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Valerie

the stir of the soul
where dreams unleash the secret
harbored in the heart

So much San Diego Comic Con envy right now!!! I wish I could just ignore all the convention goodness but I can’t. Let’s see, who did I miss at Comic Con? Aleks Paunovic, Simon Kassianides, Karl Urban, Jensen Ackles, Ryan Gosling, Chris Hemsworth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the Justice League cast (but no Henry, alas), and all the trailers for different movies and tv shows. But really, I would have really just loved to have been there to see like two things. Any two things as long as one of them was Simon. Ah well, this happens almost every year, especially since I follow a lot of the different actors who could appear there. I think liking so many different people would make me easy to please. Next year?

MOVIES
Dunkirk – What an excellent movie! I watched it in 2D IMAX (not sure if it was 70mm) and it was amazing. Yes, Tom Hardy was the draw for me but I think I would have liked the movie if someone else played his character. Maybe. Actually, he was mesmerizing as the Spitfire pilot Farrier, conveying emotion and purpose in such a small space and few words. I would definitely recommend the movie, especially if you can watch it in 70 mm…

Unforgettable – The movie came out in digital HD this week and OF COURSE I had to buy it (at a discount courtesy of the T-Mobile Tuesday Vudu credit). We watched it the other night. I’m sure it’s not a surprise that the real draw for me was Simon’s one scene.

Simon in Unforgettable

His character, Michael, is only in one full scene but his presence is felt throughout the film. He played him convincingly and was definitely not a good guy. Not sure he quite deserved the end he got but such was the movie…

Unforgettable

TV
Game of Thrones – The only other show that I watch “live” is Game of Thrones (the other being Blindspot) and it’s always so worth it! The season opener was last week and I just finished this week’s episode. Both so good! I really enjoy the show and I think I like that the show has gone past the books. It’ll make the new books interesting reads (whenever they come along).

BABBLE HERE AND BABBLE THERE

I am digging the Prisma app, especially with my self portraits. It feels vain, posting the filtered selfies, but it’s fun so I just go with it… My new pieces from 1888 Design arrived this week. I love them!… When Dunkirk started, Simon was moderating a panel at San Diego Comic Con. Yes, I actually thought of that while I was at the movie theatre… The first day of school is coming fast upon us. It makes me sad how short our summer breaks are… I had to buy reading glasses the other day. I think they could help me. I bought a three pack so I’ll bring a pair to work…

Simon Kassianides

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

 
 
Valerie

Oh no, I’m late with this entry! To be fair, I did post something for Tyler and Sabina because I am SAPPY as hell and I do adore them as separate people and as a couple and I just wanted them to know since I have no idea next time I’ll see them. The post was meant for them and not technically a TWITL post so here I am again, a little late…

LOVE
When I found out Tyler and Sabina got engaged, I was SO HAPPY for them. They are genuinely good people and as a couple they are sweet and fun and adorable and so obviously in love. My romantic heart just finds the story of their love just touching and sweet. Plus I really just like them so much. I like thinking we were there to witness their beginning…

MOVIES
War for the Planet of the Apes – I totally planned to watch this movie the moment I took over the Cuddle Puddle Nation twitter account. I knew that I had to be supportive in any way I could for opening weekend and so I caught up on the previous two Apes movies and was ready to go for this third (last?) installment. This last movie was strong and gut wrenching and heartbreaking. I loved it. I loved how strongly I felt for all the characters, primates and humans alike. It was the right end for the whole story arc but it was still so heartbreaking. I’d definitely recommend it! Aleks Paunovic (Winter) made the most of his time on-screen and I would have loved to have seen more of him…

FANGIRL MUSINGS
So Simon will be at Comic Con on Saturday. He’s moderating a panel. I WISH I COULD BE THERE! Seriously, when am I going to meet this guy? It could totally happen. Or maybe I’ll get to the point where I don’t care if I meet him or not. I’m not there yet. Shoot, I’m not there yet with even Sully or Henry or Sam. I still want to meet all of them too! Right now, it’s all focused on Simon. I really can’t explain it.

Simon on Smooch
Simon on Smooch

Unforgettable comes out on digital this week and I am probably going to buy it… I wish I could find some of Simon’s other works. After all, how many times can I watch the second season of Agents of SHIELD?

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

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Valerie

Dear Tyler & Sabina,

Congratulations! I hope someday soon to give you both big hugs but for now I must take a moment to say how much I adore and love the both of you and how the news of your engagement just warms my heart. I AM SO HAPPY FOR THE TWO OF YOU!

Tyler, you have always been wonderful and I have treasured every moment watching you sing and play. Your music hooked me but the fact that you are an awesome man, generous and gracious, just puts you over the top. You will ALWAYS be one of my favorites. When Sabina came into your life, your heart just opened even more. Something unlocked in you and we could all feel it. Well, I could. You were always friendly but after Sabina, there was something more. Her warm spirit combined with yours and you bloomed. Wait, can men bloom? Let’s go with it. You bloomed and it can’t be a coincidence that everything about you shone brighter. Love does that to you and it definitely suits you.

Sabina, you are one of the loveliest, sweetest ladies I have ever met and I couldn’t help liking you from the very first. The absolute glow on your face as you watched Tyler sing and play just made me adore you. And the fact that you are such a sweetheart means you have as much a place in my heart as Tyler does. You are a generous and gracious soul and love just makes you shine.

Tyler & Sabina, many congratulations on your engagement and here’s to a lifetime together of love and laughter and everything in between!

With love,
Valerie

with Tyler & Sabina

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

 
 
Valerie

when I close my eyes
the dreams begin their magic
calling me to you

beer

It has been an awesome week off from work. First off all, I was off from work. JOY! This meant waking up when I wanted (mostly) and being even lazier than usual (although I did do lots of laundry). Second, the weather was mostly cooperative by not being totally sizzling. We still had to use the a/c but it was rather manageable if we stepped out. Third, we got to spend time with family on the 4th of July, which is always fun!

