Carrie Harris | Young Adult Author

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Kid

My son turns five today. This makes me incredibly happy, not only because he's turning five and I haven't accidentally left him anywhere yet, but also because he happens to celebrate this momentous occasion on what we all know is my absolute favorite holiday. This makes me go squee, because I now have an excuse to humiliate him for years to come. (As if I need an excuse.) When he is a teenager and I am in my 40s, I shall dress up as Smurfette the American Gladiator at his birthday party and embarrass the heck out of him.

Because if Smurfette could hold her own in a village full of Smurfdudes, then she should have no problem with the other gladiators.

And the year after that, I'll be Posh Spice Claus (ho ho HO!). And the year after THAT, I'll be a zombie tooth fairy. (Teeeeeeth!) And the year after THAT...

Maybe I should stop. So many costume ideas, so little time.

Anyway, you might be feeling bad for my kid right now, because of all of the pre-planned humiliation he has in store for him, but he can definitely hold his own. At Halloween last year, he decided that THIS year, he was going to be Ghost Rider and he wanted me to light his head on fire, but with pretend fire that wouldn't burn. He followed this up with a request to be Billy Idol, which I was actually in full support of, except that son's favorite Idol video is "The Cradle of Love." It's the one with the semi-nude girl that dances around on the bed.

He doesn't care about her clothing. He just thinks it's cool that she gets to jump on the bed and no one yells at her. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Anyway, I really didn't want him to be telling his teacher and all of his schoolmates about that. It was bad enough a couple of years ago when my brother-in-law was still smoking, and son went to preschool, stuck a stick in his mouth, and proceeded to "smoke" it. All the other parents LOVED me for that one.

Son changed his mind about his costume at least once a week, and this started the week after Halloween LAST year. So that's approximately 50 costume ideas that we went through. At first, I was amused by this, and then somewhere around idea 25 or so I started to get frustrated. But then, I realized how much like me he is, with his whole Halloween obsession and all. So maybe, just maybe, when I dress up as Scarlet O'Hairdresser, he won't be so humiliated. Maybe he will think it is as cool as I do.

He is my kid, after all.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creative Prognostication

I've got the perfect idea. Forget fortune cookies, astrology, and Magic 8 Balls. Okay, maybe not that last part, because sometimes when Slayer and I really can't decide where to go out to eat, we narrow it down to two and ask The Ball. Because The Ball knows things. The Ball is smart with a capital MA, simply because as we all know, I like random capitalization.

But I've decided that instead of reading Tarot or palms or anything boring like that, I'm going to tell fortunes by reading Halloween costumes. Because of course I am an expert in all things Halloweenie, as we've established already. And I think that Halloween costumes really say something about people.

For example, I give you this:


Yes, that is a Polaroid. Yes, that is me.

And no, I have no idea what the bleep my parents were trying to dress me up as. It looks to me like I'm a clownbo. Because I remember the plaid shirt and faux sheepskin vest. (I was stylin, wasn't I?) And I remember carrying a stick with a bandanna tied to the end, which strongly suggests hobo. But I look like my makeup was done by Sparky the Intoxicated Clown. And I've got a notebook as a tie. Don't ask. I have no clue whatsoever.

So I'm going to call it a clownbo. Now, if I was a Costume Reader, which I of course AM, I would say the following to Former Me: Get a life. Do it quickly. Because in about a year, some of your classmates will stuff you into a mailbox. And really, who can blame them, because the clownbo thing is just not working. Clownbos scream to be shoved into mailboxes.

I am beginning to think that my clownboness ruined my grade school career. I was the class geek in grade school. If only I would have dressed like Barbie, I could have been kewl.

Which is why this year I'm going as the Queen of the Ninja Cheerleaders. Because that kind of costume screams "I WILL KICK YOUR BOOTY IF YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT TRYING TO STUFF ME INTO A MAILBOX!" Because I've kind of got a mailbox complex now. Take a look at a mailbox next time you're walking by; you'll see why.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf - Army of Darkness

With the holiday coming up, I wanted to show a clip of one of my favorite Halloween movies. And there's no beating Army of Darkness.



Personally, I think Klaatu Burata Necktie has a nice ring to it.

I'm all about the campy horror flicks. I have no desire to see any of the Saw movies or anything in which the idiot sorority girl runs around in her undies and has to fend of the insane psycho killer with a pair of safety scissors, but give me the rollerskating vampires from Fright Night or Billy Zane doing the demonic cowboy dance in Tales From the Crypt: Demon Night, and I'm a happy girl. I like the vampire cheerleaders in Dusk Til Dawn and the singing zombies of Shaun of the Dead. Anybody else have some good recommendations for me?

I'm adding "make the campiest horror film ever" to my list of things to do. Because really, I'm all about camp, unless you're talking about church camp in which case I am less than pleased because my best friend slept with my boyfriend the last time I was there. I mean, really, you'd expect lightning bolts from heaven for that kind of thing, but apparently Ramrod was busy.

I'm thinking that there should be a lot of eyebrow shots in the movie. And maybe it should be a musical. Rollerskating Zombies in Love. Mmmm... I think I'll have to work on it a little more.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

RIP Frumious Bandersnatch - Almost

The Frumious Bandersnatch died on Saturday.

For those of you who need a refresher course in Carriespeak, I'm referring to my computer. All of my computers have been named The Frumious Bandersnatch. I know, how creative of me. Anyway, the third in a long (if three is long) and distinguished line of Frumious Bandersnatches totally croaked. I sound very calm about this now, but at the time I had an intense urge to kick the CPU up and down the street whilst repeatedly screaming: "Eff you, you effing effer!"

We had a neighbor who used to stand outside his apartment and scream this very sentence, or the nonsanitized version thereof, to the construction guys who worked outside one summer. We called him Mullet Man. Because, well, he had a mullet. And he was obviously a superhero in disguise whose mission was to save the world from early morning construction. I particularly loved when he would scream his motto while I was on conference calls for work.

