In April, for the second year in a row, Publisher’s Weekly blogger, Barbara Vey held a fabulous Reader Appreciation Luncheon. Now, ya’ll may not know Barbara’s story, but she’s a reader. A BIGTIME Reader, just like most of us.
I’m probably not telling the story exactly right, but a few years ago, Avid Reader Barbara went on a Reader/Writer cruise. She ended up sitting next to an exec from Publisher’s Weekly – also known as PW, one of the biggest reviewing magazines/websites in the nation. (Barbara thought the gal was an editor)
When the woman engaged her in conversation, Barbara ended up telling her exactly what she thought was wrong with publishing. The woman was so enamored of Barbara’s style, she contacted her a few weeks later and asked her to do a genre fiction blog for PW. After asking her son what a blog was, Barbara agreed and the rest is history.
Grins. Yeah, try writing that into a book and see if your editor lets it pass! I can hear it now…”That wouldn’t happen in real life…”
Then, Barbara, reader gal extraordinaire decided she wanted to acknowledge the READERS. Yep. Another great idea came into being. The inaugural year of the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon - 2012 – featured Heather Graham as the keynote. (Fabulous speech, btw) Barbara, in her modest way, figured it would garner about 50 readers.
More than one hundred showed up. (On the right is Bandit Favorite, Dianna Love, with Barbara’s Sisters!)
This year, James Rollins was the keynote (pictured at the beginning with Barbara Vey herself), and TWO hundred people showed up. There were door prizes for readers, and book-swag from authors. Every table featured an author, including yours truly. :> (Bandita Trish Milburn was there last year as well.) Frequent Bandit Guest Authors were in the audience both last year and this – Dianna Love, Sharon Sala, Jana Oliver, Sabrina Jeffries, Lori Handeland, Angie Fox, Eloisa James, Diane Kelly, Cherry Adair and many more – and I’m sure the competition for those tables (by authors) and seats at the tables of favorite authors (by readers) will be in high demand next year as well.
Next year, in the lovely month of April, in the fascinating city of Milwaukee, Barbara will hold her third annual Reader Appreciation Luncheon. The very special Debbie Macomber will be the keynote.
Hopefully, new pals of mine, like Liz Lincoln, Allison Leota, Eileen Dryer, Maggie May Gallagher, Denise Swanson, Jerol Anderson, A.Y. Stratton and others will be there again, because I had an absolute BLAST getting to know the readers and some of my fellow authors as well!
Y’know, we have such a great time here on the Romance Bandits Blog, and I hope we never forget to thank YOU, our readers, for reading and having fun not only with the blog itself, but with our books. Every chance we get to meet you, from the Buns and Roses Tea, to things like Barbara’s Reader Luncheon, to Romantic Times’ RT Convention, to RWAustralia, to the Literacy Signing at the National RWA Conference, is a chance to thank you for being interested in what we write.
The stories we tell have meaning because you enjoy them, you buy them, you pass the word to friends and fellow readers that a book is fabulous, a great read, or something you won on the Romance Bandits blog and never expected to enjoy….but did!
So, Thanks. A LOT.
And if you just happen to be in Milwaukee next April, I hope you’ll come sit at MY table, have a great lunch and enjoy hearing Debbie Macomber talk. I hope you win door prizes galore. Ha! (Even MORE that you win here!)
I promise, if you sit at my table, not only will we have fun, there WILL be great swag from me too. Snork!!
So Bandit Buddies, do you like these kinds of events?
Have you ever been to a literacy signing, or a book signing at a book store?
Do you like your books autographed, or do you prefer to keep them pristine?
If you use a Nook, Kindle, or read on your computer, do you like the Keeper Kase Cards that both Nancy and I offer, along with Dianna Love and several other authors? (These are signed postcards that you can keep like you would keep an old-fashioned autograph collection!)
I signed several Kindles and Kindle covers, as well as a Nook or two. Would you ever have your favorite author sign your e-reader?
(Photos are all by me or used with permission from Barbara Vey Reader Luncheon Photos)
We’re the ones who were “born with a book in our hands” and who are reading in the carpool lane, or in the doctor’s waiting room, or on the metro, subway, bus or train, and miss our stops. We’re the people who keep a running list of books we’re waiting to see “appear” on the bookshelf or in the Kindle or Nook “Forthcoming Books” list.
And, if you’re like me, you have a list of those books you WISH the author had written – the sequel, the prequel, the sidekick’s story – a book that just never got to market, for whatever reason. Thanks to the new face of publishing, with independent publishing and e-books, sometimes authors can give you that book. Sometimes now, you see that wonderful story you’ve always wanted appearing, like magic, on the Amazon or Nook bestseller list.
Then there’s the book-out-of-the-blue, that you never expected to like, and never expected to WANT to like. A story you stumble across or someone recommends, that just POW! hits you. You then read everything that author ever wrote and anxiously look them up on GoodReads or Wikipedia, praying that they’re still writing, still producing that series, or those stories.
Like you, I’m always reading. It recharges my batteries, both as a person and as a writer. Something about escaping into a storyteller’s world – an alternate reality, if you will – lets me relax, and enjoy and get away just enough to be able to come back to my “real” world a better, more able to cope person.
What’s a book you wish an author had written? For me, there’s an author named Sterling Lanier and he wrote a book called Heiro’s Journey. There was a second book in the series, but it left us all hanging and will, now, forever be “unwritten” as he’s passed away. (As an aside, he was an editor first, and is credited with getting Frank Herbert’s Dune series published.) And I would have so loved for there to be more stories from David Eddings, and Michael Crichton, both of whom have also gone on to the Writer’s Guild in the Sky.
And much as I love the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs (pictured above with Blood Bound) I’d LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have more stories set in her original world of Dragon Blood and Dragon Bones.
Is there a character from a famous author you’d like to see get their own book? There are a few of these for me too. I’d love to have known Duncan Idaho’s story – his whole story – from Frank Herbert’s Dune. Or had the couple from Casablanca have their HEA.
Is there a book you’re anxiously awaiting? Entangled in You, by Sylvia Day is one I’m waiting on. The next Sophia Nash book. Bandit books that are in the pipeline, and so on.
If you’re looking for a new author to read, where do you look? Amazon Bestseller lists? NYTimes bestseller lists? The RITA lists? I’ve stumbled upon some wonderful authors while reading for contests – CL Wilson’s Lord of the Fading Lands (Tairen Soul) series is one I first read in a contest. So is Darynda Jones’s First Grave on the Right and it’s follow on books.
