Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Tongue In Cheek Review

So it's really the last day of 2010? I guess I'd better get on my year in review then, huh?

January
I exposed my Wii addiction and revealed my super villain plans, trying to convert the Sea Monkey colony who lives in my tub to become my minions and deliver my wrath. I worked on those Sea Monkeys all year, and dangit they're still holding out. I also polled the TiC audience about bad boys vs nice guys.

February
We got a buttload of snow, I wrote a bit and continued to hone my super villain plans. Costumes were voted on and negotiations continued with the Sea Monkeys in order for them to agree in helping me to deliver my wrath.

March
March brought more super villain planning, and an attempt to lure different minions to serve me. A Ukelele theme song was discussed. Casa de Quinn went to DC to see the Terracotta Warriors and The Man and I went to see La Boheme. I revealed my love of Rube Goldberg machines and had a very close call with becoming a chrysalis. A VERY close call. I rounded out the month with a story about karaoke in the pokey.

April
I had a stink bug perched on my tooth brush one early April morning. My father was admitted to the hospital and I gave my Kick Ass Heroine presentation to the Valley Forge Romance Writers. (No actual asses were kicked in the presenting of this program.) And I discovered the process of corset piercing. Could have done without that last one.

May
I had to conduct a long distance polka intervention on my parents' behalf. (No one thinks it can happen to them, but the horrors of the polka really do exist.) And I went to my chapter's writing retreat! Yay!

June
I extolled the merits of the mullet, and had a jelly bean and Taco Bell induced epiphany late one evening.

July
I wore my farmer tan with pride to the beach and admitted that I'm somewhat technologically deficient (and i like it that way).

August
Secret confession IV - I love me some rummage. And I believe there's a lid for every pot.

September
I blogged about Sasquatch shanghis and computer technical difficulties.

October
We lost our little border collie, Sadie and got the flu. I also wrote a very strongly worded letter to the squirrel residing in our barn.

November
I became the county's reigning 'Possum Queen and ridiculed tree knitters.

December
And finally, December. I shared my theory on why zombie stinkbugs are living in the sewers. I wanted to make ninjabread men for Christmas and put the motorcycle away for the winter.

There it is in a really big nutshell. We'll see what type of nuttiness busts out of 2011's shell. See you next year!
~A

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

My New Anti-Christmas Spirit Game

I've been playing this game for a few days now.



It's crazy. As a bungeeing yard gnome - see, it was made for me- you have to fend off elves and santas arriving in sleighs, with a brick. Plus you can call in air strikes. Oooh! Ooooh! And you can create a brickopacolypse by exploding all the bricks off your moving building. Just don't let those damn elves get to your chimney or it's all over.

Enjoy!

My New Favorite Winter Song

Saturday night, I snuck out of the security compound, known as Chez Quinn, and saw a band called Seasons. They were very good. They brought a bunch of friends with them, including an excellent singer, Mary Callahan. She sang this song called Snowfall. Her voice is very similar to the singer performing it on yotube, though I thought Mary's was a little better.



I love the imagery in this song. I also love how snow isn't really something you'd compare to love. But it works for me. Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Wanna Make These

This is on my Christmas wish list.



I want to make Ninjabread men. Decorate a gingerbread house where they're launching an assault with ninjabread throwing stars.

Can you tell where my holiday spirit-o-meter is pointing?

E for empty.

Hope yours if fuller than mine!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Been Quite A Fall

Season, that is. Fall has been tough over here at Chez Quinn. From September to now, both of the Urchins have been very ill. Ill as in the doctor's office that never prescribes antibiotics did for both. More than once. The three year old urchin was on them twice in as many months. The six year old urchin is finishing up her third round of them. And they're still not 100%. *sigh*

The Oldest Urchin has been having a very rough time of it. She saw a specialist twice this month and is finally showing some signs of improvement. She's a trooper. (I've been pretty worried, to tell the truth.) The long term sickness has doubled my laundry, and I've napalmed the house three times from top to bottom. Which takes days of scrubbing and gassing.

The sea monkey tribe fought valiantly, but I have definitely reduced their numbers in the scouring frenzy. I anticipate a retaliatory attack any day now.

There have been meetings and school runs and school volunteering and cleaning and doctor's visits and pharmacy runs and more meetings with the blue hairs and a dog dying and sick days and a funeral and the general all around craziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas. There's lots more, but you get it.

So amidst all the craziness and running around and mothering, I haven't done much writing. Late in the summer I had resolved to finish Brass In Pocket before RWA National, but things have changed. I've decided for monetary reasons that I won't be going to National this year.

I also let myself off the hook on Brass. I haven't had the energy or time to do much writing and I was forcing myself to open that WIP. So I decided I'd start something new, figuring that writing is better than not writing. Right?

So all my grand ideas of upping my game in regards to writing have gone down the drain. How do you keep writing through the chaos? Especially when you don't have deadlines chasing you down like the hounds of hell? Being unpublished allows me to set it aside. A little too easily.

So I need more resolve, I guess. I have guilt -in spades- but that's not giving me the follow through.

How do you find the time and energy to write through the chaos?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stinkbugs In The Sewer

So I was thinking. One of my more dangerous past times, I know. And had a terrifying epiphany of sorts.

As I gingerly carried yet another tissue enshrouded stinkbug to its watery grave via the toilet, it hit me. This has to be the primary way most people dispose of stinkbugs. You can't squash them, or you'll be engulfed in an unholy smell that may just be a sentient being in its own right. So you capture them and flush them alive.

Down to the sewer.

This practice may have unwittingly created a situation rife with apocalyptic potentiality.

STINKBUGS IN THE SEWER
*cue echoing effect and scary dant dant daaaaaa music*

Yes, stinkbugs in the sewer. Not unlike alligators in the sewer.


Except stinkbugs are swarmers. My brain keeps terrifying me with images of crazed mutant stinkbugs hopped up on toxic sewer gasses, rampaging across cities in devouring hordes - scarab beetle style a la The Mummy.

But I can't come up with a different disposal system. What shall we do? How can we stop adding more numbers to their growing sewer army without unleashing a scent clearly from the bowels of Hell?

I'm stumped. The comments are open for your suggestions.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stretchy Pants



And sometimes when you're a woman, too.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Moment of Silence, Please

Now that it is the beginning of December, I must admit that it's time to winterize and hibernate the motorcycle. *sigh*



I'll miss you like crazy little Ninja.
Until springtime. Then it's back in the saddle and speeding down the back roads. Here's hoping I can wait that long.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 'Possum Leftovers

I hope your Thanksgiving celebrations with your family were wonderful. I spent most of my holiday practicing my royal wave. Being the county 'Possum Queen has many duties, one of which is to get the royal wave just right. I'm having a little trouble, though. From what I can glean from the townies, it's more like a glorified armpit scratch than an actual wave.

So how did the roast opossum recipe work out for you all? I'm sure it went fast. But just in case you have leftovers, here are some ideas you can make with "The Third White Meat, Sorta".

Possum Casserole
Possum Nuclear Chili - scroll down, it's the last 'possum recipe on the page.
Possum and Taters

Now that I've done my "darned-tootinest" to further the positive reputation of eatin' 'possum, I can turn my thoughts to other things. Things such as how I haven't written a word in about a week. Chez Quinn has been busier than usual. The Urchins have eleven days off for Thanksgiving. Yes. ELEVEN. So now I'm in full time mommy mode with no chance of parole. I don't even get a lowjack to wear so I can get out on work release. I'm doing hard time here!

