Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Magic of Cats – A Complaint

How is it that cats can lounge in one spot for nine hours straight, then, when they get an upset tummy over the period of a few minutes, they manage to project their vomit in every single room of the house?



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Porterhouse in the House – A Carnivore’s Delight

Of late my partner keeps picking out different frozen dinners to try. In theory I welcome these meat and potato combinations even though trying to limit my intake of starchy vegetables. But the protein is inevitably some 'mechanically separated' (look it up if you dare) chicken/pork/beef by-product/soy amalgamated patty of mush, though I ate every bite out of deference to the animals' sacrifice. And I didn’t even know anyone could give mashed potatoes the consistency of Silly Putty.

So on the way home from swimming at the YMCA Saturday I stopped by a meat market. My initial craving was for a seldom available deli item called souse. Unlike the pre-digested looking lumps from our latest frozen dinners, these less cherished meats don’t pretend to be anything other than what they are.

Souse is essentially head cheese with the bite of vinegar. The cold cut’s unique flavor and texture take me back to childhood, when Mom and I had the souse all to ourselves. ~grin~ We didn’t complain.

Waiting for my savory treat to be packaged, I looked toward the butchery case. There I saw the most beautiful cuts of porterhouse steak. Yes, they were expensive. But now that we know the proper technique for home cooking (as long as you don’t mind your home smelling of smoke for a few days), I could justify the expenditure.

Photo Courtesy of
I intended to take before and after photographs of the porterhouse. Unfortunately, my inner lion took over the moment I opened the butcher paper and I forgot all about grabbing the camera. At least I took time to follow all the cooking instructions, like letting the raw meat come to room temperature and even allowing the cooked food to 'rest' after final removal from the oven!

Have you ever tasted head cheese or souse?


Monday, November 20, 2017

Positive Sparks Monday – Words From Willie Nelson

To quote Annie of McGuffy’sReader, the bright spirited blog where she started Sparks Mondays, "I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. Together, we can light up the entire world!"

I’m really enjoying the website Brainy Quote. Today, like last Monday, I decided to go with a musician. Thank you for these wise words, Mr. Nelson.

Won't you join us?


Sunday, November 19, 2017


During National Novel Writing Month I like to update my word count on the official website throughout daily writing time. Yesterday I entered the wrong number and didn’t notice until later, when I found this:

Do you think I could write fifty thousand words between November 18 and the thirtieth?


I don’t think so. But believe me, some folks I’ve met could.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Impulse Buy

On a normal day I find it quite easy to ignore advertisements online. Then Facebook showed an ad for this dress. I couldn’t resist, and hope the outfit doesn't look too much like a costume.
I Do Need Some New Clothes...
I ordered the dress a size larger than is hopefully (!) needed because I’ll likely need to have it altered for length, anyway, since I’m quite petite. And so I decided to go bigger in case the sizing runs small. Too many times I’ve ordered clothing online and found the fit snug (even shoes!).

The garment also comes in blue, purple, and green in place of the orange. Do you think I made the right choice?


Friday, November 17, 2017

Bogart’s, Here I Come

My newest favorite rock band Palaye Royale is currently in France. Meanwhile, the other day they announced 2018 US tour dates. On March 29th they are coming to Bogart’s, a venue in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I’m so stoked.

I thought they would be headlining, but instead Pop Evil (whom I saw open for Avenged Sevenfold) is the headlining act. That’s okay, I plan to haunt PR’s merchandising table after their set concludes.

Cleveland, Fort Wayne, and Even Detroit Aren't That Far
Hmmm... Road Trip, Anyone?
Is it creepy for a middle aged woman to want to hang out with guys in their late twenties?

Update: Twenty-five minutes, three reboots, one headache, and an anxiety attack later I have my e-ticket to see Palaye Royale open for Pop Evil. Geez. I think I preferred standing in the snow to receive a proper paper ticket to fumbling with all this stupid tech. I can't even print the darn thing out and will have to take my partner's smart phone to the show.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Comma Comma Comma Comma Comma Chameleon

Sorry about the bad pun for those of you familiar with the music of Boy George. And thanks to whoever created this meme.

Do you prefer the Oxford or standard comma?


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Introducing My Favorite OC

Nearing the mid point of National Novel Writing Month is always a bit of a big deal to us participating novelists. As I type I’m planning to attend a gathering at the lavish new city library (actually a day early on Tuesday, November 14th). I look forward to seeing what all the hype is about!

