Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And the Living is E-Z

The problem with closing a blog is that now I have all this stuff to spout about but nowhere to spout it! So, here are the updates:

July 13th:
tubing down the Delaware with the girls and friend. Swollen river. Dangerous. Four feet above normal. We come to white water and child number one wants to get off tube and explore a tributary. Uh, NO! She'll get pulled under and swept to Trenton, where we'll find her limp, lifeless, blue body. Hmmmm. What's she doing over there. Standing in knee-deep rushing water? Ok. Let's do the tributary.

Swollen, evil river sucks us helplessly and relentlessly toward a massive tree branch lying in the middle. I envision tubes deflating, flailing death, parental lawsuits, or at least mongo $$ replacing torn tubes. We try to paddle away. No dice. The ropes holding our tubes together become entangled in the branches.

No prob. I have a cool head in emergencies. *inner scream* I lift the ropes, tree rotates. A ziploc bag surfaces on one of the branches. We float free.

"Catch it! Oh, it dropped," yells friend.

Child number one screams, "There's a twenty in it!"

I see the bag drop into the deep and sink. Instinct guides my hand and I pluck it from a watery grave.

Child number one rips it from my hand and claims it. We struggle. I consider my previous vision of her blue and lifeless in Trenton. Hey! There's money involved here!

Ultimately, I let her unzip the sandwich bag because I'd rather be in Iraq than fight a teenage girl for anything--even money. Call me old but that's just the way it is.

She counts it. Fifty one dollars. FIFTY ONE dollars! It pays for our day, and ice cream to boot!

July 15th:
Bastille Day celebration at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. We take a tour of the then state-of-the-art prison, which utilized the new psychological concept of solitary confinement so wrong-doers would have time to think about what they did. This punishment--known as the Time Out--still exists today and definitely works better with toddlers than grown-ups. Adults displayed a tendency to go crazy and the system was soon abandoned.

Anyway, while we were there the sky clouded over and giant thunderclaps shook the loose plaster on the crumbling walls of the ruins. Talk about moody! After the tour we went out to the street festival where a giant guillotine had been constructed and a recreation of seminal moments in the French Revolution was about to start.

After a few cheesy and somewhat hilarious miscues, Marie Antoinette was summarily thrust to the top of the prison battlements where she mocked the crowd and told us to eat Tastycake. Two thousand Twinkies were then catapulted off the roof and into our hungry, peasantly hands. We sang the Marseillaise and beheaded Marie.

It was so. much. fun.

The Ray Ban incident
: remember a few blogs back I'd decided to ditch cheap shades in favor of a new pair of Bans? Remember how wounded I'd been because my second pair broke within days of purchasing them? Remember how it emotionally scarred me for fourteen years?

I bought my third pair. They broke. I am now ruined for life.

And that's my summer so far. How's yours?

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Just got back from the best indie film I've seen in quite a while. Because I'm on haitus from blogging, I've c&ped the Rolling Stone review for ya. It says everything I wanted to say, anyway.

If you want a thrilling, laugh-out-loud funny hour-and-a-half with people who have a passion and follow it, see this movie. It'll leave you high and feeling very good about life and the puzzles therein. Killjoys need not apply.


Starring: Will Shortz, Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Mike Mussina

Directed by: Patrick Creadon

2006 IFC Films All Movies

I thought I'd be bored stiff watching a bunch of word geeks gather in Stamford, Connecticut, for the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Boy, was I wrong. There's more palm-sweating suspense in one minute of this baby than in all of The Omen. The tournament, begun in 1978, is the brainchild of Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times. The documentary, directed with speed and high spirits by Patrick Creadon, indulges in more than its share of Times ass-kissing, but Shortz makes an amiable focus for the brain-spinning fun on display. We meet puzzle constructors, such as Merl Reagle; celeb solvers, like Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns and the Indigo Girls; and best of all, the word-mad contestants who flock to Stamford every March to test their wits against the clock and their own gifts for instant recall and pattern recognition. Ellen Ripstein, the Susan Lucci of solvers -- it took her eighteen years to win the prize, in 2001 -- is wonderfully appealing. As is Jon Delfin, the musician who holds the record with seven wins. But keep your eye on Trip Payne, Al Sanders and twenty-year-old Tyler Hinman, who take the 2005 tournament down to the wire in a finish that helps make Wordplay a heartfelt and hilarious surprise.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

When September Ends

After much angsting, I decided to shut the doors on this blog until I finish the two books I've committed to write this year.

Have a great summer, all!

I'll see you in the fall.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

We Have a Winner!

Mindy has won the free, collectible version of Out of This World!

This has been an absolutely hilarious experience. Scores of entrants spotted penii in the most unlikely places, and the cover artist, Syneca, admitted the phallus was NOT a figment of our imaginations. She put it there on purpose!

Mindy, claim your phallus!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

OOTW romancejunkies review

Title: Out Of This World
Category: Fantasy
Reviewer: Angel
Reviewer e-mail: angelbrewer@romancejunkies.com
Authors: Ann Wesley Hardin
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Release Date: May 2006
ISBN: 1419906410
Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

This book is a labyrinth of twists and turns and it’s real easy to get confused if you don’t pay attention.

Arnie Simpson knows from the second the woman gets off the plane she is going to be major trouble. She’s come for a wedding, but if Arnie has his way she’s not leaving. Who is this strange woman and why is she so interested in him? One thing is certain whenever they come together, more than sparks fly. Could Ava be from another planet?

Ava arrives for her friends wedding, but after seeing Arnie her outlook changes and she definitely wants him. Why would such a brilliant man be in the middle of nowhere working on planes instead of in a lab? Arnie is not like any man Ava has met and there is something very different about him. Ava is a woman with very strict ideas but she is starting to wonder if Arnie is from somewhere else entirely.

OUT OF THIS WORLD is a fun read and will keep the reader entertained throughout the entire story. It has its funny moments as well as serious, but for the most the story is a lite read. Arnie is a genius that would rather tinker on planes than be in a lab and you have to respect that. Ava is a woman who goes after what she wants and Arnie is it. She knows something strange is going on and together they try to find out what is behind all of the unusual happenings. Love scenes are passionate and fiery. Ann Wesley Hardin is a talented author and readers will certainly want to get their hands on more of her books.

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Kewl New Toy!

Now I can make movies for my blog! Bwahahaha!

Bear with me, folks, as I do a little redesign the next few days. I'm tired and bored with this blog.