Friday, January 30, 2009

Huh? Who needs an Idol?

Okay, I’ve evidently lost Word somewhere, without doing anything. Have a computer act up on me? Never. I’m not even going to go into what I had to do to open it so that I could compose my blog. Just know that it’s being weird.

Anyway, below is a YouTube clip of David Osmond. Yeah, I said Osmond; he’s the son of Osmond brother Alan. Why is it here? He auditioned for American Idol the other night. Now, I know that most of you don’t watch it, so please bear with me. American Idol is supposed to be for un-knowns, those musicians who would never have had a break without the show. People like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken …. And yet, in walks David Osmond, heir of the Osmond talent, obviously, but someone that needs a show like American Idol in order to be heard? I don’t think so. You can’t tell me that his family has no connections with record companies? In fact, they used to have their own studios. I don’t know, I just … ohhh, it bothers me for some reason.

And then we have Joanna Pacitti. Beautiful voiced and talented Joanna Pacitti. When she walked into the audition room, new judge Kara DioGuardi greeted her – “I remember you! You’re Joanna Pacitti.” Oh boy. Joanna Pacitti is going to Hollywood, again. Who is she? Weeellllll:

She was on Broadway in Annie at the age of 11; she was on the Reality TV show MTV’s First Year; under contract with A&M records for 5 years; on the soundtracks of movies Legally Blonde and Bratz: Motion Picture Soundtrack; her album This Crazy Life has sold 15,000 copies since its release in 2006; finally, one of her songs Out From Under was re-released by Britney Spears. Starting to get the picture? It’s not that she shouldn’t be allowed a second chance, its that her presence could skewer the results – for example, many would vote for her thinking that she had the inside edge, sort of like people who let voting polls influence them; also, she could cause people not to vote because they might think that it wouldn’t matter, she’s an Idol plant and is going to win; then there are those who could already be fans, some of those 15,000 that bought her record.

But wait, haven’t other contestants have contracts before? Yeah, but not to this extent. For instance, there's Carly Smithson – who’s 2001 album Ultimate High scored 6,000 sales. That's 7 years, less than 1,000 a year; while Pacitti has sold 15,000 in just 2 years. Quite a difference there.

Anyway, I don’t like this trend of “had-a-chance” contestants making it past the audition rounds. Call me a dreamer, but I feel that American Idol should be for the people like Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson, people who never had a chance, and who would have never had a chance without the show.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Too cold

I know, I wasn't going to do this too much, but it's cold and although I have the furnace on (yes Bebo, it's on) my hands are still cold and so, I'm leaving you with YouTube cuteness.

I want each and every one of these:

Oh, and did I mention that we're getting ice?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Because ....

Okay, now that was weird. I went to open Word to write this post and … it wasn’t there? Yeah, that’s what I said. I could click browse, go to a saved document and open it that way, but the link to Word is gone. Why? This sucks.

Anyway, I had today’s post narrowed down to three topics, but I’m not sure any of them will work. In fact, right now I can’t remember exactly what the other two were, so I guess I’m going with the third one.

The Screen Actor Guild Awards were on tonight. I’ll wait while you say “Oh no! I missed them!!” Yeah, that’s what I thought. For me, regardless of whether I’ve seen any movies this year or not – I never miss these award shows. But sometimes I wonder why? Like tonight, when only one show that I’ve watched won an award – out of everything nominated, only one. I’m sitting there all comfy against my pillows and wondering why I’m watching this except for the fact that I like celebrity stuff – a chance to see a favorite actor or actress. And I found myself rooting for certain people to win based only on two things – either I really liked the people, or I disliked the other nominees more. This got me to thinking about two things. One – Heath Ledger. I have the Batman movie waiting to be watched, but I haven’t seen it yet. So I really don’t know what kind of performance he gave. I do know that I liked his work, have a fondness for A Knight’s Tale, and am sad that he’s no longer with us. I really would like for him to win the Oscar. But is that fair? Is it really the best supporting actor performance of the year? Probably not, but then again isn’t it all really a popularity contest? Er, maybe not … since blockbuster movies are often overlooked in these awards. But I still wanted him to win. I want him to win the Oscar too. Why? Because even though his films will live on in whatever form movies are seen in the future, there will never be another new Heath Ledger movie, and having his name on the list of Oscar Award winners would be a nice way to mark his place in movie history – a sort of Life-Time Achievement award.

