Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The kids are growing and changing and happy, which is great, but you know, blah. I've watched the same DVDs over and over I can recite Monsters Inc, Howl's moving Castle and Kiki's delivery service from memory now, so blah. Sassy finishes school in a few weeks, and I'm not sure what we'll do with ourselves, no I mean, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. It'll cost us £88pm to put the two of them in the creche while I go to the gym, and I'm worried it'll be considered an excessive expense - I hope not, but I just don't know. I may have to change to night time gym visits for those 6 weeks of school vacation. Why can't the UK have summer camps? I mean there's tons of land that really could do with a few wood cabins, a swimming pool, a lake, perhaps a horse camp too; lots of ideas but will it everhappenn? Not unless I win the lottery...hear me angels of fortune; I'll build a fun camp for kids if you let me win the lottery. Think about it, ok?
Shortie, who was so keen to use the toilet a few weeks ago, has lost interest and now demands a nappy instead. Sigh-de-blahdy-blah-blah. Plus, she's still winning the battle of the midnight milk. She's still not able to sleep through the night with consistency. If she wakes, she whines, moans and fake cries until I give her a cup of milk. If I don't give in, she'll moan and whine "miwk! miwk!" for HOURS! Damned Taurus kids. But that's it, I'm not giving in tonight or ever again. The mantra for today is "No milk in bed!" and we'll be saying no milk in bed a lot over the next week until she realises she'll not be given milk in bed anymore. You should've seen the size of her nappy this morning, it was so full of pee it was hanging from her hips by the straps and dangling down below her knees. Her pajamas were soaked, her bed was soaked and she's obviously not dehydrated, so she's not needing milk in bed. Half a cup of water, and she can sleep with that and leave me alone! I'm 34, I need my sleep or I'll begin to pickle.
I've been walking pat bushes of gorgeous lilacs and very tempted to rend a few branches to put in the house, and today I did it, they were just so pretty! I brought them home, snipped the ends, arranged them in vases and enjoyed them for about a half an hour before I realised: They Stink! They don't have that lovely sweet lilac scent, they small like bad garlic. They now reside in the garden where they'll rot and die. I've been naughty and it serves me right to pick public plants.
And my period is due and all the Hubs keeps saying to me is "Are you trying to pick a fight with me?" and I'm not! But geez folks, blah. If anything, he's picking the fights, he's the one pushing buttons and being a condescending dinkus. I give some back and it's *me* picking the fights - what's wrong with you menfolks?! Seriously, he's baiting me to give him a nasty Indian Burn (they're also called Chinese burns, but I don't know what you could call them that wouldn't sound somewhat racist? Twisty-skin burns doesn't sound right.)
So. There. Blah. I'm going to play Harvest Moon: It's a Wonderful Life until I die. Well, in the game I die, not me really die, that would be bad.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I cannot believe all the recent controversy over wind turbines and wind farms in Scotland. Have people no idea how wonderful these things are for the environment?
In October, most folks in the UK woke up to a nasty relization that power was going to cost a small fortune for everyone with an increase of 5-8% for electricity (which has increased by 31% since 2003) and a 14.2% rise in gas. We were lucky that back in the fall of '05 when our electrics company made the offer to fix our current rate until 2007, we jumped at the opportunity. There's a comfort in knowing exactly what you're paying every month. So when the new year came with announcements of big charge hikes we sighed with relief.
Others haven't been so lucky. When the cost of power went up, Michelin in Dundee was put under serious stress. They decided to put up a couple of on-site wind turbines. They'd be creating their own electricity, saving them millions. The Michelin factory "Currently employs approximately 1000 people and its direct financial contribution to Dundee represents around £40 million per year." reported the Evening Telegraph and Post. They also said;
"The wind turbine project is extremely important to the Michelin factory, the environment, and also to the city of Dundee. For the factory, it delivers cheaper electricity at a time when electricity bills have doubled for Michelin, this increase can be counted in millions of pounds. This, in turn, along with other initiatives, helps secure the long-term future of the site. For the environment it produces clean, renewable energy at a time when the world is wrestling with the issues of global warming and securing supplies of energy from hard-pressed natural resources."
Isn't it great that a big company like Michelin are looking to not only cut their power bills in half, but to reduce emissions into their local Dundee community, not close down it's factory and lay off all those workers just by installing two wind turbines on-site instead. Just look at the statistics since they went up in March Not bad, and considering Scottish Power, today announced it's enjoyed a 47% profit since October. This article makes the sad claims:
"For every 5% increase there are 30,000 more people across Scotland who fall into fuel poverty," she said.
"The big problem organizations like SCARF have is that we are working hard to eradicate fuel poverty, but it seems that every time we make some progress there is another price hike. It is like we are taking two steps forward then one step back. The rises make people just want to switch off. A lot of people have card meters, the companies install them to help people budget, but people often self-disconnect and go for a couple of days without light or heat. They then have to buy food from the chip shop, which isn't healthy. Kids are getting healthy eating programmes at school but going to homes where there is not enough money to heat or eat properly. It is the people at the bottom who suffer."
Knowing that the increase in power charges causes problems, and not wanting to make matters worse by making their workforce reduntant with factory closures, Michelin goes and puts up turbines to create their own power sources. What is there to complain about? Well, the people don't like them. The wind turbines. They just don't like them, because they may make some noise, and they could interrupt television signals and they kind of look like things from War of the Worlds.
You folks really have to get your heads out of your buttholes.
