Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Regina's Rants and Ravings

So Amarinda wants us to get down and dirty, huh? Okay. I'll bite. Although I'm a laid back person as a rule, there are a number of things that get my back up and I'm prepared, right here, right now, to let off some steam. Let me start with something big and controversial that's been in the news lately. I'm a political junkie who keeps up with all the stuff on the campaign trails of the various candidates for Prez. Now, I remember the Clinton years and, for the most part, I thought they were pretty good. In those days, Chelsea, the first daughter was pretty much sheltered from the press and the limelight which was a good thing. I recall how badly I felt for her when as a pre-teen, she was faced with her dad's little "oval office escapade". It was sad to see her in the middle of this very public airing of family dirty laundry and the things that followed. Impeachment, loss of stature and scandal for her dad.

Now she's a woman, 28 years old, and after all the years her parents have protected her, she's campaigning for her mom. That's a cool thing but why all the outrage over questions from kids at college campuses that make her squirm? After all, she's a grown woman! Didn't she and her parents figure she'd be asked tough questions about uncomfortable things? And couldn't she be more prepared than to simply say...it's none of your business? I'm not saying the questions about the past scandal are appropriate. In fact, I think they are pretty mean but surely her folks knew this was coming but they trotted her out in public anyway. My take on this whole mess is this...if she can't handle these nasty little questions, she needs to campaign on a more low key level or not at all. Okay 'nuff of that!

Plenty of other things get me pissed and here they are:
1) Do NOT show me your food during a meal. I'm not interested in seeing or HEARING this. What the hell is the matter with you? Were you raised in a barn?

2) Do not bring your screaming child into a restaurant and allow that child to disrupt my time out with my family. I don't appreciate it. I've raised kids and I wouldn't have allowed mine to behave that way in public. The solution is simple...take them AWAY.

3) Parents, would you PLEASE, not discipline your children in a public place? There is nothing that steams me faster than watching someone man-handle an unruly child while I'm at the mall or grocery shopping. I find it disturbing to see an adult punish a child for everyone to see. Get a grip! I don't want to see demonstrations of your parenting skills and embarrassing a child isn't cool.

4) Condescending behavior unnerves me. We've all seen that LOOK, heard that TONE. I don't go to your church? Get over it! Don't judge me or mine. I'm entitled to live the way I choose. I can befriend whom I want and hold different social or political views. Don't smirk at me!

5) I'm not just a writer but a READER and I find it beyond strange to pick up a book and find the author is caught in a "time warp". It's really hard to get a proper visual when the author hasn't done her homework and fails (in contemporary work) to address fashion, hairstyles, etc. I don't want my heroine wearing a 70's caftan and frumpy clothes. If you're not up on the latest trends, flip on any television show, watch a current movie, or pick up a fashion magazine. For goodness sake, do your research. One of my favorite authors makes this mistake all the time and I've gotten so frustrated with her work because she has zero fashion or decorating sense. I'm not kidding, I just grit my teeth when she describes what the heroine or hero is wearing. Drives me NUTS! Keep waiting for the heroine to finally strip down for a love scene so I don't have to think about those awful clothes. Does this make me a snob? Maybe.

What do you think?

38 comments:

  1. Heh-heh... Caftans! Dammit, I was trying to think of that word the other day! I LOVED my caftan. I wonder what happened to it? Of course, talking about looking like you're wearing a tent... but damn was it comfy.

    Hmmm. I wonder if I could fit a caftan in a story now?

    Maybe I'll have a planet where they all wear caftans.

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  2. OMG...a strange world inhabited by caftan wearing sex goddesses! SNORT. What a visual!!! SNORT

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  3. My kids are so well behaved that it's the first thing people notice about them when they meet. The second is how polite they are. Do you know why? Aside from being taught to act respectfully, they KNOW I will immediately set them straight if they act up inappropriately. No they aren't robots, and we giggle, have fun with each other all the time. But I will put an end to it if they go too far. Even in public. HOW public depends on whether or not they listen to me the first time I say stop.

    If it means I have to take them by the hand and leave the building, so be it. But I'll tell you something, my kids know the difference between bad behavior and being bad people. They know that immediately after being disciplined, they can hug me because I love THEM, the behavior sucked, but my kids are spectacular.

    So, having said that. Nothing steams me faster than someone glaring at me when I'm quietly managing my children. They are kids. They will act up. I will have to correct it, immediately, on the spot, NOW or they have the upper hand in the situation. I'm the parent, not them.

    Have to disagree with you there, RC. ---And do I call you Regina on the blog or that other name...

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  4. Ah, Kelly, QUIETLY is the operative word here. I'm speaking of those who pound the crap out of their kids or yank their arms and scream at them. I KNOW you don't do that...you are sweet and all that is gentile. :)

    Mine didn't act up very often. I always went down to their level and spoke quietly that we would LEAVE if they didn't straighten up. That is completely acceptable, in my view.

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  5. I too have rambunctious kids who occasionally required correction in public--and I can remember a time or two when I was thanked for that by other parents. But not screaming fits by the adults in question. "Stop it now, or we're leaving," usually did the trick.

