Sunday, December 27, 2015

Tornadoes in December

So today I wake up and turn on the TV and see what I call "disaster porn" all over the news because tornadoes have ripped through the Dallas December!! The news media just seems like a bunch of vultures preying on all the poor survivors who are clearly in shock as they stand in front of their demolished homes. But that's what viewers want, right? They want to be able to look at all the horrible situations other people are going through and be thankful they don't have to go through it? Or are people just addicted to shitty situations?

It's kinda sucky and kinda exploitative to focus on this sort of thing. But when I change the channel, it's a bunch of political commentators arguing about the state of the world and who's the better candidate and verbally trashing the other guy. So ultimately I decide to put a movie on: the documentary Advanced Style. Ah, much better!

It's horrible when people lose their belongings. Living in North Texas, I am well aware of the fact that any severe storm could whip through here and take out my house and possibly my life or the lives of those I love. I've been aware of this possibility since I was a little girl. But I think it's a mistake to dwell on these things. Maybe it's because I've never been as materialistic as my peers, but I just feel like stuff can be replaced. Stuff is just stuff. It's inanimate. It frays and crumbles. It only has the importance we place on it. If you lose your home, guess what? There are more homes! If you lose your iPad, guess what? There are more iPads! Even sentimental things don't really matter because ultimately, the only reason they're sentimental is because they are associated with memories we already hold in our minds and our hearts.

I'm not one to make New Year's Resolutions anymore because when I discover something about my life that needs to change, I'll make the resolution in March or June or whenever I need to. But I will say that in 2016, I'll be embracing an attitude about life that I've been moving toward this past year, and that is not to be so serious.

I do think there is a time for being serious. For instance, when you or a loved one is going through losing someone they love. But one can only hope that these times are few and far in between. Life has a way of providing disappointments in spades, but we have the ability to give them weight to slow us down or let them go and stop obsessively focusing on them.

I feel like we have a choice of what we want to focus on. And the things I'm drawn toward at age 32 are the happy, the fun, the artistic, the colorful, the soothing, the outrageous, the humorous, the sexy, the inspiring, etc.

Does it seem like this generation is preoccupied with Gloom and Doom? Take one look at the news and it becomes pretty apparent! Well, frankly, I don't like this trend. And unless our attention is somehow helping to change the situation for the better, I don't think gloom and doom deserve so much focus.

In closing, here's a gif of a tiny snake wearing a top hat and a fake mustache.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Finally Tried Ice Wine!

I've wanted to try Ice Wine for years and finally got to do it tonight. I went with Jackson Triggs Vidal Ice Wine and was quite pleased with the experience!

Ice Wine typically comes in smaller and/or more slender bottles than other white (or red for that matter) wine does. The one I chose contained only about two modest glasses of wine in the entire bottle. It was also much more expensive than a typical bottle of white wine. That's because it's much more difficult to make this wine, thus more of a treasure. The grapes used to create ice wine are picked when they're frozen on the vine, so the flavor is at its sweetest. The color of the wine is a beautiful golden hue, and the taste is rich and sweet like honey. It's definitely a dessert wine so should be sipped and savored. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not because I'm not a fan of Moscato. But I did like this Ice Wine. I wasn't sharing it with anyone, so I enjoyed both small glasses and took my time to savor them. What a pleasurable experience! I'll definitely return to this wine for special occasions, and I look forward to trying other brands of Ice Wine as well. Definitely recommended. So glad I finally got around to trying it!



