Sunday, August 31, 2008

For Better or For Worse

The finale to For Better or For Worse:

I've been reading FBOFW since I was old enough to discover that boring stack of newspapers actually had comics in them. I was rapt with the first animated Christmas special featured on TV about young Elizabeth, still barely out of infancy, loses her stuffed bunny during a hectic Christmas rush at the shopping mall.

Having grown up with the Pattersons as many other Canadians have, I do feel a touch of sadness at its bittersweet "finale." The sense that we will not get to see them again reminds me of the tenuous connections we have to those around us, even fictional characters. The Pattersons have moved on, moved away, and now their lives are private ones, much as the lives of those friends and family who live apart from us, whether it's overseas, in the next county, or beyond life itself.

Over the years, Lynn Johnston brought us her special brand of humor, sweetness and sadness. The close of her family saga with the strip preceding the finale connected old and young, beginnings and endings, and reminded readers that through all of life, thick, thin, good and bad, those who have each other will endure.

Pattersons, you will be missed.


To the love of my life, my fiance, my first, my last, my everything.

John--Happy eighth anniversary.

Thank you for saying yes.

(And yes, our love sometimes is as creepy as the picture above.)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

When bad writing gets worse

The TRW sent along a link on an Amazon discussion board about some of the most overused and cliched phrases that typically appear in romance books.

Read the hilarity here.

As someone who comes across these phrases on a day-to-day basis, I have to say that they're at least a little more comforting and familiar than the ones that try to be fresh and unique. "He slid into her like a hot knife," or "when he came, it was like a gun going off inside her" or "she opened her mouth like a baby bird to receive him" are not phrases I ever want to see in romance. And yet, I have....

A few more classic lines for you that'll make you beg for "he slanted his mouth over hers" (if I've already posted these, forgive me, but they are worth repeating).:


"My goal is to blow you up and, baby, I’m about to make you explode all over the place."
If a guy said this to me, I'd be searching him for grenades.

"His words made every single cell in her body multiply with excitement."
Cancerific arousal!

"This was what you called total mouth concentration, the solicitation of participation and the promise of satisfaction."
"Have you ever heard of the emancipation proclamation?" "I don't listen to hip hop." --South Park

"If she were some kind of sexual grenade, he’d have been honor-bound to take her down, to blanket her with his body and prevent the explosion from maiming the other males in the vicinity."
Another great explosion metaphor. What really gets me about this line is the fact that the man is "honor-bound" to blow himself up on her explosive sexuality. I'd be honor-bound to RUN AWAY.

"She licked him like a lollipop, only his unique taste was strictly adult candy. He groaned and writhed beneath her feast."
Mmm, adult candy. Enjoy a Tax Lollipop, or Bag O' Mortgage Sugar today!

"He’d sprouted a hammer between his legs, iron hard and clamoring for her grip."
Wow, hardware sex. Now, if only I could write a plumbing fixture, wait, that's too easy... Something about a screwdriver...? Nah....

"Like a child with a new doll—a doll with an erection—she ran her fingers through his hair and trailed them down the side of his face and neck."
What the hell, Mattel? First Barbie and Ken break up, and now you're passing out Woody the Pedo Ranger?

"His huge manhood stood up as if he carried a policeman’s club between his legs."
Just the sexy image I want before being bedded: police brutality.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


My nephew, Avery Hendrix Kwong

Born this morning, 6 lbs. 5 oz.

Mommy and baby are both doing fine.

He's gonna give Bowie a run for her money in the cuteness department...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mediocrity Strikes Again!

Results for the Toronto Romance Writers Golden Opportunity Contest came in the mail today. No, I didn't make the finals. But I got lots of good feedback.

My rank: 12th place out of 26...exactly mediocre!

To quote Jean Giraudoux: Only the mediocre are always at their best.

YAY! I'm at my best!!!

So the next little while will be spent polishing up this book, Star Attraction, so I can enter it in to the RWA's Golden Heart this year. I also had lots of fantabulous feedback from the stunningly wicked Moor to work's all good, if harrowing to one's ego.

Hey, no one ever said it would be easy...


So picture a day of on-and-off rain onthe opening day of the CNE. As is our tradition, John and I go to shop, eat overpriced corndogs and BBQ corn on the cob, play expensive games to win cheesy prizes, and generally make ourselves sick and silly.

We stop outside the Food Building--one of our must-see stops on our annual EXpedition.

Me: So whaddya wanna do now?
John: Dunno. Let me get out the map.
Me: Aw, you don't need to do that...
John: No, no, just hang on a minute...
Me: *staring off into the sky, wondering about the ominous clouds*...
John: Hey.

John: Will you marry me?

Me (in my head): ...*GOGGLE* BUH? *GOGGLE* SQUEEEEE!!!!

Me: YES!!!

Before you ask:

1) No date set. We’re going to enjoy a longer engagement so that John can finish his studies and find employment.

2) He had the ring on him for most of the week, and was looking for the Right Moment to propose. Turns out that after I'd won him Necky the Engagement Giraffe (below) playing Whack-a-Mole, it was the Right Moment.

3) Yes, it was a big surprise. As John notes, I wasn't expecting to see anything until after he graduated.

Don't mind me, I'll be squeeing for a while.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'm scooping John on this one....

Barack rolled!

