MJ’s Musings: SEP-Lady Be Good

Lady Be Good is not one of my favorite SEP novels. I don’t particularly like Emma (the heroine) or Kenny (the hero). I’m not a fan of golf.  The plot is absurd.  A prim-and-proper British schoolmarm wants to create a scandal to avoid marriage to a stuffed shirt back home, while the disgraced golfer she’s decided to use as a boy toy is bent on changing his image so he can resume his career on the green. Good goals, good motivation, nice conflict. But for some reason the story doesn’t do it for me. Of course the novel is well-written, laugh-out-loud funny at times, but I don’t care enough about either of them to care if either one succeeds.

My favorite character is Kenny’s sister, Torie. She’s strong, she’s quirky, she has baggage. Her love interest, the geeky Dexter, is wonderfully sexy.  I wish more of the story focused on them.

MJ’s Musing: A Halloween Memory

Halloween can be cold in my neighborhood. Some years there’s snow on the ground. The weather can play havoc with costume plans.

One year–I must have been six or seven–my mom made me wear a winter coat over my costume. How humiliating! The matter got worse when the nasty old lady three or four doors down answered her door and said, “Where’s your costume? That’s no costume.” As if she couldn’t see the snow swirling around us.

She had a point. I should have worn my costume over my winter coat.

 

MJ’s Musings: My Log

For many years, my parents heated their house with wood.  One of the many chores my siblings and I had to do involved stacking firewood.

I’ve always been one to notice details. One day, while stacking logs, I noticed several that appeared to have been etched. I asked my father if I could have one of them. He said yes. He explained that insects between the bark and the wood had made the marks. I didn’t care. I was fascinated by patterns.

I carried the log with me through many moves while I was in my twenties. Most people thought I was weird. Then I met TV Stevie, who asked me about the log. Turns out he had one, too. Something about it appealed to him.

We still have both logs, careful not to burn them in our own wood stove. Our logs predated “The Log Lady” on the TV series Twin Peaks. We never received cryptic messages from ours, but who knows? Maybe the etchings on mine reveal the secret of life.

MJ’s Musings: Talking to Your Family

When my children were young, we had a habit of dinner together every night. No TV, no radio. Each meal began with a toast, “Happy <<insert day of the week>>.” Then we went around the table and shared one good thing that happened to us that day. We ate we talked, we shared the low points as well as the high points of our days. Often times it was the only chance we had to reconnect as a family.

When X-Chromo (the youngest) invited a friend over for taco Tuesday, we didn’t alter our habit. Her friend was shocked that we conversed. And laughed. At her house, her parents listened to NPR during meals, and there was no talking allowed.

I was stunned. I understand not every parents’ workday mirrored ours. I knew other parents did other things with their children, running them to and from activities and such. But to not allow them to speak at a meal so they could listen to the radio outraged me.

We enjoyed discussing current events with our children. We would explain why famous people who had died were important. When drama club would select a play, we would discuss the realities behind the play. We tried to teach them history and why it is important to know.

I’m glad we did meal time our way, and I hope my children are, too.

 

Even now that we are empty nesters, TV Stevie and I still do “One Good Thing” when we manage to sit down together for dinner.

MJ’s Musings: My Favorite Mugs

There are too many coffee/tea mugs in my house. There are boxes of them in the basement. They are stacked in the cupboard over the stove. They reproduce faster than guppies.

Four of my most favorite mugs have been broken: two oversized bright yellow mugs, a cobalt blue one from the 2000 RWA National Conference Chapter Presidents’ Retreat, and one my parents brought me back from Florida–a lovely gray and purple beach scenes with the moon rising over star fish in the dune grass.

Here are four of my current favorites:

I call this my SARK mug because of all the brilliant colors. I like to drink tea from it. It was a gift from a critique partner one holiday when we drew names.

I purchased this mug at the Margaret Mitchell House Museum  when I attended the RWA National Conference there in 2006. It was the last one I’ve attended. The legend at the bottom says, “In a weak moment I have written a book.” I also have the matching refrigerator magnet.

This is my favorite tea mug. I purchased it from an import store in Syracuse that eventually became Pier One–but the mug predates that. My then-room mate and I each bought one. This mug is older than most of my co-workers at Day Job.

Captain Planet! When I worked in local TV, I was given a lot of mugs by program vendors (see previous comment about boxes in the basement, although I did leave many at the station when I left).  This was always my favorite. The reverse side reads THE POWER IS YOURS. The interior is a fabulous periwinkle blue. How can you not love Captain Planet?