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.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

All Good Things...

…and you know the rest. Two years ago Missie and I decided to start this little snarkfest, but neither of us really realized what we were getting into. We have so enjoyed our experience; getting to know you, each other, and ourselves. But kids and work and generally, life, have intruded to a large degree, and it is becoming tougher to keep up. It is quite possibly because of the narrow focus of this particular blog. Kind of like the friend who tells her new acquaintances how funny you are, and when you meet them she says, “Go on! Be funny!”

Don’t get me wrong. We’ll always love romance, we’ll always dish on good books and bad covers. We’ll always be snarky.

And we won’t leave the blogging world completely. We’ll still visit all your blogs and leave witty, pithy comments that will annoy you greatly because we’ve shown you up, and we may have other blogs in the future.

From Missie: Once again, words fail me. I cannot possibly tell you how much you have all meant to me, so I won't really try. Thank you for stopping by here, reading our sometimes funny, sometimes nonsensical posts, and for allowing me to flood the Net with pictures of my children. You are the sweetest, prettiest, funniest, bestest group of blogfriends that any blogstress has ever had. (That is our totally unbiased opinion, so you can take that to the bank.)

We love keeping up with your lives, so we will be stopping by your blogs as time permits. Robyn has such talent and wit that I am sure we are not hearing the last from her in the Blog world. I will be starting another blog soon (and by soon, I mean sometime before my children put me in the nursing home) that deals with life, motherhood, and weight loss, not neccessarily in that order. We will post the addresses for our new digs here whenever we finally find a place to land.

We love you and will miss you. And the next time you see a really bad cover, think of us...for we will be thinking of you. And mutant babies in leopard suits.

From me: I have been continually amazed at how vibrant, intelligent, interesting, touching, and funny the online world really is. I honestly feel I have friends all over the globe, and wonder if my non-U.S. buddies know what wonderful ambassadors you are. World peace would so much easier if we could all have a laugh over John DeSalvo’s radioactive pants, yo?

You have given me laughter, support, salved my ego and challenged my thinking. You gave me your rapt attention while I was randomly musing, and your love while I was grieving. Thank you. Thank you so much.

We’ll leave this up so you can come by and view the covers in the archives if you need a laugh. For now, though, especially if you’ve never commented, (and we know you’ve lurked, even I don’t visit enough to warrant so many hits) come on in, have a caramel macchiato and a brownie and say goodbye!

Later, dudes!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Worst of the Worst

Good Lord above, make sure you can dial 911 if necessary.

Emily's Daughter

Robyn: Now, she holding a picture of her daughter, or is she pregnant with her daughter? Is she so upset with the hideous dress she got stuck with she tried to rip the veil out of her hair?

Missie: Emily's daughter took one look at this dress and ran away from home. Along with Emily's fiancé, Emily's parents, and all Emily's friends.

Get Lucky

Robyn: Don’t we have enough movies about ordinary, plump guys getting hot women? We don’t need books, too!

Missie: A highlighted Jack Black does not say "romance" to me.

Moment of Truth

Robyn: His hand is down his pants. Her hand is in his pocket. Knowing what I know about guys, shouldn't he be happier right now?

Missie: What you can't see is the shiv she's sticking in his ribs while she's trying to get at his wallet. Back pocket, honey, it's in the baaaack pocket.

$he's on the Money

Robyn: Dude, if I saw a woman in the grocery store wearing that, I’d faint too.

Missie: More like She's On the Crack because no one not under the influence of illegal drugs would wear that outfit.

The Nanny Solution

Robyn: Nothing says luurve like a mutant baby in a catsuit. OMG, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Missie: I am sooooo calling Children and Family Services, because nobody should do that to a helpless baby.

Solitary Soldier

Missie: There's a reason he's solitary. And it ain't by choice.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Director- CUT!"

Sometimes, that’s how I really feel. I have to laugh at people who think romance readers can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality; they would have no more concerns if they could hear my internal dialogue with heroines. It usually goes something like this:

“Umm, okay. He’s tall, gorgeous, has no commitment issues, has a job, and isn’t gay. Your problem with him is what, again?”

But there has to be a conflict, so I get the Somewhat Implausible Reason I Don't Jump Him. I’ve written more than a few myself. And almost every heroine will, at some point in the book, do something stupid. I’m not talking about the waif who is TSTL. She could have several doctorates and a tenured position at Harvard, but she’ll do something stupid. That’s okay, too. After all, it’s the equivalent of yelling at the blonde in the slasher flick, “Don’t go in the basement! At least not in your skimpy nightie!” Fun times.

What makes me want to get out the 2x4 and warm up my batting arm is the nonsensical reason she always comes up with in the last act to keep the hero at arm’s length. She’ll invariably be upset over something that really, after everything else that’s happened, doesn’t matter. This hero has just gone through at least 250 pages of hell for this woman. He’s saved her. She’s saved him. They both know that the other is the Only Man/Woman For Me, so what’s the problem? Something pissy that makes me want to choke the life out of her. It’s like the authors know they’ll need two more chapters, so they spin the Wheel of Random Angst.

  • You haven’t said you love me.