But it's given me a chance to think about giving up on my writing. Something I find myself contemplating often. I've come up with so many reasons to quit. Some good, some not.

But here's the thing. All the time I haven't written and been crazy busy with the Urchins and in-laws invading my house and my newly appointed 'Possum Queen duties and all that goes with it, I am still thinking about my stories. In the back of my mind, they're stewing.

So I guess if they don't give up on me, I'm not ready to give up on them. Here's hoping I find some time to get back into the writing groove. And I hope you all get time to do what you like to do as well.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tree Knitting? Seriously?

I have never seen a clearer need for someone to get laid.



Why don't they just post a sign in the front yard stating
Knitter In Desperate Need of Sex
Inquire Within

Friday, November 19, 2010

James Brown Translated For Minors

As we drove home listening to Funky Friday on WXPN Philadelphia, James Brown came on. The following conversation ensued.

Oldest Urchin (6 y.o.) - Mommy, what's a sex machine?
Me - That's not what he's singing, honey. He's saying fax machine.
O.U. - *long pause*
Me - *sweating profusely and averting all eye contact in the darkened interior of the front seat*
O.U. - Oh. Ok.
My profuse relief was interrupted as The Man leans over and sniffs the air around me.
T.M. - I think I smell burning pants.
Me - *through clenched teeth* Lying is a perfectly acceptable tool in the parental arsenal when emergencies, such as the one that was just averted, arise.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tweaks That Change Everything

I need to make some changes to Brass In Pocket to make a more compelling first chapter. But I'm not doing them. I know how it needs to go, but these minor tweaks will change the tone of my two main characters. They won't be as dark, or as emotionally disparaged if I do it. And I don't know how I feel about that.

I've been toying with the changes in my head for about two weeks. And I don't like where the feel of the story ends up. With these few changes to the first chapter, the domino effect wreaks havoc along the storyline. So I'm at a standstill.

Maybe I'm being too rigid. Maybe lightening up the tone of the story will make it better. Maybe I just need to copy the whole story into a new document and try out the changes and see where they lead.

Have you ever had this problem where changes you need to make affect the whole story? Or is it just me?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Roast Opposum Recipe

One of my new 'Possum Queen duties is to forward the best image of eating opossum as I can. Yes it truly is "The Third White Meat, Sorta". So with that goal in mind, I've found a traditional roast opossum recipe from cooks.com to share with all my legions of followers. Anything in parentheses are my own thoughts.

ROAST OPOSSUM

1 opossum, skinned and cleaned (really, really cleaned - like bust out the Draino cleaned)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. fat
1 opossum liver, chopped (yes, you save it and put it aside after the Draino bath)
1 c. bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 hard cooked egg, chopped
Salt
Pepper
4 strips bacon (because everything's better with bacon)

Rub opossum with salt and pepper (yes, rub it).
Brown onion in fat, add opossum liver and cook until tender (and we all know how long to cook an opossum liver until it's tender, right?).
Add bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, egg, seasonings, and water to moisten.
Stuff opossum cavity with the mixture and truss (yes, cavity - shove it in there and then sew it up).
Place in pan belly down (because belly up would be uncouth).
Put bacon strips across back (adding that extra touch of class).
Add 1 quart water to pan.
Roast uncovered at 350 degrees until tender (again, we all know how tender an opossum can become, right?), basting every 15 minutes.
It will be done in about 2 1/2 hours. Serves 2-4.

So there it is. Your very own roast opossum recipe. Just in time for Thanksgiving.

Brace yourself for more 'possum yummy goodness in future posts. That's all for now. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

As The New Reigning 'Possum Queen . . .

I would like to make my first official comments to the world. First of all, I'd like to thank the community who attended the Moonshine and Fried Possum Carnival for all your heartfelt, yet odoriferous votes. As I stood on the Pot Bellied 'Possum stage with the other contestants, waiting for last year's queen to place her hand above my head so you all could belch your approval, tears gathered in the corners of my eyes. To be the recipient of the loudest belches from the crowd and thereby earning the crown was an experience I will never forget.

Then, to have the Pot Bellied Pooh Bah in his possum fur covered fez lead you all in the 'Possum Salute as I took my first walk wearing the Possum crown across the dais, well, there just aren't words. The silent mock death salute with raised hands curled, eyes rolled back and tongues hanging in the breeze- it's just too much to take.

And the crown! The taxidermist that created it with the mama possum saluting at the front and all her babies doing the salute perched on her back as they peek around her? It's just breath taking. And I've never seen rhinestones used in such a unique way before. I'll wear it to all my Pot Bellied 'Possum functions knowing that every 'Possum Queen before me wore it with pride.

Now for the naysayers out there. You know who you are (Berthalynn and Elmeretta). I did not win because I was the only contestant with all her teeth. I'll have you know that I also shave my armpits and have mastered the mysteries of the bathtub. So back off!

As for my duties as this year's reigning 'Possum Queen. I swore the oath to do my darned tootin-est to represent the entire line of canned Pot Bellied Processed 'Possum Products to the best of my ability. From Creamed 'Possum to 'Possum Roadkill Stew. From hash to grits and all affiliated gravies and desserts in between. I will do it with possum pride in my heart. Thank you for voting me your new 'Possum Queen. I salute you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Our Halloween Candy . . .

is in terrible peril.
Terrible.
Peril.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Squirrel In My Barn

Dear Squirrel Living In My Barn,
If you don't stop burying walnuts in my strawberry bed, I will shoot you, clean you, cook you and serve you up to my neighbor's cat as tender vittles - redneck style. I kid you not.

~A

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stomach Flu Or . . .

mild food poisoning. I got one or the other. Hit me hard yesterday. I also am developing a sty. Really painful and gross looking.

It's my writing group's 50/50 challenge (write 50 words a day for 50 days straight) right now too. I'm hoping I can stay in. This is how I'm feeling.



Sigh. Maybe someone will throw me a pity party in the comments and then I can move on.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Apparently . . .

I won't get thin by eating cookies.

AND

I won't finish my manuscript unless I actually write.

Huh.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Good-Bye Sadie

We had to put our dog, Sadie, down on Sunday. It was one of the toughest decisions in my adult life. She'd stopped eating and drinking. Has been failing for months, but took a big turn for the worse on Saturday. By Sunday she couldn't get up and was severely dehydrated.

We had her for eleven years, and she was an adult when we adopted her from the pound. The vet had estimated her age at fifteen or older, so this wasn't a real shock. But it doesn't make it much easier.

She was a fluffy little border collie who was glad to meet everyone. We called her our little Wal-Mart greeter. We really miss her.

So it was a rough weekend, even though I got to ride my motorcycle to my writer's meeting - usually a double whammy of happiness.

Plus my computer is still not working very much. So I may not be around in the internet world often for the next month or so. Hopefully I can get it fixed.

Hope your weekend was better than mine.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back At The Desk . . . Sorta



So I've been experiencing technical difficulties with my computer. It crapped out last week, and in that time I've come to some limited terms with my newly discovered internet and computer addictions. My window to the world was dark. *unholy shudders*

I've got some bandaid fixes on the computer, and it's up and running - for now. It must have been that last huge entry about Sasquatches Who Shanghai. That'll teach me to make a long post.

This also means I probably won't make my writing goal for the month. I'm way behind and it's doubtful I'll catch up by Saturday morning. So at this point, why bother.

