The Signs

May. 23rd, 2017 12:48 am
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
I'm trying to identify the signs of when a person starts slipping into alt-right theology. I'm not sure if the people I'm noticing have always been a little off, but I know a few people now who have gone from normal and reasonably intelligent to Alex Jones listening, Glenn Beck agreeing, 'why are people so hateful to Trump/Pence' spewing.

Imma focus on two guys I knew in college. I don't wanna use their real names, so I'll call one Bee and one Jay.
When I met Bee, he was a non-trad student with a giant ego who acted like he was way smarter than other students because he "waited to go to school." What? He treated women poorly, drank a lot, lied to get out of trouble, paid me to do assignments, and presented himself differently to different people in huge and humiliating ways. We also slept together a bunch of times, and he told everybody not only that we DIDN'T sleep together, but that I was telling people we had and nobody should listen to me. I won't bother explaining how hurtful that was to a fat girl who thought she had a friend with benefits.
So when I ran into this dude on Facebook years later, he told me all about his wife before asking if I wanted to meet someplace and fuck. When I said No, I got a long diatribe about how I didn't understand how the world worked. He started sending me insane links and racist shit all the time. I'd try to discuss it with him, but he just went more and more off the deep end. Finally he said he was going to ban me from Facebook. I eventually learned he thought that if he banned someone from his page, they couldn't go on FB at all. Smart, right?

Jay and I had a similar background, except we lived in the same house. We ran in the same departments, had the same friends, and fooled around a few times despite never actually dating. Because college, yo. We did a few projects later on, and again, I was offered some no-strings sex even though Jay was clearly in a committed, live-in relationship with someone. I don't mention the sex stuff to advertise myself as a slut or whatever. It's just that treating women as a tool rather than a person seems part and parcel to the alt-right. (and make no mistake, if you're STILL supporting what Trump and Pence are doing, you're alt-right)
After 9/11, I started getting racist forwards from Jay. When I told him at length why I didn't want him sending me racist, anti-Muslim shit, he told me it was no big deal and not to get riled. Lately, Jay has been posting stuff on social media, then saying he doesn't want to discuss it. He deletes comments he doesn't agree with, and makes outlandish statements he can't defend with a single fact or verifiable example.
If Jay says something "happens equally on the left and right," Jay needs to back that shit up with at least two examples. Telling someone to "google it" when they ask you to defend some outlandish assertion you've made? No. If you know the facts of the point you're making, either state them or admit you don't have any.

Sure, it's not a lie to say that I get fired up about politics. The word "obnoxious" may not even be far off at times. While I've always done this, it's extra important now that so many poor/middle-class people are about to have their lives made a whole lot more difficult, dangerous, and full of denial of services.
On the off chance that one of my comments is deleted, I spend a few minutes considering whether I've been rude, off topic, or said something false. If none of those are the case though, I'm out. I don't have an interest in playing on an unlevel field. I have to do that in real life every day, so I'll be damned if I do it in conversations with friends. I won't discuss anything in a forum where dissent is silenced. Even if I'm not the one being silenced, I don't want any part of that.

These are the signs I've noticed in people turning toward the alt-right"
--Dislike for/distortion of PC Culture (being sensitive to the fact that not everyone is the same gender, religion, race, color, orientation, etc as you are, and that there's nothing wrong with that)
--Victim Blaming
--Vague admiration for how things "used to be," usually while forgetting many, many things from that era.
--Lumping people into groups and then into We and They.
--Being angry about things they can't explain ("Hillary did Benghazi" What do you mean? What do you think she did exactly? "Look it up, stoopit")
--Anti-woman sentiment (includes lying to wife/gf, trivializing or minimizing their concerns, slut-shaming, as well as basic rape culture stuff)
--Complaining about other people's English when they write like a sleepy toddler.
--Pro-confederacy or anti-BLM statements (including "it's my heritage")
--Distorting other people's statements to more easily discredit them
--Denying that they've said things they've said
--Refusing to take major news outlets seriously--including WaPo, NYT, and Reuters.
--Asking for explanations, then shouting over responses

Why is this important? Honestly, I wish it wasn't.
I wish this was as simple as "Oh, you like Reagan? I think he's a liar who doesn't give a shit about the poor, so I'm for Jimmy Carter." You can disagree for a bit and then talk about something else. Now, supporting DJT means thinking women should be punished for having an abortion, or that banning people from our country based on their religion is not just okay--but a step in the right direction. To support this administration, you have to either believe, or not care that the law will reflect beliefs, in misogyny, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and that will ensure that most people will no longer be able to get treatment for illnesses or injuries regardless of their seriousness. Oh, and you have to be okay with Christianity (and ONLY Christianity) being taught in public schools.
I know I'm not exactly saying anything new here. But dammit, this is getting harder and harder as time goes on. I can't imagine the logic or reasoning of why a normal, educated adult would suddenly buy into that garbage. The answer has to be that it's not as sudden as I think it is...

Holidays

Nov. 29th, 2016 05:15 pm
wednes: (Santa?)
H and I were gone all last week, housesitting for some good friends. It's pretty cool, because all the stuff they have is nicer than the stuff we have. Their living room TV is big as a bathtub and has a better sound system than the local indie theatre. The recliner goes up and down by itself, and the fridge makes ice and the most delicious water I've ever had outside an Evian bottle. Plus, dogs. I love dogs, but can't have one in the shitty matchbox I live in.

Of course, I didn't post online that both H and I were out of town, or that our apartment was sitting empty (well, with cats, but they aren't good at guarding things). But everyone seemed to want to put it on my page. "Hey, aren't you guys out of town?" "Are you and H having fun being away?" "Who is watching your cats while you and H are gone?" It's as if people don't know that we live in a shitty neighborhood with shitty security and neighbors who would barely take notice if a stranger stole our shit in the middle of the night. Happily, though, nothing bad happened. Some errant JoJo puke and the eating of birthday flowers. That's all. H and I had a swell time eating unhealthy food (mostly) and watching HULU, which I've learned has even shittier horror movies than Netflix. I was actually tired of bacon by the end of the week.

I got some birthday presents:
A collection of Amazon gift cards allowed me to buy myself this.
I also got a fancy electric herb grinder...for grinding herbs.
H got me a Duck Dodgers Pop Funko, and a kickass book of Grimm fairy tales I've been wanting. Plus he made me another wonderful card like he does every year.
I got a cool witches oven with a cauldron and such. It's kind of amazing.
Plus: chocolates, cookies, flowers, some great cards, a hat, and I'm told--a big scary head to put on display. So yeah, I gots the hookup for sure.

As much as it's fun to hang out in a different place, it's also good to be home.
My own bed, bathroom, cats, and kitchen are always more comfortable--even if we live in a total shitbox. Why? Because it's OUR shitbox.

In other news, we had a death in the family. Uncle Tom (not technically MY Uncle, but the Uncle of my cousins on my godmother's side) was a cool guy. We thought he was a ton of fun, until someone explained to us that he had a drinking problem because of the war--and that the stuff he did wasn't funny. I disagreed then, and still kinda do. No, alcoholism isn't funny. But Uncles at family BBQ's are. He was a nice guy, jovial and bitter in a way that incorporated a lot of humor. He also had a glass eye that he once removed and rolled down a picnic table. How can that possibly be described as anything but hilarious? I don't know. Godspeed, Uncle Tom. The world is less funny, and a little less kind without you in it.

I sort of forgot that I was doing the NaNoWriMo this year. My head exploded after the election and never quite got put back together. Ah well. As [personal profile] flemco loves to point out, I can write whenever the hell I want.

H's work schedule is terrible right now. They switched him to 5 days a week (used to be 4 10-hour days, now it's 5 8-hour days) which means more travel time and expense and less time for us to watch TV and do stuff together. Do we really think people will avoid posting spoilers for Gotham, Supergirl, Agents of SHIELD, or Z-Nation? I don't. But one of his coworkers accidentally killed someone (driving like a maniac, I'm told) and now has to go to prison. The world is a crazy place, kids.

Par Tay

Nov. 17th, 2016 10:03 pm
wednes: (Homer Dance)
My annual party is this Saturday, two days from now. The apartment is crazy-clean thanks mostly to H. Tomorrow I gotta start cooking things.

Making a big batch of Aztec brownies. That's regular milk chocolate brownies with a heap of bhut Jolokia powder, and a swirl of cream cheese for contrast. They're awesome.

Also, two tres leches cakes. There will be two so one can be out while the other is in the fridge. People are coming by as early as 3pm, though the actual party doesn't start until 7pm. That's white cake soaked in three types of milk (in this case cream, sweetened condensed, and evaporated, though I might scrap one of those in favor of coconut. Not sure yet).

I'm also doing some flavorful refried beans in the crock pot. Those will have tortillas and chips to go with, in case people want bean burritos.

Then there will be a big thing of salsa with tons of fresh veg, and scoopy chips.

We always seem to have booze around here even though neither of us drinks really. There are a few hard lemonades around here, plus some Southern Comfort and wine and stuff.

Also, we're NOT talking about Politics. At all. None. Zero.
Because it's a party goddammit.
wednes: (Heavenly Creatures)
We all have that one friend who doesn't seem to have any idea of their value. That person with a couple of amazing skills and talents, the one who is always there for you when you need them. The person who tolerates unacceptable romantic partners because they're afraid no one else will want them. The person who stays at a shitty job where they're not appreciated--because who knows what might happen at a new place? The person who believes every terrible things asshats say about them because they sound like things they already fear about themselves. That person.

And you, as their friend, think things like "How can they not know how awesome they are? It's so obvious."

Let me ask you something. How often do you tell this person how amazing you think they are? In fact, how often do you tell anyone how amazing they are--for reals?

Personally, I've been known to say things like, "That guy is an asshole, and you can and should do much better," when I should be saying something more like, "Can you help me understand why you think [X, Y and Z behaviors] are okay. You would never do that to someone, and I'd never do that to you. So why is it okay for him?"

I say things like, "Don't you know how amazing you are?" I could be far more specific, like "You've always made time for me when I needed to blather on about nothing, you listen without judgment, you always make me feel listened to and cared for."

Kids, I don't think most of us know our true value. Part of that is from fucked up parenting, a lifetime of being bullied or shamed, mental and emotional issues, or just being surrounded by assholes. But the result of us not knowing our value doesn't just make our lives worse--it whispers in our ear that no one cares what we think anyway.

We don't tell each other the truth about how we feel for a variety of reasons I won't bother to list here. But fear--the fear that we'll be mocked, that no one will care what we have to say, that we'll sound stupid--that's one of the big ones. We're afraid of how we might look to others, so we keep our heads down and our mouths shut about our feelings--even our feelings for good friends. As I've said many times--I'm really good at telling people what I THINK, but what I FEEL is mostly saved for close friends.

So I'm making it a point to tell people not just that I love them, but why. I want the people in my life to know all the ways they impress me. They should know how much they have meant to me over the years, and how much they continue to mean today. I want valuable people to know their value. Or at the very least--to have told them how valuable they are to me. I mean, you can give people information but you can't make them believe it.

Anybody interested in joining me as I embark on what could end up a journey into embarrassment and silliness? This week, pick out a few people and tell them everything about them that you find amazing. It'll make them feel good, and probably you'll end up feeling good too.

Kindness: It's gluten free, low in calories, organic, and readily available.

Hootsuite

Jul. 16th, 2016 02:49 pm
wednes: (Peanut Butter/Jelly)
I realized something today.

I use Hootsuite, which means I set up social media posts to go live up to 4 weeks in the future. I do this for my own accounts, and also accounts for The Horror Within. Mostly, this is so I can spend a little less time on social media while remaining connected--and so my posts can go live when other human beings are awake and reading.

