Category Archives: TV

Bingo Update 5

Book bingo challenge

See my previous update here.

For the anthology box, I read When Love Rises by Michelle Stradford. I enjoyed it and gave it a 4-star review. Not 5, since I couldn’t connect that well with some of the poetry at the beginning. Here is my full review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.:

I especially connected with the later poems in this book where I felt her true soul was laid bare. That painful, powerful imagery resonated with me. Throughout, her poetry contains wonderful metaphors and striking language. A joy to absorb.

I love poetry. I’m trying to get in the mindset to write more myself, but it’s so hard to focus because of the thing.

Next, I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, a book I meant to read last year. This book really grabbed me, which is odd because it focuses on topics I normally shun. First, it has a huge emphasis on the mother-child bond, in a kaleidoscope of viewpoints. Second, the story is told from the eyes of teenagers a huge chunk of the time. These days I generally dgaf about the angst of teenagers. You think it’s bad now, kids? Just wait. Third, there’s the familiar trope of boring suburbia, the bad that lurks beneath, and the MPDG who twirls in and shakes everything up.

And yet… the story held me immediately. I needed something exactly like this right now, something so different from what’s happening in the news. Remember when we as a nation were riveted by a stain on a dress? That was the most important thing going on. I find it hard to focus on trivia, but I don’t feel like watching a movie either. I haven’t turned on my TV in days except to exercise to a video (I get the news online).

So anyway. That’s when LFE took place, in the Time of the Blue Dress, around 1997, in a wealthy Ohio suburb. I was riveted by the story; I really wanted to discover what the various characters would do. Their actions seemed surprising at times and yet also inevitable, which I admire in writing. It’s a fine line. You don’t want to be predictable, and yet you want your readers to say… oh, of course. They would have done such a thing. I can totally see it now. And there were so many layers upon layers to each character and the part they played in this drama, that the finished “cake” felt fully earned.

I gave LFE 5 stars despite the fact that Ms. Ng had POV breaks within scenes and lengthy, meandering backstories with POV breaks in those too. That just goes to show you that the story and characters are everything; rules are still important, but they can be broken. I’m not sure why Ms. Ng broke them, but with her credentials you know she knows them. They weren’t mistakes. One critic suggested it’s a cliche to have someone die on an icy road or of a brain tumor. I didn’t cringe when reading them, but I can understand someone not liking those sections.

I can see that same critic’s point about the trope of the MPDG breezing into the small town and turning it upside down while discovering all is not what it seems. I guess there’s also the trope of the naive country bumpkin stumbling into the big city and encountering cynics and meanies. But everything has been done. The key is to bring your own voice and spin. That critic doesn’t believe that Ms. Ng added anything new, but LFE struck me as fresh and engaging.

To each their own! 🙂

~*~

Image from Kriti & Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Pi Day [socs]

Stream of consciousness Saturday

The Wire is a show I haven’t watched… I’ve heard it’s fabulous. Lots of great shows I’ve passed by due to a lack of time. Well, that’s not true… I have the same amount of time as everyone else, but I choose to spend it reading, writing, and playing board games, over watching TV, mostly. I’ve seen a few good shows, but usually when peeps begin discussing one I’m out of the loop. Big Bang Theory is another I’ve never watched. How I Met Your Mother. Oh, and all the reality shows! Don’t get me started on that mess. Dancing, dating, cooking, and this new thing where Sarah Palin dresses up like a pastel bear to sing “Baby Got Back.” Wha?

Ya know… maybe it is time for a Biblical style purge. Jk! Stay safe everyone. Don’t forget the pi. ❤️

~*~

Image credit to Shelley Krupa.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Movies 2020

I just saw the much-maligned Dr. Dolittle and enjoyed it. I think critics are ridiculous and I don’t know what they were expecting from a silly fantasy movie like this. It was fun! And fun is what I want from a movie. Entertainment. Escapism. Not horror. Not a history lesson. Not a lecture about ethics or morality. If I want to be scared, horrified, and disgusted, I’ll read the news. 🤮

The next movie I would like to see is Emma. I saw the trailer before Dr. D and it looks darling. I don’t plan to see the Oscar nom’d shorts this year because they all seem dreary and Not Fun. I will see the Bond flick No Time to Die because I see all the 007s with Daniel Craig and they’re better on the big screen. IMDB ends there now, so I will do another update later.

