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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Robert's Toybox

     Yesterday I went to Toys R Us.  It's been so long since I looked at toys, and just really wanted to see what kids today are playing with.  Back when I was a kid, some of my favorites were a whiffle ball and bat, a baseball, and a football.  I had the old vibrating football game.  You know, the one where you set up all the players, turn it on and then they just kind of bounce around, but don't really do anything?  It was completely senseless.

     I'm almost tempted to buy another one of these, but honestly wouldn't know what the hell to do with it.  The toys today are a bit more...modern?  I was so amused while I was walking around.  The things we have for today's kids are just insane.  Is it any wonder why kids today have Attention Deficit Disorder?  Look at the stuff we start them out with:

     Look at this thing!  Now you put a toddler in one of these and he, or she, is surrounded by color, and music (if you want to call it that) and neat stuff, and then after they get older we expect them to sit behind a bland desk while a teacher writes stuff on a blackboard.  I have nothing against teachers, but how do you compete with this?  Is it any wonder kids don't pay attention?  Moving on, though...

     The first thing I really looked at were Legos.  I didn't have many legos when I was a kid because my mom said they were too expensive.  And in her defense, they really are.  Oh, looking at them now, I'd love to have some of these!  The boxes look so cool, who wouldn't want to build and play with this stuff?

     These two were something like $69.00.  I can't pay that as an adult for something I probably wouldn't take the time to actually build, and even if I did, what the hell would I do with them then?  They're still neat as hell, though!  And as for a kid?  How the hell many kids are going to sit down and actually follow the instructions to build what's on the box here?  How many kids do you think would actually have the patience?  $69.00 worth of patience?  I don't think so!  Maybe after mom, or dad had spent 25 hours putting it together with them they would play with it and have it torn apart in 20 minutes.  (Not that it wouldn't be fun to tear apart a Lego ship and pretend it had crashed!)  But still...that's pretty expensive.  I moved on to check out a few Barbie dolls.

     Oy.  You know, if you wonder why girls seem to be using makeup at younger and younger ages, take a look at this:

     1966 my ass.  No doll looked like this back in 66!  Look closely at the doll's face: What is this, Excessive Eye Makeup Barbie?  "Fashionable on any runway!"  What the hell is that supposed to mean?  So this...Stewardess Barbie runs around outside of planes out on the runway?  And this isn't the worst one.  Oh...wait until you see what the hell happened to Ken...

     ... ... ... What do I even say about this?  "Sweet Talkin' Ken?"  You know, it's really hard to represent a toy as...well, gay, but...LOOK AT THE SHIRT IT HAS ON!  "Ultimate Boyfriend?"  And the poofy hair?  What the hell happened the Ken doll that actually looked somewhat manly?  I'd heard the rumors about him, but wow.  I don't even believe this!  This was enough to send me screaming from the Barbie aisle!  I ran looking for a G.I. Joe, but there was only one...Ninja Joe, or something like that.  No huge selection anymore.  I was SO disappointed!  But I did find this:

     A Hannibal Lecter doll.  Complete with bloody mouth!  Isn't this just what every kid needs?  Invited to dinner at Barbie's Dreamhouse?  Bring your new friend Hannibal and take care of Ken, the "Ultimate Boyfriend!"  I'm sure I could do jokes all day about this, but I'll just let it speak...or eat...for itself.

     I grew up with one brother.  He was my younger brother.  We used to wrestle, and fight, and pound on each other.  Ok, yes, I used to pound on him.  But that's what brothers do, isn't it?  Boys pound on each other.  But imagine if mom had bought me this for Christmas:

     Who the hell needs this?  This would have been a TON OF FUN until I set it up in a doorway and peppered my little brother with nerf shells and mom took it away.  How long would that have lasted me, maybe 10 minutes?  9 minutes of that setting it up in the doorway, waiting for little brother?  (Note the kid on the cover laying on the floor, waiting for someone to walk by.)  $44.99 for a toy mom would have to take away right away.  I did have a few dart guns as a kid.  They weren't belt fed, though.  And yes, I do believe they were taken away from me.  Come on, mom!  He still has his eyes, a dart with a suction cup on the end can't really put his eye out, can it?  Sheesh!