I, personally, think they look great - they are beautiful. When we drove down for the wedding a couple weeks ago we saw turbine farms for the first time, and both of us thought they were amazing. We stopped at a pub for lunch near a wind farm and never heard them make noise. But, I imagine if you did live near them, and they made a noise, wouldn't it be worth the trouble to have electricity, clean air and peace of mind that you aren't going to have to freeze to death in your own homes? I can't imagine the noise would be much anyways - wouldn't you just get used to it? People who live near airports (like me!) or major highways (like I used to) or busy cities (like I used to) get used to those sounds, and often find it disturbing when they're gone. It took me weeks to get used to sleeping without the sounds of the #23 bus screeching outside my windows, and I imagine the same would happen for these sad souls - you'll get used to it. Stop complaining!
It's Not just the Dundonians who think that turbines are ugly. Donald Trump doesn't like them either. Donald Trump has invested £300 million to develop 800 acres of Scottish seaside into “The World's Best Golf Course”. But when he found out there were plans to have off shore turbines within view of the 18th hole, he threatened to scrap the whole project if the turbines went up.
There's been talk back and forth over the situation and it seems they've agreed to some turbines, but not to the original spec. Scotland officials assert that they didn't back down from Trump's threat, and that his investment didn't affect their changes, but we all know they back pedalled. Seriously, what does Scotland need with another golf course, anyway? What a bunch of wusspies. Donald Trump, although known for his poor taste (fix the do Don!) obviously doesn't share my admiration for ecological art.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I need a hand job to warm it up. What? That's what they call a hand massage right? I know they do, so don't be stupid, alright. Don't make me come over there and put my dead, cold corpse hand on you, because I will.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Ok, well after lots of rude interruptions from the brain last week where it came up with too many ideas for SBD, I've decided to have a wee rant about something completely different. It's my blog so I can, so there. I talking Alpha, all Alpha gimme the Alpha!
I'm concerned over the lack of Alpha Heroines in romance novels - or at least the one's I've read. When writing the heroines, there's a few types: The alpha who turns beta when faced with her hero's intense alphaness, the beta who turns alpha because she finally gets a spine, and the idiot who kind of trips about into catastrophe and the alpha hero has to save her but she resents his every attempt (so she has a spine but it's plastic and bendy). Of course, there's more and you can add them in if you want.
When writing an alpha hero, he is almost always: Strong willed, confident, structured, consistent and determined. He knows his mind, what he wants and how he'll get it. Any obstacle thrown in his path, and he'll hurdle over it, walk around it or smash it to bits. Alpha heroines on the other hand always change tact. They become insecure, or they second guess themselves into a terrible predicament; she is the one who makes the wrong decision and can't find her way out of it - Mr. Manly has to save her. Why can't the alpha heroine be written with the same sturdy toughness as an alpha hero? Why is she always the one who has to back step?
In the animal world, it's alpha male/alpha female, they have certain traits that put them at the top of the pack - the alpha male doesn't go whoring about with his other females, and the alpha female doesn't whimper about anything to those beneath her. Women are often written with more dialogue, less narrative and if she's revealing herself, or her vulnerability it's almost always verbalized. Do the alpha heroes do this? No, because admitting a weakness is unacceptable. So why does she? BTW, being an "Alpha Heroine" does not mean
My all time favourite fictional character (aside from Xena) is Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone but if you've read the series (which, OMG started back in 1983) you have to agree that even a small setback put her right back on the line with even more fire than before. She's not romantic, she's not that way inclined for very long, anyway. Now, if we could somehow take Kinsey, and put her into a romance novel - there's a winner! But what kind of man will it take to secure her heart and love? Well certainly not a warm hearted, soft spoken SUV driving beta-boy. Alpha has to go with alpha it's the only way to make the heroine genuine and not have her fall into the "Too Stupid To Live" category. So if you don't have her making lots of dumb mistakes, and you don't have him making lots of dumb mistakes, where do you get your story? Where do you find your conflict? Why, in your antagonists of course, who should be alpha too, and of the head butting bull sort. That's where story craft comes in. If you can create a brilliant story, where the two main characters are alpha, passionate and maybe have different ideas about how to resolve the antagonist's threat - can we please let her win, once in a while?
Also, I'm not saying that she should be flawless. That's ridiculous, because everyone has faults, and quirks and things that may annoy another person. Being alpha does not mean being perfect - in fact the pursuit of perfectionism is a weakness. They must be true to character, they must be diligent and they must always want better, they strive for the good even if it's only for the good of themselves. Alphas can be selfish, in fact it's almost a pre-requisite.
Here's just a couple of things I've come across that irk me about pseudo-alpha heroines:
1) If she is full-figured do not give her an eating disorder, in fact as far as she is concerned, she's hot, and if you don't like her then tough shit for you. She should never be on a diet and simpering about her waistline. That's not alpha.
2) If she is a rock hard super fighting machine, she can not lose her fire and spark because she's not sure if the hero really has feeling for her. Buffy was undone by Angel, The Charmed sisters have each been undone by their unsure love of their own heroes, and as a result make stupid mistakes. This should not happen - alpha heroines should not mope and get caught unawares.
3) She doesn't cringe or cower away from trouble, she isn't one to slink off in an attempt to not be noticed; she faces a problem head on and not only is she able to save herself from danger, but she can save the hero as well.
4) An Alpha Heroine is Feminine! She should retain her woman-ness at all times. No one would call Princess Leia, Scarlett O'hara or Princess Fiona (you know, from Shrek) butch. No more tomboys turned girlie-girls. An alpha is what she is take her or leave her.
5) They are confident in bed, they love to make love and they are good at it. They don't have to have too much experience, perhaps she was a smart bitch and learned a few tricks from trashy novels. Smart Bitches read, and she'll give as good as she gets.