As far as movies on Prime and Netflix, I still have a bunch I wanna watch. I need to prioritize them when I zone out instead of flipping through things I don’t even like that much. I began the latest season of Grace & Frankie last weekend… what a big yawner. Should have watched a movie with that time.

Onward! ✨

~*~

Image from Bitmoji.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

5 Things (That Make Me Laugh)

5 kittens

Sadje continues her #5Things theme this week with laughter. It’s hard for me to narrow my choices to only 5, but I will try.

1. I love silly wordplay, such as my favorite joke.

Why is 6 afraid of 7?

Because 7 8 9!

😂😂😂

2. Steve Martin cracks me up.

3. I adore clever songs in musicals.

4. The Californians is hilarious!

5. Parody usually makes me laugh, as long as it isn’t mean (and I know the original!).

I’m glad this prompt has continued for a second week. Thanks Sadje! 🙂

~*~

I don’t know where the 5 kittens are from; if anyone does, please let me know so I can credit the source.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

On Our Way [socs]

Stream of consciousness Saturday

On our wayto better days. That’s what we say, pumped up with our New Year’s Goals. Like many others, I’ve vowed to get in better shape… and the parking lot at the gym is crowded now. Yes, I drive to the gym, even though it’s in my condo complex, since management can’t seem to program my electronic key to get me through the last walk-thru gate. It’s like the opening sequence to Get Smart, if you’re old enough to remember that show. But whenever I ask about the key, the person who needs to deal with it has just left for the day. 🙄

I’m trying to avoid getting raging angry about so many things (another resolution). So what if I can’t walk through to the gym? It’s not the worst thing in the world. Now, the gate closest to my apartment has quit working from the outside… that’s okay, right? They’ll fix it eventually and it’s fine to take the long way around to a different gate. More exercise! Plus, it’s not like I do everything perfectly myself… I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life too. As long as one gate works, and I can get home… like, whatever. 😜

My three words are from the chapter titled “Worth” in Jennifer Weiner’s book Hungry Heart. I don’t know why I purchased this book, except it has a picture of an upscale looking Hostess cupcake on the cover. I don’t think I’ve read any of her novels. I wanted to enjoy this book, because cupcake and also a smart and funny writer writing smartly and humorously about feeling fat and unloved… that’s so unusual! 🙃

But HH is incredibly tedious and dejavuey… like haven’t a million other smart fat girls written smartly and fatly about being smart and fat? Yawnnnn. And I find myself skimming much of Jennifer’s complaining. I loved her trip to Israel though, and how she finally decided to say eff it regarding other people’s opinions when she returned. Yeah! Who cares what people think! 😎

I thought the story would really take off from there, but no, back to yawwnville. An autobiography doesn’t have to be boring; I’ve read interesting ones. But they need to be edited, and saggy sections should be cut. Am I going to abandon it? No, I’ll probably skim the rest, so I can get credit for it on Goodreads. And I remain hopeful that there is something more to it I can enjoy, since I did get totally immersed in the one section. 🤩

Speaking of saggy things, exercise makes you hungry. If you burn up 100 calories on a bike, your brain will say hello time for a vat of pasta. And you can say no brain we are having a sensible scoop of tuna and some yummy crisp veggies. But our brain is sulking and plotting on how to trip us up. It’s not about being a “good” person or a “bad” person; we all come from a long line of people who avoided starving to death when there was very little food. Yay us and our superhero metabolisms. 😜

I see I forgot to finish this post Friday night and schedule it at 4am Saturday because I’ve been obsessed with watching Jeopardy on Netflix this week (not the GOAT thing, but catching up from last year). When I got home at 10, I turned on the TV, forgetting all about blogging. That’s unusual for me, but these are strange times. 😳

