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Showing posts from April, 2006

a good scents passage

I was out back, breathing in the smell of flowers -- wisteria, lilacs -- and caught some odd plant-or-dirt-based scent that took me straight back to the backyard of the house where I grew up, a place I haven't set foot in decades. Yeah, aroma and the memory of scent all pretty damned amazing...and I think nearly impossible to describe vividly with words.

Maybe Perfume does a good [wildly exaggerated, gruesome] job.

Can you think of a passage or a few words that brought at least the memory of a scent right back to you? Can you write one? This is when I feel like a romance writer. "light flowery scent" for the heroine? "clean musky scent" for the hero. Ho-goddamn-hum--and, hey, what about the musk? Someone once pointed out musk will gross out some readers. Doesn't gross me out. I like the way people smell. Stale sweat isn't always great, but a slightly unclean human? In bed? I love it. Umm 'shrooms. I think I'm more European than American when it c…

my current favorite line from a review of Summer

From a review of Learning Charity (at Just Erotic Romance Reviews where there are two reviews, both giving 4 out of 5 stars):

The sex scenes in this story are more background to the character development and interactions.

Yes! That's the point. I can't tell if the reviewer is pleased or disappointed, but I'm happy.

wisteria watched will bloom

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Maybe if you click on the photo you'll be able to see the drunken happy bees working the vine.
I have some seedlings I need identified. I'm thinking I'll post photos of them later and beg you all to tell me what Boy 3 and I planted.

my day

Shove winter coats into cardboard boxes

Do Laundry

Do Dishes

Find frozen chicken at bottom of freezer to defrost for dinner

Reinvent a modern civilization with mixed mythic overtones. (check copy of World Building for Dummies)

Wash the dog

Get defensive and insist you visit this fine spot [found via Andrew Tobias]

* * * *


speaking of invention, Beth... I'd promised to put it into the next book: yesterday I invented a mixed watermelon alcoholic drink that was vulva pink. I called it a coochiefruit. Today I've decided that's cheating-- so it's out.

compensations

even if I have to give up my greatest indulgence, there are still plain bagels, toasted, with a thin layer of butter . . . and there's the wisteria out back of course.

Here's why I suck at chats

1. I type too slowly.

2. I snark and don't put the appropriate smilie by it because I forget they are there.

3. There's no way I can promote my old books well because by the time they're published I've moved on. Off-loaded the characters** and picked up new ones. There are always questions about "which of your heroes would you want to be stranded on a desert island with" and I have no idea.

4. I'd much rather discuss bizarro tangential things--although coochiefruit is breaking the sound-barrier. I'm not forgetting that, Beth. You are so, so very doomed. Write that litfic. Win the Booker prize, I dare you. I don't care how much it'll cost me -- the person handing you the prize will whisper coochiefruit. Or whichever phrase du jour that has the greatest chance of turning you into a quivering whimpering pile of blancmange. On stage, on camera. In front of the queen, God Bless Her -- although if you don't hurry up and write, it'll be in front…

CHAT TONIGHT (Wednesday)

Please, please, please, come say hello. It's a real time chat thing with Summer Devon. Here's the official announcement thing.

Chat tonight at 9 pm EST at http://www.noveltalk.com Summer Devon will join us to discuss her new novella for Samhain Publishing.Door prize: one lucky winner will receive a copy of Perfection and a second lucky winner will receive a copy of Futurelove. Moderated by Kathy Boswell.

To find the chat, scroll to near the bottom of noveltalk's homepage and find the link. Or maybe click here?

I was hoping to get the lordhighpoobaheditor of Samhain there--I figure you guys would be more interested in finding out about a publisher than another writer--but she has to go sing with some fishes or something tonight.

stuff

A few weeks ago I forgot to lock up the work building after class. Today we had a short session and I locked myself out of the building. Oops. The weather is gorgeous so I enjoyed the longish walk to the housing office for the key.

