Posted by: Joelle Burnette | May 3, 2013

The Sea Monkey alien monster that ate mommy’s brain

Sea Monkey monster eats mommy's brainSo, how big do Sea Monkeys grow? A friend gave a Sea Monkey kit to my daughter for her birthday, but Sophie and her girls tore into the box and dumped the contents into the small tank before they knew what to do.

When all else fails, read the directions. At least, that’s what my favorite science teacher Mr. Manganello used to remind us when I was in middle school. But try telling that to a tween surrounded by a group of rowdy flibbertigibbets high on birthday cake, candy and Katy Perry videos.

It would have helped if my husband hadn’t tossed out the box and contents…including the directions. But whereas my OCD requires I hang onto boxes and bags for as long as possible before my husband and children discover my secret stashes and toss them out (as I hop about through anxiety coupled with the knowledge I must eliminate these strange obsessions from my life and cluttered home), my husband tries to sneak Read More…

Posted by: Joelle Burnette | January 22, 2013

Dreamy tech frustrations

social networking2 copyYou know your brain is plugged into social media and technology when you have frustrating dreams dominated by how your life is revealed through their use.

Early this morning while Barack Obama was experiencing his second Presidential Inauguration Day (a happy day for my family…even for my Republican husband who did indeed vote for him), I had a dream that transported me from one setting to another. One moment I was out at a race track and the next moment I was in my living room watching the news.

My lucky cousin who took this photo got to be so close to all the Inauguration Day action this morning.

My lucky cousin who took this photo got to be so close to all the Inauguration Day action this morning.

Out at the track, I was watching my son running a race. I was standing at the sidelines watching the large pack of runners rounding the track and heading toward the finish line.

Oddly, the runners weren’t wearing shorts and a light shirt; rather, they were wearing street clothes appropriate for winter. They wore heavy jeans and they were bundled in warm jackets. A subconscious response, I suppose, to the open window in my bedroom that allowed winter’s chill to cool the night’s regular succession of menopausal hot flashes. Read More…

Posted by: Joelle Burnette | January 11, 2013

More jail time for drexting?

Drexting

(Courtesy of Rock Center with Brian Williams)

Tonight on Rock Center with Brian Williams, I watched Kate Snow’s story about how there are people who believe the current punishment for killing someone should be more severe in cases wherein drivers are texting (I’m calling it “drexting”) on their phones when they run down unsuspecting victims.

The story focused on some people who were killed, and some who sustained massive, life-changing injuries. They also flashed through some cases across the country, including one that occurred in my town. They showed the Sonoma State University freshman who ran down a mother and her child; the 2-year-old girl died from her injuries and the mother required several surgeries and a long recovery.

Oddly enough, I had to make a trip over to SSU this afternoon. Just as I turned onto campus, there were two cars lined up to merge onto the main road into town. A pickup truck (campus security, I believe) pulled up behind the last stopped car and shouted an order through the truck’s loud-speaker.

“Get off the phone!” sternly instructed the truck’s occupant. I smiled, appreciative of the school’s effort to prevent any more of its students from repeating a tragic page from our town’s recent history. Surely, the school doesn’t need more of that kind of press. Read More…

Posted by: Joelle Burnette | January 4, 2013

Dad and Orion’s belt

Orion constellation

Orion constellation

My dad’s frailty has become evident with every shaky, unsteady step. It surrounds his body and controls his movements when he attempts to grasp a fork, pick up a cup, or settle into a seat. It’s difficult to watch my father’s body failing him; a shell that neglects to acknowledge the continuing strength presented by his mind.

When he left my home tonight, he painstakingly stepped forward with the aid of a rolling walker. Guiding my father along the short path to the car, my son held a bar on the front of the walker while I stood behind him offering false security as I held my hands on his waist.

Unfortunately, just as I can’t stop someone from walking into danger in a scary movie, I could no better prevent dad from falling if he should teeter and collapse to the ground. I lacked the strength to hold him up.  A few steps combined with the uneven stone path leading up to our door have become a treacherous obstacle course to a man who formerly possessed enough stamina, strength and agility to win basketball championships, hike over rocky terrain to dizzying altitudes in the mountains, or even just to carry me on his shoulders.

A few steps from the car, I looked beyond my hunched father and noticed the constellation Orion lingering on the horizon.

“There’s Orion,” I noted. While my sister began chatting about the stars she can’t see where she lives, my simple statement triggered light tears as memories flooded my mind. I saw a summer evening when I was a child and my dad brought me outside to look at the night sky. Read More…

Posted by: Joelle Burnette | August 9, 2012

Wish I’d had one of these

bed loungeIf you are facing TRAM Flap breast reconstruction, you may want to have one of these hypoallergenic bed and leg loungers.

I saw this online at GAIAM, and wish I’d had this when I came home from the hospital after my TRAM. It would have been much easier than piling up pillows in my bed when I couldn’t recline while my stomach was still very tight.

