Third novel (And It Came To Pass) out, is well-received, am pleased. My dad actually started reading it and mentioned specifically how "shocked" he was that I got how guys act with each other (specifically the missionaries joshing around, etc.). I blinked a bit, then responded, "It's almost like it's my job to make things realistic on the page." What I SHOULD have said was, "Weird how I, a mere woman, could accurately portray men on a page but most male writers cannot." Anyway, I bet he stops when it gets to the romance. BUT THAT IS A-OKAY. FIRST FAMILY MEMBER TO ATTEMPT TO READ ANYTHING I'VE PUBLISHED.

It got all the way to #80 on Amazon's Romance bestsellers list and sold out of the initial order they placed with my publisher, which is very awesome! It's still on sale at Amazon (as in, 23% off cover price) with free Prime shipping, if you're interested. Orrrrrrrr: ask your local library to get a copy, saving you money and helping me in turn! NICE. (You can also get it from Target, iBooks, Indiebound, Book Depository, etc etc.)

I'm running a series of blog posts over the next week and change about my Mormon family, romance, and other things, for those interested. Today it's about my grandma (who I've mentioned before back on LJ) who was forced to "eternally divorce" her One True Love, my bio-grandad who died when my father was 9 months old, in order to be temple-sealed to her second husband. Ultimately it's about why romance matters, because it does. I get really tooth-grindy when people roll their eyes at the genre. Is there garbage in the genre? Of course! There is in ALL genres. But there seems to be a particularly misogynistic flavor to the derision of romance novels. Read on here.

And lastly, who's got two thumbs and was hired this week by some Buddhist monks to prepare the temple gardens for a visit from the Dalai Lama in September? THIS GAL. 

:D

HEY GUYS. NEW GHOST TOWN SAME AS THE OLD GHOST TOWN, EH? ;)

Is it just me? Is everyone swamped? Or is it just so hot all you can do is flop in a dark, cool spot? 112F outside yesterday, without any kind of heat index. This might be the hottest summer on record for us here. Damn. Because it's just disgusting outside, all of our schedules are jacked up. Everyone sleep in until well after noon and then we're all up into the small hours of the night, when it's bearable. I wish I could garden at 11pm - I have so much cleaning up to do out there, it's not even funny. Sorry neighbors, I know it looks awful.

Hoarders was on last night, and oh, that poor daughter of the man that hoarded paper (and kept his GAS STOVE BURNING to provide warmth!!) Good hell. So I'm totally BFF with Dr. Zasio and Matt Packard on FB now, so I'm pretty famous. (LOL.) I've heard back from Dr. Tompkins on his board, and there's a tiny bit of a silver lining in that situation, those of you who watch the program. (It's all in the recap.)

Sue's True Blood recaps continue to be a huge draw because she's so funny, and I see all of the traffic Liz is getting for her Spartacus recaps (I mean, just the intros are so damn funny. JUST HER INTROS.) Be sure to hit those magic "Like" and "Google +" buttons when you read and help some sisters out.

Sam has continued her Hunger Games recaps with Catching Fire and she is one of the funniest people I know. She's also new to all of this stuff, so be sure to help the younger generation out with love and support, grandmas. (Ahahaha.)

We are so close to our goal for the month, so every time you click, link back, or email links for your friends you're helping some chicks realize their dreams of being internet famous. Ha. But really, we would love to be able to have this be "what we do" and since a few of our writers have babies that need feeding, this could be an awesome dream job. WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

Imma jump in the pool and escape the heat for a bit. Then crawl into a closet and sleep for hours. Basically I'm turning into a vampire.
I'm listening to The Book of Mormon: The Musical soundtrack (and you can, too!) and laughing all over again. There are so many great LDS jokes in this musical, I just can't even. The nerdy dude and the "glorious male" companions, the "I broke rule 72 so I'm way worse than you!" line (after Johnny Cochran sings that he got OJ off.) So damn funny. "Jesus hates you this I know, for Je-sus just told me so!"

I just found the contact for their Press contact, and I'm trying to build up courage to ask for a press pass to try and see it to review. I like how my first attempt at an official press pass is for the biggest musical of the year, lol. DARE TO DREAM, KIDS.

I need to get off my duff and get going on my Game of Thrones recap (damn it, I am LOVING that show) also, I finished reading the new Sookie Stackhouse book while sick this weekend and I have to say this about that with some spoilers and stuff )

It's going to get to 93 today. I wonder if you'll find me on a float in the pool today? (Hint: YES. YES YOU WILL.)
I seriously need a Game of Thrones icon. My recap for last night's episode is up, complete with more DnD references, some Dark Crystal shoutouts and of course, some Princess Bride references. Hopefully I'll get to work in some Labyrinth quotes at one point. Nerd alert! :D

Also, if you happened to miss it, I've reviewed Tina Fey's book Bossypants and I think it's required reading (both my review and her book, hurr) for any female writers/funny ladies out there. <3 her.

