Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

She's Alive, She's Alive!

Good news, citizens of Snarkdom. Queen Robyn called today to inform me she was not kidnapped by some bizarre cult as I had feared. She has been dealing with the trials of moving and getting utilities forwarded, plus a spewing toilet and possessed closet doors, which she will explain to you later. Poor thing. When she told me of her tribulations of the past two weeks, it amazed me that we had not heard a report on Fox News of a crazed woman running around the streets of her city chasing down her landlord with a crescent wrench. Her internet should be connected by the first of November, so she will be back with us soon, snarking her little heart out.

In the meantime, have a happy and safe Sugar Rush Day and remember, any candy eaten while reading this blog is rendered calorie and fat free.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Just a little post to say thanks to those of you who are stopping by to visit and leave kind comments. Due to Ms. Quitwithnonotice (see previous post) I have been working like a fiend this week. Paycheck be happy, body be draggin'. It's after midnight now, and I just finished with some work from earlier today. Granted, I took several hours away tonight to have dinner with my inlaws and eat German chocolate cake, so it was worth it. There's not much in life that can't be fixed with cake, I always say. Okay, I don't always say, I just made that up, but it's still true. And since Robyn is MIA for one reason or another, you are stuck with me and my rambling posts about work and cake and other things that don't go together in the minds of rational people.

So, since we won't be snarking on any covers until Ms. Iknowhowtoaddpicturestotheblog comes back, I thought we could all pull up a chair and get to know each other better. I am throwing out a topic in hopes that you will jump right on in and give us your input. Today's topic is guilt. Yep, guilt. And here's why. As a mom, I feel guilty about, oh, at least seventeen things a day concerning my kids. Are they getting enough sleep? Too much sleep? Are they warm? Are they too warm? Are they cool or are they chilled and why didn't I dress them appropriately? Are they gassy or do they have diarrhea and what did I feed them that made them that way? Why didn't I notice that bite on his arm? When did she scratch her face again? Am I ignoring him while I am feeding her? Am I ignoring her while I am spending time with him? No matter what I am doing, there's a voice in my head that says I should be doing something else for someone else at that particular moment. It seems that since I have become a mom nine and a half years ago, guilt has become one of the predominant emotions in my life. Because, ultimately, everything my kids do, feel, see, hear, need, spurn, lack, whatever, comes back to me and something I should have done, shouldn't have done, should have known to do, should have known better than do, should have done earlier, should have waited to do, and on and on and on ad nauseum.

Now, I am not so egotistical as to think that everything in our family revolves around me, but you know what? Sometimes that's not too far from the truth. If I don't do what I do, then our family doesn't work right. Just like if my hub doesn't do what he does, it doesn't work right. But I have to say he has the ability to separate (am I spelling that wrong, Michelle the teacher?) himself from things that happen to our kids and his direct responsibility. Is that a guy thing or a dad thing or just a my guy thing?

Maybe guilt isn't what I am feeling, maybe it's worry. Maybe that's normal, or maybe I am just a flippin' weirdo. Or maybe what I am feeling is normal and I am still a flippin' weirdo. Or any combination of the above. Does anyone else relate to this or do I just need to shut up now and get some serious sleep followed by intense therapy?

The floor is now open....

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Various and Sundry Stuff

Let's all take a moment to send warm fuzzies out to Robyn who was moving into a new townhouse this week. There must be some kind of problem with her Internet, since she hasn't been here to update yet. She undoubtedly is going crazy with not being able to surf and snark, in addition to having her life contained in a sea of boxes. Robyn, we love you and miss you and are sending cyber-Starbucks and chocolate to you right now. Remember, if you need counseling to deal with the suckiness of moving, we are here for you.

My daughter, Alison, who will be four months old tomorrow, learned to blow spit bubbles on Friday. We are so proud. We are sure that this is a sign of her genius. MENSA, here she comes! Of course, right now she is sucking on my bicep, so maybe she's not quite as smart as we previously thought.

Conversation I Had With Pimply-Faced High School Kid at the Select-A-Seat Counter in Albertson's on Friday:

