Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blogging from A to Z: The Drinking Game ®

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For today's post, because the start of 2013's Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is nigh, I've re-purposed and updated a portion of my 2012 A to Z reflections post for your amusement. Nota bene: this post is a joke, a satirical piece, a farce. It is not for realz. There is no such game, nor is this non-game endorsed by any of the good people co-hosting the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, nor any of their helpers/minions/ninjas. It's just a bit of fun, all right? Sheesh...

*     *     *

Last year, around the time I was doing the 2012 A to Z Challenge, my day job had me on the verge of acute alcoholism. Sure that I wasn't the only A to Z-er self-medicating with hooch, I proposed an official Blogging From A to Z Drinking Game®! (DISCLAIMER: this is NOT a real game. Readers are STRONGLY DISCOURAGED from actually doing this. Please drink responsibly, for heaven's sake!!!!!)

Anyway, as I made my way through the A to Z linky-list, I noticed some trends which, I felt, would have been more entertaining with a bit of booze to accompany them. (Or, at least, more tolerable.)

The rules of the Blogging From A to Z Drinking Game® (which is totally NOT a real game) are simple; as you make your way through the linky-list, take a shot of your preferred liquor every time you come across:
  • A blogger still requesting word verification of commenters. (As it happens, I'd inadvertently left my word verification on last year, but turned it off as soon as I realized there was a problem. To learn more about turning this jazz off, click here.)
  • A C entry that’s for Cats, D entry that’s Dogs, X entry that's Xylophone, and/or Z entry that's Zoo. C'mon.
  • Every H entry that’s for Haiku, only the blogger totally got the basic English haiku form wrong (the English haiku comprises three lines, as follows: 1st line = 5 syllables; 2nd line = 7 syllables; 3rd line = 5 syllables).
  • A blogger goes days without posting (or forgets the event’s begun and chimes in well into the alphabet, OR stops posting mid-stream and returns, OR just craps out altogether), saying it's 'cause s/he “got super busy,” BUT TOOK NO STEPS TO GET HIS/HER BLOG LINK REMOVED FROM THE LIST. (Just contact one of the co-hosts, 'k?)
  • Other participants who leave comments for which you'd like to return the favor, yet are impossible to track down without performing a Google search. (Make it easy for folks to find your blogs, peeps: leave hyperlinked-signatures with your comments!)
  • A blog that’s got Random, Rants, Ramblings, or Musings in its title (or subtitle). (Titles/subtitles with more than one of those words are worth 2 shots. If, God help you, you find one with all four, just keep drinking.)
  • If, at any point, you find yourself reaching for the bottle of whatever it is you're drinking, rather than the shotglass, you've probably had too much. (Of the A to Z Challenge and, possibly, the drink.) Turn off your computer, lock up the liquor, and go for a walk around the block or pet some puppies, or something. There's no shame in taking a break, and the linky-list will still be there tomorrow. Probably.

Most amusing to me when I re-read my reflections post was the following bit at the very end:
I know the Challenge hosts were hella busy and made heroic efforts to clean up the linky-list, for which I thank them. The only suggestion I have is to maybe deputize trusted past-Challenge participants and let them aid in the clean up. (Not me!)  ;-)
Hah. So much for that. ;-)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Balthy & the Babes

Back in January, I bemoaned the break-up of my son, Balthazar, with his girlfriend, whom he met when he first went up to college last August. Well, since then, they've reunited, which could not fail to please me. Right now, he's spending some of his spring break with her and some of her family, out of state, which I don't begrudge (in fact, I bought him the Amtrak tix). We got to have a nice night together Friday and I escorted him to Penn Station (read: lugged his suitcase while he managed his honking huge duffel bag) the following morning.

On my way back into the 'burbs, I thought back to the beginning of his dating life. He connected with his first girlie in his junior year of high school. Through the wonders of the Interwebs, I learned some things about the girl the average mother would probably not appreciate but, since Balthy liked her, I was prepared to as well, until she gave me reason not to. Happily, she never did, though Balthazar wound up freaking me out in a pretty major way.

