Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I've heard news reports that say shopping is way down this year, which I guess is bad for the retailers. I can't help but think maybe it's a good thing for our souls, though. Not having the underside of the tree crammed with presents lets you focus a little more on the important stuff.
Charitable giving, though, has only dipped slightly. And the bell ringers have had diamond rings, watches, and extremely valuable old coins dropped in their kettles. Maybe we're not as bad as everyone says we are.
So whether it's Kwanzaa or Chanukah or Solstice or just enjoying the baked goodies around the fire- I mean, we need a few extra pounds to keep us warm over the coming winter- enjoy your family and your friends. I'll be offline till New Year's, so now I wish all of you a most blessed, Merry Christmas.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
These adorable seraphim are accompanied by an anecdote about a woman having a dream about God talking to her about footprints, or a man failing to take time out of his busy life for an old homeless woman who prayed for him and then finding out she died the next day.
Then the emails treat me to a long poem that gushes. Over me. And y'all, I am loved, I am special, and people think of me CONSTANTLY.
And since that kind of friendship is so special, how nice would it be if I forwarded that email to ten friends? If I do, the angels will bring me a blessing within 72 hours. It really, really, works! But if I don't, well...I wouldn't want to do that. I mean, I forward meaningless jokes, so why wouldn't I forward this? Something BAD might happen.
Why have these angels decided to hold me hostage? These cute, benevolent little beings are showing their teeth. Do they get a kickback from each email that's forwarded? Are their positions on the harp choir taken by other angels who are successful at threatening their recipients? Does God throw them out of heaven entirely if they don't make the quota?
If you're an angel's fondest wish and you always forward these things, fine. Just don't forward them to me, okay? I don't want to be responsible for heavenly wing pruning.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Ah, the holidays at Harlequin headquarters…
A Daddy for Christmas
Robyn: Does anyone else get the feeling that once she puts the star on the tree the mother ship is going to zap him up?
The Christmas She Always Wanted
Beth: Mommy and Daddy are poised for flight just in case Little Satanic Sweetie doesn't like her gifts. (and btw, anyone else notice that Mommy's left leg is half the size of her right?)
The Italian’s Miracle Family
Missie: Somebody has spent a leeeetle too much time in the tanning bed.
Robyn: Christmas just isn’t complete until you’ve impaled a toddler on the tree.
Follow the links for more holiday snark!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Okay, I guess bargain shelf Thanksgiving pumpkin cakes with questionable stems are a little crass. Maybe this...
Well, the dead circus clowns on a moldy hill didn't quite have the festive atmosphere I wanted. Let me keep looking...
Naked babies riding carrots! That's the ticket! No? Oh, well. I can always fall back on the old standard that never fails to please-
Happy day, my friend. Enjoy!
(cake images from CakeWrecks)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Don't let the cuteness fool you. I opened my cabinet- my previously CLEAN cabinet, and found them. Little presents to remind me of my mortal enemy.
Not just mouse droppings. GREEN mouse droppings. Which means one of two things:
He's gotten irradiated by the microwave and will soon be as big, and as demanding, as my dog;
Or he's eaten the Green Pellets of Death and they've passed harmlessly through his tiny, cursed intestinal tract.
Either way, cleaning bright green mouse poop was so not how I wanted to spend my day.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Today I was washing dishes and I turn around and there he is, sitting there looking at me like, "Wow. What is that and why is it in my kitchen?" I'm not normally frightened by things but a small squeal escaped me, which in my present health sent me into a coughing fit. All I could do was splash dishwater at it. It sauntered- not ran, not scurried, not flew- but slowly meandered back behind the oven, probably because the soggy little blighter knew I was incapacitated and couldn't hurt him.
I've set out glue traps, which I find the next morning with footprints that mock me. We finally broke out the Green Pellets of Death, which have not as yet shown any effect. I think he's hooked on them and is waiting for his next fix. I have visions of becoming the mouse world equivalent of a back alley, with this rodent instructing his little junkies, "Just make some noise in the walls, and leave some poop under the sink. She'll put out the stuff."