This does lead to awkward moments though. Like when say, "Cecil the Lion killed by d-bag" is posted 2 weeks after the dentist responsible was run out of town on a rail. Or any story that has updates, really. So I gotta be kind of careful about timely news versus evergreen articles and stuff.

Then I thought...
When I die (and honestly, how much time could I possibly have left?) my accounts will continue posting for weeks. People are gonna be hella confused. Yeah, the posts are labeled "posted by Hootsuite," but my oldster family members aren't going to know what that means. But how do I address that before my Big Day so it doesn't terrify or upset anyone? Also, that's gonna be a hella awesome troll. I wish there was a way to plan for it to be more awesome in advance...like maybe writing my own hilarious obit and posting it someplace.

As for me, kidney stones have me in terrible hurtful pain. Ugh.
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
When I was a kid, if you really wanted to talk to one of your idols, it was a long process. You had to find their fan mail address, which could be very difficult if not impossible. Then you had to hand write a letter, find a stamp, get it mailed (at a mailbox), and wait...and wait...and wait...for a response that might never arrive. When I was a kid I wrote letters to Charles Schulz, Donald J Sobel, Dr Suess, Judy Blume, and a bunch more. I got a few letters back, though they're trapped at my mom's house. When I was about 11, I even wrote a fan letter to Scott Baio. He had a PO Box in Studio City for fan mail, which I found in a Tiger Beat mag. I never got even a form letter back. As a kid, I was sad about that. But now that I know what a gross, womanizing, Drumpf-loving goon is in RL, that sting is gone.

The point is that we only wrote to celebs we really liked a lot. It took a lot of effort and time. We did it because we were fans, and we wanted our heroes to know it.

But now...
Anybody with access to a computer or smartphone can Tweet at celebs in real time. Roughly half of said Tweets are complete asshole fodder. Telling people they suck and should kill themselves is Level One for a lot of these clowns. Unlike occasional stalker behavior from deranged fans (that no one really talked about until the girl from My Sister Sam was murdered by one such nutcase), modern celebs often get daily beratings. Robin Williams's children were hounded off Twitter within 2 days of their father's suicide. Those dicks that harassed Sandy Hook parents for "lying about their kids existing" started on Twitter. Twitter hosts murder threats, rape threats, doxxing (though I hear they're better about removing stuff like that now), and a bunch of other things we used to think only criminals thought about.

Much like men who want to show their dicks to virtual strangers (remember when that was a crime committed by a random pervert wearing a long trenchcoat with nothing underneath), stalking via the Internet is more popular (and less criminalized) than ever. Ditto hate speech. Anybody else find it insane that posting a pic of a nipple can get your Facebook account deleted, but threatening to murder the POTUS or calling him the N-word won't get you blocked from Twitter unless the feds get involved? I'm a staunch supporter of Free Speech, but with great power comes all the stuff Spiderman's Uncle Ben talked about.

And like LSD, the internet amplifies and distorts the shit we see and do every day. While we all know that the internet is incredibly helpful overall--it also allows some of the worst behavior on the planet to be widely seen, or even applauded. The immediacy of social media and the ease with which we're able to communicate with people the world over is being squandered, taken for granted, not truly considered for the opportunity that it is. A lot of that is due to people who live as if the Internet has always been there--for youngsters, it has. I started a Livejournal in 2002, in my early 30's. If that blog was a kid, they'd be old enough to have a smartphone and be on Facebook. Yikes!

Not sure what my overall point is. We can use the internet for good or bad, to help people or bring them down. We can use it to educate, inform, or to spread misinformation either deliberately or through apathy or ignorance. Is there a way to encourage people to make better online choices? Or at least, is there a way to truly hold people accountable (at least morally) for the things they say and do online? No, I'm not saying we should curtail speech. Wednes don't play that. But it's obvious that plenty of online assholes are only being assholes online because of the anonymity the internet affords them.

For now let me just ask--if you're only on Twitter to let female singers know that their asses are big, or to tell Jonah Hill that he's a "faggy asshole," maybe take some time to work on RL interpersonal skills before trolling total strangers. If you wouldn't say it in front of your three best friends or your favorite grandparent, don't say it to Lady Gaga. Besides, no one should ever insult Lady Gaga. She's amazing!
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
My annual birthday bash (AKA, amazement that I'm still alive party) was Saturday. As always, there were a handful of people who couldn't make it. Drag.

But plenty of people did make it. There was mediterranean food. I didn't have time to make falafel at the last minute--so I ordered it from the same restaurant that catered our wedding. I did make toum and hummus, a pineapple upside down bundt cake, a nutella cream pie. Friends brought wine, grape leaves, baklava, more wine, candies and snacks. The crowd was wonderful.

I got to give away stuff too. My young friend Emory (age 9) was given a telescope and a book on telescoping. I gave my friend's kid a violin setup, and had a box of awesome books and craft supplies to give away as well. Anyone who wanted to got to leave with pressies.

There are pictures, if you're into that sort of thing.

I got some more gifts, which was amazing:
A really nice kitchen knife
A copy of Faust with awesome creepy illustrations
My fave kind of lemon bar mix
A lego Gargoyle
Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans
Apple chips and Pumpkin spice chips (because I'm a white girl, I think)
A beautiful bouquet of yellow roses
Several new Mad Lib books. I fucking love Mad Libs

Somebody smoked tobacco in our bathroom. That sucks, because H was mad. We don't allow tobacco smoking inside, because it reeks for days. I do have to laugh though, when smokers think they're fooling people. Even if it didn't reek, there were ashes left in my sink.
Also, I was sharing a pack of fortune telling fish with everyone. When I got the pack, there were 100. I've given them out at various function, so there were probably 60-some left. I told every guest to take one, and a few to take some home for their kids. Somehow though, the entire goddamn package disappeared. Again, this is disappointing, because taking more than 50 of them isn't sharing--it's stealing. Imma chalk that up to intoxicants, which were flowing like wine (and pot).

So, you take the good.
You take the bad
You take them both
and then you have
The party for my 45th birthday.

Berfday!

Nov. 27th, 2015 08:10 pm
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
What did I get for my birthday? I knew you were dying to know.

H got me four new Pop Funko figures: Jason Vorhees (#1 in the hockey mask), Pennywise the Clown, and two from The Walking Dead: Little girl with the plushie, and The Governor. Nice!!! He also took the bus to get us Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I love that place.

H's sister got me a Game of Thrones coloring book, and my Aunt sent me a lovely card. So that's all awesome. Tomorrow is my party, which will include fantastic company, yummy food, and conversation that will tear your soul apart...or something. H is gonna take tons of pics, I hope. He has to take them because he doesn't want to be in them.

H's mom did not acknowledge my birthday. If I didn't know better, I'd swear she was MY mom. Ha!

There have been two terrible shootings since the last time I blogged. #BlackLivesMatter protestors were shot at a rally by...well, we know who they were shot by. Funny, I didn't hear anyone lamenting that those protestors didn't have weapons, lest they defend themselves from the racist asshats who shot them.
And today at Planned Parenthood. Without knowing who the shooter is or why this happened, I'm prepared to make the standard presumptions: some fake Christian who wants to protect fetuses while voting away any programs that might help actual children. I'll predict that his weapon(s) were bought legally, and that the media will focus on mental illness and extremism as root causes. Because heaven forfend we talk about how easy it is for violent nutters to get guns.

No word on how many people croaked during Black Friday shopping. I'm sure we'll find out tomorrow when the YouTubes of in-store fisticuffs start showing up.

And finally, I won the #NaNoWriMo. Because I am awesome.

Assholes

Oct. 26th, 2015 06:04 pm
wednes: (Zombie B&W)
It seems we need a reminder, so here's an updated list of things. What kind of things? Well, these are things which--if you do them--make it perfectly fine to label you as an asshole. Don't want to be an asshole? Start by not doing these things.

--Post spoilers. We're all glad that you have time to watch The Walking Dead as it airs. But for people with kids, jobs, lives, can't afford cable, etc--they have to watch later. Telling everyone what happens without giving a shit about their enjoyment of the show makes you an asshole. Stop being an asshole.

--Bullshit. Making ridiculous, bullshit assertions online probably already makes you an asshole. But if you're asked for facts to back up your buffoonery and reply "Hey, I'm not gonna do your research for you," you are an asshole. Don't make absurd statements if you can't back them up with facts. And by "facts," I don't mean FOX news, Brietbart, Blaze, or any other bullshit rag. Also, you're not being a "devil's advocate," nor are you "just sayin'." Stop being an asshole.

--Make fun of someone's shitty job. Everyone needs money to live (unless you're a rich asshole or someone else is paying your way). Mocking someone for the degrading job they have, the paltry money they receive, or the horrible treatment they get from customers or bosses is NOT funny. Don't make fun of people for working--especially if you're also the kind of asshole that talks shit about people who get SNAP, disability, or unemployment. Stop being an asshole.

--Turn every discussion into extremes. Gun control does not mean "take everyone's guns away and never let anyone have them again." Pro-choice doesn't mean "taxpayer funded abortions for everyone." Saying no subject is off limits for comedy doesn't mean it'll be a celebration of racism, sexism, transphobia, etc. Everyone you don't like isn't Hitler. Everyone who disagrees with you is not "oppressive." Stop being an asshole.

--Your kids. I like kids, honestly I do. But when you let them come into my house and trash the place because you'd rather smoke my pot than watch them--you're not just being an asshole. You're teaching assholery to a new generation. Sure, dropping something is an accident--which is why the kid was told not to pick it up in the first place. No, I don't expect a small child to know better. I expect you, the fucking parent, to know better and act accordingly. Stop being an asshole.

--Borrowing shit. Not everything I own is okay for borrowing. Stop making that face. We've probably all lost shit to "borrowing," and it sucks. It may not be personal that I'm not letting you borrow a signed, numbered copy of something. But even if it is, I'm under no obligation to let anyone take my shit out of my home. Stop being an asshole about it.

--Lying. I know a lot of the same people you know. So if you're out there spewing crap about people I love (or me), we'll all find out about it eventually. I'm genuinely sorry that the giant chip on your shoulder prevents you from being honest. But if you make it my problem, you may be shocked at how thoroughly I remove you from my life. And you have yourself to blame--because you were an asshole.

--"Sorry, not sorry." Fuck you. Just fuck you. Sorry, not sorry the current "I'm not racist but..." or "I'm not a complete asshole, but..." Sorry, not sorry to be the one to break it to you--but you ARE a complete asshole. Stop it.

Holidays

Oct. 17th, 2015 09:08 pm
wednes: (Go Crazy?)
Today is Sweetest Day, which I completely forgot.
Was going to cab it over to the mall to get H a pressie, but it's football Saturday, which I also completely forgot. I could not possibly care less about football, except that it makes me want to leave the house even less than usual. Drunken crowds, you know.

Halloween is coming up, and I have no plans. Bummer.
If you know of any cool events that I'd be welcome at, do let me know.

Started Xmas shopping. H is probably getting mostly books and movies, candy, socks, and a T-shirt of some sort. If this new gig works out, I might also be able to buy him a small drone. He would have tremendous fun with that.

Thinking that my birthday party will be the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as per usual. I never know if it's gonna be a huge party or a tiny one. Thinking about making a coconut cake with a chocolate ganache. That would be tasty.

Had given up on getting a regular writing gig I applied for, but then I heard back from them. The work seems pretty straight forward and the pay is good. So I'm stoked about that. Also have a new short story I've been noodling for a few weeks now. Looking forward to getting that drafted before the NaNoWriMo starts. Oh yeah, I'm doing the NaNoWriMo this year. Go me! ;-) Who else is playing? Be sure to add me as a writing buddy.

