Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boom boom

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Happy Halloween to all my American friends. There are always pumpkins and witches everywhere at this time of year, but at $25 a pumpkin, I think my kids will have to be happy carving soap.

Halloween always amuses me. Isn't it funny that all the decorations are for the losing side of this war? I mean, the whole point of the holiday is for all the evil to flee because God's saints are coming the next day.

Anyway, I couldn't let the occasion pass without a few sick jokes, though I'm not sure whether these gems pass as a trick or a treat. Enjoy....

Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers?
No, they eat the fingers separately...

What is a vampire's favorite sport?

Did you hear the cannibal was expelled from school?
He buttered up his teacher.

Why do mummies have trouble keeping friends?
They're too wrapped up in themselves...

How do you fix a jack-o-lantern?
With a pumpkin patch.

What does a vampire never order at a restaurant?
A stake sandwich...

Why did the Vampire subscribe to the Wall Street Journal?
He heard it had great circulation...

What do baby ghosts wear on their feet?

What do you call a ghost in a torn sheet?
A holy terror.

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its radius?
Pumpkin pi.

'til next time, bless you all, and c'on the saints!

Monday, October 30, 2006

American Dreamz

Oh my hat, I haven't laughed so much in an age! In my opinion, "American Dreamz" is a totally fab, satire-iffic attack on all that is wrong with American pop culture. It mocks everything and everyone from the pompous, shallow-hearted rich to the tawdry, tasteless white trash. Fashion, music, television, even the conflict with Iraq - no one and nothing is safe from its accusing and amusing finger.

The movie is based around the shooting of an "American Idol" type TV show. Martin Tweed (played by Hugh Grant) is the heartless compere who's doing the show for his own fame and adulation. He's rude, foul-mouthed, and well...basically a great rip off of Simon Cowell. I found him loathsome and yet facinating- like watching a train wreck.

The contestants- oh my! Sally Kendoo (Mandy Moore) sure is a CAN DO girl. She's a self-serving, fame-hungry southerner-- a female version of Hugh's character but without the cash. Her role mocks the flippant, self-serving attitudes of fizz-pop icons like Britney Spears (the singer we all love to hate) who use their body and anyone around them to further their career.

Inevitably Mandy ends up in bed with Hugh in the most sad and empty way. Aside from a few body fluids, all they share is a great love of themself. But the sexual romp sparks off a series of pathetic and melodramatic events that almost border on slapstick in some places.

The Arab contestant, Omer (Sam Golzari), is really a lovable failed terrorist being forced by fanatics to annihilate President Staton (Dennis Quaid). The president has just been reelected, but is bewildered about this world he is supposedly running. The conflict between these two is a case of the pitiable attacking the clueless, yet I found myself caring about both sides. As the president begins to question his role, Vice President Sutter (Willem Dafoe) who is a mockery of Dick Cheney, signs President Staton up to appear on the season finale of American Dreamz so he can redeem his image to the American public. There is a great play on what the public sees versus what is really happening.

Paul Weitz directed this brave movie. I say brave because, while I totally loved it, any American not able to laugh at themselves might get ticked off at how well he barbeques so many of their sacred cows. But if you love to laugh and are not easily offended, this is definitely worth an afternoon and a big bag of popcorn.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Deidre Knight's new book

Deidre Knight Cranks up the Heat in Her Latest Installment in the Parallel Series: PARALLEL HEAT

"Intelligent characters, hot romance and breathtaking adventure with epic feel—exactly what I want to read!" - Susan Grant, New York Times bestselling author

"A fantastic and riveting new voice in paranormal fiction." -Karen Marie Moning, New York Times bestselling author of Spell of the Highlander

"At times humorous, at others heart-wrenching, but always compelling, Deidre Knight offers readers a fresh, wonderfully creative glimpse at the complexity of human decisions. What a page-turner!" - Gena Showalter, Author of Playing with Fire

In the unforgettable, alternate world of Parallel Heat, two enemies are bound by betrayal, vengeance—and forbidden passion.

Warrior and royal guardian Marco McKinley has been assigned a vital mission on Earth, where a war between human fighters and otherworldly soldiers is rising in the far reaches of Wyoming. But he's also been warned about twists of fate yet to come-ones that will transform him into the enemy of his own people and appoint him the personal protector of beautiful soldier Thea Haven.

Little do Marco and Thea know, but they have met before in an alternate universe, and they are bound by betrayal and vengeance. Now, on a world at the brink of destruction, forbidden passion ignites—but will the destiny Marco has glimpsed unfold a second time?

Sign up for Deidre's newsletter and be eligible to win a $50 Amazon gift certificate, signed copies of her books, and plenty of other goodies! Just click here.