Do you take a friend’s recomendation? For me, it depends on the friend…. Grins. I have one friend who reads what I like to call “Oprah Book Club Books.” You know, books full of angst and despair with nary an HEA in sight. She loves them. I loathe them. If she loves it, I stay away.
On the other hand, if y’all, or my Bandita Sisters recommend a book, I’m usually going to go buy it and give it a try.
Have you ever read a book that was just terrible – poorly written, or badly edited – but the idea was so compelling that you read it anyway? There was one of these for me, the book was so lonnnnnnnng and it should have been 100 pages shorter, and it needed a pruning of the narrative description SO badly, but the story was so good, I read the whole darn thing anyway.
Is the book you’re reading right now from a favorite author, or from a recommendation?
Our guests seem to feel that you Bandita Buddies rock – which you do – and they always want to come back and visit with us and talk to you. Do you go look at our guest’s websites, check out their excerpts?
Do you find books on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter? And, while we’re on that subject, have you liked your favorite Bandits on all these cool Social Media thingies? Grins.
Y’know, it’s Saturday night, as I write this, ready for it to post on Sunday morning, East Coast time. We watched basketball tonight – whoa, some serious March Madness, college Basketball upsets! – but usually, on Saturday nights we try to do family movie night.
Since I live with a bunch of totally GUY-guys, you can imagine the usual fare: MoneyBall, The Avengers, Iron Man 1 & 2, Captain America, The Rookie….You get the drift. It’s a lot of action, weighted heavily toward Super Heroes, and Baseball movies since two of the four of us are totally mad for baseball. (I’m leaning toward super-fan, and our youngest could give a rip!)
Thing is, sometimes I like something different. Sometimes, I like a comedy. Maybe slapstick, maybe Romantic Comedy, and sometimes, I really like those Teen-Who-Makes-Good movies, like High School Musical or Stomp the Yard or Drumline.
As you all know, being avid readers, there are only so many story lines. It’s the personality of the characters an author attaches to those “standard story lines” which make or break a movie or a book. Take the movie Drumline. It’s the street-kid-gets-a-chance-at-college story, and the odds he faces and the nemesis he encounters in the head of the college music department, who controls the boy’s fate. The very fine actor, Orlando Jones (pictured on the right, from the Wikimedia Commons picture file) is the Music Director with serious capital letters. He’s highly educated, highly sophisticated and somewhat uptight chair of the music department. He’s truly marvelous as the straight-laced prig Dr. Lee, played against Nick Cannon’s irresponsible rebel of a drummer. Really brilliantly done.
Funny thing is, he also plays – again, brilliantly! – Clifford Franklin, a washed up football running back with butter fingers in the delightful football movie, The Replacements. Clifford refers to himself in the third person, thinks he’s faaaaaar sexier than he is, and is just generally an insecure goofball. “Clifford Franklin says that this game is going to be HOT!” “C’mon baby, let me show you what Clifford Franklin can do…”
Same actor. TOTALLY different roles. I have a lot of admiration for actors who can pull this off. I had a very strange moment of deja vu when, one night, I was channel surfing and both Drumline and The Replacements were on. Different channels, of course, so as I scanned through the selections, I had to do a double-take to realize that the sober Dr. Lee, from Drumline, was also the imminently laughable Clifford Franklin.
This has happened a couple of times with actors I admire. I’ll be channel surfing and there they will be on multiple channels in multiple roles. Very schizophrenic, but VERY interesting, from a writer’s point of view, to see how one actor can play so many different “people” and still be convincing.
Take Hugh Laurie, for instance. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons) Brilliant actor. Simply brilliant. He does House, MD on American TV, plays comedy clubs and has been in tons of sitcoms in the UK (Black Adder, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster), and then in kids movies like Stuart Little and 101 Dalmatians. I happened upon him in three incarnations one night – House, Stuart Little, and on Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio. And yes, ladies and gents, he is ENGLISH, not American. The accent is REAL, and yet he manages to sound like Dr. Gregory House, grumpy American jerk of the year. Ha!
Fascinating, as Spock would say. I often like to watch a row of movies with a single actor – go through all Kevin Bacon’s movies (shudder!), or see Kevin Spacey in K-Pax, LA Confidential, and American Beauty. As a writer, it helps me understand the way to turn a story line, or twist a characters mood or motivation in whatever I’m working on.
Weird, I know.
I’ve been watching Robert Downey, Jr. lately to get that complex, dark-edged, reluctantly helpful/heroic thing going. He plays that type of character well, from Sherlock Holmes to Iron Man, from Charlie Chaplin to SoapDish.
Now, all that said, sometimes, I just like to watch the movies for the entertainment. It’s hard not to analyse them, or see the story twists and turns as turning points and so on, but if it’s a good enough story, I forget all that analysis and just enjoy. IT’s got to be a really GOOD movie for me to turn off the internal writer/analysis maven/storyteller however.
So, let’s have some fun. Here are some of my top Favorites in several categories, where I’ve been able to turn that off and just eat the popcorn and be glued to the screen, immersed in the story. You tell me yours!
1. Action Adventure – The Avengers. Hands down one of the most fun, quotable movies in recent memory. I never ONCE stopped to analyse.
2. Blow it Up movie – Skyfall. LOTS of stuff blew up. It was great. Total popcorn and drool movie. (Hey, Daniel Craig. Just sayin’!)
3. Comedy – TIE – Fish Called Wanda and Young Frankenstein. I”m going for the oldies here because most of the newer ones which have made me ROFLMAO are Romantic Comedies, another category altogether!
4. Drama – The Blind Side. I so didn’t see this coming as a “keeper,” not at all. I figured “Football movie…yeah…” Oh, it was SO much more. Pass the Kleenex, let’s watch it again.
5. Sci-Fi – The Lord of the Rings series followed hard on by Star Trek – the new one. Fab-U-Lous. Hands down, one of the best sci-fi movies in years.
6. Disaster Movie – Twister. All that, and flying cows too.
7. Romantic Comedy – While You Were Sleeping and 27 Dresses. I know they’re a few years old, but they are still among my all-time-favorites.
8. Historical – The King’s Speech. If you’ve not seen this, run, don’t walk, to your Netflix and get it in your queue. Brillllllliant film. I resisted seeing it, thinking it would be either maudlin or sad or just stupid. It was none of that. And it’s absolutely the best thing I’ve ever seen Helena Bonham Carter in. She CAN act, imagine that! :> She was outstanding.
