STICKY

PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
(Kaylia Metcalfe)

Good-bye March!

Happy Tuesday everyone. Nope, no RT this week… way too much going on in the Casa De Kay…. Plus the photos of my first sunburn of the season would probebaly be slightly NSFW….

Anyway, a few news articles that I felt like sharing.

First off, some nice news from your friendly neighborhood Walgreen’s. Not only is Walgreen’s one of the few places in San Jose where one can buy a monthly bus pass without having to go all the way downtown and visit the delightful people at the VTA office (hours 9-5 M-F ONLY)…. Now there is another reason to love this chain. Free Medical Care for unemployed / uninsured. Cool eh?

Some more good news, The Make Work Pay Credit is supposed to roll out tomorrow… lets keep our fingers crossed. I know, an extra 10 – 15 bucks a week might not seem like a lot to you… but that is my Netflix account right there baby! And by Netflix account I mean “sanity.”

Also tomorrow is April first… April Fool’s Day…. (anyone remember the movie?) and in honor of that the whole interweb seems to be worked up and worried about the Conficker Worm. Just in case you are worried, here are some helpful tips… tonight might be a good time to back up your files and run a scan disk and such. I know I will. Better to be safe than sorry right?

Lastly, if the current economic conundrum (I got mocked for calling it a “crisis” the other day) is getting you down, have no fear. Uncle Sam is here to help. There is a new website to help you spot signs of depression and helpful links for getting help. This is the article that talks about it, and here is the site itself. I could make a snarky comment but I think that, again, in the spirit of safe vs sorry… this isn’t that bad of an idea. I do wonder if it will work or help. Ah well, at least we know they are trying.


Hmmm I was looking for a clip from the old “April’s Fools Day” movie… you know… from the the long long time ago....


… but all I could find were lame imitations like this example of classic cinema:



Gee… how in the world did I manage to miss that?

Oh right.. because despite my short lived loyalty to the show Ugly Betty, I usually have standards.

Have a good evening y’all… and may the playful fairies of April Fool’s Day delight you and not cause you too much stress.

Notes of the New

Happy Monday everyone!

Quick post today, just a few things of note.

First off, as some of you know it has been a dream of mine to someday read/write for a living…. Such as being a book reviewer or a movie reviewer or even heck, a TV recaper/reviewer. Well, I haven’t made it there quite yet but I did go ahead and set up a new baby blog just for reviews. It is called Perhaps Reviewed and you are more than welcome to check it out.

A few things are up already (Dog On It, World War Z, and Castle) and I hope to have more up soon(ish).

For example,

Upcoming Book Reviews:
The Great Eight (Scott Hamilton)
A Garden of Earthly Delights (Joyce Carol Oates)
Surfacing (Margaret Atwood)

Upcoming Movie Reviews:
The Watchmen
Overruled!
Brick


I also hope to post about a few current TV shows, Dollhouse, Lie To Me, and Damages.

Look for a new review post every week to ten days.

Also, in the arena of new blogs to check out, The Maifan-San has finally found a use for all the random ghost stories he has been collecting over the years. In his new blog devoted solely to stories of goulies and ghosties and things that go bump in the night, he will explore some of the common and the uncommon tales of terror and look for underlying themes as well as provide oodles of entertainment for his readers. Check it out here.




In slightly less fun news, my company found a new way to make us all grumble. We are now operating under less light. Yes, it’s true. In order to cut costs they have removed anywhere from 1 to 2 of the bulbs in the 3-bulb light fixtures throughout the entire building making the walk to the restroom now a trek through a dank and dreary badly lit hallway.

Creepy much? Much.

They also won’t be emptying the trash cans as frequently. Which is fine since it will be too dark to see anyway.



I was going to post a few fun little news stories but today the news seems to be full of people killing each other, warships headed toward Korea, and the sort of economic news that would shock us a year ago but nowadays simply continues our descent into a national depression. Oh wait, I meant Recession, of course I did.

Instead, I want to bring you all a bit of light….. Enjoy!




And in case you need to see something just downright adorable and sweet… check out SailorGeek’s video. I went to high school with Chris and I am oh so very stoked for him and Alison!

Yay nerd love! Yay Italy love! Yay nerd love in Italy!!!!!



Sin: Envy

It’s that time again.. time for sin!


Welcome to my mini-meme

Kay's Seven Deadly Sins Meme



(still not an artist)


(Again special thanks to those of you playing and those of you reading. If you want to find out about how to play, Read This.)

The Sin of the Week this time around is Envy.


Envy and jealousy are often used interchangeably, but in correct usage, both words stand for two different distinct emotions. In proper usage, jealousy is the fear of losing something that one possesses to another person (a loved one in the prototypical form), while envy is the pain or frustration caused by another person having something that one does not have oneself

Yep, straight from Wikipedia. (When is “Wikipedia” going to be added into the dictionary?)

Not the most fun sin… but then have any of them been fun? Oh right, there was Lust.

Even though they are different… I think I am going to write about jealousy today.

The last time I had a good case of the Jealous Jitters was several months ago in a coffee shop. The Maifan-San and I were there to have a relaxing afternoon of sipping overpriced drinks and writing… or in my case guzzling overpriced drinks and watching TV shows online while pretending to write. Anyway, we found seats near each other and as we unpacked our stuff, the pretty (very pretty) girl sitting near by struck up a conversation with The Maifan-San.

Let me elaborate… she was one of those really really pretty girls who is naturally pretty, good facial features, gorgeous blond hair that always looks like it just got brushed and fluffed, nice figure, open and sweet smile, and the one of those laughs that either makes you swoon or grates on your nerves in a big big way.

She was talking and laughing with the Maifan-San and it didn’t look like he was minding the irritating sound of her giggles one wee bit.

Jealousy: Front and Center

To be fair to him (and okay, to her) the conversation didn’t start off all that flirty… she started off by commenting on his tee shirt (a Santa Cruz University tee) and then the two of them moved from comparing notes about the college to other colleges, specifically that he had gotten his Masters in Santa Barbara and she had friends who lived there….

Innocent, sure.

In fact I seriously believe that The Maifan-San was simply talking to her… but she? She was flirting. Trust me. I know the moves… the slight giggle and the turn to the side and glance back from the corner of your eye… the twirling of perfect hair around a perfectly manicured finger…. The playful accidental touching…

Okay, so she didn’t get far enough into it to actually attempt the last thing. I had fallen silent during the entire exchange and in the case of me, silence is pretty unheard of. (har-har) and it wasn’t long before The Maifan-San picked up on the fact that something was bothering me.

Again, to his credit, he didn’t know exactly what had crawled up my ass but he became very eager to fetch my drink and even did one of those wonderfully sweet gentle shoulder touch things as he walked by.

I took the opportunity of his absence to glare at the tart with my best “Isn’t it time you left?” look.

It didn’t work. He returned and again the conversation started up, she was now leaning forward cleavage exposed, her fingers gently rubbing her arm. I sent him back to the bar for a straw or a napkin or something and upped my glare to ‘Leave Now!”

This time it worked. She was gathering her things by the time he came back and didn’t even bother to say good bye to him.

“That was a little weird” he commented, settling into his chair and turning on his laptop.

“A little?” Oh yes, gentle readers I do believe there was a definite edge to my words.

‘Yeah, umm are you ok?”

“I would say that the flirting was a bit more than a little. More like a lot.” I talked without looking at him my fingers angrily typing random letters so as to appear busy.