Movies have and will watch soon:
Green Inferno
The Visit
Knock Knock
Honeymoon

I should probably start working on my list of horror for the year-end wrap up for Geekbinge. American Horror Story is going well, BTW. By which I mean the show itself, and my reviews. South Park commenters at the new sites are often shitty and mean, and make personal slams when they disagree with something. But AHS fans comment about the show, the references, and horror in general. Speaking of TV, Simpsons is having new Halloween eps two weeks in a row. They're totally embiggening the whole season.
wednes: (Santa?)
Skipping this week's ZZN repost mainly because I'm just not feeling it. The new site I'm writing for is giving me "share post" overload, because I'm constantly being asked to share posts for the dozen+ new articles I'm writing every week.

Now for the obligatory statement that all this paid work is taking time away from my fiction. I'm pulling out an old manuscript to work on soon. Wish I had a tablet on which I could edit it--like an electronic notebook. If my kickstarter works out the way I want it to, I may be able to do just that.

The birthday party was awesome. Lots of people showed up, and spaced themselves out well enough that we were only rarely low on seating. I actually drank some booze at the party--some stuff friends brought that's made from grapes (liquor, not wine) and tasted like a yummy cross between rum and tequila, if you can imagine such a thing. Trifle was awesome, bean dip was fine but nothing to write home about. Great crowd--plus my brother got me The Walking Dead Monopoly game that came with a MacFarlane figure of The Governor. It even has two heads--a one eyed and a regular. Neat!

All done with Under the Bed magazine as of now. Hoping to have the vid done for the Horror Within Kickstarter done by the 15th of this month.
Wish me luck!
wednes: (Milk & Cheese)
Livejournal has taken it upon themselves to supercede my carefully chosen colors and layout and replaced it with some bullshit that looks like Twitter merged with Wordpress then incorporated Facebook's advertising policy. It's hideous, and I honestly don't know if I'll be able to read my feed there with any sort of regularity. God DAMN it's ugly.

While I'm here, congrats to [profile] absinthofheart on the new addition to their family. It will be fun for me to know there's another baby around that I can see for an extremely short time before handing it back to their rightful guardians.

JoJo is still licking himself like mad, and still has bald patches between his legs, and on the backs of his front legs. It upsets me to see it, and upsets me further that there doesn't seem to be anything wrong. It seems like if he had a rash, or (Zod forbid) fleas, that both cats would have them. I plugged in one of those expensive Feliway diffusers. After five weeks though, I'm not seeing an improvement. His demeanor is fine, maybe a little more chill (which I think might be the diffuser). He's eating and eliminating fine, and his nose is chilly and damp. A vet-tech couldn't find anything wrong with him. So I don't know what to do. Fie!
wednes: (Really?)
What do you do when you find out someone has been holding a grudge against you for months (or years even) and you don't even remember the incident they're talking about? I certainly won't deny that I can be hella sarcastic. When multiplied by the vagueness of typed correspondences, I'm sure that can come across as flippant, condescending, or even downright shitty.

This weekend, someone I only know from one social media site PM'd me to let me know they were unfriending me. Now, if I upset someone, I def want them to tell me about it. I want to make sure that there were no misunderstandings, and that whatever the issue is, that I've been clear and kind and all that there. IMO, telling someone you're unfriending them when you have no intention of discussing the issue is just lamesauce. I get it. You're taking your ball and going home for some terrible internet slight or disagreement.

I was informed by this person that I'm totally condescending (a critique that I accept for the reasons above), and that my skill with words makes me both awesome and prone to upsetting, or even hurting people. I don't doubt that this is true, and it made me pretty bummed to hear it.

But then...this person told me that they already knew I was mean and condescending because apparently they asked me to collaborate on a project with them. I have no memory of this, couldn't even narrow down when it might have happened. When I told this person I was "too busy," (they quoted me as saying exactly that) they took that to mean "I'm too good to work with you." To that, I say I dare you to knock this battery off my shoulder, by which I mean "Why don't you have a doctor look at that chip on your shoulder, seriously."

Overcompensating for abysmal self-esteem is something I'm pretty good at. So I get why some people think I have great self-image. I don't. If I did, I'd probably be much better at marketing my books. I'd also chase after big gigs instead of writing for one startup after another. (I admit, I do enjoy startups for a number of reasons) So yeah. Do I have an attitude problem? Probably. Do I come off as an asshole occasionally? I don't doubt it.
But do I go around declaring myself to be better than other people? Hells to the no. And if you ever think that's what I'm saying--for the love of Zod, tell me. Because that's some shit I want to know about.

While I'm here, True Blood finale was obscenely bad, even considering how bad the show had gotten since Season 4. My gods that was terrible. Horrible dialogue, convoluted and absurd plotting all dragged out to a ridiculous degree. Go home HBO, and make sure The Leftovers finale is better.
wednes: (Really?)
I've been solicited for advice by a friend who's about to have a baby. They want to know whether it's been difficult going through life with a weird name. More specifically, they wanted to hear that giving their kid a weird name (not a weird spelling of a regular name, which I hear is also a huge pain in the ass) is an awesome idea that will have no negative impact whatsoever.

I'm afraid I can't give them that assurance.
I think giving your kid a weird name is a terrible idea, and one that's most often done by parents with the normalest names ever who want to put their uniqueness on display via their child. But as more and more people ask for my advice on this (and let's face it, I offer advice on baby names whether people ask or not) I've been trying to decide exactly what it is that makes it more difficult.

1. It's weird. AKA uncommon, unusual, noteworthy, memorable. There are times in life when you want nothing more than to blend in, be invisible, be one of the gang. Yeah, I know we're all supposed to have amazing self-esteem and rejoice in our differences and all that shit. But for kids, sometimes blending in is the safest thing you can do. Having a weird name puts you on everybody's radar. People mention it and point you out. Everyone should have the option to not be noticed if they don't want to be. Weird names make this much harder.

2. People ask about it. If someone has a giant mole or a missing limb, it's generally considered rude to ask them about it the first time you meet them. Not so with a weird name. I can see how "Why are you named that?" may not seem like a personal question to the asker--but the answer is always personal. It probably involves talking about your parents, and maybe others in your family. Every name has a story, and not every story is appropriate for telling someone you just met, in a business context, or on the first day of class.

3. You can't find anything with your name on it. For me, the only way I could get stuff (mugs, buttons, hats, tiny license plates, all that shit kids liked in the 70's and 80's) with my name on it was to also buy 6 other items with days of the week I'd never use. I tried to go by Wendy for a time in elementary school, but my mom had such a fit that...well, it didn't work out.

4. It doesn't end in childhood. Customer Service work with a weird name was nightmarish in ways that transcend even normal to horrible CS experiences. Even now, I hear it from industry people, clients, at the doctor's office, at least half the time I have to show my ID for something--even once by a judge while I was in court. Seriously. It does not end.

What's a "weird" name? Well, days of the week for starters. Some months are not: April, May, June. But a kid called October is gonna have a tougher time. Known fictional characters (all those poor girls named Khaleesi), or famous musicians (Jimi Hendrix *last name*) or sports stars (I know a guy named OJ Simpson Jones). You gotta think ahead to what those people might do in 20 years. John Wayne may seem like a great first-middle combo until they dig up the crawlspace under the Gacy house. Products (Miller Lyte), punctuation (Hashtag), suggestions of hate-speech (Aryan Nation) are right out.

If you insist on giving your kid a weird name, your first responsibility is to consider that you may be doing it to say something about you that has nothing to do with your kid. If that's the case, quit being a jackass.
Your next responsibility is to understand that there are ways to give your kid a unique or unusual name without making it nightmarish instead. Consider that before you consider Hermione, Draco, Katniss, or Tyrion.
And finally, consider giving them a normal name and an unusual middle name. Better yet, make it an embarrassing nickname they won't have to explain to every substitute teacher and prospective employer til the end of days.
wednes: (Handfasting)
H and I celebrate Christmas the old fashioned way:
We buy each other stuff we wouldn't normally buy.

I got H:
A spinny top that works with a string
chinese finger trap
Star Trek Next Gen Pez dispenser box set
Alien T-shirt
Tee fury T-shirt with every Doctor on it.
Onion hardback front page collection
2 pr satin boxer shorts

He got me:
Doctor River Song sonic screwdriver
box of dark chocolate hazelnut truffles
hazelnut milk
Whole Foods hazelnut coffee creamer
smoked hazelnut gelato (outrageous!)
organic choco hazelnut spread (that is NOT nutella)
ventresca tuna
2 packs of Nathans hot dogs because we love them and only one store in the area actually sells them. Woot!

So yeah, that was nice.
Most of our peeps got cards and homemade lip balms.
Always well received and appreciated, so far.

We also got a big tin of cookies and a pumpkin bread from my Aunt, and another bag of yummy treats from my old college pal who visited today.

We also watched Doctor Who, which I haven't reviewed yet but will.

Furbish

Dec. 21st, 2013 05:00 pm
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
"THANK YOU THANK YOU"

"I'm so excited."

"Her name is Twinkle."

and

"How did you get enough money to buy this?"

These are just a few of the things my goddaughter, Evelyn, said when I gave her the Furby I got her for her birthday (also her Xmas gift).



Here she is with some blue-haired lady.

Holly Daze

Dec. 12th, 2013 07:37 pm
wednes: (Vincent)
I didn't make it to mass at St Francis last week despite my best efforts. Snow and cabs thwarted me. This week, I shall time call! (for non-cab people, this means scheduling the cab the night before)

I decided to take it really easy on myself this holiday season. We're not having anyone over for New Years Eve, first of all. So that's a LOT of cooking I won't have to do. I'm also not baking anything, except for H's birthday. Even with very little family in the area, there seems to be such a glut of cookies, fudge, and other holiday sweets that giving them out starts to seem like a cumbersome imposition.
In contrast, my Wednes-made lip balms have been turning out well and are pretty popular. Most of them can be sent with cards in padded mailers (H always makes us an awesome card). And nobody has to lay any diet-shaming talk on me about how "naughty" they'll feel when they eat cookies--because unless you're a disturbed youngster, you don't eat lip balm.

Aside from H and my goddaughter, I'm also not buying many presents. I get a little splashy with birthday gifts, but Xmas is just too huge and spendy to be getting pressies for everyone. That said, I did buy my goddaughter a Furby. I got an awesome Black Friday (why you gotta bring race into it?!?) deal on it, and I know she really wanted it. Honestly, I wouldn't mind a play robot myself, but I'm certainly not spending that kind of money on a toy for me.

Computer is worse than ever. In addition to having a broken click-bar, I'm looking at 12+ minutes to open Photoshop, and sometimes 10 minutes just for MS Word. Bearing in mind that I have to run INDesign including conversions, it's very frustrating. If I leave it unplugged, it will shut down itself at 20% power and without a warning. Gah! Mostly, I want to replace this computer before it shuts down completely and I can't get my stuff off it. I only have so many tiny flash drives, and most of them will not hold the magazine archive. *sigh* The down side to working at home and online is that if anything happens to my computer, I'm pretty much boned.

In better news, you can now Subscribe to Under the Bed magazine at Amazon. B&N is still taking a stupid long time to get the new issues up, but you can buy single issues from them. The best place to get single issues though, is at the FicMag website.

Found out today that there's a short film adaptation of Abed which is a short story I first read in Skipp and Spector's Book(s) of the Dead which I was just talking about on Facebook as being particularly influential to me. This particular story is now sold singly, with the same publisher as me, in fact. I'll be receiving a review copy soon, so that's fly. ZZN is starting to get active again. I'm throwing up my thoughts on Walking Dead this weekend if I have time. Mostly though, I'll be editing stories for the Feb issue and laying out the Jan issue once H gets the graphics to me.