Me: I would like three tickets to the Glenn Beck Christmas Show, please.
PFHSK: They're not on sale yet.
Me: Yes, they are.
PFHSK: They go on sale at 10:00am.
Me: It's now 10:03.
PFHSK: Oh. (walks over to computer, punches a few keys) Oh, that's really weird. The site is really busy.
Me: Yes, I know. Three tickets, please.
PFHSK: Where do you want the seats?
Me: Orchestra pit.
PFHSK: Oh, that's sold out.
Me: How weird, since you just said they weren't on sale yet. Okay, next best seats.
PF: (Staring dumbly at screen, scratching side of his neck) Is row I okay?
Me: Yes, fine, just the best seats you can find.
PF: (Bends down to search for binder that has seating chart in it for the venue. Takes sweet time finding binder that has seating chart in it for venue. Doesn't realize his life is in danger from crazed woman on other side of counter who can hear other people buying up her tickets) Um, here's row I. Is that okay?
Me: (Raises voice) YES, that is FINE. Just give me three seats, please.
PF: (More dumb staring at screen, more scratching) Oh, Row I is now sold out.
Me: (Gritting teeth, trying to think of what my childrens' lives would be like if I got sent to prison for killing PimpleBoy) Just get me the best seats available.
PF: Oh, that's weird. This says there's only one seat on Row I. You need three all together, right?
Me: (almost going ballistic) Yes, I need three. All together. In one spot. Three.
PF: Oh, that's weird. This says there are three seats in Row E. That's closer to the front. Would you like that?
Me: (thinking No, moron, I'd like farther from the stage) Yes, yes, yes. Just buy the seats, PLEASE!
PF: Oh, um, I like need your credit card.
Me: (wanting to shove said credit card into an orifice of his body that would prove highly uncomfortable for him) Here.
PF: This will take a minute.
Me: (thinking really, but you've been so quick thus far).
PF: (Not comprehending how close he came to injury, hands card back). You have a nice day, ma'am.
Me: (back in the safety of my car -- GAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!)

I work from home doing bookkeeping and case review for a company that I had previously worked for in California. I usually only work about 2 hours a day, unless there is a big project that needs doing. It is perfect for our family, because we don't have to pay for daycare for our kids. I just found out that the only other lady who does what I do at the office decided to quit yesterday. With. No. Notice. Nada. Nothing. Done. She just quits, then walks out, leaving muy muy projects and cases on her desk, halfway done. Which means guess what? I now have a 40 hour a week job, a four month old baby who is really funny about wanting me to hold her all the time, and a buttload of work that has to be done in a certain time limit. This will be great for the old paycheck, but crappy for my family and social life for awhile. That's why this post is so long. Just wanted you all to know if you don't hear from me for a few days, a week, a year, that I am okay, just buried under a mountain of work. Anyone who wants to come play with my kid or do my laundry is welcome to it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

'Tude of Gratitude

If your town is anything like mine, the stores already have some holiday decorations up, even though we haven’t reached Halloween yet. I love the holiday season. There is nothing better than cooking up vast amounts of food and sharing it with family and friends. Unless it’s being on a white sandy beach somewhere, basking in the sun and being served drinks with umbrellas in them by a hottie named Fernando. Sorry, took a little field trip in my mind there for a second.

Anyway, seeing all the ceramic turkeys and little smiling Pilgrims started me thinking about what I am thankful for. Here’s a listing of some of the things that help make my life complete, in no particular order:

1. The slobber on my neck from my baby girl drooling on me while she sleeps.
2. The crayons, Legos and action figures spread across the house courtesy of my son.
3. Bath and Body Works.
4. One word—Frappucino!
5. The garage filled with hunting and fishing and camping paraphernalia and the sounds of my husband rifling around out there.
6. Maggie Moo’s Chocolate Better Batter Ice Cream with brownie mix-in….Sin on a spoon.
7. A blog where I can go to vent, rant, or snark with one of my best friends. It keeps us off the streets.
8. A good book on a cloudy afternoon.
9. Knowing I am only a phone call away from my mommy's lovin', Robyn's laughter, or hilarious stories about my neices and nephews.
10. Inlaws who love me.
11. Still having both my parents around, especially since they each went through a battle with the Big C in the last two years. Take that, Cancah!
12. A God who, even though I am one of the biggest morons on the planet, loved me enough to send His boy to suffer in my place.

Oh, and I am really thankful that I am not the one having Tom Cruise’s baby. Oh. So. Thankful.

Share with us some of the things that make your world go around.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Talk Amongst Yourselves

My last post until the 19th, when I'm sure I'll be too high from the cardboard box smell to be coherent. Moving sucks! But this one's going pretty well. We moved all the stuff today that goes upstairs (why aren't there detachable walls and pulleys that raise your furniture to the correct room?) and we'll get the downstairs tomorrow. Then we get to take the rest of the week sorting out garbage from what goes into storage from The Scary Dark Mausoleum- otherwise known as the garage. At least we didn't have to get it all in one day- dragging a queen size box spring up those stairs kicked my butt.

Missie will keep you going until then, but I thought I'd leave you with this thought:

The 80's.

Don't scream in terror like you weren't there. In the 80's, you were either a good girl, or a good girl trying to look like HER:

God alone knew why. But the guys were different- at least the ones who weren't in a heavy metal hair band. They were so cute with their feathered hair and their ripped jeans. So I took this quiz to find my perfect 80's heartthrob. They said it was Jason Bateman.

