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This week marked the 15th anniversary of the death of Kevin Smith, the New Zealand actor who played Ares on Xena and Hercules and one of my ultimate fellas. It’s crazy to think that he’s been gone for fifteen years already and that I’m so much older than he was when he died. In my mind, he’s still older than me– vibrant and handsome, talented, gracious and kind. It’s utterly remarkable to me how I am still friends with the people I met because of him. Miles might separate us but our hearts are still strong in friendship. And I will always be grateful to Kevin for that gift…

In those days oh so long ago (according to the calendar), most of my fellas were older than me (Kevin, Erik Thomson, Bruce Campbell) or close to my age (William Gregory Lee, Chris Conrad, Charles Mesure, Carlos Ponce). When I met and subsequently fell for Ryan Gosling, he was the first of what turned out to be several much younger than me fellas. For the longest time, Ryan was my age threshold. But as I grew older, my age threshold fluctuated. I attempted to keep the fangirl loving to fellas at least NEAR my age and at seven years younger than me, Jensen Ackles held my “top spot” for nearly a decade before being knocked out by Charles Mesure (who is actually just a little less than a year older than me). Skipping over Ed Quinn and Joe Manganiello (whose twitter blocking of me still stings, by the way), and Tom Hardy as well as my current constants Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester, brings us to Sam Hunt and Tyler Rich. Both pushed my age threshold and for a couple of years, I was fine with it. (Although being kinda sorta friends with Tyler has put him in a different category.)

Simon Kassianides on Zoo

Until Simon Kassianides.

Yes yes, he’s younger than me. But he’s also older than my latest fellas. “Discovering” him now, when he’s in his mid/late 30s as opposed to his early 30s, means that any trace of boyishness is just that, a trace. I didn’t realize it until remembering Kevin but discovering Simon is almost like coming full circle back to the darkly handsome and mysterious kind of man. He has an air and demeanor of sophistication with enough edge to counter being too slick. This is all my perception, of course. He is very likely a different person than the one in my head. It doesn’t really matter, my fangirl heart is quite set on him.

When I’ve talked about my different fellas and shown their pictures, the consensus is I have a type. I admit, I lean towards certain characteristics. Who doesn’t? I like green eyes, I like scruff, I like a good build, I like dark hair. I like men taller than me (which isn’t difficult since I’m only 5’4″), I like accents, I like tattoos (not too many), I like chest hair (not like a bear). Most of my fellas have one or two or some (but not all) of those characteristics.

I find it interesting that the New Muse (as I like to call Simon on twitter when I don’t want to actually name him) suddenly makes a bit of sense after remembering Kevin and how much I adored the man. On the surface, looks wise, they are similiar– dark hair, darkly handsome, dark eyes. Kevin played a Greek God. Simon is Greek (London born). It’s not that Simon reminds me of Kevin (if you want a current actor who favors Kevin more, check out Adan Canto), it’s that Simon reminds me of Kevin’s characteristics. I don’t know if that makes sense. But the other day, I thought, if they did a reboot of Hercules/Xena, what god could Simon play? I mean, what would be more awesome than a Greek playing a Greek god? My dreams are simple. LOL!

Until that happens, maybe I’ll write a Kiari story and a god she meets along the way who seems familiar and Simon can play him. Who knows, it could happen. 😉

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

12 February 2017 @ 08:55 am

when he falls asleep
he reaches for me
a stranger in reality
a constant in dreams
whispering a name
he doesn’t know
searching for a face
he’s never seen
until he finds me
then he knows me
we share our hearts
our laughter
our thoughts
until morning rises
then he forgets
as we let go
strangers again

Simon Kassianides on Agents of SHIELD
Simon Kassianides on Agents of SHIELD

Watched a few more episodes of Agents of SHIELD and got to see more Simon Kassianides. Enjoying his turn on the show and wish I had paid more attention the first time I watched those episodes. I’ve finally gotten to the point where we stopped watching so now I actually don’t know what’s going to happen next. Yah! Now I have to pay attention. I’m to the part where his character has been “gifted” to Coulsen. LOL

Work has been busy because it’s the month for transfers. I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed but I know it’ll all work out in the end. Just so much logging and listing and all of that joy… I got a new computer at work. Yah! I like when the IT dept says my computer is easy to transfer info and such. LOL…

Marco & Thalia – I’m plugging away on this story. So slow going. But it’s coming along. It’ll be better if I can figure out where I want it to end. LOL

Blindspot – I really dig this show so much. More Sullivan Stapleton please! The interaction between Weller and Shepherd was weird and creepy and I kinda liked it…

Sully on Harry's show
Sully was on Harry’s show!

I only saw the bit where Sully shows Harry his “tattoo.” LOL! So cute! I’ll have to find the rest of the segment to watch. You know, so my fangirl heart can explode from all the goodness.

Wrote my niece a letter this weekend. It’s become a nice routine for me. I’m going to need more stamps at some point. LOL I wonder if she laughs when she reads them… My Love Your Melon beanie finally arrived this week! I LOVE IT. Now it needs to be a little colder so that I can wear the beanie. It’s pretty cute…

Me in my Love Your Melon beanie

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

04 February 2017 @ 05:50 pm

the first touch
the tentative smile
how time just stops
the breath holds
the heart pauses
let this be forever
as we exhale
suddenly truly alive
the broken pieces
worn to something new
just as beautiful
as once fallen tears
this time
hope blooms with promise
in this first touch

Simon Kassianides in Desert Dancer
Simon Kassianides in Desert Dancer

A couple of weeks ago I watched a movie called Desert Dancer. It’s beautifully shot and well acted but I confess, the only reason I watched was for Simon Kassianides. (I seriously have this thing of watching the stuff my fellas do. It can be a good thing, right?) His part was small but I didn’t mind too much because the movie was good. I would definitely recommend it…

“I Want Forever with You” aka Marco & Thalia – Maybe that’s the title. I don’t know. I could probably end the story but I want to go for the whole journey because so far, the action takes place in two days. I want them to work out how fast they’re going (because oh my, they’re going FAST). Marco is Greek (gee, wonder why) and Thalia is not (of course) but she knows some Greek (thank you Google Translate!) and whenever she says something in Greek, he gets hot and bothered. Yes, I’m making that a thing in the story. LOL I think if I ever let people read the story, I’ll have to have disclaimer about the Greek that I do use in the story. Or maybe just find a Greek person to probably translate what I want the characters to say. Hmmm… Anyhoo, I am enjoying writing these characters and hope to have a readable story by the end of it.

