Monday, December 31, 2007
Although we have a little over half an hour to go in my time zone, I wanted to wish every one a happy 2008.
A nice end to 2007: my stepmom accepted a job offer today! Congratulations, Ms. Executive VP!!!
In the coming year, I plan to continue the ESL teaching, hope to find a stable job that doesn't suck, and check into the graduate program in adult basic education. I'm a chicken about applying, going to school, and going into debt, but if it's the right thing, I think it would be rewarding to eventually teach at a community college and help people get their GEDs. We'll see!
In the meantime, I could resolve to drink less coffee next year...but who am I kidding? :P
Sunday, December 30, 2007
So as funny as these old Lysol ads are, they were serious advertising!
Totally anti-female, and totally ridiculous. No matter that the copywriters are either dead, or old enough to be wetting themselves...they still piss me off! You know they were all probably written by men who didn't get any, anyway.
I'd love to come up with the anti-male counterparts...
How about these:
1. "Held in a Web of Indifference..." But Fred finally got a penis extension. So he broke through it.
2. "Please, Danielle, don't lock me out!" Dave buys her jewelry and finally starts showering and - surprise! - gets that prized blow job.
3. "Love quiz...for the man who isn't getting any."
Why does she spend the evenings alone?
*My guess is that her vibrator is better than you.*
Browsing the DVD section at Borders last night, my husband found a shelf of features that, shall we say, surprised him.
Labeled "Mature," it had lots of must-have titles like "Busty Cops," "2069: A Sex Odessy," and something with Jenna Jameson.
And I thought they just had regular movies, books, stationary and good coffee...but they can cater to my porn needs, as well!
So, another question - why do they bother to wear clothes (see left) to the adult DVD awards anyway? It's not like they haven't bared it all to begin with...or that their clothing leaves anything to the imagination.
Is it just me, or does she look like a giant strawberry with breasts?
Thursday, December 27, 2007
1) Post a note about a blogger you would like to see something wonderful happen for. Maybe one whose posts have touched your heart in one way or another. Include details as to why you admire them and what you wish for them. Be as supporting and affirming as you can.
*I would like Chella and Sarah to have the most fabulous wedding ever! And for their zines to go bigtime! Why I admire them - hmm...creativity, selflessness (they're teachers) and I appreciate their friendship.
2) Post your favorite memory around selflessness, giving, or doing for others. Something that has actually changed you.
This may sound strange, but when I was in a dorm during my freshman year in college, a friend and I were running out the door to do errands and it had just started pouring. We didn't have umbrellas or raincoats, and while we were standing there, wondering what to do (this was in NYC and we didn't have cars, so we had to walk everywhere), a couple of people who lived in the dorm returned and presented us with their umbrellas. To keep.
That was such a sweet and random act of kindness - and so I have returned the favor with umbrellas for other people on several occasions.
3) As a postscript, name one thing you will actually do for someone in your life before December 31 that is born out of joy.
I am going to plan a surprise b.day dinner or dessert for my partner/husband. I have already nagged everyone about sending cards so he feels special...having a b.day two weeks after Christmas, he sometimes gets ignored.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Mix all of these with nasty, wet winter weather and - voila! - you have the holiday season.
Nevertheless, I am missing my great aunt, who died in August, especially much this time of year. Which also reminds me that I miss my cat, my cousin and my friend Ward.
I didn't want to do cards. I still have not put up the tree.
One more point of proof that my great aunt knew she was dying even before her cancer diagnosis - she labeled the Christmas ornaments that were from me. (We had a tradition of getting each other ornaments, no matter how many we had to try and fit onto an already crowded tree.) Her niece, my aunt Julie, sent the ornaments to me last week, and when the box got here, I almost cried.
I'm still not sure what to do with them. For now, they're in the closet.
Is the first holiday season the hardest without the ones we love, even with others we love here to hold us up?
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To have a little fun.
Stupid Jill forgot the pill
And now they have a son.
Simple Simon met a pie man going to the fair.
Said Simple Simon to the pie man,
'What have you got there?'
Said the pie man unto Simon,
'Pies, you dumb ass'
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kings' horses,
And all the kings' men.
Had scrambled eggs,
For breakfast again.
Hey diddle, diddle, the cat took a piddle,
All over the bedside clock.
The little dog laughed to see such fun.
Then died of electric shock.
Georgie Porgy pudding and pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry.
And when the boys came out to play,
He kissed them too 'cause he was gay.
There was a little girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, she was very, very good.
But when she was bad........
She got a fur coat, jewels, a waterfront condo, and a sports car.
Friday, December 14, 2007
So it's cold and gray and flooded with no sun in sight (of course!) here in the Northwest, there was an ice storm in the Midwest and another Northeast...generally miserable weather. (Winter = miserable, right? Unless you're in Australia?)
So going through the England trip pics again I found this lovely spring field of pink tulips and little indigo flowers I don't know the name of.
So here it is to cheer up your day a bit! Think pink! Think spring!
Bonus information for those of you who have nothing else to read: This shot was taken outside of a cafe in Greenwich where we got iced coffee and ice cream (because it was warm! Spring! Yay!) by some poor guy named Humpus.
That's what his nametag said. I think he will have a lifetime of trouble getting laid. (You knew there had to be some smart ass remark here, didn't you?)
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
High not valid after 2pm
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Monday, December 10, 2007
The first time I went to England, in 1999, I saw that they sold "British/American" dictionaries.
I should have bought one - among other things, it would have made the laundry slip in the hotel MUCH easier to understand. (Tip for the uninitiated: "pants" mean "underwear" and "trousers" mean "pants.")
It is very easy to offend in British by speaking American English - e.g., fanny means part of the female anatomy. I wonder if the genius who invented the noun"fanny pack" is aware of this? Needless to say, my dad could have used that dictionary on a business trip a few years back when he unwittingly said, ending a meeting with a British female executive, "I'm going to go back to my hotel and sit on my fanny."
