Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The second item in my Magical Mystery tour comes from the website Dear Author. It's a review site for romance and erotica novels, primarily. But don't let that throw you, it's definitely worth the look.
Over the years I've done a complete 180 degree change....okay, a 110 degree change on romance novels. Probably because of the dreck available when I was a teen, I never really got into them as a young adult, when all my peers seemed to be absorbed in either reading them or watching the myriad of soaps on at the time. Frankly, the preposterous nature of them all didn't appeal to me, particularly the soaps. Come on, couples that have being going at it for a number of years only to find that they are actually brother and sister (okay, slimly possible), but then he gets drawn and quartered and dies, only to show up a 'year' later in full health,  large as life and twice as natural? Gimme a break! Or the abuse situations that went on and on all the time in the texts and on the shows, only for the women to smile bravely and swalllow it, because "he loves me"? Not to mention how every female character in them always willingly pared their own personality away, like the stepsisters in Cinderella trimming their feet in order to fit the glass slipper, in order to 'fit' enough to snag a man. Till they were unrecognizable shells of themselves.Hardly romantic.

I took a chance on a romance novel in my late 20s and discovered that, thankfully, the genre had widened enough to not only incorporate logical plots, but overlap other genres I read as well.  So, I began to be a more frequent reader of the genre, avoiding the overly-hokey, cutesy-wootsy Twuuu Wuv as much as possible, in favour of the plotted, well-written books by authors that seemed to give a damn about their readers.  So, it seemed safe to go back into the waters.

And then I found this review. Swallow your coffee first, and read it all the way through, including the commentary. And long live the snark.


As I type this, I am currently upright, bleary-eyed and phlegmatic. I hate being sick. I reeeeeeally hate being sick. I'm trying to keep my mind focused on positive things about it, while I try to keep my trachea aligned with my chest cavity. I can't think of too much. It gives you a lovely amount of time off from other responsibilities, but it is only useful if you can keep your head up and your fingers active. Otherwise, you might as well be doing your mundane life. Bleargh, indeed.

At least I have my laptop finally up and working (she says with crossed fingers and a nervous disposition). Via the Internets, I have a world of distractions at my fingertips. Prior to gettting my laptop, sickness days were a book-only domain, but now they are a multi-media event. I'm not sure how good that is for getting better, but it's different, at least. And I still do the book thing, (me? Not read books? Sign of the impending zombiepocalypse!)

So, creative content....I think it's time to honour creativity in others. Last night, as i was swinging through the Internet jungle, I came across a couple of websites that deserve a nod or three.
First, is the site of Historiann, who launched a meme called Lessons for Girls. Kind of a feministic Robert Fulghum chain letter. But in a good way. Made me think, made me laugh and also made me ponder why we do the things we do as a society, all the unwritten laws. I really enjoyed the lessons on anger, Girl school, and don't peak early. But just as funny as the stories were the commentary - particularly on Girl School. The comments about what life lessons people figure they missed on the days they weren't in school was priceless. Worth a look! And cub, the last writer in the commentary gets my nomination for the Righteous Chutzpah award!!

So my question to you, dear readers, is what Girl School/ Boy School  lessons do you figure you missed out on?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blast from the Past

Well, today has been quite the day for retro items!

Started off, I went with my mom to a second-hand building materials store called Surrey New and Used. Just outside the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, in loverly Surrey,BC. We were searching for new bi-fold closet doors for the upstairs hallway, as ours no longer close properly.  Anyway, as a birthday gift for the woman who has everything, it seemed perfect; she gets new doors, my dog gets protected from his desire to orally test every substance known to floor, and I get a reprieve from the panic that is the birthday list given just 72 hours before the big day. UGH!

The store/yard actually impressed me. They had a HUGE selection of items, well organized into areas, and everything was neatly arrayed. Prices were pretty reasonable - I got two matching bi-folds for $15.00 each, $33 and change once the government got its share.
Cramming the nearly 80" long doors was a bit of a squish in the subcompact car she drives, but we managed to execute it reasonably well.

Back to main Surrey, for paint for the doors at Benjamin Moore where we found out the colour codes for the paint in the living room, hallway and dining room. Last bought in...1998. Yeeowch. I hear the "we're repainting this summer" mantra already beginning. Hmm. Maybe I can get a summer job out of town? :-) Paint was about $30.00, once we straightened out confusion over my need for primer for the doors. Yes, I need primer. No, I am not going to pay 20-some odd dollars for the privilege, when I can probably get a spray can for about 5$ at Voldemart.

In the same complex as BM, was two of my old haunts, Superior Grocer, and Natural Focus Foods. Neither of which had I been in in a dog's age -- literally. I asked the grocer about when they changed the set-up and found out I was probably last in either store there about mid-2002. Whoa. Tempus fugit, for certain sure. That co-incides with my changing back to near-total omnivorism at about that time. Being there was a trip, in a good way. They always had amazing produce, and their prices were usually competitive with the big stores. Being back there made me recall all the times when I would spend hours there each week, planning my meals and trying to live more healthfully than I do these days. It just plain felt good to be in there. Makes me think of going back there more often and maybe looking into re-visiting some old favourite dishes over the next few weeks.