Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Becka's Moment of Zen

This video has recently been circling around the 'Net and certain media circles, but I saw it for the first time today. If you've seen it before, enjoy it again. If you haven't, you'll need a hankie. I've watched it like 5 times already and I'm still balling. Of course, that could be due to hormones... :P


Monday, July 28, 2008


As you may or may not know, if you're an avid reader of my blog, DH and I love Mexican food, more specifically, a local Hillsboro restaurant named Juan Colorado's. In fact, all of our friends love it too, and people visiting from out of town insist on going there at least once.

There was another JC's way up the road in Beaverton, but that one has since closed, probably because even though it wore the same name, it was no where near the level of "Awesome" the one on this end of town is. I'm not sure why their food tasted different, but it did.

Now, DH and I are very critical when it comes to Mexican food. This weekend, we were both in the mood for it, and wondered if we should go to one of the local roach coaches along the road, since they seem so popular with the Latinos in our neighborhood (local "slang" calls my town "Hillsburrito"). Anyhow, DH got on the computer and looked up Mexican restaurants in Hillsboro and found one with two 5 star ratings on City Search. It was "Jalapeno's", and it just so happened to be right up the road from us.

We've lived in our current house for 3 years now and we've never tried this place. Mostly because it was out of the way, kind of "hidden" from the road, in a small shopping center tucked behind the Bi-Mart. I'd seen it before, but it was an out-of-sight-out-of-mind kinda place. Since it was within walking distance, we decided to leave the van at home and have a nice evening stroll to go have some dinner.

Let me tell you, I am both saddened and ecstatic to have found this place! Why sad? BECAUSE WE HADN'T EATEN THERE SOONER! And ecstatic because they're fricken' good. I'm not kidding when I say this place is just as good, if not better, than Juan's. When the chips come out, they automatically give you dippin' refried beans. MMM Their food is comparably priced, but they give you SO MUCH MORE. DH got a 4 item combo, and there was no way he could eat it all. The food came on two plates! Even my food came on two plates, and I just got the chicken fajitas. Their flour tortillas were yummy, and not as cakey and fluffy as JC's. I'm not always in the mood for a big pillowy tortilla. Sometimes, I just want a nice thin one, and these were very good.

The chili relleno DH got was AWESOME!! Perhaps the best relleno either of us have ever had (and I should know, I've been ordering rellenos regularly in Mexican restaurants ever since I was 13 lol). It was huge, the guy called it a Poblano pepper or a king pepper? Something like that. Chock full of artery-clogging cheese and coated with a crispy egg coating and smothered in sauce. OMG, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

We went there on Saturday night, and there was NO ONE else there, except for one other table that left about halfway through our meal. No one else came in. If they're that slow on a usually busy night, DH and I are crossing our fingers they won't close up shop. But they've been there for the three years we've lived here, so maybe it's one of Hillsboro's best kept secrets. And seen as how we really loved it *that* much, I'm sure over the coming months/years, we and our friends will be keeping them in business, especially if they're regularly slow on busy nights. That's actually a bonus for our usually big group, as we can never think of a place to go that isn't packed on Fri/Sat. nights.

And get this, I have no idea if they do it for all the customers (as we've only been once), but at the end of our meal, the server came out with a plate of little mini-desserts which looked like deep-fried tortillas cut into wedges, dipped in cinammon and sugar with some whipped cream and a cherry sauce drizzle on them. So good! We didn't even ask for them, and I don't believe we were charged. It could have been, however, that we have such beautiful and angelic children. :P

We may never know...

So, if you're traveling through Hillsboro, OR, stop by Jalapeno's on TV Hwy across the street from the Hillsboro Esplanade (where the Target is) and right next door to the Bi-Mart. You'll be so glad you did. And out-of-town family and friends will now be taken here when they visit--at least once. :)


Friday, July 25, 2008

Okay, So I Was Off By A Week...

