Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Sparkling Seasonal Line-Up!

    posted by Christine Wells

    How did December get here so fast? Never fear, we have a fabulous program lined up to warm the cockles of your heart this holiday season!

    First up, on 2 December, Suz and Jo Davis take us on a field trip to Station Five to chat with Jo's incredible firefighters. A most... educational excursion, ladies! And there are some fabulous prizes to be won!

    Then, on December 3, Silhouette author Bonnie Vanak makes her first appearance in the Lair. Our in-depth reporter, Nancy, interviews Bonnie about her fabulous shifter romances.

    On December 6, warn the cabana boys because it's Party Time as our very own New York Times bestseller, Kate Carlisle launches her second Silhouette Desire, SWEET SURRENDER, BABY SURPRISE! RT Book Reviews says it's "Sweepingly romantic and startlingly sexy" and The Romance Reviews calls it "A tender romance with mass appeal." Wow!

    Join us for something a little different on December 7 when Dorie Graham chats with Nancy about creative intelligence. I'm really looking forward to that, as "creative intelligence" sometimes seems like an oxymoron when applied to yours truly!

    And Deck the Halls, because December 13 rings in our third annual 12 days of Christmas, with fun giveaways and more!

    But that's not all, because on December 16 the lovely Anna Campbell will chat with debut author Elizabeth Essex about her sizzling new release, The Pursuit of Pleasure!

    And now, just for a bit of Aussie flavour, let me leave you with a Christmas carol they sing at my son's kindergarten:

    Christmas where the gum trees grow
    There is no frost and there is no snow
    Christmas in Australia's hot
    Cold and frosty's what it's not
    When the bloom on the Jacaranda tree is here
    Christmas time is near!
    Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/11/
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Home Depot to the Rescue

    Where is the great climax?

    Where is the wild, shoot 'em up ending that punctuates a life here on Earth. When do I get my opportunity to go out in a blaze of glory? Or will I just fade away and become nothing from nothing? Is that the take? Is that what happens? I finished watching 'Carlilto's Way' with Al Pacino and even though I can't stand Brian DePalma movies, I loved this one. I remember when they were filming the ending of it in Grand Central Station. I was like 23 years old, working upstairs in the Pan Am building and coming to work, using those very same bank of escalators. They must have been filming all night because when I got there they were packing all of their camera shit up. I remember that. It's an old movie.

    Well, truth be told, I loved it because Al Pacino gets the opportunity to square off with the fuckers who are making his life miserable. Fuckers who are in the way of him reaching the woman of his dreams and a beautiful future in Nassau, Paradise Island, that he fought so hard for. The entire movie is about this plan, his plan, Carlito's Way. And everything you can think of became an obstacle to that. Even close friends. Fucking life right?

    WRONG! We don't get the satis- faction that Carlito does, in a frantic gunfight on an escalator with four Mafia hit men, using our wits just one more time to get to the women we love. We don't get that. We don't get the climactic ending. All we get is the same, boring hum of life. A droll crunching of dried leaves underfoot, the dull sound of your breathing, air rushing in and out of your lungs. We have an existence that drags us by the nose wherever it wants us to go.

    Life lives us. We don't live life. Simple as that. We don't get to solve all of our problems, or have them overcome us in one, white hot minute. That's what I want. My White Hot Minute. Don't you? Don't you want a defining moment that will change everything for you? For better or for worse?  Don't you want that high speed car chase through the city that ends with either you or your pursuers going up in a ball of flame and auto parts? Don't you wish for that back-alley fight where your adversary produces a stilleto and the both of you  grapple with it, with only one walking out alive. Don't you want that White Hot gunfight on the escalators in Grand Central, using your wits to deal death and destruction to your enemies?

    I would love it. My enemies are like smoke though. They are like spirits in the material world. I rarely see them, but they announce their presence to me always. Through the mail. With their threatening letters and demands that frankly, I am growing weary of. Case in fucking point. Just a few days ago I had to fill out a questionnaire to stay on public assistance. So I did. Two days later I get this letter. "In order to remain eligible for Cash Assistance (CA), you are being referred to the Disability Services Program (DSP). This is a mandatory eligibility appointment. You must report to and cooperate with this mandatory assessment appointment as a condition of eligibility for Cash Assistance. Failure to report for and comply with this appointment without good cause may result in the reduction or loss of your cash assistance benefits."