“Carter & Janina” – Officially STALLED on this story. UGH! I need to re-work some of Janina’s background. I didn’t like where it was going and that’s why I stopped and started the other story. But I really would like to get this one finished at some point.

So besides Simon Kassianides, I’m finding myself just full of fangirl adoration for my other fellas. Henry Cavill keeps posting these ADORABLE videos on Instagram and his smile is just so infectious. One of the videos made me laugh a little and I thought slightly dirty thoughts even though it was totally innocent. I think he did it on purpose… Maybe I’ll see Tyler Rich this month? Fingers crossed! Also, when is the good news going to finally be released?! I don’t know. I’m just happy I kinda know… Sam Hunt’s new song “Body Like a Back Road” is so good! I love it (of course) so much! I’m so glad he’s releasing new songs and I will definitely buy his new album when it comes out. To be honest, I’ll probably buy his songs as he releases them and then freakin’ buy the album too… Jacob Davis’ song “What I Wanna Be” is just AWESOME. I am IN LOVE with that song. I cannot wait until the world discovers him because he’s got the goods, my lovelies. Mark my words!…

I’m still trying to work out this whole Simon Kassianides thing. How is it that I’ve been following him (on Instagram at least) for all this time but I’ve only really noticed him until now. It’s been a month and I still don’t know how it all began. It’s like I’m in the middle of it and I don’t know how I got here…

I had one of those layered dreams this morning where I knew I was dreaming in a dream and I was trying to control the dream. I got to the point where I was controlling it and “woke up” in bed but in another dream. Sooooo interesting! Too bad I couldn’t hold on to that part of the dream…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

28 January 2017 @ 11:13 pm

all this time
I didn’t know
you would be the one
every glance
a mystery
until the moment
we touched
did you forget
as I did
to breath
to think
to speak
did you freeze
while the spark lit
a fire deep within
unlocking a different beat
to your heart
all this time
we didn’t know
we were meant to be
the mystery unfolding
the moment we touched

The fangirl adoration for Simon Kassianides continues. I’m doing the slow re-watch of Agents of SHIELD and remembering how much I enjoyed it when we were watching it during its broadcast run. But how did I not notice Simon the first time? It’s so strange remembering almost all the episodes so far that I’ve watched but not remembering him. How did he slip from my notice? I have no explanation at all but it does make re-watching the show interesting… I am still trying to figure out when I started following him on Instagram as well as WHY. Why did I start following him? I seriously have no idea. Usually I can trace back to the beginning of my fangirl regard but with him, I’m drawing a blank. It’s rather fascinating. Have I been following him for years and didn’t realize it? I really don’t know…

Simon Kassianides in Agents of SHIELD
Simon on Agents of SHIELD

It was Greg Lee’s birthday this week! Too bad he doesn’t read his twitter. READ YOUR TWITTER GREG! Also, it’s been EIGHTEEN years since I took this picture with Dean O’Gorman, Ryan Gosling, and Joel Tobeck:

me and the boys, 1999

Go on, say it– I’m old. LOL I actually took that picture with the boys on Greg’s birthday, when he turned 26. Cripes, we’re all OLD! Anyway, still adore all the boys, of course. Oh, and Ryan has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for LA LA LAND. Joyous!


So, I didn’t win that contest to go up to Sacramento to see Jacob Davis perform for local radio station BUT one of my fellow Squadies and her boyfriend did win. They had extra tickets (they both got two each) and I could have been one of the ticketholders but I wimped out because I’m not adventurous enough. Alas. To be fair, I did find out towards the end of my work day and I had wanted to give my boss some notice and it wouldn’t have really been enough if I had told him late in the afternoon. But I think I could have swung it. I ended up turning on the livestream of it and Jacob and the guys were so good! I was glad I could have it on and lo, the work phone actually didn’t ring for the whole set. Glorious!

Not seeing Jacob meant that I could leave work early on Friday to go see Tyler Rich at Rohnert Park. But again, because I’m not adventurous enough, I decided not to go. I could say I saved some money (because I would have had to stay the night because I wasn’t going to drive back home after 1 AM in the morning after a Friday night) but really, I am too wimpy about driving that far a distance even though I pretty much know most of the way out there. I just couldn’t rev myself enough to go alone and that’s on me. I think if he’s out at RP again soon, I’m going to just do it and go. Otherwise, I truly SUCK. But at least I know he still knows I love him. I do, I really do!


My niece recently joined the army and she’s in training right now. I’ve been writing her letters because 1) I like to write letters and 2) she’s currently disconnected from the online world (which might be a blessing at this point). I set my letter out for the mail carrier today and when I checked the mail later, I found a letter from my niece! It was so good to hear from her! I love getting letters. I’m glad she’s learning and training and I’m really so proud of her. 🙂


I’m not one to give into fear, especially to circumstances in which I have no control. I don’t talk politics because even though I consider myself middle of the road in many things, I know I’m probably more liberal leaning than anything. I like to think I can see both sides but recent days have really brought my soul some struggle. I don’t want to linger in it for too long because the despair just eats and eats all the light but I know I must feel it and hopefully come out of it with some kind of purpose.

We are starting to move beyond politics. We need to view our current state of being as humans with morals. If you call yourself a Christian, how has this week been treating your resolve? If you voted for our current president, how do you feel about each time he signs his name to these orders? I’m curious and I want know every side. Part of me wonders if he’s wreaking this chaos as a distraction from other things. Or is he merely making good on the promises he made so that people can say, “Well, at least he tried.” If this is the case, what kind of fallout can we expect?

