Dec 10, 2008

Merry Christmas

I am making my Christmas cards. Notice I did not say holiday cards or winter solstice cards. We celebrate Christmas and I do not know why so many people pressure us to not say so. Merry Christmas. It's what we say. Why are some people allowed to say how horrible it is for me to say Merry Christmas. I do not think it is insulting, and if you said Happy Hannukah or Merry Kwanza to me, I would return the greeting and not get upset and offer criticism. If you do not believe, just take it as a nice greeting. Someone saying Merry Christmas to you is certainly not meant as anything other than a greeting of this time.

It is Christmas, celebrating the birth of Christ. If you wish to celebrate this time of year, whatever you celebrate is fine with me. I celebrate Christmas, Love, Joy, Hope and Peace to everyone, not just the Merry Christmasers.

Nov 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving


Hope you are all having a great day! I was going to post a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone today, along with an illustration of mine. The external hard drive that has the illustration on it is in for repair, and the CD backup is now in a box behind piles of storage boxes for Christmas decorations, so I am using the comp version. If you want this illustration for yourself, you can purchase it at iStockphoto.com.


The turkey at our house doesn't look as happy as this one, but I know it will be very yummy, as on Tuesday Cap'n deep fried a practice turkey, and it was all gone by the next day. A 13 pounder! Yum, it was delicious, as I am sure the one will be later on today.

We will finish eating by 4:00 so we can go to Michael's and see if I can snag some cartridges, they are having a super sale.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Illustration by Kopperhead (me) at istockphoto.com.

Nov 22, 2008

Bad Day for Blue Christmas Lights

It was a bad day at Cap'n and Wench's ship yesterday. We were decorating the outside with lights. First Cap'n took a step backwards and stepped on a blue light. Then a few minutes later it was my turn, another blue light got squished under my boot. Then, when trying to get a replacement light out of the package, Cap'n squished another one. That man doesn't know his own strength. Then later, I dropped a package of spare bulbs....which one broke? You got it, the blue one. Cap'n has gone to store to buy new replacement light, in blue, of course. These are the old fashioned giant Christmas light bulbs.

We got lights all around the structure we call home, plus hung some giant glass balls in the peaks of the garage and entrance way. They look pretty in the day time. also got green lighted swags and red lighted bow above the garage door. Hopefully the Cap'n's big boat won't yank them off when he backs out of the garage.

It was cold here yesterday, had to break out the wool coat. Of course you snowbirds would laugh at me and probably think the wind and cold were merely a refreshing breeze. It wasn't. I had to take a hot bath and get under my heated blanket early yesterday; I couldn't thaw out.

Everything looks real pretty, even though most strings of lights are missing some blue bulbs, but we'll get there. First in our neighborhood to put up lights, so we won, I guess. I'll put a photo when it is not so windy and I can get out there and take one with them all lit up.

Nov 7, 2008

Crafting, Not Writing



Is what I have been doing lately. Just posted photos of the studio make over along with a few cards I have made.

100 Things

Nov 4, 2008

election day USA

I didn't go vote today. I voted early, two weeks ago, while I was at the library turning in my borrowed books and borrowing some more. I knew that I wouldn't change my mind between then and now.

As of now we have a President Elect. I wish him all the best, and hope that he does a good job for us. Although I did not vote for Obama, I did vote, and my vote counted, so I am prepared to accept the outcome. I know we need change, and I do hope that BO and his advisors are prepared to do the right thing for the U.S. His speech tonight was truly amazing, and gave me that proud to be American feeling.

I know there are lots of things PEBO needs to accomplish for us, but, and maybe oddly, one thing I want him to do is make America and American's look better to the rest of the world. There are times I hate that the world seems to hate us. What the world sees is not always what us individual American's are about.

My prayer is that PEBO puts his life and this country in the right order: God, family, country. He is going to have hard choices to make, and as a patriotic American, I am going to give him the chance to make those choices, and recognize when he makes good choices, as well as poor choices.

I have been waiting for this election outcome for months now. Finally we can move on. I know....I'll make some cards!

Nov 3, 2008

I'm bonkers and it's all okay

Now I know I have finally put one foot off that ledge that I have been hovering on for the longest.

First, I must say that my younguns were young before baby monitors were a gizmo available to help the proud parents leave the baby alone in his room while they found some alone time together in another part of the house. So we just had to use our God-given ears, keeping at least one ear tuned into the sounds that only a mother, or father, recognizes.

What does that have to do with going off the deep end? Last night I set my Cricut to cut a cute little swirly cut from the Accent Essentials cartridge to use as a pumpkin stem. The cut was very intricate and I was cutting 14 of them and it was going to take awhile. I was tired and ready to go to bed so I just left Cricut running and turned off lights and closed up the studio for the night, and went on in the house. On my walk (very dark too, as both porch lights on the studio burned out within two days of each other) I hoped that Cricut would be okay cutting alone, and the thought flashed in my head that perhaps I should have a baby monitor so that I could listen to it cutting and make sure everything went okay.

It was at that point I realized I had turned my electronic die cutting machine into a young child that I needed to tend to every waking moment.

Are both feet off the ledge now? I think that when I got back in the studio this morning and saw that everything was fine, no paper jams or miscuts, that I could trust Cricut on her own for an hour or so of cutting pumpkin stems. Now I'm off to cut the pumpkins, all the while doing my balancing act in order to stay on the ledge.

Nov 2, 2008

i got nothin'



Yes, I know that is unusual, as one of my faults is that I can ramble on about absolutely nothing until the cows come home. I have been busy crafting, after converting my photography studio into my own crafting/writing paradise. I had to leave my fictional characters alone for awhile because they were just getting on my nerves right and left.

We had lots and lots of ghosts and goblins (and even Gene Simmons) come to the door Friday night for Trick or Treat. The pathway was aflutter with ghouls and skeletons, but those little angels and devils managed to make it. Gave away 10 bags of fun-sized candy bars. Those little dickens made me work this year.

I had one of the Milky Way fun-sized candy bars. I gotta tell you, it wasn't any fun as it was so little! But I only had the one. We had two bags of candy bars left, and I see the adult kids have almost finished those off today.

Oh yeah, my son bought my wish list from Addicted to Rubber Stamps, so on Wednesday I should have new stamps, plus a Scor-Pal. I am serious about this card making, so I need serious tools.

Card: Stampendous Witch's Feet, some dark purple cardstock I had, Swiss Dots Cuttlebug embossing folder, Prisma colors, Stickles. (I should be ashamed of this photo, as I am a retired photographer. I will take a better one tomorrow, along with the other cards I have been working on.)
Replaced photo with better one! 20071107

Oct 13, 2008

God Bless the USA and Happy Columbus Day

Why? No reason. Oh yes, we'll call it "Happy Columbus Day". Why not? I was going to save this for July 4th, but heck, that's a long time from now, so we'll just have a replay when Independence Day rolls around.

Feel free to listen to "God Bless the U.S.A." (see left column) while you gaze. I'll wait. And if you are in the USA and wishing you weren't, then go away already.

Why am I not complaining about this image not sporting a head and shoulders? Because it is cropped attractively. Yes, I know I complain whenever a book cover chops off the model's head. You don't cut someone off at the eyes, nose, mouth or neck. Look at the image one more time--this is attractive cropping. Also, don't cut people off at the ankles. Not pretty.


