Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Blog Therefore I am, OR The Blogwoman Cometh, OR What Other Funky Title Can I Steal?

Let's see.  Today Google's Ad-Sense sent me an email saying ad-sense was being discontinued on my blog because I did a no-no.  They couldn't tell me the no-no but encouraged me to read their policies on no-no's, so I can fix the no-no.  Their policy on no-no's was rather extensive.  There was some stuff about compliance and information rich sites and then my mind went blissfully blank.  I copied the pertinent stuff for reading amusement and no small amount of personal vindictiveness:

Specifically, the site should offer significant value to the user by providing a useful and information-rich site.  Additionally, Google ads may not be displayed on 'cookie cutter' pages.

Well, specifically Google Ad-Sense isn't making me bupkus which means I'm not really motivated to keep Ad-Sense on my site.  I've been blogging regularly for about two years.  I get a lot of good feedback.  People think I'm funny or amusing or maybe I'm a good substitute for coffee.  Occasionally I get a negative comment.  Someone from Slovenia said I was stupid a few weeks ago.  (They said it in both languages so I would be sure to get the message.  Hey, while I can be stupid, I didn't know I was being stupid in Slovenia.  What was I thinking?)  But in terms of making money off the blog, not-so-much.  It's a good thing I enjoy writing and I get to promote my books on my blog, so although it's not a cash cow I'll keep doing it.
In my mind Google Ad-Sense is represented
by the boots in the grass.
Please keep in mind this isn't a threat,
but an artistic rendering of a nonpolitical message.
Anyway, I like the "significant value to the user" part.  Let's add on the rest "by providing a useful and information-rich site."  Seems to me that if they're going to get all snippy about my website then they best get bu-zay on censoring all the other websites for lack of "useful and information-rich"ness.  Examples include the woman who posts pictures of herself putting her cats into her mouth.  See Shokotan.  I like this one.  It's self named.  The very official Best Worst Blog Ever!  And for characterization let's throw in The Dullest Blog in the World.  If Google wants to go ahead and rule the world by restricting its ads then by God I'm going to change my blog to another web server.  See how they like those apples and bananas.
Let me tell you, if Confessions of a Fat Woman aren't significant or information-rich then there should be no blogs allowed, ever.  Take that Google Ad-Sense.  See if I sign up for you again.
In other fat news, someone left a review on Amazon for Brownie and the Dame AND THEY SPOILED THE WHODUNIT!  Right in the review.  Dammit.  $%^#@#*!!!  As a matter of fact, #$%^@#&!!!  And let's not forget $%^&@!!!  Also bleep!  Bleeeeeeeeeep!  Bleepity bleeping bleep!  This person didn't like BAD, and that's okay, I don't expect every person on the planet to enjoy my writing (although I can't understand why not) but don't SPOIL the ending for everyone else.  For those of you who have already read BAD and feel like looking at the review.  See here.  I left a comment for the guy because I wanted him to NOT spoil it for everyone else, but he hasn't changed it, so I feel that I can legitimately complain about it.  Sorry Mike K.  I know you didn't like the story and felt it was corny.  (Yes, the man used the word corny in connection with a Bubba world story.  Who knew?)  But don't spoil it.  Bet you're like that guy who went out yelling in front of the theater playing The Empire Strikes Back that Darth Vadar was really Luke Skywalker's daddy.  Or maybe the one in front of the theater playing Titanic yelling "The ship totally sinks!"  (I'm totally NOT trying to censor Mike K.  Totally.  It's not like I'm getting ad space on his review.)
Let's just say that the boots in the grass
now represent the spoiler in a very
nonthreatening, snarky manner.
All grumpiness aside, I'm working diligently on Bubba 4.  Naming contest of said novel to come soon.  (SOON!  Very SOON!)  Some lucky fan gets to name Bubba 4.  Announcement of contest to come very soon.  The fortunate individual will get this beautiful plush Basset hound (not my daughter), a copy of the book, mention in the foreword, and a WWBD bumper sticker.  (WWBD is What Would Bubba Do?)

All is well with the writing.  Peace out.

