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Monday, May 31, 2010

KINDLE Contest - Lumberjack or Bootlegger?


This post is a part of Moira Rogers’ Creature Feature Kindle Throwdown Contest. By leaving a (meaningful) comment, you will be entered to win a Kindle from Amazon.com, or an alternate grand prize of $275 to spend at an online book retailer. For a full list of rules and more ways to win, visit the contest page.

So, the million dollar question would be... Am I on Team Vampire Lumberjack or am I on Team Werewolf Bootlegger?

And the winner is...... Vampire Lumberjack




I’m on Team Vampire. Find out more.

The decision was quite easy to make actually. Unless I want my friend Lillie Applegarth to whoop my arse clear to next Sunday, I most definitely had to vote/root for her Vampire Lumberjack. Have you seen this woman when she gets testy? Lemme tell you, she puts werewolves and vampires to shame on how S.C.A.R.Y. she gets.

(Lillie knows I lubs her!)

Another reason is because the Vampire Lumberjack actually has a song (Hey I nominated the song to him).



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rock on the Range Adventure Weekend

For those who have never heard of Rock on the Range - it is a weekend metal-concert festival with well-known (major known) bands from noon to ten/eleven at night, held at the Columbus Crew Stadium usually in late May-ish.

This was my second Rock on the Range. My husband and I attended the first Rock on the Range when it was only a one day event. We missed the second because I was not too crazy on the band line-up, and the third we were too busy fixing up our home to move.

All I can say is… they really strive to improve each year. It rocked then as it did last weekend.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON:
I was on the ball. While hubs napped before the trip and before my two oldest got home from school, I had the car packed with not only the cooler filled with snacks, sandwiches, pop, and water but their clothes and my own.

Hell, I had my clothes packed a week ahead of time. Thursday I did the bulk of what needed to be done: clothes found and packed in backpacks and suitcase, notebook wrapped in clothing and put into suitcase, and charged batteries.

There was only one little hang-up when we started on the road that had us turning around and heading back home. The hubs forgot his shoes for he was wearing flip-flops for comfort sake. Thankfully we were only a couple minutes from home when he realized.

We were also fortunate that my mother's was en-route to Columbus. We stayed a few and chit-chatted with my mother. Of course, she had to be motherly and French-braid my hair.

We were on the road then for a grand total of an hour and a half (give or take). Another hour was spent finding a hotel since the hubs wanted to wait until the last minute.

We tried Motel Six, no vacancies. Best Western was next but they wanted ninety bucks a night. I nixed that. The woman then recommended Microtel next door (we find out later, the person who owns Best Western is part owner of Microtel).

Their rooms were fifty bucks a night, and so Friday night to Monday morning cost us around $160 bucks with continental breakfast. The night clerk was super nice and approachable.

Hubs nodded off around eleven; he had told me to set the alarm for seven a.m. I stayed up around midnight, chatting with friends on-line (hence why the notebook was packed) and listening to the thunder outside (yes it was storming badly up there) and news cast for Saturday’s weather. Finally, around midnight, I just crashed to get ready for the next day’s events.

Saturday:
Hubs wakes at six a.m. and checks out the breakfast Microtel offers. I begin to rouse (thanks to the hubby making noises and moving around ) forty-five minutes later only to dress in my jeans and “Kiss my Asphalt” tee-shirt I won from Angie Fox (felt the shirt was appropriate for a metal concert) and head out to grab me some breakfast.

Why not, right? I grabbed myself a blueberry bagel with cream cheese, orange juice and cereal. By the time I finished it was drawing closer to seven, so we went back to our room picked up the camera case with tickets and band listings. We make it to the stadium seven fifteen.

There was perhaps say ten to fifteen car line. They were not allowing anyone to park yet. Not entirely sure how long we waited in that line but eventually they let us in to park.

Off to the front gate to wait… The line was not entirely bad but there were a few people ahead of us. Then someone in the line goes “Last year, those with field tickets had to go in another way.” The hubs and I had field tickets, so he decided to go ask the guard watching the front gate.