The second thing I was thinking about was how I was rooting for people even though I had never seen the performance. This reminded me about how there are certain authors whose books I buy without even reading the back or knowing anything about it – I just buy it because they wrote it. I know that we all do this – we all have our auto-buys. There are times when I have gone to on-line voting sites, scanned the list of book nominees and voted for someone I like even if I’ve never read the book – simply because I haven’t read any of the books listed.

But sometimes that’s really all of these award shows, book lists, etc actually boil down to – a popularity contest of sorts.

I don’t think that there’s any real point to this post, just a bit of wondering rambles.

I hope you all have a great week.

Friday, January 23, 2009

One of Those Days ...

So, it’s Friday. Yepper, that’s what it is, it’s Friday. In case you didn’t catch that, I’m calling it Friday. No spam. Not even a YouTube thingy. I tried the YouTube thingy, but despite my deleting files, etc, I’m evidently out of space and the YouTube stuff won’t load. What a bunch of crock. Everything is giving me problems because of this space problem. I’ve put pictures on flash drives, deleted files – what more can I do? If I click on the little balloon thing and have the computer do this compress files thing – it won’t do anything. The box will come up, start configuring things and then 4 hours later it’s still sitting there. Technology hates me.



She has technokarm

Is there a vaccination for that?

Not really. In her case, it’s fatal.


Yeah, technology hate her.

My mother hates me.

I believe that.

If you could see me, you’d see a dirty look.

Then take a bath.

What’s technokarm?

Technology karma

Oh, it’s biting her in the ass, huh?

And wouldn’t you know it, that’s the most action she’s seen in a while.

I’m not sure I want to know that.

I’m just saying …

What’s she doing now?

It looks like she’s rummaging for a hammer.

A hammer …?

Wait, she’s coming for the computer!!

Duck ……….

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reading Crisis?

This article was in the Dallas Morning News. I don’t know which day or what page, as it was cut out and brought to work, where I got my hands on it. Read it and tell me what you think?

Is reading really making a comeback in the U.S.?

And are we sure it was in a crisis to begin with? Wonders David Ulin

Is reading making a comeback in the United States? That’s the finding of “Reading on the Rise,” a study released this month by the National Endowment for the Arts concluding that literary reading among adult Americans has gone up 3.5 percent over the last six years.

The endowment considers this significant because its last reading survey, in 2002, reported such a precipitous drop in literary reading that it was titled “Reading at Risk.” The 2002 study showed that in the 10-year period beginning in 1992, adult readers fell from 54.0 percent of the population to 46.7 percent.

So does the new report mean we’ve turned a cultural corner? The key phrase in the report is “literary reading,” which the endowment defines as “novels and short stories, plays or poems.” As in previous years, nonfiction was left out of the loop. Such a definition is unconscious of its own elitism, the idea that literary reading is different from (read: better than) any other kind.

In a recent essay in The Nation, William Deresiewicz argued that the NEA has played into the tendency of so-called literary mandarins – the critics and scholars – to see themselves as “the Last of the Readers,” a beleaguered cultural elite. His response to the 2002 survey’s finding that “only” 96 million American adults engaged in literary reading? “Ninety-six million American adults engage in literary reading!”

In other words, there’s a whole lotta reading going on. I agree with Deresiewicz; 96 million is a lot of readers, a veritable army of the written word.

Not surprisingly, reading rates go up according to level of education: 68.1 percent of college graduates identify as readers, compared with 39.1 percent of high school graduates and 18.5 percent of those who never went to high school. And consider ethnicity – 55.7 percent of whites, 42.6 percent of blacks and 31.9 percent of Hispanics meet the NEA’s “literary reader” criteria.

This is important because “Reading on the Rise” correlates its findings to a broader context, framing reading in terms of moral value. “Reading is an important indicator of various positive individual and social behavior patterns,” the report informs us, adding that “previous NEA research has shown that literary readers attend arts and sports events, play sports, do outdoor activities, exercise and volunteer at higher rates than nonreaders.”

