OMG! Comedian Steven Wright

Available in dozens of formats at Amazon
One of the funniest comedians ever is Steven Wright.

He is a master of the dead pan expression, the monotone voice, and thoughts that make you wonder what it's like to be his brain.

There's a collection of his one liners that float around cyberspace, docking every now and then in my Inbox.

I'll give you a sample so you can laugh with me, and we'll both feel better.

Hysterically Funny Steven Wright

Last night I played a blank tape at full blast. The mime next door went nuts.

If a person with multiple personalities threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?

Whatever happened to preparations A through G?

If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from?

If you're sending someone some styrofoam, what do you pack it in?

We all know light travels faster than sound. Is that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?

Why do banks charge you an "insufficient funds" fee on money they already know you don't have?

How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?

If "con" is the opposite of "pro," then what is the opposite of progress?

Do married people live longer than single people, or does it just SEEM longer?

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

Available at Amazon
OMG! He's Funny

I laughed so hard when I read the whole list in the email that I had to know if he had performances available.

He does indeed. The album cover above and the one shown at right is available in several formats from Amazon.

The one at right, I Still Have a Pony, is a reference to his CD shown at the top: I Have a Pony.

His Amazon Page doesn't appear to be up to date. You can find more of his performance recordings by putting his name in Amazon's search engine, category All.

Takeaway Truth

Just reading his witticisms gave me a great attitude adjustment. Guaranteed laughs. Get some today.

When Afraid, Chant This

Some people are excited when trying something new and different--something challenging.

Others, are scared--fearful that they don't have what it takes to undertake the challenge and see it through to the end.

I'll confess I'm often in that second group. Just a little overwhelmed rather than filled with excitement.

That's when I open the file on my desktop that contains rocket fuel in the form of quotations that propel me forward.

One such quotation is this one.

"When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap!" ~ Cynthia Heimel

Takeaway Truth

Feel free to chant this, write it a dozen times a day, or murmur it to yourself as you're falling asleep at night. Do whatever works for you and makes you try something new or tackle a project that overwhelms you.

Book Chat & Coffee with Vala Kaye

Good morning! I've got my coffee. Why not grab a cup of your favorite morning beverage and join me and my guest for some book chat?

I'm happy to welcome Vala Kaye an author of an adult literary fantasy novel to SlingWords.

Vala dropped by to tell us about her book, Dreams of the Muse., which is a bit different from the romance novels we discuss. First, you probably want to know a little about Vala.

Itsy Bitsy Biography of Vala Kaye

Vala Kaye grew up along the Texas Gulf Coast as an avid reader of science fiction, history and romance. Her favorite authors ran the gamut from Robert Heinlein to Louisa May Alcott, with the occasional Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew mystery for good measure.

She has a degree in communications and was a California nomad for almost 2 decades, but Texas eventually drew her home. She's addicted to movies, live theater, word games, salsa dancing and Jane Austen adaptations from the BBC.

Visit Vala Online

Amazon Author Page * Website * Twitter * Instagram.

Dreams of the Muse

NOTE: This novel is intended for mature readers only.

Will getting what he wants most cost him everything...and everyone...he already has?

Zach Moore vows he “would trade his soul” for the return of creativity and productivity. In an attempt to find peace and overcome crippling writer’s block, Zach and his wife Nikki move from New York City to the Hudson Valley, land of Washington Irving and the legendary Sleepy Hollow.

Beautiful, mysterious Satan worshiper Kendra Evans is waiting for him there, ready to offer Zach everything he longs for. She's loved before and been abandoned, and she isn't about to let that happen again.

Will getting what he wants most cost Zach everything … and everyone … he already has?

Filled with vivid imagery and adult themes, Dreams of the Muse is a literary fantasy about an unintended Faustian bargain of the worst kind.

Takeaway Truth

Uh oh! Sleepy Hollow calls again! If you're looking for something a bit different, Dreams of the Muse might just be the book you want. It's free if you're a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, or buy it for only $3.99 and keep it forever.

Short Pithy Wisdom

Don't get worried, anxious, and bent out of shape about all the things that MIGHT happen.

Focus on today. Do what needs to be done today.

When tomorrow comes, focus on it.

I'll share the framed quotation that sits on my desk.

Thomas Carlyle said this, and it's the best advice you can take to heart.

"Our main business is NOT to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand."

