Man-ificent Monday: Super Bowl Edition #2

This week's cuties are from the 2 teams who made it to the Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Let me just say that, since my teams (Houston Texans and Chicago Bears) did not make it to Super Bowl XLV, I'm pulling for the Steelers. Let me also say, I've had an adult crush on Troy Polamalu since forever! Let me also also say, all three of these cutie pies have some very nice lips...I LOVE men with nice lips. *sigh* That is all...

Word(s) to Describe: Heavenly!


Nick Barnett, #56 (injured)


Troy Polamalu, #43

Larry Foote, #50


Random Thoughts Thursday

I sure wish I knew how to interpret dreams. I've had some crazy dreams. Like seriously. And all my dreams fall under one of the following 5 categories: (1) I Don't Remember; (2) WTH; (3) Ooh, God! Can you make it happen?: (4) The scary, "gotta -keep-my-lights-on" kind; and (5) Unexplainable. Dreams that fall under category 1, I won't even waste my time cos I don't remember...duh. Dreams in category 4, I don't even want to remember.

A few weeks ago, I had a "WTH" dream. The city was being attacked by a giant, slobbering diaper-wearing baby. I know. WTH, right?

But wait...there's more.

The baby shot pellets out of its butt. The pellets looked like hockey pucks.

But wait...there's more.

When pellets hit the people, words like, "POW" or "BAM" would appear along with stars. Kinda like the old Batman TV show. While people fell out - whether from the force of the pellets, or the smell - the baby laid on its tummy, with its behind tooted in the air, giggling and clapping. Yeah, that look you have on your face now is probably the same look I had on my face when I woke up.

I've had two recent "Ooh, God! Can you make it happen" dreams where I wrote a Grammy-winning song...two different dreams; two different songs.

My two recent "unexplainable" dreams are kind of in the same...area, I guess you can say. They both were so real, I could feel the touches of the people in my dream. In the first dream, I'm in bed and I open my eyes to see a precious little girl staring at me. Creepy, right? She's crying. She says, "She's not answering me. Why won't she answer me?" Then, a few more kids surround me, crying and nudging me. They keep asking me why won't their loved ones answer them. The dream me knows why. The kids are dead and their families can't see or hear them. despite knowing that a bunch of dead kids are in my room, dream me isn't scared at all...just tired, as if she's tired of dealing with dead people. It felt so real. Like, I could feel myself being shaken by those kids. Needless to say, I woke up with the covers over my head, wondering if I'd really been visited by a group of dead kids.

In my most recent dream, I held a conversation with my grandmother, which normally wouldn't be so weird but she died four years ago. I don't remember the conversation, but I do remember having an awesome peace. My grandfather, who died seven years ago, was there too, sitting in the background. They both looked young and very happy. When I reached out and touched her, it seriously felt like she was there. Again, I wasn't scared about being with my dead grandparents.

So, were these two dreams real? Or were they just dreams? That is the question. Let me say, I do believe they can be real. Do I believe there are such things as spirits and stuff like that? Yep. Spirits/demons/angels are all in the Bible. Besides, God sent the spirit of my great grandmother, GaGa, to save me when I was a baby. That's another blog post, though. *smile*

So, have you ever had weird dreams?


Writing Wednesday

Wannabe Writers is a writing group for the un-published started by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-published. It's a place where future authors can ask questions, share stories, and get feedback. Interested in joining? Click here to find more about how it works.

Where I am in the writing process: Unpublished...working on novel #2 (tentatively called, Hidden Treasure). I'm almost finished with the plotting process.

My current problem(s): None, really. Writing is usually my getaway, but the last few months have been kinda tough. I've strayed away, but I'm back.

My question this week: Do you ever let life's struggles get in the way of your writing? If so, how do you keep from letting your struggles stop you from writing?


Tickle-Me Tuesday

I found these lovely product warnings from the Things People Said website.

"Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information in the information booklet." -- In the information booklet.

"For external use only!" -- On a curling iron.

"Warning: This product can burn eyes." -- On a curling iron.

"Do not use in shower." -- On a hair dryer.

"Do not use while sleeping or unconscious." -- On a hand-held massaging device.

"Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking." -- On a toilet at a public sports facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

"Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover." -- On a pair of shin guards made for bicyclists.

"Do not drive with sunshield in place." -- On a cardboard sunshield that keeps the sun off the dashboard.