But anyway - I didn't know the Brits could be unintentionally offensive. (Intentionally offensive, yes, if you happen to be American and traveling there during their busiest tourist year on record, at a time when the dollar isn't worth a fucking thing. But that was another blog, wasn't it?)
On the most recent trip, in April, we were walking down a busy street and were literally stopped in our tracks by the sign above.
Obviously we took a picture for my husband's friend, Dave, whose wife calls him Davy. It soon became his computer wallpaper.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
For my desktop wallpaper on the computer, I use pics that friends, family, and my husband and I have taken.
This is what's up there now - a salon across the street from the hotel where we stayed on a trip to London last spring.
Truth in advertising? I wish political campaigns were so honest ;0
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I can also tell you I don't envy those copywriters whose accounts include food items.
Is it just me, or could you, too, have trouble being inspired by a bottle of red sauce, or a can of water chestnuts?
My guess is that's why they sometimes have little "histories" of foods on the side of the box, bag, or can. E.g. my box of cornflakes, even though it is the Trader Joe's brand, has the history of the cornflake. The writing, which takes up the ENTIRE side of the box, evokes details about its place in history in what would become the Kellogg's cereal company.
Now that would give me a headache, attempting to come up with that much material about a fucking type of cereal. I feel for the poor SOB who got that assignment. Ditto for the one who had to write (invent?) the history of General Tsao's sauce.
But nonetheless, I must complain about some of these people, because I am a voracious reader and out of habit when I'm eating alone, I often find myself, out of habit, reading these panels, labels, etc.
I know copywriting pays well. I think these scribblers should earn their money if I'm forced to read their work, don't you?
So let's start with a few ground rules, shall we?
Rule #1: You MUST know how to spell. This means you, the hack who put apostrophes in all the wrong places on my bottle of Trader Joe's red sauce. You don't spell it "taco's" unless you are referring to something in the taco's possession - perhaps some lettuce or cheese, which is apparently what your brain is full of. Ditto for "enchilada's." Who did you blow to get this job? Or were you someone's fuck-up cousin Mitzy who was related to the owner of the company and you got this one, golden chance not to make a complete ass of yourself? You blew it, Mitzy.
Rule #2: We all know the importance of allergy labels. My particular favorites are the ones that advertise the fact that the product is "made on equipment shared with shellfish, peanuts, feathers of old roosters, and your cousin Gertrude's naughty sex toys." Just kidding about those last two. But seriously, don't you ever wash it? Or does it go something like this:
Hal: "We've got just four minutes to get the rest of that taco sauce ready to ship."
Joan: "Holy shit! Hurry! Let's use the conveyor belts that also process shellfish, brownie mix and frito pie!"
Hal: "Good call!"
Inquiring minds want to know!
But getting back to rule #2 - how about this: don't try to be CUTE when you are writing the allergy information. And I don't mean I think that those little bags of honey-roasted peanuts they give you on airplanes should have to say, "Warning: contains nuts." Well shit, I hope so! What the fuck else would it contain?
Case in point: the cute little bit o'copywriting that inspired this post, which came from a box of brownies that my dad sent. (Yes, yes, he is a cool pops, isn't he?) So right about the point that I realize that my husband and I have plowed through about half of the brownies and I am surely in danger of turning into a chocolate whore, I see this little note: "Note: The Farm Bakery is not a nut-free place."
Well, knock me over with a fucking feather! Who could possibly expect it to be a nut-free place?
Surely not the reader of that neat little note.
I'm just wondering...which of these options is the translation of that message?
A. Some of the Farm Bakery employees have a few screws loose?
B. There are random peanuts, cashews, pistachios, etc., hanging out around the Farm Bakery?
C. This is some kind of code that only pot-smoking individuals can understand.
So, copywriters, there's your challenge. I'd hold my breath waiting for an answer, but then I'd have to write something here to explain it.
Monday, December 03, 2007
I think it's fitting, albeit accidentally, that my dad and a great gift are the subjects of my 100th post. (100 fucking posts?! Mon dieu! Who would have thought that much inane griping could be accomplished outside of a GOP debate?!)
First, if you haven't read Dave Barry's holiday gift guide, you really need to:
A week and a half ago or so, I sent this to my list of funny people (or rather, people who like things that are funny, and have senses of humor), including my padre. My favorite gift, I noted, was the 10 plagues bowling set.
I could not, would not make this up. It's so cool, in fact, that an enchanted reader posted a comment on the article's feedback page inquiring if said bowling set was, in fact real, because he wanted one!
Yes, Neil, there is a Santa Claus.
Today, getting home from an interview, and managing to get drenched enough in the 15-foot walk from car to front door that I looked like a wet dog, I had a package waiting for me that proclaimed to be from "your source for everything Jewish."
My family is pseudo-Jewish - I say that because our ancestry, along with being Apache, Irish, and a few other things, is Swiss Jewish, but some of the Jews I know don't consider me a "real" Jew - but I couldn't figure out what it was or who had sent it to me.
I opened it with a dull kitchen knife and lo and behold, my much dreamed-of 10 plagues bowling set!
Hooray! This made my fucking day, I tell you.
**Author's note: Is it just me (and my little sister), or does one of the plagues look like a giraffe?**
Friday, November 30, 2007
Nevertheless, I was surprised to get an e-mail of introduction from a newly appointed GOP representative in Southwest Washington who has gone out of her way to speak against, among other things, gay rights.
So I kindly replied to her e-mail:
I don't know how you got my e-mail address, but I'm a die-hard, pro-choice, advocate of same-sex marriage, who's a liberal in Oregon, so you probably don't want me on your mailing list.
*Can't wait to see if and how she responds!* Chuckle.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Going past the usual "mind the gap," the voiceover artist who was recently sacked made comments such as these:
"We would like to remind our American tourist friends that you are almost certainly talking too loudly."