Oh yes, back to Columbus Day. Some time in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. That is what I remember of my history lessons, folks. And if it did not rhyme I would probably have forgotten that. I know more about Catherine of Aragon (daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, who financed Columbus' expedition, and first wife of King Henry VIII) than I know about Columbus, thanks to Philippa Gregory's novels.

Gregory does a wonderful job of maintaining the historical facts while adding a bit of fiction, filling in those bits that we just have no way of knowing what exactly happened or what was said and making a wonderful story. I have always liked reading about that period in history even though I do not really care so much for monarchies. (And I managed to work books into this multi-natured post, also.)

Speaking of monarchies, we do have a major election coming up in a few weeks, so be sure to vote. I will not tell you who to vote for (well, really, if you want to vote like me you can always leave me your email and I'll tell you who I think you should vote for). I am one of those definitely on the train of 'if you don't vote, don't be complaining'. I am even on the train, or maybe this is just a bus, of 'vote for the lesser of two evils' if that is how you look at it.

I will admit right here and now, there was once a Presidential election where I did not vote, and I felt guilty for four years. Four. Long. Years. I should have put my foot down and told my boss I couldn't go on that business trip that week, that they were crazy for scheduling it during an election. (It was too late to vote absentee by the time the trip was planned.)

Here's a stamp from 1892 in commemoration of Columbus, which at the time, commemorated the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World.

Oct 10, 2008

my green bicycle

I have been waiting for this moment, to write about my green bicycle, for half a century. In the day of disposable everything, even bicycles, it seems, my bicycle has lasted a lifetime. Literally. I found my bicycle next to a real pine Christmas tree in 1959, when I was six years old and in the first grade. Of course, it was too big for me. And it wasn't green; it was a bright shiny blue. (I've always wondered if pink was for girls (traditionally) and blue for boys, then why did boys get red bicycles and girls get blue.). This bicycle was a gigantic 24" height, much too big for me at six years old. My dad put some training wheels on it, the little set of wheels on either side of the rear tire. At first, the training wheels were even with the rear wheel, meaning I could ride along and just stop and the bike would stand by itself. Of course, I could not sit on the seat, as my legs wouldn't reach the pedals, so I stood up, riding my bike around and around the block. When I got more comfortable with the training wheels, Daddy adjusted them so that I could ride without using them, but they were still there just in case.

I had many skinned elbows and knees those first few summers of riding my gigantic bicycle. Then one day I grew enough to be able to ride it, by sitting on the seat and with no training wheels. By this time I had scratched and dented it a bit, so Dad painted it green. He used whatever paint he found in the garage, and it was a flat Kelly green left over from another project. I didn't care. Green was my favorite color.

During the elementary school years, my green bicycle was my best friend and took me all over the little town of less than 100, and the surrounding countryside. I hauled bread from the little store (twenty-five cents a loaf), I gathered discarded soda bottles from the ditches along the country roads (two cents redemption fee), and I carried my books to school in the wire basket on the front of my bike. As long as it wasn't raining, I would ride my bike to school, gliding across the gravel parking area, hopping off and leaning it against the brick wall of the cafeteria.

During the summer, my bike became my horse named Star, and took me on adventures on country roads far out of town, much farther than I ever allowed my own children to venture on their bicycles. I would go visit friends, and sometimes enough friends would band together and we would have our own little bike parade up and down the street where the most people lived. Back then, it wasn't against the rules to drop in on someone unexpectedly for a visit. If they were home, you were welcomed, fed a snack and a beverage, and sometimes asked to stay for supper. I do remember though, that one time I went too far and was gone too long and my father (notice the serious 'father' is used here) came looking for me, driving his car slowly along the road and blowing the horn. As soon as I heard the horn sounding and saw the light green Chevrolet, I knew I was in trouble. As punishment, I couldn't ride my bike for two weeks.

However, ironically, my dad took those two weeks and freshened up my bicycle for me with a new coat of green paint, a slightly different shade, and put new tires on it. When my punishment was over, I was riding in style. Ever since that first paint job, my bicycle has had so many coats of green paint on it, nobody remembers how many it actually is. I rode that same bicycle through high school and when I started college, I would still ride it occasionally. When I began moving around the country, my sister kept the bike in her garage, and she would ride it with my nieces.

Do I still have the bike? In a way. It is currently in my sister's garage. It may have flat tires, and be covered in dust, but I'll bet it is still one of the best bicycles around. It just needs a little TLC.

My boys are grown now, but every time we bought them a new bicycle (I don't know how many we ended up buying, as theirs was either worn out or out grown) I was always reminded of my one and only bike I had that lasted me from childhood to early adult, and is still around, and made it to 50 years old.

Green Bicycle image copyright darkscott at iStockPhoto.

waffles or pretzels

Shhhh. Don't tell Cap'n. He went out of town today and as soon as he left, I got the urge to make waffles. Homemade. From scratch. Now, ladies and gents, as you know, I do not like to cook, nor am I good at it. (In fact, I was just whining to the First Mate that he should row ashore and fetch me some supper from some main street strip of neon lighted mortar, glass and steel structure with a window on the side. Really. Yes, pathetic. I know.

Back to the waffles. I found a recipe in my virtual recipe box (www.anywherewitharecipe.com). (Note—that was sarcasm and I do not know if that is a real site or not.) I selected an easy recipe that just included the basic ingredients, which I had on hand. I expected the waffles to look something like this (look at photo to above left). But they didn't. I wanted nice squares, with the waffle pattern, crispy and golden brown.

I think the recipe made 10 waffles on my waffle iron. Did I mention I had to go into the garage and dig around in the hot October heat (it's Florida, okay, so still hot), and get all dusty and sweaty to locate a waffle iron, which I wasn't even sure we had one, but generally we have one of everything, so I figured the odds were with me. Brought the waffle iron inside, and then sat down to cool off and rest and drink some tea. Iced. Cold. Yesssssssssssss!

I get the waffle iron washed up nicely and centered on the work island ready to make the waffles. The recipe took three bowls, several measuring cups, and something to hold the melted butter. Had I any foresight, I would have melted the butter in the bowl that was going to hold the 'wet' ingredients, but, it's me, so that didn't happen. Back to the 10 waffles. The first two (the iron had two spots for waffles) went into the trash they were so bad. Tasted more like pretzels than waffles. Too much salt maybe? I guess I have a generous pinch. I added some sugar and tried again.

The next two were rather rubbery and doughy, very chewy. I can't really describe them accurately, but I managed to consume one, once I dipped it in the remains of the melted butter and some syrup. The next pair I cooked longer. They looked pretty at least, but again, didn't taste wonderful. (I wouldn't be going back for seconds if you know what I mean.) So I added some vanilla extract. Ooooh, pretty! The vanilla did make them a nicer golden color, which made them more appetizing to look at. I left this pair in the iron for four minutes, instead of the two minutes I had used previously, which was what the recipe instructed.

Now those were some pretty waffles. I haven't tasted the pretty ones yet, since I'm still kind of, ummm, feeling the doughy ones still on the way to my tummy. I put the first couple of waffles back into the waffle iron, and heated them some more, and eventually they looked pretty enough to eat after they had browned and crispied up some more. And they probably need lots of butter and syrup. Some fruit and whipping cream probably wouldn't hurt either.