So, be true to your alphas, don't break them down and make them wishy-washy or insipid. I'll just not read your books if you do this to
Sunday, May 21, 2006
And yet, I still watch Big Brother. I feel the need to be in with the gossip, even though none of the other Mommies ever bother to watch it because it is junk television. When I worked, the office was always buzzing with BB chat, and I liked keeping in with the current trend of conversation, since my fashion sense is atrocious and I didn't fancy anyone in the office and I didn't go out drinking or anything remotely interesting.
As I feared, Shahbaz is a twit. He's just about turned the whole house against him, already, and was asking to leave the BB house. Also, the po-faced princess Nikki, who obviously has always gotten her way with a whine and a tear, is just pitiable as a human being. She burst into tears because BB wouldn't give her her suitcase (or anyone else's for that matter) "And I really need my eye make-up remover! It costs £16 a bottle and it's important to me!" Then she complained that there was no bottled water in the house and she was dehydrated and she wasn't going to drink the horrible tap water (Which BB says is twice filtered for cleanliness, I only filter water once so aren't they spoiled!) and she was getting a migraine. Wah. She needs to go. Then, there's the "Jocks and cheerleaders" gang (who are: Grace, Imogen, Mikey and Sezer) who sit and stroke themselves while making vicious comments about everyone else in the house and laugh over it. I'd like to see them tortured a bit before they get kicked out. The girls were saying that Nikki is fat and how could she come in wearing a bunny costume when she's so fat. Uhm, Nikki is not fat, not even close in fact I said she had skinny, bony legs. They are horrid, and then the Jocks went on to say how sometimes it's ok to fuck a fat chick because they're more eager and energetic in bed than skinny girls who rely on their looks, and usually end up just laying there doing nothing; and yet that may sound like there was a gram of chivalry in his (Sezer) statement, but it was all just to see if the cheerleaders tried to defend themselves with a "Well, not me I love sex.." blah. It's painful viewing!
So. I should stop watching TV and start reading my books. It's the only safe thing to do. So, uhm, put that poking thing down, and leave my eyes alone.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Yes, we have sickies again. I'm sure it's got something to do with all the sand she's been eating, it can't be good for her, and I don't think it counts as fiber. So I was up a lot last night to the call of "Mummy, Mummy!" and there with a cuddle and comforting pat on the bottom. She's got a low fever too, but I can't get her to cool down, and she won't keep any meds down either. At least she's drinking this morning (and I want gin, please.), so I'm not going to worry yet. Just another one of those things. But why do kids always get sick near the weekend when the doctor's offices are closed?? Surely there's an ER nurse out there who thinks the same thing every Friday.
At least I got to watch the introductions for Big Brother 7, and already I don't like most of them, so it should be good viewing for the next three months. I'm a bit jealous of you Aussies though!! I hear you've got an attractive man who likes to shower in the nude, and he's not a fat bastard. I wonder if I can get live stream for that...Yah, ok I like big Brother, I'm not going to apologize for that. It'll keep me moderately entertained until Wimbeldon. And since I'm stuck watching endless kids shows; well no, I don't watch them I listen to them and avoid actual coherent alignment to said children's shows, so to get my own junk shit programming from BB is really nice.
Bonnie: What a twat. She has a weird accent and I think she's faking it to try and sound posh but sounds more like she has a serious headcold. Every time she introduced herself, she'd say "I'm Bonnah" to which she received "Bunny?" "Donna?" "Bono?" she's just not getting it right, and I hope once she forgets about the cameras she'll try and be her true self. If she even knows who that is.
Pete: He's an actor. Although he says he's an "unemplyed rock-n-roll singer/cartoonist" he's an actor. He came in acting like Lee Evans with Touretts, but not the swearing kind, more the yelping twitching kind. He even did a prat fall down the stairs before getting into the house. It's amazing how much he calmed down once he was in the house, he really looked exhausted.
Mikey: He's a model/software developer...yeah really. He's also a total over the top misogynist of the barefoot and pregnant class. I think it's all talk, so far, just to be outrageous. We'll see.
Lisa: My current favourite. She's an upholsterer who's very loud, hyper, silly and smokes a pack and a half a day. She's got a brilliant cheeky British accent and she's Chinese, so she's full of the quirk.
The others I'm too sure about yet. There's Shahbaz the token poof; he actually calls himself the "British-born Scottish Paki-Poof", and I wonder how many headlines and/or hate mail he'll get from other Muslims. He's tres camp, but I'm not sure about his sincerity. Shahbaz has been flirting with the other openly gay housemate, Richard, who calls himself a "Sexual Terrorist." (but all I saw was him running in terror from Shahbaz, clutching Lisa and begging "bodyguard, Bodyguard!" so I think we know who the *real* sexual terrorist is) and I now wonder if this is a thing with gay men, to have a tagline for themselves? There are assorted bimboes, and one angry black woman - who actually seems to be really nice and friendly for all her warnings that she doesn't want to make friends with anyone, ever. Sharing a small house with 13 strangers is ok though. I really hope it doesn't all suck.
So I'm tripping on my lip because I can't go to the gym today, and I'll have make due with a couple of TaeBo DVDs instead. Wash barf out of the laundry all that kind of boring domestic crap, and the kids are totally barred from going into my room now, I'm tired of finding sand in my bed!! Damned kids and sandy feet jumping on my bed. Oh, and you eager beaver folks who like to post up about who got voted off on American Idol, stop it! We don't get to see it until Fridays and you're ruining my fun! But wow, they voted off Elliott the elf!! Well, actually he's more of a taru taru.
Does anyone else feel they come across far more clever when they comment on someone else's blog, than when they post on their own? Ok, just me then.
My mantra for today is: I will not eat toast, I will not eat toast, I will not fucking eat anymore fucking toast!
