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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

filed under: Way Too Meta

I thought my kid was playing a multi-player game online but no, he is watching a video of a video game in which some players were griefing other players.

Little cartoony guys are running around with big guns and yelling at each other. The voices are provided by the annoyed griefed (or would it be grieving?) guys. Lots of "get out of the way, faggot!" Although there is an amusing bit when they argue about bile. Liver, ya moron. Not the spleen.

Apparently it is very funny. Here, You too can enjoy hours of fun watching people pretending to be characters pretending to kill for fun. **Makes the fishing channel look almost real.

__________
**although I guess that's the basic idea of sitting around and watching say, Good Fellas or MacBeth. . .

Today's post

I'm over at Samhain, patting romance writers on the back. It was supposed to be more of a "shhh, shhh it's fine. See? It's all going to be good because we're actually fine peeps." sort of a pat rather than a "rah!rah! we're great!" thump on the back.

But the second one works.

In other news,
allergies are making me into a cartoon character of sneezing. ah AH AHHHHHHchoo.

I don't want to hear about or from Rev. Wright. He's not running for preznit. Ditto Rev. Hagee. Or, if we must hear from these guys, at least give them equal time to fill our televisions with wrothy rant-age, because frankly, I think Hagee's ideas contain even more of the Crazy than Wright's and that means a higher entertainment factor. (Or higher insomnia omigodwhoGAVEthesepeopleaplatform factor, depending on the mood)

OmiGod part II. I just realized that from now on, when MSM needs a Black Perspective on any current event, they're going to haul Rev. Wright onto the screen. After all, everyone's tired of Jackson and Sharpton and heaven forbid they take the time to actually look around the country for other influential African Americans. Wright is entertaining, controversial and noisy--and with us forever now even if Obama loses the race. Oh, golly.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bettie Sharpe!

I'd say go wish her many happy returns but she's not visiting her own blog that often.

Unlike Bettie, I'm all over the interwebs. I'm in the middle of a tricky bit of a story (any second the whole story is going to collapse like like a souffle and turn into rubbery-egg goop) That's my excuse reason for so much bloggery.

You can tell my imaginary world is making me nuts--I'm taking stalling to a new level by sending out email links to this creepy bizarreness that I love. Alan didn't win so you see? The dog got it.

Wait! Hey! Bettie, that's a birthday gift for you.
UPDATED:
And this one's even stranger.

Make your own card here. Or not.

Monday, April 28, 2008

boy two would like to point out that sometimes

he calls me Marge. (What I'm called came up in another post) And he can fence, almost, so do NOT cross that boy. He has an epeeeeee of his own.

Omigod, Corn Dog is RIGHT

These things are impossible to read. Thanks for saving them. Buggerall, I can't seem to load the verification words.

Well. Take our word it. They're ridiculous and horrible. I can''t read them to save my miserable life or my miserable comments.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

whiny question

So how long does a DTaP innoculation hurt? That link says only a few days. . . but sheesh, it's been a few days and owwie (and my family doesn't want to hear it any more). Revenge for all those times I didn't give my infants pain-killer after their vaccines, poor punkins.

the answer is

YEW KHAN!

He never actually decided, at least not the way I think of deciding. The hold-your-place money's due in a couple of days** so I said, "hey kid, I'm writing a check to Uconn." And he said, "fine, okay," in a thoroughly indifferent voice.

A few minutes later I came back into the room where he was reading. "I changed my mind. I'm writing a check to Colby."
He actually looked up from his book and said, "No! no, don't."
I said, "Okay. Then I'll write it to Brandeis."
He shook his head.
"William and Mary? No? I think Colga--"
He sighed. "Just stop."

So. That did it. He's been celebrating and says he has a sense of relief since then, and he did make a real list of reasons to go to Uconn. (1. Boat-load of friends enrolled at Uconn)

Anyway I think it's a good thing. Just having something new to fret and/or nag about will be good.

Next?

_______
**and for most places you have to mail it. Have you ever heard of anything so primitive?

Friday, April 25, 2008

I'm over at TEB, patting ourselves on the back for a job beeeautifully-done. Lisabea's finale is magnificent, deserving of a standing ovation. It's all so ...so....lovely.

