Thursday, October 27, 2011

Warren Buffett fangirl, at least for this

Welcome to my new followers and btw, I don't usually do the political thing here; I prefer to write about books. Tuesday's blog is already underway & it is about books!!!

I am in complete agreement with Warren Buffett and choose this Friday on my blog to spread his word.
(I got this originally from Melissa's blog.)

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the
best quotes about the debt ceiling:
“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just
pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more
than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible
for re-election.
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds)
took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple!
The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail,
cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year
or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

(Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to
a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
each of those to do likewise. I, like Melissa, choose to blog it instead of emailing it.)

In three days, most people in The United States of America will
have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed
around.
_*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*_
1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no
pay when they’re out of office.
My words here - not Warren's - millions of Americans have had to figure out how to live without the pensions they planned and worked hard for because asshats like Mitch McConnell have protected big business instead of them. What would MM do if he got a taste of his own medicine? Whine loudly and publicly even more than he already does, that's what. But he, and the other fat cats like him deserve it. Why should they be on the winning end of a double standard that shouldn't even exist?

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social
Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all
Americans do.

Damn straight.


4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

That seems more than fair.


5. Congress loses their current health care system and
participates in the same health care system as the American people.

Righteous.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the
American people.

Especially since they feel like being elected means they have some mandate to do whatever stupid thing they campaigned about even though everyone knows they're really only in office because they were the least offensive choice.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void
effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this
contract with Congressmen/women.

Congressmen/women made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their
term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it willonly take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Don’t you think it’s time?
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!
If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.
You are one of my 20+ – Please keep it going, and thanks.
Sounds like simple common sense and something that should already be happening in a country that strives to be a class free society.

Spread the word or disagree with me in the comments. So far, we still have the freedom to complain about elected officials. Take advantage while it's still an option.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Demolition Derby: freaky, fun and possibly insane

I know you're all just dying to hear about my demolition derby adventure. Well it was just that, an adventure. And fun!

Let's start with my most heart-stopping moment. It came during the main event towards the end of the night and to bring you into the moment with me I'm going to show you two pics.

Notice in front of the fence there are several large concrete barrier blocks to keep the cars from coming through the fence and hitting spectators. Notice the girl in pink. I was sitting right behind her. Something told me to stand up and move. Five minutes later that concrete corner barrier looked like this:



The girl in pink dove for the ground and screamed. We helped her up and she told me her knees hurt a little but her pride hurt a lot. I told her I thought she was very brave because if I had still been sitting behind her, I'd have hit the dirt, screamed, AND peed in my pants.

Here is the picture of the very cute piece of demolition derby swag I bought.



I didn't get a picture of the most amazing car or it's driver. (It's no myth that most of the men driving these cars are attractive, btw.) The car was black and green and had this painted on the side derbyfreak.com. Of course, by the end of the night you couldn't read it.

Derby Freak was amazing because he drove through most of his first 'heat' with only 3 tires. Then, between heats, he fixed the tire and came back to take second place in the main event. Awesome, huh?

The same DF driver also drove a lawn mower in the lawn mower derby. You read right. They had a demolition derby with lawn mowers. Now that, imho, is freaky.

Oh, oh, oh and one of the cars in the main event had fire coming out of it's exhaust pipes (which are on the hood of the car.) Fire. Fire coming out of his exhaust pipes and he just kept driving. I don't remember why he pulled his flag to indicate he was done, but it wasn't because of the fire. That's either brave or insane. I'm not sure which.

It's also loud. I expected that.

What did I learn that was useful to me as far as writing a character who is a demo driver is concerned?

They have a 'powder puff' derby that they seemed to confine women to. Or did they? A question I need answered is - if women wanted to drive in the main event, could they? Cause that's where the best money is. I don't even know what the powder puff derby paid because it's not in any of the promos.

I definitely got a sense of atmosphere but next time I need to go to the pit and experience the difference. You can do that for just five bucks but my knees were giving me trouble this time so I didn't.

I got some terminology & a better list of questions I need answered.

There was some very controversial rule change they did for this derby. Usually you can NOT hit the drivers side door. At this one you could hit it if you were going backwards because drivers had been using their doors in some kind of way the rule makers wanted to eliminate. Need to find out what that was about.

And I had fun. With my gkids & my son-in-law. We will probably go again the first weekend in November. That one is a little closer to home.

Oh and I learned that Country Boy productions does a very good job of putting on the event in a safe, responsible, manner that still allows for a very good time.

Can I live in this world of alpha males, loud noise and wrecking cars part-time for the 4 months or so that it would take me to write a romcom? I think I can.

