Posts Tagged ‘funny random observations’

This is beyond overdue

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

And yet, I still kind of have nothing of any real import to share, so here is a generic list o’ stuff in no particular order.

  • I have been writing the new book. It’s gone relatively smoothly minus the ever-present slight concern that where I’m taking things plot-wise is maybe too far or too slow or not quite perfect, but that’s the way it goes, I suppose. Today I will cross the 100-page mark, which is the clearest sign that an actual novel will come out of this in the end.
  • It’s cold as hell, and yet it’s as warm as it’s ever going to be for quite some time.
  • I’m another year older tomorrow, and yet I’m as young as I’m ever going to be…especially today.
  • My Sims2 have been neglected, but not forgotten…especially not on Saturday night. I’ve created a family based on myself and my dog, except they don’t have dogs in The Sims2, so he is represented by a young black child with white hair named Smelly. Smelly is a lot more useful than the real case study upon which he is based because he’s able to wash the dishes, do yard work, and order a pizza. Hmmm… Maybe I should look into adopting a young black child? Madonna and all them make it look so easy…

    Malamute in city

    Give him a kingdom to oversee, and he's happy.

  • I know it’s $2 or $3 or even $4 a cup, but lattes are so much better than any French press or drip coffee I make myself. And they don’t act as a colonic delivered via my mouth. One more reason I need to get rich…and soon.
  • In the same vein, I realize I’ve got to get my hands on a baby monkey, get it it to ride my dog (backwards being fine, if not preferable), have someone write a catchy and stupid tune to go with it, and become a YouTube sensation. He also does a great thing where he smashes his face against glass doors and rubs his tongue all over it. Hilarious stuff, that.
  • I love Top Chef but I don’t give a rat’s ass about Top Chef Just Desserts. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, and TV is already overcrowded with people making ridiculous cakes and swords out of hard candy and copulating swans out of chocolate. Yawn.
  • I’m headed back  to the east side of the state in a couple days as a very good friend is getting married and then I’m off to Pennsylvania for a couple weeks to watch my dad’s kitty zoo while he’s on vacation. In theory, I will keep up my  book writing momentum, although I plan to do just a few pages tomorrow in honor of my bday and again on Thursday because (as I just told you if you were paying attention) I have to drive across the state and that takes a long ass time during which I cannot (unfortunately) write. Actually, in the spirit of accuracy, I COULD write during the drive, but I would likely also die in a fiery car crash for the effort.
  • The parade of Housewives never ends. I’m happy to report I disconnected from the DC wives and have no idea what happened or who they are or who’s insane, but I am ashamed to share that I did watch about 20 minutes of those godforsaken Atlanta Housewives. Damn it all to hell! And what did Kandi do to her hair with that red section on top? And does anyone else think Kim is a man in drag? And why didn’t Dwight take a single lesson from the plastic surgery mistakes of Michael Jackson???
  • Looking at the clock, it’s about time to go boil some water for some of that colon-cleansing coffee and get my write on.
  • I kind of want to go see that Jackass 3D movie. This is the same part of me talking that misses Crank Yankers and owns the Rob & Big DVDs. The part of me that’s a 12-year-old boy.
  • Having walked the dog and witnessed – and more often that not, picked up – his every bowel movement for three weeks, I can tell you two things definitively:
  1. Think twice before owning a 100-pound dog in a city. Not only will they yank your arm out of its socket over the sight of a Pomeranian in some lady’s arms two blocks away, but they make bigger dumps than those of a horse.
  2. Not all poop can be scooped. Case in point, the mess this morning looked shockingly akin to chocolate cake batter, and I didn’t even get a bag out and fake it for fear of getting too close. Besides, the flies were apparently given advance warning and started swarming in almost immediately. My new attitude toward certain poop scooping scenarios: I really don’t need tourists handing me Wet Ones baby wipes after I take a hit for the team; so watch your step, and wear rubber soled shoes. It’s a jungle out there, and my canine provides the quicksand.

Good luck,  happy sightseeing, and enjoy your smooth expensive coffee, you rich bastards.

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The Signs They Are a-Changin’

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

As you have likely observed, I have a long history of getting discouraged and then suddenly becoming optimistic again. I’m not sure why this is. It’s my own opinion that I have a quick bounce. Bounce – or at least my definition, for what it’s worth – is the time between emotionally hitting the ground and springing back up. Even with extremely tragic or outrageously unfair circumstances, I tend to bounce within a few hours. This is why, despite my arguable host of mental problems and questionable sanity from time to time, anti-depressants don’t really seem to be a prescription I need. Anti-psychotics on the other hand? Perhaps.

