Thursday, December 11, 2008

Everybody Sing!

I've been listening to a lot of Christmas music lately. When I was a teenager nobody recorded new Christmas music, now an artist isn't really an artist until he's put out a Christmas album.

One thing I've noticed and which I Christmas time everybody is a Christian. It's okay and expected to sing about Jesus and God's love while you're singing about Rudolph and snow and silver bells.

Even the Jews do it. Both Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond have Christmas albums. In fact Neil has two. I wonder what he was thinking as he sang O Holy Night, and Mary's Boy Child.

The Jackson Five, devout Jehovah Witnesses at the time, (translation- Christians who don't celebrate Christmas) put out a Christmas album. It must have been wierd for them to sing about Santa Claus coming to town when they didn't even get to hang stockings.

Hollywood may be notoriously anti-Christian, but nobody told the music world this. Nashville is decidedly pro-Christian and country music has never been shy about it even daring to put (gasp) religious songs mixed in with the heartache ones about losing wife, truck and dog.

But it's Christmas time when we get to shout from the rooftops about Jesus, we just agree as Christians that Santa gets to share the rooftop.

Of course there will always be those who like to ruin the fun and complain and deny Christmas - check out Brad Paisley's "Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday" sometime. It's hilarious and brings home a real truth about political correctness.

I'm fortunate that I live in a town where God has not been banned from schools and public places.

I've never understood the banning. How do kids learn from this. Interestingly the same people that are for banning God from schools would be horrified at banning books.

I'm more of the type that says "Let's celebrate everything! Christmas, Hannakka (anyone know how to spell that), Kwanza, Festivas, Chrismikka, bring it on. Let's learn about people's celebrations, not ban them. Isn't that what education is about?

So now I'm going back to listening to people celebrate Jesus and how he saved the world.

Yep, it's a good time of year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Want to Be A Scrooge

So what does the name Scrooge bring to your mind?

Like most people you'll think of someone miserly, mean spirited and lacking love for anyone. Bent over, twisted and grasping who can't even enjoy his own spoils never mind bestowing them on anyone else.

A Christmas Carol is a long time favorite but I wonder if we've missed the point that Dickens was trying to make.

At the end of the book, Dickens says of Ebeneezer Scrooge "Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all and infinately more...He became a good friend, a good master, and as good a man as the good old City knew, or any good old city, town or borough in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them...His own heart laughed, and that was quite enough for him...And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well."

Now that doesn't sound like a miserly, mean spirited person at all. In fact it sounds like a Christ-like person.

In fact we could draw similarities between the fictional Scrooge with the very real Saul/Paul. Saul too was a completely different person when he started out than the Paul he ended up being.

Isn't that what we are here for? To change our Saul/Scrooge ways into becoming better men/women, better masters, better friends? To put away our old selves and become new ones?

So shouldn't we remember Scrooge the way he ended up instead of the way he was in the middle of his life?

Maybe we should all become Scrooge like.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pops and Clicks and Static Oh Joy

I'm one of those people that doesn't let go of stuff. I still have the first watch I was ever given even though it doesn't work and the gold is flaked off. I got it from my godmother on my fifth birthday and it's on a chain instead of wristband. Come to think of it, I've got the second watch she ever gave me, as well as the porcelain dog and the swedish red wooden horse.

I'm sure there's even an orange stuffed monkey somewhere around here.

Consequently I've hung onto all my vinyl records, lugging them around even when I didn't have a turntable to play them on. Sure some of them have been put on CD but I didn't want to pay for music I already owned.

My check for my story went for necessities, but I did buy myself a birthday present with it. A turntable with software that coverts my vinyl into MP3, a much more space saving and convenient way of listening to music.

So now I'm in bliss listening to old records and knowing one day I don't have to lug around 3000 pounds of vinyl. Instead it will be able to fit into something I can carry in one hand, in fact I might one day be able to pocket all this music.

Sometimes I really do love technology.

