Carrie Harris | Young Adult Author

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Holy Scary Eyebrows, Batman!

We went camping this past weekend. Okay, that's not entirely true. Our family of five crammed into a cabin with ten other people and said we were "roughing it." We were, in fact, staying less than five miles from the site of the infamous attack of the killer bees. I had four bees land on me over the weekend, but no stings.

Really, it's just because I'm sweet. That and I regularly dunk myself into bathtubs full of honey.

I helped with the cooking while we were at the cabin, because that's my bag baby. And one morning we made cinnamon toast, which I haven't had in ages and really is as good as I remember it. For some unknown reason, we decided to make designs on the toast, because designer toast is where it's at. We don't use style-free brand name toast when we camp. We're all about the fanciness.

So I was trying to sprinkle a cinnamon smiley face onto a piece of bread, only the eyes kind of melded together. My cinnamon toast had a unibrow.

It's giving me a complex, actually, because I have this thing about eyebrows. Unibrows, of course, are signs that someone is a werewolf, cro-magnon, or mutant hairball. But the thing that really gets me are the women with scary eyebrows. You know the ones that I'm talking about: they who paint their brows on like warpaint and walk around with an expression of terminal surprise, only the warpaint is so scary that it's more like scary terminal surprise.

I've decided that every villain I ever write will have scary eyebrows. Bad supervillain in the first book? Scary superbrows. Zombies in the second book? Scary rotting eyebrows. Demons? Scary evil eyebrows.

I've decided that palm reading is for losers. I'm going to found the Brow Readers Association. We members of the BRA believe that you can learn everything there is to know about someone by looking at their eyebrows.

I went to high school with a girl who used to pluck out her eyebrows and eat them. She's a cannibal now.

Wow. That was really random.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Swear!

Okay, confession time here: I swear like a sailor's wife. Seriously. I have a potty mouth and a half. And I also view cussing as something approaching fine art; you've got to come up with something creative, because the usual f-bombs and s-bombs just don't cut it with me, sistah/brothah/whatevah.

It's all a part of that playing with words thing, I guess. Appreciate interesting phrases I do. Possessed by Yoda I am.

Now, this tendency toward the creative application of four letter words is great until you have kids, or decide to start writing for kids, or both. Because then your only choices are to a) rehabilitate completely and start saying things like "oh, piddle!" when you drop something, or b) replace the creative swears with creative pseudo-swears. I'm all about the creativity, so I of course choose Option B. Besides, there's no way I can say "piddle" without snarfing.

And really, the replacement curse words out there that are used in YA lit and on television? Boooooring. If I hear one more person say the word "fracken," I'm going to go fracken nuts. And then I'm going to hunt their fracken butts down and kick them. Frackenly.

So I've decided to start a new trend. I am hereby replacing all of my swear words with the character names from the Teletubbies. Because I have three young children, and I think that the Teletubbies are a curse all by themselves. I wouldn't be surprised if the Teletubbies were really tools of eeeeevil. Not evil. Eeeeevil. Much wussier but cooler sounding.

Don't think it will work? Check out this dialogue from Clerks, one of the foulest scenes I could find, language-wise. With mucho apologies to Kevin Smith for Po-ing up his dialogue:

JAY:
I feel good today, Silent Bob. We're gonna make some money! And then you know what we're going to do? We're going to go to the party and get some dipsy. I'm gonna laa-laa this tinky-winky.

And really, don't you just want to laa-laa a tinky-winky? At least every once in a while?

Oh, po! I just dropped something. More blogging later...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Deep Thoughts

I hate it when people bemoan the fact that kids don't read and simultaneously look at me funny for choosing to write for teens. It does Not Make Sense. Those two sentiments are Completely At Odds With Each Other and drive me to Random Capitalization. They should Stop Doing That or I'll stick my Fist In Their--

Never Mind.

So many people have blogged about the wonder that is YA, and they, being serious and all, have said it much better than I can what with all my smartassery. I'm better at asking silly questions, like if Aragorn got bitten by a vampire would he still be as desirable as he is now? Of course we're talking scruff Aragorn and not clean shaven Ken doll wannabe Aragorn. But it would be scruff Aragorn with fangs and a penchant for young women in filmy nightgowns.

Man, if I only had Photoshop, I would go all out with photos of THAT.

Really, it makes me laugh when people start asking me for stirring commentary on this or that. It's not that I'm incapable of deep thoughs (by Jack Handey). It's just that en route to the deep thoughts, I get distracted by Jack Handey.

My favorite Deep Thought by Jack Handey is paraphrased because I don't remember it word for word, but it goes something like this: "I remember every summer that my Uncle Bob would get out a board and nail two tadpoles to it. Then he'd spin the board around and yell, 'Tadpoles! Tadpoles is the winner!' We thought he was a little crazy, but then again, we had some growing up to do."

See what I mean?

And what it comes down to is that rather than argue with the morons who don't understand the Wonder That Is Writing For Teens, I'd rather just do it. Because really, if they wrote for teens too, then I wouldn't be able to feel superior to them any more.

It's all a part of my master plan, bay-bee.

And thus ends an episode of Deep Thoughts by Carrie Harris. If only I could have that Jack Handey guy read this for me while the words scroll over a picture of a trickling stream, I could die a happy woman. Not like I'm planning on dying any time soon, but you know what I mean.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dinner Party - September

Okay, so the last dinner party I threw was a big success. I still can’t explain this; maybe it was the food but I didn’t really go all out, and theme-wise it wasn’t half as cool as the murder mystery dinner party that I threw in college, which had a Clue theme. Mr. Plaid showed up in a kilt, and Mr. Orange, whose character was a drug addict, showed up with a whole baggie full of Pixy Stick powder, which Ms. Peach promptly flushed down the toilet. Mr. Orange was really upset; he was planning to eat his drugs after the party was over.

Oh, and Ms. Peach smacked Mr. Black right across the face, which really astounded me, because Ms. Peach is my best friend, and Mr. Black is Slayer. Yeouch!

Anyway, if I could stop digressing for more than two seconds, I thought I’d throw a dinner party once a month, until I run out of ideas or you all quit reading The Wonder That Is My Blog. Because you’re enabling me; I hope you realize that.

So this month’s dinner party is the other obvious one: authors. Forget the characters; whose mind do you want to pick over canap├ęs? Who do you want to gush over while consuming a mountain of pate or a hillock of potato salad?

Frankly, I just like the word “hillock.”

Who would you invite and why? You can choose any published author, alive or dead, and you only have enough plates for five. Yes, I’m sure you could give the famous authors paper plates, but then they would think you were a loser. That would be bad.

My choices are unsurprisingly weighted toward funny people, because I hope their skill at humor will rub off on me. Although maybe this is a bad idea because they’ll all think I’m a frottager (person who gets off on jostling people—my high school history teacher did one heck of a memorable impression). I don’t mean rub off on me literally. Pervs.