I haven’t tried it out, but it certainly looks comfy. Also, it’s significantly more expensive than the typical bed lounge you can find at places like Bed, Bath & Beyond, or at Target.

Posted by: Joelle Burnette | August 7, 2012

Ironic

I find it ironic…the same number glowing red on the bathroom scale that looked absolutely horrible on the way up, appears equally promising on the way down. I’ve lost 24 pounds and have at least 40 more to go.

Thanks to that photo in the Press Democrat that accompanied the first story about my book Cancer Time Bomb, I have been motivated to lose, lose, lose weight. But these plateaus…they’re pressing down on my motivation and spirit.

“You have to look good for the TV,” is what my mom insists whenever we chat on Skype.

“I know, mom. I’m getting there, but it’s not a fast process.” I’m 46 years old and still answer to my mom. Are all Jewish mom’s the same? We’re separated by the length of the United States, but that doesn’t stop her. And anyway, we’re competing to see who has more success on our diets.

I’m doing better than she is on her Southern diet that lists alligator and squirrel as permitted meal choices. Yum, right? Okay, not exactly California cuisine.

Mine isn’t really a diet. After years of offering the same advice, I finally listened to my sister…”eat less, move more.” Damn! It’s working! Uhgg…sister rivalry takes over and I hate admitting that she was right.

Posted by: Joelle Burnette | July 31, 2012

The daily craze

padded cell

My new home/office?

“Would you get federal assistance if I was sent away to an insane asylum? Maybe you could get enough money to send the kids to college,” I offered this new strategy as a way to bring home some funds into our economically suffering nest.

While editing my next book, I had to take a break or I would go crazy from editing page after page, over and over. Hey, if Dean Koontz can do it like that, certainly I can, too.

I wasn’t quite hugging my husband, rather leaning against his chest. My arms dangled, hanging over his arms that were wrapped around my waist.

“Oh, you’re about to take flight,” he said as he bounced my flaccid arms up and down. And with that motion, our daughter began flapping her arms like a chicken. “Buck, buck, BUCK-AH!” she clucked like the flightless fowl. Mark and I joined in the clucking.

Read More…

Posted by: Joelle Burnette | July 29, 2012

Open mic reading gets laughs

I recently found out that the Redwood Writers offers a monthly open mic session at a local coffee house, and I thought I would give it a go. So far, at my previous speaking engagements for my book Cancer Time Bomb, I’ve only spoken about the book, but I haven’t read from the book. I must say, I was more nervous reading from the book.

First, I hate how I read. I’ve never been a very strong reader, especially out loud, and I didn’t want to stutter my way through a few pages in front of other writers.

When I arrived pulling my rolling backpack toting books to sell, I raced to get on the list of readers, likely upsetting some of the other writers; they had arrived earlier than I, and had been patiently waiting for someone to start a list.

Well, fuck it. All writers, whether they admit it or not, are all desperate for attention and approval, and I remember how long I had to wait to read something at a writers’ conference in Los Angeles when I didn’t race to get on the list.

Read More…

Posted by: Joelle Burnette | July 15, 2012

Fun being on the radio on Friday the 13th

On air at KSRO with Michelle Marques

I had so much fun being on the radio this week. I had to be at KSRO radio in Santa Rosa by 8 a.m. on Friday, but I was so anxious to get there, I drove there a bit too early and arrived by 7:30 a.m. Being that it was Friday the 13th, I didn’t want to take the chance of something going wrong along the route.

Mark came along with me to take photos. My poor husband was exhausted after getting home from work around 1:30 a.m. that morning, but he is so damn supportive and came with me.

I was on the air with Michelle Marques. I felt at ease with this radio anchor who was wearing a bright yellow flower lei, and she was fun to talk with on the air.

I got to talk about my book, Cancer Time Bomb, and say “hi” to my parents who were listening to the online feed on their computer at their home in South Carolina. I miss my parents terribly and wish they didn’t live so far away.

Read More…

Posted by: Joelle Burnette | June 18, 2012

Joelle’s upcoming book events

My new book, Cancer Time Bomb, is selling online at Amazon and other retailers, along with Copperfields Books in Santa Rosa. I’m also speaking about my book and signing copies at the following upcoming events:

Friday, August 3, 2012, 1 to 3 p.m.
Copperfield’s Books
104 Matheson St.
Healdsburg, CA

Saturday, August 4, 2012, at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Anytime Fitness Community Celebration
939 Golf Course Drive
Rohnert Park, CA

Monday, August 27, 2012, 7:30 p.m.
Straw Hat Pizza
919 Golf Course Dr.
Rohnert Park

Thursday, August 30, 2012, 4 to 6 p.m.
Levin & Company
306 Center St.
Healdsburg, CA

Saturday, September 22, 2012, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sonoma County Book Festival
Downtown Santa Rosa, CA

Saturday, October 6, 2012, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Copperfield’s Books
104 Matheson St.
Healdsburg, CA

Check back for more dates.

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