July 20, 2010

Packing - Check!

Last night I gathered up everything I thought I might take on our vacation, which includes a visit with my mom, then a seven-day cruise on the Pacific coast of Mexico. And then I packed myself, using every bit of skill passed down from my mother, who is a fabulous packer. I, however, surpassed her awhile back, and have no doubt Rachael will soon surpass me, as I've already taught her everything she knows about putting together a great suitcase.

Today she packs. Tonight it's my husband. As for me, I'll be checking and double-checking all the documentation, making transfer reservations to and from the ship, giving my Kindle one last charge, and if my desktop has been repaired after an attack of malware so evil I couldn't remove it myself, a last update to my iPod.

Picking an every-day bag continues to elude me. I have a straw bag that would be perfect were it not so enormous. Somehow none of my other bags seem appropriate, but I'm determined to make it work as the money tree has been picked clean, not only from the unforeseen expense of my computer repair, but also from the unreturnable-because-it's-been-altered but unwearable-due-to-uncontained-bounty-even-after-alterations dress we ordered for Rachael from @modcloth. I'd have sent it back had the tailor not promised it was fixable.

Even with these last-minute problems, I can't help but imagine myself aboard ship, relaxing during the day and taking in cheesy shows at night. It's gonna be great. I'll just completely remove from my mind any angst over the pre-cruise visit with my family and the post-cruise stress of getting Rachael ready for college with just a two-week window. Although I've been ready for months, now she's ready. Better late than never. <g>


July 16, 2010

So How's My Week Now?

On Wednesday I blogged about how crummy my week was. I thought I'd give you an update on whether things have improved, gotten even worse, or stayed the same.

On being put on the defensive by someone deflecting off themselves...that one remains as is, but having Rose Fox at PW (one of my editors) use my Monday blog as part of her Genreville Blog at PW mitigated that to some extent. Another blog picked up the entry as well, but IMHO missed the jumping-off point, so I left a comment.

Next up...the pool. They've finished the work as a result of my constant nagging and nudging. But in the process they burned out tue motor and seem to have forgotten promises made about paying for mistakes. We are in negotiations...that my husband is a lawyer should work in our favor and I hope they live up to their word...and the email we have as proof.

Perhaps most important was straightening out the mess revolving around my daughter's college fund. Yesterday afternoon, on a conference call with both ends, I learned that the amount of money unaccounted for had been transferred incorrectly due to a numerical transposition. The problem is being rectified and all the money and funds will be in the right place by Monday afternoon. When I asked my husband what would have happened had I not been such a nudge as to actually hint at malfeasance, his answer was, "Probably nothing." Given that the money had been "lost" for six weeks, yet found in fewer than five business days after I got involved, I tend to believe him.

As for the receipt I never received after buying some skin care items at a kiosk, it arrived in today's email.

The cocktail dress my daughter and I ordered for her online (and I was thrilled when she asked me to help pick it out at Modcloth.com, a store she likes that I think is pretty wonderful), which I previously mentioned in a tweet, arrived a day later than it should have, given that we paid for expedited shipping. The "what if" scenario of having to buy a new "fancy" dress at the last minute has been avoided, and her dress is at the tailor being altered for pick-up tomorrow afternoon.

My attempt to buy my discontinued BE blush turned into a debacle. Days after placing the order I realized I hadn't received the typical "we've sent your item[s]" in the mail, and when I re-searched the item via google, saw they'd removed it from inventory. Today they sent me final confirmation that what they had was "damaged" and could not be sent. I'd stopped believing in them days ago, though, and luckily found a jar on eBay and won the auction. I didn't pay close enough attention to a second auction, though, and lost a second jar by something like twenty cents. Even so, I've now got enough Heaven blush to last a few years, and thanks to Suzi, who commented on the original blog entry, found some interesting possible replacements at Aromaleigh and bought them at their discounted, "end of business" sale. If any of them work - or all of them do - I'm probably good for a decade.

