Tag Archives: rants

FPQ34: Priorities

Fandango provocatively asks…

“What are the three biggest challenges your country (or, if you prefer, the world) is facing right now?”

People are people, and, newsflash, we all live on the same planet. Americans, Russians, Indians, tigers, whales, apples, wheat, bees, etc. Everything that affects one of us eventually affects us all, no matter how much money you have.

There was a scene in Game of Thrones where a lord (Ramsay) had a slave (Theon) so mind-controlled that the lord gave the slave a razor to shave the lord’s face and neck with. That’s where we are now. The powerful in the US are so convinced they have nothing to fear from the poor that they’re happy to have them armed to the teeth. We’ll see…

1. Poverty. It is unnecessary. We could help everyone do better. Don’t freak out ~ I’m not talking about “freebies.” The horror! But people want to do meaningful things. They want to work and live productive lives; it’s human nature. Why shouldn’t everyone who wants to work have a job and a decent place to live? I mean, duh. Not talking about kids, the disabled, and the elderly ~ they get a pass. The otherwise lazy should be killed, of course. 😂

2. The environment. Stop destroying it before every place is uninhabitable. I note the hypocrisy of celeb types who fly off in private jets to have confabs about this topic and generate mountains of waste in the process. Can’t they have a teleconference? We need to quit ruining our oceans! Idk what is wrong with people who don’t care about this. Just greedy, I guess. “I’m gonna own the libs by using plastic straws, ha ha.” Good job, idiots. You’ve just owned future generations out of sea life. The current libs you despise will all be dead, along with you. 🙄

3. Health care. What a freaking mess, at least in the US. It’s just ridiculous that we can’t take care of people. But it is important to control waste and corruption, and I don’t know how you do that, when all systems rely wholly on doctors to be ethical. I just remember when my frail 82 year old dad was scheduled for a totally unnecessary colonoscopy until I stopped them. But normally you have to depend on a doctor, on the spot; it’s not like you have time to scout around as if you were redoing your kitchen. Oh, hang on there, triple bypass surgeon guy, I need to get a couple more estimates… 😨

Okay, so these are my opinions. If you disagree, that’s fine, but be cordial about it. If you have intense, complex arguments to make against mine, then do your own post for this question. Don’t forget to link back to Fandango! 😀

Money Honey 🍯

Since none of today’s prompts have woken my creative beasts, instead I’m going to fall back on an old classic: the bitch and moan.

Today’s rant is about money. Now, I get that just because people ask for some doesn’t obligate me to give. My feelings are my own issue to deal with. If I feel guilty because I can’t donate to the animal shelter or the Alzheimer’s organization as I would like to, well, that’s my problem. They don’t have to quit sending me stuff.

People have the right to advertise and market. I do, however badly. Occasionally I say hey buy my books, and no one does, so like whatever. But at least I’m offering a product. I don’t say hey send me some money because I exist. See, that’s what I have a problem with.

I really resent being asked for money just because someone is there and I’m here. I have a blog, which I’ve paid for by the way, not that I have to, but I wanted to get rid of the ads, so if you read it in a browser, I’ve made it a nicer experience for you. Some people actually seem to enjoy reading my blog, yayyy! And I enjoy other blogs. Then… I’m asked for a donation? Wtf why? How about you give me one? That seems as fair as me flinging money out at some other blog for no reason other than it exists too.

I’m not a cheapskate. I actually overtip in most cases. But that’s because someone has provided a service. When someone comes up to me on the street or online and asks me for money for nothing, I feel like saying wait can I have some because my rent just went up. I mean, really. I work all the time, and this crap does make me mad.

If you don’t want to write for free on the internet, don’t! Very simple. Package up your beautiful precious words in a book and offer them for sale instead. Just quit begging for donations. It’s gross. If I have extra money to donate sometime, it’s going to real charities as I mentioned above, not to bloggers.

I know they’ll keep asking. But grrrr I am having a problem staying my usual calm and serene self about it. 😡🔥💥

Happy 4th! (with bonus rant)

My latest discovery, which I will share, is that everything is ridiculously complicated and costs too damn much.

