Dogs and Goddesses: Chapter 18 part 1

93% you guys! I can’t tell if this is the last chapter! Whee! (Okay, I checked, it is!)

So no joke, I seriously misread that they walked into the “cavernous temple” as the “carnivorous temple”. I was so excited! Action and adventure at last! I attack the Gazebo! But sadly, it was not meant to be. Instead, the temple is just huge.

Everyone came along, which kind of implies that Daisy and Noah made up, but we didn’t see it so who knows right? I feel like the Daisy author wanted to leave Noah behind but the Abby author would have none of it and overrode that whole fight. Ah, the joys of collaboration.

In traditional Villain style, Kammani is standing with her back to the door as they enter. She turns dramatically slowly, showing off her full goddess regalia (“kind of like Cher dressed as a nun”) and revealing the “wildness in her eyes”. Seriously, could this be any more cliche? I keep waiting for her to say “if you strike me down I will only rise up stronger” or something.

Mina of course is in a business suit, revealing her true Corporate Evil self.

“The Flood will cleanse the earth of non-believers. Only those who respect my power will survive.”

“How?” Abby said. “Do they float longer?”

Epic win Abby.

Kammani stabs Sam! I did not see that one coming! Shar has this moment of utter terror and sadness, but then she steps up to perform her part in the ritual. Good; if this got dragged out for two more chapters I think I’d give up altogether >.>.

I guess the chant last time really was the whole thing; Abby starts it out, finishing at “Of the place without souls”, and then Daisy picks up the next bit. The “chorus” would be the part with “We abjure you by The Great Goddess Who is Three”.

Incidentally, Kammani starts glowing, levitating, and spinning. Which much look friggan hysterical when she’s dressed in Mesopotamian robes.

Christopher gets a chance to valiantly defend “his” lady, and Noah saves Daisy as well. Sam gets stabbed again. Can we talk about this? It seems like despite being a tale about women wielding divine powers, they sure seem to need boyfriends really desperately. Even Noah, who seems pretty useless and has to get rescued himself, gets a chance to play hero. Is this really necessary? It kind of feels like the moral is that even strong women need to be rescued by men. Maybe I’m being oversensitive, but it rubs me a little wrong.

More later~!

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RSS Quickies: Protect Your Face from the Cold

How To Protect Your Face From Cold, according to Real Simple Magazine

  1. Red face can be caused by cold. It goes away on its own when your face warms up.
  2. If it doesn’t go away, it might be acne.
  3. To stop your face from getting cold in the first place, wear a ski mask.

The end!

Don’t you feel enlightened?

Sometimes I worry that certain magazines publish a whole lot of words and don’t say anything much at all.

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RSS Quickies: 29 Unexpectedly Awesome Things About Being Pregnant

I’ll admit it: the idea of pregnancy freaks me out, kind of a lot. I don’t like my body doing things I don’t intend it to do, I don’t like mess, I don’t like pain, I don’t like being hormonal. So when I saw an article entitled “29 Unexpectedly Awesome Things About Being Pregnant” come across my facebook wall, I was intrigued. Would it help me feel better about the possibility of one day becoming pregnant?

I should have known better.

1. You get to tell people!

I get to tell my boss all about how little work I’ll be getting done and/or leaving the company, tell my mother and grandmother so they can instantly take over my life and start planning every microsecond of my baby’s future, tell my male friends so they can start the process of feeling weird around me early… yay?

In most cases this is joyous news, and the reactions are incredibly positive and heartening

I’ll believe that when I see it, I guess. I mean, having a lot of people be happy for me would be nice, but as people around me start having babies I see a lot of “I have no idea how to react to this” reactions in my peers who aren’t at that stage of life yet.

2. Your breasts look amazing.

Bitch please. My breasts are already amazing.

Breasts enlarge

AAH NO DO NOT WANT. Did you know there’s such thing as a fucking M-cup? MY BRAS CAN BE WORN AS A HAT! THEY GET BIGGER?! Perish the thought!

3. Everyone is nice to you.

From your partner to strangers on the subway, it’s like your belly causes an allergic reaction of pleasantness from everyone you encounter.