That standing ovation line reminds me of all the school concerts where the audience all stand up and applaud until their hands hurt--just after the teachers point out that without us amazing parents we'd never have gotten to hear this amazing music.

We are so achingly clever, we kill ourselves with joy.

* * *


Speaking of death, no, the boy still hasn't decided which school. A couple more days of indecision and voila! The decision will be made for him because it'll be too late. I've taken to repeating to myself that there are worse things than getting a job instead of going to college right after high school.

My husband, who goes out running every morning before the crack of dawn, got home this morning at six am and I woke to hear him on the front porch (open window weather. Ahhhhhh) talking with some friends/neighbors whose kids (twins) are also playing chicken with the college thing. Their kids are also shrugging and saying dunno.

When you wake up to the sound of parents saying "I want to wring their necks" it's sort of a comfort.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

13 sort of talents thursday thirteen

You guys ever do this? Imagine what you'd say if someone held a gun to your head and demanded you justify your existence? No? I think I've done something like this before but that's tough. Dull, too. Again, tough.

1. make bread. I do good loafs.

2. Spin and knit. I don't any more but I can.

3. make jam

4. ignore dust

5. lat-pull 60 lbs.

6. run 3 miles (this one is new! Yay!)
6a slowly
6b very slowly. And maybe walking a half block or so.
7. recite the lyrics to that Joni Mitchell album someone left in my first apartment. When they were little, my kids loved that song about My analyst told me I was right out of my head. . . Also I got some great WOBBLY songs and Cornell fight songs from my mother. Also the Whiffenpoof song.

8. shout REALLY loud at dinner. My kids can hear me a half block away. All the way to the Flanders.

9. uh oh. I'm running out of talents. OH! Draw any formation of pork-based food. I taught so many illiterate Muslims over the years I learned to draw the food they should avoid. I can even do bacon strips in the package or cooked, ham, baked beans in the can or in a bowl. I could, of course, clip photos but what's the fun in that?

10. I used to grow fantastic pea plants but the dog and the squirrels eat them all now. Me and rhubarb though--I have the best patches, The stuff is spreading everywhere. and I think it's because of my last name. Someone told me that Rothwell England was once the capital of forced rhubarb. Or maybe it always grows like a weed in CT and MD, the two places I've grown it?

11. Imitate a midwestern accent. A glorious Wisconsin accent that might not fool anyone in that state or its neighboring states. Except that I tend to get stuck and unable to switch back to my standard mid-Atlantic.

12. Read books. Yessirree. I can read fast, too. Not something that could have counted as a talent a few years ago, but it's shocking to me how few people have the attention span for those things nowadays [does kvetching about these days count as a talent? No, I didn't think so].

13. Train dogs. I haven't done a fabulous job with our current mutt...okay so maybe I should change this one? How about rob banks? It's not one I've done before but I bet I'd be okay at it. I'm good under pressure. It's just about ten minutes later that I fall apart. But how do you plan for a bank full of nuns? Well, I guess we panicked, we all have taboos. They were like zebras, they had us confused.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

vote for my neph's video



I guess you gotta go here to cast your vote. And I'm sorry if you like other videos better or if you don't like Obama or you don't want to get on some mailing list. That's just too bad. Vote for Alan or the dog gets it.

Look at the dog. You don't want anything to happen to her, do you?

I didn't think so...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

sad and sadder

I was very excited and had to share with someone. And while I was trying to demonstrate to my kids how the fab new vacuum cleaner really sucks, I realized I was channeling a very old sit com. And then I was trying to explain Mary Hartman and her waxy build-up to them. It only ended when they patted me on the shoulder and reassured me it all sounded just. . . just great.

Sigh.

Monday, April 21, 2008

ATTENTION ANDREW!

If you don't decide which college you're going to -- and decide very soon, I will keel you. Dead. No school choice necessary at least.

Yo. A least answer the simple questions like "what kind of criteria you using to decide?" or "what do you want for dinner?"

