2013 in review

As promised, the WordPress review of the years activity

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A pair of NFL farewells

Its a fact of life that time moves on, as I know too well myself. At 55, I’ve probably got a few more years left in this life, but in all likelihood, not as many as I’ve had already, by a long stretch!

But when it comes to sports stadiums, it seems to get hit and miss. Fenway Park has been around for over a century, and Wrigley Field hits that landmark next year as well. But others seem to have a brief life, and then pass away, usually in a cloud of smoke, from demolition, by explosions.

Last Monday saw the last NFL game at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, and today, the same event is happening in Minneapolis, at the Metrodome. Both will be demolished at some point in the New Year. In the case of the 49ers, the new stadium will be ready for next season, though it will be in Santa Clara, not San Francisco, but I assume, no change of name? The Vikings will be playing outdoors for a couple of seasons or so, while the new stadium is built, and that wont be fun in December!

One boring fact, did you know that will only leave 1 stadium which both an NFL team, and an MLB team have called home, Oakland. SF Giants left at the turn of the century, the Minnesota Twins just a few years ago, but until then, they were both joint sport stadiums. Now the only one will be the Oakland Coliseum, and there is talk of one, or indeed both teams leaving there too!

I did see a game of Baseball at the Metrodome, but never made it to Candlestick Park. Now I will never visit either again. Farewell to both of you, but your mark in the history of the NFL, and MLB will remain

The video, lets call this the moment that probably broke the Metrodome’s back!

A few pictures from today

Well, I’ll warn you now, if you’re looking for 500 words of wisdom, wait for the next blog. A bit like a Trans Pennine Express train, it will arrive, err, sometime soon! I could jokingly say that today, and tomorrow are the only days in the year that their trains aren’t late, and thats because there arent any! On the other hand, if you want a picture of ‘the dress’ and a couple of other shots from today, you’re in the right place!

So getting started, at long last, here is a picture of that delicious pink, flapper style dress, complete with bared knees.

flapper dress 2

Next, a picture of a wonderful present, a necklace that is absolutely gorgeous, and fits in with the look

necklace close up

Yes, as you might quickly spot, this was taken before I changed, and I’m wearing a ‘most expensive’ grey/silver dress, which is lovely to look at, and equally nice to wear. I’m kidding about the cost, its one of my charity shop specials, and did not cost a fortune! A full length shot of it next

full length grey dress

My thanks to Nicole Woodhouse for taking the photos for me.

So thats it, I hope it was worth the wait?

I’ve had a lovely day, but yes, thats it for me, back to work tomorrow!

The video, probably the one Christmas song I havent heard this year, and I have no idea why?

Merry Christmas Everyone

Yes, thats a major clue to the video, though as I’m not sure this song ever crossed the Atlantic, my North American readers may not know it without looking at the video. Might be better if they dont, but anyway…

To all my readers here, and there seem to be a few, can I wish you all a Merry Christmas, from both me, and my alter ego, Merry Brooks.

Whats that, you thought my name really was Merry Brooks? Ah well, next you’ll be telling me you believe in Santa Claus? What? Aah…lets leave it there, shall we, lol?

Lets face it, at my age, I’m long past the point of getting over excited about Christmas, and with no family to share it with, it will just be the four of us here having a lovely day together. Then, for me at least, back to work on Boxing Day. Thankfully today was one of my days off for the week, so I have got a break of sorts.

If people are good (and I will get Santa to confirm), I might wear the dress I wore to the dinner tomorrow, and get one of Dave, or Nicole to take a picture, so you can finally see what it looked like. Whether I inflict my bare knees on you, you’ll have to wait and see! If you’re lucky, I’ll wear the leggings too!

Oh, and for those of you lacking a present for Christmas, there is always

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Merry+Brooks&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

for a Kindle treat. I know, I know, naughty, but the extra pennies would be nice, and the sales might boost the ego too. There are other options, like Smashwords, Kobo etc, for those of you without a Kindle too. Or as I have myself, you can download Kindle books to your computer anyway.

But anyway, advertising over now, honest it is.

Presents will be a few, one I know is the Louise Brooks biography by Barry Paris, a treat I’m looking forward to, I must say. I know that, because someone asked what I wanted, and this appealed, funnily enough. Beyond that, and the bottle of wine from work, not a clue!

So as I say, enjoy your day tomorrow, religious or otherwise, with a family or not, just have a lovely day.

Oh, and if you really want to think that I’m really a stunning young woman, named Meredith (Merry) Brooks, feel free to do so. Oh, and Santa, if you want me to look like my avatar pic that Merry uses as a Christmas present, please do!

The video, an oldie, but they are the best, so they say

I believe in Father Christmas

Well, alright, maybe I dont, I’m a bit old for that now, but all the same…its a nice idea?

