Sizzle Fizzle

I did something very unusual last night, and naturally I want to share the sordid details with my loyal readers.

I abandoned a book. YES. I hated it more and more and finally gave up around the halfpoint at chapter 11. (I went up to 11.) This book, Sizzling, is by Susan Mallery, and I just reviewed another book in the series, Irresistible, which I loved. I called that one “a perfect romance novel.” How could I have enjoyed one book so much and despised the other? I don’t know!

*****POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT*****

Remember when I said that the grandmother’s nastiness in Irresistible was near the edge of believability? Well, Mallery took that nastiness and blew it out to infinity for Sizzling. It was completely ridiculous… but even worse was when Grandma gave it up. Yep, one day she broke down in tears, our heroine Lori the nurse told her to quit being such a bitch, and she did. Just like that. Poof!

I absolutely could not stand the hero, Reid. God, what a jerk. And I’m supposed to wait for his redeeming qualities to emerge and shine because he’s just so darned handsome? Um no. I just can’t get interested, literarily or otherwise, in a man who’s slept with thousands of women. That’s just gross. And wah wah he only acted like a pig because all these women offered since he was this hotshot baseball player. Not only that, but his first love broke his heart, so it was only logical he felt like a useless stud. Um what? Blargh.

Even worse was Lori’s inexplicable attraction to Reid. I realize that’s the whole point of the story, but it made no sense. And Mallery kept repeating how it made no sense, but nevertheless Lori just flipped out at the sight of him every time, even though she thought he was stupid, lazy, ungrateful, etc. And suddenly Reid is no longer attracted to gorgeous women, but wants Lori, the ordinary nurse. Just, bam, like that.

Why does anything need a reason, hey? Just fling it all on the page and be done.

I stopped reading when Lori went to his room (for no reason) and let him take her to bed. “Oh, God. They were going to have sex.” Lori thinks she needs more foreplay and intimacy (and so do I, as the reader), but eh the heck with it. After all, he is soooo good-looking. How is the reader supposed to sympathize with her at this point? I was basically embarrassed for her. That was my feeling when I threw the book down in disgust. Embarrassment. It seemed as if he was doing her a favor and she knew it. Yuck!

I’m totes done with Mallery books. This was one of the worst romances I’ve ever read. I can’t remember the last time I hated a book too much to finish.

Randomly Unscheduled Dating Site Rant

I made an OKCupid profile several weeks ago on a whim because I had taken a pretty selfie. I don’t expect to meet Mr. Right or even Mr. Close Enough, but when I don’t try a little bit I feel like I’ve given up, and that’s not good.

Here’s a funny tidbit ~ my initial profile was light, breezy, open, and fun. You know, the kind of profile “they” say women should have. I received very few messages. I began to edit and add, as I do, and the more I write, the bitchier I sound, and now I’m getting a stream of messages.

At first, I answered 2500 questions, but then I realized that many were irrelevant to a possible new relationship and others had to be explained. I wiped my questions and started over, making sure I care about a question/reply before I mark it. I avoid ridiculous hypotheticals and anything where I feel trapped into marking a reply I don’t 100% agree with. None of my current answers require mitigating blabbery in the textbox. I match very high with a lot of men now, mostly non-locals, and many have contacted me.

Don’t get excited ~ these types comprise the majority of my emails:

1. The obvious spammer/con artist. He has one generic photo and hardly any questions marked. He’s usually from a place like Dumbfuck, Montana, has iffy English, and his message is a form letter. “Good morning beautifull angel. How are you? I’m new here and saw your profile. Immediately I want to get to know you so we can have a stimulating life together. Please text me right away at bla bla blah.”

2. The hi guy. He has a real profile, though with many misspellings and grammatical errors. His message? “Hey” or “hi there” or “cute photo.” Blargh.

3. The illiterate. He must be because he is clearly falls into one of my deal-killer categories, such as being allergic to cats. Why does he bother writing? You got me.

4. The pigtail-puller. His first message is a complaint or criticism. Yeah, that’s attractive. I realize that he wrote because there are things about me he likes, and the trolling is simply a way of getting my attention. But it pisses me off, so I either shitcan him on the spot or, if I’m bored enough, reply snippily. Even if we end up communicating a bit, there’s no way anything good is going to come of this. I want a romance, not a Usenet snipefest!

5. More boring than a boring boring thing. “Hi. I see you’re a writer. That’s really cool. I also like movies and sushi. Would you like to chat?” Sometimes I’ll reply to boringman, if he has a good profile and photo. I think, well, we do have a high match score, and he’s sorta cute… maybe he’s holding back on the charm and wit until the second message. Snort. Smart, funny men are compelling in their first email. [REMEMBER THIS ~ note to self.]

