Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Finding A Use For That Penis Drink Stirrer...Priceless!

Sgt. Assassin is still home! But I had to share this with faithful minions. About a year ago, Sgt. A thought it would be the most amazing thing ever, to buy me a set of penis drink stirrers. Imagine the hilarity that ensued when family and friends found them in the silverware drawer! How about sticking them in martinis when my quieter friends are over? Apparently, I do get embarrassed.

As many of my followers know, every year we have to do a cake for Jack's Cub Scout Cake Auction. This year's theme was flight. Naturally, my idea of doing a rubber chicken cake was shot down. So we opted for an aircraft carrier. Easy, right? Long and rectangular with some toy planes slapped on it.

The first dilemma was gray frosting. And not just any gray, but gunmetal, Navy gray. I bought white frosting thinking I could just buy black food coloring. Guess what? There is no black food coloring. Huh. I was getting kind of desperate because Sgt. Assassin said there was "no way in hell" he was settling for a white or brown aircraft carrier. I was trying to figure out how many Sharpies I could crack open and mix with the frosting when my friend Michele stopped me and said I could get black frosting in a tube. It was a miracle...a Christmas miracle.

By the way, gray frosting, while pretty when mixing, is completely unappetizing. Just thought you should know.

So. After putting the cake together and frosting it, Sgt. A says, "You should do little black windows on the superstructure (which is an idiotic military term for "little building on an aircraft carrier)." I looked through every drawer I had to try to find something I could dab a block of black frosting onto the cake. Nothing seemed to work.

And then I found the penis drink stirrers. Voila.

And that's what I call, a "win-win."
The Assassin

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Through Her Eyes

Well, it’s been a busy, busy week. I spent it with a very special person. She kept me busy, very busy. Ahh, but she’s an amazing and smart individual and for that reason I asked her to guest blog today. So, I hope you enjoy her eight tips/bits of wisdom. Please welcome Lily, my granddaughter.

Through my Eyes . . .

1. Sometimes poopy just happens . . . believe me, I know, but try not to fret too much.

2. I know we spend way too much time just running as fast as our little legs will take us,

But remember to take the time to smell a few flowers along the way.

3. Never underestimate the value of a good book!

4. Proper manners such as table etiquette is important . . .

But , sometimes you just gotta let lose and enjoy yourself!

5. Sometimes watching the world go by is a good thing!

6. No-No! No Pouting…No Whining. Just pull your big girl panties up and deal with it.

7. Hanging with people you love is a good thing!

8. Be Happy!

So. . . you see what I was doing all week. What did you guys do? Read any good books? Got any tips or bits of wisdom to share?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sheer Stupidity

So last Wednesday, I threw out my back. No, that's not the stupid part - I was just getting out of my car after work, but as my allergies have been horrible and I've had respiratory problems, I've been sleeping upright for going on four weeks now. So my back is angry (like I'm not). So I pulled something right across the middle so bad that it hurt to even take shallow breaths. The next morning I could take shallow breaths, but not deep ones and had limited mobility of the back and neck, so I figured driving wasn't the best idea.

I'm working at my kitchen table and the dog starts going off. I don't think much of it because there's construction going on in my neighborhood and the Sheltie has ears like a bat. But he keeps it up and I hear noise at the front door, so I figure I'll check it out as the mail person likes to leave important things in clear sight and out in the open even if it's raining.

I open the front door and see that the contractors pouring a slab one lot away from mine have decided to plug their equipment into my electrical outlet by the front door. So I haven't slept good in weeks, am working on pain killers and if I hadn't happened to be at home that day (not the norm) I wouldn't have even known. I had an Exorcist moment.

I know the look on my face as I went stomping across the yard must have been evil because they all stopped working and looked scared. I led the conversation by yelling "Have you lost your ____ mind?" and finished with "I will call the police." They of course, pretended they had no idea what I was talking about, didn't know it was wrong, and most put on that blank face like they didn't understand English. Bullshit. They knew they were stealing and I was hacked!

So I called the corporate office for the homebuilder and got ahold of the VP of operations. The neighborhood construction foreman wasn't good enough because I needed someone who understood the words "legal liability." I spent a couple of minutes explaining my problem to the lady, who was rightfully horrified and hopefully the problem is solved.

But it leads to another question, which is how often has it happened already? Is my inability to lower my utility bill not due to rising cost, but the amount of cement mixers I'm paying to run? And why don't homebuilders install a switch INSIDE the house so that you can turn off power to the outside sockets? That would solve the problem. And while they're at it, I'd like a valve shut-off in the garage for my outside water spouts - which I've also caught people using. Bad enough you pay a ton of money in taxes to maintain those who can't or won't maintain themselves, but apparently, a lot of us may be paying for their utilities, too.

Then I hung up the phone just as the news gave this statement "Coming up next - the best place in your home to hide your valuables."

Well, not ANY MORE! Seriously? Every thief in Dallas now knows exactly where to look for all Channel 4 news watcher's valuables. (sigh)

The sheer stupidity!

Deadly DeLeon

Friday, March 26, 2010

Party time!

Guess what, guess what, guess what! Yesterday RWA (Romance Writers of America) announced its finalists for this year's RITA competition (think the Oscars of romance writing). Guess who got nominated? Okay, I know the suspense is killing you, so I'll just spill it... me! I'm totally in shock, but SCANDAL SHEET is up for a RITA for best novel with strong romantic elements. Woot, woot!!

The bad news: I had already decided that it just wasn't financially possible to attend the RWA conference (and award ceremony) this year. Nashville is one long expensive flight from California.

The good news: I hear kidneys are going for a great price on the black market. And I have two! I mean, who really needs two kidneys, right? That's just overkill. If I sold one... and maybe a small chunk of my liver... I might be able to make airfare...

I'll keep you posted on that front. In the meantime, it's party time! I've got cyber champagne, chocolates, and a very loud stereo. Who's in?

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March Madness

March Madness is upon us. In more ways than one. Rarely has the month of March been as hairy as this one. From basketball stunner upsets to 'historic' congressional action to record-breaking snowfalls and mid-March snow events, it's 'March Madness' on steroids.

First off, I'm still psyched from the University of Northern Iowa's awesome upset of Number One rated Kansas in the NCAA Basketball tournament. Picked by many to win the tourney, Kansas led the Panthers only once as UNI pulled off one of the biggests upsets in the history of basketball in the state of Iowa. I'm doubly thrilled since I attended UNI before joining the State Patrol. WAY TO GO PANTHERS! I'll be wearing purple and gold tomorrow when you take on Michigan State. Whoo hoo!

Then there's the winter that won't end. Just when you thought it was safe to go out of the house and see green rather than white, we get socked with 4-5 inches of new snow--enough to make it necessary to shovel again. As Charlie Brown so aptly puts it, 'Good Grief!'

Every year around this time I'm reminded that the year I was born (and no, I'm not divulging that information for your edification) there was such a bad snowstorm that my dad had to stop and put chains on his vehicle on the way to the hospital in a neighboring county in order for me to be born. You see, yesterday was my birthday. No snow, thank goodness.