“Oh.” He seemed genuinely surprised. ‘Well I didn’t think that at first, but then, yeah I started to wonder.’

Melting a bit now I responded a little kinder, “Yeah babe, that was flirting.”

Now he was concerned, “Not on my end.’

I rolled my eyes.

He put his laptop down and leaned over to kiss me.

Jealousy: Gone.

I have no idea why that particular day I was so susceptible. I mean the Maifan-San is a big smart silly wonderful guy and I know that he has received the admiration and attention of several willing and able young women over the course of our relationship (On one memorable occasion a rather drunk bridesmaid all but crawled onto his lap in her effort to get him to agree to keep her company in her hotel room). I also know that he loves me and that he isn’t the sort to get distracted by a pretty face and turn into a drooling puddle of testosterone or be easily led astray by a illicit conquest.

But I was still jealous.

Also in the Wiki entry it says how jealousy/envy is related to a sense of low self estem and I would have to agree. I think everytime I have felt jealousy like with the Purple Sweatered Slut, it was because I was comparing myself to someone else and for whatever reason feeling that I didn’t measure up. In this case we had been out walking and I was grimy, hair messy, dirt under my fingernails, and I was most likely rocking breath that wasn’t super sweet. I was already feeling frumpy and then this Maybelline model started getting attention from the Maifan-San. Suddenly I felt fat, stupid, inarticulte, and overall grungy.

The thing is, that I was grumpy at The Maifan-San when who I was really upset was myself. I was directing my evil glares of bitchiness at Barbie over there but I again, I was really upset with myself.

Thankfully I got over it (and fairly quickly) and I talked about it with The Maifan-San. It didn’t really have an affect on our relationship except that I was reminded that he doesn’t mind my messy hair or the fact that I am not always put together and polished.

In fact his favorite photo of us at one point was this one… where you can clearly see neither one of us is all that interested in being polished and perfect… we are instead enjoying the moments of life.





Awwwww sweet eh?

Did I make you jealous?



Ok… your turn! Write, photo-blog, or even wax poetic about Envy over at your blog before next Friday, leave your name in Mr Linky and comment, and check back during the week! For more details, Read This.)






Get Ready!

There is a meat
That I refuse to eat
At least I did as a child

It seemed so salty
So mediocre chalky
And the smell was a far cry from mild


I see it today
At the stores in my way
As I head for the quick dinner fix

I pause and consider
Should I buy some for dinner?
But habit is hard and I nix


Still sometimes I ponder
About the blue cans o’re yonder
I mean, how bad could it be?

To the website I go
To learn and to grow
Y’all should be quite proud of me


On the website I find
Dozens of recipes to try
Some that even sound yummy

I can cook it with cheese
Or potatoes to please
There is a slight growling from tummy


Ok I give in
To sink or to swim
I promise to go buy a can

I’ll keep you all looped
As I try something new
Get ready, “Adventures In Spam!”


Focus!

I severely dislike being sick.

But I am blessed with having a super comfy bed and the foresight to buy things like soup and Good ‘n Plentys… so being sick doesn’t have to mean being miserable.

I am working on three short stories right now… trying vainly to find a way to finish them. It isn’t that I don’t know how to have them end or what should happen in them… but rather I find myself simply not caring what happens… lacking the drive to actually put fingers on keys.

And then I get a whole new idea and a whole new story starts to take form.

Which means I have to follow it through, I have to write until it is done because pausing now could lead to yet another story that I go from loving to loathing.

So, off I go.

Back To Red

I love red. Some of my favorite outfits and foods are red. Red flowers make me happy… and red brush strokes or cloudscapes can be amazing. Theses red things make me happy.

But there are some things that, while red, do little more than taunt me. And that is today’s Ruby Tuesday's theme.


I don’t smoke, I didn’t used to smoke… but I did used to go out drinking with my friends when I was younger and the night would usually end with us sitting outside somewhere talking and laughing while they smoked. Yes, I know 2nd hand smoke is dangerous and icky… but when I see signs like this I remember the smell, the taste of the occasional drag, the feeling of freedom, the release of the life’s worries…. So yeah, this sign taunts me just a bit.



Allergies to tomatoes make this a no-no. Which is oh so very sad.



Allergies to anything really yummy going into this cup keep it empty. Mint tea? Sooo NOT coffee.



In an effort to avoid gluttony I am not eating the left over Valentines Day candy that is on my desk. (Yet)




The worst of all… the red pen.. that means “more work needed” on my short stories. I love my editor. I hate editing.




…. Which reminds me of what I really should be doing right now.

Happy blog-versary to me!

Happy blog-versary to me!
Happy blog-versary to me!
Happy blog-versary to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Happy blog-versary to me!

Yes, it’s true… Perhaps We Learned Something turned One Year Old on Friday!

And, remarkably, this is post number 200.

Woot!

That is 135 post in 2008 and 65 so far in 2009… which is “not bad” “pretty good” or “way too much’ depending on who you ask.

It has been an interesting year. I have learned a lot, met some pretty nifty people, and had a grand time writing in this medium. It is odd to think about, but this blog started as a place primarily for fiction. Nowadays I keep my fiction separate and use this space for rants, reviews, retellings, responses, raves, and general blogging fun.

Anyway, I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to the blogging world out there. Thank you for writing, thank you for reading, thank you for emailing or commenting, thank you for being there.

Here’s to another year of blogging goodness!

Sin: Sloth

It’s that time again.. time for sin!


Welcome to week 3 of my mini-meme

Kay's Seven Deadly Sins Meme



(still not an artist)


(Again special thanks to those of you playing and those of you reading. If you want to find out about how to play, Read This.)

Our next Sin is: Sloth.

Sloth: not the cute little guy from the movie Ice Age… but the sin of Sloth.

“habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness”

Doesn’t sound that bad does it? I mean haven’t we all had days (weekends) when we just didn’t want to do anything? Sure, and that is fine. I think when Sloth becomes a sin is when we chose inaction over action and it causes harm either to ourselves or to others.

… and since this is my blog that is the definition I am going with.

So let’s talk about inaction. Let’s talk about something uncomfortable. I dare you to read the whole thing.

Let’s talk about Domestic Violence.

Yes, I know… what a drag to talk about right? How many of you will even bother to read this post? Will your eyes glaze? Will you skip down? Will you skip it completely?

Sadly that is indicative of how many people view domestic violence… a ‘that isn’t my problem” sort of attitude., or a “that is too dark to dwell on/read about/think about right now/this morning/before bed…”

Excuses.

A while ago some very brave and wonderful women started a blog called Thank you for reading.

Violence Unsilenced… a place where victims could share their stories.

I support this blog… I have the banner up on the side bar and everything.

But I don’t click on it.

I see the updates in my Google reader… but I turn away, I scan the title and then I find another blog to read, something funny… something endearing, something politically up my alley if you know what I mean.

Why? Because their stories are horrific. Because sometime they strike too close to home. Because, like a lot of people, I don’t want to dwell on the negative, the dark, the discouraging, the horrible.

But then I read something like this article which talks about how young people viewed the whole Rihanna / Chris Brown debacle:

• 71% said arguing was a normal part of a relationship
• 44% said fighting was a normal part of a relationship
• 51% said Chris Brown was responsible for the incident
• 46% said Rihanna was responsible for the incident
• 52% said both individuals were to blame for the incident, despite knowing at the time that Rihanna had been beaten badly enough to require hospital treatment
• 35% said the media were treating Rihanna unfairly
• 52% said the media were treating Chris Brown unfairly

Scary isn’t it.