So I took the Frum III to Best Buy, hoping against hope that they wouldn't have to send him away for new parts, because then I'd have to call him the Frumious Frankensnatch, and that sounds vaguely pervy to me. I'm not sure I could say it without giggling. And the Geek Squad guy hooked him up. Turned him on.

And he worked just fine.

He very carefully did not laugh in my face, although clearly he wanted to. And of course I felt like a complete idiot. I wanted to say, "You know, I used to teach a college level computer class when I was a grad student, and yeah it was software instead of hardware, but I'm not a complete idiot. I tried everything I was supposed to. I unplugged it, and let it cool down, and tried safe mode and everything. I even sacrificed some bread to Ramrod. So quit not laughing at me like I'm an idiot."

But I didn't say that. I took the Frum home and hooked him back up. He's fine now, the bastard. If he wanted to go for a ride, he should have just said so.

All of this makes me think about this guy I once saw who gave a speech about quality control. And he opened up by saying that there was one industry that has a really poor history of quality control and reliability of products, and if other industries followed their lead, five people would be buried alive in the US each year, three planes would suddenly stop working and fall from the sky, and so on. (I'm making up the numbers since I can't remember them exactly, but the gist is still the same.) I tried to find him, but for some reason searching Google for "hilarious speaker who talks about computer quality control and people being buried alive" got me pages about Obama and t-shirts about hookers. Those would be separate pages, BTW.

Monday, October 27, 2008

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

I'm in serious trouble. See, my friend Skilli went to Japan and brought me back a gift. Is it a doggie bag of leftover yellowfin maki? A complete collection of El Hazard cartoons? Some of those funny tabi shoes that make you look like your feet were stolen by aliens in the night and replaced with turtle feet? Nope. None of those things. He got me a book called "Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide."

To me this means a couple of things. First, Skilli really gets me. He understands my weaknesses. Second, I've got a serious problem, because now I've got another book idea. To many people, this would be a good thing, because apparently some people actually sit down at the computer and ask themselves what in sam hell they want to write. This never happens to me. When I sit down at the computer to work on something new, it goes something like this:

"I've always wanted to write a book where a bunch of Japanese monsters start rampaging through the world and stomping on cities... oh, cities! If I've got cities, then I could work in some urban werewolves with lots of scruff, and I'll call one Oargarn, which is a thinly veiled anagram of Aragorn... oh, and then I'll need to have Gaslole, the Legolas wannabe vampire... and then I should put in some girls with weapons hidden in their high heels, because I like shoes... and then the world could be saved by a tribe of urban Smurfs, only that's probably copywritten, so I'll have to call them Snorks... er... Smorfs. Yeah. Oh, and I like popcorn. Bow down before my scary eyebrows!"

That Smurfette was a killer, you know. She was all smurfy this and smufy that, but she had to be kickass to keep all those guys in line.

But I think you begin to see my problem. Too many ideas many of which make no sense whatsoever. Anyone want to start ghostwriting for me? Just so long as you leave the Smorfs to me, because that's a killer idea.

Anyway, thanks Skilli for putting another idea into my head. Not like it wasn't full enough already!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: PJ Hoover is celebrating the release of her MG book The Emerald Tablet! If you haven't heard about it yet, neiner neiner neiner. I'm taunting you. Of course, you could go to her website and remedy the situation, and then you could join me in taunting the rest of the plebes who aren't kewl like we are...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Channeling Jon Lovitz

It's my policy not to put people I know into my books. Some days, I regret this policy. For example, my best friend married this great guy who is SCREAMING to be in a comedy book. He's tall, bald, and can channel the spirit of Jon Lovitz, which is even more impressive when you consider that Lovitz is still alive.

That's a really cool idea for a book: an impressionist who actually channels spirits. One minute, you're a famous Hollywood actor, sitting at the dinner table and eating bean sprouts off five million dollar plates because that's the only way you're going to make bean sprouts remotely palatable, and the next minute, you're looking out of the eyes of Mr. Bald and your voice is coming out of his mouth.

Of course, that's kind of like Being John Malkovich, isn't it? Which is sheer genius if you haven't seen it.

Anyway, Mr. Bald recently told me a story about how his mother called to tell him that her horse died and he felt really bad because he couldn't stop giggling. Which sounds really callous of him, except that the horse was standing in the middle of the woods, and it got struck by lightning. Not the trees. The horse.

Which goes to show you: if you're stuck in a thunderstorm, don't hide under a horse.

Now how can I resist putting that into a book? But then I'd want to take the character based on Mr. Bald (let's call him Mr. Hairy), and I'd want to turn him into a zombie parrot or drop him into a tank full of mutant bilingual piranha. I think he might take the piranha personally.

Which makes me think of the guys I went to college with, who paid off their student loans with piranha betting. They put beer in the piranha tank and then took bets on which drunk piranha would actually manage to catch one of the feeder fish. At the time, I found this funny. And again, it's screaming to be put into a book. But the good news is that I don't know those guys any more, so if I feed their characters to to a tank of mutant bilingual piranha, they won't know that they ought to be offended.

Addendum: BTW, I forgot to mention that I have been the victim of a Blogger curse the past couple of days, and my comments have only been working sporadically. I sacrificed two piece of white bread to Ramrod this morning and hopefully all is well again. Sorry. (Not like I think commenting on my blog is the highlight of your day or something.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf - Exorcists

This week's Thing That Makes Me Snarf is courtesy of Whose Line Is It Anyway? One of the best shows ever on television if you ask me, which you didn't because you were shirking your duties. I mean, really, do you expect me to keep up both sides of the conversation?

Fair warning that this clip starts out slow, but stick with it. It gets progressively snarfier.