Except for the part where people feel like they can touch you without asking, or pester you with nosy, intrusive questions, or whatnot.

4. Two words: stretchy pants

….huh? What’s so great about stretchy pants?

5. You get sneak peaks of the little person inside of you.

OMFG IT’S MOVING!

AAH SHIT IT’S MOVING. That just. I. Creepy!

6. Your skin glows.

[…]

11. Your hair is amazing

[…]

16. You grow long, strong nails.

First of all, way to reinforce the stereotype that being pretty is the most important thing to a woman. Secondly, every woman’s body reacts differently to hormones; some people break out with acne or whatnot.

7. People take great care of you.

Everyone wants to fluff your pillow, bring you a drink, massage your feet — let them look after you before you have to start looking after a baby.

Again, that would be super. But I don’t get that sort of treatment when I’m sore, exhausted, or ill, so I don’t expect everyone to change personalities when I get pregnant.

8. Feeling the baby move.

It’s sort of like that famous scene from Alien, but in the best possible way

AAAAAH HOLY SHIT WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT.

SERIOUSLY.

WHY.

9. You have a built-in table

Yeah that’d scare the piss out of me. I’d be scared I’d drop things and/or hurt myself and/or hurt the baby doing that.

10. You can daydream about the future

I do that now. Ahh, it’ll be a sweet day when I start getting paychecks again….

12. You get to keep secrets — or blab them

Gulp. You mean I have info that everyone wants and I have to decide if I want to stand up to them or say and what if something changes like I change my name picks or the baby turns out to be intersexed or something and now I have to retract the previous information and who do I tell and who should I avoid telling and what if someone is going to blab to someone who doesn’t know so I exclude them and….

13. You become a better breakdancer.

AAAH SHIT NEVER EVER DO THAT OKAY my uterus hurts watching that.

14. You are eating to GAIN weight

I do not even care about that. I don’t curtail my body’s needs in an attempt to get it to eat itself so I fit some random cultural standard of beauty, so I don’t expect that to change when I get pregnant

15. Your dreams are crazy

Hormones + increased need for sleep = craziest acid-free trip ever

You know what happens when I have caffeine before bed? I have vivid, terrifying nightmares. So thanks, article, for giving me something ELSE to worry about.

17. You have an awesome prop for sight gags

OK, that could be kind of cool I guess. I’ll have to come up with some maternity-friendly costumes to make or something…

18. You get to shop till you drop

Shopping for maternity clothes, shopping for baby supplies, so much shopping!

I hate shopping. It’s tiresome and draining and exhausting and I rarely feel good about myself after shopping for clothes. I do enjoy online shopping though, so that should make it more bearable.

19. Napping is practically required

I hate naps, I always wake up feeling more exhausted than before, plus I miss out on life happening around me while I’m busy sleeping.

20. You get to decorate a nursery

Not super big on interior decorating either, though it could be fun. Depends I guess.

21. The sex is amazing

OK, that sounds good.

22. You get to track your growing bump

This is a fun thing? Like, this is a thing people find fun? I don’t understand. How? Why?

23. You have an excuse for everything

Which means I’ll stress out over not using it as an excuse for everything and then not rest when I need to because I’m worried about being seen as lazy and my husband will fight with me about it. That’s pretty much what happens when I’m sick or tired or injured anyway.

24. You get to spend time with people you love

…why wouldn’t I do that now? I don’t need a baby to spend time with people I love, I do that as much as possible now anyway.

25. All the cool gear

I haven’t looked into that one, but assuming I can take their declarations at face value, that might be pretty cool too. I suspect what they consider cool and what I consider cool are very different, however.

26. You get to name a human

Conversely, I have the immense responsibility of naming a human! I hate my name, so I don’t want to saddle a kid with a name they hate, but how can I know what names the kid will hate before it’s even born?

27. You’re extra motivated to take great care of yourself

New year’s resolution: Take care of myself. There. Now I’m motivated.

28. You get to feel like a god, because you are creating LIFE

Note to self: when pregnant, remind self daily that I am a deity. That sounds like something I’ll want to milk :)

29. You’re never alone

The baby is always with you, starting a bond that will last for the rest of your lives

AAAAAAAAAAH CREEPY!

