Category Archives: TV

Speaking of Unfinished Projects…

It’s not only my 2017 NaNoWriMo (and other) writing projects that have been set aside, hopefully temporarily, but also some craft projects too. A while back, actually years ago now, I began making a super special secret item for my Cal daughter, in blue and gold. Took a class and everything. And it’s sitting right here in the bag, unfinished. Technically, it is officially unstarted now, since I ripped out the entire thing due to its being imperfect. I don’t remember how to do it from way back when… sort of a beginner crochet stitch, I guess. Oh look, there are instructions, yippee! Only six steps in total, so how hard can it be? LOL

Next is a scarf for myself I began knitting with circular needles at my other daughter’s two Thanksgivings ago ~ really lovely colors in a variegated yarn. I actually got pretty far on this, maybe over halfway done. Need to figure out how to blend in the next skein of yarn because I used up the first skein, and then end the scarf after that. It’s soooo soft and cozy. Blues and browns, like the sand and sea. I can’t wait to wear it!

I got a craving this weekend to do needlepoint again and began searching Amazon and eBay for kits I might like to make. Found one ~ a trio of beautiful red poppies for a pillow or picture. Yes, I bought that even though I still need to finish the two otter yarny things and all the writing ever. I consider this rather restrained because I almost bought a gorgeous kit of purple pansies too and the only reason I didn’t is because it wasn’t as versatile for picture or pillow. It would have to be a picture when finished and I’m not sure I want a purple picture. I have no problem with a purple pillow.

But what I really want to do is design my own cross stitch pattern. I did a simple one ages ago, and the one I have in mind will be a little more complicated. It’s very mathy and time-consuming, but when has that ever stopped me? Right. I started one yesterday with an online template, but when you use the online ones they either let you do a photo or text and naturally I want a combination of both.

Here’s a weird thing: when I was poking around eBay I found the very first needlework kit project I ever did! No lie, when I was 14 years old, I did this crewel design, brought it with me to babysitting jobs and did it at home while watching TV also. I can’t believe they made so many kits that some are still around in their original packaging 40+ years later. I grabbed a Google image to put here because I think the eBay link might disappear.

Crewel bouquet

Look how beautiful this is! My God, I am tempted to buy it again and remake it, for old times’ sake. You really can go home again. I wonder what happened to mine? It wasn’t this well done, of course. My first project. I didn’t even use stretcher bars. What a n00b.


The Daily Prompt: Knit


Buffet Paralysis

Choice is good; too much choice leaves me paralyzed. Not talking about dating again, though I could be, but that’s too boring. I’m talking about social media generally ~ there is simply too damn much of it now. When we had only Usenet (BITGOD), supplemented by our frantic, gossipy, occasionally flirtatious backchanneling emails, that already took up way too much free time, especially for those of us trying to do Serious Writing. Gawd forbid if we had Real Jobs too, yipes.

Then came, what, some other drippy sites, then blergging, then faceblop, which isn’t just one thing now, but has spawned into a devilmass of special groups to soak up every fucking minute of the day. Yes, you can turn off all those notifications, and I have. Also, there’s twatter and instapeep and group chats on messenger… and this doesn’t even touch actual news sites and e-magazines we might want to read and a constant flow of shows to watch via Prime or ‘Flix or whatever thing plus books on Kindle all piled up and regular books too and it’s all driving me insane. Good for you if you have a handle on all this shit. Yay you.

I’m paralyzed by this. I feel if I neglect Facebook and chats, then friendships will fade, especially with people I don’t see in meatspace. If I give up Twitter, then I won’t have a “presence” to promote the books I never write anyway. Instagram is no big deal to spend less or no time on, but it takes up the least time in the first place, so that doesn’t help much. I already don’t read as much as I’d like to, for a writer. I don’t actually watch many movies at home and no TV shows now that Game of Thrones is done for a while. I’ve been writing nothing this summer, nothing at all.

Summer’s almost over and I’m really bummed about my lack of progress. I have a few new poems this year, that’s it. No inspiration for a new novel and only a few more ideas for poems. BITGOD I used to feel I had plenty of time to myself, plenty of time to write, even time to exercise after work, and I have that same amount of time now… I just have to stop letting the internet steal it. September is always a good time for me to make a fresh start. Perpetual student here.