Next time I want waffles—it's Bisquick time; or better yet, Eggo.

Waffles image copyright Matka Wariatka at iStockPhoto.

Sep 25, 2008

oh Cap’n, please come home, the laundry is piling up

The laundry is piling up, yes, but did you notice how I ended the title of this post in a preposition. Sometimes I do that on purpose, because I think it's fun. Prepositions are just so stuck in their ways, they only want to begin a phrase, the prepositional phrase. Well, sometimes all parts of speech end up on the butt end of sentences, and that's just the way it is.

Meanwhile, yesterday was National Punctuation Day. I didn't celebrate. My comma had crapped out on me, and I was depressed, so I just spent the day alone, with nary a balloon or a card wishing me a Happy NPD. And I didn't give you a link because the site was already over its bandwidth early in the day, what with everyone else apparently celebrating and all.

Oh, back to the laundry (you know how I can get distracted whenever a preposition is dangled in front of me). Yes, I have been a slacker this week, what with the expedition yesterday and other such matters of importance. I know you already know about that, and are looking forward to me reading aloud to you.

However, as you can see, I did manage to hand wash a few delicates and have hung them out to dry. They are awaiting your return. Not that you're going to wear them. You aren't, are you? I just wanted to be prepared, because you know, you've been gone a week, and if there's one thing that's better than hot hotel lovin', it's that been gone now I'm home lovin'. See you soon, Cap'n.

Lingerie on Branch image copyright Erik Anderson at iStockPhoto.

Sep 24, 2008

I took an expediton to the house of porn today

No, really. True Story. I've been planning this expedition for almost a week. As some of you know, I am perfectly happy being a hermit, and I don't get out much. I like to stay home. Don't judge me. However, last Friday, my "I" quit working on my laptop keyboard. I poked at it a little while, shook the laptop like an Etch-a-Sketch a few times, and it still wouldn't work. Since it was Friday, and when I do go anywhere, it certainly isn't on a Friday, or Saturday or Sunday, and Monday's are out of the question, so that left Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of this week. So I planned for today to take the laptop to the Geeks. I couldn't sleep much last night knowing I had set myself up to accomplish something by actually leaving the house. Don't judge me.

Meanwhile, the "I" not working was driving me nuts, and to make a long story short (ha, jokes on you, have you ever know me to be brief?), I finally just popped the cover of the "I" off the keyboard, and poked around in there a little, examining the guts of the "I" along with the underside of the keypad. Oh…so that's how it works. I carefully pressed the cover of the "I" back on, listening for the little click sound when I pressed the corners of the key cover back over the guts of the key. Guess what!! It worked. I'm a Geek. That will be $50.00, thank you very much.

Alas, when I then tried to type a sentence, the "M" wouldn't work. Repeat the "I" procedure with the "M" key. I then checked every key on the keyboard. All okay. About ten minutes later, the "J" quit working. Wha…….. Repeat process. Got the "J" working, then it was the "K". OK, why does my keyboard hate me. I have always treated it with TLC (or TC as the case may be.) Got the "K" working, then it was the comma. So I have lived without a comma since last week, deciding this process of me fixing each key was going to cycle through the entire QWERTY system. This all led to me planning an out of the house expedition for today.

I get up, actually get dressed (never leaving the house saves a lot of getting dressed time), brushed at the hair, packed the laptop in its nice little padded tote, load the purse and the laptop into the Cap'n's Expedition. See, Cap'n is not home this week, so I decided to take a joyride in that big boat. Shhh, don't tell. I was doing this the ask forgiveness rather than permission way. Really, I hate to drive the Expedition. The thing is as big as a ship and has so much stuff on it. Things beep and chime and twirl and I don't even know what a lot of that stuff does. I was very careful not to adjust anything; I pressed the #2 button for the seat adjustments so I wouldn't deprogram his special selection of seat comfort (and his hiney is special, if y'know what I mean). (And not in the same way his knees are special.) I never could get comfortably situated myself, but I never am when driving it.

Why didn't I drive my own car, you ask? Well, I have a nine year old little Chevy Tracker that I just love. It's tiny, I can reach everything inside from the driver's seat, and it fits easily in any parking place (and you can just carry it in your tote bag if you can't find a parking place). Never mind that the driver's side window won't go back up after you lower it. You have to press the "up" button while pushing the glass up and into the groove at the same time. And the passenger door will not automatically lock or unlock. Yeah, I have to get those things mended, but I still love the Tracker. However, apparently I had lost the new '09 registration sticker. Sure enough, if I even thought about driving it the approximate five miles to the tax collector's office to get a replacement sticker, I would have gotten stopped and ticketed before I ever got out of my subdivision. So that's why I drove the big "E".

No sooner than I turned the key in the ignition and cranked up the Expedition, my cell rang. Yep, it was Cap'n. Was I busted? Not yet. I turned the engine off and jumped out of the Expedition, because somehow I just knew that he would know I was sitting in it with the engine running. He had called to ask me to fetch a couple of forms, scan them and email them to him. So that meant taking the laptop back inside, doing the scanning, sending by email, all while feeling like I was in trouble. After I got the email sent, just for the heck of it, I opened up Word and typed a comma. Yippee! Comma was back and working. I typed an entire page of commas. I typed an entire page of all letters and numbers, just to make sure everything worked. It's a miracle!

Since I was ready to go on my expedition in the Expedition, I went ahead and got the replacement tag for my car, and since I had a coupon for Best Buy, headed on over there and used it to buy "Eureka" Season 2. Just walking along the aisles at Best Buy, I was getting a little shaky and my heart was beating a little faster, and my face felt kind of flushed. Yes, it could be hot flashes, get out of my way, but I'm sure it was just, that last copy is mine grandma, the excitement of being out on the town, will this checkout line ever move, anticipating the next stop on my excursion—the House of Porn.

Yes, the House of Porn—another way of saying the Library. The Library branch that I use is right across the street from Best Buy. It is on the Community College's campus, so the speed limit is 10 mph. It seemed like it took me forever to get across the street and meander through the several parking areas and another little street before pulling into the parking lot of the library. I parked in the space farthest from the door (Expedition, you know. Never can be too careful). I fondled my special tag keychain, making sure the colorful library card tag was still attached, and started on the hike to the entrance. I was already worn out from my visit to the tax office and Best Buy, and it was a pretty day outside, so I took my time, walking slowly, anticipating. A mother pushing a stroller with a babe in it, one on her hip, and another hanging on to her skirt beat me to the door, along with an ancient man with a cane. But that's okay, there's plenty of porn, er….books, for all.

Yes, this was an exciting day. You see, I haven't been to the library in a long time. Before I retired, I never had time. My boss was mean, I hated her. Then when I did retire (fired by mean boss), I have been reading my shelves of books I've been collecting over the years, always intending to read, but never getting around to it. Do you know how hard it has been for me not to check out what is in my cart at Amazon.com? Not because I love shopping so much, but because I love books. And being at the library today, walking slowly along the stacks, running my fingers lightly over the spines, mesmerized by the many sizes, color combinations, the stylish fonts and art...oooh, it gives me shivers just thinking about it. I think the librarian returning books to the stacks was eying me suspiciously a few times, probably alarmed when my eyes started glazing over, and then again when I sat down in the aisle in order to access those titles that end up way down on the bottom shelf (those are some of the best ones, you know, the ones you must search for).

