Category Archives: Silliness

Thirty Days from Now…

Thirty Days from Now…

Thirty days from now, I’m getting married. I’m excited and scared and hopeful, all at the same time. It’s going to be a quiet civil ceremony—just my immediate family and the judge will be there. Adam sees this moment more as a legality, the prelude to the joint clan celebration we have planned for Mexico next year.

As a woman whose life has been plagued with legalities and little pieces of paper, though, it’s been nerve-racking. A little piece of paper earmarked me as an American, even if I’ve lived most of my life outside the country. During my childhood, some family members sued each other—just a little matter of fraud and disinheritance, due to forged little pieces of paper. Now little pieces of papers tell me I can’t be in the same country as my husband-to-be, unless we get more little pieces of paper to supersede everything else.

Little pieces of paper are the very devil.

Despite all my anxiety, I’m still giddy. So many things are going to change. I’ve spent too many hours contemplating my new name and my new byline (Rachel Anne Epp? Rachel Calabia-Epp? Rachel Anne M.C. Epp? Rachel McEpp?) and looking for shoes that fit (winter fashions aren’t kind to brides looking for white close-toe heels.) I can’t concentrate on anything for long before my mind reverts to bridal details, and the word count for my novel has dwindled to nothingness.

It’s almost impossible to craft a happy ending for my long-suffering characters when I’m trying to get to my happy beginning.

Did I just type that? Oh God, shoot me now. I hate it when I wallow in clichés.


2. There are so many other things I wanted to talk about but I always feel as if I’m running out of time. It’s been months since I wrote any new entries for this blog, and I feel as my pop culture backlog has become a monster. I’ve wanted to discuss so many things:

  • the first two seasons of Hiromu Arakawa’s awesome Silver Spoon
  • the current episodes of One Punch Man
  • recurring character tropes in Rumiko Takahashi (sorry, I just started watching Inuyasha with my nephew)
  • the second season of Knights of Sidonia (good grief why is this show so messed up?)
  • RIPPER STREET <3 (all caps are necessary because this show is great)
  • ZOMG David Tennant’s evil stalker with a crush in Jessica Jones

Also, my list of unanswered romance writer novel questions keeps growing:

  • Does Julia Quinn have better book sales when her books have one deflowering scene vis-a-vis those with multiple sex scenes? (no seriously, this is an important question)
  • When is Courtney Milan going to write another historical?
  • Will Marion Chesney’s backlist on Kindle ever go on sale?
  • In historical romance quartets, why does one book always feature a rape survivor? Like, seriously. It’s annoyingly predictable. It’s usually the third book in the series. Why does the traumatized ice queen heroine always have to be a secret rape survivor? There are other physical and emotional traumas to write.

I think it’s unfair that the heroes get an infinite variety of traumas to overcome. Usually it’s PTSD and gentlemanly limps but I’ve also encountered:

  • blindness (Theresa Medeiros’s Yours Until Dawn)
  • sensory issues (an old Amanda Quick novel whose title I can’t recall) 
  • mental illness (Loretta Chase’s The Mad Earl’s Bride
  • illiteracy (one of the recurring male characters in Anne Gracie’s Devil Riders Quartet) 
  • dyslexia (Miranda Neville’s Confessions of an Arranged Marriage, Julia Quinn’s The Lost Duke of Wyndham

I have yet to read any historical romance in which the heroine suffers and overcomes these things!

(Incidentally, I listed some examples beside each affliction. Highlighting the titles might spoil the plot of the novels, though.)

Perhaps it’s time for someone to write a Regency romance in which the wallflower debutante had a childhood accident with a hand axe and she now suffers from phantom limb pain. The hero, a secret rape survivor, must find the proper way to waltz with her when she doesn’t have a hand to gracefully drape over his shoulder.

Yeah, I’d read that.


3. I don’t know when it’s going to happen but in a couple of months, I’m also going to revamp this blog and probably get a new domain name, something that will reflect my new coupled status. Adam used to have a blog, and once we’re married I’d love to him to start writing random things again. We used to write random things together. Obviously, if we do that now, the current title of this blog will have to go. I’m still wracking my brains for a clever new name. Hmm… It’s difficult to think of something all-encompassing, he might alternate between Legend of Zelda fanboy rants and scholarly discussions on Charles Dickens, you know? Between my anime observations and historical romance stuff, it might be a cornucopia of crazy. (But a good kind of crazy.)

Anyway, what ever happens to the future name, design, and content of this blog, please wish us luck on our new journey.


Authors versus Editors

Authors versus Editors

Last Saturday, my class in substantive editing wrapped up its final meeting. To commemorate this personal milestone, here are two short quotations, taken out of context and put together for my own amusement.

Editors are ghouls and cannibals.
—Harriet Vane to Salcombe Hardy in Dorothy L. Sayers’s Busman’s Honeymoon (1937)

If only Harriet knew her editor’s feelings, every time she went off on a walking tour, stumbled on a corpse, and was late with her next book!

