Posted by Susan Sey Jan 29 2015, 1:35 am in quick five, Susan Sey, trash TV
Hello, dearest bandita buddies!
So I’ve just now–like ten minutes ago–finished binged watching all 10 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. I didn’t intend to do this. I didn’t intend to sit down & watch an unconscionable amount of television all by myself. (Mr. Sey isn’t a fan, & the girls are far too young for the soapy goodness that is Grey’s.) But Mr. Sey was traveling a fair bit back in the fall & I found myself up late a few evenings with a pile of laundry that needed folding. I figured I’d treat myself to some trashy TV.
But I didn’t want to watch a show Mr. Sey would want to watch with me–like The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad or House of Cards, all of which we adore. No, I had the golden opportunity to watch something purely because I wanted to watch it, without haggling or bargaining with anybody. Now this is a rare beast once you’ve been married a while. Even rarer once kids come along.
Long story short? I discovered Grey’s Anatomy about a decade after everybody else, & got myself caught right up. And it only cost me about a three hundred hours I’ll never get back.
I don’t regret a single one.
But it did get me thinking. I’ll bet there are other great shows that I haven’t seen. Tons of them. And I never know when Mr. Sey’s travel schedule is going to heat up again. I might find myself with a basket of laundry at ten pm & nothing to watch. And that would be a shame. So I made a list–five shows I’m totally going to start next time Mr. Sey is out of town:
1) Downton Abbey
I started this show back when everybody else did & it fell off my radar. But the instant I have a pile of laundry that needs folding & the house to myself, I’m checking back in. Because the clothes! And Professor McGonagal. Enough said.
2) Orange Is The New Black
I’ve heard this show is incredible & it just keeps winning awards. I’m a little hesitant about the prison setting–depressing!–but am willing to at least give it a try.
3) Modern Family
I have multiple friends who continue to recommend this show, & once again it’s an awards show darling. I might even have the first season sitting on top of my TV, lent to me by a friend who’s a little evangelical about Modern Family. It’s on the list, if only because I’m starting to feel guilty about having those DVDs so long.
4) Brooklyn 99
Because Andy Samberg. That is all.
5) The Good Wife
Because Juliana Marguiles. And because I live in hope that George Clooney will find some way to make a guest appearance & we’ll have Dr. Ross and Nurse Carol reunited again! Also because it’s won so many awards it’s practically TV royalty at this point. And it had that guy from Sports Night on it, & I love him.
How about you? What shows are on your missed list? Anything you’re loving now? I’m making a list…
Posted by Susan Sey Jan 19 2015, 12:31 am in games, Susan Sey
So my family has been really into games lately.
Mr. Sey & our oldest have been playing MAGIC: THE GATHERING a lot recently–I guess it’s sort of a role playing game. Sort of like Dungeons & Dragons but with cards? I don’t know. It’s not really my thing so I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the fine points. But when half of your family is into something, the rest of the family is along for the ride, regardless of whether they’re interested in the destination, you know?
It got me thinking about my favorite games, the ones I love the best. I grew up in a family of gamers, so I do have a few. And here—in no particular order–are my top three favorites:
1) Euchre. I’m a Michigan girl, & this is a midwestern classic. It’s a four hand, partnered, trick taking game that you play with only 8s & up. It sounds weird, but that’s Michigan for you. I think I was born knowing how to play. It’s in my blood, so it’s number 1.
2) Cribbage. My math skills aren’t great, but I can add to 15 with the best of ‘em. If you can do that, & count to 31, you can win this game. My dad swears cribbage is the finest two-man card game ever invented & if you ever want to divert his attention from something–like a chore that needs doing or a walk that needs shoveling–you need only suggest that this might be a good time for a hand of cribbage.
3) Yahtzee. This is one of those games you can play with anybody of any age at any time. You need 5 dice, a pad of paper & that’s it. I carry this one in my purse at all times & have successfully diverted many, many boredom-induced meltdowns with a quick roll of the dice. No purse is complete with a deck of cards & five dice.
So what about you? Are you a gamer? What are your favorites?