Beach Status Signs

Not this kind of sign.

Nonetheless and as I’ve mentioned, the last few weeks I have felt kind of panicked. In the simplest of terms, it’s a feeling of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? THIS IS YOUR LIFE!!!” and it’s a really lame and anxiety-causing sensation, especially because there’s no clear answer. On certain terms, I could argue with the Voice of Urgency that I’m doing the best I can – I’m working on a new book (thinking and planning more than writing at the moment, but that will come), I’m living my life, I’m thinking deep thoughts, I have clever ideas at least once a week, I’m mostly in a good mood, I use very few aerosol products anymore, and, by and large, I’m not hurting anybody (as far as I know). On the other hand – and recognizing that the Voice of Urgency comes from my head and, thus, is me in some fashion – I completely agree with it. Somehow, in ways I can’t quite pinpoint, I am wasting time and, by extension, my life.

Ouch.

That hurts.

That more than hurts. That f*cking sucks.

And then enter – stage right – the bounce.

Not this kind either. If this kind is even real. I'm not sure. Somehow I doubt it.

I have long had (and recently had reinforced) the feeling that if I just keep pushing and writing and working that I will eventually hit upon the idea and the plot and the “it”, and then the magical, mystical force that makes stuff turn out happily ever after will kick in and things will go my way forevermore. Just as suddenly, all the work I’ve done up to that point will become useful and relevant, if not sought after. I like this idea. I am buoyed by the hope that I have the talent and the tenacity, all I need is the bright idea and a little bit of star alignment.

This is probably why I was overly excited when my two – count ‘em, not just one but two – fortune cookie fortunes the other day were so optimistic. The first read “Don’t give up. The best is yet to come!” Not too shabby. If fortune cookies were guarantees, this beats the hell out of “You find beauty in ordinary things, do not lose this ability” or “Don’t forget, you are always on our minds.” That second one freaked me out. What? Who? Who’s “our”? A collective hive mind or all of your minds individually? And who are you again? And when you’re thinking about me, do you think good things or wish me well or are you have subtle urges to do me bodily harm? In other words, is this a benign threat of some kind? Seriously, who’s “our”?

I'm trying, I'm trying. The signs are harder to recognize - let alone know - than one might presume.

But not the other night. Those predictions were all good. That night I got two fortuitous predictions: “Don’t give up. The best is yet to come!” and “Your dearest wish will come true within the month!” Sweet.

True, there were only a few days eft in the month, and my dearest wish didn’t quite come to obvious fruition during that time, but maybe the seeds were sown? Or maybe they meant 30 days more than the literal month-end? I’m willing to keep an open mind and a hopeful heart. You never know, I suppose.

Meanwhile, if the fortunes weren’t enough, get this: I found a pearl in an oyster I was eating! I did. A Washington state Sunset Beach oyster grown in the Hood Canal. That has to be some kind of  omen of impending amazing luck, right?

Right???

Well, I say so anyway, and in trying to prove it, I came across the following statistics:

  • The odds of finding a pearl in an oyster are 10,000 to 1
  • Odds of getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1
  • Odds of an American speaking Cherokee: 15,000 to 1
  • Odds of being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1
  • Odds of being murdered: 18,000 to 1
  • Odds of getting away with murder: 2 to 1
  • Odds of being considered possessed by Satan: 7,000 to 1
  • Odds of being on plane with a drunken pilot: 117 to 1
  • Odds of writing a New York Times best seller: 220 to 1
  • Odds of becoming a pro athlete: 22,000 to 1
  • Odds of finding a four-leaf clover on first try: 10,000 to 1
  • Odds of winning an Academy Award: 11,500 to 1
  • Chance that Earth will experience a catastrophic collision with an asteroid in the next 100 years: 1 in 5,000
  • Chance of dying in such a collision: 1 in 20,000
Change for Homeless sign

I don't think this is real either. If it were, wouldn't they just ask for dollar bills and small bottles of liquor?

So there you have it: I am almost as likely to win an Academy Award or could be considered possessed by Satan one and a half times before I’d find a matching, misshapen pearl in another oyster, and I’d have better luck hitting TWO holes in one as the same occurring. Thus, I rest my case. I think the math makes it plain: this is a harbinger of imminent good fortune if ever there was.

So bring it on, lucky stars: unload a giant truck of the best and make my dearest dreams come true.

I’m ready already.

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***cringe***

Friday, August 27th, 2010

I just got an email from my host that the server upon which this blog resides will “undergo an upgrade onto newer and faster hardware. This will increase performance of the server and ensure continued stability. This transfer will cause an estimated downtime of 4-7 hours.”

