Monday, October 23, 2017

Remembrances of My Mom - Positive Sparks Mondays

My mother passed away this past July after a long health decline. I still recall the joy of sharing remembrances during her memorial service and thought a few of them might strike positive sparks (thanks to Annie of McGuffy’s Reader for starting this feel good wave). Marilyn set good examples more than lecturing, and spread a lot of fun while doing it.

My dear niece Ashley shared such a memory. A decade earlier she and her sister were awaiting their paternal grandmother to pick them up from school one day. My mom showed up right on time – driving a Corvette. Tearful laughter ensued as my niece wondered aloud how many grandmother’s were cool enough to pick up their grandkids in a Stingray fit for the race track (and Mom raced a few times in her day, too!).

Randy, a dear family friend, recalled his first meeting of my mother as she rolled dice over a solo game of Yahtzee. When a handheld digital game became available, he immediately bought her one. She, in turn, saw me enjoying the device on a visit and gifted me my own that following Christmas. I still have it.

Mom loved her animals, too. Even after losing dear miniature schnauzer Rocky and thinking their dog rearing days were over after that heartbreak, she acquiesced without complaint when my father decided to get a puppy. What a handful, and a true Daddy’s girl that dog turned out to be. Still, unable to walk on her own for the last year or so, Mom spoke of her joy at hearing little toenails tapping the wood floor as Misty came to wake her each morning. On that note, I’m thankful Dad has that little schnoodle keeping him company.

Have a joyful Monday!


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gotta Love My Dad - A Dirty Joke to Make You Smile

My father has a tendency to pass along amusing jokes. Today's is very dirty and absolutely hilarious.

Strippers and Dirty Old Ladies
Last night my Red Hat friends and I went to Ladies Night at a local strip club. One of the girls wanted to impress the rest of us, so she pulled out a $10 bill. When the male dancer came over to us, my friend licked the $10 bill and stuck it to his butt cheek!

Not to be outdone,
 another friend pulled out a $20 bill. She called the guy back, licked the $20 bill, and stuck it to his other butt cheek.

In her attempt to impress the rest of us my third friend pulled out a $50 bill, called the guy over, and licked the $50 bill. I'm worried about the way things are going, but fortunately, she just stuck it to one of his butt cheeks again.

the guy turned to me! With everyone's attention focused on us the guy started egging me on to top the $50. My brain was churning as I reached for my wallet.

What could I do?

The dirty old woman in me took over!

I got out my ATM card, swiped it down the crack of his butt, grabbed the eighty bucks, and left.


What would you do in such a scenario? Hope you enjoyed a laugh and have a great day!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

American Satan - A Review

On Saturday my partner and I went to see “American Satan” in the theater and had a wonderful time. The movie isn’t for everyone but the acting is top notch. Malcolm McDowell never lets me down. Neither does Mark Boone Junior. His portray of the record company executive brought an irreplaceable, classy and entertaining element to the film.

Andy Biersack was stellar in his first movie role. Interestingly, his lip syncing of Remington Leith’s lyrics struck me as unrealistic. Perhaps it’s just because I’m such a Palaye Royale fan. That aside, now I’m loving Mr. Biersack’s Black Veil Brides (at home I watched BVB music videos, one after another, off YouTube).

Mr. Biersack Performing with Black Veil Brides
No offense to the ladies, who did a fantastic job, too, I can’t resist naming another standout male actor. No fan of the “Twilight” books or movies, I’m thrilled to have found the talented Booboo Stewart (Real first name Nils, he is too good to stick with that childhood nickname in my humble opinion). It doesn’t hurt that he’s gorgeous. He also strikes me as a good person based on his IMDB biography.

Now to the flick (sorry for meandering so), the plot advanced quickly, with no guesswork required to understand the implications. Due to the lack of intricacy I at first worried my partner might be bored. Fortunately, parallels to cartoon band Dethklok and plot/character elements from “Metalocalypse” brought endless joy to us both.

