Archive for the 'General' Category

Who slapped that cheeseburger on my ass?

May 2, 2007 | General

Studs oldest daughter is getting married June 2 and everyone is getting into wedding mode. About two weeks back the time had come for his tuxedo fitting and my search for a dress. We don’t like to jump into things and usually wait to the last minute if you haven’t guessed.

Off we went to the bridal shop/tuxedo store and the ruination of my life.

While Studs is standing spread-eagle and a dozen young hands slide across his body, I wander over to the racks of gowns in every conceivable color you could imagine. Dress upon dress and rack after rack, no matter what the size (trust me, I am not fessing up here to my number) they all looked like I should have a lily in one hand and the other on a casket lid, ready to slam it shut.

Finally, I found one under $600.00 (gasp), a pale aqua with the least amount of plastic rhinestones and requested a dressing room.

The room the perky clerk escorted me to had a dozen mirrors and a platform. I figured it had to be the one for the bridal dress fittings. She left with a promise to return and I stripped down to my usual Saturday housecleaning undies. And the real trauma began.

No matter where I looked, cellulite bulged and dared me to fit my big butt into the only dress in the entire shop that might not make me look like a corpse. The entire episode was horrible. After much sucking in and wiggling, I handed the dress to the clerk then we left with me in a mood to chew nails.

On the drive home I decided no more soft drinks, beer, wine, vodka, breads, or anything above a calorie count of two would pass my lips. Studs was very sympathetic and had enough sense not to ask what happened. The man has a true survivor instinct. I had also vowed to finally exercise before my ass took over our entire town and ran for mayor. Again, Studs reacted like a champ and didn’t utter one word. In fact, he kept his eyes glued to the road. Now you know why I love this guy. He’s got brains.

I was good. I swear I was. For almost four days. I exercised, which I hate, and gave up all the good things in life, except Studs. I behaved with determination until one day when my writing and the telephone had driven me insane. And the whole damned program fell like Rome. I have no self-control and admit it.

Now it’s four weeks until the wedding and I am dressless with a stomach big enough that it should start paying taxes in the next county. CRAP! And I dread my next excursion into the land of clothes shops.

Do you think anyone would notice if I wore a paper sack?

Sloane

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Brrrrr

February 13, 2007 | General

Winter has truly arrived in Northwest Indiana. It’s hard to tell if the snow is falling or just blowing as I look out my writing room window. All I want to do is pull my robe tighter around my legs to keep out the draft.

Unfortunately, there’s no excuse for me not to write.

Well, it’s off to Francie and Heicke to see what kind of trouble they can land themselves into today.

You all keep warm and safe.

Sloane

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And so she returns

February 8, 2007 | General

a wiser but sadder woman after more then a week on jury duty. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Our defendant was charged with One Count of Murder and One Count of Murder in the Perpetration of a Robbery. The judge would not tell us the punishment for each crime as it should have had no bearing on the evidence and verdict.

We listened to the Prosecutor and Defense Attorney bring in their truths and red herrings. The Prosecutor lost a lot of ground by his antics. In fact, all the jurors were insulted at how he talked down to us, as if we could not walk and chew gum at the same time. The guy was a real piece of work. A pompous ass as one juror decided.

The defense attorney was a true professional. He questioned each witness with a calm, polite manner as he worked through the crimes. Unfortunately, it was one thing he said in passing that finally cinched the verdict for us all.

It took many hours of debate and frustration as we each fought with our consciences, but eventually we all agreed on the verdicts. Not guilty on the Count of Murder, but guilty on the second charge.

Back at home, curiosity got the better of me and I researched the Indiana criminal sentences to discover Indiana still imposes the death penalty for murder. On the second count, the minimum sentence is 65 years.

There is a sadness that swallows me every day as I think of this young man and how he ruined his life for a few hundred dollars. It saddens me further to realize our world has resorted to this condition.

Sloane

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There’s Trouble in River City

January 28, 2007 | General

Our federal court system has decided to summon me for jury duty. Yup! Me who can’t decide a thing on her own and always believes the last thing she heard. With any luck I won’t get selected for a case unless it’s one where a cat bit a dog. Even then I’d have a hard time voting on the verdict.

So I’m off with pen and notebook in hand, hoping to get info for a future book. See you all in a week. In the mean time…

Happy Writing!
Sloane

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You’re on the wrong site!

