Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Mighty HQ: Fug or Fab?

Since she’s been taking over Snark Empress duties lately, I’ve asked Beth from StarvingWriteNow to cross-blog snark with me! We have to wonder at the bi-polar nature of the cover artists over HQ way. Some are really, really good. Others are...not so much. To wit:

Last Wolf Watching

Robyn: Don’t you just hate it when normal, intelligent women see a picture like this and get so bothered that they aren’t capable of rational thought and can’t speak except for words like WHOA and ACK and OH, BAYBA and have to keep themselves from licking the page? Yeah, I hate that, too.

Beth: WHOA. ACK. RRROWWRR! Like to get my hands on that six pack, baby! What? Oh, yes... (ahem!) Well, he's ripped like nobody's business, but the question is, what is going on with that feathered flippy hairdo?

In The Flesh

Robyn: Yes, he certainly is. But do you ever wonder if these guys speak like, say, Christian Siriano from Project Runway? Mr. Buff would meet you at the door and say, “Girl, is it raining? You look like a hot tranny mess. Come in. I just made lattes and they are fierce.”

Beth: LOL... you just know Mr. Buff's got some gold lame shirts in his closet. "Like, how do I hold this gun thingy again? Up? You sure? 'Cause it would look totally bitchen in my waistband. Where's my latte?"
What's your vote, Fug or Fab? For more covers, go over to StarvingWriteNow!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Discussion Worth Having

Ello is having a guest on her blog today, one Dr. Durham who wrote The Lolita Effect. It's about the media's sexualization of young girls, and I for one think it's a discussion worth having. There are many, many avenues that issue can take, but I have two thoughts.

First, even in adult circles it's not enough anymore to look groomed, or pretty, or attractive. It's all about looking sexy. My daughter bemoans this particular trend, as do I. See, I met my husband at work. I did not wear come hither clothing at work, yet somehow, surprise, surprise, he still found me attractive. My daughter (she's 16) told me once, "I can't find anything to wear. They are all made for a stick with boobs, and designed to make you look like a prostitute."

When did it become necessary for every woman to look as sexy as she possibly can, even when going to the grocery store?

Second, why do these girls have these outfits in the first place? Even though some corporate doofus will market them, the parents are footing this particular bill. Yes, I've given my kids money to do their own shopping, but when we got home I nixed anything I thought was inappropriate. Trying to explain to a 12-year-old why they don't need micro-mini club outfits is bad enough; but worse is mothers who buy leopard print undies and shorts with LUSH spelled out on the butt for their 4-year-olds. Come on Moms. Get a clue.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Romance’s Favorite Man

He does have a last name, but he doesn’t need it. When I think romance covers, I think of him.


He could be anything. A pirate;

A cowboy;

An Indian;

An alien.

He could be a migrant apple picker;

Stealer of Santa’s boots;

Barbie's Fantasy that Ken doesn't know about.

You could land a plane on his shiny, hairless chest-

But you couldn’t make him shave his legs.

And when you thought he had done it all, he made a generation of people beleef it was nah buttah.

But the thing I like most about Fabio- even though his cover days are long since over, he always takes the work, and the fans, seriously. But not himself. And he would have kicked total tool George Clooney’s behiney when the Sexy But Self-Important One insulted the ladies El Fab was lunching with.

There are good covers, and bad covers, and meh covers on the romance shelves. But there’s only one Fabio, and I’m not too proud to admit that I miss him.

Fabio would undoubtedly approve of my contest. Four more days- winner announced on Monday, June 2. Get your entries in!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Kids Are Deprived

December Quinn had this very interesting post about how maybe adults wouldn’t act like children if adulthood were more fun. And while I don’t drink or smoke, she made some good points. There used to be a mystique, a glamour, to being an adult. So many things my parents did I longed to- mysterious things like cocktail parties and R-rated movies. I would lie on my parent’s bed and watch my mother dress for their nights out; I loved her jewelry box. No treasure chest in the world could have held more fascination for me. Watching her put on a beautiful dress and dabbing perfume behind each ear was a ritual I yearned to perform someday. And the secret smile my father and mother would share before they left made me catch my breath even though I didn’t yet understand what it meant.

But even as a teen who snuck around to see movies I shouldn’t have, let Dwayne Buhler cop a feel at a dance, and forced down beer I hated just because of the glorious wickedness of it all, I understood that were rights and privileges to being an adult that I did not have. And should not expect. Why, beyond the un-funning of adulthood, do parents abdicate their right to be grownups who can do what they like, and the kids will just have to live with it?