I started thinking “why/” and among the many reasons that I could come up with for young people to have such a misguided view of the situation I thought about how we treat domestic violence, how we think about it, how we react to it, how we deal with it.

We don’t.

Because it is hard to handle, it is hard to digest, it is hard to think about.

Because a lot of the time we feel helpless… why bother to read yet another story about yet another person being mistreated? What can we do?

We can, actually, do a lot.

And we all know it.

One thing we can do is to not turn a blind eye. To not gloss over the situation, to not force ourselves to look long and hard at the bruises left behind.

We can read stories of survival and we can let them become part of our context, part of how we see the world.

And we can teach the next generation that there is no good reason to hit or be hit, fighting is NOT a regular part of a relationship, and that we all must take personal responsibility for our actions.

Start by clicking on Violence Uncilenced, today.

Don’t give in to this sin of sloth, this idea of undesired exertion and apathy… don’t choose inaction.

I dare you.





It isn’t too late to participate in the 7 Deadly Sins Meme, Read This, post something on your blog before next Friday and then don’t forget to put your info in Mr. Linky


Castle

Good evening and welcome to the next big thing. Or at least, the next thing I am going to try at least once.

TV Show Review/Recap. In which I recap in glaring snarky detail a portion of a TV show and then review the whole episode.

Call it a writing exercise, call it typing practice, call it an application to Television Without Pity (yes, I know you all aren’t hiring but your staff also isn’t reviewing this show… so I think we could work something out….)**** Correction… at the time I wrote this (last week) TWOP did not have anything on the show… they have since fixed that making my following rant pretty meaningless but since I wrote the darn thing already and because I have ulterior motives, I am going to post this anyway.

Tonight’s episode: Castle: The Pilot.

(Background information: The promos for this paint it as yet another buddy cop procedural featuring a quirky “how will they ever get along’ couple. In this case a curmudgeon boozey socially inept writer (named Castle … just like the show!!!!) played by Nathan Fillion (of Buffy, Firefly, and some really horrible movie fame) and a strict by the book totally professional cop played by Stana Katic (what a name!) who you might remember from Quantum of Solace or a whole slew of bit parts on TV shows like Heroes and ER.

In other words: not looking too great but why not give it a go?

First: The Recap of the opening scene;

We open on a ankle with a tiny river of blood and then there are rose petals falling down in what we can only call ‘the art budget” before we get into the voice over telling us all about murder and macabre as a pretty blond gives a long introduction to the “master of the macabre” Rick Castle… there are the stock footage shots of him being all superstar like, signing autographs and looking dapper in sunglasses

Cut to Stana all business like and looking at a dead body which is lying in repose covered in roses (except the sunflowers on her eyes) and looking like quite the flower platter. “Who are you/’ Stana asks but the dead girl decides not to answer… maybe because she is covered in artfully arranged flowers. Someone took a lot of time to get those just right.

Another cop tells Stana that the dead girl was named Alison, 24, grad student at NYU with a rich daddy and that there are no signs of a struggle. A mouthey (aka will be a regular) crime scene tech jokes about romance not being dead because the killer did bring flowers. (Gross) to which Stana mumbles that for her romance is in fact dead “every Saturday night” which… ok… I get that she is going to be a hard ass (the promos told us that) but this sort of fatalistic attitude bullcrap is annoying when anyone says it, but especially annoying when an attractive youngish woman who is probably picky and controlling in her personal life says it.

Moving on, Alison was shot at close range. And then thanks to the magic of exposition we learn that Stana likes the freaky cases and that this case looks familiar to her… and in case we haven’t put it together yet she says ‘Don’t you guys read?” and we cut back to Castle and the blond posing for photos. She asks him why he killed off his main character and he exposits that she is not only his publisher but his ex wife and that their relationship is a bit tense. Yay pilots! Apparently he doesn’t like his main character anymore because writing him wasn’t fun.. it was work. Oh man, I suddenly like him.

More exposition about how his latest book is late and that he hasn’t written in months… some kind of blockage. How much you wanna bet he will be writing by the end of the episode? She threatens to take away his advance if he doesn’t produce and he sulks.

We move over to the bar where Brainy Girl Child is being good and studious and Grandmother Lush Tart is being classically upper crust bratty old lady. Castle asks his mother if she told Gina (the pretty blond has a name!) about his trouble writing. She denies telling but then admits that she did. Oh… and mommy dearest lives with Castle and his daughter. But before we get any further back-story, Grandma’s “graydar” goes off and she flounces off tossing back a really creepy giggle over her shoulder. Grandma, by the way, not wearing a bra.

Castle then has an interaction with his daughter that I can only describe as ‘Hey, I’m your dad and I am a loose cannon who likes to party… why don’t you want to grow up to be just like me?” ‘Because I know better” Oh and she is fifteen but doesn’t look a day over twelve. No really… he hems and haws about how his life is boring glossing over Daughter’s statement that she minds when he autographs women’s boobs. But wait! Because here is Detective Kate (yay, another name!) who is not flashing her boobs but rather her badge and in her no nonsense way she announces that she wants to ask Castle some questions about a murder.

Castle looks stunned and Daughter looks vindicated and

Credits Roll!


Now the Review:

The opening scene did little to peak interest… a whole lot of possible recurring characters were introduced and the barest bit of actual character interaction. This isn’t really a critique because it is the dual job of a pilot episode to not only give you enough exposition that you care but also give you a simple story to follow so you can care without getting overly distracted or bogged down with all the wonderful minutia that will eventually make you love or hate the show.

In the case of this show I would have to say that the opening sequence did a fair job of giving you a sense of the show.

A few notable moments: Detective Kate using the words “bimbet” and “celebutannte’ to describe the type of women that Castle’s charms work on. Me thinks she will be eating those words later… but what yummy words they are. (And I am right… the flirting goes both ways by show’s end.)

The interaction between Kate and Castle is oddly reminiscent of Bones and
Booth… hey look, even alliteration can join the fun!

Daughter’s interactions with Castle actually rings a bit more true later on… and away from the bar she actually looks older.

Also… Kate’s not so secret fangirl attraction to Castle (err, I mean the genre that he writes –sure-) leads one cop to say in a hideously hilarious moment “Yo check it girl, you’re totally a fan.” Check it indeed.

A few issues with dialogue but the pacing is rather well done.

Perhaps the oddest scene was a meta mega melt down when Castle plays poker with Patterson and other apparently recognizable murder mystery writers and they talk shop about the “actual” case. As shticks go, this isn’t totally horrible though it sort of reads that way.

Castle seems to be a pretty darn good detective in his own right… he notices things Detective Kate misses; he has the whole mystic inductive reasoning attention to details that you expect from a trained detective. Thankfully he also blunders and doesn’t disbelieve thing like alibis which is good because otherwise we might wonder just how in the world Detective Kate is supposed to a good detective since she obviously needs the help of this random writer guy.

In the end we have a fair bit of flirting, some mighty good looking people, a bare foot Castle chasing the bad guy while carrying his shoe, a happy ending, and the promise of more fireworks to come.

My grade: B.

Will I watch again? Depends on what else I have to do… but chances are yes… I usually give shows three episodes before I make a final ruling.



If you made it through this horribly long post… please let me know if you watched Castle, why or why not, and if you did what you thought of it.