Finally, something that has been on-going for months is my account with an online program for reviewers to receive books. One of my PW editors set up accounts for us a year or so ago, and while I could use it to track which books she'd assigned me and which reviews she'd received - to make sure nothing was lost - that part of the account I'd tried to use independent of my PW reviewer status didn't seem to work properly.

I've written here before how bizarre I find it that Amazon Vine doesn't make Kindle versions of the books we review available, and that I'd love to review more PW books off my Kindle rather than in print, and now that PW editor is setting up a pilot program to do just that. As a result, new accounts were established with the online program, and my involvement allowed me direct contact to somebody who could rectify the problem with my independent use of the larger program. I've now got five books I want to read and review available on my Kindle and plan to read them on vacation next week. On the flip side, though, the PW part of the equation isn't going quite as smoothly given anonymity requirements as well as the web-mail system PW is using. Right now that part of things is in limbo and I doubt it will be fixed before I leave on vacation.

All that remains left for me to buy before going on vacation - my daughter and I did a final Target run today (well, we also did a Bed, Bath & Beyond run for her college bedding), as well as a B&N run for her - is a pair of sturdy every-day shoes that fit my orthotics, which I plan to shop for tomorrow. Buying ugly shoes is never fun, but my feet are improved enough that I can at least wear normal dress sandals in the evening.

Much of today's better frame of mind is the result of going out last evening to a local restaurant/pub for drinks and dinner to celebrate the birthdays of two B&N friends. I had two Stellas, which is one more than I've ever had, and they managed to dull the pain of the then-two-day headache I'd been working on. That two-day headache turned into a three-day headache when I awoke with it this morning, but it was soon replaced by cramps. For some reason, cramps and 100 degree heat and humidity aren't a great mix for me, and I'm glad to be home from our afternoon of shopping.

Cleaning the house in preparation for our house-sitter, figuring out which luggage to pack, then packing is all that remains before we leave next week. All in all, the week ends better than it began, and is certainly improved from Wednesday. I can't really ask for more than that.


July 15, 2010

Penguin, Penguin, Penguin

I tweeted a couple of days ago that a book I'd reshelved - Shayla Black's Wicked Ties - sold in trade paperback at Amazon for $10.20 while the Kindle price, set by Penguin, was and remains as of this afternoon, even after I submitted a complaint to Penguin, $12.99. So I decided to do a bit of sleuthing and am reporting here about pricing for hardcovers, trade paperbacks, and mass market paperbacks. I looked at a myriad of books in each category, but settled upon two apiece that are representative and created the table you see below, which includes not only Penguin books, but for some contrast, books published by Random House. Remember, Penguin sets its own Kindle prices via the agency model. Random House does not.

