Smile When You Say That…

For whatever reason (budget, stupidity, ???) SF Muni has been cutting back the number of cars running and the size, meaning twice as many people are trying to get around on what seems like half the amount of cars.  Our L Taravel line has been its own little slice of hell lately. Yesterday Dave and I caught a one car L at West Portal headed outbound and images of cattle cars or sardines are appropriate as far as how many people were packed together in very little space.  We were stuck in one of the stairwells right by the door, which meant every time the car stopped and people needed to get on or off, Dave and I had to move aside (off the car or squashed up against a pole).  The doors on the Muni streetcars are impatient (much like many of the riders), shutting after about 10 seconds, which is not enough time for people to disembark, especially when they’re squeezing through masses of folk on the car to reach the door.  So we held the doors open to give people time to get to the doors, get off the car, and then let other people in.  Imagine a half hour of this, getting stepped on, squashed, constantly shifting to accommodate other people after a long day at work, sleep deprivation/migraines two nights running. 


Things finally thinned out and we heaved a mutual sigh of relief.   And then this pasty-faced woman, one of those people who looks perpetually dissatisfied, looked at us and spoke, her voice a nasal whine. “I don’t understand. Why are you two standing there in everyone’s way, blocking the doors and delaying us?  Why don’t you stand up here?  I don’t understand.” 


Okay.  I tried to stay calm even though my initial reaction was a major “WTF?  Are you talkin’ to me?”  What I actually said was “There hasn’t been room up there up till now.”


“Yes, there has,” she whined.  “I’ve been standing here and there’s plenty of room.” 


I started to lose what little patience I had left. “No, there wasn’t, and you’re not helping the situation.”


“No, you’re not helping!”  She started to say something else, but I’d had it. 


I didn’t drop any F-bombs or call her names.  I just said, “Lady?  Be quiet.” Three little words, but infused with a world of venom, frustration and, okay, yes, definite implied threat.  When I’m angry … and I mean, really  angry, pissed off to the point of seeing red, I start to smileIt’s not a nice smile. Small children have run from this smile.  And I was smiling when I said it. I continued to smile as I added, “You’re making a bad situation much worse.”  Then I muttered something about inconveniencing her by the fact we were helping other people get off the damn train. And I kept smiling until we got off the train.  She didn’t say another word.   


I was pissed off all evening, even dreamed about telling her off.  I figure I was so steamed because a: it was entirely unjust of her to get on our case at all, and b: I was too angry and taken aback at the time to say what I should have said, which is “You’re right.  You don’t understand. It’s not like we were claiming some prize Muni real estate.  We were holding the doors so people could get on and off the train at their stops without getting slammed by the doors. So next time you shoot off your mouth, make sure you’re in possession of all the facts.” 


Oh well.  I guess “Lady? Be quiet.” will have to suffice.   That, and the various smiles and thank-yous from the passengers we helped. 


A Slice of Muni Hell

There are many  irritating people riding the Muni in San Francisco (or any city, I’m sure). Just to name a few, there’s the Subtle Farter, also known as SBD (silent but deadly); Lack of Hygiene Dude; Personal Space Invader; and Vacuous Info-Dump With No Filter Gal.

I was stuck next to an Info Dumper Monday morning on what was a hellishly long ride (it was too windy and raining to do my usual walk from the house to West Portal, so add a half hour to my normal 15 minute commute) in an abnormally crowded Muni because for some unknown reason, they were running single cars instead of doubles during rush hour.

Within five minutes after Little Miss Filterless Double-hinged Tongue got on the car and squeezed right next to my seat, I found out the following information: “I am so sleepy, I so need a cigarette. I took shrooms and was sooo hungry, I”m hungry now, and I want a cigarette.  We looked in the mirror, our faces were sooo scary and f-cked up from the shrooms, it was cool.  Did you know in Europe you can smoke and it doesn’t matter and it’s great ’cause when you want one you can have one? My dad gave me a hundred bucks to paint a house and I spent it all on gas money to Humboldt. I need to earn some money.  I was so high the other night, I had the worst munchies!”

And so on and so forth.  All information was liberally interspersed with “like,” which made the stream of consciousness even harder to take and sound more vapid than it already was.

All I wanted to do was read my book in peace and slowly allow my nerve endings, never very happy before eight o’clock in the morning, to sheathe themselves so I could tolerate dealing with the rest of humanity.

Did I mention she had no sense of volume control?

I tried plugging one ear with a finger pressed against it, but her shrill drone cut right through and I ended up with a sore ear.  I must have read the same page over a dozen times.  I wanted to kill her.  Or at least cut out her tongue.

Does this make me a bad person?  Maybe.  But jeez frickin’ louise, folks, most people really don’t want to hear the minutia of your daily existence and do you really want everyone on a street car to know you’ve been taking shrooms?

