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Thursday, April 30, 2015

How Do You Get Back In A Flirting Frame Of Mind?

I have a problem.

With flirting, specifically.

Here's the deal: I'm a good flirt. I mean a really, really good flirt. I can banter - oh baby, can I banter. Witty repartee is my forte. I have eyes. I mean "come hither" eyes. And I can give a look... You know that scene in Game of Thrones where the slave girl is telling the story about the chick who can "finish a man with nothing but her eyes" - yeah..Irogenia of Lys has got nothing on me, baby.

The issue here is that while I can flirt, I really tend to be lousy at being flirted with.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Dinner Conversation

Mom, when I'm big, where will I live? live where you want to live. You'll be big. You can choose.
I choose to live with you, in our house.
Or maybe you choose to have your own house. You can live close to me, if you want.
I will live with you. And maybe I will be married.
Your wife may want you to have your own house.
But I want to live with you forever and you can make me cheeseburgers. 
You can learn to make your own cheeseburgers, you know.
Maybe. But yours taste good. They taste like love.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I Was Late To Work Today, Because My Son Is Autistic

I was late to work today.

Luckily for me, there weren't any big meetings or hugely pressing deadlines hitting me first thing this morning, and my boss is a pretty reasonable guy and the kids are with their dad tonight so I can stay late and make up the time.

So I walked in and waved to the boss and apologized and set up my laptop in the docking station and got right to work.

And some days, I'm really, really glad to be at work. I like my job and it's a good job, but of course, I'd rather be idle rich if I could have my choice. Some days, is like an oasis away from my life, and this was one of those mornings.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 20 Recap: How Many Ships Can We Sail (And Sink)?

Tonight, kids, we're going to learn all about relationships. The ups, the downs, the good, the evil, the twisted, the gin-soaked, and the things that mold and shape us. And oh yeah, the writers are going to be gleefully cackling in the background the whole time.

Sheesh. Where do I begin? I guess we start where they do, with the apprentice, talking to the sorcerer's spectre (who sounds familiar but hell if I can place that actor's voice). We learn that Emma and Lily's fate has always been entwined and will continue to be so.

This becomes evident as Mal the Magnificent (and sadly missing the last few episodes) strolls into Granny's and asks Emma to right her parent's wrong and help her find her daughter - the mysterious Lily. Of course, Emma is gobsmacked and runs straight to the library, where she happens to find the one microfiche with Lily's birth record on it, because there could be only one Lily in the state of Minnesota.

And how the hell did Emma end up in Minnesota at some point? I mean, if she ran away there, wouldn't they just return her to Maine, where she's registered in the system? I have a hard time believing they just let a kid hop from state to state all willy-nilly when they feel like it. But what do I know? I'm just a blogger, and a mediocre one at that.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fun On A Friday: Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs...

Today's laugh is brought to you by signage, both informational and passive-aggressive. Signage can be highly entertaining. Just take a gander at these:

Come on, people. Really.

So there.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ten Kinds Of Toxic People That You Should Avoid

Anna and I were having a discussion yesterday and of course, she's in middle school so there's a metric buttload of drama encircling her on a daily basis. One of her schoolmates is making her crazy because she's so possessive of her boyfriend. She won't allow him to have any friends at all. All of his time and energy must be directed towards her.

We talked about how this is low self-esteem at it's worst and I told her that for future reference, anyone who tells you that you have to shut down the rest of your life to be with them should be an immediate red flag to you, whether that's a friend or a romantic interest. This led to a rather spirited discussion of other "red flags" and I decided to put together a list.

If you see yourself on here, stop doing this stuff. Seriously.

1. The "Everyone's an asshole" person. If you've only lived next to asshole neighbors everywhere you've moved, if all your former employers were assholes who were out to get you, if you can name on more than one hand the former friends who were total assholes and treated you like a pariah - the common denominator there is you. You are the asshole in the equation.

2. People with a victim complex. This goes hand-in-hand with the aforementioned assholes. If you're constantly broke because of your bad decisions, if you lost your kids because your ex proved to the court that you drink too much, if you didn't get that promotion or worse, lost your job because you call out a lot or come in late - in short, if you're always in bad situations due to circumstances you directly could control, you are not a victim. You are careless, and irresponsible. Own up to it, and get over yourself.

3. People who talk all the time about how nice they are. They usually aren't. Nice people don't like to talk about themselves. And they don't talk - they do.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Here's To The Unsung Heroes

What's that? You need dinner reservations for six in forty-five minutes? 
No, make that seven? Nine? I've got it.
You need fourteen color copies of that presentation
GBC bound and driven through the pouring rain 
To the airport, before you get on the plane?
I've got it.
You need this horrific, disjointed spreadsheet
To look clean and readable and gorgeous?
I've got it.
You screwed up the Word doc template
And now the fonts are all wonky and the columns won't line up?
I've got it.
You have back-to-back meetings from eight to two
And can't get lunch?
I've got it.
Flowers on my desk for 
Administrative Professionals Day?
I don't get.
Oh well. Maybe next year.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

If You Love Someone, Let Them Go....To The Restroom

I woke from a very odd and very frightening dream this morning.

