Category Archives: Wise Witty and Wacky Wednesday

Confession: A Childhood of Evil


angel, Alica Mckenna Johnson

Photo by Blondeeo2

Once upon a time, my loving and brilliant parents, fooled into thinking I was a good child, made a rule. You see my sister and I had been fighting a lot which had become hitting a lot. So the new rule stated that if one of us hit the other, the injured party got to pick any one of our attacker’s tapes or records (this would be CD’s for you young folks) and could keep it.

Normally this would be enough to stay our hands as we loved our music, but my sister had something I wanted. It was an Air Supply tape. So I waited until we began to fight, and I pushed past where I normally would have gone. I egged my poor little sister on, knowing she would eventually lose her temper. Yes, she hit me.

Triumphant, I gathered up my prize. Let us all enjoy the awesomeness of my prize:

I was young, stop judging me!

After that my parents’ rule worked perfectly!

Did you ever egg anyone on into breaking a rule so you could reap the benefits?


Training my Husband

Alica McKenna-Johnson

My hubby 🙂

I adore my hubby. Rod is a wonderful partner, and we have been married for many years. Wait, let’s see, girl child is 13 so for 14 years we’ve been married 🙂 And while he is almost perfect, I do have a few things I want to vent about, because, really, a woman can only take so much.

1. Some days Rod works late, or he’s extra tired from hauling boulders, or gets wrapped up in the internet, and he makes my dinner and brings it down to me late. It’s very frustrating and really our normal schedule is completely reasonable.

2. There have been a few mornings when Rod is home when I get out of the shower, and he has forgotten to take my towels and put them in the dryer so my towels are hot and fluffy. Its days like this when I really worry about the quality of our relationship.

3. There have also been several months when I start my period and Rod doesn’t have a stash of chocolate waiting for me. I do worry that his thoughts are straying from me and our marriage when he isn’t totally focused on, well, me.

4. When Rod finishes the laundry and hangs up my tee shirt he doesn’t always make sure the designs on the front all face the same direction and he mixes my black and navy blue tee shirts.

It’s the little things that make or break a marriage. If I didn’t love him so much I’m just not sure if our marriage could handle the strain.

So what about all of you? Please use the space here to freely vent out your spouse, partner, significant other, or pet.

Taking the Day Off


Hubby in a fez because fezzes are cool

Hubby in a fez because fezzes are cool

Yesterday I went out on a date with my hubby. Both the kids were in school, he didn’t have work, and I took the afternoon off. And it was amazing. We just walked around downtown. Nothing spectacular and yet it was perfect, because I needed a break from everything.

I take time off to attend school things for my kids, to go to writers groups and workshops, and to get work done at home. But I almost never take a whole day off.

A Chai Latte I didn't have to share

A Chai Latte I didn’t have to share

I never have time, my to-do list is a mutant radioactive monster growing bigger each day. I can’t take time off.
Yet today I feel so much better. I have gotten more done, I’ve done it better, and my energy levels are higher.

Do you take time off to enjoy life? To read, walk, go to the movies, or hang out with friend? Or is everything you do something you can mark off on your to-do list?

I hate 8 p.m. at night


Photo by @bastique

Photo by @bastique

Creative brain still going, brain that controls motor function—no better than a drunken monkey.

I get great ideas, all of which I write down because they are priceless, but my ability to do anything else doesn’t exist.

My mind is done. The kids are in bed and I have answered all the questions, solved all the problems, and made all the coherent thoughts that I’m going to for the day.

So why is my creative mind still working? Is it because I can finally hear it now that the constant drone of children is gone? Is the melted mass of brain revealing a creative part opening it up to light and fresh air so it can grow?

Whatever it is I don’t like it. I don’t like knowing exactly how to re-work a scene that has been plaguing me and spending the next thirty minutes trying to write the word “the”.

Of course if I write consistently at the same time every day my functioning mind and my creative mind sync up and all is well in the Universe of which I am the center. But like all things that are good for me I don’t do them as frequently as I should.
Does this happen to you? How do you solve the creative/functional brain issues?

Confessions of the Lies I’ve Told


Photo by scubadive67

Photo by scubadive67

Well, just one of the lies—I need to stretch them out so I can do other blog posts.

