Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I Want 007 Pants-(A Fashion Post)

I have a gripe about pants. I figured a blog post is a great way to vent about any politically correct subject as long as there’s at least a semblance of humor involved. So here’s my droll scoop about personal issues with length, fit and fashion.


First of all, I’m tall and most women’s pants have a 29” inseam which is average but 32” would ideally hit me at the ankle. Sometimes I see tall-fitting pants for sale in catalogs but they begin at 34” which would be nice if I wanted to wear high heels all the time with my jeans. Unfortunately, that’s not my style and the tall ones are usually in smaller sizes anyway. Most of the pants I own look like cropped pants or what my old high school ‘friends’ called ‘flood waders.” Basically, I have a love-hate relationship with pants because it’s one of those articles of clothing that an active lifestyle necessitates. Plus, I love adventures. Women wear pants for fishing, hiking, bike riding and campaigning for President. After seventeen years into a new century, modern women don’t even own dresses or skirts anymore. Type ‘wedding pantsuit’ into a Google search and you wouldn’t believe the heavenly white ensembles that exist.
 I think pants can look fabulous on women Ala Katherine Hepburn but they should also be flexible without being tight and uncomfortable. In a warm climate, most polyester blended fabrics are much too hot and in winter, twill or denim isn’t warm or flexible enough. Is it asking too much that I want to look nice while chasing after two disobedient Chihuahuas?


Fashion wise, the current trend for women is the skinny look which works great if you’re ah—skinny. Some of these pants are cut so narrow, that they wouldn’t even fit my meatless skeleton. If I can pull them on, there’s a rustling sound with each step. Sadly, unless I want to take up Zydeco and pretend I’m playing the washboard, I also have to forget about corduroy. Of course, there are loose-fitting linen pants that look wrinkled all the time or chinos which are like like a cross between jeans and khakis. If they don’t fit right, then they look like Park Ranger-Government Issue pants. Too tight and you’ll feel like you’re back in high school marching band needing a new uniform after having a growth spurt. For extreme casual wear, there’s the yoga pant that looks good in one color only and that’s black. Same with leggings—have you ever seen beige colored leggings on a heavy-set woman? There are some things I wish I could “unsee.”


This brings me to how pants fit. Men can get away with wearing khaki pants that are loose and baggy. Modestly covering everything, they look perfect on busy dads who need to be able to move with even busier toddlers. Generally, men want to make sure their jeans are not riding too high and by pulling them lower they are baggier in the thighs and the hem reaches the floor. Problems arise because most men don’t have hips to hold up their pants. This is why they wear belts or should wear belts anyway. When men wear business or military slacks in gray, green or navy, the fit is classic, slightly loose and elegant. And finally, there’s the sophisticated tuxedo pant which reminds us of Cary Grant or Fred Astaire.
Those have to be stretchy pants!
I just had one of those aha moments. Remember how Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and even Jimmy Stewart were dancing in tailored tuxedo pants? James Bond is jumping out of an airplane or swinging from a chandelier in a Monte Carlo casino while kicking the bejeebers out of the bad guys. Jason Statham springs from his BMW sunroof and is punching five guys at once while looking awesome in Armani. The mystery must be a form of Hollywood costume finery just like those used by Jack Black in the movie Nacho Libre. Lycra—also known as spandex, was invented in the late fifties, which could explain some of the magic but still leaves me wondering how Rhett tried saving Atlanta before such obviously awesome stretchy pants were ever created.

 Lucky for me, I’m not a slave to fashion and enjoy wearing dresses too. Perfect slacks? Maybe not for my body-type but I can dream, while wearing an old-fashioned skirt. 

Any ideas about what kind of fabric goes into one James Bond suit before it's shaken and stirred?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

We Have a Leak!

We’re Not Quackiott, Duckyatt, Billton or Even the Web-foot Inn.

The ducks are back and Fiona’s not happy about it. I’m writing this upstairs and can hear warfare in the yard. I hear her tiny growl perhaps saying, “What a bleeping mess you make all over my warm stones.” She hates them and treats them like terrorists even though they look like they outweigh her by a pound or two. “Be gone you dastardly, disgusting creatures,” she squeaks. Or maybe she’s displeased because they interrupt her beauty naps, so she responds with a Garbo-esque bark that means, “I vant to be alone.”

The fine-looking ducks swim a few laps and as soon as Fiona noses over to where they are drying off, they rustle up, into the air, over the fence, landing with a splash in someone else’s pool--but not before quacking loudly--voicing their obvious displeasure at such a lack of hospitality. You’d think a rescued pup would have more manners!
I'm scared to bother her so I took this picture from inside.
The sun is setting but she's still on watch

 Maybe, I hopefully surmise, Fiona is working with the pool-cleaning company to make sure the water stays sparkling clean. I wouldn’t put it past her to take a bribe now and then. There’s probably a method to her madness and she doesn’t really care whether I’ve figured it out. After all, one of my nicknames for her lately has been “Special Ops.” While our other dog Pinky, is an exemplary example of a Secret Service type who would take a bullet for his/her management team and pounces out of bed in the middle of the night if someone is within ten feet of our home, Fiona prefers secret spying gigs, sleeping soundly under the blanket all night, perhaps gathering information telepathically from wireless, unnamed sources. Pinky worries about rabbits, but that’s another story. I guess Fiona saves her energy to fight the radical ducks.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Dealing With Distractions

They won’t leave me alone. If you’ve ever written long stories or novels, you probably know what I mean. They whisper in your ear. They laugh and giggle. The nasty ones sneer or even kick you while you’re down, trying to sleep. It’s super annoying and I can fully understand why many authors decide to murder them. Of course, I’m talking about my characters from Penniless Hearts: Penny, Dan and that helicopter pilot Darin. They won’t bugger off and jump out of a plane with a bad parachute, although that’s a supreme idea, but they continuously needle me to finish writing more about their
This is the third cover.
Do you like it? 
escapades. Two years ago, I began writing Penniless Souls and one third of the way through, my life took a turn into some crazy medical-infused territory. We all have our challenges but this depravity feels like a family curse that needs more than the economy version of an exorcism. So, on top of my family problems: phobias, funerals, aches, surgeries, therapies and numerous pains; (thankfully not
I made this hat
and wear it to bed.
all mine—it’s never all about me—thank goodness.), these character trolls are nagging me to finish what I started. I’ll never forget the time Penny had her hands on her hips before she raised an arm to throw something at me. Yes me--her creator. John is patient and rarely shows up but Dan is awful and I’ve already written some chapters to shut him down. Now Tina wants in and she wasn’t even supposed to show up in the sequel. Recently, I began wearing a soft, brimmed hat to bed thinking that it would help block them out but no such luck.

The new setting is Vegas baby and I was under the false impression that what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas. Trust me, it doesn’t. You’ll meet Penny twenty years later. Her daughter Lani is all grown up and John is still doing carpentry but the economy is taking a nosedive and the only place to find construction work is Vegas. Penny and John decide to move temporarily to Sin City where they live in a high-rise off the Strip. She doesn't work for the newspaper but a famous artist hires her to paint murals for his lakefront resort. Meanwhile, hazel-eyed Lani is living with John’s sister where she meets a good-looking guy called Peter. Darin’s out of jail and has changed his ways and Dan? Well, like I said he has been dealt with. Now, I had better get back to writing another chapter before Penny and Tina throw me on the ground and start kicking and pulling my hair. Ingrates.