There, does that work? It's in my blog therefore it must be true. Dead.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

chapter five TUTGBBMCSMB

broken sobbing alert continues. This state of starry-eyed blubbering is usually only reached after three fruity alcoholic beverages.

Ann Aguirre has it. This is the best. She's won. God, this book brings tears to my eyes it's so so so. . . Oh. Lordy. Tumperkin, Carolyn Jean, Carrie, Ann. You are all....Oh. Shit... it's all so beautiful. I was THERE. I was PART OF GENIUS. Oh. OH. Ohhhhh.

Now that your nipples and heart are on full turgid alert, go read.
Chapter one is at Tumperkin’s.
Chapter two is at Carolyn Jean’s.
Chapter three is at HERE! My Place!
Chapter four is at Carrie Lofty’s.
Chapter five is at Ann's. (see above)
Chapter six (and the finale!) will be at Lisabea’s.

Links etc lifted directly from Ann's blog. I'm still too verklempt to busy myself with links and trivialities.

oh please, I'm sorry

I'm not much of a housekeeper. That's not the habit that's annoying me lately. It's that I tend to apologize when someone walks in the door. Hey, until that person comes in, I don't really notice the scum of dust, the stack of paper. So the apology is automatic. Oh dang, look at this place. I'm sorry!

I'm trying not to do that any more. I want to get out of the habit of feeling I owe the world sparkling surfaces and am a bad person for not providing them.

So now you're warned: if you come to my house, you probably get a welcome, an offer of coffee (good coffee, too) and the use of a chair that won't make your clothes dirty. The bathrooms are often okay because I hate gross bathrooms. The kitchen is usually clean because I like clean kitchens. Otherwise. Oh, dear. Oops.

This whole APOLOGIZING for a lack of action that's not really owed to anyone is silly.

Here's another thing I'm not so good at-----promo. Hey, I've done some, but I'm no Bianca D'Aarc or Toni Andrews. I'm talking about the kind of writer who's confident, smart and good at that job of putting themselves out there, movers and shakers businesswomen who know how to be professionals. I want to applaud them and yeah, I'm envious. I probably suffer because I don't have that ability. But I'm not going to keep saying sorry I'm not as shiny as all that. I'm going to break the habit of apologizing.

Why am I currently on this rant? As usual, I was set off by stuff on writer loops. I keep reading this sort of message on the loops:

I'm sorry I haven't been participating in the promo loop as much as usual. And then typically, oh, god, these words are followed by a horrible heart-wrenching story.

I'm sorry I haven't been posting there. I promise to do better. My mother was in intensive care. My husband was run over by a bus.

No, no, NO. Stop. Do NOT say sorry. (and hey, if you really do feel like you let your side down, be reassured that no one was harmed by your absence, except perhaps you, because you didn't sell as many books.)

Maybe you could manage something like "Whooowee, I'm glad to be back to being able to post regularly [and if the poster is in the mood to share details, but only then, because they owe nothing more] let me tell you, my life has been extraordinarily shitty lately."

Of course someone whose life has been extraordinarily shitty lately doesn't want or need Miss Prissy Pants rants. But since I am a mother, unsolicited ill-timed** advice is my raison d'etre. And I will now start a movement to stomp out the unnecessary apology. I say anyone joining my movement must agree that the phrase "I'm sorry" is way overused by people who don't owe anyone an explanation, much less an apology. By the way, no, this does not include the absent-minded apology when you bump into people or chairs. That's not the same.

I grant you over-use is not as horrible or morally abhorrent as the under-use of the apology by the guilty who don't know how to sincerely employ the phrase, "I'm sorry."

But the automatic public apology and explanation is unnecessary and . . . well. . . . I'm sorry, I just find it annoying.

______
** not to mention mind-bogglingly trivial. However you see? No apologies. I'm practicing.

Friday, April 18, 2008

OH this is entertainment

it's worthy of PBW! A real resource. find the easter eggs in a book. (I found this looking for a reference for Doug's latest creative............effort .....and so I left that link up).

