Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nalini Singh's Simply Fantastic Book - 4 Stars!!

Last night I read Nalini Singh's SLAVE TO SENSATION.



I couldn't put it down. It is EXACTLY what I love in a paranormal/fantasy thriller - shoot, in any book no matter the genre. The conflict in the novel was well crafted and suspenseful. The hero and heroine were interesting, stayed true to character, behaved in logical ways. I don't mean that they didn't do anything illogical, but every action seemed well-motivated and legitimate. These were intelligent people who didn't become stupid because the author needed to put them in jeopardy for some plot point. Singh does not disappoint. And let me tell you, I've been disappointed by 2 books in the last 3 weeks, so I was praying that the hype I have been reading about Singh was legitimate. It is MORE than legitimate.
Did I mention that Lucas Hunter, the hero, is hot? He's a changeling, part leopard, part human. Very sensual and emotional. The heroine, Sascha Duncan, is a Psy. Her people are like Vulcans - complete emotional control to the point of appearing robotic, run purely on logic. Except Sascha has always been very emotional and has had to hide this by building mental defenses. Now, though, she is on the verge of collapse, finding it harder to control her emotions. When she meets Lucas Hunter, a man who exudes sex as well as loyalty and love for his pack, those mental barriers are weakened. He represents all that she has never had and has always longed for.
Sacha has to get herself under control, for the penalty in her world for emotions is severe. But Lucas is on the hunt for a Psy serial killer, and to get what he needs, he has to push her to the limit.
It's a truly fun book to read - and I don't mean that in any trivial way. This book delighted me on many levels, and provided a wonderful reprieve from the essays and exams I've been grading.

If you love paranormal romance, then you really should read this book.
Saturday, December 09, 2006

Appleby's and Cosmopolitans

I have just discovered Cosmopolitans, and they are delicious!! I was having dinner with some friends at Appleby's (this time our waiter did not ask my friends to clean my plate or finish my drink), and decided to take a chance and order a drink I've never had. Yum! Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 oz vodka; 3/4 oz triple sec; 3/4 oz cranberry juice; 1 oz fresh lime juice. Pour the vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

This is just as good as my previous find, the Mojito.

3 fresh mint sprigs; 2 tsp sugar; 3 tbsp fresh lime juice; 1 1/2 oz light rumclub soda. In a tall thin glass, crush part of the mint with a fork to coat the inside. Add the sugar and lime juice and stir thoroughly. Top with ice. Add rum and mix. Top off with *chilled* club soda (or seltzer). Add a lemon slice and the remaining mint, and serve.

Both of these drinks are tart and light. And they are both beautiful as well. The light pink of the cosmo in the martini glass, and the cool green of the mojito are aesthetically pleasing to me, which always is half the delight in drinking and eating.

On a related note, I have also discovered the Frappucino's at Starbucks. Oh lord, but those are tasty. Thankfully, I'm not a coffee freak, so I won't be tempted to buy these too often. Today, though, after a second day of Christmas shopping, I really needed a shot of caffeine. The mocha frappucino certainly did the trick.

And you wouldn't believe the buys I got at Wall's. Lotsa people gonna be verra-verra happy at Christmas time.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Lap Band

Michele asked me what a Lap band is. It is a type of bariatric surgery, done laparoscopically. This band fits around the intestine forming a fake, smaller stomach. Saline is injected in a port that cinches the band tighter - until the patient gets to the right "restriction" (in terms of how much she can eat). Unlike gastric bypass, nothing is removed, the surgery time is usually no more than an hour (mine was 35 minutes), and the recovery time is no more than 2-3 days (and even then, you're on your feet, you just need to take it easy). You lose weight slowly, @ 4-10 pounds a month if possible, though that varies with individuals.

I had this done in July, and I've so far lost the weight that I had gained over the last 2 years - probably about 50 pounds. I'm amazed at how much better I feel. I still have a long way to go before I get even close to my goal, but I'm making really great progress.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Senile at 40?

Okay, I forgot about my blog. I admit it. I simply, totally, forgot to even feel guilty about not blogging. I'm a bad blogger. Shame, misery, misfortune, on the scale of a Greek tragedy. Curses!

And I've had stuff to blog about. So let me get started.

Today, a friend and I ate at Applebee's Restaurant in Ada, OK. Now, I love this chain of restaurants - the best nachos you can get in a non-Mexican restaurant. However, our waiter was way too chipper. He kept telling us about why he loved the bruschetta burger, which is what I ordered. He detailed his usual dislike of tomatoes but that in this burger, he enjoyed them. He raved about the pesto on it and asked if I had ever had pesto before. I was thrilled to get the guy to leave our table and actually put in our order.

I also ordered a strawberry, frozen margarita. I wanted a Mojito - a delicious drink I've just discovered thanks to my dear friend Jon. But, no mojito on the menu. Anyway, the drink came out a very pale pink - not enough strawberry. And it had an odd flavor. Not bad really, but not the way I like my margaritas. So I drank about half of it. And I ate about half of my burger. It was delicious, but with my lap band, I have a hard time eating a full burger these days.

When the waiter came to bus our table, I swear to you: he asked my friend if he wanted the rest of my burger! This was after he asked if I had liked the burger, if I thought the pesto was too strong, and after I had assured him that I was simply full and the burger was quite tasty. Once my friend, Jeff Cox, declined finishing up my meal, the waiter took our plates. He then came back with the check and asked me if I was finished with my margarita. I said yes, and (you guessed it), he asked Jeff if he wanted the rest of my drink. I mean, he even asked twice when I guess we didn't make it clear to him that Jeff didn't want to lick my plate for me.

I have never had a waiter ask someone else at a table if we wanted someone else's leftovers. It was so bizarre! Jeff dislikes perky waiters anyway. He really hates it when they want to tell you all about what they love on the menu before you even solicit such information. It was really quite funny because I knew Jeff was probably grinding his teeth. ;-)
Friday, October 13, 2006


Yes, though the activity on my blog might suggest otherwise, I am still alive and kicking. I can't say that my time has totally been devoted to work, but even the social events I've been attending have been with friends I work with, so we manage to talk shop. Since this is a public blog, there are many topics I cannot simply blog about because I wouldn't want some people reading my true feelings about some issues. Not that lots of people are watching my blog, but it gets around more than I would imagine. Something happened this year that showed me I have to be circumspect when it comes to discussing certain issues. I guess I could set up a blog under a pen name, let my friends know about it, and then let it rip. Hmm. I'll have to think about that.

Anyway, I'm excited because Battlestar Galactica is back!! I watched the new episode this week that was broadcast Friday night. Wow!! Blew me away. I've also been watching the new show, JERICHO. I really like it so far. I've been fascinated by the survival scenario ever since I read ALAS, BABYLON by Pat Frank in 10th grade. I wonder what place I would find in the aftermath of nuclear war. It's not like I have a lot of practical skills that most people don't have (e.g. cooking). And when survival is the primary need, the ability to reason, analyze a poem, and recite Shakespeare isn't necessarily something that most people would prize. I guess I could sing to people. ;-)

If you haven't had a chance to watch the show, check it out. It airs at 7:00 Wednesday evenings on channel 9. Which is an odd time. A significant demographic for this type of show, set in small town Kansas, would seem to be a Heartland audience and Christians. Most of them are probably at church on Wednesday evenings at 7:00. Don't these network people understand their own audience?

But don't get me wrong. The show is much more than small town Kansas and Christian. It, so far, is a very balanced show. It isn't too smalltown, or sentimental, or Bible-belt thinking. It's about people, with flaws and strengths, secrets and lies, fear and love.

So, I am going home to have a tea party with my dear niece and then watch hours of SciFi.
Thursday, September 21, 2006

Depression Pop: "But the stars we could reach were just starfish on the beach"

Driving to work today, I heard the 70's song, "Seasons in the Sun." It got me thinking of all the songs in the seventies that were just darned depressing. Terminally depressing. Sure, there were anti-war songs like:
"Billy Don't Be A Hero" (1974) by Paper Lace
She said
Billy, don't be a hero, don't be a fool with your life
Billy, don't be a hero, come back and make me your wife
And as he started to go she said, Billy, keep your head low
Billy, don't be a hero, come back to me

I heard his fiancee got a letter
That told how Billy died that day
The letter said that he was a hero
She should be proud he died that way
I heard she threw that letter away ...

