Carrie Harris | Young Adult Author

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Call Me Leia, with a Side of Brains

I used to manage a research center for Mad Cow disease in people, which is where a lot of my brain-related anecdotes took place. Actually, I have to be honest: it's where ALL of the brain-related anecdotes took place. I did not handle any brains when I taught undergraduate computer classes, although at times I wanted to. I wanted to shake those brains and ask them if they were defective, but that wouldn't be very nice.

Anyway, it turns out that I'm actually very good at this brain-related stuff, or at least I'm good at convincing people that I'm good at it. And at one point, they sent me to Europe to present at an international meeting of the world's best researchers in this topic. Yay me.

So after I missed my connecting flight, and ended up arriving to Slovenia late and sick as a dog because I was flying whilst unknowingly pregnant with twins, I got up to make my presentation. Now, I'm actually a good public speaker; I get a little jittery but not particularly nervous. I've taught aerobics. In a bathing suit. After getting up in front of a big group of people to do froggies in a high-cut tank, nothing is frightening. And then there was the time that my own boss started to heckle me during my presentation; the projector overheated and wouldn't work any more, and he wasn't happy that he had nothing to look at, so I offered to get up on the podium and dance. Everyone ELSE laughed, at least. One of my coworkers offered me a quarter, and I got offended because I knew I was at least worth a dollar.

Wow. Big tangent there. Anyway, I was actually a little nervous this time, because there were some people there who had actually WON the nobel prize, and I'm just a chick from the Midwest who thinks zombies are really nifty. And they're all these mid-50s and older Europeans, all dapper and cool, and I'm a long-haired pregnant chick who is neither dapper nor cool. I regret the cool part, but not the dapper part.

And then, the very kind Brit who was running the whole thing said, "And now, from the US group, let's hear from Carrie Fisher."

Sadly enough, this is not the first time I've been referred to as Leia's alter ego. My boss right out of college called me Carrie Fisher for the first three months that I worked there. I take it as a compliment, so long as you're referring to slave girl Leia and not sticky-bun-headed Leia. Although she really did pull off the buns.

Nuff said. Happy Thanksgiving, and yet again, let me remind you that the prizes for the BRAINS contest are still up for grabs through Wednesday of next week.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf - Star Wars

I'll just let this week's Thing That Makes Me Snarf speak for itself.



And when it speaks for itself, it says, "Mahna mahna."

My son loves Star Wars, and for a while he was calling people Darth Whatever. As in, I was Darth Mommy. Slayer was Darth Daddy, et cetera. It was funny, except for the part where he was implying that we were evil paraplegics that had to walk around in a costume with an iron lung in it, so we made him stop.

And then I got to thinking. I wonder if there was ever a Darth Ewok. Because Darth Ewok is snarftacular, especially if like me you are convinced that the celebratory Ewok song at the end of Return of the Jedi has the phrase "love nubs" in it. I SWEAR it does. Listen to the song and tell me you don't hear "love nubs." I dare you.

Love nubs in Darthspeak would be even better. If I had one of those voice changer helmets, I would record it for you, but I don't.

And then you could have Darth Teletubbies, and Darth Superman, and Darth Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. "There's (Darthbreath) no place (Darthbreath) like home." And the Darth eyebrows would be plentiful. You knew I'd go there, didn't you? You had to know it was only a matter of time.

And before I go, happy Thanksgiving to you travelly type people, and don't forget to check out yesterday's entry for the BRAINS contest.

Monday, November 24, 2008

BRAINS Contest and Bruce Campbell

It's only fitting that the weekend before the BRAINS contest starts, I get to see Bruce Campbell live and in the flesh. He was in the Detroit area for his fabulous film, "My Name Is Bruce" (wonder where he got the title) and did a Q&A session after the movie. I brought the camera, honestly I did, but I was so amused by his snarky Q&A-ness that I forgot to get it out of my purse. So there are no pictures. But you can imagine me laughing my butt off with Bruce's little head bobbing up and down in the distance if it makes you feel better. Not that I'm saying he has a little head, just that I was sitting pretty far back.

Get more info and see if he's coming to your town by going to the Bruce Campbell official website. He'll be in Chicago in a couple of days, and out to the west coast after that.

Oh, and Skilli is officially promoted to the title of Scillius Maximus for telling me about it, taking me to it, and giving me some of his popcorn.

And now, the contest.

Regular readers of The Wonder That Is My Blog know that I have a thing about brains. And my current book begs for a snarftastic brains-related title, but I haven't been able to come up with one that is snarftastic or even remotely snarfy. Who am I kidding; mine all suck rocks. I'm just not good with titles. So I'm hereby starting the BRAINS contest. I want the punniest, most ridiculous brainy titles you can think up. I'm like the Statue of Liberty for humorous brain-related titles:
Give me your titles, your puns,
Your snarfy comments on the medulla oblongata,
The most groan-worthy you can come up with,
Send these, the best of the worst titles, to me,
I will reward your cranial humor with shwag!