In the meantime, our great municipal liaisons are making the effort to keep us all motivated. And in honor of the midway party, one of these kind ladies asked for a brief introduction to our favorite original character. So, I decided to share here, as well.

Nickolas Sean Angelus Gravan is half Greek, half Irish, and one thousand percent rockstar aspiring werewolf. He sings me to sleep with the voice of Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode and haunts my dreams.

Nick Gravan, Rocker Extraordinaire
Lead Guitarist & Backing Vocalist of BloodMoon
Would you like to meet him?


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Jezebel Vs. the Devil Duck

My writing buddy Jezebel is not the most inspiring when it comes to telling story. But the other day I just had to laugh when she started bounding around on the guest bed to get attention. I managed to grab my camera and capture some of her antics.

The Mighty Huntress
These are both stills from video taken. Below is her prey.

The Devil Duck
Sorry the video could not be directly embedded but the size was too large and I didn’t want to trim anything. Worse, the soundtrack is bad. I didn’t realize my partner’s video from down the hall was competing with my Metallica album. ~shakes head~ If you take time to click and watch, I hope you enjoy.

What’s your favorite distraction from the task at hand?


Monday, November 13, 2017

Positive Sparks Monday - A Word From the Wise

David Bowie was a great musician and also quite the philosopher. I like many of his numerous quotes from over the years. This one just speaks to the spirit of the day.

“I've never responded well to entrenched negative thinking.” – David Bowie

Thanks to Brainy Quote for this. And to the lovely Annie of McGuffy's Reader for starting the sparks idea. Let's all try to bring a little positive energy into the world!

What's your favorite David Bowie stage persona?


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veteran's Day!

Today I’d like to shout out to my nephew living in one of the coldest cities in the United States in service of our country. We’re so proud of him and eternally grateful he came home safe from two tours in Afghanistan. Thank you to all our service men and women.

On the flip side, I feel guilty for having missed out on laying wreaths for Wreaths Across America today. The date literally didn’t occur to me until too late.

Photo Courtesy of Wreaths Across America
Have you thanked a veteran or service member today?


Friday, November 10, 2017

Sign of the Season

‘Tis the season for spicing everything with pumpkin pie flavors. One autumn, a local tire shop’s sign jokingly advertised pumpkin spiced tires for sale. That was funny. Yesterday my partner returned from the grocery store with something we absolutely, positively, did not need – pumpkin flavored doughnuts.

I don’t even eat doughnuts normally. I may not have had one in this millennium, in fact. But today I just had to have a taste.

Nicely Done, Entenmann's

The treat was so rich I’m grateful for the foresight to cut off a single bite. Don’t worry, sweets lovers. I put the rest in a sealable snack bag.

This beat the heck out of the nasty pumpkin flavored hummus I tried. That stuff tasted sour somehow. Yuck.

What’s your favorite pumpkin flavored item?


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Killing Time

My partner has a tendency to say, “I was just killing time” when I apologize for interrupting something being read or watched. My response is to mutter, “Murderer.”

In all seriousness, that statement does tend to bother me. Another careless remark I hear is “time is free.” No, I argue, it’s the most precious commodity we have.

On that note, it’s time I get writing. It's National Novel Writing Month and fifty thousand words aren't going to write themselves.

What’s your favorite time waster?


Monday, November 6, 2017

Positive Sparks Mondays – Mixed Blessings

Thanks to Annie of McGuffy’s Reader, I’m posting a positive spark today. You can find her here. She’s focusing on giving thanks right now, which inspired me yet again.

I live a charmed life overflowing with blessings. Some of my favorites are those one might call ‘mixed’, minor misfortunes with a positive side. Making note of them fosters and bolsters a positive attitude. Yet it isn’t always easy. And one thing I’ve noticed is that tiny frustrations can truly undermine the soul.

So when our real estate taxes climb year after year, I try to focus on the fact that our home’s value is increasing. Maybe someday I can sell it for a shack on the beach. ~grin~ You never know.

Yesterday’s mixed blessing was the weather. I sweated bullets cutting the lawn. But then I enjoyed the back patio wearing summer clothes. In fact, it’s where I typed this.