PS: Don’t bother looking up BITGOD since I just invented it. Use your noodle. 🙂


The prompt the otter day was carousel, a lovely word, but I had nothing. Twice before I poasted pomes with carousel and I was tapped out. Years ago I took relevant pics, but I had no time to hunt them down. For whatever reason, the word bounced around in my brainpain throughout the day. Maybe it was the associated music, plus the colorful horsies. Idk. I couldn’t stop thinking about carousels… then I remembered an old Mad Men episode where Don Draper was demonstrating a photo carousel. That was a very moving ep, as I recall. I loved that show until it JTS’d, which for me was around the time he left his wife and she married that creepy politician. Things just got too crazy after that. Plus didn’t it take them over a year to come up with a new season at some point? I lost interest.

Anyway. Thinking about Don Draper naturally led me to the word carouse, which I decided must be related to carousel. Well, isn’t it obvious? But that isn’t the case at all! In fact, I had totally the wrong idea about carouse, which is shocking after all my years of romance novel reading. I assumed it meant a wild night of partying and causing trouble in the streets, being loud, probably making obscene suggestions to women, etc. But no. It basically means a drinking spree. You can be doing the partying, but that’s secondary to the drinking.

1550s, from Middle French carousser “drink, quaff, swill,” from German gar aus “quite out,” from gar austrinken ; trink garaus “to drink up entirely.” Frequently also as an adverb in early English usage ( to drink carouse).

Huh. Well, anyway. I looked up carousel too, which was as expected. I didn’t know the origin though, which is interesting.

“merry-go-round,” 1670s, earlier “playful tournament of knights in chariots or on horseback” (1640s), from French carrousel “a tilting match,” from Italian carusiello, possibly from carro “chariot,” from Latin carrus (see car ).

These quotes are from dictionary-dot-com.

Carousel cake

Twelve Years Gone By

Please excuse my lack of bloggery… I was busy attending my daughter’s wedding. ❤

I seem to be out of writing mode, which will change shortly as I’ve rejoined a great prompt group that meets weekly, plus September always motivates me. I’m a student at heart. New school year, crisp notebook, let’s go!

But in the meantime, I wanted to say something, so I decided to turn to my trusty old Ultrablog archives. Apparently I said nothing 10 years ago (hard to believe), so I went back 12 (I don’t like elevens). Twelve years ago I was married, had two children living with me, and for some bizarre reason went to see the Dukes of Hazzard movie.

Now, if you had asked me point-blank an hour ago, Paula, did you ever see the Dukes of Hazzard movie? I would have said no and I would have probably even denied knowing there existed a Dukes of Hazzard movie. But archives do not lie! And if Google Drive says I saw a movie, then I saw it. I suppose in the scheme of things that forgetting the Dukes is no great loss. I hope I don’t forget anything important however, such as a subthread from Game of Thrones.

I said I liked the movie except for Burt Reynolds being miscast as Boss Hogg. I also said the TV Roscoe was funnier and I was disappointed that “Boots” played over the credits at the end and we didn’t get to see the sexy car wash scene. I have no idea what I meant by that. The Nancy Sinatra song? Wha? I suppose I could look all that up, but someone will know, so I’m not going to bother.

I really miss when my online writing friends blogged instead of blopped on Facebook. FB is junk food for writers ~ and not even the good junk food like tacos or Oreos, but the worst junk food like those skinny yucky pretzels. You can sit there for hours and eat a million of them and you’ll never be satisfied, only thirstier and thirstier.


My Inner Daenerys

As some of you may know, I’ve been both reading the Game of Thrones books (finished Book 4 yesterday) and also catching up on the HBO episodes (halfway through Season 5, as of this bloggery). Enjoying it very much, though I’m getting a bit burnt out on all the blood and gore. My favorite characters have always been the Lannister siblings and their witty, cutting banter, and also the gorgeous, dramatic Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, which are now grown and uncontrollable. That’s the thing with dragons ~ they’re cute when they’re first born, but then they get huge and hangry. And burny.

I know the show is affecting me a bit, since I’ve been binge-watching, but I didn’t realize to what extent until the otter day. I was very busy at work when a man barged into my suite with a cart of boxes. Hey, he said, I have some steaks for you.

What? Steaks? No one here ordered steaks.

