Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Clerks are Clueless aka Stupid in the Supermarket

We've all been there. The supermarket. You've got your cart filled, you're nearing the end of your list. Just a few more items. You turn into the isle to get one of those final items and.... *screech!* You have to come to a grinding halt because the stock person (very PC of me, I know) is restocking a shelf. Apparently a critically important shelf, because not only is he restocking it, but he must keep all shoppers from coming anywhere near the general vicinity of the fresh stock by parking his big ass stocking cart smack dab in the middle of the isle.

So, you pause there a moment, thinking, as most rational people would, that the clueless clerk will realize you're there and he has thoughtlessly blocked the way and will move the cart, apologizing politely as he does so. Wrong! If you think that's going to happen, you underestimate the training these clerks have had. You see, they have been trained to be so single minded in their tasks that not only are they completely unaware that you need to get by them, they don't even realize there is anyone else in the isle! It's sort of like reverting to selective hearing as a child, except they have been trained by experts.

And why would supermarket management train them to do this you ask? Simple! In fact, it's rather obvious. If we can't get by them, it means we must go around them. So, we go down another isle. An isle we may have already been down, or had no intention of going down. Our flow has been interrupted. We've been annoyed, frustrated and are now even more prone to impulse buying. Don't laugh. You can't tell me that if you get pissed off in the supermarket that the box of Double Stuff Oreos you showed amazing willpower over five minutes ago won't find it's way into your cart if you are forced to travel by them again in an agitated state. After all, now you deserve them!

Paranoid? Perhaps. But when the world is out there plotting against you, paranoid is just good thinking.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Men Are All Alike- Even When They're Vampires

Think of this as a PSA more than a blog post. Or, well, just as much as a blog post. I know, thanks to Twilight and True Blood and all kinds of other vampire fiction out there that there are women (especially teen girls under the false impression that vampires should sparkle), that think there is something extra romantic about dating a vampire.

Now don't get me wrong, I love Kin and I'm not knocking him. Not at all. I just want to set the record straight that when you date a vampire - he's still a guy. Yes, a guy with a very unique set of baggage, but a guy nonetheless.

Ok, I don't have to deal with the food and drink issues: no mass quantities of food required for sporting events, no greasy calorie-ridden fast food when you're trying to diet, no beer, baked beans, deviled eggs (I shouldn't have to explain that), etc. But that gets replaced by the fact that you can't go out to eat together. At the movies, you are the only one scarfing down popcorn and Twizzlers. You're the only one with late night cravings - well, late night cravings that can be satisfied legally at the local 7-11.

But there are still the same old issues of listening/talking. Communication will forever be an issue between men and women of any er, kind. I was going to say 'species' but, frankly, just don't like going there. He may not be technically human anymore, but he was and he still does a damn good job of passing for one. They still think if you have a problem of any kind whatsoever that mentioning it to them, or even in their presence, means that you expect them to fix it for you. God! I hate that!

And living for decades, or even hundreds of years does not keep them from squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube! It really makes me want to smack him, especially when he does it to my toothpaste, but I'd just hurt my hand and be even angrier. Nor does time teach them where to appropriately place wet towels after a shower. Fortunately for me, Kin is very neat and there are no issues of other things not being deposited where they belong. One thing I hate is having to act like some guy's mother and pick up after him.

Vampire men are still clueless as to a woman's feelings. They don't know what upsets us or why. What makes us cry and whether it's a good cry or a bad cry. In fact, they are just as dumbfounded by the concept of a good cry. No matter how strong and virile they are, they are rendered helpless when they can't fix an emotional situation. Sound familiar ladies?

They are prone to every male pitfall and stereotype out there. If you can find it in a human male, you can find it in a vampire male. And what's worse, is the ones that have been around for centuries and still cling to their old-fashioned ideals. You know, like women should just be home caring for the home and children, and not treated much better than a children themselves. Don't even get me started on that one! I could rant for days!

Then there is the obvious and oft-pointed-out issue of the fact that you age and they don't. I guess I don't really need to go into that one. Oh - and the fact that they feed on blood. There is no synthetic blood in the real world for them to substitute (wish there was!). And, as you already know if you've read my book (don't make me say it!) the whole, how do I tell my friends I'm dating a vampire issue.

So really, when you stop and tally it all up, on paper, it looks like dating a vampire vs a human is not such a good idea. Huh. Not where I thought this was going to go. Hmm. Well, of course generic lists such as this don't take things like personality and such into consideration. Oh crap! Now I need chocolate.

Ok, make of it what you will!
Monday, August 29, 2011

Do We Really Need Synthetic Testosterone?

Yes, you read that right. Today I saw a commercial for testosterone replacement medication. For men who want to replace testosterone that lessens naturally with age. Let me repeat the key phrase in that sentence - that lessens NATURALLY. Meaning that's the way the body is supposed to work.

But now, some drug company has put it out there that they can reverse this natural process and replace the testosterone so guys can feel younger and more virile. You know, it was one thing when Oil of Olay and things came out for women's skin, but products like this and Viagra and Enzyte (God I hate the Enzyte commercials!) and now this other product are out there making men believe they're not supposed to age at all. That they're supposed to behave physically at 60 the way they were at 25. Give me a break!

Does it irritate anyone else that pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars (and take up precious FDA time and resources) for Viagra and Enzyte type products, and and now testosterone replacements! Ugh! I'm sorry, but wouldn't all that money, time, experience, skill, resources etc, etc, etc, be much better spent on serious diseases and conditions?

Yeah, yeah. Some people say that because some guys can't get it up it may lead to other problems, like depression etc. But seriously, maybe we are a society too preoccupied with sex as it is. I like sex as much as the next gal, but I'd rather see them working on a cure for cancer or MS, MD, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or any number of other really serious medical problems. And even if you think erectile dysfunction is something to be dealt with, ok fine, but "male enhancement"? Replacing testosterone? Ugh.

Sorry, but I really want to slap that smile off of Smiling Bob's face.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blogging About Nothing

In case you haven't noticed, since I started this blog a few weeks ago, the post topics have been pretty varied. This is sort of the Seinfeld of blogs. It's the blog about nothing.

I notice most blogs have some sort of central theme. But here, you just never know what's going to be discussed. Even if I could think of one theme that I think I could talk about a lot, I don't really think I could stay on topic. Hell, I have trouble staying on topic just within a single post!

But it does make me think about this whole blogging thing. After all, I am still really new at this. It's not easy to think of things to post about day after day. So, let me hear from you. Aside from things that would impact my books, are there any topics you'd like to read about here? Things you're wondering about? Things that bug you and you want to know if others feel the same way? Let me know!

Do you get ticked off by people picking cans out of your trash? Are you irritated by ads for restaurants or stores that seem to be on every commercial break, but there aren't any located anywhere near you? Do you wonder how we ever stayed "regular" without special yogurt, vitamin supplements or fibrous breakfast cereals? Are you sick of low-quality remakes of movies and cheesy CGI film versions of Saturday morning cartoons? Jersey barriers: Do you think sometimes the road crews leave them there just to screw with you? Coffee rush traffic jams - why can't people make their own freaking coffee? The 3D obsession: Do we really need to see everything in 3D? The Hilarity of weird TV show names when scanning the Guide.

Give me a shout out. Tell me your thoughts and ideas.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

So What's Wrong With Just Plain Old Fresh Air?

You must have noticed that on almost any network that has commercials you will see constant ads for multiple air scent products. There are sprays, plug-ins, solids, automatic motion sensing, oils, diffusers, and an endless array of candles.

We seem to be a society obsessed with our air smelling like anything but air. Now, I get the need for a bit of air freshener in the kitchen after you've cooked certain foods and well, not to be indelicate, in the bathroom. However, do we really need a Glade Plug-In or Febreeze Flameless Luminary in every room of the house?

