Friday, July 29, 2016

Please read Margaret and Helen's latest post ...

Feeling So Much Better

Watch President Obama talk about America and Americans and you start to find your footing again.

It's better.

The Democratic National Convention had some moments of brilliance and let's face it, I fan girl all over the Obamas and then back again so a little Michelle and Barack and I'm thinking, "oh my goodness, look at the pretty sun coming out from behind those nasty clouds".

And then, love her or hate her: Hillary Clinton secured the nomination and history was made.

History was fucking made.

I don't care who you are or how you feel about her: we watched history be made tonight and it felt amazing.

In my lifetime man walked on the moon, a black man became president, gays got the right to marry (and serve in the military and be treated like humans) and we just saw a woman get the nomination to run for President of the United States for the Democratic party.

Jeebus. What a great day.

Did I mention Obama's speech? Where he said, "ignore those haters who talk about storm clouds and let's look at that pretty sun together."

Well he might have said it a little differently but that's what I heard.

What a pretty sun. I think I'll walk in the light for a while.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Lesser of Two Evils Is Still... Evil

This is s a personal rant. A personal opinion. This is not Carolyn's opinion: just Lori's.

I cried driving to work this morning. I cried because I'm heartbroken. Because the Democratic National Convention is going on and the party I've voted for and been a part of all my life is fractured beyond healing.

We did so well with Barack Obama. He was a breath of fresh air, a new beginning. He saw the world the way I want a president to see it: as a global community. He saw America for what it is: a melting pot of cultures, religions and people. Obama believed he could help bring America into the future as part of the global community, as a member of the world. The Republican party hated him but so many of us saw the world as he does and believed in what he wanted to achieve.

He didn't do as much as he wanted but this America moved forward. And as violence and terrorism is dominating the news, Obama is trying to keep the rhetoric down and keep this world a community. It's why he doesn't scream terrorism or Isis or "radical Islam" the moment something happens. He's trying to keep the hate at bay so the problems can be solved.

It's why Obama is a man who can say Black Lives Matter and cry when a cop is killed. Because the truth is self evident and he's never lived the "either/or" that so many are spouting. Black Lives Matter and cops aren't bad. One doesn't negate the other. Obama gets it.

Then we get Trump. That horrible, horrible man. He's like the Id gone wild: he hates anyone who isn't him and that's a white, Christian male. He judges women only on their looks, he mocks people with disabilities and the wall he wants to build isn't just to keep Mexicans from crossing our borders but to keep out anyone who isn't... yeah: a while, Christian male.

I believe that if Trump becomes president we might see American Muslims placed in internment camps. I believe that. I believe that we'll see people we thought we knew turn away from compassion and embrace xenophobia and hate.

So vote for Hillary, you tell me. Oh man, I wish it was that easy. Except that Hillary's moral compass broke years ago and I don't believe in her. She voted for the war in Iraq. She didn't support gay rights till it was fashionable. She just hired the bitch of the DNC to work for her after she rigged the nomination process to cheat Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton is a career politician who doesn't vote her conscience or beliefs because she has only one true belief: advance Hillary. I believe she could, as easily as Trump, put us in a war. Hillary sold her soul long ago and Trump simply doesn't have one.

So my dilemma. I don't want to vote for Hillary but then that's equal to a vote for Trump which I can't do. I can't vote for either with any positive outcome for America. And I believe that voting is a privilege we should never take for granted.

So we have two evils and they're both evil. What do you do?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Carolyn's August Books

Well, life does go on for those left behind and since my brain is empty (and has been for awhile, lol), here are the August books I've pre-ordered. I think my book buying is about to be cut abruptly short, although I'll always have authors I just have to have, even if I have to wait for paperback prices.

And here we go.

1.  Blood of the Earth (A Soulwood Novel)
     Author: Faith Hunter
     Publisher: Penguin Group
     Release: August 2, 2016
     Price: $7.99

Set in the same world as the New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, an all-new series starring Nell Ingram, who wields powers as old as the earth.

When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her.

Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville.

Nell has a team—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nell and the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out…

The first book of a new series set in a familiar world. I think this might be good and Lori, you do like witches.  :-)

2.  Reaper's Fire
     Author: Joanna Wylde
    Publisher: Penguin Group
     Release: August 9, 2016
     Price: $7.99

New York Times bestselling author Joanna Wylde returns to the “wild and raw”* world of the Reapers MC with the story of Gage and Tinker…

The club comes first. 

