Thursday, August 30, 2007

Two more things for the "don't call us" checklist

Actually, it can be summed up by asking a prospective author this question:


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

And a long overdue blog in praise of Mike D's cute butt


I promised.

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.

Obviously a man wrote the marketing materials

Check out this review:

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

A great lady

I can think of no fitting tribute to my great aunt Marie, who died early in the morning of Aug. 13 after a terrible bout with stomach cancer.

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

One more disqualifier

I should add one more question to the survey for prospective authors:

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

A survey to end all surveys

Lately I've been getting lots of surveys from friends who say they send them because my answers make them laugh. It's not intentional, by the way - I really would prefer poking Dick Cheney with a spoon to going shopping.

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.