Dance Like Nobody’s Watching?

Sometimes you see something so cool that you just have to stop and thank the universe that you’re even freaking alive.

And then you hide behind a lamp post on Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo just so you can video-stalk the most adorable kid in the universe without getting dirty looks from her dad. Or the police. But I just had to share this with you! Not the best quality video but it zooms in after a minute or so. Check it out.

I really admire her. I hope she stays like that forever. 🙂

Operation Book-Stalk: Success!

It seems the rumors are true. Twenty Boy Summer is on the shelves!


Twenty Boy Summer on the Shelves

Mom picked me up bright and early this morning (11 AM! Can you believe it? I was too excited to sleep! No, seriously. 11 AM is way early for us night shifters!) so we could book-stalk Twenty Boy Summer in the local Barnes & Noble stores. Being the professional, courteous stalker that I am, I called in advance to phone in my stalking so there wouldn’t be any awkwardness. I mean, other than my mom and dear friend Amy accosting passing customers, but who am I to deny their enthusiasm?!

I know I call myself a writer, but I don’t think I’ll ever find the words to describe the feeling of seeing my book on an actual shelf in a store, or the feeling of watching the manager carefully apply the little green “autographed copy” stickers after I signed them, or the feeling of hearing, “We’ve already sold most of them since yesterday – there’s only one left! We’re ordering more now!” or the feeling of seeing my 2009 Debs friends’ books on the shelves, or the feeling of watching customers defend themselves from the onslaught of the fan club otherwise known as Mom who would stop at nothing to sell a middle-aged guy a novel called Twenty Boy Summer with a big heart on the cover…

Well, okay, I could probably come up with some descriptive words for that one, if I really thought about it long enough!


*Secretly likes it*

And now, for the watch-the-slides-of-my-kids-on-vacation-aren’t-they-adorable portion of the show…

Hanging out with fellow Debs (Deborah Lytton, Cindy Pon, Sarah Quigley, Carrie Ryan):

Twenty Boy Summer with the Debs

Autographing the remaining copies:

Signing Twenty Boy Summer

Twenty Boy Summer Autographed

Operation Book-Stalk was a huge success. I got to sign my books, chat with the wonderful bookstore managers, and set a date for my first official signing (not counting the ones Mom keeps making me do for everyone on her gift list!). If you’re in the Buffalo area, please come! I’m bringing cookies. Who doesn’t love cookies?

Twenty Boy Summer Book Signing
Saturday, June 13, 1:00 PM
Barnes & Noble, McKinley Mall
3701 McKinley Parkway
Buffalo, NY

More local signings coming soon. Now, I must go run around in circles and do a funny little dance to burn off this hyper energy. 🙂

Creeptastic Buffalo: Buffalo Psychiatric Hospital

H.H. Richardson Complex

Earlier tonight, Alex and I took a walk around part of the abandoned H.H. Richardson Complex of the Buffalo Psychiatric Hospital (formerly known as the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane), built in the 1870s and closed to patients about 100 years later. It’s now a National Historic Landmark and some groups are working to preserve it.

H.H. Richardson Complex

H.H. Richardson Complex

Like any abandoned old mental institution worth its salt, the H.H. Richardson Complex is rumored to be haunted. But I’m certain that ghosts only make their appearances at night.

And clearly, I would never visit a place like this at night.


H.H. Richardson Complex

Still… even just snooping around during the daylight and looking at the photos later, I keep getting goosebumps. I mean, this place is seriously spooky.

H.H. Richardson Complex

H.H. Richardson Complex

H.H. Richardson Complex

It’s probably better that it’s surrounded by cops because otherwise I might have convinced Alex to hop the fence and go inside with me—an act I’d surely regret as I tried to fall asleep tonight.

In fact, I still might regret this trip later tonight!

*Shivers again*

Zillycakes: Best Idea Ever

OMG that whole post I did the other day about cool places in my neighborhood? Fughettaboutit. This one totally wins: Zillycakes. It’s a cake shop with an awesome name, yeah. But it’s also…


A cupcake bar! A cupcake bar!

*Dies at the thought of it*

It just opened last weekend, and I went there tonight with Alex, my brother Scott, and his girlfriend, Alanna.

Alanna & Sarah at Zillycakes


*Dies again*

Here… I brought some cupcakes back for the ninjas. You deserve them! Enjoy!

Lavender cupcake with lavender buttercream frosting: The flavor took me a minute to get used to. I love the smell of lavender, but I’m used to smelling it in soaps and lotions and girly bath stuff. But once I got over that, this was quite delish!

Zillycakes Cupcakes

Peanut butter cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting, peanut butter Captain Crunch, and chocolate chips: Sadly, I wasn’t quick enough to taste this one. Pet monster… he ated it!

Zillycakes Cupcakes

Spicy chocolate cupcake with orange chocolate ganache and pink confetti hearts: NomNomNom. I love spicy chocolate anything, orange chocolate anything, and pink hearts are just the icing on the… icing!

