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Regrets of 2010

For all of us, the end of 2010 is a time for recollection of the past year’s events before we are dragged kicking and screaming into the New Year. Here are a few of my own thoughts about the old year.

Regrets of 2010

1. Believing horizontal stripes are slimming… Oh… Vertical? Are you sure? … Oh… That explains a lot.

2. Choosing the Pope’s Facebook profile pic. I was only joking. I never thought he’d take me seriously.

3. Being too high-minded to use deceit and extortion to get people to buy Frankenstein’s Monster. Although it’s never too late.

4. Thinking the parrot would not poop on my pants. The big parrot. With the big poops. On my black sweater.

5. Calling fear prudence when it’s just plain fear. But not when drinking from public water fountains, doing your own taxes, and eating vindaloo are concerned.

6. Not being grateful for what I have. Even though, like, seriously, you and I both know it isn’t enough.

7. Turning right instead of left on I 23. You had to be there.

8. Thinking I could escape the Swiss Guard. For guys in pantaloons, they run pretty fast.

9. Not keeping last year’s resolutions to eat right, lose weight, exercise more, cure the common cold, end unemployment, win the gold medal in pole vaulting, solve the energy crisis, reverse the greenhouse effect, save the honeybee, establish peace on earth, conquer alien worlds, and then establish peace there too.

10. Failing to get that chip out of my head… What chip?

A 101 people are going to ask you what your New Year’s Resolutions are. Which is why I’m asking: What are some of your regrets for 2010?

But be discreet. Remember, this is the Web. Your Aunt Agatha, Santa Claus, and prospective employers will see your answers.

Tomorrow: Resolutions for 2011

* * * * *


Creepy Crawlies and Me

I like bugs. There is something charmingly alien about them. Not passport alien, of course. Alien alien.

I have more respect for bugs than my husband or my son. I also have more respect than they do for frozen dinners six times a week—but that’s probably another post. However, my respect means that I am the “designated driver” as far as handling all things creepy or crawly. 

My policy is to adhere to the guidelines set down in the 1923 Kill versus Catch and Release Hoboken Accord:  

Paragraph 42. Clause 377k. Kill criteria:

  • Does the bug in question have the capability of doing bodily harm?
  • Is there current, or a future likelihood of, aggression?
  • Is it engaged in nighttime maneuvers on the bedroom ceiling?
  • Did it get a high score on the ick assessment test?
  • Is it likely to multiply, despite individual claims of celibacy?

 Paragraph 42. Clause 377n. Catch and release criteria:

  • Is the bug in question teeny weeny and not a black widow spider?
  • Is it believed to be in danger of extinction?
  • Is it woefully misunderstood by other species?
  • Is it cute, colorful, or even dashing in a rakish kind of way?
  • Is it named Fred?

photo © by Matt Rupp

How will you know if a bug is named Fred?

That’s just one of those great ontological mysteries you’ll have to experience for yourself.

Armageddon is a-comin’

My alarm clock sounds like Armageddon.

My husband’s alarm clock sounds like Armageddon.

His Armageddon comes earlier than mine, so when the disaster alert sounded this morning—


I poked—


then elbowed—


then finally smacked the lump next to me. It was his pillow. He had gotten up before the alarm and had forgotten to turn it off.

Rolling over, I got halfway tangled in the sheets, so it was a frustrating struggle to reach his clock. It wouldn’t turn off. Desperate and confused, I started to punch every single button and—

WAH-wah!!  WAH-wah!!  WAH-wah!!  WAH-wah!! 

Armageddon in stereo. God was serious.

I always thought there’d be time to pack a bag. I always thought there’d be time to go to confession. It had been almost four weeks, and you won’t believe what wickedness I can squeeze into twenty-eight days.

WAH-wah!!  WAH-wah!!  WAH-wah!!

Worst, the last time my husband asked when I was going to clean the house, I told him I’d do it sometime before the end of the world. I did not want scrubbing the bowl to be the last thing I ever did.

WAH-wah!!  WAH-wah!!  WAH-wah!!

At least one good thing about Armageddon in stereo is that it really wakes you up. I finally realized that the disaster alert had been my clock, and not my husband’s. And in mistakenly trying to turn his off, I only ended up turning it on.

Still half-tangled in the sheets, I rolled back toward my clock, which only resulted in my getting  fully tangled. I couldn’t move. I was tied down, like in the strait-jacket I know I’m going to need some day.

WAH-wah!!  WAH-wah!!  WAH-wah!!

At least I didn’t have to clean house.

The Bermuda Triangle

Whoooosh! … [Insert scream]… Thwump! Pop! … [Insert louder scream] … OOOOMPH!

That was the sound of me being sucked into the dreaded Holiday Bermuda Triangle, that singular point which lies at the dark twisted heart created by the proximity of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. This is a place beyond time, space, logic, and budget; a place so horrible, so dreadful, that grown women (me) have been known to weep at the mere thought of it.

