Friday, July 31, 2015

Viper Wine

In the time of Charles I, the dazzling Venetia Stanley was a  beauty that turned heads and inspired such notables as the painter Van Dyck. Viper Wine, by author Hermione Eyre, is a postmodern piece of historical fiction that follows the real-life Venetia Stanley's desperate quest for eternal youth and her mysterious death at age 33. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday Meets Soundtrack of Your Life

As I was working around the house, I had the opportunity to blast some tunes of my own choosing. In other words, I was home alone. Really, that's the only time I can listen to music sans headphones. And I hate headphones.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Just Watch This" Wednesday

Beautiful things get me pretty excited.

Some days, talking seems a far second to observing. There's nothing special about my place except the fact that it is MY place (and Hubzam's, of course). But then I kick that sentiment to the curb once I've walking been around and really looked at the bit of geography we call home. 

So, call this "Just Watch" Wednesday as I share a few pictures I took in my yard today. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday Newsday: That's Crazy

In appreciation of your time, I'm going to limit myself to three crazy news stories. Do you know how much self control that demands? Better question: have you noticed how many crazies and their antics are making the news? If you have, you'll understand how hard it was to trim down the list.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Fun Obsessions: My Purse

At some time during my life, I should come to terms with the fact that I cannot, possibly should not, carry everything with me at all times. There; I said it. 

Who am I kidding? Those are my husband's words. In spite of his opinion, I will continue to make somewhat successful attempts at always having everything anyone might need in a bag on my shoulder. The task requires the perfect bag and the right contents. There was a time when I thought that the purse I wanted probably came with a wagon handle, was waist high and on wheels. Back up lights would have been useful. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throw Back/Go Back Thursday

When Gonzo was about five years old, he had an opportunity to appear in a movie as an extra. Filmed locally, all of East Tennessee turned out to try to be extras. Both Gonzo and Magoo got a chance to do it (Juggernaut and Magoo would be in the next movie in the series; double whammy).

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Freaking Fashion PSA

China, you are a beautiful country. There's some very interesting things in your culture. I hear reincarnation is forbidden without government permission (duly noted). Your country created the first paper money, yet you still have millions who (literally) live in caves. You rock table tennis. China really does New Year's celebrations right: for fifteen days. I'm telling you this, China, because I'm leading up to my main purpose with this post.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BOTB Results: "Because the Night"

Wow! This was so close! Patti Smith got 11 votes while Natalie Merchant/10,000 Maniacs got 10 votes. I know what you're thinking (Stephen...): What would be Cherdo's vote??

Natalie Merchant can't be beat? By all outward appearances, I'd have said that was possibly true. There's nothing NOT to like about her version of "Because the Night."

Monday, July 20, 2015

Miscellaneous Monday

Shamefully, I must confess something: I'm tired of summer already. I don't know how it happened or why I can't just bask in the little bit of free time I've managed to cobble together. Even when you don't "work," if you're a bit of a project junkie like myself, you can always fill up your schedule. This summer has been no different, in that regard. It just seems like there's so much more I want to do that won't happen till Fall. 

So, how have I been spending my time? 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Get Back, Zuckerberg, You Geekzilla!

"You'll just be able to think of something and your friends will 
immediately be able to experience it too if you'd like...
This would be the ultimate communication technology."
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder and CEO (CNN Money)

Stop right there, Zuckerberg. You've caused enough problems for me already. Don't think for one minute that you're getting in my head. I'll go full on Jack Nicholson on you, Zuckerberg. Baby, you can't handle the truth. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BOTB: "Because The Night"

It's that time again; get  your crazy train ticket in hand! is magic.

Okay, tune connoisseurs, it's time to look at an original and two covers.

Today's choice comes from one of my all time favorite artists, THE BOSS: Bruce Springsteen. "Because the Night" was written by Bruce during his Darkness at the Edge of Town days. It was first released as a single in 1978...but not by Bruce. Ah, a twist!

"Because the Night "

Take me now baby here as I am
Pull me close try an understand
I work all day out in the hot sun
Break my back till the mornin' comes
Come on now try and understand
The way I feel when I'm in your hands
Take me now as the sun descends
They can't hurt you now
They can't hurt you now
They can't hurt you now

Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us

What I got I have earned
What I'm not I have learned
Desire and hunger is the fire I breathe
Just stay in my bed till the morning comes
Come on now try and understand
The way I feel when I'm in your hands
Take me now as the sun descends
They can't hurt you now
They can't hurt you now
They can't hurt you now


Your love is here and now
The vicious circle turns and burns without
Though I cannot live forgive me now
The time has come to take this moment and
They can't hurt you now

The original: Bruce Springsteen

As I said, Bruce wasn't the first one to release the single but he was the originator. Initially unhappy with it, he gave Patti Smith a copy of the song and she re-worked the lyrics. "Because the Night" was a hit for the High Priestess of Punk...