Luckily, I woke up earlier than God… and the first thing I thought of was yikes I didn’t post for SOCS! 😱

~*~

Image credit to Shelley Krupa.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Monday Peeve 10

The Monday Peeve annoyed kitty

Smiles and positive posts are all well and good, but sometimes I need to vent a bit. How about you? That’s what The Monday Peeve is all about, a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again (hah). I’ll pick a topic that’s on my mind, but you can vent about whatever you please, here in comments or on your own blog. Grab the photo, use the #TMP tag, and link back to me (or not ~ I dgaf), and Bob’s yer uncle. I do reserve the right to delete any links that offend my delicate sensibilities. So far, none have, but it could happen! I have feelings!

I don’t even know where to start with this peeve… it’s not really a single peeve but more like a peeve cascade. Buckle up! 😮

First, I noticed that my Amazon Prime movies were doing an annoying thing: I’d click on one to watch but get a message it wasn’t available. Sometimes I’d have to click 5 times before the movie would start and it’s not like any of these flicks are masterpieces. I googled this issue and it said to restart my whole Roku dealio, so I did and nothing has changed. This was not and is not happening on Netflix, btw.

Second, a few days later I received an email from Roku telling me that my Roku was old and might quit working properly. Well, great news there. They had a special offer for me, natch. For a mere $15 (plus T&S), I could upgrade to Roku Express and stay in the loop with software updates and such.

Third, last night (Wednesday) I decided to order the stupid thing. I had to create a new Roku password because I forgot mine and also had to change my credit card because the one on file had expired. But the Roku website wouldn’t accept my new card. I entered it like 27 times and nope. It wouldn’t take it.

Fine. I figured I’d buy the damn thing on my phone. But this was one of those times, and there are many, when the new chained password failed to actually chain to my linked device. Okay, I decided to request a new NEW password on my phone and chain it back to my laptop (for whatever reason the chain always works in that direction). But Roku said no, you can’t. I logged out on my laptop. Still no. 😡

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD LET ME SPEND SOME MONEY WOULD YOU PLEASE!!!!!

Then I had a brainflash. I turned on my TV, went to Roku settings, and changed my credit card info there.

Breaking Bad Jesse yeah science

I ran right back to the Roku website on my laptop, logged in, saw that my CC had been automagically updated, and bought the whatsit Express. Whoop de farkin’ doo!

Then, then my friends, Roku says to me…

“Hey girl. We see you don’t have a Roku TV. Would you like to buy some speakers for it? Remember, they only work with a Roku TV!” 🤯🤯🤯

I mean… I mean… I’m already out $22 for this Express nonsense, when I thought the original Roku would last the rest of my life. I don’t trust these peeps at all now, and I assume I’ll have to buy more dumbassery upgrades in the future to keep using my TV for streaming channels if I even want to… have I mentioned that most movies are crap? But then every once in a while there comes along a Sopranos or a Breaking Bad or a Game of Thrones… 💖

Anyway, sure, let me get right on that special speaker deal just as soon as I jump on this sail sale… I hear they only work with boats…

Sailboat ocean lavender golden sunset

~*~

Images from Pixabay, Google, Pexels.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Lexi Needs A Ride [fiction 1195]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Vicky informed Lexi of Dan’s intent to drive to Otter Village and how he seemed to have disappeared along the way.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?
Entanglement
Dan Drives North
Geolocation]

For the first time since she’d moved to Otter Village, Lexi regretted giving up her car. She’d had a cool metallic blue Mazda with the personalized plate BLUWAVE. It had not been her intent to be political, only whimsical, and after Jim’s infamous death, the plate made her easily recognizable to those who liked to snap her picture. As soon as she’d arranged for accommodation here, she sold the car and her furniture, booked a flight, and ubered to Carolyn’s. When she needed a ride, there were Uber drivers here, though you could wait a half-hour or more, unlike the city where one would pop up two seconds after you texted.