"Do not use near fire, flame, or sparks." -- On an "Aim-n-Flame" fireplace lighter.

"Do not eat toner." -- On a toner cartridge for a laser printer.

"May irritate eyes." -- On a can of self-defense pepper spray.

"Eating rocks may lead to broken teeth." -- On a novelty rock garden set called "Popcorn Rock."

"Caution: Hot beverages are hot!" -- On a coffee cup.

"Caution: Shoots rubber bands." -- On a product called "Rubber Band Shooter."

"Do not use orally." -- On a toilet bowl cleaning brush.

"Please keep out of children." -- On a butcher knife.

"Warning: Do not use on eyes." -- In the manual for a heated seat cushion.

"Do not look into laser with remaining eye." -- On a laser pointer.

"Do not use for drying pets." -- In the manual for a microwave oven.

"For use on animals only." -- On an electric cattle prod.

"For use by trained personnel only." -- On a can of air freshener.

"Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you." -- On a motorcycle helmet-mounted rear-view mirror.

"Warning: Riders of personal watercraft may suffer injury due to the forceful injection of water into body cavities either by falling into the water or while mounting the craft." -- In the manual for a jetski.

"Warning: Do not climb inside this bag and zip it up. Doing so will cause injury and death." -- A label inside a protective bag (for fragile objects), which measures 15cm by 15cm by 12cm.

"Please store in the cold section of the refrigerator." -- On a bag of fresh grapes in Australia.

"Warning: knives are sharp!" -- On the packaging of a sharpening stone.

"Theft of this container is a crime." -- On a milk crate.

"Do not use intimately." -- On a tube of deodorant.

"Warning: has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice." -- On a box of rat poison.

"Fragile. Do not drop." -- Posted on a Boeing 757.

"Cannot be made non-poisonous." -- On the back of a can of de-icing windshield fluid.

"Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage." -- On a portable stroller.

"For indoor or outdoor use only." -- On a string of Christmas lights.

"Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly." -- On a child sized Superman costume.

"Beware! To touch these wires is instant death. Anyone found doing so will be prosecuted." -- On a sign at a railroad station.

"Warning: do not use if you have prostate problems." -- On a box of Midol PMS relief tablets.

"Product will be hot after heating." -- On a supermarket dessert box.

"Do not light in face. Do not expose to flame." -- On a lighter.

"Choking hazard: This toy is a small ball." -- On the label for a cheap rubber ball toy.

"Not for human consumption." -- On a package of dice.

"May be harmful if swallowed." -- On a shipment of hammers.

"Do not attempt to stop the blade with your hand." -- In the manual for a Swedish chainsaw.

"Warning: May contain nuts." -- On a package of peanuts.

"Remove occupants from the stroller before folding it."

"Warning: May cause drowsiness." -- On a bottle of Nytol, a brand of sleeping pills.

"Warning: Misuse may cause injury or death." -- Stamped on the metal barrel of a .22 calibre rifle.

"Do not use orally after using rectally." -- In the instructions for an electric thermometer.
"Do not put in mouth." -- On a box of bottle rockets.

"Remove plastic before eating." -- On the wrapper of a Fruit Roll-Up snack.

"Not dishwasher safe." -- On a remote control for a TV.

"For lifting purposes only." -- On the box for a car jack.

"Do not put lit candles on phone." -- On the instructions for a cordless phone.


Man-ificent Monday: Super Bowl Edition #1

This week's ManMon is dedicated to cuties from teams who almost made it to the Super Bowl: Chicago Bears and New York Jets.


Kahlil Bell, #32 Brian Urlacher, #54


Braylon Edwards, #17

Mark Sanchez, #6


Writing Wednesday

On Wednesdays, I'll be posting anything writing related (hense Writing Wednesdays), whether it's my writing, writing-related articles, or updates on my wip progress. Today, I'm posting a writing-related comic. Used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at Inkygirl.


Inspirational Sunday

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38 - 39

Rae's Thought: Have you ever been tired? I mean, really, tired - physically, mentally, and spiritually - where you barely have any energy left. Not long ago, I felt exactly like this. I felt like my life's gage was way past 'E' and I was running on fumes. To make matters worse, instead of drawing close to God, I'd pulled away, which is so not a good place to be. I'd finally gotten to a point where I was sick and tired of being sick and tired (I know it's cliche, but that's how I felt). I went to God, head bowed, heart heavy, and tears running down my face...ashamed. He led me to this paragraph in Sarah Young's book, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence: "When you are dissatisfied with your behavior, you tend to feel unworthy of My Love. You may unconsciously punish yourself by withdrawing from Me..."