I just wish that I could get the cleanup of pops and noise to work. Either it makes no difference or it takes out all the music. Any experts out there?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Variety is the Spice of Life, If You Understand How to Season It

I grew up with variety shows. It was an honored and respected form of entertainment. Take some funny skits, add some music, a little dancing, and some kidding around, dress everyone up and you have a show. Every star at some point had their own show, Judy Garland, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Red Skelton, Danny Kaye, Dean Martin and Sid Ceasar all paved the way for the seventies when I watched Donny & Marie, Captain and Tenille and one of the funniest ladies ever - Carol Burnett.

There was even a sitcom about a variety show. The Dick Van Dyke Show was about a comedy writer who wrote for the fictitious Alan Brady Show.

But by the end of the 70's the variety show was almost dead, mainly due to a smorgasbord of really badly done variety shows. Any one else remember the Brady Bunch Variety Hour? Or how about Pink Lady and Jeff? Barbara Mandrell managed to carry it on for a while longer with some respectibility, and then of course there was always Saturday Night Live which although technically it's a variety show it never was intended for families, which is what the variety show is about.

So when Rosie O'Donnell did a variety show I thought I would check it out. Now I find Rosie funny when she isn't being the angry political lesbian. And although she doesn't have a great voice, okay, she can't sing, she's usually overpowered by much better singers who carry the project while she says funny things.

The show was painful. No funny skits. I can't say anything remotely nice about Liza Minelli's performance which is too bad since she's a legend and deserves better. There was a stripper number done to a bunch of advertizing of various products they were giving away, and not only did Rosie sing badly as expected, she wasn't even remotely amusing.

I want Carol Burnett back. Bring on Eunice and Mama. I want to visit with the Queen and the guard who had no insides. I want to see the spoofs of movies.

I guess I'll have to be happy with YouTube.

Alert! Alert!

One of my stories got published in Woman's World. The current issue (Dec 3 I think) is on newstands now but it won't be for long.

Sure some editing got done to it. But my name is on it and I got a check and another magazine to add to my list.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coming Back

I'm baaaack.

I know it's been two months. Okay more than two months.

First I got busy with some writing projects with deadlines and then when those were through, I suffered writers block.

I've never had writers block before. Still have it. This post and the other one I wrote have been a struggle. And I feel guilty for not accomplishing anything.

So there's the confession.

And here's a link to something I found interesting. Sanctity of Marriage. I don't agree with everything that this blogger says on everything, but on this subject I'm nodding my head. You can read my reaction here. When Bad Is Called Good.

And hopefully I can begin writing again.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Jay Leno I'm Not

Yeah, I took some time off.

So here's my review, "The Santa Letters by Stacy Gooch-Anderson" . There are people who will not like me.

In the news today, a 59 year old woman gave birth to triplets.

If you were to see me now my eyes would be big and round and moving like kalidoscopes.

She got donated eggs or something. I'm not sure whether I was more shocked by this piece of news and the implications or the declaration from the French government that they won't allow women over 42 to recieve donated eggs.

Apparently I am now over the age where it's acceptable to have a baby. Not that I want one, I've already done more than my fair share in that department, it's just the fact that I'm considered too old now.

I wish my body knew that, it would make some days easier. I mean if I'm going to be declared too old I should get the benefits from that declaration. But no, I'm old and still have to suffer.

Fifty-nine with baby triplets. By the time she's done with diapering them, she'll be diapering herself. They're going to all be in walkers at the same time. They better hurry up and get licences so they can drive her around.

Okay, not fair. Lots of men have babies at 59 and no one thinks anything of it. But then they're not the ones who actually take care of them. They hire nannies for their wives. They hire nannies for their babies too.

Okay, I'll stop.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Don't Rush Me

I know I'm not American. I know that I have no business commenting on American politics. Well, I guess because it's my blog, I can comment on anything that I want.

However Rush Limbaugh commented on something that goes beyond politics. I don't know how everyone feels about Rush. I understand he's controversial, but someone must like him because the guy has a radio show and he's had tv shows so he's got his followers.

Anyway, want to see what he said and see my comment on it? Well then go to Whoops, I Slipped. It's part of my abuse series if you're following that and if you're not following that, you still might have an opinion.

Nothing Much to Say

I've posted a review. Soul Harvest is another one of the Left Behind series. I'm clipping along these books quite nicely and enjoying every one of them although some things annoy me.