Humorous moments made us laugh out loud. Dialog came across clear, too, though by the same token I wish the music had been louder (I blame the theater, which I’d never visited before; perhaps they need a sound system upgrade). Dramatic elements were predictable but also well presented and treated with realistic arcs.

The female nudity got a little tedious. Heck, I said the same about “Blade Runner 2049”. At least here it was less gratuitous, though some racy scenes just went on a little long. We preferred interactions between the band members and the film’s understated devil.

Would I watch again? Yes, though not in the cinema. I want to buy the DVD and the soundtrack, too, in part to support everyone involved. The movie made for a fun Saturday afternoon.

According to an article, the creators have related projects in mind, some for the small screen. That will be worth investigating. Now that we’ve visited the cinema twice in one week I wonder what might draw us to go again. It might be a while based on all the CGI driven stuff previewed. “Annihilation” does look interesting, I’ll admit.

How often do you go to the cinema?


Monday, October 16, 2017

Man's Best Friend

Once again I don't have a positive quote to share, but this Instagram image of Nikki Sixx celebrating his dog’s birthday. I couldn't resist these sweet, adoring faces. So, Happy Belated Birthday Leica Sixx.

Puppy Love
Happy Positive Sparks Monday! Thank you Annie, for starting this movement to uplift spirits in these often dark times.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dinner and a Movie

My partner and I are big fans of the Faustian mythos. Now in theaters, “American Satan” is a Faustian tale with a modern rock and roll twist. And it stars Malcolm McDowell. That sounds like a win/win. It also doesn’t hurt that, as I mentioned before, music by Palaye Royale features in the film.

Rock and Roll is Where God and the Devil Shake Hands
Planning at first on going Monday afternoon, we decided against waiting. Now we’re planning on going today and I can hardly wait. As an added bonus, I suggested dinner somewhere in the cinema’s vicinity as it’s outside our normal stomping grounds. My partner is a fanatic over the culinary arts.

So now it looks like we’ll be enjoying Nepalese cuisine after the film. Should be fun. I’m sure there will be a movie review soon to follow. In the meantime I’m editing a story on the back patio, enjoying our beautiful temperatures and blue skies. I can’t ask for a better Saturday.

What’s your weather like today? Anything special going on inside or out?


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

“Blade Runner 2049” – A Review

I know there are plenty of reviews of the latest “Blade Runner” movie out there but I couldn’t resist, in part because current flicks so seldom interest me. My partner and I are more likely to stay at home than go out to see what seem like CGI-fests and tedious remakes so often put out by Hollywood these days.

So, here we are. Let me start by saying I am a total geek fan-girl over 1982's “Blade Runner”, though we never watch anything other than the original theatrical release (which I was too young to see in theater, I might add ~grin~). This sequel did not disappoint, with a style very true to the original. Both the expected and surprise cameo appearances well represented their classic roles, too, a real treat.

Every set was amazing, and drew me in as realistic no matter how surreal. The acting left nothing to be desired, nor did the characters themselves. I also understood the dialog well outside of one brief exchange. And that’s praise worthy since volume levels, whether background music or sound effects, sometimes overwhelm speech (especially for my partner, who is deaf in one ear).

The film is quite long, and my biggest complaint is that some scenes could have been shorter without harming the content. Our time in the theater went fast, considering, and we are still talking about the experience today.

It's too bad several older men in the audience couldn’t sit through the viewing without multiple trips to the restroom. ~shakes head~ Forgive me, but it was sort of interesting in an odd way. I planned ahead by sipping my soda.

On another note, I am no prude but the female nudity got a little tedious when even the occasional futuristic advertisement omitted clothes. That might have been more forgivable if not so one sided.

In short, we are glad we went. And if you like dystopian science fiction, I recommend spending the time and money.

Now I’m looking forward to next week’s release of “American Satan”. It’s a Faustian tale featuring rock and roll. Gotta love that, especially when Palaye Royale's lead singer Remington Leith provides the musical vocals for the main character.