Thursday, May 18, 2006
I'm annoyed by my sudden fear of being stuck by lightening. I don't know why I'm afraid of being struck by lightning, other than if it happened It'd really hurt, but I've never been afraid of lightning before. In fact I love thunderstorms, they're kind of a turn on. A few weeks ago I was out hanging washing on the line and a passing cloud looked very ominous. I thought aw shit, I just hung all that washing out and now it's going to rain and then I had this image of a bolt of lightning striking the whirly-jig and I get hit with an arc off from it. So then I thought, if it really hapened I'd be up shit's creek because I had polyester underpants on, an underwired bra and all sorts of metal doohickys clipped in my hair. visions of the burns, and...well, you get the picture. It was awful.
Yesterday I was walking hime from the gym and another cloud was coming along the river, and I could see the rain already falling from it. Here I am, polyester underpants again, and polyester jogging bottoms, with the underwired bra. I did have a bit of a run home after that chased by images of that episode of House with the maggots and the burn victim. So now, you see, all of this imagination has got me afraid of lightning. It's completely illogical, because if lightning was going to strike, it would probably go for the house, or tree or something much taller than the stupid whirly-jig. I know this, but I get a bit trapped in my daydreams sometimes. I keep imagining the stormclouds are searching me out - they want to strike me down, they are actually trying to find me. For all these years since I left the Cape, they've been trying to find me (I don't know why and I'm not about to ask), and I think they've finally sussed me out. This is the longest we've gone without moving house, so I'm a lot easier to pinpoint. On Cape Cod lightning storms are common, but they happen so rarely here, maybe one a year if we're lucky. Only, I'm not feeling so lucky these days.
So anyways, there's that bit of psychosis, plus I'm not happy about my diet - I'm being naughty again. Which may be part of the hyperactive imagination if I'm nutrient deprived. I'm also very disorganised, grumpy and I have this very annoying, itchy rash around my neck. Too much sugar?? I've made two doctors appointments today, one for me about getting a mammogram that I'll probably have to pay for myself because the NHS doesn't begin screening until a woman is over 50 years old. I have a family history of breast cancer, and I want to be careful. Self testing is a weird experience because I have large breasts, so there's a lot of tissue deep in that I'm not able to feel, and also I breast fed both of my girls, so they're a bit lumpy under the skin anyways from the milk ducts. I worry sometimes that if the "hard, pea sized lump" we're supposed to look out for is somewhere in there, and I can't get to it, what chances have I got? the other appointment was for Shortie to see how her asthma is doing. With all the pollen now floating around, I'm doing the "Is she wheezing?" test every half an hour, So I'm not getting much sleep.
Speaking of sleep, I'm drowning in vivid-but-weird dreams. It's getting annoying. I had one yesterday morning where, in the dream I woke up and found I'd lost my ring finger on my right hand. It was gone, I was like a cartoon character with only three fingers and a thumb. The really upsetting part was that no one cared! Husband told me not be so silly, it's a useless digit anyways, it's not where my wedding goes, you don't point or poke with it and it's not needed to hold a pen, so I can still write and no one else will notice. But I noticed!! Plus, I wanted to know where it was. Was it under the bed being smothered by a dustbunny? Did the kids take it? What if Shortie found it and began to chew on it? I woke myself after that thought and spent a good five minutes looking at my hand.
And I want to write, but it's becoming an impossible task with all these thoughts bumping about in my head, and I worry if I forget to write one down, it'll be gone forever, and then I lose my train of thought. I have no fucking steam! I can't just bulldoze through the mental interruptions. How fucking frustrating it is, that now I can get a few minutes to write, and the kids don't mind because they have a sandbox to play in now, and I can't do it. My head so tuned into being interuppted that it fucking interrupts itself!
And my house is full of sand, it's everywhere. I can't seem to vacuum up all the sand and there's just a feeling of grit everywhere.
I didn't do a HNT, and I feel kind of bad, but I didn't feel like being any kind of naked, but I do wish Osbasso a very happy HNT Birthday.
oh lord, I really need some decaff. and a sauna, and a back rub and a pedicure. Maybe some strawberries....oh I have strawberries in the frige...
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I find people get touchy sometimes,but en masse as everyone gets a mood at the same time and are easily ticked off and can't take a joke. I'm not a great jokester, but I put in the occasional effort. I think it's just more of a problem where people don't get my humor. They don't understand me. Some people are really just too serious, and I admit this has been a problem here in Scotland, can't remember it happening back in the USA where witty offhanded asides are applauded.
Anyways, I'm feeling I should hole up and read a book, keep quiet and just make sarky comments in my head. I sense that someone nearby is going to erupt with misunderstanding at any moment - so I'll keep schtum, because I don't know which "who" it'll be. The real problem is, that the worst blow-ups come when I don't really say anything at all, it's as if folks are just looking, searching for a reason to throw a wingy.
"It may be good for you, but not everyone has it so easy, you know." stomps off in a huff.
Oh yes, that's happened. I shit you not. I get crap like that all the fucking time. I blame sugar, the Scots are addicted to it - they are candy freaks. They eat too much, and then get cranky. I just hate that it always seems so easy and acceptable to be cranky at me. Then again, I am known to bait people, and by people I mean my Husband. This was us last night...
It's 10:30 and I'm reading a book in bed. I can hear Hubs downstairs locking up and then coming upstairs. I decide right then and there, I'm going to annoy him. It's a conscious decision, but I don't know what I'll do. When you've been with someone as long as we've been together, you can twist their moods within seconds, or with just one word. Or a look.
He comes in and walks around to his side of the bed. I eyeball him the whole time, staring. When he looks back at me, I casually drop my head back to my book. The game is on.
"Are you going to read?" I ask.
"No, I'm tired, I'll just go to sleep."