Contender # 1: Patti Smith 

In 1993, the Unplugged version (MTV) of the song was performed by 10,000 Maniacs with lead singer, Natalie Merchant. Once again, someone put their own lyrical spin on the tune and tweaked it. This version was well received and got a lot of airplay.

Contender #2: 10,000 Maniacs

Who will get your vote - 
Patti or Natalie? Why does that one do it for ya?

BOTB occurs on the 1st and 15th - then check back for results on the 7th and 21st of the month. Let the games begin (of course, I alphabetized it). If I missed a new participant, I'll add you as we go along.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

52 Likes by Medeia Sharif

Medeia Sharif is a truly talented YA writer and I believe anyone would enjoy her books - here's a great opportuniy to add some of her work to your library.

Medeia Sharif's 52 LIKES is 99 cents on Amazon for a limited time. This edgy, paranormal YA title has been receiving rave reviews. Important issues such as rape,bullying, and social media abuse are tackled in this novel. You can connect with Medeia through her blog, Twitter account, Goodreads page, and Instagram to learn more about this book and her other titles.

52 LIKES, Evernight Teen, 2015: After a brutal rape and near-murder, Valerie wants to get past feelings of victimhood from both the assault and her history of being bullied. She’s plagued by not knowing the identity of her rapist and by the nasty rumors in school about that night. Valerie follows clues from ghostly entities, past victims of the rapist-murderer, contacting her through a social media site—why do all of their eerie photos have 52 likes under them? Their messages are leading her to the mystery man, although he’ll put up a fight to remain hidden.

(Best wishes, Medeia!)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Magoo Monday

Okay...we're a weird bunch by design.

Last week, I included Juggernaut (my oldest son) in a post and I thought I might as well even out the field and talk about my wonderful middle son, Magoo. Gonzo, the youngest, is the only one who still lives at home and consequently, he pops up more often right now. I'm pleased to say that all my boys live nearby and I get to see them frequently. 

This story requires pictures.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Behold, the Chair!

For everyone who said they wanted to see my new chair that I raved about. I'm a woman of simple needs; add something shiney and I'll be amused all day.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things...With a Twist

It's Friday and time to 
Celebrate the Small Things!

Welcome to our wonderful oasis of mini-celebrations. Hosted by Lexa Cain, and her wonderful co-hosts: 
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge 
Tonja @ Kidbits - my apologies to Tonja for not adding you sooner!

This week, I'm celebrating:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Don't Throw This Back Thursday...

Okay, I know I have a snark gene, but I'm totally willing to give credit where credit is due. Steven Tyler (yes, that Steven Tyler) has totally surprised me with his new video "If Love is Your Name." I quickly tire of all the efforts of established musicians aimed at re-invention. That may not even be what is going on here with this half of the Toxic Twins. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Crimes Against Awesome

There's a pattern of minimalism with adjectives, don't you think? It's almost criminal, people. A word becomes part of our day to day conversation and the next thing you know, we go from using it to overusing it. Nothing can make us spread the love around to the other perfectly good adjectives. A whole dictionary or thesaurus packed with adjective potential won't get us to budge.

Some words are holdovers from past generations; they've got staying power. The word "cool" actually entered slang history in the forties, while "hipster" joined the ranks in the fifties. 

In the sixties, everyone said "groovy." By that time, I had entered the real world of elementary school and found myself conversing with school mates. Distinctly, I remember the first time I heard the word "groovy" used in a sentence and even at the tender young age, I thought it was stupid. Groovy? Was there a lot of grooves in something and we were impressed? Hey, everyone, look how groove-y that is...

Only Davy Jones could save it. If a Monkee says groovy,'s groovy.

Sure, I initially thought that was a stupid word. I refrained from using it, right? Nope; I'm just like the other sheep. I follow the crowd sometime, in spite of my claims of uniqueness. The Monkees said groovy, people.

Heck, I gave in to "dig it?" Might as well make it a full confessional and cleanse myself.

"Knarly" and "bodacious" arrived with the eighties and I managed to steer clear of both. Likewise with "dweeb." Proudly, I tell you that I've never said "gag me with a spoon."

Flowing into the nineties, I never "got jiggy wit it" or asked "wassup?" I have said "word" because that struck me as amusing and the perfect ending to punctuate a point or agreement. There's an added funny component when a housewife says it and I want to take advantage of that. Word. 

