Monday, December 8, 2014

De Ecstasy of De Feet

Last week's focus on Cybersex made me horny realize I've not done a post on the science of attraction (a series I've cleverly referred to as "What about luuurve?", aka WAL?) in rather a while, for which I am most heartily sorry and endeavor to atone. Forgive me? Of course you do. And so, on with the sex-ay.

In previous WAL? posts I wrote about eyes being the key to more than the soul and how be-rouged lips issue an invitation the average individual would be more than happy to answer. (Nudge nudge, wink wink.) But wouldja believe that the parts of your body which reveal the most about your true feelings are your feet? Ex-FBI agent Joe Navarro says that feet, unlike faces, cannot tell a lie. According to him, honest feet are a throwback to the days when a Paleo diet was the only diet around and we relied on them to get us gone when predators approached. (Also, "Honest Feet" would make for a smashing band name.) (Maybe for a Christian Rock band.) (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Website Go BodyLanguage agrees that the direction in which a person's feet point indicate where that person wants to be. In the above scenario, one would want to be the hell-outta-range of whatever creature suddenly appeared. In a luuurve, or dating, scenario one would presumably wish to run to rather than away from, and so the toesies would likely point toward the luuurve/lust object. Mind you, it has to be the feet pointing; the upper-body turning in that direction doesn't prove a damned thing. (Except, perhaps, that the person's mighty limber, in which case, W00F.)
083- Anonym, c.1920
Erotische Fotografie 1890-1920
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Fine, so you're at some holiday work par-tay and Hottie McHotterson approaches. You've been diggin' his scene since, like, your first day on the job and now, having read this blog post, you know where to look to see if he's really into you. You surreptitiously glance down at his feet...and they're both pointing at you! Score!!! But wait, one of them's moving and...oh, he's pushed it forward, so that the pointing foot's closer to you. Well, well. You've just hit the body language jackpot. 'Cause guess what else Mr. McHotterson wants to place closer to you? (Le rawr rawr.)

So the next time you draw near a person of interest, feel free to set your tootsies to stun, but take note—if your target's feet shift and suddenly point toward the door, then this is one Enterprise that won't be boldly splitting infinitives any time soon. (If you know what I mean.) (You don't? Tsk.) (Yes, I'm making a heavy-handed sexual innuendo of a Star Trek reference. C'mon, it's totally the sort of thing I live to do.) (And "Splitting Infinitives" would also make for a splendid band name, damn it.)

References/Resources

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cybersex Monday!

With the proliferation, and subsequent easy access, of Teh Interwebz came cybersex. Remember that? The least intimate of intimacies? Or was it really the most? Whatevs. Cybersexing, the father of sexting (as it were), caught the American imagination in its claws and ravaged it. Sort of.

Anyway, with the dawn of this bullshit non-event known as Cyber Monday came another, greater evil—Cyber Monday Promotional E-mails. As I spent the past couple of days deleting e-mail after fecking e-mail that aimed to hook whatever interest of mine Black Friday hadn't already offered up on the altar of commerce, a thought occurred. (Be afraid.) WHAT IF in every promotional e-mail subject the words "Cyber Monday" and "Black Friday" were replaced by "CYBER SEX?" Well, that'd be loads more fun, wouldn't it??? I posit that, were this the case, one would smile, rather than snarl, at seeing one's Inbox full of stuff like:
Cyber Sex Savings!

Cyber Sex Starts NOW!

We just couldn't wait! Cyber Sex styles are here!

Cyber Sex Gift Card Blowout!

Last Chance: Cyber Sex Sale Ends TONIGHT!

Only hours left for Cyber Sex!

Free Shipping, No Minimum on Cyber Sex!

Cyber Sex: $10 Deals!

Cyber Sex! Extra 30% Off!

Midnight: Be There and We'll Release the Cyber Sex!


I mean, it'd crack me up, and that's all I really care about, fundamentally.

Wishing you the happiest of Cyber Sex Seasons!

Monday, November 24, 2014

It's all in my mind...?

COS 09.JPG
"COS 09". Licensed under Public domain
via Wikimedia Commons.
So, my kid, Balthazar, texted me last Monday with some good news about school. After effusive huzzahs on my part, it occurred to me I'd not told him about an upcoming business trip which required me to fly and took steps to remedy that lack tout de suite.

You see, I have a terror of flying that demands Xanax to get me through it, and feel compelled to let my kid know when I'm about to go up, up, and away. Mostly because, what if something horrible happened and he learned of my demise with no idea, even, that it was an imminent possibility? I mean, how fucked up would that be? (OK, the whole demise thing's the most fucked up aspect, obvi, but still, I imagine the shock would be exacerbated if you didn't know that your loved one was even flying anywhere, yeah?)

I'm even in the habit of texting him immediately before and after my flights, with the first text invariably reading, "I'm waiting to board my flight to [insert place name]. I love you." ('Cause, you know, just in case those are my last words to him, they should be loving, you dig?) And I text him when I land to let him know I survived being airborne. His replies tend to be, respectively, "Woooo love you too" and "Swag." Because he's a man of few words.

Anyway, to advise him of the business trip I was to embark upon that very week, I intended to text him:
I'm due to fly out to Arizona on Wednesday and due back on Sunday.
Auto-complete, however, saw fit to change a word in that sentence, so that it came out:
I'm due to fly out to Arizona on Wednesday and die...
When I saw that last word, I froze. I felt completely chilled. I FREAKED OUT. I choose to finish the sentence after the word Wednesday and then quietly had a nervous breakdown.

I checked my horoscopes; they warned me about challenges with travel. (No joke.) I whipped out my tarot cards and got messages regarding travel, hassles, shocks, and profound changes. (I'm totally serious.) I suddenly saw the words "plane" and "crash" or "accident" appearing all over the place.

