Monday, December 31, 2012

7 Things I Meant to Talk About

1. A Romance Book club!  In the interest of disclosure I will start by saying that this is something my writer's chapter is spearheading (I have, in fact volunteered to assist somehow) and I therefore know some of the people behind this and some of the authors.  However, that doesn't make this idea any less fun.  Washington Loves Romance an online book club with two reading selections a month.  Discussions take place on Facebook and there are prizes given each month to those who participate in the discussion.  There are also plans for some local gatherings where folks can meet and hang with the authors.  The list of authors we are reading for the next six months has been posted, so you can go check it out. 
2. Ninjas.  We've all been there.  Someone in the movie theater is talking.  Not during the previews, which in my opinion are fair game.  Not a quick aside about something or other.  But talking.  Either engaged in a loud conversation or having taken a phone call that for some reason they feel they need to take right now, and yet do not need to move towards the exit so as to minimize disturbance to other patrons who - let's not forget - have paid to be there.  Well, one London theater has employed ninjas to combat this. The ninjas approach noisy patrons and advise them to stop.  Apparently it was so successful some other theaters in the ares are going to start also.  I hope this gets imported here soon. 
3. Book Cover Poses.  I think anyone who has ever paid attention to book covers has noticed some strange goings on.  Fantasy covers have some amusing poses, and goodness knows, apparently if one is an urban fantasy heroine one must make use of one's bare midriff and low rise pants to show off a tattoo.  (Because nothing says I'm tough and I kill things like an exposed midriff.) Now I also recognize that some of this is coding, certainly, when strolling through a bookstore (should I find one) and spot a cover with such things I do tend to think, hey, that's probably like that other book I read. 
But sometimes you wonder if it's a little difficult to try wielding a sword while still popping one's hip.   So, author Jim Chimes decided to find out, by matching some poses.  And then another author took it one step further, looking at both men and women's comparable poses, as well as attempting to recreate them.  (There is also another contest going on that may result in more poses.)
4. What's a pound? I confess that I have not spent a lot of time wondering about the correctness of the scales at the grocery store.  At least, not until I read this and found that the Maryland grocery stores, one chain in particular, have a pretty crap record of late. (Okay, in fairness, not every store had a violation and I hadn't even thought about auto parts places.)  But, so I started to wonder if the increase in self checkout lanes might have created an issue since certainly those are on the rise, and to my unknowledgeable-about--the-inner-workings-of-checkout-scales self it seemed like that might be a different scale that requires different maintenance and might, since only customers use it, who would notice if it starts acting up.  And then of course, I remembered that every time I use a reusable grocery bag at a self checkout, I have to get the store employee in charge of overseeing self checkouts to approve it because they (the nebulous people in charge of such things at the various stores) always seem to have the scale that measures whether I am trying to slip extra things into my grocery bag without paying set to catch a feather (unless of course I try to buy a feather and then it keeps telling me to put my item in the bag until I jiggle my groceries).  So, perhaps they could spend a little more time on the part that weighs my apples, hmm?  Just a suggestion. 
(TBD had a later article pointing out that Virgina has a lower correction rate because they have far fewer inspections, so don't think hopping the river will solve your issues.)
5. Stocking Oranges.  Your reaction to this may vary, but I am always fascinated about where certain traditions originate.  We always got oranges in our stockings.  So, this history of such a tradition intrigues me even if I have mixed feelings about the idea that the orange represents my dowry.  (I realize that historically having sufficient funds to make choices is a good thing.  But I am less sad that I don't need an orange so much now.) 
6. Wait, So That was a Real Marriage?  In a story that sounds like the plot of a romance novel, Janeane Garafalo discovers she has in fact been married for 20 years.  Yeah. 
7. And because working in the airline business is pretty thankless these days, here's five amazing airline service moments.