Zillycakes Cupcakes

Now I must speak with Zilly immediately about creating custom Twenty Boy Summer cupcakes for a party. Actually I just want more Zillycakes. That’s why I’m having a party. 🙂

Spring in Buffalo: Not an Oxymoron!

It’s finally spring in Buffalo, as evidenced by the daffodils lined up outside our porch and the mass exodus of former shut-ins pouring out of their houses for the first time since Halloween, all chanting the same thing:

“The sun! The sun!”

It’s been in the high 60s and 70s for almost a month, and recently my husband Alex has taken to motivating us (read: standing at the end of the bed and pulling on my feet, bribing me with coffee and sweet-talk, and generally cajoling me in the nicest way as he can manage) to get up and walk every morning, right after coffee and a light breakfast (that was my rule) but before diving into work.

I’ve got to hand it to him. He’s persistent. He doesn’t cave in to my irrationality. And I can be quite a challenge *cough* stubborn pig-headed pain in the ass who would have been the last one standing on the Titanic deck just to prove a point if someone told me to jump before I felt like it *cough*, especially pre-coffee. Seriously, I pretty much whine about it every time. I’ve got work to do! I’m tired! I’m dizzy with starvation! My knee hurts! My eyebrows have bedhead!

But he persists, and I go along with it. Partly because I’m afraid one morning he really will get the ice water. Mostly because I don’t want to cause him any more stress than living with me already causes *grin*… but the funny thing is, as soon as I get outside, I STFU, because I realize I’m super glad to be there. Yep. It’s all very “Sunshine! Oh how I’ve missed you!”

So I’ve been appreciating these little walking tours for exposing me to sunshine and *gasp* exercise and allowing us to more fully explore the neighborhood we inhabited just before winter set in last year. After spending like 6 months under a blanket of snow and slush and ice, shut in with the rest of the crazies in this city, I was beginning to question our judgment (hey, it happens, okay?). But now that it’s spring, it’s like someone has breathed a whole new life into Buffalo — and into me!

*Runs barefoot through the meadow for effect*

Elmwood Village Fangirling

Can I just take a moment to give a huge shout out to our neighborhood? Specifically:

  • Delaware Park, with its green grass and weeping willows and rose garden and lake! Next up: touring Forest Lawn cemetery, which is part of the park.
  • Dolci, a sweets and bakery place I almost wish I hadn’t discovered. Try the fudge covered macaroons or the Mexican wedding cakes. *Drools*
  • Victorians. The homes around here are old (like over 100-120 years old) and beautiful, with crazy features and windows and woodwork and probably secret passageways. Some are even bright pink or purple, because when you have an amazing old Victorian, you can get away with stuff like that. I love walking up and down random streets and checking them out.
  • Gardens. Many people around here participate in Garden Walk Buffalo at the end of July, so we get to see all of the colorful gardens coming to life around us, right in front of those big old Victorains. ❤ Flowers! *Must remember camera on tomorrow’s walk*
  • Trees. In October of 2006, Buffalo was hit with a freak snowstorm before most of the leaves had fallen from the trees. Snow and ice coated the trees, and the leaves got soaked and made it all much heavier, causing many limbs to snap under the weight. The city, including Delaware Park and the streets of our neighborhood, suffered loss or damage of 90% of its trees. You can still see the broken tree limbs on the survivors, but the good thing is, there were survivors, and new trees have also been planted along many of the sidewalks. So I love seeing the trees in spring, all of the new growth, and the pink and white blooms on all of the flowering trees around here. ❤ Trees!
  • Ethnic food. I love India Gate, Saigon Cafe, Mythos — and they’re all just a few minutes’ walk. We haven’t tried Wasabi yet, and I’m still on the lookout for a great Italian place close by, but we’ve got our faves covered for now. And yeah, don’t even get me started on those bakeries and coffee shops and other dangerous dens of food iniquity!
  • Puppies and babies. Altogether now… “Awwwwww!” Yep, wherever we walk, puppies and babies abound, both equally happy to be out in the sun. They’re all so cute, so adorable, so much fun to ogle from a safe and non-responsible distance. 🙂
  • The farmer’s market. The Elmwood-Bidwell Farmer’s Market starts up again soon. I can’t wait to check it out. I could never seem to wake up in time to catch it last year. Now that Alex has appointed himself commander of Operation Get Wife’s Ass Out of Bed Before Sundown and Make Her Walk, we might actually stand a chance at scoping out the zucchini and blueberries before the farmers pack them up for the day.

Yeah, I think we’re going to be okay up here in Buffalo, now that things are thawing out. I’ll bring the camera out next time so I can show you what I’m talking about. I know, I know… without photographic evidence, all you non-Buffalonians totally don’t believe me when I tell you we really do have nice weather here. But we do! Just not from October to April. Other than that, it’s perfect!

So tell me… what’s spring like where you live? What do you love most about it?