Friday, August 21, 2015

Here's what I think about that.

Dear So You Think You Can Dance:

You make me sad.
For the first time since Season 1, I am not watching on TV. I catch up when I'm in the mood, using Hulu, and truth be told I skip through a lot of it. I do not eagerly await each show as I've done in the past years. I think I might be over you, and it hurts to think so.
You know, I was very leery of the whole Stage vs. Street thing, and even though we're closing in on the end of this season, I am still a little uncertain although I've come to mostly accept this format.
But there is an entire herd of elephants in the room, so let me address the biggest one first:
Seriously, Nigel Lithgoe? Have you lost your memory as well as your mind? Don't you remember the trainwreck that was Paula Abdul on your other show (which should've been put down at least 5 seasons ago), American Idol? Watching her spit out her nonsensical word salad critiques is just painful.
WE DO NOT WANT HER.  And speaking of AI, you do remember what happened when you started switching up judges and formats over there, right? An avalanche of lost ratings and free fall into becoming a joke rather than a talent-finding show.
And then there's Jason Derulo. He doesn't seem particularly knowledgeable about what the show is trying to accomplish AND his personality is fairly lame in this context. I don't particularly care for his music (just a personal opinion) and his "dancing" skills aren't anything to write home about.

We want Mary back. We want Adam Shankman and Christina Applegate and Anna Kendrick and Debbie Allen back as guest judges - most of them actually contribute something to both the show and the dancers, plus they're funny, clever, witty, and entertaining...all the things that Paula and Jason are not.

What is really burning my ass is that show a couple weeks ago where all three of you judges criticized the DANCERS for the terrible (and lame) choreography and the costumes. SRSLY? It's not the dancers' fault, and if you have a problem with the choreography and/or costumes then you all three need to grow a pair and point a finger at who's responsible, and it ain't those dancers who're up there on stage working their asses off.
It can't be any coincidence that there have been an unusually high number of injuries this season as well - either it's bad choreography or the dancers are injuring themselves so that you don't criticize them for things over which they have no control - trying to draw your attention to their moves instead of what they're wearing.
Nigel, Paula, Jason (especially Nigel): GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER BEFORE NEXT SEASON. I have a bad feeling that things are going to spiral downhill from here.

Hoping you pull your heads out of your asses soon,

P.S. I do love seeing Travis and Twitch
P.P.S. #TeamGabby #TeamJaja #TeamNeptune

Dear ALL COURT CLERKS who quit because you suddenly got religion and same-sex licenses violate your beliefs:

I would like to know why it did not ALSO violate your "religious beliefs" to file divorce papers - especially ones listing the cause as adultery. Adultery is one of The Big 10 No-Nos. Or did you forget that in your eagerness to grab your 15 minutes of fame?
I'm glad you're out of a job now. I hope no one else will hire you. Ever.

With concern for your weird "value system",

Dear Idiots Posting signs in your restaurants and stores and other public venues about how you will not be serving The Gay Type People:

You do realize that every gay person is not wearing a nametag or t-shirt that says "HI! I'm BIG GAY DAN!", right? You do realize that you will be turning away straight people who you "think" might be gay simply because of your own skewed perception of what a gay person might look/sound/act like, right?
And that you've served hundreds of gay people already without ever even knowing?
So how does it make sense to put up a sign like that? If I were gay, I would walk right in and you would serve me and never know, until I turned at the door to announce it REALLY LOUD. I hope people do that to you, whether they are straight or gay. Good luck (not really).

With concern for your complete lack of any logic,

Dear Duggar Family and your supporters:

I can't even.
#Hypocrites #FakeChristians #Enablers #Liars #Cheaters #Pedophiles #Molesters #Adulterers #KeepingTheWomenBarefootAndPregnant #VictimBlamers #CoveringUpTheCrimes #Karma

I loathe you with every fiber of my being,

And now, a picture of my boyfriend right before he left this morning:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Now THAT'S What I'm Talkin' About

You all know how I like The Free Stuff.
Books, Clorox cleaning products, skin care regimens...I love getting them all, whether I review them or not.

So of course when one of my friends said, "HEY, sign up for Influenster because FREESTUFF," naturally I hopped right inside that bandwagon.

Remember a few months ago when I colored my hair? It was my first #VoxBox from Influenster, and I was very excited.
Until weeks and weeks and weeks went by and the only other thing I'd received was a tiny package of even tinier Carefree panty liners, which frankly were too embarrassing for me to be bothered to write about.
(Okay, so maybe I just procrastinated and forgot to write the review because REASONS)

But then.

