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Eve Dallas is a terrible cop.

There, I’ve said it. I thought it the first time I read the series and as I wind my way through for the third time, it still strikes me as true. It’s not her ability to solve crimes that are at issue. As a detective, she’s very good, as she is written to be, and solves the crimes, gets her man/woman and throws them ‘in a cage’ at the end of every installment. This is her job, both as a detective and as the main character of an ongoing series of books. She’s entertaining which makes her fun to read about. She is an excellent example of a strong female character, one who has strengths aside from being able to beat up bad guys and being bitchy.

But gods in dark little holes, I’d never want to meet the woman myself. She’s a stone cold bitch who misuses her authority like nobody’s business. She browbeats damn near every person she meets from receptionists whose only crime was being there to the people she interviews. She is always using threats and harassment to get information she wants without a warrant and acts like people who want a warrant are the scum of the earth who do so as a personal slight to her. In the book I just finished, Holiday in Death, Eve thinks she knows who the killer is and makes his life hell for several days while she tries to pin the murders on him. She knows in her heart, which she admits to in the book, that she knows it’s not him, but has a personal reason for wanting it to be him anyway. She bullies him, uses illegal, warrant-less means to dig up dirt on him, threatens to destroy his life with information she knows about him and is eventually forced to let him go. In another scene she fails to indicate her change of lanes while driving, hits a cab and when the cab driver comes out and calls her on it, pointing out that her lights and siren were not on and that she didn’t use her indicator, she threatens him with resisting arrest, assaulting an officer and a few other things. And the cab driver was right! What makes it worse is that the people around her praise her for this kind of behavior and think she’s ‘iced’.

Eve Dallas is a bit of a Mary Sue. She’s a very readable and pretty entertaining one, but it can be annoying and distracting at times. I’m not going to lambast authors for writing wish fulfillment into some of their work. The idea that authors should avoid this at all costs is pure silliness. What’s the point of building a whole new world and creating new characters if you can’t have some fun with them? I don’t mind that Eve Dallas, Sookie Stackhouse, Bella Swan and any other female lead you want to add to this list, happens to be seen as hot by the male lead and maybe one or two others. That’s part of the fantasy. Men do it too, writing male leads that have women throwing themselves at him all over the place. Fine and dandy, but for the love of chocolate chip cookies, be subtle about it! You want to avoid readers rolling their eyes as much as possible. A few characters wanting to hump the female leads leg is fine, but when more than half of the men in the series want to hump their legs, you’ve gone to far. Balance is key.

And that’s what’s happened to Eve and her use of her authority. I want her to use it, I even want her to misuse it on killers, jerks and really annoying people, but she doesn’t. She’s a complete bitch who throws her weight around with pretty much every person she meets. We’re talking 90% here. No, I’m not kidding, she’s that bad. Yeah, she’s had a rough life and all, but it doesn’t really come back to bite her in the ass like it should. Instead, people throughout the series praise her to the hilt for it, which starts to get old if you read too many of the books back to back, which I keep doing. It starts to become book after book of Eve worship. She always talking about how she’s protecting and serving the people of NYC, but we really just see her abusing them most of the time.

Do I love the books? Yep! Do I think they could be better? Well yeah, but what book couldn’t be better? Eve has a lot going for her as a character and it outweighs her annoying parts. That’s one of the joys of reading books you love that have flaws. You get to find out why you love it anyway so you can make your own writing more compelling.

Write on~

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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in All About Writing

 

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Clean your Coffee Maker!

Today was coffee maker cleaning day. Yes, that means what it says, I spent time fully cleaning my coffee maker to with in an inch of its poor life. Why you ask? Because coffee residue will build up and the coffee you make will progressively taste more and more bitter if you don’t. I’m not a fan of bitter coffee, I like it rich and smooth, so I take time to clean the machine. In fact, I have quite a little ritual to make sure my coffe stays tasting as good as that first cup I made when the maker was new.

