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Bucket List Meme

Gakked from shipperx.
(Sorry, been meaning to post something for a while. I’m gonna finish one of my 67 unfinished posts and post something Friday.)

The Bucket List.
Place an X by all the things you’ve done during your lifetime:

wrigleyGone on a blind date
X – Donated blood
X – Skipped school
Watched someone die
Been to Canada
Been to Mexico
X – Been to Hawaii
X – Been on a plane
Been on a helicopter
X –  Been lost
X – Gone to Washington, DC
Hugged a homeless person
X – Swam in the ocean
Swam with stingrays
Been sailing in the ocean
X – Cried yourself to sleep
Played cops and robbers
X – Recently colored with crayons
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Rejected eHarmony Application

eharmony

I’ve been following the A-Roid scandal the last few days and I found this (not surprisingly) on a sports blog. Men.

This reminds of the time when I applied to eHarmony:

Two years ago I asked my brother what he wanted me to get him for his birthday. I come from a family of people who are hard to get the right gift for so it’s tradition to just outright ask. Bro, happily married to a very nice chick and expecting their firstborn, said, “I want you to apply to eHarmony as your gift to me.”  I tried to get out of it. I raised my spending budget to $1,000 for anything he wanted to which he deadpanned, “Nothing would give me greater joy than you applying to eHarmony.”  Well, what can I say to that?

So, one night I pour me a glass of wine in front of the computer, open the eHarmony site, and proceed to answer the approximately 175 questions on their application. Sample question: How important do you rate sex in a relationship? It warns me to answer truthfully to get the best results. When I finally hit the Finished button, I get a long standard answer about how eHarmony reject 20% of all applicants and that I am one of those losers in that percentile. Hmmm. Maybe I shouldn’t have answered “Not important at all” to the how important is sex question? I had no idea that eHarmony didnt accept everyone who applied. It’s not like I am a serial killer. This is bullshit. What? People with no low sex drives need love too!

When I told Bro that I applied as he asked and got rejected, he started ROTFL and left me off the hook. Even as late as three weeks ago, he still brings up the incident and snicker. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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As regular readers of this blog knows, if there is a historical author that languid moi is probably fangurlish for, it’s Madeline Hunter. I haven’t absolutely loved everything she has written (in fact, I was lukewarm on her last two books) but there is something in her writing that always resonate with me, even as I want to strangle the heroine/hero.

Last week, Madeline was kind enough to meet me for coffee and we talked for about 90 minutes about various subjects from 19th Century Macau to the Marquess of Queensbury to the lamented demise of Bantam’s Loveswept line of series contemporary romances to authors and blogs to Iris Johansen’s historicals and to the overall brilliance of Mary Balogh’s traditional regencies, specifically A Precious Jewel. She was pretty much as I expected: straight-shooting and intelligent and introverted.

As for news, well, she wouldn’t tell me much about her next book coming up – The Sins of Lord Easterbrook – beyond what anyone could gleam from the preview of it at the end of Secrets of Surrender. She did add a new excerpt from it on her website which you can find by clicking here.

I did ask her about her next series after this one. She is currently shopping a four book series and she will be staying in the period of the 1820s (sorry, Medieval fans).

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The Bourne Rejection

Dad called, telling me to bring a bottle of Opus One to his birthday dinner. Since Dad exists to make my life difficult, um, love ya Dad I knew that I would not be able to find a bottle in at any of my neighborhood wine shops. Nope, I have to haul arse downtown to this hoity toity joint complete with a wine bar. All is not lost cause I get this cutie to help me out. He looks the intellectual type with lines of worry in his forehead. So adorable. He serves me a helping of I’m-checking-you-out. I body message back I-might-be-interested. It’s going good. I almost dont mind the $195 price tag for the Opus One. Almost. So, as I am paying I open wide my tote. Inside, I have a loud, red & yellow t-shirt that I got from Baltimore that says “I’m a Crab” (Get it? Maryland. Crab. Ha!) and a yooge apple green leather Hermes of Paris wallet. A copy of Joanna Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady is barely peeking underneath but of course, my wino would-be boyfriend sees it.

“What are you reading?” he asks eagerly. Eagle eyes. Great. I have eagle eyes, too. Maybe we’re a match made for some aerie.

opusone.jpgSince he has eagle eyes, I decide not to fool around. I defiantly plop the book on the counter so that he can have a good gander. “The Spymaster’s Lady,” I coo innocently. “It’s really good.”

Wino would-be boyfriend turns as red as the crab on my t-shirt. Which is good because I refuse to be embarrassed and I guess one of us had to. He hands me my purchase avoiding my eyes. Oh well. As I walk out into the sunshine, the Mastercard dude intones:

Paperback Novel . . . . $8.00
Crab T-Shirt . . . . . . . . $35.00
Bottle of Opus One . . . $195.00
Look on Wino’s Face . . Priceless

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What’s on my shelf?

keeper1.jpgI had to take a picture of something on my wall for sale and one of my romance keeper shelves was nearby so I took a quick photo. Click to enlarge. As most of you know, I am not a big rereader so most of my books are stored in boxes. Yes, Mary Balogh with her big ass backlist gets one section to herself. 🙂 The shelf is three books deep so there are about 2-3 authors in all the other sections. I am really embarrassed about the condition of Forbidden by JoBev, cheaply taped up and dirty from handling like that. *blush* I really need to put out and buy a fresh copy but I am one of those people who dont replace a book unless it has fallen apart into pieces.

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A Keats Pilgrimage

Yeah, I am back home.

I had a fantastic time on my trip. I covered over 16,000 miles. It rained every day until we got to Italy. My watch broke. I lost a diamond earring. The Dollar was very weak versus the Pound and Euro. My flight home was three hours delayed. I am still waking up at 3AM in the morning (6 hours time difference between Rome and NYC). Despite all this, I had a wonderful time.

My tour was from London to Rome. I didnt intend it to be but John Keats, the Romantic poet, was a theme for my trip. In London, I went to the sleepy suburb of Hampstead to visit Keats House (pictured above). It was not my first time there. I often go when I am in London because Hampstead is a charming town with surprisingly good shopping and no added expense since it’s at the edge of Zone 2 which is covered with my Travelcard for the tube (subway). The house is a nice walk downhill from the tube stop. Keats spent two very productive years in this house in which he wrote many of his famous ‘Odes’ and where he fell in love and got engaged to his next door neighbor, Fanny Brawne. To see the surroundings that inspired so much of Keats’s poetry, to see the original manuscript of a Keats poem, browned with age, but the words very clear in Keats’s copperplate script is sometimes an overwhelming experience.

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