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September 2015
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November 2015

Frankenstein or Dracula? Which do you prefer?

I'm not big on horror, but I do love Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein."  I just think it's an awesome book and I'm so glad they still read it in schools.  I'm not all that fond of Dracula, either the lore or the place.  In fact, I probably wouldn't enter Dracula's castle if given the opportunity.  Vlad the Impaler left a lot of darkness behind and I think that place must remain insanely creepy.  I saw it on "Ghost Adventures" and that's as close as I'd like to get.  My great grandfather was Romanian -- hopefully I am not a descendant of Vlad.  Though they love him in Transylvania.  And not just because he's a huge tourist draw.




Back to Frankenstein. I love the way Mary Shelley came up with the idea while awaiting for an Italian volcano to blow.  It's the ticking time bomb great fiction needs.  She needed it to finish her story.  The "real" Frankenstein's story is equally ghoulish, but he didn't have access to the numbers that Vlad did.  I mean, Vlad's victims came to attack him.  Frankenstein (Johann Dipple) had to go get his -- and at least they were dead. 

Anyway, now the truth is mixed with folklore -- but they both have their place in history.  Do you have a favorite? 

Why Kristen Wiig is my Spirit Animal

Kristen Wiig is as warped as me when it comes to humor.  She just cracks me up.  Honestly, it's why I couldn't take her seriously in "The Martian" -- she just didn't fit the role of NASA Spokesperson.  However, I do love her independent films.  They're not for the faint of heart.  They're for people who have been through trauma in life and must laugh about it.  What else can you do?  Her new movie actually looks a little more dysfunctional than I can handle.  But I do love the spoof trailer she's done here.  Do you normals find it funny?  

Halle Berry is Getting a Divorce. Anyone surprised?

Every time I think about what Halle Berry tried to do to her ex-boyfriend to alienate him from his child, I get ticked.  Gabriel Aubrey clearly loved his daughter, heart and soul.  So much, that he looked like this to get to see her:




Anyway, she was stupid enough to marry a man who had this much rage in him, and it was only a matter of time before they turned on each other.  So sad, but utterly predictable. People need to learn how to be healthy alone before they get into relationships.  I hope Gabriel is happy now that he's moved on. 



Halle is clearly one of the most gorgeous women on the planet, now it's time to focus on the inside.  I always have hope that people will learn from their mistakes. If not, God seems to keep sending you the same lessons over and over again.  Learned this the hard way.

Ten Days of Leave = Precious (Make the most of your time with your kids!!)

My son is officially a United States Marine.  Could I be any prouder?  Probably not.  I already think my kids are the bee's knees in an obnoxious way, but watching the graduation ceremony is pretty humbling.  It's hard to believe what they can accomplish in three months with a group of young men.  My Jonah is like the Pied Piper, so our life since last Wednesday has been constant.  It's honestly been one of the highlights of my life.  I had prepared for a military son -- because my oldest -- who is now an engineering student, was fascinated by the Civil War and history.  I thought it would be him.  This caught me by surprise.  He's training to be a helicopter mechanic.  Most likely, for the Osprey -- and of all things, we ran into a Marine at Point Loma, who was doing the exact same job!  He told my son if he wanted to practice for deployment to get a bag of sand and a hair dryer and blow it in his face while he's working.  That would be funny if it weren't true.



My youngest boy wants to be a high school teacher.  It's so weird that these little humans grow up to be actual men.  With jobs.  I mean, I know that's the point as their mother and all, but it really is amazing to watch.  It goes by so fast!!  Everyone says that, but honestly, enjoy every moment.   Jonah and I will hit the Monterey Bay Aquarium while he's home and go to our favorite restaurant there where he'll get a pizza and I'll have a Crab Louie.  Some things are better off NOT left in the past.  Nostalgia is a beautiful thing.

