Random Sunday: Small Pleasures

Here’s the thing about Random Sundays: I have to be in a particular mood to write them, they’re kind of like stand-up with the smart mouth and the fast pacing, and I have not been in that mood for many weeks because of many different stresses. But yesterday, everything kind of came together and although I’m still up to my ass in alligators, I have a much better perspective. For one thing, I have remembered that while career, politics, health, and real estate are big things that can screw up my life, it’s the simple, everyday things that make that life worth living. So this is thank-god-for-small-pleasures Random Sunday, celebrating the little things that are the good parts, the coping parts, not the crying parts. There is no crying in Argh.

Part of my coping strategy is crochet. This month, it’s designing and writing patterns for my Sock Monkeys in Love collection for Project Yarnway on Ravelry. Here’s the design board: (I know they don’t look like sock monkeys anymore. I’m okay with that. They evolved past that.)

The only parts that are finished are the two hats on the right and the scarf with the big sock-monkey-head pockets on the ends that double as mittens (thumbs go in the ears), but I have a lot more pieces that are in progress. It’s amazing how much fun it is to work with a simple motif in so many different contexts. Next up: the Girly Skull Collection for Sweetness, the Evil Tween.

When Plants Vs. Zombies hit my iPad, I was stunned with admiration not only for the graphics, but for the incredible snark (a zombie in a Zomboni?) Then for Christmas I made Lani a PvZ scarf with the pattern from the lawn and appliques of the sunflower on the ends. Here’s the PvZ sunflower on the lawn . . .

. . . and here’s the first attempt at the scarf:

Sweetness, who usually goes to the dark side, loved it, but the lawn part is not right yet, too much contrast, and I think the ends need to be pockets with sunshine in them, so I’ll do a better version for her. And an OmNom scarf from Cut the Rope for Light as soon as I figure out how to construct the OmNoms so the mouths open.

We’re still debating the spiders (I’m for, she’s against), but the stars definitely go on. And of course, I must figure out an Angry Birds scarf. Designing this stuff kept me sane in December, so I see no reason not to keep going.

The Internation Quilt Festival is in Cincinnati this year, and we’re going. Krissie and Lani and I are beside ourselves with glee at the thought of piecing and beading and general stitching. And fabric. Really, fabric is second only to yarn on my list of small pleasures. Speaking of yarn, I ordered some with my Christmas money (thank you, Mom and Dad) during the Cherry Hill sale. How can you not buy yarn with names like Deathly Pallor, Lightning Scar, and Gilded Blade? Below, Deathly Pallor:

I’m going to make that into a scarf which Krissie will probably steal since a Deathly Pallor scarf is right down Anne Stuart’s alley. Where it will be mugged by a tall dark handsome stranger who will later have rough sex with it and then, helplessly lost in love, marry it.

Sweetness has invented a new character for one of her stories: Psycho Patty, the psychopath. I’m stealing it for a story that Peri, the ten-year-old in Lavender’s Blue, is writing but I’ve promised to give Sweetness full credit in the acknowledgements. And here. Then we went to Olive Garden for lunch and Sweetness who has decided to go for World Domination and spends all her day working on her evil plan, drew this:

That’s me in the locker. I’m her secret weapon. She’s going to put chocolate and yarn and dogs in the locker with me so I’ll stick around, and then whenever she needs muscle, she’s going to unleash Fake Aunt Jenny because, she says, we’re both evil so I will make a good henchman. I love being a role model. The “rematch, rematch, rematch!” along the side is because she wanted to play tic tac toe, so I played and beat her. Then she yelled, “Rematch!” so I played her again and beat her. So she yelled, “Rematch!” again, and I said, “Okay, best two out of three,” and she said, “Yeah!” and I beat her again. Sweetness has to work on her tic tac toe game. Also her math and spelling. But world domination and artistic ability? That she has in spades. That drawing really does look like her.

And then there are the dogs. Today, Lyle came in from outside covered with snow, burrowed under the covers of my bed, and threw up. (Why? Why? He was just outside, for Christ’s sake.) Then after I yelled and changed the sheets, he cuddled up to me, rested his narrow little head on my leg, and fell asleep, radiating heat like a long, skinny, furry, hot water bottle and looking like the canine version of chewed-string. So now I have clean sheets and a warm puppy.

See? Small pleasures.