Oldness

Nov. 26th, 2013 04:35 pm
wednes: (Hazel 2)
My birthday party was well attended and a lot of fun. The trifle was a huge success. The queso dip got overcooked in the crock pot and ended up grainy by the end of the night. It was pretty tasty for a while though.

I got some presents:
Rob Zombie lunchbox
glass nail file that is awesome and will never dull
Books from an author I've never read before (Sweet!)
Targaryan coffee mug
Game of Thrones coaster set
blackberry balsamic vinegar
truffle oil
meyer lemon infused olive oil
lemon cookies
lemon square mix
lemon creme coated almonds (OMG so yummy!)
Criterion ed of Fritz Lang's M
Halloween H2O
IHOP gift card
Cornucopia of flowers
Fountain pen with extra ink
kindle books including How to write a novel with Scrivener, We Need to Talk about Kevin, and Murder as Fine Art

There were pics, but I have no time to edit, size and post them until I finish this giant pile of SEO and put out the December issue of Under the Bed.
wednes: (Default)
You know how online, someone you kind of know will make a joke using dry wit or sarcasm?

And if you notice that they're doing that, you might play along?
Because humor is humorous and jokes are jokey?

But then you do that, and the other person explains to you that they were "only joking?"

And you're like "I know that. I was joking too--you know, because of the joke."

And they're like "Oh, right. Okay, yeah...that joke I was making."

By then, the joke isn't remotely funny any more--and I'm just vaguely uncomfortable.

True Story.
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
My birthday party is this weekend. I get so giddy with child-like glee for my birthday party. Lots of my favorite peeps come over and we eat yummy food, play games, and enjoy general merriment. It's like Christmas, but just for me and a select group of comrades.
Ya'll should come if you're in the area.

Key & Peele. Those guys are so smart and hilarious, I don't even get bent out of shape when Jordan wears a fat suit. From me, that totally means something since I went off on Jon Stewart for wearing one.
Also, I got my eye on you, Jay-Quellin!

My fam. Seeing my brother on a regular basis is awesome. Bummed his new GF can't come to my party because I would love to meet her.

I'm enjoying how many people are finally realizing how fucked up our current minimum wage is. That's right, people with full time jobs shouldn't be below the poverty line--especially if they're only supporting themselves, or themselves and one child. That said, yes, most families do require two incomes. If your wife has a job and you don't--fucking find yourself a gig, you lazy bastard.
Sorry to digress, that was for one person in particular.

Work. Even when various assignments are brain-breakingly terrible, I still LOVE being able to earn money by writing and editing from home. That is my life's dream, though I did think I would also have a house. Ah well...guess you can't have everything, amirite?

American Horror Story: Coven. I adore you. You are my favorite American Horror Story yet, which is huge considering last year's themes were insanity and mental health "treatments." And I've always been a fan of killer Santa Clauses--ever since Larry Drake in Tales from the Crypt. I still need to buy all these seasons. Would you believe I don't have a single one?

Closer

Nov. 16th, 2013 10:36 pm
wednes: (Grimey)
I'm getting much closer to figuring out the epub and mobi conversions for my beautiful magazine layouts. Turns out, I just have to make 2 different versions of each issue so the epub and mobi will look as awesome (though different) than the pdf. It would be nice if pdfs were easier to read on Kindles and stuff. Personally, I find them difficult to read on mine. The letters are so tiny.

"I'll be fine. Besides, if I get raped it'll be my fault for what I'm wearing." Mark Wahlberg as John Bennet in 'Ted'
Ted is a hilarious movie. I enjoy it more every time I watch.

I have lost my baking mojo. The last few things I made from scratch have not turned out. I tried to make another batch of butterscotch blondies and they tasted ghastlier than a thousand ghouls. I literally threw away an entire pan of brownies. They were seriously inedible.
For the party, I'm using box mixes until I can figure out how to get my baking mojo back.

Oh yeah, my annual party is this coming Saturday--November 23rd.
I'm hoping that people just aren't RSVPing, because very few people have and I'm never prepared for the possibility that people don't enjoy my company.
I'm awesome, right? RIGHT?!?
Anyway, I invited the usual ton of people. It's open-house style, so peeps will most likely be wandering in and out from 6pm until 2am or so.
I'm making a chocolate hazelnut cheesecake trifle, and a big thing of queso dip. Plus I imagine people will bring a few things.

Finished MaddAddam, which is the 3rd in a trilogy by the great Margaret Atwood. God damn, that chick is brilliant. Such elegant writing, it's almost unworthy of some of the characters. Fuck those Painballers, seriously. It didn't end as tragically as I expected, but after reading GRRM, if a single person lives or doesn't get tortured, it seems happy and/or hopeful.

I decided today that if I could be anyone else for one day, I would be Queen Latifah. Because, duh.

WayWard Manor has been pushed back until March 2014 because they just got a whole bunch more of money. I'm stoked to give it a whirl. H says he's gonna play it with me.

Gratitude

Nov. 5th, 2013 03:40 pm
wednes: (Hail Ants!)
I complain too much, which is why I haven't posted in a while. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of assholes in the world who go around doing stupid shit. But dammit, I gotta stop focusing on that so much. With that in mind, here is a list of shit I am grateful for:

1. H. Fucking duh. H is a rock that lets me be a crazy-pants nut-job and still not have to live in a cardboard box. He's kind, considerate, honest, and would run into a burning building to get me if I needed him to. He is also what makes it possible for me to be a pro writer.

2. Being a pro writer. It's my dream. Since I was five, I wanted to be the person who writes the stuff that goes in books. And I am. I'm not making as big a splash as I want to. I need to write for sites that are more visible, and I will. For now though, making money through writing is awesome.

3. The Mag. Yeah, I'm still pretty new at the mag stuff, and there's a lot that I'm not very good at yet. It's still tremendous fun and I'm learning a ton about writing, editing, and how horror is built.

4. Fam. I got back in contact with some of my fam a few years ago--including my good brother. The other brother, not so much. My fam is pretty awesome. Having a fam is different from friendships. You didn't actually choose these people, so you're connected to them even if they are religious whackadoos (we don't really have these), GOP supporters, or are suspicious of Mexicans. I'm pretty lucky in that my extended fam is a loving, diverse, and fascinating bunch.

5. My real-life friends. By this I mean people who I see on a fairly regular basis. They are a witty, whip-smart, and wonderful bunch.

6. My on-line friends. I have a lot of these, including a small handful of people I feel genuinely close to, and would invite into my home if they were nearby. I am grateful that the internets let me connect with so many people that I can have amazing conversations with, and share in all their life stuff.

7. The cats. I love that I get to have cats around, and have some good ones these days.
wednes: (Static)
Big political news means that, if I remain on social media, that I'll be reminded over and over which people I went to school with/used to work with/am peripherally related to are fucking batshit insane.

I have a cousin who supported Citizens United because she honestly believes that money and speech are the same thing. That if we limit the businesses right to give unlimited money to politicians--that we're taking away their right to free speech. I...I still have no words for this, and it still happens.

I went to high school with dozens of people who think the ACA literally has death panels and that insurance companies' top concern is taking care of patients. I also went to school with lots of middle class people who think everyone on welfare (even though many of them got Free Lunch back in the day) is lazy and "refuses" to work. Honestly, how can you live in a poor city like Hazel Park and honestly think it's not possible to work and still be poor? It's fucking delusional.

This is not old news. I know this. But I hate being reminded of how many of these utter loons stumble through life with this crazy idea that no one is working as hard as them, no one deserves the same things they have, and no one deserves any help at all until utter loons like them personally vet their situation and decide that they're not "at fault." Because if you've ever made a bad decision, fuck you--starve!

Now I'm hearing how it's "Not our problem" that war widows aren't getting their death benefits, or kids aren't no longer able to eat the meager crap their parents used to be able to afford. But heaven for-fucking-fend that a monument be closed. *shakes fist* Obaaaaah-maaaaah!!!
wednes: (TV!!!)
Well...my Why I hate Skyler White article has driven people to the point of madness. I totally got flamed, and I'm pretty sure a few of them were not sock puppets of the main detractor. One person took my thoughts totally personally, and would not let up about what a terrible misogynist I am, how I don't understand emotional abuse, and apparently think *every* battered woman has the ability to just pick up and leave (and not just Skyler, who has an education, support system, and a pallet heaped with cash).
Presumptions about strangers on the internet are amazing.
I find it especially funny because I pretty much put all my personal business right out there for the reading. Anyone who actually cared to get to know me could do so in short order--just by reading what's already posted.

But see...people aren't interested in getting to know you, especially when they're so busy judging you for daring to say something they don't like. I'm surprised they aren't telling my editor to fire me, lest they boycott the site. Ha!
It's funny mainly because we don't get all that much traffic, so the flaming was a big boost to me money-wise.
I later learned that apparently Vince Gilligan said this:
And with the risk of painting with too broad a brush, I think the people who have these issues with the wives being too bitchy on Breaking Bad are misogynists, plain and simple.
Which, I guess, gives douchebags the idea that by calling me a misogynist that they will become Vince Gilligan's best friend or something.

It seems like my editor took it much more personally than I did, because he really tried to defend me and the article--going so far as to write his own rebuttal article. His main point was that while he disagreed with my take on her, that calling me a misogynist is fucking stupid.

To my mind, saying that *I'm* what represents misogyny is an enormous misunderstanding of what feminism and misogyny actually are. That's over and above the fact that I'm about as misogynistic as I am racist, Christian, or homophobic...which is to say, not fucking much by half. You might as well say everyone who likes the show is a fan of both murder and blue meth.

Last night was movie night. We had a small but quality crowd, good food (Curt brought an amazing buffalo chicken dip that I want to bathe in) and a Burgess Meredith double feature. Foul Play followed by The Sentinel. Nice! There is polenta left over that I'll fry up for H, and a goodly amount of pina colada no-bake dealies that have no booze and are delicious.

Tonight is editing stories for the magazine, and maybe watching Savages. Tomorrow, of course, is a million TV shows. Dexter, Breaking Bad, and Newsroom. Woot!
wednes: (Pot meets Kettle)
Announcement: If you haven't yet bought a copy of my book The Cat's Apprentice, your time to do so is running out. My former publisher, Stonegarden.net Publishing is going out of business. My horror books are either available now or soon to be reappearing with Crossroad Press.
For those of you who keep asking, I still don't know when The Finster Effect will be out in paperback. Right now Mr Publisherman and I are trying to get the Kiss Me Like You Love Me audiobook up for sale through Audible. Soon...soon...

Some college peeps are coming to see me this Friday, one of these I have not seen in 20 years. A lot of chicks fret about looking older and/or fatter than they did in school. Not me. I was fat then, so nobody is gonna be shocked that I'm fat now. Between being heavy and never having any kids, I tend to look younger than other chicks I graduated with. Plenty of chicks I went to high school with (more the poor high school than the middle class one) are already grandmothers. I can't even imagine...
Anyway, we're having 70's movie night. Crowhaven Farm (which I haven't seen since I was little) and Trilogy of Terror, which I love.
I was gonna make a real cheesecake. I haven't made a real one in some time, and was afraid I'd mess it up and waste the ingredients. I'm trying a less risky fake cheesecake (read: no bake and has Cool Whip) with nutella and my famous cocoa puffs pie crust. Should be tasty, if not exactly gourmet.

Been listening to The National. The band. I like what I'm hearing. And yet, they tend to sort of fade into the background when I'm doing stuff.

