Zhadi's Den

Random essays on wine, writing, moving to San Francisco, surfing, cats (exotic and otherwise) and zombies...depending on my mood.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My weekend with Jen (the lazy way to post!)

For a wonderful and accurate description of my weekend, go here to my friend Jen's blog, Abyss of Silence. It includes cute pictures of my kittens, a description of our Saturday tea, the rather frightening quantity of dead jellyfish on the beach ('jellahs!') and much much more!

Thank you, Jen!

P.S. I haven't given up trying to tempt her and Rick into taking one of the kittens. OH no....

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday ramblings

The weekend is sadly coming to a close...wah! Two days is just not long enough when a person works 40 plus hours a week. Three day weekends should be mandatory. It is the word of Dana and should be obeyed!

on the other hand, I've had a nice weekend. My pal Jen (the female half of our best friends and fellow bad movie afficianados) took me out to tea at The Secret Garden Tea House on Lincol Way over by Golden Gate Park. We had the ubiquitous tea sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and little bite-sized pastries, along with a pot of tea each (English Breakfast for Jen, Madame Butterfly green tea for me). Yummy...

We went for a long walk on Ocean Beach after that. Luckily there are two public bathrooms along the way 'cause all that tea did a number on my bladder. You didn't really need to know that, did you? Ah well, I'm watching MEGASNAKE (a Sci-Fi Channel original, which will tell you the level of craptitude without you even needing to see the movie) and it's turning my brain into sludge. It's not my fault! Blame Sci-Fi!

Urgle. They're showing the trailer for Rob Zombie's remake of HALLOWEEN. Or should that be 'reimagining' of HALLOWEEN. For someone who claims to be this big horror fan, you'd think Rob would know better than to fuck with a classic. Michael Myers talks before killing his sister in the flashback scene. Yeah, that's scary. The original worked 'cause this kid (and then the adult) never said a word. You barely saw his face. He was implacable and had no humanity to appeal to. Carpenter made one of the scariest low budget (or high budget, for that matter) horror movies of all time and if it was gonna be remade (and there was no reason for a remake), it deserved better than this piece of high-octane, gory poo. Feh! Oh well, I'll just drown my sorrows in MEGASNAKE.

Still haven't sat down to tell the tail of teror that was last Friday night/Saturday afternoon. Or 'tale of terror', for that matter. I have a kitten perched on my shoulder with her tail lashing in my face, so it's understandable that I made that mistake. It's... it's SCI-FI Channel's fault, I tells ya! I'm blaming everything on Sci-Fi and Rob Zombie. I can't blame the kittens 'cause they're too damn cute!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Kittens on Vacation

All my fears of the kittens being traumatized by a: my absence and b: staying in a strange place for a week while both Dave and I were in San Diego were obviously groundless. Here they are snuggling with Thoth, one of the resident felines at Aldtyh's and Ben's house. Yeah, they look REALLY traumatized...

We had an eventful weekend to end the vacation in San Diego, but I'll have to post on it later. Over 500 emails awaited me at work. Argh.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Revving up the engines

I just got the first sample of the cover for MFH (now officially titled: MURDER FOR HIRE - THE PERUVIAN PIGEON since we're looking at a series here) and am starting to get excited about the reality of the damn thing being published after all these years. I'd post it here, but they (Rock Publishing Inc.) sent it to me as a Read Only Adobe pdf, so it won't upload. No problem, I'll scan it to my computer when I get to work and post it then.

ANYway, I don't have the back cover yet and Lynne (she who is doing the cover art) is still tinkering with the front, but just getting to look at the design has me frothing at the bit (I love that expression even though makes me sound like a rabid horse...and do horses even get rabies? Am I mixing my metaphors?) to get going on publicity. I need to get an actual author website up and running and am trying to decide between spending the dough to have www.danafredsti.com designed by a professional or trying it myself and having www.danafredsti.google.com or whatever free site I choose to host the webpage. I have no idea how to design a webpage, who to host it, how to do this mad, gay thing. So...any opinions?

Another positive side-effect (affect? I will never get those two straight , no matter how many books and stories I end up publishing in this lifetime) is that after pretty much two straight years of atrophy, my writing muscles have started to stretch out again. I picture them as about 50 pounds overweight, lots of flab over unused muscle. I have to feed them junk novels every now and again to appease and motivate them. They're not doing it easily or happily ("yo, bitch, that hurts! Knock it off or we'll Barbara Cartland on you!"), but they're working.

I'm going to the airport in two hours to pick up Dave, who is joining me for the rest of my housesitting stint. The four kittens are staying with a friend and her husband (Dave called me yesterday to tell me that the kittens had left, pretty much near tears. So it's NOT JUST ME, folks! I'm not the only one who gets attached to the little furballs!) while we're both gone. I bet the cats are much relieved to have the little hairballs out of the way for a few days. This is a picture of their safety zone when the rugrats get too 'bunctious...