Down With Feeling Up

So after being told that my iron levels are still too low to donate blood (again) I was feeling a bit down. Apparently I need to eat more of stuff like this:




Blah.

I then spent some time looking online at apartments I can’t afford on my own. (Depressing)

… and then some time on the ‘net looking at apartments I can afford on my own. (actually even more depressing…. “look, there’s one… Studio: 230 square feet and no window!”)

-le sigh-

There are a few other clouds on the horizon… a leaky shower, a decision that is getting to that “have to decide this” point, a dawning realization that I really really really don’t want to face, a nasty case of writer’s apathy, and a few other things that I could list here all vague-like but why bother.

But before drowning my sorrows and frustrations in banana chips, white wine and a marathon of Arrested Development episodes I decided to dwell a bit on some of the things that have made me happy lately.

Because I am an optimist… and I find the joy gosh darn it.




Jon Stewart and this would be a reason why….

… and if that isn't enough, this would be further proof that Jon Stewart is pretty high on the list of ‘Most Awesome people’ ever.


Biden. You know… that older sort of cocky white guy who balanced out Obama’s ticket? We haven’t seen too terribly much of him lately but I did run across this little gem. Seems Biden is a fan of public transportation (most notable Amtrak) and this gets him all sorts of brownie points from yours truly.

More things that make me happy?

Helping my mom with her homework



My job… (as in, I still have one) Today was pay day!



Views like this




This video that I snatched off of reader Jimmy P's blog (Hey Jimmy{, thank you so much for your great comment, I hope you stick around!)


NINA KINERT & ANE BRUN from Diaspro on Vimeo.

And lastly my sister Gina...



...who when I cried out for some sort of pep talk gave me following words of profound wisdom:

"Go Kay! Crap is temporary, good stuff exists, it's sunny outside, poptarts are cheap, and we're not dead! Just keep breathing!

I love you =)"




One of the best emails I have ever gotten.

Happy end of “hump day’ everyone!

Ticky-Tacky Castle

Good evening and welcome to the next big thing. Or at least, the next thing I am going to try at least once.

TV Show Review/Recap. In which I recap in glaring snarky detail a portion of a TV show and then review the whole episode.

Call it a writing exercise, call it typing practice, call it an application to Television Without Pity (yes, I know you all aren’t hiring but your staff also isn’t reviewing this show… so I think we could work something out….)**** Correction… at the time I wrote this (last week) TWOP did not have anything on the show… they have since fixed that making my following rant pretty meaningless but since I wrote the darn thing already and because I have ulterior motives, I am going to post this anyway.

Tonight’s episode: Castle: The Pilot.

(Background information: The promos for this paint it as yet another buddy cop procedural featuring a quirky “how will they ever get along’ couple. In this case a curmudgeon boozey socially inept writer (named Castle … just like the show!!!!) played by Nathan Fillion (of Buffy, Firefly, and some really horrible movie fame) and a strict by the book totally professional cop played by Stana Katic (what a name!) who you might remember from Quantum of Solace or a whole slew of bit parts on TV shows like Heroes and ER.

In other words: not looking too great but why not give it a go?

First: The Recap of the opening scene;

We open on a ankle with a tiny river of blood and then there are rose petals falling down in what we can only call ‘the art budget” before we get into the voice over telling us all about murder and macabre as a pretty blond gives a long introduction to the “master of the macabre” Rick Castle… there are the stock footage shots of him being all superstar like, signing autographs and looking dapper in sunglasses

Cut to Stana all business like and looking at a dead body which is lying in repose covered in roses (except the sunflowers on her eyes) and looking like quite the flower platter. “Who are you/’ Stana asks but the dead girl decides not to answer… maybe because she is covered in artfully arranged flowers. Someone took a lot of time to get those just right.

Another cop tells Stana that the dead girl was named Alison, 24, grad student at NYU with a rich daddy and that there are no signs of a struggle. A mouthey (aka will be a regular) crime scene tech jokes about romance not being dead because the killer did bring flowers. (Gross) to which Stana mumbles that for her romance is in fact dead “every Saturday night” which… ok… I get that she is going to be a hard ass (the promos told us that) but this sort of fatalistic attitude bullcrap is annoying when anyone says it, but especially annoying when an attractive youngish woman who is probably picky and controlling in her personal life says it.

Moving on, Alison was shot at close range. And then thanks to the magic of exposition we learn that Stana likes the freaky cases and that this case looks familiar to her… and in case we haven’t put it together yet she says ‘Don’t you guys read?” and we cut back to Castle and the blond posing for photos. She asks him why he killed off his main character and he exposits that she is not only his publisher but his ex wife and that their relationship is a bit tense. Yay pilots! Apparently he doesn’t like his main character anymore because writing him wasn’t fun.. it was work. Oh man, I suddenly like him.

More exposition about how his latest book is late and that he hasn’t written in months… some kind of blockage. How much you wanna bet he will be writing by the end of the episode? She threatens to take away his advance if he doesn’t produce and he sulks.

We move over to the bar where Brainy Girl Child is being good and studious and Grandmother Lush Tart is being classically upper crust bratty old lady. Castle asks his mother if she told Gina (the pretty blond has a name!) about his trouble writing. She denies telling but then admits that she did. Oh… and mommy dearest lives with Castle and his daughter. But before we get any further back-story, Grandma’s “graydar” goes off and she flounces off tossing back a really creepy giggle over her shoulder. Grandma, by the way, not wearing a bra.

Castle then has an interaction with his daughter that I can only describe as ‘Hey, I’m your dad and I am a loose cannon who likes to party… why don’t you want to grow up to be just like me?” ‘Because I know better” Oh and she is fifteen but doesn’t look a day over twelve. No really… he hems and haws about how his life is boring glossing over Daughter’s statement that she minds when he autographs women’s boobs. But wait! Because here is Detective Kate (yay, another name!) who is not flashing her boobs but rather her badge and in her no nonsense way she announces that she wants to ask Castle some questions about a murder.

Castle looks stunned and Daughter looks vindicated and

Credits Roll!


Now the Review:

The opening scene did little to peak interest… a whole lot of possible recurring characters were introduced and the barest bit of actual character interaction. This isn’t really a critique because it is the dual job of a pilot episode to not only give you enough exposition that you care but also give you a simple story to follow so you can care without getting overly distracted or bogged down with all the wonderful minutia that will eventually make you love or hate the show.

In the case of this show I would have to say that the opening sequence did a fair job of giving you a sense of the show.

A few notable moments: Detective Kate using the words “bimbet” and “celebutannte’ to describe the type of women that Castle’s charms work on. Me thinks she will be eating those words later… but what yummy words they are. (And I am right… the flirting goes both ways by show’s end.)

The interaction between Kate and Castle is oddly reminiscent of Bones and
Booth… hey look, even alliteration can join the fun!

Daughter’s interactions with Castle actually rings a bit more true later on… and away from the bar she actually looks older.

Also… Kate’s not so secret fangirl attraction to Castle (err, I mean the genre that he writes –sure-) leads one cop to say in a hideously hilarious moment “Yo check it girl, you’re totally a fan.” Check it indeed.

A few issues with dialogue but the pacing is rather well done.

Perhaps the oddest scene was a meta mega melt down when Castle plays poker with Patterson and other apparently recognizable murder mystery writers and they talk shop about the “actual” case. As shticks go, this isn’t totally horrible though it sort of reads that way.

