Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Most Romantic Movie Lines? Please.

Call me unromantic, but when I hear “You complete me,” (Jerry Maguire) I think, run away, girl! He can’t stand on his own two feet! He should have stopped with, “Hello.” But I guess when you look like Tom Cruise you can say pretty much whatever you want and still get the girl. (Pretty much, do you hear that Tom?)

Here are some other “romantic” lines that make me cringe and/or roll my eyes.

“To me, you are perfect.” (Love Actually)
If he’s saying that, it’s only because he doesn’t know you well enough. Get over yourself. Also, if it’s so romantic, he shouldn’t be saying it to his friend’s wife.

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” (Love Story)
Really? I’m going to try this in my marriage!

“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” (The Notebook)
Conditional bird, conditional love. Of course, I wouldn’t be a bird, conditionally or otherwise, just because someone demanded it, but I guess I’m not as romantic as Noah, which is why I didn’t make it through the book The Notebook or even start to watch the movie.

“We’ll always have Paris.” (Casablanca)
I dare you to try this as a break-up line with your girlfriend.

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” (Dirty Dancing)
Find your own spotlight, Baby. As I write this I’m thinking, is she really called Baby through the whole movie? I hope she sheds that nickname at the end. I can’t remember because I’m the only girl who graduated from high school in 1991 and did not watch this movie over and over. Bleh.

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” (When Harry Met Sally)
Actually, well done, Nora Ephron. Written by a woman, of course. I only wish Harry would have realized it sooner, but I guess you need your movie to be at least an hour and a half. Is it bad that my favorite romantic-movie line is when you think (also in When Harry Met Sally) Carrie Fisher is going to say “I just want you to know…I’ll never leave you,” or something like that, and instead she says “I just want you to know…I’ll never want that wagon wheel coffee table.”

Maybe it’s not that I’m not romantic, but that the romance I believe in can’t be contained in a one-liner. Ooh, that’s good. I think I’ll use it as a one-liner in my next book.

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Things I Don’t Care Enough About To Blog About

Whether people say happy holidays or merry Christmas, who’s twerking now, how so-and-so doesn’t respect me, whether or not something is a first world problem, homeschooling, FOMO, (now fear of missing out on chocolate, there’s a topic!) media bias, arts and crafts, fashion, celebrity marriages, exercise, how early stores decorate for Christmas, whether rap is music…

Oh yes, and what a star of a reality show that I don’t watch said about gay people.

And even if I did care enough, you, gentle reader, would not change your mind about the topic based on what I write. My right wing Christian friends are posting articles of solidarity with the Duck Dynasty crew, and my liberal friends are posting anti Duck Dynasty articles. I have yet to see a comment that says, “Oh, I see! Now I’m on your side! Gee, I’ve had it wrong all along!”

So, instead I will entertain you with this story of what happened to me when I was Christmas shopping. (Did I mention that I have no idea when the store decorated for Christmas?) There was one line forming for two registers. But only one of the registers was manned, so the first guy in line (I was second) went and stood behind the woman being helped at the manned register. But just then, a man manned the other register and said to me, “I can help you over here, ma’am.” Aside from the fact that everyone knows that women don’t want to be called ma’am, it makes them feel old, I thought the man who had been in front of me should get dibs on the new register, so I said, “I think he was first.”

I then received a look from the cashier unlike any I have received before. “I can HELP you over HERE, MA’AM.” How dare I question his line directing authority?!

I was very kind to him. I believe I killed him with kindness, in fact. If you hear of a cashier who dropped dead for no apparent reason on December 18th, I might have been responsible.

Were you entertained? I’m sorry I didn’t use your time to reinforce your opinions about twerking, media bias, or Duck Dynasty. And now, I take my leave. I’m afraid I may be missing out on some chocolate.

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Why You Should Chair A Redwood Writers Contest

Why I volunteered
Let’s face it. I volunteered because of plain old guilt. When you’ve been in a club for two years and taken advantage of its many benefits, you feel like you need to do something. But if you’re like me, there’s no way in Fresno you’re going to be on the board or something crazy like that, so you think a nice contest with a definite end date might be perfect. I didn’t think I’d be very good at it, but I wanted to do something. And in the end, maybe I wasn’t the best contest chair ever, but the poems got judged blindly like they were supposed to, and no one died (that I know of.) Here are some reasons you should volunteer.

You’ll get plenty of help
My first job was to find judges. I had met with Linda (helper number one) to find out everything I needed to do, and made the rules for the contest (pretty much same as last year, so whoever wrote those was helper number two) and now the most pressing need was to find judges. I asked some fellow Redwood Writers if they had any suggestions and they did! (Suggesters, helpers number three and four.) Before I knew it, I had two of the three judges. But where to find a third? I emailed poetry teachers from some nearby colleges, but they were all booked up. I needed to send the judge bios to the woman who makes the flyers for Redwood Writers contests (Michelle, helper number five) as soon as possible, and I didn’t know where to look. I kept sending Michelle emails with little bits of information, and finally it dawned on me (helper number six, my brain? The Holy Spirit?) that Michelle’s email address is Michelleisapoetyouidiot! Okay, not exactly, but close. Anyway, she said yes, and should probably be called helper number seven through ten, too. The treasurer deals with the money, and the secret website elf sends you the online submissions – the point is, don’t think you’ll be in this all alone.

People will think you know stuff
This is actually a negative for me, but if you want people to think you’ve got it going on, being a contest judge will accomplish that. People ask me questions at meetings now. When I open my mouth, they realize that I don’t got it going on, but I’m sure all the people who aren’t asking me questions are sitting in their chairs thinking she has got it going ON! I say this because that’s what I thought about other judges in the past. Maybe they really did have it going on, but the point is that whether or not they did, their name got out there on flyers and they had the air of going on-ness.