    And oh, god, I remember reading a book in the 80's about how the heroine washed her hair and put it in rollers overnight to create her "set". And I was thinking,blow dryer? curling iron? hot rollers, maybe. What is this "set" of which you speak...time warp!

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  6. SNORT. CURLERS??? OMG. Yeah, I recall some of the same stuff and it always makes me cringe. If we want to appeal to modern,hip women, we need to keep the DETAILS in mind. It's just a turn-off to me to get thrust into that time warp thing. Never forget reading a book where one of the male characters had the material of his pants cut out at the butt cheeks and it was covered with some kind of plastic that you could see through. I was thinking....EWWWWW. I had to stop and immediately visualize him in something else. I constantly "re-dress" characters in my head. It's a painful process. OWWWW.

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  7. Ah. Then I'm safe. I never yell, scream, or lay a hand on the kids in public. Nope.

    And Cindy, I'm with you, a set? Heh. One heroine had a gray sweater vest over polyester longsleeved blouse (the word blouse always seems to tip me off to a warp, too) with a long circle skirt and "comfortable round toed shoes" and she was the height of fashion. REALLY? When? Seriously people.

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  8. Oh oh oh !! wait one more. This isn't a fashion thing, okay not exactly, but I hate facial hair. Specifically mustaches.

    Kissing a stache makes you sneeze and people, it RARELY smells clean but usually smells like old breath or wet dog. So giving the hero a stache is an instant turn off. In fact, I'm reading a book now I love but the hero has a stache and I have to make a point of pretending he doesn't... or gloss over when the word comes up in print or I'd put the book down and never pick it up again. ACK.

    No. I told my husband once that if he quit shaving, so would I. Hasn't been an issue again. ;)

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  9. LOL. OMG. That's too funny, Kelly. Hair styles, fashions and home decorating all play a part in setting the scene. It's very important and I don't know why a writer wouldn't just look around herself and SEE. We're supposed to be good at observation. Oh and do men really wear cut-off shorts anymore? I swear, if I read of a hero dressed that way one more time, I swear I'll scream.

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  10. LOL!!! Regina's on a roll! Parenting and Politics and Ugly Clothes. Ok, here's an author description that really got me and ruined every sex scene in the book. Unfortunately, it didn't have anything to do with clothes - my imagination could've worked around a fashion faux pas so much easier. Nope, the hero had a wee little wee wee. Alright, the author didn't exactly describe it that way, but the way she described him slipping so fast and effortlessly into the heroine, I thought the poor man fell in. And the poor woman, I pegged her to be a damn good actress. Sorry, I've read the other extreme too, so I know both are out there, but... You know, I think I'll just stop while I'm ahead. Suffice it to say, that didn't work for me. :)

    Wendi Darlin

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  11. Hi, Regina, I would have known you were doing the blogging even if I hadn't seen your "name." As usual, you make me laugh! Have fun!! Celia Yeary

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  12. Okay, Wendi the teeny tiny wee wee is hysterical...almost as bad as the "hung like a horse" thing. Ever read a VIKING BOOK? Don't know how those heroes handled the broadswords and battle-axes when their OTHER SWORD was so enormous. LOL

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  13. Hey Celia...didn't know I was sooo transparent!!!! LOL. My friends just know me so well, I reckon!

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  14. Oh boy...where to start? We started calling a trip to the bathroom, or outside if the bathroom wasn't private, an 'attitude adjustment', and that works well in restaurants. My kids know that if they act up, I will calmly, and firmly, count to three. If we reach '3', then we will leave. I hate it when I see people yanking on their kids and swearing at them.

    Decorating/fashion: I admit the decorating gene skipped me. So I consult magazines for ideas/color schemes!

    Facial hair: Yeah, don't care too much for it myself, but I do have a guy with a neatly trimmed beard and stache. Not like you'd see on a walrus!

    Anny, my grandma used to have several caftans, and my sis and I always fought over the one that reminded us of an Egytptian Princess. It was wonderful after an afternoon of swimming!

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  15. My mom had a caftan and I loved slipping it on. All the women had them in those days and ooh talk about COMFY. Still can't see a heroine covering herself up in one. My DH has a neatly trimmed stache and I insist he keeps it because he has a small top lip and the stache just looks better. It's not one of those full "Walrus Man" things. I still don't put them in my stories because I think most women don't like them.

    As to the decorating thing, I'm fortunate to have a fashion conscious teenaged daughter at home. I'm always asking her opinion about something my h/h are wearing. When she rolls her eyes, I know I've gotten it wrong. My sister is a decorator and talk about HANDY. Sometimes I'll just call her up and say, hey, decorate this living room for me. LOL

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  16. Hey Wendi, maybe he was a regular tree truck but she housed a gaping maw a mac truck could drive in???

    Maybe her parts should have had their own zip code. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'....

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  17. See? You girls are finally getting the hang of how to give an opinion...about bloody time

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  18. I could be showing my age here, but what the heck is a caftan? Is that like a poncho? Shall? Be gentle. I did grow up overseas where fashions were a bit different, but a caftan? Haven't a clue.

