Monday, July 30, 2007

Hot Times

Fun in the summer includes a relaxed teaching schedule, relaxed living schedule, actually I guess I could have just said a relaxed schedule.

Housework is relaxed even more than usual since we are still five months away from the dreaded holiday season, and thank god for it. It must be said, though, that once past the Fourth of July, it starts counting down. But I'm in denial over that, so tra la la. and a bottle of rum. Or is that yo ho ho? You know, you just can't say ho any more without a nudge and a wink. I hate that.
In truth, it's been so long since I vacuumed I can't remember if the machine is broken. It might be. I had it out over the weekend and it sounded muted. It was running and yet not making the sound of running. Muted, you might say. Or mutated. My vacuum cleaner is a ho.

Summer trips are fun. The girlfriends are returning to the Cape this weekend to see another production at College Light Opera---Bye Bye Birdie. I'm expecting greatness. I'm also expecting to clothesline one or two of those high class babes in the audience if they think they are going to squelch me from laughing.

Sweating and perspiring and suffering from the heat are part of summer in New England. Also mosquitoes of keen focus and desire. Our mosquitoes are hungrier than yours, dear reader, and I regret saying it. They go to airline pilot school and can land on an aircraft carrier at night. My fleshy arms (and they are shown in stark relief in the above photo) are the runways of their dreams. The hottest nights of all I call Wet Washcloth nights, the ones where I keep such an item on my forehead or shoulder. Sometimes those nights turn into Sleep Downstairs on the Couch nights, but usually I break down and turn on my air conditioner. I don't like to run it because it is so noisy. I will be peacefully dreaming and BANG! THUMP! WHAT WAS THAT? I am certain that Freddy Kreuger has come in the kitchen door. Sometimes I think I can hear voices inside the air conditioner, although that may be a different issue.

I mowed the side yard of my property over the weekend and I want full credit for it. I want someone to praise me. I want a freaking medal, okay?

I really like my summer school students. They are awesome (I don't let them use that word).

A bientot (still looking for that Winslett/DiCaprio Titanic pose)



Sunday, July 29, 2007

GCC: Deborah LeBlanc

Wow, does this ever look good. It's going on my nightstand for sure.

It's a little bit different from some of the Girlfriends' books in that it is dark and mysterious.

You know what? I'm in the mood for that. Here's a taste.

It seemed like the answer to Haley’s prayers. The most popular girl in her high school promised Haley that her life would change forever if only she performed certain dark rituals. And if Haley can convince her twin sister to participate, their power will double. Together they will be able to summon mystical entities they never dared dream of. But these are powerful, uncontrollable forces, forces that can kill—forces that demand to be fed . . .

Praise for MORBID CURIOSITY:“One of the best new voices of supernatural thrillers!” --Cemetery Dance“It’s now official: Deborah LeBlanc has become a master not only of good spooky stories, but also of crafting great characters to fill them!” --Horror Fiction Review“An imaginative chiller. Riveting!” --Publishers Weekly“Ms. LeBlanc’s tale is a powerful, gripping read, with an ever increasing intensity that forces you to the end without laying the novel aside.” --Who Dunnit

About the Author:Deborah LeBlanc is an award-winning author from Lafayette, Louisiana. She is also a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, and an active member of two national paranormal investigation teams. Deborah’s unique experiences, enthusiasm, and high-energy level make her a much sought after speaker at writers’ conferences across the nation. She also takes her passion for literacy and a powerful ability to motivate to high schools around the country.

She is the president of the Horror Writers Association, president of the Writers’ Guild of Acadiana, and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Women Writers, and International Thriller Writers Inc. In 2004, she created the LeBlanc Literacy Challenge, an annual, national campaign designed to encourage more people to read. Her most recent novels are: FAMILY INHERITANCE, GRAVE INTENT, A HOUSE DIVIDED, and MORBID CURIOSITY. Deborah’s next release, WATER WITCH, is scheduled to be on bookstore shelves in August ’08. For more information on Deborah or the Literacy Challenge, visit Deborah at her website and buy the book!

Tune back in next time for more of Becky's weird travails in hot weather.

A bientot
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Friday, July 27, 2007

Airline Torture

One of my personal Loathsome Experiences to Endure when traveling is the airport recording. You know, the one that is played over and over until passengers are nearly insane.

One of my favorites can be heard in Boston and it sounds something like this the first time you hear it:
"Before using Manchester or Green Airports, passengers should consider the following fact. Boston Logan Airport has more than blah blah blah flights and blah blah blah facilities and is located in the most international....." whatever.

After a while, it sounds more like "Don't travel out of Manchester or Green Airport if you have half a brain."

And finally after 137 repeats, you hear its true message:
"Manchester and Green Airports suck. They're pissant stupid-face doodoohead places to fly out of and the workers there have AIDS."

