Friday, September 30, 2011

Enough with the Skeletons Already!

It's a situation we've tsked for years—probably decades. Women in show business are constantly being pushed to be thinner, thinner, THINNER!!! Society condemns it, outwardly everyone talks about health and taking the pressure off, but obviously, it has just increased.

Over the last seven years, I've watched it happen with guest stars of Supernatural. They appear on the show the first time, perfectly shaped, curvy and awesome. Then they come back on the show a couple years later, or show up somewhere else, and they're half the woman they used to be. (For viewers of the show, I'm specifically thinking of Tessa and Genevieve's Ruby, but there are others.)

Men aren't excluded from this, and I'll admit to being part of the problem. They don't have to be thin, though, they have to be buff. Anyone watch The Big Bang Theory? In a recent episode, Leonard took his shirt off. These guys are supposed to be scrawny nerds, but even he was pretty buff under there. Now, working out a lot to get nice muscles, and eating more protein and veggies and fewer carbs and fats isn't a bad way to live. It's far healthier than starving yourself to be thin. But the pressure has to still be immense, and I'm sure a lot of these guys go overboard, too.

This fall, though, some actresses have gone way past thin. When Julie Bowen went on stage to accept her Emmy for Modern Family, I almost called an ambulance. How did she even manage to hold that statue with those frail, bony arms? I can't enjoy Castle anymore because I'm totally distracted by Stana Katic's struggle to talk around her massive teeth. She has no facial muscles anymore. She's all skull. It's horrifying. Now, her character almost died, so maybe things will change a little as time goes on, but yikes.

I wish I knew what to do about it. I don't want to contribute to this awful trend, but how can I contribute to reversing it?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stinky Car Newspaper Trick

I don't think I drove my car all weekend. When I got in to go to work Monday, it reeked. As if the windows had been left open in the rain, then closed for a time. Except nothing in the car was wet.

I drove with the windows open, parked under a tree at work, got in, and...ugh.

It's gotten worse every day. I checked under the hood and under the car for dead animals, but didn't see anything, and there's absolutely no odor until you open the car door. I delivered all the cardboard recycling to the township bin, hoping it was just an old pizza box. Under the boxes were blankets from last spring's soccer season. Threw those downstairs to wash. Nothing else in the trunk to smell bad.

So of course it smelled worse the next day.

I checked under the seats in case something fell out of a grocery bag. Pulled out the floor mats. Kept removing things that had no chance of being the cause:

And still it reeked.

I thought about taking it to be detailed, which would get the floors shampooed. But I don't have the time or money for that. I thought about shampooing them myself. But I don't have the time or equipment for that.

So I turned to an old remedy I've used for other things. I think it's an old Heloise tip, suggested to get cigarette smoke out of a suitcase or something.



It would probably work even better if I stuffed the whole thing, but...yeah, I don't have time for that.

So I did this around 2:00 this afternoon, and when I took the pictures at 6:00, it was already working! The odor was about half ugly festering evil, half newsprint. I work at home tomorrow, so sometime in the afternoon I'll see if it worked completely. And I'll let you know!

But FYI, it totally works to get cigarette smoke out of fabrics and other items that can't be easily washed.

Anyone have a favorite Hint from Heloise?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Floods, but No Drowning

I've been dreaming a lot about floods lately. Not surprising, considering Irene inundating the east coast, and more recently, Lee giving Pennsylvania the worst flooding in nearly 40 years.

Still, odd, because we weren't personally affected by the flooding. My old employer was—15 feet of water in the basement—and near my inlaws, Swatara Creek went 20 feet over flood stage (which is 7 feet). But our house/town, and my work/town, were fine. I didn't even get any water in my basement this time. *knocks on wood*

But here it's river and creek flooding. My dreams have been about ocean flooding. Not coastal...well, the first dream was coastal. I was visiting somewhere, maybe Rhode Island, and getting ready to come home, and my car got washed away and stuck on a sand dune in a pile of wreckage. I climbed down the side of the dune/wreckage and pulled it free (with my left hand). At first I thought the rear end was smashed and it was driveable, but when I pulled it free and dropped it to the sidewalk, it had key parts missing. Like wheels. So I thought, "This is stupid. Just wake up." And I did.

Last night, though...

The dream started at work. I was supposed to be working on the schedule going forward for all the new people (5, when we only have 2), but I messed it up. Then it was time to go. One of the new people was riding with me. We waited for my husband, who was driving around from the back lot, and it took too long so I decided he'd left already.

So I was driving pretty fast down the street. I saw a woman on her front lawn take a picture, aiming down the street and kind of up at the sky. I wondered what the heck she was taking. We just had pretty basic cloud cover.

Then a piece of the sky collapsed. It made me jump. I'd only seen it out of my peripheral vision, and then the sky looked whole again, like the clouds had sealed up the hole. But there had been hard matter that broke out of that hole, like snow falling off a roof, and that was weird.

Wait, it gets weirder!

My car was speeding along, and I realized the entire sky was solid. And then the road was in a giant tunnel, and pieces of the roof had broken out, and I could see light through them. The tunnel was getting narrower and narrower, but we were flying, and we were goign tcome out the end before any roof fell on us or the entire tunnel collapsed.

And then we did. We crashed into the ocean. I had time to mentally freak that the ocean was in Pennsylvania. I saw waves and a whale's tail, which told me there was no modifying this situation so we could get out of it, and I had another person in my car. All this happened in an eighth of a second, and then I slammed awake.