Could you?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Erotica Romance Novel: Slow Ride, Author: Erin McCarthy

I'm doing a short post today about a book because Tuesday's regular post will be all about the DEMOLITION DERBY.

My weekend was fun; centered around cars, reading and research for writing.

I read Slow Ride by Erin McCarthy. I have loved her Fast Track Series so far and this book was as good as the others. We got the story of Tuesday Talledega Jones, race-track-gossip-blogger, and her man, ex-racer, Diesel (Daniel) Lange.

The next book up will prove to be just as good, I'm sure. It features Eve, a minor character from the other books. If you follow Erin McCarthy on facebook you know she just gave it to her editor so - not long until we get to read it. Yeah.

I do have something to say about Slow Ride. It's kind of negative but I don't think the blame can be laid entirely at Erin McCarthy's feet. This book is riddled with typos. I learned something I hadn't realized before. Typos can take you out of a story. Not good. However, with Erin McCarthy, you're so enjoying the story that you dive right back in. SHE'S THAT GOOD.

It definitely made me even more appreciative of all the lovely work of my two beta readers when I was writing Hungry Ghosts. Delia and Julie you rock!

What book have you loved despite obvious flaws?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Random things I'm looking forward to

~The weekend when I don't have to work on Saturday and Sunday.

~The demolition derby that I'm going to on Saturday with my gkids for fun & for research for my new novel character, Veronica, nickname Ronnie, who will be a driver.

~Slow Ride, the 5th book in the Fast Track series about race car drivers by Erin McCarthy; on it's way to me as we speak.

~The last Gothic Book Club with Jenny Crusie on the Cherry Forum. It starts on 10/31 and we're talking about Jenny's book Maybe This Time.

~The first book in the romantic comedy book club with Crusie on the Cherry Forum. Starts? First book we talk about? Can't wait to learn about romcom with the goddess of romcom herself.

~A second book from debut author Erica Marks. Her first, Little Gale Gumbo, which I won, was good.

~My youngest daughter, Liz's  senior art show on November 30th. She's a senior in college getting her bachelors in art.

~The arrival of a collage photo that my oldest daughter, Ruthie put together for my desk at work. She's a photographer. Her business is called Life Echoed Photography. Clever, huh? I have a collage with her, my son-in-law and my gkids on my desk already. I commissioned her to do one of her sister, her sister's fiancee, and all our families many pets.

~Halloween. My gdaughter is going to be Drew Barrymore as Dylan from Charlie's Angels. My gson is going to be Dr. Doofenshmirtz of Evil, Inc. from Phineas and Ferb. They're coming trick-or-treating to my work on the 28th.

~Pirates of the Carribean 4 which is out now to buy! Um give me some more Jack Sparrow.

What are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Romance Novel: Shelter Me, Author: Juliette Fay

Moments ago I finished reading a book that was so astounding I felt compelled to search for the best word to describe it.

Surprised? Didn't think so. The word is -

Enthralling - fascinating: so interesting, delightful, or beautiful as to hold the attention completely

I was truly enthralled. It's Shelter Me, the second book I've read by Juliette Fay. The first, Deep Down True was also good. If we were rating with stars and ten stars was the best rating I could give,  Deep Down True would get ten and Shelter Me would get eleven.

It's the kind of book that, when you read the subject matter you think, I don't want to read that. It's the struggle of a young woman who is suddenly widowed and left with her two children to raise.

(At this point I have to say for all of those of you like me who need this incentive - it has a happily ever after ending.)

It's sad and yet, not depressing. Sheer, raw, truth and yet, entertaining. Darkness brought to the light.

There are moments so real that you just laugh out loud cause you recognize them. Moments like this: Mom Janie has told son Dylan that he doesn't have to go to preschool tomorrow because a guy is coming with a backhoe to dig holes in the yard.

Dylan looked dismayed. "Dig holes? Is that okay? Will he do trouble?"
"No, it's not trouble," said Janie. "I want him to. He's digging holes so he can build us a porch. With a ceiling fan. It's good."..."And you don't have to get ready for school so you can sleep as late as you want. We can all sleep until we're ready to get up."
At 5:42 the next morning, Dylan was ready to get up. "Mom?" he whispered, hovering over Janie. When she didn't respond he delicately pulled up one of her eyelids. "Mom? Where's the backhoe?"

Is that not true to life kid behavior?

It's the kind of book I love because Janie refuses to be bullied into grieving the way people want, or the length of time they think is okay. She is totally herself even when that self is an unpleasant bitch.

And when she was being an unpleasant bitch, I didn't just feel sorry for her or even just love her; I genuinely liked her.

