Archive | Other Stuff RSS feed for this section


2 May

. . . and many more!!!!

New from Amazon

1 Apr


Media Alert:


SEATTLE – March 31, 2017 – Tomorrow, Amazon Publishing will make history and announce plans to launch an author into space. This marks the first publishing house to ever send an author on a mission to outer space. World-renowned psychologist and sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, 88, will suit up to complete research for her new book, The Big O in Zero G, to be published in 2018. The book intends to solve the challenges of intimacy in a weightless environment.


“There is shockingly little research on this subject!” said Dr. Ruth, author of Sex for Dummies, Sex After 50, and The Doctor Is In. “I’m thrilled to have the chance to help readers have out of this world sex.”


As to who will embark on this mission with Dr. Ruth, that will be determined (in the best interests of science) by a reality TV competition. Amazon is pleased to announce the unscripted series Space Station: What’s Done in the Dark, available on Amazon Prime Video in early 2018. In the series, astronauts will first engage in competitive intimacy-building exercises here on Earth. Then, the finalists will ascend to the space station with Dr. Ruth, where she will critique and score their maneuvers, while gathering material for her book.


“We could not be more proud to be part of this project with Dr. Ruth,” said Jeff Belle, VP of Amazon Publishing. “Nothing less than the fate of humankind hinges on this important enterprise.”


More details will be revealed over the next few months regarding Dr. Ruth’s upcoming space journey and documentary series, but in the meantime, Prime members can read The Doctor Is In for free in Prime Reading starting today. For more on Prime Reading visit


Watch the video teaser.


All About You and BLIZZARD! (Krissie)

13 Mar


There’s a blizzard coming. It’s gonna womp Jenny, it’s going to slam us (possibly 18 inches of snow, but we’re used to it. We’ve had other big storms around St. Patrick’s Day, but we’ve just had two bitter weekends (high temperatures about one degree, strong wind – our bedroom was 59 degrees when I woke up yesterday) and spring seems a long ways away. But they build us tough up here. Only problem is we’re going to have a goddess gathering (Lani and her two daughters are coming down to NJ and I’m driving down on Thursday) so now we gotta deal with snow. Hey, it could be worse. We could have some appalling narcissist leading our country … oh, never mind.

(Sorry, I’ll try to avoid politics). Anyway, spent the weekend working on doll clothes and furniture, having a lovely time. This week, before I head down for FUN, I have to figure out why I’m not writing. It’s very strange – Jenny is writing like crazy and I’m not – it’s usually the other way around. I think I’ve had four books out since Jenny’s last one came out. I’m not in competition – I’d do anything to help her writing, and I love that she’s got a story again. But it’s weird for me.

So I’m not going to promise to write this week. I’m going to figure out why I don’t (topic for therapy today). And, I get to go see Kong tonight (Hiddles, y’know). Gotta kick my ass into gear.

What’s on your agenda?

All About You (Krissie)