* "Would the passenger in the red shirt pretending to read the paper but who is actually staring at that woman's chest please stop. You are not fooling anyone, you filthy pervert."
* "Would passengers filling in answers on their Sudokus please accept that they are just crosswords for the unimaginative and are not in any way more impressive just because they contain numbers."
* "Here we are crammed again into a sweaty Tube carriage ... If you're female smile at the bloke next to you and make his day. He's probably not had sex for months."Personally, having ridden the subways in New York all through college, I would have appreciated a bit of laughter. Not in England! Not allowed! If everyone in that country doesn't have a stick up their ass I don't know what's what.
Officially, she was fired because she said the tube (subway) was horrifying and she'd never ride it. So what's wrong with honesty? Apparently that's forbidden as well.
That fine country also made headlines in the past few months for lecturing a children's book author about fire safety - she had written about a fire-breathing dragon. Mind you, have you heard of any other kind of dragon, aside from Puff the Magic Dragon? I always felt that Puff probably envied the other dragons for their fire-breathing abilities and evil attributes...meanwhile, in Britain, his name is a slur for homosexual.
I have e-mailed my American friend who has lived in England for the past decade, asking whether it's still legal to laugh in her adopted country. I thought I heard snickering, but I can't be sure.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Sorry babe, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
Here's a little goofy fun something to do:
What Holiday Food Are You?
***You Are a Gingerbread House***
A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Anyhow, he got into a pissing contest today with another one of my husband's co-workers about - drum roll - cars. Yes, cars.
And my husband overheard the following exchange.
Idiot: "Yeah, well, at least I'm here doing this job at 27 instead of at your age!"
Don't ask me why "doing this job" - a skilled, high-tech job - isn't so hot if you're in your 40s, like the guy he was insulting.
But the follow-up was fantastic:
Guy in his 40s: "I have my own house and I get laid every night."
So naturally the idiot shut up.
And the kicker...
Not finished, the guy in his 40s took pictures of the idiot's car and posted them on Craigslist with the following ad:
"Need to sell fast to pay medical bills. Asking $5,000. Call >>>>>>>>>>"
And he included the idiot's cell phone number. Needless to say, it was ringing all afternoon.
The funny postscript is that the guy in his 40s, who we really should be calling idiot #2, is 6'5", and was enough of an asshole to make short guy jokes to yet another one of my husband's co-workers, who we'll call co-worker #3.
My guess, given the fact that idiot #2 drives a Hummer, is that some parts are a lot shorter than he'd like them to be...
But anyway, on and on he goes all afternoon, and co-worker #3 just takes it. (I should mention at this point that co-worker #3, by the way, loves to snack on fresh jalapeños.) Then, when idiot #2's back is turned during lunch, co-worker #3 rubs the hot dog idiot #2 was eating with one of the fresh jalapeños. Idiot #2 takes a bite and turns bright red from the spice.
"I didn't know she was going to get spicy hot dogs!" he says.
Serves him right...they're made of lips and assholes anyway. Takes one to know one, I suppose.
Monday, November 19, 2007
If you, like me, were born in the 1970s, you watched Sesame Street.
Scratch that, you LOVED Sesame Street.
Especially the muppets.*
Except that one big, whiny, yellow one that just annoyed the ABSOLUTE FUCK out of you.
Sorry, Carrol Spinney, I loved you as Oscar the Grouch. And I loved all of the other monsters. I have, on many occasions, imitated Cookie Monster (both the voice and the vice.) Unlike many others of my generation, I remember Harry Monster and Telly Monster. I also adored Grover, even though he was wishy-washy and sounded suspiciously like Yoda from Star Wars ... and I knew Elmo way before he was ticklish.
But just like that shirt that came out when I was in high school with Burt doing Ernie, there are some things that you just can't help laughing at...
*Disclaimer: I am a vegetarian. I've also never eaten a muppet.
Friday, November 16, 2007
It makes me wonder what my parents were wearing - I was born in the 70s. I haven't found any terribly fashion-incriminating pictures of them (or of me, thank God), but they probably got this catalog in the mail.
It's like Dr. Seuss threw up.
Did they fall over roaring with laughter? Did they even notice, because it was the 70s, after all?
I suppose I should thank them for not buying the neon green shag toilet cover or the men's nightdress...
Do you remember that Dr. Seuss book, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? I didn't know just how lucky, apparently.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Here are the top 10 things I will miss the least:
1. Getting 50 e-mails every Monday morning, at least half of them with questions I have answered previously.
2. Getting another 50 over the course of the next week that begin with, "Please redouble your efforts and do what you can do bring in money..."
3. Getting an e-mail requesting that I mail yet another 100 packages of books to people who aren't interested in them.
4. Getting calls from authors who are convinced their book should be on Oprah and/or is "the next bestseller."
5. Being told the company can't afford to give myself or anyone else a raise, followed by my old boss running out and spending $600 on an iphone that he managed to lose twice in a week.
6. Having my ex-boss refuse to have in-person meetings, instead requesting e-mails, and then having him ask me to come in and clarify in person, because he did not understand the e-mails.
7. Having the 23-year-old, newly minted, moody sales guy rant and rave poetic about how much he hates working there when the boss is absent, and then kiss ass when the boss is there.
8. Dealing with one author in particular, initials BF (and not as in "Best Friend," but rather, "Badly annoying Fuckhead"), who was a huge pain in the ass with a mediocre book, but convinced that he was the next Shel Silverstein. Stick with engineering, my friend.
9. Being hourly when it was convenient for my ex-boss, and salaried when it was convenient for him, along with other flaps of labor law.
10. Not hearing the water run in the sink when my ex-boss ran in and out of the bathroom, and then watching him reach into my bag of chips to take a handful.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
2.What were you doing at 0800?
