A tribute to douchebags: Eric D.
wtf button
So, a friend of mine has this ability to attract the nuttiest peoplemen on the planet. I'm not sure how she managed that, but it's like her superpower or something. I think part of it comes from the fact that she's nice--too nice, sometimes--but most of it, I believe has to do with the neon green sign suspended above her hair saying "WACKOS WELCOME." (I know this sign exists because, dude, she's friends with me :)

Anyway, poor Lizzie had a run-in with another wacko, a man named Eric D. (whose name even sounds a lot like dumbass), who emailed her out of the blue and told her that she could be even more attractive if she just had plastic surgery. No, no, au contraire, he is not being a douchebag! He is telling her this because he's her friend. And by the way, his wife had plastic surgery too and now she's so wonderful that she's snagged him!

My mind staggers at the utter gall and idiocy--which is why I'm happy to help Lizzie's effort to "make this guy into one of those internet micro-celebrity douchebags" by linking to her blog entry on him.

The original blog entry: People Over Thirty Should Not Be Allowed on Facebook: A Case Study. As you can see, Lizzie is far kinder than I.
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Save the Contemporary, Save the World.
porn gone
Okay, so the SmartBitches told me to do it and like a sheep, it is done. Baa!


If I remember aright, I enjoyed Jill Shalvis when last I read her. Also, it is for a good cause: we are trying to save that endangered species, the Contemporary Romance Novel. Imagine, if you will, a world filled with wall-to-wall Wallpaper Regencies, a few Scottish lairds burring their way into the hearts of Sassenach lassies, and alpha-male vampires and werewolves solving all their arguments by baring their teeth. So folks, don't let the Contemporary die. She is Claire Bennett, waiting for Peter or Hiro to save her.
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In Adulation of Geico
wtf button
So, I called Geico today, in the hopes that if I whined enough, they would extend my due date (before they cancel!!!!) to Friday so I could pay them because I am poor and my car required more servicing on inspection than I thought it would. I called, spoke to a nice young man who said, "Oh, you need to extend 'til Friday? No problem."

"So, you won't cancel my policy," said I, bemused.

"Nope," said he, amused.

I am not ashamed to admit that I fawned a bit and would have probably sold my soul to the man had he but requested it. Okay, Geico has bought themselves another cycle in which I do not look for a new company. (Previously, they gave me good service during my accident, lowered my rates the very next month, now this.)

I am so addicted to that annoying little gecko and his surprisingly kind company, with their fantastic customer service. Yay!
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"Because You're Worth It, Too"
I'm a little ashamed to admit that I have aspirations for my hair.

My own five year plan reads a little like "Step 1: Get good job; Step 2: ????; Step 3: Success", but my hair, well...it has goals.

As a woman of African descent, I have an intrinsic love-hate relationship with my hair that has led me to burn, chemically-alter, braid, trim, oil, twist, curl, cut, and generally torture the thousands of hair follicles unlucky enough to live on my head in my pursuit of beauty and--ultimately--happiness. Like the devotion of the faithful, I have drank of the Kool-Aid that is watching Pantene commercials and dreamed of the day when those swinging, straight locks on TV could be mine. Someday, I would think, I will shake my hair and the world would fall at my feet, in love with my divine beauty. Then, of course, I'd use Pantene and my hair would fall out. I'm still a little bit miffed at those commercials. Isn't there supposed to be truth in advertising? Do they even use Pantene on those women's hair to get that shine? The only thing I've ever gotten from that damned shampoo and any list of others is breakage.

Seven years ago, I decided--after dying my hair light brown (sans bleach) and having it turn an unfortunate shade of red in the sun--that I would never again put chemicals in my hair. It was a very defiant!Scarlett/Tara moment. You had to be there.

Part of me merrily assumed that I could get braids for the rest of my life--of course, not contemplating how much it might cost to do that every month--and then at some given point my hair would finally grow past my shoulders to my waist, be thick and luxurious and not anything like a very large afro. But, unlike adinkra, I was terminally unable to even consider doing the Big Chop, in which all of my old dyed and/or permed hair would be eliminated and in which I'd have to see the shape of my own skull. Of course, getting rid of all the crap hair would have given me the oh-so-cute corkscrew curls she later sported, but where adinkra was cute, I imagined it scaled up to my size plus my big head, and thought, Hm...no..

So, then I spent the next four years trimming a little here and there so that when I finally got rid of the bad hair, the total length was still depressingly at my shoulders.