    Okay, so you think I'm bitching about this meeting, huh? You think I bitching because I had JUST sent off a questionnaire for this very same thing. Huh? Nope, wrong on both counts. I'm bitching because my appointment was scheduled for 11:00am...YESTERDAY. Now I have no problem going to these things...I really don't. But I do find it hard to go back in time to make these fucking appointments. Do you think that such a reason is 'good cause' to them? I mean, if I had a time machine....hmmm, what would I do? Actually, if I had a time machine, I would go back to 1999 and go home, to my comfortable house, and find my wife cooking in the kitchen and take her by the hand and lead her to bed and screw her eyes into spinning marbles, and then tell her I'm sorry for the future. That I loved her, but I could not help myself.

    Fuck going back in time for a meeting with public service. You have to think big in this world. You really do. So, now here is where I want My White Hot Minute. I would like these faceless fuckers to come to my door, armed with guns and knives, and me here with my sparse cutlery set, and let's make things happen. Hey, they can come twenty deep, I don't give a fuck! I'll make a break for it, use the stairwells, the elevator, the other apartments to fuck them all up, in My White Hot Minute of blood and gore. Who gives a fuck who survives or not. Not even if it's not me. It will settle scores and life will either be better or worse. Well, worse, meaning over.

    But no. I'm denied My White Hot Minute. I'm left to squirm and struggle against the increasing pressure of the under shoe of New York Governance. I had a friend say to me, "You have it good, man. You don't work, you don't have to deal with anyone. You can do what you want. You're fucking semi-retired." Hey, let me give this to you clear and simple. YOU DON'T WANT MY LIFE. You want NOTHING to do with my life. You want to keep your job, you want to have money, and you want to hold a woman close to you in the dark. Dude. Don't begrudge me the fact that I'm surviving by the skin of my teeth. It may look like fun, but kid yourself not. Many people kill themselves before they fall to the level that I am at. Many do. Sometimes I don't believe it myself, but it's clear to me. This is my fucked up life.

    And it's truly fucked up. So don't envy something that you would find to be your greatest horror later. Don't look down on me. Don't say that 'I have it made'. Because I don't. I really don't. I'll bet you right now, that you don't even think about Your White Hot Minute. That's no solution for you. None at all. Then you can't realize what it's like to live my life, wishing for it, hoping for it.

    An end. One way or another. Just an end.

    HobobobSource URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/11/
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Tina and the B-Sides Fine Line Music Cafe Tickets

    Tina Schlieske formed the B-Sides while still in high school and released their first album, Tina & The B-Sides Movement, on their own indie label Movement Records in 1990.  Two years later they released, Young Americans, which turned out to be the band's biggest selling CD that continues to sell today. They've earned comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and the Grateful Dead for the growing camaraderie between the band and it's loyal fans. They were even dubbed in the Midwest as the "Best Bar Band in the World."  Tina and the B-Sides were together for over 10 years before taking a break in 2000.  Now they're back and will be hosting a highly-anticipated NYE show at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis on Friday, Dec. 31st at 8pm.  This will definitely sell out so I would recommend getting your Tina and the B-Sides tickets now before it's too late!  Ticket King has ALL-INCLUSIVE tickets for just $95 each that include beverages all night long for those 21+.  Get yours now before it's too late!!
    Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/11/
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Cheap Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills Tickets

    After the Minnesota Vikings 17-13 victory on Sunday over the Washington Redskins, Adrian Peterson is left injured after suffering a sprained ankle.  Since entering the league in 2007, Peterson has played the last 51 regular season games in a row and has missed only two of a possible 62 regular and post-season games. Now the Vikings can't do much but hope he will be back in action in time for this Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills at the Metrodome.  If you would like to be a part of the action for a cheap price, you've come to the right place!  Ticket King has Vikings vs. Bills tickets currently starting at just $20 for upper level seats or $90 for lowers, with the majority of our seats BELOW face value!  We also carry VIP parking passes for just $62 that allow you to park ON the Metrodome property, saving you time later on.  If you would like to show your support for the Vikes, get your tickets now!! GO VIKINGS!Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/11/
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Daydreaming

Monsters

    Take the Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert of "It Happened One Night", indie 'em up a little and set them loose in a future world where a U.S. space probe crash in northern Mexico has unleashed enormous, tentacled creatures terrorizing an "infected zone" nestled right up against a massive wall constructed by the American government to keep these (ahem) aliens out and, more or less, you have Gareth Edwards' (who not only directed but wrote, photographed, and handled visual effects) "Monsters."

    Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) is an American photo journalist imbedded deep in Mexico and hoping to score some breathtaking shots of the creatures to land him on the cover of the publication for which he works. But then his unseen boss orders him to escort his daughter, Sam (Whitney Able), marooned and injured, slightly, deep in the heart of Mexico, to the coast where she can then make it home to her waiting fiancé. Kaulder squires her to a ferry that will deliver her from harm's way but through an act of rather amazingly selfish stupidity Kaulder causes Sam to, of course, miss the ferry which means they will have to make the journey back to America, together, by land, by water and then by foot straight through the Infected Zone.

    If it sounds like a pulse-pounding, white-knuckle thrill ride, it isn't. Not even close. The creatures are glimpsed and heard far more then they are seen and encountered.  Occasionally their images turn up on TV newscasts broadcast on the edges and in the background of the frame.  Roaring fighter jets constantly grace the sky but are never really seen in action.

    No, the film is much more mood and tone then adventure and that mood and tone is eerie and elegiac. Never has there been such a quiet movie involving 100 hundred foot high aliens. The creepiest moment might be the one when our main characters and their charter boat spots something in the distance in the river under the cover of night and have no idea what it is. No musical cue accompanies is this to advise the audience what is coming. Restraint so often yields Tension better than Audience Bludgeoning.

    Even the expected bickering between our two leads, both representative of different worlds, is kept to a minimum and when Kaulder's idiocy prevents Sam from boarding the ferry she doesn't get upset, doesn't lecture him, and instead pawns her engagement ring as a means to pay for travel.


    Are we to assume Sam doesn't want to get married? Is this why she wound up in Mexico? Was she running away? Kaulder, meanwhile, has a kid - well, he had a kid with a woman. He doesn't really have a kid. He just seems to have his camera. Truly. In a potentially perilous instance, when quick escape is a must, he can't help but slow the process by demanding, "Where's my camera?" The bond between these two is never near as forced as it could have been and their eventual little burst of passion feels much more like a splendid one-off than a map of the future.

    The end, meanwhile, is strange and hypnotic, conjuring up memories of that infamous Twilight Zone episode, "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street." The title of the movie is "Monsters", yes, but throughout every single character refers to them as "creatures", never "monsters." Hmmmmm.  So, who are the monsters then?Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/11/
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The Prickly Hand Against the Cheek

    I've got a mother- fucking itch that I can't scratch enuff!!!

    It's driving me fucking crazy. I can't do anything but scratch it, dig my nails into it. I don't want to watch television, don't want to eat, I don't want to go out, I don't want to do shit but scratch that itch. Dig in, dig in, like a damn dog with a flea circus on its back. What the fuck is this itch? WRITING! I swear, I sit in front of this computer all day now, writing, writing, researching, researching, surfing, surfing, writing email, writing email, just going bucking fucking wild with my boat captain hands. I have a cleaver here. If this shit keep driving me crazy I'm going to remove my appendages at the wrists.

    Either that or the bitches will just fall off! Shit, I wrote from 4:00 this morning to about 10:30am. Then I felt tired and sore, so I stretched across my bed, and I was out like a light. At 11:00am I got up again, this time to watch Al Pacino in 'Carlito's Way' and could only do five minutes. Five minutes of the best part, you know, the part where Penelope Ann Miller's character, Gail is dancing topless in a strip club. One of the hottest motherfuckers on the goddamn planet! She has the roundest, fullest pair that you have ever seen! They look like saucers on her chest and...well, that's for another post. I could barely sit through it. My itch rose up seconds before the scene and I was going crazy. If felt like a heroin addiction. It felt like when I felt the need for a drink.

    My keyboard was calling to me. Shouting to me to put my fingers on her 101 key body. She begged to feel my soft caresses on her cold black body. Touch me in all the right places, Hobobob," she moaned. Fuck Penelope, I turned  off the movie and got to typing. And once again, I'm typing at 90 miles an hour, correcting my errors constantly because I can't get the words out of my head fast enough. Maybe I should dictate my posts from this point on. No...dictation is not writing, and the joy I'm feeling now comes from tickling the keyboard and watching the thoughts in my head turn to words on the screen.

    So, I write and I surf and I have to admit, the Internet will fuck you up if you stay on it as long as I do. If you walk ALL of it's hallowed halls, you'll find some fucked up closets that will change your outlook for the rest of your life. Yeah, I shit you not. When I was a young Internaut, I used to turn my head away from web pages that disturbed me. Now I don't, except for web pages with bugs on them. I can't abide bugs. When I see them, in real life or photographs, I freak. I don't care, even butterflies. I can't handle them. They make my fucking skin crawl all the fuck over the place.