So, the rules:

Since we're on holiday time here at the Wonder That Is My Blog (and everywhere else in the US, for that matter) this contest will end on December 3rd. The winner will be posted on December 4th.

All titles should obviously be brains related. Take this and run with it: having brains, getting brains, eating brains, or anything else that is brainy shall be considered. The title does not need to have the word "brains" in it or any derivation thereof, although of course it can. Also, I shall laugh mightily at pervy titles, but unfortunately I can't use them. I write YA after all.

Does your title need to be explained? Maybe it's the punchline about a joke involving a nun, a rodeo clown, and a jar of dill pickles. (Mmmm... pickles.) Feel free to tell the joke to receive maximum laughs. Justifications are welcome and encouraged. The more ridiculous the better.

Post your titles in the comments section of THIS POST and only this post. If there are duplicate entries, the first person to post the title will get the credit for it, should that title win.

Speaking of winning, what shwag do you get? I had some YA books picked out for the winner, but then I realized that all of you don't read YA (for SHAME). So you're in the running for a $25 gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Borders (your choice) and a Wonder That Is My Blog Surprise Prize Pack, which will be full of things that will make you snarf, unless you don't actually read my blog in which case they will make no sense to you whatsoever. But you'll still have a gift card.

Please realize that I may actually USE your title, so don't post it unless that's okay with you. And please also realize that just because I select your title doesn't mean that Fabulous Agent or Fabulous Future Editor will also like it, so it may not make it to the shelves, but it won't be from lack of effort on my part.

And last but not least, feel free to post questions in the comments section or email them to me at carr (dot) harr (at) yahoo (dot) com. I'll post the answers so that everyone can benefit from your wisdom. Or my wisdom. Our collective wisdom, I guess.

Good luck, brainiacs!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf - Victim Dressup

I'm not sure if you've heard about this or not, but there's this Miss Horrorfest contest thing going on right now. I didn't enter. But if there's ever a Miss Geekalicious contest, I've got it hands down.

Anyway, this week's Thing That Makes Me Snarf is from one of the finalists: Vic-tim. She has brains of baloney.



Now that I've seen that, I'm walking around the house going: "My baloney has a first name; it's b-r-a-i-n-s." Me love the brains.

Speaking of brains, get your thinking caps on, people, because next week I will be running my first ever contest. The contest quite literally has brains in it and requires you to use your brains, but it does not require you to eat them. Or baloney for that matter, unless eating baloney helps you think in which case go for it.

I used to work for a lab where bringerofbrains, sometime reader and commenter on The Wonder That Is My Blog, used to quite literally bring me brains. Well, he didn't bring them to ME per se; he dropped them off across the hall. But I felt very possessive about those brains. People would call me and ask if the brains had arrived, and I would bustle across the hallway to check on the status of the brains, and sometimes I would have to track down the brains, and people would ask me what I was doing, and I would say, "Can't talk now. Missing brain." Which got less of a reaction than one might think because I worked in the Pathology building and people were kind of used to stuff like that.

Funny, I have been known to exaggerate a little for comedic effect, but every single word in that last paragraph was true and unaltered for your reading pleasure.

Anyway, I invite you to meditate on the subject of brains this weekend, because it shall bring you shwag, and shwag is good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to Ze Twins

My twin daughters turn two today, and good lord am I exhausted. Exhausted but happy. I've become one of those happy people that really annoy me, and then it amuses me that I annoy myself. Which sounds very confusing but actually makes sense in my skewed version of reality.

Anyway, there are good things and bad things about having twins, although the list is greatly skewed toward the good side. (What is it with me and skewing today? I'm skewing toward using the word skewing all the time, which is really skewed.) I'm not going to write all the sappy things down, because it would be embarrassing and schtuff. I'm still deluding myself that you think I have big brass clangers. Which I do, only they're skewed.

Um. I just wrote that, and I have no idea what it means. But moving on...

Anyway, one of the good things about having twins is that they love books as much as I do, which is nice because son is only now starting to get into books at the age of five. The bad thing about this is that they're obsessed with Me Baby, You Baby, which I have now memorized. But this is also good because I don't have to look at it when I'm reading.

One of the bad things about having twins is that all of my evil twin related book plots now have to be thrown out the window, because then one of my girls will grow up thinking that I was hinting in the book that she's the evil twin. Or worse yet, both of them will WANT to be the evil twin because she is cooler and has better fashion sense.

