritated, I pried my eyes open and waited for them to focus. All I saw was white. Fuzzy whiteness, everywhere I looked. I blinked and squinted and tried to make sense of what I was seeing, but the whiteness didn’t go away, only sharpened a bit. Scanning my surroundings, I saw another color: silver. Gleaming silver and stark white, everywhere I looked. As the sleep fog cleared from my brain, I began to make out machines and instruments that somewhere, in the deep recesses of my mind, were familiar to me. I realized the big machine next to me was the source of the beeping. Not my alarm. Definitely not my alarm, because this wasn’t my apartment, wasn’t my bed. Wracking my brain, I frantically tried to remember where I was and why I was here and the last thing I could clearly remember. I came up completely bone dry.

A. Leppert 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009



After assaulting a photographer in an airport, Woody defended himself by saying:
"I wrapped a movie called Zombieland, in which I was constantly under assault by zombies, then flew to New York, still very much in character. With my daughter at the airport I was startled by a paparazzo, who I quite understandably mistook for a zombie."

Quite understandable, indeed. Woody, I can see where you would get confused. An easy mistake that anyone could have made. But, just to be sure, I would keep your crocheted cap on so the aliens can't use their brain scanners to experiment on you. Better to be safe than sorry.

Is it John Lennon?
Is it a homeless person?
Nope, just Mary Kate Olsen, out for a stroll.


Some people are so obvious I hate to even draw attention to them.
This was the same chick that performed on American Idol with the zipper over her eye.

Here she looks like she was the result of the Mad Hatter mating with the March Hare


I can't be totally sure, but I'm pretty sure he's annoyed because she just tried to de-pants him.


The two brothers were spotted in a rare moment without the third brother.
Reportedly Joe and Kevin had refused to be seen with Nick when he opted for baggy pants that day.


I'm gonna give Drew the benefit of the doubt here and assume that her convertible top was stuck in the open position on the way to this event. I think before the horrific wind-blown incident she probably looked like this:


How convenient for Honor Marie that her mom's chic pacifier necklace doubles as something soothing to suck on.

Speaking of Jessica Alba...

It was so nice of Jessica Simpson to loan her some pants.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Okay, okay, so I'm not really writing a book about a clown named Rudolfo. But you can't tell me that wouldn't make one stellar novel.

Basically I haven't written anything in weeks and I just couldn't give another teaser from the same four pages I've written. Before long you could piece them all together and have the first chapter, and I obviously don't want that. So I decided to have a little fun. And fun it was.

Secondly, I think I was entirely unclear on which statue I was referring to in my last Disneyland post, the one that makes me tear up (and tear up may have been an exaggeration. I guess a more accurate description would have been "I like it a lot"). It looked like I was talking about the statue of Pluto that Macy is standing next to. Don't get me wrong, Pluto is a cute dog and all, but seeing his likeness in bronze doesn't exactly make me well up. No, I was actually talking about the picture below it, the one of Walt Disney and Mickey. I don't know if it was just being there or what, but something about that statue, the two of them holding hands, Walt pointing as if he's showing something to Mickey, it just sums up the essence of Disneyland. I don't know why. I just love it.

So there are the answers to your burning questions. Now you can sleep soundly tonight.

I'm hoping to update my movie blog soon. I've seen two movies recently that I want to review and I'm ready to do another This Week In Hollywood, so, you know, check it out. (Once I write it. Don't check it out right now, there's nothing there yet.)


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

"Wait!" She yelled, grabbing her bowstaff as she ran out the door. He stopped and turned, squinting at her face, one hand on the car door.
"You can't leave. Not yet." She was straining to keep her voice calm. The last thing she wanted was for him to know how much she was hurting.
"Why not?" He growled. "You don't want me here. I know you don't trust me. Ever since I joined the circus you've been distant. It's just not the same anymore." He looked away, and she realized he was fighting back tears himself.
"Rudolfo..." What could she say? How could she tell him the one thing that she swore she would never tell a single soul? He stared at her, so intensely she felt the urge to run and hide.
"Rudolfo, I need to tell you something." She gazed at his red foam nose, terrified. "Renesmee didn't die in that avalanche." She watched his eyes widen in shock, but forced herself to go on. "It was me...I did it. I killed her."
Rudolfo's mouth slowly dropped open, and it was moments before he could speak. "H--how?"
Absiddy turned her face away, ashamed to look him in the eye. " was....soap poisoning!"