3. What happened to you in 2006?
Hmm. Lost a nonprofit job, ranted a lot, gained new perspective.
4. How many beverages did you have today?
Two - water and iced mocha.
5. What color is your hairbrush?
Believe it or not...I don't have one. I use a bright fuschia comb.
6. Where were you last night?
Out eating a burrito, getting movie snacks at the store, and then at home.
7.What color is your front door?
8. Where do you keep your change?
In a bag in my desk.
9. What's the weather like today?
It sucks. It's windy and gray.
10. What's the best ice cream flavor?
Mmm...cookies and cream. Or maybe chocolate chip cookie dough.
11. What excites you?
Fundraising. Seriously! And seeing my name in print.
12. Do you want to cut your hair?
No, I'd rather pay someone else to do it.
13.Are you over the age of 25?
Pleading the fifth. Just kidding. I'm 31 and much happier now than when I was 25.
14.Do you talk a lot?
Is the Pope Catholic? Is this blog full of four-letter words? Why are you talking while I'm interrupting?
15. Do you watch the OC?
16. Do you make up your own words?
No, I leave that to my husband.
17. Are you a jealous person?
No. Unless someone else has dessert and I don't.
18. Name a friend whose name starts with an 'A'?
19. Name a friend whose name starts with a 'K'?
20. Who's the first person on your received call list?
21. What does the last text msg you received say?
22. Do you chew on a straw?
Of course. Isn't that what they're for?
23. Where's the next place you are going?
To the kitchen to make lunch.
24. Who's the rudest person in your life?
Hmmm...that would be my ex-boss who laid me off over e-mail on my vacation, I think.
25. What was the last thing you ate?
26. Will you get married in the future?
I hope not, because I'm married now! I suppose I could always go nuts and lose my memory and commit bigamy.
27. What's the best movie you've seen in the last 2 weeks?
I haven't seen any - so the next best thing, I suppose, would be the best DVD - Robin Williams Live on Broadway.
28. When was the last time you did dishes?
29. Are you currently depressed?
No, but the weather sucks, so I'm currently whiny.
30. Did you cry today?
31. What was the last thing you said aloud?
Love you bye!
32. What car do you drive and what Bumpersticker(s) do you have on it?
A Saturn two-door. A Human Rights Campaign sticker that is about to come off (see prior blog.)
33. Why did you answer this and post it?
Because I got tagged...
So now I have to tag others and tell you why:
Emily - because she has made me answer so many of these damn quizzes!
Drew - because his answers are hilarious
Deb - because I don't want her to miss out on the fun!
Friday, November 09, 2007
But stay with me.
Giuliani is a twice-divorced, pro-choice, pro-gay mayor of the city that Pat Robertson said got attacked by terrorists because, in part, of America's "tolerance" of homosexuality.
Robertson, who is anti-choice and, to put it mildly, a bit nuts, endorsed Giuliani's presidential campaign this week. And Giuliani basked in it.
The Human Rights Campaign, a group that proclaims it wants to "engage all Americans" and fight for "equality for all" - and in their promotional materials, this includes transgender Americans - endorsed the new Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) sans any protection for transgender people.
I'm equally disgusted with Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress who modified this bill to exclude trans people "so it would pass."
Isn't that kind of akin to passing a civil rights bill for Hispanics but not for Blacks?
HRC and other gay rights groups have been under fire for years for not being trans-inclusive. They have talked a good game over the past couple of years about making amends for past exclusion. When HRC's executive director, Joe Solomonese, visited Portland, Oregon in 2006, he pledged that HRC would NOT support an ENDA bill that left out trans people.
But they did. Most offensively, they sent out an e-mail to members proclaiming the "victory" when the bill passed the House.
A victory for...well, some. A bitter disappointment for others - others who have given their time and money to HRC in the belief that they were helping a cause.
A cause that appears to be limited to the majority of the minority, apparently.
Why? "So it would have a better chance of passing." Never mind what's right. And hence, the comparison with Robertson, who endorsed Giuliani - even though he apparently represents everything Robertson has preached hellfire, brimstone and terror attacks against - because "he can win."
And Giuliani, a classy guy himself, having told reporters on live television that he was leaving his wife for his mistress before he told his own family, happily accepted the endorsement from a man whom many of us consider the anti-Christ.
So in other words, winning takes priority over principles. HRC is now on the level of Pat Robertson.
Thanks, fuckers. I am disgusted, not just as an American who supports equality, but as a founding member of HRC's Portland, Oregon steering committee, a longtime member and volunteer and donor. I've helped put on events, did phone banking even though I hated it, and got up at the crack of dawn for retreats. I've put up with a chairman who was a complete asshole because I thought I was helping a good cause, fighting a good fight.
That little yellow and blue sticker is coming right off of my car.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
For the longest time, I was the oldest of two, and then my dad re-married, and I'm now the oldest of four. I love it! My (oldest) younger brother and I think, hey, the more, the merrier!
Tell me these two aren't the most ADORABLE trick-or-treaters you've ever seen. I double-dog dare you.
What are the odds that two Republican politicians from Washington state, whom I've interviewed (I used to cover politics at a newspaper), who were both anti-gay, and both voted to deny GLBT citizens the basic rights that the rest of us take for granted, WERE BOTH OUTED AFTER SOLICITING OR HAVING SEX WITH A MALE PROSTITUTE? Am I a bad luck charm for them getting caught or something? ;)
One of them was apparently a crossdresser - which blows my mind because he had no fashion sense to begin with - and told police he gave a 26-year-old male model money "because he felt sorry for him." Right. This guy (who will remain nameless, because I don't see the point in dragging him even further through the mud than he has gone already) told me in an interview three years ago that all services and money should be denied to illegal immigrants and their children - who are, hello! American citizens - so I can't imagine he's a real generous gent. Certainly not the type to hand out C-notes to gorgeous younger men because he felt sorry for them.