1. Oscar Wilde – If you’ve never read or seen The Importance of Being Earnest, you are missing out on a snarf fest. True, Dorian Grey isn’t exactly chucklicious; in fact it frightened the bejeezus out of me. And then there are Mr. Wilde’s famous last words: looking at a wall full of ugly wallpaper from his sickbed, he said: “Either the wallpaper goes, or I go.” He kept his word. Anyone who would die just to avoid ugly wallpaper is too funny to pass up. Although he’s not allowed to go into our bathroom because we haven’t been able to renovate it since moving in this summer. He’d probably die all over again.

2. Dorothy Sayers – Ms. Sayers is going to fill my literate humor category, because you honestly need a classical dictionary to understand all the lit references in her books. She will probably make me feel stupid, but that’s okay. If worst comes to worst, I’ll sic Oscar on her.

3. Terry Pratchett – And Mr. Pratchett will sit in the silly humor chair, complete with whoopee cushion. I hope he brings a contingent of the Nac Mac Feegle with him. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re missing out. The Nac Mac Feegle made me snarf, quite literally. Spewed Dr. Pepper all over my sheets.

4. Maureen Johnson – I know, I’m all about the MJ. It’s all MJ fangirlishness, all the time. But when it comes to YA, she rocks the casbah. She’s made of awesome. And she would probably bring her ABBA CDs and a disco ball to the party. I’d be getting my swerve on with MJ, which would be rocking cool.

5. This last spot was tough, because I love Tom Robbins but I’ve been there and done that dinner party wise. And I was tempted to give it to Robert Jordan because I find his books unintentionally funny. Please don’t come after me with stinky cheese if you’re a Jordan fan; it’s just that he repeats himself so much that it’s funny: “Rand wished, and not for the first time, that Mat and Perrin were here. They understood girls… And Mat wished, not for the first time, that Rand and Perrin were here, because they would know what to do. They understood women… Perrin wished, and not for the first time, that Robert Jordan would quit repeating himself, because he knew that readers weren’t dumb and had the picture already!”

But ultimately, I think I’m going to go for Carl Hiaasen. He does both adult and YA, and Skinny Dip is so fabulous that I think he’d fit the wacky humor seat quite nicely. Of course, maybe I should be in that seat. Or maybe I should be in the drooly fangirl seat. Or the chatters-in-a-panic seat, because that’s what I do when I get nervous. Ask my agent. I have no idea what I told her during that first phone call. I have this vague recollection of telling her all about my stalkers. I’ve had four; one thought he was Antonio Banderas. I’m sure that really made the difference when it came to taking me on as a client.

I've got connections. I know Antonio, or I did until Slayer scared him off for me. Maybe he'll blurb my book for me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf - Covers

This week's snarftastic webpage is really REALLY inappropriate. Please do not open when there are children around and then come after me with a blowtorch and some really smelly cheese with veins in it. I cannot stand stinky cheese. Stinky cheese equals torture in my book, only not really, because I don't think I referred to stinky cheese in my last book. Lima beans, yes. Stinky cheese no. Must get on that. (Makes mental note.)

Anyway, it's all about inappropriate children's book covers this week. Many make me snarf and some make me wince and a couple made me almost tinkle.

Actually, that was a lie. I just like to say the word "tinkle."

So here it is.

And this makes me think about YA book covers, because hey, I write YA and am apparently really self-centered when it comes to blogging. Really, I need an attitude adjustment, but my friend the chiropractor is always so busy when he comes down to see us.

Now, there's been a lot of talk about the headlessness of YA book covers lately. You can check out some prime examples of these covers, complete with snarftastic commentary here, but for those of you who just can't stand the separation anxiety related to leaving The Wonder That Is My Blog, I'll tell you about it.

Next time you're in the bookstore, head to YA and peruse the headnessness. Because there are umpteen covers that look like they hired me as the photographer: all the heads are cut off the cover models. Which kinda makes me wonder why they hired models, but anyway. This trend is evolving, too, because now it's a bunch of headless, legless girls with impossibly perky behinds.

And this above all scares me. Because the headless and legless girls are going to take over the world. It's inevitable, because we all know about teens and peer pressure, right? And if you're a teenager and you read about someone uber cool in a book and want to be all like them, and then you look at the cover to see that they're headless and legless? It's a foregone conclusion. Off with their heads (and legs)!

Now, the logical question is how to fend off the headless and legless hordes while they're chasing people around and pelting them with cherries. The best news about this is that they obviously can't run very fast. So in the absence of anything else, climb a tree or something; just don't fall out of it like our neighbor kid did. She ended up with three pins in her arm, the poor thing, and if the headless and legless hordes were there she would have been totally SOL. I was thinking that stinky cheese might work, but something tells me that their sense of smell might not be the best.

Y'know, with them missing their heads and all.

So apparently they're unstoppable. All of you with cherry allergies better run for the hills. Forget zombies. I'm afraid of the headless and legless hordes. When they come, please remember that I told you so.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Word-a-rama

I'm constantly being accused of inventing words. This may have something to do with the fact that I'm always doing it, but I still don't know why my friends persist in pointing it out. Yes, I make up words. But listen up, people: I DO IT ON PURPOSE!

Mostly, it's just because I have a Bachelor's in English and have to do something to prove that it was worth the time and effort. Because really, all that a BA in English does for you career-wise is makes you a shoe-in to put the letters on the sign outside of McDonalds. Trust me on this one.

The fact is that I love words. I like playing with them, creating new ones, and trying to see if I can use them enough times to make other people pick them up (or throw things at me... it's happened once or twice). Like "snarftastic." I'm sure I'm not the first person in the world to use it, but I've decided to champion it, and when it wins an Academy Award, I'd damned well better be in the acceptance speech.

Er... yeah. Pretend that made sense for me, will ya?

But combining words together to make new ones? Man, if you don't appreciate that, hie thee to the library and pick up a copy of Jabberwocky. Every single computer I've ever had has been named the Frumious Bandersnatch, because that name is just so freaking cool.

Anyway, since I like to play word games, signs with missing letters or ridiculous misspellings make me snarf. I remember two signs with particular fondness. On the way to work, I used to drive past the Red Oof Inn, and I always wanted to stay there just so I could call all my friends and tell them that I was sleeping at the Red Oof. And then I'd go down the street to order the "Big Chicken F" from Rally's, because hey, they were advertising it. I don't know why, but the Big Chicken F really cracks me up. It sounds vaguely pervy for some reason I don't quite understand.

One of my other favorite word games is the reading things backwards game, and again I've got some favorites to relate. See, the mall in Toledo, where I used to live, is called Franklin Park. And there's nothing like going to Krap Nilknarf for a little shopping. After that, I like to go to Niknud Stunod for a glazed chocolate donut. But not with the Big Chicken F, because everyone knows that Big Chicken Fs and Stunods don't go well together.

