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Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

Do Real Men Read Romances?

Do Men Read Love Stories?

In preparing for an interesting topic for the editorial of one of my favorite newsletters, I entered a simple phrase into Google. ‘Do men read love/romance fiction?’ I found some answers, but I also found romance still isn’t considered serious writing by too many people.

Harlequin isn’t feeling the crunch other businesses are, in fact, their sales keep going up in these slow times. Nightline did a segment on the romance novel publisher Harlequin’s 60th Anniversary, and I decided to take a look.

Edited the link out because it is now dead.

Reading the short excerpt shown below the tube, I got the idea Nightline had little respect for the genre, and less for the authors and readers. If Comedy isn’t a sub-genre, they shouldn’t be laughing. I hope I’m mistaken, but their choice of descriptive words tells me I’m not.

You can watch the entire segment, about Harlequin’s history and how they’re Canadian and how the recession is only making their audience more hungry for bodice-rippers; but since this entire “news” report seems like just an excuse to show celebrities reading from ladies dirty books, I’m not sure why anyone would want to. [Oh, and insert old lady who loves Paul Rudd and romance novels and owns more than two cats joke here.

I’m interested in knowing whether men can enjoy reading love/romantic books openly. I know many read them and men even write them, but there seems to be a cloud of embarrassment hanging over their heads. Male authors hide their genre behind feminine pin names, and male readers deny the book is theirs. They dread being laughed at, maybe? That’s really sad.

Men complain they can’t ‘understand’ why women need to read romance. Being strong and protective, and always winning the woman of your dreams is every man’s dream. Strength isn’t limited to the physical muscles you may or may not have. Bet you didn’t know that. Smarts, values, brains and common sense go a long way in impressing a woman.

After reading a few romantic love stories, you’ll begin to learn how a woman thinks, and how she wants to be treated. I’m not talking about lust, I’m speaking of lifetime relationships – love. Learning the difference between romance and erotica is easy. Most women need romance, and they need a man who knows what romance is. It is gentle, strong, trustworthy, honest, loyal. Her Hero loves her. These are the traits women write into their hero characters over and over, because they are building the kind of man they want to spend the rest of their life with. They are telling you what they want; pay attention if you truly want to understand women.

Picture yourself on the cover of a love/romance; is the Hero you? It could be. And to repeat a fact from the top, romance is still selling big. You could try writing one; men need romance in their lives too.

Thanks for reading,
I’ll see you again next week. In the meantime, fall in love all over again with your SO by reading a romantic story together.

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Cheapskates and ISPs

This was written a few years ago.  I’ve long since used cable, satellite, cable, satellite and cable again, and always High Speed Internet.  I look for the specials and switch when they’re too good to pass up.  lol

I would love to be able to use DSL or Cable internet service, but being way out here in the boon docks, it isn’t possible. I could easily sign up for satellite internet if I wanted to pay one hundred dollars a month for it. No thank you! I’m cheap and I like it that way! But, that leaves me with dial-up, and everyone knows dial-up is sad. Sad and slow, especially if the phone company haven’t updated the outside wires since 1950. So I must add static noise to sad and slow.

Dial-up isn’t all that bad anymore, though. They’ve added accelerators, boosters, turbos, speedband and all sorts of stuff to make your surfing better, faster, and more enjoyable. And, it works most of the time. Even the cheapest ISP’s include these accelerators for under ten dollars a month.

I don’t want a ‘Home’ page, thank you very much!

I chose one without a ‘Home’ page; that alone makes it a winner for me. It’s neat, clean and fast for less money and no stress. They get me online quickly and that’s all I ask of them. Another ‘must have’ is unlimited hours!

 I’ve used services that force a home page on you. I’ve even used the ‘Big One’ a time or two in emergencies. You know, the one that sends out the free cd’s so crafters can make those neat wind chimes?  (AOL for those who don’t know.)  By the way, I wonder if their subscribers realize they’re actually paying for all those wind chimes?

I don’t mind trying new isp’s, but if I can’t go into Internet Explorer and change the home page to ‘blank], I don’t use the service any longer than necessary to find another one. I don’t like their intrusive way of doing business.

The home page is always so ‘busy’ I can’t find what I’m looking for. I looked for five minutes one time for my account link. The window was full of news, movie stars and sales ads; none of which I’m interested in. It’s so crowded with ‘stuff’ along its borders, it reminds me of my attic. I completely understand needing ads to make money, but I’m paying for the service, it isn’t free!

They usually aren’t user friendly either, at least not to this user. Being forced to do anything causes stress and who needs it? Not me!

I don’t want an intrusive update downloaded every time I log on and off, either, and I don’t want to be ignored when I say no thanks. The ‘Big One’ (AOL)  is bad for doing that. Paying thirty dollars a month for services that are certainly no better than ISP’s charging ten dollars or less is incomprehensible to me. Why would anyone waste their hard-earned cash like that? Especially those paying with their Social Security allowance. Not this cheapskate! When I feel the stress begin to build, I minimize their window and open a new, blank IE window.