What disturbs me the most is the fact that these people feel like they have to hide their true identities, and are seemingly self-hating to the point where they are virulently anti-gay. And anti-self, consequently.
I hope at some point I can talk to younger people and say, "Our society used to discriminate against GLBT people, can you believe that?"I hope I'm not too much older before that happens. While I live in a relatively progressive state, there are other states whose elected representatives have suggested banning GLBT citizens from teaching school, etc. Not that it's bad enough to deny them the most basic of civil rights on a daily basis.
So fellow closeted Republicans, come out, come out, wherever you are! Your party will have to begin accepting you if you come out in droves.
Or perhaps that won't leave the party with any members, which would be fabulous.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Not so in medicine. Or law. Or teaching. Or even food handling, which requires a certificate.
But from time to time, there is writing that is so bad that it's actually funny. You've probably read about or heard of the bad writing contest sponsored by San Jose State every year. We tried to do it in a writing class once, and it was hard! We were proving (we thought) the theory that you have to be a good writer to write terribly.
Well, today one of our prospective authors blew that theory out of the water.
She'd be the perfect contestant.
So....drum roll .... here you are! From a manuscript submitted to the publisher - never mind the lack of ability to properly punctuate sentences:
“How much time do I have to live.”
“A month.” Susan said, her voice full of sadness. “Four weeks at the least, a month at the most.”
A friend of mine said he'd be laughing about that all week next week...7 days at the least, every day at the most.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Some inane blogger ripped off the review that I ghost-wrote. How stupid is that?
My other question is, how often does that happen? Is this a first? What does this person have to gain my ripping off one review instead of rewriting (albeit, rewriting badly) someone else's for yet another someone else's book?
I am puzzled.
Note to future plagiarists: at least learn how to write, you dumbfucks.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
And among the many contributors to each anthology, he has gotten high praise from several reviewers. But two of them have singled him out for what I feel are nasty, petty, snippy comments that could be motivated, I believe, by professional jealousy.
I've been tempted to send profanity-laced, completely inane e-mails to these people - not because they didn't care for his writing style or the topic, but because they were so goddamned petty about it. But I thought I'd use this more public, wider venue instead.
And mind you, how does one receive the qualifications to become a book critic (or music critic, or art critic, you fill in the blank) anyway? Have a big mouth, a mean pen, and a total inability to produce said art yourself?
For his part, my brother is still in good humor, and thinks (rightly, I believe) that any publicity/review is good in that it gets his name out there.
But still, I'd like to give these idiots a tongue-lashing in the blogosphere.
Bookslut.com, which isn't even a real review, mind you, but a blog like this one, albeit withsome corporatet whoring advertisements, ripped him a new asshole by saying his writing was "sloppy and rambling." Hey Book Bitch, I work at a publishing company and I can show you sloppy and rambling! His novella is anything but that. If you don't care for it, fine. But don't bash something totally inaccurately. It's tightly written and to the point, and, unlike your writing, actually has a point.
Gwyneth Jones of Strange Horizons seemed to have a problem with the entire concept of fantasy, period, and pissed on just about every writer in the anthology. I think it's absolutely unprofessional to take an assignment reviewing a genre which one clearly does not like; then again, she seems to enjoy watching herself write for the sheer hell of it, even though she has nothing original to say. (I'm wondering if her novels for teenagers, which she writes under the pen name Ann Halam, are the same whiny dribble?) Another funny tidbit, seeing as how she criticized my brother's novella as "seeming to go on forever," is the fact that she wrote a whopping 1,644 words to point out the alleged flaws of his and the other contributors' stories.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (anthology)
> Kirkus Reviews*: Bring out the bone china-a critically acclaimed
> fantasy/horror annual celebrates its 20th anniversary in grand style. At
> this point, readers of this annual anthology pretty much know what to
> expect from each fresh entry in the series. There's a comprehensive
> summing-up of the cream of the previous year's fantasy and horror in
> various types of media, followed by an enjoyable and occasionally
> surprising selection of stories and poems from both rising stars (Margo
> Lanagan, Ysabeau S. Wilce, Sarah Monette, M. Rickert) and established
> names (Joyce Carol Oates, Jeffrey Ford, Gene Wolfe, Delia Sherman).
> Highlights include Wilce's delightful "The Lineaments of Gratified
> Desire" (How can you not love a story starring a four-year-old kidnapped
> princess nicknamed "Tiny Doom"?); Christopher Rowe's chilling view of a
> fundamentalist future in "Another Word for Map Is Faith"; Nik Houser's
> "First Kisses from Beyond the Grave," a howlingly funny
> high-school-is-purgatory tale; Ellen Klages's cozy love letter to
> devourers of the printed page, "In the House of the Seven Librarians";
> and "The Night Whiskey," Ford's creepy, elegiac meditation on the
> suffocating nature and bizarre rituals of small-town life. Worth a space
> on any bookshelf.
How cool is that? So what are you all waiting for? Go out and buy the book!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Sorry there aren't more pressing issues facing our military, my friend - say, a losing war in Iraq and a lack of eager recruits.
Furthermore, don't knock it until you try it :)
With a first name like Peter, what have you got to lose?
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
And I had to TRY TO write the review from the point of view of a horny 41-year-old, motorcycle-riding author who thinks Jack Kerouac is a hack, has sucked the toes of one of my co-workers and told her he wants to fuck me. He's a good writer, and I've had some interesting correspondence with him.
*Edit note: The key word is TRY. I may have failed completely.
I was embarrassed enough to write the review because - well, it involves an inflatable doll - but then I thought, to hell with it! I'll share it with the rest of you:
As an author who blends humor with social critique, I was interested in AUTHOR's first work of fiction (he has written some 25 works of nonfiction.)
