Right up front, I'll be honest. This is a repeat of sorts from some time ago, before I had the website (I think). I was thinking about what I find appealing in a guy, and one of the common factors for many of the gents who catch my eye has been that they tend to wear glasses.
I've had crushes on guys in glasses for most of my life - going back as far as I can remember. Literally. One of the first boys I ever had a crush on in school - in Kindergarten, no less - wore glasses.
And so this week, I present to you:
Who Look Good in Glasses
1) Luca Argentero - An Italian actor who was one of the sources of inspiration for Davide Magnani in Ask Me if I'm Happy
, he's just plain adorable in glasses.
2) Samuele Bersani - The Italian singer (and long-term crush of mine) was another source of inspiration for Davide. His music inspired much of the writing of the novel from the very beginning.
I call him Doctor WUV!
3) David Tennant, as he appeared in Doctor Who. He could definitely inspire a character (or two) for me, and he was used to describe a character in one of my good friend Nell Dixon's upcoming short stories.
Even with the beard. Wuv!
4) Jarvis Cocker, singer, songwriter, leader of Brit-Pop band PULP. He pushes all my buttons - brainy, slightly awkward and has a voice that is like warm silk on skin. At least for me.
He speaks English, too! I'm casting him already...
5) Luigi LoCascio - An Italian actor I admire and quite frankly I think he's rather sexy in his spectacles.
6) Kim Rossi-Stuart - Another Italian actor I've fawned over before. He's talented. He's soooooo pretty. And he looks lovely in glasses.
Pretty. Brainy-looking. Wuv.
7) Johnny Depp. You know I couldn't do this kind of post without him. It might even be illegal to try that!
Colin Firth. 'nuff said.
8) Colin Firth. Seriously. 'nuff said.
Wuv. My Spidey-senses are all a-tingle!
9) Tobey Maguire. Okay, he's not technically wearing the glasses here, but... I mean... Come on!
And I simply adored him in his specs in Spider-Man.
Hiding those eyes is a crime in some countries.
10) Cillian Murphy. Okay, this isn't the best shot ever, but still... You can't deny that he makes those glasses look good.
The glasses actually make him more attractive. Is that possible?
11) Raoul Bova.
What else do you need?
Wuv. Plain and simple.
12) Gary Oldman. Ohhhh, yeah... Brainy-looking and somehow intimidating at the same time.
They don't make 'em like this anymore... sigh...
13) Marcello Mastroianni - The iconic Italian actor was always stylish and handsome, and he wore glasses sooo well...
So there we have them - Thirteen Men Who Look Good in Glasses.
Naturally, they're all famous men.
It's easier to find photos to share that way, of course.
But like I mentioned before, I've always loved guys in glasses.
All my life, in fact.
Honestly, though... All of those guys up there?
Squee! True love.
They can't hold a candle to my Alle!
Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!
Won't you come on over to Book After Book and read my latest guest blog
? It's a true short story
about an experience I had here in Reggio. Never heard of a true short story? Come by and see what I mean.
Well, it's Thursday again, which means it's time for this week's Thursday Thirteen. I have something a little different for you this time 'round, inspired as it happens by the amusing, lovely and talented T. L. Tyson, a.k.a. That Girl Tyson. Each week, Ms. Tyson does a vlog (a video blog, in case you're unfamiliar with the term) and includes a segment called "Weird Crap Around My House" toward the end of each one. So, this week, in homage, I thought I'd share
13 Odd Objects
From Around My House
Say it with me, everyone: AWWWWWwww!
1) Okay, not so much "Odd" as "Sentimental". When Alle and I met in person for the first time, I gave this smiley balloon to him when he arrived in Tyson-McGee Airport in Knoxville, TN.
He took it home with him to Italy when his visit was over, and it's been here ever since.
But, but... Which one am I?
2) When I lived in Tennessee, my friend Cristy gave me these monkeys as a Christmas gift. They represented me, Cristy and our friend Byllie - we were thick as thieves at the time. I think of those days every time I see this on my bookshelf.
A little privacy, please? Sheesh!
3) Aphrodite/Venus on her half-shell as she emerged on the sea. Apparently, she was meant to land on my bookshelf.
There's also a detail of her face in a lovely print in what is now our "master" bedroom.
Ya know... It really DOES resemble Alle...
4) A Pochacco keychain.
The joke at one point was that my hubby resembled Pochacco. This keychain was his.
5) Wakko Warner. I've had this little guy at least fifteen years. He goes with me on every move (and there have been a lot in those fifteen years).
Squee. That is all.