Sure enough, those with field tickets had to go to another gate. People found out the hubs asked, so others who had field tickets also, followed us to the gate. We were fortunate to have found it out early.

There was another short line, not really that bad, and so we picked one to stand to wait. Hawkers came through selling Tee-shirts for twenty bucks. Then you had your scalpers looking for tickets to buy and to sell.

Representatives from energizer were giving out battery things for those with cell phones. They were free (they said to buy them outright they were twenty dollars) but the catch was you had to have your cell present to show the port. Unfortunately the hubs and I forgot ours.

It was quite interesting to see how people dressed for these things. There were people by cars playing Beer bombs I think they called it. They had a table, with cups full of booze, and tried to toss ping pong balls in the cup. If they did, the other had to drink it.

Yeah, interesting! By eleven, the guards came out to begin the process of checking tickets and giving our wrist bands. They came out and people SWARMED, pushed and pulled. Finally they stopped and made people go in orderly lines.

Guards patted you down, checked bags, before letting you in. It was funny to watch people sprint for the best spot before the stage. Most of the bands we were interested in played on the Monster stage and Kicker stage. We never went to Jagermeiter stage.

The hubs and I had a game plan. We planned to see Sevendust, Drowning Pool, and Puddle of Mudd. I would not have minded to stay to watch Papa Roach, but he rather us go see Halestorm, Skillet and Killswitch Engage.

So we are like the fourth or fifth level of people close to the fence. Now you simply can not complain how they started things off. They mentioned how it was armed forces appreciation, and had some come out to salute and stand there through the national anthem.

Sevendust comes on and starts performing. Not even two songs in the crowd surfers started. One landed on my neck and shoulder thus giving me a massive headache. When the singer asked people to start moshing, hubs dragged us out of there.

You really could not enjoy the show, sing along or take pictures because of those two things. The bad storms we were suppose to get? Didn’t happen except some sprinkles here or there. So we went on the outskirts to finish the rest of 7dust’s show and then walk around until Drowning Pool. They had an awesome set.

Yeah, again it was plagued with the damn crowd surfing which I got nailed in the right ear by some jerk’s foot only then to get my right sleeve drenched in beer. When they started “Bodies” is when things really got wild, and then the hubs dragged us out again.

Puddle of Mudd came out, which I wanted to see. They started out with some awesome songs only for my enjoyment to be ruined by crowd surfers. My husband thought it was time to take me out of there since I threatened to start punching the guys who surfed overtop me in a certain location (and he knew I meant it.)

We started our way over to Kicker Stage to watch Halestorm but remained on the outskirts because it was getting pretty wild there too. When Skillet was about to perform we dared to get closer (you’d think we would have learnt right? WRONG). As they started Comatose here came the crowd surfing too (and yes they had boobs flashing) AND moshing.

The hubs got hit and the guards who were controlling it asked if he was fine. Then to get my glasses kicked (bending them) and my face drenched in beer, the hubs dragged me out because I was getting testy.

He took me to the tented area for some shade while he watched Killswitch Engage. When they finished their set, we came back to the Monster stage to watch the rest. We really were not into the Deftones or Rise Against so we remained in the shade while they performed, eating, drinking and just relaxing.

My hubs refused to let me get into the crowd to see Three Days Grace. * pouts * We remained on the sidelines to watch the show, and I really did not get very good pictures much to my displeasure.

This was TDG’s second year performing. They had played at the first Rock on the Range. I remember because my hubs got to shake Adam’s hand. The brat didn’t get an autograph. The crowd surfing was just as bad for them as the other shows we learned.

We did not stick around for Godsmack. My neck was still hurting, and I knew my face was burnt even though it was overcast, so we decided to beat the traffic and head back to the hotel. I could not wait to take a bath to clean the beer smell off me.

I puttered around on the notebook chit-chatting with some friends to tell them I survived the first day. Hehe even joked with a couple that I did not need bail though it was damn close. The hubs meanwhile bathed and quickly crashed. I do believe I crashed soon after.