Newly paroled valet (CHARACTER) is a Los Angeles 20-something who's simultaneously disgusted and intrigued by the celebrities whose cars he parks at a five-star hotel. In an attempt to inspire jealousy in the girl of his dreams, he creates - and makes headlines with - a life-like inflatable doll personifying an aging but sexy actress who is staying at the hotel.
Instead of backfiring, (character's) ploy lands him his dream job, endless cash and booze, and a contract to be arm candy for the actress, Ms. CHARACTER, whose breasts are almost as pert as her ego. What follows is a hilarious romp involving silicone and superhero underwear; the cast of characters ranges from a Hungarian bellhop to a celebrity-stalking couple in a Winnebago.
Even though he's slightly pathetic at first, I found myself rooting for (CHARACTER), who embarks on this adventure in the interest of getting into a beautician's pants. (Haven't we all had that urge? Regular pedicures will do wonders for any relationship.)
A hilarious read, (BOOK) is also a clever poke in the eye at celebrity culture, as well as America's intrigue with the famous and infamous.
Let me warn you in advance, however, that the only guy who gets laid in this book is the partner of the inflatable doll - but it's not who you think.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Nevertheless, I can't help wondering what fucking century we are in when the people of Minnesota are paying the police to go undercover and bust men soliciting sex in airport restrooms.
What the hell? If I wanted to have sex in a public place, it would definitely be somewhere cleaner, but hey - aren't we constantly hearing about how understaffed and underfunded our law enforcement agencies are? And our supposedly limited tax dollars that are allocated to them are being spent this way?
What good does this do? Really, Minnesota police, I'd like to know.
It must really suck to be the cop assigned to that beat. Worse than giving parking tickets, I'm sure...imagine their dinner conversation.
Spouse: Honey, how was work today?
Cop: Same old, same old. Except you'll never believe who wanted to suck my dick in the stall today: a gay-bashing Republican senator from Idaho!
I suppose the good thing is that if all of these homophobic Republicans get outed, the number of Republicans in office will definitely dwindle. :)
Thursday, August 30, 2007
ARE YOU ON DRUGS? YES/NO
Seriously - DO NOT call us and make comments like this:
"So I wrote a book about a wolf, he's running around the backyard right now - he steals clothing off the clothesline, you know how that happens. And -oh yeah! I forgot! I have another book about a dragon - he's here, too."
Do I know how that happens? How a fucking wolf lives in my backyard and takes my clothing from the clothesline? Nope.
I suppose this means the wolf goes in drag?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Here it is:
This is to let the world know that Michael F. Davis of Ellington, CT, a candidate for a Master's degree in Library Science, has a cute butt. I should know, because apparently I had no shame and commented on it once.
Voila! There you have it.
This is no small thing. (The fact that he has a cute ass - I don't mean the ass itself is no small thing.) I mean, there are lots of guys who don't bother working out and, as experience can tell you, obviously don't care about how their posteriors look in jeans.
Mike is an exception, ladies!
Hopefully I haven't embarrassed him too much - oh hell, it's too late for that, isn't it? :P
May Mike and his cute ass enjoy this blog.
Not just a well-needed laugh; the author got it right when giggling about how the marketing copywriters described a 3.25" (really!) vibrator as enabling us girls to “let you find your G-Spot easily and effectively, giving you unknown orgasmic pleasures.”
As she noted, some of us have never LOST our G-spots, and if they think something that's 3.25" long can give us unknown orgasmic pleasures....?
Maybe that's impressive if you're a koala.
The only thing I can think of that would give me unknown orgasmic pleasure, of that size, would be a piece of cheesecake.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
She died with dignity and courage. She meant the world to me and to so many others.
I wrote the column below a few years ago, and it best sums up what a great role she played in my life.
Great-aunt's life is a lesson in kindness
By (Riot Kitty)
Apr 20, 2004
On the surface, we couldn't be more different.
My great aunt, Marie, who turns 78 this month, is a conservative woman. She lives in Ohio, loves gardening and the outdoors, and reads The Wall Street Journal each night.
I'm a suburban kid, don't think much about the stock market, and tend to view the outdoors as a place to drive through between cities.
But "Aunt Marie," as most people call her, is one of my dearest friends, someone who has been there in the happiest and most difficult moments of my life.
It was her generous financial help that got me through my last semester of college. It was her encouragement that helped me through a difficult few months after that, when I was living with family in Texas and unable to find a job.
When I got my first newspaper job, she sent me several cards addressed to "Michelle Madison, Reporter," as well as a slew of pens, pencils and notepads.
She taught me from the age of 10, when I went to spend a summer at her house, that how you look is as important as what you say. "If you interview for a job and you look like a mess, who do you think they're going to hire? The person who's dressed nicer than you," she said.
Marie reminded me of this when I went to work as a general assignment reporter in California five years ago.
"Don't forget to dress professionally," she said, "and above all, DON'T chew gum! It's very distracting." (Apparently, the local newspaper in her town of East Liverpool, Ohio, has no such standards for its reporters, which she frowns upon.)
As a child, I thought her proper and a bit uptight. As I get older, I realize how unconventional she was, especially when she was young.
After graduating from high school, she was expected to get married to the son of a neighboring farmer in rural Illinois. Instead, Marie bucked tradition and moved by herself to Chicago. She worked during the day and put herself through night school, often not having enough money for the bus fare home.
That would require bravery today. Imagine how unconventional it was in the 1940s.
She has never thought it strange that I didn't want to get married or have children, reminding me that she didn't get married until she was nearly 40.
Through work, she met my great Uncle John, a doctor who was widowed and 22 years her senior.
"You take your time," she tells me now. "A lot of people probably thought I would never get married. But I don't regret getting married at age 37 and a half one bit."
She nursed John through Parkinson's disease for the last eight years of their marriage. Not only was she selfless as a spouse, but she was also a volunteer for years in East Liverpool.