So I guess the moral of the story is that I’m an insane weirdo every woman is going to approach pregnancy different because we’re all different people with different priorities and values I guess?

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Dogs and Goddesses: Chapter 17

Was my last post really the car accident? Today, I verified that all the shit I have to do as a result of the car accident is FINALLY all done. I have purchased a new vehicle, with a much better loan than the one I had; I have closed out the insurance claim, they have paid down on my loan, and I have today finally finished rounding up all the documents for the GAP insurance claim that will finish paying off the old loan. Now I just wait. Yay! To celebrate, here’s some Dogs and Goddesses.

Let’s see, where did we leave off… How many friggan chapters are there, jesus. Okay, we’re now 88% of the way through this book and probably in the home stretch at least!

OMG guys! It’s Shar! We haven’t seen her in several chapters! The rain makes her orgasm. Typical Shar.

Sam’s been hanging out with Chris, and managed to score a free car in exchange for advertising it. Apparently the guys are writing a video game, which sounds way more interesting than the actual plot of this book. Can you image a video game written by a Mesopotamian god? Me neither, but I’d fund that kickstarter! Anyway, Sam’s been going to Chris’ house every night for two weeks instead of fucking other women, which Shar decides is obviously because of her Glittery Hooha. They have sex in public in the rain on the hood of Sam’s free car.

Wow her life is special.

Apparently the dogs (three of them now, because Bikka’s hanging out with Sam) are now traumatized by watching that happen.

Ugh, back to Abby. She stops having sex with her creepy stalker man to open the coffeeshop.

“You like babies? Because I think you’re going to have a lot of them.”

OMG CREEPY GEN! EW MAKE IT GO AWAY! I get enough of that crap now that I’m married and everyone assumes babies are nigh.

Abby somehow has made tonic that is better than the temple tonic. I can’t tell if she added yeast or not, maybe it was just all the creepy sex that finished it off.

In the middle of the night, the coffee shop catches fire. I guess that’s Mina’s doing. Umma warned the other girls, and the Three of them combine their powers to put out the fire, which would be pretty cool if it wasn’t happening in such a random, unfocused, and kind of shitty romance novel. The adventure parts of this book seem to be coming to a head; the girls have decided they need to end this here, now, tonight, before the flood can happen. Noah’s banishment spell, coupled with Chris’ marking the power spots in the temple and Sam’s knowledge of the ancient ways in which the previous Three channeled their power, seem to be coming together into sort of a viable plan.

And let me tell you. This chant. Is the stupidest chant. It’s pretty teen witch 90’s movie:

You must descend
To the darkness beyond
Into the sands
Of the place without souls
Depart from us
Go where you belong
To the place of despair
We now cast you out
We abjure you by
The Great Goddess Who is Three
Now you are bound
Now you are sealed
Now you are nightmare
Now we awake

“Now you are nightmare, now we awake”, for serious, guys. For serious. I read a book when I was a tween called “T*Witches” about a pair of twins who were witches, OMG! They had similar taste; I seem to recall my favorite was “Change your ways young Jennifer Shepherd, or you will be assaulted and peppered!”

Anyway. Noah of course wants to go with them to banish Kammani, which freaks out Daisy something fierce. But of course romance heroines can’t just say they’re worried about their hero’s safety, it has to be this big unspoken fight thing where everyone’s mad for no reason. Yaaay romance.

Shar is apparently reading a totally different poem than we are:

“It reads like it’s in three parts, with a chorus after the second part. Based on what happened this morning, I think we should chant it in parts and read the chorus part together.”

Er, right, have fun with that. I guess what we got was an excerpt?

Abby doles out her tonic of whatever the hell she wanted to put in there, and it makes creepy voices whisper “One” in everyone’s head, because that’s not ominous or scary at all, nope, totally normal guys!

End of chapter! Next time: the big battle, I guess?

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Anyone know a good mechanic?

car_blurred_plates

I’m unhurt, but my poor car…

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Dogs and Goddesses: Chapter 16

Content note: sex words

When we left off, Chris was showing up and announced, out of the blue, that he and Abby should date.