I'm still sick and haven't been out on my motorcycle in over a month. I'm going into withdrawal. If only I could get out and ride. It would change my attitude in an instant. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Riding a motorcycle is better than therapy.

So lay it on me - either computer crapping stories (yeah, I called it that) or things that are better than therapy. I could really use the lift.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kidnapped By A Sasquatch

I have these two great books that relate weird happenings throughout history all over the world. The first is Strange Stories Amazing Facts published by Reader's Digest. The second is Mysteries of the Unexplained, also published by R.D. I love these books, but they simultaneously give me the willies.

The second one, Mysteries of the Unexplained, is broken down by the following sections:
Beyond the Walls of Time - Prophesies - Anomalies - Coincidences

Unearthly Fates - Spontaneous Human Combustion - Inexplicable Crimes and Assaults - Appearances and Disappearances

Monsters and More - Monsters - Spectral Incursions

The Unquiet Sky - Strange Things From Above - UFO's - Atmospheric and Astronomical Oddities

In the Realm of Miracles - Cures and Immunities - Signs and Wonders

Each section offers it's own delights. I may blog later on the Atmospheric Oddities that has a section devoted to the different reports of bizarre things falling from the sky. From rock storms to coins to flesh. *shiver*

But the one I'll discuss today is in the Monsters section. Mysteries of the Unexplained breaks down recorded sightings of monsters by type, area of the world and date. Sightings and encounters with upright ape-like creatures have been reported all over the world, though different countries' creatures vary a little in height and color, there are many similarities. With the North American variety, many times hair and blood samples have been recovered for scientific analysis. Footprint casts have also been taken.



There are lots of reports of sightings, close encounters, and posses trying to round up a Bigfoot. But there are two stories which stand out in this book. Those are of the two times people have been taken by them.

The first happened in 1924 when Albert Ostman, a construction worker and miner, went looking for a lost gold mine in British Columbia opposite Vancouver Island. An Elderly native from the local tribe warned him about the huge hairy creatures that lived near the area of the lost mine, but Albert refused to give any credence to old Indian tales.

He hiked in on foot for about a week, then made camp. Each morning when he woke at the camp, his supplies would be disturbed and food taken. He decided to try and stay awake to see what was doing it. He kept his rifle in his sleeping bag with him to be safe. That night, while still in his sleeping bag, he was scooped up and carried away.

After several hours of being carried, he was laid down. "He heard a strange kind of chatter he couldn't understand." He made his way out of his bag and saw four people, covered in hair and not wearing any clothing. Two adults -a male and female and two younger ones he assumed where their offspring.

The adults, he estimated were over seven feet tall and about 500-600 pounds. They didn't try to hurt him, but seemed intent that he stay with them. After six days with this "family" he decided he'd had enough. He shot his rifle and startled them enough to make a break for it. Ostman didn't tell the story of his capture for years - believing people would think he'd lost his marbles. Can't say that I blame him.

The second one tells of a native of the Nootka tribe in Canada named Muchalat Harry, who gives his version of being taken. The year was 1928. He was "of strapping physique". A fur trapper by trade who would go out for weeks at a time in the wilderness by himself along the Conuma River on the west coast of Vancouver Island. One day he stumbled back to his village after one such trip nearly frozen, uttering wild cries, wearing nothing but torn and soaking wet long underwear.

After being nursed back to health, he told of being snatched up from his camp while he was in his blankets sleeping. He was tossed over something's shoulder and carried for two to three miles.

When he was put down, he found he was surrounded by about "twenty of the big hairy creatures." Both males and females. There were lots of bones scattered around him and he began to think they may want to eat him. He sat motionless while they touched him or pulled at his undergarments. After many hours most of the Bigfeet left him. Harry jumped up and ran for his life. He ran past his camp, ran twelve more miles to the River, found his canoe and paddled 45 miles nonstop back to his village. He never left it again.

I personally can't even begin to imagine being kidnapped by a group of Sasquatch in nothing but my underwear in the middle of winter. Or any season, for that matter.

If I could insert the Supernatural Tall Tales scene about the alien abduction and probing here, I would. But the embedding of that video is disabled. Here's the link, just for fun.

So there you have it - two Sasquatch abductions. As Jack Palance used to say - Believe it *heavy breathing* or not.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's All About the Pants



The best one is grandpa with the sweatband on. He's workin' it for all he's got.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Make It STOP!!

The song Baby Beluga has burrowed into my brain and laid eggs. I can't get it out!!!!

Kind of like this. You can just dub over the lyrics to Baby Beluga as subtitles and know the space worm is bringing Hell on Earth in the form of Raffi.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Lid For Every Pot

I have a theory, that receives some rather substantial proof every August when the fireman's fair erupts just beyond my back fence. This theory may seem hopelessly optimistic, but I believe wholeheartedly that there is a lid for every pot.

As the smells of funnel cake and pizza, french fries and horse manure fill the air, a sweltering mix of humanity flocks to the rides and food. A wondrous mixture of lids and pots.

Some pots have found their lids and display their tandem-ness with pride. The elderly couple who shuffle along, carrying their aluminum lawn chairs to reserve their spot on the grass for the gospel singers who perform the first night. The vinyl webbing for the chairs has been removed, and in their place are matching woven yarn patterns. His and hers. They sit together and chat with everyone around them. He cheekily pats her knee with a gnarled hand which earns him a girlish smile that rearranges her wrinkles and a playful smack on his arm.

You look around and there's the middle-aged couple advertising their fit by strolling arm in arm as they wear matching outfits. Dressed alike, you can't miss that he's her lid.

Then there's the odd couple. A gigantic man with natural orange hair, pencil drawn eyebrows, tattooed eye liner, and a lavender shirt covering his substantial bulk loudly expounds on the golden era of Hollywood. A thin young man, in black from the tips of his spiked hair to the tips of his combat boots hangs on his every word as tightly as he hangs onto his arm.

Lids and pots. Everywhere you look. Some matched up; others on the hunt. Flocks of teenage girls giggle and scream, sounding the availability call to the gaggles of teenage boys, who laugh and shove and bullshit their way around the midway. The flashing neon lights of the rides and games draw them just like clouds of moths, looking to try on a lid for the night to see if it fits.

As I wait in line for the umpteenth time to put my youngest urchin on her favorite ride, the operator strikes up a conversation that doesn't require much on my part.

"How old is she?"

"Three."

"Oh, that's almost as old as my twins. They're four." He bares his twisted teeth at me in a friendly way. "I got a seven year old and another'n on the way."

He nods his head across the midway to a surly looking young woman with a severe ponytail; pregnant out to here. She glares at me as she slumps in her decrepit metal folding chair, and I smile the smile of someone caught staring, before she returns to taking the tickets for her ride.

"They gave her a chair so's she c'n sit down."

I nod, and he flashes those teeth again, as I try to decide if he's seventeen or thirty. All I can discern for sure is he looks like life has already ridden him hard and put him up wet.

"Yup," he continues undaunted as he takes in the midway with awe, "They gave us both jobs, 'n they've been good to work for. Just look at that chair they gave her." His chest swells with pride as he gazes over at her again.

And I can almost hear the metallic clunk of a lid falling into place.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why? Just . . . Why?

I've been sick for several days. I've kinda lost count, so here's what I've dug up for you in my spare time.

Watch only if you have a strong constitution.