Then I discovered natural hair care and my hair began to grow. It thickened, it lengthened, but long hair was elusive...until today. I finally straightened my hair (or rather my mother did and only sort of because it's still poofy) and discovered it extends all the way to the middle of my back. But I admit, I'm a little perplexed. My hair has very nearly achieved its goal of waist-length glory. Whatever will it do next? It's a little unnerving and a wee bit anticlimactic.

But hey, at least it bounces. Sort of.

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Aloha from the land of recovery
So, to whet your appetite, then speed away quickly, here's a quick update:

In March...
...I was in a car accident that damaged Lulu -- you know my one year old car? She was very sad, but is bright and shiny and all fixed again. But I had some back pain, so I went to various doctors who told me...

In April...
...I had a benign tumor on my spine which had grown to the size of a slightly slurped jawbreaker. I then went to a neurosurgeon and he took it out which is why...

In May...
...I walk funny, have some back pain, and take some really good drugs, but am mostly tumor free. A little piece is still there that has to get irradiated some time in the nearish future. I'm also bored out of my mind, and loving Doctor Who, but I go back to work...

In June...
...okay, I got nothing here, but let's hope for uneventfulness, shall we?
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To Snark or Not To Snark: That is the Question
So there's been a little bit of a dust-up between Jenny Crusie (she of Bet Me and Faking It fame) and SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com, a romance novel review website. It's not so much a dust-up as a bit of ruffled of feathers, in which one group (SB) is gleefully ripping into an author whose writing doesn't meet their standards and the other (Crusie) feels they need to move on from their revelry. Romancelandia is known for its scandals and its wank, but while I understand where Jennifer Crusie is coming from--her position is that they are too snide and demeaning and have run headlong into cruel--I definitely feel like saying to her: DUH! They call themselves Smart Bitches for a reason. They're not always nice. They are frequently, in fact, NOT nice. She's split from reading their blog--which I totally respect--but what I feel makes me want to split from watching her blog is that she's written herself into the high-moral authority position and gotten sanctimonious about said position. When I went to go check the SBTB website, I felt guilty about it because I saw her imaginary finger-wagging at me telling me I should be a better person.

Well, I'm not, dammit. And I was okay with that before said blog post.

I've read parts of a Cassie Edwards novel and I had to put it down. Me, the person who'll read just about anything because my gag factor is so low. The author makes me sad for the entire romance genre. However, Crusie is right: people do like her and keep buying her books. I don't think, however, that's any grounds for me NOT to criticize them for being morons. I also don't think that's any grounds for me not to criticize Cassie Edwards. I'm sure she's a very fine human being, but her writing is awful. And if it gives me joy to watch someone rip apart her novels like the crap I feel know them to be, I don't want to feel ashamed of that.

So, I'm a huge Jennifer Crusie fan but right now, I'm peeved at her because her soapbox is a little irritating. It sounds just judgmental enough to remind me of what people always say--or don't say--when I tell them that I enjoy romance novels. She's entitled to her opinion--we all are. But I'll be damned if it doesn't sound preachy and sanctimonious.
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Review: Beyond Seduction, by Stephanie Laurens
**Before I continue and sound ungracious, thank you dihong for this book, without which I would not have been able to spend three pleasurable hours going "WHAAAAAAT? DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND CONFLICT, YOU DAFT COW?!" to the narrator. I haven't felt the urge to write a critique in a while, so know that though the writing itself gave me pain, the shredding of it has brought infinite pleasure.

Title: Beyond Seduction, A Bastion Club Novel
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Genre: Historical Romance
Grade: D+

Brief summary: The Bastion Club is a marriage club, where seven former spies and military types band together at the end of the Napoleonic Wars to form an alliance to help them navigate London Society and woo themselves good wives. Five of its members have married women of matchless birth, breathless passion, deathless love, and peerless character. Gervase (or number six) is a former spy who is persuaded to look amongst the women in his area's Cornish society to find such a woman to wive. He sets his sights upon Madeline Gascoigne, a woman with an unusual degree of independence and responsibility.

This book is a train wreck. An Acela on a nice, straight track headed right into the Hogwarts Express. Just wait for the magical 'sploding.

It was clear the narrator's voice had been subjected to an unfortunate combination of thesaurus.com and lots of Smirnoff...Collapse )

Et tù, Avon? Where have all the editors gone? And Di, thanks! I haven't felt that much righteous, Nemesian indignation (how's that for redundant?) in a while!
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More striking!
As if Katie Couric didn't have enough trouble:


If only my parents weren't dyed-in-the-wool Union members. I could totally be a scab...

1982 (a la hollymahogany)
How appropriate is this after watching a segment on 60 minutes called "The Millennials are Coming!"