It rained. And rained.

And I worked. In fact, I volunteered to work. The triplets have returned to college and birthdays when you are of a 'certain age', aren't as delightfully benign as they used to be. This year's General Assembly is winding down. March Madness is a definite understatement when it comes to the last days of the legislative session at the statehouse. Tons of character and stories ideas are generated via observation of our state government at work, that's for sure. Oh, the tales I'll tell...

Speaking of writing--and maintaining the madness of the month at overload levels--today is the day the nominations for the Romance Writers of America RITA and Golden Heart Awards are announced. As I type, calls are going out to published and unpublished writers fast and furiously and 'The Call' announcements are being posted all around cyberspace. As a former GH finalist, I know first-hand how thrilling today will be for the finalists who get the call. Congratulations to all those writers! Enjoy the moment!

Looks to me like March is coming in like a lion and going out the same way. What about you? Are you waiting for 'the call' or do you know someone who is a RITA or GH finalist?

How is your March shaping up? Any madness or share?

Good luck to those who are still waiting for a call!


~Bullet Hole~

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This Just In - Mr. Assassin - Home for Quickie

Okay, that's probably tacky. It was meant to be double entendre. My bad.

Last Friday night, Mr. Assassin came home for a 15 day tour of duty in the Midwest (or has he has referred to it - The Place Where Buildings Are Still Intact & You Can Buy Real Soap).

We met him at the airport with single-malt scotch and then the poor guy collapsed. I guess he'd been awake for 53 hours getting back to us.

Needless to say, not a whole hell of a lot has gotten done since then. That is why this is a very short blog. I've got, ahem, more stuff "not to do," and I need to get back to that.

So, until next week, my minions!

The (Very Happy & Very Tired) Assassin

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Welcome Romantic Suspense Author Colleen Thompson!

Winner! Winner! Mindy you won a copy of Colleen's book. Please email me at Christie (@) christie-craig (.) com.

Today I have a surprise guest blogger, Colleen Thompson, a friend and a heck of a writer.

* * * *

Back cover blurb for Touch of Evil: Tight

The noose cuts off all air, leaving its victim struggling hopelessly against death. One by one, the members of a small town zydeco band are being murdered by a macabre killer.


Sheriff Justine Wofford is boxed in on all sides, investigating a series of gruesome hangings everyone else considers suicide. Hospitalized by a severe blow to the head, unable to remember the details of the attack, under fire from her own department, she reaches out to the man she's sworn to avoid at any cost.


Their affair was a close-kept secret, their bodies coming together with explosive heat even as she tried to maintain emotional distance. But now Justine can't stay away from Ross. Somehow, he's mixed up in this case and his hold on her is only getting tighter.

And now the interview:

CC: You write some pretty scary stuff, lady. So tell me, what really scares Colleen Thompson? Will a spider cause you to freak out? Or is it a man wearing plaid spandex that sends you over the edge?

CT: I've written about stabbings, stalkers, and deaths by bullet, noose, and asphyxiation with a breast implant (how's that for a warped sense of humor?) but what really scares the snot out of me? Clowns. To the point where I refused to see the new Alice in Wonderland movie because Johnny Depp's makeup reminds me of a clown's.

Also, I'm totally freaked out by The Burger King, who has this whole silent stalker vibe going. That gnome from Travelocity's a little suspect, too.

I read once that clowns, masks, and hairy Santa beards scare children because it prevents them from reading the facial expressions and therefore the intentions of these very strange big people. I am so down with that explanation.

CC: What is your favorite scene of Touch of Evil?

CT: The heroine, Sheriff Justine Wofford, is the widowed mother of an autistic, nine-year-old boy. The scene where you really see her tough chick facade give way to the same vulnerability all parents share, where she risks opening her heart to the hero, ER doctor Ross Bollinger, and trusting him with her scared, hurt child's safety, brings a lump to my throat every time I read it. And who doesn't fall in love with a hero who's good with kids and animals? *Sigh.*

CC: You do know that readers tend to believe that we write from the heart. That our plots and characters are really a glimpse of our personalities. Now I know, this basically means that I'm a nutjob. Unfortunately, most people who know me say this is true. But what does this say about you? Deep down are you a wanna be killer? Considering that I know you and actually spend some time with you, how you answer this question could affect our friendship!

CT: More than a penchant for violence, my books reflect my own fears of the world's violence reaching out and hurting those I love. Suspense fiction, including romantic suspense, gives both the readers and this author a "safe" way to exorcise these worries, with a virtual guarantee that things are going to work out as justice demands. In my world, children and pets come to no lasting harm, good people are eventually rewarded, and nogoodniks come to a very bad (but fitting) end. It's a lot more satisfying than a lot of real-world stories, and it helps me sleep a little better through the night.

And the main reason I'm good at scary is because I'm a real scaredy-cat myself. Case in point: my dog began barking maniacally while I was answering question #1, and I neearly convinced myself the Burger King was standing outside, staring into the window. *Shudder.*

CC: Can you tell us something about Colleen Thompson that no one else knows? Come on, dig deep, give us some juicy detail. My readers here love the juicy details.

CT: You mean giving up my clown/Burger King-phobia wasn't enough? Wow. Some people are so demanding. But since you're a friend, I'll share these fun facts:

  • Although I set all my romantic suspense in Texas and currently live there, I was born and raised in New Jersey and still harbor traces of an accent. (Though I swear it's not as thick as Christie's 'Bama! Unless you make me really mad. Then I sound like one of the cast of The Sopranos.)
  • While walking with my husband through home improvement stores, I often stop to exclaim, "Wow! That would make an awesome murder weapon!" Embarrassingly loudly, according to our son.
  • I have a penchant for adopting and reforming dogs best described as three-time losers from various rescue organizations. Last few culprits have included a drywall-eating greyhound, a jealousy-biter, an escape artist, and a dog that demolished my bathroom after accidentally locking herself inside. In spite of this, I'm still happily married to my firefighter husband of twenty years plus.

CC: Thanks, Colleen for joining us at Killer Fiction today!

CT: Thanks so much for inviting me to drop by the blog! I enjoyed the visit!

* * * *

Today, I'm giving away a copy of Colleen's latest release, A Touch of Evil. Leave a post to be entered.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Movie Review and More Snow

It snowed here again this weekend. Eight inches. I am convinced that God has forgotten this is Texas. He must think it's Michigan. Of course, the weather report said we'd get about "one inch," then I wake up the next morning to this:

Yeah, one inch......rrrrriiiiiiggggghhhhhhttttttt.

Of course, today it will be back up in the sixties. And then people wonder why they stay sick here.