Sunday:
Once again, the hubby wakes up at six a.m. This time I wake up exactly at six thirty, so the two of us could grab some breakfast (again the bagel, juice and cereal). Why so early? Sunday was predicted to be HOT and sunny.

Anyone who saw me knows how pale I am. Fortunately Wal-Mart’s was two minutes away, so we stopped there to buy some sun block, and shot back to the stadium. The line was about equal to the other day before we were allowed to park.

The hubs and I shot over to the gate we had to go in Saturday. There was a scattering of people there. The downside to waiting, when you had to go to the restroom, and the port-a-potties were nasty (we won’t go there on how nasty).

The energizer people were there again today (along with the hawkers and scalpers). We remembered to bring out cell phones, and so hubs took both to get a battery pack. Unfortunately they did not have a jack to fit his but they did with mine.

This time the guards were organized and learned from yesterday’s mistake. Me and the woman in front of me planned on sending our hubs to get a good spot at the gate (hey it’s apocalyptica, the other reason I wanted to go) while we did a bathroom run. Well, that was a fine plan but their scanners didn’t work!

This other guard never noticed but was scanning and sending peeps on. Finally he stopped until they realized what they can do. Rao here made a mad dash to the bathroom to relieve herself then shot off to the crowd.

Luckily I was the second person behind the fence. Good place to be for pictures. I get excited because I spot Perttu with the sound checking peeps. Hehe that shows you how much you like a band. Then out comes Eicca whom I think is totally gorgeous. My camera’s shutters keep going.

My husband looks to me. “You think that man is good looking? And you see him as Kenyon’s Dev? He’s goofy looking. Dev is not goofy looking.” I tell him to shut up. Then the lengthy wait in the HOT sun.

I’m slathering on the sun block at intervals to keep from frying. Apocalyptica comes on. My husband can not see the appeal of these guys but he somewhat changed his tune at their performance. He was really impressed when Eicca’s cello broke a string. The man whipped one out, and like fifteen seconds later, he had it restrung and back into the song like he’d been playing all along.

Good thing about them, there was no crowd surfing or moshing. They made my entire weekend. When their set ended, hubs decided to buy a hat to keep the sun off his forehead, and he bought me an Apocalyptica t-shirt.

The heat was starting to get unbearable. The hubs set me in the shade in the back of the field while he went up to watch Five Finger Death Punch (they are his favorite band). I saw one young man walk through with blood on his fingers. Evidently the moshing got a tad violent.

The singer invited fans to crowd surf just to shake his hands. When the security guards prevented it, he smacked them upside the head in retaliation. Yeah, my husband had to gush over the performance and he was a happy man.

We decided to walk around before Bullet for my Valentine’s set when I realized I was famished which really struck me odd since I had a full breakfast. The hubs and I bought us a pizza and shared a drink while remaining in the back to listen to Bullet for my Valentine.

They are cool but not my cup of tea. Again, we never went to the third stage, none of the bands were familiar or ones we wanted to hear. We did start going closer when Theory of a Deadman was about to play.

I was getting into the music when I had trouble breathing; I could not breathe deeply which was ruining my fun in watching the band, waiting for them to play Bad Girlfriend and Hate my Life. Third song in, disappointed that none where the songs I like, my stomach started to get queasy.

Finally, the two got too much for me to bear. I yanked on my hubs shirt and said “I don’t feel good. I need some shade.” Now my husband knows it has to be bad for me to admit I don’t feel good. I can feel sick and brave it out; however, this I could not.

He leads me to the tented area near the Kicker stage and I sit on the floor since people had the tables packed. He said “Today really sucks for you since not much of the bands are what you want to see. Since you’re not feeling good we can leave after Seether.”

I told him to wait to see how I’m feeling by then. Since I had already seen Slash in Velvet Revolver the first Rock on the Range, I was not overly disappointed missing his set. So not to ruin the hubs fun, I shooed him off to Coheed and Cambria with my camera.