Lani and Alastair bought me Sock Monkey footie pajamas. Bright red, one piece, not flattering but warm as all hell. I said, “The only thing that’s not good is that I have to get completely undressed to go to the bathroom and it’s COLD.” Light was sitting at the counter, chowing down; she nodded, wiped the pizza sauce off her mouth with the back of her hand, and said, “Been there.” It was one of those perfect moments when you look at a kid and all you can think is, “I love you, bunkie.”

I use dumb TV (Castle, Bones, Human Target) as a small pleasure to destress, and during the worst of the trauma, I tripped over Psych which is dumb TV at its finest. I’d seen a couple of episodes before and liked it okay, but it wasn’t until I started at the beginning on Hulu Plus and worked my way through five seasons that I saw how it evolved, how the characters grew, and how very very good some of the episodes are. There are also some bad ones, but hey it’s a series; that was true even of Buffy. There was one moment in particular that got to me as a romance writer. The protagonist, Shawn, is annoying as all hell because he covers up emotion with dumb jokes and dumber actions, but he’s also smart as all hell and there’s a good heart underneath that jerkish exterior, so he grows on you. And he’s slowly fallen in love with Juliet, a cop he works with, and I knew that sooner or later he’d make his move. Now traditionally, those long romance arcs are done so badly that I want to take an ax to the writers (I’m thinking of Moonlighting and Northern Exposure in particular) and since Psych has the dumb guy hero, I was really dreading that moment. And sure enough, in the tenth episode of season five, “Extradition II: The Actual Extradition Part,” Shawn goes for The Moment. Only because he’s Shawn, he begins with stupid jokes about Lego People, and he’s already disappointed her, so Juliet says, “I really need to sort this out on my own right now,” and he nods and walks away to give her some space. And then he turns around and comes back and says, “Can I just say what I came here to say, please?” and she nods, tired, and he says this:

Shawn: I have a motorcycle.

Juliet: Yes. Yes, you do.

Shawn: And you know what? It is the purest form of freedom I have ever experienced. You zip through traffic, you park anywhere, you never have to take anyone to the airport, you certainly don’t have to help anyone move. Easily the best purchase I have ever made in my life. And I have never regretted it, not for one second.

Juliet: Great. You love your motorcycle. Is there a point to this?

Shawn: Yeah, there’s a point. The point is, since I met you, I . . . I’ve been thinking about getting a car.

And he kisses her while Elvis sings “Such a Night” in the background. It made my romance novelist heart so happy.

I’ve been thinking about my best friends, true and enduring pleasures, both of them. We know a lot about each other, not just because we talk a lot but also because we’ve written books together. And in one of those random conjunctions of two separate ideas, I thought about The List. You know, the names of the five people you’re allowed to sleep with even though you’re in a relationship. I was pretty sure I could dope out the first four on Lani’s list: John Cusack, Robert Downey, Jr; Colin Firth, and Jon Stewart (in alphabetical order since I’m fairly sure ranking changes depending on mood). The last one I took a wild guess: Stephen Colbert because she likes brains; wrong, it was John Krasinski. She got three of my five which is pretty damn good, and the two that weren’t on my list would absolutely be in my top ten (Jeffrey Donovan and Jon Stewart). I was pretty sure I knew two on Krissie’s: a Japanese rock star whose name I can never remember and Alan Rickman. After that I was guessing: Richard Armitage? Russell Crowe? James Marsters? Lani came up with Marsters, Rickman, and Reno from Final Fantasy for Krissie and then guessed Guy Pearce and Crowe. Krissie’s real five: “Gackt. Spike. Hawkeye. Captain Jack. Sheriff of Nottingham. Plus Mr. Rochester on the side.” Or as she puts it, “I’d rather f*** characters than actors.” Those characters translate to Gackt, the Japanese rock star, Marsters; Daniel Day Lewis; Johnny Depp; and Rickman, with Toby Stephens as an alternate. The fun thing about this, for me, was looking at the types: Lani’s are mostly smart-ass betas, and Krissie’s are mostly smart-ass alphas, and mine are mostly smart-ass outsiders. Yes, we share a taste for men who snark. Mine? Bruce Campbell, Vincent D’Onofrio, Damian Lewis, Ryan Reynolds, and Alan Rickman. Although I might bump Reynolds for James Roday after that Psych moment:

Sue me: I love a happy ending. Small pleasures, Argh People, small pleasures.

