Thursday, November 19, 2015

It’s A Kind of Magic

Young Dr. Stevens.jpg

For my birthday, Dr. Stevens got me the blu-ray disk of THE HIGHLANDER, which was one of our favorite movies back when you got everything on VHS from your local Blockbuster video store.

(I’ll give you whippersnappers a minute to Google up all the weird terms and concepts in that sentence. You back? Good.)

The lead actor, Christopher Lambert, makes some unusually…intense expressions. I had forgotten how disconcerting his eyes were. Naturally, as I was watching, I IMDB-ed the movie and actor.

(I’ll give you “vintage citizens” a moment to Google up “to IMDB.” You back? Good.)

One reviewer commented that Lambert’s “piercing gaze” was a result of his extreme near-sightedness.

You say, “piercing gaze.” I say, “myopic squint.”

THAT’S what writers do. We shape and reshape reality by rearranging squiggles on a page. We wiggle our fingers about over keys or paper, and reality changes. I need to remind myself of this when I think that writing is just another synonym for “slogging through cold mud uphill while sheets of rain beat you in the face.”

Off to hunt down GREYSTOKE, which I’m pretty sure I watched on late-night cable television at my aunt’s house while everyone else was asleep. Because there was no way my mother would have allowed me to watch it, otherwise.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

To the Gal in the Glamour Shot

RD Scan Pt. 2: 163

You may not know this, but if you play the game, “Type your first name and ‘Glamour Shot’ into the search bar,” some really hilarious photos come up. My husband is Steve. “Steve Glamour Shot” in the Google search bar renders…well, you can see for yourself.

Go ahead, take a moment: Try it with “Steve.” Try it with your own name.

Are you finished guffawing yet?

When I try it, I get something extra special: The FIRST photo that comes up for “Keri Glamour Shot” is…KERI FORD!

She was adorable back in the day, but then—I wasn’t too shabby myself! This photo is from MY shoot, which I had made in honor of my engagement to the aforementioned Steve 22 years earlier ago . My husband’s office is still scattered with these big-haired portraits of me.

Bless. His. Heart. Today is our 22nd wedding anniversary. To celebrate, I’m going to give some advice to the that girl in the photo:

  • Go back to Nogales, and go back to Rocky Point. Every weekend while you are living in Tucson, travel down to Mexico and have a great time because these days its not worth your life to go there. Those days are over and the world has changed.
  • Put down that cookbook in the bookstore and get to know your Crock-Pot. You are an adequate cook, but don’t waste your money on those fancy recipes. You don’t have the temperament now to be a great, precise cook and you won’t develop it. Save your money for fancy cocktails, because it turns out you do quite enjoy cocktails.
  • Speaking of cocktails—no, there’s nothing anyone can do to make gin taste less gin-like. Smile politely at them and drink something else.
  • You will reach a point when you realize that (a) you don’t need every single person to like you and (b) you don’t WANT every single person to like you. If I were you (and I was) I’d get there sooner rather than later. It’s good here on the other side of the Wall Of Bitchiness.
  • Your marriage sticks. Worry less about it and enjoy it more.
    Three kids. Not four. Three is plenty—trust me.
  • To hell with the graduate degree in writing (I mean, REALLY, Honey!)—those people just get weirder, and you don’t want to waste that many hours learning how to write non-stories about distasteful people to whom nothing happens and who do nothing themselves. Remember the FUN story? Work on that.
  • Learn to spell “Presbyterian” correctly. And being asked to be an “elder” is not an insult.
  • If you can’t decide whether or not to go dancing, go dancing.
  • Stop mocking people wearing underwire. Very soon, you won’t have the right to talk (Remember all of those gin-free cocktails)

What would you say to blushing-faced you, bride-to-be or not?

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cheating on my Library

My Porcine Pal

My Porcine Pal

I have a confession to make:

I’ve been going to a new library to work. I love, love, love my local branch. But I’m driving five miles past it about once a week now and setting up my laptop at another branch entirely.

For one thing, it has a pig. The Covington pig, to be precise. In the greater Cincinnati area, painted pigs dot the landscape. Cincinnati was once the pork hub of the Midwest (much as Kansas City was the place for beef to be), and it’s nickname–Porkopolis–lives on. Runners from around the world come here for the Flying Pig Marathon runs. We love our pigs.

But beyond the pig, the library has…total strangers. I know my local branch like the back of my hand. The librarians greet me by name–heck, they don’t even scan my card anymore. They just tip-tip-type and pull up my account.

But my NEW branch is full of people who don’t know me, don’t know what I am doing in that corner, and never ask the most dreadful of all questions, “How is the new book going?”

I know that someday that will all change. They’ll start greeting me by name and I’ll ask questions about their grandkids.

And then, like the drifter who is born to walk alone, I will move on.

(I’m sorry if you’ve got Bon Jovi stuck in your head now. Really I am.)

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Gift Giving

(Spoiler alert: If you are my friend, Crys E. don’t read this post until you get a surprise shipment.)

Some people love to send cards and gifts. Some people are really good at it. They carry their friends and families in their hearts and minds all of the time and always find the perfect thing to send.

I know these people are out there because I’m fortunate enough to be loved by them, but I am not one of them. We could analyze my psyche and character all day (and maybe decide that I’m a cold-hearted sociopath), but if you don’t live in my home, you will be lucky to get a call from me on your birthday. Christmas cards go out about once every three years.

When I do get it right, it’s almost always a spontaneous accident–and often has to do with branding. A friend just named her baby “Piper” and it turns out that there’s a cheap perfume at walmart in a really cute bottle by the same name. Momma’s going to get a bottle of that–and while she may never wear it, she’ll love having it on the shelf.

And my other friend in the gifting arena is Amazon. When my friend’s chihuahua lost his eye last week (SERIOUSLY, CRYS! STOP READING RIGHT NOW!) she posted her little pirate on Facebook.

Did you know that “chihuahua pirate” turns about two dozen items, four of which ship for free with a $35 order? Yup. Little Paco is getting (I WARNED YOU, CRYS!) a pirate costume, TREASURE ISLAND WITH LOTS OF DOGS book and a plush toy bottle of Barkardi Rum.

What about you–are you an organized, consistent gifter, or do you, like me, hit it on the fly? And what gift have you given that you are most pleased about?

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