Thursday, February 21, 2013

BzzCampaign: Kroger dairy blends and Greek yogurts

As a BzzAgent, I get coupons or free products to try in exchange for providing my honest opinion about the product.  In this case, I got coupons, which I will gladly share, and a $10 Kroger card to be used to purchase the product.

I got into this BzzCampaign for Kroger's new dairy blends and Greek yogurts and used the coupons and my Kroger card to stock up on different flavors.  So far, I've only tried the Black Forest Cake, and I have to say that I was not impressed.  This was a flavor of dairy blend, meaning it's not yogurt and not completely dairy.  It also doesn't taste very good.  Not bad, but not good, either.  I've got seven other flavors to try, so keep an eye here for more first impressions.  It's got a strange lumpy texture, whereas my usual Yoplait is always smooth, except for the fruit in it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book: Venus Blackmailed, Part Three

Guess I wasn't paying attention to the Part Three in the title when I purchased this. Even so, I didn't have any trouble picking up what the plot was, since it's pretty simple. Student enjoys humiliating teacher and for whatever reason, teacher allows it. This is all about debasement of and control over another, nothing else. If you're into that sort of thing, this'll probably work for you, but there's not even the tiniest hint of emotion in this one, so if you're looking for that, move along.

It's also riddled with poor grammar, homonym errors and other technical gaffes, maybe two or three per page.

Book: The Prince by Tiffany Reisz

I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.

I got to read The Siren last year, and was greatly looking forward to reading the rest of the books as they came out. This book focused on Wesley on his home ground, and Nora's relationship with him. A lot of things come to light about Wes - he's not necessarily who we thought he was. Nora actually has a little crisis of confidence, wondering if she's good enough for him.

The books ends on a bang, and I almost hate the author for ending it there. Seriously? I might have to hire a hit man for that.

I did find the Soren and Kingsley story interesting, as well, and that part dovetails with Nora's adventure with Wesley in a very interesting way. That series of showdowns will be fascinating to watch.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book: Power Play: Resistance

I don’t understand Jonathan’s move from zero (meeting Bran at the bar) to 200 (spending $8K on a suit, cooking him dinner and cuffing him to the bed the next night), why he’s so enamored of Bran that he’s pushing so far, so fast.  I got the fast face-fuck in the alley the night they meet - people do that all the time, but the rest?  Not so much.

I did not find either of the men to be in-character as they were described.  Jonathan is not sadistic, or was not portrayed to be, despite the fact that he said he was more than once - he struggles internally too much to be someone who enjoys giving pain.

This story was not romantic or sexy or sensuous or erotic or even educational about the S&M lifestyle.  I just kept hoping there was something there, and it never showed up.  If this is truly an example of a TPE, I want no part of that.  At all.

Bran is too Alpha to really be a sub - he struggles too much internally to enjoy submitting to someone else, and he does not enjoy the pain.  His body responds, no doubt, and he says he’s having some of the best sex of his life, but seriously, except when he's actually orgasming, he's not enjoying any of it.  Three million dolllars is not worth the kind of mind-fuck Jonathan’s putting him through.

Jonathan punished Bran more than once for using his safeword.  It’s only OK to use it if Jonathan thinks Bran is actually at his limit.  I get the concept of not using the safeword willy-nilly, but there were at least two times that Bran's internal dialogue told me he was at his limit, and Jonathan ignored it and kept going.  What's the point of even having a safe-word?

Basically, at the end of this book, I’m left wondering why Jonathan wants to Top someone he can't respect, why Bran can’t tell Jonathan and his three million to fuck off, and why either of them are even doing this.  Except for the first time in the alley, none of the sex was hot - I didn’t get the feeling Bran was willingly engaged at any time, just his body.

If my mind is elsewhere during sex, as in “not there at all” there is something wrong, and the person with me should notice and do something about it.  I’m not talking about the pain/pleasure of subspace, but the mind going away because what’s happening to the body is unacceptable.

Aside from all that, the book was well-written and I found few errors of the technical kind.  Any BDSM errors are in my own mind, because my personal experience with the lifestyle is minimal.

Random, some more...

Got another request for a book review.  This one's not just some no-name author trying to perk up his or her review count.  This one's from Brenda Novak.  Technically, it's from her assistant, who said she enjoyed reading my reviews, and could I please review the latest book if she sent me a copy. 


Also, in the seriously amusing category:  Landlord's dad was over Sunday to hang the curtains they got him for christmas.  Since Landlord is blind, I was the eyes, and made sure things were level and even and whatnot.  Later, dad's gone and we're hanging pictures in the game room, and out of the blue I say to Rick, "Your dad's a sub.  Maybe not in his work, but with home-related stuff."  Silence for a moment.  "You know, that explains a whole lot about a lot of things."   Conversation passes to other things, and another friend comes up in the conversation about getting on Medicare versus paying COBRA premiums. They're talking about the best way to get K to go through the information and get signed up (he'll be 66 in March), and again, apropos of nothing, I say, "Kent's definitely a sub.  If you want him to do something, you have to tell him what he needs to do and just keep telling him until it's all done."

So Landlord decides that we should find a way to start a dating service, where part of the inflow process is to sit and have a conversation or several with me, so that I can determine where in the spectrum someone lies, thus matching them up with their proper complement.  I got to imagining the ads for such a service and just giggled madly for a few minutes.  Me, who hasn't dated in well over two decades, matching people up based on a BDSM profile I make up in my head.  :snicker:

Sooo, Die Hard...

I saw it twice on Saturday, once the first show of the day and once late in the evening.  Two different theaters/locations, two different friends, two different experiences.

I liked it, but didn't love it.  I did absolutely love the interactions between John and Jack.  It was all quintessential McClane snark going both ways and it was funny as hell.  It will not surpass One and Four as a favorite, but it edges out Three, despite Sam L Jackson, barely.  MEW has gained or lost some weight.  It made me completely unsure it was actually her until I saw her name in the credits.  She doesn't look bad, just different.

