A life by chocolate entails finding sweetness in the light and dark. Moreso, it's about addiction to cocoa. An insatiable sweet tooth doesn't hurt. Well, not until the yucky tartar buildup and stuff. To the point, I strive to entertain with topics such as the utter hilarity and cuteness of children; the challenges of dating, my related rationale for celibacy; and chocolate as a precious remedy for it all. Thanks for sampling Life by Chocolate. I hope you keep coming back for more.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Erotica: Basting the Turkey & Giving Thanks

 Stagehand Macaulay Culkin messed up as usual. He cut off a few letters from the end of lines, and the words "I need it all" from the line that starts "Out of the bag..." Apologies on his behalf.

The crew at Life by Chocolate (Robyn, Macaulay Culkin, Mario Lopez--he insists that I mention that he's A LOT bigger in person than he appears in the above photo, and DuPont--dressed to be eaten), wishes you and yours a delicious Thanksgiving.  To everyone, whether or not you celebrate the holiday, may you experience a sense of deep gratitude for your blessings.  Enjoy all that's sweet and savory.

I appreciate every one of you...for sticking around, indulging my quirkiness, laughing with and at me (it's all good), and for your ongoing warmth and support. You continue to make a meaningful difference in my life - so meaningful that I'll be dedicating my novel* to the followers of Life by Chocolate.

*Woman on the Verge of Paradise: The Anti-Fairytale, which is now in the very competent hands of Elsie Amata, Bryan Pedas and...drumroll & guitar strumming, please...Alex J Cavanaugh! The writing is done. The editing is just beginning. The querying and other stuff is yet to come...after we move to a bigger studio and get the holidays behind us. For now...
 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Slowing Down With George

It's been three weeks since our first date, and George and I are still going strong. It's almost a new record for me. We haven't even fought yet.  

The man is very even-tempered, as opposed to me. I'm erratic. My intense emotions run wild, and I do kinda dance like Elaine too. [He hasn't seen my dance moves yet. Thankfully.]
Furthermore, I'm a klutz. When George was grilling fish for our dinner one night last week, I sat on a patio chair by the grill. He'd gone in for a spatula, came back out and closed the screen door between his kitchen and patio, then attended to the grill.

"Can I do anything to help?" I asked.

"Yeah, you can go ahead and get some plates for us."

"No problem. Where are they?"

"They're in the right side cabinet above the microwave."

"Okay," I replied. I stepped towards the kitchen when BAMM! My face smashed against the screen. {Fortunately, he hadn't closed the sliding glass door. But that leaves me no excuse for not seeing a screen.}

"Are you okay?" he asked, concerned, checking my head.

"Oh, yeah, I'm fine," not really, probably not. I'm embarrassed, so, yeah, everything's cool. We agreed I'd be of most help if I stay seated. So I did, and dinner was delicious. We ignored the fact that I'd knocked the screen off-track.

The other day, I was viewing an apartment because I have to move out. (That's another story, and a source of stress right now. I'll be relocating during the holidays.) A cute contractor was making final repairs in the dining area, and the landlord stood nearby, between the living room and dining room. I walked towards the sliding glass door in the living room -- not processing the fact that it was a sliding glass doo-- K'BOOM! My forehead met with the glass as I attempted to take in the view.

"Oh no, are you okay?" the landlord asked.

I laughed. "Oh, yeah, I'm fine. Just embarrassed. I'm sorry." I looked at the glass and saw that I hadn't cracked it. "I'm glad I didn't break anything."

The cute contractor shared a story and facial scar from a similar incident.

That evening, I said to George, "You know those helmets that kids wear when they have special needs and do the head-banging thing? I need one of those."

George suggested, instead, that I simply slow down, take my time with things.

Perhaps we all should slow down. At least for a moment, before we start rushing again.

On that note, I hope you have a slow-paced weekend and new week. xo

Monday, November 17, 2014

Belgian Chocolate and Vanessa ~ The Real Thing!

Paychecks for this blogging gig aren't very impressive, or so I assume. I've never actually seen one, though. Thankfully, we glean other rewards and sweet surprises along the way.

Out of the goodness of her heart and for no other reason except that she suspected I like chocolate, Vanessa Morgan sent me BELGIAN CHOCOLATE! I'd never tried it before...

Let me first tell you about Vanessa. She's a very talented, multilingual novelist, screenwriter, and film critic, who lives in Belgium and travels the world. Despite her seemingly high-powered and glamorous lifestyle, Vanessa is the real thing: humble and kindhearted. Check out her blog. She befriends crocodiles in The Gambia.

Vanessa's gorgeous too. I noticed a number of marriage proposals and/or proposals of other things on her profile page. (It's probably for the best that they're written in another language).

With the big smile you see below, I tasted her sweet gift: NewTree Speculoos Chocolate. I would like to say that I'll never eat American chocolate again. But we all know me too well. Yet no chocolate produced on this side of the Atlantic compares to Belgian chocolate.
It's Fair Trade, "72% de cacao," and incredible. I'd describe it as the best of dark chocolate's slightly bitter but authentic cocoa taste blended with the best of the soft, creamy, sweet goodness of milk chocolate. But that doesn't cut it. You'll have to try for yourself. Have you tried European or -specifically- Belgian chocolate? Suffice it to say, I give this chocolate bar a 15 on a scale of 1-10.

THANK YOU, Vanessa! That was extremely sweet of you!