Here’s what I know– I was born and raised here but both my parents are immigrants. They were born in another country. My grandfather brought his family here after serving in the US Army. My father went to the Philippines, met my mother, married her, and brought here after they got married. I speak perfect English but even I, a Californian born and bred, just recently had a perfectly easy conversation with someone who joked, “Where are you from?” It was a joke and meant as such and I laughed and rolled my eyes. But it made me sigh inside because why would someone say something like that to me? It’s because for some reason, no matter how naively I’ve gone through this world as an American, there are people out there who look at me and think it’s okay to say, “Where are you from?” Not, “Where did you grow up?” Not, “What part of California did you grow up?” No, it’s “Where are you from?” even though I speak English and was born and raised here. How do I answer that? If I go at face value, I say I was born in Oakland and raised in San Leandro. But I know that they are really asking about my ethnicity. As if it matters. Because heaven forbid I’m just American. I can’t be just American. I have to be something-American.

Most of the time it doesn’t bother me. Most of the time I go along my merry way as an American woman who listens to country music and jazz, likes British tv shows and rugby and baseball. Most of the time I’m just me writing stories only few will read. But sometimes things happen in the world that remind me that I’m not just me. People look at me and judge and perhaps have these preconceived notions about me before I open my mouth. Most of the time people are awesome and polite and kind. But sometimes there’s a moment that reminds me that there are people out there who will look at me, ask me where I’m from, and not be satisfied when I say I was born and raised here. As if it matters.

I will not go in fear. I will feel this despair and helplessness then I will let it go. I hope for clarity. I hope for purpose even if it’s just to live my life as I did yesterday. I will draw upon the love in my soul and remember my greatest lesson was in patience. Perhaps I will not shout but leave it to whispers. For now…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

22 January 2017 @ 10:03 am

I am filled with such fangirl love for my fellas and fellow fans right now. Who’s first?

Jacob Davis! Jacob is on a radio tour and we’ve been lucky that the different radio stations have live-streamed Jacob’s mini-gigs. Just the other day, I happened to be looking at my twitter and the local Sacramento station tweeted that Jacob would be visiting on Wednesday! And there’s a contest to hang out while he performs. OMG, I just about fell out! Yes, of course I entered the contest. Part of me feels like this is it, this is when I FINALLY get to meet Jacob and the cohorts (well, a couple of them?). Another part of me feels like I’m probably not going to “randomly” win because I’m sure I’m not the demographic they want visiting the radio station. Still, I have hope. Because seriously, when is Jacob going to be somewhat accessible to me except now? So fingers crossed!!!… The radio tour is revving up the Jacob Davis Squad into a little action and we are loving it! Our joy is spreading the word on Jacob and his music. He’s going to take country music by the horns, I tell ya. And I just feel lucky that I’m part of such a damn stellar group of fans who really truly go with love…

poppin' the cork
Tyler the other night…

Tyler Rich! I am so excited and happy for him. He popped the cork the other night and when it’s official (like press release official), I’m going to shout it out everywhere. Suffice to say that there are super awesome things on his horizon, which means if you don’t know his name now, you will in the coming days. I’m always going to support him in all his endeavors and I know that he knows it. I feel so lucky to be one of his fans. I am grateful for all the moments and for the friends I’ve made because of him. We are bound together by our adoration for him, his music, and our shared experiences…

watching Agents of SHIELD
watching Agents of SHIELD

Simon Kassianides… I don’t know if it’s just that he’s the fella in my current story and my head is filled with him acting out the scenes but I’m in full on fangirl mode for this man. I’m trying to be cool about it. I’m trying not to angle too much for attention but make no mistake, I’m hoping to catch his eye when I post about him. It seems to work when I post screencaps of him and mention his short film. See, I know how to work it. Ha! But seriously, it’s kinda awesome when he likes my tweets. And when he actually retweets, I cannot help the little flutter. Fangirl me is easily thrilled. If he ever actually replies to me, I’m done. Sully might have to either share his spot or give way…

open up!
Sully blindfolded… ya know, because he’s on Blindspot…

Sullivan Stapleton… This week, the blind taste test video of Sully on Rachael Ray was posted and it’s HILARIOUS. First off all, if you’re going to blindfold Sullivan Stapleton, well, a taste test isn’t the first thing I’d devise for him. Second, why did he have to be so damn adorable?! I was jealous of RR feeding him. Third, when can I finally meet him? I want to touch his scruffy cheeks then hug and kiss him. Just once. I’m not greedy or anything. Not really…

Sherlock – It’s over already?! Well, the season at least. I can’t wait until it’s on Netflix so I can re-watch the latest eps again. Such a good show! I don’t want it to ever end but if this is the end, I think it was so very well done. I would love more stories. I’d love to see The Woman again. But you know, it doesn’t need to happen. At least I know that if it does happen, they won’t do it in half measures. It will be done right…

Blindspot – Another good episode. Good to see Roman getting out and having more flashbacks. He’s a bit cold blooded though, isn’t he? Of course, the end had the breathless moment. Kurt remembers Shepherd?! Can’t wait to see where that takes us!

Friday was the changing of the guard in Washington DC. I’m glad I was at work so that I could not be tempted to watch it… I loved seeing all the pictures from the marches on Saturday. Peaceful gatherings to march. I see it as coming together with love and hope and strength. That is my takeaway from. I am proud of all the women and men who came together to show the world that yes, we can all be together even in our differences… I wrote another letter to my Army niece. I hope she got the first one. It’s nice to just write some words on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope, then stick a stamp on it…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

15 January 2017 @ 10:55 am

After days of rain, the sun broke through on Friday. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t gotten sick enough to not go to work. Seriously, how sucky is that? It’s just a little sucky. Of course, being able to stay home and sleep almost all day isn’t such a bad thing except it feels like you’re wasting the day away. Alas.