     I found some vehicles while walking around.  Cars for what looked like 2 year olds.  What the hell does a 2 year old need a car for?  Hey, I had a neat, little, electronic motorcycle when I was little, and it was a lot of fun!  But I outgrew it by about...2 1/2.  Not that it wasn't fun anymore, it was just made for someone who weighed about 25 pounds.  I didn't stay 25 pounds for long.  Look at this one, though.  Can you imagine a couple of toddlers cruising through your newly planted garden in this?  Maybe over the neighbor's flower bed?  They've gotta go in dirt, I mean look at it!  They can run over dogs and cats, plow into the walls if you put it inside, it's just a destruction machine!  And all for only $399!!

     But after all the crazy stuff, after all the twisted and violent toys I saw, I found the one thing I really liked.  The one thing that drives parents insane.  Especially when little kids get ahold of them.  This last one is an "Uncle, or Aunt" toy.  Maybe a grandparent toy, even.  Because as soon as the person who bought it leaves, the parents grab this kind of thing up, and either hide it, or toss it in the trash!  Anybody have a few kids I can play with this stuff with?  Do you have earplugs?  *chuckle*

     YES!  It's a Spongebob Squarepants Music Parade set!  Actually, it's a set of colorful, annoying, noisy, set of noisemakers!  You find a few two year olds, and parade around the house beating on this stuff and making as much noise as you can!  Parents say these are "outside toys" but it's much more fun to use them inside!  $29.99?  Yes, I'll pay that!  For something to take over to my niece's place? Hell yeah!  Too bad she's a teenager now!  *chuckle*  Oh wait, Matt still has a kid who's about to turn 3!  I may need to go back and pick this up!  The one toy that really looks fun!  Wow.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Natural Selection

     Natural selection is nature's way of weeding out the weak and unfit.  Mankind has decided to overcome that.  It seems that we've decided that we want to protect the weakest, and dumbest of our species.  Men won't evolve anymore because we choose to hold ourselves back.  And of course, I have a few examples of this for you:

     The first one is a story I tell all the time in person.  I even think it's somewhere in my blog book, "Vegas Ramblings."  The worst part about this story is that it's actually true.  One night while working casino security I was sent up to a room for a medical emergency.  I was told to hustle because someone in the room was having an allergic reaction to something, and I needed to try and help.  So I head up to the room and sure enough, there is a guy with no shirt on, he's covered with hives, his face is swelling, and his throat is closing up on him.  He's dying right in front of me!  I call for the paramedics, and try to give him some oxygen.  He keeps pushing the mask away.  I honestly don't know what I can do for the guy except to hope the paramedics arrive soon.  I was going to post a picture, but the pictures I found grossed me out, and I decided not to put one up.

     Eventually, the paramedics did arrive and gave him some kind of hypo allergenic shot.  He starts to come back to normal, the hives start to go away, and his throat opens back up.  As he's recovering, the paramedics start asking the normal questions.

"Are you allergic to anything?"

"I'm allergic to shellfish."

"Do you think you might have had anything to eat lately that might have had some shellfish in it?"

"Oh yeah!  We just came back from a restaurant and I ate a whole bunch of oysters."

     The paramedic can't believe this.  I can't either.  If he was allergic, why would he eat something he was allergic to?  The paramedic can't resist and asks him why.

"If you're allergic to shellfish, why would you go out and eat a bunch of it?"

"Well this is Vegas, right?  It doesn't count here, does it?"

     He actually said that.  Somehow, this rocket scientist thought that Las Vegas was some kind of negative zone where you can do anything, even eat something you're allergic to.  Now do you think this would have ended the same way in the animal kingdom?  A fox comes up on a rabbit who has eaten something he's allergic to.  Would the fox save the rabbit?  No, he waits til the rabbit dies, and then eats him.  Not that I think we should have eaten that moron, but did he really need to be saved so that he can run out onto the freeway when he's drunk later, thinking he can't be hit by a car because this is Vegas?  Natural selection would have erased that guy.  But no, we saved him.  Neato.