There must be a law somewhere, one of those cosmic rules that if the Muni is crowded, you WILL be stuck next to a farter, a stinker, a ‘your space is my space’ or a blabbermouth.  I can’t tell you which one annoys me the most.

Hanging Out with MeanKitty

Every once in a while I stumble across a blog or website that might have been made just for me.  HomepageoftheDead is one of them.  Writer&Cat (also known as Mean Kitty and Writing Slave) is another.  The link above is to my interview conducted by Mean Kitty… or is that Meankitty? Must find out her proper spelling… but do check out the other interviews and the rest of the website.  Those of us who have cats truly relate to the moniker ‘Typing Slave.’ 

Definitely under the category of WTF?!!!!

Received via email today:


Dear Cynthia & Dana,
Greetings from Religious Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Living Word
Publishing Ministry here in Nigeria . A member of the Christan books
sellers association of Nigeria ,(cban).We are highly committed to
printing and distributing of Christian and Motivational books in
Nigeria and some West African Countries.

After going through your web address, we came across your books with
great potentials and we wish to inform you that we are interested in
the books and therefore, officially solicit for your permission to
reprint and distribute in Nigeria . However, let us know your
condition[s] attach if any.
The books

1,What Men Really Want In Bed by Cynthia W. Gentry

2,What Women Really Want in Bed by Cynthia W. Gentry

Thanks for your anticipated cooperation. Expecting to here from you soon.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Osunde

Contact us at
Religious Broadcasting Inc.,
10 owseni street off mission Road,
Benin City , Edo State , Nigeria


Champagne available in Paperback!

That’s right!  Our sexy-torso endowed garden gnome (you KNOW it looks like a garden gnome with the castle turret right there) is now available in paperback here.  Champagne is a book I’m especially proud of because it really pushed my limits and comfort zone as a writer to create a story with a: no mystery, and b: no zombies.   🙂

Product Description

“Well-written with Ms. LaVey’s usual flair for humor, sex and fun, Champagne is a wild ride through France. Ms. LaVey has a way with words and humor; she never fails to leave a smile on my face.” –Bookwenches (4 stars)


“Champagne by Inara LaVey is a witty, fun, informational and erotic adventure through France’s wine country. I look forward to reading more work from this talented author.” –Dark Divas (4 “delightful divas”)


Jeanette Wilson is an American girl on the trip of a lifetime to the wine regions of France. Unfortunately, she’s trapped with her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend Daryl, a self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing, self-styled wine expert bent on swirling, sniffing, sipping, swishing, chewing, swallowing and occasionally spitting his way through the wineries. Between his endless lectures and insufferable putdowns, her insignificant other is quickly turning her dream vacation into a nightmare. But things change for Jeanette once they come to the zenith of their French road trip, the Champagne house of Chateau Roux-Dubois. Their hosts, Amaury and Marie-Elise Roux-Dubois, turn out to be both charming and attractive, and go out of their way to extend a warm welcome to her. And they make it very clear that it is she, not Daryl, who is their special guest, particularly when the striking Marie-Elise takes Jeanette down to the wine cellar for a very personal tour, followed by an unusual French lesson from Amaury. When she and Daryl are invited to stay and participate in the harvest festival, Jeanette finds herself caught up in a ménage a trois with the Roux-Dubois, both intent on teaching her many things…and not just about wine.


The War of Art


If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you’ll know I’ve been running into roadblocks on my current WIP. This is the same book that started out with such promise (I wrote the first fifty pages in a week, wheee!!!!). I love, love, loved it, knew it was the best thing I’d ever written and was gonna finish it in record time.

Well, the honeymoon period has been over for a couple of months.  My WIP won’t take out the trash, doesn’t tell me I’m pretty any more, and the relationship has just been stagnating, the two of us sitting on the couch together, but not really communicating. I’ve tried sneaking around the road blocks in the story, but keep running into new ones.  I’ve questioned myself (Is it me?  What am I doing wrong?); my WIP (Why are you such a cold-hearted bastard?!  Talk to me!!); and life in general (Maybe I’m not meant to be a writer. Maybe I should just resign myself to admin work the rest of my life).

So this morning I open this book, THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield, on the Muni and read this:

“Like a magnetized needle floating on a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true North – meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing.

We can use this. We can use it as a compass. We can navigate by Resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or action that we must follow before all others.

Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel towards pursuing it.”

Talk about a cosmic wake-up smack on the back of the head (which kind of hurt ’cause I’m on my second week of serial migraines).  I love moments like these when you read, see or hear exactly the right thing to flip a stubborn switch from ‘off’ to ‘on’ and help you move forward. 

In other words, my WIP and I may be going through a shaky period, but it’s worth the time and effort to make this relationship work. I have a damn good book in the making and I’m gonna finish it even if I have to take out the trash every night.

Come on, WIP.  Tell me I’m sexy.  You know you want to. 🙂