4TH OF JULY
4th of July
our 4th of July

Our day started early because we wanted to watch the first 4th of July Parade here in Brentwood. I woke up to an alarm (what?!), got ready, then we walked over to one of locals. I had a Bloody Mary then stepped outside to watch most of the parade from the sidewalk. It was fun! It was also pretty damn warm for just after 9AM and I eventually watched the end of the parade from my seat at the bar because I had to finish my drink and I wanted to enjoy the a/c.

After a nap (yes, a NAP), we headed out to Pleasant Hill for dinner and fireworks at my cousin’s house. Good food, great company, and pretty cool fireworks. It’s always great to get together with everyone to just relax and talk and eat. I like the eating part. Ha! The fireworks were fun. I probably should have worn jeans or something because I got bit by mosquitoes. Bah!

#CUDDLEMASTER
I know, what the heck is Cuddle Master? Well, it goes like this– I’m part of the Cuddle Puddle Nation (@CuddlePuddleNtn – twitter), a group of fans who love and adore actor Aleks Paunovic. The owner of the twitter account decided it was time to let go of the account and I volunteered to take the mantle. It’s not a responsibility I take lightly. Aleks deserves the time and attention and I hope my efforts are worthy to the task. I have befriended some awesome folks online because of him and that is a gift to cherish. As daunting as it could be, I go with love and respect not just for Aleks but for my fellow fans as well.

So says the new Cuddle Master!

[insert giggles here]

TRIVIA NIGHT
Hubby finally convinced me to got to Trivia Night at his favorite bar on Thursday night. We walked on a hot early evening first to dinner then to the bar. We won! Huzzah! We probably could have racked more points if I had gone with my gut in the one round to guess the theme (which was Sherlock Holmes). As winners we got a free round of drinks. I went with a triple IPA… After trivia, we headed to our other favorite bar for more drinks and live music with Ben Benkert. We liked him so much we bought his CD.

a cold drink

LAST BABBLE

probably my Man Crush Monday pic…

Drives me CRAZY when I start on a new fella and I can’t find his previous work, especially when I want to watch that particular work. Case in point– Simon posted a picture of himself in one of his previous roles and when I tried to find the movie, no joy! Where can I find it?! Who do I need to ask? I found the trailer and OF COURSE I did some screenshots. They’re right up there in that funny little collage. I’m going to use it for my Man Crush Monday post tomorrow, I think…

My stories are so maddeningly stalled. I don’t want to force anything and yet I do because I feel that I should just write until I get over this pause. It’s just super frustrating! I want to do the stories justice but even just trying to concentrate on ONE seems so daunting…

We watched the Planet of the Apes movies because I intend on actually going to the theatre to watch War of the Planet of the Apes. Aleks is in it so must be supportive. 😉

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

 
 
Valerie
03 July 2017 @ 11:46 am

the beat of your heart
echoes much too far from me
yet I feel its call

my work crew
my work crew

I’m off of work for a week! Such a wonderful thing. So far it’s been lazy times but that’s all right, eh?

WRITING
I am at that pause in my writing. I keep re-reading my unfinished stories and as much as I want to finish them, I just can’t muster the creative energy for them. Alas! It’s not that I don’t love my characters– I do– but they’re waiting just like I am…

MUSIC
More songs added to my playlist!

  • “You Broke Up with Me” – Walker Hayes – This one is a fun toe tapper! I like the groove of it. It reminds me of another song (but can’t think of which one). It’s cute and a great summer song…
  • “All on Me” – Devin Dawson – I kept hearing this song on the radio (yes, I listen to the radio sometimes still) and I finally pulled the trigger on it. There’s an R&B feel to it that just appeals to me. Definitely a cool summer song.
  • “I’m Gonna Love You” – Murphy Elmore – I heard a live version of this song and I just had to have it. It’s from an EP released a year ago. I love the sexy songs that just reach deep inside of you and this one does it.
  • “Love Someone” and “Castaway” – Brett Eldredge – I pre-ordered Brett’s upcoming album and these two songs are available now. I don’t normally pre-order anything but he’s one of my very few exceptions, apparently.  “Castaway” is an intimate song and I love the stripped down beauty of it. “Love Someone” is still working on me but I like it enough so far.

FANGIRL MUSINGS
Videochatted with two of my friends regarding our fan accounts. It was great catching up with them in real time. We’re trying to figure out how and what we want to do to promote our favorite. We need to be more organized and perhaps more centralized. The three of us concentrate on different social accounts (I think they do so much more than I do, I definitely need to step up more!) and we have a rather tenuous link to our favorite. My thoughts are we need to figure out what HE wants and how hands on he wants to be with us. Maybe he likes the distance. Maybe he’s not sure he can trust us. Maybe he needs to take baby steps. As his fans, we want to promote his work, maybe give a glimpse of him as a person, and be an example of good will and support for him. We also want to keep up interest in him even when he’s not currently working, like right now!…

I’m in the weird paranoid stage with my number one. You know, the one where you keep thinking, “Did I do something wrong?” because you’re not getting the responses that you previously received? I’m right there. I shouldn’t care about getting any kind of response from him, right? I mean, it’s not like he even knows me at all. I should be satisfied with just his posts and such. So what if he doesn’t respond to me at all. Wait, that’s not quite right. He does like my comments sometimes. He’s so random. I should just let that sink in and be happy with it. I know I’ll get over this whole weird stage. I just don’t want to fall out of it with him, you know? I like having someone new to fangirl over. Maybe he’s weirded out that someone is fangirling over him…

I oftentimes miss the Xena/Hercules days. Such wonderful memories of hanging out with my friends and meeting our favorites from both the shows. Making those connections– between fellow fans and between the actors– was one of the best things ever! I miss the chats I used to have with one of the actors from the show who’s still a favorite of mine. It warms my heart that a couple of the actors still remember me and are always so kind in our current interactions. Just makes me want to see them again! (Or finally meet them, as is the case with one of them.) I’m glad I wrote decent convention reports at least…