I had been in a crowded shopping mall with David, and we had finished our shopping for the day. I told him it was time to go, and he told me that he wanted to drive his own car home. Only he sort-of mentioned it while I was looking at my phone, checking Facebook, and I just smiled and nodded and told him okay, half-paying attention.

By the time I'd registered what he'd said, he was gone. 

I searched through the crowd but there was no sign of him. And (again, this is a dream) I was terrified because (a) he probably wouldn't remember where he even parked his car and (b) I knew he would never be able to drive home - he didn't know the way.

Nevermind that he's eleven, that didn't come into play in the dream at all.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Why I Don't Get To Use All My Best Anecdotes

My latest for Mom's Magazine:

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 19 Recap: De Vil Brings The Dark - And It's Delicious, Darling

We begin this evening's tale with a flashback to a young girl being chased through the woods by dalmatians - this is Cruella. Apparently Mommy is  more like Mumsy Dearest (they're big on Mommy issues in this show), who has great influence over her beloved dogs. Mumsy locks Cruella in the attic without the benefit of an incestuous family, and poor little Cruella (and really, who names their kid Cruella?") is sad and alone, and now thoroughly warped.

And now in present-day Storybrooke, we see just how far the damage has gone. Maleficent confronts Cruella, wanting to know what happened after Cru and Ursula landed in our world with baby Lily. Cru confesses without a shred of remorse that while it was very nice that the magic from the dragon egg helped her stay young (nice retcon, writers), she up and left baby Lily to die in the woods without a backwards glance. Maleficent turns into a dragon and Cruella is easily able to use her gin breath and persuade her to take a nap, remarking that people "Always underestimate a girl in diamonds and furs."

Meanwhile, back at the apartment, Emma is still bitchin' at the folks. Snow defends herself again because she's good, dammit! Regina walks in and lets them all know that Zelena is still alive and she's going to NYC to rescue Robin.

And where the hell is baby Neal? They've obviously just come in from being out, and no one is there, babysitting Neal. If he's at someone's house, why didn't they drop by and get him? Or at least call to check on him (especially since you just learned that the nutcase that snatched him from your arms is still hanging around)? I think Emma's right - the Charmings are less-than-stellar parental role models.

As seen at the Storybrooke Stop-N-Shop

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fun On A Friday: Another Installment Of "Today In The News"

Welcome to another Friday edition of "Today In The News!" Let's see what's going on around the world today:

At least they tried:

Facebook Friends, you have been warned:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Space You Rent Within Yourself, Or How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Head Tenants

I'm posting this today because I saw this picture on Reddit yesterday, and it seemed wildly appropriate, in light of what I did last weekend.

I watched my wedding video.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: We're All Human Beings

The sign appeared on the front door (and on the dumpster in the rear) of PB Jams Coffee Shop in Warr Acres, Oklahoma.

Simple, and heartfelt and to the point

You're a human being, it says

And that's something we all too easily forget when we see someone scrounging in a dumpster

That's someone's son, or daughter. A sister or a brother. Maybe even somebody's parent, just doing the best they can for their family.

And in one thoughtfully printed sign, this business owner reminds us of the truest of truths:

We're all in this together.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

This Is The Story Of A Friend....And A Dryer

Do you see this? It's a dryer.

Specifically, it's a new dryer. Brand, spanking new. 

As I mentioned before, my dryer died. It happened about a month ago, and it's been really, really annoying and tough to work around, too. I don't live in a metro area, or a college town, and laundromats are not an easy thing to find. They're also really, really expensive. 

This is all compounded by the fact that I have primary custody of my kids, I work full time (and write freelance on top of that) and my washer stops dead in the middle of spin cycle, leaving everything sopping wet and requiring twice as much drying.

My neighborhood actually has an "association" rule forbidding visible clotheslines that I would gladly flaunt, but it's still been mostly winter up here in PA, so it was a moot point anyway.

It wasn't the end of the world, but it sure was a perfect storm of suck. Like I didn't have enough to deal with - this was just one more frustration heaped on the pile. And of course, I can't afford a new dryer (and the drum was cracked - it was beyond repair), nor do I have the available credit to charge one. 


Monday, April 13, 2015

Once Upon A Time - Season 4, Episode 18 Recap: Can I Call It Or Can I Call It?? The Green Bitch Is BACK!!

We begin tonight's tale in Storybrooke, where the Charmings and Emma are looking for The Author in the deep, dark woods. Emma's still pissed about the whole "Trading her soul for the soul of an innocent" thing and is frankly tired of her parent's shit.

"But we changed!" Snow whines. Yeah, Snow, we know. We all know. And it hasn't been for the better this season. I'm tired of your shit, too.

A few dozen yards away, the author is trying to make his own pen from a tree branch - apparently magic quills can be sculpted from the wood of Enchanted Trees (even though he was clearly using a feather quill when last we saw him - hello continuity) and there's a lack of those in Storybrooke. Rumple shows up with a prickly, "Remember me?" And the author replies with the winning line of tonight's episode:

"You're quite possibly the biggest pain in the ass 
I've ever had the displeasure of writing about."