All images courtesy of Free Digital Photos. Mouse over for attribution
Posted by Susan Sey Jan 18 2015, 2:40 pm in lazy weekend, movies, reruns, Susan Sey
Welcome to Day #2 of our Lazy Weekend here in the Lair!
In honor of the Oscar Nominees being named last week, we’re rerunning a few of our favorite movie-themed posts. I just ran across this great one Anna Sugden posted a while back about songs in the movies. I totally got lost in these clips. Hope you enjoy!
Posted by Susan Sey Jan 17 2015, 9:22 am in rerun blog, Susan Sey
Good morning, Bandita buddies!
It’s a frigid January weekend here in the lair, & your faithful bloggers are taking it off. That’s right–we’re taking the weekend OFF. We’ve never done this before in the history of our blog but, hey, it’s January & our fingers are too cold to type. We will be mainlining hot cocoa, watching Oscar nominated movies & staying by the fire until Monday when our regularly scheduled program resumes.
In the meantime–and in honor of Oscar season (did I mentioned that the Oscar nominations are out?)–I’ll be posting movie-related blogs from years past for your reading pleasure. Click here for a post I did last year on the horrors of…well, horror movies:
Enjoy, and stay warm! We’ll see you on Monday!
Posted by Susan Sey Jan 1 2015, 12:47 am in A Perfect Catch, A Scoundrel by Moonlight, Anna Campbell, Anna Sugden, Barbara Milech, Booktopia, coming attractions, Erika Kelly, Gerri Russell, Guests, Helen Fordham, Laura Simcox, Melanie Scott, Miranda Neville, newsletter, Susan Sey, What a Duke Dares
Welcome to 2015, Romance Lovers!
Here’s hoping your holidays were everything wonderful — low-key, low-stress & full of delicious pie! On the off chance that they were actually full of family drama & burnt cookies (as so many are!), never fear! We have your back. Here at the Romance Bandits, we specialize in justice served & happily ever after. Check out what we’ve got queued up for you in January & tell me if you don’t feel better!
On January 3, we have the lovely Melanie Scott returning with one of those beautiful boys of baseball in ANGEL IN ARMANI.
We always love to see historical romance author Miranda Neville in the lair. She has a sparkling sense of humor that even gets Ermingarde laughing. On Monday, 5th January, Miranda is visiting us to talk about her latest release THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES.
Debut author Erika Kelly brings a hot story about a rising rock star and his manager to the Lair on January 6th, when she talks about YOU REALLY GOT ME, the first book in her Rock Star Romance series.
On January 9, we have a change of pace as Helen Fordham and Barbara Milech join Nancy to discuss their research on romance, romantic Love, and ‘the want of a fortune.'” This look at economics and romance was inspired by their conversation about shows like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and The Farmer Takes a Wife. Should be a great discussion!
On January 20, Laura Simcox will be visiting with our own Caren Crane here in the Lair and talking about the first book in her First Daughters series, VARIOUS STATES OF UNDRESS: GEORGIA. That title alone should grab some attention!
On January 21, Nancy welcomes the fabulous Gerri Russell who is celebrating the release of her first contemporary, FLIRTING WITH FELICITY. Gerri writing contemporary? Now that’s going to be fun!
Don’t miss Anna Campbell’s latest website contest where she’s giving away THREE ARCs of her May release, A SCOUNDREL BY MOONLIGHT. Just email her on dsc26655 @ bigpond.net.au (no spaces) and tell her the name of the hero and heroine of Scoundrel. You might find the answer here. For more information about the contest, check out her website!
Anna Sugden says: I have the third book in my New Jersey Ice Cats series launching on Jan 30th – A PERFECT CATCH. Keep an eye out for my blog tour where you can read the entire first chapter for free! Details on my website. I will also be running a Goodreads contest during January to win copies of A Perfect Catch, so keep your eye out if you’re over on Goodreads!
