Friday, February 29, 2008

Tag! I'm It.

Leslie Ann Dennis tagged me for the latest blog virus. First, the rules:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six random things about you
4. Tag six random people at the end of your blog entry
5. Let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blog.

Okay, so here's my list:

1. I'm a Bravo freak: Project Runway, Top Chef, Shear Genius (will it ever come back?). I'm glued to the television and can watch the same episodes over and over.
2. I'm addicted to my email. I have it set to check for mail every 60 seconds and go crazy if I have to go longer than a few hours without accessing a computer.
3. I sing...constantly. And if I can't sing when listening to music (like in the office), I bop like a 16 year old. And yes, it embarrasses my dh, especially since the kids do it, too!
4. Despite living on an island all my life, I am not a strong swimmer and avoid the beach and pools, even in the heat of summer.
5. I cannot face a day without coffee, but I far prefer Dunkin' Donuts coffee (raspberry flavored--yum!) to Starbucks.
6. I firmly believe I've lived other lives in other times: maybe London a century or two ago, and Paris around the time of the Revolution.

My six random people: Oh...let's try Debora, Dawn, Zee, Zaynah, Gwen and Zara.

Good luck, ladies!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday 13: Thirteen Unlikely Careers for Romance Heroes/Heroines

13 Unlikely Careers for Romance Heroes/Heroines
1. Garbage man
2. Catholic Priest/Nun (The Thorn Birds and The Sound of Music notwithstanding, this is just a bad idea.)
3. Porn star or director
4. Organized crime leader (with apologies to Tony Soprano.)
5. Bag lady
6. Rock star groupie
7. Executioner
8. Deodorant tester (Yes...this is a real job, which requires smelling armpits all day.)
9. Mortician
10. Circus clown
11. Cesspool drainer
12. Bearded Lady in a carnival
13. Wal-Mart greeter
Did I miss any?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In honor of the boy's birthday...

I thought I'd share his birthday cake with you all. This year, he wanted chocolate peanut butter cake.

So here ya go:

Prepare one devil's food cake (from scratch or boxed mix) in a fluted tube or Bundt pan. While cake cools after baking, mix 4 oz of softened cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter and 2 tbsp of confectioners sugar until well blended. Fold in 1 cup Cool Whip and beat until creamy.

Cut cooled cake in half (unflavored dental floss works great for this!). Spread peanut butter mixture on bottom half, cover with top half. Chill for thirty minutes or more.

Frost with your favorite fudge frosting. Top with Reese's Pieces or other colorful candies (optional). Chill until ready to serve.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday 13: Pet Peeves

13 Pet Peeves

To go with my cranky mood these days, here are 13 Pet Peeves that just make me crazy:

1. Colored milk caps. Okay, so can the dairy farmers of the nation please agree on a color for each type of milk? Even in the same supermarket, different brands use different color caps for the milk. In my family, the dh and I only use skim (aka fat-free) milk and the kids use 1%. Sometimes skim milk has a yellow cap, sometimes a blue cap, sometimes a purple cap. Ditto the 1%--sometimes yellow, sometimes blue, sometimes purple. Do you know how many times I've come home from shopping with two gallons of the same milk?! Help me out, please!

2. Drivers who don't know the difference between "Yield" and "Merge." And oh, God, please don't get me started on the ones who enter a ramp for a highway and just stop dead at the curve!

3. Always Maxi Pads new slogan: Have a happy period! So obviously written by a clueless male.

4. Moms who take their sons into the ladies room and don't clean up the seat afterward. This just happened to me at the hospital the other day. I realize Mom's got three little ones and is trying to keep them all in line, but could you take a minute to enter the stall after your little boy and make sure his aim was accurate? Why should I have to clean up his pee? Honestly, I don't find it adorable in my own kid; a stranger's kid is waaaay down on my list of adorables (just below Genghis Khan.)

5. Drivers who throw their cigarette butts out the window. I'm always terrified I've got a gas leak I don't know about and my car's gonna go up in flames.

6. Forwarded email jokes that take me pages to scroll through because it's been forwarded around the globe...twice. Please, please, please. If you get a joke you think is funny (or one of those "You are my friend" emails or "Lucky candles" or "angels" or whathaveyou) and you simply MUST share it with me, could you send it to only me? And take my addy off it before sending it out? I know it takes a little longer, but if I'm really that good a friend, aren't I worth it? I'm still trying to clean up from an email hacker who's sending my email addy all over Russia because of one of these stupid things.