Part of this is just me being silly. (I know, you're absolutely aghast at that one.) But part of it is I think essential to being a writer. Not that you need to take the silly approach to it, but always to play with words, to squish them around and jumble them up and see what new things you can come up with. To play with anagrams and abbreviations and new ways to say old things. To explore slang, how it evolves, and to find new ways to make it work for you.

And I am the world's biggest geek, because I love that schtuff. But you can call me wobgeek for short.

Monday, September 22, 2008

In the Event of Famousness

I’m pretty lucky, all things considered. After years of craptastic luck, as evidenced by the time I fell of a cliff and the time I unknowingly dated a mobster, I kind of feel like I’ve got it made these days. Life is good, and I’m all about passing it on. So I’ve decided to start a new feature for this blog: once a month, we’re going to talk about famousness.

Because, really, I’ve got it all planned out. In the event of famousness, I need to have plenty of pithy things to say for the camera-bearing hordes that I expect to be parked on my front lawn, so I’ve started making lists to prepare for this event. And it seems to me that authors tend to get a lot of the same questions, so I figure that the best way for me to pay it forward is to share some of my stock answers with all of you, so that when you’re famous for writing an expose that proves once and for all what’s in Kentucky Fried Chicken or whatever, you’ll know what to say too.

And one of the questions that writers get asked most often is: “Where do you get your ideas?” In the event that you’re ever faced with this question and are chock out of answers, try one of these babies on for size:

1. Osmosis. Go to the library, stack a bunch of books on the floor, and sleep on them. It’ll change your life. Honest.

2. I stalk famous authors until they give me ideas just to make me go away. It helps to be in costume while you stalk, makes you look particularly unhinged. My favorite stalking costume is probably Little Bo Peep.

3. From Fred. That wacky Fred.

4. Like I’m going to tell you? Pshaw. And monkeys might fly out my butt.

5. I don’t know. I can’t remember much since the lobotomy. Do you have any Twinkies?

6. Well, I fell off a cliff once, and as I was lying there, broken and oozing, they all came to me at once. I really suggest it; it’s great for the creative process.

7. If you knew that, you’d be as famous as me, wouldn’t you? Neiner neiner neiner.

8. Well, I spend a lot of time reading blogs. I mean, a LOT of time. And then I think a lot, and read some more blogs, and think some more, but that really doesn’t get me anywhere. So then I take a shower, and voila! Ideas galore. So if you want ideas, I guess showering. Although you should still read my blog just in case.

See? That’s fodder for a bunch of interviews in the event famousness strikes. Now I won’t sit there and gape at them like a beached whale with a mental deficiency. And neither will you. Not that you’d do that, of course, you’d be much more graceful than that.

Aren’t I so helpful?

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Iron Chef I'm Not

I've come to the conclusion that either I have a particularly entertaining life, or funny stuff happens to other people but they're smart enough not to publicize it the way I do. I've got stories galore, most of them quite embarrassing to myself. Am I the only idiot around here, or am I just the only idiot big enough to tell everyone that I'm an idiot? And do I use the word idiot too much?

Anyway, I like to laugh, and I figure I might as well laugh at myself. Hence this blog: I plan to take over the world one snarf at a time. Erk. Probably shouldn't have said that, because now you're on top of my nefarious snarf-related plot (NSRP).

But back to the topic at hand. I was recently retelling one of my Embarrassing Carrie Stories, and I thought, hey, why not put this on The Wonder That Is My Blog? Because I really haven't gotten the maximum level of humiliation out of it just yet.

And lo, here I am. Woot woot.

See, I like to cook, when I'm not chopping off the tip of my index finger (long story) or being forced to make mountains of pate (another long story). And when I was a grad student, I lived in an efficiency apartment nicknamed The Hovel with a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. I didn't cook when I lived there; I reheated a lot. Then I moved to an apartment which I nicknamed The Palace, and I felt proud of myself until I learned about the drug dealer downstairs with a propensity for headbutting stained glass. Again, long story.

After I moved into The Palace, I decided to cook something to celebrate. (No, it wasn't a mountain of pate. Will you quit bringing that up!?!) So I got myself a steak and makings for baked potatoes with everything, and I thought I was hot shoot.

Well, not hot shoot, but I'm trying not to cuss so much.

I was preheating the oven and seasoning my steak when I noticed the smell. Apparently, the former residents hadn't bothered to clean out said oven before they left, and billows of dark grey smoke were pouring out. So I opened all of the windows and doors and turned off the oven. Remember how I said I'm calm and cool under pressure? Yeah, I rock.

Except for one problem. I had not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR freaking smoke detectors in that one bedroom apartment. And the first went off. Imagine a beeping ice pick being shoved into your temple and you probably have it. Then the next. Finally, all four are beeping at me, and smoke is pouring out the windows and doors, and the shut off buttons don't work, and I can't get the covers off to take out the batteries, and I'm beating at one with a broom and cussing (hot shoot!) incessantly, but the smoke detectors beep on, impervious to my potty mouth.

So finally, I rip one of the damned detectors (so much for not cussing) off the ceiling, throw open the door to my balcony, stalk outside, and wing it frisbee-style onto my lawn, where it sits and beeps. And beeps. And beeps.

This is when I notice my audience. About twenty people on the sidewalk outside, all staring up at my apartment, waiting for me to throw myself to safety, because with all the streaming smoke and smoke detector chorus, they have jumped to the obvious conclusion: there's a fire. At this point, though, I'm not in the mood to explain. I yell, "Don't worry! I'm just cooking!" run back inside the apartment, and slam the door behind me to deal with the other three.

I ate McDonalds that night. The smoke detector stayed on the lawn for two weeks, just in case of an incipient lawn fire. And people in the neighborhood ran for cover whenever I brought in the groceries. The saddest part of all of this? My stepmother was a bona fide French chef, and she taught me to (make a mountain of pate) cook. I'm pretty good at it, although pate makes me want to yark.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tag Tag Bo Bag. Banana Fana Fo... Er... Never Mind

I've been tagged. Twice over, actually, because apparently people think that I'm tag-worthy. I'd say this is new to me, but actually it's not. In grade school, I was always tagged, but that's because I run slower than slow. Kinda like the speed you'd go if you were carrying an elephant through tapioca. I just came up with that phrase a couple of days ago, and I think it's going in the Vault o' Carriespeak.

I may need my own dictionary if this goes on much longer. Webster Schmebster.

Anyway, I was tagged by the fab Tabitha (tempting to abbreviate her name for the sake of the rhyme scheme, but then she'd come after me with a spork or something) and the equally fab Brenda. Go and visit their wonderful blogs, if you haven't already. Don't worry. I'll wait. Patiently.

Oh, who am I trying to kid? The only time I'm patient is when I'm at the doctor.

So here's the taggy goodness. I'm supposed to tag eight people, who will then tag eight people, until this list of questions TAKES OVER THE WORLD! Bwahahahaha!