The surprise.
Over the summer of that year, I spent a weekend with an old high school chum in Rhode Island. Balthy stayed with my parents, one town over, but did spend some afternoons at our place. On my way back home, he texted that he had a surprise for me, which immediately put me on my guard. The surprise: a Chocolate Torte cake he made for me all by himself. (Clearly.) Not a bad first effort, really. And, I must admit, pretty danged tasty.

It turned out the surprise was meant as atonement for the two holes he'd punched in the kitchen wall of our apartment. He'd wronged his gal somehow and, in an excess of emotion, he lost his shit. On the bright side, he took his upset out on an inanimate object. We had a long talk about self-control and I strongly encouraged him to exorcise any future feelings of self-loathing in healthier, more productive ways. We haven't had any other such incidents since then, and I hope we never will, as it was a rather frightening development though, perhaps, not uncommon for young men (I don't have any brothers, so I honestly don't know).

About four months later, they broke up. A few months after that, Balthy & I watched Jeopardy and to the answer, "A favorite pass-time of girls," he proposed, "What is "Breaking Men's Hearts?'" Knowing that he'd broken up with her, I wondered at the bitterness, but I suppose that's par for the course of teen angst.

The last bit of romance theory I picked up from him came two years later, around senior prom time, when Balthy explained to me that more guys than girls went with folks they didn't know, so long as the gals were "hot." I rolled my eyes at that, then asked if a hot chick was worth the trouble if she were a tad bit insane (as was the case with a neighbor of ours and his girlfriend). He knew exactly whom I referenced and clarified with the pithy phrase, "Mom, girls are crazy and guys are dumb. It's just the way of the world." At which the words of actor Jeremy Northam, as Mr. Knightley in the movie Emma, sprang to my lips, "Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives." "No, not silly," he agreed, "but crazy's ok, if they're hot." Aghast, I said, "But why???" "Like I said, Mom: guys are dumb."

Gentlemen of the blogosphere: are you in agreement?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Big Reveal! (A Hop Within A Hop!)

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Today, bloggers participating in The Big Reveal, who have also signed up for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2013, reveal their themes for this year's challenge! Thanks to David Macaulay for co-hosting this hop-within-a-hop with me! It's not too late to sign up for A to Z this year, so whether you've got a theme or not, check it out and throw your hat in the ring, already! And please be sure to visit other Big Reveal participants to learn their themes for 2013's A to Z (listed at the bottom of this post, or click the caption beneath the image to the right).

Given that I'm a writer of romance and lover of things sexy, my 2013 A to Z theme is...

Aphrodisiacs!

Named after the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, to be considered a true aphrodisiac a substance must either create or increase sexual desire. So things like Viagra cannot be correctly labeled as such, since what they purport to do is keep a person ready for action, rather than induce the desire for it.

Whether anything can truly be credited to jump-start one's libido is uncertain: science says no, then some studies will point to yes. Some folks swear by the old wives' tales regarding particular foods designated as sure-fire-nookie-prompters (this is a technical term; I don't expect the layman to know it). (Heh heh. Lay-man.)

Some foods have been attributed with aphrodisiacal properties because they stimulate physiological responses similar to those experienced during the sex act. Others, because they resemble sexual organs. Throughout history, foods new to a nation, because they were exotic, were considered lust-inspiring, while familiar items which pleased the senses were believed to do the same.

My focus for this year's A to Z, then, will be on foods and things which promise to get one's motor running. And perhaps someday I'll have my own special someone with whom I can put these suckers to the test. (Purely in the interest of science, of course.)


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Monday, March 18, 2013

Ninja Captain Alex's Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest!

Click here for full list of participants
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, a co-host of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge and author of sci-fi novels CassaStar, CassaFire, and the upcoming CassaStorm, hosts the Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest today, wherein participants list...well, the obvious. (C'mon, I don't really need to explain this one, do I?)