Next up this week is a review of Rob Lowe's memoir, and guys, it's uh-may-zing. He grew up in a real life Bret Easton Ellis neighborhood. (Minus some of the most unsavory parts of that book, thankfully.) He's a shockingly solid writer - formal, but it's generational (his mother studied under Faulkner and passed her style on to Rob.) Also, Rob Lowe is still handsome and dreamy.

I AM ALSO FINALLY READING THE NEW SWEET VALLEY BOOK. Jealous? Pfft, yeah you are. Ha. I kinda like this new job I've created for myself, not gonna lie. It is COLD again (47!!) and I am sipping hot cocoa with a sweater and wool socks on - IT IS MAY 2, I WANT MY SUNSHINE!
It's freezing here in Texas, and it's just WEIRD. I mean, it's May. It should be near the 90s and it's 50 43 degrees outside. Windy and tornadoes everywhere (which is also weird, because where is the warm air coming from to create the uplift?)

I finished Bossypants by Tina Fey and let me tell you this: that is required reading for all women writers/funny women. I wrote up a review (with an excerpt) at Hey Don't Judge Me.

Now I'm diving back into Rob Lowe's memoir, and holy crap, it's engaging to say the least. Who knew? That'll get a review, too.

Game of Thrones tonight, whoo! Recap up tomorrow. Diving back under the blankets, brrrr!
First, I wanted those who follow to know that the Jersey Shore recap is up, just in time for a primer for tomorrow's episode. And if you catch the reference to South Park in there, you get bonus points.

GUYS. We have to talk about her 'Novel." First off, I didn't realize it was a novel, I thought she had written a book, like a tell all, or "how to make juicehead gorillas bring you fuzzy slippers, wah" type of book. Nope, it's a ROMANCE. Must Love Poufs - A Love Story )

Speaking of Sheen, over on Twitter, me and another guy have been coming up with great ideas for a Buddy Cop show staring Charlie Sheen and Gary Busey. My idea is this: Busey thinks he's Kane, from Kung Fu, Sheen thinks he's an outer space cop, and they roam around the country fighting (perceived) crime. In one episode, Busey comes across a group of Hopi Indian children playing, and he sits them all down to lecture them on their endocrine systems and how the mighty buffalo should be used as currency, in which case their land is now worth fourteen hooves and a pelt. Sheen stands by, Aviator shades on, smacking his gum, and checking the sky for Visitors. Maybe each ep ends with him doing a little tap dance, I don't have it all worked out yet. Ha.

I have weetiny plants bursting out of the ground all over, flower buds on my saucer magnolia, and the peach trees in the neighborhood are "popcorning." (I looked out the window and what did I see? [/random Mormon upbringing reference] I am so ready for spring. Plants! Gardening! Sun on my skin! YAY. I have to go get yet another load of compost today (this will make the third TON, and it's all just gone to ONE BED so far, oy) and spread it around before the spring rains come. Fortunately I enjoy this sort of manual labor.

If someone could see fit that I get to move to this fabulous home, that would be super. (How beautiful and serene is that house? I love me some neutral colors in a bright and sunny place, and letting the artwork be your big color touches. CALM. In this stage of life I seek out calm. And clutter-free. Lord, give me a clutter-free environment one day. I'm the person that wants to live in the white cube with a wall of glass and one chair. Only one thing to clean, huzzah!)

Lastly, today is Texas Independence Day! Have a margarita and Enchiladas Suizas on me, would you? 175 years since we said, "Smell ya later, Mexico!" (In four days you will hear me go crazy nuts for the biggest day in Texas history. I'll let you guess what that is.) And note: I'm Texan before I'm an American [Just like Molly Ivins and Ann Richards, my heroes], so you better check your anti-Texas crap before you think it's hilarious to tease me/make fun of my home. I had relatives in the goddamn Alamo. Just a pre-emptive strike for any wanna be snobs about the dumb things that happen here. :)
Jellis? Oh my goodness, I sat out on my lounger yesterday, aside my glistening, glittering pool, and read a trashy book as the sun baked my legs. I am so ready for the cold weather to be gone for several months. Today it's getting up to 70, so I'll be trimming the rose bushes and doing some general tidying. I like how I sound like an old lady when I describe my plans. Ha. (Trashy novel: Blameless, the third in the series by Gail Carriger, super fun Victorian/Steampunk/Supernatural romance series. I read it in a day, if that tells you anything. Nothing heady, just fun.)