I enjoy the scent of a nice candle as much as anyone. Hey, I live in the land of Yankee Candle! But that's something for once in a while. It's something to treat yourself to, to luxuriate it. If you have it going in every corner of the house every waking moment... ugh! I'd have a headache.

What the heck is wrong with just a nice clean house and open windows with fresh clean air? Ok, so maybe some of you are unfortunate enough to live in close proximity to the local dump, or certain industrial plants that make open windows and fresh air an impossibility, but for most of us, that is a viable option.

I have to laugh watching the commercials where the people walk past the air freshener product and raise their nose in the air like a dog walking by a table full of food. They sniff, inhale deeply and they smile contentedly. Yeah, nice job Madison Ave. That's all we need to be happy at home. The scent of tropical flowers and vanilla. Oh! If only our parents' generation could have realized this! What a blissfully different home-life we would have had. Our parents wouldn't have been as stressed or grouchy. A puff of jasmine laced air would have instantly soothed away all the difficulties of the day. Are you ready to gag yet?

And in the meantime, we spend tons of money every year on this crap - and not just for ourselves, but for others! We give them as gifts! We impose our obsession with scented air onto others! They really have us hooked.

Now, before you go posting replies yelling at me because you love your Febreeze or Glade candles or whatever, let me restate, I do like candles etc - sometimes. I'm just saying these companies and their advertising have made a lot of people feel like we've got to have the air around us scented 24/7. All I'm saying is, what's wrong with just plain old fresh air? If your home is clean and there are no outside forces keeping you from opening your windows, why not just enjoy clean, fresh air? Save the scented stuff for when you need it and when you feel like treating yourself. Make it something special.

Oh - one last thought. Am I the only one that hated those stupid commercials where the dumb woman would try and pass off the Glade candles as designer candles and they'd call them Gla-de. Really? Who honestly cares if someone's candles are designer? Designer candles? Sorry, I think I'd have to slap somebody if they got all worked up over whether a candle was designer or came from the grocery store. And don't even get me started on the Febreeze ads with the morons who put their faces into places they know smell bad and inhale!
Friday, August 26, 2011

Back To School - I Still Depresses Me

As Labor Day quickly approaches, so does the first day of school. Now, I've been out of school for, well, a number of years, but it still depresses me to see all these Back To School shopping ads. I do love the idea of new clothes for Fall. But still, BTS means and end of Summer; the end of freedom; a return to teachers and homework and annoying and sometimes really upsetting peers. Yeah, I'm sure you're stupefied to learn that a girl named Hero had issues with bullies in school. I'll give you a moment to recover from the shock.

Not that I was at the bottom of the food chain. I don't want you to get the wrong idea. I traveled in my own little circle and was fairly popular with the mid-level citizenry. And school and I would have gotten along just fine if it weren't for a few really sore sticking points. Such as: Mandatory attendance; forced hard labor (aka gym class); perpetual public humiliation (aka - aka gym class); unreasonable expectations (homework and projects that interfered with social and TV schedules - like we had no life outside of school!); and the constant, unrelenting (and SO unwelcome) imposed interaction with inferior beings (aka stupid/boring/annoying/snotty/and otherwise undesirable classmates). I'm sure many of you can agree.

If I could have had more of a say in who I was in class with, what my schedule was and the expected work load, .... yeah, who am I kidding, I would have been in class with the same 12 - 15 people, done little to no work and went to school 2 days a week and 5 days off instead of the other way around. There's no denying it.

The only good thing about school was my friends. The social part was great! (when I wasn't being teased about my name) I'd make a terrible parent, now that I think about it. I'd totally sympathize with my kid and let them stay home from school and wouldn't care if they slacked off on their homework. I mean, come on, so far in life the greatest use I've had for the majority of stuff I learned in high school has come from watching Jeopardy! (which I totally rock, btw)

I'd be good at BTS clothes shopping, being the Mom that let's all the kids hang out at their place and the kids feel comfortable talking to. Other than that, I would fail my re-entry into the high school system.

Guess it's a good thing there are no children in my future! I think.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Some Seek Inner Peace - I Give Gifts

So what are we doing today, Hero? Well! I'm glad you asked!

Today, in honor of the anniversary of the Beatles traveling to Wales to study TM with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (yes, I was desperate for an anniversary to celebrate, it was either this or the organization of Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in Harlem in 1925 - plus, I'm a Beatles fan) ahhh..... ok, lost my train of thought. Hang on....

Oh, right! Ok, in honor of the whole TM/Maharishi/Beatle thing back in 1967, I am giving away free copies of my book. Yup - that's right! FREE - I'll say it again..... Fuhhhhrrreeeeeeeee.

I'm not into the whole TM thing. You already know my mantra is Eat Chocolate Every Day and the closest I come to meditating is when I am completely engrossed in the delights of a container of Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk. So, in lieu of the search for inner peace (and we all know how that turned out - and if you don't, pick up a book - after you read mine, of course) I decided to offer my fans free copies of my book!

So - where are the free copies? Well, you didn't think I was going to make it easy did you? Come on people! When do I make things easy? (that was rhetorical) You want the free copy? You'll have to find it. After all - there's got to be some seeking involved - otherwise, where's the tie in?

Search the pages of this site to find a 5-digit alpha-numeric code that will give you 100% off Much Ado About Russian at You can then download and start reading it immediately! Get MAAR for your Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, Sony Reader, Palm, Kobo, even your PC. Just find the code and go HERE. But hurry - it's only good for today (August 25).

Prefer a hard copy? Well, I can't afford to give you those for free - those cost me $ (hey, I'm a self-publishes artist, give me a break) But I will offer it to you at 50% off. Just find an 8-digit Alpha only code and use it at my CreateSpace store. You must purchase it via this link HERE. Also only good for today.

NOTE: My CreateSpace Store is actually part of - so it is secure. But for some whacked up reason, Amazon's CreateSpace will let me offer coupons for my own shop but not for the actual site. Go figure!

So - got it?

FREE DIGITAL COPY - 5 digit alpha-numeric code and go HERE

HALF OFF HARD COPY - 8 digit alpha code and go HERE

Now - go on your quest - and have fun!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Low Rise Jeans: A Clueless Trend or Fashion's Biggest Joke?

So, yesterday's post about the People of Walmart has led me to the inevitable follow up: Low Rise Jeans: A Clueless Trend or Fashion's Biggest Joke?

Seriously people, we've all heard the 'crack kills' jokes - and seen them too, yet we support an industry that sells a style of jean specifically designed to leave your butt crack hanging out. I'm sorry, but I don't care who you are - that is NOT a good look. I doesn't matter if you want to show off your tramp stamp or flaunt your skeletal figure. Butt Crack = Bad Look. Period. Every time.

And what's worse is that they don't restrict such revealing styles just to those who have tiny figures that you could get by with having to deal with a certain amount of butt crack - if forced. Oh no! They make them in all sizes! Including plus size and children's.

Give me fricking break! We live in a society riddled with pedophiles and parents go out shopping for their 6 year-olds and are lucky if they can find a normal pair of jeans. Nope, they are all low rise so their tiny little bodies are all dressed up sexy like a grown woman and their teeny little but cracks are hanging out every time the sit down or bend. Nice. Really nice. I know I've heard my friends with kids complain about this for the past couple of years. Parents are forced to buy them because there is no alternative for jeans out there. The only other choice is to put them in leggings every day, which might not be bad in some climates, but here in New England, you want to be able to put them in jeans in the winter months.

And what about those poor plus size women? Come on jean companies! Get a clue! You can make stylish jeans for women who wear bigger than a size 8 without making them look like they are wearing ill fitting pants or granny jeans. If some woman is wearing a size 28 jean, she wants it to come up around her waist - not on her hips. No large woman wants her pants to stop at her hips (unless she's completely clueless - please refer to yesterday's blog post about People of Walmart).

