Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Decade of Difference and Happy Birthday, John Cusack!

 Photo on left: My Wedding Day, 7/1/07      

*Photo on right: This weekend, 6/24/17

*I posed with a friend and her boyfriend. Since I didn't ask their permission, I chopped-cropped his face off. You'd probably still recognize him on the streets, but my hair will blind you first.

What a difference 10 years (minus one week) makes, right? 

It seems an appropriate time to share the piece below. I posted it years ago for Jenny Matlock's Alpha-Thursday "H" post. I hope you appreciate the message.

Happily Ever After  
backyard of Temple Israel, where we married. Alameda's Bay Farm Island, 6/17

   "As wonderful as things are at this moment," Rabbi Wyse promised, "it will get even better, better than you could ever imagine."

   Touched by these words, I stood teary-eyed with my new husband, an expansive rainbow colored stained glass window accentuating our loving aura. It was indeed a magical day, added to promise of a divine future.

   The months and years to follow, though? Not so much. Okay, when does this happily ever after thing kick in? I wondered, as life plummeted into a miserable abyss. How could a man of the cloth be so off base?

   More recently, however, I learned the wisdom behind those words. The Rabbi was right, after all. It would get even better than I could ever imagine.
   I just didn't realize it would take so long after the marriage, and the divorce, to find my happily ever after.
For the grand finale, it's not just another Wednesday. 6/28 marks the Birthday of an adorably witty, playful, charismatic, gorgeous and sexy celebrity. Of all the stars with whom to share my birthday (year included), I did pretty good. Happy Birthday, John Cusack.

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that. I just want to spend time celebrating our special day (and night) together, Robyn Alana Engel. Be my birthday date.
XoXo#&etc.*!! Love Always, John Cusack”
If you insist, John.
Happy Birthday to us!
Smooches and more, hon.
xo Robyn ox 

Five extra credit points to the first person who names the movie in which he says the above quote. And who does he say it to?

Be well, and take care of yourselves, Dear Sillies.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Arctic Zone Chocolate

Dear Sillies,
Imagine a small, confined space - say, an elevator - wherein these three people are between floors: Ryan Gosling, Halle Berry, and Bruno Mars.* Pretty hot in there, right? It's even hotter these days, right? We're in the hundreds over here. But I shouldn't complain. Some of you are probably dealing with humidity too - I can't imagine. Stay cool, my friends. Whatever it takes.

*I know, but he's a 5'5" cutie - perfect for me.

On your behalf, dears, I did some taste testing. I went for something healthier than the usual desserts, healthier than yogurt even.  ~ Arctic Zone Brownie Blast.~
It's super low in sugar and saturated/bad fats, calories too. It's lactose and GMO free. You'll find chocolate brownie bits through the fresh and cool spoonfuls of dark chocolate.

It's not as rich as ice-cream, icier and lighter. But this stuff is yummy. It cooled me down and made me smile.

The price was right too. ($4 for a pint).

Arctic Zone earns a 9 from me.
Anyone tasted this? If it doesn't appeal to you, let me know. I'm happy to keep sampling chocolate products until I find one that meets your desires.

Be well, and stay cool - whatever it takes.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Unfold, Unleash, and Wave Away! Flag Day Erotica

Dear Sillies,
If you have one, take it out and wave it proudly. Need I say that bigger is better?
Happy Flag Day.
Keep a smile and sense of gratitude, my friends.
Love you.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

IWSG Inspiration


My Dear Sillies,

For the past week, I've been away. Imagine getting a flat tire in a small town wherein you have no phone signal and there's no auto shop. In other words, it's been a long day. I'm home safely now, so all's good. And it was worth it - I was at a very nice writer's conference in the northeast corner of California (Modoc County).

For now, let's travel to a memory . . . With notebook in hand, I entered Pete's for our weekly writer's group meeting. What started as a group of eight had whittled down to three. At that time (approx two years ago), I'd just finished my first draft. I floated with an insecure confidence: Maybe undoubtedly or probably iffy and/or certainly I was possibly onto something worthy. My loyal writing buds would definitely see me through.

We sat at a small table in a downtown coffee shop for the usual discourse. 

"I need to tell you both," Pamela started, "I can't do this anymore. It's taking too much time. I have too many emotional things going on with the family, and the job, and my life's a mess. But I want to see your book, Robyn, when you've made all the corrections and polished it."