7. Excessive packaging. From the kids' toys that are wrapped in wire, mounted on cardboard and superglued to the box top to CDs with extra cellophane and sticky tape all around to DVDs with secret tabs you have to hold down at odd angles, enough already! It's a ten dollar item! Does it have to be secured like the frickin' Crown Jewels?

8. School projects that require parents with engineering degrees to complete. At my kids' school there's a 5th grade project I absolutely dread: The State Hat. Each child in the class is asked to choose a state and then he must design a hat based on something having to do with the state that (s)he can wear in a parade. The hat must include all pertinent facts, including population; capital; governor; the state flower, tree, and bird, places to visit; major industries; etc. Now, tell me. What 10 year old has the creativity and mechanical ability to do this project on his own? Next month, my son has to come up with a new scientific invention, diagram it and then design a scale model using household items. What ever happened to dioramas and book reports?

9. Empty containers put back in the cupboard or refrigerator. You know what I'm talking about: the cereal box that has nothing but dust, the milk carton with three drops left in the bottom, the empty cookie package, even the empty toilet paper roll falls into this category.

10. Drug commercials. The other day a commercial for one of those "restless leg syndrome" medications came on and the list of side effects included some of the most bizarre things: excessive gambling? Really? I think I'd rather have my leg kick out at night then blow the kids' college tuition on a craps game. How 'bout you?

11. Commercials in movies. Whether it's at a theater or on a recently purchased DVD, why must I sit thru ads for the National Guard, Coca-Cola, and Doritos? I've already paid to see the film. Isn't that enough?

12. Books that don't match their blurbs. I know authors often have to come up with blurbs before the editing process has ended, and lots of times, key plot points might wind up in the shredder. But some of these descriptions on the back are so far off the mark I wonder if they've been put on the wrong book. Maybe they're being switched at the printers like those infamous newborn babies.

13. Not being able to come up with a 13th item for Thursday Thirteen.

So...What are some of your pet peeves?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

At Loose Ends

Last week I watched a movie that had been vastly touted when it was released in the theaters. Now, admittedly, it's not really my type of movie to begin with; this was one of dh's choices. And as I often remind him, with his short-attention-span, a movie only needs three things to be a winner in his book: car crashes, explosions and gunfire, and some bare boobs. (And if those three things occur at regular intervals, the movie's in the running for Best Picture of theYear.) On the other hand, I like a good story (and maybe a little romance thrown in--go figya.)

Well, this particular movie had car crashes, explosions and gunfire galore, a few bare boobs...and possibly, the makings of a good story (with a love triangle--yay!) And I enjoyed it...until the end. Somewhere in the last part of the movie, one of the main male characters gives the female character a sealed letter to be opened if anything happens to him (or if he tells her to open it at a later date.) So, guess what? Yup. Something happens to him. But... SHE NEVER OPENS THE LETTER! In fact, we never hear about the danged letter again. By this stage, dh is sound asleep (hey! it was a long movie) and I'm stuck sitting up watching the credits roll by, thinking, "Maybe they'll flash back to the letter afterwards." But, no. Nada. Zilch. Zip. The envelope was never seen or heard from again. It was just a loose end, left to dangle. And I felt cheated.

Dh claims the writer in me can't enjoy anything without picking it apart. But I tend to disagree. I can overlook a missed opportunity or a lapse in sense when I'm watching something I enjoy. This to me, though, was unforgiveable.

How do other writers deal with this? Is your internal editor always on? Always looking for the faults instead of going along for the ride?

Monday, February 11, 2008

In Memoriam: Dawn Thompson

The light of her talent will never dim. Dawn Thompson wrote stories based on legends from her heritage. She had a lyrical voice and unlimited talent.

Dawn passed away last Friday after a long illness. And the Romance World loses another great storyteller.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

It's Super Bowl Sunday!

And we're settling down now with a host of favorite "crap" foods: Buffalo wings, calzone, pizza, potato skins, chips with "bitchin' dip", brie and raspberries, and coconut shrimp to name a few.

But this post is not about the menu. It's about the heart and spirit that brought two teams to this juncture in their lives. That's the beauty of life. You never know where it will take you. Never let the pundits and naysayers call you out. Believe in yourself and soar!

On with the game...