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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Quick-Step, Courtesy, and Cute Guy Tuesday

So I rented this movie the other night...

and drooled all over myself. That's Antonio Banderas up there, ballroom dancing- beautifully, I might add- in full tie and tails. It's in the first few scenes of the movie and honest to goodness, I almost fainted. My adolescent crushes on actors gene was in full flower.

But what got me about the hero, Pierre Dulaine (based on a real person,) was his rather Old World courtesy. He stands when a lady walks by. He opens doors for them. The story goes like this: ballroom champion and instructor Dulaine teaches ballroom to disadvantaged inner city kids stuck in detention. Redemption by rhumba, someone called it, but I liked the movie. Back to the exquisite manners. He does the standing-door-opening thing for a number of women in the school office. A teen boy sitting next to him cannot even understand the concept, but the women are practically swooning.

Just an aside- I don't know that they would have fainting spells if an old short guy with a big nose and hair coming out his ears had shown them such courtesy. I mean, it IS Antonio, after all.

But it made me think. What is courtesy but consideration and respect? It isn't supposing that I am a poor weak little woman who can't open my own doors. I do. Frequently. But when my husband opens my door, keeps his hand on the small of my back when we're going through a crowd, and makes sure he walks on the side nearest the street so any cars splash him, I don't feel oppressed. I feel special. For all that I love Alpha heroes that grab and growl, I have to admit manners make me swoon, too.

Oh, today's Halloween. That means I have to show somebody wearing a mask, right? Okay. Here you go.

Have fun!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Danger! Danger! Danger!

These covers are dangerous! Full of horrifying scary danger! Hugely frightening danger! Because for author Anne Stuart, DANGER is her middle name, people!

At the Edge of the Sun

Robyn: Spy School Study Courses
Distressed Damsels 101- How to Rescue the Girl AND Get A Look Up Her Dress

Missie: Apparently, the edge of the sun is surrounded by water.
And also, why are both his hands on the right side of her waist? Someone doesn't care if someone else lands in the wah-terrrrr!

Darkness Before the Dawn

Robyn: I've never seen that flag before. Just what embassy is this? Whatever country it is, I'm guessing it's fine to wear black pumps with a white suit.

Missie: You would think if she's all, "Danger is my middle name", she would also be all, "Hey, maybe I should wear pants and flat-soled shoes." For the running, and the escaping and the dropping down off balconies and all that. I am just sayin.

Escape Out of Darkness

Robyn: I just want to know one thing. How did Miami Vice's Sonny Crockett get South Beach confused with Switzerland? OnStar, man, OnStar!

Missie: Her: I don't care what you say, PINK IS NOT THE NEW BLACK!
Him: If you don't get down from there right now, little missy, I am so going to slap you! I am seeeer-eeee-ous! Don't even go there! Great, now my manicure is ruined! Thanks! Thank you so much!

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Name By Any Other Name

Writers use pen names all the time. But I found out lots of other professions do too; and in my constant search to find myself- and help you find you- I give you the ultimate name list. Thanks to Jenny for finding herself and linking to it.

1. YOUR PORN STAR NAME: (Name of first pet / Street you live on): Moustafa Bill Carrol I hope I'm a guy.

2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (Name of your favorite snack food / Grandfather's first name): Funyan Basil I love it.

3. YOUR FASHION DESIGNER NAME: (First word you see on your left / Favorite restaurant): Font Johnny Carino Derelict, anyone?

4. EXOTIC FOREIGNER ALIAS: (Favorite Spice / Last Foreign Vacation Spot): Garlic Ireland Sounds more like a cooking show featuring Italian immigrants to Dublin.

5. SOCIALITE ALIAS: (Silliest Childhood Nickname / Town Where You First Partied): Missy Mobin Tahlequah Yes, my mother called me that. Shut up.

6. "FLY GIRL/BOY" ALIAS (a la J. Lo): (First Initial / First Two or Three Letters of your Last Name): R Har At least it's a comedy.

7. ICON ALIAS: (Something Sweet Within Sight / Any Liquid in Your Kitchen): Cappucino Joy True, so true!

8. DETECTIVE ALIAS: (Favorite Baby Animal / Where You Went to High School): Chihuahua Broken Arrow That sounds more like the porn star.

9. BARFLY ALIAS: (Last Snack Food You Ate / Your Favorite Alcoholic Drink): KitKat Champagne Does anyone else think that sounds really good?

10. SOAP OPERA ALIAS: (Middle Name / Street Where You First Lived): Lynette Cleopatra Freaking brilliant.

11. ROCK STAR ALIAS: (Favorite Candy / Last Name Of Favorite Musician): Hershey Turner No way! Sounds real! I'm using it!

12. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: ( First 2 letters of your first name and the last 3 Letters from your last name makes your first name. Take the first 2 letters of your mother's maiden name and the first 3 letters of the city you were born in): Roper Wialb Shoot. I bet you anything I turn out to be an Ewok.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Drive-by Snark, Day Five

We saved the best for last.

Hungry Like the Wolf

Robyn: "I’m on the hunt, I’m after you…" oh. Like you people who were alive in the eighties and addicted to mullet bands weren’t thinking of this:

I also thought Two Moons Over Miami was going to break into a number from A CHORUS LINE. But my girl Missie had her snark on and came up with the premiere comment of the week-

Missie: CRACK is WHACK!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm Free!!!! Drive-by Snark, Day Four

This is my last day at work. My amazing, wonderful hubby has requested that I quit the part-time work so I can concentrate on writing, and on getting things queried and submitted. He is so supportive; I really don't deserve him. To celebrate my coming days of BICHOKing, a piece of Loveswept horribleness.

One Touch of Topaz

Missie: This one registered seven hundred frillion on the Squickometer.

Robyn: Does Dolly Levi know you’ve stolen most of her dress?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Blogger Needs Caffeine- Drive-by Snark Day Three

Blogger is slllllllooooooowwwww this morning, y'all. Maybe it did a little partying last night with Mario Lopez and Eva Longoria and learned to do the samba. Whatever, WAKE UP! People need their snark in the morning, yo?

Forbidden Ecstasy

Missie: There are not enough hours in the day to list all that is wrong with this cover.
Also, is that a skunk on her shoulder?

Robyn: DUDE! That is not an aroused white chick with cleavage hitched up to her clavicle! She's a vampire who came to the frontier looking for fresh meat! RUN!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Robyn's Blond Moment, or Drive-by Snark Day Two

So I'm sitting at home folding laundry last night, thinking about which cover to post today. I didn't think about the fact that I work today and couldn't get on until after 3:00 pm. Sorry! I really shouldn't be allowed leadership of this blog! Anyways, on to the good stuff:

Perchance to Dream

Missie: Her hair!! It's alive! It's AAALLLLIIIIIVVVVE! Run, oh Highlighted One! Run like the wind!

Robyn: I personally think she's dreaming of a world where her bosom isn't in traction.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Drive-by Snark, Day One

We're doing something a little different this week- one cover a day, for five full days of snarkage! You lucky, lucky people you. How's about a little Catherine Coulter?

Devil's Embrace

Robyn: Yes, dear, I'm glad to be back on land. Now put me down.

Missie: How many times do I have to tell you, lift with your knees! Lift with your knees!

Robyn: HA! You do sort of hear him making that "unnnggghhh" noise, don't you?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

You're It!

I've been tagged by December! Let's see...

#1 - One book that changed your life: Madeline L'Engle's second Austins book, The Moon By Night. The 14 year old heroine, Vicki, sees a play of The Diary of Anne Frank and cannot understand how a loving God can let such horrible things happen to good people. Another character thinks it is because God is too committed to our having and exercising free will to interfere every time someone uses their right to make the wrong choice. If there were no consequences, there would be no true free will. I was 14 when I read it, and related with Vicki completely. My grandparents had just been murdered, and I was having trouble with all those questions. Whether or not you agree, those passages helped me tremendously.

#2 - One book that you've read more than once: It would be easier to list the ones I haven't read more than once. I'll put an annual read for me- Within Heaven's Gates by Rebecca Springer. It's her recounting of going to heaven during a lengthy coma-inducing illness. No clouds or harps here; it is described as an incredibly beautiful place but the inhabitants still have work to do. Joyous work to be sure, but far from bland or boring, which I always viewed the harp-playing cloud sitters to be. Reading this lovely account of the afterlife totally took away any fear of death I ever had.

#3 - One book you'd want on a desert island: The SAS Survival Guide: How to Survive Anywhere, on Land or at Sea by John Wiseman is running neck and neck with the Bible. If I didn't manage to pull off the things advised in the guide, I'd surely need to know how to pray.

#4 - One book that made you laugh: To Hell with All That, Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife, by Caitlin Flanagan. Think Erma Bombeck writing for The New Yorker.

#5 - One book that made you cry: Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. I was 12 when I read it. This was the first time I really became aware of racism, and could see it in some of my own relatives and neighbors. A harrowing thing.

#6 - One book that you wish you had written: Make that One book you wish you had submitted and I'll say Virtual Danger by Robyn Harper. Dang, this synopsis thing is kicking my behiney.

#7 - One book that you wish had never been written: I don't think I can go there. Even evil books deserve to be published. I'll call them crap from the loudspeaker that goes to 11, but I can't wish them undone.

