Tag Archives: celebs

Hard Promises

The first time I heard Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers I was in a car with my boyfriend in 1980. We were in the back and his friend and friend’s girlfriend were in the front. It was the year of Damn the Torpedoes. (Says on Wiki that DTT was released fall of 1979, so that makes sense.) I fell in love with Refugee instantly and couldn’t wait to run right out and buy the album. So many good songs on there. I bought the prior album too and possibly the first one, not sure. Maybe later on a greatest hits I ended up with American Girl and Breakdown. Tom Petty was one artist I bought in vinyl, then again in tape, and finally on CD. Ridiculous, how we did that. But I didn’t do that for everyone!

My favorite Tom Petty album is Hard Promises. Unfortunately, I no longer have it (or any vinyl) and I see via iTunes that I don’t even have a complete list of the songs scattered about. Well! I don’t know how this disaster happened, but it will have to be remedied at once. *puts CD in Amazon cart* Every song on Hard Promises was significant to me in some way in 1981 when I listened repeatedly to the album back in Chicago. I can’t say that 1981 was such a terrible year, since 1982 was worse, and 1983 broke my heart, but maybe I had a premonition or something. I don’t know. I listened to so much music back then, just listened, absorbed. Not like now, where I’m usually doing something else, not focused on music unless I force myself to stop.

Of course I loved some of TP’s later work as well. Learning to Fly. Free Fallin’. I Won’t Back Down. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around with Stevie Nicks. I didn’t really pay much attention to the Traveling Wilburys, except of course End of the Line was fun to listen to.

RIP. ❤


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.



Seriously, don’t even read this at all if you plan on seeing the flick.



Still here?

You haz been warned.

OK, I saw Spectre yesterday, and it was a lot of fun as Bond movies always are. Craig does an awesome Bond (and I was one of the original skeptics). Overall, I recommend the movie to Bond fans and action movie lovers in general.


I was disappointed in a couple things. Right at the start there was something I considered a faux pas. Bond’s in a hotel room with a beautiful girl and tells her he’ll be right back. He goes off to kill a guy, get chased, leap across rooftops, etc., as he does… and then the film cuts away to the opening song and credits. Wtf? The Bond of old would have kept the date and they should have shown that. (“Now, where were we?”)

Next, I did not like two of the main plot twists. One, Franz the villain turns out to be Bond’s brother via (Bond’s) adoption, which leads to a bunch of babble about Franz killing their father out of jealousy and always having it out for Bond cuz he stole daddy’s attention. Ugh. Yuck. Two, Franz announces that he has taken his mother’s surname and is now called Blofeld (complete with white cat). No! No no no no. This was not a REMAKE of an old 007 flick, but a progression in the life and times of James Bond, and it’s totes uncool for them to grab back a done and dusted bad guy. (Supposedly, Blofeld died at the start of For Your Eyes Only.) What next ~ Scaramanga? Goldfinger? There was no reason not to have a new bad guy with a new name “reboot” Spectre. No reason at all.

I think writers should be a lot more careful with reboots/remakes and the like. Either you stick to the original and update it with cellphones and shit, or just move the hell on and write something new. Certainly don’t take a franchise and grab stale fries from fifty years ago to scatter about a film in the here and now. That’s kind of a cheat, and we know what happens to writers who use cheats a la Stephen King’s Misery.

My last criticism of Spectre is more basic. I object to this kind of SOS writing we’re seeing in action movies lately of having the hero always be a dude who is bravely going against his own government because of one flimsy piece of info, and then it turns out his boss is in cahoots with the villains, or is the biggest villain of all, blah blah blah. Usually Alex Baldwin plays a belligerent general at some point. Then, there are always one or two other peeps in the gov’t who believe in the hero and help him save the world, thereby putting their own careers in jeopardy. Yawn.

I am sick of this storyline altogether. Write something else, dammit.

Other than these minor nits, I enjoyed the movie. If it’s true that Craig is tired of playing 007 and tossing out his tux, I look forward to the next actor (rumored to be Idris Elba).


PS: Here are some other reviews I found interesting.

Tusk, the Movie

Probably spoilers. So don’t read if that bothers you.






I saw Tusk last night. It is as bizarre, gory, and disturbing as you would expect… and yet… and yet it felt oddly compelling. I definitely did not root for the “hero,” Wallace, who is a total asshole, not that he deserves his hideous fate. (Or does he, given that he indirectly encouraged/supported the maiming and death of a young boy?)

