Guilty Pleasures Part 2

I am as guilty as everybody else. I proclaim my preference for things that may be considered campy, embarrassing, and unsophisticated by some misguided souls. The guilt is not from liking them, but in that perverse pleasure of adding color and uniqueness to my otherwise ordinary and strait-laced life.

Hahaha, I am a paradox. Layers of contradictions, some kind of a biological puzzle. I am thirty shades of surprises. I am me.


1. MAXINE- that crabby character from the Hallmark cards, who says what she wants when she wants. At this time of my life, I still have to filter my words and refrain from rolling my eyes at some absurd people, lest I offend someone. Or lose my job.

When the time is right, I want to be Nurse Maxine.

2. FAVORITE MOVIES- There are movies that just stay with you long after the credits had stopped rolling.

Airplane– was voted as the funniest movie of all time with three-laughs-a-minute rating, as per a recent survey by Love Film. This spoof disaster film starred Leslie Nielsen of the famed “I am serious and don’t call me Shirley”quote.

Sleepless in Seattle– at least once a year, I watch this romantic comedy by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. When “Sam” talked about missing his departed wife, I joined the chorus of “Awwws” from the radio listeners. The movie sound track was terrific, even the song “Makin’ Whoopee”.

Big- another Tom Hank starrer. This is a feel-good family movie of a child who wanted to be a grown-up. And he ended up having fun with the piano at FAO Schwartz. Heart and Soul and Chopsticks.

Harry Potter- turned J.K. Rowling from a welfare mom to the richest woman in United Kingdom, even richer than the Queen. I am a bigger fan of the book, but the movies mesmerize me. Especially the scene when Neville Longbottom, who used to be bumbling and mediocre, turned into my new favorite when he decapitated the snake Nagini. That deserved my loud “YES” (and fist pump) at the theater which earned an embarrassed laugh from my son. Have I traumatized him for life?

3. MUSICALS- I have been very vocal about my unrealized dream as a singer. It started when I got hooked with musicals, whether on stage or in the movies. It’s like being transported in an alternate universe of songs.

Singing in the Rain always leave a smile on my face. Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. Absolutely top-notch dancing with the milk rain and umbrella-twirling and upturned couches. Jean Hagen was hilarious as the shrill-voiced Lana Lamont.

Other favorites- Sound of Music, Les Miserables and Miss Saigon

4. ABBA, a Swedish pop group provided the background music to my high school and college years. The group had long disbanded, but their music stood the test of time, thankfully, with tribute bands and the musical and movie “Mamma Mia.”


Out of curiosity, to see what the hype is all about, I bought the book. Only Book 1; I don’t have any interest for Books 2 and 3. Mommy-porn erotica does not appeal to me and men with BDSM predilections scare me, even though Christian Grey is hot, hot, hot.

What started as an e-book Twilight-based fan fiction by E.L. James became a run-away best-seller and had spawned a whole industry of BDSM products and copy-cat books. Critics bash the writing as abysmal and sophomoric . My inner goddess says those critics are just jealous because E.L. James just got lucky and is now a very, very rich woman.

And that’s what I am impressed with. Every author dreams of hitting it big. Erika Leonard James certainly had a roller-coaster year, with a movie in the works.

I also love the jokes that came out from this book.I just get perverse pleasure in seeing the shock on people’s faces when I unleash my quirky sense of humor.

Overheard at the book store, two females in their 70’s were discussing the merits of the book Fifty Shades. The ladies were nicely dressed and made-up, with bouffant blue-rinsed hair.
Lady#1: “This book reminds me of the good old days.”
Lady #2: “Huh, speak for yourself. My playground is still active.”
They both looked at me when I chuckled.
Me: “Good for you, lady.”

Funny how you can get different reactions from the audience. We had a meeting one day with the ED leadership to discuss some changes in our electronic tracking board, with ten people in the room.
Chief: “We need to change the color of this new icon to gray.”
MD: “Gray is boring.”
Me: “There are fifty shades of gray.”
Reactions (coughing, laughter, gasps of horror, surprise, confusion.)
Me: “Just kidding; just want to wake you up.”

How can I hit it big when all I really want is to write innocent Harlequin-book romances?

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