118 thoughts on “Random Sunday: Small Pleasures

  1. When you said Captain Jack, I thought, “yum!” And then it turns out you meant Captain Jack Sparrow. He’s OK, too, but if I’m putting a name on a list it would be Captain Jack Harkness.

      1. I told Sweet Babou that the best thing about Jack Harkness is that we could both do him! Strangely, my darling Sweet Babou doesn’t want to have sex with Captain Jack. No sense of adventure, my Sweet Babou.

        1. My theory on that is that the chances of any of these guys showing up at my front door and saying, “Let’s go,” are non-existent, so the reality of their sexuality is irrelevant. Although Torchwood’s Captain Jack is definitely hotter because of his open-mindedness.

  2. I love that you’re so into appreciating the small pleasures that even Lyle throwing up IN your bed (what happened to ON? or UNDER?) gets turned into a small pleasure… Yay for furry four legged friends. I’ve been appreciating the small pleasures recently. Living in Brisbane, I just spent a few days inside my house, largely without power, waiting for the flood waters to go down. Small pleasures included 1. Bizarrely, the sun was shining most of the time. 2. Nothing to do without power except read (and clean the house, but somehow that didn’t seem as useful). 3. My two furry felines love nothing better than when I’m home curled up on the couch reading a book. 4. Going to bed early with a candle is just something I don’t do enough!

    So cheers for small pleasures!

    1. Cary I ended up staying at my daughter’s place for the week because of the flood. I’m so pleased you were able to see a bright side. Mine was that both my girls are safe…and I was able to help them source fresh food. They are both very reliant on public transport and I was able to get around the north side to help them with supplies and not interfere in traffic flow to flood affected areas.

      Today I discovered an organisation in Brisbane called bakedrelief.org… a group of people are baking to support the workers and volunteers involved in the clean up. The donations have poured in so much that they’ve been asking people to freeze stuff till the weekend (when the need is expected to spike again). They are also rallying people prepared to adopt a family by cooking a meal once a week for them for however long. I’m not able to work for hours lifting debris, but I can bake and cook and deliver where needed. In the face of so much devastation it’s good to be able to do something in addition to monetary donation.
      Do you need a hand with anything? I’m back in Brisbane on Friday.

  3. Dogs tend to throw up if they eat snow, but it differs a bit. Neither our lab nor our beagle ever did, but my cousin has a problem with his not-quite-fox-terrier.

  4. At first glance, you sock monkey board looked like cupcakes.
    But on 2nd glance, I’m blown away by the sock monkeyness of it. The first glance was informed partly because the image is about 2″x3″ on my weensy netbook.

    Since moving to california, I’ve had the opportunity to watch boys at skateparks – they do stunts over and over and over and over and… repeat about 3000 times. Strangely, I’ve only ever seen one girl at a skatepark. It makes me think that (in GENERAL) either girls do more social stuff, or their repetitive outlet is things like knitting and crochet – physical but not as active. Or it could just be socially awkward for girls to hang at the skatepark. Or they don’t look forward potential injury as much.

    At any rate, I was an adult before I learned that there can be joy in repetition with minor variations on a theme, which even years of piano lessons couldn’t instill in me. Sometimes when I read your blog I get a little jealous of your ability to do crafty projects like this sock monkey thing. But today, I was able to look back at my table and see the dozen layouts I had hand drafted of my new dining room furniture and bedroom closet and realized I do those things too, but they don’t express themselves in yarn but in line drawings. I hope you’re having as much fun with the monkeys as I did with my drafting. Certainly they have the potential to please more people.

    Now I’m a little jealous of Sweetness’s ability to draw eyes. Geometry I can do, faces, not so much. Have her check out this for tic-tac-toe tutorial: http://xkcd.com/832/

    Is Lyle nesting on the Deathly Pallor?

    That was charming. I’m glad you highlighted the text – but I only watched the clip because I was thinking “Elvis Elvis or Costello” after just listening to the audiobook of Bet Me. I was not familiar with the song, but you’re right, it’s a great scene (or however you define a series of connected moments related to a scene).