Well.

I took TWO Xanax pills on my flight to Phoenix. Apart from a few bumps, it went fairly well. I took care to buckle up as I taxied to/fro the hotel. When I learned that my hotel housed (I kid you not) a venomous Gila monster, I sure as shit kept a respectful distance from its glass case. I double locked my hotel room door. Every time I returned to my room, I checked the closet, bathroom, and balcony. I took note of the folks around me everywhere I went, cellphone in hand, should the numbers 9 - 1 - 1 need engagement. I took hyper-vigilance to a whole. 'Nother. Level.

My return flight SUCKED. We hit turbulence (or it hit us) the whole five-fucking-hours. I again took two Xanax and only just stopped myself from downing a third. I considered booze. I prayed. A LOT. I promised God I'd start going to church again (it's been about a year and a half, I think, since I've attended mass regularly).

I survived the flight. But my nerves are SHOT.

Was it all in my mind, this terror which cast a serious pall over a trip to which I'd been looking forward with pleasure? Surely, the inciting text planted the seed of "Holy shit, I'm gonna DIE!" which my fertile imagination nurtured to full bloom. But, in my own defense, though the overwhelming strain I felt from the moment auto-complete fucked with my fragile little mind may have sprung illogically, the things I feared were worthy of the emotion. Planes and cars do crash. People commit unspeakable atrocities against one another. And gila monsters are deadly.

::Sighs::

I'm exhausted, peeps. And I'm grateful that I've no work-related reason to fly anywhere any time soon. Though I'd better see my doc about a Xanax refill. Just in case.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Words, wOrds, WoRDS

I feel a little badly about making y'all do my blogging work for me. But not badly enough to write a more substantive post, so...how about a round of Words, wOrds, WoRDS?

Using the Random Word Generator at CreativityGames.net, I'm going to toss out a word and you're going to share the first thing that comes to your mind, in the comments section below.

Here it comes, y'all—today's random word is...

LOVER

To learn what came to my mind, select the darkened text between the asterisks.

***

Two things: Billy Idol's song "Got To Be a Lover" AND my desperate need for Carol and Daryl (from The Walking Dead) to resolve their sexual tension and do the horizontal mambo already, for fuck's sake. Literally. I mean, COME ON!!!

***

Go on, then. Reveal unto the world what that word inspired in your little gray cells.

If you dare...




Monday, November 10, 2014

Winners & Booty Rap!

And the three qualifying participants in my Resurrection Blogfest III, who were selected (via www.random.org) to win one of two prize options are:

Heather Gardner from The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Colleen Chen from Colleen's Write Brain

Hannah from Adventurous Tiger

Mazel tov! E-mail me at aoorooo at gmail dot com to let me know whether you prefer to receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card OR a copy of my book, That Fatal Kiss, + book swag, as pictured here (it's OK to go for the gift card, honest). ;-)

And thanks to all for participating, as well as the readers who supported, and continue to support, writers (and, indeed, artists of every stripe). Now, onto the Booty Rap...





I was an avid fan of Saturday Night Live through the 80s and a good portion of the 90s, then sort of dropped off watching regularly, at some point. This year, I happened to catch this season's premiere as I chillaxed in my hotel room (from some business trip or other) and just LURVED the "Couple's Booty Rap" sketch. If you need a laugh, check it out (but be careful if you're at work!). Note: it may take more than a few seconds to load, but it's totes worth it.




Friday, November 7, 2014

Iiiiiiit's BAAA-AAACK!!!!!!! (Resurrection Blogfest III)

Today is the day! My third bloggiversary! AND my...

RESURRECTION
BLOGFEST
III!

YES! Today, participants in this blogfest will BRING OUT THEIR DEAD!

Posts, that it. If you require further elucidation, clicketh hither.

But if you're ready for some reanimated blog posts, read on.

To celebrate my third year of blogging (!!!), I'm resurrecting my Valentine's Day post (published on 2/10/14), in which I wax poetic about "What love is." I was going to bring back a post in which I bitched about crimes against grammar but reckoned that, as an author of romance dark and whimsical, I might be best served by accentuating that which is warm and fuzzy. But if you'd rather read a rant, thither thou goest. Anyway, hope you enjoy, and please do be sure to check out the other participants' resurrected posts (see linky list all the way down). The three qualifying bloggers who'll be selected at random to win either a $20 Amazon Gift Card OR my book and some book swag will be announced on Monday, November 10, 2014 (God willing). (If you're just learning about this blogfest, it's not too late to sign up ~ you've got till 11:59pm on November 7 to do so and follow the rules to qualify!)

And now...onto the revivified post!

*          *          *

What love is...
 
By Durdana shoshe (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons
In a previous post, I bitched about how ruinous loving is. And it is.

But that's not all it is.

In my late 30s, I began to draw parallels between romantic and paternal love. Not in an Oedipus/Electra kinda way, 'cause that's gross. The love my parents (who are not perfect people) show me and my sis, and even more, the love I feel for my son, is straightforward and manifests in obvious ways:

  1. Love looks out for you, as regards basic needs and comforts (food, rest, shelter, chocolate*).
  2. Love needs to see you well and happy.
  3. Love wants you to feel better ASAFP when you're not well, whether it's from physical, mental, or emotional trauma.
  4. Love shares with you, without conditions or expectations.
  5. Love laughs with you.
  6. Love does for you.
  7. Love accepts the feelings of anger, disappointment, and sadness you engender, but will always want to hold you close again (eventually; but the wait shouldn't be too long).
  8. Love waits for you to get your head out of your ass and apologize for whatever heinous fuckery you've perpetrated.
  9. Love understands that you may never apologize and forgives you anyway.
  10. Love may hurt you, but it'll want to fix that hurt, too, even when it doesn't understand WTF your problem is (see #2).
  11. Love wants to touch you (to the degrees appropriate to your relationship).
  12. Love wants you to want its touch (see parenthetical statement in #11).
  13. Love recognizes and respects that you are your own person.
But the critical factor of real Love: You don't have to work for it, you don't have to earn it; it's just always there for you. Always.