No idea of the eggs are real, but I do like that kind of fun.

UPDATED: okay now that I've had a chance to look around, I admit the site isn't much. Yet. But the potential of silly trivia is grand.

Books I Won't Be Buying category

My Beautiful Mommy. Ugh.
I'd say hat tip to Bill of Portland Maine but I really didn't want to know this book existed, so a hearty beer belch in his direction instead.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

chapter four TUTGBBMCSMB

Yay! IT's UP AT LAST! Lovely Salome/Carrie Lofty's place.
I'd put up the appropriate list of all the chapters but Tumperkin's done that already.

In fact this great novel is all over the interwebs like the latest writer scandal, only with fewer comments. Thank god for that fewer comment point, eh? I mean seriously, the recent scandal is turning into a case of bunny stew calling the kettle obsessive boiled bunny ...never mind.

UPDATED TO ADD: I hadn't read Carrie's chapter--I had to post at once so I'd be on the cutting edge. Now I have read it.... and whoa! baby, that's some powerful magnificent prose, y'all.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

interactive play time

Yeah, yeah, it's politics. But it's a lot of fun spending play money here. I like the idea of buying an IPod, a Hanes classic 6-pack of socks and a new national power grid, a secret island fortress, and still have money for a few thousand Hannah Montana anti-static pink hairbrushes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Television

Anyone else watch Hustle? We've become addicted and I think we're going to run out soon. We're definitely done with the stuff available at the local library and imdb tells me that there aren't many after that.

I don't understand why British television doesn't take a series all the way to the bitter end. It's just like The Office (the one set in Slough--a place I've visited more than once and yes, I know just how cool that makes me). They made a few seasons and then Ricky Gervais decided okay, they're done with that story. What's with the grand old tradition of grinding out episodes until the ratings and writing go into the toilet? Sheesh. Although ....are the Archers still out there on the radio?

Friday, April 11, 2008

chapter three TUTGBBMCSMB

ta da!
The Unfeasibly Tall Greek Billionaire's Blackmailed Martyr-Complex Secretary Mistress Bride

You'll want to read chapter one and chapter two

Before you read my entry, a warning: I'm determined to win as many points as possible based on Tumperkin's system.

one point for every time:
- Molly indulges her martyr complex
- Nico mentions his belief that Molly's a whore
- Nico cuts Molly off mid-sentence
- You make a reference to the global hummus industry

ten points for every time you use one of the following phrases
- To her consternation, Molly's nipples hardened
- What was the point? Nico never believed her!
- He came, roaring his pleasure

Here are my instructions from the
TUTGBBMCSMB Home Office:
Chapter three-t
he squicky first-sex chapter: be liberal with the cliches; should (if possible) include one of those weird internal hymens that romance heroines have.

You see? Not a lot of space for that plot schmlot stuff (I don't know how Carolyn Jean managed to squeeze in the plight of those orphans and that toothless customs guard. The woman has talent). As God is My Witness, I'm going to win that cheesy novel from Tumperkin.

Oh and I have had to edit. I thought I had everything but on rereading I see I'd forgotten "he gritted" and "he spat" so the piece wasn't up to my personal standards.

A hammering on the door made the panicked Molly run across the huge shower enclosure to turn off the water and hastily wrap herself in a towel.

The tall Greek billionaire filled the entrance to the bathroom.

To her consternation, Molly’s nipples hardened at the sight of his unfeasibly tall body, but the peaked points were not enough to hold up the towel and the terrycloth slipped off revealing her womanly curves. She gasped. “I told you that I needed a shower before I—“

“A fast shower. Miss Ordinary.” His dark eyes greedily feasted on her flustered attempts to cover her naked dripping body with her hands. “You’ve been in here for at least fifteen minutes. We have work ahead of us. The global hummus industry never rests.”

She hung her head in shame. He was right. She had wastefully used so many gallons of hot water—but only because she wanted to look her very best for their charade. What was the point of explaining? Nico never believed her!

“Mr. Lefkas. I’m sorry if—“

“Work,” he repeated in a gruff, throbbing voice, “But also some play, I think.”