Sully on Seth Meyers
Sullivan Stapleton on Seth Meyers

Sully was adorable the other night! LOVED when he talked about not being able to cuss on network tv. Believe me Sully, I feel your pain. I MISS your cussing! Why does he have to sound good when he swears? It’s terrible, I know, to like it but I do. I also liked what he said about steamy scenes. Well, I mostly liked that he said, “…steamy scenes.” It made me giggle because that’s how I describe intimates scenes in my stories. It oddly delighted me to hear him say those words. He’s adorable when he does those interviews…

MONEY MONSTER – I’ve wanted to watch this movie since I heard Jack O’Connell was in it. We finally watched it on one of the movie channels last night. It was really good! I thought Jack was great in it but I was also a bit mesmerized by Caitriona Balfe. Good movie, very well done…

Blindspot – I seriously enjoy this show a lot. Even though Sully is the main reason I watch, the show has definitely hooked me. I love the mystery and the characters and not knowing where the story is going. I love surprises…

Emerald City – Two episodes in and I’m going to say that I do like it so far. I’ll keep watching because I want to know what happens next. Part of me wonders if it might fare better as a cable show but so far, it’s not been so sanitized as far as some of the plot points. I hope the network gives this show a chance…

Taboo – Tom Hardy is already just SO GOOD in this one. I cannot wait to see what this show will bring. It’s grimy and tense and mysterious. I cannot wait until Tom unleashes because you know he will. He must. It’ll be a waste if he doesn’t…

Simon Kassianides in Trust No One
Simon Kassianides in Trust No One

Simon Kassianides wrote/directed/starred in a short called Trust No One. I’ve watched it a few times. You’re thrust into the action with absolutely no idea what’s happening but it’s quick to draw you in and keep you hooked until the end. Simon plays Ben, a man on the run with something on a USB drive that everyone wants. He’s with Amber and they head into this dilapidated building to sell what they have. Things go awry. Brett Dalton appears near the end, his purpose to get what Ben has. Then it ends. Of course, I want more. I wonder if there will be more…

“Marco & Thalia” – A tiny bit stalled on this story, mostly because of being sick. I’ve been thinking a lot of the story but haven’t been writing nearly enough on it…

“Carter & Janina” – Definitely stalled on this one. Need to re-work the last part I’ve written because I’m definitely not satisfied with it…

One of my nieces joined the Army and is in South Carolina for training. I wrote her a letter the other day and hope that I’m not too lazy to write her every few days. I’m so proud of her and I know she will have great adventures… My seven year old niece is already at third grade math. She is awesome! She plays sports, does well in school, and is a sweet girl. I hope this is her norm because it’ll do well for her in the future. Oh, and she’s already starting to code. LOVE IT!… It still tickles me when my fellas like or retweet or favorite my social network posts. I know that when I mention them in my posts, I’m trying to get their attention as much as trying to give them attention. I like when it works out for me…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.


Sooooo, not sure how/why this happened but sometime during break, I suddenly became enthralled with Simon Kassianides. I’ve seen him in different things here and there, I suppose, and at some point I started following him on Instagram. I know it’s been a long while and I actually don’t know why I started following him but I did and during the break he was using Instagram stories a lot and I watched. He was in Greece and I loved seeing all the different spots he visited. It does not hurt that he’s handsome and over thirty-five (rejoice, I’m not just an adorer of barely 30-somethings!) and whilst getting stuck on one story, another one decided it needed to be started and Simon slipped into the role of the new character.

What the heck?

My intention is to ride this out until the end of writing the story and then sit back and analyze why I’ve started on another fella. And have I really started on a new fella? Maybe it was just time for someone new. Maybe I needed to add a different face to my story fellas. I mean really, how many times can I use Sullivan Stapleton or Henry Cavill? (Many times, in case you’re wondering.) So welcome to my mad mind, Simon Kassianides. It’s fun (for me) and I won’t be too much bother. Promise. Muah!

A new Muse? Simon Kassianides on Burn Notice

“Marco & Thalia” – No real title yet. This is the new story. All the characters are new and so far not related to any of my previous characters so that’s good at least. I have this weird tendency to link my characters from story to story. Not so in this case. So far they’re near the end of their first date. Not sure how steamy this story will get but the characters are definitely wanting it. LOL (My characters always want it, by the way.)

“What Now” – This story is totally stalled. I took the female character down a certain path and I think I need to re-write that bit. The break in this story is why I started the other story. I’ll hopefully get back to this story soon and finish it.

Rebound – I should edit this story and then see if anyone wants to read it. I think it turned out nicely but there are some bumpy spots so need to smooth those out.

The Arrangement – Definitely need to go back to this one and edit. I really do love the story but the awkward bits are way too awkward.

“Drinkin’ Too Much” – Sam Hunt – Have you heard this song? GO LISTEN TO IT. It’s raw and vulnerable and intimate and I LOVE IT. I love that Sam wrote it and sang it and then shared it with us. It’s pretty much his heart right there for all of us to hear. How much trust is there in that? He’s trusting US, his fans, with his very heart. So girls who are oh so woe is me that he’s in love and engaged, enjoy the fact that even though you’ll never have him, he will give you his very heart in his music. What more could you want from your favorite artist? And for the rest of you who want to criticize Sam and whether or not he’s country music (how about he’s just MUSIC), open your mind and just listen. There’s more to music than genre labels. If you don’t like it, then don’t listen. If you country music fans want a certain kind of country music, then go listen to that and BUY IT. Radio isn’t going to play the music you like if you don’t buy or request it.

LA LA LAND (soundtrack) – I cannot stop listening to this soundtrack. I’ve listened to it enough that if I don’t have something else playing, the music I hear is from this soundtrack. I’m resisting the urge to go out and see the movie again. Having the soundtrack and original score definitely helps.