Takeaway Truth

Those words of wisdom bear repeating. "Our main business is NOT to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand." ~ Thomas Carlyle

10 Online Safety Tips

Happy Monday!

Let's talk about staying safe online since more and more people are shopping online, banking online, and rambling all over the internet.

On social media, you talk about leaving on vacation. You go to a restaurant and log in to Yelp or FB or Instagram.

You just got your hair cut and leave a review for the salon. There are so many things we do that could pose a problem to personal security.

Here are some tips I practice that you might want to practice too.

10 Online Safety Tips

1. Be careful about what you share online. It's great to leave a review for a fabulous dinner out or a manicure or the cruise you're taking, but wait until you get home to do it--not while your house is empty. It's no surprise that the bad guys mine information from the internet in hopes of making an easy score.

You may be on Nextdoor with the rest of your community and think it's okay to talk about your upcoming vacation. Don't assume that everyone on your Nextdoor page is honest. They may be, but you're making an assumption based on assumed familiarity. You don't really know everyone in your community.

2. Create passwords of 12 digits. Compose them using upper and lower case letters, numbers, and typographic symbols. Figure out something you'll remember that is unique to you. Maybe it's a string of important dates interspersed with symbols. Whatever you choose, make sure you've never posted those dates on your social media pages.

3. Change your passwords at least every other month. Yes, it can be a drag which is why it's important to create something specific and unique that's easy for you to change up and remember.

4. Have a different password for every online account.

5. Change the name of your WiFi home network to something random. It's not wise to name your WiFi network "Smith WiFi." The technician who installed our new router said a 12 digit network name, created the same as a passcode, is needed in today's world. If a hacker sees "Smith Family," then he already has an important piece of information about you. Your name.

6. Shop online at well-known websites that are secure. Just because a tee shirt shop offers great designs and low prices doesn't mean they're reputable so beware of filling out your credit card information. They may be okay, but they could be a scam site. Always make sure the website is secure which is indicated by the green lock icon and the https that begins the website address.

Stop following me!!
7. Be aware that tracking cookies follow you around the internet. If you're been shopping for a movie poster, as I did recently, it's no surprise that every website you visit suddenly shows you ads for movie posters.

The problem is that the ad you see on a search engine page or a social media website may not have been validated. Websites are interested mostly in selling ad space. That means fake ads are out there.

A fake ad contains a piece of code that gets activated if you click on it. You've heard of malware, right? Very bad things can happen to your computer.

8. Never click something that is click bait. Click bait is something that appears to be shocking, breaking news. Example: Kim Kardashian, RIP. You're suddenly wondering, "OMG, did Kim K. die?" Click bait is the same problem as fake ads.

9. Use 2 Factor Authentication. This can be another PITA, but it does add another layer of protection. Most websites are offering this. Do it.

10. Sign up with your credit card companies to receive text messages about activity. When a charge is made, you get a text alert. This has actually alerted me about fraudulent activity on my credit card.

One instance was a card skimmer at a gas pump when I filled up. I swear, I couldn't tell there was anything different about that gas pump card reader.

Twenty minutes later I received a text from my credit card company asking if I had just made a $1,000.00 charge to a company. Before I could even text NO, the credit card company called me. They immediately canceled my card number and sent me new cards by FedEx. Text, email, and phone alerts are the way to go.

Takeaway Truth

Online shopping is convenient and easy. Do whatever is necessary to make it as secure as possible.


Amazon Author Page * BookBub Author Page * Facebook Fan Page * Twitter * YouTube * Joan's Website.

Be the first to know about New Books and gGiveaways, sign up for Joan's Mailing List.

5 Ways to Make Minutes Count

I don't know anyone who has all the time in the world. Everyone is scrambling for more time in order to complete the tasks they must do and the ones they want to do.

What's the answer? Work every minute of every day until you collapse from exhaustion?

I don't think so.

I think we probably have more discretionary time than we think, but we twiddle away the time in the pursuit of relaxing or unwinding.

Sometimes, we waste a few minutes here, a few more there because we think we need a big block of time in order to accomplish something.

Wrong. A couple of minutes every hour throughout the day adds up to well more than an hour.

But how do you utilize those fragments of an hour to make them count?

1. Monitor your minutes.
First, figure out how you're actually spending your time from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until you close them at night to sleep. To do this, keep a time journal.

Write down how long it takes you to get ready in the morning. A Smartphone is great for this. I started using the stopwatch feature on mine to see how long it took me to do what I do.