Penguin Publishing Random House Publishing

MJD: Undead and Unfinished

$14.97 - hardcover

$11.99 - kindle

Kindle price ~20% less

David Mitchell - The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet

$15.21 - hardcover

$9.99 - kindle

Kindle price 35% less

LKH: Bullet

$15.75 - hardcover

$12.99 - kindle

Kindle price 20% less

Justin Cronin: The Passage

$14.46 - hardcover

$9.99 - kindle

Kindle price 30% less

Karen Harper: Mistress Shakespeare

$10.50 - trade paperback

$12.99 - kindle

Kindle price 20% more

Lisa See: Shanghai Girls

$10.20 - trade paperback

$9.50 - kindle

Kindle price ~10% less

Nora Roberts: Savor the Moment

$7.99 - trade paperback

$9.99 - kindle

Kindle price 20% more

Sarah Dunant: Sacred Hearts

$10.20 - trade paperback

$9.89 - kindle

Prices nearly match

Nalini Singh: Bonds of Justice

$7.99 - mass market

$5.49 - kindle

Kindle price 30% less

Tessa Dare: One Dance with a Duke

$7.99 - mass market

$6.39 - kindle

Kindle price 20% less

Charlaine Harris: Dead and Gone

$7.99 - mass market

$6.99 - kindle

Kindle price ~15% less

John Grisham: The Partner

$7.99 - mass market

$6.39 - kindle

Kindle price 20% less

On digital versions of new hardcovers, real discounts are available for both publishing houses, although the discount for Random House is closer to 30% while the Penguin discount is closer to 20%. Trade paperbacks show the largest differences, and in this area Penguin fails miserably as its kindle prices are 20% higher than its print prices. Random House doesn't have its trade paperbacks priced very understandably, at least to me. Many of its digital trade releases are almost the same price as the print versions, although I did see a substantial amount for a discount of roughly 10%. Kindle versions of mass market paperbacks are discounted for both publishers, from ~15 to 30% for Penguin to a more stable 20% from Random House.

This has been an interesting exercise. Had I more time, I would have added more columns, so we could compare pricing from St. Martin's Press and Harper/Collins on the agency model side, and Harlequin, on the Random House side. In lieu of that, I've done a more thumbnailed sketch.

Pricing for the new Lisa Kleypas, in mass market from St. Martin's: $7.19 for mass market, $7.99 for Kindle. You can buy the popular trade paperback, Sarah's Key, from Tatiana Rosnay (another St. Martin's book), for $8.37. The Kindle version will cost you $9.99.

Moving on to HarperCollins...Julia Quinn's latest sells in mass market paperback for $7.99. The Kindle price is exactly the same. The price tag for the trade paperback version of Garth Stein's The Art of Dancing in the Rain is $8.99. You can buy the same book in mass market format for $7.99. Unfortunately, the Kindle version goes for $9.99.

I'll leave you with an upswing, and some pricing for Harlequin. The mass market paperback for Robyn Carr's Moonlight Road sells at Amazon for $7.99. The same book in digital format costs $5.76. Julia Justiss' upcoming Harlequin Historicals is $5.99 for the mass market release and $3.99 digitally.


July 14, 2010

What a Week...and It's Only Wednesday

On this my husband and I agree: It's been a really crappy week so far.

Last night I tweeted that I never realize while in the moment when other parties force me onto the defensive in order to deflect the heat off themselves. I can't go into more detail other than to share that I spent most of yesterday on the defensive, and by the end of the interaction, all I'd managed to do was move the ball back to the middle of the field. It's impossible at this point for me to try and move the ball forward on an important matter that now will never be resolved to my satisfaction.

That particular issue is but one of several biggies, which join some little annoyances attended to this week. Another is that way back in June our pool was supposed to have been re-tiled and re-plastered. After days and days and days of miscommunication between the service and construction departments, the work was done. But the day after the pool refilled, somebody from the company started to empty it out again, without contacting either my husband or myself.

Eventually the company contacted us; they'd been dissatisfied by the plaster job and planned to re-do it asap. While I applauded their high standards, when another week went by without seeing a crew in our yard, I got tough on the phone. They'd already agreed to pay our water bill for one of the two fills now required, so I focused instead on the fact that we'd lost an entire month of summer as a result of their shoddy work and inattention.

Two days hence, they re-did the work and filled the pool. I turned off the water Friday afternoon and wondered when they'd return to collect their hoses and re-attach "Otto," our pool sweep. By yesterday afternoon I'd had enough and, after calling yet again, sent an email to the highest level person in the company we'd dealt with, and he responded today with a call to my husband, promising they'd be here today and tomorrow to finish things. In this, you see, I agreed to be the bad cop to his good cop, so I wasn't surprised when my husband got the phone call instead of me.

We'll see.

The other major issue revolves around the money set aside for our daughter's college tuition, room, and board. Months ago we'd made the decision to transfer management of the trust from a local firm (Company A) to one in Los Angeles (Company B) that has worked with my family for years. By the time all the paperwork was filled out and authorizations written, it was mid-June. It wasn't until Friday that I learned a third of the total amount - in cash and fund/assets - had not been transferred for some unknown reason.

