book reviews · random stuff

Book Review: Nightmares and Dreamscsapes

I’ve been a fan of Stephen King since junior high, and his books contains some of the short stories that makes me want to walk up to him and say “Dude, your mind is so twisted, and I LOVE it!” One of those stories is ‘You Know They Got A Hell Of A Band’, another is ‘Chattery Teeth’ and one more favorite in this collection is ‘Home Delivery.’

The list of stories in this collection (all published previously):

Dolan’s Cadillac
The End of the Whole Mess
Suffer the Little Children
The Night Flier
Popsy
It Grows On You
Chattery Teeth
Dedication
The Moving Finger
Sneakers
You Know They Go a Hell of a Band
Home Delivery
Rainy Season
My Pretty Pony
Sorry, Right Number
The Ten O’Clock People
Crouch End
The House on Maple Street
The Fifth Quarter
The Doctor’s Case
Umney’s Last Case

These include a couple of ghost stories, a zombie tale, some vampires, some alien-ish things, and a couple of those odd things that only Mr. King can come up with. For example, The Moving Finger, a story about a man and what emerges from his drain one night. Like Chattery Teeth, it’s kinda icky and just plain weird. Which is why we all love Stephen King, right?

 

book reviews · books · random stuff

Book Review: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

As per my rule, after I started watching the Showtime series ‘Dexter,’ I had to read the book the show was based on.  (I did not read these when the series was running.) I am glad I did; the book is dark, creepy, and occasionally wryly funny. Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter is a different monster from Showtime’s, but both are equally entrancing.

My favorite line from this book:

“I took a deep breath and tried to remind myself that I was a good girl and didn’t do those things.” Gotta love it when a serial killer makes you laugh.

 

online dating · random stuff

Something’s Fishy

Is it possible to miss someone who never really existed? To long for something you never actually had? Well, of course it is, I tell myself–that’s what dreams are. Right? Sure. But in this case, I’m not talking about a dream I had. I’m talking about something altogether different.

Before I go any farther, let me just say that sharing this with the entire world was a difficult choice to make. I need to get this out of my head, though, so here we go! A few posts ago I mentioned that I’d ventured back into the world of online dating, and that I’d met someone.

His profile on OkCupid said his name was Justin, a computer engineer in his mid-40’s, living in New York City. He had a cute profile picture; not movie star cute, but attractive. (I’m not movie star attractive, and I don’t judge a book by its cover!) He liked books, jazz, Asian food, and travel. He messaged me, and we chatted on the site for about a week and then through emails, and texts. After a couple of weeks, he asked if he could call, and I said yes. Talking to him was very nice; he was funny and smart, and I liked him. He did have a strange accent that made understanding him difficult sometimes; it almost sounded as if he had a hearing problem as a child. He told me his accent was from growing up in Germany, where his mother still lives. It didn’t sound at all German to me, but I accepted his explanation, because by this time, I was starting to like this guy. Of course, I should have paid more attention to the things that didn’t add up. The strange accent. The fact that if I called him I always got voice mail. And the strangest thing, the one that really should have made me know I was being played–he had no online presence. I did a Google search for the name he gave me — Justin Peacock– about a week after we started talking, and while I did get some hits, they clearly were not him. There is a writer of that name living in NYC, and he popped up. His books, mystery/thrillers, are pretty good. But that’s neither here nor there. I thought this lack of any kind of online presence was odd, given that he claimed to be a freelance computer engineer; in this day and age, how do employer find him if he isn’t online? No Facebook profile, either. Something was smelling fishy.

 

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A month or so went by, and “Justin” called me nearly every night. I enjoyed our talks, and was truly feeling something for this man. I’d set aside my suspicions, except for a little niggling in the back of my mind. And then he told me he loved me. Frankly, I was astonished. We’d never met, and he loves me? Seriously? He seemed sure of himself, so I went with it, and let him declare his love. I wasn’t in love–yet–but I was developing very strong feelings. Then he began telling me he had a job coming up that was taking him out of the country. He said he was going to Malaysia for a month to negotiate the contract, then he’d return home before going back for a year. He said he wanted me to come with him for that year. Well, from there it all went down hill. The week before he was supposed to leave on this trip his calls were fewer and fewer. The day he left, he didn’t call, and I was angry and hurt; how do you leave the country for a month and not even call the girl you say you love to say goodbye? What the hell was going on? I emailed him, and heard that he’d been running so late he’d nearly missed his flight, and how sorry he was. Yadda yadda yadda. From then on, the excuses flowed like a river. When I told him that my sister suspected he was playing me, he told me he’d planned on coming to Portland on his way back home after his month was up, to surprise me and prove them wrong. Then he said he was having trouble with his bank and couldn’t put minutes on his phone, so couldn’t call me. I really didn’t know what to think at this point, but I was torn. A big part of me wanted him to be real, and to have him show up on my doorstep. But the sensible part of my brain said “Jonna, something is not right here. Find out why!” So I did what I could, and put his picture into Google image search, and hoped against hope that I was actually talking to a man named Justin Peacock. Nope. I got catfished.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term catfish, let me enlighten you. 3454615

catfish

someone who pretends to be someone they are not online to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. From the 2010 movie Catfish

CATFISHED : Being deceived over social media as the deceiver professed their romantic feelings to his/her victim, but isn’t who they say they are.