January 10, 2007 | General

Hi Everyone, today is my turn to blog at Triskelion Authors. Head on over to http://triskelionauthors.blogspot.com/ to read what an author has to put with during her career.

I’ll be back later this week with a hot blog, so stay tuned!

Sloane

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You’re at the wrong blog!

December 5, 2006 | General

Hey! You should be over at the Triskelion Authors blog http://triskelionauthors.blogspot.com/ not here.

Head on over, I’ve got a contest running and would love to have you win.

Sloane

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I Have Been Possessed and Lived to Tell

November 21, 2006 | General

It all started this past Sunday when I snapped a dishcloth in Rex Grossman’s face. He had done yet another stupid play and I’d finally had enough.

Studs and I, loyal Bears fans that we are, were glued to the TV. Now I’m not the world’s most brilliant person, but I know dumb when I see it and Grossman was once again playing brainless. I was so aggravated that I retreated into the kitchen to complete the finishing touches for our little tailgate party.

Halftime came, the food was ready, and I was still pissed at Mr. Football. Studs moved to the couch for easier access to the coffee table and his plate while I grabbed a wing chair with the remote stuffed in the cushion. Earlier Studs had been flipping channels between the Bears and the Patriots games. I adore Bill Belachek and his coaching. No one can fault the guy’s leadership or record. After grumbling about the remote’s location, jammed into my hip was not pleasant, I took over the job as head clicker. And I fell in love!

It all became clear why men were drawn to and driven by the power of such a small device. If Grossman pissed me off again one easy finger action, not that one people, and click it was Tom Brady doing some spectacular play. What a rush!

When the afternoon games were finished, we sped through cleaning the cottage and headed back to the city for the Sunday Night games with the best announcers around, John Madden and Al Michaels.

We make it home in time for the kickoff of the Chargers and Broncos. Within minutes, Studs was in dreamland stretched out on the recliner and I was nestled into the couch under a thirty pound afghan with the remote, because now it’s mine, lying on my chest.

The power. God, I loved the power. Click, it’s the game, another click, it’s Without a Trace. Back and forth, back in forth, all night long. I was in Utopia.

Monday night football arrived and I skulked around until I located my new best friend, the remote. Back under the afghan and another re-entry to Eden. That awesome power was back.

Somewhere in the back of my mind a niggling fear took hold. Had aliens come down and changed me into a man? Was my next gesture a public scratch? Shudders ran threw me at the vile thought. I lifted my thin narrow friend and eyed it suspiciously. Was it some foreign device erasing my femininity?

Reason took hold. With a shriek I tossed the evil devil across the room onto Studs lap, vowing never to cohabitate with the devil again.

The world is again on its axis and I am at peace. Life is once again normal as I consider which lingerie to wear and plan dinner. The horror has ended and I am grateful.

Sloane

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You put that little thingy where?

November 14, 2006 | General

Have you ever jumped into the shower and had ice chunks rain down on your naked body? I did last week and it was horrible.

We have this problem with our hot water heater and its venting system. The amount of wind has absolutely no effect on it. It’s the wind direction that matters. Unfortunately, we’ve never been able to figure out what that direction is. So all you can do is flip the faucet and hope for the best.

And that’s just what I did last Friday without success. Freezing and swearing I grabbed a robe then stomped to the heater with my blow torch in hand, vowing this time I’d buy the new On Demand Water Heater no matter how much the damned thing cost.

Once at the water heater I saw our pilot was located about a half inch off the floor in the smallest laundry room any builder could plan. There’s not a lot of room for my 5′ 8″ to sprawl out, but I made it. Time after time I followed the re-start directions. Time after time the damned thing refused to light.

What’s a frustrated woman to do? Call Studs. I hate to bother him at work, but I was pissed by now and wanted a damned hot shower. We discussed the problem, one of us civilly while the other was cussing a blue streak. I’m sure you’ve guessed who was doing what. We agreed I’d go to the parts store and buy a new thermocouple and Studs would change it when he got home.

So on the way to the store I’m thinking, what would my heroine do? Francine is a feisty gal even if she is only 5′ 4″. Dammit! Francie would get down on the floor and fix the thing herself. Well, if Francie could do it, why couldn’t Sloane? I made up my mind right then and there I would.

The man at the store was a doll, not with his assistance – just with his gorgeous blue eyes with thick black lashes. Why is it guys always have long eyelashes? Anyhow, I digress. All this man kept saying was, “Follow the directions” and “Don’t force it”. Not much help in my humble opinion because I have a problem reading and deciphering the written word on stuff.