KSOFC Brunch 1998
The goofiest picture of me and Kevin Smith (“Ares” on Xena/Herc) back in 1998

I still miss Kev. I often wonder where he would be if he were still alive. Would the whole world know about him? Would he have stayed in New Zealand for television? Would he have landed more movie parts? It still squeezes my heart that he’s not in the world anymore. Such an amazing talent and such a gracious man…

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

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Valerie

the answer to a question
home at the end of the day
promises fulfilled
with just a smile
a dream come true
I am this to you

forever waiting in the wings
ready to step forward
to the next chapter
whether it be surrender
the certainty calls
right to the core

the chance you could take
the step you could make
simply say hello
you never know
the lock could turn
revealing all you yearn

the connection you’d deny
even as those whispers
haunt you w/ such sweet longing
only u could answer
what is forever
but one perfect moment

a piece of your heart
you didn’t know
you gave away
that one notion
in that one moment
locking you to me
sharing secrets
we’ve yet to tell

the memory of a dream
timeless yet long ago
from the first light of the first star
to the first touch of the sunrise
constant and steady

the first kiss
we’ll never share
as long as this distance
exists between us
until our paths cross
in a way we cannot yet fathom

the quiet breath
the flush upon the cheeks
warm yet not unwanted
if you close your eyes
the ghost of fingers skim
light on your skin

maybe the heart you seek
rushed with adoration
sails along too far from you
but within sight of you
looking away
when you look this way

for now
just an untold story
until our eyes meet
until our hands touch
until you say my name
and I say yours
then you’ll know
who I am

Each verse above was a tweet on June 20th. I was feeling creative that day. They can be taken as separate entities but I think together they work well enough. There’s a bit of a theme, perhaps?

first pitch

I had a short work week, which is rather glorious. What was not glorious was having days of triple digit temperatures. YIKES!

BASEBALL
We were supposed to go to the baseball game for our anniversary but it ended up getting rained out so we had to figure out what game to attend. We settled on Wednesday night’s game. Oddly enough, a year ago that day we had gone to our one A’s game last year. What are the chances?

A's game with the one and only
just happy to be in the ball park…

I had my hot dog and pretzel as well as a beer to go along with my soda. The ballpark was as it always is and there wasn’t much of a crowd. We had our row to ourselves. I think the rows behind and in front of us were also clear. I didn’t mind so much. It made it so much easier to leave at the end of the game. LOL The A’s ended up losing to the Astros but I still had a good time. How could I not? We were in Oakland, which was so much cooler than home and I got to watch some baseball.

Mark Mulder was calling the game with Glen Kuiper and from our seats I could sort of see him. I tweeted at him but never got a reply. Bummer, eh? Oh well! It would have been cool to get a picture with him since I was wearing my Mulder jersey. Wishful thinking, I know…

PLANS FOILED
Thursday was the hottest day of the heatwave and we had planned on going to the Alameda County Fair to walk around, eat fair food, and watch the horse races. Because of the weather, the horse races were cancelled, which was a bummer for us but good for the horses. Since they were our draw to even go, we decided skip the fair. Instead, we headed out to Buffalo Wild Wings in Lodi to visit our favorite bartender!

jack & coke at buffalo wild wings

It’s always awesome to see Hunter and even better than he remembers that I like Jack and Coke and hubby likes IPAs. Now that’s the mark of a good bartender. He thanked us for our (my) Yelp review from last year. It helped (who would have thought?!) that they got a good review since the BWW was newly opened the first time we visited. This time around was just as nice. The lunch special was a decent deal and the food was good, probably better than our local BWW. If you’re in the Lodi area, definitely check out BWW, especially if Hunter is there…

RUGBY
Last night I stayed up for the All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions match. It was so worth watching! The All Blacks made me a little nervous in the first half but they really took care of business in the second half. I love how I know most of the All Blacks players because of watching Super Rugby. They did a great job on the Lions. 🙂

DREAMS
I had the weirdest dream the other night. I was in a city and needed to return something to someone and I asked a friend to help me. She turned out to be some part of super secret agency and we got caught up in a weird situation. I think the dream came on because we watched Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation. The dream ended before I got to the end of the adventure. Ah well…

LAST BABBLE
I’ve been cutting my t-shirts into off shoulder blouses. I started with a couple of t-shirts I’ve never worn or were old. I just cut a couple of Sam Hunt t-shirts that I might actually wear more often. Next up could be my Jacob Davis Squad shirt and then my Tyler Rich shirts. We shall see… 🙂

filtered selfie

I’ve been twisting and braiding my hair this week because of the hot weather. I need more practice. Or maybe I need to watch more YouTube videos demonstrating how to do certain braids…

Finally watched Moana and I just LOVED IT. Even though it was an animated movie, it was so nice seeing characters who look like me. I feel like I’ve spent most of my life suspending my disbelief and going straight for the essence of my entertainment and it’s really gratifying to feel a little more connected to a movie on the superficial level. It just added more layers for me. And as much as I like the princess movies, I also like the stories where the girl is the hero and doesn’t need to be “saved.” Twas truly empowering…

I am enjoying my days off. Ahhhh, summer break…

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

 
 
Valerie
18 June 2017 @ 09:54 pm

his dreams
bring escape
in a voice
in a touch
he doesn’t know
why this longing
beckons him
whispering promises
with no one to share
his dreams

We’re in the midst of triple digit days. We started the week with lovely cool weather but now and for the next few days, we’re supposed to be HOT. NOT digging it at all.

Strike Back
it might be time to watch some Strike Back

Sullivan Stapleton and my dad have the same birthday! What are the chances of that? No seriously, what are the chances? I edited a couple of screenshots to wish Sully a happy birthday. Wonder if he saw them. Does he look at stuff when fans tag him?