Remington Leith (left) and Emerson Barrett of Palaye Royale
I Couldn't Resist Promoting These Rockers Again...
It should be fun, though I know Andy Black (of Black Veil Brides fame) fans are disappointed his voice wasn't featured. It's a technique creators reportedly used to further remove the audience from the real world.

What movie would you consider a must see?


Monday, October 9, 2017

My Silly Tilly

Other than to give music credit to Imagine Dragons (my partner just happened to be listening to the song “Believer” in the next room), I’ll let this video speak for itself.


Thank you to Annie of McGuffy’sReader for the Monday feature to spark positivity! I figured this video fit the theme. ~grin~ Happy Monday all!


Saturday, October 7, 2017

What is the World Coming To?

For several years I have been gluing together my clean/dirty magnetic sign for the dishwasher every time it falls apart. I don’t know why the original glue failed but have foolishly continued using the temporary solution of hot glue.

My partner tired of this roughly biennial ritual and suggested buying a new sign. “Fine,” I said, “You’re in charge. Get whatever you want.”

And now we have this:

I Don't Know What to Say
I have to laugh even while wondering where this crazy world is headed.

Do you think it’s cute or too silly for words? I guess either way it’s all good. At least we’ll know whether or not the dishwasher needs emptied.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Rocking Fashion

After the mildly crummy day I had, seeing my latest favorite vocalist rocking a dress at LA Fashion Week gave me a much appreciated smile. Thanks, Remington Leith, for bringing fun glamour back to rock alongside your talented brothers. Palaye Royale rules.

He Wears it Well, and Sings Crazy Good

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Rainy Day Delirium

It’s been a crappy week. I don’t know anyone who would refute that. Between the horrific shootings in Las Vegas and the untimely demise of artist Tom Petty, October has not gotten off to an auspicious start.

Today we are at least getting some much needed rain. Unfortunately for me, I needed to leave fairly early for a dental appointment rather than getting to enjoy the weather on my covered back porch. I left at 9:30, giving myself a little extra time in case of traffic.

And good thing, too. Only upon making one of the last turns toward my destination did I recall that my dentist moved his practice. I drove the rest of the way to confirm my faulty memory and get the new address off a note posted on the door.

Taking off, I was glad to see my arrival would only be about three minutes late according to the Volt’s guidance system. That is until I encountered a detour. With one turn my tardiness approached the ten minute mark. Sitting at a long traffic light I took the opportunity to call and warn the office.

Another good thing. It saved me being embarrassed in front of strangers.

My ten o’clock, October fifth appointment was in 2016. The receptionist didn’t find me having any 2017 fall teeth cleaning scheduled on their roster. That’s baffling. Normally I don’t leave the dental office without scheduling the next bi-yearly appointment.

I drove the rest of the way so at least now I know where I’m going when I leave for my newly scheduled visit next week.

All in all I wasted over an hour driving around in the pouring rain. Another positive is that the downpour continued after I reached the park near my home. Having taken my laptop along this morning for the purpose, I enjoyed some pleasant writing time beneath a shelter. That’s where I typed this, in fact.

Now I’ll go home where Internet connectivity will allow me to post. I’d stay longer to work on my latest story without social media interruption or even just to watch ducks swimming on the nearby picturesque pond. But this wooden picnic bench is feeling mighty hard.

How is your day going?


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Good Eats?

My kitchen island countertop is covered with tomatoes that need processed and frozen for summer fresh eats during wintertime. This one would be best eaten rather than trying to parboil and peel, if I can overcome its grotesque looks.

Almost a Cartoon Fist, Isn't It?
I should not waste good food. Doing so is galling to me.

Any suggestions? Maybe just chop it into salads?


Friday, September 29, 2017

The Good Life

Jezebel needed a new ‘purr pad’, the last one become a shredded mess. So I ordered a set of two online a few weeks ago. Here you can see she’s really taken to the new one.