In my youth, life was simple (although frequently unhappy). My mom did many things herself, but now these projects are out of reach. Take knitting and crocheting and sewing, forex. Loading up on the supplies costs a fortune and the patterns are complicated, wah. Don’t even get me started on scrapbooking (again) or making bead jewelry. Soooo costly! Plus, in my case, I’d have to take classes first, for jewelry, sewing, cooking, etc. I’m not one who can watch a video for twenty minutes and then go mmhmm now I see how to construct a tiny house, easy peasy!

I remember we usually had an aquarium going on. My mom dealt with it, but it could not have been outrageously expensive because we weren’t wealthy and we lived in small apartments for many years. The aquariums were really pretty, but the fish died often, and we were always traipsing off to the pet store for little baggies of new ones. I bet now though aquariums are just another one of those crazy costly and super complex hobbity bobbity things.

I liked watching the bright little neons dart through the water after their specks of food. We had graceful black and white stripey fish and some goldfish varieties too. A few catfish at the bottom keeping things clean. Mom always indulged me and got a teeny pirate treasure chest for decoration in the sand. Haven’t thought about our aquariums for years…

Ah yes, the sands of time, rushing so fast through the hourglass now, piling up at the bottom, waiting to meet that last big wave that will wash them out to the eternal ocean and then… and then what?

Nothing.

*

You know, I feel I’m pretty chill with anyone who comments here unless they’re an obvious spammer or troll. If you’re of a different political persuasion, cool, just keep it civil and don’t insult other peeps or me. I have accepted loads of criticism and disagreements over the years. Don’t mind it at all, and I particularly welcome any comments on my poetry and fiction. I am not thrilled with advice I haven’t solicited, especially about health, but whatever.

But that’s not the case elsewhere. Some bloggers don’t want any disagreement or difference of opinion. I’ve noticed I will be condescended to or explained at if I dare to express a thought contrary to the OP’s. That is unpleasant, FYI, and I will not be visiting these blogs much or at all in the future.

YHBW. 🙂

Have a great weekend! ☄️💥🔥

FPQ30: The Whole Truth

Fandango provocatively asks…

“With everything that’s going on these days about what truth is and what facts are, do you believe truth and facts are synonymous, or do you concur with Faulkner that they have nothing to do with each other? And most important, does it even matter anymore?”

First, wow, I can’t believe we’re on number 30 already! And he may have skipped a week in there. Time flies like a banana 🍌, or something.

Second, I’m not going to answer this question in the context of politics because politicians suck. They’re all lying liars and the news is all slanted and hypocritical, so eff all that. (This doesn’t mean I’m going to give up and not vote, or write in Mickey Mouse, or anything like that. I’ll vote Dem across the board, knowing that nothing will probably change now, except for the worse, and so be it.)

Third, regarding the question… I apply it to the personal realm. Truth and facts are not synonymous, though they are related. And they do matter, very much. So much that I gave up dating because I could not trust men to tell the truth about anything (yes, I understand that women lie too, but I wasn’t dating them).

When I talk about truth, I’m talking about the collection of facts that complete a story. I will give an example.

Him: “I’m busy this weekend.”

Me: “Oh, that’s a bummer. I’ll miss you.”

Him: “I’ll miss you too, but I promised to help my mom with some stuff around her house. She can’t do all the things she used to. Her lawn is a mess and she has some virus on her computer. I’m not looking forward to driving two hundred miles and back.”

Me: “You’re a good son.”

Him: “Thanks!”

All the things he said were facts about his mom. They could even be verified if I called her (which I wouldn’t). But the story was in fact false. How can that be? He drove the 200 miles and helped his mother, and then he drove back.

But the story was incomplete. After he helped his mother and she made dinner for them, he went out for drinks with his old girlfriend who was in town that weekend. He spent the night with her before driving back on Sunday. So, while the facts he told me were all true, the story was false since it was incomplete.

That’s how they are. And if you don’t trust every word they say, then you have “issues” and are “paranoid.”

Mmhmm.

PS: The above scenario is fictional because the ones from my actual life are too complicated and ridiculous for a blog post, plus make me look bad.

PFF3: POV PP

Paula’s Friday Flashback this week is a post from June 21, 2013, wherein I rant about point of view switching within scenes. Enjoy!

Minor peeve. I was careless with “only” in my post. Sorry about that.

Point of View

Sorry, got distracted.