God showed me that I'd felt so guilty for being spiritually tired, that I'd become depressed. I felt that, as a victorious child of God, I had no business feeling down or growing weary. I mean, I had the Lord on my side and was filled with the Holy Spirit. Children of God are supposed to keep right on moving through the pain, right? The fact that I was exhausted and questioning God weighed in on me so much, that I'd withdrawn from God.

After God showed me the root of the problem, He showed me the following points:

  • The feeling of guilt is not of God. Jesus came to earth to free us from sin and the guilt that comes along with it. "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3:17). The feelings of guilt and condemnation come from one being and one being only: Satan. I'd allowed Satan in my head by letting him plant the question, "What kind of Christian are you?" I felt like I'd let myself down, but more importantly, I'd let God down. And because of this, I felt I didn't deserve to be in His presence. When feelings of guilt try to weave its way in your mind, recognize it for what it really enemy attack. Do NOT allow him into your mind.
  • We don't deserve to be in His presence. The truth of the matter is, none of us deserve to be in God's presence. We're all sinfully wretched beings, who deserve nothing but death...but God still loves us. What's so awesome about His grace and mercy is not only does He keep us from getting what we do deserve (eternal damnation; slavery to sin; etc), but He also gives us what we don't deserve (eternal life; His love; etc).
  • You will grow weary. Yes, we will get tired every once in a while. It's a part of life. The difference between the children of God and unbelievers is we have someone to go to when we're tired.
  • NOTHING will make God stop loving us. Not our sins. Not our thoughts. Not our feelings of guilt. Not even Satan. God loves us for eternity, and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it. We may feel unworthy, but He feels we're worthy enough to die for.

The paragraph in Young's book continued, "...I am aching to hold you in My everlasting arms, to enfold you in My love. When you are feeling unworthy or unloved, come to Me." While I pulled away from God, He stood by my side, with His arms opened wide, waiting for me to notice Him. The wonderful thing is, He kept waiting. He never gave up on me.

Isn't He amazing?


2011 Reading Challenges

Obviously my blog has the same look. The new look is coming, I promise. Also, I've been sick with sinuses (ugh), so this week, I won't be blogging as much. Next week, I'll be back in the game!

Now, on to other things. It's that time of year again...time to join reading challenges. Here are a list of challenges I've decided to join. At the end of this post, I'll list the names of some of the books I plan to read and the challenges they belong to. Some of the books qualify for more than on challenge. Now, the thing this year for me is to actually review the books. Last year, I completed most of my challenge lists, but forgot to review. This year, I'm trying to do more book reviews this year.

This challenge is hosted by The Story Siren . The goal is to read at least 12 from new Young Adult/Middle Grade authors.


Ok, I saw this one and knew I had to join! I absolutely LOVE kick ass heroines! Yvonne over at Diva Bookcase is hosting it. All you need to do is read at least twelve books featuring kick ass heroines. The heroines do not have to be the main character, but a big part of the story. The books must be read in 2011.

The purpose of this challenge is for readers to diversify their reading and send a message to publishers: we want more PoC literature and less of white washing of covers. You can sign up here. I'm going for Level 4 or 5.
  • Level 1: Read 1-3 POC books
  • Level 2. Read 4-6 POC books
  • Level 3. Read 7-9 POC books
  • Level 4. Read 10-15 POC books
  • Level 5. Read 16-25 POC books

This challenge is hosted by Jamie at For The Love of YA. Anyone can join. There are four levels. I'm thinking I'm gonna go for Level 3.

  • The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.
  • The "Fun Size" YA Reading Challenge – Read 20 Young Adult novels.
  • The Jumbo Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 40 Young Adult novels.
  • The Mega size YA Reading Challenge – Read 50+ Young Adult novels.

This challenge is hosted at I Eat Words. Books must be MG or YA and all series must have at least 3 books by the end of 2011. I'll start with Level 3.
  • Level 1-Trying it Out 3-5 Books
  • Level 2-Making an Effort 6-8 Books
  • Level 3-Working Hard 9-12 Books
  • Level 4-Fully Committed 13-16 Books
  • Level 5-Beyond Obsessed 17-22 Books
  • Level 6-Addicted and Loving It 23-30 Books

I figured I can get some adult reading in this year, too. This challenge is hosted by Naida at The Bookworm. All you have to do is read at least 5 romance books. Romance can be anywhere from regency romance to YA long as there's a love story between the two main characters.

