Yeah, this too.

Yeah, this too.

Nuff said.

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Since I can’t pimp my own sh …: Beautiful Dead Bella by Margaux Sky

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Hey folks – so in my second installment of “Since I can’t pimp my own sh …”, I present you “Beautiful Dead Bella: A Lana Cloud Murder Mistery” by Margaux Sky.  Now, I first heard about this book when Margaux posted something about it on my all-girls Catholic high school Facebook page.  Yes, the same school where Sister Debbie gave us that parable assignment for which I wrote a suspense-filled saga about a girl losing her beloved, unforgettable, oh-my-God-her-life-might-as-well-be-over hair ribbon.  Had I changed the hair ribbon bit to a white collarless shirt from Fred Seigel and sold the movie rights shortly afterwards, I might just be buying my fifth Malibu home right about now, but again, I am in the dark about such things.

Anyway, Lana and her friends are out to find out who murdered her beautiful neighbor, Bella, and first become suspect of her Tony Soprano-looking husband.  Now, although she is hindered by obstacle after obstacle, I must say that she is good.  Very good.  And for this reason, she frightens me.  What I’m trying to say here is that if she ever stumbled upon my ‘dungeon’, I’d be screwed.  But I’m not giving any more away — and if I did, well, I would just have to take you to the ‘dungeon’ with me, wouldn’t I?  But I will say that what I also liked about the book is that since the story takes place on the Northwest side of Chicago, I did relate to many of the places mentioned in the book as the Lockwood Castle diner on Central and Devon (which is now a Starbucks — Starbucks: killing childhood memories since 1971) and Coconut Music on Lincoln and Peterson (which is now a liquor store — liquor stores: killing childhood memories since … well, since, forever, I guess).  So anywhoo — hope you get a chance to check out Sky’s first book in this series and be on the lookout for the second installment as well as Tomlins’ Die in Paris and Veronica Roth’s –gent trilogy.  And oh, yeah, make sure you check out this damn book as well.  Seriously, please feel free to swipe that mess.

Congrats to the Illuminati’s newest priestess!

vr

I am so in the dark about these things.  So I’m just now hearing about this chick Veronica Roth and how her book published just a few months shy of my first book took off and how she was already offered a movie deal.  I really had no clue about this person until I saw this post on Dlisted and then googled her book and came across her twitter account where she describes her books as ending with ‘gent’, which I must admit to  finding quite clever.  Now, I guess I could tell her to stop writing but that’s been done before or I could ‘make’ her stop writing, but my ‘dungeon’ is getting pretty full as it is, so instead, I’ll just say congrats and wishing her the best.  Yeah, she doesn’t know me and would probably just snicker, sensing the loser that I am, if she ever saw me on the corner of Clark and Division, but, eh, least I can do to help another Chi-town girl and NU alum out.  So I really do hope you check out Ms. Roth’s trilogy and the movies made from it and, oh yeah, … I hope you buy my damn book as well!

Expecting Nothing from Something

Hey kids!  I’m gonna start today with a short lesson in Polish history, because, well, having my ass dragged to Polish school on Saturday morning for eight years has to account for something, right?  FACT: Chances are that if you grew up in a Polish family in Chicago during the eighties, nineties, double zeroes, or now, there were/are no such things as Saturday morning cartoons.  So anyway, in 1683, Leopold I (looking all snazzy here, by the way) went to King Jan III Sobieski of Poland and said, “Oh, Poland … Poland … help!  The big, bad Turks came to invade Vienna and we need your help to get them out!”  Or something to that effect.  And on September 12, 1683, King Jan III Sobieski and the Poles helped kick the Turks out of Vienna, to which Leopold and the Austrians replied, “Thanks, Poland!  You’re awesome!”  Or something to that effect.  But then in 1772, you wanna know what happened?  You really wanna know?  Do you?  You know you do!  Stop lying and say you don’t!  Okay … and you’ll love this part.  I know as a Pole, I certainly love this part.  So in 1772, Russia and Prussia were like, “Hey, Austria, wanna split up Poland with us?”  And the Austrian empire was like, “Um, okay, cool!” Or something to that … you know what I mean.   And actually the Turks ended up being the good guys in that they never recognized the Partition of Poland.