Nobody But Me – Michael Bublé – I’m listening to this right now. Sounds good so far! He always does sound good and it’s a nice break for my ears after the last couple of years of listening to mostly country music. I always go back to the jazzy vocals at some point…

Blindspot – What an episode! So much happened. And yet it felt like Weller wasn’t on screen that much. He had some good scenes (love when he’s all tough and defending his team). Maybe I just always want more. After all, Sully is pretty much the reason why I watch the show. We even watched it in real time with commercials! See, that’s how much I adore him. I hope he appreciates it. 😉

Sully on Blindspot

I’m glad I took a long weekend before school starts up again on Monday. We’re supposed to get lots of rain in the coming days. Joy? Hopefully there are enough breaks in the rain to let the earth soak it all in so as to keep things stable…

I made an in-app purchase for one of the games I play. Fingers crossed it’s the one and only time I do that. In all the years I’ve played games on my phone, I’ve always kept it “free” except for one actual purchase of a game. This is the first time I’ve purchased in the game. Yikes!

It’s been a decent start to 2017. How about for you?

one of my new watch faces…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

31 December 2016 @ 09:12 am

I would not trade
these falling tears
if it meant never
knowing even just a bit
of you

I will cry
to balance the joy
of your existence
now relegated
to memories

I would not banish
this ache and pain
just to pretend
with life
there is no death

I will remember
with sweet melancholy
the spark of imagination
you wrought
in my very heart

I would not trade
this darkness
if it meant never
knowing the glow
of your smile

my best 16 of 2016 on Instagram

The end of 2016 is nearly upon us and of course I’m falling under the usual spell of looking back on the year.

For me, the single most personally sorrowful moment of 2016 was having to say goodbye to our last dog, the dachshund Holli. I miss that little bandit, my Holli-bolly. She also answered to Pookie but only to her daddy. If I called her that, she would give me that look like, “No, you’re not allowed to call me that, Mommy.” I’m glad her last days were spent in a house where she could run on carpet and sound like a super miniature horse. I miss her so much, especially when I’m home alone and I just want to cuddle with her. She was great at cuddling and napping. We often napped together. She’d sleep next to me, breathing into my hair, sometimes kicking me and sapping away my warmth. I never minded too much. I sigh a little whenever I look at my photos and the inevitable “on this day” photos that show up. I took a lot of pictures of my dog and now I’m so glad I did because it helps me remember her even as much as it makes me miss her…

So many deaths in the celebrity/notable world this year! People want to write off the year because of it but really, I can’t. It’s so sad, yes, that these people have left our realm but oh what they’ve left behind for us– whether their art or their personalities or their discoveries or their experiences. So mourn and rail against the fates but take time also to appreciate the richness and legacy of these departed souls. Maybe it wasn’t fair that they died but I choose to take joy in how they’ve touched my heart even as I cry here at their loss…

The election. I didn’t talk much about it while it was happening mostly because I like to keep that kind of stuff to myself. I don’t have influence so why share my thoughts to people who might not like what I have to say? And I don’t need the reinforcement of strangers to shore up my own opinions or thoughts. So I kept most of my thoughts to myself about the election. I voted. Now I go on with my life, hoping to keep myself positive against all the negative, hoping that people strive more towards love and compassion as opposed to divisiveness and hate…

my favorite photo is now one of my watch faces!

Highlights of my year! The fun stuff…

Tyler Rich – You knew I wasn’t going to go by without mentioning Tyler, right? I was very lucky to see him often in 2016 and I treasure each and every show, especially the Concert in the Park in Sacramento and Ironstone Amphitheatre in Murphys. I want more shows! But I also very much loved being able to see him at the G Bar. I know those days of seeing him there are likely ending very soon and even though I will miss them dearly, it will mean that he has taken another step towards realizing his dream. And that is my dream for him too. I can’t wait until that day people nod and say, “Yeah, I love his song!” when I mention him. Tyler has been sunshine and joy for me and he was part of the reason I had a kickass 2016!

with Tyler at Ironstone Amphitheatre in August

Music – I never thought I’d be part of an organized group of fans again but here I am, part of the Jacob Davis Squad. I LOVE IT. I have never been part of such a group of motivated, loving, and enthusiastic fans. It’s going to be CRAZY when Jacob’s star rises even higher. I can say I’ve been there since the beginning even though I haven’t met him and the cohorts yet. I’m just happy to be along for the ride and doing my little part to let get the word out on a really awesome artist.

Sullivan Stapleton – What, he’s part of my 2016 highlights? Yes! Back in June he was with his friend Josh Cartu and Josh was livestreaming on Facebook during Gumball 3000. I said hello in the comments and Josh told Sully to say hi to me because, and I quote, “She’s hot.” What?! Sully laughed and said, “Hey Valerie.” Boom, HIGHLIGHT. Oh, and Twitter SMS notification that never ceases to annoy the hubby. Ooops! LOL

Concerts – We went to a few concerts this year and not just Tyler ones! The Brantley Gilbert concert ROCKED but it was the Kenny Chesney concert at Levi’s Stadium that certainly set the standard for me. I don’t think I can ever thank my cousin enough for hooking us up with AWESOME tickets to that show. If you ever get suite tickets to Levi’s Stadium, you just don’t say no. I FINALLY got to see my Sam Hunt perform and it was amazing. One day he’s going to be the headliner and I will probably just faint from all the goodness. But first, I must get a picture with him and Tyler together because that will set my fangirl heart a pitter-patter!

Rich's Bi$ches and the girl with the purple guitar

Rich’s Bi$ches & the girl with the purple guitar

Friends – I have friends I chat online with everyday and I love that we can share pieces of our lives together. I have “real life” friends that I don’t see very often but when we get together, we can pick up and talk about anything as if not much time has passed. I have friends I’ve made because of artists we mutually love and adore. And I have work friends who make the days at work go by in more pleasant ways. I love and appreciate all my friends and I hope that we have more moments together in 2017.