You're dumping me now? Sure, buy my book when it's published. For you, $100. An extra $50 for my autograph. "Well I guess I understand," I responded softly, verging on tears, "but I'm really disappoint---"

"Yeah, actually," Neil interrupted. "If Pamela's leaving the group, there's no sense in only the two of us continuing."  He proceeded to state that my story didn't work and he was tired of reading it.

"Why would I sit here and be criticized when you're both bailing on me? I have a book to finish." I grabbed my things, and stomped out. 

Writing paralysis struck and stuck for months. Pamela and Neil had become very close friends. Shock and despair mixed with utter insecurity about how to proceed.

Months or a year later, I don't know how I finished but I do know why: Perseverance. That's the key ingredient, right? Nothing else matters nearly as much.

This brings us to the present: Last week Acorn Publishing recognized Woman on the Verge as  MEMOIR OF THE YEAR (for 2016)! See seal on left side bar. Yippeee! I'm eternally thrilled and honored.

So my dears, PERSIST -- whether it's completing a novel or essay, or finishing a NY Times' crossword puzzle (I have much more luck with the former). Take breaks. But keep faith that you'll get there eventually. Unexpected rewards await your arrival.

Be good to yourselves, my friends.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Tribute

I've recycled a Memorial Day post from years prior. Apologies, but sometimes I said it better then than I could now. Oftentimes, I don't know what to say about something so overwhelmingly tragic as War.

And how can we adequately thank and pay tribute to our military? I don't know; I don't think we can...I did give it thought as a child. Back then, I was a diehard environmentalist and humanitarian (who failed to use a dictionary to check my spelling, completely naive to the fact that I'd publicize this "poem to think of" decades later). I wrote:

                                        ~Embiggen, if you'd like to read about THE SAD war~
My favorite line in the above poem is: "I think more forests should be built."

My sweetie-pie nephew, 16 mos.

May it be a meaningful, peaceful and safe Memorial Day.

With gratitude and blessings to all who have served and will serve our country, and to their loved ones, for all time.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Reasons for Celibacy and the Tiny Dog

Dear Sillies,
Happy Tuesday. I hope you're doing well.
Once again, I bring you more reasons for a woman (for example, me) to choose celibacy in these strangest of times. Taken directly from internet dating ads, in bold, and my responses, italicized, may these bring giggles and a sense of relief for your relationship status.
Take care, my friends.

REASON #403:
Psst, it’s not a secret once it’s posted on the world wide web.

REASON #404:
hello weird socially-lacking girls 
hello man too stupid to figure out why his life is lacking in female companionship. 

REASON #405:
Solid rep. Not your average jo. Realer than most. Not tryna impress nobody. yet highly intellectual, and well-versed in it.
Well versed in what, Einstein? Tryna be a real solid rep of a Joe with no “e”?

REASON #406:
I’m fairly certain I already dated this one before:
Will only do things that I can do with my dog; after I brush his teeth I let him lick my face. Tiny dog. Ok? Okay. Oh honey, if I’m gonna do a threesome doggie style, I prefer no dogs allowed. PS Tiny is not okay.

REASON #407:
kiss me im fun ??
no thanks im done ??

Monday, May 15, 2017

Chocolate Cheerios, More Chocolate, and Sailing Away

Dear Sillies,

Did you have a nice weekend? I hope so. And I hope the new week is off to a sweet start.

I'm not sure what's going on with the Youtube link on my blog header. I suspect Putin has something to do with it. But hopefully, it'll be fixed soon.

Now, onto a Chocolate review ~

General Mills' Chocolate Cheerios ~ Well, they aren't as big as advertised. (We know how that is. Right, ladies? It would be nice to NOT need a microscope, for a change.)

But it's gluten free, so that's supposed to be a good thing. And it tastes pretty good. Plus it's a relatively healthy cereal with whole grain oats as the first ingredient. And they're CHOCOLATE. I never liked regular Cheerios, but I do like these.

Also, General Mills is on the good team; they've given over $175 MILLION to US schools through Box Tops for Education. They support worthy causes such as the Celiac Disease Foundation. So you  might consider giving them business when seeking a good cereal.
All things considered, I give Chocolate Cheerios a 7 on a 1-10 scale. Size does matter. 
Have you tried these? What do you think?
MORE CHOCOLATE~I had a great, packed weekend. It started with this delectable breakfast at the Paradise Chocolate Fest. Note the chocolate syrup and chocolate chips on the pancakes. Naturally, I washed it down with hot chocolate.