He was jabbering on an earphone thing and writing on a clipboard at the same time, all distracted, or pretending to be. He said to me, hey, my boss said for me to offer you guys these steaks for practically nothing because your friends next door couldn’t take them all. Three bucks and you get this entire box of frozen steaks! It’s like I’m giving them to you for free!

I was so mad. I knew it was just another stupid scam. In the past, I might have called for my coworker to come out of his office to help me, or threatened this guy by telling him I was going to call security. But the night before I had watched Dany demand that Jorah Mormont GTFO of her sight or she’d behead him for spying on her.

I interrupted the steak man in the middle of his sales pitch.

“Please leave,” I said. “Now.

He stared at me for a second and then packed up and left, muttering about how people are usually happy about cheap steaks bla and bla.

I felt good about all that, but too bad I didn’t have a real dragon who could have breathed fire on the steaks and cooked them right there. LUNCH!


The Vice Principle

Isn’t that a great title?

It’s actually available, not that you couldn’t use a title that’s out there (sort of ~ you probably wouldn’t want to reuse The Maltese Falcon unless you were doing something funny like The Mall Tease Falcon, which, surprisingly, is also available).

Whenever I see/hear the “vice-principal” or the “vice-president” I automagically put the emphasis on the first syllable because I’m just wired that way, wired to be weird, I guess. Although I prefer to think of it as wired to be hilarious. YMMV.

Maybe that’s why Breaking Bad really kicked in for me with the introduction of Saul Goodman, the guy to call when you need a criminal lawyer. Loved that so much.

But they’re entirely different things, vice and vice. 🙂

I don’t know how anyone learns English. How is it possible for someone to learn it as an adult? I can’t even. It’s such a disorganized, horrible mishmash. Where would you even begin? Why do I speak such a messy language, argh?!?

No wonder there are so many misunderstandings.

According to the dico, vice means moral depravity or corruption; a moral fault or failing; or a habitually and usually trivial defect or shortcoming. So, it’s anything from kidnapping children into a sex slavery ring to popping your gum all day at the office cube farm.

Clearly we don’t need the word “vice” for any of the things along the spectrum from trivial to hideous because we have much more specific words for all of them. Vice is useless as a noun and should be used only as a preposition or prefix.

However! The Vice Principle is still a great title and I give it to you because I’m all bogged down in otter things right now. Plus it sounds like it’d be a title for either a detective story (or a story in a series of detective stories) or some sort of self-help woo book, and neither of those would be the sort of book I’d write.

I almost wrote a mystery/suspense novel once, but it didn’t work out. And when I say almost wrote, I mean I wrote about 50 pages, which is what my friend AH once said we all can do. What really separates the writers from the wannabes is what happens after 50 pages.

I’m not a mystery writer.


Via The Daily Prompt: Vice

IDOJ Trivia Quiz

My good friend LHD made a trivia quiz just for me! It’s not just any old trivia quiz either ~ it’s a very special one, all about I Dream of Jeannie. The reason for this, I think, is because when we go to a pub quiz I often grumble when the questions are about sports, or obscure history facts, or anything really, and say I’d do great on a quiz limited to IDOJ questions.

Ha ha ha ha!

I don’t think I did that well. First, the questions were not limited to trivia about episodes themselves, but silly logistical things about the show, and some cartoon I’ve never seen, bla bla bla. But even so, I was stumped on a few obscure questions regarding the eps. Fair enough. I printed out the quiz yesterday and answered in pen, but then I had to prepare for a beach day… yes! I went to the beach. I know, right? But it is true. I have photos. Well, one anyway. And I put my feets in the ocean and ate a s’more, so I’m good for the year as far as the beach goes.

When I got home from the beach it was late and I was tired from all that sitting and staring and thinking about nothing. Plus I had to shake the sand out of my shoes. So, this poast had to wait. Today, things happened and poasting became unavoidably delayed. But here we are. I think the best thing would be for me to link you to the quiz, so you can take it yourself if you want to, and then I will poast my scanned answer sheets in a day or two, at which time the quizmaster himself can weigh in.

If you take the IDOJ quiz, please keep your answers to yourself, until we discuss them in comments after I poast mine. Thanks muchly!


************ MY ANSWERS ARE BELOW ************

Well, poo. I took a photo of my answer sheets and emailed to self, but they won’t biggify when I poast them, so there’s no point because you can’t see anything. I’ll just transcribe the answers. Bummer! (Had to re-edit because I forgot one. Grrrr!)

