Saturday 30 August 2014

Sleeping Beauty. The movie.

I'm watching Sleeping Beauty. And it's not the Disney version. It's not even for kids.

I can see why it's only 2.25 stars.

TV period shows have better makeup and costuming. And better writing and acting.

TV shows even have a bigger horseflesh budget; this poor prince has a cute, but shaggy posse of ponies.

Any adherence to the laws of physics is pretty questionable, too. I mean, just how likely is it that paper scraps would survive in a bird's nest for 100 years and still be legible?

Okay maybe it is magic. It is a fairytale after all.

The best two things about the movie?

Surprisingly decent CGI/special effects.
And Olivia D'Abo.

Worth watching? No, but I did. That's what a fairytale fetish gets you I guess.

BMBR: Mary Balogh, Everything

No, there isn't a book titled Everything by Mary Balogh (as far as I know). I'm talking about almost every book she's written. Rough estimate: I've read 95% of her books, and mostly from the library, thank goodness, because she's written a lot of books.

What they are: Regency-era romance.

Why I like them: I had to think about this one because until recently I couldn't put my finger on it. I mean, they aren't necessarily spectacular (but they are really good) and the writing has never struck me as being awesome (but they are well-written, and some are better than others). But I finally figured out what it is. But I'm going to tell you what it is later on.

I love that a lot of her characters are so different. Oh sure, there are some stereotypes and some common character themes, but I have no memory of ever thinking that any character was the same person with a different name in another book. I also love that a lot of the characters are wonderfully flawed. I'm not talking hey-she's-absolutely-perfect-in-every-way-but-she's-a-little-clutzy. I'm talking they've been in wars, been emotionally or physically abused, physically damaged, not necessarily beautiful or perfect or socially adept or even rich (although somebody usually is). Oh sure, the overcoming of social conventions to make a relationship work is sometimes a little hard to believe, but I didn't live back then, so what would I know about how things really worked, and the ending is almost always happy and perfect, but you did catch the part about these being romances, right?

I also like that the writing isn't always exactly the same. Most of the time it's "normal" with lots of good conversation, but there was the one novel (sorry, I can't remember the title) where it was mostly he was thinking this while she was thinking that kind of thing, and it was actually kind of frustrating because you just want to shake the characters (and a bit boring), but it probably fit with the characters and with who they were.

Anyway, I've enjoyed every one that I've read, and I'm so glad that the library has them. I did find one of the newer ones at the local second-hand book store, but they're rare there, and there are so many that I could never afford to buy them new (although a lot of them come as two novels in one book), and holy cow they're $9 bucks a pop as ebooks!

I really hope that your library has them; if they do, please take advantage of your card! If money isn't an issue, you may find the price to be worth it. On principle I can't spend full price on an e-book, but if they were $5, or maybe even $6 per e-book, I'd probably consider downloading them all for about a minute before doing so.

Bottom line: I'd say that they're worth a good $5 a pop.

Oh, yeah. The solution as to why I like them so, so very much: they're soothing. I've had some emotional stuff going on lately, and I read The Arrangement. I felt soothed and relaxed the whole time I was reading it. And when I really think about it, I'll binge-read Mary Balogh when I have a lot of stress going on.

I'm going to the library tomorrow, I think.  ;)

Wednesday 27 August 2014


I am so tempted to join Twitter just for

Best writing tips ever!

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Random Thoughts 2014-08-26

Trying blogger on my phone for the first time. I may or may not like it. It should make it easier to blurt out my random thoughts before I forget what they were. Sometimes they're really good and they make me laugh and I think that you might laugh, too, but then after a long day at work--where I don't post because I'm paranoid that work can see what I'm typing. Actually that's not the paranoia.  I KNOW that they can see what I'm doing online.  I'm paranoid that they ARE looking at what I'm doing online--and after a long evening of trying to get some wonderful but very busy and testy kids fed, bathed, clothed, cuddled, fed again, cleaned up, clothed again and in bed, and then after a long night of more work, I get to try to blog and I sit at my computer and try to keep my head from falling off my shoulders and I can't for the life of me remember what I had for supper, let alone what it was that made me laugh in the morning.

So I'm trying this on my phone.

What kinds of random thoughts do I have and then can't remember, you ask? Well, just this morning I was putting some canned chicken on my salad for lunch, and as I was putting the leftovers in a container I had a brief thought of just throwing the chicken in with my eggs and doing scrambled instead of basted on toast, and then I thought, I wonder what chickens would think about that? Would they think, hey, isn't it bad enough that you eat us, and our babies? Do you really have to eat us wrapped up in our children? (It didn't sound that gross in my head.) But then I thought, how would the chickens know what's going on in my house? I went with basted on toast, regardless.