Then, I sold a few books and had fun conversations at the Chocolate Fest's "Authors' Alley."
Mother's Day is typically painful (I'm sorry if it is/was for you too), so I planned a getaway. I went sailing on the San Francisco Bay. It was awesome. My friend, who literally showed me the ropes ("sheets" and "lines" and other terminology Sage can tell us about) only had to shout at me twice: "Robyn, go the other way! You're heading straight for the dock!" Phew, I didn't crash. And I didn't fall into the water. So that's doubly good. It was a beautiful day and well worth the full day's trip.

Be well, my dears.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

May Pole Erotica

With apologies, I'm posting a re-post from last year's re-post from the year before last.

Keep smiling, my friends, despite any unpleasant sights.

Love to you and yours for a nice and pretty May.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Interview with Dr. Phil, back for IWSG!

Hi, Friends,
I stopped doing the IWSG/Insecure Writer's Support Group long ago. But I missed the group and my alternatively factual interviews. Alex is so kind, I'm not sure he ever dropped me from the list. So all things considered, I brought back a biggie. He's 6'4". He's Dr. Phil. And he's here for an interview.
Robyn: Come on out here, Doc! 

Dr. Phil hands his rifle to wife Robin and walks to center stage. "How ya all doin'? I said 'How ya all doin'?"

Robyn: Why do you always repeat yourself, Philanderer? 

Dr. Phil: Look, I don't know what you're talkin about, little one. I said, 'I don't know what you're talkin about down there!'

Robyn: Excuse me, dude. You're not a real doctor. You gave up your license years ago. A questionable license it was, too. You'd hired a client to work as an employee. Hm. The station kept you on as "entertainment" while you pretend to do therapy. Unethical much? And you cheated on your first wife. And you steal quotes from others and pretend they're yours. Yet you don't have an insecure nerve in your body. How do you do it, Philayofish?

Dr. Phil: Look, it's time to get real about your life. I said 'It's time to get real about your life!' If you don't have confidence in yourself, nobody else will. I said --

Robyn: I heard you! I quoted you in my book too. I mean, you're not all bad, but you are an annoying egomaniac, Philosophical b.s.er.

Dr. Phil: Let me tell you, I've conducted an extensive study. It took years of research and the most highly trained professionals. We determined your needs. Our crew looked long and hard --

Robyn starts to salivate at the thought of her needs finally being met in a long, hard way.

Dr. Phil continues: We found the perfect intensive neuro so so psycho facility for middle aged sex starved women of abnormally short stature who are ravenously addicted to - shall we say? - treats.

Robyn's beaming. Oh yes, Phillycheesesteak. We shall say treats! Woohoo! Robyn partakes in fist pumping and frenetic dance moves.

Dr. Phil: Look, just go! I said 'Just go!' Dr. Phil signals two very big security guards to escort a hyperactive Robyn off the stage.

Robyn: Thank you, Philharmonic! Thank you! You're the best! I said 'You're the best!'
On a different and very sad note, in my eight years of blogging, I've spoken to half a dozen blog friends by phone. One of them is Melissa Bradley. Melissa and I shared men bashing stories and other nonsense, and she'd make me laugh hysterically. When I spoke to her approx. two weeks ago, and she was in hospice, Melly told me: "You know what they served me for dinner the other night? Bratwurst! YOU DON'T SERVE BRATWURST UNLESS YOU DO IT RIGHT. And that means NOT WITH KETCHUP PACKETS!" How could I not laugh heartily? Melissa called me her bloggy sister. She was a feisty, saucy, hilarious, creative, heartfelt and very loving woman who fought a grueling battle with unfaltering gusto and optimism. Ultimately, cancer put an end to that fight this past Sunday.  Among Melissa's final words to me were "I'll pray for you." That speaks to her selfless character. 

I love you, bloggy sis. Your memory is forever a blessing. Thank you for all your gifts to literature, your loved ones, and the world. Rest in Peace, dear heart.

Take gentle care, my friends.
I love you and life is precious. 
Keep a smile. Better yet, laugh heartily. And repeat. And then some more.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How I Landed in Chuck Norris' Hood

I could have met Chuck Norris this weekend, but I might not have lived to tell the tale.
   It was a long drive to the woodsy club, but I made the trek to support a few musician friends. And because I had no idea that I wouldn't make it home that night.