The film shines a light on our incredibly stupid, shallow culture, which is never a bad thing to skewer, and it also mocks Canadians, but gently and hilariously.

“You don’t say Hitler in an airport.”

Michael Parks as Howard, the storyteller and surgeon macabre, presented a fascinating bad guy. His voice was hypnotic, his story at once incredible and yet believable. The two lovers who search for Wallace don’t have any romantic chemistry, though perhaps that is the point. People do often pair up out of mutual need and upfuckedness, rather than pursuing positive connection.

I was shocked at the actual reason for Howard’s complicated dance of horror with his destroyed partners, but then enjoyed the fact that it all made a sort of terrible sense. The fact that Kevin Smith could write this mangled monstrosity and end up leading us to a path in a field of logic is truly admirable.

Johnny Depp was over the top wackadoo, but would you expect anything less? (I think his “Guy LaPointe” character is an inside joke I don’t get.)

I never care what the reviewers or Rotten Tomatoes have to say. Only my opine matters. 😉


I read Rosanne Cash’s wonderful memoir, Composed, given to me by a friend. Rosanne’s life is at once lonely and sad and joyful and creative… I relate to so much of it. Well, except for having the mega-star father, fortune, and fame, of course. Rosanne’s writing delighted me ~ she skips around in time, which some may object to, but I found charming.

I have abandoned my reliance on the external facts to support an individual truth, and everyone is entitled to his or her own. [pg. 3]


That was her unapologetic intro, and it was awesome. Don’t we all do this really? Our fundamental truths are subjective.

A lonely road is a bodyguard. [pg. 60]

Rosanne wrote that at age 12 (so amazing!) and kept returning to this theme in her writing and her life. She expresses her thoughts about creativity, music, family, love, parenting (both sides), brain surgery, and ultimately death in such an accessible style. I felt so close to her through her words that I ordered her book of short stories, along with a CD.

Loss is the great unifier, the terrible club to which we all eventually belong. [pg. 206]



Imaginary Lovers

I noticed that I received some hits yesterday on an old poast about romance and porn. They seem to have come from a site I linked, or a link from that site. Highly technical stuff, peeps. Whatever. The important thing is to (1) try to generate a big pile of comments from you normal I mean regular readers to make it look like we got it goin’ on here; and (2) see the first thing.

All right. First we have this article discussing how romance novels can help you in your real sex life (assuming you have one). See, some people have said that RNs are bad (not talking about nurses, though they can be naughty, but Romance Novels ~ please focus on the topic at hand) because they set you up with a false ideal yada yada, but sexologist Megan Stubbs says, no, cuz any tool (she says tool) that helps you communicate with your partner can be valuable. Even if said tool arises from reading about a pirate and a princess.

Don Pearson, pastor dude, somewhat disagrees. He’s good with a whole bunch of communication between a husband and wife (who are married to each other, I presume), but he believes that women who are addicted to RNs can hurt their marriages by expecting their hubbies to act like dukes. Not every guy can have a castle, k?

Honestly, I’m not sure how a romance novel would help you communicate with your partner, sexually or otherwise. I mean, COME ON. Y’all know I love RNs, have read a zillion of ’em and written a few, but they’re pure escapism. This is like saying Star Trek can help you communicate. “Honey, I’ve been thinking about a threesome. And ideally someone with a tail.”

There’s nothing about a romance novel hero that corresponds to a real-life man, same as normal guys aren’t James Bond or Captain Kirk. And no sane woman expects that. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun reading the books. Anyway all these articles focus relentlessly on female fantasies; it’s been a while since we yelled at men for looking at porn. I guess that’s just been beaten to death, right?

Kidding obvs. Without porn and cats, how would we haz an internet?


Last night I dreamed [FF dislikes dreamt ~ so much for writing Rebecca II] I was in a house with my father and some other woman, idk who. Kevin Bacon, my brother, was coming over. This was normal. As I got the door, Kevin said quietly, “Hey, is Dad single again?” I said yes. He just rolled his eyes.

The four of us sat in the living room and Kevin picked up a romance novel that was on the coffee table. “You still reading these?” he asked me.

I told him I was and he asked why.

“I don’t know. They’re just fun.” I stared at the cover where a couple smiled at each other dreamily. There was an aqua ocean sparkling in the background and a light blue sky with fluffy clouds. “Look how happy they are, Kevin. They’re much happier than any of us.”