PS.  A special announcement.  Mike K took the spoiler out!  All hail Mike K for being a stand up guy!  Yes!  I know he didn't care for the plot line but he obviously rocks in all other ways.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Scintillating Saga of the Seven, er, Three Hotdog Samurai OR What Happens When I am Bored and My Daughter Has Input

Once there were three little hot dog samurai thingies.  (Keep in mind my daughter who is eight is telling the story.  She has inherited my gene for meandering in a meaningless fashion, except that it is meaningful to her.  Look, a troop of clowns doing a strip tease on Main Street.  They have ice cream.  What was I saying?)
You know, you can do fun things with hot dogs, tooth picks, sprinkles, Hershey's
kisses, and thin spaghetti.  Really.  (Side note: Sharpies do not seem
to work on hot dogs.  I had to use little coriander's for the eyes.)
So there was a queen and a king and a prince who all hung out in the happy go lucky land of sprinkles and Hershey's kisses.  Of course they were happy, no one was grilling them on the barbecue or boiling them in water.  (BUT they were cutting them in half for a stupid blog, but we'll disregard this part.)
This is the queen and the king who are pretty happy if out of focus.
I had a lot of help from the peanut gallery who keep telling me
how to take a picture even though she hardly ever takes them herself.
She kept bumping me to tell me how to take the picture.
Anyway the king has star sprinkles in his head because apparently
hot dog kings do this.  The queen is wearing miniature muffin skirt
and has never looked better because you totally cannot see the plastic surgery scars behind her
ears.  (What ears?  Oops.)  (BTW, eat your heart out, Joan Rivers.)
This is the hot dog prince and he's got spaghetti hair because
it's bitching and also because it was easy to break off and stick
into his hot dog noggin.
Then a bad guy came along.
You can totally tell he's bad because he's got aspirin for eyes and an orange
cocktail weenie sword.  (Could be a cocktail olive sword but I went for the bigger laugh.)
Only the baddest hot dogs have orange cocktail
weenie swords.  Plus he's got a frowny face and cotton candy hair.
(We went to an education fair today and someone was handing out
cotton candy.  How serendipitous for our diorama.)
The bad hot dog totally went bad ass on the sprinkles and Hershey kisses kingdom and said he was going to kidnap the queen and do lewd things with her and mustard, which caused her to faint.  (Cressy didn't actually tell that part but she nodded firmly when I suggested it might be so.)
Bet you didn't know hot dog queens go commando.
Then the bad guy stabbed the king in the tummy.
I might have gotten carried away with the ketchup.  Also does anyone
else wonder where that one Hershey's kiss came from?  Just me, right?
The hot dog prince went all samurai.
The giveaway is the frowny eyebrows above the coriander eyes.
Also the blue cocktail weenie sword.  Only good hot dog samurai
get the blue cocktail weenie swords.
There was a fierce battle.
Damn.  That's a lot of ketchup.  Guess who's doing laundry later today?
Cressy shrieked, "MORE KETCHUP, MOMMY!"  I squirted the
squeezy bottle and it went skidoosh.  Apparently it's not advisable to
put ketchup back into the bottle once it's been squirted out.  (Lesson
to remember.)
The hot dog prince samurai won because he's good and kind and treats little hot dogs nice.  (There's a moral there somewhere that my daughter is trying to impart.)

All was good in the kingdom of sprinkles and Hershey's kisses again.
See the hot dog king's got a booboo bandage, but for some reason it
wouldn't stick, so we had to put it on with a toothpick, which should
defeat the purpose, but it's all good for this story.  The hot dog queen
forgot to pull her skirts down, the hussy.
The end.

But not the end of this blog.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm Doing a Conference!

Okay folks.  If you like writing, reading, or authors, here's the place to be.  I'm going to be at the Hampton Roads Writer's Conference on Thursday, September 20th through Sunday, September 23rd in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Here's the link.  Hampton Roads 4th Annual Writer's Conference.

It will be fun, fun, fun.  Not only are there lots of writers there but there are lots of agents, and poets, and some other stuff.  The beach is nearby.  How can you go wrong with that?

I myself, personally am doing: How to E-Publish Your Work and Make Money.  I can totally do this one.  I have learned so much about this topic in the last couple of years I'm practically a PH.D. in it.

Then I'm doing: Maintaining and Sustaining Authentic and Appropriate Voice, which is a lot about characterization and there will be a writing exercise involved.

I'm also doing: What to Expect When You're Expecting (A Book) with Alma Katsu, author of The Taker, and is an American Library Association-Booklist Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011.

Then I'm on a Women Writer's Panel, which is loads of fun.

Rick Mofina will be about and he's written a ton of wonderful suspense thrillers such as The Burning Edge and the Reed-Sydowski series.

There will also be Patricia Hermes, who  is an author who has written over 50 YA novels.  She also has awards up the hooha and is the author of You Shouldn't Have to Say Goodbye and several historical YA novels such as Salem Witch, The Starving Time, and The Wild Year.

So if you can make it, you should.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Got Dem Sunday Blues OR What to Blog, What to Blog, What to Blog?