I thought about getting a cat, but with my luck he'd just want a cut of the pellet profits.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Except for the, you know, feeling bad thing, the only difficulty was choking down Triaminic. That stuff was brewed in Satan's own barrel. I refused to give it to my kids, preferring the tang of Robitussin.
Face it. It was vacation with maid service and tissues.
But now? I still get sick. Still get coughs and watery eyes and headaches and sore throats and snot. Can I lounge and suck on push-pops and drink 7-UP? In between caring for the other people in the house who have the same crap and spending as much time as I can working because for some reason I like money, sure.
I'm just feeling sorry for myself. The one day I finally could sleep on the couch and have the remote to myself, no marathons! My hubby gets the NCIS marathon, my daughter gets the America's Next Top Model marathon, my son even got the Cosby Show marathon. Me? NO MARATHONS. That has to be one of the signs of the apocolypse, right there. Cable always has a marathon. They'll show Grasses Of The World Growing In Real Time for 18 hours, but I can't even find more than two episodes of Law and Order? Yeesh.
It doesn't help that I look like recycled hell. I bark like a seal, and when I'm in the store people back away from me like they want to cry, "Unclean! Unclean!" I've used so much soap and sanitizer, my hands look like they've been in an industrial accident. And I find at my age, in spite of all those lovely Kegel exercises, coughing has an unfortunate side effect. I'm just waiting for the day I completely lose my pride and actually buy Depends instead of using panty liners.
Next time there's a good marathon, I'm calling in sick whether I am or not. And I'm breaking out the bendy straw, too.
Monday, November 10, 2008
So I'm taking a day or two to shower with those little vapor tablets that let you bask in the menthol-scented steam, huddle under a blanket with my hot tea with honey and lemon, and ignore my dogs. And watch Iron Man and The Hulk. And Get Smart. If you haven't seen it, you need to.
And I'm also taking a certain amount of unholy pleasure in the fact that Barack Obama will not be able to go take a leak by himself for four years. See ya!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I don't really watch Doctor Who that much anymore, I swear! But I adore David Tennant. With a serene, serious face, he's an absolute matinee idol movie star. But when he smiles his chin draws up, his eyes bug out, and his eyebrows attach to his hairline. So cute I could eat him with a spoon.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
He's an 80's detective who had to save a murder witness from drowning when the mobsters broke into her house at night and chased her off a pier in her nightie and now he's trying to cop a feel, right?
Hey, it makes as much sense as swans living in the ocean.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
My daughter has wanted a dog of her own for a long time. Mazie the diva is really more my dog than anything, my son has his lizards, and my husband has us. And Beth has been a very dependable, mature girl, who keeps her room clean and her grades up. She works hard, so we told her she could adopt a dog.
Of course, what she really wants is a lawn ornament that will put up with her snuggling whenever she wants, but there are dogs who are good for that. Her French club does a community service project every year, which is to help the local shelter with their big adoption day. Perfect opportunity for her to get to know the dogs and choose, right?
Except she chooses a GOLDEN RETRIEVER. We live in a townhouse. True, we're saving to move, but for now you cannot take a step without tripping over this animal. And Rolls (that's her name, have no idea why, except it makes me think of cinnamon rolls and now I get hungry every time I tell her to move) wants to be loved. Every flippin' minute. Mazie's life has changed considerably; she hasn't figured out how to outmanuever Rolls yet, and has received a tail slap in the face a few times.
Really, she's a very sweet dog, who already adores Beth and loves the rest of us. She's patient with the yappy diva terrier, and Lord can that dog eat. But here's the kicker.
She's 11 years old. She's very healthy, and is fairly spry, although stairs aren't her favorite thing. Beth and I talked about a dog's usual lifespan, and how Rolls is getting close. Beth is in high school now, and only has a couple of years before college. My daughter is a very social animal- how is she going to care for an elderly dog when she's in an apartment with roommates, a full load of classes, and the parties and road trips college usually calls for?
Oh, that's right. That's what suckers like me are for.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Yes, I'm double-posting. It's my blog and I'll plagiarize if I want to.