You're a 90's kid if:

You can finish this- "Ice ice _ _ _ _"

You remember watching:
-Ren & Stimpy
-Pinky and the Brain
-AAAAAAAH Real Monsters!
-Rockos modern Life.
-Rescue Rangers
-Fraggle rock

You've ever ended a sentence with the word "PSYCHE!"

You just cant resist finishing this... "Iiiiiiin west Philadelphia born and raised..."

You remember:
-Step by Step
-Family Matters
-Boy Meets World
-So weird
-Wild and Crazy Kids

You remember when it was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.

You got super excited when it was Oregon Trail day in computer class at school.

You remember reading "Goosebumps"

You took plastic cartoon lunch boxes to school.

You still get the urge to say "NOT" after (almost) every sentence... not

When everything was settled by:
-rock paper scissors or
-bubble gum bubble gum in a dish or
-daddy had a donkey inky binky bonky.
-skunk in the barn yard
-ms. mary mack
-big mac a tea a tea

When cops and robbers was a daily activity.

When we played hide and go seek until our legs grew numb.

When we used to obey our parents.

You used to listen to the radio all day long just to record your FAVOURITE song of ALL time.

"Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" was both a game and a TV game show.

Captain Planet. He's a Hero.

You remember when Super Nintendos and Sega Genisis became popular.

You remember The Original (Big Gray) Game Boy.

You always wanted to send in a tape to America's Funniest Home Videos... but never taped anything funny.

You remember watching Home Alone 1, 2 , and 3... and tried to pull the pranks on "intruders"

You remember watching:
-The Magic School Bus
-Reading Rainbow
-and Ghostwriter on PBS

Tu Pac was BOSS

You remember when Yo-Yos were cool.

You remember those Where's Waldo books.

You remember eating Warheads and Splashers Gum from that paint bucket.

You remember watching:
-the 1st Batman
-Ninja Turtles
-Ghost busters

You remember Ring Pops.

You remember drinking Surge, and Tang.

If you remember when every thing was "da !"

When they made the new lunchables so that you could make pizza AND tacos.

You remember boom boxes vs. cd players.

Making those little paper fortune cookie things, and then predicting your life with them.

You played and/or collected "Pogs" :)

You had at least one Tamagachi, GigaPet, or Nano and brought it everywhere.

One word....furbies!

You haven't always had a computer, and it was cool to have the internet.

And Windows 95 was the best.

You watched the original cartoons of Rugrats, Power Rangers, and Ninja Turtles.

Michael Jordan was a king.

YIKES pencils and erasers were the stuff!

All your school supplies were "Lisa Frank" brand.

You remember when the new Beanie Babies and Tickle Me Elmo were always sold out.

You collected those Beanie Babies.


Gak was the coolest stuff invented.

Lambchop's song never ended.

The old dollar bills.

Silver dollars, which were cool to have.

Everyone watched the WB and yelled at people who interrupted them.

You collected all the Troll dolls.

If you even know what an original walkman is.

If you still have one.

You remember wanting to sit on the orange Nickelodeon couch.

You've gotten creeped out by "Are You Afraid of the Dark?"

You know the Macarena by heart.

"Talk to the hand"... enough said

You always said, "Then why don't you marry it!"

You went to McDonald's to play in the playplace.

You remember playing on merry go rounds at the playground.

Before the MySpace frenzy...

Before the Internet & text messaging...

Before Sidekicks & iPods...

Before MIKE JONES...

Before PlayStation2 or X-BOX...

Before Spongebob...

Back when you put off the 5 hours of homework you had every night.

When light up sneakers were cool.

When you rented VHS tapes, not DVDs.

When gas was $0.95 a gallon & Caller ID was a new thing.

When we recorded stuff of VCRs.

When we called the radio station to request songs to hear off of our walkman.

When checking out drawing books and that one book about the rainbow fish from the library was THE cool thing to do.

You had slap bracelets!

You actually played outside until it was dark!

Before we realized all this would eventually disappear.

Post this in your bulletin/blog/entry if you remember these days....with the year you were born.
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Car ads & lighting
When I bought my then-brand new 2007 Hyundai Sonata, it was gorgeous -- deep water blue™, sparkly, and had a mere 9 miles on the odometer.

Still, it wasn't nearly as purdy as the sparkly, well-lit car that zipped and zoomed around in the commercials, or hell, even as shiny and--again--well-lit as the one in all of the web-ads.

I am disgusted.

Didn't MY car merit gorgeous lighting? And if it doesn't, why doesn't my inflated car note cover that? Now, it just looks like a slightly-glossy, sorta-dirty navy under the harsh, anemic glare (squint?) of the autumn sun.
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