New hair

Putting aside the general terror associated with any server related  change (due mostly to an extensive prior history of things hitting the fan or looking like sh*t or ceasing to function altogether after said ‘upgrades’), what really has me baffled (and a bit alarmed) is that the intended date and time for this project is Friday, June 4th at 8pm.

Ummm….

June 4th like 13 weeks ago?

That June 4th?
Or are they giving me notice nine months in advance?

And do they really expect that I’ll remember this in nine days let alone nine months?
And is June 4th even on a Friday in 2001?

(No. No it is not.)
And why is my dog licking the keyboard?

And is dog saliva safe for a keyboard?

So do they mean to say they’re doing this upgrade tonight?

Same new hair, different background

Or that they already did it?

And can I have any faith that things will look as they should in the morning?

And do I really need this added stress?

(No. No, I do not.)

And am I going to do anything further than post this whiney blog and hope for the best and maybe avoid looking at my own site until at least Sunday for fear that I will find an epic disaster that I have pretty much no idea how to fix?

Probably not.

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A non-whining post about editing

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Just for novelty’s sake, I thought I’d drop in and log a quick update that – after reading and editing the thing one more time, no doubt - I’ll be ready to turn over the first quarter of the book to my readers tomorrow. To my own shock and awe, I’m happy with it AND the last few days have gone well.

That’s right: Editing has NOT sucked!!!

I’m finally starting to get into some material that isn’t a discombobulated train wreck, and thanks to spontaneous faux interviews with both Larry King and Bill Maher, I’m feeling kind of pumped up. And now if Bill Maher starts the interview by stating that he knows I’ve written a best-selling book, but I’m also really hot, I won’t be stupid-shocked and say, “He wouldn’t say that. He wouldn’t say that. He would not say that…” five times while my head spins and drool pours out of the corner of my mouth.

Not at all. In fact, I’ve been convinced that he very well could say that, and I will have a snappy comeback prepared.

Meanwhile, I saw that the new Nobel Prize for Literature winner has been announced, and I’m thinking that $1.5 million (SEK 10 million) would look mighty fine in my bank account. Or cashed out and dumped all over my bed where I can roll around on it naked.

Either way.

Thus, it’s important that I don’t get too famous, because the Nobel prize for literature only ever goes to anarcho-syndicalist playwrights who survived a pogrom or a pamphleteer from Moldova or something like that. The rule is that it will not go to anyone you have ever heard of. However, depending upon how insecure and/or pompous you are, you might pretend you have after he or she wins. The winner must be alive, per Nobel rules, at the time of the nomination, so hopefully I can hang onto until at least 2011 or 2012 (when we’re all outta here anyway).

So I just need to maintain obscurity (probably about as easy as it sounds) and stay alive. Add to that the possibility of using my grandmother’s maiden name (Takach) as a pen name, thereby tapping into the suffering Eastern European pity vote, and digging up some depressed poetry from my teen years, and and I could really be onto something.

In addition, there is the now-famous assertion (if you have any interest in anything literary, that is. If not, your general reaction will probably be something like “Huh?” in reference to my suggestion that this was a well-publicized gaffe) made by the previous permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy (the dudes that vote for the Nobel prizes), Horace Engdahl. So anyway, Horace pissed some people off when he said last year that “Europe still is the centre of the literary world” and the quality of American writing was dragged down because authors were “too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture”.

In response, and as a ray of hope for my own nomination:  There are exactly no vampires in my book.

Not even one.

Oh, and that reminds me, in the spirit of laziness slash “I just spent nine solid hours editing and then worked out my guns for an hour and prepared a gourmet dinner. What have YOU done today?” here is this awesome (if not slightly harsh) list courtesy of Alan Mott of bookgasm.com.  There’s so much to love here, but I think #29 is my very favorite. That or #42.

#38 cuts a little close to the bone.

And #40 – RRSW, Did you write that? I’d recognize your work anywhere…

50 Reasons No One Wants to Publish Your First Book

1. Being innovative doesn’t justify writing a Civil War epic entirely in texting slang and emoticons: “ts u hor! i dnt gv dam :< !”

2. There’s this thing called punctuation. You might want to look into it.

3. They’re afraid your author’s photo is going to alienate readers. That’s right, dude: You’re too ugly for literature.

4. Where are the vampires?

5. No, seriously, where are the vampires?

6. The world isn’t quite ready for an illustrated children’s book called SOME MOMMIES ARE INTERNET PORNSTARS: “Mommy and Daddy’s door is always locked and your online access is completely blocked! You asked them why and they say, ‘Don’t worry, honey, we’ve just found a fun new way to earn some money!’”