Finally, I had my armload of books, and watched, fascinated as the librarians tag-teamed their way through them, flipping them open, stacking, stickering and scanning my selections, all without judging me. (You see, I was sure they were secretly looking at my checkout history and realizing that I hadn't been to the library in a long, long time.) I had selected a few thrillers, a mystery, two action-romance paperbacks (men with guns, now you can't get much hotter than that), a Philippa Gregory title, and some titles with those two very pretentious words somewhere on the cover--"a novel". Well, duh. I did check it out of the fiction, and it was a book, what was it going to be? Don't even get me started on that.

I gather that if you made it this far into my leaving the house adventure, you now know what my trigger is. Books = porn for me. Its been this way ever since I was little and the Bookmobile rolled into our little town of 98 residents during the summer time, and I climbed those shaky, drop down steps into the air-conditioned library on wheels. I was amazed I could walk out with an armload of books. And all for free. Nothing can beat that.

So today, in memory of summers of bookmobiles and vacations, I am sitting here in my comfy chair, just popped the top off of a pina colada, and am going to grab a book and start enjoying, for free, the black words on white paper, and make me some new friends.

Bookshelves at the Library image copyright Ken Zirkel at iStockPhoto.

Sep 22, 2008

there's not enough milk in the world

For a girl, I really like baseball. Not that I follow along with any teams, know any stats, or watch games on TV. But seriously, I do like it. And if I recall, the World Series should be coming up in October. I remember this because I hung around with guys when I was in high school, but mainly because it was always about the same time as Homecoming, and my hair was always being done in some outrageous style for the Homecoming Game and Dance. (To be honest, I usually brushed out my hair after the stylist did all the teasing and lacquering with hair spray.)

Although I no longer sit and watch games on TV, I would never turn down an opportunity to go to a real live game. Now that's some fun! Cap'n and I have been talking about taking one of the Good Times buses up to Atlanta for a game some time, but we have never actually done it. Good Times is always a group activity with us and it seems like something else is always going on with someone in the group lately (mostly children's weddings) (not our children!) so we have gone to several New Orleans Saints football games on Good Times but never a Braves game, but I would love to.

When I lived in California a long time ago, I did manage to go to an entire home season of Oakland A's games. Yes, I did mention that it was a long time ago. That year I collected almost the entire uniform at the gate give aways, and I think I still have the jersey. I can't remember how the A's did that year, but let me tell you, the fans were some down and dirty entertainment. Of all the football games I've been to (pro or semi-pro), the fans seemed downright decorous compared to those at a baseball game.

When I was a teenager I played softball. Girls team, first base, Dixie Girls League. Once we got over age 15, we graduated to Pelican Girls League. The field was about a mile from my house and I usually walked to practice and games. I don't remember being a very good player, I really couldn't throw very far and I don't recall being a very good hitter. But I sure could put one foot on the bag and stretch out and catch that ball (thanks to those who could throw well) and get that runner out. Oddly enough my most vivid memory of playing softball (other than when my foot was stepped on by an opposing team member and it hurt), was a pitcher from an opposing team (Bell City, I think). Her name was Phoebe and she was a tiny blond powerhouse who just terrified me. Now that I think of it, I don't know why she intimidated me so much, but she had a reputation for fast and hard pitches and even though I looked cool to the extreme when I was at bat, I do believe I was quaking in my cleats. The downside to the League is that the Dixie Boys, or more importantly, the Pelican Boys, games were held at the opposite venue (girls home, boys away, or the other way around). And they got to play baseball not softball. Can't have it all, I guess.

Anyway, why is there not enough milk in the world? This. Today's offering from Cake Wrecks. This was supposed to be a baseball field cake. How insane. How sad. How hilariously horrible. The redeeming factor? It did make me think of Homecoming, the season I went to every A's home game, and the Dixie Girls League.

Yes, that's me, the one in the center with the crown on her head, and practically no skirt. (BTW, I had to give the crown back the next year, to place on the head of the gal the second from the right. Cheap homecoming committee!)

Symmetrical Bovine image copyright shaunl at iStockPhoto.

Sep 19, 2008

aaaaaargh…... ten things you need to know when you marry a pirate

No, it is not a costume. I married a pirate, Cap'n Rupert Roughnight, so I have to dress like this all the time. And since it is International Talk Like Pirate Day, here is some more unsolicited advice from someone who knows. I am aware you did not ask, but you realize that it is for your own good. 'eed yer warnings!

  1. You have probably heard that pirates are generally unwashed and slovenly. Completely untrue. Cap'n Rupe takes at least two showers each day, and his clothing always has to be pressed and tucked, with nary a raveled thread or loose button. Let me ask you, have you ever pressed those billowy shirts on a ship? The Lady Ayte Fifth Gale is a top of the line ship, but still it is not easy. In addition, my pillager undeniably smells pretty. They be neat clist pressed an' tucked ya swabbie!
  2. A little known fact about a pirate is that they are laundry freaks. This is necessary because of the amount of wet towels and worn clothing generated from #1. When you live with a pirate, take precautions when you shower and hold on to your towel. The Cap'n has been known to yank it right out of my hands before I have finished drying my delicate alabaster skin because he is scrubbing a load of pirate laundry at the same moment I am trying to dry myself. Do you know how many times I have had to drip dry? A pile of dirty laundry is a no-no. Give me yer towel or keel haul th' plank ya horn swogglin' scurvy cur!
  3. Pirates are notorious for digging through the trash before it actually goes out for the mates to pick up. Now, instead of throwing something overboard, I hand it directly to Cap'n Rupert (or Rupie as I sometimes call him) and just bypass the drink. This particular attribute did come in handy once. I said to Cap'n, "I wish I had a 'whatever'." He promptly went into his quarters returned with the 'whatever' and informed me that I had thrown it away five years ago. Oh, well, that was only the one time. Digs in th' trash an' saves stuff ya scurvy dog whut deserves the black spot!
  4. As indicated in #3, pirates have excellent memories. I reckon an' dasn't ye forget it!
  5. Pirates are both exceptionally frugal and exceedingly generous, especially my Rupie. Things like stopping the ship in the middle of hostile waters because he sees a perfectly good treasure chest that he must salvage are second nature to him. Pirates excel at bargain shopping; I have plenty of these, and these, and what am I supposed to do with 32,000 yards of this? Yes, Cap'n is very generous. Hself t' found thingy ya swabbie who ortin' t' be keel hauled!
  6. Pirates usually expect you to read their minds. When they do ask for something, which is not that often, the pirate usually does not give you all the information necessary to complete their request. It is sometimes hard to decide whether to ask them what they really want, and risk the wrath of the pirate, or just do it the way you would do it and risk the wrath of the pirate. Some days, pirate wrath is inevitable. I wants what I wants ya landlubber!
  7. Pirates do like to party and have a good time. They like to be the center of a social circle. They like attention—look at the way they dress! They like their grog. Aaaaargh!
  8. Pirates cannot sit still and relax for more than a few minutes. Cap'n Rupert always has to be doing something, and you never know what that might be, so be prepared for anything. It must be something in the buccaneers. Get ou' o' me way ya lily livered scallywag!
  9. Expect to be summoned by the name of wench and kissed a lot. When a pirate kisses his wench, you naturally become very backward bendable, as to be draped over his arm, and a wind always appears to make your very long naturally curly hair flow back from your face just so. Do not get me wrong, this is typically a good thing. In addition, go ahead and wear those off the shoulder bodices; it saves lot of garment mending in the long run. Kiss me ye wench, and now, fore I give ye a dunk in th' drink!
  10. Pirates always expect to have the last word. Which is why I blog. Aaaargh!