Yeah, I'm not 15 weeks pregnant like I thought, I'm 16 weeks. Saw the doctor today and she corrected my error. I had thought I was a week farther along, but the first time I saw her, she said I was measuring at 11 weeks when I thought I was at 12. So, I naturally thought I must have been a week earlier than I'd thought. Seems I was right all along.

Baby is measuring 15 cm above the pelvis bone and all is looking normal. She gave me a sonogram because her doppler for hearing the heartbeat was broken. Unfortunately, the sonogram thingy they have in their office isn't as "sensitive" or as "detailed" as the big fancy ultrasound machine at the hospital. Therefore, I have to wait until my U/S appt at 19 weeks, on August 18th, to find out the gender. Kinda sad I gotta wait three more weeks, but hey, three weeks isn't that long in the grand scheme of things.

Saw the baby kicking and squirming in there. Literally, just one foot...kick...kick...kick. And it was rolling around like it was practicing the "stop, drop and roll" we all learned as kids. Too funny!

When she measured my belly and did the sonogram, it actually was kind of painful, probably because she was pressing down a bit. For whatever reason, when I lay on my back and press down firmly on my belly, it hurts. Who knew? :P

Anyways, Baby Goings is doing just fine with a nice, strong heartbeat. Four more weeks, and I'll be halfway through this pregnancy! Yeehaw!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So Much to Blog...

I've been neglecting my blog the past few days because I've been so busy with all the stuff going on in my life. Where to begin?

Well, first, let's begin by giving a HELL YEAH! to the ending of the best damn cartoon on the face of the planet, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I don't care what you say, if you haven't watched this series from show #1, then you're not watching this show. It's not one you can "jump in the middle of". There's an epic story going on here, and you've gotta watch from the beginning. I have friends who aren't that into this show, and I'm about this close - ' ' - from disowning them. WTF??? How can you NOT like all the sweet-ass bending they did with the elements? And delving into the other things they figured out they could do - bend lightning, metal, BLOOD.... It was just too fricken' cool.

I'm so happy to see this show had an ending that stuck with Aang's character and didn't compromise it. Zuko always was and always will be my favorite character. Things didn't quite work out for him like I wanted... Zutara, anyone? **sniff sniff** Ah well. The show ended with a literal bang, and I just have to say I wasn't disappointed in the least. Love love LOVE this show.

As for the live action movie they're planning, I don't have much faith in it, to be honest. M. Night Shyamalan has been "signed" to do a trilogy, and I've gotta say, I'm not impressed. I do like *some* of his films, not all, but this storyline is a little too "out there", in my opinion, to be live action. It could be cool as an animated movie, but since it's already an animated series, that would be overkill. I'll believe it when I see it, let's leave it at that.


Recently, the Goingses went camping - again. We originally set out to Jones Creek, which is on the way to the beach. The sites there are first come, first serve, and of course, the place was packed with a capital "P". So, we and the friends we were camping with decided to have a look at Gales Creek and Elk Creek, which are just up the same road. Same story. Ugh. So, since we're halfway there, we decide to drive the rest of the way into Tillamook and see what camping is to be had on the coast.

Cape Lookout, where we camped last time, is booked to the gills, and every other campsite out there seemed to be full up too. Well f**k. This is what we get for not bothering with reservations. Seen as how the campsites were "first come first serve" where we originally wanted to go, and our camping buddy, "Mr. Man", told us it's never full when he's been there, we didn't think anything of it.

Now, we had three vehicles packed to the gills with camping equiptment and excited children. We couldn't disappoint the children!

We found a map of campgrounds at the Chamber of Commerce at Tillamook (which just so happens to be in the same parking lot as the Cheese Factory), and Mr. Man began "dialing for dollars." No one was open! Ft. Stevens had some sites, but it was an hour and a half away, and it was already 5pm. No fricken' way, man.

Finally, we found some random campsite that happened to have two sites right next to each other - the last two sites on the grounds. We said, "We'll be right there!" and headed out. We camped at a place called "Trask River", an out-of-the-way place with hicks and rednecks aplenty. It wasn't very private, and our sites were right on the main road, but thankfully, there wasn't much traffic aside from the campers' motor bikes and quads.