     Take a look online.  There are a ton of people who wouldn't survive in real natural selection.  Here's a sharp one for you:

     It's a bit hard to see, but he's lighting a firecracker being held between his teeth.  He's really safe because he has goggles on.  That will protect his eyes so after the firecracker goes off he'll still be able to find his teeth and jaw on the floor...maybe.  You never see an animal do something like this.  Do you know why?  BECAUSE IT'S STUPID!  Do you really need a lot of sense to realize putting a firecracker in your mouth is stupid?  I hope he has fun eating his food through a tube later.

     Another fun trick is to film yourself getting kicked in the gonads, and then put the video up on youtube.  Some people actually think that will make them a celebrity.

     This is really healthy, right?  Apparently they don't understand how stupid they look.  And how many times I wonder, has someone ruptured something doing this, and then had to go to the hospital?

"It's ok though nurse, I'm on youtube now!"

     I guess the point I'm trying to make is that maybe we should let Mother Nature take over for a bit.  Maybe if we quit protecting and celebrating stupidity, mankind could evolve and move on?  Or, maybe we're just petty, dense, ignorant cavemen still?  It makes you wonder if the dinosaurs were actually wiped out because they were too dumb to survive.  Maybe we're next?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fun with Love

     I was just sitting here and again thinking about Valentine's Day.  The holiday makes me think about taking slow walks, sharing special moments, and things like that.  It makes a few other people think about pranks.

"Hey, Suzy thinks I'm getting her a ring, but instead I'm going to fill a ring box with sneezing powder!  It'll be hilarious!"

     I wonder if Suzy will think it's hilarious?  Somehow I don't think she'll appreciate the joke.  What the hell is up with some people?  I have a few pictures to show you what kind of animals people really are.

     Yes, that's exactly what it looks like.  And now I'm sure this was put into a box with a nice bow, and left on someone's desk somewhere.  Actually, it looks like it's sitting on some carpet.  Maybe someone just left it in a living room somewhere as a nice surprise?  Someone needs some help.  Maybe you don't want to do that to a rug?  Maybe you just want to let that special someone know you care?  Maybe you're really juvenile and only have peach fuzz on your chin and really have no use for shaving cream other than this?

     Wow, I'm sure whoever is inside there will love his art!  Actually...that's not very good, is it?  Is that supposed to be a middle finger, or...geez...I hope his genitals don't actually look like that.  Well, if they do, that would probably explain why he's vandalizing someone's door, and not giving some girl flowers.

     Maybe a homemade card would be nice for that special girl?  That comes right from the heart, right?  It comes right from somewhere.  Did whoever wrote this figure that by being somewhat honest the person they gave it to would melt and drop their clothes?  You people have some problems.

     What class, huh?  Yes, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.  Or a heart, maybe?  Be careful if you're actually dumb enough to try one of these things.  Girls (and some really "sensitive" guys) don't have this kind of sense of humor.  Ok, some do.  But most women aren't going to want to see any of this kind of crap on Monday.  But prank away if you must!  Keep in mind, while you're leaving a heart shaped pile on her rug, there just might be another guy somewhere picking her out flowers.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's Day Insanity

     It's almost Valentine's Day.  That's lovely, isn't it?  A day to do something special for that one special person in your life.  Or is it just a made up holiday like a lot of the cynics will tell you?  Actually, that usually comes from the single cynics.  So how many women out there are looking forward to this Monday?  And how many of them will be disappointed when they don't get anything?  I'm not sure most guys even care about Valentine's Day.  We'll use the excuses like "I should be treating her well all the time, so why one special day?"  or "I forgot" or "Duhhhh, *Drool*"

     Let me show you what Valentine's Day is for.  It's for when someone looks at you a certain way.  No, not when some guy using the urinal next to you peeks over to see what you've got, or when the waitress looks at you expectantly, waiting for you to order!  It's for when someone looks at you like this:

     Note the look on her face?  And on his, too?  It's not a "Wow, I can't wait to get you into bed!" look. Well...maybe it is, but that's not the real reason he's looking at her that way.  It's that "connection" look.  Like they see into each other.  Like...Ok, enough of the romantic crap.

