Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Now I Feel Stupid

I read a great book over vacay- an anthology called My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, edited by P.N. Elrod.

I love anthologies, mostly because I love short stories, mostly because I have what my daughter calls ADOSD- Attention Deficit OOO! Shiny! Disorder. Seriously, though, I rarely have big chunks of uninterrupted reading time, and something in me just rebels at stopping before I've reached The End.

Among others, this book had a Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark-Hunter story, a Jim Butcher Dresden Files, and an Elrod short about an Elvis impersonator who's just a little too good. Hilarious. Susan Krinard has a Kit and Olivia adventure that I just loved. She's built an alternate universe Victorian England where magical talents, like land and titles of the peerage, are entailed among the aristocracy. Kit turns into a Black Dog, a big hound once known for being the harbinger of death. They are detectives after a fashion, and I'll definitely be seeking more of these out.

My favorite story was by an author I hadn't heard of before. The Wedding of Wylda Serene was an absolute joy. The first line set the tone perfectly: "It has been said that God makes marriages, but the Devil plans weddings." At first there's nothing supernatural about this, just some stuffy Harvard old money men planning a granddaughter's wedding at the club. The narrator goes to pick up the groom at the airport, and describes him thusly:

"The sight of him, bronzed and blond, with steel blue eyes, perfect teeth, and a profile purloined from Michelangelo's David, filled my heart with a nauseating swirl of personal inadequacy and overpowering envy. In that moment I knew that no ordinary human being could ever see Miles Martial so much as behold him. There is a difference, as vast as it subtle.
"I also knew, in quick succession, that 1. I wanted to punch him in the face, for no other reason than because it was there. 2. Every man at the club would share my feelings."

I'll let you read the rest, don't want to spoil it for you. After I finished, I thought who is this...*searches for author bio* Esther Friesner? Nobody. Just the author of thirty-one novels and more than one hundred and fifty short stories, published all over the world, and, oh yeah. A NEBULA AWARD WINNER. I'm so observant about this business, don't you think?

Anyway, pick it up for a happy rainy Saturday. It's well worth it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Vacation Update: I Love Pedicures

I was soooooo wrong about the pedicure thing.

They do so much more than paint your toenails! I spent half an hour in a massage chair, with my feet in a mini-whirlpool with blue bath salts. This nice lady trimmed the nails, buffed off the callouses, dipped my feet in hot wax, which at first was YOWAIEE but the warmth seeped in all the way to the bone and when she peeled the wax off they were softer than a baby's behind, and THEN she massaged my calves (calfs?) before applying gold paint. Because I am a STAR, y'all. My daughter enjoyed hers, too, and it was a wonderful day of pampering for the girls.

My son and my husband went on a male bonding spree with home improvement, bowling, and reptiles. Specifically, this reptile:

A bearded dragon named Drake. Short for Draco. Get it? He's actually very cute, he isn't slimy, and he doesn't stink as much as the salamander does. He does, however, eat LIVE crickets. And can we catch them in the backyard? Of course not, you fool. This lizard must have special 'gut loaded' crickets that we must go buy at the pet store every 3-4 days. As well as veggies when he gets older, but not just any old salad greens that will upset his delicate reptile digestion. Argh. And I thought the dog was spoiled.

Speaking of whom, we didn't forget her. She got to ride in the car and went to the lake and chased varmints and came home so covered in lake debris she got sheared.

Don't feel too bad for her. I bought her a squeaky toy ferret and some snausages, which is gold in her book.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

We're not actually going anywhere for vacay (who could with these gas prices?) but the kids have got some cool things planned for this week. I think sunburns, head-shearing, and reptiles are included. I'll tell you all about it next Monday. Though if there are photos, I may have to burn them.

And check these guys out. I'm glad they can find a little PBJ time, too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Just Get To It Already

A discussion on character description at Romancing the Blog has me thinking about description in general.

I generally find it irritating.

I come from a theatre background, and I know the importance of a well-designed, well-dressed set. The audience can tell at one glance that they’re about to see something about the rich and famous, the used-to-be-rich, or adventures with Bubba and Billy Joe at the Dew Drop Inn.