Another nominee can be heard from morning till night in Memphis. "Passengers are advised that no smoking is allowed in Memphis Airport EXCEPT for two restaurants, Molly McFee's and Jersey Jehosophat [this may not be right]

AFter 35 reps it sounds like: "Everyone is encouraged to smoke at the following two restaurants, Molly McDermott McCree's and Jonesey Wallah Wallah Bing Bang." and after 137, you hear: "Fuck this no smoking thing. Let's all kick back and light up at the following two restaurants....."

All airports play that stupid message about not accepting packages from anyone you don't know.
"The security alert has been raised to hot pink. Consider carefully whether you should accept that ticking 'science project' from the nice man in the turban who said he would be right back. If anyone of a suspicious nature--that is, someone who resembles Rocky or Bullwinkle or Bluto from Popeye-- approaches you, please report to the nearest security personnel in Starbucks. Or get one of the canines."

Then when you get ON the plane, many flights play a recording now of the safety instructions. "If you are unwilling or unable to comply with being an exit row assistant, and if you feel you will begin screaming and making an asshole of yourself in the event of an emergency, please let a flight attendant know. The flimsy cushion you are sitting on will convert to a flotation device which should keep you afloat in a public swimming pool if there are no high winds. If we go down over Lake Michigan, you're screwed. You can check the map, but last time we looked we don't fly over that many bodies of water in the continental US, so if we go down, it's probably going to be over Toledo, and you might as well not sweat the flotation device."

"Canines are working. They will kick your pet's ass. That is why Fido and Fifi must be kept in cages with inhumane features, no matter how pitifully they cry. If you're stupid enough to travel with a dachsund in your duffel bag, you deserve a little stress. Please do not accept dogs or snakes from any persons unknown to you. If anyone tries to give you a free coatimundi, please contact the nearest security personnel who can be found at Starbucks. "

"We apologize for any inconvenience our three hour delay may have caused you, ladies and gentlemen, but you may now use all your electronic devices, so isn't that great? The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Isn't that so true? When retrieving bags and luggage from the overhead compartments, please remember many bags look the same. Just to prove this point, ladies and gentlemen, we've added a bag up there in one of the compartments that contains anthrax! Let's stand back and watch the fun! Be really careful when claiming your belongings and we hope this discourages you from bringing all your stupid carryons with you from now on. "

I am home but my bag is not.

A bientot

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I must unexpectedly travel, dear reader, and won't be posting while I do so. Here are two wonderful faces to look at while I am gone.

A bientot

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's a Zoo

On the hottest day of the year, too, can you believe it? This monkey was about 125 degrees to the touch.


Otherwise, you know I would have tried to sit in the crook of her arm, boys and girls. I didn't really see an opportunity for a TITANIC pose here, though maybe there was one and I missed it. That thing in my hand is a snow cone, my first in a dog's age [dogs aren't allowed at Franklin Park Zoo, though we saw one brazenly being taken in as we were leaving] and bought for me by my daughter's boyfriend. What a guy!!!

Here are two of our participants on the way in.

Here are three more. We won the prize for the youngest baby being forced to look at animals in the zoo.

Note for posterity: eight months old? Probably too young for the zoo.

This guy looked like he was suffering from the heat. There was no sand for him to bury his head in either, though plenty was blowing in my face. The place is a little on the downtrodden side.

Speaking of downtrodden, this is one sad sack peacock on his way to relieve himself.


Naturally, he didn't listen and there was hell to pay. Here he is dragging his sorry ass past the vending machine where he tried to buy a Skittles but didn't have enough cash. If he'd have waited, we probably would have helped him out, but he had a date somewhere, probably with one of those tarty little cockatoos. We didn't see him after that.

Indeed it seemed to be one sad story following another at the zoo, dear reader. This unfortunate male silverback is on a permanent "time out" from the other members of his family group. It seems he does not get along with the young juvenile males.

Nothing we women didn't know, huh?

So now he forages for canteloupe cubes thrown by zoo volunteers instead of "acting out" and threatening everyone else inside the compound. Everybody has problems, buddy.

I think we'll wait at least another year before we go again, even though a good time was had by all.

The king will see you now.

A bientot

500 words per day are adding up



Saturday, July 14, 2007

GCC: Great Summer Read from Julie Kenner

The heat wave has broken here in New England, dear reader, and it's time to read. This book looks so cute! You don't have to be a soccer mom to like it either. (Truly I think there were a few demons to be found back in my soccer mom days!)