Jai Courtney did a great job as Jack McClane.  He's gone on record as saying that when casting was going on, the implications were that when Bruce was tired of making the movies, he would be ready to pass it on to whoever got cast as his son.  I think Jai's a good choice, physically and in his mannerisms.  He's also on record as saying that despite knowing that the possibility of taking over the franchise exists, he definitely wants at least one more with Bruce, and would prefer more, as many as Bruce is willing to make.

Much as I hate to, I noticed that Bruce is showing his age.  That most assuredly will not stop me loving the Die Hard franchise as a whole, and as long as he wants to keep making DH movies, I'll want to keep seeing them.

There's a lot of the movie in Russian, with subtitles, so be prepared for that.  Listening to so much of it renewed my fickle interest in learning the language.  I'll never have occasion to use it, so I have no idea why I'd want to learn it, but I have for years now.  There were about half a dozen moments that I noticed held some parallel to the first movie.

First show was in a TINY theater, and it was pretty packed.  That was unexpected for 10:25 in the morning, and we had trouble finding seats.  I saw it with my friend B, and we laughed like schoolgirls throughout.  Of course, we both adore DH & BW, so it was fun for both of us.  Interestingly, that audience was almost entirely made up of (I don't even want to say this because it just isn't true, dammit!) middle-aged women, including me (the youngest at 48), B, her older sister, and their mother.  lol

She shared with me that her girlfriend had asked her to marry her, and instead of a ring, she'd gotten a ring on a charm bracelet.  Much more in keeping with B's work, since she'd be unable to wear a diamond ring a lot of the time.  I snarked, correctly, that since she was wearing said charm bracelet complete with engagement ring charm, that she must've said yes.  

Second viewing was less fun, since my companion to that one didn't seem to be enjoying it as much.  I made sure he liked the other DH movies before I asked him to go with me, but I'm not entirely certain he liked this one.  AMC apparently has something called ETX, which is their version of IMAX, and the only difference I was able to ascertain is that it costs three dollars more, and we both got DH t-shirts.  Video, sound, theater set-up, everything seemed the same.  It was very loud, though.  I could have done with the sound turned down about 20%. 

So, while I liked it, and it's a good enough addition to the franchise, I probably won't buy it on DVD unless there are compelling extras.  That said, I have the 1-3 trilogy pack, and rarely, if ever, watch Three unless I do a marathon of all of them, but I did buy it, nonetheless.

Bates Motel on A&E looks like it might be interesting.  I only ever saw Freddie Highmore in August Rush, and he has grown up!  He's much taller, and not 11 any more.  lol  Vera Farmiga is the lead.  I've not seen everything she's made, but I loved her in Roar, and try to keep up with her at least in movies.  Yes, I will go see Fast & Furious.  I don't even care how bad it is, because it'll be so damn much fun!  Olympus Has Fallen - it looked intriguing, and I do like Gerard Butler, but then I saw Morgan Freeman.  I'll see anything that man makes.  Anything.  A Sandra Bullock film that looks truly horrible - Fed/cop thing with Melissa (?) McCarthy (The Heat).  Some Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson thing that might be funny but will not be getting my dollars at the box office to find out.  Also, AfterEarth - Will and Jada make some really frakking pretty kids.  Jaden looks more like Will every day, but with softer, less coarse facial features.  As for the movie, interesting concept.  I'll probably wait for the dollar movie to see it, though.  Now that I know that the first show of the day is only $6, I'll probably try to see Olympus at the regular theater - it's so much more comfortable than my LaZBoy - though getting out of 'bed' that early on a Saturday is hellish.

Movie: Looper

So, Looper.  Interesting concept for a plot.  Low-key performance by Jeff Daniels.  Bruce had some good moments, and he was mostly pretty low-key himself. Gordon-Levitt did a pretty good job.  Never imagined I would see Piper Perabo virtually nude.  The real star of the movie, though, was Pierce Gagnon.  He played Cid, the little boy on the farm, and he Stole. The. Show.  Easily.  I wanna see what that kid's doing in 15 years, and let's hope it's not drugs.  His imdb is pretty sketchy, so I can't even tell you how old he is, but he's worth watching out for. 

Movie: Fire With Fire (2012)

And no, I'm not talking about the Sheffer/Madsen flick from the 80s, though I enjoyed that one, too.

This one apparently went straight to video in August of last year, and it's got a really fantastic cast.  I think I would have cast someone else in the female lead :Katee Sackhoff:, but Rosario Dawson did a fine job.  Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio, Josh Duhamel (I finally know how to properly pronounce his name!), Rampage Jackson (I gather he's some kind of fighter), a football player whose name I can't spell, Rosario, Julian McMahon, and some good people in the background parts.  

It's heavy on the action, set in Long Beach and New Orleans, and it's got heart at the core. 

I'd never heard of it, so I wasn't sure about renting it, but I figured with a free Redbox code, I wouldn't be out anything if it sucked.  Besides, I'll see just about anything if Bruce is in it.

It does have a racial component - Aryans/black gangs - so avoid if that sort of thing squicks you, or if you're not a fan of violence, but otherwise, I recommend it.

Of interest in the extras, there were cast/crew interviews, and one of the things the director had to say about Bruce Willis was that his scenes were shot during the first week, and Bruce was crucial in helping to pull a crew that hadn't worked together before into a team, that he did it more than the director did, and he really appreciated that Bruce was able to do it, and it helped him see how to do it for himself next time.  Curtis Jackson, in talking about other projects, I think, said that Bruce has worked with him on several indie projects, and that Bruce is not afraid to work with new talent, particularly directors.  He was saying that a lot of big name actors won't do a film if the director has no recognizable work behind them, because they need the security of knowing that person's work, but that Bruce is not like that.  He'll work with anybody.  I've long enjoyed Willis' work, and it's nice to hear that he's not a diva. 

