Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Tree Nazi

Christmas traditons are always fun, like putting up the tree. As we were begining to decorate ours my mother called. I figured I'd talk to her a bit while my daughter and husband put on the lights. No big deal, right? When I got off the phone I came out to see one bare tree. Jeepers they couldn't even do that, I thought. Now I'm angry. My daughter is annoyed at me for grumbling and says she'll put on the damn lights, (my husband is safely tucked away in the family room). Are we having fun yet?
"No I'll do it", I tell her.
"Well I'll help", she replies.
She goes on to tell me that I'm soooo picky when it comes to hiding the wires from the lights no one wants to do it without me supervising.
"If you want to know someone who's really picky you should see your grandmother", I said. "Where do you think I get it from?"
Ah tradition, handed down from one generation to the next!

By the way, they let me do the garland by myself. It's more calmer that way.

A Blessed Day

I don't know when exactly it started but you hear most people wish others a Happy Holiday instead of Merry Christmas even when Hanukkah has long past. I've been doing it too. I know there's other religions but this time of the year, this day of December 25 is for Christians. Why can't the words Merry Christmas be taken for what it really means: wishing that person a wonderful day with family and friends, peace, and the strengthening of faith whatever it might be.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hank Phillippi Ryan +

The Long Island chapter of Sisters in Crime had a talk given by Hank Phillippi Ryan which I attended yesterday. She's an investigative reporter at Boston's NBC affiliate. She's won 26 Emmys and 10 Edward R. Murrow awards, plus many others. And she gives a great talk. Over the past year I've been in quasi contact with her through The Red Jungle Writers blog, so I was excited to finally meet her. Of course, just like at Michele's book signing, I didn't speak too much because my brain kind of comes to a halt when in a group. But she's warm, personable and funny. Definitely someone you could sit down with over a cup of coffee. Though I might feel a bit awkward at times for she doesn't cuss. As she explained if it isn't part of your regular vocabulary then the chances of slipping while on the air is practically nil. Makes sense, right? I never thought of that. It's a nice little tidbit to know.

Some items she covered in her How to Write a Better Novel were: explore your world - research, interviews, visiting -what are it's boundaries; choosing your sound bites - dialogue; visual - make your story as visual as can be- always push it, and don't panic - realize you have a problem, face it and keep going. It's never as bad as you think. Good advice.

It was nice to get out and be with other people. I got to start doing more of this. : )

Ok now for the +. It's my rant for the week.

New Jersey will be holding it's third black bear hunt starting tomorrow and it will go on for six days. They say there's approximately 3,500 bears of which about 300-700 will be taken depending on who you read or which news report you listen to. Over 5,000 permits have been issued for this hunt. Some hunters have been baiting certain areas for weeks trying to better their odds. Some sportsman!

All of this is happening because bears have increasingly been in contact with humans. They're in backyards, disrupting garbage cans, interacting with pets sometimes seriously, etc. Ok, I can understand the resident's concerns and not all of residents share them BUT we as humans destroy and/or take over habitat with a disregard to the consequences and then complain when something happens. We took over their neighborhood. We pushed them into smaller areas because of our developement. Then we get upset when they try to survive. What did we think was going to happen? We disrupt the balance of nature. This is not just a single incident. We do this to all the animals, all of nature because we think we're better, superior, deserving, entitled. In my own personal opinion - Bull____! The key here is balance and that includes controlling our own population. I could go on but I think you get the idea.