So, late Friday afternoon, after Company A's office had closed, I left a lengthy message asking for an accounting and explanation, and though I'm the trustee for the college fund, I'm just a woman, which is why I believe they decided to email my husband in return rather than contacting me. According to their records, the remainder of funds had been transferred June 29th, which was news indeed to Company B.

It's now Wednesday afternoon. So far I've learned that the firm handling the transfer for the Company A are part of the same larger "back-room" firm that handle transfers for Company B...yet from this end I am assured every last thing was transferred while at the other end I am told a third remains missing. I asked Company A to determine the account number used at the receiving end, and have yet to hear back, leading to my emailing them earlier this afternoon to indicate my concern that without the necessary information, the idea that somebody along the line is covering a mistake is now entrenched in my head. Meanwhile, I requested the matter be escalated to Company B.

My new plan is to be as annoying as possible - and I can be extremely annoying - to all parties tomorrow to make sure this is finally resolved.

Now onto the little stuff. I've spent the past week or so trying to get ready for our vacation, which begins next week. While I was at a local mall this morning returning some things, I decided to use the convenience computerized kiosk to buy a skin care item I usually buy via the Internet. The product came out of the machine, but a receipt did not.

It took fifty minutes, one disconnected number, two customer service reps who didn't speak the good English, and three other phone calls to finally speak to somebody authorized to send me a receipt. Needless to say, after that experience, I'm looking more and more forward to tomorrow night when a bunch of us are getting together at a local bistro to celebrate the birthdays of Beth and LeaAnne. While I only developed a taste for beer last year and rarely drink, my mouth is practically watering at the thought of sucking down a couple of Stellas.


July 12, 2010

The Painful Side of Reviewing

No...it's not what you think. The most painful side to reviewing isn't reading a crappy book. It's reading a book by an author you enjoy, taking issue with a big component of said book, and having to write a negative review.

Publishers Weekly, of course, insulates its reviewers by not linking individual reviews to their reviewers. Regardless, sometimes to "man up" is the right thing to do, and that's what I just did.

I'm not going to pour salt into a wound with a name and author because I've already tweeted and FB'd it. Besides, the point of writing this is not specific to any one book. It's something that's happened several times in my career as a reviewer, at PW, AAR, and even TRR. My point in writing about it today is that I thought readers might be interested to know how it feels to write a review for an author whose work you've previously enjoyed...and would like to enjoy again in the future...knowing that it'll dash their hopes.

It feels lousy.

It's the flip side to the joy I get requesting a starred review at the magazine, particularly if the author is little-known or new to publishing altogether. Helping build excitement over a book I loved is fun. Writing negatively about a book by an author I've previously liked a lot, whether I know them - in a cyber or real sense - or not, hurts.

The first time it happened was at TRR, very soon after I'd begun reviewing online in 1996. I'd read my first book by a certain author and liked it so much I'd interviewed her for the site. When she sent Leslie McClain the next book in the series, Leslie forwarded it on to me. I hated the book, and when I turned in my absolutely scathing review, I requested that the review be published online with a byline not my own. I wouldn't compromise my review, but suggested a female derivation of Alan Smithee, which is what Leslie used. I was too new to reviewing to handle an author I "knew" reading such a negative review of her work, particularly since she'd requested I review it.

It didn't take long for me to get over some of that but I continued and continue to feel badly when I write negative reviews for authors I've previously enjoyed. That ill feeling extended to finalizing reviews others had written when I published AAR, particularly if an author sent us a book because I'd liked their writing in the past. An author I became quite friendly with over the years received only strong reviews from AAR. The reviewer for her last book before going on hiatus as a published author for a couple of years did not care for it whatsoever, and I dreaded sharing that information. Chalk that up as another reason I'm glad I no longer publish a website.

But even here, on this itsy-bitsy blog, I gave a qualified recommendation to an author who'd sent me her book for review. Even though I gave it a B-, I soon realized she wasn't happy with the review. Subsequent tweets mentioned and even linked to stronger reviews, but never mine, and I'm fairly certain she won't be sending me her next book to review.