The Bevill fam went to see Paranorman, which was pretty good, but also we got to see previews for Frankenwienie and The Hobbit, which kicks butt on the big screen.  Peter Jackson, I would bear your children for you, if I weren't nearly fifty, fat, already married, and didn't have a sense of humor.  Recently I was conversing with someone about the preview for The Hobbit, which doesn't come out until December.  (Peter, I take back what I said, seriously.  You released a preview almost a year ahead of time to taunt and tease us.  You shameless hussy.  December effing 14th, for the love of merciful Pete.)  This person hadn't seen the preview yet and I said, "When they start to sing, it gives me goosebumps."  Of course, I believe the person thought I was insane because it's an odd thing to say.  (Yes saying "When they start to sing, it gives me goosebumps," is a weird thing to say no matter where you're hanging out at or how many Screaming Red Zombies you've consumed.)  But all of you Baby Boomers with the four Tolkien books gathering dust in the attic, you've seen the preview and you know what I'm talking about.  (You do!  Admit it!  You know.  You're one of us.  You've come over to the Baby Boomer side.)  So here's the preview for the two of you left who haven't seen it yet:

Cate Blanchett don't look 43, I'll tell you what.  I need pointy ears.  Wait, I'll do an illustration for effect.  (Why?  Why the hell not?  It's my blog and I'm feeling frisky.)
This train of thought brings up several points.  I look more like a Vulcan than an elf.  (I can't do the finger splitting thing at all.  My fingers don't do that.)  Then I need to make sure Galadriel was really an elf or if my memory is all messed up.  (That's always possible.  In fact, it might even be probable.)  (Yep, people put anything on Wikipedia.  Seriously.  Anything.  See here.  It's got the character's biography, history, personal likes and dislikes, and whether she likes to dance nekkid in the rain after drinking pina colodas.  Well, maybe not that much information.)

(Who has three initials before their last name?  Really?  J. R. R. Tolkien?  Why not J. R. R. R. Tolkien?  Uh-oh, I may have offended the die hard Tolkieniens.  Sorry.  All in Fat Woman fun.)

Our daughter, Cressy, watched The Hobbit preview, with interest.  I don't think she was into that much but she giggled when the Gollum started in with "My precious," at the end of the preview.  She leaned over to me and said, "He's got a funny voice, Mama."  This was followed by a titter.  I'm pretty sure Cressy won't won't to sit through a nearly three hour movie no matter how funky the Gollum's voice is.

Which leads me to this realization which I noted when I looked at how to spell Cate Blanchett's name correctly in

It's pro/con news depending on how folks view it.  For me, it's con.  I do not like it.  It's Hollywood trying to gouge us and I feel used.  (Kind of like how everyone feels after the November election.  I'm sure you can relate.  "They made promises.  They MADE promises.  I feel like I have to go take a shower.")  Okay, brace yourselves, middle aged nerds on the edge of your seats in the basement...

The Hobbit will be in...three parts.  THREE FRIGGING PARTS!

Oh, Peter.  Peter.  Peter.  I'm sending email to your mama about your behavior.  (For those of you who haven't figured this dilemma out, that means we have to wait three years to see all three parts.  Three years.  Peter Jackson has obviously been talking with George Lucas.  Those bastards.)
Three parts?  Really?  Seriously?  Really?  Come on!  Are they all going to be in 3D?  Do we have to take out a mortgage to see them?  I must stop blogging to scream nonsensically out of the door and alarm the neighbors.  (They need to get used to it.)

Anyway, I'm counting the days down until December 14th.  Who's in?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mysteries of the Barking Spider

Ah the elusive Barking Spider, also known as spiderus-farticus-notmeicus.  I have done an illustration of the Barking Spider for clarification.

There is also a Barking Spider Tavern in Ohio.  See here.  If you happen to be in Cleveland and like live entertainment (not Barking Spiders but bands that generally play music of the non-barking variety.)  Also they have lots of beer.  Some sparkling cider.  Lots of character.  I have not been to this tavern, but the next time I get to Cleveland I will go.  (Of course, I'm not implying that they have Barking Spiders at the Barking Spider Tavern, but perhaps they serve a special broccoli/popcorn/bean dip?)