Castle seems to be a pretty darn good detective in his own right… he notices things Detective Kate misses; he has the whole mystic inductive reasoning attention to details that you expect from a trained detective. Thankfully he also blunders and doesn’t disbelieve thing like alibis which is good because otherwise we might wonder just how in the world Detective Kate is supposed to a good detective since she obviously needs the help of this random writer guy.

In the end we have a fair bit of flirting, some mighty good looking people, a bare foot Castle chasing the bad guy while carrying his shoe, a happy ending, and the promise of more fireworks to come.

My grade: B.

Will I watch again? Depends on what else I have to do… but chances are yes… I usually give shows three episodes before I make a final ruling.



If you made it through this horribly long post… please let me know if you watched Castle, why or why not, and if you did what you thought of it.

Ruby Tuesday Goes Green

Soooo I had my RT post all ready to go. It was brilliant! It was mind-blowing!

Well, no, not really… but it was done and hopefully mildly entertaining… and then I clicked over to Mary’s Ruby Tuesday home and realized that tomorrow is Tuesday AND St Patty’s Day so in honor of that Ruby Tuesday has become Emerald Tuesday!

That’s right boys and girls… the color of the day is green…. And as you all know it isn’t easy being green but it is the only color that will save Dorothy, Ozma, and all the rest of the gang.

So next week you can read all about the darn red things that have been taunting me… this week you get;

Great Gobs of Green!


First off:

This little bamboo plant sits on the counter near my desk at work.. I water it faithfully and it now has three times more little green stalks than it did backing December when it arrived as part of a holiday gift basket. See… I don’t kill all plants!



Mmm money. There four ones are my means to get to Santa Cruz… yes, that’s right, with these and about two hours I can transport myself (with the aide of the Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Regional Transit Systems, far away from my city home and into the waiting arms of The Maifan-San and the calming happiness of the beach….



Another wonderful green thing: Healthy Afternoon snacking! For just 64 cents this edamame can be purchased at the office café and then eaten slowly over the course of the afternoon. Yum!



And lastly… what would St. Patty’s day be without a little Kay-Style? Here I am sporting my traditional St Patty’s day tee shirt.




And a close up on the pretty pretty sparkles.


Have a safe and happy Green filled St Patty’s Day everyone!

--Pinch--

Light Up The Night

I have written before about Prop 8 here and here and even here


I have also volunteered and attended events.




And as you may have guessed I am vehemently opposed to Prop 8… meaning that I am vehemently for the legalization of same sex marriage.

As in… I am a strong supporter of civil rights for everyone regardless of race, color, or sexual orientation.

And sadly, as shown back in November, the people who disagree with me have a small margin of majority.

Last week, on the eve of the CA Supreme Court hearing arguments about the legality of Prop 8, I joined a group of like minded people at the intersection of two of the biggest streets in San Jose.




The point of this gathering wasn’t a protest… it wasn’t a noise making onslaught of judgment or a calling to action… it was simply a candlelight vigil to show support for the couples who got married last summer, the couples of the future, and the judges who can bravely and justly do the right thing.

It had been years since I was at a candlelight vigil and on this particular night the wind was pretty fierce. When the whole thing got underway there were only about thirty of us. Most of us had brought regular candles or jar candles and the wind just kept blowing them out.




It looked for a bit like our vigil was going to be candle-less and sparse.

Now, as you know I write short stories. What you might not know is that I have a deep passionate love affair with symbolism. I see it everywhere…. Even in places where it isn’t. Part of my brain is always thinking of what everything means or what it would mean if it was happening in a short story and not in my real life. From having a lover hold my hand while drifting off to sleep to having a life changing conversation next to an open window… I can find symbolic meaning in almost anything.

There we stood, spread out on all four corners of the intersection. The sun went down and the cars passed and our candles wouldn’t stay lit.



But this was more than just a political moment. This was more than just a bunch of people who didn’t have anything better to do with their Wednesday night. This was not a whim or a casual thing for these people. This was about community and connection.

A man named Mike showed up carrying bags of cheap Dixie cups. Within moments we had all shoved our lightless candles through the bottoms and armed with a buffer from the wind we set about relighting them.



The flame moved from person to person. Soon all four corners were glowing. I looked around and realized that more people had arrived. Some with glass protected candles, others with the small impractical ones like I had brought but thanks to the Dixie cups there was light in everyone’s hand. (See… even Dora The Explorer supports Gay marriage*)




Over and over again the flame moved from one candle to another.

Almost 300 people turned out for this vigil. We lit up that intersection with light, with laughter, with hope.




I am beyond honored that I got to be a part of the evening. I was beyond moved as a woman, tears on her cheeks, lit my candle and hummed “This little light of mine….”

It was beyond symbolic. It was beautiful.



Let it shine, let it shine let it shine.






*I have no idea if Dora the Explorer supports Gay Marriage… but I do wonder if that phrase will show up in any future Google searches.

Sin: Gluttony

It’s that time again.. time for sin!


Welcome to week 3 of my mini-meme

Kay's Seven Deadly Sins Meme



(still not an artist)


(Again special thanks to those of you playing and those of you reading. If you want to find out about how to play, Read This.)

Our next Sin is: Gluttony.

This is actually a “sin” I fall victim to a bit more often than I would like to admit.

When I think of gluttony, I think of excess. Gorging yourself on something… food, booze, sleep, World of Warcraft, mochas, TV, Skittles, Free Cell, …

All of these things are good in moderation, in fact a lot of things out there in this wide wide world are good in moderation, but should one go overboard and start eating, drinking, participating, whatever, on these things full throttle to the exclusion of either more healthy things or common sense, well, that is gluttony.

My biggest gluttony trap is food. Its true. I can overeat with the best of them and I have this annoying habit of not being able to have just one (slice of pie, piece of coffee cake, cookie, bowl of popcorn, bowl of cereal, packet of candy corn, handful of crackers…

Cookies are perhaps the worst. I buy a package thinking that I will make it last for a few weeks… an occasional cookie as a treat, as a reward for getting the laundry done or the story written or the bedroom all tidied up… and instead I end up eating the whole package in practically one sitting.

What’s the big deal you might ask/ Well, besides the obvious “unhealthy’ aspect to dinners of cookies, gluttony is really a sin about control; about letting an appetite or desire become so overwhelming that it dictates actions and leads us down a destructive path.

In essence, we give our self power to something else… and that can be dangerous.

Okay, story time. The following is one of those ‘most embarrassing moments” kind of stories, but unlike the time I flashed a woman on the train or sang all off key in choir, or fell down the stairs back in high school… this story is both embarrassing and not at all funny. In fact, thinking about it makes me cringe and seriously consider changing this week’s sin.

But, we learn through experiences and maybe by reliving this one I will find the inner strength to ignore yet another bag of cookies.

It was 9th grade, I was 13 and had just made the leap from teeny tiny private school to big scary public school. After what seemed like eating lunch by myself forever I had actually managed to glom onto a group of girls who all seemed very sophisticated and worldly to little shy me. (Yes, back then, I was shy… I still am quite a bit.)

One of the things this group of girl did was gather outside a classroom during morning break. The classroom in question was where the Spanish club would sell candy year round as a sort of fundraiser. They must have made some serious bank feeding the sugar starved masses of students… and I was definitely part of that crowd. Every morning I would buy a pack of Skittles. The one bag would last me the rest of the day… in my mind it was the perfect way to spend 50 cents.

