Tag Archives: navel glazing

Two for Tuesday [movie reviews]

SPOILERS!!!!!

1. A Simple Favor.

This is one of the movies I was really looking forward to seeing. The previews were so tantalizing… and after watching Henry Golding slay in Crazy Rich Asians, I wanted to see him in another role. Plus, I was predisposed to like the female leads: Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick. Am I now going to say boo I hated it? Nope! I loved it. It was fabulous!

However. I would not have liked it as a book. Generally, I say to myself, self, I like the written version best and the screen is never as good as what I can imagine from the words. But not this time. There were several elements, one in particular (which I hesitate to reveal even to those who don’t mind spoilers), that are on my hate list. If I see this on a novel description, I won’t read the book. Yep, that bad. But I didn’t mind it in this movie.

There were other things that would have annoyed me as a reader ~ I would have paused and thought wtf? Why is this here? Gratuitous backstory weird sex scene. Unnecessary veering into the possibility of the supernatural. But the movie was too fast-paced to pause and think. It was just damn good fun with a satisfying ending.

I walked out grinning like an idiot. Love these three actors. Blake was especially great.

2. Puzzle. This is another movie I had been trying to pin down on Movie Pass and finally gave up. So, I just went and saw it on Sunday with a few friends. Odd flick. Not what I had expected.

I didn’t much like the protagonist. She’s supposed to be some sort of repressed genius whose mind works too damn fast for her mundane life, yet apparently not fast enough to pick up a book or any kind of smart hobby all these years until someone gives her a jigsaw puzzle. And then she doesn’t know where to buy another puzzle without traveling an hour or so by train into Manhattan to a special puzzle store. Because this genius has never heard of Target.

But they need her in the big city for the plot to work, so okay. And it seems we are supposed to dislike her husband, except I don’t. I actually dislike her new man, so there’s that. I don’t like people who jabber psychobabble at you that ostensibly is supposed to make you feel good about yourself, but is ultimately designed to manipulate you into doing what they want all along. I have a big thing about that actually! 😡 Oo Paula’s issues! But it was still an interesting movie overall about family dynamics and such, and I’m glad I saw it.

I’m looking forward to Colette, A Star Is Born, The Old Man & The Gun, Serenity, The Nutcracker & The Four Realms, Bohemian Rhapsody, Robin Hood, Welcome To Marwen, Mary Queen Of Scots, and Mary Poppins.

Geez, that’s a lot of movies. Good thing I have my trusty pass! 🙄

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The Pink Cupcake [a dating story]

A couple people have asked about my blog icon photo, so here’s the Saturday night special version. This isn’t a funny dating story with a twist at the end, but a stupidly sad one, or a sadly stupid one. Take your pick.

I had a relatively popular blog from 2004-2007ish. Then I grew weary of the (self-imposed) pressure to come up with funny and/or interesting poasts several times per day. Back then, I grabbed a lot of my topics from the news, including political stuff, and wasn’t afraid of generating arguments; now, I avoid this.

For a while, I tried keeping a super light blog about cats, cupcakes, and shoes only, but it became too boring for everyone, including me. Then my mom died, and my marriage broke up. Those two things aren’t related, but they’re both at the top of the life stress scale. I latched onto the first person who offered emotional support… and I fell in love with him. And he was married ~ one of those who was just waiting to leave when X happened, but then X turned into Y, and then Z. (He’s still there, living in the house with his wife long after X, Y, Z, yada.)

So, to cope I started a new blog, this one. My first poast was March 25, 2011. I didn’t talk directly about my relationship of course, since he knew about the blog too, but I would poast song lyrics and excerpts from books I was reading that alluded to it. Later, after we broke up, I did write a bit about how I felt at certain points, though I’ve probably deleted most of that now. Long-time readers will know him as TMW, short for “the man who broke my heart.”

In 2010, for his birthday I bought cupcakes for us. Not a cake because obviously he wouldn’t be able to take it home with him. I took a pic of mine ~ it was strawberry with a chocolate heart. Later I realized the heart was broken and I thought it was a neat pic. When I began the blog, I decided to use it for my “subtle” profile photo. If anyone asked, I figured I could say I was planning to resume doing cupcake reviews again. But I’m not planning to do that. I just like this photo. It’s held up over time.