Aaaaanyway. If anything happens in the lurve department, trust me, my blogpeeps will be the first to know. Loyalty like yours does not go unrewarded.

Words of Love

I have a bunch of CDs I’ve never listened to and figured I’d better get going on that. The first one I grabbed was Reader’s Digest ~ The Mamas and The Papas. I heart that group (or so I thought), so naturally I assumed I would love this music. Gak! No!

M&P

What a crappy bunch of songs! Blargh. The only ones I enjoyed were the hits I’d already heard; M&P mangled every other song. How could any cover of Twist and Shout not be peppy and fun, right? Eesh, they made it sound like a funeral dirge. Except for the hit tunes, all the songs were so whiny and boring.

As an aside, I have this vague animosity toward Reader’s Digest and I think it’s because I found out decades ago they are anti-abortion. I could be wrong, but let’s go with it. Unfortunately my mother ordered a bunch of junk from them in her later years.

Still, after all this time, some things hold up:

“Words of love
So soft and tender
Won’t win a girl’s heart anymore
If you love her
Then you must send her
Somewhere where she’s never been before.”

Two Reviews

I read a couple romance novels recently and liked them both a lot.

The first was As Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye. There were many good things about this book, including great chemistry between the protags, something different in that the hero was a skilled tattoo artist (even though of course being a supertough ex-military dude), and fun side characters. I loved the hero’s brother ~ great sibling banter between them. There was also a bunch of funny banter among the military buddies.

I did have a couple minor issues with this book. The first was the meaningless addition of a stray three-legged dog ~ we already know the heroine is a caring, warm-hearted nurse. There was no reason to toss in the dog to bring this out. It felt completely arbitrary. And what’s with these missing-limb pets lately? They even thought of naming it Tripod! Gah.

I also had an issue with the plot. While using the abduction of the heroine’s brother to bring the protags together was fine, the massive depth and breadth of the secret involving her father/the hero’s commander was ridic. I’m sure the entire Baltimore police dept would really be in on that. The reason I’m calling this a “minor issue” is because we all know the plot is secondary in a romance novel. The character development and love story between the protags here were rock solid. But I’d rather not get distracted from that by stoopid conspiracy theories. Overall, ’twas a good book. (I bought the sequel apparently via the very clever one-click thingie at the end of the Kindle novel. Doh.)

I also read Irresistible by Susan Mallery. This was a perfect romance novel; everything was exactly right. The main characters were good peeps with trust issues, and the slow untangling of those made for a great read. The side chars were interesting in their own right, and some also have their own novels, yay. I will probably be buying one or more of those, and possibly other books by Ms. Mallery. Irresistible had a very simple plot structure and no glaring over-complications thrown in at random. It skirted the edge of believability at times, such as with the meanness of the hero’s grandmother, but never crossed over.

OK, one thing. Irresistible had a gorgeous pink cover with a pic of a cupcake on it ~ gosh, I wonder if this influenced me to buy the book at CVS in the first place? But there are no cupcakes in the book, not one. The heroine baked a pie for the hero after he fixed her car and there were lots of other food incidents, but no frosting. I still gave the book 4 stars on Goodreads because I loved it, but really is it so hard to have covers that go with books? The worst are the covers of old where the hair color is wrong. Nothing worse than buying a novel with a pic of a swooning redhead in a pirate’s arms… only to find out she’s really a blonde.

More reviews coming soon!

Cupcake Blanking

I’m so glad I keep a record of cupcakeries here because, unbelievably, I blanked out on some cupcakes the other day.

So, let me tell you all about it. Better sit down.

I met someone for brunch in Orange (it’s a city).  As I was driving there, I had to navigate a traffic circle. Gawd, how I hate those! But this triggered a memory, and not the traffic circle in Long Beach either (possibly the worst, scariest one ever) ~ I thought… hmm, I’ve been here before… but why? Could I have come to get cupcakes? Then I passed The Perfect Circle, a cupcakery on Glassell Street. Yes, YES… I had been here before! I made a right and parked in the lot behind the stores, which I kinda thought was maybe where I parked last time.

During brunch, I kept thinking about The Perfect Circle. I remembered that I had been in a phase of trying new cupcakeries rather than going to Sprinkles all the time (even though it is the best). One day, in June 2012, I had visited my father and gone to TPC afterwards. I believed that Orange was near Tustin, where he lived, so this would be a quick trip. Well, no. I always screw up cities, directions, distances, etc. Or let’s say I used to before I had Gladys, my nosy phone that tells me what to do, where to go, and how to get there. Frees up a lot of brainspace for more important things.