It was Marie who persuaded John to make a large contribution to keep the county's mental hospital open. Since his death, she has worked to improve the town's park, read to children and visited shut-ins. She doesn't talk about it, but I imagine that she helps keep many activities and groups afloat with her financial contributions.
When arthritis forced her to scale back her park activities, Marie decided, in her 70s, to train and become a hospice volunteer. Since then, she has sat up many a night with friends whose family members are dying.
"It's what friends are for," she says.
Aunt Marie probably spends more hours as a volunteer than most people do at paid jobs.
"My guiding principle in my life," she says, "is to help other people."
She has certainly accomplished that goal. And along the way, she has brightened many lives, including mine.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Do you quote a theologian/zen master/philosopher, aka YOUR CAT, in your religious manuscript?
If you answer yes, please go hide under your couch and never come out. And forget about sending a SASE with your manuscript, we will just BURN it.
* A NOTE TO THE UNINITIATED READER: I am not making this up.
We also have two books, by two different authors, about disabled reindeer.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
I was thinking about this, because at work, in an effort to weed out crazy people and bad writers, we have an online survey of sorts - we ask writers for a bit of information about themselves and their work. (It's a new effort, which you must know if you've read a previous blog about some of the authors that we deal with, who are on the "fucking crazy" end of the spectrum.)
And then I was thinking, why not go a step further? Because it's not just the crazy people and the bad writers who make work more stressful - it's also the assholes, the cheap bastards, the time vampires, etc.
So in an effort to make work less hair-pulling and aggravating for our author services person in particular, I suggest we add the following questions to our survey:
1. Are you an asshole? Yes/No
2. Are you, or have you ever been referred to, as a time vampire? Yes/No
3. Do people have to try really hard to keep a straight face when you ask their opinion of your writing? Yes/No
4. Do you think you are the next Hemingway, Dr. Seuss, or J.K. Rowling? If so, log off RIGHT NOW and DON'T EVEN BOTHER contacting us, please.
5. Do you have delusions of grandeur? Refer to question #4.
6. Do you have a firm grasp of the English language? Yes/No (Note: This is a question for native speakers.)
7. For local candidates who are considering an in-person meeting with us: Do you use deodorant? Yes/No If the answer is "No," again, refer to question #4 for further action.
8. Do you constantly interrupt, and repeat the same questions to different staff members, hoping to get different answers? Yes/No
9. If you require a hearing aide, do you make sure to turn it up when you make phone calls? Yes/No
10. Are you a cheap bastard, and want to suck information from us in the belief that you can really do it better yourself for free? Yes/No
That concludes my imaginary survey.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Again, written by a genius (not me...)
Little Golden Books That Never Made It
"You Are Different and That's Bad"
"The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables"
"Dad's New Wife Robert"
"Fun four-letter Words to Know and Share"
"Hammers, Screwdrivers and Scissors: An I-Can-Do-It Book"
"The Kids' Guide to Hitchhiking"
'Kathy Was So Bad Her Mom Stopped Loving Her"
"Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence"
"All Cats Go to Hell"
"The Little Sissy Who Snitched"
"Some Kittens Can Fly"
"That's it, I'm Putting You Up for Adoption"
"The Magic World Inside the Abandoned Refrigerator"
"The Pop-Up Book of Human Anatomy"
"Strangers Have the Best Candy"
"Whining, Kicking and Crying to Get Your Way"
"You Were an Accident"
"Things Rich Kids Have, But You Never Will"
"Pop! Goes The Hamster...And Other Great Microwave Games"
"The Man in the Moon Is Actually Satan"
"Your Nightmares Are Real"
"Where Would You Like to Be Buried?"
"Eggs, Toilet Paper, and Your School"
"Why Can't Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?"
"Places Where Mommy and Daddy Hide Neat Things""Daddy Drinks Because You Cry"
Dr. Seuss books that never made it into print:
1. The Cat in the Blender
2. Are You My Proctologist?
3. Fox in Detox
4. Who Shat in the Hat?
5. Horton Hires a Ho
6. The Lemon-Fresh Lorax
7. How the Grich Stole Columbus Day
8. Your Colon Can Moo - Can You?
9. Zippy the Rapid Gerbil
10. One Bitch, Two Bitch, Dead Bitch, You Bitch
11. Marvin K. Mooney, Get the Fuck Out!
12. Herbert the Pervert Likes Sherbert
13. The Bitch Set Me UP
14. I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up
15. Yentl the Lentil
16. My Pocket Rocket Needs a Socket
17. Aunts In My Pants
18. Hop On Mom
19. Oh, the Places You'll Scratch and Sniff!!
20. Horton Fakes an Orgasm
21. The Grinch's Ten Inches
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Which is bad enough, but the pure CHEESE he sends with the poems is just pathetic. I'm sorry, bub, but this is the 21st century (get a clue! You are e-mailing these messages, not using telegrams or morse code.) Not the 1890s. I don't feel bad for laughing at you when you include e-mail subject lines such as, "Greetings and salutations" And then, following that one, "Greetings and Salutations!" You were emboldened that she responded, ergo, the exclamation point.
Seriously, I didn't know people still wrote things (and shared them) like, "When I caught your smile across the room..." Gag.
Not only is she not single, and not only is this unprofessional of him, but, well - if he had a web site, we agreed it should be one of the following:
He said he feels like he's a relic from another time, that the world moves too fast for him, or something like that. (Bub, we figured that out from your shoes.) Maybe he just needs more of his medication.
But seriously...we kept thinking of ways she could politely let him know she had a boyfriend, but then we degenerated (of course) and started thinking of really obnoxious ways.
1. She does what I did on a date in 2004 to make sure the guy never calls you again: Tell him you are into bondage. (I still don't know how I did this with a straight face, but it worked. And he deserved it. Ask out of the blue if I prefer a guy with a decent-sized dick or one who "knows what he's doing," and you deserve what you get. FYI, there are plenty of guys with decent-sized dicks that know what to do with them.)