I wonder what pigs would think if they knew that they were wrapped up in baby chicken omelettes all the time.

OH MY GOODNESS! ! Outlander is on Showcase. I set it to record the series. It didn't. Thank goodness Showcase repeats their episodes a lot. I will get to see the first episode, I reset the series recording, and I don't have to kill my cable box in a fit of rage (no anger management issues here).

I've been trying to cut back on the caffeine. It's not like I drink a lot of coffee--I only make four cups of half regular and half decaf, which is one travel mug and one large-ish table mug of coffee. So maybe I'm not cutting back on the coffee so much as I am cutting back on the cream that goes in the coffee.

This is probably a good thing because I don't use that half-and-half stuff that just waters down the coffee; I use the 18 percent (I had to spell that out because in the last phone update the third page of symbols disappeared and apparently the percent symbol was on it. Fucking Android) cream which adds a creamy richness to the flavour and the texture of the coffee. It also adds to the richness of my hips and ass, so I'm cutting back on the coffee.

I know what you're thinking: you can just cut the cream out of the coffee. Yes. I could. But then I'd be tempted to add more sugar and that just makes my face explode. Tea is more palatable black than coffee is. In my opinion, of course.

So I've been trying out Lady Grey tea. I love Earl Grey tea, and now I'm in love with the lady. Yum.

One small problem:

Despite the caffeine, which does perk me up eventually, while I'm drinking it and for thirty minutes afterwards, I feel like napping. I don't mean I'm a little drowsy. I mean I look and feel like I'm going to pass out. Or like I'm stoned, maybe.

This tea is soothing. It would be the perfect tea to sip on when putting my feet up while I'm reading a nice relaxing book, maybe even in the tub.

Not too sure when that will happen though...

Monday 25 August 2014

BMBR: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I'm sure by now you've read it, or at the very least you know what it's about. If not, you can find a more detailed synopsis elsewhere, I'm sure. This isn't called a Busy Mom Book Review because I have lots of time on my hands.

I will tell you this:

Folks in the book are one of five types of people, and you forsake your family to live with other people of your type when you come of age. If you test out to be more than one type of person, you're in big trouble, baby. So don't tell anyone.

I borrowed this one from my niece, so yes, it's another teenage dystopian-themed (hey Blogger! Get a better spell check. Or, he Wikipedia! You spelled dystopia incorrectly. I'm on Wikipedia's side, but hey, it's kinda hard to ignore that stupid red squiggly underlining, too) story, but no, there aren't any vampires. Just a community of adrenaline-addict goths. Or punks. Let's just go with adrenaline addicts.

Bottom Line: I loved it. It felt a bit simpler in construct than The Hunger Games trilogy, but it was still well written, and I felt like I was invested in the people in the story, and I really wanted to find out what was going to happen next. Worth it, and probably worth it in any form (real paper or e-book); the deciding factor on that would be price and your form preference.

Now I just need Insurgent. And maybe my own copy of Divergent.

I have to return my niece's books. I do. I really really really want this series in my library, though (in real-book form). Maybe she won't notice.

Monday 18 August 2014

Random Thoughts 2014-08-18

K1 brought me I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch for his bedtime story. I was crying by the time the kid turned nine.

It's been pretty smokey around here lately, what with forest fires etc. It finally started raining today, and I thought, yay, some of that smoke is going to go away. And it did. Until some rain must have quenched a few fires. Ever pour water on to a campfire? Yeah. Super smokey.

K1, K2 and Cousin were in the back yard swinging last night. K2's only 18 months, but heaven help Grandma if she didn't push him as high as the other two in a big boy swing!! He was flexing his hands pretty well when he got off, ha ha. No fear, these kids. Not necessarily a good thing.

Even for me, my mantra of "They'll only do it once" is getting a bit sketchy, especially when they're leaning out the window in their 6' high play house (K1 actually leaned out a bit too far last week; the stools at the bottom broke his fall nicely. Really glad that Grandma wasn't here for that one).

I can still see some of my desk, and I'm happy with that.

You ever have someone help you out with something, and they go overboard (maybe to prove how inferior you are about doing the same thing, subconsciously, but still) to the point that they wear themselves, and then they just get this pissy, bitchy martyr thing going?

I'm debating whether to watch something (entirely for me because everyone, and I do meant everyone, else is in bed) or to continue reading (I've discovered Catherine Bybee on Kindle--I honestly meant to check and see if she had books at the library but I kinda forgot (in the seven seconds it took to download the $2 ones--honestly, I forgot that I was going to log in and see if the library carried her! But, we all know that I have a slight problem...) while I eat some leftover Tiramisu cake. Either way, the cake's going down.