I close my book with a sigh. I drop it on the floor next to my bed. I reach over and turn out the light, before he's actually in the bed. "You can still read if you want to, It's ok." He says and I reply with a flat, "No," but I'm grinning, and because it's dark he doesn't know that.
We lay there in quietly in the dark for about thirty seconds, and then he sighs, pulls himself up, and makes a clumsy attempt to give me a kiss goodnight, he lands one on my forehead.
"What was that?" I ask.
"I was kissing you goodnight."
"That's not how you kiss your wife, you kissed me on the forehead; you can't kiss your wife on the forehead goodnight. That's how you kiss the kids goodnight, but not me."
"Well I found your forehead first." he whines.
"Are you saying I have a big forehead?"
"No, I'm not say...Oh you're wicked!" and he begins to tickle me, which is 100% against the rules and I tell him so, because if I get tickled at bedtime, I'll get all wound up and it'll be ages before I get to sleep (which of course, serves me right)...there's blanket stealing, cold feet on warm bits, more insults and feigned hurt pride.
This kind of banter went on for about another ten minutes, until I was told to shut up and let him sleep. I was quiet for about a minute before I began laughing and snorting into my pillow, the giggles in full force. "What's wrong with you now?" I couldn't even answer him I was laughing so hard. I ended up having to grab my book and go downstairs to read again until I was calm enough to fall asleep myself. I feel bad for him sometimes, I really do, to be stuck with a weirdo like me.
But really, he asks for it.
Monday, May 15, 2006
It's funny how sometimes, when you know you want to write about something and as you start, something else intrudes, something a bit different and you think Oh I should write that too, and then another idea pops in, and another and pretty soon it's like you are at the front of the bus trying to pay your fare, but all your coins are falling out of your hands on the floor and rolling up the gangway. It's distracting, annoying and you know you're not going to get every coin back into your purse. That's how this weeks Smart Bitches Day post has been.
I'm going to talk about sex expectations. When a person reads a romance novel, what are the sex-expectations (sexpectations?) that the reader has, and does that hold a big part of the enjoyment of the story? I've been reading a lot of review sites and a common complaint is that a story harks back to the 70's where there's no sex, and a stink of pre-feminism. (Enter idea number one on the changes of our heroes from pre-feminism to modern day) The characters don't feel real and natural because the sex part isn't realistic, as in they actually do wait until after marriage (And I am fully aware this happens in modern day - I have a virgin Sister-in-law who's going to wait another 18 months for their honeymoon night - bleecht). In the few aged and nicotine stained Harlequins I got my hands on in the middle 80's, they seemed to meet, fallinlove and get engaged and married in a matter of weeks. Didn't they learn anything from Romeo and Juliet? But today, there's sex before page 50. That was always a mark of a weaker novel for me, if the Hero/ine are coupling before page 100 then I figure the writer is trying to dazzle us so we don't notice the weak plot. You've got over 400 pages to entice and lure me about in the “Are they or aren't they?” -We always know they are, but I like to be tormented by it -but when you give over before page 50, it's not good. (Enter idea number two where I look at the structure of a romance novel and find out if Pride and Prejudice ticks all the boxes or not (Then I can say har har to Beth) Is there a winning formula? And are modern romance novels more Romanitca – a blend of romance and erotica.) I feel very suspicious with sex too soon in a novel.
See, now I've lost my track of thought...where am I going with this again? Sexpectations – right. So I read a Johanna Lindsey (I forget which one but I'll find it...)where the sex scene came almost halfway along in the story, well placed I feel, but it lasted for ten sentences. Over two paragraphs. That was it. I thought, Hell I would've done better than that, these poor folks have waited for nearly 200 pages to have a shag and you give them the equivalent of a quickie in a broom closet. The first time has to be special (haven't too many women had disappointing first times) and wonderful, and should last a little bit longer than ten sentences; I think two full pages at least is required or why bother. Then again I don't a want a whole chapter of how hard he is anh soft she is and all the smelling and sighing and clutching at sheets yadda yadda - there's got be a balance. On the other side, I've read some more modern stories, the Sherrilyn Kenyons, and I'm in my chair legs tight under me, my hand clamped over my eyes and I'm peeping at the text because it's so...so...naughty! It's a dirty book, and it's great. I sit there thinking Oh my god, I'm reading a dirty book, in the daytime, where everyone can see and no one knows. heeheehee
No I take that back, it's not a dirty book. I have moments of hyper-prudishness that I have no idea where it comes from, but the sex scenes are so well done that I think Damn I should try that. and then blush. (Enter topic number three where I discuss the problems with using romance novels as a “how to perform in bed” instructional – you aren't the heroine, your partner isn't the hero and you'll ruin all your good fantasies this way. Never pretend your partner is George Clooney, or you'll just realise that George does it just like the person you're always with.)
So when it comes down to sexpectations of a story, and in romance there is always going to be sex in the story, well there are some that are sexless, but they aren't worth reading – not to me anyways, how much is enough? There can be way too much sex in a book, if it takes away from the plot – because yes I'm wanting a story full and complete with plotlines intact and a few subplots and all the lines nice and tidied up at the end and if I just wanted to read sex scenes I'd go buy some smut instead (no I wouldn't, I'm too chicken). I don't think in times of “great peril” a coupling is really logical – but then everyone deals with stress in their own ways. Also I've read stories where I shouted, Please just have the sex already and be done with it! Too much suspense is painful, and who wants to make their readers to feel pain?
I've lost my train of thought again...what am I on about? Yeah, sex: too much, not enough or just right, which do you prefer, what makes the romance novel work for you. I know it's a hard question because every story is different and the characters may not be as wanton as others but there is a formula, there is a right and wrong amount – we all feel it as we're reading. So please tell me where on the scale you fall. I myself, prefer to have a good and proper sex scene – where they are happy, comfortable and into each other full of the lusty neediness as opposed to it being make-up sex (make-up sex should never be the first sex in my opinion – it sets a bad standard for the future) about halfway or just before halfway, but certainly before the big bad where all hell breaks loose and everyone's plotlines are a mess, and then two more before the happy ending. That's a nice balance for me. So C'mon...what's yours?