Or "One Tin Soldier" by Coven (Joan Baez also released the song).

But I'm talking about songs that go beyond social commentary or even "you broke my heart and I want to die" ballads. These are songs about real dying or suicidal thoughts. I have a lovely selection for you:

“Alone Again, Naturally” (1972)by Gilbert O’Sullivan
In a little while from now
If I’m not feeling any less sour
I promise myself to treat myself
And visit a nearby tower
And climbing to the top will throw myself off
In an effort to make it clear to who
Ever what it’s like when you’re shattered
Left standing in the lurch at a church
Where people saying "My God, that’s tough
She's stood him up
No point in us remaining
We may as well go home"
As I did on my own
Alone again, naturally

"Shannon" by Henry Gross (1976)(about a dead dog)
Shannon is gone I heard
She's drifting out to sea
She always loved to swim away
Maybe she'll find an island
With a shaded tree
Just like the one in our backyard

Terry Jacks (1974)
Goodbye Michelle it's hard to die
When all the birds are singing in the sky
Now that the spring is in the air
With the flowers everywhere
I wish that we could both be there

We had joy we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the stars we could reach
Were just starfish on the beach

SHEESH! And think of all the songs I didn't list: "Lonely Boy" and "Wildfire" to name a couple.

Don't get me wrong: I will caterwaul to "Alone Again, Naturally" and "Wildfire" with the best of them. But what was going on to produce such dismal pop and then what happened that led to the short reign of Disco just after? Sure, times were trying with the war and social protest, but that's happening today and we don't hear the same level of angst in any pop-music genre that I'm aware of.

"She ran calling W-i-i-i-l-l-d-f-i-r-e!"
Sunday, September 17, 2006

The blahs

Hello my dears! Sorry for not posting in so long. Life has been busy. I'm now on the advisory board of the Oklahoma English Journal, a publication for the Oklahoma Council of Teachers of English. So I've been reading and copy editing a lot lately as well as teaching and other teacherly duties.

One great thing happened last week - The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are back from hiatus!! Jon Stewart has been on FIRE! So funny. Last week, they parodied the Progressive Auto Insurance Celebrity Translator commercials by having Little Richard translate for George Bush. They simply spliced in George Bush over the woman in that commercial and used some of his lines from his 9/11 speech. It was perfect. I thought I was going to fall on the floor, I was laughing so much. You can see it yourself on at

And earlier in the week, he'd done the President's 5 Stages of Grief, using clips of Bush's comments over the last 5 years since 9/11. The stages were: Denial, Anger, Anger, Anger, Hanukkah, Acceptance, and Denial again. The Hanukkah stage was in response to Bush's comment that he didn't think Osama Bin Laden appreciated the joy of Hanukkah. Well, duh! Stewart's face after that quote was worth a thousand satiric comments. Here's the YouTube link:

YouTube is a great site - you can find just about any clip you want from Schoolhouse Rock to something on CNN last night. I was trying to figure out the melody in this old Saturday morning commercial about hankering for a hunk of cheese, and sure enough, I was able to see the whole thing on YouTube. Gosh, I love the internet!!

I'm doing great, BTW. I had a medical setback because of a doctor - I walked out of her office because I felt her care would have cost me a lot more money than she indicated upfront - all sorts of strings attached to getting my post-op fills at her center. So I'm going in on Tuesday to a doctor in Edmond for my first official visit to a doctor since surgery. I will post the results ASAP after Tuesday.
Monday, August 28, 2006

Anchorman 2: Enslave Me Sweetly, My Gentleman Lover

My friend Gena Showalter SAYS she's been in Detroit on a book tour, but recent still photos from the pre-production of "Anchorman 2: Enslave Me Sweetly, My Gentleman Lover" tell the real story. If you remember about 6 weeks ago, I revealed certain revealing photos of Gena and Ron Burgandy reading, in BED, her blazing novel, ENSLAVE ME SWEETLY. Now, it appears that Gentleman Lover Pictures has bought the rights to this wonderful book and used it as the basis of Anchorman 2. As part of the deal, Showlater demanded a screen test, and below is one still photo from that test, which by the looks of it went well. Will our talented friend leave the ranks of the published writers for a new career as Anchorman Pin-Up Girl? Only time will tell.
Friday, August 18, 2006

Here I Am!! and Pot Roast

I'm alive and doing well. This week, I've been at the college preparing for the first day of classes (next Monday). We've had formal meetings the last 3 days.

Okay, so next favorite meal is pot roast with all the fixings. My mom made this last night.

Big hunk o' meat prepared in a savory seasoning of pepper, salt, garlic, paprika, onions, beefy-onion soup mix, and morning leftover coffee.

Mashed potatoes
Steamed carrots
Homemade biscuits or plain white bread
Brown gravy made from the pot liquor

My mom's gravy is so good that I cannot begin to describe it. The coffee adds such a wonderful undertone to it. I used to eat 2 pieces of white bread simply soaking in the gravy as dessert! Of course, I have to watch the bread and carbs, so this meal is not a usual one (it used to be Sunday lunch regular dinner).

Sometimes Mom cooks the veggies with the beef, but I think I prefer the mashed potatoes and steamed carrots. She still cooks whole onions with the beef, though. Delicious.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Favorite Meals - #2 Thai

Massaman curry and ground chicken salad form one of my favorite meals. Of course, I also love red and panang curry, but massaman is my favorite. This is Wikipedia's info on Massaman Curry:
(Thai: kaeng matsaman or gaeng masaman) is a Thai dish that can be made with beef, chicken, or pork. It contains coconut milk, roasted peanuts, potatoes, bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon, palm sugar, fish sauce, and tamarind sauce. It is a Muslim-influenced curry, and the name massaman means "Muslim". The dish is served with rice and sometimes pickled ginger or cucumber and peppers soaked in vinegar.

I know the "fish sauce" may sound icky, but it's not overpowering. I am NOT a fish person, and I don't even notice any kind of fishy flavor. I like my curry with chicken. Add steamed jasmine rice, spring rolls, and chinese chicken drumsticks (drizzled with the curry gravy), and you've got a meal to wallow in.

The best place in Oklahoma to eat Thai food is the Thai Raja in Jenkins and Boyd in Norman. There is a daily lunch buffet (11:00-2:00) for $6.95, and it is ALWAYS exceptional. The buffet curry always has chicken in it, but there is also a small vegetarian bar that offers tofu in the curry. The bar also has pad thai, steamed and fried rice, broccoli beef, a different salad each day, fruit, thai cashew chicken, and several dishes with shellfish. Since I only eat curry plus the salad, I'm not sure what all is on the buffet each day. The Raja offers 5 types of curry, and each day of the week has one of the curries on the buffet (Green/Mon, Massaman/Tues, Red/Wed, Panang/Thurs, Yellow/Fri). Lately, they've also been offering Red curry each day as well. The lady that owns it is from Thailand, as are most of the waitresses. They all speak excellent English and are the kindest people. My SSC gang eats there often, even though it's an hour drive from Seminole.

Thai food is one of the best foods in the world. I like Chinese, but I rarely eat it anymore. You know how at the end of the meal, you feel really heavy and all you can taste is the sugary sauces and breading? Well, Thai food does not leave that feeling in your stomach or your mouth. In fact, I feel like my tastebuds are smiling and floating on air after eating at the Raja. Seriously. I've never been sick after eating Thai food, and it seems to fill me up better.

BTW, Thai curry is very different from Indian curry.
Friday, July 28, 2006

My Top Ten Favorite Meals: #10

Since I've been on this pre/post operative diet, mainly liquids, for over a month now, I'm really looking forward to Monday when I'll be able to eat solid foods again. But what will that first meal be? I thought I'd countdown my favorite meals. Let me know what yours are.

So, one of my favorite meals is what I call the Starch-o-rama. I am totally serious about loving this meal.