So what does this insightful tidbit of Polish history has to do with today’s post?  Well, before I get into that, I just want to point out that this is not meant to be a political or discriminant post by any means.  I have lots of dear Polish, Austrian, and Turkish friends alike.  In fact, as I  might have pointed out at one time, my dissertation advisor is Turkish, which one of the two of my most favoritest people in the world (not Trickster Guy.  The other one … yeah, okay – I’m going back to TG and DL after this) would have known if she actually took the time to do her research.   And one of my greatest twitter promoters, Irene, comes from Vienna.  What I want to say here instead is something I brought up before.  And that is don’t expect any outcomes just because you did something to help another person out.  Sometimes it will work but sometimes it won’t.  Whether it’s just giving a good review or liking someone’s page or sending pizzas to an Ivy League theater group where your future husband is starring in a Tennessee Williams play, just do it to make someone happy and don’t even think about getting something in return.  That’s how I’ve come to think about things.  At this point, I really have come to peace with the fact that Order of The Dimensions may never be a bestseller or turned into a movie (You: Finally!  Me:  Again, I asked you this when?)  Just doing something to help others should give you some satisfaction in itself.  And who knows?  Maybe someone who you least expected will be your greatest ally and most likely to help you out.  Like I may never get a movie deal but that Ivy League theatre group might make a play out of my book or my blog or whatever.  Or if not them, maybe the theatre groups from one of my three alma maters will.  No, you say?  Oh, come on!  Will you just give me a freakin’ … okay, never mind – just keep the peace, Irene.  Keep … the … peace.   By the way, I also noticed that my future husband unfollowed that Ivy-League theatre group on twitter.  That wasn’t very nice of him.  After all, they graciously invited him to do their play and I’m sure they shared the free (hopefully not illness-inducing) pizza with him and all.  I mean, I’ll still marry him and bear his children, of course, but just sayin’ that wasn’t very nice of him.

But anyway, that’s all for now and now you know a little about the good-looking dude on this vodka bottle.  And I’m kinda happy he saved Vienna from the Turks too.  Yeah, it wasn’t very nice of them to split up Poland with Russia and Prussia later on, but they sorta made up for it my giving us the greatest musical prodigy of all time.

falco

Yeah, Mozart too.  But I was thinking Falco.  I mean, who today can compete with such high art.  Pure genius, people!  Pure.  Genius.

Stylin’ Science Part: Bla Bla Bla – Markov Stochastic Processes via Swiper the Fox

swiper

So I sometimes babysat my niece during her Dora the Explorer phase.  Until then, I truly believed that there could not possibly be a childhood character more annoying than Barney.  I was wrong.  Those three words would remain in my head long after my brother or sister-in-law would come to pick my niece up.  Those.  Three.  Words.   “Swiper, no swiping.”  “Swiper, no swiping.”  “Swiper, no swiping.” “No, really, I can’t … I just can’t anymore.  Please stop swiping, Swiper.  Or else, things might get ugly.  Very ugly.  Very quickly.”  And that’s why I’m having my most favoritest fox in the world help me explain Markov stochastic processes.  Now, this particular stochastic processes is named after Andrey Markov, a deep, dark, sexy Russian mathematician, as opposed to the deep, dark, sexy Russian former spy, Anton Zelov, in Order of The Dimensions, who … oh, that’s right.  You don’t care.