Based solely on his dancing skills, I'd vote for him. 8 )

Thursday, August 07, 2008

60 episodes of Bleach in 60 seconds...

My summary on the first 60 episodes of Bleach in 60 seconds or less.


Episodes 1-3:

Ichigo: Hello, ghosts!
Rukia: *loom*
Hollows: RAHR!
Ichigo: Ah! Monsters!
Rukia: Hollows! Boo! *saves him*
Ichigo: Help me save my family!
Rukia: Here, take my powers. *Almost dies*
Ichigo: Rahr! *brandishes incredibly phallic sword, saves everyone*
Rukia: Hey! Still alive! And now you're gonna do my job! *clings*

Next twenty-two episodes:

Ichigo: *angst*
Rukia: *angst*

*fight fight fight fight fight*
*saves people*
*useless side characters introduced*

Ichigo: Look! It's the marketable stuffed-animal sidekick, Kon!
Audience: Awww, I want one!

Episodes 25-53:

Ichigo/Rukia: *heart?*
Rukia: Sorry, I'm becoming attached. Gotta go!
Kuchiki Byakuya: Come with us, criminal!
Renji: Yeah!
Ichigo: No!
Renji: *fatally wounds Ichigo*
Rukia: See ya! *cries bitter tears*
Ichigo: *trains with sandal hat guy in a five-episode arch montage*
Useless side characters: *also train with recently acquired powers*
Ichigo + USC: Let's go save Rukia!

*They go*
*They get separated*
*They fight baddies*
*Ichigo is mortally wounded about ten times in five days, but somehow manages to revive himself via deus ex machina*
*Lots of training sequences*
*Bunch of court intrigue that is interesting, but distracts from Ichigo's enormous phallic powers*
*Nostalgia intertwined with nonlinear storytelling=lots of hazy, saccharine flashbacks*

Renji: Rukia! (*heart?*)
Rukia: Ichigo!
Renji: Ichigo?!
Ichigo: Rukia. Renji--take her away!
Rukia: Ichigo???

*More fighting*
*More court intrigue*
*Useless side characters remain useless*

Episodes 54-60:

*More fighting*
*Baddies flee*

Ichigo: Yay!
Kuchiki Byakuya: Sorry, lil' sis. I was a jackass.
Rukia: You really are my brother-in-law?


P.S. If Soul Society is "Heaven", then it sucks balls.
Worst. Heaven. Ever.

...And yet, I am compelled to watch the rest....

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hancocked (not about the movie)

Lately, I've been getting a lot of flack about my signature.

Somewhere over the past 20 or so years since I developed the swirly, jagged scribbling representation of my name, it has evolved into a lazy pair of initials. I still have my library card from the days when they'd first switched the Toronto Public Library systems from punch cards to bar codes--that was the first thing I ever penned my signature on--so I know what it was supposed to look like.

When I was 17, before the days of swipe cards, a manager at a former place of employment forged my signature on a time sheet so that she could fax it on to HR so we could all get paid. I caught it later and asked about it, to which said manager admitted her crime in the name of expediency. It was fine by me since I had barely done any hours that week and I really didn't care. But when I think about it now, it's kinda dumb to need to rely on something that no one can really verify. It wasn't as if HR was going to call every single employee and ask whether they'd signed their name on the time sheet.

This past month, I got recalled to the driver's licensing office to resign my license renewal because my signature was considered too easy to forge. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do at that point: use a signature that wasn't mine and that I probably wouldn't be able to recreate at a moment's notice? I ended up adding a loopy line and dot that I hadn't previously put in. I really don't think it's going to help. Hell, I don't know if I can duplicate it now--I've been practicing, but it seems forged to me every time.

Then, as I was shopping, I noticed a lot more people asking for my driver's license along with my credit card. Since my driver's license was being renewed, and I didn't have any other picture ID, I looked extra suspicious with a big "temporary" sticker on my card and a signature that looked too easy to duplicate on both.

What I'm trying to figure out is, with all the technology we have with photo ID, and all the abilities we have to cross-reference credit checks, etc., along with the fact that credit ard companies are insured against credit fraud, why are we still relying on a scribble to identify ourselves? What's to say that that bit of handwriting is mine?

"Signing off" on something doesn't make a whole lot of sense in my brain, either. At the workplace, it's a given that, if you sign your initials to something, you are endorsing the legitimacy of a document and all that it contains. Very little, if anything, prevents me from signing someone else's initials, and thus putting the onus of responsibility on someone else.

It all kinda makes me wonder about what celebrities have to deal with. In the book Starstruck: When a Fan Gets Close to Fame, the author, who'd been an avid autograph collector, talks to professionals who stalk celebs to get them to sign stuff they can then sell for big bucks. There's a story in there about Courtney Love signing someone else's name on some guy's dress shirt...I think. (Don't quote me on that, I can't remember the details.) And then I think about the hilarious Simpsons scene at Comic Book Guy's shop: "That is a rare photo of Sean Connery signed by Roger Moore."

Anyhow, how is some poor shmuck shelling out for authentic signed photos supposed to know that's really Tom Cruise's signature (left)? What do they have to compare it to? And really, does a gold seal with yet another signed document verifying its authenticity actually mean something? I can forge that with my color printer and some stickers from the dollar store.

Surely we have the means in this day and age to do iris/thumbprint/DNA scans a la GATTACA?

Mr. Cruise, can I have a sample of your hair, please?