When we were having twins, we talked long and hard about what to name them, and one suggestion that always made me laugh is to name your twins after famous pairs in pop culture. I'm still disappointed that we didn't have boys, because I think Han and Chewie Harris has a nice ring to it. A boy-girl pair of twins could be Batman and Robin Harris, although in that case their middle names would both have to be Eyebrows, which doesn't really flow well. Or if they're girls, they could be Charlie (short for Charlotte) and Angel Harris. Because Charlie's Angels are kewl, feathered hair and all.

But enough rambling on the subject of twindom. Happy birthday to my girls, and here's hoping that reading this in a few years doesn't send you straight to therapy. It could be worse. We STILL could have named you Han and Chewie.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pants Partiers and Other Things that Freak Me Out

Apparently, a lot of people are having parties in their pants these days, because in the past week, I've gotten about twenty hits for "hay una fiesta en mis pantalones y te invito." Which you'd think would just be the same pants partier visiting and revisiting my site except that he'd have to be able to teleport from city to city in a matter of minutes.

Either that, or I am a victim of a practical joke designed by a hacker with no idea what a good practical joke is.

Anyway, moving on: Son has been on a pretty bad streak with the picking out of the library books at school, probably because I have the strange feeling that he's walking to the shelf, grabbing a book, shoving it in his bag, and getting on with bigger and better things.

He may take after me in the Halloween obsession category, but not so much in the could-live-in-a-library category.

Last week, he came home with a chapter book about colonial girls making Christmas gifts. That went over well, let me tell you. This week, it was dinosaurs. Excrutiating, annoying dinosaurs.

Let me explain: Slayer and I don't buy dinosaur stuff for our kids if we can help it. Because, see, dinosaurs eat people, or at least they used to, or at least the non-herbivores did. Sheesh. I know this is shocking, but stick with me here. You don't buy your kids Serial Killer Barbie, with quick stabbing action, right? You don't buy babies crib mobiles decorated with man-eating tigers and pointy-toothed piranha, with little dangly human skulls to provide textural interest, no?

Okay, I admit it. The crib mobile sounds kinda cool. But still.

But for some reason, the whole dinosaur thing is okay. Yes, it gets kids interested in species development and history and things like that, but there are probably other ways to do it that don't creep me out. This is not to say that I forbid son from the dinosaurness, because I know exactly what will happen then: he will become a rabid dinosaurite. So I stumbled through the book, reading small type upside down (and yeah, one of the dinosaurs was the lepowhateverus). People have given us dinosaurs, and we've let him keep them. To my pleasant surprise, he lets his Jedi and Batman figures chop them into kibble. But otherwise, I'm just not up with the dinosaur thing. They rank up there with Barney and the Teletubbies on the list of kids things that freak me out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eat My Dust, Dragon Lady!

I think I mentioned in passing that I'm planning to start working with a personal trainer again, right? I've been thinking about it, checking out the gym, stuff like that, and it brought to mind the Dragon Lady.

When Slayer and I first moved in together, we lived in a high rise right off of Lake Erie. Great lakefront view, nice sized apartment, and plenty of amenities in the place including our very own drug dealer right across the hallway. One of the other amenities which I actually USED was an exercise room in the basement. The room was key carded, so you had to swipe to enter. And one early evening, I went downstairs to avail myself of the treadmill and E! cable station, because they were playing one of those top 100 lists that crack me up.

That's another guilty pleasure. E! network. It's so bad that it's good.

I enter the room and trip over someone else's keycard. Because strips of plastic the size of credit cards are major tripping hazards to someone as graceful as me. Yes, I am a former dancer. No, not the kind of dancer that wears a lot of tassels. So I pick it up and look around. There's only one person in the place: it's the Dragon Lady, and she's on one of the treadmills.

Now, I'm not exactly with it when it comes to the whole makeup thing. I still don't quite understand how to put on eyeshadow without looking like a raccoon-in-training or Carla the Captivating Clown. And I don't see the logic in putting on makeup to go to the gym because, durr, it's the gym.

The Dragon Lady does not adhere to the same philosophy I do. She was all tarted up in a purple jogging outfit with low cleavage, full makeup including purple eyeshadow all the way up to her overplucked brows, and those long fingernails that make it impossible to do anything with your hands except sit around and get your nails done over and over again.

Well, we may have different philosophies on how to dress for the gym, and her keycard may have tried to kill me, but I am a good samaritan. I walked over, held up the card, and asked her if she dropped it.

She gave me the look of death. My heart skipped a beat, because I was afraid she was going to tear off her fingernails and throw them at me. Instead of answering me, she very deliberately turned up the volume of her sound-making device. I can't remember if it was an IPod or what. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a Walkman, because I'm not that old.