My daily routine: Before I make my first cup of the day, I rinse the carafe and the top then rinse out the basket the filters rest in. I never leave the maker on but turn it off as soon as the water is done going through. Leaving it on will just cook the coffee and make it taste terrible unless you are at a coffee house and the stuff is turned over very quickly.

Weekly: I wash the carafe and filter basket with detergent and water. I wipe down the burner, inside, outside, the spot where the basket rests and run a full pot of hot water through, just for a hot rinse.

Once every month or two: This is a little more involved, which would seem a little annoying to most people, but we don’t have a dishwasher. I AM the dishwasher so I just do this while washing a sink load, so it doesn’t take much more effort and the results are worth it. I wash the carafe and basket, then fill the reservoir with hot water and just a touch of detergent. I run that through the system for a few moments, to clean that part, then use a toothbrush and scrub out the reservoir. Rinse. I ad a little vinegar to a cup of water and run that through. This helps to clean out any soap, stains, left over odd flavors and such. Vinegar is a wonderful thing. Rinse again and then run two full pots of clean water through the whole thing. Voila, a perfectly clean coffee maker! Yes, it seems like a long process, but the few times I’ve done this solo, while not washing dishes, it only took about 10 min or so.

“But I have a Keurig!” You say triumphantly. That doesn’t mean the machine can’t get guncked up by old coffee, it just means there’s less to clean. Anything that coffee goes through or sits in should be cleaned regularly, so that spot you put the little cup in needs a good cleaning as much as any other coffee machine.

If you use a french press, the same applies. Clean that bad boy regular like. And for the tea drinkers, you should do this too, but you have less to clean. I have a wonderful steeping screen and I wash that in detergent once a month as well. It has the exact same problem as coffee, oils from the leaves will build up on the screen/tea ball and make the tea taste more and more bitter. If you have a dishwasher, just toss it in there once in awhile and you should be fine.

Happy drinking!

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Food, On a Personal Note

 

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Bicycle seats weren’t made with lady bits in mind.

I was reminded of this fact last night. When I joined my gym, I had been biking around the neighborhood for the last month or so. My bike has one of those really big squishy seats with the short…protrusion. That made my first round of spin classes a little less traumatic, since I was far more used to the tiny torture devices they put on exercise bikes and expect us to use.

I was reminded painfully of that fact. I took my first spin class after a seven month hiatus and my lady bits are not pleased, and my butt isn’t speaking to me right now. I had completely forgotten how awful they are. By the end of the class, I stopped doing the sprints altogether and just focused on staying on the bike til the end of class.

Men generally have much smaller butts than us women, which accounts for the extra trim width of the seat. And they have a muscle running from the…bum button to the base of their…man bits which acts as a cushion between the seat and their hipbone. Girls don’t have that muscle. Nope, just a bone and lady bits. With all our weight on that tiny seat, which do you think suffers? Exactly.

There are seats out now that are made by Schwinn and I’m going to get one, bring it to class and install it on my bike of choice for the duration of the class. At the end, I will replace said torture device for the next sap to use. I’m already there to beat myself into a quivering sweaty mess, I don’t need to kill my ability to sit for a week while I’m at it.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Just to be Random

 

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I hate Arugula

I really do. The bitter taste makes my mouth form that universal expression of revulsion with every chew of the foul weed. Not only is it bitter, but it has this overwhelming muddy water flavor that sticks to my teeth. Reprehensible. And just my luck, it’s the new sea salt. Ah, the wonderfully wacky world of fad foods. It seems I’m having a harder and harder time finding a salad mix that doesn’t have arugula, or it’s equally hated, though not quite as foul cousin, radicchio mixed in for good measure.

Yes, I know. If I want bitter, muddy water free salads, I should buy the lettuce and make my own mix. Touche, but for only two people, it’s pretty wasteful. We’d have to eat salad with our breakfast cereal to use it all up. So I like the mixed bags and I like to go organic when possible. Thank you arugula, for making that impossible.