9. Old Movies I’ll Watch Again and Again – Its a Wonderful Life; Operation Petticoat; Bringing Up Baby; White Christmas
10. Guilty Pleasure – The Wedding Planner. This movie is SO B-Movie. Really. Not very well acted, not a hugely surprising plot. And yet….I’ll watch it every time, and enjoy the heck out of it, no matter what.
So what are yours? Tell, tell! Help me fill up MY Netflix queue!
I’ve decided that Pizza is a universal food. It doesn’t seem to matter where people are from, or what diet they follow (vegetarian, meat-a-tarian, fruit-a-tarian) there is a pizza that suits them. My first experience with pizza, as a kid, was the kind that came from a box. Even then, I recognized that this was a food I could spend my life with.
Not keen on the box kind anymore but, like all relationships, you gotta start somewhere!
However, it all begins with the foundation. The Crust. The best part of the pizza, in my opinion. To me, its ALLLLLL about the crust. If you don’t have great crust, you just don’t have good pizza. I judge pizza restaurants on their crust. Always. (Just like I judge Chinese restaurants on their egg rolls….but that’s another blog!)
Back to that foundation…Some people want whole wheat crust, or gluten free. Some want good old Chicago-style, deep dish, thick and fabulous crust. Stuffed crust is a new twist in the last few years and I have to say I’ve tried it and liked it. Thin crust is divine, in all it’s crispy, edgy glory. Or just plain, simple, regular pizza crust can be elevated to divinity by great prep and just-right baking.
I indoctrinated my kids early, and no, it didn’t involve a box mix. They started the way most kids do, with plain, ordinary cheese pizza. Most kids want their pizza “nekkid” as my youngest would say. My eldest was the first to branch out into pepperoni, and sausage soon followed. He declines fungi (mushrooms), but will now eat green peppers (the bane of my existence), olives, and various other substances on his pizza. My youngest, on the other hand, branched out by going Hawaiian. While he’ll tolerate pepperoni, his favorite is a large double pineapple pizza. He never strays from this favorite, and that kid can put away an embarassing amount of pineapple pizza. Just sayin’.
Friday night is usually pizza night at our house. One reason for this is that my kids are often absent on Friday nights. Yes, you read that right. That means I can sit in peace at my dinner table, with a slice of pizza-pie, a glass of wine and a good book, or a wonderful conversation with my darling hubby. Ahhhhhh, pizza night. It’s kinda like date-night-in. Alas, this time of year, my hubby being an accountant, its usually me and a book for Friday night, with the boys off on their own pursuits with friends. Ha! Since I used to do this a LOT when I was single, I must confess that many books from the Keeper Shelf bear faint pizza sauce stains, or smudged fingerprints from various and sundry me-and-a-book meals.
Now, my fellow Bandita Cassondra is like my youngest, she likes that Hawaiian with pineapple and ham. YUM!! Me? I like that very well myself, but my favorite local pizza joint, Broadway, makes a chicken spinach pizza that is to DIE for. They also have yellow squash as a topping – exotic, and somehow not… – and I get that a lot. Totally yumalicious. However, my always-eat-it-fallback is pepperoni and mushroom. Something about the mix of those flavors is just…..deeeelish! Bandita Nancy loves the veggie lovers on thin crust, hold the onions, or white pizza with spinach (YUMBO!!).
Nancy also informed me that our darling Sven makes a special thin crust with shrimp, artichoke hearts, feta cheese and a special, secret ingredient that adds a to-die-for taste experience. (This I have to try!) My only question is, why didn’t I know about this sooner???
One of our other local pizza favorites is Ledo’s Pizza. It’s a Washington-Metro family-run set of pizza joints and they make their pizzas square. Yes, I said square. SO good, and so useful when feeding a crowd of youngsters who’ll only eat one or two bites then run back to play whatever game is ongoing. Grins. I like the squares and I like their crust (thin) and I like most everythinge else about Ledo’s too.
Then there’s the ever-popular and wonderful California Pizza Kitchen. (That’s it, above left) You haven’t lived until you’ve had their California Club pizza with bacon and avocado and lettuce…. nom, nom, nom. Oh. So. Good.
Sometimes, when I’m traveling I’ll get that hankering for pizza on a Friday night. It’s like a drug addiction. Must. Have. The. PIZZA!!! Grins. I found a nifty tool to help with the cravings. It’s called www.PizzaDelivery.org You can go on the site and search for pizza delivery in whatever town you’re visiting, read reviews, etc. How cool is THAT? I found a great place in Houston, TX this weekend, Romano’s. Go me! Oh, and just so you know, PizzaDelivery.org also has great recipes and cool pizzas from around the world. Yum!
Don’t even get me started on dessert pizzas. Oh, the many ways my darling, wonderful pizza can be made! Heath Bar Pizza? Bananas Foster Pizza? Ohhhhhh! Slurp!!! That said, I’ll eat meal-pizza just about any way it comes crust-wise, and on toppings, hold the olives, anchovies, and green peppers and I’m good with anything else.
What about you?
Thin, regular or deep dish?
Did you start with cheese and work your way into toppings or just jump right in?
Have you ever made pizza from a box kit, or from scratch?
What’s your favorite toppings for a solid, Friday-night pizza pie?
Beer, wine or a soda with that?
Will that be dine in, or to go?
Do you have a local favorite Pizzaria that you feel comfortable naming on the blog?
Of the national chains, like Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Little Caesars, etc., which is your fav?
Last but not least, ever had anchovies on a pizza? Good? Not good?
Hey Bandits! Hey Bandita buddies! You all have probably noticed by now that I’m NOT a morning person. Big surprise, right? I’m up late, I’m answering posts and tweets at 2 in the morning, East Coast time…yeah, sleep at night? Why? It’s so quiet! I get so much WORK done when I don’t have to worry about stopping for carpool! Snork!
Problem with that is, as I’m sure you could guess, is that if I stay up that late, as I’m inclined to do, I pay for it on the weekdays when I DO have to make the 7 a.m. carpool run for the eldest son. *Shudder* I do not LIKE mornings, Sam-I-AM! (Even WITH eggs and ham!)
I’d rather have Binner – breakfast at Dinner – than get up and make it at 0-dark-thirty.
That said, I DO get up in the mornings. I get up, make breakfast and get the kids off to school, then start my day with a really, really, REALLY big mug of coffee. BIG mug. Did I mention that it was BIG? Venti. Starbucks. Ohhhhhh, yeah. That way, if I’ve done the idiot thing and both gotten up early – school drop off – and stayed up late – working, tweeting, procrastinating – I can still manage to function. Somewhat.