The up side to having a nosy neighbor is knowing he’ll keep an eye on your property. And spoiled, bratty cats provide reason to laugh every day. It’s all perspective.

What would you consider a mixed blessing?


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Good Morning!

It’s 6:30 in the morning. I have nowhere to go and nothing pressing to do. I roll over and bury my face in the pillow.

In moments I realize that a rhythmic thud is reverberating around the room from across the hall. What the heck? The local AM radio station doesn’t blast their annoying traffic report music on weekends.

The sound continues. A shadow darkens the doorway, my partner entering the room. Without lifting my head I complain about the galloping horse sound (what I call WKRC’s awful weather/traffic soundtrack).


“Radio,” I mumble.

“Oh, yeah,” my partner enthuses, “Amazon Prime apparently has a lot of death metal available.”

I should have suggested turning the sound up so I could hear more than thudding. But the cats were trying to get me up, anyway, as were my fish. So I finished reading a book and got started writing.

Did you know clown loaches can clack their mouth parts underwater to create a sound louder than snapping human fingers?


Friday, November 3, 2017

Interesting Gibberish (Or How to Choke Your Inner Critic)

Experienced National Novel Writing Month participants will tell you the path to success lies in never editing while you write. And it’s true. You have to keep forging ahead or you will never reach fifty thousand words in a month (or perhaps never complete your story, period).

I do, however, have a tendency to clip untidy bits while writing. If an obnoxious word or phrase pops up I hit the <enter> key twice, move my cursor back to the sentence above, and continue on. That way those words I typed in the interest of fiction count toward my NaNo total, which I figure is more honest than counting the words from blog posts or emails, etc..

Today I read yesterday’s nonsense and had to laugh. And by sharing here, I am really sticking it to my inner critic. Ppphhhhbbbbbtttttt! Take that, you spoil sport! I think Julia Cameron – author of “The Artist’s Way” and other creative boosting workhops – would be proud.

Below is the gobbledygook that cracked me up:

gave him a How is that We the Father Richards the priest behaving rudely them saw Backing me up the behavior he seemed who which of us to hand the note it unwilling on walked sounding vague into in pressed to clutches

How do you defeat your inner critic?


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

National Novel Writing Month

Here we are again – November first. Today begins the mad dash to write fifty thousand words in a month. The Office of Letters and Light began the challenge years ago, calling it National Novel Writing Month (NaNo for short).

A Main Setting for "Blue Moon" - Loveland Castle
Somehow, even while working fulltime, I managed to meet the goal by the November 30th deadline every year since 2011. Granted, unlike others, I never did anything with them. I’m honestly more adept at short story writing. All the same the word count should be easier than ever now that I’m retired and have no plans to travel for the US Thanksgiving holiday.

This morning, however, presented me with a snag. Planning to rewrite “Changing Your Stripes” from my novelette series, I wasn’t feeling the love. Perhaps it’s because the tale is too polished.

In addition, the stories all max out at around thirteen thousand words, tops. And therein lies salvation. Divergence is guaranteed if I want to make the goal. So why not write another piece of the overall puzzle and move on from there?

As of 1:15 this afternoon my word count has tripled. Still below the day’s goal of 1,667, I’m almost halfway there. And I’m having a great time telling about the wedding of my two original characters’ close friends. Now, back at it…

Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? If not, any other fun goals for the month?


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Appropriate for the season, our neighborhood vultures are preparing to migrate. Have a joyous autumn!


Monday, October 30, 2017

Postive Sparks Mondays - A Quote From Jacques Cousteau

A favorite show of mine while growing up was the documentary series “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” begun before I was born and hosted by Rod Serling. Sad to say, it didn’t lead to a career in marine biology because I let asthma hold me back. That aside, I’d like to share a quote from the French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, innovator, scientist, and more (you can read the Wikipedia article here). And many thanks to Annie of McGuffy’s Reader for starting Positive Sparks.

“The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.” - Jacques-Yves Cousteau

May you find wonder in every day.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Rest in Peace, Miss Daisy

A cherished blogging friend, Strayer of Cat Eyes, lost a beloved family member this week. I feel so sad for her. Having read some sweet condolences on other blogs and seeing links to the original post of the bereaved, I thought I would share a link to Strayer’s.