In Huntsville, Alabama we have Black Water Hattie's which always seems to have an abundance of Harley's in front.  See here.  Also their website has this picture on it so that gives you an idea of what goes on there and on in their outdoor patio extravaganza.
Think she's checking for money that might have fallen into her
cleavage, but I could be mistaken.  Maybe there's food down there.
Possibly a Barking Spider but I wouldn't want to embarrass the young woman.
Alas, there are no Barking Spiders there.  But they do have live music.  This was last Halloween there, so it's pretty kicking.
Who can go wrong with a devil, a pirate, and I believe it's Roy Orbison's
grandson?  I think they desperately need a Barking Spider on the trumpet,
but that's just my opinion.
I seem to have wandered away from the point.  Ah yes, Barking Spiders.  I once read a historical romance (seriously) who had the female protagonist fart and say, "I didn't know they had barking spiders in England, too."  This line pretty much made peas shoot out of my nose, although I hadn't eaten peas prior to the event.  (I wish I could remember the author so I could give proper credit.  Up until that point I don't believe I had ever read about a heroine in a historical romance actually having typical body functions.)  Then I repeated the line to HIM, who excels at blaming things on Barking Spiders, our daughter, the moron cat, and sometimes me.  Sometimes we repeat it according to our vicinity and the circumstances.  "I didn't know they had Barking Spiders in the Smithsonian, too."  "I didn't know they had Barking Spiders in the White House, too."  "I didn't know they had Barking Spiders in the middle of my daughter's dance recital, too."  (Right in the middle of the solo while no one was clapping.  Biggest damn Barking Spider I ever heard, too.)

In case you're completely lost, I shall explain.  My MIL, of which I'm not supposed to blog, came to visit a year or two ago, and whilst enjoying her company, a Barking Spider emerged, and out popped the immortal words.  My MIL said she'd never heard it put that way.  Well, she was a minister's wife for many decades and an elementary school teacher also for many decades, so I submit to you that she was not in the proper company to hear it put that way.  (Whilst in the Army, there were many a Barking Spider lurking around the barracks.)  A Barking Spider is the poor, invisible creature upon which the blame of an errant fart is laid when there is no one else about.  Silent But Deadlies don't fall into this category unless someone falls over dead from asphyxiation.  The best gambit upon that scenario is to quietly fade into the background and run the hell away, yelling over one's shoulder, "BARKING SPIDERS EVERYWHERE!"

Okay back to the point of the blog.  It seems as though Barking Spiders seem to be an endangered species around the Bevill household of late.  Even my daughter's moron cat, Megaroy, also called Stinkaroy lately, doesn't even blame the invisible critter.  He just owns up to and stalks off to another part of the house, because goodness knows he can't smell it up by himself.  (That's what humans are for, after all.)

Instead we have a massive influx of Pull-My-Fingers.  I'd like to say that a Pull-My-Finger is similar to a Barking Spider, but it's completely the opposite of a Barking Spider.  With attributing the flatulence to a Barking Spider, one is saying, "It wasn't me.  It was the invisible beasty that doesn't really bark.  Hahahaha.  You should laugh, too.  Also you should cover your nose."  With the Pull-My-Finger one is saying, "It totally WAS me!  Not only was it me but once you pull my frigging finger I emphasize the fact in a loud and overtly nasty booty manner!  Hahahaha.  If you're a prepubescent boy you should laugh too and bump fists because I have done this so successfully!"
Coming from HIM I'm all like, "Yeah.  Great.  Shouldn't eaten that three-bean salad, babe."  But then suddenly our daughter starts doing it.  With a sly little giggle, too.  Then I have to tell her it's not something that we do in polite company.

Her: "What's polite company?"

Me: "Company that's polite."

Her, staring at me, because she knows I haven't answered her.

Me: "We don't do it out in public, not at school, social events, or to people like teachers, politicians, or mailmen.  Well, maybe politicians."

Her: "Go ahead, Mommy, pull my finger."

Me, glaring at HIM: "This is all your fault."

HIM, shrugging and going back to his Kindle: "Well, yeah."
There it is.  It's official.  HIM confessed.  It IS his fault.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Advice to HIMs Everywhere OR Why One Shouldn't Compare Their Wife to a Mythical (?) Beast

Recently I hurt my back.  In the interest of brevity (Hahahahahaha, I actually know what brevity means) I will make the back story short.  (Well, as short as I can make it.)  We moved.  I bitched.  Our new house needs work.  I started with my office.  Then I did my daughter's room.  I killed my back lifting a paint can.  (True story!)

(See.  Completely and utterly brevitious.  Did I make up a word?  Probably but the dictionary is too heavy to lift so I'm not going to check.)  (Googling it did not require heavy lifting so I did that instead.  Apparently other people have used the word first, but I don't care.)  (BREVITIOUS!  The act of using brevity.  In other words, limiting the use of words.  Being able to shut up in a timely fashion.  Not talking too much.  Keeping it to a minimum.  NOT FAT WOMAN!)