So when Jonah ships out again, my temporary full-time job ends, so I will be writing again full-time.  I'm so excited to get back to fiction.  I've been rereading one of my favorite books to prepare:  "The Accidental Tourist" by Anne Tyler.  I'm always so amazed by that book.  She took a character who never makes a life decision for himself and allows life to happen to him -- and makes it utterly fascinating.  As a writer, you're always told to keep your characters in motion.  I don't know, the way she does this -- she deserved the Pulitzer.  (Which she won.) So I'm back now.  I'll probably be taking regular breaks to blog on crap television -- because isn't that what life is all about?  ; ) 



Is Brandi Glanville really not a "Real Housewife" any longer? #RHOBH

I just read this article that Brandi has been fired, and I have to say, that will tick me off.  Why?  Because I really think Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards are the ultimate mean girls and they get away with it.

Yes, I think Brandi has issues, but she's also entertaining. I do not find Kyle, no her poor self-esteem when anyone mentions her husband, interesting.  I also think Kyle and Lisa have pretty good lives.  They can afford to be charitable.  They didn't need the gig, but they make darn sure they stay on top by getting rid of anyone who disagrees or crosses them.  That's not kind or decent behavior.



They should have gotten rid of that second actress -- not Lisa Rinna, the other one.  She is boring and her house looks like an antique brothel.  I question a lot of the changes they make on these housewives' shows, which aren't even watchable for the most part.  I cannot stand the Manzos, for example.  I will never watch a show with them on, so once she was off New Jersey, that freed me up to go back to Jersey and then, Theresa went to the slammer.  I am not a big fan of Joe Gorga's wife Melissa, but I like watching her.  She is entertaining.  I liked her trying to be a good aunt for the cameras on this week's "Theresa Checks In."  You can just tell it drives her crazy that her daughter Antonia loves that little monster cousin of her.  Gosh, Milania -- now that kid is all sorts of entertaining.  

Bravo needs to learn the difference between annoying (go away) and obnoxious (makes good television) -- Caroline Manzo is annoying.  Bethanny Frankel is obnoxious and makes good television.  I also miss Jill Zarin's brand of obnoxious.  Brandi may have been a trainwreck last season, and perhaps being off the show is better for her as a person -- but she was still way more interesting than another stupid white party at Kyle's house. 

I will watch the new season of Atlanta because Tootie is going to be on (from Facts of Life.)  I also still love Kim Zolciak and all of her tackiness and watch her show weekly.  Otherwise, meh.  I never really cared for the OC and I still don't watch that one.

The Force Awakens -- From the Sidelines

So I have never sat through all of the Star Wars -- I did see "The Empire Strikes Back" in my jammies at the Drive-in and I have taken a screenplay class on the original.  I have also raised three boys who are Star Wars' fanatics.  They have Preordered "Battlefront" -- which is some kind of fantastic game that needed a reboot.  So fantastic that my middle son went to Star Wars' Celebration just to watch five minutes of game play. If that isn't devotion, I don't know what is.


But in all honesty, seeing the clips of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in the arms of Han Solo, I'm a little excited myself.  I have to admit it.


It could just be collateral excitement.  I mean, it's sort of impossible to avoid the marketing that is "The Force Awakens" via Disney.  It's everywhere.  Target, Gamestop, Lego, the movies...but there's something about seeing Princess Leia as an older version of herself and not in the gold bikini that makes me want to go.  Granted, I'd hoped the future held better for me and my plastic surgery dreams, but alas, I don't want to see a middle aged woman in a gold bikini, so we're good.  

On a sidenote, I do love Carrie Fisher as a personality. The woman has survived so much.  She was doing a signing at Star Wars Celebration and some woman basically was dressed as a porn version of Leia and without missing a beat, Carrie looks up and says, "Those are some *** you got there."  LOL  I mean, if you're going to put your chest in Carrie's face, you deserve whatever she says.  

Anyway, my son is coming home from the Marines and all he wants to do is see this movie.  I sent him a Chewbacca card that roared for his birthday at Bootcamp.  It had a button.  He knew pushing it would cost him, but he said, "I regret nothing."  He did have to spend the rest of the night roaring like Chewbacca -- which was probably not as punishing as his drill instructors might have thought.  I'm sure it entertained the other recruits.

