Halloween Book Tag

Stephanie shared this Halloween Book Tag, and in the spirit of continuing to rest my brain while still posting daily, here we go!

👻 Favourite scary must read for Halloween: I generally read whatever calls to me; I don’t think I’ve ever read a scary book for Halloween. I’m in the midst of three or four right now, but the last book I read a page in is Killashandra. Not scary.

🍭 Scariest Book Cover, Like Ever. This is a tough one. I can’t possibly remember all the book covers, even of the books I’ve read. If you go read Michelle’s original post, she chose Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, but I really had thought of it before I read her post. I will say the scariest image I ever got from reading something was the end of Robert Bloch’s Enoch. Oddly enough, there’s a character named Enoch in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

👻 If you could pick any author to go trick or treating with, who would you pick? Harlan Ellison. He seems so charismatic and fun to bullshit with.

🍭 If you could dress up as any bookish character for Halloween, who would you be? Cirocco Jones, but the one from Wizard, in a serape. But I’m afraid I haven’t the nose to do her justice.

👻 If you could find anything, from any book, in your trick or treat stash, what would you hope to find? A time belt.

🍭 In what fictional world would you like to go trick or treating? Stephanie said the Shire, and I just can’t beat that.

👻 What book villain would you not like to meet alone in a dark alley on Halloween? They’re a pair, but Croup and Vandemar from Neverwhere.

🍭 Would you rather dress up as a vampire, zombie, werewolf or a shadowhunter? A zombie, because there’s so much latitude as far as appearance.

👻 Pick a candy (just one) from Harry Potter that you would love to find in your stash. I googled, and I pick Ice Mice. They sound so cool. Hear your teeth chatter and squeak!

🍭 What is your favourite Halloween candy? I used to love candy corn, but now I don’t. Cadbury makes Halloween Creme Eggs now, so I’ll go with those.

Feel free to participate!

For an Inquiring Mind

My sister shared an article on Facebook earlier about New York considering making tampons free in public restrooms, which is cool and all, but I clicked on a suggested article and immediately felt the twitching in my fingertips that meant I must respond. Fair warning: it’s all about the DivaCup. If you are squicked out by period stuff, click away. It will get a tad gross if you’re squeamish.

The article is titled 11 Questions I Want To Ask Women Who Use The DivaCup. Melissa, I could answer you there if you had a comment section. Maybe you’ll see this one day. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll just answer these questions for someone else who’s dying to know. Whatever, it’s cool.

1. How do you pull it out without inciting a bloodbath?

In a word, physics. In more words and phrases, it’s rarely full to the brim when I pull it out. I mean, it’s actually big enough to contain most of an entire menstrual flow. There just isn’t that much in it most of the time. Also, cup isn’t just a fancy word. It comes out like a regular old cup, as in, the opening is opposite the pull of gravity. Don’t turn it upside down until you’re ready to dump it, and you’re golden.

2. What happens when it fills up?

I recommend removing it in the bathtub if you know it’s full. This has happened to me three times, but listen up, that’s not normal! The DivaCup holds an ounce. A whole ounce is way past heavy flow. An ounce is two super plus tampons. If you experience this and are unaware that you have a medical condition that will cause this (in my case, PCOS), see your doctor now. But if that’s going to happen, you will expect it. So what happens? In your words, a bloodbath.

3. What the hell is going on in the public bathroom?

Regular usage. A DivaCup is not a tampon. You can take it out and put it back whenever you want without the dry dragginess of a fresh tampon. So if I’m going to be out of the house when I will need to dump my cup, I simply do it before I leave. I have never removed my DivaCup anywhere but at home.

4. What is going on with your fingernails?

Not much. I wash my hands. It’s not dried blood under there, so it washes right off with soap and water. No biggie.

5. What’s in the cup?

Ratio of solid to liquid? That’s really an individual thing. Also a cycle-to-cycle thing. It just depends.

6. Is this thing going in the dishwasher?

No. Didn’t you read the FAQ? And yes, I do remove debris from the seal-creating holes with a toothpick. I don’t want that rotting in there. There’s my line, you’ve found it! I don’t want to put rotten blood into my vagina, that’s gross. Ew.

7. What about the smell?

Nope, doesn’t smell. If it smells you should probably get a new one or review your cleaning procedures.