About the book:Kate Connor is the busiest – and most dangerous – mommy on the block! Having traded in her professional life for the rewarding (yet arguably less glamorous) duties of a stay-at-home mom, Kate – Wal-Mart shopper, loving wife – has recently rejoined the workforce. Reconciling her home obligations with the demanding needs of her job has proven tricky, however. Kate seems to have not one but two full-time jobs, and there’s no telling which takes more work: being a Level Four Demon Hunter or a Stay-At-Home Mom!

DEMONS ARE FOREVER: Confessions of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, by Julie Kenner, is the third installment in the devilishly funny Demon series, which has become a favorite amongst young mothers —demon-loving or not.

These days, Kate Conner has a lot on her plate. Her daughter has figured out what she’s been up to, and wants to grow up to be just like her mom. Kate also has a sneaking suspicion that her dead husband is using the forces of darkness to filch the body of another human being. And her living husband isn’t exactly acting like the man she married either.

Moreover, Kate’s acquired a precious but deadly item that every demon within commuting distance wants. With husband woes wreaking havoc on her emotions, and an ambitious teenage protégée at her heels, this stay-at-home mom is putting in a lot of overtime.A new take on the demons that moms fight everyday, from car-pools, to chaperoning, to growing pains, DEMONS ARE FOREVER is a fun, fast, smart and entertaining adventure in mommy-lit.

Get this--The first book in the series – CARPE DEMON – is currently in development as a feature film with Warner Brothers and 1492 Pictures. The second book – CALIFORNIA DEMON – is a current RITA finalist.

About the author: Julie Kenner spent four years mainlining nonfat lattes in order to write, practice law full time and take care of her first kiddo. Then she wised up, quit the practice of law, and settled down to write full time. Praised by Publishers' Weekly as an author with a "flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations," Julie’s books cross multiple genres and have hit bestseller lists as varied as USA Today, Barnes & Noble, and Locus Magazine, among others. She lives in Georgetown, Texas with her husband, two daughters, and three cats. You can visit Julie online at her website, her blog, or her myspace page. Or you can go ahead and buy the book right now!

More on my doings next time, boys and girls.
A bientot

Thursday, July 12, 2007

ye olde public swimming pool

About once a year, dear reader, when it gets BEASTLY HOT, little Becky makes her way over to the public swimming pool (in another town). It's a great humbling experience, not least for the fact that I have to appear in public in a bathing suit. Anonymity is best.

This pool is in Park City, Kansas, and looks pretty nice. I don't like a pool that is too empty, though, because I feel more on display. I actually don't like what is called Adult Swim because all the kids clear out and stare sullenly at the feeble adults who go in then, my category being feeble adult.

Believe it or not, this is a public swimming pool in Sydney, Australia, according to Google. Yikes!! Far too luxurious for me and my peculiar swimming duds.
This one is in the UK, which as we all know, never has summer weather anyway, so that is why it is empty.
This one is in Manitoba, Canada, and aren't we just a little big smug as we notice, um, IT'S FREAKING INDOORS!!!!
Hope that chlorine fragrance isn't too pervasive, dude.
Trying to get some sun, folks. Tomorrow starts a full round of papers coming in, so I'm truly back in the saddle.
The summer saddle.
Not living the Complete Dream but with good weather and ..and...and
A bientot

Monday, July 09, 2007

Hi Ho Hi Ho

It's off to work we go, dear reader.

Mood: optimistic.

Gas tank: full.

Hair: pretty good.

Preparation: I could do this with my eyes closed.

In summer school you sometimes get a few slackers, people who have failed before and need to pass in order to move on. You'd think these would be the most motivated students, wouldn't you? You would be WRONG.

I saw EVENING over the weekend and it was good, especially Clare Danes. I think I'm "all set" with Vanessa Redgrave. I understand and appreciate that she is brave and makes brave choices and has embraced her grayness and oldness and decrepitude, but she's been doing it since she's been 25, hasn't she? It's like in every movie she looks more wizened and ancient than you could think possible. I wondered on the way in how she could possibly outdo herself in this regard, but she did. She played a deathbed old lady in a nightgown and looked like Methuseleh. 'WAIT. LET ME MOVE A LITTLE SO THE CAMERA CAN PICK UP THE LITTLE WHISKERS ON MY UPPER LIP!!!

Sorry. She is a great actress, but I can't take it any more.

I am reading THE MATHEMATICS OF LOVE by Emma Darwin, descendant of Chuck, and it is pretty good.
Dead mouse in the hallway--yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
A bientot

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy.......

Yes, dear reader, these are the last days of the Dream, or at least the Full and Complete Dream where I don't have to work at all. Starting Monday that is over (although I will have Tuesdays and Thursdays off ), so I guess the good news is: I will soon be having Friday ZEST again.

Here I am taking notes and using my new CELL PHONE. What is wrong with this picture?

1) I am more of a slumper than a sitter-up-straighter like this dame.