So anyway, a Markov process is one where the probability of the most current event happening depends on the most recent event, but not on any events prior to the most recent event.  Now, there’s a lot of stuff that can happen depending on the last event.   But let’s start with a simple example.  So let’s say Dora has a Harry Potter wand, Hunger Games DVD, Twilight nail polish set, and a copy of this mess in her backpack.  If Swiper took the wand last time, he might try to take it again with a probability of 30%  or he might take the DVD with  a probability of 40% or he might take the nail polish set with 30% probability.  So unless Dora says,    “Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping.”, he is most likely to take the DVD next.  Notice that this mess has a 0% probability of being swiped.  But if Swiper took the DVD last time, let’s say, Swiper will take the wand with 20% probability, the DVD with 30% probability, and the nail polish set with 50% probability.  So unless Dora says,   “Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping. Swiper, no swiping.”, he is most likely to take the nail polish set.  Again, notice that this mess has a 0% probability of being swiped.  Now, let’s make things a little more interesting and introduce something called the absorbing state, meaning once a particular event happens, only one type of event can happen after that.  So, for example, if Swiper took the nail polish set last time, Dora will take out this mess out of her backpack and say, “Swiper, please swipe. Swiper, please swipe.  Swiper, please swipe.” with 100% probability to which Swiper will reply, “Aw, man!” before reluctantly taking it.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I for one would not at all feel sorry for the shifty, unscrupulous son of a vulpes vulpes, after how he almost swiped my last ounce of sanity during those evenings I spent watching episode after episode … after episode of my niece’s beloved television program at the time.  But anywhoo … until next time … Swiper, no swiping.  Unless it’s this mess – please feel free to swipe it at any time.

Since I can’t pimp my own sh …

Hey peeps!  Sorry for not posting in a while but guess where I was!  Yup, the APS March meeting!  Guess who I haven’t seen there though.  John Krasinski, my future husband, or Trickster Guy.  Nope, no Order of The Dimensions book/movie/anything tie in at this meeting. (You:  Oh, like, there’ll be one ever.)  Ah well, who needs them when I could meet the hunka hunka man, Tim Blais.  Of course, I haven’t seen Tim Blais either.  Eh, who needs him when I got the hunka hunka cardboard cutout of #FlatFeyman.

feyman

Feyman just chillin’ in my hotel room. I think he wanted to watch some TV.

Anyway, getting here was kind of an adventure too.  Maybe not as exciting as being kidnapped by a deep, dark, sexy former Russian spy and forced to be his love slave in Malta in another dimension, but interesting (to me, at least) all the same.  It all started four thirty Sunday morning when the airline that shall remain nameless came up with the brilliant idea to cancel my initial flight and schedule me for a flight just two hours before my presentation. This led me to call the airline back and politely tell them “Awe, hell, naw!”.  After the agent of the airline that shall remain nameless gave me a few more options with unreasonable times to which I responded, “Awe, hell, naw!”, she finally gave me an option with a reasonable time but bit of an unreasonable price change to which I responded, “Awe, hell … well, I guess I have no other options, do I?”, to which the agent responded, “Awe, hell, naw!”  But anyway, the meeting went well.  Since it was a work trip for me, I mainly attended sessions related to physics used in cancer and other biomedical research, but I did sneak into an interesting quantum mechanics session too.  Of course, I was too much chicken shi.. to bring up a question regarding inter-dimensional travel again as it most likely would have been received with this response.

But enough about me.  I have decided to do some posts where I share some other works by a few authors friends I have met along the way during my wonderful (HA!), illustrious (double HA!), successful (oh God, an infinite number of HAs would not cover that one, would it?) journey into writing.  The first book I chose to feature here is Die in Paris by Marilyn Tomlins about my new role model notorious serial killer, Dr. Marcel Petiot.  You can find my amazon review of the book here and without giving away too much, Dr. Petiot would even have Putin saying “Oh, he’s good“.  So I hope you check out this book.  I’m sure glad I did as it gave me some ideas to … anyway, I’m just glad I did.

die-in-paris

And for more pimped out sh.. that should be pimped out even more than mine (You: You can say that again! Me:, And I asked you this when?) be sure to check out my publicist Jessi’s page for more awesome stuff to check out here.