mckaysnerds

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New Year’s Resolution

Hi.  My name is Eliza and I am an addict.

I am addicted to making lists…Grocery lists. To-do lists. Shopping lists. Lists of TV shows I need to watch. Lists of quotes I one day want to put on T-shirts. Lists of lists I should make.

As part of my 12-step recovery plan for the New Year, I’m gathering together all my scraps of paper and post-it notes in an attempt to step more solidly onto the road of organization. I would like to share with you now the first result of this de-cluttering process…

Objects owned by fictional characters that I wish were mine

1. Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast’s 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith

Riding around in style, Pendergast is the hero of 15 Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child novels. Don’t let his albino undertaker appearance and smooth southern New Orleans’ accent fool you…his genius is on par with Sherlock Holmes and you do NOT mess with the people he cares about.

writer vest

 

 

2. Richard Castle’s “WRITER” Bulletproof Vest

Seriously, is there really any explanation necessary here?

 

 

 

 

3. Kitty Katt’s Ipod

Heroine of Gini Koch’s Alien series, Katherine “Kitty” Katt has been saving and protecting the Earth for a dozen novels now. She never goes anywhere without her ipod because you never know when a battle with bad-aliens-who-intend-to-take-over-the-world will ensue, and you need to have your best butt-kicking playlist on hand. (And yes, for each book I’ve made a list of the songs mentioned…she has awesome taste!)

4. Mississippi’s Hat (from the film El Dorado)

One of my favorite characters from an John Wayne movie (who isn’t the Duke himself), Mississippi (born Alan Bourdillion Trahern) avenges the death of Johnny Diamond, the man who raised him, all while being mocked for his (I think) awesome top hat.

5. Alexia Tarabotti’s Parasol

Soulless heroine of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, Alexia’s parasol inspired me to buy my own…all I need now is to find someone who can modify it to shoot sleeping darts, silver bullets and add the retractable blade. Hey, when you’re defending yourself against werewolves, vampires and ghosts…you gotta have all your bases covered.

6. Dr. Johnny Fever’s Coffee Mug and/or T-shirt

Early morning radio DJ from the world of WKRP in Cincinnati, Dr. Fever is rarely seen without his mug or wearing his Black Death Malt Liquor T-shirt. Until I have either of those items, I guess I’ll just have to be content to quote him constantly. “I’m telling you, free coffee is a constitutional right! Just look it up – Juan Valdez versus the state of California!”

7. Charlie Aleph’s Under-the-Cuff Spring-Loaded Silver Ball Shooters

Golem (though he prefers the term “Mineral-American”) Charlie, is the best partner that a human who’s pulled into an alternate universe could hope to have. A featureless black bag of sand animated with the essence of a T-Rex who dresses like a Film Noir hero – seriously, what’s not to love! Check out D.D. Barant’s Bloodhound Files series to enjoy Charlie’s sarcasm. (And please write the publisher requesting they make a Golem action figure line…I want them all!)

macgyver8. MacGyver’s Bag

Because it isn’t for what he brings, but for what he finds along the way…like the bars of chocolate that really can stop a sulfuric acid leak.

 

 

9. Dave Lister’s Leather Jacket (After it is thoroughly cleaned at least twice to rid it of the Chicken Vindaloo smell)

Lister was just a lowest-ranking crewman aboard the mining ship Red Dwarf until he was marooned three million years in the future. Now, he is the only human floating around in a galaxy far, far away with the hologram of his dead bunk-mate, a humanoid creature that evolved from his pet cat, and a Series 4000 mechanoid servant robot. Lister is pretty lazy, slobbish and unmotivated… until he encounters things that wish to kill him, then hilarity ensues. Admittedly, the British sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf is an acquired taste but if you only watch one episode, I recommend “Meltdown” from Series IV…it’s my favorite.

10. Judy Garland’s Brown Dress

Summer Stock is my favorite MGM musical because it has the two greats: Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. In one of the best dance duet scenes of the movie, where a simple small-town square dance becomes the scene of an awesome “dance-off”, Judy Garland is wearing this brown dress with orange/red accents. It’s very 1950, not flashy at all and probably by today’s standards, if you were at a party, it’d be boring…IF you weren’t dancing. The flare of the skirt is perfect for spinning around a dance floor.