NOW. *hand clap* I had my lovely sister and my lovely buddy Deva (he played Bone in Blood on the Highway, the hot guy?) design a new banner for Hey, Don't Judge Me and I think it looks great. How about you? [/shameless]

Also: Big Love review is up (it's finally getting good, imo.) I'd love to discuss it over there, come talk to me! And in addition to Jersey Shore, Big Love, SouthLAnd, and Being Human getting reviewed, we have the new incarnation of Spartacus up, and Misfits to come soon, too. YAY, BUILDING MOMENTUM with new writers! (I am not writing those, btw.) If you like the website, maybe you add it to your reader? Maybe you tell others? Maybe you continue being awesome, is what I'm saying.

It's a fine day, today. It's also Valentine's Day, and I'm not a big celebrator of that day, but for those who do, I hope you have a lovely one filled with whatever it is means love to you, be that chocolates, cards, what have you.

Speaking of, I think today calls for brownies. Oooh, or carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese and coconut frosting. OM NOM.

[ETA] one day I will have rotating pics in the TV screen on the banner, but I don't know how to do that. So you know. If you do, feel free to drop some knowledge on me. :)
I find myself more often than not to be trying to figure out where in Lehi they are. (Back story: the show is filmed in the little town my dad grew up, and where I lived during college.) If I could just get a shot of the roller mills, I'll know exactly where they are. I'm telling you, a few of the shots when they were outside looked like they were on the block behind my grandma's house. I freaked out a little. (Oh, and those roller mills you all should know - they were prominently featured in the little movie called Footloose.) Also, anyone familiar with St. George ([livejournal.com profile] essene?) think that Robyn's house is right off Bluff Street on the way to Bloomington? Looks like 15 behind her (looks like town to me. Lol.) Also, she came out of the old folks care center right by the college dorm I lived at, across the street from Harmons. WORLDS ARE COLLIDING, Y'ALL.

I don't like how manufactured everything feels. Everyone seems too coached to me. The tears they briefly showed seemed real, but still. I don't know how I'm going to do with continual watching/recapping. We'll see. I do like seeing all of the old haunts I had back in the day. Even on the road trip I was shouting "Watch out for the speed trap on the hill outside of Nephi!" etc. That's where we'd stop and get potato fries, too. I made that drive EVERY WEEKEND during school - 5 hours up and 5 hours back. Oy. Anyway, Sister Wives it both frustrating and comforting, and that's even more frustrating (the comfort aspect. I did have good times there.)

I have three chapters to go, but I'll wrap up the Hunger Games trilogy later today. I started... Sunday afternoon? Quick reads, but great reads. Really good YA series. I mean come on, a girl survives, keeps her family fed by her own wits and skills, and then gets put in a gladiator/only one may leave battle scenario. In a dystopian future world. HELLO KINK, I'VE MISSED YOU. There's a romance element that I enjoyed, as well, and I've been pretty meh on book romance that doesn't involve made up stories in my head about a certain 1000 Viking vampire.

Last thing, and it'll go under the cut - a poll for those of you that were/are religious. By religious I mean you and your family actively participated in a regular weekly church structure. If you did not routinely participate in your religion, this is not a poll for you. I'll make a separate one for you so you don't feel left out. Ha.


Religious Life Poll )

I wasn't religious, where's my poll? Poll. )
I backed out of a blog commentary yesterday so fast yesterday because I was just flabbergasted and quickly outnumbered. The general gist of the post was "wtf is up with adults reading YA, that's kid stuff!" and the general consensus is that people who read YA are a) intellectually immature, b) emotionally immature, c) incapable of higher reading comprehension, d) all of the above.

UM. How about I point at my middle finger with my other middle finger? Or may I offer you a cup of shut the hell up? The general tone of commenters was "people who loooove YA are so clearly just stupid adults that can't deal with adult things, and can't read adult sentences, and I'm an adult, did I mention? I only do adult activities and eat adult foods and walk like an adult. NO ARM FLOATIES FOR ME!" *eats adult-sized portions while wearing adult pants and adult shoes*

I would like to put out there for the masses that if you think this way, you're an idiot. No, hear me out: You are a big ol' snobbish moron. Also, you stink. I think it's fairly obvious at this point how I feel about a certain non-vampire vampire series, and guess what was held as the YA standard? Does that mean we should hold James Fennimore Cooper as the dialog/prose standard for American Writers? OH MY GOD, NO. Worst. Author. Ever. (Chuck Jones likened reading his writing as walking through a wall of hot jello. That's pretty damned accurate.)

