Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break and Angry Birds

Have you played Angry Birds? As far as I can tell, it's a silly, primitive game promoting violence (imagine that!), the goal of which is to knock down birds in flight using rocks and a sling-shot.

Here's a snippet of past conversation I had with my  beloved nephew, Jeremy (featured with me in this picture. He's also the mischievously chocolate-faced gem near the top left of my blog.).

Jeremy to Auntie Robyn: Are you good at knocking stuff down?

Auntie Robyn: All the time, sweetie. All the time.

Satisfied with this response, Jeremy tells Auntie Robyn to watch him play Angry Birds, kills a few, and hands her the game. Now you try.

Auntie Robyn aims and fires the sling-shot with aptitude and confidence.

Jeremy: You're not so good at it.

Auntie Robyn, laughing: You're right, honey. I'm not so good at it.

Jeremy, a bit disillusioned: What are you good at?

Auntie Robyn thinks for a moment: Well, sweetie, I can say the alphabet.

Jeremy looks unimpressed but remains proud that he can beat Auntie Robyn at this and all other games he likes to play. 

Jeremy is now waiting for Auntie Robyn to visit so he can repeatedly defeat her at Angry Birds. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to turn him onto Ants in the Pants (Not to brag, but I sometimes get lucky at this one). Angry Birds remains his favorite game. So wish me luck! 

This is to say that I'll be away, maximizing auntie-nephew time, this coming week. 

To all those embarking upon the A-Z Challenge, good luck and have fun with it.

I will post for IWSG if I'm able -- depending upon time and Internet access. I'm sorry that I might miss out; we'll see. 

Happy Easter and a meaningful Passover, as relevant.
Be well! I'll see you soon.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Few Good Men

You might have noticed that I have bad luck with men in the romance arena. I'd like to blame the male species, but I can't. There are too many great guys in the blogoverse alone. And they've been some of my most enthusiastic, funny, and gracious readers. Given the extent to which I mock stupid men, I truly appreciate my male blog friends. So this post is dedicated to you, my manly followers, spotlighting a few good men in particular... 

First, my most adorable male fan, Mini-Alex. Behind every cute guy is a woman, and Elise Fallon created Mini Alex for the Alex blogfest. Mini and his Peeps recently toured Alex's blog with my book, and they made an appearance at my facebook page. The fans are going wild. His agent, Captain Alex, has been one of my dearest blog friends for several years. Thank you, Alex and Mini. [And thanks to my new creative blog friend, Elise.]
Product Details
Second, there's blogland's rhyming wizard, Mr. Pat Hatt and his cat. Pat and the cat express everything in rhyme. They even respond to every blog comment in rhyme. Pat's a good guy and a successful author too. I'm most excited that his newly published book, Tune at High Noon, features a Rockin Robin!! It's really fun, the illustrations are great, and my praise of Pat's work comes completely unsolicited.
And the men who've made me laugh more than any other bloggers, A Beer for the Shower buds, Bryan and Brandon, always deserve mention. Their talents amaze me. B & B are artists, accomplished authors, and outrageously funny. Despite their beer chugging bravado, they are down-to-earth nice. B & B recently celebrated the distribution of their books in Denver based bookstores. Congratulations, guys.

I have so many more wonderful male blog friends: Jamie, Anthony, Pat T., Kal, Chuck, Matthew, Gorilla, John McE., and the guy reading this saying "Damn that Robyn, she forgot to mention me. Ungrateful little b*tch!" I love you all.

Women, I love you too. I just figure you already know this. If not, please know it now.

Be well, everyone. I appreciate you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

DuPont and The Latest in Springtime Chocolate

 Unknown Mami
Hi, there.

Today, I'm combining Sundays in my City with The Latest in Chocolate. It's all about the holidays we're approaching, Easter and Passover. And it's thanks to UnknownMami, hostess extraordinaire of the blogoverse's picture-perfect worldwide tour HERE.