Er... wait a tick. That's not right. But I am supposed to tag eight people, who are then supposed to answer the questions, because answering questions is cool, unless you're on Jeopardy, in which case your bass is ackwards. So I tag, in politically correct alphabetical order: Aaron, Adrienne, Balthazar, Cate, Jamie, Jeremy, sruble, and Tiny T. I apologize for tagging you in advance if you, like me, have traumatic memories of grade school. I also apologize for tagging Tiny T's locked blog, but I thought she'd have fun with it. And lastly, I apologize for apologizing so much.

And the questions:
1. What are your nicknames? Slayer calls me El Wife. My closest friend calls me Carrie Spice, more like Posh Spice than Old Spice, I hope. My son calls me Beautiful. Methinks Slayer put him up to that. But isn't it so cute that it makes you sick?

2. What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD? Uh... I think it was sex, lies, and videotape. I had this James Spader thing back in the day, and I rented it about twenty times. And then I bought Real Genius, and my roommate stole it. I'd like to fill her house with popcorn, only not really, because then any remote chance I have of getting it back would be entirely obliterated.

3. What is your favorite scent? I like the smell of chlorine. I'm strange. This will probably not surprise you by now. Moving on...

4. What one place have you visited that you can't forget and want to go back to? Closest friend and I went on a cruise. Our adventures were many and varied and included the Rabid Man-hungry Aussie, a Boob Whisperer (kinda like a horse whisperer, only he talked to your breastal region instead of your pony), and Freaky Dancing Man, complete with kung fu elbow action. I could write a million comedy books based on the people I meet on cruises, and then I could write it off as a business expense.

5. Do you trust easily? Not particularly, but once it's there, it's there forever. I cannot think of anything funny to say about this, except to point out the words that rhyme with "trust." Off the top of my head, I've got gust, lust, and bust. Coincidence? Well... yeah, probably.

6. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think? If you read The Wonder That Is My Blog on a regular basis you should know this by now. I just babble and hope it's funny.

7. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days? Almost, but then I realized how lucky I am. I have three fab kids, a fab hubby, a fab new house. Man, I've turned into one of those happy people that I hate. That makes me unhappy. Ish.

8. Do you have a good body image? I imagine my body back to its pre-twin shape. Does that count? Because seriously, when I was pregnant with the twins, I had this red sweater, and I imagine that on satellite images, there was this big red dot on Earth. That was me. You could see me from space.

9. What is your favorite fruit? Pineapple, all the way, baby. Unless you count my friend Bob in college. He was a HOOT.

10. What websites do you visit daily? Uh... how long do you have to read this? I've been all blog crazy lately. But Verla Kay's definitely.

11. What have you been seriously addicted to lately? Well, blogs. And a few blogs. And did I mention that I've kinda been addicted to blogs? I start to twitch when I get too far away from the computer. Which is partly due to blogs and partly due to the fact that I finally figured out the snafu in my plot. Woot woot.

12. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is? Let me put it to you this way: if Brenda or Tabitha lived in Michigan, I would so want to have dinner with them every once in a while, because they seem like the kind of people I could eat dinner with and not want to throttle them. This is my silly way of saying that they genuinely seem like good people. Unfortunately, it seems that Michigan has been declared a writer-free-zone. I wish someone would have told me that before we moved.

13. What's the last song that got stuck in your head? Uh... I Feel Pretty. I was making a sarcastic comment that backfired on me. Bad Carrie. No biscuit.

14. What's your favorite item of clothing? Probably my Boondock Saints shirt. I adore that movie.

15. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy? Why? Are you going to buy stock? Do you think I eat too much? Have you been videotaping my breakfasts? Yes? Oh. Cool. Yeah, I like them.

16. What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground? Pick it up, duh. If I saw someone drop it, I'd say so. If there was somewhere to turn it in, I would do it. If not, I would do Carrie's Happy Dance, which includes the patented Carrie Cabbage Patch. You ain't seen dancing until you've seen me Cabbage Patch.

17. What items could you not go without during the day? Computer, children, and Diet Dr. Pepper. The computer so I can write and check blogs. The children because, well, they're mine, and if they were missing that would be bad. And Diet Dr. Pepper to keep up with the first two.

18. What should you be doing right now? Writing. Or sleeping. Or watching my mother laugh at me while I lounge on the couch and bemoan the fact that I ought to be writing or sleeping.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf: Strongbad

And now for another exciting episode of Things That Make Me Snarf!

Unfortunately, this one's not on YouTube, so you're going to have to leave The Wonder That Is My Blog to get there. But it's worth it to see a little cartoon guy say:

Trevor, I pine for you.

This has got me started thinking about funny ways to complete unfinished lines, and thus I bring you the Carrie Harris version of Trevor the Vampire. Because Carrie does it novel style.

Sorry. I've been researching Snoop Dogg lyrics for my WIP. Yeah, I know. I think I'm crazy too.

Anyway, here's the deal. I've got some famous lines from literature, only I'm rewriting them a little. Got any that are better than mine?

From Pride and Prejudice:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune... needs a lawyer with experience in prenups, and in the case of Donald Trump, a new haircut.

From Hamlet:
To be or not to be... that pretty much covers all the options.

From Love Story:
Love means never having to say... hey, gimme my bra back!

From Moby Dick:
I am... Kartoffelsalat. My middle name is Wayne, though, so you'd best think things through before you laugh at me.

From Ender's Game:
The enemy's gate is... a complete waste of our freaking time since they keep screwing with the rules, so let's go eat some Pop Tarts instead.

From Green Eggs and Ham:
I do not like green eggs and ham... because duh, they're moldy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm Special, and Not in a Stuart Smalley Kind of Way

Woot! I've just received an I Love Your Blog award courtesy of the fabulous Laini Taylor. If you haven't been to her blog yet, you must go, quickly, before you spontaneously combust. I couldn't resist adjusting The Automated Wonder That Is My Blog to respond to this toot sweet.

BTW, whoever came up with the phrase "toot sweet" either has no sense of smell or some serious issues. Or both. Probably both.

Anyway, let us move on to the rules:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.

2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you (as shown above).

3) Nominate at least seven other blogs.

4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.

5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Now, there are plenty of big time bloggy people that I read, but chances are pretty good that you also know about them, because seemingly everyone in the known universe does. We all sit in awe of their bloggy goodness. So instead of hitting the uber popular blogs that most of you already know about, I've decided to hit on the New Hotness of blogdom. Technically, I think every single blog on this list is older than mine, so they're not new, but... ack. You know what I mean. And if you don't, just pretend. Remember my delicate psyche.

And now, my nominations, weighted heavily toward Blogs That Make Me Snarf:

1. Susan Sandmore: Susan's one of my agency sisters, but don't think for a minute that I'm putting her on this list because I am biased. The woman cracks me up. Try this post on Love and Rocket Boys for size. If you don't laugh, you may be a pod person.

2. Random Acts of Unkindness: Follow the dancing pig on over to Ello's blog. This chick is hilarious. Don't believe me? Read this. Don't drink anything while you're reading it if you know what's good for you.