The guys there are unfailingly polite, which is extremely odd. I mean, I'm used to getting guff for doing stupid things and they just tut tutted, smiled and offered me a ride back to the building. Dragon (that's his given name. I think it's Polish? Emphasis on second syllable.) even sympathized. No, wait, you're supposed to call me goober. I walked both ways and now don't feel I need to go to the gym, which is nonsense. I do.

Not really to do with exercise, but . . . Seven months is a long time. Just saying.

I wrote a scene last night whilst listening to Rhapsody in Blue and, boy, is it pretentious. I blame Gershwin.

Summer's gotten two good reviews on Learning Charity.

I'll put in a bit of each :

Summer Devon has impressed this review…

I still don't get it.

I've been reading about Millenia Black's situation [UPDATE: That blog entry is gone. Maybe I'll erase this one if she asks me to!!] and I keep trying to understand it from the publisher's POV. (Read about it here and here .)

Here's what I know: It's all about the bucks. So if that's true, then the bucks must be in AA literature and that's why they're pushing her to change her characters from white to black. Hey, money in AA literature is good!**

Hmmm. If more bucks is not the reason then I don't get the publisher's thinking. And I wonder--would they do this forced niche thing to a Latina writer? (Is Latina the word we use now?)I wish a recognized Latina writer would check into the conversation and put in her two cents. I've read on various loops that editors believe that black writers can't write white characters. Or maybe that editors think readers don't believe it. Huh? It all strikes me as utterly bizarre.

I can sort of see the a…

wisteria watch, day whatever

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2 pictures from this morning. .. It's been raining for days.
Could that be why the wisteria's taking so long to pop open?
and when it does, the blossoms lose their bunchy goodness and look kind of . . .scrawny.

shhhhhh

Don't tell my husband: The dog is on the bed.

Ha. See if he read my blog he'd know about this deep dark secret, this illegal event. He's been away at a conference (coming back today) and it just happens. One minute the dog is curled up on the floor, and I'm snapping my fingers a lot and calling her and the next minute she's not on the floor any more. I don't let her go on his side of the bed and I'll wash the covers. He'll never know. Heh.

We went away too -- the boys the dog and me. It was a week off from school and we were supposed to go to New York City but middle guy said his stomach hurt. A couple hours later it was better and so we all jumped into the car and took off for an inn that let you have dogs.

It was a mixed bag.
Pros: We could hear spring peepers. The lake was lovely (but too cold to swim and with no access to boats we could ummmmm....look at it. And throw stones). We played on swings. We got out of our little maze.

Cons: The 3 boys couldn…

How about this?

1. Go to Angie's blog.
2. Follow the directions.
3. Win books.
4. Play with her bizarre smilies.
5. I recommend the bananas. They ARE not boinking. They're playing horsie, okay?


This post stolen from Shannon. Ha! Today I'm batting 1000 in stolen linkage. Nothing new to see here folks, move along.

God lovest hym

Stolen directly from Bron. For everyone who ever had to slog through a Chaucer course--you know you walked around with that voice in your head that whole school year. Here's a chance to live it again, only even funnier.

Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog.
Fyghten togeder we dide, this valet and ich, in Rethel-toune whanne the Frensshe layde waste to yt to letten the Prince Noir from crossinge, and in the melee we were scatterede from the hoste, and we two dide runne like eye makeupe on a televangelistes wyf.more brilliance:Top X Serches in Myn Networke
10. John Gowere swyving a donkey
9. woolen hose
8. discounte ale
7. Kent
6. Macrobius for dummyes
5. howe to thinly veil acquaintences as fictional characteres
4. arabic numerals
3. readynge %(%(%ing chancerye hand
2. Sheene palace dynnere guest listes
1. Katharyne Swinford nude

yes, it's depressing

Donald Maas goes over these numbers in at least one of his books, but Anna's entry is right out there for all of us to see and weep over.

If you've seen a link to Anna's entry everywhere, there's a reason -- it's a good post. I'm joining the "you must read this" club.

Thursday Thirteen -- random books

Oh blast. I did it once with the template and lost the post. I'm just going to list them, okay?