And I gathered from a lot of the comments that the people with the attitude were wanna-be or baby writers. If you think you can write better than Mark Twain or Harper Lee, prove it. Because the day your words are read 130 years after you've written them and are REQUIRED READING for literature classes as examples of amazing writing - not childish writing, not non-adult writing, but FABULOUS writing - that's the day I'll take you seriously. Mini rant with one eff bomb. For those that need to know. )

Anyway, that really touched a nerve with me, the hand waving and snobbery. I guess the positive is that these yahoos staying out of the library wing I'm in means the books I want to read will be available. Snobbery is never the way to go in any aspect of life, in my opinion. Except for when it comes to Mexican food, in which case I state that if you don't have people from Mexico in your kitchen, your food is moot. :)

Some great resources:
Black Teens Read 2
Voracious YAppetite
The Ya Ya Yas
I'm Here, I'm Queer, What The Hell Do I Read?
Forever Young Adult (My all-time favorite YA/book blog. HILARIOUS.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I picked up a copy of Hunger Games and plan on absorbing that today. :) (And finding out why I don't have a deck yet! Argh.)

*I realize I am not someone that can be considered an "authority" on literature, its genres, rating scales, keeper of data in relation to China's current tea pricing, but I am the leading Mormon Vampire Authority. And I'm the authority of your pants. So take this as you will. :)
There's a book that has been on my radar to read since I divorced my first husband and left Utah, back in late '97. The book only came out 5 years ago, but her story? Well, everyone that lived in Utah "knew" her story and knew a book was coming. But good hell, the conditioning was deep and I thought I already knew the answers, which was the point of her book. I just read it last night. Leaving The Saints, by Martha Nibley Beck. Heads up about the book: she claims sexual abuse and talks to other abuse survivors in detail, so if that's upsetting to you, there's your fair warning. I'll refer to her claims in the end of the post, but there won't be any deep discussion about abuse, mm'kay?

Unless you've grown up in Jonestown, you can't know how all-consuming that life is. It's not like any other organized religion out there. Loooong-winded discussion under the cut. )

While I applaud Martha's coming forward about something that had to be excruciating to deal with, I did find some aspects of her book to be... forced for writerly tension. It doesn't take away much from the story, but it does leave room for detractors to say, "See? She said their house was blue, and it was green! Ergo, we cannot believe any of her lies!" She presents conversations with fellow Mormons as if she doesn't know some of the arcane beliefs. Her father was the leading "expert" on those beliefs, AND she was a professor at BYU AND from one of the older LDS families. That bugged me. If anything, it's making me go back over my own manuscript and make sure I'm being completely truthful, and when I'm being purposely obtuse for comedic effect, it's obvious. Her book is the first of all of the ex-Mormon books I've read that doesn't sound like Testimony meeting, however. There are a handful of you that know what I mean by that. :) She still does, but her writing doesn't, if that makes sense. (By that I mean her "overwhelming love" for her father, the way she still bows to him as her patriarch even though he was an abuser and poor excuse for a father to her and her 7 siblings. That's pure Mormon culture.)

Guys, I wish I could just let it all go and forget that this was ever a part of my life. But it made me who I am, and it's not all bad. My crochet and canning skills and my apocalypse pantry are proof of that. :)
Meaning those of you who grew up in the 80s like me. EH MEH GEHD, YEH GEHS. Sweet Valley High. Yes. YES. We are totally going to talk about the Wakefield Twins, poor little rich girl Lilah, Rapist-Porsche owner [same diff] Bruce and the hewl gang (lime green Triumph! blonde blue eyed size six perfection! French hair braids! Clips! perfect bf Todd! Jean jackets! nerdy glasses-wearing Enid!)

We're all close BFFs here, yes? OF COURSE WE ARE. So, I'm serious, you guys, guys? Guys. I'm so serious. I totally cried when I originally read #6, Dangerous Love, when you're led to believe SPOILER ALERT [lol] that Elizabeth and Todd DIE in a horrible motorcycle accident and Jessica totally loses it and cries because her TWIN IS DEAD, crie crie crie. But then Bruce drawls some cutting remark sexily while sprawling in terry cloth shorts on his Porsche, Lilah tosses her perfect mane of hair and looks bored and my world goes back to normal. ZOMG, if you tell the other girls about this, we are so not BFF anymore. Also, I was 12. Also, let's put Kassie's bra in the freezer, lol.