“You were the virgin, not me,” he said with a distinct lack of tact. “And I don’t want to go on dates. I just figured it was the only way you’d let me near you.”

Run.

He still thinks she’s insane, by the way. She asks if he still hears voices, which he does, and then declares they’re “past the point of dating”. Because mutual inclusion in a supernatural event means skipping right to marriage and babies? What? I don’t… what?

They kiss to the super ominous sounds of thunder. Sex happens (in the kitchen where she makes food that other people eat! Ew!) (Also she thinks Hello Kitty is anime.)

According to Abby, math professors don’t do cunnilingus. Because… I dunno. They just don’t. Whatever. When she climaxes dogs howl because magic I guess. The thunder fades after they finish.

Kae has highlighted the following passage. I don’t know why, but I have faithfully reproduced it here for you:

“Love isn’t supposed to make sense.”

She froze, looking up at him. “Love?”

“What do you think this is? Recreational therapy? I’m a logical man, and I can draw logical conclusions. I’ve never been at the mercy of my biological needs or, even worse, my emotions. And I am now. Totally. And if that isn’t love, then I don’t know what is.”

Pretty sure it’s an unhealthy obsession bordering on stalking actually.

Kammani is having meetings and crap, bringing followers, still taking Mina’s pills. Her jacket is too small. I have no idea why that’s relevant. Sam breaks the news that very few people died of measles because of vaccination.

Apparently since everyone’s distracted with constant orgasm and mothers and stalkers, Sam’s put together the mystery: Kammani used measles to kill the people of Kamesh, so they stopped worshiping her, leaving her weak and at the mercy of Ishtar. Sam offers to be her sacrifice if she takes him back to Kamesh and undoes the plague, saving his people.

The tight jacket is likely due to weight gain on Paxil, Mina says.

“The pills make me… fat?”

“You just have to lay off the frozen Snickers,” Mina said, dismissing her. “Nobody wants to follow a porko.”

Ugh. So anyway. Moving right along. Kammani doesn’t know how to go back to Kamesh and doesn’t want to find out how because she likes flush toilets and television. Sam, meanwhile, is convinced he belongs here with Shar, and that even if he dies in the past, he’ll rise again in the present for Shar, without Kammani’s help.

Kammani proposes a flood to prove her power. Mina points out she’ll wipe out half the state. Bikka abandoned Kammani for the promise of Cheetos at Abby’s temple/coffeehouse, and Umma mouths off so she’s probably not far behind.

Ray tells Kammani that the relief on the wall is a fake wall covering an old wall or something like that. She decides to fuck him.

Daisy finally decides to confront Noah about their secrets. This is starting to feel more and more like four books in one: Daisy and her Secrets and how they keep her from her True Love; Abby and her Stalker and how she’s deluded into thinking that’s True Love; Shar and the many orgasms; and The Mystery of Kammani, Accidentally Summoned Goddess. The plots just don’t seem to be overlapping at all any more.

Daisy and Noah have one of those stupid movie-fights where nobody seems to be having quite the same conversation and they don’t trust each other for no reason at all and whatever. Noah finally accuses Daisy of being self-centered and making up narratives that put her at the center of events to increase her own self-importance, and she decides that means she’s becoming her mother. Meanwhile, he gives her a banishment spell and storms off.

Mina brings Kammani pictures of the temple/coffeeshop and is ordered to destroy it. Umma abandons Kammani. The chapter ends. I’m getting tired of this book.

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Dogs and Goddesses: Chapter 15

I WILL finish this book! I swear it! Someday!

So anyway, last time, we had Vera being dead and her funeral being delayed by a swarm of bees. This time, the bees have gone, and the coffeehouse is booming, with Gen helping Abby by making wonderful desserts. Bun is, ironically, good with ovens. Because… oh nevermind, I’m sure you get the pun there.