Saturday, May 13, 2006
not the same as cream-filled, unfortunately.
Today Short-Stack is two years old! Hooray!! Yes we forgot to buy her a present, and I didn't make her a cake and it's not that big a deal because she has no clue what a birthday is anyway. She did have a present to open first thing, which was from my brother and sister-in-law. We did the Grandma Roundup and they were generous with the cash.
We had the swimming lessons this morning, and then we went right out to the mall. We bought a lot of Lego Duplex, a couple toys for the sandbox, a big bottle of bubble stuff and some old fashioned Lego for Sassy. It's important to buy a gift for the other sibling, so they don't feel left out and resentful. Sassy loves that her sister had a birthday, so see: we are cool parents.
I do not recommend that you ever go to ToysRus with money and the absolute need to buy a gift for your child, because they become dazzled and can't make sense of anything they see. It's all too shiny, glossy and makes rude noises that are beyond attractive (sounds like a nightclub). The kids are in the thrall of toy passion - and no I'm not sure that's a real word but I use it a lot, it's like enthralled, but "in the thrall" and therefore thrall. Ok I'm paranoid about the thrall, so I dictionary.comed it and it means to be in bondage to something so it works perfectly - they are in bondage to toylust! enbondaged? Oh fuck it, you know what I mean, there's a lot of drooling, pointing, whining (Again, like a nightclub).
The whole episode was broken down to the Hubs and I grabbing things off shelves and saying:
after about an hour we really start to hate each other. Then it gets competitive, well on my part. I really want Shortie to like the toy I choose best. I'm petty. I'm a Capricorn. You aren't married to me so shup. When we get home we unpack everything, spread it out on the floor and let her run wild through the newness of new toys. We all know the wonderful feeling that comes from the newness of new toys. All I can say is, she liked mine best, and mine cost the least. I'm on top. Here's a couple pictures.
This is New Toy Joy! (I got the sand thingie behind her)
This is what I looked at for the next half an hour while I washed the dishes inside. Sandy McCrack.
Now, why am I thinking about Donald Sutherland? Well, I saw a portion of his interview on "TheView" a show we don't get, but for some reason is reviewed on ITV. He was talking about how he and his wife have a wonderful relationship. They're very close. It's this quote that proved it to me: "I'd know my wife's fart in a roomful of farts." and I just thought, damn that's love and then I thought ew, a roomfull of errent farts and you have to find a particular one, again ew. I can see this being a future game show, but I'll not think too hard on it. I wish I could find it on you tube but it's not there. Bummer - was well worth seeing again. (also a bit guilty as I don't think I could find the Hub's fart in a roomful of farts, but I'm sure I could find my own. See, petty.)
Thanks Gerbera for the reminder that tomorrow is Mother's Day - right back atcha! We had Mother's day last month, or was it March....I forget, but a while ago anyways. So now I'll not forget to call my Mom. Not that I think she'll care if I call or not. She's in the thrall of her Fiance. We've not spoken since January, but I'm sure she's happy. We all love falling in love, It's like the newness of new toys.
Be happy Mom.
Friday, May 12, 2006
I was walking up the hill, pushing the buggy, trying to open my diet Red Bull, balance my workout water bottle, unzip my coat but halfway down I thought "I don't want anyone to see my ass in spandex this early in the morning," so I zipped it back up - only to remove the coat entirely another 50 steps later up the hill. I contemplated the whiteness of my sneakers, the new blooms on the bushes and the way blackbirds would make great military pilots because they are fearless in the face of a Land Rover. I skipped over dog pooh and sang songs with Shortie. After a half mile of this I was exhausted!
When I finally got into the gym, and Shortie into the nursery, I hit that gym and tried to go all hella for it. But remember I have been marshmallow bingeing. Oh my fuck. It was awful! I couldn't pedal, my legs were stiff and sore and it hurt! Marshmallows, I seethed, and began to pedal for my life, my limbs, and to melt the damned mallow out of my joints. It honestly felt like I wads of sticky, cloying mallow in my knees and hips and the only way to clear them off was to melt them with big bursts of body heat. My inner Sargeant was shouting "I want you to sweat vanilla! I want to be able to smell cookies! I want people to follow you around because you smell like homebaked goodness - sweat those fucking marshmallows out of every fucking pore NOW!" (ok admitting I talk to myself like that was very embarrassing) I may only be meat, but at least I'm sweet. (I can't get this out of my head ever since Doug put it up on his blog....well one of his blogs he has lots of them, well the one you can click over on the right. Careful though, he likes to play Doctor *wink*)
I was the bounciest, the boingiest, freakiest girl in the gym - I was banging my head like I was a moshpit diva - but the music was poptastic (I must get a MP3 player) . I was bounding about on this bike for 15 minutes, push, push push. Then it was the elliptical and I gave it a good thrashing too. I marked it as my own territory by sweating all over it (but I did a wipedown with a baby wipe after, so it was all clean and smelled of powder) Rage against the Mallow! One of the regulars who's a fitness trainer stopped me and commented how much I appeared to enjoy my workout. I like to be amusing, I need to be amused. Attacking the mallow in my bones (no, shit, that's marrow) was fun. She said she wished all her clients were like me. Awww...I was seriously touched. Not for long though, because after my weight sets, It was time for some mallow squishing on the stair climber. I think I've now won the Mallow-wars.