THIRTEEN BOOKS I CAN SEE FROM WHERE I'm SITTING (slouching really. butt in chair, feet on bed.) along with random comments about them. There are about ummmm 75 books on the shelf.

1. An Inconvenient Wife, Megan Chance. Most definitely NOT a romance. Good book...dark.

2. Envious Casca, Georgette Heyer. A mystery, never did finish it. Anyone want it?

3. Four-Gated City, Doris Lessing. I know I read it years ago and I loved it. Now I can't remember a thing about it except that the main character is Martha. I think.

4. A Few Green Leaves, Barbara Pym. A sad one. I like Pym's others better, before she had to get grim to suit the trends of the time.

5. Uncle Dynamite, Wodehouse. I always have one of his by the bed for comfort food.

6. Into Thin Air, Walter Kirn. Still haven't read it. Poor Kirn! The book was published just before 9/11 and it seems to be all about salesmen who spend m…

OH, and Doug's book

is great.

All sorts of creatures hopping around in there. I had a bit of trouble keeping track of them (hey there can be a lot of names in any story but at least you're usually dealing with one or maybe two species). Eventually the story took over and I stopped fretting.

I'm going to read it again to make sure I keep my birds separate and because it's the kind of book that'll reveal something new, a missed joke, maybe -- on another read.

isn't it pretty?

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Wish I knew how to add this thing to the side. . .

Sorry No Bands played

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Yeah, it is kind of a bummer, J. Your book came out and you expected something...sacks of admiring letters, the adulation of at least a few people.

She expected her life to be transformed once she got rid of the UN and joined the ranks of the PUBBED. Nothing much happened-- and nothing much will when you're one of the many, the middle, the midlist! If you don't get any joy out of the writing part, forget the whole thing.

Here's something that does change. TODAY'S WISTERIA PICTURES. I got some AA batteries yesterday whilst the boys and I did birthday shopping. (Husband's gifts: frisbee, badminton set.)

Stuff

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I missed SBD.

Thank you for the great recipes for chocolate cake, but the husband doesn't like change and actually wants the box mix cake we usually make around here for boy birthdays. I didn't argue.

During the 20 gazillion years we've been together, one of our worst fights was about his birthday and food. For his fortieth birthday I asked him what he wanted for the special birthday dinner and he said tuna casserole. I said no, how about something fun? He said no, really, that's what he really wanted.
recipe: (and I don't have to look it up)
1 can mushroom soup
1 can of tuna
2 cups cooked noodles
an egg
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus more for the top)
maybe some onion spice if we're feeling adventurous.

I don't like it much but it was something he liked so I made it for regular dinner now and then but ...GOD! NOT FOR HIS BIRTHDAY.

It took me the better part of an hour to realize it was HIS birthday. Now I usually make the goddamn tuna casserole on HIS birthday. …

wisteria

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Day one, buds not open yet. (Why no close up? the camera batteries are dead so I had to use a cord attached inside the house. )

Logan let me do a close up of him though.

you read it here!

You found the link here, anyway. (and I found it at The Stranger)

The Gatorade Bottle = Sexual organ = more than a coincidence. When it shows up at Snopes ("False. It is only a coincidence") We'll know it's time to look for the next big scandal.

note to self

Stay alive for at least five or so days so that you can see the wisteria out back bloom. Take a picture.

do I owe you?

I mean have I put your blog link on my sidelines? do you want me to? email me.
Happy Easter. Joyful Passover. Yowza Spring.

tooting one's own horn

This one's not really promo, it's more announcing good news.

When a person's first book comes out, she tends to mention it in every conversation she holds.

Okay, I'll reword that to be more honest. When my first book came out, I tended to mention it every conversation I held. It was the firstborn, the new experience of being An Author. The whole giddy ride that is pretty cool first time out.

I almost had to jabber about it, even though I knew that no one else was going to get as huge a kick out of the news. I got over it and now if I sell a book I tell my friends and maybe post here or at my website. I don't go running around the internet world grabbing people and shaking them and yellling HEY! LOOKIE AT ME!