Juliette Fay enthralls you like Barbara O'Neal or Melissa Senate.

My first thought was to compare her to Leslie Marmon Silko but then I realized, I haven't talked about LSM here and she deserves her own blogpost for the book Ceremony alone. Someday.

What are things you're waiting until someday to do?

Personal Weirdness:
The weirdest thing is happening at my sucky new job. (Which I'm happy to have because not everybody has a job these days - still sucky, though, not gonna drink the yucky koolaide.)
There's a water problem. So 3x in the month I've been there, we haven't had bathrooms. This is a building with more than 100 people working. Do they send people home? No. The solution is for employees who need to use the facilities to get in their car and drive a short distance to another building. What do you think this does to productivity? It doesn't crank it up, I can tell you that.
Is that weird, or what?

Friday, October 14, 2011

I couldn't help myself

Those of you who read the bettyverse may have recently read a guest blogpost I wrote about participating in pirate radio. I speak of the nineties when I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico and spent a great deal of my time as a direct activist, trying to rid the world of injustice.
The anger I felt from all the information about injustice coming towards me, nearly did me in. I came to the conclusion that the best thing I could do for the world, and myself, was to live the change I wanted to see in the world.
So I left Albuquerque and moved on to my next incarnation in this lifetime.

I still like to be informed. Especially by snarky, intelligent women like Betty Fokker. I usually leave the ranting to people like her. She's better qualified than I am to back up my rant.

You know what's coming, right? A rant. I can't resist but I'll try to make it a little one.

I live with my mother. Long story short, I moved here to help her take care of my dad so he could spend his final years at home. He died. I still live with her. For two reasons - one, she's in her 70's and she's never lived alone, ever. Nor does she want to. And - two, my grandkids are here within ten miles and it would require a team of Clydesdales to drag me away from them.

Anywho - she likes to drive me crazy with the television. Case in point, I was trying to eat my breakfast before going to my sucky job and she has on Good Morning America. I swear she turns this shit on to make me nuts and she herself never pays attention to it.

First we have the marriage expert. She tells us that 50 % of women aren't getting married these days. You know why? Because we have achieved, wait for it, get this...GENDER ECONOMIC EQUALITY... and women don't have to get married anymore. In fact, a lot of women are apparently having difficulty finding a man who makes as much or more money than they do to get married to.

Do you know any of these women? Because I don't.

Then comes on a male person of color who has written a book about how racism isn't significantly holding anyone back in this country anymore.

Does he know that I live in a place where I'm afraid to put Obama's campaign sticker in my yard or on my car? I don't fear for myself but my 70 year old mom and my grandkids would also be targets. And my car runs, dammit. Does he see the car in the lot at work that has a sticker on the back that insinuates that Pelosi wants to eradicate grandma and the faux license plate in front with a rebel flag? Does he know that a lot of tea partiers are racists in not so clever disguises?

Add to that the fact that these programs cater to the billion dollar weight loss industry and know nothing of body acceptance.

I could go on and on but instead I'll get to the heart of what really bothers me. There are people watching this bullshit and accepting it without question. What kind of denial do you have to live in to think women are earning equally with men in the workplace? What do you have to turn away from to believe racism is no longer an issue?

How deaf, dumb and blind do you have to be to keep from picking up the damn tv and hurling it out the window?

I'm sure that's what I'd do if I had to watch any one of these shows very often.

Rant over. Somebody tell me a good joke!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Romance Novel: Little Gale Gumbo, Author: Erika Marks, Romance Suspense Novel: Foul Play, Author: Tori Carrington

Gales brewing in my brain

When I sat down at the computer tonight I thought I had nothing to give. No news. Nothing going on. Ho hum.
Then I hit my email and found out I won this book :
from the Debutante Ball. Go here for a synopsis.

Linda Grimes has taken Tawna Fenske's Friday spot at the ball. Last Friday if you commented with your favorite food scene from any book, you won Erica Marks debut book pictured above. This was my winning comment:
"In Foul Play by Tori Carrington, gorgeous Dino brings Sophie a chocolate torte which they end up eating off of each other in one of my favorite steamy scenes. Makes my stomach rumble and my hoohah, well, … just thinking about it."
Which reminds me that I have to write a blogpost about Tori Carrington's series of Sophie Metropolis books because I love them.

So then I went from email to Jennifer Crusie's blog. I didn't know she had put up a new blog. I went to find out what we were doing next in the Cherry Forum Gothic Book club. That hasn't been decided yet but Jenny had a new blogpost up. And it's a doozie! My favorite quote from it is:

"Full disclosure: There’s a limit to how long I’ll stay on the high ground. It’s not my natural habitat."
Those kind of snarky comments are one of the many reasons I love Ms Crusie.