1. Mexican/chili beans - very spicy
2. Mac and cheese (homemade, deluxe Kraft, or even out of the cardboard box)
3. Whole kernal corn (not cream style)
4. Slice of onion
5. Chunk of kielbasa or a couple of hot dogs (Oscar Mayer) with lots of mustard
6. Potato chips - Classic Lays OR mashed potatoes (homemade only)

I know, I know. It sounds hideous when you look at it from a nutritional standpoint. But my taste buds revel in the flavors. The meal has a great blend of textures: crunchy, chewy, crisp, firm. It has a nice balance of sweet, spicy, salty and tangy. What it doesn't have a balance in is green vegetables.

Before you scoff, try it out. You could also add fresh sliced tomatoes, or substitute chili for the chili beans.
Saturday, July 22, 2006

The beautiful Pacific

Here's a picture I took on my first day seeing the Pacific Ocean. The temperature was in the mid-70s, and the breeze was invigorating. I wish I could describe the scent of the ocean. It was amazing - soft and clean. Simply magnificent. The entire day was perfect for my first view of the big blue.
Sunday, July 16, 2006

Back from Mexico

Hi All! My family and I arrived home from Mexico late Friday night. Yesterday was spent recuperating and restocking the kitchen cupboards. I am feeling well and had a great time. My surgery was fantastic - the clinic and people there were absolutely magnificent. I have great pictures and stories to tell, which I will as soon as I get back into the groove of things. My first priority, other than healing, is getting my students taken care of. We only have 2 weeks left in the semester, so they will command my attention. Here's one pic of our adventures. It's the Grand Canyon, and this picture in no way captures how grand it is. The triangular rock formation just about in the center of the picture is called something like Pharoah's Pyramid.
Monday, July 10, 2006

Hello from Mexico

I just wanted to pop in and say hi! Everything's going well here - though I can't believe how cool it is! I certainly expected the temp to be just as high as it was in Oklahoma when we left. Instead, Tijuana is 78 degrees, and they say that's a heat wave! :-0

I'm gonna hit the hay, now. Take care all.
Thursday, July 06, 2006

My Last Supper

Last Sunday was my last solid food for several weeks. I'm having some minor surgery, and I have to go on a pre-operative diet of 3-4 protein shakes a day (160 calories each), and a lettuce salad with balsamic vinegar if I feel the need for more. So far, I've only had 3 shakes a day and about 1.5-2 cups of romaine lettuce. I can't believe how "easy" it's been. Yesterday, I waited too long to drink my lunch shake, and when I was in Guthrie I started getting sick - headache and nausea. So I stopped at Arby's for a salad. I was very proud of myself - I picked out the lettuce and cucumbers and ignored the cheese, chicken, bacon, tomatoes, boiled egg, croutons, and dressing. I never knew plain lettuce could taste so good.

I'm serious. That lettuce and those bits of cucumber might as well have been the buffet at Golden Corral. ;-)

Anyway, some friends held a "Last Supper BBQ" for me on Sunday. Jeff Cox is a superb burger griller (and his BBQ chicken is delicious as well). After we'd eaten, he suggested we take a picture - my Last Supper. So my friend, Kelly Kirk - who is the Division Chair of the LA/HUM division and an extremely talented artist, composed the picture below. I think it's a hoot. From left to right: Gail Cox, Cathy Calvin, Nina Kirk, Me, Jeff Cox, Tony Yates, and Chris Calvin.

Well, I'll be in Tucumcari, NM this evening, on my way to Mexico. I'll "see" you in 10 days.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Folks, I will be out of state for the next 10 days. So nothing new will be posted on the blog. I hope to have lots of goodies to post when I get back.

Take care!
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

One of my favorite movie scenes

Here's a snippet from a great film. Can you name it? (note: the dashed lines indicate a small edit):

King Arthur: Old woman.
Dennis: Man.
King Arthur: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
Dennis: I'm 37.
King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I'm 37. I'm not old.
King Arthur: Well I can't just call you "man".
Dennis: Well you could say "Dennis".
King Arthur: I didn't know you were called Dennis.
Dennis: Well you didn't bother to find out did you?
King Arthur: I did say sorry about the "old woman", but from behind you looked...
Dennis: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior.
King Arthur: Well I am king.
Dennis: Oh, king eh? Very nice. And how'd you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society.

King Arthur: I am your king.
Woman: Well I didn't vote for you.
King Arthur: You don't vote for kings.
Woman: Well how'd you become king then?
[Angelic music plays... ]
King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

Dennis: Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.

Dennis: Oh but if I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away.

Dennis: Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I'm being repressed!
King Arthur: Bloody peasant!
Dennis: Oh, what a giveaway! Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That's what I'm on about! Did you see him repressing me? You saw him, Didn't you?
Monday, June 26, 2006

Beware Jolie's Wrath

Here's the original picture:
Thursday, June 22, 2006

An Even Better "Afternoon Delight"

What inspires Ron and Gena in their soirees? Is it fine Scotch Whiskey? The scent of Sex Panther in the air?'s Gena's incredibly sexy books - sure to inspire the lustiest of fellows.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Gena and the Anchorman: "I freakin' love you."

"Thinkin' of you's workin' up my appetite / Looking forward to a little afternoon delight / Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite / And the thought of lovin' you is getting so exciting."
Monday, June 19, 2006

Devyn is MINE!!!

I would like to point out to all of those reading ENSLAVE ME SWEETLY an important IN PRINT acknowledgement by author Gena Showalter. At the end of the book, in the interview with author pages, notice that Gena admits that Devyn is MINE!! Of course, I was quite subtle in my calling "dibs" on the sexy alien king, but Gena's keen senses were quick to pick up my message: I shall employ Mia Snow and Eden Black-like techniques on anyone who tries to interfere with my claim on said sexy king. Of course, I would be willing to time share with Gena - she DID create him afterall.

For those of you who haven't read the book and do not yet know of the lucious Devyn, all I can say is: You haven't read the book???!!! What are you waiting for. It's a fantastic story!!!

Thanks Gena for Devyn. You are such a good friend. XO
Monday, June 12, 2006

Rinda and Adrien

Though Rinda was VERY subtle about it, I think she wanted me to upload these pictures I "found" of her and "hunky" Adrien Brody. (I'm quoting her when I use the adjective "hunky" to describe Adrien).

Here's a lovely shot of them reinacting Worf's wedding to Dax on Star Trek's Deep Space Nine.

But I simply adore this recreation of a scene from KING KONG.
Sunday, June 11, 2006

Betty Misses Out

Betty was trying to get the shot as the cover heroine for Gena's latest book by submitting this picture from her personal archive. But Betty's version of the story may just spell DOOM for the Beast - look who he's up against!!

Betty and the Beast

Gena Showalter's Latest Plot?

Hmmm. My sneaky spies have uncovered the plot for Gena Showalter's latest book proposal - the one insiders say is "her best one yet." It's a crossover book, and she's posing for the cover herself. Here is the shot I hear they are going with for the book currently titled: ENSLAVE ME SWEETLY WITH YOUR ANIMAL INSTINCTS
Monday, May 29, 2006


Run out and buy a copy of this book now. It is fantastic: funny, sexy, gripping, etc. And thought the cover it tantalizing, don't be misled. This book is not about bondage, and the heroine does more than traipse around in a leopard print baby doll nighty. She's a golden-skinned assassin tracking down scum who sell women as sex slaves. When she gets paired up with Lucius, a tough, alpha-male assassin, sparks fly.

Oh, and wait till you meet the guy she's SOLD to....Ah, you'll just have to read the book.

Click on the graphic for a better version of the animation.

Visit Gena's web site for a more extensive description of ENSLAVE ME SWEETLY, or read her blog for updates. To purchase ENSLAVE ME SWEETLY from, click here.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Robert Torti as Pharoah

Michele just discovered Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical: Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I have this on DVD starrting, sigh, Donny Osmond as Joseph. The entire show is a riot, but also touching. The fun in the show in no way lessens the beautiful message of this biblical story, though Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice take a lot of liberties with some elements.