Now I'm pissed. I just tried to do something nice for the hooker in training, and she's not being nice back. She's not following the rules, and I don't mean the rules about not wearing scary eye makeup to the gym. So I get on the treadmill next to her and start it. She's watching some show about the stock market, which means that I don't get my E! television, and that only makes me angrier. So I very deliberately look over at her speed and set mine one notch higher.

At this point, I'm thinking something like: Eat my dust, Dragon Lady! Only there was no dust because we were on treadmills.

So I'm running, and feeling absurdly vindicated when she looks over to see my speed and immediately ratchets hers to one notch over MINE. You see where this is going. I can safely say that I have never gone so fast on a treadmill in my entire life.

But I won. Finally, purple rivulets of makeup running down her face, Dragon Lady gave me a disgusted look and turned off her machine. At this point, I was running for my life and concentrating on not getting thrown back into the wall, but I did manage to give her a smug look as she collected her things and left.

Not two seconds after the door closed behind her, I fell off. And my legs hurt for about two weeks afterwards. But it's okay. I scored a point for no-makeup-in-the-gym girls everywhere.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Titles Can Suck My... Ahem

When it comes to titles, I totally suck.

Case in point: you are probably not aware that I'm a playwright. This is technically true although my play was produced only once at Eastern Michigan University, so don't you be picturing me on Broadway, unless you're picturing me in the audience heckling the Rockettes, which I would totally do. Anyway, I wrote a play about two high school girls who kidnap a Hollywood actor and stuff him in a laundry bag, and it's an idea that still makes me snarf. Almost as much as the one night in which one of the actors dropped a plate of food on the floor and was required moments later to eat it. The food, not the plate.

But then, I had to title the play. And I came up with "Why Nubile Young Women Make Fabulous Kidnappers." Which is too long to fit on flyers or tickets, and sparked the inevitable question that I kept hearing from people sitting around me: "What does nubile mean?"

AUGH!!! Get a dictionary, people! Noob-isle. Look it up. You probably should live on the noob-isle if you don't know the meaning of it.

Anywho. Since then, it's been my duty and desire to make my titles short, snappy, and free of fancy wordage. If my five-year-old doesn't know the word, it's out. Lucky for me, he's my son, and he's got a vocabulary that does his mommy proud. He wouldn't have to live on the noob-isle.

But even after that stirring revelation, I still have problems with @&($ing titles. The title for my first book was suggested by fabulous critique partner Ami because I couldn't come up with one. Current book has a temporary title that sucks rocks because I can't come up with one that I like. But then conversely, old friend Elise Murphy had a title contest for one of her past projects, and guess who won? Me. I cannot name my own books, but I can do it for other people. Because I am certifiably insane.

And then what do I do? I go out to dinner with best friend and complain to her that I ride the short bus for titles, and she suggests something that makes me snarf and could actually work... and NOW I'VE FORGOTTEN IT. Because I am a bad title-impaired person who is going to name her next book Titles Suck Donkey Balls.

Hopefully best friend will remember her suggestion, and it will be as good as I remember, and I shall use it and all will be well with the world again. But if not, I may have to cave and do a title contest. But if I do a title contest, I need a good prize, and all of my recent creativity went into developing ideas for the Celebration. (Didja vote yet? How annoying am I that I keep asking?)

So what would you want to win if I did a contest?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf: The Very Secret Diaries

Holy potato salad, Batman! I am so sick.

I'll spare you the gory details because I'm kind like that. And there really aren't any; mostly I've been huddled under four blankets, shivering my pathetic little arse off. Yesterday morning, son says to me, "Aren't you going to work on the computer, Mommy?" and I shivered at him and said, "No." To which he replied: "Wow, you really ARE sick."

What can I say, my kid knows me.

So this will be short today, because when I am sick, I get cranky. On a normal day, I think Batman eyebrows are hilarious. On a sick day, I think it would be really funny to extract Batman's spleen and jump on it a little just to see what happens. I blame it on the medicine. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

So I've got two things:

First, have you voted? Because you should. We're in a very close race between the Batgirl versus ninja video and the Superzombiegirl costume, with the costume party trailing behind. Anyway, please remember that you have to vote in the poll to the right in order to be counted. Comments no count.

And second, I give you this week's thing that makes me snarf: The Very Secret Diaries. Fair warning that these are REALLY inappropriate. REALLY REALLY inappropriate. But I have to say that my favorite secret diary of all is Legolas, Son of Weenus. He may look like a vampire, but he's still the prettiest. And he has nice eyebrows.

Sorry, that's all I've got. Must go shiver some more.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Voting and Armpits and Diamonds, Oh My!