True story, when I was 13, I began my shoplifting career by stealing SVH books. OK, STOP. JUST STOP AND LET ME EXPLAIN. I had a hateful mother that didn't allow me any cash to buy books. Did I want to buy eight balls and bail out my boyfriend with the cash? No. Did I want to buy ridiculous purple flats with a big glittery flower on the toe like my sister did with HER money? No. I WANTED BOOKS. And no one would take me to the library in the summertime, so what is a nerdy girl in huge face-covering glasses and feathered hair to do? She goes into Waldenbooks and knocks four or five SVHs in her shopping bag, that's what she does. And then tosses in the Caitlin trilogy for good measure. I WAS A SAD, ABUSED CHILD, OK? (Do you know how much repenting I had to do for that? LOTS, ALRIGHT? Mormon Jesus was seriously mad at me for that and made my parents divorce because of my sins.)

Look. I have a 13 year old daughter now. And I wanted her to be vapid and needy like I was so I could work through my own things, a sort of stretch-mark induced therapy if you will. And you will. [I never get tired of my little joke there, I CAN'T HELP IT.] And yet she's all reading intellectual things, or classic literature, or the Gossip series, or whatever the latest thing is that deals with boobs and sex, but in a safe, teen environment. She won't GET the books and let me steal them while she sleeps. DAMN IT.

I say all of this because I found on THIS AWESOME WEBSITE a snarky breakdown of a lot of the books. And then I find out there are over 180 in the ORIGINAL series. Oh my god, how is that possible? Are some of them about how Jessica was given a shopping list by her mom (also blonde, fit from tennis, happy in their split level California house <-- I remember all of that because I am a dork) and she LOSES IT, YOU GUYS, and then her older brother Stephen, home from college over the weekend, has to make a Really Important Decision about a problem with his roommate, Elizabeth writes it all up for the school newspaper, Enid pushes her glasses up on her nose, Lilah goes shopping, and then Jessica finds the list? THE END. UNTIL BOOK 185. Wow.

...there might be a series of posts of fake book plots coming your way. I LIKE TO DO THAT STUFF, SUE ME. Well, don't, because that would be mean.

I don't want to take apart all of the fans and wash them, why do you ask? (omg, being in the cleanest, prettiest house this past weekend is making me hate my house and see filth every where. By which I retaliate by posting about books I read 20+ years ago, eh meh gehd.) Also, I totally loved those books. And I really don't want to clean right now. *scale hands* OH. And yes, I know Diablo Lame Cody is writing a screenplay for a movie adaption of SVH. And I know the vid to Mormon Jesus. Just sparing you the linkage, if you wanted to inform. :)

[ETA for OMG Factor] Oh, hey. Here are 32 of the books for sale. Is it bad to want this? Or to want them in eReader format? or to want someone to get me a hook up?

[ETA 2 - book cover!] Oh my god, I thought they were so beautiful, you guys. )
I don't know if I'm crossing the streams here [Ray EGON says that would be bad] but if you've not seen that Diana Gabaldon is all hemhem "Stop writing fanfic about my characters [Outlander series] because that's like writing porn about my daughter and mailing it to me." Also, this literati uses the word "barf." Just like Cormac McCarthy. [Wank report link.]

OK, WHAT. 1) No, it isn't. 2) WTF? 3) Who is mailing you porny fanfic? Ok, there probably is someone doing that, and making Jamie into a unicorms and Claire into a red dragon [DO YOU SEE?] and they have dragoncorm humpings and then Jamie has a baby from his special magical womb, BUT DON'T SEND THAT TO THE CREATOR, DUMMY. You ask them to autograph that picture at book signings, am I right? Lol. No, please don't do that, weirdo.

But my FAVORITE part of all of this wank is how it's the PORN/SEX/HUMPINGS that is bothering her. Because for those of us that have read the books (I stopped at 5, gah, TOO MUCH PLANT TALK. FOR ME. What does that tell you?) every day is Hump Day! Good hell. They have sex every few pages! And then she has some SERIOUSLY purple prose with back hair glistening with dew like a wet autumn sunrise, and how many ways can you describe red hair, woman? "Like a box of crayons, the back level of the 64 pack, spilled across the floor, that was the range of reds to burnt umbers of Jamie's man pelt." LOL.

Also, her books are totally rapetastic, in that everyone gets rapes like they're passing them out at a car dealership, she suffers from Anne Rice-dom in that she needs to cut her words in HALF [huge books. HUGE.] and it reads like a 200+ chapter fanfic. I MEAN, WHAT. Are her characters interesting? Yes. Plus she has messy/doesn't work right all the time sex in her stories which is a big plus for me (it's real, I like real) but she also wants you to know that She Did Her Research. And it's lots and lots of data about plant life and how to make your own penicillin, and homeopathic this and that, and a reminder of such and such events, all with a thiiiiin plot stringing the data together.

I summed up the books to Kassie in her journal last night, and thought I'd reprint them here to spare her inbox. WHO WANTS SOME DISTILLED CRACK?