But even skinny women, when they sit down or bend over, 99% of the time, you're seeing stuff you don't want to see (and if you want to see that - please go find another blog to haunt, we don't go in for that sick crap here).

But it's the consumer that's ultimately to blame. People keep buying them, so the industry thinks we want them, so that's what they keep making. So knock it off already!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Perhaps the Best Reason EVER for Shopping On-Line

On a recent, uh... excursion with my boyfriend, Kin, I was introduced to rather strange and disturbing website by some of his friends. Now, you might think this website had something to do with vampires or killing or blood or something equally macabre, but you would be oh so wrong.

No, no, my friends. This was the People of Wal-Mart website. Now perhaps some of you are already familiar with it. Apparently, it has been around for quite some time, but it was news to me. This site (, among other things, posts photos of shoppers at Wal-Marts all across the country that are, well - let's call them 'unflattering'.

Nah, I can't do it. I want to be kind, but I just can't live with 'unflattering'. They range from hysterical to downright disgusting. I'm talking images that set off the gag reflex. Some of the captions below the pics are even funnier than the pics themselves. You will laugh, you will shake your head, you will email friends, you will even at times feel ashamed of yourself for looking at the site. But mostly, you will never, ever want to walk into a Wal-mart again as long as you live.

It doesn't matter if you dress well and are well groomed. These people are out there! You might not end up in one of the photos - but you might run into one of the photo subjects! Do you really want to risk that? And there are SO many of them! It makes you wonder how you ever leave home without witnessing this, this, this........ AHHHH! How to sum it up in one word or phrase! You'll have to see it to believe it.

Just to be safe, I'm doing all my shopping on-line from now on. It's worth the price of shipping!

I'd just like to caution you before looking at this site. You may injure yourself laughing. It may behoove you (yeah, I said behoove) to have a friend present just in case you lose consciousness from the hysteria. (and to revive you in case you find yourself or a member of your family on the site!)
Monday, August 22, 2011

Vampires Can Really Screw Up Your Schedule

Sorry for not posting yesterday. I'm sure you missed me terribly. (Yes, that is sarcasm) But there was just no way I was getting near a computer. I don't want to point fingers, but, sometimes dating a vampire can really screw up your schedule.

They don't require as much sleep as humans. (Though the whole must sleep during the day thing is just a myth. Don't believe me? Read my book. And again, why do I have to keep saying that?) But, let's face it, it's a little easier to get away with being a vampire at night, for multiple reasons. And yeah, if you want to know those reasons.... you got it, read my book.

Not to mention that Kin is at the beck and call of his Magistrate, Darius, 24/7. I swear, Darius is either clairvoyant or he's got one locked up in his mansion somewhere, because he seems to know precisely the exact moment Kin and I are about to get, er, um, intimate. You can guarantee that nine out of ten times Kin's phone is going to ring and it will be Darius.

Ok, I realize that sounds a little paranoid, but that doesn't make me wrong. I think people forget that sometimes.  Just because somebody sounds paranoid or their story seems a bit wacko doesn't necessarily mean that what they're saying is untrue. Have you ever watched Phineas and Ferb? Great cartoon on Disney. Yes, I'm a thirty-year-old woman who watches cartoons. My friend's kids turned me on to it. It's fricking hysterical. Anyway, their older sister, Candace, is always trying to get them in trouble for the elaborate inventions they build, but by the time she gets her mom to look, the stuff is always gone. So, poor Candace appears to be having hallucinations and a breakdown of some kind on a nearly daily basis - but - she's not wrong.

Ahhh, ok. Phines, Ferb, Darius. What the hell was I talking about anyway? I swear, I can digress like nobody's business! Ah ha! there you go, Hero, just look at the title you typed in a few minutes ago. (Can you tell I haven't had my RDA of chocolate yet?)

So, back to the original topic. Vampires. Schedule. I didn't post yesterday because my day was totally messed up being dragged around, (dragged? drug? who the hell cares) by Kin on 'official' vampire business, that of course, took hours and hours. After all, what do they care how long all their stupid crap takes? They have eternity, right? GRRRR. Blissfully forgetful of the fact that they were once human and that humans need to eat, use rest rooms, sleep, sit down now and then. (believe me, I could go on!) And no, sorry, can't tell you what we were doing. Big, top secret, hush, hush, vampire-type, stuff.

Anyway, by the time he finally got me home (way past the hours that any restaurants were open, unless I wanted a Big Mac), I had to actually make myself something to eat (talk about salt in the wound!) then I climbed into bed and managed to fall asleep despite the lightening sky and the horrendously irritating chirp of early birds out looking for their worms. Not a great visual to be falling asleep to.

Which also explains why today's post is later than usual, because I've only just got my sorry behind out of bed. Ehhh, ok, I've been up for almost an hour actually, but it took me a long time to actually start feeling awake. But here it is! Ok, not my most stellar post, but it's here. Somedays, that's the best you can do.

Signing off - in search of chocolate.....
Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Amazing Secret

No, no - not the vampire thing. That's not so much of a secret, seeing as I'm posting about it here on the web and writing books about it. Though, my friends are still clueless. Long story.

Anway, this amazing secret has nothing to do with supernatural creatures or romance. In fact, it's rather unromantic. My secret is - retractable leg hair. Seriously. Don't laugh.

After years of extensive study I have determined that the hair on my legs is fully retractable. Of course, only at its own will. And yes, my body hair has a will of its own. What, you think the hair on my head had an exclusive on that?

Now I'm sure some of you women will fully understand where I'm coming from. You get into the shower, you lather up, you get out whatever the latest technological whiz of women's razors is leading the pack and you scrape a sharp metal blade (or blades) repeatedly up the delicate skin of your legs to rid yourself of unsightly hair. You've done this for years; you are a skilled practitioner. You run your hands over your legs again and again to ensure you haven't missed any. You squint in the shadow of the shower light to be doubly sure. Then you rinse and go about doing whatever else needs to be done. Then, after climbing out of the shower, toweling off, doing whatever it is you do before you get dressed and then getting dressed, you sit down at work or out at dinner with a date and rest your hand on your leg.... and there it is. Hair! Oh no, not one little piece that managed to escape. No, no. You could discount that. We're talking a patch, a field, a miniature forest of tiny hairs standing there all proud and erect like frigging great cedars! And to add insult to injury, they are right smack dab in the spot you started shaving. The spot easiest to see. You know you shaved there, you went over it twice, at least! Yet, there they stand, mocking you.

After a lifetime of such mockery, I have come to the only possible conclusion. My hair has the amazing (and evil) ability to retract itself at will. It senses when I am getting into the shower or tub and withdraws and hides. Then, when everything is safe and dry - *pop*! There it is! Back again.

Ok, some of you men are probably laughing, but I'd bet it would explain those patches you are always missing when you shave! How can so many of you miss those hard stubbly whiskers on your face like that? Better to subscribe to my theory than be thought incapable of shaving your own face.

BTW, for you doubters, I have even taken to shaving outside the shower, under bright lights when it's a special occasion, and what do you know? Oh yeah, there they are just a little while later. My own follicles are conspiring against me!

And you wonder why i eat so much chocolate. Can you blame me?
Friday, August 19, 2011

Yes, Actually, I CAN Believe It's Not Butter

How many years has this been going on now? Twenty-five years? Have they managed to convince you yet? Not me, brother! Frankly, you might be able to pass that crap off as a few things, but butter isn't one of them.

But the nice people who also brought us Promise spread think that cute advertising will make us forget how awful this stuff tastes. Really guys, Fabio? Oh sure! If Fabio eats it, well hell! It MUST taste like real butter! Come on, Ethel, it's on sale down at the Piggly Wiggly! Let's go stock up!