Weird story of the week

My landlord was telling me this morning about a friend in California who met a woman through his doctor's office - she works there as a nurse.  He's been on a date with her and subsequently slept with her.  Well, he found out that said nurse had taken an extra bit of blood, and had run an HIV test through the lab under an anonymous name, so she'd know whether or not he was 'clean' before she slept with him.  This was apparently before she even told him she was interested in going on a date.  Friend out in California is, by all accounts, totally OK with this behavior.

I am glad this didn't happen to me.  First, there'd be the violation of my personal privacy.  Then, there'd be the abuse of position at work, and the misuse of company funds, unless the office has a policy to cover employees paying for personal STD testing on potential bed-partners lab work.  Then, there'd be what seems to me a fairly serious violation of HIPAA laws.  Loss of licensure, loss of job, civil or criminal liability, the consequences for this sort of behavior far outweigh any possible benefits.  What ever happened to just asking?  I mean, I know it's an awkward conversation to initiate or to have, but in today's sexual climate, it's a necessary one.

I'm more than a little stunned that the guy's OK with what this woman did.  In the same situation, I would have dropped the guy like a hot anvil, and at the very least, reported his behavior to his boss.  I would NOT be OK with someone doing this to me.  And I most assuredly would not sleep with him after he told me all this.  

TV Catch-up

In which I say irreverent and raunchy things, and make snarky remarks that won't make any sense to you at all.  :D

Revenge - all the little complicated pieces are conspiring against each other and getting in Emily/Amanda's way (Maybe I should call her Amily).  Also, I don't trust Aiden for some reason.  He's a hottie, but he rings that little warning bell in my head.  Amily's going to regret that for some reason.  I'm still holding out hope that Amily and Jack will end up together.  I mean, how could Sammy the dog be wrong?  lol  And, boy, do I hope this means that Ashley is gone.  Her character has always struck me as sleazy, and the little six-year flashback into how she met Amily doesn't make me like her any better.  Nolan, Nolan, Nolan.  Will you never learn not to trust a good-looking guy?  Seriously, dude, your romantic choices in men are always out to get you.

Once Upon a Time - Alpha!Charming Acting Sheriff is so much more intriguing than lovelorn milquetoast David.  Mulan is still boring, and she and Princess Aurora always look like they're about to kiss each other.  Methinks Prince Phillip will have some competition on his hands, unless all three of them settle down in a menage and live happily ever after.  :)  Queen Regina has the most fabulously awesome clothes, not that Storybrook Regina dresses like a slouch.  Barbara Hershey has ill-fitting dentures.  And Hook.  He's got an angle, just can't figure out what it is.  Whatever it is, he still looks good in those leather pants. 

NCIS - Something I really enjoy about Tony's relationship with Ziva as opposed to the relationship he had with Kate:  he actually likes her.  Yeah, he liked Kate and flirted with her, but it's not the same.  And yes, there's that constant undercurrent of something else in his relationship with Ziva, has been from Day One.  Bottom line, though?  He genuinely likes her, wants her friendship, and is willing to offer his real friendship in return.  He just wasn't that guy with Kate, wasn't mature enough or hadn't lived through enough heartbreak or something, I don't know.  Whatever the reason, I like what NCIS has done with their friendship. 

NCIS: LA - I'm sorry.  Are we supposed to just not notice that that Marine is missing the stripe down his leg?  FAIL, costume guys, FAIL.  Hanna looks good in that uniform.  Yes, yes he does.   Hetty pretending to be the grieving widow was priceless.  "Felix here is almost like a second child to me."  :pets the dead fox:  What a hoot!

Arrow - Best Dad line in a TV show in a long time: "Merry Christmas, sir.  How are you?"
"Proficient with firearms."
For all out cheesy intimidation, I still prefer the Bad Boys scene with Martin and Will, but this guy had just one line, and made it work.  lol 

L&O: SVU - Man, lotta heavy hitters in the 02/06 episode, Monster's Legacy.

I like that they just let Amaro blatantly express his appreciation for how good Olivia looked when she approached the original crime scene.  Much more realistic than just one cop ignoring another cop who usually doesn't wear dresses, and does usually somewhat downplay her femininity at work.  Are they intentionally being vague about who "he" is?  We saw a hand in the episode where she was on a plane heading for vacation, then just the reference to "he" in this episode.

I adore Andre Braugher whenever he guests on SVU, and this was no exception.  I think there might've been enough to the stories to warrant a second hour, what with the way the case kept spreading out in different directions, but  L&O generally avoids two-parters, near as I can remember.  It does tend to make some big, meaty cases seem too easily resolved, in my opinion.  In this case, the wrap-up was a bit of a disappointment, because there are going to be waves of repercussions, no doubt about it.  But I guess that's not really what SVU is about.

I see some of young Olivia in Rollins - the inability to quite control the expressions on her face when she's confronted with information and stories that arouse her disgust and anger on behalf of victims, the perseverance to keep making and tracking down connections.  That character's not always used to her full potential, but they did a decent job of it in this episode. 

Hawaii 5-0 - Alex is getting the tiniest little bald spot starting on his crown.  lol  Danny is really kind of a jackass sometimes.  He was more antagonistic than usual in the 02/04 episode, but not uncharacteristically so.  That little moment at the end with Steve and the three guys?  If taken at face value, and assuming the belief in something inexplicable, would seem to imply that Ookala did not survive surgery.  Love William Sadler as McGarrett the elder, and the little handshake between them was very touching.

NCIS - I love an Abby-heavy episode, but this one (01/29) didn't quite do it for me, though the actress did a marvelous job of playing young Abby.  I just think the end was too easy.  Gibbs saves the Abby day again, and it was too pat.  I think it might've been more Abby to have tried to reconnect with Ricki Evans and to find out what kind of difference her small act of kindness made to a young girl who'd lost her mother and her grandpa in one fell swoop.  It was a good episode, just off somehow, not true to Abby Sciutto or something.  The music in the scene where young Abby talks to Ricki's grandpa brought back fond memories of high school days.  lol

02/05 - McAbby - lol  The team had entirely too much fun with the hacker guy, who had seriously the whitest teeth.  the acting NCIS director is wishy-washy aka a weenie.  He's got potential, though.   