A time traveling nurse meets a red headed Scotsman, in case you Dinna Ken gaelic gaelic random understandings of paganism plant names historical insert blah )

Just, if you are so invested in stories you write that you compare fanfic to someone telling you they want to rape your real daughter or seduce your actual living husband, YOU HAVE EXPOSED YOURSELF FOR A MARY SUE. HEMHEM (Um, her husband? Tall red head. Same with her daughter. I'm just saying.) Also, you're a bit of a crackpot, Diana. She's been around the internet since the Compuserve days, too, so this CANNOT be new to her. Roll your eyes and keep writing like Charlaine Harris does, lady. SPEAKING OF: TODAY THERE IS MOAR ERIC. Shut it, I can't help that I imagine Askars when I read her books. It's like Charlaiine is writing fanfiction of True Blood, LOL x A MILLION.

Welcome to the world of a genre fic writer, lady. It's a COMPLIMENT. They aren't making money (or they shouldn't be, I'll agree with you on that. Adopt Jim Butcher's philosophy.) Or read this and realize how Dee You Em your allegations are.

LASTLY: I am making more tamales today and tomorrow because all the ones I made on New Years done got et. OM NOM NOM.

[ETA] Someone in West Texas needs some help/info, if you can, please do!
First, a head's up to those who care about such things. Today is a double post, because I need topics to make sense in order to be together in a post. So. Two posts. (The later is the DVD commentary on that story I wrote about the gay LDS missionaries. *g*)

Now that it's colder and I'm less likely to be outside doing things, it's time to dive into this huge stacks of books waiting for me. Which means, of course, that I'm going to get a few new books to add to the pile, because I'm crazy like that. Chuck over at Terribleminds mentioned a series that I'm not familiar with, because I've been hanging in the world of non-fiction for a while, Speaks the Nightbird, Queen of Bedlam, and Mister Slaughter by Robert McCammon? Anyone else reading/read that series? Looks great to me.

This weekend was the christening of the opening of the Birth of Cool Lounge, aka, my former office. (I call it that because I'm going for a 60s vibe. And because who doesn't want to have a room based on the mood of a Miles Davis song? Losers, that's who. laptop a go go, bulky desks a no no! Pictures ahoy hoy. Okay, I'll stop that now. )

Okay. Round two is about to be tackled. It's cold, I have some white ginger tea with honey, and a purring cat. Perfect writing environment. :)
First, the movie: I just got back from seeing Paranormal Activity, that scary movie I mentioned a while back. 1. If you haven't seen the trailer, DON'T. I think it puts too much in it, after having seen it. (I kinda hate when trailers do that.) 2. talk with mild spoilers - I DO NOT give away major plot points, and I hope you won't either. )

Scary man: who watched Oprah's interview of Mike Tyson yesterday? I have to tell y'all, I've been a boxing fan FOR YEARS. Loved it. Saw Evander Hollyfield win the title in the 90s when I was living outside of Las Vegas, grew up watching Sugar Ray with my dad... loved it. I'd never seen someone work like Tyson did in the ring. The man was an absolute gladiator. A primal warrior, but do not ever make the mistake and think the man isn't smart. Mike Tyson is maybe the best boxer of all time, but will never be that because of his broken, broken mind. And if you didn't realize it, boxing is all about calculations. You can't be a dummy and fight well, unless you're Tom Cruise in a bare-knuckle boxing movie. Lol. Now, you can be KNOCKED stupid, see George Foreman. But Foreman trained to be a brick that could be hit and hit and hit, then, when his competitor was worn out, he'd throw a punch and win. He won by endurance. Yeesh.

[ETA] Here's a clip of Tyson's knockouts.

He talked about being terrorized as a kid, his dad beating the hell out of his mom. living on the streets (I think he had been arrested over 30 times by the time he was 13.) and I couldn't help but notice Oprah, her normal "I'm freakin' Oprah, people" bravado GONE sitting next to him. If you watch it, notice when she reaches over to pat his knee and her whole demeanor changes. The man is a brick, and I'm sure bundled energy, too. She shifted in her seat and wouldn't get any closer to him.

Regardless of changes he's made, regardless of how he's realizing the mistakes he's made, he's Mike Freaking Tyson. What do you do if he loses control? Run, that's what. He just made me sad, though. He thought drug dealers didn't come after him (he would dare them to try and take their money) because they felt sorry for him. And there was no guile, nothing, just "I am this horrible, pathetic thing, now." It's sad to see that the man is capable of intelligence, deep thoughts, no, really - but because he was never given the real tool of language, all he can do is stumble with words and try and communicate in his broken way.