But as soon as I closed my eyes, it was there again, in all its detail. I was able to push it away, but the imagery and sensation lingers.

I'm pretty sure I know what it means, but I'm curious to hear other interpretations. Ready...GO! :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Keeping-Your-Sanity Tip of the Day

If you have a bottle of dish detergent—the hand-wash-dishes-in-the-sink kind—and it's almost empty, and the top of the bottle is little so you can't set it on the counter upside down, and you decide to set it in a cup so you can efficiently and frugally use every last drop of soap in the bottle—eventually—and finally you do use the last drop and now the cup is dirty...


Be warned. If you put that cup as is into the dishwasher?

You're gonna wind up with suds all over your kitchen floor.

And it's gonna be on a day your kid's homework won't print on your printer, so you have to finally get around to running to Staples to get new ink for her own printer, while it's raining and putting on a spectacular lightning show.

On the same day that same kid's soccer practice was called halfway through due to that same lightning, throwing off your entire schedule.

If you're lucky, you'll have a husband willing to stand in the kitchen for over an hour, watching the dishwasher while you run another cycle, because the leakage was just so odd, with it being mostly suds, and you found no obvious problem with the door or drain, but the unit is so freaking full of soap...

So just save yourself the trouble and rinse out the damned cup.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Captain Jack (no, the other one), The Doctor, and Other Stuff

Want 20% of some of my erotic backlist AND off of Fight or Flight? Check out the sidebar for a link and discount code. This new store, eBook Eros, is also promoting marriage equality with a Free Books for Free States Drive. Check it out!


I finally caught up on Torchwood. I know! I can't believe it took me so long, either. But I was disappointed at first. They got too caught up, I thought, in all the medical repercussions of immortality. That kind of dark, dismal "what-if" isn't my kind of thing in the first place, and it got a bit draggy.

(General discussion, no spoilers ahead)

And then there was the flashback episode. *guh* John Barrowman does intense like nobody's business, and I thought the casting for his lover was fantastic. With a 10-episode arc, though, I'd have preferred they got to the action a little faster, and had more Gwen and Jack and less not-Gwen-and-Jack. And there were a few threads not cleanly tied up, but I think they'll be taking those into the next season, so that's okay.

The ending was kind of brilliant. Not that I couldn't see it coming, but the *way* it happened... And again, I just love Gwen and Jack! The way they deal with everything is awesome.


Speaking of brilliant... I'm loving Doctor Who this season! Some of the episodes have been haunting, lingering with me long after I watched them. The stand-alones have less impact and intensity, of course, but have still been great.


I have a new cover! Look over there, to the right. I kind of snuck it on here last week, then didn't post anything new so you had a reason to come see it. My other book cover should be ready soon. Super excited for these releases!

Remember, in order to entice you into my high-stakes worlds, I'm giving away free copies of my books so you can give me a try without risk! You just need to sign up for my newsletter (see the link at the right). I promise not to inundate you with e-mails, just the occasional announcement. But I'll be giving away a book a week for 6 weeks, and right now, the odds of winning are pretty good. :)


Football is back!  I save this one for last so my non-football fans can tune out. New England pretty much started where they left off last year, with the same strengths on offense and weaknesses on defense.

I warned Tony Sparano. During the Dolphins admittedly impressive first drive, when he was celebrating a completed pass like they'd just won the AFC Championship, that if he blew his wad in the first quarter, it would be a really long game. But he did, and it was, and they really couldn't go the distance.

I am going to go into mourning when Wes Welker leaves the team. Bigger than after Superbowl 42. Yeah, I said it.


Oooh, I lied! Best for last! Entangled Publishing is making a big announcement tomorrow. Don't miss it!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Theme: Stupidity

Here's a tip: If you put the word "Spam" in the title of a blog post, it will attract spam. Who knew spam-bots were that dumb?

Who knew I was? It took me a whole month to figure out that I should just close comments on that post. *eyeroll*

I don't really like the new Blogger interface. Part of it is just familiarity, and I know I'll get used to it. But before, all the important stuff was right there, one click away. Now it's in multiple drop-down menus and you have to hunt for it. That's not an improvement. Not thrilled with quirks in composing posts, either. Very annoyed, actually.

This morning, I woke up at 6:15ish, and thought (with a long mental groan) "Ohhhh, it's Tuesday, and I have to work a double, and train, and...wait. It's only Sunday, AND I don't have to work tomorrow!" So I went back to sleep for two-and-a-half more hours. Nice!

I used to think I had long, intense, vivid, exhausting dreams when I wasn't writing. But I've BEEN writing, nonstop for weeks and weeks. Okay, revising, but isn't that the same thing? Apparently not, or I broke my brain, or the correlation was never valid in the first place. The dreams have gotten more and more vivid lately, and I wake up physically battered and just as tired as when I went to bed.

On Friday, I told our trainee that when I first started working there, I had dreams that they'd changed the information on the fee slip and I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing anymore, or they'd moved everything around in my work area, and I'd spend hours trying to set up one patient while other patients backed up around me.

That was apparently stupid, because that night, I dreamed they'd rearranged the entire area again, in a manner that was not at all beneficial for either the patients or the staff. The difference in this dream was that I wasn't alone. The regular therapy person and the trainee were both back there with me, just as annoyed and concerned. :)

I also dreamed the other night about Stephen King trying to give me a list of his SF-romance series. I know, right?! He's so pushy. ;)

Okay, that's enough randomness today. I am now off to clean/organize my office in an attempt to unclog my brain. What are YOU up to this holiday weekend?