Game of Twister, Anyone?

The spare is on a dining room chair in place of a human seat pad, as yet unused, which is fine. I’ll have it when needed.

I always wonder what she’s thinking staring off into space. At least she has stopped running away or jittering in place whenever I pull out the camera

What's your daily favorite place to relax?


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Please Welcome Author Nick Wilford with Excellent Writing Insight

Hi Darla! Thanks for helping out with my blog tour today. I’d like to engage your readers in a discussion if I may.

Darla: Splendid, Nick! Thank you for guest posting. I really enjoyed "Black and White" and am delighted to host you.

Why is it important to include some romance in non-romance books?
I’m the last person to count myself as a romance writer, and it’s not a genre I had read a lot of before I started writing books. But I have met some really excellent fellow authors who write romance, and seem to do something different with it. There are always new things to do in every genre; it’s all in the hands of the author. And it’s interesting when genres mix and mingle. When beginning to write Black & White, I didn’t set out to include the element of romance. It was something that arose naturally, and it did serve the plot. I don’t think anything should be included in a book just for the sake of it.
The world of my novel is quite grim on the face of it. Not because there are bad things happening – crime as we would see it has been eradicated, people have been conditioned out of it, and of course that’s a good thing. But the society is very sterile. Not just for the fact that there is no dirt or illness – things are hyper-ordered and regimented, with people eating meals and working out at set times. It’s as if the human touch has been lost. Marriages never seem to be particularly affectionate, and people also don’t extend that much love to their kids (only one is allowed per family). My two young leads, Wellesbury and Ezmerelda, both have friend groups that are characterised by quite a mean, cutting sense of humour. So the idea of romance blossoming between them was something that really helped offset this and offered some light relief. It wasn’t immediately obvious – as I said earlier, it wasn’t planned from the start. But right away I was intrigued by the dynamic between them. It was clear that Ezmerelda is smarter than Wellesbury – and smarter than her whole peer group, in fact, which irks them. But her intentions are always good, so hopefully it doesn’t irk the reader. She’s also the practical, level-headed one, where Welles is wide-eyed and optimistic. She’s great at taking his ideas and fleshing them out into a concrete plan, and she’ll also give him a pep talk whenever he gets discouraged.
So initially, this was more a case of two like-minded souls finding each other than something that was written in the stars to be a great romance. But then, I find the appearance of “insta-love” in books quite bothersome. At least give them a chance to get to know each other first. With Welles and Ez, their feelings developed after they had been through quite a lot of stuff together – some very adverse circumstances – and they started to realise that it really was them against the world. Hopefully this will make the reader root for them to succeed even more, especially when it looks they might not get the chance to be together.
All in all, I think a splash of romance is a great addition to any story. It can help round out your characters and draw the reader in. But just like our real-world affairs of the heart, don’t try and force anything. In fact, just get on with the main plot and if things develop organically – well, then it was meant to be. This will make for a much more satisfactory experience for the reader.
What are your thoughts on including romance in non-romance genres?
Title: Black & White
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: YA dystopian Series #: 1 of 3
Release date: 18th September 2017
Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing
What is the price paid for the creation of a perfect society?

In Whitopolis, a gleamingly white city of the future where illness has been eradicated, shock waves run through the populace when a bedraggled, dirt-stricken boy materialises in the main street. Led by government propaganda, most citizens shun him as a demon, except for Wellesbury Noon – a high school student the same age as the boy.

Upon befriending the boy, Wellesbury feels a connection that he can’t explain – as well as discovering that his new friend comes from a land that is stricken by disease and only has two weeks to live. Why do he and a girl named Ezmerelda Dontible appear to be the only ones who want to help?

As they dig deeper, everything they know is turned on its head – and a race to save one boy becomes a struggle to redeem humanity.