Because now, kids run the freaking universe. I have been in children’s ministry for close to 12 years; I have seen toddlers who are wreaking havoc and they are told, firmly yet calmly, with no trace of censure that might injure their delicate feelings but with enough determination to let them see that you mean it, “No, Billy.” The experts say if you do this right the children will obey without having emotional damage. Apparently thousands of parents aren’t doing it right. My kids had two rules growing up- you cannot disobey and you cannot show disrespect/defiance. They didn’t have to like it, and they didn’t have to like me. They were allowed to feel whatever they felt- they could be mad and pouty if that’s how they felt about it- but they were not allowed to tell me that I was mean or they hated me; neither were they allowed to show me any kind of physical disrespect. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen 3 year olds hitting their parents and mom and dad think it’s funny or justified. And these are the kids who are never spanked, which supposedly causes such behavior.

Which, IMO, leads to school age kids who think they deserve anything they darn well want. What adult has time or energy for parties and old-fashioned romance when Bobby and Sissy have a different activity every night, sometimes two, and the weekend is completely taken up with things the kiddoes want to do? And you can’t blame them. Mom and Dad have trained them to believe they are the center of the universe. And that leads to teens who take adult rights and privileges without having any of the obligations and responsibilities. The day my high school aged self could have gone to another city, let alone state or country, for Spring Break, to dance and drink and have sex under the ‘watchful’ eye of the one or two poor chaperones, and my parents would have footed the bill? Shyeah. When donkeys fly. But when these kids get STD’s, get pregnant, or get killed? They pay. And it’s our fault.

So, yes, my poor kids are deprived. They will just have to look at us and dream of the day they can do cool stuff. But hopefully, they’ll also be relieved that they can spend a few more years without ultimate responsibility.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bits and Pieces

My review is up at Enduring Romance- Seducing the Mercenary by Loreth Anne White. Good political thriller.

I have a coupon for a free pedicure. Not sure if I'll use it or not. There are so many pampering services I could enjoy if I trusted people more. I haven't had manicures or pedicures because I've heard too many horror stories about workers using unclean tools and I would just be the one to catch some disease and have my fingers and toes fall off.

I don't want massages, either. Friends who try to rub the back of my neck make it worse. They press down too hard on the front part of my collarbone- treating it like a handlebar, I guess- and I end up aching for the next hour. But even for someone who is trained to do it right, I cannot bring myself to lie on that table nude to the waist. If you're going to ask me to get naked, at least buy me dinner first.

Friday is the last day of school, so I'm enjoying this week as much as I can. I've decided to put off all cleaning except for toxic zones, and stay on the computer as much as possible! Of course, to celebrate summer (and both of my kids being 4.0 students this year!) we're going to the new movie theater in our area- doormen greet you, and you can have dinner brought to your theater seat. As I understand it, a small pizza costs $30, but still. Perfect children are hard to come by.

Deciding on the movie is harder. We all want to see Iron Man and Prince Caspian, hubs and kids want to see the new Indiana Jones. I'm not as excited about that one. One part of me squees- I had an enormous crush on Indy, and loved those flicks- but I don't like my memories messed with and Harrison's shelf life as leading man is coming close to ending. Watching Indy break a hip isn't worth a $30 pizza. And thinking of what George Lucas did with Star Wars 'prequels' makes me wonder if the new Indy is going to be a big bowl of suckage. Oh, well. That pizza had better be worth it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Totally Made Up A Word and Cute Guy Friday

BLOGPLAIN vb. blogplained; blogplaining : to express grief, pain, or discontent on one’s blog. Similar to complaining, but whinier.

That’s my word. You can use it, though. Just pay me a penny every time you do.

I tend to blogplain a lot. In fact, Blogsylvania seems to be one big therapy session, don’t it? From righteous indignation to primal anger to general pissyness, it’s an ugly world sometimes. So today, I’m going to do something happy. Hugh Jackman is advertising my contest!

Nope. Nothing to blogplain about here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Random Rainy Wednesday Musings

It’s raining. AGAIN. I happen to like thunderstorms, but my diva dog does not. She’ll be trying to climb on my head most of the day. I can’t convince her that, at 5’2”, my head is not higher ground. We’re blessed to live in an area that misses most of the really bad weather, including tornadoes. There’s some long geographical reason for it that I can’t explain or remember, but we’ve never had a big tornado here.

Of course, living in Oklahoma I’ve been through a tornado or two. And even though they are deadly, when you grow up here you don’t really think about it. The proper Oklahoma Response to Weather:

Thunderstorm Watch: So?
Thunderstorm Warning: Let’s go to the mall!
Tornado Watch: Honey, my tee time’s at 8:00.
Tornado Warning: Kids are in the bathroom with pillows over their heads; moms are running between the bathroom and the front door to yell at their husbands, who are all in the middle of the street peering at the sky and discussing it.


Saw snippets of Alec Baldwin on 60 minutes the other night. Of course, they replayed his phone message to his then 11 year old daughter, where he called her a rude, thoughtless little pig and he was going to fly to her home and straighten her *ss out. He apologized, said it was wrong, and promptly scolded Morley Safer for being judgmental of him. After all, he was under tremendous stress, enduring a terrible custody battle, and he just lost his temper. Way to make it all about you, Alec. He asked Morley haven’t you ever gotten mad at your kids?