Welcome to Chico, CA.
Du Pont is ready for Easter, sporting a pretty lei, and a boy-girl duo of bunnies or teddy bears (?).

Next, I sampled dark and milk chocolate covered Peeps. YUM! The inside's a fun, bright yellow that hasn't yet killed me. I prefer milk chocolate, so I like this one slightly better than the dark chocolate covered bright yellow marshmallow Peeps, but it's all great and highly recommended (by me, not nutritionists). 
I give this delightful treat at 9.

Lastly, Passover begins Monday night.

The coconut macaroon is a traditional Passover cookie. It's found in all sorts of flavors, including chocolate, chocolate chip, and -this one- red velvet. I was so intrigued, I had to try it. Plus, I actually don't like chocolate macaroons. While Red Velvet Macaroons contain cocoa, they didn't work for me either. The flavors didn't mix right. I give them a 5, and I recommend you get homemade macaroons from a cafe or bakery. Chocolate dipped macaroons are divine. You can otherwise find macaroons at Safeway or most major supermarkets.

Not only do we eat well on Passover, the holiday is rich in meaningful ritual. Passover serves to remind the Jewish people to appreciate our many freedoms and, ultimately, renew our commitment to bring peace on earth. It's a universal goal and one we can all appreciate. So whatever your faith, may you experience gratitude at this time and always. We've countless freedoms to celebrate.

Thank you for stopping by.
Have a great week.
Happy Spring, Passover and almost-Easter.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ode to the Twinkie, the Sequel


Ode to the Twinkie, the original, is HERE.


Remember the Twinkie, that creme-centered snack?

For 4 hundred 10 mill, it's being brought back!

Famed as it was, it was never my fave.

 Even stuffed with cocoa -vile, I know-

The Ding Dong I still crave.


So Twinkie, my darling

With a light golden hue

I'd share that I've missed you

But it's simply not true.


Rumour has it, dear Twinkie,

They're gonna super-size you.

Now we're talking, my precious

I'm ready for two!


(I'll take mine deep-fried, a Ding Dong on the side.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My First Author Interview

Hi, friends.

I invite you to visit my first author interview HERE.

A teaser-snippet follows.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What's your favorite fruit? I can’t explain it, but I’m drawn to long, hard bananas.

What's the most blatant lie you've ever told? That I’ve never told a lie. 
 
What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer? My work’s been called “chick-lit,” yet at least half of my readers are men. I like to think of myself as the anti-chick-litter. 
 
Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist? The relentless paparazzi. I wish I had my privacy back. Otherwise, I can’t think of any. 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy spring! Is it raining there too? Regardless, I hope the week is treating you well.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by.



Monday, March 18, 2013

Top 10 Movies Blogfest

 
Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, today we feature our Top 10 Favorite Movies. Disclaimer: I don't like seeing movies. I get antsy staring at a screen for more than an hour, even at home. Plus, there are lots of movie genres I avoid (e.g., horror, sappy love stories, etc.) So, while these aren't necessarily the best movies of all-time (though I think several are), these are my favorites.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(1) Ordinary People. Directed by Robert Redford in 1980, this one's incredibly true-to-life with phenomenal writing and acting. 

(2) The Wizard of Oz. I said it all in my last post.

(3) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original, 1971) ~ a most deliciously fun movie. {I thought the sequel was okay, but Depp was too creepy, and the real Charlie wasn't in it.}

(4) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) I'm not a sci-fi gal, but the special effects were spectacular and left a lasting impression. This was Speilberg's next big hit after Jaws.

(5) Rear Window (1954) I've seen many of Hitchcock's movies, and I found this one to be the most intriguing and least scary.
  (6) Airplane! (1980) ~ a movie that still makes me laugh more than any other.

(7) Good Morning Vietnam! (1987) ~ Everything worked, and I fell in love with Robin Williams. (I've since fallen out of love, but he did a fantastic job in this one.)

(8)    Breakfast Club (1985) ~ Fun, meaningful, and a great intro to the brat pack.