Watching NCIS: LA (01/30) and the terrorist in the headgear looks familiar, and then when she starts talking, she sounds familiar, so I go to trusty old IMDB, and her name really rings a bell.  Since I'm on my Kindle, I don't have all the information, but suddenly my mind makes the connection - it's Kat!  Hah!  I'd not seen her in anything since I finished watching BSG last fall.  It is extremely amusing to see wild-haired Kat all covered up from head to wrists to ankles.  :)  The fish thing was cute, too.

(02/04)  Nell pronounced Joint Special Operations Command. They all know what it is.  She's NCIS, she would have said JSOC.  Everyone else did.  Oh, but let's just assume everyone who watches this show on a regular basis needs it dumbed down for them, eh?  Sheesh.  And now.....they're functioning as a team.  Sweet work.  "She's got the Gorgon stare."  OMG too funny!  Go, Nell!

"Wouldn't three courses make it a triangle meal?"  "Waitress?"  lmao

Criminal Minds 02/06 - Ooh, one of my favorite character actors, Keith S.  I've loved him since Equalizer.  Which leads me to Edward Woodward, which leads me to a remake?  With Denzel Washington as Robert McCall?  :grumbles:  I guess I'll just wait and see.  Now, back to CM.  lol  Well, that's a twist - and right in time.  I was just thinking it was way too easy to settle on the dad as the bad guy.  Aaand an even bigger twist.  Nice work, CM.  I did not see that coming. 

CSI - 02/06 - Opens with Greg and Sarah, easily my two favorite characters.  No poker face today, for either of them.  BTW, I hate the predictable thing they're doing with Sarah and Grissom.  There are ways to keep Grissom alive in Sarah's life without Peterson being on the show, but instead they're going with outta sight, Sarah's unhappy.  Ugh.  As for the mystery - much as I want Mac to be happy, and much as I liked Megan Dodds' characters in Ever After and MI-5, I think the character of Christine on CSI:NY is boring.  Mac doesn't need boring.  

CSI:NY - 02/01 - They telegraphed the thing with Lovato and Flack from the very beginning, which is unfortunate. We'll see if they manage to maintain interest in the pairing, and how long they wait to let them sleep together.  I like Lovato a lot, though.  She's fiesty and smart.  I really liked the background music in the scenes where they're working the cars.  Nice emotional ending, uncle remembering his nephew and laughing.  That sort of memory is hard after a death - difficult, but makes the grief process easier in the long run, remembering happy things about the deceased.

02/08 - Conclusion to the 02/06 CSI ep.  So far, much as I hate to say it, I'm just not particularly impressed.

Elementary - two of the last three episodes, Watson was wearing the same brown/black leather skirt.  Weird.  I do like the way Sherlock and Joan seem to be getting closer - learning things about each other, and becoming more friend-like, though I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call them friends yet.

Blue Bloods - the end of Inside Jobs was Too.Much.Fun!  Very creative way to fill out the letter of the contract.  Nice guest spot by Mastrantonio.  And I really like the new brunette partner, Mac.  Men In Black - I'm always fascinated by shows/movies/portrayals of religions other than my own, and particularly by those that are more hmmm....exclusive?  The Hasidic community is always interesting.  I had the killer pegged pretty early, and the overall reason, but not the underlying one.  Tom Selleck can still bring the woobie-face.  Dude.

Oh, and on Arrow?  Whoever is in charge of buying Diggle's black suit pants should be given an award.  :ahem: 

Helluva Day!

(original lj post 02/06/2013)
A couple of days ago, when I was running my landlord around, doctor, Home Depot, lunch, etc, something weird happened in my car.  I spent the last two days figuring out what the problem is, even going so far as to call the guy who replace my oil pan (and kept my car for an entire frakking year!) and ask him, since he's a Volvo lover.

Bought a light tester today, couldn't figure out from the directions how to use the stupid thing, and ended up pulling each individual fuse out of two different places in my car (inside and under the hood) to find the blown one/s.  None.  And now my hands hurt.  So, it's a relay.  I also took each one of them apart and checked, but could not tell if any of them were blown - have no frame of reference.  Auto Zone guys were completely clueless.  O'Reilly's guy at least knew exactly what I was talking about when I told him what I needed, but told me it was a dealer part, $40 each, nonreturnable, and O'R have no way of testing those, so I can't figure out which one it is.  Maybe Volvo does.  I really don't want to go to the dealership.  

While I was there, another O'R guy came in and after I described everything, including the blooming chime that never shuts up, he said, "Sounds like your alternator."  It does not sound like my alternator, but I just looked at him.  Apparently I used my 'mom' look or something, because he said I looked confused.  "Well, your alternator is basically a small electrical generator."  Really?  I had no idea.  I've never worked on a car before in my life, or rebuilt a carb, or helped pull an engine, or worked at a parts house or a dealership.  I didn't say any of that, though the frustrated bitch in me surely wanted to.  Actually, the frustrated bitch in me wanted to smack the crap out of him, but that's neither here nor there.

I've never owned a Volvo before, and I have to say that it's been a big, fat pain in my ass.  Parts are impossible and expensive, and finding someone to work on them that doesn't work at a dealership is extremely difficult.  I'll go back to American from now on.  At least I know how to find the parts and how to fix them.  Mostly.

