Tag Archives: rants

So Shall Me Me Me [SOCS]

Social is not an adjective people would apply to me. Then again, I’m not exactly antisocial either. I go to game nights and other peopley events nearly every week. I’m not a shy soul ~ I’ve done stand-up comedy. But I can’t bear huge, squashy crowds, like malls at holidays or giant indoor concerts. I hate feeling trapped up next to people… but I’m not claustrophobic because I don’t mind being in small spaces if I’m alone. In fact, I much prefer a tiny cozy room to the scary emptiness of a vast open field. And I do need a significant amount of alone/quiet time simply to “recharge” my emotional batteries. I can’t be around other people jibber jabbering night after night!

Speaking of people, I’ve believed for some time that social media has made us less social. I know that sounds contradictory, but hear me out. First, we’re buried in our phones 24/7. You hardly see anyone’s face when you’re in public. Gone are the days when you made idle conversation with someone waiting at the store or DMV or doctor’s office, etc. Why would you talk to them and interrupt whatever they’re doing on their phone?

Second, supposedly we’re all connected to so many more people now than ever before due to technology, but how many of these friends inside your phone would actually, physically help you in an emergency? Who, exactly, would you call? Yeah. I know. Me too. It’s basically down to a daughter who lives 40 miles away and another friend I had before social media and possibly a few others. But none of my twitter/blog peeps, even though we “interact” daily, would be on that list. Used to be, I made more of an effort to say hello and chat with neighbors, but why bother now? I have bloggy and twitter friends! 😂

Third, in the olden days, what did you do when you felt alone with your odd ideas or interests? Maybe you found a kindred spirit, if you were lucky enough and looked hard enough, and then you could happily share your weirdness. Or you decided to try to acclimate to a more mainstream hobby in order to have friends. Is that so bad? Instead of finding another freak to assist you in pulling off butterfly wings, you joined a bowling league. But now in the age of social media, you don’t have to compromise and go bowling to have friends. You can stay home and hang out with a few dozen wackos in a chat group from other parts of the world who also enjoy torturing butterflies.

I don’t think that’s better! Some interests should be suppressed. Some people shouldn’t be able to find each other. God only knows what horrible things people are discussing right at this moment… whatever you may imagine, I guarantee that it’s worse.

This will be yet another one of Paula’s Unpopular Opinions. 😜

PFF2: Crabby Book Review

Welcome to the second edition of Paula’s Friday Flashback! For this one, I present a crabby book review I wrote on June 14, 2013. What makes this funny (to me) is that just yesterday I was defending the entire romance novel genre from that twit Nicholas Sparks, but here 6 years ago I was disgusted with it myself! Hah. That’s probably because I was dating back then and trying desperately to blame my poor choices on anything other than my own bad judgment. Oh, it must be because I was overly influenced by romance novels. Sure, Jan.

Or maybe I’m just inconsistent. Whatever!

*

Animal Attraction

By Jill Shalvis. I gave this book a 2-star rating (“it was okay”) on Goodreads even though I enjoyed it for the most part, but I’ve given better books a 3-star, and I want to have some sense of fairness in my ratings.

As I thought objectively about AA, and disregarded the fact that I ripped through it because it was fun and sexy and had a kitty (and lots of other aminals too ~ hero Dell was a vet), I realized it had one of the Fatal Flaws of romance novel writing. The “plot,” such as it was, hinged on the premise that there was an End Date looming, a date at which our heroine Jade absolutely had to leave Sunshine, Idaho and return home to Chicago, therefore preventing Jade and Dell from becoming emotionally entangled, which they would resist in any case since Dell was one of those emotionally unavailable kind of guys we all break our hearts over in real life though in RNs they always become available which upfucks the brains of women who read these STUPID BOOKS but I digress, and they both knew this. (Of course Jade tried not to become physically involved with him either, but that didn’t work. Obviously.)