I don’t have a review up because I made a big mistake- I bought this book, loved the blurb, loved the first few pages, and loved the ending. Yes, I peeked. Sue me. So I thought it would be perfect to review today.
Except, the book was ultimately a disappointment. Not exactly a wall-chucker, but a frustrating near miss. I won’t go into detail, because it’s just unique enough that you would recognize it and I don’t want to slam anyone. I will tell you that it is a historical, with one of my favorite plots. I must marry Bachelor #1, but I love Bachelor #2…or do I?
The characters were engaging and different, and the storyline was interesting, but it fell where I find most historicals go plop. The, you know, intimate scenes. Tea and crumpets. Regency hula.
If the characters are married, and learning to love each other while consummating, fine. Love it. Got no problem with it. Even if our heroine is a widow who knows very well what she’s about, I can at least understand that. But a virginal young miss who knows very well that her reputation is truly all she has? You just lost me.
Historical writers have to walk a fine line- you have to do enough research to make it believable, but there will always be some reader screeching that those kind of wine glasses weren’t used until 20 years later, moron! I understand the frustrations of appealing to modern readers while staying true to history, but this one thing I can’t swallow.
How, precisely, does a typical sheltered young girl, who has been protected from the exact details of sex, who has probably at some point been told to “lie back and think of England,” decide that hiking up her skirt OUTSIDE ON THE GRASS is perfectly fine? I can accept that said young miss got carried away, and can straighten her dress with nary a stain and go back to the house unseen. What I can’t accept is that, without benefit of marriage or instruction beyond a gossiping servant, is that she can on second tryst become a skilled and enthusiastic…er, performer of certain type of crumpet-making, if you catch my drift.
I can't make the leap that a girl not known for flaunting herself or fighting authority can suddenly be not just okay with that kind of intimacy but actively pursue it. Turned a really, really good story into a disappointment. Sort of like dressing up for dinner with your husband to find out he's taking you to Cracker Barrel.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
If I'm 44 and very, very sure I don't want any more kids, why is there no switch to throw to jump-start menopause?
When a car pulled up next to me blasting loud enough to be heard in the next county, I couldn't help but notice the lyrics. It was someone screaming the alphabet. Yes, the literal alphabet. A-A-A-a-a-a, B-B-B-b-b-b, C-C-C-c-c-c, it throbbed. Does this mean we're in store for a new kids' educational show called Sesame Hood?
Would Cookie Monster push chocolate chips in front of Hooper's Store?
Will Christmas toy shelves be full of Pimp Me Elmo?
Why do I always buy two bags of candy "just in case" when I haven't had a trick-or-treater for 3 years?
Never mind, I know the answer to that one. Go about your business.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I don't know why, but third person interests me. First person embarrasses me. I guess I'm okay with spying on you, just don't call me and tell me about it, 'kay?
I tend not to like first person all that much anyway, so maybe it's just an extension of that particular prejudice. I like to be in as many heads as the story has; the whole Nora Roberts head-hopping thing has never bothered me. But I have read some first person stories that were done really well. I just don't like the bouncy-bouncy with "I shivered as he stroked my protuberances."
What say you?
Monday, October 13, 2008
Things in space don't seem to be that different from things here on Earth, except that Earthlings are universally reviled. We're weak, young, arrogant, carbon-based bags of water that are far beneath the notice of superior species- but those species wrestle with the same things we do.
One thing I always appreciated about Star Trek: it was hopeful. We didn't push the button; we didn't drop the bomb. And I personally love the fact that network honchos were worried about the original Trek's diversity, but the public didn't march in protest as was feared. We all loved the crew, even the Russian. I hate that female writers like Dorothy Fontana had to use her initials, D.C., to get scripts to air, but at least she still got to write.
And of course, there are plenty of stories that have nothing whatsoever to do with Earth- but they still have our challenges. Vonda McIntire is a personal fave of mine; who do you like to read (or watch) when you feel planet-bound?