3. Resident Alien: Let's add a little international type comedy for spice. Witzl has lived in a lot of countries, and if her blog is any indication, she's probably gotten lost in most of them. (I can't talk; I'd get lost in a paper bag with a map and a flashlight.) Try this post on for size.

4. Tales of the Loompa Wrangler: I'm putting this up in the hopes that The Brad will continue posting on his snarfalicious blog, because he keeps taking vacations to work on his manny (i.e., manuscript). You may or may not agree with the politics, but the man is just plain funny.

5. King of the Mutants: This is one of those blogs that's snarfworthy and thought-provoking all at the same time. I only WISH I could come up with ideas like this.

6. PJ Hoover: This one's simple: she seems like the kind of person I'd like to invite to a dinner party. She likes Renaissance Faires, starts conversations about Carrie-the-Stephen-King book, and just seems like an all around cool person.

7. Carrie's Procrastinatory Outlet: Speaking of Carries, she cracks me up. Two simple words: zombie pregnancies.

8. Join the Birdies: I can't resist one last one. Because this reminds me so much of the time my appendix burst, only no one believed me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Typo Amusement


First, let there be business.

Just a quick note to let you know that The Wonder That Is My Blog will be largely automated this week, due to parental visitage. My mother will be here. I've still got posts coming up on a daily basis, but I may not be so quick to visit and comment on your blogs. I'm sorry. Please don't hate me. My fragile psyche can't take it.

You didn't quite realize how important you are, did you?

And that, my friends, concludes the business of the morning/day/evening/whenever you're reading this. On to the amusement.

For some reason, typos crack me up. Spelling mistakes may make me want to flagellate people with noodles, but typos amuse me to no end. I proofread menus and make snarky comments about people who don't know how to spell "quesadilla." I have this strange idea that maybe the people who put letters on signs ought to have the basics of spelling and grammar down pat. But give me a good typo and I'll giggle for hours.

I remember two typos with particular fondness. The first was from a romancey-type thing in which a whole lot of stroking was going on. No, not THAT kind of stroking. More like the hero stroking her hair and stroking her arms while she cried, and that sort of thing. Only he kept typing it storking. So he was storking her hair and storking her arms. And the mental picture there STILL makes me laugh. I picture some guy beating on a poor woman with a big white bird.

And every time I read something about gentle stroking, I laugh.

The other typo that made me snarf was from an old boss of mine, who is quite honestly certifiably insane. We wrote a lot of reports together back in ye olde days, you know, before electricity when all managerial reports were etched in stone. And she had this problem with the word "assess." She kept leaving an S off the end. And really, you can only read about how someone needs to asses the situation so many times before it becomes snarfalicious.

How about you? Know any good typos?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Superpower Roulette


I'm trying to decide what kind of superpower I want, because my birthday is coming up in a couple of months and it never hurts to be prepared. Unfortunately, most of the powers out there are made for people who think football is exciting. Personally, I can't get that excited over a ball, because hey, it's something you throw and catch and while that's kinda fun every once in a while it's not something that's going to make me tear my clothes off and go running down the street. Or tear my clothes off and go to a naked party either.

But seriously? Super strength. Super speed. Lightning fast reflexes. Sure, they'd be nice if I couldn't have anything else, but really what fun things can I use them for? I'd never be late to pick up son from the school, and I could carry my twins down to the bus stop with my pinkies, which would make me a big hit at parties, but I'm already a big hit at parties. I can put both of my legs behind my head.

Although I don't do that party trick any more since I did it one time, overbalanced, and fell flat on my nose. I ended up stuck there like an overturned turtle. I was the hit of that party for all the wrong reasons.

Part of me wants something more creative, and part of me just wants to fly. I used to take pilot's lessons way back in the day, because I saw Top Gun one time too many and wanted to be a fighter pilot. Never mind that back in said day, girls weren't allowed to be fighter pilots; I wanted it anyway. So I started taking classes to get my pilot's license. And during the first lesson, my instructor says, "Pull up."

So I did.

And he says, "Pull up some more."

So I did.

This is the part where the plane TURNED OFF. As in, the engines shut off and we start falling out of the sky. This, my friends, is bad. This is what not to do. Falling out of the sky is bad. I read it in my pilot's training book.

So there I am, completely and utterly panicked, and the instructor turns to me and says, "So the lesson here is that you should never pull back that far." And he's giving me this long drawn out lecture about air flow and automatic shut off and all this stuff, but all I'm doing is staring out the window at the ground, because it's getting BIGGER, and that too is bad.

Finally, he shows me how to recover from a stall, and then he makes me climb up in altitude and do it all over again, and it's all I can do to keep from ralphing all over the place.

Maybe I'd better go ahead with the flying thing just in case that ever happens to me again. Although if someone ever tells me to "pull up," I don't care what they're talking about. I'm not doing it.

Critiquey Goodness


I got a great critique on my WIP from Fabulous Critique Partner Ami a couple of days ago, and I've been thinking a lot about the whole critique thing for a while. Because I'm still pretty much a critiquey moron in a lot of ways.

You think I jest? The first critique partner I had was my friend and college roommate. I lived in a townhouse with two guys; we were like Threes Company, only in reverse gender-wise, and Chrissy was a big guy who played Rush CDs incessantly, even when he slept, and Janet was a little guy who looked like Satan and slept with a samurai sword under his pillow.

I kid you not.

Anyway, Chrissy was a writer too, so we agreed to trade our stuff. I gave him my first manuscript, which sucked like nothing has ever sucked before. He gave me his novella, which was based on a roleplaying game, with all of the details changed to protect the not-so-innocent. And I started to critique. I covered the thing in purple ink, because red is just too high school teacher for me. I worked for weeks. And finally, I gave it to him with a long letter full of feedback attached. His critique consisted of one line:

That was nice.


And then he pretty much quit talking to me. I think the poor guy was a little overwhelmed by the way that I tore his stuff apart, and I was all huffy because I put all that time in and got nothing in return. Took me years to learn a lesson from that one, and said lesson is: I am a critiquey moron.

Moving on. I joined a critique group, and eventually it fell apart due to schedules and other random stuff. So now I've got a fab critique partner. Which is, well, fab. We're really able to dig deep into each other's stuff, since we're not critiquing for other people. And I've got all the time in the world to read blogs and write pages now that son is in school.

But I've really got to curb my critiquey moronic tendencies and figure out what to do critique-wise. I am absolutely sticking with fab critique partner Ami. But it seems like diversification would be good, that maybe we ought to add some peeps to the mix and start another group. I've got plenty of time now that son is in school; after two weeks of reading blogs for an hour or so during the day, I've come to the conclusion that I've got to get off my heinie and accomplish something instead of wasting all my time on bloggy goodness. So yesterday I exercised for a half hour and am now blogging about the fact that I ought to do something.

It's progress. Kinda.