I don't know if Jeff Foxworthy has ever done a monologue on this topic, but it's just screaming out for him to do one IMO.

Or how about the more recent ones with the over the hill chick from Sex and the City. You know, the one who wins the Emmy for biggest case of denial of real age in an actress? Yeah, that's the one. She's slinking around, looking like someone who's had too much work done, wearing too much makeup and wearing an outfit, that aside from being too young for her, does nothing for her. If it were supposed to be humorous then that would be fine, but it's not. You know what's supposed to be funny? There's a hot guy in the commercial young enough to be her son and she makes some stupid comment about how to make French toast. The hottie feeds her a bit of toast and says "oui". Yes, that is the punchline. They paid an advertising company for that little beauty. Staggers the imagination, doesn't it.

Frankly, it makes me wonder what kind of qualifications you have to work for one of these PR firms that does commercial advertising. Seriously! Man, some of these brands could run contests at a local high school and come up with a brilliant campaign for the cost of a college tuition bond or whatever and save a lot of money and embarrassment.

Not to mention, people, please - who came up with the name? A double negative? Was it really the best of all possible names you could come up with? Think about it. For days, weeks, maybe even months, people sat around offices and conference rooms and brainstormed about what to call this product. Focus group studies were probably conducted, markets tested. And yet, this was the best of the bunch. I don't know about you, but that doesn't exactly fill me with confidence in the company making the product.

So, for the record, I CAN tell it's not butter. If you can't, then perhaps you've never actually had real butter. Trust me - there's a BIG difference.
Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Sky is Dark in Hollywood

You often hear people speak of the "Golden Era" of Hollywood. That time in history when studios competed against one another for supremacy; to be the yardstick by which all other movie studios were measured. When stars were truly stars; paragons of style, elegance and class adored and admired by millions of fans all over the world.

Studios created the stars then. They were factories of illusion and magic, and while there were some definite disadvantages to the old studio system, when we look back at it all you can't help but think that some of their ways had their merit. They controlled the publicity, so all you heard were good things, upbeat and happy things. Sure, there was a lot of denial and even out right lies, but it wasn't all rehab and divorce and affairs and scandals. Celebrities were expected to keep up appearances if they wanted to keep their contracts. No rowdy underage partying til all hours of the morning and rumors of substance abuse, etc. Basically, no acting like a spoiled little princess that the world revolves around who can say and do as she pleases and the rest of the world just has to cope with it, and when you do finally have to pay the piper you blame your parents. (*ahem* I'm sure you can think of more than one disastrous diva who fits that bill).

Nope - if you wanted to be a star in Hollywood, you had to tow the line. Oh sure, if you were really big you could get away with a certain amount of foolishness, and of course all homosexuals were kept securely in their closets, but you had to answer to someone (actually a lot of someones) if you didn't behave. Call me old fashioned but I like that concept.

Of course, I suppose some will say 'oh but they're real people they should be able to show their real emotions and behave like normal people....' Excuse me?! Are you telling me Lindsay Lohan behaves like normal people? Hardly! No, they think they can act anyway they want because they're famous. If they were just normal everyday people with 9 to 5 jobs, or full time school, they would not behave like they do. And of course, they do have real emotions etc, etc. but when they are out somewhere at a function or event, they are working and need to handle themselves professionally. And even when they go out to a nightclub or a restaurant, they trade on their reputations. It's not outrageous to expect a certain level of behavior.

Though, yes, there are some who do handle themselves quite well, I don't mean to imply that all Hollywood is out of control. But even still, it's not the same. There's no real glamor. That true star quality is lost. We'll never have another Cary Grant, another Grace Kelly, another Clark Gable or Tyrone Power, another Elizabeth Taylor or Ingrid Bergman. Gone are the Bette Davis' and Jimmy Stewart's of the silver screen. Sure, we have our Tom Hanks. How can you knock him? But as wonderful as he is and as fabulous as his accomplishments have been, he just isn't quite up to that caliber, though possibly the closest our generation might have. Alright, George Clooney comes damn close to the style and charisma, though it did take him most of his career to achieve it (I remember him in a comedy show called ER even before he was on Roseanne!). I'll give you that he comes about as close as anyone I can think of to channeling that old Hollywood glamor.

And yes, we have lots of lovely actresses and greatly talented ones too. But I'm sorry, I like Julia Roberts, but she's no Ingrid Bergman. Though I will say I think Halle Berry is quite possibly one of the most naturally beautiful women in the entire world. Close cropped hair, not a stich of makeup and in jeans and a t-shirt and the woman is still breath-taking. There's a certain charm, a grace, an indescribable quality that's been lost somewhere along the way and I think it's due in part to losing the mystery of what makes a star a star. They are all so intent on showing you how regular and normal they are (well most of them). They don't care about being seen without makeup, dressed in sloppy clothes with their hair not done. Today's stars don't want there to be any illusion. And while I can see their side, I can't help the feeling that it's a shame. The believing that they were somehow above the everyday people, while, yes, being snotty and presumptuous, also added to the magic. It was part of the dream. If becoming a movie star or a rock star or whatever is looked at as no more different or special than becoming a dentist or a lawyer (simply something you have to train for and get a good break on to be successful), then where's the dream? What's happened to the magic?

(Now, don't get confused, if you are like some people I know who just breeze through, you might think I am contradicting myself, saying oh they think they don't have to answer to anyone etc, and then saying oh remember when they seemed above us all, but you have to really read and comprehend the full substance of those paragraphs. There IS a difference.)

And there, in large part I think, lies part of the trouble with Hollywood today. Where's the magic? Stop remaking old movies. Stop going for the quick, cheap laugh. Worry about crafting quality movies with valuable stories. I don't mean valuable in the sense of they all have to have a moral etc. I mean valuable in the sense that they are worth telling and worth telling beautifully. I know not as many people are willing to pay full price for a theater ticket any more so they cater to certain types of audiences they think will pay the price of admission. They don't realize how short sighted that is. Movies have longevity and can continue to make money for years to come. It's worth it to invest your money in a good story, a quality script, a first rate cast. And a NEW story. Believe me, there ARE new stories to be told. We are not all out of stories and ideas in this world.

Oh, Hollywood, Hollywood! Won't you restore and revive yourself? Try and remember what once made you so great. You were once the most magical place on earth, not Disney! Rekindle that magic. Expect your stars to be stars! Expect them to behave, because when they are out and about, they are representing your industry - like it or not. Don't coddle those who throw temper tantrums and diva fits. There are plenty of fish in the sea. Remember you were once the World's guide to all things fashionable. Show the World that it is the fashion to be elegant, classy, sophisticated - and responsible. It is no longer in fashion to be drunken, drugged, cheap and out of control.

And reign in your directors and producers. Raise that bar back up where it belongs before it falls on the floor! Demand quality films! No more easy way out by half ass re-hashings of old movies and old tv shows to make a quick buck. Reclaim your dignity! You can do it! I think you'd be very surprised how many people out there would just love for you to do so.

(PS - for those who don't know: Pic 1: Ava Gardner, Pic 2: Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, Pic 3: Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, Pic 4: Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Taylor [no relation])
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hero Says: Eat Chocolate Every Day!

If you haven't read my Eat Chocolate Every Day page (and why haven't you?) you may be unaware of my strong belief that chocolate should be its own food group with a recommended daily allowance. Of course, that would also mean you haven't read my book, and do we really need to go there again? Do us all a favor, read the book!

Anyway, I think chocolate is a vital part of our diet and should be incorporated into every man, woman and child's daily menu. Now, before you go freaking out at me over obesity and whatever, let me remind you that all chocolate not need be in the form of Ring Dings (though if they ever stop making them I just might become suicidal). There are plenty of ways to have chocolate in your diet without going overboard.