In the name of all that is peg legged and eye patched, I hope this has been helpful to you.

Princess Brina, the Beauteous Belle of Beauwyn

Sep 15, 2008

"oh Bill, won't you please come in"

Yes, of course I watched again, even after my opinions of Episode 1. I just shut my eyes during the opening credits and let Jace Everett's honey-coated voice pour over me. "Bad Things" is one of the Best Things about True Blood. Episode 2 was much better. It moved along somewhat more slowly, and even put a big hint out there for those of you who haven't read the books. The Tara character was a little more appealing in this episode, or either I have resigned myself that she is going to say dumb things in that really bad accent, and I almost have to look away when she goo-goos over Jason. Speaking of Jason, good Lord Lucy, I'm just not getting all hot and bothered about him like so many are. I like ripped torsos, but a lick o' sense wouldn't hurt anything either. Which, all in all, is not bad, because there has to be some unlikeable characters, and me not liking Jason means someone is doing their job. I think.

Spoiler alert (possibly) just in case you haven't read the books: Meanwhile, I'm liking Bill all over again, with his soft spoken, slow moving ways (other than when he is vampire-ishly fast moving), and the way he says "Sookie". And I'm going along with it, knowing full well what eventually happens. Although it was explained that drinking vampire blood makes mortals heal, have sharper senses, an enhanced libido and links them to the vampire, it wasn't said that it makes you feel and appear more beautiful. Was this reflected by the clothing Sookie wore after she had Bill's blood, the short dress over a either a bikini top or a green/white dotted bra, and the short white sundress she was wearing later? Sookie always dressed nicely, stylishly, but I don't remember such short revealing dresses. Am I wrong about that? Or was this a way to reflect that she found herself attractive and wanted to put it out there for everyone?

Now, as far as that scene where Lafayette took Tara to the party, what was that all about? Nothing, I tell you, nothing. I realize that Sookie can't be in every single scene as she is in the book, because she would have to work way to long to get it filmed, etc., and some stuff is probably better shown to us rather than explained in a conversation with Sookie, but good grief, what did this party scene accomplish? Nothing. Oh, I did learn that Lafayette was Tara's cousin, something that wasn't in the book. Or the fact that Tara is Black,. Not that the book ever said that Tara was a Caucasian, but it didn't say she wasn't, and it did say that Lafayette was Black, and it never said that Tara was his cousin. It doesn't matter to me that Tara is Black, it matters more that she wasn't even involved in this situation in the book "Dead Until Dark." I'm adjusting though. I watched Episode 2 twice and my panties aren't even wrinkled, much less in a knot.

today's linkerage - some hot, some not


Joe. Reading, of course.
Ten Reasons Skirts Are Better Than Pants - Lovin' this!
When Bride's Have No Budget - Or Taste For more laughs, take a look at the comments.
The new words for the last six decades at Random House
Light up your world: What do you see?
Top 10 Love Quotes
and finally, how did I ever get by without Cowboy Lyrics.

Thank you and have a great day!

Sep 14, 2008

life was so much easier when there were only three TV networks

It was, folks, a simple time. ABC, CBS and NBC. That's all you needed to know. The schedule stayed the same from week to week. Albeit the holiday variety show specials were slipped in there, along with holiday movies like "The Ten Commandments" around Easter, and "The Wizard of Oz" around Christmas. Growing up, we could always get two of the channels to come in nice and clear; for the third, someone would always have to go outside and twist the antenna pole around. This usually involved two people, one who got to stay inside the house and yell out the window to the one turning the pole. "No. More. Good. Yes, no, back. More. Yes, that's it. STOP!" (Ironically, not a string of words you would have heard on TV back then.) No channel hopping happening here, as the pole would have to be turned again. And there was no remote. Sometimes, when there was enough wind, it would blow the silly antenna around and the TV screen would be turned to snow. Usually right at the good part.

The dramas, the comedies, the movies, and the variety shows (the MTV of the early years?) all aired the same day of the week, at the same time, for half the year, until the dreaded repeats. Once the repeats started, we could choose one of the other channels and watch that offering, unless we wanted to watch a repeat, which was not usual. Before the days of VCR's and TiVo, repeat season was an opportunity, a window into another network, of things unviewed. New seasons always started in September. No Ifs, Ands or Buts about it. September. We looked forward to September. The first week of September meant memorizing your TV watching schedule, and that was good for six months by golly gee.

I find it hard to watch TV these days. I forget there are more channels out there to choose from, although I'm trying to expand my horizons and go above Channel 13 on the dial…er, the digital thingamacallit. My house has basic cable. That is enough channels for me to get confused about without adding in all of the premium channels. How does anyone find time to figure out what and when something is on all those channels, much less find the time to watch. It is all so confusing. Season Premiers can now start any month of the year, episodes can be repeated within days, sometimes the same day. A season is not necessarily 24-26 episodes, it could be 12 or 13. And I've seen hiatus' so long that I have actually forgotten what the show was about or that it even existed. Think (Battlestar Galactica.) Note to self, better look that up at the TV Guide dot com to make sure I don't miss it when it finally returns. Of course I've forgotten everything that happened sometime last year, when we were put on hold.

I have attempted to make a conscious effort to learn the nuances of modern TV watching, but I have to admit, it is not going so well. I have learned to move above the Channel 13, and now I go all the way up to 27 (Stargate Atlantis and almost anything else on SciFi is good for me), and beyond, up to 46 (The Closer and Saving Grace on TNT). The sad part is, every time I find something on one of these mysterious double-digit channels, and I like it, it gets canceled. I'm still, after six years, smarting at the cancellation of Firefly (FOX, which is Channel 10 here, and within my antiquated viewing range, so I was always able to find it). I've almost made it a habit to not watch anything new, and if it doesn't get canceled, then get the DVD's. Back in the day, we hung in there, and new shows got a chance. Of course, there were only two other competitors, and coming in at #3 on the ratings chart didn't sound so bad, did it?

These days, my favorite TV watching is in the form of boxed DVD sets. I don't have to worry about when or which channel something is aired. Of course, I have to wait, but the simplicity of watching the DVD's far makes up for the wait. However, I usually just pick up a book (I almost said good book, but we know that's not always the case) which I can enjoy anytime I want, for as long as I want, and then if it frustrates me too much, unlike a TV set, I can throw it.

Vintage Portable Television image copyright Diane Diederich at iStockPhoto.

all I wanna do is have some fun…and find a book to read

I decided to read a Romance, so I bought this book. "Highland Fire" by Hannah Howell.

I must interrupt this commentary at this point for two observations:

  1. If you decide to read "Highland Fire", you can choose between Hannah Howell's "Highland Fire", or:
    1. "Highland Fire" by Elizabeth Thornton
    2. "Highland Fire" by Veronica Stattler
    3. "Highland Fire" by Joyce Carlow
    4. "Highland Fire" by Ruth Langan
    5. "Highland Fire" by Abigail Clements
  2. Hannah Howell, if you or anybody who cares happens to be reading this, for the love of all that is 21st Century, please update your web site. I don't want to say it is ugly. But it is ugly. (I said I didn't want to say it, not that I wouldn't.) I'll even do it for you—I've been known to throw up some pretty good HTML code now and again.