7 Mar

It’s gonna be a tough week for Sister Krissie. Our lovely theater has been coopted and destroyed. No, I’m not being overly dramatic. Here’s the deal:
Ten or so years ago an actress and director bought a summer house in Greensboro. One of the first things she did was hold a meeting, inviting everyone, on ways to bring more of the arts to out town. Over the years she started with staged readings in a barn all the way up to our very professional productions in a tent on the town green, complete with a Tony-nominee actress for the musicals. (Jill came up on her Harley to see Hamlet – she can attest to how good the plays are). She kept looking for a patron to help us build a permanent theater.
Along comes a billionaire who wants to do something for the town. He buys us a new tent (we rented before) and pledges 15 million to build a new theater.
Joy abounds. Sabra and company hire an architect, begin the incredibly contentious and arduous process of getting zoning approval. The people who were against it were vicious, as they had been for Circus Smirkus and are for any proposed change, but eventually the zoning went through, all the appeals against it were shot down, and we broke ground.
And then our billionaire started getting twitchy. He suddenly renamed the theater and took it over, slowly but surely pushing Sabra out. He would only talk with her through lawyers (and you can imagine what that did to an arts organization who depended on donations to survive). The building, originally based on the Globe Theater, has about 27 offices in it. Sabra asked if they could have one – the Axis of Evil said yes, then no.
In our usual summer we start rehearsals mid to late June, open in the middle of July and go through the middle of August. The Evil Ones said they would give us a contract – 4 weeks, no rehearsal time in this huge facility, one day load in and one day out.
We tried to negotiate, but the more we did, the tighter their restrictions got. Now they’ve signed a contract with a theater group from 90 miles away, one who plans to take over Sabra’s mission – to get Shakespeare into the schools, to involve local people, etc.
And on top of that, he took the tent.
No My Fair Lady and Amadeus this summer. No staged readings (our step-down plan). We’ve been destroyed. I keep thinking of “Fire and Rain” – “sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.” (Flying Machine was the name of James Taylor’s group before he went into treatment).
So I’ll have a free summer. A summer back to my usual isolation, just like my winters. My short-lived theatrical career is done – I have no intention of going anywhere near the new theater and the Axis of Evil, and I was just starting to get good.
I need to cool my anger. I need to grieve and let go. I just gotta put that creative energy back into writing, though I think the theater added richness to my writing. The more creative endeavors you involve yourself in, the more creativity you have.
So right now I’m grieving.
Tomorrow – revenge!

Furry Friends Again (Krissie)

17 Jan

So here’s the roundup of the rest of our darlings.  I’m astonished at the difference the cats have made in our lives.  I think it’s because we always had animals – we never realized what it was like not to have one.  But two years ago Cello died (a rescue cat from my ex BIL), Pooska died (a darling mini-Maine coon cat) of extreme old age (19 – she’d just showed up in her garage one day when she was a baby).  We were left with Phantom, who was such a darling he filled our lives.  And then, as Tim’s illness exploded (indeed, on the very day something seemed to snap with him) Phantom was hit by a car.  It’s even possible he accidentally hit him – we’ll never know.  And life was so hideously awful that we were just holding on for dear life, like survivors in a Tsunami as the flood waters swirling around us and the wind shook the trees we were clinging to.

We went through two years like that, with the occasional respite of cuddling Crusie’s dogs, who are exceptionally snuggly.  And then things hit rock bottom, Richie was so depressed it was almost clinical, I was shell-shocked.  And the kitties arrived.  I said to Richie that suddenly things were better – that I was no longer pushing him to see a therapist.  He started to deny feeling better (because we’re still a little terrified about what might happen) when I said “it just sort of grounds us, having the animals.”  And that’s what it does.  Life is just not so bleak.  It’s a reminder that certain things are eternal when so much else is random.

But you guys with pets know that.  In a way it was a good thing not to have the pets for a while – I took them for granted as a part of life.  I’d never realized just how necessary they were. IMG_0542 copy IMG_0546 These are Jennifer’s kitties – they bought some chairs to assemble and of course the cats claimed them. I’m assuming the boxes were too flat for them to crawl into.



And we have image1 – Kelly’s babies. Sophie and Zep. Zep has gone to the Rainbow Bridge, but he still feels part of her life.



And a guest visit from Neko, Barb Samuel’s 20 lb. horse-kitty. She was just so damned cute I had to add her. 10846104_763606667063258_1826272992756446438_n

VOTE (Krissie)

8 Nov

Photo on 11-8-16 at 10.21 AM

Ah, screw it. You know I’m with Her, doncha? The future of the world couldn’t get me into a pantsuit, but I had white in honor of women’s suffrage. I haven’t worn this dress since the day of my mother’s funeral, and the Eileen Fisher jacket is close enough to a power suit in terms of powerful women. (Plus they’re both size Large. For someone who’s been in 2x and even 3x for the last decade of so that’s a sweet extra (I’d been good about eating when my mother died but immediately afterwards started eating again). And the dress is even loose!