Why not have a glass of wine while reading one of my books?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Favorite Dracula

It's getting closer and closer to Halloween. There's an autumn chill in the air. It's time to watch all my favorite dark and spooky movies. One of my absolute favorites is Francis Ford Coppola's rendition of Dracula, starring Gary Oldman. I remember watching this one when I was a young teen - it was one of the first R-rated movies my dad let me watch. (Mom never let me watch R-rated movies, but by this time, she and Dad were divorced, and Dad was much more lax!) Anyway, I was mesmerized by this frightening, sexy, Gothic film. I fell in love with Oldman's Dracula, and he remains one of my biggest film crushes to date. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. But it is quite different from the book. Coppola took some liberties. But I like what he did. Also, Annie Lennox did an awesome song for it that plays during the credits. *sigh* Such a favorite of mine <3

Monday, September 14, 2015

Female Empowerment in Kenya

I was in high school when I first learned about female circumcision. I discovered the reality of this horrible practice when I was reading a book about a Saudi princess. I was shocked and totally appalled. Unfortunately, this practice is still going on today. And in some places, it's such a common practice that women are not able to be married without having it done; however, some women are rebelling against this horrible process. They're rebelling against being thought of as the weaker sex. They're finding ways to live together with other women and make their own money, thus giving them power. They're slowly but surely changing those old, outdated traditions and replacing them with the more modern idea of female empowerment. If you're interested in this sort of thing at all, I highly recommend you watch this video clip that I watched today. It's about a women-only village in Kenya which has started a new matriarchal movement. It's thrilling to me to see these women show such bravery, and it's also very exciting to see that there are some men who are moving forward in their views about women as well. So if you have about 30 minutes and are curious, check out the video. It's well worth your time.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Imagining Better Relationships

Earlier today, I was having a conversation with a family member about another family member who is in a very volatile, dysfunctional relationship. There's a lot of fighting and disrespect and emotional and physical abuse within it. But even though they seem to hate each other, they can't ever stay apart for very long. At one point, the family member I was talking to said, "I wonder if he just can't imagine that there's another possible life out there for him."

And you know, I think she's absolutely right.

How many of us have known someone, or have been in a situation ourselves, where we can't imagine life without a certain relationship? Even if this relationship is destructive, we still feel stuck. I think that sometimes we wrap up our very identity in the knowing of another person, and that can be a huge mistake. I'm guilty of this in my own life, but the thing is, we may not realize it, but we always have options for different, better relationships with people, which can create for us different, better lives.

We have options. All we have to do is imagine ourselves in that better life, and it's all of a sudden possible. But if you never try to imagine it, and you think you are the mess you're in, then you are placing self-imposed restrictions on your freedom. You're the one shackling yourself to the mess.

This can apply to thoughts, too. Imagine what you'd be like without that negative, obsessive, fearful thought you carry around every day. Wouldn't life be so much more peaceful without it? Wouldn't you stand a little taller and feel a lot lighter? If you can imagine it, you can make it happen.

In order to get freedom from something, we must disassociate our identity with it. We must imagine the better options. We must believe the healthier relationship is possible in order to make ourselves available for it to happen. And it's even possible for a shitty relationship to turn around - as long as both people are willing to imagine that future where they don't hate one another but love and respect each other.

Love and romance do not have to be torture! It doesn't have to include constant fighting and misery. People have options. As long as we're still alive, there's always hope for something better.



Saturday, June 27, 2015

First Gay Couple Wed in Dallas

I came across one of the sweetest stories yesterday after the news exploded about the supreme court ruling of accepting gay marriage across the board: it's a story of a gay couple that have been together for more than 50 years, who are in their 80s, and were finally able to officially tie the knot in Dallas, TX, which is the area in which I live. So I was very proud and very happy for them. What a special day for so many people! Click -->here<-- to check out that very happy story. :)

I guess the news can actually be good/positive every once in a while after all!



Monday, June 22, 2015

Addicting Artichoke Dip Recipe

My dad came down to see me this Father's Day, and I cooked for him. One of the things I made was this amazing, addicting artichoke dip, of which I'd like to share the recipe with you. It's the perfect party dish and is a sure-fire hit. Also, I could probably eat the whole thing in one sitting; it's that good:

1 can quartered artichoke hearts
1 cup mayo
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350. Drain artichokes and pat dry with towel. Mix all ingredients. Put in shallow glass baking dish and cook for 30 minutes.