I happen to know an exorcist or two, and I'm convinced that I've figured out the way to make my millions: Inspired by this video, I shall form a musical group. Know how that one guy is the guru of the boy bands? I shall be the guru of the exorcist bands. We could start the exorcist rap group: Exorcists Fo' Shizzle. The exorcist metal band: Motley Exorcist Riot. The exorcist 50's throwback band: Johnny and the Exorcists. The exorcist alternative rock group: Exorcist 11.

I know there are people out there who need to be exposed to the Latin version of "Pour Some Holy Water On Me," sung to the tune of "Pour Some Sugar On Me." Because really, that song is like mono. Once you're exposed to it, you can't get rid of it. When I was managing the research lab, I got that song stuck in my head for about four weeks and couldn't dislodge it. I'd be checking in brains (seriously. not kidding.) while singing that song, which is kind of twisted now that I think about it.

But then again, I kinda like twisted. Except that Dee Snyder gives me the creeps.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Religious Reflections

I can prove that god exists.

I use the lower case deliberately, because The Wonder That Is My Blog does not discriminate based on religion. Whether you worship God, the Great Mystery, or Ramrod the Holy Toaster, you are welcome here. So I'm going to use the lower case, and feel free to insert whatever deity-licious name you'd like.

Anyway. There are two episodes in my past that are useful in the whole proof-of-god's-existence thing. The first is the birth of my twins. See, the whole pregnancy with son thing was pretty much an exercise in excrutiating discomfort punctuated with short periods of sleep. I was on bed rest for about two months in my inlaws' living room. And I love my inlaws. They love me. But I think that by the end, they were as happy to have my whale-sized arse off their couch as I was.

Actually, I was bigger than whale-sized. I had this red sweater, and I was so big that you could have seen me from space. If there are any astronauts reading my blog, I was the little red blob on North America. It wasn't a hot air balloon.

So one day I said to myself, "Self, I'd like to have more kids. I hate being pregnant, but they're worth it. Although I wish I could just skip the pregnancy thing and just have the kids. Oh, and I think I'll name my toaster Ramrod, because it seems strangely fitting."

And less than a month later, I was pregnant with twins. I can just see god sitting up there, giggling at my expense. "Well, if she wants babies but doesn't like to be pregnant, I'll send her TWO AT ONCE! She'll have to learn to hold a book with her feet while she feeds them, and that will be funny. Oh, and the toast is done."

The other proof that I have that god exists and really needs to come to one of my dinner parties because he has a great sense of humor comes from when Slayer and I got engaged. Because we did the whole "will you marry me?" "hell yes!" thing, and then we got out the bubbly and toasted each other with glasses that Slayer had purchased especially for this purpose. Unfortunately, I was so giddy that I knocked my glass over and completely obliterated it.

Later, Slayer was washing our one remaining champagne glass, and he looked at me and said, "Well, at least we have ONE glass left," because we really haven't matured past the Pigtail Pulling Syndrome in kindergarten: you know, where you pull the pigtails of the girl you like? So he starts ribbing me about being a klutz when the bottom just fell off his glass, PLINK. In midair.

That Ramrod. He's such a kidder.

P.S. If you are one of those people who have come here after searching for a "freaky mom," I think you may be in the wrong place. I'm not THAT kind of freaky. I'm the kind of freaky that thinks Ramrod the Holy Toaster is freaking hilarious.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween Mix and Match

I'm not really cool with the whole purchasing a Halloween costume thing. I get tired of seeing the same five costumes all night. I remember one year where it was all superheroes and princesses, and I vowed that I would give my entire bowl of candy to the first kid that I saw dressed like Mini Me from Austen Powers. That poor kid didn't know what hit him; I leapt up from the front step, screaming and doing the patented Carrie Happy Dance (tm), dumped all of the candy into his pillowcase, and went inside.

I'm sure he's in therapy now.

But son is determined that he wants to be a superhero every year, and he doesn't want a lame homemade costume any more. No, he wants to go out and buy one. Which is a blessing in disguise, because after Halloween last year, he said he wanted to be Ghost Rider, and I wasn't sure how I was going to make that happen short of immolating him. Which would probably be bad.

My solution to this is to combine store-bought costumes in new and interesting ways. Like the Yoda Gangsta. Start with a Yoda costume, accessorize with a bling bling necklace, gold teeth, and roll up one pant leg. Say things like "Bust a cap in your ass I will."

Now THAT's original.

Or be the Batgeek. Start with a Batman costume (because you knew I was going to bring up Batman, or you should have), and attach a pocket protector to one of the Batnipples. Put thick-rimmed glasses on over the mask and maybe add a bow tie, because hey, it's a holiday.

Again, original. You will attract attention and make friends. Of course, they're probably all weirdos, but at least you will be popular. Because I've got a keen perspective on what's important.

Or try Captain Jack Cheerleader. Be Zombie Potter. (Quiiiiidich!) Princess Wolverine from X-Men: The Crossdresser Musical. I could go on and on, but I'm pretty sure you already think I'm nuts so my work is done here.

As for me? I've decided that I'm going to put together a bunch of pieces from our closet and will be the Queen of the Ninja Cheerleaders.

Oh, and if you peruse the sidebar, you will notice that Google happily recognizes my expertise in two new subjects: "snarf snarf indeed" and "freaky jumbled up words thing." Which actually makes me feel proud-ish. I think I need to get out more.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Revenge is Sweet, Except for When It's Stinky

On Friday, school was closed, so I took all three of the kids for a walk. It was a perfect fall day: leaves crunching under our feet, the air brisk but not too cold. The mums that I planted from seed this spring actually flowered, which nearly gave me a heart attack from shock. We walked down the street to the small park near our house, where there are paths galore for us to walk in. Son wanted to go pretend hunting. With a light saber.

Those poor ducks.

Anyway, we turned the corner to see the stand of trees in all their glorious color, the wind rustling their branches in a come hither sort of way. And then I saw it.

The porta potty.

