Come See Me On Google+

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I haven’t been a good little blogger since Google+ came out.  Blogging on that site is much more productive than maintaining a blog so I can be found there posting daily.

https://plus.google.com/stream#109440206780255757543/posts

One Night in Nashville Snippet

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Open mic night at Mudflaps was the busiest night of the week both in terms of the crowds and drink sales.  One of many such bars in Nashville, thousands of hopeful musicians had sat on the wobbly stool on the stage in hopes of being discovered.

Charlie Tate was one of the most recent hopefuls to ride into town with barely enough money to cover a motel room.  Everything about the young man was battered, from his crusty boots to the denim jeans that looked beige in places from years of dirt grinding into the threads.  The Broncos baseball cap could’ve been picked up off the highway after being run over by eighteen-wheelers for a few weeks.  Maybe it had.

Several regulars climbed the stage before the bar manager pointed at him and jerked a thumb.  Charlie was up.  He drained the beer he’d been nursing and walked towards the stage, ignoring the feeling of his boots sticking to years of grime on the floor and the jeers of the hardened regulars.

The single spotlight made him blink and the sweat already beading on his forehead doubled.  The white light made the people crowded into the bar a black, faceless sea of shapes, which calmed his nerves.

In stark contrast to his clothes and appearance, the acoustic guitar on his shoulder was pristine.  The only signs of age were wear on the edges of the neck from years of playing, the rest was carefully polished and cared for.

Charlie adjusted the microphone on its stand and he frowned as it stuck half-way.  Out in the audience a harsh male voice yelled, “Go home farm boy!”

He ignored the words and grinned sheepishly at the crowd.  “Sorry ‘bout that.  Alright, this is a new song.  This is the first time I’ve played it, I hope y’all like it.”

The crowd wasn’t listening anymore, most were beginning to talk amongst themselves again.  A new talent from the sticks wouldn’t last two weeks in the heart of Nashville.

Thirty seconds later, everyone was listening to the young man whose voice had a sexy rasp to it, whose music caught the attention of the listeners and whose words tugged at the hearts of the most bitter.  When the last chord of his music faded, the room was silent.  It was the quiet that makes every performer’s heart race, that pause before a roaring ovation.

Charlie descended the stage with his head ducked in embarrassment.  The applause shook the building and hands reached out to thump his shoulders.  Everyone wanted to shake his hand or thrust a beer into his hands.  A girl with bottle-blonde hair wearing a short denim skirt and a halter top wobbled over in cowboy boots with three inch heels to throw her arms around his neck.

With one song, everyone wanted a piece of Charlie Tate.  Overnight he went from the scorned farm boy to a songwriting sensation.

Two months later he was dead.

X-Men First Class

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I saw X-men First Class over the weekend and it was awesome.  Poor Emma Frost, she’s a great character that got turned into a glorified Victoria’s Secret model.  A good looking model, don’t get me wrong, but still.  Eh.

With so many characters I know it must have been hard to balance giving them each story time, but I wish they did more with Moira.  Making her American instead of Scottish and in the CIA instead of a doctor seemed a bit weird.  It didn’t fit in with the first movie because the automated voice on the Cerebro security doors is supposed to be Moira’s.  It felt like she was tacked into the story and not really a part of it.

The running bald joke with Xavier was awesome.  “Don’t touch my hair.”  The Wolverine cameo was great and seeing the future X-men as children.  Cyclops and Storm both show up in the original prototype of Cerebro.

All in all, it was a good movie.  It was well made and ranks up there with the first two  X-men movies.  The acting was superb and the casting of Erik and Xavier was spot on.  You can see that the two actors have a great relationship with each other.

Thank You Social Media

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Social media has destroyed the rose-tinted memories of past loves. At one time people used to think back to their first boyfriend/girlfriend or high school sweetheart with fond affection. There is always the one who got away. The mystery of what might have been if you did something different twenty years ago.

Thanks to social media, that mystery is frigging gone. A quick look on Facebook and you can see your High School sweetheart in all his balding, beer bellied and unshaven glory. Is that a rusted car on blocks in the background?

After I stop counting my blessings, I can’t help but wonder if this is a good thing. Isn’t part of growing up living with the what if’s and regrets? Or is it better to know what you escaped? None of this was around when I was dating, but how does having all this information about people affect dating choices?