Now, in my early 40s, I feel that's what I should expect, when it comes to romantic love: obvious demonstrations of love that don't demand anything extraordinary of me, and a well of that same feeling within me for the other person, one that never runs dry.

And lots of exhausting, mind-annihilating, earth-shaking, God-revealing sex. Of course.

Maybe romantic love won't happen for me.

But I believe it happens.

Wishing you all Love, now and forever.

*chocolate is totally a basic need.

*          *          *
Resurrection Blogfest III Participants!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Resurrection Blogfest, the Third

So, like, as of November 7, 2014, I'll have been blogging for three years. That's some shit, huh? (Be a sport and pretend it is.)

Brace yourselves—it's time for...

RESURRECTION
BLOGFEST
III!


For this blogfest, participants will resurrect a blog post that they initially published between November 8, 2013 and November 6, 2014 (or, since my second Resurrection Blogfest, whether they participated or not) which they believe merits one more glance before it gives up the ghost for good. In addition to this being the easiest friggin' blogfest around...

...there will be PRIZES!!!


Here's the dealio, yo:
  1. Sign up by entering your blog's name and URL on the linky-list, below. The linky-list will close after 11:59pm EST* on Friday, November 7, 2014.
  2. Upload the blogfest badge in this post to the sidebar of your blog and link it back to this announcement post, to help spread the word. (It's not a "button" and there isn't a code for it; you'll have to download the image, upload to your blog's sidebar, and manually link it back to this post.)
  3. Follow me on the Twitter (@GothMomLite) and re-tweet anything with this tag: #ResurrectionBlogfestIII. (Folks without Twitter accounts are welcome to participate, but must promote the blogfest on some other social media platform.)
  4. On November 7, your blog post must feature the blogfest badge as well as your resurrected blog post. Be sure to include the date on which it was originally posted. (Do give the title of the original blog post but please do not make readers have to click back to the original post—copy/paste it into your November 7, 2014 post.)
  5. I'll review all entries to make sure they fit the above criteria. Failure to have the badge on your sidebar, in your post, the resurrected post, and/or the date and title of the original post will disqualify you from the drawing (see #6 below).
  6. Three qualifying participants (see #5 above) will be selected at random to win EITHER A) a $20 Amazon gift card OR B) a print copy of my book and some book swag (see image below). The three winners can take their pick of either prize A or B (and I won't be hurt if you opt for A). (Probably.)
  7. Winners should be announced on or around Monday, November 10. (God willing.)
Prize Option B: Book and Swag!
Participants should know that:
  • *All days/times are based on EST
  • Subject matter is up to participants but whatever the topic, the post must have originally appeared on your blog on/since November 8, 2013 up to/including November 6, 2014.
  • It's OK to sign up if you've just started blogging and have only a few posts in your bloggy repertoire.
  • It's also OK for participants to enter more than one blog, however, in the spirit of Highlander—THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE prize per participant.
  • Participants whose Resurrection Blogfest III posts are not up by 11:59pm EST on Nov. 7 will be removed from the linky-list.
  • Topics/blogs with adult themes should have the appropriate preliminary warning before any participants or readers see your blog/post. Any participants' links that take the clicker to adult subject matter without warning will be removed at my discretion. And don't give me any crap about not knowing what I mean by "adult themes," 'cause you totally do.
  • Participants are expected to read and comment on other participants' entries beginning November 7 and on through that weekend (based on previous years' sign-ups, this should not be an unmanageable number of blog posts to read through/comment on over the course of three days).
  • Winners who opt for the $20 Amazon Gift Card will receive it via e-mail; those who choose the book/swag package will have to provide me with a mailing address (I'm happy to ship the book and swag-s-swag anywhere mail can be delivered).
Dudes, you don't have to come up with any new content for this blogfest, so whatareya waiting for? Sign up and Tweet the hell out of this blogfest already, gosh.

(Whether you choose to participate or not, please help me get the word out by sharing this post on the social media platform of your choice. You can do this easily by clicking one of the icons just above this post's tag: "Posted by Mina Lobo at 2:00 AM." THANKS!)

The image used for the Resurrection Blogfest III badge was taken from a pic snapped pour moi.

Remember to enter your blog's name on the linky list below!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Art in Austin

I traveled to Austin, TX recently on business and extended my stay by one precious day to visit with a cousin and her family. The two things which stand out in my mind from this trip are:

1. Cemeteries seem to enjoy turning up in my life in October (through no fault of my own, the hotel at which my colleagues and I stayed was right next to a graveyard); and

2. Austin's chock-full of art.

I had no idea of the latter, and deeply regret that I didn't keep my camera phone at the ready to snap up the beauty all around me, though I did manage to capture a few things.

Dale Whistler's Nightwing (1998)
Whistler's sculpture pays tribute to the nearly one million bats which hang out beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge every summer. (Yes, I know—cemeteries and bats. I really do seem to belong in Austin, except I don't drive and would, thus, likely be screwed with regard to getting around and whatnot.)