I hate Facebook. Mostly because of the folks who try to prove their point while at the same time proving that they didn't pay attention in school on the day that the teacher was talking about apostrophes. I can't fucking take you, or your cause, seriously if your grammar is worse than mine.

And, stop guilting me for not passing on your little cause-photo by shaming me into doing it. That shit just makes me want to say "Fuck off". If I want to share your photo enough to risk getting a virus, I'll fucking click Share. On my own. Thanks.

I get enough guilt trips at home. Yeesh.

Well, off to read. And eat cake.

Friday 15 August 2014

Sukhi Just Earned My Respect

I just finished watching this week's episode of The Amazing Race Canada.

You know how they always ask you who your favourite team is? Who you're rooting for?

I never really know until close to the end, but I do usually know who I'm not rooting for. Not who I'm hoping will be eliminated (because hoping someone gets eliminated would be mean), just who I'm not necessarily hoping will win.

I wasn't rooting for Sukhi and Jinder. At all. They've been the team that can't seem to figure out how to do anything on their own. They get excitable and panicky and spacey (they are the team that stood in front of a clue box several times and couldn't see the forest for the trees) and no other team will help them. They've been seen as the weakest link. Even I thought that they'd flake out before the end of the race.

Oh, how wrong we've all been!

Spoiler alerts ahead.

Take last week. A challenging roadblock (bicycle biathalon) had teammates cycling a kilometre before having 5 rounds to make 5 shots with a rifle. Don't get all five? Take another bike ride to get another 5 rounds.

All the other teams had to go around at least once more; some of them completed their exercise quota for the month, including the dude who is a hunter.

Sukhi and Jinder show up (after struggling with harnessing dogs in the previous task and after having to complete their speed bump for coming in last in the previous week's non-elimination round), and does her bike ride, and then proceeds to boost everyone's confidence by walking up to the shooting range, saying, "I've never held a gun before."

Boom. Ting! Boom. Ting! Boom. Ting! Boom. Ting! Boom. Ting!

That's right. Five shots. Done.

Fast forward to this week's episode, and we see Sukhi and Jinder rock a currency-flag matching task, and then choose a hockey task over a perogy-making task. Sukhi can't skate. Never has. Jinder doesn't look much better on skates, and no, they don't beat the girls (but other teams do!), but they do finish in time to catch up and move up the ladder.

I'm thinking that they are finally proving why they travel so well together, and maybe the other teams shouldn't dismiss them quite so readily.

I may even start to root for them.

Monday 11 August 2014

Random Thoughts 2014-08-11

Took the kids to an airshow on the weekend. It was an hour drive. It took two. Kids had to poop (but couldn't in the bushes on the side of the road), peed their diaper (changed while K1 was unsuccessfully attempting to poop in the bushes on the side of the road), or had blood pouring out of their mouths (Turkey Jerky. I hope. Couldn't find anything).

Showed up late enough that the entrance was free. Yay!

Kids more interested in running around and looking at the planes that were on the ground rather than the planes that were doing cool tricks in the sky. Oooooh! Then they found the digger and the tracked mini-bulldozer and the loader! That was the bestest ever part of the AIRSHOW.

Got home and later K1 went outside. Checked on him. Watched him pee off the deck, probably into his potatoes. Later found him hobbling out of the "bushes" in the backyard, poopy pants down around his ankles. 'Twas a successful poop in the bushes this time.

Cleaned the house. Filed all my filing. You should see my desk! A. You can see my desk! B. You should see my desk now because by this time tomorrow, you won't be able to. Mopped the floors, and really thoroughly, too. My body hates me now.

Grandma took K1 to the Exhibition. It was all good until his balloon popped. End of the world, that.

Reading some Alien-Human erotica. The sample left me feeling weird, but curious. I bought it. I'm actually skipping some of the sex to read the story. Does she get to keep the baby? Or are his people going to come and take it "home"?

Going through Gail Vaz Oxlade's (I probably spelled that wrong, but I'm too tired to open another tab and google her, event though that would probably be faster than typing this lazy-assed excuse) My Money My Choice levels. It's a free program. But you need to read a lot of excerpts from her books. Not so free.

Unless you get them from the LIBRARY!! Ha Ha! Take that, Gail!

Actually, she'd probably be proud of me.

Except they're due back in a couple of days, and I still need a couple of them. Renew renew renew. Because if I pay late fees, Gail will be disappointed.

Saturday 2 August 2014

Random thoughts 2014-08-02. As in August 2nd.