I got a #SunshineVoxBox.

The box was filled with products by brands that I'm not only familiar with, but that I use regularly, so I was excited to try these particular products.

1. Please note the empty wrapper for the Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds, as I ripped those open and poured them into my face like a hyena with a fresh kill. The Sriracha flavor was good, but my heart and tastebuds are still pwned (do people still say pwned?) by the uberlicious Soy & Wasabi flavored Blue Diamond Almonds.

2. I've been using Vaseline lotion products for many years, so I was happy to give this new product a try. It's a SPRAY ON moisturizer. It's so nice and quick to be absorbed with a light, fresh aloe scent. Spray it on, smooth it in, DONE. Also very inexpensive, so I can afford it even on my practically nonexistent budget.

3. I've been fascinated by the thought of "witch hazel" since I first read about it in a book when I was very young - it was used in that book as an antiseptic. WITCH hazel. I thought it meant that it was some magical witchery made with a spell to help your cuts and bruises heal quickly. (I still like to think that)  As a teen I used a couple of versions of witch hazel as a toner but it made my skin dry.
Nowadays I generally use the dry cleansing cloths that foam up when you wet them (I won't say the name but it rhymes with shmoyl of schmolay)...but these Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel wet cleansing cloths are great! They make my face feel cool (especially when I'm having a perimenopausal hot flash) and fresh, with a barely-there scent, and best of all they do NOT make my skin feel tight, dry, or itchy.

4. I was very happy for the Sinful Colors nail polish - as you can see from the photo, this is my go-to brand. They even sent me a color (called Southern Belle, bless your heart!) that I'd've totally picked out for myself. As you can see, the new color looks fab on my thumbnail. The other one (called Sugar Sugar, which is weird as it's dark red and sparkly, but whatevs) is my regular summer toe color.


5. I've never used leave-in conditioner before (I have twins, I've barely had time to wash my hair some days, let alone condition it) so I was looking forward to trying the Infusium23 leave-in treatment. Except I have this weird thing about my hair and anything that makes it feel greasy or crunchy or heavy.  The Infusium was a little thicker than I thought it would be, but it smelled good and I tried it in both damp and dry hair and it helped smooth the fuzziness somewhat.  The directions say that you can reapply as needed throughout the day, but when I used it more than once a day my hair did not feel good to me. This may just be due to my personal hair issues. It is a very affordable product and I will probably purchase it, since it is helpful on days when I can't condition in the shower.
Verdict: RECOMMENDED (if you don't have a weird hair thing worse than I do)

6. There is a coupon in the #Voxbox for a free package of BarkThins snacks - involving a deliciously intriguing variety flavors of fair trade dark chocolate...the closest place I can find that carries this brand is Target and I just haven't had the time to get there lately, so I can't tell you if these are good or not -- but chocolate covered pretzels and dark chocolate almond with sea salt and choco-covered pumpkin seeds...I can only see myself giving these a big thumbs up. However, until that time:
Verdict: UNKNOWN

THANK YOU #Influenster for this most excellent treat!

**crap I have to say: All the items were provided free of charge by Influenster via VoxBox. My opinions are definitely all my own because I SAY WHAT I WANT.

Friday, July 17, 2015

A PSA - Parental Service Announcement

You know, my parents never told me about RHPS. Not once was it mentioned in our house - I had to learn about it the hard way, on the streets. In fact, the very first time I really even heard of RHPS was from a church friend when I was IN COLLEGE.

I felt so...Amish.
I've never felt so alone in my life as that long ago midnight when I went for my first viewing.

I decided right then and there that my kids would never suffer from RHPS deficiency! Their lullabies were Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul and Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me. We Time Warped our way through toddlerhood. My daughter's first word was "antici....

So please, parents, don't let YOUR child be the one getting hit in the head with bits of toast or toilet paper without knowing what's going on - you don't want the kid to be afraid there's a riot breaking out, right? Make sure yours is not the only one not shouting "ASSHOLE!" whenever he or she hears the name "Brad Majors." Don't let them suffer the embarrassment of not knowing how to do the Time Warp. And above all, teach them the "Sweet Transvestite" lyrics.
I mean, can you imagine the humiliation when walking into your first midnight showing, and you know none of the words? Or characters? When you have no clue how to even begin to Time Warp?
Do the right thing - sit your (age appropriate) kids down in front of the blu-ray with you tonight.
TEACH THEM. It's your job as a parent.

You can thank me later.

Some of the above story may or may not be true, and may or may not be exaggerated or possibly completely made up in all ways. Except for the first part, which is totally true, much to my embarrassment.

