Margaret's Big Oscar Night

Colin Firth at 2009 Venice Film FestivalImage via WikipediaFirst of all, I want to say thank you to everyone for your kind and supportive words and thoughts. I know you've all been thinking about me and my secret boyfriend Colin Firth. Would he finally win his Academy Award after being so cruelly cheated last year? Could I take it if he lost? And what's with the Italian supermodel always by his side? Could she just give it a rest already?

Thankfully, as you probably know, he won. Of course he won. I never doubted that he would win. Being so tall and all.

Of course, I was also so grateful that my other secret boyfriend Ewan McGregor didn't show up. Imagine how awkward that would have been. It would have been Bridget Jone's Diary all over. You know, the part where my secret boyfriend Colin fights that lout Hugh Whatshisname! But it would have been my secret boyfriend Colin and my secret boyfriend Ewan: throwing punches, tearing each other's shirts, getting all sweaty.

Actually, maybe I could live with that.

No! No! Of course not ! I would have felt awful! And who would I root for? Colin? I mean it was his night. But I firmly believe Ewan should have been nominated for "The Ghost Writer," so you know, maybe if he won the fight it would right things just a little. Plus, they did make Colin look kind of old and dour for "The King's Speech," wheeras in "The Ghost Writer" I got to see Ewan's butt? Shouldn't that count for something?

But, luckily, it was Colin's night all along. And he sounded so self effacing and English (which is always such a good combination.) Besides, Ewan is probably motorcycling in Africa, so he's probably totally cool with Colin's win anyway. Ewan is totally big that way.

So, yes, you can stop worrying about me. I'm just fine, my secret boyfriends are fine, and my husband? He's a very good sport. In fact, the truth is, he's much better than my secret boyfriends combined! That's right. You read that, sweetie? MUCH BETTER. Ok. Oh! Honey, I think one of the children has your iPhone. You better check it out. Right now. No need to read more. I'm done. All done. Ok. So. Bye.

(Is he gone? Truth is, he is better, but no cute accent, then again, no Italian supermodel hanging off his arm either. So there you go.)

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Meet My Blog Friend Petrea

My friend Petrea blogs at Pasadena Daily Photo. She has the very hard job of posting a photograph of Pasadena every day. Everyday! Can you imagine. Also, she puts up commentary, often reflecting on the photo or on civic doings around town. Oh. And have I said that she does this every fricking day. Every fricking day!

I think it would kill me.

But Petrea perseveres, which tells you the kind of person that she is. She is the onward and upward type. (And, to be both honest and snarky--don't tell her I said this-- but it's really not fair that she also has those great cheekbones that make her look all heroic while moving onward and upward and posting a picture a day. Make me sick already.)

Me? I am the stop at the base of the hill, shake your head, turn around and go home type. I have quit too many things to mention, including, to everyone's satisfaction, softball, where I was the third-string right fielder. I don't think I lasted one season.

I'm totally OK with this, by the way. I'm all for giving up.

I just wish I could do it more often. Motherhood? OMG! It's not like TV at all. I should have stuck with dogs, but it's too late for should'ves. Too late. Too late. Too. So I persevere, persevere, persevere.

Unlike Petrea, I don't have the cheekbones for it either.


Goddess of the Week: Persephone

Salon de VĂ©nus-PLUTON ENLEVANT PROSERPINEImage via Wikipedia...Daisy...needs a goddess to help her out of the dark and gloomy places. She needs the Greek goddess Persephone, the goddess of spring.

Persephone's story is disturbing--but so are the dark and gloomy places. When Persephone was a little girl, her uncle Hades became obsessed with her. He asked Zeus (who was Hade's brother and Persephone's father) if he could have Persephone for his wife. Zeus said Yes.

Wham! Hades snatched her from a field. He stole her away. He said nothing to her mother. He said nothing to her. He just took her for his bride.

Eventually, because of her mother's ruthless willingness to destroy all life is she didn't get her daughter back, Persephone was released, but, alas, Persephone had eaten three pomegranate seeds. Pomengranate's were the food of the underworld. Once you ate it, you were forever tethered there, and so for each seed she ate, she had to live one month out of each year in hell. Persephone's hell is our winter. When Persephone is released, spring begins.

We all spend time in hell. For many of us, those visits are sprinkled throughout the calendar. For others, hell lasts entire seasons. Those are hard times, gloomy and dark indeed. But here's why we need Persephone. Persephone knows hell. She lives there. She knows all about your pain. She is surrounded by it daily. But she also knows that hell ends. Winter ends. Spring always, always, always follows. Not all springs are sunny. Not all springs are easy. The waters of March are the coldest of the year. But, Daisy, all springs are filled with you, and all springs are harbingers of promise and hope.

