Humor

I’d like to share with you something that came from one of those foolish emails that gets forwarded so many times you’re not sure where it began. So I’m afraid I can’t give any particular man credit for this. But as a public service announcement I thought I’d share with women what some silly men actually believe to be true. Now here are 13 “rules” from the MAN BOOK (and since all of them–in a man’s opinion–are all equally important they are all numbered 1). Please ladies be gentle with the comments. There are men who read this blog.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

2. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:
Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

3. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

4. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

5. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

6. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

7. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

8. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine… Really.

9. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball or motor sports.

male torso w handsXSmall

10. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, Expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

11. Crying is blackmail.

12. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.

13. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

This week before all Hallow’s Eve I wanted to share with you some interesting facts about Halloween. (And don’t mind the sexiness … the guys just haven’t been around for awhile and thought they’d just hang around and visit.)

1. Halloween’s roots can be traced back to Celtic culture in Ireland. According to their “Druid” religion, November 1st was New Year’s on their calendar. The celebration would begin on October 31st, and last into the following day. The spirits of all who died in the prior year, would rise up and roam the earth on this night. (That’s one heck of a party! And after a night like that … it’s the morning after that would bring the walking dead!)

2. The first Halloween celebration in America took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921. (I’m thinking they danced around a bon fire and made sure this guy was around to make sure it all stayed safe.)

3. Druids wore masks on Samhain to protect themselves from goblins, ghosts and evil spirits because it was believed the dead walked the earth. (And I’m thinking a little blindfold on Halloween might be juuuust enough.)

4. Vampire bats are real and they do drink blood. They live in Central and South America and feed on cattle, swine, and horses. Whether there are real human vampires depends on who you talk to. (And if there are vampires and they looked like Alex O’Lauglin … I’d happily let them take a bite out of me!)

5. Halloween’s colors are black and orange. To Pagans, orange represents strength, valor and energy. Black absorbed and banished evil. Non-Pagans viewed orange as the color of autumn and harvest; black as signs of death and malevolence. (Sometimes all you need is black and white.)

6. The original Jack-o-Lanterns were mangel-wurzels, large yellowish beets. According to legend, Jack was a mean spirited Irishman who outsmarted the devil. When Jack died, he was denied entrance to both Heaven and hell. The devil threw him a lump of coal to guide Jack on his eternal earthly journey and he put it in a mangel-wurzel.(Tht’s right sweetie, stay close, I won’t let you get lost in the dark.)

7. In an early form of trick-or-treating, Celts costumed as spirits are believed to have gone from house to house engaging in silly acts in exchange for food and drink. (I wonder what sort of acts this guy is up to?)

8. 90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids’ Halloween trick-or-treat bags. (Maybe we should bind his hands to be sure he’s a good boy. 😉 )

9. Halloween is second only to Christmas in spending. Consumers will spend over $2.5 Billion during Halloween. That’s a whole lot of candy, costumes, decorations, and party goods. (Pshaw… it’s the margarita mix and salt! Yee Haw!)

10. A man in Rhode Island broke the pumpkin record this year, growing a gourd that weighed 2009 pounds! He smashed the former record of 1818 pounds grown by a couple in Quebec, Canada in 2011. (Yeah, yeah, whatever … how about handling this guy?)

11. More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces – enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if laid end-to-end. (How about I wrap myself around this man candy just once?)

12. “Witch” comes from the Saxon word meaning “Wicca” which means wise one. Witches were thought to be wise enough to predict the future. (I’d just like this guy to work his magic on me!)

13. The world’s fastest time to carve a pumpkin recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records was 54.72 seconds by Stephen Clarke of the US. (Sorry, Stephen, there’s not one woman walking this earth that thinks 54 seconds is a good time!)

NOTE: No Ouji boards were harmed in the writing of this blog.

When I was a kid Halloween was very low budget in my house. We lived in the country so there weren’t a whole lot of houses around, which meant my siblings and I weren’t overly invested in donning costumes to visit a dozen houses. But we knew we wouldn’t be successful gaining access to the candy stashes if we didn’t at least put forth some effort. So my costumes usually consisted of my dad’s oversized suit jacket, some charcoal rubbed on cheeks and chin for a beard and a stick thrown over my shoulder with a bandana hanging from it. Not the most inventive, but hey, it got the job done at 4:00 Halloween night.