Ah, yes.  Getting off the subject.  I'd imagine that most of you are wondering when I'm getting to the subject of the title.  Wonky back does not equal title.  It does.  I'm getting to it.

I have consumed my morning allotment of ibuprofen and tea so I'm feeling well enough to blog.  Sitting in the office chair doesn't seem to bother me unless I lean drastically one way or the other.  (I have a long stick to whack anyone who comes to mess with me so I don't need to lean.  What?  It needed to be said.)

HIM, the man to whom I've been married for nearly three decades, has been supportive.  Mostly.  "Don't lift that, honey.  I'll do it."  "I'll carry the laundry in for you."  "I don't want to do the dishes.  Wait, yes I do."  However, (Did you suspect that there would be a "however" in there somewhere?  Bet you did.) several years ago I hurt my back in a similar manner and one day HIM made the mistake of saying that I looked like Bigfoot.

You might be saying at this moment, "And HIM is still breathing?  How very extraordinary."  It is, after all, truly miraculous that a significant other would make such an appalling statement to their somewhat volitile wife and live to rue the day, but not only to rue the day but possibly to repeat the mistake.  Truly, truly, truly a miracle.  Men reading this blog at this moment should learn from the lesson.  Never compare your wife to Bigfoot.  It's a golden rule.  I think it's implicit.  She doesn't say anything about your stinky feet and you don't call her a Bigfoot.  I think I should put it by itself, in caps, italics, in red, and larger because it's such an important rule:


But there is a back story to the comment.  I hurt my back.  One day I was walking away from HIM and he said something.  I turned back to look at him and since my back was hurting, it was a very awkward movement.  HIM said it looked just like this:
Come on, everyone's seen this film.  Taken by this guy, Roger Patterson, in 1967.  He said that he and this other guy were off in the woods, doing stuff best not mentioned by polite company, when suddenly female Bigfoot wanders out in front of them.  (Please try to remember this is the era where Droids and cell phones did not exist.)  So Roger whipped out his camera (which probably weighed thirty pounds) whilst his horse was bucking and he took this minute or two's worth of film of...the creature.  (I think they're lucky she wasn't having PMS or she would have stomped over and put the camera where the sun doesn't shine.  How do I know that she wasn't having PMS?  Well, because she didn't stomp over to them and put the camera where the sun doesn't shine.)  Wait, I'll link you to the footage on YouTube.  (Why?  Because I'm making a point and foreshadowing HIM's verbal misadventure in a way that amuses me.)

There ya go.  1967 footage of Big freaking foot.  Except Bigfoot's got boobies and her feet don't look that big to me.  The Wikipedia article about this film makes a big deal out of hairy boobies.  Apparently most hominids don't have hairy boobies.  (I'm easily distracted and who doesn't want to know about hairy boobies?)  I like this clip because they make the Shefoot walk backwards.  Any second and I'm expecting her to moonwalk.  (That's where Michael Jackson really got the idea from.  My right hand to God.)

Yes, that is a sequined glove on Shefoot's hand.  She's bad.
Now that you've watched the footage you can probably intuit where HIM got the idea that I looked like Bigfoot when I turned the upper half of my body to look at him.  Unfortunately for HIM, this was one of those times where he should have kept the clever witticism to himself.  HIM did not.

Also unfortunately for HIM, there was a Bigfoot show on one of the Discovery/Science channels last night where the Patterson-Gimlin film was shown, for the one thousandth time this year alone.  (I hope the widow Patterson is getting a few dimes every time they show the damn film, but she probably isn't.)  So what did HIM do?

Yes.  HIM did it.  Again.

Husbands/boyfriends, I don't care if you know for a fact that your spouse/significant other has a wondrous sense of humor equal to Don Rickles/Bob Hope/Eddie Murphy (in his twenties), don't do it.  She'll hold it against you.

There.  Now you know. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What the Bleep Happened?

Yes.  I fooled around with the template again.  I was bored with the other one and felt that it needed some pick-up.  Also I'm ticked because I can't change the template on my webpage so I got some meager amount of satisfaction by doing this one instead.

Also I've been to Home Depot three times this week so this seemed simple in comparison.  I hate home improvement crap.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Stuff on Writing OR Uh-Oh

Although I have degrees in psychology and counseling, I can honestly say that I do not understand people.  But that's cool.  I don't think anyone really wants to understand everyone.  That would be overwhelming, plus their brain would probably combust in a spectacularly nuclear event of cosmic proportion.  (Think of when Bruce Willis's character found out he was really dead in The Sixth Sense or maybe when Obama actually beat McCain.)  (Did I slam Dems or Repubs there?  Haha.  I don't even know myself.)  So I don't understand people.