Narrowing down my favorite movies to my top ten only was a pain in the ass. I hate having to limit myself and, really, the list coulda gone on and on and on.  But I had to whittle down to ten, so I settled on using the following criterion: flicks which, if I see they're on telly, I absolutely MUST stop what I'm doing to watch. Even with this I could easily have gone past ten, but I did, in the end, restrain myself. You may notice a number of these are comedic-horror and/or set in New York (city or state, or featuring New Yorkers) and/or campy-kooky, which really speaks to the stuff I dig the most.

So here are my top ten, always-gotta-watch-'em movies as of today, in order by year released (click on the caption to read more about 'em):

1. GHOSTBUSTERS (1984)

2. THE LOST BOYS (1987)

3. MOONSTRUCK (1987)

4. I LOVE YOU TO DEATH (1990)

5. MY COUSIN VINNY (1992)

6. MIMIC (1997)

7. SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999)

8. PSYCHO BEACH PARTY (2000)

9. SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004)

10. CONSTANTINE (2005)


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sparks ~ Some Groovy Astrology Sites


In my "Sparks" feature, I write about things I dig. For today's Sparks, I present three Web sites on astrology that rock my Casbah.


I've been using AstroAdvice for a decade, easily, if not longer. Register for a free account and learn a helluva lot about yourself. Use the "Romance Compatibility" section to get a rating of your particular attachment as well as pretty danged accurate interpretations of how you and your honey's planetary aspects have y'all relating to one another.


You register at AstroDienst to get in depth analyses of your psyche as well. My fave feature of this site is the Free Daily Horoscope, which seeks out the most important planetary action in your particular chart. They, like the above site, provide paid-for reports, but I find them both rather pricey. But the free stuff here, as well as on AstroAdvice, is pretty nifty. On Thursdays, you can read for free about other transits impacting your life (which, during the other days of the week, you need to be a member to see).


If having to register for free stuff pisses you off, you may want to check out Cafe Astrology, where you can also obtain very in-depth natal chart/romantic compatibility chart analyses, for free and without giving them identifying info on yourself (of course, you can use fake names for any/all of these). They also provide loads of other freebies, in terms of monthly/yearly 'scopes, broken down by decanates (check the site to learn more about these). Paid-for reports are also available here, and I've bought a few over the years, as they're way more affordable than others I've seen, plus I've found their interpretations to be pretty spot on.

And because I'm in an expansive frame of mind (must have some Jupiter transit going on), I'll give honorable mentions to Matrix Software's Oracle and e-Tarocchi, two other fun sites where you can easily while away your hours.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Liebe me, liebe me...

...say that you liebe me like Penelope Crowe, author of 100 Unfortunate Days does. Thanks, Ms. Crowe, for passing this Liebster on to me. Readers, if you're in the mood for something dark and quirky, check out a free sample of 100 Unfortunate Days; if this doesn't wig you out, I don't know what will, fo' shizzle.

There are numerous steps involved in the acceptance of a Liebster: stating 11 things about yourself, answering 11 questions asked by the person granting you the award, nominating 11 other bloggers for a Liebster and concocting 11 questions for them to answer. Well, if you've been following along this week, you know I worked crazy hours at my day job and am pretty dang beat. Also, I've received this bad boy a few times, now, and the third one (I think) very recently indeed. So I'll tackle the 11 questions asked of me but won't be tagging peeps or making up questions for them, this time around. Anyone interested in claiming this Liebster/answering these questions (even if only in the comments), please feel free to do so.

And now, to Ms. Crowe's questions:

1. What projects have you just finished--and what are you working on now?
I've been editing my Greek mythological romance, That Fatal Kiss, with an eye to self-publishing it later this year, possibly September. After that, I plan to work on a "sampler" of three short supernatural romances, two of which sort of introduce the location of, and a couple of characters from, my next novel, a contemporary supernatural romance called Bedeviled (this will be the first book in a trilogy).