For instance: For breakfast, you could make some smart choices, such as a glass of chocolate
Ovaltine. With an 8 ounce glass of fat free milk is 160 calories and 0 fat. Or a bowl of Special K Chocolately Delight with fat free milk. That's 160 calories and 2 grams of fat. And believe it or not, a serving of Kellogg's Cocoa Krispies with fat free milk is also 160 calories and just 1 gram of fat. Or you could try Eggo Fiber Plus Antioxidant Chocolate Chip Waffles. Try saying that 10 times fast! A serving is 180 calories and 7 grams of fat. Sure, not something you'd want every morning, but still... a nice treat once in awhile.

Lunch time: After a sensible lunch, indulge yourself with a chocolate treat. Have a 100 calorie pack of Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds. Sure, they have 8 grams of fat, but remember, we need to have some fat. Not all fat is bad, and you get some good fat from nuts. There are plenty of other 100 calorie pack snacks out there with chocolate in them that will give you a great little chocolate fix to get you through the mid day slump.
Oreos, Chips Ahoy!, Milanos, Chocolate covered pretzels, even Hostess cupcakes. Or you could have a 90 calorie Fiber One brownie or chocolate snack bar. If you really need a chocolate fix, try a smear of Nutella or peanut butter and chocolate spread on a rice cake. Sure, there's a lot of sugar in those spreads, but... (yes, there's a but) keep in mind, you're not using the amount per serving listed on the label. You are using a fraction of that, and only using it once in awhile as a treat. So, it really isn't that bad. There are worse things you could do. Like eat a whole pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk and chase it down with some Ring Dings.

Dinner: If your taste buds are so inclined, you can get your chocolate fix right with your entree. Mole sauces, some chili recipes use chocolate, and a great many other savory dishes. And of course - desert. The possibilities are endless! But again, you can make wise choices. The 100 calorie packs are still there, plus Weight Watchers and other diet food companies put out plenty of deserts and candies for those watching their waste lines. There's no reason not to be able to make a smart choice if you want to have chocolate.

Plus - chocolate is good for your health! I won't rehash all that here - go read the page!

We NEED chocolate! It should be part of
everyone's daily diet!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

O. co - Are We Really That Lazy?

I'm sure you've seen them by now, the commercials announcing's new shortcut - ......... Yeah... seriously. Are we THAT lazy? We can't even type out a simple to remember website like And not even - which isn't a currently existing website - so it's not like somebody already owns it. We can't even manage the "m" at the end of .com. How pathetic.

Is this really going to help them? Are people going to say "Gee, now that I have to type so many less letters to get there I'm going to shop there more!" Can't see that happening, can you? Do they believe shoppers are that stupid as well as lazy? Doesn't say much to me about them as a company or their feelings about their customers/target audience.

In fact, let's think about this: How much has this cost them? The new domain - the new .co thing - I have no idea if that costs. All the new advertising to promote the lazy-ass url. What could that money have been put towards instead? Oh! Here's a radical idea - how about lowering prices! No matter what they advertise I have never found their prices that great. Sure if you take the time to browse around you can find a good deal here and there, but it's hardly a bargain bonanza. To be honest, I've only ever ordered from them once - sheets. It was a good deal. Nice sale, not a huge savings over other sites, but I had a coupon and they were running a free shipping promotion. But I wouldn't have ordered otherwise since I found the same sheets for a little less somewhere else (but the coupon wasn't good for that site, so....)

Frankly, the only thing I use Overstock for is a barometer as to whether or not I've found a good price on an item somewhere else. If I'm looking for a shower gift etc., I'll look up what I want on Overstock (I refuse to call it and then use their price as an indication of whether or not I'm getting a good deal elsewhere. Hope you were paying attention to that. That means - if you can find it on their website, the odds are good (very good) that you will find it for less elsewhere.

But, if you are one of the dim-witted sheep that Overstock is appealing to (or trying to appeal to) apparently this doesn't matter you. Saving your fingers from the exhausting task of typing in those extra 9 letters is surely worth any premium you'll pay on products. (and you will pay)

So, congrats Overstock and whatever advertising/pr firm you are paying way too much for. You have either struck upon a great concept to attract the truly idiotic, yet well-heeled online shopper, or you've just spent a lot of money to make yourself look like a bunch of idiots with little respect for your customers.
Monday, August 15, 2011

So, You're Dating a Vampire?

Yes, yes I am. And I have to say it's a relief to know someone (a lot of someones actually) know about it. It's not easy keeping it a secret from my friends. It's pretty easy keeping it from my family, since that's just my Dad and William and his stuck-up wife. They are detached enough that they wouldn't notice if I was dating a zombie with half his face hanging off. Not that I would ever do that, but then again, I never thought I would date a vampire. But really, who does?

Oh, sure, with all the Twilight hoopla going on there are a bunch of teens out there who might fantasize about dating a vampire, but they don't really expect to date one. Well, who knows? Some of them might be in for a BIG surprise one of these days. God knows I was.

As you may imagine, it's not something you can just bring up in casual conversation and expect your pals to take in stride. Or without an involuntary 3-day committal. So, I haven't told them, any of them. Of course, it helps that I've kept them away from Kin and vice versa. None of them have seen each other since the night we met. How long can I keep that up for? Besides, I want them all to be able to be part of my life together.

To the best of my knowledge, you can't take a Cosmo quiz for such things. It's a delicate situation to say the least, not to mention awkward, stressful, and nearly impossible. I mean, you've read the book (do I need to say it again?), when my friends get together there's drinking and eating and drinking. A vampire is going to stand out under such circumstances.

So...... until I can figure out how to keep my vampire lover's identity under wraps, I have to keep those two parts of my life separate - and no pun intended - but it sucks. I wonder if Dear Abby would post a reply if I sent her this one to ponder? Might be worth a laugh.
Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to a Wild and Crazy Guy!

In honor of Steve Martin's birthday, I thought I would post about him. I used to really love him, before he started just remaking (and sometimes ruining) old movies. The man is brilliant, you'd think he'd have no end of material for movie scripts!

Anyway, he did give us Navin R. Johnson, CD Bales, Orin Scrivello, DDS, Gil Buckman, Vincent Antonelli, Jonas Nightengale, and lest we forget King Tut and Yortuk Festrunk! And if you don't know who those characters are *sigh* you're Steve Martin education is sorely lacking. Go to and look it up.

I had (well, still have) friends who had older siblings that had his first comedy albums and we'd listen to them and laugh our asses off! "Well, Ex-CUUUUUUUSE Meeeeee!". The bunny ears. The banjo. The balloon animals. All those great guest appearances on SNL (back when SNL was good).

"The Jerk" is classic. Yeah, it's often really dumb, but you're got to love it (♫'I'm picking out a thermos for you!'♫). Gil Buckman pretending to be Cowboy Gil for his son in "Parenthood" is hysterical and moving. His portrayal of the psycho, pain-loving dentist in "Little Shop of Horrors" is scene-stealing. Ok, I admit I have no idea what Darryl Hannah is doing in "Roxanne", but I still think the movie is funny and love his "20 something better" segment. His role as a shady evangelist in "Leap of Faith" proves Martin has the chops to do more than just comedy. And IMO his stint as FBI informant Vincent Antonelli is one of the best things he has ever done. (don't talk to me about the Father of the Bride movies - sacrilege! Nothing can touch the original and should never have been tried. I'm steadfast on this.)

But out of everything I have ever seen Steve Martin do, the funniest thing I have ever seen is his comedy/magic skit The Great Flydini. It was one of Johnny Carson's favorite's as well. For those who haven't seen it, or would like to see it again, I'm posting it below.

Happy birthday, Steve!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Why Do Athletes Get Paid Such Ridiculous Amounts of Money?