TV
American Gods – This show is aces! Everything about it just intrigues me. I wonder if I should read the book but part of me likes not knowing what’s going on. I’ll get to the book sometime, I’m sure…

MUSIC
I keep buying music. I was even gifted a song this weekend! Latest on my playlist:

  • Luke Combs- This One’s for You – New album by a new artist. His song “Hurricane” came out last year and his album was just released.
  • Danielle Bradbery – “Sway” – new single that I just had to buy.  It’s catchy!
  • Spencer Crandall- “I Thought We Broke Up” – He’s friends with Tyler but he frustrates me on the social media front because he’s the kind who follows then unfollows. He did that to me NUMEROUS times but when he actually didn’t unfollow me, I followed back. Then guess what, he eventually unfollowed me. So I unfollowed him. Anyhoo, the song is actually pretty good. It’s categorized as country but I bet if I played it for you without telling you it was country, you wouldn’t automatically categorize it as country…
  • Michael Ray – “Get to You” – This song was gifted to me and I like it!

RANDOM MUSINGS
The power went out for a little bit the other night when it was still pretty hot. It came back on before an hour passed, thank goodness… Our department had lunch on Friday at Cap’s. I had the seafood with spinach risotto and it was so good!… Tyler played in his hometown of Yuba City on Saturday night. I wish I could have been there! It seems like forever since I’ve seen him. Alas…

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

 
 
Valerie

the spin of this dream
leaves me dizzy with laughter
beneath the moonlight

Remember when I wrote a poem every day? I did that for about eight and a half years. Yowsa! (I had to look back at my posts.) From 2006 until the middle or so of 2014. Nuts! I wonder if I could do that again. I should at least start with writing a poem (even if it’s just a haiku) whenever I post an entry since I only do so weekly. Challenge? Let’s try it!

SCHOOL’S OUT!
The last day of school was Thursday, which means our office will be relatively peaceful until late July or so. Well, maybe. We shall see. I’ve already put in for my time off during the break and lo, I’m actually going to take a whole week off from work. I’m excited!

ONE DAY, CMA FEST?
CMA Fest was this week and apparently I know a whole bunch of people (online) who are there enjoying the music and festivities. I’d LOVE to go once to see my favorite artists and hear new music and hang out with friends. I’d probably not sleep much. LOL I’m so glad that my friends are having a grand time and I LOVE that they’re sharing their adventures with those of us who can’t be there.

DREAMS
I dreamt that I had had my dachshund cloned and I was hanging out with her. I don’t think I named her Holli 2.0 or the like but I do remember her cuddling with me… “Let’s Do It Right” started playing in my dream and for some reason I said, “Hey, this is a Canadian band! Do you remember this song?” I directed the question to two men who were sitting at a table and they looked at me like I was nuts because yes, of course they knew the song– they had done it! Trevor Guthrie and David Bowman were in my dream! I eventually tried to make my way to them to get a picture but they disappeared. I think I was at some kind of outdoor music festival. Such a random dream… (Now I’m listening to some soulDecision…)

THE WEATHER AND SUCH
We got the truck washed last weekend because it was super filthy and we were in a place that had a Prime Shine (why is there no Prime Shine in Brentwood?!). OF COURSE it rained a couple of days later. ::sigh:: Otherwise, I didn’t mind the rain at all since I know the summer will bring us hot days soon enough. It certainly wasn’t cold enough to wear a jacket or turn up the heat but there was a definite chill in the air for a couple of days. Now the weather is that perfect combination of sunshine and cool breezes. Why can’t we have like a month of that kind of weather? Hmm?

WRITING
The words are in my head but I can’t seem to focus and write them. They’re phrases or scenes without context and whenever I attempt to fashion them into something remotely coherent, the words disappear and leave only a feeling, if that. It’s frustrating as hell. Sometimes a song will feed the idea but it’s never enough to sustain. I have three stories that are in various stages of beginning, all using the same Muse, but none of them seem ready to move to the middle or end. Maddening… Maybe my creativity will focus in the coming days and I will actually write a complete story. Maybe I need to just write a short story and not worry about expanding past a certain point.

LAST BABBLE
I intend on savoring the weeks ahead, reveling in the hopefully relative calm at work as well as enjoy the time off I have scheduled. We shall see…

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

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Valerie

LAC 2017

MUSIC
LAC 2017 – KAT Country’s Listeners Appreciation Concert was hot musical fun. On the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, country music fans gathered beneath the hot sun and barely there breeze to listen to music from new and favorite artists. It was in the lower 90s but without much shade, a random breeze, and no where to really sit, it wasn’t as awesome for us as it could have been. Maybe it’s our age but I think a lot of it was the heat because we ended up leaving during the last bit of Parmalee (who sounded GREAT, btw). We missed Lauren Alaina and Joe Nichols. I would have loved to have seen them but I couldn’t brave the weather. Yikes! Still, I’m very glad we went and at least I can say I’ve been to one of these concerts. The only way I’ll go to another one is if any of these three are performing: Tyler Rich, Jacob Davis, or Jordan Davis. There it is, my line in the sand…

MOVIES
Wonder Woman – I LOVE this movie. I love Gal Gadot as Diana/Wonder Woman. Chris Pine was amazing and made me love him again (although, did I ever really stop?). I loved the twists as much as the straight forward storytelling. I loved the re-write of Diana’s origin (although I read this might be from the new comics?). I love how Diana is fierce and pure and good. Even when the world opens her eyes to the cruelty of men, she still carries that light of goodness in her. She’s beautiful not just because of her form and figure but because of her spirit… Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is so appealing in so many ways and a great counterpart to Diana. Their chemistry is natural and is allowed to develop even in their extraordinary circumstances. He is flawed but on the side of goodness. I just loved him in this… I almost cried in few parts and I already want to watch it again soon. Everyone should watch this movie. It’s beautiful and kickass…

LAST BABBLE
The world is so dark and sordid and terrifying yet we persevere, don’t we? Do you know why we don’t just cower in fear and despair? We are hardier in spirit than we realize. We can let the fear and darkness consume us or we can give it its due then make it small and insignificant with our own light and love. I believe this deep in my heart. I believe that we are so capable of so much more than letting our doubts darken our souls. I believe we can rise and love and be good to ourselves and to each other. If you listen to your heart, if you focus on the joy and beauty around you, then you know it’s worth the desperation that must show its face. It makes you strong, it gives you voice, it gives you balance.