Back home, I ripped open the plastic packet and read the directions. I may as well have been reading Greek for all the sense it made to me. With the parts dumped on the floor and me flat on my back, I used my handy-dandy flashlight to figure out the removal of the old and installation of the new.

Hot Damn! I could do this and did in a matter of about 20 minutes. So for $7.93 I fixed the hot water heater, eased Studs burden on the home front, and got a great back rub for all my efforts. Did I forget to mention how extremely proud I felt at doing something out of my realm? Oh yeah, I was dancing on air.

Maybe this week I attempt the vacuum cleaner and figure out why the thing barely sucks!

Have a great week,
Sloane

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A Serious Situation

August 26, 2006 | General, The Soapbox

Maya Reynolds at http://www.mayareynoldswriter.blogspot.com/ writes excellent blogs. Check out her site for many pertinent topics.

With Maya’s permission I’ve her blog for August 25. Please read this and share it with everyone you know. It is a serious problem that we can help stop.

Friday, August 25, 2006
Wake Up, America!!
I had a plan for another blog for today, but something happened to change my mind.

This evening I was working on the membership rolls for Passionate Ink, an RWA online chapter, which is in the middle of its membership renewal drive. I had the television on, but wasn’t really paying attention to it.

Primetime was doing a special on AIDS in America. Within minutes, I found myself getting up and moving to where I could watch it.

The statistics were almost unbelievable:

***African-Americans make up 13% of the American population, but account for 50% of the new HIV cases in this country

***The HIV infection rate is eight times higher in the black population than in the white population

***Black women are twenty-three times more likely than white women to be diagnosed with AIDS

***AIDS has been the leading cause of death for African-American women between the ages of 25 and 44 for the past eleven years

***Sixty-eight percent of all new AIDS cases in the U.S. are black women

If you don’t believe me, go to www.abc.com and check. That’s where I got these statistics. Coincidentally, this was the last story Peter Jennings worked on before announcing his lung cancer diagnosis. In an eerie interview during the program, Peter met with a group of HIV-infected black men about ten days before telling the world of his own illness. You can already see the ravages of the disease on him.

I was outraged by this documentary. I cannot believe that this issue could have been going on in this country without anyone talking about it. Frankly, I’ve been under the impression that we were on top of the HIV epidemic in this country. We keep hearing about AIDS now being a chronic disease as opposed to a death sentence. The press focuses its attention on the AIDS crisis in Africa. No one is talking about this issue’s impact on American citizens.

Terry Moran finished the report that Peter had started. The ABC website sets it up this way: “‘In America today, AIDS is virtually a black disease, by any measure,’ says Phill Wilson, executive director of The Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles. Wilson also points out that while many black American leaders and celebrities have embraced the cause of the epidemic’s toll in Africa, few have devoted similar energy to the crisis here at home.”

The documentary listed five reasons for this crisis in the black community:

1) Ignorance of the problem: I can buy that. No one even knows there IS a problem.

2) The War on Drugs: According to Moran, since 1980, the War on Drugs has quadrupled the prison population in America. The infection rate is five times higher inside prison than outside. Men who go into prison HIV negative come out HIV positive. Although the state and federal governments are aware that sexual activity is taking place in prison, they refuse to provide condoms to the prisoners.

3) Sexual practices in the black community: It turns out that there are 85 African American men of marriageable age for every 100 African American women. This imbalance leads to the fact that “Black men are more than twice as likely as white men to have multiple female partners at the same time,” according to studies by the Universities of Chicago and North Carolina. The study in North Carolina concluded that black women in that state were fourteen times more likely to contract AIDS than white women. One of the results of the increased number of sexual partners is that blacks have a higher rate of STDs, which facilitates HIV transmission by making it easier for the disease to attack the host.

4) The stigma of homosexuality in the black community: Homosexuality is so frowned upon in the black community that blacks are much less likely than whites to come out of the closet. This leads to men being “on the down low” (DL). Bisexual black men or married homosexual black men do not share their sexual histories with their female partners. The result is that many black women contract HIV from a male partner who is also engaging in homosexual sex on the down low.

Women who are in committed–and they think–monogamous relationships are being infected by partners who are having–or once had–sex with other men. The first time many of these women learn of this is when they receive the diagnosis.