     Now that I have a couple international friends, I wonder if they celebrate Valentine's Day?  I'll have to ask.  Do people in France celebrate it?  Maybe flooding the Eiffel Tower with their sweethearts?  Is that where the French go?  There's an Eiffel Tower here in Vegas.  I wonder if it will be flooded with people on Monday?  Las Vegas will probably be full of people.  They all come here to get married, like lemmings running into the sea.  If you don't know what that means, go look up lemmings!  Or sea!  How many of the people rushing here to get married on February 14 will be divorced by February 14, 2012?  I'll bet quite a few!  And it'll be because the idiots getting married don't look at each other like in the picture above!

     The other night I watched a video of two people in an elevator.  Yes, the cameras in there work.  She didn't look at the guy the way those two in the picture are looking at each other, but she sure gave him a treat!  She...well, she...never mind what she did.  Let's just say she...gave him a treat.  I wonder if he even knew her name?  Wow.  It was like watching a live porno!  I think that video should be played up on the huge screen in Times Square in New York City.  A private moment, you say?  Not in an elevator with a camera it wasn't!

     So, what are you doing for Valentine's Day?  I did something special for Monday for someone, but that gets to stay a secret between me and that person.  So I'm at least participating.  If you don't get anything from me, then it obviously wasn't you, so don't even bother asking me.  *chuckle*  But definitely go out and participate.  Throw some chocolate at cars, hide some heart candies in someone's desk drawer, put a rose on someone's desk when they're gone.  Do something nice.  (Ok, throwing chocolate at cars probably isn't nice, but what do I know?)  Valentine's Day is a holiday, like it, or not.  So celebrate it, or at least what it stands for.  And if you haven't found that person who can see into you, keep looking.  I'm sure they're out there somewhere.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My friend Dawne!

On February 2, 2011 my friend, and fellow author Dawne Prochilo released a short story called "Room 11." It's a short story about two people who knew each other in high school meeting in a motel for a day of "friends with benefits" sex. This is not a physical book, but a download you can purchase to read on your computer, or if you have one, they have a few formats for digital readers. For $2.99 you get her story, and can download it to your computer, or wherever you'd like. I bought the story myself, and was quite impressed with her writing. At first, it might look like one big, graphic, sex scene (Sex sells, my friend knows that. *chuckle*) but the story evolves into more. Make no mistake, she gets very descriptive about what the two people do in the motel room, but later in the story also goes into how each character felt about what had happened to them. I've interviewed her on my blog before, and thought since she had just released the story, I'd invite her back for a little promotion, and to maybe ask her a few more questions about her writing.
Hi Dawne! I guess I should dive right in and ask away, shouldn't I? Being an erotic writer is an evolving career today. Years ago, before the internet, this type of writing was back room kind of stuff. But with today's online publishing, more and more erotic writers are coming out to show their stuff. How has the writing world changed since you started writing?

When I started writing professionally in 1999, I was a stringer for a newspaper but as my career advanced into the world of publishing I realized since I was a romance reader- I also wanted to be a romance writer. My first two books, Crape Myrtle and On Her Own, are both traditional tug-at-your-heart happily ever after romance.  After those books came out (and I wrote my first true sex scene in Crape Myrtle) and I made numerous friends with other authors I discovered erotic.  I had discovered my calling. I enjoyed writing sex scenes, I reveled in my freedom because the world is now more accepting of erotica. While most of the erotic books available for readers and fans is still in e-publishing form, with the introduction of e-readers, these fans can consume as many books as they want, plus they are much cheaper to purchase.

You also write freelance stuff for a newspaper and a few online places. Some of that writing has absolutely nothing to do with sex. Do you ever find it hard to switch gears and change your format like that?

I actually like the change of writing style. It's a nice break and helps keep my writing skills sharp. Going from writing fiction and sex to court cases and human interest stories can be a challenge some days but I thoroughly enjoy both worlds of my writing.