A SEAL’S SACRIFICE kicks off the Sexy Short Stories series from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Tawny Weber, companion stories to her award winning Sexy SEALs series. Never underestimate a sexy, stubborn SEAL…
On January 30th Anna Sugden is releasing book 3 of her New Jersey Ice Cats series, A PERFECT CATCH! And keep a lookout for the French release of Book 2, A PERFECT TRADE, in February!
Anna Campbell’s third Sons of Sin book, WHAT A DUKE DARES, was featured in major Aussie book retailer Booktopia’s list of the top books of 2014. Click the link to check it out! We’re so proud!
And that’s just what we’ve got planned! Who knows what awesomeness will crop up as the month rolls on? Stay tuned, dear readers!
We’re playing a fun game with our newsletter subscribers this month (wait, you’re not a newsletter subscriber?? Get over to the Members Only tab immediately & sign up! Fun, games, prizes! Don’t miss out!) Ahem, so where was I? Oh, yes, the game. We’re asking our newsletter subscribers to play a game with us in which we offer up a New Year’s Resolution – not for ourselves but for the rest of the world. If you could improve ONE THING about everybody else, what would it be?
Posted by Susan Sey Dec 29 2014, 12:13 am in quick five, Susan Sey
When you have no family in town, you spend a lot of your precious vacation time in the car. There’s even a name for this sort of travel–it’s call the “oblivacation,” a mash-up of obligation and vacation. As I type this, we’re pulling ourselves together from a lovely week spent in Omaha with the Sey side of the family. I’m doing all the last minute things we do to get ready for the six-hour road trip home–searching out the Christmas presents (which the kids have flung far & wide), gathering up our pie dishes & cookie tins, & seeking out the missing shoes & laundry.
All these check lists have put me in a Quick Five frame of mind, honestly. So without further ado, here’s my Quick Five Tasks to do before Heading Home:
1) Do the laundry. I like to go home with my suitcases full of clean clothes. It’s such a luxury to unpack straight into the drawers instead of having to face mountains of laundry upon returning home. And family are probably the only people you can visit who don’t look sideways at you if you ask to do a quick load or two of laundry before heading home.
2) Find your dishes. I never travel home–to Mr. Sey’s home or mine–empty handed. I come bearing food, & in this case it was pies. My sainted mother in law put on Christmas dinner, but I handled dessert. We complement each other nicely, the original Mrs. Sey & I. But this meant I had to transport my favorite pie dishes & rolling pins, plus all my tattered & stained recipes to Omaha for the holidays. Which means I have to gather them up again. Wish me luck!
3) Do the returns. I believe in Christmas miracles, but there is no power on heaven or earth that can produce a return-free holidays. So I try to bring all the receipts & deal with all the returns & exchanges before leaving the scene of the crime. It’s so much easier to handle this stuff in person than trying to return a sweater long-distance.
4) Locate all our cords & chargers. It’s the age of technology & between Mr. Sey, the kids & me, we probably have a dozen Things That Charge. Then there was all the battery operated stuff we received for Christmas. If you want to avoid a howling weeping fit 200 miles down the road, it’s best to make sure you have that little robot’s charger before you pull out of the driveway. Again, you might want to wish me luck.
5) Go to the movies. Because you totally deserve a little brain break after dealing with all the hassles of putting the show back on the road. So you should definitely zip up your suitcases, pack the car, then head to the movies for your last night in town. Nobody should cook, either. Just go out & enjoy.
How about you? What are you top five must-do tasks before heading home after a holiday out of town?
All images courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net.
Posted by Susan Sey Oct 29 2014, 12:23 am in jury duty, Susan Sey
So I had jury duty last week.
I’ve been called to jury duty before. It was about ten years ago, when Kid #1 was a toddler & Kid #2 was baking in my belly. I didn’t get to hear a case but it was probably for the best. I was so tired, so radically sleep deprived, that I probably shouldn’t even have been driving, let alone making life-and-death decisions about strangers’ lives. I sat in the jury room for five full days without ever being called upstairs, then I went home, well rested & happy. It was like a little vacation.
This time I actually got to hear a case. And it was awesome.