So here we are, 3 days from the big event, and just 1 more working day to go, tomorrow. Actually, thats a bit of a strange one, given there is no horse racing now in the UK, or Ireland until Boxing Day, but still the gambling goes on. Foreign racing, greyhounds, and virtual racing will keep assaulting the punters through the next 2 days, and indeed those computerised chances to lose (or occasionally win) money, on the machines now in all betting shops. Oh, football and sport betting too, of that I’m sure. Yes, we actually shut on Christmas Day, the only day now that the betting shops actually shut. People will still be betting online though, that is for sure!

Shops used to shut on Good Friday, and these 2 days before Christmas as well, but money nowadays is the main concern, and so the shops are open. Not quite so bad in our place, but not good, all the same!

What am I expecting for Christmas in gifts, no idea. I was expecting the usual choccies and booze routine, but I’m told there has been some ‘out of the box’ thinking done this year, so it will be interesting to see what I get. Something 20’s related might make for a good bet lol!

2014 looks like having an interesting start for me, beginning with the release of my 5th ebook, when I get it back from my wonderful editor, James. The other interesting looking event early in the year, could be me getting to be a hypno-bot, at least for a little while, now that should be fun! More details nearer the time, I suspect.

The video, a Christmas song, a live version from somewhere I will visit in 2014, Albany. Probably my favourite Christmas song in all honesty, probably because of the nature of the feelings, and lyrics

Facebook friends

So admit it, well, those of you on Facebook at least, which seems to be most people nowadays, how many of your friends there do you actually know?

My own personal account has about 100 friends (roughly) on it, and in all honesty, I’ve actually met, and know about 50% of them. Mind, a lot of the make up on that are people involved in either supporting, or being part of the Irish Cricket set up, which is fair enough, I guess? But would I know most of those, if they passed me in the street, or I met them at a Cricket match, no chance!

But I dont mind being ‘friends’ with them, we have a common bond at least.

Fine, when I started publishing my stories, I set up a Facebook account for Merry Brooks, as much for a publicity machine, as anything else. So alright, I use it as an opportunity to ‘like’ many things Kansas, and indeed, Kansas City, despite it being just over the border, or the sports teams are at least!

No, she doesnt have a big friends list, currently 14, I just checked. Of which I have good online knowledge of…7! There might be one or two others I know, but just dont recognise the name of, but…So yes, I occasionally get the odd friend request, and just tend to approve them. So if you want to friend an author, feel free. Just dont send me games requests, or poke me, or anything like that, or you wont be a friend for long!

The best one though, in a truly wonderful sense, happened a few days ago. I checked it in the morning, and there it was a friend request. So I click through to see who it is, and its a Mary Brooks. Good name, I must say! 🙂 Unsurprisingly, approved. So I look at her details, guess where she lives now, Cherryvale! Wow! So, for a few moments, I assume its another fan of the lovely Louise, but on reading more, that doesnt seem to be the case.

If I get to Cherryvale next year (fingers crossed), I must so try and make contact with her, even if Merry Brooks isnt my real name. I guess she knows that, the avvie is a bit of a give away on that front somehow! But all in all, meet her or not, having a friend named Mary Brooks, from Cherryvale is just the most wonderful thing that could happen for me.

I did send a message to her, asking if there is any connection, or if there are any comments around town about her name, but she hasnt replied yet. But hopefully…

The video, well something that seems apt for Facebook at least

An amazing writer

I’ve mentioned a friend named Kris P Kreme before a couple of times, both for providing me with a super book cover, and also the little blog piece on here. Well, tonight, he’s going to get another mention.

Now, you know I write stories, some of which have made it into ebooks, plug, plug. My current total of published stuff is 4, though sometime between now, and the early part of the new year, that will go up to 5, the latest effort is currently with my wonderful editor, so that its easier for you buyers (hint, hint) to read it.

But like many others, Kris makes my efforts numerically look pretty feeble. In fact, he has just hit the century, publishing his 100th story, wow! I know he aims to make more of a living out of it than I do, which explains the respective numbers, but even so, thats an amazing effort.

I havent got his links unfortunately, but I’m sure if you type that name into any good ebook site, his stuff will appear. So, I just want to say in public, to a friend, congrats on the century, Kris, and a toast to the next ton.

As you know, he’s living in Alabama, and he writes a lot about bimbo’s, who like love, in the form of sex, so maybe this is the right video for him?

Why its dangerous to let me go out shopping!

Why, because I end up buying items that I have no idea when, or where I’m going to wear them. And yes, unsurprisingly, it was to Wakefield, rapidly becoming my favourite shopping spot. Well fine, it already is, but…

No, I cant guarantee it will be my last trip of the year, but it looks a safe bet, and given where I work, I should know these things. My days off for the rest of the year are Tuesday and Sunday next week (former is beauty treatment day, latter is last Sunday before Christmas), then Christmas Eve (no way am I going shopping anywhere then!), Christmas Day (pretty obvious), and the Sunday after, when I will be on my own (and public transport is awful anyway). After that, well the next day off is New Years Day, and there are no buses then, and besides which it will be 2014 by then! So, as I say, good bet that today was it.