Which is okay. But I've got news for them. I had a heartthrob in the 80's, and it wasn't Jason.

It was HIM.

Take the quiz and tell me who you got! (Sorry guys. This is kind of a chick post. Unless there's something you want to tell us...)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Worst Covers Evah- The Winners!

I know you've been waiting with baited breath for the winners of the Worst Covers Evah. Well, get a tic-tac and your bleach infused eyewash. Here they are:

#3- Wild Orchids

That has got to be the ugliest man I have ever seen on a romance cover. He reminds me of the creepy carnival worker who always got a little handsy when he belted you into the Tilt-A-Whirl.

Bill gave up being a professional stalker for his new career, romance cover model. But what really would have made this cover special would be putting some flowers on maybe some purple orchids.

#2- Seafire

“Simon, oh, Simon! You promised me if I played pirate with you I could be the next American Idol!”

I can’t get over the expression on her face. She’s all Dang. Those are freakin’ huge protuberances.

Actually, she's all, "Dang. What made me think being cast in Flashdance II: The Pirate Years was such a good career move?"

And now, the single worst cover evah. The winner is…

Just A Kiss Away

Chapter 98 of Robyn’s Rant WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE OUTSIDE?
Not just in a field or a stream or on a mountain, but in the middle of a waterfall!!! Yes, I could soooo be overcome by passion whilst precariously perched on rock being pelted by rushing water. Water that’s totally weighing down his jeans and my taffeta dress. I’m thinking he should know better; judging by the eye patch, he’s sustained injuries doing this kind of thing before. They're just a kiss away from multiple internal hemorrages.

See, here's where Robyn and I compliment each other. I didn't even notice the eyepatch. My thought process went something like this:
"How'd they get out there on that rock? Did they swim? And if so, why aren't they wet? How'd their hair get dry that fast? Was it the wind? Cuz if so, wouldn't that have blown them off the rock? And if they used a blowdryer, where'd they plug it in at? And it's sooo not safe to use electrical appliances in the middle of a waterfall. Or wait, is that warning only for the bathtub? Because on my dryer, it has the picture of the tub and the dryer with a big red circle with a line through it thingie. And why is he wearing jeans and she's wearing her prom dress? If they knew they were gonna go make out on a rock surrounded by water, why didn't they dress appropriately? And wouldn't her Tammy Faye eye makeup have smeared all over the place by now? Cuz dang, I can't even pass by a sink without my mascara running, and there's got to be some serious mist coming up from the water hitting the rocks and even with waterproof mascara..."
See...she makes her comments pithy and to the point. Mine meander around lost like a husband forced to endure a craft fair.

The badness will not end. Bwahahaha. Stay tuned for Horse Cover Models- end the abuse!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Little Toilet Humor

We'll get back to the highbrow stuff later. Right now, I want to share with you some of my favorite items from the Harriet Carter Gift Catalog. (These are real, I'm not making them up.)

Toilet Bowling

Ah, nothing passes boring bathroom time like a good game of bowling. And there's no shoe rental! Missie voiced a concern with this handy item, though: What about ball return?

Toilet Golf

The liner notes say "practice your putting on the potty!" I personally lament the appalling lack of windmills on this miniature green. What is putting without tiny windmills? I would advise, however, staying away from water hazards.

Toilet Fishing

"Land a whopper while on the hopper!" I'm so glad this item is price reduced. Imagine the joy on my loved ones' faces on Christmas morning when they open this gift! Never too early to think about spreading Holiday Cheer, y'know!

Toilet Monster

Happy Halloween, everyone! There's just nothing more amusing than treating your guests who have consumed a big dinner and many beverages to a monster popping out of what may be a desperately needed household fixture. While it will be great fun for everyone to gather outside the door and wait for the scream, you might want to have bathroom cleaning wipes and changes of clothing in several sizes handy.

Only 78 shopping days 'til Christmas!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

They're Baaaaaack!

Well, it’s official. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, in addition to being so in love that they cannot form one coherent sentence between the two of them, are having a baby.

Lord help us….they’re breeding.

Just when I thought the media frenzy surrounding these two had finally died down and I would get through the rest of my life (okay, at least the rest of this year) without hearing about how “awesome” (his word) everything is and how “happy, just sooooo happy” (her words) they are, they have to go and procreate.

Why, God, Why?

It was too much to hope that we were done with these two, but hope I did. They could have slipped away to some uncharted island to live out their days in a bubble of lurrrve and not a tear would I have shed. I figured that there would be some resurgence of stories if and when they actually made it down the aisle. But holy cow. We will now be subjected to at least eight more months of stories with such important headlines as “TomKat’s New Kitten” and “Preganetics”, and detailed reports on what Katie is eating, wearing, and buying for the Cruise progeny. Not to mention the all-around squick factor of Maverick and Joey reproducing. Ewww. Just sent chills up my spine.