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10 Minutes is all it Takes

The following is a sweet tale told to me by an employee. I wanted to share it with you all this Valentine’s Day, and encourage you to appreciate all of the wonderful moments that make up this thing we call life.

~Sticker Ball

“A gentleman approached me with a book in his hand. He looked to be about the same age as my father, late 60s, gray hair and a beard. The topic of the book in his hand was thousands of things to do on a date and how to romance a woman.

“I’m looking for Valentine movies, do you have those in a special place?” I asked him for specific titles and he thumbed through the book. “I’ve lost my page” and he fumbled some more. He didn’t have his glasses so I flipped through the index, turned to page 215 and 336. “I want to do something for her each day,” he said.

“These will be in lots of different places,” I said. Some were Comedy, some Drama, some Thriller. “Can you help me find them?” he asked. For a split second I thought about everything I needed to do. My job is busy; always busy. Mountains of books to price and shelve, sections to straighten. Always busy. I thought of all I needed to accomplish this work day, but only for a split second. “Of course” I said and walked to the movie section with him.

I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I had seen some of the ones on the list. I plucked these off the shelf first. I’m a fan of romantic comedies so I handed him a few. He carried the stack. As we walked, he told me his story.

“I was married for 39 years and my wife died.” I wasn’t expecting this, I assumed he was just a sweet man doing something lovely for his wife. “I’ve been dating a woman who lost her husband. I was blessed with a wonderful woman and now I’ve been blessed with another one. I want to do this right.”

His stack grew. I steered away from some of the suggestions on the list. “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze, “The Notebook.” He specifically asked about the “Notebook” because he had heard of it. I told him a little about it and said it might not be a good one. He agreed. I handed him the funny, the sweet. Things they would laugh over, not cry. “I still get pretty emotional,” he choked and cleared his throat. When we were done, he thanked me and gave me a hug. We were both a little blurry eyed.

It was less than 10 minutes of my life. 10 minutes that I could have gotten a lot of work done. I did in a way, as I sold him a big stack of movies. Not because I wanted him to spend money but because I wanted him to find what he was looking for. I wanted him to have something to share with his new love. Something “Nice for her each day” as he had said.

It is often a series of 10 minute moments that build us, change us, and make us better people. He did that for me.

In the few close relationships I’ve had, I try to show the person I’m with I love them daily. Not just on Valentine’s Day. I’ve rarely made a big deal out of this holiday and during times I’ve been single snarled at it and saw it as more salt in the wound of the fact that I was alone. It’s always been one of those seemingly commercial holidays that are worthy of eye-rolling. All the pink and red, the hearts and chocolate. I know that for some couples, this may be one of the only times a year they put forth the effort to show their partner they care.

Show the one you love that you love them daily folks. And yeah, I think now I will always make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. This is the first year in many years I had even given it a thought and already had little ideas brewing in my head. We should all be lucky enough to spend 39 years (or more) with someone and if they leave us, lucky enough to find love again. I’ve been lucky enough to find it again and I will always be grateful.

Life and opinions can change in 10 minutes.”


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Fantastic Phrases

Words are wonderful things. They help us communicate with one another and offer us a wide range of ways to express various emotions. Occasionally, there comes along a phrase that is not only useful for communication, but is also fun to say in and of itself. The shape and taste of the syllables that form from certain combinations can be very palatable. Below I list my top 3 phrases that I love to say for the sheer experience of saying them. I encourage you to say them out loud as you read them. Using your “head voice” doesn’t do them justice. It’s all about the physical movements of the tongue and lips that make these phrases delectable.

3. “Edited it.” – I equate this phrase with the verbal, non-onomatopoeia version of a machine-gun.

2. “Avocado Watercress” – The best part of this phrase for me is the transition between the two words; the “cado water” portion, although the two “C”s help round out the two words nicely. All in all, a fun thing to say, and number 2 on my list of all time favorite phrases.

1. “Skeletal Metal Elephants.” – My favorite phrase of all time, this phrase has an amazing use of the letter “L” that doesn’t leave you tongue-tied, but instead rolls off your mouth like it was meant to be said in this way, and this way only.

I hope you enjoy saying these things as much as I do, even if you don’t really have use for them in your everyday conversations.

~Becky