We even witnessed a wedding on the grounds across the street from us, complete with father of the bride wearing a red flannel shirt and a red ball cap, which he so graciously took off to walk the bride down the aisle (then promptly put back on once he sat down.) The festivities were then followed up by a riveting game of "after-wedding volleyball." Oh yeah, did I mention the rednecks?

Thankfully, our sites were actually a little ways away from everyone else, and the only noise we kind of got annoyed with was the late-night "hits from the 70's-80's" marathon from the camp across a small field from us. Thankfully, they didn't rock out any later than 11pm. So nice of them. If I have to hear "Brick House" one more time...

You can see pics of our camping adventures on my DH's flickr page:

Anyways, that's all for now. I'm sure there's other stuff I wanted to blog about, but I can't remember now. :P Enjoy the pics if you follow the link!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I've Been Invited to a Booksigning!

I've been contacted by a local author, Jenna Bayley-Burke, who's invited me to do a booksigning with other local authors here at Powell's Books in Beaverton! It came out of the blue for me, so it's very exciting. :D

I will be signing copies of THE WOLVERINE AND THE ROSE, and the event will be held on September 19th at 7pm. I only know one other author at the event, Minnette Meador, a sweetheart, really, and I'm looking forward to doing a signing with her.

The line-up of other authors in the mix are:

Minnette Meador
Megan Clark
Elizabeth Boyle
Jenna Bayley-Burke
Delilah Marvelle
Dawn Calvert
Vannessa Gilfoy
Lacy Danes
Alexis Morgan
Mary Vine
Genene Valleau
Terri Reed

I'm hoping it will turn out okay, considering my other flopped booksigning, but of course, we'll have a lot more authors and more opportunity for interest. :)

I was just surprised Jenna approached me, and also touched that she'd want to include me. I'm sure I'll give you another reminder closer to the event, but if you're local and you want to meet me (and/or the other authors on the current list), mark it on your calendar! This booksigning will be held at the Powell's Books in Beaverton (not downtown, dang it! --Wouldn't that rule??) It's in the Beaverton Mall, off Ceder Hills Blvd. next to the Old Navy and Best Buy.

Woohoo! Many thanks to Jenna for approaching me. How exciting!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

13 Weeks!

Well, I'm officially 13 weeks pregnant, finally into my 2nd trimester and boy, am I glad! That 1st trimester was a doozy. I felt yucky all the time and took two naps a day. Nowadays, I'm only yucky in the morning, for about an hour after I wake up, and when I get tired, my body is more fatigued than sleepy. Don't get me wrong, if I do anything strenuous (like running errands lol), when I come home, I *am* sleepy.

When I nap, I am OUT. I go into such a deep sleep, that when I finally do wake up an hour or two later, I literally cannot move. It's so odd. I don't sleep that deeply at night - at least I don't think I do...

The wee one is officially due on January 10th, and my doctor isn't going to let me go past that date due to my diabetes. She doesn't want there to be any complications. My blood sugar has been doing very well, despite the fact I gotta stick myself four times a day **grumble grumble** My weight is also doing well, as I've lost about 6 pounds in the past month and a half. Not too much, but hey, at least I'm not gaining! For the most part, I'm maintaining my weight. I know, I know, I need to start exercising again and I'd probably be losing even more. I stopped after I became sick and tired (literally) every day. Now that I'm feeling better, I have no excuse, really.

My doctor told me if I lose weight during pregnancy, that's perfectly healthy, seen as how I can stand to lose! :P As long as it's not too dramatic a weight loss, I should be fine. We'll see if I can do it. Once Baby Goings really starts to grow, it might be harder to maintain my weight.

