June 2010 - Posts
It wasn't until I came across a post by some person somewhere who OBVIOUSLY hadn't read the books and who OBVIOUSLY didn't know the story line and I found myself enraged that someone would dare to put such an inaccurate post online that I realized that I must now admit...I am a die-hard Twilight fan.
I have all of the books. I have seen all of the movies. And with today's release of "Eclipse," I am all atwitter with anticipation to see the latest film. So why the reluctance in admitting that I am a fan? Well...let's just say I don't fit the description of the author's intended demographic. The books are labeled "young adult," and have certainly found an audience among teenage girls that rivals the hordes of geeks that call themselves Pott-heads...fans of the Harry Potter books and movies. (Which I love also, by the way.)
I suppose I've been a little uncomfortable with the prospect of standing up and declaring whether I'm an "Edward" or a "Jacob," simply because most of those making declarations alongside me would be somewhere between the ages of 12 and 17. I don't enjoy looking foolish.
So I've been content to hide my love of all things Twilight. I have declined to purchase Twilight items, and have hidden the fact that I've even looked at the Web site for the town of Forks, Washington, the real place that is the fictional home for all things sparkly and vampiric.
But I have found my voice...for I have found women to stand alongside me...who are middle-aged, hard-core Twilight fans.
I read that nearly 40 percent of the female fan base for Twilight is over the age of 20. That made me feel better. I found a Web site for moms who love the series...www.twilightmoms.com. I found a book called "Confessions of a Twilight Mom." Okay..I'm feeling pretty darn confident...there ARE other people over the age of 35 who like this stuff. And who don't live in their mother's basement.
After this realization, I began to ponder the appeal of the Twilight saga to women my age. The most obvious answer is that it's the romance. I mean, come on, forbidden love? A never-ending love...? A powerful love connection between two people who aren't supposed to be together? What woman wouldn't love that?
A good romance has the power to just sweep us away from our everyday lives. The reality of adult life is that we must take care of our homes, our families, our careers, pay the bills...it's never-ending. The story that is Twilight is a great escape from all of that...for women of all ages. Then there's that whole thing about vampire bites stopping aging in its tracks...women everywhere would clamor for such a product. Oil of Olay it ain't...but it would work and could be desirable...aside from that whole undead thing. And come on, who doesn't love a sparkly vampire or a lovesick puppy...I mean, werewolf?
So...I stand proudly and say, "Edward Cullen...you complete me."
To those who would criticize or refuse to understand...I say simply, bite me.
When visiting my 5-year-old niece Amanda recently, I noticed that she was sporting some new items on her arms. They weren't your typical bracelets.
When I asked her about them, she simply told me, "Memo and Papa Whitaker (her mother's parents) got them for me at the mall."
I didn't think too much about it until I went to the mall and saw one of those kiosks selling the same type of "bracelets" Amanda was wearing. They come in all shapes and colors, and no matter what you do to them, the premise is that they will go back to their original shape...a shark, a heart, a teddy bear, a pineapple...whatever.
They're called Silly Bandz, and you can buy a pack of 12 for about $5. This hot item has got parents searching high and low in malls, toy stores and the like, and the stores can't seem to keep them on their shelves.
The appeal for kids, aside from the fact that all the kids are wearing them, is that kids are also trading them. I read of one kid who bragged that he had traded his skateboard...and got 12 Silly Bandz. He was quite proud, and thought he'd made a good trade.
The bands are the brain child of Robert Croak who, a year ago, was shipping 20 boxes of the items a day from his Toledo, Ohio company. Now he ships more than 1,500 boxes a day. His Facebook page for the product, now has 166,000 friends. The product has a presence on Twitter as well, and its own blog.
The remarkable thing about Silly Bandz to me was that Croak has used no advertising to spread the word about his product. It's all been word of mouth. Well...more accurately, it's been an arms race. One day, a kid shows up at school wearing them, and the next day, 10 kids are wearing them, and the day after, 30 kids are wearing them...you get the idea. It's become a downright phenomenon. And it's making Croak rich.
Rubber bands...hmmm...my niece bought into it. Her friends bought into it...kids all over the country are into it...it's gone from elementary school to high school...Croak's making millions...
It's such a simple idea, and they can't cost that much to make. I wonder if I could come up with an idea that would be just as good and would catch on...
How about this? Sole Suckers...shoes without the top part. You just stick these Suckers to the soles of your feet and you instantly are wearing shoes...yet not. They'd be great for the more tropical climates where it's just too hot to wear shoes, yet not practical to go barefoot all the time. I think I've got a winner here...
Hey...if some dude can make millions selling rubber bands shaped like pineapples, then I can make a mint with Sole Suckers. It could happen...
I recently read about a family who came to Florida for a visit, and the things that made the greatest impression on them weren't the beaches, the sunsets, the attractions...not even the orange juice. What they will remember about their trip to Florida, for the rest of their lives, are the love bugs.
For those of you in the South who've been living under a big rock, love bugs come out a couple of times a year. Boy...do they come out! They wind up all over our cars, and their little dead bodies lay all around our window sills and doorways. Lovely.
I wasn't sure what kind of bug a love bug is, so I looked it up...a love bug is a member of the march fly family, and are sometimes called the honeymoon fly, the kissing bug or the double-headed bug. Why call them double-headed, honeymoon or love bugs? Simple. When they're buzzing around, smacking into our car grills and windshields, they're joined together in, um, well, let's just say, "love."
Well, you can't blame the little boogers for, um, lovin' mid-air...everywhere. The females only live for three or four days after they hatch. If I were a dude love bug, and only had a maximum of four days to find me a lady, I'll probably behave in much the same fashion.