Then….we get to the end of the week. I love the end of the week. I actually get to see my husband for more than a few minutes before he leaves for work. I get to speak in complete sentences to my eldest son, who usually deals with me pre-coffee, so I can converse with him like a semi-adult, and actually understand the words he’s speaking as well. Amazing thing, that.
But, more than anything else, I love the end of the week for Saturday. Saturday is Sleepin’ In day for Mom. This is the day – the morning anyway – in which I get to stay in the bed and sleep, read, journal, listen to TV or generally loaf (and/or snooze!) without having to actually arise from the bed and be “Mom-In-CHARGE!” (Can’t you hear that trumpet fanfare!!?!?) I love Saturdays. SO delicious!
Some days I actually DO sleep. I’ve been known to sleep in most of the morning, pulling what my son calls a “more-teenager-than-me” sleepfest. Other days, I reluctantly realize that my body clock is set for that unholy 6:30 arising time and awaken, all alert and refreshed about the time the sun comes up.
But, do I get up? Ohhhhhhhhh no, I do NOT! Because I don’t HAVE to. Ahhhhhhh! Luxury! Joy! Sleep! YEAH!!
Now, don’t get me wrong. Nothing in my household guarantees SILENCE on these precious mornings. I have two rambunctious sons and dogs and one very hilarious husband who frequently plays serious, serial games of Tickle Monster with the boys. Hilarity, shouting and general mayhem ensue, post-pancake and sausage. And this is not some kind of odd, bizarre QUIET mayhem, carried out in Mime so that Mom can sleep. Ohhh, no. This is LOUD mayhem, accompanied by much giggling, snorking, squealing and other anonymous (and sometimes terrifying) thumping, crashing and banging sounds.
Guess what? On Saturday mornings, I can sleep through it. Seriously. I am OFF DUTY. Barring a shout of “Mom! Help!” I am comatose, unwakable and generally down for the count. Grins.
It’s a lovely thing.
Do you have a “sleep-in-day”?
Are you a light sleeper – awake at every sound – or a sound sleeper who can snooze through WWIII?
If you live with pets, do they let you sleep or do they insist on that early wake-up-and-feed-me routine?
Are you a caffeine gal? Do you have to have it in the morning to actually function? (Yes, Cassondra, I know YOU are!)
Tell me about YOUR “guilty pleasure” for a Saturday morning!
Do you remember this scene from Moonstruck? I LOVE the scene where Ronnie asks Loretta, just-unengaged-from-his-brother-Johnny, to marry him. “Where’s the ring?”
Johnny borrows the pinkie ring from Johnny to give to Loretta, the one Johnny had just reclaimed FROM Loretta when he tells her he can’t marry her.
One of my best friends in all the world just got engaged. It wasn’t as dramatic as Moonstruck, but I can tell you, that she just simply glows with happiness at having met the man of her dreams. Finally. It’s lovely to see.
He bought her the most gorgeous engagement ring. It’s just astonishing. And now, we’re embroiled in wedding plans, which is both fun and frustrating. I’m pouring through bridal magazines with her, which is fun and nostalgic and cool. (Frustrating only in that most of these magazines and shops predicate their work and time frames with the idea that the bride has a year to plan….They’re going for April. Of this year.)
One thing that is TOTALLY astounding to me is the change in style of engagement rings just since I got married 14 years ago. There are so many ornate styles, set with tons of diamonds, and lots of filigree work. Platinum is in, whereas yellow gold was more the thing when I got married. Fourteen years ago, ovals were a fad as well. I remember looking at LOTS of oval diamonds. Not so much anymore!
Now, let it be said that the solitaire is ALWAYS right. It’s always classic, it’s always beautiful and you can pair it with any style wedding ring and it looks flawless and fabulous. Can’t go wrong with that lovely single stone.
Looking at all of these, and talking with yet another friend who chose not to get an engagement ring – she doesn’t really wear jewelry, being a doctor – I started wondering how all this ring business began.
So, of course, I did some research. Seems the whole deal started with the Egyptians. They wove rings of hemp – yes, that stuff, because it’s very sturdy! – to signify the neverending circle of love, and placed the rings on the left hand because they believed that hand had a vein which ran straight to the heart. Pretty cool. Of course, plant material being what it is, you had to renew the vows periodically!
Which led to the Romans. They adopted all the mushy stuff from the Egyptians, but hey, they wanted permanence! Iron rings became all the rage, echoing the “key ring” and signifying that a man gave a woman the keys to his lockbox, his house, etc. when he married her. Iron, of course, being iron, wasn’t as appreciated by the Roman ladies, especially those of high status, so gold rings took on a new luster and new purpose! That’s a Roman Iron Ring. Not what I’d choose for my Big Day. Would you?
Moving forward in time through a lot of societal changes, and a lot of power plays, it’s reported that the first dude to give his betrothed a diamond ring was Archduke Maximillian of Austria in 1477. He figured if gold was good, gold with then-rare diamonds would make him THE MAN of big-time betrothals and show just how much status he had! Worked pretty well for Mary of Burgundy, I think. Ha!
Colored stones got to be a “thing” in the 1600′s with lots of brides choosing Indian Sapphires. Then once more diamonds were discovered in the Amazon, and later in the 1870′s in Africa, they became the stone to give your gal if you wanted to show her – and her daddy – that you had serious intentions.
Of course, those smart guys who formed the DeBeers Mining Co. in Africa wanted to be sure that there would always be demand, no matter how many diamonds their mines produced. Hence the ad campaigns stating “A Diamond is Forever!” “Show her your fidelity with a flawless diamond!” and “It’s an heirloom for your bride!”
An industry came into it’s own. Now they toss around the “Four C’s” (Color, Cut, Clarity, Carat weight), and the myth that it should cost you and your partner 3-month’s salary, just to show their commitment to the relationship. Grins.
My friend went back to ye olde tradition – not iron! – and chose a colored stone. She has an emerald as her center stone. It’s stunning! I know several people who’ve gone this route. One friend chose a sapphire, much like Princess Diana’s ring, now gracing the Duchess of Cambridge hand. Another friend got a diamond anniversary band and called it done. Some, like the doctor friend I mentioned earlier, have just done the wedding band.
What about you, Bandits and Buddies? What do you think of the Solitaire?
What’s your favorite shape? (Mine is the Princess cut – square – and I have it and love it!)
White gold, platinum or yellow gold?
If you’re not married, what do you think you’d like to have if you get engaged?