Friday, October 10, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
December mentioned actors- actors who stump for candidates, specifically- and expect us to believe they somehow know more about the issues than the little people in flyover country. I got news for them. They don’t know anymore than anyone else. They just have a whole lot more money, which makes my blood boil when they pontificate about the needs of the poor. Come juggle my finances for awhile, Master Thespian. What gets me is how pissy some of them get when they are challenged. Why, don’t you know who I am? I am creative and talented and feel deeply about the deep things of the world. I’ve talked to actual scientists and been filmed while I felt my deep feelings in some third-world sinkhole. Celebrate me!
But even though I’d love to tell them to shut it, they are American citizens. (And I’m not talking about celebrities who are European, or live full time in Europe because it’s so much more civilized. Honestly, I don’t give a rat’s ass what Europeans think of us.) Except for Wesley Snipes, they pay their taxes. They have the right to hold, and express, any opinion they please.
I remember Tim Robbins protesting the Iraq war, which he has a right to do. When people starting telling him they would no longer see any of his movies because of his views, he said there was a “cold wind blowing across the country” and the First Amendment was in jeopardy. Excuse me, Tim, but no it isn’t.
The First Amendment refers to freedom from the government censoring speech. His kids weren’t taken away. He wasn’t forced from his home. He can not only work in Hollywood, but he’s rather celebrated there. Even though I think the last movie he did was Zathura a few years ago. He can take out a front page ad in the Times telling his views; that is his right.
But it’s my right to think he’s a self-important gasbag. And if he creeps me out enough with his various political stances, or if not the opinion itself, how he expresses it, I also have the right to stay away from the theatre. I am not censoring him. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, not freedom from every possible consequence.
What I think celebrities don’t realize is that their views aren’t necessarily what grate; it’s the I Know More Than You, You Pathetic Mouth Breathing Knuckle Dragger attitude. From what I’ve seen this election season, it’s not limited to TV’s talking heads. Which I guess only proves the point that actors do have influence.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
My daughter and I watched The King and I yesterday. Oh, how big is my love for Yul Brenner! Vengeful Pharaoh, magnificent gunfighter, or rogue robot, I adored him. The King of Siam is probably my favorite Brenner role, largely because of the Shall We Dance number. He is arrogance and innocence, a stubborn boy and a powerful man. And when he pins Deborah Kerr with that intense stare, and reaches for her waist very slowly- swoon. That moment is more romantic, more breathtaking, and frankly, hotter than the last eighty-five romances I’ve read. Sometimes I think we’ve lost those beautiful moments in our preoccupation with thundering breastplates and pebbled nubbins and moisture.
Shall we dance?
Friday, October 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Brick and mortar stores have HUGE sections of romance, of course, but have you seen WalMart lately? The ones here have a big, big selection- from HQ categories to single title. I like to think it's because the worse the world seems, the more you need Happy Ever After.
What do you think? Is there any one reason for the profusion of romances?
Sunday, September 28, 2008
She went on to plead with me to keep this all a secret, but you’re my special friends. I’m sure it will be all right. “There has existed for many years an exclusive association, a secret society, of some of the world’s most famous and powerful people. These include renowned actors and musicians, leading scientists and intellectuals, self-made entrepreneurs and artists, even some of the rare genuine astrologers and psychics.” Of course. Because those people HATE attention from the press.
This association has uncovered shockingly powerful secrets; that lead to prosperity, love, happiness, and total peace of mind. Secrets which they share only amongst themselves, and- what do you know? They analyzed my profile! Katie tells me that my hidden talents must be phenomenal for the members to select me!
I have been chosen to receive their book, Greatest Kept Secrets, absolutely free. How wonderful of them. And what happened for Katie can happen for me- she won when she gambled; she knew what other people were thinking; she started an incredibly successful business; she gained a photographic memory; and eliminated all addictions and bad habits.
Now, everyone wants to be her friend. She is the center of attention. But the best part? She is wanted by all men, including her husband. She, of course, has eyes only for him. She can play the piano and paint with no training, too! She can predict the future AND heal people. Goodness, but she must be busy. And I can certainly see why you’d want to keep healing disease to yourself.