Jen Beck’s Crow I (2013)
According to nearby plaque-type thing,
This work is part of a series best described by the word saudade. (Ed. note: this is a uniquely Portuguese word/concept.) With no direct translation in English, saudade describes a nostalgic or melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that will never return. It is the complex and bittersweet recollection of feelings, experiences, and places that once brought excitement, pleasure, and well-being, and that now still trigger the senses and make one feel alive.”
Word.



I deeply regret not making note of either the artist or the work's name, 'cause I heart it. It might be the work of Judith Simonds.



Sarah Collins’ Untitled (2013).
This work is composed of fabric, thread, old clothing, and old linens. Of the piece, the artist says, “My textile collages, which include old clothes and housewares, are based on abstract paintings and landscapes. Stitched artwork pieces were once supposed to be tidy, but these bring the process to the forefront and show the heavy mess of thread. By flipping the fabric and leaving edges unfinished, I am playing with ‘wrong’ versus ‘right’ sides of the fabric.
I love this for its motion and colors. Love it.



I believe this sculpture is the work of Austin artist James Tisdale, but don't quote me on it. In any event, it's certainly doing its part to keep Austin weird. :-)


Dudes, I had the best time checking out all the groovy artwork and sorely wish I'd had more than just one free day in the fabulous city of Austin. I reckon my saudade for the place will take me back someday, se Deus quiser.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Words, wOrds, WoRDS

Time for another round of Words, wOrds, WoRDS, peeps.

Using the Random Word Generator at CreativityGames.net, I'm going to toss out a word and you're going to share the first thing that comes to your mind, in the comments section below.

Ready? OK!

Today's random word is...

EVIL

To learn what came to my mind, select the darkened text between the asterisks.

***

Completely closed minds, whether they're right- or left-leaning.

Also: Bubblegum pop.

***

Go on, then. Reveal unto the world what that word inspired in your little gray cells.

If you dare...




Friday, October 10, 2014

Zombie Apocalypse: Survival Kit & Crew Bloghop!

The end is nigh! And Jackie @Bouquet of BooksDani @Entertaining Interests, and I want to know how you're going to survive it!

To welcome back one of our fave TV shows, The Walking Dead (season premiere's this coming Sunday, October 12!), we're building our respective zombie apocalypse dream teams and survival kits. Below are the folks and items this Goth Mom (Lite) wants around her when the shit hits the existential fan:

Crew:

1 The Walking Dead character
Michonne, because GIRL POWAH!!!!! Also, I really admire her no-nonsense demeanor (and since I'm all-nonsense, I think we'd make great foils for one another, n'est-ce pas?).

1 book character
Molly Michon from several Chis Moore books because 1. I dig the symmetry of her last name and my first crew member's name and 2. she's an absolute nutter whose wackadoodle ideas always seem to turn out right, whether she's on her meds or not. Also, she's a BAMF with a broadsword (or is it a katana? I forget).

1 movie character
Shaun from Shaun of the Dead, for his already proven zombie-killing skillz.

1 TV character (other than TWD)
Piper Halliwell from Charmed, 'cause she could freeze hordes of the walkers so we could snuff 'em out en masse.

1 loved one
My Kid, Balthazar, so he could wiseass the zombies to death. (To their second, more final deaths. obviously.)

1 friend
My Dear Friend Karen, because she'd so totally organize our sleep/work/slay schedules.

1 freebie
Satellite radio DJ Madison, from Sirius XM's Alt Nation, 'cause slaying soundtrack.

Backpack:

1 comfort item
My copy of Georgette Heyer's "The Convenient Marriage" because it's hilarious and I find the hero wonderfully dreamy.

1 weapon
My rapier sharp wit.

No? OK, then; Max Brooks, author of "The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead," commends the machete for being the ultimate zombie-stopper, so that.

1 luxury item
Moisturizer. Though it's less a luxury than a necessity, as my skin's hella dry, and dry/cracked skin leaves one susceptible to all sorts of infection!

1 food item
Nutella. (Because YUM.)

1 medicine/first aid item
Rum. (What, ain'tcha never heard of medicinal alcohol?)

1 hygiene item
Since I'm suspending my disbelief anyway, a magically renewable supply of Always sanitary pads. ('Cause I can't imagine it being easy to pick these up when one's on the run for one's life.)

1 freebie
Matches. Fire good!

Background:

Outpost
Montuak, Long Island (Me likey the ocean!)

Outbreak
Los Angeles, CA (Probably.) (It totally makes sense.)

Cause of it
Reality TV

Cure (if applicable)
An intrinsic sense of self-worth which isn't dependent upon others' adulation. (Haha...that's a toughy.)

1 item you NEED to find
Sturdy, water-proof, comfortable walking shoes with good arch support that come in a wide width. Oh, and they should be red, 'cause that's my fave color.

1 item you WANT to find
The Lindt chocolate factory.

Method of travel
Fire-breathing dragon, so we can fly high above the hoary dead while roasting them into oblivion!

And if you've a brief moment of respite from dodging the dead, be sure to pop 'round the other bloghop participants' sites to see how they plan to survive!



Monday, October 6, 2014

Ten Books I'd Incorporate Into My Life...

Dani at Entertaining Interests (and my co-host for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse: Survival Kit & Crew Bloghop) challenged me with her Book Life Tag. Essentially, one who's been tagged lists features/characters from ten books to fill various areas of/in life. So, to address the questions of the tag:

Who would be your father?


Victor Frankenstein, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. Because weird science.


Who would be your mother?


Grendel's mother, from the epic poem Beowulf. Because when she goes medieval on someone's ass, she really goes medieval on someone's ass.


Who would be your sister?


Thursday Next, from Jasper Fforde's brilliant comedy-fantasy book series which began with The Eyre Affair. Because Thursday's a BAMF ex-military gal and Special Operations agent whose task is to detect and stop crimes against literature—of course we'd have to be related!


