Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday, August 08, 2016

The Olympics, Cont.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

I've Heard of Armchair Quarterbacks, But...

Was the sofa at least disqualified?

Monday, August 01, 2016

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

August 1, 1981.

35 years ago today.

Some poor schmuck actually married Desperate.

Happy Anniversary, Richard.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Henning It

Actually I'm batching it for a couple of days- husband and child are out of town- but I just read this Brit mystery where someone gets killed at a "hen party," which I gather is what they call a bachelorette party.  In fact they call it the bride-to-be's "hen."  For short, maybe?

I've never been to a bachelorette party.  I've been to bridal showers, but never a bachelorette.  All i know about them comes from stories friends told me on he morning after.  "Karaoke" and "mai tais" come up a lot.  And the person telling the story is usually hoarse and hung over.

To be honest with you it doesn't sound like my kind of thing at all.  I am the worst kind of introvert.  The kind that wonders why she doesn't get out much but is always ready to dash back home after about ten minutes of society. 

I'm terrible at parties in general.  My M.O. is usually to find someone I know and then hang around them, if not exactly with them then at least close enough that people think I know them.  Oh, and I avoid eye contact with strangers at all costs.  Too risky.

It goes without saying, then, that I suck at "networking."  This is a real drawback at writers' conferences.  Half the point of going to a writers' conference is to meet new people, new writers, potential agents. Hard to do that if you most finely developed skill is how to fade into the woodwork.  And not to brag, but I am a pro at that.

But I'm not the worst I've ever seen.  That honor goes to a certain family member who shall go unnamed.  I once shelled out six hundred bucks for my nephew to attend a writers conference with me, and you know what he did? He spent the whole weekend holed up in his hotel room.  Writing.

You'd think he'd get his priorities straight.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Garry Marshall

Rest in peace, and Happy Days ahead.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Desperate Housekeeping Tips

Tip for the day:

If you carefully plan your menus and do your grocery shopping for the week on Sunday, on Monday your family will come down with stomach flu and be unable to digest anything stronger than chicken broth.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bathrooms, of All Things

I figured I should weigh in.

Okay let's be frank:  men do now belong in women's bathrooms.  End of discussion.

I don't care how "transgender" you are, if you still have a unit you use the men's.

There are any number of reasons for this.  Google "sexual predators" and  you'll find mug shots of guys who said they were transgender so they could film little girls in public bathrooms. 

Anyone in favor of that?  Hello, Bruce Springsteen?

But there's an even more basic reason why we ladies don't want guys in our bathrooms:

Men are pigs.

This may seem like a controversial statement.  Fine.  Clean a man's bathroom some time and get back to me.

When I was in college the cool thing was co-ed apartments.  Most of us lived off campus and had to rent an apartment for a full year.  There was often one girl who wanted her boyfriend to have her room over the summer months if he was staying in town and she was going home.

In our four-girl apartment, two of us- me and one other girl- took a stand.  "No way in hell" would about cover it.  No No NO No NO.

Why did just two of us take this stand?  Was it because we were both conservatives?  I didn't even know what a conservative was back then, and the girl who stood with me can't possibly be one today.

Simple reason, really:  we were the only two girls in the apartment who had brothers.

We knew first hand what it meant to have a guy sharing your home.  Filthy toilets, dishes in the sink, towels on the bathroom floor and a simpering "Can't you do it for me?" attitude.  And were guys ever willing to pick up their share of the housework?  Surely you jest.

So we said no.  And we fought with the other two girls over it. And we won.

I don't know if the Target Corporation has warned its cleaning staff to gear up for more bathroom work, but they should. Because there's going to be a lot more of it if the men take over the ladies' rooms.

Were is the Justice for Janitors crowd when you need them?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It's A Good Thing I'm A Big Person

From time to time I enter contests.    Novel contests, novella contests, short story contests, short short story contests.  It's part of my Career Management Plan.

Recently I entered yet another contest.  This one was a "Be This Famous Guy's Co-Author" contest.  Famous Guy- we'll call him FG- sells lots and lots of books.  He also hires lots and lots of co-authors, probably because there's no other way he can meet the market demand for his books, which is huge. Roughly every ten minutes FG turns out another novel, and all his fans can do it scream "More!  More! More!"  the ungrateful trolls.

So clearly he needs all the help he can get.

A few months ago FG announced his "Be My Co-Author" contest.  Entrants were to submit 3000 words of a book that sounded like it could have been written by him.  Plus a two-page plot summary, and a two-sentence "hook."  He even offered an example of what a "hook" should sound like.

"You're read 'Rosemary's Baby,' right?  'Young wife gets pregnant with the devils' child.'  Now that's a hook!"

Yes.  Yes, it is.  But you can be reasonably certain "And then her kid gets pregnant with the devil's grandchild" would not have the same impact. 

Well. I gave it the old Desperate Irish Housewife try.  I came up with a plot, a hook, and 3000 words.  Call it A.

Then I came up with another plot,  another hook, and another 300 words.  Call it B.

Then I decided to send in B.

But I must have picked the wrong one, because I didn't make it to the semifinalists list.

Obviously if I'd sent in the other one I would have made the list, right?  Right?  But I didn't and I didn't, so that's that.  (Disappointed?  Me?  No no no!  Wherever did you get that idea?)

The day semifinalists were announced, I was big about it.  "Congratulations to the semi-finalists!"  I posted.  "Best of luck to them all!"

It was only the next day that I made my fatal mistake.  I checked the website again.   (Because, you know, Steve Harvey.)  There was the list on the website with an added link.

The link took me to a short video.  Of the winners.  At their computers, at the moment when they found out they'd won.

Did they look happy?  No.