I've often written that the hardest reviews to live down are A's or F's; it's equally hard to laud a book others hate as it is to criticize in the strongest words a book other readers love. I don't know that I've ever written about how it feels to come down on a book when there's a personal connection. It sucks.


July 7, 2010

Salsa Celtica & Maroon 5

Ever since Rachael discovered KXT, 91.7 f.m. on the radio, I've not listened to any other station, which is the musical arm of NPR. Their playlists vary from hour to hour, day to day, week to week, and include local programming as well as national shows. One of the bands I've fallen in love with is Salsa Celtica...here's one of their videos.

The only downfall to listening to KXT as opposed to a station that plays current, mainstream music, is that I didn't even know Maroon 5 had a new single/video. If you've not seen the video, you can watch it here (sorry about the ad which precedes it). Enjoy it for the music, and for the eye candy that is Adam Levine, who seemed to come totally into his hotness when he hit 30 last year.


An Update to Yesterday's Blogging

An update to yesterday's blogging

I've not heard back from Penguin Publishing as yet, but just checked Amazon. Penguin has lowered the price for the digital version of This Is Where I Leave You from $12.99 to $9.99. The trade paperback remains priced at $10.20. For all of you who have wondered what the price differential between a print book and a digital one, Penguin has answered your question: twenty-one cents. Hard to believe...and I don't.


July 6, 2010

A Letter to Penguin Pubishing

I just sent this to Penguin Publishing, at ecommerce@us.penguingroup.com and thought I'd share it here.

I have been a long-time Kindle user, mostly of trade and mass market paperbacks, which generally have been discounted 20%. Since your company decided to set your own prices, I've stopped buying from you, and here's a perfect example why.

I am a fan of the author Jonathan Tropper, and in fact, How To Talk To a Widower, his book from a few years back, is one of the best books I read this year. Alas, it was published by Random House, and I hadn't realized he'd switched to you when I decided to buy This Is Where I Leave You to coincide with the release of the trade paperback.

The trade paperback went on sale today for $10.20 at Amazon. The Kindle version remains the same $12.99 it was when the book was sold solely in hardcover. As of yesterday, when only the hardcover and Kindle version were available, the hardcover was being sold new at Amazon at $11.23, making the digital version more expensive than the hardcover. I assumed that when the trade paperback was released today, the Kindle price would at least match its price. Imagine my shock to discover when that did not occur. Of course, now that a trade paperback is available, the hardcover price has increased, but the Kindle price remains the same. Do the math as I did and you'll note that you are selling the digital version at a price which is more than 25% higher than the trade paperback.

I have heard all the arguments for increased digital prices, but for you to set a HIGHER price for a digital version than I would pay for a print version is not only ludicrous, it's revolting. Everybody has focused upon the price changes for digital hardcover releases, but nobody really considered the price changes publishers would institute for digital trade/mass market paperbacks. For those of us who read a lot, the price increase means I'm buying fewer books each month, and specifically, it means I'm sticking with Random House and Harlequin, because they did not go with the agency model.

You have lost a valued customer with your greed and refusal to face market changes. There is no way in the world I will accept that it costs MORE for you to provide me with a digital copy of a book than a print copy.

FWIW, when I realized I would not be buying This Is Where I Leave You, I found an older Tropper book, one also published by Random House, to buy. The trade paperback price for Everything Changes, like your trade price for his newest, is also $10.20, but the digital version for my Kindle is $7.20, a 30% discount, which I appreciated. That said, I would gladly have paid $8.16 - a 20% discount.

For you to allow discounting on print versions while refusing to allow them on digital ones results in cheaper print copies than digital ones, which discourages customers in the only growing segment of the publishing pie. That's quite a business model you have. I can only conclude that you are so afraid of losing money on print books that - like the child who puts his head under the covers in the belief that if he can't see a monster, it won't see him - you would rather gouge digital readers than revise your antiquated business plan. Shame on you.

I'll share any response I get. Grrr.