But as it turned out the End Date was totally arbitrary ~ Jade didn’t have to leave. She had made a promise to her family she’d come home, mostly because they’d been nagging her unreasonably, and since she was a 30 year old woman, it would have been totally acceptable, if not downright advisable, for her to tell them, dudes, I found a good job, a cool apartment, and a great boyfriend here in Idaho, so BACK OFF, I’m staying indefinitely. And so basically there was no plot if you discount this made up out of thin air date. If you do discount the date, then the whole story becomes this whiny thing of ermahgerd I gotta go, can’t let myself fall for hunkyvet, and him thinking why must she go, everyone abandons me just like mommy. Bleh.

Plus there were sloppy POV switches within scenes (annoying and unforgivable!) and missing quotation marks, super-distracting. Upside, the dialog was great and witty, and there were fun minor characters. Shalvis has a ton of books available and I can tell from the blurbs and reviews (however positive) that they’re all gonna be about the same. But one was enough for me.

~*~

Check out Fandango’s FF, where this whole idea originated. It’s all his fault! 😂

We Don’t Want Him

Nicholas Sparks is trending because he refused to accept an LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 club in the Christian school he founded and there’s some ongoing litigation yada. Apparently part of the case has been settled, and he has the legal right to be intolerant, so that’s cool. I more or less support keeping it legal for private clubs to arbitrarily let in and keep out whom they please, as opposed to landlords, employers, public schools, etc. (Whether they should get tax breaks is a different issue.)

Just because something is legal however doesn’t make it good or right. It’s also legal to cheat on your wife. But that’s not what I came here to discuss today. If you don’t already know, Nicholas Sparks is a writer, a hugely bestselling writer. His books have been made into movies. You’ve surely heard of The Notebook? Well, there you go.

In the frenzy to bash Sparks, people have been conflating his books with romance novels and dumping on the whole genre. Now, I don’t mind bashing Sparks ~ I made a yucky 🤮 face on Twitter myself. I can’t stand his sterile prose ~ and that was before I knew he was super religious. Now my review of Safe Haven from 2013 makes a lot more sense.

But let’s be clear: Nicholas Sparks is not a romance novelist. He says himself he isn’t one, and he is correct. He writes general fiction (“love stories”) with romantic elements. It’s an important distinction, peeps! To be a romance novel, a story must have a Happily Ever After ending. If you want to bash the genre, go ahead. If you want to rag on Sparks, for his politics or his writing or both, have at it.

But please don’t lump Nicholas Sparks in with romance novelists. Cuz that just pisses me right off. 😡💥🔥 He’s not welcome in our club. On the whole, you will find the protags in romance novels to be a tolerant lot, or they become tolerant as the story progresses.

I note that in The Daily Beast article I linked in my first sentence, Sparks bags on the whole romance novel genre because he’s a stupid ass who has read none of the books he’s criticizing. Romance novels are not about “the taming of a man” ~ if anything, they err on the side of misogyny, even though they are written largely by women and mostly from the POVs of the female protagonists. What they are, are fantasies of what it would be like if an alpha hero fell in love with you and wanted you more than anything on this earth, and indeed would do anything on this earth to make you his own. And he succeeds. That is what romance novels are and why those of us who love them, love them. ❤️❤️❤️

Sparks can stick with his yawningly vanilla pudding Ken-doll heroes because there is obviously a market for bland safe smooth love too.

^^^ The sexual excitement level in a Sparks’ novel goes from zero to pudding.

FPQ27: Where’d My Fandango?

Fandango provocatively asks…

“If you could choose one — and only one — particular malady, condition, or disease for which a safe and effective treatment was available, what one condition would you choose to treat and why is that your choice?”

I choose to eliminate Alzheimer’s. It not only steals any joy and dignity from the patient’s final years, but it’s such an awful burden in every way on their loved ones. It’s better to die of cancer or heart disease imo than to waste away from this hideous mind-melter.