He laughed. “Can’t argue with that.”

Then I woke up.


Note 1: I’ve been watching The Following every week.

Note 2: I now have contact info for a cousin back east and am going to call soon to tell her about my dad.

Does This Coffin Make My Butt Look Fat?

Salon says Chick Lit is dead… so maybe there’s a god or two after all.

In case there are any confuzzled folks (aka “men”), chick lit is not, I repeat NOT, romance.

There will be a romance (and perhaps more than one) for the heroine in a chick lit novel, but it is not a romance novel. In general, a chick lit novel is written first person whiny, while a romance novel is in third, and almost always includes the hero’s POV, and often other characters’, too.

I detest chick lit. The heroine is always complaining about herself, her mom, her period, her sister, some jerky guy who screwed her over, etc. It’s like a comedy routine without the funny. (Actually don’t get me started about female comics, because you won’t like me anymore.) And to set the record straight: I hate SATC and SJP. There, I said it!

[Happy it encouraged more cupcake appreciation, of course.]

Romance novels, otoh, are fluffy escapism. The writer likes her protag and gives her charming flaws, not unbearable, obnoxious ones. The hero gets a few sexy flaws of his own as well. It’s fun, not torture. If there are moms, they’re fun, too. There’s nothing screechily off-putting about the average decent romance novel.

Maybe you dislike them because they’re boring and formulaic; that’s OK. But they aren’t annoying like chick lit is. Honestly the couple times I watched SJP on SATC I wanted to slap her she was so irritating, and the few chick lit novels I read made me feel the same.

So, no tears from me at the chick lit funeral.

Now, if only someone would kill off those hideous first person vampire romances, we’d be all set.

Heather Locklear, Demi Moore … and Me

I may not have a kazillion dollars and be incredibly gorgeous and all, but I think I’m doing a little bit better than those gals, not to brag or anything.

The three of us are about the same age, have had recent painful break-ups, and here’s how we’re handling things.

Heather: drinks too much, goes to rehab, engages in criminal battery.

Demi: quits job, does weird drugs (whip- its?), is hospitalized.

Me: adopts cat, joins eHarmony, buys stripey sweater for date tomorrow night.

Yes, OK, the stripey sweater thing is a little crazy.

But I didn’t want to be forced into cardigan rehab.

Jeff Conaway (RIP)

I’ve seen Grease probably 50 times; I own the movie and would watch again anytime. I simply don’t get tired of it (or Saturday Night Fever, Risky Business, Goodfellas, When Harry Met Sally, Chicago, etc.) First, I love musicals generally. Second, it was just something my friend Kathy and I did week after week in high school … went to see Grease or SNF. That’s what we did … and then we stopped for pie (I usually got coconut cream, occasionally blueberry). I’m not so much into pie now, but I still love those two movies, and I don’t think it has anything to do with John Travolta, though I realize of course he’s common to both. That’s just coincidence.

Let’s talk Grease. Danny Zuko was kind of a jerk of a character, not exactly a superhot “romantic” lead, if you ask me. He pretended to be someone he wasn’t to attract Sandy during the summer, and then when he saw her at school, he hurt her feelings by acting Mr. Cool because his friends were more important to him. A duke would never do that. Or even an earl or a pirate or a cowboy or a corporate raider … pick your romance novel hero. Then when Danny decided he wanted Sandy back, he began a groveling campaign … ick, right? Romantic heroes do  not grovel! They may cave, a little, but that’s all and you have to be uber-perceptive to pick up on it.

But Kenickie (Jeff Conaway’s character), he was a hero! He was hot and he knew it, and he didn’t take any crap. He stayed true to himself throughout, and when Rizzo began her pregnancy rumor, he immediately stepped up. At the end, after he knew the rumor was fake and she had told him she’d been with someone else (whether he believed her or not, we don’t know), he repeated his offer “to make an honest woman of her.” Kenickie was cool; Zuko was a dork.

I’m having a hard time with Conaway’s death … he was only 60. That’s getting too close for comfort. When old celebrities die, I can say, well, they are old, not my generation. But this? It’s getting closer. And this wasn’t skiing into a tree or some freak thing either. Drugs, pneumonia. Doesn’t seem that “out there.” Plus I liked the guy. Just liked him. Obviously didn’t know him, but still. Sad. And scary.