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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Word of the Day


Sooo descriptive. And fun to say! You can really wrap your tongue around it and enjoy the process of spitting it out. All the things it's usually applied to are fun, as well: filthy rich, filthy mouth, filthy joke...

If I were Queen of the Universe, I'd make it a law that everyone had to use the word 'filthy' in a sentence at least once a day. Bonus points for a good, filthy joke. So come on, indulge my Q. of the U. fantasy and tell me something naughty!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Obligatory Oscar Post

Okay, so I didn't watch the Oscars. I didn't really know they were happening (first they weren't, then they were, then I didn't care) and no one in Ohio seems to get as excited about them as people in New York did. My college friends threw Oscar parties! My office had a highly competitive Oscar pool. Here? Not so much.

Besides which, I've seen very few movies this year. Loved Juno, was bored/confused/disappointed by Michael Clayton, although not by the acting, which was top notch, so Tilda Swinton definitely deserved that statuette. Other than that? I guess, Ratatouille? Which was adorable. I don't even know. Like I said, didn't watch.

What I DID make sure to tune in for was the Fug Girls' coverage of the red carpet fashions. And since I'm fighting a cold, and not as funny as those girls on my best and brightest day, I'm cheating on my Oscar post and linking to their site.

Enjoy! If you like making fun of celebrities and the wacky-doodle things they wear in public, you'll love this.

Friday, February 22, 2008

French Friday

In the interests of not abandoning this French Friday thing after a single week, like most of my blog projects, here's a quick French post.

I love Orangina. And so do the French, in their wickety-wackety-weirdo way. God love 'em.

It's Snowing...AGAIN

I used to love the snow. Growing up in Virginia, we didn't get a lot of it; just enough to remind me every winter of how much fun it was. Snow angels, and snowmen, and snow ice cream, and sledding! And of course, school getting canceled, because at the first pretty, fluttering flake, the city officials would promptly lose their shit and cancel everything. The entire citizenry would rush en masse to the grocery stores to stock up on toilet paper, bread, and milk, and just generally act like it was the End Times. All this, for three inches or so of snow. But, of course, it was because it was unusual, and the city didn't really have the equipment to deal with it, and people weren't used to driving in it, and they caused lots of accidents, and so it became a big mess.

That's not the case here in Ohio. The city has hundreds of snow plows; heck, my neighbors have snow plows. No one lets the weather keep them indoors, and there's no general panic over driving on icy, slushy roads. (I still panic, a little, but Nick mocks me for it, so I try to keep it all inside.) You'd think all of this would make the experience of snow even better, but really--it's just an enormous p. in the a. It's really sad. When did snow stop being fun? More to the point, when did I turn into a grumpy old lady? See, at least in Virginia, you could use the snow as an excuse to stay in, throw on your jammies and make a fire and read all day. But here, people expect you to honor your commitments and head out into the storm, like it's nothing! Uncool.

So I'm still on the hook for baking cookies today to take to the Chamber of Commerce Business Show tomorrow, where I'll work the booth from noon to 2:00 for the Jaycees. I was thinking M&M cookies, but now that I'm feeling so sulky and put upon, they'll be lucky if they get oatmeal raisin.

Picture me pouting.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Religion ala Eddie Izzard

After sitting through an inordinately long sermon this morning (our regular priest was absent, and had saddled us with a cruelly slow-talking replacement), and a hymn that completely defeated me with its lack of discernible tune and rhyme scheme, I was feeling the need for a little light-hearted heresy.

So I give you Eddie Izzard, executive transvestite, and all-around hysterical British standup comic. His thoughts on religion, and specifically the origin of the Anglican church (and therefore of my little Episcopal church) seemed apt for today.

It's a longish clip, but guaranteed to make you laugh. Unless you're easily offended, or utterly lacking a sense of humor. If that's the case--you should probably just stop reading my blog entirely.

Friday, February 15, 2008

French Friday

I've decided that Friday will be my day to discuss all things French. I'm not a francophile, necessarily, although I'm a fan of some things about them. One of the things I like best, in fact, is their complete mockability. So you can expect these French Fridays (when I remember to do them) to be half "I like coq au vin, and also French boys are sometimes weirdly hot" and half "Can you believe what those cheese-eating, chablis-sucking surrender monkeys are doing?"

Today's inaugural post is of the "French boys are sometimes weirdly hot" variety.

Gaspard Ulliel

Why is he sexy? He looks like a little boy with a lopsided smile, whose brother has stolen his hairbrush. And yet...

Have you seen A Very Long Engagement? That movie explains some of it, at least for me; he has a magnetically appealing screen presence, even in a film where he speaks about four lines total. Along with a kind of hapless vulnerability that makes you want to take him home and cuddle him up.

Then he played Hannibal Lecter in the newest prequel. In which, of course, he's less sweet, more sinister. Still hot, though. I'd show you a clip, but you might have nightmares. It's icky.

But this isn't! This is yummy. Not to get all My So Called Life, or anything, but I like pictures of boys leaning.

Gaspard Ulliel is a heartthrob in France for a reason. Now that he's making the crossover to Hollywood, we'll see if his appeal is international, or limited to those who enjoy the archetype of the slender, emotional youth--otherwise known as the French.