So yes, I know the world can be horrible and broken sometimes. This is why I take joy in the beauty around me, in the adventures of others and in my own. This is why I love to hear about the good things. This is why I try to keep things positive (online at least). I am a selfish creature to be sure and my only virtue may be patience but when I say I love, I love. And so many times I need to remind myself of that love and not think meanly of others. It’s one of my personal struggles. I hope I keep it well enough to myself…

I want to go to Greece. Simon Kassianides has been sharing his time there and I feel the pull of it. Because of him? Not as much as you’d think. (Yes, seriously.) I’ve always had a fascination with Greece and for the longest time it was the first place I’d name when asked where I wanted to go in the world. Then along came Hercules and Xena as well as Lord of the Rings and I wanted to go to New Zealand. (Still do, btw.) But now, seeing Greece through Simon’s eyes, I am reminded of that first allure…

The NBA Finals are on! Go Warriors!!!

CMA Fest is this week. I want to be there… Simon is speaking on a panel next Saturday in Los Angeles. I want to be there too… I love how small this town is and seeing people randomly that you haven’t seen in like two years and recognizing them and wondering if they recognize you as they slide a stealthy glace your way… Stayed overnight in Turlock at the Hampton Inn. It was so nice! Clean and roomy and comfortable…

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

 
 
Valerie

What makes you happy?

FaceTime with family

FAMILY – On Saturday I FaceTimed with my sister and nieces and it was WONDERFUL! My seven year old niece read me a story that she had handwritten and it was good! It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. She showed me a page and I was duly impressed by her handwriting and just by the fact that she even wrote a story. She’s sad that summer break is upon her because she loves to learn and she likes being in school. It seriously warms my heart to hear how much she loves to read and write and learn. I love that she has an imagination and can articulate her imaginings so easily… The younger niece said her hellos and goodbyes to me but not much else. She’s freakin’ adorable… My sister and brother-in-law are doing such a fantastic job with their girls. I love them all!

Whenever I post those short messages on twitter or the pictures on instagram or the goofy quizzes on Facebook, I try to keep to the positive forces out there and spread sunshine in my small way. So I post about music or my fellas and it’s my way of trying to find the balance with all the crazy crap going on in the world. It doesn’t mean that I’m unaware of the insanity out there. It just means I choose to remember that life is precious, laughter is a balm, and love fuels the soul’s serenity…

So what makes me happy?

MUSIC – Check out Jordan Davis‘ debut single, “Singles You Up.” Super catchy song that definitely goes well with summer days… If you haven’t heard “What I Wanna Be” by Jacob Davis, why are you waiting? Go to it! I feel like I’m all about the Davis brothers love… Tyler Rich‘s EP Valerie is still one of my all time favorites. I cannot wait to hear new music from him! Soon? I hope very very soon… And yes, I still utterly love Sam Hunt. “Body Like Back Road” is a fun song and I can’t stop listening to it. I wonder if I’ll see him when he comes out this way in a few months…

RUGBY – The Crusaders have been kicking ass! I watch all the matches (well, I have them on while I’m doing other things) and I tell you, I just love it. I should probably pay better attention but I have to say that I am so glad that I am able to watch Super Rugby. I love the game and can probably just sit for hours watching all the different matches while on the computer or whatever…

FELLAS – Sometimes I think that I only like Simon Kassianides because he goes to Greece and shares his adventures. He’s there now and he’s posting to instagram and I’m loving all of it. Perhaps part of me is envious but most of me is just grateful for the little glimpses of a place I want to see myself. I’ve always wanted to visit Greece. And it’s not just to see the different landmarks and such. I want to feel the place and its history. I want to watch the sunset and maybe hear a whisper of a dusk long ago… I wish I knew Simon enough to say, “Hey, send me a postcard!”… Sullivan Stapleton is also out of the country. I think he’s in Australia? Or maybe somewhere else now? He posts a little, always with that smile of his that makes me smile. I don’t think I’ll ever quit him. He’s so under my skin… I am super bummed that Philip Winchester’s show Chicago Justice was not renewed. What the hell with that?! I hope he’s on our televisions again soon because I grew accustomed to seeing him every week. Now I think I need to a little Strike Back marathon…

WRITING – Even though I’ve been a bit uninspired these days, I know I just need to keep plugging away on whatever story I have in the pipeline. Maybe I have too many. Maybe I need something entirely new. Maybe I just need to step away and regroup. Maybe I’m overthinking all of this…

And what makes you happy?

LAST BABBLE – I asked that question in an instagram post this week. I wanted to counter the seemingly constant flow of negative news and push back a little and show there are still things in this world that can make you happy. I wrote that what makes me happy besides my one and only and family and friends are music and my fellas. Obviously I post a lot about my fellas and a bit about my favorite music. Maybe it’s a little silly at my age but you know what, I don’t really care. I like what I like and I like spreading the joy they inspire within me. How can I not be grateful for that kind of sunshine upon the soul?

What Makes Me Happy
Plus HELLO! Are these fellas not super easy on the eyes?

