Oscar Night

Included: one 7-month old baby, 6 dogs, 5 hours, 4 stuffed shells, one 3-year-old child, 2 channels of red carpet coverage, and 1 fantastic moment.

"I'm In No Mood for Love" - Rachel Gibson - 2006

I should know better.  

Like most romance readers I have quite a few pet peeves.  In contemporary romances the number one thing I hate is name dropping.  I blame Sex and the City for the worship of designer labels, and I'm a girl who knows designers, loves Project Runway and is addicted to fashion magazines!  Throwing around the name encrusted on the heroine's sunglasses (p. 16) is just not necessary.  It does nothing for character building or plot momentum - it does not read well.  To me it only seems shallow and takes me right out of the story - and "I'm In No Mood For Love" had characters so unlikable and a plot so thin it really couldn't afford to lose me.  I finished this book, if only to get a complete list of labels and name brands. 

Wal-Mart (x2)
Nordstrom (x2)
Nieman Marcus (x2)
Club Monaco (x2)
Eddie Bauer

DESIGNERS (Includes Antiques):
Michael Kors (dress)
Hugo Boss (suits)
Calvin Klein (cologne)
Bebe (coat) x2
Kate Spade (purse)
Escada (perfume) x2
Versace (sunglasses)
Seiko (watch)
Ray-Bans (his sunglasses)
Coach (bag)
Estee Lauder (mascara and "Benefits Browzing")
Spode (xmas dishes)
Waterford (crystal)
Portmeirion (vase)
Corelle (dishes)
Levi's (jeans, of course)
Gor Tex (hiking boots)
Tulip & Lily (rug)

Lincoln Town Car
'75 Datsun
Land Cruiser
Lexus LS

BRAND NAMES - FOOD (Includes Chain Restaurants) 
Cap'n Crunch
Lucky Charms 
Wheat Thins
Camembert cheese (Not necessarily a brand name, but specifically mentioned.)
P.F. Changs
Burger King
Mrs. Powells (cinnamon rolls)
See's Candies

BRAND NAMES - BEVERAGES (Includes Alcohol)
Dos Equis
Diet Coke
RC Cola
Dom Perignon
Pyramid Ale

Misc. Brand Names
Double Tree Hotel
RITA Award (complete with copyright and explanation)
Chap Stick
Lasik Surgery
Muzak (x3)
Atkins (diet)
South Beach (diet)
Joy (even dish soap gets a shout out!)
Irish Spring
Platinum Visa (of course)
Ortho-Evra (yep, just saying birth control patch wasn't enough)
c9 xmas lights 
Do people actually know that means this kind? 

Total: 72 brand names!

 Give me a made up restaurant/hotel name anyday - Shop Local (real or fake)!
Give me less focus on clothing/shopping/consumerism - and focus on creating some characters who actually like each other, and maybe there would be a chance in hell I could like them too!
I could even handle a few of the brand names, but 72, seriously?  
Is she looking for some free samples or what?

Oh, one other pet peeve.  Misuse of popular culture references.  References in general can make me uncomfortable, I've found in romance, mostly the item in question is too cool (tying to hard) or just lame, not too many authors can find a balance to my liking (which is why I love Ms. Crusie so damn much)...
Gibson's references fall on the lame side of the spectrum and her copy editor must have been slacking during the H/H's discussion of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" - Charlie is the boy who wins the ticket, Willy is the owner of the factory.  That's why the book is called, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!"  Oh, and they misspelled Mr. Wonka's first name throughout.  

A few thoughts...

With the stress of "My Funny Valentine" behind me and a little time to myself, I thought I'd unwind with some good books.  However, it seems I'm in a bit of a reading slump lately, crashing with the TV on (Thanks, Bret!) and choosing too many random contemporary novels from the library that I just can't get into, plus there's that cute, cute, cat to distract me.  I keeping making to do lists and not crossing anything off!

Then there's the fact that when every show finishes I end up with more random stuff in my house!  I still have records from "Entitled" (Sept 2010) on my stairs, and pieces of a "kidney lamp" from "Dead Man's Cell Phone" (Nov 2010) now I have pirate gear, a sequined angel sweater, a crown and shot glass necklace, and a frozen English cucumber in the back of my car (I really need to take care of that one...)
Theater is only increasing my paranoid hoarding tendencies!!

I even found myself buying a two pack of socks to make the laundry stretch just a little bit further!

Someday (hopefully soon) I'll get my shit together.

My slide show of found and altered images 
to songs from "The Rugs." 
Tonight at VOMA - 7 pm.

Show Tonight!

Next up...perhaps

Thank You People!

Thanks to Wes Layton, Hit and Miss Engines, Better Than Seger, and everyone who came out for "My Funny Valentine" - an entertaining and fun night all around!

3 Weeks of Rehearsal + 48 hours of pure stress + a seating chart for 160 people = MAGIC!

Oh, Hello.

Lincoln Nebraska

Likes: Feathers, Boxes, Mice on Ribbons, Jumping in Sleeping Faces, being a Cat Nerd.

Dislikes: Loud noises, distractions of any kind, touching of the stomach area (unless incredibly sleepy)
Full Volume Renditions of "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

"Fallen" - Celeste Bradley - 2001

A random library paperback pick, which started with promise and ended in Colorado.  The heroine, Isadora was way too modern for the time period (though she started out both smart and likable) and the hero spent most of the book finding ways to not fall in love.  

"Fallen" felt a lot like the Judith McNaught novels I cut my teeth on:  the heroine is an attractive hoyden who becomes a smashing success among the ton - because she's different, plus an alpha hero Julian (who started out playful and charming, but drew ridiculous conclusions and acted like an idiot...), and more misunderstandings than you can shake a stick at.  The main problem with "Fallen" was the timing of the relationship.  The H/H liked each other right away - so Bradley continued to invent more and more ways to keep them apart, each time becoming less believable.  

Oh! Oh! Julian's pet name for her was, get ready for it:


Every time I read it I threw up in my mouth a little bit.

"Maybe This Time" - Jennifer Crusie - 2010

I feel like it's been forever since "Bet Me," (really it's been 6 years) - and she's finally released a new full-length novel from Jennifer Crusie, it's not a co-author, it's not an anthology - I only had to deal with some ghosts to get it, and I'm okay with that.  Another bonus, early 90's setting, "just cause."