I laid there on the cool cement and let my stomach settle. Finally I brought out my cell to text Lillie on the symptoms of heat stroke and sun poisoning. I have awesome friends, she texts me back on the symptoms which I didn’t have. So I fired one back explaining what was wrong with me.

Hubby comes strolling in after C&C’s set to check on me. I was breathing easier and not so sick in the stomach. I explained how Lillie said the heat was playing havoc with my sugar. He’d been pushing the liquids anyway due to the heat; he goes off to buy me water, and we walk to the Kicker stadium.

They were prepping for Mastodon’s set. Hubby parked me in the shade with trees. The jerk had gone to the bathroom, took off his tee-shirt, soaked it, and slapped it around my shoulders to help cool my body down. We stayed enough for him to get a feel for the band before he said “Let’s go check over there.”

Naturally we could not pass up the Harley exhibit. I had to take pictures! Then we checked out the Playstation area. Finally he asked how I was feeling, and by then I was feeling my usual self again. He asked “So are we going to miss Zombie?” I shook my head and said “Nae, let’s check him out.”

No reason to deny him the pleasure since the heat got too much for me. I know what a fan he is of them. Besides, he was being so attentive during that spell of mine. So we come strolling back to the Monster stage to see Seether. Unlike Saturday, we remained on the outskirts because I was still a bit testy about crowd surfers.

Seether didn’t disappoint. They played a lot of songs I liked. Finally their set is over, and hubs asks again if we are going to watch Zombie. Well he had to do a bathroom run, and I sat down because my feet were KILLING ME for standing (yesterday was no different along with my lower back).

While waiting, evidently someone got hurt in the stands. So I was watching people go past. Mohawks, which I felt honor bound to take one, picture of one guy’s for my nine year old; he would have loved seeing it since he had one.

Girls running around with barely anything on their bodies. Then the real show of boobies started happening. Sunday was a little freer than Saturday was. We had two women flashing and then kissing one another. Then we had one woman who went completely topless and fondling herself, and last but not least, another waving her toy before going oral on it.

Classy. I am no way a prude but my limits do extend so much. The set up for Zombie’s hour was awesome. The hubs liked his mike stand. You could not like Zombie but his bit you would have felt the energy and had fun, and get into it.

There are a couple songs that I do like from him… but I have to hand kudos to the Zombie, when he puts on a show, he puts on a fucking show! The best of the entire weekend. You have this need to see another. He had the crowd pumped.

We did not bother to stay for Limp Bizkit; evidently, we were not the only ones. The hubs and I are not fans of their music, not to our tastes (and we have a wide range of tastes in our music).

Hubs and I did notice a good chunk of the crowd left alongside with us. We though “Hey we’d beat the traffic by leaving early.” Now that was not happening. As we were walking to the car, I heard some people wondering why Limp Bizkit got the last act instead of Zombie, that the band could not measure up to the performance.

Our thoughts mirrored the same. On our way back to the hotel we realize (well mostly me) that I was ravenous which again is odd with me. Hubs stopped at Mickey D’s to get me a meal while he stopped at White Castles (which was literally next door to our hotel) to get him a bite.

I tore into my food like it was nothing while chit-chatting with Lillie on AIM and just unwinding from the day. My husband is already planning on attending next year, having a plan of action to use our income tax refund to buy the tickets and call Microtel for reservations. Now if only I can talk some of my internet buddies to attend, it would be a blast. Rock on the range will NOT be the same.



http://s210.photobucket.com/albums/bb147/Raonaid1976/Rock%20on%20the%20Range%202010/?start=80

Monday, May 17, 2010

Peek in Rao’s Life

So I am in a silly kind-of-mood and decided to do an update newsletter-type thing on my life and what I am doing. Yes, I seriously doubt too many people are interested in the going ons behind-the-scenes.

First agenda - This weekend (May 22 and 23) I will be in Columbus Ohio for the two day concert, Rock on the Range 3. Four days and counting! Friday, after the boys get home from school, we will pack everything up and take them to my mom’s for the weekend.

My mother only lives about say about an hour or less from Columbus (actually doing this puts us en route). Once the boys are dropped off, the hubby and I will continue on our way up to Columbus to get our hotel and rest up for Saturday.