I can't say I was surprised to see that I spent a lot of time going off on tangents. I timed all the interruptions and distractions--and with my Darling Hubby home most of the time, there are plenty.

So use your stopwatch and see how long it takes you to shower, dress, do your hair and makeup. How long to prepare and eat breakfast. How long you spend yakking on the phone or checking email or social media.

Write it all down for a week, and you'll see where there's plenty of time you could have utilized in a more effective way.

2. Determine what's important to you.
Once you've tracked your time for a week, study your stats.

Is there extra time while you wait to drive to work or drive carpool to get the kids to school?

Is there extra time during your lunch hour? How much time do you spend watching TV?

How much time are you spending on Facebook, Instagram, etc.?

3. Prioritize your tasks.
Now you should know what's important to you because that's what you're spending the most time on. Things like work, family, kids, friends, good health habits, etc. If you're pursuing a secondary career or passionate hobby--like writing, painting, etc.--and you have your day job, then it's more important than ever that you carve out time for that.

Think about all that you need to do--really need not just want--on a daily basis and prioritize with a number system. 1 of course is most important, but you can break that down into 1A, 1B, 1C, etc. if you have tasks that are almost equally important.

4. Plan your day the night before.
I'm a big fan of lists. Every night, I make a list of the things I need to do the next day. I list them in order of importance. Most of the "want to do's" on my list are under the heading of personal. When you finish your plan for tomorrow, read it. The next morning when you're dressed for the day, read the list again.

5. Plan ahead for the fragments of time.
Depending on what you need more time for, pack a go-bag that will help you take advantage of those random minutes that suddenly aren't scheduled.

If you're writing a book, take along small tablet computer or even a notebook and pen in your purse. Whip it out if you suddenly find yourself waiting for the boss to assign you a new task, or you brought a sandwich for lunch so you could eat at your desk and use the time for writing.

Maybe you just want to add the personal touch to your relationships like writing letters and cards to family who don't text and email--or maybe to those you love to give more than a quick text or call. Have your stationery, envelope, addresses, and stamps in a large envelope so you can drop it into your briefcase, purse, or totebag--your Go Bag.

If you're trying to get ahead as a blogger, have a notebook or a file on your tablet computer of ideas, links, etc. so you can rough draft several posts.

Never go to an appointment--doctor, business, etc.--without having a project essentials with you.

I'm always surprised when I take my daughter to PT at the hospital, and the waiting room is filled with people flipping through the few magazines there, watching a boring talk program where everyone argues and hurls insults, or simply stares into space or tries to engage others in random conversation.

If you're riding in a car, bus, train, or van pool, use the time for your project. If your stuck on the phone on hold, use the minutes by always keeping a notebook near you so you can make notes or put down a sentence or two if writing is your thing. If knitting, cross stitch, or other hand work, is your thing, have it ready to go.

Earth Day Tote Bag
Go Bags

Make a Go Bag for your interest--make more than one if you have several projects in mind even if you just put books you want to read in a bag.

Grab the Go Bag of your choice before you walk out the door. Whatever your passion or your needs, your Go Bag helps you take advantage of the "free" time you find yourself with.

Try this and let me know if you accomplish more. More writing, more staying in touch with those you love, more hobby work, more feeling as if you're controlling your time instead of the other way around.

Takeaway Truth

One of my favorite quotes addresses the importance of making time count. Henry David Thoreau said, "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity."

Hurricane Harvey: Day By Day

Satellite View of a Hurricane Eye
A year ago today Hurricane Harvey came calling on Texas.

We were lucky in that our home is at one of the highest elevations in Houston.

This past week the local media has replayed the biggest natural disaster in recent years and its effect on the Houston area.

In case you don't know how big the Houston area is, here are a few facts.

The Houston metropolitan area is the 4th largest city in the U.S. with 6.6 million residents.

If Houston metro were a country, it would be the world’s 23rd largest economy, larger than Poland or Sweden.

My Harvey Story

On Friday, August 25, I left my house and arrived at my daughter's house 45 minutes later. Drove her to a hospital on Katy Freeway for her scheduled physical therapy which took another 45 minutes.

Usual view of my lake in August, shows island in middle
A little more than a hour later, we left the hospital. The sky was still sunny, but scattered rain was falling. An hour later, we were back at her house. I got her settled in then drove back to my home which took another hour. By the time I reached home, the wind had whipped up, and it was raining in earnest.