Setting aside the question of whether reading is, or even should be, good for you, these sorts of comparisons suggest a disturbing subtext, in which a certain kind of reader makes a better grade of citizen – literary eugenics, in other words.

David Ulin is book editor of the Los Angeles Times

Literary reading? Doesn’t reading non-fiction such as biographies, current events, politics and the such make a person a more rounded individual? I mean, as a writer of fiction, I’m happy to see that the reading of fiction is up, but I have to wonder how the numbers would be changed if non-fiction were to be included. Would the conclusion that reading was in a crisis be the same if non-fiction were added to the mix? I don’t think so. What about you?

Monday, January 19, 2009


When I first began taking care of mom, well make that mom and dad, I was reading a lot and writing was great. Then dad died and I had to spend more time with mother. Still, I was reading and maybe not writing as much, but writing. As things progressed with mom, I still read, but the writing began to fall to the wayside. I always thought “when this thing with mom is over, I’ll have all the time in the world to write”. Yeah. Mom passed and everything stopped; reading, writing, creativity, etc. Oh, there were moments of creativity – it wasn’t all gone, but it became a chore, not a love. Suddenly I had all of the time, but nothing was really there. I kind of expected that, I was grieving after all. But as time went on, it didn’t change. At first I thought it was my eyes, and part of it turned out to be – bifocals. Still, didn’t change much. Then the bipolar diagnosis and the medication; some things changed, but the flow of creativity, the focus for reading – still MIA. It reminds me a little of the classic Twilight Zone episode called Time Enough at Last. I’ll stop for a few minutes to let you follow the link and read the synopsis. Ready? Okay, that’s me, I have time enough at last, but my “glasses” are broken, or something is broken and I don’t know exactly what. I do know that I need to start reading – that reading feeds my creativity. I know that I need to start writing – even if it is just this blog, because any form of writing is an improvement right now. I also know that I have to find Bailey Stewart again. That’s what I meant about getting back to MySpace, diving into what made her work. Because Bailey Stewart is my key, my way back to the creativity. Everything is there, waiting. And I’ll find it again.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spam coming atcha!!

We were looking for you! (I've been right here, waiting)
My crotch area is too tight now (I needed to know this, why?)
Why did you leave me? (I didn't leave, you're the ones that flaked out over banking and V*I*A*G*A*R*A*)
She flicked her hair. (She flicked her hair back at her!)
Are you busy? (Only flicking my hair)
Come upstairs. (Um, I'm not sure about that ...)
We seek for you all day. (You won't find me upstairs)
Where are you, I'm frozen! (You're not blanketed by spam?)
Never leave, ever again? (You keep sending 'em, I'll be here)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Image

See this picture? This is the picture I use for my MySpace page. It reflects what I write, laughter and love. I absolutely love those boots she’s wearing. Anyway, it’s all about the image. When I am on MySpace (and that’s a big WHEN), I am Bailey. I fill out surveys as Bailey, funny, quirky answers to stupid questions. When I do that, my readers get a sense of who Bailey Stewart really is. I’ve gotten a few positive responses, with people asking me when my book will be out, where can they find them, etc. I’m building a following without having actually written a book – not exactly a good thing, ya know? Delivering on the goods is what it’s all about. So that’s what I’m going to do this year, I’m going to deliver on the goods. Wish me luck, okay?
Anyway, that's the plan Stan, got the idea Rhea? I've just got to get back into the swing of "selling" Bailey Stewart, of getting her back out there, gather her following back around her. so that when that book is published, it'll sell. I'll have already "sold it". Then I have to live up to those expectations - and that's the scary part.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Voice