And let me call out the detestable “Mary Poppins.” Not only does it have Dick Van Dyke (who was lovely in other roles but nauseating in this movie) but the whole suffragette subplot was deeply offensive to me when it came out when I was 16 in 1964). Still is. (Plus I like my nannies warm and fuzzy, not starchy.) I know – heresy! But I’ve always been a heretic.

My mother considered herself an early feminist, and I guess in truth, she was. She was born in 1914, won prizes in writing, worked toward her MA in Journalism, travelled, worked professional jobs her entire life. She hadn’t quite finished her master’s when she went to work for Princeton University Press, naively assuming she could finish her degree there while she worked. Uh-uh.

She did also tell me, when I asked her why my little brother was going to private school and not me, that it was because he was a boy, but we all have lapses. Inequality shocked her – when she first visited the South in the 1930s she was appalled by segregation.

So this day is a day I’ll think good things about my mother. She’d be very proud.

Y’all better damn well vote. Our forebears died for our rights – cherish them.

All About You (Krissie)

7 Nov

Photo on 11-7-16 at 9.05 AM Our nightmare is almost over – tomorrow is election day. Actually I think the sturm und drang will go onward, but let’s be positive.

And here’s your task for the week (if you live here – the rest of you are excused). VOTE!!!! I’m sure there’s a way to put that in flame-colored, blinking text but I’m not gonna bother because I’m in the zone.

Now actually I’m supposed to tell you to vote your conscience, but just vote. That would be a politically correct lie. I want you to go out and vote for my candidate and if you’re going to vote for the other one then, hell, why not just stay home and comfortable? But since you don’t know (though I imagine it’s pretty obvious) know which one I despise you can just go ahead and VOTE!

Ahem. Just saw an ad on The Weather Channel – from three pm to 11 pm they’re going to have absolutely zero election coverage. Instead they’re going to show soothing nature videos of beautiful places. Yahoo!

There’s something else I want to watch for coverage but I won’t mention it because it will make it even more obvious who has to win as far as I’m concerned. And you know, in general I wouldn’t shy away from politics – I’d be happy to voice an opinion. But we’re all so burned out over this election that I’m not going there. I’m self-censoring because we’re all fucking tired of it.

But on to more important things. NaNoWriMo has been a wonderful so far — I’ve written over 8k words since Tuesday, and while I only wrote 185 words yesterday I spent hours making notes and coming up with some really clear stuff about where this is going to go, who these people are, and I’m about to jump in again. So NaNoWriMo every day. Work on the sewing room and maybe get to work on some projects, maybe start swimming again is I can figure out how to make the time, and maybe start going through my too-many linens to take to Goodwill. One problem is quilts – Crusie passed a bunch of gorgeous quilts on to me and I can’t let go of them. But hell, since I love them I’ll damn well keep them. I’ve got tons of sheets and towels to get rid of – the Marie Kondo rule is keep only what you really love, and I really love those quilts. So don’t make me feel guilty.

In fact, what I tend to do, particularly with clothes, is give away my old stuff and save the new from Jenny. Which is particularly helpful because Jenny is a lot smaller than I am, and the stuff she’s given me was the stuff that was too big on her (she’s lost weight over the last couple of years) and a lot of my stuff is now too big for me. So it works out really well, and Goodwill gets the really oversized stuff. I do need to look up a charity that serves larger women in need of work clothes, but a lot of my clothes tend to be too flashy. But still, I’ll add that to my agenda.

I think there’s tons of stuff to get rid of and still be able to hold on stuff that might not be practical but that I love.

So that’s my plan for the week.

What’s on your agenda? Besides VOTING? Jane, you go have a cream tea in our honor, accent on the tea. We promise never to throw any in Boston Harbor again. The rest of you overseas – go out and have the best hamburger and French fries you can, washed down with a Coke. We’re having Trader Joe’s pumpkin waffles tonight with lots of fruit – comfort food in our time of national stress.

So tell me. Wassup?