Purchase Links:
Meet the author:
Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those early morning times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. Visit him at his blog or connect with him on Twitter, GoodreadsFacebook, or Amazon.
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of my collection A Change of Mind and Other Stories or a $10 giftcard! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Primed for Prime Time, or Why I Left the Seventies Behind

This household has climbed another rung up the technology ladder. My partner, enamored with the Internet streaming opportunities, has decided to invest in Amazon Prime even though we live too far from a major city for same day delivery of products.

We now have a ton of programming off Amazon lined up to watch on TV via our Roku device. In addition, membership lets us stream music.

There’s been a lot of classic seventies music thumping down the hall today, leading me to a realization. While the songs are not bad, some quite excellent, I just don’t enjoy listening overmuch.

The musicians are talented, for sure. I mean, we’re talking about a lot of great artists here. I have attributed my preference for newer music to the fact tunes like “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Creedence Clearwater Revival get way too much classic radio airplay.

Today I realized that much of the material, aside from a select few examples (“Hotel California” comes to mind, and of course it played this morning), leaves me feeling melancholy. This sensation, a weird revelation, built over many minutes.

Why should this be? Then I reflected upon what a disenchanted, miserable child I was in the seventies.

Don’t get me wrong. My childhood was not terrible by any means. Many would call my upbringing idyllic with no argument from me. That child just could not be pleased. Perhaps it was hormonal, a black cloud building long before the storm of mid eighties adolescence. I don’t know.

All I can say is I’m glad the music has been turned off. Maybe I’ll listen to Palaye Royale’s “Boom Boom Room (Side A)” again now. Next spring should see “Side B” for sale. Hurray! But I digress…

Let’s hope seventies film offerings don’t have the same effect. My partner found a channel featuring ‘grindhouse’ style schlock. I did enjoy when Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino directed odes to the genre ten years ago. We actually saw those in the theater.

Have you seen “Planet Terror”? Now, an image to make me smile...

Remington Leith, Palaye Royale Frontman, Monkeying Around


Saturday, September 23, 2017

New, Old Music

I tend to watch older movies, like from the nineties. “Point Break” released in 1991 is a favorite featuring Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Lori Petty, and Gary Busey. Watching it again a week or so again I decided that the soundtrack needed to be in my collection.

Good times.

I also found something a litter newer by Black Light Burns, a side band of Wes Borland, guitarist and backing vocalist of Limp Bizkit. Still, the album “Cruel Melody” came out in 2008. So there's nothing new there, but good nonetheless.

My partner inadvertently introduced me to BLB while I held our communal smart phone in hand preparing to ask a question. I heard the words, “I have a need”, which regarded watching a prerecorded video said partner wished to watch. Derailing me, that phrase summoned the Black Light Burns song by the same title. And thus I found some new material (Hurray!). Check it out (NSFW if your employer is really strict; no strong language or content):


Do you like the movie "Point Break"? If so, which version?


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cutting the Cable

My partner is very computer tech savvy. For years we’ve been using a homemade DVR. The cooling fan is in a ‘coffin’ box to eliminate sound, the machine's hard drive filled with excellent downloads.

These days I have been lobbying to get rid of cable television. The cost keeps going up and up while my time spent watching has only decreased. At the same time I didn’t want to get rid of our huge old flat screen TV, making the process tricky.

Folks all over have expressed shock that I refuse to buy a high definition unit. The prices may have come down but we would have to pay someone to haul away our super heavy Sony. And I don’t want to fork over money to toss something in perfect working order.

My partner, an excellent researcher to boot, found a workaround using a Roku device. As I type we are airing a YouTube video. The picture is better than before, the sound through our old Bose surround sound speakers excellent as ever. I’m tickled pink and very grateful. I need to readjust to watching commercials now and again but we will save a lot of money.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll cave in to getting a new television once those savings add up. I won’t miss lame stream news, that’s for sure.

Do you like episodic TV? I still tend to gravitate toward movies, though “Under the Dome” is entertaining.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Little Things Matter

At my mother’s memorial service one of my brother’s recalled her fondness for tiny things. He mentioned how she would find the tiniest shell on a beach. Then I found this on vacation.