If you’re married, do you like your rings, or would you trade them in on a newer model?
A friend of mine “upgraded” her rings at her 15th wedding anniversary. Would you do this?
Do you like the rings with colored stones, or is the diamond your first choice?
How can it possibly be JANUARY? Much less January 8? I’m stunned. Really. I’m beyond baffled, confused and really having a hard time dealing with the change of seasons. Like my Evil Twin Cassondra, I AM looking forward to the return of the light-filled Spring days, even as I’m looking forward to SNOW just like Susan chatted about on Saturday when we got our notorious virus that shut down the blog. Total bummer that…don’t people have better things to DO? URG!
Sorry, I digress.
I’m working on getting myself “in” to the New Year. Part of my discombobulation is the fact that we went to Disney/Universal Studios in Orlando, FL over the holidays. We left Christmas Day, right after the opening of the presents – we surprised our boys with the trip, they had no idea we were going! It’s a 13 hour drive from DC to Orlando. We went half-way Christmas Day, then the rest of the way the next day. We met up with friends and proceeded to “DO” the parks.
Before I talk about that, I have a recommendation. Don’t do this. Don’t go to Disney or Orlando on the week between Christmas and New Years. It’s abominably crowded, the weather’s weird (esp. for FL), and it really screws up your sense of what day/year/time it is.
That said, we had a blast. I was delighted to see all the cool stuff at the parks. I was really delighted to see how much play the Super Heroines got at Universal – right along with the Heroes. They were on the street as costumed characters at certain points, and had fun posing with the kids.
I don’t post pictures of my sons on the ‘net, but rest assured, my tall 12-year-old was as tall as Storm from the X-Men, and was eyeing that skin-tight suit with a little tooooo much interest for Mom’s peace of mind! Ha!
We also hit the World of Harry Potter. My older boy and I were doing the ‘coasters, including the Harry Potter ride. That ride is ASTOUNDING!!! You fly through Hogwarts. If you’re like me, and devoured the books, loved the whole series including the movies, then flying with Harry and seeing a dragon, and those eepy-creepy spiders was just….amazing.
My youger son was fascinated with the butterbeer (Joanie, I lifted my glass in your honor!), the wand shop, and the presentation of singing toads on the stage.
That day, at Universal, everyone also got totally soaked to the skin on one of the water rides. Unfortunately the temperature dropped quickly as night fell. They took advantage of the People Dryers – yes, they have big heated tubes outside the water rides to sort-of blow you dry – which we had laughed at when we got to the park. Brrrrrrrr!
At Disney’s Hollywood park – formerly MGM – we rode the Tower of Terror, the Aerosmith ride, etc. – and we ate Turkey Legs. OMGosh. So good on a cold night! Ha! We had to buy sweatshirts as the weather turned cold at night, and we stayed for the fireworks.
And last but not least, we went to Legoland. For my younger son, whose ambition is to be a Lego Designer/Engineer, this was the highlight of the trip. He could have just done Legoland and gone home and been totally happy. Legoland was amazing, even for those not loving, breathing, living the Lego Brand as my son does. Full sized models of Darth Vader. Massive Lego Dinosaurs. Models of DC, San Francisco, Las Vegas, etc. Wild!! Yes, that Statue of Liberty is LEGOS!! And so is the White House – complete with the Obama family on the front porch and the secret service arresting Santa on the roof. Hahahah!
I do want to go back sometime, when it’s warmer, and less crowded. But I have to say, this was a memorable trip. Cold, windy, rainy, but fun, full of laughter, fully of family fun, shared fun with the other family who went with us, lots of oranges, as well as Mickey Overload.
What about you? Have you been to Disney and “done” the Theme Park Round-up?
Which was your favorite?
Do you like roller coasters or do you avoid them like the plague?
Do you have a local theme park or amusement park that you like to go to?
Do you have a favorite from childhood? Or a favorite family trip on which you and your folks and siblings bonded?
Wooden roller coasters or the modern metal ones?
And last but not least, are you happy that it’s January!?!
(Okay, the last words, for real….ROLL TIDE!!!)
BTW, that is the gate to Helm’s Deep – from Lord of the Rings – the Lego Set my youngest bought at LegoLand and couldn’t wait to build. Ha!
Hello Banditas and Bandita Buddies! Guess what day it is???
I’m betting you guessed from the picture….It’s my birthday. Grins.
Now, I don’t usually make a huge deal out of my birthday. In spirit, I am now, and probably will always be, an approximately 12-year-old juvenile delinquent. Ha! However, this is one of those OHHHHHHH!!!! Birthdays. You know, a decade birthday.
I was going to make people guess which one, but that can get downright embarassing. heehee. Also, I don’t look my age – thank you, darling mother, for those good skin genes! – and people invariably guess my age at at least a decade younger than it is. It helps too, that I have young children. (I was downright OLD for motherhood, or so my OB/GYN informed me at the time…grrrr!)
My aforementioned mother was also very young-looking for her age. She also had children at a much older age than most in her generation. Seriously. Now a-days, no one even blinks when you say you waited till your thirties to have kids. Back then, when my Mama was having kids, she refused to even tell US her age, as when someone found out her age the other mothers made terrible fun of her, in a mean-girl kind of way, for being so much older than most.
Oh, and did I mention I was the youngest of four? And the “Oh, my we cannot be pregnant AGAIN, can we?” baby. Hahahah!! So my Mama was heading for fifty when she had me. She was born in 1918. Yes, people, I’m serious. Not long before she passed away, at 72, someone asked her when she was going to turn fifty.
I love that, and so did she.
However, at some point, you have to admit to people that yes, you really are THAT age.
So, this year I decided to come clean and actually admit my real age. When people have asked in years past - frequently guessing a much lower number – I just nod and smile. Now, you, my darlings, get to know the big secret of the century….
Well, half a century. Today, I turn fifty. EEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!
This news has absolutely bamfoozled many of my friends. Again, it may be because I have the sensibilities, goofiness, and appetite of a pre-teen boy, but virtually no one has believed me when I’ve confessed the true number. The responses have been funny, and startling, and downright hilarious.
“You’re kidding, right? C’mon. You’re like, 37. You’re my age.” (Uh, no. You weren’t born when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. I watched it on TV.)
“Liar, how old are you REALLY?”
(I wanted to tell her that I was 888, but only looked 41, just to see what she said, but she was having a coronary just accepting 50. Also, I didn’t want to start any Nicholas Cage-type rumors. Grins.)