   Darkness dominated when I embarked on a solo drive home after 10pm. Despite the "Maintenance Required" light flashing on my dashboard, 1/4 tank of gas, and a poor sense of direction, I'd be fine. Garmin would get me home. Whenever she said "Keep going," I obeyed. [Garmin wasn't working properly due to a faulty signal in the mountains.]
   Over an hour later, I faced a sign directing me to Chester and Susanville. Not a good sign. Bad, bad sign. Chester is as it sounds. (Hint: It rhymes with "molester.") Susanville is known only for its prison. You get the idea.
   I stared at my phone's face. No signal. No lights, no sign of life, low on gas, car needs maintenance. Alone in the pitch dark ideal gruesomely terrifying horror movie crime scene. A homicidal ax wielding one legged, twelve armed vampire zombie would pop out at any moment. But I'd driven too far to back track. So I gripped the steering wheel with rigid palms, as I cautiously winded further into eternal blackness.
    By 11:20p, I thought about crying. That is, I thought: "I feel like crying." But the tears were too scared to leave their ducts. Can't blame 'em.
   Alas, a precious sight: a bright red VACANCY sign. In the midst of nowhere too! Lucky girl!
   I jumped out of my car, dashed to the door, and knocked. No answer. Tried the knob. Locked. I knocked harder. No response. I pounded on the damn door. Nothing. I ran around the perimeter of the building, knocking frenetically on lumber, glass, metal door frames, whatever. At this point, tears found the courage to run and play all over my face. Good on them.
   The front door cracked open. I rushed over, and I was met by a caring woman.

   I'd landed at a charming Bed and Breakfast just west of Chester in Plumas County (NRA land near Lake Almanor). A queen sized bed provided comfortable, relieving slumber.
   The next morning, I delighted in a generous serving of country potatoes, fresh fruit, and homemade pastry. The owner engaged me and a handful of guests in friendly discourse. Chuck Norris' getaway home is nearby, she said. He had a big party at this place years ago for one of his step-daughters. He's a lot smaller than he looks on screen, and he's "a very nice man."  
   I'm glad I didn't awaken Chuck in my hysterical state the night before. I can't imagine that things end well when you upset Mr. Norris - however small and nice he may be.

   It took me two hours to get home on Sunday. Thank goodness I made it -- safe and unsound as ever, and with not having met Mr. Norris in the woods of Plumas County.

I hope you're well and safe, my dears.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Comment Collage Starring YOU!

Dear Sillies,
  I hope you had a great Easter.
  You're so silly that I figured it's time for a comment collage. This one reads like a hilariously bizarre script, and it's comprised of your recent comments. If you're not quoted below, my apologies. {You're likely more sane than the rest of us.}
  Thank you for being a fun-filled, playful bunch. Please stay that way, because I love ya.

Joanne said Spring has sprung, figure out who's hung…
Janie Junebug said Now that's the way to cheer me up--not that I've ever had an unhappy moment. Elsie Amata said It's about freakin' time!  Lux G. said Matt Damon though. Pat Tillett said I'll bet he wouldn't like it if you called him "peanut dick!"
A Beer For The Shower said So is no one concerned about her wanting to tear up beef to the bone? No food is safe here! Alex J. Cavanaugh said I wonder how many Leprechauns were harmed? Birgit said I just think of the Jolly Green giant as having syphilis. Jono said The urges of spring are strong. Now to find a willing partner to perform the rites.Gorilla Bananas said Now if the foot fetish guy could write with perfect grammar and punctuation, I hope you'd be curious at least. I mean he can't stay down there forever, can he? Elephant's Child said There are far too many oxygen thieves about and I would like to cut off their supplies. sage said Trying to be cute he made an ass out of himself. Al Penwasser said Using Peeps for S'Mores while camping. Giddy up! Anthony J. Langford said Shakin that ass Robyn! JoJo said That's hilarious!!!!!! Pickleope Von Pickleope said As the one with a sentient pickle avatar, THANK YOU STEPHEN for looking out for the rights of cucumbers. Pat Hatt said Guess short people just get the short end of the stick. Mitchell is Moving said You could always wear a sign that says, "If you want to have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting to first base, don't call me Shorty." fishducky said My nephew has been married to a 4'8" woman for about 40 years. I love her dearly!! Stephen Hayes said As a short person I take comfort in that. Debra She Who Seeks said Do I hear a mic drop at the end of that! Yes!