I need another coffee.

What To Say To a Pregnant Woman

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What is it about the sight of a pregnant woman that sends common decency right out the window? People seem to lose that filter that tells them that something might not be acceptable to say. I heard a real gem aimed at a poor girl in the store today so…

1. When someone announces they are pregnant the only acceptable answer is Congratulations. Not “Was this planned?” “You know how to prevent that, right?” “Are you sure it’s his?” Your opinion doesn’t matter so just smile and congratulate the couple.

2. Weight. Don’t ask how much the lucky lady has gained. At the same time, don’t comment on how she is huge, must be having twins or that she is going to explode. The only acceptable thing to say is to comment on how good she looks. Don’t elaborate, just smile and say she looks wonderful.

3. Avoid personal questions. Do you randomly go up to people and ask how their latest pap smear or prostate exam went? Why is it acceptable to ask about birth choices, how many centimeters she’s dialated or the status of the mucus plug? Think. Keep the questions general with, “How is everything going?”

4. Post-Partum. If you tell someone who just had a baby that they still look pregnant, you deserve whatever you got in punishment. See #2. Don’t expect the new family to bring that baby to your house to visit. The only thing the new mother and baby need to be doing is resting and bonding. It’s easier to go to them bearing a gift of a meal then to pack up a baby and post-birth mother.

Adventures In Bookselling

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Like a lot of readers, I did a stint as a bookseller at a large bookstore. Working at the Information Desk in the center of the store you get to meet some real interesting folks. My personal favorite was The Bone Lady.

The day was going normally when this tall, thin woman came to the desk. She wore an animal skull on a chain around her neck. The book she was looking for? Anything to do with genetic abnormalities in rat skeletons.
I knew before looking it up on the computer that this was too specific and, sure enough, nobody has been brave enough to pen such a book.

While I searched for anything that might fit her criteria, Bone Lady told me about her little hobby. She and her children (1st and 3rd graders) collected animal skeletons and assembled them. Since it was hard to find complete skeletons out in the woods they DUG UP THEIR DEAD PETS BURIED IN THE BACK YARD.

I remember looking over at her kids as they pored over the books in the pets section, wondering if they were scoping out the next pet to dig up in a few years.

Danielle Vs. the Smoke Detector

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It always happens at the same time. 3am, you’re fast asleep and you hear that dreaded sound. Beep

You sit up and listen for a minute, hoping it’s not what you think it is, but sure enough it goes again. Beep

Somewhere, there is a battery fairy who sits down with a bowl of popcorn and drains the battery in the smoke detector in the middle of the night.

This happened to me last night. Turning on the A/C right next to my head and digging out ear plugs couldn’t block that sound. I got lucky, after an hour the sound mysteriously stopped and I fell asleep again, forgetting about it.
After the morning wrangling of getting the oldest up, dressed and out the door, making french toast and taking a shower, I forgot about the smoke detector.

Beep

Son of a….
My bad, I forgot to tell my husband about the smoke detector and now I have the option of fixing it myself or waiting for him to come home tonight. I actually sat below the second floor alarm, hoping it was that one because I could read it easily. No dice, of course it’s the third floor stairwell one. The alarm that requires a ladder and the dexterity of a cat to get down.

Beep

So I get the ladder out and prop it against the stairwell banister, trying not to look down the hardwood staircase and imagine how it will feel to fall onto it. It took a few minutes to psyche myself into actually climbing the ladder since I have a splendid track record for trips to the emergency room. Frequent Injury Points or however they tally the x-rays, MRI, CAT scans etc.

Beep

I took my life into my hands and climbed the ladder, leaning out into the fifteen foot drop of space above the stairwell to twist off the smoke detector. If the worst happened at least they’ll say I died trying to protect my family and they can cash in the life insurance. Success! I make it down with my round, white and evil plastic trophy. Thirty seconds and a new battery later I’m back up on the ladder and screwing it back into place.

Task completed and I don’t even have a paper cut. Brilliant! I packed up the ladder and tossed the old battery with a feeling of accomplishment. What a great start to a productive day.

Beep

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!!!!!!!???!!!!!

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