Writing – Even though only a few people may ever read any of my work, I did complete two novel sized stories in 2016. Go me! I write for me and maybe one day I’ll work up the nerve to have people read and help me edit my work. It could happen, right?

Family – I don’t spend as much time as I could with my family but I do enjoy the time together when it does happen. I love seeing my cousins’ kids growing into such awesome people. I wish my sister wasn’t so far away but I’m glad she keeps us updated on the social media…


Hubby – He’s really a daily highlight. I’m a lucky lady to wake up every day with him in my life. Truly.

with hubby Christmas Day

There was much to love about 2016 and in spite of all the drudgery and tragedy and downright insanity of some of the last 12 months, I would not take any of it back. The days that bring you more than you think you can handle are the days that test your character. How you respond is a testament to your resolve.

So go well into 2017, everyone! Love, laugh, and life.

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

29 December 2016 @ 08:50 pm

Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling in La La Land

How much do I LOVE this movie? I LOVE IT. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

First let’s get this out of the way– I ADORE Ryan Gosling. I’ve adored him since I met him and I have followed his career since his Young Hercules days. I admit, I didn’t want him as Young Hercules (I liked the original actor who played the younger version of the demigod) but after I met him, I simply adored him. He was a lovely young man and his sweetness always stuck with me. I have watched almost all his movies (I think I haven’t watched two recent ones?) and Ryan has shown such range and complexity in his roles. One day, I know I’m going to say, “Why yes, that’s me with Academy Award winner Ryan Gosling, thanks for asking.” It’s going to happen. Mark my words.

Having said that, I don’t love every single film he’s done. Even though I’ll say he’s done amazing work (and he has), I can’t say that I have actually enjoyed every film. Some of them were difficult to watch and I’ve only watched them once. Actually, I think there are only a few that I’ve watched more than once. I have watched movies I wouldn’t normally watch because Ryan was in them and that’s just the truth. I follow where he goes.

La La Land is a beautiful movie from top to bottom. Ryan and Emma were amazing in their roles, pulling all the right strings for laughs and for tears. The journey their characters take is filled with love and dreams and so much more. Even though it’s set in modern day LA, there’s a bit of throwback innocence in this world even if dreams are dashed here and there. Both characters hold on to their hopes and dreams without losing heart. The music is beautiful and haunting, light and easy and filled with the same hope of the characters. Both leads sounded well together and apart. I’ve heard Ryan sing before but not Emma, so I was pleasantly surprised, especially with “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”.

The musical numbers blended well with the dialogue, creating a beautiful mix that was never jarring to me. The opening sequence was a definite toe tapper. The songs stuck with me, especially “City of Stars” and the aforementioned “Audition (The Fools Who Dream).” The Epilogue was simply BEAUTIFUL (all music, no singing).

I loved La La Land so very much. It’s more than an homage to those old Hollywood musicals. It’s music and movies and love and dreams and is probably one of my newest favorites…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

26 December 2016 @ 09:02 am

George Michael died. I didn’t want to believe it at first and I waited until more than just one news outlet announced it before I set free my own words at Twitter. Later I looked through my digital musical catalog, remembering the Wham! songs and his solo songs. Then I tapped play on a song I hadn’t heard in a long time and it was the one that almost made me cry. Such a melancholy song and for some reason I remembered the words. I must have listened to it over and over but I don’t remember when, only that I did…

I’d say love was a magical thing
I’d say love would keep us from pain
Had I been there, had I been there

I would promise you all of my life
But to lose you would cut like a knife
So I don’t dare, no I don’t dare

‘Cause I’ve never come close in all of these years
You are the only one to stop my tears
And I’m so scared, I’m so scared

Take me back in time maybe I can forget
Turn a different corner and we never would have met
Would you care

I don’t understand it, for you it’s a breeze
Little by little you’ve brought me to my knees
Don’t you care

No I’ve never come close in all of these years
You are the only one to stop my tears
I’m so scared of this love

And if all that there is is this fear of being used
I should go back to being lonely and confused
If I could, I would, I swear

It’s simple and it’s beautiful to me. His voice and his lyrics always touched me. Some of my favorite all-time songs are Wham!/George Michael songs. Right now this one is the one that sticks with me. I’m sure in the coming days I will revisit “Kissing a Fool” and “Faith” and “Careless Whisper” but “A Different Corner” is the one whispering in my head…

Merry Christmas!

We had our quarterly luncheon on Wednesday then the holiday breakfast at the high school on Thursday. The luncheon was winter themed as opposed to holiday themed and I missed a little the holiday touches but understand why we dialed it down. The holiday breakfast at the high school is always one of my favorite things this time of year. The FFA students always do such a great job with it. This year, they had on their FFA jackets and just looked so sharp and put together. I thought it was the cutest thing ever! The food was great, OF COURSE. How can a simple breakfast taste so good? The bacon, THE BACON!

delicious breakfast

Christmas Eve day the hubby worked so I watched a bunch of movies– While You Were Sleeping (if Die Hard is a Christmas movie then so is WYWS!), Sleepless in Seattle, Inception, Galaxy Quest. All favorites of mine for one reason or another.

Christmas Day I had been set to cook but lo, Sand Creek Pub was open for business and we ended up there for drinks, lunch, and football/basketball watching! We were there for almost two hours before other people came for drinks and food. I’m glad they were open and I hope that it was worth it for them. 🙂


“Because it’s Christmas” – I don’t know why I try but I started writing a Christmas themed story. I didn’t finish it because I couldn’t figure out why the two characters had a conflict. Maybe next Christmas I’ll figure it out. We shall see…

“What Now” – I’m a bit stalled on this story. I feel like I’ll be working on this one for awhile. But I don’t mind. I just need to figure out how long I want this story to be…

Even though it seems like there has been a lot of celebrity deaths, I’m not going to write off 2016 like so many people seem to want to do. Are they all saying that NOTHING positive and wonderful happened in their lives in the whole of the year? Are their own lives so small and meaningless that when a celebrity dies it’s the end of the world? Now that’s just not the way to live.

