Raine's Secret Garden

Just One More Thing…

I couldn’t possibly leave the passing of one of my favorite actors of all time unacknowledged.

Peter Falk, of “COLUMBO” fame, died this past week.
I was a fan before the great detective series. He was a gentleman of the old Hollywood school. An accomplished character actor. He was an artist. One of the nicest gifts I ever received was a book featuring some of his paintings and sketches, and he was very talented.
I remember him from productions in the 60s, from film—even from a favorite “Twilight Zone” episode, in which he played a Castro-like dictator who seemed to have trouble trusting those around him. :grin:

But yes, I absolutely adored him in the role of Lieutenant Columbo. I loved his dog. His old car. That cheap, chewed-up cigar. His tenaciousness. His dedication to the ever-absent Mrs. Columbo. And that raincoat, that rumpled, wrinkled, ichonic raincoat of his that he never seemed quite dressed without.

I drew this sketch some years back, initially for practice, but mostly because I really loved this character. It was wonderful Peter Falk that breathed life into Columbo, and who, I hope, will be remembered always for that, if not for everything else he accomplished.

And with that, I’ll whistle my way on…to the tune of one of the character’s favorite themes…
“This old man, he played one…”

Category: General Blah Blah,Regards, Raine — Raine @ 12:37 am ·   Comments (4)
A Muddy Track

My old computer is not happy. And it’s making sure I share in the misery. :sad:

And although my absence can be justified by computer problems (and I’m typing quickly, in case it takes me out again), must confess any blog posts would have sucked. Love the fact that spring is finally here, but my snow shovel is still parked by my back door. Speaks volumes. :roll:

Am I writing? Have tinkered with it.
Who knew not writing could be as hard as sticking with it?

But in honor of Kentucky Derby weekend (run on a muddy track, which always leaves my heart in my throat lest one of those beautiful animals is injured, and we all know how treacherous the race can be, yes?), I’m posting this photo of the one and only Secretariat.
The 1973 Belmont stakes. This magical creature won by an unbelievable 31 lengths. And yes, I’m old enough to remember. It seemed effortless, as if the horse was flying, and I’ve never seen anything like it before or since.
Absolutely stunning.

Category: General Blah Blah,Regards, Raine — Raine @ 7:51 pm ·   Comments (11)

Dear America:

Well, it’s been a helluva ride, this Presidential campaign. Despite the rousing speeches, negativity, back-stabbing, surprises, lies, debates, and enough political junk mail to pollute the landscape for another 200 years, we can’t say it hasn’t been exciting.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I support OBAMA for president, and I’d personally encourage anyone who’s still undecided to do the same.

But that’s not what this post is about.

Please…if you haven’t already, I beg you to take the time to exercise your right as a citizen, the right that countless Americans have fought for. Died for.
You have a voice. Use it for something other than complaining about the way things are.
If you’re elderly, mail it in.
If you don’t have a way to get to the polls, ask a neighbor for a ride. Tell them it’s important, your country needs you.
If this is the first year you’re eligible, yank that bluetooth/ipod out of your ear and get to an election site.

And if that’s not enough incentive for ya—walk into any Starbucks on Tuesday, November 4th, tell them you’ve voted, and receive a free, steaming cup of brewed coffee.
Walk into any participating Krispy Kreme shop on election day, tell them you’ve voted, and receive a free star-shaped doughnut.

Democracy has its rewards. ;)


Category: Regards, Raine — Raine @ 9:47 pm ·   Comments (4)

Dear Mastercard/ Visa/ CapitalOne/ Discover/ Gas Company/ AT&T/ Hospital/ AOL/ Recording Angel of Death:

I know how busy all of you are handling various disgruntled customers. And I’m well aware that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn.

I was hoping, however, that you could explain the logic of having a person who doesn’t speak English manning your Customer Service telephones.

I’m not referring to someone with a bit of an “accent”. I’m talking someone who probably recently arrived from the Zeta Reticuli binary star system. And I fail to see how it could be considered “good customer service” if your employee and I have to stop every five seconds because one of us is saying, “Huh?” or “What?”

I certainly support equal employment opportunities for all. But I don’t think you’re prepared to pay the medical bills of a financially strapped single woman who opens her statement, finds she’s been triple-charged for a repair service, and can’t get your representative to understand that she’s having a heart attack about it.


If that conversation was taped for customer satisfaction purposes, yes—I meant every word I said.

Category: Regards, Raine — Raine @ 3:50 am ·   Comments (15)
Dear I.E.:

Dear Internal Editor~~

I know we’ve had our differences, and I know I’m not your favorite person in the world right now.
But I’m pleading with you. Please come back.

You have every right to be upset with me. I’m flighty. Stubborn. Unreasonable. And yes, unfaithful. I’ll desert you for the hot hand, fall into the arms of the rogue fast draft for weeks at a time. I confess—I’ve been his whore. I’ll lie in his bed, relish the quickies, let him use me any way he will, pull all-nighters, humping away at his command. Anything to get what I need from him, as long as it’s passionate, in the moment, hard-driving and rough.

But I always come back to you. You know I always will.

I haven’t been able to reach you since I returned from my last fling. You’re not returning my calls. You can’t do this! I need you!

Please come back…be stern with me once again.
I keep your whip on my nightstand, and your thesaurus beneath my pillow.


Category: Regards, Raine — Raine @ 2:30 am ·   Comments (12)
(…what happens when I swear I’ll write SOMETHING tonight…)


Category: Regards, Raine — Raine @ 3:29 am ·   Comments (6)


(painting, “The Frontier”, by Christophe Vacher)

Feeling a little left behind, since so many people have made the trek to Mecca…er, the RWA convention?

Not to worry!

Paperback Writer is gracing us with a Left Behind and Loving It workshop, with some of the best advice you’ll find on the planet. And if that’s not enough, she’s snagged a few excellent others to post virtual workshops of their own, including the likes of Shiloh Walker, Joely Sue Burkhart, and Jordan Summers (who does not do Dallas…) :grin:

And if that’s not enough for you, Sela Carson has news about The Romance Divas Not Going To Nationals Cyber Conference, with workshops by the likes of Sasha White, Deidre Savoy, and Portia da Costa, plus lots of giveaways. :grin:

Lastly, if you’re just plain wallowing in it…er, grieving about missing the convention, Dear Author is offering you a chance to win a box/bag of books of RITA-contesting authors. Just run over and fill out a ballot, stating who you think the big winners will be. :grin:

Now, seeee?? Don’t you feel better already? :yesyesyes:

Category: Regards, Raine — Raine @ 5:15 am ·   Comments (3)
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