Uber app

Tonight, after Vicky’s call informing her that Dan had apparently disappeared en route to Otter Village, Lexi really wished she had her own car available. She felt trapped, having to rely on Ubers or the kindness of people like Carolyn to drop her off when she wasn’t feeling well. She paced across the porch, trying to decide what to do.

Her first impulse was to call Kevin, but no. Their romance was only just starting and it wasn’t right to impose upon him. They had already planned a fun event tomorrow and she didn’t want to ruin everything with a Saturday night drama. This ongoing Dan problem had nothing to do with Kevin. She needed to deal with Dan and make him understand that she’d tried to help Jim, but he hadn’t wanted help. She’d already told Dan that at the funeral, but he’d tuned her out that afternoon. She didn’t blame him; grief did strange things to your brain. Yet, she hadn’t wanted to restart the discussion again either.

Cemetery flowers

Lexi stayed outside a few minutes longer, worrying about Dan… stranded? Hurt? The victim of a crime? Where was he now? What had happened to him? Finally the cold was too much and Lexi went inside, grateful for the warmth of the boarding house. She hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so she wandered into the kitchen.

Peering into the fridge, she wished Carolyn hadn’t left for the weekend. Her landlady would probably be willing to help look for Dan. She was a very kind person. Lexi shut the fridge, deciding she wasn’t hungry after all. She went into the great room where the TV droned… an old James Bond movie was playing.

“Hey Lexi,” said a guy on the sofa. It was Mike, the newest resident. “Whassup?”

Lexi forced herself to sit on the opposite end of the sofa, even though her nerves were still jumping. “Mm nothing. Was wondering if maybe I could get a ride…”

“Now? I’m a bit wasted.” He grinned. “How about in the morning? In the meantime, I’ve got a fine selection of party favors in my room, if you’d like to join me. When the landlady’s away, the cats will play. Isn’t that what they say?”

Ugh! That’s not what they said! Lexi felt utterly disgusted, though she usually didn’t care what the other housemates did. Calm down, she admonished herself, this isn’t Mike’s fault. “I’ll pass,” she said. “I have to go out.”

“Bummer,” he said, turning his attention back to the screen, where Bond had begun to play cards with a bad guy.

Lexi left the room and went upstairs to her own. She pulled up her Uber app and was just about to request a ride to the airport, in hopes of renting a car and abandoning her promise to Vicky and Nick, when her phone buzzed with a call from Kevin.

“Hi! How are you?” Too late, she realized her voice was jittery and over-bright.

Kevin laughed. “Good! You sure sound peppy for having worked all day. I’m tired, I confess, but I did sneak in a five-mile run before sunset.”

“Nice! I should do that.”

“We’ll get plenty of exercise tomorrow on our beach walk,” he said. “It’s supposed to be another gorgeous day. Cool but sunny. We could have a picnic…”

“Sounds fantastic!”

“Lexi, is everything okay? You seem a little on edge.”

She didn’t want to lie. “Oh, the usual. Haha, you know. My sister! All that.”

“Hmm.” Kevin paused, the silence making Lexi more nervous. Finally, he continued, “Did your sister call with more news about Dan today?”

“Yes.” Lexi sighed and picked up the otter beanie baby on her night table. It was still as adorable as the day Kevin gave it to her at the festival, back when they were friends “light,” before their kiss, before she’d begun confiding in him.

Beanie baby otter

“And?” Kevin prompted. “You can tell me, Lexi. I really will understand. I know it’s not your fault this stuff happened. I too have had…”

“What?” She eagerly seized on that morsel. “What brought you here, Kevin? Why did you leave Chicago?”

“Whoa,” he said. “Actually, I’d like to tell you about all that, even though I won’t be doing myself any favors. It’s not a pretty picture of me, but fair is fair, since you’ve been honest with me. How about tomorrow though, in person?”