2)This woman is a total brown noser. You can see it in her sucking-up expression. OH YES, SIR. OF COURSE. WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR BACKRUB NOW? DO YOU WANT ME TO RUN OUT AND GET A DAIRY QUEEN CONE FOR YOU?
3) When I am actually on the cell phone, I am confused in the extreme and frowning and pushing buttons madly.

4) I wouldn't wear that purple schmatte.

One more word about cell phones: they are like having a pet. You have to carry them around, take care of them, charge them, not forget them. Actually, let's let our hero Bette have the last word----

GOD. Hang on tight because it's going to be a bumpy ride (I think I got that almost right).

My friend Tom is Living the Dream right now, so a Tip of the Hat to him!!


Race like NASCAR throughout house

Sleep like the dead.

Race like NASCAR

Sleep like the dead.

Caretaker leaves house. Knock picture frames off bureau.

Caretaker returns. Endure scolding.

Watch the fun as caretaker discovers kitchen sponge in living room bookcase. Endure further scolding.

Make tap-tap-tapping noise secretly while caretaker sits at computer and wonders what it is.

Get inside large cardboard box from computer purchase two years ago that caretaker never got rid of. This is her own fault. Make tremendous noise with plastic bags.

Practice Easter Parade promenading skills on dining room table. Stretch out front paws as far as possible for satisfying scratch on living room carpet. Endure loud scolding.
Gouge the leg of caretaker's friend.

Race like NASCAR.

Here they are trying to make off with my treasured Book Woman bag. I don't know where they found it, but their scheme is foiled.
Enjoy these precious July days, dear reader. I have been doing my 500-words-per-day on the nun book. It's slow going, but since the goal is so low, it's easier to reach. A little bit of self-psychology.
Am just finishing LAY OF THE LAND by Richard Ford. Absolutely nothing happens in it but it is delicious and wonderful. I love it. Very funny too in places.
A bientot

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

From the Cats

Dear Readers,

We're sorry. The human who lives here (Becky?) is unable to communicate with you today. She is fixing our evening meal right now and we do hope she gets it right this time. Things have changed since the last time we visited this dump.

We have seen and taken note of the great many entries in this space and quite frankly, we are perplexed. What is it that she finds to talk about at such appalling great length? But never mind that now. We do not wish to appear overly curious. You needn't remind us that we are cats. Do you think we have not heard that EIGHT MILLION TIMES? Reasonably intelligent humans turn into babbling incoherent idiots when speaking to pets. "Kitty pie, pussycat, cutie honey." Good god.
Not every cat is dying of curiosity, you know. Just as you can't control who your relatives are, we have nothing to say about our family tree either. And I'm sorry to say there are some real lulus in ours.

This is our cousin Plath. What a goofball. This shot was taken right after he got his head out of the oven. A good dose of catnip would set him straight, but NOOOOOOOOOOOO, he has to wax poetic and write a lot of existential crap that no one gets. And our whole family gets blamed for being "aloof." Whatever.

This is Yomama, a complete and utter slave to fashion. Listens to hip hop night and day and with all the hair treatments she has experimented with, has lost all of hers. Again we get blamed for being vain.

This is Weezer, a cross dresser. Let's not even go there.

See? By comparison, my sister and I are all-American Kappa Kappa Gamma kitties, don't you agree? We're not stupid, though. We've been spayed, so you might think our instincts have been dulled and perhaps they have been. A little.
We like to have fun at night. Becky had the nerve to suggest that we sleep in one of the bedrooms she herself does not use. What an amusing idea! And how utterly preposterous! We do so like to wait until she drops off to sleep and then leap up on the bed for a dramatic surprise. Hilarity reigns after hours, I can tell you.

I personally like to stand on her chest with my claws flexing in and out. Evidently, she has one or two tender spots in that area because this awakens her without delay. I'm sorry to say it has rendered her treatment of me rather abrupt from time to time. I don't like to be pushed, reader. Do you? Or shoved? Or, and it hurts me to say it, ejected coldly and heartlessly ONTO THE FLOOR!

Here is my sister being EXTREMELY polite. I mean please. What would you think if someone offered you a pitiful toy such as this?

We do our best here.

And in our final humiliation, this -- THIS --is supposed to be our DINING AREA.
Does Becky think that cheap depiction of a moose is conducive to a pleasant repast? Again, please.
Also note the dual tray for our food (DRY ONLY). She doesn't know this obviously, but we freely eat out of each other's side. What does she think--that we observe such proprieties with a PLASTIC BOWL of water next to our food?
Sorry readers, but we just had to vent. We leave to go home with our regular caretaker, our owner, our REAL MOMMY, next weekend. May the time fly.
Auf wiedersehn,
With sincere regards,
Violet and Dahlia