(9) Milk (2008) ~ Sean Penn really shines, and the story is poignant. Very well done.

(10) Lion King For Elton John's theme song alone, The Circle of Life, this Disney classic makes the cut.

 

Thanks for stopping by. Are any of these your favorites too? Do any of my picks surprise you? 

 

PS I'm having computer frustrations and an "iffy" connection. If you don't see me much these days, that's why. My apologies. 

 

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Scarecrow and Me

A tribute to one of the world's most shining stars, Ray Bolger (aka The Scarecrow)

1/10/04-1/15/87
 

                                      Ray Bolger, The Scarecrow, age 76, 1980


Robyn and Ray, Universal Studios, Burbank, CA, 1980

One of the most phenomenal people to grace this planet, Ray Bolger, lived from 1904 until 1987. This singer, actor, and dancer performed in over 30 feature films and Broadway musicals. Most notably, Ray Bolger played the Scarecrow in MGM's 1939 classic, The Wizard of Oz.

The release of Oz, the movie (which critics don't like), prompted me to dig up these old pictures. I grew up in Los Angeles, where every other person and their plastic surgeon was/is a star - in reality or in their dreams. I went to school with a Mouseketeer and to college with Loni Anderson's daughter. My dad passed drugs to folks like Cher and Steven Seagal (as their pharmacist), and we played on the Temple School playground with a young Jack Black. No encounter, though, was as exciting as this one: meeting Ray Bolger.

I'm chilled looking at these pictures and reading about him. Not only was his talent incomparable, Ray Bolger had heart. We spied him while watching a show at Universal Studios in Burbank. After the show, we asked if we could take his picture. Without hesitation, and with beaming warmth, Ray obliged. So, there I am with Ray Bolger.  

~~~~~
When asked if he gets residuals for telecasts of The Wizard of Oz, Ray replied, "No, just immortality. I'll settle for that."
~~~~~

Dear Ray,

I'm sorry my dad snapped this picture when the sun was in your eyes. I'm also sorry that I didn't put my arm around you, but I was too shy. Plus, I was so tiny that it might've been seen as an inappropriate gesture. Thank you for posing for this photograph. I'll always treasure it.

You were so loving, joyful, and full of life, and nobody can dance like you could.

Love,
Robyn

This is a clip of The Scarecrow's dance that was deleted from the original. Click on "Skip Ad" on the right to watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSFQy_cLvLU

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Slipper Slippage into Step-ladder Ensemble

Another excerpt from my novel, Woman on the Verge of Paradise, follows. This blurb takes us past my break-up with Noah, the dead-possum-kisser-who-perhaps-leaned-towards-necrophilia-and-lived-nextdoor-to-me-so-what-can-possibly-go-wrong? guy. 

I hope it brings laughter.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
A few weeks post-breakup, I really missed Noah. Luckily, the lightbulb in my main room died. Perfect. I readily purchased a new one at the 7-11 directly behind Parkside Manor. To play it casual, I threw on a sweatsuit and slippers, then knocked on his door.

“Hi Noah, my lightbulb went out. Can I bother you to fix it for me? I can’t reach.” He agreed and walked a few steps into my apartment. 
At 5’8,” Noah couldn’t reach either. So I positioned my small step-ladder directly underneath the dead bulb and handed him the new one. Noah climbed to the third step. Nervous, I asked if he wanted a cup of water or something to drink. He said “No, I’ll just change this for you now that I’m up here.”
I needed to do something besides watch his handiwork, so I poured myself a cup of water in the kitchen, sipped, and left it on the counter. As I re-entered the main room, my slippers slipped. I fell on my butt and skid across the sleek hard-wood floor, crashing into the ladder. Noah jolted and jumped off to safety. Fortunately, he’d replaced the dead bulb before the collision.  
“Oh sorry,” I said with composure, sharp pangs surging through my rear and upper thighs. I stood up. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah I’m fine. You scared the hell out of me, that’s all.”
“Oh sorry,” I reiterated. “Well um thanks for changing my lightbulb.” I stared at the floor, couldn’t look at him.
“Okay. I guess I’ll see you later.” Noah swiftly departed.
I begrudgingly walked into the kitchen, pulled open the freezer door and grabbed my ice-pack. A cold numbing sensation soon displaced the pain, but not the shame.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Robyn Meets the Bushes: IWSG