I did manage to brave the melting mess and catch a movie yesterday. It's been forever since I've seen a movie because I've been so busy. I finally decided yesterday to pretend I wasn't busy, even though nothing could be further from the truth. I saw The Bounty Hunter and really liked it! I have also decided that Gerard Butler is very cute and I like him much better in comedies than as doomed historical figures. He and JA were so cute together and quite frankly, would make a really good-looking couple in real life. The movie was fun and not incredibly deep, but with a decent plot and plenty of comedy and action. Altogether, money well spent for sheer enjoyment.

Something I was observing at the theatre yesterday was how all the kids have now gone to that long-haired unkempt look. Seriously, what is that? Are you parents spending all your money on video games and scrimping on haircuts? I know it's supposed to be stylish, but they look like a bunch of vagrants - and that's the good ones. The worst is the boys that are really feminine and now look like little girls. It's not a good look for a heterosexual boy, but hey, maybe getting his butt kicked about 200 times will convince him to get a haircut. I am so glad I'm old. I think I'd have to date girls if that's all that way available in the boy pool.

Okay, off to work!

Deadly DeLeon

Friday, March 19, 2010

Random Facts

Usually when I get those forwarded emails from people I do a deep groan, a, “They got you, huh?”, and quickly delete them. But the other day I must have been having an off moment (the baby STILL isn’t sleeping, so, yeah, I have a lot of those) and actually clicked one open. It was ten random facts about your friends. I’m ashamed to admit it, but it was actually really entertaining. Not only were the random facts displayed about the person who’d forwarded the email to me, but also the person who sent it to her, and the one who sent it to him, and so on. I read the entire thing, and let me just say –people are really weird. So, I’m forwarding it (so to speak). Here are ten random facts about me:

1. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was twelve.
2. I have a black belt in tae kwon do.
3. I’m double jointed.
4. I hate artichokes.
5. I own at least ten black t-shirts.
6. I’ve never traveled outside the US… or even owned a passport.
7. I can’t type without looking at the keyboard. (I know, terrible for a writer, but I just do really, really fast hunt-and-peck.)
8. I must wear toenail polish on all ten toes at all times.
9. I think Hoops and Yoyo are the cutest things on the planet.
10. I would rather squint at my laptop screen and bump the fonts up to 200% than wear my computer glasses.

Okay, your turn. What are some random facts about you?

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blue Skies Are Smilin' On Me!

I had a blog ready for last week. It was funny, witty, entertaining, and insightful. Last Wednesday, I set my alarm for four-fifteen Thursday morning, a full fifteen minutes earlier than my normal wake-up time, in order to upload the blog post before I skipped off to work only to have internet connection issues that wouldn't permit me to publish my post.

This week I have a lousy head cold and raw, scratchy throat, so recreating my clever conversation of last week (which, sadly, is now stale news) will be a stretch.

But, in keeping with my new, positive outlook on this kooky journey we call 'life', there have been some 'blue sky' moments since I last posted. Here are some of them:

  • The triplets are home for spring break.

  • All of my snow has gone bye-bye!!!

  • I can actually get to my shed again.

  • I took the shovel, sandbags, and winter emergency kit out of my Jimmy.

  • My tulips are beginning to come up.

  • I'm *this* close to having all my new projects ready to begin my search for a new agent.

  • I've started my new--and improved--diet.

  • My birthday is next week.

  • And last, but not least, I DON'T have to have knee surgery after all!
That's the 'new' me list of positive affirmations. Now the 'old' me--you know, that somewhat cynical, cup half-empty kind of gal would have chronciled the above list a wee bit differently. Here's the counter-part' to the list above as authored by the former 'bummed out Bullet Hole':
  • The triplets are home from spring break so I get to cook every night. Yay.

  • The snow is all gone but my yard looks like he!!.

  • I took the shovels, sand, emergency kit out of my Jimmy; I can now use the sand bags to combat the flooding that is expected. Oh, and there's also snow in the forecast this weekend. Goody, goody.

  • My tulips are coming up. My grass? WHAT grass?

  • My projects are almost ready for the new agent search but am I ready???

  • I've just started the new diet and already I'm sick of sub sandwiches.

  • My birthday is next week.

  • No knee surgery, but the physical therapy may kill me off anyway...
Okay. Your turn. What 'blue-sky' moments have you had since we last talked? Any postive news to share? Good luck experiences?
It's supposed to be sunny and 60 here today. After the long winter and the threat of spring floods, I'm so gonna cherish the day! Hope you can too!
~Bullet Hole~

This Is The Picture That Jack Drew...

My 9-yr old drew me this picture. It's of a clan of warrior elves, he tells me. I think it may be the coolest drawing ever. See how well-armed the elves are? BTW, you can tell they are elves because they have pointy ears. Anyway, the elves have guns, knives and bows. And yes, the guy in the middle is wearing a pistol. That is not what you think it is...I already asked.

One of the elves has a bazooka you can strap to your back. I especially like how Jack detailed the bazooka with actual crosshairs sights. Now, clearly, Jack is thinking, because the elves on the far right and left are covering the others. And they are very confident because they seem very happy.

I was thinking these were forest elves, but there is only one tree. And look how that one branch telescopes all the way across the page like that! AND it's strong enough to support the weight of two elves while a third swings away on a vine that descends magically from the heavens. Where is he going, I wonder? He should stay put, since the others are so well-armed.

I don't quite understand the elf in a bubble in the upper left. Maybe he's the archelf of death or maybe he has an invisible helicopter. But something is clearly going on there. See how the lines go up to indicate he is levitating somehow?

But my favorite part of the picture is the 3rd guy from the left. He has no weapons, so obviously, he is in charge of radio communications. He has antenna arms! I bet he'd get better reception if he was standing on top of the tree like that other guy. Of course, he is very tall. And his arms ARE antennas.

How cool is it that kids do stuff like this for us? I like this picture better than any macaroni necklace or handprint in plaster.

And that's why I'm sharing it with you.

The Assassin

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Time Lessons

Hey...make sure you pop over to Barbara Vey's anniversary party and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Shut Up and Kiss Me!

There is no denying it. It’s spring in Houston, Texas. Yup, Certain things happen at this time of year. The most noticeable sign is that I, the little woman, the wife, with my chin tucked to my chest, my eyes held downward, automatically start walking six steps behind my much respected and adored husband.

Oh, I’m not being subservient; there really isn’t a submissive bone in my body. Don’t get me wrong, I respect my husband, and love him, but my six-steps-behind spring march isn’t due to any of that. It stems from pure shameless self-preservation.

You see, I live in the very wooded area of Houston. And this time of year brings out an onslaught of critters—some nice, and some not so nice. The arrival of the clay-colored Robins is a sure sign that old man winter has given up the good fight and gone into hiding. Last weekend, I sat at my desk and watched a possum and her two babies march across my backyard patio. Included in this onslaught of critters are the mosquitoes, aka the hungry little bastards. Oh, then there are the snakes, who never fail to sneak into the house and get the cats all riled up. But honestly, this blog isn’t about Robins, possums, mosquitoes, or snakes.

