Archive | July 2013

It’s Monday (grumble)

Like today. It’s a Monday, that day legendary in song and joke about being such a bummer for the first day of the work week. Even before the invention of Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook meme, there were posters:

monday mug

And a song by the Mamas and Papas claiming, “Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day.”

Of course, bad case of the mondays

“Office Space.” Always.

I’m (ahem) between jobs right now, but from May 2012 to January 2013, I had a job I really liked (can’t go into details. Confidentiality agreements, etc.): I had terrific colleagues, good, sane bosses who not only knew what they were doing but also how to deal with people effectively (how often can you say THAT?), I was getting good pay and the work was like solving a puzzle. I could work at my desk plugged into my Zune (yes, Zune) all day. I was deeply disappointed when the assignment ended and I’m just going to put it out to the Universe that I want another one just like it (Okay, if they want to pay me more, they can).

Mondays weren’t such a problem and the weeks flew by.

On the other hand, I’ve had jobs where every Sunday night, I would come down with a migraine headache and/or upset stomach (including barfing) because I had to go back into Hell the next morning (I don’t drink a lot, I don’t do recreational drugs. This was the point in my life that I started compulsive eating as a stress mechanism. I’ve gotten a lot better about it). Those weeks dragged.

Truthfully, I miss the structure of the day job: from 8-5, you know where you’re going to be, you have a rhythm to your day. There is the “you’re making someone else’s money for them” aspect, but it’s feeling  productive and knowing you’re earning a paycheck.

Right now, I’m writing the third part of the Elizabeth Gardner trilogy and it’s tough. 2013-07-14 14.37.44I’m at home, I can be easily distracted (“Bridezillas!” I detest reality TV except for “Mythbusters” and “Deadliest Catch” but there is something truly entertaining about these shrieking harpies.  You have to wonder about the saps willing to marry them) but it’s working for myself. It’s tough to keep to an 8-5 (or 9-5 if you discount a lunch hour) structure, but that’s something I need to learn. If I want to make creative writing my job (and I do), I have to treat it like one.  The paycheck doesn’t come in a week or two weeks, but one day…

And for now, I’ll just amuse myself with stuff like this…



Special Deal – One Week Only

One week only, starting tomorrow, Sunday, July 14, 2013, “These Foolish Things” the debut novel by Susan Thatcher, will be available through Amazon Kindle at the discounted price of $3.99.

Do you have your download yet?



One week only, discounted to $3.99.

I Am Not My Body

The video of Dustin Hoffman breaking down while describing his epiphany about women not getting  a chance if they’re not “pretty” is still a hot topic on Facebook and various other social media.


Dustin Hoffman


And what he looked like in drag:



One of my favorite lines in the movie was the response to “I’d like to make her look a little more attractive. How far can you pull back?” “How do you feel about Cleveland?”


So, despite Marie Curie, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gloria Steinem and the whole damned Women’s Movement, we’re still valueless unless we are aesthetically pleasing.

Something like this:


Creepy, huh? But this little girl is getting an early education in WHAT REALLY MATTERS: the surface.

With any luck, she’ll grow up to be this:



I don’t ever recall seeing Steve Douchey (Yes, I know I misspelled it. On purpose. I’ve seen the show) or Neil Cavuto dressing sexy for their on-air time. All the women, though: cocktail dresses at 7 AM. Because, God knows, you can’t talk about unrest in Egypt or an airliner crashing without showing some cleavage.


I can give you a list of things that I am, but let’s start with what I am not as these are “feminine” qualities valued in 2013: in my twenties, slender, submissive, ignorant, obsessed with shoes (one bad knee and I twist my ankles in nasty fashion on a regular basis. No stilettos. I’ve tried), quiet or helpless.

I have been on my way out the door to pick up 50 lb. sacks of soil at Lowes and had someone tell me to “put on some lipstick.” My choice of clothing for this particular task was also criticized: you’re wearing what?

The implied sentiment being that I dare not show myself in public unless I’m showered, shaved and styled. Right. I’m going to gussy up to heave BAGS OF DIRT into my car. What was I thinking?

I am overweight (no longer obese), over 40, highly educated (this alone makes me an abomination in some corners of the world) and single. I have always had to buy my own drinks, load/unload my own groceries, kill my own spiders.

I had someone tell me the other day that “women are manipulative” and gave me examples of how her daughter works her husband. I wasn’t raised that way. When I tried the “Daddy’s Little Princess” route, I met with failure (of course, there was some ferocious competition in that department. I hung back and let the two of them duke it out). However, if I could present a cogent argument and shoot down objections, then I would get what I wanted. Was I being raised as a second son? No idea. I do know, however, that I get irritated and disgusted with the smile, pout, wink, charm routine when it’s tried on me. Want to see me roll my eyes? Try that.

I had a law school classmate who used “charm” as her MO (when she wasn’t glaring at people through slitted eyes). Pissed her off that it didn’t work on me.  I’ve believed (because that was the education I got) that if you have to resort to putting on a show to get what you want, perhaps you’re not very confident in your abilities to get it on your own.

I am confident in my abilities.