And finally, I made the hilarious mistake of trying to cut all the blue out of my hair--while I was tired and kinda high. Now I have super short bangs--the kind I had as a kid. I never got nice looking haircuts as a kid, because my mom just wanted me to not need a haircut for a super long time. H likes it, but I can't wait for my hair to grow back down into my eyes.
Gonna re bleach it and put some color in the front soon. Trying a different brand of color, a blue and a lilac. Pics to come.
wednes: (Hail Ants!)
I disagreed with Jon Stewart last night. Aside from his occasional making fun of fat people--it's rare that Stewbeef and I disagree. But I don't understand the problem with the IRS "scandal." Groups get zillions of dollars from giant corporations, and they don't have to tell anyone where it comes from. Said groups then get to spend that money however they want--so long as they don't "coordinate" with a candidate. As we learned last election season, "not-coordinating" can involve being someone's parent or child, being their BFF, or even being their former coordinator. We saw churches telling congregations who they should vote for--threatening them with hell if they didn't. Yet none of these people paid taxes under the guise of being community based. Really?

So now the IRS is in the wrong for saying "let's look at groups that are advertising themselves as political?" Well duh. If I start a business called "Wednesday's Pot Emporium" and one called "Wednesday's Earthen Jars" it should not surprise me if one of these names gets more police scrutiny than the other.
I'm not clear on how this makes Obama a monster, or how this means the nutter screaming that the nigger Kenyan is coming for our freedomz is suddenly correct. I admit that I think the Tea Party is a oligarchal monster pretending to be an offshoot of ACORN (funny how grass roots organizations are awesome when they're for freeedumz).

In the end, I'd like to see Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken in charge of absolutely everything. Guys like Boehner, Paul Ryan, et al can give all their money to the poor (as Jesus commands) and get a shit job working at Wal*Mart.

As for me, I've got a zillion things going on, only some of which are firmly poised to blow up in my face. I'm also reading Under the Dome, which is seriously adding to my stress. I found out that the bad guy, Big Jim Rennie is being played by the DEA brother-in-law from Breaking Bad. Good call.

H and I invited another couple for dinner last night. We used our tax money to get a vacuum cleaner, so we're less embarrassed to have people over now. I made falafel, quinoa with veggies, and hummus. They brought choco peanut butter brownies, and some baklava. Mmmmmm...

Walking

Apr. 14th, 2013 06:24 am
wednes: (Count Thumps Edward)
I like to take walks at this time of day (6am). I took one this morning after an oddly timed nap (less than half a brownie was WAY too much, apparently). There weren't many people around except random dog walkers. I chatted with one this morning, nice guy. Nobody I'd talked to before. Then this happened:

*chat, chat, chat*

They: "Are you married?"

Me: Yes

They: "How long?"

Me: *tells him*

They: "You guys have kids?"

Me: Nope, just some cats.

They: "That's good."

Me: ... I'm sorry?

They: "I don't wanna talk out of turn, but you shouldn't be having babies with a guy who's...like that."

Me: Like what?

They: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it's none of my business. You have a good day now." *walks away with dog*

Me: *thinking* WTF, seriously? If I knew the guy or knew he knew who H was, I'd assume he was racist. But I didn't know what the hell to think.

I came home and was pretty pissed off. I went into the bathroom to splash some water on me, and see that while I was napping, my recently touched up blue hair left a bit of a smear on my cheek and to the left of my eye. In low light, it looked like someone beat the crap out of my face.

So in reality, my neighbor was trying to be a nice guy. In retrospect, it would not have been ridiculous for him to have reacted even more strongly. I want to correct this impression of my wonderful husband, but I didn't even ask the guy his name--so I have no idea who he is. He's the guy with some kind of doberman mix on the other side of the complex.

Sorry, neighborman. You're alright by me!
I promise, NOBODY smacks me around.
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
Yeah, I know I'm way behind on the whole Tweeting thing. I hate restricting myself to a single sentence, because you can't actually talk about anything. I'm following tons of celebs--the interesting ones. Except when I scroll down my Twitter feed, I just respond to them like I'm talking to my regular online buddies. Not sure if that's the best way to go. Somebody already told me I should leave the internet because I hate all things Evil Dead. Yeah, the internet is no place for people with shitty taste.
If you want to read my Tweets, they crosspost to FB and LJ, but I don't know how to make them post here. Yeah, I'm sure you're bummed.

Have you seen the greatest thing to happen in the history of horror television?
No? Then by all means, feast your peepers!


If you're in the mood for an announcement, you should know that both A Stabbing for Sadie and Kiss Me Like You Love Me are getting shiny new complete audiobook editions. They'll be distributed by the good people at Audible dot com, through my publisher at Macabre Ink Digital and Crossroad Press. So there. My widespread popularity is imminent. So get ready for a bunch of trollish commenters to tell me my work Suuuuuuuxxxxx1!1!1!! Because that's what happens when you get famous. I look forward to people judging my entire existence based on a single Tweet or post, and perhaps assuming things about my life based on a single photo.
That's gonna be awesome! Luckily, I've already worked a ton of customer service, so I won't be surprised at the shitty meanness of the public at large.

Putting together a series of articles detailing my career in phone sex. Also did a review of...well, I'll post it once it's up. Let's just say, it's been a long while since I've been able to write off sex toys as a business expense. ;-]

Hope to have S4S edits done by next week so I can seriously draft and polish Millicent Mixter's Guide. Been writing that in sections that I have not put all together. Stig and the Puppetman continues to be awesome. These days, all the comics are 4 pages long. I'll have a book in no time!
wednes: (Snakes on a Plane)
The new issue of Resilient Brainforest is out.
Download it for FREE right fucking here.

A few of you have asked me why I don't post Stig and the Puppetman on my blog or at my regular website. After all, that's what other webcomic makers do, right? Let me say this as clearly as I can:

I am NOT a comic, an illustrator,
or visual artist of any kind.


I'm a writer. I write novels and short stories. I put together articles and interviews and reviews for TV, movies, and other people's books. I lend other writers the assist. Anything else I do generally has to do with either making money to buy stuff I want, or with promoting my own work.

Posting my comic online is what an illustrator would do. I appear regularly in Resilient Brainforest for several reasons. First and foremost, someone I think is pretty cool asked me to participate. I enjoy the challenge of doing something I wouldn't normally do. Then, I got sort of attached to the characters--and the ideas started falling out of me like vomit after Jaeger night.

Finally, this is a collaborative project. Everyone involved is working at least as hard as I am. To showcase my own work to the detriment of the rest of the contributors--is what an asshole would do. And I, as you may know, am not an asshole. That's why I'm still giving away Stig and the Puppetman for FREE in Resilient Brainforest mag--and nowhere else. To get it, you have to go all the way to the site, then click on "download." Then, you wait (YMMV). Before you know it, you have a FREE pdf full of comics for you to enjoy, loathe, or print up and use to wallpaper your bathroom.

Now you know!
wednes: (Eye of Wednes)
Been working my ass off as of late, yet my ass has inexplicably remained the same size. Just as well, I'd hate to have to buy all new pants.

Bills are getting paid. My CPAP will be paid off by February--sooner if this marketing company keeps throwing extra work my way. The TV reviews are still small income generators. Mostly they are fun, and let me write off the cable and internet bills. Yay!

Tax time is coming. Can't wait to hear all the internet banter about the bullshit Fiscal Cliff the GOP manufactured. This is another of those areas in which I'm baffled as to what they think they're doing.
It should be clear as a bell to anyone with eyes that those giant tax breaks for rich people are NOT creating jobs. If they were, there would be tons of jobs right now. The reason so many businesses aren't hiring is that they don't NEED new employees. The middle class is low on cash so nobody is buying anything. If people actually had disposable income, they could buy shit, businesses could hire. Tax revenues would go up, and the need for welfare would go down. I'm not an economic genius or anything--but this plan of giving the rich giant meals in the hopes that crumbs will fall to the poor--it's asinine and only a fool would believe it. And to the mooks who say no one will try if they have to pay taxes--well THOSE are the moochers you're always bitching about. If you're only trying, creating, doing, building etc because you hope it will make you rich--fuck you. You probably don't have anything remarkable inside you anyway. The pursuit of vast wealth is insipid and displays a complete lack of understanding about the very nature of life and humanity.

I love Patricia Walden's Iyengar Yoga vids. LOVE.

H and I went to my cousin's wedding last Saturday. My mom didn't attend because I was there. Classy lassy, that one! (not) The family was warm and welcoming. In the years I was away, all the kids turned into adults, and all the adults turned into old people. Uncle *name-redacted* did not get drunk and roll his glass eye across the table like he did when I was little. Drag. Aunt *redacted again* and her partner finally started introducing each other as their "partner." Even as a teenager I didn't think any grown-ups actually had the same roommate for that long. A good rule of thumb is that if two same-sex people get a new place together more than twice--they're almost certainly a couple. Another good way to find out is to ask. ;-]
It was a good wedding. I was glad I went. They were glad to have me there. H is a delight in social situations. So Yay on that!

Had an online exchange with my younger cousin who also has no name. She posted "My friend OD'd on pot--said no one ever." Cut for Pot Talk )

Today is looking over the new Stig and the Puppetman I finished last night. Then four marketing articles. Then, trying a new recipe for lip balm that I hope will not result in a bunch of wasted garbage. Cocoa peppermint again.
Later, I'm gonna do coconut lime lip balm, and some 1oz containers of chest rub--like for colds. Neat, eh?
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
That's right. I turned officially Old as Fuck yesterday on the occasion of my 24th birthday. Ha! Did I say 24th? I mean 42nd.

Here's a link to the partay pics from FB. The party was sort of random and scattered this year, with many guests coming at different times, on different days, or not at all. One person skipped because they thought another person was attending--but then neither of them actually showed up. DRAMA!!! I hate that shit, because I never know if I'm handling it right.

A goodly number of fine people did attend, and a few of them even brought gifts. We played Cards Against Humanity, which is always hilarious. There was great food, and precious little drunkeness. I bought a fifth of Southern Comfort that was barely touched. Not sure what I'll do with it. I bet it'd be good on a holiday cake.

I got Sid Haig's autograph in a cool frame, signed to me. Sweeeeeeet!! I also got Michael C Hall's autograph, and a Dexter clip-on badge. It was sweet. My assistant, Sara, made a gift basket with different kinds of lemon soda. H made me a sweet card and got me some gifts he says will arrive later in the week. Neat, eh?
I also got a sweet pair of sketchers, some really beautiful and thoughtful cards, something from Ryan that will also be here in a week or so. Plus Game of Thrones S1, The Muppets, and these:


It was the best pineapple cake in years. Sometimes I use boxed cake mix, for ease. But lately I'd been trying different recipes in an attempt to find the perfect one. This year I did Martha Stewart's yellow cake recipe but used butter crisco instead of butter. I've never actually made that substitution in a cake before. Alton Brown was right when he says it makes things taste more buttery than actual butter. The foodie in me was uneasy, but the cake was fucking delicious. I also added half a cup of sour cream--that's my "secret."
I didn't take a picture, but it was pretty, and in a bundt pan. It was light around the outside, and I wasn't sure it was done. It was.
I really, really, REALLY need a new bundt pan. I've had the same one since 1998 and it really has seen better days.
wednes: (Jack Mocks)
The Leonid meteor shower was still supposed to be going on tonight. Nice for us, since H is home from work, and we have a telescope. I'm told that if you can find the right place to point it, you can see some cool stuff. No dice. We've had rain all day, and clouds friggin' everywhere. Sad times.

I'm trying to get all my marketing work done before Thanksgiving. I'm making a nice meal and H is off work. We're having a few friends over, people who want a nice meal and don't have local family or whatever. If you are such a person and would like to come, let me know. We're having pasta with meatballs (I've never made meatballs before, so they might suck) and a roasted pepper cream sauce. I'll also be making bread sticks. Somebody is bringing a chocolatey dessert.