It was a criminal case &, as is quite normal in criminal cases, it involved a bunch of young men, a great deal of alcohol, & some poor judgment. None of that was the awesome part. That was kind of the sad part, actually. No, the awesome part was all the story telling.
The prosecuting attorney started by asking us to imagine crime on a pirate ship. Already I was hooked. Pirates! So, really, imagine a crime took place on a pirate ship. Who would the victim be? (A pirate?) Who would the criminals be? (Um, pirates?) Who would the witnesses be? (I bet they’re a bunch of pirates.) Could you accept testimony from a pirate? (Will he speak in piratese? Because AYE, MATEY, I COULD.)
At this point, I knew I was in for a good time.
Then the defense attorney gets up & decides to grill me about my career as a writer. Would I be taking the details of this case, working them into my books & making millions? (No, sir, I write romance. Crime is a whole different genre.) But could you really resist? What if the case is really juicy? You might switch genres! (If that happens, I will dedicate the book to you, okay?)
Somehow I got on the jury anyway.
There were five young men involved in our crime. FIVE. And of those five, three of them had the same name, or an extremely close derivative thereof. I’m not even kidding. It was like hearing a case in a sorority house & everybody is named MacKayla, except for the one named MacKenna. But fear not, they all had gangland nicknames, too.
At this point, it’s fair to say that I am having a ball.
And the vocab! I now know that should anybody ever point a gun at me & say, “Run ya pockets” or some variation thereof, the only adequate response is “I’m not on that!” Which evidently means, “I don’t want any trouble,” and should be accompanied by the immediate emptying of your pockets.
I also now know which gas station to stop at in St. Paul should I ever want to score some weed, or get robbed, or, hey, do both at the same time, as happened to our poor victim. Who actually went ahead & reported the crime.
It was a Super America, but in my mind it is now & will henceforth ever be known as The Pirate Ship.
So how about you? Have you ever served on jury duty? What did you think? Was justice served? Did you at least hear a great story? Share!
All images courtesy of FreeDigitalImages.net, mouse over for artist attribution
Posted by Susan Sey Oct 19 2014, 12:52 am in amusements, Susan Sey
I’ve decided to enjoy the small things.
The large things are so…large. And daunting. But small things? You can DO those. You put a bunch of small things on a list & you can crank out a day full of victories, albeit tiny ones. But, hey, a victory is a victory, right?
I’ve found that this principle applies to amusement as well. To be frank, I’ve never been a very tough sell in this area. It doesn’t have to be wildly hilarious or insanely funny to tickle me. I like my small amusements, but I’ve been really focused lately on enjoying really tiny ones. Even by my standards. And today (because I can’t think of a darn thing to blog about) I’m going to share some with you.
I suppose I could have titled this blog THINGS I FOUND ON MY PHONE but it’s better if I at least pretend to have a plan. Just go with me.
#1: This shirt you see above is printed with the due date card from an old library book. It was a gift & when I put it on, delighted, my kids were like, “What is that?” And I was like, “EXACTLY.” Because I’m not sure anything sums up the difference between my generation and theirs more succinctly. Huge props to my sister Kelly for finding this shirt on a trip to NYC recently & bringing it home to me, where it obviously belongs.
#2: Then there’s this coat hook on the right that I found in a public bathroom somewhere. I saw one of these on the internet one time with the caption DRUNK OCTOPUS WANTS TO FIGHT YOU. And I have never seen one since without laughing. So there you are. You’re welcome. And put up your dukes.
#3: So here on the left, you see me, Mr. Sey & my up-for-anything sister Cheryl. We were visiting her in Chicago, & roped her into accompanying us to Medieval Times, which some of you may know is a chain restaurant famous for recreating (sort of) medieval jousting tournaments while serving you dinner. Without silverware. It was, as Mr. Sey so aptly put it, “a lot like WWF, only with swords. And food you have to eat with your bare hands.” He forgot to say that it was awesome, but you can probably see how awesome it was from the paper crowns we got to wear to show our allegiance to our knight. AWESOME.
