Dita Parker

Monday, December 21, 2009

On the longest night of the year

I want to pass on the best cleaning tip for the holidays I've ever received: Don't bother scrubbing every corner and arranging every closet unless you intend to spend the holidays in one. Amen to that. 

Fuss-free celebrations, everyone!

Be good, have fun, call on loved ones, be kind, be it mundane Monday or Christmastime, for I do believe in a certain rhyme: Love, love is a verb, love is a doing word 

Dear Santa,
If justice for all is too much to ask, please bring me a line true and pure as that, for it isn't by me, it's from that hypnotizing song by Massive Attack. 

See you in 2010. Or at the end of 2009. I may have to escape to my den every once in a while to get away from all the fuss...others are making. Not me. Never me. Far be it from me.

Now go love someone and shine on. That's an order. (Be advised: Disobeying this order will result in more mushiness your holiday-addled self could possibly take unless you have learned to muscle your way through the gagging reflex. You stand warned.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Eat your heart out

This one has been around for a while but bears repeating. My kind of humor and my kind of guilt-free holiday spirit and enjoyment. As Erma Bombeck put it: "Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart."

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of the year but now. So drink up! Who cares that has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnogholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it! Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother. It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips, then start over. But hurry: January is just around the corner.

Sounds like a plan. But: Eggnog is for amateurs. If you're serious about your holiday diet, you need the drinks to match. How about a Very Bad Elf, or a Criminally Bad one, a sampling of Reindeer Droppings with a taste of Santa's Butt? Top it off with Fairytale of New York and you'll be all set. 

If you've been an angel all year, isn't it time you let it all hang out? Merely a suggestion from A. Friend. (If, however, you've been Satan's little helper, you've been an Insanely Bad Elf indeed.) 

Yummy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kickin' off the holidays

Sorry, I'm not in. I'm at Ellora's Cave colleague Michelle Polaris' where we're kicking off the holidays. 

I'm in good company. Erotica authors Adele Dubois, Francesca Hawley, Stephanie Julian and Kathy Kulig will be there with Cindy Spencer Pape and Naima Simone. Fire extinguishers at the ready, folks... These women are known for setting people's sheets on fire.

We are sharing kick-ass shoes and characters over at Michelle's. Come join the party and leave a comment by Friday 18th for a chance to win a deck of Cosmo's steamy sex games cards. Unfortunately, you have to have a mailing address in Continental United States to be eligible to win. Sorry, rules are rules. 

My boots were made for walking, as the song goes, and that's what they've done aplenty with the occasional run for the bus, so I have no doubt I could kick some butt in them, too.

[No humans were harmed while wearing said boots/in the shaping of the author's legs. Those who suffered a barefooted boo boo volunteered/do their own stunts/have stopped laboring under the illusion women "hit like girls."]

I'll come by daily to pick up the mail and check the answering machine, so if you had something on your mind, leave a comment after the beep. Or email me; addy's in the Profile.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dial M for malcontent

Dearest M sent me a message telling me I'm blogging all wrong. I should knock it off before someone actually starts reading me because they will stop, or be confused at the very least.

Get off the soapbox, she said, and put the finger away while you're at it. What if people start thinking I write as I blog? Now that's bad since I don't and M knows it. Others, she reminded me, don't. I should know better than to give that impression. 

What am I, the UN? [I'm not at liberty to say.] A one woman army? [Why, are you in the market for one, luv?] I think it's all about me? [What? It isn't? Oh man...] 

Where's the writer, she asked? Where's the book? The story? I either bring it up more often or she starts spreading word I made it all up. Oh, but I do love a challenge and a take-charge attitude.

It's been a long and winding road. You. Know. That. M. But you're not in publishing so you don't know how it works or how long things take, do you? I had a vague idea, but sighing audibly about it here would be unprofessional and wouldn't speed up the process, would it? Besides, you can't tire me down by making me wait.

But we seem to have tired M and we don't want M bored or confused or unhappy, we want smiles with our snarky and we want to keep her entertained. She is honest, she is ruthless and she is absolutely right. 

So, dearest M, I do solemnly swear I'll bring the writing to the front and keep other appearances and disturbances to a minimum. Or let them out only when you're not watching. M'kay?

I'm letting M give me the third degree in an interview titled "So You Think You Can Write". Watch this space. 

Also on the show: Cover art! As in: Barenaked male!! With: My name on it!!!

Didn't see that one coming, did you M? Always happy to surprise you. And always glad to be of service. So sue me. D.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Fixer

"We interrupt this war to bring you this year's Nobel Peace Prize Laureate!"