    So...oh, changing your life. Yeah. I'll give you a piece of my old history from 30 years ago. I was eighteen, living in Burbank, renting a new car every weekend, hanging out at the clubs that allowed us to hang out in and we had these two motorcycle Hell's Angel's dudes that lived right next to us who were too cool for words. We would pay them to get cases of beer and bottles of booze for us (since the legal age for drinking back then was 21) and they would do it without a problem. Oh yeah, we always let them in on the score, but they were always cool that way.

    Well, we were always driving around Hollywood, and we used to pass by all the great clubs, like the 'Palomino', which was just down the street from us. A real red-neck place... and I wanted to go there so bad, but one of my Motorcycle friends, several years my senior, warned me that they were 'tight knit' over there and didn't take well to outsiders. Especially outsiders from New York. Okay, not a place I wanted to be found at.


    And then, there was a club called, 'Filthy McNasty's". This one raised our interest  because MEN were not allowed in until AFTER 11:30pm. Yep. After. It was strictly a girls joint from opening till then. They would also have tons of bachelorette parties in there and for the life of me, even as perverted as I was back then (shit, one of our buddies got a part-time job in a nearby porn shop. The bunch of us, over a dozen, used it as a club house, a place for parties, and a base of operations) I could not imagine why the fuck men weren't allowed to go in there. I mean, don't women want to meet men? So why exclude them then? It must have been some kind of butch joint. And from that point on, thirty years ago, the issue was settled.

    Until this week. One thing that bothers me is that when it comes to sex, women get all the slack. All of it. Men get shit. I mean, even when it comes down to sexual abuse. You talk to guys and tell them about an older man having sex with a sixteen year old girl and they'll bitch and curse. "If that was my daughter, I'd go find that motherfucker and kill his ass." Everyone at the table will agree. But when that very same shit happens to a boy, well you get, "Shit, I wished that shit happened to me when I was his age. How did he get so lucky?" What kind of shit is that?

    I happen to have a sore spot when it comes to sexually abusing children, BOY or girl. I feel rage when I hear it, and more rage, if that's even possible, when men and women both excuse it happening to a young man, but not a young woman. That's bullshit. Oh...the Internet changing my mind from a 30 year experience with clubs. I almost forgot! I just wanted to make a point how women get all the slack when it comes to sex. Women get laid, well that's good, men get laid, and their 'lucky'. Why the fuck aren't women lucky? Because men want to give dick to every woman they see, that's why. Women have so many offers for dick the moment she gets up in the morning until she goes to bed at night that it's enough to drive them crazy. Men, on the other-hand, rarely get a pussy offer, and I guess when we do, we are lucky.

    It's a strange mind game, because if we look at the population of penises, we are talking about an organ outnumbered by women damn near three to one. And yet, a woman will get more offers for dick in a day than a man will get for pussy. Go figure. This should be shocking to you men out there, but I'm sure it's not. I'm certain that you don't even acknowledge it. Alright, how about this mind bender, or maybe MindFuck, straight from one of the dark closets of the Internet (okay, a bit of a warning here, if you're reading me at work, you might want to NOT click on this link until you are home, away from the kiddies). What is the fuck up with this shit?

    Yeah, women at a bachelor- ette party, drinking, clapping, watching a male stripper, and then at the end, he prances around in between the tables and the women play with his johnson. Some actually swallowing the brajole! Now, I think back here, when I got married and my friends took me out to a bachelor party. Well it was actually in my favorite Mexican restaurant. Now my soon to be wife back then warned me not to get too fresh and do something that I would regret later, so I was careful. I was a wild child at the time, so anything was possible. At the Mexican restaurant there was a waitress called Rachel (oh yeah, I remember her name. She was just that hot) and she would serve shots of Tequila and lemon juice with 7up and slam them down on the tableside causing them to foam before you gulped them down. So she earned the name: "The Slammer Chick." She also wore a thin white undershirt, and two bandoliers with shot glasses in them instead of bullets. They would push her ample tits together until they looked like two honeydew mellons trying to pop out of a grocery bag. And hot pants that looked like they were painted on her hard, round ass.