“But…but…but…I just went to your 40th birthday party, like, a couple of years ago!!” (Time Warp!! Look at your daughter, dear friend…she’s nearly 10….) heehee.
One friend, alas, has had such trouble accepting that I could have been her babysitter (I was 12 when she was born), that she’s telling everyone she knows that I’m turning 50 and she just can’t believe it.
Now, this is kinda like saying the baby’s ugly. I can do it – tell my age – but don’t YOU go ’round blathering it to everyone. :> Leave them their illusions about my relative youth or age, please. Snork!!!
Also, for some reason, everyone has decided that this milestone deserves cake. Lots, and lots, and lots of cake. The chocolate cake up above was presented, with singing, at Thanksgiving. This one on the right, was presented to me at a committee meeting today.
Oh, by the way we interrupt this GORGEOUS cake, with it’s beautiful copy of the cover of my next book, (Thank you Lyndsay Llewellyn!) for a news bulletin I’ve been meaning to tell ya’ll….
Thanks to that damn hurricane ’round about Halloween, (you know, that wee breeze named SANDY), Deadly Charms is delayed until January or February. My editor is in New York. Yeah. No power for three weeks puts things in a holding pattern. (“I’m sorry, Ghostrider, the pattern is full…”)
Back to the cake…it’s red velvet cake. It’s about 10 inches HIGH. That is one BIG cake. HUGE. The edges are deckled like a book. I was so moved by this. These ladies are on a committee with me. We’d never met until September of this year. This had to be one of the sweetest things ever.
And I’m a sucker for my name on a cake, and on a book cover. I got ‘em ALL on one cake! WOOT!!
That said, my husband is throwing me a party tonight. I had to discourage him from getting a giant sheet cake. (What IS it about cake this year?) Beloved that he is, he bowed to my wishes and got me pumpkin pie. YES!!!
He, thankfully did not attempt to make this a surprise. Bless his heart, he also discovered the true irritant about a December birthday as he tried to make this a big occasion for me: December birthdays take second fiddle to holiday parties, concerts and plays.
It may be a small group, but that’s okay, more pie for me!! Bwahahahah!
Pie notwithstanding, I’ve done a LOT of thinking about this birthday. What have I accomplished in my first half-century?
I’ve gotten a LOT of things on that bucket list checked off. Gone to France. Walked on fire. Rode bareback. Won a Best in Show with one of my Dalmatians. Found and married the love of my life. Had two beautiful sons. Wrote books. Got them published. Sang a capella in a choral group not affiliated with school. Sang Messiah with a 300-voice chior (see Thursday’s blog!) Nearly got my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Drove a race car. Shot skeet. Saw wild dolphins. Tried various weird foods. Read LOTS of books including the Bible, Koran, Torah, and Tao Te Ching. (I’m still confused. SNORK!!!) I’ve also accepted that I’ll never be a size 4 (my bone structure alone is bigger than a size 4!) even when I’m in the best of shape. I’ve accepted who and what I am, and that if others don’t like it, they can lump it. Grins.
There’s a lot more, of course, big and small. However, more importantly, what do I want to do in the second half-century? OH SO MUCH!!
SCOTLAND. That trip has to be soon. :> Learn to speak Gaelic. Remember French. Get to Black Belt. Go running again. See the rest of the 50 States (I’ve seen 39 and counting.) Visit Anna and Christine, Helen and Barb in Oz. Go visit Anna S in England and KJ in Toronto. Oh, and little things like “Hit the NY Times list” and “Have my book be turned into a movie” and “ACTION FIGURES!!” Grins.
I have gotten a start on this, by the way.
I’m back in Tae Kwon Do class and moving back up the ranks. I’ll have that black belt before my NEXT birthday. :> Watch out, Demetrius!!
I also run my first road race next weekend. I’ll be stretching myself, for sure. I’d gotten this App you see…(yes, there IS an App for that! It’s called Couch to 5K and I recommend it!) I got up to that “running a 5K” point. Yeah! My pals talked me into entering a road race. We all thought it was a 5K.
Nope. It’s 5 MILES. Uphill. Both ways. Possibly with snow as it’s on Dec. 15. *hyperventilating*
Okay, trying for calm here…I picked up my race packet tonight. The Celtic Solstice Run. My number’s 2880. All those 8′s. Love that. Eight’s my lucky number. Maybe I’ll survive this road race thing after all. And hey, there’s a Celtic Sheep on my premium running shirt, and while it would have been more fun for it to be one of those long-horned Scottish cows I want to see in Scotland’s fields, this works for me. More luck. Grins.
There’s a lot more on that list of things “For the Next Bit” including the fact that I plan to be healthy and hearty up to 130, but I won’t bore you with the deets.
Of course in all this reflection and planning, there are also things I won’t ever do again: Settle for less than my best, or less than I deserve. Lie to myself about whether I’m happy doing what I’m doing. Pull my own chain link fencing. Jump out of perfectly good airplanes. Re-insulate the attic. Hang wallpaper myself.
I’ve been-there-done-that (except for the plane – I won’t even GO there!), and I’m old enough and wise enough to pay someone for the chores, and not delude myself about my mental state. Grins.
So what about you, darling Banditas and Buddies?
What’s on your Bucket List?
What do you want do accomplish by the time you’re 50?
Or if you’re beyond that milestone, you gorgeous thing you, what do you want to do before the next OHHHH! Birthday?
What daring thing are you going to challenge yourself to in this next wonderful year? Finish the book? Jump out of a perfectly good airplane (and if so, WHY, for heaven’s sake!?!)
What kind of cake do you love on YOUR birthday….or do you like PIE better? (Yes, I know we talked about this during a pie/cake fight a year or so ago, but hey, I’m 888, I forget these things.)
I’ve decided that I’m going to run a road race IN Scotland. Somehow. Before I’m 60. Grins. I’ll report back…
BTW, this is my new Author Photo…what do you think? (Cassondra made me post this and ask. Grins.)
Now…tell me about YOUR Bucket List!!
ALSO…Be sure to come back to the Lair on December 13when we kick off the annual 12 BANDITA DAYS OF CHRISTMAS! Prizes and recipes every day!! Roosters. Starbucks goodies. Books. Dragons. Books. Cookies. Godiva. Books!! (By Banditas and friends like Sabrina Jeffries, Liz Carlyle, JD Tyler, Deb Marlowe, Addison Fox and many more!) You know you want the cookies, for sure, so come home to the Lair for the Holidays! Who knows, you might win something, and you’ll be guaranteed to have fun!!
