Archive for March, 2011

The Title Alone Would’ve Put You To Sleep

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

I warned you this was coming. Don’t shoot the messenger, or throw the baby out with the bath water. And if you don’t want flour on your shoes, don’t go into the mill. Don’t bid the devil good day until you meet him, or mistake a goat’s beard for a stallion’s tale. One who is without cows must be his own dog, yet a living dog is better than a dead lion. And of course, as we all know, everything troubles you and the cat breaks your heart.

Garrison Keillor looks like a pervert

Everyone's favorite pervy uncle.

But I digress…

This isn’t a post about the obscure Irish sayings I happened to come across while wasting copious amounts of time as usual. No, this is about traffic management.

I know what you’re thinking: “What the hell are you talking about? Why would I care about that? I’m no city planner. This is not my problem. Oh, sure, I may bitch extensively about the constant back ups on I-5, but that’s as far as my obligation goes.”

It’s at around this point that I slap you – hard – and yell something Dr. “Bones” McCoyish like, “Dammit, Jim! (Or whatever your name is) I’m a doctor, not an electrician!” and you then snap of your whiney reverie and actually listen to me for once. Then you’d realize we’re talking about something different – yet equally boring. In this case, blog traffic management, and you’d give me the look I know so well: the look that says: “Are you f*cking kidding me?”

And then you slap ME hard, and I slap you back, and you slap me back, and I pull your hair, and there’s possibly some biting and name-calling, and I may or may not cry…just to throw you off for a second so that I have time to get behind you, jump on your back, and put you into a Full Nelson. After a few more minutes of scuffling, we would collapse – exhausted – into a heap on the floor, and you would tell me you didn’t mean any of those cruel things you said, and I would raise and eyebrow and give you a look that was meant to convey “Maybe I meant what I said, and maybe I didn’t, and you will have to just wonder which one it is.”

Garrison Keillor

Don't get in a parked van with this man.

Then I would lean in conspiratorially and share with you three important things:

1. I could use $2500 or $4000 or whatever that stupid contest was supposed to pay out, but there’s no way in hell I’m actually going to win it because there’s equally no way in hell I can bring myself to write something so boring and useless and painful and…  Look, if you care about that crap, just Google “traffic management” or “driving traffic to your blog” or a million other derivations and enjoy all the lame brain ideas other lame brains have submitted already.

2. My friend Rob has some weird job driving traffic to a furniture store in the UK, and he’s told me that the people running the place are crooks. I don’t know if that means when you order a sectional sofa they then send you something meant for a Barbie dream house, or what, but he said they lie. I know: not good. So anyway, out of the blue, he texts me something like, “I will pay you to feature a blog on your site,” and I was sitting in the tub at the time, but wrote back anyway and said “Pay me in what? Crumpets? Clotted cream? My mother taught me never to be paid in clotted cream.” And then he wrote back, “Crumpets. Haha. Funny.” and never mentioned it again. So now I have no idea what he might have paid me, although I probably would have said no anyway, because as much as Baby needs a new pair of shoes, I’m just not willing to sell out, and certainly I wouldn’t want to be party to selling you shitty British furniture.

Fat Bottomed Girls

This guy wrote Fat Bottomed Girls. Of course he did. He's British too and probably eats crumpets. Call me Brian May: I know a place you can get some new furniture for your Barbie Dream House.

3. Then I would share with you this funny Garrison Keillor quote I saw. I know, I know. Garrison Keillor kind of reminds you of your ‘friendly fingers’ child molestor uncle. I don’t trust him either, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend getting into a van with him – especially if that van had tinted windows and naked lady mudflaps, let alone any kind of shag carpeting. But the quote’s cute, so listen up. Don’t make me slap you again.

“People have tried and they have tried, but sex is not better than sweet corn.”  -Garrison Keillor


Then we would share a chuckle, but agree he’s probably not doing it right.

 

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I should maybe stop drinking coffee.

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Seriously? No but, seriously???

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Seattle spent $365 million dollars building a fancy-ass Rem Koolhaas-designed library, and yet somehow they’ve managed to lose a $35 book I returned last Thursday night. In the big picture this is not a life crisis, and yet…it’s the little things.

Seattle Public Library exterior

It looks like this, but trust me: this is a rendering. How do I know? The blue sky.

I mean, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE???

There’s this near-invisible slot on the front of the library that only opens when you wave your books in front of it. You put the stuff into the secret compartment, from where it goes on some kind of magical conveyer belt ride across the building, sprinkling gumdrops and fairy dust in its wake. Ultimately, it dumps the books and DVDs and CDs out somewhere and cyborgs or robots or Oompa Loompas check everything in and no mistakes are ever made…minus this goddamned copy of FOUNDATION JOOMLA! I checked out, never read, and am now being told was never checked back in.

Personally, I think they’re just f*cking with me. I put it into the mystical opening. I did. Surely there’s some kind of surveillance video of this. Break it down: the place cost $365 million dollars to build. You can’t tell me they spent it all on fluorescent yellow escalators and space age chairs. Moreover, from where I stand, when you lay out that kind of cash, NOTHING IS ALLOWED TO GO WRONG…EVER.