Got back, and the guy (I call him Scrawny Hernia Guy) who was supposed to do the painting on the side of the house did a crap job, much like the crap job he did in my landlord's closet (none of the shelves are level, and seriously?  Landlord's blind, but you aren't.  Frakker.).  He wanted to get paid anyway, and his reasoning was he was paid to paint on the second story (uh, only one story on this house) and that's what he did.  If we wanted it done right, as in old paint scraped completely off before the new paint goes on, he'd have to come back next week, and we'd have to pay him the same amount as today, again.  Uh-huh.  Maybe that works for other people, and maybe that worked for landlord before he had me, but I'm a perfectionist, and I don't pay people to do crap jobs and to come back to do the job right the second time instead of the first.  I'll get up on that stupid ladder and paint that one little piece myself before I'll pay you another flipping dime.  Idiot.

On the other hand, nine days until Die Hard, and only three until Saturday, plus, my fingers have been typing a lot of stories lately, and none of that sucks, so...  :D

Maybe I'll take some benadryl and go to bed early tonight.  Wake up on the right side of the chair tomorrow.  lol 

Yet More Random

I've decided that "because you kissed me backstage during a play in high school your freshman year" is probably not a good enough reason to friend someone on Facebook.  It was a memorable kiss, but it was over 30 years ago now.  Better to move on.  lol  Besides, I'm paring down my FB friends list, not adding to it.

Texts From Last Night is a never-ending source of amusement.  Some of them are just so far out I have to wonder if they are even real, and some remind me far too much of things that I did in my twenties.  I keep reading them, who knows?  I might even find something that inspires a story.  heeeee

I went to sleep and woke up with pieces of stories and lines of dialogue in my head, mostly stuff that can expand already existing prompts-in-progress in my working document.  One of them, I thought to myself, "OK, I just now started writing for the first time in my life, and you think I can tackle *that*?  Seriously?  Methinks you need some caffeine."  Yes, I really do think to myself that way sometimes, complete sentences and Shakespearean language.  

I noticed in a lot of fics lately that people use span instead of spun as the past tense of spin, and every single time it takes me out of the story.  I saw it again a couple of days ago, and finally went to look it up, because I just didn't understand how so many writers could be using the same wrong word. I'm reading through the definitions, yeah, yeah, I already know what span means, thanks, and then way down at the bottom, there it is: archaic, simple past tense of spin.  Color me surprised.  It still sounds wrong to me, and will probably always take me out of a story, but at least now I know from whence it came.  Yeah, I know I'm weird.

Full of Random

(original lj post 02/01/2013)
Two rats down in the last two days.  Creeps me the frak out to dispose of them, but then I get distracted by the science nerd in me, who examines them very closely - tails, ears, hair color, both male.  Yes, I noticed.  Then I triple-bag them and take them out to the trash bin on the alley.  My landlord has this whole story going now where the momma rat/s are at home thinking, "I just sent him for some damn food.  He's out frakking some skinny bitch with no tits, isn't he?"  It's pretty funny.  Or maybe we're just really strange.

I responded to a comm prompt tonight.  First time a prompt put a whole entire story in my head, so yay for progression in that area.  I'm still working on a challenge from someone else.  That one's being a little more elusive, though I've got parts of it.

Went to pick up a crockpot from a freecycler today, and OK, before I tell you the rest, I have to say that the crockpot was disgusting.  Not clean, dessicated roaches and roach eggs, just gross.  Am I the only person on the face of the freecycling planet that cleans things before I give them away?  I mean, that was just nasty.

Anyway, driving away from the disgusting house, and I noticed two garage sales.  At the second one, there was a lovely four-poster bed that I would adore having, but my room is cramped and getting more cramped as it is, so no bed for me.  We drove past it, because we were on the way to lunch, and I almost missed a frakking stop sign, and yes, the mom in me still functions, because I hit the brakes hard and put my arm in front of landlord, as if he were a ten year old.  That was also amusing.  Anyway.....after lunch, we went back to the garage sale with the bed, and since it was a full and not a queen, it wouldn't work for him, but not six feet away were washers and dryers and fridges, and they looked very new.  Turns out, the family having the garage sale, the dad is a maintenance guy for an upscale apartment/condo place, where when something goes wrong, they just remove it and get new.  He takes the "broken" stuff home, fixes it, then sells it.  So, we bought a practically new washing machine, desperately needed, complete with warranty still intact, for $125.  Guy delivered it, noticed we had a problem in the outgoing pipes, fixed that and hauled away the old washer.  Didn't charge us any extra for all that.  Also, now we have a number for someone who can do some minor stuff around the house who is NOT a dumbass.  Granted, he speaks little English, and I'll have to seriously work on my Mexican/Spanish conversational skills, but that is promising.  Now we have to get the stuff to mark the washer knobs so landlord can 'see' the settings when he's doing his laundry.  I'm getting a real education on blindness accommodations living here, I gotta say.

Also at this garage sale, I saw a Hawaiian shirt and a suit jacket with tails, both in my grandson's size.  I was so tempted to get them, but I resisted.  The lady running the garage sale brought me some jeans, and when I told her they were too small, she looked me over pretty good and looked at the jeans again, and  was all, "No way, these would fit you," only in Spanish.  Great compliment, but yeah, six sizes too small, thanks.
And a month after I got sick (Happy New Year to me, right?), I can still/again hear my lungs squeaking when I breathe, so I guess I really do have to go to the county's urgent care clinic.  I mean, I'm not in pain or anything, but the squeaking is distracting, and I am having trouble breathing, more trouble than usual.  ETA:  I told myself if it was still bothering me on Monday, I'd go, and it wasn't, so I didn't.

Dreams and Random Stuff

I had this weird dream just before I woke up this morning.  I'm a military brat, so I've been around planes my entire life.  Well, in this dream, I was outside, in front of my house, watching a plane fly across the sky.  Suddenly the plane stopped and hovered.  Not many planes do this, and certainly none non-military, so of course, I knew it was a military plane.  It was also carrying something on its back, a la space shuttle type thing.  Anyway, this hovering plane slowly turns exactly nose down, pauses for a very brief moment, then plunges to the earth.  Somehow, I was seeing this all simultaneously from directly below the nose, and also from a slight angle.  Don't ask me - it was a dream.  Anyway, as I see it begin to slow down before it turned nose down, I said, "Oh, shit."  Then as I watched it hit the ground, in my neighbor's front yard, I was just frozen.  Just watching it happen, like I had no sense at all.  Fortunately, though I watched the explosion in the neighbor's yard as if it were in slo-mo, I woke up before my dream self was dissolved by the shockwave of the impact.  lol  Sometimes, I don't know where my mind comes up with this crap.  I don't even want to know, for that matter.