Did you vote yet? No, I don't mean Obama versus McCain, which is entirely important but kinda late in the game unless you happen to own a time machine, in which case SEND ME AN EMAIL, because I need to go back in time and tell myself not to loan out those ten books to a certain person, because I haven't gotten them back in a whole year and I want to read them again.

No, I mean voting on the Celebration. See the right hand column for the votishness, and see yesterday's post to figure out what the bleep it means.

Oh, and I know there are some of you who left comments but didn't vote in the sidebar, but I can't figure out who is who. So please, if you left a comment but didn't click the little vote thingy in the right hand column, do the clicky clicky. Because then your voice shall be heard. Democracy is a wonderful thing, especially when it involves Batgirl, kartaffelsalat, and zombie costumes.

Nuff said.

Have any of you seen the new Secret deodorant commercials? I used to work in marketing, and I want to know what dipstick came up with this one. See, they're putting diamonds in some of the deodorant sticks, figuring that all girls want diamonds, so they will therefore sell more deodorant. Except for one thing: they'll be armpit diamonds. Can you imagine scraping a diamond on your armpit and then getting it put on a ring? Every time I looked down at my hand, I'd be thinking, "That was on my armpit. And it still smells like Spring Breeze."

It's like those stories you hear about dogs swallowing engagement rings and then people finding them later... you know, LATER. And still using them. I couldn't get over that either.

I'm not real big on the diamonds anyway. When we went shopping for my engagement ring, the jewelery store peeps kept trying to sell me on these huge rings. I have tiny hands. When the diamond has a larger circumference than your finger, you're in trouble. And then Slayer made matters worse (okay, okay, he made them more entertaining) by demonstrating how every ring I tried on could be used as a weapon. Because, y'know, he's a ninja, and they like turning EVERYTHING into weapons. Except for maybe tampons. I can safely say that Slayer has never tried to turn my tampons into a weapon when we went shopping, but in the event of an attack, I won't make any promises. He'd probably do it to save us. And I would be very grateful for that, but it wouldn't stop me from telling everyone I know about my hubby the tampon ninja.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In the Event of Famousness - The Celebration

Okay. Quick recap for any newbies: In the Event of Famousness is a once-a-month jobbie on The Wonder That Is My Blog. Have you thought about what you're going to do when you're famous? No. That's okay, because I'm thinking about it for you. We've already discussed how to answer those pesky where-do-you-get-your-ideas questions (from the back of the toilet tank, of course) and discussed the hiring and purposes of People (to play the Ewok song on a boom box during special romantic moments).

And today, it's time to discuss the Celebration. What will you do when you sell your first book/win the National Pig Latin Spelling Bee/discover the Lost Outhouse of Tutankhamen? I've been thinking about this a lot, because I'm planning a celebration for when my contract comes.

I'm thinking positive here, not trying to be all coy and hinting that there's a contract. Which there is, only I'd have to invent a time machine and go forward in time to see the person who eventually buys my books and then steal the contract from them and bring it back to our time, and why in the hell would I want to steal from the person who will buy my books in the future? That would be dumb. If I do anything to the future person who buys my books, it will involve sending them a fruit basket, collection of Pez dispensers, or something equally nice.

But seriously. Book is out on submissions. I just like to plan ahead.

So, when book sells, I need to do something to celebrate. Now, I know some other authors have done things like get a tattoo or spend a day at the spa, stuff like that. But we all know that I'm not going to do that. Not to malign the people who have done these things, because they are all very cool but not my style. And that's the thing about the Celebration: it should reflect who you are.

Which means that my Celebration will be snarftastic. Do you think it's egotistical to call myself snarftastic? Because in a roundabout way, I just did.

Unfortunately, I've come up with a few ideas that I really like for my Celebration, and now I can't decide between them. So it's up to you, the band of lunatics that read The Wonder That Is My Blog, to choose for me. There is (or there will be, depending on whether I can get the darned thing to work or not) a poll in the right hand column. Place a vote on how I should celebrate when the contract eventually comes, and I will do it and post evidence on The Wonder That Is My Blog so that you can laugh at my expense. Please vote once, because it's only fair that way. Here are your choices, in tres generic alphabetical order:

1. Batgirl versus Ninjas: You know I'm obsessed with Batman and his eyebrows. So I think it would be fun to make a video. I'll dress up like Batgirl, complete with Batbrows, and I'll choreograph a fight scene with a bunch of ninjas. (Luckily, I know a bunch of ninjas, so this really is possible.) And I shall tape it and post it on The Wonder That Is My Blog for your viewing enjoyment as a part of a The Wonder That Is My Batblog Book Contract Celebration.

2. Costume Party with a Potatocake: I like to throw parties, and you all know that I love costumes, so it's only natural for me to throw a Celebration costume party. And I think I should have a cake. Made out of kartaffelsalat. (That's German potato salad for you newbies.) So if you choose this option, I shall post pictures of the costume party, and of course the cake. Probably no one will eat it, but that means more potato salad for me, so I totally win.