So I was an evil child, not wild and crazy , but sneaky manipulative evil.

When I was six and my little innocent sister was five we shared a room, and every night we had to clean our room before bed.

Well one night I got the bright idea to offer my sister cookies the next morning if she cleaned the whole room. My sister, being younger and trusting, was very excited about the idea and began to clean.

The next morning I was worried because I didn’t have any cookies, but a miracle happened. My sister had forgotten! My evil little brain began to whirl and smoke and I came up with a plan. For weeks every night I would promise my sister some elaborate dessert is only she would clean the room and each morning she would have forgotten.
It was brilliant!

I only did this for a few weeks, not only was there a tiny little kernel of guilt forming, but I was really scared of getting caught. I’m pretty sure it would have been a spanking offense.

My poor sister. She didn’t remember until I mentioned it as an adult, but I think the realization does explain some of the more noisy gifts she has bought my children over the years.

Did you have any fun sibling stories? Did you have a sibling like me?

The Betrayal of Glee


Photographed by T Algots

When Glee first came out I was so excited I couldn’t sit still when talking about it. I counted down the days from the pilot to the first show. I bought the DVDs, the CDs, went to the first live show, and got in line at 5 a.m. at Comic Con to see their panel! I was a HUGE Glee fan.

During the second season I stayed true to Glee, looking forward to Wednesday night with great anticipation. I would squeal over the episodes on FaceBook and Twitter, and talk about them with friends. And then something changed, the quality of the show changed, the integrity of the story line shifted, and the last four episodes were such disappointments.

I again went to the live show, and got in line at Comic Con to see the panelthis year in Hall H instead of a smaller ballroom at the Hilton. I was hopeful yet apprehensive as the third season started. By the fourth episode my husband had banned me from watching my once beloved show because I ranted and raved at all the gaping plot holes and huge mistakes in the story line.

Now I see commercials for season four, and the pain of betrayal, the grief of losing a favorite show, and the desire to get back to the Glee they started with is fresh in my heart and mind. I have been told that it has gotten better, and that the new people they are bringing on are amazing. I’ve been encouraged to give Glee another chance, but I’m just not sure. Let’s look at the extent of the betrayal, maybe you can help me decide.

Photographer T Algots

Rule to keep in mind- keep your fiction true. It doesn’t matter if it’s police, teens, or vampires, you must keep true to your story, plot, and world building.
The betrayals:

1. Blaine’s age. There is a wonderful post here on the subject, but basically the writers realized how popular Darren Criss is, and that they wrote a story where half their cast was going to graduate and leave, and they didn’t want their big money train to vanish, so they made him a junior in the third season. A junior!!! Suddenly Kurt is a year older than his boyfriend, um NO no no no. I am sorry, and I understand not wanting your beloved characters to leave, but hello this is what you wrote. Do they not watch BBC, aka the God of television?? You can end a beloved show, a show people still want more of when your story line has ended. If you don’t want to do that, you can still turn to the wisdom of BBC and GET NEW CHARACTERS! Yes people love specific characters, but we also love good writing, directing, and dance numbers. We will mourn the people who leave and embrace the new ones coming in. Don’t believe me? Dr. Who should be proof enough of this.

2. Sue. I love Sue’s character. I adore her evil, barely sane plans, her evil snarky dialog, and her evil track outfits. However, the writers gave her a growth arc. She grewjust a bitin season 2. And then in season 3 she is back with her focus to destroy Glee, again, after they choose to have her grow past this. WTF!!!! This isn’t okay. You, as the writers, are the Gods of this Universe. Choose what will work for the whole series. Don’t backtrack. That is cheap, shoddy writing. Laura K. Hamilton did the same thing in her Anita Blake series, which I loved and now won’t bother reading. Anita slowly grew, she learned, she made different choices, and she tried hard. Then in, what, book 12 or 13, the one with the weretigers, gone. All the growth especially towards her men and their relationships, gone. I no longer have any respect for Anita as a character and Laura as a writer. This was a huge mistake. I don’t care what happens to them anymore. Growth arcs are important and need to be maintained. Be a good writer and don’t write yourself into a corner.