Channel this goddess: When winter drags on too long, when dark and gloomy eats away at your inner light, when you need flowers and a new lease on life.

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess for. Then check back in a week or two to read about your very own goddess.

(PS:...Daisy...see the link. Did I find a language you don't know?)

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Joyology in Winter

An apple pie made from scratch, showing both t...Image via WikipediaAdmit it. You're dragging. Blame winter. Blame the weather. Blame February's insistence on pink. Blame what you will, but accusations won't pay for lunch. Only you can find your mojo. Only you can find your happy-go-lucky Dancing Queen.

Here's what you must do:

1. Get out of the house. I know. It's hard. It's so nice and warm in there and now that you can instantly stream Netflix through your Wii there is always something good to watch. But research proves that the more isolated you are the more likely you'll keel over during American Idol. So GET OUT.

2. Go straight to your friend's house. (You know who I'm talking about.) Bring her pie.

3. Say, "I've been thinking about you, and I just wanted to bring you this pie. Pie is the new cupcake, you know. It was in the New York Times." She will say, "I love pie. Come in. Have a piece." She will offer you wine. Take it. Research also shows that a glass of wine is good for your heart, but a glass of wine with a friend is even better. While you eat pie and drink wine, she may try and tell you about her tragic friend who is--as you speak--enduring all manner of bad luck (ill health, divorce, difficult children, blah, blah, blah).

4. Gently change the subject because listening to people drone on about the difficulties faced by people you don't even know will kill you faster than a hermit-like existence. Instead, talk about your dogs. Her poodle is so darn smart! And your mixed-breed is so cute! Also, talk about books. Currently, I am reading This Vacant Paradise by Victoria Patterson. She is so smart it kills me.

5. Keep your visit short. Unexpected guests are a gift best enjoyed in small dosages.

6. Go home and feel good! You made some scientist, somewhere, proud.

(P.S.: If you didn't have a chance to read it, my short story "Creation" is now included in a free e-book of short stories from Chamber Four: The Literary Magazine. Download it here. Enjoy! It just might be the new pie.)
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Goddess of the Week: Venus, of course

Early 20th century Valentine's Day card, showi...Image via WikipediaWell, Valentines, let's talk about love. Let's talk about Venus.

You know she's my favorite goddess, right? She's totally misunderstood. Everybody's all, "Oh, Venus, she's so slutty, what with always cheating on her husband." Or, "Oh, Venus, she's so vapid, what with rising up on a clamshell and playing with her hair."

Total lies. Well, not the slutty part, but she never fiddled with her hair, and the clamshell business was all product placement by the clam lobby.

Here's what people don't tell you: She rose from that "clamshell" because she predates all the Olympians and the Greeks had to find a way to incorporate her into their stories. She's totally ancient, ancient, ancient. And yet she rocked her toga. Also, despite her own many misadventures in love, she never gave up on it, and she always tried to spread the wealth.

Just ask Hippomenes. Hippomenes loved a beauty named Atalanta. Alas, Atalanta had vowed to only marry the man who could beat her in a foot race, and if you lost the foot race, you had to die. Many men challenged Atalanta. Many men died. But Hippomenes asked Venus for help. Venus gave him three apples. When the raise began, Hippomenes dropped an apple every time Atalanta started to pull ahead, and, each time, she stopped to pick it up. This gave Hippomenes the edge, and that allowed Hippomenes to win. Better yet, because of Venus, Atalanta loved him in return. So it was a happy ending*

In honor of love triumphing over death, I give you Venus's Apple (the cocktail).

Barely wet the rim of a champagne flute and dip it in superfine sugar. Add equal parts Crown Royal, Apple Pucker, and Cranberry Juice. Mix with a sexy cocktail stirrer. Drop in two conversation hearts. Toast love and all things pink. Enjoy!**

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess to help you with. I'll do the rest.

(*Full Disclosure: Unfortunately, Hippomenes and Atalanta forgot to thank Venus. So she compelled them to have sex in another goddess's temple fully knowing that that goddess would get mad and turn them into lions. To this day, Hippomenes and Atalanta have to pull that goddess around in a chariot.)