    For me, small pleasures: I have sick time and a boss who lets me take it. (Lets just say Lyle and I have something to bond over and it’s not nesting in vampyric yarn.) I have stock options that did well enough last year that I can not only draft my ideal dining room storage, I can buy it too. While I’m not one to frequently talk on the phone, I had really nice, quite lengthy conversations with both my dad and my “twin sister” from another mother this weekend and we’re all on the mend.
    (Didn’t mean for the comment to get this long, but I sort of “live blogged it” once I realized how much ground you covered. I probably shoulda just updated my own blog. I think I’m gonna go do that. Have fun snuggling with the dogs, the girls, and the sock monkeys.) And thanks again for sharing in that way that only you can.

    1. If you click on the pictures, most of them get larger.
      This comment is the way I write most of the blog posts, so I understand exactly. And good luck to you and flood; living on a riverbank, I understand completely.
      Also your drawings sound great.

  5. You were busy today! Love the Plants v. Zombies scarf. Loved the smoochy scene and “I’ve been thinking about getting a car.” I’ve seen “Psych” maybe once but it looks like a fun show. Maybe someday I will DVD it. And I’m jealous of Sweetness’ artistic ability.

  6. I’m not at all talented when it comes to crafts (it’s ok though, I’m talented in other areas :D) so this suggestion might be totally unworkable and probably something you’ve thought of… but for the OmNoms, could you make the mouth a flap like a rounded triangular pocket flap, and have a button at the top of his snorkel thing, with a button hole at the edge of the tip of his mouth? I originally thought button holes on the teeth, but then with this the button could blend in a bit.

    The stuff you have done, though, is awesome!

    1. I’m trying to wrap my way around making it a pocket so that it when you lift up the mouth, you can put a candy mitten in it.
      Still cogitating.

    1. This year for Christmas we got The Kid (who is now 17, and not so much a kid anymore, plus very mature because growing up her peers were adults) Army of Darkness. I wanted her to see a young Bruce Campbell. She loves the character of Sam on Burn Notice and recognized him from the roles he’s played in the Spider-Man series (Sam Raimi directed Evil Dead and Spider-Man) I always loved the Evil Dead movies because they were sooo campy. Plus, Bruce Campbell is fun-sexy; you want to sit on the beach and drink Mojitos with him, then go back to your cabana and play strip poker.

      1. Get him Campbell’s autobiography, If Chins Could Talk: Confessions of a B Movie Actor. You can’t help with fall in love with that guy. Also, anybody’s who’s starred in all the Evil Dead movies, been a regular on Xena and the Spiderman movies, tried to burn the Charmed girls at the stake, and now gets drunk on Burn Notice weekly is a man to pay attention to.

  7. You’ll love the International Quilt Festival. We have the Mid-Atlantic here in February and seeing all the work of the quilters is awesome and inspiring.

    As for lists…Sam Elliott

  8. πŸ™‚

    I don’t even have a list, I don’t think. But that’s a good moment.

    My dog is good about throwing up outside. My cat is not.

    Love the yarn and various projects.

  9. I truly believe that both Sweetness and Light will be the wittiest, funniest, most insightful, well rounded, intuitive and intelligent adults. They are surrounded by incredible examples of this daily, and how they see and react to world around them will make them very interesting women. How lucky they are, and how lucky you will be to watch them as they grow into the fascinating human beings they can’t help but become. They are great things ahead for them. It reminds me of the science experiment – Do plants grow better with music? In their case we have to ask “Do little girls grow better surrounded by humor, love and rapid-fire osmosis of wisdom?” I think…..yep!

    Keep smacking down those alligators!!

  10. And now I’m going to be mentally sorting my Five for the rest of the day.
    I will be eyeing strangers speculatively as I walk down the street, for reference.

    1. You and me both!

      I was mainly disappointed that the Mr. Rochester referenced wasn’t Ciarin Hinds from the fantastic Samantha Morton BBC movie. He’s not on my five but he’d clear the ten easy, especially after his turn as Joe in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.

  11. We love Psych over here, and I adored that scene. A large portion of the time, I want to smack Shawn while the boyfriend wishes he could be like Shawn…I’m just grateful he’s not actually.

    I’m working on a purple pocket scarf with some lovely bamboo blend yarn. The pockets aren’t any special shape, but I’m putting extra fuzzy, soft yarn inside of them so that it’s like sticking your hands into a nest of warmth. Now if I could just stop losing a stitch or two as I go. Argh.