On this day in history in 1988 the Boston Red Sox won an AL record setting 24 home games in a row. So... I thought today's topic would involve sports. And since I'm no big fan of sports (sorry guys), it's only natural that I would blog about one of my biggest pet peeves: The ridiculous salaries professional athletes get paid.

I know, I know. They claim they are "entertainers" so they feel justified asking for salaries akin to the biggest box office stars in the world. But they are missing a REALLY big part of the picture when it comes to movie stars.

Think about this:

When an athlete plays a game, that's it. It just lasts for the game. Sure they'll recap it on the news and weekly sport shows, but unless something phenomenal happens, that's it. So the team owner only has one chance each time that player "performs" to recoup some of the cost of their contract.

Now take a movie star. They make a movie and it's released to theaters, thus earning the studio and production company(s) money. It's put on Pay Per View/On Demand for a fee and earns more money. It gets shown on cable and tv, earning more money. It's available to rent and but in stores, at Netflix, Amazon etc., earning even more money. Every time it is shown, rented, selected On Demand and purchased for decades to come, it earns money. If it has a good soundtrack, the soundtrack will sell and earn money. If applicable, there will be posters, toys, clothing and other licensed products, earning even more money. So, as you can see, there are a whole bunch of ways to recoup the cost of an actor's contract over a great many years.

Even if a player is really popular and the team licenses items with the player's name and likeness, those items are generally only good while that player is riding high. There is a very limited window for a team owner to earn any of the money back they put out for player contracts.

That is unless they hike up the cost of tickets so high that it's nearly impossible to afford to take your kids to a ball game. Why should we have to bear the burden of their super-egos? They're playing a game for crying out loud! And don't whine to me about how it just takes one injury to ruin their careers. Most of these guys got free rides through college. If they don't have a career to fall back on that's their fault (and a disgrace if you ask me). I'm not going to feel bad for them.

Take the example of NY Yankee Carl Pavano (yes, I'm going to pick on a Yankee). He was signed to a $39.95 million dollar contract over a four year period. Just three months after starting, Pavano had a shoulder injury, followed by a series of other injuries such as bruised buttocks (no, I'm not making that up) and ribs that were broken in a car accident (obviously not a work related injury) and yet, he got paid. So, in essence, the Yankees paid him approx. $4.43 million for each of the nine winning games he played. Can you really say that any player is worth nearly four and a half million dollars a game?

There was a time when professional athletes had to maintain regular jobs off season to support their families. They played for the love of the game. Now they play for the love of money and the chance to win endorsement contracts.

So sure, I may sing along with "Sweet Caroline" and I'll taunt a Yankees fan if given the chance, but really, I just don't care about sports at all. Overpaid narcissists who get their wads of cash even if they don't work (would you get paid your full salary for not being able to do your job for a year?).

But as long as fans (short for fanatics) are willing to shell out the exorbitant ticket fees, the owners will continue to charge more and more to pay the Prima Donnas their vanity wages.

Save your money to help starving indie-authors and buy their books!

What? I'm not the only self-published author you know.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Week One Accomplished! Thanks

Well, it was one week ago today that I made my first blog post. Thank you! I've been very happy with all your comments and support. I even got a request for a blog topic!

Blogging isn't as easy as it looks. Well, not for me. And I don't know that I make it look all that easy. I don't want to blog about stuff that won't make sense to people who haven't read my book (have I mentioned that I'm not thrilled at having to keep saying that?), and I don't want to give things away about upcoming books (no matter how much some of you may like that). So, as you can see, I have to pick and choose my topics carefully. And yes, The Flintstones, Charles Manson, Project Runway, Massachusetts Drivers and Vampire Erections are examples of careful picking! Don't judge me.

But, I'd love to have some more interaction from you guys. More comments! Tell me what you think! What's your opinion? Let me know you're out there!

Some ideas for upcoming posts: Why dogs are better than cats (can't blame me for that one), The national debt, The dreadful trend of remaking movies, Yes, I can believe it's not butter, Low rise jeans: a clueless design or fashion's biggest joke?, Biological clocks - who's behind the ticking?, - are we really that lazy? - and more.

Do have something you'd like to have me discuss? Drop me a line. I'll think about it. No promises though.

And in the meantime, for those of you who haven't already read it (and shame on you!), READ MY BOOK!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thanks to Twilight Friends and Foes for Raising a Delicate Issue

If you are on FaceBook with any regularity there is a good chance you've seen the image below posted on at least one of your friends stati (yeah, I know but statuses sounds even more stupid).

Where do I begin? Well, first, thank you Mr. or Ms. Logic for making me think of something I'd rather not have thought about. However, seeing as I am dating a vampire, once the seed had been planted (pun intended), I couldn't get it out of my head.

It's not like you want to consider such things in the heat of the moment. Or upon reflection actually. At least, I don't. But what was I supposed to do now? I had to ask Kin (my vampire boyfriend, for those who don't know, and I'm not sure why we have to keep revisiting that - read my book!).

Now, those of you who HAVE read my book (thank you!) know that I'm not one to be graphic or discuss intimate matters any more than absolutely necessary, so pay attention because I'm going to be vague!

According to Kin, who is a vampire, so I have no reason to doubt him, it is true that vampire's hearts no longer beat. It is true also that they do not need to breathe. However, quite obviously, other muscles and organs are functioning or they wouldn't be walking around living the after-life that they are. I'll let you contemplate that for a moment.......

Think about it; they walk, talk, run, do things that require amazing feats of strength, etc, right? All of those things require the use of muscles. There are muscles in the... male sex organ. (God, I hated typing that!) It takes a combination if these muscles, nerves and blood (which let's face it, who has more blood in them than a healthy vampire?) to achieve the uh, ... desired state.

So, the sticking point is, how does the blood flow. Kin's answer: "I'm not sure." Now before you all start crying 'cop out' or whatever, let me say a couple of things. First off, unless you went to medical school or something, would you know the intricacies of how the human body worked without the aid of the internet? I didn't think so. Second, it's not like there have been centuries of vampire doctors doing research on how their bodies function, recording their findings and trying to comprehend the magic that makes them work. They can't Google this stuff. There are no pages on Wikipedia for them to go to.

When you consider it in that light, it's a reasonable response. His best guess: Vampires need blood for everything. It's the one and only thing they need to exist. Therefore, it must somehow travel throughout their entire body to keep their body functioning. It does not seem to use the same arterial system it used when they were human, but that doesn't mean it doesn't travel through the body in some other way.

The bottom line is this, vampires manage to have sexual relations. Kin says definitely no babies, though. I don't want to delve any further into the why's and wherefore's of the mechanics of the issue. This was uncomfortable enough, thank you very much.

And if you need or want any more information on this topic, I highly suggest you go and get your own vampire. Or a hobby. Or therapy.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Massachusetts Drivers

Today's post is a rant about idiot drivers. Now, I happen to be talking about Massachusetts drivers, but I'm sure many of you can substitute your own state, or country (except maybe those of you that drive on the wrong side of the road).

I am sick to death of morons behind the wheel. They run red lights, don't come to complete stops (if the slow down at all) at stop signs, pass on the wrong side, tailgate, speed and most annoying of all, they never use their directionals.

Why do they think car companies go through the trouble and expense of making sure all cars have those nifty little things if we aren't supposed to use them? Not to mention the fact that if you don't have them functional you can't pass your safety inspection. There's a big indication right there, isn't it? Uh - duh!

I used to think that modern science should come up with a way to give drivers a tiny little shock when they forgot to use their directional. Nothing major. Just something mild, like when you were a kid and you'd press your tongue against the top of a 9-volt battery. Come on, you know you did it. What? Oh come on! You did it, we all did it. Seriously? Well, fine. Go find a 9-volt battery. We'll wait. .................

