May 31, 2005

Women - Be Happy!

Hubby is not an avid reader, such as myself, but he has moments. He's currently reading The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

Yes, ladies, I cringed too.

However, I was curious and began to read it. I got all the way to chapter five and realized that it was basically saying the same things over and over again: stop nagging, respect your husband, treat him nice, don't expect him to make you happy, stop being selfish, make him your number one priority and accept the fact that a healthy intimate relationship is both required and desired.

Nothing new, right?

But I worry that he'll start comparing me with Dr. Laura's "requirements" for a good wife. Do I do this? Should I do this? And why don't I do this? It's a daunting ideal to live up to. I'm not perfect, far from it, but I would like to think that I do a pretty good job feeding my husband (by the way, could Dr. Laura make a man sound anymore like an animal by choosing the title she did for her book? I wonder if that was intentional and I wonder if any men have taken offense to that).

I have to give the woman credit, she's right in a lot of ways. For instance, she blames the fact that there are so many unhappy relationships on the feminist movement or what hubby calls, "The Roseanne Barr" syndrome. For some reason, women think that men exist to make us happy and if they fall short of our preconceived notions of romantic, which of course they are ultimately doomed to do so from the beginning, then women are unhappy and their world is no longer perfect.

We are all responsible for our own happiness. Just because two people are married does not mean that our spouses' job is to forsake everything and anything just to bring a smile to our faces. And yet, a lot of women think exactly that. It's sad, watching this never-ending circle of misery that people get trapped into.

So yes, she has a lot of good points and I think women SHOULD read this book. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but one we must endure if we want healthy relationships. Dr. Laura doesn't bash women, but she certainly doesn't mince words when it comes to putting women in their place. Which in my opinion, needs to be done because too many women have become too big for their britches as it is.

One of Dr. Laura's listeners sent her a "joke" about the "Perfect Husband."

A new Perfect Husband Shopping Center opened where a woman could go to choose
from among many men to find a perfect husband. It was laid out on five floors,
with the men increasing in positive attributes as you ascended the floors. The
only rule was that once you open the door to any floor, you must choose a man
from that floor, and if you go up a floor, you can't go back down except to
leave the store. So, a couple of girlfriends go to the store to find a man to

The first-floor sign reads: 'These men have high-paying jobs
and love kids.' The women read the sign and say, 'Well, that's wonderful ...
but,' and wonder what's on the next floor.

The second-floor sign
reads: 'These men have high-paying jobs, love kids, and are extremely good
looking.' 'Hmmm,' say the girls. 'Wonder what's further up?'

third-floor sign reads: 'These men have high-paying jobs, love kids, are
extremely good looking, and will help with the housework.' 'Wow!' say the women.
'Very tempting ... but there's more further up!'

The fourth-floor
sign reads: 'These men have high-paying jobs, love kids, are extremely good
looking, will help with the housework and are great in bed.' 'Oh, mercy me. But
just think! What must be awaiting us further up?!' say the women.

So, up to the fifth floor they go.

The fifth-floor
sign reads: 'This floor is just to prove that women are impossible to

And that, ladies and gentlemen, sums it up.

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May 17, 2005


Hubby was sent THE letter of dread the other day; the correspondence that leaves most of us cold with fear.

He’d been summoned for jury duty.

He was actually summoned back in January. But that was the absolute worse time for him to be absent from work, so he postponed it.

He shouldn’t have. Come to find out, the group he had been originally scheduled in had been excused.

The time had come for him to call about his group. He was group one, which usually means, yep, he was still expected to report.

He wasn’t really nervous about it, but when he popped in the movie “The Juror” Sunday night, I knew it was on his mind. Of course, this movie did not set my mind at ease. I immediately started imagining hubby being thrust into an awkward situation: it was a child-molestation case and even though the guy was guilty, he gets off on a technicality, it’s a murder case and the jurors find the guy guilty, verdict – death penalty.

Would you want to be in a position where you had to decide whether or not a person lives or dies? I wouldn’t.

So, I was a little worried.