7. It probably wasn’t a good idea to base the main character on yourself, considering how much most people seem to hate you.

8. The market for IRON CHEF slash fiction isn’t quite as broad as you may have assumed: “’Oh, Morimoto,’ Chef Batali sighed, ’stuff me like a pepper!’”

9. Submitting a manuscript handwritten in your own blood does indicate your passion for the material, but not quite in the way you might have hoped.

10. They liked it better when it was called Jane Eyre and didn’t suck.

11. Iambic pentameter? Really?

12. Funnily enough, a detailed diary of five years’ worth of bowel movements has already been done. Curse you, Kevin Smith!

13. If you’re going to try and sell it on OPRAH as a memoir, you probably want to cut the chapter where you go back in time, kill Hitler and make Stalin admit that he’s your bitch.

14. William Burroughs was a broken-down beatnik junkie genius; you’re a wannabe-hipster asshole imitating a broken-down beatnik junkie genius.

15. It’s not technically a novel until you’ve written it down first.

16. Yes, enclosing a bag of flour along with your manuscript and causing an anthrax scare will get people’s attention, but it’s the wrong kind of attention.

17. You’re not just being paranoid; there really is a vast corporate conspiracy to ensure that your revolutionary ideas never leave your parents’ basement.

18. They can’t quite understand why you felt compelled to write such nasty things about Kenny Loggins in what is otherwise a fairly standard legal thriller. Kenny knows, but to everyone else, it comes across as somewhat mean and arbitrary.

19. Most good books aren’t created with the sole hope that they might someday be adapted into a Martin Lawrence movie.

20. You’re actually the 139th person to submit a conspiracy thriller involving the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, entitled THE MICHAELANGELO CIPHER.

21. And the 78th to submit a chick-lit manuscript about an attractive woman’s sweet tooth and affection for footwear, called CHOCOLATE AND SHOES.

22. You know the part where the protagonist stuffs those puppies into the wood chipper? It’s not quite as funny as you seem to think.

23. Truthfully, THE EVANGELICAL GUIDE TO GAY SEX is actually a great idea. The problem is that its target audience won’t want to buy it in a bookstore, and they’ll be highly reluctant to use their own credit cards to buy it online.

24. The alternative-history genre has lost its appeal. Everyone knows it doesn’t matter what else would have happened if the South won the Civil War and the Nazis won WWII: George W. Bush would stillhave been elected president.

25. A young-adult novel set in the behind-the-scenes world of network reality television featuring over two dozen characters, graphic underage sex and dead prostitutes? Are you fucking kidding me? No, seriously, are you fucking kidding me?

26. Remember the shit Salman Rushdie had to deal with after he wrote THE SATANIC VERSES? Chances are your XXX hip-hop reworking of the Koran — MO’ MONEY, MO’ PUSSY — is probably going to inspire the same reaction.

27. You know the talented creative writing professor who told you your work showed so much creativity and promise? Turns out what he really meant was that he wanted you to blow him.

28. Because they threw away their annual budget on the new Lindsay Lohan autobiography, BOOKS ARE RETARDED.

29. Everyone who attempts to load a copy of the manuscript onto their Kindle is found dead three hours later.

30. Four years ago, you wrote a post on your blog about how MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE sucks ass. Stephen King found it during a Google search and exerted his influence to ensure you never get paid a cent for your writing ever again.

31. There’s a fine line between writing authentic regional dialogue and making all of your characters sound like stroke victims.

32. Just be thankful they refused to publish it, since the common accepted response to a novel that ends with the protagonist realizing all the terrible things that happened were in a dream (or was it?) is some stern re-editing of your face with a pair of brass knuckles.

33. Writing a book about vegetarian zombies kinda indicates you don’t exactly know why people like zombies in the first place.

34. Calling your book OPRAH WINFREY IS A BIG FAT CUNT pretty much guarantees she isn’t going to select it for her book club.

35. Sure, you’re an amazing poet, but you aren’t a hot blonde pop singer with big tits, so who really gives a fuck?

36. God may have told you to write this book, but he didn’t tell you how to give it a decent ending.

37. You may want to revise the query letter you’re sending to agents so it’s more about the book and less about how much you love kittens.

38. For the first 20 pages, everyone who reads it is certain it’s the funniest book they’ve ever read. Unfortunately by the 21st, they finally realize you’re actually being serious.

39. Do you honestly not see the crucial flaw in writing a book intended for commercial sale that argues against copyright law and in favor of free unrestricted distribution of all forms of media?

40. It’s never a good sign when a manuscript’s first sentence is “’Are luck’s run out,’ said the Princess, ‘there unicorns are to fast!’”