You’ll get to see how judges think
I write fiction, not poetry. I volunteered for poetry specifically because I knew I wouldn’t want to enter the contest myself, but I almost wish I had chaired a fiction contest instead – skipped entering one and chaired it. That’s because I got to listen in on the videochat debate about which poems would get first, second, and third place. I know why certain poems caught the judges’ interest, and why others didn’t. (I won’t disclose that here, as the contestants, if they’re like me, will assume that theirs is the uncatchy poem I’m talking about.) And P.S. it’s true that the judges really DO have trouble narrowing it down to three winners. Every contest they say, “There were so many worthy pieces, blah blah blah,” but it turns out it’s true!

Remember that end date?
After thinking I’d never find three judges, and thinking I’d never be done sending emails, and thinking I was a nuisance to my helpers, I am almost done. The definite ending date was one of the reasons I volunteered in the first place, and lo and behold it came to pass. Next month they’ll announce the winners to the group at large, and I’ll be free to be a slacker again for at least two more years. So chair a contest! If I can do it, anyone can.

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Review of Disney’s Frozen

It was about 32 degrees when my husband, my daughter, and I went to see Frozen. It seemed a perfect fit. I almost missed the movie because I went to the bathroom before it started, and the relatively small room was about 90 degrees. I almost stayed in there to warm myself up while the rest of the family watched the movie. I’m glad I didn’t stay in the bathroom, though, because not only was the theater pretty warm, too, but the movie was great. It has a good message, likeable characters, great singing, and some really funny lines. Of course the funniest line, to my family, wasn’t maybe supposed to be funny. It’s something like, “What good is a ballroom if you don’t have any balls?” I’m serious. Be prepared. We weren’t, and so we giggled embarrassingly. They couldn’t have written this line without second guessing it, right?

So, see the movie. Who can put a price on family moments like balls jokes and shushing your children for an hour and a half? The shushing was the fault of the theater, not Disney, because the bag for the Welch’s fruit snacks we bought at the concession stand was way too crinkly for a theater. I spent the first half of the movie wondering if it was just me, or if everyone could hear my daughter searching for a gummy fruit. Forty five minutes of wondering whether her yelling “I’m trying to be quiet,” at me if I mentioned how loud it was would be better than the constant CRINKLE CRINKLE.

During Elsa’s big song, “Let It Go,” my husband leaned over my daughter to say, “This reminds me of Wicked,” whereupon my daughter said, “If you guys are going to talk, why don’t I just let you sit next to each other?” Chastened, we shut up, but after a second, I realized why my husband had been reminded of Wicked. Duh! Elsa’s voice was Idina Menzel. I was sure of it. How could I not share this information? I hate talking during movies, but this could not wait. “That’s Idina Menzel,” I whispered loudly. Then I shushed my daughter for the crinkling.

Well, I realize I’m reviewing my family more than Frozen, but I don’t want to give too much away. I loved it. You should see it. I will need to see it again, too, because it’s possible I was just so happy to be out of the cold. I’ll rereview it after I watch the DVD.

(Balls! Hee hee!)

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Secret Resolutions

Well, it’s almost time for resolutions. I have some suggestions for you, but for various reasons you’ll need to keep them secret.

Call your mom once a week.
A great resolution, but you want your mom to think that you want to talk to her, not that calling her is something you have to force yourself to do. And you do want to, I know, but time does get away from us, so a resolution might be the thing. Just don’t tell her. The point is for her to feel good about herself, right? Not to feel like a burden. Plus, if you tell her, you’ll have to listen to, “You don’t HAVE to. I know you’re really busy. Really, don’t bother. I have lots to watch on T.V.”

Compliment your spouse once a day.
There are many great spouse-related resolutions like this, and all of them must be kept secret for the same reason “call your mom once a week” needs to be kept secret. You should want to do these things. You might not actually want to, but it’s good to keep up the charade.

Stop picking your nose in the car.
This one needs to be kept a secret so you don’t have to admit you used to do it in the first place.* Also in the category of resolutions you shouldn’t admit are “stop sending anonymous, threatening mail” and “stop watching The Bachelor.”

Now, if you take one of my suggestions, people are going to ask you what your resolution is this year, and you won’t be able to tell them. So here are some decoy resolutions that will be easy to achieve in case anyone’s checking up on you. You don’t want a decoy like “I’m not going to eat sugar,” or “I’m going to work up to running a 5K,” for obvious reasons.

Stop looking when someone opens a car door at a stoplight.
This is one of my actual resolutions this year. I don’t know why, but I always look, even though I know full well that either spit or vomit is coming. Do I think someone’s going to throw glitter or something? At best it’s going to be old coffee.**

Be more cheerful.
Actually it’s not so much that this one is easy to achieve, as that it’s hard to measure. When someone asks, “Have you been more cheerful?” you can smile and say, “I sure as heckfire have,” and they won’t be able to argue.

Remember to water my plants every other day.
Once again, it’s not that this one’s easy to achieve, it’s just that it’s so boring that no one is going to care enough to ask me how I’m doing with it in three months. Now if I say “I’m going to stop swearing,” my friends will think “hallelujah!” and remember to check up on me. Them: What’s your resolution this year? Me: Water my plants. Them: Oh… How’s your mom? Me: I don’t know. I should really call her more often.

*With the exception of one of my relatives, who admitted it to everyone on Facebook.
**Update, my cousin in law enforcement says this is a bad resolution. I should stay aware in case the person’s opening their door to come carjack me or something. Guess I’m stuck with spit.

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