It’s about one of biggest fears. And I’m not talking about the fear that George Clooney will show up on a bad hair day, when the girl’s aren’t supported and I’m still wearing my soon-to-retire “Hot Stuff” nightshirt. Nope, I’m talking about the creepy, crawly eight-legged beasts. I’m talking my all-time feared enemy: the spider.

And because we live in a wooded area, with lots of trees, and lots of bushes, these Texas-size arachnids just love to build their webs, stretched across the walking paths of my front yard. So, whenever we arrive home, I wait until hubby starts through the paths, his much respected and loved six-foot-two frame clearing away any spider . . . or web. Nevertheless, these eight-legged spring-time beasts aren’t limited to just the paths in my front yard.

It happened four nights ago. It was late, and I was checking email in my office one more time before I hit the sack. When I went to leave the room, I saw it. It was huge, freaking huge. It was ugly. The thing had hair growing on his butt! And it had built itself a honking hotel-size web right outside my French doors. Obviously, the light in my study attracted enough insects that the blood-sucking twerp thought it was the perfect place to call home.

With chills running down my spine I hotfooted it upstairs. In a screechy voice I told hubby, “You gotta job to do! There’s a spider, the size of a baseball (Yes, I exaggerated a bit, it was only the size of a golf ball on steroids) taking up residence right outside my French doors. You gotta evict the sucker.”

He promised me that he would take care of the situation first thing in the morning. Having faith in my man, and believing him when he promised the spider wouldn’t find its way in the house, up the stairs, and down the hall to crawl in bed with me, I agreed to let the eviction notice wait till morning.

Now, let’s fast forward to the morning. “It’s not here,” hubby said when I had dragged his butt downstairs to do his job. “You must have imagined it.”

“Please,” I told him. “I’m a romance writer and I have much more important things to use my imagination on than a freaking hairy-assed spider.”

“Well, maybe he heard you scream about eviction notices and packed up his web and left.”

I couldn’t deny that the spider was gone. But the next night when I went to cut off my computer, I saw it again. Same place, same ugly spider. Hair still growing on its butt. Running for help, I got the same song and dance from hubby. “Tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow. I’m in bed. Let the guy live another night.”

Much to my dismay, the next morning was a repeat of the morning before. I knew I wasn’t crazy, but the fact remained the spider wasn’t there. Obviously, the thing was nocturnal and he took his web with him when he left. Hubby didn’t seem to buy it.

Now, let’s fast forward to the next night. Oh, yes, this is where it gets fun. Hubby was taking out the garbage, via my office door, and I was putting away some groceries. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Now according to hubby, he swung the door open and was mid-step, too late to stop, when he saw the thing.

I heard a knock coming from the office and I thought hubby was playing with the cats. But then I heard him yell for me. Of course, I went to the rescue. He stood right inside my office, running his hands through his hair, and the look on his face--panic. Now let me stop here and explain. Hubby isn’t normally afraid of spiders, but remember this thing was huge, ugly, and had hair on its butt!

Hubby looked at me and said, “Do you see it?” At that point, I didn’t have a clue what he meant.

“See what?” And then I did see it. Not the hairy-butted spider, but the spider web hanging from his ear. I looked outside and spotted the garbage strewn all over the back patio, then I looked back at my much panicked hubby. “You believe me now, don’t you?”

He barely nodded, because he was way too busy dusting off his jacket with one hand, while trying to get the web off his ear with the other, all the while shaking his head like wet dog. “Do you see it?” he asked turning in circles.

Being the wife I am, loving the man like I do, I only backed up five or six feet.

“Crap,” he said. “That thing was huge.” Now he thinks it’s huge, huh? “Do you see it,” he turned around again. “Crap, where would it go?” He stepped closer to me, still shaking his head as if to dislodge the spider from his hair. I of course took a step back. “What’s a spider’s instinct? What will he do?” he asked.

“Bite,” I said. Hey, he asked and I was only being honest.

My words led to him yanking off his jacket and slinging it to the floor. Then he started dusting himself off and shaking his head again. When he did his next turn, I saw it.

“There! On your leg.” Of course, I took a few steps back. Don’t judge me until you see one of these things.

Hubby grabbed the bag I held in my hand and knocked the freaking huge thing to the floor and stepped on its hairy butt. Then he looked up at me and said, “See, nothing to it.”

I crossed my arms over my chest and stared. I knew he was trying to collect his machismo by acting cool. I decided not to remind that he was almost acting as bad as me, but neither was I gonna stay completely silent. “Maybe next time you’ll believe me.”

He grins, and in his sarcastic voice said, “Probably not.”

I stood there for a few seconds. Then I smiled.

“What?” he asked.

“Nothing,” I turned to leave, but he must have seen it in my eyes.

“Oh, crap,” I heard him say. “You’re gonna blog about this, aren’t you?”

Now where would this man get an idea like that? So there you have it. Spring time lessons from the Craig Household. How is your spring going? Are you feeling spring fever? Have you ever seen a hairy-butted spider?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This weekend, I went back to my old blog (the one I never post on anymore) and took a look at some of my old posts. I realized that back when I had more time, I was funnier. So anyway, since most of you guys at Killer Fiction didn't read my blog back then (except Tori - die-hard fan extraordinaire!), I decided I would pick through and share some gems from my past with you. Some of them I found highly entertaining because of the differences in my life - then and now. This is from 2005, when I was still a CFO, working the corporate America machine:

Okay, I came to the stark realization the other day that I'm high maintenance. Now, some of you might say "so what?" And others who already knew me might say "and this is a surprise why exactly?" But I was a bit dismayed and more than a little disgruntled because I don't want to be high maintenance. High maintenance is for beautiful women with perky boobs that never fall with age. High maintenance is for women born and married into high society. Women who can fold napkins into swans and know sixty different ways to apply eye shadow depending on occasion and lighting.

I'm a tomboy. I raced motorcycles, for goodness sake, and have a collection of power tools that make most men drool. If you needed new fork seals on your motocross bike or a new deck off the back of your house--I'm your gal.

High maintenance? Surely that wasn't me.

But alas, the tags in my clothes didn't lie.

Once again, what had been a fantastic sale on every outfit in every color that I liked was about to turn into a laundry nightmare. I'd already gone through my "dry-clean only" phase, and since I'd managed to locate a really good (and relatively cheap) dry cleaners, that hadn't been a problem. The "wash separately and hang to dry" was a little rougher because it actually required me to do something domestic, but I still managed to lock myself in the house one day out of the month or simply limit my wearing of the outfit to once or twice a year. But these new tags, they were going to be a real problem.

"Hand wash only."

Hand wash? Hand wash?! Hadn't it been like 100 years or so since we scrubbed clothes on a rock? And why did it seem I was only drawn to items with this type of tags?

And that's when it hit me - I was high maintenance.

Of course, it should have occurred to me before. I mean, the dry clean only and wash separately should have been an indication of things to come, but they were really only scraping the surface. Thrown into a whirlwind, I thought about the things I'd purchase over the years--the suede winter shoes (and I live in a state where winter consisted only of rain), the 6-inch stilettos with no grip on the bottom (and marble floors in my office building), the hairstyle that required an entire roll of aluminum foil and three hours of professional help to maintain, the jewelry with hooks that I couldn't work with those darned acrylic nails (not to mention the acrylic nails!) and the real kicker – the shower curtain that was "dry-clean only." WTF!?