I've written two romance books, and they really don't sell. But then I really don't promote them, either. I mostly wrote them for me. Working on my third novel in that same realm, I identify with the characters. I can put myself in their place quite a bit. Do you ever do that when you write the erotic stuff? See yourself in the place of the characters?

I think all writers and authors put his or herself in the characters' minds. You ask yourself, “What are they thinking?”, “What should he or she do next?” or even “How would I react to that situation?”. It's normal. I've been known to build a relationship with my characters, think as if I were them and even become attached to them emotionally. In every heroine that I've written there's a little piece of me in her. Whether it's a thought, a physical attribute or an event that happened in my personal life.

To be completely honest, I thought that Room 11 could have been turned into an entire book. Reading it did make me wonder what happened to the characters after the story ended. Did you ever think about adding a bit more to the beginning and telling a bit more backstory for the main character Paige? And then maybe continuing the story to a full fledged book?

Room 11 was originally going to be part of an erotic anthology I'd been working on. I have four other short stories belonging to that anthology and I'm seriously thinking about dusting the other three off, finishing them and having my publisher add Room 11 to the book and redistribute. As for a Part II of Room 11, I've considered that also. The story did end with the implication of happily ever after but I'd like to enhance Paige and Rob's relationship into a full fledged story.

When I read your writing, there is always a connection between the characters. Even in some of the articles you write online, there always seems to be an underlying theme of connection between two people. Do you ever plan this before you write the stories? (I pretty much know the answer to this as I've talked about it before with you! *chuckle*)

When I sit down to write a story, whether full length novel or short story, I have to have the characters connect. That's the way it is in real life and I believe, even though I do write erotic romance, that love is the underlying message. As for a plan (outline) when I'm writing. Yes, I have to have one. It keeps me on track. Granted I change the storyline many times but I have to know the direction to take the characters and their lives.

You have two more books coming out soon also. Rachel's Desire and When We Meet Again. You were kind enough to allow me a preview copy of When We Meet Again, and I thought it was brilliant! I believe Rachel's Desire is another short story, while When We Meet Again is an entire book, and both will be available in digital form. Would you like to tell us a bit about each and when they'll be released?

Rachel's Desire is being released on Mar. 2 and When We Meet Again's release date is April 27.

Rachel's Desire is a short story F/F erotic novel and my first venture into the realm of same sex writing. How did I come to this particular genre is odd. I listen to a rock radio station where they have a weekly contest segment called “Girl on Girl” and two women compete with answers of their life to win prizes. I've read various same sex erotica and thought, “Why not”. The storyline is basically a single woman in a relationship with a married man who doesn't satisfy her. She's venting to her female friend about the man and one thing leads to another.

When We Meet Again is full novel length about two high school friends and their second chance at the love they never shared years ago. This novel holds a special place in my heart. It spans over the course of two decades and the chance meetings between the two friends until they eventually share the moment of love and passion they missed out on years ago.

Thank you very much for being a guest on my blog again! It really was appreciated! You know I wish you luck with all your writing. For the last little bit here, feel free to let us know where we can find the online articles that you write! As you can see, I have the cover for Room 11 and the link up at the top of the blog but if you'd like to add any other links, I'll definitely post them! Thanks again, Dawne!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Here he comes