#8 - One book you're currently reading: Ghost Hunter by Jayne Castle. (Jayne Ann Krentz' futuristic/sci fi pen name.) Woman can build her some worlds. Just put a stranded human colony on another planet, throw in some stuff from long-dead aliens and trigger some human psychic evolution, but make the tech about the same as present day earth. All the benefits of aliens without the weird names. You just can't go wrong.

#9 - One book you've been meaning to read: One book I've been meaning to finish is London: a Biography by Peter Ackroyd. Good history ho that I am, I've been stuck in the 1500's for months now. Maybe I just can't move into Elizabethan times; I don't know. I may skip ahead to the Regency.

#10 - Tag Five People: Rather than a tag, why don't you just respond to the questions in the comments? One question or all of them, whatever you like.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Just Me Raving...Skip It If You Want

Life intrudes again. I hate it when that happens. My mother-in-law had a stroke, mild but progressive, whatever that means. She's got diabetes, blind in one eye, has a bad leg from back surgery years ago, had heart surgery last year and from a hip surgery has been in a wheelchair for the last few years. She could stand, with help, and walk a few steps by herself. Now, with the stroke, she can't walk. At least yet. She can speak with just a little slurring, and move both her arms though she's shaky.

Now comes the challenge. My sister-in-law (her daughter) is a physical therapist assistant, and holds out every hope that she can be helped with physical and occupational therapy. But here's the thing: she's 72 years old. Her husband is 76. He's been her only caregiver, but if she can't walk or stand there's no way he can continue that. He can't lift her.

We all live in different cities. We've considered the possibility of moving to their area, but I don't know how much help hubby and I would be since we both work. We could help with cooking and cleaning type things to be sure, but the daily physical and medical care would be entirely out of our sphere. What I think they need to do is sell the house (a huge 2 story they don't really need) and move to an assisted living community. The ones I've researched usually offer a graduated care plan, one where you can move from your own small house/bungalow to a condo or apartment, to a nursing home as your needs change. There is on-site medical care, no big yard to take care of, and cleaning help and meals if you need them. It is still your private residence, but I don't know that she'd buy into it.

She's from the Old School, if you will, the one that states that outsiders don't take care of family. You move family in with you, even if it's old Aunt Ruth who has gone nuts and must be chained in the attic. But times have changed. Is it abandoning her if we talk her into this? I don't think so, but she sure will. My father-in-law is thinking like us; he realises he just can't take care of her anymore. His health is very good for his age, but this kind of thing can wear him out quick.

So I'm thinking of my father, and my stepfather, and what exactly should I do as they age? Is it our responsibility to make these decisions for them? Amazing how you never think you're really going to wrestle with these questions. No one prepares you for this.

But I'm looking into it now so my kids won't have to deal with this when Gary and I age. Sorry for the long and unfunny raving, but it's my blog and I'll kvetch if I want to. Hey Missie- shoot those covers to me, or the titles and I'll find the covers for you. Covers you actually like are harder to find than you think! See you in a few.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Tale Of My Unlucky Tresses

Did I ever mention how much I hate the lottery? I really, really do. Unless I win it, of course. Which is highly unlikely since I've only put a dollar in the office pool and we didn't win that week.

Most people just play for fun, putting a few dollars in here and there. I sell lottery tickets where I work; and it only gets painful when people get nuts. And they do. Absolute batcrap crazy nuts. "I want five rows of numbers on this ticket. Four on this one. And I want to pick my own on the first and third row, but have the computer pick the second and fourth. And on this ticket put these numbers in (she hands me a tiny piece of paper with lucky numbers from a fortune cookie) backwards first, then forwards."

If I had a dollar for everytime someone has told me "I want the winning one" I wouldn't need to work there anymore. I had a man come up to the counter who was convinced my hair was lucky, and he wanted me to rub the ticket on my head.

My hair is not, alas, lucky.

I get insane myself when I cash a person's unemployment check, then have to sell them lottery tickets for the cash they've just received. Hey, my taxes are paying for your lazy butt. Pay rent or something. And if you hit it, you owe every working person in the state a cut of your lazy butts' winnings. And the woman who cashes her child support checks to pay for her lottery fix? You should be reported. Or shot. Or both.

Saddest, though, are the senior citizens who are obviously spending money they can't afford in hopes of winning a more comfortable retirement. One older lady told me Jesus was going to make sure she won, because God had told her to send the money to Israel to help the Jews. It took everything I had to sell her that ticket. I never want to walk on someone's faith, but I don't think God works that way, does He? Obviously not, because she didn't win and I haven't seen her back since.

The kicker? All this 'income' the state gets from the lottery is earmarked for education. You know, that thing called book-learnin' what's supposed to help ya git ahead in life by gittin' a good job, so's ya don't have ta win a lottery. Of course, did all this income mean my costs for school supplies was covered?

If you believe that, I'll sell you the winning ticket.