My husband had gone to our house in the country the day before. I was supposed to join him, but I was tired and decided to wait until Saturday morning to leave. That turned out to be a good decision.

If I hadn't been here, I wouldn't have been able to limit the damage from rain that got through the damaged chimney cap. I had buckets inside the hearth and every towel I owned packed around the chimney where it came through the roof into the house and down in the living room.

I'm a Lead on our community's NextDoor site so I could pass information along to my neighbors. I was most concerned about my daughter's ability to be evacuated if her area flooded. There was literally an ocean between us by Saturday so I couldn't get to her.

Rain slowed.  Water creeping up.
The Constables in my precinct and in hers were online to answer concerns. They made lists of people who might need special assistance. People all over Houston were using Facebook to send messages to family and to call for rescues. People everywhere answered the call. Ordinary people became heroes.


August 25, 2017, Friday
Harvey came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds at Port Aransas and Port O'Connor near Corpus Christi and knocked out power, leaving 250,000 people without electricity. All of the Texas Gulf Coast area was receiving rain and wind.

August 26, Saturday
Harvey moved to Houston and hung out for 4 days. The rain never stopped from Friday evening to Tuesday. Amazingly, we never lost power. The lake that's the centerpiece of our community got high, but the overflow drain worked as it should. When the rain slowed, I ventured out to take pictures of the lake and check the drains in the street which were like rushing rivers.

Island in middle of our lake, water rising
In the Houston area, 2 reservoirs overflowed. The freeways were rivers. Water was up to the bottom of overpasses.

Between 25 and 30 percent of Harris County where Houston is located was flooded.

That's a land area as large as New York City and Chicago combined and was home to 4.5 million people.

The 911 system was overloaded with calls for help. There weren't enough rescue boats available. People as far away as Oklahoma and Louisiana drove to Harris County with boats to help rescue people.

Somehow, the local television stations continued broadcasting. Reporters were out showing the human toll. Thousands of people wading through waist high water to reach boats that couldn't get to them.

The situation grew even more dire. People were moving as high in their homes as they could in order to stay out of the water rushing in. Many reached the attic, even in two story homes. Rooftop rescues were ongoing.

Bridge & Island almost covered.
Broadcasters started giving instructions on what to do if you were forced into the attic. "Take an axe with you so you can break through the attic ceiling and get out on the roof so rescuers can see you. Otherwise, you might drown inside the attic."

I went to the garage and found the axe in the storage room and brought it inside. Fortunately, I never had to discover if I'd have the strength to break through the 2x4's and wood decking beneath the layer of shingles.

The scenes on television grew even more bleak. Farm and ranches surround the Houston area. The toll to farm animals, wildlife, and pets was horrendous too.

August 29
Harvey made landfall for a third time when it moved east of Houston and hit the coastal cities of Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas on the border of Louisiana.
It dumped another 26 inches of rain in 24 hours, flooding Port Arthur and its 55,000 population. Water flooded a third of the city's buildings, including the one where people had taken shelter. Beaumont was without drinking water.

Houston metro was like an island with freeways and highways leading into the area under water. Then water had to be released from the reservoir in order to keep the dams from breaking. More flooded homes and business. More misery.

August 31
Even though Harvey had moved out of the area, its effects were still being felt. In Crosby, a small town on the other side of Lake Houston, an Arkema chemical plant ignited because no power meant no refrigeration that kept chemicals inert. The chemicals ignited.
Tip of the iceberg of damage. We were lucky

September 1
Harvey reached Nashville, Tennessee, and dumped 10 inches of rain there before finally falling apart.

Our Damage

We were so lucky. Our damage was from falling rain, but it still cost us over $2,000.00 when all was said and done. That was less than our homeowners insurance deductible so it all came out of our pocket. Still, we lucked out.

Mere blocks away, in every direction, entire subdivisions were under water. As late as Monday, water rescues were still going on.

Water rescue doesn't begin to describe the kind of bravery and guts it takes for people to do that. There are snakes, floating fire ant beds, sewage, toxic chemicals, garbage, nails, sharp edges, etc. in the flood waters. Manhole covers float up. If you step over to an empty space, you go down. It's scarier than any horror movie you've ever seen.

The Toll in Misery and Money

$125 billion in damage according to the National Hurricane Center--more than any other natural disaster in U.S. history except Hurricane Katrina.