Saturday is my annual birthday bash. I decided not to get all stressed out about cooking this year. We're having hot dogs and a crock pot full of baked beans. I'm making fresh salsa, toom (also a first for me, but I'm fairly confident that it won't suck), and a pineapple cake. If you are typically invited and haven't heard from me, it's because I suck at invites these days. Facebook is lame for that stuff, but I don't think I have everyone's right Email anymore.
In better news, H is cleaning the house.

Last time I got a salon haircut, it was the kind that you're supposed to maintain. Yeah, right. Months later, it is all grown out and looks awful. I have a party this weekend, and an actual family wedding with my actual family next weekend. So a haircut is in order despite my not having $80 to get one. (Yes, it really costs that much with cab fare.) So I trimmed up the front, and tried to trim up the back. I think it's a fail though. I gotta have somebody come over and trim it, because that's another one of those things H simply will not attempt. It's just hair, and cutting it in a straight line. *sigh*

37000 / 50000
(74%)


See everybody Saturday!
wednes: (Wednes in 1985)
It's not a very obscure literary reference, so I'm gonna assume you all know.



So this happened. Finster came in town from Cali just to go to the show. What show, you ask? Jason McCauley Berry and the All Night Fish Market. Back in the day, Finz and I went to these shows endlessly, roughly weekly but sometimes more. If you picture them dark and blurry, it'd look something like this.


It was a time for beer drinking and terrible jobs, hunting for a cool boyfriend and eventually realizing a girl friend would make more sense. A time for drugs and floundering, figuring shit out and wallowing in grand ideas and stupid mistakes. A time for a Heathen Ranch, gazing up longingly at the poverty line, and realizing that I was honest to Zod crazy and needed to do something about it.

Before the gig, there was a BBQ at the new home of my old friend and former Heathen Ranch roommate. A few other friends from that era were there. Newsflash: Having children ages people a LOT. Everybody's still as sexy as ever though. The dude on the far right is Joe, who is Our Narrator in the KMLYLM podcast. I know, right?


Merriment ensued.


My old friend literally lives within walking distance of my mom's house in Royal Oak. We drove right by it on the way to the bar, which was in Ferndale.

H actually got the night off work to come with. Because I asked him to. He hates bars, parties, going out, and being around crowds. He mostly sat at the table watching my bag. I mostly walked around acting like the queen of the castle, puffing the wacky tobacky, drinking tons of water and a few sips of coca cola, and dancing my ass off. I imagine some unflattering pics of said dancing will be showing up on Facebook over the next week. Can't wait...


Officially, the party was for our friend Bill, who was turning 40. Bill is an awesome guy who totally has not changed since back in the day. It's a weird thing to suddenly be back among people who knew me when I was a totally different person. And it's crazy to hear how people remembered me, how they "always knew" I'd be successful, and how I always seemed like I'd do great things. Not for nothing, but I don't recall 98% of these people mentioning that at the time. Quite the opposite, in fact. Anywhoo...


The gig was amazing. Jason still has the sweetest voice ever. I love it so much. The last song of the night was about me. I don't mean that in an absurd drunk-girl kind of way. The song Blues for a Better Wednesday was written about me, roundabout 1990. I'll probably podcast it sometime so you can all hear it. Jason called it their best song. I was quite touched.

The whole event was tremendous fun, and illustrated rather sharply the differences between my life then, and my life now. There were a bunch of people I was delighted to see, and a few conspicuous absences, and a healthy handful of people who said how happy they were to see me--who I didn't recognize at ALL. I look pretty much the same as ever, but most of the dudes put on weight and lost their hair. A lot of the chicks totally changed their hair, and everyone was wearing dark glasses for some reason. People kept hugging me and H would ask who they were, and I wouldn't know. Bizzarre, but nice to be so well loved, amirite?


In other news, I have a ton of work to do this week. Tonight I'll draft the review of the Dexter premiere, which I'll finish and put up tomorrow. Also tomorrow will be watching and putting up a review of the new Boardwalk Empire ep. Have you been reading my Reviews at GeekBinge? You totally should be. I'll also be covering American Horror Story when that comes back--in just 17 days!!!

Also, I'll be finishing the new Stig and the Puppetman comic. After that, I'll be tearing into A Stabbing for Sadie to make edits for the 2nd edition. I changed almost nothing from KMLYLM. It's gonna get a new introduction and some new "Thanks." I thought about going back through some of Dami's dialogue but decided against it. That book is pretty good as it is, and doesn't need me um...Lucasing it up. Sadie, OTOH, is getting tore up and thematically embiggened.

The next book is outlined and ready for me to write the hell out of it for NaNoWriMo. If you're planning to get down with the NaNo this year, be sure to add me as your buddy. This one is set for a 2013 release as well, so I kind of have to rock this thing hard core. Luckily, that is typically how I roll.

In sadder news, I walked away from cooking bacon today and it burned to an inedible blackened crisp. I was sad. Bacon abuse. No.
wednes: (Default)
Some of you know that my upcoming novel The Finster Effect is named after a real-life buddy of mine who is affectionately called Finster.

See Fig 1.


Finster and I met in my junior year of high school--the year I switched schools and had to start all over trying to make friends. I sucked at this. Finster was in my typing class, which we both almost failed because instead of doing assignments, we typed each other letters. There are a bunch of them at my mom's house in my hope chest. We were also in Fiddler on the Roof together (Sounds crazy, no?) along with that Andre guy from the first season of The Real World on Mtv. [Bad username or unknown identity: sudrin"] knows this because he came to see me in a performance. We weren't sure at first if we were going to date or be buddies. We ended up being buddies, and I never actually liked one of his girlfriends--until he met the one he eventually married.

Finster has a bunch of sisters. The only one I actually know doesn't like me. I've often wondered how a chick with such a cool haircut could endure such a sharp stick up her ass...but I digress. After high school I went to Olivet College and he joined the Army. Within a few years, we were both back in our parent's places and started hanging out again.

For much of my 20's, I looked for love, a better job, and kept on going to shows with Finster. Mostly we saw Jason McCauley Berry and the All Night Fish Market at bars around Detroit. Jason is a good friend of mine from college. The band rocked so hard. Once we went all the way to Chicago and I threw up in the middle of the street. Hippy drugs and booze flowed pretty freely back then and a good time was had by all. These were days of 4am opening shifts at McDonalds, LSD, and the very end of my having any sort of relationship with the mater. There was also dancing. Tons and tons of dancing. There were gigs where Finster and I were the only ones dancing in the whole club. But dance, we did.


Me and Finz circa 1995

Eventually, ANFM stopped playing together. Jason became the booking guy at the Blind Pig. Finster moved to California and eventually got married. I met H and started writing books and doing my thing.

But...

Tomorrow, Jason McCauley Berry and the All Night Fish Market is playing a reunion show in Ferndale. I'm going, this time, with H. Finster is flying out from California (come to think of it, he's probably already here) so I have someone to dance with. There's a BBQ at the home of one of my fellow Heathen Ranch buddies, followed by the show. I am SO super stoked!
wednes: (Pot meets Kettle)
Uverse on Demand requires a bit of buffering. Who knew?

It was pretty good. Snappy writing, fun action scenes, Loki is a great villain and everyone was well developed, I thought.

The Hulk, though. There was some rather rampant inconsistency in terms of how much control he had over his Hulkiness. They led us to believe it was none, but then it was some, then it was a bunch. But why? And why did no one discuss it at all?

Jeremy Renner. Damn. Wow. Damn and wow. I loved him in the Jeffery Dahmer movie (which I merely liked), but this was amazing. He had such a strong screen presence. His physicality screamed ICON. Why didn't he get his own movie? Seriously. Give me it!

This week I'm finishing up edits to Kiss Me Like You Love Me so I can re-release it early next year.

I gotta put some more blue in my hair tomorrow so I look super awesome for the big show this weekend. These dudes are playing on Saturday for the first time in 15 years. My buddy Finster is flying out from California so I don't have to dance by myself. It's gonna be way far insane and awesome. H is even going, he got the night off work. I know, right?

Working on the next Stig and the Puppetman comic about the two mismatched roommates who are also serial killers. Yay! It's fun making comics, and I really enjoy how they're coming out. So good on that.

Got approved for another job. Another one of these gigs where I have no idea whatsoever how much work there will be or when it will come in. Drag.
The steady stuff is groovy, but I wish there was more of it.
wednes: (Inception)
Everything sounds cooler when it's from Beyond the Moon.
Just sayin'

I took Saturday and Sunday off from sociopolitical posting on the internets. I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to do it for a few more days. I may even commit to a whole week of it. I'm focusing on nice things like work, foodstuffs, H, movies, cats, and people being good and kind to each other.

With that in mind, I got an unexpected royalty check today. I try not to keep track of when those are coming--mainly so they aren't already spent by the time they arrive.

The Cards Against Humanity set that H made me is spectacular. He rounded all the card edges, and made an Aliens-specific expansion pack. If you have not yet experienced the laff-riot that is Cards Against Humanity, please do get your coolest, smartest friends together for a few rounds. Do it!!!
We played a rousing game of it Friday night, whilst having this dessert.


And now, as promised, a pictorial journey into the creation of a dessert lasagne. )

And you end up with essentially this. Mmmmm...this.
wednes: (Wut?  JoJo)
A friend of mine loaned me a hardback book a week or so ago. It was something I'd been meaning to read--so good on that. I was sort of struck by how huge it seemed, even though it wasn't. It was a normal-sized hardcover book of about 350 pages or so. I'd just gotten very used to the Kindle, so a normal size book seemed ridiculously huge to me.
Odd...seeing as how it wasn't that long ago that I read all the Harry Potter books in hardback.

Anyway...I left the book on my coffee table. This is also where the cats drink their water. It is one of the many ways that I am slowly turning into Eleanor Abernathy Springfield's most notorious "Crazy Cat Lady." But it's the only way to get them to drink enough water.
A day or so later, I pick up the book and notice that there's ink on the corner directly facing the cat's water. Sure enough, there turned out to be a large watermark on the back cover and on the top right corner of 30 or so pages of the book. Blue ink from the cover bled all over the pages.

I felt like a complete asshat. I, of all people, who have had SO many books, movies, toys, etc. ruined by other people's pets, children, cars, bathtub mishaps, and even an angry fireplace burning--I let something terrible happen to somebody else's book.

I looked at it. Damn it to HELL, it's a first edition! It's gonna cost a fortune to replace, I bet. It's a popular book. Losing no time, I rush over to Amazon. To my delight I found an identical copy for less than $12 including the shipping. And I'll probably get to keep the damaged copy to read. It's perfectly readable. It's just in an unacceptable state in which to return a book.

It's due to arrive tomorrow. Crisis averted, right?

Today, I see my friend and sheepishly tell her what happens.
Her response?

"Oh, it was already like that. I got it at a used bookstore."

*Cue hilarious trombone of acquiescence* Wah Waaaaaaaaaah

And then we watched Tombstone with my great Hollywood love, Bill Paxton. I'm watching a ton of Paxton movies this week, because he's just dreamy!

True Story.
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
Picked up an extra shift at the day-job this week to cover for someone attending a funeral. What am I gonna say? No, I don't feel like it even though my plan was to stay home, relax and dick around on the computer? Possibly, but I didn't. I could use the scratch. I need to order new magnet bracelets since my good one broke (after over a decade) and my pretty ones aren't really strong enough. I got another pretty one that is stronger, and a super-dooper-uber-strong one that will top out at around 4000 gauss. Mmmmm...gauss. I realize that I am a great believer in a few medical things, like magnets and EMDR, that a lot of people assume are bunk.
Magnets, for example, are sold as being miracle cures. They aren't. They don't lower your blood pressure, stress level, or give you an enhanced state of being. But they have helped me through some awful pains. I first used them to take down the swelling in an abcessed molar. If you've never had the displeasure, it's like a throbbing kidney stone in your mouth. Magnets did the trick--I didn't even care how absurd they looked taped to my face. These days, they curb the carpal/cubital tunnel pain.