Who am I looking forward to seeing? Three Days Grace and Apocalyptica. They were the main two reasons I text the hubby about wanting to go. Plus! Rao here got field tickets which means I do not have to remain right in the stadium seats but the field closer to the stage.

Squee! Here’s the lineup: http://rockontherange.com/lineup.html . I just hope it does not storm and I can bring my Nikon camera so I can get some shots.

Second Agenda - Writing and My Current Works-in-progress

I have added yet another WIP on my “to-do-list” bringing the total up to three. This one, unlike the previous two, is much, much older. Heh, yes I have decided to bring Kheldin and Kiirri’s story out, dust things off, and give it a much needed face-lift.

Changes in my life prompted this decision.

One of the massive changes in the story shall be characters. There are several characters that just did not exactly fit well. No worries, Kiirri and Kheldin remain about the same.

There are a few characters that are going ‘bye-byes’ and brand-new characters slid in their places. Unfortunately those who are familiar with the sad first draft of Child of Prophecy will have to wait until I manage to write it to find out which characters got cut.

The remaining characters - a few got minor changes like shortened names, tweaked looks, necessary profession.

Another massive change in the story: the plot. Ehh, the bulk of it will remain about the same. The majority of the story’s content got scrapped and some chapters are salvageable on the new twist I want to take the story.

When I read over the pitiful attempt the story jumped far too much and the scenes inside, the interactions, came off too cliché for my peace of mind. Now the twist that I want to add the story will fill things out smoothly and better.

The last massive change in not only this story but Warrior of the Moon. Child of Prophecy and Warrior of the Moon takes place in the same world, one that I had help in its creation. Feiden does not solely belong to just me, but it is a collection done by myself, and my two friends RJ and Keeshe.

Last month, a good friend got me to thinking about long-term goals and possibilities. True, for now I have absolutely no desire, drive, or want to be published. I get discouraged way too easily and my skin is not as thick as I like.

But what about down the line? Once my youngest is in school? Ten years from now? Many of my works in progresses taking place in Feiden would need tweaking. Why? Well because I use DnD/Wizard of the Coast pantheon.

Instead of adding heaps of work on myself in the future, I decided to tackle that now. I even went so far as to email RJ and Keeshe about modifying and creating our own pantheon for Feiden. One jumped instantly on board, and so we are doing the slow but laborious journey of creating these Gods and Goddesses.

I still plan on writing Burning Times and I do not plan on stopping Warrior of the Moon. They, like Child of Prophecy, will come at their own pace. Possibly, I will not be writing too hardcore until my children are firmly in school, I have some “Rao time” set up.


Third agenda - I am currently reading two books: “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones and Sword-sworn by Jennifer Roberson. Both books are fantasy which I have been sorely lacking in my reading of late.

I’ve heard glowing reviews about Howl’s Moving Castle, the book. Yes, I am aware that there is an animation. I had found the anime first, and then discovered years later, it was loosely based on a book.

Am I enjoying it? Yes, however, there was one part in the book (so far) that simply lost me. Oddly enough I am in the mood, once again, to put the movie and immerse myself in it.

Sword-sworn, the last book (currently) in Jennifer Roberson’s Del and Tiger series. Now Roberson is an auto buy author for me because her novels always satisfy the beast inside me that needs its fantasy fix.

This series, along with Roberson’s Cheysuli books, were highly recommended to me. I’ve fortunately got to finish reading the Cheysuli series a good many years ago. Not so with Del and Tiger because I was missing key books to finish the series.

However, this year I fixed that little problem by getting the one book I needed to finish the last two in the series from the library. This does not mean that I am ceasing in my search for that elusive book (may have to give up and order it from half.com).

But my intention this year, book reading wise, is to finish reading many of the series books in my collection. So far I have been doing really well. I’m currently up-to-date on Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels/Blood; Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Hunters; JR Ward’s BDB; Gena Showalter’s Lord and all the Eve Silver books in my collection.