Don't hate me. I'm just the messenger.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Things That Suck

1. Crappy new neighbors.
2. Having to cook again after four glorious days of surviving on carny food.
3. Having no ooomph to write.
4. Dealing with the disposal of a dog crap encrusted rug.
5. A severe lack of chocolate in the house when I desperately need it.
6. Being attacked and slightly maimed by a maliciously evil humidifier.
7. Still not having a reliable source of minions to deliver my wrath.
7. a. Stalled negotiations with the Sea Monkeys.
7. b. A messy and smelly end to the tentative cease fire between myself and said Sea Monkeys.

All of the above and more is giving me a big shove towards more serious steps for villainy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Love Me Some Rummage

Ok, I guess this should be secret confession number four. I love rummage sales. Usually at a church, but not necessarily. Some place where blue haired old ladies sort and price items with skewed logic. You know, a bundle of half used spiral notebooks for four dollars and Muppet Show Colorforms in their original box are ten cents. An ancient Avon perfume bottle shaped like an owl is fourteen dollars, but books are ten cents for paperbacks, twenty five for hard cover.

I was at one of these last weekend. Unfortunately I wasn't a doorbuster. It started at seven and I was there at seven thirty. So in my mind, since I didn't find much, all the good rummage was taken before I got there. Damn those other doorbusters!

Still, I rubbed my hands together with gleeful anticipation and asked the retired guy at the door handing out paper bags where he kept the rummage. He passed me a grocery bag, and informed me I could fill it with clothes for a dollar.

If that statement doesn't get a rummage junky's heart racing, I don't know what will. Crazy, subjective pricing. Ahh, gotta love it.

So I found a few books, and a Fisher Price Woodsey the Squirrel log house with Uncle Fletcher squirrel inside. That was the extent of my purchased rummage. Five books for a dollar and an eighties toy for fifty cents. But the thrill of the rummage hunt?

Priceless.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Re- Runs Again?

Yes. Re-runs again. Here's an early post from October 2008. In it you will find out about my small motorcycle crash and my exercise program for outrunning weapon wielding psychopaths. Enjoy!

Two Kinds of Riders

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Does It Count If

I open my w.i.p. and then 14 hours later close it? No changes or additions made. Just the open and the close. What do you think?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Techno Freak

So I admit, I don't do much with technology. My cell phone only makes calls and has no fancy ring tones. Just the one it came with. I don't text. I don't even have my cell phone number memorized. Even more pathetic, I don't have a voice mailbox set up for it. If I don't answer, you don't get me.

And that's just the cell phone. I don't tweet. I don't Facebook, I don't MySpace. I don't upload videos to YouTube.

I don't have call waiting on my home phone. If you call here and someone's talking, you'll actually get a busy signal.

Yet even with all I don't do, I'm light years ahead of where I was. I grew up with a rotary dial phone. No answering machine. I'd tell my friends to let it ring at least ten times before hanging up.

When I went to college in 1990, it was the first time I ever used a microwave or a washing machine and dryer. I bought myself a touch tone phone and an answering machine.

No, I wasn't Amish. It's how things were at my house. I grew up with three generations in one house. My grandmother's house. She was the quintessential matriarch of all times. Even though I was born in the seventies, I was raised like I was living in the forties. Just how it was.

And now, my friend has sent me a tiny youtube video for my cell phone and I'm scared. I'm not even sure if my cell phone will do it. The invite asks for my cell phone number, and I don't even know it to try. So I am officially a techno freak.

And if you've ever read this blog at all, you know I'm also a paranoid conspiracy theorist. So giving out information about myself will only exacerbate that part of my personality. Which usually yields crazed and embarrassing results. So I'm ignoring the invitation. I'm sticking my head in the sand and refusing to open that can of worms.

So there.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Re-Runs

It's been really crazy at Chez Quinn, so I figured I'd think like a network executive, which is never a very good idea. Yet seeing as I have the lazy option in mind, it's quite appropriate.

Re-runs.

Here's the very first Tongue In Cheek posting. Enjoy the flashback.

The Nonsense of This Woman's Psyche in the Name of Motorcycle Riding

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back to the Nonsense

Alright, I've (mostly) gotten the seriousness off my chest. Here's a band who records good songs and makes awesome videos. A few months back, I posted the huge Rube Goldberg machine video they made. This one is just as ingenious, if not a little more so. You'll need to click through to YouTube to see it full screen. Seriously worth it. Enjoy!

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nothing to Joke About

I know the name up there says Tongue in Cheek, but today I just couldn't find the humor. I read a blog post yesterday that still is striking a chord in me. The arrogance and narrow view point of the author just boggled my mind. I have many similarities with the author. We are both white, suburban stay at home moms living in the United States. But though our demographics are strikingly similar, our world view is not.

This woman, with her condescending tone, preached to her choir about the horrors of . . . sending your child to daycare. She called it "child abandonment" and pulled observations out of her ass and passed them off as gospel.

Woman, I don't even know where to begin. Not all people who put their children in child care do it so they can "have the second income to be able to afford a second luxury car." They do it out of necessity. Secondly, abandonment means you leave and never come back. Not you leave, and pick them up in a few hours. It's been done for ages.

America survived and built itself during the "children should be seen, but not heard" era.

Just because you were raised during the "Baby on Board" generation where everyone gets a participation trophy and there are never any losers, doesn't mean that sending your child to preschool makes that parent the spawn of Lucifer.

Get a fricking world view. If the evils of dropping off at daycare are throwing shivers of horror down your spine, you need to expand your horizons.

Check into some of these real issues:
June's death toll for Afghanistan coalition forces were the highest of the entire war.

Stoning to death of female victims of rape

FGM still occurs today to millions of little girls.

Children conscripted
into armies.



So, lady, before I jump down off my soap box and return to my regularly scheduled blog full of nonsense, remember this. Not every parent in the U.S. has the financial choice to stay at home with their children. Not only that, but most children, under the tutelage of caring professionals thrive and flourish in that environment, picking up new learning paths and social skills. Not every child should be exposed to only one point of view all day long. If they do, they'll end up as narrow minded and stunted in the knowledge of real world problems as you are and will never become a productive member of our free thinking society.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Wore My Farmer Tan With Pride

So, I'm back. Back from vacation. To the beach. In the camper. I don't know if I'll ever be the same.

To begin with, I'm not a beach person. And then to have to rough it at a place that doesn't even make my top ten of happy destinations? You can imagine my mood. But it was all for the urchins, and even though I am a super villain in training, the little minions-to-be get indulged.

Now, I have bruises on my hips from sleeping on a sheet of plywood covered with a layer of foam that was laughingly referred to as a bed, enough sand in my house, clothing and washer to make my own beach, and a monstrous pile of laundry in league with the rampant sea monkey colony in my bathtub. Yet despite all that, Chez Quinn is almost back to normal.

At the beach I was the only woman to sport a farmer tan, and I did so with aplomb. I worked it like the hick that I've become. It's almost disappeared entirely and I might even be a little sad about that.

I also had a small bathing suit wardrobe malfunction. Suffice it to say, I may not be allowed back on that particular stretch of beach for a few years. So as an added little torture, I had to go bathing suit shopping with a next day deadline. The store that I chose had very little in my size. Every size was picked over. I was a bit surprised by the lack of choice at a beach. I finally had to settle for a very matronly suit that has so much extra fabric it could easily cover a battleship. Which was just the teeniest bit depressing. I've never worn such a conservative suit in my life.

So, that's it. Vacation is done for another year. I hope to God next year is better. It wasn't too terrible, but really; I paid for that experience? I must have a masochistic streak in me somewhere.