#4: And here on the right, you see the price tag that redeemed a beautiful Saturday spent on errands instead of enjoying the gorgeous weather. I could not have named a romance novel better. If I had any need–any need at ALL–for a brief case, I’d have lobbied for the purchase. But I stay home with the kids for a living, & talk to the voices in my head for spending money. I don’t need several hundred dollars worth of briefcase. But I would dearly love a bashful billionaire in brown. Who wouldn’t?
So that’s me. That’s what’s been amusing me these days. What about you?
Posted by Susan Sey Sep 29 2014, 12:13 am in Susan Sey
Happy Monday, Bandita Buddies!
So it was a very busy weekend Chez Sey. Our girls had dance competitions both days, so Saturday & Sunday morning were both up-by-5:30, hair-and-makeup, who’s-got-the-dance-bags, where-the-heck-is-your-costume kind of deals. Come Sunday afternoon, all I wanted was to lie on the floor, read the Sunday paper & eat popcorn.
I mowed the lawn instead.
I didn’t want to mow the lawn, mind you. In fact, I felt very sorry for myself about it. But I knew the week ahead didn’t have any lawn mowing time built in, & the situation in the front yard was getting embarrassing.
So I grumbled but I got out there & mowed.
And you know what? It felt awesome. I’d been standing around indoors all weekend, trying to keep track of two different kids on two different stages, & I’ll admit it–it was kind of stressful. Mowing the lawn, however, was very zen. I got sweaty, I stretched out the kinks. I zoned out, thought my thoughts & breathed in the gorgeous smell of cut grass.
I didn’t have to watch televised football with the rest of my family (I don’t judge; it’s just not my cup of tea), and my lawn is no longer an embarrassment.
So I did the right thing–the responsible thing–and was actually rewarded for it. When was the last time that happened? I can hardly even remember. How about you? When was the last time you did the right thing & got to feel all righteous & awesome?
All images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Mouse over for artist attribution
Posted by Susan Sey Sep 19 2014, 12:04 am in art, memories, photos, Susan Sey
I have always liked the idea of RAM. It’s a computer thing, some particular type of storage. (RAM = Random Access Memory.) I don’t know what this means, not exactly, but I’m charmed by the idea of randomly accessing my memories.
Like many of us, I’ve abandoned photo albums since the advent of the camera phone. I don’t even print my photos out. There’s no writing a madcap note on the back (“Wanda & Me At The Beach with Lobster Boy!”) to remind myself who, what, where or when. No, when I scroll through my pictures these days, I’m lucky if I can remember what the photo is of, let alone why I took it.
All I have is the photo itself, a random image of a moment in time that leaves me wondering why I recorded it.
I actually enjoy this little game. I call it, “Now what do you suppose THIS is?”
Sometimes it’s easy. The first photo, for example, was my favorite meal at the state fair this summer: Pretzel curds, blarney fries & a good Irish beer.
I picked up photo #2 at the 4H building (also at the fair), proof of a fabulous fact that some kid picked up while doing research on…I don’t even know. Pole vaulting? Transportation in the middle ages? The origin of Olympic sports? I have no idea. But I know a bit more about the origins of pole vaulting now, & am kind of sad that we’re moved on to cars & bikes & buses & such.
#3 is obviously a guinea pig’s 2nd birthday party. There were treats involved made out of sunflower seeds & peanut butter. The party hat was homemade. Of course.
#4, however, still puzzles me. This is a sculpture I saw at an outdoor art park that was chock-full of weird stuff. Seriously weird stuff. But this…I want to call it a deer mobile?…took the cake. I can’t imagine what the artist’s intent was. All I can tell you for sure is that it scared the crap out of my sister’s dog.
#5, though? #5 I remember. I don’t recall what it was actually called, but my sister (seen smiling here) & I rechristened it “The A-hole” because it’s obviously a big hole with the capital letter A inside it. And once you see that, you’ll never un-see it. It’s the A-hole forever. Because we’re mature like that.
How about you? Is your phone your photo album these days? Or do you still print your pictures & put them in albums? How do you organize your memories?