Ok, now that you're familiar with the metallic taste and involuntary shudder (btw, has anyone ever told you that you're easily led?), you can appreciate the level of shock that I was talking about. A teensy little zap from the steering wheel to the hand to let you know you screwed up. But, upon reflection, the idiots would use it as an excuse for accidents that were really their own fault, and who knows what it might do to elderly drivers with heart conditions. So... a new idea.

I think car makers need to channel the geniuses of Warner Bros. Termite Terrace (look it up) and team up with the Acme folks to equip automobiles with a device that will keep a record of all the dumb-ass things people do while they drive. You know, sort of like those new things that insurance companies have that record all the good things you do. Well, if they can record the good things.... Right.

So stay with me on this. We have a little gizmo ala Acme recording all the stupid crap a driver does while out on the road. And when the driver arrives at his or her destination, another Acme gem comes out of the car; a robot. Yup! Just like the ones from the cartoons. A robot that will kick you right up the ass for being a nuisance on the road! Ok, maybe not a whole robot. Maybe a mechanical arm can come out of the door and hold you in place while a boot can come up out of the seat and kick you. But no disabling it like you can airbags. And standard issue - not optional.

Yeah, yeah. Maybe it's extreme and very unrealistic. but don't pretend that the next time you're on the road and some jackass cuts you off that you won't picture this remedy and wish it could happen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Heidi Heal Thyself - A Project Runway Criticism

I've been watching PR since the beginning. Even though there have been a few season's I swore I wouldn't go back (*ahem* Gretchen!), but here I am again, watching the designers strut their stuff. What can I say, I just adore Tim Gunn.

But as annoying as it is every season that the judges seem to like people who are jerks that don't do as nearly as good of work as some of the other designers, what irritates me the most is Heidi's wardrobe. Hello? Pot calling the kettle black!

Here we have a perfect example. This is what Heidi wore for the judging segment of Project Runway Season 9, episode 2 this past week. Anyone else see something wrong here? Uh yeah! What the hell is with the reverse darts on the shoulders? They're ridiculous. You look like an idiot Heidi! But what really burns me is that if any of the designers had sent a dress like that down the runway not only would Heidi rake them over the coals for it, but you know Nina would tear them a new one over it and Michael would have some cute little quip that would be sound-bited all over the net the next day.

So, it begs the question... Why the hell is she wearing it?!?!? I've read a lot of comments over the years that allegedly Heidi wears clothing on the show from past contestants to try and help them. Really? Is this helping anybody? Who is this benefiting? And if that's the case, a disclaimer of some kind needs to be flashed on the screen absolving her of bad wardrobe choices.

For those of you who don't watch PR, don't think I'm jumping all over poor Heidi for one bad dress. This is a nasty habit. I wish that rotten cat-bitch hadn't destroyed all my dvds (read my book if that doesn't make sense) so I could go back through the seasons and find examples of other disasters. I do remember the judges bashing the hell out of a contestant for stretch pants on one episode and on the very next episode, isn't Heidi wearing stretch pants! My phone was ringing off the hook with my BFFs calling to say 'can you believe the nerve?'. And a similar thing happened once with someone using sequins or something similar on an outfit (not because they used too much but because they used them at all and it was 'dated') and sure enough an episode or two later, out comes Heidi with a shirt with shiny-glittery stuff all over it.

The hypocrisy is sometimes the funniest part of the show. I love the styling critiques they give. Nina Garcia hasn't changed anything in all the seasons of PR and yet she constantly talks about looking 'current'. Apparently Ms. Garcia thinks she is either above such things or her look is so classic it doesn't need updating.

And on a general note - is anyone else sick of hearing the word 'youthful'? I'm trying to figure out if they think fashion is only for 20-somethings or if fashionistas are just all in denial of their real age.

Oh, Tim, Tim. If only they would listen to you. You handle it all with such class. Hmmmm. Class...... Maybe that's what's needed. A little Tim Gunn training lol. At least if they didn't like something they wouldn't be so bitchy about it.

But back to my original thought. Heidi, I love you, hun, but in the words of Tim, you too often are not Making it Work. You know what they say about good intentions. Worry more about looking like a fool and a hypocrite and less about wearing something for a former contestant. Going by your choice last week, I'm sorry, but you're out.
Monday, August 8, 2011

By Request - My Thoughts on Charles Manson

Yup! By request. I'm not kidding. If you missed yesterday's post about stupid fonts (And why did you? Why aren't you waiting on tenterhooks for my every post?), then you also missed the request by fan Gothic Toggs for me to go ahead and post my thoughts on old Charlie.

Yeah, I know. You're shocked on multiple levels. Somebody wants my opinion on a topic? On a controversial topic? People want to discuss Charles Manson? There are people who missed my blog post yesterday? (Yes, I'm going to harp on that. Deal with it.)

Of course, I could have saved this for another day, but... seeing as today is August 8th (the anniversary of the Tate murders for those of you who do not know such trivia off the top of your heads), I decided I would do a double blog post.

You might want to get a drink and settle into the comfy chair. This will be a long one. Don't blame me. It was requested.

Look at that face. Ok - not too long. I don't want to be responsible for nightmares or anything. But really, in this pic anyway, does this look like the face of Evil? Creepy, yes. Dirty, yes. Would you want to cross the street to avoid him, probably. But not the personification of evil that he has become.

Just your average run of the mill weirdo. And yet, somehow this diminutive little wacko managed to brainwash a slew of teens and young adults into perpetrating all kinds of crimes for him, including murder.

How did he do that? That's what has always mystified me. A lot of these kids were runaways and kids with problems, but many of them were from good homes and had the benefit of good educations. You can only blame so much of it on drugs. Somewhere in there is your own brain and your own free will.

Of course, spending the majority of his life on the streets and in and out of prison, Mason learned to BS and con people at an early age. It was his bread and butter. If he couldn't con, he didn't eat outside of prison. But to convince dozens of women to live together, basically as slaves doing your bidding, and the men in the group not much better? That's more than a con. I think, aside from gift of the Blarney, Mason had a lot of things working in his favor, as odd as that sounds.

In the Summer of Love, he set himself up as a guru of sorts in Haight-Ashbury and there he gathered his first members of what would become his Family. Stories differ as to the exact details, but Manson and his followers, mostly female, traveled around California and Mexico, gathering new flock into the fold. Some say it was an old school bus, some say VW Van, but really, does it matter?

It was a time when young people in this country were divided in so many ways. Divided from their parents who couldn't understand their new way of looking at the world. Divided from authority figures who wouldn't see the rights of people the way they saw it. Divided from former friends who clung to traditional outlooks and divided from a world they couldn't seem to find their place in. So many of them went in search of something. Themselves, each other, meaning, purpose. Who knows? And for an unfortunate number, they seemed to believe Charlie and his Family was what they had been searching for.

And yes, drugs did help Charlie. Especially ones that were habit forming, and even more so the ones that were hallucinogens. Those made it much easier to impress upon them his vision of the world, the afterlife and their divine purpose.

Now, I'm going to assume (yeah, I know what they say about assuming) that most of you know about how Manson used the Bible, Native American beliefs and folklore, Nietzsche and even The Beatles to influence and convince his followers that he was a prophet sent to lead them to the land of milk and honey. And if you don't... *sigh* you have the internet - use it! Some of the members even believed he was Jesus Christ (I'm sorry, but even on a good day, if I thought Charles Manson was Jesus Christ, God would have a lot to answer for.) He was gifted at weaving tales that made this band of misfits and lost sheep feel they had a purpose, a Divine purpose. That they mattered. That they were worth something, just as they were, without having to fit into anyone's conventional ideas of what was normal or appropriate. It's hard to imagine something like that having much pull on someone today. But then again, it's hard to imagine our country mourning a president the way they did Kennedy. And no, that's not a shot at Obama or anything. I just mean it was such a different time, different people, outlooks, values. Despite the Vietnam War, we were much more naive and innocent as a people than we are now.