But then what are the options?????? Polyester in 105 degree weather? Cotton that must be purchased two sizes too big and ten shades too dark so that it still fits after shrinkage and remotely resembles any shade but gray? Broken, chipped nails? Hair pulled back in a ponytail, with (gasp) GRAY ROOTS!?

Blasphemy! The style gods would rebel. My friends would laugh. My checking account would probably appreciate the increase, but really, was financial stability worth looking like a refugee?

So high maintenance it is and with pride.

The moral of this story--Don't shy away from what you are, ladies. Embrace it over a spa pedicure while drinking a $6.00 latte' and playing solitaire on your $700 smartphone.

BTW - I updated it a bit for the smartphone reference. :) It used to say "pda."

Thank God, I'm a technical writer with a casual dress code. Jeans and a polo shirt - all machine washable - with tennis shoes, are now standard fare!

Deadly DeLeon

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oscar Fashion

I’ll admit, that with the baby so fresh and new, I haven’t been to the movies in awhile. Long enough that I hadn’t seen any of the nominated movies this year. (Though, my Netflix cue is now full!). So, while I did watch the entire Oscars plus pre-show, you can guess what I was really watching for. Yup. The fashions. As I explained to The Man, the Oscars are the Superbowl of fashion. And this year there were clearly some people who deserved to victory dance in the end zone and – sometimes even more fun to watch – those who fumbled hard. Here’s my list of fashion fabs and flubs:

Sandra Bullock: Fab!
Love her slinky, sophisticated metallic look. It match perfectly with little Oscar. The only minor flub in this outfit is the lipstick. Is that magenta? Puce? She would have been MUCH better off going with a muted pink or a really bold red. This somewhere in between color is a no-go for me.

Charlize Theron: Flub!
With the economy in such a slump, apparently Charlize decided in lieu of a boob job, she’d just circle them with rosebuds. As one commentator very subtly pointed out, “This dress draws attention away from her face.” Yeah, ya’ think?

Queen Latifah: Fab!
This is color is gorgeous, and the dress has just enough bling to pop without being gawdy. And the cut – SO flattering! Even though the Queen has made herself a spokeswoman of “big girls” everywhere, she honestly is more like the average sized woman. And her curves look amazing in the is dress.

Vera Farmiga: Flub!
Ruffles, ruffles, ruffles. And in hot puce no less. Any hear that? It’s the sound of her stylist being fired.

Elizabeth Banks: Most Fab!
My favorite dress of the evening! A picture doesn’t do it justice. You have to see it in motion as she fairly floated down the red carpet. Subtle, feminine, and very old Hollywood glamorous!

The Hair: Biggest Flub!
The rain plus huge tents plus massive body heat equaled probably the worst hair on record for the majority of women there. Did anyone else notice that every woman with an up-do had the most horrible fly-aways and frizz? I swear their hair grew three feet from the time they stepped from their limos to the time they reached their seats. Even worse? No one backstage was fixing it before they took the stage! Seriously, did you see Sarah Jessica’s hair? I love that woman, but someone totally needed some hairspray. And gel. And a straight iron.

So, what were your picks for your favorite (or least favorite) looks?

~Trigger Happy Halliday

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gender Confusion and Other Things...

Sgt. Assassin Does Baghdad

Only 2.5 months until Tom comes home! I can't believe it's been a year already. How the hell did I survive? Here are a few thoughts about his impending return...

- I've become a dude. Some kind of mother/father amalgam weirdness. Need proof? Conor, Louis' older brother, told me the other day, "Leslie, you're more one of the guys than some of the guys in my class." I asked him if that was a compliment. He said, "Oh yeah!" Well, it's nice to know...I guess...

-I outweigh Sgt. Assassin. "Hey!" He tells me in an email, "I've lost like 40lbs and am comin home svelte and studly for you!" I tell him he can borrow my clothes, since I've gained 10-15lbs from stress eating while he's gone.

-My 11-yr. old daughter can make dinner! I came home to find she'd popped a frozen lasagna in the oven and it was almost done. "Look!" She said excitedly, "I even set the digital timer on the microwave!" She points to the countdown. "We have a timer on the microvave???" I ask in shock. She did a great job too. Well, except the lasagna was face down on a cookie sheet...but who's complaining?

-Bassett hounds do not consider the woman of the household to be a replacement for the alpha male. On the good side, this is the one reference to me being a woman in this whole blog. On the downside, I have 70lbs. of stupid dogmeat that won't listen to me and gets into the garbage, pantry and countersurfs on a daily basis.

All of this tells me one thing. I need a girly, spa, purse shopping spree when that man gets back. And he'd BETTER tell me I look thin!

The Assassin

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Giving Birth to a Book

WINNERS! WINNERS! Because I had so many post, I'm giving away two ARCs, Advanced Reader Copies, and two of my older releases. THE FIRST PLACE WINNERS TO RECEIVE AN ARC: Chelsea B and RobynL. The second place winners to receive a copy of one of my older releases are Kerribookwriter and Sally F.

Please email me at christie (at) Christie-Craig (dot) com. Sally and Kerribookwriter please let me know which book you would like. And thanks to everyone who played.

Next Tuesday pop over to Barbara Vey's blog and post for a chance to win an ARC. Also in May I will be doing contests every week to give away an ARC.

CONTEST: Leave a comment to win an advanced copy of Shut Up and Kiss Me.

You may have heard writers say that our books are our babies—that seeing a book through from the first sparkle of inspiration to the actual publication—to where you can actually hold that book in your hands—is much like having a baby. I should point out that some of our babies stay in the oven a heck of a lot longer than nine months. That said, here’s sort of how I compare publishing to birthing. Oh, I should warn you upfront, this may get graphic. Hey, anyone who’s ever given birth knows how graphic that can be. Right?

First, did you notice I compared birthing to publishing, and not writing? Why? Well, because writing is only part of the publishing process. Ahh, the writing, or I should say the initial writing, the oh-my-God-I’ve-got-a-great-story stage. It’s then when a writer can’t get to her computer fast enough. She’s breathing hard with excitement. Her body is tingling with anticipation. Her focus is 100% on her story. She feels so good. She’s on fire. Her words flow from her finger tips, and she doesn’t even contemplate stopping. Oh, no. She’s doing this. She’s going all the way this time.

Ahh, yes, the initial writing is what I refer to as the conception stage of publishing. And by conception, in case you missed all those metaphors, I mean sex. It’s the really fun part of making a baby, or in this case, making a book. Well, it’s the fun part when everything goes right. Hey . . . most of us has gone fishing and didn’t get a bite. Or entered a race and didn’t arrive at the finish line. Gone gigging and didn’t get a frog. Well, writers can get all turned on by an idea, but when they get down to actually doing the deed—I’m talking about the writing—well, the plot goes limp, the hero, or heroine just doesn’t stand up to our expectations. It can be very discouraging.