He boldly stepped toward her. She suddenly recalled that she stood, naked, streaming with water. The heated desire in his dark eyes awakened her own inexplicable excitement she’d never felt before she’d touched what weren't bags of talcum powder in the limo. To her consternation, her nipples hardened again. She quickly bent to retrieve the towel but he was there first, snatching it away with a low chuckle.

“No need to hide your body made for pleasure,” he gritted out. “And you must know it, the way you dress and flaunt yourself at work.”

“I?” she cried, stung. But perhaps she had been trying too hard to appear feminine and she should return to wearing the high collared shirts she’d inherited from her grandmother. “I have always tried to look like a profession—“

“A professional yes, but in which field," he spat. "I’d say in one of the oldest professions and that is not the global hummus industry, my dear.” His harsh laughter filled her with chagrin. She felt guilty for acts she’d never even thought of committing. Oh, but his rumbling chuckle made her imagine so many unspeakable acts. To her consternation, her nipples hardened.

He towered over her. “I have seen other captains of the global hummus industry look at you with lust. How many of them have you had?” he growled.

“Never. I never—“ she whispered but at that instant his mouth swooped down, crushing her lips with cruel rapaciousness. She gave up telling him that she never had a man, had never known true desire until she worked for him. What was the point of telling him the truth? Nico never believed her!

He seized her with hands roughed by years of work in the global hummus industry. Nico had started at the bottom, she recalled as he kneaded the flesh of her bottom. He’d begun life as a garbanzo bean sorter before rising to his dizzying heights as a captain--nay, admiral--of the global hummus industry. He was ruthless and cruel and she was in his grips now, literally. To her consternation her nipples hardened as he rolled one nubbin, then the other, between thumb and forefinger, as if testing the quality of two satisfactory chickpeas.

He moved back to yank off his own clothes, buttons popping and pinging as they hit the polished marble floor. Within seconds he stood before her, naked and unfeasibly magnificent.

She gulped at the sight of his tall broad iron-hard masculinity. “Please,” she pleaded. “Be gentle with—“

“Touch me,” he grated.

She tentatively stroked the rock hard silky softness of his love rod.

“More,” he gasped.

She grasped his proud purple-helmeted love warrior and watched as roaring, he came, filling her hand with love-cream.

A moment later, he swept her up in his arms as if she weighed no more than one of the many sacks of chick peas he’d carried on his broad shoulders. He strode to the palatial bedroom with windows that opened onto sweeping vistas, breathtaking views of garbanzo trees, the heart of the global hummus industry.

Nico tossed her onto the round bed. “Look at me!” he barked. She could see him in the mirrored ceiling and in the mirror headboard that surrounded the bed. “Into my eyes,” he rasped.

She stared into the dark pools as between her legs, something hard, much harder and larger than bags of talcum powder, prodded at her moist love nest.

“You are so tight,” he panted as, inch by inch, he sheathed himself in her slick love chunnel. Then he encountered the barrier of her maidenhood. His eyes darkened. “You slut! You should have told me you were a virgin!”

“I tried, Nico, but you don’t—“

“And now. Now! It’s too late,” he snarled as he pushed home. Two hard thrusts later, the excruciating pain filling Molly's love sheathe dissolved into pleasure. She clung to him in rapturous ecstasy. The stars echoed in her heart and her head as he pumped and she banged against a mirror. She lay on broken glass and held him tight as, roaring, he came.

* * *

You'll find chapter four six at lisabea's (eventually) CORRECTION! Chapter four will be at Carrie's place.

I don't have time to write the blog

I have to get my TUTGBBMCSMB done.

Chapters one and two are online, and breathless fans are waiting for the big sex scene. Considering how quickly Nic roared in chapter two t's just a good thing I've only got 750 words.

No, I am wrong.

Difficult work lies ahead of me. How I can work in the phrases lovecream, purple helmeted warrior of love, heaving mounds of creamy delicious she-flesh with these restrictions? Especially if I want to beat Carolyn Jean's excellent roaring, nipple hardening chapter points.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Lucia Won't Survive the Internet

Anyone else read those E.F. Benson books?