Check out the book that launched the series, PARALLEL ATTRACTION or order your copy of PARALLEL HEAT today! And coming in April, PARALLEL SEDUCTION.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Miss Me?

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Hi, gang! I'm just back from my week in rat race Sydney. My pockets are empty, my feet ache and my head is still spinning - phew! Nice to visit, but no place for a hayseed like myself. If I stayed any longer someone would surely have planted me in the botanical garden.

You know I have to inflict at least one holiday snap on you. It's obligatory to torture readers after such a prolonged absence, so here is the view from my hotel's glass-enclosed swimming pool on the 17th floor. You should have seen this view at night- almost a 360 wall of lights reflecting in the dark waters of Darling Harbor. I felt like I was swimming in heaven. Since eateries and shopping establishments from a plethora of cultures and designers lined the harbor banks, who knows, maybe it WAS heaven?

Or so it seemed until my bratz found and consumed all the sugar packets in our suite's comlimentary coffee bar. Then the angels went bad. I think real estate values tumbled, along with everything else. Their bouncing probably shook the hats off peasants in China. Maybe it was the sugar high that convinced them that the hotel's silk pillows would make good cannon fodder in a battle of the beds. But it wasn't entirely their fault. I mean REALLY!!!! WHO puts kids beds on wheels, even in an urban Mecca? Sheesh. Why not just paint a large target on the emaculate white plaster walls. At least my boys didn't throw themselves or anything else from our tenth floor balcony, though I came close to throwing myself off a few times.

Shopping in Sydney is an artform perfected by lipstick-enhanced barracudas in Jimmy Choo stilletos. I swear, those girls must be born with shop mirrors super-glued to their foreheads. Foreign chicks (i.e. anyone not from Sydney)can take a hike, preferably back to Hickville in their gumboot specials, since everyone knows the barracudas OWN the changing rooms and the shop girls. Needless to say, I came away from the eye-catching boutiques without clothes, well other than the ones I wore in, though even that was a close call- lucky my clobber was sooooooo last season!

Now I'm back in Tassie, and it's time to get serious about finishing edits on "One Doctor:Well Heeled" and "Come to Heal". I have to get them done. Christmas is coming and I'll soon have to change into my Santa hat, also very last season. Of course some things are timeless classics, at least outside of Sydney they are. (Believe me, after seeing a fluffy purple christmas tree for sale in Sydney I figure NOTHING is timeless there!)

Anyway, I want my manuscripts done before the gingerbread and eggnog call. I also have a short to write for a very worthwhile charity, but you'll have to wait for another post to hear about that one.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Value of Solitude

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This is Orford Beach where I camped the weekend before last. It's a place of peace and quiet such as we rarely find these days, especially where I live with chainsaw-happy neighbors.

I love Orford. I took a walk on the pure white sand with just seagulls and foam-capped waves for company. Maria Island loomed before me, wrapped in its blue ocean scarf and sky beret. Last century this was a place of great misery and hardship. It still groans with history and convict ruins, but now the trials of those early men wear the decorations of time and forgetfulness. The graveyard is a place of interest, not dread. Isn't it odd that more than a hundred years after men suffered and died, resentful for being cut off from everything they knew and loved, I admire its beauty, treasuring that very isolation.

I wonder, in another century, will people look with new eyes on the things that most menace me and see value? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could develop that insight now and save ourselves the grief in between.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Why Husbands should NOT be let out shopping on their own

The following is apparently taken from a real letter and indicates what sort of other life your signiticant other may be having unbeknown to you.

Dear Mrs X,

During the past six months security have been monitoring your husband's behavior in our store. The list below details his offences and can be verified by surveillance cameras.

June 15: took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts while they weren't looking
July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Homewares to go off at 5 minutely intervals
July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the rest rooms
July 19: Walked up to an employee and in an official tone told her "Code 3 in Housewares" and watched what happened
August 2: Took a bag of M&Ms to the service desk and asked to put them on layby
Sept 14: Moved a "Caution:Wet Floor" sign onto a carpeted area
Oct 4: Looked into security camera and used it as a mirror to pick his nose
Nov 10: Asked clerk in the gun department if they knew where he could get antidepressants
Dec 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the theme from Mission Impossible
Dec 10: Practised his "Madonna" look in the auto department using several sizes of funnels
Dec 18: Hid in the clothing rack and when customers looked through jumped out yelling "Pick me, pick me!"
Dec 23: Went into the fitting room, shut the door and after several minutes yelled very loudly, "There is NO toilet paper in here!"