What do you guys think? Do you prefer critique partners, critique groups, or sending your manuscripts to your mother, who is always kind? Where did you find the best critique partners? I've done the SCBWI boards before, but new ideas are always a good thing, particularly when you're a self-declared critiquey moron.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Twenty Different Kinds of Wrong


A couple of days ago, I heard something that was wrong with a capital R. And it went something like this:

Woman: Have a good day, lover.

Now, on the surface, this doesn’t seem so bad. Except that she was talking to her son, and said son is about five years old by my estimate.

See what I mean about the wrongness? The wrongocity? The wrongification?

I’m all for nicknames. When I ran an office, I probably could have been sued an average of three times per day simply because I called all of my office staff by fond little nicknames and just couldn’t stop myself. Sunshine, Toots, Chickadee: all of them were fair game. And they called me nicknames, like Goddess of the Database and Oh Captain My Captain. (I didn’t have the heart to tell them that it’s a poem about death; they really did think they were being complimentary.) It was all in good fun. Of course, they might have called me different nicknames when I wasn’t around; I don’t know.

I wonder sometimes how surreal it must be to have me as a boss. I used pull out my comic breakdancing moves to help cheer up my employees when the stress got to them, and then I turned around and taught myself how to diagnose cases of a rare disease because it seemed to me that the manager should know what all of her employees do. I burgeon with contradictions.

Anyway, I call my son a goof-butt when he acts like, well, a goof-butt. But on the other hand, I suggested to Slayer that he stop calling our son “C-Man,” because while his first initial is indeed “C,” the whole thing sounds pretty pervy to me. But calling him “lover”? That squicks me out! And he just nodded like that was normal and told her to have a good day too.

I think I need a brain scrubber.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf - Impressions

And now, for another exciting episode of... THINGS THAT MAKE ME SNARF!

And in today's episode, our young(ish) heroine snarfs Diet Dr. Pepper out her nose due to exposure to this:

I don't know what it is about impressions, but I've always loved them. And after seeing this, I love Kevin Spacey even more than I did before. I think I might have to be in Club Kevin, even if he doesn't have any scruff.

This reminds me of a guy I used to know who did some spot-on impressions. He was particularly good at Christopher Walken, and he used to tell a really twisted joke about a psychotic clown in his Walkenvoice. I wish I could tell it on the blog, but it's one of those things that is ONLY funny if it's told in Walkenvoice, and the only voices I can do are Strongbad and Valley Girl. Although it might be funny to hear me TRY to tell a joke in Walkenvoice... but don't hold your breath for it because you'll probably pass out and then you'll miss out on the wonder that is my blog.

Anyway, I met the impressions guy at a theater party. My closest friend asked me to go with her, and I have to say that if you've never been to a theater party, you've missed out on some very traumatic experiences. Now, my friend was the only person I knew at this party, right? And when we got there, everyone was naked.

Yup. Buck freaking naked.

Now, this was where my problems started, because I was obviously mortified to be one of the two clothed people in the house (my friend was the other one). To make matters worse, I couldn't remember anyone's name. Because, see, I'm one of those people who associates names with physical features. Usually, it's an article of clothing that works for me, so I remember that Rita's in the red shirt or whathaveyou.

You can begin to understand my dilemma. Yes, I could in fact resort to remembering that John had a mole on his behind, but that would necessitate looking at said behind and I was making every effort to keep my focus at chin height or higher. This was somewhat complicated by the fact that people kept hopping up on tables to dance, but in situations like that it's the thought that counts. And besides, remembering John's butt mole was not going to help me when I met him again later and he was hopefully clothed. I very distinctly remember thinking that the next time I hung out with these people I was going to need to ask them to drop trou, take a look, and then go: "OOOH! You're Fred! I recognize you!" After that, I got the uncontrollable giggles and we ended up having to go outside to get some fresh, non-naked air.

Shortly thereafter, the impressions guy came outside, and I'm pretty sure he was naked, but the impressions were so good that I didn't care. And then a bunch of other naked people came outside and started climbing trees. The night went downhill from there. Seriously. We had to leave because otherwise my psyche was going to be irrevocably damaged.

But he sure did some good impressions. They were enough to make me forget the nakedness, and that's pretty impressive.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First Lines

There's a new posty type thing going around the blogosphere in which people list the first lines to their last ten stories. I like stuff like this, but unfortunately I've got a bit of a problem. I don't think I have ten stories to post, and even if I did, my old stuff is so embarrassing that I'd have to post them and then move to Greenland, where I'd be so depressed and sedentary that I'd eventually be run over by a glacier and eaten by a polar bear, and then the polar bear would get indigestion and die, and then I'd be known forever as that quack writer and polar bear murderer.

Because y'know, I was trying to be serious in my older books, and I really ought to know better. But now I am old and wise and have realized that my talents really lie in smartassery.

Anyway, I decided that I'd do it up a little differently. See, I obsessed over the first line of my last book. Obsessed. I wanted it to be the kind of line that makes other writers gnash their teeth in envy. I wanted it to be the kind of line that makes people buy the freaking book already. So I decided to look at some of my recent reads and see what they did with their first lines. I chose different genres and whatnot because diverse populations satisfy my latent statisticiany urges. These are some of my favorites that thou shalt go out and read if thou has not. And then I shalt quit talking like this.

1. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. (Laugh-your-pants-off YA)
"Some things start before other things."

Wow. Profound. Frankly, I like the chapter title better: "A Clang Well Done." Snarfalicious.

2. Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. (Rocking cool mystery, complete with man in monocle)
"Harriet Vane sat at her writing-table and stared out into Mecklenburg Square."

That hyphen bothers me. Fabulous book, too many hyphens.

3. Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. (Horrorish historicalish fabulousish adulty kind of book)
"We Szekeleys have a right to be proud, for in our veins flows the blood of many brave races who fought as the lion fights, for lordship."

I kinda like this one. My only problem is that it's Van Helsing talking, and I can't get Anthony Hopkins' voice from the Dracula movie out of my head, and then I start having Keanu flashbacks and it's all downhill from there.

5. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. (Tres cool sociopolitical YA with hoverboards)
"The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit."

I love the line, but literally speaking I think they need to call the EPA. We had a cat, and her vomit was always lime green and foamy.

6. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. (Stylin' cyberpunky type thing in which my favorite character is an Inuit with "poor impulse control" tattooed on his forehead an a nuclear warhead in his motorcycle sidecar)
"The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed sub-category."

Oh, man. I wish I had written this line. I wish I could write one this good. While I'm at it, I'd like a pony. Actually, I'm lying. I don't have anywhere to put a pony.

7. Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins. (Jesus in a sideshow carnival. Need I say more?)
"The magician's underwear has just been found in a cardboard suitcase floating in a stagnant pond on the outskirts of Miami."

Snarf. Snarf, and snarf again. I don't exactly know why I find this one so funny, but I do.

And then, there's the first line of my book:
"I'm lying on a mirror in the middle of an empty classroom."