So now someone I know has a great contract. BIG, big numbers, enough work for a couple of years, and the topic came up -- should she bother telling people? Should she sit on the news? Where're the appropriate places to talk about it? The inappropriate ones?

If, …

duh.

I can play that game too.

excerpts....

my first book

I'd put in an excerpt from my second book, but I don't like the one on my site. Maybe I'll look for another one.

my first ebook (published with Rob -- it's cheap! Ooo, reminds me that I have to get over to his site and buy some more ebooks. More more more. And Moonlit and bygrace publishing too. I Must Buy Those Books. More. Books.)

Summer's books(they're romantic erotica so don't read if you're underaged or disgusted):
Futurelove

Perfection

Charity (hmm. Not sure about that one)


Whole short stories by Kate

A whole short story! (It's an old link to my webpage which is badly in need of updating)

Another whole short story! (another old link, different story from the same page)


You know who's a good writer?
That Beth. I haven't read her books but the images she creates in her blog are stronger and lovelier than ummmmm errrrrrr. ...the dying crab apple tree out front ?. . .umm images of other strong and lo…

I blame promo

NOT mine.

I'm talking about effective promo by other people.

I'm talking about the evil loops like novelspotters and romexcerptlink and cataromance.com and I mean sneaky people like Dorine Linnen and Lena Austin and allll the others who go on loops and post a chunks of ebooks and all of the sudden I'm clicking along, ordering the books and then whoops, I've done it again:

Uploaded more books than I need. My credit card is in shock and my pdf file is exhausted, its little tongue is hanging out. It's supposed to be my word processing program that gets worn out.

[shaking my fist at the skies] Damn you, other authors!

mark my calendar with two small circles

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Today marks a personal first.

THIS

(a specific strip, so I'm not talking real reading)forced me to use a pair of






THESE

Son 1 and the husband wear glasses all the time. They had a hearty laugh at my moaning.

But still, it marks the end of an era. I used to have better than 20/20 vision.Can I read this? Yep.

easter recipe

Here it is! The ultimate Easter cake made with Cadbury eggs.
Hear that Bill O'Reilly? In your "Easter is Under Attack" campaign ... you got someone on your side.

(thanks to blondesense)

96 questions

It's citizenship exam time. We memorize the questions and answers by repeating them over and over. I draw charts and whatnot but mostly it's memorization. Do the refugees know what it means? Dunno.

I print out the questions and answers. There are a few blanks and I fill them in, hesitating now and then. Who knows what the answer will be when the ladies in question take the exam? It's at least six months before they can get an appointment. . . So what do you guess will be true in, say, one year?

11 Who is president of the United States today?
14 Who is Vice President of the United States today?
27 Name the two Senators from your state. (CT)

scary one:
89 What kind of government does the United States have?
The answer they give is Republic . . . but. . . will I have to cross that out and write Empire?

I'm pretty sure I know the answer to number 37 and it will be true for a long while:
Who is the current governor of the state you live in?
Unless she does something spectacularly stu…

oh and look.

I won!
The guy's full of balogna, of course. In ensemble pieces, individual players should never get full recognition. Any elementary school band director can tell you that. (You can go ahead and yell at the violins though.)

Damn, I love that thread like a brother.

With Friends like These . . .,,, or, Just Weird** (and not so interesting. Sorry)

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I actively sold my books -- I sent out ARCs, did a couple of interviews and a couple other standard authory things. But I cannot seem to push friends' books. (and I'm not doing such a fabulous job at pushing Summer's books either. I guess she doesn't feel like she's me?)

Occasionally someone will say something like "I want to read a western!" and I'll recommend Teresa. Or once someone mentioned they really like zany first person and I said try Flo. Someone moaned about a lack of witty Traditional Regencies and I said check out Megan.

But those are the exception, not the rule. And I don't just barge into conversations about Under-rated Authors and start gushing on and on about their books, the way I did about Pamela Britton -- whom I don't know.