13 million people from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky affected.

88 people died

1/3 of Houston area under water

39,000 people in shelters

204,000 homes flood-damaged with 3/4 of those not in the 100-year flood plain. Those homeowners did not have flood insurance.

738,000 people registered for assistance with the FEMA

10,000 people rescued by Federal officials

3,000 rescued by Houston Police Dive Team

no numbers of how many were rescued by private citizens with their personal boats

37,000 people in shelters in Texas and 2,000 in Louisiana

75 of 275 schools in Houston’s school district, 7th largest in the nation, closed due to flood damage.

1 million vehicles totaled including 300,000 to 500,000 vehicles owned by individuals

800 wastewater treatment facilities flooded and 13 Superfund sites flooded, spreading sewage and toxic chemicals into the flooded areas

25 % of oil and gas production shut down

15 trillion gallons of rainfall classified the storm as a 1-in-1,000-year flood event. Nothing of that size has happened within modern recorded history. Flooding covered southeast Texas the size of the state of New Jersey.

1 and 1/2 feet of water covered 70 percent of the 1,800-square-mile county. The weight of the water depressed the Earth's crust. Houston sank 2 centimeters as a result. It was said when the waters recede, the crust would rebound.

As I write this, voters are being urged to say yes to a multi-billion dollar proposition to address flooding. This is all well and good, but the wrong people are being asked to pay for this. Homeowners shouldn't have to pay more in taxes.

The cost of these flood abatement measures should be passed on to developers who mined a loophole in regulations and avoided paying for flood abatement measures like  retention ponds.

In fact, if those loopholes remain open, I think every developer who applies for exception should have the application open to public review for at least a year before it can be approved.

Of course that won't happen so it's left to Harris County residents to fund it themselves.

The Need is Ongoing

People are still homeless or living in damaged homes from this. Those most at risk--the disabled, ill, and lower income families--still need help.
Click to Donate to SBP
If you have money to donate, give to SBP, aka St. Bernard Project.

They're rated high by Charity Navigator , the organization you should always check when thinking about donating to a charity or recovery/relief group.

To donate to Houston Recovery through SBP, click here.

Takeaway Truth

I've lived in hurricane and typhoon areas most of my life. Hurricane Harvey was one I'll always remember.

Happy Waffle Day

That's right. Today is a special day we can all get behind. It's National Waffle Day.

You can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and fruit or maple syrup.

You can eat them as a dessert with whipped cream and fruit or even ice cream.

So let's give Cornelius Swartwout from Troy, New York, a big thank you. He's the one who patented a waffle iron in 1869.

A Little History

Throughout history, some form of hot cake has been cooked. Primitive man used hot stones, flipping the cake to cook both sides. When the Iron Age rolled around, an iron plate was used. The lowly hot cake progressed through Ancient Greece and the Middle Ages.

Black & Decker Waffle Iron on Amazon
Most of those hot cakes didn't have a leavening ingredient that would have made them "airy" and light. By the 15th century, a hot griddle with that familiar grid pattern was first used. The word waffle was first used in the English language in 1725. Recipes for waffles, many based on earlier European recipes, spread throughout England and America.

The Waffle Iron

Good old American ingenuity came to the forefront in the early 1900's when General Electric introduced their electric waffle iron.

In 1953, the Dorsa brothers introduced frozen waffles. Two years later that product name was changed to Eggo. After the 1964 World's Fair in the Big Apple, the Belgian waffle became popular.

My Love Affair With Waffles

My mom made waffles. Her waffle iron was a G.E. and weighed a ton. Her waffles were crispy and light and so very good.

I've never bought the frozen waffles because I figured they couldn't possibly be as good as homemade ones.

Waffle irons range in price from about $25.00 to well over $100.00. I own 2--one for each house. The older one I've had for over 20 years. It cost me $9.00 and is heavy like my mom's. It still works great.

The newer one is a Black & Decker like the one in the picture above. I bought it from Amazon. Like most modern appliances, it's rather lightweight, but it too works well. In fact, when I finished this post, I made waffles with it!

Takeaway Truth

If you don't want to make a waffle today and don't like the frozen kind, then go to Waffle House for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! They make a pretty good waffle too!

Wisdom from a Kitchen Magnet

I'm in my writing cave today, typing as fast as I can so I can get the first draft of my Christmas novella finished.

I saw a magnet on my daughter's refrigerator that I really liked.