6) The Little Nutbrown Hare from the children's book "Guess How Much I Love You". This little fella was found in the Granary, a grocery store where I worked in Sarasota, Florida, back in 2002. Nobody claimed him and before I moved away, I took him home with me. He's pretty happy on my bookshelf, see?
I don't look anything like this. Do I?
7) Granny! I actually bought this for Alle when he had the 'flu and I had to go to work so I couldn't stay home and take care of him.
"Granny" was my nickname on the discussion board where Alle and I met, you see. I was one of the oldest - if not the oldest - members of that board, and so we joked that I was the Granny of the group (like on Baby Looney Tunes).
8) A chirping bunny. While it has NOTHING to do with those Cadbury Creme Egg ads, this bunny, when squeezed, makes a chirping noise.
9) Smiley, again! This was a Wal-Mart purchase - but because of the smiley balloon, I couldn't resist it. I brought this with me when I moved to Italy.
AIIIEEEEE!!!! It's coming right at us!
10) This isn't exactly an Odd Object. It's more The Plant Which Is Slowly Taking Over My Living Room. This picture was taken in 2007 - it's much, much bigger now.
I bet they're still yummy. But I'll never know.
11) Sugar chicks. I found these in a bakery back in 2007 and couldn't resist purchasing them. I was never able to eat them, and so they, along with their bunny companions, are still around, wondering about their fate.
Yo, Wakko! I've got a sword! Top that!
12) Puss in Boots! Though pictured here in my room in the US, Puss made the journey to Italy shortly after this photo was taken. He now lives contentedly on my bookshelf along with the bunnies, Wakko and Granny.
Me. Impatiently waiting for a Time Lord to call my own.
13) My sonic screwdriver. This is my souvenir from London in November of 2010. Even more than my own book launch, I think this encapsulates my visit.
And there we are: Thirteen Odd Objects From Around My House.
Tragically, there are many, many other objects I could have shared.
But I thought I'd leave those until later.
So now, after collecting all these oddities...
I need to stretch out and relax.
Ciao for now!
Okay. Valentine's Day is coming up, and loads of folks are doing appropriately-themed Thursday Thirteens as a result. I considered doing the same.
However, I remember keenly what it was like to be the odd-woman-out when it came to this sometimes rather annoying holiday. I waited patiently until the candy went on sale afterward and indulged myself while reading a good book. Nyah!
And since the vast majority of my readers are women, I'm posting this week's Thursday Thirteen with them in mind.
(I apologize in advance to any men of the straight persuasion.)
So please, sit back with a box of chocolates (or your preferred indulgence) and allow me to present
Thirteen Pieces of Eye Candy
Purty, purty eye candy...
Kim Rossi Stuart - actor
Ashley Harrison - Rugby player
Luca Argentero - actor
Gilles Marini - actor
Raoul Bova - actor
Fabio Cannavaro - footballer
Gael Garcia Bernal - actor
Frederic Cermeno - Rugby player
Fabian Cancellara - cyclist
Augustin Pichot - Rugby player
John Cusack - actor
Mario Cipollini - cyclist
Gale Harold - actor
And there you are - Thirteen pieces of purty, purty eyecandy.
But you know, I still can't leave without sharing at least one more.
It's just how I am. I give and I give...
And after all....
It is Valentine's Day.
Alessandro Menozzi - Italian Hottie, my hubby.
I first discovered Tulagi Hotel a couple of years ago when I was on the Authonomy.com website, and I befriended the author - Heikki Hietala - in the process of reading the original draft there. I remember that manuscript with fondness, and reading the revised/re‐edited version was a pleasure even on the second time around.
However, having become accustomed to a more modern style of writing - the "hook 'em quick and keep 'em turning pages!" school of thought - Tulagi Hotel may take some mental readjusting to be properly enjoyed.
And I mean that in a good way.
The story moves at its own pace, never rushes and yet, never quite dallies. The timeline jumps about a bit, going from post‐war to wartime to pre‐war settings almost at random. But it works, and that can take the reader by surprise if they weren't expecting such transitions.
Something else which might prove troubling for modern readers is that there are occasional switches in POV, from the main character, Jack Maguire, to those of the people he is dealing with in a given scene. It's arguable that this is an intentional echo of the overall structure of the novel - it's jarring at first, but once one has read such asides a time or two, it becomes less so.
My only argument in this respect is that I would have liked to linger in those alternate points of view a little longer. For example, I would liked to have heard more about Don or Kay Wheeler's thoughts or experiences once I'd seen their takes on a scene. I came away with a slight sense of frustration afterwards, after having been given a glimpse into another perspective which only lasted for a paragraph or a page more.