Hubby gets up early Monday morning and heads out. He appears calm, but I sense he’s a little nervous. I suspect mainly because he’s never actually had to go to the courthouse before, he’s always been excused in the past.

Though a little apprehensive, I also sensed he was curious. It’s one thing to hear about trials, to watch them on TV or in movies, but to actually participate in one, to actually witness, first-hand, our judicial system, flaws and all? It was sort of exciting.

It was hard to go about my business as usual knowing he was at the courthouse doing only God knows what.

Finally, about 1:45 p.m., I get the phone call


May 12, 2005

Another Productive Day (Not)

Scribes at Work also has this post

Week Two

Thursday – Put on my headphones and turned on my iPod. I closed my eyes and allowed the music to deaden the world around me, to transport me to another surreal dimension. I can see the reality around me but strangely, I’m not part of it. I’m merely a life observer. My brain has softened and my senses have dulled. My imagination peeks it’s head around the corner to see if the coast is clear. Then the entity begins a slow gyration with the music, the rhythm frees it’s inhibitions and the ideas gush forth.

The music that teleports me to this other dimension is called trance music. The music is just that; it’s a repetition of beats and palpitations; it’s a relentless, throbbing energy that I can simply immerse myself in. Why trance? Because it’s energetic, vibrant and instantaneous, like juice that flows through jumper cables and sparks an engine to life.

The music, coupled with a tall White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks on an empty stomach, makes my whole body tingle, my heart race and my breath feel constricted and narrow, like I’m breathing through a straw.

I wrote an entire outline in under an hour.

Friday – Settled on a primary plot: Discovery

Flirted with my muse but she wasn’t playing. Little imp.

(My muse looks like tinkerbell with an attitude)

Hence, I got nothing done. However, I did open my spiral-bound index card thingie and looked through it. Wow. Did I write those ideas? I don’t recall. Is that a sign of getting older or is my muse playing with me again. Hhmm…

Saturday – Day before Mother’s Day.

Are you kidding?! I thought about writing, does that count?

Sunday – Mother’s Day - Was spoiled rotten and spent waaaay too much time goofing off and doing nothing productive.

I live for days like today. :)

Monday – Completed a project that has been a thorn in my side for quite some time. I felt good about this because now it paves the way for more thorns.

Lucky me.

Caught up on the chores I usually do on Sunday.

Tuesday – Got serious and realized I only have two more days to get something written before having to present myself to the world again on Thursday with egg on my face.


May 11, 2005

I'm a Trouble Maker

Let me ask you something - Do I have the words “trouble maker” tatooed on my forehead? Look closely - it’s gotta be there cause that’s the only reason I can think of of why I’m being singled out at the library.

Every time I go to the library, ok, not every time, but pretty much every dang time, I have an elderly and/or extremely ugly woman stop by my table, smile politely and say in soft, but firm tones,

“You’re not supposed to have drinks in this area. Only in the meeting rooms.”

“You’re not supposed to have drinks in this area, only in the main area (gestures with bony fingers toward the area I normally sit in) over there.”


“This area is for our young adults. When they get out of school (it’s 11:00 a.m. at this time and the kids ARE in school and obviously the area is NOT being used) it will become pretty noisy and I would hate for them to disturb you.”

Read between the lines: “Get out of my area.”


May 10, 2005

No Going Back

Well, we’ve gone and done it now. We booked our vacation and there’s no going back.

Hubby finds the beach therapeutic. There’s something soothing about the gently lapping waves, the desperate calls of the seagulls, the sugar-white sands, and the kaleidoscope of umbrellas lining the beach for miles in either direction.

Not to mention, the sea air clears up any complexion problems a person might have. *ahem*

The first time we visited Florida was about four years ago. We went to Pensacola, Florida. We stayed at a Hampton Inn RIGHT off the beach. We could literally walk out the door and be on the beach. We really enjoyed ourselves but discovered that Pensacola is really a party town and not geared toward children. There weren’t many kid-friendly eating places and the restaurants that were available were outrageously expensive. We learned a lot from that trip.