Amusing that great wisdom can be found on a refrigerator magnet, isn't it?

I thought I'd share it with you.

If Plan A doesn't work, don't worry. There are 25 other letters in the alphabet. Get busy making Plan B. Keep going until you find a Plan that does work.

Don't be one of those people who keep trying to make a plan work when it's obvious it's not going to do so. Get Plan B ready, then Plan C if necessary. Keep going until you get a Plan that works.

Takeaway Truth

The world rewards those who try, not those who get frustrated and give up. This is true for the writing and publishing business and for all the other businesses that exist.

Werewolves Only: New Shifter Romance by @CarriePulkinen

If you love paranormal romance, Carrie Pulkinen has a new release.

Werewolves Only (Crescent City Wolf Pack Book 1) is available now from Amazon.

You will also find it at other ebook sellers.

About Werewolves Only

When the alpha's love for his fated mate is forbidden, he'll risk everything to hold her.

Detective Macey Carpenter has been on the trail of a vicious attacker for weeks, with nothing more than a vague description of a red-eyed man to go on.

She has no clue she’s hunting demons, and if the evidence doesn’t stop disappearing, she’ll never solve the case.

Before Luke Mason becomes alpha of the Crescent City Wolf Pack, he has to end the French Quarter’s demon infestation and keep the police from discovering the truth.

But when he falls head over tail for the feisty detective investigating the crimes, supernatural secrets aren’t the only things at stake.

Luke has to mate with another werewolf or he’ll sacrifice his position as alpha. But as heat builds between the pair, he discovers Macey has a few secrets of her own.

She may hold the key to ridding New Orleans of its demons, but his feelings for her could tear the pack apart.

Fans of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series and Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series will fall in love with the Crescent City Wolf Pack!

About Carrie Pulkinen

Carrie is an award-winning paranormal romance and young adult author who has always been fascinated with things that go bump in the night.

Of course, when you grow up next door to a cemetery, the dead (and the undead) are hard to ignore. Pair that with her passion for writing and her love of a good happily-ever-after, and becoming a paranormal romance author seemed like the only logical career choice.

To learn more about Carrie, please visit her website. You'll also find her hanging out on Facebook and Twitter at @CarriePulkinen.

To stay up-to-date on all her latest news and new releases, sign up for Carrie Pulkinen's VIP Reader Group.

Takeaway Truth

If you haven't read Carrie's signature brand of paranormal romance, treat yourself today to her latest release, Werewolves Only.

Must See Movie: Crazy Rich Asians

Without a doubt, Crazy Rich Asians is the best romantic movie I've seen in the last few years.

If you're looking for an emotion-drenched romance full of beautiful people and with an epic ending--the kind of ending I try to write in my romance novels--this movie is for you.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan, the screenplay is by Peter Chiarelli (known for The Proposal and Eagle Eye) and Adele Lim (probably known for her TV work like Reign, Lethal Weapon, Star-crossed, Missing, Private Practice).

Jon M. Chu (actor, writer, director, producer) directed and as you can tell by my rave review, he did an amazing job.

If you're a big fan of the novel, Crazy Rich Asians, you might be interested in the changes that were made to bring the book to the big screen.

One of the screenwriters, veteran television writer and producer, Adele Lim, discusses it here.

Cast and Characters

The actors gave riveting performances. The cast was huge since most Asian families are like families in the South with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents--inlaws and outlaws--on both sides of a marriage are all included.

All of the actors deserve kudos, but I'll mention only the main ones who breathed life into the characters and made me want to watch another movie with them as the same characters.

Constance Wu as Rachel Chu, the heroine

Kheng Hua Tan as Kerry Ch, her mother

Henry Golding as Nick Young, the hero

Michelle Yeoh as Eleanor Young, the hero's mother

Lisa Lu as Ah Ma, the matriarch of the family

Gemma Chan as Astrid Young Teo, one of the cousins whose performance was memorable even though she wasn't on screen very much.

Pierre Png as Michael Teo, Astrid's husband, perfect in his role as commoner married to a princess

Awkwafina as Peik Lin Goh, comic relief as the former college roommate

Chris Pang as Colin Ku, the bridegroom

Sonoya Mizuno as Araminta Lee, the bride

The wedding scene is breathtaking. I wonder if brides everywhere will be trying to re-create the flowing water scene.