  • You’ll always love your first wife more.

  • You ~sob~ LIED to me!

  • You hate my father.

  • You hate my cat.

  • I don’t know how to be a Viscountess.

Puh-leeze! I feel like the Colonel in that old Monty Python skit who yells at the director to stop because it was quaint and amusing, but now it’s just got silly.

Get it together, girl! Didn’t the last 23 chapters (and a big chunk of my life) teach you anything? It isn’t a good sign when I begin regretting putting off the laundry to finish this frigging thing. If it was done 20 pages ago, stick a fork in it and serve it up already.

Authors and editors, I beg you- if you need a bigger word count, bring back the prologue and the info-dump, but put the wheel away.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Love The Internet

Where else could I read about a naked man walking down Melrose with a leopard around his neck?

Or a boy who has impaled his nose with a fork? (WARNING- this is an actual picture. And I was worried about my daughter getting sand in her ear. Yeesh.)

Or soldiers who are saved by feminine hygiene products?

Before Al Gore invented the internet, what would I have done with my hour and fifteen minutes this morning?

Umm, don't answer that.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cowtown RULES!

Y'all, I just spent the greatest week with my family. In Fort Worth, Texas.

Yes, you read that right. Fort Worth.

Now, I used to live near Dallas. And I had relatives who would genuflect before the Texas flag every morning and thank their Creator for the awesome privilege of living in Dallas. Because in Dallas, you could still be classy and sophisticated and urban AND be Cowboys football fans.

But Fort Worth? Cowtown. Not classy. Not sophisticated. Moooo.

I have to spread the news far and wide- I LOVED that city. Fort Worth has the cleanest downtown area I've ever seen. No trash. The two winos I saw stayed to the shadows. One beggar. Who didn't beg from me.

There were polite, smiling, flat-bellied policemen on bikes who courteously directed you toward the nearest pizza place. There were blue vested workers who swept the streets free of pamphlets and beer bottles, who actually scrubbed gum off the sidewalk. I expected to be awakened each morning by gentle yet insistent birds who then made my bed, and to have competent but badly dressed mice bring me my coffee and newspaper.

I could totally see myself walking down the shining streets, peering into the quaint Western wear shops, carrying my brown paper grocery bag containing a baguette and a limp green leafy thing, trading Gilmore Girls quips with a friend, and then running into a man who has always infuriated me even though he's disturbingly, mutantly cute, only to come to the horrifying realization that deep down, I really like him. Yeah, it's that kind of town.

What did you do on your vacation?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sad But True

The Ant and Grasshopper
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green." Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.
Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share. Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer! The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government. Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the case.
The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.
MORAL OF THE STORY: You fill it in...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Oh so White and Nerdy

Hey, everyone! One of our internet buds needs some help, so I am sending out the Batsignal...

I received this email earlier today from Paige, a weight loss buddy of mine from Utah. She has a chance to meet Donny Osmond if she gets enough votes in this contest. Read on...

"Hello friends,
I am writing to ask you a favor. Would you take just a moment to vote
for me for Donny Osmond's biggest fan? I submitted a little blurb about
why I'm such a huge fan, and I'd really like to win tickets to his
upcoming contest and (sigh) actually meet him! But I need a little help
from people like you.
You just go to this site:
then click on vote, and I am entry #4.
You can only vote once for each email account, so if you have two
accounts, you could vote twice (or ask your spouse or kids with email
accounts to vote for me). Thank you for helping me get to meet Donny!
So, whaddya say, Snarklettes? Can we help a sistah out? Please click the link above and let the girl get some Osmond love.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Oh the Scandal!

Hi, my name is Missie and I have never read a Harry Potter book.

I do not watch Survivor, American Idol, Big Brother, The Apprentice, or any Bachelor/-ette type shows.

I know enough of Amy Winehouse to know her tattoos and hair scare me, but know nothing of her music. I do not know the name of any of Beyonce's songs. I don't care who Justin Timberlake is dating.

I will never ever buy perfumes "designed" by Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, or any other pseudo-celebrity, no matter how wonderful they smelled, just based on principle. (although for a brief period in the late eighties/early nineties, I was in love with the perfume by Cher, because it smelled good and came in a really cool bottle.)

Lest you think I am hopelessly out of it, let me assure you that I can:

*Name all four Teletubbies and their respective colors

*Recite almost all lines from Napoleon Dynamite and the Spongebob Squarepants movie

*Sing with accuracy along with Weird Al Yankovic's "White and Nerdy"

*Intelligently discuss each presidential candidate's view on major issues.

Don't you wish your blogger was hot like me? My coolness knows no bounds.

I know. My mom bores me, too.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

HA! If you were watching MTV in the 80's, that song will go through your head the rest of the day. (GoGo's, if you wanna google it.)

Yes, I'm going on vacation *hallelujah* and actually getting in the car and driving away from my town *thank You Jesus* and BOTH kids are stoked and ready with no discernable teen angst *angel chorus singing.*

Be back Monday to tell you all about it, but I thought I'd leave you with another 80's gem:
From Tri-Star Pictures- the terrifying tale of a woman attacked when her ugly black velvet futon grows a man!
See ya Monday!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Alright, Kinda

Losing a parent is a weird thing. It can't be described adequately by someone who has gone through it to someone who hasn't...there just aren't the words.