“Sure.” Lexi sat on the edge of her bed, still holding the otter. “But for now, I have to go. Want to meet here at noon?”

“Sounds good, but… what happened with Dan?”

“You’re so persistent! Are you sure you’re not a reporter?”

“Just tell me. I’m starting to imagine awful things.”

“It is awful.” She stood up and began pacing again. “He was driving up here and, well, vanished.”

“What do you mean vanished?”

“Vicky said he called her Friday, implying he was coming up here to talk to me. Then in the middle of the night she got a missed call from him with a garbled message like he was in trouble. He won’t pick up now or return texts from her or Nick. Nick traced the last call to coordinates about two hundred miles south of here, but his car GPS was still moving back to the city.”

“He could have changed his mind.”

“Right, but that message…” Lexi shook her head. “No, I think he got in some kind of trouble.”

“I can see why you’re concerned, but isn’t it more logical to assume he lost his phone and turned around?” Kevin sounded so sensible and comforting.

Lexi didn’t want to argue. “Yes, Kevin, that would be more logical.”

“Soooo, you’re going to get a good night’s sleep and I’ll see you at noon? We can stop at the market for picnic goodies on the way to the beach.”

“I’m going to get an Uber to the airport and rent a car to go look for Dan,” she told him. “But the rest of your plan sounds perfect.”

“You can’t do that, Lexi.”

Immediately irritated at being told what she couldn’t do, Lexi said, “And why not?”

“Because rental car places are all closed by now.”

Tears welled up in her eyes. How could she possibly sleep tonight or enjoy herself with Kevin tomorrow when Dan might be lying injured on the road somewhere? “Okay, thanks.”

“I’ll be there in ten minutes to help you go look for that idiot,” Kevin said and clicked off.

Dark deserted road

[to be continued]

~*~

Image credits Pexels, Pixabay, and Google.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Long Night

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Wights were specific undead creatures in Game of Thrones, created and controlled by a White Walker. It took me a while to grok the difference ~ and this was not a slight difference. White Walkers possessed great power, while a wight, while frightening, was merely a pawn. A human could kill a wight in a fight, but he would have to burn its body to ensure it did not reanimate. A truly delightful sight occurred when our hero killed a White Walker. What do you think might happen then? All the wights he had turned would immediately collapse and disintegrate. All right!

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sharing is Scaring!

Share your world Halloween

I haven’t done a Melanie SYW post in a while, in keeping with my plan to jabber less about my boringness and simply write more fiction (and poetry). However! I could not resist this awesome spooky pic.

Without further ado…

Questions Of The Day

1. Had any good conversations with yourself lately? Did you listen to yourself? And how’d that work out for you?   (Credit Allie Bean   https://thespectacledbean)

I’m always jabbering on and on so much I have to tell myself to STFU so I can get stuff done. Honestly! The problem with me is that I can’t just have a normal convo with myself, no… I have to scamper down all the rabbit trails until I end up at the big bang. So to speak. Mostly they weren’t all that big, if you know what I mean (and I think you do). See? 🙄

Do I listen to myself? Well, I try not to cuz of all the stupid jokes and whatnot, but sometimes I’m so bored I do pay attention to my own gibberish and then ugh I have to disentangle myself from the drama and illogic like 87 strands of Christmas lights that are all plugged in at once without electrocuting myself.

Christmas lights tangled

2. What is gravity and how does it work?

Jesse Pinkman magnets bitches

3. What is more real – Mind or Matter?

I’m a materialist, so I say matter. This is not to be confused with being materialistic. I simply believe that physical reality is all there is… no souls, ghosts, gods, vampires, genies, fairies, demons, etc. Feelings are real ~ they are our brain’s reactions to the minute changes of chemicals in our blood. I know this is all terribly unromantic. I am sorry. It’s okay to write fiction and poetry about things that don’t exist though! 💖

4. Should a vegetarian (or vegan) eat animal crackers? 

No one should eat them; they’re just empty carbs. I guess you could put peanut butter on them though and that would be okay.