    We used to bring all of our friends to see the Slammer Chick, and she grew to love us and our wild antics. Well, little did I know that they PAID the Slammer Chick to fuck with me. Okay, let me correct that. NOT fuck me, to fuck WITH me. A big difference there. But she was rubbing her hard tits in my face when hitting me with a slammer, sit on my lap, stroke my tools. All kinds of fucked up shit that I both enjoyed and was horrified over that one of my buds would get drunk and tell their woman, who would certainly tell my new wife. Let's just put it this way, there was a lot more sexual tension at my party than fun.

    But my soon to be wife had one too. What the fuck? She didn't seem as tense as me returning to the crib afterward. What was she doing? Blowing some dancing cock while I'm sweating bullets trying not to put my grubby hands on the Slammer Chick? Yeah, when women go out, they go out to party like they're in fucking Vegas or something, and they can be in Newark New Jersey. Men are light years behind women when it comes to a good time. We think we have them beat, but trust me guys, we don't. The video above is just another dirty little secret to them. I'll get some shit for revealing it, but that's what I do. I'm not original. I find it, I post it. This is some brutal shit, isn't it?

    When I was a teen, I used to think that a fun night was getting drunk with my friends, catcalling women and driving fast. When I got home I would fall drunkenly into bed and laugh at the good time that I had that night. Women, on the other hand, consider fucking a complete stranger fun. Can you imagine that shit? Or blowing some friend of theirs just to see his reaction. That's fun. How about kissing and crawling naked into bed with each other. Hard to imagine? That's a fun night out. Makes me want to be a gansta. A good time for them is planting two in some stool pigeon's skull, throwing the body in the trunk of a car, and dumping him in the swamp off the Jersey Turnpike.

    No I'm really serious, I'm going to take up a new hobby. Stamp collecting. That's fun. Oh wait. That costs money also...gotta skip that one. Maybe girl watching. That's free.

    HobobobSource URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/11/
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Diplomatic Community Stunned as WikiLeaks Embarasses White House

    President not happy
    Washington DC. Nov 29, 2010. The White House on Monday said WikiLeaks and others behind the release of a flood of confidential diplomatic memos were "criminals" and that President Barack Obama, D-Kenya,  was decidedly "not pleased."

    Among the many secret documents were memos that revealed that President Obama had referred to the Queen of England as "an crazy old cracker who wears stupid hats."

    And another in which First Lady Michelle Obama commented about the food during their vacation to India, saying "The chutney really sucked. Those people should stick to running donut shops."
     
    Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the people who released of some 250,000 classified State Department memos were "criminals, first and foremost" who had committed a "serious" offense.

    "This is a serious violation of the law, a serious threat to individuals that both carry out and assist in our foreign policy," he told reporters, adding that it would not alter global counter-terrorism operations.
     
    Gibbs said that Obama was decidedly "not pleased" by the release, which details previously unknown diplomatic episodes from the world's hot spots and includes scores of candid remarks about various world leaders.
     
    The most shocking revealation was that these sensitive documents were obtained by a Army Private Bradley Manning, who was assigned to mop the floor at an Army intelligence center.
     
    "Someone left their password on a post-it note on the right side of their monitor, so I logged in fould all this stuff" Manning said. "I couldn't believe anyone was that stupid. It was a snap to download all this stuff onto my thumb drive."

    Julian Assange, the Australian who heads the secret-sharing Web site, told ABC News today he believes his safety and freedom are in danger. He responded to questions by email from a clandestine hideout.

    He was undaunted by vows from the U.S. and Australia to prosecute him and said the forthcoming diplomatic cables are aimed at "lying, corrupt and murderous leadership from Bahrain to Brazil."

    "We're only one thousandth of the way in and look at what has so far being revealed. There will be many more," he wrote defiantly.

    Assange also dismissed a warning today by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said the dump of secret documents "puts peoples lives in danger," particularly those sources who provided the U.S. with information about abuses in foreign countries.Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/11/
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Whoohooo - It's Party Time!!

    by Tawny

    I'm so ready to celebrate the holidays!! I love this time of year. All of it- the baking, the crafts, the gift wrapping, the pretty lights and the fabulous music. I'm a sucker for a holiday movie and a sap over anything wrapped by a kid. I adore the whispered secrets and have been known to get teary eyed over watching my kids decorating cookies with my husband's questionable help.

    And this year, I'm celebrating a little bit extra. I am so excited to have a holiday story out, it's like that extra sparkle of tinsel on the tree for me.


    A BABE IN TOYLAND Excerpt:

    He could barely see her through the crowd. Bikers were shoulder to shoulder with what looked like bankers from the S&L on the corner. Mixed in were a few gals with huge hair that he suspected worked at the beauty salon in the mall.