I get the giggles every time I see one, and there's a very good reason for it. Let me take you back to the early 90s, when I was graduating from high school. We decided to have my graduation party at the lake down the street from my house. You couldn't swim in the lake without little fishies nibbling at your leg hair (it didn't matter how much you shaved... those little buggers were obstinate), and we had an in ground pool at our house, so I'm not exactly sure what the rationale was for that decision, but who cares? We were partying at the lake.

I was obviously excited about said party for many reasons, not the least of which was that my boyfriend was coming back from college to attend. We'd been dating for a year, only he was at college and I was at home. That fall, I followed him to college and immediately broke up with him because I quickly learned that he was a couple of fries short of a Happy Meal.

He was the one that got the cue ball stuck in his mouth. But somehow this didn't clue me in until I saw it up close and personal.

Anyway, we went down to the lake the morning of the party to set things up. And there we saw it: Someone had torched the porta potty. Now, porta potties aren't exactly flammable, but they aren't really fire resistant either. So it kind of melted and slumped over sideways. It smelled pretty much what you'd expect burnt poop to smell like.

So we had to call the lake association for an emergency porta potty delivery. They got right on it, I'm happy to say, and the porta potty gods smiled down upon us, and lo, a new blue, non-melty potty of goodness was delivered mere minutes before my party was to begin. I took all my guests on tours to show them the melty potty and the new potty of the gods. They were impressed. Some of them took pictures, but I can't seem to find any of them right now.

What I want to know is who I pissed off, because everyone knew that my party was going to be there. And what on earth made them desire to take revenge by torching my potty. Because really, what kind of evil genius dry-washes his hands and says, "I shall torch her potty! Bwahahahaha!"?

It's my potty and I can cry if I want to. Except that I was too busy giggling.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Freaky Mom's Club - I'm a Charter Member!

I'm the pariah of the bus stop. All the other moms have identical soccer mom bobs and cute little jogging suits in colors that actually match. They wear nail polish and lipstick. Some of them paint their eyebrows on, but of course I stay as far away from them as possible. I've decided that my scary Zombie House will have lots of zombies with painted on, terminally surprised zombiebrows. Because THAT's scary, mon.

Er... yeah. Anyway, I'm the odd one out, with my "I do bad things" rhinestone shirt and my paint-covered capris. I still wear my hair the same way I did in college: long. I do not do the cute little bob; it makes my face look like Pretty Polly Pumpkinhead. And that, my friends is bad with a capital BAAAAA.

The other moms were standing around earlier this week, recommending books to each other. "Finally!" I thought. "I can recommend some killer books! This is my big chance to establish myself as the kewl person at the bus stop." Until I noticed that the titles they were mentioning were the kind of titles that involve men in kilts, lots of bulging muscles, and storking. Lots and lots of storking. I, on the other hand, am reading a book called "Dead Girls" by Richard Calder, which I thought was going to be a zombie kind of story, perfect for October, but is instead a really pervy book about this virus that turns girls into killer vampiric clockwork nanotech dolls. Which is still kinda cool, except that it's cool in a way that makes me cock my head to one side and make confused doggie noises.

ARF? Translation: What the f*ck? Reason translation is needed: I have three children. Lucky for me, they don't realize that dogs say WTF all the time.

So now I'm resigned. I was thinking that I should just embrace the weirdness. Like, next week, I think I might read aloud from my WIP. Maybe the scene in which the main character steals a middle finger by mistake. Because, you know, I'm just not weird enough yet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dead Cheerleaders, Fog Machines and Other Halloweenie Things

I never realized that my adoration of all things Halloweenie was going to be a problem.

But then I became a parent. I tend to go, well, overboard when it comes to the Wonder That Is Halloween. Example: I dressed up as a slasher film cheerleader one year for a costume party. It was a FAB costume; I got a cute little blue and yellow cheerleader costume and learned how to do some good gory makeup. I did a primo realistic slashed throat, and then I smeared the rest of the blood all over my arms and legs. I even did pigtails.

That's right, bay-bee. I'm so into Halloween that I'll subject myself to pigtails. With ribbon. Yowza.

It turned out to look so realistic that, as I was driving to the party, I turned to see an older couple in the car next to me. They were so frightened by the gory throat thing that they drove off the road. Or maybe it was the pigtails, but either way they were looking at me and not at the semi in front of them.

Everyone was okay, BTW. That party was surreal too; there was a guy dressed up as a Twister game, and he kept going up to all of the girls and yelling "Right hand on yellow! Right hand on yellow!" I'll let you guess where the yellow dot was.

A couple of years later, I recycled the slasher film cheerleader costume for one of Slayer's med school parties. One of his classmates must not have realized we were dating. He was dressed like a mad scientist and kept following me around, wiggling his eyebrows at me and snapping his latex gloves. At the time, I thought it was pretty weird. But now I realize he must have been a psychic. He knew about my eyebrow fetish before I did.

Ack! Totally off topic! Not surprised! Overdosing on exclamation points!!!

Moving on...

My problem is that I cannot do things like that now that I'm a parent. I'm now stuck with boring, non-bloody costumes. Last year, I was a medieval queen. This year, I think I will be a non-dead cheerleader. Rah rah blah.

I would like to have THAT HOUSE. You know the one I'm talking about. The cool one in the neighborhood. Mine would be all done up with animatronic zombie cheerleaders, and I'd update my costume from slasher to zombie, and it would be MADE OF AWESOME. I'd pipe Thriller over a loudspeaker on a continuous loop. There would be a fog machine. Oh, who am I kidding? SIXTEEN freaking fog machines.

But then, my children would be afraid to come home, even if they could find their home in all that fog. That would be suckier than suck. So instead, I have cute little ghosties hanging from the magnolia tree, and a little sign hanging on the door, and another ghost with a necktie hanging from my plant hook. Because neckties apparently make ghosts into non-threatening creatures.