This is, again, the very picture of a healthy relationship here:

Unfortunately, Christopher Mackenzie had been stopping by just as often, on some made-up excuse or another, but since Thursday he hadn’t tried to talk to Abby alone, and she could almost think she was beginning to relax around him. Unless he showed up when she wasn’t on her guard or she happened to brush against him, and then she was an emotional mess all over again

Protip: If you give the girl you like stomachaches by pursuing her strongly, back the fuck off. Abby decides since her grandmother was a prolific lover, she obviously will get over Chris any day now, and she’d happily sleep with someone else if she had anyone in mind.

Oh yeah, the plot! It exists! Granny B apparently had a composition book full of information about ley lines and so forth. It includes some creepy drawings and a slip of paper with numbers on it, which so obviously is designed for Chris that I’d accuse the universe of being run by a newbie GM. “This encounter is for the rogue, and this for the wizard, and here’s one for the fighter…”

EW EW EW EW EW. So there’s a measles outbreak in town.

“I had measles when I was six” [says Abby]

“You could get them again, you know. I can check.”

“Check how?”

“See if you have any spots. They usually start on the stomach or the back.”

EW EW EW EW EW EW all the ews. Thankfully, she tells him to get the fuck away from her instead of swooning or I might have chucked the book in the trash (and then gone back and fished it out because it’s on my phone’s kindle app and I kind of need my phone).

So for some fucking contrived reason, since there’s a diagram of the temple, they have to go there together, because Abby won’t let Chris steal her book and run off. Kammani’s off filming some cable TV show so they’ll be alone together which is just fucking super at this point.

Somehow lighting torches creates a more accurate estimate of the area than turning on electric lights. Because…. math. Or something. The temple is, of course, on a juncture of lay lines, like all good temples. They extinguish the torches again and then he begins his rape:

And then there was no light at all […] and he turned her in his arms and kissed her.

She should have shoved him away, but there in the darkness, no one could see, and it was the sweetest kiss in the world

get out of there >.> he’s obviously some kind of incubus using magic to override your choices in life and force you to fall for him. She manages to pull away after a bit, and lets him keep the notebook if it’ll get her away from him faster.

Daisy is noticing the biblical-plague feel of the recent events: bees, then measles. However, she only gets a page or so to ponder this before her mom waltzes back into the book. Daisy channels her anger at her mother into a strong wind, showing off her newfound powers, Seems like Peg left town because she’d rather not be in thrall to some goddess, totally ignoring the fact that she was dooming her daughter to the fate she didn’t want for herself, and is surprised to find out that Daisy is working against the goddess instead. She also apparently hates the Worthams.

Peg assumes she’s taking her dog back now, but Daisy, who is the better person here, gives Bailey a choice. Bailey gives Peg an enthusiastic, loving goodbye before choosing to stay with Daisy. Yay.

80% through the book and the time is just flying past; it was Monday in the previous scene, and it’s Wednesday now. Apparently Shar doesn’t matter anymore, since we’re back with Abby again. She alternates between remarking that it’s a good thing Gen’s around to make Chris keep his hands to himself and lamenting the fact that he keeps his hands to himself, which I have 0 sympathy for at this point in time.

But let’s take a minute to point out a positive: Abby’s been gaining weight, and for once, this is being held up as a good thing. She feels “strong, ripe, healthy”, and she’s feeling more “like a goddess” — the f-word isn’t mentioned at all. She also can enjoy Gen’s cooking without any magical side effects, which she likes.

The tonic recipe so far: cider, barley malt syrup, turbinado sugar, irish moss.

Wise words:

“I think we’d all be better off without sex. I spent most of my life not knowing what I was missing, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.”

That I have sympathy for. For various reasons I’m not having much sex myself lately, and my body seems to think that I’m 16 again, complete with naughty dreams and random hormones.

She adds honey to the tonic, for the first stirrings of desire, and cinnamon, for chaos, and anise seed to represent Shar and completion. Gen suggests adding yeast. I want a recipe for this thing so I can have a book wrap-up party when we’re done.

Chris clearly has dark, evil magics. Not only does he ninja her again, but:

Christopher moved into the room, and the impending violence of the weather seemed to glide through his lean body, like threads of electricity, and they danced back to her, typing them together, as the thunder cracked louder.

Nothing good can come of this.

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