3. Superzombiegirl at the Bus Stop: If you choose this option, I shall spend a weekday dressed up as a superhero zombie, with full makeup and outfit. I will cook lunch, go to the grocery store, and all the other stuff I usually do, only I'd lurch, moan, and wear a cape. I crack up every time I imagine what the other moms at the bus stop will think when they see me in that getup. And of course, I shall post photos on The Wonder That Is My Superzombieblog Book Celebration.

So... it's up to you. What do you think I should do? Feel free to comment below, but know that I'm not going to count your vote unless you actually vote in the poll in the right hand column! And let me know how you plan to celebrate when you make it big.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I have a confession to make.

I adore the Spice Girls. I take an unnatural amount of delight in their campy little outfits and inability to really sing. For months and months, I tried to hide it. My friends would make snarky comments about going to see Spice World, and I would nod and snark along with them, but secretly I was wondering if I could possibly sneak out and see it without anyone finding out, or at least get a pair of those huge platform boots with the British flag printed on them.

Lucky for me, Best Friend has a secret weakness for all things Spice too. So we watched the movie together. We went on unsuccessful forays to find the boots but were brutally rebuffed. We got dressed up for our weekly trips to the dance clubs. She was Baby Spice, pigtails and all. I was totally Posh. I had the short skirts, the huge platforms (minus the flag print), and the haughty look.

We were so kewl.

So one year, I found Spice Girl Barbies on drastic markdown. And I bought them. Baby Spice for Best Friend, and Posh Spice for me. And then I wrapped them and gave them to us for Christmas. We opened them together, and boy was I surprised at what I got myself. It was the best gift I ever got me.

That was the year that Best Friend and I went on vacation together, and we took our Spice Girls with us. They had drinks with us at the airport bar before we left. Sat poolside with us in the hot Puerta Vallarta sun. They even went swimming, and let me tell you, those girls can really DIVE. Of course, they may have been aided by the fact that we were chucking them into the air as hard as we could, but still.

And here they are:


Unfortunately, Posh's hair did not do well in the water, and it was made even worse by the fact that I tried to brush it out while we were on the plane because it was fused to her head and looked painful. Besides, I was bored, and we'd already done about 15 pervy MadLibs. (The MadLibs themselves were not pervy, but we were. Durr.) So that's the reason she has such horrible bedhead.

I still have my Spice Girl, only I never could get her hair to look right after that. I should have never tried to mess with the fused hair. Unfortunately, Best Friend's dog ate hers. Chewed off her hands, most of her legs, and part of her head. So now she's Special Spice.

I am going to hell for that comment. I know it. But perhaps if everyone starts talking about their guilty pleasures, it will distract God and He will forget about what I just said. Fat chance, I know, but humor me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Birthday Recap: The Good, The Bad, and the Cajun Eyeball

All in all, I had a fabulous birthday, due in part to all the fab peeps who sent good wishes via The Wonder That Is My Blog. You iz gud peepul. Seriously.

The day started off very well, since Slayer allowed me to sleep in, and whilst I was sleeping, he taught the twins how to say Happy Birthday. There's nothing like having two sticky almost-two-year-olds launching themselves at you and shouting "Hacky burtday, Mommy!" at the top of their lungs. Son insisted on immediately singing the Billy Idol version of "Happy Birthday"; in other words, the song was loud and involved a lot of fist pumping.

And then there were the books. I got A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce, Unwind by Neal Shusterman, Extras by Scott Westerfeld, and An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. Schwing! I've got surplus reading material for at least the next five minutes or so. I also got shoes and cooking implements. Not a Tit Obsessed Flamingo Sweater in sight. And then they took me out to eat so I wouldn't need to cook or clean on the wondrous day of my birth. Does Slayer treat me well or what?

So that's the good part. The bad part is that I have a horrendous cold, most of which is in my head and throat. I sound like I should work for a dwarven phone sex company. Son has an infected eye, probably from last week when he hit a tree with his face. He doesn't sound anything like a sexy dwarf, so don't even ask. You perv.

And then there's the weirdness, which is probably to be expected at any fete honoring yours truly. See, I had cajun shrimp as a part of my birthday eatables, and one of them attacked my eyeball. I took a bite and the damned thing squirted in an arc that rounded my cheek and landed square in my left eye. So there I am, crying tears of cayenne, when they bring the candle and start singing at me, and everyone in the restaurant was staring, probably thinking that I was an overemotional mom who happens to cry crimson tears. Luckily, one of my girls blew out the candle, because I couldn't see it through all the red.