The next time we went to Florida, we stayed at Madeira Beach. We stayed at a Holiday Inn and though our room overlooked the parking lot, we were still within easy reach of the beach. We had a better time in Madeira, but the hotel room was cramped and once again, we had a problem with spending so much on food. We did purchase a Styrofoam cooler and keep sandwich foods in it, which saved on lunches out, but it was still outrageously expensive. We also made the mistake of trying to visit too many nearby attractions and didn’t spend as much time on the beach as we had wanted to.

The third time we went to Florida, we stayed in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area. Oh my goodness! I fell in LOVE with this area. It felt less touristy and more authentic beach lifestyle. People in this area were laid back and very friendly. We stayed at the Sirata. We ended up with a suite directly overlooking the ocean. It was breathtaking. We had plenty of room and it had a small kitchenette. We purchased groceries and saved a ton of money on food. We did eat out a few times, but we didn’t feel lost or rushed when we selected the restaurants. We ate at a seafood place one time and it was a blast. The atmosphere was fun and geared toward tourists. They even had a traveling photographer who took our picture.

We actually stumbled onto the deal through the American Airlines website. We carry one of those AA Advantage cards and rack up points whenever we use it. We can then cash in the points and save on airfare. We had enough saved up by the St. Petersburg trip to purchase two airline tickets. American Airline had a deal with Sirata and we were able to get an incredible deal, suite and all, for a low 1200 dollars. That included hotel, car rental and air fare. We were ecstatic. And we had an absolute ball. That was our best year in Florida, by far. The only fly in the ointment was the church revival that happened to be scheduled for that same time and those people were incredibly loud and rude. They completely disregarded the fact that people might actually choose to SLEEP while there, but we still didn’t let that spoil our time. We most definitely will be going back to stay at the Sirata again.


May 05, 2005

Back on the Writing Track

Week One

Thursday – Realized I had made a commitment to write in front of the whole world. Hyperventilated and broke out in a cold sweat. Can I keep my commitment? Went to the book sale to ease my nerves. Became overwhelmed by the sheer number of “discarded” books. Overheard scathing remarks about books and even the authors. Do people assume they know the author through their work? It’s true, writers do pour a bit of their personalities into their work. Should people assume they know the writer by their fiction? How does this realization reflect on my own writing?

Friday - Came up with an idea for the story. Actually got the idea from reading one of the many blogs that I keep up with. Think it’s a good idea but wonder if I can manipulate it and write it so that the message will affect people the same way it affected me when I first read it. The challenge lies in evoking that kind of emotional response from the reader.

Saturday – Dissected the idea while I cleaned house. Is it good enough for the publication that I’ve selected? Does the idea “fit” with their publication expectations? Can I see my story in this publication? Yes. Can I write it on the same level as past stories that have appeared in the publication? I’m not sure. My writing style tends to lean more direct interaction between characters: dialogue, events. Am I capable of writing descriptive prose? I’m certainly willing to give it a shot.

Sunday – Convinced myself that my idea stank. Who would want to read about it? Has it been done before? I’m convinced that it has been. Will the publication get past the first line? What will they think? “Been there, done that. Who does this woman think she is,
Elizabeth Berg?” I imagine cruel laughing and a slow-motion toss of my manuscript on a pile labeled REJECT in big, bold, red letters.

Monday – Too busy to think about my story. I spent the day updating the eight websites I’m responsible for while answering emails and plotting summer activities for the kids. Made the mistake of visiting my deadline web page - 173 days to go. Instantly felt guilty for not having made any progress.


May 03, 2005

New Hat: Cyber Police

My day started off with a bang. I had this crazy woman emailing me about how she couldn’t figure out how to access Scribes Who Blog.

Um, you type in the URL –

Then she couldn’t figure out how to comment on the blog.

Um, you type in your name and email address.

Apparently, all of this was too much for her to handle and she utterly went off on me.

Here’s my take on this: I’m volunteering to do this writer’s group. Why? I honestly don’t know. I suppose I’m into self-torture. So why would I spend my precious time arguing back and forth with a woman I’ve never seen, have no intentions of ever meeting, and over something as trivial as joining an online writers’ group?

My answer?

Find out...