The "ENTER" key on my keyboard at work sticks terribly.
I find it irksome.

This weekend I'm hanging out with my new buddy, a little kid I'll refer to as G-man. G-man is the child of a chick I went to college with. His family is Mormon. He is a certified genius and a huge fan of all things horror. He came out to Ann Arbor a while back to record a short story for me--and was great. I think he's 9, though he might be 10. Anyway, he's coming over on Saturday and sleeping over in H's office. We're gonna talk horror, maybe record some more fiction, and watch whatever horror I have that is swear-free and hopefully won't scar the kid for life. I'm thinking of showing him Night of the Living Bread, maybe a few original Twilight Zone eps, and either the original Dracula or Frankenstein.

I'm also taking suggestions on stuff that is quality horror but can still be shown to a kid with religious parents. The original JAWS should be fine if he hasn't already seen it. Apparently, he loves megalodons.

Still chipping away at this med situation. Doubling my dosage tonight of the Celexa. Here's hoping it won't make me more tired than I already am. My appointment with my regular doc and psyche doc together is supposed to be next Thursday, but I just found out I have to work. I'm hoping I can get that figured out, since I can't get another refill until I see both docs together. I do feel a lot less tense, angry, and worried about stuff. But I'm tired and not getting very much work done. It's so hard finding a balance...

And finally, this Friday the 13th is the giant, enormo, FREE Kindle giveaway for A Stabbing for Sadie. ONE DAY ONLY, BITCHES! I don't have H's fly graphic with me at work, but please do tell everyone you've ever known. Graphic will be up by tomorrow. Honest.
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
I'm in my 40's. I can remember a time when that seemed ridiculously old. I can remember learning that my grandfather was *gasp* 54 and it seemed like the oldest thing in all of time.

Not having kids means I get to continue to live like a teenager in many ways, despite my advanceD decrepitude. And face it, decades of sloth and gluttony have indeed rendered me a bit less jaunty than other peeps my age. I'm working on strength training so I can eventually get into the house of horrors that is Cardio. But yeah, for a 40-something, I feel pretty tired, sore, and old.

That said...I learned today that another friend of mine is dying due to one of those things that people blame on fatness, AND/or "not taking care of yourself." I've not seen this dude in years, so I have no idea what his habits are. But he's a Big Guy, which means there's always some douchebag who will blame bad health on being heavy with absolutely no other facts.

It scares the hell out of me knowing that people my age are dying from this kind of shit. My right foot has been numb, which gives me constant nightmares about doctors coming in to cut it off in the night. My knees are bad, and it's difficult for me to get up off the floor by myself. I'm not ready for LifeAlert or anything, but the very idea that I could fall and take 20 seconds or more to stand back up again? Yikes. Fucking...yikes. I mean, what if I couldn't stand up at all? I can't even imagine.
wednes: (Santa?)
Thank goodness. Christmas is here and soon we can all stop correcting each others well wishes. That will be nice. I'm still complaining because I worked the day-job Friday, and am in again tomorrow even though NO shippers are actually shipping. We won't be able to do anything for anyone, yet we still have to show up at 9 freaking a.m. But I digress...

Girl-H has been staying here for over 2 weeks. I love her. She is great.
Still, it'll be nice to be able to walk around in my underwear again. And to eat meat.
I like meat.
Anyway, we're pretty festive:

H hates when people take his picture.

I got H a new book by C.S. Lewis called Boxen. I also got him Ghostbusters on Blu-Ray, a Superman cartoon DVD, some sour freezer pops, the 10th Doctor's screwdriver, Astronaut Ice Cream, and a few little trinkets for the stocking.
Girl-H got a Kindle with warranty (which she loves, Yay!), and some random coolness from Thinkgeek: 20D of Destiny, cupcake mints, breathable chocolate, edible flowers, miracle berries, etc.

H got me this amazing thing:

Not Slytherin...Not Slytherin...

My stocking had a bunch of pens from the Dexter store that look like syringes. They even have red liquid inside. I look forward to a cop hassling me over them. *snerk*

Apparently, H got me something else cool, but it arrived broken so I don't get to know what it is yet.

H designed a badass card for us to give out. I'm putting it under a cut for hugeness, (EDIT: it's smaller now, but still easy to read) but I swear it's H's crowning card achievement. Do give it a read! )

We're not really doing anything fancy. No big meal, no visiting, though we'll likely watch H's new copy of Ghostbusters. I made rolls, some with blueberry, and some with nutella. I think I'm going to stop writing to you chumps and go have some.

Happy Holidays to every last one of you.

Really?

Dec. 19th, 2011 10:46 am
wednes: (Jack Mocks)
Stress, I has it.
Woke up yesterday with tremendous back pain and had to go to the grocery store. Girl-H is still staying with us for another week. I'm feeling a little too stressed and crazy for a house guest. And unlike H, Girl-H suspects that my every bad mood is because of her, so I have guilt on top of everything else. Long shift today, then home to cook for the H's, then back to work for, as I said on FB, a stupid fucking night meeting that couldn't possibly wait until after the holiday for some reason.

Our dishwasher is broken, which is especially irritating because we have extra dishes because of guests and Xmas cooking, and all the bottles and extracts and such. Everybody who is getting cookies or cakes is getting them late. My mom would be rolling in her grave--except she isn't dead.

My fabulous extracts turned out fabulous. I knew it!
Actually, I didn't. I was ascared. But I did 8 bottles each (six smallish and 4 large) of vanilla blend (Madagascar, tahitian, and mexico beans in good rum) and organic lavender in creme vodka. It has come to my attention that sending old people giant boxes of sweets may not be entirely welcome. And it saves me a LOT of time and some money not doing that--though it was about $100 to get all the extract stuff. My kitchen smells awesome. My bro is getting a box of cookies after the "new year," and H's grandparents are getting cran-cherry bread the week after Xmas. I was gonna do butter cookies with good vanilla beans but I don't think I'll have time since I'm working until 7pm tomorrow, then home to make a giant veggie stir fry for the H's.

Kim Jong Il dead. "War" in Iraq "over".
I'm sure this will make the world right again, much how eating a Lean Cuisine meal suddenly makes the pounds fly off. We'll be in our skinny jeans by summer--YEAH! ;-[
wednes: (Springfield Wednes)
Yeah, so I was supposed to get caught up on all the work I've been slacking on due to The Finster Effect. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to get anything done with a houseguest. I kind of figured H and Girl-H would be out seeing movies, going to the arcade, or just generally not being here so I could work. But no. I've barely gotten anything done since Friday. And oddly enough, H got totally attitudey with me when I asked him to clear out so I could record before Girl-H woke up. I didn't make it, and a 20 minute recording took well over an hour. And I still have to edit, mix and post it. I'm super pissed off though, so I'm getting stuff off my chest so that anything I write today doesn't turn out sarcastic. I have to edit and post the Save Evans City Cemetery Chapel article, and draft that Dead Mann Walking book review. Spoiler Alert: I liked it!

Come to think of it, I was pissed off yesterday. Still sick--food poisoning, I think. Had to go to work and every single call I took was some older-than-Moses person who wanted me to explain how the internet worked. 'Tis the season for people who know less than fuck-all about the stuff they want to buy for their kids and grandkids, nieces and nephews, and then they want to argue with me about the stuff they know nothing about. For the record:
--There is no key of 6. Key signatures are in letters, genius.
--Cellos do not require chinrests.
--A viola needs four strings, and 13 inches is NOT "as big as they come."
--You can't use a pencil, vaseline, or tacky glue instead of rosin.
--The bow does not have strings on it. It has hair. Horsehair.
--We do not sell "vegan" bows. Fake bowhair sounds like ass.
--Everything that costs more than $20 is not necessarily a "ripoff."
--No, I will not transcribe the music before I send it. Even if I knew how, I wouldn't.
--No, I will not drive to the post office to stop your package because you ordered the wrong thing.
--No, it is not a good idea to leave a water resistant case out in the rain, idiot.
--No, I will not give you a discount just because you asked.
--No, you cannot have free shipping because you're a long-time customer.

Plus, my November sales bonus that I intended to use to buy Girl-H's gift was not even big enough to buy the warranty for her gift. The bonus scale already screws part timers because it's based on a 40-hour work week. But now that they've given me a zillion other jobs to do, I have even less time on the phones to make sales. Combine that with the fact that they took our holiday pay and I'm down a couple hundred dollars a year before I pay for a single cab.
Long story short, I really need to get the hell out of that place.

Quickly, TV-wise:
--Dexter is rocking my socks. I still really want Deb to die, though I love her more than ever this season.
--American Horror Story is consistently awesome and continues to kick my ass. Last week's reveal was truly magnificent. I heart Tate.
--Still watching Terra Nova. Meh.
--Boardwalk Empire finale was terribly upsetting. Fuck Eli.
--Bag of Bones is on the DVR, hopefully I'll have time to watch soon.

To sum up, I'm cranky and irritated and have tons of work to do.
Off I go then...
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
On Thursday night, I finished the last of the big edits for The Finster Effect. Turns out, it's less about zombies than about the fact that I don't care for organized religion. I didn't realize how pissed I was until I got to the end. I'm reading it over tonight one more time, and then giving it to the new publisher tomorrow. I'm stoked!

I'm kinda mad today because I had a weird conversation last night with an old friend. I'll cut it, because it got long ) I guess I'm not used to having the kind of life people are jealous of--especially given that if anything happened to H, I'd be living in a shipping container by year's end. hahahahaha...yeah, like I could really afford my own shipping container.

Anywhoo, my Kindle Touch is still not here. Expected delivery date: 2 days ago. Still waiting. Chatted Amazon up last night and got them to give me a $15 shipping refund--which I actually had to haggle for. They're like "Well, I see that part of your order arrived on time" and I'm like "Yeah, the charger and the case for the Kindle--which isn't here!"
Refund accomplished. Yay! I spent part of that green on Shufflers by James L Grant. Then I realized I already had a pdf of it. Enjoy my money, you tricky bastard!

Honore, H's lovely sister, is coming to town one week from today, and staying for over 2 weeks. I don't typically tolerate guests for so long, especially because our place in tiny. But Girl-H is so awesome. She's an excellent guest, not annoying at all. Doesn't expect me to entertain her even. And she loves JoJo. Then again, how could anyone NOT love JoJo?

Jokes:

Q. What's worse than finding a worm in your apple?
A. the Holocaust

Q. How many potatoes does it take to kill an Irishman?
A. None.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
At work.
Ugh.

My coworkers are awesome, we know this. Morale is high...thusfar.
Free cake def helps.

I'm answering a lot of customer Emails and helping people out via chat.
I beg of you, if you're bad with English, have someone help you. At the very least, try not to go into a rage because I honestly can't figure out what you're asking. And the swearing? I'm telling you people, you don't really want to engage in a swear-off with me. I'm pretty good with words, especially in my native language.

Also, we're a store, not a school. I'm not here to teach you all the differences between acoustic and electric. I can try to talk you through changing a string, but watching a vid about it online will take less time and be more clear. I'm not going to be able to tell you the difference between our student line, and every other student line being sold in the US. That requires research and is something you do for yourself. Yes, you actually have to try to find the information you're looking for. But it will be so much more rewarding when you find it. And finally, if you make me type out a long explanation about something, for the love of Zod, read my answer thoroughly before you ask another question.

