Monday, April 30, 2007
In other words if you live or work in Oakland you’re pretty much screwed.
The good news is that nobody died. The crash happened at around 3:50 on a Sunday morning and it only involved the tanker truck, which was being driven by James Mosqueda. Let me say that again, the crash ONLY involved the tanker truck. No one cut Mosqueda off, no one rammed into him, he crashed that thing all by his lonesome. Miraculously he not only survived but walked away from the accident, although he did suffer from many third degree burns.
Mosqueda is 51 years old and he wasn’t drunk or doped up and as far as anyone can tell he wasn’t sleep deprived. They do think that he was speeding. In a Tanker. On an overpass. He was a fairly new driver in that he had only received a license that allowed him to drive big-rigs carrying hazardous materials less than a year ago. It’s safe to say that his new career isn’t off to a very good start.
Please forgive my flippancy because I honestly do feel for the guy. We ALL make mistakes, some of them while driving. It hasn’t happened for a while but there have been times in my life when I cut someone off accidentally and it wasn’t long ago at all when I gave into the temptation to speed. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never caused a major accident and let’s face it, if any person can honestly say that he/she has never caused an accident it probably is due, at least partially, to luck. Even the best drivers have their (m)bimbo-moments. We just hope that we don’t have those moments at the same time and place as another driver is having that same kind of moment. And here this guy had gone out and tried to better his life by starting a new career at the ripe ol’ age of 51 and now, because of a mimbo moment, he’s fucked the entire Bay Area.
And he really, really has. Approximately 35,000 cars travel the two-lane I-880 connector EACH. DAY. And 45,000 cars use the I-580 connector daily. Rebuilding that connector is literally going to cost tens of millions of dollars. And then there’s San Francisco, a city whose economy is completely dependant on its accessibility. As it’s predicted that commuters are going to become increasingly reliant on public transportation San Francisco will be adding station agents to help passengers transfer from the Bay Area Rapid Transit to SF’s Muni. There will also be extra Muni buses to deal with potential overcrowding at the Ferry Building by the Transbay Terminal. BART (a commuter train that runs throughout the Bay Area) will be adding extra trains during commute times and lengthen the trains they already have. The crash happened Sunday and it’s already cost SF $500,000.
So yeah, I feel bad for Mosqueda. But on the other hand there’s a part of me that can’t help but wonder if speeding in a tanker on an overpass goes beyond a forgivable mimbo moment. I mean you just don’t do that! Of course he’s already suffering the consequences. He’s burned for God’s sake and I think it’s safe to assume that he’s unemployed and that it’s going to be difficult to impossible for him to find more work.
I don’t know, I have very mixed feelings about this---mixed feelings about James Mosqueda that is. My feelings about the overpass and the commuter nightmare are pretty much in line with everyone else’s---it sucks, sucks, SUCKS.
Then again, I don’t really have to deal with it but for those of you who do you have my sympathy, big time.
Bestselling Author of:
SEX, MURDER AND A DOUBLE LATTE,
PASSION, BETRAYAL AND KILLER HIGHLIGHTS
SO MUCH FOR MY HAPPY ENDING
Pre-order your copy of OBSESSION, DECEIT AND REALLY DARK CHOCOLATE (in stores 09/07)!
Friday, April 27, 2007
If you ask me that sounds like a risky experiment, one that might get the sociology teacher sued if he were to do it in real life (I don’t know what it’s like where you live but here we have Spring Egg hunts and all us non-White folk have become people of color.)
Still, in the context of a novel it seems like it would be a great way to explore a lot of issues in a fun, non-heavy handed way and apparently that’s exactly what Paula Chase did in her novel So Not The Drama. The critics are on board with this one too. Publisher’s Weekly says that “readers will like the genuine dialogue” and that “there’s plenty for readers to ponder about race, class and popularity.” And Booklist says that it will “pull readers into the contemporary friendship story, which revels in a rich diversity of race, color and class.”
So if your looking for a teen book that features a diverse cast of characters, humor and some interesting insights into social prejudices (racial and otherwise) you might want to check this one out.
If you want to learn more about Paula you should check out her blog.
As for me, I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment. It’s seems like a lot of stuff has been given to me at once…well, okay, a lot of it I went out of my way to take on. Still, whether it was by choice or not I have come to realize that I currently have a bunch of responsibilities and not one of them demands less attention from me than the others. My son is at a pivotal time in his education and I’m homeschooling for the academic portion of his school day so there’s that. I’m also putting together a new book proposal---that’s obviously important. And I need to find a new school for my son to go to next year (yes, I’ve missed EVERY school’s deadline) I’m moving to a new city in around 3 months, I’ve agreed to work with someone on a screenplay (don’t get excited yet, this project is so new it doesn’t even qualify as a fetus---it’s more like a sperm searching for a good egg) and then there’s the little matter of my own mental and physical health. Maybe I should drop one of these things---like the mental health part. I’ve never been very good at sanity, it’s probably time I just give up on it and embrace my inner psycho.
Monday, April 16, 2007
When I think of my upbringing I remember something that probably could be characterized as the polar opposite of a military lifestyle. My family was liberal, both socially and politically. I was taught to call adults by their first names (even my teachers preferred it that way). My room was always a mess and I was never punished for it and we lived in the same house for the bulk of my life. I’ve only known a few people who have spent any significant time on a military base and I have always wondered how many of the military-family stereotypes were true.