A smart writer will be honest when it’s not working. Needless to say, writers are human too, and we are often tempted to just fake it. Faking it always gets a girl and writers in trouble. Seriously, screaming “yes, yes, yes,” when there’s no real motivation for the story makes for a very boring first scene. And some new writers, myself included, have been known to keep faking it chapter after chapter.

However, like in the baby-making business, if his little squiggles meet up with your eggs, things very well may start to fuse—well, that’s about chapter two in the book-making business. The plot just seems to be sticking. Not that all your insecurities have faded. This is still that time when you’re unsure if the book will go to full term. You’re scared to let anyone else read it, or tell anyone about your new idea because you’re not one hundred percent sure you are going to carry this book the whole way. Yup, that first trimester of writing is filled with uncertainty.

Now in the baby-making business, the less than pleasant upchucking stage comes a bit earlier than it does in the book-making business. It’s about mid book when you start getting that sick feeling that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew—never mind trying to swallow it. The nervous flutters of not being able to pull off the plot starts gnawing at the lining of your stomach. Nothing you write goes down good. Half of what your write comes back up and gets flushed down the computer toilet with one button push—delete. Doubt sets in.

Thankfully, that stage passes when you start to feel the plot move. Your book suddenly feels real, alive. You get excited about naming your baby. You wonder what your baby’s face will look like. Will the cover be as beautiful as you imagine it? Will people stop you on the street to tell you how beautiful your baby is? But then it hits. . . the pressure of making your book great. The fear that it’s not going to turn out as good as you thought, that fear has you practically peeing on yourself all the time.

You’re not over that phase when the sagging stage hits. You know when you’re pregnant and your boobs start looking like overgrown eggplants? Well, the middle of the book is known to sag like that. As a matter of fact, soon, the whole book starts getting huge, the computer document starts showing signs of stretch marks, even the backend of your book is spreading. You need to stop feeding it words, but you can’t. Because if you do, that means it’s almost time for the big day, the day you write “the end.”

Oh, hell, you don’t think you’re ready for that. Because you know what comes next. Just thinking about it has inspiration and fear gushing out like a burst of water. Then it’s time, time to expose yourself, time to pull up your gown and show your hoo-hoo to every one in the room. It’s time to push your baby out into the world.

It’s time to give the book to a critique partner, to an agent or an editor. As wonderful as this experience can be, you know to expect pain—the pain of rewrites and rejections. Then comes the worry that your baby is never going to grow up to be a real novel and play on the bookstore shelves. You consider quitting, crossing your legs and just not letting it out. But it’s too late to turn back. Oh, no, your woo-woo is already exposed, you’ve told people you were writing a book, you’re committed and as scared as you are, you have this need to push yourself. So you take one of those deep breaths and you do it. You scream like a Mo Fo and you give one last push and it happens. Your baby is done. You are exhilarated and elated. Life is good. You can’t wait to get your first glimpse of the little darling as a completed book. And when you do . . .?

Sorry. Not all babies are born beautiful. Have you ever seen a new-born baby that came right out of the shoot? Their heads can be misshaped, they’ve got gooey stuff all over them, and sometimes you gotta slap them on the ass to bring some life into them. Well, our books are born the same way. An editor may say what a cute little baby, and love it like a mama, but then they drop the bomb. They tell you before they’ll really love your little darling, you gotta get it a nose job, some liposuction, and grow some hair on that thing.

Yeah, birthing a book isn’t easy. But it’s like birthing a baby. There’s nothing in the world quite like it. Because after all that, a writer forgets it’s not easy. They find themselves back at their computer, turned on by another plot idea, hoping it stands up to their expectation, praying to cross the finish line, swearing they won’t fake it, and they start working on giving life to another book.

That’s what I’m doing this week. I’m starting a new book. And my baby that just came out of the shoot? Well, I kind of, sort of, had twins. You see, next June I will have two books hit the shelves. Wild, Wicked & Wanton: 101 Ways to Love Like You are In a Romance Novel, is a humorous non-fiction book on what a woman can learn from a romance novel, and Shut Up and Kiss Me, is another humorous romantic suspense that includes skunks, fire ants and men in--and out--of pink bathrobes.

And to celebrate my starting a new book and publishing two, I’m gonna give away an ARC of Shut Up and Kiss Me to one lucky poster. Tell me about the books you are reading, or tell me a funny birthing experience of a baby, a book, or anything that brings about labor pains. Just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. And make sure you come back tomorrow morning to see who won.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I Have A Perfect Life

So television has moved from the Olympics to American Idol and life is good, but with AI tryouts and the Olympics running in sync, I was once again struck by something that has become the norm in tv - I call it the "Olympic syndrome." Have you noticed that every athlete has a sob story? It's like someone thinks we won't care if they win a gold medal if they didn't just bury their mother or put down their dog. While I find some of the human interest interesting (I AM a writer), I think it's gone into overload.

And the problem is now that type of hype and PR (and make no mistake - it IS all about ratings) has leaked over into every competition on television. Now, we get the whole pathetic background of the AI contestants. Mind you, it doesn't matter if there's really nothing to work with or their background is common to millions of people - if you cue the dramatic music, you can get away with anything:

(cue dramatic music)
"Then in 1998, Susan got a hangnail and lost the use of her middle finger for an entire six days......"
(cue Susan sitting bravely in the hospital with her middle finger wrapped in gauze and extended up for everyone to see)

And then the interviews - even worse. They're all weeping and crying and saying things like "this is all I have", "I've worked so hard", "this would mean so much to my family", "I'd be able to support my family." gag I have a couple of responses worked up for those statement:

"this is all I have" - Get a life.
"I've worked so hard" - So do millions of other people every single day, doing far harder things than singing. And working hard still doesn't mean you have talent.
"this would mean so much to my family" - Tell your family to get a life and stop living vicariously through you.
"I'd be able to support my family" - Why did you create a family with no visible means of supporting them in the first place?

So maybe I'm cynical, but I find it hard to connect when EVERYONE has a sob story - some reason I should want them to succeed regardless of actual ability - in a TALENT competition, no less.

Just once, I'd love to hear someone say "You know, my life is perfect. I came out of the birth canal with a perfect complexion and beautiful features. I eat everything I want, never exercise and never gain a pound. My grandparents left me more money than the Hiltons have, so I don't have to work. I saw American Idol tryouts listed in my area and even though I've never even sang a song with the radio, I figured, what the heck - let's go have some fun."

Deadly (Definitely Cynical) DeLeon

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Holding a Contest Next Tuesday

I got my ARCS (Advanced Reader Copies) of Shut Up and Kiss Me. I will be giving one away next Tuesday.