I’m not saying that I do not mourn these deaths. I’m not saying that there isn’t a part of me that wails at the light of life that was extinguished. I do mourn and I do cry but that doesn’t mean the whole year needs to go away. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy a lot of it because I did. People die every day. And with their deaths, we should look upon our world with more clarity and appreciation and LOVE. So mourn and cry, listen to the songs of musicians who have passed or watch the movies or shows they did. And while you’re doing that, appreciate the fact that they lived and shared their art and their passion, that they are part of your memories in whatever way they are. Then go on and live, find the people who make you laugh and cry and think. Make more memories with that laughter and love…

One more week of 2016…

If you want to watch the official video for “A Different Corner”, here it is. The video is kinda cheesy but apparently so were we back in the day. It’s a beautiful song and one that moves in a quiet way…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

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22 December 2016 @ 09:13 pm

Review by Valerie Noble
(based on the advanced reader copy)

Into the Blood grabbed me from the beginning and did not let go. I read it all the way through in one sitting because I just couldn’t put it down. I needed to know what would happen next.

There’s love, there’s action, there’s violence, there’s suspense. There’s friendship old and new, reconnecting with family, and holding on to love.

I loved joining Xander again after his story with Paige in Into the Nothing. This time he’s set on finding his sister Gabriela, hoping to reconnect. She has her own problems, however, and must find a way to pay back money or it’ll be the end for her.

Gabriela is tough and flawed, damaged and strong. She’s had horrible things happen to her and yet she keeps fighting to live. She leans a lot on her former flame Shane and he’s so willing to do anything for her. I really loved that he was her constant, giving her whatever she needed, and stepping up to help her.

Even though it has been awhile since I’ve read the first in the series, I had no trouble getting into the action and characters of Into the Blood. I couldn’t put down my e-reader until I read the very last word. The characters were compelling and the action was gripping.

The novel is written from first person point of view, not my usual fare but BT Urruela’s style keeps me reading in spite of my personal preferences. I love the blend of love and action and suspense.

I can’t wait to read the next story from BT!

Into the Blood by BT Urruela

Book 2 in The Broken Outlaw Series

RELEASE: December 20, 2016

COVER DESIGNER: @Marisa-roseShor / @CoverMeDarling

MODELS: @Tessi.Conquest, @SamAshley, @GideonConnolly, @GoldenCzermak, @RobSomers, @BTUrruela



Being released from prison, Xander Evans needs to find the sister he hasn’t seen in years. She holds the key to healing a past he hasn’t come to terms with. That desire has him making the difficult decision of leaving Paige behind. When he discovers just how much trouble Gabriela is in, he fears even he can’t help her survive.

After an ugly separation from the Army, Gabriela Michaels fell in with the wrong crowd. With a drug deal gone wrong, she now has a month to pay back more money than she ever could… or see her life come to a swift end.

Her former flame, Shane Presley, must unite a band of Broken Outlaws to save the woman he’s always loved.

About the Author:

BT Urruela is a combat wounded amputee, Purple Heart recipient, contemporary author who has written both independent and traditionally published books. He is a USA Today Bestselling Author of ‘A Lover’s Lament’ which he co-wrote with KL Grayson. He is a RARE under 40 award recipient, Rockwood Summit High School and Rockwood School District Hall of Fame inductee, Co-founder and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, Ambassador for Tampa Sports Academy, People Magazine Tribute for Heroes winner, Cover Model, Motivational Speaker and Philanthropist.

He released his first solo novel, ‘Into the Nothing’ Summer 2016 ‘Wicked Little Words’ with author Stevie J. Cole, Halloween 2016 and is releasing an Anthology, Alphas & Fairytales: A New Year’s Eve Anthology, on December 19, 2016 with proceeds benefiting VETSports. He lives in Tampa with his dogs, Kiko and Scout and is writing full-time.

Follow BT Urruela:

Amazon – amazon.com/author/bturruela

Facebook – facebook.com/bturruela

Instagram – instagram.com/bturruela

Twitter – twitter.com/btuarmy

Website – bturruela.com

Goodreads – goodreads.com/…bturruela

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

18 December 2016 @ 08:19 pm

Wait, we’re already to week fifty?! Where has the time gone? No seriously, someone tell me.

It’s Christmas in a week. When you don’t have kids and you don’t decorate, it really does just sneak up on you. I’m mostly looking forward to the days off and still contemplating on what other days I might also take off from work. We shall see. Maybe I’ll just work it all and shred a bunch of stuff from my shred box. How therapeutic would that be?

Into the Blood – BT Urruela
I’m going to do a separate blog review on this one because I was lucky enough to get the ARC. I read it in one sitting! The action just pulls you in and doesn’t let go. It’s been released early on Amazon with a special price for just a couple of days. Check it out!

Into the Blood – Amazon

“What Now” (working title) – Actually, in my files this story is simply “Carter & Janina” because those are the names of the characters. I’ve already written over 12,000 words on it and I don’t know how much longer I might make it. Is it a novella? Will it make it novel status? I really don’t know yet. I’m just writing it. I should probably figure out one of these days. LOL Carter is a character from my National Novel Writing Month novel Rebound and I loved him enough to give him his own story even though he wasn’t very nice in Rebound. This story is his redemption, I suppose. Janina is a new character and she’s somewhat similar to another character I wrote but never completed.

Yesterday evening I spent time with my cousins and their families. I LOVE getting together with them. The girls are getting so big! Time flies, I tell ya. They’re getting older and need so little supervision. It’s kinda nice. LOL

Today I got to FaceTime with my nieces! It just warms my hear when they call me “Tita Val.” The little one is a little wild and the older one is so smart! Yes, I’m bragging but how can I not? I love how she loves to learn and to create. She was showing me the powerpoint she’s doing. My niece, at 7 years old, is creating a powerpoint presentation! SO AWESOME!

my nieces

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

Tags: ,
12 December 2016 @ 09:04 pm

Sunday was a day of balance for me.