So let's hear it. Worst vacations ever. I will even give the sadists' rah rah cheer in the comments for all who share.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reality TV Exposed



Though if they brought back Circus of the Stars you can bet your sweet bippy I'd be tuning in to that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Is There A Person Left On Earth . . .

Who hasn't seen this movie? Wonderful and terrible and unforgettable.

Life Is Beautiful



You may need to double click on the video to go to YouTube to read all the subtitles. But it's worth it.

Here is Roberto Benigni accepting his Oscar. If you've never seen this, you have to. Embedding was disabled, but here's the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cTR6fk8frs

Enjoy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Strength In Numbers

Jelly Bean Epiphanies

One night last week around midnight, while I was hopped up on jelly beans and Taco Bell, it hit me. To really do this right. To actually write well, you have to immerse yourself in your story. You need to believe in it, have confidence in your ability and follow through. In other words, you have to be committed.

No, not like that, though there are some days when I believe they're coming to take me away - ha ha, they're coming to take me away. Case in point - an educated almost forty year old woman was gorging herself into a stupor at midnight with high fructose and artery clogging burritos. What the hell was that all about?

But I digress.

I always knew you had to do those things to write well. But it hit me (in the midst of my Jelly Belly induced delirium) with such certainty and clarity. I'd never experienced that knowledge with such depth and surety before. And I don't know what to do about it.

I've been held up this past year in my writing. I have several theories/excuses. But the fear of commitment hadn't been one of them until last week. And now I don't know what to do about it. I don't know if I'm able to commit to being an author. Not with the depth it really takes. And it isn't because of my limited time. It isn't because I don't think it's a worthy thing to commit to.

It's fear. Plain and simple. It's the what ifs. It's the nay saying bastard voices in my head. And the only one to blame is . . . me.

And I'm tempted. Oh, am I tempted. To stop before I start. To choose to fail under my own terms. My own power. Consciously. By not trying in the first place. To close up shop and shake my head in embarrassment at myself for that crazy time I spent thinking I could actually become an author.

So here I sit, without a jelly bean in sight. Tempted. To chuck it all.

And I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Question For You

How rude of me. When a body goes to intermission, it's proper to leave some intermission music playing. So here is some I offer up as an apology. (This is one of the songs I sent out to the parental unit for their polka intervention, so it's definitely appropriate for intermission.)



Anywho, now that I've rectified that, I have a question. What current car do you think is the quintessential chick car? Back in the day I would have answered Fiero or Cabriolet or maybe a VW Rabbit. But what contemporary car do you think is a definitive chick car?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Merits of the Mullet

So, yeah. Things are pretty much chaos at Casa de Quinn (or chez Quinn for all my legions of loyal but silent French Canadian lurkers). Nothing life threatening, just taking a major beat down by some masked freak in spandex, jumping off the top rope wielding a metal folding chair. You know, normal chaos.

So it's got me to thinking, which with me, you never know where the hell this will go. Usually nowhere good. And here are the fruits of my ruminations - The Merits of the Mullet.

I have now determined that there are some nice benefits to be reaped by sporting a mullet. You don't even have to really get it done. They sell mullet wigs now. All you'd have to do is show up in public with one of these bad boys nailed to your noggin.



Righteous, huh?

So here, in no particular order are the merits and virtues of the mullet as I see them.

1. No one expects anything from you.
2. You can get away with any degree of laziness.
3. You are not expected to be a productive member of society.
4. Any number of carny jobs are yours for the taking. (and really, do I need to enumerate the endless amounts of perks that go along with carny work? I didn't think so.)
5. You can wear the same clothes for days and no one will look twice at you.
6. "All business up front. Party in the back."



7. You can write nothing for over a month and no one looks at you twice.
8. No one believes that a mullet wearer can actually write at all.
9. It's completely assumed that your greatest accomplishment is clearing the lint from your navel.
10. Mullet equals magnificence.



You didn't think I could come up with ten, did you? Yeah, I know. Some of those merits seem almost the same, but hey, what did you expect? I have a mullet. (You just can't see it under the pointy hat.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Old Skool Week

So I've been in the isolation booth for the past two weeks. I haven't even opened any of my wips since retreat. "Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up." (If you know where that quote comes from, leave me a comment and I will shower you with praise and respect.)

So there's still too much to sum up. Everything's in fast forward right now, so I'm regressing back to my carefree youth. I've always wondered if I have a split personality. I drive a mini van and ride a motorcycle. I teach Sunday school and write hot romance. I listen to opera and speed metal. I love to go dancing at a club, but I've seen Slayer, Megadeth, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, Anthrax, Alice In Chains, Screaming Trees, The Who, and others in concert. I'm pretty progressive when it comes to women's issues, but there are some totally sexist songs that I just can't help but love. Some days I wish I'd just make up my mind already!

So here's a throw back to some early hip hop days. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sometimes You're Marvin . . .

sometimes you're the Muppaphone.



This week I was the Muppaphone.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Looking For Balance

I was a different person yesterday morning than I was in the afternoon. Than I am this morning, for that matter. Yesterday was the final day of our annual writer's retreat. It was, of course, fantastic. Three days of all things writing. Meals are taken care of, you just have to show up at the right time. No work or chores. Just you and the computer screen.

The retreat couldn't have come at a better time for me. I'd been struggling with my writing, and even the idea of writing. Carla Kempert, a smart lady I know, told me something that really stuck with me. Lots of times, you're so busy being what everybody else needs you to be, that you don't take time to be yourself and do what needs to be done for you.

So with that in mind, I drove home from Retreat yesterday telling myself that I would try for some balance. Most of that idea crashed and burned as soon as I walked through the door. In less than twenty four hours I've dealt with seven cases of bodily functions that were not my own. There are some days I wish I could just hit an intercom switch and say, "Earl, clean up in aisle four." And a guy with a mop in a rolling bucket would come take care of it.

Maybe if I didn't have as many long distance polka interventions and minion interviews to conduct, there'd be a better balance of me versus them. I thought I'd be done with the blue hairs at the end of last year, but here they are, pulling me back in.

So I need to make some changes and seek that balance. A friend at the retreat offered me a way to start, and I really want to take her up on it. So if I don't drown in the craziness that is my everyday, I plan to call and make arrangements with her this very week.

Maybe there's a secret I don't know. How do you find balance between what you need to do and what you really want to do for yourself? I'm open to any and all suggestions. And if anyone happens to know if Earl is looking for work, let me know. STAT.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I Love Stuff Like This



Totally harmless, hilarious fun. The only thing that would've made it better is if they were actually dressed like pirates and some of them swung in on ropes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RETREAT!!! and a polka update

No, I don't mean to turn around and run away from an advancing army or catapulted livestock.



CPRW's writing retreat is coming up fast. I leave tomorrow evening, after a full and hectic day of zoo field trips, picnicking in the rain, visits to kindergarten classrooms, and driving around like crazy. But after all that I get to drive to the retreat. I'm looking forward to it very much.

I still don't know what I'm going to be working on yet. I haven't been writing for the past month. So I'm hoping to use this time to get back in the saddle. We'll see.

As for my polka intervention, things seem to be progressing well. I've had help. My mole has gone in and removed all polka related paraphernalia from the premises and inserted easy listening records into their album collection. Helen Reddy, Muzac, Muzac, Muzac, Englebert Humperdink, etc. So I believe things are starting to go back to normal out there. Parents, I'm telling you, you have to watch them every minute.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Adding a Little Ridiculousness to Your Life

I needed some ridiculousness today. You're shocked, aren't you? (I know. Between the sea monkeys and the super villain plans and the Jehovah's Witnesses you'd think I'd be tired of ridiculous things.)