The cough I got when I got sick at the first of the year has hung around.  Makes me short of breath several times a day, and I'm kinda weaker than usual, but otherwise, I'm getting back to normal.

I have two friend-dates to go see Die Hard 5 opening weekend, and I have another friend-date next Monday to have dinner to celebrate our upcoming birthdays early.  I have a $10 gift card for Cheesecake Factory that expires at the end of the month, so we're going to take advantage of it.  Love Cheesecake Factory, despite the fact that I do not love cheesecake.  Not even a little bit.  Not even at all.

I noticed in November that all I was doing on Facebook was liking a bunch of stuff and reading other people's posts, so I decided that I would check out for a while.  This was also at least partly in response to changes in FB and their incessant need to change their privacy policies for the worse.  Since then, I've been reading a very small list of people whose lives I actually care about, and not liking anything at all, and only posting a comment when I had some actual information to share.  Nobody's noticed I'm gone, and I haven't missed FB, so I've decided I'm going to trim down the pages I've liked (I've already trimmed down friends several times) and make what's on my FB pretty basic.  I haven't posted anything on my own page since mid-November, and I pretty much plan to keep that up.  I guess if somebody wants to know what I'm up to, they can get hold of me some other way.  In the meantime, I have more time to obsess about BSG and read BSG porn.  Thank the gods for smut!

Last but not least, my Firefox has gotten some kind of freaky thing.  When I click on something, a pop-under will randomly open up and redirect me to another page.  You might think this would be some kind of actual porn, all things considered, but the redirects are to Amazon, or search pages, or, about 10% of the time, to porn pages.  Weird, and unwelcome, and I have not been able to figure out how to get rid of it.  It doesn't seem to do anything, other than open a random page in a pop-under.  It never redirects the page I'm actually on.  At the same time this happened, I get ads randomly on livejournal, over the top of people's pictures, that I have to click closed if I want to see said pictures.  Have people begun to monetize their ljs?  Has livejournal started doing this to a random selection of people?  The two things may or may not even be related.  Maybe I should uninstall Firefox and redownload it.  ETA:  I did uninstall and reinstall, and that fixed the problems.

Stuff That Happened

(original lj post 01/09/2013)
'Cause yeah, my brain is too tired to come up with something intelligent to call this.

Last week, landlord went to the movies with a friend on New Year's Day.  They came back about the time I was heading out the door because I was ravenous.  They decided they were sort of hungry, too, mostly for dessert, so we all went to the same place.  Oh, did I mention this friend was on the recovering end of sick?  You can see where this is going.  Yes, landlord and I both got sick, and apparently with something completely different from the friend, though I contest that is because our immune systems are already compromised and so we are handling it differently than she did.  Anyway, I'm still recovering, and doing the slightest little thing wipes me totally out.  Last week, I slept through nearly four entire days, and didn't turn my computer on for three of them.  Didn't turn my computer on at all.   That's sick, folks.  lol  

And yet, somehow I did some kind of time warping, because despite sleeping through nearly four whole days and more than half of the other days, I finished seven books and a bunch of short stories, only one of which was on my To Review list.  Yes, I purposely picked books to read that were just because I wanted to read them.

Anyway, now I'm down to exhaustion and hacking up a lung at inopportune moments.  And randomly feeling like I haven't eaten in weeks. ETA:  that frakkin' cough lasted until about a week ago, so it hung on a LONG time.  

Landlord talked to a friend in the medical community who says that there are three big viruses going around, one the flu shot kills dead, one the flu shot didn't plan for at all, and one GI virus that is extremely tricky and keeps coming back.  I'm thankful we got the one in the middle.  I have zero interest in any kind of GI virus, unless it means I get endless men in uniform for the next year, in which case?  Sign. Me. Up. 


(original post on livejournal 01/02/2013)

Or something.  lol

Got a wild hair last night and decided to hook up the landlord's A/V setup in the living room.  He'd been making noises about paying someone to come in and do it, because it was pretty complicated, and I just figured that I've hooked up some fairly complicated setups working for a previous employer, so I might as well see if I could do this one.  Turned out it wasn't so complicated.  I mean, everything was labelled and it was just a matter of connecting wires to the right IN or OUT from the right OUT or IN.  Besides, he only has a receiver, a combo DVD/VHS unit and a laserdisc player.  Two things to connect to a receiver then connect that to the TV.  Easy.  Speakers were already done, so Ta Da!  He still wants to get the whole thing connected to a computer, but he's lacking some pieces for that, so it's not on me that it's not done.  Having this all connected does give me the option of watching more things on a TV screen that's bigger than my laptop screen, and in surround sound.  Could make rewatching BSG better.   Or not.  When I watch on my laptop, I wear headphones, so I don't really miss any dialogue.  I might miss dialogue if I watch without my headphones.

Wrote some more stuff.  Posted it over at lucywritesfic.

I'm not making resolutions; I never do.  However, I do have mental sticky notes to myself all over the place, and one is to keep exploring this writing thing.  My pieces so far are short, mostly smut, and I'm unreliably stricken by the muse.  But it kinda feels good to finish something and be satisfied with it, even if no one ever reads it.  Not that I don't grin when I notice something has gotten hits over at AO3.  Heehee.