July 5, 2010

July Books

Jonathan Tropper's How To Talk To a Widower is one of the books I most enjoyed this year. Because it was published under the Random House umbrella, I assumed that last year's hardcover, This Is Where I Leave You, released to great acclaim, was also published by Random House and looked forward to buying the digital version to coincide with the book's mass market release. Random House, as you might recall, did not switch to the agency model for digital releases, and as a result, their books remain discounted. Also as a result, their digital sales through Amazon have increased by upward of 40%.

Alas, apparently Tropper switched publishers in-between both books. His new publisher, Penguin, which sets its own prices for digital books at Amazon, is currently selling This Is Where I Leave You for $12.99 while the hardcover, which it does allow to be discounted, sells for less, at $11.23. When the trade paperback version is released tomorrow, it will sell for $10.20 at Amazon. If Penguin is true to form, the digital version should come down tomorrow, but my guess is that it'll match the paperback price of $10.20, which I find a ludicrous proposition.

I've decided not to buy the book because of Penguin's Kindle pricing policy and instead decided to fill in my Tropper back-list with Everything Changes - published by Random House and very nicely discounted at $7.20. It too is a digital version of a trade paperback, which currently sells for $10.20.

Here's what else I bought for July on my Kindle: Twice Tempted by a Rogue by Tessa Dare (published by Random House's Ballantine Books) and Susan Mallery's Almost Perfect (published by Harlequin, which, like Random House, did not switch to the agency model). The digital versions of both books are nicely discounted.

Though Dare's debut and subsequent releases have received great fanfare, I've never actually read her, so I'm hoping for a good read. As for Mallery, after hating the first couple of books I read for her and reviewed for PW - The Marcelli Princess and Sunset Bay - she seems to be growing on me. I actually recommended Under Her Skin and Chasing Perfect in my PW reviews.

As much as I'd like to buy Lisa Kleypas' Love in the Afternoon, Macmillan, its publisher, set the price for its digital version at $7.99 at Amazon. The mass market releases sells at Amazon for $7.19.

There is one book I'm wavering on for July: the third in Sharon Ashwood's Dark Forgotten series. I read and gave book one, Ravenous, a strong review for PW but put down book two, Scorched, mid-way and never finished it. This series is published under the Penguin Umbrella - by Signet - and, surprisingly, the Kindle price is $6.99, slightly less than the paperback will sell for ($7.19) when both versions go on sale tomorrow. But given my "meh" response to the unfinished book two, I doubt I'll be buying Unchained, book three in the series, even if Penguin is beginning to see the light.

It's a shame that authors have to suffer for their publisher's misguided policies, but rather than over-paying for the Tropper and Kleypas books, I'll likely be reading them at the bookstore instead.

One last thing before I sign off...in less than a week I've published two Amazon Vine reviews. I recommend both, with some recommendations. Please check out my reviews for Marcus of Umbria and The Bucolic Plague, both memoirs with a similar theme.

P.S. - This link will only work until next Monday, but if you want to read my newest PW review, for the new Susan Andersen, click here. The review is third from the bottom of the page.


July 4, 2010

Memories in Film

Last night after my husband and I finished watching, for the umpteenth time, Meet Me in St. Louis - one of my favorite movies - and Ma and Pa Kettle had begun, I got antsy pretty quickly. While I'm a fan of The Egg and I, in which Ma and Pa were memorable secondary characters, (and isn't it interesting that Marjorie Main co-starred in the Judy Garland musical...and why did they air what's considered a Christmas movie in July?) I'm less happy watching them as leads in their own stories. Anyway, I started looking ahead and noticed that today, as I'm sure occurs every July 4th on some channel, the musical 1776 was to air.

For many people, songs and meals are the basis for favorite memories. For me it tends to be movies...and where I was and who I was with when I first saw them. The original We're No Angels, for instance, (that's a link to my review of it at B&N.com) was the first "late show" I'd ever seen. My then-boyfriend/now-husband and I were studying for finals in his apartment during the second year we'd been dating, and while I'd previously associated the Late Movie and Late, Late, Movie with something only old people watched, experiencing this terrific and mostly unknown movie starring Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov with the man I loved turned me, immediately, into an old movie fangirl.