Welcome to the  March gathering of the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group). Alex J. Cavanaugh  founded the IWSG to provide a safe venue for expressing our vulnerabilities and offering each other support. We're posting on the first Wednesday of every month. Please check out Alex’s blog to visit others’ posts. It’s a thoughtful, fun group.  Join us, if you haven't already! All that's required is an insecurity or two hundred.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Robyn: Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm excited to welcome two big-name politicians today. They're a father-son duo and they can be found in bobblehead form. That's right, folks. I'm talking about none other than Presidents George H. W. Bush, Sr, and George W. Junior! One decrepit woman screams wildly. The camera zooms in on the source of hysteria: a blindingly bright white-haired Barbara Bush. The Star Spangled Banner plays, as the two Bushes stroll to center stage. 

Robyn: Please take your seats. George Sr. reclines in an antique President's chair, and George Jr. makes a bee-line for a loud  orange child's table and chair (ala IKEA). He ecstatically thumbs through a Sponge Bob Square Pants coloring book and grabs the box of Crayolas on the table.

Robyn: Thank you both for coming. We're honored, especially since you (she faces George Sr.) recently recovered from a long bout of bronchitis.

George Jr.: Bronchitis? Daddy, I didn't know ya had a dinosaur.

George Sr. chuckles. My boy is such a card!

Robyn fakes laughter. Well, let me start by saying that we welcome all types at Life by Chocolate. I don't want to offend anyone except most of my guests. So I avoid discussing politics. Consider yourselves lucky, since I hate yours.

George Sr.: Excuse me?! We resent that, you uninformed liberal! Right, Georgie?

George Jr.: Uh huh um yeah ya unicorn nipple!

Robyn faces George Jr, an inquisitive look on her face.: There's a clear intellectual discrepancy between you two. What we've all wanted to know is, were you adopted, Georgie?

George Jr.: Heck no! I don't believe in adoption. I'm pro-Life!

Robyn: Got it. Say - turning to George Sr. - you just re-released a book, and you're 88 years old, and your book has a ridiculously long title: “All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings.” And it's 720 pages long. 720 pages?!

George Sr. That's right. The more recent material is focused on my boy here. He was harshly criticized for being slow, you know with Katrina and a slew of other things. But my boy cares. It's disgusting how they treated him.

George Jr. tugs on his father's coat sleeve. Pointing at a page of his coloring book, he says: Look, papa, he lives in a pineapple under the sea! He giggles.


Robyn: See folks, anyone can be President, so there's no reason why you can't write that next paragraph you've been struggling with, and then finish the next chapter. And there's no reason why you can't publish that book. Insecurities are stupid. Don't be slowed down by stupidity. Keep on keeping on.

George Jr.: Papa, can we go to Chuck E. Cheese now?

George Sr.: In the words of our friend, Sarah, you betcha!

America the Beautiful plays, as the Georges prepare to depart the stage hand-in-hand. Little George grabs the coloring book from the table. Barbara screams with approval and pride. Robyn waves at the camera and starts collecting crayons.

Thank you for visiting our show.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

One Lucky Horse: Sundays in My City

Welcome back to Chico, CA, where...

Green leaves give off a rain-touched glow

The sun's rays pressing through
 
DuPont, in all his glory, bestows
                                                       St. Patty's greetings
                                                                  just for you.

Thank you, UnknownMami, hostess of this wonderful worldwide blogtour. 
Visit other Sundays in My City posts here.     
Unknown Mami
And thank you for visiting. Happy March and new week.
Take good care.