Who would be your brother?


Pelham, Viscount Winwood, from Georgette Heyer's Georgian romance novel The Convenient Marriage. Because he's largely an idiot, but a courageous, caring, and loyal one, and will do anything in his power to support his family, even if it means fighting a duel over a hat.


Who would be your pet?


Harold, the dog and narrator of Deborah and James Howe's wonderful book, Bunnicula. Because I can really relate to this laid-back, meditative mutt. And how I admire his remarkable vocabulary!


Where would you live?


In the fictional sea-side town of Pine Cove, which can be visited in three of Christopher Moore's books: Practical Demonkeeping, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, and The Stupidest Angel. Because A. I've already blogged about my love of the ocean, and B. the town's full of nutters who, despite their nuttiness, manage to defend themselves against a demon, a primordial sea creature, zombies, and evil land developers.


Where would you go to school?


I have to admit, this one stumped me a little. Had to go digging on the Interwebz to find a fictional school that wasn't Hogwarts and eventually came across Wayside School, from Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories From Wayside School. I remembered reading this to my Kid, Balthazar, and really enjoying the surreality of it all. (Naturally.)


What would be your fictional job?


I think I wouldn't mind being the Vampire Queen in MaryJanice Davidson's Undead and Unwed series. Because, hey—royalty!


Who would be your best friend?


Nora Charles from detective novel The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. Because the gal's got a sharp wit and knows her way around a cocktail.


Who would be your significant other?


Mr. George Knightley from Jane Austen's Emma. Because he's a man of sense, compassion, and honor. And not at all because actor Jeremy Northam portrayed him, heavens no... (But seriously; W00F.)


Right, so; my work here is done. It took me a while to come up with answers for all of these, though it was a labor of love, if you will. That said, I'm not going to tag anyone, but invite all interested parties either to leave their choices for these categories here in the comments or to write up blog posts of their own. If you opt for the latter, please comment here to let me know to pop 'round your blog and have a look!

Monday, September 29, 2014

And the winners are...

The winners of TFK's 1st Anniversary Giveaway, as selected by Random.org, are:
  1. Jackie
  2. JoJo
  3. Melissa
Congratulations! Winners, please e-mail me at aoorooo at gmail dot com with the name and address to which swag should be sent.

And thanks to all who joined in, for their comments and good wishes. I hope to have more smut available for reading in the not-so-distant future! :-)


Meanwhile, this also happened:


Monday, September 22, 2014

1st Anniversary Giveaway!

Book swag!
This Wednesday, September 24, 2014, marks one year since I self-published my debut novel, That Fatal Kiss, so I thought I'd celebrate with a giveaway! Three lucky winners, selected at random, will receive:
  1. 1 trade-paperback sized print copy of That Fatal Kiss
  2. 1 bookmark (in the picture, I show each side of the bookmark)
  3. 1 TFK pen, and
  4. 1 pair of what I'm calling "pomegranate seed beaded" earrings, because the seeds of this fruit play a pivotal role in the narrative (who knew fruit could be so influential?)
To enter this drawing, simply leave a comment for this post by 11:59p.m. on Sunday, September 28. All lovers of romance from around the world are welcome to enter. The three winners will be chosen using Random.org and will be announced next Monday, September 29.

And if you've a friend who digs some o' that Greek-mythological sexy, feel free to pass along the news by using one of the "Share" buttons below.

Good luck!

Edited to add: Readers can now comment "anonymously" but I ask that you give at least a first name here in your post so I can list you as a winner, if you are among the three randomly chosen. If you do post anynomously and win, please e-mail me at aoorooo at gmail dot com, with mailing information for the swag-s-swag.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Duran on Film!

On September 2 (the 50th birthday of Keanu Reeves, which, due to the smashing text I received, became my birthday too, yeah), I had the following text exchange with My Dear Friend Nikki:

NIKKI: Are you around say about 7:30 on September 10th?
ME: Lord willing and the police permitting!*
NIKKI: We are going!
ME: Where???
NIKKI: Chelsea cinemas on 23rd
ME: To see what?
NIKKI:
DURAN DURAN!!!!!

ME: WHOA!!!!!**
ME: SWEET!!!!!
ME: We should probs get tix in advance, if we can.
NIKKI: Yeah babe.
NIKKI: The music's between us!***
ME: Reach up, gurl!!!***
ME: Did u buy or shall I?
NIKKI: I already bought em
ME: Yay! what do I owe you?
NIKKI: Your presence. That is all I require. :-)
ME: Aw! I went all swoony just then. ;-)
NIKKI: Aw shucks...Go on...
ME: <3

*I can't take any credit for that, as it's one of the bizarre sayings of my people.
**That was absolutely unrelated to the aforementioned birthday boy.

So she and I, like, TOTALLY went to see this last week. I admit to feeling a bit of trepidation, wondering just what the fuck David Lynch would do to my Wild Boys. What he did was simply superimpose sometimes freaky images over concert footage from their performance at the Mayan Theatre in L.A., back in 2011. On the bright side, 4/5 Duranies were in concert together (ANDY! WHERE ARE YOU, ANDY?! THEY NEEEEEEEEEED YOU ANDYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!). On the weird side, David Lynch.

Now, don't all you Lynchers get your crimson crotch-less knickers in a twist; I like Twin Peaks, and its damn good coffee, as much as the next gal. But there's no denying the man's vision is...hmmm...more surreal than Dali on angel dust (and how's THAT for a yardstick?). (Mind you, I've no idea whether Dali did the stuff or not. I'm just sayin'.)