When analyzing my profile, they discovered something else- I’m about to enter Cycle Two. That’s why the association is contacting me now. It’s all very exciting, but I’m afraid I shall have to pass. Why did they use the mail when they could have just contacted me telepathically? Sad waste of funds, that. Sorry, but I have standards, people.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sarah Palin Action Figure!
John McCain Plushie!
Half Naked Soap Opera Stars in Obama Underwear!
I will admit that I kind of want the Sarah Palin action figure. But honestly, why all the debates and concerns over experience and foreign policy and Presidential Form when we the people think this is the way to put forward a candidate for the highest office in the land?
And is that actress on the right holding basketballs? Just asking.
Monday, September 22, 2008
You have no power over me, evil Coke fairy!
Just a quick note to celebrate that I have been clean and sober, NO COCA COLA, for 2 weeks.
And my family deserves whatever their hearts desire for living with an angry, snarling, sugar-deprived demon.
Now if I could just do the same with brownies...
Friday, September 19, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
A laser alarm clock, how fun! And practical. The alarm won't shut off until you hit the bullseye. Since most people can't even see until a shower and a cup of coffee, you're sure to be familiar with your neighbors when they come a knockin'!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
She took a chance on an internet search, knowing that her mom was a struggling author. She typed in the title of one of her mom's old stories, and there popped up a site for romance author Sandee McCann. New name, same picture. Her mom, now going by Sandee, had apparently struck up a friendship with some man in England, and moved in with him. She started a fairly successful career as a romance novelist under the new name.
Sandee McCann claims that the man she left, Alex's stepfather and the father of her other five children, was abusive and controlling, and she had no choice but to leave. She says that she tried multiple times to contact her children, but her ex blocked all her attempts to communicate.
Alex disputes that theory, saying that she had quit school to take care of her siblings and was home all day. She was the one who picked up the daily mail, and never once got a letter or card from Sandee.
Now that you're up to speed, here's my question: Many of those who left comments on the ABC website wanted everyone to boycott Sandee McCann's books. In fairness, I don't know any of these people. I know that abused spouses go through terrible soul-destroying madness, but I have serious doubts about Ms. McCann's claims. If her ex was abusive, why leave the kids in his care? If she was so isolated and cut off from any money, how could she strike up a friendship with a man she felt comfortable enough to move in with, and grab enough money to go to Europe? After becoming so successful, why not hire a lawyer to insist on her rights? Her ex and her kids are in poverty. She'd have had a chance.
I've always felt that how an author behaves shouldn't necessarily affect his/her sales; but I'll be honest. I've never bought, or read, Sandee McCann's books; after this, I'm not likely to. Do you think any author's personal life should be a deciding factor for a buyer? Or are there levels? An author getting snotty on a blog is one thing- this? For me, at least, it's quite another.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I have to admit that’s the very reason I love her stuff; I pretty much know what I’m going to get, and her stories hold up after several reads. Does that say something bad about us as readers? We’re always whining that we want something new, new, new. More vampires! More vampires! Gimme, gimme, gimme! But, ew, now they’re all starting to bore me and –ooh! Look! A shiny new Regency!
We bleat about the death of originality. But then we turn around and reward sameness because it’s soothing.
What about you? Do you have comfort reads?
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Maybe they should have included the actual bride in this one. I’m wondering if he’s looking for her or looking for a dressing room.
The Night Serpent
What? I can be nice, too, y’all. Geez.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
(Image from Funnyjunk.com)
I recently read a story in an anthology that had a very familiar trope- the heroine at the altar with the Wrong Man, about to pledge her life away, when the hero bursts in and stops it.
That scene has always bugged me. If she's marrying the villain to save said hero, or sacrificing herself for the good of her family, I can take it. If it's a marriage of convenience, so much the better. That's one of my favorite historical romance scenarios- it ALWAYS turns into a love match, even if she had mad warm feelings for someone else before exchanging rings.
But what I can't take is a modern woman who actually goes to all the trouble and expense of a wedding- even hastily thrown together affairs are a bother- when she knows she doesn't love this guy. She didn't have an ill-advised trip to Vegas. She wasn't doing Jello shots and woke up with a new hubby. She, with a clear mind and clear intent, bought a gown and flowers and sent invitations to her family and now stands there, ready to give her life to this man.