All in all, it was a memorable birthday. About as memorable as year 19, in which I asked for a cherry cobbler instead of a cake. Mom couldn't get the candle to stand up in the cobbler so I ended up with a birthday meatloaf instead. Because really, shaped meat products just scream birthday celebration material, don't they?


Yes, I am blowing out the meatloaf. I even made a wish. Because wishing on cake is dumb; wishing on meatloaf makes much more sense.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm Funky Strong

I need a theme song. This is a vital and urgent need, because I now have a personal trainer. I will fit into the cute pre-twin pants if it kills me which, knowing my personal trainer, it might. See, she's a friend of mine. And she's exactly my kind of person: she can talk smack like nobody. Smack makes me laugh. Smack aimed at me makes me laugh harder, because I start to feel uncomfortable when people take me seriously. I don't quite know what to do with that. But ask me to put both legs behind my head and laugh at me when I fall on my nose and can't get up. That'll put me right at ease.

It's kind of like when the twins were born. And no, there will be no describing of the gooshy stuff here, so please turn your TMI alarm off. Anyway, when they were born, I was living in Snot City (which is Carriespeak for: I had a really bad head cold). And they put me flat on my back with two very large babies squishing all my innards in alphabetical order, and then they paralyzed me from the chestal area on down. And I kept having to cough, only all I could manage was this wussy little HEH HEH HEH sound. So Slayer starts doing Zoolander impressions.

HEH HEH HEH. I think I got the black lung, pop. HEH HEH HEH.

And I started to giggle uncontrollably. It was the birth of my children, and there I am in hysterics, and not out of intense emotion or pain. It was all about the Zoolander.

Now, I'm not having babies this time, but I'm trying to avoid the completely inappropriate hysterics from here on out, and Personal Trainer is the sort of person who could get me horking and snarfing big time. So I've decided to distract myself with an inspirational training theme song. At first, I thought maybe I'd use something from Pat Benatar, like this lyric: "Put up your dukes, let's get down to it!" Which sounds very inspirational except that I'm not training to be Rocky. And besides, I still remember one of my fourth grade classmates used to constantly sing "Hit me with your wet snot!" and that's ick.

So then I thought of using Queen: "Scaramouch scaramouch will you do the fandango?" But I don't know what that means.

Or maybe a little Michael Jackson: "Showin' how funky strong is your fight!" Because after all that exercise, I will be funky strong. I'll be effin funky strong.

Sadly enough, "Beat It" by Michael Jackson is the current frontrunner for the Carriemotto, Exercise Version. Unless you've got any better ideas? Because I'm thinking that if I show up at the gym with one glove on, people might think I'm strange. Although it would give my trainer plenty of material for taking some serious smack, so maybe I'll do it anyway.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Sweater Vest from You-Know-Where

For his birthday, my son got no less than five Star Wars Transformers, and no duplicates. What kind of luck is that and why doesn't this kind of thing happen to me? I have very poor luck when it comes to the birthday giftage. If it is somehow duplicative, damaged, faulty, recalled, or butt ugly, someone will buy it for me.

Up until this very moment, I viewed this as mere coincidence, but now I'm starting to wonder if people are trying to tell me something.

For example, I give you my 15th birthday. That was the year that my aunt gave me the Tit Obsessed Flamingo Vest right in front of all of my friends. Although you might not believe me, I can quite honestly say that the Tit Obsessed Flamingo Vest was worse than it sounds. It was a grey sweater vest, which is negative style points to start with, even in the late 1980s. And it was festooned with two huge hot pink flamingos that stared with bulging eyes at my breasts.

Because you know, I was 15, and apparently what I needed was more attention brought to my chestal area. By pervy flamingos, no less.

Now, earlier, I was complaining about my knack for problematic giftage. If you give me an adorable sweater, it will mysteriously unravel the first time I wash it. Buttons fall off cute and kicky skirts when I'm not looking. Handy little gadgets are stolen by small birds to furnish their in-nest entertainment systems. But that damned Tit Obsessed Flamingo Sweater refused to die. I actually put it into the washing machine on accident with a pair of scissors, and it came out without a single snag.

Flamingos have long been one of my favorite animals. I like them despite the fact that they now remind me of Miami Vice and the Tit Obsessed Sweater, two horrible associations that do not taste great together.

We're in the Month-o-Harris-Birthdays, and mine is coming up on Saturday. If anyone gives me a sweater vest, I'm throwing myself out the window. Just wanted to warn you in case I suddenly disappear.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Things That Make Me Snarf - Capoiera Guy

The funniest part of this video is that I totally would have dated this guy way back when. And yes, I'm referring to the asshat who gets his head knocked off.