There are many, many good, cheap ISP’s worth checking out. Support is always good on those I’ve used, and when they’re new businesses you know they try harder. Give them a chance.

 Search ‘cheap isps’ and save some money; you might even save yourself some stress, and that’s what it’s all about. I’m running a wonderful one I began this month. I was charged only .99 cents for the first month, and that includes the accelerator! I won’t tell you the name though, unless they give me a year’s free service.

 Update

 We are finally going modern out here in the wilds, cable became available and I grabbed it!  TV & internet.  Yes! Now, if I can convince my cheapskate husband it’s worth the extra cost month after month, I’ll be in cheapskate heaven.

Cheapskates Avoid Stress Better

I like cheap, the cheaper the better.  But not junk.  I use yard sales and thrift shops a lot.

As young parents with little money, we learned to make-do, to get along with what we had.  I have completely furnished a two-bedroom house for fifty dollars, and it looked good.  My husband painted and re-glued while I cleaned and polished.   Authentic old furniture magically appeared as antiques to friends and family.   They eyed it greedily and we glowed.

Our house was always filled with a passel of kids, so nicks and scrapes were common to our furniture.  I didn’t stress over them because I knew furniture was replaceable.  And cheap.  Another bonus is that old furniture was better made than the new, lower-end stuff.  I’ve owned both and believe me, low-priced new furniture is pure junk!  You’re wasting your money.

As the children grew older and our finances improved, we bought new stuff and it was nice, but we didn’t enjoy it as much.  Is that strange?  Not to me.   Kids can’t romp and play on new furniture.  They can’t bring a snack into the living room and enjoy family conversation or games when Mother is worried about stains and scratches.  The fun is taken right out of the day when a child is banished to the kitchen.    Kids are more important than ‘stuff’ and they give hugs.   Mine have good memories of their childhood and I’m glad to say I helped.

Now that we are retired grandparents on Social Security, we’re back to the thrift shops.  This time for yard toys.  Slides, swings, rocking horses and tricycles – even a Little Tyke playhouse was added to the backyard for five dollars.  These are good, top-of-the-line toys that other kids have outgrown.  The cost is minimal.  The memories the kids will have of visiting their Grandparents will be priceless.

I don’t see the sense of spending hundreds of dollars for toys that will be outgrown or forgotten too soon.  I would rather spend as little as possible and do without the stress if something breaks.   Wouldn’t you?  Of course you would.  

If the kids are old enough, they can help clean the new toys, maybe paint a trike for a younger brother or sister – apply some decals.  They will develop pride and self-esteem through their artistry, they really will.   Do you see those runs in the paint?  Dab their length with a bright candy color, or gold.   Bring them out to be noticed.   They’re supposed to be there!

And, in my opinion, anything that aids brothers and sisters to get along and like each other is a huge bonus and stress-reliever for everyone.

Sunshine & Shadow

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Sunny Sunshine rose and smiled,

as she peeked into the tree.

She said, “Good morning, Shadow,

would you stay and play with me?”

Shadow just ran to and fro,

as a cloud came tumbling by.

A dark, small frown crossed Sunny’s face,

“He’s hiding, I wonder why?”

“Shadow, won’t you stay and play?

I promise, I won’t cheat.”

Shadow laughed and said, “okay,

let’s play hide and seek.”

Sunny searched all day long,

never finding where he hid.

“Safe!” he laughed, rushing out,

as over the hill she slid.

A B C’s Are Fun!

Aa – First letter of the alphabet.

A is for Apple, Annie, An, And A.  Amanda, Allen, Allan, Alan.  Angry Anthony, An Acre of Artful Ants,  Angels Also Abide. Are Any About Alone?

Auntie Actually Asked All Again.  Amanda’s Address is Arkansas, America. Add  April Alphabet.

Bb – Second letter.

B is for Ball, Bill & Bob.  Baskets, Birds, Bees.  Babies, Boys, Bottles and Batman. Bulls and Bullies Belong Behind Bars, But Belts Better Be in Britches. Brandon’s Bat, Bike, and Books are Blue. Beautiful Babies, Baseball, and Burgers.

Cc – 3rd letter

C is for Casey Collects Cats. Children Can Choose Cake or Cookies.  Cook Candy or Catch Christmas in a Cup?  Chrissy Can.  Chocolate Cafes Can’t Count Calories. Caterpillars Certainly Crawl in California, but Could Call Cody’s Cab Company.  Count Cash Carefully.  Change Channel and Clothes.

Dd -4th letter

D is for Dogs Dig Ditches. Don’t Dare Drive Dad’s Dynamic Directly Down Driveway, Dummy! David Doesn’t.  Do Decide Dear, Doctor Done?

Ee- 5th letter

E is for Everything Ebony Enjoys. Everyone’s Endless Energy.  Eric?  Easter, Eating, Eggs.  Even Empty Envelopes!  Elizabeth’s Eyes.  Evenings End.  Eggos.