Anyway, one of the best numbers is when the Pharoah meets Joseph, and here's a picture of Robert Torti from the DVD. Let me say this: this picture in no way does justice to Torti or to the amazing job he does as a singer and actor in this film.
Sunday, May 21, 2006

Rinda's Story from a Picture

I really love when Rinda posts a picture for us to respond to. So, here's one of my own. It's a painting called "The Lovers" by Rene Magritte. So, my wonderfully imaginative friends: what's the story of the picture?
Saturday, May 20, 2006

Me and RDA

RDA is the recommended daily allowance of Richard Dean Anderson. Michele asked me to post more from my fantastic photo collection, so I thought I'd put up one of my personal favorites. ;-)

There will be more photo magic to come next week.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The V3 Pink RAZR is MINE!!!

I'm so excited in a completely nerdy way. I just got in my new cell phone - the Motorla Pink RAZR from Cingular. It's beautiful. And it has so many geeky things - like an MPEG4 recorder with sound, digital camera, bluetooth wireless, a big screen, oh, and you can make calls on it too. ;-)
Monday, May 08, 2006

Long time no post

Me bad blogger. Me not post long time. Me begin write like student. Me grade to many essay. Me tired explaning how cite internet source in MLA. Me howl at moon. Me gibbering idiot. Me glad finals week here.

Okay, enough, I know. Yes it is final's week, but my dear friend Michele wanted to know what was up since I hadn't blogged in so long. It's just the end of the semester wrap up: committee work, division work, class work. Plus we're hiring a new full time English teacher for next year, so we had to go through resumes and pick our favorites last week. We also had to interview tutors and send our recommendations. I just finished writing an exam and still have to teach one more class today - my evening literature course.

Still, it's good to be healthy - no coughing or wheezing. Last week I had a round of migraines, but they were good and allowed me to function during the day.

I have treated myself lately, though. I bought an expensive pressure cooker from QVC. I bought the Sheer Cover mineral makeup kit. But I'm sending it back because I don't like the color or coverage. Saturday, I bought the new pink RAZR phone - I ordered it online so I could save another $70. I can't WAIT to get it. I dyed my hair auburn yesterday - I've done this in the past and love the red. I bought a new flat panel monitor, but I gave it to my sister since her's went out at the business and she needs one for graphic design. So that made me feel good.

My friend, Jessica, had a birthday today. She teaches here at SSC, so we got her a card from the division. I taped a picture of Keanu Reeves in the card and wished her happy b-day from him. What's great is that this morning, I asked our theatre teacher, the AMAZING Kevin Worden, to sing happy birthday to her as Keanu - he does the most incredible impersonation of him. It's really excellent. We have him read all sorts of things as Keanu - Shakespeare, lines from movies, etc. He once did an impersonation of Keanu doing an impersonation of Captain Kirk playing Hamlet. We were howling! So it was a great surprise this morning for Jessica to get a call from Keanu. ;-)

My niece, Lauren, learned to spell "poop" this weekend. It's one of her favorite words (she's 3 1/2). We've been playing with the Scrabble board - she loves putting the "buttons" (tiles) on the board. I've been teaching her some of her favorite words, and now she not only can spell "poop" but she can also read it when I write it out! I'm sure some people would suggest I teach her a better word, like love, but I figured I would pick something she uses a lot and that would encourage her to learn more.

I have discovered I'm allergic to lemongrass. It was in a new lotion and candle that I bought. The candle made my throat and ear sore, and the lotion broke me out in bumps. The only common link is the lemongrass. I've also eaten Thai soup with lemongrass, and it's made my throat tickle - I thought it was the pepper.

Favorite Thai food: Massuman Curry (the one with potatoes).
Second Favorite: Panang Curry (with peanuts and green beans).
Third favorite Thai food: Ground Chicken Salad or Beef Salad - Delicious!

Joke: The female gorilla at the zoo was acting strange. The vets observed her for a while and realized that she needed to mate. However, there were no male gorillas nearby. They thought about it a bit and decided they would ask Bubba, the intern who was studying Animal Husbandry at OSU. They said, "Bubba, for $500 would you mate with our female gorilla?" He looked at them with a frown, thought a bit, and then asked, "Can I think it over and tell you tomorrow?" They said, "Sure." The next day, Bubba arrived and told them, "I'll do it, but I have 4 conditions.
1) No kissing on the mouth. 2) No one can know about this. 3) If there are any children, they have to be raised Southern Baptist, and 4) I'll need 2 weeks to scrape up the $500 bucks."

Isn't that hilarious!! I would like to point out that Bubba attends the same college that just gave honorary degrees to George Bush in Agricultural Economics and Political Science. They might just as well have given him degrees in laser surgery and ballet. He knows as much about those as he does the first two.

Well, I've managed to waste nearly 30 minutes, so I'll sign off and get ready to go to class. Bonne nuit, mes amis!
Monday, April 24, 2006

Great Book Announcement!!

I just finished reading PC Cast's GODDESS OF LIGHT. Wow! It had me in tears at the end. PC manages to deal with the mythical past of Apollo in a way that doesn't ignore the more difficult choices he's made concerning some women, and still make him a lovable, sexy hero. I was skeptical that she could do this and remain true to the legends, but she does it beautifully, and in a way that I completely respect as a scholar of Greek Mythology.

I admit to having a "thing" for Apollo. He's always been my favorite.
There was the "Who Mourns For Adonais" episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, with Michael Forest as the toga-clad Apollo. He was more "Greek" in that he had dark hair and eyes, not the golden god of the sun and sky that I've always imagined him as. But he is sufficiently hunky and charismatic in this episode, and as a pre-teen, I couldn't resist the tragic love between him and and Lt. Carolyn Palamas (Leslie Parrish). Talk about some serious dream fantasies about being the mortal woman who gets the favor of the god, and an incredible hair and wardrobe update. I seriously wanted that gown and her hair. I really don't know how she kept this dress on - they had to have used glue.

As I read PC's book, I imagined Matthew McConaughey as Apollo - a clean shaven Matthew. In the Barbara Walter's interview with him, she commented on how blue his eyes are. And I immediately thought of him when I read the description in PC's book of Apollo with hair and skin kissed by the sun and eyes as blue as a summer sky (my words not hers).

The book was sweet, funny, and by the end, when I had no idea how these two were going to get together, I was wiping tears.

For those of you who love fantasy, this is a great read.
Thursday, April 20, 2006

I was rehired and other miscellaneous thoughts!

I got my letter today from President Utterback informing me that the college wants me to come back next year. I didn't doubt that I would be offered the job again, but still - nothing is impossible.

We were talking of unintentional puns that people make, and one of my favorites is from a research paper I received my second year teaching at OSU. The student's topic was the cruelty of animal testing, and she wrote: Litteraly, the monkeys are thrown away like garbage."

Thirteen years later, and that still cracks me up.

I did my spring cleaning this week. It is sooooo wonderful coming home to a neat, vacuumed house. And I'm feeling so much better. My lungs are strong again, and I can actually walk from one end of the hallway to the other without feeling the need for oxygen. ;-)

I am currently reading WARSWORN by Elizabeth Vaughn and GODDESS OF LIGHT by PC Cast. Both are fantastic! I started the other book because I left the first in my office at school and needed something to read at home. It was next on the TBR pile.

Kudos to my dear friends Maggie Price and Gena Showalter for finalling in the NRCA. I was so thrilled to call and let Gena know the good news.

Now, I must get back to my desk. We've just finished preparing a second edition of our comp 1 and 2 reader, and I'm writing 1/4 of the bios of the authors in the book. Gotta get that finished.
Saturday, April 08, 2006


As many of you may be aware, Jill has a new book out, SHARE THE DARKNESS. What you might not be aware of, though, is just how deep the Blaze goes in Jill. I'm not sure if it's the cherry in her Sonic Cherry Cokes - maybe after so many, a person changes on the genetic level, but this is a woman predisposed to write hot, sexy, steamy romance.

Item 1: She invented STROIKA SEX. Not merely content to be president of her local RWA chapter, help create one of the most successful writing contests for unpublished authors, help institute the judge training in RWA, etc., Jill managed to create a totally new type of sex inspired by Mikhail Gorbachev's Perestroika policies (or maybe it was just the way the former Soviet president looked in a fur coat). Though she's never been willing to share specific details about this method of sexual satience, she always smiles that mysterious Mona Lisa smile whenever the terms pops up.