Lucia was larger-than-life. She exaggerated, stole ideas (never objects, unless you consider a guru or psychic medium objects), claimed acquaintances as dear friends (social climbing as an art form), was full of opinions that she broadcasted as facts--and nearly all of them were utter rot. The woman was self aggrandizing in a way that makes Chris Matthews look modest. Yet you end up rooting for her because she was magnificent.

Anyway, a woman like her can't last in the internet age because emails and posts catch up with her. Memories can be twisted--beautifully, too, in a uniquely creative manner that make you want to applaud -- but not actual words with her name attached to them.

Seriously, it's sort of sad. (I suppose there's an emphasis required on the "sort of.")

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

whoa, dude

Way back in the dawn of time when I was 22, courting my husband-to-be, we got into an argument. I walked away from him into another room, but it was to stop myself, not show him I could leave him any old time. I left to calm down. It was the first time I'd done that with anyone and it was the right thing to do or I would have said something unforgivable. It became a pattern that works for us. Eventually we'll have a discussion but the immediate insult is swallowed.

I'd rather walk away for ten minutes, an hour -- some amount of time -- than let loose with an insult that might cause harm. Hey, sometimes when we fight we've shouted shut up or fuck you. Over twenty-something years, that's pretty good. Nothing horribly hurtful or directed at trying to destroy the other person. Even in heat, we tend to keep in mind that there is going to be life beyond this fight. No scorched earth policy.

Before that I would let it all hang out. I was young...IMMATURE. Plus I was with people who'd give it right back. My husband turns into a rock when it gets nasty. The eyes are open but there's no one available to take the message. A lot of people do that when faced with pure angry shit-talk.

I often see people who run their marital battles another way, who have knock-down fights and sling words. They have a system that works for them. I suppose they know the words aren't real or they understand that their partner's temper is in charge of the conversation. Spew first, think later is the way those people deal with their anger.

But listen. This isn't a system that works outside the boundaries of that carefully crafted set-up they've got with their spouses.

And holy shit, batman. There has to be limits to that kind of let-loose with the mouth sort of fighting even with your spouse, or you end up pathetic Jerry Springer material. Here's an example of what I mean, slightly altered:
At one point, the wife playfully twirled his hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there."

The husband's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." His excuse was that it had been a long day.
If this guy was my husband, I'd drag him straight into counseling if he said something like this to me. The huge over-response to a little playfulness on my part, the cutting insult--that would be enough for me to pick up the phone but . . . cunt? In front of other people? ESPECIALLY people with little notebooks in their hands? In. No. Way. Acceptable.

As it is, I don't plan on voting for the man.

Usually I don't use my personality standards for people running for office because that's how we end up with likable idiots in the white house. What I look for in a friend is entirely different than what I want in a preznit. But this personality tool doesn't seem irrelevant. The job is practically nothing but seriously important, tense relationships, and as Schecter points out, some seriously long days. I don't want a guy who's going to spew first and think later.

Tired and upset? Not an acceptable excuse. If I can go 25 plus years without insulting my husband like that in public or private, ever, I'd say it isn't a particularly difficult skill to grasp. Control. It's one of those things you get when you grow up. Or if you don't, you get counseling. If that doesn't work, you sure as hell don't get a job where people skills are important. And not a job where scorched earth anger might actually be dangerous.

Yes, yes, I know Schecter and I are lefties, but for once, I think it's not a matter of partisanship. I'd have a "whoa shit, dude" moment if someone wrote this about Barack.

Could something like this be a deal breaker for some voters? I don't know. People who cope with angry men usually find ways to excuse the anger. I imagine if you were devoted to his cause and campaign, you could make it an unimportant detail. If you're skilled campaigner, it might even be possible to put a loveable spin on it. Old codger.

But ugh. Cunt.

Monday, April 07, 2008

SBD- fun writing stuff

I'm finishing a book and am trying to get to the end with all bits tied up without being boring. I'm going back in earlier in the manuscript and resolving some stuff. No point in letting those loose ends dangle or get tied all at once. Kind of like a back-story dump, only at the back of the story.