I keep having conversations in my head with people, but I think I've actually had words with the other person. I'm daydreaming a lot, and it's getting dangerous, because at some point I'm going to say something stupid to someone and they're going to be like "what the hell are you on about?" and I'll realise I only pretended to speak with them. It's happened before. I once asked this guy how his sister was doing since she moved to Seattle. He was confused, I then regaled the entire conversation I'd had with him, about his sister and her boyfriend moving to Seattle and how he was looking to transfer to a university near her so he could travel the west coast; complete fiction the guy never even had a sister. Do you see why I keep quiet a lot of the time?
Here I shouldn't bother, I should just paint the walls with my weird thoughts and pretend conversations. I know I should, but that's a daydream, this is active action. Very different functions. I often wonder if I've recited the world's best story pitch in my head, only to have forgotten it ten minutes later when life intrudes.
I'm craving some tongue stripping curry, I'll be around.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
So behold the ankle, for they may not be ready for such shoes again for many years.
It's really hard to take pictures of your own shoes while wearing them, ya know!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
We had a great time down in Harrogate for the wedding. The hotel was fine and countrified with tartan curtains and matching headboard on the extremely comfortable mattress - I was keen to pull out the sheets and see what brand it was, it was that comfy, which I've never had before; a comfortable bed in a hotel room. Rare indeed. It did feel like we were in our grandma's spare bedroom, though. Harrogate is a rich town, where we find out that the rich folks of Leeds retire too. In our one-night wader about we saw three Ferraris! Not to mention the TVRs, Porches and antique Morgans. The Porches were only notable due to their abundance, otherwise they seemed as common as a Volkswagen among the grander cars.
By day it was lovely and manicured, but once the sun set, it was like Sunnydale - the kids all come out and run riot, drunk and rolling in the tulip beds. One guy was walking with his pals and he had his hand right down in his troushers holding himself as he walked down the street. I don't know why he even bothered to wear a belt, but I thought most young boys outgrew the "holding his peepee" behaviours. We found a great pub called The Bell, which had a plaque up saying that in the very booth we sat Bill Clinton sat and ate a steak and ale pie back on 2001. They had some amazing lager and a very nice cider. We only had a couple because we didn't want be staggering about later on.
We window shopped and people watched and went to a Thai restaurant for dinner. It was ok - within our price range and the food was nice, but nothing spectacular - well except the service which was excellent! They said we could get us a table but that we must depart by 9:15 for reserved patrons. As it was only a wee bit before eight we figured if they could keep the kitchen moving, we'd be ok. We were out before half eight, and the staff were really alert and friendly. We didn't feel like we'd been rushed at all. Once the starter was gone - bam there's your main dish, finished? Bam here's your drink. We expected countless lost minutes watching folks fumble about but they were very attentive and polite. So unusual compared to Scotland. *ahem*
We lounged about on Saturday morning reading the newspaper, and I had my book. We'd gone in town early for a couple of presents, but the rain was threatening so we hid close to home and nibbled shop-bought snacks in our room while listening to the radio. On BBC2 radio has a show by Jonathan Ross which is always good for a laugh. Have a listen if you have time.We got dressed at two and ambled over to Ripley Castle for the wedding. I say ambled because it was only next door to the hotel - talk about leisure! We met up with a couple of friends and had a bit of "Oh don't you look nice!" talk and "Where are you staying?" blah blah "Nice knees, love the kilt,". I noticed most of the women had hats on, and I didn't. My friend Fee said "But I'll bet no one else will have scarlet red streaks in their hair either. A hat would've covered those." and her pal Sandy agreed, So I was satisfied with a possible uniqueness.
Now, I'm not easy with conversation. I'm not good at it, because I always end up saying something very very wrong. Before the hour was up I had two hits against me. I conspired with one friend "I know the groom invited two of his ex's here, but I can't see Tracy, and I don't know the other one." Fee was smiling and changed the subject to children. I later found out, her pal Sandy, who was sitting on her other side, was the other Ex. Later after a couple of glasses of champagne, I mentioned lesbians in conversation - I can't even remember the context now, but I got shushed for it. I know it wasn't anything mean or rude - I like lesbians, I'm not prejudiced, but I was taken aside and told that Tracy was a lesbian, and here with her partner. Tracy, you know, the other Ex. I stomped over to the Hubs and growled in his ear about not telling me about that! So in future: No talking about lesbians, or homosexuals for that matter, even in flattery and never mention the past - EVER!
After that, I had another champagne, a few nibbles off the passing trays and I wandered off on my own outside into the castle coutyard to eavesdrop into other conversations. I ended up with a couple of older ladies and super-fit fourty-something who were sneaking cigarettes. Before I knew it I was handed a hand-rolled and I was in the clique. I can always make friends with smokers, vices and weakness of character bring out the best in folk. The gossip, the chat! I can't remember a word of it, but it was great. I noticed my champagne never seemed to be empty, only to realise the staff were sneaky-sneaky filling up everyone's glasses when they weren't looking - I was rat-arsed pissed. Husband came out looking for me and found me laughing, smoking and drinking with the "hens"(the Bride's Aunts). He was amused, and content that I'd overcome my anxiety so well. Dinner was being served.
Dinner table had many plates, glasses and silverware. I just sat nice and smiled around the table of strangers...no wait, not all strangers. Tracy was there with her Partner. I made a great effort to not be myself. We talked about Australia, New Zealand and travel. I went to pick up my glass for an offering of red wine and noticed lipstick all over it - the horror! A top place like this with dirty glasses on the table! I was about to start a snit when I realised it was the glass I brought in with me from outside. Two glasses of wine later...