When approached and asked if he required assistance he screams, "Why can't you people leave me alone." If announcements are made over the loud speaker he falls to the floor in a fetal position yelling "No! No The voices in my head are back." When given verbal warnings and asked not to return he responds rudely that as long as his wife shops here, he will too. To that end, you are forthwith banned from our store.

Your sincerely,


Feel better about YOUR husband yet? :-)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tread Softly

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A tribute to my mate, Kristen's, latest fitness cam-pain. Click on the pic. :-)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Not this Babe, but a room full of grade two school children.

I just love the BRILLIANT answers they gave to the following questions.

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother & not some other mom?

1. We're related.

2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2 She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms & dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home & dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

That's all folks. I hope you enjoyed these pocket-sized sages as much as I did. There is something uplifting in the sweet honesty of these kids, something that strikes a chord within us and swells our heart. If we could bottle that precious nectar I think the product would fly off the bookstore shelves. It is that joyous, life-enriching humor that I would love to capture in my stories. Wish me luck. :-)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bunyips and Yowies

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Hey, y'all, my CPs just informed me that most Americans have never heard of a Bunyip, so I figured maybe you'd like to hear about one of our most famous mythical creatures.

The bunyip (also called a yowie)is commonly featured in Australian children's stories. We even have chocolate yowies for sale in the supermarket with plastic native animals inside them. Are they real? Well, you be the judge.

Bunyips are supposed to live at the bottom of lakes, billabongs (dried up river beds) and dams. They emerge at night to prey on animals, women and children and give a loud bellowing cry if approached. When the Aborigines hear the cry, they stay away from the water, which is why I've always enouraged the stories in my home. It keeps little kids from wandering alone in places where they might drown. By the time they doubt the stories, mostly they can swim.

There were many "sightings" in the 1930's during the Depression when many tramps and vagrants (swagmen)took to the road to find work. They often lived near bodies of water to survive, so who better to see a Bunyip?

Descriptions vary widely- tusks, four legs, flippers, a large oval body and a tail like a horse is the most common, but they have also been described as hairy, scaled, feathered, fur, long tail, long neck, horse head, bird head etc... I guess it depends how drunk the seer was at the time. :-)

Some people believe the bunyip was a Diprotodon, an Ice-Age marsupial that co-existed with the early Aborigines before becoming extinct. Another theory is that Bunyips are seals, that somehow made it far inland, or crocodiles. But whatever it is, you don't want to mess with a bunyip.

According to folklore a fisherman once caught a baby bunyip, and although his companions begged him to put it back in the water, he refused to do so. Naturally the mother bunyip was furious. She retaliated by causing the waters of the lake to rise until the whole countryside was flooded and the baby floated back to her.

Monday, October 02, 2006

This is not a Movie

And I'm too much of a lady to say what it is! I'm talking about "My Date with Drew." UGH! Please, don't waste valuable time/money on this self-indulgent piece of junk. This actually won HBO Comedy Arts Festival Audience Award, Sonoma Valley Film Audience Award, and New York Gen Art Festival Audience Award. All I can say is, what were these guys smoking?

I agree with the comments of Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly.

"My Date With Drew is stupefyingly tedious and annoying, since even Herzlinger's fixation on Barrymore comes off as a quasi-sham. What he really craves is a date with fame, a mistress destined to stand him up."

And Kurt Loder's review.

"someone actually says of the whole undertaking, 'The dumbing-down of America is complete.' … Let's at least hope it doesn't get too much dumber than this."

Not convinced yet? How about this one by Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star, More Cream of the Crop?

"this movie may offer all the delight of being slowly dragged by a pickup truck along a stretch of remote rural flat-top."

Whether we write books or movies, we MUST deliver what we promise. In this case the label should be "Pathetic Home Mde Documentary."

It's too late for me, but save yourself. This "movie" is cruel and unnatural punishment, AND they make you pay for it. What cheek!

Apologies to Cat Stevens

Wriggle over Wiggles. Move over Electric Mayhem. My seven year old has a mad passion for Cat Stevens. With the zealous adoration of youth he has learned all the lyrics to all Cat's songs, but his favorite is "Father and Son", which sounds hilarious coming from such a small songster.

My other son, who is thirteen going on thirty, likes nothing better than to tease his brother by butchering the lyrics, sometimes with hilarious result. Take this afternoon's effort, sung while his little brother was sitting on the toilet. (To be fair, little brother was singing the original while on the toilet but that's a whole 'nuther issue.)

"Take your time, stink a lot
Stink like centuries of rot
For you may still be here tomorrow
But your friends may not."

Maybe I should get HIM to write my comedies. :-)