Funny, I think of topics to blog about and then when I get to my blog, my mind goes blank.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Two Posts and an Interview

Okay, I got a little behind schedule.

So there are two posts, count them two, that you can read.

Single in the Twilight Zone

1984 is Here

And an interview that I did with Barbara Salsbury has been added to the review of her book. Go to Preparedness Principals.

And because there are two very clever pieces and an interview, I don't have to be clever here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's Late

I'm not going to be charming and witty. It's too late or early depending if you call this Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Anyway, I posted a review for a Virtual Book Tour. Go to Preparedness Principals.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Insanity

Okay, there's some amount of craziness over at Ask Aunt Madge...

"Yeah, this time it's your fault."

"I was just paying you back, Aunt Madge."

"Just come on over everybody."

"There's something about pickles."

"It's not about pickles, Anna."

"Hey, you brought up pickles and now I'm hungry."

"For those of you out there, I have advice about work at home jobs, not pickles."

"I'm still hungry."

Monday, August 11, 2008

No Muskrat Love Here

Prompt day!

Go to The Joy of Writing for this week's prompt.

I went for a walk tonight. Ended up being soaking wet because it decided to rain. But it was a warm rain and I didn't mind at all.

I walked around the local lake, well it's not really a lake, it's a pond or something. It's got animals in it. Now I'm not too concerned about meeting up with a duck, but I am worried about those muskrat.

They say that Alberta is rat free. But we have lots of muskrat, and you know what a muskrat is besides the subject of a Captain and Tenille song? It's a water rat.

I do not want to meet up with a water rat.


My post for today (and today I mean Sunday because I haven't gone to bed yet is Protecting Marriage.

There was a thunder storm and my power went out. I was on my laptop at the time so the battery took over. With the light from my computer I was able to find candles and a lighter so I was prepared when the battery died.

I don't like total darkness. It's not like I require a nightlight, because I find the streetlights provide enough light to make things fine, but complete darkness I find oppressive, like I can't breathe.

I wonder how they managed before electricity. Sure they had lamps, but at some point you have to turn the lamps out and then there you are. In utter darkness. Moonlit nights are fine, but not every night is the moon visible. How did little kids find their way to the bathroom? I can't imagine a four year old lighting a candle.

I guess I'm spoiled.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I've got another review up. Nicolae by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

I'm still reading the Left Behind series. The books I'm currently reading I've read before, but I forgot so much of it and I don't remember what book I left off with a few years ago, so I need to read the whole series again.

I really enjoy series books. I also prefer television to movies and series movies to stand alone ones. I get caught up with the characters and I don't like to leave them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Music Soothes the Savage

I'm listening to Michael Buble right now.

There was a time when I wouldn't have anything to do with this type of music.

I find though that as I grow older my tastes in music expands, and I'm able to embrace many more different types of music, even music that others might deem "uncool" (not that Michael Buble is uncool, he's actually pretty cool, but he wouldn't have done well in the 70's when i was a teenager.)

Now, I've always liked "uncool" music. The kind that kids wouldn't admit to liking, but as a grandmother I can now listen to it without apology.

So on my computer I have Andy Williams, I have the Osmonds. I have Maroon 5, Matchbox 20, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, the Jackson 5, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Carole King and Carly Simon, the Carpenters and Barry Manilow, the Calling, MercyMe, Point of Grace, Shedaisy and Rascall Flatts and Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Taylor Swift and...

I've even found myself enjoying a little (my fingers are very close together there) opera. Yep, even opera.

I'm able to embrace a lot of different types of music - well, except for rap, polka and heavy metal, I still don't get that stuff.

I'm able to talk with my kids about music. I may not know the latest thing going on since I tend to listen more to the country music station or the station that plays everything, but I'm open to new things. My son knew I would like Rob Thomas and he was right and I'm often surprised at how much they know of the music I grew up with (although my 17 year old doesn't understand ABBA).