If you're still not convinced, but would like to see more of Gaspard's odd charms, press 'play' in the post below. Ignore the music; every fanvid I looked at was saddled with the most atrocious tripe imaginable. This is the best of a bad lot. (At least it's French tripe, and therefore in keeping with my theme.)

Gaspard Ulliel - Best Parts

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Idea

I'm working on a new story idea, to keep my creative juices flowing (why does that sound so dirty?) while I simultaneously revise my previous novel. The new story is lots of fun, and incorporates several issues/scenarios that I currently feel passionate about. I'm not quite ready to share the details, but that's not going to stop me from pumping all of you for ideas.

First off, there's a secondary character who fronts a punk band that plays in small clubs and bars in downtown New York. His name is Frankie Boyd, and he's exactly what you think--brash, rough-around-the-edges, unapologetic, iconoclastic, and smoking hot. If you're interested, this is the image I'm going off of--well, one of many. This guy has just the look I want, sort of broodydangerouswild, with a lean, wiry physique and something slightly bruised/hurt looking around the eyes.

What I want to pick your brains on is the name of his band. Think punk, people. The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks, The Modern Lovers, The Stooges, The Dead Boys--these are the bands Frankie grew up listening to. So what would he name his band?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

HEA Cafe

The beauteous Mel is guest blogging today over at HEA Cafe, the RWA Online chapter's informative and interesting blog, and you should all go check it out. Maybe if enough people ask, she'll tell us what's so damn funny...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tagged. Again.

Kristen Painter tagged me with the 6 Unimportant Things Meme. Don't think I don't know what you're up to, K. This is an unsubtle nudge to make sure I blog this week.

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


1. My favorite nail polish color is OPI Red. Mainly because it's the only color I can bring myself to ask for by name without snickering. Who comes up with nail polish color names, and how can I get that job? Just think, someone out there was paid to dream up the phrase "Java Mauva".
2. I have no sense of my own cleavage. I live with these breasts! They're there all the time. The only way I know if what I'm wearing is on the slutty side is by counting the number of times people's eyes drop to my chest during a conversation.
3. Last night, I went to a Bubbles for Baubles-style charity event where we bought glasses of champagne and were put in for a drawing of different pieces of jewelry. I won, not once, but twice. A tennis bracelet (sort of), and a beaded bracelet donated by Paula Deen.
4. If there's a choice between a dessert featuring chocolate, and one flavored with lemon, I'll go for the lemon every time.
5. The last movie I saw in the theater was Juno, which you should all see. The acting is phenomenal, the writing ranges from hilarious to truly touching.
6. The song currently playing on repeat on my iTunes is Kiss Them for Me by Siouxsie and the Banshees.

I tag Mel, Maria, Kate, Jen, Maureen, and Meg

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Room of One's Own

I'll confess, I've never been able to make it all the way through any book by Virginia Woolf. Particularly not the extended essay, A Room of One's Own. I had friends in college who swore it changed their lives, but I found it dull. However, I do know what it's basically about, and I can agree with the premise that in order to create, one needs a dedicated, private space.

For the first time ever, I'm about to have that.

The first book I wrote was in college--I scribbled on it during classes, over breaks, just wherever I happened to be sitting. Which is somewhat reflected in the writing and plot--the whole thing feels scattered and unfinished. Which, to be fair, it is. The second book, the one filled with hot demon sex, for those keeping score, was written mainly at a small built-in desk in the corner of the laundry room off the kitchen. 'Desk' is perhaps a bit of an overstatement; my previous writing space could more accurately be described as an extended shelf. The space was about four feet deep, with windows on all sides, making me feel simultaneously cramped and exposed. Not ideal, but I did manage to actually finish this book, and while some people liked it (my loyal critique partners, Mel and Maria!), the biggest note I got was that it felt like I was holding back--not completely comfortable letting my characters stretch and express every nuance of emotion and reaction to one another.

Obviously, there's more to writing than the space you do it in. It's a learning process, and every book will be different. I'm not trying to blame less than ideal conditions (what ARE the ideal conditions, anyway? Stephen King famously wrote Carrie in the laundry room of his double-wide trailer, so clearly laundry rooms are not anathema to the creative process) for my creative missteps. But I do think there are some intriguing parallels, and I'm very excited to see how having my own office, decorated by and for me, used by no one but me for no other purpose than writing and reading and researching, will affect what I write.

Where do you get your best work done?

Friday, February 8, 2008

RYA Group Update

A blow has been struck for tolerance and acceptance! Well, okay, not a blow so much as a half-hearted smack, but I'm still unreasonably proud of myself.

For those of you who don't remember, a few weeks ago saw me frothing at the mouth over the small-mindedness of my fellow fraternal organization board members. RYA (Rainbow Youth Alliance) is trying to get a chapter going in my little corner of uptight Ohio, reaching out to gay/questioning teens with support and advice. It's a peer support group, similar to the gay/straight alliance that exists at many public schools. They're looking for a safe place to hold their meetings, and my group's clubhouse was suggested to them. After much hemming and hawing, it was decided to put it to a vote last night.