Can you imagine what President Obama is thinking? What do you think he'll say in his acceptance speech? "Are you sure?" "Do you know something I don't?" "Thanks for the support. No pressure, right?" 

The biggest problem those that have a problem with President Obama winning seems to be: Shouldn't it be given for something someone has done, not what they hope to do? Michael Moore will probably demand he give it back for what he is about to do.

I think this year's choice goes to show how starved for positive news, gung-ho spirit and a general sense of seeing hope in the horizon this planet is after months of being told that after we all declare bankruptcy we'll either die of drought or sink into the ocean; after even more months of rage and threats and vengeance filling the airwaves. 

No, I'm not denying these issues are real, only saying the Nobel Committee saw something in the President, or rather heard, which called to them in a voice echoing the magic words: It will be all right. Everything's going to be all right. Isn't that what everyone wants to hear? Isn't that what everyone wants to believe? That whatever it is we're going through will come to pass, and we either believe it will, act as if we believed it will, or keel over and let it all go to hell. And we don't want that. 

To those who'd prefer the same old song and dance, the President's words are hot air, nothing tangible, but how did you like them former apples? Forgotten the taste of them already? And Mr. Obama was elected President, not Superman. This is still the real world to be dealt with in real terms and a realistic timeline with real people doing the talking and dealing. We are part of the problem and the only solution. We may be the only life form in the universe who would call ours an intelligent one, but in lack of an overlord, we're all we have. This is it.

Napoleon said a leader is a dealer in hope. Think of Napoleon what you will (at least he truly loved Josephine, even when she...okay, not now), think of President Obama what you will, Bonaparte had a point. It may look like a radical airline, but sometimes a leap of faith is the only way out.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A league of extraordinary gentlemen

Ladies: Do you at times feel that chivalry is dead? That courtly love has checked out? Do not fear, fret or throw a fit, for while you wait to see whether it be a fallacy, an extended vacation or a permanent one, you too can be the perfect gentleman!

Because she's worth it!! Because your girlfriends deserve the absolute best for being the queens, saints, sinners and goddesses they are!!!

Take them out, wine and dine them, surprise them with small gifts and shower them with compliments (if you thought it, why wouldn't you say it?!), especially those lady friends of yours who at present don't have a gentleman to call their own. 

You do? Good for you! Never thought about it that way? Get going! Make someone's day. You'll make her happy and feel good about doing it, gentleman's word.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Goodwill hunting

Did les Américains among you notice how this year Black Friday coincided with Buy Nothing Day? So what did you do? Did you abstain or did someone make an offer you couldn't refuse? Buy nothing what?

Days and campaigns as the aforementioned are good for raising awareness, even better for causing guilt, and the absolute best for letting you get away with how you cop out the rest of the year. We know we should be doing something, anything, but with so much to do, so many to help, where to start? 

You know what the absolute worst-case scenario is? Sitting on your hands or wringing them instead of lending one because you know you're acting out of selfish motives doing things to relieve a guilty conscience; or believing you have so little to contribute you can't make a difference. You don't have money to give (that may be true), time to put in (that may or may not be true), or skills to offer (I don't believe that for a second).

I have bad news and I have good news. Sure as hell you could be doing more. If you're reading this in the comfort of your home or workplace, sipping your cuppa or some java and getting annoyed over my finger-wagging, you probably don't know how lucky you are, or tend to forget. Oh, you do know, and you don't need to be reminded because it sometimes makes you uneasy and I shouldn't forget you've worked hard, for everything. You've earned it fair and square. Kudos! Of course you have, enjoy!!

The good news: Even if you contribute out of purely selfish motives, whomever or whatever at the receiving end will not care one way or the other. They won't question your motives, demand an explanation, or mock your ethics or morality or lack thereof. Getting help is all they care about. Don't think about the masses you can't reach, think of the one person or the people you do. You may have relieved someone's suffering; you may have saved a life. How can anyone feel bad about that?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

You're still the one

Have you told someone lately you love them? How lovely they are and how lucky you consider yourself being with them? Would they think something's wrong if you did? Then it's been too long since you last said it.

Hubby's birthday was a month back, November first. No, I didn't forget, but for all my demonstrativeness I didn't give full measure back then. Our wedding anniversary is coming up so to celebrate that and one amazing man, I thought I'd go all out with

10 things I love about you 

How you take center stage without making a scene.

How you teach me things I never knew.

How you let me educate you.

The most unbelievable blue eyes I've ever seen. 

You never flirt when they come on to you.

Whoever said white people have no rhythm never heard you drum.

How you keep your head when everyone else seems to have lost theirs.

How you don't bicker and bitch when you know you're in the wrong or can't win.

How you never ever give up when you know all it takes is patience.

You gave me them.