I’ve lived by those words my whole life—assumed I’d die by them, too, and I never had a problem with that. My Reaper brothers took my back and I took theirs and it was enough. Then I met her. Tinker Garrett. She’s beautiful, she’s loyal, and she works so damned hard it scares me sometimes . . . She deserves a good man—one better than me. I can’t take her yet because the club still needs me. There’s another woman, another job, another fight just ahead. 

Now she’ll learn I’ve been lying to her all along. None of it’s real. Not my name, not my job, not even the clothes I wear. She thinks I’m nice. She pretends we’re just friends, that I’ve still got a soul . . . Mine’s been dead for years. Now I’m on fire for this woman, and a man can only burn for so long before he destroys everything around him.

I’m coming for you, Tinker. 

I remember Gage from one of the earlier books. I need to reread the series because everything is a little hazy now, but the Reapers had a spy mission going in another town against some gang interfering with their income and Gage and that book's hero were the spies. I liked Gage, from what I can remember and will welcome him into my life.  :-)

3.  Betrayals
     Author: Kelley Armstrong
     Publisher: Random House
     Release: August 9, 2016
     Price: $12.99

The exciting fourth novel in bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's "impossible-to-put-down" Cainsville series

When Olivia's life exploded--after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers--she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents' crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn't enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake.
     Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel's help to clear Ricky's name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.

So glad this wasn't a trilogy because, while I like Ricky, I am a Gabriel fan all the way and I figure if there are enough books and I hope hard enough, the author will come through for me. It would take a lot of character building on Gabriel's part but  - I BELIEVE IN HIM. YOU CAN DO IT,GABRIEL! I KNOW YOU CAN!!  Ahem - looking forward to this book. 

4.  Wild Embrace
     Author: Nalini Singh
     Publisher: Penguin Group
     Release: August 23,2016
     Price: $11.99

The “alpha author of paranormal romance”* presents a stunningly sensual collection of four all-new Psy-Changeling novellas, in which taboos are broken, boundaries are crossed, and instincts prove irresistible...

Echo of Silence
In a deep-sea station, Tazia Nerif has found her life’s work as an engineer, keeping things running smoothly. But she wants nothing more than to break down the barrier of silence between her and her telekinetic Psy station commander...

A changeling who can never shift lives a life of quiet frustration—until he learns how to let his leopard come out and play...

Partners in Persuasion
Still raw from being burned by a dominant female, wolf changeling Felix will never again risk being a plaything. But for dominant leopard Dezi, he’s the most fascinating man she’s ever met. She just has to convince this gun-shy wolf that he can trust the dangerous cat who wants to take a slow, sexy bite out of him…

Flirtation of Fate
Seven years ago, Kenji broke Garnet’s heart. Now the wolf packmates have to investigate the shocking murder of one of their own. And the more Kenji sees of the woman Garnet has become, the deeper he begins to fall once more. But even his primal instincts are no match for the dark secret he carries...
Four new stories? 400 pages of Nalini Singh? This is a no brainer!
So, these are my orders for August. Might be awhile before I can read them; I'm having problems with concentration - and the desire to read, to be honest. But I'm a known collector, I collect things I'll never use and all these authors are "my" authors and I'll keep on collecting them as long as I'm able. Not a long list, but they are all good books and I look forward to reading them.   

Saturday, July 23, 2016

RIP John McCullough

Romance is such a fun thing. We read books with alpha heroes who take care of business and beta heroes who quietly take care of business and we swoon and compare our book boyfriends and its all good.

Then there are the real men. Not the romance heroes but the nice guy, the men who don't have books written about them but who take care of business by taking care of their families and their wives with no glory. They aren't heroes. They aren't romance icons. They're better than that.

Carolyn lost her John on July 21. He was sick for a while, they thought it was flu... maybe pneumonia... maybe a virus of some sort. When the doctor finally got his head out of his ass, they found John's lungs riddled with tumors. In less than two weeks, he was gone.

I didn't know John. I know and love Carolyn and because of that, I knew the John she married. He was a funny guy, always cracking jokes. We'd be talking and he was always in the background putting his two cents in. Sometimes he'd answer the phone and we'd flirt at first and then joke.

He was a charmer. John was the guy who found every woman beautiful. He was the man who told Carolyn the cure for a headache was sex... and she always felt better after (damn him, she laughed).

He never had glorious jobs (although he was a cop for a time) but every time he left a job he moved on to a job that was better financially and gave his family a foot up. Carolyn said he was never fired from a job in his lifetime, and that's one huge accomplishment in my book.

They had two sons together and John was that guy who taught his boys to hunt and be men. He didn't always understand the boys but they looked up to him and I know that his sense of humor is definitely alive and well in his sons.

