"Well, well, well, long time no see. And how’s life treating you?"

Jarod: The Pretender (1998), A Stand-Up Guy (#2.13)

Miss Parker: Like he caught me in bed with his wife.

And that about sums it up. After the lice fiasco of ’09 things have been steadily rolling downhill and gaining speed. We moved, twice. One was a complete and utter disaster and after 5 months I probably have enough material to keep up on this blog for three years. The other move…too soon to tell.

While I don’t have a fresh post for you now, I do happen to have a couple of posts that I wrote about half a year ago. They are of the Fiction & Composition category but for now they’re better than nothing.


I was going to give you a review of the latest Kim Harrison book White Witch, Black Curse but ended up so far off track that I decided to shelve that post and continue with the tangent I picked up while writing it.

With the release of WWBC Ms. Harrison has come under attack for the way she resolved a certain situation in the book. I don’t know who said what because I missed all the drama. But, I’ve gleaned from the remaining shards that there have been some people, or maybe just some one, who is expressing their unhappiness in a way that is anything but constructive. Ms. Harrison herself said some of the criticism “has just been nasty!”

From what I’ve seen, Ms. Harrison has handled this with the right amount of class and sass. It thrills me to no end she fully understands she is the author. She gets that people have become emotionally vested in her characters and may not agree with everything she writes. But, she is the author and as she says, “I have the keyboard.” and she’s not afraid to use it. She created a wonderful world and everyone in it and can do with them as she pleases. We may not agree, and heck, to be quite honest, I too felt a little let down. But then, I was feeling let down by the whole situation to begin with. Did I feel this gave me the right to bitch at the author? Heck no! I should thank her for doing her job so well she prompted an emotional response. Credit where credit is due. Hats off to you, Ms. Harrison for a job well done.

Unfortunately there are some stinkers out there. I think in general we all understand it’s one thing to berate a character for their actions. I mean haven’t we all shouted something at the TV or movie screen when someone has done something monumentally stupid or contrary to what we think they should do? In a book it’s no different. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been reading and something like “Oh, you idiot,” has been mumbled. This is realism, it’s true to life, and just like life people don’t always behave the way we want them to.

But going after the author I just don’t understand. Offer feedback, that’s fine. Say what you didn’t like and why. Don’t be mad and berate her because she made you feel something. I think I’d be mad I wasted my money if I didn’t.

Yes, I would have liked to have seen a more….intense….outcome. But it’s over; it’s time to move on. The author has written it that way for a reason. People that have a problem with that should stick to choose your own adventure books where they have some control over the outcome. As much as I liked things the way they were, I know things must change to open up new opportunities. Sucks, but it is what it is. Will it cause me to quit reading her books? Heck no. I’m looking forward to moving on from here and seeing where Ms. Harrison takes us next.


PS: I LOVE Pierce!

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“Mouse, mice, creepy crawly lice!”

Farley Drexel ‘Fudge’ Hatcher: ABC Weekend Specials (1977), Fudge-A-Mania (#15.3)

What did you do this weekend? Me? I picked lice out of the son’s hair. It was a nightmare! I had to go through the whole treatment as a kid. At this point, I have to give a most-dedicated-father-in-the-world award to my dad. I’ve always had extremely long hair. And when my school declared I had lice, did my dad chop my hair off to make it easier to comb the solution through with that itty bitty comb? Definitely not. I don’t know how long it took, but he combed and combed and I probably cried and cried but he didn’t cut my hair. After what I went through this weekend, I realize that took a huge amount of restraint on his part. And probably a ton of don’t-cut-my-hair crocodile tears on my part. The son’s hair is just past his shoulders (almost 10′ long – we measured for Locks of Love about two weeks ago) and thick. It took four hours to comb it. That was just to comb it. First you have to put the solution on the hair, and then you wait ten minutes before you can wash it out. After that the combing begins. But then there is all the laundry that needs to be washed. The clothes, the hats, the pillows the sheets and blankets plus vacuuming and cleaning all the brushes and combs. It is a serious undertaking. And BONUS we get to do it again in a week.

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“Did my eye twitch?”

Harry Berg: The Squeeze (1987)

It started yesterday after I woke up. It was twitching pretty bad for a while, and kept up all night while I was at work. It is still going and it’s driving me crazy. Even worse, according to Chinese superstition this is not a good thing. It’s my left eye, and twitching in the left eye is a sign of bad luck coming my way. Maybe I’d be better off believing the Indian superstition where the left eye is a good omen.