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

 
 
 
Valerie
21 May 2017 @ 12:01 am

me with my new Jordan Davis cap
my new Jordan Davis cap

My tattoo is healing up quite nicely and I’m loving it. I’m already thinking of my next one but I know that I need to halt that line of thought because I have never gotten a tattoo right on the heels of another. This is probably the shortest amount of time between tattoos (about a year). If I get one tattoo this year, I might be have a little problem. Knowing what I want for my next tattoo is making want another one sooner rather than later. Ye gods.

my honu tattoo

Tyler had two shows up in Sacramento this weekend and alas, we weren’t able to go to either one. I know that I will have other chances to see him again but it’s killing me just a little bit that we couldn’t go this time. So many of the regulars were there and it would have been fun to have seen them. Good thing there were some livestreams and instagram stories…

I missed my cousin Beverly’s Celebration of Life party. It was in Roseville and I’m never good at long drives alone so I didn’t go. I’m still a little torn about her passing. On the one hand, I’m sad that she’s gone because she had love in her life in the form of family and friends. On the other hand, I’m glad that she’s not suffering anymore. Is it weird that I can still hear her saying my name? We hadn’t seen each other at all the past several years but I can still remember some moments as though they were yesterday. The last time I saw her was at a family get together. She seemed older because of her declining health but her spirit was still strong. I will remember that most about her…

goofing off he's still adorable...
Simon playing with the Instagram story face filter…

Must Simon Kassianides be adorable even when he’s a little dorky? Apparently he must. Or I’m just easy like that. Whatever! He needs to post more everywhere or anywhere. And it would be AWESOME if I could get him to follow me on twitter. No, I don’t know why I want it so much but come on, I’m mostly harmless. Right? Right! Someone tell him to follow me so that I can totally fall out in fangirl glee. I’ll adore you forever!… The featured picture for this post (if you’re reading at kiari.com) is a screenshot from the show Nikita. Simon was in an episode and he had a Spanish accent and I totally loved it! I know I’ve said it before but Spanish accents aren’t usually my thing but his was delicious. I’d say it’s just because it’s him but he did a French accent for an episode of Zoo and I wasn’t really too keen on that one. But that’s just me not really liking French accents, even on the hotties…

TV
Blindspot – The season finale aired and ended with a jump forward in time and a whole new set of questions. My impressions… I’m probably in the minority in this but I am not a “Jeller” fan. I get it, I do, but for me, there’s something a little off in the Jane/Weller combination. Is it a lack of chemistry? Maybe. I do not feel that spark for Jane and Weller. I liked Weller with his baby’s momma and I actually liked Jane with her boyfriend. But Jane and Weller? Something is off for me. Maybe I had it in my head that their regard for one another was of the brotherly/sisterly type and I haven’t been able to see past that. Is it him? I’ve seen Sullivan Stapleton opposite plenty of women (see Strike Back) and he’s always managed to make me believe in the spark he feels. Is it her? I haven’t really seen Jaimie Alexander romantically opposite too many men so I can’t really say. I can’t put my finger on it but Jane and Weller together just doesn’t feel quite right to me. Go on, tell me I’m crazy… Otherwise, the season finale was action packed and mostly satisfying. I’m not convinced that Shepherd didn’t have any contingency plans. She was too smart throughout the whole season to just have it end the way it did. And Roman. He has to be the most complex character at the end. I hope we get to see more of him!…

Chicago Justice – I hope this show gets renewed if only so that I can have Philip Winchester on my tv every week. I don’t watch any of the Chicago shows (though I’ve seen eps here and there) so if they want me to start watching the other shows, maybe they should renew Chicago Justice. He is so good on the show and I love how he’s turned himself into this whole other character. It’s amazing to watch, to be honest. As much as I ADORE Sullivan Stapleton, I think Philip Winchester has done a better job of becoming someone else in this role. Sully seems constrained in some ways (or maybe that’s just the way he plays Weller). Anyhoo, RENEW CHICAGO JUSTICE!

LAST BABBLE
The swimming turtles video is still on my mind and I’ve decided that I was being teased just a little. It makes me smile so I’ll take it as a bit of sunshine. As much as it could be a coincidence, I don’t think it is. But it’s not a big deal either, right? Right…

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

 
 
Valerie

it’s just a notion
a supposition
a fanciful feeling
rooted in this imagination

it’s just speculation
a break from reality
a bit of wishful thinking
wrapped in wistful musings

because it’s not real
it can’t be true
surely it’s merely chance
something akin to coincidence

except–
let’s ponder this–

give in to the notion
for a moment
speculate in delight
this one thought–

what if it’s not

with Jordan Davis
me with Jordan Davis on Tuesday night in San Jose

Confession– I know about Jordan Davis because of his brother Jacob Davis. And I know about Jacob because mutual Sam Hunt fans shone the light upon him. Since I’m in the Jacob Davis Squad, I am all in with him but I’ve also had Jordan in the periphery. I’ve enjoyed all the songs I’ve heard but for the longest time it was a less active regard. Until now.

When I found out Jordan was going to be in San Jose, my interest piqued and I wanted to see him. Was it because I hadn’t taken the chance to see his brother a couple of months ago? Maybe. But really I was just missing some live, acoustic country music and here was a chance to meet a new artist whose songs I knew. Got two tickets, took the day off, and headed to San Jose in the afternoon on Tuesday. The venue was the restaurant Original Joe’s, in the upstairs area. It was an intimate and casual setting and perfect for an introduction to a new artist.

Before the set, the drummer (Bryce) came over to chat and thank us for coming out. He asked how we knew about Jordan and I mentioned his brother Jacob. Bryce talked a little bit about how he’s from Virginia and how he’d never been out this way. He was very sweet and it was fun talking with him. I probably should have gotten a picture with him for posterity. Ah well! We didn’t meet the other band member. Alas!

Jordan and the boys did five songs, starting with “Take It From Me.” This was followed by “Leaving New Orleans,” “Goin’ Round,” “Detours,” and his upcoming single, “Singles You Up.” All were great! And I sang along to three of the songs! It was awesome! I think he added “Detours,” which I know as a Jacob song. I loved Jordan’s version and he was really into it too. Hearing him sing his songs live awakened that devoted part of me and now I know that he’s one of mine now.