2. Do you have any hidden talents?
Nah, but I got a couple of shekels in my piggy bank. (See what I did there? Talents/shekels were/are units of monetary currency. Didja geddit? Didja, didja, huh, huh???)

3. If you had NO limitations and were a guaranteed success--what project would you undertake?
I'd produce/direct a mini-series of my fave Jane Austen novel, Northanger Abbey. And I wouldn't just hire the eye candy du jour to play the leads, but folks I truly felt bring the roles to life (as Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth did for Pride and Prejudice).

4. Please tell us three things on your bucket list.
Uh...well, I'd love to visit Jerusalem and walk where Jesus walked. Hmmm...This is tough. All my crazy dreams are goals I intend to see through to fruition...maybe I don't get the point of bucket lists...

5. What is the best and worst part of writing?
The best: like sex, it engrosses and revs me up. (Woof!) The worst: like sex, I never want to stop doing it but reality will intrude, damn it...

6. What character in a book or movie do you relate to the most?
Little Red Riding Hood. I've lived a very sheltered life and fell prey to wolves before learning some very difficult and painful lessons.

7. Are you more athletic or aesthetic?
Aesthetic.

8. Do you believe in anything supernatural? If so, what.
I believe that everything's possible (ghosts, werewolves, vampires, sea creatures, legit wicked witches, etc.). The only supernatural beings I feel in my heart and soul to be real are God, His Holy Posse, plus the Devil and his cursed crew.

9. What makes you happy?
Singing my songs with like-music-minded band members backing me up, sex, writing, sex, reading, sex, chocolate, sex, live open-air concerts by my fave bands, sex, realio-trulio good coffee (light, with half and half), sex, losing myself in a theater to portrayals of humorous horror, sex...I did mention sex, right? I'd hate to leave it out, inadvertently.

10. If you could be smarter or better looking--which would you choose and why?
Hmmm! Actually, I'd choose to be brasher, less self-restrictive/censoring.

11.  Whom do you admire the most and how does this person inspire you?
Just generally, I admire people who feel particular passions burning inside their hearts and actively seek to release that fire into the world, despite the doubting voices (both internal and external).

So, yeah, if any of you are inclined to answer these questions, either on your own blog or here in the comments, I'd love to read whatcha gots to say. Meanwhile...




Thursday, March 7, 2013

Meme-tastic


Been working crazy hours for a series of special events at the day job this week: Sunday = 13 hours; Monday = 14 hours; Tuesday = 13.5 hours; Wednesday = 10 hours. AND averaging 5-6 hours of sleep a night, so you could say I'm a bit wrecked. And if you won't say it, I will: I'm a bit wrecked.


L8TRZ.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Pour me a little w(h)ine...

Which I may well consume, quite soon.
So, like, my day-job puts me through what my boss euphemistically refers to as our "peak period" at the very tail end of February through the first week of March. I, rather more accurately, describe it as hell-on-earth for 7 days straight. Either way, I'm in it right now and very nearly forgot that I promise/threaten the world with regular blog posts on Mondays. (Perhaps, Dear Reader, you're wishing I had forgot. I understand.) Well, here's this week's Monday post, such as it is, being composed on Sunday night, from my orifice. Uh, I mean, I mean my office, of course.


Meanwhile, I thought I'd pimp the blog hop I'm co-hosting with David Macaulay of Brits in the USA. We call it The Big Reveal (Hop Within a Hop) and it will take place on March 21, so there's plenty of time to sign up for it. There is one prerequisite for this hop, though: it's open only to peeps participating in this year's...


Blogging From A to Z April Challenge! If you don't know what the A to Z challenge is about, click here.


OK, that's all I got for ya, folks. I will try, in any spare bits of time I may be able to find in the next few 12-hour workdays, to come up with something worthwhile for Thursday. (Today, BTW, was a 13-hour work day. Just sayin'.) Meanwhile, say a little prayer for me (or sacrifice a virgin goat, or something).

(Just kidding about that last bit. It doesn't have to be a virgin.)


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