Not Really a Book Review.

I don’t know why I do this. It’s not like I’m into delayed gratification. It’s a new observed behavior. I get a new book, but instead of diving right into it, I set it aside. I let it marinate. Gather dust.

Usually it’s one of those gimongous Steven King tomes that could double as free weights or a clothes press.

This time it was something smaller. A former coworker, a facebook friend and unlikely blog supporter wrote a book. Yes. A book! So I bought it. Mostly just to be more supportive. I wasn’t sure it was my thing. I’m known for reading crap, schlock, pulp. I mean there was no elfs. No dragons. No vampires or swordplay. Turns out there kind of was an epic quest. The book is young adult, about gymnastics. A mystery.

What was I afraid of? Afraid it would not be a good read? Afraid it would too good of a read? This coming from the person who actually read all three of the Fiddy Shades of Heinous? Of course I knew from the first page of that book that is was terrible, yet I muddled through skimming the four thousand monotonous sex scenes vainly searching for a plausible plotline.

I knew from the first page of Little Girls Dream Big by Nicole Angeleen that I was going to LOVE it. My Goodreads status will note that I started the novel on 2/20 and finished it on 3/7 but that’s not accurate. (I’ve since edited) I burned through the kindle edition in two days. No skimming, some tears.

The first thing I noticed was the pacing. It started strong, stayed consistent and ended solid. Really stuck that landing. Not one gold medal, but two!

I was never bored. I didn’t try to second guess and predict the plot. There was believable dialogue without being too wordy. It was descriptive but not insanely so. And I ‘ve read some highly lauded works stuffed full of endless long detailed paragraphs.

I lost myself in the story to the point that I forgot that I know the author. I never tried to proofread or edit or critique. I just flung myself through the literary air on faith that I’d land upright, no stumbling.

I’m no expert. I’m not a critic. I’m just a reader. Someone who likes to be transported to other worlds through words. I know what I like. I really liked this book.

just in case you want to buy it..


Rental Cars…The Saga Continues.

So it’s been nearly two weeks since that heinous animal suicided upon my brand new automobile.  According to the most recent estimates, it should cost $14,940 to completely fix the Equinox.  The estimated date of completion is 3/14 or so.  Here’s hoping that’s a worst case scenario as I will run out of rental car coverage prior to that.

You might remember my recent blog where I complained at annoying length about my rental car experiences.

Wellllll.  Let me go on and on again.

After four days, I traded the giant unwieldy Pathfinder with Missouri (gasp) tags for a sleek silver Sonata with California plates, heated seats and hybrid technology. 

It was sweet.  Until it was not sweet.

With all the special bells and whistles, this vehicle had manual seats and a glitchy seat belt.

I did an after work drive by to Ulta to pick up some pretty pretties, threw my loot on the passenger seat, started the car and was eyeballing the oh, so near Starbucks when the unthinkable happened…. The freaking seat belt would not WOULD NOT latch. I kept pushing and manipulating and it still wouldn’t work. I thought I had it a couple of times, would put the car in drive, go a few feet and it would come unlatched causing the car to bong threateningly.

After a few minutes of indecision, I finally sucked it up and called the rental car place in a state of mild, mumbling panic.  Yes. I AM that girl.  I’m a complainer. I felt like such a GIRL, but there was no way I was going to keep driving a vehicle without a fully functioning safety device as the whole reason for the rental car was an accident mitigated by airbags and safety belts.  

Of course all this happens after five when the place closes business at 6.  Of course, the first response from the associate was that there were no available cars. Really? Where do you keep them?  A call back after “talking to the manager” and they were able to put me into a tiny black Mazda 6. There was the possibility of a incoming Prius, but I wasn’t having any of that.  I just wanted something to get me home.

The latest episode in the ongoing saga is now sitting in the driveway.  I had originally referred to it as Bachelor #3, but based upon the way it drives, I’m borrowing my dad’s terminology and dubbing this the “ass hammer”

Wish me luck. Third times a charm, right?




Drive It Like It's Stolen

I know it’s a delayed reaction when I chose to obsess over one tiny detail. I’m telling and retelling my story, praising OnStar, my husband, airbags and my insurance claims process when I get a call from the rental car company regarding my afternoon reservation. First he says they don’t have any vehicles right then, but should have something by 4 pm. Um. it’s a rental car company with at least two other branches in the metro area, isn’t that the PURPOSE of your company? To Have Cars? Two hours later, I shall call him Kyle, (because that’s his name) advised me he had a minivan ready for me.

OMG! OMG! A freaking MINIVAN! Who do you think I am? Just because I drive an Equinox does not make me a soccer mom, minivan driver. I have adult children. I don’t need a MINIVAN. All I could think of was that giant, powder blue behemoth with the clanky sliding side doors and pictures of stick figure family members pasted on the back window.