Back to original programming. Wow, huh. Six Romances out there with the same title. I didn't know this when I bought the book. My strict criteria included the fact that I generally like all things Scottish. And hot. So "Highland Fire" seemed to fit. It was there in front of me on the shelf. And, probably more important than anything, it had the entire face of the man on the cover. It wasn't a head chopped off at the eyes or nose or neck, it was an entire face. Glory Hallelujah, I practically shouted right there in the aisle of BAM.

I've had the book about three or four months now, I think. I've picked it up and started reading it about three or four times. I just can't seem to get into it. I think it is the usage of dialect. What is it that puts me off about so much dialect? I get it, they're Scottish. But I'm not, and I'm having a hard time getting in the flow of things when I have to stop and phonetically sound out words that do not flow naturally in my brain. Guess I'm a bit dense in that respect. Go ahead, read the first 10 pages on Amazon, and tell me what an idiot I am. I don't care.







That said, Hannah Howell has had about 35 books published, so there must be something about her that Romance readers like. I didn't know this when I bought the book, but once I found out, I really wanted to read this book. Thinking I might cut my Hannah Howell teeth on another not so dialect-able book, I bought "Wild Roses", "set against the backdrop of frontier-day Wyoming". Maybe this is more my style since I'm more of a country hick than 15th century Scottish lass. Oh, and of course the other important criteria—the cover. We all know how I like the bare-chested hunky cowboy in jeans, and, say it with me gals…"Hallelujah!", he has a head! Granted, the cover does exhibit some sloppy Photoshop work, but I'll take it since the all-powerful art director left his head on.


If I can't get through this book, so help me I'm going to give up reading. No, not really, that would never happen. But I may go back to vampires and werewolves where I know things aren't as they should be because they're supposed to be that way!

Sep 13, 2008

quizzes (wow, if only Scrabble had another "Z")

What can I say? I excel at these quizzes.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The South

That's a Southern accent you've got there. You may love it, you may hate it, you may swear you don't have it, but whatever the case, we can hear it.

Philadelphia

The Midland

The Northeast

The Inland North

Boston

The West

North Central

What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

if I drank coffee, I’d take it black


Or, I can't know until you tell me.

Wouldn't the world of emotions be an easier place to navigate if everyone did? Take it black, that is. If only people could sit down with one another and just tell them straight out when there is a problem, or a perceived problem, it would save us all a lot of grief in the end.

I am very much of the notion that "I can't fix it if I don't know it's broken." So just tell me. I won't get mad, or hurt, or run off and cry. I'll tell you my side. Perhaps I didn't know this particular thing was broken or it bothered you so much. If there are misconceptions, this is the time to clear it up. This works both ways. If something is bothering me, I expect you to tell you without you blowing up in my face and going on 18 different tangents about things that have nothing to do with this one little issue.

Instead of getting mad at a me, holding it inside, building resentment until the issue becomes something so much more than it was ever meant to be, and colors your entire world with anger and despair, just tell me.

It's very simple.

John: "Mary, I can't enjoy the movie if you continue talking throughout the whole thing." Shut up you crazy bitch, don't you know I want to just watch a movie, not chat about it, this drives me crazy, why won't you shut up your incessant yakking."
Mary: "Oh, okay John. I didn't know it bothered you so much." Idiot. Freakin' idiot. I guess I thought he wanted to spend time with me, now I know he just wants to watch a movie. Now I know.

See. Simple. John told Mary what was bothering him, now she knows. Now he doesn't have to sit through a movie with her murmuring sweet nothings into his ear. Don't expect someone to read your mind, they can't, and chances are they won't know what is bothering you until you tell them. This gives them the chance to tell you why they do something and your perceptions may be wrong.

Mary: "John, I love it when you cook dinner on the grill, but why do the steaks come out all tough and rubbery, and the potatoes are crispy instead of soft and mushy."

John: "Oh, I thought you liked it that way, so that's how I cooked it. I would much rather the steak rare and tender, and the potatoes soft to where they smash up like fluffy clouds too, so now I won't cook everything as long."

See. Simple. John was doing something because he thought Mary liked it that way, but Mary hated it. Once she told John that she didn't like it, he could explain, and now they both can have a more enjoyable dinner.

I'm not going to break if you tell me something you don't like or that is bothering you. It comes right back to if I don't know I can't fix it.

Of course, there are always exceptions, and most people want life sugar coated.

if you take something apart, can you always put it back together?

This morning I was thinking about learning. It still amazes me to learn something, even though I may have no possible use for it in the remainder of my lifetime. But you never know. Since the day he learned he could use his opposable thumbs to disassemble something, my son has been doing so. Everything we have ever had in this house has been taken apart and put back together at least once. "I just wanted to see how it worked." He managed to reassemble most things back to the original factory intent, however there have been a few misplaced parts here and there. Although he is 21 now, Bee still takes everything apart, but has now learned that maybe I really don't want the new dishwasher taken apart, and prefer to remain oblivious to what goes on inside there as long as it does its job.

Discovery. That's how I like to learn things. I like to read and discover and apply a process. Sometimes I think of a woman I once knew who did not appreciate the process of searching for an answer and the resultant joy when you figured out not so much the particular answer, but what you have learned. The only way she wanted to learn something was to be told. "Just tell me the answer, just tell me what to do," she always said. She wanted someone to tell her that 2+2=4, but not how we know that or arrive at that conclusion; she just wanted the answer, didn't care why or how. By this method of learning, then she would have to be told that 3+3=6 because she didn't learn how to get the answer, just the answer itself.

I have always thought that when we learn the why's and how's instead of just an answer and a solution, then we can use that information to find out anything else. I am not a genius, nor do I remember every single thing that all my teachers taught me in school. I have long been a fan of the logic of Einstein. He chose not to store everything single piece of information he ever knew in his brain. Instead he used the logical process that once that information was stored somewhere (written down, I don't mean Google), he could always look it up when he needed to know it. Smart man, that one. Therefore, when the Cap'n says, "Princess, why don't you remember the number for the checking account we had 12 years ago," then I can say, "Because I can look it up."

Sep 12, 2008

rock on rebel

I just finished watching "Rebel Without a Cause" and I'm a little misty. I don't know how many times I've seen it, and I know what's coming, but it always wears me out. I'm on a movie watching binge right now, so I think I'll move next to anything Hitchcock. Well, except for "The Birds". Maybe "Stranger on a Train", "Rear Window", or "North by Northwest". Might as well, while I'm all tensed up anyway, right?

Of course, during "Rebel", I kept thinking of the song "Rock On", so I had to download it.

"And where do we go from here
Which is the way that's clear
Still looking for that blue jean baby queen
Prettiest girl I ever seen
See her shake on the movie screen Jimmie Dean (James Dean)

Rock On!"
I downloaded the David Essex version, which I think is the original from the 1970's. I would never have got it out of my head so best I just go ahead and get it over with.