The person I've been bouncing stories off of has been in the midst of a brand-new love affair and her happiness over that has pretty much taken over her life.  I'm thrilled for her, and I'm also waiting for some of the shine to wear off so that there's room in her life for other things again.  Friendship can be so complicated.  :sigh:

Another mental sticky note is to write in my blog more often.  I use to have so many things to say and wanted to share them.  Maybe it's just December that sucked the energy out of everything fun.  For me, anyway.

Last year, in January, I won a Kindle Fire.  It took me a day or two to fall completely in love with the thing.  I never imagined I would find digital words as compelling as actual books in my hands, but truth is, in my efforts to downsize my possessions as much as possible, ebooks fit my new lifestyle so much better.  I still have thousands of print books, and I'm still reluctant to give up my old favorites, or the ones I haven't read yet.  No idea how long it would take me to get through my TBR pile.  There are dozens of books there.  Anyway, in the process of learning to love ebooks, I made much use of the local libraries' catalogs of works, and found a few that I could not access on my Kindle.  So I bought a Nook I found at a fantastic price.  It's the first-generation Nook with WiFi and 3G internet.  It does some things that my Kindle doesn't do, and BN lets people lend books to each other, which is pretty dang nifty.  Still, I don't love it like I love my Kindle.  Maybe I never will, but I wonder if some of it is that I just don't know all the things my Nook can do.  Does anyone have a Nook that they adore?  Can you teach me to love my Nook better?

Another of the weird things that happened in 2012 (how strange to type that instead of 'this year') was people finding my reviews on Amazon and emailing me asking me to review their stuff.  I thought I would love it.  I love reading more than almost anything.  Maybe not more than my grandson.  I also love sharing what I think about a book, or at least writing it on my blog where someone might or might not someday read it (lol).  When I first started getting these requests, I was really flattered and tried superhard to turn the review around within a week, and I did pretty well with that for a while.  I realized, though, that the request obligated me to read the book, even if it sucked, and I'm not really comfortable telling an author directly, "I can't finish reading your book and then reviewing it because it's just not readable."  Whether it's grammar or plot or characterization or spelling or whatever else, I don't mind detailing what I didn't enjoy about a book, and also sharing what I did enjoy, if anything, but I don't like telling the creator directly that I can't even finish it.  No matter what reason I give, the subtext for them is that the book sucks, in my opinion, particularly if I can't even finish reading it.  I also got bogged down because I read four or five books in a row that were just short of awful, but since I had committed myself, I had to slog through.  Avoiding going back to a terrible story made me read less, making it take much longer to finish each one.  The last review I did, a week or so ago, is from a request I got in October.  That's just too frakking long.  And I look at my list (yes, I had to make a list) and see three dozen books on there, and just don't even want to read anything on there, even though some of it's got to be good.

I made myself go to a Meetup last Friday.  I joined a social Meetup a couple of months ago, just ladies looking to make new friends.  I need to socialize more, keep myself from isolating so much.  I didn't know what to expect from a group of strange women, but I had a lot of fun.  Their Bunco rules are different from the rules by which my church ladies play, but not so different that I couldn't adapt fairly quickly.  Several of them were just as irreverent and raunchy-humored as I am, and I doubt a single one is under 40.  The only negative about it is that this group of ladies always plays in a back room at the local La Madeleine.  I may be the only person in the State of Texas who does not adore La Madeleine, but I just don't like the food.  On the way home, though, I decided that from now on, I can eat before I go and just get iced tea there.  That way, I don't have to eat something I don't enjoy, and LM still gets their toll for me passing through the doors.  On another note, their pumpkin pie was good.  They had a flaky yet moist crust that I've never experienced before.  Even my mother never made a crust like that!  The pie crust tasted good, not floury, and I need to know how they did it.

Enough rambling.  

Movie: Conan the Barbarian

I knew if I waited long enough, Amazon would put Conan on Prime's watch-for-free list.  It wasn't terrible, either.

So, I watched it, basically for Jason Momoa.  I loved him in Stargate: Atlantis, and though his part in Game of Thrones was very small, I liked him fine there, too.  The actress playing Tamara has the most amazingly pale blue eyes I've ever seen.  In one scene, they almost look white, they're so pale.  Stunning.

Pros: Conan, at both ages, is pretty.  Tamara is pretty.  There are many naked breasts in one scene that are pretty.  The fights, however unrealistic, are pretty.  His friend, the thief King, is pretty.  In the love scene and aftermath, both Conan and Tamara are very pretty (though the actress has a body double, so presumably it's the double's body that's pretty).  As you can tell, this was all about the pretty.  lol

Cons:  The movie as a whole was mediocre, at best.  The script maybe had good bones, but whoever didn't make any inspired choices in translating that script into film.  I had no idea it was possible to make Rose McGowan unattractive, but they managed.  The end was kind of non-endy.

Also, lest people continue to think that watching TV is not educational, while I was watching the credits, I was able to tell the gender of many of the film's Slavic workers.  If the name ended with ev, ov, av (not too many of those), then I knew that person was male.  If it ended eva, ova, ava, then that person was female.  Where did I learn that?  Babylon 5, maybe?  JAG?  I don't even remember, just that it stuck in my head.  Another useless bit of trivia for that trip to Eastern Europe that will never happen.  :)

Was that barbarian/King played by the same guy who was the head dude on Terra Nova?  I'll have to look that up, if I remember long enough. 

Anyway, it wasn't a waste of my time, but I doubt I'll be watching it again.  If they got a different director, I might even watch a sequel, though I would not pay to watch at a movie house.  I hear tell they're making another Conan movie with Arnold back as Conan.  I can guarantee I won't be watching that one. 

Merry Christmas!

(original post on livejournal 12/25/2012)
Made it to my parents' house about three, which was my ETA, so yay for that.  Took about an hour, driving in the falling snow, but mostly just careful driving, not problems.  There is much construction, so getting to the right street coming from the east was a tiny bit of fun. 