I've made enough references to my ex-boyfriends on The Wonder That Is My Blog that this probably doesn't come as a surprise. There was the mobster, the heroin addict, the guy who got the cue ball stuck in his mouth, and the one who thought he was a werewolf. There was the one who stalked me... while I was walking down his street... and he was following me very subtly in his car. There was the one who slept with my best friend at church camp. There was the one who drank red-tinted corn syrup and pretended he was a vampire. There was the one who "forgot" to tell me he just got out of jail.

So yeah, this asshat is right up Past Me's alley. Because he looks really cool, and so what if he has no clue what he's doing. It reminds me of one of the rare occasions when I trained in martial arts. I used to train in Taijutsu, which is a really cool martial art if ever you're looking to learn how to throw people three times your size. Slayer has a black belt, and I've actually seen him knock shuriken out of the air which is surprisingly sexy. Anyway, I still remember one night when we were practicing leaping. Now at the time, I was a recovering dance major (kind of like being a recovering alcoholic, only a lot less staggery unless you're doing interpretive dance which I didn't). Anyway, my leaps were beautiful, with long lines and great extension. Didn't do jack for the whole martial arts thing, because apparently in martial arts when you leap it's because you want to get somewhere and not because you want to look cool in the process.

Who knew?

So seriously, Past Me and the Capoiera Asshat are a match made in heaven.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Senior Pictures and Sweaty Balls

So there's this senior picture thing that's been going around the blogosphere, and if everyone else jumped off a bridge, I would totally follow them.

I wouldn't jump, if that's what you're thinking. I'd follow them to the bridge and take pictures, and then I'd resurrect the Weekly World News just so I could publish them. And then I would take the headlines from the WWN and use them to decorate my office. It would be like having a famous door, only officier.

Anyway, while I was on the mad hunt for old Halloween photos, I ran across one of my senior pictures, and I'm crazy enough to post it. I'm also crazy enough to dress up as Posh Spice Claus for Halloween, though, so that's not all that surprising, is it?

Man, I wish I would have come up with that idea sooner. I really would have done it.

But enough of the Halloween stuff. Here's what I looked like at age 17:


A couple of days before this picture was taken, my boyfriend broke up with me. I told my flamboyant photographer about this, and he told me that we were going to take such a fabulous picture of me that it would make ex-boyfriend's balls sweat. I was so shocked by this that I laughed for the first time in days, because I was one of those melodramatic girls who reacted to breakups by moping around and living on nothing but sunflower seeds for a few days.

I like sunflower seeds, but really. That's ridiculous.

Anyway, I fully support the use of the off-the-shoulder dress for the sweaty ball picture, but I'm a little confused by what happened next. See, flamboyant photog arranged me on the little podium thingy. He put the flowers behind me. Fixed my hair and my necklace just so. (The ski jump bangs could not be helped. I'm sorry; I was a child of the 80s. So sue me.) And then he told me to smile like Mona Lisa.

Er... what?

Did he just imply that Mona Lisa's smile gives him sweaty balls? Has he SEEN the Mona Lisa?

The picture turned out pretty good, I think, but I'm still completely confused about the whole thing. Personally, I never would have put Mona Lisa and sweaty balls into the same sentence. Although maybe that's just me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

HalloWOW

Man, Halloween just rocked.

Slayer was a samurai. The twins were pajama fairies, because for some reason all of the fairy costumes have these tiny little dresses that are not remotely suited for Michigan evenings. So I got some fairy wings, dressed them in polka dotted footie pajamas, and BAM! Pajama fairies! Son was Superman at first, but we got him a set of Batwings for his birthday. (I looked for Batbrows, but for some reason none of the stores carry them.) So he put the wings on over the costume and ended up being The Superbat.

That's my boy. Already doing the costume mishmash just like his mommy.

As for me, I ended up being the Variously Confused Goddess. See, I dug out the goddess costume at the last minute, and then I spent the entire night walking around trying to resist the urge to steal parts of other people's costumes. First, I saw this kid with a disco outfit on, and I wanted to steal his wig so I could be Afro-dite. Then I almost took a cheerleader's pompom so I could be Her-rah. And then I almost chased down this poor little pirate guy so I could take his hook and be Athen-argh.

So really, I spent all of trick-or-treating walking around and giggling to myself. People probably thought I was dressed up as the Goddess of Complete Lunatics.

I wish I would have dressed up as the Goddess of Working Cameras, because we borrowed my mother-in-law's camera and couldn't make it take any pictures. But some lady from the newspaper took some of us and said she'd email them to us. So hopefully that will happen. If not, we'll have to dress up again and take some pictures. It'll be Halloween - The Harriscentric Sequel.

Like I'd complain about that.

How was your Halloween? Inquiring minds want to know. And I want to know too.
 


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