So here it is. Short and sweet.



Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Dangers of Polka

There was a tee shirt I found a year ago that I should have bought as a reminder of the dangers of polka. It read, "I cannot resist the demon rhythms of the polka." Now it just may be too late.

There should have been constant vigilance on my part to keep the polka demons at bay. But the overwhelming oomp pah pahs have forced their way into my family. I should have seen the signs, but being so far away, my parents slipped right under my radar.

It started out small. You know, easily dismissible signs. The quiet polka record playing in the background when I call. Dad wearing a loud shirt in a recent picture. Mom's vehement defense of the pairing of clarinet and tuba. Oh, I should have seen it sooner.

But now they're watching this tv program every night: WARNING - DO NOT WATCH THE ENTIRE PROGRAM. HIGH RISK OF POLKA INFECTION.



So now I'm going to have to have a polka intervention before something irreversible occurs. Something like this:




And that is just so wrong. I have to protect them from themselves - before it really gets out of hand. I can see where they're headed. The ultimate in vile polka.



OHH the inhumanity!!! I need to prepare a detox program stat. I'm sending liberal doses of easy listening. Gordon Lightfoot, Burt Bacharach, Lionel Richie. Anything to deaden the polka effect. Hopefully I'll be able to pull them back from the edge before they start buying matching lederhosen.

*bone wracking shudder*

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Don't Look At This

if you are at all squeamish. This is your only warning. It is pretty intense.

Last month I was at a certain "Mart" late in the evening, on my own for once, and saw something from a distance that had me doing a double take. A woman, who was flaunting a pretty high skank factor, had a shirt that was closed at the back of the neck, and waist, but gapped open between. Her spine was revealed in this particular garment. And I saw what I believed was a red tattoo of corset ribbons running the length of her back, exposed by the shirt.

Later when I got home, I mentioned it to The Man, and he asked, "Are you sure it was a tattoo?"

In my naivete, I asked, "What else could it be?" Oh, to be young and innocent like I was before I found out about this:







This is corset piercing. I'm probably behind the times and everyone knows about it but me, but I was actually kind of shocked to see it. Here's another:






So of course, I had to see what it was like to get it done. Suffice it to say, I did the squicky dance with full on hand shaking and shudders. I'm not going to post the video here, but if you're brave enough, this is the link: corset piercing for prom Click at your own peril.

So that's my newest education to date. Now that we're all up to speed, I have to go research custom windshields for motorcycles. All part of my top secret minion negotiations with the sea monkeys. Until next time, citizens.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

If you're not listening to them, you're missing out.



They are an amazing combination. Fantastic soul band and a talented singer. I really like their song, "I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Is In". Great line from it - Pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in.

Sharon Jones reminds me a little of Ruth Brown. She was an amazing woman. In the early 1950's, her label, Atlantic Records, was known as the house that Ruth built.



She had a great sense of humor, and was one of the hardest working entertainers of her time. She had sixteen top ten hits with five of them going to number one. One of her albums declared R + B= Ruth Brown. Ain't it the truth?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Is It That

~ my biggest fantasy right now is to acquire a sleep number bed?

~ the more laundry I do, the more there is; yet articles of my clothing go MIA?

~ I only have three tube socks? Not three pair, just three matching socks.

~ the radio stations around here insist on playing Billy Joel every hour?

~ every time I get close to making the sea monkeys my minions, their lawyer shows up, dripping sea water on my carpets, and brandishing more demands?

~ my motorcycle rides never last as long as they ought to?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kick Ass Heroines Presented

Yesterday I traveled down to the Valley Forge Romance Writers group to give my kick ass heroine presentation. I had a great time with the ladies and thought it went very well, though some were under the impression that I would be throwing the participants around and generally beating them up.

Even with that rumor circulating, Carla, (whom I met at the NJ conference last October and helped coordinate my being this month's guest speaker for them) bravely stepped forward to be a victim, I mean volunteer, to illustrate some of the points I made during the talk. Many others stepped up to help me demonstrate too. Which I was very grateful for!

I had a great time, and the authors were a wonderful group of people who made me feel very welcome. I was so glad to meet them, even though they thought I was there to actually kick their asses! (I think they could've taken me, if push came to karate chop.)

They even asked me to come back next year, which I would LOVE to do. It was a great time. I hope they got a lot out of it and felt it was worthwhile and had as good a time as I did.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Colossal Death Robot

Gigantor!
Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

Hospital and Presentation

Sorry I haven't been around recently. I got a phone call from my brother last week. He informed me that our dad had been admitted to the hospital (out in Montana where my parents live). He's been released and is home as of yesterday afternoon, but it really brought some emotional stuff home to roost that I refuse to deal with.

It also laid out some practical matters that I'd been ruminating about ever since my parents moved out there. How am I going to be there for them when they're even older and possibly in and out of the hospital more from 2,000 miles away? It had been a worry in theory for some time now, but with this episode, I've got some planning to do.

So suffice it to say, my brain has been elsewhere for the better part of a week. But I can't ignore the presentation that I will be giving on Saturday to the Valley Forge Romance Writers chapter. Here's the blurb.

Inserting Realism into Kick Butt Heroines:
A Look at Basic Female Fighting Styles and Self Defense

Lots of heroines in novels today don’t need a man to fight their battles. They can do it themselves. But how? Former self-defense instructor, Ava Quinn, will discuss and (when possible) demonstrate the basic martial arts elements of body position and strikes, basic self-defense techniques, and the differences between and the pros and cons of male versus female fighting styles. She will also touch on how this training can affect characters and offer tips on how to incorporate these ideas into your story.

I'm looking forward to doing it, which is a far cry from the last time I presented it. I'm calmer for some reason this time around. Maybe it's because I got my annual haircut last week just for the occasion. Can you tell I really want this to go well?

I've tweaked the presentation some and added more on the writing element to it this time. We'll see how it goes.

Until next time, citizens!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wake Up Call

Nothing gets the blood pumping in the morning better than finding a huge bug perched on your toothbrush. No caffeine necessary this morning.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rocket Ship Underwear

I love the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. It was inspired; creative, with a combination of great illustrations and wonderful writing. I remember this one where Calvin is flexing his little arms in front of a mirror wearing just underwear and his "I'm going to take on the world and win" grin. And he says something like, there's nothing like rocket ship underwear to make you feel invincible.

I have my version of rocket ship underwear on today. It's my new Chef Wong's tee shirt. Chef Wong's is a great Chinese restaurant in the area. The family ate there one fall day, and they had these shirts for sale. The Man's back was to them, but I kept pestering him to look at them. The exchange went a little something like this.

Me - Check out that tee shirt. It's so cool!
Him - I will in a minute.
Me - But it's awesome. You have to check it out.
Him - I will in a minute.
Me - Seriously. It's the coolest ever. You have to look at it.
Him - Can I eat some General Tso's first?
Me - I guess. But you're looking after two bites

So the Man, smart man that he is, got the impression that I fancied the shirt. He got one for me for Christmas. He used it to wrap two dvds. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Hero, so it was a total Kung Fu Christmas theme going on with that part of the gift.

We pause here for Ava's benefit since she can't say Kung Fu without hearing this in her head:



Okay. Now back to our regularly scheduled post.