They looked ecstatic.   "Hi!  Hello!  Gosh I'm so happy!  I'm thrilled!  I'm grinning from ear to ear!  I'm walking  on air--I am as light as a feather!  I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy! Happy, happy, happy!"

Now, Desperate is not a sore loser.  (Usually.  OK, on occasion I can manage it...  oh, all right, I'm a sore loser,  sue me.)  And she could handle not making the Top Ten list.

 But whose idea was it to post that video?

I mean, come on, FG, have a heart!

Look, I don't mind seeing one woman crowned Miss Universe.  Why, you ask?  Because I NEVER RAN FOR MISS UNIVERSE.  I was in the audience the whole time. The whole time.  I was never up on that stage sucking in my stomach and curling my tongue behind my teeth and mouthing platitudes about world peace. 

But I was in this contest.  I was going for the gold.  I knew it was a long shot-- so did Miss Mongolia, but she gave it her all.  I was the Miss Mongolia of the writing contest, ready to go meekly back to the Himalayas and get back to tending the yaks, which I believe is Mongolian for "get back to your desk and keep writing."

Watching the victory dance made it just a tad tougher.

Luckily I have tools for dealing with disappointment.  I have family, friends, a fully stocked bar.  I'll get over it. I'll pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.

But maybe not with B. Maybe I'll get back to work on A first.

It's good to know there's a whole alphabet to work through after that.


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The Morning After

Actually two morning after in a row.  NCAA, the Wisconsin Primary and the latest writing contest I entered. Which I didn't win.

It's a sad state of affairs when you have to look to the Wisconsin Primary results to cheer yourself up.

Still I can't complain.  I enter a lot of writing contests.  I've even one a few.  This one, though, I'm annoyed at myself because i completely misread the entry requirements.  Consequently I sent an entry that couldn't possibly have one, and kept back the one that might have stood a chance.


Back to the drawing board.

And congratulations to the ten finalists in the James Patterson Master Class Competition.  Can't wait to see your stuff!

Monday, March 21, 2016

First Day of Spring!

In spring, a young man's fancy turns to Love.

In spring, Desperate's fancy turns to other things.  Allergies, for example.  Buying Puffs in bulk. Nasal spray, inhalers... Ah, the joys of the growing season.

And let's not forget the ten pounds I  promised myself I'd lose over the winter, and how they are still very much with me.

But all of that is small potatoes compared with the thrill of taking the ice scraper out of my car and shelving it in the garage for the next few months.  The pleasure of shoving my Uggs to the back of the closet-  thank you for your service, guys, but sayonara for now. And getting a pedicure- with good reason, for once.

Of course if you live in Minnesota there's always the chance that nature will pull one of her nastier tricks and slam you with one last round of winter long after that season has worn out its welcome. But I live in hope.

Winter, you could very well be gone for good now, and let me be the first to say, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Alan Rickman on de Valera

Very interesting comment.

Alan Rickman

One of my favorite actors of all time has died.  Alan Rickman was 69;  he had cancer, hated, hateful cancer.

Younger audiences may only know him from the Harry Potter films.  I first saw him in "Die Hard," which promptly became my favorite Christmas movie.

But he was beyond brilliant in "Michael Collins."  He played Eamon de Valera, controversial Irish revolutionary and first president of the Irish Republic.  When I was a kid my grandparents spoke of de Valera in tones of mixed reverence and fury.  De Valera died in 1973, after sixty years as Taoiseach.

Here's Alan Rickman in "Michael Collins."  My favorite is the altar server bit.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Calm Before The Cold

The weather hasn't been too bad this winter, as Minnesota winters go.  But the forecasters are telling us that winter will move in for real on Sunday.  Single digit temps and high wind chill factors.  In other words, the usual kind of thing.

And for the first time since I've moved here, the forecast has everyone spooked.  How spooked, you ask?  So spooked that  no one is buying tickets for the Vikings playoff game this Sunday.

This is unheard of.  Think of it:  all of Minnesota, coming to its senses at once.  Everyone int h Twin Cities suddenly realizing how completely insane it is to venture out of doors when the wind chill is somewhere around 20 below.

I give the residents of my adopted state a lot of credit.  This wisdom has been a long time coming, and I congratulate everyone in the North Star State for finally getting a clue.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

New Year, Con't.

So.  Did we all make our New Year's resolutions?

Mine are pretty simple:  acquire a hot body, become a bestselling author, learn five new languages, etc.

Haven't worked out how I'll achieve these goals yet.  But I think I may have found one path that could lead to hot-bodiness, or at least lukewarm-bodiness.

If there is one thing that is true about me, it's that I hate to exercise.  I mean, I don't just dislike it.  I HATE it.  But I am forced to admit that, like death and taxes, the need to exercise is inevitable.

I think I may have found the perfect exercise class for me.  I can tell it's perfect by how much I hate it. It's at the fitness club, it combines hot yoga with weight training, and it's popular with men as well as women. Which means that, in addition to being one of the most horrible things I need to do for myself, it smells pretty bad, too.  A twofer.

You need a few pieces of equipment for the class.  A yoga mat, so you can stake out your personal space as far away from the sound system as possible.  Colorful hand weights.  A water bottle.  And a small towel.  The towel is important.  You need it to wipe the sweat from your palms every five seconds so you won't drop one of your colorful weights on your toes.  Plus it gives you something to sob into when no one is looking.

Then you let some gorgeous young thing without an ounce of body fat torture you for an hour.  "Balance, balance, balance and lift that right leg up over your head!"  That sort of thing.

I realize I need to make some changes in my diet, too, if I want to achieve hot-bodiness.  A diet of pizza and kettle corn is probably not the way to optimum health. 

But one reform at a time.