My stepmother was very nice (which actually makes me uncomfortable) during my whole visit, probably because several members of the extended family were there.   It was weird but good to see my dad.  He looks healthy, which is on the good side, for sure.  I think I might've gotten two minutes of conversation out of him over several hours, so, weird there.

In a concession to others who would likely think I'd lost my mind, I wore sleeves and socks, and brought a jacket.  I was actually too warm in the house, and sought out the cold spots several times, so I could cool off.  I even went outside once and stood on the front porch.  When I was leaving, my sister tried to help me into my jacket, and it was comical to watch her face as I declined, because it would make me too hot.

Food was fantastic, quite as expected, and we girls set the table like a well-oiled machine.  We've had lots of practice.  Because there were eight people, we used the sideboard as a buffet, and only had eating dishes and gravy on the actual table.  Talk was desultory, with recipes and lottery scratch-offs and dogs and cats and work/school as topics of the evening.  Met cousin's husband, and he seems like a really good guy.  He's weird enough to fit right in with the family, and he obviously adores my cousin, so he's a keeper.

I got an unexpected gift from my parents (from stepmother, actually, but she always puts both names on them).  Anyway, it's a gorgeous moonstone pendant, and she insisted I wear it today.  Makes me wonder if it's been cursed or something.  lol  She talked about amethysts and insomnia, because she said she wasn't sure if she should invite me, not knowing what kind of schedule I keep.  I told her my sleep doesn't really let me keep a schedule, because I just never know when or if I'll sleep, or for how long.  Anyway, on to the amethysts, and then later in the conversation, I said that I thought my brain was just fucked up.  She agreed, and that was the meanest thing she said during my visit, and it wasn't even mean.  Anyway.

Stepmother had told me to pack a bag in case the weather got iffy, and she mentioned it again when I got there, but I reminded her I'd lived in Misery for five years, and had delivered pizzas in worse weather than this, so I would be fine to drive home.  Driving home was quite the adventure, though.  Just getting to the actual freeway took nearly ten minutes, because the freeway entrances are not marked until *right there* and so I missed more than one.  I left Bedford about 6:30, and by that time the sun was down and the roads were starting to cool off, so I drove home even more carefully than I'd driven over, and there were LOTS of idiots, both driving too fast and driving too slowly.  People had caromed off into the shoulder, one into a culvert, just sitting there with his lights on, about half a dozen accidents big enough to require professional assistance.  Luckily, because I've driven in Missouri winters, this was nothing, and I made it home just fine.  Took me an hour and fifteen, but I'd rather take my time and be safe than be impatient and end up a statistic.  Had one close call where the guy in front of me slowed down just as we reached a bridge, and I couldn't brake, because the bridge WAS iced over.  I had to change lanes and pray, but it worked beautifully and all was good for the rest of the trip.  The closer I got to Dallas, the less the streets were messed up, though by the time I hit my neighborhood, cars and buildings were covered with snow that had stuck.

Found out one of the cats, my favorite, had died a couple of months ago.  I asked about her after dinner, and my uncle told me that she'd died.  Thank goodness I was talking to him and not asking my stepmother.  She gets very attached to her animals, and that would have been a faux pas, for sure.  Wish someone had told me when it happened, though.

I'm glad to be back in my own little room - trying to determine if I should actually attempt to accomplish something, or just veg for the evening until I fall asleep.  At the moment, I'm voting for anything that takes me closer to sleeping, so things are unlikely to be accomplished. 

Happy Day!

(original post on livejournal 12/18/2012)
Well, you know, as happy as it gets in December.

The roast I put in the crockpot at 0530 is the best roast I ever made.  From now on, I will always make my roast from a brisket cut!  Plus, it was spiced just right, and the juice was just exactly the right thickness that it was good gravy without me actually having to make gravy.  I had to write down how I made it so I can do it again and again and again.

While I was enthusing over my fantastic roast, the mail came, and my BSG Season 3 from swapadvd was delivered!  I inspected the discs, and two might have to be taken somewhere to be run through whatever it is that smooths out the rough edges (so to speak), but the remaining six discs are pristine.  So I am now the proud owner through the end of season three, with only three questionable discs.  I'm in line for the two parts of season four, but I'm kind way down the list.  I did transfer enough credits from paperbackswap so I can get them, so it's just a matter of waiting now.

I have started using Dr Bronner's liquid soap in the shower (Hemp Almond) and it's making my skin smooth.  I like that.  And though it's kind of a strange thing to be happy about, I hardly even have to dry off after my shower.  Also, my dry skin itchies, which used to be pretty severe in the winter, have hardly made an appearance at all.

I feel asleep smiling last night because I happened to fall asleep during a particularly enjoyable John McClane moment during Die Hard 4.  Yes, I love John McClane and I don't care who frakkin' knows.  lol  I am so anxiously anticipating #5 in February.  I conned a friend of mine into seeing it with me for my birthday.  I figured it I asked now, she couldn't say there was anything else on her calendar.  :D

It is too bad that I don't know anybody who needs gifts wrapped.  The only part of the season I really enjoy is wrapping gifts.  Speaking of the season, I got an email from my stepmother, telling me that a cousin and her husband were coming in to town to visit her mom (my step-maternal aunt), and that I was welcome to come over for dinner.  That it would be good to see me.  My first thought was that she only thought it would be good to see me because it's been two years since she set eyes on me and maybe she just forgot that she doesn't really like me.  I am still debating whether or not I can handle all the negative snark aimed my way, or if I should just decline graciously.  It would be good to see my dad and my sister, and my aunt, uncle and cousin, for that matter.  I guess I should just suck it up and go, but gods I hate listening to her putting me down. 

ETA:  I did go to my parents' house for xmas dinner, and everybody except my parents were polite and interacted with me as if I were a person and everything.  My dad said about five words to me, including hello and goodbye, and my stepmother talked to me, was even nice, but avoided me as much as possible.  It was great to see my aunt, uncle, cousin and to meet cousin's hubby.  He's adorable!  And so smitten!