So I'm wearing the Chef Wong shirt today. It's short sleeved, so I had to wait for nice weather to put it on. And let me tell you I put it on. Along with the whole rocket ship underwear attitude. Not even finding dog crap in my living room- that the offending dog stepped in and subsequently tracked around- could dampen my spirits. Now that is one magic tee shirt.



So I do have a bit of a tee shirt obsession. I'm currently waiting for just the right moment to bust out the Will Farrell "More Cow Bell" shirt for the season.



That's a tricky one. You have to know when the right unveiling time is for the warm weather. You don't want to do it too early and have to cover it with a sweatshirt. I must proceed with caution on that one since it's too awesome to cover.

So, do you have any healthy obsessions? Any talismans that act like rocket ship underwear? Lay it on me!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Prison Karaoke

Yes. You heard me. Prison Karaoke. If you don't remember, my best friend works at a prison. She always has great stories, and I've been saving this one.

On holidays, since many of the prison workers are off, the ones who work them set up special events since there's not enough staff to run the regular activities such as basketball, the weight room, etc. So they decided to have an American Idol sort of competition with karaoke.

One of the semifinalists of the first round sang James Brown's Baby I Got That Feeling. Here's James Brown himself performing part of it.



The inmate that performed it apparently did every James Brown patented move along with a few others thrown in to boot and almost needed to be carried from the stage from exhaustion. He couldn't sing very well, but the showmanship alone carried him on to the finals.

In the finals, he belted out Michael Jackson's Dirty Diana.



According to my source, he only knew the chorus and sang that at the top of his lungs. Again, showmanship carried the day over actual singing talent as he performed every Michael Jackson move known to man.

He beat out the only other competition, who, by the way, could actually sing, but was so nervous he sang very quietly and twirled his hair as he did. Not really a move to get you the votes during Karaoke in the Pokey, or so I have come to understand. Though it probably got him a boyfriend or two.

James Brown/Michael Jackson in an orange jumpsuit won twenty five bucks and some notoriety around the prison. Not sure if that last part was a good thing or will turn around to bite him in the ass.

But this is what I'm trying to convince my best friend to organize next. I think it would be great for morale and excellent fodder for my blog.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm In A Mood

And I can't figure it out. I want to watch Hee Haw re-runs and eat lemon Jello. I want to wear my Slayer concert tee shirt with fuzzy bunny slippers. I want to eat shrimp puffs while downing tequila shots.

I'm in a mood.

But what I'm really afraid of is that it's a metamorphosis. I'll fall asleep and somehow grow a chrysalis.




Or like Gregor, awake to find myself a cockroach. What does a person feel like before taking on some hideous physical transformation? Do they crave Ho Ho's and tomato juice?

I guess I'm just not feeling like myself.

It doesn't help that where ever I go, people look at me like this:


Hold on while I consult the Magic Eight Ball to see how this will turn out. Hmmmmmmmmm. "Outlook not so good".

Not what I was hoping to hear. Seems strange things are afoot at the Circle K, I mean Chez Quinn. Let's hope it straightens itself out soon. But if you happen to look out your window and see something like this:



You may want to run too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lots of Little Things

So 50/50 is on. My writer's group is doing a program where you write 50 words every day for the next 50 days. I've had my head down typing away, which is one of the reasons I haven't been typing away here. Blog entries don't count for the 50/50.

New lines from Shifting Her World yesterday:


They told you to tell them what you want.
Heat suffused her cheeks as she thought about what to say. No way was any of that going to come out of her mouth just yet. Not when this was all so new. A deep breath brought some of her courage back along with a plan.

She’d start easy. And easy was Nate.

Leigha caught his eye and crooked her finger at him. His face lit up. She was beginning to love that wicked grin of his. He crawled up from the foot of the bed, leading with that smile and she melted beneath it.

I'm on a quest to get a new battery for my motorcycle. I'll be checking out some more places today. If I crap out, I'll have to get the local Yamaha dealership to order me one which will arrive in two to five days. It's freaking gorgeous out and will be for. . . the next two to five days, then rain. I wonder if this is the event that will push me over the edge to villainism. Look for updates on that soon.

And on a completely unrelated note, I love Rube Goldberg machines. If I could find a shirt that said I heart Rube Goldberg Machines, I would wear it with pride. So, with that in mind, check out this music video and be wowed by the intricacy and huge scale of this one.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Casa de Quinn Goes to the Opera

Okay, so I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off, busier than a one armed paper hanger, so I haven't posted in a while. But I did get a surprise anniversary date from The Man last Friday. Damn is he good.

This month we celebrate lucky thirteen. He made reservations to a very nice Italian restaurant where we ate a leisurely dinner. Then we attended the opening night of Puccini's La Boheme. Three of the four main performers were very good. The fourth, who played Rodolpho, was good, but didn't project very well and was drowned out by the orchestra. Though he did do a nice job on his aria from the first act. (Click here if you'd like to hear it done exceptionally well.) He seemed not to have the stamina to keep up through the whole performance. Otherwise, it was wonderful. The sets and costumes were well done, the performers could act and sing. The two sopranos were terrific.

If you don't know, La Boheme is a four act opera, and the performance ran three hours with intermissions. But it flew by. This is one of the great pairings of good story and and excellent music. I knew the libretto, and began to tear up in the first act because I knew how it would end. By the middle of the third act I was crying, and by the end, I was done for. I can be such a girl at times.

This was the fifth opera we've seen together. Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, and Mdme. Butterfly are the others we've gone to. I love opera, but some days this is about as much opera as I can take.



But Friday was a fantastic surprise and an awesome night all around. Good food, good wine, good music. Outstanding company. The Man is one of a kind.

So tell me, has your significant other ever surprised you? Let's hear about it!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Where To Start

So much to tell today. Sorry it's been a while since I posted, I've been busy out in the real world. It's amazing how some nice weather and fun getaways will lift the winter blahs right off a body and send those crazy super villain thoughts right out of your head.

So here we go. Friday we loaded up the family truckster and headed down to D.C. to the National Geographic Museum where we viewed the Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit. It was phenomenal. Just amazing. The detail in those statues is incredible. Different faces, different hairstyles, creases in clothing, rivets on armor. It was just awesome. Soldiers weren't the only things created either. There were horses, politicians, musicians and what they believe is a strong man from the circus at the exhibit. I could have stayed there all day if I could have. There were about fifteen full statues on display, plus many artifacts showing the history and culture of the time. I now want to devour any reading on the Qin Emperor. (I own an awesome movie called Hero that's set in this time period, that takes a lot of liberties with the history, but the cinematography and kung fu action is amazing.)

The cherry on top of the perfect day in D.C. was eating at a Roy Rogers Restaurant on the way home. They don't have them up here any more, to my deep despair.

That chain gets a 5 star rating from me.

First star - two words - Fixin's. Bar.

Star number two - malt vinegar for your french fries.

Star number three - Mr. Pibb, Cherry Coke and Birch Beer. All three choices at the free refill beverage station. Heaven!

Fourth Star - A full array of condiments at the Fixin's Bar - especially mayo.

And finally, the fifth star, The Man and I disagree on. For me it's the limitless amount of pickle slices you can put on your burger from the Fixin's Bar, and for him it's the fries that arrive in their very own cardboard holster. Yours to take home and wear on your belt with pride. So we'll split the difference since I'm all about the Fixin's Bar. If I could put the words Fixin's bar in glowing text and add trumpet fanfare after each time it's read, you'd begin to get an idea about how much I love it.