John McCullough was never a romance hero but he had a woman who loved him, that he loved. They understood each other and didn't care about the others idiosyncrasies. They didn't have big misunderstandings, they didn't have to climb over obstacles or deal with mass murderers. They lived a life together. They had some hard times. They had some great times. They stayed together.

I guess that's the thing that makes men like John a dying breed. They stick to their wives and families even when its hard. They don't look for greener grass or younger women, they don't have big dreams and little ambitions. John's generation and the men like him, are men who vow to honor and be there and that's what they do.

In his own way, John McCullough was a great man. And his strength, integrity and decency made him a hero. He gave Carolyn a love story that was full of laughter. He gave his sons a clear truth in what a man could be.

Our world is sadder without him.

Rest in peace, John McCullough.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Understanding Dani Mathers

You've probably read about Dani Mathers by now: Playboy Bunny of the year (that's a thing). She's a pretty, blonde lady model who snapped a picture of a naked woman in a gym locker room of a naked woman showering with a pic of herself laughing and a stupid caption shaming the woman for not being as attractive as Dani Mathers.

I won't repost the pic because the woman never consented to the picture and reposting it all over the internet as news outlets and social media is doing is a continuation of victimizing the woman. Personally I believe everyone who has posted it is culpable.

But Dani Mathers... we're going to ignore her fake ass apology because well, what she said in essence isn't true. What the truth most likely was is that she posted the picture as a meme with the intent it would go viral and put her in the limelight. She wasn't counting on the backlash, she thought people would laugh. That woman showering was a prop in the picture of Dani Mather's life.

And that's the point to me. What happened in this situation becomes a parable for what our society has become. Dani Mathers, in that one picture, became Donald Trump. Became AllLivesMatter. She became the Stanford rapist.

Dani Mathers showed herself as America has become: lacking empathy. Seeing the world as nothing but a major prop in the meme that is her life. She didn't think that she was violating that woman's privacy by taking a naked picture of her in a law-protected private area. She saw a great chance to maybe gain more Twitter/Snapchat followers. The naked woman was human, she meant nothing.

We could use this situation to discuss the websites created for men to post naked pictures of ex-lovers/wives/girlfriends and why they aren't being prosecuted (with the zeal that Dani Mathers is). We could discuss the guy who hacked into celebrity phones and posted their private nudes (has he been caught or prosecuted yet?) But well, those are male on female crimes which doesn't count in America. However let's get the Bunny.

I do feel Dani Mathers deserves to be prosecuted. Don't get me wrong on that. I also know that what she did isn't going to open any meaningful discussions about women's bodies being private and sex crimes against women. So we won't bother to go there because that stuff doesn't matter to most white male Americans.

However, we need to recognize that our society is turning into a society of Dani Mathers. Disconnected from others. Unaware of decency or caring. We're turning into a society that can hear or read Donald Trump's speeches and not be disgusted by his xenophobia, racism, misogyny. We've become apologists for the worst our society has to offer.

The internet has jumped on the Hate Dani Mathers bandwagon and it doesn't mean a thing. Because an attractive, young woman doing what she did fills everyone with malicious glee to persecute and destroy. Men, women, children and dogs are all posting about how ugly the model truly is on the inside and what a vile creature she is. These are many of the same people who believe the drunk woman who got raped behind a dumpster by the Stanford swimmer shouldn't have been drinking so much.

Yes, Dani Mathers did something vile and she will be prosecuted for it. She'll probably serve more time than the Stanford rapist and she'll probably have less opportunities for the rest of her life than he will. Memes will continue to appear making unaware people the butt of their jokes and no one will bat an eye. We'll see the majority of America elect a president who mocks women for their looks and being on their periods and decent people will despair but most Americans won't give a damn.

Yes folks, this is your America. Do with it what you will.

Friday, July 15, 2016

My Question

I live with a conservative who argues against the Black Lives Matter movement. He likes to say "All Lives Matter' and 'Blue Lives Matter' and of course, the infamous argument that black on black crime takes more black lives than police do.

(That's a huge 'duh'. Just like white on white crime takes more white lives and all the way down the line. That's not an argument or a point. It's a smoke screen to avoid acknowledging racism.)

Anyway, so the same conservative is all up in arms about Isis and extreme Islam (oh those damned extremists on any kind) (especially those damned extreme liberals) yet point out the Isis on Islamic crime and killings and that's not a point at all.