Item 2: One of her first requests of me as a graphic designer was to incorporate a blue dildo in a graphic. I quickly saw the bottom line for Jill.

Item 3: Obviously anyone not fooled by Brad Pitts cheesy, shallow attraction truly understands Blaze-type heat. That's why our good friend Gena Showalter writes fantasy - she's living in a delusion. ;-)

So run and grab this book before it's gone!!
Sunday, April 02, 2006

Another Lauren Story

Because my mom needs a break from watching a toddler, Lauren stays with her mom at the shop (which my other sister owns and my dad works at as well), every Tuesday and Thursday. We have a screenprinting and sign business. Lauren is amazing. She's not 3 1/2 years old yet, but already when someone comes in the shop, she'll go to them and try to sell them a shirt! The other day, and teen boy came into the shop. He has a Christian rock band and was having us design and screenprint t-shirts for the band. Lauren goes to him and asks him if he wants to buy a red shirt, then she stops and says, "Actually, you would look better in black." The other day, she was hoping to sell a shirt and wondered what commission she was going to make on it!

What have we let loose on the world!!!????

The picture is an old one - when she was about 18 months. I'd just finished putting on lipstick, and she came in and kissed me on the mouth, getting pink lipstick all over her mouth. Mom had the Polaroid handy and snapped a quick shot. ;-)
Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Jill Monroe's Latest Release!!

If you want a sizzling read, pick up Jill Monroe's newest book from Blaze: SHARE THE DARKNESS. You won't be sorry!

Click banner to see larger, clearer image.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Binky Faerie

We're trying to break my 3-year old niece, Lauren, of her binky. On Sunday, my sister, Sheri, called and told my mother a story of how one mother broke her daughter by using the Binky Faerie. The mother told the toddler that babies all over the world needed binkies, and the Binky Faerie was collecting them. Did the little girl know of any binkies these babies could use? The little girl took her binky out of her mouth and gave it to the mom and then offered all her other binkies. The mother put them in a bag and hung the bag that evening from a tree branch. The next morning, the binkies were gone but a gift for the little girl was left by the Binky Faerie.

When my mother told me this Monday night, I thought it was the sweetest story, and we decided it would be a great technique for Lauren. So, yesterday, Mom tried it. She told Lauren about the needy babies and the binky faerie and asked her if she knew of any binkies the faerie could have.

Lauren took her binky out of her mouth, put the binky ring on her finger, and very matter of factly stated: "This is HER binky, and she better not try to take it. And she better leave her binkies alone at home."

Lauren refers to herself in third person.

So much for the Binky Faerie.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
You Should Be a Science Fiction Writer

Your ideas are very strange, and people often wonder what planet you're from.
And while you may have some problems being "normal," you'll have no problems writing sci-fi.
Whether it's epic films, important novels, or vivid comics...
Your own little universe could leave an important mark on the world!

My First Novel (Oh the humiliation!)

Gena Showalter, Jill Monroe, and PC Cast are all baring their souls by posting the first chapter or prologue of their first novels. Well, I'll join in - nothing like group humiliation to help us bond. Here's my first novel, a lovely little Harlequin-esque romance entitled TO TRUST IN LOVE. I wrote it while recouperating from a car accident (whiplash, etc). I'd just read a horrible book and said, "I could write better than this!" Unfortunately, I was not on strong, psychtotropic drugs that would account for the very cliched nature of this book. Be kind and try hard not to laugh too much at the painfully obvious no-nos).

To Trust in Love by Kelli McBride
Chapter 1

Marissa Chandler stared into the full-length mirror seeking assurance there. She knew the leaf green dress was perfect. The silky material was airy enough to keep her cool in the humid Oklahoma weather. The color accentuated her fair skin and brought out the red tint in her long brown hair. It clung just enough to show off her figure, but not enough to be indiscreet.

No, it was not the dress that Marissa scrutinized so carefully. It was the figure. Even after two years, she sometimes would pass a mirror and not realize that the slim body was hers. After being overweight for twenty-three years, it took some time getting used to being thin. Instead of being hidden by sixty extra pounds, her 5’9” body was beautifully displayed at 145 pounds.

It was like her spirit was walking around in a different body. She had always had the long mane of honey-brown hair. The ivory, near flawless complexion, high cheekbones, and slightly slanted blue eyes coupled with winged eyebrows and full lips had often made people comment, “She’s such a beautiful girl. It’s too bad about the weight.”

Well, now the weight was no longer a problem, except in her mind. She often forgot that she now had a firm, toned body that matched her face. Marissa had to look in the mirror to reassure herself that she was not dreaming. However, her problems did not disappear with the sixty pounds. Though a successful mystery novelist, Marissa was still plagued with moments of low self-confidence, especially around men. The programming of twenty-three years did not go away with a handful of dates and the looks of male appreciation she now received. In fact, men made up a whole new set of problems. It was not easy being a twenty-six year old virgin with practically no experience in dealing with male advances.

Shaking her head, Marissa stopped brooding and set her thoughts on why she was dressed up. It was her friend’s wedding day. Rachel was tying the knot that afternoon.

“And if I don’t get a move on, I will miss it,” Marissa said to her reflection.
Just then, her sister Ariel yelled from the other room, “Are you ready yet?”

“Yes, I’m coming,” Marissa called back.

Picking up her purse, she smoothed down her dress and joined her sister in the living room. Ariel was two years older and two inches shorter than Marissa. Her dark brown hair with red tints was cut in a sassy bob that curved under her chin. Her eyes, though blue like her sister’s, were more round than slanted and had a tinge more gray to them. She was always thanking providence that she had been given a slim figure with slight curves to match her 5’7” frame. It was hard enough being a female assistant D.A. without looking like a centerfold as well.

“You look great,” Ariel commented as she started out the door towards her car.

As she followed her sister, Marissa assessed Ariel’s suit dress. She complimented her on her taste. “That outfit is just right for an up and coming young defense attorney.”

“Well, Rachel does know several important people. I wouldn’t want to meet one today looking like a debutante,” Ariel joked with a pointed gaze.

Lifting an eyebrow Marissa inquired, “Are you implying that I look like a deb, Counselor?”

“I plead the fifth,” Ariel laughed, holding her hand up in a mock oath. “Seriously, you look great. Is there any special reason you went to so much trouble with your appearance?”

“That’s leading the witness.”

“And I guess speculation would be objected too?”

Marissa was silent for a moment. She knew Ariel suspected something. “Okay, Kate called last week and said that Jarrett might be at the wedding.”

“Jarrett Prescott?” Ariel said in feigned astonishment.

“Yes.” Marissa stared quietly out the window.

So,” Ariel drew the word out slowly.

“What do you mean, ‘so’?” Marissa turned her head to her sister.

“Just that you’ll finally get a shot at him,” Ariel answered.

“Ha!” Marissa crossed her arms defensively and half turned to Ariel. “What makes you think I still want a shot at Mr. Prescott?”

“What makes me think...?” Ariel repeated incredulously. “You were nuts about him for three years. You pined for the guy, milked all of your friends, including his sister—your best friend, for information about him, and kept a picture of him by your bed. You went out of your way to be his friend, grateful for any word from him, and you ask me what makes me think you’re going after him? Geez, you must think I’m an idiot.”

“Ariel, that was over five years ago. I have changed a lot since I last saw him. I will not deny I am eager to see him again, but it is more a feeling that I will finally be able to put those old emotions to rest. I’m not hoping to start anything,” she explained. “Besides, he’s probably bringing some gorgeous woman with him and he won’t even notice me.” Again, she looked out the window.

“Kate would know,” Ariel said, sliding a look at Marissa from the corner of her eye as she mentioned Jarrett’s sister.

“No,” Marissa said distractedly. “She didn’t.” Biting her lip, Marissa glanced quickly at Ariel to see if she had caught her admission. Ariel’s pursed lips, trying to hide a smile, showed Marissa that her sister understood the importance of that slip.

"Okay,” Marissa admitted. “I asked her if he was seeing anyone steady. I just want to be prepared. I really don’t know how I feel anymore.” Frustrated, Marissa ended her confession.