And yet…

Seattle Public Library escalators

No. This is not a scene from A Clockwork Orange. These are the escalators inside the library. Imagine a few dozen homeless guys on them, and it's like you're there!

So here’s the deal: I talked to one of the dudes at the library, and he told me they’d spend the next 30 days ‘looking around for it.’ Just to give you some perspective, this is a 363,000 square foot building full of glass, steel, and stinky bums. No doubt, if that baby fell off the magical conveyor belt ride, some homeless dude grabbed it and added it to his trash can fire later that night. It’s a near-hopeless cause.

So anyway, the librarian guy went on to explain that at the end of the 30 days, should they fail to recover FOUNDATION JOOMLA! from the Land of Inadequately Checked in Stuff, they will charge me for the damn thing.

Like hell they will.

Mark my words: I will not go down without a fight. Should it come to it, I plan to go THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER on their asses. I’m sneaking into that library and camping out until I find that freaking book. Granted, the place doesn’t offer the luxe sleeping accommodations of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, nor does it house a likely or even fraudulent Michelangelo sculpture, but there are plenty of toilets and lots of odd seating and copious raw materials with which to fuel a raging trash can fire.

Seattle Public Library children's library

This is the kid's section, which I've never actually been in. The pink floor is a bit much, but that round black chair thing looks kinda comfortable.

I’ll make it work.

I have to.

There’s $34.99 riding on this.

 

p.s.

As a “Wow. I did not know that.” side note, apparently Rem Koolhaas was at one point considered one of Holland’s most promising young screenwriters, and when that didn’t pan out, he was apparently penning unproduced stuff for American soft porn. I know what you’re thinking: mayonnaise is not sexy. It isn’t. Neither are tulips or wooden shoes or three hundred of years of repressing and enslaving South Africans. (Okay, maybe that last one could be tweaked and made a little bit sexy.) Nonetheless, what you’re thinking is that the Dutch couldn’t make good soft porn if their life depended on it, and I suspect you’re right, but that’s not the point.

Remment Koolhaas

Rem looking all condescending and stuff. Like "Good luck paying your $34.99 fine which you never would've gotten if it weren't for my faulty conveyor belt checker-inner system. I'm too smart for my own good, AND I write soft porn." I'll get you for this, Rem. Watch your back, you orange-loving Kaaskop.

The point is that Remment has now given me yet another Plan B: if this writing thing doesn’t pan out soon, I could always make millions designing ugly-ass glass and steel libraries that are baffling to walk around in (seriously, the whole place is ramps and you can’t simply get to the floor of your choice. You have to wander down these glass-walled, bum-ridden halls like a rat in a maze) and can’t properly check in a stupid Joomla! book despite some fancy conveyor belt deal run by Oompa Loompas.

It’s as sad as it is true, but at least I’ll have my wildly successful architecture career to help offset my pending library fines.

 

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People have sold out for less

Monday, March 21st, 2011

They have.

I’m pretty sure.

Although they probably had more of a sure thing in the actual transaction of the ‘sale,’ but whatever.

So the deal is this: there’s a site that is offering an ‘up to a’ $4000 prize for the best (which is subjective to say the least, I know) post on “Driving Traffic to Your Blog.”

I mean, right there you have a problem: who the hell goes to blogs to read about driving traffic to your blog? I’m sure they’re out there, but that sounds like some boring-ass reading to me. Plus, this is coming from the lady who until a few weeks ago thought “SEO” was some kind of shorthand for Senior Executive Officer. I don’t know a goddamned thing about driving traffic to your blog, but clearly that doesn’t matter: you’re here, aren’t you?

Someone once wrote me that I have ‘mastered the art of bizarre Google search terms.’ They searched “starship interiors” and wound up here. Other known searches include “What is the meaning of life?” (twice) and “writer’s traveling desk” (or something like that.) Anyway, without any personal experience in the matter, I am still of the opinion that the key to web greatness is already being famous for absolutely nothing. In fact, that’s going to be my first piece of advice.

1. Get a reality show (and/or be born an heiress: your choice) and arrive at instant fame. While enjoying said undeserved fame, announce the name of your blog extensively while appearing on said reality show or while falling out of cars drunk without any underwear on or whatever your niche happens to be. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Just remember to also mention your blog.

Someone burning money

I want to be like this guy (lady?) with money to burn and enough food to get fat as a house.

Obviously, my effort (which I do plan to pen and post in the next few days) will be – AT BEST – borderline serious. And probably not helpful. And likely too snarky and absurd to actually win. Nonetheless, some other part of me can’t help theorizing: “Why not? Maybe every damn thing that has to be said has already been said and thus a ridiculous entry meant to amuse will be -by default – the best?”

Granted, this is super-delusional thinking, but I’ve got the time for such futile mental pursuits, and I’m willing to utilize it.

Anyway, I just wanted to warn you because I am feeling a bit like a chump for even considering this. On the other hand, if you wanted to send me $4000 in an effort to save my dignity, I’m open to this. In fact, I offer a vary generous trade: name the blog topic you want written and posted, and I can (probably) make it happen. Truly an offer you can’t refuse.