Still, as a fan of stories involving World War Two aviation - planes and pilots have long been sources of fascination for me - there was much in Tulagi Hotel to hold my interest. Hietala's descriptions of aerial combat and the psychology of the pilots who fly inherently dangerous missions are both well‐researched and well‐written. I've known several pilots in my life, and Hietala captures their sometimes morbid and emotional mix of fatalism and irreverence well.
There is an acceptance of the supernatural as a commonplace element in life, which I found most intriguing. Hietala writes this in a very matter‐of‐fact way, acknowledging that not everyone would accept it, but that for many of the characters it's simply a part of their lives.
I was truly impressed with how Hietala handles the emotional twists and turns his characters are dealt. The loss of loved ones is expected in a war story, but there are some truly heartwrenching farewells which brought tears to my eyes more than once. Balancing such scenes out are moments of humor and delight. There are some genuinely funny moments in Tulagi Hotel, written in a realistic and sometimes endearing fashion.
The overall tone of the book harkens back to a simpler time and a simpler style of writing. At times, it genuinely feels like a story written in the era in which it takes place. I think this is remarkable and that it shows just how much research Hietala did, as well as just how ably he absorbed that knowledge and put it to work for him.
Aside from the POV shifts I mentioned before, the only other problem I perceived was that the dialogue sometimes seemed a little stiff, or formal - particularly in the scenes set in the rural Midwest. However, this is really a minor quibble and a very forgivable oversight.
If you're the kind of reader who would like a return to a kinder, more old‐fashioned style of storytelling, Tulagi Hotel is a book you should pick up as soon as possible.
ACK! <scramble, scramble>
Yep - I've been caught unprepared again this week. There's been a lot going on "behind the scenes" as it were, so I didn't have time to do a heavily-detailed Thursday Thirteen this week. I'm afraid I'll have to repeat a theme I've done before, but with new material. (Does that make sense?)
So here are
13 Photos Currently
Inspiring My WiP
The Leopard Trek team at the Tour Down Under last January.
1) A morning briefing. This is a good example of the stuff most people don't think about when it comes to this sport. There is more to it than getting on the bike and going faster than everyone else (though that helps, of course). The tactics and strategy for stage races can be surprisingly detailed, and the riders meet to discuss the race before and after every stage.
2) Prepping for the race. Numbers have to be pinned on to jerseys before the riders can get dressed for the race.
Fabian Cancellara. I wuv him. (Look at that HAIR!!!)
3) More preparations - that helmet has to fit properly, after all - and as always: Safety First!
4) A quick peck for your sweetie, and then...
Um... What? Did someone say something to me?
5) Waiting to start the race. Seriously, for the material I'm working on, this is more than sufficient for inspiration. ;)
6) They're off! Of course, this would likely be well into a stage. I love the movement in this pic.
He's silly. Wuv.
7) Lunch time on-the-go! Things can get a bit silly, too, at this point during a race. Just about everyone takes it easy while they refuel. Or, at least, they should.
A little to the left, please... Ah, that's the spot!
8) Actually, in a race everything has to be done on-the-go, whenever possible. Here my boy Fabian gets his shoe adjusted while discussing race matters with (presumably) his directeur sportif.
Definitely not in the plan.
9) Occasionally, of course, things don't go quite according to plan...
I mean, seriously. Look at that road. Now enjoy Fabian's legs.
10) This photo is providing much inspiration at the moment, as I'm working on a Stage featuring a crash modelled after a) what has been called the "Stockeau Massacre" in the 2010 Tour de France and b) the following day's ride over the cobblestone roads which normally feature in the Paris-Roubaix classic road race each year.
Just so... Intense. Rawr.
11) Fabian again - this time in Time Trial mode. The picture isn't exactly clear because it's a screen capture. But it's an excellent screen capture, IMHO. It really conveys the intensity of the moment.
I'm wandering toward my happy place. Excuse me.
12) The boys have to make themselves presentable before they go on the podium. They get wiped down and cleaned up (I can't help thinking of racehorses when I see video of this. Is that wrong?), are given a fresh jersey, and then go out to be photographed with the pretty girls in front of the fans.
Jens Voigt, chatting while getting his post-race massage.
13) A very useful photo. Without shots like this, the little details would get past me: note the placement of the blanket, the towels, the slow-cooker on the table (presumably to heat the oil before it's applied). Excellent stuff.
And there you have them - 13 Photos Currently Inspiring My WiP.
I know, I know...
After all the boys on bikes, you want something else.
And it's only fair.
So here ya go:
Will this do?
Ciao for now!