Part of this is based on a version reality: I might have the urge to announce that I LOVE THIS BOOK, but my name is there on Amazon and ack, I know I know her and I know she knows I know her and . . .what …

coming out from under the covers

Okay, the world's still here?
Time to drink another beer.**

You? Need to go look at the world's most concise lineup of blog comments. Summed up. Ever, ever. Beyond meta, into Art.


________________________

**The "another" was just added to make the rhythm of my Poetry right. I haven't had one yet. Here's the saddest part. I like beer, but I don't love it. When are you all going to come round to take care of these for me again?

Oh My God...duck and cover

There's been so much bad news for GW Bush. How far would he go to distract us all from the leaking-Libby story?

Or for the less cynical : How far is he willing to push his middle east agenda. Please, please not this far. Read it.

And then if you have any ideas**, share them -- how do we stop him? Letters and protests didn't do anything last time.


_________________

**and I mean legal ideas. Unlike GWB, I respect the law.

cook offs

First it was scone versus scone.

Now we should have someone test out the tomato sauce versus tomato sauce**. Of course the tests will have to wait until July or so. You need real tomatoes for this kind of contest. Not those pinkish globs of insulation foam from the supermarket.

Heh. I bet I'll win again. My competitive nature reveals itself and I blame the food channel.

Speaking of which, damn, but I'm sick of reality shows where every week someone gets kicked to the curb. Die! reality shows Die! I'd even rather watch Bonanza or Lost in Space on that dreary reruns from yesteryear channel. I'd even rather edit the four pages I wrote when I was in a zombie state. That's how much I hate "Vote 'Em Off and Then Interview the Victims [Camera Three Closer. We Need to See the Lights Glistening on Those Tears]" reality shows.

But getting back to good things like scones and tomato sauce. . . Doug, I'm reading and enjoying your book. Woot!


_______________________…

100 bottles of beer on the wall

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sixty actually.

I won them at a school event's** raffle last night. Ten six packs of beer from around the world (though I noticed one of them is Mike's Lemonade).

Here's the uh oh part: I'm the only one in the family who drinks.

It's going to be party time with some friends real soon, I think. And maybe later, after the grim husband clears out, I'll take a picture of the display of beer and the cooler they rode in on. It's pretty damned impressive.

_____________________________

** Don't fret, it wasn't held in the school. It was in a fancy-pants park restaurant. crab and satay and cute little eggplanty hors d'oeuvres and circulating waiters. This is a fundraiser for a public school, mind you. I swear I will never get used to this corner of the world.

poor pitiful kate

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My books have been translated into Dutch and Portuguese and I never ever got to see either copy in the flesh as it were, and NOW they've dropped off the face of the earth. I've googled them like crazy. Nada.

Sob.

My one and only clinch cover. The entire story takes place in NYC -- and look at that cover! Now do you get it? Don't you see? I NEED that book.



My pal in the Netherlands is looking for this one for me, (click here and then do a search for "Rothwell") without any luck. It's not in any bookstores anywhere, although someone left it somewhere via bookcrossing. That story is also set in NYC with a bit in Minnesota. Oh, how can the gods of funky translations be so cruel?

IF anyone manages to track down a copy of either of these books, I will send them a pair of Bosnian socks. (MM laughs bitterly. Sure she will. . . . Just you wait, mm! One of these days . . .)

Thursday Thirteen plants that I'm growing.

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Thirteen plants from seeds that anyone can growby a brown thumb

1. Nasturtium2. Big boy tomatoes3. Parsley4. Basil5. dandelions6 forget-me-nots8. marigolds9. johnny jump ups10. pansies11. cilantro (never stays alive very long though)12. delphinium13. carpathian harebellsThe pansies and johnny jump ups and blasted dandelions are out in the cold dirt. The rest are seedlings all over the house. oh, and the list of things I can't seem to grow from seed is much longer. Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
NormaJoan,http://volcanicsacrifices.blogspot.com/ (I love that blog name)ChicadeeDoug!(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I wi…

Sam is right

This is a lot of fun. . . creative, evil fun.

nature sez neener neener ppppppttttthhh

it's snowing and the stuff is sticking.

All righty then.