3. Speaking of growth arcs, let’s talk about Sam who had the biggest growth arc in season 2, at least I thought so. Then let’s discuss how he wanted a full-time contract and the jerks at Glee said no and fired him. I can’t begin to describe how pissed I was at Comic Con when the producer told us this. Okay, so, I have paraphrased but the key bits are true. No Sam, and it’s Glee’s producers fault. And I knew in that moment, I knew they would give Mercedes a stereotypical big black boyfriend. And I am so sorry to say I was right. Now they brought Sam back when the fans threw a fit. But still some people over at Glee got too big for their britches and seriously FUBAR-ed on that one.

4. Parents, where are they? I understand that standard teen stories require the absence of parents, but Glee takes this to an unrealistic level. Rachael didn’t become such an egomaniac diva on her own, her parents were there every step of the way except at ALL of the Glee performances. Seriously, Glee, and a live school band, performed to an almost empty auditorium. Really? Not one parent showed up? Not one wanted to see their child sing, dance, play their instrument? I don’t believe that for a second.

5. Quinn. This nitpick isn’t a huge betrayal but still pissed me off. Through her whole pregnancy she wanted to give the baby up for adoption, which she did in an open adoption. Then in season two she seems fine. Season three she loses her mind and is determined to get her baby back. You can’t get a baby back once you have given it up, and in a country with a huge teen pregnancy rate, you choose to make adoption bad/scary/emotionally difficult. Thanks, good karma points there, guys.

6. Coach Beiste in season 3 sits down to lunch, which is an entire chicken. How dare you. How dare you create a show about accepting people for who they are, about honoring who you are, and about friendship and then pull this shit! I felt embarrassed for the actress and I felt bad for heavy kids watching the show. Also, with all they did with weight and body image regarding Mercedes, it just didn’t fit. This was the last show I watched.

7. Parents, part 2, plus the ULTIMATE BETRAYAL. Okay, we have to go back to Blaine again and to the deepest wound in the whole Glee betrayal. THEY LIED TO US AT COMIC CON!!!!! I know, right, how dare they? They (producers and writers) assured a room full of 7,000 fans that Blaine would NOT be leaving Dalton, and that the Warblers would still be around. LIES!!!! First off, where are his parents? What parent in the right mind would allow their gay son, who was beaten up and bullied before in public school, go back to one known for having a huge bullying problems?? AND Blaine was at a prep school, where not only was he safe, but he also was getting the kind of education that changes the opportunities in his life. We are supposed to believe that his parents let him leave a school he was happy at and doing well in to follow his boyfriend to a horrible public school? NO NO NO!! This is simply not right or true or real. No half-way decent parents would allow their child to mess up his future to follow his boyfriend, a boyfriend who is a senior and will be leaving. And how shitty is that of Kurt? To beg his boyfriend to follow him to a crappy school where he’ll get bullied to be with him for a year! And then Kurt will leave him! ACK!!! Now they’ve made Kurt a jerk.

Photographer T Algots

So my dear Spider friends what do you think: should I give Glee another chance?

Have you ever been betrayed by a show or book series? If so please feel free to use the comments section as a safe place to purge your feelings.

Waiting for Spock


Photo by Mary Carson

When my sister and I were little we would dress up in my mother’s old bridesmaid dresses and play games in the yard. Most of the time we played Star Trek. (The original series; the others weren’t around yet.)

We would be princesses of some planet, and we needed to be rescued. We would walk back and forth, yellow and peach taffeta twirling around us, as we worked out the details and searched for our rescuers. I almost always picked Spock to rescue me. My sister picked Kirk. Yes, she has questionable taste.

It worked out well as we never fought about over who would get which man; at least I never remember fighting.
In fact I don’t remember our fighting over anything when we played Star Trek. We fought a lot as kids and teens, but not then. See, Star Trek is a tool for peace.

To this day when I a feel a warm evening breeze, I am instantly taken back to the days when I sister and I were princesses of an alien world in mortal peril with our Star Fleet heroes coming to our rescue.

Who saved you as a child? Or were you the one doing the rescuing?