One of my huge pet peeves while reading is a mid-scene POV switch. This shouldn’t be a problem in a first-person novel (one would hope), but writers will switch deliberately or sloppily while writing in third. Grrrr! In olden days, it was acceptable to write in scattershot POV, but the contemporary way is to keep to one character’s viewpoint per scene (and sometimes per chapter).

This makes a lot of sense if you think about it. The reader can relax and trust the writer to put you inside one character’s head at a time, with sensory data and thoughts being processed by him or her (or it, if non-human). You only know what that character knows during this time, feel what she feels, etc. If the story is a romance, you’re there with her wondering if the hero will ever return from his quest. If the story is a murder, you’re right there with the detective putting the clues together.

I recently read a short story in workshop where two men were involved in a tense situation, involving a possible murder, and the POV flipped from one to the other. It was difficult to get “into” the story fully because of this and it also led to confusion about who was thinking/feeling what at times. When we know the writer has stuck us inside only one character’s head, these problems are mitigated simply by the fact that anyone’s thoughts or feelings are THAT guy’s. We don’t have to wonder.

Someone said that wrt to a novel you should write a scene from the POV of the character who has the most to lose at that point. I’d like to say this is a Jennifer Crusie quote, but I can’t remember and CBA looking it up at 5:30am. It makes a lot of sense and doesn’t only apply to romance novels of course. Though I find it the most irritating when a romance novelist (either deliberately or stupidly) has a switch in a sex scene. It’s so distracting. This is the perfect example of a time you need to stay inside one character’s head for the duration of a scene and not mess up. I think this is why I had to give Animal Attraction only two stars on Goodreads. That just bugged the hell out of me. And Shalvis is not a beginning writer, so no excuses.

I’m not sure how any of this applies to second person. I haven’t written anything that way, too annoying, nor did I read BLBC. I think second is like first though, but with this hipstery distancing thing going on, right? I don’t know. Can’t deal with it.

Whatever. DON’T SWITCH MID-SCENE. Ever. This is one of those rules that you don’t break even when you are all jaded and above following rules.

FPQ28: Ughhh him again 🤮

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe that Donald Trump is an effective American president who should remain in office despite having accepted aid from a foreign adversary (Russia) and having committed obstruction of justice into the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential elections? Do you believe that Trump should or should not be impeached for his actions? Why?”

I’m commanded to have “fun” with this question! 😳 First, beyond the way the question seems to be directing an answer by the way it’s framed, there was a long set-up to it that I didn’t copypasta. But this isn’t a criticism ~ Fandango can word his FPQ’s any way he wants. I’m just observing.

Second, there’s a lot to unpack here. I think I should take the whole thing apart, which will take a while. I can’t come up with a quick answer to this one.

Donald Trump is not an effective POTUS. He’s a lying, obnoxious, self-aggrandizing, disgusting, egotistical jerk. He’s rude, crude, and divisive. He indulges in racism and misogyny when it suits him. He doesn’t believe laws apply to him, though he’s quick to hug the flag, and though he ran on “drain the swamp,” his admin is full of swamp creatures pandering to him 24/7. He cares nothing for the American people, only for enriching himself and his family, and plastering his name everywhere.

I do not think Trump “should” remain in office. He’s bad for us and for the planet. It would be great if he and Pence would both immediately resign due to maybe God demanding it (or whatever works) and then Nancy P takes over until the 2020 election.

But do I think Trump should be impeached for the stuff Fandango describes? No.

Why not? Impeachment means bringing charges. First, the charges have to be agreed upon. That will involve a shit ton of arguing and tweeting among Democrats at a time when Democrats should be coming together with a unifying message to defeat Trump, along with other Republicans, in 2020.

I know this is a silly dream, that Democrats can get themselves organized again with a unifying message to inspire their base to vote, but yet I haz hope. 🦋

Say impeachment charges are brought and voted on by the House… then what? Nothing. A big fat zero. The Senate won’t agree to remove Trump from office. So, now we’ve wasted all this time, when Dems could have been campaigning (and you’d better believe Trump will be campaigning like mad through it all, portraying himself as a victim like none other), only to LOSE.

Trump will crow about his “win” and Dems will be scrambling in 2020 to come up with some way to beat him, along with other Republicans too, in the looming election after losing the dumb impeachment fight.

Bleh. 🤮

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. 😜