    “What the hell...” He stared, slack jawed, as Rita waved her hand, all game-show-hostess like, over the array of vividly colored items spread across the tailgate of his truck.

    “What the hell are these?” she clarified, stepping around two blondes to greet him.

    Even knowing he was no better than one of Pavlov’s pups, Tyler’s gaze swept over her face, now pinup girl exotic. Her hair, still in a ponytail, but she’d done something to make it look like all fifties-movie-star flirty. She was still in the same jeans she’d worn earlier, but she’d replaced her red puffy jacket with a black studded leather one.

    Tyler’s mouth watered.

    “These are toys,” she said. It took him five seconds and the direction of her pointing finger to remember the question.

    “Toys.”

    “Sex toys.”

    “I realize they’re sex toys. Why are they here? Now? On my truck?” He stared, fixated, on a foot long, neon green monstrosity with a head—an actual face—of a dinosaur.

    Her laugh was all it took to rip his gaze from the freakish dildo and back to her face. She ran her tongue over her upper teeth, to hide a smirk, he was sure.

    “I see you’re interested in the T-Sex. The dinosaur of dildos,” she explained, sounding like a TV commercial hawking a new model car. “Guaranteed to make your woman roar with pleasure.”

    “What...”

    “What am I doing with them? Selling them, of course,” she said, indicating the little slips of paper she’d tucked underneath each toy. He squinted, seeing she’d not only written up descriptions, but detailed sex and position suggestions along with the asking price.

    Tyler was grateful the icy wind was there to cool his cheeks before the heat became apparent.

    Didn’t matter, though. Rita, probably having a special radar for that kind of thing, chuckled.

    She leaned forward and gave his cheek a soft pat. The smooth touch of her fingers making him want to grab her wrist and nibble his way up her arm.

    “Don’t worry, big boy,” she purred. “You can have first dibs. I’ll even give you a good-driver discount.”

    The only thing that kept Tyler from grabbing her by that tiny waist, tossing her in the bed of the truck and showing her just exactly how good he could drive was the six-and-a-half-foot biker in studded leather who’d tapped her on the shoulder and asked the price of a set of candy cane styled nipple rings.

    And that, my friends, is the beginning of true love :-)

    To celebrate the release of A BABE IN TOYLAND and IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE MISTLETOE, and because the holiday season just screams for a little extra fun - I'm having a contest trio. One contest on my website, one contest on my Facebook page and another for my newsletter. You can check them out --and enter any and all if you'd like --on my blog December first. But... that's not enough, is it? How about we kick it up even more and I'll give away three copies of IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE MISTLETOE to three commenters today! To win, all you have to do is check out NAUGHTY IS NICE, my free read over on eHarlequin, and tell me in the comments which character is your favorite :-)

    Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/11/
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Fabric hair tie

Giant clothes pin

My Great Movies: Serendipity

    "If you don't believe in destiny then take what you're given." - Jenny Lewis, "My Pet Snakes"

    Don't sigh. Don't roll your eyes. You! All the way in back! Don't try and sneak out! I want to set the record straight. I want to conclusively clarify the reasons for my All Time #1 Guilty Pleasure Movie. I want to put to rest once and for all why I cherish "Serendipity" so and why I so adamantly believe it is a romantic comedy so classic it lays waste to that humorless flimflam "The Lady Eve" with Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck (film historians now have permission to shoot me).

    Of course, to present my case it really does no good to discuss the plot. It does no good to tell you that one fairytale December evening in New York City Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) Meet Cute via the whimsy of Christmas shopping which, through a most serendipitous occurrence at a cafe called Serendipity, will prompt the duo to experience snowfall-infused romance beneath the brightly lit skyscrapers of Manhattan which leads to Sara writing down her phone number on a scrap of paper only to watch that scrap of paper blow away in the cold wind an instant before Jonathan was about to take it which leads to Sara claiming "the universe is telling us to back off" which leads to her leading him on a karmatic obstacle course through the lobby of the Waldorf which leads to Sara deciding they are not meant to be together which leads to several years in the future where both Jonathan and Sara are facing impending marriages and only now begin to realize that perhaps they really were meant to be together which leads to a calamitous chase through the Big Apple with Jonathan's wedding hovering right there on the horizon. So if it wouldn't do any good for me to tell you all that what do I tell you to convince you of my requited amore with "Serendipity"?