When my children were young we lived in a neighborhood by the elementary school. LOTS of parents and children roamed the streets. It looked like the trick-or-treating scene out of ET (one of my favorite movies of all time). I was the one who stayed home and doled out candy … in costume of course (a witch dress and hat that slipped on after dinner with no hassles and served me for many, many years). The pumpkins the family had intricately carved were lit up in the front window. But still … it was all for one night and low-tech. The pumpkins were recycled the next day. No fanfare. No hassles.

NOW it seems Halloween has gone the way of Christmas. What’s up with all the decorations people put on their front porches? Everything from blow up pumpkins to witches stirring cauldrons (a mere $160 at Wal-Mart thank you very much). Seriously? I can barely get decorations up for Christmas and then they stay there until nearly Easter. Do neighbors actually expect people to put the cornstalks up around the porch posts and fall leaves in the window boxes?

Lord help me if that’s the case. I’m soooo not into that. When did Halloween become this crazy commercialized holiday? It seems to have snuck up on me like last year’s extra weight and I’m not very happy about either situation.

Even costumes are crazy. Rarely do I see the sheet over the head costume of my youth. (Hey, don’t knock it. If four other siblings do this it means everyone can hit the same house several times to get the good stuff … who would know?) Now, babies show up at my door dolled up like pea pods and cows. Yeah, they’re adorable, but we all know it’s not that 18 month old who’s snarfing down the candy. And don’t be coming to my house with the four year old sibling who’s holding a second bag for baby sister. Cut me some slack. If you can’t eat it … you don’t get to trick-or-treat for it.

I know. I’m the Scrooge of Halloween. I’ve completely lost the spirit. The Grinch of Samhain who’s heart just isn’t in it. I just can’t help myself. I’m feeling the pressure to keep up with my neighbors and I don’t like it. Hey, the mall is decorated for Christmas. Maybe I’ll just put up my Christmas decorations as well and call it good for the year. What do you think?

Okay, for those of you tripping on this hoping the erotic romance writer is talking about some sexually fun topic … forget about it. Just get your minds out of the gutter. I’m just rambling today about writing. Because what I’m discovering about this writing gig is the longer I’m doing it, the harder it’s getting. (Seriously, quit giggling and get your mind out of the bedroom.)

Now stay with me here.

When I first started writing I could sit at the computer for hours typing pages and pages. I didn’t worry so much where the plot was taking me or how the characters were behaving … I just wrote. Blissfully. Stupidly. My stories meandered here and there until I reached an end. It was so easy. Then I got published. Not once, but several times.

Okay, now I had an editor and a series going and wait … there are readers out there looking for my next book. Yay! What a thrill. It is, it really is, but now when I sit down to write I have this niggling anti-muse looking over my shoulder saying things like “the reader’s going to see that twist, don’t bother” “oh, he would say that?” “that’s not a good plot it’s been overused” “they’re not going to like this as much as the last book” “they’re going to slaughter you on Goodreads for that”.

Yeah, you get the idea. The whole nasty negativity stealing away my creative juices. So here are a couple ways I’ve learned to combat it.

1. Turn the music up louder. That’s right drown out the negativity.
2. Keep typing, everything can be fixed in edits
3. Type without looking back. Don’t allow yourself to turn around and second guess the day’s writing.
4. Even if you’re a pantser, take 5 minutes before you write and jot down the important points of the scene/chapter you’re working on. You’ll be surprised how much that will increase your productivity.
5. And if all that fails … gag the bitch and tell her to shut the f%*&@# up!

Whew I feel better. I hope those tips help. As for me, it’s time to find that gag and write out a couple of scene points and finish up the book I’m working on. I know readers are waiting on this one.

Oh, and just so you have something to discuss … what’s for dinner? (I’m always looking for ideas.)

Since some of us haven’t seen the yellow orb in the sky for several days and many of you have had too much of it, I thought it would be fun to give you 13 facts about the sun. I added some pictures … I hope you can suffer through them.

1. The surface of the Sun, called the photosphere, is at a temperature of about 5800 K. (But a swim with this guy will certainly cool things off.)

2. The Sun is personified in many mythologies: the Greeks called it Helios and the Romans called it Sol. (And I just call this heavenly.)

3. The Sun’s magnetic field is very strong (by terrestrial standards) and very complicated. Its magnetosphere extends well beyond Pluto. (But can it hold a candle to this guy?)