Part 1 – General

  1. The Brass Bottle.
  2. Movie genie was male.
  3. Jeannie’s belly button!
  4. Ugh! Cupcake. No wait – BRUCE! (inside joke)
  5. 1965?
  6. 200 (wild guess – 40/year x 5 years?)
  7. Djinn. (Another wild guess. Never watched the cartoon.)

Part 2 – Jeannie and other Genies

  1. Persian, like the cat.
  2. When Tony said, “I wish you could speak English!”
  3. Jeannie Jeannie.
  4. Sister.
  5. Barbara Eden.
  6. They can’t be photographed.

Part 3 – Major Nelson and other mortals

  1. Captain.
  2. Cocoa Beach, FL.
  3. Two.
  4. Because he was in the Army.
  5. Amanda Bellows.

IDOJ, Part 2

As mentioned, I bought all the I Dream of Jeannie episodes and have been watching them in order. I had fond misty memories of this show… beautiful, goofy girl falls for handsome, serious astronaut… wacky things happen for years until he falls in love with her too and they get married… more wackiness occurs thereafter.

It is like that. But there’s more. I’m at the end of S2 now, fyi. I can’t go any faster because annoying.

First, there’s Jeannie’s obsession with marrying Tony. I mean, she’s fucking magic ~ she could do anything, be anything, have anything, anytime. But the only thing she cares about is getting that ring on her finger. I realize the show was written in the 1960s, but the obsession is tedious. Why does she need marriage so badly? Ostensibly because she loves Tony, but so what? Maybe she’s just horny 24/7 and they couldn’t write that in the 1960s, so this was the next best thing. Ugh.

Second, it’s now making me uncomfortable to watch Jeannie constantly throwing herself at Tony physically, while he rejects her outright or stands like a statue. I’m starting to wonder about their chemistry after all. He’s so irritating and paranoid. I understand there can’t be any implication that T&J have premarital sex, but Tony’s non-reaction to Jeannie’s affection grates on my nerves. And all the while there’s good old Roger totally wanting her.

Third, (again) the show isn’t that funny. It relies a lot on physical humor ~ Tony falling on his ass when Jeannie does startling blinky thingie, forex ~ and a lot less on wordplay. I’m not sure why I ever thought this show was witty. (The ep with Paul Lynde as an IRS agent is the funniest so far.) 😦

Fourth, there are so many bloopers it’s ridiculous. In one ep Jeannie gets hired as General Peterson’s secretary and Tony freaks out because Dr. Bellows has seen Jeannie at his house (and Bellows predictably begins an investigation that blows up in his face), but in later eps Tony doesn’t care at all how many times someone has seen Jeannie previously. Roger is always going on dates and cuddling up with beautiful women, but then outta the blue it’s a thing that he never has anyone. In one ep, Haji tells Jeannie she isn’t allowed to marry Tony unless she reveals that their kids might be genies. This is stupid on two counts: one, only powerful genies can turn people into genies (FACT!); and two, when T&J finally marry in a later ep, this is totally forgotten. There are tons of other inconsistencies…



IDOJ, Part 1

So, a while back I bought the entire pile of I Dream of Jeannie episodes in one swell foop, and I began watching them this weekend. It’s really interesting to me that my memory of the show differs quite a bit from the reality. Then again, I first discovered IDOJ at age 10 and saw most of the eps in my teens.

First, the color. Ow, my eyes! When I started watching the show, it was in B&W, or our TV was, don’t remember. I had no idea the colors in the early eps were so damn garish. The opening cartoon background is bright red. Tony’s house is lime green and orange. Gak!

Second, though I read later that Jeannie was pregnant during Season One, I didn’t remember her looking pregnant, but she totally does. In one ep, she pops out of a cake with a bunch of veils draped over her, but the minute she turns she looks full-out preggers. Doesn’t take away from her gorgeousness at all, but I simply didn’t recall that.

Third, the show is stupid. I mean, really really stupid. I knew it was silly, but I thought it was at least full of witty jokes, and it just isn’t. The acting is OK ~ it’s the writing that sucks. Sorry Sidney Sheldon (RIP), but it does.