My friends and I got together and hung out, ate pizza, shared about our lives, reminisced only a little. We’re going to try and get together more often and I hope that we do because I really do miss them. Just sitting around and talking is fun to me.

With my friends
Sunday afternoon with my friends

So why the balance? And here I must be vague.

The Filipino phrase that crossed my mind was “walang hiya.” To me those words mean without shame or consideration for others. It speaks to entitlement and utter disregard to anyone else. Unconscionable. How do you deal with someone like that? For me, it’s done in mostly silence. Not sure if it’s polite but it’s quiet because saying something could set off something horrible.

Perhaps it’s just the universe’s way of reminding me to be grateful for what I have, to be happy with what I can do, to be more tolerant of things I cannot control. It’s a struggle to feel compassion sometimes when the person who needs can’t even muster a smidgen of apology or regret.

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

06 December 2016 @ 07:30 pm

Into the Blood by BT Urruela
Book 2 in The Broken Outlaw Series
COVER REVEAL: December 6, 2016
RELEASE: December 20, 2016
COVER DESIGNER: @Marisa-rose Shor / @Cover Me Darling
MODELS: @Tessi Conquest, @Sam Ashley, @Gideon Connolly, @Golden Czermak, @Rob Somers, @BT Urruela

Bloggers and Readers please Sign-up for the Release Blitz December 20-23rd https://goo.gl/forms/DsY2MT87fJF8C0HC3

Being released from prison, Xander Evans needs to find the sister he hasn’t seen in years. She holds the key to healing a past he hasn’t come to terms with. That desire has him making the difficult decision of leaving Paige behind. When he discovers just how much trouble Gabriela is in, he fears even he can’t help her survive.

After an ugly separation from the Army, Gabriela Michaels fell in with the wrong crowd. With a drug deal gone wrong, she now has a month to pay back more money than she ever could… or see her life come to a swift end.

Her former flame, Shane Presley, must unite a band of Broken Outlaws to save the woman he’s always loved.

About the Author:
BT Urruela is a combat wounded amputee, Purple Heart recipient, contemporary author who has written both independent and traditionally published books. He is a RARE under 40 award recipient, Rockwood Summit High School and Rockwood School District Hall of Fame inductee, Co-founder and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, Ambassador for Tampa Sports Academy, People Magazine Tribute for Heroes winner, Cover Model, Motivational Speaker and Philanthropist.

At an early age he began writing short stories having been inspired by reading books authored by RL Stein. His maternal grandmother’s bookshelf was filled with literature that inspired his young mind and cultivated his vivid imagination.

Upon graduation from high school his desire to have a 20-year military career was cut drastically short by an improvised explosive device. Taking the life of his commander, and leaving the remaining four team members badly wounded.

After careful consideration and multiple surgeries, he along with the guidance of his doctors made the decision to amputate. It was the only surgery he ever left with a smile on his face, as if a weight had been lifted. He struggled for two more years through 4-5 hours of physical therapy a day, five days a week to get adapted to his new prosthetic. He medically retired from the Army with high hopes. His focus on restoring his physical shape being the most eminent battle caused him to neglect his psychological state.

Meeting people was difficult and there were very few options for veterans to utilize that would stimulate friendship, and ultimately, allow communication barriers to be breached. After moving to Tampa, Florida, he co-founded the veteran community sports nonprofit, VETSports, with two other combat wounded veterans. It was their mission to change the way veterans transitioned back to civilian life through organized team sports, community involvement, and leadership opportunities.

After being invited to attend a photoshoot with acclaimed photographer Michael Stokes, he flew to California in December of 2014, with incredible excitement. His photos were so widely publicized that he soon gained exposure to the literary world like he’d always dreamed of. That opportunity launched him into his present writing career. He co-wrote the novel ‘A Lover’s Lament’ with author KL Grayson. The following year he released first solo novel, ‘Into the Nothing’ and this year released ‘Wicked Little Words’ with author Stevie J. Cole. His second solo novel ‘Into the Blood’ will release late 2016. He is now writing full-time.

Amazon – Amazon.com/author/bturruela
Facebook – http://bit.ly/1RdUEIa
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/bturruela/
Twitter – http://bit.ly/1OQE4nD
Website – http://bit.ly/1NCxnVX

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.

05 December 2016 @ 09:09 pm

Baby Groot
Baby Groot

I finished my novel a day early! Is it good enough to read? Hmmm. Well, it hit the word count! LOL I enjoyed writing it and have actually started another story with one of the characters from the one I just finished. Sometimes I just can’t let go of my characters and I just keep writing them. Not sure if this next story is going to be a novel or novella or even short story. We shall see where the characters take me…

HELL OR HIGH WATER – I had been itching to watch this movie and I was not disappointed. It had odd bits of humor, lots of desolation, and just a smidgen of hope even after tragedy. It was well acted and beautifully shot. Chris Pine, my motivation for watching it, showed yet again why he’s an amazing actor. He has that beautiful way of just becoming the character, making you believe everything about the man he plays. I would definitely recommend this movie!

Westworld – The season finale was on Sunday night and WOW! I really enjoyed this series very much. I probably could have stayed away from the theories and spoilers online and enjoyed it just as much but even knowing some of the theories did not really spoil my enjoyment of it all. A show I would definitely recommend!

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Tyler and I feel oddly okay with it. Even though I don’t know when I’ll see him next, I know I will see him again so I don’t feel that odd despair as I did in the early days of really not knowing when I’d see him again. I still hope that he doesn’t forget me. And I want to get to know TheLovely. Is that weird? Maybe it is… For whatever reason, I’m into Sullivan Stapleton again. Maybe I never really stopped. He played the main character of my National Novel Writing Month story because apparently he’s going to always play the main character of my NaNoWriMo novels. LOL I would seriously love to meet him someday. Is it really too much to ask?…

Originally published at Kiari's Corner. You can comment here or there.