“Hey, I’m sorry,” Ariel said softly. “I didn’t mean to tease you. I know you went through hell when he left town. I just did not realize you were still hung up on him. You have hardly mentioned him in years.

“I am not hung up on him!” Marissa snapped. “I...,” she searched for words to defend herself, then slumped in her seat in defeat. “Oh hell, I guess there’s a good chance that I still am hung up on him. He was everything I wanted in a man five years ago. Faults and all, I loved him. They say you never forget your first love. I just hope you can get over him,” she finished with a fervent prayer.

“Hey, cheer up,” Ariel said. “Once he sees the new you, he won’t have a chance!”

“I just wish he would have had more interest in the old me,” Marissa mumbled.

Ariel wisely kept silent as they drove on to the wedding.
Sunday, March 19, 2006

Perfect Partner Meme

Okay, Michelle tagged me awhile back to do the perfect partner meme. So I'm finally getting to it.

Target of Perfect Partner: Male

My perfect partner:

1. Tall (between 6' and 6'4"), dark, and handsome (see previous blogs for an indication of my definition of handsome) (okay, it's a cliche, but it nicely sums his physical characteristics up)
2. Wicked sense of humor - not just a yuk-yuk kind, but someone who understands irony, and appreciates not only the sophomoric but the sophisticated as well.
3. Must absolutely be intelligent. Dr. Ruth is right when she says the brain is the main sex organ. I must have a man that can keep up with me mentally.
4. Likes sports, especially professional baseball and college basketball
5. Likes to read - I can't imagine being with someone who didn't appreciate the necessity of a quiet read, and even the re-read. People who don't understand why you might want to re-read a book simply baffle me
6. No neat freaks. If he can't live with a bit of dust on the furniture, then sayonara.
7. Compassion and strong devotion to civil liberties: I could not be with someone who didn't believe in everyone's right to equality, nor someone who is hard-hearted. However, I don't want a bleeding heart who will cry at every Sally Strother commercial for hungry children.
8. Independent who respects my need for space and autonomy as well. I don't want to live in each other's pockets.
9. Monogamous - there is no sharing.
10. Adventurous - be willing to try new things (please see #9), and can handle some role playing. ;-)
11. Allows me to rant and vent and cry if necessary without calling me overly emotional, etc. He needs to understand the drama queen in me, and be ready to tell me to shut up when I push it (but always reining me in with a loving and respectful manner).

Prison Break is BACK!!!

In honor of the new season beginning Monday, I give you Wentworth Miller.

Not only is he gorgeous, talented, and gorgeous, but he's a LITERATURE MAJOR!!! He's one of my own kind!!!

In all seriousness, I really can't wait for the new episodes. This is such a fun show - you never know what glitch is going to pop up, and I'm eager to see how they work Abruzzi back into the escape plan and what they do to T-Bag. This will definitely help me weather the Battlestar Galactica hiatus (what a season finale that was!).

New Olympic Sport

I have no idea what this sport could be, or how many countries could participate, but I nominate this as a new Summer Olympic sport. And I would volunteer to spray the athlete's bodies gold.

Anyone want to start a petition? ;-)
Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Donut Burger!!

Last night, the Colbert Report was so funny - as it usually is. One of the "Tip of the Hat" segments was about a new hamburger developed by a minor league baseball team: the Gateway Grizzlies.

Colbert said they've "created the ultimate in American cuisine. The donut burger. It's a hamburger topped with sharp cheddar cheese and two slices of bacon, all between a sliced Krispy Kreme original glazed donut. Hmmm. Like all great ideas, it's both surprising and inevitable. And at about 1000 calories and 45 grams of fat, it just might save social security."

As disgusting as this seemed originally to me, I soon remembered McDonald's entrant into this mixture of dessert and non-dessert foods: the McGriddle. Specifically, the sausage, egg, and chesse McGriddle: an unholy concoction sure to tempt even the most health conscious and harden even the softest of arteries. I do not eat McGriddles anymore. Something that sweet, spicy, and delicious, and topped with cheese, just had to be a one way ticket to the cemetery. But if a McGriddle tastes so good, I can bet this burger has it's charms as well. But I will remain true and choose to clog my arteries with a healthy dollop of mayonnaise and extra cheese.

To see and hear Colbert's clip yourself, go to the show's web site: This is a page that has a selection of Tip of the Hat clips - choose the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame clip (the segment has several tip of the hats - the donut burger is about half way through the clip).
Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I spoke too soon!

Well, I thought I was on the road to recovery, but with the pear trees blooming, my seasonal allergies kicked in, and now my bronchitis has flared up again. So I went to a new doctor yesterday. During the 2.5 hours I was there, they took x-rays and blood. The result? I have bronchitis of the lower lungs, but I also have asthma! I've never been diagnosed with asthma, but I have suspected I might have it for a while.

So, the doctor gave me a shot, asmanex inhaler for the asthma, singulair for the allergies/asthma, zithromax for the bronchitis, allegra for the allergies, nasacort to spray in my nose to prevent sinus/allergy breakouts, and he said I could continue using my Albuterol inhaler I still had from my last bout with bronchitis last year. You should see my purse! I'm a walking pharmacy. ;-)

I do feel better today, but I still have this nagging headache - which might be an indicator that bad weather is moving in. I'm hoping for a good old Oklahoma thunderstorm.

So, hopefully this new doctor will help me manage my allergies and sinus problems as opposed to just doing damage control.

Thanks for all the well wishes. I am thoroughly sick of being ill, as are most people I know around here who are going through the same stuff.
Monday, March 06, 2006

The reports of my death...

Betty asked if I were okay because I haven't posted in awhile. I am better, but I have been swamped at the college. Our AAUP chapter hosted a conference on Saturday, and I've been busy behind the scenes with my colleagues.

Next week is spring break, so I hope to be more bloggy then.

Love y'all!
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Drew and Cheryl Win!!

I am so excited that Drew and Cheryl won Dancing with the Stars on Sunday night!! I thought that Jerry and Anna had won for sure when Stacy and Tony were eliminated early on. I was sooooo disappointed. I like Jerry Rice, and I think his last dance was so good, but Drew and Cheryl had been so outstanding, positive, and fun the whole series that it would have been a shame had they not won. I think it a shame that Stacy did not come in second.

But, Drew won!! Yay!!

I can't believe how much fun this show was - though I admit I would have been happy just to watch the results show instead of both Thursday and Friday night. There is a lot of repetition to fill up time and I guess to increase the suspense. I only found it irritating.

Poem #5: Something of My Own

This is a bit egotistical perhaps, but I wrote a poem for a World Lit II assignment years ago, and I simply love it. I present it here mainly because I need a more humorous piece to balance the darker ones I've posted already.

The assignment was to write something in the style of the French Symbolists (e.g. Baudelaire and Verlaine). This group of poets believed that everything had beauty, even something as disgusting and mundane as roadkill. It had beauty because it was part of the natural order of life - it fed bugs which fed birds which fed mammals, etc. Of course, there is a lot more to Fr. Symbolism, but this bit explains the title and perspective of my poem.

Festering Sore, Part 1

I avoided driving over a dead armadillo;
I didn’t want my tires defiled.
Then my mind turned it thoughts to this peccadillo:
“What if my love were that roadkill so vile?”

Would I find your lost handsomeness so very attractive?
Or would squashed bones and flesh make my stomach revolt?
Would ruptured intestines leave my passion in ashes
As the pleasure once found in you quickly turned cold?

Can I love you through the roadkill-like days
When I see only vile rotting flesh in your place?
Do I only love you when I have my own way?
Can this feeling survive a Michelin squashed face?