    I don’t think I have a List. I have a list of men I adore, for something my friends and I call Man Chess. (It’s a really long story.) Basically, we all picked characters we love. If we love every character an actor’s done, then we put the actor’s name on the list, but we never play with real people. And only one person can have a specific character, because we’re kinda possessive. πŸ˜‰

    The reason I don’t have a List is that I’m not allowed to sleep with anyone outside of my relationship. (Neither is the guy, so that’s okay.) Plus, I’m pretty sure my List would include Nathan Fillion and David Boreanaz, and that would break the boyfriend’s heart. As he put it, “Then I’d have to kill them, and that would suck because I love them!” Or, as he said another time when I told him he was the only one for me, “I’m glad, ’cause knife fights are messy.” I’m pretty sure he was mostly joking. πŸ˜‰

  12. I love Random Sundays. We love Psych here. My daughter loves her scarft with pockets, but I think we and our best friends would all really love all your projects. They turned us on to PvZ.

    I won’t bother to tell you what I think my dog eats when she eats snow.

    1. PS, what type of has is the hat on the right, on the wire stand. It is lovely. (So are the others, but that is fancy.)

          1. Sorry to be so late answering this: It’s a regular round cap with a rib edging so you can pull it down like a cloche. It’s meant to mimic the hat on the girl monkey on the end of the scarf (Nancy; boy is Socko) with her tweed top, cream hat band and flowers.

          2. Ah! It is really beautiful. I’ll go back and look at the girl monkey. It’s really fun to see how the monkeys inspiried these.

  13. Totally OT, but I was just wondering, would the Scarlett paintings in “Faking It” count as a MacGuffin?

  14. I got lots of joy from your small pleasures – thanks for sharing with us. I’m loving the sock monkey scarf. It almost makes me want to dust off my very old crochet skills.

    We’ve been watching Psych from the beginning – I love the theme song and the way they sometimes change it up to reflect the episode. I agree that it is uneven and the whole will they/won’t they romance can be a big problem, but moments like the one in your video are what keep me coming back. That, and Gus’ nicknames.

    I don’t normally put much thought into The List, especially anybody else’s because I try not to think about my friends having sex, but it is interesting what attracts us. When I read Captain Jack, I went to Captain Jack Harkness too, but he isn’t on my list. Christopher Eccleston though – mmm.

    1. I, too, love the way they change the theme song. My faves so far have been the Bollywood episode, the Tears-For-Fears version, and the Dual Spires episode: great adaptation of the Twin Peaks theme.

  15. Oh – meant to say – I love Sweetness’ drawing. I’m envious too, I’d like to have an Aunt Jenny to call out for emergencies!

  16. I live about an hour from Paducah home of the National Quilt Museum. The exhibits change frequently so I try to go several times a year. I’m not that impressed with the old-timey quilts. However, the quilt museum as a whole blows me away. It’s like a fabric art museum. The quilts are truly works of art.
    I’m also impressed with Sweetness’s drawing. If she ever got together with my gson (he’ll be 10yo on Wed.) they might actually take over the world. He’s a big Dav Pilkey (Captain Underpants) fan and he does his own graphic novels. They usually involve a lot of ‘minions’.
    I always have to look up images of the men everyone is talking about as I’m not a big tv fan. I have watched and like the new Hawaii 5o though. And the guy who plays Steve McGarrett – YUM. I must sheepishly admit that Johnny Depp would probably be number one on my list. I even found him appealing as the Mad Hatter.
    Now that you know that I need to retreat back into a cyber space corner and hide.

    1. I live an hour from Paducah and I’ve NEVER been to the quilt museum. We mainly only go there when members of dh’s family are in Western Baptist Hospital. (I’m talking elderly ailing relatives, not like a severely accident prone bunch)

      PS Johnny Depp is on my list, specifically Johnny Depp in Don Juan Demarco.

  17. First Random Sunday in ages and I get to it on Monday? Meep.

    Bruce Campbell? Oh, how could everyone forget The Adventures of Brisco County Jr? That’s the show I loved him in first!

    Psych is based on a cool premise. I wish I were that observant.

    When you posted the boas, I went out and bought a needle to learn to crochet (I had yarn) – am still nowhere close to starting. But I want a boa!

    My simple pleasures are random Sundays (no pressure!)