Please someone, shoot me now.

I don’t begrudge them their happiness. I just don’t want to have to give up my cable, Internet, and newspapers to avoid reading the minutia of their pregnancy faithfully reported by a worshipful media. Is that so wrong?

Please excuse me. I must now go jump on and off my couch repeatedly so no one will doubt my depth of emotion. But make no mistake…I really, really care about Tom and Katie.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ignore That Thud You Heard


Yes, I just finished a wallbanger. Is there any worse feeling for a reader? You've just invested your time, your thought, your emotions into this book- and it doesn't suck. It lets you down, man. Sort of like your mother's worst punishment: not getting grounded or spanked, but The Look. Accompanied by The Big Sigh. Which is followed immediately by a soft voice saying, "I'm So Disappointed."

It could have been great. It was an old Harlequin Temptation by Madeline Harper- The Pirate's Woman. Come on, how can you go wrong with a title like The Pirate's Woman?

Once again, I think I'm getting a time travel and what I get is a reincarnation. And you all know how much I luuuuurve reincarnation stories.

It started with such promise. Our heroine, Diana, runs a costume shop. On New Year's Eve, a tall dark handsome man, Adam Hawke (Hawke, yet! What self-respecting pirate doesn't have a name like Hawke!) runs in just before closing to get a costume for a business/charity event held on a...say it with me...refurbished 18th century ship. Adam, of course, gets her special pirate costume. She's like had pirate fantasies for like, ages, y'know? And the costume so totally fits him. Like it was fated and stuff. Especially since he talks her into, y'know, going with him and she dresses as an 18th century lady with these really gnarly corsets. Diana don't do velcro, okay?

But do Adam and Diana both get swept back in time and have a great adventure? Nooooooooo. No, our I-run-my-own-business-but-I'm-not-smart-enough-to-stay-away-from-trees-in-a-lightning-storm heroine gets zapped. Right after a Swooning Tonsil Swab with Adam, this monster storm hits and she's struck by a tree that got knocked over by lightning. And she wakes up in...come on, you know this. She wakes up on the boat, and Adam Hawke walks in the cabin. The real, 18th century pirate Adam Hawke.

Suffice to say, she falls for him even though he's taken her hostage, he falls for her even though she's a raving lunatic, and just when they're going for the HEA she gets zapped again and wakes up in the modern hospital.

After she went through nine kinds of torture to finally accept her new life and absolutely, positively, totally fell in love with her pirate, she goes back. And her reaction to losing the love of her life? She grieves for maybe three and half minutes before she realises- hey! I have an Adam here too! Yes, she waits for The Sign. There's always a Sign in these things. Yes, darling. You're dead. You watched me get fried by lightning, had to live out your life without me, and then die, but you're not done. I want you to hang around Earth for two centuries so you can find me and give me The Sign that I can have Tea and Crumpets with another man. Thanks, honey.

Arrggghhh! Present day Adam looks the same, he talks the same, he touches your cheek the same way, but he's not the same dude! NOT! And pirate Adam? We never find out what happens to him. And she can't be bothered to even drop by the library to look! He loved her. Risked everything for her. And all he gets is horrifying memories of his lady getting electrified while he's twiddling his thumbs for two hundred years so he can give her a Sign, then watch her have Swooning Tonsil Swabs with his doppleganger.


I'm so disappointed.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Hunky Guys in Kilts

Ah, the kilt...

Oh, sorry. Had to mop up some drool. Just what is it about a kilt, d'ya think? Mostly, men in skirts make you feel squicky.

But a kilt just isn't a skirt, darn it! And medieval Scots weren't just men, at least judging by the number of romances written about them. And my own personal shelves groan under their huge Highland weight, let me tell you. I am confessing to you now:

I am a Highlander romance addict.

Blame me?

I've tried to figure it out. Your average romance Scot, esp. the medieval types (but they all become medieval by the end of the book, don't they?) are the ultimate alpha males. They're almost cavemen, fer pity's sake. And in real life, I run from those men. Sure, it's all hearts palpitating and awareness frissoning and belly-spreading warmth now...

but you're probably about two months away from bagpipe songs played on his armpit. And two years away from bellowing for his dinner. In fifteen years, he'll be, in Roseanne's words, a recliner that burps. And embarrassing you totally when he gets together with the guys from the old clan.

But romance isn't about real life, right? That's why I can still read, enjoy, dream and believe that a Neanderthal clansman who steals cattle from his friends and kills anyone who looks at him wrong and is the fiercest warrior to ever roam the Highlands could become a quivering puddle of haggis at my feet, who loves me for the lassie I am. And when he ages, he's going to look like this...

Hey. It's my story and I'm sticking to it.