So, where are you on the Star Wars' continuum?  The scale goes from, "I'm going to pee my pants to meh." 

In case you haven't seen the new trailer: 

Writer's Block or Time Crunch?

This morning I was talking with my friend about my current work-in-progress and why I wasn't making much progress. Well, it's going to be a series and there are five sisters, and I'm in my head at book five, so it's hard to write book one when all those characters are moving about in my head. I was worried.

Then, my editor/friend reminded me I always write the first five chapters a bajillion times. How did I forget this? I'm not there yet because I haven't written the first five chapters over and over again. Did I think I was going to suddenly do it differently and write perfectly this time? How did I forget my process by just being out of practice?


I think all these extra projects are killing off brain cells at a rapid rate. I need a vacation. Or at least another Iced Soy Mocha. Luckily, I didn't go to my Starbucks this morning so there will be no judgment if I go back. That's a sign, right? I went through the Drive-thru this a.m. so I could continue yapping on the phone, and they just don't ever make my coffee right and I'm left unsatisfied.

It's just a Monday morning. And because it's a short week -- San Diego, here I come! I've got vacation brain. Did anyone see any movies this weekend? Seth and I planned to see "Crimson Peak" or "Bridge of Spies" after we finished his college apps, but we got lazy. Mark Rylance looks good even as a Cold War Spy. I love him!

And it has been WAY too long since we had a great Gothic romance on the screen. I'll put up with a few creepy ghosts for a Gothic romance. You?


Pottery Barn Desk: Refinish or buy a new top?

My desk is on sale at Pottery Barn. This poor desk has been moved a bajillion times, had coffee spilled at it too many times to count, and survived my trying to repaint it. It looks bad. The thing is, I was going to refinish it, but you have to move it outside for that, and it's heavier than gold! So they have the desk on sale. A new top is only $359 -- which seems like a better price than refinishing it myself.

But the thing is, will it look crappy because it's all new and the rest of the desk has been Kristinized? This is the question that I ponder today rather than what I should be doing. Although, I did finish the memoir I was working on (for someone else, trust me, my life is not interesting enough for a memoir) and so I'm back to the fiction. Since I've been working in an office, I haven't been looking daily at my Pottery Barn desk, but I know the minute I get there, it's going to bug me again.

So, show of hands? New top? Refinish? Or deal with it because you're a slob, Kristin. Those are your choices.


Would you sleep in the Paris Catacombs?

Y'all know I love me a ghost show. But I would NEVER, I repeat, NEVER sleep in the Paris Catacombs. AirBnB is giving away a trip to sleep there and dine there. It's the world's biggest graveyard, with something like 6 million skeletons down there after the plague. The world's largest grave. I'm just gonna say, uh, no thanks. I'd wager at lease one dark soul stayed behind.


Isn't this offensive? I get that it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and there are plenty of macabre or non-believing folk who will try to win this contest. However, I wouldn't even go INTO the catacombs. Nor would I go underground in Edinburgh either. Some places you don't want to mess with -- though I tend to feel the energy of a place, so I know my limits.

I would sleep over at the Winchester Mystery House -- which will be an option soon. But the catacombs? Not a chance. Interesting contest though. It will definitely get attention. I think even seeing a real skeleton would freak me out.

Tiny House Movement

I love the tiny house movement. I really have hated having large houses. I know that's easy to say, but they're not for me. They feel overwhelming and not cozy. The worst of it was when we built a large house in the middle of nowhere (where my parents now live.) I had my own office, and I didn't like it. I like my office in the middle of the chaos of family life so I don't feel "gone."

So I love this tiny house movement. Granted, it wasn't really an option when I had four kids at home, but as they fly away from the nest, the tiny house phenom captures my attention. Nicki sent me this one yesterday in Washington. I told my mom that I could move it into their backyard. They wouldn't mind, would they?

Bunkext-jr-bunkhouse-05_gl You can rent this one.

I mean, there would be less lawn to mow and I would only use her clawfoot tub on special occasions. She didn't answer. Hmmm.