That’s why I’m eager to read Sara Rosett’s latest book, Staying Home is A Killer. Like my Sophie series, this is a humorous, character-driven mystery (the sequel to Rosett’s debut novel, Moving Is Murder) but in this case amateur-sleuth-Ellie, like Rosett herself, is a military wife and the critics seem to be unanimous in their opinion that it gives readers a realistic and touching look at what it’s like for a woman to live on an Air Force base. There are times when Ellie quite literally doesn’t know where in the world her husband is. It’s hard to imagine what that would be like.
Then again, thanks to Rosett, we don’t have to; we can just read about it. Furthermore she throws in a ton of advice for how to best organize your closet and as I implied with my statement about my childhood room, organization is something I have always needed help with. Anyway, if you’re as curious as I am about Rosett and her books you can read her blog or simply get yourself to a bookstore.
By the way, if there is a book YOU’RE interested in feel free to post a comment about it. I’m always looking for another good read!
Look for Obsession, Deceit And Really Dark Chocolate in 09/07!
I’m not sure when it was decided that we all need to be perfect, with perfect butts, wrinkle-free faces and perfect little noses and stomachs you can bounce dimes off of yet for many of us that seems to be the goal. I realized how much the world had changed after my divorce and the men I became involved with started telling me how great it was to be with a woman with “real boobs.” At first I thought it was a weird and random compliment but then I did a mental inventory of all my friends who either had boob jobs or planned to have them and I realized that in fact there aren’t very many of us “real boob” gals out there anymore, at least not in the area where I live.
And now when I go in to get my brows waxed my esthetician tells me that she wants to let my brows be a little closer together because they’ll spread out when I get Botox. Until she mentioned it I had never considered getting Botox but what struck me is that she just assumed that I eventually would, in fact she admitted that she thought I already had. I guess I should be flattered by that last misunderstanding but in truth I was just baffled. And a few months ago when I noticed my first fine line (right in the middle of my forehead) I started wondering if I shouldn’t have some guy stick a needle in there. The same woman who thought I was getting Botox said that I didn’t need it. According to her if I’m going to get anything done it should be a and if I was going to do anything it should be a photo facial which would wipe out the faint discolorations in my skin---and I’m not being conceited when I say they’re faint, most can be hidden with foundation. But they are there, my skin coloring is not perfect. But for a few $350 treatments it can be.
While getting my nails done the other day I watched as Jackie from Bravo’s “Workout” complimented her trainers for having 14% body fat and scolded the one who actually had 23% body fat. I think my body fat percentage is about 23% and I started wondering if that was a problem. Sure, I’m a size 4 and I workout every morning, but should I be doing better? I read that liposuction works best on people who are already thin and in pretty good shape but just need a little help with those “problem” areas like the extra fat on their thighs or hips. I could fall into that category. And what about that cellulite on my thighs and butt---should I be doing something about that?
The answer is NO. No to all of it. Maybe I’ll eat my words in the years to come but for right now I’m staying on top of my high horse. I’m a biracial woman who has lived in the California sun all her life. That means I have freckles and the like. That’s just life and I’m not going to spend my savings on something that will give me the coloring of a woman who has spent the bulk of her years under a cloudy sky. As for my fine line---I EARNED that sucker. Things haven’t always been easy for me, hell they’re still pretty challenging at times and yet I’m still standing and I’ve managed to become an internationally published novelist and raise a pretty fantastic little boy. That took hard work and lots of sleepless nights so as far as I’m concerned that fine line is a frickin’ badge of honor! And if I can be a size four and exercise 6 mornings a weeks and still have extra baggage on my thighs then I guess that’s just how God intended me to look.
And yet the majority of my friends have an ongoing relationship with a plastic surgeon. I read in the San Jose Mercury that more and more Bay Area women are making appointments for their lipo WHILE THEY’RE STILL PREGNANT so they can be sure to have the operation no more than three months after the birth. At some point don’t we all just need to stop and get a grip? We’re not cyborg beings. We don’t live in the town of Steppford, why can’t we just look like normal healthy women?
Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not some kind of anti-plastic surgery fanatic. If someone’s 5’ 11” curvy and wears a AA cup I would fault them for going under the knife. I don’t even have a problem with the guys and gals who wrinkle early and easily and thus get the occasional Botox or collegian injection but when we start encouraging EVERYONE to inject, plump and tuck the minute they see a flaw we need to stop and think about what’s going on in our society. You know, those Sports Illustrated swimsuit models are AIRBRUSHED. None of us can look like that! So maybe we should stop trying.
More to the point, maybe we shouldn’t even want to try. Sure, we could all spend a bundle and end up looking like beautiful little dolls. But dolls can’t sing off-key karaoke and laugh about it later. They can’t drink a little too much at a college party and end up dancing on the table tops. They can’t take an impromptu road trip with a girlfriend after a messy break-up. Dolls can’t breath.
But I can, and I don’t mind looking like I do. How ‘bout you?
Look For Obsession, Deceit And Really Dark Chocolate in September 07'!!!