The San Jose station KRTY hosted the event and among the guests were radio folks from Sacramento’s The Bull and Central Valley’s KAT Country. I hope they both bring Jordan back out this way because I would LOVE to see him again!

After the set, Jordan took pictures and chatted with the guests. I was first! I just had to tell him that I knew three of the songs and he said he saw me jammin’ to them; he seemed to appreciate it. I also mentioned his brother and how I’m in his squad and that I’m probably one of three or so who hasn’t met him yet. So Jordan got to meet me first. Well, I didn’t put it quite that way. We had our picture taken (thanks KRTY gal!) and then it was time to go home.

So my impression? Jordan is awesome and genuine and utterly talented. He was approachable and appreciative and all around lovely. I’m so glad I got to watch him this first time in such an intimate setting and I can totally see him going places. I will do my part to tell the world about him and support him by buying his music and going to his shows. He’s definitely one to watch…

The new tattoo
finally, my honu and fern

Tattoo #5 was done by JR at Studio 71. After work on Wednesday, I headed home for a quick change of clothes then off to the tattoo shop for my biggest tattoo to date. Did it hurt? Well, of course it did! But within five minutes or less, the pain didn’t really bother me. There were a couple of times where I thought, “Yikes, that kinda burns!” Otherwise, I didn’t mind it at all and in the end, it was worth it. I’m so glad to finally have my honu! The fern gives me a little more pause only because it wasn’t quite what I imagined but I do like how the tattoo looks on the whole. I like that it calls for a second glance if you don’t know what it is. I feel as though I should name my honu but maybe just calling it my honu is enough… I’m already thinking of where I’d put my next tattoo and what I might want to have next. Isn’t that crazy?

MOVIES
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Viewing number 2 was a solo trek to the local AMC for the 10:15 AM IMAX 3D showing. The movie was just as good in IMAX 3D as it was in standard definition. I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time and almost cried at all the same spots. I love the movie visually and emotionally and I can’t wait to watch it again! Not sure if I’ll do another movie theatre showing but we shall see…

FANGIRL MUSINGS
Ever since seeing Jordan on Tuesday evening, I’ve been listening to him and his brother Jacob exclusively at work (except for my lunch breaks). It reminds me just a little of how I would only listen to Sam Hunt when I first discovered him. I cannot wait until Jacob and Jordan release their respective albums. I’m ready for some new music!

Tyler Rich had a few shows this week and I went to none of them. Alas. I’m so glad I follow fellow fans on the social networks and they share their photos and videos online. It’s exciting to know that he’s started recording and I’m hoping he releases a single soon. Something! Must have new music!!!

Trust No One will be screened at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival!

Congratulations to Simon Kassianides on his short film’s official selection to the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival! Trust No One will be screened during the festival. What a treat to be able to see it on the big screen! It’s really an amazing short. Everyone should watch it.

TRUST NO ONE – A Simon Kassianides Film from Simon Kassianides on Vimeo.

LAST BABBLE
After my latest tattoo, I of course shared a picture of it online at my usual places. A day later, someone I follow posted a short video of turtles swimming. No commentary or anything, just swimming turtles. As far as I know, the person I follow doesn’t follow me. So is it just a coincidence that I get a turtle tattoo and then this person posts a video a day later of turtles swimming? I’m sure it’s just one of those things. Right?…

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

 
 
Valerie
09 May 2017 @ 07:23 am

Title: Thirty Days: Part Two
Author: BT Urruela
Genre:
Cover Design: Cassy Roop / Pink Ink Designs
Formatter: Champagne Formats
Editor: Jenn Wood / All About the Edits

Release Date: May 9, 2017

ADD TO GOODREADS

BLURB

A week into his thirty day challenge, Gavin has unexpectedly found himself interested in two women he’s met through the SwipeDate app. As he continues with his best friend Bobby’s twenty-five thousand dollar proposition, he finds himself drawn to both Sami and Megan, each unique and intriguing in her own way. While interest grows with the two of them, he’s becoming increasingly annoyed by the daily first dates, and the disruption they’ve brought to his life.

Despite the annoyance, Gavin finally sees progress in his recovery from mental illness and discovers a hope he hasn’t felt in years. An unexpected run-in with his past will test this newfound hope and threaten to crush the foundation he’s worked so hard to build. Can Gavin find the balance he yearns for, and a woman to love, while the circumstances he’s struggling with are still so fragile and raw?

Find out in Thirty Days: Part Two

US: http://bit.ly/2pXyK9X

CA: http://bit.ly/2qTHDPZ

UK: http://bit.ly/2pZal1D

AU: http://amzn.to/2qiOeGP

Haven’t read Thirty Days: Part One yet? One-click now to catch up!
**Also Available on Kindle Unlimited**

THIRTY DAYS: PART ONE

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON US

AMAZON CA

AMAZON UK

AMAZON AU

PAPERBACK

BLURB

Gavin is a struggling writer with a complicated past, who’s reeling from the loss of the only woman he’s ever loved. More than a year after the breakup, he’s still suffering major heartbreak and a serious case of writer’s block. In an attempt to help him out of his funk, Gavin’s best friend and fellow writer, Bobby, sets up an account for him on the new dating app SwipeDate.
After a few unsuccessful dates, Bobby challenges him to thirty more dates in thirty days. If Gavin can complete the challenge, Bobby will give him a check for twenty-five thousand dollars.

Does Gavin have what it takes to complete the challenge? Or will the trials and tribulations of modern dating prove to be too much?