I'm sure there's a point here, but I'm not quite sure what it is. Maybe the point is that I need to write more books so that I can actually do these bloggy things without cheating. And the other point is that maybe I should stop obsessing over the first line and get a little freaking perspective. My birthday is coming up in a few months. Maybe I'll ask for some perspective then.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Nostalgic Despite Myself

This weekend, Slayer had to work, so I took the kids to our local parade. We're living in a pretty small town these days, and we've got the typical small town parade thing going. I wonder what aliens would think of parades:

"Garblesnack here. The Earthpeople have captured some prisoners and garbed them in strange ribbons, probably to denote their prisoner status. Now they're parading them through the streets in a strange ceremony, probably as a precursor to roasting them alive. Oh no! There are hordes of hungry children waiting to tear them limb from limb! What did the female Earthpeople do to deserve such a tragic end?! The female Earthpeople are pelting the young children with small sugary projectiles in the hopes of staving them off! Throw, female Earthperson! Throw like the wind!"

Yeah, we had a lot of beauty queens this year, and some of them had some pretty amazing aim. My poor forehead.

My favorite part is always the marching band, because I spent four years on our high school drum line. This may explain why my books almost always have a female drummer in them, because girl drummers rock the casbah. Now, I was watching our marching band this weekend and feeling a little nostalgic. High School Me would think this is absolutely pitiful. High School Me didn't think that marching band was anything to get all nostalgic about. Then again, High School Me also liked to make fun of people who were lame enough to get married in the gazebo in our town square.

Modern Day Me is that lame.

And really, when I think about it, there isn't much to get nostalgic over. High school marching band was full of embarrassments. Our school colors were yellow and green, and our hats had these big yellow plumes that stood straight up over our heads like unicorn horns. But being in high school, of course we didn't compare them to unicorn horns. We decided that they looked like Big Bird's privates, or what we would imagine Big Bird's privates to look like.

I wonder what Garblesnack would think if he overheard all of us bandies getting dressed before a game:

"Hey! Who took my Big Bird penis? Give it back!"

And we also had these little do-hickeys called "dickies" to wear under our jackets. If you're unfamiliar with the dickie, the concept is simple. It's a faux shirtfront that velcros on around the neck and waist. In our case, the shirtfront was a narrow strip of white ruffles edged with green that you could see peeking out from inside the jacket. And let me tell you, those things were stylin'. You've never seen anything until you've seen the entire tuba line standing around in shorts, long black socks pulled up as high as they'll go, and dickies. No shirts underneath, so it's a good thing they were all guys. Because those dickies were narrow enough that there was definitely some nipple action going on there.

Gotta love the tuba line. They used to stand behind the drum line and make comments about my butt, only they were so hilarious that I could never get offended.

Man, I could go on for days. And while I was in the middle of it, I never realized how great it was. Seems like there's a profound statement about life in there somewhere, but I'm too distracted by dickies and Big Bird's bait and tackle to get there.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Scruff or No Scruff, That Is the Question

So it seems to me that we have a Werewolf Contingent around here. You know who you are; you're the people who were ballsy enough to disagree with my assertion of vampiric sexiness. (Snarf.) The ones who don't mind a little werewolf slobber or sleeping next to a hairy Cuisinart. (At least in theory.) At first, I have to admit that I was thinking you had issues, only the issues couldn't be that bad because hey, you read my blog and everyone knows that my blog is magic.

Have the hiccups? Read my blog, and they will magically go away. Zit on your nose? My blog will take care of it. Werewolf fetish? Simply read my blog and... well, actually, there's no hope there.

Just kidding.

Anyway, I was really starting to wonder about you wolfy people and then it hit me: the scruff question. The question is simple: Aragorn or Legolas?

And I have to admit that I'm a fence rider here. Normally, I think fence riders are wusses with a capital WUSS, but this is an important decision and not something that you can take lightly. On one hand, you have Aragorn. His hair may be scraggly and his fingernails dirty; he may be terminally unshaven, so much so that he really ought to try out for another remake of Miami Vice, but the man is just plain sexy. And then, on the other hand, there's Legolas. Yes, I do have a strong aversion to men with hair longer than mine, but he just looks so freaking good that I might have to make an exception. And he's all agile; he makes shooting a bow look kinda ooh-la-la if you know what I mean.

So I don't have a strong stance here, and that's a good thing. Because it's allowed me to see the point of view of the Werewolf Contingent, and I am no longer worried about your sanity. Because really, if Aragorn was a werewolf; well, I'd still find him attractive although I have to admit that I'd also seriously wonder what kind of happy place Tolkien was in and what he smoked to get there.

So... what's your stance? Are you in Club Aragorn, Club Legolas, or Please Club Them Both Because I Can't Stand It Any More?

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Tom Robbins Story

So first off, let me start off this story by saying that I'm talking Tom Robbins the author here, not Tim Robbins the actor, although I'd love to meet Tim-the-actor some day and tell him something wacky enough to make him take off his sunglasses too. No, this story is about Tom Robbins, otherwise known as He Who Wrote the Book That Made Me Want to Become a Writer.

That book, if you care, is Skinny Legs and All. Please note that this book is kind of adulty. That's right: it has some of that ess-eee-ex stuff in it. That book did things to me, like make me stay up all night and skip class the next day in order to finish it. It was NOT my fault. Anyway, what's not to like about a book that addresses the big issues like religion, politics, and an Airstream Trailer decorated to look like a huge roast turkey?

Anyway, one of hubby's old family friends goes way back with Tom Robbins. And after months and months of (not so) subtle begging and pleading, I got invited to a dinner party to meet Tom. Woot woot!

Unfortunately, a lot of other people were invited too. And they did not understand the importance of me, and they kept getting in the way of the Conversation That Was Meant To Be. You know, the one between me and Tom in which I stun him with my witty repartee and knowledge of Airstream Trailer art. So I'm getting a little frustrated, because the guy is my idol and I haven't even gotten to say hello to him. And that's when hubby steps in.

He starts holding forth on every controversial topic he can possibly come up with, and that's a lot of them. He's ranting on health insurance for children, the status of the parole system, child abuse, and whether or not bellbottoms should be outlawed. (I am firmly pro-bellbottom prohibition.) And would you believe that people are slowly pulled away from the famous author and sucked in to the vortex of conversation surrounding my hubby?

Finally, there I am, sitting at the table with the family friend and Tom Robbins. I could reach out and touch him. His hand is right next to me on the table. I could have licked it if I wanted to, but I restrained myself because something told me that this wouldn't be the wisest plan of action. I did maybe nudge him a little with my elbow one time. Of course that was completely accidental.

Now, Tom Robbins is a wear sunglasses inside the house kind of guy. I understand this is a medical kind of thing and not a Jack Nicholson kind of thing. Anyway, I turned to him, and I said, "Listen, there's something that I really wanted to say to you. I had to thank you for ruining my life."

He pulled off his glasses so he could see me better and said, "What?!"

Snarf.