I know I have. Really mad. Seeing red, veins throbbing in my neck mad. I will admit that I have shouted. And stopped when I saw how much it scared them. Parents are humans, and therefore will make mistakes. Sometimes, bad ones. But calling your little girl a thoughtless pig and whining that you were somewhat justified months after the fact? Alec, you’re still a jerk.

Don’t forget to enter the contest. And I’m working on a post about Romance’s Favorite Man. Watch for it!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Enter or Endure the Wrath of the Salamander

Meet the newest member of the family. My son was thrilled with this little guy, whom he named Bruenor, after the dwarf Bruenor Battlehammer in R.A. Salvatore’s Icewind Dale trilogy. It’s my son’s favorite book series, and when I asked him why name a salamander after a dwarf, he said, “They’re both spirited and they don’t like to stay in one place.”

I am now searching for a terrarium with the tightest-fitting lid in the civilized world.

I am also waiting, impatiently, for entries for my contest. Here’s the original post, but skip those requirements. I’m going to make it easy for you. In the comments of this post, give me your favorite romantic line of all time, from books, television, film, or song. The contest runs until May 30, and the winner (chosen by my hubby’s fedora) will receive a $20 gift certificate from Amazon. Come on and enter! Who wouldn’t love book money?

It’s better than a belly rub.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Can We Just Agree That Disney Is Evil?

Not that they’re sacrificing virgins or anything, but…then again, maybe they are.

Disney has made its fortune on sweet young girls. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Annette Funicello. Annette was the only Disney girl who missed the “I am a woman now, and so must show my cleavage. And my coochie.” From what I understand, Walt Disney was so concerned about the Mouseketeer image that he asked her not to wear a bikini in her beach movies with Frankie Avalon.

Walt, I wish your head wasn’t frozen and hidden in Disneyland somewhere. We could use you now. Maybe you could have spared us Christina Aguilera becoming a nasty girl, then a drag queen version of herself- seriously, do you think she had her hair done and the tranny makeup on when she gave birth? Maybe you could have knocked some sense into Lindsay Lohan. Or her mother Dina, so she would actually deserve a parenting award.

I won’t even talk about Britney. Or her sister.

And now Miley Cyrus. Let me say that I am not a prude; I enjoy the human body and would never dream of putting a fig leaf over any parts of David that Michaelangelo crafted. Though I do enjoy the Bernini better, but that’s another post. I have nothing against an artistic nude, or even a sensual semi-nude.

But I want to know at what point everyone in this process thought it was a good idea for a 15-year-old girl to take her clothes off. Miley says she was manipulated. Then your parents failed you miserably, honey. If any teens are reading this, lemme tell you now so you’ll know: if anyone, anywhere, anytime, is taking your picture and says, “Oh- just one more pose. Lose the shirt,” you should run screaming from the studio.

Supposedly the parents thought they were done, and left to take care of their other kids. Miley’s grandmother and handlers- handlers, yet- were there when photographer Annie Liebowitz decided to do the ‘classic pose.’ Good God, that woman would have lost her hair and possibly an appendage if my grandmother had been in that room. The handlers failed Miley, too. And grandma should be ashamed.

Even if they were not Machiavellian schemers who were hungry to see a skinny kid naked, Annie and crew missed the boat. You’d think that simply as a matter of good business, she would have insisted the parents be present for the shirtless pose. At some point, even artistic sensibility should give way to common sense. She failed Miley as well.

But the biggest villain? In my opinion, it’s Vanity Fair. You cannot tell me that the editors didn’t see this picture and think, “BINGO! This will cause so much controversy, we’ll make a mint. Oh, Miley’s reputation will be trashed and she’ll go through public relations hell, but we’ll sell a bajillion copies! We can just tell everyone that there’s only a tiny bit of skin on her back showing, so it doesn’t matter. If they start pointing out that a girl who’s got a slightly come hither look, tousled hair, and is covered with a bedsheet is too obvious to possibly be considered innuendo, we’ll hide behind the artistic card and blame it on her parents.” Vanity Fair failed, utterly.

I wonder what Walt would have thought of all this.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I WON! Oh, Yeah, You Can Too. And Also, I WON!

And very proud of myself for having been pulled from Bernita's hat. As part of my 'fee' for winning, I'm paying it forward. Let your friends know!

Here's the sitch. From today until Thursday, May 15, tell me in the comments of this post your favorite romantic line from a contemporary romance. I'm talking those printed from 1970-present; books set in different time periods are fine. If you can't remember the title, that's okay. My favorite line is from a book so forgettable I don't recall anything but the line: "I cannot promise you social position, or riches. But I can promise you a heart that beats for you, and you alone, until it beats no more."

What made you cry? What made you sigh? Any romance sub-genre is accepted, and as long as that line or two made you catch your breath (even if YOU wrote it, authors) we're good.

My husband's fedora will serve as judge. The winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift certificate. Let me feel the love!