Wish This Were Clearer - I Lost the Fragment After Taking This
It really seemed she was with me. We certainly spent time on those shores together in years past. The shell fragment disappearing from my pocket before I went upstairs to the hotel room seemed kind of like letting go of her.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Sweet Time at the Beach

Earlier this month I visited my current favorite place on earth, North Carolina’s Outer Banks along the United States’ east coast. Meeting the sunrise with camera in hand is a favorite way to start my day there. Early on I found that another beachgoer didn’t have quite the enjoyment expected. The photo made my sweets addicted partner sad.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

RIP Harry Dean Stanton

The loss of actor Harry Dean Stanton saddened me last night, but I’m thankful he acted to the end of his ninety-one years. And he seemed to have gone peacefully as possible, of natural causes.

Today my partner sent an article that included an embedded movie trailer of his last project. It’s titled “Lucky”, and is the directorial debut of another excellent actor by the name of John Carroll Lynch. I wish all involved the best success with what looks like a bittersweet treasure of an independent film.

To all of Mr. Stanton’s loved ones, my heart goes out to you. May he rest in peace.

Check out this movie trailer!


Friday, September 1, 2017

Emerson Barrett's Art

I decided to share more artwork by drummer and artist Emerson Barrett of Palaye Royale. This length of rolled paper hangs in their tour bus, with another ten feet coiled on the floor. This is a screen shot from video shared the other day.

Look at This Detail
Talk About Being Painted into a Corner!

I Want These Shoes

Would you wear these shoes? I think they deserve a display box.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

My New Obsession

I’m having entirely too much fun looking up videos and images of the band Palaye Royale. Drummer Emerson, the prominent pen and ink artist among the brothers, has become one of my writing muses.

No Mischief Happening Here...
There is nothing like seeing someone doing what he or she enjoys. Rock on, Emerson!

Livin' the Dream
He is just way too cool. Check out this below from a lyrics book. He also doodles this amazing art on walls.

Lyrics to 'Don't Feel Quite Right'
Mom would have approved of the hats. ~grin~ But he even looks adorable with 'bed head'.

I Wouldn't Mind Waking to This...
Guess I have a new obsession, huh?


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Seat on the Council

Sebastion, Remington, and Emerson Are Palaye Royale

The band Palaye Royale has me so hooked that I listen to ‘Boom Boom Room (Side A)’ every single day now and yesterday joined their street team promotional Facebook group known as the Royal Council. Since I already shared their (awesome) official video for 'Mr. Doctor Man', I’ve provided links to one of their fun little promotional clips and an impromptu acoustic performance below.

For those of you who cannot watch videos due to a lack of time, your employer’s permission, data capacity (sorry, my cynical sailor’s sidekick ~hugs~), or what have you, let me tell you a little about the boys.

Emerson, Remington, and Sebastion are three brothers born in Canada and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada USA. Palaye Royale is pronounced 'pal-ay roy-al'. They took that name from the dance hall in Toronto where their grandparents met.

(Isn’t that sweet? I adore origin stories like this.)

Their album’s sound has classic rock influences with a punk sensibility and (I think) a hint of rockabilly. The ‘Side A’ in the title comes from the fact the brothers first intended to release thirty songs, believe it or not. Lucky for us, ‘Side B’ should be out by year’s end.

Not only is their music great, their fashion sense is awesome. And I have to say that Remington’s smoky voice really shines in the acoustic version of ‘Ma Chérie’.

Now I just need to convince their tour manager to book a gig or two at Cincinnati Ohio’s 20th Century Theater. Built in 1941, the building’s Neoclassical Moderne architecture was made for their fashion-art rock style. The venue’s fabulous sound and intimate space are amazing, too.

Do you think I can convince them to play a four hundred person capacity theater? I mean, heck, if they'll play in an equipment trailer, why not?