Right now, it's about 3 inches long, give or take, from head to rump and can fit in the palm of your hand, like this lovely pic shows (sans the clothing, of course heh):

We should be able to find out the sex of the baby within the next few weeks, and believe me, we wanna know. Having a boy would be so much "easier" than another girl, because we could just have new baby share a room with our boy. But our three girls are already piled into one room, so if this baby is a girl, she might just end up bunking with her older brother for a time anyway. Despite the big house we live in, finding room for baby will be a challenge.

The good news is now that the 1st trimester is behind me, the chances of miscarriage drop remarkably. My doctor said about a 2% chance now. My dad asked me when the chances drop to 0%. I told him: BIRTH. LOL There is no such thing as "0%" chance.

Anyhow, just wanted to give you an update on me. I definitely feel pregnant now. Not really "showing" at the moment, but my pants are noticibly tighter. They still fit, but after a meal, they're uncomfortable. I'll need to be buying maternity threads very soon, methinks. This is why I've been sporting my elastic shorts lately. :P

And yes, I've been feeling the baby moving regularly now. It's still a tiny little thing, and I can only feel it when I'm sitting down, but I do feel that fluttering in there. I feel it around the same times every day, usually early morning/late at night. Perhaps that's only because that's when I'm in my "quiet time" and thus feel it more. I can't wait until we find out what it is! I've been LOVING the Classic Pooh theme lately (the more "old skool" Pooh look, rather than the modern Disney-fied Pooh), and I'd love to run with that, but I gotta know... Pink or Blue?! :D


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What Was That Sound?

Oh yeah, that's the sound of the 4th Amendment being flushed down the crapper. Many thanks to Congress and the current Administration for making the Founding Fathers proud. /SARCASM

~~Becka, who doesn't like to get too political, but who couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer. Let's hope our future president can and will bring some kind of charges against those responsible - if it's at all possible.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Becka's Impromptu Book Review - STORM FRONT

DH and a few of our good friends have been trying to get me to read the Jim Butcher books for like, ever. DH never thought I would. These books inspired the Sci Fi Channel's awesome (yet cancelled) tv show, The Dresden Files. Funny how these books are also getting noticed not only in the geeky circles DH and our friends frequent, but the romance authors I know as well, as I do know a few authors who are reading them. Perhaps it's the whole "urban fantasy" angle that seems to be the next best thing in romance these days.

Anyhow, I loved the show and was kinda pissed they cancelled it, I'm not ashamed to say. The Dresden books were always a "someday" kinda read for me, because I usually only read the kind of things I write - romance. Yes, I get ribbed for that by friends and family, but it's what I enjoy. If I go out on a limb to read something different, it has to grab my attention almost at the first for me to continue reading.

So finally, when the day came when I actually didn't want to read any of the romances in my TBR pile, I picked up STORM FRONT, the first Dresden book. I read the first chapter, then read the next and the next. Good Lord, after a few chapters, it was like crack! I needed to read more! In fact, Saturday I sat down and read the last half of the book. I love days where you just kick back and read. And I had a blast.

The reason being, I love the character of Harry Dresden. He's a guy I kinda wish were real. The way Butcher writes him, it makes you feel like you're there with him, going through the investigations. It also reads less like a "book" and more like a show or a movie on TV. Many times, the book disappeared, and I was living the action. There's not many books I can say that about, which is why this particular book struck me.

Part of the reason for that is the first person point of view. As a rule, I hate hate HATE first person POV. Why? Well, it always feels either too trite, or like the author is trying too hard to be cool or hip, wanting to tell the story in a new and provocative way. Butcher, on the other hand, pulls off first person POV so flawlessly, that authors should take classes from him. Seriously. If done wrong, first person is painful to read. If done right, it is a joy as it seems to flow naturally, pulling you into the story, and giving you a more "personal" connection to the main character. STORM FRONT could have been written in third person and still been a wildly successful book, however, taking the first person angle was a genius move, making people like me really fall in love with Harry. We're there with him, we're feeling what he feels, seeing what he sees.