A Beautiful Soul
I believe a new light may well appear in the sky tonight. She was a beauty to her last day. Thank you for brightening this earth for as long as you could, Miss Daisy.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Remembrances of My Mom - Positive Sparks Mondays

My mother passed away this past July after a long health decline. I still recall the joy of sharing remembrances during her memorial service and thought a few of them might strike positive sparks (thanks to Annie of McGuffy’s Reader for starting this feel good wave). Marilyn set good examples more than lecturing, and spread a lot of fun while doing it.

My dear niece Ashley shared such a memory. A decade earlier she and her sister were awaiting their paternal grandmother to pick them up from school one day. My mom showed up right on time – driving a Corvette. Tearful laughter ensued as my niece wondered aloud how many grandmother’s were cool enough to pick up their grandkids in a Stingray fit for the race track (and Mom raced a few times in her day, too!).

Randy, a dear family friend, recalled his first meeting of my mother as she rolled dice over a solo game of Yahtzee. When a handheld digital game became available, he immediately bought her one. She, in turn, saw me enjoying the device on a visit and gifted me my own that following Christmas. I still have it.

Mom loved her animals, too. Even after losing dear miniature schnauzer Rocky and thinking their dog rearing days were over after that heartbreak, she acquiesced without complaint when my father decided to get a puppy. What a handful, and a true Daddy’s girl that dog turned out to be. Still, unable to walk on her own for the last year or so, Mom spoke of her joy at hearing little toenails tapping the wood floor as Misty came to wake her each morning. On that note, I’m thankful Dad has that little schnoodle keeping him company.

Have a joyful Monday!


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gotta Love My Dad - A Dirty Joke to Make You Smile

My father has a tendency to pass along amusing jokes. Today's is very dirty and absolutely hilarious.

Strippers and Dirty Old Ladies
Last night my Red Hat friends and I went to Ladies Night at a local strip club. One of the girls wanted to impress the rest of us, so she pulled out a $10 bill. When the male dancer came over to us, my friend licked the $10 bill and stuck it to his butt cheek!

Not to be outdone,
 another friend pulled out a $20 bill. She called the guy back, licked the $20 bill, and stuck it to his other butt cheek.

In her attempt to impress the rest of us my third friend pulled out a $50 bill, called the guy over, and licked the $50 bill. I'm worried about the way things are going, but fortunately, she just stuck it to one of his butt cheeks again.

the guy turned to me! With everyone's attention focused on us the guy started egging me on to top the $50. My brain was churning as I reached for my wallet.

What could I do?

The dirty old woman in me took over!

I got out my ATM card, swiped it down the crack of his butt, grabbed the eighty bucks, and left.


What would you do in such a scenario? Hope you enjoyed a laugh and have a great day!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

American Satan - A Review

On Saturday my partner and I went to see “American Satan” in the theater and had a wonderful time. The movie isn’t for everyone but the acting is top notch. Malcolm McDowell never lets me down. Neither does Mark Boone Junior. His portray of the record company executive brought an irreplaceable, classy and entertaining element to the film.

Andy Biersack was stellar in his first movie role. Interestingly, his lip syncing of Remington Leith’s lyrics struck me as unrealistic. Perhaps it’s just because I’m such a Palaye Royale fan. That aside, now I’m loving Mr. Biersack’s Black Veil Brides (at home I watched BVB music videos, one after another, off YouTube).

Mr. Biersack Performing with Black Veil Brides
No offense to the ladies, who did a fantastic job, too, I can’t resist naming another standout male actor. No fan of the “Twilight” books or movies, I’m thrilled to have found the talented Booboo Stewart (Real first name Nils, he is too good to stick with that childhood nickname in my humble opinion). It doesn’t hurt that he’s gorgeous. He also strikes me as a good person based on his IMDB biography.

Now to the flick (sorry for meandering so), the plot advanced quickly, with no guesswork required to understand the implications. Due to the lack of intricacy I at first worried my partner might be bored. Fortunately, parallels to cartoon band Dethklok and plot/character elements from “Metalocalypse” brought endless joy to us both.

Humorous moments made us laugh out loud. Dialog came across clear, too, though by the same token I wish the music had been louder (I blame the theater, which I’d never visited before; perhaps they need a sound system upgrade). Dramatic elements were predictable but also well presented and treated with realistic arcs.