And that's all I got for the moment!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pet Peeve of the Day

You probably all know I'm a zombie junkie. I pretty much mainline any form of entertainment that includes the flesh-eating variety of the living dead. Dana, she do love her carnivorous reanimated corpses, mmm hmmmm.

But what irritates the crap out of me is when writers and filmmakers think they're being oh so clever and original by naming characters and places after other horror or zombie genre authors and filmmakers. Every time I run across a 'General Romero', 'Captain Fulci' or grunt named Schow, O'Bannon or Savini, it takes me right out of the story. I wanna slap the author and say, 'no, you AREN'T oh so clever 'cause everyone else is paying the same friggin' homage to the same people and it's just way too self-conscious and precious . We get that you all love and admire these filmmakers and authors. I do too. But it's been done. And overdone. And if I ever name a character that isn't a dog or a cat after one of these guys, all of you authors I'm talking to here have permission to smack me a good one.

Fulci would actually make a great name for a black cat, doncha think?

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Latest Guilty Pleasure

GHOST WHISPERER. Yes, Maureen has gotten me hooked on GHOST WHISPERER. It's worse than being addicted to CHARMED. I've never been a Jennifer Love-Hewitt fan (watching I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER made me want to take that girl in hand and stuff her like a Christmas goose - too skinny!), although I had nothing against her. And there's also something just a LITTLE too TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL in the first season...but it's strangely compelling. I mean, ghosts, small town atmosphere, all the female characters wear really cool clothes. JLW's character, Melinda, has a wardrobe I'd kill for (if I was 10 inches smaller in the waist) and her husband is a honey and generally has his shirt off at least once per episode. Let's face it, the man is a woman's fantasy husband - always understanding, accepts his wife's ability to talk to spirits without question, pours her wine all the time, and did I mention he takes his shirt off at least once per episode?

Okay, I'm really easy. I accept that now. And I understand from Maureen that the second season turns scary. It's not just about sending lost souls into the light with tearful happiness. There are malevolent forces opening up cans of ghostly whupass on our heroine. I can't wait. As long as her husband continues to remove his shirt and pour her wine, of course.

Very easy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Surfing and Sunning

Went surfing today for the first time in months. Water temp was around 75, waves were two to three feet when they finally showed up and the beach wasn't crowded. We surf at PB below Diamond Street, a beach break in between the better waves of Crystal Pier and Tourmaline. I like it because it's a lot less populated than either of the above and I hates crowds, I does, my precioussss....Yessssss....

ANYway, it was a good day. I managed to catch a couple of unbroken waves among my white water adventures and had what I consider a minor miracle occur after an unspectacular wipe-out. My contact lens popped out and I caught it before it hit the water. AND I put it back in my eye without a problem. This is only the second time I've had one of my lenses come out while surfing, but what are the odds of catching the damn thing before it's gone forever in the waves? Consider soft lenses, little semi-transparent squishy things the size of the tip of a finger falling out in the largest body of water on the planet. Yup, it's my surfing miracle.

So...surfing, sunning in the pool, walking at the bay... so far, so good. I've done a little socializing (saw my friend Pam, who I have not seen since we were both in our early '20s. No, I will not tell you how many years it's been), but have mainly caught up on 'me' time. The luxury of not having to make coffee for anyone but myself, not having to answer phones or deal with daily problems at work has been...well...luxurious. Decadent, really. I've done a little writing, but boy, have those muscles atrophied! Oh well, a little mental exercise every day, along with my TRXing and surfing and walking and lying on a raft in the pool...

Life is good.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Writing from Sunny San Diego

Or semi-hazy San Diego, to be accurate. There's still a bit of the morning cloud cover burning off, but it's looking to be another gorgeous day. Good for me 'cause I'm house and cat sitting for my parents for 10 days! Aside from going through kitten withdrawal, I have to say this is a really sweet deal: pool in the backyard, a pile of junk paperbacks to read while sunbathing on a raft in the pool, time to write without interruption, a fridge full of good for me and yummy food, a few bottles of wine, plenty of time to exercise (walking, surfing, TRX'ing)... What's not to like?

Okay, there IS a jellyfish infestation at the beaches right now, which makes surfing a bit problematic, but ASIDE from that... And I will still go out while I'm down here. I did not lug
my board all the way from San Francisco just to have it sit in the backyard. Of course, I could practice knee paddling in the pool...

I'm getting together with a couple of friends while I'm here, but for the most part I wanna just be by myself and relax. And then when Dave comes down next week, I wanna play tourist with him and relax. Key word here is 'relax.' I haven't been by myself in so long (gone are the days of working at home when I use to crave company after too much solitude) I just wanna wallow in it.

So off I go to wallow. More later.

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