Monday, August 25, 2014

Caption That Photo- The Charity Cowboy Man-Titty Edition

Calling all my wonderfully creative (and occasionally naughty-minded) ReaderFriends! I need slogans for half-naked cowboy types. Think you're up for it?

Okay, here's the sitch: the rescue (fully nonprofit, accredited and aboveboard) at which I volunteer does these really awesome Men of Beech Brook Farm calendars. This involves us posing and photographing half-naked (and sometimes more than half-naked, lol) local hunks--friends and significant others of the volunteers, local athletes, Navy guys, Coast Guardies, etc.--as they interact with the rescue's horses and donkeys. As you might imagine, this is *not* a hardship for most of us.

Then there's Photographer Guy. 

Now, PG is plenty openminded and a Very Good Sport--he's a valued volunteer, a board member, the adopter of a rescue horse and a star of the 2015 calendar lineup (and no, I'm not telling you what month). He's also a trained graphic designer, as well as a fellow Battlestar geek and my go-to for movie recommendations. The calendar is his baby, and he does an amazing job. However, this means that over the past few months, poor PG has spent a whole lot of his time posing, photographing, cropping, arranging, rearranging and discussing half-naked male cowboy-types. And, as you might imagine given that I'm involved in said conversations, they don't always stay G-rated.

Okay, they *rarely* stay G-rated. (hangs head) Though in my defense, I wasn't the one that said "Is that a piece of his you-know-what showing?" Which then commenced an extended analysis of the photograph (and flesh-colored object) in question. In great detail. With lots of zoom. And giggling.

(It's a piece of the saddle, by the way. We swear.)

ANYWAY, the photos are in and done, the calendars (complete with centerfold!) are in production for delivery beginning in October, and the pre-order forms are live ... and, like many of us, the rescue is scuffling to make ends meet. We really need this fundraiser to be a success. So we're looking for ways to get the word out! PG, being a Very Good Sport, came up with this flier:

Which I think is pretty awesome. And, no, I wouldn't mind nailing--er, pinning that guy to my wall. (I would apologize to Arizona for that, but he enjoys a good cheerleader carwash as much as the next guy.) When PG posted this, though, and suggested that we do a new one each month he added a semi-plaintive: "Could you guys come up with the rest of the slogans? It's really not my thing."

So, to help out poor Photographer Guy, I'm appealing to you! I need some pithy sayings that we can pair up with pictures of horses and hunky men. They should be naughty but not too naughty (though if you want to get raunchy in the comment trail, be my guest), and make us want to have a copy of the Men of Beech Brook 2015 hanging on our walls.

And ... go!

Oh, and want to pin that guy to your wall, or know somebody who would? Preorder here!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Laxative Walks Into A Bar ...

Do not fire nail gun at people, pets or windows. Do not stick fingers in moving blade of finish mower. Do not get clothes caught in PTO drive of tractor. Do not drive tractor under low power lines with the bucket up. Unplug wood chipper before clearing jam. Do not handle chainsaw by its blade ... Back when I had the farm, I used to love collecting the craziest warning cartoons from the various pieces of equipment we amassed over the years, and speculate on the real-life situations that prompted them. 

(Which is an admittedly gruesome hobby, but, hey! We all get our jollies where we can find them.)

I've had fewer opportunities to amuse myself with large equipment in recent years--most of Arizona's and my yard equipment politely requests eye protection and caution when in use, and not much else. And, to be honest, he does most of the yard work anyway, while I keep the house more or less in order. (Not a particularly gender-neutral division of labor, granted, but it works for us. And, besides, I once read that couples in which the guy tends to do the traditionally male chores have more sex. Not sure if that's really a thing, but chicken, egg, who cares as long as you get scrambled on a regular basis?) 

The other day, though, I was putting away some stuff in the bathroom, and caught sight of the following on the box of an ear-wax-removing kit: Never use toothpicks or hairpins to remove wax from the ear canal. And I thought "Whaaa ...?"

You know how little snippets of favorite books get stuck in your brain? Well, one of mine is from one of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books, in which Ford (I think?) discusses finding detailed instructions on the side of a box of toothpicks, and knowing that the human race was ultimately doomed, because any species that needs help picking stuff out of their teeth with a stick is really beyond help. 

So the discovery of this little earwax gem got me wondering what other silliness might exist in my bathroom cabinet. I did a little rummaging around, and found the following:

On a bottle of painkillers: Do not take this product if you have an allergy to it. An allergic reaction may follow. (Paging Captain Obvious.)

On my solid antiperspirant: Do not ingest. (Doc Jess pictures herself thinking, "Wow, it's really hot out today, I better eat a whole stick before my date." *Nibbles on a stick of Lady's Choice.*)

On a bottle of spray sunscreen, a tube of aloe-based sunburn creme and a box of the fizzy denture cleaner I use on my Invisaligns: Not for Internal Use. (Because, really, I worry about my sunburning my internal organs, and it'd be easy to confuse my denture cleaner with my Tums. Not.)

But my favorite comes from a bottle of laxative tablets: Store at 25C (77F). Excursions permitted between 15-30C (59-86F). I had never before considered taking laxatives out on an excursion. Where do you think they would like to go? The beach, perhaps, or out to a movie? The mind boggles.