I'm trying to figure out how to put some subliminal zombies in there. Like maybe a really tiny one that I could hide in the plants, just so I know it's there. Because this ain't no fun.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In the Event of Famousness - I Need People

So if you haven't been reading The Wonder That Is My Blog very long, you may have missed the first edition of In the Event of Famousness. Go back, read it, and bow down before my generosity. Or don't. As with anything else on this blog, it really doesn't pay to try and make sense out of it. Just laugh and shake your head at me. Everyone else does.

So this month, I'd like to get you thinking about an essential part of famousness. If you become famous, you will need People. Because evidently, becoming famous does something to your brain, making you subsequently unable to dial the telephone. You need People for that. You need People to call other People's People. And then their People will ask your People to tell you that their People want to talk to you. Which seems awfully convoluted, but then again, famous people probably have a lot of spare time to deal with this sort of thing.

I've got to interrupt myself for just one minute and get this out of my system: Soylent green is PEEPUL!!!!

Much better. I've been thinking it ever since I typed the title, and it was starting to interrupt the flow of nonsense.

Anyway. Unless you get a LOT of phone calls, you'll probably want your People to do things other than pick whack ringtones for your Smartfreakingconfusingphone. Sean Combs actually had a People who carried his umbrella for him. Mariah Carey had a People who carried her drink, complete with straw, so she wouldn't mess up her lipstick.

So the thing you must think about in the event that famousness happens to you: what will your People do? I don't do umbrellas, and while I am quite literally addicted to lipgloss, I can reapply after drinking, thankyouverymuch. So I've decided instead that I will have a Boom Box People. My People will be in charge of following me with a big old 80s style boom box, and he will supply the soundtrack to my life. He must have nice eyebrows and be willing to dress in a Batman costume for Halloween, but under the mask, he must resemble Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles. He must be willing to listen to "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" by Chris Issac and "Lust for Life" by Iggy Pop at least ten times every day. And he must not mind if I occasionally ask him to play the Ewok song during romantic moments just for laughs. Because really, any romantic moment is better with the Ewok song.

What will your People do?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf - Batman and the Foot Fetish

I think Batman is stalking me.

See, I was never half as obsessed with Batman as I am now that you people at The Wonder That Is My Blog have sprained my reality. After the whole Batman eyebrows thing, I started noticing Batman EVERYWHERE. My son wanted to be Batman for Halloween, but I talked him into Superman because I didn't want to be staring at his eyebrows all the time. And then the other night, Slayer was watching TV while I was reading, and I looked up to see this:



Every time I see that video, I alternately snarf stuff out of my nose and stare at Batman's eyebrows. I can't stop with the eyebrows thing now. And really, I was never this obsessed with brows before, and DEFINITELY not obsessed with Batman's eyebrows in particular, but every blinking time I see a superhero these days, I'm checking out his brows. Or hers. Wouldn't want to discriminate against the female superbrow by any means.

It makes me think of this time in college that I gave one of my friends a fetish. We were all hanging out in our dorm room one night playing questions, because it was really an excuse to find out who was crushing on whom so we could make fun of them later. (Woo! We sure were wild and crazy. Ish.) I asked about people's fetishes, and one of my guy friends said that he didn't have any. So I told him I'd give him one for his birthday.

He thought I was kidding. HAH.

So I gave him a foot fetish for his birthday. I told him that it was my gift to him, and he told me it would never happen in a million years, because he wasn't so crazy about feet. HAH again. People should know better than to doubt me. After months of pointing out cute feet to him, he was never the same, and I have two mix tapes from him to prove it. One is called "foot sex" and the other is called "happy feet." Which makes me feel proud and slightly disturbed at the same time.

And when I ran into him a few years ago, he told me he still notices women's feet. I'm glad I didn't try to give him another kind of fetish, because it really worked better than I expected. And now, I've gone and given myself a Batbrow fetish.

I think I might be the Fetish Fairy. Like the tooth fairy, only fetishier.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Wonder That Was My Door

When I was in college, my door was famous.

Fabulous agency sister Susan Sandmore reminded me of it when she posted about the Weekly World News. Because really, does it surprise you to know that I am in serious lub with this fine example of thorough reporting and journalistic integrity? Of course it doesn't.

I was living in the dorms and was desperate for ways to avoid studying or actually attending classes (remind me to tell you about the time that I went to take my midterm and ended up in the wrong classroom, taking the wrong test). And thus began the Weekly World News Weekly Roundup. I'd get a copy of the latest and greatest, cut out the best of the headlines, and post them on our door. Weekly.

I didn't think it was such a big deal until I found out that prospective students came past our door on the campus tour. And I went to the University of Toledo, so it's not like it was a small campus. They went out of their way to see my bleeping door, all the way across the bridge and past Lak Ack. (The field outside the Academic Center Dorm used to flood, and we'd call it Lak Ack and go boating on it. Or swim in it fully clothed. Because we were witty.)

And people would actually take pictures of it. They'd take a picture of my door. I'm sure I deserve a kickback from UT, because I'm sure there are people who went there just to wander past the Wonder That Was My Door on a regular basis. Although this may also help to explain why I had all those stalkers. They didn't like me; they just wanted to read my door.

Because I've had four of them, you know. Stalkers, not doors.



Anyway, this is a photo of The Wonder That Was My Door. And in the event that you can't read the headlines, allow me to share with you a few of my favorites:

Stripper's steel-tipped tassel flies off boob and kills man, 32!
Gal uses dead hubby's ashes for breast implants!
KA-BOOB! Woman's breast explodes while scuba diving!

Hmmm... I begin to sense a pattern here, young Jedi. It seems that I'm obsessed with the breast. And I'm a poet too.

And you'll also notice in the photo that Roomie was the president of the floor, and I was the treasurer. Because we were kewl. And I ran on a platform of free Weekly World News for everyone. Or maybe it was something about eyebrows. Or boobs. Probably boobs. I wasn't as mature then as I am now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Why I Should Be a Film Director

Sleep update: Not going so well. I actually poured Diet Dr. Pepper into my granola this morning and didn't notice until I heard the fizzing. However, I'm happy to report that granola pre-soaked in DDP and then drained thoroughly actually tastes pretty good.