I love this cover which is why
I jump at the chance to
insert it into a blog every time
I get a chance.
What makes me say these words?  I've recently gotten another comment about Brownie and the Dame.  Brownie and the Dame is a novella that I published lately.  Brownie is a character in my Bubbaverse.  (I like that.  Bubbaverse.  I'm actually so arrogant that I'm calling my inner world by a specific name.  Incidentally that was HIM who came up with it.  HIM, for all of you not familiar with my blog, is the man to whom I'm married, and of whom I tease mercilessly.  Well, mostly mercilessly.  Sometimes I let him off the hook.  Sometimes.)  Brownie is a ten-year-old who causes wreck and havoc wherever he roams, which is a pretty ideal character for me.  So he had a mystery to solve and got Willodean's eight-year-old niece involved.  Rousing mystery ensued.

Here is the comment: "Brownie is not exciting.  Bubba is exciting.  You need to write more about Bubba."  Also there was another comment: "There is not enough Bubba in this novella.  I want more Bubba."  I feel compelled to add another comment from a reader: "This was written for kids.  You use too big of words for kids."
I need a step stool for my desk.
I have to take a brief respite to gather my thoughts and to discourage my daughter's moron cat from digging his claws into my ass.  (The cat seems to think this is a great way to get my attention and stupidly I fell for the ploy so Skinner was right about another animal.  Behavioral theory, ya'll.  It works on bipeds, too.  Case in point, HIM no longer leaves his socks on the floor.)  (Anyone hear a hiss?)

Here's my break.  (Did anyone hear an audible snap?)

Okay I'm back.  I often tell writers who ask me for advice to get used to criticism.  Good criticism.  Bad criticism.  There's a lot of it out there and a writer needs to develop a thick skin.  The thicker the better.  I tell them that somewhere, somehow, someday someone will be heavily critical of their work and probably poopoo it up the hooha in a way that will make the writer's toes curl upwards and backwards.  (Try to imagine a little dark room with someone sitting in front of a computer monitor screaming, "NOOOOO!  Not that!  It is better than the liner of a bird's cage!  IT IS!")  Sometimes a writer even needs to dig out the good bits from a bunch of bad stuff.  Or...or...OR...don't read reviews.  Don't read comments.  Don't read Facebook, email, and signatures on their websites.  Honestly, it's a little hard to do.

I luv using this drawing over and over and over again.
Mostly I get positive stuff.  (The negative stuff is why I don't generally write bad reviews about books I loathed.  I just hate the idea of an author reading my snark about their blood, sweat, and tears.  I will make a comment about formatting or horrendous typos, which can put people off.)  (There was a whole time period on B&N where people were complaining about one of my novels changing fonts and I tore my hair out trying to fix it, because that would drive me nuts.  I can assure you that I did not change fonts on purpose.  It was the formatting program from Smashwords that messed me up.  I ended up hiring a professional formatter because I could not solve the problem myself.  Serious headache.  But I wouldn't have known about the problem if readers hadn't commented on it, so for that I'm grateful.)  (I love Smashwords but I want to fly to California and slap around their IT people with a wet noodle.)

Therefore I'm somewhat confused.  The book was supposed to be about Brownie.  It was about Brownie.  Did I promise somewhere that it was a novella about Bubba but with Brownie in the title?  The description of the novella was explicit.  (Not that kind of explicit for those of you with explicit thoughts.)  Brownie was the protagonist.  It was implicit. Yes, I know that there are some people who just love Bubba.  After all, Bubba's a great character (and just wait until Book 4, because it's getting good) and he's fun.  But Brownie's fun, too.  He's got a stun gun and Sharpies.  How can you go wrong with that?  (I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to insert dynamite and a potato launcher into the novella but hey I can write another one.  I have a great idea for another Brownie novella or even a Brownie novel.)

I just don't understand people.

Therefore the moral of the story is no matter where you go, there you are.  No.  No.  No.  That's not the moral of the story.  The moral of the story is you can't make everyone happy.  I have displeased the die hard Bubbaphiles.  (I just made that up.  It could have been Bubbites or Bubbettes, but I liked Bubbaphiles better.  Literary Bubbas.  How can I go wrong with that?  I do not know but undoubtedly someone will be pointing out something to me very soon.)

Off to redeem myself by writing the fourth Bubba novel.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Enter the Pre-Apocolyptic Ramblings of a Fat Woman on the Edge OR Some Title I Came Up With Because it Sounded Funky

Avowal the first: I shall not blog about HI (or Home Improvement to you Fat Woman neophytes).  (Sorry Hawaii and/or the USPS.  No offense intended.)