I’m not talking about the voices in my head; this isn’t another Bud and Ernie blog post. I’m talking about the voice of an author, the voice that makes one writer’s work different from another. It’s what makes King different from Koontz, Roberts from Krentz, Shalvis from Crusie; the voice is what makes it possible for a reader to pick of a page, read it and know immediately who wrote it. The distinctive voice of the narrator, the haunting turn of a beautiful phrase – all of this contributes to the voice of a writer. When I began my journey on this long and winding road, I had so many mixed voices in my head. I wanted to be John Jakes, Janet Dailey, Stephen King – I wanted to be all of the wonderful books that I had read. I’ve tried many different voices throughout the years, some fit, and others didn’t. But in writing this blog, I’ve discovered that voice which is mine alone. I am a romantic comedy writer. It’s not that I’m unable to write serious material, no, it’s that I’m more comfortable with the lighter tone, the giggle instead of the tear. That’s okay. I’m never going to write that great multi-generational John Jake historical epic. My horror stories may resemble Charlaine Harris more than Stephen King, Sci-fi writer Jim Butcher instead of Isaac Asimov. Deep, intense subjects may be the form I read, but not that which I write. But that’s the kind of writer I am, I write comedy. I came to this conclusion a few years ago when I was attempting to write a blog post – a rambling bit about nothing, except aimless snickers and the occasional toss out – the laugh. That’s where my mind goes. Well, that and the gutter, but that’s okay too – who doesn’t like a little dirty joke every once in a while, huh? And I have you my readers to thank for this. You have laughed when I needed you to, responded to what I meant for you to, and encouraged that which is a vital part of who I am. Comedy and love.

Thank you.

Oh, and btw - I have a new blog to remember not to go to, or is that to forget to go to? Either way, there's a new blog in town and it's over in my blog list to the right. Just Taking Dictation is the new blog of a good friend of ours and my co-hort in whatever trouble I get in to. Yeah, Bebo, aka Beverly. Go and take a look, I dare you.

Friday, January 09, 2009

This wasn't what I had planned

But I'm too pooped to do anything else. I have got to learn to adjust to this new schedule.

So here are a couple of YouTube thingies. Have a great Friday!!

Okay, here are the words to follow along. I though this one was hilarious!!


[Close Encounters of the Droid Kind]
You must use the force (repeat ad nauseum)

[Raiders of the Lost Wookiee]
Long time ago, far far away (repeat)

Kiss a wookie, kick a droid
Fly the falcon through an asteroid
Till the princess is annoyed
This is spaceships, it's monsters, it's Star Wars, we love it!

Come and help me, Obi Wan
X-wing fighter and a blaster gun
Dance with Ewoks, oh what fun!
This is spaceships, it's monsters, it's Star Wars, we love it!

[Super Han]
Get in there you big, furry oaf
I couldn't care less what you smell
I take orders from only me
Maybe you'd like it back in your cell
Your Highness, your worshipfulness, your highness, your worshipfulness

No one cares if you upset a droid
(nobody cares if you upset a droid)
That's because droids don't tear your arms out of socket.
(nobody cares)
I suggest a new strategy: let the Wookie win
That's because nobody cares if you upset a droid.

[ET the DiscoTerrestrial]
Now we listen to Luke whining:
One more season... One more season... One more season... One more season...

I was gonna go to Tashi Station for power converters
Now I guess I'm going nowhere.
It just isn't fair.

[Jaws: the Wookiee]
Wooookie (repeat)

Someone move this walking carpet (repeat)

Kiss your brother, Kiss your brother (repeat)

Princess Leia
Well I guess you don't know anything about women.

Who's your daddy? (repeat)

[Jurassic Darth]
Luke, I'm your father
(That's not true!)
It is useless to resist
(My hand!)
Come with me my son, We will rule
(I'll never join you!)
Search your feelings it is true

So you have a twin sister
Who Obi Wan was wise to hide
(Is that Leia?)
If you will not turn
Then perhaps she will
Give in to your hate
You are mine

Long Long Long Time ago... Far Far Far Far Away

Long Long Long Time Ago, Far Far Far Away (repeat)

Kiss a wookie
Kick a droid
Fly the falcon
Through an asteroid
Till the princess is annoyed
(She's annoyed!)
This is spaceships, it's monsters, it's Star Wars, we love it, it's true