Okay, so maybe I didn't find any laughably dire warnings on my hair drier (I think that particular label fell off, and I know enough not to dry my hair whilst showering) or my pillow (I long ago tore off the tag that said "Do not tear off", 'cause I'm a rebel like that). But it turns out there's more entertainment in the bathroom cabinet than I would've thought. And that was just one shelf! One of these days, I'll go through the rest and report back. In the meantime, I'm taking my laxatives to the zoo. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Brain Bleach on Aisle Five, Please! (And a confetti cannon moment)

The other day, it went like this:

Arizona (perusing one of his online fishing forums): Do you know this guy? There's a joke I'm not getting. (shows me the following picture): 

Me: Hmm. I dunno. One of the dudes from Duck Dynasty, sans beard? (pauses) Or, ha ha, one of the guys from Deliverance, maybe? We could do a Google image search.

Arizona: You can do that?

(We all have our little skills. Mine is the ability to find most anything on Google within a relatively short period of time. I'm sure the average six-year-old could kick my ass, but as far as Arizona is concerned, I'm a black belt in Google-Fu.)

Me: Sure. You just do this ... and this ... and ... What do you know? It *is* one of the guys from Deliverance. Yikes. I saw the movie once, back in high school. Guess it left a mark.

And when I say 'in high school,' I mean it. History class, last period, junior or senior year. The prof sent around a permission slip, asking our parents to sign off on us seeing it, and opt-outs were sent off to study hall. Then, for three afternoons running, we watched Deliverance. And after that last chunk, we all walked out of the classroom, shaking our heads and muttering the late-80s version of WTF?

There wasn't any in-class discussion before or after, no sense of what we were supposed to take away. It wasn't the first movie we had seen in class, but the others had been war movies-- 1776The Red Badge of Courage, The Great Escape ... They had at least related to what we were studying at the time. 

But Deliverance? What were we supposed to take from that? Be wary of banjos? (Prior to seeing the movie, I had a worn Earl Scruggs tape that I loved to death, rewinding the banjo duel over and over again. After the movie? Less so.) Don't go camping? Or, if you do go camping, watch out that your party doesn't undergo a breakdown of its mini-society? Don't wander off into the woods? Unclear. But whatever the message, something clearly stuck, because twenty-some years later, I had that search image stuck firmly in my head, and it brought with it a creeping sense of 'someone is watching you from the bushes.'

Yikes! Brain bleach on aisle five, please, because clearly that left more of a mark than I realized! So how about you? What movie left a horrifying-funny mental mark on you? Did Jaws forever ruin you for swimming off Cape Cod? Did It make you a coulrophobe (someone who's afraid of clowns)? Share, please, and make me feel better!

And, in the meantime, a confetti cannon! (Jess tries and fails to put an animated cartoon confetti cannon here. Please imagine one.)

Harvest at Mustang Ridge spent a chunk of last week in Amazon's top 10 for Western Romances, and cracked the top 100 for Hot New Releases in Contemporary Romance! Woo! Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those of you who purchased Krista and Wyatt's story. And for those of you who are still on the fence, now is a great time to dip you boots into the world of Mustang Ridge! It even had a price drop today! (Okay, from $5.99 to $5.97, but still ... LOL.) 

Click on the book cover for the Amazon link, or click here for an excerpt :) And THANK YOU!

Monday, August 4, 2014

I Am Mean To Naked People (and a NEW BOOK!)

No, I’m not mean to my new book. I’m asking you to pretty please buy a copy of HARVEST AT MUSTANG RIDGE, which will be in stores (online and a few select physical locations) tomorrow!

Click here for an excerpt!! Click here for buy links!!! Click here to get Jess to stop abusing exclamation points!!!! (Just kidding. There’s no app for that.)

I am, however, mean to naked people, as it turns out.

Admittedly, Arizona and I don’t have the most highbrow of taste when it comes to TV viewing. (Or, really, much of anything, save for sports equipment and my Western boots.) So it isn’t unusual for the following conversation to take place:

Arizona (flipping channels): Is there a new Naked People on soon?
Me: Sunday night, I think.
Arizona: Cool. Maybe these two will do something more interesting than sit around and starve.

In this case, the naked people belong to the Discovery Channel show, Naked and Afraid, where two strangers, one man and one woman, are dropped somewhere isolated and environmentally hostile, with one piece of gear a piece (usually a machete and fire-starter, though the latter can vary if one of them—usually the guy—views him/herself as a magician when it comes to starting fire with a bow drill). Then they’re filmed for twenty-one days of survival, and an eventual trek out to an extraction point some distance away from their campsite.

Before and after the ordeal, they are rated based on their experience, abilities, and mental toughness. Otherwise known as “Have you ever made a fire?” “Can you find food?” and “Can you manage not to tap out or be a total douche (or bitch) to your partner for three weeks?” The latter seems to be the tipping point for most of them.

The show appeals to Arizona’s survivalist tendencies, though from his running commentary, I suspect he would be off making his own camp by day three if paired with most of the people on the show, male or female. Me? I watch the show strictly for his MST3000-like asides, which elevate things to a whole new level. I didn’t think I was much of a fan.

The other day, though, I was channel surfing and stumbled across something called Naked Dating. And I thought “Why not?” Here’s the setup: A naked guy gets set up with a naked girl on your typical TV-type date at some swanky beach resort, they like each other well enough, and express mutual affection. Then the naked guy gets set up with a hotter naked girl, while the naked girl gets set up with a less confident, less charming naked guy. When the four mingle, Naked Girl 1 gets the cold shoulder from Naked Guy 1, and angst ensues.

And guess what? Turns out I would much rather watch naked people get dropped on some mountain in Belize, where they freeze their butts off, get chewed on by a cloud of mosquitos! Because if I'm going to watch two people be naked and miserable, I'd way rather it be in a situation where some ingenuity and teamwork can get things done ;)

How about you? What’s your guilty viewing pleasure? Are you a fan of cheesy shark movies on SyFy? A closet watcher of Toddlers and Tiaras? Soaps? Judge Judy? ‘Fess up!