Also, make sure you pop over to Barbara Vey's blog for her anniversary party to win lots of great prizes. I will be giving away a copy of the ARC over there as well. See ya then!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Leg warmers nostalgia

We're "sleep training" the baby this week. Which basically means we're all sleepless zombies while trying to teach baby the difference between day and night and how to become slightly less nocturnal. So far... baby:1 parents: 0. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, the fabulous Maria Grazia Swan (who has had enough sleep to be coherent) has agreed to guest blog day. So, take it away, Maria....

Remember the good old days of Jane Fonda’s fitness videos and leg warmers?

Back when gyms where the place to see and be seen in our endless quest for the perfect mate?

Those days are gone. Today’s gyms are still the place to go in the endless quest for a perfect body, but now it is our own perfect body we’re after—not that of the buff guy spinning next to us in class.

In the early nineties, while writing an advice column for singles I told my readers that the weight room was a good place to meet a man in good shape and men should join aerobics classes to meet the active, fit gal. And, oh my, did I make people mad. I was accused of making men sissies and women buff!!!!

But I still say those were the good old days, when I wore a full face of make-up to the gym. Some of the women even sported false lashes. Aerobic instructors were always female and we moved to the sound of classical music.

In today’s unisex gyms, we all wear the same style shorts and plain t-shirts. Men and women are seen ‘spotting’ each other when lifting and a yoga class is often 50/50 by gender. So how have all these recent exercise habits changed our mating habits? The flirting is less open, and there is more sense of camaraderie. One thing that hasn’t changed is that when a “gym couple” breaks up, one of the two cancels his/her membership.

The concept of meeting a mate while exercising isn’t dead though, it has simply moved headquarters. In Phoenix, where I live, most of the flirting and courting takes place on hiking trails. People tend to hike at the same time, on the same days, to accommodate their work schedules. You end up running into the same faces and after a while the “hello” on the trail becomes “how are you” and “Want to get a cup of coffee?” On one of my favorite hikes, I often run into Jim also know as “the bartender”. Not because he serves drinks but because he knows all the regulars and stops to chat and listen to everybody. He told me he’s been doing the same trail, same time, for 5 years now and he is a rich source of information. He can recognize the true hikers from the “looking for a date” crowd. Perhaps one day the hiking trails will succumb to the sanity that seems to have overtaken the gyms-men and women hiking together with nothing (well, almost nothing) but fitness on their minds. I’m sure the day will come, but until then I’ll still put on a swipe of mascara and a touch of lip gloss before I lace up my hiking boots.

Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy fat women

Sylvia (Nicole Hollander)

~Maria Grazia Swan

Maria Grazia Swan is an author and motivational speaker who shares
relationship advice and guidance for women re-entering the social/dating
scene. Maria empowers and encourages single women to be bold, fearless, and
sexy in their pursuit of life and love after age 45. An award recipient from
the Women’s National Book Association, Swan is the author of Boomer Babes:
True Tales of Love and Lust in the Later Years (Leisure Books). Visit

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

All Things Considered, I'd Rather Go to Nashville...

Registration for the Romance Writers of America Conference is underway. This year, the annual writers' conference is being held in Nashville, Tennessee. While I've been to several RWA National Conferences, I have never been to Nashville.

I'd love to go to National in Nashville. Several writing buds from my local RWA chapter are going. It's sure to be a rip-roaring time (especially if The Assassin is there to work her special brand of conference magic). As I said, I'd love to go. But I might have other plans.

A few days ago I finally relented and went to see an orthopedic doctor about my bum knee. Well, one of my bum knees. When my knee got to the size of a respectable cantelope and I had to resort to using the handicapped stall in the bathroom in order to pull myself off the toilet, I figured it was time to see a medical professional.

So I did.

He pulled and twisted and manipulated my knee. It hurt like @#!*. In addition to the funky sliding sideways kneecap, it looks like I might have torn cartilage. Which means? Probable knee surgery.

So, instead of hobnobbing with writer types in Nashville, it looks like I'll be hobbling around on crutches and getting up close and personal with a physical therapist this summer.

I suppose being able to walk without a stabbing shooting pain in the knee or having it give out altogether is preferable to a week sightseeing and schmoozing in Tennessee.

Who am I kidding? All things considered, I'd rather be in Nashville.

So. Are you planning to attend RWA's Conference in Nashville or do you have other plans for your vacation time this summer?

All I can hope for now is a favorable medical outcome.

And a nice-looking physcial therapist couldn't hurt.

~Bullet Hole~

Leslie Langtry: Menace to Society

I have discovered a talent for injuring others this weekend. The Curse Of Leslie, my kids affectionately dubbed it. Here's what happened.

Friday: 7:40am

Okay, so I started off the day with a bang by yelling at my son's teacher. Now, I don't make a habit of chewing out teachers - I'm a teacher's kid. I ALWAYS side with the teacher, like parents did in the '60's. But this was bad. I'm not going to go into it here because I make Linda Blair's performance look underwhelming whenever I think about it. Suffice it to say, the teacher was way out of line and bullying Jack because, although he spelled the word "hospital" correctly, she didn't like the way he wrote "p."

So, I went up before school started and told his teacher I didn't like her yelling at my son in front of the whole class over handwriting. She denied it (I have a host of cub scout spies to prove it) and - get this - ROLLED HER EYES AT ME. It is an understatement to say I blew up. I left the school that morning, wearing her severed head as a jaunty hat. Alright, I'm speaking figuratively here.

When I got home that night, Jack informed me that I made his teacher cry. She told the whole class that she was emotionally upset and had to go home. The kids didn't talk to Jack all day because of his "Mean Mom."

Saturday - 7:30am

I'm at the warehouse where all the girl scout cookies for the troops in my city are delivered. A handful of us sort 3,775 cases of cookies and help load them into various leaders' vehicles. At 1pm, Central Time, I ran over a nice, little old lady with a cart of 47 cases of Caramel Delights. I was on a ramp and thought I had control of the cart as I stuffed cases into a pickup truck. Something shifted and the cart released and barrelled into a petite grandmother of 75. I saw her go down, screamed, "NO!" I managed to stop the runaway cart by hurling my body in front of it but it was too late. She had fallen to the ground. Fortunately, an EMT was there to pick up her cookies and examined my victim. Turns out she was alright, but it freaked me out. I mean, in Scouting, you always think you'll get injured starting a fire, on the ropes course or falling out of a canoe. NO ONE ever thinks they'll get run over by a cart of Girl Scout Cookies.

I stopped at the store on my way home and picked up six bottles of wine, a couple of bags of chips and went home to watch the Olympics. After a shower (where I couldn't lift my arms above my waist from the pain) my friend, Michele came over and we drank 4 bottles of wine, ate the bags of chips and devoured 2 whole boxes of Thin Mints.

I was home, and therefore, couldn't inflict my evil on society. Or so I thought.

Sunday -

2am, Bernie, Michele and the kids were leaving my house. Bernie (it should be said, the only sober adult) slipped on the ice on my front steps and chipped his elbow.

