Random Act of Cuteness


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New Book!

NW: Homecoming Games

First Draft

70,500 of 150,000 Words (47%) complete

Battle of the Bulge

One day at a time

30 of 60 pounds (50%) complete

New Book on Hold


First Draft

3750 of 120000 words (3%) complete

Then why don't you take your kid elsewhere?

While we’re on the topic of Reality TV: Dance Moms…

Don’t know if anyone else watches this, but we’re kinda hooked. Mostly, I love the routines Abbey choreographs and seeing the kids develop. However, we also admit the soap opera is kind of mesmerizing.  We keep wondering how long it will take for Abbey to throw one of these idiot b*%ches out the door. (We were cheering when she finally did!) We keep trying to figure out how much of her restraint is her contracts with the mothers and how much is the contract with the network.

The one thing I’m pretty sure of: no contract would keep a truly caring parent from extracting a child from the studio, if it was really as horrible as Chloe’s mama maintains (I purposely wipe the mothers’ names from memory. They don’t deserve the neurons.) Just as every dancer can be replaced, every dance teacher can be.

But wait! Not every dance studio is on national TV every week letting Mama strut about in too much makeup and too-tight clothing and scream like a harridan, generally about things that only prove her own self-delusion.

For all the motherly complaints, the fact is, Maddy has that elusive “it” factor, something no other dancer that’s ever been on the show has. The mothers refuse to admit it. Refuse to accept that an exceptionally talented dancer who has declared in every way that dance is their life rather than a hobby is going to get more attention and accolades from the choreographer and director than a good hard-working student. That kind of support is really the job of the staff teachers…who are obviously extremely good at this studio. These kids are learning how to dance.

One also wonders if this kind of idiocy went on before the show started. Certainly everything from the studio to the twitterers feed it every day, but these women have embraced a narrow-minded self-serving attitude that has to be killing the very kids they claim to be fighting for. Nevermind the prominent pronoun for this lot is “I” or “we” not “she.”

Is Abbey loud and aggressive? Yeah. But somehow, the kids love her and want to keep working with her. Somehow, she brings out the best in them, week after week. What could she accomplish if the mothers weren’t constantly militating against her and claiming foul? How unnecessarily confused and upset are these kids? And on national TV? I’d be horrified to go to school and admit these women raised me.

And now Abbey’s using the Name the show has given her to recruit a team of committed dancers. A team with the ability to pick up choreography quickly, and with honed skills that she can utilize in her choreography. Would I do that if I were in her place? Heck yeah! The kind of corrections she’s constantly having to make with her team are fine for a school team, but is a potential waste of her time, plus it means she’s limited in what she can choreograph.

Do I think Abbey’s a saint? Heck no. Sainthood does not go along with artistic temperament. Do I think she’s a great choreographer? Oh, yeah. Do I think those kids are blossoming in ways they couldn’t in another studio? Oh, yeah. Do I think they could be better? Yup. How? Send the mothers (except Maddy’s, who is sane) to a deserted island with no makeup no TV and leave them their till their voices, screaming for “justice,” go hoarse and they begin working together to survive. I don’t even demand that they successfully survive, just that they try.

And break their fingernails.

Live TV thoughts for spring 2014

American Idol: Best panel of judges ever. HCjr just gets better and better. He knows he’s there to both help and entertain, and entertain he does. The contestants for me are nothing to write home about, tho the remaining ones are all very interesting in their own way. They’re all good, but there’s not an Adam or Daughtry among them, IMO. They should all be able to make a living in the industry. And as an aside: I’m SO glad they’ve gone to 1/2 hr on the results show. With luck, next year they’ll do like DWTS and put it all in the same show.

Dancing With the Stars. My, oh, my. What a stellar group. Any of those remaining, in any other year, might well have won or at least made it to the finals. I’m thrilled to see what’s happening between Merle and Maks, but I’m torn about whether or not they deserve to be in the final. Yes, they’re spectacular and probably the best dancers we see…BUT…. On the one hand, I’m delighted for Maks that he’s finally got a partner who can do whatever he demands and do it spectacularly, but on the other hand, the heart of the show is the very thing he complains about. It’s taking someone who doesn’t dance and helping them find their hidden dancer.

This is something Derek does spectacularly well, and he’s showing it again this year in reinventing the entire artform to accommodate the rather amazing Amy Purdy.

Davis and White can’t claim that. Other figure skaters have squeaked by the “no dance experience” assumption with the differences between skating and dance, though any world class skater has spent their time at the barre, but Merle and Charlie do practice floor dance prepping for their ice dance. They have a serious advantage and should be held to a (much) higher standard.

But the fact it, I ADORE both of them and don’t want them to go.

I think, however, if I’m rooting for anyone, it’s Danica, the sweet and beautiful little geek. I’m so thankful to the show for bringing her and her best-selling, girls CAN do math books to my attention. I haven’t read them yet, but I’m going to. I’d have, well, done a lot to have that kind of psychological backing, back when I was a math major. And she’s dancing beautifully and making just the kind of journey you love to see on this show. Unfortunately, I don’t think she has the fan base to pull it off against Merle and Charlie and James (who is just plain gorgeous and is probably bringing a whole new viewership with his band-fans, but who has also probably had a fair amount of dance experience. He mentioned last night playing the lead in Grease) or Amy, whose fan base grows with every dance she conquers.

I’d be happy with any of those five winning the mirror ball. What a fabulous group.

Better go get to work….

Panows! Panows! Panows!

1fence   2fence   fence1   fence2   fence3

Where's d' Peeps?



Oh Woe is Fence!

Wiishu and Pooki have a meltdown…well…Wiishu does.


D'Day Has Comeded!



The Great Fence Project Begins!


With all due respect to horses and turtles for whom they are just the most wonderful de-LI-ca-cy…surely there’s SOMETHING less objectionable in the ecosystem that can replace them!

I just hauled CJC out on a walk to try and sort out a transition problem in the book. Sometimes just talking about it helps you sort it out or a random comment/reaction aims you at the key. That was the case with this one. Waltzed up to the house…and there was yellow everywhere. I swear to gawd that yellow wasn’t there when we headed out. And in the time it took me too pull those, others were out! ARGH! I’m determined to stay ahead of them this year. I can’t do anything about what comes in on the air, other than keep the Preen going, but at least I can avoid a plague.


One of the hardest parts of becoming a crone…

Is figuring out when it’s time to delegate.

The fact is, I’m used to being able to do just about everything myself. My dad was a Jack of all trades and master of most of them. I’m kind of the xerox copy of that, in that I tend to make do rather than master, but because I worked with him so much as a kid, my attitude is, if I don’t know how to do it, I’m clever enough, and facile enough with my hands to figure it out, if I just ask the right questions. I’ll save a little money, learn a new skill, and have pride in accomplishment. (In retrospect, that’s an important mental part of being a writer, so maybe I inherited the writing gene from him, but I digress…)

But transitioning from Mother to Crone involves physiological imperatives…like bad backs from bearing “children”…that begin to get in the way of doing everything yourself. Now in my case, “children” tend to be wheelbarrow loads of rocks, dirt, and boxes of books, but you get the idea.

Agreeing to hire someone to put in the new fence is a big step for me. I see how it’s done. I know I could do it. I know I have wonderful friends who would help me. But y’know? I have better things to do with my time. And I’d rather spend my time with my friends doing fun things…like putting the lights on Wiishu’s time machine/space ship…than putting up a fence.

However…even crones still have the warrior stage to go through, so…I’m darned if I’ll hire someone to clear a path through the burm for the fence, or hire someone to take down the fence panels.

I’m not heading into “healer” stage without a fight.