At one point once I’d realized my overreaction trigger, I tried to just suck it up. I told myself to just roll with it. The pervasive headache is not lingering affects of inhaling airbag disco sprinkles, and careening my skull against the headrest, it’s more than likely my ponytail is just too tight.

We made it to the rental car office (strangely not open on Sundays. what the heck?) in good time and spent a good half an hour schmoozing and talking Pitt State football with a former All Star player from the championship team. I managed to talk my way out of the dreaded mom mobile only to find myself “upgraded” to an ugly, dirty, smells like cleaning supplies and faint cigarette smoke Nissan Pathfinder. First off: it’s blue. Not that I have anything against generic navy as a color (I’m wearing a new Navy sweater coincidentally from OLD NAVY) but as Max Hinthorn always says, “Cars come in two colors. Red and Needs Paint.

It’s a car. It drives. It took me 15 minutes driving into the setting sun to change the radio from sports talk radio. It’s a car. It’ll suffice until either Starship Enterprise or The Big Red E is either repaired or replaced. It’s time to drive it like it’s stolen.

Again, I’m probably picking that mosquito bite to scratch when there’s clearly a bone sticking through my skin.

Drive It Like It’s Stolen


White Women and Wigs.

To set the scene, I work in an “office” which looks a lot like a warehouse. Aren’t exposed beams bad feng shui?

It’s an American call center and it employs many types of interesting people. I wouldn’t specifically say, “culturally diverse”.  There’s pretty much white, black, hispanic, tiny sliver of other ethnicities.  Alas, I have no pie chart to insert here.

So I’m mixing it up with all types, all ages.  One thing I notice and of course will obsess over is HAIR.  

The question of the day, “Why won’t white women wear more wigs?”  The black ladies don’t seem to have a problem playing with fake hair.  (African American, etc. I know a Jamaican, I can’t really call her African American, now can I?)

What of all those wonderous white women who wear wigs? Dolly Parton.  Raquel Welch.  That annoying broad from that reality show.  

And this is where I begin to offend people.  I’m not trying to be insensitive. I understand you’ve lost your beautiful tresses to that heinous CANCER, but why aren’t you taking this opportunity to celebrate your triumph over disease with fun, fabulous accessories? I got a wig catalog in the mail the other day.  They really aren’t that expensive, starting about $30 to $40 dollars or so.  Much more of an investment than that horrid ball cap.

The follow up question would then be, “why aren’t you wearing wigs then when all you do is complain about your lackluster yellow locks?”   Wellll.  In the 90s I had hair pieces.  We called them Barbie Clip on hair. Two ponytails. They pulled horribly and were just too heavy.  So that’s not happening.  Second (sounds valid) excuse:  I have a small head.  I do actually have two wigs: a long dark red and a long blond. Unfortunately, I look ridiculous. Kind of like Jennifer Anniston in that movie where we are supposed to believe she’s a stripper.

My point really was not that I talk a big game, but have no real follow through. My point was, why isn’t this a bigger thing with regular folks? There could seriously be some marketing potential. Money making opportunities.  

***I also have a sidebar rant about cancer. What do you do when bad things happen to bad people? Not that this broad is bad necessarily, Just to me. She wouldn’t spit on me if I was on fire. A woman I’ve worked with for YEARS who reminds me overwhelmingly of the dog stealing Miss Gulch from Wizard of Oz had the big C.  The one thing she had going for her was good hair. That glossy perfect brunette bob.  Well it’s growing back now so she’s obviously made it through her ordeal. I’d keep an eye out for her on her bike. Hide your dog.  


Use Your Words. (Profanity Inspirations)

Let’s talk about words. Particularly NAMING or insults.

“Douchebag!” I yelled.  Then I thought about it. (Tilt the head to the side, stare into the distance, pondering.) Perhaps there’s an over usage of that particular insult. I mean, not every average run of the mill asshole can achieve douchebag status.

Per a Douchebag is someone who has surpassed the levels of jerk and asshole, however not yet reached fucker or   *motherfucker.  Not to be confused with a straight up douche which is someone who acts stupidly.

My take on a douche is more of an specific type. You know mid-twenties, guy, possibly an outgrown fratrat minus the popped collar. Drives badly a car he cannot afford with a palpable attitude of entitlement and shear lack of concern or understanding for others not in his tightly wound stratosphere.

So with this in mind, I’ve decided that with this new year I’ll try a new me. New words.  Use your words.