Avowal the second: I shall not blog about politics or the Olympics or the fact that it's all HIM's fault.  (Although I enjoy a rousing moment of what-else-can-I-blame-on-my-dearest-scapegoat-er-husband, it is NOT his fault it's an election year or a leap year or the Summer Olympics is occurring and the Chinese seem to be whupping our collective tushes.)  (But not me personally, the only Olympic sport that I would be good at would be the 100 yard Snark, in which individuals use their sarcastic tongue to berate anything or anyone in their general vicinity.  Extra points go to creativity, inventiveness, and making contractors cry over the telephone.  Wait, the last part was just me and I didn't really make a contractor cry over the phone.  Also I seem to be breaking my second vow in record time.  It could be another possible Olympic sport.)

Avowal the third: I shall not blog about my daughter's moron cat.  (The moron cat got stepped on last night because he was too stupid to get out of the way in a dark hallway and he particularly enjoys a sprawling stance on the hard wood floor.)  (I've never had a cat who seems to lay down on the floor 90% of the time.  I'm certain that he would lay down in the litter box if he thought he could accomplish it without losing his dignity.)

Where was I?  Blogging.  Ah yes, the house is empty at the moment and I'm watching the Home and Garden channel where there is a woman bitching about getting a free bathroom redone.  She doesn't like the tile.  She doesn't like the fixtures.  The lavatory is wrong.  I think this woman is a twit.  I want a free bathroom redo.  (Wait, am I talking about HI?  No, I'm talking about some stupid woman on HGTV.)

Anyway, I'm making gumbo today.  Chop.  Chop.  Chop.  Celery.  Onions.  Bell peppers.  Garlic.  Some hot peppers to make sure our stomachs don't disrespect us no more.  Once I was done chopping I started in on deboning the chicken I had just finished crock-potting.  Then I reached up and rubbed my eye.  Big mistake.  Apparently I should have worn nuclear-plant approved gloves to chop the hot peppers.  There should be a warning on the peppers.  (Don't touch your eyes, dumba**.  Just sayin' if you like the flaming, holy-carp-my-eyes-are-burning-please-dig-them-out-with-a-teaspoon feeling, then go ahead, touch your eyes.  But if you don't like that feeling, see above for good description, don't touch your eyes...stupid.)  So I went and washed my hands, but apparently the peppers of doom have a long lasting effect.

(There was this one Simpsons episode where Homer was attending a chili contest and the peppers used by Chief Wiggum.  "The Merciless Peppers of Quetzalacatenango....grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum."  Consuming the peppers made Homer have LSD like visions and then things went down hill from there.  Well I didn't use Quetzalacatenango peppers, but the peppers I did use were like their cousins.  Their very close cousins.  Their even-in-rural-areas-that's-too-close-a-family-connection cousins.)  (The Don't-Touch-Your-Eyes-After-Chopping-Us Peppers for further clarification.)

After my eyes stopped flaming out, I finished with the gumbo and went to take a shower.  (Because cooking always makes me sweaty.)  Then I discovered that washing my hands apparently didn't wash off all the pepper juice and made my eyes burn all over again.  (Yes, Virginia I washed my hands with soap and I even sang the Happy Birthday song whilst I washed.  No, I didn't sing the Happy Birthday song, but I did wash my hands for a long time.)

So HIM came to see what all the screaming was about and decided to take the kid to see a movie.  (They went to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days because that's what we've been reading for the last week or so.  I was not permitted to take the kid to Batman Kicks Butt Again in a Moody Fashion so I stayed home to bath my eyes in Visine and morbidly watch HGTV.)

But the gumbo smells great.  (And hey wouldn't a pepper eating contest be a great Olympic sport addition?)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Primal Scream Therapy OR My Daily Life

Recently I had to deal with contractors.  Inevitably one of them effed up and I get to blog about it.  It's great fun.  Snarky but fun.  It wasn't fun at the time it happened.  Our a/c unit at our house has a pan under it to catch condensation.  When this pan is full it means the primary pan is overflowing.  This is bad because this unit is in our attic and we don't want water falls coming into our second floor, down the stairs or through the floor to our first floor and creating a pool in the crawl space.  (Unlike the toilet leaking through the flange, HIM decided we should get on top of this.)  So I contacted the warranty people.  Yea, warranty!