2. Write him really bad poetry and ask his opinion of it, hoping he'll lose all respect for her as a writer and therefore lose interest in her personally. (Ah, wishful thinking.) Perhaps something like the following:
I thought a deer
might bring you some cheer
so I drank some beer
and shot one.
E-mail me again
and I'll start hating men
well maybe I'll just hate you.
3. Suggest that he reserve the domain names above and continue the dating game. (OK, this would get her fired, but it would be funny, wouldn't it?)
4. Tell him that she's just not into older men (he's at least 10 years older than she is), and actually prefer ones that are still in high school.
5. Confess that she's really from Alabama and only dates men with the same last name as she has.
6. Tell him that when he caught her smile across the room, it was because she was trying not to laugh at his shoes.
But it's pretty likely that she won't have to do any of this, because we'll burst out laughing the next time he comes into the office anyway, and he'll probably get the hint.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
But isn't having one or two enough?
Today, my co-worker received a six-page e-mail from such an author.
His accusations: We are holding back his "loyalties" (correct word: royalties.)
The truth: Everyone in his little cult apparently promised they'd buy his book, but no one did.
Well, one person did. That's right! He has sold one copy.
Here's an excerpt from his e-mail (identifying details omitted) just for the purposes of laughter - and by the way, his grasp of the English language is about as good as his grasp of reality:
Dear Sirs /Madams,
THE LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT(KARMA) AND INTER-HUMAN ECONOMIC TRANSACTIONS
The (book title) was expressly commissioned by the Spiritual hierarchy and my
conceptual instrument simply served the purpose of dishing out these spiritual
veracities to humanity as a whole. The message contained in The (book title) was
Divine-coded message that was decoded into my instrument for transmission to
humanity. The spiritul hierachy itself that commissioned this volume is
meticulously supervising all transactional elements pertaining to the product.
*I don't even want to know what instrument he's referring to.*
The Hierarchy have urged me to thank you a million fold for publishing The (Book
title) and that by opting to do so, you will abound in various forms of
blessings to your greatest delight.
*Who is the Hierarchy? The Bush Administration? The Queen of England? I need more enlightenment.*
Nonetheless, the Hierarchy has also instructed me to urge you to treat me with
the highest and strickest degree of justice and fairness as layed down in our
mutually-consented contract. That not treating me with due justice can generate
very severe karmic physical and spiritual repercussions for you, that will be
very undesirable indeed. This implies paying me the correct proportion and
correct amounts of loyalties. I love you very much and that is why I have taken
the time to humbly advice you of the potential consequences that can arise by
not treating me justly.
*Translation: we either give him money, or we're all going to shrivel up, become sick and fucking die!*
The law of karma fundamentally entails that every deed performed by us, whether
good or bad, will generate the corresponding positive or negative consequent or
consequences that will inevitably and ultimately come back and be borne by the
performer of that deed, to the fullest magnitude.
Given below are two different practical scenarios where karma has manifested:
Scenarion 1: Positive Karma
There was a homeless man who always helped me push my shopping trolley when ever
I went to the supermarket in the UK. Indeed, after three months of his
association with me in this way, a certain charity offered him accommodation, he
was then subjected to training and got a job. He joyfully got married and he is
now a father of one. He has his own car and his own mortgage. He loves me very
much and I am extremely happy for him and the beautiful blessings he had.
*It's scenario, asshole.*
Scnarion 2: Negative Karma
I worked somewhere where the department head sometimes treated me unreasonably
and unjustly despite my acute humility and good-nature at all times.
Nonetheless, at a certain time, a chain of events occured whereby this
department head was dismissed from her job. I later heard that she suffers from
cancer, that she is divorced with her husband and at this present juncture, the
individual is in chronic misery of sickness and other troubles. I love this
person and feel much sympathy for their situation, but she has but herself to
blame for her current state of affairs.
*At least keep your misspellings straight!*
So here are the responses I would like to send him:
1. Dear Author,
We no longer accept e-mail from crazy motherfuckers like you.
2. Dear Author,
I redirect you to your own philosophy on this issue: your bad book is to blame for your bad sales karma.
3. Dear Author,
How are you technically savvy enough to be able to use e-mail, but be a completely incoherent fuckhead in every other aspect of your life?
4. Dear Author,
Because you are in Britain and originally of non-Caucasian descent, we have forwarded your e-mail to the Department of Homeland Security, which will now put you on the no-fly list and probably get Scotland Yard to bug your home.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
"The Impolite Postman," etc.
Then I realized (no offense to the nice mailmen out there) that those titles were, for the most part, redundant.
I have met more than my share of, shall we say, unprofessional postmen (and women) in my life. I have met grumpy ones, mean ones, lazy ones, incompetent ones, and ones who I suspected had serious trouble tying their shoe laces in the morning, let alone dropping my mail into its box. (Aha! That's where velcro comes in.)
But now, at work, we have a mailman who eats our treats. Without asking.
This is rude and disgusting enough when he grabs a grubby fistful of moose munch. We know those hands have handled dirty and dusty mail and who knows what else. I am half-tempted to walk up to him and ask if he washes his hands after he takes a piss. I am never tempted to eat from the mailmanhandled jar of moose munch.
But it's an all-out declaration of war when he swipes a slice of cake made for a co-worker's birthday.
Mind you, if said mailman came into our office some fine afternoon and said, "Say, that cake looks yummy! Would you mind if I had a piece?" we'd surely say yes, if only out of politeness. (Note to reader: the editor in my office makes fantastic desserts and could seriously have her own bakery if she were so inclined.)
But he doesn't ask. He simply helps himself.
I would love to say, "Hey! How about asking first?" Or, "Didn't your mother teach you any manners?" But I am terrified that somehow our mail would not be long for this world if I vocalized such sentiments.
So the only thing to do, it seems, is move the treats to another location. Or call the post office and request a new carrier.