It was no secret that I had what I jokingly called a Skittle-Addiction, and my friends teased me usually without rancor but one morning one of the girls in the group decided to teach me a lesson. I will call her Nancy.

I emerged from the “Candy Room” with my bag of Skittles and took up my spot toward the back of the group ready to hang out, talk, giggle, and watch the boys as was a pretty normal part of the group’s morning routine. Nancy came up behind me and in one quick movement she snatched the bag of Skittles out of my hand.

What followed was humiliating. She taunted me with my bag of candy shifting it back and forth from one hand to the other. She said some typically cruel teenager things and most of the group laughed… even I laughed a little because what else was there to do?

Then she told me she was going to keep the candy and that I needed to get over my candy addiction… she said she was doing it for my own good. Well this bothered me on a few levels, one was obviously that she was being a condescending brat, but also I didn’t have much money, I didn’t get to buy lunch like everyone else and I had to be frugal. My daily bag of Skittles was (in my opinion anyway) my one vice. Also, it just seemed mighty unfair of her to do this to me. I stopped laughing.

In fact I demanded she give it back to me. She, perhaps noticing that she was in a position of power now, decided that I would need to work for it. She told me I had to go stand at the end of the hallway for thirty seconds and if I moved off of my spot she would keep and eat them but if I obeyed her, I would get the candy back. At first several of the girls thought she was joking… but she was insistent and kept pointing at the designated spot with authority.

The woman I am today would most definitely react differently. But at the time I was young and stupid and afraid of losing my “friends”. I also really really wanted my stupid candy.

So I went, and I stood on the damn spot while she counted.

At “Thirty” she laughed and tossed me the Skittles. I caught them (small miracle) and went to class.

I am ashamed to say that I cried.

I was mortified… and angry… but not really at her. Sure, she was the catalyst for what had happened but I felt that I had betrayed myself by giving into her like that. I had let myself be bullied because I wanted the candy and because I just didn’t know what else to do.

Even now, I feel ashamed.

I would love to say that after that I learned my lesson of gluttony and that I don’t let my desires and my appetites rule my actions but like everyone I make mistakes as I walk through life and there are countless empty containers of cookies that can attest that I do comfort myself with food more often than I should.

I don’t know what happened to Nancy… I do know that I left that group of girls not too long after that and to this day only keep in reserved distant contact with a few of them. I know I am probably the only one who remembers the incident.

Writing this has had a few affects… 1. I really want to go buy a pack of Skittles and 2. I am not going to because really I don’t need them.

Instead I am going to do a few crunches and go to bed.



OK…. Now it’s your turn!


Coming Soon.....

Ahh the joys of a co-mingled life.

I was going to write a blog about my wonderful experience at the Anti-Prop 8 rally last week but a post like that deserves photos and my photos are unceremoniously locked inside my camera.

Normally this would be a simple mater of plugging the camera into the laptop and then resizing the shots before letting blogger do the “happy happy sloooow dance of uploading” and then Viola!.. a Blog there would be.

But it appears that my camera cord is not currently within reach as it has decided to take a brief holiday to the home of The Maifan-San*. Apparently when I last uploaded photos from my camera I was sitting on his couch and upon completing my task I put the wrong camera cod into my bag.

So it goes.

This is all just a very long explanation of why there hasn’t been any Anti-Prop 8 rally posts… and also continued proof that I can be a big dork sometimes.

Also, this (totally unnecessary) blog post has nothing to do with the fact that I am less than ten posts away from 200 and just over a week away from my 1 year blog-versary.

Nothing at all.

*If you haven’t clicked his blog yet (or in a while) I strongly encourage it. Most of the time you can find something educational or at least thought provoking. Occasionally he talks abut Pirate Rap or the secret gaming life of Hitler… but primarily it is a place full of critical thinking and nifty archeological stuff.

Tiny Tidbits of Tech-Scary News

Welcome to this week’s edition of Things To Read… in other words, random tid bits of news.

Basically things that you can talk about with your co-workers at the coffee pot should your company not be like my company where there is no more free coffee.

Not that we’re bitter.

Moving on….. We have a theme today… Technological advances that are both interesting and also a bit scary.

In the area of gadgets I am sure you have all heard about the new teeny tiny ipod. (About the size of a AA battery). Well if that isn’t enough to make you pause and think slightly fuzzy thoughts about how small is too small… here is another bit of interesting technology. This filmmaker who lost his eye years ago is working on making a camera that will be implanted into his empty eye socket…. So that he can get the really really real feel to his future documentaries. If you are anything like me… you were filled with equal parts “What a cool idea’ and “How insanely creepy!” The possibilities are staggering. One can only hope that some discretion will be involved with something like this.



Speaking about technology that can be used for evil or good depending on which side you happen t sit… here is an interesting article about chemical castration for sex offenders. Apparently, the Czech Republic has been doing it for years and other European countries are weighing the pros and cons. I’m a fan… but that’s just me.



But wait… here is some actual happy exciting YAY Science! news for you. Researchers are doing amazing work on being able to detect ovarian cancer earlier. Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly cancers, in part because the symptoms are so vague that women often are not diagnosed until it is too late. "The initial findings of this long-term study are encouraging, particularly because almost half of the ovarian cancers detected were at an early stage (stage 1), when survival rates can be as high as 90 percent,"



And then we have this… because whenever there is a new technology, there is going to be some idiot who is.. well, an idiot. The idiot in question here decided in the midst of a break in to tweet about the experience.




And just when you thought that all of humanity might be doomed… here is a story that starts off silly and gets sweet.

You might remember Michael Phelps… and you might remember Michael Phelps and his bong… and you even might remember that Kellogg got upset with Michael Phelps and his bong and decided to kick him away from the endorsement gravy train. What you might not have thought about is what happened to all the boxes of cereal that already had been printed with the smiling face of America’s current “Oops boy.” Enter San Francisco’s homeless shelters who received something like two tons of castoff cereal making Michael Phelps and his bong a godsend for the hungry.


Not sure I can top that…. Happy thoughts!

World War Z





Book Review for World War Z

(Today’s review will take on a different form. Not content to merely give you a few paragraphs about whether or not I liked the book and why, I have decided to so something a bit more dramatic.)

Kaylia sits on the couch, legs curled up underneath her, reading. From the kitchen sounds of cooking carry though the small apartment; Matthew is cooking.

Scott flops down in the easy chair and regards the woman on the couch with apathy until he notices what she is reading.

“Oh! World War Z?”

She glances up, “Yeah, almost done.’

‘Are you enjoying it?”

She pauses, one eyebrow raised ever so slightly and seems to give the question serious thought for a moment.

“No, not really.’

Scott is mildly surprised having read the book himself a few months back and having enjoyed it immensely. “Really? I read it a while a go and I really liked it.’

She shrugs, years of being a Lit major has taught her many things, the most important one being that people can have lousy taste in books, although in this case, that wasn’t exactly the case.

“Well,” she marks her place with a well trained eye and then turns to give him 90% of her attention (10% being saved for the sounds of cooking coming from the kitchen). “I do plan on finishing it, I am glad I am reading it, and I am very interested in it, but it is a horror book and I can’t really say that I am enjoying it. If you know what I mean.”

He leans forward intrigued, ‘What do you mean?’