I don't think I was sober after five pm. I don't usually drink, and hadn't smoked in nearly three years and all of it went right to my head; even a full meal with fudgy dessert didn't curb it. I went outside to clear my head in the fresh air, only to find the "Hens" again, pushing a cigarette at me and gossiping, talking about decolletage, and how to make a man do anything you want. I listened intently to the wisdom (Which was simply, show your cleavage and tell them how wonderful and clever they are). Husband found me again, they announced the cutting of the cake, and everyone went inside.
Hubs was kind and took me to a bench to sit. I was falling asleep, so he walked me to the hotel and got me undressed and in bed. He left me to have a sleep. Two hours later, about 11pm he comes back in, exhausted himself. I was however, quite refreshed and said we should go back - just to say goodnight. We both got dressed again and walked back up to the reception. The whole time I was away, folks would ask Hubs where I was, but he was kind and said "Oh she's around here somewhere," or "I think she's just stepped outside," and didn't tell anyone I'd passed out, which was really sweet of him. When we went back folks were like "Oh you found her,"
It was a great weekend. A lovely wedding. I'm a bit sad I missed the cake cutting, Hubs had sent the Groom a birthday present which he suggested, in jest, they would make great bride&groom cake toppers. Well, they did use them on the cake, explaining the whole birthday card thing. Groom even suggested changing the wedding day to May 4th instead of the 6th (May the Fourth...I know I know!) but alas.
The kids were really well behaved for Grandma, and didn't seem to miss us too much - which was bittersweet. I guess this means, we can take another wee weekend trip again some day, only I'll stay clear off the never-ending glass of champagne.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Wish me luck and I hope all of you folks and friends have a lovely weekend too!!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
I know I'm being histrionic and girlie too. I know, on some level, that no one really gives a shit except me. Sassy even told me she didn't want me to be skinny, because she likes to cuddle a squishy Mummy; she's a bit boobie obsessed, it gives me concern. I think it's quite impossible for me to be skinny anyways. I was looking through old photos yesterday (for a school project for Sassy - they're doing a timeline of their lives; all 6-7 years of it. Needless to say, Mommy did the homework.) and saw pics of me at my bridal shower, where I weighed about 135-140 and I still looked chubby. I have chubby genes. I'm cursed with pudgy cheeks and assorted roundness. The exercise is doing amazing things, don't get me wrong, but what's changing isn't too apparent. Yet.
Husband bought me a whole new outfit, haircut and colour as a treat for all my hard work. He wants me to feel beautiful, and I worry I may let him down. For me, worry and anxiety equals a cake flavored band-aid. I was blog hopping yesterday and saw a tribute to the HoHo, and I yearned for hostess cakes. Twinkies, chocodiles, Suzy-Qs and devil's food cake; all those wonderful, artificially enhanced goodies. I've thought about nothing since. Lucky for me they don't have Hostess cakes in the UK, or I would be in trouble. I haven't had any in six years. Heavy sigh.
Anyways, I keep worrying that money was spent foolishly. If I keep on losing weight, the outfit I just bought won't fit in another few months. Sure, I could sell it on eBay or I could be really naughty and keep all the tags and return the whole outfit, but what's the point eh?
I want cake.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
What was so funny? Damned if I know, I can't remember a thing. I think I was dreaming about changing the words of a popular kids song to something dirty, but can't get my brain to let me relive the fun.
I've never woken up laughing before, it was a special surprise.
You know when folks say "OK" and it's all ok right, but here in Scotland, they sometimes say "Och-A" rather than Och-aye, they mix it all up with a "Och-A" instead. Only problem is, when I hear "Och-A" I think they're saying "Cock" in pig latin. It makes me laugh a little.
Monday, May 01, 2006
This weekend in particular, I'm concerned that on some website, some dusty abandoned building, a cult of geriatrics, gaining in numbers only due to baby-boomer statistics, have decided to commit suicide by walking in front of our car. The Hubs was pounding on the brakes and horn all weekend. Old people wandering into busy streets, when there was a pedestrian crossing not ten feet away, walking behind the car as we are exiting a parking space. They were like squirrels, walking halfway across the road, they see our car and scurry back to the same sidewalk, rather than continue on - ambling about with canes and walkers grumbling underbreath; "Damn, missed a bonnet bounce there; next time. Aye, next time for sure."
Little kids, when they try and cross the street will be over-cautious. They look both ways about a dozen times, they run at high speed and then thank their lucky stars they made it to the other side alive. We as parents have beaten the fear of traffic into them, for their own good. Old people dawdle about and suddenly find themselves in the middle of traffic. "Oh my, how'd that happen. Damned cars in the middle of the of the sidewalk again." and they always look at us as if it's our fault! They must know better - I mean they were around when the crosswalk was invented. Didn't their parents teach them better?
If you ask them, they wist about how busy we young folks are, how we don't take the time to enjoy life and the beauty around us. Well that's because we work, raise kids and have non-stop general mayhem - don't you remember? And, we do take the time to enjoy the beautiful and good, just not in the middle of a five lane intersection.
I can't imagine I'll be like that, I won't be so ignorant as to think my age and experince supersedes my (vulner)ability to be killed by a big car. That my overflowing appreciation for the beauty of the world would cause another person to get a big hike in car insurance after they trounced my ass.
And should we comment on the old people who drive, shall we - oh yes. Why do you drive at 35mph on a 70mph highway? Why? You are a hazard, an obstacle, a bloodclot in the main artery of modern progression. Get the hell off the roads if you can't follow the rules. Stay home and watch game shows, wait for the old-folks free bus and sell the car. Just stop trying. 25mph in a 50 zone of excellent twisty roads simply denies us the joy of driving. Why do you old folks become so self-aware when you have a big metal box around you, but will run into traffic with naught but a cane to protect you? It's insane.
The world will not slow down for you, speed up or get off the ride.