I've decided I must be more particular that the average person. So far, in the twenty-first century, I've managed to avoid most of the slang floating around with the exception of "peeps." Peeps reminds me of ....peeps, that mushy rainbow-colored Easter chick that you either love or hate. 

All this is leading up to my rant of the day: crimes against the word "awesome." Everyone, including me, overworks the word awesome. We're totally ruining it. What word are we going to use when and if we actually see or hear something awesome? 

A few examples from an average day:

  • Grocery Bag-boy: Whether or not I use paper or plastic to bag my groceries is NOT awesome. Come on, man. You didn't need me to point that one out. It's also not awesome that I don't need help taking my groceries to the car, yet you exclaim that like a diamond just fell out of the sack and I told you to keep it for a tip. 
  • Nurse at the doctor's office: Is it really awesome that I don't need to update my forms? Really? What would it be if I WERE updating my forms? Pretty incredible, huh?
  • Cold Call Lawn Guy: No, we don't need your high priced mowing and pruning; we do our own yard. Why do you think that's awesome?! Aren't you trying to drum up business? Another thing: I've got a yard that is over three acres; come back when Hubzam is mowing and tell him how awesome it is. Bring an ice bag.
  • Secretary: The fact that I can attend the committee meeting does not automatically make it awesome. I know, I know; it seems like that would be a given. But, no. If I do magically make all committee meetings awesome, we need to discuss a payment schedule. I can't be giving this away. Monetize me, baby.
Seriously, I'm a huge offender in crimes against awesome and all the while, I'm fully aware that it is automatic and meaningless 99% of the time. I intend to correct it. "That's good" would work just fine, thus enabling me to save my awesomes till an appropriate time. Some awesome things do occur.

A perfect example would have been the day I took that picture (above) of my oldest son, Juggernaut He's huge in size and personality. In fact, if you saw a picture of us standing side by side, you'd think I was sitting down. Juggernaut is a talented guitarist. A terrible storm was blowing in; he had just picked up a new guitar and he was raving about it. A picture seemed in order and the gathering storm seemed like the perfect background. I laid down on the ground and aimed the camera upward. At the time, he was really pleased with the result and he remarked "you totally get me." 

That moment was made of 100% awesome.

The Juggernaut

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

BOTB Results for "God Give Me Strength"

Whew! That puppy wasn't even close. Congrats to Bette Midler, wherever she is today. You remain the "Divine Miss M" even when you do covers of songs. 

A few people were confused by the video of Illeana Douglas lip syncing to the REAL voice of Kirsten Vigard. There was no video of Vigard singing live to be found.

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6: Question of the Month!

Michael D'Agostino of A Life Examined (that sweet thunder from down under) started this blog hop with these words:

"Your readers would like to know a little more about you. Show them who you are by taking part in the Question of the Month bloghop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here. Sign up on the list (on Michael's site) to join the fun ;) With every question, remember that the important part is explaining your answer. And please, if you have any suggestions for new questions, share them in the comments section. I bet you've got some great ideas for us."

This month's question is: 
"What are three things you'd do tomorrow if fear wasn't stopping you?"

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy July 4th

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July, everyone! 
(My dog is getting ready to do the yearly fireworks freak out, but I'm going to try to have a
nice, relaxing holiday. I hope you do the same. Relax...not freak out over fireworks.)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Clean Thoughts: Confessions of a Shower Genius

This could be a daily post, if only I'd do it immediately after I showered. 

Shower brilliance works much like dreaming. When you are actively engaged in showering or dreaming, the ideas that come to you are clear, logical and fleshed out. Endorphins, those endogenous opioid neuropeptides, flood your system and you feel the euphoria that only comes with the knowledge that you possess an idea that will make you rich and famous. Or perhaps you get a small idea that excites you; like finally thinking of a scenario where you might slide the words "endogenous opioid neuropeptides" into a conversation. We've all been there. 

Everything is a good idea in the shower and everyone is a total genius. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"God Give Me Strength" BOTB

It's the first of the month and that means it's time for

Okay, band connoisseurs, it's time to look at an original and two covers. Today's choice comes from one of my all time favorite artists, Elvis Costello. Though Declan McManus (his real name) never needed any help writing songs, he does collaborate with a long list of noteworthy performers. 

Elvis Costello wrote "God Give Me Strength" with none other than Burt Bacharach. Not too shabby. The song appeared on Costello's album, My Flame Burns Blue, released in 1996. It was featured in the movie Grace of My Heart where a lip-syncing Illeana Douglas sang (lipped?) it.