     The soul walked near the edge of heaven and looked down.  A huge smile was on his face.
     "Good morning." Saint Peter said, smiling at the soul.  "I know you're anxious to be on your way, but before we send you back, I have to give you a short brief on what may lay ahead of you."
     "Oh, I've been there before.  I don't really need a brief.  Send me down."
     "You do need the brief.  There are things that need to be explained to you.  A lot of things have changed since you were last on earth.  We need to discuss things and make sure you know what you're heading into."
     "Oh, I'll be fine.  They haven't changed swords, have they?  I mean I know they come up with new kinds of weapons all the time, but I'm still kind of used to a sword."
     Peter took a deep breath.  "Look, it's not like that down there anymore.  Swords are mostly decorative, and...excuse me, can you please step away from the edge there?  You need to hear these things before you go back!"
     The soul stepped back from the edge and gave Peter an anxious look.  He began to bounce up and down.
     "Will you stop that?  When you go back, you will probably face loneliness, fear, resentment, rejection, we need to discuss how you will handle these feelings!"
     The soul stopped bouncing.  "Yeah, that might be, but there's also love, and compassion, and happiness, and treasure down there!  Have you ever found treasure?"
     "Treasure?  What are you talking about?  We're discussing feelings here!  You need to understand how things work down there now, and prepare yourself for that!"
     "I'll be returning as  child, right?  I'll learn as I grow."
     Peter covered his face with his hands for a few seconds.  After a large sigh, he looked back up at the soul.  "Ok, just a minute.  Let me make a quick call."  He picked up a nearby phone receiver and immediately heard God's voice.
     "It's ok, Peter.  Send him down."
     "He won't listen to me, Lord!  I keep trying to tell him what he might run into, but he just won't listen!  He seems to think everything will be all rosy down on earth!"
     "He'll be fine."
     "He wasn't fine last time!  He killed, he caused pain, he did horrible things during his time!"
     "Many of those things he regretted doing.  He lived the life of a gladiator.  He did what he had to do, when he had to do it.  His life won't be anything like that this time.  Send him down."
     Peter sighed.  "Yes Lord, if that is your will, I will send him on his way.  May I talk to him about his past life just a bit, though?  Just to reassure myself?"
     "Of course."
     Peter hung up the phone and turned back to the soul.  "I understand your last life was a bit...violent?"
     "Huh?  Oh yeah, yeah.  Things happened.  I didn't always like what happened, but did what had to be done.  I was told this life wouldn't be violent like my last one.  Am I clear to go yet?"
     "I'm just worried that...well..."
     "Hey, have you ever talked to any of the spartans up here?  Man, those guys are nuts!  None of my stories could ever come close to theirs!  Wow, what adventures!"
     "Yes, some of them are...well, they aren't ready to return yet.  I do need to ask you, during your time here, I've been told you haven't always followed the rules?"
     "When didn't I follow the rules?"
     "You left the realm and took off."
     "I wanted to see the other place, what was wrong with that?  I came back."
     "What if you hadn't made it back?  We have rules for a reason, but you didn't seem to care."
     "I was allowed to look over the edge.  God told me to witness what went on there, and to remember what I saw.  That I could end up there if I made bad choices.  And I do remember."
     Peter sighed again.  "Ok, I've been told to send you down, but...WAIT, WAIT A MINUTE!"
     The soul leapt from the edge of heaven and floated down towards the earth.  Peter could hear him singing.  He reached over and grabbed the phone.
     "He'll be fine, Peter."
     "But Lord, he didn't listen!  he doesn't follow the rules!  He will face pain, suffering, death, loneliness and horror!"
     "He will also find love, feel happiness, celebrate new births, and find enduring friendships.  He will be fine Peter, I promise you."
     "He said he had been told this new life wouldn't be violent.  Did...did you...?"
     "Yes Peter, I told him this next life would be one of peace.  I also gave him the song you heard him singing on the way down.  It's called Take a Chance on Me."
     "Take a chance...I've never heard of it."
     "It'll be written by a group called ABBA during his lifetime.  He'll love it.  Don't worry, he'll forget it when he's born back on earth.  But when he hears it later in this life, it'll always sound familiar."
     "He took lives during his last time on earth, are you sure he'll be ok?"
     "He'll be fine.  This lifetime will not be a violent one for him.  During his life something called the internet will be invented.  He'll have friends from far away.  Some he will even help and comfort during times of need for them.  He'll discover something called email, and get a small phone that he can carry around everywhere with him.  He will affect many lives this time, and in a positive way."
     "You know best, Lord."  Peter gently hung up the phone and looked down towards the earth.  He looked in on a small hospital room and saw a young woman holding a small baby boy in her arms.  She smiled with joy as she looked at him.
     Peter breathed out in surprise.  The young woman was named Lucille.  The little boy would most likely drive her nuts when he didn't follow the rules.
     "Lord, help her!" Peter whispered.
     "I will." a soft voice whispered back.