Let the Games Begin

The family is here for Christmas--let the games begin.

Note: Not head games; real games, the kind you can win.

What better way to spend time together with family than by smearing them into the ground with your superior game-playing skills? Here are the games that will be played in the Haworth house: You Don't Know Jack, Yahtzee, and Scrabble.

You Don't Know Jack
is a computer trivia game that feels like a live action game show. I AM THE UNDISPUTED CHAMPION. People I've beaten include one of my brothers, my mom, my sister, my sister's friend, and my husband. My husband thinks I win because I'm faster than he is, but really it's cuz I'm smarter. I win every time I play. I AM THE CROWNED VICTOR and no one even comes close. At the start of the game, players must enter their names; everyone else enters their given name. I enter W-I-N-N-E-R. I figure that saves everyone a little time at the end.

Yahtzee--what can I say? We love this game. It was my dad's favorite. We love to rattle the dice and jar non-playing visitors with the noise.

Scrabble--You're talking serious stuff here, folks. Long before I was even thought of, my mom and dad stayed up many late nights with my grandma playing Scrabble. Grandma had only a sixth grade education, but she'd win with words like c-a-t. Somehow she always hit the specials.

I do not always win at Scrabble, but I like to make my opponents think I do. Again, I list my name as "Winner." Others are intimidated by the fact that I own a regular board and a travel board as well. (You do not want to get caught without your Scrabble board.) I employ the power of the Challenge, something your less hearty players will not do; they think they're in it just for the fun. My brothers and sister and I know better: we play to win, and we play cutthroat. We are equally as good and my trash talk doesn't work with them because we've all got the same mom.

In any case, the gang's all here (except for you, little bro). Let the games begin! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Trees that Decorate Themselves

In Florida, we don't get snow or those other elements that let you know it's Christmas time, but we do have trees that hang their own ornaments:

Orange trees--edible ornaments!

Ilex holly--don't the berries look like little tomatoes?

I don't know what this one is called, but I made a psychedic version of it, too!

New Brian Regan!

Today, I used the remainder of last year's Amazon.com gift certificate to buy presents and one thing for myself--the Brian Regan Live CD. The playlist includes his Flipper bit, something I had to have. I just can't say enough good things about Mr. Regan.

Hey, Brian! Danette Haworth loves you! (In a comedian-audience member sort of way.)

Here's the latest clip added to YouTube.

Battle of the Bands: Bruce Springsteen VS Jackson 5 performing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"

Vote in the comments!

Bruce Springsteen--THE BOSS!

Jackson 5

Writing News, Bugs, and Lizards

In writing news, Fandangle Magazine published my poem, "Home is Not Too Far," which was inspired by my windshield wipers. Click here and scroll to page nine to read it. Also, the copyedited manuscript for Violet Raines is scheduled to arrive on my doorstep by Friday! I cannot believe how fast this process is going--it's like dog years.

In other news, I'm on my way to a big box shopping center. I only hope I don't have Ello's experience. She's doing well; the bruises have almost faded.

While decorating, we opened one of our boxes to discover tiny black bugs creeping among my favorite decorations. This is the box that holds most of my snowmen, the Christmas plaque (which is made of fabric), and the silk poinsettia topiary I like to put by the stairs. My husband thinks we should spray a bunch of paper towels with bug spray, put it in the box, and seal it tightly.

It's a good idea, but we've got natural solutions right here in the house--a lizard (a gecko like on those Geico commercials but not cute and not Australian) lives in my computer room, and a different one was last seen Tuesday under the Christmas tree at 11 a.m. I tried to catch them, but they were too smart for my paper cup trap. I say we open the bug box of decorations and let the lizards do their job.

My Mother Killed Someone

The story that originally appeared here was a bit too somber for the season! But what happened was this: My mom told the second-grade me there was no Santa. Grief was quickly followed by indignation that my sister had been filling the stockings for years.

I should have been onto the whole thing by that last bit of evidence--my stocking always had way too many nuts in it and not nearly enough candy.

Hear Me Roar!

Stephen Parrish has named me (among others) for the Roar for Powerful Words award from The Shameless Lions Writing Circle. Thank you, Stephen. I consider it an honor to have not only the award, but visitors who leave their funny and clever comments.