Friday, July 10, 2015

#WINNING and a boudoir photo

SEXY, right? 

The month of June may have been a 3-ring shit circus, utterly disappointing and frustrating in any number of ways, but there was one supernova-bright spot: I WON ALL OF THE BOOKS.

Two I won from random drawings on (and THANK YOU, GOODREADS!), one from a random drawing by the author, and one just because I asked for an ARC and the new-to-me author was kind enough to send me one for review.

I guess I can't say "if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all" anymore.

Let me just re-express to you how much I LOVE GETTING ADVANCE COPIES.
Firstly, it means I am full of cool.
Secondly, it means *I* get to read these awesome books waaaaaaay before YOU, which makes me happy because I am petty like that and also it makes me feel special.

Coincidentally, all four of these books have strong female lead characters, which was like a double bonus for me because I love kick-ass female leads.

Two of these have just been released in the last few days, and you can read the reviews I've already written for Vicki Pettersson's Swerve and Taylor Stevens's The Mask.

Sue Grafton is the author of what's known as The Alphabet Series - A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, and so on and so on. The main character is Kinsey Millhone, private investigator.  These books have been around for a loooong time, but I just started reading them a couple years ago and I fell in love. I have a lot in common with Kinsey...namely, we both like to spend time alone, prolonged contact and sociability makes anxious, and we both like to curl up on the couch and read on our days off work. We both have a strong sense of justice and right and wrong, even though we don't always make good choices or do the smart thing.
Sue's latest book, "X" (which you losers regular people will have to wait until the AUG 25th release date to read)(hahahahahaha!) is my favorite of the series so far. It's a little more complex than some of the others, and a little more villainous. 
I sort of want to be Kinsey sometimes, living in Santa Teresa, investigating stuff...then I remember I'm old and lazy and have kids.  I do like the fact that Sue has stayed true to her timeline; the series started in the 80s and there it remains. It's a little weird sometimes because nowadays we all take our laptops and cellphones and even PCs for granted, and those things don't exist yet in Kinsey's world. There are still payphones and landlines and actual FACE TO FACE CONTACT, if you can believe it. 
If you're looking for a good series to read, make sure you check out this one. The nice thing is you don't even have to start at the beginning (although I recommend ALWAYS begin at the beginning and carry through 'til the end), but all of the novels can be read as standalones and you won't have missed the most basic information. 
It makes me sad that we've only 'Y' and 'Z' left...and I hope maybe Sue Grafton will come up with a brilliant plan to carry on with Kinsey. And Henry. And Deitz. And Rosie. And especially Ed the cat.

I've been a hyooooge fan of Jonathan Kellerman's Dr. Alex Delaware series since I was a teen and first read When The Bough Breaks. Dr. Delaware is a child psychologist, his best friend is a gay detective, and he lives with a lady who hand-crafts musical instruments. There are murders and kidnappings and mystery -- just what I like to read.
Kellerman has written some collaborative books with his author wife (Faye Kellerman, for whom I also have much love! Check out her Decker/Lazarus series), some non-fiction books on child psychology, and a few standalone novels - like this latest book, The Murderer's Daughter.  I can say with all certainty that this moved to the top of the Favorite Jonathan Kellerman novel list, even though it only briefly mentions Dr. Delaware as a peripheral figure. The tone is somewhat darker throughout than is usual, and it went a couple of places that I wasn't expecting to go. I'm not going to tell you what it's about, I'm going to tell you to go place your pre-order now because it won't be available to you less-cool-than-me people until AUG 18th.
And the very end? Totes spooked me into agita.

Remember that Eddie Murphy bit he used to do in concert about "I got some iiiice cream, I got some iiiice cream, and you AIN'T GOT NONE, and YOU AIN'T GOT NONE..." ?? I totally just did that only with my new books. 
But I'm not gloating. Not at all. 

Oh and PS: I forgot to say the stuff: the two books reviewed here were provided for free (by random drawing!) by First Reads. They were not given to be reviewed, but since I DID provide a review, I have to tell you that they were freebies. So, consider yourselves told. Also I say what I want, so my opinions are 100% my own but ALSO they are correct so you should always take my recommendations, is all I'm saying.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Big Ol' Mess of Crap

I noticed someone came here from didn't even know that was still a thing! I used to be a member but I sort of forgot about it when my blogging started to wither on the vine (DAMN YOU TWITTER & FACEBOOK!). Anyone else still use that place? I just visited and now everything says "Pin It" and "Share." Someone came to be from Blogshares this week as well -- I never figured out how to make that work, exactly. I would never cut it on Wall Street.
I liked it better when we just had a button on our sidebars and we went blog-hopping.