8. What if I can’t get it out? What if it falls out?

Mine has never fallen out, although I have, on occasion, had difficulty retrieving it, especially in the morning. Sometimes it creeps up. Don’t worry, just take a break, have a cup of coffee or whatever, and try again in half an hour or so. It does creep back down to where it belongs.

9. Are o.b. tampons the gateway drug to the DivaCup?

Not in my case. I only used obs once, when I got a free sample. I had placement issues with them. I just jumped into DivaCup full force. I didn’t even have a learning curve.

10. Do you miss shopping for ‘feminine hygiene’ every month or two?

I’m probably not the right person to answer this question for the average Jane. I never shopped for ‘feminine hygiene’ regularly. I would be thrilled if, for the first time in the twenty-one years I’ve been menstruating, I needed to do so. Again, PCOS. But even only buying tampons a couple times a year made me angry. This is a necessary product that we have to pay through the nose for. Not cool.

11. Do you think I’m kind of a terrible person?

Not for your views on the DivaCup. You may want to brush up on your knowledge of the female reproductive system, however, if you  truly believe that menstruation equals fertility.

I Stole the Questions!

Have you seen Willow? Because it’s essential if you’re going to know the proper tone and inflection with which to read the title.

I haven’t answered questions in what feels like forever, so I’m stealing Cheryl’s assigned list from her double Liebster noms today. Don’t forget to congratulate her and read her answers. Love ya, Cheryl!

  1. Favorite go to rainy day outfit? I generally wear the same thing if I’d wear if it weren’t raining, so probably a dress and sandals.
  2. Beach, Snowy Mountains, or Forests? Forests. Gotta get my hike in!
  3. What is your go to red lip? I don’t wear lipstick very often, maybe once or twice a year. But if I’m going red, I like Max Factor’s Red Passion.
  4. Your signature accessory? It would have to be my wedding ring. Does that even count? I don’t wear much jewelry either. Hard to break the old habit from my pizza days, when anything else was forbidden.
  5. If you had to pick one hobby for the rest of your life to do whenever you are bored, what would it be? Oh, I’d write, of course!
  6. Clutch or Purse? Purse. I hate to carry things. Not that I’ve been much of a purse person since high school, until last Christmas. Thanks Ian!
  7. Favorite nail color to wear for a beach day? Funny story, I did my and Abby’s nails before we went to the sprinkler park last week and the water took off all of hers and half of mine. Color Show Vintage Leather collection is not beach friendly! But I like something dark and bold for the beach, maybe a navy. I like attention on my manis.
  8. What is your favorite palette? Oh no, I make my own. I’m a mix and match kind of girl.
  9. What colors have you dyed your hair? Most of them. Light, ash, golden, and dark blonde. Light brown. Light, dark, and bright red. Black. Pink!
  10. Handwritten notes or electronic messages? I do love hand writing notes, but I utilize electronic messages more often.
  11. Liquid, cream or powder foundation? and why? Liquid. Out of habit. It’s what I’m used to.
  12. Which is your favorite animal? I love donkeys.
  13. Of whom are you scared the most? Right now, the judge we’ll have next week. Overall, probably myself.
  14. One thing you cannot live without? The sky.
  15. Who all are there in your family? There’s me, my husband, and my stepdaughter. And two cats and two turtles.
  16. Your favorite blogger? I don’t think I can answer that one. I mean, I don’t want to hurt any feelings, and it’s such a hard choice anyway. I read so many different types of blogs, I just couldn’t choose. Call it a cop-out if you must.
  17. Favorite cosmetic brand? Maybelline. I love Color Show nail polish!
  18. Current time in your country and also name the country? It’s 9:38 pm in the central time zone of the United States.
  19. Are you adventurous? More than I was most recently and less than I was long ago. But not a happy medium, yet.
  20. Favorite pastime? Writing! Or maybe nail art. Tough one.
  21. When did you join WordPress? August 2011.
  22. Lake or river? River. Small river. Okay, creek. Running water that isn’t too wide or fierce.

It’s Awards Season

liebsterblogawardAnd the lovely Cheryl of Fat and Fabulous Me has chosen yours truly as a recipient of the Liebster Award. Most of you are familiar with this award, right? Here are the rules, per Cheryl’s post:

  1. Shout out to the blogger who gave you the award.
  2. Nominate 5 others bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.
  3. Answer 10 questions that are given to you by who nominated you.
  4. Give 10 questions to the bloggers who you are nominating.

And here are my answers to Cheryl’s questions!