    How about if I explain why I finally went against my principles and joined Facebook? Because I had spent 48 hours in the company of friends insisting I join Facebook and then the very next day learned that the actual, real life Tift Merritt had sent a comment to me via Facebook - I say again, SHE sent a comment to ME - even though it was really only to someone she thought was me (long story) regarding the blog post I had made about her Lincoln Hall show and, thus, I took this as an obvious sign from the universe and immediately signed up for Facebook.

    How about if I explain that my formative years in the 90's in the visual arts realm were shaped primarily by the movie "Last of the Mohicans", the TV show "Seinfeld" and Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace in "Pulp Fiction" and then explain how Daniel Day Lewis (star of "Last of the Mohicans") and Jerry Seinfeld and Uma Thurman all share the same birthday - April 29.

    How about if I explain my first trip to New York City? How my friend and fellow Springsteen disciple Rory tried to convince me one summer evening to attend the final show of Bruce & The E Street Band's Reunion Tour on July 1, 2000 at Madison Square Garden and how I was reluctant because I'd already seen him three times on that tour and I'd have to drop a ton of money to do it but the next day in my car heard the Sarah McLachlan song "I Will Remember You" (a song I don't even like) and how the line "Don't let your life pass you by" was obviously a sign telling me I had to go to New York City to see Bruce and so I told Rory that, yes, I'd go and how a month or so later when I was driving to his house from where his aunt would ferry us to the airport for the plane ride to NYC "I Will Remember You" came on the radio (I swear to God) which all by itself would have been a sign of serious serendipaciousness except the song that immediately followed "I Will Remember You" (honestly - I'm not making this up) was "Born In The U.S.A."

    There are people who would see all these things as mere coincidences and these are people whose brainwaves I do not and will not ever understand and, well, that's why I love "Serendipity"!

    "Destiny, I'm hip to your persuasion, your solid reputation." - Kylie Minogue, Rippin' Up The Disco


    I love it so much. I love it so much in spite of all the flaws everyone feels the need to point out all the time. I love "Serendipity" even though....

    I have no idea where Jonathan gets the marker from in the middle of Central Park at night when he draws the "constellation" on Sara's arm.

    I have no idea how at the end Sara has apparently managed to toss a Bloomingdales glove from, what, 30 feet away into the wind and snow and somehow have it flutter down like a heavenly butterfly directly above where Jonathan is laying.

    I hate, hate, HATE the moment when Sara's fiancé Lars (John Corbett) says "How does Bora Bora sound?" for their honeymoon and she says "Very sexy sexy." How did Kate Beckinsale say that line? Was she drunk?

    I hate, hate, HATE the lesbian couple jokes at the end between Beckinsale and her best friend Eve (Molly Shannon). Complete, utter, awful crap. Cringe every time I see it.

    I can't stand Molly Shannon. In general. I don't think she's funny, I don't think she can pull off dramatic roles, she just doesn't work for me. Not in anything. I'm sure she's a very nice person in real life but onscreen it's always a no go.

    I hate, hate, HATE that when you see the golf driving range in the middle of Manhattan for the first time you think to yourself "Well, someone's getting hit with a golf ball - probably Molly Shannon" and then a little while later Molly Shannon gets hit with a golf ball.

    I refuse to believe the character of Sara would ever end up with someone like Lars. He's a self-involved douche who doubles as a New Age flutist. New Age! Sara would never ever groove to New Age. Are you kidding me?! (Sara Thomas's Favorite Album Of All Time: "All Over The Place", The Bangles. And, by the way, don't debate this. No one is more qualified to know this than me.)

    I hate, hate, HATE how they use the "misunderstanding" device with Sara's sister after Jonathan has flown cross country to find her.

    I hate, hate, HATE how the kid on the elevator that pushes all the buttons that screws up the timing for poor Jonathan is dressed in a....wait for it....devil costume. A DEVIL COSTUME??? It's Christmas, not Halloween! I mean, I'm all for crappy symbolism....wait. No. I'm not.

    I don't actually think the Meet Cute is all that great.

    I am the only person on the entire planet who when watching "The Wire" at the first sight of Bubbles' druggie pal Johnny (Leo Fitzpatrick) shouted: "Hey! That's the temp from 'Serendipity!'"

    The only decent review it received was from (gulp) Gene Shalit. "I’ve been reviewing movies for 35 years and Serendipity joins my personal list of matchless romantic comedies. Thrilling, most wonderful and beyond compare!"