But the writing I'm really excited about? Chapter three. Granted Tumperkin's done my plotting for me but it is a category so the plotting was truly done ages ago. The comforting appeal of the predictable book. Tied up ends for sure. Tied up beginnings and middles too. Kinky. Unfeasibly. And there will be a love nubbin.

Speaking of fluff entertainment, I watched The She Devil last night. The Fay Weldon book is way tougher and meaner. I kinda like the HEA for everyone, including the Bad Evil Mary Fisher and Ex-Husband, in the movie. Not something I'd want to pay money to see, but it helped me run my treadmillian miles happily.

I hope Beth's new job lets her do SBD. Maybe I should write to her bosses and explain she needs to have easy Mondays. Her fans require this.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

an interview with me

I do love query tracker. If you're trying to find an agent, it rocks. Patrick updates his information almost before the agents do themselves. Not an exaggeration, some of those agency websites list agents who have moved on. Not Patrick.

Anyway, he likes to interview the people who find agents through his site. It's interesting how his questions focus on one book. Here's my interview.

Friday, April 04, 2008

the list.....which should he pick?

Here're the schools my kid got into:
UConn, Colby, Colgate, William and Mary, Brandeis.

Ask him which he wants to attend. Go on, I dare you. Naw, no fair--he's not going to snarl I don't effing know at you. He's polite to strangers. In fact he might even take advice from 'em.

So go ahead and give him advice and recommendations. I'm waiting. Operators are standing by.

(and if you say UConn, I say yes, I'm with you, good idea. Five years at UConn equals about 1 year anywhere else. Doesn't that seem reason enough to pick it if you don't have a serious preference? No?)

Brave New World that Has No Such People Really In It.

why bother with real life when you can do it with yer fingers? An explanation of Second Life.

I'm all cranky and shit about our techno-world life because of a major retail chain I'll call Smears. I wanted to call someone up, order a garbage disposal and have them bring the damn thing to our house and put it in. Seems pretty easy, eh? I don't want the stinkin' computer for this so I pick up the phone.

Here are highlights of the seven phone calls:

Chipper computer voice: Which department do you want. For a listing of possible departments please say listing.
me yelling: A person!
CCV: Okay, Appliances.
MY: No, no, a human.
CCV: I'm sorry. I didn't get that. Do you want large appliances, such as stoves and refrigerators?

I hang up after CCV tries to convince me that I should do this online and I should hold for an operator. I know their operators aren't local.

Phone Call #2:
I'm at the part where CCV is telling me para el español, diga el español, when the dog trots by with a kid's shoe in her mouth and I yell Stop. Yes, CCV sends me into the Spanish menu where I start yelling English! English! like some kind of anti-immigration maniac.

Click.
My fault, I admit it. I should have hit the mute button.

I finally get a local sales yokel and he says he has no idea how that works. He says he'll call me back. He doesn't.

I call again and get another human and start the order. When I give my address she wants me to spell Hartford. Ah, I have been sent elsewhere after all. It's a big city in the Northeast, I explain. Well not huge, but we have a huge collection of insurance companies and drug-dealers. She doesn't care. She's in Phoenix. Hey, I've heard of her city.

I make my order with the Smears person who doesn't want to know about Hartford. No, I don't blame her for that. but I do blame her for the part where she gives me an order number and tells me that I should set up some kind of appointment with service to come to my house.

Apparently she didn't put my order through because when I call the locals the next day to set up the service part, they've never heard of me. I go to some switchboard, probably in the Philippines because I can't place the accent. No, no one has that order number. I'm put into a system where I'm supposed to type in the telephone number I called from. No, don't recognize that number, CCV says, gravely. She's sorry she can't help me.

At least it's the first and only time Smears hangs up on me.

I try again. No, CCV doesn't know me, or my order number or the phone I called in on.
During that call, I eventually get a person who says I should call the smears.com number. But I made this order by phone on PURPOSE. Because I wanted to speak to PEOPLE. I'd already discovered a year ago that if you try to do things online and include service, you're screwed. That is why I used the telephone.

