Monday, October 31, 2011

Poetry Monday

Happy Halloween!

The Vampire

by Madison Julius Cawein

A lily in a twilight place?

A moonflow'r in the lonely night?—

Strange beauty of a woman's face

Of wildflow'r-white!

The rain that hangs a star's green ray

Slim on a leaf-point's restlessness,

Is not so glimmering green and gray

As was her dress.

I drew her dark hair from her eyes,

And in their deeps beheld a while

Such shadowy moonlight as the skies

Of Hell may smile.

She held her mouth up redly wan,

And burning cold,—I bent and kissed

Such rosy snow as some wild dawn

Makes of a mist.

God shall not take from me that hour,

When round my neck her white arms clung!

When 'neath my lips, like some fierce flower,

Her white throat swung!

Or words she murmured while she leaned!

Witch-words, she holds me softly by,—

The spell that binds me to a fiend

Until I die.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ready Player One- Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

From Goodreads:
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed

My opinion:

I started this book at 1 a.m. thinking I would read for an hour or so until I fell asleep. I closed it at 4:58 and felt like I was saying goodbye to an old friend. Cline has created a frighteningly good portrait of what the world may turn into within the next 50 years. And while I'm not the avid gamer/computer freak that the characters in this book are, I knew enough to follow the story easily and try to decipher the challenges & clues that would lead them to the ultimate prize. The BOATLOAD of 80's trivia made me smile- I don't know how many times I sat up with a squeal of "Hey, I KNEW THAT!" Seriously good stuff

Monday, October 24, 2011

Poetry Monday

A good lead in to Halloween, I think....

The Highwayman

The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding--


The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

He'd a French cocked hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;

He'd a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.

They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!

And he rode with a jeweled twinkle--

His rapier hilt a-twinkle--

His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,

He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,

He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there

But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--

Bess, the landlord's daughter--

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked

Where Tim, the ostler listened--his face was white and peaked--

His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,

But he loved the landlord's daughter--

The landlord's black-eyed daughter;

Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I'm after a prize tonight,

But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.

Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,

Then look for me by moonlight,

Watch for me by moonlight,

I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,

But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand

As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o'er his breast,

Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight

(O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),

And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.

And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,

When the road was a gypsy's ribbon over the purple moor,

The redcoat troops came marching--


King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,

But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.

Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;

There was Death at every window,

And Hell at one dark window,

For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!

They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!

"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,

"Look for me by moonlight,

Watch for me by moonlight,

I'll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way."

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!

She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!

They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,

Till, on the stroke of midnight,

Cold on the stroke of midnight,

The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;

Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.

She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,

For the road lay bare in the moonlight,

Blank and bare in the moonlight,

And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?

Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,

The highwayman came riding--


The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.

Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!

Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!

Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,

Then her finger moved in the moonlight--

Her musket shattered the moonlight--

Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him--with her death.

He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood

Bowed, with her head o'er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!

Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear

How Bess, the landlord's daughter,

The landlord's black-eyed daughter,

Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,

With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!

Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat

When they shot him down in the highway,

Down like a dog in the highway,

And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,

When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor,

The highwayman comes riding--


The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,

He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,

He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there

But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--

Bess, the landlord's daughter--

Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Alfred Noyes

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rumble Road: Untold Stories from Outside the Ring by Jon Robinson

Rumble Road: Untold Stories from Outside the Ring

What fans see IN the ring is nothing compared to some of the antics OUTSIDE the ring. Although my days of running the roads with wrestlers are long over, it was fun to read the stories in this book and remember things I've seen and done. From travel woes (how on earth did some of them find places before GPS?) to pranks pulled (ask Chris Jericho about his deaf Fozzy fan), this collection covers everything and then some.

True story: In the early 90's, My friends and I were hanging out with some then-WCW wrestlers who invited us to come to the next show in Roanoke, VA. (We were at a show in Winston-Salem NC at the time) We got directions and drove up- it took about 90 minutes. 7 hours later the frantic show promoter comes knocking on our hotel room door. It seems he'd gotten a phone call from the guy I was dating. He & his tag team partner D were riding with another wrestler, Steve. My guy, M, & Steve had fallen asleep, leaving D to drive. D had the attention span of a gnat and no sense of direction, so of course he had taken a wrong turn. The others were asleep, and he left them that way thinking he'd figure out how to get back to where they were supposed to be. He didn't. M woke up at some point several HOURS (and miles) later, looked out the car window, and shrieked "Where the HELL are we?!?" Steve woke up when M started yelling, and they convinced D to pull over at the next gas station. They were in Charleston WV.  M refused to get back in the car with them- I had to drive from Roanoke to Charleston and get him. The other 2 waited for me to get there and followed me back. We barely made it to the show on time. Needless to say, D wasn't allowed to drive again for a LOOOONG time. I hadn't planned on going on the rest of that scheduled run with M (they had 3 more shows in VA & MD), but he begged me to stay and drive them. Since I was between jobs at that time anyway, I agreed. There are several more stories from that trip (ask me about Space Mountain sometime), but those will just keep until I write my OWN book. LOL