My mother’s death was a shocking tragedy because no one expected this vibrant person to get suddenly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but she was 75. I guess that isn’t really so shocking to someone outside the family. We all just assumed she would live much longer. But as awful as that was, at least it was over quickly.

My father however spent around a dozen years fading away as his once formidable brainpower weakened from dementia. His memory and thoughts became jumbled, and he reacted with confusion and anger. He became susceptible to every con artist that knocked on the door (and those evil assholes know to prey on the senior community). After my mom passed, he immediately jumped into a new romance, asking a woman to marry him after dating for only a couple months. (She said no.) Then he began getting lost and needing more care, often forgetting who people were, and which ones were still alive.

It was so hard on all of us. I hope hope hope I do not burden my children with this horror! Just shoot me.

No, not yet. 😜

Laura’s Music Challenge 17

Hurrah! More music! Join Laura’s weekly tuneful challenge and have some fun. I tag you and you!

1. Post a video of a song that makes you think of your youth.

2. Post a video of a song about having had your fill of bs. (This should be interesting)

3. Post a video of a song about being unapologetic for standing your ground.

So, all these songs are by men. I wanted to have songs by female artists, but the only one I really liked (that I could think of tonight) was Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking,” which I’ve already posted a bunch of other times. It could fit in category 2 or 3, I guess. But even so, all the women look super sexy in that video, which dilutes the message. I mean, that is how the videos are by women. They sing these songs about how they are just done and so over it/him, and they sound sincere, but they still look like they very much care about attracting him or some other him/s.

Because they’re just songs. They don’t necessarily reflect the singer’s state of mind, attitude toward life, relationships, or any other thing. In fact, as we know, very often the person singing the song isn’t even the person who wrote the lyrics. There may be a woman singing very passionately about how horrible men are yada… and the song might have been written by a man. Maybe it was written by her husband and they’re very happy together. Why shouldn’t she look sexy in her video while she sings that she’ll never love again?

So, I just went with the men, which makes me mad, but what can you do? 🙄

(Sorry for babbling on and on, assuming anyone has read below the fold.)

More Things I Hate

I see it’s up to me to break up the syrupy brunch of Mommy Day posts full of flowers and pancakes and goopity goo, mm yes please I would like another mimosa hold the OJ thanks…

What was I saying? Oh! Yes, things I hate. Let’s start with slide. No, I’m not talking about those things in the park next to the swings. I’m talking about the absolutely enraging expression “it was a slide into the DMs.” If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that this is the stupid way young people describe encountering one another privately on a social media site for romantic/ sexual purposes.

In other words, he sent her a message.

For fuck’s sake. We already have normal words like message, text, and email. We don’t need this idiotic slide thing. It drives me bananas.

Next up is drop. This is a word we use in its appropriate sense all the time as in these examples:

1. He drops women after three dates.

2. Don’t drop the baby, Grandma!

3. I dropped the package off at FedEx.

In the past, we had a perfectly good word to describe the action of an artist releasing a new piece of work, whether a song, album, book, painting, etc. We used the word release, in fact! But now these irritating people are using the word drop just to annoy me.

“My single dropped at midnight.”

It sounds like code for a spy operative. “The dog didn’t bark?”

“No, he was poisoned by the double agent.”

“Funny, I thought you were the double agent.”

“Well, actually–”

😡😡😡

Even more things I hate coming soon!

Denial

Alyssa tweets that we should deny sex to protest strict abortion bans, and while I am Pro-Choice, her idea is wacky. Only women who believe the same will be on board, and most of them are already with like-minded men, so we’re punishing men who agree with us? Not to mention the fact that sex shouldn’t be used as a prize. Plus the fact that the anti-sex people couldn’t be more thrilled. 🙄

~*~

Via Sammi

An Immodest Proposal

Let your writing take center stage! You work hard on your fiction and poetry, so don’t bury it down the screen after posting 27 lines of copypasta text from a prompt host. Why do people do this? Habit?

