August 24, 2013

The Spider Who Took Liberties...

This morning I was sleeping peacefully when I felt eyes on me. I shifted my weight in bed and turned toward the wall. My eyes popped open and I came eye to eye with a black spider. He was on the wall about a foot to the left of my table lamp. Sure, he was three feet from the edge of my bed. But still. He was in the house where I figure he did not belong. I mean, even if he’d been in the basement I would have given him some slack. But no he was in my space. And that called for action.

I lost no time putting my feet on the floor. I headed to the kitchen to find a weapon. I was no match for that fellow, Lord knows. I found a flip flop that seemed to be up to the job. Returning to the bedroom I noted he was waiting for me, same position, same glassy stare, same ugly black velvety body. 

Here is a photo of where the stand-off took place. No pictures of the enemy as I would then be afraid of the photo and convinced that he was living in my camera. Nada. Nope. No photos of him.

First - scream! Then - charge! Then - whack! The flip flop provided an ample weapon and he went the way of all the other spiders I have chanced to encounter in this house recently, into the trash. He will be riding outside shortly in that large white bag with the rest of the trash and deposited in the garbage can with the lid tightly sealed, where he cannot come back alive and bother me anymore. Out of sight but, no, still not quite out of mind.

What a way to start the morning. R informed me the same spider had been in the bathroom earlier. He had escaped R’s invitation to get out of the shower and disappeared down the drain or under the shower ledge and out of sight.

Satisfied his job was over, R departed to the living room to get the morning news from TV and left me alone, to deal with the brazen spider. It was then the invader decided to take liberties and trotted on his many feet from the bathroom nearby to the wall by my bed where he scared the bejibbers out of me.

Now I’m faced with a dilemma. I recently bought spider bombs because there have been other spider sightings.  My plan was to put the bombs off in the basement and vacate the house for the day, while the bombs did their job, getting rid of all the spiders and bugs who live behind the walls, in the vents, or wherever else bugs live in a house.

After reading the label on the spider bombs, I’m now as afraid of the stuff inside the bombs as I am of the spiders.

What do I do? Help! I’m in a quandary. Do I live with the creatures or endanger my life further by putting chemicals in the house? Do I move outside since all the bugs seem to be in the house. Jeez.

Has anyone had this problem? Do you mind spiders and bugs in the house? Do you use bug bombs?

All Comments Welcome!

And yes I'm sure I'll hear from my one friend who is a devout believer that we should leave all such creatures alone and let them go about their business as we go about ours. Even if they choose to stare at us from our bedroom wall.

August 21, 2013

My thoughts on Elmore Leonard and his rules...

Elmore Leonard — author of Get ShortyOut of Sight, and Rum Punch as well as other titles ---passed away August 20.  May he rest in peace.

He was an amazing writer!

This first photo below is the way I'd like to remember Elmore Leonard. Way back when. Hard at work at his typewriter surrounded by books and his own words.

Many people have already shared Elmore's rules for writing. But, I for one can bear reading them again and would probably benefit from reading the list before each writing session. I'm working my way through a second draft of a novel and struggling as if it's the first sentence I've ever written. Perhaps this review of his words will assist me when I return to my desk.

Pictured below is a more sophisticated and successful Elmore. Perhaps a truer image of him before he passed. But I'm a fan of the younger Elmore.

Without saying anything more, I hope  you get something from reading his rules for writing. I don't know but I would say he came up with the rules after he had some success under his belt. I would suggest you check out a few of his books if you haven't already. You're in for a treat!

And if you've ever read a BAD novel you may notice many of the things he speaks of here.

1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
And his most important rule, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”

August 11, 2013

Eyebrows: The good, the bad, and the ugly!

Those of you who still have your natural eyebrows, please hold up your hands.
Okay. Nice show of hands.
Now, let’s see the hands of those who have eyebrows that are not the greatest but still in place and serving you well. 
O-kay. Good count. Thanks!
All those who had your hands in the air are now dismissed. Sorry.
This class is going to discuss and dis-cuss (not really! well, maybe!) the lack of nice regular eyebrows.
When I was a kid like most of you girls in the audience, I had normal eyebrows. Nice shape, nice color.
It was in my teens, when I started to pay attention to them, that they began to let me down.
I first learned to pluck and tweeze the hairs above my eyes from watching my sister Sue do hers.  She had black brows in a perfect arch over big brown eyes. Nice. 
Nice wasn’t my experience. Far from it.
I either took off too many or too little. I never got the hang of tweezing or plucking so I gave that up.
For a few years I let my brows grow in a random patch over my eyes. They were light brown and didn’t call much attention to themselves. They were happy. I was happy.
It was when I discovered waxing that things got out of hand. 

I watched the beauty operator wax patrons a few times and I was so convinced I could follow suit I purchased a large container of eyebrow wax from her. A dab here and a dab there of that hot wax and ole. Pull those hot patches off and I’d have beautiful eyebrows like every one else in that little shop. Ha.
Outcome: eyebrows crooked and eyelids waxed and red.
About that time the industry came out with an eyebrow razor. It was meant to serve those who had a steady hand and a healthy set of eyebrows. I did not possess either. Sure, the pink razor was tiny. But, oh, the damage it could do. Plus, there was blood. For the first time in my eyebrow career. I had sores and blisters. Blood should not appear anywhere near one’s eyebrows. 
Tossing the can of eyebrow wax into the trash, I went back to having my eyebrows done by a professional.
I’m still not without eyebrow dilemmas. Should one color one’s eyebrows? Yes? No? Does one color brows the shade of her beauty shop tinted hair? Do you leave them the wide mixture that they have become with age? Salt, pepper, brown, yellow? Or should one use the aged eyebrow pencil in the make up bag that is closer to auburn than light brown? Color them black as my sister did? Or purple like the girl next door colors her hair?
Or just get rid of them permanently and paint on perfect ones.
Recently, I was told there is yet another option. Tattoo them on and they last forever, ending the dilemma of tweezing, razoring, coloring.
Nope. I swore when my husband came home from Hong Kong with tats I would never go that route. 

I cannot speak to the trend of threading one's eyebrows, as demonstrated above, as I know nothing about it and from the photos I've seen of the practice I'll just stay in the dark, thanks!

How about you? Do you have an eyebrow problem you want to share? Perhaps you've come up with the perfect solution. Please share! Or have you had any other beauty dilemma you can shed light on for us. Comments appreciated.