My dad had been sick for a very long time. He had emphysema, and then was diagnosed with Stage Four Lung Cancer that had metastisized (sp?) to his liver. To top it off, he came down with pneumonia. And all the while, he continued to smoke.

But even with all this going on, we still never expected the end to be as quick as it was. Go into the hospital on Friday, go into eternal reward on Wednesday morning.

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 5th. We planned their party for July 28th, since it didn't fall around any holidays and more people were likely to be able to make it. My dad went into the hospital on July 27th. He was unable to make the party. My mom did go, since she didn't want to disappoint anyone who'd already made their way to Central Oregon for the shindig. She was such a trooper...all decked out in her new flirty, flouncy dress she bought to surprise my dad, hair and makeup all done..She laughed and joked and had a good time with everyone, all the while worried about her man who lay intubated and sedated in a hospital 30 miles away.

We were told on Monday morning by my dad's oncologist (who had no idea my dad had been admitted over the weekend) that my dad never should have been placed on a ventilator. He should have just been given what comfort there could be and passed on...that we were only prolonging the inevitable...that he wasn't making it out of this one...that he was never coming home again.

Now, I ask you. How do you comfort a woman who has been married for fifty years to this man, who has never known anything else, who grew up with him, bore his children, followed him from pillar to post around the world, when she gets this kind of news?

I realize this entry is very choppy and badly written, but I need to get this out, get it posted, and be done. I told Robyn yesterday on the phone that I am sick of this story. I am sick of the sound of my own voice. I am sick of all the details. I have had to call so many people, and deal with the visitors and family, and coordinate the food, and soothe the egos involved, and do so many things, that I am sick of this..this...this busy-ness of death.

I just want to sit for awhile. Sit in a quiet room and cry a little and rage a little and throw a few things.

I miss my dad. I love my dad. I am mad at my dad. Not mad that he died...but mad at how he chose to go.

I am a big freedom person. You can be free to do whatever you want to do. But be aware that you don't live in a vacuum. Your choices will either help or hurt someone. Every time my dad chose to smoke, he set this end up for himself and for us. Every time he lit up, he decided how his final days would be spent. Every time he bought a pack of cigarettes, he set this appointment up for his children and wife to be standing beside his bed in a sterile cold CCU ward after midnight listening to the fading sounds of his breathing.

So while I mourn, I quietly rage. I mourn that my dad will never get to see my daughter develop from the outrageously adorable toddler she is now into the wonderful young woman she will be. He won't get to see my son as he transitions from goofy pre-teen to tall handsome high schooler. And he won't be here to help my husband and I celebrate our 20th, or 25th, or 30th wedding anniversaries. He won't be here to commiserate on the hazards of raising teenagers or complain about the government. He won't be here for me to tell about the latest political thriller I read, and get his take on it after he read it.

I won't smell his smell anymore. Mennen aftershave mixed with the Johnson's Baby Oil he used on his hair to keep it soft and shiny. (no lie. it totally worked, too. I tried it once and looked like I combed my hair with a porkchop.) And I won't get to see him come into whatever room my mom's in, go up behind her, and give her a hug and a kiss on the neck. Or a pat on the butt. Or hear a "Hey, baby, you got any coffee?"

I miss my dad. I want him back. For me. For my kids. For my heartbroken brothers. For my mamma.

I wish I could ask him if all his choices were worth it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Prayers, Please

Some of you may remember that two years ago, my mom died of lung cancer. I'm very sorry to say that Missie's father has passed away, with the same disease. She may lurk when she needs a break, but I'll make sure she gets any condolences you'd like to send.

Losing loved ones to cancer truly is the club no one wants to join. And the difference in our situations just points to the fact that cancer makes no damn sense.

Let's just say that Missie's dad wasn't Jack LaLane and leave it there. Doing The Good Thing For Your Body wasn't number one on his list. My mom was health itself. Missie's dad smoked; my mom smoked but quit twenty years before she developed cancer. He didn't do everything 'right' and lived for two years after his diagnosis of Stage Four. My mom did everything you're supposed to, and died six months after her diagnosis of Stage Three.

I'm so angry about so many things. I was angry that we had to watch my mother slip away and know there wasn't a thing we could do about it. I was angry that she had to lay on a table, with her breasts exposed for the radiation, arms flung out for the chemo pumping into her veins, and she had to just lie there and take it. These white-coated people literally poured poison into her two different ways, and she couldn't obey her first, natural impulse to fight.

I'm angry that forever after, my children and grandchildren will have to put a check next to the cancer box on their medical histories. I'm angry that I get scared if I develop a cough. I'm angry that sometimes I still dream about her and the next day I'm no good to anyone. I'm angry that the things she would have loved seeing, my children's prom pictures and graduation and college freshman mania, she won't.

But mostly, I'm angry that now my best friend has to go through all this. For those of you who have your health, thank God and go hug your family. If you don't, go hug your family harder. You can also go here and here to see what you can do to make sure that as few people as possible ever join this club.