At any rate, I started this post in the afternoon before I went to bed with my twitching eye. Around 7:30 the investor called and left me a message on my voice mail. I’m sure you can guess it wasn’t good news. Not that it was bad news either, it was just odd. He said there might be mail coming for the owner, and if it did, I wasn’t supposed to return it to the sender. I was supposed to get it and call him so he could come pick it up. I didn’t think of this until now, but I think he might mean there’s something that needs to be signed for. That would be even worse than I thought. I guess it’s time to go look up the eviction laws for tenants renting properties facing foreclosure.

The good news is it looks like we found a place that interests us. It is practically just around the corner from where we are now, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and the price is right. I’ll post more when I know more.

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“Ow, my shin! Such pain I am feeling!”

Bowling Terrorist Leader: Heppoko jikken animêshon excel saga (1999)

Since the husband has to get in shape he started walking. He has 7 weeks. For the first week he’s walking, just to loosen things up. That means we all started walking. 45 minutes…once around the block…2.3 miles…walking…for 45 minutes…every night. Tonight made 4 nights in a row. The first night wasn’t so bad. A sharp reminder of how out of shape I am, but not bad. The second night was better than the first. We kept a brisk pace and had a nice walk. Last night however I felt like I was struggling through molasses. I have shin splints, and my back and hips are so sore. There is a joke in our house that I never stick to my exercise program more than three days. Now I know why. Last night was so difficult – day three must feel like this all the time. I can tell you I didn’t want to walk tonight. But I did it, yes I did. 45 minutes…once around the block…2.3 miles…walking…for 45 minutes.

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“I stayed up all night. I read the entire Bible cover to cover.”

Dave Rygalski: Gilmore Girls” (2000)

Come on, take a wild guess, what is the first subject on the list? Yep, Bible study. This is one of those subjects that has plagued us for a while now. Back in March we were using a curriculum from Deeper Roots. I really liked it, in the beginning. Then it seemed to come undone for us. I mean the first few chapters were tight. Well thought out and thought provoking. Then things began to drift. To make matter worse the son BOMBED the Bible portion of his standardized test. So this year we’re going back to whole book study. I found Balancing the Sword. It comes with planning software and there are a few different ways you can set it up. I wanted to do the bible in a school year (176 days), but the son just doesn’t read that fast. So he took the reading test (part of the software) and is going to read straight from the bible for 15 minutes then answer the questions that are in the book for another 15. It’s scheduled to take him 360 days. I’m thinking I’ll need to add some devotional stuff in, but for now, it looks like it will do. If not, I’m sure you’ll hear about it.

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“I’m making it that simple. I quit! I resign! I-I’m fired!”

Buffy: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997), Prophecy Girl (#1.12)

I did it, I said I would. Last night at the parents meeting I quit. And it feels so good!

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“How was your first day of school?”

Earl Hickey: My Name Is Earl (2005), Randy’s Touchdown (#1.3)

I declared today, August 10th, 2009 to be the first day of 8th grade. It didn’t go so well. By 1pm the son still wasn’t up. Yes, I overslept, but only until 10:30am. I attempted to wake the kid then, and again at 11:00, 11:15, 11:30 then became distracted reading Gilmore Girls episode recaps. I didn’t know I missed so much. I thought I watched the show more than I did apparently. At any rate, by 1pm I’d had enough. I marched, ok, walked with a purpose into the sons room where I stated, of yelled with a purpose to, “GET UP NOW!” He sat up in bed, blinked and I repeated my demand. After that, it was another hour before he was coherent enough to start school. Since it was so late I scrapped the whole jump right in idea and instead we went through each subject, read the introductions and did the prep work. This year, as it should be, is going to be tougher than ever before. We have an ambitious plan, and a few high school level courses. I’ll go through them soon so you can see what for of torture we’re subjecting the son to this year.

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"Would you like some new shoes?"

Charles Rutledge: They All Laughed (1981)

