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With a brand new decade about to start, I wanted to thank all my fabulous readers. With your help, I’ve made 1,122 blog posts, with over 250K views. That first post in 2012 was read, as far as I can tell, by my mother and someone named Wes who commented, “Its dark in here. Heloooo..”

To celebrate, here’s a list of my all-time top viewed posts, with a special offer buried somewhere in the middle. But as I look over the list, I couldn’t help noticing that something’s missing…**

My Top ten blog posts from the past decade:

10. Spiders & other top 10 reasons for men to get married

Your mother told you. Your friends warned you. Study after study showed you the facts: men who are married are richer and healthier. They live longer too. (No, it doesn’t just seem that way…)

'It became fashionable in the 1970s for the humiliated Thai wife to wait until her husband fell asleep, then sever his penis with a kitchen knife.' Photograph: Alamy http://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/nov/19/improbable-research-thai-women-cut-off-penis

This is the point where the dedicated unmarried bring up the relationship stories like, “Southern California woman convicted of cutting off the penis of her then-husband and throwing it into a garbage disposal.” [more here]

9. Scientists Identify Unicorn DNA

Unicorn Meat

The good news: scientific research teams have isolated unicorn DNA. The bad news: they found it in British supermarket beef products.

Some have wondered why people here in England are so upset about the possibility that their food contains horsemeat. The English have no problem eating cow, chicken, lamb – usually with some form of pig in/on each of them. One theory is that horses, like dogs, are companion animals and you wouldn’t eat your Mr. Snookums. Another is that the horse has a long history as a transportation provider, and you wouldn’t eat your Prius.

But let’s face it – the nation which is home to the ever-popular chip butty (basically, a supersized bunfull of fries), spotted dick (not what it sounds like), blood pudding (just what it sounds like), and haggis (trust me, you don’t want to know), is not squeamish. [more here]


Barb was so cute when I first got her…

I have heard that some border collies are able to guard and herd their master’s children. But I found out otherwise one winter day when I went to the bathroom. Of course, like all mothers, I did this with the door open to listen for sounds of carnage. If I had to close the door, it served as signal for every child and animal in a three-state radius to fling themselves against the door and demand to know what I was doing in there and for how long I intended to do it. This particular time, I hadn’t been in there more than 30-seconds before I looked out the window and saw the barefoot preschooler and puppy (with the keenly honed herding instincts of generations of championship breeding) running down the street in opposite directions. I was momentarily tempted to let them keep going, but we did actually pay quite a bit for the dog. [more here]


Home Sweet Castle-tower!

I used to say I was going to open a coffee shop on an island when I retired. It would, of course, not be a good coffee shop. (I was picturing a Mr. Coffee with some generic grind right out of a can.) That way I would have plenty of time to write trashy novels without constant interruptions er… customers.

A few years ago, we actually made it to the island, although it’s a bit bigger than I expected. We moved into one tower of a medieval castle in England. [more here]

6. What will you leave behind?

We are renovating a Victorian cottage in Scotland, and  it’s like an archaeology expedition. Under the hall carpet, we found a mosaic tile floor. Behind several layers of wallpaper, there was the boarded up doorway to the kitchen that I just knew HAD to be there somewhere, because surely the sensible people who built the house would have had a direct route from kitchen to dining room.

And underneath another elderly carpet, we found this (dated Monday, January 25, 1965) [more here]


An open letter to Amazon:

Dear Amazon,

I should be your Holy Grail. I’m the real deal, an actual reader who goes through books carefully, thinks about what they mean and how they’re written, and then writes a considered, thoughtful, and hopefully helpful analysis—in other words, I’m a book reviewer. [more here]

4. They Fight Crime

[NOTE: When I first ran this post, I offered the stories free to readers. This later was published as part of my Null City series. But as that is currently offline while it gets a makeover, I’d like to offer a free copy of either of these stories to any blog reader. Just send email request to barb (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll send your copy.]

Cover1. They Fight Crime: He’s an ungodly soccer-playing card sharp on a mission from God. She’s a beautiful punk fairy princess with her own daytime radio talk show. They fight crime!  **NOTE: Eternal thanks to meme-generator THEY FIGHT CRIME! [UPDATE OCT. 11, 2013: The original meme-generator has disappeared. Luckily for us nerds left behind, PAUL MAKEPEACE’S TOYS have reproduced it HERE.]

i.chzbgr2. We’re All Human. Even When We’re Not. She’s a young witch whose goddess is house cat of unusual size. He’s a Warden policing a delicate truce between those who are human and those who… aren’t. They fight monsters!



There are actually LOTS of reasons not to have kids. As a serial kid-producer, I offer a revised list:

10. Vermin = Pet: For me the word “rodent” evokes two images.lrgscalecoaster-i-child-proofed-my-house

    • Life-enhancing scientific research seeking the cure for cancer and the perfect makeup foundation base.
    • Plague-spreading vermin.
    • (Or three images if you don’t include presidential candidates in #2 above.)
    • [more here]

2. Typos, Sex Taub, and Boob Cakes…

Now that most people know to do their searches under privacy settings, the search terms that bring them to my blog have (mostly) lost my interest. There is one huge exception to that. Typos. For reasons which I only recently figured out, every day (and especially on weekends) there are searches—a lot of searches—for some variation of Sex and Taub. Those are two words I would not usually expect to occur in the same sentence. Or even the same house. [more here]

And my single most viewed blog post?

  1. Top Ten Reasons Not to Get Married (For Women)


My fellow women, many brave margaritas were sacrificed to bring you the cautionary warnings in the following list. If you get married, chances are good your spouse will be a male______ [fill in blank from list below. Bonus points if you get all ten.]** [more here]

Here’s to the next decade of blogs and all you fabulous bloggers out there. I hope the 20s bring you just what you need, most of what you want, and all that you deserve.


**Oh, and what’s missing from this list? Well, I think of this as a book review blog. But not a single book review made it into my top 10 list.