  1. Earrings, bracelets or necklaces? Well, the one piece of jewelry that I always wear is my nose stud, which I rarely change from my standard white CZ. But out of those choices, right now I’ll go with earrings. I do favor bracelets over necklaces now, though.
  2. What is your favourite song currently? My all-time favorite is Van Halen’s Panama, but I’ve really been feeling Soundgarden’s Burden in My Hand lately.
  3. How many languages can you speak? Just English. I can ask you what time it is in Vietnamese, but unless it’s 9 o’clock, I won’t understand the answer. I took two years of high school French and a semester of college Spanish, but that’s long gone from my brain.
  4. Who is your role model? People you never hear about. People who listen to everyone else telling them ‘oh, you’re so smart, you could do so much, blah, blah, blah’ and don’t care, because they’re doing what makes them happy. Or Julia Child. I like her.
  5. Where do go or what do you do when you are feeling down? I stay in bed. I read. Or I migrate to the couch if no one’s home and watch stupid movies on Netflix. Lots of gory indie movies.
  6. Movies or dramas? Movies. It’s hard to keep up the good work over a long period of time.
  7. Which era would you want to live in if you had a choice? Oh, I’m a hippie, through and through. No bras and peace and love and raw food and stuff. And awesome music. Give me the 70s. Although now’s pretty good, too. Interwebs and stuff.
  8. Did you ever imagine yourself in a wacky hairstyle? Do share 🙂 Yes! I think the only wacky hairstyle that I’ve wanted and haven’t been brave enough to try is a mohawk. I shaved my head with I was 20, and I dyed my hair pink when I was 22 (awesome decision!). And then, of course, I chopped it all off a few months ago for spiky goodness.
  9. Would you be adventurous enough to be a solo traveller? Definitely! I used to drive cross country by myself to visit mIRC buddies. And to Canada. Granted, once I got where I was going, I wasn’t solo, but half the fun is the trip there, like 3500 miles to Yellowknife.
  10. Are you a left or right brainer? I’m a lefty, so right-brained, right? I’d say 70/30 right/left. My arty/moody side definitely beats out the fact that I can plus and times real good, and I have a badass sense of direction. I’ve never been lost. Which side is that? I’ll stick with 70/30. Although, isn’t my use of ratio an indicator of left-braininess? Or is my use of the word ‘braininess’ an indication of rightness? I could go on for days. No, wait, I’ve got it. I sew, but I don’t measure. I eyeball it. That’s right-brained, for sure.And it drives my mom and my sister crazy.

Now the part I always hate. Singling other people out. That must be a remnant of the dread I used to feel in school. Please don’t call on me. I know that answer is wrong and my answer is right, but please don’t make me stand up in front of all these people and point it out. Oh, why do we have to read aloud? Eek!! That dread. Okay, I pick:

  1. Tigger from Lifes Little Reflections.
  2. SRB from veggie sausages.
  3. ozifrog from maybe baby, J-man, & the adventures of hub-in-boots.
  4. SM from Unexplained Rantings.
  5. Rice Cakes & Redemption.

And their questions:

  1. What is the best meal ever, and does it have to be a specific person preparing it?
  2. Why do you blog?
  3. What was your favorite toy or game as a child?
  4. Do you use the snooze button or hit the ground running?
  5. Is a gift card (not requested) an acceptable gift? Defend your answer.
  6. If you could change your name with no hassle, would you? To what?
  7. Do you lock your door only at night or when home alone as well? If you have to lock your door at all.
  8. Would you like to live on a farm for a year? What kind of farm?
  9. What’s your favorite word?
  10. Do you think work uniforms are necessary, or are people capable of doing their job just as well in any presentable outfit of clothing? ‘Presentable’ in this case meaning no rips or tears, reasonably well fitted, and clean.

Any and all others are of course welcome to answer! I’d love to read even more answers to these questions.

