Thursday, October 30, 2008


...the scariest picture I could find.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Am A Sucker With A Capital Suck

Meet the newest member of the family.

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

I Put On Heels For This?

From my post at Enduring Romance:

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

Say It With Me

Here's to a much better weekend!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Things I Sometimes Wonder

If someone knocked a vampire's teeth out, how would he eat?

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

Lemme Ask You Something...

Does first person do it for you? In romance, I mean. I just posted my review of Michele Lang's NETHERWOOD over at Enduring Romance (link on sidebar, awesome book BTW) and I believe I made some snarky comment about how reading first person POV in love scenes made me feel like I was trapped in a booth at Denny's with the other girls from the office who were totally oversharing.

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

Starship Troopers

I love a good space opera. From Star Trek to Serenity, I've always loved reading, and watching, stories set in the stars. Even though there will be butt-ugly aliens, political intrigue, daring escapes and swoony romance, these stories always seem to be about one thing: the human condition.

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

My Weekend

Celebrating my father's birthday this weekend, complete with chips, queso, tostadas, and birthday cake and ice cream.

Diet Pepsi totally cancels that out, right?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why I Love December Quinn

She wrote this awesome post, which led to me writing, and deleting, a huge comment. Rather than bleat all over her blog, I thought I’d write my own post.

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

On The Clear Understanding That This Kind Of Thing Can Happen

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

What Do Horses Think?

"HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. Somebody pinch me. Scratch that, somebody slap me. Get me out of this nightmare! She's dressed me in bright pink. And silver. And- are those garters she's put on my hooves? Lady, not even Barbie rides horses in heels. She has tiny boots like any sane pers- oh, no. Please no. She's not going to try to ride me, is she? Even sidesaddle, in that skirt she'll wind up sticking to the saddle. Look, one of you humane people out there- do a poor beast a favor. Just shoot me."