Anyway.

I suppose it won't surprise you to hear that I give two thumbs up to movies based on or inspired by video games. Part of the reason for this is because I go into those movies with the expectation that they will look cool and give me plenty of opportunity for snarky comments. Because really, people, look at what they've got to work with. You do not go to see Resident Evil because you're looking for stirring character development and dialogue that makes you want to commit hari kiri because you will never write something that good. You go because you want to see Milla Jovovich gad about in a really cute red dress and kick the crap out of a couple of zombie dogs.

Ahem. Accidentally typed "zombie gods." Which probably would have been even COOLER.

I've recently decided (as in, about two minutes ago) that someone really ought to make a movie based on my video game moves. Because really, I've got some serious swerve going on when it comes to kicking virtual butt.

My film would demonstrate some major differences from movies like Tomb Raider and Resident Evil. For example, all of the characters would speak in really exaggerated accents, kind of like the French guys in Holy Grail, and they would all talk a lot of smack. Because smack is funny, but accented smack is freaking snarftacular. They would say things like "Bow down before my scary eyebrows!" and "You hit like Jerry's Kids," which is really REALLY inappropriate, but don't blame me. Blame the instructor of my high school drum line. He used to yell at us when we'd mess up our cadences and say that we played like Jerry's Kids, and the phrase has stuck with me ever since.

In the movie, they'd also use my patented combat technique. Yesterday, I mentioned my button mashing technique. I do this partly because I have no freaking clue what I'm doing and partly because it amuses me to watch the characters jump around like gymnasts with very short attention spans, video recorded and played back at high speeds. It's something like: "Take that! I will leap at--no, I will punch your--wait! I will throw you over--or maybe I'll kick your--bow down before my scary eyebrows!"

That makes me giggle. But I'm sleep deprived, so don't mind me.

There's one other computer gamey thing that I want to put in my movie. Slayer and I like to play those old dungeon crawling games for fun during the winter, because we are big geeks. (Well, actually, I'm a big geek and Slayer humors me, because y'know, I'm his wife and he's a really deep sleeper.) So one of my absolute favorites is Might and Magic. And the secret to successfully killing the big monsters in Might and Magic? Stand way far away from them, shoot them with your bows, and sashay from side to side so they can't shoot you back. Don't bother running, dodging, rolling, or anything that is vaguely realistic combat-wise. It's not necessary. The power of the sashay is enough to keep you safe. So in my movie, every battle will be filmed with the actors wearing pointe shoes, which will look FABULOUS on the zombie gods with the exaggerated French accents. And lo, the sashays will be plentiful. It'll be a pas de deux, combat-style, with zombies. Who have scary eyebrows.

And this, my friends, is a firm demonstration of why sleep is a good thing. Because if you stay awake for too long, you will sound like this too.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thank God for Tags

I am officially exhausted and probably comedy impaired today. Fair warning that this will either be freaking hilarious or embarrassingly stupid. Daughters won't sleep through the night. Living on caffeine and cold pizza. Speaking in incomplete sentences. Figure you get the picture.

But the gods are smiling down on me. (Actually, it's raining, so apparently they're doing something else on me. Let's say it's spit and pretend we weren't thinking something totally different and wildly inappropriate, okay?) I've been tagged not once but twice. It's probably because I run so slowly. Not my fault. You tend to slow down after falling off a cliff and having your knee reconstructed.

So the first tag is courtesy of fabulous Abi.

4 goals I have in the next 5 years:
1. Be the recognized world expert in Batman eyebrows.
2. Sleep an entire night through without anyone waking me up.
3. Get rid of the @$&($%ing mouse that won't get out of my basement. It pooped on some of my writing. I mean, really. Can't we be a LITTLE more subtle than that?
4. Have The Wonder That Is My Novel published in foreign languages and then go on a book tour and try to read it phonetically. Because that would be funny, particularly in German. Wouldn't you like to hear me read from Grobartig Unbrauchbar?

4 places I will visit someday:
1. Scotland. Where I will drink lots of Black and Blacks (Guinness and blackberry schnapps... I'm drooling. I'm drooling. I'm really really drooling.)
2. Climax, Michigan. Because hey, I'm in the state and it's a good excuse for a road trip.
3. Australia. Because I'd like to see how they cook shrimp on little plastic dolls.
4. Google. To drop off the "donation" I owe them after they made me the Batbrow expert.

4 of my favorite foods:
1. Potatoes.
2. Potatoes.
3. Potatoes.
4. Kartaffelsalat.

4 jobs I've had:
1. Managed the national center for research in Mad Cow Disease.
2. Statistician/researcher.
3. Autopsy coordinator.
4. Water aerobics teacher. (Funny story: I made all my own tapes for the class, and one day one of my students is singing "Careless Whisper" during the cool down. And instead of singing, "Guilty feet have got no rhythm," she sang: "Guilty feelings, hot diddle diddle." I am not lying.)

2 places I've lived:
1. Cleveland, Ohio
2. Chicago, Illinois

2 places I'd like to live:
1. I kinda like it where I'm at, thanks.
2. Although there's a development called The Arboretum down the street from us that is tres swank if you're giving out houses.

4 things I'd do with my spare time, if I had any:
1. Play a lot of video games. I'm a dedicated button masher. I never learn all the secret codes; I just whang on the buttons at random and see what happens.
2. Crochet. I'm supposed to be making ponchos for my daughters' birthday, but I haven't started. And I made some mean penis cozies for my roommates in college. Gag gifts. I'm all about the crafty gag gifts.
3. Take cooking classes. Cooking for me is a zen thing, except for when all of the smoke detectors in the building are going off, in which case it's a snarfworthy mass chaos thing.
4. Read all my books again. I have this great skill where I can block out the ending of a book so I can read it again and still be kind of surprised by what happens. So I can read a good book sixteen times and still not be able to tell you what it's about.