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fun On A Friday: Stuff That Makes Me Laugh

Hi there and welcome to Friday! Or as I like to say: TGI EFFITY F! Today I present a gallery of stuff that made me laugh:

Let's start with this:

How to hide alcohol in Facebook pictures: (There's a whole gallery - check 'em out!)

Then there's this adorable baby who has just discovered his eyebrows:


This one is actually quite informational, but a few of these are hilarious: What to call your period in other countries.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

God Help The Person Who Marries My Sleep-Screaming Daughter

My daughter has never been a peaceful sleeper. Don't let that picture fool you, folks. That was taken during a nap, when she sleeps nice and soundly. Nighttime is a whole different ballgame.

It started when she was two months shy of two years old. Night terrors. Every night, starting around 10:30 and continuing to the magical time of 3:30 am - once she got past 3:30, we were okay. But during that five hour period, she woke at 20-25 minute intervals, screaming uncontrollably, eyes wide open but vacant, and I'd have to rush in, sooth her, rock her, and lay her back down. Then I'd go back to bed, just get comfortable, and it would start all over again.

Did I mention I was pregnant with her brother? And my husband slept like the dead? Then when David came along and I was up nursing him in between her shrieking (and getting up at 6am to go work my full time job), things got...ugly. I call that year "The Lost Year," because I honestly remember very little of it.

We examined and rearranged her diet. We eliminated artificial everything. We tried different bedtimes and bedtime routines, white noise and lavender baths. None of it did a thing for her. I finally took her to the pediatrician, who listened carefully, handed me some printouts and said, "She'll grow out of it, most likely. If it's any consolation, Night Terrors are usually the sign of a very intelligent child. Her brain just doesn't shut off."

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The Little Book That Could

It's a labor of love, to be sure.
Not overly long, and not full of legal speak or tips on how to make your own window cleaner with vinegar
It's just a short guide to getting the hell on with your life
Which is what you really need to do
What I really needed to do
And that began with a writing job that led to this book, and to other books
That led to a career I'd always wanted but was never brave enough to try
Until he tossed me off a cliff
And I sprouted wings 
And I flew


Ellie DeLano spent four years as the Divorce Blogger for Woman's Day Magazine, chronicling her transition to single parenting and mid-life dating after decades of marriage with poignancy and humor. What she learned from her readers and her own experience was invaluable, and she shares it here with a straightforward guide to the things you really need to help you move forward after your divorce.
Available at Amazon for Kindle - and Smashwords for all e-reading device.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dear Woman In The SUV That I Almost Hit

Thank you for seeing me.

I was backing out, and a bare second before we would have impacted, you hit your brakes and prevented a catastrophe. I gave you a sheepish wave – it was all my fault, really – and you gave me an annoyed look but didn't get crazy about it. You just went on your way.

And again, thanks. That could have ended so differently, so badly, if you hadn't been paying attention when I clearly wasn't.

But you see, it's my birthday, and it's a big one. And my family is far away, and I'm so broke the kids and I can't even go to McDonald's, and when my ex brought the kids back last night, he didn't even wish me Happy Birthday. He didn't really even speak to me at all, really.

Monday, April 6, 2015

11 Things I Wish We Could See On Once Upon A Time

There's no episode this week due to it being Easter Sunday, so I'm going to skip the recap and give you my Once Upon A Time Wish List. I know some of these can't happen due to the actors being committed elsewhere, so this is just a dream list:

1. Mulan gets her happily ever after....with Elsa!

Think about it! She wouldn't have to live in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest and risk running into Aurora (awkward!), she'd have a kingdom to defend (Prince Hans wouldn't stand a chance against Mulan) and Elsa could have someone who would see her talents as strength and not a liability.

2. Henry gets magic.

And re-enacts the scene from Fantasia with the broom.

3. A lady pirate that has a bad past history with Hook shows up in Storybrooke. 

I once wrote a fanfic with a lady pirate named Odile, who pirated under the moniker "The Black Swan." Her counterpart was the Storybrooke dance teacher, Odette (if you're familiar with "Swan Lake" - that's the reference). They don't have to steal my idea (though I'd be terribly flattered if they did), but I'd love to see some really jealous Emma, and a vindictive woman from Hook's past trying to screw things up would be all kinds of invigorating.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Autastic! Check Out What This Dad Did When His Son No Longer Qualified For Services!

It's a sad fact that in most states in this country, once a child with autism reaches 21 or 22, they are no longer entitled to services. Like they magically stop being autistic on their birthday, or something. It's frustrating, and it's disheartening.

John D'Eri didn't just sit back when his kid aged out of his services - he created a job for him, and for 34 other adults on the spectrum.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: April Fool's - It's Not A Gun

Photo Credit: Osman Sagirli

Her name is Adi, and she is four
A child of war, in Syria
And when the photojournalist pointed his camera at her
She thought it was a gun
And she "surrendered"
And her face says all that needs to be said
About war