Ff- 6th letter

F is For Funny Films, Figures, Football Fanatics.  First-graders. Fourth, Fifth-grades are Fabulous!  Families Figure Fathers, Fridays, February and Friends Fantastic.  Find Fido Fast – Fix Fence!

Gg – 7th letter

G is for Good Grandmas Give Great, Gooey Cookies. Grandpas Guess Grandkids Grow. God. Gopher snakes.  Girls!  Golly! Going Great G-man!

Hh – 8th letter

H is for Home, Health and Happy Hearts.  How Has He Hunted?  Here’s Her House.  Hello.  Hi.  He Had His Horrible Heavy Hat Hiding His Heavenly Hair and Hid His Head.  Hurt Hands.  Her Heart did Handstands. Happily Humanlike Haunted Houses!  Hello Hamster, Hurry!

I -i 9th letter

I Is for I’ve Inside Information; Isn’t It Interesting! Ivory Includes Ivy.

J-j 10th letter

J is for Juice and Jellied Jell-O.  Jessica, Jennifer, Joey, Jasmine & Journey!  January, June & July. Jugs and Jugglers.  Justice. Just Jogging and Jumping Joyfully.

Kk – 11th letter

K is for Kathryn, Kathrine, & Kathy. Kids, Kindergarten Kings, & Kitten Keepers.  King Kong’s Knickerbockers Kick!

Ll- 12th letter

L is for Lovely Little Ladies Look, Listen & Learn.  Lucky Luke.  Line Land Lubbers Lag Lazy. Little Leaguers Love Liquid Lemonade.  Little Leapers Like Long Legs & Little Lakes.

Mm- 13th letter

M is for Morning Music Means Much Magic!  My Merry Mathematics, Mama. More Mince Meat, Mommy. March Mister!  Marvelous Month of May.  M&M’s, Mm mm &  Melted Marshmallows

Nn- 14th letter.

N is for Nichole, New Next-door Neighbor Needs Nine Nice Neckties. November. Noel.  Nuts?  No, Not Now. Never!

Oo- 15th letter

O is for Oh! Ow!  Owee.  Our own Owl Over Ocean Once. Out of One Old Oak came One Odd Orange Orangutan. Only Oodles Of Ooze Over Ohio & Oregon. Often Odorous.

Pp- 16th letter

P is for Patrick.  Poppy, Papa, Pop.  Popped-corn. Proper Pronouns Please. Pretty Penny Penelope.  Produce Proposal, Pony Per Person.  Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers.  Prepare Paper. Pen, Pin.  Print Please.

Qq- 17th letter

Q is for Quiet! Quiz.  Quarantining Quaint, Quacky, Quail is a Quicksand, Quagmire Quandary.  Quit Questionable Quibbling! Quite Qualified Quack.

Rr-19th letter

R is for Randi,Rockets & Ready Rural Runs.  Rich Rewards.  Rock & Rollers Run Riot.  Rapid Rabbits Race Rain.  Remember,  Respect Roaring Rivers & Return Right & Ready. Really!

Ss-19 letter

S is for Sunshine!  Short, Silly Shows So Safe & Sound. Salty Sand Still Saps Scottie’s Sanity.  Set Sail & Swim or Sink. School Sounds, Smell Sour.  Sit!  Seek Shade, Snack Seven Sharp.Storm!  Sun Shines Sometimes. Superman? Star? Spaceship?  So Soar!

Tt- 20th letter

T is for Travis Tackling The Table.  Tim Too!  Take Time To Talk To Tell The Tale  Thankfully Together.  Twins-Two-Three Times.  Trains Toot.  Teachers Takes Tests Too. Tame Terrible Tempers, Toddlers Top Teeth.  Tit for Tat. This & That.  Thunder!

Tornado! Trouble!

Uu-21st letter

U is for United.  Use Until Utilization Useless.  Up Upon Unobstructed Umbrella Under Undivided Unity.

Vv-22nd letter

V is for Voice, Vocabulary & Vowels.  Vicious Verbally. Vital, Versatile, Volunteer Voyages.

Violets &Violins.

Ww -23rd letter

W is for Watermelon!  Whoo! Whales Whisper & Whistle While Walking With

Whirlwinds.  Wish Well. Watch When Water Waves.  What Wonderful Whopping Winds.

Wow! Will Whole Wide World Word With Wondrous Ways, Weegee?

Xx- 24th letter

X is for X-Ray man!  Xylem & Xylophone.  X marks the spot.

Yy- 25th letter

Y is for Yapping Yaks .  You, Yours & Yogurt.  Yodeling Young Yoga. Yellow Yucca trees in Yuletide.  Yes, Yesterdays Youth Yammer Yarns of Yore.

Zz- 26th letter

Z is for Zany Zebras & Zig Zagging Zinnias.  Zooming Zucchini. Zack Zipping

Zestfully & Zoos.