The sad part of it, other than the deaths of all those innocent people, is when you consider things objectively, you realize how very smart Manson had to be to orchestrate everything. To assemble such a large group, to keep control over them, even when he wasn't around. To get them to do things that would once have been so against their nature. And even have some of them stand by him when everything came to light. Frankly, like it or not, that is one very intelligent psycho. What might have become of him with a normal family life as a child? With love, affection, education, encouragement and opportunities? Would he still have ended up one of the most notorious criminals of our time?

Who knows? But certainly anger at feeling the world was stacked against him played a major role in his outlook on life. Charlie was owed. He was going to be someone. Someone important. Well, he succeeded, didn't he?

Poor Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Parent, Gary Hinman, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and all the other victims of Mason and his followers.

Such horrible, senseless waste.

Aren't you glad you asked?

Remembering Dick

August the 8th. In honor of today, I thought I’d talk about one of my favorite movies. What? What’s that you say? ‘But Hero, what’s so significant about August 8th?’ (and no, it’s not the double 8). Today, for those of you who forget your American History, is the anniversary of the day Richard Milhous Nixon resigned his presidency. That was in 1974, again, for those of you who can’t remember such things.

Poor old Tricky Dick. Over all, he got a bum steer as a president. Don’t get me wrong, I know what he did was illegal and all of that. I just mean that because of Watergate no one remembers the good things he did as president. But we’ll save that for some other post when I’m really desperate for something to talk about. (let's pray that day never comes) This post is about a movie.

That movie is Dick, starring Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams. It’s a scream! I know, I know - you're thinking 'But Hero, I've never heard of this movie!' And that's why I am here, to remedy this terrible oversight.

It's a spoof of the whole Watergate investigation. Dunst and Williams play Betsy and Arlene; two teenagers who get mixed up with the whole thing. They are a pair of dim-witted girls who care only about clothes, make-up and Bobby Sherman. But when they get lost during a school field trip to the White House they are given the opportunity to be Official White House Dog Walkers. It's a hilarious screw-ball comedy of errors and misunderstandings.
Dan Hedaya is the perfect Nixon, IMO. I don't think anyone could have done it better. For you SNL fans, Will Ferrell portrays Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward and Bruce McCulloch from Kids in the Hall is his counterpart, Carl Bernstein.

The more you know about Watergate, the funnier the movie is. For instance, if you know nothing more than there was a break in and something happened that led to Nixon resigning, you won't know why it's so funny that Arlene talks and sings to Dick on his tape for exactly 18 1/2 minutes. Or when Saul Rubinek as Henry Kissenger says "I'll be the only person in this administration who's willing to take responsibility for anything". And all of the jokes that happen with Woodward and Bernstein will go right over your head. So, I highly suggest you brush up on your Watergate before you view.

Oh - and before you go nuts looking for Hello Dolly's - they are the same thing as the Magic Dream Bars you make with the condensed milk. I know. I looked it up. But they don't mention the secret ingredient Betsy's brother keeps in with the walnuts! ;) he he he
Sunday, August 7, 2011

What’s Up With Messy and Stupid Fonts?

Ok, so you know I’m a graphic designer (and if you don’t, that means you haven’t read my book – tsk, tsk, tsk) so I’ve got a million fonts on my computer. Well, fine, not actually a million, but well over eleven thousand. Oh yeah, you read that right. And yet, when it came time to make a banner for my blog, guess what? Uh huh, that’s right. I couldn’t find a font I liked.

So… I went out into Cyberspace and started fishing through my favorite font sites for some cool fonts. While perusing the myriad typefaces available, I couldn’t help noticing all the just plain crappy ones out there. Seriously! Do we really have that much of a calling for backward written fonts? How about fonts where all the open spaces in the letters are filled in? And I like the distressed and destroyed fonts as much as anyone, but people still need to be able to read what the word(s) says. At least I hope people expect them to be able to read it, otherwise, really, what’s the point?

Some of them were so bad that there is no way I would know what I was supposed to be reading if I hadn’t typed in my sample text myself. That’s pathetic. And yet… they’re out there. By the hundreds, if not thousands. On reputable sites, with downloads and feedback. It boggles the mind. Well, it boggles this mind anyway.

Oh – and one of my personal favorites… the fonts that put cross hairs on the letter “O”. There’s a ton of them out there; messy, handwritten-type of fonts with cross haired Os, ‘cuz, you know, we often have a need to create things that look like they were written by The Zodiac Killer. Probably some of the same people wearing Charlie Manson t-shirts. Don’t get me started! We’ll put a pin in that and save it for another blog post.

But really, those of you who have ever sifted through the font sites know what I’m talking about. There are a buttload of fonts out there that if you used them on your banner, t-shirts, magazines or just about anything, there is no way anyone is going to be able to read what you’ve written unless they are willing to sit there and decipher it like a code, but without a cool plastic ring from a sugary box of cereal. And come on, who wants to do that? Especially when there’s no Cap’n Crunch involved. We all have our limits.

Now you’re probably asking ‘What’s the point of this rant, Hero?’, well, I’ll tell you. First of all, who said my rants had to have a point? You want a point? Stick out your index finger. Ta da! There's your point! But in this case, you’re lucky, I do happen to have a point. Just because you can make a font, doesn’t mean you should.
Saturday, August 6, 2011

Still Rocking After All These Years

I’m back! Going to try again. Now that you are well versed in my relationship with snack cakes, I thought I’d discuss something else near and dear to me. The Flintstones.
I am a big fan of The Stones! Fred and Barney are the best – and still funny today. No matter how many times I see an episode, I still laugh even though I know what’s going to happen. And no, that does not make me simple, thank you very much (the person who thought that can please go haunt someone else’s blog). I just happen to appreciate the classics.

Come on, you’ve got to love The Flintstones! It’s so clever! The way they use all the animals as gizmos and gadgets, even common everyday household things still amazes me. I love imagining what it must have been like to be part of the team trying to come up with an episode and inventing the prehistoric contraptions. One of my favorites is when Fred is getting ready for work one morning and he reaches out the window and traps a bee inside a clam shell to use like an electric razor. That’s brilliant!

Oh! And all of the special guest stars! Stony Curtis, Gary Granite, Ann-Margrock, Ed Sullystone, Alvin Brickrock. My friend Sue loves the episode where Samantha and Darrin from Bewitched are their new neighbors.
Of course, if you were anything like me as a kid, you and your classmates all tried to memorize the words to the song the carhops sang. You remember, Charlie and Irving!

“Here we come on the run, With a burger on a bun,
And a dab of coleslaw on the side.
Oh, your taste we will tickle, With a cold dill pickle,
And all of our potatoes are french fried, fried, fried.
Our burgers can't be beat, Because we grind our own meat,
Grind, grind, grind, grind, grind.
And as you’re on your way, A tip upon our tray,
We hope to find, find, find, find, find!”

Ha ha ha! Oh yeah! That never gets old! And remember when they found Dino – and he could talk! “You’re drawing a Snorkasaurus aren’t you? Of course you are. Love it, love it, love it!” Classic! I think there have got to be people from multiple generations who either sing, or at least hear in their heads, the anniversary song anytime an anniversary is celebrated. Come on, admit it, you know you do.

I’d like to remind you that the Flintstones were prime time television when they first aired, not Saturday morning fare. They were meant to entertain the adults as well as the kids. So go ahead, and tune into Boomerang or whatever channel is showing them and watch with pride! And just to show that pride, let’s all sign off this blog post with a little sing-a-long. You know you know the words. It’s ok, we won’t tell anyone.
Everybody – SING!

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