On Monday, the curse seemed lifted and I haven't damaged anyone since Sunday morning. What really happened in those strange 48 hours? We may never know. Let's just hope it never happens again.

The Assassin

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Doing Something Different in Bed

Yup. We’re doing something different in bed. I’m not the one who initiated the change, either. Just like a man, isn’t it? Just when you get used to something, start really liking it, they go and change it. And frankly, it’s not the first time he’s altered his bedroom/bedtime habits. The first time was about five years ago. Just like most stories involving my hubby, it all goes back to his basic male-driven instinct. You know the instinct I mean, right?

I’m talking about the male dominated instinct to protect and care for his family. And by “care”, I mean his financial protectiveness. Basically, I mean his inability to let go of a dollar bill. His frugalness . . . that is also called, cheapness. Or as some might refer to it, his penny-pinching, Scot-inherited approach to all things involving the almighty dollar—including coins. So how does the “something different in bed” come into all this? I’m getting there. Be patient.

First, let me say, I appreciate my hubby’s ability to save money and for the most part, I don’t blink when he sets out to purchase the lower ticketed item, as in: store brands of cereal, cell phones that don’t take pictures, scratched and dented refrigerators without ice makers, or the washing machine that makes enough noise and movement that the neighbors think hubby and I are doing kinky things to each other every time I use the large-load cycle. But there is and always has been one thing that I refused to scrimp on. I, Christie Craig, will have a good, top-of-the-line, 600 or above cotton thread, Egyptian preferred, sheets, blankets, and at least four freshly down-stuffed pillows. Why four? It’s simple. I need two for my head, one to hug, and one for between my knees. I’m a side sleeper. Don’t all side sleepers use four pillows?

Now, hubby says, I keep so many pillows around me at night, that if the mood strikes, he has to get over my barricade to find me. I do apologize about that, but then I point out that due to the rule—the one he set early on in our relationship—the one that demands upon his-and-her blankets, I’m never really what you would call “easy access” anyhow. Not that pillows or blanket seriously get in the way, but in the beginning I thought the two blanket rule was a tad over the top. Not for hubby. He insisted that having his own blanket prevented the tug-of-war battles and arguments so common in marriages.

Shortly after we married I learned it was good thing. And it's not for the reason you might think. Hubby's intestinal track is fine. There was no way I was going to share his cheap, canvas-feeling, skin-abrasive $9.99 clearance comforter. Nope. Nor was I gonna use the buck ninety-nine foam-filled pain-in-the-neck pillows. So I did what all smart wives do. I bought my own preferred bedding and never once told him how much I paid. Believe me, the man would have freaked if he’d known I spent more for my bedding than he did for my cheap-ass washing machine.

Then it happened. I’m referring to the first altercation that occurred about five years ago. I went out of town for a conference and while I’d remembered to put away my blanket, I had neglected to put away my pillows. And he did it. He pulled one over and while he still won’t admit it, I know he felt as if he’d died and went to bed heaven. How do I know? Because when I came back and cuddled up in bed, I found my knee pillow was lumpy foam. He’d even switched cases. Confronted with the issue, hubby said, “But it’s just your knee pillow. Do you really need down feathers for your knees?” Then he put on that poor-me pout and claimed his neck had been bothering him and he really needed the better pillow for just a few days.

Days led to weeks and I eventually went out and bought me another knee pillow. That should have been the end of it. But it wasn’t. One night I got into bed and discovered he was using my hug pillow as his second head pillow. When confronted he put on his pout again and I waited for the sore-neck excuse again. But nope. “Go buy yourself another one,” he said instead. “Just don’t tell me what you paid for it.” Smart man!

I did. Hence, hubby became a believer in the good-pillow way of life.

Then came the most recent change in his sleeping habits. To be honest, I should have seen it coming when he switched the comforter off my extra bedroom for his every-night blanket. When I asked him about this, he replied that for some unknown reason his comforter had started feeling funny.

Right! The truth was, the comforter in my extra bedroom was twice the quality of the one he’d picked up for himself on the clearance table at the dollar store. Not that it was near the quality of my blanket, but still. Nevertheless, I went out and bought a new extra-bedroom comforter. I tried giving my hubby’s blanket to the dog next door, but even he refused the dang thing. Then it happened. It was the first cold spell this winter. Hubby moved a tad closer to my side of the bed and draped my 299 dollar blanket over him, I was stunned.

“What are you doing?” I demanded.

He sent me that look, the one he knows I find irresistible, and said, “I thought we’d try something romantic and . . . share.”

I didn’t buy it, but I decided to let it slide . . . for one night. (Hey, he’s really cute when he puts on that look.) But the next night, he was . . . “cold.”

“Then get your blanket,” I suggested.

“But I like being close to you.”

I wasn't born yesterday. “Admit it buddy, it’s not me you want. It’s my blanket.”

His answer was sly. “Is it wrong of me to love both you and your blanket?”

So . . . there you have it. After twenty-five years of marriage, hubby and I are sharing a blanket. And just like he said, it’s happening. He’ll roll over and yank the covers off of me. I’ll wake up and yank back. And most nights there’s at least one game of tug of war going on.

It’s a tad frustrating, but darn it, I kind of like how it feels to spoon with him without the layers of blankets between us, so I’m gonna tolerate it.

So here’s what I want to hear from you. Are any of you out there a bedding connoisseur as I am? Do any of you use the two-blanket rule? What type of pillows do you use? How many do you sleep with? Do you have knee pillow? And do you sleep on your back, side, tummy? Come on, let’s talk about what happens in bed.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Bored and Confused

I tried not to address it, but it's the hype that will not die, so I have to ask - does anyone really care about Tiger Woods and his 42 whores? Seriously? Is he the first rich, famous guy to cheat, or do drugs, or lie or act a fool? Or is the general public foolish enough to believe that since they have to wear pants to golf, it's somehow a higher class sport than say basketball? I got news for you - young, rich, entitled stars are the same no matter how they get their money.

And the whole "did Elin assualt him" questions. Trust me, if she's hit him in the head with a driver, the news stories would be about his funeral and her arrest. And while I don't "necessarily" condone violence for solving violence, how is sleeping with loose, trashy women not assaulting your wife? God knows what he picked up from them. Some of them don't even look like they bathe. Gross!

And the hoards of people calling sport's radio shows and complaining because Tiger is a role model for their kids.....really? I don't have kids, so maybe you guys need to help me out here. I can see kids liking his money, but golf? How many eight-year olds VOLUNTARILY are obsessed with golf? Do kids really want to be Tiger Woods or do they want to be Sean White with cool hair and a bad-ass snowboard? I know who I want to be.

And let's take men for a moment. When are they going to learn that if they're famous, that's the ONLY reason women are after them - the ultimate payout. How many of the whores will have a tidy sum of money after this for selling their story? Did he really think any of them cared about him? Seriously?

All I have to say is no wonder famous people need 10k square foot homes. They have to fit their swollen heads inside. Gag

Opinions - gripes - anyone want to vomit in their own mouth?

Deadly DeLeon