Speaking of blog-hopping, remember how we'd daisy chain when reading blogs? I'd click one of the blogs on your blogroll, then one of the blogs on THAT blog's blogroll, ETCETERA ETCETERA ETCETERA (you totally just heard Yul Brynner's voice, din't you?).
Good times. I miss those days.

One of the hardest realizations - for me, for my friends (and for you and your friends too, I bet) - is that when you're raising a disabled kid, you simply aren't going to be able to live a 'normal' life - whatever that means. Try not to take the little things for granted, parents. And stop judging other parents because you have no idea what they might be dealing with.
Also? READ THIS - it says what I feel. I mean it, go read it. We'll wait. YOU DO WHAT I SAY.

Speaking of kids, Josh accidentally bit me on the arm when he was having a seizure the other day:

I can tell you THAT SHIT HURT. #WoundedInTheLineOfDuty

1. Sometimes I am overcome with self-pity and petty jealousies...then I feel embarrassed and ashamed for it, even though no-one else knew. I AM MESSED UP.
2. I often feel like I've lost my sympathy, because sometimes my life is a Series Of Unfortunate Events. What I need to remember is that sometimes yours is too.

When I read stories about the Texan who saw the sign that said "No swimming" due to a large alligator in the area who shouted "FUCK THAT ALLIGATOR" right before he jumped in and was subsequently killed by same, or stories about the dumbass who got killed launching fireworks OFF HIS HEAD...all I can think is natural selection.

I AM SO TIRED OF HOT FLASHES AND WAKING UP WITH MATTED, SWEATY HAIR every morning! It looks like a dog's ass on my head. #PerimenopauseSucksAss

I've unfriended/been unfriended by a couple of former friends (two people I've known longer than just about anyone else) who suddenly became obnoxious, hateful, and unreasonable - and the only reason I didn't block them is because I know they stalk my facebook page and I want them to always remember how fucking awesome I am. #SayonaraLosers

That is all.
Have a day.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


I've been binge-watching SCANDAL.

I know a lot of people are so crazy about this show, and I have to admit I found some of it fairly enjoyable myself.
However, there are some things I'm having trouble getting past.

1. At first I thought I was watching a re-run of West Wing, only with Meredith Grey's mommy AND daddy added to the cast. By season two, it was like a mashup of West Wing, Grey's Anatomy, and Gilmore Girls. Are there no other actors out there? (actually I'm not complaining, because I do love Josh Malina and Scott Foley and OMG GEORGE NEWBERN with whom I fell deeply in love when I first saw Adventures In Babysitting SHUT UP I KNOW I AM OLD)

2. Dear Kerry Washington fans: I'm sorry, but...seriously? EPISODE ONE. She has her game face on. She's taking no shit and no prisoners and makes a point of saying that her "gut is never wrong"...and then the next howevermany episodes consistently prove that her gut is ALWAYS WRONG. And the other characters make a Thing about "there is no crying here," and yet Kerry is teary-eyed in about half the episodes. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER, SHONDA.

3. After the first two episodes, Olivia (Kerry W) seems to only have two expressions: scared/sad (which look exactly the same) or, whenever she's within sniffing distance of The Prez, she gets the lovestruck cow eyes. Totes unbelievable besides. OMG STOP IT. Most times when they're in the same room, it's like a live-action scene from a poorly written Silhouette or Harlequin romance book (perhaps they hired E.L. James of 50 Shades of Crap fame to write those scenes?).  Luckily there are a handful of (all too) brief moments in which Olivia shows some spunk and fire in a few other episodes. Dear Director: Please make her wipe those ridiculous gape-mouthed looks off her face in future seasons because it really makes me want to punch her and I surely canNOT be the only one.

4. Olivia sometimes does these weird twitchy mouth movements with her upper lip. It is not attractive, it looks unnatural and it distracts me. I have to use that 10 second rewind thingy a LOT to see what I missed while she was snarling her mouth around.

5. This is the only show I've ever seen that largely features the POTUS in which he is RARELY WORKING. Dude has lots of "just sitting around feeling sorry for myself" time and drinking time and "pouting because my mistress won't do me in the Oval Office" time and "My wife is such a bitch" time and "I hate everyone" time and there are never five people walking in one door of the Oval Office while three more walk out the door on the other side of the room. He hardly even meets with any Congress(wo)men or Senators and clearly he has plenty of time to make out with women other than his wife. Is all I'm saying.
#Trivia: The president is the bad guy who had Patrick Swayze killed in Ghost. (Whoops! Spoiler alert too late, if you're one of the five people who haven't seen that movie)

6.  #Trivia: FLOTUS was a shady-ass shark of an attorney on CSI Miami. As conniving and viciously ambitious as she is in the White House, if I were in her First Lady stilettos I would have totally punched Olivia and the President in the neck about 73 times by now for continually rubbing their affair in her face. I'm on her side on that issue. She took one for the team more than once.