So Much Extra

Lotta questions from a new blog I’m following, so much extra you don’t need to know about me, but you will read to the end, yes? I lazily stole the intro para and links from Fandango:

“Blogger Melanie, over at Sparks from a Combustible Mind, posted a series of questions (along with her answers) on the philosophy of living life that she got from A Guy Called Bloke. As one of the great life philosophers in the blogosphere, I felt compelled to respond. So here goes.”

Q1] What is your take on ‘free will?’

Mythical, like a unicorn.

Q2] We all ask ourselves at one time or another what is the point? So what is the point to our existence?

There is no point. It’s all meaningless. Might as well have another donut. You know you will anyway (see Q1).

Q3] What is your belief on fate and Karma?

Good concepts for poetry and fiction.

Q4] As a species, how do you think humans will become extinct or do you believe that we will not?

Whoops, forgot to answer this one first time around. Sorry. I’m operating on four hours of sleep. I think there will be a mass extinction event, such as a meteor strike or an incurable fatal plague epidemic. Or maybe we will end up in a nuclear WW3.

Q5] What is your belief with regards the meaning of life?

See Q2.

Q6] Ok, fess up, do you believe in aliens from outer space – is there really other life out there in the far reaching galaxies beyond our own?

Likely.

Q7] What is your best quote for ‘living life?’

“Life is short; eat dessert first.”

Q8] What doesn’t kill us – makes us stronger – yes or no? Explain.

Depends what it is. Divorce? Alligator? Nuclear bomb?

Q9] What would you say have been your biggest successes in life?

Raising children to be good people.

Q10] If you could find out the exact time and cause of your death – would you want to know?

Sure.

Q11] Is it more important to help yourself, help your family, help your society, or help the world?

Each of these doesn’t have to exclude the others.

Q12] If humanity was put on trial by an advanced race of aliens, how would you defend humanity and argue for its continued existence?

It would be difficult right now.

Q13] What is the biggest waste of human potential?

All the technology used to destroy and divide instead of help, build, save, feed, clothe, house, etc.

Q14] We often see those that write ‘what would you say to a younger you?’ However, what would you say today to a future you?

Your bangs are crooked.

Q15] Why do you think that as a species, humans need to believe in something? Be this religion, fate, karma, magical, mystique, and so on.

I don’t, but I get that it’s too hard for some people to cope with falling into the abyss of nothingness. It’s not scary though ~ it’s just like before you were born. Nothing.

Q16] If we could not retain any of our memories – who would we be?

Nobody, like one music note at a time by itself, having no relationship to other notes.

Q17] Time is such an important part of our world, but do you think you would notice if time was altered in any way?

It already is going faster, as I perceive it.

Q18] How important is play in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

I play a lot of games.

Q19] With no laws or rules to influence your behavior, how do you think you would behave?

I’d be even more terrified of other people, since so many of them disobey the laws and rules we have now. I’d probably have to buy a gun and kill lots of them. /shrug

Q20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

Nope.

Q21] Should euthanasia be legal? Why or why not?

Yes. There should be safeguards of course, but if an adult who is terminally ill or has a horribly painful or debilitating condition wants to end their suffering sooner than later, that’s their biz. Remember that life is terminal regardless ~ it’s just a matter of when. There’s no getting around this fact.

Regarding That Staple Thing…

While it’s true I got tired of Monk, the show, I still think about Monk, the character, and some of his… eccentricities. Fans may recall the episode where he interviewed people for the position of his new assistant after Sharona ditched him. Monk appeared negatively disposed toward one of the candidates because she had stapled her application at an angle. I too value a perfectly put together presentation. It shows not merely attention to aesthetics but also respect for the interviewer/prospective employer. Why would you want to hand your future boss a sloppy project?

So, let’s discuss stapling because it’s important. As a secretary, I deal with a lot of staples, and this is a subject I think about frequently. (Though I think about those colored plastic clips more often.) A long time ago I decided that due to the difficulty of getting a staple exactly parallel to the edge of the paper, it was better to deliberately position it at a jaunty angle. Nothing dramatic and crazy, not 45 degrees for heaven’s sake. The crucial point is it must be jaunty. You don’t want the staple to look like a failed parallel. Omg, horrible.

I experimented today by trying to staple parallel. I began with a dismal 20% success rate, which increased to about 40% by the end of the day. That’s unacceptable! And I did not remove the staple for a do-over because that mars the document. I simply lived with the parallel fails, unlike Monk, because I actually had to get a day’s work done. In the magical world of TV writing, no one ever seems to need to earn money.