As part of the award, I am to name five others bloggers who write powerful words, but like Stephen, I feel five is an awfully small number. Without further ado, the next winners of A Roar for Powerful Words are: Courtney Summers, Virginia Lee: I Ain't Dead Yet, Linda (Just Like the Nut), Mary Witzl, Brenda's Page, Ello, (Kathleen) A Thoughtful Life, Sheri (Goading the Pen), Linda (Jumbled Ramblings), Cate (The Poisoned Apple), and Angela Mackintosh and the blogging team at WOW! Women on Writing. Church Lady, Stephen, and Charles Gramlich receive honorary lions since they've already received their badges of honor. Visit The Shameless Lions Writing Circle to get your award.

The Latest News: I've Been Tagged!

No, not toe-tagged. Though that would be interesting, because that would mean I was writing from the grave. Nope, I've been tagged by Rachel to provide five random things about myself. Here we go!

1. In high school, I was an assistant manager at a fast food and as such, I got free food. I drank one milkshake of each of their four flavors every single day I worked. I gained fifteen pounds that summer.

2. I sat on David Cassidy's lap in the 1990s. I hung the photo on my bulletin board at work and told everyone he was my boyfriend.

3. When I saw Brian Regan this September, I made my husband hang outside the stage door with me until Brian came out. Brian gave me a hug, signed my program, and let me take a picture with him. It's all here.

4. In junior high, I signed up for the play just to get out of classes. I was the turkey.

5. I played drums starting in fourth grade. My career ended in eighth grade when I was constantly relegated to the bass drum or the cymbals, while the boys got to play the snares. I'd lost interest by that time, anyway--my drumroll was rather staccato, and those 10 lb cymbals were awfully hard to hold ("Hold them UP, Danette!) at football games.

In other news, my little mommy is leaving earlier than expected--she and new hubby have found houses on Florida's west coast they like. So, she leaves in the morning, but if all goes well, it'll then just be a two hour drive instead of that 24 hour drive to Michigan!

Hmm, almost forgot . . . who to tag, who to tag? So many victims friends to choose from. TAG! You're it: Courtney, Church Lady, Ello, Charles Gramlich, and Stephen Parrish. You'll still be my friends, right?

Violet Raines, Van Won't Start, Shopping (Yuck), and Garage Sales!

The revisions on Violet Raines Almost Got Struck By Lightning have been accepted and the manuscript is now in copyediting! How exciting! Other bloggers have recently posted about seeing their cover art for the first time. I can't wait to see mine. It'll be interesting to view another person's interpretation, or what they feel best represents the book. Things are moving along!

In other news, my van would not start today. I feel well-versed in certain mechanical problems such as alternators, CV boots, and brake pads. I don't know how to fix them, but I know what they sound like, thanks to the cars I owned during my singlehood. When I called my husband and described the problem, he said alternator, which was exactly what I had diagnosed. Ha!

I plan to shop over the Internet today. I haven't started my shopping yet, can you believe it? Decorating, yes; shopping, no. Don't tell anyone, but I don't like going to the mall. Aack! There! I've said it! I hate shopping. And even over the Internet, it can take hours trying to review similar products and get customer reviews (since you aren't actually handling the item). But such is my assignment today.

The other big news is that my little mommy is in town! I have loaded up on one dollar bills and quarters so we can hit the garage sales this Friday. (She leaves Friday night.) No one beats my mom at a garage sale; click here to read about the master at work.

Sneezing and Driving Don't Mix

"Sneezing," I said, having just sneezed, "is dangerous." I adjusted the rear view mirror so I could talk with her directly. "Remember we read that it's impossible to sneeze without closing your eyes?"

She nodded.

"That makes sneezing a hazardous activity to do while driving."

"Not for a person with no eyelids," she said.

Ah, good point. Good point indeed.

Funny, Weird, or Scary Signs #2

We camped near here.


I'm not waiting till New Year's to make my resolutions. I already know what I need to do:

1. Eat right.
2. Sleep right.
3. Exercise right.

If I do all these, I think everything else will pretty much fall into place. Also, unlike most people, I'm not planning to stick to this forever--one week would be good enough. I figure if the one week goes well, I could try it again for a second week. Today I had a healthy breakfast, so guess what? I've already started! Just six and three quarters of a day to go!