I have to give the president of the club credit; she tried really hard to separate the issue of what type of group wanted to use the clubhouse from the issue of having any group other than ourselves up there. The word 'gay' was never mentioned last night. However, it's a small club, and I'd be shocked if there was a single person in the room who didn't know what we were really voting on. And, as I feared, even after Nick's somewhat impassioned arguing (for which I love him a little more today than I did yesterday), the vote was 'no'.


But don't despair! Here's where I don my Supergirl cape and those kicky knee-high red boots. I called up my sweet, wonderful, intelligent, insightful (man, I hope she reads this) minister at the local Episcopal church, and I'd barely gotten out two words about the situation when she said, "Well, we should definitely do this."

Yay! I think we know who's really wearing the Supergirl boots in this scenario, and it ain't me. She acknowledged that she's liable to take some flak for this, but she sounded not the least bit put off by the prospect. In response, for the first time ever, I feel like officially switching from the Methodist church to the Episcopal. (Sorry, Mama!) So this little saga has a happy ending, or a happy beginning, since now RYA will be able to actually get started. If even one kid gets the support he or she needs, I'll feel like all this angst has been worth it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Book Crush

Have you ever become infatuated with a character in a book? They said Dorothy Sayers, who wrote the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, never married because she became too enamored of her own hero. I can see why; Lord Peter is old school hot, charming and entertaining, frighteningly intelligent, and he has a tortured past. What's not to love?

I recently conceived a book crush, myself. What makes it more complicated is that he's a real person--the book was a memoir. Well, more of a tell-all kind of deal, actually. Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain. If you haven't read it, go to Amazon this minute and buy it. You won't be disappointed. It's fiendishly engrossing, full of down and dirty details about what goes on behind those swinging kitchen doors, at restaurants from a seafood joint in Provincetown to a mob-run Italian place to a classic French brasserie in Manhattan.

And the voice! Swoon. Tony Bourdain's got this brash, take-no-prisoners way about him that just lights me up. Especially when coupled with his wry, brutal honesty about himself. He's a great representation of one of my favorite heroic archetypes: the self-hating narcissist. (Other good examples of the self-hating narcissist: Greg House, on House, M.D.; Dr. Perry Cox on Scrubs; Lord Goring in Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband) This is a man who is brilliant at what he does, and knows it. He doesn't care who he pisses off, and is, on the surface at least, only concerned with himself. The core of him, though, is a deep passion for his work, and his willingness to do whatever it takes to be true to his calling. And there's an element of him that, on some level, doesn't believe he's worthy of love. Although he'd mock you eternally for ever suggesting such a thing.

How can you not fall for someone like that? Or maybe it's just me. My husband was much amused to hear about this crush, and very good-naturedly sat down to watch a couple episodes of Tony's show on the Travel channel, No Reservations. (The show dilutes his voice a little, actually. At least for me, it's a purely cerebral crush--not much to do with how Tony looks or moves or sounds when he talks. It's the way he talks that gets me--and you have a lot more of that in the book.) But at any rate, we watched and enjoyed, and when it was over, Nick was kind of quiet for a minute. Then he said, "Interesting. This is really your type, isn't it? This must be how I come off to other people." And I think that's true. I know Nick so well at this point, after ten years, I don't really see it anymore, because he's not a 'type' to me. He's Nick. But when we first met, when I was first attracted to him, it was because he was so confident, almost arrogant, but with this underlying sense of humor about himself; even showing, sometimes, a fleeting vulnerability that just completely did me in.

I never understood when other people said things like, "he's not my type." I guess I always assumed they meant that the person in question had blond hair when they like brunettes, or was short when they preferred tall. Which was always ludicrous to me--hot is hot! I've seen short, sexy guys with compact muscles and dark hair, and I've seen lanky blondes with wiry muscles and long legs, and what the hell is the sense in limiting yourself? But now I see. At least for me, the common thread in most of the guys I've dated/been infatuated with/married is this self-hating narcissist personality. In fiction, as well. The push-pull of it, the dichotomy, keeps it fascinating. Plus, there's a bad boy thing in there, too, which doesn't hurt.

So there you go. 28 years old, happily married, and I finally understand my 'type'. Better late than never, I guess!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Go Giants!

Have to give a quick champagne toast to Eli and the boys for their fierce, tenacious play last night. I didn't honestly think they had much of a shot, and nobody else really did, either, but they surprised us all! The Giants are my fave of all the NY teams (and not just because I find baseball deadly dull, and the Yankees poisonously arrogant) so I was rooting for them anyway, but I didn't hold out much hope. The whole game was hard fought, and the final 3 minutes had me out of my chair and screaming myself hoarse, and that is the way a damn Superbowl ought to be played!

Also, quick note on Eli Manning: last night was his coming out party. Eli, sugar: After last night, no one can say you knuckled under, or that you're only a name in football because of, well, your last name. You sucked it up and let the pressure drive you, and proved yourself to everyone. Also, you're cuter than I ever realized, especially when contrasted with Peyton, who, God love him, is kind of a goofy-looking dude, even if he is one of the greatest football players alive.


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