When AIDS first emerged as an issue in this country, it was a disease of gay men. However, the gay community was all over it. They mobilized and worked hard to get information out on safe sexual practices. The result was that they slowed down the rate of new cases of the disease–even though it devastated their ranks for many years. The black community has not rallied in the same way. The documentary postulates that this is largely because of the stigma associated with homosexuality.

“‘I know of few communities as conservative as the African American community, especially about sex,’ says Debra Fraser-Howze, CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS in New York. ‘And when it comes to homosexuality, it’s a real problem. Nobody wants to talk about it.'”

5) A failure of leadership in this country: According to ABC, “Moran also reports on the role of the churches, traditionally the most powerful source of political and social activism in black America. Black churches have been silent on AIDS, says The Rev. Calvin Butts Jr., Rector of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. ‘When you see the numbers going up, you know you have not done enough,’ he says.”

The Rev. Eugene Rivers of Boston says, “too many young people are dying because black leaders have failed their children.”

A lack of support on the part of the federal government for needle exchange programs for drug users, which have proven effective in reducing HIV transmission, was also cited as an example of a failure of leadership.

Fixing this problem begins with making Americans aware that there even is a problem in our own country. If everyone who saw that program or reads this blog will just tell three other people about it and those people will tell three more, we can begin to lift the veil of secrecy that has been hiding this problem for far too long. We should all be offended by the lack of action on the part of our leadership to address this serious health issue.

I feel a particular kinship with my black sisters who are being infected, often without their knowledge. This is not right. It has to stop.

P.S. Sloane Taylor has asked whether she could cut and paste this message. Please feel free to do so. I offer permission to copy today’s post and email it. Whatever. Just get the word out, please. We need to get enough people angry that our leadership will have no choice but to respond.

Thank you for reading this and please remember to pass it along.

Sloane

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Hell Yeah, I’m Proud to be an American

April 21, 2006 | General, Remembering

I promised myself I would never do this, never give notoriety to people or groups who are a drain on this nation. Now it’s come close to home and I can’t stop myself from lambasting one of the most evil factions of our country.

There is not one person in this country who is ecstatic about the war in Iraq. Families are ripped apart and changes happen within them that can never be repaired. The death of a serviceman or woman affects not only the family and friends of that person, but also the general population. Let me tell you a little story about just such a situation.

Lance Cpl. Philip John Martini was born July 10, 1981. His was an American family just like thousands of others. They loved, argued, and laughed as life moved them forward. One day young Phil decided he’s alter the direction of his life and joined the Marine Corp. His tour of duty took the proud man to Al Anbar, Iraq. A gunshot wound took his life. What was kept alive after this tragedy was the memory of a decorated young man even though his family and friends deeply grieved.

Be prepared, for now comes the horrific part of the story.

There is a church in Topeka, Kansas that has taken the Lord’s word, twisted and contrived, to express the filthiest evil to ever be on printed pages and web sites. Studly printed out the pages because he knew I’d never believe it if I didn’t read it for myself.

This sick, self-appointed cult of insanity teaches, teaches mind you, hate. Not only do they teach it, they practice it with a vengeance. Their pastor, I refuse to capitalize the low life’s title, encourages his mindless minions to go forth across our country and picket the funerals of service people who died in Iraq.

But they don’t stop there. No, not these cowards. They also go to the Veteran’s hospitals carrying signs proclaiming “God Hates America”. How would you like to see that when you’re laying there with a limb or two blown off in the war?

Their web site is a demented display of chapter and verse quoted from the bible. The words are correct but this despicable cult has turned them against the people of this country.

At Lance Cpl. Martini’s funeral this band of cowards got the surprise of their lives. There were over 300 motorcyclists and a crowd of strangers, good people, lined up along the parkway of the church prepared to do whatever it took to keep LCPL Martini’s family and friends shielded from the hate mongers. The police contained the river of slime to across the street and down the block from the church.

I am ashamed I was not there to show my support of a fine soldier. I am exceedingly proud my personal Marine took time off work to go and protect his now dead brother. I have pity in my heart for the unthinking fools who follow this Hitler-like man of the cloth. And I pray God will lift the shroud covering the eyes of the madman’s congregation.

If anyone is interested in their web site, please enter your email address in the comments. I refuse to type their address here so the pervert can’t google his church and celebrate the attention he is receiving. This may not be to clear to you all but I’m very upset about this and beginning to babble.

Sloane

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