I wonder if it’s that background that causes me to dislike excessive description. I’m used to seeing the set quickly, and getting right into the action. As beautiful as the house may be, I care more about the occupants.

Of course, a person’s house can say a lot about him or her. I certainly wouldn’t want to read, “The house was clean,” and that was it. But an immaculate house can mean one of two things: she just cleaned, knowing company was coming, or she’s an OCD clean freak. And that’s only going to come out in bits and pieces during the story, so why dump a bunch of visuals in one sitting?

I liked the movies well enough, but cannot read Tom Clancy without getting bored. He could take twenty pages to tell you about a paper clip. I just barely got through the beginning pages of Hardy’s Return of the Native- geez, that guy must have gotten paid for every gallon of ink he went through. The pastoral scenery was beautiful at first, but after awhile it’s just a hill, okay?

I think description works best when a place is seen through the eyes of a character, and everything comes through that filter. Depending on where we came from, what we’re used to, and what’s important to us, we’ll all have a different reaction to what we see. A poor man might be intimidated by the halls of a mansion; a new mother will spot potential baby-harming hazards; the aforementioned clean freak will notice any tiny bit of clutter. Which is why she’d never want to come to my house. *rimshot*

What about you? A tour guidebook or a snapshot?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Love It When A Man's Transparent

Okay, okay. Paranormals are just running out of ideas.

In the world of "The Sexth Sense," har har, the ghosts have apparently run out of people to haunt and are now trying to feel up the undead.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Random Monday Musings

Some strange wriggly fish in my stream of consciousness this morning:

Rachel Ray's food really isn't that good.

Sitcoms suck. How did all these fat bald fools who can't manage to tie their shoes marry these hot women with 0% body fat even after three semi-adorable children? I want some older, wiser women who aren't stupid and desperate. I lust for the rant Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women would have had after the Great Starlet Ladybits Flash-a-palooza last summer. And the only movie made from an old tv show I want to see is Picture This: Sicily, 1939.

My daughter and I want to become chocolate pushers in Hidden Valley.

Just once, I want a gorgeous, haunted, seductive, alpha male vampire to hear this from his chosen mate. "Hell, no, you can't bite me! Ew, gross!"

We should be able to move in September to an actual house with a fenced backyard and a garage and a driveway but why do all these freaking 3 bedroom houses only have 1.5 baths?!? Is another tub, or at least a shower, really too much to ask? Geez.

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Adventures of Grammar Girl And Spellcheck Boy

Dear internet,

After seeing a trillion forty-nine sentences like, "I hope he doesn't loose this contest," and "UR a looser," may I enlighten you on a small fact?

LOSE: (looz) vb. destroy, to miss from a customary place, to suffer deprivation of, to fail to use, to fail to win or obtain, to fail to keep or maintain, to wander from, to get rid of.

LOOSE: (loos) vb. not rigidly fastened, free from restraint or obligation, not dense or compact in structure, not chaste, slack, not precise or exact.

You will notice, internet, that not only do the words have different meanings they have different pronounciations as well. That means they are not homonyms, so from now on you will stop getting a free pass. Please stop. Losers.


Grammar Girl and Spellcheck Boy

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More About Me, You Lucky Internet, You

Because there's no better subject than me, you know. And not because I ran out of ideas and stole Alice's meme. Of course not.

Let's go to the Movies!

1. One that made you laugh: Too many to count, but I have to give a shout out to YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. When Kenneth Mars says, “…following in his grandfather’s voodshteps.” “What?” “Voodshteps, voodshteps!” “Oh! Footsteps!” I still have a Depends moment.

2. One that made you cry: CASABLANCA. Humphrey Bogart may not have had traditional romantic good looks, but he loved her, dammit! He deserved so much more than he got. When he delivers the classic “Here’s looking at you, kid” line I get weepy.

3. One movie you loved when you were a child: ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN. Two kids who have telekinetic powers and ran circles around adults? I was so there.

4. One you’ve seen more than once: Yes, I am that geek who has seen MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL 247 times and can recite the whole thing. Nit!