The notion that woman have little or no value beyond their appearance saddens me. We are the majority in the US (and I think in the world), but if we’re so busy making sure our appearance is pleasing to others, the energy and focus that we could bring to bear on issues of social, national and international importance  is wasted, especially since there is a tendency to pit women against each other over trivial matters (backstabbing, gossip and cat fights. Real Housewives of Anywhere). The former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has had her appearance analyzed and mocked for years. Yale Law School?  OMG: do you SEE the pantsuits? Most traveled Secretary of State in history? What? Look at the cankles! But…at the same time…the Kardashians are worshiped. None of these women really do anything to earn a living, none have a college degree (did they even graduate high school?) but millions of people can’t get enough of their televised existence.

I was trying to navigate through a crowded parking lot and a guy in a truck hit his brakes to let e walk in front of him. As I passed the driver’s side and gave him the acknowledgement wave, he leaned out the window and yelled, “Smile! You should smile more!’

I had just found out that I’d lost my job and was trying to figure out what the HELL I was going to do and this guy wants to me to smile? Because he thinks I should? I gave up being a people pleaser a loong time ago, Buddy. It’s like Jon Stewart telling Tucker Carlson “I’m not your monkey boy.”

And for those who get, “C’mon, smile!”, I give you this link

See also Gloria Steinem’s “Revolution from Within” which contain as essay about women constantly being asked to smile. You’ll rethink your position

Is this part of the bias that attractive people are better people? That they’re kinder, more generous, more intelligent?



Under the “appearance as value” dynamic, despite possessing one of the most beautiful souls to grace this planet, this woman has no value.



Under that same dynamic, this is a good guy. This is a great guy. It’s Ted Bundy. The authorities still aren’t sure how many women he killed. Or where he buried the bodies.

Do you see where it kind of falls down? Living my life so that my appearance is pleasing to others is not my priority; I have to get through my life. Lipstick doesn’t make me stronger. Dressing in a way that someone else wants actually diminishes me because I am not being true to myself.


And for a final thought, I turn to a wiser source than I (Facebook memes):


final thought







Enter the Nexus

I’m referencing one of the weakest entries in the Star Trek movie franchise, ‘Star Trek: Generations.” It was the first with the Next Generation crew, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (or Professor Charles Xavier if you’re more X-Men inclined. Or Sejanus, if you prefer “I, Claudius.” I think it’s the Latin for “Jean-Luc Picard with hair.”). The crew is chasing down Malcolm McDowell who is chasing something called “The Nexus.” Captain Picard ask Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg. I LIKE the Whoop. She gave me a lovely response to a fan letter) about this Nexus thing. Guinan explains that it’s an energy ribbon that allows those who enter to experience whatever they desire for as long as they desire. “It’s like living in pure joy,” she says.




We have the means of entering our own Nexus. Doing that thing or experience that puts you in joy and leaves you there. I had such an experience in 2000 (which helped me fuel the drive to write These Foolish Things . I got to meet my favorite movie star, George Clooney, and I made him laugh. I walked on clouds for months afterwards and it wasn’t just “I met him” (hubba hubba)  but “I made that happen” that was fueling the joy. I had been told “You are never going to meet him, you know.” However, when “The Perfect Storm” was released, there was a benefit in Gloucester (movie being shown at the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, MA. I used to work at the old 2 screen theater there), I bought a ticket and went. So,I found a way into the Nexus.

Susan and George

He’s still hot.

Yesterday, July 7, 2013, These Foolish Things was offered for free as a Kindle download on Amazon  as a promotion. I wrote the book 12 years ago and encountered resistance from the traditional publishing houses and literary agents. The delay in getting published felt like the “You’ll never meet him” comments from well-meaning friends.  The free offer could have gone nowhere.

A couple of weeks ago, I figured “Why not?” and went to an Aston Martin dealer (this is Orange County, CA. There are multiple Aston Martin dealers). Yes, I love James Bond movies and yes, I fell in love with his car (not much wrong with Daniel Craig, either. Or Pierce Brosnan or Timothy Dalton or younger Sean Connery. Roger Moore didn’t do it for me). My current dream car is a convertible DB9 in dark blue.



I asked the salesman about insurance, maintenance, gas guzzler taxes, delivery, etc. No test drive (he’s on commission, his time is his money and I didn’t want to waste his time) but he let me sit in the driver’s seat and START THE CAR to lower the roof. I am still giddy just remembering it. I ran my hands over that car like it was the finest silk or marble or I don’t know what. I’m still feeling the joy from that experience. I made it happen; I was sitting in a brand-new DB9 convertible (not dark blue, but that’s okay).  Into the Nexus.

In 24 hours, 669 people downloaded These Foolish Things. When I woke up, it was ranked 1136 on the Amazon rankings (free stuff). At midnight, it was # 417.

But wait, there’s more: Reviews appeared on both Amazon and Reviews by people I’ve never met. They liked it. They want more.

I am back in the Nexus. I am feeling joy. Lots of joy. In The Secret and other “Law of Attraction” books and DVDs, this is what they mean when they tell you to get to the joy to attract what you desire.


I’m there, Baby, I’m there.