So I told him about reading Skinny Legs and All. About how I had my life all planned out, quite satisfactorially I might add, before I read it. And how that book took all those plans and squished them into werewolf kibble, because I decided that day to become a writer. Everyone kept trying to discourage me, to tell me not to quit my day job, to not throw away my livelihood on a career that is so difficult to break into. Screw 'em. I was taking a big chance for the first time ever and going off into the unknown without a plan. (gasp!) And it was freaking GREAT.

If I hadn't read that book, I might never have taken the chance.

I don't think he really knew what to say to that, but he smiled a little. I think he was pleased. And I kept writing.

Now, after all these years, I think (I hope) I'm on the verge of getting to say those three little words that I've been waiting to say to those Poopheads who discouraged me all those years ago:

Neiner neiner neiner.

I'm so mature that it just kills me sometimes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Mouse House


If you've read the description of my book, or if you're unfortunate enough to know me in real life, you're probably familiar with one of my favorite phrases: rat-in-a-coffee-can insane. I will freely admit that I stole this saying from an old friend of mine, and then I turned around and added insult to injury by nicknaming him The Gangsta Jawa. See, he had this coat, and I honestly think it looked like something that P.Diddy would wear if he'd been raised by the Jawas from Star Wars. I just couldn't help myself.

Can I interrupt myself briefly to tell you that if I were a hip hop star, I'd be C-Ha? Look out, J-Lo; C-Ha's in da house!

Anyway, if I could stay on topic for more than five seconds at a time, I'd tell you that I love the whole rat-slash-coffee-can imagery. The scrabble of little paws on the metal. The shaking of the can as the rat runs in endless circles. It's the absolute picture of desperate insanity. So obviously, I use that phrase a lot.

And sometimes life imitates art, only I used to know someone named Art and don't really imitate him very much because that would be weird and borderline obsessive to boot. And I, as we all know, am completely normal. Ish.

So a couple of days ago, I was checking my email in the basement, because that's where the computer is and it helps to have a computer for the purposes of checking said email. And I keep hearing this scrabbling noise. At first, I just thought something fell off the computer desk, because I am the Queen of Clutter, but after the fourth time something "fell off the desk," I figured I ought to look into it.

And there it was. An empty 2-liter bottle of Vernors, which was NOT mine, because I think Vernors tastes like werewolf spit. And technically, the bottle wasn't empty either. There was a mouse stuck in it. Somehow, that little bugger managed to crawl inside the bottle without knocking it over, and then he couldn't get out.

I would have taken a picture, except that we STILL haven't replaced our camera after my son gave it a bath.

So we cut the bottle open and let little Mickey out of the bottle. Or Minnie. Whatever. I didn't check the mouse's gender for god's sake, because I figure that after being stuck in a bottle for a day, he/she/it probably wouldn't appreciate the invasion of privacy. It would be adding insult to injury yet again, and I'm trying to curb those instincts.

So instead, I'm using this as inspiration for a new phrase. Unfortunately, mouse-in-a-pop-bottle insane doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but I'm still evaluating some other options. Like gerbil-in-a-sippy-cup insane. That one's actually not half bad, now that I think of it...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Holy Bleep!

For a baby blogger who talks a lot about balls, supernatural sexiness, and kartafflesalat, I have been incredibly lucky. My fab agent picked up on my dinner party blog entry, and she posted about it on her equally fab blog, Ask Daphne. I'm assuming that Trashionista picked up on it from there and then put up a post about it on their site. This evening, the wonder that is Google Alerts has notified me that the whole dinner party thing has now been picked up by Litopia.

Holy bleep! I'm going to have to start wearing sunglasses inside the house, because I'm f-ing famous-ish.

Which reminds me, don't let me forget to tell you about the time I said something so wacky that it made Tom Robbins take off his sunglasses. Because it is indubitably one of my shining moments.

Anyway, I'm mentioned by name around minute seven of tonight's Litopia Writer's Podcast, but please don't skip ahead to that particular minute because I've just realized two things about Litopia: the podcasts are pleasingly informative, and they are delivered by people with yummy accents. They are quite worth listening to, even the ones that don't talk about me.

So anyway, I'm just excited to have people reading and linking and all that sort of thing. And feeling all grateful. And all sniffly and Sally Field-esque, because you like me! You really like me!

Don't sell that Kleenex stock just yet, because I'm getting all verklempt here. Thanks, peeps. Seriously.

The Sexy Creature Awards

I have a confession to make. Every time I read a vampire book, there's this little soundtrack running continuously in the back of my head, and it sounds something like this:



When I say I've got issues, I really mean it.

But honestly, I think the whole lure of the vampire thing is that, like Right Said Fred and their glistening baldness, they are sexy. You will not see a vampire guy shuffling around in a plaid button down with a pocket protector. You will never catch a vampire chick in a sack skirt and a sailor blouse. These things are not permitted by the Vampiric Laws of Clothing, which can be easily summarized as: Vampiric clothing must put the EEEEEE! in sex-EEEEEE!

It's also a little known fact that vampires will spontaneously combust if you dress them in last year's fashions. Because really, that whole stake and mallet thing is just so passe. Garlic does nothing, but a well-placed pair of bellbottoms will stop a vampire dead in their tracks.

Get it? DEAD? Mwahahaha!

But if you think about it, vampires really take the Sexy Creature Award hands down. Because their competition is pretty weak:

1. Anyone who finds zombies sexy (lurch-lurch-uuungh!) needs some serious therapy.
2. Werewolves are out unless you happen to be attracted by the concept of a hairy Cuisinart with a licking fetish.
3. Fairies aren't too bad; I dated one once but he was prettier than me. Not so much sexy, just pretty.
4. Sasquatch are right out for one reason: hairy toes.
5. Ghosts are disembodied, which pretty much takes them out of the sexy competition, unless they sound like Sean Connery in which case they're frontrunners.

So unless you've got a better idea or can produce a ghost that sounds like Mr. Connery, this month's Sexy Creature Award is going to go to the vamps.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf

Today is going to be a short day blog-wise. It's my son's first day of big boy school. So he is bouncing-off-the-walls excited; I'm buying stock in Kleenex. Seriously, people, contact your stockbrokers and get some, because you'll make millions today. It seems like yesterday that I was pregnant with him and he was using my ribs for chinups.

But before I head off to my mommy-ish duties, I have two things. The first is a birthday shout out to my critique partner, Ami. Good critique partners are one in a million and great ones are one in a trillion. And in a former life (like a few years ago), I was a statistician, so I can assure you that I arrived at these numbers using a very complex mathematical theory: I guessed. Anyway, Ami falls into that later category, and so she deserves a very happy birthday and a publishing contract. I can't offer her the later, but I can definitely do the former. So happy birthday, sunshine!

And, last but not least, I leave you with a video that makes me snarf. My favorite part is the sound that the pieces of whale make when they hit the ground. I mean, really, are people THAT dumb?

Don't answer that.

 


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