Surprisingly, 2 weeks before the big day, Wakefield wasnt overly crowded. I know, its midweek, but…To be honest, given all my purchases today (apart from my coffee and cake) were from charity shops, I havent helped the retailers much myself!

Most of it was practical stuff, 4 tops, and 1 skirt, which will all get used for work, and things. Well fine, the skirt to work is only a maybe bet, but…I should do really, they seem to be better for the circulation in my legs than trousers, but its just…I know, I know! Err, one of those tops, no, fails the work test. But…let me explain,

At work, we have a rule that all tops should cover the shoulders completely. Fine, understandable, though some choose to ignore it, and get away with it, but anyway…I try to be a good girl lol! One of the things I love about Wakefield is the quality of clothing options in the charity shops there, some really nice stuff, at very good prices. One especially, the Wakefield Hospice shop, is the creme de la creme. Seriously, I saw a gorgeous silver dress there today, must have cost a fortune new, for £15. Thankfully it was a size 12, with a zip at the back, so no way would I have got into it, because otherwise…drool…

But sneakily, they also, in a size 14, had a top that looked quite literally as if it had arrived direct from the 1920′s. It hadnt, its good a ‘made in Asia, somewhere’ tag in it, so clearly it hadnt, but…Snag, its got nothing more than 2 thin(ish) straps over the shoulders, so I cannot wear it to work. And to be honest, in that sense, whats the point in buying it, even at £4.50? Even though its perfect for a Flapper…? So I talked myself out of it, left it in the shop, even though I regretted doing so.

Fine, I walked round the corner, and after about 5 minutes, changed my mind, and went back and bought it! No idea when, or where I wear it, but, its mine! I know, I know, silly thing to do, but I would have regretted it for ever more if I hadnt.

But anyway, famous last words and all that, it should be the last silly buy of 2013! Stop laughing now!

The video, a delightful piece from the 1970’s. And enough pretty girls to keep the men happy too. And no, none of the blondes are me!

Baby, its cold outside

I know that not all of my readers are NFL fans, but hopefully some of you are at least, and others might live in the area, or indeed, both.

Each Sunday, care of Sky Sports, we get 2 NFL matches live over here, one of the 6.00 games, and then one of the 9.XX games to follow. I know, its 1.00, and 4.XX Eastern time, but for now at least, I’m still in the UK, so…

This weekend, the early game was, yes, you’ve guessed it, the snow fest that was Detroit at Philadelphia. I have seen as much snow as that, but then again, it was crossing the Rockies in January, so…luckily enough I was on a warm train at the time! So in that sense, the 8 inches or so on the pitch at Philly, was nothing compared to the several feet of snow up there, but anyway…Lets just say that I’ve never seen a sports event played in anything like that.

The football, well, the first half, in the heart of the blizzard, pretty forgettable in all honesty. Hardly surprising though, is it? Thankfully the weather eased off, and the second half was better to watch, and provided a truly remarkable comeback by the Eagles. But one thing, not a single point (and there were plenty) was scored by a kicker. Indeed, only one extra point kick was even attempted, and despite much Detroit effort (on a time out) to clear a mark for the kicker, conditions still meant it was missed. First time since 1957 apparently when no point was scored by a kick, and that was only 6-0! This was 34-20!!! Funnily enough, that previous time, yes, Philadelphia was involved too, losing to Pittsburgh!

But do you know what? However much you admire the players for playing in that, you know the real heroes? Those fans who sat in the stands, and got buried in snow. Now thats dedication! But is that worse than watching in Green Bay (11F), or a night game in Chicago (7F) this weekend? No idea?

Summer baseball, much more fun!

The video, apologies. Its not a great version, but given the cage, the potion, and the cleavage reveal, I thought this might appeal. And for those so inclined, Tom Jones too!

It must be Christmas time

So fine, the report from Thursday night, but sadly not got any full length photos of the dress yet, even if I know a few were taken, I havent tracked any of them down as yet. If need be, Tuesday or Wednesday, I will pose some pictures here at home, and get one for viewing that way.

The meal, well I didnt think it was as good as last year, but it was still better than the less than memorable (and not hot) meals at the Queens, at least. It was fine, I just think we were expecting better after last year, but anyway…

The dress worked fine, looked really good in all honesty. The wig worked too, until I got too clever, and tried to put the headband on over it. Nope, didn’t work, and all it succeeded in doing was dislodging the wig, and then I couldnt get it right again. So finally I gave up, went blonde, and used the headband, which worked at least.

Yes, it was a nice evening on the whole. I had plenty of wine, but didnt think it was too much, combined with the food, but I managed to feel slightly dehydrated the next morning, despite drinking some water afterwards, but ah well, I survived!

Next big outing, social wise, as far as I know, Christmas Day, and thats a home based one! Wear the dress, probably!

The video, one of my favourite Yuletide songs, though not the original Pretenders version, just to keep you on your toes. Pretty good version, imo, in all honesty.