And on with the tagginess. I tag Brenda, Cate, Tabitha, Tiny T, and anyone else who is too tired to think up something else to post about.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Premature Brow Termination

Remember how I said it was BBC week? Well, I've already won the coveted first place slot on Google, so it seems silly to continue the quest to prove my Batman eyebrow superiority. And in case you hadn't noticed, I'm also a recognized authority on Teletubby eyebrows as well. Out of over 14,000 hits, mine is the best.

You hear me? THE BEST. Bow down before my veritable vault of Teletubby eyebrow knowledge!

Anyway, since I no longer need to lobby for the attention of the Powers That Be at Google, I've decided to quit campaigning and move on to our regularly scheduled nonsense. But before I do that, I have to leave you with a couple more tidbits that I found while searching the web for Batbrow fabulousness.

First, if you type "Batman eyebrows" into Google and click "I'm feeling lucky," you are now directed to The Wonder That Is My Blog. But before BBC week, you got this. And my response to this poem can be simply stated in three little letters: WTF?!?!

And, lest we forget the wonder that is the brow of the bat, let me prematurely terminate BBC week with a song, sung to the tune of "My Favorite Things."

Well-tended arches, those eyebrows on Keaton
Glower at bad guys 'til they know they're beaten
Don't overpluck them, you'll look like a freak
Just talk to me I'm a big eyebrow geek

Pencils and tweezers and magnified mirrors
Help protect all of us unibrow fearers
All those stray hairs will make everyone shriek
Just talk to me I'm a big eyebrow geek

I get mine done
Wax makes me itch
Then I'm feeling sad
But I simply remember I'm the Batbrow b*tch
And then I don't feel so bad

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf - Batman Eyebrows

So Tiny T was kind enough to let me know that I have achieved the impossible. Google now recognizes my Batbrow expertise. I'm number one, bay-bee! First stop: Batbrow domination. Next stop: the White House. Because really, when they elect a comedian to the presidency in the movies, it always works out so well. You'd vote for me, wouldn't you?

And now, on to the eyebrowness. Because I owe you answers to the quiz from yesterday. Of course if you moused over the images, you'd see the answers anyway. Come on, people. If you're not cheating, you're not trying. And if you get caught, you're not trying hard enough.

Anyway. Answers.

Eyebrow numero uno was Jack Nicholson. Because really, the man's eyebrows weird me out. It's like three fairies and the devil were in attendance at his birth, and the first fairy gave him a cool voice, and the second fairy gave him some mighty good acting chops, and the third fairy gave him the confidence necessary to wear sunglasses inside the house all the time. And the devil gave him eyebrows.

Eyebrow numero dos was Legolas. Notice their prettiness. Mmmmm.

Eyebrow numero tres was the Mona Lisa. Or me, according to Cate, who is now officially my new best friend. Although the more that I think about it, Mona Lisa doesn't really have eyebrows, so what's Cate trying to imply here? Have my brows gone missing? Was I a victim of a pluck and run and didn't even notice? EEEK!

Ahem. Feeling better now. Checked a mirror.

Eyebrow numero quatro was Aragorn. I assure you that no scruff was harmed in the taking of this picture.

Eyebrow numero cinco was indeed Frida Kahlo and her unibrow. Because really, when you're talking famous eyebrows, Frida is a close second to Batman.

Eyebrow numero seis was of course Batman. Michael Keaton version. Because it wouldn't be BBC week without the Batman eyebrows.

And that's it for the quiz. I spent a while trying to find a picture of the Teletubbies eyebrows, but I couldn't find a picture that was big enough. Too bad, really. It's a pain in my laa-laa.

And with that, I leave you with the thing that makes me snarf. I would comment, but really, it's not necessary. And I can't type for all the giggling.

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's BBC Week!

Welcome to BatBrow Campaign Week '08, here at The Wonder That Is My Blog! For those of you who have no idea what this means, read this. Or don't. Because really, it's completely irrational any way you slice it.

Campaign update: I'm now seventh in the Google standings for Batman eyebrows, and I'm well placed to overtake the geek alert that's in the number six spot. I think it's my strong pro-waxing stance that's really going to win me the election, although I don't wax personally, because I'm allergic to it. Yeah. To wax. My forehead gets all puffy and Cro-magnon on me, makes me look like the cave men from the Geico ads. Only marginally more female, of course.

Oh, and I never inhaled, so I've got that going for me election-wise. Except for that time I was at the Nine Inch Nails concert, but that's because there was so much smoke in the air that my choice was to inhale or die of asphyxiation. And then I was saved from a mosh riot by a giant with a pink mohawk and a tuxedo t-shirt, who called me "little lady." And I'm not even exaggerating this story for comedic effect.

Anyway, back to the Batbrowness. In celebration of the BBC, can you identify these famous eyebrows?

1.



2.



3.





4.


5.



6.



The answers will be posted tomorrow. All a part of my nefarious plot to keep you coming back here. I'd pay you, but I'm cheap, so I'm trying to bribe you with eyebrows instead. Is it working?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf - He-Man

You thought I forgot this week, didn't you? Oh no. Carrie doesn't forget the snarf. Carrie may refer to herself in third person from time to time, but she'd NEVER forget the snarf.

There used to be a whole website full of these online somewhere, including one in which Skeletor was breakdancing and another in which He-Man and She-Ra had a romantic interlude, but this is the only one I could find. I particularly like the music in the background; it makes me think of the Chipmunks slam dancing.



I've collected a lot of things in my life, but not He-Man. My neighbor used to have some of the He-Man stuff, including a very disturbing little gladiator skirt, and when we'd play He-Man, he kept trying to save me but I refused. Because really, how can you hold your head up high at grade school when you've got to be saved by a guy in a plastic skirt?