    As for being a role model, I like the Faking It take “If you can’t be a good example, be a horrible warning.”

  18. Just saw your 5 dog paint tweet. 2 ideas- 1. They were trying to help momma paint or 2. The one or two brushed up against the cart and the other three brushed up against them!

  19. I’m with Krissie; I prefer characters to actors. Although in the case of my favorite three-way fantasy, I don’t care if its with Dean Winchester & Michael Scofield or with their actors Jensen Ackles & Wentworth Miller. (In this case my thing is Western bishonen.) Over all though, my List changes depending on what I’m watching at the time, but they’re usually some kind of smart-ass too, sometimes the subtle kind and sometimes the obvious kind.

    I just got to read the scene but omibob that’s a great scene. Makes me want to give Psych another try. (I watched the first few episodes but it didn’t grab my attention enough.) But I have about fifteen shows on my list before that.

    Also, Sweetness, that is the best name EVER.

    1. It’s fan-geek stuff, but it’s even better when you know the two actors have been in a relationship for five years. Ups that “awwww” quotient.

  20. I’m really, really envious of your plans to attend the International Quilt Festival. I haven’t even been to the one in Paducah. I knit, but fabric and quilting is definitely my greater weakness.

    Have you thought of something like this for the Cut the Rope guy? We used to make them as Christmas ornaments, and put a chocolate kiss inside:

    Do you live close enough to the Ohio River where you have to worry about flooding? I’ve seen the beginning of it (that little triangular park in Pittsburgh where the two rivers conjoin, all the turbulence and rapids) and the Cincinnati part of it (in town for a wedding, was driven past the stadium, ballpark, river. Mostly all I remember seeing was railroad tracks) then a bit of it where the TN river joins it, near Land Between the Lakes.

  21. I love Random Sunday, even if it’s on Monday. It sounds like a lot of fun is going on in the house on the river. And that youtube video was fabulous. It would have made a great romance book trailer. The music had me smiling and singing along, and I wanted to know more of the story.
    No crushes for me at the moment, maybe I’m finally beyond the crush years. ; )

  22. Being a huge PvZ fan – the scarf is adorable! I think you’re right that the contrast for the garden should be a little less. I can’t wait to see the OmNom one as I also love cut the rope. Will you sell the patterns?

    Quilting took over crochet for me so it’s cool to know that the IQF will be in Cincinnati this year. Is this instead of Chicago (Rosemont)? I had heard it wasn’t going to be in Chicago this year.

    I don’t really have a list. I’m quite happy with my hubby. If I was a widow which hopefully will not happen (I get to go first, I’m older), then Nathan Fillion would probably make it on my list. I love Castle & Firefly!

    Hope things keep getting better!

    1. I’ll post the pattern if I ever get it figured out. No idea where the quilt show used to be, Krissie just sent me the link and said, “We’re going.”

    2. Yes, the IQF in Cincinnati is replacing the show that was in Chicago (Rosemont); heard at Fall Quilt Market that there were some issues with the venue that could never be worked out so the show was moved.

  23. Cary, where are you? I am near Goodna, not near enough to be flooded but near enough to be cut off. It was surreal, I spent three days being cosy with the cat and doing washing to dry in the sunshine.
    When I saw ‘Hawkeye’ I immediately thought ‘Alan Alda’, and I could see that, but I can also see Daniel Day Lewis. I think on my list they would both be there, Alan Rickman, Tom Selleck, and Robert Downey Jnr. (I have seen the odd episode of Magnum PI in the last couple of months, and am appreciating Tom Selleck afresh). (I also love Castle and Bones).
    I adore your Sock Monkey collection!

  24. Oy. Is there anything you’re not good at? That PvZ scarf is the height of fabulousness and awesome. Very sorry your yarn madness has been fueled by real life madness babe. Hugs and love and hope you find all the best yarn sales πŸ˜‰

  25. The Sock Monkey collection is lovely and makes me realize what a collection truly is. Wonderful. (Do you know of any good crocheted baby christening outfit patterns? A friend is getting married and they plan to start right away with the “let’s make a baby” routine, so I have to get started now! And all my patterns are … in storage.)

    I love love love love the PvZ scarf! So wonderful.