Saturday was my writer's meeting day. It was great to get out with like minded people and good friends. Lunch was great with them. It also didn't hurt that our waiter was some very tasty eye candy and a good sport to boot. Which makes all the difference in the world.

Sunday night we loaded up the family truckster again and headed out to Chocolate Town for a Hershey Bears hockey game. It was a good game. The officials hardly called anything, there were lots of fights, and the Bears won. The older urchin, gentle soul that she is, was a little distressed by the fights, but the youngest is a girl after my own heart. She'd point to one of the players and say, "Mommy, I want that one to fight." Ahh to be two and all innocence and blood thirstiness once again, attempting to orchestrate hockey fights from afar. *sniff* Brings a tear of joy to my eye. I love hockey. Grew up watching Wayne Gretzky and the Flyers in the 70's. Cheered them on with Propp and Tocchet in the late 80's. Stuck with them in between and have been paying bandwagon dues forever.

Wow, you're still reading? Your loyalty has not gone unnoticed You shall be rewarded. If I ever show up at your door brandishing sea monkeys or bandito lobsters, I give you a free pass. Your code phrase is Wayne Gretzky is a hockey god, and I will immediately move on. You have my super villain word of honor.

So on to the final good news/bad news. I got to ride my motorcycle on Monday. It was glorious, exhilarating, chock full of awesomesauce. Just a quick first ride of the season. But when I pulled in to my driveway, the motorcycle died. The Man tried to fix it, but it won't start. We have our theories, but we're going to have to take it in to the shop.

And that, my friends, is why my super villain plans are still in the fore. Even with all the other great stuff that happened, this could be the one thing that pushes me over the edge. Time will tell. Like the early warning system for a tornado, you now have advance knowledge and can prepare accordingly. So start stocking your bomb shelters now, citizens.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday Ridiculousness

Super Villain Update - Well, I'm scouting some new minion talent since negotiations with the sea monkeys are stalled. Right now I'm courting bandito lobsters, which as you know are the badasses of the crustacean world. I'm sure you've seen their work. But just in case you haven't, here's a little sample.



They really reek of harbingers of doom, huh? Huh? Definitely capable of delivering my wrath. So I'm considering them. If I contact them, I'll do some trial runs, see how we work together. You know, run of the mill stuff.

I'm also thinking about hiring this group to write my theme song once I decide on who will become the deliverers of my wrath. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Elvis Sightings Go To Them

I know I haven't shared any Elvis sightings recently. That's because I usually save them for the soldiers. Many of you know that I send care packages overseas to deployed soldiers. I use anysoldier.com to get contacts.

Anyway, I always write a letter to put in the box of stuff. It usually starts off normal with the weather or some such thing, but you know me. I can't be serious for very long. So I always squeeze in an Elvis sighting. Something like, "I was in the supermarket yesterday and I saw Elvis in the produce section handling the mangoes." Or "We had all this snow and I could've sworn I saw Elvis one town over snow blowing a driveway. I knew it was him because I could just see his pompadour swirling out of the top of his mad bomber hat. Oh, yeah and his coveralls had sequins on them." I feel accomplished if I can make a soldier roll his eyes in a combat zone. It's the little things in life, right?

So since I haven't shared any Elvis sightings with you recently, here it is, in it's full color glory. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Economic Stimulus Plan

It's snowing again. The three feet we got two weeks ago wasn't enough, apparently. But I've come up with a way to deal with all the piled up snow and make a little money to boot.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And Then Something Good Happened

The day started at two am when my fifteen year old incontinent dog strolled through my bedroom. The faintest jingle of her chain is enough to get me throwing off the soft warm blankets and hustling her little ass outside. Two thirty rolls around and she wakes me from a light sleep with her bark to come back in.

I get up at six, get ready, stagger down stairs to find dog crap in the living room. So much for the early hour foray into the cold cruel world.

The urchins were in rare form. Sleep deprived, but refusing to sleep, they commenced their ceaseless zombie attacks on each other and anything within a ten foot radius. By nine I had freely offered up my brain as sacrifice only so I wouldn't have to listen to the constant bickering any more.

I've somehow turned into a phlegm factory in the last few days. Let me tell you I wish I could outsource this factory work to a different country.

The vacuum exploded in a huge cloud of dust right before it went kaput, and I'm pretty sure the couch ate one of my slippers.

I had no time, energy or desire to write at all today, and I really need to up my word count.

Then, late tonight after endless errands to the accompaniment of constant whining, I sputtered into our local supermarket gas station on fumes. And that's when it happened. Like a divine beam of light illuminating the dial after the super market card was swiped. I earned $1.10 off every gallon on the fill-up, making it $1.51 a gallon. And just like that, the whole day was saved.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Will See This One

on the big screen.



I don't see many movies a year. I didn't see Ninja Assassin in the theater like I wanted to. This one I will do my damndest to see. I loved Greek and Roman mythology when I was a girl. I still enjoy it. The original Clash of the Titans was my favorite movie for a long time when I was younger. And I'll admit I'm a Ray Harryhausen fan.(Oops my geek is showing. I also watched the original Dr. Who when I was a kid, but haven't seen any of the new ones. And yes I have a favorite Dr.)

The original CotT stayed pretty close to legend, though they did combine some elements. The new one will apparently be in 3D. I will neither deny or confirm rumors that when I heard this I wet my pants a little. (only joking, remember the name of the blog.*sheesh*)

I don't think they stayed as true to the myths in this newer one, but it looks like they're making a bigger storyline to add to the tension. I can dig it. We'll see how it pans out before I give them a full pass on any bastardization of mythology though. They do have the added draw, in my book of Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. I'm a fan of both actors' work.

On a completely different note, I need only 140 words to reach my writing goal for the month. I have to get on that!

Until next time, citizens!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Super Villain Update

So the Super Villain plans are on the back burner right now. My negotiations with the sea monkeys are bogged down in lawyer speak. The sea monkeys, which hitherto will be referred to as the first party, have resisted my attempts at a hostile take over and flat out refuse to become my minions. I was so sure I could bend them to my will.

The costuming is becoming a problem as I field test. Each material has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Leather, which had been my first pick, really doesn't breathe well. And it constricts movement. So my kung-fu actions would be hindered. Though it does afford a certain amount of protection, especially if I decide that a motorcycle will be my main form of transportation. Spandex, on the other hand, allows for free range of motion, yet no protection whatsoever. Plus, I just don't have the body for it any more. I mean, I want to be taken seriously as a major player in the realm of Super Villains, right?

Also, in my sea monkey negotiations, they want a nod. One of their demands is that I must wear a sea monkey crest or logo of some sort. And while I have a long history of battling sea monkeys and am aware of their wily and nefarious nature, their pr people are just too darn good. For years they've been cleaning up their image. I mean, you tell me, how is this supposed to strike fear into the hearts of an unsuspecting populace?



So I'm stalled. I'm sure everything will turn out all right in the end and my minions will come online. And the costuming issues will fall into place. Until then, it's back to the grind.

But, faithful legions, I would appreciate your input on an impromptu poll regarding my costuming and transportation issues. Please select your favorite from each category. Post your selections to the comments. All opinions welcome. Thanks, and have a slimy sea monkey day!

Transportation
motorcycle
amphibious landing craft
armored personnel carrier
Vespa and water wings

Costume material
leather
Spandex
sea weed
breathable 100% cotton

Sea monkey logo
just the head with crown
crossed tridents with sea monkey hand, head, pet sea horse and castle in the four spaces to form a shield crest
Stylized SMW which stands for Sea Monkey Woman

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