And while I was on iTunes anyway, I went ahead and downloaded "Morning Train (Nine to Five)" by Sheena Easton, because something my cuz said last night reminded me that I had loaned this album (yeah, I'm that old), to someone way back when and they never returned it, and I'm still kind of mad about it. Get over it self, it was only a silly album. Yes, but it was one of my favs, and it wasn't just the one album, there was another album, and two very cute Wilton cake pans plus four or five Wilton yearbooks loaned at the same time, and the person moved and never even tried to return them. Ok, I'm better now.

gEnius it is, Genius on iTunes.

I like to play with music. It's fun to rearrange things into titles, artist, genres, and dozens of other sorting options. Now, it is even more fun to play with Genius, a new update of a few days ago.

One of my wishes came true! iTunes will now make play lists based on the song you select. A few songs are not selectable for this function (I wonder why that is?) I have been making playlist after playlist, and they're all pretty good. At least it solves my problems of selecting what I am going to listen to. I have um...a lot, of songs on my iPod, and sometimes I just don't want to have to stop and choose. I should like everything on there right? After all, it's my iTunes/iPod and I selected what to include. Oh wait. My son did put some techno electronic stuff on there a summer or so ago, when we were driving to work together. I want to delete it, but what if one day I wake up and want to listen to electric techno?

Na...that won't happen.

So far, I haven't bought any of the recommend songs, or completed any albums. I did buy a song last night that I know is on an album in my garage, but....but....it's an album. How would I get it on my iPod? And even if I could, it's worth .99 for me not to have to go out there and sweat.

Meanwhile, I'll continue flipping through cover art and making playlists like I haven't a care in the world.

Sparkling Eyes

Have you noticed that in Romance novels (you read 'em, I know you do), either the hero or heroin's eyes are 'sparkling'? Frankly, this has always rather scared me. I've never seen anyone's eyes actually sparkle, and in fact, if I did, it might scare me just a little. Here's the definition, note verb usage ("pleasure sparkling her eyes.").

--verb (used without object)

  • To issue in or as if in little sparks, as fire or light: The candlelight sparkled in the crystal.
  • To emit little sparks, as burning matter: The flames leaped and sparkled.
  • To shine or glisten with little gleams of light, as a brilliant gem; glitter; coruscate.
  • To effervesce, as wine.
  • To be brilliant, lively, or vivacious.

--verb (used with object)

  • To cause to sparkle: moonlight sparkling the water; pleasure sparkling her eyes.

--noun

  • A little spark or fiery particle.
  • A sparkling appearance, luster, or play of light: the sparkle of a diamond.
  • Brilliance, liveliness, or vivacity.

Here's some synonyms for sparkle: shine, glitter, glisten, flash, flicker, twinkle, glint, spark. Seeing eyes flicker and spark wouldn't be too high up on my list either.

When you are looking your true love in the eyes, have you ever seen them emit sparks or leaping flames? Gawd, I hope not. I can go along with the glisten, but that really wouldn't be sparkling. "A little spark or fiery particle"….OUCH!

In my novel, I was going to leave most of the detailed descriptions up to the reader, and just give them a head start: tall, blond, blue eyes. When I do get to the lovey-dovey and must describe the eyes at that moment, I think I will go the "brilliant, lively, vivacious" route. Honestly, when I read that eyes are sparkling, it makes me laugh first, then worry a smidgen.

Jimmy Got a Job at Google


"21"

This was a good movie. I had part of it figured out, but I was going to be sad if Ben had lost everything, which he did, but it all worked out for him. Enjoyed this one twice! You can rent it from iTunes for $3.99.

This exchange was so funny I had to replay it several times.

Mickey: "Jimmy got a job at Google."

Ben: "Jimmy got a job at Google?" [beat] "Then why'd he quit this?"

Mickey: "I said he got a job at Google, not Sizzler."

A few more of my favorites:

"I'm a cerebral stud, is that nothing?"

"It's always best to go out when you're on top. Welcome to Vegas."

"You missed a helluva dorm party on Saturday. We almost had a girl there.

"I love a parade, don't you." (Mickey said this as the strippers were lining up and then leaving the casino's cashier windows as they cashed out the team's chips for them.)

"It's not like she's a rocket scientist or anything. Oh, wait. She is!"

Sep 11, 2008

Guest Blogger -- eelzemog on True Blood

In response to: Alan Ball, I Wanna Do Bad Things....

Ok, WHO reads these? I just want to agree with you about the perception of us Southerners and our "predjudices." Yeah, they are there. Truth be known, EVERYBODY has them. What's missing here (and I realize there MIGHT be time constraints) is the subtlety of the predjudice. WHY IN H*LL is EVERYBODY in the bar automatically against the vamp? It's my experience that most of US would be first, fastinated THEN (after thinking it over and weighing the moral pros and cons) exhibit out right distaste, disapproval, hatred...whatever negative reaction. It would never be so overt as what was presented in the True Blood first episode. Good Grief! Did they not research ANY actual locals before presenting Ball's OBVIOUSLY biased view of CH books?
I'm convinced the beta version of the flick was presented to CH to sign off on, then the crap that was aired as the first episode of True Blood was put in it's place.
I'm sure I'll have more to add later, but we're in the process of having our first major flood in history here and I'm awaiting the call to go "save the world" by being Nurse Nancy downtown for all the evacuees. We're in Lubbock, for Pete's sake! Give it a few hours and the water will leave.....

What Every Writer Should Read

Seriously folks.
Inkygirl

What Do You Want to Do Today

Never Forget Never Surrender


Hurt - Johnny Cash: Click the link, unable to embed video.

I wish my hands could do these things:


Hang in there until about 52 seconds.



If you want a little romance:


And if you want to laugh:

Sep 10, 2008

Alan Ball, I Wanna Do Bad Things…

What a sucky True Blood. (Premiered Sept. 7 on HBO)

Let me preface by saying that if you (you, as in reader, not Alan Ball) don't know how a review of what is good and bad differs from what someone does or doesn't like, then stop a moment to reflect on that before reading further. I've read all of the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse books, which doesn't make me an expert on Alan Ball's vision for HBO's "True Blood," but it has prepared me for Charlaine Harris's conception of the Sookie Universe, which was somehow spewed all to Hades in the pilot episode. I was born right smack in the middle of where the fictional Bon Temps, Louisiana, is located, and again, this doesn't give me any say into what Alan Ball wants to sermonize, but I can still have an opinion on it. And I know what I like. And I can say so on this here interwebby thang.

Scene before the opening theme: Useless spoon feeding. Who are these people and what do I care if Miss Blond girlfriend is bored with driving and starts a hand job on Mr. Hick boyfriend, which he apparently finds uninteresting enough to yell at her to stop at the Grab It Quick store to go in and chat about the product, Tru-Blood. The store clerk did rather interest me until he opened his mouth to speak. And the Billy Bob Vampire? Will we ever see him again, or was he our gratuitous red neck good ol' boy beer belly camouflage wearing Louisiana vamp? Doesn't matter, didn't care. All of the information presented in this prelude to the opening credits was repeated in the actual show, by Universe characters.