“Like I said, it is a horror book… (not really my thing) and it is supposed to be scary and disturbing and such… I mean it’s about zombies trying to take over the world and it is very well written… once you buy into the premise of the undead it is downright creepy how ‘realistic’ it gets.” (She uses air quotes around the word ‘realistic” and then continues.) “And I think he did a great job of instilling the plausibility of the premise… it isn’t over explained which makes it even more disturbing… the whole fear of the unknown thing is very well played… and the fact that then it translates into the fear of the known, well there are some very nice levels of reality and knowledge and fear and such, but I think what is the scariest thing about this book is the realism when it comes to the human reaction to the ‘zombie uprising’ That is what really bothers me.” (Air quotes not around “realism” but around “zombie uprising”… she makes her air quotes with both hands and gives them a whole arm movement to add to her point.

“Oh you mean, how it could actually happen/”

“No… well, sort of. I think that the background of this horrible catastrophe is silly (I mean really, zombies?) but the way people react to the zombies.. the cruelty, the insanity, the military mistakes, the random very human moments, all that is very on the nose. And a lot of that is very negative. Which is kind of depressing.”

From the kitchen, proving that he is a man who can both cook and contribute to the conversation, The Maifan-San speaks “Toward the end there is a bit more positive stuff.”

She turns toward him and hefts the book in one hand, “Oh I know, I know, I am pretty close to the end… and it wasn’t any big shocker that the human race found a way to survive… I mean the book is written as interviews with survivors and that is a pretty good narrative device if I may say… (beats the heck out of a dog doing all the talking) but still….”

Again from the kitchen comes the voice of a man who also enjoyed the book in question “I thought it was interesting how all the different countries were portrayed… that thing with North Korea? Very creepy.” He makes an exaggerated shudder noise to lend credence to his words.

“Right, and that was very well written, very powerful… no question.” She turns back to Scott, “but still horrifying and bothersome.”

Scott smiles “Right, I think that was the point. I flew through it, couldn’t put it down.”

She regards the book on her lap for a moment, her eyes troubled. In her head she can hear the sounds of the death, the backlash of the people, the cries of the children. This is a book that will stay with her. She opens it back up, a mere 25 pages from the end, “Exactly”



If you are interested in reading this book for yourself and agreeing or disagreeing with my review, feel free to use this link to buy it on Amazon!

Who I am

I am not a terribly smart person. I was a rather average student and I have a tendency to not bother to even attempt to learn something unless either a)I think it will came in handy later or b) I actually wish to know it.

Of course I have vastly different measures of both a and b now then I did back when I was fourteen or even twenty-two. What this means is that there are hundreds, no wait, thousands of things that I didn’t care enough about or deem important enough to bother with learning when I had the chance.

And now that I am older, wiser, and have the luxury of looking back in time a bit, I realize how much of my potential education I squandered.

Not just my education…. My potential education.

The idea that youth is wasted on the young isn’t new… but my appreciation for the truth in the adage is.

Which is why I am picky.

I am picky when it comes to what I read (books, blogs, news, etc). I am picky when it comes to what I watch on TV (or the net version of TV called Hulu). I am picky when it comes to who I have intellectually stimulating conversations with. I am picky when it comes to how I use my time.

Because there is always this faint echo in the back of my head that is asking me if this is really the best use of my time, my energy, my failing eyesight, my internet bandwidth, my energy….

Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t like I think that people need to forgo all fun and fluffy type actions and only concentrate on the hard, the disciplined, the productive and self improvement activities.

I think there are benefits to entertainment. There is relaxation, there is escapism, there is the building of shared cultural context,… and these things are essential (at least for me) to obtain happiness.

And I am also not deluded enough to think that just because I happen to feel that TV Show A is worthy of my time but anything written by Author X is insipid tripe and should be avoided at all costs, that I have any claim at being RIGHT or that what works for me will work for everyone else. The converse is inherently true as well.

Keep all that in mind if you chose to continue to read my blog. Or any blog entry I have written or may write about books, movies, music, art, sports, pastimes, education….

I might be a literary snob and a snotty sycophant who is in love with pseudo intellectualism and the not quite dead idea of deconstruction… but at least I am self aware and make no claims to genius.

Dog On It



Book Review for Dog On It

This is one of those times when the title of a book gives you not just a glimpse of what the book itself will be about but also the tone, the cleverness, and the staying power. If you think the title is clever, if you think it is cute, if you find yourself smiling at the play on words… then you will enjoy the story.

It all depends on how much shtick you can comfortably handle. Dog On It follows the detectives in the Little Detective Agency as they in turn follow the clues in a missing persons case. The two detectives are Bernie, a likable rather normal guy, and the narrator Chet his loyal canine companion.

I found the actual story of the missing girl to be mildly interesting at best and the voice of Chet to be a mixture of annoying and more annoying. There are a few problems inherent with having a dog be the narrator. The first is that his emotional range is limited and thus we never really get drawn into the human characters. We care about the resolution of the case in a vague sort of way…. But really the most dramatic moments come when Chet has been dognapped and is running for his life. And sadly that is toward the beginning of the story. By the time the climax rolls around the reader is still only mildly interested in the case and also only mildly interested in the romantic entanglement of Bernie. The lackluster emotional draw could have been ignored had the draw of the dog’s voice itself have been more interesting. As it was, we come to problem number two: the dog’s voice gets old, fast and isn’t consistent. There are problems with Chet himself… at times he seems to have an almost human knowledge base while other times we are reminded rather lamely that he in fact a dog by his confusion with idioms or short attention span. He doesn’t understand money but he totally gets the idea of sending someone to jail. He gets distracted by sounds and smells at the drop of a hat early on but later when the plot needs him to be super dog, lean, mean, and concentrating he suddenly is all business.

While I can appreciate the new voice aspect and the almost childlike way in which Chet sees the world I found his voice to be grating and frustrating.

Maybe I am more of a cat person than I realized.

That isn’t to say that the book was badly written or not worth the handful of hours that it took to get through it. Should you be in need of a low-brain-impact sort of fluffy reading material perhaps as you sit bored on an airplane or half dozing in a lounge chair at the pool, this book will surly fill that void. However, if you are looking for something that you can sink your teeth into, a book with real staying power and a voice I would recommend looking elsewhere.



Note: It has come to my attention that the shtick of Chet has become strangely pervasive. He has a Twitter account. He has a blog. No, I am not going to link to them here. If you really are that interested, knock yourself out. In my own humble opinion, I think that this is an example of Viral Marketing gone to the dogs.*

In other words… an overexposed weak idea is still a weak idea.

*(Oh come on, you knew I couldn’t make it through a whole book review of a dog book without at least one pun right?)

If you are interested in reading this book for yourself and agreeing or disagreeing with my review, feel free to use this link to buy it on Amazon!

The Point aka All Questions Have Answers Part Two

A long time ago I threw open the proverbial doors and invited your questions.. and I have been really bad about responding to them beyond Part One anyway.

Mea Culpa.

And someday when I am having a slow blog day or something… maybe when the laundry is all caught up and the stories are all done and the floor is vacuumed and the nick knacks have been dusted….I will answer the ones that were sent in.

At least that was my plan but recently (as in… this past two weeks) I have actually gotten the same question three different times, from three different people. Well, the question wasn’t exactly the same, but it was close enough that I thought I would go ahead and answer it.

All Questions Have Answers (especially if the questions are repeated) Part Two


Question:
How do you come up with the point of your short stories? Does every story have to have a point?
What do you do if you have a story but you don’t know what the point of it is?


