Linda Sharps


I live in Eugene, Oregon with my husband and our sons Riley (8) and Dylan (6). Prior to 2010 I spent many years as a software marketer, these days I work from home as a freelance writer. I enjoy high-quality ballpoint pens, exercise-induced endorphins, dark TV dramas, and things that smell like coconut.

Sipping on:

Sugar-Free Red Bull (mmm, chemical-y)

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    Have you heard about the ice buck -- okay, of course you've heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Your Facebook feed is filled to the brim with videos of people doing the #icebucketchallenge. Hundred of celebrities have shared videos of themselves doing the ice bucket challenge. You've even seen the inevitable backlash to the ice bucket challenge.

    This Monday the ALS Association said the challenge has helped raise more than $15 million in donations, and given the ongoing viral phenomenon of these videos, millions of dollars are likely still to come in before we all get distracted by something shiny.

    That's amazing, and obviously anyone who loudly complains about these videos should dump an ice-cold bucket of STFU over their own head. Buuuuuuuuuut for those who are secretly a teeny tiny bit weary of this particular social media trend … please enjoy these 10 ice bucket challenge videos gone (stupendously, hilariously) bad.

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    The other day I was putting dirty clothes in the washing machine when I noticed the box of dryer sheets had gone missing. Not the contents of the box, mind you, the sheets themselves were strewn all over the place nearby: piled haphazardly on the shelf where I keep the detergent and whatnot, scattered across the tops of the washer and dryer, and drifting gently around the floor.

    You've heard of the idiom the straw that broke the camel's back, right? The idea that cataclysmic failure is triggered by a seemingly inconsequential action? In terms of overall parental frustrations for the day, that stolen box of dryer sheets was definitely my final straw. It's always something dumb like that, something that in the grand scheme of things doesn't seem worth getting mad about. But that's the thing about having a breaking point … eventually, you break.

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    If you're one of Daryl Dixon's many female fans who are hoping he hooks up with Beth or Carol soon, I have potentially bad news for you ... depending on how you like to a view a challenge. According to Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, our favorite poncho-wearing, squirrel-and-snake-gnawing, crossbow-totin' redneck may not exactly be interested in re-populating the zombie-apocalypse-ravaged planet. Because he, you know ... doesn't like girls. I mean he likes girls, he just may not LIKE like girls.

    At least that's what Kirkman teased recently when a Walking Dead fan flat-out asked if Daryl could be gay. Kirkman says they have "very specific ideas" about this possibility and may in fact be tackling the subject soon.

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    American Horror Story executive producer Ryan Murphy has announced the newest cast member of the upcoming fourth season. The story will be set in Jupiter, Florida, in 1950, and will feature familiar faces like Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Angela Bassett, and Frances Conroy, plus newcomers Patti LaBelle, Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, and John Carroll Lynch.

    The latest person to join the AHS team? Jyoti Amge, the world's smallest living woman. She'll be included in -- awkward drum roll, please -- American Horror Story: Freak Show. Yes, the new season is centered around a freak show, and it's now starring a woman who's just over two feet tall.

    Say what you will about Ryan Murphy, the guy's obviously willing to take risks.

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    Here in the U.S. we have to wait until January 4 to start watching season 5 of Downton Abbey. That's sort of a bummer, considering it's likely to begin airing across the pond in September and it'll be impossible to avoid spoilers (particularly if a main character gets, say, killed in a shocking car accident), but the good news is there are tons of new promotional images and teases to speculate over while we wait. For FIVE MORE MONTHS.

    The latest images are not only fun to look at, they reveal some information about the season to come. For instance, the images of Lady Mary's and Sybil's children are aged a few years, which is interesting since we know the season will pick up six months after season 4 left off -- therefore, it seems we can expect a midseason time jump.

    Also, one of the Downton Abbey press photos suggests the presence of an actual time machine. How else can the mysterious object included in the image be explained?

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