My husband and I were together when, a couple of years later, I discovered 1776, a very lengthy theatrical musical turned movie, and we watched it together. He'd seen it before, but for me it was an eye-opening experience because the movie starred so many wonderful actors in roles I'd never imagined, like Blythe Danner and Ken Howard and William Daniels...all singing and bringing the Continental Congress and writing of the Declaration of Independence to life in a magical way.

There are certain movies I associate with different holidays. We try and watch We're No Angels during the Christmas season - and Meet Me in St. Louis as well. This past Christmas we introduced our daughter to the former but never got around to the latter, so watching it last night worked just fine for me. Because of its length, we don't always get to 1776 on the Fourth of July. Strangely enough, the movie I most associate with Independence Day is Young Frankenstein. For years when our daughter was growing up, Jack, my husband's younger brother, and Elise, his wife, brought their two children to our house for a July 4th celebration. Some years into this tradition it was raining, and while we waited to see if the skies would clear in order for us to watch fireworks (which we can see at a local country club from our back yard), we decided to watch a DVD. It did clear up that evening, btw, and the fireworks were spectacular.

For some reason Jack had never seen Young Frankenstein, which is my favorite Mel Brooks movie (heresy in a home with a husband who performed a memorable The Producers scene in high school...so much so that his nickname, and how he introduced himself to me, was Max). So we watched it, and every July 4th thereafter, we watched it. Even during the year when Elise was sick and near death from cancer, she knew how important it was for me to have our annual July 4th celebration, so they came and we ate, then watched the movie as quickly as possible. They didn't make it for the fireworks, but we had that bit of tradition to tide me over in future years and I'm incredibly thankful for her sacrifice.

Tonight will be the first time we don't bring out the Gene Wilder classic, but we'll be watching 1776. I doubt our daughter will last for long - she has yet to fall in love with most old movies, although as a child she adored Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire in Funny Face. There's no particular memory associated with that movie for me, but I did fall in love with Fred Astaire movies watching a late show years ago...and it's been a love affair ever since.


July 3, 2010

Heaven, BE

I'm doomed by discontinuance. The fabulous stainless steel cutlery we registered for and received for our wedding...discontinued well before we needed replacement spoons and impossible to find anywhere, eventually requiring us to buy new cutlery. The perfect skin care system for my face...discontinued, and the one I used thereafter for two years changed formulation and ceased to work. As of this date, my sensitive skin still does not look as good as it looked while using those products.

Then there were/are two Bare Escentuals products that were perfect for me: Bloom eye color and Heaven blush. I discovered Bloom right as it went out of production and stocked up on e-Bay. I've got enough to last me a lifetime, and BE brought it back into production. Not so, though, for Heaven blush. It was discontinued a few years ago, and remains discontinued.

Three things about me: 1) I love purple; 2) I love purple, but only certain shades; and 3) I'm weird. Here's how all three of those things came together where Heaven was concerned. Once I realized BE had discontinued it, I stopped using it. I had half a jar left - BE products last forever - but decided going cold turkey, and giving it up rather than using it up, would be the thing to do. Yes, that's crazy, and I'm quite sure most people instead would have used it up, then tossed away the empty jar.

I guess there's a fourth thing: I'm among those people whose make-up and blush tends to turn orange/rust if it's not the right shade, regardless of the actual color. And while we're at it, combine #2 with #4 for a #6; my underlying skin color (from under-eye circles to lips) matches "true" violet shades of purple, not plum and/or brown purples, which takes most eye and cheek color out of consideration. Even so, I've gone through all the other BE blush options I've gathered over the years, often left over from kits, and today realized enough was enough and pulled out my half-used jar of Heaven.

Then I found some online at a store using Google check-out and ordered not one but two jars, which ought to last several years. After that I went into the den to ask my husband why I do the weird things I do. He had no answer.