Right now, it’s T plus 5 days and counting. I thought I was going to escape this year, but today I realized that there is no escape.


And so I’ve been sucked up into that triangular black hole headfirst. The only thing that prevents me from disappearing entirely is that I got stuck halfway, saved by my…um…generous hips.

I don’t like turkey much, or creamed spinach. I don’t like shopping. I don’t like enforced gift-giving. I don’t like holy days being twisted into holidays, and then twisted more into dollar days. And I don’t like maudlin sentimentality and outlandish resolutions.

If only I weren’t supposed to be so darn cheerful besides.

Because I don’t like cheerful much either.


What, Dear Reader, could prompt such an emphatic headline?

Might it mean that I fell out of bed again? And again felt compelled to share my soul-searing embarrassment with Facebook, talk shows, and worse? I would do it, too, if even one other falling-out-of-bed survivor needed healing, closure, and a role model of hope. (Me!) That, and plug my gutsy, ghost-written book on the subject, titled Ouch!


Might this headline instead be one of the many brilliantly handled themes of the just-published Frankenstein’s Monster? What’s that? Ah! Apparently you, Dear Reader, are neither dear, nor a reader, at least not of the best sort of stuff. However, there is time to redeem yourself.


The distressing truth is that it’s been three weeks since my last blog post! You have undoubtedly been beside yourself with worry, so let me fill you in:

Most of you thoughtfully held my hand during my pre-pub panic. Well, okay, many of you. Some. My Aunt Ethelyn. Then pub date. Then forty-seven seconds of writerly ennui: Today is exactly the same as yesterday. Then a face-slapping, “You needed that” lurch into post-pub panic, which led to post-pub paralysis. Then, just when I was about to move on to post-post-pub publicity, my Internet died, taking my hopes, dreams, and landline with it.

And thus, my absence.

What I’d planned for your delight for November 1,  November 5, and November 14 were hysterical. Unfortunately they were so specific to the day that they would lose all meaning if used now. Which means it’s time for me to finish my game of Snood and start writing.



Frankenstein Quiz! Book or Movie?

The frontispiece from Mary Shelley’s classic, side by side with Boris Karloff in James Whale’s 1931 classic movie.

Everyone knows there are big differences between the classic book and the classic movie. 

But do you know what they are?

Please read this before taking the test.

This is my very first attempt at a quiz, as you will soon see.  It is not supposed to have advertising on it. It is not supposed to give you just a numerical total of your score, but to give you a link to come back here so you can get the cleverly phrased results. It is not supposed to aggravate you, Dear Reader, nor to make me shed tears of frustration. Unfortunately, it may do everything it is not supposed to do.

If there is no link to come back here, please take note of your number of right answers and then click here.

Now, after all the fine print above, if you dare…

Take this “what’s from which” quiz to see how big a Frankenstein fan you truly are.

And I thank you multiple times for your patience.



* * *


Lo! He riseth early in the morning, the DARK MAGICIAN, to pursueth the path toward sufficiency called the JOB. And, having arrived at the destination called the JOB, he walketh into the area common to all called the BREAK ROOM, wherein some merriment is sometime to be shared.

And Lo!—he prepareth to make the day’s brew of wakefulness called COFFEE. Eyes agleam with wickedness, he saith,

No sissy potion shall be made by mine hands!

Thus, with full knowledge, he createth an INFUSION like the impenetrable black of night, as dark as the MAGICK ARTS by which it was fashioned.

Thereupon the passage of time—Lo!—the INNOCENT COPY EDITOR arriveth at the JOB, full of good cheer at another day of chastising wayward verbs and inserting dashes willy-nilly. This innocent cometh upon the DARK INFUSION and asketh in delight,

Pray, tell! What be this?

And, being so innocent as to be foolish, the INNOCENT COPY EDITOR poureth a cup of the DARK INFUSION into her bunny flagon and then addeth the unsullied whiteness of cream to lighten the dark….

and addeth and addeth and addeth….  

for the darkness could not be lightened. It drew all manner of unsullied whiteness into itself and consumeth it and made it as to nothing. And so the DARK INFUSION remaineth as black as the MAGICK ARTS by which it was fashioned.

The INNOCENT COPY EDITOR, naïve of the evil ways of darkness, was eager to be about her task of chastising wayward verbs and inserting dashes willy-nilly.

And so she dranketh…

Now, Lo! and Lo! and Lo! once more, she danceth along the highways and byways without cease, stopping strange vehicles, lifting the cuff of her pant to show her ankle, and shamelessly begging:

Wilt thou read my novel FRANKENSTEIN’S  MONSTER? If thou pre-order it at Amazon, I shall be ever so grateful!

So shall she dance and flirt and beg until exhaustion overcometh her limbs and she droppeth somewhere on the highway or the byway. Though apparently senseless, she shall still be wakeful of eye and mind and purpose… 

And the INNOCENT COPY EDITOR shall twitch.

And the DARK MAGICIAN shall laugh.