What can I say but go see this movie for yourself. It's simply a wonderful romantic movie with everything you want in a romance. Best unintended message? Even crazy rich people have the same wants and needs as other people.

Best overt message? Love makes you become more than you were before you loved.

My daughter and I dragged Darling Hubby along. (He wanted to see Mile 22.) Guess what? He liked it too. Daughter and I decided we'd have to go see it again if only to ooh and ahh over the fabulous clothes and jewels and shed a few tears along the way.

I can see an Oscar nomination for set decoration and costumes coming up. Would love to see nominations for the writers, director, and cast. I'm hoping that the second book in Mr. Kwan's trilogy will be brought to film too.

By the way, Kevin Kwan graduated from Clear Lake High School here in Houston and received his first degree from the University of Houston.

Takeaway Truth

Rarely does a romantic movie come along that is perfect in every way. Crazy Rich Asians is exactly that.


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Hell in a Handbasket

My grandfather used to say: "The world's going to hell in a handbasket."

I thought of that today when I saw one of those horrible examples of parenting in today's world.

I grow weary of seeing these horrendous displays in daily life--at the supermarket, mall, sports arena, etc.

They make me mutter: "Civilization is going to Hell in a handbasket."

I won't go into that story, but I will tell you where the phrase Hell in a handbasket originated.

What the Heck is a Handbasket?

Why, it's a small portable basket we no longer use. Now we carry purses, briefcases, messenger bags, tote bags, and backpacks.

The thought behind the phrase is 17th century, but the precise wording going to hell in a handbasket  and its alternative form going to hell in a handcart originated in the U. S. around the middle of the 19th century.

Not a Bosch painting but creepy nonetheless.
The phrase describes a situation headed inescapably for disaster. Of all the variations, the handbasket version of the phrase is now the more common.

Some of the origins attributed to the phrase include the Hieronymous Bosch painting The Haywain (c. 1515) which hangs in the Prado in Madrid.

The painting depicts a large cart of hay heading to Hell with the cart drawn by "infernal beings that drag everyone to Hell." I assume that means demons. (Wikipedia)

PhraseFinder gives a first reference found in print in the House Documents of the U.S. Congress, 1867: "Speaking of men who had been arrested he [Judge Morris] said, "Some of our very best, and thousands of brave men, at this very moment in Camp Douglas, are our friends; who, if they were once at liberty, would send the abolitionists to hell in a hand-basket."

Takeaway Truth

Let's bring back decency, courtesy, and the ability to speak in public without loud utterances of the F-word as every part of speech--especially when children are present.


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3 Ways to Guarantee Failure

Many people suffer from a lack of confidence. Too many people think that confidence is something you're born with, and they've decided they weren't born with it.

That's a lie.

Confidence is grown. It's cultivated from effort and experience and accomplishment.

Guarantee Failure

If you want to guarantee that you will fail every time, do these 4 things.

1. Never try to achieve anything awesome.

Why try? That's the self-talk of someone who has already failed. Just be like the other sheep bleating their mournful cry.

If you don't try, how do you know what your limits are? How can you become the amazing person you just might be?

Confidence is grown from effort. You try, you fail, you pick yourself up, and you try again. Repeat as often as necessary until you succeed.

2. Never step outside your comfort zone.

Hey, it's a scary world out there. Why take a risk when you'll probably fail like all the other times? If you don't take a risk, you'll never know what you might have achieved. The only difference between a comfort zone and a grave is the dimensions.

Confidence comes from the experience of trying new things and maybe failing--but learning! So you take what you've learned from the experience and try again. The next time you try something new, you just might succeed. If you don't, then try again.

3. Never dwell on an accomplishment you made. Or any experience in which you're followed through and completed an assignment successfully--only dwell on all the times you're failed.

That's the old glass half-empty thinking. Why pat yourself on the back and relive the positive completion of a project when you can dump crap on yourself for all the times you failed? It's a lot easier to wallow in defeat and self-pity, and you have a lot more companions in that because it's the easiest way to avoid growing.

Instead, give yourself a beaming smile in the mirror and say, "You did a great job." Even if the only thing you did was drag yourself out of bed this morning!

Confidence is grown from accomplishment. Celebrate yourself every time you succeed, no matter how small the victory. Wallow in the pride of accomplishment and really think about how that makes you feel.

Takeaway Truth

Really want to guarantee failure? Just give up and never try. Better to be bold and brave and go for it than to be like a poor little lost lamb.


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