Monday, November 24, 2008

Word of the Week #30

Status: Briefly coming up for air between finishing my WIP and Thanksgiving preparations
Song: "When All Is Said and Done" by Vertical Horizon

volte-face - [vawlt-FAHS]- noun

Definition: An about-face; a reversal, as in policy or opinion.

Usage: Many politicians become adept at volte-face with a smile, sometimes on a daily basis.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jaime rants about politics, toothpaste, and Obama as a vulcan

Status: A little sore from working out
Song: "A New Hope" by Broken Iris

This year was a year of firsts in politics here in the U.S. And if you were paying the slightest bit of attention to the Presidential Race, then you can think of plenty of those on your own. For my rant today, the first I want to talk about is the first time I think politics actually has surpassed the ridiculousness of celebrity worship. Perhaps this is not a first, and I just haven't paid enough attention to enough politics, but I'm still going to rant on it anyway.

You know what set me off? The news headline that "Web-savvy Obama may be without email."

You're freaking kidding me, right? Whether I voted for him or not, I support the new President of our country, and I don't mind hearing all about the policies he wants to implement, or who he appoints to his cabinet. Meetings with other prominent leaders, okay. I'll even concede cool things about the White House the Obama's can expect to enjoy.

But do we really need to stop what we're doing to contemplate which breed should be the "First Puppy?" And I know Barrack Obama playing basketball is more news worthy than wars in the Middle East. Don't forget how important Michelle Obama's choice of apparel is (you might not believe the blogs devoted to her dress choice. Um, get a life people?) Stories about the potential "First Grandma" are mildly okay. She's a cute old lady, so I'll let those ones slide. These are just some of the headlines I've seen dashing around the Web on a normal day.

It more than smacks of hero worship. And frankly, it's driving me batty. I see more about Obama than Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, etc. etc. I couldn't care less about the minutae of an actor's or actress's life, so why do I care if Obama's email service is down? Did we get a whole news story when some other senator couldn't get into his email? And maybe I'm a little off here, but I *think* that it will get fixed before he takes office. Certainly the U.S. Government can make sure the President of the United States has internet access--somehow? (Although, with some of the government programs I've had to slog through, maybe that's too optimistic.)

How long before our President starts doing celebrity endorsements? I can see it now.

"Hello, I'm President Obama. When I'm going into a peace summit with world leaders, I want to make sure my smile is at its best. The only toothpaste for the White House is Crest Whitening. Not only is it the one most recommended by dentists, but with its patented whitening formula I can knock the socks off any dictator who may or may not be a tyrant, but we won't actually call him evil, even though he slaughters tens of thousands of his own people. But if he uses this toothpaste, at least his smile will be without reproach."

If I see a headline talking about the Obama's getting a haircut, or which toothpaste or shampoo they use, I will totally lose it.

**I was looking around for a picture of President-Elect Obama for the blog and came across this one that would have made milk shoot out my nose if I'd been drinking milk at the time. It in no way is disrespectful to Obama. Well, any more than putting vulcan ears on him can be. If someone made John McCain look like Scottie I would have loved it just as much. (And if you find a pic of that, let me know.) I come from a Trekkie family, so this is hilarious to me. I got the picture from Enjoy!**

I'm sure vulcans value their pearly whites, too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Word of the Week #29

Status: Trying to finish up my current book, so the blogging may be scarce for the next little while.
Song: "Cloudless" by Peter Gabriel

lugubrious - [loo-goo-bree-uhs] - adjective

Definition: mournful, dismal, or gloomy, esp. in an affected, exaggerated, or unrelieved manner.

Usage: Here's hoping the "Twilight" movie that comes out this week won't be too lugubrious, since it's a story about love that just can't work.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remember Veterans Today

Status: Grateful for the millions who serve and die for our freedom
Song: "Hammerhead" by The Offspring

Thank a member of the military.

Happy Veteran's Day

*I went on a field trip with my son's class to the cemetery this morning and took all these pictures myself. Yea!*

Monday, November 10, 2008

Word of the Week #28

Status: It's raining, it's pouring...
Song: "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by Scorpions

vituperation -- [vy-too-puh-RAY-shuhn] -- noun

1. The act or an instance of speaking abusively to or about.
2. Sustained and severely abusive language.

The issue of Prop. 8 in California has reduced many to simple vituperation instead of reasoned discussion.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bad Writing Contest Winners

Status: Not liking shopping on a Saturday
Song: "Numa Numa" by O-zone

A friend emailed me the link to a local paper's Bad Writing Contest Winners for this year. It seriously made my day. Here are some of my favorites:

Best nod to a runaway bestseller

When Bekka — sweet, adorable Bekka, scrapbooker, scripture chase champion, pure, innocent chaste Bekka, who made her own modest swimwear and provided Rice Krispie treats for every missionary homecoming — when Bekka announced her engagement to Ed, everyone in the ward knew it was right, because Ed was, as any fool could see, Bekka's perfect match: good looking, strong, and a vampire.