(**Fuller Disclosure: This cocktail is courtesy my good friend, Katherine, mixologist extraordinaire, although I did invent the name. What do you think? Is the name Venus's Apple zippy enough? Can we do better?)
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Not quite ready for Valentine's Day

Overheard. Father to young son:

"Your mom went out for her birthday. With one of her boyfriends. Not that she's bothered to divorce me yet."

Victorian Valentine's Day CardImage via Wikipedia
Poor guy. Poor son. Think he needs this?
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Emergency Goddess: Demeter

Can I just say that Lindsay Lohan really needs a goddess. In my lifetime, I can't remember ever seeing a life in the public eye devolve quite so spectacularly and sadly as Lohan's. It's like watching a train wreck.Statue of a goddess restored as Demeter. Marbl...Image via Wikipedia

That girl needs to channel some Demeter. Demeter (Greek goddess of the harvest. Powerful mother figure) went all tough-mama when her daughter Persephone was dragged down to hell. She threatened to let all the plants die (and thus all living beings starve) if she didn't get her daughter back.

Lohan is definitely in hell, and she needs to find her inner tough-mama to fight for that really messed up little girl inside her. Her inner tough-mama needs to convince that girl that she deserves better than the fast track to personal parody. I think she must really hate herself. For that she needs Quan Yin, the Buddhist goddess of compassion. So really she needs a whole lot of goddesses.

I feel sorry for her.
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Goddess of the Week: Goddess of Time

Box art for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeImage via WikipediaCindie needs a goddess that will let time expand like an accordian. She needs the Goddess of Time.

The Goddess of Time is a doozy. She is actually a new goddess, and if being worshipped means people pray at your altar and give themselves to you everyday, she is worshipped by millions. She is part of a game called Legend of Zelda that is played on Nintendo gaming systems. Fifty-nine millions copies of the game have been sold, so in the gaming universe she's pretty big.

The Goddess of Time can give Cindie just what she needs: Time. Here's how: She has the "song of time," which is played on the "Ocarina of time." And she can give them both to you. With them, you can relive three days over and over again. In the game, it has to be a certain three days, but you, being you, might be able to score some flexibility there. I mean, we don't want you reliving, like, Ground Hog's day over and over again. That'd just be annoying. BUT if you choose your days wisely, it could be awesome. You could get more work done. You could get around to finally cleaning the hall closet. You could totally extend your vacation and catch up on your sleep.

Here's the rub: the hero in the game has to use his three days to re-set the orbit of the moon so that it doesn't crash into the planet. Are you really going to use your time to do something so selfless and noble? If not, I'm not sure the Goddess of Time will hand over either the song or the ocarina. I mean, ocarina's are totally rare. It's not like you can get them at Walmart. Plus, good songs aren't a dime a dozen either (although this one is pretty good.)

Channel The Goddess of Time: When you have too much to do and not enough time, but make sure you have a good cause. Otherwise, you might be turned into an ocarina and people will blow on you/strum you all the time. It won't be pretty.

Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining why you need or want a goddess. I'll take care of the rest.
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Goddess of the Week: Laverna

Petrea says that Desiree needs a goddess "because she has to do everything." That may be true, but I have a feeling that Desiree doesn't want a goddess for everything. She wants a goddess of mystery and intrigue because, well, Desiree likes to write about mystery and intrigue. That being the case, Desiree gets Laverna, the Roman goddess of thieves, cheats, and the deep, dark underworld.

Originally, Laverna was a death goddess (possibly the Etruscan goddess Furina.) But a goddess has to keep up with the times, just like the rest of us. She's got to contend with technology, trends, social media. These day, if she doesn't have a Twitter account she slides silently into legend.

Luckily, Laverna had it easier. When it became clear that death goddesses just weren't to die for anymore, she did a little horizontal integration and expanded her product line to cover cheats, thieves and pickpockets, always an under-served yet resilient market. Apparently, she had a sacred grove where the lawless could hide their pilfered booty. Boy, would some enterprising archeologist like to uncover that!

Also, apparently, she had no head. Which makes you wonder where she kept her conscience. Hmmm.

Desiree's new ebook deals with all things Laverna: cheating. Thieving. The criminal underworld. It's called Human Cargo. Don't you love the cover? Go ahead: judge this book by its cover. It promises to be just as good because it's by Desiree, and she's a great writer. Buy it here. I do not have a fancy e-reader, but I'm going to read it on my old laptop. I can do that right? (I'm sliding people. I'm sliding.)

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Post a comment! Tell me what you need! Tell me what you want! I'll find you the goddess to make it happen! And it's free, free, free!!!