4. The Sun is by far the largest object in the solar system. It contains more than 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System. (I don’t know, this guy seems to be taking up juuuust the right amount of space.)

5.  In addition to heat and light, the Sun also emits a low density stream of charged particles (mostly electrons and protons) known as the solar wind. (But he certainly looks like he could protect me from that big, bad wind.)

6. The solar wind has large effects on the tails of comets and even has measurable effects on the trajectories of spacecraft. (And this guy has a measurable effect on my heartrate.)

7. Sunspots are “cool” regions, only 3800 K. They look dark only by comparison with the surrounding regions. (And a little swim with this honey would certainly “cool” me off.)

8. The Sun is, at present, about 70% hydrogen and 28% helium by mass everything else “metals” amounts to less than 2%. This changes slowly over time as the Sun converts hydrogen to helium in its core. (Yeah, yeah, whatever, show me the man candy.)

9. A small region known as the chromosphere lies above the photosphere. (And the region above a man’s hips is known as “the lickable zone”.)

10. The highly rarefied region above the chromosphere, called the corona, extends millions of kilometers into space but is visible only during a total solar eclipse. (And man candy this fine is only visible in the summer.)

11. The solar wind and the much higher energy particles ejected by solar flares can have dramatic effects on the Earth ranging from power line surges to radio interference to the beautiful northern lights. (… to beautiful bodies.)

12. The Sun is about 4.5 billion years old. (But still shines brightly on young studs.)

13. The outer layers of the Sun exhibit different rotations,  at the equator the surface rotates once every 25.4 days; near the poles it’s as much as 36 days. (I’d like to take a spin with him…)

Okay, it’s release day for Magic Mike …

And yeah, I totally want to go see this with some girlfriends. It looks like there are some awesome dance moves in this movie. *vbg* (And for some reason Mr. Nina doesn’t want to see this one … go figure! 😉 ) But it looks like I’m going to have to wait a day or two. In the meantime, I thought I’d post a little something for my female readers. An informal poll if you may.

This post actually stemmed from a conversation I had with my brother-in-law.
Me: I really like those jeans on you.
Him: *very puzzled* You think so? They have no shape. They just sort of hang on
me. You know like Don’s jeans.
Me: I remember Don’s jeans, I liked them too.
Him: I thought they were ugly. I’d rather have something that showed off my butt.

This conversation totally cracked me up. It never occurred to me that my BIL (who’s not a young guy) even thought about how his butt looked in his jeans. I guess that’s because I’m not a butt woman. There was a time in college when my roommate was appalled I didn’t look at guys’ butts. Well of course the geeky scientist in me stepped forward and decided to do a little research.

Everywhere I went I checked out guy’s butts. Swaddled in denim. Covered in gym shorts. Framed in painter pants. (Yep, showing my age there.) And I don’t remember if I thought any looked better than another. But I do remember after doing this for a couple of weeks, I was walking to the dining hall feeling like I had become obsessed with butts! I broke the habit right then and there. Because the truth is … butts don’t do it for me.

You know what makes me drool? Forearms and hands. Yep, strong, wide palms progressing to muscled forearms. *sigh* My thoughts definitely go to what those hands can do for me. (Like take out the trash or washing dishes … where were you going with that? Sheesh. *vbg*) Now if my gaze travels up that forearm, tripping over a sculpted biceps and further still to a well defined chest … well then I’m a total goner! I chalk it all up to a misspent youth hanging out at the beach. Lots of young shirtless men to enjoy. And they didn’t manscape back then. Everything was at it was intended to be. (But that’s a blog for another day.)

So what about you? When you’re watching the opposite sex … what takes your breath away? You know me, I’m curious like that. Oh, and are you planning on seeing Magic Mike? … For the dancing of course!

I had an unexpected death in my extended family. My brother’s mother-in-law. Only, since he married the girl next door … literally … this woman is also a dear friend from my youth. It’s a sad time for our family and for that matter, the whole community where we grew up.

So as I’m traveling to celebrate this wonderful woman’s life, I didn’t have time to write a new blog post so here’s one of my favorite lists from the first summer I had the blog. This is a list of my favorite entries from that year’s Washington Post Mensa Invitational. Entrants were asked to take any word from the dictionary and alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and then supply a new definition.

Here’s a list of my favorites from those winners. (Read carefully only one letter is changed):

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer,unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

5. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

6. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

7. Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s, like, a serious bummer.

8. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

 9. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

10. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

11. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

12. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

And the #1 pick:

13. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

This came through one of my loops without any information on the original source. But it was just too funny not to share:

Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, “If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, Ford issued a press release stating:

If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash………Twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single ‘This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation’ warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask ‘Are you sure?’ before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You’d have to press the ‘Start’ button to turn the engine off.

PS – I ‘d like to add that when all else fails, you could call ‘customer service’ in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself!!!!

With Easter on it’s way, I couldn’t resist a list of why chocolate is better than sex.

1. There’s no such thing as bad chocolate.

2. A bag of M&M’s brings you multiple pleasure… every time.

3. I never had to pretend a cheap piece of chocolate was “the best I ever had”.

4. No busy day, foul mood, menstrual cramps or headache ever kept me from eating chocolate.

5. A hersey’s miniature never tried to pass itself off as a full-sized candy bar.

6. I’ve never woken up in the morning with a strange box of chocolates in my bed.

7. You can share another woman’s chocolate without feeling guilty.

8. I never had to wait until the kids were in bed to enjoy chocolate.

9. I’ve never pretended chocolate satisfied my craving just to spare someone’s feelings.

10. A box of chocolates lasts a really long time.

11. Let’s face it… you can have chocolate anywhere. Even your grandma’s house.

12. I’ve never been embarrassed that someone overheard me enjoying a piece of chocolate.

13. I’ve never had an awkward moment of silence after eating a Dove bar wondering if it was a good decision.

This is one of my favortie posts from years past. Since I’m taking an unexpected trip home for family business, I don’t have time to come up with something original for my blog. I hope you’ll enjoy this post from a few years ago…

We’ve already established. I read ROMANCE. I write ROMANCE. I’m not ashamed. I don’t hide it and frankly I don’t care if other people think I’m some bimbo who’s not capable of understanding a complex sentence or able to string more than three words together without giggling. What I choose for relaxing has no bearing on whether I can discuss the latest green technology or cook a seven course meal (which I can’t, but that’s not my point).

So the romance genre gets a bad rap. Who cares? Get over it.

There have been blog posts in the past where people have lumped the whole genre under “Bodice Rippers“. The outcry from romance authors was a firestorm of indignation. Comments posted on the blogs went viral. I couldn’t understand why it mattered. Granted, the term Bodice Ripper seems to originate from a 1980 New York Times article:

“Women too have their pornography: Harlequin romances, novels of ‘sweet savagery,’ – bodice-rippers.”

It no doubt was spurred on by images of covers like those above (which I love, thank you very much). It’s meant as a derogatory term. Yeah, so? Some people don’t like romance. Like this guy who thinks romance is disguising itself as thrillers, suspense and paranormals. Um, no buddy, romance stories ARE thrillers, suspense and paranormals. But you know it’s okay if he doesn’t like romance. I don’t like Dr. Pepper, rude people, documentaries about wars or men named Charlie (that last one I just made up). Sue me. Point is, Dr. Pepper commercials will never appeal to me no matter how much dancing, cute puppies or sexy men are involved. They aren’t going to get me to buy their product.

Not only do I write romance, but I go even deeper into the red-headed stepchild realm by daring to write smut porn erotica. And no matter how much someone might like romance stories (despite the fact that even mainstream is becoming hotter and hotter) there are some who wouldn’t pick up an erotic book if George Clooney said he’d read it to them. Frankly, I’d let George read me my grocery list … but I digress.

I’ve had people look down their nose at me and claim I write Smut. “That’s ROMANTIC smut actually.” See? I don’t care. When someone says they wouldn’t like my stories because they don’t read that. I smile and tell them “oh, but you’d like mine”. Okay, maybe not the erotica, but still, I’m proud of what I write. I’m happy to be part of the biggest market share of the publishing industry.

An English professor at the university I attended a few years ago said “Hemingway is way up here. We’re somewhere down here. Our goal is to improve in writing so we’re somewhere in the middle. That means we’re successful.” Ummm, excuse me? Hemingway died a lonely alcoholic at his own hand. Most people read his stuff in high school or college classes and never think about it beyond the test. That’s really not what I’m striving for. I want to entertain, to sweep readers away on a fantasy and if I can create memorable characters along the way that wiggle their way into the reader’s hearts … all the better. Yeah, I’m quite happy being part of the Bodice Ripper genre thank you very much.

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