Anyway, I DID collect Star Wars stuff, Michael Jackson trading cards (I know, I know), Grease collectors cards, and fairy figurines. Now, I collect silly sentences in foreign languages. I've learned many of them phonetically, so if you happen to speak the language in question, I apologize if I completely mangled the spelling. Anyway, I leave you with some of my favorites:

Vas e plus fort, mon petit cochon d'amour.
Which is French for: Do it to me harder, my little love pig.

Der straussenbaum wird mit kartoffelsalat.
Which is German for: The streetcar is full of potato salad.

Ne smete se me dotikati tukaj.
Which is Slovenian for: Don't touch me there.

Gobive mobe thobe Doborobitobos!
Which is Obbish for: Give me the Doritos!

Edited to add: If only I knew a sentence that uses the phrase "Batman eyebrows." And thanks to Cate for pointing out that, duh, on the first day of my Batbrow Campaign (BBC), I neglected to mention it. This is what I get for writing my posts in advance.

I've already jumped up three spots in the BBC! I may have to make a run for first place if this keeps up.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Who, me expert?

One of the coolest things about having one of those site meter jobbies is that I can tell what brings people to The Wonder That Is My Blog. I mean, of course you're here to bask in my glory (translation: laugh at my expense), but how did you get here and why on earth do you keep coming back when there are productive things you could be doing, like learning to put both your legs behind your head.

I can do that. I'll teach you. Just don't do them both at once and then fall forward, mashing your nose into the floor. That hurts. Besides, you'll end up stuck like an overturned turtle while everyone laughs at your expense. Don't ask me how I know this. Just trust me.

I'm kinda scared, though, because a lot of people get here by googling things like "Carrie Harris" or "Carrie Harris blog." I hope I don't owe them money, but I reassure myself that they could be looking for someone else. I know my name's pretty common. Before I got married, I was Carrie Lewis, rhymes with Jerry Lewis, makes for a lot of bad jokes in grade school. It could be a lot worse. Ever play that game where you get your adult film star name by putting together the name of your first pet and your mother's maiden name? I would be Super Rug. Yeah, my mom's maiden name is Rug. And my adult film star name is snarfabulous.

So it REALLY could be worse.

Must... stop... digressing...

While I'm at it, must... stop... talking... in... Kirkspeak!

Now, in the past week, my hits have been going all whack-a-ding-hoy. Someone found me by googling "rewrite green eggs and ham." Another person came here via a google on "scruff or no scruff." Someone else was searching for "Jack Handey cannibalism." I think I can stand proud knowing that someone somewhere (i.e., one of those Internet trolling program-doohickies) thinks that I am an expert on these subjects. Because of course I am.

But then I saw that someone got to The Wonder That Is My Blog by googling "batman eyebrows." Now of course I am an expert on this topic. I am big superhero geek with an eyebrow complex. Put the two together and I'm freaking Einsteinian. But would you believe that Google does not recognize the awesomeness that is my batbrow expertise? Would you believe that I didn't even make the first page of results?!?

I'm wounded. Hurt beyond belief. My faith in the system has been maligned. Because if Google thinks I'm only a second tier expert on the brows of the bat, what shall I do? I'll have to sell all my worldly possessions and move to Greenland, where I will plot my revenge against the powers that be, i.e. Google.

I am hereby starting a campaign to make the first page of "batman eyebrows" results at Google. So I'll be working the phrase into every single post that I write for the next couple of weeks, and then I shall report back to you on the results. Because of course you, my treasured readers, understand intuitively how important this is.

Or at least you're willing to humor me so you can laugh at my expense. Either way is fine by me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where I Get My Ideas


Okay, so a while back I posted some smartassey replies to the "where do you get your ideas" thing, but I realize that I never really answered the question seriously, and I know you're all twitching and foaming with suspense. Because we all know that suspense is foamy. Like a cappucino. Or espresso. I don't really know; I don't drink coffee.

You think I'm random NOW? You should see me on coffee. You could hook me up to a generator and run Disneyland.

Anyway, you're all foamy because you want to know where I get my ideas so you can steal them, right? Well, I'm sorry to tell you that my ideas are unstealable. I get all of my ideas from my ex-boyfriends. So you'll just have to keep foaming. Or get an antibiotic; either way, you're not taking my ideas.

True story: I used to work at a very depressing place, where I was coordinating autopsies for people whose loved ones were dying or had just died. And my work was valuable and important and all that rot, but it wasn't exactly a laugh riot. A good day was a day when someone didn't cry at me.

I'm a trained crisis counselor, by the by. Doesn't that frighten you?

So my one rule was that no matter how busy I was, I would go down to the hospital cafeteria and eat lunch with my guys. One was the Fed Ex guy, the other delivered the gas. Both very important dudes in the hospital world, and both incredibly sarcastic and snarftastic. We put together a radio show called Bill Dead Guy, and I got to be the femme fatale, and the hero was a corpse. Now THAT was fun. I got to speak in a perky little voice and say things like: "Oh, Bill, you're so studly!"

Anywho. I used to tell the guys stories about my ex-boyfriends during lunch when we weren't making radio shows. On a good day, I could get one of them to snarf, and stuff would come out their noses, and that made me happy, which sounds weird but is still true. And at the time, I was still writing the serious books that were all valuable and important and had lots of dead things in them, but not the funny kinds of dead things that lurch and foam. (I'm all about the foam today. Dunno what gives with that.) And then, I said to myself, "Hey, idjit. If your stories are so funny, why not make THEM the basis of a book?" And I replied, "Don't call me idjit."

But I wrote the book and populated it with a few of my many exes, with the details changed to protect the not-so-innocent. And it gained me an agent. So at least those mutant numnum-heads were good for something. You think I'm being harsh? I dated a guy who got a cue ball stuck in his mouth. THAT's harsh.

At least it wasn't a foamy cue ball. Which doesn't really make sense, but I had to bring it around full circle somehow, didn't I?
 


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