Case in point: the shit Lynch put up over the lads as they performed the 2004 single off the Astronaut album, (Reach Up For the) Sunrise. It was the year I'd gone from a difficult job to the one I'm still at now. For me, that the boys released this fucking rocking and inspirational tune the summer in which I started the new gig revved me up in ways I can't coherently express. My Dear Friend Nikki has this song wake her up every morning, it's so friggin awesome to move one's booty to. (The bits in our text exchange with the three asterisks are lyrics from the song, except for the "gurl" part.) I can even get over the fact that, in chord structure, it follows the format of verse in minor/chorus in major that The Reflect and Electric Barbarella, and probs plenty of other Duran tunes use, I heart it so much. And here's Lynch, throwing up, of all things, a motherfucking Barbie-doll type thing, in the "nude," black circles with the letter "D" covering her tits.

WTF?

I'll admit, I LOLed the first time I saw that, which was when the chorus first played. A bunch of us in the (disappointingly small) audience did. Then it repeated and I decided I had to break out my phone so I could capture this shit. And guess what? The first image I caught was:


Count 'em, y'all—that's TWO dollies dancing over John Taylor's gaunt, I-really-need-to-gain-a-bit-of-weight face. But two dolls weren't enough for Lynch—oh, no:


Nick Rhodes got THREE o' them bitches all up in his grill! But that didn't quite satisfy Lynch, because they rapidly multiplied until:


Simon LeBon was overrun by a horde of the ungodly things, all reaching up for the motherfucking sunrise. Or his soul. Couldn't be certain, because soon after it was like a Barbie apocalypse and I may have fainted.

Now, if this shit had happened during, say, Girls on Film or, even more fittingly, Girl Panic, there'd have been some logic to it. But what the fuck am I thinking, expecting logic from the director in question?

ANYWAY, the music was pretty fucking fabulous (their dramatically slow intro into A View To A Kill, from which lyrics I derived the title of my book, THAT FATAL KISS, had My Dear Friend Nikki and me in raptures). In fact, it irked me to see only a few folks so much as bobbing their heads to the tunes, much less dance in their seats, as I did. It's like they were just Lynch fans, there to see his work, which is possibly the most surreal concept of the entire night.

I've been trying to find a video of this bit online and the best I could turn up was but a mere snippet. Instead, I decided to embed live concert footage which successfully conveys why My Dear Friend Nikki and I heart the tune so very much.






Friday, August 29, 2014

Announcing the Zombie Apocalypse: Survival Kit & Crew Bloghop!

Bodacious babes Jackie (Bouquet of Books) and Dani (Entertaining Interests) kindly invited moi to co-host their upcoming Zombie Apocalypse: Survival Kit & Crew Bloghop and, being the hip GothMom(Lite) that I am, I graciously accepted the honor. (Modestly, too.)

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Dani and Jackie's excitement for The Walking Dead premiere on October 12 reanimated another blogfest idea for these groovy gals. I have to admit to being totally stoked myself (about the show and their invitation to co-host). (W00000T!) And I have a feeling, Dear Reader, that you may be stoked as well. Read on for deets...

Zombie Apocalypse: Survival Kit & Crew Bloghop

Post date: Friday, October 10, 2014 ('cause who wants to post on show day?) (Not I!)

Hosts: Jackie @Bouquet of Books, Dani @Entertaining Interests, and Mina @ Some Dark Romantic.

To help build your zombie apocalypse dream team and survival kit, you'll need to pick ONE person and/or ONE item for each of the topics listed in the below categories.

(Items you already have on your person: undergarments, shirt, bottoms, socks, tennis shoes & a backpack. If you want special shoes and/or boots, jackets, belt, etc., those are extra and will need to be listed for one of your items below.)

And since this bloghop is all about having fun, if you have kiddos and/or pets, we can assume they are safely tucked away in a safe haven while we’re out in the world fighting off zombies, so do not worry.

With the characters below, please include the book, movie, & TV show they stem from.

The Walking Dead character (crew member #1) is the only one that needs to be from a zombie themed entertainment outlet, but please feel free to choose characters from your other favorite books/movies/tv. They may or may not be zombie related. It's all up to you. Just let your imagination flow!

Crew:
  1. 1 The Walking Dead character
  2. 1 book character
  3. 1 movie character
  4. 1 TV character (other than TWD)
  5. 1 loved one
  6. 1 friend
  7. 1 freebie

Backpack:
  1. 1 comfort item
  2. 1 weapon
  3. 1 luxury item
  4. 1 food item
  5. 1 medicine/first aid item
  6. 1 hygiene item
  7. 1 freebie

Background:
  1. Outpost
  2. Outbreak
  3. Cause of it
  4. Cure (if applicable)
  5. 1 item you NEED to find
  6. 1 item you WANT to find
  7. Method of travel
  • Please display the above badge on your blog.
  • Join us on Friday, October 10, to build your zombie apocalypse dream team and survival kit.
  • Spread the word via twitter, facebook, your blog, etc.
  • Sign up in the linky, below, so that we can visit you and your crew on October 10.
  • Most of all HAVE FUN and BE AS CREATIVE as you want!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Goodnight, Tina

The Blogosphere has lost one of its brightest stars. Tina Downey, writer, blogger at Life is Good, and co-host of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, passed away on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

You understood, Tina, the darkness within, even while you shone out into the world. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

May God hold you close.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Out, damned spot!

I'm too sexy for this face mask.
No, this isn't a post about The Scottish Play. It's about the fact that for the past four years I've battled more zits than I had to during my goddamned teen years, for fuck's sake. Is this right? Is it just? I had the braces, the bad hair, the awkwardness around boys I liked back then. It took me YEARS to outgrow these, and more YEARS to get over the psychological trauma they caused. (OK, the "awkwardness around boys I like" continues to be a problem, I own it. Back off.) Now, NOW, when the hormones be flarin' up in advance of motherfucking menopause, NOW I've gotta fucking deal with acne like it's 1989 (when I was 18 and acne would've been totally age appropriate)???