Anyway the post is about conflict of interest but it veers off into plaguerism. And it made me feel somewhat like a hypocrit. I'm going to quote my comment to her blogpost now so you'll know why.
"Picasso may have said – “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” Not that that makes plageurism okay – but people, give it a rest.
In the interest of full disclosure, it makes me feel like a hypocrit to say that. Why? Because I recently wrote a blog in praise of an author – then I read a second series by her and found out she recycled some of her scenes. And I was stunned. I like to approach my blog with the old – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything, motto so I didn’t want to dis her on my blog. However, I felt I owed the few people who add books to their tbr lists from my blogpost the new truth I’d found, so I emailed them directly.
She doesn’t deserve to be publicly hanged. She didn’t steal from someone else. She stole from her own books. I just don’t want people to buy her books on my say so.
Truth be told, I enjoyed them, recycled scenes and all."
Some of you know why I feel silly now.

But even funnier is that she's talking about plaguerism by Cassie Edwards. In the early 70's my brother was friends with CE's son. He used to visit them frequently. When my Harlequin reading mom found out CE wrote romance novels, she had to check one out. And she was so flabbergasted. It didn't end with the chaste kiss after the wedding proposal that she was accustomed to.
Now I find out Edwards has been writing romance all these years. Her career ended very recently in a plaguerism scandal that Jenny Crusie calls a witch hunt. It's even in wikipedia here.

This all amused and entertained me for almost 2 hours. What's been amusing you lately?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday's child has many bags

On Wednesday over in JulieLand, Mrs. Moon Witch said:

"I love totes and bags and purses and carry-alls and satchels of every flavor and style."

Guess what? Me, too. So I decided to post pics of mine. Ooh, oh, oh, oh and pics of these cool containers I love.

Here is my messy peg thingy overfull with bags:


Here is the bag that I carry for a purse right now:


Here is a purse I bought several years ago that I only use for special occassions as I want to keep it nice:


It's hanging against my purple rag-rolled wall. It was designed by San Diego artist, Laurel Burch, who is now deceased. She's actually famous for these cats:

The cats are cute but I love my butterfly purse.

Here is a purse I made from a pair of my dad's old jeans after he died. I lined it with one of his old flannel shirts. On the front is a coffee cup tapestry that I wove when I thought I wanted to become a weaver. I didn't enjoy weaving but I still think that pieces someone has weaved with their own hands and creativity are magical.


Here are the cool containers opened. One holds my clothes pins, the other holds my essential oils. It smells really good when you open it.

Here they are closed. Aren't they cute? In between them is a chunk of glass dug up from outside an old, abandoned glass factory in Rhode Island.

The last thing I want to show you is the bookmark my brother gave me for xmas a few years ago. It's handmade by someone from one of the First Nations tribes but I'm not sure who or what tribe. I just love it.


So there you have it. Me and my love affair with bags, and containers. I'm usually a minimalist but I can't resist bags, containers, bookmarks and books.

My purse is becoming a little the worse for wear so I 'NEED' to find a new one soon!

Happy Friday y'all!!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Romance Novel: Wedding Veil Wishes series, Author: Lori Wilde

Well, I've done it again. Started in the middle of a series, not knowing it was a series. For a person who likes series you'd think I'd always check.

I'm reading the Wedding Veil Wishes series by Lori Wilde. Although they stand alone, the order of the books as written is:
There Goes the Bride
Once Smitten, Twice Shy
Addicted To Love
All Of Me

I just finished Addicted To Love. There was a lot to like about the book. She definitely explores a theme and does it well. The theme is the differences between unrealistic, overly romanticized love and true, lasting love. She explores it through the lives and stories of her characters and by making a town, Valentine, TX, the focus of the unrealistic version.

In the end our heroine falls for the wonderful guy who does things like rescue her newspaper from the bushes and set it on her welcome mat everyday and scrape the windsheild of her car off for her in bad weather. (They're neighbors.) And not the idiot pro football player who rejected her at the altar for selfish reasons and then comes back with a ring and a sob story.

There are a couple of other love stories that are touching and, of course, end HEA.

MOVING ON TO PERSONAL TERRITORY:

My future son-in-law gave me a present - a walking stick he carved. It's pictured here:
And close-up, here:

And the two best pictures are here:

And here:
The last two pictures are best because the walking stick is being held up by my grandkids. We spent an hour at the lake in the sunshine this weekend.

So thank you future son-in-law for the walking stick and thank you son-in-law of many years for my grandkids.

Hope everyone's having a good week.