Because she's pregnant? No. Because she wants to build a home with him? No. Because he turns her on? Again, no. Because she loves him? Absolutely not.
It's because the man she really loves didn't step up to the plate. For whatever reason, he fell off the white horse and so she falls back on Plan B. Or Man B, if you will.
I can't stand this. It's insulting. I've known some women who were desperate to marry, but to intentionally defraud some poor slob so she can say, "I'm MRS. Lovelywife, and I have more to go home to now than my cat, so suck on it you single slimes?"
That's not a woman I want to know, not a heroine I want to root for. And I don't care if Man B didn't really love her, and was marrying for the wrong reasons as well. These stories always try to let the heroine off the hook that way. This girl was ready to take meaningful vows one second and, because her true flame came bursting through the door yelling "I object," the next second she dropped the poor schmuck she was going to love, honor, and cherish and rode off into the sunset with someone else.
Quite frankly, if I was Man A, I wouldn't trust that woman.
On another page entirely, anyone up for some fun? Writtenwyrdd is having a contest to celebrate her 2nd blogiversary. Hop on over.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Stealing time with my husband has become just that- stealing. I feel like we're the teenagers trying to desperately to neck on the couch without getting caught. The kids are old enough now to stay up as late as we do, and with the computer and the PS2 in the same room the loveseat is... not as advertised.
We've smooched in the kitchen, but again, with two teens the kitchen is constantly under attack. "Get a room!" they cry. We reply that, technically, ALL the rooms are our rooms, but it doesn't seem to get us anywhere.
The shower might seem an interesting solution, no? I mean, saving water is all environmentally friendly and I'm all for that. When it benefits me. But we have reached the age, or girth, where the contortions required are an iffy prospect at best, especially terrifying when slippery.
So why not the bedroom, you ask? Seems like the perfect place, and there's a lock on the door. Simple:
SHE OWNS THE BED. If we toss her off, she'll wait until she thinks we're not paying attention and then she'll sneak back up again. One cold nose in a sensitive area is enough to throw off the groove.
If we lock her out, she whines and howls and scratches at the door. Easy enough to ignore if you're dedicated, but the lovely teenagers are now smart enough to know what's going on when the dog's banished to the hall, and they giggle. And giggle. And that? Buzzkill, folks. Major.
We seriously need a nice hotel room.
ETA: Anyone want to have some fun? Writtenwyrdd is having a contest to celebrate her 2nd blogiversary! Go over and check it out.
Friday, August 29, 2008
So imagine my surprise when I was jotting a few thoughts down in the journal, on parenting, of all things- and I decided to start typing it up. Suddenly thoughts are flooding me. I can barely type fast enough to get it all.
Could I be actually writing a non-fiction book? And do I qualify to give anybody advice? I have no alphabet soup after my name. I do have two pretty great kids, though. Maybe you can explain it to me.
Or maybe you can explain why my dog can whine and moan and lie on her back and paw the air like she's saying CAN THE POOR, POOR DOGGIE GET A LITTLE BIT OF AFFECTION FROM YOU, PLEASE and when I reach down to give her the begged-for belly rub she springs up to sniff her butt to check if it's still there. Whichever is easier.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Was there anyone who wasn't fascinated by Die Hard's Hans Gruber, the ultimate suave villain? I loved it when Bonnie Bedelia said, "After all your posturing, all your speeches, you're nothing but a common thief."
"I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I'm moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite. "
Even when the rest of the movie sucked- and Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves did- he shined. The Sheriff of Nottingham was Snidely Whiplash on acid, but his over-the-top antics still made beautiful sense. It was also a joy to watch.
"That's it then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas."
[to a wench] You. My room. 10:30 tonight. [to another wench] You. 10:45... And bring a friend.
"Colonel Brandon, you have done so much already..."
"Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad."
Any man who could make me feel for Severus Snape while still despising him has got Mad Skillz.
By Grabthar's hammer...