Eat with crackers, toast, pretzels - whatever! It's delicious. If you try it, let me know how you like it.

Hope everyone had a nice Father's Day weekend!



Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cool Random Truck Art

Saw this semi-truck in a parking lot, and I liked the sexy illustration on the side of it so much I had to take a pic. ;)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A New Nice Wine Find

I was in the mood to try a new wine tonight, and I found a chilled bottle at Sprouts on sale. I am happy to say that it is really nice! It's a unique blend and is very sippable. If you like whites, try this one out. ;)



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Random Cooking Tip: How Not to Cry While Cutting Onions

I have to share this totally random cooking tip with you because it's strange, and it actually works. Those of you who cook have probably had to slice up an onion before. (Unless you're like me, and you cheat by using the dried onion flakes to avoid it!) But even if you tend to avoid it, sometimes it's still nice to have a fresh, chopped onion in dishes like chili, for instance.

But how do you cut them without getting that horrible stingy-eye that makes you "cry"?

Put a piece of bread in your mouth.

That's it! Just get a piece of sliced bread, bite down on the side of it, and hold it in your mouth. You may have to eat it slowly and adjust it because it sort of dissolves if you hold it long enough, but I swear, it'll keep your eyes from watering while you cut up that onion. It's like magic.

And there's your random blogpost topic for today ;)



Monday, February 23, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Those We Love

This week I bid my best friend's mother adieu. She passed away after battling a long string of illnesses, and though we all know she isn't suffering anymore, it's still a shock to the system for everyone to say goodbye to someone who was a seemingly permanent fixture in our lives.

I was honored to have been requested to write a eulogy, which I read at the funeral. One thing I noticed about this particular funeral is it was a very nice gathering of people who loved her, not just her immediate family. The chapel was packed. There were lots of flowers sent. Everyone felt connected in this time of letting go.

Losing loved ones can be a bittersweet thing--on one hand, there are so many tears and sleepless nights and lost appetites. But on another hand, it brings together those of us who are still living to show that we're all still here for one another, especially during the rough times. It shows people they're not alone. It also reminds people to live their lives to the fullest because there is a finish line, and we all will reach it someday.

But despite losing her to death, I still believe her spirit endures, just not in this immediate setting. So even though we say goodbye, there is that hope we may meet again in another time and space.



Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day Anthologies

To get you in the mood for Valentine's Day, here are a couple of erotic anthologies that feature a couple of my sexy short stories, along with stories from other awesome authors. They'd make great gifts for that special someone. Or if you're single this V-Day, there's no shame in enjoying the sensual fun all by yourself, if you know what I mean. ;)

This tantalizing collection combines the red-hot stories from both Be My Valentine and XOXO. With a total of twelve sexy shorts from well-known erotic authors, these stories will certainly spice up your day! 

Valentine's day is the perfect time for some furtive fumbling and secret sauciness. This amazing collection of nine erotic stories all with a valentine's theme is sure to get your heart thumping, your blood pumping and your pulse racing. Written by some of the adult and romantic fiction world's best-loved authors, this special digest is a Valentine's treat that can be enjoyed all year round!



Monday, January 12, 2015

Movie Review: 'Blue is the Warmest Color'

Finally, I watched this incredible film!

In a word, it's unforgettable. It's an epic sort of love story, really, and one with a not-so-happy ending. It tells of a simple but deeply loving teacher and what seems to be her soul-mate: a daring, ambitious artist. This sort of Yin and Yang have chemistry on a primal level and share a very sweet romance, but ultimately "who they are" interferes. And it's so real it's heartbreaking.

I'm very bummed there probably won't ever be a sequel. I want to know what happened. The characters were three dimensional, brought to life by the two fine, gutsy actresses. The emotion they portrayed was impressively raw. And the love scenes...intense.

The soundtrack was also interesting: it seemed like the majority of the music was actually occurring within the scene, instead of looped onto the film in production.

It's a movie that I think will stay with me for a long time.