100 Questions that No One Asks

My friend Cheryl got bored and found some questions to answer–so I’m going to join in!20131018-134454.jpg
BONUS JONAS QUESTION: something that happened to you in middle school. I won a plaque at the state math competition. Go ahead, scream ‘nerd!’
1:Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? After the remodel, we sleep in the closet!
2:Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? Yup, they’re perfect for throwing in my makeup bag.
3:Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? Out! And either feet sticking out or cover tucked under them.
4:Have you ever stolen a street sign before? Never even considered it.
5:Do you like to use post-it notes? On occasion, not too often since I finished working for the Census Bureau though.
6:Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? Not as often as I cut them out and use them.
7:Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees? Oh jeez. I guess bees.
8:Do you have freckles? Yup. Mostly on my shoulders.
9:Do you always smile for pictures? Nope.
10:What is your biggest pet peeve? Loud chewing, I guess.
11:Do you ever count your steps when you walk? Yup.
12:Have you ever peed in the woods? And had the poison ivy to prove it!
13:What about pooped in the woods? Nope. I can wait for facilities, thank you.
14:Do you ever dance even if theres no music playing? Definitely!
15:Do you chew your pens and pencils? Never, I hate holding chewed up writing instruments. Maybe that’s my pet peeve.
16:How many people have you slept with this week? Just my husband, of course.
17:What size is your bed? California king.
18:What is your Song of the week? Probably the annoying YouTube song that Ian and Abby LOVE. I have no idea what it’s called–or how most of it goes. Just ‘what’s up, bitches?’
19:Is it okay for guys to wear pink? Of course.
20:Do you still watch cartoons? Even more of course! How else would Abby learn which are the good ones? Classic Looney Tunes, by the way.
21:Whats your least favorite movie? True Romance, if that counts–I only watched the first fifteen minutes or so.
22:Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some? In the back yard of the house I lived in when I was in second grade.
23:What do you drink with dinner? Water with lemon.
24:What do you dip a chicken nugget in? Usually no dip, but probably barbecue sauce most often.
25:What is your favorite food? Sea scallops. Or bay scallops in gumbo. Or gumbo. Mmm, gumbo.
26:What movies could you watch over and over and still love? 50 First Dates.
27:Last person you kissed/kissed you? My husband, of course.
28:Were you ever a boy/girl scout? I was a Brownie for one year, even went to Girl Scout Camp.
29:Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine? There are circumstances under which I would.
30:When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? A few weeks ago, to my brother.
31:Can you change the oil on a car? Sure.
32:Ever gotten a speeding ticket? Not in years and years, but plenty when I was a teenager!
33:Ever ran out of gas? That’s when I learned my gas gauge was broken.
34:Favorite kind of sandwich? Provolone and roast turkey. But I have been craving cheddar, white onion, and miracle whip lately.
35:Best thing to eat for breakfast? Biscuits and sausage gravy.
36:What is your usual bedtime? 1-2 am
37:Are you lazy? More at home, less at work. I should reverse that.
38:When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween? I was a cat once, and a cowgirl once.
39:What is your Chinese astrological sign? Horse.
40:How many languages can you speak? Fluently, just English. I know some French and some Cajun French, and some ASL.
41:Do you have any magazine subscriptions? I can’t remember the last time I did.
42:Which are better legos or lincoln logs? Legos.
43:Are you stubborn? For sure.
44:Who is better…Leno or Letterman? Meh.
45:Ever watch soap operas? Only at someone else’s house.
46:Are you afraid of heights? Definitely.
47:Do you sing in the car? At the top of my lungs!
48:Do you sing in the shower? Only when no one’s home, oddly enough.
49:Do you dance in the car? Oh yes. And I’ve caught people laughing at me.
50:Ever used a gun? For target practice.
51:Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer? Well, my stepdad was a professional photographer, so earlier this year if that counts.
52:Do you think musicals are cheesy? I love musicals!
53:Is Christmas stressful? Yes.
54:Ever eat a pierogi? Just minutes ago.
55:Favorite type of fruit pie? Lemon!
56:Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid? Artist or writer or mom.
57:Do you believe in ghosts? If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be afraid, right?
58:Ever have a Deja-vu feeling? Yup.
59:Take a vitamin daily? Not anymore!
60:Wear slippers? Rarely.
61:Wear a bath robe? Nope.
62:What do you wear to bed? A nightgown when I wear it.
63:First concert? Ceed and Korn.
64:Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart? I love Target.
65:Nike or Adidas? I don’t think I’ve ever bought Adidas, so Nike.
66:Cheetos Or Fritos? Fritos Scoops!
67:Peanuts or Sunflower seeds? Sunflower seeds!
68:Ever hear of the group Tres Bien? Nope.
69:Ever take dance lessons? I took tap lessons. Heel, toe!
70:Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing? I have no idea what Ian will end up doing.
71:Can you curl your tongue? Yup.
72:Ever won a spelling bee? I still have my trophy.
73:Have you ever cried because you were so happy? Yup
74:Own any record albums? Never have.
75:Own a record player? Never have.
76:Regularly burn incense? I hate incense.
77:Ever been in love? Yup.
78:Who would you like to see in concert? Leonard Cohen. And Stone Temple Pilots again.
79:What was the last concert you saw? I think it was Peter Frampton.
80:Hot tea or cold tea? Hot herbal tea, cold black tea.
81:Tea or coffee? Iced coffee.
82:Sugar or snickerdoodles? Snickerdoodles!
83:Can you swim well? Yup. I lived on a sailboat before my sister was born.
84:Can you hold your breath without holding your nose? Yes.
85:Are you patient? Yup.
86:DJ or band, at a wedding? We were our own DJ.
87:Ever won a contest? A few.
88:Ever have plastic surgery? Nope.
89:Which are better black or green olives? Green olives are my favorite! Stuffed with garlic or anchovy or jalapeño…
90:Can you knit or crochet? I can do both, but I’m much better at knitting, although still a beginner there.
91:Best room for a fireplace? Why not every room?
92:Do you want to get married? I am.
93:If married, how long have you been married? 6 years.
94:Who was your HS crush? Christian Bale.
95:Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way? I don’t think so.
96:Do you have kids? I have a stepdaughter
97:Do you want kids? I would love children of my own.
98:Whats your favorite color? I like a nice steel gray.
99:Do you miss anyone right now? My grandparents.