Along with the husbands 09/10 FY schedule came notice of a physical fitness test. It’s the first weekend in October. That gives the husband seven weeks to get in a shape other than round. To do this, I guess he needs new shoes. My husband and shoe shopping do not go well together. The finding the shoes part isn’t so bad. It’s convincing him to go ahead with the purchase of the shoes he really likes as opposed to the cheaper shoes that is a nightmare since the shoes he really likes are almost always more expensive by quite a bit. Today was no different. I snuck a pair of the more expensive shoes on the pile, and he really liked those, until he saw the price. Then we went back to the cheaper modes but the disappointment was evident. They just didn’t feel as ‘cushy’. So I snuck the ones he really liked back in the try-on pile and he really liked those some more. I told him to just give up at that point. While I don’t equate more expensive with better all the time, point of fact, my walking shoes are a $60 pair of Nike’s. Expensive to some, but on the scale of athletic shoe pricing, on the low end. I believe athletic shoes are expensive for a reason the same way computers are expensive for a reason. Time and effort spent in design multiplied by technology and material used in construction. I don’t mind paying $135 for shoes if they get worn. I do mind paying $39.99 for shoes then have the only action they see is as the subject of the complaint they aren’t comfortable. If that $135 saves my sanity, well, who could say no? I not a fan of ‘I told you so’. Unfortunately it is a phrase I utter too often. Not to rub in that I was right. Instead it comes in the form that you should have listened to me, but didn’t. I never get the chance to be right the first time. Always in retrospect and by then it’s too late. Well this time, I was not about to listen to another six month bitch that the reason the shoes grow dust in the closet is because they aren’t comfortable. I’d rather listen to the bitch over the cost. At least it is short term and negated by how happy cushy shoes can make a man who spends his days on his feet in steel toe boots.

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"Zoinks! It’s the creepy coin collector again!"

Norville ‘Shaggy’ Rogers: Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (1969), Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too (#1.12)

The son had a merit badge clinic at the LA convention Center today during the ANA World’s Fair of Money. And what is the World Fair of Money? Something we regular folk call a geek fest. Not buying it? Ok then, it’s a coin show. The son isn’t a collector, but that’s what merit badges are for. Exploring the possibilities. I think he may be into it. At least he didn’t pitch a fit when it came to assembling the needed coins. Not like it was all that difficult. He raided my dad’s collection. After the clinic we made a quick round of the show floor. We got in free since we attended the clinic, and the clinic didn’t cost anything either. The whole thing was pretty cool. I almost regret saying I was going to start my day trip challenge on Monday. See, I paid for parking. That was the deal, my friend drove and I paid for parking. The parking was $12 and since the boys were starving on the way home we stopped and got them burgers. That set me back about $6.00, so for the day, if it would have counted I would have come in $2 and change under budget. Not a bad deal. Now I just need to figure out what we’re going to for our first day trip of the challenge. I’m thinking something free.

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"Oh, great. How much is this going to cost me?"

Ken Titus: Titus (2000)

One thing I forgot to consider when coming up with this little day trip idea was cost. Money will definitely be a factor. Now consider, we’re planning stateside travel as part of our Round the World trip. If we go/see/do things we were planning to include on the trip now, we wont have to go/see/do them later thus giving us more time. BUT, some of those things will cost money making this a time/money equation. If we take a weekly day trip, when it comes to the RTW trip, we will have more time, but less money. The solution would be to save more money, but sure, *insert sarcasm* that’s as easy as it sounds. Maybe I should figure out what our daily budget will be, and set that as the max per trip. I am aiming for $30,000 per person for the RTW. Using that as the base, the per day cost comes out to $82 per person. $82pp pd times three people and the day trip max could reasonably be $250. Oh, Wow! One trip a week, we’re looking at roughly $25600 in day trips over the next two years. No way! That’s almost 1/3rd of the entire budget! I think not! Sure, we are talking about a hair over 100 trips, but let’s be real. What if we take the per person cost and set that as the budget, $82 per trip for all three. That puts us just over $8500 for the day trips, or 9% of the total RTW budget. I still don’t want to do that, 9% is a big chunk. If we make $82 the monthly budget, we come in just under $2000 for the two years. Heck, Rachel Ray spends $40 a day on FOOD when she travels. And she considers that a good thing. $82 a month means we can spend $20 on each day trip, $20.55 to be exact. Am I up to that challenge? Ah, what the heck. Let’s give it a shot. Now, for the ground rules: Beginning August 10, 2009 I have $82 per month to spend on day trips. Better yet, let’s call a duck a duck and say I that I have $20.55 each week to spend. Money can be carried over to the next week, but not borrowed from the weeks ahead. Gasoline does not count toward the total. If it did, we wouldn’t get out of the driveway. But I will count all tolls and parking fees. Food purchase anywhere between the driveway and destination, including at the destination, counts. Food brought from home that was purchased within the regular grocery budget ($120 per week) does not. Camping fees, admissions, permits all count. That’s all I can think of right now. Oh, and we have to go SOMEWHERE and do SOMETHING each week that is not part of our normal schedule. I can also use any passes or discounts I may currently have. I think I have a couple of tickets to Disneyland, and some movie passes. I’m not sure what else, but if I find it, I can use it. Now, I need to get to work on a plan.

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