I’m here with Jeanne, my evil twin, and Nancy, the third Boom Bandit. For any new readers, I should explain. We have been so named because we like suspense, mayhem, and of course, blowing up stuff.
Blowing up stuff in our books. Mostly. Ahem…
Anyway, here we are, and we’re talking about our top five Christmas albums, and some of our favorite Christmas songs.
Tis the season, yaknow?
Yes, I get it. Some people don’t like Christmas music, don’t like being reminded that it IS Christmas, and would prefer not to hear about it. In truth I went through a spell where I felt that way. I was sick to death of the crowds and the money mongering, all to the same melancholy musical backdrop that takes over radio frequencies from November until New Year’s Eve.
Then I watched the film Elf, and something shifted. Partly because in that film, for the first time ever, I heard the song, Baby It’s Cold Outside.
I hear you asking the question. “How could this be, Cassondra? How is it that you could live this long without hearing that song?”
I. Don’t. Know.
I started playing gigs all around the state (singing and playing guitar), when I was fifteen. I started playing piano for money(all over the southeastern United States) when I was seventeen. But that was mostly gospel and country. I grew up in a fundamentalist church. My whole childhood was swallowed whole by gospel, country, classical (checked out from the library) and folk music (albums sneaked out of the attic upstairs, when my mom wasn’t looking). Almost no jazz, or jazz-influenced music at all. I got a hint of Big Band from the Lawrence Welk Show, but that was it. That could be the reason I missed out on the jazzier side of Christmas. The only Christmas music played around our home–or actually, around our town, that I remember–was the kind that centered on the religious. Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie…
Santa Clause was comin’ to town, but only in a church-approved sleigh, yaknow?
Granted, Christmas is a religious holiday, for many. But still…where were all of these songs I missed? Merry Christmas Baby, you sure did treat me right…
I have this one memory. I think it was from fourth grade. Each of us had to bring a Clorox bleach jug from home. (For those of you who don’t know, these jugs are opaque white plastic, like the one on the right. We cut the top off of the jug, just at the top of the label, where that ridge is in the picture. We removed said label, turned the bottom half of the jug upside down, then cut holly leaves and berries out of construction paper and glued them onto the front of the upside-down jug, to make a marching-band-style “hat”. Then we had to wear these godawful abominations and stand on a stage, on risers in front of family and friends, while we sang really bad, really depressing carols at the Christmas program.
It. Was. Awful.
Maybe that’s what turned me against Christmas carols to begin with.
Honestly though, when you think about that Baby It’s Cold Outside song, and its real meaning, there’s no mistake. It’s a romance novel in the making. A really steamy one. Our intrepid hero is working his butt off to get our heroine to stay for the night. She’s resisting in a rather ridiculous must-play-hard-to-get fashion. He’s hoping for wild monkey sex, right?
You know he is. I mean, he’s a guy.
In case you haven’t heard the song, here’s one of my favorite versions, from one of the favorite albums I list, below.
My suspicion is that this song was considered inappropriate by a lot of people when I was growing up. Maybe there just weren’t a lot of recorded versions out there. I dunno. It certainly would have been inappropriate in MY house. You know…because of the whole “potential for wild monkey sex” thing. Nothing sexual about Silent Night. Well, maybe the “round yon virgin” thing. But I digress.
Flash forward to adulthood, and to the movie Elf and Christmas music came alive for me again. I started buying albums full of Christmas music from Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and their ilk.
Jeanne grew up in a church-going area too. She sang in the church choir when she was old enough, and of course, carols were the order of the day. But mostly, her favorite thing about the season is that it’s COLD. Baby, it’s cold outside, dear Lord LET IT SNOW in this winter wonderland. This is where our twin thing diverges. I’ll go to a nice warm beach, thanks.
Nancy had her share of carols and Christmas music. About this formative experience, she said, “I sang in Junior Choir. Considering I can’t carry a tune in the proverbial bucket, this was probably more fun for me than for my more gifted choir-mates. Enthusiasm counted for a lot, though, and I was enthusiastic. In high school, I went caroling with friends a couple of times, again hoping enthusiasm made up for being pitch-challenged.”
So for the three of us, carols were the order of the day.
But back to my (relatively) recent discovery of the NON-carol Christmas song…
Many of these songs have nothing to do with Christmas itself. They’ve just become standards of the season. And yet, the newer music is, mostly, my favorite. I still do love the traditional carols though, and I’ve figured out that for me to like them, they have to be upbeat and maybe even a bit jazzy.
So to that end, we give you the Boom Bandits’ Top Five Christmas albums, which will end up being fifteen, since there are three of us. Then again, Jeanne and I are the evil twins of the lair, so we may have some duplicates. Still…although we have a number of evil twin crossovers, we do not always tow the evil twin line.
Cassondra: Anything Manheim Steamroller because they just rock. It’s feel-good music.
Jeanne: Windham Hill’s Winter Solstice. Because of the sheer musicality of it, and this amazing, ancient-sounding stuff you don’t hear on common playlists.
Nancy: The Roches~~We Three Kings. This is a capella, beautiful harmony.
Cassondra: Amy Grant’s Home For Christmas. Just a really warm, easygoing, family-at-home, glass-of-cider album.
Jeanne: Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas–It’s jazzy and fun and it’s got my absolute favorite, O Holy Night, with someone who can hit all the notes crisp and clear.
Nancy: Joan Baez~~Noel. Lovely voice. Folk music delivery of various carols.
Cassondra: James Taylor’s At Christmas. This is from 2006. There is not a bad track on this cd. If I started naming my favorites, I’d name almost every one. I’d never heard In the Bleak Midwinter until this album.
Jeanne: Anything Manheim Steamroller. They just rock. (Cassondra: I see the evil twin thing starting)
Nancy: The Homecoming Orchestra~~Christmas Baroque. This is brass renditions of traditional carols. This was one of those bargain bin purchases.
Cassondra: Amy Grant~~A Christmas Album (her first one). I love most of the songs, but the top ones are Tender Tennessee Christmas, Breath of Heaven, Grown Up Christmas List, and Emmanuel.
Jeanne: Amy Grant~~ A Christmas Album–Ahem…Notice the exact repeat of my evil twin’s opinion…verbatim….I love most of the songs, but the top ones are Tender Tennessee Christmas, Breath of Heaven, Grown Up Christmas List, and Emmanuel. And yes, I am serious. We scare each other at times.
Nancy: Manheim Steamroller~~Christmas Extraordinaire. Fabulous Orchestral renditions of holiday favorites. Heavy on brass. (Cassondra: I’m getting the idea that Nancy likes brass. Hmmm..and we all like Manheim Steamroller. Which is kind of cool.)