7. By the end of season 2 I was totally bored of watching Olivia guzzle a huge glass (or three) of wine at the beginning and/or end of at least 1/3 of all the scenes. #SoCliche

8. Olivia's co-workers on the show AND the fans of the show talk about how strong and tough and whatever she is...but really? I think she's kind of weak. She makes increasingly poor choices and not only THAT, she makes the SAME poor choices again and again!  She and the President both are like petulant, tantrummy, self-pitying assholes half the time.

9. I tried playing a drinking game - I drank every time Olivia said "I'M DONE!" to one of the men in her life or clients or co-workers...but I almost died of alcohol poisoning.

10. The background music, especially the stuff they play during closing scenes, is mostly very excellent.

After 4 seasons, I have concluded:
I really only like the First Lady, especially when she went a little cray cray.
Oh, and the assassins. I really really like the assassins.
The music = awesome.

I will never be a big fan of this show and have no plans to watch the next season. I only finished out the series on Netflix because I kept hoping for something more. I feel it's a Shonda Rhimes Fail, at least for me.
Give me House of Cards ANY day.

P.S. I still love you, George.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Mask

Hooray for me!
That's right, I got an advance (SIGNED!) copy of The Mask from one of my favorite authors, Taylor Stevens.  You may remember that I got an ARC to review her last novel, The Catch (because I am Just. That. Cool.) Go ahead and take a peep - we'll wait.

Two words: LOVED. IT.

It was subtly different than the others - each book we get a little glimpse closer to the heart of Vanessa Michael Munroe. The Mask let us see a bit of a softer side, at least for awhile. I always hope she's able to find some inner peace if not outright happiness...
Then the action ramps up again.

She's ruthless and deadly, and if you're a fan of Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D, you'll know what I mean when I say she's even more badass than Melinda May. She's feral and sometimes conscienceless when it comes to the bad guys, but she does her best to aid those who really need help, even though it's often begrudgingly.
Her heart and soul may often be in jeopardy of being completely consumed by the Dark, but it's a testament to her sheer strength of will that she can (mostly) control the primal urge to kill when attacked.
She endures.

Munroe is a person of intensity and extremes - extreme reactions, extreme control, extreme response. However, although there was still plenty of excitement and fighting, I liked the fact that The Mask had a more cerebral/mind game center...and the author managed to create a continuous thread of anxiety that made me keep turning pages well into the wee hours, because I had to know what was coming, what was happening next.

Where there IS action and fighting and, let's say it, KILLIN', it is well described so that the images form easily in my imagination. That's one of my favorite things about Taylor's writing style, because some authors just don't have that knack and I hate having to struggle to visualize the scene, or actually stop reading in order to try to picture it in my mind. That spoils the flow for me.

Without any spoilers, I just want to say that I'd hoped for a little different ending...but that's not the author's fault. I know that the author has to go where the characters take her. I wasn't disappointed in the ending at all...just hoped for something else. BUT THAT IS OKAY BECAUSE ANOTHER BOOK SOON, YES, TAYLOR STEVENS???? :)

I know, I know, I didn't tell you what the book was about. I don't like to write book reports - you can read the blurbs and excerpts on amazon and goodreads and other review sites. I'm telling you what I liked about The Mask. It should be obvious that I liked the plot.
So let me say this: if you are not familiar with Taylor Stevens and her Vanessa Michael Munroe (and if that's the case, why not? were you not paying attention the last time I reviewed on of her books??), then the beginning of The Mask might be a little confusing because you won't know any of the backstory of Vanessa and Miles.
SO HERE IS WHAT YOU DO: Pre-order The Mask, and while you wait for its release date on June 30th, go ahead and buy (or check out at the library) book #1 in the series, The Informationist. Then book #2, and so on.
And as I mentioned in the last review (still true): Sometimes the good guys wear the black hats, not the halos.

That is all.
Have a day.

**oh right, I forgot the Crap I Have To Say: Yes, I was given an advance copy of this book - as a prize in a giveaway drawing by the author. There was no agreement to review, but had there been such an agreement, AS ALWAYS MY OPINIONS ARE MY OWN and nobody is the boss of me or tells me what to write.