Call the dot com number the woman says.

I do. She was right. The next woman at last tracks down the order numbers. This is seventh phone calls in and I'm done. Since the order has just gone in, and hasn't cleared yet, I can cancel the goddamn order. She wants to know why and I start my rant about CCV and no clear system and no way to get one person to do the damned job and she interrupts with "I'll just mark that you changed your mind."

I drive over to the small local appliance store and buy a garbage disposal. Less than five minutes to buy the thing and set up a service appointment. They'll be here Monday.

Just now I got an email from Smears thanking me for my order. "If you have any questions regarding the installation of your order, please contact us at 1-866-277-1324."

Not too damned likely.

I'll be calling the automated 24/7 line for the credit card to make sure the order didn't slip past CCV and her friends. I don't mind that techo-call.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

tchah, you people!

So there's a dumb little blog where a woman named for a Groucho Marx character wrote some short entries that add up to 'ebooks are stupid!' and everyone went to visit her and blast her and go all Eeeiiii.

THREE, count 'em, THREE writers' loops I belong to said omigod, go read her and blast her!

I did and now I say, jeepers why'd I click on that link? Hey, I'll bet that blogger is the one who instructed some poor excitable writer to go read and get outraged and spread the news.

Yo, stop going over there, you silly outrageees! Stay here! Read all about neuroses and cheetos. blast me! Or spend more time at Balls and Walnuts where you I can win valuable prizez (thanks, Doug).

If you do want to get the blood pressure shooting into the stratosphere, go read Karen or Jesus General or ferfe or someone else, anyone else, who's got an ounce o' brainy fun with their outrageous and/or strongly expressed opinions. Evidence of some brain pwr, people--look for it whilst surfing or you'll end up as dopey as Zelda. It's contagious as cooties, really.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Animals in the Newz!

headlines of the day:
Stunning Cruelty.
and
New Were-line revealed at Ellora's.
and updated with a bonus....from the BBC and the Telegraph: impressive penguins.

Beware Prissy Pants. She's There, watching

Now Cheetos are on my list.

I have a list of products I won't buy because their advertising campaigns are so obnoxious or unpleasant or stupid or....Does one need a reason?

Prissy Pants** comes out when I see ads that mock teachers, parents or the little old lady who looks out her window. The neighborhood watch lady who calls the police? I want her watching. I would pay to have her watching.

And librarians. God help me, I might actually send a letter if I see another librarian getting the mocketty-mock ad treatment.

I spend minutes at a time composing letters to the manufacturers in my head. Do you really think making mom and dad look like assholes is going to get mom and dad to buy your stupid cereal? Don't you know we're sitting next to our kids watching Cap'n SweetCrunchees put one over on the adults?

I'm not Lazlo Toth and I don't send the letters, but they're there, deep in my Prissy Pants Soul and you idiots who sell stuff should keep in mind that us perimenopausal/menopausal/mothers of small children/mothers of teen agers have short fuses about anyone encouraging our kids to behave badly or rudely.

I don't want my kids reminded that they are better or cooler than old people. They already believe that. I suspect it's a natural inclination but that doesn't mean I want advertising moguls encouraging the "gotta make someone look stupid so you look cool" mindset.

Do not, for the love of your stupid products, show them how it's done. Snark? Sure. Actions like putting cheetos in someone's white laundry load? No. No. No.

Okay, maybe the snoring guy on the airplane with the cheetos up his nose while the air attendant gets an orgasm from the cheetos cheetah isn't so bad. But still.

Vindictive retaliation is the automatic response of immaturity. Quashing that is my main job
. Do you have any idea how many hours a week a parent spends trying to redirect and retrain their punkins so they can go out in the world and not kill or be killed the first time someone thwarts them? And then there's Chester saying Go For It!

Argh.

Anyway. Get it? Mean-spirited is not going to sell Ms. Prissy Pants a single thing. Frankly I'd rather have dogs selling beer and cartoon animals selling ciggies than you guys selling your version of Coolness.

__________
**Yet another alter ego.