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  19. Glad you approve, Ms. Amarinda. See? I can be completely SNARKY. LOL

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  20. Let me educate you, Kelly, and we can only get on our knees and pray these damn things never come back. A caftan is like a polyester pup tent with a hole cut in the top. A couple of holes for the arms and you're SET with the words...SEX KITTEN written all over you. SNORT.

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  21. So is it a poncho? No wait, ponchos only have a head-hole. Is it squaredy or roundy?

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  22. Listening to people chew...most mothers teach their children to chew with their mouths closed, but some people never got the message. Uck! And gum popping...how can anyone think that anyone else wants to hear that? To me it's like an ice pick in the ear with each and every pop. I can hardly go to a movie or the theater any more because I almost always wind up seated in front of a gum popper.

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  23. this is toooo funny. My dh has a goatee and mustache. I tolerate it because he has really sensitive skin and the fur looks better than the break-outs did. My mother never had a caftan, but she almost never wore a skirt either, so it was always those pull-on polyester pants. Ick. And my teen boys wear cut offs, but they hack them off at knee level these days.

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  24. Caftans are kind of squaredy. The wearer sticks in head and arms and the fabric (which is usually very shiny) just flows copiously. They hide every curve except for boob-bumps. Think BURKA. LOL

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  25. ACK. GUM POPPING. Just frickin' shoot me in the HEAD. My grandma (bless her sweet heart) popped her gum constantly and she couldn't drive. If we had to take her anywhere, we just cranked up the radio so we wouldn't have to hear it. God love her.

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  26. Our wonderful editor just sent me a caftan link:
    http://images.google.com.au/images?hl=en&q=caftan&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2

    We always called this a moo-moo. I don't know why. My mom had them for around the house instead of robes. In fact, she recently sent me one. LOL. It's red polyester. heh heh. Haven't pulled it out yet though.

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  27. I honestly can't think of anything more BUTT UGLY. I told Anny earlier that if you throw some Birkenstocks and a caftan on a heroine, you've got a real scary look going on. LOL

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  28. Snort....Regina.....your little profile over to the right is wrong...we do not secretly hate your guts! You are cracking me up on here! I didn't know what a caftan was either. I hate it when writers won't just say what they mean...like the uh...male part....member, shaft, etc..blech! Just say the rooster word...hey, I'd say it but I don't know if I should on here...probably not.
    You never have a problem saying what you want to say in your books, Regina! That's why I admire your writing so much!

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  29. Well, earlier Wendi said the hero had a teeny tiny eensy ROOSTER...snort. That's so funny.We always say pretty much what we think around here. Might as well be honest and laugh about it!!! Didn't your mom have a caftan??? Bet she's pretty smart and wouldn't have been caught dead in one. HOWEVER, it's just the thing to put on right after Thanksgiving dinner. You must remember to ask her if she's ever worn one!!!

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  30. I think just the word "rooster" would have given that thing I was talking about some girth. :) Personally, I use the rooster word until I get tired of it and then I throw in a "Nixon" and maybe a shaft as a last resort. Hee heee, there really can only be so many roosters before they lose their zing and start bumping into one another. That might be alright if you're writing that brokeback thing. But typically only have one (or maybe two) and a hen on the ranch. ;)

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  31. OMG...let's get all the barnyard animals and Presidents in there. SNORT. Damn you're subtle. LOL

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  32. LOL! Wendi Subtlety Darlin. Didn't you know my middle name?

    Alisha, Regina tells me you and I are a lot alike. We'll have to get together at Nationals or somewhere and discuss these barnyard critters over a drink. :)

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  33. I'm with you on the no screaming kids in restaurants. I don't get these parents who think anywhere outside the home is a playground.
    I'm afraid I had to Google caftan. Having seen some truly terrifying pictures, I agree that they must never be mentioned in a book, or as part of this season's must haves.

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  34. Caftans are truly awful. One of my all time favorite authors dressed her blonde/beautiful and classy heroine in a caftan in a book I read in the 80's and put rust shag carpet all over her house. I believe she also wore a string of PUCA shells around her throat. Pretty damn frightening.

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  35. Yeah, I'd've put that book down STAT.

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  36. Ah, man, I WANTED to but couldn't because her writing is spectacular but I had to mentally re-decorate and re-dress everyone in the whole damn book. OWWWW. Made my head ache!

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  37. Hey Wendi....you, me and Rita having drinks at Nationals....now that would be A BLAST! They'd probably throw us out of the bar for laughing too hard at all the barnyard animal jokes!

    Hope I get to meet you soon!

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  38. Rita, I agree with you in regards to Chelsea. Trot her out if they must, but send her to the tea's and Young Dem's fundraisers where she won't be subjected to the tough questions.

    As far as "get a grip" is concerned you are right on the money with the things that piss you off. My fave are blogs that are hurtful just because they can be. This one is pretty kewl.

    The next thing that pisses me off and makes me want to say "get a grip" are those "menu selection" computer generated voices that are everywhere now. It takes me forever to get business done these days.

    If my internet goes down it takes me ten minutes to get to the right dept after listening to punch this and punch that!

    I'd like to punch something for sure...well, sometimes. lol

    Great blog! Can't wait to see more, so keep me posted!

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