Having a fake profile, images and avatar in order to lure people to have romantic feelings. They are then catfished when the victim realises the person they have fallen for via social media is not who they appear to be.

The picture led me to a Google Plus profile of a man in California named Alexander Appleby (his name sounds fake, too, I know). Every picture “Justin” had sent me was from one of Alexander’s profiles, either on Google Plus or Facebook. Just to be sure these were not the same people, I called the business phone number listed on the profile, and spoke to Mr Appleby. I’m not sure if I was hoping to hear “Justin’s” voice or not, but the voice I spoke too was definitely not the man I’d been talking to. And he was rather upset to find out someone had been using his photos in such a manner.

I sent an angry email to Justin, telling him I knew the truth, and wanted to know who he really was, and why he’d done this. Needless to say, I’ve heard absolutely nothing since.

What really bothers me is that I miss him. I miss that imaginary person, and that makes me both sad and angry. I swear, if I ever meet the person behind “Justin Peacock”, I will bring the wrath of the gods down upon them.

random stuff

Random Stuff from My Mind

It’s been an entire month since my last post. Shame on me….bad blogger! I really hadn’t realized it had been so long–every day I intended to write something. There is a REASON I am the Queen of Procrastination, ya know, not just the Princess! Jeez, you’d think someone who can talk as much as I can, about absolutely nothing, would be much better at keeping this blog up to date, wouldn’t you?

Of course, I always think I need to say something meaningful, or at least entertaining, and then I get a bad case of blogger’s block! I don’t know why I think a blog needs to be deep–I read enough of them to know that isn’t true! Some of them make Pauly Shore movies look meaningful! The approach I need to take is this: just write about whatever, and see what happens. Kind of the same thing I do when I talk…ramble

First an update on the last month of my life, in case anyone out there cares:

My bank account, which was hugely overdrawn due to the theft of my debit card, has been mostly fixed. It turned out that my laptop had a huge trojan virus, and a bunch of my info was being taken; I’m actually lucky that they only took such a minor amount of money! I am still trying to convince the bank to refund all of the overdraft fees, but somehow, I doubt that will happen.sigh

Healthwise, things are better. It’s been 31 days since my last seizure (YIPPEE!!), and that is fabulous! The thyroid meds seem to have finally kicked in, because I am FINALLY losing weight. (I hesitate to say that, for fear of jinxing it!) And inches, too. Back in April, I took measurements, and re-took them the other day: all of them were down at least 2 inches! It’s kinda freaking me out, because I’m not really doing anything differently. Still eating mostly green smoothies (except, of course, on those days when I have to have a big bowl of ice cream!), and coffee, and popcorn. Still sitting around on my ass, reading, surfing the net, and watching Netflix! A part of me wonders what is wrong, to cause this; yes, I am paranoid.

I gave up on growing my nails out, because I couldn’t stop from biting them. Frankly, I’d rather wear fakes than have my real ones gnawed down so far they bleed, which is where they end up! My hair still looks terrific, of course.

As for the online dating, well, I met someone. And for now, that is all I am saying about that!

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I’ve spent a lot of time watching Netflix this last month. First I binged on True Blood, and now I’m finishing up Dexter. I didn’t make it through the last 2 seasons of Dexter when it was on the air, so these are new for me. Frankly, after Season 6, I think I would have quit. Maybe even Season 5. It’s not really living up to it’s potential; although I do enjoy getting to see Michael Clarke Duncan naked so often! And I am glad that Masuka got his own little storyline (and that we don’t have to see him naked!).

Still reading Fanfiction, and I just started reading a book called “Fic: How Fanfiction is Taking Over the World”  Anne Jamison, which is turning out to be very interesting. Can’t wait to review it for ya’ll!

A now, my little rant for the day:

I surprised myself today when I discovered an article stating that Barry Manilow got married back in April 2015, to his longtime producer and boyfriend! How did I miss this? Being the Fanilow that I am, how did this tidbit (not the fact that he’s gay– as if that’s a big shock-but the marriage) escape my notice? Honestly. I am a bit disappointed in Barry after reading several articles about this very private wedding (where Suzanne Somers was reportedly his ‘best man’ –and that bothers me, too!), simply because he still has not actually come out. No paperwork has been filed, and he has not made any statements. Apparently, Barry is too worried about his career, worried that his fans won’t understand if he admits he’s gay. To which I say “Oh, PUH-LEEZ! Give me a friggin’ break!” I’ve been a fan since I was in elementary school, and I realized in middle school that he was probably gay (I’m not sure I even really knew what that meant at the time.), but it certainly doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is that someone who sings about love so passionately doesn’t have the courage to put his love first. Especially now, when his career is rock solid. I ask you, Barry, “What would Tony do if this were about Lola?”