Cassondra: Rod Stewart’s new Christmas album~~Merry Christmas Baby. The songs We Three Kings and Auld Lang Syne are worth buying the album for, but you’ll like the others too. Stewart is an icon for a reason. And he has some wonderful duets on here.
Jeanne: Handel’s The Messiah–You just can’t beat the sheer magnificence of this choral performance. My father loved opera, so he had Handel’s The Messiah on the stereo a lot, and I grew up singing it. It’s still one of my favorites.
Nancy: Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra~~Christmas at the Pops. I mean, come on. It’s Arthur Fiedler. It doesn’t get better than that. (Cassondra admits that she has to agree, and likes this album too.)
Okay, okay…we can’t do this without some honorable mentions:
Jeanne’s new current favorite is Blake Shelton’s brand new Chrismas CD. In particular Oklahoma Christmas. (Cassondra: Just the name makes me want to buy it.) A second honorable mention goes to BoyzIIMen’s Christmas Interpretations, and in particular, their version of Mary Did You Know. The bass on that song is so deep and resonant. You just wouldn’t know they were that good until you hear this song. Third is Take Six’s He Is Christmas–I love this a capella group and their incredible sound.
For Cassondra: Anything from the Rankin Bass Claymation Christmas shows like Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer, Silver and Gold–anything by Burl Ives. The soundtrack from The Muppet Christmas Carol. Martha Stewart’s Christmas collection. This is a compilation, of course, but it’s an easygoing grouping of jazzy favorites, and is perfect for fixing dinner with a glass of wine, or eating dinner with friends and wine, or relaxing by the fire with wine…ahem…
Nancy: There’s this album my parents got as a gas station giveaway, back when gas stations had to care whether you bought your gas from them or someone else, but it’s on vinyl, so I never get to play it anymore. :-/ It’s called This is Chrismas. I really like the various artists and styles.
Cassondra: OH…A favorite song I MUST mention is Trisha Yearwood’s version of Mary Did You Know. It’s haunting, and like Amy Grant’s Breath of Heaven, makes you think about what that time must have been like for Mary and Joseph, outside of the idealized manger scene. A pregnant young virgin, trekking cross-country and the man who was taking care of her, who must have had some serious “are you freaking kidding me?” moments when he was taking the whole thing on faith, based on the word of some shimmery dude who poofed into his room out of thin air. Bandits and buddies, now that’s a romance novel, complete with conflict, and if we tried to sell that story to editors, they’d say, “No way. That would never happen.”
So, Bandits and Buddies,
Tell us YOUR favorites.
Do you have a favorite Christmas Album?
A favorite Christmas song?
Do you like traditional carols, or the newer, jazzier, FUN Christmas songs?
Or do you put on the dark shades and stick in the earplugs and listen to classic rock for six weeks, waiting for the whole thing to be over and done with?
Do you celebrate Christmas at all? Or do you celebrate Hanukkah? Or perhaps another holiday? If so, is there special music attached to the midwinter celebration or holy day that you love?
And as long as we’re mentioning the movie Elf, what’s your favorite Christmas movie?
Be sure to come back to the Lair on December 13 when we kick off the annual 12 BANDITA DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!Prizes and recipes every day!! Roosters. Starbucks goodies. Books. Dragons. Books. Cookies. Godiva. Books!! (By Banditas and friends like Dianne Love, Sabrina Jeffries, Marquita Valentine, Liz Carlyle, JD Tyler, Lydia Dare, Deb Marlowe, Addison Fox and many more!) You know you want the cookies, for sure, so come home to the Lair for the Holidays!Who knows, you might win something, and you’ll be guaranteed to have fun!!
As you all know, I absolutely refuse to be political on the blog. Totally. NO politics!
But his isn’t about politics. This is about peace and quiet.
Shhhhhh!!! Seriously. Hear that?
That’s the blessed sound of the phone NOT ringing with another auto-dialed call known as a RoboCall.
No matter what your politics, you have to be as tired as I am of the aforementioned robocalls, the pamphlets, the endless ads and yammering about who did what, when where and how and to whom. Oh. My. Gosh.
Yesterday, well after I went to register my vote, I got – I’m not joking – EIGHTEEN paper flyers about varying issues. On Voting Day. That doesn’t count what came in over the weekend. I could build a house with all the trees those ads axed, and that’s just what came to MY house!
I cannot tell you how annoying it got around here. I know it must have been worse in the so-called swing states like Ohio, Virginia and Florida. If the flood of I-hate-X-candidate, and I-endorse-Y-issue were overwhelming HERE, I hate to think about what they were like in states where things were far more contentious. I stopped answering my phone – even calls from New York! – if I didn’t recognize the number. If it didn’t have a name I recognized attached to it, I stopped answering it.
And yes, I AM on the do not call list. Evidently these folks are exempt. Eeek!
In ignoring the phone, I did miss a few calls from parents of my sons’ friends, and missed a few deals at my local store because I didn’t take a call. My son missed out on a play-date or two. But I didn’t care. I also deleted the messages the minute I figured out they were from someone I didn’t know.
Last night as I wrote this, I put on show tunes, studied swords for a story idea I’m mulling, and sang “Swing Your Razor High, Sweeney!” and “Have a Little Priest” in sheer pique at the blast of pseudo-news that surrounded not only the presidential race, but the local issues. In my community, there were so many hot-button issues to drive the robo-calls on THOSE issues, much less the presidency, that I really did just HAD to turn it allllll off.
When my husband came home from work and wanted to turn on the news, I made him shut the door so I couldn’t hear it and put on a DVD of the Avengers. I turned it up really loud, btw. I’d rather watch Loki try to blow up the world with alien space goons than deal with the speculation, vitriol and constant overload involved in election results, especially before anything could possibly report in.
PLEASE let me go back to blowing stuff up. Please let me write. Or work. Or whatever it is I do, without the phone ringing incessently!!
*POOF! Wish granted!*
Blessed Quiet. I am so heartily grateful that this election cycle is over! Hallelujah!!
If you’re in the US, did you get incessant robocalls in your area? Do you hate them as much as I do?
If you’re outside the US, do your elections get this heated and crazy? Do you get the robocalls where you are? Are they even legal anywhere but the US?
Did your country cover our election?
Without going into the political views, are you glad it’s over?
And now that there is peace and quiet, what are you going to do with all the spare time you’ll have not tweeting, FB-ing, and watching all the election coverage!?!
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