Find out in Thirty Days…

ADD TO GOODREADS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BT URRUELA was an infantryman in the US Army from August 2004 until February 2011. At the end of a year long tour to Baghdad, Iraq, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as a Director and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He also conducts motivational speeches, works as a cover and fitness model and he’s a personal performance trainer. He co-wrote the novel ‘A Lover’s Lament’ with author KL Grayson in 2015. He released his first solo novel, ‘Into the Nothing’ in June 2016, ‘Wicked Little Words’ with author Stevie J. Cole in October 2016, ‘Alphas & Fairytales: A New Year’s Eve Anthology’ and ‘Into the Blood’ in December 2016 and ‘Thirty Days: Part One’ in February 2017. He lives in Tampa with his dogs, Kiko and Scout, and is writing full-time. (Author photo by Christopher John / CJC Photography)

Author Links

Amazon
Facebook
Twitter
Website
Goodreads
Twitter

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

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Valerie
07 May 2017 @ 06:17 pm

My birthday was this week. I worked because I thought it would be odd to take a Wednesday off and might as well save that off day for another time. It was the hottest day of the week and probably the hottest birthday I’ve had perhaps ever. I don’t ever remember any of my birthdays with a high of 93° or so. Yikes! Good thing we have decent air conditioning at work as it made the work day bearable.

Facebook does a great job of reminding people of birthdays so I received a slew of messages for which I am utter grateful! I also got a phone call from the parents and messages from my sister and cousins. I felt the love for sure. I only trolled for one birthday greeting and he very graciously obliged. (Thank you, Simon!) I did wish myself a happy birthday on twitter just for fun and got some replies to that, including from one of my new favorite ladies. She’s so sweet! (Love you, Sabina!)

After work, we had drinks at Crown and Crow then we headed to Studio 71 so that I could make an appointment for my next tattoo. From there we headed to Imperiale Beer Cafe for another drink while waiting for our order at Wing Stop. All in all, a very decent birthday…

MOVIES
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – How much did I LOVE this movie?! I LOVED IT so much. We saw it on Thursday night at the Delta. Without spoilers I will say that it’s just as good as the first and I enjoyed it all. I will see it again, probably in IMAX 3D next weekend… I have enjoyed all the Marvel movies through the years but James Gunn put so much of his heart and soul into first GoTG and now GoTGv2 and I cannot help but feel that whenever I watch the movies. I felt it with the first movie and I felt it again with the second. He has stayed true to himself and as a result, the audience responds to that truth and humor and joy and heartbreak and adventure. It’s a special thing to feel something personal in such big movies…

LAST BABBLE
I’m actually looking forward to this upcoming week because on Tuesday, we’re going to see Jordan Davis in San Jose. (He’s a country music artist and the brother of Jacob Davis.) It’s a free show but you had to get the tickets right away as there were only 40 available. I got two tickets within ten minutes of seeing the tweet from KRTY, the radio station. I can’t believe I’m going to see (meet?) Jordan before I meet Jacob. I’m excited! 😀

I’m very much looking forward to my next tattoo! Crazy excited about it. It’s going on my left upper arm/shoulder area. It will be a turtle with the silver fern incorporated onto its shell. Or something like that. I’m sure having a week to “think” about it is a good thing as well as a fair amount of time for the tattooist to come up with a great design but I would have done it the day we walked into the shop. So very excited!

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

Tags:
 
 
Valerie

Let’s see how many of the many things in my head will come out in this post…

Simon Kassianides on Agents of SHIELD

FELLAS
Simon Kassianides – Simon was Agents of SHIELD this week! Having recently seen his character’s demise back in season two made seeing Bakshi again such a relief. I’m still hopelessly behind on the show but I figured out the gist of how his character is back. It would ROCK if somehow, someway, he could make it back into the “real” world. Fingers crossed? Anything can happen, right? Otherwise, get this man his own show! When it happens, I am so there. PROMISE.

Sully on Blindspot
Mmmm, Sully…

Sullivan Stapleton – Blindspot came back this week. Thank goodness! I definitely needed my Sully fix, I tell ya! Of course, another good episode of Blindspot. I watch the show live with commercials, because that is how much I ADORE Sully. Think he appreciates it? If he knew, I bet he would.

Erik Thomson on Pacific Drive
Erik back in the day on Pacific Drive

Erik Thomson – Yes, I still keep track of my Xena/Herc fellas. This week Erik celebrated his 50th birthday! Where has the time gone? The photo above was from his days on an Aussie show called Pacific Drive. I didn’t “discover” him until Xena or Hercules (I think it was Hercules first) as Hades. He and Kevin Smith (“Ares”) were pretty much the reason I started going online to find like minded fans. Loved those early days and wish I could watch his current show now. I’ll have to find a way. 😉

Me & Tyler
When we met two years ago…

Tyler Rich – Today marks two years since the first time Tyler and I met in person. I still remember it like it was yesterday. The excitement, the nerves, the joy. And that was just meeting him while waiting in line to get into the show! Later, standing so close to the stage and having him perform with just the microphone, guitar, and his voice, I was utterly mesmerized. I said it last year and I’ll say it again– I know I’ve been lucky to have seen him so many times during these past two years and I absolutely treasure each and every one of those times. I cannot wait to see what new music he brings us. It’s going to all be so amazing! I’m looking forward to that first #1 hit!

FAMILY TIME
Yesterday was the First Communion of my niece. Such a lovely ceremony filled with the kind of goodness you’d expect. The kids were so adorable with their dresses and suits. Even though I don’t go to church now except for such events, I enjoyed it. It’s interesting to me how much the church has changed throughout the years yet some things stay the same. Also, I’m not used to Jesus being fully clothed on the cross. I guess this particular church uses the Risen Christ.

After church, we headed to my cousin’s house for lots of food and conversation. ALWAYS my favorite part of family parties. I chatted with my uncle and cousins and family friends. I drank a little wine and ate a lot of food. It was great…

LAST BABBLE
My birthday is on Wednesday! I’m going to troll my fellas online and see who will say Happy Birthday to me. Isn’t that silly? But hey, I get my sunshine where I can. 😉

I am quite determined to get my next tattoo on my birthday or close to it. It will be the honu and silver fern. I’ll let the artist figure out how to interpret my wish. I’m open to someone else’s creativity. It will probably be the most creative tattoo on my body, next to my wrist one…

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