You know how most people have a hard time getting their kids to eat their vegetables? Well, I have a hard time getting K1 to eat in general except for when it comes to raw vegetables. All raw veggies should watch out! Especially the ones at fruit trucks. I had to weigh a couple of sweet banana peppers before they disappeared completely. Then, a trip to the grocery store opened my eyes to the idea that maybe, just maybe, I need to teach my kids a little better about how if you touch it, IE with your mouth, we pretty much have to buy it. I now have Indian Kalera [sp].

On the other hand, I don't want to harsh on their enthusiastic curiosity, especially when it comes to very. I'll let you know how the bitter melon turns out..

Ugh. I have a kid who gets up at 6:30. On a Saturday.

You know what else we learned at the grocery store? Kids' cereals are at eye level. Their eye level. You probably learn that in marketing 101. Or when you have kids.

The teachers in BC are on strike. The BC government says, hey, if they're still on strike in the fall, we're going to take a bunch of that money that we saved not paying any teachers in the spring, and we're going to give $40/day /5-13 yo child to parents to help offset daycare costs.

WTF? I took the yearly teacher's salary for my district, divided it by 10 months, then by 4 weeks/month, then by 5 days per week. Roughly, teachers get $190-350 per day. I think on average they have 25-35 kids per class. Let's pick 25. 25 kids x 40$ = 1000.00. Wait. Wait a second.  How long before those "savings" are used up? Every four days that the teachers were on strike pays for one day of childcare. Ish.  Oh right. The savings from high school students helps out with that.

Maybe the fuzzy math will all work out in the end.

I'd rather see the strike resolved, but like Christy Clark says, both sides have to be adults.

We're screwed.

Friday 1 August 2014

BMBR: Bought for Love (You Don't Know Jack) by Michelle Hughes

Language Warning

You're right, I don't know Jack. And I don't fucking want to.

I haven't finished this book, and I probably won't. The only reasons I'm 75% along are that it's short, and my kids were watching Pocoyo while I sat down to eat, and Mockingjay was in my purse, which was down by the front entrance. Too far.

I think Miss Hughes read 50 Shades, and saw all of the other BDSM-themed books flooding the market these days, and thought, "I can do that, too!" but she didn't put enough thought in to things like research and grammar and punctuation.

Jack doesn't want a Submissive; he wants a submissive wife who will raise his kids and do whatever he says when he says and how the fuck dare she say no. To anything. Including sex.

Yeah, that's rape, buddy.

You know, when the chick you're about to fuck--and she's a virgin by the way (which you know)--says "No" because you pushed in way to hard and didn't stop and kept stretching her until she realized that it would feel good if she just relaxed and went with it, well, when she said "No", you should have, like any decent man, actually stopped. Certainly you wouldn't have even gotten to that point if you'd known what you were doing. If you'd known what you were doing, things would've gone slowly enough that you'd have known before she said no that you should slow, stop, wait for things to stretch before making sure she was okay, then continuing on slowly.

And, telling her that it's okay that she's in a lot of pain because hey, it's supposed to hurt the first time? Um, that's a fucking lie if you know what you're doing. Trust me. And I'm sorry, Mr. Rich Stud, if you're such a stud, you should know what you're doing.

Ladies: if your first knows what he's doing, and you're ready (emotionally, not just physically), it shouldn't hurt more than some discomfort. You shouldn't be fucking crying your eyes out afterward because it hurt so badly. Yeesh.

Anyway, deflowering rape scene aside, the rest of the story (up to 75%, anyway) reads like a sad justification for allowing yourself to be part of an abusive relationship by saying, "oh no, Spinny, really, it's okay. BDSM is hot. I enjoy it, really."

Um, yeah, it's hot, but no, this crappy ownership shit isn't. Seriously, I've read some hot BDSM etc stories, and they were great foreplay. And some of them were pretty damn uncomfortable and some of them were boundary-pushing, and some of them weren't that well written, but they were sane, and they were hot. This shit just makes me ill. As in, I can't finish it because I don't like feeling this nauseated.

I may be a little irritated.


You know what 50 had that Jack doesn't? A safe word. A contract that lays it all out for the virgin--you know, the one that fucking discloses all the shit you want to do to her? Respect for hard limits (finger-rape up the ass is just as uncool as pushing a virgin, Jack). A reasonable timeline between meeting the heroine, deflowering her, and introducing her to your favourite lifestyle. A safe, sane and consensual relationship that ends up with the heroine willingly and enthusiastically submitting to you, and who loves your playroom. A heroine that doesn't put up with your shit and actually stands up to you.

That's right, a submissive who stands up to you when you're being a total fucking douche bag instead of a heroine who cries until you can make her demand that she trust you and she thinks "OMG I want him so bad" so she slumps her shoulders in submission defeat as she makes her way to your bed.

BMBR bottom line: waste of a fucking 1.07. Sorry Michelle.