5. One you loved, but were embarrassed to admit it: JUST ONE OF THE GUYS. Standard 80’s teen movie schtick, but I adored it.

6. One you hated: MOULIN ROUGE. I didn’t get what everyone was so darn thrilled with and I’d really like those two hours of my life back.

7. One that scared you: When I was 17, my parents had gone for the weekend. I decided to watch this horror flick I’d always heard about. I mean, I’d watched HALLOWEEN and CARRIE, so this movie couldn’t scare me, right? It was in black and white, for pity’s sake. PSYCHO certainly wouldn’t scare the crap out of me and make me mentally ill for the rest of the weekend and force me to bathe with the door wide open, curtain drawn back, dog leashed to the toilet, and biggest kitchen knife in one hand, would it? Nah.

8. One that bored you: Pink Floyd’s THE WALL. Liked the album, hated the movie. Yawn.

9. One that made you happy: THE SOUND OF MUSIC. I am a complete and total sucker for it. Julie Andrews, singing kids, and Christopher Plummer fighting off Nazis. And puppets. What more do you need?

10. One that made you miserable: SCHINDLER’S LIST. As far as I’m concerned that should be mandatory viewing for the entire world population.

11. One movie you weren’t brave enough to see: As it happens, the movie I actually did see. I was stupid enough to see a 5 o’clock matinee of POLTERGEIST by myself. There were about 6 people scattered about in the theater, and halfway through we were sitting in the same spot, clinging like old relatives.

12. One movie character you’ve fallen in love with: ONE?!? I can’t do that, I love too many! If pressed, though, I can probably say that in all his various movie appearances, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA still gets me in sensitive places.

13. The last movie you saw: THE INCREDIBLE HULK, and I was enormously pleased. It had good action, good angst, but gave several respectful nods to the T.V. show, including a cameo by Lou Ferrigno! SO much better than the last one.

14. The next movie you hope to see: I’m going to be dragged to THE DARK KNIGHT. I love Christian Bale, and the first was very good, but seeing Heath Ledger will be sad. Plus he looks Cree. Pee.

Do the movie meme if you wish!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'm A Bad American

This 4th of July, we watched 1776 on TCM. I love that musical, and I felt the familiar stirring of national pride when the members of the Continental Congress signed the Declaration. Which is why my current thoughts are so sad. I don't really want to get political here. Frankly, I don't want to get political anywhere. So, without getting into specifics or issues, I'll simply say this. I'm thinking about...*whispers*...not voting this year.

Before everyone gets their Constitutional Tomatoes ready to throw, I know voting is every citizen's duty, as well as their right. That people fought, suffered, and died for me to have that right. And the suffragettes had to fight, in many instances, their own husbands so I could have the right to vote. My voice can be heard and if I don't vote I don't get to complain and blah blah blahbitty blah.

The problem is, for whom do you cast your vote when there is no one running you want to elect? I've never voted straight party line in my life, but it is frustrating when the person I was backing didn't win the primaries. What now? Party or even philosophy (liberal or conservative) will tell you Too. Bad. Vote for the one who won the primary or This Evil Guy from the other side might win! But that feels wrong too. I want to vote for somebody, not vote against somebody else.

And my citizenship fervor becomes as appealing as lukewarm coffee when it looks as if I'll be voting for the lesser of two evils. Sigh.

On the other hand, most of the people I'd really like to see in the job have way too much sense to get involved in that mess. I just wish there was an option on the ballot that read: None of the Above.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

He’s Still Here

If you read my old blog, you know how impressed I am with this guy.

Oh, the joy! Such depth! Such layers! Such range! But, not content with merely posing wet and shirtless, he's branched out.

Shagged out after Vegas weekend

Ticked at tattoo artist who forgot to spell out ‘Mom’

Contemplating new agent who will insist on full facial in contract

Making sure female model’s abs aren’t better than his

Trying to finish photo shoot before six-pack of Coors Light catches up with him

Smugly triumphant because Robyn kind of likes this one

Surely Shakespeare in the park can't be far behind. Or at least a Will Farrell comedy.