Alrighty then. I think we’re clear here. By the way, you know I’m talking about normal staples, right? Heavy duty staples must be parallel obviously. 🙄

In Praise Of The WP App

No, they aren’t paying me. Though they could, if they wanted to. I wouldn’t mind. 🙂

I was not an app fan, until lately. Why do I need to clutter up my phone with dumb icons, I used to whine? I can just go to the websites. But then I got clued into the fact that apps gobble less battery. Ooh, that’s nice. Next I realized that Twitter is actually better on an app. Can’t explain ~ it just is. After that came the banking and insurance apps ~ not only more convenient, but more secure. Well!

But that’s enough. I’m certainly not going to write lengthy poasts and emails on apps, I sniffed. I need a real keyboard for these dreamy endeavors. And then I destroyed my laptop on July 4th with a glass of iced tea. Whoops! Since I didn’t feel like running right out and buying a new laptop, I began using my phone for everything. Including those long emails and bloggeries.

That’s where the WP app comes in. Not only is it ideal for starting and saving draft ideas, it also has a great newsfeed. I can read, like, and save other poasts! 🤩 In the past, whenever I wanted to save another blogger’s poast for linking later, I had to keep it open in a browser tab. Sometimes I screwed that up and closed it. Now, all saved poasts are in a tab in the app. So fab! Easier to select categories and tags via the app and to schedule poasts. Also, it’s easy peasy to edit or delete one of my own published rants and do blog admin stuffs.

It’s not perfect, alas. This morning I was forced to return to the browser newsreader when I realized that the app reader had missing poasts. Yep, there was a 6-hour window in the middle of the night through which a pile of poasts up and fluttered bye. 🦋 Sad! And the browser newsreader felt clunkier than ever. I could like poasts but not save any. There were annoying “you might like these” blogs mished in with the ones I follow. This made me appreciate the WP app even more. They need to keep the windows closed though.

However, fingers x’d, I am picking up a new (used) Mac tonight, so I will have a real keyboard again shortly. As the days grow shorter, I will resume my favored position of sitting at my kitchen table, WIP in front of me on the screen, while staring out the window at nothingness. But I will keep any beverages far, far away from the puter! 😜

Not A Feast Fan

Unlike most Americans, I don’t like Thanksgiving. I’m not talking about the traffic and travel hassles, though those are indeed irritating, but the feast itself. I personally see no reason to stuff myself with more food than I normally eat just because it’s the fourth Thursday in November. I mean, why? To celebrate what exactly? It’s nice having a 4-day weekend of course ~ I’ll celebrate that, if I don’t have to travel anywhere or overeat.

I also don’t like buffets and potlucks much for similar reasons. It’s really hard not to overeat, whatever your intentions. Part of that is because you don’t have standard servings of a couple things, but several tiny dollops, so it appears you’re taking only little bits of this and that, but you end up with more and more. Plus dishes at these events generally aren’t as tasty as a single item off the menu, so paradoxically you tend to try more of them, hoping in vain to be satisfied. (This can be a useful analogy for other things.)

Of course I understand my anti-feasting position sounds incredibly crabby, but it’s actually very logical. Many people have an emotional reaction to the mention of holidays because of family and traditions yada blah, but it’s really okay to question the things we’ve always done, and their specifics, and ask why we do them and if they are, in fact, a good thing. Well, I’ve always thought it was okay anyway. I have my own way of doing things.

I like to lead the examined life… I like to put the magnifying glass so close to the blade of grass I don’t even know wtf I’m looking at any longer.

Peanut Butter

I stole these 26 questions from Fandango, who snagged them from Barbara, at Teleportingweena. But I have an issue with 26 (yes, including our alphabet, annoying). Twenty-five is a great number, and oddly enough (hehe) so is 27. But 26? Meh! I guess I can think of it as 13×2 and be okay that way. That’s what I’ll do then: renumber the questions halfway through.

1. Share your profile picture.

– Which profile? Here’s one from last year, taken at the happiest place on earth.

2. Who are you named after?

– Paula Abdul.

3. Do you like your handwriting?

– Like Fandango, I used to have great handwriting, but now that I’ve gotten older, it sucks.

4. What’s your favorite lunchmeat?

– Peanut butter.

5. Longest relationship?

– I had a good relationship with my dad from the day I was born until he died in 2013 just before I turned 52.

6. Do you still have your tonsils?

– Nope.

7. Would you bungee jump?

– NFW!

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

– Sometimes.

9. Favorite ice-cream?

– Coconut chocolate chip.

10. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

– That they’re too close to me.