Opening Credits: Oh my effing jebus, what is with this seizure-inducing crap load of imagery? I should have turned this off right then, because one thing I don't need is to be preached at, Father Ball. My conscious is open and clear, thank you sooooooo much. That was entirely beaucoup presumptious ne croyez-vous pas? shoving that in-your-face message down our throats before we ever got around to seeing who Sookie, Sam, Bill, Jason, Gran, or even Tina the cat, or basically anyone who matters was. I had an opportunity to see this first episode in the preview version, and the opening visual was so much better, even if it did look like it was a homemade place holder. I actually liked the single images, some stylized and some photographs, pictured behind the titles. It was dark and mysterious, not the revolting here's how Southerners are and how they think and oh do we ever need to reform them from their evil church revival meeting, police riots, and child KKK rearing ways. We'll teach them who can't deal with vampires by sending a message! Show those gun totin' holy rollers.

You know, at least once a month I go to the midnight baptism at Black Water Lake located next door to the Saint Let's Shove Stereotypes Down Your Throat Church. Of course this is after watching the faith healer smack someone in the forehead, usually resulting in a visit to the local [witch] doctor, and before dressing my five year old in sheets and then dressing myself in my Daisy Dukes before going down to the local dive to have sex on the pool table. (Although no cellulite for me baby—I drinks me beer and does me leg lifts!) I do have a hard time fitting in all the revival meetings and, oh lordy the riots. Are they gonna take away my Right to Riot membership for absenteeism?

I did have to laugh at the armadillo road kill—been there done that. The "God Hates Fangs" sign cracked me up, but not for reasons you might think. Does God hate morons too? Does God hate sluts who video-tape having sex with vampires? Does God hate me for watching "True Blood"? Am I gonna have to be re-baptized in the Black Lake at midnight?

All righty then, I hated the opening. Additionally, the song seems to have been adjusted (sorry, I'm not musical, so do not know all of the technical terms used for musical production). The original sounds deeper, throaty, sexier, which is how "Bad Things" should sound. The aired version sounds like it was geared up for choir boys. I don't know how I missed this song, since it is two years old. Oh yeah, it is in the Country genre, which you might think, since I am born and raised in Louisiana, the only genre for me, but let me burst your cotton-pickin' bubble. If and when I'm screwing on the pool table, it will probably be to "Pink Cadillac" or "Lust for Life.*"

Tara: This Tara is so beyond the Sookie-verse Tara. Tell me, what purpose did she serve? None! First of all, Tara in the book was nothing like this, and before you go getting your boy shorts twisted around your "this is fiction and things can be changed from the book and don't you know it is just a book and a TV show you moron" mind-set, let me tell you how very flexible I am. In the preview episode, a different actress played Tara, and even though the Original Tara character was more than a hoot and holler from the book, I decided to go with the flow and accept that. The first Tara didn't serve much of a purpose either, but she was funny. Quite in-your-face funny, even if she was portrayed as a black woman with an attitude (insert gasp here). Yeah, I'm from the South, I'm politically incorrect (isn't that what you're preaching), so sue me. She was funny as hell and I laughed each time she was on screen. The Replacement Tara however, had an even bigger chip on her shoulder and wasn't funny, and served even less of a purpose (didn't make me laugh at all, just made me wonder WTF?). I'll play along with Tara working at the bar, when all of us readers know that she owned her own clothing store in town and was a nice gal, and not as misdirected and Alan's Tara is. Although she did not make an appearance this early in the book, putting her at the bar could work, but it just didn't.

The Accents: All in all, I thought the accents weren't so bad, but my expectations were not high. I expected worse. The only thing I questioned were the Cajun/Creole accent of Rene Lanier. Since that accent is from around New Iberia and thereabouts, I just told myself he moved there from South La. There are not many Cajun accents in that part of Louisiana. But I'm okay with that.

Jason: I'm still getting over seeing so much man-flank on Jason very early on. Not that I don't think man-flank is a good thing, it just kind of threw me for a loop because I am used to only hearing about Jason's sexcapades, not seeing them. We get to see stuff from other POV's, not only from Sookie's first person point of view as in the books. This is a license that ostensibly should be used to keep some of the mystery even a mystery to Sookie.

Sam: Ah, Sam…was it scrumptious licking Sookie's neck like that?…you're so cute.

Lafayette: The chief stereotype in True Blood is the opening credits, not Lafayette Reynolds. I've never seen a black gay cross dressing homosexual male in any Louisiana bar, and I was 18 in Louisiana when the drinking age was still 18. Hey, it's Louisiana, we could handle it. You know we had to get all riled up for the riots and baptisms and such.

Rene Lanier: Didn't care.

Dawn, Arlene, the Rattrays: Conduits for the sermon.

Gran: Wish I had me a granny.

Sookie: Well. Well. I can say I liked the way that Sookie's thought reading ability was presented. I was wondering how they were going to do that, and while I always thought that this would be a great ability to have, this made me almost change my mind. The conglomeration of thoughts coming out of all the heads around Sookie would probably make me crazy too. Of course, if you have read the books, you know that she appears stupid sometimes just to work around all of the thoughts bombarding her from every direction. But she wasn't presented this stupid in the book, so I think we have to hang around so she can let us know how country road smart she really is. I say this, knowing from experience, that being smart doesn't mean you don't do stupid things at times.

The suspension of disbelief moment came not when we landed in a world of vampires out of the coffins, but when Sookie, who we all know is a telepath, didn't hear the minds of her attackers at the very end. They were the Rattrays, not vampires, so she should have heard them. Why do things like this bother me? Because inconsistencies like this can suck me right out of the moment so fast that…HA HA I made a funny. Even in a paranormal read or show, the normal things should have some normalcy, and the abnormal things (telepathy) should have some consistency.

My favorite scene, even though I don't remember Sookie acting this way in the book, was when Sam, Tara and Sookie were in Sam's office, and she was hearing their thoughts as they were chastising her for talking with Bill. I was kinda loving' the way she told them to stay out of her business and stomped off. Put your food down Sookie, girl!

I wanted to like, really like this series. I have put time and $ into the books (and audio books), and I cared about these people. And I don't mean I loved all the characters, because Charlaine Harris made me not like Jason, and it's a good writer who can make you not like somebody, instead of tell you to not like them. When you don't care about a character at all, that is the fault of the writer. If the show lasts, there are some characters coming up that I like and care about, Vampire Eric and Vampire Pam (she is a hoot, btw), and some that I could just slap silly each time they appear on a page. CH did a good job in bringing these characters to life and making a reader love them or hate them. Although she had a few flubs along the way during the series, these are her characters and I liked them her way.

Am I na├»ve to think that developers who base a series on an authors work should actually remain true to the work? Obviously it had something going for it. Is manipulating the original work to bend another way creative? Why direct an author's work into a stereotypical conglomeration of preachiness, when Charlain did it just perfectly to begin with. Hmmm…..Does Alan Ball think that the people insulted in this show can't afford HBO. By golly, my kids are going without supper and shoes, but I'm gonna have my HBO!

Summary: Princess thinks pilot episode is crap, not bloody crap, just crap. You can have your own opinion. I'll watch the next episode, second chances and all that shit. I've been known not to be able to tear my eyes away from worse things.






I just love these covers, very much reflective of the spirit of the books with the child-like drawings. Wonderful art. Let's hear a big Hallelujah--no decapitation in these covers; keep up the good work Southern Vampire Cover Illustrator. You can find her link on CH's page, I'm just too lazy to go look it up right now.

*Derail: I just love it when the family cruise ship commercial comes on and they use "Lust forLife" as their theme song. Me and Cap'n Roughnight leer at each other with the "yeah, I've had it in the ear before" look.