(A note about the YouTube vid above.  This is Sam Kinison screaming.  Sam Kinison was a comedian who liked to scream.  Sam probably also had an ulcer.  Whenever I get irate with customer service issues, which seems to happen a lot, a really, really lot, I think of Sam Kinison.  Sadly, I don't think screaming at customer service reps really works well.  But I enjoy thinking about it.)

(This also makes me think of a scene from a Rodney Dangerfield movie in which Sam Kinison plays a history prof, which I'm forced to share because it's probably not pertinent.  But it is funny and it's my blog, so there be it.)  (I never cried in college.  Sometimes I wanted to throw something at a professor like Sam Kinison's character does with the desk top, but I never got to do that, either.)

(Let me just say that TBS ruins this bit because they substitute another word for "pussy."  The naughty word substitute people at TBS are pussies.  They should just bleep it out because everyone really knows what the word was supposed to be anyway.)

But wait.  The warranty people contacted a local contractor, who shall remain nameless because I intend on speaking vilely about them at great length.  Let's call them Contractor Smith.  Smith sent a guy over who wrote down the model and number of the unit, spent a few minutes in the attic taking pictures, and said, "We need to see if this is covered.  The office, Doris Mae Sue Bob or Sally Jo Martha, will call you back."  (I know I covered this in a previous blog.  But this is important because this is a continuing saga.  I know people out there really want to know.  I know they do.  And if they don't they should.)  So Smith didn't call me back.  I called them back.  Alice Lee Ruby said she would call the warranty people.  The warranty people called me back and said, "No can do.  Not covered.  It's the secondary pan that's broken and that's specifically not covered in the warranty."  This is true.  It says that.  I had the warranty in my hand and I was looking at it.

However, I called another contractor who had a good set of references and he came over and said, "It's the primary drain pan.  It's clogged up.  I'll unclog it for you."  He did this.  Then he discussed why there should never be water in the secondary drain pan.  I'm getting to be a drain pan expert of mysterical proportion here.  (Before last week I didn't even know what a primary drain pan was and if asked I would have thought it had something to do with my brain.  Seriously.)  (Call me the Drain Pan Whisperer.  Haha.)

Once I paid the second contractor his $90 fee and called HIM to gloat, Contractor Smith called back to say they could fix the problem for only $300 to $500.  Then she said, "But wait, it's more complicated.  Say $750."  Then in the conversation the number slipped up to $1000.  Oh, my, telephone conversations are costly, aren't they?  Then she tried to tell me what I really needed was a whole new system which would cost only $4300.  I love contractors.  (Can you sense the sarcasm in the writing there?  I assure you it's very, very thick.)

(I'm all over clips today.  I think we should all scream out the window.  My new neighbors should be thrilled with me.)

So you'd think I'd be happy but the primary drain pan obviously plugged up again the next day and the secondary drain pan is draining again out the side of the house onto the kitchen's roof.  Drip.  Drip.  Drip.  HIM spent a half hour on the computer trying to see if he could fix it himself.  He broke out the wet/dry vac and vacu-sucked the holy living crap out of the drain line of the primary drain pan.  It worked for a while.  Then he did it again.  It worked for a while.  Then HIM went back to the computer to do some more valuable research.  HIM started to get crabby.  You can tell because his eyebrows descend into his eyes and you can't tell them apart.

The next morning I woke up frisky and called the warranty people again.  You see, the primary freaking drain pan is COVERED.  There wouldn't be water in the secondary pan if the primary drain pan wasn't clogged.  I talked to a nice young man named Shawn, who is obviously reconsidering his choice of work environment once he got off the phone with me.  Perhaps he would do well in the a/c unit field since he now has a better understanding of it.

(I don't know why I added the dog, but it sounded kind of like the noise I've been making lately whenever I look at my MasterCard bill, so why not?  I'm not sure what would happen if I owned this dog.  I would own a lot of ear plugs or possibly listen to my iPod a bunch.)

So today I went to look at the drain pan, after spending a restless night concocting arguments to use upon another unsuspecting dupe at the warranty people's place o' deception.  (I bet their people have a very high turnover.)  I had all kinds of arguments about pre-existing conditions and primary drain pans and secondary drain pans.  HIM even took pictures of the primary drain pan where he pointed a laser pointer at the problem area.
I had to include HIM's photo for posterity and some other legal reasons that HIM spouted at me.  Now you know the whole picture.

Anyway, after all that drama the damn thing's working right now.  I might need to swear off writing about HI for a few blogs.  (That's Home Improvement for all of you people who still live in apartments.)

Who wants to help me paint my daughter's room?

Coming Soon - Bubba and the Curse of the Boogity-Boo. Available December 21st, 2018 It’s two weeks until Bubba’s wife, Willodean...