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!

So-called spot treatments.
Anyway, yeah, I've been getting acne pretty regularly since I hit 39 or so, and it takes forever to go away, and the spots, oh, how they linger! Having had little experience with the problem when I bloody well should've, I picked up some stuff I thought would help to reduce pimples and the appearance of these frigging spots. The active ingredients in these tubes of goo which are no doubt beloved by the younger set are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, respectively (from left to right). I say they're beloved by the younguns 'cause the reviews I read about these online were pretty positive coming from folks in their teens, even very early twenties. But for me, they really didn't help. At all.

More research revealed that middle-aged users of clay masks sometimes found relief from their way-adult-onset-acne. Sweet! I'd used a white clay mask from Lancôme in the past, just not often enough to develop any thoughts about it as a zit-fighter. I thought about breaking it out to deal with a Frankenzit from a few months ago (a Frankenzit is what I call a trio or more of pimples that unite to conquer my face/peace of mind by flaring up quickly and so close together it looks like some alien life form's about to burst outta my damned cheek), but worried it wouldn't work well or quickly enough. I read a lot of favorable reviews for this Fresh Umbrian Clay whatsit and dropped a load of ducats to try it. Result: well, I liked its earthy scent and I guess it did provide some overall goodness to my skin (I have to say, Fresh doesn't tout it as an acne-buster, but some of its users who've reviewed it have). But when a few weeks' (WEEKS!!!!!) usage, even to the point of dabbing some of the stuff on Frankie and leaving it overnight, didn't yield the desired results I went back to the Lancôme clay and, actually, I think it worked better for my skin. I mean, Frankie didn't disappear, nor did the marks of bygone zits, but his size and redness was somewhat reduced. I don't mean to damn the Lancôme with faint praise, though—so far, it was the first product to help even the littlest bit!

But that pernicious Frankenzit still scoffed at me, so I betook myself to the local drugstore to see if I could find any anti-acne products containing sulfur.  And not because I'm all "diabolical Goth Mom (Lite), I've the forces of Darkness at my beck and call, oooh, fear my wrath!" or anything, but because I'd used a Murad product in the past that had sulfur and did seem to help, only THEY FUCKING DISCONTINUED THAT SHIT. *Ahem.* I did find this Bye Bye Blemish stuff, which looks weird and smells camphor-ish (which I reckon beats rotten-eggy). BUT it helped more than even the white clay stuff**. I mean, it's this weird silty stuff at the bottom of the bottle with clear liquid at the top into which you dip a cotton swab (no double dipping!) and apply the resultant mixture to your spots and leave on overnight. No, you're not supposed to shake the bottle. You're NOT. It says so, like, a gazillion times on the box AND on the bottle. I think it'd be like crossing the streams or some shit, and suddenly, instead of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, you've got a fucking gargantuan pustule roaming your city and ruining your urban skyline and whatnot. Or similar.

**Curiously, it seems the first time I use either the Lancôme or the Bye Bye Blemish, I get pretty good results, but the SECOND time it's like my skin's all, "Yeah, yeah, been there, done that—you don't seriously expect this shit to work twice in a row, do ya?" So a second application the day after the first doesn't seem to do much, but if a week or so passes before the next application, it does. I think? GAH! OK, so spot treating proved slow going, but I had a couple of weapons in my arsenal, which was two more than I'd had to begin with. Still, it was a long, arduous war, and I hoped to shorten the time Frankie would occupy the battlefield. As it were.

I began to wonder if maybe it was time to retire the moisturizer I'd been using since my mid-30s. I mean, it was possible that my changing body chemistry no longer cottoned to it. In any event, it didn't really seem to do anything spectacular for me, so L8RZ. More research revealed that the argan oil to be found in Josie Maran products (among others) had proved beneficial to skin conditions for quite some time, and the reviews I read for the stuff on Sephora were very encouraging. I got a super small size of just the oil, which I tried with some trepidation, its positive reviews notwithstanding. I mean, I've got fair, dry, sensitive 43-year-old skin that freaks out when I try new things (so, I rarely try new things), and here I was, about to put OIL on it. Well, I tried it. No harm, no foul, and it actually made my face feel lovely. I found it a bit difficult to apply the oil, though, as no sooner did I drop a bit on my fingertips than it would slide down them and into the juncture of my fingers. Ick. So then I tried a cream-to-oil version, which had a light citrus scent (not my fave thing, but OK), proved easier for a klutz like me to apply, and also felt great. Both products did subtly improve the general condition of my skin but didn't make the zits go away. (Over the weeks I've been using the argan oil products, I have seen stuff slowly fading, which I attribute to the use of the oil, but still, it's very slow going indeed.) Regardless, I like these and plan to keep using them. (Also, running a bit of oil through my freshly washed/towel-dried hair's ends makes 'em look purty.)

Uh...it's not what you're thinking. This one
really is for massaging one's face. Honest.
All this time, in the back of my tortured mind was the thought of investing in one of them electronic face brushes. Again, folks who used them and reviewed them online raved about how well the devices cleaned their faces and how many of the gals (and some guys) experienced far fewer breakouts since using them. I asked my boss, who's a year older than I am, if she knew anyone who used a facebrush and she told me that she did and also noticed a reduction in hormonal acne. Great! The recommendation of hundreds of strangers and one person actually known to me was encouraging. The price tag for the thing was not. Still, if I could just reduce the instances of breakouts, perhaps it'd be worth it. So I got me a Clarisonic Mia2 in a gorgeous purple color they call "Siren," 'cause that's just so TOTALLY me (the lighting in the pic doesn't do it justice, alas). Anyway, I sucked it up and coughed up the cash to buy it. Started using it just a week ago, so it's still too soon to tell if its efficacious as a preventive measure. But I live in hope.