41. When writing erotica, you want to avoid graphic descriptions of acne, cellulite and back fat.

42. Life-affirming poetry written by a 10-year-old with a fatal disease is inspirational; that same poetry written by a 47-year-old housewife with a trick knee and occasional indigestion is really, really lame.

43. Writing a 97,236-word thesis arguing the inherent superiority of Wolverine over Batman is intrinsically flawed since no intelligent person could ever take it seriously. I mean, c’mon, Batman would kick that midget Canuck’s ass every single time!

44. If you’re going to make your main character a forensic coroner, you’re obligated to know more about human anatomy than what you learned playing Operation as a kid.

45. A general rule to follow when writing for kids: If you could go to jail for saying it to them in person, you’re better off not putting it into print.

46. Historically, books written solely to settle a bar bet seldom make it to print, especially if they were written during a seven-and-a-half-hour period in the same bar where the bet was made.

47. The entire point of your book has already been more satisfactorily made in a single strip of Family Circus.

48. Because the printed medium is a dying art, and it would be a tragic waste to allow its last pathetic gasp be polluted by your bullshit.

49. Does anybody really need the complete lyrics to “One Million Bottles of Beer on the Wall”?

50. Again, I ask one last time, where are the freaking vampires?

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Disgruntled pilots of the world, unite!

Friday, September 18th, 2009

And let me know what airline you’re all flying for so that I can avoid it.

I am in the process of going home.


While waiting in line today to find out what the odds were that I’d get off the waiting list and into first class (zero), I was standing behind one of the pilots. After lingering a while, I happened to glance down and notice that his luggage was decorated with bitter bumper stickers like:

  • “Is there a future for me here?” and a pair of dice. (I assume this has to do with the NWA/Delta merger.)
  • “I’ve had enough of the uncertainty” (ditto)

and – just so I didn’t think he was only angry with his employer

  • “You trust us in the air, why not in the security line? Special clearance passes for crew.”

Ummmm, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Johnny Depp character in Blow get started by having his flight attendant girlfriend run the cocaine back to Boston in her bags?

That’s why no special line, buddy.

Should I die before I wake, here's a little memento for you.

Should I die before I wake, here's a little memento for you.

Go to more movies on your day off, and maybe cool your heels on announcing to the passengers at your mercy (and paying your wages, thank you very much) how miserable you are with your career. Let’s consider that on a ‘need to know’ basis.

I don’t need to know.

Meanwhile, I came very close to dry drowning on the very same flight. Those of you who did not spend their teens working as a lifeguard may not know that dry drowning is the phenomenon wherein someone can drown in a puddle of water. All it takes is a few tablespoons of water directly in the lungs and – sorry Charlie – you’re a goner.

In fact, I shouldn’t rush to use the phrase ‘came very close.’ I could still extinguish my own flame tonight seeing as dry drownings often occur a few hours after the original incident.

All the more reason to get this blog recorded now – while I’m still wedged into seat 12C – for posterity’s sake.

And here's a less squinty one from the really bad weather day. My brother was trying to capture how much the wind was whipping my hair around, which also caused about three cups of sand to blow into my eyes.

And here's a less squinty one from the really bad weather day. My brother was trying to capture how much the wind was whipping my hair around, which also caused about three cups of sand to blow into my eyes.

Anyway, I bought this rather huge bottle of water at the airport, and when I opened it, the plane jerked every so slightly and a giant geyser came shooting out of the bottle. A notable portion of it landed on me – although most of it went down my cleavage and my shirt only had one little tiny drop of wetness, which I guess is a good thing – whereas a significant portion went up my nose.

Yeah, you read that right (unfortunately): My bottled water went up my nose.

And no small amount. Enough that I started coughing and sputtering and felt the burn in my sinuses.

Now, if I had read the bottle beforehand, I would have learned that it is a special Poland Springs “Eco-Shape Bottle” designed with 30% less plastic which makes it, more or less, a water gun. It has no form. Truly, it borders on being a balloon.

Thus, exerting little to no pressure, one can easily maneuver the squishy decanter in order to fire a powerful torpedo of water right up your very own nose!

It’s cheaper than a Neti pot AND it’s good for the environment.

Hurrah!

(And if you look up Neti pot on Google to find out how to spell it [as I did] or to find out what it is, and end up watching that YouTube video with the hairy wildebeest guy, don’t come crying to me. You’ve been warned.)

p.s.

Speaking of noses, some stupid stowaway fly on the plane keeps landing on mine.

Hope he’s got relatives he can bunk with in Minneapolis…

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