Cat Radio


Photographed by lasop

I grew up in Alaska, and sometimes it was just too cold and dark to play outside. So my sister and I would play games, watch TV, and eventually get bored. Then we would attack the cats. The poor, poor cats. They would be dressed up in our old baby clothes. We tried to train them, but they were resistant One when I was about eight time they were our special guests on our radio show.

I had a tape recorder; it was pink with those black oil stickers that changed color when you touch them, remember those? The cat, Pooder (my sister named her) was dressed in a lovely white baby dress with blue flowers and lace trim. I held Pooder and my sister, Brandy, asked her questions:

Miss Kitty, how are you today?

Oh good. Tell us about your new movie.
Merow, Meow, grrr
That sounds wonderful!

And the questions went on. But you see, cats don’t just speak on command, and Brandy and I weren’t patient children, and we needed Pooder to speak, so we squeezed her.

When you squeeze a cat, they will meow because, well, honestly, they don’t like it.

So there we were for an hour or so asking very professional questions of a cat in a dress and squeezing her for answers. We had a great time and were grateful that my mom had the cats de-clawed, otherwise our radio show would have failed.

Now Brandy and I were very excited about our radio show and ran downstairs to play it for our parents.
Mom asked very calmly, “Alica, Brandy, how did you get the cat to meow?”

Me (very proud), “Oh we just squeezed her, and she meowed.”

I don’t think my parents have ever laughed so hard in their lives! Our radio show was a success! Brandy and were very proud and imagined a radio empire!

Unfortunately it was our last show, as my parents, once they caught their breath, banned us from ever doing it again.
And that was the end of our radio career. This just meant Brandy and I had to come up with new things to do with the cats. The poor, poor cats.

Photographed Shealah Craighead

Did you traumatize nay pets when you were little?

Being Kidnapped for Breakfast


Photographer SEPpics

When I was in high school, we had a birthday tradition. If it was your birthday, your friends would plot and plan and (with your parent’s permission) they would sneak into your bedroom and wake you up with loud, off-key singing.

Photographer Bill Bradford

Next you would be pulled out of bed, have slippers shoved onto your feet, possibly have make-up put on you by people who claim to be friends but really want you to look like a drunk clown, and then be taken out to breakfast. Yes, you are dragged from your warm, comfy bed looking like an escaped mental patient and taken into a public place.

After breakfast was school, where flowers and/or balloons were added to your festive ensemble, completing your look. Teachers would roll their eyes. Fellow students would laugh. Thank goodness there were no camera phones back then!! You would shuffle through your day blushing and wishing you had a hairbrush in your locker.

Photographer genildo

It was the best! I got kidnapped for my birthday several times and loved each one. It was always something to look forward to. Birthdays haven’t been that exciting in a long time.

What do you miss from high school? Have you ever been kidnapped for your birthday?

Emotionally abusive books*


*I have stolen this phrase from my good friend Kim. She’s writing a book which I’m hoping won’t smack me around too much.

I have several books that I am afraid to open. I’m not afraid of bad writing. I’m not worried that I will get sucked into a new world and not get anything done- my family is used to that. I am afraid of getting into an emotionally abusive relationship with the book.

I’m worried about getting sucked into an amazing world and not being able to leave, even though I am pissed, scared, or crying my eyes out.

Photographer Ale Paiva

Good writing is like a tight pair of jeans and a black leather jacket on a fine body.

Unless I dislike the book, I can’t/won’t put it down. I will continue to read and even read the sequels. I don’t know why I pick up the next one; maybe it’s the vain and pathetic hope that this time the author won’t rip my heart out and stomp all over it.

I will rant and rave, driving my husband nuts, until he bans me from reading more just so I will regain some semblance of “emotionally sane.”

“No,” I cry out at the very thought of not reading more, even knowing it’s going to hurt and leave me feeling shaky.
So instead, I try to not begin reading them. I try to not even buy them, but eventually someone will give me one. Game of Thrones, which is currently taunting me, I got free at Comic Con. I know I’ll love it, let it take me over, and it will beat me up, leaving me black and blue and turning the page with trembling fingers.

So far I have resisted, but I know I won’t last much longer.

Do you read emotionally abusive books? Do you hide from them or jump right into them with tissues and bruise cream in hand?