—Eric Samuelsen

Best romance

Theirs was a romance straight out of the Old West, replete with trusty horses, cowboy hats, boots, spurs, six-shooters and shouts of "yee haw!" which is probably why the condo association had them evicted.

—Lynn Nielsen

Best cliffhanger

From the tips of her toes to the ends of those pesky hairs on her head that even spray and brushing never hold down, Sarah sensed something huge was about to happen to her, and it does, too, on page 157.

—Steve Warren


Detective Smyth, a former English teacher, stepped over both mutilated bodies and a spreading pool of blood on the floor, to use a can of yellow spray paint (that the killer had left behind) to correct typos in angry words scrawled on one wall: "Yu'll never katch me, kops!"

—Robert B. Robeson

You can see the whole list here.

And some more hilarious, milk-snorting winners from the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest here.

Here's my favorite from that one:

"Die, commie pigs!" grunted Sergeant "Rocky" Steele through his cigar stub as he machine-gunned the North Korean farm animals.

Dave Ranson
Calgary, Alberta

Now I'm in the mood for some bad writing. *crack my knuckles* I may just have to make up my own list. Anyone else want to contribute?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recommended Reading: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Status: Just got my hair cut. Yea! I now have bangs.
Song: "Running from the Scene" by Manic Bloom

Well, it's been a bit of a HEAVY week, what with all the politics and elections and everything. Sometimes when things are heavy, you just have do something totally light and brainless to balance yourself out. Some people like to veg out and watch TV, but every time I try that I usually spend my vegging time flipping channels. (How is that with over 100 channels there can't be anything good on?! I would even settle for watching The Mummy for like, the 14th time. I love that movie.)

Since I'm a book addict, here's a recommendation for some light, fun, and completely anti-heavy reading.

**Note: I tried writing a few catchy back-cover blurb type paragraphs to entertain and enthrall, but I couldn't write anything that tops the product description from Amazon. So I'm going to shamelessly steal their description here. Just understand that it actually came from some professional copy writer who is obvisouly better at this than me.

A hero with an incredible talent...for breaking things. A life-or-death rescue a bag of sand. A fearsome threat from a powerful secret network...the evil Librarians.

Alcatraz Smedry doesn't seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop them! infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness.

(See what I mean?! How can I compete with that?)

I loved Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians. It is one of the most fun and clever books I've read in a really long time. Even though the target audience is young adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The first-person narration is a hoot, and the author not only pokes fun at himself but many aspects of society as well. The whole story is ludicrous and off-the-wall, but pulls together wonderfully by the skillful talent of Brandon Sanderson. I laughed out loud numerous times, and actually even snorted at a real clever slam on Harry Potter at the very end.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Brandon Sanderson a few times, and he is a warm and fun guy with a good sense of humor. Brandon is well-known in fantasy circles for his Mistborn series, as well as recently being chosen to complete Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series after Jordan's death.

Brandon told a group of writers that he wrote Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians as a break from the heavier fantasy he normally writes that, according to him, "tends to take itself very seriously." With these books, Sanderson was going anti-serious. After reading Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians you will never hear the word "rutabaga" without smiling.

Just recently I finished the second book in the series, Alcatraz versus the Scrivener's Bones, and it was just as fun and clever as the first book. (Which was a relief, since sometimes the sequels don't quite live up to the first - not in this case.)

Some people find the first-person, tongue in cheek narration distracting, but I loved it. I highly recommend these books to balance out the serious and heavy in your life.

You can find out more about Brandon Sanderson and his books at his website.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't forget to VOTE!!

Status: Going to vote
Song: "Proud to be an American" by Lee Greenwood


Monday, November 3, 2008

Word of the Week #27

Status: It's been one of those days
Song: "Crazy" by Seal

addle - [ad-'l] - verb

Definition: to make or become muddled or confused

Usage: Helping my friend navigate her medical bills is addling my brain.