Omg, Cheryl, that took much longer than I expected!! Thank you though!

for Ian

Because the poor man requests posts so often, and how can I refuse someone who praises my writing so consistently?

Because March is National Reading Month, and he’d like me to answer the daily questions that Amazon’s been posting on Facebook.

What is the first line of the book you’re currently reading? ‘It was starting to end, after what seemed most of eternity to me.’ I just started reading The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny. It’s all ten volumes of his fantasy saga of the Amber Chronicles. I’m about five chapters in, and enjoying myself so far.

What book had the largest impact on you as a child? Anne of Green Gables. I can’t really narrow it down to only one book, so I have to choose the whole series. Anne is always so joyful and full of life. Ever the optimist. Definitely not like me, but I’ve always admired her vivaciousness and boldness. The qualities that shy little me could never embrace in real life.

Have you ever read an entire book in one sitting? What was the last one? Oh, lordy, plenty of times! The Borrowers, at my parents’ house last time we visited. Most of my childhood favorites are still on their shelves, and I love to revisit them while we’re there. You did mean reading for myself, right? Otherwise it’s Dr Seuss’ The Foot Book.

Who is your favorite author? John Varley.

What is your favorite series and why? John Varley’s Gaean Trilogy: Titan, Wizard, and Demon. I love the adventure, the passion, the science fiction, the whole new world that’s actually within reach as it orbits Jupiter. I love the scheming, the trickery, the plotting and planning and treason. I love the passion and determination of the characters. I love these books.

What is the best book you read last year? We Need to Talk About Kevin was really, really good.

What is one book you’d wish more people would read? Ha! The Bible. Read it thoroughly, and stop misquoting and misinterpreting.

What is the first and last book to make you cry? Why? I think the last was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Honestly, I can’t even guess at the first. Probably a Narnian novel.

What was the last book to make you lol? I think I lol’d at Hellstrom’s Hive; I know I lol’d at The Law of Nines.

What is your favorite book title? Not book but title. I adore Harlan Ellison’s titular creations. Stalking the Nightmare. I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. All the Lies That Are My Life. ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman. Memos from Purgatory. Just one? Stalking the Nightmare. It’s so vividly evocative.

Who do you credit with your love of reading? My parents. They’re both readers, and I didn’t have any playmates on the boat, so I entertained myself with books.

What is the best book you’ve received as a gift been? I had a certain boxed set of Narnia books as a kid, and they didn’t stand the test of time. Ian found me an identical set, box and all, a few years ago. Thank you, sweetie!

What is the first chapter book you remember reading? Probably The Jungle Book. And really, it wasn’t Mowgli and his drama that I enjoyed the most, it was Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and The White Seal that I loved and read and reread so many times.

If you could have a dinner party with 5 authors, who would they be? When Ian first read me these questions, we had a jolly old time making up guest lists with pairings like Jane Austen and Stephenie Meyer. But seriously? I’ll keep Ian’s contribution of Hunter S. Thompson and add Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Ellison, John Varley, and Douglas Adams. I think I’d have to stock plenty of booze.