DH has told me STORM FRONT isn't even the best Dresden book, and it is probably the "worst" of the bunch, if you can call it the "worst", seen as how, in my opinion, the book was an excellent read. Apparently, there are 11 Dresden books - so far. Holy crap, I'm dying to read them ALL!! :P Even now, I'm about 75 pages into book two, FOOL MOON. It has been a long time indeed since a book has fired me up that hasn't been a romance (hey, no snickering back there).

I have no idea why the fervor for the Dresden books didn't hit when the tv show aired on Sci Fi. That show has been cancelled for what... a year now? And it's only just now I'm hearing everyone talk about the books, from friends and family to the online communities I'm a part of. But I'm glad I gave Mr. Butcher a chance. Not only do I love the plots and the prose, but you get a sense that the author enjoys being a smartass at times. Most authors "write what they know" and put a lot of themselves in their characters. I've got to wonder how much of Mr. Butcher is in Harry Dresden. LOL Let's take a look at one of his author pics:

This guy looks so awesome. I told my DH that I can glean a few things after just looking at this picture.

#1.) He's a geek, through and through. I'd be willing to bet he plays D&D or some MMORG like World of Warcraft or LotR Online. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, since my own DH owns a geek website himself: Dragon Avenue. Perhaps this is why I can just tell Butcher is into that kind of thing. lol Probably a Browncoat. I'd be willing to bet an "original" Browncoat too, who watched Firefly while it aired on FOX.

#2.) I'd be willing to bet he's into computers. If he doesn't know them inside and out, then he at least tinkers, and maybe even has his own server in his closet.

#3.) He's a democrat. Or, at the very least, a liberal.

#4.) He's a smart ass. /obvious

#5.) He probably fricken' LUVS steak.

Am I right? Well, only Mr. Butcher can answer for certain. :P But one thing's for sure; the man knows how to write an entertaining story. And those of us who struggle with ending our chapters should really study how Butcher ends his. I haven't read an author in a LONG time that has me cussing at the end of their chapters because gorramit, I've GOT to read the next one!!!!1

Sure, these books are popular right now, and probably someone you know is reading them. Let me tell you, you don't want to miss these books, especially if you liked the now-defunct tv show. Thank you, Jim Butcher, for the kick-ass entertainment. :) 5 out of 5 stars. And if this is the "worst" book of the bunch, then hot damn, I'm stoked to read the rest!


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Becka's Random Twitters of the Day

  • 23:44 my server's kernel said "oops", I'm taking it down, hoping for the best #
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Thursday, July 03, 2008

July 4th, 1776

Imagine living in colonies under a tyrant's rule, being so fed up, pissed off, and utterly disgusted that the time has come to do something, to go against one of the most (if not THE most) powerful countries on the planet.

Imagine gathering ALL the members of Congress, from all 13 colonies, on one day, to sign a document that basically gives the finger to the British king. Imagine coming to your wit's end and realizing that a war to win your independence is better than living under the rule of a man who clearly doesn't care about, and actively goes out of his way to oppress, his colonies.

For the first time, I decided to READ the Declaration of Independence. Sure, we've all heard the famous lines, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, etc. But have you read the entire thing? The founding fathers wore their balls on the outside, if you know what I'm saying. It's folklore in America that John Hancock's signature is so much bigger than everyone else's because he wanted the king of England to be able to read it without his spectacles. I don't know if that's a true story, but it sure is amusing. I'd love to have a beer with that guy.

If you haven't read the Declaration in it's entirety, give it a whirl. And if you have, read it again to remember what true patriots are like.

Sure, our founding fathers weren't the pristine, righteous men we all sometimes think them to be--they were MEN after all, fallible, just like you and me. But you can't help but respect them for what they did on July 4th so many years ago.

So while I celebrate the 4th this year with my trite little BBQ and my "fancy" fireworks, I will think back on what transpired on that day in 1776 and shake my head in awe of it.

Now, if only I can get my kids to stop calling it the DECARATION of Independence, that would be good. :P