As for me, my birthday party was awesome. Lots of great people showed up, I got enough gift cards to get any Kindle of my choosing (and then some). Yesterday I ordered a Kindle Touch (not the fire) with some accessories and warranty and stuff. I was stoked to see that the good warranty covers accidental damage. That totally sold me. Thought long and hard about the Fire, but in the end, I just didn't want to order a 1st gen anything. Besides, I'd probably just end up mad it isn't an iPad. Party pics to follow after the book is turned in.

The book is due to the publisher on December 5th. We've pushed back the late April release date to an early May one. I've got a lot of work ahead this week, but am confident that everything will turn out awesome. The new publisher is pretty hands-on, which I am not used to. I'll almost certainly be asking writers for support on how to handle making changes per the publisher or editors request.

Dexter: Called it!
Boardwalk Empire: Love it! Also, sad times...
Tonight: Terra Nova and Last Night's The Walking Dead.
wednes: (Heart Horror)
Have you kids been listening to my incredible, FREE audiobook podcast, Take a Stab at THIS!? I and my meager editing and mixing skills spend some quality time with a few kickass actors, composers, and musicians to bring you all manner of scary shit. You can find chapters of both A Stabbing for Sadie and Kiss Me Like You Love Me. Roughly the first half of each book is there. That's not just a clever way to encourage you to buy the books, it's also a way to let me have a life by producing one new episode every month. Would you believe when I started this, I thought I was gonna do a new ep every week? Yeah, right...

This weeks ep is a departure from the book chapter format. The Happy Couple is a short story about a disgruntled cabbie who is not having a very good day. You might even recognize someone you know in there *wink*. The podcast eps are pretty short, usually between 10 and 30 minutes, with a few of the short stories being even shorter than that.

So take a listen, either at my site or at the iTunes.
If you like it, why not write a review, tell a friend, or otherwise spread the word?

In novel news, The Finster Effect keeps getting better and better. Past the halfway point on the final draft before it goes to the editor. Need to start looking for a place in town to host my book release party in April. If any of you's know of a good place, do let me know.
wednes: (Zombie Film)
Damn, this is a good fucking book.
I know I keep saying that, but man...I really love it.
The more editing I do, the more excited I am to drop it on you's. And now that someone with an impeccable eye has agreed to go over the final galley, I'm even more stoked. It's my dream to put out a novel without a single typo. I know, right?

Have some work and social obligations this weekend, but so far, I'm basically on schedule. I'm finding that the further in I get, the longer each chapter takes. Saturday shift this week, then shopping and guests on Sunday, then work Mon and Tues.

Watched the movie version of The Killer Inside Me with Casey Affleck. Didn't think much of it. I can tell it's a compelling story about a fascinating killer type. The movie did a fairly shitty job of exploring that, concentrating on hitting all the plot points and showing plenty of sexy ladies. Characterization was explored very little. It just makes me want to read the book all the more. However, I'm not buying any more books for a while. Not only am I in great danger of being crushed by a pile of them, but I really, really, REALLY want a Kindle fire.
Tops on my birthday wish list is Amazon gift cards for the getting of a Kindle Fire.

The party invited have gone out, electronically. If you feel like you should have gotten one and didn't, hit me up. I don't think I'm willfully excluding anyone this year. ;-] Fabulous guests this year are scheduled to include H's sister, possibly my brother, The great [profile] sudrin, and plenty more of the usual peeps. Cigarrettes outside only. Planning to do a bean dip (instead of the traditional mexican layer dip) a spinach dip, pineapple cake, and possibly special cookies just for the grown-ups.

For those of you keeping track, after The Finster Effect is done, the next book I'm working on is a non-fiction book about Customer Service. It's gonna be hilarious. Then comes a horror book about a family of cannibals. That's the book I'm looking into language creation for. I really hope I'm up to the task of creating a language. Maybe I can find some twins to help me. ;-] By the by, does anybody know of a good reference on Twin Language?
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
It's work Halloween.
They are feeding us Jimmy Johns, and we're about to win a prize for creating a zombie apocalypse call center. I'll post a few pics when I'm home, but DW doesn't offer me pic space, so I can't post pics from work. big surprise, I'm dressed as a zombie. Did a nice job this year on a dress and some thermals underneath. I used the standard corn syrup blood with cocoa powder, dish soap, etc, and ugly earth tone eyeshadow for the dirt. When it all dried, I put a couple coats of spray gloss over it so it would look wet and shiny. It's stiff, but nice looking.

The company prez just came by dressed as an X-wing pilot.
Hilarious.

Have to work until 7pm tonight, which means I'll miss the downtown zombie walk, and also Three Corpse Circus. Either the guy who runs that it a terribly lax communicator, or he doesn't think much of me. Either way, Imma try to do some conventions next year, real ones. I'm sick of all the horror writers having fun and networking without me. :-/

The big book push is well underway.
I feel kind of lame to be just now coming out with a zombie book. But if you know me, you know that I've been making zombie maps and plans since junior high. In case you don't know, The Finster Effect takes a few characters from a novel I started in 1995 but never got remotely close to finishing. Lila, Basil, Blue, and the Reverend are all there, though updated to be less goddamn depressing. I just don't want anyone to think I'm jumping on some kind of undead bandwagon. Then again, I don't know why I'd give a rat's ass what a bunch of ignorant internet types think.

American Horror Story, you are still awesome.
I'm so stoked that I like you so much.
wednes: (Sir Graves)
Or it will be until the end of the month.
I'm supposed to be designing some posters for work for H to print, but silly me, I'm too busy working on that book that's coming out in like, 6 months. Eep! I did buy a small strobe-light and a heap of black construction paper. Our theme is...well, it's top secret. But it's something I specialize in, so if you know me, you can probably guess. I'm also doing my costume to reflect said theme.

Dexter is kicking my ass this season. Great violence and kills, superb plot development, it really looks like they're going to get me to love Deb before they kill her.
Funny thing, when I watch a 1st season Sopranos episode, James Gandolfini looks really, really young compared to how he looks at the end (when he dies). Dexter still looks exactly the same as he did in the first season...and this is season SIX. Wow, right? Even more amazing considering that he had a bunch of health issues.
Will finally watch the new Boardwalk Empire when I get home tonight.

My birthday party shall be the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It is my hope that Honore, H's sister, will be back from Korea by then. Should be a grand affair with yummy food and wonderful company. Not that anyone should feel compelled, but I'm telling anyone who asks that the idea gift is an Amazon gift card. I really, really want a Kindle fire. Really. And a carrying case. And some new stuff to read. I've been wanting to read Under the Dome forever and can't even hold the damn thing in my aching hands.

CPAP and I are starting to get along. My compliance is awesome. The pillow with the cut-outs is good, and my heated tubing will be here in a week or so. Feeling less tired, though I wouldn't say I feel more awake just yet.

Trying my hand at making a Noodle Kugel soon. Would have made it yesterday, but we couldn't find dried cherries at the grocery store, which the recipe calls for. I suppose I could substitute with raisins, but why the hell would anybody want a raisin when they can have a dried cherry? Exactly. I have some coming, much more than I need in fact. Will probably make muffins or something with them for the holidays.
Vanilla Extract is coming right along. Lavender for that extract is here, but I forgot to buy vodka at the store. Luckily, that one will only take about a week.
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
Was sick on Friday so they sent me home from the day-job early. Super tired and run down and sore. Saturday was homecoming at my alma mater, wherein I was welcomed:


Had to leave Ann Arbor by 8am to arrive nearly by 9:30am. The alumni ass-kissing was exceptional. Tons of students and staff checking in to make sure I was comfortable, if I needed anything, and then just asking me stuff about writing and getting published. As usual, my assistant was awesome. She even wrote down all the things I was agreeing "to do sometime, no rush" so I wouldn't forget. I ought to have her start writing down the names of people I met; I swear I don't remember half of them--which sucks because everyone always remembers my name.

Anyway, there were lots of people I was delighted to see, including one of the few professors I love who are still on campus.


Hung out at the house for a bit. For those who don't know, "the house" refers to the home of Alpha Lambda Epsilon which is where I pledged when I was a student. If you think pledging is only for assholes, it's because you've not met the fine men and women (Yup, co-ed house) of ALE.

Every pledge class makes a plaque with their names on it, a motto or phrase that reminds one of the pledging experience. As it happens, I designed, carved and painted out plaque, except for the names. I used to be quite handy with a set of tools.


If you're wondering what that bizzarre series of letters is after my name, it's the second name I had as a kid--technically belonging to my dear mater's second husband. It's also the name I used for the longest...so far. We'll just see how long I live. *snerk*

And finally, here's me and NYT best selling author Scott Sigler, who is more famous than me...and still a damn nice guy. It was nice to see him, and to sell more books than he did--because he didn't bring any. Ha!


Even though the party went on until well after 9pm, we left before 3pm because I was feeling so damn sick and tired. Everybody talked about how happy I seemed, and how happy they were for me. Then one of my sisters came out this way and crashed at my place. Somehow, it never occurred to me to take a pic of her. Ultimately, I had a nice time and sold enough books that I didn't lose any money on the trip.

Woke up this morning with a completely empty humidifier dish in Ye Olde CPAPe. As such, I had no voice whatsoever. Sucks too, since I was kind of awake at 6am. Drank a bunch of tea and went back to bed on heavy humidity. 5 hours later I'm feeling okay and can talk, though the high notes may not be back until later.

Finally, This is my favorite song at the moment.
wednes: (X-files)
Blessed Yom Kippur to those who celebrate.
Hope your contemplation is productive.

I am, sadly, at the day job all day until 5pm. Ordering deli food for lunch to keep myself in a happy, junk food infused mood. Working a long shift on Saturday tends to make me want to snack all day long. Not sure what's up with that.

Still behind on the book. So what else is new, right? Concentration and focus are still not happening. Drank a giant (okay, Wendy's calls it their "medium" but it's well over 3 serving sizes) coke last week. That was the only time in weeks I've felt peppy and focused--until it wore off and I had to go right to bed. Drag. REALLY don't want to get back into the trap of caffeine. I hate that shit, and do not wish to be that kind of addict ever again.

Next week is a book signing during homecoming at my alma mater. My Arch Writing Nemesis will be there. Okay, he's not really my nemesis, he's a guy I went to college with who was always destined to be a more popular and successful writer than me. He has a giant fan base, a Wikipedia entry, and has been on the NYT best seller list. Isn't that just a kick in the nuts? No, not really. Irritatingly enough, he works his ass off at it; so I can't even grumble about how some people get everything in life handed to them for the asking because he totally didn't. He's still super nice, helpful, supportive, and emphatically NOT one of those "head up his ass" types. Plus, he's in the HWA. I want to be in the HWA.
It so happens that I caught up with him in about 1997. He gave me a hard copy of a book he wrote. After reading it, I was so jealous I couldn't even see straight. Not only was it a fast paced, innovating, marketable book--but he wrote it back when I was still working shitty retail jobs, smoking bushels to kind bud, and search desperately for someone who'd want to marry me. I felt so profoundly untogether and he was already doing to great--and this was BEFORE he invented the audiobook podcast. Fucker!
My plan is to sit next to him at the signing, smile, and tell everyone who walks by that "I'm a writer too." They're giving him the prestigious alumni award. The only award they'd give me is person who flipped the bird the most times in a single yearbook. Ha!
Which is why I always say that comparing yourself to other people is the quickest road to misery. Besides, when I see him, I can totally get him to sign some copies of his books.

CPAP machine will be mine, hopefully on Weds.
It will be mine.
Oh yes, it will be mine.

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