I did not recall that in these early eps Jeannie was so obsessed with marriage. It makes me cringe how she keeps flinging herself at Tony while he rejects her. The constant sexist housewifery put-downs make me cringe as well, but I fight the impulse to get pissed off because this was a half-century ago.

Fourth, I always disagreed with the idea that Bewitched was the better show, but I see I was wrong, at least from a writing standpoint. Bewitched did have better writing, at least compared to these early IDOJ eps. Not only that, but Bewitched had a cast of awesome supporting characters, like Sam’s mother and uncle, while Jeannie’s relatives are totally bland. (I’m not talking about the later eps where Barbara Eden plays her own mom and sister.) Two actresses have appeared as her mother so far, and they both are unfunny and add nothing to the show.


Fifth, Tony and Jeannie have undeniable chemistry, which is something I never felt between Sam and Derwood, or whatever his name was. The chemistry is always there ~ T&J are clearly super-attracted to each other and often can’t stop touching each other. Maybe that’s why I always liked this show while B left me cold (except for the witty scenes with Paul Lynde, etc.). The chemistry between the main characters is something that transcends the juvenile writing and lame jokes.

Sixth, in these early eps, Dr. Bellows has the best supporting role, not Roger, who is simply an idiot at best, and a greedy creeper at worst. I think he morphs into an inept, cute, puppy-dog type guy later on. We shall see if that memory is accurate! In any case, Bellows gets to have nicely sarcastic lines and I am enjoying his part a lot more than I remembered.

Side note: I finally discovered why Roger wears a green uniform while Tony’s is blue. Roger is in the army and Tony is in the air force ~ the two branches come together for space stuffs. I’ve been reading all sorts of IDOJ trivia online while I watch.

Seventh, bloopers! In the first season, the shows opened with a little recap, in case you might be confused by the complexity, lol. In the recap, Tony preps for his launch and Roger helps him put on his helmet… and Roger is wearing a wedding ring! (Or the hand they show that is supposed to be his is wearing one.) A theme of the show is that Roger is a bachelor on the prowl throughout all seasons, so this is totes stupid.

There are tons of other bloops. Forex, in one ep, Tony gives Jeannie a letter-sized white envelope to mail questions to him while he’s on a business trip. She turns into smoke and mails herself to him. But when he receives the envelope in his hotel room, it’s a large manila one!

The “ocean” behind Tony’s patio is the fakest looking thing imaginable. Looks like it was painted by a five year old. Not sure if that’s a blooper or just a stoopid.

Eighth, it was so fun to encounter the scene that first hooked me into the show, which is when Tony and Jeannie broke into the First National Bank of Baghdad so Tony could chant in the exact right spot to save Jeannie from disappearing. I like how the go-to line for all the “Persians” (which is what they call peeps in the Baghdad area on the show) is to chop off someone’s head, whether the scene was in the past or present. Just sayin’.

I’m in Season Two and am determined to watch all of these eps, five seasons worth, and torture you with my insights. Stay tuned! 😀


The Brass Bottle

Brass Bottle

It came to my attention around a month ago whilst poking around on Amazon that this movie, The Brass Bottle, existed and was the inspiration for I Dream of Jeannie. I had to buy it obviously.

If you don’t know, I absolutely adore IDOJ.




Anyway, TBB completely and utterly sucked. I mean, it was just so terribly bad, but not in a funny, cultish terribly bad way, just boringly, stupidly, terribly bad. Tony Randall was absolutely HORRIBLE as Harold the architect. He was dull and dweeby, not in any way bumblingly smart and kinda hot like Larry Hagman’s Major Nelson, but just an utter blah dork. He was funny in The Odd Couple, but not here.

The genie was Burl Ives, an old fat guy, not beautiful Barbara Eden. This changed the entire dynamic between master and genie to the point where it was just two unfunny men squabbling over shit and having misunderstandings.

Barbara played Harold’s fiancee Sylvia and though she was gorgeous, of course, she was also really boring.

Instead of the hysterical Dr. Bellows sniffing around and causing trouble for Harold and genie, it was Sylvia’s annoying father and a couple of unfunny cops.

We didn’t see cute Air Force hijinks, nor was there a goofy fun friend like Roger Healy, only a couple of stupid artists sharing a house with Harold.

The denouement was totes unsatisfying, consisting of real estate fraud, jail time, and a do-over in the “this was all a dream” sense. Blargh.