 

random stuff

These Days

These days of summer, the month of June, has been spectacularly obnoxious for me. Here’s why:

Near the beginning of the month, my debit card was stolen, and a number of charges were made online. The charges themselves were not very big, but my bank has added HUGE overdraft fees, leaving me nearly $900 overdrawn at the end of the month. I don’t even get nine hundred dollars in SSI/SSD each month!! We are working to fix this, but it seems as if the bank just doesn’t care. I hate it, and am not happy. And I’m broke, probably forever, now.

Add to the money problems the health stuff. The last year has been bad, seizure-wise, and we cannot seem to figure out why. OHSU, where I am a patient at the Epilepsy clinic, assigned me to a new doctor last Autumn, and I’ve seen her once. She keeps rescheduling my appointments. So I’m asking my GP, Dr Jeff, for a referral to the Providence Neurology & Epilepsy Clinic. I am done being shuttled around. That appointment, with Dr Jeff, is tomorrow. I get my thyroid level checked, too, after being on the med for over a year. Let’s hope things are looking up!

Some things are looking up, I can admit that. I’ve lost some weight in the last year, but not nearly what I need to lose. I am a short woman, with small bones, and weighing this much can’t be good for me. Now, I watched a TED Talk this week, and based on their info, even at this weight, I’m in the healthier group. See, I do 3 of the 4 things it takes to make you the healthy person: I eat plenty of fruits & veggies, I don’t smoke, and drink moderately. I don’t get enough exercise, but I’m working on it. Makes me feel better about myself, even if my clothes are a bigger size!

Seriously, 75% of what I eat these days is some sort of green smoothie. My NutriBullet gets more use than any other appliance I own, except my laptop! I am feeling better, and I know I am healthier. There are days when something happens to change that; last week I had a fairly bad seizure, and managed to injure myself in some strange places. How I got what looks like a rug burn/bruise underneath my boob, I have no idea, but it hurts like a bitch! Wearing a bra has been out of the question for the last week. (Oh, and the heat here, that’s only made things worse. I miss winter.) I’m finally not sore everywhere else, and feeling like a human being again. It’s amazing. Somedays I think my body hates me. Somedays I hate it.

These days, I only want to stop feeling as if I crawled out from under a rock. I looked like I should live under one for a while, but now I’m looking better, thank Merlin. I swear, I looked in the mirror last Saturday, and thought I’d been dead for a couple of days! Ick. Only my hair looked decent; I colored it the week before, and it’s very nifty. I’ll post some pics in the next couple of days–check Instagram!

These days, I am also having some interesting things going on; I’m back on the online dating scene, because I am apparently crazy (I will write about this later), and have no idea what I’m doing. I am trying to grow my nails out again, and not biting them is torture! Trying to answer Oprah’s “20 Questions Every Woman Should Answer.” I have no good answers. I never do.

 

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Planet of the Ants

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I hate having bugs in my house. Except spiders. Spiders, I don’t mind. Without spiders, we’d be over-run by other creepy crawly things, and I cannot have that. Back in Colorado, my bedroom was in the basement, and every spring & summer, I’d get crickets in my room. I’d spend hours trying to track them down with my spray can of Raid, until I’d finally have silence, and could sleep. I’m sure I ingested enough bug killer between the ages of 11 and 17 to explain nearly all of my health problems these days! If those dumb crickets had stayed quiet, they’d have been safe; I don’t go after bugs I can’t see or hear! After all those years of Raid, I started trying to use greener methods of insect control, and some of them even worked! The vinegar trap for fruit flies was a great success– an inch or two of apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a jar, then cover the top with plastic wrap and poke a few holes, They are attracted to the sweet smell, but drown in the vinegar! And the beer trap worked great for catching slugs. The problem has been ants.

We had ants in our old house, and could never get rid of them, and we have them here. Just little black sugar ants, nothing dangerous, but highly annoying, and fucking EVERYWHERE! Not just the kitchen, and dining areas. I found them in my bathroom, and they’ve been swarming in my bedroom this week. The first time they showed up, I tried a few green solutions I found online. I sprayed a solution of white vinegar around. Didn’t do anything but make my room smell like a pickle. I sprinkled coffee grounds around where they come in ( apparently ants don’t like coffee?); not a thing happened, but at least that smelled better. The coffee grounds did keep the ants and other bugs off the plants in the garden when we tried it there, it just didn’t work in the house. In one area I lay down a line of black and red pepper, because it was supposed to stop those ants in their tracks! Nope. I just ended up with a dusty floor. The only thing I haven’t tried that all the green sites recommend is borax, and peppermint. I didn’t have either of those on hand. Today I swept and cleaned, dusted and then sprayed all the nooks and crannies of my room with good old Raid Ant Spray. For a couple of hours, my room smelled like a chemical bomb, and my head hurt like a bitch. But for now anyway, all the ants are gone. I plan on buying some peppermint essential oil and using it -or maybe the peppermint castile soap–maybe both–to spray around the room and bathroom. I don’t want to use borax, because we do have pets, and that stuff will get on their feet and hurt them! One site I saw said that windex is a great ant killer, so maybe I’ll try that. I can clean my windows at the same time!