And on the topic of food fads, sea salt in my chocolates! Stop doing that, please. You have ruined caramels with your salt invasion. I can’t get a decent, salt free chocolate from the artisan chocolatiers anymore. They have all been body snatched by aliens with a need for constant salt intake. Why I ask you does the fad food take over the whole food line?

So I wait for the fads to blow over so I can have a fresh salad and superb caramel. May I not wait in vain.

 
 

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Everything you eat will kill you

Seems to be the trend of the hour. Everywhere I turn, there’s an article telling me something I eat is bad for me and that thus and such is this weeks miracle food. Which will be next weeks spotlighted killer. There is evidence that red meat is bad for you and evidence that it’s good for you. The same thing goes for milk and wheat and sugar and grains and nuts and fats and the list goes on. It’s so hard to figure out what is true, when fear and drama sells the news. Not that this is a diatribe about the news, it’s not. It’s about common sense, something we seem to be loosing a lot of lately.

Everyone is different. Dairy isn’t evil, it doesn’t cause all the worlds ills. It’s good for most people, especially raw milk, which is the best source of natural calcium. It has in it the enzymes your body needs to break itself down and the other agents that allow you body to not only absorb, but utilize the calcium. A lot of people who are mildly lactose intolerant can drink raw milk. But here’s the catch, if you hate milk, if it makes you feel bad, then don’t drink it! Simple. Similar things can be said for most of the new ‘bad’ foods out there.

What I find truly amazing is the lack of moderation. It’s something I’ve seen happen over and over, we humans run from one extreme to the other, with no slowing for thought or breath. Well, if high fructose corn syrup in large quantities is bad for you then logically all corn is bad for you! What? Than makes no sense! There is nothing wrong with eating corn, the Native Americans lived on the stuff! Yes, it was a different breed than we use now, but just eat it in moderation. We don’t need to have a diet where that is the main carbohydrate, like they did. Why is this so hard to figure out?

The same thing happened to wheat. Too much overly processed and nutrient stripped white flour is not the best for your body, but having a piece of cake once or twice a week isn’t the end of the world either. Just use some common sense, the closer a food is to it’s natural state, generally speaking of course, the better it is for you because your body was made to process it that way.

And as I said, everyone is different. People have different metabolic types and some people function better on certain foods. I am a protein type, I like lots of protein and good fats with some carbs. I feel better and everything runs better on this type of diet. There are carb types out there that run well on more carbs and less protein. What’s good for them is bad for me and what’s good for me is bad for them. Listen to your own body, use some common sense and do a little research.

We are all going to die. Life is terminal and too much of anything is bad. Moderation is key. So eat some whole grains, have some grass fed beef and a bloody cookie and you’ll be fine. And I think most people have figured this all out, but it doesn’t sell news. What a pity.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Just to be Random

 

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Critters at war…

There’s a story behind this title. I like petits fours. A lot, but I don’t get them often for which my waistline and butt are eternally grateful. But Divine Delights make good petits fours and years ago they came out with a really cute box of cute animal petits fours. And I have wanted them since I saw them.

For my birthday, he had a box sent to me. Here’s the email I wrote to their customer service the night they arrived. In my defense, it was late and I was a bit punchy, but it still makes me chuckle. Is it wrong to laugh at my own stuff?

Hello, my husband had a ginormous box of your Critters sent to me, and they arrived today. As usual, you delights are indeed divine, but I think maybe you sent a box of very antagonistic frogs, as they appear to have spent the trip beating up on the poor bunnines. Not a single bunny made the trip unscathed and in proper proportion. I think they put up some resistance because a few of the frogs were faceless and a bit worse for wear themselves. One got here looking picture perfect, so either he was the general in command of the froggy forces or he’s the best fighter and not a blow landed upon him. The moose and gold fish appeared to be left out of the fracas, but cats being cats, one had to go see what was going on and got caught in the cross fire. Two of the chickens must have cracked under the pressure of it all, though they were furthest from the fight. But we all know chickens aren’t too bight, so it’s no real surprise.