To all: May your week bring you sweet surprises.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day // Up Dates & Latex

First, I always feel a tinge of guilt if I don't at least acknowledge Veteran's Day, and I suppose I feel guilty for having no concept of what it's like to be on the front lines. It's easy to say that I don't take my freedoms for granted, but I do. I've never lived or fought in a war zone, and I'm not in one now. Thus, with great respect and humility, I salute our military - past and present. In particular, thank you to my good friends, Pat Tillett and Al Penwasser (Ken Lynch). A meaningful Veteran's Day to all.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Next, I'm dating "George." He's the short, balding man who wears glasses and works in latex.  Truthfully, George wears latex for his job...in healthcare. After I shared with him my Halloween Erotica poem, George suggested a date on Halloween. Coincidence? Perhaps; he didn't grab for my candy corns that night.

George is sweet, nerdy, smart and reliable--sort of a higher end model of George Costanza. While both are neurotic, this George exhibits a calm and steady neurosis. He's not at all dramatic. He doesn't carry a magazine cut-out photo of a famous model, boasting that she was his ex-fiance; hasn't lived with his mom since he was a kid, and doesn't have issues with shrinkage. Well, I can't say this for sure. We haven't showered or gone skinny-dipping together. I have good reason to not worry about this, though. Wink. Remember "the swirl"? Yeah, I'm glad he learned that one.

Thanks to my buddy, Bryan, this image sticks with me these days.
http://www.mostlyposters.com/images/posters/fullsize/46525.jpgmostlyposters.com

While there are differences between Georges, they both know latex. We had this chat the other day:

"A lot of people are allergic to latex nowadays, so we have to avoid it," he informed. 

"What do they do about sex?" I asked.

"I guess they have to abstain or resort to masturbation," he suggested, factually. 

We both giggled.

"When I ask men who come into the office if they're allergic to latex," he told me, "they  very proudly and in a deep voice say, 'Oh no! Not at all. I'm NOT allergic to latex.'"

~~~So, with George in my life now, and with trying to finish my novel asap (I plan to have it written by year's end), and with other big (I use this word with a smile) things that have come up, I may be off-grid more than usual. My apologies. I'm not leaving blogland, that's for sure. I'm already working on spinning some holiday erotica.   Be well! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Robyn Interviews Gwyneth Paltrow: IWSG

First Wed of Every Month

It's time to unleash our writerly insecurities, empathize with each others' writerly neuroses, and cheer on each others' writerly accomplishments. Alex J. Cavanaugh, our fearless leader, founded this Insecure Writer's writerly Support Group. Thank you, Alex.

Today, ladies and gentleman, I bring you actress, singer, and - cough - "writer,"
Gwyneth Paltrow!
 
Font key: Robyn = chocolate brown / Gwyneth = fake blonde highlights


Gwyneth enters the stage wearing two black sleeves and a pair of black slacks. Robyn motions towards a vanity chair, and Gwyneth takes a seat. Robyn plops down on a chocolate brown bean bag.

So Gwyneth, you have some big Goop apps with recipes and lifestyle tips and such, is that right?
I'm not really sure. You'd have to ask Apple.
Apple? Your daughter?
No but she is smarter than me. Gwyneth laughs.
I bet.
But um you need to ask Apple Computer about stuff like that or the Googler or like Mac Yahoo or someone. I don't really know. I just make a lot of money with my name on it. I am who I am. I can't pretend to be somebody who makes $25,000 a year. Ya know?

Oh, God, I know. Yes, I know...So you had this conscious uncoupling from Chris Martin. Then he consciously coupled with Jennifer Lawrence, who's 24. And then rumors spread that he and 24 year old J. Law uncoupled. Now you're coupling again with Chris or maybe he's still uncoupling with hot young 24 year old, unconscious Jennifer Lawrence. Are you conscious of the rumors? 
Oh yeah, I do ever-thing uncautiously. She nods her head. Chris is a rock. Honestly it's as if I heard the rock say: You have the answers. You are your teacher. I thought I was having an auditory hallucination.

Robyn rolls her eyes and smiles at Gwyneth. Trippy!
Yeah. Totally.

Let's talk about the cookbook you wrote called It's All Good with pictures of you on every other page and a diet that costs over $150 per week. One Amazon reviewer wrote: "I'd need a loan to feed the family." You include turkey in a vegan recipe. On a different but related note, you said that "movie making is not supposed to be a masturbatory exercise. It's supposed to be shared by other people." This all goes to prove that you're not smart.

Mind you, I'm terrible at maths. I can't even do my six year old's maths homework with her.

Robyn's eyebrows shoot up. What I want to emphasize, GP--those are your initials--is that while you're not a bad person, you're a stupid one. And you're not nearly as pretty as you and Time magazine think you are. Stupid is ugly, girlfriend. Robyn looks at the camera now. I encourage you, dear audience, to stay on track -- even if the track isn't pretty, and even if it doesn't get you the whopping $25,000 per day, week, or year. Yeah, it'd be nice to have wealth. But since we don't, let's fall back onto good old fashioned compassion and creativity. Because that's what's good, not a stupid cookbook with vegan turkey recipes by a plain Jane with no brains for maths. Keep taking the high road. It will pay off. So we must believe! 

Stay smart, creative, and persistent, my friends! You are what's ALL GOOD.


Italicized comments = actual Gwyneth Paltrow quotes.