The author has a constitutional right to be an idiot.
—a veteran editor I know, who wishes to remain anonymous

Thankfully, I know a lot of veteran editors, so finger-pointing will prove difficult.



I would like to point out that I’m both a writer and an editor, so you can only imagine the arguments I have with myself. 

Stephen Colbert on World Religions

Stephen Colbert on World Religions

As a lapsed Catholic, I love it when Colbert pokes fun at religion. It’s like watching Dogma all over again and getting all the inside jokes. This one was made a few days before the Pope announced his resignation.


“I am America’s most prominent celebrity Catholic but I believe all other faiths are equally wrong.”

—Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report (February 6, 1913 episode)   

An Adventure Time Halloween

An Adventure Time Halloween

Yet another incredibly late post. I would like to point out that 1) we are usually not a cosplaying family, 2) please ignore my non-canon shoes, and 3) I really wanted to make a demonic wishing eye for my penguin.

You can check out two more Marceline photos at my sister’s blog. That fake bass is pretty sweet. She made it so well it’s still intact. It can probably do some real damage if anyone used it as a weapon!

Here's my sister as Marceline with her homemade axe-bass and my brother-in-law with my homemade Finn hat.

Family bonding at its best.

I've had this stuffed penguin for years. His name is Frodo Yuri. He disapproves of this foolishness.

Chris Answers the Great Question

Chris Answers the Great Question

I once bought a John Corbett poster from Universal Studios and hand-carried it from L.A. to Manila. My sister was stoked to receive it. The poster hung in our shared bedroom for years. So this line fills my little heart with nostalgic delight.


“What do women want? Same things we do. Only in prettier colors.”

— Chris Stevens quoted in Chris-In-The-Morning: Love, Life, and the Whole Cosmic Enchilada (1993)



Review: Wizard People, Dear Reader

Review: Wizard People, Dear Reader

A longer version of this post first appeared on my old blog last June 27, 2009. 


Okay, let me start at the beginning. There’s this cartoonist named Brad Neely. He recorded an audio track meant to be played alongside Harry Potter’s and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) with the original sound turned off. In fact, you can download the entire thing and play it as an audio book over here. (Update: the original link is now dead! Sorry.)

If you’re lazy, though, other HP fans have made it easy by playing Neely’s audio over the film and posting it all over YouTube. Since it’s an unauthorized piece of genius, the videos keep getting flagged, so most of the links might go stale after a couple of months (or years).

Why am I reviewing this? Because it’s funny in an insane sort of way, and it kept Adam and I in stitches for over a week (we were watching it in installment.) With his harsh, raspy voice, Neely re-imagines the space of the film into something superior to the original. The humor is spontaneous, with a lot of ad-libs and meanderings. His language is colorful, with the most purple prose never seen in print since The Fireless Inferno.

For instance, Neely refers to Harry most of the time as “HP” or “Harry fucking Potter,” and never fails to give him a moment of badassery, profanity, and drunkenness. Coupled with the moving images of a very young (and clueless) Daniel Radcliffe, it’s just… brilliant.

I guess it’s easy to laugh when Maggie Smith is called “Hardcastle McCormick” and you are being told that Alan Rickman is a woman, and that Turkish Massage Owls are on the to-buy list of school supplies for freshmen, and…

Oh, forget about me, just watch it on YouTube. Seriously.

Since I am being an effusive, complete dork about this, I hope someone starts a campaign for this guy to make the sequels, although I’m pretty sure he can’t because of all the lawsuits already filed. Sigh.

Ten Reasons Why Wolverine Really Isn’t Canadian

Ten Reasons Why Wolverine Really Isn’t Canadian

A slightly different version of this post first appeared in my old blog last May 7, 2009. 

Spoilers for what does NOT happen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. 

Adam and I were talking about X-Men Origins: Wolverine and we concluded we were both disappointed in the movie, but for different reasons. Adam wanted blood and gore because how can Wolverine use his lethal claws without spilling a drop of blood? It isn’t reasonable.

As for myself, I wanted a Sabretooth that had fur and grunted like a crazed animal. I wanted a Gambit with a decent Cajun accent. But most of all, I wanted some other plot twist for Wolvie to lose his memory, ugh, because his mysterious past was an epic thing when I was reading the comics back in the ’90s.

Anyway, Adam also pointed out that the movie proves beyond reasonable doubt that Wolverine really isn’t Canadian. I asked him to come up with ten reasons. Here they are:

1. Wolverine was born before Canada was a full-fledged country.

2. Canadians invented peacekeeping; Wolvie keeps fighting in American wars.

3. Wolvie doesn’t sit around all day watching hockey and drinking beers.

4. Can Wolvie don a pair of ice skates?

5. He is never shown having a double-double.

6. He never makes a patriotic stop at Tim Horton’s.

7. He doesn’t use the metric system.

8. He hates a lot of people but doesn’t seem to hate Americans in particular.

9. None of his X-Men costumes are plaid.

10. Wolvie never wears a maple leaf toque.


Regarding the last item, I decided to rectify this matter immediately. See how much better Logan looks with the right headgear?