I don’t know -- just the thought of that roadkill decaying
Is enough to revolt and crinkle my nose.
I promised to love you through sickness and well-being,
But I never said I’d love you while you decomposed.
Sunday, February 26, 2006

Poem #6: Stevie Smith

Stevie Smith was a British 20th Century poet who died of a brain tumor. Her poetry is seemingly simply in its nursery rhyme like quality, but the poems have undercurrent. This short poem is one of my favorites, though it is very sad. I guess I like it because the poem expresses such truth about life and how often we misunderstand each other. It's called "Not Waving But Drowning"

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

Read it a few times and pay close attention to when the drowning/dead man is speaking. Smith doesn't use quotation marks, but some of these lines are quotes from speakers in the poem, and it makes a difference to figure who's saying what.
Monday, February 20, 2006

Poem #7: A Fragment

In the X-Files episode "The Field Where I Died," Mulder has a past life experience, and the show opens with Mulder's voiceover - a quote from Robert Browning's poem "Paracelsus" about a famous alchemist who spent his life looking for the mythic Philosopher's Stone which granted immortality. The poem is extremely long, and very rarely studied unless you're taking a graduate class on Browning. But this fragment is wonderful:

At times I almost dream
I too have spent a life the sage's way,
and tread once more familiar paths. Perchance
I perished in an arrogant self reliance
an age ago; and in that act a prayer
for one more chance went up so earnest, so
instinct with better light led in by death,
that life was not blotted out -- not so completely
but scattered wrecks enough of it remain,
dim memories, as now, when once more seems
the goal in sight again."
Sunday, February 19, 2006

Poem #8: Oh Western Wind

One of my favorite poems is an Early English lyric by an unknown author. It is very short, but I find it extremely powerful and romantic:

Oh Western Wind, when wilt thou blow,
The small rain down can rain?
Christ, if my love were in my arms,
And I in my bed again.

I wrote music to this poem decades ago, when I was in high school. Everytime I read it, I hear the simple tune in my head that I composed.

I hope you enjoy this gem.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Poem #9

For Valentine's Day, how could I post anyone else but Byron? Here's one of my favorites by Lord B.

To Caroline (4)

Oh when shall the grave hide for ever my sorrow?
Oh when shall my soul wing her flight from this clay?
The present is hell, and the coming to-morrow
But brings, with new torture, the curse of to-day.

From my eye flows no tear, from my lips flow no curses
I blast not the fiends who have hurl'd me from bliss;
For poor is the soul which bewailing rehearses
Its querulous grief, when in anguish like this.

Was my eye, 'stead of tears, with red fury flakes bright'ning,
Would my lips breathe a flame which no stream could assuage
On our foes should my glance launch in vengeance its lightning,
With transport my tongue give loose to its rage.

But now tears and curses, alike unavailing,
Would add to the souls of our tyrants delight;
Could they view us our sad separation bewailing
Their merciless hearts would rejoice at the sight.

Yet still, though we bend with a feign'd resignation,
Life beams not for us with one ray that can cheer;
Love and hope upon earth bring no more consolation,
In the grave is our hope, for in life is our fear.

Oh! when, my adored, in the tomb will they place me,
Since, in life, love and friendship for ever are fled?
If again in the mansion of death I embrace thee,
Perhaps they will leave unmolested the dead.

Now that is poetry. Byron has such lyricism. He takes what could be a trite subject and manages to form the most beautiful, sad song of lost love. I really get chills when I read this.
Monday, February 13, 2006

The new top ten

Okay, I haven't done a top ten list in a while, so I'm going to start one now. This list will be my Top Ten favorite poems!! I'm getting ready to start the poetry unit in my Introduction to Literature class, so I thought I would kick it off by listing my favorite poems. This isn't really listed in any order, these are mainly my most favorite poems - some of which would not make a contemporary literary anthology.

So, #10 is: "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes. I love this poem for several reasons. One, it was in one of my favorite story books I had as a child. Two, it was a poem Anne of Green Gables recited, and I adore Anne. And three, it is such a wonderful example of metaphor, onamatopoeia, and other figurative language. I use it in lit class because it clearly illustrates important aspects of poetry without being so literary that beginning students can't appreciate them because they can't understand what's going on in the poem. ;-) Alright, I also love it because I'm a romantic, and it's one of the most sentimental and romantic poems I've ever read. ;-)



THE wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.


He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.


Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shuters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.


And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's red-lipped daughter,
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—


"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."


He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(Oh, sweet, black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonliglt, and galloped away to the West.



He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
And out o' the tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
King George's men came matching, up to the old inn-door.


They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed;
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.


They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest;
They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
"Now, keep good watch!" and they kissed her.
She heard the dead man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!


She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!


The tip of one finger touched it; she strove no more for the rest!
Up, she stood up to attention, with the barrel beneath her breast,
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins in the moonlight throbbed to her love's refrain .


Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding!
The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still!


Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.


He turned; he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.


Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

* * * * * *


And still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.


Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard;
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred;
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
Saturday, February 04, 2006

Betty's Meme Challange

· If you were a food, what would you be? Well, I could say I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener....but I would really be Southern Fried Chicken - finger lickin' good. ;-)

· What do you think is the greatest invention? Why? Writing - because it not only allows us to pass down important ideas, experiences, and events (both private and public), but it also allows us to connect to the past and hopefully learn from it. As G. Santayana said: those who do not study the past are doomed to repeat it.

· What is your earliest childhood memory? This is hard. My earliest memories are of a recurring nightmare I used to have about being overwhelmed by giant tractor tires. They would multiply in the living room, and I would keep climbing to the highest one to avoid being squashed, but then I was so high I was terrified. It's either that memory or of one lazy summer eating watermelon all the time because Dad planted a patch and had more than we expected - so we ate watermelon on the porch like every evening in my memory. I LOVE watermelon, BTW. It was one of the foods my mom craved when she was pregnant with me.

· Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember? In 2nd grade, we memorized the opening lines of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" - Listen my children and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. Twas the 18th of April in '75, hardly a man is still alive who remembers that famous day and year...One if by land or two if by sea and I on the opposite shore shall be." I also remember just about all of the History Rock songs from Schoolhouse Rock - including the Preamble to the Constitution.

· Which way does the toilet paper roll go? Over or under? OVER!!!

· What is your favorite season of the year? Why? I do love Spring - everything is blooming, Baseball is starting, the weather is sunny but still cool enough to be pleasant. Unfortunately, my allergies hate it.

· What superpower would you like to have? What would you do with it? The power to grant true heart desires. Not just grant wishes, but only wishes that reflected the real wants of someone. That or the power to burn calories at will.

· If you had to move to another state, which one would you choose? Since I haven't been to all 50 states, this is a hard one. I've always wanted to live near the ocean, but I've never seen the Pacific, and it looks like the most interesting to me. I have a fantasy of living near Carmel in California - you know, living the artist's life.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bronchitis strikes again

Last Saturday, my bronchitis came back with a vengence. I've had fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, ear aches, horrible sinus headache that feels like a stroke whenever I cough, and that lovely hacking cough which makes my ribs hurt. I missed 2 days of school and went back today, and now, I have a slight fever again. Anyway, I'm blogging to let everyone know why I've not been blogging and why I won't be blogging a lot in the upcoming days.

I hate mucus!!
Friday, January 27, 2006

What do you like in screwball comedy romances?

WHEN I write, I write what I term "screwball comedy romances." Imagine Grace from Will and Grace meeting Mr. Right at all the WRONG times. My problem is finding a balance between the comedy and a true conflict that will challenge the characters but not be so serious that it is at odds with the humor. My WIP, THE WEDDING CURSE, is currently floundering because I can't get the right balance. At first, my conflict was too shallow - they were basically arguing over the same thing over and over again. Then I made the conflict more serious but that didn't work well with the short, comedic nature of the book. Aaarrrrgghhh!!

So what attracts you to humorous books? What kind of conflicts for a modern man and woman - neither of whom are looking for romance or even marriage?
Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Do You Like Fantasy?

You know why I love Gena Showalter books? Because she knows how to write fantasy.