In any case, I definitely had been to TPC… I realized during my yogurt granola parfait. But only once, so I probably would have tried only two cupcakes. Time to nom otter flavors! I decided to stop at TPC after brunch and get some. Which flavors had I nommed already? Of course I could not remember this. But! For sure I would have blogged about it. No way would I have failed to share my TPC experience with my loyal peeps. I could look up the poastie on my phone right away. Would be rude to do this while my brunch date was talking? Surely he would understand about cupcakes. But I waited until he went to the bathroom.

Imagine my horror to discover that I had hated the cupcakes from TPC. Check it out. Both cupcakes I tried were terrible, so no wonder I had blanked out this experience. Sadness. Big relief however that I saved myself from (1) dealing with another person while buying cupcakes; and (2) the very real possibility of moar bad noms. WHEW!

But now I really want a good cupcake…

Search Term Pome

I met a woman online
She is stalking me
Viola

Dos Sueños

I think about driving a lot. Not in the guy-sense of woo I’m such a great driver, vroom vroom, but in the terrified doom sense of feeling I’m going to die in a crash at some point, either because I do something stupid or (more likely) some maniac smashes into me. Then there is the less dramatic but still horrible feeling that any day one of my daughters or I will end up in a minor accident. And massive paperwork/hassle/financial-messiness will ensue.

This isn’t anything new/weird for me. I just don’t talk about it that much.

And it isn’t irrational ~ car accidents are pretty damn common. This is a more reasonable thing to worry about than, say, your kid getting abducted/molested by a stranger, which people obsess over constantly.

Not that worrying helps unless it causes you to drive more safely or, better yet, stay off the roads. That’s pretty impractical though.

Earlier this week I dreamt I drove alone to a big house because I had to go to a thingie with my ex’s family. Dunno what thingie, not the point. Point is the house was huge and so was the driveway, yet there were already cars parked in it, all crookedly (I’m famous for my crooked parking), and even though there looked to be room, it was hard to maneuver. I managed to squish my car at an angle between two others. Everything was OK. But then I decided I should straighten a bit, backed up, and mashed right into another car. It was silver ~ this I remember, but not what I was driving or much other detail.

When I looked to my left, I thought I saw my ex sitting in the driver’s seat of a car a little ways away, watching me and smiling, but when I refocused it was some other man I don’t even know.

*

Then two nights ago I dreamt I was in a house with my youngest daughter ~ kind of a townhouse type of thing, but not a place where we actually lived. She was around 10 years old, and some other girls were there, too, playing I guess. There was a horrible loud noise and I somehow knew it was a plane… went outside and there was an airplane on fire in the sky, with stuff falling out of it, suitcases, whatever. The air began to fill with smoke and ash, but when I turned to go in, my little girl had opened the front door and the cat ran out. She began yelling and chasing it, which made it run more. Papers from the plane were falling all around us while the thing kept flying and burning. Finally my daughter caught the cat and we all went in the house.

At least I haven’t dreamt about tsunamis in a while.

The Moon of Saturn

The Moon of Saturn

[newspome for April 3]

The moon of Saturn has a sea
Bill Clinton believes in aliens
Maybe
Speaking of sex
A new calculator detects
Our calorie deficit
As we burn up the sheets
Monster erotica is selling hard
Again this week
New York has cupcake ATMs
Vending all-night treats
In the city that never sleeps
(Sometimes you need frosting
After getting plowed)
Speaking of cute
You can play with otter pups
For five hundred bucks
At a Colorado zoo
Jay McInerney writes on wine now too
Remember him?
He gave us Alison the party Poole girl
Who turned out to be real
Like the Velveteen Bunny
And had John Edwards’ baby
Maybe
Bill Clinton believes in aliens
There’s a blood moon eclipse soon
And the moon of Saturn has a sea.

Adventures in Orange County

Here I am, no worries. Have been doing… things.

So, let me tell you about my exciting Friday night. I’m driving home from work and it seems every road in Orange County is now being ripped up and repaved. Obviously the great pie in the sky is raining down gold nuggets on our lovely local cities, and naturally the ideal time for giant noisy slow trucks to do their thing is during morning and evening rush hours. Also, Friday night there was a big to-do on a nearby corner with all sorts of flashing red and blue lights, plus people gawking at… whatever it was.

I’m in a fabulous mood from dealing with all this, so when I finally get home I’m even more thrilled to discover that the power is out in my apartment building. I looked for my emergency lantern thingie in my car, but couldn’t find it or even a flashlight. My mother would have been pissed at me for being so unprepared. I clomp up the stairs in pitch-dark, trying not to fall and die. Get inside, and yep, it’s dark in there, too. But I grab two flashlights and… do… well, nothing. What can you do? I went to the SoCal Edison website on my phone and found the little map of outages ~ yep, we were out. No more info, no estimated time of repair. Great.