They are all quite tasty, as I sampled one of each but the frogs, being worried they might take offense and deal out to me the same brutal treatment they dished out to the poor bunnies. Although, to be fair, the bunnies might have been egging the frogs on, but none of them are talking. I had to eat the most injured of the bunnies, simply to put the poor misshapen thing out of it’s misery, but if you would like pictorial evidence of the violent bunch, I’d be happy to provide it when my husband returns from his business trip tomorrow with the camera. The box looks pristine on the outside and I was unprepared for the critter casualties that I found. I was both shocked and at a loss, for my husband was on the phone when I opened the box, hoping to hear my delight over the contents. You see, he’s been promising me a box of Critters for the last three years and has only now delivered. I did not want him to be upset by descriptions of Bunny carnage and froggy face loss when he went to such trouble to make sure they would reach me while he was out of town. It would be heartless in the extreme to describe his present as “Well, they’re here, but they’re a bit smooshed…” Please advise me on what to do to rectify this slight problem. And you might want to keep the bunnies and frogs separated from now on, to perhaps avoid further outbreaks of frog on bunny violence.

Respectfully

This email went over very well, and they were wonderful. I got a replacement box of perfect critters in record time and they were all delicious. I did forget to mention the pigs when I wrote this, but they were fine aside from one cracked snout. I have no idea how that happened, but I assume he got in one of the cats way.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Just to be Random

 

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Shadowfever by Moning Review

I was planning on writing this review right after I read the book, but I’ve been putting it off. I don’t like to write negative things about books, it tends to turn people off. Especially people who have a vested emotional interest in an author. There are a lot of people out there who love everything an author writes. I’m rarely one of those people. And if I am, it’s because the author hasn’t written enough for me to find something I’m only ‘meh’ about yet. Even my favorite authors write books that I’m not that into. It happens. I don’t mind saying it.

So, here we have the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. It is the only series that I have read by her. I know she’s written a lot of romance novels, but I tried to read one and just couldn’t get through it. I really hate the gushy, flowery language used by a lot of romance novelists, it’s just a turn off for me. There are perhaps five to ten romance authors I like out there, so my not liking Moning’s romance isn’t saying much. Having said that, I loved the first three Fever books with a passion. The fourth was good but depended on the fifth for me to come to a resounding conclusion. And the fifth was a bit disappointing… It wasn’t as tight and snappy as the first three. It really felt like she rushed it, or was rushed by the publisher. It could have been a wittier, snappier book in 300 pages. It was 500 and change.

I also wonder if maybe she listened to her forum fans a bit too much. I say this because I have seen the fans that spend time on her forums and they pretty much make up one kind of reader. Nothing wrong with that, just saying the rest of us weren’t really represented to any extent and the squeaky wheel and all. The fifth book had little conflict in it compared to the other four, the romance was way over pronounced and didn’t really fit with the first three books at all. It felt more like a really long resolution sequence than a stand alone book. This is why I say the fans had too much of hand in it. They were the type to focus on the romantic/sexual relationships Mac had to the determent of the rest of the story. Honestly, she could have cut out most of the first 200 pages and it would have been better. This book just really focused on the love relationships and in the context of the overall story, part of that makes sense, just not the part about Mac’s love life.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, just not what I was expecting. The world was great, the characters fun and she kept me guessing. There were some questions that were not answered, but I’m guessing those will come in later books about the same world. It was worth reading, but it’s not one I would read again, where as the first three are worth a re-read.

My only other major beef with her books are the cliffhangers. Yes, her books have cliffhanger endings. I call foul on any use of a cliffhanger in a book! It’s not fair to the reader, it’s demeaning to yourself and it belongs only in the bygone era of the serial, where it is fine, and TV shows. And even TV show cliffhangers annoy me. Your book shouldn’t need one to get people to buy the next book. It’s insulting to yourself because you obviously don’t think the next book will sell without it. So there you have it, my thoughts on the book with no spoilers!

 
 

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