1. Intelligent, resilient heroine
2. Stong, dependable hero who usually has a troubled past
3. Two people who fit - who make each other complete and help heal emotional scars
4. A man who knows how to pleasure his woman beyond her wildest dreams
5. A woman who knows how to give her man exactly what he needs (even if he doesn't know that he needs it)
6. Villains who are truly villainous - evil, creative, creepy, strong - real challenges for the hero/heroine
7. Women who don't need or want to be rescued but who will accept a partner
8. Settings full of imaginative twists on old legends, new creatures and quests
9. Wonderful description that puts us in the scene
10. Sexy and fun banter between characters

If you like this kind of fantasy, then you'll like Gena Showalter's HQN series. Her Alien Huntress has these elements but it's much edgier and darker. We go from sassy to smartass. ;-) But the heroes are so sexy they make the pages steamy. I am DYING to read about a secondary character in Showalter's upcoming book ENSLAVE ME SWEETLY (a superb book). I'm using all my wiles to make her write a book about him with ME as the heroine. If you have any affection for me at all, please tell Gena she should do so. ;-)
Monday, January 23, 2006


If you have not read any Gena Showalter, then this is a great book to start with (and then get all her backlist!). It's shipping from Amazon in February (or any day now), and is already shipped from Barnes and Noble. and you need to grab it up before it is sold out (which happened with one of her other books). Need to read an excerpt? Then visit Gena's web site and take a gander at excerpts from all of her books.

Here's a taste:
It was supposed to be an easy mission. An in and out job. A one day extraction.
His boss had fed him that line of bullshit, and Grayson James had foolishly believed him. Upon first entering this lushly green, sea-kissed land known as Atlantis, however, Gray realized he would have had better luck trying to sell a Fridgidaire to a goddamn Eskimo. At a goddamn jacked-up price.


Not a myth. Damn it. He'd hoped otherwise.

Gray scowled. In one hand, he held a beeping, miniature GPS system programmed from coordinates found in a map. An actual, honest-to-God map of Atlantis his boss had discovered. Right now, the GPS signal bounced off the earth's magnetic core, helping him navigate his way through this Atlantean jungle. In the other hand, he gripped a machete. The sharp, silver blade hacked at the thick foliage blocking his path.

No, Atlantis was not a myth. It happened to be home to the most loathsome creatures he'd ever encountered. And as an employee of OBI, the Otherworld Bureau of Investigations, he'd encountered plenty.

Made him wonder why he'd even joined the agency.

He knew the answer, though, and it wasn't because he'd (secretly) watched Star Trek for most of his teen years and knew how to speak Klingon. "Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam," he sighed. Today is a good day to die.

When he'd learned to his horrified shock that there actually were other colonized worlds in the vast expanse of the galaxies, he'd left his job as a detective with the Dallas PD and began searching for a Men in Black type operation. OBI finally contacted him. He'd signed on immediately because he believed fiercely in the need to learn about these otherworlders and protect his own planet from them.

How could he have known that the most fearsome creatures of all resided here, on his own planet? Simply buried beneath the ocean, protected by some kind of crystal dome?

As he dodged a stray limb, he ground his teeth together.

"Atlantis," he muttered. "Code name Hell."

You won't be disappointed in a Gena Showalter book.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

For Dana

My friend Dana has been having an interesting time lately. So here's a special picture just for her. I hope it brightens your day. ;-)
Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Mask Comes Off

And Betty's real dream hunk is...THE DONALD!!
Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sauce for the Goose

Okay, here's a taste of my own medicine. I admitted on another blog that I once was brainwashed into thinking Bernie Kopell was sexy as Doc in THE LOVE BOAT. Lord, I can't believe I just admitted that. Okay, I was in 7th grade. Give me a break. We all have dark secrets from junior high we wish to keep buried.

The Man Behind the Mask Behind the Mask

Betty has been claiming that Brad Pitt is behind the Nicholas Cage mask in these pictures, but I've discovered that this is just another mask to hide her REAL obsession. Would anyone care to guess who that might be? I shall post this scandalous picture soon.

Woo-Hoo: Battlestar is Back!

Battlestar Galactica opened it's newest season Friday night. Wow! What an excellent episode - except that it ended!! I can't wait for next Friday.

The show just gets better and better. Every episode seems to add a new layer for us to think about, question, gape at. And I love it that the Cylons are not this easy to hate enemy. The emotional and ethical complexity of this shows makes it one of the best dramas on TV. And this episode adds a real doozy: do you have the moral right to take a life if that life threatens the greater good of your group? Is assassinating a bad leader justifiable? The show is also paralleling some of the important issues we're facing in America - especially the issue of torture. The Pegasus and Admiral Cane embrace torture as a means to gain information. They view their Cylon prisoner as a thing. Her imprisonment has made her long for death. In contrast, we have the Galactica and Commander Adama who, though still mostly seeing Grace as a thing, still treat her humanely. Ultimately, the issue isn't about the enemy; it's about the captor. What does our treatment of those under our care reveal about our values?

President Roslin is nearing her death, and I'm anxious to see how they resolve that. I certainly hope they don't kill off Laura Roslin. I'm wondering if they find her a nice Cylon body to download her conscious into. Or if she's revealed to be a Cylon. I still have my suspicious about Billy.

We'll just have to tune in to find out. Dang it!

New Hunk

Jason O'Mara is an Irish actor currently starring on InJustice, Firday nights at 8:00. Previously, he was on THE AGENCY - an excellent show with an outstanding cast about the CIA. I don't understand why it was cancelled - and of course, they cancelled in the middle of a story arc, leaving us hanging.

InJustice is about a privately funded group that investigates legal cases where the convicted person is innocent - they try to prove it. The network reran the series premiere on Friday, and I was very impressed. It's funny, gripping, and touching.

O'Mara does an excellent American accent, and plays a tough guy (former cop) with a sensitive side. Kyle McLachlan is also in the show.

Gena and Jill Exonerated?

Well, I came across yet ANOTHER picture of Betty and Nicholas Cage - one that shows just how long this relationship has been going on. Nicholas is definitely in his early 20s here, as he and Betty share a Coke. That's pretty intimate, folks. Perhaps Betty has not been so truthful about her mysterious past?
Saturday, January 07, 2006

Betty and Nicholas

My dear friend, Betty Sanders, has a secret passion. As I've just been informed by Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe, Betty lusts after Nicholas Cage. Sure enough, after diligent searching through my photo archives, I have uncovered a revealing picture of the two.

Enjoy, Betty. And please, don't thank me. Thank Jill and Gena - they are the two devoted friends who wanted to make this happen for you. I am merely the instrument of their devotion. ;-)
Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2 More Reading Recommendations

I just finished Elle James' TO KISS A FROG. What a delightful and sexy book. Of course, I have always loved frogs, even as a young girl. I know that my fear of snakes would make people think I would abhor all things lizardy, but I only hate snakes. Frogs are simply too cute. In this novel, scientist Elaine Smith (major brain but lacks in social skills) decides to get out of the lab and investigate water pollution in Cajun country. There she meets Craig Thibodeaux working at his uncle's marina. He's a New Orleans' lawyer on vacation whose icy blue eyes and black hair make Dr. Elaine wish she had more social skills. Unfortunately, Craig has this little problem: a voodoo queen has turned him into a frog by day, and he only has until the next full moon to find a woman who will truly love him. This book is funny. If you're looking for a light read, then check it out.

My next recommendation is a faced-paced, sci-fi adventure by C. J. Barry: UNMASKED. Whoa! What a great book. I couldn't put it down on Sunday. I have a weakness for books about masked men - I was brainwashed by Zorro movies at a very young age. This book does not disappoint. Here's the blurb from C. J.'s web site:


To the merchants he plunders, he is the Ghost Rider of the Dead Zone. To sector law enforcement, he is a wanted space pirate. To the slaves he rescues, he is the savior laghato. To one determined female captain, Qaade Deter is serious trouble.

Torrie Masters had heard of the legendary raider, but she never expected to encounter him, especially on her maiden voyage for her family's shipping business. Nor would she have expected that beneath his black mask lurked an enticing man destined to challenge her in ways she can’t shoot herself out of.

But a great threat has emerged, one that leaves Qaade no choice but to join forces with the woman he believed was his enemy. A woman with a warrior's spirit—now entrusted with the fate of thousands, one pirate’s impossible dream, and the power to leave him…UNMASKED.

This blurb does not do the book justice because it doesn't capture the pace, the humor, and the grit of both characters. I really love it that Torrie can kick butt with the best of them. She's more than a match both physically and intellectually for this hero.

What's even better is that I've just discovered Barry's work, and she has a handful of books I've yet to read! Yay!

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ABD, Associate Professor of Language Arts & Humanities at an Oklahoma 2-year college; web site designer; devoted aunt to Lauren.

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