    Yet, my love, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, persists. The heart knows what it wants and my heart is attached to Marc Klein's wobbly script and Peter Chelsom's basic direction. Every single time John comes back up those steps at the cafe to retrieve his scarf to see Kate already there retrieving the Bloomingdale's bag and then the scene shifts to the snow at Wollman Rink with that Bap Kennedy song goin' I feel my heart flutter and, yes, I know it's syrupy or hokey or whatever else you pragmatists want to call it and I don't care - I don't care - because, well, love is blind and lovers cannot see.


    "When I was a child I figured out that I was 1 person, the son of 2 parents and was the 3rd child, born 4 years after my sister and 5 years after my brother, in 1942 (four and two are 6), on the 7th day of the 8th month, and the year before had been 9 years old and was now 10. To me, it spelled Destiny." - Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"

    If you know me and can't see me and my best friend on the night before my wedding finding ourselves in a ludicrous "Agatha Christie-like pursuit for (my) long-reputed soulmate" then you don't really know me at all. And if you know me and don't believe that I believe "that if we are to live life in harmony with the universe we must all possess a powerful faith in what the ancients used to call 'fatum'" then you don't really know me at all. And if you know me and don't believe that when my time on this earth is up that my obituary will be far less important than the answer to the simple question "Did he have passion?" being a resounding yes than you don't really know me at all.

    As a film "Serendipity" is rather suspect, sure, but then to me "Serendipity" isn't so much a film as an ideology.Source URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/11/
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In Memoriam

Whore Me Out

    Ha ha ha, websites are linking to me!! Taking my traffic!! Can you believe that shit??

    Yeah, I do searches on the blog name: "The Further Adventures of Hobobob", and many times I get my web-page posts. And since I have been posting daily for several years (except for 2010) there are an astounding number of my posts out there on the Internet. Seriously. On a search of my title page, I get five or seven links to posts on my blog. This is probably how many people surf the web and find me. It's called a 'weighted search'. There are just so many references to my site, because of the mad number of posts, that I come up, top dog, every time.

    But, like I've told you before, the Internet is a hostile place for bloggers. I've noticed that I've been hotlinked to by other blogs. Yeah. Well, check this out. Because my blog has so many posts, this blog title is 'weighted'. Let's say you searched 'Adventures', you'll get me. Let's say you search 'Further', you'll get me. Hell, search something in my posts, and you'll get me. It appears to me that many bloggers are aware of this now and so, when they upload a post they make certain that the title: "The Further Adventures of Hobobob," is on that page. Oh and a score of others. I'm NOT saying I'm unique, I'm just saying that I'm in there, mostly in very small print. Sometimes it's not even a link. If you click on it, you go nowhere. It's just there to get picked up in a search request.

    So, what's it for? Well, when you search for me with my blog title, you'll get THEM TOO! There are a bunch of these spoofers out there, spoofing my search criteria. So you search 'Hobobob', you'll get them too in the search. Then you go there and find out that they are actually selling car tires and parts. Gotta love how these guys advertise. In ways that you can't possibly imagine. I never knew that I was being linked to high heaven just because of the traffic that I've built. Well, I didn't build shit. This American Life did. They changed my life, really.

    Now the question must be asked: Do I really care about these spoofers? Fuck no. Spoof my shit as much as you want. You make revenue off the Internet, then you're prostituting yourself. I'm not gonna cry because no body that hits my blog buys anything. They don't click on ads where I get a cent every time they do. I don't have a bike shop or automobile shop trying to sell parts to my traffic. What do I care? I just want to sit down and write. Write my ass off.

    And then, there are the others! Bloggers who have decided to track me, no doubt boosting their traffic for their ads on their pages. Those are the ones that I believe are mostly subscribers. They track every post I make and broadcast it out to the Internet. Many of them. I can't link them all. All absorbing traffic for their commercial interests. I'm being prostituted! Wow, I've never been pimped out before. Hmmm. The reason they do this is that content on the web is a premium. It really is. People like to read, well those on the Internet that is. And you don't have to be entertaining, just someone who posts alot, and you'll get readers interested in your blog and what other fucked up things you have to howl about.

    Yeah, that's the trick. Post as fucking often as you can, and you'll generate hits. People get bored fast, and if you stop for any period of time, they'll go elsewhere. Be a shark, never stop. Well, that's the world of the Internet for you. Always moving, always tearing the pancreas out of the slower moving animals in the pack.


    Unless you are just like me. You don't give a shit about money.

    HobobobSource URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2010/11/
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