So, I did the obvious thing and drove to Tarjay to get a chai latte and shop for stuffs. Their power was out too, parking lot was totally dark, but they must have had emergency power in the store, since it was all lit up and functioning. Must not interrupt the spending of the monies!

Emerg1

Emergency radio/torchlight thinger, mascara, eyeliner, earbuds, and romance novel ~ I am totally prepared now for the zombie apocalypse, my people!

Also bought water and Zone bars. That’s all you need really.

Emerg2

Zone bars are always fabulously priced at Tarjay, btw. Way less than anywhere else.

Anyway, of course after I spend $120+ at Tarjay, the power’s back on when I get home. But that’s OK because I needed these things.

Let me tell you about this awesome emergency radio/torchlight! This is not your grandma’s boring lantern, no. This has a PHONE CHARGER on it. Is that not the coolest thing evar?! Besides the radio, it has an emergency alert whatzit (guess if you turn it on you get gobblement announcements about where the zombies are lurking, until the zombies eat up all the announcers). It also has something called “weather band,” but idk wtf that is. There are no instructions or info. It is what it is.

I bought a big economy pack of AA batteries for my radiolanterncharger, and naturally I already had a big economy pack of AA batteries in my tiger box. But you can never have too many, is what I always say.

Emerg3

And I charged my phone just to test it out ~ it worked! Amazing…

Emerg4

There are two degrees of light… blasting and muted. The muted light works super-well to illuminate a large area.

Emerg5

 

So, I’m sitting at the kitchen table playing with my new toy here and what happens? EARTHQUAKE!!11!

I’m sure you’ve already heard about the 5.1 La Habra quake because it was all over the news instantly. Generally quakes don’t upset me, but this one coming after the rest of the stressful evening tipped me over the edge and freaked me out. What the hell was going on?

I did the usual thing one does right after an earthquake and went onto Facebook to see what everyone was saying about it. I also spoke to people on my (charged) phone about how it was all scary and shit.

If you are wondering at this point whether I took a valium to get to sleep, let me reassure you right now that I did indeed. Got a fabulous night’s sleep, too. :)

Things are back to boringly normal now in the O.C.

Search Terms

Remember back in the day when we used to chortle over the words people searched that landed them at our blogs? Fun stuff… and I’ve been forgetting to check mine. You can only obsess over so many things at once. Anyway, here are mine for the last month.

“Erotica” ~ dunno what search engine they were using, but I went 25 pages in on Google and didn’t find Light Motifs. Kind of cool though that such a generic word would result in a hit for me.

“Topamax and orange juice” ~ that would be this poast from over 2 years ago. The OJ ban had no effect on my migraines. I have recently gone off Topamax though. What happened is that during a particularly bad spate I saw a doc who decided to increase my dosage rather than conclude the drug was no longer helping me. This flipped me instantly into brainfail and I couldn’t remember anything or summon up words. I returned to my previous dosage and then wondered why I was still taking it at all, so I reduced it gradually and quit. I have noticed zero difference in migraines, so I’m very glad I stopped taking such a powerful drug. My brain is back to normal, too (pre-2009 normal) ~ I’m writing poetry again and am better at word games and such. Also, in this poast I mention I joined eHarmony ~ aka flushing $200 down the toilet.

“‘It was someone else’s mistake” rizzo’” ~ aw, they found my Jeff Conaway poast from 2011.

“Round flat object” ~ this was my c00kie poast that received no comments. Thanks, slackers. I’m very embarrassed that a searcher stumbled onto one of my writings that none of my blogpeeps thought worthy of remarking on.

“Candles on paper boats means” ~ this is a quote from a book I liked, poasted in 2011 as well. I believe the character in the book was also quoting someone else. Funny how that goes.

“Quote every great writer had a conflicted reationship with the place thy grew up in” ~ this is from a recent poast where I’m quoting Orange County, the movie.

“Lost earring in gym” ~ why would someone Google this? People are weird. In any case, here’s my poastie on my lost earrings. I updated it to announce that I found my missing amethyst stud in my car, but I AM SO SORRY that I forgot to tell y’all that I found my silver marcasite earrings, too! They were in the wrong jewelry box compartment, probably put there when I was in Topamax brainfog. Ugh, I hate when I misplace things… luckily it rarely happens.

“Resurrection” ~ again, I went 25 pages in on Google without a hit, so this person must have been very determined to find… something. But I’ve only written the word once here, and it was in this poast about my watch. It still keeps time, but only sporadically. Haven’t decided yet if I’ll spring for a repair.

Fascinating, no? I thought so. :)