© A. Leppert 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Disneyland Trip Part 3

Okay, finally I am doing my last installment of our trip. What a busy week it's been getting back to reality. (And not a little bit depressing.)

This is a picture I forgot to put on my last post. Macy inherited her dad's thrill-seeking streak. That girl has no fear when it comes to adventurous stuff and is first in line to try out something new and exciting. The second we got to Disneyland all she wanted to do was go on the big roller coaster rides, like The Matterhorn, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (her favorite) and Splash Mountain. Payson and I hung back on Splash Mountain, not because he was scared of the drop, but because he was scared of getting splashed on. (Don't get me started on that boy's fear of getting splashed.) Here is Bill and Macy's picture from the ride. (Again, dinosaur computer = scanner not working = me taking a picture of a picture.)

A closeup so you can see Macy's look of sheer terror.

That was the one ride that finally reached her limit. She immediately announced she would not be doing that one again.

Our third and final day at Disneyland was busy. We knew we had to pack in the parts we hadn't got to yet, our favorite rides we wanted to do again, and California Adventures, which, in hindsight, was not a great idea. (It is almost as big as Disneyland, for those who don't know, and needs three days in and of itself.) First we hit Disneyland.

LOVE this statue. I'm embarrassed to say it makes me tear up.

During the day they do scheduled showings of a Jedi Training Academy, where a Jedi comes out and picks kids out of the audience to train to be Jedis. They learn a series of moves with a light saber and then fight Darth Vader and Darth Maul. Payson wanted to do it SO BAD. We secured spots up front 45 mins. before a show to try and get him picked but, alas, he was not the chosen one. It was still cool to watch.

In the afternoon we headed over to California Adventures, which I had never been to. I was loathe to leave Disneyland and, even though C.A. was cool, it just wasn't the same. We spent less than two hours there. (Mainly due to lack of time and due to the fact that it's geared toward older kids.) We did get to meet Mater and Lightning McQueen, which was very cool.

The one place that was geared toward little kids was A Bug's Land. It was so fun. The whole place is built as if you are a bug, everything is ginormous and looks like it's made out of littered stuff, like, all the posts are pencils or Q-tips. All the bug characters were hidden throughout the park. We had fun finding them.

Clovers towered over head as big as trees.

The lights were just like in the movie...bugs.

Shortly after this we were so exhausted we could barely move. We went to Disney's Downtown District, another new feature I'd never been to that was so cool. The kids and I ate there while Bill ran back over to California Adventures to ride the big, scary rides, like the Tower of Terror (free-fall drop) and the California Screamin' roller coaster (which closed down for technical difficulties when he was the next person in line to get on. He was so ticked!). He LOVED the Tower of Terror though, which I couldn't even look at. The minute I saw puke shields on each seat I was out of there.

Then we headed back over to Disneyland to watch the fireworks show, which was amazing. I thought it was just fireworks, but I should have know that with Disney, it would be much cooler. It was a whole show with music and cool effects and stuff. I didn't get any pictures, sadly, because Bill and I were juggling a sleeping Payson at that point. But the memories will last forever. Then we drug our tired bodies back to the hotel and crashed. As I walked out of Disneyland for the last time I seriously wanted to cry. I didn't want to leave this other world, the feeling I have when I am there. It seriously is magical, there is no other word for it. Even the smells make me feel...wonderful. I know that is beyond cheesy but I don't feel this way often about stuff so when I do, you're gonna hear about it. If you EVER have a chance to go there, do. And when you do, appreciate all the little things, experience it all, not just the fast rides. There's so much more to it.

And then we went home. After another exhausting day of traveling, it was so great to get home, back to our own beds and our sweet kitty. A huge thank you to Stacia and Kelly for taking care of him for us, and to Mike and Cindy for ferrying us to and from the airport and babysitting our car! You guys are the best.