So now I've got stuff to prevent, stuff to ameliorate the overall condition of my skin, and stuff to lay on the next zit that rears its ugly pus-filled head. Which, being that I'm due to get my period any day now, proved to be today. Excuse me while I head over to the bathroom with my Q-Tips and a bottle of pink silt.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cause and Effect?

Gabe-birthday-part.jpg
"Gabe-birthday-part" by Twice25 - Ghearing family.
Licensed under CC BY-SA 1.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
This Saturday, my parents were fixin' to go to a birthday party for one of my dad's maternal aunts. I knew the dear lady was "up there" in age, but didn't know the number, so when my mom told me it was 97 I was suitably impressed. Another thing I didn't know is that my great aunt had some troubles with her heart and that she's suffering from depression and thinking a lot about death. (That I've inherited the depression gene from my dad's side of the family, and have thought about death pretty much daily since I was maybe 5 years old, I didn't bother mentioning. I mean, what's the point in upsetting my mom when there's nothing she can do to help me?)

Anyway, my mom noted that my great aunt's lucky in having so many children who love and look after her, who check in with her regularly, so that she's not going gentle into that good night all by her lonesome. (I'm embellishing a little; I don't believe my mom's familiar with the poetry of Dylan Thomas). She anticipated that the party would be just annoying enough to cheer my great aunt, what with folks asking her the secret to her longevity. In a rare moment of like-mindedness, my mom and I agreed that there's very little cause and effect with regard to these matters. You can eat healthfully, exercise, and never miss a doctor's appointment or medical test and die young. You can eat crap, do all sorts of drugs, and live long (and prosper!).

From there, our conversation turned to the old controversy of nature v. nurture. Somewhat shockingly, we again agreed that it makes more sense to think about things in terms of an individual's disposition and willingness to unlearn bad stuff/press on with good stuff. Again, there's no guarantee that a person raised in a "good" environment will turn out to be "good," and that a "bad" environment insures a "bad" person. We understood that there's no formula for human perfection. Living's an art, not a science. We all make choices, it's just that sometimes we need help with choosing to do "good" (and sometimes, some need a little more help than others).

Finally (and I think I may have seen pigs flying by that point), we concurred that people seek 1) the easiest of answers to the profoundest mysteries of life, 2) rough and ready labels for one another, and 3) pithy sayings to summarize the human experience. One that I find particularly loathsome is the ubiquitous, "Everything happens for a reason." It comforts some to think this, perhaps because it assures them that, though they've no control over devastating external events, some benign hand guides them, and even the most awful thing has some deeper meaning and purpose. Me, I'm not so sure (which, I suppose, makes me a very bad, quasi-practicing Catholic, indeed). Given some of the horrors visited upon us, I can't help think the "lessons" are overly harsh. I don't see any intrinsic value in suffering and I don't believe that it's necessary for growth and learning (in my view, positive reinforcement works better than negative). Rather, I'd simply paraphrase Keanu Reeves and say, "Everything happens." The challenge isn't to find meaning in the happenings, but to arise from the smoldering embers of destruction and create meaning, and the reality you desire, despite them.

On Sunday, I nibbled a monk-style breakfast of bread and Portuguese cheese (eaten by Portuguese monks, of course) while watching Futurama reruns. The season 7 finale lampoons documentaries of animals in the wild, with the Planet Express peeps playing the roles of the animals, so to speak. There are three segments in it; in the first, Leela and Fry, as salmon, struggle against tide and time to spawn. That done, they die, and as they float away, the Morgan-Freeman-like narrator says,
"And so the endless circle of life comes to an end; meaningless and grim. Why did they live and why did they die? No reason."
I paused mid-chew to ponder this (because I can't masticate and think simultaneously, obviously). Nearly on the heels of my philosophical discourse with my mother (an extremely rare occurrence), it struck me, hard. But I've concluded that I'm not quite there, just yet. Whether it's because I need the comfort of belief in a reason for living, or because I'm too stubborn and stupid to accept that there may not be one, I can't say for sure. No, I totally don't buy that "everything happens for a reason." But I feel that we happen for a reason (us living creatures, I mean). I guess it's the drive to discern that reason, or to make our own reason, that propels us all through to our inexorable good nights.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Words, wOrds, WoRDS

Heya, peeps; it's that time of the month again! (No, not that time.) (As if I'd tell y'all when I'm experiencing that time of the month.) (I mean, I've no qualms about sharing how much the cramps, bloating, backache, and mood swings suck but, you know, I don't think telling you "when" my own personal hell strikes makes for entertaining reading.) (Assuming folks find anything I write here entertaining, of course.)

Dang. Now that was a heroic digression. Sweet Lord!

What I'm tryin' ta tell youse guys is that it's time for a game of Words, wOrds, WoRDS

Using the Random Word Generator at CreativityGames.net, I'm going to toss out a word and you're going to share the first thing that comes to your mind, in the comments section below.

Ready? OK!

Today's random word is...

Texas

To learn what came to my mind, select the darkened text between the asterisks.

***

My very first thought was, "Yee-haw!" Which made me think of the Dukes of Hazzard TV series from the 80s. Though, actually, it was set in Georgia, so that just goes to show my own ign'ance. Which you probably already suspected...

***

Go on, then. Reveal unto the world what that word inspired in your little gray cells.

If you dare...



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