There are moments when you hear him and you know what he's trying to say and know that he can't. He reminded me painfully of my ex-husband - same sad beginnings, same inability to communicate, same resorting to violence because there's no impulse control, and because you're taught that's what a man does. Absolutely fascinating interview and I'm definitely going to watch the documentary just released about him.

In the meantime, I have a plate of fudge I made and it's calling my name. I need some sweetness. (And I just got my copy of The Last Unicorn and The Neverending Story books - books I've never read! How is that possible??)
I've talked extensively about organics in the past, and I'm going to wear you out with the topic again, those who stick with me. My background: biology background (microbiology, specifically) and a Master Gardener, which required extensive class and lab work surrounded proper gardening methods, IPM, understanding of the chemistry of botany, etc. etc. I'm not THE expert on all things growing/living, but I'm no chump with an idea I want to blab across the internet, either. (Well, I could be that last one, depending on your perception. Har.)

Repeat after me: Organic foods are NOT more nutritious than commercially grown food. They're something else. )

In conclusion, buy local, grow your own, save some money, and don't buy produce from China, because they use human waste in their "organic" farming practices, and it's PERFECTLY LEGAL. Yuck. Be concerned about huge growers like Monsanto and ConAgra who deplete the soil, grow nutrition less food in favor of larger crops (they're engineering food in a manner that doesn't maintain nutrition - and that is a type of engineering that's possible, too!) Be concerned about the environmental impact of pesticides, if that's your bag, but more importantly: don't buy food that has to be shipped from long distances. There's the REAL problem that could easily be solved, imo.

And Top Chef is back on tonight! And Project Runway! The two shows I love! WOOT. (Check how many times the chefs talk about locally available food - that's the new way to be eco-groovy. Food grown close, food in season.) I LOVE FOOD.

I've been reading some fantastic books lately, too. I finally got a copy of Let The Right One In and so far it's fantastic. The mood, the eeriness, even stronger than the movie, which I loved. I also picked up Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen" based on The Daily Show's interview the other day and I'm sucking that down like Sumatra at 6am. Holy crow, is that a fabulously written and interesting book. I can't recommend that enough.

Lastly, from TEXTSFROMLASTNIGHT.com: (310): Fact: Godrick looks like David Archuleta Ahahahahaha! Yes, yes he does.
Last week I drove down to Austin, met up with my new friend (the one with the pool and brains) and took her to see a screening of Blood on the Highway, a fabulous movie that I'm in. Howls of laughter. She passed the test. ;) If she didn't think that movie was funny, I would have had to put her on the bench. Whew! Smart, sassy, non religious right folks can be hard to find in my little neighborhood. (Um, the key word there is SMART. There are lefties/centrists around here, but they're into Jeff Foxworthy. Enough said.)

I finally watched a movie that had been pimped by so many of you on my flist and I have to say, Meh and a bit of a harsh frowny face, too. [i am not judging people who like it/got something out of it. I just have issues with it.] Talk about Cannibal Holocaust, a very violent and gory movie. )

Books: I loved Pump Six by Paolo Bacugalupi so much that I'm RE-READING it. Like, I finished it and turned back to page 1. I don't know when I've ever done that with a book that wasn't Anne of Green Gables. If you are fascinated by eco-terrorism, by corporate farming, by any environmental issues plus you love post-apocalypse stories with some future tech thrown in, I just can't recommend this enough. Hell, even if you're not into that stuff, you need to read this. Awesome food for thought on where we're headed as a species, but it doesn't beat you over the head with morality at all. Even better.

For those of you with tweens to teens (or if you love fun YA books) you have to pick up j user="oatmellow">'s book Bite Me! Fun vampire in high school story with a mystery thrown in. It starts off with the protagonist having to break up with her boyfriend because he's becoming her step-brother. I mean, what's not to love here? I read it and passed it off to my daughter, and she's telling her friends to go buy it (because let's face it: we all need to support book buying since so many of us are either writers or wanna be writers, right?) Cute, fun story and it's getting great reviews. Plus, it's going to be a short series!

Next up: Brooklyn and The Wilderness, the last on rec from [livejournal.com profile] swmbo. Thoughts? Comments?

Birthday! Mine is coming up, but my Emily's is the day before mine. <3 She's my early birthday present. We're going to have a combo birthday party this year and she and decided to make a Charlie the Unicorn cake, banana coconut flavor. There will be pictures. CANNOT WAIT. It's even going to have the "oh my god, they stole my freakin' kidney!" stitches. LOL. And on my actual birthday, I will be jumping out of a perfectly good plane on a tandem sky dive jump. DUDE. They're giving me champagne afterwards, and also a video during the jump, and loads of pictures, too. Those will be forthcoming. \o/

And lastly, storage! I've moved in to Ikea, apparently. Food storage dreams. I CAN'T HELP IT, I'M A NERD. )

Oh, crap, one last thing. Who watched The Colbert Report last night? And how many of you thought of that internet wank when he mentioned the man who... loved a horse? ME, TOO. Aw, that makes me want to go back and finish Stallioncrest, lol. Whatever, haters, that's some of the funniest stuff I've ever written. :D)
I finally stepped outside and found on my porch the brand spanking new book written by an LJ friend [livejournal.com profile] oatmellow aka Melissa Francis, "Bite Me!"