Monday, October 17, 2011

Poetry Monday

Is The Moon Tired? She Looks So Pale

Is the moon tired? she looks so pale

Within her misty veil:

She scales the sky from east to west,

And takes no rest.

Before the coming of the night

The moon shows papery white;

Before the dawning of the day

She fades away.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The World Champion of Staying Awake by Sean Taylor, Jimmy Liao (Illustrator)

The World Champion of Staying Awake

From Goodreads:
When Stella’s toy animals refuse to go to sleep, she comes up with a clever plan using her keen imagination.

It’s time for Stella to go to bed. But how can she sleep when Cherry Pig, Thunderbolt the puppet mouse, and Beanbag Frog are wide awake? "I’m the world champion of staying awake!" shouts Cherry Pig, bouncing on the bed. Luckily Stella is good at thinking up ways to get her toys to sleep - by taking them on a sailing Pillow Ship, a shoebox Midnight Train, and a toy-basket Starship Balloon. With luminous illustrations and an utterly charming text ("I’ve shut my eyes, but my feet are completely woken-up . . . "), this ode to a child’s imagination and boundless spirit is certain to be a winning choice at bedtime.

My take:

This is a DELIGHTFUL little book about a little girl's imagination and how hard it is to go to bed when you really want to stay awake! As Stella slowly lures her playmates to sleep, she is able to become sleepy herself while still holding her title as The World Champion of Staying Awake! The illustrations are as charming as the story, and I hope to see the author & illustrator collaborate on some more books.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Poetry Monday

Autumn Violets

Keep love for youth, and violets for the spring:

Of if these bloom when worn-out autumn grieves,

Let them lie hid in double shade of leaves,

Their own, and others dropped down withering;

For violets suit when home birds build and sing,

Not when the outbound bird a passage cleaves;

Not with dry stubble of mown harvest sheaves,

But when the green world buds to blossoming.

Keep violets for the spring, and love for youth,

Love that should dwell with beauty, mirth, and hope:

Or if a later sadder love be born,

Let this not look for grace beyond its scope,

But give itself, nor plead for answering truth—

A grateful Ruth tho' gleaning scanty corn.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Not Low Maintenance by Barbara Morgenroth

Not Low Maintenance (Kindle Edition)

this started out very promisingly. Viva has fled her East Coast home and lived in California for the last 2 years. An urgent plea for help from her sister brings her home, and the sisters decide to start a catering business to get little sister Bel's finanacial problems under control. Sadly, their first client turns out to be a hunt ball hosted by Viva's detested, vindictive ex. Viva designs a menu that is pointedly directed at him, yet goes over well with his friends and clients, and reignites his thirst for revenge on her for something that isn't revealed until much later. David, the ex, is a goon; Joel, the man Viva meets at the hunt ball is a lawyer with a sense of humor, and as soon as it's obvious that he & V are falling for each other, David hires him to sue Viva. The rest of the book follows Viva & Joel trying to forge a relationship despite David's lawsuit, Viva's unlikely transtion into a pop-culture Mating Maven, and the fallout from David's vicious, bitter attacks. The ending was a little rushed and forced- had it been fleshed out a little more, I would have given this 4 stars.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Poetry Monday

found this on

Reality Check

That perfect person you longed to meet

And make part of your life

Turned out to be a control freak,

The dream lasted a whole week

And awakening was so bleak.

Hope and expectation ends in grief.

The perfect job you so desired

To advance your stalled career

Led you into a dead - end.

Ambition is a false friend,

Frustration seems a strong trend

Dipping towards a dark nadir.

Time for a reality check,

Your life is a carousel.

What goes around keeps coming back,

The car you rode is off the track,

Failure stretched you on a rack

And disillusion cracks your shell.

So step down off your merry-go-round

Into these waiting arms,

I cannot offer you perfection

But promise a connection

That will salve hurt and rejection

With a thousand loving balms.......

Anthony Zeigler