Stop. 😀

This is the order your fiction or poetry post should take.

1. Title (obviously).

2. Picture.

3. Your original writing (including any linked words going back to a prompt host).

4. A marker showing your piece has ended if you’re going to say something else. Write “The End” or put “***” or similar.

5. If needed, a short phrase linking back to one or more prompt hosts (for example, “Tuesday Monster Prompts”).

That’s it! There’s no reason to copypasta the prompt host’s entire post into your writing. It clutters up your post and takes away from your new work. Why should readers scroll past a huge pile of rules to get to your poem or story? By that time, the mood between the picture and your words has been broken. Even if you post the picture later, why bore your readers with this gobble upfront? Your writing is the star attraction!

If your work has inspired another blogger to try the prompt, great! They can then click through your linked word or phrase to the prompt host and read the rules there, download the pic, and copy the link. Then the host gets a visit. You don’t need to de facto become the new prompt host by reposting everything.

I realize I’m being bossy, but this is actually the right way, so. 🙂👍🏻🎉

R is for Romancing [A2Z]

Romancing the Stone is an adventure romcom starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. I mentioned it in my review of the romance novel Heart of Fire because that story also involved a heroine trekking down to the jungle, etc. But in RTS we have a city girl (a romance novelist!) who is not an archaeologist and is totally unprepared to brave the dangers of Columbia. However, off Joan goes to rescue her sister, who’s being held for ransom by some baddies.

Joan encounters Jack (popular name for protags), who is also seeking the treasure map Joan needs to deliver to her sister’s kidnappers. Naturally, Jack is the antithesis of everything Joan dreams of in a man, but she changes her mind yada. I’m not too impressed with this storyline in my twilight years, since it mirrors reality too painfully ~ woman having to adapt to man instead of the other way around. In real life, you so often end up alone despite contorting or erasing your self to please Mr. Man, or you wish you were alone.

I mean, how many times are we going to need a snarky macho dude with lightning-quick reflexes to chop off a deadly snake’s head while we are trying to have a convo with him about something important to our heart? I’d rather have the empathetic verbally adept guy with mediocre snake-chopping skillz. Yes, I understand that it only takes the one deadly snake… so you spend your life adapting to snarky jerk just in case there’s ever a snake, and you never find anyone to fucking hear what you have to say.

Be that as it may, RTS is still a fun flick, and Danny DeVito is always hilarious.

Sorry to have digressed into a mini rant in the middle of this thrilling review series that no one cares about! 🙄😂🤪

Here Comes the Sun

Fandango said I could grab his Sunshine Questions, so I am. I’m not in the mood to write a prompt story about an apocalyptic closet, which was my other idea.

If you could start your blog all over again, how would it be different, if at all, from your current blog?

I’d be completely anonymous and never reference anything about my real life, so I could indulge in all sorts of fantastical writings. And loads more bitching. I don’t bitch nearly enough, imo. Of course then I’d get some Primary Colors type detective figuring out who I am because I mention cupcakes one day. Bah!

What quote or saying do people spout but which is complete BS?

Anything about counting blessings, smiling, looking on the bright side, having a positive mental attitude, etc. Those things are hard-wired and it makes things worse for those of us who are not able to view life that way to constantly be told that our sadness/anxiety is our own fault. If you can’t be empathetic, then go smell some fucking flowers and leave us alone.

What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?

Oh geez. So many dumbs. Probably trying to open a Snapple with a steak knife and slicing my finger so badly I needed stitches.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

Probably something about a crocodile eating a snake eating a snake eating a rat ~ oh wait! I’m confusing that with politics. Never mind.

What was the last picture you took with your smartphone (if you have one, or with your camera if you don’t).

I have a question for anyone still reading: whatever happened to that Wednesday prompt from Patricia? It was one word and we wrote 5 lines about it. Is this another one of my glitches, that I’m not allowed to see it anymore? I’ve written to WP about my issues, but we know how that will go.

Thanks!