It was different for my parents. They were teenagers before rock n' roll hit and although my mother didn't mind the new music she never quite grew to love it as I did. My father was completely into Russian symphony, however I did get my liking for Andy Williams (which I denied later) because of the records that all self-respecting parents of the 60's had at that time. Grown up music. Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Lena Horne. Music I escaped because it wasn't cool.

Now I can enjoy it again (although I'll never like the Lawrence Welk show). But I can listen to that and Lifehouse and whatever else I wanted.

It's nice not to care anymore about being cool. Especially since I never was.

For today's post (nope this wasn't it, you have to go somewhere else.) Go to
Let The Kid Do It and don't shoot me. At least not hard.

And right now Michael Buble is singing my favorite Elvis Song, "Can't Help Falling In Love."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Who Knew I Had That Kind of Mortgage

I got two emails today informing me that Carrington Mortgage Services LLC has taken out a payment from my checking account for $8716.00.

I laid down on the floor and laughed, and laughed.

How do you take almost $9000 out of a checking account that only has about $300 bucks in it?

And who has a mortgage payment of $9000 bucks anyway? Ed McMahn I'm not.

In fact I rent. What would I pay mortgage on?

But...there was an attachment that suggested I look into.

No, I did not open it.

I looked on for information. Warning: don't go there, you'll never come out again.

Nothing about this was there.

But I'm wondering if anyone has fallen for this, momentarily and ended up with a virus.

Okay, for today's post, go to "How Did I Get Ham Out of A Shrinking Violet?

Breaking Into National Markets

Review time! Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

I admire Stephenie. All right, I'm jealous of her too. She's managed to go national where all the money is. Let's face it, few authors make money, fewer still if you publish in the LDS world. The readership is just too small to support an author.

What I would love to see is LDS characters being accepted nationally, like Catholic and Jewish characters are.

But it would take an author who has already broken into the national market and been wildly successful with a strong readership to do it.

And I suspect that at this point Stephenie is enjoying the ride. It's good to see and LDS author join Anne Perry and Orson Scott Card in the mainstream.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Is Aunt Madge Ready for the Big Time?

"Aunt Madge has posted again. Go to Ask Aunt Madge."

"That's the way to sell me? Come on, you can do better than that."

"Well, what am I supposed to say? The stupendous, amazing, wise and wonderful Aunt Madge and her brilliant advice blogs again?''

"That's good! I like that. It's short, to the point, and absolutely true."

"I am not going to say that. It sounds like an introduction for a magic show in Las Vegas with girls in skimpy costumes and albino tigers."

"I don't wear skimpy costumes or have a tiger, but my words are pretty magic and they would work quite well in Las Vegas. Who knows, maybe one day..."

"Oh, I don't think so."

"You don't know what I was going to say."

"I do to. You were going to suggest that someone pay you millions of dollars to appear at your own show in Las Vegas."

"Well why not? They just paid a guy a billion bucks to make dolls and pieces of foam talk. At least I help people."

"I'm rolling my eyes."

"And lets not forget Dr. Phil."

"You are not Dr. Phil."

"No thank goodness. I have a full head of hair."

"And on that note I think I'll end this conversation."

"Don't forget to visit me. Remember Ask Aunt Madge. And if you want me to solve your problem just send me a note, because I'm tired of solving Anna's problems."

"Hey, they're not my problems."

"Yes, dear. We all know that." (you can't see me, but I'm winking at you all.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Food Storage

For the latest prompt go to 10 Minutes of Crazy.

Please feel free to take part in the prompts. I would love to see what other people do with them.

I do the church bulletin. In one section I have a list of things for preparedness. It's divided up into months. I suppose the idea is to make food storage and other things easier by putting it into smaller increments. I didn't write this list, it's just been sent to me with instructions to put it into the bulletin.

So in the month of August, we're instructed to get 100 quarts of fruits and vegetables per person.