 

Plugging myself in the most invisible of ways.

 

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Top Ten Ways I’d Prefer Not To Die

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

10. Eaten by a bear.

9. Eaten by a lion.

Normally, this guy would make #1 on the list.

8. Eaten by a shark.

7. Eaten by a cannibal (full-time or spur of the moment)

6. Burned at the stake

5. Tortured by the CIA or KGB or any three-initial agency.

4. Jumping from the window of an 80-story building rather than dying inside it.

3. Anything that involves prolonged bleeding out.

2. Made into the left arm of a skin tuxedo shortly after spending several weeks in a pit in some psycho’s basement well-oiled with copious amounts of Lubriderm.

1.  Sitting on my couch covered in Betadine and swallowing $2000 worth of iodine pills, while nonetheless being irradiated to death by a the meltown of a Japanese nuclear power plant 5000 miles away.

There.

I cannot watch this actor in anything without thinking of this scene. Remember on Family Guy when Meg embarrasses Chris by showing the other kids a video where he's re-enacting this scene? My god: so funny.

I said it.

I don’t like this one bit, and if I’m understanding all this correctly, it’s probably the only item on the list somewhat likely to happen. Or at least 5% likely which is entirely too likely for my liking.

I don’t like it, and I’m not sure I understand it, and I don’t feel terribly empowered to outsmart it. In fact, I’m rather scared and somewhat freaking the fuck out.

Most likely the government is lying to us. Our government, Japan’s government, anybody in the know. In fact, I suspect anyone who knows anything real is probably whispering a soothing “there, there” while quietly slipping into a NBC suit and heading into their insulated underground survival chamber. Rita Rudner has a bit about flying in which she suggests that the air masks aren’t really to provide oxygen to the passengers: they’re to muffle their screams.

I’m feeling the same way about this iodine thing.

Or maybe I feel that way because I don’t have any, and I’m not really interested in going down a la John Cusack in FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY. I haven’t seen that movie in fifteen years, but I still remember that particular scene: not good.

So that’s it.

I’m having some generalized anxiety about all this, and I’m not really sure what to do about it. I suppose I’ll soon bounce and return to my old standbys: shameless positive thinking and excess sweep-it-under-the-rug denial.  However, and until then, I will remain uncomfortable and uneasy: it’s quite possibly the end of the world as we know it, and I do not feel fine.

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Hello again…apparently

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

It has come to my attention that some (many?) of you have been unable to access the blog – in fact, and more accurately, the blog sent your web browser to a screaming halt – for MONTHS.

Months?

Really?

***cringe***

I imagine that means that some of you will never see this (i.e. never come back) so I wish you fond adieu and apologize for my dire and continued lack of network administration skills. I am a 100-year old woman when it comes to managing this website. It’s a wonder I can even figure out how to post.

A little self-snapshot of me circa right now as thanks for your perseverance and proof of my continued existence, as well as evidence of my lack of St. Patrick's Day green and substantial indicators that I am thinking of growing my bangs out or they're growing out without much resistance for me or some such thing.

On the other hand, since it seems the only browser impacted was Internet Explorer and since even more obviously Bill Gates has a serious issue with me (get over it, Bill. It was years ago, and I was – and remain – too young for you, although I’m not saying I don’t regret it on those cold nights I’m eating Kraft macaroni and cheese and drinking cheap beer while watching basic cable.), I suppose we can predict these things will happen again. In that event, allow me to share some crisis-management tips:

  • The RSS works much like the post office (rain/sleet/snow/new versions of IE hate me)…or so I’m told.
  • Stockpile three days of non-perishable food. I recommend Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.
  • Try a different web browser. (People I know who seem to be in the know recommend and use Firefox, which has the added benefit that – as far as I know – it has yet to turn on me.)
  • Purchasing a gas mask is NOT recommended
  • Send me an email, and I’ll do any system-wide WordPress upgrades I’ve been avoiding out of fear they’ll bring the whole world crashing down around me. The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
  • Avoid puddles of liquid, particularly if they’re full of chemicals or toxic stuff or even just sticky mud.
  • Do NOT immediately rush to the Emergency Room unless RSS, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera have failed and you simply cannot live without the blog. Hopefully someone there has a dual MD/MSCS degree and can get you some meds and hack into and fix the blog while you chill the f@ck out.

Otherwise, and as previously mentioned, welcome back and – a thousand times over – THANK YOU for actually coming back continually and after an unduly long and unnecessary and inexplicable absence. For you alone I shall strive to post better and more often and without the use of cheap staff in Banaglore. Your loyalty may some day be rewarded by a loyalty program or membership card or maybe even a unique gift chosen just for you!

But don’t hold your breath on that because – as previously mentioned – it’s really all I can do to keep this site up and running…barely. (What is this issue I have with typing “barfly” whenever I mean to type “barely”? A subtle, unconscious tribute to Bukowski? A desire to chuck it all and become a drunk? Late-onset dyslexia? And why doesn’t WordPress know about daylight savings time and realize it’s 6:15pm and not 5:15pm?  And why do fools fall in love? And where oh where has my little dog gone?)

Seriously though…welcome back to that same old place that you laughed about.

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