Oh, just one more kids' first airplane ride. They loved every second of it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Macy

Happy Birthday to my most precious little girl.
I love you more than you'll ever know.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Disneyland Trip Part Two

Day Two at Disneyland was long. (About as long as this post.) And jam-packed. We woke up early and hit Toon Town, where Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald live. Toon Town is so much fun. Everything looks like it's a cartoon and everything is silly. (For example, there is a street sign that says Wrong Turn...Okay) You seriously feel like you've stepped into a cartoon and the kids LOVE it.

Goofy's house

Donald's Houseboat

The waterfall behind Donald's boat

The best picture taken on the trip (besides the one with Blake, of course), and I didn't take it. Bill did.

Chip and Dale's Treehouse

Loved the Toon Town sign behind Mickey's house that mimics the Hollywood sign.

Mickey's house

Minnie's house next door
(I couldn't help but think how easy it would have been for Minnie to sneak out at night into Mickey's house. Scandalous.)

One of the kids' favorite thing was meeting the characters and getting their autographs in their autograph books. They had no problem standing in line to get them. Payson especially loved it. It was seriously his favorite part of Disneyland. (???) We got to meet Mickey in his house and then walk through it. It's a lot bigger than it looks, and so cool.

Here is Payson sitting at Mickey's desk.

Mickey's laundry room, which I loved.

Getting Minnie's autograph at her house
(she had very nice handwriting, which is no easy feat in those massive gloves.)

Payson reading Minnie's email

Macy testing out Minnie's bed.
Funniest thing--Minnie had a magazine in her room with Jessica Rabbit on the cover wearing a slinky dress called "Jessica's Secret." Bill (of course) was the one who noticed it.

I absolutely LOVED Minnie's kitchen. I'm thinking of losing the black and white damask and going with this style instead. What do you think?

Making a wish in Minnie's backyard

Pluto always signed on his nose, which the kids thought was funny. He was kind of being a spaz when it was our turn so Payson freaked out and wouldn't get a picture with him.

Meeting Goofy at his house

Stuck in the dog pound

So strong

I thought this sign was really cute

Snow White's wicked stepmother.
She played the part so well--never smiling--that my kids wouldn't go near her.

We happened to walk by the line to meet Tinkerbell at a time when the wait was miraculously short. Otherwise we probably wouldn't have met her.

We also happened to be there when her pixie friends changed shifts so we got to meet both Fawn and Fern. (Not sure which is which.)

Macy got her face painted at Pixie Hollow. I think it cost more than our admission tickets to Disneyland, but it turned out soooo cute and she loved it. I took this picture waiting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean, just before she got splashed by fake cannons on the ride and smeared all the face paint. Oh well, at least we got to enjoy the ridiculously overpriced face painting for a half hour.

We loved Tarzan's treehouse. Here the kids are making "music" on the pots and pans.

Here we are at the Haunted Mansion. I didn't realize Macy was pulling this face until I viewed the picture on my camera.

I prepped my kids for the Haunted Mansion to give them the option of not going on it, fully expecting them to opt out. They both wanted to go though, so we went. We stood in line for a half an hour or more and finally got in there. We made it as far as the first room with the spooky guy talking when Payson burst into tears and said, "I don't like this ride!!" My heart broke for him. So Bill and Macy (who was unfazed) forged ahead while Payson and I got to see the back entrance out of the Haunted Mansion.

We also got autographs and pictures with Tigger


and Pooh.
(The "poo" jokes were endless...from Bill. After getting Pooh's signature in their books, Bill repeatedly told them they had poo on their books. Yeah, that never got old.)

The we ate dinner on Main Street in an outdoor restaurant just as the parade came down the street, which was totally coincidental. It was awesome, but the pictures weren't good. After that it got dark, and then came my favorite memory of the trip. Bill and Payson went in search of a light saber for Payson and Macy and I sat on the curb of Main Street eating old-fashioned ice cream cones. The air was warm and smelled like waffle cones and Macy and I sat and ate and talked and watched the streets full of people strolling by. I took pictures of Disneyland all lit up.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

The castle and the Matterhorn

The view from our sidewalk

I want to move into Disneyland, right onto Main Street. I want to occupy one of the little apartments above the stores and fill it with nick nacks. I want to sit at my window and gaze down on the street and listen to the Barbershop Quartet. Okay...coming back to reality now.

After this we went back to our hotel, completely exhausted and grinning from ear to ear (pun intended.) Toon in (heh heh) tomorrow for my last Disneyland post.