    Sweetness is incredibly talented; of course, she comes by it honestly! And yay her for seeing the value of evil so early in life. It’s taken me … a very long time. Let’s see, over four decades. Close to five. (My appreciation of evilness is still a fairly recent thing.) I love that you are her secret weapon and she knows all that she needs to keep you in reserve.

    I’m all for small pleasures. Easier to come by, much of the time, and much cheaper.

    My list tends to change here and there, but currently it probably contains David Bowie (an all-time favorite), David Boreanaz (as anything), Nathan Fillion (as Castle), and Will Smith. Don’t know offhand who would be #5, but will think about it. Sometimes I think of them in character, sometimes not. I do think of all celebrities as fictional characters. πŸ™‚

  26. I love Cut the Rope(it puts me in an almost meditative state) James Marsters reading Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, Captain Jack (did you see Johnny Depp on the cover of Vanity Fair?), all my guys and rereading Bet Me. These are some of the small pleasures that get me through life’s crap fests.

  27. I forgot to mention my chief gloom buster/ small pleasure is to watch MC Hammer on youtube of u can’t touch this.

  28. Can I have a different list for the deceased (Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire, David Niven and James Mason)?
    Yes, my DH is fully aware. But I’m lucky, I don’t have to put Clive Owen on the list, because they look very similar.

    1. I once walked out of a movie premiere beside Gregory Peck and nearly passed out because I forgot to breathe. Even in his 70s (which he was at that point), he exuded that … something.

  29. I adore Psych, mostly because of the Gus/Shawn bff relationship and how well it’s played on the show. It’s pure escapism, and I love that you can tell the actors enjoy working on the show.

    off my soapbox. I’m amazed at how much work you get done. Gonna have to up the ante at my house.

  30. You’ve just found Psyche? I think it’s brilliant because it walks that very, very fine line between being funny and just being dumb. Very difficult to achieve. But, yeah, Shawn is such an annoying twit that you wonder why, oh why, does Gus stick around. And then he does or says something… The Lassiter character was somebody’s genius idea, because he makes you more sympathetic to Shawn without actually being the villain.

    And I never remember to look for the pineapple!

    1. I love Lassiter. And Juliet. And Shawn and Gus and the Chief and Dad. Mom is a little grating but she doesn’t show up often. And I really love Cary Elwes as the master criminal. Fingers crossed he’s back this summer.

      You know, I’d seen episodes of Psych and Shawn’s character always put me off. Then I got Hulu Plus and thought, “Let’s see how this thing started,” and went through all five seasons and that was a revelation. Great cast. Some very dumb episodes but some great ones, too.

      1. Cary Elwes has been in two Psych episodes that I remember – both very entertaining. It would be fun to see him back again.

    1. Oh, YES!!!!!!!!!
      Because if Mozzie dies, I’m going to be seriously annoyed. The only thing that kept me from throwing something at the screen was the fairly firm conviction they wouldn’t let him die.

  31. You folks are talking about shows, movies, and people I haven’t seen, or in cases even heard of. I guess I need to google.

  32. Talking of small pleasures…no, these are huge. Just learned that Anne Stuart is coming to California to present at our annual workshop, YAY! Also, today I picked up my copy of SEP’s latest, Call Me Irresistible. YAY!

    Crotcheting and knitting, I got nuthin’. However my daughter finally gave up smoking and took up knitting. Her dad calls her every day and asks. “Is that blanket done yet?” It’s a mauve colored scarf, about four inches wide, and last I saw it was about three inches long. This past weekend it was started and pulled apart, and restarted three times. ; )

  33. The new Hawaii 5o hottie’s name is Alex O’Louglin. He’s pretty. I don’t have a list per se cause I can do anybody anytime I want. No relationship to gum up the works. Of course, Johnny Depp remains #1. I am heavily in lust with Kalani Queypo. And Callum Blue, even more so since I watched all the episodes of Dead Like Me on netflix. In the boytoy category would be Adrian Greiner. He’s on some tv show but I’m not sure what.
    There – that’s 5.

    1. Adrian Grenier is on “Entourage” and on my list, if I stop to make a list, as long as he doesn’t sport the most recent season’s ugly haircut.

    1. Best website for random gifts ever….I need to try the caffeinated soap but I am afraid that I may start licking it in the shower out of desperation. And who knew stuffed sushi and bacon could be so cute?