The female nudity got a little tedious. Heck, I said the same about “Blade Runner 2049”. At least here it was less gratuitous, though some racy scenes just went on a little long. We preferred interactions between the band members and the film’s understated devil.

Would I watch again? Yes, though not in the cinema. I want to buy the DVD and the soundtrack, too, in part to support everyone involved. The movie made for a fun Saturday afternoon.

According to an article, the creators have related projects in mind, some for the small screen. That will be worth investigating. Now that we’ve visited the cinema twice in one week I wonder what might draw us to go again. It might be a while based on all the CGI driven stuff previewed. “Annihilation” does look interesting, I’ll admit.

How often do you go to the cinema?


Monday, October 16, 2017

Man's Best Friend

Once again I don't have a positive quote to share, but this Instagram image of Nikki Sixx celebrating his dog’s birthday. I couldn't resist these sweet, adoring faces. So, Happy Belated Birthday Leica Sixx.

Puppy Love
Happy Positive Sparks Monday! Thank you Annie, for starting this movement to uplift spirits in these often dark times.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dinner and a Movie

My partner and I are big fans of the Faustian mythos. Now in theaters, “American Satan” is a Faustian tale with a modern rock and roll twist. And it stars Malcolm McDowell. That sounds like a win/win. It also doesn’t hurt that, as I mentioned before, music by Palaye Royale features in the film.

Rock and Roll is Where God and the Devil Shake Hands
Planning at first on going Monday afternoon, we decided against waiting. Now we’re planning on going today and I can hardly wait. As an added bonus, I suggested dinner somewhere in the cinema’s vicinity as it’s outside our normal stomping grounds. My partner is a fanatic over the culinary arts.

So now it looks like we’ll be enjoying Nepalese cuisine after the film. Should be fun. I’m sure there will be a movie review soon to follow. In the meantime I’m editing a story on the back patio, enjoying our beautiful temperatures and blue skies. I can’t ask for a better Saturday.

What’s your weather like today? Anything special going on inside or out?


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

“Blade Runner 2049” – A Review

I know there are plenty of reviews of the latest “Blade Runner” movie out there but I couldn’t resist, in part because current flicks so seldom interest me. My partner and I are more likely to stay at home than go out to see what seem like CGI-fests and tedious remakes so often put out by Hollywood these days.

So, here we are. Let me start by saying I am a total geek fan-girl over 1982's “Blade Runner”, though we never watch anything other than the original theatrical release (which I was too young to see in theater, I might add ~grin~). This sequel did not disappoint, with a style very true to the original. Both the expected and surprise cameo appearances well represented their classic roles, too, a real treat.

Every set was amazing, and drew me in as realistic no matter how surreal. The acting left nothing to be desired, nor did the characters themselves. I also understood the dialog well outside of one brief exchange. And that’s praise worthy since volume levels, whether background music or sound effects, sometimes overwhelm speech (especially for my partner, who is deaf in one ear).

The film is quite long, and my biggest complaint is that some scenes could have been shorter without harming the content. Our time in the theater went fast, considering, and we are still talking about the experience today.

It's too bad several older men in the audience couldn’t sit through the viewing without multiple trips to the restroom. ~shakes head~ Forgive me, but it was sort of interesting in an odd way. I planned ahead by sipping my soda.

On another note, I am no prude but the female nudity got a little tedious when even the occasional futuristic advertisement omitted clothes. That might have been more forgivable if not so one sided.

In short, we are glad we went. And if you like dystopian science fiction, I recommend spending the time and money.

Now I’m looking forward to next week’s release of “American Satan”. It’s a Faustian tale featuring rock and roll. Gotta love that, especially when Palaye Royale's lead singer Remington Leith provides the musical vocals for the main character.

Remington Leith (left) and Emerson Barrett of Palaye Royale
I Couldn't Resist Promoting These Rockers Again...
It should be fun, though I know Andy Black (of Black Veil Brides fame) fans are disappointed his voice wasn't featured. It's a technique creators reportedly used to further remove the audience from the real world.

What movie would you consider a must see?


Monday, October 9, 2017

My Silly Tilly

Other than to give music credit to Imagine Dragons (my partner just happened to be listening to the song “Believer” in the next room), I’ll let this video speak for itself.

Thank you to Annie of McGuffy’sReader for the Monday feature to spark positivity! I figured this video fit the theme. ~grin~ Happy Monday all!