11. Football or baseball?

– Neither.

12. What color pants are you wearing?

– White lounge pants with grey and pink flowers.

13. Last thing you ate?

– Peanut butter on a banana.

1. If you were a crayon what color would you be?

– Ultraviolet, baby.

2. Favorite smell?

– Cinnanommmm.

3. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

– One of the partners at work.

4. Hair color?

– Light brown plus some silver.

5. Eye color?

– Hazel (this feels like filling out a dating profile now).

6. Favorite food to eat?

– Seafood pasta.

7. Scary movies or happy endings?

– Romantic comedies with happy endings.

8. Last movie you watched?

– I rewatched American Gigolo a few days back because it came up on Prime. Saw it over 30 years ago and liked it a lot. Didn’t like it that much this time. I didn’t sense any chemistry between the leads; it was just trashy and sad.

9. Favorite holiday?

– Loved Fandango’s answer, but I’ll go with New Year’s Day.

10. Beer or wine?

– Neither. Alcohol triggers migraines.

11. Favorite day of the week?

– Sunday.

12. Three or (four) favorite bloggers you want to learn more about?

– Anyone who plays along.

13. Added info you didn’t know you wanted.

Buy my books!

Tsunami


Art by Annija Veldre

I thought it was you
Drowning me in words,
Said and unread,
Spilling over my head;
You blamed my mother
And the tide takes the dead.
The waves roll relentless,
Caring not of despair,
Crashing past joy
And agony the same.
At the end it’s all smooth,
A glassy blue plane,
As if nothing existed
And maybe we didn’t–
Why not walk into it;
Why not give in?
Sand hot and glistening
Hides bulleted bones
As well as pink stones.
And one wave grows stronger;
One ghost comes home.

All About Orange

The fact that I have this photo in my blog media library gives me the idea I have written negatively about orange before. But instead of searching for that poast, and lazily efficiently reblogging it, I’ve already banged out a new one. Maybe next time I’ll remember to look for a pic before I start typing like a maniac. Who wants to bet on that?

Orange has never been a favorite color or flavor of mine. There are a few exceptions. Color-wise, I like a dash of bright orange with pink and yellow, lime and purple, for that crazy fruit bowl tropical look. Perfect for the muumuu you need on a cruise to cover up the 10 pounds you gain the first three days before the dysentery hits. And naturally orange is the appropriate base color for Halloween shirts, preferably with black cats, owls, and bats decorating a spooky crooked tree. Boo!

Food-wise, oranges suck. What is up with these things? All pulpy and seedy, with icky white strings you have to keep peeling off. Feh! Waaay too much work. I don’t mind some orange juice, sans pulp, if it’s mixed with mango juice, but that’s a lot of sugar. Did I mention I’m eating a lot less sugar now? Paula’s diet… always a fascinating topic, but we’ll leave that for another poast. As far as the actual taste of orange? Meh. It’s good in cake, I guess. But there’s that pesky sugar issue again! Same with Panda Express orange chicken (soooo sweet and yummy). Oh, here we go with the Panda Express haters piling on to tell me it’s not real Chinese food. 🙄🙄🙄

Okay. Not gonna write a book rn. Bottom line: orange is pretty much last on my list, except for pretty flowers obviously, and it’s not because of you know who.

Insomnia

When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
-Some emotionally distressing thing that I will listen to nonjudgmentally

What takes up too much of your time?
-Insomnia

What do you wish you knew more about?
-How to fall asleep

What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?
-Now that was a great night’s sleep! Where’s my phone?

What are some small things that make your day better?
-Catnaps and cats

Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
-Oldies mix from the 60s or 70s

What’s the best way to start the day?
-Painfree

What shows are you into?
-Waiting for the end of GOT

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
-Dunno, only have internet

Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
-My daughters

What age do you wish you could permanently be?
-14

What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?
-Historical borings, gory horror, animated, preachy, most other stuff…

What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
-Pampered at a luxury spa

What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?
-Cell phone/internet

What’s your claim to fame?
-I dumped Facebook

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
-Nothing

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?
-Lately suspense (shocking!)

How often do you people watch?
-Not much, would rather read

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?
-Beets, favorable

What’s the best single day on the calendar?
-Every day is a good day to be single

What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?
-Synesthesia

How do you relax after a hard day of work?
-Stare at more screens like a boneless zombie

What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?
-Maui

What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?
-My girls being awesome to each other

What is the most annoying question that people ask you?
-“Have you tried [whatever thing] for your migraines?”