    2. Love Think Geek! Santa gave me a Sunnydale t-shirt for Christmas. Now if only he would give me the “Also, I can kill you with my brain” t-shirt and the magic wand universal remote.

  34. Being an equal opportunity date, I actually get two lists! I’m not sure actually what my list says about me… Perhaps you all can analyze?

    In no order whatsoever: Liam Neeson, Joaqin Phoenix, Christian Bale, Alan Rickman and Matt Damon. (John Malkovich was recently bumped for Damon, and Joaqin Phoenix just replaced Bruce Willis.) Liam Neeson has actually been on my list since I was 12!

    Also in no particular order: Gina Gershon, Marina Sirtis, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis and Julianne Moore. I’ve had a crush on Geena Davis since sixth grade. She only gets better!

    I am trying to learn to crochet and knit. Unfortunately I have the manual dexterity of a two year old!

  35. Oh, and Bruce Campbell and Sharon Gless are the only reasons I watch Burn Notice. Bruce Campbell is AWESOME!!!

  36. Just to make the Cary Grant fans jealous, my mother and father-in-law were on a cruise to Alaska with him. [well on the same boat]. He very kindly let them have their photo taken with him. I still have a copy of the photo.

  37. I just watched Broken English with Parker Posey and Melvil Poupaud. He is gorgeous. I might have to add him to my list.

  38. I love Random Sundays, even when I don’t see them until Wednesday!

    And I don’t keep a list…I like to keep my options over. If I should ever run across a sexy superstar who is available and willing, I’ll simply make a mental note and drop my number to 4…and so… πŸ™‚

    1. He should be somewhere. Maybe on a list of Guys Who Have Aged Insanely Well. You know who else should be on there? Matt LeBlanc.

        1. Women do that, too. We’re just so tied in to female beauty equals youth that we don’t see it. Look at Helen Mirren and Judy Dench. Or Streep and Sarandon. Much more interesting and fun to look at now, so much going on there.

  39. This post started an interesting conversation with my husband about the many years of Bruce Campbell awesomeness. My husband feels that Bruce Campbell shares much with Elvis. Elvis had the early years of sexiness followed by the bloated-sequined-suit-wearing years. They cannot be equally awesome. I agree with him on Elvis, but not on Bruce Campbell. All Bruce Campbell incarnations are equally wonderful and doable. Now I am not sure about putting Jeffrey Donovan and Bruce Campbell on the same list (even if Jeffrey Donovan didn’t break the top five.) It reeks of sleeping with brothers since they are on the same show.

  40. Sorry if this has already been asked – I looked at the WIP and in Stealing Nadine, is Carter Acher the boy from Maybe This Time? Thanks

  41. I just watched the movie “Bottle Shock” on Netflix streaming today and loved what Alan Rickman did with that character. I’m a sucker for ‘based on a true story’.

      1. Great little movie, based on a real story about a vineyard. Wine AND Alan Rickman. What’s not to like? Also, the Californians kick the snotty French’s butts.

  42. I’ve been obsessively knitting while roaring through Eureka on Netflix and Hulu (with a couple unauthorized episodes to bridge the gap, but don’t tell anyone). Once I got past the horrible. horrible, HORRIBLE science and realized it was a comedy I was amused.

    At Family Camp last summer, we had to describe members of our family taking over the world with a tool and an army of something. Alice will take over the world with a spatula and an army of Muppets. She and Sweetness would get along fine!

  43. Now I’ve been thinking about my list for days (it is fun!!) and I have a mix of characters and actors: Henry Deacon on Eureka, Hawkeye, Dule Hill, and both Jean Luc Picard AND Patrick Stewart.

  44. After too much thought:
    Dennis Quaid, Colin Ferguson (Eureka), Richard Dean Anderson, Bruce Campbell, Denzel Washington.

  45. My list is easy– Alive Male (and he cooks too!) Tom Coicchio from Top Chef, Dead Male, Spencer Tracy and Fictional Male is Sir John Smythe from the Elizabeth Peters Vicki Bliss books, although Mr. Darcy is pretty hot too. If I were inclined to change teams I would take Rita Hayworth from the movie Gilda. I am a straight female, but when she arrives on scene and flips her hair back, I gasp!

  46. Having just been evacuated from Egypt, I’m in the US now and I thought of you today when I went to Target and saw Sock Monkey slippers. I didn’t buy them and am half regretting it now…

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