Congratulations on the publication of your new book! I'm so excited to read it, and my daughter ready to grab it from me when I'm not looking. If you like funny YA books about high school and vampires, GO GET A COPY! Support the LJ community of writers! The reviews coming in are very positive, too!</a.
Audition talk for those interested in the process. )

I've been reading some heavy non-fiction lately (like, heavy stuff) and need some fun escapist books to read. Since I missed out on going away for vacation, I want my brain to take one. Any ideas, suggestions? I've got the Kindle charged up and a new chaise lounger cushion with my name on it.
P90X - Recovery Week (4) Day 4
Yoga! Mmmm, I'm happy with this routine, it's a butt kicker, but I feel a thousand times more strong and flexible now. An hour and a half routine that leaves you loosey goosey at the end. I tried to get cute last night and do an extra workout of the Core Synergystics (day 3) and oh my god. Some of those are just absolutely brutal when you don't take time off in between. for example.... )

I had an audition this morning for a print ad, and met another mom about my age, with kids about my kids' ages, too. She was sassy and funny, and I can't stress how HARD it is to talk to other actors when you're auditioning. They're competition, so you ignore them. (I mean, I don't, because I have no ego about this, but they do.) We swapped numbers and FB handles and that felt great to meet someone FUN.

I simply CANNOT find Clayhouse's Petite Syrah anywhere. I think - because it was such a small bottling - they only sent it out to restaurants to build up a clientèle. I'll be buying several bottles of the next vintage, that's for sure. It was outstanding. And because of your recommendations, I picked up their Adobe Red (2 bottles, actually) and look forward to a glass or two tonight. I'm about to finish off a glass of from a bottle that's been opened a leeetle too long [eta] nope, still good! Peter Lehman of the Barossa - Clancy's 2005 Shiraz, btw - and sit on my patio with books. YAY books! I ordered some hard copies (I'm sorry, Kindle!) because I promised to share with others, and no one is getting their mitts on my Kindle. :)

Books: A People's History of the United States, vols. 1 & 2 (thank you for the rec, [livejournal.com profile] liz_marcs!) and some to remind me of stuff, The Mormon Conspiracy, The Mormon Murders (I know, it's a theme, sorry I know some of these people!) and God's Brothel, which is about Christian-based faith (and LDS) polygamy that goes undercover in the US. I have my SPF 50, tank and shorts, and a book. It's 76 degrees with a gentle breeze and blue blue blue skies. BLISS.

[ETA] I forgot to mention that I have two Dreamwidth invite codes (I feel so cool!) and the first two people to ask for them get them! Gone!! Also, is everyone posting over there, now? I need to get my site up, huh? I'm trying to figure out what I would do there and what would stay here...
To make up for the book autopsies (I don't really apologize for that, but I needed a segue...) here is a link that takes you to the most comprehensive list (and pictures!) of the world's most beautiful and intricate libraries. Clear some space, it'll take you a while to go through them all, if you've not seen this before. Oh, so lovely. I loved the chained books in one of the older places. That web blog, Curious Expeditions, is one of my favorite places to visit online. Part Steampunk, part travelogue, this couple posts some of the more thoughtful and through provoking posts you'll find. This link in particular strikes my fancy - it's a flickr set from a museum in Austria that made all of the creatures out of blown glass, instead of traditional taxidermy. Outstanding.

I still think Jay Walker's personal library is one of the most amazing in the world, simply because he has things like Sputnik in it. The actual Sputnik.

Today is Chinese New Year! Happy Year of the Ox! Here's what the kids and I are eating (so far) tonight: Happy Niu [ox] Year! )

I am FREEZING today. Yesterday I tried to race ahead of a cold front and get my onions and potatoes in, which resulted in me spending about 8 hours cleaning up the garden and adding an additional 600 pounds of compost. I'm so sore and my hands are beat to hell. This morning I didn't help things by attempting to go walk in sleet (dumb) so I have hot coffee, my Kindle (reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Anyone checked that out?) and a warm bed. I think I'll spend most of my morning there. Brr.

Oh, one last thing! Everyone's picking up on this in Big Love: "Kansas" is the YFZ ranch in Texas? I snort every time they say the Kansas compound. Ha.

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