So Black Lives Matter doesn't matter because in inner cities the crime (and poverty and lack of education) leads to the elusive unicorn of black on black crime. But extreme radical Islam killing their own doesn't prove that all Muslims/Islams shouldn't be allowed asylum in other countries where they might not be killed....

Why I'm not a conservative? I can't think in ridiculous.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Aloha: A Farty Update

Very excited today: my sister and her wife will be here this afternoon and vacationing for 2 weeks. They spend most of the first week on a 4 day hike/camp with my brother and more but then there's a week of play.

I'm excited about having a little play.

Beyond that, I'm writing like a fiend and it's been a long time since I've written so much and had such a good time doing it. My goal is to have the book finished by the end of the month and in Carolyn's hot, little hands.

Carolyn is well but dealing with a sick hubby. She's reporting daily that sick men are the reason women remain single. Anyway, hopefully it's a case of pneumonia and she's waiting for him to get the fuck over it so she can get back to buying books.

So I saw this image on Instagram (thank you @SebDivo)

 which is a mural called Bleeding Hearts on a wall in Venice Beach, California.

I love it like crazy. I'm going to talk to my nephew about making something similar for my bedroom wall. Because this is my new favorite thing.

Anyway, right at this moment I'm happy and excited Work is okay, family is fun and writing is good. I'm expecting some bad news coming down the pike soon financially but I'll deal with it when it comes. Right now, I'm going to love today and wish all my friends out there a wonderful weekend.

And John: GET BETTER! please.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Double Standard? More Like a Double Scoop

So Jimmy Thomas is a male model who created a nice business selling book covers of his hotness and the hotness of others. I used one of his photos ...

actually two since the top cover got banned from Amazon.

Anyway, I followed (notice the past tense) Mr. Thomas on Facebook and other social media until a few days ago when he posted a status saying that he was asked a few times to do cover shoots with plus size models which he had no interest in doing because he didn't think it was a good business decision as it's a very specialized market.

Ok. No problem with that.

But then he went on to say that it seemed like a double standard that women were posting memes about plus size being acceptable or hot (you know, don't judge me or my attractiveness because I'm fat) but those same women then post pictures of hot guys (like Mr. Thomas). So per the hot dude, my feeling good about myself isn't okay unless I also post pictures of fat dudes. Or, wait... that wasn't it. Oh yeah, I'm allowed to feel good about myself sexually but I'm a hypocrite if I don't post pictures of old fat dudes.

No. That can't be right.

It's a double standard, said Mr. Thomas, to feel good about being an old fat broad but to post pictures of hot guys.

That's it!

So I said no. It's not a double standard at all. A double standard would be me saying fat chicks are cool but old fat dudes aren't. Not saying that. I say I'm cool in all my fat chick glory and fat dudes are cool in all their fat dude glory but I'd rather fuck Chris Pine.

Wouldn't you rather fuck Chris Pine? 

Anyway, my response angered Mr. Thomas a little and his responses started to sound a little aggressive in his stance of fat women double standard (plus I didn't get the feeling he really likes old fat chicks) so I unfollowed him on all social media. 

I still think Mr. Thomas is hot but I also think that he's so adamant that fat chicks shouldn't post pics of hot guys and be okay with being fat chicks that I want to float the idea out into the universe that maybe fat chicks should stop buying Mr. Thomas' pictures and advertising him because he really doesn't appreciate it.

Just saying...

(Now I wonder if Yesterday's Headline needs a new cover...)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence.... Happy Day

Happy 4th.

Mollie is taking an AP (Advanced Placement) history class this next year and she has to read a book, Founding Brothers and have a report due on the first day of school.

So we read the book together last month and it was fascinating. It was about the creation of the country. The real history of our first presidents and the creation of politics. Such as: George Washington could have had as many terms as he wished as President but he wanted to retire which is why he quit after two. Thus the two terms became de facto.

And presidents and vice presidents didn't run as teams. Just four separate men ran for office and the top two got the top two spots.

And Benjamin Franklin fought for the abolition of slavery before he died. And since he, like Washington, was an icon, he threw the entire Congress in a tizzy because they couldn't ignore him. Although ultimately they did and voted against abolition.

Our country's beginning was a fascinating one. Reading this book made me curious about reading more. We had some brilliant and brave founders. And this country was created with a vision that differs from what we all think.

Paying attention to the news, to our current politics... this is not what the founding brothers intended. This kind of politics was beneath the office. This hatred that plagues the country is 100% not what we were founded on.

I'm praying people start realizing that living in extremes works for nobody. We have to meet in the middle somehow. We need to start saving ourselves before it's too late.