There is an urban legend that these bugs are actually synthetic, and are the result of a University of Florida experiment gone wrong. The legend goes that UF weirdos created them by manipulating DNA to control mosquito populations.
Well...Florida and other parts of the Southeast are still full of mosquitoes each year, so thanks for your major contribution, Gators.
In reality, the bugs migrated here from Central America. They are attracted to diesel and gasoline exhaust fumes, which explains why they seem to congregate around gas pumps, thereby making it more difficult – in addition to the hives and severe twitching brought on by gas prices – to pump gas in early summer and fall.
And here I'd thought they gathered there for the romantic ambiance.
Love bugs are usually more active between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and their mating season lasts for about four weeks in May and in September. Considering that a female has such a short life span, that's a heckuva lotta bugs.
The good news about love bugs is that although they float like a butterfly, they don't sting like a bee.
So armed with all of this information, and knowing there is now a family of yankees who will forever remember Florida for its love bugs, I propose that we change our state bird. Instead of the mockingbird, why not change it to the love bug?
Technically, I know, the love bug is, well, a bug, not a bird. But we should just embrace it. They're everywhere, a couple of times a year, and doesn't LOVE bug sound better than MOCKING bird? And we don't have to worry about them ever becoming extinct...ever. Seriously. They will never go away.
So who's with me?
I have to admit, I've grown really tired of Lindsay Lohan. I have to believe I can't be the only one.
The girl has some serious problems. She can't seem to hold down a job. She spends way too much time partying. She obviously has substance abuse issues. She just refuses to take responsibility for any of her actions.
And to top it all off, she seems to have surrounded herself with people who just enable her bad behavior. Even her mom just makes excuses for Lindsay's bad behavior.
When will the Lindsanity stop?!
It wasn't that long ago I saw a cute little movie, a remake of the Disney classic, "The Parent Trap." La Lohan played a set of twins who were separated at birth by their divorced parents, then after being raised to the ripe old age of 11 by their respective parents, the girls meet at camp and sort of figure things out. Once they determine that if they could only get their OBVIOUSLY still in love parents back together, their family would once again be whole. Comedic hijinks ensue.
Miss LiLo was so cute in that movie. She was a fairly good actress, I mean, as far as acting by kiddos goes. I saw a bright future ahead for her.
But apparently, at the intersection of Stardom Avenue and Fame Road, there was some creepy dude in a van who abducted that cute, talented little redhead with all the freckles.
Such a shame.
Don't get me wrong, there are a couple of good movies on her resume. But that's completely overshadowed by the fact that she's become the Hollywood poster child for how NOT to handle being famous. Enter the paparazzi.
I am hoping that the judge who accepted no excuses a few weeks ago, when Lindsay was supposed to have appeared in court but chose to stay in France at the Cannes Film Festival instead, will continue to handle this troubled little girl with a firm hand. LiLo was ordered to wear a SCRAM anklet, and she's already apparently violated her probation...and she likely will again. I hope the judge will drop her little freckled behind in jail. A little time wearing a hi-de-odorous orange jumpsuit and having to sit in a cell alone will do wonders for her.
Maybe if she has nothing to do but play connect the dots with her freckles, Lindsay will finally be forced to come to grips with her demons.
Until that happens, I don't want to see reports all over the news about whether or not that bottle she has in her hand while standing in line at Starbucks is an alcoholic beverage. I don't care who she's wearing and where she's wearing it.
I beg you, Orange Oprah (Lindsay's mom)...Step up, be a real mom, and get her some help. Hidden, way down deep somewhere, your daughter has actual talent. Get her to someone who can draw it out.
Well...I made it through my first week on a new job. Whew! I can breathe a sigh of relief now.
I have to admit on the first day, I was quite nervous. I stepped outside my usual dwelling place – the newsroom – into another world. Oh, I'm still writing. Just in a different format and for a different medium. I twitched all day, thinking, "I've got a paper to put together!" But someone else did it. And you know what? I was fine.
When I posted on my Facebook page that I was nervous the first day, a friend of mine reminded me that I'd still be writing...and that's something I've done for years. He said I shouldn't be nervous..."It's still writing," he reminded me. Yeah.
And this week, I have been writing. I've been reading a lot as well, because with writing comes a certain amount of study. You have to get to know a subject or subject matter in order to write about it. That's why so many writers are knowledgeable about so many things, yet master of so few. Oy.
I have a new coworker. His name is Rocco. Rocco is a bulldog who comes to work each day with his "mommy." He's a pretty low-key kind of fellow, and on most days he's content to just recline on his comfy little couch in his corner of the office. I've grown used to the sound of his toenails clicking on the hardwood floor as he makes his rounds...he goes around each morning, and several times a day, to see each person in the office. For each visit, he receives a pat on the head or the back, and maybe even some light conversation. Very light. So light, on his end, it's almost non-existent. But Rocco communicates in other ways.
I've noticed that when Rocco wants outside of "his" office or to go outside, all he has to do is just stand in front of the appropriate door. He doesn't bark. He doesn't grunt or growl. He just quietly stands there until he's let out.
When Rocco wants a nap, he lets you know by just closing his eyes and bowing his head. He does this lying down, sitting down or standing. Doesn't matter. When he wants a nap, he lets you know.
When Rocco wants attention, he doesn't jump up on you or bark. He's a much classier fellow than this. He simply stands near you and silently waits for you to pay your respects. That dog's got style, he does.
So from Rocco, I glean some important lessons. Don't rush things. Take your time and be patient...someone will pat you on the head or open the door eventually. And in the meantime, just bow your head and take a nap.