Lastly
Halloween Question:
(Gratitude questions will resume after Halloween is past)
Name (describe) something you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark and deserted wood or alley.   Politicians are a given, so skip those please.  Thanks!
 

These are places I avoid, but occasionally I come home late and my parking lot is dark, deserted, and a bit scary. Sometimes there are people poking in the garbage bins, and I go the other way (the long way around) to avoid them, if it’s dark. I’m sure they’re fine, but why take a chance? 👻

But mostly I’m wary of coyotes. People around Orange County are constantly going on about “the coyote problem” and that audacious coyotes are taking over our neighborhoods. I’ve seen photos of these handsome creatures lounging in parks and strolling down our sidewalks and streets, apparently unconcerned about humans nearby. They grab kitties and doggies and nom them up! (Keep pets inside!) Well… I have lived here since 1983 and have never seen a coyote, but I fully expect to. And I am on the lookout.

Roadrunner coyote meep meep

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

El Camino [review with spoilers]

Eating popcorn in movie seat

I was super stoked for El Camino, the Breaking Bad movie. In fact, I rewatched BB in its entirety during the last few weeks, all 62 episodes, to prepare for the movie. God, that was one fantastic show, perhaps the best series ever written.

This review contains spoilers. Get out now! 👻

I watched El Camino last night and was disappointed, maybe because of all the Twitter hype. That happens. The actors were all great, of course, nothing against them, but you know what? Breaking Bad was Walter White (Bryan Cranston), not Jesse. Now, I love Aaron Paul. He could totally star in his own show, and I would watch it, but BB was Walt’s show. Without Walt, I was like, meh, who cares?

This is a different criticism from the one I have about Better Call Saul, which is that the slick, wisecracking, one-dimensional character of Saul Goodman was perfect for BB, and reimagining him as street punk “Slippin’ Jimmy” and then as an idealistic young lawyer who gets shafted by his own brother, was just all too JTS. The Goodman character was not made for this much baggage. I don’t think I made it through S2.

But with all the crazy stuff that happened on BB, I never once went okay that’s it… the show has jumped the shark. Even with the Nazis. Nope. It was still solid. Start to finish. It left a few minor threads hanging, such as what was the deal that Gus had come out of Chile with a fake name? They mentioned that twice, but left the gun on the table.

Back to El Camino. There wasn’t much of a plot. There were some historical revisionist convos, a couple of which looked odd on screen because the actors appear their current age. Jesse is fine because he’s young anyway. Walt in the diner looked sick as he was supposed to, but I thought Jesse was talking to Mike’s ghost for a minute, lol. That was bizarre. And Todd looks older and heavier now than he did during the original filming, so when they shovel in this new scene, right after I just watched the old eps, um… Weird.

The writing was great. All the characters were in top form. Jesse natch, Badger, Skinny Pete, Jesse’s clueless parents, etc. But without Walt… I just didn’t care. I knew Jesse would end up escaping this time. You could just tell that the whole point of the movie was to give fans of Jesse a reason to cheer. Yay, he got to start a new life! He’ll meet a cute Alaskan girl in about 5 minutes after the credits roll as he does…

Anyway. This reinforces my idea not to watch either the prequel series to Game of Thrones or The Many Saints of Newark. The appeal of GOT to me hinged on the specific characters played by the specific actors and their relationships. I dgaf about Martin’s pretend world, except for the dragons. The dragons are cool. And The Sopranos was Tony Soprano. (RIP Jim G) That’s it. I’m not interested in his lookalike son playing a younger Tony. Why should I care what made Tony into Tony via not-Tony when I already had all that real Tony?

Okay, so yeah… I’m behind on all the blogadoo things. Regular prompts, picture fiction, my continuing chapters with Lexi and Liana and whoever else (are there more?)… and now a new week relentlessly begins with Laura’s music and Fandango’s flashing and omg I’ve missed like a million days of the October challenge already… AUUGGGHHHH!!!

Overwhelmed and falling

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.