Answer:
(Just my humble opinion)

Don’t think about the point. Don’t think about what it “means” Just write it out, write out the action of the story, let it just flow… get it down, get it structured, get it in some sort of narrative order. Then ignore it for a while before you go back and read it again.

Stories don’t always have to have points or deep meanings. They are works of fiction, they are art… they aren’t essays that have to answer the question of ‘so what/’.. as long as the reader is engaged and entertained, the story has done its job.

Unless you want there to be a point, a deeper underlying message, a series of symbols and subtext… and if that is the case, well cool. But then think of it on that level.

But what it sounds like is that you have an idea for a story… and you are worried that it isn’t going to hold water unless it is deep. Not to continue on a horribly begun metaphor, but even dinner plates hold water and sometimes all we want is a dinner plate not a bowl. Gah, ok that metaphor was icky and gross and I am embarrassed by it… so ignore that. I hope you get my point though.

Another thing… there have been times when I (and other actual writers who are considered “good” and who have published many many things) will write something and not really grasp the deeper meaning… sometimes it takes someone else to come along and see the layers that are there. That doesn’t mean that they weren’t there to begin with… that can just mean that the author was too close to see them clearly.

This is why I have an editor.

“Did you get the point of the phone cords?” I will ask her, “What did you think the point of the tree in the back yard was?” And she will tell me… and sometimes I will go “oh… umm ok time to rewrite” and sometimes I will go ‘Oh RIGHT, that is what it meant, I soooo knew that going in!”

So, again…. Just write, write write write. The meaning will show itself in the writing or in the reading. Either way.



And now I should get back to my own writing!.

A Comment on the Post

As I am sure you have heard, President Obama has used his mighty power of executive order to repeal Bush inspired legislation limiting Stem Cell research.

What this means: More research.

What this doesn’t mean: Human clones for everyone!

Long term ramifications besides the whole “more research” thing: This administration is trying to very clearly let us know that they are different from the last administration… and that they are trying to keep politics out of science. A worthy goal to be sure.

Random: While researching this bit of news I came across this article. Apparently over at the Washington Post they have a journalist on the books who’s job it is to comb through all the highly intellectual and articulate comments that Washington Post online articles inspire and then regurgitate a few select ones back at us.

Seriously.

Now, I am a big fan of comments.. on my blog, on the blogs that I read, on… blogs. And I even understand commenting on new stories to a certain extent. But this isn’t journalism. And this isn’t relevant. What it is… is a lot like reading a recap from youtube comments, things that will either make you mad or really really worried about the state of your fellow internet users. Or both.

What it really is, is totally unneeded and I just have to wonder if it says more about the journalistic principals of the Washington Post (or lack there of) or more about the readers of the Washington Post…. Or maybe it is a vicious cycle.

Either way, it seems rather silly to me.

What was the point again? Oh yes.. stem cell research.. Yay!

Open Wide!

On the list of Ergonomic exercises to do in order to keep yourself limber and such...


Raise you eyebrows and open your eyes as wide as possible. At the same time, open your mouth and stretch the muscles around your nose and chin and stick your tongue out. Hold this stretch for 5-10 seconds . Caution: If you have clicking or popping noises when opening mouth, check with your dentist before doing this stretch.


(There was even a picture.)




Read it again and then try to picture walking into a department and coming across some random admin sitting at her desk, eyes wide, tongue out, nose flared...

Who says Corporate America is a souless bunch of unfun workaholics?

Today they gave me a foot stool. It came with directins and still took 10 minutes to assemble.

Who needs sick days...? I have a footstool!

Sin: Wrath


Welcome to week 2 of my mini-meme

Kay's Seven Deadly Sins Meme



(still not an artist)



Last week we did Lust; this time around we go a bit more serious with Wrath.

Before we get to my entry for Wrath, please note:

You have all week to post something on your blog about, pertaining to, inspired by, whatever Wrath. Once you have your blog post up, come back here and enter your name in Mr. Linky so that everyone can go forth and visit. Then leave me a comment and go forth and visit your fellow bloggers.

A big Thank You to all the participants last week! You each got a Sin Point! (Points will be magically transformed into entries into the Sin Drawing at the end of the meme… and yes there will be prizes!)


And now: Wrath.


What exactly is Wrath? It is deep primal anger, a bitter torrent of pissy-ness that cannot be quenched. Wrath is brutal, it is violent, it is uncontrollable, it is big and scary and horrible. It is strong and vengeful and seething and resentful… it is all the worst bits of being carried away by an emotion.

It is hard to think about.

Wait a sec… I can’t write about “Wrath’ while Yael Naim sings “New Soul”… let me go put on some Metallica…. Ok, there we go, all better.

Except that now I want to go work out… so, I will write this in silence.

Have you ever felt wrath? Real wrath?

I don’t think I have. I am familiar with the vexed annoyance that comes when someone is unkind or almost hits me with their car… I am an old hand at the embarrassment resentment of forgetting my wallet and getting a ticket…. Heck I even know the smoldering grumpiness of stubbing my toe on that mysterious sharp thing under the bed or finding dog poop on the carpet…

But those things aren’t wrath and usually the emotions they cause flare up and then dissipate rather quickly.

Ok, but there are other things that make us mad right? Things like ignorance, arrogance, intentional rudeness… (A trinity of “quick ways to incur my anger” let me assure you.)

But still not wrath.

Then there are the things that make my blood boil: rape, domestic violence, genocide, denial of civil rights, misuse of power,,….and when faced with these things in the abstract we stew and rant and sometimes are so upset that we take action by marching, giving money, volunteering, etc.

Is that wrath?

I actually think that wrath is hard to imagine because it isn’t like anger that can smolder for years or bitterness that can live sullenly in the back of your mind… wrath is an all encompassing emotion that cannot be controlled.

When it shows its face it demands attention, it must be dealt with or channeled Right Now.

It is a scary emotion and I am glad that I have not actually had to deal with it.

Day to day most of us don’t deal with wrath (thankfully) but we do deal with anger. Big anger, little anger, and every size in between. Getting angry is human… there are a lot of things out there just waiting to rub us the wrong way. The key is what we do with our anger.

I tend to vent. Pity my friends and family, go on, they could use it. I know venting isn’t the best use of breath (or blog) but it works for me… it helps me get rid of the ugliness of being upset so that I don’t have to carry it around anymore.

We all deal with anger (or really any emotion) our own way… and as long as we are dealing with it constructively and not hurting anyone, well I say Bravo!

Now, I am sure you were expecting a fairly lighthearted post… maybe a delightful story about that one time I was so upset that I ===insert amusing anecdote here=== but instead you got me waxing slightly poetic about what wrath means to me.

The truth is, there are a lot of “dark” things that I don’t mind thinking about, dealing with, dwelling upon…. But the idea of Wrath just freaks me ut so completely that I can hardly bring myself to think about it.

Because I have seen people’s faces twisted by wrath. I have seen the tangable evidence of an intangible emotion…. I have watched someone become so completely enraged that they weren’t human anymore…just an animal lashing out.

Wrath is pure evil


And every now and then I still have nightmares.

/shudder



I will leave you with a partial list of “good” Wraths.


One of the reasons I want to be a writer:
The Grapes of Wrath




One of the reasons I quit playing WoW:
The Wrath of the Lich King




One of those movies I have only seen once and I just don’t “get”
The Wrath of Khan (Star Trek)





And I know by saying all those things I am setting myself up for a bit of “wrath-filled” emails….


Ok y'all.... your turn!





Want to play? Read This and then jump on in!