CHALLENGE BOOK LIST - There are many more books on my list, but here are a few to start off. In most of the series books, I've already read book one.

* DAC - Debut Author Challenge; KAC - Kick Ass Heroine Challenge; POC - People of Color Challenge; YAC - YA Challenge; YASC - YA Series Challenge; RRC - Romance Reading Challenge

  • Iron Daughter - Julie Kagawa (KAC, YAC, YASC, RRC)
  • Iron Queen - Julie Kagawa (KAC, YAC, YASC, RRC)
  • Kick - Walter Dean Myers & Ross Workman (POC, YAC)
  • The Divas: India - Victoria Christopher Murray (POC, YAC, YASC)
  • The Divas: Veronique - Victoria Christopher Murray (POC, YAC, YASC)
  • The Divas: Aaliyah - Voctoria Christopher Murray (POC, YAC, YASC)
  • Here Lies Bridget - Paige Harbison (DAC)
  • Vampire Huntress Books (12 in all) - L.A. Banks (KAC, POC, RRC)
  • Shadow Walker - L.A. Banks (KAC, POC)
  • Manifest - Artist Arthur (POC, YAC, YASC)
  • Mystify - Artist Arthur (POC, YAC, YASC)
  • Mayhem - Artist Arthur (POC, YAC, YASC)
  • Lost Voices - Sarah Porter (DAC)
  • Famous - Simone Bryant (POC, YAC)
  • Rival - Sara Bennett Wealer (DAC)
  • How Lamar's Bad Prank Won A Bubba-Sized Trophy - Crystal Allen (DAC, POC)
  • OyMG - Amy Fellner Dominy (DAC, YAC)
  • Exorsistah: X Returns - Claudia Mair Burney (KAC, POC, YAC, YASC, RRC)
  • Exorsistah: X Restored - Claudia Mair Burney (KAC, POC, YAC, YASC, RRC)
  • When The Stars Go Blue - Cardidad Ferrer (KAC, POC, YAC, RRC)


ARC Review: Those That Wake

Author: Jesse Karp
Genre: Young Adult; Dystopian
Release Date: March, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 2.5/5

Book Blurb: New York City's spirit has been crushed. People walk the streets with their heads down, withdrawing from each other and into the cold comfort of technology. Teenagers Mal and Laura have grown up in this reality. They've never met. Seemingly, they never will.

But on the same day Mal learns his brother has disappeared, Laura discovers her parents have forgotten her. Both begin a search for their families that leads them to the same truth: someone or something has wiped the teens from the memories of every person they have ever known. Thrown together, Mal and Laura must find common ground as they attempt to reclaim their pasts.

What I Didn't Like...

  • It had a slow start. the beginning did not catch my attention. I kept reading in hopes that it would change, but it didn't do it for me.
  • It read more like an adult book, rather than a YA. In fact, in parts of the book, we read from the points of view of the two adult main characters.
  • The plot got quite confusing at some points and left me thinking, "What?"
  • The ending was just as confusing.

What I Liked...

  • The teen characters, Mal and Laura. I found myself rooting for them...especially for Laura. I wish the budding romance between them was fleshed out more (despite the typical bad boy/good girl vibe), but that's just cos I'm a closet romantic.
  • The concept of a future where people are more into technology than human contact was interesting, especially with today's obsession with technology.

The blurb is what drew me in. I mean, I admit I'm sometimes guilty of texting/emailing/Facebooking/tweeting instead of calling and talking to the person. Sadly, the blurb was the most interesting part of the book to me. I SO wanted to like this book, but it just didn't hold my interest. Who knows, maybe your opinion will be different.



Nine year-old, Starr Andrews, ice skating to Willow Smith's Whip My Hair. Cute video!


Man-ificent Monday: Pooch Hall

This week's cutie pie is Marion "Pooch" Hall, best known for his role as pro football player, Derwin Davis, on the tv show, The Game. The show was originally cancelled by CW, but, thanks to the fans, it will air on BET January 11th.

Word(s) to Describe: Cutie pie