Episode 3
Coming to you
In 2005

So Let's go
(go go go to the movies)
Stand in line
(buy buy buy me some popcorn)
Cause it's al-
(please I'd like extra butter)
most the time
(Join the dark side...)
May the Force be with you all

John Williams is the man

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Good Grief, it's Wednesday

I have absolutely nothing to say, which can mean problems. LOL We all know what happens when I have nothing to blog about. There simply isn’t anything going on. I’ve picked up 12 more hours at work, which means that all of my weekdays will be spent at work except for Friday, and then half of Monday. So now I have to fit things in – wonderful. I wasn’t getting a lot done before …

Our weather is being really funky right now. Last Friday it was 84. Monday it was in the 30s with ice. Today we got up to the lower 50s, by Friday we’ll be at 80 again. Then Saturday back into the 40s for the weekend. All of this fluctuation is making a lot of people sick, myself included. My sinuses are going whacky, I’ve got this lousy cough and an almost constantly dripping nose, but then so do a lot of other people. This is really highly unusual for Texas – I mean, we do have a generally mild winter (I can remember wearing shorts on Christmas day as a child), but not this bouncing of extremes.

Well, surprise – this is it! I know, really great post Bailey, you shouldn’t try so hard next time. LOL

So I’ll leave you with a couple of my new favorite LOLcats – not any of mine though, darn it.
And this lovely one that is one of my favorite Robert Frost poems

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year?

New years, new years resolutions, goals, hopes, dreams – whatever you want to call them. Did you make one this year? I kinda did. I resolved to be better. Just better. Well, maybe more organized. I want to read again. Write. Create worlds for the characters that are clamoring to live outside of my head. At least, I hope they want out of my head. I hope they’re not just yelling for the heck of it, you know? ‘Cuz that would make me a nut case, or something. Hush Bebo!!! Answer emails – now that would be nice. I’m getting really terrible at that. Send out thank you notes for the Christmas surprises – you know who you are, and yes, I’ll thank you, personally, in an email. Honest. Blog again – visit my old friends. Find my old friends. LOL

But mostly, read. I miss that. I really miss getting immersed in a good book, losing myself in the story, whether it be romance or mystery, fantasy, history – I don’t care, just read.

So, what do you want out of this new year?

And yeah, that's my baileyboo!!!

Friday, January 02, 2009

My own goodbye

Yesterday I listed those "notables" that the world had lost in 2008.

Today it's my own personal losses of 2008 that I say goodbye to, so here they are.

My mother's sister Alice O'Connell Proudfit

July 2, 1923 - June 18, 2008
(mom on the left, Alice on the right)

My father's brother Robert Charles Mardis

July 30, 1915 - December 15, 2008

My mother's brother Thomas Elmo O'Connell

February 14, 1921 - December 29, 2008

Each of you in your own way contributed to who I am today. You will be missed.

I'll see everyone on Monday. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

In Memoriam 2008

Yeah, techinically the year ended yesterday. Okay, not technically, it did end yesterday, but I'm taking the week, got it? Anyway, today is where I list those "notables" that we have lost throughout this past year. I know, how do you decide who to include? I take the top names, or ones that mean something to me, or I throw their names on the floor and wait until Bubba sits on one ... I just do, okay?

So here is my list, in no particular order - except maybe the order of the place I copied them from.

Eartha Kitt - Singer/actress - not as Santa Baby siren, but as I will always remember her - Catwoman.

Bernie Mac - actor

Michael DeBakey - Doctor - his innovations in medicine and science led to making open-heart surgeries a possibility. Without this procedure I would not have had my father, brother Howard or a few other members of my family with me for as long as I did.

Margaret Truman Daniel - author
Cyd Charisse - actress/dancer
Yves St. Laurent - designer

Paul Scofield - actor

Sydney Pollack - director/actor
Tim Russert - News host
Arthur C. Clarke - author
Heath Ledger - actor
Michael Crichton - author
Charlton Heston - actor
Estelle Getty - actress
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - author

Sir Edmund Hillary - explorer

George Carlin - comedian/actor

Bo Diddley - singer

Isaac Hayes - singer/actor
Paul Newman - actor

Larry Harmon - TV's first Bozo the clown

Roy Scheider - actor