Back to real news you can use: At long last someone has posted an argument opposing gay marriage that I can understand. I don't want anyone messing with my toaster oven.

global warming

My local proof:
The huge piles of snow in the back of the parking lot near the library usually don't melt into patches of sand and dirt until the middle of April.

They're already gone. The librarian said they were gone sometime in March. And we had plenty of snow around here this winter, more than enough.

More SBD, really.

. . . but I didn't write it.

Writing goddess Linda did. Btw, she finally sold! Details later, if she lets me. I put a little comment after the elements I've included in my stories -- most of them, please note. No flashing dark eyes, except maybe I think I had a dawg like that oncet. I had a half moon parrot when I was a kid. It really truly did have flashing eyes. Coolio thing.
okay so...

Linda wrote:

Editors always say they want "fresh, original voices," but how do you know which elements in your story are stale and overused? What makes a manuscript or entry stand out above the rest? I judge many romance contests every year, so I thought I would share some of the elements I see over and over again. I think when we write we tend to fall back on what feels comfortable and familiar. We've probably all come across these elements in favorite books, so perhaps we unconsciously slip them into our own.

I'm not at all saying you can't successfully include these elemen…

slightly SBD

well, it's about romance sort of. Kinda.

Lots of contests happening just now. I haven't entered any (I've been judging like crazy though)so I feel like I can say the following without being accused of demonstrating bitterness:

Contests can suck the big one. One judge is a creep who hates all books set in [your time period/city/nation] -- and you lose. One judge doesn't know that "was" is actually an okay word to use on occasion -- and bye bye prize.

For all of you guys who won or are finalists? Good for you. Wow! Great.YIPPEEE!
Now. Go away.

For the rest of you, here's the start of Lori's song:
"Contest losers, yes we are…doo dah…doo dah…We should head out to the bar…all the doo dah day….”

Once you've hung around that bar for a while, you can get creative and compose more lyrics. Feel free to get insulting about the judges.

And while I'm being negative? That ad with the actors dressed up like doctors talking about some cholesterol medicine whilst…

not SBD yet

Why is kiddie fear so much worse than adult fear? I recall being very young and terrified of the wail of fire engine sirens. I have no idea why, but when I heard one nearby, I'd have to lie flat on my back and not move, or I Would Die.

I swear the level of fear I sometimes felt as a kid would probably only be reached today if I were in a serious car accident or a guy pointed a gun at me. Do you all remember feeling that level of fear or was it just me?

Today's depressing post brought to you by a rather cute Bunny Cujo entry by Lori in the RU blog. (But I thought Sandy had the bunny? Oops! give away again....)

HEY A CONTEST!

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I forgot to post about this one and it's good. you can win a

FIFTY DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE TO AMAZON!!

Go over to RU and find out more.

You only have to identify one author and one pet per row of shots. Shouldn't be too hard. (I thought you had to peg every one of them.)

Here're your first hints:











This is me





This is my dog.

Prescience

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I know we're all tired of Dick Cheney's hunt.

But dang! The boys are watching old Monty Python episodes and I wandered in during the 127th Annual Upper Class Twit of the Year sketch.

The bunny hunt part. Good god. It's...it's...DICK in the LEAD!

impressing the impressionable

Here's what I do that seems to impress the heck out of people (thus proving some people are easily impressed)

compost with worms.
sprout beans for umm. . . bean sprouts.
make bread and pizza.
spin wool and knit.
raise seedlings.

The thing is? Nothing on that list, except maybe the spinning (and perhaps more advanced knitting), takes more than a few minutes to figure out. And the neighbors across the street have had me pegged as an Earth Mother because of it.


I have them pegged as wealthy yuppies because they:

have a gorgeous house (that they decorated themselves).
know about wines.
know how to maintain their possessions so they (the possessions) don't look shabby. No, that is NOT snark. They don't have coffee cups rolling around in their cars, even the seven year old one.

Okay, so what easy-to-learn skills do you have that would convince the neighbors you're a [fill in the blank]?

I think skills like knowing how to expertly cut and snort coke counts if it creates a role for yours…