I tried it out with the kids. In the car.  Just to clarify, both are now over 18 and while I’m not condoning poor vocabulary, the focus is now on building our blasphemy inventory .  My daughter shared her new favorite affront:  Fuckass. Her now go to road rage invective.  My son’s sullen scorn soaked aspersion, dong mongler, nearly had me wetting my pants from laughter.  I guffawed audibly. Sadly, the old man cannot seem to effectively articulate without consideration.  He will stick with the old chestnuts.

So, back to the yelling.  It occurred to me that this super special individual that incurred my instantaneous red hot wrath last week was in fact Not Good Enough to be a douchebag.  Classless and ridiculous, I shall name him Blowhole.  He is a gassy windy blowhard know it all asshole.  He shall forever be known as a “BLOWHOLE”.

*Although honestly I reserve motherfucker to times when I’ve hurt myself.  It usually ends up “Motherrrr…Hell!  Oh heck, oh geez, oh golly.”  This would be the public personaI am seriously striving to use non curse words.  They say if you do something for 21 days it will become a habit.  


For those of us addicted to making the ordinary look extraordinary. Maybe it’s my lunch, maybe it’s “art”! 🙂

The Daily Post

Earlier this month, we discussed cropping as a quick fix to your images. Since Instagram, Hipstamatic, and similar photo apps and editors are so popular, let’s talk about using the filters on these types of tools, too. If you’re already using filtered images on your blog, or if you’re wondering if it’s worth experimenting with, dive in.

Some photographers would rather not use instant effects, like Instagram’s popular Earlybird and Lo-Fi filters, at all. In some cases, you might take a perfectly fine photograph and taint it with unnecessary saturation and contrast (which Leanne Cole touched on in her editing tutorial).

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A World Through Lo-Fi: Using Filters on Your Images


Smelly smell good smells.

I have the nose of a bipolar bloodhound. I smell all or nothing.

This morning’s mail brought yet another Macy’s advertisement/catalog. Expecting more of the tired, overpriced Grandma perfumes they keep trying to hawk me, I was pleasantly surprised at the slippery little cologne pages that fell out of the ad.

If you know me, you know that last year I dropped some hefty birthday money on a pricey bottle of Versace Crystal Noir.  I love it, my sister says it’s old lady, my daughter sighs nostalgically when she catches a whiff on the air 1100 miles from me. I’ve only ever had one person step up to me and say, “You smell nice. What is that?”  I’ll take that compliment.

[I get the most responses on the Dolce And Gabbana Light Blue that said sister gave me last year and that I’ve now received replacement bottle for at Christmas. It is light and summery and (to me) lemony.]

But back to the Versace.  “Crystal Noir perfume for Women introduced in 2004 and classified as Oriental Floral fragrance. Scent notes include top notes of Cardamom, Ginger, Pepper, middle notes of Gardenia, Orange Blossom, Peony, Coconut and base notes of Amber, Musk, Sandalwood.”  Yum. I do smell the coconut although I’ve seen other reviews that say it does not actually have coconut in it. Who knows.

Astrid likes the Bright Crystal. I didn’t love it till I smelled the paper today. The Versace Bright Crystal Absolu is absolutely delicious. And pretty in pink. Per “research” (ha internet) Top Notes :Yuzu, Pomegranate, Raspberry. Middle Notes: Lotus, Magnolia, Peony
Base Notes: Amber, Musk, Mahogany.  Precious.

Now for man stuff:  Versace Eros.  I like it. And it wasn’t just the buff, shiny guy in the picture. I immediately smelled the mint. Tasty. Thanks to the internet which verified my sniffer there are Top Notes of Mint, Green apple, Lemon and Base Notes of Madagascar vanilla, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Virginian cedar, Altas cedar. I love lemon, vanilla, vetiver, moss, cedar.  Googled Vetiver:
“a fragrant extract or essential oil obtained from the root of an Indian grass, used in perfumery and aromatherapy.”  Alrighty then.

But maybe I like this more….With the Prada Luna Rossa Extreme I IMMEDIATELY recognized the pepper and the juniper berries. There’s an astringent almost leather smell to it which comes from bergamot, black pepper, labdanum, juniper berries, lavender, amber and vanilla. Back to Google to figure out Labdanum.  Sounds dirty. Like a Labrador, eh? Nope, it’s “a gum resin obtained from the twigs of a southern European rockrose, used in perfumery and for fumigation.”  Allegedly smells like, “pine, kind of leathery scent with hints of pepper, tar, coffee, light tobacco,”

I apologize that this blog isn’t really going anywhere, but I was just excited by my mail. (My sweaters from Old Navy are here!) Scent makes people happy. Happy people want to share the happy.  Right now I smell coffee that’s gone cold and laundry beckoning to be done.

Here’s a couple of websites I found interesting if you like to know what the smell is.