What? This is bite size and easy to do? So a family of four (small by Mormon standards but it's what I'm down to now), would be 400 quarts. Lets say I don't can. I buy cans. How many cans make up a quart? Lets say it's two cans a quart and I find this amazing deal of two cans for a dollar which is being very very modest. That's 400 thousand bucks just for fruit and vegetables. That doesn't include the rest of the list. Yeah, there's more on the list. Add to that, although it's designed with the idea that you don't have fresh fruit and vegetables, you're still supposed to rotate your food supply and I'm sure none of us are giving up fresh unless a crisis happens. You're going to have old cans of fruit and vegetables sitting around for awhile. A long while. And not everyone can store that amount, and even if they do, and then they have to move, who wants to move thousands of cans of food? Books I can understand, but old food? Books don't go bad over time.

This defeats me before I even start.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


There's another post for my abuse series. You can read Self-esteem and tell me your thoughts.

Thank you to those who have commented on my new blog. I'm glad you like it.

I'd tell you something funny, but my kids are gone for the summer and I'm all alone in my house, which in other summers was fine. But for some reason this summer I'm having trouble being alone. There isn't a lot of fun things to do alone. I can go shopping and to the movies by myself. I can travel alone (I can't this year, no money), and I like spending large chunks of time alone, but there's a lot of stuff I don't want to do alone.

I wonder if I'm getting ready for the possibility of having someone in my life again.

I've gotta lose some weight.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Map to My World

I'm watching the Gimore Girls these days. I love the Gilmore Girls. I want to live in Stars Hollow and be thin like Loralei.

I thought I'd do a run down of the various blogs I have here.

Real Women Don't Wear Bikinis - this is the home blog. This is where I keep it short and then direct you to another one of my blogs. This one gets updated daily.

Annapinions - This is an archive. It was the home blog but because it had a glitch in it, it wouldn't allow me to put this pretty template up, so I've moved from it. You can still read posts from it and I will be putting in the sidebar the extra good posts, but no more will be added here.

Musing Along the Yellow Brick Road - I update this on Sundays. Often it's thoughts on the scriptures. I also have an ongoing abuse series here. It's a serious blog and one that I hope can cause some discussion.

10 Minutes of Crazy - This is the prompt blog and I update this on Mondays. I find a prompt, write for ten minutes, and then post it in it's imperfect and sometimes non-sensical form. I invite others to take part in the prompt and post your own contributions or post a link.

Ask Aunt Madge - Aunt Madge posts this on Tuesdays. It's an advice column. I say advice just to give you an idea because frankly the advice is a little bizarre, but it makes her happy.

Views From Hobbit Hole - This gets updated on Wednesday and Saturdays, mainly because I have such a long book list. It's a review blog of whatever I want to review. Mostly books.

Annamaniacs - This is the humor blog. Often I'll post past columns to here. Hopefully you'll get a smile. I post to this one on Thursdays.

This, That, and that Other Thing - My Friday blog is about whatever I want to talk about that doesn't fit in anywhere else.

So there you have it. When you come to visit, come to this blog first and see what's going on.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Official Name Change

All right, I have declared a name for this new blog.

I originally wanted to put my name in it. No, it has nothing to do with my deep founded belief that I'm the greatest writer who ever lived and I want to tell everyone about it.

It has more to do with name recognition and blogs and stuff like that.

But I simply couldn't find a name I liked to work with.

So, I've resorted to a title of a book I haven't yet written. Well, in a way I have. It was going to be all my columns put together, but seeing as I don't have anyone who would be interested in that project right now, it's on the back burner. The far back burner. The one behind at the back of the garden plot where no one goes because there's too many spiders.

My post for today is about Beedle the Bard at This That and That Other Thing.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My New Room

Isn't it gorgeous!

How do you like my new room? It's still in the same house and all my other rooms are the same, just this one is different.

I'm quite pleased to finally find a blog template that I love. It's pretty, it's feminine. Okay, it can be a bit of a pain because the template doesn't work properly, but I figured a way around it.

There was something I was going to talk about, but I can't remember what it was.

Oh, I'm not liking my blog name. Anyone have suggestions? I guess I could call it Annapinions II: Revenge of the Nerd, but it won't fit up on my title bar with my name. I had wanted to call it Anna Maria Junus: Real Women Don't Wear Bikinis but again, it didn't fit up on the title bar.

I need something short.

And by the way, what is that stupid undefined thing on my blog near the title?


I've posted to Annamaniacs. Read Of Mice and Woman.